Author Archives: Claudio Grass

     

 

 

Will the Swiss Guarantee CHF 75,000 for Every Family?

In early June the Swiss will be called upon to make a historic decision. Switzerland is the first country worldwide to put the idea of an Unconditional Basic Income to a vote and the outcome of this referendum will set a strong precedent and establish a landmark in the evolution of this debate.

 

die-schweizer-initiative-fuerThe Swiss Basic Income Initiative in a demonstration in front of parliament. As we have previously reported (see “Swiss Parliament Shoots Down Socialist Utopia” for details), Switzerland’s parliament has already rejected the idea, with even the socialists voting against it (proving that they are still in possession of most of their marbles and quite likely in possession of an abacus as well).

Photo credit: Peter Klaunzer

 

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What the Establishment Wants, the Establishment Gets

If a person has no philosophical thoughts, certain questions will never cross his mind. As a young man, there were many issues and ideas that never concerned me as they do today. There is one question, however, which has intrigued me for the longest time, and it still fascinates me as intensely as it did back then: Does spirit precede matter or is it the other way around?

In other words, does human consciousness create what we perceive as our reality and physical existence or vice versa; does the pre-existing material world determine our sentience and shape our cognition? In essence, what really lies beneath the surface of this question is the following: is man born as a conscious being with free will and self-determination or not?

 

thought policeYou may think citizen, but it will be best if you confine yourself to approved collectivist thought. In case you find yourself unable to do so, you may need to be reeducated.

Illustration by LibertyManiacs.com

 

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The War on Cash is on!

If you are used to making visits to your bank to make your credit card payments, you may find this no longer an option in the future. Some banks are no longer accepting (or limiting their acceptance) of cash deposits. The war on cash forges on. Paper money, which is indeed more or less worthless, is slowly being taken out of circulation and being replaced by digital currency.

 

Burning_Money

Photo credit: Stephen Krow

 

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The Swiss are Resisting EU Domination in the Name of Liberty and Self-Determination

Last Wednesday, the Swiss National Council voted to withdraw the country’s dormant application to join the European Union (EU). A clear majority of Swiss voters are not interested in joining the EU. And no democratically sanctioned application was ever submitted. However, it has been “in the drawer” for quite some time.

 

Swiss Federal CouncilThe seven members of the Swiss Federal Council in 2016 (not depicted: chancellor Walter Thurnherr, who “assists” the council). Some explanation is in order for people not familiar with the Swiss political system, which will make it easier to understand the nature of the inner-Swiss political conflict. In effect, the federal council is a “collective head of state”. Its members are elected by parliament, and are supposed represent a cross-section of Switzerland’s regions, political parties and linguistic groups. The departments are chosen by its members based on their seniority. On average, council members tend to serve for 10 years, as they are usually reelected (it has only happened four times since 1848 that a federal councilor was not reelected; some have even served for 30 years). Its members cannot be recalled during a legislative period. Due to the fact that the Federal Council’s membership is based on the “concordance democracy” principle, the three strongest parties in parliament traditionally supply two councilors each, and the fourth strongest party one councilor (the so-called “magical formula”). Decisions of the council have to be supported in public even by council members who voted against them. Given this principle, the Federal Council can easily be at odds with the parliamentary majority. The SVP has only two council members, and it is a good bet that the four votes in favor of joining the EU came from the socialists and federal democrats. However, the council is not empowered to ignore the outcome of referendums or parliamentary decisions: it is merely the executive. As such, it can issue recommendations and propose draft laws. This form of executive is modeled after the archons of the polis of Greek antiquity, and is the only such surviving system in the world today. Click to enlarge.

 

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Claudio Grass Interviews Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo

Claudio Grass, Managing Director at Global Gold Switzerland, talks to libertarian Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo, an American economist and representative of the Austrian School of Economics, well known for his fierce libertarian approach in criticizing government intervention. This exclusive interview covers central bank monetary policies, Keynesian Economics, the economic ‘recovery’, political correctness, and much more.

 

tom-dilorenzo-smiling  American economist and historian Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo, inter alia author of The Real Lincoln

Photo via mises.org

 

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Switzerland’s Exceptional Legacy in Direct Democracy

Our readers probably realize by now what a proud Swiss fellow I am, and how I take every possible opportunity to argue that Switzerland represents a role model for achieving radical decentralization and respect for civil liberties. When municipalities, cities or smaller states are in competition with each other, the power of politicians is limited and the right to self-determination is ensured.

 

Switzerland and LebanonSwitzerland and Lebanon (long known as “the Switzerland of the Middle East”)

 

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With a Gloomy Start to 2016, a Bust Seems just Around the Corner

Markets have corrected substantially since the beginning of the year as most of the gains of the past two years have been erased. According to Bloomberg, 40 out of the largest 63 markets have dropped over 20%. The image below shows the performance of markets word-wide since their most recent peaks. Most markets are in a bear market phase or are at best experiencing a strong correction. The world is red!

Where do global markets stand?

 

1-world_redA heat map of global stock markets by Bloomberg – click to enlarge.

 

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Global Gold Talks to Vít Jedlička, the President of Liberland

Vít Jedlička is a Czech politician, publicist and activist. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Economics, Prague in 2009 and his Master’s degree from CEVRO Institut in 2014. Since 2009, he has been a member of the Free Citizens Party, where he was elected the first Regional President in the Hradec Králové Region. Vít Jedlička considers himself a libertarian with liberal views on individual freedom and has described himself as a Bastiat-influenced anarcho-capitalist.

 

coat of armsThe Liberland coat of arms

 

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A Turbulent Year

In the course of 2015 we have witnessed several events that had, and will have, negative repercussions on individual freedom. Orwellian totalitarianism is increasingly creeping into our everyday lives. How much more intrusive will the violations of our liberties become and for how long will the establishment get away with this? These are questions that remain unanswered.

 

YesWeScanUnited we move toward a perfectly monitored society – the US Congress has just passed the controversial CISA spying law – the worst possible version of it – by sneaking it into a budget bill. This utterly corrupt method of enacting laws that would not get passed on their own because they are such a huge affront to decency and civilization has become the norm in the “land of the free” – which ironically is “exporting democracy” by force of arms all over the world!

 

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Claudio Grass interviews Professor Antal E. Fekete

GLOBAL GOLD: “Prof. Fekete, it is a pleasure to have this opportunity to talk to you. You are a fierce critic of the current monetary system and a strong proponent of the gold standard, particularly the variety that combines with the Real Bills Doctrine (RBD) of Adam Smith which we shall get into later. We are very much interested to learn how this interest of yours started in the first place and what led you to believe in gold and Austrian Economics in general.”

 

Antal FeketeProfessor Antal E. Fekete (see further below for biographical details)

Photo credit: verlagjohannesmuller

 

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Concerns over Immigration Motivated Voters – Relations with the EU may come under Severe Strain

On October 18th, the Swiss went to the polls to cast their votes in the country’s parliamentary elections. The right-wing triumphed as the Swiss Peoples’ Party or SVP won 29.4% of the vote. The papers described it as “the best performance by a party in at least a century”. The Free Democratic Party (FDP) also gained, winning 16.4% of the vote. In terms of the number of seats, the Swiss Right secured 14 new seats (11 from the SVP’s gains alone) to reach a total of 98 seats (65 for the SVP).

 

swiss_electionsA landslide victory for right-of-center parties in Switzerland – click to enlarge.

 

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Switching Enemies

The tragic Paris attacks are leading me to raise questions once again, since it is the second time that France has topped the news headlines this year. I believe that followers of Global Gold’s Outlook Report are by now aware that I am a big fan of historícal research. I tend to consult my history books to reflect on the past and see if I can recognize patterns similar to the events we are experiencing today.

Looking back, it seems obvious that in the course of the 20th and 21st century, wars went from being about nationalism to ideological wars (communism versus democracy or what we would call ‘state capitalism disguised as democracy’), to becoming about religion, which sort of takes us back to the dark ages.

Since the Berlin wall came down back in 1989 and communism was defeated, the latter has been replaced by the “Muslim World” as the new enemy. We could see this change in Hollywood movies and in our media coverage.

 

piechart2“All terrorists are Muslims” – except the 94% who aren’t. Attribution of terror attacks in the US between 1980 to 2005 according to the FBI.

 

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Most read in the last 20 days:

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      Interesting Times Arrive “Things sure are getting exciting again, ain’t they?”  The remark was made by a colleague on Tuesday morning, as we stepped off the elevator to grab a cup of coffee.   Ancient Chinese curse alert... [PT]   “One moment markets are gorging on financial slop like fat pigs in mud.  The next they’re collectively vomiting on themselves. I’ll tell you one thing.  President Trump’s trade war with China won’t end well.  I mean, come...
  • The Dollar Cancer and the Gold Cure
      The Long Run is Here The dollar is failing. Millions of people can see at least some of the major signs, such as the collapse of interest rates, record high number of people not counted in the workforce, and debt rising from already-unpayable levels at an accelerating rate.   Total US credit market debt has hit a new high of $68.6 trillion at the end of 2017. That's up from $22.3 trillion a mere 20 years ago. It's a fairly good bet this isn't sustainable....
  • US Stock Market: Happy Days Are Here Again? Not so Fast...
      A “Typical” Correction? A Narrative Fail May Be in Store Obviously, assorted crash analogs have by now gone out of the window – we already noted that the market was late if it was to continue to mimic them, as the decline would have had to accelerate in the last week of March to remain in compliance with the “official time table”. Of course crashes are always very low probability events – but there are occasions when they have a higher probability than otherwise, and we will...
  • Rise of the Japanese Androids
      Good Intentions One of the unspoken delights in life is the rich satisfaction that comes with bearing witness to the spectacular failure of an offensive and unjust system. This week served up a lavish plate of delicious appetizers with both a style and refinement that’s ordinarily reserved for a competitive speed eating contest. What a remarkable time to be alive.   It seemed a good idea at first... [PT]   Many thrilling stories of doom and gloom were published...
  • Claudio Grass on Cryptocurrencies and Gold – An X22 Report Interview
       The Global Community is Unhappy With the Monetary System, Change is Coming Our friend Claudio Grass of Precious Metal Advisory Switzerland was recently interviewed by the X22 Report on cryptocurrencies and gold. He offers interesting perspectives on cryptocurrencies, bringing them into context with Hayek's idea of the denationalization of money. The connection is that they have originated in the market and exist in a framework of free competition, with users determining which of them...
  • Getting High on Bubbles
      Turn on, Tune in, Drop out Back in the drug-soaked, if not halcyon, days known at the sexual and drug revolution—the 1960’s—many people were on a quest for the “perfect trip”, and the “perfect hit of acid” (the drug lysergic acid diethylamide, LSD).   Dr. Albert Hoffman and his famous bicycle ride through Basel after he ingested a few drops of LSD-25 by mistake. The photograph in the middle was taken at the Woodstock festival and inter alia serves as a...
  • No Revolution Just Yet - Precious Metals Supply and Demand Report
      Irredeemably Yours... Yuan Stops Rallying at the Wrong Moment The so-called petro-yuan was to revolutionize the world of irredeemable fiat paper currencies. Well, since its launch on March 26 — it has gone down. It was to be an enabler for oil companies who were desperate to sell oil for gold, but could not do so until the yuan oil contract.   After becoming progressively stronger over the past year, it looks as thought the 6.25 level in USDCNY is providing support for the...
  • The “Turn of the Month Effect” Exists in 11 of 11 Countries
      A Well Known Seasonal Phenomenon in the US Market – Is There More to It? I already discussed the “turn-of-the-month effect” in a previous issues of Seasonal Insights, see e.g. this report from earlier this year. The term describes the fact that price gains in the stock market tend to cluster around the turn of the month. By contrast, the rest of the time around the middle of the month is typically less profitable for investors.   Due to continual monetary inflation in the...
  • Flight of the Bricks - Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      The Lighthouse Moves Picture, if you will, a brick slowly falling off a cliff. The brick is printed with green ink, and engraved on it are the words “Federal Reserve Note” (FRN). A camera is mounted to the brick. The camera shows lots of things moving up. The cliff face is whizzing upwards at a blur. A black painted brick labeled “oil” is going up pretty fast, but not so fast as the cliff face. It is up 26% in a year. A special brick, a government data brick of sorts, labeled...
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      Paradise in LA LA Land More is revealed with each passing day.  You can count on it.  But what exactly the ‘more is of’ requires careful discrimination.  Is the ‘more’ merely more noise?  Or is it something of actual substance?  Today we endeavor to pass judgment, on your behalf.   Normally, judgment would be passed on a Thursday, but we are making an exception. [PT]   For example, here in the land of fruits and nuts, things are whacky, things are...

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