The European Union's unending quandary ... The pace of European disintegration continues to quicken. Recession deepens in the 17-member euro zone; it is now the longest downturn since the currency was launched in 2000. The union will survive only by becoming minimalist. Europeans – who are first of all Germans, French, Italians, Poles, Brits and others – may distrust their politicians, but they know them. They know their faces, their backgrounds, their accents, their tricks, their virtues. They will not – cannot – transfer that loyalty to those they do not know. They will not allow them to make decisions on how to spend the taxes citizens pay. The creation of a more integrated Europe – which sooner or later will look like a state, act like a state and thus be a state – has to be a process of small steps. Or it won't be much at all. – Reuters
Dominant Social Theme: Eventually, the EU will go from strength to strength.
Free-Market Analysis: This is an editorial and does not speak formally for Reuters. But in studying Reuters editorials we find they hew to Reuters's editorial policy, which is a globalist one.
Hamilton City Council backs living wage ... Hamilton City Council's lowest-paid staff could receive more than $100 a week after a trailblazing decision to lift workers' minimum pay rates. The council is set to become the first city in the country to adopt a living wage policy guaranteeing its staff an hourly wage of at least $18.40. In a fiercely debated decision the council voted to introduce a minimum living wage for all staff, phased in over two years, and funded from existing budgets, in a move management said would cost at least $170,000 per year. Council democracy staff last night put the final vote at 7-6 but were checking elected members' votes because of earlier confusion over the final voting split. – Stuffco.NZ
Dominant Social Theme: Yes, let government print money and pay for all of us. It's simple, risk free and above all, equitable.
Free-Market Analysis: Because we cover memes, we long ago figured this one out, though admittedly it took some time. But after a while it came clear to us that the globalists were seemingly set on implementing a neo-National Socialist platform around the world if it meant they would be able to maintain their authoritarian grip on money and the governments that print it.
Don't be fooled: Gold is no currency ... An investment in search of a believable story ...Gold is an investment in search of a story — or at least one that's true more often than not. That's not to say there aren't lots of tales told around gold ... Gold bugs spun that yarn on the notion that paper currencies — especially the dollar — were having their value destroyed by reckless, money-printing central banks. We had reached a long-overdue moment, they told us, in which gold is recognized as the only reliable store of value with which to protect future purchasing power. – MSNBC
Dominant Social Theme: Gold? Fuggedaboutit.
Free-Market Analysis: Here once more we see the mainstream media taking aim at money metals. The idea is to discredit gold as an investment.
We don't understand this antipathy. (All right, perhaps we do; but we certainly don't agree with it.)
Goldman: Four Reasons Why the Market is Going Much Higher ... Last night's much-buzzed about research report from Goldman Sachs, in which the firm lays out its new S&P targets, contains an interesting rationale for higher stock prices. Rather than making the bull case based on earnings growth, Goldman believes that the 2% dividend yield on the S&P 500 will serve as a rising floor of sorts. This, along with an expanding PE multiple, augur well for US equities. – The Reformed Broker
Dominant Social Theme: Stocks are on a tear, despite the recent Nikkei setback.
Free-Market Analysis: Goldman Sachs has released a research report with four reasons why stocks are poised to go higher, as related in this short article posted over at The Reformed Broker.
The reasons reduce to some simple observations. First, the economy is getting better, meaning that good economic news will buoy stocks; second, stocks will continue to outperform bonds, which means stocks will attract a good flow of investment cash; third, companies will raise dividends, making stocks more attractive for those interested in an income stream; fourth, interest rates may remain low, benefiting stocks.
This week's Solari Story from Catherine Austin Fitts is titled "Losers Make the Pie Bigger." Here's a bit of the transcript:
"I was at a Christian revival in Atlanta for women and I was there with my church, and I had been studying spiritual warfare with a wonderful pastor who was there with me. And the leader of the revival was from Texas and it was during the election and he brought George W. Bush in by monitor. George Bush was running for president at the time. And the whole crowd stood up cheering for George W. Bush.
"One of the interesting things about this wonderful pastor was she had worked at the DEA and there was nothing about drug running and allegations of drug running by the Bush family and the Clinton family that she didn't know. And, in fact, her son, I think, had been shot at in a drive-by shooting the week before. So there was nothing about drugs and corruption in this country that she didn't – she was a very knowledgeable person.
"So she and everyone, 100,000 African-American women, stood up cheering for George W Bush, including my pastor. And I said to her, "Wait a minute. I just lost my fortune and almost lost my life trying to stop and bring transparency to narcotics trafficking including that alleged by the Bushes and you never jumped up cheering for me but you just jumped up cheering for him." And she said, "Well, he's going to be the winner." And I said, "So he's a winner and I'm a loser?" And she said, "Yeah, that's right."
Derivatives Reform on the Ropes ... New rules to regulate derivatives, adopted last week by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, are a victory for Wall Street and a setback for financial reform. They may also signal worse things to come ... The regulations, required under the Dodd-Frank reform law, are intended to impose transparency and competition on the notoriously opaque multitrillion-dollar market for derivatives, which is dominated by five banks: JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley. – New York Times
Dominant Social Theme: We have this billion trillion market under control. Don't worry.
Free-Market Analysis: Derivatives reform? We hardly think so ...
First of all, nobody knows how big the derivatives market is and no one knows how many dollars are at risk. Those involved in making the regulations are also the largest players in the market. Whatever "reform" is being worked out will benefit those who are part of the industry.
Too soon to dial back Fed stimulus ... It is too soon to determine whether to dial down the Federal Reserve's massive bond-buying program, and the economic picture may not be clear enough to make that decision for another three or four months, an influential U.S. central bank official said. New York Fed President William Dudley, a close ally of Chairman Ben Bernanke, said on Bloomberg TV that it was possible to taper down the $85 billion in monthly asset purchases by the fall "if the economy does better and if the labor market continues to improve" in the face of tighter fiscal policies. − Reuters
Dominant Social Theme: The Fed has it under control ...
Free-Market Analysis: Money printing works in ways that central bankers need it to work. More money is inflationary in a mathematical sense. That doesn't mean it can be quantified, but we can watch it at work.
The most obvious place we can see it at work is in the stock market. Because this is a game of control, the money that is printed is not given to individuals but is funneled through "banks" and financial facilities. But this is just a distraction.
Liberalism not at fault for recent scandals ... If in any of these situations even one person of influence had adhered to the basic tenets of liberalism all of these scandals could have been avoided ... Never mind that there is zero correlation between the political ideology called liberalism and the cascading scandals of the Obama administration. If anything, it's the opposite: it's the undeniably illiberal actions of people within the government that has created these crises. To suggest that any of this happened because the government is too big, or even that the aim of liberalism is to make government bigger, is a gross distortion. – USA Today
Dominant Social Theme: It is not the size of government that matters but the intentions.
Free-Market Analysis: According to this editorial at USA Today, good intentions can triumph over power. We are supposed to ignore the insight that "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely," and embrace the idea that even the biggest government can be brought to heel by good intentions.
The headline said it all: "Confusion and Staff Troubles Rife at I.R.S. Office in Ohio." No mention of mendacity, of evil, of meanness, of vice. Nada.
For liberals, their own pals are never morally amiss. They may make mistakes, be confused and have troubles. But guilty of malpractice never! Only Republicans and others who do not share their own attitudes can possibly be morally, ethically defective. When a Republican votes for reducing increases in welfare budgets or subsidies or other support for what liberals consider right and proper, the problem lies with their moral fiber, their lack of decency and good will. Not so with anything that liberals mismanage − that can only be due to some kind of technical malfeasance − confusion and "staff troubles."
How do these folks manage, intellectually, to dodge the moral and ethical ire they are so eager to dish out at their opponents?
BIS and IMF attacks on quantitative easing deeply misguided warn monetarists ... Monetarists across the world have warned that the International Monetary Fund and the Bank for International Settlements are making an historic error by calling for a withdrawal of emergency stimulus before the global economy has fully recovered. The BIS warned against "ever more monetary policy activism" to keep the global economy afloat. It called on the US, Britain, Japan, and the eurozone, to restore interest rates to normal levels "sooner rather than later." – UK Telegraph
Dominant Social Theme: We know what we're doing but we're just having a little argument.
Free-Market Analysis: Is this more evidence that monetary policy is merely made up as it goes along? Now we have the spectacle of three of the largest central banks in the world expanding money printing while two of the largest monetary-policy institutions attack those same programs.
What can we make of this? What is stranger is that the BIS is the policy arm of the central banking community and certainly has some oversight. The IMF, too, may be seen as a coordinating body with considerable monetary power. The bosses, in other words, are jawboning their employees.
George Soros switches from physical gold to gold stocks and that is very bullish for gold prices ... Ever the investor who loves to confuse markets – remember how his description of gold as the 'ultimate bubble' confused some folk as he bought the metal himself – George Soros has done it again with his gold ETF sales. Today the global financial press is awash with reports that Mr. Soros has sold gold again. True. But he has reinvested that money in a far more risky investment in gold miners whose performance is leveraged against the gold price. They go up faster than the gold price and they fall further when it comes down too. – GoldSeek
Dominant Social Theme: Gold, the barbaric metal.
Free-Market Analysis: We learn in this short article that billionaire investor George Soros is betting on mining stocks. "Very bullish," for gold, the article tells us. Here's more:
The Soros Investment Fund's 13F filing does indeed show the sale of 12 per cent of his total investment in GLD. But it also reveals that he then used $40 million of that cash to buy shares of the Market Vectors Gold Miner Major ETF (GDX).
China to the rescue of Argentina with a 10 billion dollars equivalent swap ... Argentina is negotiating with China a new 10 billon dollars equivalent swap of international reserves support based on the experience of 2009 when the global financial crisis. The new accord should theoretically help Argentina strengthen its international position vis-à-vis the run on the dollar (or the flight from the Peso) and which has cost the Central bank 4 billion dollars so far this year. – MercoPress
Dominant Social Theme: The Chinese are undermining the dollar and are very clever people. It's West versus East, as it has been eternally.
Free-Market Analysis: We have a lot of trouble taking this at face value but first we should provide the background. Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez is in discussions with Chinese Vice-president Li to accept Argentine pesos within the context of yuan-peso swap. Here's more:
The swap does not actually mean an increase in international reserves unless there is a critical situation when a trigger goes off but it is a clear support for Argentina ...
Euro – Quo Vadis? How much more punishment will Europeans take to defend the misconceived Euro currency? ... The Eurozone is in crisis, and only bold reforms can tackle the root causes. In the following article, Wolfgang Kasper explains why we should be tuning the clock back to before the Maasstricht Treaty, and proposes that an understanding of institutional economics is crucial in order to comprehend the current politico- economic predicament. – Elgar Blog
Dominant Social Theme: Europe is doing fine and Brussels wouldn't have it any other way.
Free-Market Analysis: Another economist who was an early commentator on the euro-treaty has abandoned the idea of a currency union. The article is written by Wolfgang Kasper, and here is a short bio:
Wolfgang Kasper is emeritus Professor of Economics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he worked for the German Council of Economic Advisors and published analytical work on early proposals by the European Commission to impose a unitary currency on nations of the (then) European Economic Community. He was the lead author of W. Kasper, M.E. Streit, P.J. Boettke, Institutional Economics – Property, Competition, Policies.
There are no scandals in Washington. There is simply a turnover. We are preparing for an escalation of the global financial war. The old team is simply being told to step aside. Make way for the killers.
When G-7 concluded their emergency meeting in London last weekend, they announced that they were going to target tax havens. What does this mean? After months of G-7 central banks buying mortgage bonds and equities, the hunt for capital is on. Of course, we knew the tax havens were in the crosshairs already – only intelligence agencies can dump out the kind of leaks we have been seeing over the last month leading up to the G-7 meeting.
However, the seriousness of the capital moves underway were underscored by the swiftness with which a "scandal" was trumped up and ready to go at the IRS, with headlines on Monday morning, the leadership was out on Wednesday and a new acting from OMB in at the IRS on Thursday. Wonder who the new commissioner will be? That is being sorted out now. It will be someone masterful at legal warfare – "lawfare."
Over the past month there has been a statistically improbable concurrence of events that can only be explained as a conspiracy to protect the dollar from the Federal Reserve's policy of Quantitative Easing (QE).
Quantitative Easing is the term given to the Federal Reserve's policy of printing 1,000 billion new dollars annually in order to finance the US budget deficit by purchasing US Treasury bonds and to keep the prices high of debt-related derivatives on the "banks too big to fail" (BTBF) balance sheets by purchasing mortgage-backed derivatives. Without QE, interest rates would be much higher, and values on the banks' balance sheets would be much lower.
Quantitative Easing has been underway since December 2008. During these 54 months, the Federal Reserve has created several trillion new dollars with which the Fed has monetized the same amount of debt.
One result of this policy is that most real US interest rates are negative. Another result is that the supply of dollars has outstripped the world's demand for dollars.