Time For A New Gold Standard For Asia

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Over half the world’s population, living in the Eurasian land mass, understands that gold is money. The leaders of the Asian nations also know that this is true as well. The leaders of the security and economic alliance of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which now incorporates most of these peoples, also know that to become independent of Western hegemony and to forge their own way, they must abandon Western financial systems and markets, replacing them with a new monetary order, serving their own needs. This is demonstrated in the establishment of parallel multinational financial institutions, duplicating and replacing dollar-centric development banks and settlement organisations.

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Debunking Inside Climate’s “5 Shades of Climate Denial”

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Sometimes, words fail me in describing the absolute disregard of the placement of NOAA official climate monitoring sites. For example, this one in Clarinda, Iowa submitted by surfacestations volunteer Eric Gamberg:

 

The MMTS temperature sensor is the short pole next to the half pickup truck.

For those of you that don’t know, this station is located at the wastewater treatment plant there. I’ve written many times about the placement of stations at WWTP’s being a bad idea due to the localized heat bubble that is created due to all the effluent coming though. The effect is especially noticeable in winter. Often you’ll see steam/water vapor in the air around these sites in winter, and more than one COOP observer has told our volunteers that snow sometimes does not stick to the ground at WWTP’s.

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Track Record of Stock Market & Macro Economic Predictions

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Great Recession Blog

 

I’ll let the chart speak for itself. During the first part of the chart, I did all my writing in newspaper articles, so you won’t find support here on this blog or those early years. I began the blog in 2012. The rest is history.As for the Trump Rally at the end, I didn’t predict it (any more than anyone did), but only declared it the typical euphoric rally (period of irrational exuberance) that comes before a crash, and you can see that it is far more exuberant than any period in the past.

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Climate Models and Climate Reality Vary Greatly

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

A new paper has been published in Geophysical Research Letters that shows once again, that climate models and reality significantly vary. It confirms what Dr. John Christy has been saying (see figure below). The paper also references Dr. Judith Curry and her work.


Pronounced differences between observed and CMIP5-simulated multidecadal climate variability in the twentieth century

Plain Language Summary

Global and regional warming trends over the course of the twentieth century have been nonuniform, with decadal and longer periods of faster or slower warming, or even cooling. Here we show that state-of-the-art global models used to predict climate fail to adequately reproduce such multidecadal climate variations. In particular, the models underestimate the magnitude of the observed variability and misrepresent its spatial pattern. Therefore, our ability to interpret the observed climate change using these models is limited.

Abstract

Identification and dynamical attribution of multidecadal climate undulations to either variations in external forcings or to internal sources is one of the most important topics of modern climate science, especially in conjunction with the issue of human-induced global warming. Here we utilize ensembles of twentieth century climate simulations to isolate the forced signal and residual internal variability in a network of observed and modeled climate indices. The observed internal variability so estimated exhibits a pronounced multidecadal mode with a distinctive spatiotemporal signature, which is altogether absent in model simulations. This single mode explains a major fraction of model-data differences over the entire climate index network considered; it may reflect either biases in the models’ forced response or models’ lack
of requisite internal dynamics, or a combination of both.

CONTINUE READING –>

Study Finds: Corn Better Used as Food Than Biofuel

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

From the UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN and the “don’t burn your food” department.

Corn is grown not only for food, it is also an important renewable energy source. Renewable biofuels can come with hidden economic and environmental issues, and the question of whether corn is better utilized as food or as a biofuel has persisted since ethanol came into use. For the first time, researchers at the University of Illinois have quantified and compared these issues in terms of economics of the entire production system to determine if the benefits of biofuel corn outweigh the costs.

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Shrinkflation – Real Inflation Much Higher Than Reported

By Mark O’Byrne – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

  • Shrinkflation – Real inflation much higher than reported and realised
  • Shrinkflation is taking hold in consumer sector
  • Important consumer, financial, monetary and economic issue being largely ignored by financial analysts, financial advisers, economists, central banks and the media.
  • Food becoming more expensive as consumers get less for price paid
  • A form of stealth inflation, few can avoid it
  • Brexit is the scapegoat for shrinkflation by the media and companies
  • Consumers blame retailers rather than central banks
  • Gold hedge has doubled in value since 2007 

Shrinkflation: no one left untouched

600 new words entered our official lexicon this week as the Oxford English Dictionary announced the latest new additions to their online records.

One of the words reportedly up for consideration was shrinkflation. It did not make the final cut and as a result continues to be defined by the authority as ‘a portmanteau, made from combining shrink: ‘to become or make smaller in size’, with the economic sense of inflation: ‘a general increase in prices and fall in the purchasing value of money’.

In order for a word to be accepted into the OED it must have been in use for at least five years. But the latest list suggests that this isn’t the case and exceptions can be made. The inclusion of ‘superbrat’, a word which is usually associated with the behaviour of John McEnroe in the 1970s, actually dates back to the the 1950s.

Yet, shrinkflation continues to elude the world’s authority on the English language. This seems bizarre to us given both the word and the phenomenon and something consumers have been experiencing for a number of years.

Although it is understandable in the context of an important consumer, financial and economic issue which is being largely ignored by financial analysts, financial advisers, economists and the media.

We first covered the shrinkflation phenomenon back in 2014 when we reported how  Dr. Philippa Malmgren had highlighted this ‘shrinkflation’ trend in a new book.

Shrinkflation: A New Phenomenon?

As we mentioned last week, shrinkflation is a phenomenon that is not unique to the current financial crisis. In 1916 The Seattle Star ran a front-page story on the issue, ‘“[Inspectors] went from bakery to bakery Thursday checking up on the bread situation…And here is what they found: ten-cent loaves of bread have shrunk from 32 ounces to 22 ounces, and standard 5-cent loaves, that used to weigh 16 ounces, now average 11 ounces.”

Search Graph for Shrinkflation (Google)

Granted, back in 1916 the word ‘shrinkflation’ was not in use but it had a place firmly in the economy. Use of the word shrinkflation has been picking up pace since at least 2012. We can see this by the examining the search history for the phrase on Google.

You can clearly see a peak in the search for the term in November 2016. It was at this point when news of the newly designed Toblerone hit the British newspapers. Mondelez, Toblerone’s manufacturers had announced they would be reducing the bars from 170 grams to 150 grams in the UK which would affect the shape.

Mondelez’s justification for the change was due to an uptick in ‘many ingredients’ prices’, the company specifically blamed the drop of the euro against the Swiss franc in January, and an increase in cocoa prices over the last three years.

Cocoa Prices – Money Week

It’s not just Toblerone fans who are feeling the pinch on chocolate bars. Creme Eggs and Quality Street (other British high street favourites) have been shrinking, with price remaining the same.

Other household items and food prices have also been affected.

Brexit Is The Scapegoat

Even though we can go back nearly 100 years to witness shrinkflation and see evidence of it in our household items and online searches, it is only in the last year that manufacturers and the media have managed to find a reason for its existence.

Brexit is being blamed – as it is being blamed for a number of woes being experienced in the UK at present.

Brexit seems to be bearing the brunt of the blame for the recent shrinkages, thanks to the impact of the referendum of the price of sterling. You don’t need to have a PhD in economics to understand the effect this has on prices.

12 months since the vote sterling is still weak, it is 15% down against the US dollar, and 14% against the euro. Things are expected to get worse, with HSBC analysts expecting the pound to hit parity with the euro by the end of the year.

There is little doubt that a weak currency will impact the cost of raw goods and materials which make up chocolate bars and other items. However shrinkflation existed even when the pound was strong.

No Sign Of Easing Up

In 2015 the Irish Times reported on this very topic and referred to a 2014 Which? survey:

Aunt Bessie’s Homestyle Chips were reduced in size from 750g to 700g, while a box of Surf with Essential Oils washing powder fell in size from 2kg to 1.61kg. In 2014 there was 750g of mixed vegetables in a Birds Eye Select bag; today it is 690g. Cif Actifizz Multi-Purpose Lemon Spray and Domestos Spray Bleach Multipurpose Cleaner were reduced in size from 750ml last year to 700ml today…

‘The shrinkage does not end there. In previous years, Which? has recorded one- litre tubs of Carte D’Or ice cream turning into 900ml tubs, while a litre of Innocent smoothies became 900ml. Magnum ice creams, which used to be 360ml, are now 330ml, and the size of a bar of Imperial Leather soap fell from 125g to 100g, a reduction of 20 per cent…

‘The list goes on. A packet of 48 Persil washing tablets turned into a packet of 40, a decline of 16.6 per cent, while 56 Pampers Baby Wipes used to be a packet of 63, an 11.1 per cent reduction.’

This was well before the EU referendum. It was impossible to blame a weak currency, instead this was and remains all about the impact of real inflation on consumer prices. This is despite having been told for years that inflation was very low.

UK Inflation Expectations (FT)

Inflation expectations are relatively low amongst households in the UK, EU and U.S.

Only now are we beginning to see both officials and individuals wake up to the presence of inflation in the UK. In May consumer prices accelerated faster than BoE expectations. They hit a four-year high of 2.9% and are expected to exceed 3% in the coming months.

In the UK, there are some concerns and dissent has increased in the BoE’s monetary policy committee (MPC) over the suitability of its record low interest rate policy in regard to rising inflationary pressures. It has been some time since we have seen any sign of concern regarding inflationary issues, from members of the MPC.

Meanwhile in households it looks like it has taken the appearance of a chocolate bar to drive the message home that businesses are experiencing price pressures. Unfortunately this has merely come out as anger towards companies rather than the central banks and governments who are ultimately responsible for this inflationary issue.

Unjust for consumers or time to take responsibility?

Which? magazine and consumer action groups have tried to bring retailers to account for what are considered to be misleading practices.

In Ireland, the Consumer Association’s Chief Executive stated

“I don’t know if we can say consumers are being deliberately misled but they are being put in a position where it becomes very difficult to make informed decisions.”

“I think the worst example of this is the widespread shrinking of products. The content gets smaller but the price and the packaging stays the same. These are price increases by stealth, and by any measure inflation of this nature is abnormal in the current environment. I think they are appalling.”

As we have seen with quantitative easing, bank bailouts and the overall financial crisis consumers seem to be relatively disinterested in fighting back against these practices that ultimately cost them more.

A YouGov survey found that 46 per cent those polled would prefer to pay more for an item than see it shrink. Yet 36 per cent said they’d be satisfied if the pack got smaller, but the price stayed the same.

The same survey run by YouGov Portion Sizes and Health found that firms risk losing over a third of their customer base if they cut pack sizes by 15 per cent.

While there is uproar on Facebook pages about this topic, the concerns of some consumers are not being voiced by politicians, economists, central bankers or the media.

Depite the zeitgeist of the moment, this isn’t about retailers taking advantage of consumers. Shrinkflation is a very serious byproduct of a practice which has been going on for many years now.

Shrinkflation is just inflation in stealth mode and is the consequence of currency debasement on a scale that the world has never seen before.

It brings the economy’s problems literally to the kitchen table.

We are finally at a point where those who have so far been apparently untouched by the financial crisis i.e. the middle classes who still have jobs, they have seen their homes increase in value and they still go abroad twice a year, are beginning to see their cost of living increase.

As are the working classes, pensioners and those on low salaries or fixed incomes.

They will soon recognise that no one is left unharmed by the monetary and economic policies which followed the financial crisis.

Easy monetary policy is wealth ignorant. It gives little regard to how you spend your money and where you hold your cash. That’s why savers have to make room for those real assets which cannot be shrunk down and magicked away.

Investments such as gold and silver by their very nature are immune to the shrinkflation effect and are an important hedge against it.

Next time you’re considering that bar of Toblerone at the supermarket checkout, just imagine how much is missing compared to when you would have bought with the proceeds of your first payslip.

Then consider how much a bar of gold would have changed since then, the fact is that it hasn’t. You would still have the same sized bar, with the same gold content and it is worth a lot more now.

Gold in USD – 10 Years

Gold is twice the price it was before the crisis in 2007. While many household goods and products are higher in price or the same price but a much smaller size.

Shrinkflation is happening and real inflation is much higher than is being reported or people realise.

Your purchasing power and your wealth can be preserved from the ravages of shrinkflation, just don’t expect it to happen courtesy of central banks and governments.

CONTINUE READING –>

Rebuttal to Environmentalists’ Claims That “Arctic Drilling Revenue Predictions Are ‘Way Off’”

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Why would anyone care what “environmentalists” have to say about potential Arctic oil revenue?  I only care because their “reasoning” is both fun and easy to ridicule.

Environmentalists Say Arctic Drilling Revenue Predictions ‘Way Off’

IULIA GHEORGHIU | JUNE 19, 2017

Conservation advocates believe opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, America’s largest swath of wilderness, isn’t likely to be the boon to federal coffers that President Donald Trump expects.

Opening up the wilderness region is a perennial issue; bipartisan bills are introduced each Congress to definitively label the area as “wilderness” while industry groups seek to gain access to a section of land that had been designated for oil and gas exploration. Plans have existed since 1980 to use less than 3 percent of the more than 19 million acres of wilderness refuge for oil and gas exploration — but conservation groups argue even that amount is too much.

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2017 Third-Quarter World Forecast

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Overview

Tempering Trump Policy: Ongoing federal investigations and intensifying budget battles with Congress will make for another distracting quarter for U.S. President Donald Trump. But these disruptions won’t mitigate the rhetoric of White House ideologues, or broader speculation that the United States is retreating from the global stage. The reality of the superpower’s role in global governance, of course, is far more complicated. Meanwhile, the administration’s more extreme policy initiatives, particularly on matters of trade and climate, will be tempered at the federal, corporate, state and local levels. And though the United States will maintain its security alliances abroad, it will also generate enough uncertainty to drive its partners toward unilateral action in managing their own neighborhoods.

Sparks Fly in the Middle East: Qatar’s standoff with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will persist throughout the quarter amid intensifying battles among regional powers’ proxies across the region. More visible competition within the Gulf Cooperation Council and growing distrust between Turkey and its Gulf neighbors will reveal the weaknesses of the White House’s strategy to conform to Riyadh’s increasingly assertive foreign policy in an attempt to manage the region. The risk of clashes among great powers is also on the rise in eastern Syria: As Iran works to create a land bridge from Tehran to Damascus and the Mediterranean coast, Syrian loyalists and U.S.-backed rebels are racing toward the Iraqi border, all while Russia uses the Syrian battlefield to jockey with the United States for influence.

A Stressed but Stable Oil Market: As Saudi Arabia’s young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman continues to amass power, much of his focus will stay fixed on preparing for the initial public offering of Saudi Aramco in 2018. Part of that plan entails preserving a deal on production cuts among major oil producers in hopes of keeping prices stable amid climbing output in the United States, Libya, Nigeria and Kazakhstan. Compliance with the agreement will hold through the quarter, but it will slip toward the end of the year as signatories begin to craft their exit strategies.

Dancing Around the North Korean Crisis: The limits to China’s cooperation in sanctions against North Korea will become clearer as trade talks between Beijing and Washington head for a rough patch. Pyongyang’s nuclear and weapons tests will continue to fuel friction in the region, though they will not increase the chances of U.S. military action this quarter unless the North Korean regime can demonstrate a credible long-range missile capability; an achievement that is probably still at least a year away.

Europe Buys Time While Russia Airs Its Dirty Laundry: A likely electoral win for Germany’s moderate forces and early reform successes in France will reinvigorate calls to take advantage of the prevailing calm on the Continent to revamp the European Union. Doing so, however, will expose the many fault lines festering in Europe as each camp proposes a different vision for integration. And with a wary West on guard against Russian cyberwarfare and propaganda campaigns, there will be little room for substantive negotiation between Washington and Moscow this quarter. At the same time, a burgeoning protest movement will keep the Kremlin’s hands full at home.
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AAAS: “Let’s hold them accountable”

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

This morning, I received another email from the American Association for the Advancement of Science…

AAAS junk

We cannot overstate this: Under the current administration, the future of scientific inquiry and discovery in the U.S. is in serious jeopardy.

You can do something important right now to protect our progress and our planet: become an AAAS member.

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2017 Global Temperatures are Leveling Off

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

From the “dashed hopes for the warmest year evar!” department comes this update from Dr. Ryan Maue on the global surface temperature:

Via Twitter:

Global temperatures have generally settled to +0.26°C compared to 1981-2010 climatology continuing downward glide thru 2017 (black line)

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General Electric: Another Impending Pension Crisis is Here

By Joe Scudder – Re-Blogged From Eagle Rising

In addition to public unions facing a pension crisis, General Electric may soon be begging for a bailout.

Naturally, the news that reports on the disaster that is heading for General Electric also tries to downplay the news. The company allegedly has years to find a way to solve their pension problem. But financial news always tells the public that they have a long time before it is “time to panic.” But that is the problem: If you wait that long to panic, it is too late.

Bloomberg reports, “The $31 Billion Hole in GE’s Balance Sheet That Keeps Growing.

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Life on Earth Nearly Was Doomed By Too Little CO2

By Dennis T. Avery – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

During the last ice age, too little atmospheric carbon dioxide almost eradicated mankind

Aside from protests by Al Gore, Leonardo Di Caprio and friends, the public didn’t seem to raise its CO2 anguish much above the Russians-election frenzy when Trump exited the Paris Climate Accords.

Statistician Bjorn Lomborg had already pointed out that the Paris CO2 emission promises would cost $100 trillion dollars that no one has, and make only a 0.05 degree difference in Earth’s 2100 AD temperature. Others say perhaps a 0.2 degree C (0.3 degrees F) difference, and even that would hold only in the highly unlikely event that all parties actually kept their voluntary pledges.

What few realize, however, is that during the last Ice Age too little CO2 in the air almost eradicated mankind. That’s when much-colder water in oceans (that were 400 feet shallower than today) sucked most of the carbon dioxide from the air; half of North America, Europe and Asia were buried under mile-high glaciers that obliterated everything in their paths; and bitterly cold temperatures further retarded plant growth.

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Brexit One Year Later, In Five Charts

By Frank Holmes – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

One year ago, British voters cast their ballots in favor of leaving the 28-member European Union, defying multiple opinion polls leading up to the Brexit referendum that said the “remain” camp would notch a narrow victory.

In a pre-Brexit Frank Talk last year, I wrote that Brexit would be regarded as the most consequential political event of 2016. President Donald Trump’s surprise election notwithstanding, I stand by my earlier comment.

 

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Inflation Is No Longer In Stealth Mode

By Mark O’Byrne – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

  • IHS Markit index shows UK households pessimistic about finances for 2017-208
  • UK household finances remain under intense pressure from rising living costs
  • 58 percent of respondents expected higher interest rates in 12 months time
  • Inflation in the United Kingdom currently at near four-year high
  • Prices up prices by 2.9pc year-on-year, biggest annual increase since June 2013
  • In May consumer spending in the UK fell for the first time in almost four years

By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. John Maynard Keynes, The Economic Consequences of the Peace (1919)

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California Judge Blocks Implementation of Gun Magazine Ban

By Bob Adelmann – Re-Blogged From New American

U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez issued a temporary injunction against implementation of a California law passed last year that would have turned most of the state’s six million gun owners into criminals overnight. Previous law banned high-capacity magazines (containing more than 10 rounds) but grandfathered in those owners who already possessed them. The new law repeals that exemption and punishes mere possession of the offending magazines with fines and possible jail time, starting on Saturday, July 1.

Said Benitez:

If this injunction [is not issued] hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of otherwise law-abiding citizens will have an untenable choice: become an outlaw, or dispossess one’s self of lawfully acquired property. That is a choice they should not have to make….

The State of California’s desire to criminalize simple possession of a firearm magazine able to hold more than 10 rounds is precisely the type of policy choice that the Constitution takes off the table.

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NYT Coins Ridiculous Meme: ‘Earth-scorching CO2’

By Kip Hansen – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

 

NYT_earth_scorching

The New York Times has set a new standard of scientific misrepresentation in this front page title to the latest climate change consensus salvo from Justin Gillis.   On the front page of the online edition of the NY Times for 26 June 2017, the title is given:  “Sharp Rise in Levels of Earth-Scorching Carbon Dioxide”

The actual title of the article, once one clicks through to it,  is “Carbon in Atmosphere Is Rising, Even as Emissions Stabilize”.

Who knows who at the NY Times thinks that characterizing CO2 as “Earth-scorching” is a valid scientific description of one of the absolutely necessary-for-life trace gases in the Earth’s atmosphere.  It certainly is not a proper journalistic description.

My objection is that it is a serious violation of Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics  specifically:

Provide context. Take special care not to misrepresent or oversimplify in promoting, previewing or summarizing a story.

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Raise The Inflation Target And Put A Date On It!

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Raise the Inflation Target and Put a Date on It! That’s the direction some high-profile economist and former members on the FOMC want to go. According to these academics, including Narayana Kocherlakota the former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from 2009 to 2015, raising the inflation target just isn’t enough. They want to put a time horizon on it as well. In other words, they want to raise the inflation target higher than the current 2% level, and then place a firm date as to when that inflation goal must be achieved.

Their rational for doing both actions is to reduce the level of real interest rates, which they somehow believe is the progenitor for viable GDP growth. You see, once the Fed has taken the nominal Fed Funds Rate to zero, there isn’t much more room to the downside unless these money manipulators assent to negative nominal interest rates. But charging banks to hold excess reserves is fraught with danger, and so far this idea has been eschewed in this country and has been proven ineffectual in Europe.

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California Dumps Millions of Dollars of Unusable Renewable Electricity to Other States

By Larry Hamlin – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

California’s renewable energy policy pushing huge mandated increases in wind and solar so the state’s globally irrelevant greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets can be met has it’s citizens providing and paying millions of dollars for unusable renewable energy to be sent to other states – and this problem will likely only grow in the future.

clip_image002

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The Real Indian Currency Crisis

By Hard Asset Alliance – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

On November 8, 2016, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi dropped a bombshell. In a televised address at 8:00 pm, he declared that after midnight—four hours later—banknotes with face values of INR500 (US$7.50) and INR1,000 (US$15) would no longer be legal tender.

These bills comprised 86% of the monetary value of currency in circulation, so to say that panic ensued would be an understatement. The market stayed open all night as people rushed to buy gold, Rolex watches, and anything else they could get their hands on to use up their cash.

During the next two weeks, gold traded for as much as US$3,000 per ounce, a premium of almost 100% to the international price. Foreign currencies traded at similar premiums.

Soon, Indian tax authorities descended on the gold market, confiscating security camera recordings to identify any transaction that might have bypassed taxation. They were raiding people’s houses with abandon.

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When the Black Market Becomes the Real Market

By Jeff Thomas – Re-Blogged From International Man

For many years, I’ve described black markets not as the evil danger to economies that governments profess them to be, but as predictable and sensible reactions to the overregulation of official markets.

Black markets appear whenever an official market has become overregulated or otherwise unworkable due to governmental interference. They then thrive in direct proportion to the failure of official markets to function freely. They are, in fact, both a barometer and a checks-and-balances system for official markets.

Back in 2008, I commented on the growth of the black market in Zimbabwe, as that country slid from inflation to hyperinflation. At that time, the people resorted to the use of other currencies (most notably the US dollar) as black market currency. The government, desperate to force their people into the dying Zim dollar, made it illegal to use the US dollar, but this hardly made a dent in the use of what was clearly a more stable currency. The ban on the US dollar only succeeded in driving it underground. Commerce did not grind to a halt, and money did not cease to change hands. The only real change was that the Zimbabwean government was taken out of the monetary loop.

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Minimum Wage Hurts More Than it Helps

By Jeremy Frankel – Re-Blogged From iPatriot

There has been much discussion and debate over whether to raise the minimum wage, and this debate is still going strong.

The positions range from minimum wage advocates who are part of the #FightFor15 movement, claiming that everyone should make enough money to live on; to opponents of a minimum wage, who believe that minimum wages are counterproductive to both employees and businesses, in the sense that anyone whose work isn’t worth the minimum wage wouldn’t be hired, or that the business cannot afford the minimum wage and therefore, no one has a wage at all, since the business cannot operate.

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Crisis Investing in Brazil

By Doug Casey – Re-Blogged From International Man

Editor’s Note: Brazil is in crisis once again.

This time, Brazil’s president, Michel Temer, has been accused of corruption, bribery, and obstruction of justice.

When news of this scandal broke, it triggered a huge selloff in Brazilian stocks. The iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (EWZ), which tracks Brazil’s stock market, plummeted 18% in one day. It was the fund’s worst day since the 2008 financial crisis.

Most investors now want nothing to do with Brazilian stocks. But we’re not like most investors. We understand crises can actually lead to huge moneymaking opportunities.

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Understanding Money And Prices

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

This article explains the money side of prices, and why government currencies, unbacked by gold, are doomed to collapse. And why gold, which is the sound money chosen by markets throughout history, will retain or increase its purchasing power measured in the goods it buys over the coming years.

Very few people have a full understanding of the relationship between money and goods. This is the relationship that sets prices. Yet, without that understanding, central banks will almost certainly fail in their policy objectives (as they always have done so far), and individuals unaware of gold’s monetary properties will be unable to protect their wealth in monetary and financial conditions that are becoming increasingly unstable.

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Another Ridiculous Scare Tactic: 2 Billion Climate Change Refugees by 2100

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

From the “it didn’t work out with 50 million, so let’s go for 2 billion and date further our that can’t be verifed in our lifetime” department. Remember the “50 million climate refugees by 2010” scare, that worked out so badly that the U.N. had to “disappear it” from their website?

Well, like zombies that never die, it’s back, and stronger than ever. But, it’s from a sociologist, so take it with a grain of salt, and maybe the whole salt shaker.


Rising seas could result in 2 billion refugees by 2100
CORNELL UNIVERSITY

ITHACA, N.Y. – In the year 2100, 2 billion people – about one-fifth of the world’s population – could become climate change refugees due to rising ocean levels. Those who once lived on coastlines will face displacement and resettlement bottlenecks as they seek habitable places inland, according to Cornell University research.

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An Empire Self-Destructs

By Jeff Thomas – Re-Blogged From International Man

Empires are built through the creation or acquisition of wealth. The Roman Empire came about through the productivity of its people and its subsequent acquisition of wealth from those that it invaded. The Spanish Empire began with productivity and expanded through the use of its large armada of ships, looting the New World of its gold. The British Empire began through localized productivity and grew through its creation of colonies worldwide—colonies that it exploited, bringing the wealth back to England to make it the wealthiest country in the world.

In the Victorian Age, we Brits were proud to say, “There will always be an England,” and “The sun never sets on the British Empire.” So, where did we go wrong? Why are we no longer the world’s foremost empire? Why have we lost not only the majority of our colonies, but also the majority of our wealth?

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Are Central Banks Intentionally Going To Crash The System?

By Graham Summers – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Since 2007, the world has packed on a truly staggering amount of Debt.  That year (2007) is now commonly referred to as a debt bubble. At that time, global debt was $149 trillion.

Today, 10 years later, it stands at $217 trillion.

Put another way, the world has packed on another $68 trillion in debt since the last debt bubble. In terms of Debt to GDP, the world has risen from 276% in 2007 (an already insane amount) to 327%.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #275

By Ken Haapala, President, The Science and Environmental Policy Project

The Week That Was: July 1, 2017 Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

Climategate 2017? Last week TWTW discussed a paper by Santer, et al. that seems to support the view that, generally, global climate models greatly overestimate the warming of the atmosphere. The exception is the model by the Institute of Numerical Mathematics in Moscow. TWTW suspected that the paper may be part of a ruse, a trick, to discredit John Christy’s Congressional testimony on December 8, 2015, and February 2, 2016. Christy had stated that global climate models overestimate warming by 2.5 to 3 times. The new Santer paper is similar to one in the Journal of Climate on December 21, 2016.

The 2016 Santer paper claimed that the Christy did not properly account for stratospheric cooling. If that cooling is included, the warming projected by the models is only 1.7 times what is occurring. Yet, Christy specifically limited the data in his testimony to 50,000 feet, below the stratosphere, to avoid the complexity of the issue. The new Santer paper, published in Nature Geoscience on June 19, 2017, has many of the same authors as the previous paper. A noted exception is that Susan Solomon of MIT is not included in the second paper. [Michael Mann is listed as a co-author in the second paper.]

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Climatic Temperature

By Leo Goldstein – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

When something pretending to be a science cannot adequately define a quantity for its central subject, this something is inarguably a pseudo-science. This is certainly the case in the self-professed “climate science.” It proposes the hypothesis of a dangerously warming climate, but does it define a meaningful climatic temperature that can be robustly calculated from the observations at the current time? To the extent that it does define climatic temperature (meaningfully or not), does it pay much attention to this quantity? The answer to both these questions is a resounding NO.

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A Personal Note

By Bob Shapiro

I’ll be away for a little while, seeing family on the West Coast and attending the Barbershop International Contest in Las Vegas. I’ve queued up several posts for while I’m away, and I’ll look at any guest posts you’ve submitted when I get back.

Here is a sample for what I’ll be seeing in Vegas:

 

Welcome To The Third World, Part 24: Illinois About To Default?

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

The train wreck that is the state of Illinois has generated a lot of questions lately, including “Will its government ever pass a budget?”, “Will it ever pay its overdue bills?”, and “Is it possible for a state to go bankrupt?”

Looks like we’re about to get some answers to these questions, along with one more: “What happens to the financial markets when people finally realize that Illinois is far from the only impending bankruptcy?”

Today’s Wall Street Journal has an anecdote-filled article illustrating what certainly looks like a case of terminal financial mismanagement (How Bad Is the Crisis in Illinois? It Has $14.6 Billion in Unpaid Bills):

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Contagion from the 2 Friday-Night Bank Collapses in Italy?

By Don Quijones – Re-Blogged From Wolf Street

This is how desperate the Italian Banking Crisis has become.

When things get serious in the EU, laws get bent and loopholes get exploited. That is what is happening right now in Italy, where the banking crisis has reached tipping point. The ECB, together with the Italian government, have just this weekend to resolve Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca, two zombie banks that the ECB, on Friday night, ordered to be liquidated.

Unlike Monte dei Pachi di Siena, they will not be bailed out with public funds  only. Senior bondholders and depositors will be protected. Shareholders and subordinate bondholders will lose their shirts. However, as the German daily Welt points out, subordinate bondholders at Monte dei Pachi di Siena had billions of euros at stake, much of it owned by its own retail customers who’d been sold these bonds instead of savings products such as CDs. So for political reasons, they were bailed out.

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Toxic Waste From Solar Panels: 300 Times That of Nuclear Power

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Are We Headed for a Solar Waste Crisis?

June 28, 2017 by Mark Nelson

Last November, Japan’s Environment Ministry issued a stark warning: the amount of solar panel waste Japan produces every year will rise from 10,000 to 800,000 tons by 2040, and the nation has no plan for safely disposing of it.

Neither does California, a world leader in deploying solar panels. Only Europe requires solar panel makers to collect and dispose of solar waste at the end of their lives.

All of which begs the question: just how big of a problem is solar waste?

Environmental Progress investigated the problem to see how the problem compared to the much more high-profile issue of nuclear waste.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #274

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

Upheaval in Washington: One can describe the election of Donald Trump and the beginning of his administration as an upheaval against establishment Washington, including both political parties. Certainly, those expressing dissatisfaction at the early steps taken by the Trump administration are from multiple political alliances. Some political groups are outraged by the administration’s decision to leave the Paris Agreement (Accord), other groups are concerned that the Administration is moving too slowly. Each set has arguments that are, at least, partially right.

Some of those objecting to the US leaving the Paris agreement may have counted on lavish US spending on their pet schemes. As mentioned in June 10 TWTW, the Paris agreement involved side agreements that could be costly to the US taxpayer. For example, according to its defenders the Mission Innovation pact of 2015, involved a US commitment of over $6 billion in 2017 and increasing to over $12 billion in 2021. The purpose was to double expenditures on clean energy research and development, apparently without approval by Congress.

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The Forgotten Depression of 1920–1921

By Brian Maher – Re-Blogged From The Daily Reckoning

The year is 1921…

America is less than three years removed from triumph on the Western Front. It’s the dawn of the Roaring Twenties… and the Jazz Age.

Warren Gamaliel Harding is America’s czar.

And the nation is sunk in depression…

U.S. industrial production plunged 31% between 1920 and 1921. Stock prices plummeted 46%… and corporate profits a crushing 92%.

Unemployment ran as high as 19%. Storefronts everywhere gaped empty.

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