03/25/2015 - The “Natural Interest Rate” Is Always Positive And Cannot Be Negative! – Professor Dr. Thorsten Polleit

The True Purpose of Negative-Interest-Rate Policy

For some reason, those who argue that the originary interest rate has become negative seem to overlook that the originary interest rate is a phenomena which is not confined to credit markets. It pervades all markets in which present goods are exchanged for future goods.

For instance, the originary interest rate prevails at each stage of the economy’s time-consuming roundabout production. The originary interest rate also exists in the stock market, where investors exchange present money against a claim on future money (that is a firm’s dividend payment).

If they wanted to be consistent, the believers in a negative originary interest rate would have to call for a policy that does not only make interest rates negative in real terms in the credit market, but also in the markets for, say, stocks and housing.

However, a policy that advocates destroying firms’ values and peoples’ housing wealth wouldn’t be taken too kindly by the public at large; and those economists recommending it couldn’t expect being cheered.

The consequence of a policy of a negative real market interest rate should have become obvious by now:

It is an actually perfidious policy for debasing the real value of outstanding debt; and it is a recipe for wreaking havoc on the economy.

Market interest rates may become negative in real terms. In a “hampered market,” for instance, the central bank can push the real market interest rate into negative territory. However, this does not, and cannot, represent an equilibrium, as time preference and thus the originary interest rate cannot become negative.

Should a central bank really succeed in making all market interest rates negative in real terms, savings and investment would come to a shrieking halt: as time preference and the originary interest rate are always positive, “capitalistic saving” — the accumulation of goods designed for improving the production process — would come to an end. Capital consumption would ensue, throwing mankind back into poverty. It would be the end of the market economy.

It might be interesting to note in this context that, for instance, the German national socialists had called for the abolition, the prohibition of the interest rate. Now you know why: Without a positive (originary) interest rate, the market economy will cease to function.

LINK HERE for Full Article

Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed in this blog post may or may not be representative of the views or opinions of the Financial Repression Authority.

03/23/2015 - Professor Guido Hulsmann Talks Financial Repression

Special Guest: Professor Guido Hulsmann – Professor of Economics, University of Angers, France



“Financial Repression is the name we give to all the different government interventions in which governments seek to improve their own bargaining position with financial markets.”

“As a consequence of Financial Repression (that is of government intervention) people use their savings differently than they would otherwise have used. Therefore different people benefit from those savings (most probably the government itself) to a greater extent than otherwise would have been the case.”


“The most surprising developments have been regulation, like the Dodd-Frank Act, Basel III, FATCA. They are pretty intrusive. These regulations have been sold to the public as necessary to control the financial markets, which is certainly the case but this is one side, the other is precisely the cause. Governments control the markets and can force Insurance Companies, Banks, Investment Trusts to use their funds in a certain way that governments are then ready to benefit from. This is very often at the expense of the savers.”



The amount of paperwork and red tape that will be required to comply with expanding regulations is already growing dramatically. “We already require by law in Europe, for example, for an Investment Fund to have a Risk Officer who reports directly to the Ministry of Finance. It is absolutely mind boggling and it makes it very difficult for people to continue doing business profitably – it makes it quite miserable unless you are a big firm!” “These rules boil down to squeezing all small and even medium sized businesses out of business!”


“I expect a trend that will become much larger and more important in the future is what I call “Forced Lending to the State of Forced Savings!” Professor Hulsmann sees Pensions as being a particularly attractive target for this sort of trend.


We have already seen this most evidently in the area of Precious Metals price rigging. “This is because they are the natural alternative to hold savings outside of Financial Markets and Real Estate Markets! Both are artificially bloated thanks to central bank policy.”… “it is natural that people turn to Precious Metals because there is no counterparty risk”.


“Under a fiat money standard, governments (or their central banks) may obligate themselves to bail out, with increased issues of standard money, any bank or any major bank in distress. In the late nineteenth century, the principle became accepted that the central bank must act as the “lender of last resort”, which will lend money freely to banks threatened with failure. Another recent American device to abolish the confidence limitation on bank credit is “deposit insurance”, whereby the government guar­antees to furnish paper money to redeem the banks’ demand li­abilities. These and similar devices remove the market brakes on rampant credit expansion.

According to Hülsmann, there are four groups of legal privileges granted by the state (usually more than one is granted):

  • Legalized Counterfeiting – the promises of banks are allowed to be more “elastic”. For example, a coin marked “an ounce of gold” will be allowed to have any amount of gold or none, and can have any meaning. Banknotes were named “promises to pay”, but were obscure on the details.
  • Monopoly – only some monetary products may be produced by law, like a specific metal; or only the banknotes or coins of a certain bank. This limits the freedom of choice of users of money and benefits the producers and first recipients at the detriment of others.
  • Legal Tender is a money, that must be accepted in exchanges under a predefined price. Some monies may be driven out of the market due to Gresham’s Law.
  • Legalized Suspension of Payments allows banks to avoid paying their obligations, while receiving payments from their debtors. If a bank is freed from contractual obligations to redeem its money and it is also legal tender, its banknotes become genuine paper money.

With legal privileges the banks are allowed to behave more irresponsibly, which increases moral hazard.


“Without a Fiat Currency system it is impossible to create a permanent positive price inflation rate. With the gold standard the tendency for the price level was generally deflationary… a constantly declining price levels.”

“If you have declining prices then there is a very strong incentive for savers to not worry about any financial investments at all, but to just save in the form of cash … when you have constantly increasing prices… holding cash becomes suicidal for savers. You then have only two choices. Buy Real Estate or Financial Titles. You get promises of remuneration for your savings so you are partially compensated for the lose of purchasing power.”

“Deflationary Recessions are a healing process – it is what precisely gets the economy back in touch with the real world and allow you to move forward event more forcibly!

Please link to the page of our Austrian research seminar:

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Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed in this blog post may or may not be representative of the views or opinions of the Financial Repression Authority.





Going Offshore is not about Tax Evasion it is about SAFETY against predatory and self serving Private Litigation & Exploding Government Laws, Regulations, Fines, Licenses and Fees.



Land of the Free is Not So Free!


There is a difference between TAX EVASION and TAX AVOIDANCE.

One is illegal, the other is a family responsibility!


Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed in this blog post may or may not be representative of the views or opinions of the Financial Repression Authority.

03/20/2015 - Financial Repression Consequences: Central Banks are Punishing Savers For the Benefit of Governments & the Banks

“These days, interest rates tell us little about a nation’s creditworthiness .. The culprit behind this mess is a familiar one: central banks. Targeted rate reductions, quantitative easing, and other easy-money shenanigans have pushed rates to the floor .. and through it in some cases. Germany, Switzerland, Japan, France, Holland, and even troubled Italy are among the growing number of countries with negative-yielding government bonds. Negative-interest-rate policies (NIRP) have even spilled over into the corporate world. This upside-down environment makes it difficult for investors to grasp underlying economic conditions, especially since there’s no historic precedent. Credit has never been so abundant. The world has also never had so many currencies deadlocked in a race to the bottom. We are truly in uncharted territory .. Artificially suppressed rates have punished savers, encouraged reckless consumerism, and spurred share buyback crazes in the United States and Japan—a trend that’s likely to pick up in Europe now that the European Central Bank has begun its own bond-buying program .. Monetary policy is the only game in town.”
– Casey Research


Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed in this blog post may or may not be representative of the views or opinions of the Financial Repression Authority.

03/18/2015 - Kristina Hooper: Allianz Global Talks Financial Repression

Special Guest: Kristina Hooper – Managing Director, US Investment Strategist, Allianz Global Investors



What is financial repression?

Government actions (lower interest rates, increased regulations, etc.) to reduce debt while maintaining inflation

Goal: Create negative real (after-inflation) returns and inflate away public debt by forcing real rates below GDP growth

Why does it matter to investors?

It’s a “stealth tax” that systematically strips wealth; “safe” investments no longer generate enough income

It rewards debtors and punishes savers—especially retirees

Financial repression: It’s happening now around the globe

A Financial Repression checklist:

  • Extremely low key interest rates and bond yields
  • Central bank purchases of government bonds
  • Political pressure on banks to purchase government bonds
  • Nationalization of select banks
  • Repression-friendly regulatory measures
  • Restrictions on foreign capital movements
  • Pension asset transfers to government



Cash alone may not cut it. Consider whether you are properly diversified to generate the income you need,

Add risk-mitigating strategies to provide downside protection and total return,

Consider moving a portion of your fixed income portfolio out of traditional instruments for income,

Look beyond traditional bonds for alternative sources of income,

Have adequate exposure to equities,

Use an actively managed multi-asset solution

Post-QE, Active Management will be key to uncovering growth opportunities.

Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed in this blog post may or may not be representative of the views or opinions of the Financial Repression Authority.

03/14/2015 - Financial Repression: Regulators Restricting and Directing Investor Freedom and Behavior

Market Watch article reports on new rules by the SEC on certain bond funds to prevent an investor exodus of a short period of time, similar to what happened at the beginning of the financial crisis .. these rules are influencing investor behavior .. [This is another example of financial repression – governments & regulators ‘ring-fencing’ to control the movement of capital.


Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed in this blog post may or may not be representative of the views or opinions of the Financial Repression Authority.

03/13/2015 - Peter Boockvar Talks Financial Repression

Special Guest: Peter Poockvar – Managing Director, Chief Market Analyst, The Lindsey Group



“Financial Repression is the artificial suppression of interest rates well below the rate of inflation and well below what they would be otherwise if set by the supply and demand for money. That is what should determine what the cost of money is!”


“The central banks are pressuring you to act today in some activity that you would otherwise have done tomorrow. They want you to buy a car today, they want you to buy a house today, they want you to buy that stock today – not tomorrow. It just pulls demand activity forward! When this begins activity in the short term accelerates both in terms of both economic activity and higher asset prices. At some point you reach a wall where you have pulled forward so much activity that you have reached the law of diminishing returns!”

“All of this has pulled forward future returns on asset prices, but that doesn’t stop asset prices from going higher! … “You get short term benefits but at the expense of long term costs. You pay for it over the long term.”… “What the central bankers actually end up creating is Deflation because of the excess capacity build-up to match the artificially created demand!”

We have Deflation presently in Commodity prices but in the US we have Inflation in Professional Services.

“Central Bankers have ‘mucked’ up the entire concept of Supply & Demand and price discovery. All the various inputs are ‘out of whack relative to where they would be historically!”


“We know the Fed lost control of commodity prices. The Fed is trying to generate inflation and commodity prices have gone the exact opposite way! At some point they are also going to lose control of stock prices.”

“ECB QE was the final act of Central Bank Largesse!”

“There is literally Monetary Madness Going On!”


“This ends when Inflation actually starts to increase! When Interest Rates do start to rise and in affect take away the printing press of the central bankers. Right now Central Bankers have given themselves license to do what they want because at these low levels of inflation, but at some point the bond market is not going to be so accommodating!”

The Central Bankers are trapped in a policy they can’t get out of. It is ridiculous that after 6 years of ZIRP everyone is ‘freaking out’ over a mere 25 basis point increase.

The Fed’s academic econometric models are flashing red over labor market metrics. Therefore they will increase rates in June irrelevant of whether that is actually the right thing to do (assuming you believe the Labor numbers) . That is what guides them.

“The issue is not whether the Fed raises rates but rather the turbulence it causes and what it means to potential future rate hikes.”


The combined Fed tightening and a changed earnings picture suggest the basis for rising equity markets is no longer there. The Multiple expansion game is not there.

“How far we decline I am not sure. I am not sure where the Yellen ‘Put’ is. It is an ‘out of the money’ Put but I am not sure what the strike price is! I don’t know if it is 15% or 25% lower. I am pretty sure if we are down 20-25% Yellen will cut rates below where she has them after raising them in June. I would then not be surprised to see another round of QE.”

Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed in this blog post may or may not be representative of the views or opinions of the Financial Repression Authority.

03/13/2015 - Doug Noland Talks Financial Repression

Special Guest: Doug Noland – Credit Analyst



“Financial Repression is fundamental to current policy to try and sustain a global credit bubble… Policies have become ever more desperate as the credit bubble has gone global! It is a matter of policy makers distorting the incentives, especially the financial incentives. It is particularly painful for savers. Policy makers want to drive money out of savers into risk markets by creating incentives for speculation and leveraging to reflate the system and generate significant credit growth.

“It is flawed economic doctrine, flawed policy making and goes back a long way.”

  • After the 1987 Stock Market Crash the Greenspan Fed flooded the market with liquidity,
  • We then had the late 80’s excesses and that bubble burst,
  • In the early 90;s the Greenspan Fed came in and aggressively slashed interest rates and created a steep yield curve so the banks could borrow cheap and lend dear,
  • It created leveraged speculation,
  • We have been in serial bubbles ever since then. Each gets bigger and each post reflationary effort is even more extraordinary.
  • The ‘Once in 100 Year Flood’ was not the 2008 Crisis. We are in an even bigger bubble now. It is a Global Bubble. It is at the heart of money and credit. When the next crisis occurs the policies of Financial Repression won’t have much of an impact unfortunately.


“Back in the 1990’s I was obsessed with trying to understand how an impaired banking system from the early 1990’s morphed into this new age financial system that was fueling historic prosperity and a bull market. By the late 1990’s I was convinced we had fundamentally changed finance. That uniquely for the first time in history we had global credit that was unconstrained. The quality and quantity of credit was unrestrained. There was no gold standard, there was no Bretton Woods Monetary regime, there was not even any ad hoc. dollar reserve system to restrain credit. Unlike historically when credit was dominated by bank lending, this new credit that developed in the 1990’s was market based – securitization, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Derivatives, Wall Street Finance. I was convinced that credit which is unstable would see this new credit highly unstable.”

“I believed the government would reign this credit in. I had no inkling that the government would accommodate this type of credit and use this type of credit for reflationary policy. That is really how it got away from them! Accommodating financial leveraging and speculation etc.”


“I am very much a free market person. I want the market to dictate price. As much as possible I want the government out of it. I look at the Financial Sphere and Economic Sphere. The Financial Sphere needs to be carefully regulated. You cannot have unconstrained credit! You cannot have a Financial Sphere that inflates at a whim because that distorts the pricing mechanism.”

“I fear that when the crisis collapses the system it is going to be folks like us and our listeners who will have defend Capitalism by saying:

“Capitalism wasn’t to blame. It was a run away Financial Sphere and poor Policy making in managing money & credit that was the culprit!”

Capitalism is not flawed but instead has vulnerabilities. We cannot disregard these vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities are in Credit. We have disregarded the vulnerabilities within Capitalism. We have not separated the real economy pricing mechanism which operates very differently in the Financial Sphere.

This extensive discussion covers a wide range of subjects including:

  • FINANCIAL FRAGILITY – As long as Credit is expanding things looks good. But it camouflages the underlying financial fragility.

“You can now expect the unexpected from Policy Makers”

Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed in this blog post may or may not be representative of the views or opinions of the Financial Repression Authority.

03/13/2015 - Marshall Auerback of INET Talks Financial Repression

Special Guest: Marshall Auerback – Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)



“Financial Repression can be a fairly loaded word. I think you can say that anytime you have a central bank which is a monopoly of anything, which can establish a price, you can have repression. I am less concerned with the labels and more concerned with the fact that we have been in response to this unprecedented crisis, been increasingly undertaking exotic experiments on behalf of the central banks. Most notably Quantitative Easing. It has had the effect of repressing interest rates or keeping them low. This of course is great for borrowers, but has the unintended by-product of depriving people of income.”


Financial Repression is an experiment that ” is flawed in terms of the economics behind it. I don’t think it does much to help elevate aggregate demand (spending power) and it turns out to be a large implicit subsidy for the financial sector.”

“As far as I am concerned we are already over-financed as an economy and do too much for the banks anyway. It is really a fundamentally mistaken policy approach!”


“We have had three rounds of Quantitative Easing by the Fed, we have undertaken similar policies in Japan and more recently in Europe. If you look at the impact it has been rather minimal! The Japanese economy is still pretty stagnant. The US is growing but I believe that has less to do with QE and more to do with the fact that we had a fairly robust fiscal policy response after the crisis in 2009. Likewise in Europe we have been mired in depression like numbers which is worse than anything we had in the 1930s. It hasn’t worked but we keep trying it.”

“The economics behind it are flawed. it is based on the notion that if a bank buys a bond and puts reserves into the banking system that somehow it can encourage the banker to lend. We actually don’t lend out reserves and are only used for interbank lending amongst banks. Also lending is a two way process. You have to have a credit worthy borrower and a credit worthy lender. If you have individuals or business that are piled down with debt they may not be very credit worthy or they may be less inclined to take on more debt”

“You want to engender rising employment, rising income so people aren’t as reliant on credit. I think that is the problem our system has had over the last 30 years. We have become Credit centric versus Income centric!”

“We have been conducting this ‘pulmonary resuscitation’ to a fundamentally dead financial system rather than use the money to revive the economy and transition it into more productive economic activity.”


“When you have an economy that is over financialized and banks account for a disproportionate amounts of activity, and you have a compensation incentive system that is highly dependent on share price appreciation, then you provide a very perverse incentive for business not to invest in productive business affairs but to use excessive cash to buyback shares.”

“What is worse is you begin to use all sorts of accounting tricks. This is what Professor Bill Black calls ‘Control Fraud’ . You get a form of casino capitalism. Actually, the casinos in Las Vegas are regulated more favorably than the banks are.”


Marshall Auerback believes we have had excessive build-up in Corporate and Household debt. “When you have a demand shock, then servicing that debt becomes a problem. You end up with a large build-up of public debt in response.” Unfortunately those who benefited now want cuts to things like Medicare that were not the cause of the problem. “Its a pretty perverse example of the wrong headed people running our system.”

Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed in this blog post may or may not be representative of the views or opinions of the Financial Repression Authority.

03/13/2015 - Investing Priorities in Financial Repression: Regular Income, Preservation of Capital, Inflation-Purchasing Power Protection

Create Research’s Amin Rajan sees the changing priorities of investors & in particular retirement money going into a new breed of diversified funds that target the evolving priorities – see above chart .. financial repression in a debt-fueled world are causing investors to rethink & to reallocate their funds .. permission for the below article provided by Amin Rajan, Create Research



Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed in this blog post may or may not be representative of the views or opinions of the Financial Repression Authority.

03/12/2015 - Financial Repression Creating Distorted Market Prices & Divergence Between Wall Street & Main Street

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“All of the massive liquidity—-which took the Fed’s balance sheet from $900 billion to $2.5 trillion in less than a year—–worked it magic in the canyons of Wall Street, not in the household and business sectors of the main street economy .. The 5X gain in the Fed’s balance sheet .. has not been harmless——even though it has not stimulated the main street economy. What is has done, obviously, is reflate a massive financial bubble. The latter will splatter eventually, sending the main street economy into a new tailspin of short-term labor and inventory liquidation and another financial crisis for no reason whatsoever .. Do not these clueless Keynesian apparatchiks recognize that the money market rate and the yield curve are the most important prices in all of capitalism, and that their policy of massive and continuous financial repression generates blatantly false prices in the financial markets and therefore rampant speculation and asset price inflation? .. Needless to say, another quarter of no ‘escape velocity’ on main street and a further round of Kool Aid drinker speculation on Wall Street takes us just that much closer to the brink. Yet the Fed remains oblivious and continues to manufacture excuses and equivocations as to why ZIRP should extend into its 80th month and beyond .. This is mis-governance on a colossal scale. So when the next thundering crash occurs—-it is devoutly to be hoped that ‘audit the Fed’ turns out to be the least of the threats descending on the Eccles Building.”

– David Stockman


Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed in this blog post may or may not be representative of the views or opinions of the Financial Repression Authority.

03/10/2015 - Rick Rule Talks Financial Repression

Special Guest: Rick Rule – Chairman and Chief Executive Officers of Sprott US Holdings



“Financial controls or ‘trickery’ imposed on the public by the state.”

“There is certainly financial ‘trickery’ imposed on us by large financial institutions but they do that utilizing the state or in conjunction with the state. The practical manifestation of Financial Repression are all around us. I would suggest that a large part of the manadate of the Securites and Exchange Commission as an example is to effect barriers to entry to smaller participants in the securities business.

The most egregious forms of Financial Repression are in the first instance:

  • Tax (which many regard as slavery – I don’t but regard it as extortion!)
  • The Manipulation of Interest Rates and
  • The Manipulation of the Currency.”

“The interest rates payable to savers relative to the real rate of depreciation of the purchasing power of – pick one: the dollar, the euro, the yen – are despicable!”


“As recently as October last year I had the pleasure of listening to Alan Greenspan who ironically (despite the fact he is a vowed libertarian and architect of a lot of this Financial Repression) and he said something very stark too the audience! He said that a sound currency is not consistent with a representative democracy. A sound currency benefits the productive class and savers. In a representative democracy most of the people are spenders. Low interest rates and a depreciating currency aids the spenders and borrowers. It doesn’t aid the savers. In that context Financial Repression is understandable and I’m afraid inevitable.”


Rick Rule feels that the perverse incentives from manipulated data has resulted in a lack of investment within the US in Productive Assets that would allow the employment of technology and the real wages of workers to rise.

The reason is:

1- If you aren’t seeing underlining demand and top line sales growth in your business, why would invest in productive capacity?

2- The US Tax Code is anti-growth. Depreciation schedules are much more investor friendly even in socialist countries today that in the US.


“We appear to be in a place in history and the economy where there is extraordianary faith in the big thinkers in the world – the Merkels, the Obamas, the Greenspans, the Yellens. It is partly this faith that is allowing them to keep these interest rates this low. It is a belief that the big thinkers of the world “stick handled” societies global financial crisis of 2008 and by managing the levers of the economy, managed to save us from ourselves. I would of course disagree with that diagnosis (but no one cares much what I think). I certainly believe that savers will tire of buying financial instruments that have no real yield. If you think about the value proposition as an example offered up by the bellwether savings instrument world wide (the US 10 Year Treasury) yielding 1.8%. What that means is the Fed absolutely, positively guarantees you 1.8% per year for 10 years. The difficulty I have with that is that even at their ascribed CPI inflation rate, what they are promising you is 20 basis points a year in real yield. Jim Grant famously described that as “Return Free Risk”.


“I don’t know what is going to happen with gold short term”. “What will move Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium are first and foremost is a reduction in confidence in the US dollar and the US 10 Year Treasury. It important to understand that gold doesn’t need to win the war. It just needs to lose the war less badly!”

“Gold has performed admirably outside the US over the last year.”

Gold can be seen to be already in a Bull Market globally – except in the US, as a result of a 25% rise in the US dollar.

Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed in this blog post may or may not be representative of the views or opinions of the Financial Repression Authority.


The 4 pillars of Financial Repression:

1. Inflation

2. Negative Real Interest Rates

3. Ring Fencing

4. Obfuscation & Mis-Information



Graham Summers of Phoenix Capital writes:

For six years, we’ve been told that the US economy is in recovery.

This is a totally bogus narrative that was dreamt up by the Central Planners running the Fed. Remember the “green shoots” craze of 2009. It was BS. The US economy is a disaster and has been since 2009.

The bean counters in Washington fabricate a load of nonsense to “prove” otherwise, but telling someone who is 5’6” tall that they are actually 6” tall doesn’t change their height.

Similarly, telling Americans experiencing a REAL unemployment rate of 10+% and an underemployment rate in the high teens that the economy is “recovering” doesn’t change their real-world experience.


Gordon T Long supported this view in the March edition of the GMTP where he wrote:

The U.S. is delivering at a staggeringly low rate of 44%, which is the number of full-time jobs as a percent of the adult population, 18 years and older. We need that to be 50% and a bare minimum of 10 million new, good jobs to replenish America’s middle class.


    1. GIVEN UP – If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job — if you are so hopelessly out of work that you’ve stopped looking over the past four weeks — the Department of Labor doesn’t count you as unemployed. That’s right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news — currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed.
ANY INCOME – There’s another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you’re an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 — maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn — you’re not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.
  1. UNDER-EMPLOYED – Those working part time but wanting full-time work. If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because it is all you can find — in other words, you are severely underemployed — the government doesn’t count you in the 5.6%.
  2. BIRTH DEATH MODEL – a Plug number that shows dramatic job growth yet the net new enterprises added in America is Negative 70,000 over the last 6 years. Big corporations are still cutting (HP -58,000, America Express -4000) so the number is obviously a statistical “fix”

When the media, talking heads, the White House and Wall Street start reporting the truth — the percent of Americans in good jobs; jobs that are full time and real — then we will quit wondering why Americans aren’t “feeling” something that doesn’t remotely reflect the reality in their lives.And we will also quit wondering what hollowed out the middle class.

Only 15% of those entering working age population are finding jobs

Graham Summes of Phoenix Capital also writes :


As far as real economic growth goes, if you want a clear picture, you need to look at nominal GDP growth. The reason for this is that because the Fed greatly understates inflation, the official GDP numbers are horribly inaccurate.

By using nominal GDP measures, you remove the Feds’ phony deflator metric and the other accounting gimmicks created by the bean counters to overstate growth. With that in mind, consider the year over year change in nominal GDP that has occurred.

03-02-15-US-INDICATORS-GROWTH-Nominal gdp

Historically, the level of economic growth post 2010 has been associated with recessions. Small wonder that this “recovery” actually feels like an economy that is not growing: when you take out the accounting gimmicks, GDP is flat lining.


Speaking of accounting gimmicks consider the massive divergence between corporate revenue growth and EPS growth (hat tip Lance Roberts). You cannot fake revenues: they represent real growth. EPS on the other hand, can be massaged a million different ways.


Notice that the un-massaged growth post-2009 is just 30%. The massaged “growth” is 250%. Bear in mind, executive stock options are linked to EPS… so guess who got rich in the process.

Again, this whole economic “recovery” and stock market boom is based on accounting gimmicks and outright fraud. It’s a giant house of cards that is primed to come crashing down… just as it did in 2000, 2007… and will today.


Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed in this blog post may or may not be representative of the views or opinions of the Financial Repression Authority.

03/07/2015 - The Financial Repression of LIBOR: Causing the Biggest Bubble

Forbes article emphasizes the worst “scandal” of LIBOR, not what happened a couple years ago when the LIBOR rate was found to be controlled by a few banks – but about the effects of a low LIBOR rate (low interest rates) on the global economy .. what is LIBOR? – it stands for “London Interbank Offered Rate,” which is a benchmark interest rate that is derived from the rates that major banks charge each other for loans in the London interbank market – LIBOR is used as a reference rate for hundreds of trillion dollars worth of commercial & consumer loans, derivatives, & other financial products across the globe .. “The vastly worse LIBOR ‘scandal’ that I am referring to is the fact that the LIBOR has stayed at record low levels for the past half-decade [from financial repression], which is helping to fuel a massive economic bubble around the entire world that will end in a devastating financial crisis that will be even worse than the Global Financial Crisis. Instead of causing a few tens of billions of dollars worth of losses like the LIBOR rate-fixing scandal, the ‘LIBOR Bubble’ will gut the global economy by trillions of dollars.”

Extended low LIBOR rates have been “helping to inflate the emerging markets bubble that I am warning about” .. sees 3 scenarios of the end-game .. concludes: 
“The popping of the ‘LIBOR Bubble’ may not even require Libor rates to rise because the bubbles may endogenously collapse under their own weight after growing even larger in the next few years. Though the popping of the global bubble is likely several years away, the time to worry about this situation is now because the damage (the debt buildup and asset price inflation) is occurring at this very moment.”


Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed in this blog post may or may not be representative of the views or opinions of the Financial Repression Authority.

03/07/2015 - Amin Rajan Talks Investing In A Debt-Fueled World With the FRA

Special Guest: Amin Rajan – CEO, CREATE Research



“Financial Repression is a device used by governments to liquidate their debt.”

Financial Repression uses low interest rates (which reduces their financing costs) and inflation (which vaporizes its debt). The Negative Real Interest Rates which the two in combination create, has in the modern era been the way governments reduced their debt burdens.

“Financial Repression brings about an arbitrary redistribution of wealth.”

Today it is the governments only politically realistic option.

The critical problem is holders of fixed income debt get hurt where there is a redistribution of wealth:

  1. From Savers to Borrowers.
  2. From Pension Plans to Government


Historically we should expect Financial Repression to last anywhere from 15 to 50 Years. We are now into only the seventh year! In Prof Rajan’s opinion “this show has a long shelf life and likely to run another 5 – 10 years”

PENSION PLANSEntering “De-Accumulation Stage”

Aging demographics in the debt burdened developed economies is exaggerating the effects of Financial Repression because of the need for Investment Income products by retirees.

Pension Plans are now going into the “De-Accumulation Stage” where there is more money going out of the plan than is going in. Pension plans face problems of both under contribution levels and De-accumulation resulting in serious underfunding positions.


The “Baby Boomer’ Generation is in the process of retiring. There will be 78 Million in the US and 84 Million. Europe which accounts for 8% of the global population and 25% of global output accounts for a massive 48% of global welfare budgets.

The shift from Defined Benefits (DB) to Defined Contributions (DC) is about the “Personalization of Risk” so we are told, “so people can be ’empowered’ and will be less dependent on their employers plans”. Instead Prof Rajan argues we have “Personalization of risk has a big downside. It transfers risk from those who couldn’t manage it to those who don’t understand it!”

LIQUIDITY CRISIS – Volcker Rule Has it ‘Preordained

When the next market correction occurs “liquidity is going to dry up in no time at all because of the Volcker Rule. The inventories of Bonds which the Investment Banks are caring are now one-eight of what they were pre-2008. Any mass exit and there will be no liquidity and prices will drop like a stone!”


Prof. Amin Rajan observes that two paradigm changes have occurred in capitalism:

  1. Capitalism has Lost Social Expression – It is no Longer Improving and Benefiting Society as a Whole
  2. Over Financialization – Financial Engineering and Trading for Profits had taken control of Capitalism versus Investing In Productive Assets for increasing productivity. Markets no longer channel capital from savers to investments in productive assets. There are neither savers nor productive assets involved in the process but rather financialization.


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Product alpha is about beating the markets, solutions alpha is however about meeting investors’ predefined needs.

“Solutions Alpha is not about trying to beat the market nor the crowd, because these markets are going to end in tears at some stage. So when thinking about retirement think about exactly what your needs are then think about asset classes that will help you meet these needs. ‘Shoot-The-Lights-Out’ returns are no longer an option without huge amounts of risk!”

Solutions alpha will remain the epicenter of innovation. Solutions Alpha requires looking for asset classes that deliver:

  1. Regular Income,
  2. Inflation Protection,
  3. Low Volatility.

Examples would be Rental Real Estate, Infrastructure, Timber, Farm Land and many traditional “hard assets”.

Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed in this blog post may or may not be representative of the views or opinions of the Financial Repression Authority.

03/06/2015 - Financial Repression – Capital Controls: A Canadian Bank Shuns U.S. Citizens

Article highlights an Alberta bank is now the first in Canada to shun U.S. clients on bank accounts .. Canadian Direct Financial, a subsidiary of Edmonton-based Canadian Western Bank, is refusing to open new accounts for U.S. citizens, even to those living in Canada – “The information and documentation required to open and monitor an account within Canadian Direct Financial for a U.S citizen or resident outside of Canada is prohibitive to providing the level of service our clients expect and deserve.”



Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed in this blog post may or may not be representative of the views or opinions of the Financial Repression Authority.

03/04/2015 - Bank Bailin for Austrian Bank

Heta Bank in Austria has perhaps reached the end of the road. The bank, which was bailed out by the Austrian Government a few years ago & is now in need of another bailout but none will be forthcoming .. Rather, bondholders & creditors will be paying for the bailout & this will have the effect of triggering the CDSs (Credit Default Swaps). Will this lead to a series of cascading collapses among banks across the world? That’s the fear among many alternative economists across the globe, only time will tell .. 24 minutes

Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed in this blog post may or may not be representative of the views or opinions of the Financial Repression Authority.

03/02/2015 - Mebane Faber Talks Global Value Investing

Special Guest: Mebane Faber – CIO Cambria Investment Management



“An environment where interest rates are lower than inflation and you have a low or even negative interest rate environment which helps someone and hurts someone else. It hurts savers but is good for borrowers and people who have a lot of debt. The inflation eats away at that debt. It helps someone like the US government”

“Stocks and bonds like high real interest rates. They typically don’t like low or negative real interest rates”. Other asset classes like gold like negative real rates and have over the last decade, but not so much over the last couple of years.”


Faber likes both value and momentum and believes they can work together as part of a global portfolio, particularly where they intersect. Cambria uses Shiller’s 10 Year CAPE benchmark to look at equities. It is typically around 17 and is now around 27 in the US. It presently shows a lot of great valuations around the world however momentum has been in US stocks, bonds and real estate. “Right now we see a lot of opportunity, but particularly abroad”.


The US is only about 50% of global market cap but most US investors have a ‘hometown bias” of having 70% of their portfolio in US securities. Faber has found that it consistently ranges from as low as 65 to as high as 85%. Meanwhile, when considered on a GDP basis the US is only about a fifth to 25% and on a valuation basis is the third most expensive. This would suggest the US has a headwind, especially after a six year run. An exposure of at least half to foreign investment seems more reasonable to Meb Faber.


We start with a universe of about 45 countries with reasonable liquidity. One of Cambria’s funds buys the eleven cheapest countries in the world. Faber’s analysis suggests avoiding countries that create large bubbles can be a critically important when viewed over the longer term because of the size of the inevitable corrections.”

“One of the emotional challenges and why value works is because it is hard to do.”


  1. “Not Getting Out of Your Own Way!”
    • Getting Caught Up In Performance,
    • Not Having a Plan,
    • Trying to Time Your Investments,
    • Realistic Expectations.
  2. “Not Paying Attention to Fees”
  3. “Too Wedded to An Investment Style”
    • Need to be Asset Class Agnostic


Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed in this blog post may or may not be representative of the views or opinions of the Financial Repression Authority.

03/02/2015 - Financial Repression on Interest Rates is Destroying Business Models, Capitalism, Pension/Insurance Funds

Janus Capital’s Bill Gross* on the outlook for Federal Reserve policy, the U.S. economy & his objectives at Janus Capital .. “The interest rate can’t be raised substantially even over the next two to three years .. Low interest rates keeps zombie corporations alive because they can borrow at 3 and 4%, as opposed to the 8 or 9%. It destroys business models. It’s destroying the pension industry and in the insurance industry .. Ultimately, low interest rates destroy the capitalistic model at the margin. Instead of investing in the real economy, corporations can now simply borrow at close to 0% and buy their own stocks, which yield 2 or 3% on a dividend basis and provide a return of 6 or 7% on an earnings to price ratio basis.” .. 12 minutes

Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed in this blog post may or may not be representative of the views or opinions of the Financial Repression Authority.

02/28/2015 - Obfuscation – one of the Pillars of Financial Repression

BMG Bullion Group’s Nick Barisheff writes a great essay on how the mainstream media omits facts & distorts the truth to suit their agenda – this is particularly true in the negative media barrage against gold .. “Anyone who cares to look outside of the mainstream media propaganda will conclude that the drop in gold prices was clearly an orchestrated event, first in 2011 with a one day drop of 7.2%, and then in April 2013 for an 8.5% drop. In the early morning hours of January 6th, 2014, 12,000 gold contracts representing $1.5 billion of naked short selling was forced onto the paper gold COMEX market. Without speculating about who did it or why, it should be obvious that no trader would sell that much gold into the market at one time, effectively minimizing their sales proceeds.” .. also highlights the connection between paper COMEX markets & the exchange-traded fund GLD, & how this ETF negatively affects gold prices in times of naked short selling (selling gold without physically having it) –LINK HERE to understand more about the GLD ETF & these problems .. Barisheff dismisses the obfuscation by maintaining “when the manipulation of gold prices can no longer be sustained, gold will skyrocket as the public loses confidence in all fiat currencies.” – see the recommended 20 minutes video below on this .. presents the following factual-based chart showing the positive effect of having gold in your portfolio – see left or link below.



Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed in this blog post may or may not be representative of the views or opinions of the Financial Repression Authority.