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:

  • America Goes Full Imbecile
      Credit has a wicked way of magnifying a person’s defects.  Even the most cautious man, with unlimited credit, can make mistakes that in retrospect seem absurd.  But an average man, with unlimited credit, is preeminently disposed to going full imbecile.   Let us not forget about this important skill...  [PT]   Several weeks ago we came across a woeful tale of Mike Meru.  Somehow, this special fellow, while of apparent sound mine and worthy intent, racked up...
  • Retail Capitulation – Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Small Crowds, Shrinking Premiums The prices of gold and silver rose five bucks and 37 cents respectively last week. Is this the blast off to da moon for the silver rocket of halcyon days, in other words 2010-2011?   Various gold bars. Coin and bar premiums have been shrinking steadily (as have coin sales of the US Mint by the way), a sign that retail investors have lost interest in gold. There are even more signs of this actually, and this loss of interest stands in stark...
  • Credit Spreads: Polly is Twitching Again - in Europe
      Junk Bond Spread Breakout The famous dead parrot is coming back to life... in an unexpected place. With its QE operations, which included inter alia corporate bonds, the ECB has managed to suppress credit spreads in Europe to truly ludicrous levels. From there, the effect propagated through arbitrage to other developed markets. And yes, this does “support the economy” - mainly by triggering an avalanche of capital malinvestment and creating the associated boom conditions, while...
  • Gold Divergences Emerge
      Bad Hair Day Produces Positive Divergences On Friday the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China was apparently escalated by a notch to the next level, at least verbally. The Trump administration announced a list of tariffs that are supposed to come into force in three week's time and China clicked back by announcing retaliatory action. In effect, the US government said: take that China, we will now really hurt our own consumers!  - and China's mandarins replied: just you wait, we...
  • Industrial Commodities vs. Gold - Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Oil is Different Last week, we showed a graph of rising open interest in crude oil futures. From this, we inferred — incorrectly as it turns out — that the basis must be rising. Why else, we asked, would market makers carry more and more oil?   Crude oil acts differently from gold – and so do all other industrial commodities. What makes them different is that the supply of industrial commodities held in storage as a rule suffices to satisfy industrial demand only for a...
  • Chasing the Wind
      Futility with Purpose Plebeians generally ignore the tact of their economic central planners.  They care more that their meatloaf is hot and their suds are cold, than about any plans being hatched in the capital city.  Nonetheless, the central planners know an angry mob, with torches and pitchforks, are only a few empty bellies away.  Hence, they must always stay on point.   Watch for those pitchfork bearers – they can get real nasty and then heads often roll quite literally....
  • Lift-Off Not (Yet) - Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Wrong-Way Event Last week we said something that turned out to be prescient:   This is not an environment for a Lift Off Event.   An unfortunate technical mishap interrupted the latest moon-flight of the gold rocket. Fear not true believers, a few positive tracks were left behind. [PT]   The price of gold didn’t move much Mon-Thu last week, though the price of silver did seem to be blasting off. Then on Friday, it reversed hard. We will provide a forensic...
  • Merger Mania and the Kings of Debt
      Another Early Warning Siren Goes Off Our friend Jonathan Tepper of research house Variant Perception (check out their blog to see some of their excellent work) recently pointed out to us that the volume of mergers and acquisitions has increased rather noticeably lately. Some color on this was provided in an article published by Reuters in late May, “Global M&A hits record $2 trillion in the year to date”, which inter alia contained the following chart illustrating the...
  • Cryptocurrency Technicals – Navigating the Bear Market
      A Purely Technical Market Long time readers may recall that we regard Bitcoin and other liquid big cap cryptocurrencies as secondary media of exchange from a monetary theory perspective for the time being. The wave of speculative demand that has propelled them to astonishing heights was triggered by market participants realizing that they have the potential to become money. The process of achieving more widespread adoption of these currencies as a means of payment and establishing...
  • The Fed's “Inflation Target” is Impoverishing American Workers
      Redefined Terms and Absurd Targets At one time, the Federal Reserve's sole mandate was to maintain stable prices and to “fight inflation.”  To the Fed, the financial press, and most everyone else “inflation” means rising prices instead of its original and true definition as an increase in the money supply.  Rising prices are a consequence – a very painful consequence – of money printing.   Fed Chair Jerome Powell apparently does not see the pernicious effects...

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