Category Archives: Misc.

Bits and Pieces – 20171117, Friday

Commentary: In Bits and Pieces – 20170731, Monday, I discussed why Bitcoin can’t be considered to be a currency. Martin Armstrong, in discussion of the “petrodllar” (Is the Dollar Really a Petrodollar anymore?), lists its key features:

  1. it can be used worldwide without permission from the USA as is the case with the Japanese yen;
  2. it is a single currency with a single federal debt market where BIG money can park – that is not the case for the Euro, Ruble, or Yuan.

Bits and Pieces – 20171112, Sunday

Commentary: A common theme that my wife and I discuss is the general we encounter incompetence on a daily basis. As an example, when we moved, our bank provided new cheques as requested but they coded them for a dormant and empty savings account. It came to my attention when the first cheque bounced. It cost me several hours and some momentary anxiety to fix the bank’s error, apologize to people that I had sent cheques to, pursue reimbursement of NSF fees both for myself and my vendors, etc. I left a bank official wondering how they issued cheques on an account that had no chequing privileges.

Bits and Pieces – 20171108, Wednesday

Commentary: I see little chance that the power struggle in the Saudi royal family will spill over into something larger. The parallel might be Turkey where Erdogan consolidated power to become a virtual dictator. Here is an article that has a different point of view although it is unsupported: Making Sense Of Saudi’s ‘Game Of Thobes’. And here are a couple of articles on the struggle, Saudi Arabia Is About To Confiscate $33 Billion From Four Of Its Richest People. Perhaps the last word is: Real Motive Behind Saudi Purge Emerges: $800 Billion In Confiscated Assets.

Bits and Pieces – 20171029, Sunday

WWIII: Again I ask why Britain is beating the American war drum: British Secretary Of State Refuses to Rule Out A “Preemptive Strike” On North Korea?

The American Empire (AE): On a tip from a friend here’s a short video and a short article on the final stage of empire: The 7 Signs Of An Empire In Decline and What Happened To Normal People When The Roman Economy Fell Apart? The application is not just to the AE unless you consider most of the Western countries as vassal states. The decadence is pervasive well beyond the US. I think I linked this video by Chalmers Johnson some time ago but here it is again: DECLINE of EMPIRES: The Signs of Decay. One might take WWIII as the event that ends Western empire. Here’s one further comparison to the Roman Empire: Washington Is “The New Rome”.

Bits and Pieces – 20171020, Friday

 

Commentary: After publishing my last commentary, Bits and Pieces – 20171013, Friday, I came across this video by Gordon T. Long: UnderTheLens – 09 21 17 – OCTOBER – Coming “Nationalization” of Markets. It subsumes my comments with the exception of the scenario of how the Fed might take over the US stock market. In the 26 minutes, he does a much more thorough job of documenting how central banks globally are the dominant players in many capital markets such as sovereign bonds, and are rapidly becoming the dominant players in stock markets.

In the case of stocks, where their “printed money” has gone is a puzzle. If they print a billion dollars and buy a billion worth of equities in the market, the money goes into the accounts of the sellers. What do the sellers do with it? Do they use it to ‘walk the market higher’ isolating the new money in the market or do they take it out and move it into the economy causing inflationary pressures?

Already, in some sovereign bond markets, there is a liquidity problem, Investment funds and pension funds have traditionally used sovereign bonds as a a stable, low-risk component of their portfolios. These institutions are finding that they can’t get the bonds they require because the governments are mopping them up. The other problem is that these are not free markets and proper risk and price discovery simply can’t happen. Given the global history of sovereign defaults, particularly by the top economies, a zero interest or negative rate sovereign bond is simply not pricing in the real, if small, risk of a sovereign default. With central bank taking over ownership in these markets the risk of default is rising because so far, current monetary policy is proving to be a one way street.

Bits and Pieces – 20171013, Friday

Commentary: Here is an argument why there will be no market crash this fall. Although the precursors for earlier crashes have been equaled or exceeded, the Fed will intervene to prevent one from happening.

Here’s the background. The Swiss National Bank has bought $80 billion in US stocks: The Swiss National Bank Owns $80 Billion In U.S. Stocks — Here’s The Catch. The Bank of Japan currently owns 44.7% of all JGBs (government bonds) issued: Japan JGBs held by BoJ. The ECB has been buying large quantities of sovereign debt but also corporate bonds ($1.4 trillion euros as of Feb. 2017: An update: Sovereign bond holdings in the euro area – the impact of QE). Zero Hedge reported that Janet Yellen, in addressing the House Finances Service Committee, noted that the Fed by its charter cannot buy stocks but congress can easily change this: Janet Yellen On The Fed Buying Stocks: “Maybe In The Future, Down The Line…”.

Bits and Pieces – 20170924, Sunday

Commentary: A favourite theme, the impermanence of democracy, is discussed in this article: The Sandcastle. We are near the end for this cycle.

Bits and Pieces – 20170909, Saturday

Commentary: A little unfocused this week. If you’re a goldbug, listen to Andrew Maguire: Whistleblower Andrew Maguire Exposed 14 Days Ago ‘Vampire Squid’ Goldman Sachs Was Moving In For The Kill. Maguire Now Says Admission By Goldman’s Currie Is A Big Deal.I think it was back in July when I  (I hope) drew attention to an earlier interview with him. Anyone who paid attention and purchased call options on GLD and SLV has done very well.

He is talking about a reset of the price of gold to significantly higher levels. Jim Rickards recently did a podcast selling his investment letter with a headline of $10,000 gold based on the premise of a global currency reset to a gold-backed scheme. A plausible argument but I’m not trading it.

Bits and Pieces – 20170901, Friday

Commentary: As food for thought, consider: Two New Totalitarian Movements: Radical Islam and Political Correctness. The former idea is not new new to readers of this blog but the latter may be. Rather it is a popular manifestation of totalitarian thought and practice in the West.

Civil Unrest: An Intimate History of Antifa. Also others are commenting on the rise of violence in division: The Rising Trend of Civil Unrest and Threats of political violence rise in polarized Trump era. Martin Armstron also comments: Extreme Left & Extreme Right Believe in the Same Thing – Oppress all Opposition. Finally, you won’t hear about this on the CBC: FBI, DHS Officially Classify Antifa Activities As “Domestic Terrorist Violence”.

Martin Armstrong identifies an aspect of the civil war in the US at the political level when he notes that Trump has been under continuous attack since he became president: Trying to Force Trump to Resign.

Bits and Pieces – 20170824, Thursday

Civil Unrest: I like the following article by Gregory R. Copley as it presents some thoughtful ideas on civil war that are thought-provoking: What Would A U.S. Civil War Look Like? We probably use the term “civil war” without any clear understanding of how we hold the idea. The following should provide some clarity.

In this article Copley sees “a gradual breakdown of law and order” that creates “a massive dislocation of the economy and currency” that in turn causes global economic and social disruption. He identifies the rise of  “urban super-oligarchies” and an”urban-based globalism” as one side in the war. He notes the formidable entrenched powers of this side that are destroying the nation-state:

urban globalists control most of the means of communications [is this new “means of production”; the 21st Century marxian dialectic?] and therefore control “information” and the perception of events. 

On the other side are  “nationalists … operating instinctively, and in darkness”.

From this viewpoint, the infighting that has been going on in the White House suddenly falls into perspective: Why Bannon Lost and the Globalists Won. The 2016 election might be considered to be one of the opening battles of this war. As Steve Bannon notes, the nationalists have lost this battle: Bannon: ‘The Trump Presidency That We Fought For, and Won, Is Over. But as he also notes, many more battles remain.

As a second characteristic dividing the sides in the war he sees the polarization of a fundamentally urban, abstract society against a fundamentally regional, traditional society.

a conflict between people with long memories (even if those memories are flawed and selective) and people to whom memories and history are irrelevant.

The former in turn is characterized by zzz. In other words, it is a conflict between identity and materialism, with the abstract social groups (the urban populations) the most preoccupied with short-term material gain.

At the level of the individual, the divide is between individuals with long memories – national identity – and people to whom memories and history are irrelevant. It is a conflict between identity and materialism, with the abstract social groups (the urban populations) the most preoccupied with short-term material gain.

Trump’s “Make America Great Again” is a nationalist ideal that is pitted against the materialism of an urban society that is fed by the low economic costs of industry controlled by globalists. That the Washington Post owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is so virulently anti-Trump is no accident.

In short, urban globalism sees nations and nationalism as the enemy, and vice-versa.

As for the violence of Charlottesville: “Fear The Majoritarian Mob” – WSJ On The Left’s “Great Nazi Scare Of 2017”.

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