“While I heartily subscribe to your premise of pursuing one’s dream,” one reader, Donald J., wrote, “there are alternate perspectives worth considering.”[We’re listening… go on.]“Some wiseguy once said that life is what happens to you while you’re waiting for something better to come along. Milton put it a little more poetically in one of his […]
Want to get rich? Don’t listen to financial “gurus,” says Chris Campbell. In today’s Laissez Faire Today, Chris shares a Zen proverb and shows how understanding it is the only real way to get rich (and live a rich life). Read on…
Ben Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In today’s Laissez Faire Today, you’ll learn about one FREE website that has the potential to not only keep your family safe – but also open your eyes to what’s happening in your own neighborhood. Chris Campbell has all the details. Read on…
All over the world, power is dying. The dictators and tyrants of the world are no longer able to wield it like they once used to. And they’re losing it to the “little guy.” Chris Campbell shows you how to be the king of your castle by taking advantage of this fact. Today, you’ll learn how to grab “power gaps” in the market and channel them into your product idea or project. Read on…
The fireflies along the tidal rivers of Malaysia show "feats of synchrony that occur spontaneously, almost as if nature has an eerie yearning for order." Chris Campbell tells you where else this might occur in the world. Also, new technology may revolutionize the agriculture industry and what we think of as a farm.
Jeff Davis is running for Governor in Hawaii and has an interesting campaign strategy. Also, what motivates hackers is revealed and the findings might surprise you. Finally, Ferguson is discussed in a new light. Chris Campbell has more...
When the government pumps trillions of dollars into the economy, they’re not actually printing the money. It enters as digital entries in banks across the country. It’s made the system fast, responsive, and, unfortunately, vulnerable. Now our money is no longer something we hold in our hands, but something that exists on a very susceptible network.
The so-called recovery is only built on debt and printed cash declares our own Byron King. In the long term, the only option for the government to continue financing it's operations is to print too many dollars. Money printing has it's limits, however. It's Byron's opinion that at some point, perhaps very soon, the government will have to turn to more desperate measures. Namely, capital controls. In the following featured essay, Byron outlines 4 probably ways the government will take your cash and one play you can buy through your broker to prepare today. Read on...
Americans expatriate because they want to get out of the country. Corporations expatriate for similar reasons. Clem Chambers explains...
In a 2009 article, the Huffington Post went into considerable detail about the number of people with PhD degrees in economics employed by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. This is the government’s branch of the Federal Reserve. It is not one of the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks, all of which […]
The U.S. dollar is the dominant global reserve currency. All markets, including stocks, bonds, commodities, and foreign exchange are affected by the value of the dollar.The value of the dollar, in effect, its “price” is determined by interest rates. When the Federal Reserve manipulates interest rates, it is manipulating, and therefore distorting, every market in […]
The game of speculation is the most uniformly fascinating game in the world. But it is not a game for the stupid, the mentally lazy, the person of inferior emotional balance or the get-rich-quick adventurer. They will die poor.– Jesse Livermore, How to Trade in StocksThe trouble with capitalism’s guardians is that they have no […]
John Foust, a Democrat running for the 10th congressional seat in Northern Virginia, is — like Gov. Terry McAuliffe and other state Democrats — gung-ho to expand Medicaid. His wife’s position is, shall we say, a bit more nuanced.Foust has slammed his opponent, Republican Del. Barbara Comstock, for her opposition to expansion. He has spoken […]
The midterm election season is upon us, and it’s a tossup whether the Republicans will win the Senate, or if President Obama, seemingly oblivious as conflict flares up around the world, will, through his continuous campaigning, keep Harry Reid in his majority leader seat.The only thing we know for sure is that sociopaths will be […]
Alexander Hamilton was America’s first Secretary of Treasury under President George Washington. When he first entered office in 1789, America was an agricultural nation of just 4 million still broke from its financially costly victory over the British Empire in the Revolutionary War.The states had accumulated relatively massive debts to finance that war, which mostly […]
A great technology solves a problem that we didn’t know we had. It makes us aware of deprivations we didn’t know existed until we discover the new thing. Once discovered, we can’t go back.People in the 1950s, for example, never missed the smart phone. They were pleased to have a phone at all. But today, […]
Fifty years after the 1929 crash, a group of money managers and investment thinkers put together a collection of essays looking back at that experience. The result was a distillation of some pretty fine investment wisdom. Timely, I think, to review now.One of the contributors was Arthur Zeikel, then with Merrill Lynch. The title of […]
Although the mainstream media have turned its attention away from the wreckage of Obamacare, don’t think for a second that all is well.As the politicos in D.C. focus their attention on the midterm elections in November, now is a great time to study, prepare, and seek out the most affordable, accessible, and highest quality options […]
Turn on the tube and economic ignorance seems to be everywhere. There is constant shilling for more government. Business is demonized. Man is said to be trashing the environment. “Workers and women are oppressed” is the constant mantra.And members of the clueless media nod their heads in unison.Only John Stossel has provided the fresh air […]
In early July 1944, delegates from 44 countries gathered at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. A three-week summit took place, at which a new system was agreed to regulate the international monetary and financial order after the Second World War.The U.S. was already the world’s commercial powerhouse, having eclipsed the British […]
In the minds of many people around the world, including in the United States, the term “capitalism” carries the idea of unfairness, exploitation, undeserved privilege and power, and immoral profit making. What is often difficult to get people to understand is that this misplaced conception of “capitalism” has nothing to do with real free markets […]
Some people are saying it is just what the doctor ordered. Others are saying that the cure is worse than the disease.The Affordable Care Act? Reengagement in Iraq? Tea Party bullying in the GOP?Not this time. Just as protracted in the corridors of Congress and the White House is the debate over the proposed reform […]
In 2012, money mandarins running the European Union chose stagnation over restructuring. Here’s a consequence of that choice: expectations for a self-sustaining economic recovery keep getting crushed.Two years ago, European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi promised to do “whatever it takes” to hold the eurozone together. He bluffed nervous investors into believing in a […]
People jacked up about income inequality can find a new hobby. The 1% are victims of a doomsday machine, and the countdown is ticking. Machine, thy name is “family.”This came to mind as I was reading a preview of Columbia Professor Andrew Ang’s forthcoming, must-read book on Asset Management. Ang is that oxymoron, an exciting […]
It might sound like the latest new product from Apple, but IPAB is actually the newest major legal challenge to Obamacare.Recently, a three-judge panel in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco heard arguments about the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, a 15-member panel created by the Affordable Care Act and empowered […]
Americans have come to believe that the IRS and the income tax are inevitable parts of our lives. After all, most everyone alive today has lived his entire life under federal income taxation.It wasn’t always that way. For some 125 years, the American people lived without having any tax imposed upon their income.The obvious question […]
Here’s a fun fact: Although we all hate the U.S. dollar, as it continues to hemorrhage wealth, its foothold as the world’s reserve currency isn’t going to disappear overnight.A Russian gas deal with China won’t change that — as we’ll highlight below.But before we get to the nitty-gritty, let’s dive into a story that’s right […]
Stock investors are still acting as though Janet Yellen will be good for the economy… or at least good for stock prices.
Gold investors must think so too.
But will she be?
Yellen has no business or investment experience. Her entire career has been spent in academia and public policy institutions. She has never started a business or had a job in the private sector.
Does she have any idea how an economy functions? Not on the evidence…
In 2005, she described the developing housing bubble as a “good-sized bump in the road.” Was she worried about it? Apparently not. “The economy ought to be able to absorb the shock,” she claimed.
But how would she know?
And when, two years later, the economy hit the “bump,” it turned out she didn’t know anything. The economy wasn’t able to absorb the shock at all. Instead, the wheels flew off… and the economy went into a ditch.
And now it’s November and Yellen will soon be running the biggest, most powerful banking cartel the world has ever seen. Good luck to us all!
The Really Big Picture
The days are crisping up in Maryland. Here in Florida, it’s still summer.
We’ve come back to Florida to give a speech about writing. What can we say about it? Only that writing is easy; it’s thinking that’s hard.
We sat in the airport terminal in Baltimore. One man was reading a novel. Another was watching TV. Another sat down beside us and began playing a game on his iPhone. A woman was reading Woman’s Day magazine. Others talked on their phones.
Were we the only ones there who were thinking about the Fed’s interest rate policy? We were clearly the dumbbell in this group. Most people had better things to do.
But now we’re going to go back to thinking about how the Fed and the dollar fit into the general scheme of things — the really big picture, looking back 10,000 years and beyond.
The critical change came around 5,000 years ago. Little by little, man became “civilized.” We use the word cautiously. It is like a hand grenade without a pin. It could blow up on us at any moment.
What is civilization, anyway? Is it a good thing? A bad thing? Who’s really civilized, and who’s not? No matter what you say, you are bound to offend someone with deep prejudices on the subject…
But what the heck? Damn the torpedoes… full speed ahead!
A Civilized Dawn
Civilization is different from barbarism. Most anthropologists, archeologists, and philosophers focus on the wrong things — art, culture, and technology, for example. They miss the key differences — money, matrimony, and the mandates that people follow.
People did not suddenly awake to a civilized dawn. Instead, the progress from barbarism to civilization came in fits and starts, with much backing up and many detours.
Don’t bother to tell us the Germans were supposed to be civilized… yet they exterminated more than a million at Auschwitz… or that Americans are supposed to be civilized, but are sending drones to kill people they’ve never met. Even the most civilized peoples do uncivilized things. And most peoples, no matter how civilized they have become, still maintain some archaic, barbaric habits and institutions.
As civilization became more complex, the rules grew simpler. Typically, people became monogamous, monotheist, and monetarist.
You can see this progress in the Bible. The Old Testament is full of war… and many rules for how people are to get along with one another. In the New Testament, Jesus proposes only one rule, which leaves little place for making war: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
In pre-civilized days, a man might have had as many wives and concubines as he could manage. Civilized, modern men typically have only one. (And that is more than enough for many men.)
In pre-civilized days, commercial transactions were difficult and complex — usually involving a credit-based system that left obligations stretching forward into the future, often unresolved over many generations. Civilized man developed modern money — typically gold — which made it much easier to settle up and move on.
But the most profound difference was that barbaric people used force and violence to get what they wanted; civilized transactions are based on mutual consent and cooperation.
But wait. Where does that leave the dollar and the Fed?
Does the Fed allow willing buyers and sellers to set interest rates as they choose? Or does it force the issue… pushing interest rates around as though they were travelers in the airport security line?
Does the Fed permit investors to discover asset prices without interference? Or does it try to fix prices, claiming that it knows better than the rest of the world put together?
We know that the economy of the Soviet Union, driven by brute force, was a disaster. How do you think the economy of the U.S. — heavily persuaded by the padded force of the Yellen-led Fed — will fare?
Is today’s Fed a modern, civilized institution? Or an archaic throwback to the past?
And what about the dollar itself? Is it a form of modern money… or a barbarous relic, depending on the police power of the state to give it value?
More to come…
Article originally appeared here.