Tag Archives: Bitcoin

Bits and Pieces – 20180107, Sunday

Commentary: I generally avoid “the best … of 2017” of which there are a plethora. I also am careful about “what will happen in 2017”. After all, articles of this type are simply based on someone’s opinion. Here, however, are a couple you may not have seen:

Bits and Pieces – 20171229, Friday

Commentary: Closing off 2017. War has not broken out either in North Korea or the Middle East. However, the issues in these two areas remain unresolved. Iran seems to be the likely flash point.

I’ve been following the global cooling issue coincidentally with the grand solar minimum (GSM) and am convinced that it will be the most important event of the next decade next to a global war and a global economic collapse. In fact the three events have strong co-dependencies.

I am now publishing Bits and Pieces 3 or 4 times a month. This will continue but my focus is shifting to the GSM and its implications.

WWIII: The duplicity of the West over the aggressive expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe, long referenced by many without formal documentation, is finally confirmed: `SORRY CHUMP. YOU DIDN’T HAVE IT IN WRITING’.

And not coincidentally: ‘Pentagon Papers’-Leaker Warns, US Is “Close To Nuclear Armageddon”.

The American Empire (AE): If an area on the periphery becomes too quiet, stir the pot: In Unexpected Move, Trump Enacts Obama-era Law Opening US Arms Sales To Ukraine. And the Russian response: Putin Warns “Russia Has Right To Respond” To US Military Buildup, Hints At Use Of Nuclear Weapons.

Climate: Here is a site devoted to what might be called energy issues associated with anthropogenic global warming (AGW): Alliance for Wise Energy Decision. Their most recent issue is devoted to the deleterious effects of wind energy: Energy & Environmental Newsletter: December 18, 2017 and has a list of links to articles on the subject. Here are Martin Armstrong’s latest comments on global cooling: The Sun is Cooling Faster than Anyone Suspected. Track sunspots here.

Of interest is the cause of a massive insect species dieoff. It’s due to deforestation and not global warming: A different dimension of loss’: inside the great insect die-off.

Admittedly this a weather event and not a climate event but lest the AGW crowd try to lay the blame for it at the feet of global warming one might dare ask “Do you really mean global cooling?”Snowmageddon Dumps Record 60 Inches Of Snow On Erie, PA; “Declaration Of Disaster”
Further: Arctic Blast Leaves 200 Million Americans In Record-Smashing, Freezing Temperatures. At this rate with the rate of global warming, we’ll ne in a new ice age by 2050.

Bits and Pieces: Martin Armstrong comments on Bitcoin as a currency: Bitcoin = Money, Commodity, or Shares?. The real test of the idea I would propose as: can you conduct your first 5 transactions of the day in Bitcoin such as getting gas, washing your clothes at the laundromat, paying your taxes at city hall, buying groceries or buying cookies from the girl guide at the door?

This story has been brewing for a while: The Racist Subtext Of Philly’s Ban On Bulletproof Glass In Convenience Stores. The issue is that bullet-proof glass in black neighbourhoods is thought to demean the black citizens implying that they are the source of gun violence. Now who would have thunk that?

The trend to the re-population of the inner city core is reversing with millennials heading for the suburbs: Exodus Starts: Millennials Ditch City Life. This poses a problem for transportation policy and traffic congestion.

Obama, the Nobel laureate of peace who, as commander-on-chief, conducted foreign wars throughout his entire presidency, is increasingly having his dirty laundry inspected: Congress To Investigate Obama Efforts To Thwart A DEA Investigation Of Hezbollah Drug Trafficking , Lapid: If Obama protected Hezbollah over Iran deal, he should give back Nobel, and the Uranium One deal: Hillary In The Crosshairs As DOJ Prosecutors Begin Asking FBI Agents About Uranium One.

Here’s a new essay from our friend Paul Merkley: CLOSING DOWN CHRISTIANITY AT ITS SOURCE.

It’s time to send the Syrian refugees home and certainly time to stop their importation into Canada: Christmas In Liberated Aleppo. We have seen the same return towards normalcy in other areas of Syria liberated from the Western war. I may have referenced Mount St. Helens and how biologists were surprised at how fast life returned to the area devastate by pyroclastic flows. Natural systems (including human communities) restore themselves when left unobstructed by external agents, because they are optimal, ipso facto their existence.

There has been a notable body of articles critical of social media as of late such as Digital Distraction Is Bad for Creativity. In addition, we are seeing comments from some high profile defectors from the dungeons of Facebook, Twitter and Google. Here’s an interesting take on a negative impact of these platforms: Why Twitter, Facebook and Google Are the Antisocial Networks. That it’s by Niall Ferguson should grab your attention.

I’m coining a new acronym. Besides “lol” – laugh out loud – used by texters, I propose “col” for cry out loud. As a consequence the following article may make you either lol or col: California Professors Are Now Claiming Farmers’ Markets Are Racist.

Bits and Pieces – 20171205, Monday

Commentary: While politicians, bureaucrats, the media and the general public are obsessing over the impact of anthropogenic CO2 on the climate and a segment of the climate science industry is busy trying to make models and data agree with the political agenda, other climate scientists are studying a much broader range of factors that are affecting our climate.

Bits and Pieces – 20171130, Thursday

WWIII: In case you weren’t sure China appears to have taken sides: China To Deploy Elite Troops In Syria To Fight Alongside Assad’s Army.

Climate: For the record: Health Officials Warn: 40,000 Could Die As Britain Hit With 3 Week Long Arctic Cold.

Bits and Pieces: George Friedman gives a succinct overview of Iran’s geopolitical position in the Middle-East, along with US blunders: Iran Reshapes the Middle East.

Canada Corner: The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has released their 2017 list of global systemically important banks (G-SIBs) and a new addition is the Royal Bank of Canada. Wikipedia defines a systemically important financial institution (SIFI) as a bank, insurance company, or other financial institution whose failure might trigger a financial crisis. The Basel III accord specifically targets SIFIs by requiring increased bank capital reserves as capital surcharges. The table published by the FSB lists 5 levels of additional capital requirement with the Royal Bank being in the lowest or 1% level.

Of note in the Wikipedia article is the statement: Virtually every Systemically Important Financial Institution operates at the top level as a holding company made up of numerous subsidiaries. Should a SIFI default and particularly a savings bank, this would allow for an orderly structured dissolution of the SIFI in a manner that subsidiaries that have deposits and other financial assets of the general population might be kept operational with assets intact while other subsidiaries are wound up to satisfy creditors. The intent would be to avoid bail-ins of depositors although politicians might be bought off lobbied effectively to go the bail-in route to protect wealthy investors.

The US Federal Reserve examined the adequacy of Basil III provisions for systemic protection in the face of a financial crisis: Are Basel’s Capital Surcharges for Global Systemically Important Banks Too Small?. The assessment of an adequate capital reserve is complex, is probably SIFI-dependent and the Basel III requirements are likely far short of what is necessary to preserve some, if not all, of the 30 SIBs in the event of a global financial system collapse. Since the SIBs known as the “too big to fail” banks are bigger now than in the 2008 financial crisis, the next global crisis will likely be unstoppable. The interconnected nature of the global financial system guarantees the entire house of cards will come down.

We may see one (RBC) or two of the major Canadian banks fail but all may go down due to inter-dependencies. Those banks with the highest international exposure may be the most at risk from a global systemic crisis. I have commented earlier how the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) has capital sufficient to ensure less than 1% of the deposit base, so your money may be at risk.

The general recommendation by smart asset managers and authors is to  invest part of your capital in hard assets like precious metals and (farm) land. The wealthier are investing in fine art, antiques and precious stones. These will remain when money is totally devalued.

As a final note I would recommend cryptocurrencies only as a speculation in the same class as Dutch tulip bulbs were at one time. I read a reference in the past week to some fellow who lost his hard drive (in an unspecified manner) with the cryptographic keys to his 7500 Bitcoins which are now part of the estimated 4 million lost forever. At around $11,000 a coin currently that has to hurt.

Bits and Pieces – 20171126, Sunday

Commentary: A topic that has a small following is that of global cooling and an approaching grand solar minimum (GSM). Martin Armstrong speaks of the famine associated with such minima: The Approaching Famine. The “Little Ice Age” correlates with the Maunder Minimum in sunspot activity as shown in the next chart:

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 – 20170810, Thursday

Commentary: Martin Armstrong’s computer model has picked Aug. 12-13 and Sept. 11-12 as two key dates when a Korean conflict may begin: North Korea – Beware August 2017. That makes this weekend critical. There is more below that shows the growing tensions. George Friedman thinks there will be war but offers his thinking on NK behaviour: North Korea, Nukes and Negotiations. Finally … US “Confirms” N.Korea Has ICBM-Ready Nuclear Warheads, North Korea Responds To Trump Threat, Says It Is “Seriously Considering” Pre-Emptive Nuclear Strike On Guam, and Trump Threatens North Korea With “Fire And Fury Like The World Has Never Seen Before”. Which side makes the first move?

Some folks are beginning to look at the cost of a war with NK. Since the extent of the destruction cannot be known in advance, one can identify impacts while not being able to estimate them accurately. Read: How A Renewed Korean Conflict Is Going To Be Felt Around The Globe and “Under Any Analysis, It’s Insanity”: What War With North Korea Could Look Like.

Late comentary provides insight into one of the preferreed options: Pentagon Unveils Plan For “Pre-Emptive Strike” On North Korea. Most parties agree the a negotiated settlement would be the preferred option of them all.

I thought summer was supposed to be the quiet time when everyone went to the beach. The fall should be a doozy.

Bits and Pieces – 20170731, Monday

Commentary: I want to explain why Bitcoin can never be a viable currency. My understanding of Bitcoin is that there is an upper limit on the number of coins that can ever exist, somewhere around 21 million. The block-chain, as I understand it is simply a security paradigm for the system.

If bitcoin were only to be used to buy potatoes, the question of their relative values might be settled by adding the weights of all the potatoes in the world and saying that this is equivalent to the total number of bitcoins since bitcoins are assumed to be worth nothing for any other purchase. Let’s say that one ton of potatoes is equivalent (worth) 2.4 bitcoins (which hides the problem of fractional bitcoins – what are they and how do you manage them?).

Suppose next year there is a bumper crop of potatoes. There are twice as many potatoes but the same number of bitcoins. The value of a potato relative to a bitcoin has been cut in half.

Suppose farmers can agree that a bushel of wheat is equivalent to 10 pounds of potatoes. Further, they find that the amount of wheat grown is twice the amount of potatoes in value. Also, they decide to accept bitcoins for wheat. The total amount of merchantable produce in bitcoins is 3 times our initial example. That means a ton of potatoes is worth 0.8 bitcoins now.

Expand this to all products and services produced in the global economy and the value of a single potato becomes extremely small.

In a practical monetary system, the currency must be expansible to price the economy in practical terms and also be able to grow as the economy grows. Bitcoin can’t do either.

A useful model for understanding Bitcoin is the tulip mania in Holland in the 17th century – it’s a speculative bubble.

Bitcoin or Two Bit Coin?

Bitcoin, the cryptographic “currency” is widely known and widely discussed. This ZeroHedge article The Complete Annotated Price History Of Bitcoin briefly discusses and presents a Goldman Sachs article explaining Bitcoin. We do not follow it and considering its ups and downs, view it as a good medium to destroy one’s real wealth with. For the interested, the link  is above.

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