Category Archives: The Mine or the Shaft

You figure it out. Which will it be? Only time will tell!

Bitcoin: Fake Asset or Security?

“I came of age on Wall Street when the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board—he was William McChesney Martin—condemned even trace amounts of inflation as an economic and moral evil. In the interval of 1960-65, there was not one year in which the CPI registered a year over year rise of as much as 2%.” ~ Grant’s Interest Rate Observer

We’ve all heard of fake news, but consider the growing possibility of fake or at least virtual assets. Investors face a deliberately orchestrated shortage of real investments c/o global central banks in markets such as stocks and real estate. Is there any wonder that the financial engineers of Wall Street have again begun to manufacture new derivatives leveraging the real world?

Case in point, bitcoin. The most recognized “digital currency,” bitcoin is a form of high-tech gaming instrument that fulfills just one of the traditional roles of money, but is among the world’s fastest appreciating – and most volatile– “asset” classes. Continue reading

The Cartel Has Completely Devastated The Metals Market…

Causing Serious Problems In Other Minerals Outside Of Precious Metals

With the world seemingly in economic and geo-political shambles, those concerned with the real possibility of collapse continue to position themselves in precious metals. As highlighted by SGT Report in the five-minute metals update below, physical acquisition of gold and silver continues unabated, with Silver Eagles once again hitting month-over-month sales records in July. Moreover, the supply of gold appears to be dwindling. Coupled with heavy investment demand, this suggests that prices may soon jump to the upside as investors continue to shift into the asset class of last resort and larger gold and silver mining companies move to lock in physical assets through junior mining acquisitions. Continue reading

Banks Are Scheming to Dominate a Future Cashless Society

Visa recently announced its new Cashless Challenge program, which offers $10,000 to restaurants willing to transition into accepting only digital payments. As the largest credit card processor in the U.S., it’s no surprise Visa is spearheading this campaign. Under the guise of increasing transparency and efficiency, they’ve partnered with governments around the world to help convert financial systems into cashless models, but their real incentive is the billions of dollars in extra transaction fees it would generate.

“We are declaring war on cash,” Visa spokesman Andy Gerlt proudly proclaimed after the program was announced. Continue reading

Coinbase to suspend all accounts on August 1st as “civil war” hard fork hammers Bitcoin… massive fraud now the norm at Coinbase

There is no longer any question about it: Coinbase is a massive fraud and appears to be engaged in widespread criminal conspiracy. Coinbase is the most popular online wallet for Bitcoin, and I have previously reported on how Coinbase has seized Bitcoins from users in Wyoming and Hawaii, preventing them from accessing their coins even if they move their residency to a different state.

Coinbase is currently taking WEEKS to respond to urgent queries, I’m being told, and they provide no working mechanism whatsoever for users in Wyoming or Hawaii to change their state of residency. When those users attempt to login to upload new IDs or change their address, they are given “Unable to create account” errors which state that “Coinbase has indefinitely suspended its business…” in their old state. In effect, Coinbase has stolen all the Bitcoins from users in those states and may have already absconded with those Bitcoins. Continue reading

America’s Disneyland Economy

It’s ‘Fantasyland’ – doncha know?

Disneyland is known as a place “where dreams come true” and where every story always has a happy ending. But there is going to be no happy ending for the U.S. economy. Wishful thinking has resulted in one of the greatest stock market rallies in history in recent months, but like all childhood fantasies, it won’t last. The real economy continues to deteriorate, and we can see this even right outside of the gates of Disneyland. Every night growing numbers of homeless people sleep on the pavement just steps away from “the happiest place on Earth”. It can be fun to “play make believe” for a while, but eventually reality always catches up with us. Continue reading

What Drives Bank Bailouts?

Study Shows That Political Interests Play a Major Role

In his memoir Stress Test (Crown, 2014), former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner offers an impassioned defense of the Wall Street bailout he helped engineer during the height of the 2008 financial crisis, arguing that the bailout was the only way to save the economy from collapse. Geithner, however, acknowledges just how unpopular the decision to bail out the banks that were widely viewed as responsible for the crisis really was, famously observing that “We did save the economy, but we lost the country doing it.”

Public outrage over the Wall Street bailout played a significant role in the 2016 election cycle, with both Democrats and Republicans citing it as an example of Washington’s subservience to special interests and corporate donors. Historically, though, bank bailouts have always been unpopular. In his book The Creation and Destruction of Value (Harvard University Press, 2012), historian Harold James recounts for instance the controversy that surrounded the 1931 bailout of the Austrian bank Creditanstalt, whose collapse helped escalate the Depression and contributed to the rise of the Nazi movement.  Continue reading

Zimbabwe 2.0: South Africa President Proposes Land “Expropriation Without Compensation

Publisher’s NOTE: Back in June of 1995, when I first met Robby Noel – this was the story which he kept hammering home to our broadcast audience. Rhodesia – now known as Zimbabwe was the mirror, which one day would become the United States. South Africa has come before us…

There are those of you who will still not see it. Oh no – not HERE. We are too advanced and refined for this to ever happen in America.” Wake up and smell the coffee my friends…

As to the well-being of my old friend, I fear the worst. It has been far too many months since I have been able to reach him. ~ J.B.

With every passing day the formerly booming nation of South Africa is getting ever closer to the formerly banana republic of Zimbabwe.

On Wednesday, South Africa’s ruling African National Congress proposed at its 5th annual national policy conference that in addition to potentially nationalizing the country’s central bank, that land expropriation without compensation should be allowed where it is “necessary and unavoidable,” President Jacob Zuma said. Continue reading

Why ‘Experts‘ Get the Gold Standard Wrong

Many mainstream economists, perhaps a majority of those who have an opinion, are opposed to tying a central bank’s hands with any explicit monetary rule. A clear majority oppose the gold standard, at least according to an often-cited survey. Why is that?

First some preliminaries. By a “gold standard” I mean a monetary system in which gold is the basic money. So many grains of gold define the unit of account (e.g. the dollar) and gold coins or bullion serve as the medium of redemption for paper currency and deposits. By an “automatic” or “classical” gold standard I mean one in which there is no significant central-bank interference with the functioning of the market production and arbitrage mechanisms that equilibrate the stock of monetary gold with the demand to hold monetary gold. The United States was part of an international classical gold standard between 1879 (the year that the dollar’s redeemability in gold finally resumed following its suspension during the Civil War) and 1914 (the First World War). Continue reading

Pension Apocalypse Is Coming

It’s unequivocal now: We are taking money from the new employees and using it to pay off this liability for the old employees,” said Turner, a Gov. John Hickenlooper appointee. “And some might call that a Ponzi scheme.”Denver Post, 6/27/17

House of Cards Falling Down — Image by © Myron Jay Dorf/CORBIS

The people in Denver who bother to read the news, especially the ones who are or will be dependent on the Colorado public employees pension fund (PERA), were greeted with a shock Tuesday. PERA is now admitting to be 42% underfunded, down from an alleged 38% underfunding last year. How on earth is it possible for the underfunding of a pension to increase during a period of time when the Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq and fixed income markets are hitting or are near all-time highs? Continue reading

You Can’t End Poverty without Cutting Taxes

Recent tax proposals have let loose the dogs of economic war. While debate has raged over the impact of tax cuts on growth and revenue, the moral case for low taxation remains largely neglected.

Critics have predictably launched an all-out assault on the idea that taxpayers should keep more of their own money. One op-ed bemoans the “alchemistic belief that huge tax cuts can pay for themselves by unleashing faster economic growth.” Another decries the alleged lack of financing to “pay” for tax cuts, while further deriding them as mere “benefits for the wealthy.” Others have abandoned evidence entirely and resorted to personal attack. “When power meets greed, you can bet, the schmucks in the red hats will pay,” snarks one such commentator. Continue reading

Owning Gold Is The First Step To “Freedom Insurance”

It’s predictable…

A government in need of cash will turn to destructive “solutions.”

Money printing, higher taxes, and more regulations often come first. Unfortunately, these are just the hors d’oeuvres before a 10-course meal.

As they become increasingly desperate, governments implement increasingly destructive policies. This might include capital controls, price controls, people controls, official currency devaluations, wealth confiscations, retirement account nationalizations, and more.

The same pattern has played out again and again around the world and throughout history. The worse a government’s fiscal health gets, the more destructive its policies become.

This is the root of political risk. Continue reading

Your Future Wealth Depends on what You Decide to Keep and Invest in Now

Party on Dudes and Dudettes
Last week the festival of all festivals began, Glastonbury 2017. Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters and Barry Gibb will each be singing to the 250,000 revellers who are currently on their way to Somerset. To those unfamiliar with Glastonbury it is a glorious few days in the countryside with camping and music. Every year there is far too much mud, lots of tears, alcohol, dodgy substances, hippies and great bands. Not to mention the fancy dress outfits and the toilets with questionable sanitary conditions. It is brilliant fun which everyone should try at least once. Continue reading

Big Pharma’s Big Lobby Money Is Preventing Real Reform on Drug Prices

Photo Credit Edward Carvalho-Monaghan

There was a time not long ago that the pharmaceutical industry was in a panic over a mounting call for prescription drug price controls and other measures to protect consumers and government agencies from the runaway costs.

President Trump took office last January complaining that the drug industry was “getting away with murder” by gouging consumers and government programs like Medicare and Medicaid. He and a host of Republican and Democratic lawmakers bandied about a number of measures to rein in Big PhRMA.

Those included granting Medicare officials more authority to negotiate drug prices with manufacturers, allowing the importation of cheaper drugs from Canada and other countries, pressuring the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to speed up the approval of generic drugs to compete with more expensive brand name drugs, offering tax incentives to curtail prices or even creating a new government oversight board to discourage drug companies from significantly ratcheting up their prices. Continue reading