Poison Money

BALTIMORE – We live in a world of sin and sorrow, infected by a fraudulent democracy, Facebook, and a corrupt money system. Wheezing, weak, and weary from the exertion of trying to appear “normal,” the economy staggers on.

 

David-Simonds-zombie-high-011Staggering on….

Image credit: David Sidmond

 

Last week, we gained some insight into the ailment. Something in the diagnosis has puzzled us for years: How is it possible for the most advanced economy in the history of the world to make such a mess of its most basic bodily functions – getting and spending?

By our calculations – backed by studies, hunches, and deep research – the typical American man (it is less true for women) earns less in real, disposable income per hour today than he did 30 years ago.

He goes to buy a car or a house, and he finds he must work longer to pay the bill than he would have in the last years of the Reagan administration. How is that possible? What kind of economic quackery do you need to stop capitalism from increasing the value of workers’ time?

What kind of policies and circumstances are required to stiffen its joints… clog up its innards… and rot its brain? Globalization? Financialization? Bad trade deals? Too much red tape? Too many cronies? Too many zombies?

 

nonsequitor_cartoon_comic_first-economistWe can identify at least one source of the quackery…

 

All of those things played a role. But our answer is simpler: poison money. The bigger the dose… the sicker it got. When you say you “have some money,” you usually believe that there is, somewhere, an electronic database in which it is recorded that you are the owner of some amount of currency.

You have $100,000 in your account, right?   Does it mean that there is a little cubbyhole somewhere, with your name on it, in which you will find a stack of 1,000 Ben Franklins? Nope. Not even close. No cubbyhole. No stack of money. No nothing.

Does it mean the bank is carefully guarding some 1s and 0s, digital information proving that it at least “stores” your money in its database? Nope again! What it means is there is a financial institution of uncertain integrity… with a complex electronic balance sheet of uncertain accuracy… listing alleged financial claims and contracts of uncertain quality…

…and that you are one of the many thousands of entries on the debit side… with a claim to a certain number of dollars… which the institution may or may not have, each of uncertain value.

 

willie-sutton-2When prolific American bank robber Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, he reportedly said “Because that’s where the money is”. Not anymore, not really.

Photo credit: Allan Grant

 

Today, banks – and this could be said of the entire financial system – no longer have “money.” They have credits and debits. Your deposit is your bank’s liability and your asset.

But look at the balance sheet. You don’t know how many of the claims shown on the left are right… or whether, when the other creditors get finished with it, any of the assets shown on the right are left. All you know is that the system works. Until it doesn’t.

 

System Seizure

For many months, we have urged readers to prepare themselves for problems. One day, the accumulation of contradictions, misinformation, and plain old “trash” in the system will cause a seizure. You will go to the ATM, and it won’t work.

That day, your life could take a big turn to the downside… depending on how widespread the problem is… the cause of it… and how you prepared for it. Of course, we don’t know for sure that that day will ever come. We are always in doubt, especially about our own forecasts.

 

temporarily-out-of-order-533x400And then, one morning…

Photo credit: sxc

 

Still, the potential problem seems likely enough… and grave enough… to justify some minimal precautions. You might cross the street blindfolded without getting run down, but it is still a good idea to look both ways. Usually, we look to the right… where we see the problems inherent in a credit-based money system.

The feds can create all the credit they want. But real people can’t pay an infinite amount of debt service. Like a junkyard dog reaching the limit of his chain, the credit cycle has a way of jerking people back to reality.

 

Real Money

But there are other potential problems coming from the left. An electronic, credit-based money system is fragile. It can be hacked by thieves. It can be attacked by terrorists. It can be shut down by accident. Even a “bug” could bring it to its knees.

And then what? How will you get money? How will you spend it? How will you buy gasoline or food? Our advice: Keep some cash on hand. Make sure you own some gold, too – real gold, coins that you can hold in your hand and you can flip to your grandchildren.

“Hey kid,” you say with a knowing and superior air, “take a look at this. This is real money. You don’t have to plug it in.” By the way… Gold just had its best quarter in 30 years. Do buyers know something? Maybe.

 

Spot GoldDo the buyers know something? Maybe they do… – click to enlarge.

 

Chart by: BarChart.com

 

Chart and image captions by PT

 

The above article originally appeared as Our Favorite Way to Own Gold at the Diary of a Rogue Economist, written for Bonner & Partners. Bill Bonner founded Agora, Inc in 1978. It has since grown into one of the largest independent newsletter publishing companies in the world. He has also written three New York Times bestselling books, Financial Reckoning Day, Empire of Debt and Mobs, Messiahs and Markets.

 

 
 

Emigrate While You Can... Learn More

 
 

 
 

Dear Readers!

You may have noticed that our so-called “semiannual” funding drive, which started sometime in the summer if memory serves, has seamlessly segued into the winter. In fact, the year is almost over! We assure you this is not merely evidence of our chutzpa; rather, it is indicative of the fact that ad income still needs to be supplemented in order to support upkeep of the site. Naturally, the traditional benefits that can be spontaneously triggered by donations to this site remain operative regardless of the season - ranging from a boost to general well-being/happiness (inter alia featuring improved sleep & appetite), children including you in their songs, up to the likely allotment of privileges in the afterlife, etc., etc., but the Christmas season is probably an especially propitious time to cross our palms with silver. A special thank you to all readers who have already chipped in, your generosity is greatly appreciated. Regardless of that, we are honored by everybody's readership and hope we have managed to add a little value to your life.

   

Bitcoin address: 1DRkVzUmkGaz9xAP81us86zzxh5VMEhNke

   
 

2 Responses to “Rotten to the Core”

  • woodsbp:

    “You will go to the ATM, and it won’t work.”

    Big deal? Nope. You just will have to be a lot more careful (as in disciplined) – you know like, with your cash purchases. Its an olde value that seems to have been forgotten.

    “That day, your life could take a big turn to the downside… depending on how widespread the problem is… the cause of it… and how you prepared for it.”

    Nope, again. Now if you were talking about the loss of electricity: that would indeed be a big downside. I encountered one recently: an entire shopping mall was shut down for 2 hours. Not even cash customers could be served – tills needed electricity! It was a shortage of electrons – not money!

    Money is not an economic ‘problem’. Its more likely widespread income poverty. Even Adam Smith recognized that a man needed a specific level of wage-income (in a productive, capitalist economy) in order to provide the necessaries for himself and to raise and sustain a family. A service, capitalist economy will have real difficulties in providing such wage-incomes. As we are discovering.

    Gold? Nice to look at, but a tad tricky to use as currency. 99.999% of population have no fungible gold – and would not really know how to use it. Nice try though.

  • wmbean:

    Money as the root of all evil, who would have thunk it? Actually, our present situation is not too far from “The Brave New world” in which technology is restrained so as to provide full employment and where individuals are programmed to spend their non working time and their incomes, saving is not permitted. I guess the FED and the financial sector forgot about the need for employment, even the most menial type.

Your comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Most read in the last 20 days:

  • The Coming Debt Reckoning
      Licking the Log American workers, as a whole, are facing a disagreeable disorder.  Their debt burdens are increasing.  Their incomes are stagnating.   There are many reasons why.  In truth, it would take several large volumes to chronicle all of them.  But when you get down to the ‘lick log’ of it all, the disorder stems from decades of technocratic intervention that have stripped away any semblance of a free functioning, self-correcting economy.   Happy...
  • How to Stick It to Your Banker, the Federal Reserve, and the Whole Doggone Fiat Money System
      Bernanke Redux Somehow, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke found time from his busy hedge fund advisory duties last week to tell his ex-employer how to do its job.  Namely, he recommended to his former cohorts at the Fed how much they should reduce the Fed’s balance sheet by.  In other words, he told them how to go about cleaning up his mess.   Praise the Lord! The Hero is back to tell us what to do! Why, oh why have you ever left, oh greatest central planner of all...
  • India: Why its Attempt to Go Digital Will Fail
      India Reverts to its Irrational, Tribal Normal (Part XIII) Over the three years in which Narendra Modi has been in power, his support base has continued to increase. Indian institutions — including the courts and the media — now toe his line. The President, otherwise a ceremonial rubber-stamp post, but the last obstacle keeping Modi from implementing a police state, comes up for re-election by a vote of the legislative houses in July 2017.  No one should be surprised if a Hindu...
  • The Triumph of Hope over Experience
      The Guessers Convocation On Wednesday the socialist central planning agency that has bedeviled the market economy for more than a century held one of its regular meetings.  Thereafter it informed us about its reading of the bird entrails via statement (one could call this a verbose form of groping in the dark).   Modern economic forecasting rituals.   A number of people have wondered why the Fed seems so uncommonly eager all of a sudden to keep hiking rates in spite...
  • What is the Buffet Indicator Saying About Gold?
      Chugging along in Nosebleed Territory Last Friday, both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite indexes closed at record highs in the US, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average only a whisker away from its peak set in March. What has often been called the “most hated bull market in history” thus far continues  to chug along in defiance of its detractors.   Can current stock market valuations tell us something about the future trend in gold prices? Yes, they actually...
  • Moving Closer to the Precipice
      Money Supply and Credit Growth Continue to Falter The decline in the growth rate of the broad US money supply measure TMS-2 that started last November continues, but the momentum of the decline has slowed last month (TMS = “true money supply”).  The data were recently updated to the end of April, as of which the year-on-year growth rate of TMS-2 is clocking in at 6.05%, a slight decrease from the 6.12% growth rate recorded at the end of March. It remains the slowest y/y growth since...
  • The 21st Century Has Been a Big, Fat Flop
      Seeming Contradiction CACHI, ARGENTINA – Here at the Diary we have fun ridiculing the pretensions, absurdities, and hypocrisies of the ruling classes. But there is a serious side to it, too. Mockery makes us laugh. And laughing helps us wiggle free from the kudzu of fake news.   Is it real? Is it real? Is it real? Above you can see what the problem with reality is, or potentially is, in a 6-phase research undertaking that has landed its protagonist in a very disagreeable...
  • A Cloud Hangs Over the Oil Sector
      Endangered Recovery As we noted in a recent corporate debt update on occasion of the troubles Neiman-Marcus finds itself in (see “Cracks in Ponzi Finance Land”), problems are set to emerge among high-yield borrowers in the US retail sector this year. This happens just as similar problems among low-rated borrowers in the oil sector were mitigated by the rally in oil prices since early 2016. The recovery in the oil sector seems increasingly endangered though.   Too many oil...
  • Will Gold or Silver Pay the Higher Interest Rate?
      The Wrong Approach This question is no longer moot. As the world moves inexorably towards the use of metallic money, interest on gold and silver will return with it. This raises an important question. Which interest rate will be higher?   It’s instructive to explore a wrong, but popular, view. I call it the purchasing power paradigm. In this view, the value of money — its purchasing power —is 1/P (where P is the price level). Inflation is the rate of decline of...
  • Rising Oil Prices Don't Cause Inflation
      Correlation vs. Causation A very good visual correlation between the yearly percentage change in the consumer price index (CPI) and the yearly percentage change in the price of oil seems to provide support to the popular thinking that future changes in price inflation in the US are likely to be set by the yearly growth rate in the price of oil (see first chart below).   Gushing forth... a Union Oil Co. oil well sometime early in the 20th century   But is it valid to...
  • Silver Elevator Keeps Going Down – Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Frexit Threat Macronized The dollar moved strongly, and is now over 25mg gold and 1.9g silver. This was a holiday-shortened week, due to the Early May bank holiday in the UK. The lateral entrant wakes up, preparing to march on, avenge the disinherited and let loose with fresh rounds of heavy philosophizing... we can't wait! [PT]   The big news as we write this, Macron beat Le Pen in the French election. We suppose this means markets can continue to do what they wanted...
  • Warnings from Mount Vesuvius
      When Mount Vesuvius Blew   “Injustice, swift, erect, and unconfin’d, Sweeps the wide earth, and tramples o’er mankind” – Homer, The Iliad   Everything was just the way it was supposed to be in Pompeii on August 24, 79 A.D.  The gods had bestowed wealth and abundance upon the inhabitants of this Roman trading town.  Things were near perfect.   Frescoes in the so-called “Villa of the Mysteries” in Pompeii, presumed to depict scenes from a...

Support Acting Man

Austrian Theory and Investment

Own physical gold and silver outside a bank

Archive

j9TJzzN

350x200

Realtime Charts

 

Gold in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Gold in EUR:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Silver in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Platinum in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

USD - Index:

[Most Recent USD from www.kitco.com]

 

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

 
Buy Silver Now!
 
Buy Gold Now!
 

Oilprice.com