Post FOMC Metals Rig: Right On Schedule

9 comments

Posted on 30th April 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

,

Guest Post by Jesse

This is what the pampered princes of privilege do when they fail.

They try to hide it. They lash out. They cheat.

They are petty. But vicious when frightened.

Most of the successes they have obtained throughout their lives have been gained by cheating, using inside information, rigging the game, exercising influence, position, and privilege.

They twist the fabric of society to weave their robes.

They make and break the rules to suit themselves and their friends.

They make our markets into bucket shops. Our laws are just pieces of paper.

They try to make other people pay for their mistakes.

As they have been doing all throughout their lives.

Success. They deserve it, one banal and disreputable way or another.

For the good of the system.

MORE!

1 comment

Posted on 30th April 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

,

Via Jesse


Walter Brueggemann: Speaking Truth To Power, Confronting Today’s Pharaohs

3 comments

Posted on 25th April 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

Guest Post by Jesse

Walter Brueggemann is a contemporary theologian and an Old Testament scholar from the United Church of Christ to whom I have been introduced by one of our patrons.

One of the things I appreciate most about le café, besides the occasional noted of how the patrons may have been affected by things served here, is when readers bring in knowledge and ideas and stories that I have not encountered before. It is certainly return enough for the simple fare served here.

Below are excerpts from a recent interview regarding his book Truth Speaks To Power.

For the complete interview which is not all that long you may read these excerpts in context here.

“Legitimate power always includes attentiveness to justice, When power is not attentive to justice it cannot endure. This is a summons to us to keep the agenda of justice for the vulnerable alive and front and center to maintain a kind of subversive stance toward power.

Power is the capacity to organize and administer social goods and social access. Truth is the structure of reality that is in the nature of things that cannot be violated by our capacity to administer it. Power can sometimes be administered in harmony with such truthfulness, but very often power is seduced so that it runs contradictory to truth.

(more…)

CORPORATISM

4 comments

Posted on 21st April 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

, ,

Guest Post by Jesse

The frenzy of the US elites to pass the ‘trade deals’ with Asia and Europe is indicative of their concerns that the progress of their plans is reaching a critical impasse. These deals will fortify the corporatist control over North America, a prerequisite before intensifying their plans for Europe and Asia. I suspect that, when push comes to shove, Asia will be little more than Japan, Australia, and a few other client states. China will almost certainly choose its own say more fitting to its domestic situation which may become more precarious.

Gold is of obvious strategic importance in this struggle since it is a means of settling international payments that does not as easily fall into the financial controls of one faction or another, as is the case with a fiat currency which is, at the end of the day, an instrument of highly discretionary power.
The discussions of these topics on US media is interesting to watch. I fully expect for the propaganda to reach ever more ridiculous levels, and for any domestic dissent to be crushed before it can gain any momentum.

The differences between the Wall St. Democrats and the Corporatist Republicans will continue to become increasingly cosmetic and more factional and social than substantial, in the manner of two competing gangs seeking their own enrichment rather than elected representatives of a diverse population. Big money is steadily disenfranchising the electorate, and the credibility trap chokes off meaningful reform.

Greece may in turn become more pivotal in this struggle between the West and Europe. The difference in treatment between the people of Greece and the government of the Ukraine should be more obvious to the Western observer. The lesson is certainly not lost on the rest of the world. The US-Europe may court you, but once they entwine their fingers through your hands, you are theirs to dispose of as they please.
That is a failing of the winner’s curse. They start overreaching in their belief that they will simply move from victory to victory, no matter how clumsy and brutal their tactics may become.


CHINA KEEPS ACCUMULATING PHYSICAL GOLD

1 comment

Posted on 19th April 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

, , ,

Guest Post by Jesse

34.53 Tonnes of Gold Withdrawn from the Shanghai Gold Exchange In Latest Week

The Comex is a rounding error compared to the global physical market for precious metals.

Shanghai saw 34 tonnes of gold withdrawn last week.

There are less than 18 tonnes of registered (for sale at these prices) gold in all the Comex warehouses, and very little of it sees even a changing of hands, much less withdrawn.

This is why I call it a bucket shop. It has stopped being a major price setting mechanism for actual buyers and sellers of the physical metals, devolving into a speculative pricing platform.

This mispricing of risk and investment will have the usual consequences.

Gold and silver are natural currencies. And it is their physical nature that makes them resistant to long term manipulation.

(more…)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

0 comments

Posted on 18th April 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

“Unregulated greed will rise to exceed and overwhelm all rational expectations of theoretical market behavior over time, always and everywhere, because men are no angels. And since money is power, the greater the concentration of money in a society, the less free it will become, and the less reliable all decision based market-based models of it will be. Rational expectations, and therefore market forces, will fail when undermined by the unbridled greed for money and power. Passion and obsession will trump reason, unless reason arms itself against the excesses of human nature. History proves this.”

Jesse


QUOTE OF THE DAY

0 comments

Posted on 11th April 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

“The heart of the problem is that because of the credibility trap, we have never had a proper public discussion on what went wrong with the policies of the US. The apathy of the people enables this.

Oh yes, there are plenty of staged discussions in the media, where two paid talking heads and a moderator who carefully stages the parameters and definition of the ‘discussion’ shout slogans past one another that play to the emotions of their deeply polarized and propagandized constituencies.

Since we have not yet been able to speak frankly and openly about the massive fraud and abundant soft and overt corruption of the political and professional class, there can be no meaningful reform. Until one admits they have a problem and are able to face it, they cannot begin to address it.

So like any other type of hopeless addict, the US and much of its client states in the West will most likely have to finally hit rock bottom before they can begin to face their addiction to deceit and corruption, money and power. This will be difficult because so many of those who control the platforms for the conversation about corruption are also those hands are dirty with it, either by participation or acquiescence. It is the same phenomenon that compels a country to remain in protracted, winless wars long beyond any rational expectation of ‘victory.’

And this is the credibility trap.

It is the widespread corruption and cowing of the professional class in a society that sets the stage for the madness of the mob.

It is foolish to hope that the plunderers of society will some day have enough, and come to their senses. They are not rational, but pathological, and their only impulse is to want ‘more.’ They will not stop until someone finally moves to stop them. But like battered spouses and ashamed parents we cannot even bear to raise the subject.

Perhaps the children will ask the right questions, since the adults are too diverted, preoccupied, and fearful.”

Jesse


Notes on the Currency War – ‘Old as Babylon and Evil as Hell’

2 comments

Posted on 10th April 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

,

Guest Post by Jesse

Below is an excerpt from a much longer article which you can read in its entirety here.

It is an interpretation told from a certain perspective, but overall does a fairly decent job of laying out the general boundaries for the currency war that has been brewing in the background since 1971 with the collapse of Bretton Woods.

It is more visible to us now because it started manifesting more overtly in the 1990’s and since then has slowly been gaining momentum.

If an analyst does not understand this, even if they do not agree with this particular interpretation, then they have a poor grasp of the major trends that are driving so much financial and political activity in the world today.

And fortunately or unfortunately, gold and silver are deeply involved as the traditional supra-national world currencies.

To put the entire thing in a nutshell, in 1971 the US arbitrarily ended the Bretton Woods Agreement by closing the ‘gold window,’ and placed the world on an entirely fiat reserve currency which the US controlled. Since the US is making monetary policy to suit its own domestic agenda, and increasingly so over the past twenty years, the stresses that this creates in the world have become unacceptable to many other countries, some of which are in a position to push back against this.

(more…)

Profiles In Hypocrisy, In the Garden of Beasts

2 comments

Posted on 8th April 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

 Guest Post by Jesse

“The only vice that cannot be forgiven is hypocrisy. The repentance of a hypocrite is itself hypocrisy.”

William Hazlitt

“The U.S. went off the gold standard in August 1971. With no benchmark, central banks could print money and debase currencies. That opened the door for huge bailouts after big banks screwed up in a big way. Taxpayers—not incompetent bankers—paid the price.

By [the late 1980’s], the Federal Reserve Bank and large U.S. banks had established a pattern to control the public relations damage each time banks had a major screw-up: accountants and regulators let banks lie about the size of the problem to stall for time; the Federal Reserve blew smoke at the media; finally, the Fed would bail out the banks in a way that most taxpayers would not understand.

Banks didn’t have to get smarter or more competent. The Fed trained the banks that uninformed taxpayers would eat the losses, and fake accounting would let bank officers keep their positions and their money.”

Janet Tavakoli, Decisions: Life and Death on Wall Street

Gold and silver were pushed back to their assigned round numbers, with gold barely holding above 1200 and silver pushed well below the 17 handle.

Ted Butler has a rather striking piece about the rigging in the silver market which you can read here.

Speaking of silver it appears that Turkey had record imports of silver bullion in March. You can read about that here. I am not sure how significant that is. We can certainly keep an eye on it to see if this is a one time thing or a trend.

(more…)

THE AMERICAN DINNER TABLE

4 comments

Posted on 2nd April 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

Via Jesse

“The US may already have slipped into recession. There will most likely be no alarm raised, because the looting of the ship into the first class lifeboats continues, and it is easier if the lower decks remain unaware of the risk.

The rigging of the gold and silver markets is founded in this desire to manage perception. Oh, it is based on a more ‘noble’ desire to inspire confidence and not make people panic.

But at the same time, it has become an enduring illusion, while the disparities in economic health become increasingly pronounced.

And so the looting by the nationless few continues, and justice is led down a hallway and strangled, draped in the national colors, to the sound of patriotic tunes. Such are times of currency war.

Who will dare tell the truth, when the surrender of the truth for ‘the story’ is one’s passport to the more favored classes, the insiders, with all that this implies in terms of comfort and security? The only resignation is to accept a permanent exile, to be without influence, without a voice, ignored.

One must go along to get along, to pay one’s dues, extend and pretend, and never, ever, speak ill of the insiders and their schemes. Freedom, who needs it, when you can have security, comfort, and prestige.

So here we are, at peak illusion, just sitting on top of the world.”

Deflation, Hyperinflation, Stagflation, and Where We Are Going

1 comment

Posted on 31st March 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

, , , ,

Guest Post by Jesse

This is a repost of a column from four years ago almost to the day.

This is where I make the case most explicitly for the stagflation forecast I made in 2005.

Although I add one parenthetical note and some underlining for emphasis, otherwise I did not have to change a word. I could have rewritten a few things a little more smoothly but at this point why bother.

I believe that things are playing out pretty much as I had thought. The ‘top down’ approach to monetary stimulus favored by the Fed and their Banks and their politicians is fostering more inequality and slack aggregate demand while inflating select asset prices, a type of stagflation. The ‘inflation’ component of that has not yet set in yet generally, but is certainly visible to anyone who uses incidental things like healthcare and food.

I think that the same dynamic is playing out in Europe and the UK.

It will end involuntarily in a social dislocation, or by a voluntary reform. Since the oligarchs have apparently not yet been satisfied in their acquisition and looting, they believe that they can keep pushing the envelope for now.

One new area of thought for me now is how China and Russia and a few of their friends will attempt to implement a new regional currency and a global reserve currency with some inclusion or reference to gold, and perhaps silver. That they are leaning into this area is to be found in their own words and actions.

What I am struggling with is how they might do this without exposing themselves to currency manipulation and rigging, which is probably a lot easier to accept as a given now than it was in 2011, although it was certainly occurring before all these market rigging scandals broke. I don’t think a market was left untouched.

I suspect it will center around the terms for the exchange and the valuation or peg. A misstep will open them to the predations of the global hedge funds and the Banks, and the status quo centered on the Dollar.

(more…)

WHEN THE TIME COMES, THERE WILL BE NO TIME

2 comments

Posted on 26th March 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

, , , , ,

Guest Post by Jesse

Gold and silver caught an overnight flight to safety on the war breaking out between Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Yemen on the overnight.

Gold hit a high around 1218 or so on the spot price, but was pushed back down towards 1203 during the New York trading hours.

The miners were hit rather hard, which sometimes portends a hit on the metals the next day. Let’s see how that works out. These mechanisms and influences are not linear.

It would be in the manner of the bucket shop to give a gut check on a price drop to those new holders of futures contracts from today’s precious metals option expiration. But since I cannot see into all the players hands, to know who is holding what with any confidence, it is too hard to say.

I do think that the US Fed will raise rates this year by some token amount, unless the wheels completely fall off the economy for two quarters in a row. The first quarter is looking increasingly dismal, but it is easy to dismiss that as a one-off due to the weather.

The pampered princes and princesses of the Feds would like to raise rates for the benefit of their Bankers. And they will perform as required. Like the politicians, this is why they are there, to give plunder the appearance of legitimacy.

(more…)