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  • Ask The Expert – Hugo Salinas Price!

     

     

     

     

    Click here for transcript and original posting

     

     

     

    In this exclusive interview, Hugo Salinas Price share his views on precious metals, provides some historical background on gold and silver money, the manipulation of the precious metals markets, the inevitable collapse of the fiat money, and more…

     

    Video

     

     

     

    Click here for transcript and original posting

     

     








  • 10 Reasons Washington Has War Fever

    Submitted by Ron Holland via The Daily Bell,

    "War is merely the continuation of policy by other means." – Carl von Clausewitz

    The political elites, Federal Reserve and special interests that really run the show hiding behind Congress and the president of either party in America's closed two-party monopoly seem to be running scared in many regards. They rightly have many fears for their political future as well as the profits and survival of the major international corporations and banking interests that support the current political leadership and regime.

    Never has our nation, corporations and wealthy top 1% faced so many new threats to their efforts to grow their power and wealth around the world. Although there is enough blame and mistakes to go around, many of these threats can not really be blamed on our political or financial leaders but rather result from changes in the fast-paced world we live in today.

    Conspiracy theorists prefer to see the world in black and white with no gray areas and keep it simple by criticizing secret groups or powerful interests for every problem but I believe the real situation is far more complicated. But everyone should realize the free America we grew up in has been long dead and buried with only the institutions and slogans remaining to lull the dumbed down public into apathy and acceptance. Our leaders are not omnipotent and certainly do not have all the answers and I suggest they have few answers and are actually making everything up as they go along, hence why I fear they will ultimately choose war as a solution to their problems.

    Our America Does Not Exist Any More

    Of course, conspiracies exist and thanks to Edward Snowden's publicity, America does indeed operate a global police state with intelligence gathering, torture and spying everywhere in the world. While I believe this effort is more directed toward controlling foreign and domestic politicians and powerful individuals than targeting helpless Americans who disagree with policies, this is a frightening situation for what once was the symbol of freedom and liberty for the entire world.

    But as Dorothy told her dog, Toto, in the classic "Wizard of Oz" movie, "I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore," we're also not in the America of our Founding Fathers any more, either. Real capitalism and free markets simply do not exist any longer. A few powerful interests manipulate all markets, unlimited fiat money is a profitable franchise and we are attempting to police and control the entire world to maintain our leadership position held since the end of World War Two.

    Today you are a fool to trust what the government or press claims is true, fair and balanced, as it's all just propaganda. Regulatory organizations exist only to protect the favored industries not the public, our legal system is a joke and all wars fought for democracy against evil are just looting expeditions against other nations out for profits, gain and natural resources.

    All governments issue propaganda and mainstream news organizations sell the secret agendas and policies to the people. But the world today and especially the United States faces new challenges not even war-gamed or focus-grouped a few years ago and here lies the problem and risks for the nation and citizenry.

    War May Be the Only Solution Left For Our Political Elites To Survive & Prosper

    As Clausewitz so clearly stated, "War is merely the continuation of policy by other means," and our leadership and the special interests behind them want to continue the policies and actions that have created so much wealth and world power for them. Think for a moment about the threats they are facing at home and abroad and how a major but limited war could solve or postpone most of their problems and threats to their powerbase.

    There are two problems with the war solution. First, while it may be in their best interest to guarantee their survival, war would be bad for our military, soldiers and civilians as well as our economy, private wealth and remaining liberties. Second, there is no guarantee that a real war once started would remain limited in nature. I think both world wars are historical examples of how plans for limited wars can turn into major wars killing tens of millions and all of this for power hungry politicians and vested economic interests. Remember this classic quote about war:

    "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy."

     

    – Helmuth von Moltke, German military strategist

    Wars Are Easy To Start and Rally Patriotism But Are Difficult to End

    "Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, IT IS THE LEADERS of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. IT WORKS THE SAME IN ANY COUNTRY."

     

    – Hermann Goering at the Nuremberg Trials

    1. Wars can provide a crisis and justification to continue sovereign debt issuance and currency expansion for the duration of the conflict.

    2. War would allow the politicians to blame Russia and China for the coming end to the dollar as the world reserve currency as well as the looming dollar and debt crisis.

    3. The Federal Reserve and their global central banking cartel have really destroyed the economy of the West through excessive debt issuance, money creation and borrowing. A war would allow the blame to be transferred to the enemy nations for public consumption.

    4. War would allow the US to regain control over the European Union, individual European nations and NATO. Today, Germany, France and other nations are wavering in the lockstep support for US policies and war plans in the Ukraine.

    5. War would stifle secession movements in Spain and Scotland, Greece and Italy threats to withdraw from the EU and the common euro currency.

    6. A war would provide the excuse for the US to reestablish elite control over news and opinion from foreign news organizations and alternative Internet news competition.

    7. A war against Russia and Iran would safeguard competition from Russian and Iranian oil and gas delivery pipelines as well as allow us to control Middle East production and continue the Petrodollar system for years to come.

    8. As in both world wars, a major war would allow the government to terminate all domestic political movements and adversaries except for "approved" controlled opposition candidates from the two major parties.

    9. A successful war against allies of China would delay the global power challenge from a resurgent China for a few years.

    10. Finally, during a wartime crisis situation, politicians can always get away with attacks on civil liberties, freedom of the press and wealth confiscation to a degree never possible during peacetime and here lies the ultimate war threat to the majority of the American people. The much hyped and often undercover agent driven fake terror plots designed to keep the citizens living in fear and willing to give up liberties for safety simply does not work any longer now 14 years after 9/11.

    *  *  *

    But a real war would provide the crisis excuse to confiscate your gold and "excess" retirement plan and IRA assets, reduce or curtail your social security benefits, dramatically raise taxes and institute total exchange controls while curtailing your remaining freedoms and ability to resist for the duration of the crisis. I'll be speaking on wars, conflicts and why you should have a safe haven residence at the upcoming High Alert Investment Management Conference in May.

    I hope I'm wrong about war becoming the solution of choice for Washington's many mistakes and shortcomings. Watch what happens in Syria, Iraq and the Ukraine over the next year and we will likely have the answer. But one of our founding fathers certainly knew better than to allow war or a war crisis to override good leadership and common sense.

    "They that would give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin








  • MeeT JoHNNY JiHaD...








  • Self-Aware? World's Largest Hedge Fund Shifts Strategy To Artificial Intelligence

    Despite warnings from the likes of Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking (and of course, Sarah Connor), Ray Dalio's $165 billion AUM hedge fund Bridgewater will start a new, artificial-intelligence unit next month. Despite the "new normal"'s total reversal of any and every historical rational trading pattern, the unit will attempt to create trading algorithms that make predictions based on historical data and statistical probabilities, as "machine learning is the new wave of investing for the next 20 years and the smart players are focusing on it." Does this mean the talking heads of CNBC, with their 'memes', 'myths', and 'mumbling' rationales for it always being a good time to buy are now obsolete? Or did the market just become self-aware?

     

    As Bloomberg reports,The world’s largest hedge fund manager is banking on machines...

    Ray Dalio’s $165 billion Bridgewater Associates will start a new, artificial-intelligence unit next month with about half a dozen people, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The team will report to David Ferrucci, who joined Bridgewater at the end of 2012 after leading the International Business Machines Corp. engineers that developed Watson, the computer that beat human players on the television quiz show “Jeopardy!”

     

    The unit will create trading algorithms that make predictions based on historical data and statistical probabilities, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The programs will learn as markets change and adapt to new information, as opposed to those that follow static instructions. A spokeswoman for Westport, Connecticut-based Bridgewater declined to comment on the team.

     

    ...

     

    “Machine learning is the new wave of investing for the next 20 years and the smart players are focusing on it,” Dolfino said.

     

    Some data scientists have been leaving firms outside of finance for larger paychecks at hedge funds, according to Dolfino. Quantitative firms have been on a winning streak and last year produced some of the highest returns in the $2.8 trillion hedge fund industry, by capturing price discrepancies across markets, making money from a plunge in oil prices and by purchasing government bonds that human traders dismissed.

    *  *  *

    Is it just us or does it seem that everyone has forgotten the flash-crash and the quant crash before that when all the machines chased down the same rabbit holes?








  • China And The Dragon Tail Of Marx

    Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

    The dragon tail of Marx's end-game of overcapacity and finance capital is about to shred China's fantasy that the state can micro-manage both capitalism and financialization with no contradictions or consequences.

     
    Longtime readers know my one expertise is annoying the entire ideological spectrum in 1,000 words or less. Today is one of those days, so strap on your blood pressure monitor and prepare for full-spectrum annoyance, regardless of your ideological leanings.
     
    Marxism is typically considered discredited outside of a few protected fiefdoms of academia which tend to engage in obscure debates over the labor theory of value and other signifiers of membership in the inner circle of deep Marxist thinkers.
     
    Outside these cloistered academic circles, Marxism is dismissed for two basic reasons:
    1. the predicted final crisis and implosion of capitalism did not occur
     
    2. the vaguely outlined post-capitalist incarnation of a stateless worker's paradise not only failed to materialize, but was used to justify destructive, murderous totalitarian regimes.
    But those egregious failures of Marxist theory should not blind us to the value of his critique of capitalism. After all, he was writing in the first stages of industrialization and global finance (late 19th century), and his failure to detail a scientific socialism beyond capitalism can be chalked up to a mix of naive idealism and a paucity of theoretical models to build on.
     
    Ironically, the one successful state that claims to be founded on Marxist principles, China, is poised to prove his analysis of capitalism's implosion was fundamentally sound. Consider two major parts of Marx's analysis of capitalism:
     
    1. the consequences of overcapacity and competition
     
    2. the dominance of finance capital over industrial capital
     
    Marx foresaw that the consequence of overcapacity and competition is the collapse of profits which leads to the collapse of wages and most competitors. If there is any single word that defines China now, it's overcapacity.
     
    This is not a new dynamic; when I first visited China in 2000, the TV set industry was already suffering from overcapacity/overproduction and a resultant collapse of profits.
     
    What can any enterprise do when competition and overcapacity slash profit margins to near-zero? Slash payrolls and wages. Profit margins are famously razor-thin in most Chinese industries, and despite wages that are a fraction of U.S./E.U. wages, automation of production lines is the only solution to Chinese companies beset by fierce competition and overcapacity in their sector.
     
    Automation only provides a brief competitive advantage, as one's competitors are busy lowering their input costs by automating production.
     
    Marx understood that the end-game of overcapacity is a reduction of capacity via bankruptcy and the establishment of competition-killing monopolies. This is the stage of collapse that lies just ahead for the majority of Chinese industrial players.
     
    The equally devastating parallel implosion of factory jobs will crush demand. The social safety net in China is threadbare compared to the West; laid off workers get little compensation or retraining; most face a return to rural villages and subsistence incomes from farm work that have dwindled to a few hundred dollars a year as a result of state policies that have made food cheaper for poor urban workers.
     
    If there is any major economy that demonstrates the dominance of finance capital over industrial capital, it's China. The entire boom since the global financial meltdown in 2008 has been financed by cheap credit, leverage and speculative lending in an opaque shadow banking sector.
     
    Compare China's bank assets with those of the U.S., which has an economy of roughly the same size:
     
     
    It doesn't matter whether the banks are owned by the state or not; the net result is the same: massive malinvestment as productive investment is abandoned in favor of speculation.
     
    If any nation is poised to reap the consequences of rampant financialization, it's China. In the global downturn that's just starting, China won't be able to boost capacity as a solution--the economy is already being crushed by overcapacity in virtually every sector.
     
    It also can't turn to the financialization save of unlimited expansion of credit and dodgy leverage--financialization has already been pushed to the redline. there is nothing left except diminishing returns on additional expansions of credit and leverage.
     
    Marx is about to demolish the fantasy in China that financialization can be controlled by the state. Losses can be covered over and the next expansion of credit is just around the corner. Nice, but credit doesn't create jobs lost to overproduction, nor does it generate profits, nor does it generate collateral for the next round of shadow banking speculation.
     
    What Marx did not foresee is the critical role of the state in enforcing private monopolies and the predations of financialization. While Marx understood the parasitic nature of Monopoly Capitalism, he did not anticipate the State's partnering with Cartel/Crony Capitalism. In effect, the Chinese State is now so dependent on financialization that it stripmines the citizenry to protect the financial sector from the consequences of their business model (excessive credit, leverage, fraud, embezzlement and the misrepresentation of risk). But the Chinese State doesn't merely enable the predation of its crony financiers; it also stripmines the citizenry to fund its own expansion into every nook and cranny of civil society.
     
    The dragon tail of Marx's end-game of overcapacity and finance capital is about to shred China's fantasy that the state can micro-manage both capitalism and financialization with no contradictions or consequences. "Dragon Seeks path. Dragon whips his tail." The dragon of capitalism isn't as easy to control as bureaucrats expect.

     









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