End Of An Epoch

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

“There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”

What the heck did John Maynard Keynes mean by saying this? Overturning the existing basis of society?! Let’s begin by stating something that is both obvious and unpopular. We are living in days that could be called the end of an epoch. The signs are everywhere, and becoming more blatant.

Wealth Inequality

The Left focuses on wealth inequality, because they see one of the signs. The falling interest rate seemingly benefits those who own assets (it does not actually benefit anyone), particularly those who finance assets with dirt-cheap credit. And it harms wage-earners, by incentivizing businesses to borrow cheap to buy capital goods to replace labor.

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Wealth Accumulation Is Becoming Impossible

B Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

We talk a lot about the falling interest rate, the too-low interest rate, the near-zero interest rate, the zero interest rate, and the negative interest rate. Hat Tip to Switzerland, where Credit Suisse is now going to pay depositors -0.85%. That is, if you lend your francs to this bank, they take some of them every year. Almost 1% of them.

A bank deposit comes with a risk. But instead of compensating you for the risk, the bank pays you nothing. So it’s a return-free risk. And worse than that, a negative rate means that you are paying the bank in order to take the risk of lending to them.

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A Wealth Tax Consumes Capital

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

It seems one cannot make a name for one’s self on the Left, unless one has a proposal to tax wealth. Academics like Tomas Piketty have proposed it. And now the Democratic candidates for president in the US propose it too, while Jeremy Corbyn proposes it in the UK. Venezuela finally added a wealth tax in July.

A Wealth Tax

So how does a wealth tax work? The politicians quibble among themselves, as if the little implementation details that differ between them are important. But they share the key idea. The wealth taxman is to go to the people who have wealth, and take some. And next year, come back and take more. And so on.

It should be obvious that this is morally wrong. But we want to focus on the economics. To do that, we need to drill down into the nature of wealth. What is wealth?

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The Duality Of Money

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Last week, in Is Capital Creation Beating Capital Consumption, we asked an important question which is not asked nearly often enough. Perhaps that’s because few even acknowledge that capital is being consumed, and fewer tie it to the falling interest rate (perhaps that is because the fact of the falling interest rate is, itself, controversial). At any rate, we showed a graph of Marginal Productivity of Debt.

We said that this shows that consumption of capital is winning the race. And promised to introduce another new concept to explain why.

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Is Capital Creation Beating Capital Consumption?

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

We have written numerous articles about capital consumption. Our monetary system has a falling interest rate, which causes both capital churn and conversion of one party’s wealth into another’s income. It also has too-low interest, which encourages borrowing to consume (which, as everyone knows, adds to Gross Domestic Product—GDP).

What Is Capital

At the same time, of course entrepreneurs are creating new capital. Keith wrote an article for Forbes, showing the incredible drop in wages from 1965 to 2011. There was not a revolution, because prices of goods such as milk dropped at nearly the same rate. The real price of milk dropped as much as it did, because of increased efficiency in production. The word for that which enables an increase in efficiency is capital.

Or, to put it another way, capital provides leverage for productive human effort. We don’t work any harder today, than they did in the ancient world (probably less hard). But we are much richer—we produce a lot more. The difference is capital. They had not accumulated much capital. So they were limited to brute labor, to a degree which we would find shocking today.

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What They Don’t Want You To Know About Prices

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Last week, in Part I of this essay, we discussed why a central planner cannot know the right interest rate. Central planner’s macroeconomic aggregate measures like GDP are blind to the problem of capital consumption, including especially capital consumption caused by the central plan itself. GDP has an intrinsic bias towards consumption, and makes no distinction between consumption of the yield on capital, and consumption of the capital per se…between selling the golden egg, and cooking the goose that lays golden eggs.

One could quibble with this and say that, well, really, the central planners should use a different metric. This is not satisfying. It demands the retort, “if there is a better metric than GDP, then why aren’t they using it now?” GDP is, itself, supposed to be that better metric! Nominal GDP targeting is the darling central plan proposal of the Right, supposedly better than consumer price index and unemployment (as Modern Monetary Theory is the darling of the Left).

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Inflation Is Not Under Control

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Let’s continue on our topic of capital consumption. It’s an important area of study, as our system of central bank socialism imposes many incentives to consume and destroy capital. As capital is the leverage that increases the productivity of human effort, it is vital that we understand what’s happening. We do not work harder today, than they worked 200 years ago, or in the ancient world. Yet we produce so much more, that obesity is a disease more of the poor than the rich. Destruction of capital will cause us to produce less, and that will mean reverting to a lower quality of life.

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Reverse Mortgages, Gold, & Silver

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

We hope everyone had a happy New Year.

There is a long informercial airing on American TV. It shows an endless parade of senior citizens, struggling to pay their bills, unable to buy that motorized stairway lift, play golf, or eat out at restaurants. The solution?

Get a reverse mortgage! The number to call is 1-800-GET-CASH. That number again is one eight hundred get your free cash now!

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Loans vs Lines of Credit

Guest Post By Rebecca Kennedy

Is a Loan or Line of Credit Better for Business Financing?

When you are searching for the best-fit financing to grow or sustain operations in a business, the number of options can seem overwhelming. There are lenders who offer complex products based on the assets held by the business, crowdfunding platforms that engage everyday investors, and conventional banks that provide a variety of borrowing vehicles based on how the funding will be used over time. While the options are daunting, it helps to understand the differences between the two most common categories of business lending – a business loan and a line of credit.

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Saving The Monetary System

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

We are told Monetary Policy is all about staving off recession and stimulating economic growth. However, not only is monetary debasement in any form counterproductive and destroys the personal wealth of the masses, but the economists who devised today’s monetarism have completely lost their way.

This article addresses the confusion surrounding this subject, and concludes the real reason for today’s global monetary policies is an ultimately futile attempt to prevent a systemic and economic crisis.

Wrong Tools For Wrong Targets

Central banks set themselves targets, such as unemployment that is deemed to be “full” – i.e. the optimal low rate that will not lead to a pick-up in price inflation. CPI is the second target, typically set at 2% per annum. The hope is that these targets will lead to sustainable growth in GDP.

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Stock Buy Backs Are Nay Votes

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

Stock prices change minute to minute based on investor perceptions and emotion. Investors compare the current price with current – and expected – earnings.

Over the longer term, it is earnings which will determine the trend of a stock’s price history. You would (correctly) expect that if Company A’s earnings rose by 25% a year for 10 years, while earnings for Company B fell by 25% a year, that the price of Company A stock would have gone up dramatically, while the stock of Company B would have fallen drastically.

One metric that investors use to compare the stock of different businesses is the PE Ratio – a simple division of the Price by the Earnings per Share (usually for the last 12 months). As optimistic investors put more money into a particular stock, the price goes up, and with it the PE Ratio also goes up.

Optimism implies that investors expect the future prospects for a business to be good. If business really is going to be good, you would expect the managers to try to put more capital to work. The business can get this capital in several ways.

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How Do People Destroy Their Capital?

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

I have written previously about the interest rate, which is falling under the planning of the Federal Reserve. The flip side of falling interest rates is the rising price of bonds. Bonds are in an endless, ferocious bull market. Why do I call it ferocious? Perhaps voracious is a better word, as it is gobbling up capital like the Cookie Monster jamming tollhouses into his maw. There are several mechanisms by which this occurs, let’s look at one here.

Artificially low interest makes it necessary to seek other ways to make money. Deprived of a decent yield, people are encouraged (pushed, really) to go speculating. And so the juice in bonds spills over into other markets. When rates fall, people find other assets more attractive. As they adjust their portfolios and go questing for yield, they buy equities and real estate.

Dirt cheap credit is also the fuel for rising asset prices. People can use leverage to buy assets, and further enhance their gains.

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The Economy Is In Liquidation Mode

If you’re an American over a certain age, you remember roller skating rinks (I have no idea if it caught on in other countries). This industry boomed in the 1970’s disco era. However, by the mid 1980’s, the fad was fading. Imagine running a rink company at the end of the craze. You know it is not going to survive for long. How do you operate your business?

You milk it.

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The Twilight of Cash?

By Andy Sutton – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Many decades ago you could walk into almost any bank with a bundle of cash and exchange it for a predetermined amount of gold and/or silver. Cash was used because of its portability, light weight, and the confidence of the citizenry that it was as good as gold. I’m sure you already know where this is going. Fast forward to present day and look around you at the plight of cash. It is now redeemable for nothing, is essentially worth nothing, has zero intrinsic value, and despite ludicrous measures, is rather easily counterfeited. So the question I’m going to pose is this: Why oh why would banks, the USGovt, and the global establishment want to outlaw and abolish something that is already a proxy for slavery and servitude? The dollar (and all paper currency for that matter) has already fulfilled its predestined purpose. A dollar buys a nickel’s worth – quite literally – and still people will break their backs, sacrifice their families, and even take the life of another all in the pursuit of pieces of paper. Why is the establishment so against cash?

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