• Tag Archives World War
  • Hollywood Movie Director’s “Outlandish” London Home For Rent – Take The Tour

    If you haven’t heard of Roland Emmerich, you will almost certainly have heard of some of his movies. Emmerich is the 62-year old German who directed Universal Soldier (1992), Independence Day (1996), Godzilla (1998), The Day After Tomorrow (2004), White House Down (2013) and Independence Day: Resurgence (2016). He is the 11-th highest grossing director in history. Besides directing, Emmerich also produced and wrote most of his movies. Emmerich owns homes in Los Angeles, New York, London and Stuttgart. As Wikipedia notes.
    He likes to decorate his homes in a self-described “outlandish” manner, adorning them with rare Hollywood memorabilia, murals and portraits of dictators and Communist figures, and World War II militaria.
    Emmerich’s London home is currently available for rent – anything from a few days to six months. As The Guardian newspaper notes,
    the house is filled with communist iconography, taxidermy and potentially outrageous art. The property’s interior designer John Teall says:
    ‘Nothing is spared, from government and gender to race and religion – but there’s no manifesto. The idea was to provoke thought, amuse and maybe shock a little.’
    If you’d like to take the tour, let’s go. Here is the outside on Brompton Square In London’s Chelsea.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 6, 2017.


  • Paris – The Capital Of West & Central Africa

    Once France was one of ‘the great powers’, dominating Europe and parts of the world in terms of culture and economy. The country’s demise started after the Second World War, though it still played a key role in the creation of the European Union and the euro, which was to prevent Germany from subjugating the rest of the continent.
    ***
    However, this strategy has failed and Berlin has become Europe’s capital, with France’s importance ever dwindling.
    France’s population is slowly being substituted for by people from Africa. Renaud Camus calls it the ‘grand replacement’. Paris, once a European, then a global is slowly turning into an African metropolis. If French elites, whose influence in Europe is fading, want to remain a world power, they can only opt for Africa. Qaddafi, the king of the kings, became a threat to France’s interests on the continent. It were not the Americans that pushed for Qaddafi’s replacement but the French elites.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 1, 2017.


  • How Much Does a Tax Cut Cost?

    People often speak of tax cuts using topsy-turvy lingo like this quotation from the Committee for a Responsible Budget: ‘the country currently spends $1.6 trillion per year on tax breaks.’ Or, as The Hill claims: ‘GOP tax plan would cost $2.4 trillion.’ Statements like these make it sound like a tax cut is something you have to buy – as in, you search Amazon.com for tax cuts, add it to your cart, and purchase it. Then your credit card is charged $2.4 trillion. This is very confusing and very common. With the Trump/Republican tax plan being discussed, this sort of language is everywhere.
    Taxes are revenue for the government collected involuntarily from its citizens. Therefore, a cut in taxes simply means less non-consensual money is taken from taxpayers. It is not money changing hands from the government to citizens. Indeed, it is money not changing hands. A tax cut is lowering the rate of taxation, and similarly a tax expenditure is using exemptions, deductions, and credits to target particular situations for tax relief. George Reisman says:
    …according to The Times, ‘Tax expenditures cost the federal government more than $1 trillion a year in lost revenue.’
    When one recalls that in World War II, there was a 90-percent bracket in the federal income tax, and that the government has it in its power to impose such a tax rate on everyone but presently chooses not to do so, then it becomes clear that by the logic of the concept, the cost of tax expenditures to the federal government is not just $1 trillion, but many, many trillions. It is, in fact, everyone’s entire income and wealth.
    Saying there is a cost for lower taxes is a rhetorical tactic meant to obscure what tax cuts really mean: less money for the government. However, it may feel like a cost for some vested interests.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on 11/28/2017.


  • Taxes: here’s what’s going to stay the SAME

    On October 3, 1913, US President Woodrow Wilson signed the Underwood-Simmons Act into law, creating what would become the first modern US income tax.
    The legislation (at least, the income tax portion) was only 16 pages and imposed a base tax rate of just 1%.
    The highest tax rate was set at 7% – and it only applied to individuals earning more than $500,000 per year, which is about $12.6 million today according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    And individuals earning less than $3,000 (about $75,000 today) were exempt from paying tax.
    Tax rates moved up and down over the years – the government raised rates to fund World War I, then lowered them in peacetime.

    This post was published at Sovereign Man on November 21, 2017.


  • Living in the Shadow of a Volcano: The US National Debt in Perspective

    Every once in a while, a mainstream news outlet publishes a piece about the national debt. Here and there, politicians trot out the surging debt as a talking point to make some political hay. Now and then, an economist will wave the red flag. But by-and-large, the national debt just kind of looms over us.
    We’ve gotten used to the shadow it casts, and we generally don’t give it much thought. It’s kind of like people living at the foot of a volcano. They know it’s there. It might cause some low-level anxiety. But they really don’t pay much attention to it – until it erupts.
    So, just how bad is the national debt? We all know it’s pretty bad. But would you believe it’s actually worse than you probably think?
    The headline number is operating debt. It currently stands at $20.5 trillion. It spiked $608 billion in just eight short weeks after Pres. Trump signed a bill raising the debt ceiling limit for the next three months in September. And Trump wants to do away with the debt ceiling altogether.
    The national debt is currently over 105% of total GDP. That’s the highest level in history except for a two-year spike at the end of World War II.

    This post was published at Schiffgold on NOVEMBER 14, 2017.


  • Stockman: US Entry Into World War I Was A Disaster

    103 years ago, in 1914, the Federal Reserve opened-up for business as the carnage in northern France was getting under way.
    ***
    And it brought to a close the prior magnificent half-century era of liberal internationalism and honest gold-backed money.
    The Great War was nothing short of a calamity, especially for the 20 million combatants and civilians who perished for no reason discernible in any fair reading of history, or even unfair one.
    Yet the far greater calamity is that Europe’s senseless fratricide of 1914-1918 gave birth to all the great evils of the 20th century – the Great Depression, totalitarian genocides, Keynesian economics, permanent warfare states, rampaging central banks and the follies of America’s global imperialism.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 13, 2017.


  • The Ponzi scheme that’s more than 100x the size of Bernie Madoff

    By January 1920, much of Europe was in total chaos following the end of the first World War.
    Unemployment soared and steep inflation was setting in across Spain, Italy, Germany, etc.
    But an Italian-American businessman who was living in Boston noticed a unique opportunity amid all of that devastation.
    He realized that he could buy pre-paid international postage coupons in Europe at dirt-cheap prices, and then resell them in the United States at a hefty profit.
    After pitching the idea to a few investors, he raised a total of $1,800 and formed a new company that month – the Securities Exchange Company.
    Early investors were rewarded handsomely; within a month they had already received a large return on investment.
    Word began to spread, and soon money came pouring in from dozens, then hundreds of other investors.

    This post was published at Sovereign Man on November 10, 2017.


  • Majority Of Americans Say Trump Era Is “Lowest Point In US History”

    How quickly Americans forget…
    According to a recent survey by the American Psychological Association, a majority of Americans believe that we are currently living through the lowest point in US history that they can remember…eclipsing such watershed moments in US history like the Watergate Scandal, the Bush administration’s dishonest justification for a war with Iraq, and – oh yeah – World War II and Vietnam, according to Bloomberg.
    The APA’s eleventh ‘Stress in America’ survey found that 60% of respondents believe the early Trump era is the lowest point in US history, while a slightly larger percentage – 63% – say they are stressed about the nation’s future.
    Almost two-thirds of Americans, or 63 percent, report being stressed about the future of the nation, according to the American Psychological Association’s Eleventh Stress in America survey, conducted in August and released on Wednesday. This worry about the fate of the union tops longstanding stressors such as money (62 percent) and work (61 percent) and also cuts across political proclivities. However, a significantly larger proportion of Democrats (73 percent) reported feeling stress than independents (59 percent) and Republicans (56 percent).

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 1, 2017.


  • Russia Buys 34 Tonnes Of Gold In September

    – Russia adds 1.1 million ounces to reserves in ongoing diversification from USD
    – 34 ton addition brings Russia’s Central Bank holdings to 1,779t; 6th highest
    – Russia’s gold reserves are at highest point in Putin’s 17-year reign
    – Russia’s central bank will buy gold for its reserves on the Moscow Exchange
    – Russia recognises gold’s role as independent currency and safe haven
    Editor: Mark O’Byrne
    Prior to World War I Russia held the world’s third largest gold reserves, behind America and France. In the subsequent Russian Revolution, civil war and the rise of communism, they dropped down the table of nations with large gold reserves and the U. S. became the largest holder of national gold reserves.
    In recent years, since 2007, an increasingly powerful and assertive Russia has worked hard to reprise its place in the world’s top gold reserve rankings, quadrupling its purchases in the period to June this year.
    A 34 ton purchase of gold (1.1 million ounce) in September has put Russia firmly back in the golden spotlight. The country now holds 1,779 tons of gold, placing it sixth in the world and just behind China.

    This post was published at Gold Core on October 27, 2017.


  • Into the Cold and Dark

    It amuses me that the nation is so caught up in the sexual mischief of a single Hollywood producer when the nation as a whole is getting fucked sideways and upside down by its own political caretakers.
    Behind all the smoke, mirrors, Trump bluster, Schumer fog, and media mystification about the vaudeville act known as The Budget and The Tax Cut, both political parties are fighting for their lives and the Deep State knows that it is being thrown overboard to drown in red ink. There’s really no way out of the financial conundrum that dogs the republic and something’s got to give.
    Many of us have been waiting for these tensions to express themselves by blowing up the artificially levitated stock markets. For about a year, absolutely nothing has thwarted their supernatural ascent, including the threat of World War Three, leading some observers to believe that they have been rigged to perfection. Well, the algo-bots might be pretty fine-tuned, and the central bank inputs of fresh ‘liquidity’ pretty much assured, but for all that, these markets are still human artifacts and Murphy’s Law still lurks out there in the gloaming with its cohorts, the diminishing returns of technology (a.k.a. ‘Blowback’), and the demon of unintended consequences

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on October 20, 2017.


  • The Case Against Gold as a Central Bank Asset

    What I’m about to write here, I have believed for close to 40 years. I wrote about it decades ago in Remnant Review. I’m not going to look through all of the published issues to find when I wrote it.
    What good is gold in the vaults of any central bank? I understand why it’s a good idea to have bullion gold coins in your “vault.” I don’t understand why it’s a good idea for central bankers to put gold bullion bars in their vaults.
    Central banks buy gold from the general public. They also buy gold from each other. Why do central bankers buy gold? They have to pay good money for it, meaning bad central bank fiat money.
    They can buy any financial asset. Why do they buy gold bullion? They never intend to sell gold to the public. So, they don’t intend to make a profit on their holdings of gold. It just sits there.
    Central bankers don’t own the assets that the banks hold. It doesn’t matter to them personally whether it’s gold or government bonds.
    THE GOLD COIN STANDARD
    In the era of the gold coin standard, when citizens could bring in paper money and demand gold coins from a local bank, this transferred tremendous authority into the hands of the general public. The public could participate in a run on a local bank’s gold. If this took place nationally, this would cause a run on the central bank’s gold. This would force the central bank to stop inflating through fiat money. That was the great advantage of the gold coin standard. It transferred power into the hands of the general public. The general public could veto central bank policies of monetary inflation.
    This is why all the governments of Western Europe outlawed the gold coin standard soon after World War I began in August 1914. Commercial bank runs began almost immediately. So, central banks and governments allowed commercial banks to break their gold contracts with their depositors. Then the central banks confiscated the gold in the commercial banks. They wound up with the public’s gold. It was a gigantic act of theft. It was the end of the gold coin standard. There was a huge loss of liberty.

    This post was published at Gary North on October 19, 2017.


  • How Gold Bullion Protects From Conflict And War

    – Gold and silver’s historical role in conflict shaped the world today and the modern financial system
    – Gold played an important function in the great conflicts up to and throughout the 20th century
    – Gold and the effective use of bullion played a crucial role in the outcome of the American Civil War
    – Gold was an important economic agent in both World Wars, conferring a huge advantage on the allies
    – In a world beset with risks of war both in the Middle East and with North Korea, Russia and China … gold will protect
    Gold and silver have played important roles during periods of conflict and have protected people but also protected nations and conferred power. HSBC Chief Precious Metals analyst James Steel has written a fascinating piece for this month’s Alchemist about this.
    The article takes us through the major wars and conflicts from the 15th century to modern times. Each major war serves as a reminder that success is as much down to the management of bullion and finance as it is about the role of gold and silver.

    This post was published at Gold Core on October 19, 2017.


  • After “Surreal” Feud Between Trump And Corker, “Tax Reform Is Dead. Full Stop”: Cowen

    While Wall Street appears to have ignored the latest political spat within the Republican party over the weekend, in which Donald Trump lashed out at outgoing Senator Bob Corker, while the latter compared the White House to “daycare for adults”, and later warned Trump may launch World War III, this particular feud involving the president may last longer than just the usual 24-hour news cycle, and could have dire consequences for the market, which in recent days has repriced a more than 60% probability (according to Goldman) that Trump’s tax reform will pass.
    Well, according to Cowen analyst Chris Krueger, not so fast.
    In a note released this morning, Krueger writes that “tax euphoria may break this week, with the Senate budget back to zero-margin on vote as President Trump, Sen. Bob Corker feud.” And without a budget, “tax is dead. Full stop,” Krueger writes.
    Cowen now sees the margin for passing a budget in the Senate as more challenging than in the House, plus “radically different” documents will have to be merged and passed again.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 9, 2017.


  • Entrepreneurs Are the Key To Economic Development

    Questions of economic development have long been long held a prominent position in economics. How did the most advanced economies get to where they are? What can less-advanced economies do to catch up with the leading pack?
    After World War II, a whole sub-field of economics emerged to focus on these questions. Today, we call it development economics. Instead of simply explaining historical trends, this field’s main focus lies on discovering what would help less-developed countries achieve more economic growth and join the predominantly Western countries at the top of the economic ladder.
    Compared to mainstream economics, development economics is quite a heterodox discipline in which many theoretical approaches are pursued. This can be both a curse and a blessing. On the one hand, it means that development economics is a field where ‘every economic fallacy ever refuted is still alive and well’ (to paraphrase economist GP Manish), but it also means that there is room for free-market approaches and different methodologies to make themselves heard.
    As such, it is a field in which Austrian economists might fruitfully engage. To this author’s knowledge, however, such Austrian engagement has so far not been wide-spread. One reason for this might be that, ultimately, Austrian economics often boils down to ‘liberate markets’ and ‘protect private property rights.’ These are suggestions that are superficially similar to the neoliberal approach that has been popular since the 1980s and that have consequently been tarnished by neoliberalism’s mixed success in promoting economic development.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on October 9, 2018.


  • A New Challenge to the Dollar

    In a move that was little noticed outside of the financial world, China announced the creation of an oil futures contract (open to international traders) that will be denominated in Yuan and convertible into gold. This move provides the first official linkage of oil to gold, and more importantly a linkage between the Chinese currency and gold. While the contract volumes that will be traded on this new platform will certainly be minuscule in comparison to those in the dominant markets of New York and London (at least initially), I believe the move is the latest, and perhaps most significant, step that China has taken down the path that could lead to a global economic system that is not fully dependent on the U. S. dollar. The move amounts to a direct challenge to the dollar’s privileged reserve status and could threaten U. S. dollar price erosion.
    The move comes at a time when the U. S is particularly vulnerable to an economic challenge. Given the bold, but not particularly diplomatic, efforts of the Trump Administration to push an America First agenda, the U. S. finds herself somewhat isolated. Add to this the widening political polarity in the U. S., which will make it that much less likely that Washington can take needed action in passing economic reforms to prevent a looming debt crisis. The dollar has been neglected far too long, and its strength may be far more tenuous than many imagine.
    By way of background, the United States emerged from World War II as the world’s undisputed economic, financial and military leader. In 1944, at Bretton Woods, the U. S. dollar, convertible into gold exclusively by central banks, was adopted as the world’s main reserve currency. This status meant that the dollar was used to price most commodities, used to transact nearly all international trade. This status further strengthened the dollar and helped make Americans the richest people in the world.

    This post was published at Euro Pac on September 28, 2017.


  • What Does the Ballooning National Debt Mean to You?

    When Pres. Trump signed a bill raising the debt ceiling limit for the next three months, it instantly added approximately $318 billion to the national debt, raising it to $20.16 trillion. And Trump wants to do away with the debt ceiling altogether.
    It’s hard to even conceptualize $20 trillion. What does that mean to the average person? Just the Facts Daily put together some interesting data that helps put the soaring national debt into perspective.
    The national debt is currently over 105% of total GDP. That’s the highest level in history except for a two-year spike at the end of World War II.
    To personalize the debt a bit, consider this. It currently totals $61,889 for every person in the United States, or $160,247 per household. Looking at it in terms of household debt, its currently 35% higher than the average consumer household debt of $118,271. Household debt includes mortgages, student loans, credit card balances, and auto loans.

    This post was published at Schiffgold on SEPTEMBER 25, 2017.


  • Is There a Way Out of This Financial Mess?

    We need to open the door to the future but that is only possible by understanding the past. Paul Volcker back in 1979 in his Rediscovery of the Business Cycle ‘Not much more than a decade ago, in what now seems a more innocent age, the ‘New Economics’ had become orthodoxy. Its basic tenet, repeated in similar words in speech after speech, in article after article, was described by one of its leaders as ‘the conviction that business cycles were not inevitable, that government policy could and should keep the economy close to a path of steady real growth at a constant target rate of unemployment. … But it was not until the events of 1974 and 1975, when a recession sprung on an unsuspecting world with an intensity unmatched in the post-World War II period, that the lessons of the ‘New Economics’ were seriously challenged.’
    ***
    It gives me no please to point out all out problems. My objective is straight forward. If we understand what is unfolding and why, then we can apply the correct solutions rather than turn toward more government authoritarian control. Make no mistake about this, we are in a battle for our freedom. This era of ‘New Economics’ was set in motion by Karl Marx who advocated that government could control the economy and thus create Utopia. While Russia embraced the Communism of Marx, the West adopted his position trying to be just a little bit pregnant. We rejected everything that Adam Smith discovered and the Invisible Hand, rushing into Socialism for it empowered government rather than the private sector and Laissez – faire.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Sep 25, 2017.


  • Biggest Hedge Fund Manager In The World Warns “Bitcoin Is A Bubble”, Says Gold Is Money

    Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio, the 68-year-old founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, said bitcoin is “in a bubble” during an interview on CNBC Tuesday morning, arguing that the so-called currency is too difficult to spend, and too volatile to be a useful store of value.
    During the interview, Dalio argued that most investors who buy the digital currency do so with the hope of making a quick speculative profit, undermining bitcoin’s functionality as a currency.
    ‘There are two things that are required for a currency. The first thing is that you can transact in it, it’s a medium of exchange. The second thing is it’s a store of value. Bitcoin today…you can’t spend it very easily.
    In terms of a storehold of wealth, it’s not an effective storehold of wealth because it has volatility to it. Unlike gold, let’s say, which reflects the value of money, its more stable than the value of money, bitcoin is a highly speculative market.’

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 19, 2017.


  • Hurricanes Harvey and Irma May Lend Helping Hand to Economy, but Hurricane Iniki and Katrina Tell More Complex Longterm Tales

    It is widely believed that World War II gave us the end of the Great Depression. As a result, people have said for decades there is nothing like a wartime economy to bring recovery from economic recession. War blows apart a lot of things, so you have to make a lot of things, which puts a lot of people to work building a lot of things, which puts a lot of other people to work digging a lot of things from the ground in order to build those things. Hurricanes blow apart a lot of things, too.
    If that logic held completely true, however, the best thing we could do whenever we are trying to come out of economic collapse would be to blow up every city in the nation so we could build it all over again. While WWII did end the Great Depression, logic tells us there is a more complex tale to tell.
    There is a difference between an increase in economic activity, which improves economic statistics and puts people to work, and wealth accumulation. Wars (and hurricanes) create a flurry of economic activity, which may juice the economy as WWII did, but you eventually have to pay for all of that so it doesn’t build wealth for a nation overall because of the debit side of the accounting sheet … unless, of course, one nation takes spoils of war from the nations it defeats, which then bear the burden of doing worse for decades to follow while the victorious nation is better off; but we didn’t do that in WWII. We built up the nations we ravaged. So, how did we wind up better after WWII?
    What gets left out of the wartime economic recovery equation is debt. WWII proved stimulus spending works, but what is not considered it that the US had very little debt before that and enormous debt at the end. What a wartime economy or a hurricane reconstruction economy really do is move spending forward. They force infrastructure spending now, accelerating deficit spending and total debt.

    This post was published at GoldSeek on Wednesday, 13 September 2017.


  • The Euro & the Dollar

    Nothing has yet changed. We are still 500 points away from the start of important resistance. Keep in mind that theONLY way to break the bank of the monetary system will be a STRONG DOLLAR – not a weaker on. People far too often make a serious mistake and believe that a strong currency reflects a strong economy. Trump wants a lower dollar to reduce the trade deficit, increase sales of US products, and hence create more jobs.
    Europe remains caught up in the postwar thinking when the higher the currency the more they were recovering from World War II. A rising Euro is deflationary – not inflationary. It reduces the price of imports from energy to manufactured goods and food.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Sep 8, 2017.