Will Brexit And Coronavirus End The EU?

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

The EU and euro face a sudden deterioration in economic conditions due to the coronavirus, which seems certain to widen the differences between Germany and the spendthrift Mediterranean members. But a more immediate problem is the increasing likelihood that the ECB will lose control over financial asset prices, particularly those of government bonds.

In the short-term, it seems likely the euro will rise against the dollar as currency and financial distortions, principally in the fx swap market, are unwound. However, the eurozone faces a developing financial crisis comprised of the following elements: a collapse in economic activity, escalating payment failures, a drastic contraction of bank credit and a collapse in bond prices, as well as the medium used to buy them (the euro).

Eventually, Germany is could go it alone by introducing a gold-backed mark, which will only happen after the European Project is finally abandoned.

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History’s Greatest Sea is Dying

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

GLOBAL
History’s Greatest Sea Is Dying
The failure of countries bordering the eastern Mediterranean helps explain the difficulty of carrying out successful climate-change negotiations.

PETER SCHWARTZSTEIN
DECEMBER 14, 2019

Most of the world’s seas are in some kind of environmental trouble, but few have declined as quickly or from such precipitous heights as the Mediterranean’s eastern edge. Although it midwifed some of history’s greatest civilizations, the eastern Med has become a grubby embodiment of the current littoral states’ failures. Where the ancients sailed, many of their successors now junk industrial waste. The accomplishments of the Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans, and pharaonic Egyptians, among others, have only accentuated their descendants’ political and economic rot.

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Fed Can’t See The Bubbles Through The Lather

Recently, there has been a parade of central bankers along with their lackeys on Wall Street coming on the financial news networks and desperately trying to convince investors that there are no bubbles extant in the world today. Indeed, the Fed sees no economic or market imbalances anywhere that should give perma-bulls cause for concern. You can listen to Jerome Powell’s upbeat assessment of the situation in his own words during the latest FOMC press conference here. The Fed Chair did, however, manage to acknowledge that corporate debt levels are in fact a bit on the high side. But he added that “we have been monitoring it carefully and taken appropriate steps.” By taking appropriate steps to reduce debt levels Powell must mean slashing interest rates and going back into QE. The problem with that strategy being that is exactly what caused the debt binge and overleveraged condition of corporations in the first place.

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Is Turkey The Snowflake That Unleashes The European Banking System Avalanche?

By Mark O’Byrne – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

EU Monetary And Economic Failures

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Introduction and summary

The monetary, financial and political weaknesses of the EU are about to be exposed by the forthcoming global credit crisis.

This article assumes the combination of end of credit cycle dynamics and the rise in trade protectionism in 1929 is a valid precedent for gauging the scale of a developing global credit crisis today, as described in my earlier article published here. Then, it was heavier tariffs coinciding with a less destabilising inflation cycle than we face today, a combination that saw stock markets collapse. Today, we have the additional factors of far greater monetary inflation, far higher levels of government debt, low savings coupled with record consumer borrowing, and unbacked fiat currencies likely to lose purchasing power instead of gold-backed currencies which increased their purchasing power.

Declining international trade has already become evident in only a few months, and prescient observers detect early signs of a rapidly developing global recession. In response, the ECB has announced it will target lending to non-financial businesses with its TLTRO-III programme from September onwards.

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The Tragedy Of The Euro

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

After two decades, the euro’s minders look set to drive the Eurozone into deep trouble. December was the last month of the ECB’s monthly purchases of government debt. A softening global economy will increase government deficits unexpectedly. The consequence will be a new cycle of sharply rising bond yields for the weakest Eurozone members, and systemically destabilising losses in the bond portfolios owned by Eurozone banks

The blame-game

It’s the twentieth anniversary of the euro’s existence, and far from being celebrated it is being blamed for many, if not all of the Eurozone’s ills.

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Most People Live in a Flat Earth and Struggle to Visualize Climate and a Three-Dimensional Atmosphere

By Dr. Tim Ball – Re-Blogged From WUWT

In a recent article, I used an illustration of 1200 km circles around a weather station to illustrate the extent the IPCC considered it represented. A comment about the article asked if I was aware of the map distortion and its effect on the circle of coverage. It was an arcane but important observation. He was pointing to the distortion created by using a Mercator projection map.

I am very aware of the distortion. My entire career involved working with maps. This included flying in the Air Force; teaching courses and running labs about maps and map reading; studying climate weather maps; the movement and migration of people driven by climate change; and teaching a course in political geography. I provided major research for a book on the search for the Northwest Passage on the Pacific west coast written by Sam Bawlf titled, “The Secret Voyages of Sir Francis Drake.” Dr. John Dee, science advisor to Queen Elizabeth I, gave Drake his sailing and scientific instructions. This included accurately determining the longitude of the west coast of North America. This research resulted in Drake visiting the Dutch map maker Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) after his return. Two months after Drake’s visit Ortelius produced a new world map with the coast shifted 60° of longitude to its proper position.

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Italy Calls Europe’s Bluff, And The Euro Loses Either Way

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

When Italy elected a bunch of rowdy populists back in March, the rest of the eurozone assumed (or at least hoped) that the weight of responsibility would bring Rome back into line. But so far the Italians appear to be serious about ending austerity and forcing the ECB to finance their spending ambitions. The just-passed Italian budget calls for a rising deficit, in direct disobedience of Continental (read German) authorities.

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Failed States, Part 1: Hopeless European Millennials And The Populist Takeover

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

Europe is frequently held up as an example of how the rest of the world should behave on a variety of issues. But this comparison misses at least two things: First, “Europe” is actually a lot of different countries in a lot of different situations. Second, much of what seems to work over there only does so because it’s being financed with ever-increasing amounts of debt.

For countries, as for individuals, borrowing money is fun at first but beyond a certain point becomes debilitating, as interest payments begin to crowd out everything else. That’s where a growing number of Europe’s failed states now find themselves, with overly-generous pensions and overly-restrictive labor laws making it virtually impossible to run a functioning market-based economy.

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Silver – The Original World Currency

By Rory Hall – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Silver has been money, and currency, longer than gold. The word “silver” actually translates to “money” or vice-versa in many countries around the world. Any true Christian knows that Judas sold out Jesus Christ for silver. Some theologians have reached the conclusion that Judas sold out Christ for approximately 30 pieces of silver. What would the value of 30 pieces of silver been in time of Christ?

The word used in Matthew 26:15 (argyria) simply means “silver coins”

There were a few type of coins that may have been used. Tetradrachms of Tyre, usually referred to as Tyrian shekels (14 grams of 94% silver) Continue reading

Turkish President Erdogan Vows To Recapture All Lands Once Held By The Ottoman Empire

By Robert Spencer – Re-Blogged From Freedom Outpost

“We say at every opportunity we have that Syria, Iraq and other places in the geography [map] in our hearts are no different from our own homeland. We are struggling so that a foreign flag will not be waved anywhere where adhan [Islamic call to prayer in mosques] is recited.”

Apparently, Erdogan means at the very least the recapture of all the lands once held by the Ottoman Empire.

That’s not just Greece, as in the article title below. That’s also Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, Algeria, Syria, Iraq, Israel, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, and more.

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Climate-Related Deaths and Insecurity

By Andy May – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

In this post we will discuss the assertion that there will be more climate-related deaths due to man-made global warming. This is the fifth post in a series of seven.

There will be more heat-related deaths

The IPCC AR5 report does not have much to say regarding climate-related mortality, they do mention that heat-related deaths will increase in several places, the following is from page 49 of the WG2 technical summary:

“At present the worldwide burden of human ill-health from climate change is relatively small compared with effects of other stressors and is not well quantified. However, there has been increased heat-related mortality and decreased cold-related mortality in some regions as a result of warming (medium confidence).”

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3,700-Year-Old Babylonian Tablet Rewrites the History of Math and Shows the Greeks Did Not Develop Trigonometry

By Sarah Knapton – Re-Blogged From http://www.telegraph.co.uk

A 3,700-year-old clay tablet has proven that the Babylonians developed trigonometry 1,500 years before the Greeks and were using a sophisticated method of mathematics which could change how we calculate today.

The tablet, known as Plimpton 332, was discovered in the early 1900s in Southern Iraq by the American archaeologist and diplomat Edgar Banks, who was the inspiration for Indiana Jones.

The true meaning of the tablet has eluded experts until now but new research by the University of New South Wales, Australia, has shown it is the world’s oldest and most accurate trigonometric table, which was probably used by ancient architects to construct temples, palaces and canals.

However unlike today’s trigonometry, Babylonian mathematics used a base 60, or sexagesimal system, rather than the 10 which is used today. Because 60 is far easier to divide by three, experts studying the tablet, found that the calculations are far more accurate.

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Italy Looms on the Eurozone’s Horizon

By Adriano Bosoni – Re-Blogged From Stratfor

The skies may not be clear, but these days Europe’s leaders are more relaxed than they were when the year began under foreboding clouds. Economic growth is gaining momentum and unemployment is slowly going down. More important, voters in France rejected candidates opposed to the European Union, and moderate forces will remain in power after September’s general elections in Germany. But while things are relatively calm in the eurozone’s two main economies, the next big challenge for the currency area will come from its third-largest member, Italy. The country has to hold general elections by May, and the vote will take place amid discontent with the status quo, which in many cases includes skepticism about the euro. Given the size of the Italian economy and the depth of its problems, the country’s politics could have consequences far beyond Italy’s borders.

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The Dangers of Temporary Employment

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

The Dangers of Temporary Employment

About six in ten jobs in the European Union today are full-time permanent positions. But jobs offered under part-time and temporary contracts account for an increasing share of total employment. In 2003, well before Europe’s economic crisis, 15 percent of workers in the European Union were employed under part-time contracts. By 2015, that had risen to 19 percent. During the same period, temporary contracts rose from 9 percent of total employment to 11 percent. Temporary jobs offer less security than even part-time permanent ones. They often come with lower salaries and fewer training and career advancement opportunities, making it harder for workers to access credit, plan their consumption decisions or qualify for unemployment benefits.

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Silver Price Massively Undervalued From Historic Perspective

By Mark O’Byrne – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

– What wages in ancient Athens can tell us about the silver price today

– Wages paid in silver in ancient Athens compared to wages today

– Silver massively undervalued compared to the past few thousand years

The cost of building the Parthenon was 469 silver talents, or about £5.6m.

by Dominic Frisby

Today we look at the wages paid to oarsmen on warships in ancient Athens in 450BC.

I bet you’ve never read a Money Morning that began like that before.

Why on earth would I want to do such a thing?

Because it tells us a great deal about the silver price today…

How Wages In Ancient Athens Compare To Today

In The Economy of Ancient Greece, historian Darel Engen describes how the Athenian unit of money – the talent (about 26kg of silver) – could purchase nine years of a skilled man’s labour. If we assume 250 working days in a year, that works out at about 11.5g of silver per day – a little under 0.3 of a troy ounce.

A kilo of silver today is about £460, so nine years’ skilled labour would amount to about £12,000 in today’s money. That makes a year’s skilled labour about £1,333, and a day’s £5.29.

Fast forward to today. The average wage in the UK construction industry, which I’ll use as an equivalent, is about £30,000 per annum, or £120 per day. It seems that today’s British labourer is earning considerably more than his ancient Athenian counterpart.

We must, however, factor taxation into our calculations in order to appreciate what the worker actually took home with him. Enlightened souls that they were, there was no direct taxation on income in ancient Greece. The large part of the expenses of the city were shouldered by the rich, who made their donations voluntarily – sort of – through the system of liturgy.

In the UK today, on the other hand, somewhere between 40% and 55% of the average worker’s income is taken, one way or the other, to pay for the state, depending on whose figures you use (and that’s before you factor in inflation taxes).

For the sake of simplicity, let’s use a 40% figure and go with an after-tax income of £72 per day – or £18,000 per annum. So even after taxes, the modern labourer would seem to be earning considerably more than the ancient – over ten times as much.

As Greece was the most advanced civilisation in 450BC, perhaps we should only be comparing it to the developed world. But even if we factor in less developed nations, the modern worker appears to be earning more than the ancient.

Globally, according to the United Nations International Labour Organisation (ILO), the average salary is $18,000 – say £14,000, or £56 per day. That would be £34 after 40% taxes.

An Athenian warship, the trireme, cost about a talent to build (£12,000). A trireme’s unskilled oarsman would be paid 4.3g of silver each per day (£2). The cost of building the Parthenon was 469 talents, according to Professor Thomas Sakoulas. That works out, according to my maths (469 x 26 x 460) at about £5.6m. The cost of building the Shard, by way of comparison, seems to have been around £435m.

Silver Price Is Dirt Cheap Compared To The Past Few Thousand Years

To compare modern and ancient prices might seem like a ridiculous and redundant exercise – the two worlds are so different – but there is a point to all this. Measured in silver, salaries actually remained fairly constant until the 20th century.

The Babylonian worker might have been looking at 2g of silver (92p). The Roman unskilled worker, like the Greek, might have been on around 4.2gs of silver, at least until Romans started chipping their coins.

The wages of the medieval English worker seemed to have fallen back towards Babylonian levels by 1300. He got 2.8g, while a skilled city craftsman might have expected 5.6g – about half what an Athenian was paid.

That would grow, however, over the next 500 years, until by the 19thcentury the skilled labourer might be looking at around 24g of silver per day, according to author David Zucherman, and an unskilled between a third and half that. The labourer in the 19th century was getting around double the pay of his 450BC Athenian counterpart. It’s more, but it’s not that much more.

Compare that to today. I used the figure of £30,000 earlier – the average wage of a construction worker – £120 per day. That amounts to 260g of silver, compared to 11.5g for that Athenian worker. Today’s pay dwarfs that of any pre-20th century worker in history.

Wages have risen, of course they have – but not by this much relative to the cost of living, status and so on within a society.

The issue is not that wages have soared. It’s that silver – now that it no longer has any monetary role – has fallen to absurdly cheap (on a historical basis) levels. (It’s also absurdly cheap on a geological basis, as I argued here

If today’s wages of £120 were to equal the Athenian equivalent of 11.5g (say 12g for simplicity’s sake), you could make the argument that silvershould be £10 per gramme (currently 46p per gramme). That’s over 20 times higher than today’s silver price of $18.50 an ounce – more like $400 per ounce.

At $400 per ounce, not only do wages correspond, but so does the cost of building a ship or a landmark city building.

One day we will get some kind of silver reversion to its historical mean. Does that mean we should all go out and buy shedloads of silver with the expectation of making 20 times our money?

Not really. That day of historical mean reversion probably won’t come in our lifetime and most of us invest within three to five year time frames. But you should all own a little bit, just in case it does.

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2017 Economic Forecast: Global Headwinds Look Like Mother of All Storms

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From GREAT Recession Blog

Headwinds that are starting to assail deep structural flaws in the US and global economies form the basis for my 2017 economic forecast, which looks like an all-out economic crisis building throughout the world. Some of these headwinds are global; some more locally focused within the United States, but that which brings down the US economy wounds the world anyway. Ultimately, global concerns threaten the US, and US concerns threaten the globe. We’re all in this together, even as we seem to be flying apart in political whirlwinds everywhere and fracturing national alliances all over the world.

Even in the US where the Trump Triumph has ignited consumer and business hopes and inflamed the stock market, time is not on Trump’s side. Trump’s own key advisors — like Steve Bannon and Larry Kudlow — have stated unequivocally that Trump’s plans must happen quickly if they are going to save the US economy. Trump, himself, campaigned on the endless refrain that the US economy was rapidly approaching catastrophe. That’s why we needed to elect him. If we take the architects of these hope-inspiring plans at their word, 2017 is a make-or-break year for the US, and the clock is ticking against their success.

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How Many Euro Crises Will This Make? It’s Getting Hard To Keep Track

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

Every few years, it seems, one or another mismanaged eurozone country falls into one or another kind of crisis. This leads to speculation about the end of the common currency, which in turn spooks the global financial markets. Then the ECB conjures another trillion euros out of thin air, buys up and/or guarantees all the offending country’s bonds, and calm returns for a while.

At least, that’s how it’s gone in the past.

The latest crisis has more than the usual number of flash-points and could, therefore, be something new and different. Currently:

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This Is Where I Get Off

By Jeff Thomas – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

We began writing on the War On Cash some time ago, when it was still just a theoretical ploy that we believed banks and governments were likely to employ as their economic adventurism continued to unravel.

But, in the last year, several countries have, as a part of the War On Cash, begun removing larger bank notes from circulation in order to force people to perform all economic transactions through the banking system, assuring that the banks would gain total control over the movement of money.

Of course, the banks could not admit their true goal to the public. They instead used the governments to claim that the measure was being undertaken to restrict crime (money laundering, drug deals, black marketing, terrorism, etc.)

Recently, without any fanfare, ATM’s in Mexico have ceased issuing the 500 peso note US$24). The largest note is now the 200 peso note (US$10).

At about the same time, Citibank in Australia declared that it will no longer accept coins or banknotes.

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“No Bread” – This Is What Happens When Your Economic And Monetary Systems Collapse

By Mac Slavo – Re-Blogged From http://www.freedomoutpost.com

While Americans still enjoy easy access to basic necessities like food and medicine, the last several years have shown us just how bad things can get when it all hits the fan.

When the country of Greece collapsed in 2012 we highlighted the desperate situation faced by its millions of residents:

With untold billions in private and public sector debt, the situation in Greece (and other debt laden European countries like Spain and Italy) has devolved to such an extent that some EU member nations are mobilizing their military personnel in preparation for full spectrum meltdown across the entire region.

Jobs are so scarce that many have been forced into underground barter economies and family farming to make ends meet. From massive austerity spending cuts that have torn to shreds the government social safety net, to shortages in critical life saving medicines and the near breakdown of the nation’s power grid, Greece is experiencing all of the overt signs of a nation on its last leg.

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Move Over Greece, It’s Italy’s Turn

Re-Blogged From Financial Sense

Financial Sense recently had the pleasure of speaking with George Friedman, internationally recognized geopolitical forecaster and best-selling author, to get an update on escalating problems in Europe.

George says Greece was not an outlier, but merely a precursor to a much larger battle now taking shape in Italy, the fourth largest economy in Europe. Dr. Friedman is Founder and Chairman of Geopolitical Futures, a new online publication dedicated to forecasting the course of global events.

Here’s what he had to say on Wednesday’s podcast:

“Greece was not an outlier. It was a forerunner, and a lot of the battles that were fought in Greece were precursors to a much larger one, which is Italy.

The Italians have non-performing loans at 17% officially—that’s a very flexible number and you can go up or down—but since most of the non-performing loans are corporate loans, we’ll say that about a quarter of the assets of banks are at risk and it’s the largest ones that are most at risk.

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Price-Fixing at the Fed: Global Implosion Is Served?

By Ed Bugos – Re-Blogged From The Dollar Vigilante

The Fed has not raised rates for over seven years now – an unheard of amount of time. It has practically abolished interest rates for the first time ever. The distortions that have been built into the larger marketplace are coiled now like a spring, ready to unwind with a fantastically destructive impact.

How did we get to this point anyway? Why do people accept the idea that a handful of men and women dining on fine food in a series of expensive hotel suites and meeting rooms have the power and knowledge to “fix” the price of credit, manipulate the amount of money, and regulate the value of the world’s reserve currency? Why should anyone have this power?

What should be evident is that the Fed’s central bankers are not free to make an unimpeded decision. They are haunted by the mistakes of the past. Low rates of the late 1990s led to the tech crash of 2001. Low sustained rates of the early and mid 2000s led to the subprime crash of 2008 that echoed around the world.

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A Common Currency Is NOT A Cause Of Economic Problems!

By Steve Saville – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

A popular view these days is that the euro is a failed experiment because economically and/or politically disparate countries cannot share a currency without eventually bringing on a major crisis. Another way of expressing this conventional wisdom is: a monetary union (a common currency) cannot work without a fiscal union (a common government). This is unadulterated hogwash. Many different countries in completely different parts of the world were able to successfully share the same money for centuries. The money was called gold.

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News Flash: There Is No Greek Deal

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

Any editor, analyst or commentator who claims that a “Greek bailout deal has been reached” is lying.

Greece has NOT reached a bailout deal in any way shape or form. What DID happen was Greece’s Prime Minister agreed to try and push a new austerity program through Greece’s parliament.

IF he can do this, and IF the Greek government agrees to the austerity program then NEGOTIATIONS (not a deal) can begin as to whether or not Greece should receive another bailout.

Put simply, Greece has THREE DAYS to agree to an austerity program in which it will hand over assets worth 25% of its GDP to the EU… at which time TALKS (again not a deal) COULD begin regarding a potential third Greek Bailout.

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‘Black Swan’ Taleb Warns “Calm Before The Storm”

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

– Is the apparent calm of the West a signal of latent instability?
– Increasing symptoms of instability in West as proposed by Nassim Taleb
– Wider public and mainstream press believe “experts” have everything under control
– Black Swan approaches and we may be experiencing “the calm before the storm”

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An Interview Worth Watching

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

Michael Pento is an stock market money manager who follows the Austrian School of Economics (as do I). For those of you unfamiliar with what that is, Austrian Economics is Free Market Economics, as opposed to Keynesianism and other names for Socialism.

Michael was interviewed recently, and I’d like to share the video with you. It’s one of the few lucid, straightforward pieces that I’ve seen recently. But, understand that some of what he says is scary, so if you have a bad ticker, you’d better take a pill before watching.

 

Greece Enters Its Crack-Up Boom

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From http://www.DollarCollapse.com

The Austrian School of economics has a concept called a “crack-up boom” in which a critical mass of people conclude that their government is actively trying to devalue its currency.

Consumers respond by front-running the government, spending their paychecks immediately in order to convert their soon-to-be-less-valuable money into real things. Merchants, not happy about the sudden influx of suspect currency (and sensing the panic of their customers) hold out for ever-higher prices, causing inflation to spike. But it’s a special kind of inflation, driven not by a sudden increase in the money supply but by collapsing confidence among holders of the currency.

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What “Exit Door?”

By Bill Holter – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Often times I like to write about an event or someone else’s article because of the importance to the overall picture.  Today I will do something a little different.  Below is an e-mail I received last Thursday from a friend.  I have the utmost respect for his thought process and his knowledge.  The writer is “plugged in” if you will, he has very high and powerful contacts in both China and London while he operates out of North America.  The following is chilling to say the least because it comes from someone who “knows”, it is not a speculation on his part because he is seeing it real time!  I will add my comments afterward.

I have been pounding the drum for some time about shrinking liquidity and what the impact will be. Well, I can tell you that we are almost there and a real crisis is developing far faster than what I envisioned that is impacting the 75 Trillion Shadow Banking sector which is on the verge of implosion. Focus on Europe as the real crunch will spread like a wildfire from there seizing up all credit markets.

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Global Debt Time Bomb Ticks: Puerto Rico Is Next

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

– Puerto Rico Governor says island cannot pay its $72 billion debt
– Puerto Rico debt 15 times per capita median debt of the 50 U.S. states
– Complicated arrangements misled bond investors to believe their funds were secure
– Share price of bond insurer exposed to Puerto Rican debt plummeting, possibly on inside information

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We Are All Athenians…

By Rick Ackerman – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

We should watch closely to see how Greece handles its biggest problem — pensions — since the U.S. and Europe are certain to face the same problem eventually.  Try to monetize it, which is what I predict the Greek government will do, and you get hyperinflation. Try to pay for it by reducing benefits and increasing taxes, which is what Greece’s creditors are demanding, and you get: 1) instant, ruinous deflation; 2) a plunge into poverty for nearly everyone; and, 3) taxpayer riots that pit the private sector against government employees.

Whatever happens, it will be fascinating to see how Greeks vote next Sunday, when they will be asked to approve or reject creditors’ stringent demands. Leftist parties all over Europe are urging their Greek comrades to hang tough. But then, it’s not French, Irish and Italian socialists who will suffer instant economic deprivation and calamity if Greece tells Belgium to suck eggs.  Nor will they be the ones challenged to pay for life’s necessities with drachmas that are going to be spurned by the rest of the world and depreciating by the day, if not by the hour.

An op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal said Greece’s national identity and its “European dreams” are at stake, but that’s just twaddle. Under the best of circumstances, Greece will be panhandling till the end of time. It can never pay what it owes — not to Europe, not to itself, not to its retirees. The only question is whether Greek voters can grovel sufficiently next Sunday to get Germany to pretend, at least for the time being, that the economy of a deadbeat country can somehow be salvaged. As for the French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italians, they should practice kindness as events unfold, since they will all be belly-up themselves in the not-so-distant future.

The Beginning Of “The Ending Sequence!”

By Bill Holter – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

This coming week could be very tellingChina just ended a disastrous week and finished just whiskers away from entering bear market (-20%) territory. Credit markets all over the world are weakening and yields are rising.  Greece will not make their June 30 payment(s) and probably go through a referendum to decide whether or not to flip their creditors the bird in a meaningless vote.  In fact, Greece will probably “go boom” this week.  Their banks and stock markets may not open Monday morning.  Two days later, some sort of plan will need to be concocted to classify their bankruptcy as not a “DEFAULT”, otherwise a $3 trillion fuse to a $1.4 quadrillion bomb will be lit!  These and more will be very important “mid-term exams”, any failure will bleed over into derivatives and become “final and terminal exams” with zero chance of a passing grade!

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Don’t Push A Bad Position!

By Bill Holter – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

“Don’t push a bad position”!  This is good advice in many varied quests.  It is good advice in games like chess or poker.  Also good advice in sports, business, politics, geopolitics and certainly in militarily ventures.  Today we will look at two separate issues where “bad positions” are being pushed to the wall!

First, we have an insane situation brewing in COMEX silver.  The open interest  finally exceeded 200,000 contracts (1 billion ounces).  I believe the only other time this much open interest existed was back in 1980 or ’81.  This makes no sense whatsoever, the price is again plumbing 4 year lows yet open interest has moved to record highs?  The fact open interest has expanded while price has declined is proof positive the “initiation” of this expanded open interest has been by “shorts” but absorbed by “someone” on the other side of the trade.  Total global production of silver is only 800 million ounces or thereabouts so COMEX shorts have contracted to deliver 25% more silver than will even be produced globally over the next 12 months.  Silver available for COMEX delivery only totals 57 million ounces so they sit on a naked short time bomb of more than 950 million ounces!

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It’s Already In The Market?

By Bill Holter – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

You have heard the phrase many times “it’s already in the market”, meaning if “something” or some sort of event happens it is already factored in to prices.  I was overseas last week, travelled much of the week and stayed in a hotel that had only two English speaking channels …one of which was CNBC.  I cannot tell you how many talking heads were paraded forth whom all parroted the same pabulum, “a Greek default is already factored in the market”.  Really?  REALLY?

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‘Titanic’ Global Economy May “Collapse” Warn HSBC – Gold Is Lifeboat

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

-“The world economy is like an ocean liner without lifeboats …” – HSBC
– Four areas of high risk identified by HSBC
– Risk of stock market crash
– Pension funds and insurers may not meet obligations
– Chinese recession may drag U.S. into recession or depression
– Premature rate rise would expose very fragile global economy
– “There aren’t enough lifeboats to go round”
– Gold vital lifeboat when global ship strikes iceberg

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Repatriation of Gold from Fed Vaults Is Historic Vote of No Confidence

By Seth Mason – Re-Blogged From https://www.soundmoneydefense.org

Since 2012, there’s been an unprecedented call from foreign nations to repatriate their gold from Federal Reserve vaults in the U.S. This is an incredible development given many countries’ 71-year reliance on the Fed as a custodian for their bullion.

Foreign nations are demanding their gold back from Janet Yellen’s Federal Reserve.

Over the last few years, countries including, but not limited to, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Austria, Poland, Ecuador, Finland, Switzerland, Venezuela, and Romania have either formally requested repatriation of their gold or are in discussions with the Fed about it.

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The Existential Danger To The Euro Is Elections

By Daniel R. Amerman – Re-Blogged From http://danielamerman.com

There is a respectable chance that the euro will collapse sometime in the next several years, with implications for employment, economic growth and investment markets on a global basis.  And the biggest threat is not directly money, debt, a potentially rapidly approaching Greek default, or a failure of central banking policies – but is instead something much simpler.

The risk is elections. That is, the near term existential threat to the euro – and indeed the global financial system – is when voters don’t do what the status quo politicians, the media and bankers want them to do.

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The “Other” 4G’s

By Bill Holter – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

No, we’re not talking about 4G phones, nor God, Gold, Guns and Grub.  Today let’s look at GE, Greece, and finish with a very interesting Germany and Gazprom.  Last week GE shocked the market place by announcing they will sell their crown jewel GE Capital.  Why would they do this?  Isn’t GE capital their growth engine?  Isn’t it their cash cow?  What could they possibly be thinking?  In my opinion they are “thinking” correctly, maybe a bit too late though.

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Greeced Lightning!

By Bill Holter – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

We seem to have finally arrived at some sort of moment of truth regarding Greece and their inclusion in the EU.  The speculation is they will be out of money by April 9th, this Thursday, unable to make a less than 500 million euro payment.  Please keep in mind they have already been raiding the country’s pension plans to fund day to day services.  How large of a “dent” they have already made remains to be seen but that is not the point.  The point is this, any person, corporation or government who needs to dig into retirement savings for daily operations is like buying a carton of cigarettes with a credit card at 14.99% …and then carrying the balance!

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When The History Books Are Written…

By Andrew Hoffman – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

It’s Wednesday morning; and again, I’m having difficulty focusing on a single “horrible headline” – or if you will, a single “horrible topic.” I could start by following up with yesterday’s “PDAC, the Epitome of Mining Ineptitude” with this article from Brent Cook – a geologist who has written a mining newsletter for years – titled “Exploration cuts killing miners’ future.” And this one, of how Australian gold production rose in 2014; but “due to lower prices, Australian gold miners increased the ore grades they were targeting, and pushed their processing plants even harder. In other words, though “superficially, the figures give the impression of a healthy and vibrant industry, “higher grades and greater throughput shortens mine lives.”

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Greece’s Debt and Economy

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

Frank Hollenbeck, from www.mises.org, has written a good article on how Greece could fix its debt problems. I encourage you to read it.

He outlines five steps:

  • Default on most of its Debt

  • Implement True Austerity

  • Implement True Free-Market Banking

  • Institute Monetary Competition

  • Fix the Drachma to Gold

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David Stockman Interview: The Clock Is Ticking, The Carnage Is Coming Soon

David Stockman Interview At King World News

The clock is ticking.  The carnage is coming soon and it’s not merely Greece and whether it stays in the euro or not….“But it’s symptomatic of what I believe is the gathering crisis in the world, which is that our two-decade long grand experiment in financial bailouts, massive money printing by central banks everywhere, and non-stop Keynesian debt stimulus is heading towards the wall.

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Calling a Spade a Spade

By Bill Holter – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Yesterday we looked at the situations in both Ukraine and Greece, and how they are both out of money which makes them potential “flash points” for reality to set in. What I’d like to talk about today are the various “slights of hand” and why a spade can never be called a spade.

Currently in the U.S., some (but certainly not all) of the recent economic numbers are showing an absolutely booming economy.  All you need to do is look at Friday’s unemployment numbers, they were clearly bogus.

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Countdown To “Grexit”

By Andrew Hoffman – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

After declining for an incredible 47 of the past 51 days, the Baltic Dry Index has officially breached its all-time low of 554 – set in 1986, 29 years ago. Sure, propagandists will try to blame tanker “oversupply” rather than plunging end user demand – just as they blame the catastrophic oil price plunge on “oversupply” of high cost oil, rather than said “under-demand.” However, the fact remains that both the Baltic Dry Index and oil price are freefalling – in both cases, catalyzing massive corporate and investment losses; layoffs; and defaults.

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A Different Greek Debt Plan

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

Over the last decade or so, I have been in contact with the leaders of several countries, offering suggestions on how they can turn around the “difficult” economic situations which their countries were living through. In Greece, I contacted, among others, Syriza Party leader Alexis Tsirpas, several years before his recent election as Prime Minister.

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Choosing Sides In The Eurozone Mess

By Bill Holter – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

This past week was filled with geopolitics 24/7 until Friday, when they finally spilled all over the markets. The market action was extremely ominous in my opinion and especially the last hour into the close. Very shortly I believe we will be faced with huge market “gaps” which will be the topic for tomorrow, today let’s discuss how the current geopolitical situation will detonate the leverage.

It’s not as if the geopolitical situation wasn’t already hot enough before the Greek vote, now the world has a polarizing event to deal with.  This past week was

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The Dollar in FOREX Markets

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

The paper currencies of all countries fluctuate in exchange rate for several reasons, mostly (but not always) due to government policies.

The exchange rate for the Euro (since 1999 when the Euro was introduced) vs the US Dollar, started around $1.18, dropped to $0.83 in 2001, jumped up to $1.60 in 2008, and now is back just below where it started, today at $1.1275 per Euro.

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Greece’s Threat to the European Economic Recovery

Desmond_Lachman_300x225   By Desmond Lachman

It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of the Greek government’s failure today to secure sufficient votes in parliament to choose a new president for the country. Since such a failure not only forces Greece to hold snap elections by the end of January, which could see the coming to power of a radical left-wing government. It also raises the real possibility that Greece will be forced to exit the Euro in 2015 that would be a major blow to the prospects of a meaningful European economic recovery.

On the basis of current electoral polls, the Syriza Party, headed by Alexis Tsipras, should win the parliamentary elections now scheduled for January 25. Judging by

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