I Know Usury When I See It

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

This phrase was first used by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, in a case of obscenity. Instead of defining it—we would think that this would be a requirement for a law, which is of course backed by threat of imprisonment—he resorted to what might be called Begging Common Sense. It’s just common sense, it’s easy-peasy, there’s no need to define the term…

This is not a satisfactory approach. Leaving aside concerns with undefined terms as the basis of sending someone to jail, it is an admission that one cannot define the term. As Richard Feynman once said:

“I couldn’t reduce it to the freshman level. That means we really don’t understand it.”

Obscenity has an analog in monetary economics: usury. Most people think usury is a bad thing, like obscenity. But they can’t define it.

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Is Lending The Root Of All Evil

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Ayn Rand famously defended money. In Atlas Shrugged, Francisco D’Anconia says:

“So you think that money is the root of all evil? . . . Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?”

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Central Planning Is More than Just Friction

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

It is easy to think of government interference into the economy like a kind of friction. If producers and traders were fully free, then they could improve our quality of life—with new technologies, better products, and lower prices—at a rate of X. But the more that the government does, the more it burdens them. So instead of X rate of progress, we get the same end result but 10% slower or 20% slower.

Some would go so far as to say, “The free market finds ways to work even through government restrictions, taxes, and regulations.” We won’t address cardboard straws emerging where plastic straws are banned. Or gangs selling illegal drugs on the black market, when they are prohibited by law.

As usual, we want to talk about the most important kind of government intervention. And it happens to be the one kind of government intervention that is accepted by nearly everyone. The intervention supported by the otherwise-free-marketers.

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Federal Reserve’s Balance-Sheet Unwind is Unwinding Recovery

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Great Recession Blog

We are in the end time of an unprecedented era of financial expansion — the greatest expansion of the world’s money supply ever attempted, expansion of the Federal Reserve’s vast and unchecked powers far beyond what the Fed could do before the financial crisis, and super-sizing expansion of banks that were already way too big to fail.

I am calling this time in which we are now unwinding this monetary expansion the Great Recovery Rewind because I believe this attempt by the Federal Reserve and other central banks of the world to move us away from crisis banking is taking us right back into economic crisis. That is why this was the top peril listed in my Premier Post, “2019 Economic Headwinds Look Like Storm of the Century.” It is more potent in possible perils than all the trade tariffs in the world.

The Failure Of A Gold Refinery

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

So this happened: Republic Metals, a gold refiner, filed bankruptcy on November 2. The company had found a discrepancy in its inventory of around $90 million, while preparing its financial statements.

We are not going to point the Finger of Blame at Republic or its management, as we do not know if this was honest error or theft. If it was theft, then we would not expect it to be a simple matter of employees or management walking out the door with the gold. $90 million is about 2.6 tons. Unless it happened very slowly, over many years, that seems like a lot of gold to disappear. And if it occurred over years, why didn’t regular audits and other internal controls catch the discrepancy until now?

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Australia’s Banking System May Go BOOM!

By Nick Hubble – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

We’re edging ever closer to the financial crisis I’ve been investigating since 2012. I moved to four different cities in Australia to conduct my research, interviewing mortgage brokers and former bankers over four years.

Over the last few months, a Royal Commission has exposed what my research did back then. But the campaigner who first exposed the issue going back to the early 2000s continues to discover even more extraordinary facts.

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The “Productivity Of Debt” Myth

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

Page 4 in Hoisington Investment Management’s latest Quarterly Review and Outlook contains a discussion about the falling productivity of debt problem. According to Hoisington and many other analysts, the problem is encapsulated by the falling trend in the amount of GDP generated by each additional dollar of debt, or, looking from a different angle, by the rising trend in the amount of additional debt required to generate an additional unit of GDP. However, there are some serious flaws in the “Productivity of Debt” concept.

There are three big problems with the whole “it takes X$ of debt to generate Y$ of GDP” concept, the first being that GDP is not a good indicator of the economy’s size or progress.

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