Author Archives: E. F. Vidocq




The Wild 1990s

Not so long ago, during 1990’s, the connecting world of the connected world we now know was literally and comprehensively in the development stage during those wild crazy go go years before the crash in technology stocks in 2000.


Nasdaq BubbleThe infamous tech bubble of the 1990s – to this day the greatest stock market bubble ever seen in the US (in terms of multiple expansion, intensity, public participation, speed and extent of the blow-off phase) – click to enlarge.


Read the rest of this entry »




A Case for Divestment


Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.


The Second Coming, 1st Stanza

1919 William Butler Yeats




Read the rest of this entry »




On the Trail of Long Lost Relatives

After the fall of the Soviet Union, slowly centuries old archives have opened in nearly all of the eastern lands, composed of personal data, which for a time ceased to exist to anyone interested in them within or outside of the Iron Curtain’s secrecy. Once upon a time there might have been little reason to seek out these long dormant birth records, census surveys, property listings, tax payer rolls and the like, were it not for the great void of death and disappearance left behind after the Second World War.

In the last decade, millions of these records (with millions more to come) have been indexed, translated, collated, and photographed; most of it digitized, much of it making its way online, accessible by most anyone from anywhere in the world. I have taken many journeys through these records back in time and carried forward to the present day by the information found.

In one instance, there was a brother of a grand relative, who shortly after the Stalin–Hitler pact of 1939 found his country transferred to the domains of the Soviet Union. By 1940 the Sovietization of the country was underway. One night, in July 1941, he and his wife were summoned to a central meeting point where they were then separated, he placed on a train to the Ussolag work camps in the Perm region of the Ural mountains near Siberia, and she to exile in Siberia proper.



Administrative building of the Siberian Gulag camp Perm-36, reportedly the only one that has been preserved.

Photo credit:


Read the rest of this entry »




Homeland InSecurities, A Case for Divestment, Part 2

The Homeland however, the last post warman standing, the leader island of the Pax Americana, defender of individual liberty and democracy, though clearly not a defender of transparency, had itself started the journey taken by those failed states. Its journey began with the creation of the Federal Reserve (1913) on the one hand, and on the other with the Federally mandated promise to provide a guaranteed quality of life for every citizen via a perpetual tax on the wages earned by each new member of the nation's work force: Social Security in 1933 (and the many thousands of programs since) to the unaffordable everything that is the national business of Homeland Inc. today. The planners of these programs did not account for mismanagement, inflexibility or the simple possibility there may one day not be enough funds to pay for claims against long ago promises made. They are annuities clearly gone bad, and as bad as any private sector Ponzi scheme.

The top 200 corporations (of thousands) who do business with the Homeland, as of this writing, receive over 560 billion dollars for the work they do for it. (Source: This does not include the expense of the mass army of salaried spendingminders (with handsome and liberal social benefits unique to them) who inhabit every pocket of the nation as the overseers of Federal programs and those programs directly funded to the states, who then have their own cohorts of minder reporters (indeed legions) in descending order fromthe state capitol buildings to the neighborhood precinct captains, minding down and reporting back to the very top, while the funds flow and all take their delegated and or, in government speak, appropriated cut.


Read the rest of this entry »




"If I were asked to name the most needed of all reforms in the spirit of education I should say: 'Cease conceiving of education as mere preparation for later life, and make of it the full meaning of the present life.'"

– John Dewey


My Number One Son's Journey Begins in the Post 2008 World

Once upon a time, in the pre globalized world, one prepared for the future in very predictable ways. This math, that science, this job skill, that business, but never in a way what we today might call cross border thinking. Today, for example, as the powers that be dream of containment, of holding on to a debt diseased system, while the world's deficit spending continues to grow along with ever broader malinvestment of what's left of good capital; a truly sophisticated money manager or investor cannot perform well without the ability to think in a borderless way. The entire status of individual freedom, freedom of movement, freedom of privacy, freedom from over burdensome taxes and the obligations to mountains of sovereign debt, freedom in the movement of wealth, really all freedoms, are no longer static; they are in flux. No one can simply assume our allotment of these freedoms shall remain as they once were; one cannot prepare one's children for a status quo which no longer exists. Even more so in the case of the average person, which is really everyone from the bottom to whoever it is that may for now be at the top.

When I met two of my Chinese pen pals, Fang (Wind) and Huo (Fire), both were in their final marathon leading to Gaokao, the nationwide test for admission to Chinese universities. The score is, for most students, the most important determination by which they will be accepted at a top university, or to no university at all. Like the children of my friends in Japan, pre university students cram facts, figures and equations, depending upon their target fields of interest, six and sometimes seven days each week, early mornings before the high school day
begins, and late in the evening well after the school day has ended. Steven (Fang), and Jackie (Huo), were given their western style names by their group teacher when they began their English studies. I met them, and other students wanting to practice their English skills on several chat web sites, such as QQ Messenger (Chinese), Omegle (American) and others.


Read the rest of this entry »




On Being and Nothingness …

To protect one's online  privacy, the Government of the United States advises the following:

If you believe you might have revealed sensitive information about your organization, report it to the appropriate people within the organization, including network administrators. They can be alert for any suspicious or unusual activity.

If you believe your financial accounts may be compromised, contact your financial institution immediately and close any accounts that may have been compromised. Watch for any unexplainable charges to your account.

Report your situation to local police, and file a report with the Federal Trade Commission.


They further advise, among other things:

Minimize Access to Your Information

Lock or log-off your computer when you are away from it.

To be really secure, disconnect your computer from the Internet when you aren't using it.

Evaluate your security settings.

Look for a privacy policy statement or seal that indicates the site abides by privacy standards.

Look for signals that you are using a secure web page.

and a reminder:

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act requires commercial websites to obtain parental consent before collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children under 13. For more information, contact the FTC about Children's Privacy.



Well, I've taken their advice, finally to heart, only to learn officially, the governments of the world are, in respect to the above, the absolutely most capable and active invaders of one's privacy in the known universe, in particular the security organs of the United Stazi of America (coined by an artist in Berlin, of all places, so I'm told).   If I had a nickel for every sentence I could write for every item of information each person has given to the great data banks of the world, surely I would make the top rung of the Forbe's list, and put you to sleep.   


Read the rest of this entry »




Who's the Stranger that knows you so well?

For those of us in the world who continued to hope, pray, and keep the faith all will be well and promises made are promises kept in the world of assets on account, do take a  moment to remove any such notions from your comfort zone; they no longer exist.  

On December 10, 2012, the FDIC and the Bank of England jointly published


Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important, Financial Institutions


Liquidating the assets of Cross Border Banking and Financial Houses in the Event of Total Failure and Collapse

(We like our version of the title far better for its transparency.)


Who might such institutions be? 

As of November 1, 2012 they were:


  • Citigroup
  • Deutsche Bank
  • HSBC
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Barclays
  • BNP Paribas
  • Bank of America
  • Bank of New York Mellon
  • Credit Suisse
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Mitsubishi UFJ FG
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • UBS
  • Bank of China
  • BBVA
  • Group BPSE
  • Group Credit Agricole
  • ING Bank
  • Mizuho FG
  • Nordea
  • Santander
  • Societe Generale
  • Standard Chartered
  • State Street
  • Sumitomo Mitsui FG
  • Unicredit Group
  • Wells Fargo


Taking the joint policy paper by the United States' and UK's banking authorities in hand, 10 of these TBTF banks would fall under the policy of these particular guidelines, most of them located in the United States.

What you need to know:


Read the rest of this entry »




Wealth of Nations and the Wizards of Oz

This article was originally published in the August 2012 edition of the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report and is reprinted with the kind permission of Dr. Marc Faber.


I recently learned that The Wizard of Oz was written as a satiric commentary on the financial crisis of 1893. I am not sure if Frank L. Baum did mean to write his book for that reason. However, the idea that there are people who believe they can lever the machinery of markets has not disappeared. Today, the curtain behind which these wizards used to stand is very transparent.


Read the rest of this entry »

Most read in the last 20 days:

  • 21st Century Shoe-Shine Boys
      Anecdotal Flags are Waved   "If a shoeshine boy can predict where this market is going to go, then it's no place for a man with a lot of money to lose." - Joseph Kennedy   It is actually a true story as far as we know – Joseph Kennedy, by all accounts an extremely shrewd businessman and investor (despite the fact that he had graduated in economics*), really did get his shoes shined on Wall Street one fine morning, and the shoe-shine boy, one Pat Bologna, asked him if...
  • Christopher Columbus and the Falsification of History
      Crazed Decision The Los Angeles City Council’s recent, crazed decision* to replace Christopher Columbus Day with one celebrating “indigenous peoples” can be traced to the falsification of history and denigration of European man which began in earnest in the 1960s throughout the educational establishment (from grade school through the universities), book publishing, and the print and electronic media.   Christopher Columbus at the Court of the Catholic Monarchs (a...
  • The Forking Paradise - Precious Metals Supply and Demand Report
      Forking Incentives A month ago, we wrote about the bitcoin fork. We described the fork:   Picture a bank, the old-fashioned kind. Call it Acme (sorry, we watched too much Coyote and Road Runner growing up). A group of disgruntled employees leave. They take a copy of the book of accounts. They set up a new bank across the street, Wile E Bank. To win customers, they say if you had an account at Acme Bank, you now have an account at Wile, with the same balance!   BCH, son...
  • The Government Debt Paradox: Pick Your Poison
      Lasting Debt “Rule one: Never allow a crisis to go to waste,” said President Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in November of 2008.  “They are opportunities to do big things.”   Rahm Emanuel looks happy. He should be – he is the mayor of Chicago, which is best described as crisis incarnate. Or maybe the proper term is perma-crisis? Anyway, it undoubtedly looks like a giant opportunity from his perspective, a gift that keeps on giving, so to speak. [PT] Photo...
  • India: The Genie of Lawlessness is out of the Bottle
      Recapitulation (Part XVI, the Last) Since the announcement of demonetization of Indian currency on 8th November 2016, I have written a large number of articles. The issue is not so much that the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is a tyrant and extremely simplistic in his thinking (which he is), or that demonetization and the new sales tax system were horribly ill-conceived (which they were). Time erases all tyrants from the map, and eventually from people’s...
  • The United States of Hubris
      Improving the World, One Death at a Time If anyone should have any questions about whether the United States of America is not the most aggressive, warlike, and terrorist nation on the face of the earth, its latest proposed action against the supposed rogue state of North Korea should allay any such doubts.   Throughout history, the problem with empires has always been the same: no matter how stable and invincible they appeared, eventually they ran into “imperial...
  • Long Term Statistics on AAPL
      Introductory Remarks by PT Below we present a recent article by the Mole discussing a number of technical statistics on the behavior of AAPL over time. Since the company has the largest market cap in the US stock market (~ USD 850 billion – a valuation that exceeds that of entire industries), it is the biggest component of capitalization-weighted big cap indexes and the ETFs based on them. It is also a component of the price-weighted DJIA. It is fair to say that the performance of...
  • Tragedy of the Speculations
      The Instability Problem Bitcoin is often promoted as the antidote to the madness of fiat irredeemable currencies. It is also promoted as their replacement. Bitcoin is promoted not only as money, but the future money, and our monetary future. In fact, it is not.   A tragedy... get the hankies out! :) [PT]   Why not? To answer, let us start with a look at the incentives offered by bitcoin. We saw a comment this week, which is apropos:   "Crypto is so...
  • Despite 24/7 Trading: Bitcoin Investors are Taking off for the Weekend on Friday Already
      Crypto-Statistics In the last issue of Seasonal Insights I have discussed how the S&P 500 Index performs on individual days of the week. In this issue I will show an analysis of the average cumulative annual returns of bitcoin on individual days of the week.   Bitcoin, daily. While this is beside the point, we note the crypto-currency (and other “alt coins” as well) has minor performance issues lately. The white line indicates important lateral support, but this looks to...
  • Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Fundamental Developments There were big moves in the metals markets this week. The price of gold was up an additional $21 and that of silver $0.30. Will the dollar fall further?As always, we are interested in the fundamentals of supply and demand as measured by the basis. But first, here are the charts of the prices of gold and silver, and the gold-silver ratio.   Gold and silver prices in USD terms (as of last week Friday) - click to enlarge.   Next, this is a...
  • To Hell In A Bucket
      No-one Cares... “No one really cares about the U.S. federal debt,” remarked a colleague and Economic Prism reader earlier in the week.  “You keep writing about it as if anyone gives a lick.” We could tell he was just warming up.  So, we settled back into our chair and made ourselves comfortable.   The federal debtberg, which no-one cares about (yet). We have added the most recent bar manually, as the charts published by the Fed will only be updated at the end of the...
  • Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Back to the Happy Place Amid a Falling Dollar The prices of the metals dropped this week, $24 and $0.38. This could be because the asset markets have returned to their happy, happy place where every day the stock market ticks up relentlessly.   Sometimes, happiness is fleeting... - click to enlarge.   The major currencies have been rising all year—we insist that this is a rise in these dollar derivatives, not a fall in the dollar—and this is a risk-on pattern....

Support Acting Man


Austrian Theory and Investment



THE GOLD CARTEL: Government Intervention on Gold, the Mega Bubble in Paper and What This Means for Your Future

Realtime Charts


Gold in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from]



Gold in EUR:

[Most Recent Quotes from]



Silver in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from]



Platinum in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from]



USD - Index:

[Most Recent USD from]


Buy Silver Now!
Buy Gold Now!