Ever wondered about the true intrinsic value of Euro banknotes? Prudent Investor blog reader Kurt Lindlgruber from Austria sent me this pragmatic approach, pulling up the calorific value of such notes once they have lost their purchasing power as did all fiat currencies in history. Lindlgruber's calculations contradict French philosopher Voltaire's famous quote that 'Paper money will always return to its intrinsic value. Nothing.' It is not all that bad. Your soon-to-be worthless Euros will at least keep you warm for a few minutes.
Fall Of The House Of Money: Artemis Capital On How €entral Banking Took Over Capital Markets... And The WorldSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/04/2011 14:36 -0500
One of the long-term recurring themes both here and in other more objective media, has been the encroaching domination of the central planning regime, or monetary authorities, read central banks, in the domain of capital markets and overall broad sovereignty, to the point where there is neither technical nor fundamental analysis left, but merely the question of where is the next batch of excess liquidity going to come from. Welcome to the death throes of the fiat system. Artemis Capital has released an extended must read presentation that summarizes just how global changes in trade, currency exchange, global monetary excess liquidity in recent decades, and especially in the coming future, will increasingly determine and define risk, and more troubling, the centuries old anarchism of state sovereignty. Anarchism, because as Europe has demonstrated so very well, in the current world the only real actors are the central banks. And with each passing day they become ever more powerful players in the global capital markets arena, as confirmed by correlations that rise every higher, approaching 1.000 across all asset classes. Anyone wondering why the only fulcrum variable for the future of risk will be FX exchange rates, and why any and all wars in the future will be primarily in binary "currency" format, we urge a careful reading of the attached slideshow by Artemis Capital titled "Fall of the House Of Money: Changes in Global Trade and Currency Exchange."
"Nothing has changed and absolutely nothing has been accomplished. There is no “solution” to the crisis that will not result in massive pain, confusion and wealth decimation. The reason is patently obvious. At least half the continent is completely and helplessly bankrupt. There are only two outcomes to the entire situation. Either the sovereign debts are written off aggressively and the banking system declared insolvent and restructured or the ECB decides to turn on those printing presses to the tune of trillions and destroys the purchasing power of the union in Zimbabwe-like fashion. People will read this and think I am exaggerating . The phrase “it takes 5 minutes” keeps running through my head because all it takes is a small amount of time to see the situation for what it is. I am not that smart. This is obvious. The scary thing is that it is abundantly clear that the vast majority of U.S. investors have not bothered to take the 5 minutes necessary to understand how extreme and binary the outcomes to all this is. Their clients will suffer massively in the months and years ahead as a result of their laziness and lack of macro curiosity. " - Mike Krieger
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Are Fed Actions about to crash the dollar and gut your savings and retirement accounts?
Even if the congressional panel on deficit reduction comes up with a plan, Congress won't follow through. Because it doesn't have to, thanks to the Fed.
Nobel Prize-Winning Economist: “War Is Widely Thought To Be Linked To Economic Good Times … NONSENSE”Submitted by George Washington on 11/01/2011 02:48 -0500
A no brainer ...
We are far enough away from the onset of the Great Recession that another down-wave in the depression (or a new recession if you go by NBER) is either here or due soon. It may not be a severe downturn, as housing and autos would be falling from first- or second-floor windows in that case, but it would be occurring on the backdrop of a weakened structure, and thus the financial effects could be more severe than the economic effects (which could be severe or mild). Here is what you need to do.
The German parliament has a historic opportunity to say no to the bankers and stop the madness....
The outgoing ECB president has just released an extremely long-winded speech titled "Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow: a vision for Europe" in which he once again makes the simple case that without someone paying for the European experiment (ahem Germany), and without a Finance Ministry being created (read fiscal union), there is not much future to the creature known as the EMU (and parodied earlier). To wit: "This European finance ministry would, first, oversee the surveillance of both fiscal policies and competitiveness policies, and when necessary, have responsibility for imposing the “second stage” I just described. Second, the ministry would perform the typical responsibilities of the executive branches regarding the supervision and regulation of the EU financial sector. And third, the ministry would represent the euro area in international financial institutions. Since my Karlspreis address, it seems to me that the case for such an approach has strengthened." He reiterates his call for the United Empire of Europe: "Increasingly, it seems that it is not too bold to consider a European finance ministry, but rather too bold not to consider creating such an institution." Naturally he concludes: "Exactly how these new institutions would eventually evolve one cannot say." So don't worry about the details (typical Europe) just promptly sign off your independence to those who know better than you what to do (and can afford to pay for what is best for you). Wonderful. Now have fun selling the proposal of abdicating sovereignty to those European countries which are not Germany, with a particular focus on France and Italy.
In 1932, approximately 80 years ago, 43,000 marchers (17,000 veterans) descended upon Washington D.C. The Bonus Expeditionary Force, also known as the “Bonus Army”, marched on Washington to advocate the passage of the “soldier’s bonus” for service during World War I. They set up a camp with tents to bring attention to their cause. After Congress adjourned, bonus marchers remained in the city and became unruly. On July 28, 1932, two bonus marchers were shot by police, causing the entire mob to become hostile and riotous. The government turned the U.S. military upon its citizens. Army cavalry units led by General Douglas MacArthur dispersed the Bonus Army by riding through it and using gas. Fifty five veterans were injured and 135 were arrested. Critics of the marchers described them as communists, troublemakers, and criminals. Fast forward 80 years and we have protestors setting up camp in a public square, not far from where the same exact banks that caused the Great Depression have created the Greater Depression. The biggest Wall Street banks have gotten bigger. The Federal Reserve, in collusion with the Wall Street banks, has engineered a two year stock market rally, while the average American has seen their wages decline, food and energy prices soar, home prices fall, and banks paying them .1% on their savings. Anger and disillusionment continue to build in this country like a volcano preparing to blow. Some people are angry at Washington politicians. Some are angry at Wall Street. Others aren’t sure who to be angry at. The evil oligarchy of bankers, corporate titans, and bought off Washington politicians that control the agenda and mainstream media, continue to scorn, ridicule and denigrate the middle class of America. Their financial engineering is failing. They’ve gone too far. The debt accumulation is unsustainable. The mood of the country has darkened and talk of revolution and the shadow of impending violence is growing.
With the OWS movement leaving many Americans confused as to whether they should support or stay away, one thing is for certain, Americans are aware of a certain truth that is happening in our country. We have a certain combination of events that is leaving many people struggling and asking very good questions. The truth is this; We have structurally high unemployment, salaries are stagnant, debt burdens are rising, costs for education, health and energy are on the rise and we are increasingly overwhelmed with clear and present danger coming from every corner of the earth. To make matters worse the ruling elite of this country and the very wealthy are continuing to benefit while the remainder of the population struggles. This is the appeal of the OWS movement despite the fact that the members making up the movement are advocating entirely unappealing solutions in the form of wealth distribution, punishing success and other hard left ideologies...In a country where American Idol and the Jersey Shore are better known than who currently runs the Federal Reserve it is hardly a wonder that cries for Socialism just sound appealing. To further exacerbate the overall ignorance of the populace our education system and emphasis on history and economics appear to be tilted in the direction that highlight correlation and anecdotal evidence rather that fundamentals. I understand it does not behoove me to openly ostracize a large segment of the population, but until we address core understanding of our economy and core principles of what makes our society tick then the partisan rifts will continue. So let us tackle this "explanation" of inequality which is now being circulated on the internet and shared on Facebook with proud posters feeling rather enlightened about their "discovery".
Paul Brodsky does not trust the bond markets. That position may seem strange coming from someone who has spent most of his professional career trading bonds, but it's precisely this insider knowledge that has led him to start directing investors to safer harbors. In fact, he thinks our credit system is so far out of control that it will cause a massive - and largely unavoidable at this point - devaluation of the US dollar (and most other fiat currencies, as well). Ultimately, Brodsky recommends investors concerned with protecting the purchasing power of their wealth today get exposure to hard assets that can't be so easily inflated away.
When we first reported on Bill Gross' massive surge in duration and accelerated purchase of Mortgage Backed Securities a week ago, we said, "That's either what is called betting one's farm on Operation Twist, or, betting one's farm that the next thing to be purchased by the Fed in QE3 or QE4 depending on how one keeps count, will be Mortgage Backed Securities." It was the letter. Confirmation that Bill once again frontran the Fed comes courtesy of Daniel Tarullo who in a speech at Columbia University, talking about the labor market of all things, just said the following: "I believe we should move back up toward the top of the list of options the large-scale purchase of additional mortgage-backed securities (MBS), something the FOMC first did in November 2008 and then in greater amounts beginning in March 2009 in order to provide more support to mortgage lending and housing markets." And there you go: watch as the market rips on the expectation that the US will bail out China all over again. Oh wait, at this point China couldn't care less what happens to the GSEs stack. So unfortunately as can be expected, this is nothing but yet another bailout of US banks, which lately have been buying up MBS like crazy (Gross is not the only one with the hotline), and expecting to flip right back to Brian Sack: after all something has to be done to save the poor things from a total pancaking of the Treasury curve.
Ugly numbers speak volumes on how Fed policies hurt the economy. But those policies enable Congress and the White House to run up deficits that make the Eurozone look benign.
The most concise summary of bullish and bearish events in the past week and commentary