Interviews

08/29/2015 - Danielle DiMartino Booth Talks Financial Repression, A Camp Kotok 2015 Guest

Special Guest: Danielle DiMartino Booth – Former Federal Reserve Advisor, Chief Market Strategist, The Lisco Report

 

Having done lots of fishing this summer at Camp Kotok in northern Maine, Danielle DiMartino Booth is here interviewed by FRA Co-Founder Gordon T Long. Danielle is a former Dallas Federal Reserve Bank Advisor and now the Chief Market Strategist of The Liscio Report. She takes an Austrian School of Economics viewpoint on economic and financial matters.

Danielle emphasizes how she understands financial repression “in her bones” because she worked in “The Financial Repression Factory”, referring to the Federal Reserve. She understands the level of malinvestment, mispricing and lack of price discovery as the unintended consequences of repressive and obfuscating monetary policies of central banks. She thinks the Federal Reserve “does not have a deep enough appreciation of malinvestment .. as if Ludwig von Mises never walked the planet.”

She is angered by the considerable level of savings which has been foregone thanks to the quantitative easing (QE) policies of the Federal Reserve. Gone are the days of retiring on a Certificate of Deposit paying a decent level of interest income, due to the virtually 0% interest rates.

Danielle says there must be a renewed emphasis on education and innovation in America for it create jobs and jobs that are higher-paying generally than is currently the case.

Check out her recent speech – subscribe to our Mailing and Alert System and we will email you the PDF or view the Scribd below:

July 2015 Speech by Danielle DiMartino Booth

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.


08/25/2015 - Peter Schiff Talks Gold Backed Debit Cards

Special Guest: Peter Schiff – CEO & Chief Global Strategist, Euro Pacific Capital Inc.

 

PETER SCHIFF TALKS FINANCIAL REPRESSION, CRYPTOCURRENCIES AND MORE.

Continuing with our series on financial repression, today we have Peter Schiff here with us who is being interviewed by FRA’s Gordon T long. Peter Schiff in his own words has been in the industry his whole life. He is also one of the few people to predict the financial crisis and was vocal about it in 2008.

FINANCIAL REPRESSION.

According to Peter one of the ways in which the government represses its citizens financially is through the banking system. He talks about the lack of privacy that arises from the opening of a bank account.

In America today, if you have a bank account you have no privacy anymore. Your banker is basically an unpaid spy working for the government trying to monitor your activities for anything suspicious so they can turn you in to the government!”

Other ways include inflation, which erodes the value of one’s assets over time and government taxation in its many forms.

BAIL-INS AND CASHLESS SOCIETY.

“Bail-ins are a function of government deposit schemes which really don’t work!”.

He goes on further to explain that the reason they don’t work is due to the safety nets which these schemes provide. A situation is created where the banks “know that the depositors couldn’t care less how risky the bank is”. He alternatively suggests that market forces be allowed to reign in the banks so that banks compete on the basis of how much risk they can mitigate.

“People are looking for an alternative to the fiat currency created by governments”.

He mentions is one of the basis on which bitcoin was formed, although he doesn’t believe in its longevity going as far as likening it to a Ponzi scheme. The flaw in bitcoin according to peter Schiff is its lack of intrinsic value, unlike gold.

EURO PACIFIC BANK

“How do I spend my gold?”

Peter Schiff asserts this is a problem faced by consumers around the world and his bank Euro Pacific provides a solution to this problem. Customers are provided with gold and silver backed accounts with which they can access their gold 24/7. This works by using a 2-step process in which the customers have to open their account and sell off gold before they can swipe their card. Ultimately, he plans on streamlining this 2-step process into a 1-step process. This will work by converting gold in real time at the market value when customers swipe their debit cards.

Peter Schiff mentions how the real benefit from this system will be the ability of customers to save their gold since it holds on to its value and spend their fiat currencies. He goes on to compare his system and that of bitgold saying that the concept of giving out free gold which bitgold uses is not a viable business plan.

Check out his interview with Gordon T Long which covers much more of this.

Abstract written by Chukwuma Uwaga – chuwaga@gmail.com

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.


07/23/2015 - Guillermo Barba talks FINANCIAL REPRESSION w/FRA

Special Guest: Guillermo Barba – Mexican Economist, Blogger & Forbes Mexico Writer

 

A Mexican Economist, Guillermo Barba never heard of the Austrian school of economics until after graduating. Mexican University teaching still focuses on Marxist philosophy and Keynesian thinking. His subsequent exposure to the Austrian school of Economics was an eye opener which started him on a road which he hopes to help others in Mexico and Latin American become exposed to. He believes that the socialist thinking which South American universities are still oriented towards is one of the cancers in the world and hurting economic development.

“I became a real economist after I met the Austrian School of Economics!”

“The Austrian School has a framework to explain the current ‘economic mess’ in the world today!”

Barba’s popular Mexican blog is focused on financial intelligence because he felt the truth was not being told and it needed to be.

FINANCIAL REPRESSION

“Mexicans know perfectly what Financial Repression means! Living in Mexico means living in the neighborhood of the United States of America. That is a lot of financial repression!”

“The entire world is suffering from Financial Repression because there are Financial Repressors. That is the problem. Who are those financial repressors? As Hugo Salinas Price told him, the entire world is controlled by a group of about 1000 people and a smaller core group control most of the decisions. Most of them are bankers”

Barba believes that t he global reserve system which is based on the US dollar “is basically a scam”. According to Barba, to keep the whole system working the powers to be must get people into debt. Debt must grow exponentially.

IMPORTANCE OF SAVINGS

“Pushing people to spend and taken on debt versus savings is insane! Savings is the base and the cornerstone of development. Savings are the cornerstone of capital! The world needs capital accumulation, not debt accumulation!

“Debt accumulation is not sustainable. Capital accumulation is sustainable!”

Guillermo Barba believes the powers to be simply don’t know what to do other than just ‘print more money’. He also sees the US dollar getting much, much stronger as people generally won’t know what to do to protect their wealth. This will offer opportunities to use inflated US dollars to buy real estates at attractive prices.

….. there is much more in this interview on the Mexican and South American economies.

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.


07/17/2015 - David Morgan Talks Silver

Special Guest: David Morgan – Silver Expert, Publisher: Morgan Report, Silver-Investor.com

 

FINANCIAL REPRESSION

Keeping interest rates low is central to debt ridden governments surviving. Acording to David Morgan the government must keep rates low as long as possible but believes a reset of some sore is inevitable. David sees the mechanics and policies of keep rates repressed as fundamentally defining Financial Repression.

Financial Repression is like a big coffee press, pressing everything down and has suppressed the ability for us to have a free market and thereby enjoy the fruits of our intellect, labor, creativity and purpose as humans.”

POTENTIAL RISING INTEREST RATES

Many believe that rising interest rates will hurt gold. David fully expects the Fed to increase rates but sees it as being nothing more that “showmanship”. David suggests that:

“his experience shows that it is when REAL RATES get positive that you COULD see gold impacted from an increase in interest rates”

“What you really need to know is what are the real rates versus nominal rates which you see iin the newspapers.”

GOLD-SILVER RATIO

The current gold-silver ratio implies to David Morgan is that silver is presently undervalued relative to gold.

According to Morgan the Gold-Silver Ratio is telling us something else that is important.

“If you have a real economy with sound money you get a deflationary trend. This means your money is worth more over time. It is beneficial to almost everybody. Silver is the best inflation edge and not the best deflation hedge. Gold is the best deflation hedge. Silver anticipated this huge inflationary environment back when QE2 was announced and moved from $26/OZ to $48/OZ. What happened was all that anticipated inflation didn’t get into the market place because all the increased debt only resulted in re-liquifying the banks. They forced the money into the banking system and not out into the public sector.”

David believes silver is currently a better buy than gold. He still believes silver will outperform gold.

“We are not out of the woods. There is a place for precious metals in your portfolio. 20% for “metal bugs” and 10% for the average public.”

There is much, much more in this 32 minute interview with this well respected precious metals and silver expert.

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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.


07/17/2015 - Jeff Berwick talks Crypto-Currencies

Special Guest: Jeff Berwick

 

Jeff Berwick, based in Acapulco, Mexico, has formerly been interviewed in this series (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O20n_oDUx54 ). He founded the StockHouse Media Corporation in 1994 and was its CEO until 2002. He is publisher of the dollar vigilante website (https://www.dollarvigilante.com/ ), which went online in 2010. Back then, he predicted the complete collapse of the US Dollar and the world financial system within the next five to ten years. He thinks that we are a lot closer now. He recently predicted a massive breakdown for September 2015 based on the seven year “Shemitah cycle“ (http://surviveshemitah.com/ ).

Jeff is concerned about the dependence of governments and financial market institutions on extremely low interest rates, even negative interest rates, which he calls “complete Keynesian insanity”. What is happening in Greece right now is just the beginning. It will eventually happen in other eurozone countries like Spain, Portugal, Italy, France and in countries all around the world, including the US.

Government debt in most countries has become so high that minor increases in the interest rate would lead to immediate default. The explicit US debt is above $18.3 trillion, as shown in the figure below. This however does not include implicit debt and liabilities that the US government has accumulated over the years, for example in the form of social security. Total debt and liabilities according to Jeff amount to $95 trillion.

“All it takes is, for example, for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates by .25 per cent and they can bankrupt the entire financial system. This is where we are now. It’s been complete insanity. They tried to fix the 2008 crisis by printing money and going into more debt, which is why they got into that problem in the first place. And we are starting to see the next wave of major collapses and crises.”

As a response to the ongoing war on cash, Jeff suggests to go out of large cash holdings as soon as possible. He sees one potential solution in BitGold and even more so in Bitcoin, as a completely decentralized money and payment system. The price of bitcoin has been rising during the recent Greek crisis, whereas gold and silver have fallen. However, Jeff points out that the prices for gold and silver are systematically distorted on a “very manipulated market.”

“There is no Bitcoin office, there is no BItcoin servers. So no matter what the government does, unless they turn off the internet entirely, they can’t stop Bitcoin. That’s the beauty of Bitcoin.”

Jeff also recommends the internationalization of assets as a hedge against oppressive interventions by individual countries (suggested links:http://tdvwealthmanagement.com/ and http://tdvoffshore.com/ ).

Although Mexico is often portrayed as a dangerous third world country, Jeff can tell from personal experience that it is in many respects a better place than the US, as there is far less government involvement in private and business affairs. Mexico will nonetheless face serious problems, because of their close economic ties to the US. The collapse of the American economy will inevitably spill over to Mexico.

“But I think people here [in Mexico] are more used to it. So, for example, they had their peso collapse in the 90s and people lived through it. But Americans aren’t ready for what’s coming. They haven’t seen it in their lifetime. And as you know, half the people in the US are on government assistance now, and a lot of those are on welfare and food stamps. When those EBT cards get shut down, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near any major population center in the US.”

Jeff generally sees potential in other Latin and South American countries like Columbia, Chile and even Nicaragua, as well as some Asian countries, but definitely not in North America, Europe, Japan or Australia, which all share the same problem: the biggest cohorts of their populations looking for  unsustainable entitlement payments in the near future.

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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.


07/16/2015 - James Turk on Financial Repression

Special Guest: James Turk – Founder & Managing Director, GoldMoney.com

 

With a career in International Banking, including managing the Abe Dubai Investment Authority’s Commodities Portfolio, James Turk is an experienced professional whose insights should be thoughtfully considered. He feels strongly that the US needs to return to the sound money principles the framers of the US Constitution outlined and which the US has unfortunately and perilously veered away from.

FINANCIAL REPRESSION

“Financial Repression is government intervention in the market system which distorts the market’s signals. …. Government intervention not only distorts the markets but in fact is counter-productive because many times it is government policies which the market are reacting to!”

Instead of changing the policies, governments try and convince the markets (through intervention) that the policies they are following are the correct ones, when in fact they are not.

James feels strongly that governments need to be outside the markets and be primarily focused on maintaining the ‘rule of law’ and ensuring there is a level playing field for competitive capitalism to operate on. Government intervention results in distorting that playing field to the advantage of themselves and their special interests.

“(Governments & Central Banks) are following policies that basically are not sustainable!”

“The government’s ‘make believe’ is that they are creating wealth through creating currency and distributing it through their various programs. That is not creating wealth, but rather debasing the currency. When you debase the currency this is the worst type of financial repression because you are essentially destroying people’s ability to interact entirely voluntarily within the market place, as we fulfill our needs and wants.”

UNDERSTANDING WEALTH

There is only so much wealth in world. It needs to come from somewhere if it is to be distributed in a meaningful way. James Turk believes wealth fundamentally comes in two forms: Tangible Wealth and Financial Wealth.

Financial Wealth comes with counter-party risk and the exposure to insufficient cash-flows required to support the leverage that inevitably comes with pyramiding and the interconnection of financial wealth.

James Turk believes we are presently destroying wealth. Financial Wealth gets destroyed because of the eventuality of insufficient cash-flows (Free DCF) to support the over financialization of the economy.

…. there is much, much more in this fact filled 24 minute Video.

WAR ON CASH & BAIL-INS

  • The Holy Alliance
  • Perpetuating the Welfare State
  • Why we can’t trust the banking sytem anymore.
  • How banks have become Hedge Funds versus lending institutions,
  • Why we need to separate the banks function of being a payments system versus being investment fund managers.

CRYPTO CURRENCIES

  • What is the real purpose is of money,
  • How the current environment is a historical aberration. We have moved away from a sound money system as the constitution framed.
  • Why we need to return to the wisdom of the framers of the US constitution,
  • Why Gold and Silver’s proven historical track record is important.

GoldMoney & BitGold MERGER

  • Why GoldMoney and BitGold Merged,
  • What James sees the future to be for the merger.

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.


07/10/2015 - Joseph Salerno on Bail-Ins & “The-War-on-Cash”

Special Guest: Joseph Salerno – Austrian Economist, Professor of Economics, PACE University, VP Academic MISES Institute

 

Professor Joseph Salerno is a noted Austrian Economist who spoke with the Financial Repression Authority on Financial Repression and his growing concerns with what is referred to as “the War-On-Cash”, which he sees leading America and other developed countries in the wrong direction. He sees it as presently gaining momentum in senior policy levels around the world as global debt problems become more acute.

FINANCIAL REPRESSION

A combination of Deliberate Inflation and very low Interest Rates. Interest rates which are kept low by a variety of what are called “Unconventional Monetary Policies“.

“There is talk now of having:

  • Negative Nominal Rates,
  • Governments taking over Pension Funds,
  • Varies ‘privileging’ of government debt as part of bank capital.

..so it (Financial Repression) is a series of interferences in the financial markets by government with the end being to push interest rate lowers so they can inflate away their debt! They do that by having interest rates even lower than the rate of inflation.”

“What Financial Repression does is transfer surreptitiously resources and coming wealth from savers and retirees to the government and its crony banks. I think it exists, it is dangerous and I think many people are being hurt by it!”

WAR-ON-CASH – GETTING TO NEGATIVE NOMINAL BOND RATES

Professor Salerno believes the government wants Negative Nominal Rates but as he points out: “The only way they can do that is to lock peoples deposits into the banking system – that is where the War-on-Cash comes in! They would love to restrict or even abolish the use of cash within the United States if they could. That means they would have to use deposits.”

“This is another way of propping up a very unsound and dangerously flawed banking system!”

Professor Salerno has spoken out extensively on this subject, most recently at the Mises Circle event in Stamford, Connecticut

Governments, at least modern western governments, have always hated cash transactions. Cash is private, and cash is hard to tax. So politicians trump up phony reasons like drug trafficking and money laundering to win support for bad laws like the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970, which makes even small cash transactions potentially reportable to the Feds.

Today cash is under attack like never before. Ultra low interest rates are the norm for commercial bank accounts. In Europe, as the ECB ventures into negative nominal interest rates, certain banks threaten to charge customers for depositing cash. Meanwhile, certain European bonds now pay negative yields, effectively turning them into insurance products rather than financial assets. And some economists now call for the outright abolition of cash, which shows just how far some will go in their crazed belief that economic prosperity can be commanded by forcing us to spend rather than save.

The War on Cash is real, and it will intensify.

PUBLIC FOREIFEITURE

Both bank deposits and withdrawals of cash are now carefully scrutinized by banks and police agencies across America. Safety deposit boxes are seeing increasing restrictions on what can be held in them in the way of cash. People depositing cash often find themselves facing public asset forfeitures and seizures by the police. In some cases when cleared as being innocent then have serious difficulty in getting their seized assets returned. Professor Salerno expounds on this and other troubling new developments in America.

….there is much, much more in this fact filled 29 minute Video.

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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.


07/01/2015 - Mark O’Byrne on Bank Bail-Ins & the Potential Deceptive Defrauding of Depositors

Special Guests: Mark O’Byrne – Founder & Research Director, Goldcore

 

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(Servitude: Impoverishment & Financial Imprisonment)

Mark O’Byrne feels that holding a Degree in Greek and Roman Civilization with a focus on their economic and monetary history. This gives O’Byrne insights into the cyclical nature of societies that few other writers have. It is these insights that Mark shares in this 35 minute video. Bank Bail-Ins are only a modern day indicator of financially collapsing societies. “Unfortunately, we don’t learn the lessons of history to our own downfall!”

FINANCIAL REPRESSION

“Given the large amount of debt in the world today we are seeing almost ‘anti-free market philosophies’ whereby the governments don’t like price signals and the pricing mechanism, so they are trying to repress this to repress interest rates.”

“By artificially suppressing the pricing mechanism, similar to forcing an inflated beach ball under the water, it will shoot up in another direction and can go in the opposite direction to what is initially intended!”

BANK BAIL-INS

“We are told Bail-Ins are to protect the taxpayer from the government having to bail-out the banks. But the depositors are the tax payers? Bail-Ins are just to protect the Senior Secured Debt holders!”

This is wrongful deception as people belief their money is safe in the bank It is intended to protect the assets of the Senior Secured Creditors within the banks capital structure. Private individuals and depositors are not holders of Senior Secured Credit to the banks which is strictly the realm of select international banks.


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CONFISCATING DEPOSITORS FUNDS MEANS DEFLATION

“If you confiscate depositors funds (in a Bail-In) you will cause deflation like you would not believe!”

If you follow Mark O’Byrne’s analysis you quickly realize that Bail-Ins are both economically very dangerous and basically nothing more than regulations to protect elements of the bank financial structure. The question may be: are regulations today to protect tax payers from the banks or to protect the banks from taxpayers (depositors)?

“Maybe today we need to come to the obvious realization that the government is no longer regulating the banks, but rather the banks are regulating the government!” Gordon T Long

INTERNATIONAL DIVERSIFICATION IS THE ANSWER – While the Doors are Still Partially Open

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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.


06/24/2015 - Ronald-Peter Stoeferle – “In GOLD we TRUST” Report

Special Guest: Ronald-Peter Stoeferle

 

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DOWNLOAD FULL REPORT PDF

In Gold We Trust 2015 – Extended Version (e) by Financial Repression

Today, the 2015 edition of the gold report “In Gold We Trust” was launched. It is the 9th edition (read the 2013 and 2014 edition). With a global reach of some 1 million readers, it is probably the most read gold report worldwide. The In Gold We Trust 2015 is written by Ronald Stoeferle. He is the managing partner of a global fund at Incrementum AG in Liechtenstein, focused on the principles of the Austrian school of Economics.

2015 EDITION: “IN GOLD WE TRUST”

The gold price has stabilized in 2014, after its collapse in April and June of 2013. Investors’ interest in the yellow metal is los. Hence, market sentiment vis-à-vis gold is standing at a multi-year low, maybe even a multi-decade low. History learns that extreme underperformance usually lasts for one year. If history is any guide, than there should be a recovery in the gold price in the foreseeable future. Even with the severe underperformance since 2013, gold is up approximately 9% per year since it started to trade freely in 1971. As seen on the next chart, depending on the currency in which it trades, the average yearly performance is excellent for investors with a long term horizon. In other words, gold does what is always has done throughout history: preserve value and purchasing power.

Preservation of wealth is the primary reason why one should hold gold nowadays. Monetary policies of central banks are extremely unusual. The U.S. Fed could be talking about “normalization,” but with 7 years at zero percent interest rates we are nowhere near “normal” conditions. The most extreme monetary conditions, today, are being seen in Japan. It is really no coincidence that the gold price in Yen is near its all time highs. The gold price in Yen is simply reacting on the extreme expansion of the monetary base by the Japanese central bank. As the next chart shows, the balance sheet of the Bank Of Japan (BOJ) is approximately 65% of the country’s GDP. In other words, the assets that the BOJ is holding nears 2/3 of the total economic output of the country. When compared to other regions, it is clear that is a monstrous amount. It seems that Japan is near its endgame.

One of the “reasons” gold has gotten so little attention in the last two years is that investors have been focused on stock markets around the world. The U.S. stock market has seen a huge rally since October of 2012, European stocks catapulted higher when the European version of QE was announced earlier this year, Japan keeps on making multi-year highs in the wake of an ever expanding monetary policy. Meantime, however, stocks are not cheap anymore. On a historic basis, when expressed in a  price/earnings ratio according to the Shiller method, the stock market in the U.S. sits at relatively high levels (although no extremes). Although it is not given that the stock market is about to go south, there always is a possibility that the top is set in which case gold should see positive returns. As the next chart shows, during periods of the worst performance of the S&P 500, stocks and commodities have lost significant value while gold remained steady.

A correction in the stock market is certainly in the cards. Why? Because traditionally the gold/silver ratio is mostly negatively correlated with the S&P 500. In other words, as the gold/silver ratio goes down which means there is a disinflationary environment, stocks come down as well. Over the last 25 years, that correlation has held very well, but started to diverge strongly 3 years ago.

Gold is underperforming in a disinflationary environment. That has been one of the key observations in the last In Gold We Trust reports. There was enough evidence in the datapoints so far, but the most up-to-date chart says it all (see below). While the real rates were standing at -4% in 2011, they have gone up steadily since then, and are again in positive territory this year. The gold price has moved in the opposite direction in that same time period. The In Gold We Trust Report 2015 focuses, among many other things, on the correlation between the gold price and inflation expectations. Gold is an inflation sensitive asset. The U.S. 10-Year real yields provide an indication of inflation expectations. As readers can see, a strong divergence is in place since 2013, arguing for a strong revaluation of the gold price as inflation expectations are in an uptrend since then.

Suppose, however, that inflation expectations will change their trend … would that be bad for precious metals? The answer to that question is to be found in the last chart. During deflationary periods, like the ones starting in 1814 or 1864, the Great Depression of the 30ies or the financial crisis of 2008, gold did remarkably well. It is during those periods of “financial stress” that gold shows its real value, i.e. preserve wealth and provide protection against other assets.

The themes in this years 2015 “In Gold Trust Report” are the real value of gold as a financial asset and the end of gold’s underperformance.

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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.


06/21/2015 - Mike “Mish” Shedlock – What Do the State of Illinois, Chicago, Public Pensions and Greece Have in Common?

Special Guest: Mike “Mish” Shedlock, MICH’S Global Economic Trend Analysis

 

MISH SHEDLOCK COMES OUT SWINGING ON: State of Illinois, Public Pensions and Greece

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STATE OF ILLINOIS & CITY OF CHICAGO –Never Ending Financial Obfuscation

From Seven Illinois cities, to the City of Chicago, to the State of Illinois, Public Pensions are bringing the proud ‘Land of Lincoln’ to its “financial knees”!

Decades of politically expedient l promises and over generous Public Pension concessions to appease powerful public unions have left all levels of government with few financial alternatives. Many are now be forced to consider bankruptcy.

The Fourth Financial Repression Pillar of “Obfuscation” has been the practiced tactic for some time which has camouflaged this cancer. This obfuscation involved many clever accounting games which according to Mish Shedlock:

“Illinois’ Pension Plans are funded on average something like 39% and of course that creates a conflict of interest after judges have ruled on Pension Plans. The courts ruled that a bill Governor Rauner signed is unconstitutional and now sends things back to the drawing board. That (the bill) was supposed to save Illinois about $2B per year. Judges were in on it, Actuaries were in on it, the Rating Agencies – everyone was in on it.”

“Moody’s cut Chicago’s rating to junk. The City of Chicago promptly removed Moody’s from rating its bonds and instead hired another third party to rate its bonds. This is “rate shop whoring” and that is what I call it! The same process goes on with “actuarial whoring” because no city wants to admit that their pensions are as underfunded as they are!”

“Many of the pensions allow workers to retire at 50 after putting in 20 years of service, or whatever the requirement was. What do they do? They retire, collect their pension and then go to work for another government agencies and accrue benefits for yet another pension! – The whole system is untenable!”

“The taxpayers in Cook County are paying 50% of the tax revenues – not for services – instead it goes towards interest and pension obligations!”

… and IT’S STEADILY GETTING WORSE!

SOARING STATE TAXES – Sacrosanct Public Pensions Are Forcing Increased State Taxes

LOCAL PROPERTY TAX INCREASES

“To shore up Chicago’s Pension System they would have to hike Illinois property taxes by approximately 50%. – My (Mish’s) property taxes are already $14K/year!”

City, Local & Town Taxes in America are about Property Taxes. We can expect to see and explosion going forward in property taxes to pay unfunded public pensions.

Could this be a potential Death Knell For Real Estate Prices?

Could this trigger a collapse in ‘Tax Free’ Muni Bond Values?

GREEK CRISIS HAS COME TO A HEADPublic Service Pensions A Major Sticking Point

“You have to actually wonder if the Greek Government is giving Greeks time to get their money out of the banks – only the dumb money is now left?”

….and much, much more in this fast paced 30 minute Video

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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.


06/21/2015 - Paul Brodsky Talks Financial Repression

Special Guest: Paul Brodsky – Investment Strategist, Wall Street Veteran

 

Paul Brodsky introduced himself as a presenter at the Park Plaza Hotel (NYC, NY) to 200 of the world’s largest Institutional Investors from large Sovereign Wealth Funds, Pensions Funds, Endowments and Foundations …. “I’m Paul Brodsky, I’m a Gold Bug!” This not only took guts but serious credibility in front of an audience that doesn’t consider gold in their portfolio allocation decisions. So why would he do this?

Paul had been asked to present the “Case for Gold”. It was 2010 and Gold had just had a run. Though Gold had been the elephant in the room for previous 9 years , Paul surmised the organizers simply felt gold needed some sort of obligatory representation. His presentation focused on the Global Monetary System and sheepishly admits he actually never mentioned the world Gold again! This summarizes the thinking within the community of Global Managers of serious money.

Paul says he felt he got the invitation because of the thrust and struggle of QB Asset Management, the hedge fund he co-founded. It showed in Paul’s writings to QB’s clients while seeking the truth. He sought an understanding of Price and Value (which are often quite different) in addition to Alpha generation for clients.

FINANCIAL REPRESSION

“Its easy to think there is a grand conspiracy out there is terms of the banking system, the policy makers and politicians in the political dimension. It is very easy to draw lines between all these groups connecting them. I think what we have is a natural set of incentives that are drawn together by how the system works. For example, Politicians usually like to spend money they don’t have and the banking system can let them do that! So it is a very symbiotic relationship – one feeds the other – there is little need that a word be said! There is no back room, smoke filled discussions going on.”

“After the 1971 Nixon Shock, for the first time ever we had a global monetary system where there wasn’t one currency that was ‘hard’ – that is, backed by anything scarce. What that did was make everything relative. It made currencies relative and it made financial assets relative. Ultimately it made performance relative!”

“When everything becomes relative it makes thing very easy for authorities to manage the system because there is no governor on them to bring things back into balance!”

“What was once “the role of the Fed to take away the punch bowl when the party got going”, it was now the Fed that was ‘spiking’ the punch bowl.”

FRACTIONAL RESERVE BANKING

“The system as it is constructed using fractional reserve lending and fractional reserve banking is the real ‘bugaboo’!” Paul is quick to point out there are two sides to this argument. “Yes, the hard money crowd is correct – it has allowed us to spend money beyond what may be considered sound, but also this “funny money” for example helped defeat communism and helped fund the dotcom frenzy which left a technology footprint that may not have occurred as quickly without it.”

“It has been a terrible flowering of baseless credit, debt that has never been extinguished. It may all come down in a Minsky like debt deflation that is ugly – or it may force the Fed and other central banks around the world to create much more base money through QE and other lines of credit that diminishes the value of not only our currency but all others – that gets us back again to relative value and performance!”

“The central banks are devaluing their currencies and devaluing against themselves in a ‘tag team’ manner. They are also devaluing against Production. There used to be only four ways you could get a dollar. You could produce something, you could borrow it, you could reinvest what you had already earned or you could steal it. Now banks can make money out of thin air without any discipline. There is nothing on the other side. Debt is created through the loan process and it never has to be extinquished if the monetary authority doesn’t demand that.”

“We have gone through this great leveraging over the last 35 years. It has been encouraged by Monetary Authorities in the US and elsewhere. Now we are at zero interest rates we can’t refinance ourselves to another round of leveraging. We have to find a new outlet for credit or there is going to be some sort of reconciliation. When you ask about Financial Repression, I think it has been forced on Monetary Authorities (though its their own doing). It had to happen. It is a consequence of the past 35 years.”

“I think they are boxed, as is everyone else (like the IMF) that is involved”

WHO IS GOING TO STAND UP TO THIS?

“It is also in China and Russia’s interest to have a baseless currency and even fractional reserve banks. What it does is centralize power to decide what wealth looks like in their nations and economies.”

“My sense is we have to accept that this is the reality. That for the first time ever …. I think there is going to be increasing coordination amongst all sorts of Monetary Authorities and the net loser is going to be the saver or pensioner in real terms. It is not necessarily a negative on equities, real estate or anything that relies on credit. It may be bullish on nominal pricing but bearish on real pricing and value. That is what Financial Repression is bring us.”

…. there is much, much more in this broad ranging 46 minute interview with a very thoughtful and experienced Wall Street insider telling it the way it really is:

  • Why the death of the infamous Bond Vigilantes occurred and how they got trampled by the Fed,
  • Why we have had a slow migration from Capital producing economies to Credit producing economies or Financialism,
  • Why a policy of unsound money has allowed China and Russia to transition to modern societies without becoming militaristic,
  • Why the global over supply is driving pricing pressures and deflation,
  • The eermergence of China’s new private mercantilism system,
  • The political dimension of the $555T global SWAPS market exposure.

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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.


06/16/2015 - Jordan Eliseo Talks: “Dire Straits – Money For Nothing, Debt For Free”

Special Guest: Jordan Eliseo – Chief Economist, ABC Bullion, Australia

 

FINANCIAL REPRESSION

“The subsidizing of debtors and the attempt to provide essentially a fake support for asset prices – while punishing savers and mis-allocating capital!”

“In Australia we have some of the highest debt levels in the world. Some people in Australia like Financial Repression because it is making it easier for them to pay off their mortgage (or at least afford their mortgage). The flip side is retirees, or people trying to live off fixed income and the like, are finding life very very difficult now because they have taken a very significant “pay cut” on the income which they were able to earn on the capital that they had been able to save throughout their working lives.”

WHAT’S DIFFERENT IN AUSTRALIA?

“Australia is effectively “catching down” to the rest of the world. – it is approximately four to five years behind western word.”

“Australia was incredibly fortunate the first time around to. We had a huge stimulus from China which lead to quite literally an unprecedented boom in capital investment in our mining sector. Trades stayed incredible strong because iron ore, coal prices and even gold was supported from a long time. Also because even at this point Australia has a a government debt level that is still quite manageable”.

“Imbalances have continued to build over this period and now that the mining boom is over, iron ore prices are closer to $60 dollars (not $160) and capital investment is drying up – we are finding we don’t have anything to re-balance to with private debt levels preventing any real pickup in consumer spending in any meaningful way!”

“Australia is about to enter a fairly serious “lull”‘

EXPECT DECLINING STANDARDS OF LIVING

The next phase in Australia that Jordan Eliseo expects “is where people begin to lose faith with Central Banks and start to more fully appreciate the complete lack of connection of what is going on in the real world / real economy and what is going on in asset / financial markets.”

“I think that when that happens financial markets have a lot of “catching down” to do!”

“The road that the government and central banks have led us down is actually a road that is going in the wrong direction! Standards of living are going to continue to decline as we go down that road and it is going to be a very difficult period for investors and individuals just trying to maintain their standard of living.”

WALL STREET IS DISCONNECTED FROM MAIN STREET!

“The end result of current economic policies have caused the disconnection (between Wall Street and Main Street). You can understand the emergency measures that were taken during the financial crisis but all it has done is fuel rampant asset speculation. We haven’t seen any meaningful growth in corporate capital investment or a rise in full time job creation (with a real living wage).”

“If you look at what is happening around the world we are seeing the prioritization of asset speculation over actual investment. It is impacting everyone from individuals, to CEOs, to Boards in making decisions around dividends / stock buybacks versus investing in their own operating businesses!”

“People in Australia on paper are more wealthy because their house price keeps going up, but they have less money to spend because the money they earn on their term deposit & savings continues to decline!”

and much, much more in this 36 minute VIDEO interview on global macro issues …

  • Why the Central Bank play book is very clear for investors,
  • Why we will see a growing appetite for Precious Metals & why it is now imprudent not to acquire some element of precious metals within portfolios,
  • Why we have $5T in Negative Nominal Sovereign Bonds,
  • Why Superannuation is the only investment for 22M people in Australia,
  • Why lower interest rates are ahead for Australia,
  • Why Financial Diversification. Liquidity and Internationalization have become so important.

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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.


06/10/2015 - Jean Marie Eveillard Talks Financial Repression

Special Guest: Jean Marie Eveillard – Former Fund Manager & Legendary Investor

 

FINANCIAL REPRESSION

“One characteristic of Financial Repression is extremely low interest rates. That is what the Federal Reserve, ECB and Bank of Japan have done over the past few years in reaction to the financial crisis of 2008. They have in a sense manipulated interest rates by doing what they call Quantitative Easing, which is the purchasing by the central banks of a number of fixed income securities – in the process taking short term interest rates and long term yields down as much as possible. In doing so they are trying to encourage investors but it is of course detrimental to savers!!”

“In a way they are being pushed into equities … the authorities have created what I think is a bubble in stocks, bonds, high end real estate and art”

REGULATORY “RING FENCING”

“By forcing the banks to inflate their capital, the banks are being forced into buying sovereign securities!”.

This type of regulatory policy chicanery helps finance the growing government debt at the expense of savers, retirees and small business. Eventually sovereign economic growth is affected.

NEGATIVE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

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There are many unintended consequences and moral hazards of such policies. They lead to mal-investment, lack of price discovery and the mispricing of risk. Jean Marie Eveillard cites “economists have warned about potential mal-investment and today we are right there with the problem …. there is no ambiguity when they say they will do whatever it takes!”

“SAVE & INVESTMENT” VERSUS “LEND & SPEND”

“Today the emphasis of economists is to consume, versus save and invest!”

Sustained cheap money increases supply much more than it does demand. We presently have over investment resulting in global over supply. This is not being matched by only moderate global demand based primarily on consumerism. This mismatch leads to a lack of pricing power, which eventually defeats policies of Quantitative Easing and ZIRP which were never intended by their academic architects to be sustained policies.” Gordon T Long

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LINK HERE to the PODCAST

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.


06/09/2015 - Jayant Bhandari – Hard Assets & Natural Resources: FRA “It’s an over supply problem!”

Special Guest: Jayant Bhandari – Global Mining Analyst, Anarcho Capital

 

“Economic Repression is a fact of the day everywhere in the world”

FINANCIAL REPRESSION

“There are two parts of the world in my opinion. One is the western developed civilization and the other is the non-western civilization. The western civilization was primarily based on reason and respect for the individual. This has considerably deteriorated over the last few decades. Increasingly the coming of the police state in particularly the USA. In the West-European part of the western civilization the regulatory controls have become particularly horrendous as well. The welfare system of these economies is deteriorating these societies now. Culturally the western civilizations are increasingly on a slippery slope.”

“The non Western civilizations have adopted the consumerism and wealth creating mechanism of the western civilizations, but I am not sure they have really adopted these things properly! Democracy has not done well in these countries. As a result consumerism is making these countries very unstable. The only countries I feel relatively positive about right now are China and some of the smaller countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, Mauritius – these countries are doing very well.”

HARD ASSETS & NATURAL RESOURCES

The problem is with the investors who have over-funded mining. They shouldn’t have ramped up mining as much as has been done!

‘The places to invest are places like Canada, Scandinavia, Australia and parts of South America. You need consistency in the political climate. You want the stability for people to invest billions of dollars in these countries.”

“I don’t think global demand has fallen. If you look at Iron Ore the world is using three times more Iron Ore. The world requires three times more Iron Ore than it used to 10-15 years ago. What is changed is that we have started to supply more commodities than the world demand is there for it. The problem is with the investors who have overfunded mining. They shouldn’t have ramped up mining as much as has been done!

PERVASIVE GLOBAL OVER-REGULATION

“Global western economies are stagnating and this is a direct result of over regulating business in those countries.”

“Businesses are suffocating in the west now. There is pretty much zero growth. You need to understand the off balance sheet liabilities these businesses have, and continue to increase. They have benefited from technological evolution and the low hanging fruit over the last twenty years.” This has now changed.

The US$ shows that though the US is deteriorating according to Jayant Bhandari “it is deteriorating slower than the rest of the world!”

“Economic repression is a fact of the day everywhere in the world”

Where growth is happening it is because of increasing consumerism and this is not good for the future because growth should be happening as a result of the increase in supply of products – which would mean we should be saving more – which would mean we should be producing more than we are consuming!”

INCREASINGLY BULLISH ABOUT GOLD

“I have never been too bullish about gold but increasingly I am very bullish about gold. The reason is a lot of people misunderstand why Indians buy gold. The reason Indians and Chinese buy so much gold is that for example in India the yield on investment is negative. It pays them to invest in something that gives them positive real yield. In my view India is going to increase its consumption of gold and the Chinese will keep doing it.”

“Once the US$ becomes too over-valued people will begin putting their money in precious metals!”

…. and much more in the video interview. Listen to the whole interview.

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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.


06/07/2015 - Puru Saxena Talks Financial Repression

Special Guest: Puru Saxena – Founder & CEO, Puru Saxena Wealth Management

 

FINANCIAL REPRESSION

“We have been through a huge financial crisis in 2008 which brought the world’s banking system to it knees. The US housing market was on it knees. It was the worst recession, if not depression that the US faced in a long time. It affected all the global markets. So rightly or wrongly –wrongly in my view – the central banks decided to bailout everyone in site by keeping interest rates near zero and launching Quantitative Easing programs (which is essentially bond buying or asset swapping) which is printing new money and buying toxic bonds from the banks and thereby cleaning up the banks balance sheets – making sure the banking system survives.”

“In the process they have held interest rates at zero for a long long time, not only in the US, Europe and a lot of other countries in the developed world, which is penalizing the savers to the benefit of the borrowers and debtors. They are especially hurting people at retirement or close to retirement because suddenly their passive income which they had worked so hard to accumulate all their life disappears!

“It is essentially a transfer of wealth from savers to the borrowers and debtors.”

“This has managed to stabilize the system temporarily but is really not good for society!”

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

“The problem is everyone has become accustomed to being bailed out! Now there is no such thing as a bankruptcy! Everyone knows (especially the banks), if they make mistakes someone will bail them out either the central banks or the government. It has increased risk taking.

“It has increased risk taking.

“I never felt QE was capable of increasing business activity because this is not really a supply side problem but a demand side problem. You have households all over the world already choking on debt. The last thing they want to do is borrow more money even if you drop rates to zero or give them money to borrow, they just are not going to do it!

A DEMAND PROBLEM

“When people ask why QE hasn’t caused inflation or hyperinflation, the answer is simple: households in the west were in no position to borrow money at even zero interest rates. The aggregate demand for new debt or credit was simply not there. By swapping assets the central banks have managed to cleanup the banking system but they have not been able to ignite the risk appetite at the household level”.

“We have a Demand problem, NOT a Supply Side problem!”

This is a global problem! “Even in Hong Kong, 2 years ago it was teaming with mainline Chinese tourists which now are simply not coming. Retail sales in Hong Kong have fallen significantly. Spending is hurting as the middle class has been obliterated! The rich have become richer as assets have increased and savers have been penalized. This policy of QE and Financial Repression has really helped the elite of the world – who have had access to financial leveraging.”

LOW GROWTH ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT

The core problem to Puru Saxena is:

  1. The low growth economic environment we find ourselves in,
  2. The deflationary pressures in Europe and Japan

“Historically we have seen, whenever an economy passes through an extremely slow growth, sluggish environment where there is a lack of aggregate demand and you have deflationary pressures, long term interest rates have always gone down. The tendency of long-term interest rates is to drift lower in this environment. Long-term interest rates are normally set by the rate of economic activity as well as the real rate of inflation. At the moment we don’t really have much inflation or at least forces on inflation anywhere in the developed world and economic activity is zero or even negative!”

Long-term interest rates are price appropriately for the current economic activity!

There is much, much more in this 31 minute macroeconomic view of the world and the investment opportunities it presents.

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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.


06/01/2015 - Jim Rogers Talks Financial Repression

Special Guest: Jim Rogers – Investor, Bestselling Author & Financial Commentator

 

FINANCIAL REPRESSION

“Financial Repression can mean many things but basically in a nutshell it is a lack of free market finance and human activity, where the government thinks it is smarter than we are!”

“History has shown many times that we are smarter than governments, politicians and the bureaucrats – but they don’t like to give up power. When they make mistakes they blame it on us and try and make us pay for it! When they see a problem arise their first instinct is to try and suppress the public and markets. They try and do things they think will make things better, but of course it doesn’t, and only makes things worse!”

GOVERNMENT CONTROLS & REGULATIONS

“When problems arise they put on exchange controls which is a time honored tradition of politicians and bureaucrats to correct mistakes they have made. We will have exchange controls in the US again – no question. We already have exchange controls to some extent such as FATCA and other things to make it more and more difficult for Americans to do anything as far as finances are concerned. They will put on trade controls, tariffs quotas – they will come up with all sorts of things.”

Politicians don’t know what they are doing. History proves many times that politicians make things worse instead of better because what they do since they don’t know anything themselves, they ask the bureaucrats how they can save themselves. The bureaucrats rush in and say “this is the way you save yourself”. “It isn’t your fault, it is the markets fault and those evil speculators and the people! They then come up with regulations and controls. They don’t know what they are doing!”

Regarding ZIRP, Operation Twist and three rounds of Quantitative Easing, Jim Rogers predicts:

“We are going to have to pay a horrible price for yet another mistake made by the bureaucrats”

WHAT SHOULD INVESTORS BE THINKING ABOUT?

  1. “The first thing investors should do is only do things they know a lot about! Don’t listen to me or anyone else who you don’t know what they are talking about. Do not so something that you yourself don’t understand perfectly.”
  2. “Everyone should know about having assets outside their own country. We all have fire insurance which we hope we will never use. Look upon international diversification as a kind of insurance. … diversify internationally.
  3. “If you don’t know about other asset classes then please, for goodness sake, learn about them because there are going to be many strange things happen in the next decade.

THE CERTAINTY OF ECONOMIC SLOWDOWN

“History shows in the US we have had economic slowdowns every four to seven years since the beginning of the republic. We are going to have them again no matter what people tell you. If someone tells you we will never have another economic slowdown – please put your money in your pocket and head as far away as you can!”

“It is going to be much, much worse than 2008. There is higher debt everywhere than previously!”

“We have never had history all the central banks printing such vast amounts of money at the same time! There is a hugh ocean of liquidity floating around out there!”

… and much more

  • Coming Exchange, Trade and Quota controls,
  • The dangers the coming Cashless Society,
  • The $5T Nominal Negative Interest Rate Sovereign Bonds,
  • The destruction of the US savings and working class,
  • The slowing Chinese Economy,
  • Why recessions are healthy. Why the avoidance of recessions leads to serious malfeasance.
  • The importance of investing in productive 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.


06/01/2015 - Thorsten Polleit PhD – The Natural Interest Rate

Special Guest: Thorsten Polleit PhD – Polleit & Riechert Investment Management

 

The “Natural Interest Rate” Is Always Positive and Cannot Be Negative

Some economists have been arguing that the “equilibrium real interest rate” (that is the “natural interest rate” or the “originary interest rate”) has become negative, as a “secular stagnation” has allegedly caused a “savings glut.” The idea is that savings exceed investment, and that a negative real interest rate is required for bringing savings in line with investment. From the viewpoint of the Austrian school, the notion of a “negative equilibrium real interest rate” doesn’t make sense at all.

The market interest rate is the outcome of the supply of and demand for savings in the market place. It can be observed, for instance, in the deposit, bond, or loan market for different maturities and credit qualities. The originary interest rate is a category of human action, saying that acting man values goods available at present more highly than goods available in the future. In other words: Future goods trade at a price discount relative to present goods. For instance, 1 US$ available today is preferred over 1 US$ available in one year’s time.

If 1 US$ to be received in one year’s time is valued at, say, 0.909 US$, the originary rate of interest is 10 percent. (1 US$ divided by 0.909 minus 1 gives you 0.10, or 10 percent, for that matter.) 10 percent is here the originary interest rate (disregarding any other premia).

The “Originary Interest Rate” Reflects a Value Differential

The originary interest rate is expressive of a value differential, which results from so-called time-preference. The term time-preference denotes that acting man prefers an earlier satisfaction of wants over a later satisfaction of wants. Time-preference is always and everywhere positive, and so is the originary interest rate. This is, first and foremost, what common sense would tell us.

The notion that time-preference and the originary interest rate could be zero, does not only sound absurd, it is also a logical impossibility: Positive time-preference and a positive originary interest rate are logically implied in the irrefutably true “axiom of human action.”

Human action is purposive behavior, implying the use of means to achieve ends. Action requires time (it is impossible to think otherwise). Thus, time is an indispensable and scarce means for achieving ends. As such, it must be economized, which necessarily implies that an earlier satisfaction of wants is preferred over a later satisfaction of wants.

For (praxeo-)logical reasons, therefore, time preference and the originary interest rate cannot fall to zero, let alone become negative. The implications of a negative originary interest rate cannot even be conceived by the human mind: A zero originary interest rate already implies no action ever into eternity.

The End of the Market Economy

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.

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.

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.


05/31/2015 - Mark Nestmann on US Foreign Investment Taxation

Special Guest: Mark Nestmann – Lawyer, International Taxation Law

 

After establishing a noted career in international investment, Mark Nestmann left the US for three years to study for his “Master of Law” (LL.M.) degree in international tax law at the Vienna University School of Economics and Business Administration in Vienna, Austria. This is an indication of the seriousness and rigor with which Mark tackles issues in International Taxation for his high net worth clients. He shared his views with the FINANCIAL REPRESSION AUTHORITY in this exclusive interview.

FOREIGN ACCOUNT TAX COMPLIANCE ACT – FATCA

Passed in 2010 and hidden as part of a “Military Pensions Act”, no one fully understood what it meant or paid much attention to it.

“The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, is one of the most arrogant and one-sided laws ever passed by Congress. The idea behind FATCA, which Congress enacted in 2010, is simple: Demand that other countries enforce America’s imperialistic tax laws. And do so by the confiscation of foreign assets, if necessary.”Why FATCA Is a Train Wreck Waiting to Happen – Mark Nestmann

“What is happening is foreign financial institutions (which is defined very broadly in the act) under the law are required to identify their US clients and force their US clients to self identify and turn over information to the IRS.”

“If the banks or countries don’t comply then 30% of their US source income (and in some case 30% of source gross sales revenues) of things like stocks, bonds, CDs etc are withheld – this is a pretty big number! The only way banks can avoid the 30% withholding tax is to essentially act as unpaid IRS informants.”

“Not surprisingly, FATCA and numerous other laws that require FFIs to enforce US money laundering, anti-terrorism, and securities regulations have led most of these institutions to fire their US clients. Perhaps one in 10 – and possibly fewer – non-US banks still permit US citizens or permanent residents to open accounts. That leaves little choice for Americans but to deal only with banks that have agreed to toe the IRS line.”Why FATCA Is a Train Wreck Waiting to Happen – Mark Nestmann

“Non US persons investing in the US are also effected by FATCA. If their foreign bank don’t comply their US investment is whacked 30% as well – It isn’t just Americas who should care about this but basically everyone in the world!”

This is not a good time to have unreported financial accounts in countries that have already signed FATCA agreements with the US, or are about to. If you’re in this situation, you might want to seriously consider retaining a tax attorney to enroll you in the IRS’s latest Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program.

PASSIVE FOREIGN INVESTMENT COMPANY – PFIC

“PFIC is another aspect of Financial Repression and aspect of regulatory restrictions on investment choices.”

“If you have an investment vehicle registered outside the US the IRS will consider it a PFIC. As an example of the way this tax is very unfavorable is that unless an offshore Mutual Fund qualifies as a US Mutual Fund when you sell it (or deemed to sell it) you have to file not only a return on the income by also a “throwback” interest charge for EVERY YEAR you held the fund. Additionally the tax rate is computed at the highest marginal rate in that year!”

“What happens is that people who held offshore mutual funds for a long period of time windup losing every penny of income in that fund because it is paid out in taxes and interest penalties.”

… there is much, much more in this 26 minute video interview covering:

  • CITIZENSHIP TAXATION (including the absurdity of 1986 Tax Legislation for “Mars”??)
  • UNOFFICIAL CAPITAL CONTROLS NOW IN PLACE,
  • US 2008 “EXIT TAX” (for citizens and Green Card holders on unrealized gains),
  • INHERITANCE IRS TAX GRABS,
  • THE NEW EX-PATRIOT ACT,
  • INVESTING ABROAD,
  • THE RATE OF ACCELERATION OF RESTRICTIVE FOREIGN CHOICES FOR AMERICANS,
  • THE GROWING MOVEMENT TOWARDS SECOND CITIZENSHIP PROTECTION,
  • WHY THE LEGAL ABOLISHMENT OF CASH IS COMING.

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.


05/29/2015 - John Mauldin Talks Financial Repression

Special Guest: John Mauldin – Financial Author, Writer & Publisher

 

FINANCIAL REPRESSION

“My recent book ‘Code Red’ was really all about Financial Repression. We were talking then about Currency Wars which has come to be played out. We were talking then about Central Banks driving down interest rates on savings to force retirees and savers into other types of investment and take more risk. They want them to move more out onto the risk curve which the central bankers believe will stimulate the economy. What they don’t understand is that taking it from savers, it takes it from their consumption behavior patterns.”

They are robbing from Peter to pay Paul, but in this case Paul is the banks and Wall Street Interests. It is not for the guy on main street.

“When the central banks start messing around with the markets they change the price of money and it has all sorts of unintended consequences!”

SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY OF ZERO INTEREST RATES

“This period of zero interest has created an extraordinary set of malinvestments as a result of unintended consequences. One example is they have money real cheap for Texas oil men. When you make money cheap for Texas oil men they punch holes in the ground. They moved out ‘onto the edge’. It created employment and drove rig prices up.” … “It changed behaviors, it changed how we think the world works – we will see how it works out!

BOND LIQUIDITY CRISIS

“Investors have been moving into high yield (HY) bonds. We are issuing risky HY bonds that are much more risky than 2007 with less covenants. Its like we didn’t learn anything! People feel they have to have more yield and can’t survive without it. We have bond funds where people are chasing longer duration bond funds. If interest rates on the long end of the curve grows by 1%, these longer duration bond funds (2 of the largest funds in the world) could lose 20%. Investors in 401K’s who see 20% losses will panic and hit the sell button. Because we wrote a bill called Dodd-Frank, which basically says you banks can’t get involved in providing liquidity to this market because we don’t want you to take the risk – they have shoved the risk to investors who will all try and get out the door at the same time!”

“It would not surprise me in the next crisis (and it will happen) to see the Federal Reserve step in and start directly funding Mutual Funds and ETFs trying to provide liquidity into a panicking market!”

A ‘SKYROCKETING’ DOLLAR

As John wrote in “code red” he sees a continuing strengthening in the US$.

“The dollar is going to get stronger than any of us can even imagine!”

“The BIS cites that emerging markets have borrowed some $9T in US$ terms.” As emerging markets weaken they must pay their loans in appreciating dollars. There is presently a mad scramble ensuing to cover this carry trade. Mauldin believes it will get even worse because of Japan.

“Japan is just continuing to print money. They are just going to print more money! When that doesn’t work they will print even more money. They have a sovereign debt crisis that the only way they can solve it to trash their currency and to move the debt they have generated from banks and pension funds unto the balance sheet of the central bank. That is their only solution. Today the 10 Year JGB market (it used to be one of the most liquid in the world) if the BOJ is not buying there are no trades! That is just shocking and is going to put pressures on currencies all over the world!”

“This is movie we just don’t believe will end well!”

LIKELY SCENARIO

  1. A couple of countries have a major crisis,
  2. It may possibly roll from country to country,
  3. The Federal Reserve will supply SWAP lines to central banks around the world,

“Investors at this stage should start to consider what is their exit strategy!”

… and much more in the video discussion…. John gives his advise on what things investors must now be concerned with and how they should be preparing.

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.


05/27/2015 - John Richardson Talks FATCA & US Citizenship Taxation Abroad

Special Guest: John Richardson – Lawyer, FATCA & Citizenship Counselling

 

FINANCIAL REPRESSION, FATCA & US TAXATION

JOHN RICHARDSON, is Canadian based lawyer with a specialized practice of US Taxation abroad for US Citizens. He is the publisher of the web site:citizenship solutions.ca. He tackles the following head-on with “no holds barred”!

You will never view US Taxation the same after listening to this 38 minute podcast.

– How citizenship taxation has made U.S. citizenship a disability in the modern world
– Why renouncing U.S. citizenship is an excellent investment for “U.S. citizens” not living in the U.S.
– How the U.S. “Exit Tax” triggered by renouncing U.S. citizenship operates to confiscate non-U.S. assets outside the U.S.
– How citizenship taxation imposes a “capital tax” on any country that has U.S. citizens resident in it
– How FATCA allows the U.S. to increase its tax based by expanding the definition of citizenship
– How FATCA lowers the international standard of human rights in the world
– How FATCA compliance costs will keep the poor countries poor
– The FATCA Sanction and the “Weaponization of Finance”
– FATCA English and FATCA Forms
– Why the U.S. will always prefer FATCA to GATCA
– FATCA and the future of the dollar as the major world reserve currency

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.