Have you ever wondered what the typical Chinese gold investor thinks about our Western ideas of gold? We read month after month about demand hitting record after record in their country – how do they view our buying habits? Since 2007, China's demand for gold has risen 27% per year. Its share of global demand doubled in the same time frame, from 10% to 21%. And this occurred while prices were rising. Americans are buying precious metals, no doubt. But let's put the differences into perspective.
Diapason Commodities' Sean Corrigan provides an insightful introduction to the critical importance of a market-set rate of interest and central banks' manipulated effect on the factors of production.
"Fixated with using their illusory ‘wealth effect’ to avoid a full realization of the losses we have all suffered in a boom very much of those same central bankers’ creation - or else cynically trying to achieve the same denial of reality by driving the income-poor into accepting utterly inappropriate levels of financial risk – they are destroying both the integrity and the signalling ability of those same capital markets which are the sine qua non of a free society."
As Ron Paul also confirms in the clip below "with artificial interest rates, we get an artificial economy driven by mal-investment leading to the inevitable bubbles" and while central banks hope for this 'created credit/money' to flow into productive means (Capex), instead it has (in today's case where QE is no longer working) created an investor-class demand for yield - implicitly driving management to forfeit growth-and-investment for buybacks-and-dividends.
Jerry O'Neil, six-term GOP state representative in Montana, has asked to receive his salary (which at $10.33 per hour is around $1800 per month) in gold or silver. The long-standing legislator was driven to this decision by his constituents' concerns about the nation's massive debt-load and fears of our country's collapse as "only so many dollars can be printed before they have no value." The long-time Ron Paul supporter, according to Time, cited Article 1, Section 10 of the US Constitution, which says, in part, that "No State shall... make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts." State administrators have denied his request and added that "a bill could be introduced to accomplish this result." O'Neil, like many other, believes "The Keynesian era of financing government with debt appears to be close to its demise."
“Ban” in the San Francisco sense....
Back in the 1960s, a clever but financially disadvantaged fellow placed a small ad in a national magazine that read something like: Money needed. Please send $1 to the address below. Do it today! No specific need was given, and nothing was promised in return, so that fraud could not later be charged. Yet within a few months, thousands of dollars arrived in his mailbox, a considerable sum in those days. Or so the urban legend goes. A half-century later, many things have changed, but one thing remains unchanged: People still need money, and they have not ceased to innovate ways in which to get it. Clearly there are a lot of new and imaginative ways of moving money around that vie for our attention. Many of them would be considered crowdfunding. Crowdfunding, if thought of merely as the pooling of resources for a common cause, is as old as human groupings. But that isn't the way it's thought of nowadays. The current king of the hill, Kickstarter, launched in April of 2009, has been a great success. So, is crowdfunding the future capital source for every new venture under the sun? Well, probably not... although we can't say for sure, because it does sometimes seem that way as new and imaginative ways of moving money around vie for our attention.
Secession: Exploding Movement, Tempest In a Teapot … Or Something Else?
In his farewell address to Congress yesterday, Ron Paul blasted the dangers of what he called 'Economic Ignorance'. He's dead right. Around the world, economic ignorance abounds. And perhaps nowhere is this more obvious today than in the senseless prattling over the US 'Fiscal Cliff'. US government spending falls into three categories: Discretionary, Mandatory, and Interest on Debt. The only thing Congress has a say over is Discretionary Spending. But here's the problem - the US fiscal situation is so untenable that the government fails to collect enough tax revenue to cover mandatory spending and debt interest alone. This means that they could cut the ENTIRE discretionary budget and still be in the hole by $251 billion. This is why the Fiscal Cliff is irrelevant. Increasing taxes won't increase their total tax revenue. Politicians have tried this for decades. It doesn't work. Bottom line-- the Fiscal Cliff doesn't matter. The US passed the point of no return a long time ago.
With impeccable timing
Presented with little comment since whatever we say would likely be superfluous to this all-encompassing speech. The full Ron Paul 'Farewell to Congress' speech and transcript.
...To achieve liberty and peace, two powerful human emotions have to be overcome. Number one is 'envy' which leads to hate and class warfare. Number two is 'intolerance' which leads to bigoted and judgmental policies. These emotions must be replaced with a much better understanding of love, compassion, tolerance and free market economics. Freedom, when understood, brings people together. When tried, freedom is popular.
The best chance for achieving peace and prosperity, for the maximum number of people world-wide, is to pursue the cause of LIBERTY...
If nothing else, read the five greatest dangers that the American people face today that impede the goal of a free society.
With just 5 days needed for the Texas secession petition to surpass 100,000 signatories, all is not well with the Union. Actually, not only are things not well with the Union, things are getting worse by the minute, as American society splinters into diametrical opposites to a degree not seen in decades, a process which in itself virtually assures there will be no cliff compromise before the opportunity cost of ending the stand off becomes far too great. And with the option of the Mr. Chairman "getting to work" to fix things, one wonders - is even the market a motivating enough factor given a 20, 30 or even 50% drop in the rearview mirror: after all as the Fed has demonstrated, there is no need for a fiscal compromise to get the S&P to just shy of all time highs. Certainly, even America's politicians are very much aware of this by now (of course, this assumes that Bernanke is still in charge of the market: something we have claimed for two months is very much in question). Regardless, with the topic of secession on everybody's lips, here is what none other than Ron Paul has said about this suddenly very volatile issue.
Representative Ron Paul gets his opportunity to say farewell - providing a compendium of reality and liberty for all that choose to listen.. He begins: "My goals in 1976 were the same as they are today: to promote peace and prosperity by a strict adherence to the principles of individual liberty" and goes on..."economic ignorance is common place, as the failed policies of Keynesianism are continually promoted"... "psychopathic totalitarians endorse government initiatives to change our world" - live webcast (and full speech)...
In a vise between government crack-downs and reluctant students
Shining a little reality light on the otherwise pollyanna-like dearth of pragmatism that is the mainstream media's guest-list, Ron Paul provided Bloomberg TV's Trish Regan a little more than we suspect she bargained for when asked if he had any hope that we avoid the fiscal cliff. The constant "delaying-of-the-inevitable" enables our politicians to avoid facing up to the serious consequences of our reality and as Representative Paul notes the chances of a grand bargain are "probably zero... that's why I think we're over the cliff [already]." Just like the handling of the debt ceiling debacle, Paul notes they will "pretend they are going to do it" until we get a total crash of the dollar and the entire financial system (which he notes is what will occur if we continue the status quo). "We are at a point of no return" unless certain things change, since "we are not the productive nation we used to be."
America is over $16 trillion in debt. The “official” unemployment rate still hovers around 8%. Our federal government claims the right to spy on American citizens, indefinitely detain them, and even assassinate them without trial. Domestic drones fly over the country for civilian surveillance. Twelve million fewer Americans voted in 2012 than in 2008, yet political pundits scratch their heads. It’s not hard to see why, though.
From an outright libertarian, the headline seems contrary; but Ron Paul's affirmation that "pure democracy is dangerous" critically confirms what Romney accidentally admitted: that enabling the majority to dictate the minority is a problem when the majority are receiving a [government] check. Bloomberg TV's Betty Liu looks a little shocked when the thoughtful Paul confirms bluntly that the reelection of Obama is driven simply by 'the people' being on the 'receiving end' of government benefits and that the US is "so far gone; we're over the cliff already." From the lack of credibility in Washington to GOP's 'acceptance' of higher taxes and why he quit Congress, Ron Paul succinctly reminds many of the true state of the union in which we live... "As long as you think we have to please the world and run this welfare state, all we will argue about is who will get the loot."