The Industrious Greeks Mystery
In the course of the Greek crisis, animosities between creditor countries like Germany and Greece didn’t take long to surface. They were fired up in the tabloid press, which was quick to revive various stereotypes. In Greece, Germans soon found themselves compared to their Nazi predecessors, while German tabloids inter alia complained sotto voce about those allegedly “lazy Southerners”.
The stereotype of “lazy Greeks”
Venezuela: Real Wages Collapse amid Continuing Crack-Up Boom
While the crack-up boom in Venezuela continues, real wages in the country have have utterly collapsed. The bolivar is still trading close to 700 to the US dollar on the black market, and the Caracas stock index keeps making new all time highs in nominal terms almost every day. Ironically, Venezuela’s currency is called the “bolivar fuerte” (VEF), i.e. “the strong bolivar” ever since it has been “reverse split” 1 for 1,000 in January 2008.
Image via designlimbo.com
Greek Stocks Reopen with a Thud
The Greek stock market very likely represents an emerging opportunity, as many stocks are sporting extremely low valuations these days. However, when we last discussed the Greek market, we pointed out that there was probably no hurry and more importantly, that using ETFs to play the Greek market would pose a difficulty at the current juncture.
Greek ruins – emblematic for the country’s situation.
Photo credit: fondos7.net
We spent much of January on the beach at Rancho Santana in Nicaragua. The longer we stayed, the more we liked it. It was warm and dry on the Pacific coast… but we woke up to the sound of rain on the roof this morning.
“Lake Arenal has a different climate,” our overseas real estate scout, Ronan McMahon, explained. Ronan is a young Irishman with long dark hair, a sunny disposition and a thick County Cork accent. He also advises members of our family wealth advisory, Bonner & Partners Family Office, on where to find the best real estate deals.
The Arenal volcano near Lake Arenal in Costa Rica, an artificial lake at the bottom of which the two old towns of Arenal and Tonadora lie abandoned. The lake is surrounded by a rainforest that is home to an estimated 2,000 plant species, 300 bird species and 120 different mammals, including jaguars and tapirs.
Photo via vacationscostarica.com
Why Stock Markets Are Not an Indicator of the Economy
In a free unhampered market economy based on a sound monetary system – this is to say a market-chosen monetary system with a free banking industry and no central planning institution that is manipulating interest rates and determining the size of the money supply – the gains and losses of shares prices in the stock market will simply be a reflection of entrepreneurial profits achieved in the past, plus embedded expectations of profits likely to be achieved in the future.
Nicolas Maduro, the hapless president of socialist Venezuela, here seen hung with all sorts of bling supposed to testify to his achievements.
Photo credit: Prensa Presidencial
Damp Weather in England, Crashing Markets in China
London, England – Over the weekend… it rained!
As we predicted, the Greeks voted against their creditors’ conditions for further aid. When you ask a debtor if he’d prefer not to pay, what else would you expect?
And imagine what would happen if he had never gotten the money in the first place. When government elites borrow, the money rarely gets to the voters. Small wonder they don’t want to pay the bills.
So, Europe holds its breath, waiting to see what will happen next. We are sitting in the lounge at the Hilton Hotel in London, having just flown over from the U.S. An airport TV tells us “Markets Fall.”
And in China, the stock market has lost nearly 30% in the last three weeks – wiping out $3 trillion in “wealth” that never really existed.
Prediction patch, based on the logistic equation Xn+1 = k*(Xn – Xn2) with k = 3.57 … 4.00. We have been able to make amazing predictions with this one, such as inter alia “there will be damp weather in England”. There was.
Capture by PT
Editor’s Note: As you know, Bill believes the U.S. is about to experience a violent monetary shock. So today, we’re sharing with you a classic from the archives. It’s Bill’s firsthand account of Argentina’s monetary crisis. But as an American, you may eventually experience a very similar situation …
One of the things that vexes just about everyone in Argentina is money. The value of the peso changes rapidly. There is the official rate. And there is the unofficial rate.
Nobody knows what a peso is worth. Many people – including your humble editor – have to do some pretty serious calculating. The parts of his brain that do math must be swelling from overexertion.
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