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:

  • The Capital Structure as a Mirror of the Bubble Era
      Effects of Monetary Pumping on the Real World As long time readers know, we are looking at the economy through the lens of Austrian capital and monetary theory (see here for a backgrounder on capital theory and the production structure). In a nutshell: Monetary pumping falsifies interest rate signals by pushing gross market rates below the rate that reflects society-wide time preferences; this distorts relative prices in the economy and sets a boom into motion – which is characterized by...
  • How to Get Ahead in Today’s Economy
      “Literally On Fire” This week brought forward more evidence that we are living in a fabricated world. The popular story-line presents a world of pure awesomeness. The common experience, however,  falls grossly short.   There are many degrees of awesomeness, up to total awesomeness – which is where we are these days, in the age of total awesomeness, just a short skip away from the Nirvana era. What is Nirvana, you may wonder? We only know for sure that Nirvana is what...
  • Full Faith and Credit in Counterfeit Money
      A Useful Public Service There are nooks and corners in every city where talk is cheap and scandal is honorable.  The Alley, in Downtown Los Angeles, is a magical place where shrewd entrepreneurs, shameless salesmen, and downright hucksters coexist in symbiotic disharmony.  Fakes, fugazis, and knock-offs galore, pack the roll-up storefronts with sparkle and shimmer.   The Alley in LA – in places such as this, consumers are as a rule well served by applying a little bit of...
  • Gold and Gold Stocks – Conundrum Alert
      Moribund Meandering Earlier this week, the USD gold price was pushed rather unceremoniously off its perch above the $1300 level, where it had been comfortably ensconced all year after its usual seasonal rally around the turn of the year. For a while it seemed as though the $1,300 level may actually hold, but persistent US dollar strength nixed that idea. Previously many observers (too many?) expected gold to finally break out from its lengthy consolidation pattern, but evidently the...
  • US Money Supply Growth Jumps in March , Bank Credit Growth Stalls
      A Movie We Have Seen Before – Repatriation Effect? There was a sizable increase in the year-on-year growth rate of the true US money supply TMS-2 between February and March. Note that you would not notice this when looking at the official broad monetary aggregate M2, because the component of TMS-2 responsible for the jump is not included in M2. Let us begin by looking at a chart of the TMS-2 growth rate and its 12-month moving average.   The y/y growth rate of TMS-2...
  • Fear and Longing - Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Waiting for Permanent Backwardation  The price of gold dropped 9 bucks, while that of silver rose 3 cents. Readers often ask us if permanent backwardation (when gold withdraws its bid on the dollar) is still coming. We say it is certain (unless we can avert it by offering interest on gold at large scale). They ask is it imminent, and we think this is with a mixture of fear and longing for a higher gold price.   Lettuce hope this treasure is not cursed... but it probably is....
  • Scorn and Reverence - Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Shill Alarm One well-known commentator this week opined about the US health care industry:   “...the system is designed the churn and burn... to push people through the clinics as quickly as possible. The standard of care now is to prescribe some medication (usually antibiotics) and send people on their way without taking the time to conduct a comprehensive examination.”   From the annals of modern health care... [PT]   Nope. That is not the standard...
  • Global Turn-of-the-Month Effect – An Update
      In Other Global Markets the “Turn-of-the-Month” Effect Generates Even Bigger Returns than in the US The “turn-of-the-month” effect is one of the most fascinating stock market phenomena. It describes the fact that price gains primarily tend to occur around the turn of the month. By contrast, the rest of the time around the middle of the month is typically far less profitable for investors.   Good vs. bad seasonal timing...   [PT]   The effect has been studied...
  • Tales from “The Master of Disaster”
      Tightening Credit Markets Daylight extends a little further into the evening with each passing day.  Moods ease.  Contentment rises.  These are some of the many delights the northern hemisphere has to offer this time of year. As summer approaches, and dispositions loosen, something less amiable is happening.  Credit markets are tightening.  The yield on the 10-Year Treasury note has exceeded 3.12 percent.   A change in pace: yields are actually going somewhere. There is...
  • Is Political Decentralization the Only Hope for Western Civilization?
      Voting with their Feet A couple of recent articles have once more made the case, at least implicitly, for political decentralization as the only viable path which will begin to solve the seemingly insurmountable political, economic, and social crises which the Western world now faces.   Fracture lines – tax and regulatory competition allows people to “vote with their feet” - and they certainly do. [PT]   In the last few months, over 3,000 millionaires have...
  • Why the Fundamental Gold Price Rose - Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Gold Lending and Arbitrage There was no rise in the purchasing power of gold this week. The price of gold fell $22, and that of silver $0.19. One question that comes up is why is the fundamental price so far above the market price? Starting in January, the fundamental price began to move up sharply, and the move sustained through the end of April.   1-month LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate – the rate at which banks lend euro-dollars to each other). LIBOR and GOFO...
  • “Sell In May And Go Away” - A Reminder: In 9 Out Of 11 Countries It Makes Sense To Do So
      A Truism that is Demonstrably True Most people are probably aware of the adage “sell in May and go away”. This popular seasonal Wall Street truism implies that the market's performance is far worse in the six summer months than in the six winter months. Numerous studies have been undertaken in this context particularly with respect to US stock markets, and they  confirm that the stock market on average exhibits relative weakness in the summer.   Look at the part we...

Support Acting Man

Item Guides


The Review Insider

Dog Blow

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]


Mish Talk

Buy Silver Now!
Buy Gold Now!

Diary of a Rogue Economist