Why Is Bank Credit So Destructive?

“Because your question searches for deep meaning, I shall explain in simple words.”

– Dante, Inferno

Periodic economic destruction by bank credit is not new. It has been a problem for millennia. The basis of it, the ownership of bank deposits which should be safely held as assets in custody and not taken into ownership by the banks, goes back even to ancient Greece.

The Romans ruled that the practice was fraudulent in the third century, and empirical evidence ever since has shown that banks taking into their ownership depositors’ assets usually end up in crisis both for themselves and their borrowing customers.

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America Isn’t Falling Like the Roman Empire. It’s Worse.

By Larry Kummer – Re-Blogged From Fabius Maximus

Summary: Many people ask if America is falling as did the late Roman Empire. The good news is no, we are not. The bad news is that the Republic is falling as the Roman Republic did in its last generation of life. Rome’s people grew weary of carrying the burden of self-government, extinguishing a light that took more than a thousand years to reignite. We walk the same path. But we can change course, if we act soon. This is a revised and expanded version of a post from 2016.

What can preserve our liberty? “I answer, the genius of the whole system; the nature of just and constitutional laws; and, above all, the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America; a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it.”
— James Madison in #57 of The Federalist Papers.

SPQR - the symbol of the Roman Republic
The Senate & People of Rome.

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33AD: The Year the House of Maximus And Vibo Went Bust

By Mark J Lundeen – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

This was a constructive week for the Dow Jones, up 1.49% in the BEV chart below.  That doesn’t sound like much; but remember low volatility in the stock market is when the Dow Jones does the thing the bulls like most – advance towards new all-time highs.

A few more weeks of this and we’ll see the Dow Jones once again at the red BEV Zero line.  But don’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen until later in the year.  I don’t expect the Federal Reserve wants to ignite another feeding frenzy in the stock market; they have problems enough to cope with as it is.

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Rome vs Brussels

By Arkadiusz Sieron – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Only one digit has changed. But it may have profound consequences, sending the country closer to junk status. Meanwhile, Rome and Brussels clash over budget plan. Will that duel benefit or harm the yellow metal?

Only One Notch Above Being Junk

Italian drama continues. On Friday, Moody’s, one of the most significant rating agencies in the world, downgraded the Italian credit rating from Baa2 to Baa3. It means that Italy’s local and foreign-currency bonds are now only one notch above junk territory. The move was not surprising, as well as the reasons behind this decision:

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Money, Fake Money, And Sound Money

By JP Cortez – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Americans no longer carry gold and silver money in our pockets and purses as our grandparents did. But we still carry the history, legacy, and spirit of those gold and silver coins in our language.

“Sound money” embodies a clear message recognized for centuries around the world. It describes the musical, metallic ring of a gold, silver, or copper coin dropped on any hard surface of glass, stone, wood, or metal.

Sound money literally refers to real wealth, with a natural, unmistakable signature of authenticity, as opposed to the paper, plastic, and electronic debt instruments used almost exclusively today.

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Anatomy Of Hyperinflation

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

Two drones filled with explosives were recently deployed in a failed assassination attempt to take out Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Chaos filled the streets as the military ran for their lives. But this sort of pandemonium is commonplace in Venezuela today: Where citizens have run out of basic necessities such as toilet paper and have begun eating their pets in order to stay alive. The mainstream Keynesian-brainwashed media doesn’t talk much about Venezuela or hyperinflation; perhaps because they are viscerally aware that the seeds of intractable inflation on a worldwide basis have already been sown by the global elites–and they don’t want to frighten you.

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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

A Roman Lesson On Inflation

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

While it is the duty of the citizen to support the state, it is not the duty of the state to support the citizen” – President Grover Cleveland

The point President Cleveland made back in the 1880s was that individuals and vested interests had no rights to preferential treatment by a government elected to represent all. For if preference is given, it is always at the expense of others.

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The Story of Christmas Is a Chorus, Not a Carol

David D. Judson   By David D. Judson – Re-Blogged From Stratfor

In light of the Christmas holiday celebrated in several parts of the world on Dec. 25, Stratfor is running this analysis originally published in 2015.

The joy of children, the sharing of gifts with loved ones on a sacred day, the renewal of faith. These elements of a holy day are not the normal fare of Stratfor — we normally devote ourselves to the study of geopolitical power and not to the intangibles of human experience. One day a year, however, we can set aside our professional detachment to tell a Christmas story. And there are many Christmas stories. It is a holiday with deep and diverse roots and one that has, by the 21st century, become truly global — and for that matter, geopolitical. And so I will share my own, with a bit of context. I hope that readers will indulge me in this small departure, one that I think comports with the way Stratfor views the world and its complexities.

Christmas in the Middle East

(GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)

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Globalism in the Eyes of Two Beholders

By Rodger Baker – Re-Blogged From https://worldview.stratfor.com

The relative peace and prosperity in Europe may have shaped an idealistic approach to globalism.

The world over, the topic of globalism rarely fails to elicit a strongly held opinion. At its extreme in Europe, the march of globalization is accepted as a near-inevitability: In that view, it is no longer merely a path that should be taken, but the inexorable destination of humanity. As such, there is little room for assessing, much less understanding, alternative perceptions about the structure of the world, either internationally or domestically. Whether talking with a German economist, a British investor or an expatriate businessman in Spain, there is a near-bewilderment as to why anyone would want to pursue nationalism over globalism. As such, the bump in popularity for the Alternative for Germany party, the independence referendum in Catalonia and the Brexit are all seen as anti-historical trends. To them, the European Union remains the moral and political compass for the world, the guiding principle upon which the nation-state will be subsumed and a new global society will emerge.

In Asia, globalization is seen as a potential path, but not an inevitable one, and is viewed more often in economic than political terms. The nation-state firmly remains the unit of political and social organization, and while there are numerous initiatives to enhance cooperation among national entities, there is little movement toward the creation of a pan-national umbrella along the lines of the European Union. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), one of the most aggressive Asian attempts at pan-national cooperation, explicitly promotes a policy of noninterference in national politics, recognizing the very different systems in each member country, rather than seeking to replace them with a regionwide political and economic structure.

Over the past 12 months, I have engaged with business leaders, government officials, researchers and members of the media in London, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Barcelona and The Hague, and in Auckland, Seoul, Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore. Over the course of those discussions, a distinct difference in worldview between the “elites” of Europe and those of Asia became apparent. I use the word elite loosely here to describe the thin layer of society with the economic and social freedom to observe and assess the world in a manner disconnected from daily life. These are the economists, political scientists and bankers, the pundits, heads of major corporations, politicians and journalists. Their views shape much of the popular narrative, but one that often misses the underlying realities and beliefs held by a large portion of the societies in which they reside.

Now, all such broad-brush assessments are, by their nature, simplistic and superficial. There are certainly those in Asia who subscribe to the ideals of extreme globalism, and some among the European elite who recognize clearly that the Continental vision is just that — a vision and not an inevitability. But nonetheless, I noted the striking difference in tone between those I met in Europe and those in Asia. In part, the geopolitical developments in each region over the past several decades could explain this dichotomy.

 

Whereas Europe views the United States in ideological terms, Asia sees it in transactional terms.

Following the end of the Cold War, with the exception of the breakup of Yugoslavia, Europe has experienced perhaps its most stable multidecadal period in centuries. The European experiment appeared to be working. The peace and prosperity that spread across the continent allowed for the European Union to spread in kind, absorbing elements of the former Soviet bloc and even parts of the former Soviet Union itself. In guiding the economic and political directions of individual European nations, the European Union sought to erase the underlying nationalism that had riven Europe for millennia. But that noble goal failed to take into account the realities that remained below the surface. These were exposed dramatically with the global financial crisis in 2008, which forced the differences between the economic, social and political predilections underlying its systems to the surface once again, leaving the Europeans struggling with the growing gap between the globalized ideal and the national realities.

In Asia, no substantial periods of post-Cold War peace and cooperation ever really materialized. Even as it emerged as the region’s dominant economic regional power, China’s attention focused inward as it sought to manage internal social upheavalJapan fell into economic malaise. The two Koreas (despite a brief moment of sunshine) continued to spar. Extra-constitutional political change swept across Southeast Asia. The financial contagion that spread throughout the Asia-Pacific in 1997 sharpened many of these trends, leaving simply no long space of regional economic prosperity and political integration. Moves toward regional economic cooperation never went so far as seeking a common currency or centralized economic authority, and they certainly avoided linkage of economics and domestic politics.

Those differences in fortune play into the way each region views and reacts to both the perceived changes in U.S. policy direction and to rising nationalist sentiment around the world. In Europe, U.S. President Donald Trump is seen as globalization’s greatest threat, caricatured as the dangerous buffoon — a mirror image of the U.S. perception of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. European nations have found it difficult to manage relations with the United States because they cannot accept that it may be sliding away from the extreme vision of globalization. In Asia, there are concerns about the direction of U.S. policy, but less in regards to globalization and more in terms of its direct economic and security effects. Whereas Europe views the United States in ideological terms, Asia sees it in transactional terms. Thus Asian leaders like Japan’s Shinzo Abe and even China’s Xi Jinping have been more adept at interpreting and engaging with Trump.

The geopolitical currents that have brought the continental neighbors to these dichotomous viewpoints will continue to shape the perceptions of their thought leaders, who in turn influence the political, economic and social directions of their societies. It’s clear that globalism will continue to evolve, both as an ideal and as a reality. Where it ends up may be a matter of perspective.

 

Rodger Baker leads Stratfor’s analysis of Asia Pacific and South Asia and guides the company’s forecasting process. A Stratfor analyst since 1997, he has played a pivotal role in developing and refining the company’s analytical process, internal training programs and geopolitical framework.

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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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Climate and Popular Revolution

By Dr. Tim Ball – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

My major research interest in climatology is historical climate, but particularly the impact of climate and climate change on human history and the human condition. Climatology was always part of geography because it studies the climate of a region and the change over time. This was subsumed by the growth of climate science in which specialists studied individual pieces of the complex puzzle that are climate, usually without knowing where the piece fit. Geography and Climatology are integrative disciplines that are defined as chorology,

Journées Révolutionnaires à Paris : Louis XVI se réfugie à l'Assemblée - June 1792

Journées Révolutionnaires à Paris : Louis XVI se réfugie à l’Assemblée – June 1792

“the study of the causal relations between geographical phenomena occurring within a region.”

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How 4,000 Roman Coins Found Buried In Swiss Orchard Reinforce Gold Ownership Today

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

“The coins’ excellent condition indicated that the owner systematically stashed them away shortly after they were made, the archaeologists said. For some reason that person had buried them shortly after 294 and never retrieved them. Some of the coins, made mainly of bronze but with a 5% silver content were buried in small leather pouches. The archaeologists said it was impossible to determine the original value of the money due to rampant inflation at the time, but said they would have been worth at least a year or two of wages.” –  The Guardian/11-19-2015

I was initially at a loss to explain why anyone would go to so much trouble to hoard so many coins with such a low silver content – about 5%.  The only rational explanation is that the hoarder had decided that even worse debasement was on its way.  And, a quick review of Roman history tells us that this indeed was the case.

In the next generation of the denarius, issued by Emperor Diocletian, bronze coins were simply dipped in silver and passed into circulation.  By 294AD, the latest date in the hoard, Diocletian abandoned silver coinage entirely and began issuing bronze coins instead. Prior to that, prices had risen over a roughly twenty year period by 1000%.  Value-conscious barbarian troops hired by the emperors demanded to be paid in gold aureus and for good reason as you will discover below. By the end of the third century, the currency was crumbling and along with it the empire.

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