Category Archives: quantitative easing

The Age of Survival Economics

Survival economics have been in existence since life began on Earth. The primary instinct of all life on Earth, be it plant or animal, is survival, and perpetuation of its own kind. Mankind has been no exception.

With the discovery of the New World, the Colonial powers of the West extracted immense wealth from the rest of the World. New settlements and new countries were founded. The new countries rose to immense prominence such as the US, and others such as Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Australia, etc. to lesser prominence. They prospered and grew, along with the US, as the Lands of Opportunity. Nobody, but nobody could equal the growth, the innovation, the power, and the wealth of the US. The dollar became the Reserve and Official currency of the World in 1944, and was proclaimed as such in Bretton-Woods, New Hampshire, USA. All the world’s debt and trade was denominated in US dollars. The dollar was convertible to gold at 35 dollars an ounce. The US became the master of the world. The only country that would not buckle was the war damaged USSR. The Cold War was instituted to destroy USSR. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1989 through it own internal decay and weakness. The End of History was proclaimed and Western Liberal Ideas were proclaimed as supreme and immutable like the Laws of Nature.

But it was not to be so. Man made concepts cannot be compared to the Laws of Nature. Economic systems are concocted to serve the economic interests of the ruling elite. Laws and ideas are created to brainwash the masses. Eventually, the system starts breaking down and no laws or recycled ideas can save it. We are at such a period now.

Despite denials, the world is in recession. Actually, some areas of the world are in depression. Wages have stagnated, especially in the EU, Canada, and the US. Jobs created in the US are low wage and part time. Attempts to stimulate the economy through quantitative easing have not worked. SNAP {food stamps} have been expanded to help the poor. Under President Obama, the SNAP program has expanded from twenty three million in 2008 to nearly forty five million in 2016. The food program is a double edged sword. It keeps the poor from starvation but it entices them to buy junk food and drinks which leads to obesity and ill health. They buy processed food because it is cheap. At the same time, the SNAP program is a huge subsidy for giant Agri business, food processors, and giant food chains.

There can be no recovery because the US is suffering from negative energy flow which is reflected in the growth of debt, individual, corporate, and governmental at all levels. Wages are stagnating. Whatever positive energy there is, goes mostly to one percent of the population, the ownership class. Some energy goes to around five percent of the population, the overseer class. The overseer class faithfully serves the ownership class, and some members are abundantly rewarded. The Precariat Class which is around ninety percent of the population gets very little, if any, of the positive energy flow. The Precariat Class has some positive energy flow in the form SNAP, etc, which is a form of subsidy to giant corporations.

In the end, everything flows to the ownership class. Tax cuts, deregulation, and infrastructure renewal will not help because it will be based on more debt. Survival Economics is already the Modus Vivendi for the Precariat Class. Massive violence in society could be next.

Is the US facing the same problems as Third Century Rome?

The world, but particularly the US, is entering a period of great uncertainty, as did Rome in the third century AD. There were external threats and internal instability. Inflation was destroying the internal fabric. The coinage was diluted of its precious metals, silver and gold. People lost faith in its institutions, its army and its emperors. Through such inflation, the people were getting poorer. The longevity of its emperors was very short after the assassination of the Emperor Alexander Severus in 235 AD  The Empire fragmented and was in danger of collapsing. Two external threats were ever present: the Tribes of Northern and Eastern Europe were pressing on the Empire and in the East, there were Persian threats. Three emperors lost wars with Persia, and one, Emperor Valerian, was even captured by the Persians in 260 AD through a ruse.

The 42nd Emperor Claudius Gothicus, (268-270), stabilized the frontiers by defeating the Alemani and the Goths, but unfortunately, died of some kind of infection.  The 51st Emperor Deocletian, (284-305), further strengthened the Empire by reducing inflation, further stabilizing the frontiers, and introducing tetrarchy to government. Tetrarchy is four person rule.  Deoclitian split the administration into a Western Empire centered in Rome, and an Eastern Empire centered in the future city of Constantinople to be founded by Emperor Constantine the Great in 330 AD. When the Western Empire fell in 476 AD, the Eastern Empire or Byzantine Empire lasted for almost one thousand years until Contantinople fell to the Turks in 1453.

Is the US in a similar situation? Possibly?  The US has been in decline since President Nixon defaulted on the gold obligation of 35 dollars for one ounce of gold. Nixon proclaimed it would be temporary, but almost 50 years later is still going. As a result inflation became rampant, Congress became generous and passed the law that allowed Americans to own gold again. President Roosevelt and Congress banned ownership of gold except in jewelry in 1933.

Economic conditions were deteriorating slowly. Inflation in the seventies, Reaganomics in the eighties, Clintonomics in the nineties, subprime mortgages and the tech bubble in the first decade of the new millennium and a severe bust in 2007-09 that nearly collapsed the entire system. Throughout this period, living standards for Americans were going down. The main culprits were debt, public and private, quality job losses, inflation, lack of affordable universal health care, expensive education, and foreign military interventions.

As I mentioned in my previous posts, the three pillars of paper, all based on debt, are keeping this system afloat, but just barely, and they are the dollar, the stock market, and the bond market. The Federal Reserve and the Treasury are keeping the system going by shunting new money into stocks and bonds creating conditions for a financial shock that is becoming inevitable. Zero interest rates and quantitative easing are propping up the system, but not curing it; it cannot be cured.

One could call the US economy a “mirage” because there has been no actual growth since the late 1960’s. The living standards of the people have been going down and down, but the lies and deceptions have been going up. One does not know whom to believe. In socio-economic terms, three economic classes have developed in the US: the owner class of 1%, the overseer class of 4-5%, and the Precariat class of around 95%. The Precariat Class is composed of all ethnic groups, religions, and races, but it is kept divided by the Ownership Class for its own interests. The Precariat is on the whole totally dispossessed, and they live from pay cheque to pay cheque, with the loan sharking firms eating them in between.

The present recovery after the almost system collapse 0f 2007-8, has been nothing but “a mirage”, a statistical “recovery” propped by a series of quantitative easings and zero interest rates. The ownership class and the overseer class are doing extremely well, but the precariat class is barely surviving.

In foreign policy, the US, a hegemonic power, has become a reactionary force in order to maintain its world wide empire based on dollar indebtedness and exploitation of the rest of the world. Through its policy in the Middle East, it has lost Iran and now may lose Turkey, two large countries dominating the key strategic areas of the Afro-Eurasia. It is true, the US has gained  eastern Europe through the European Union and NATO, but Europe itself has become unstable.

In the Middle East, some claim that the US and Israel have created ISIS and Al-Qaeda  to destroy Syria and Iraq in order to get to Iran, and take total control of the Middle East and its natural resources. If Turkey switches to Eurasia, and a compromise is reached between Syria and Turkey, the US will lose the Middle East. The next shoe to drop will be Saudi Arabia because of its disastrous war in Yemen, as well as internal dissension.

Never before in its history has the US faced such complex problems as a dying economy  reflected in dying cities, dilapidated infrastructure, poor but costly education and health care; city violence could be a precursor to a general revolt.

The world is waiting with bated breath the results of the US presidential elections, The precariat class is flocking to Mr. Trump for salvation and the ownership class is in a panic. How the elections will turn out nobody knows, but if there is a financial collapse Trump would win massively. In that case, it is quite likely that martial law would be proclaimed and the elections postponed. Only time will tell.

Quo Vadis Gold?

Gold is a symbol of power and truth, and yet it is suppressed. The reason gold is in jail is so that the dollar is  free to be the official currency of the world. It is not only essential that gold stay in jail, but that the dollar be convertible into gold at the lowest price possible. The Modus Operandi to keep gold suppressed is  called “paper shorting” of gold. Capping the price of gold has enabled the Federal Reserve to reduce interest rates to near zero and to indulge in quantitative easing to prop up stock markets, bond markets and the economy without endangering the supremacy  of the dollar.

To keep gold suppressed is very expensive and limiting. Let me explain. Physical gold must be available at whatever price the paper shorts of gold set through their daily trades for those individuals, organizations, or countries who want physical gold. The cheaper the paper gold, the cheaper will be the physical price. So, countries like China, India, Russia, Iran, and others are accumulating gold at an incredibly cheap price. Gold is leaving the West and going to the rest of the world. Gold must be available for the dollar to be convertible. The point will be reached when gold will not be available at any given price and the dollar will lose its convertibility into gold; financial panic will ensue

Before gold availability is finally exhausted, the US policy is to destroy the economies of the rest of the world. Russia was first in the line of fire because of the Ukraine. The US engineered the collapse of the price of oil and the value of the ruble. They tried sanctions and that didn’t work because Russia is only getting stronger. They tried to destroy China by collapsing their stock market and so far the results have been inconclusive. However, they have been quite successful in destroying the economies of the Third World. By increasing the buying power of the dollar, they have increased the debt burden of the Third World, hence collapsing the price of all their commodities. The Third World has less money to buy manufactured goods from China and Europe, so China and Europe in turn slow down, which further collapses commodities. So the whole game becomes a vicious circle to the down side. Most Third World countries are in a depression. But gold availability to support the dollar is reaching the exhaustion point. In order to maintain dollar dominance, interest rates have to be increased.

The Federal Reserve has no choice to do this in order to be able to defend the dollar in the future, irrespective of what interest rate increases will do to stock or bond markets. The high yield bond market is already collapsing because liquidity is drying up. The official story is that the FED wants to normalize interest rates but in reality they want to create “Volcker Momentum*” and increase the interest rates to as high as they can go. Gold will rise because it will no longer be available at these low prices to support the dollar. Gold will go as high as it will go. To support the dollar, the interest rates will rise to as high they will have to go. These will be events that have no parallel in human history. Only time will tell.

 

*= Volcker momentum is my expression. Paul Volcker was a Fed Chairman from 1979 to 1987. He increased the interest rates to near 20%, so he could reduce the inflation rate to below 5% after the US went off the gold standard in 1971 under President Nixon. My thesis is that to support the dollar to be convertible to gold, gold price in dollars must be suppressed. Gold must be kept in jail. However, this is very costly, because Gold is leaving the West and going to the rest, China, India, etc. Soon, there will be no physical Gold at such cheap prices. Presently, Gold and Silver are very cheap, so the US must increase the interest rates to protect the dollar in the future. Hence, “Volcker Momentum”

Dollar vs. Gold II

In my previous posts I stated that gold does not need any paper currency, but that the dollar needs gold. The dollar has to be convertible into gold, because the gold price world wide is quoted primarily in dollars, and that’s due to the dollar being the official currency of the world. Everything in the world is traded in dollars. Just imagine the power that the US possesses by owning the official currency of the world, so it goes without saying that the US will do anything in its power to retain that authority over the financial system of the world; it will even resort to war.

The key to financial world domination is not the petro-currency status of the dollar but its relationship to gold, Nature’s Money. The Bretton Woods agreement of 1944 made the dollar official currency of the world. The dollar was pegged at 35 dollars an ounce of gold, and the rest of the world’s currencies were pegged to the dollar. The US would keep the gold and print the dollars, while the rest of the world would keep the dollars in US Treasury Notes. The US had free use of their hard earned money, the perfect scam. General Charles de Gaulle immediately saw this for the scam that it was and took action. He exchanged the French dollar surplus for gold, as was allowed by the Breton-Woods Agreement. Run on gold began, in 1971, President Nixon closed the gold window. This is how the dollar became the “Petro” currency. Nixon told OPEC to increase the price of oil as much as they could but make sure it is traded in dollars. Surplus dollars flowed into US Treasuries, more than ever before, and the US got free breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This policy continues to this day…

The Crisis of 2007-8 was very severe. It nearly collapsed our entire economic system. Massive infusion of artificial money {printed dollars} only managed to prop up the system, and did not ultimately save it. The System barely meanders. A series of quantitative easing was introduced, QE I, QE 2, and QE 3. No real improvement. QE 4 is coming down the road. During the crisis, gold rose from around 250 dollars in 2001 to 1920 in 2011. Interest rates went down to almost zero. There was the danger that if the price of gold went any higher,  that dollar would not be convertible to gold. If that had happened, the Capitalist System would have collapsed. Something had to be done.  “Paper shorting” of precious metals was begun. The dollar can only have validity if it is convertible into gold.  Presently, the convertibility of dollars into gold has a severe price. Dollar surplus countries and individuals are buying gold on the cheap.

Gold, presently, is in backwardation. Individuals and countries are paying higher prices for gold delivery now than in the future. Shortages of gold availability are coming. The price of gold may sky rocket over night. By shorting paper gold the monetary policy of the US is extremely tight. It is in essence destroying the economy of the world. Increasing interest rates is sheer lunacy. Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium will demand their rightful value which is precious. They will be not be available in any currency at any moment. The rush for Nature’s Money, gold, will be the beginning of the end of the Capitalist System, as was the rush for gold the beginning of the Capitalist System, and when Christopher Columbus first “discovered” the “New World”. If the World survives, a totally new age will begin. Only time will tell.

Deflation is impossible under fiat currency regime.

The fiat currency regime is a profoundly parasitic system. It is parasitic because the dominant currency (the US dollar),also known as the reserve currency or official currency of the world sucks the energy and blood of the rest of the world. It affects the whole non Anglo-American World.

The system was set up in Bretton-Woods, New Hampshire in 1944. The sucking instruments were the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Agency for International  Development and others. The modus operandi  was the creation of debt denominated in dollars.The plan was and still is to place into debt the entire world, especially the Third World and the former Communist World.

Being in debt in a foreign currency implies that a country must earn that currency by selling its own natural resources  at ever cheaper prices. Devaluation of the local currency ensues, inflation follows. The local population, already poor, is faced with a threat to its survival but the creditors’ mission has been accomplished. This method of operation is repeated over and over again. The governments of these miserable countries are blamed and if they rebel they are overthrown. Hyperinflationary  depression is the end result.

A similar fate is awaiting the US. Since 1945 the US has been sucking the blood of the rest of the world. First, on the basis of the dollar being linked to gold at thirty five dollars an ounce. When this policy became too costly, the US simply defaulted. The US was losing too much gold. New policy was introduced, the petro dollar,by inducing oil producing countries to sell their oil only in dollars. The Shah of Iran played a key role and his role in this policy sealed his fate. One must remember that Iran is a millennial civilisation. Also, all trade and debt continued to be based on dollars. In the nineteen seventies the dollar weakened and precious metals spiked as inflation spiked to almost hyperinflationary levels. Interest rates were raised to almost twenty percent. Savers were doing great. The Cold War intensified. The Soviet Union dissolved itself. Japan entered a declining phase. China accommodated the US, formed a “modus vivendi” with the US but Russia was on its knees. It was plundered by the the  West  via Yeltsin and the oligarchs. Europe was compliant to the US and the dollar reigned supreme.

Good things never last. The tech bubble burst in 2000. The housing bubble inflated. 911 happened. The sympathy of the world was on America’s side. Wars were started. First Afghanistan,then Iraq. In Afghanistan, the Taliban were US allies but then they reduced the production of opium to only ninety six tons. That threatened the value of the dollar. The US attacked  Afghanistan. The excuse was El-Quaida  and 911. The production of opium went from ninety six tons to six thousand four hundred tons. In dollar terms, this is over six trillion annually and all traded in dollars. That trade supports the dollar and keeps domestic inflation at bay because the opium or drug trade is the biggest form of trade in the world (it is bigger than even the automobile or oil industries! ) Weapons of mass destruction were the reason given to attack Iraq. The real reason was Saddam Hossein wanted to sell Iraqui oil for Euros.  Libya was destroyed because Gaddafi wanted to use Gold Dinar.

Housing and the debt bubble collapsed. The system was shaken to its foundation. Zero interest rates were introduced. Quantitative Easing was instituted. Easy money poured into the stock market, the bond market, high end real estate market, and various kinds of speculations. Money poured into the US from all over the world. The dollar rose. Gold and other precious metals went into collapse. All commodities went into collapse mode. The third world is entering hyperinflationary depression. In the US, they are talking about deflation. The only deflation that is being experienced in the US is the standard of living of ninety percent of Americans. This has never happened before. During the nineteen thirties, the standard of living of people who worked rose because the prices of everything had collapsed, including the dollar. Dollar was devalued with respect to gold to thirty five dollars an ounce from twenty dollars and sixty seven cents.

There is no deflation in America except in living standards for ninety percent of its people. The prices of everything including groceries, services, health care, rents,etc are going up. Wages are stagnating. The buying power of the dollar is going down. Since 1945, the US has been exporting inflation to the rest of the world. The rest of the world is slowly de-dollarizing. The dollar will be abandoned. Nobody will want a  piece of paper that is backed by nothing except  the “Full Faith and Credit” of the United States. Inflation is coming to the US. If the dollar were gold backed currency, the US would not be having these problems. Under fiat currency deflation it is not possible. Only gold or gold-backed currency leads to deflation. Time will tell.