Here’s a question– if you’re in the Land of the Free, do you think those green pieces of paper in your wallet are dollars? They’re not. Those green pieces of paper are Federal Reserve notes. “Notes” in this case meaning liabilities to the central bank of the United States. That makes you, me, and anyone else holding those green pieces of paper essentially creditors of the Federal Reserve, whether we signed up for it or not. And at this point, thanks to a long-standing policy of wanton money printing, the Fed has more liabilities than ever before in its history. By an enormous margin. Given that the Fed’s assets are so closely tied to the finances of the US government, the outlook should concern independent, thinking people. The US, Japan, and Europe are already too indebted to bail out their central banks. An insolvent government cannot bail out an insolvent central bank.
Over the past several decades, people around the world have become so brainwashed that few people really give much thought anymore to the safety of their currency. It’s not something people really understand... there’s apparently some Wizard of Oz type figure at the top of the hill pulling all the levers of the monetary system. And we just trust them to be good guys. This power rests primarily in the hands of four men who control roughly 75% of the entire world money supply. So, how are they doing?
Without doubt, Iceland was the canary in the coalmine for the sovereign debt crisis that is unfolding across the world right now. Today, Iceland is held up as the model of recovery. 'Famous' economists like Paul Krugman praise the government for rapidly rebuilding the economy without having to resort to austerity. This morning’s headline from The Telegraph newspaper sums it up: “Iceland has taken its medicine and is off the critical list”. It turns out, most of these claims are dead wrong. Despite being so widely reported by the mainstream financial media, Iceland is not a story of model economic recovery. It’s a story of how to fool people. And for now, it’s working.
Latin American Countries Recall Ambassadors From Spain, France, Italy And Portugal Over Snowden "Neo-Colonial" FlapSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/13/2013 11:41 -0500
The global fallout from the Snowden affair continues to reverberate following the latest news that four Latin American countries - Brazil, Argentina, Urugay and Venezuela - announced on Friday they would recall their ambassadors from the countries that blocked their airspace to Bolivia's Evo Morales following false rumors he was carrying Snowden, forcing an emergency landing in Austria. The four countries said this incident violated international law. As a result of Obama's "neo-colonial" practices in Europe, as Uruguay's foreign minister Luis Almagro denounces Europe's servile compliance with pax AmericaNSA, the Mercosur ambassadors in Spain, France, Italy and Portugal will be pulled back for consultations.
So much for Iceland's bid as the world safe haven from government (and intellectual status quo) persecution. The tiny country that was such a vocal supporter of Julian Assange, and which originally was speculated as being the final destination of Snowden upon his departure from Hong Kong, has just opined on his request for Icelandic citizenship, and the answer is a resounding no, following the country's "parliament voted not to debate it before the summer recess" Reuters reports.
When enough of us realize the extent of inflation, bond buyers will likely demand higher coupon rates; the government's cost of debt service could soar.
Things are turning from bad to worse for the real-life version of The Terminal's Edward Snowden, who a day after applying to 21 countries for political asylum has been flooded with rejection letters near and far, even as he was forced to cancel his application to his current host nation, Russia, after being told he would have to stop leaking secrets as a condition to stay. More from the FT: "The 30-year-old fugitive’s options narrowed further on Tuesday when China reacted coolly to the idea of him moving there, Poland rejected an application and other European nations said asylum requests had to be made in the country."
Are these the only truly free countries left in the world - those that are not joined at the hip with the United States and ready and willing to do Obama's bidding at the drop of a hat? The NSA's most infamous whistleblower certainly thinks so.
That Iceland is so far the only success story in the continent of Europe, which continues sliding into an ever deeper depressionary black hole, as a result of the complete destruction of its financial sector and its subsequent rise from the ashes, is by known to most. What is still not exactly clear is what conditions have allowed success and growth to flourish in a barren wasteland where 60% youth unemployment is increasingly the norm, and where economic "outperformance" is measured in shades of red. As it turns out, perhaps the biggest jolt to Icelandic economic growth is what we said was the correct prescription for resolving not only the US but global growth malaise that struck in 2008: debt liquidation.
Moments ago Edward Snowden landed at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow, but since the American citizen has no Russian visa he will remain in the transit zone. And as Reuters reports, we now have some details on his next destinations, at least according to an Interfax source at Aeroflot: first Havana, Cuba, and finally Caracas, Venezuela as had been speculated earlier (although this may well be misdirection). Oddly enough, no Iceland (for now).
Edward Snowden is no longer in Hong Kong. About an hour ago, the Hong Kong Authority released a statement which says that the NSA whistleblower has left Hong Kong today "on his own accord through a lawful and normal channel" which was yet another slap in the face of the US, saying the US provisional arrest warrant "did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law." In fact, not only did the HK authority defy the US arrest warrant, but it officially demands that the US clarify its own hacking of Hong Kong computer systems:"Meanwhile, the HKSAR Government has formally written to the US Government requesting clarification on earlier reports about the hacking of computer systems in Hong Kong by US government agencies." Having been given the blessing of HK to defy the US, Snowden is now supposedly en route to Moscow, from where he is said to continue further to Iceland.
China has certainly been busy since it won observer status at the May Arctic Council summit in Kiruna, Sweden. China is clearly after more than simply investment and trade opportunities as it continues to display its obsession with securing energy and other supplies where the U.S. Navy cannot or will not go. Unfortunately for Moscow, not only China but also the other new Asian members will seek to maximize their influence in the Council for many of the same reasons. The Arctic may be Russia’s home, but it can no longer be its castle.
Kyle Bass covers three critical topics in this excellent in-depth interview before turning to a very wide-ranging and interesting Q&A session. The topics he focuses on are Central bank expansion (with a mind-numbing array of awe-full numbers to explain just where the $10 trillion of freshly created money has gone), Japan's near-term outlook ("the next 18 months in Japan will redefine the economic orthodoxy of the west"), and most importantly since, as he notes, "we are investing in things that are propped up and somewhat made up," the psychology of negative outcomes. The latter, Bass explains, is one of the most frequently discussed topics at his firm, as he points out that "denial" is extremely popular in the financial markets. Simply put, Bass explains, we do not want to admit that there is this serious (potentially perilous) outcome that disallows the world to continue on the way it has, and that is why so many people, whether self-preserving or self-dealing, miss all the warning signs and get this wrong - "it's really important to understand that people do not want to come to the [quantitatively correct but potentially catastrophic] conclusion; and that's why things are priced the way they are in the marketplace." Perhaps this sentence best sums up his realism and world view: "I would like to live in a world where it's all rainbows and unicorns and we can make Krugman the President - but intellectually it's simply dishonest."
Eager to take advantage of NSA-whistleblower Edward Snowden's current unincarcerated status and to ask him questions about his motives or thoughts? Here is your chance courtesy of the Guardian which is holding a live Q&A session with the famous leaker. As the Guardian notes: "He will be online today from 11am ET/4pm BST today. An important caveat: the live chat is subject to Snowden's security concerns and also his access to a secure internet connection. It is possible that he will appear and disappear intermittently, so if it takes him a while to get through the questions, please be patient." Some more from the Guardian:
- Edward Snowden is answering your questions about the NSA leaks live
- Post your questions in the comment section below and recommend your favorites
- We are posting Snowden's replies above the line
- You can also follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #AskSnowden
The live blog can be reached at the following link.
"A brave new Huxley-world of the unlimited debt,” a world where “money is no longer earned but printed”