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Three vaccine 'science' fraudsters who should probably be (or already have been) in jail: Poul Thorsen, Paul Offit and Henry Miller

Natural News - Sun, 10/02/2016 - 03:00
(NaturalNews) You know the American justice system is in utter shambles when a non-violent, elderly man is sentenced to life in prison for his involvement with the cannabis plant, while corrupt scientists and drug company CEOs who lie about the safety of pharmaceuticals and vaccines...

Satisfying Gluten-Free Coconut Macaroons

Dr. Mercola - 7 hours 11 min ago

Recipe From Healthy Holistic Living

Subtly sweet, moist and chewy on the inside, and delectably crisp on the outside, coconut macaroons are an irresistible treat. This healthy yet delicious snack can suit your gluten-free diet, and is lactose-free too.

Here’s a quick and easy gluten-free coconut macaroons recipe from Healthy Holistic Living. Try it, and an appetizing batch of these macaroons can be yours in less than half an hour!

Ingredients:

1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

1 Tbsp. coconut flour

½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. coconut milk

3 Tbsp. raw honey

¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Place parchment paper or reusable non-stick baking sheet on tray.

3. Mix all ingredients in a saucepan over high heat, and then bring down to a simmer for two minutes, or until it thickens.

4. Remove from the heat. Scoop mixture into balls and place on the baking sheet.

5. Bake until golden brown on top (five to 15 minutes, depending on your oven. Be sure to check every few minutes).

6. Allow to cool and set for several minutes, and then enjoy!

This recipe makes 10 to 12 macaroons.

Go Nuts for Coconuts With This Recipe

While coconut is considered exotic in the U.S. and most Western countries, it is a dietary staple in the Pacific islands and tropical countries. Coconut is a healthy, delicious and refreshing tropical fruit hailed for its many nutritional benefits. This recipe uses three kinds of coconut products, all of which have an impressive nutritional profile:

• Unsweetened Shredded Coconut – Also called desiccated coconut, this is a flavorful addition to a variety of foods, including pastries, soups and pies. A one-cup serving of shredded coconut gives you:

o 2.68 grams of protein

o 1.79 milligrams of iron

o 1.68 milligrams of zinc

Shredded coconut also contains essential minerals, including selenium and manganese, which both stimulate enzymes like antioxidants. Your cells need antioxidants for protection against cellular damage caused by free radicals — the common pathway for aging, tissue damage, cancer and other diseases. Selenium helps relieve arthritis symptoms by controlling free radicals and reducing the risk of joint inflammation. On the other hand, manganese promotes healthy bone structure and nerve function.

Coconut Flour – This product is made from finely grated dried coconut meat, with a powder-like texture similar to grain flours. It has a mild coconut scent and flavor that will not overwhelm your recipes, but rather will impart a natural sweetness and rich texture. Coconut flour is light and airy, making it an ideal alternative for baking. Here are others reasons to ditch your regular flour for coconut flour:

o It’s 100 percent gluten-free. Coconut flour is a healthy gluten-free alternative to wheat. Gluten is highly allergenic and can even be fatal for people with Celiac disease, a digestive and autoimmune disorder where gluten damages the lining of the small intestine, and interferes with the absorption of nutrients in food.

o Coconut flour is rich in dietary fiber. Fiber encourages proper digestion and regular bowel movements. It also helps lower cholesterol levels and improve blood sugar control. Each tablespoon of coconut flour contains 6 grams of dietary fiber per serving, which is triple the amount compared to whole flour, and almost double that of wheat bran.

o It’s packed with protein. Coconut flour is exceptionally filling because it contains more protein than other flours. Protein is an essential component in rebuilding cells and maintaining healthy tissues and muscles.

o It helps regulate blood sugar level spikes. It has a lower glycemic index than regular flour, making it a healthier option for diabetics and prediabetics. The glycemic index measures how foods affect blood sugar levels — the higher the glycemic index, the greater an effect a particular food has on raising blood sugar.

However, coconut flour’s composition is very different from other flours, and there are a few things to keep in mind when using it for cooking or baking:

o You cannot substitute coconut flour for wheat or other grain-based flours at a 1:1 ratio. Generally, you should use only one-quarter to one-third cup of coconut flour for every one cup of grain-based flour.

o You need to increase the number of eggs. Because coconut flour is extremely absorbent and dense, you should add in one egg per ounce of coconut flour to take the place of gluten and help bind the mixture together.

o Coconut flour is clumpy. For this reason, you should mix it thoroughly with the other ingredients in your recipe to end up with a fine-textured dough or mixture.

• Coconut milk – This is the liquid extracted from grated coconut meat. Its rich and creamy consistency makes it a scrumptious ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisine, such as for cooking curries and soups. Coconut milk is lactose-free, so it is suitable for people with lactose intolerance.

In terms of health benefits, the fatty acids in coconut milk may improve immune function because it is a good source of lauric acid, capric acid and antimicrobial lipids, which have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.

The medium-chain saturated fatty acids in coconut may help reduce your heart disease risk. These fatty acids help eradicate the three major types of atherogenic organisms, which are bacteria that cause plaque formation in the arteries.

Coconut milk may also aid weight loss on a reduced-calorie diet because it is rich in fiber, which can potentially increase your body’s metabolism.

Raw Honey Adds Sweetness to This Snack

Raw honey, also touted as “liquid gold,” is a natural sweetener with many nutritional and medicinal values. A tablespoon of raw honey gives you 17 grams of carbohydrates. It is fat-free, cholesterol-free and sodium-free as well. Raw honey’s natural unprocessed fructose and glucose directly goes into the bloodstream and can provide a quick boost of energy.

However, since raw honey is high in fructose (averaging around 53 percent), it should be consumed in moderation. If you have insulin resistance or are taking medications for diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, it would be wise to avoid or reduce your consumption of sweeteners, including honey.

About the Author:

Healthy Holistic Living is an independent alternative health news resource that provides innovative, alternative health-related content, resources and product information that empowers individuals to make positive change in their lives and in the world.

Restoring Your Soil: Advice by an Old School Soil to Health Expert

Dr. Mercola - 7 hours 11 min ago

By Dr. Mercola

If you're at all passionate about health, it's likely you will eventually reach the conclusion that you need to grow your own food. Hendrikus Schraven, founder of Hendrikus Organics, is a magnificent resource in this regard.

Hendrikus has an innovative approach to environmental landscape design, including a focus on edible landscaping, and he's an expert at restoring contaminated soils, which so many of us have. The key to this approach, of course, is to improve the quality of the microbiome in the soil.

Early Lessons in Chemical Farming

Born right after the end of World War II on a farm in Holland, about 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from the German border, he learned to farm the organic way right from the start.

"In those days, farming was done with horse and plow ... You smelled your soil to figure out what it needed. It's a technique I still teach people today. Smelling the soil is actually [picking up on] the activity of the biology. That is what creates the smells ...

We, of course, knew that the healthier the soil was, the healthier the [end] product ... That was just called farming."

Then a kind of chemical revolution in farming took place, and the Schraven family started using chemical fertilizers like everyone else, having fallen for the promise of being able to grow more food for less money and time.

"Of course, they didn't tell you how dangerous it was to the body. We started applying [fertilizer] with our bare hands. Everybody did. You spread it out of buckets over the fields. After doing that for a few days, your fingernails were bleeding.

I finally said to my dad, 'Growing food shouldn't hurt. There's something really wrong here.'

He said, 'Yeah. We are [also] needing more of this stuff. The first two times it was fine, but now we need a little bit more to get the same results. The soil doesn't smell as good as it used to. OK, let's go back to the old ways.'"

Today we call the old way of farming "organic farming." But truly, this is how it was done for ages before chemicals became the norm of farming. There's nothing really "new" about it, historically speaking.

Not All Organics Are Equal

After being part of the rock 'n' roll business for a number of years as a youth, Hendrikus moved to the United States and started his own landscape construction company in Seattle. Unable to locate organic fertilizers and soil amendments, he ended up developing his own organic versions from scratch.

"I started going to feed stores to see what they had available. I found alfalfas, I looked at what chicken food, rabbit food, horse and cattle food was made of and I made a combination of that ...

And started using, on a small scale, my own organic fertilizers in my company and turning other people on to it."

Because the majority of soil is not made from fertilizer, Hendrikus also sought out the available materials for biomass.

"The fertilizer we have is pretty dynamic, but (for biomass) what we were doing is I was going to farmers. I would get well-decomposed material from them. I would then mix that into my soils. That's really a little bit before the composting (era).

When we started looking for the particulars on biomass, on what we could use and how to use it, my old knowledge from growing up on a farm came very handy.

Because the danger is when you're using, say, cow manure, and it's not aerated, you are going to get anaerobic conditions, which could then be detrimental to what you're doing ... People said, 'How do you know?'

I said, 'It's very simple. The farmers always threw all their cow and horse manure and everything else in the springtime on the fields. It would stink to high heaven. Within the day, two days, the stench was gone.

What do you think that means, when the stench is gone? It has gone from anaerobic to aerobic. This is the time you can actually plow it into your fields and mix it into your soils, because this change has happened in the biology.'"

What About Wood Chips?

I'm fond of using wood chips to promote soil regeneration, but Hendrikus advises caution. The common recommendation to place 6 to 8 inches of wood chips beneath trees and shrubs may not always be advisable.

"When was the last time you walked into nature and saw a tree dumping 6 to 8 inches of wood chips underneath itself?" Hendrikus asks. The source of the wood chips also matters. If the trees that were pruned and chipped were diseased, the wood chips may spread that disease to your trees or plants.

"You have to be extremely careful when you're just starting to use woodchips," Hendrikus says.

"Also, there's an enormous amount of nitrogen withdrawal for the decomposition of those chips. If you don't balance that out, you all of a sudden have yellow anemic plant material. You have to be careful with that."

Soil quality is another factor. "If you have a clay soil and you start mixing woodchips, it gets in that clay and gets wet, and if you don't know what time of the year to work this [mix] and you compact it, those woodchips will turn into alcohol.

They will go anaerobic because they have no oxygen. You're actually making it worse. You're thinking you're doing good but you're actually doing the opposite."

Tilling Still Plays a Part in the Big Picture

Most people who are in the business of regenerating soil will rely on no-till techniques. According to Hendrikus, tilling does have its place, though. When rescuing devastated, "raped" soils, he often uses heavy equipment to till the area. The specifics thereafter, however, vary depending on the state of the soil.

A general review of the process he uses when the soil is heavily abused starts with tilling up the area, making sure not to compact the soil by driving over it again.

Then compost that is fully matured, 100 percent decomposed, is added, followed by specially produced above-ground living humates, soil biology and a suitable food source for the microbes, air, compost tea and worms (about 1 to 3 pounds of worms per quarter-acre). Worms provide valuable vermicompost, one of nature's best fertilizers.

"I grow food, I repair farmland, I do erosion control, I do landscape. Because for me, everything is interconnected. There's no such thing as disconnectedness," Hendrikus says. "I can produce a soil that is extremely balanced, where you're growing your vegetables and you get the highest nutritional value possible brought up from that soil into that vegetable. But that's not where it stops.

The erosion control work that I do is the same [because] whatever filters through that soil ends up into our waterways, and whatever ends up into our waterways ends up into our marine life and our bellies somewhere along the line. So for me, it's an entire cycle."

What I've done in our company is encompass the overall; I apply different methods that all come to the same [result]. I look at the situation. I use my intuition to tell me what do I need to do here. But I have a large kitchen, so to speak, with lots of goodies to draw from.

Heavy Contamination Cleaning

Using his strategies — which include a mix of old school farmer's knowledge, experience and intuition — even heavily polluted areas, such as areas in Hawaii where sugar cane and pineapple plantations using large doses of herbicides and pesticides had destroyed and severely polluted the soil, have been able to be cleaned up to a significant degree within a matter of about six months. Here, the primary remediation was mycorrhizal fungi, plus the addition of microbially rich organic matter.

"We do till it in. We need a food source [in the soil], and Hawaii is [an area] where you can't leave everything just on top. It'd just dry out. The microbes will go dormant and nothing will happen unless you irrigate. In a lot of cases, you can't afford to do that.

You have to get it back into the ground. I look at that situation in that point in time. A little damage in playing [tilling] with the soil is better than a lot of damage by not doing it. I don't go for any one method per se. I go for a combination of many, and what I feel intuitively works."

Upping the Ante on Organic Foods

Truly organic food is not just about the absence of chemicals. While that's certainly important from a health standpoint, you can have organic food that is neither tasty nor exceedingly nutritious, for the fact that it's been grown in denatured soils.

It's important to realize that the nutrition really comes from the soil, with healthy soil creating more nutrient-dense produce. So even though the organic market is steadily growing, not all organic farmers are using methods that will regenerate and optimize soil health.

"The way to change the paradigm is by requesting the farmers grow higher nutritional food," Hendrikus says. "You go to the market and you say to one of the stands, 'Hey, can I have a little slice of that?' You taste it and you go, 'Nah, sorry. That isn't doing it.' You move on to the next stand, and you immediately set into motion that everybody has to up the ante," Hendrikus says.

"You're not going to get it via politics. You're not going to get it via the government ... You're going to get it by the demand of the people to the people that are growing it. They are going to turn that around ... If you say, 'If it's GMO I'm not buying it,' automatically it shuts GMOs down. You don't have to fight them [by protesting] in the streets."

In order for that strategy to work, however, people need to be aware that there are differences between genetically engineered (GE) foods, chemically farmed foods and organic. Many are still unaware of these differences and therefore cannot vote with their pocketbook, which is a most powerful strategy.

"I've traveled all over the world. Malnutrition will create this dead stare in the eyes. I'm starting to see that more and more even in the United States of America. When you have a whole population that's just watching TV and is just in this kind of haze, the wake-up moment is difficult.

Like you said, how do you wake them up? But what I have seen — and we've been doing this a very long time — in the last 40-somewhat years, [organic awareness] has really increased. I'm pleasantly surprised."

Learn to Read Weeds

If you grow your own food, one of the first things you might want to do is to learn to read your weeds. "Weeds are the healers," Hendrikus says. Weeds are what nature uses to break open hardened soil and add calcium, boron, nitrogen and other nutrients. Each weed is a sign of a particular soil issue. Once you address that, the weeds will be history.

"What people can do is: No. 1, get some books. Google it. See what weeds are prevalent in the areas that you want to grow food in. Then you come to understand what your soil is short of," Hendrikus says.

Convert to Edible Landscaping

Most American homes have lawns; a most unnatural feature if there ever was one. You really won't find grass lawns anywhere in the wild. I've converted my quarter acre of ornamental to mostly edible landscaping. I only have about 10 percent lawn left. Hendrikus agrees that lawns are a useless landscaping feature, and recommends putting in edible landscaping, or a vegetable garden.

Alternatively, if you don't want a large vegetable garden, convert part of your area into a wildflower garden. This will encourage the survival of bees, and attract bees and other insects to pollinate whatever fruits and vegetables you (or your neighbors) do have.

"Most of the clients I do work for, they're creating vegetable gardens, whether we're landscaping or not. More and more people are getting into that. All of a sudden, the family gets back together. They're outside, reconnecting with nature. That's a good therapy, by the way.

Then, from the seed to where you actually eat it, I don't know of any child that isn't excited by this. I've given lots of talks at schools. I work with children creating vegetable gardens and things like that, and they're all excited ... This is what should be done more in our schools."

Besides getting fresh air and negative ions from the earth, interacting with the soil will also expose you to the beneficial microbes within it, which can help improve your own microbiome. This is perhaps even truer for children, who play in the dirt and have a tendency to get dirt in their mouths.

The Importance of Humates

Humic acid (humate) promotes the proliferation of beneficial microorganisms in the soil and helps sequester carbon in the soil. Humate is extracted from nature's process of creating coal, from fully decomposed humus through the leonardite stage of coal. Most of the commercially-available humate is mined underground from leonardite, just before it turns into coal.

Unfortunately, humate from underground can have a lot of heavy metals in it, so Hendrikus recommends using a living humate from a surface mine. It contains lignans, folic acid, high-quality carbon, natural beneficial microbes and more than 78 trace minerals. Hendrikus' company sells it in both liquid and granular form, and adds it into virtually all soil regeneration jobs. The resulting plant material and the water savings are phenomenal.

"I met up with this farmer in Berkley, California, named Al. He had 158 acres of fruit orchard. He had some problems. I looked at his compost pile. I looked at some of the methods they're using. I said, 'No, you're not doing it right. But I'm going to give you something.' I gave him two bags — one of my food source and one of what we call HuMagic, which is a humate.

Because he had sick peach trees, I said, 'Put it on these 20 (he had 40) and not these. You'll be calling me back in four to six weeks.' He called back saying 'Oh, my god.' He sent pictures. The difference was astonishing. He's now doing his entire orchard. Last year we had a lot of drought in California. He ended up buying another 100 acres, [because he learned these principles].

When everybody was suffering from the drought, he was doing fine. His fruit had more than enough moisture. His peaches were to die for. He needed a bowl to eat the peach, because the juice. Once you have [humate] in your soil ... you are the king of your soil."

Never Forget Crop Rotation

Another word to the wise: never grow just one thing. Even if all you have is a vegetable garden, draw out a plan and make sure to rotate your crops. If you have potatoes in one area this year, plant something else there next year. After rotating crops for three years, your potatoes can be grown in their original spot again.

The reason for this is because different vegetables extract different minerals out of the soil, and you don't want to deplete your soil of any given mineral or the plant simply won't grow well. In addition to that, you'll want to make sure you replenish the soil each year using organic matter from your garden. Turn it into compost and layer it on top of your soil. Biochar is another phenomenal addition to improve soil quality.

More Information

For a visual tour of what actually happens in healthy soil, see this video, produced by a Japanese company that used a microscope to capture live footage of soil microbes at work. For more information about Hendrikus' soil restoration work,  the soil to health connection, the soil microbiome, urban and rural farming and more, please visit HendrikusOrganics.com. If you have specific questions, you can also find an email contact form on his site.

Negative Rates and Cash Bans: The Chaos Continues at Jackson Hole

Zerohedge - Sat, 08/27/2016 - 23:16
From: TheDailyBell.com

Negative rates should be integral part of central bank policy options … Central banks should make negative interest rates a fully integrated part of monetary policy in order to respond effectively to future recessions, according to an academic paper presented on Friday to some of the world’s top central bankers.  “It is only a matter of time before another cyclical downturn calls for aggressive negative nominal interest rate policy actions,” concludes Marvin Goodfriend, a professor of economics at Carnegie Mellon University and a former policy adviser at the Richmond Federal Reserve bank.  – Reuters

The Federal Reserve meeting at Jackson Hole has been covered by the mainstream media in ways that gave the impression that policy discussions were a kind of theoretical exercise.

Papers were presented on such issues as negative interest rates (see excerpt above) that emphasized an academic context. The idea that comes across is that those involved were earnestly striving to combat US economic dysfunction and current unnaturally low interest rates.

The larger issue here is one that we didn’t find written about: the assumption of the inherent right of policymakers to do what is “necessary” to make the US economy “healthier.”

The debate is certainly cast in theoretical terms but the results will inevitably involve the use of force.

The assumption is that involved in the “monetary debate” will come to a reasoned conclusion that society as a whole will be impelled to adopt. Those who do not wish to adopt such a solution – and who actively resist – may be prosecuted or jailed.

A few days ago, in a lead-up to the conference, the Wall Street Journal published a longish editorial by Dr. Kenneth Rogoff, the Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University.

Rogoff was also the former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund and the article was taken from an upcoming book, “The Curse of Cash,” to be published in September by Princeton University Press.

Here’s an excerpt:

Money fuels corruption, terrorism, tax evasion and illegal immigration—so the U.S. should get rid of the $100 bill and other large notes … When I tell people that I have been doing research on why the government should drastically scale back the circulation of cash—paper currency—the most common initial reaction is bewilderment. Why should anyone care about such a mundane topic?

But paper currency lies at the heart of some of today’s most intractable public-finance and monetary problems. Getting rid of most of it—that is, moving to a society where cash is used less frequently and mainly for small transactions—could be a big help.

There is little debate among law-enforcement agencies that paper currency, especially large notes such as the U.S. $100 bill, facilitates crime: racketeering, extortion, money laundering, drug and human trafficking, the corruption of public officials, not to mention terrorism

The necessity for this sort argument has to do with the inevitable results of the imposition of negative interest rates. Cash will have to become more difficult to obtain and use because people won’t want to pay banks for placing cash in savings accounts. They might instead wish to hold cash at home so they don’t have to pay a fee.

As stated, the larger issue here is one of compulsion – and its presentation within an academic context. The Wall Street Journal editorial, for instance, is part of a book that will shortly be issued. The discussion of negative interest rates in Jackson Hole was accompanied by a white paper produced by a professor of economics.

The underlying reality is that these astonishingly comprehensive solutions don’t provide a choice. Even negative interest can be seen not as a monetary/policy response but as a kind of tax. An article by Christopher J. Waller (here) characterizes low rates as nothing more than a disguised money grab:

Negative Interest Rates: A Tax in Sheep’s Clothing … A negative interest rate is just a tax on the banks’ reserves. The tax has to be borne by someone: The banks can choose not to pass it on and just have lower after-tax profits. This will depress the share price of banks and weaken their balance sheets by having lower equity values.

This is true – and is an outcome of the way the Fed works. Imposing rates via monopoly authority always constitutes a tax, though this is not something regularly discussed when it comes to Fed “policy.”

Generally speaking, mainstream media coverage wants to present monetary discussions in ways that emphasize its theoretical aspects. But the bottom line is that what’s being discussed is not going to end up as suggestions. Whatever is decided on will have the force of law.

And if we look beyond “theory” to reality, the outcome of these kinds of discussions is invariably bad. Central bank monetary mayhem is everywhere you look. The West – the world, really – is locked into a quasi-depression as a result of a century of failing policies and monetary manipulation.

In the US, Janet Yellen wants to pretend that a “recovery” is ongoing. But if so, it one that does without some 90 million potential workers who choose not to participate – either because they cannot or because they wish to participate outside of the formal economy.

We recently posted an article entitled “Is the Fed Being Torn Down in Order to Create a New, Powerful Global Entity?” (here). When one examines the behavior of the Fed, and of central banks generally, it’s hard to conclude that their real mission is the one presented to us.

Step back far enough to contemplate a century’s worth of results and the reality is clear: Central banks are supposed to destroy the economies they supposedly serve. Ironically, the destruction then provides the opportunity for them to expand.

Giving a small group of individuals the power to decide on the value and volume of money is a ludicrous concept from any standpoint. But he problem is abetted by the mainstream narrative that never discusses the underlying lack of logic.

And so we observe Jackson Hole, which is presented to us as a conclave of elite thinking but which is actually nothing more than high-brow propaganda for a system that has already failed and – as compensation for its failings – now contemplates even more radical “solutions” that will give rise to even worse problems.

Conclusion: The mechanism of central banking is purposeful ruin. The end-result of this ruin is global governance. In the short-term this goal is disguised by an academic patina. But the long-term goal, an increasingly apparent one, is a brutal restructuring of the lives of seven billion people to benefit a handful of elite controllers.

See more at TheDailyBell.com

Paul Craig Roberts Warns: US Is "A Dead Nation Walking"

Zerohedge - Sat, 08/27/2016 - 23:00

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

Here is an excerpt from an informative article by Dmitry Orlov:

A whiff of World War III hangs in the air. In the US, Cold War 2.0 is on, and the anti-Russian rhetoric emanating from the Clinton campaign, echoed by the mass media, hearkens back to McCarthyism and the red scare. In response, many people are starting to think that Armageddon might be nigh—an all-out nuclear exchange, followed by nuclear winter and human extinction. It seems that many people in the US like to think that way. Goodness gracious!

 

But, you know, this is hardly unreasonable of them. The US is spiraling down into financial, economic and political collapse, losing its standing in the world and turning into a continent-sized ghetto full of drug abuse, violence and decaying infrastructure, its population vice-ridden, poisoned with genetically modified food, morbidly obese, exploited by predatory police departments and city halls, plus a wide assortment of rackets, from medicine to education to real estate… That we know.

 

...

 

This sort of downward spiral does not automatically spell “Apocalypse,” but the specifics of the state cult of the US—an old-time religiosity overlaid with the secular religion of progress—are such that there can be no other options: either we are on our way up to build colonies on Mars, or we perish in a ball of flame. Since the humiliation of having to ask the Russians for permission to fly the Soyuz to the International Space Station makes the prospect of American space colonies seem dubious, it’s Plan B: balls of flame here we come!

 

And so, most of the recent American warmongering toward Russia can be explained by the desire to find anyone but oneself to blame for one’s unfolding demise.

I use the writings of Orlov and The Saker as checks on my own conclusions.

In his article Orlov concludes that the United States is a dead nation, still walking, but no longer a uni-power. I agree with Orlov that US weapon systems are more focused on profits than on effectiveness and that Russia has superior weapons and a superior cause based on protection rather than dominance. However, in his assessment of the possibility of nuclear war, I think that Orlov under-appreciates the commitment of Washington’s Neoconservatives to US world hegemony and the recklessness of the Neoconservatives and Hillary Clinton. Washington is incensed that Russia (and China) dare to stand up to Washington, and this anger crowds out judgment.

Orlov, also, I think, under-estimates the weakness in the Russian government provided by the “Atlanticist Integrationists.” These are members of the Russian elite who believe that Russia’s future depends on being integrated with the West. To achieve this integration, they are willing to sacrifice some undetermined amount of Russian sovereignty.

It is my conclusion that Washington is aware of the constraint that the desire for Western acceptance puts on the Russian government and that this is why Washington, in a direct thrust at Russia, was comfortable orchestrating the coup that overthrew the elected Ukrainian government. I believe that this constraint also explains the mistakes the Russian government made by refusing the requests of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics to be reincorporated as parts of Russia, where the territories formerly resided, and by the premature withdrawal from Syria that allowed Washington to resupply the jihadists and to insert US forces into the conflict, thus complicating the situation for Russia and Syria.

Orlov sees Russian advantage in the ongoing conflict between Kiev and the breakaway republics as the conflict could be leading to the collapse of the US puppet government in Kiev. However, the disadvantage is that the ongoing conflict is blamed on Russia and feeds Western anti-Russian propaganda. It also makes Russia look weak and unsure of itself as if the Western criticism of Russia’s reincorporation of Crimea has struck home and Russia is afraid to repeat it by accepting the pleas of the break-away republics.

Moreover, if the Russian government had accepted the requests of Donetsk and Luhansk to return to Russia from which they were artificailly separated, not only would the conflict have been ended, but also the Ukrainian people would have realized the disaster caused by Washington’s coup against their government, and Europe would have realized from decisive Russian action that it was not in Europe’s interest to provoke Russia in behalf of Washington. The correct Russian response was prevented by the Atlanticist Integrationist desire to appease Washington.

In contrast to Orlov, The Saker underestimates Russian military strength, but he does understand the constraints placed on Russian decisiveness by the Atlanticist Integrationists, who seem to count in their ranks the economic establishment including the central bank and perhaps the prime minister himself. Putin does not seem to be overly concerned with what appears to me to be a fifth column of Washington’s agents as Putin himself has placed heavy bets on achieving accommodation with the West. However, Putin has cracked down on the US-financed NGOs that have tried to destabilize Russia.

Western reporting and think tank and university reports on Russia are propaganda and are useless to understanding the situation. For example, in the current issue of The National Interest Thomas Graham, who had the Russian desk on the National Security Council during the George W. Bush regime, attributes the “destabilization of eastern Ukraine” to “Russia’s annexation of Crimea.” He avoids mentioning the US-orchestrated overthrow of an elected Ukrainian government and that Crimea voted overwhelmingly (97 percent) to rejoin Russia when faced with the Russophobic government Washington established in Kiev.

According to Graham, the foul deed of Russia’s acceptance of a democratic outcome upset all of Washington’s very friendly, supportive, and hopeful attitudes toward Russia. With all of Washington’s “assumptions that had guided America’s Russia policy” irreversibly dashed, it is no longer possible to maintain that Russia “is a suitable partner for addressing global issues.” Graham goes on to define Russia as a problem because Russia favors a multi-polar world to a uni-polar world run by Washington.

It is possible to read Graham’s repeat of the propaganda line as Graham genuflecting before the Neoconservatives before going on quietly in a low-key manner to attack their hegemonic attitude toward Russia. In his concluding paragraph Graham says that Washington must find a new approach to Russia, an approach of balance and limits that rejects “resort to force, which would be devastating given the destructive power of modern weaponry.”

All in all, it is an artful argument that begins by blaming Russia’s response to Washington’s provocations for a dangerous situation and concludes with the argument that Washington must adjust to Russia’s defense of her own national interests.

It is reassuring to see some realism creeping back into Washington attitudes toward Russia. However, realism is still a minority view, and it is highly unlikely that it would be the view of a Hillary regime.

In my opinion, the chance of nuclear war from Neoconservative intention, miscalculation or false launch warning remains high. The provocations of US/NATO military forces and missile bases on Russia’s borders are reckless as they build tensions between nuclear powers. It is in times of tension that false warnings are believed and miscalculations occur. In the interest of life on earth, Washington should be de-escalating tensions with Russia, not building them. So far there is no sign that the Neoconservatives are willing to give up their hegemonic agenda for the sake of life on earth.

FatLivesMatter - The 'Discriminatory' Costs Of Obesity

Zerohedge - Sat, 08/27/2016 - 22:25

The obesity epidemic in the United States continues to spread; and while the consequences of obesity on health are obvious, HowMuch.net notes that the impacts of the epidemic extend even into personal finance and work.

The following chart exposes the costs of obesity for each gender...

Source: HowMuch.net

The graphic above breaks down the costs of obesity by composition, with each composition having a distinct color. Each gender is represented by its respective sex symbol. The data were collected from a comprehensive study on the costs of obesity from George Washington University.

There are several compositions that are equal or near-equal between the two genders. The researchers found that obesity adds excess medical costs equally across both genders. At the same time, life insurance costs for the obese are also equal for both genders. While the study found that the medical costs were equal among both genders, many other costs vary between obese men and women.

The biggest difference in obesity costs between men and women come in the form of wages. Research has found that there is a connection between obesity and lower wages for female employees. Obese female employees earn relatively less compared to normal-weight female employees. Male employees who are obese do not receive relatively lower wages, according to the research. The result is $1,855 in added costs for obese women. However, the research paper notes “…accurately estimating the casual relationship between wages and weight cohorts is problematic, as the direction of the relationship has not been conclusively determined.”

The other biggest difference between obesity costs for men and women are in the composition absenteeism. The researchers found that obese male employees miss an additional two days of work annually due to illness related to obesity. Obese female employees miss between an extra one and five work days per year. Overweight and moderately obese male employees did not see incremental costs due to missing work, while female employees in the same two categories saw increased costs due to missed work. The largest incremental cost for both men and women in this composition was for the severely obese. Both morbidly obese (higher than severely obese) male and female employees saw added costs due to missed work from obesity related illness, but less than the costs for the severely obese.

While additional medical bills play a major role in added costs for both obese men and women, there are other many other areas where the obese have additional costs. In particular, sickness due to obesity related illness and lowered productivity leads to added costs. Obese female employees may receive lower wages, but additional research must be done to be sure.

#FatLivesMatter

“I’ve Never Seen Anything Like This Before" - The Housing Markets In The Hamptons, Aspen And Miami Are All Crashing

Zerohedge - Sat, 08/27/2016 - 21:53

One month ago, we said that "it is not looking good for the US housing market", when in the latest red flag for the US luxury real estate market, we reported that sales in the Hamptons plunged by half and home prices fell sharply in the second quarter in the ultra-wealthy enclave, New York's favorite weekend haunt for the 1%-ers.

Reuters blamed this on "stock market jitters earlier in the year" which  damped the appetite to buy, however one can also blame the halt of offshore money laundering, a slowing global economy, the collapse of the petrodollar, and the drastic drop in Wall Street bonuses. In short: a sudden loss of confidence that a greater fool may emerge just around the corner, which in turn has frozen buyer interest.

A beachfront residence is seen in East Hampton, New York, March 16, 2016.

We concluded this is just the beginning, and sure enough, several weeks later a similar collapse in the luxury housing segment was reported in a different part of the country. As the Denver Post reported recently, high-end sales that fuel Aspen’s $2 billion-a-year real estate market are evaporating, pushing Pitkin County’s sales volume down more than 42 percent to $546.45 million for the first half of the year from $939.91 million in the same period of 2015.

The collapse in transactions means that Aspen’s high-end real estate market "one of the most robust in the country, with dozens of options for buyers ready to spend more than $10 million" finds itself in its first-ever sustained nosedive, despite "dense summer crowds, soaring sales tax revenues and high lodging occupancy."

Like in the Hamptons, the question everyone is asking is "why"? There are many answers:

Ask a dozen market watchers why, and you’ll get a dozen answers. Uncertainty around the presidential election. Fear of Trump. Fear of Clinton. Growing trade imbalances with China. Brexit. Roller-coaster oil prices. Zika. Wobbling economies in South America. The list goes on.

“People are worried about all kinds of stuff these days,” says longtime Aspen broker Bob Ritchie. “I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

The speed of the collapse has been stunning. Until just last year, the local market was beyond robust, with Pitkin County real estate sales hitting $2 billion in 2015, a 33% annual increase driven largely by sales of homes in Aspen, where prices average $7.7 million.

This year, however, "a slowdown in January turned into a free fall." Sales volume in Pitkin County is down 42%, according to data compiled by Land Title Guarantee Co.

Almost all of that decline is coming from Aspen, where the market is frozen. Sales in the Aspen-Snowmass market in the first half of the year were the bleakest since the first half of 2009, and inventory soared to levels not seen since the recession.


High-end sales that fuel Aspen’s $2 billion-a-year real estate market  are evaporating

The statistics are stunning: single-family home sales in Aspen are down 62% in dollar volume through the first-half of the year. Sales of homes priced at $10 million or more — almost always paid for in cash — are down 60%. Last year, super-high-end transactions accounted for nearly a third of sales volume in Pitkin County.

“The high-end buyer has disappeared,” said Tim Estin, an Aspen broker whose Estin Report analyzes the Aspen-Snowmass real estate market.

"Aspen has never experienced such a sudden and precipitous drop in real estate sales," according to the post.

Worse, it's not just the collapse in the number of transaction: even more disconcerting for brokers who have always trumpeted Aspen as a safe and lucrative place to park a huge pile of money: Prices are dropping.

In the first half of this year, the average price per square foot of Aspen homes dropped 22 percent to $1,095 from $1,338 in 2015. Recent Aspen sales also closed at more than 15 percent below listing price, a rare discount.

Some brokers suspect that the frenzied sales and pricing pace of 2015 was not sustainable. The present decline is a correction, they say. “I think a lot of people thought we would go to the next level in 2016. Take the next step up and that step got resistance from buyers,” said longtime Aspen broker Joshua Saslove, who just put an Aspen home for more than $10 million under contract. If it closes, it will be just the fourth sale above $10 million in Aspen this year, compared with more than a dozen by this point last year.

“I think a lot of developers thought they would push their, say, $5 million properties to $6 million this year, but no one is buying,” Saslove said. “I don’t see that nonchalance or cavalier attitude any more.”

To be sure, Saslove is hoping that a rebound is coming; that however, may be overly optimistic and first far more pain is in store especially if one considers what is taking place in yet another formerly red-hot housing market, where suddenly things are just as bad, because as Mansion Global reports...

Luxury condo sales in Miami have crashed 44%.

According to the latest report by the Miami Association of Realtors, the local luxury housing market is just as bad, if not worse, than the Hamptons and Aspen.

The latest figures out of Miami this week showed residential sales are down almost 21% from the same time last year. But as bad as this double-digit decline may seem, it pales in comparison to what’s happening at the high end of the market.

A closer look at transactions for properties of $1 million or more in July shows just 73 single-family home sales, representing an annual decline of 31.8%, according to a new report by the Miami Association of Realtors. In the case of condos in the same price range, the number of closed sales fell by an even wider margin: 44.4%, to 45 transactions.

The Miami housing market, and its luxury segment in particular, has been softening for the past year with high-end condos sitting on the market for twice as long as they did a year ago and sellers offering bigger discounts amid an increased supply.


Number of closed sales for Miami condos priced over $1 million fell by 44%

In July, townhouses and condos of $1 million or more waited, on average, 162 days for a buyer, a 1.9% increase over a year ago and the longest time of any other price range, according to the report.

As in the previous two markets, the locals want something to blame, in this case the strong dollar, which has significantly increased the value of properties in other currencies, has been blamed, and perhaps rightfully so as sales to foreigners—an important client base, since international buyers  acquire more homes in Florida than in any other state, according to the National Association of Realtors - have tumbled.

Real estate appraiser and data expert Jonathan Miller said that Miami is behaving like most of the rest of the U.S. housing market, which is in fairly good shape overall “but soft at the top.”

As noted here over the years, In the case of Miami, like in other most other coastal markets such as New York and Los Angeles, the housing boom was heavily boosted by foreign buyers, who used US luxury real estate as their new form of anonymous "offshore bank accounts" courtesy of the NAR's exemption from Anti-Money Laundering Provisions. However, after the recent drops in commodity prices and the spike in the USD, they have scaled back their purchases.

“The international component is not as intense,” Mr. Miller said.

Depsite the slowdown deals are still being done, with cash the preferred form of payment of foreign buyers in the U.S., - some 43% of all sales in Miami in July were closed in cash, however down from 48.1% the same month last year, according to the latest figures.

Other potential buyers are also stepping back: cash sales for townhouses and condominiums, an indicator of investor activity, hit their lowest level in a year last month: 633 transactions, representing a 30.4% year-over-year decline, according to the report.

As for the forecast for the coming months, sales activity doesn’t look likely to surge. There were 1,272 pending sales of townhouses and condos in Miami in July, which means 25.4% fewer transactions waiting to close than in the same month in 2015 and the lowest number so far this year. Meanwhile, as a result of a building boom, luxury condo inventory is up 47.8% from last year, with 2,482 units worth $1 million or more waiting to change hands; this means that sellers of high-end condos will continue to face stiff competition, prompting even fewer transactions and/or lower prices.

So far, the collapse at the luxury end has failed to transmit to the broader market, less impacted by lack of foreign demand, however as we documented two weeks ago, it is only a matter of time before the overall US housing market suffers as well. The only question is whether the NAR and the US Census Bureau, who tabulate the "goal-seeked", seasonally adjusted data, will admit it before or after the presidential elections. The likely answer: it depends on who the next president is.

Joe Biden Humiliated In Turkish "Appeasement" As Erdogan Bombs US Allies In Syria

Zerohedge - Sat, 08/27/2016 - 21:35

The last time U.S. Vice President Joe Biden flew to Turkey, in January, he had a stern message for President Erdogan: his model of Islamic democracy was setting a bad example by intimidating media and threatening academics. However, his tone was markedly different when he arrived in Ankara on Wednesday, just weeks after a failed coup in Turkey that has strained relations between the two countries, and on the same day that Turkey launched a full-blown incursion into northern Syria "to halt ISIS." With Turkey making very clear, and very open overtures toward Russia, Biden was in full blown diplomatic damage-limitation mode.

 

The dramatic shift in dplomatic posture by Biden comes as the U.S.-Turkish alliance has been dealt several blows in recent weeks, to the point where the US vice president's arrival in Ankara shows just how concerned the US, which is counting on continued support from Turkey - NATO's second-biggest military - has become.  American worries have been compounded by Erdogan restoring ties with Russia - the Turkish president's first diplomatic meeting after the failed coup was with Putin in St. Petersburg, as a result of which Turkey has been discussing military cooperation with the Kremlin.

Meeting with Erdogan and Turkey's prime minister in Ankara on Wednesday, Biden delivered a message of alliance and conciliation.   "Let me say it for one last time: The American people stand with you ... Barack Obama was one of the first people you called. But I do apologize. I wish I could have been here earlier," Biden said.

But he wasn't.

And while Biden's pathetic attempt at appeasement may have come and gone, reinforcing just how much the American people stand with a person whose pre-arranged purge of political opponents has resulted in over 100,000 Turkish citizens fired or arrested, Turkey's diplomatic humiliation of the US continued, when far from attacking ISIS in Syria, the stated objective behind the invasion, Turkish forces and rebels supported by Erdogan continued their deadly attacks on Kurdish-backed forces in north Syria on Saturday. The same Kurdish-backed forces which are also backed by the US.

And it's not as if Turkey is even hiding it: Turkey's government, which is fighting a Kurdish insurgency at home, has said the Syrian campaign it opened this week is as much about targeting Islamic State as it is about preventing Kurdish forces filling the vacuum left when Islamists withdraw. Turkey wants to stop Kurdish forces gaining control of a continuous stretch of Syrian territory on its frontier, which Ankara fears could be used to support the Kurdish militant group PKK as it wages its three-decade insurgency on Turkish soil.

According to Reuters, Turkish security sources said two F-16 jets bombed a site controlled by the Kurdish YPG militia, which is part of the broader U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) coalition.

Meanwhile, the US-backed Kurds are fighting back,  and according to military sources, one Turkish soldier was killed and three others wounded when a tank was hit by a rocket that they said was fired from territory held by the Kurdish YPG. The sources said the army shelled the area in response.

At that point the chaos that is the Syrian conflict, with so many competing elements, many of whom supported by the US, was on full display.  Case in point: Syrian rebels opposed to Ankara's incursion said Turkish forces had targeted forces allied to the YPG and no Kurdish forces were in the area. On the ground, Turkish-backed Syrian rebels fought forces aligned with the SDF near the frontier town of Jarablus. Forces opposed to Ankara said Turkish tanks were deployed, a charge denied by Turkey's rebel allies.

As a result, the narrative is now split in two: one "confirming" the Turkish explanation, the other justifying the actions of the YPG, just in case the US decides to flip after all, and support its "lesser" allies:

he Jarablus Military Council, part of the SDF, had said earlier on Saturday that Turkish planes hit the village of al-Amarna south of Jarablus, causing civilian casualties. It called the action "a dangerous escalation".

 

The Kurdish-led administration that controls parts of northern Syria said Turkish tanks advanced on al-Amarna and clashed with forces of the Jarablus Military Council. But the Kurdish administration said no Kurdish forces were involved.

 

However, the leader of one Turkey-backed rebel group gave a rival account. He told Reuters the rebels battled the Kurdish YPG around al-Amarna and denied any Turkish tanks took part.

 

Turkish security forces simply said Turkish-backed forces had extended their control to five villages beyond Jarablus.

In short, chaos and a full-blown media propaganda war; however, as Reuters notes, one thing is clear: any action against Kurdish forces in Syria puts Turkey further at odds with its NATO ally the United States, which backs the SDF and YPG, "seeing them as the most reliable and effective ally in the fight against Islamic State in Syria."

However, just like Biden's arrival in Ankara was a tacit admission that the US will fully ignore Erdogan's unprecedented crackdown on human righs in post-coup Turkey as the president purges even the remotest political opponent, so the YPG, which has been "backed" by the US, is about to realize just how little such backing really means when the US has bigger fish to fry, in this case desperately trying to keep Turkey on its good side, and away from Putin's circle of influence, all the while providing countless concessions to Turkey as the country continues to openly defy western norms and put away dissidents, while arresting members of the press, and education system, as Erdogan nationalizes private corporations alleged to have ties with the notorious "coup plotter" Fethulah Gullen.

In doing so, the Obama administration has once again revealed the true extent of its hypocricy, as it turns a blind eye toward the trampling of human rights in Turkey, while screaming bloody murder when something similar takes place in any other part of the world.

Meanwhile, Turkey's humiliation of its "partner", the US, will continue, and much to the amusement of Vladimir Putin, there is absolutely nothing Obama will do about it. 

UNLOCKING GOLD'S TRUE VALUE: The Economic Code - Finally Revealed

Zerohedge - Sat, 08/27/2016 - 21:28

By the SRSrocco Report,

The true value of gold is much higher than the spot price quoted in the market.  This is due to several factors, but the most important reason is misunderstood by just about every economist and monetary scientist in the world today.  Those who are able to understand the information in this article, will finally be able see the value of gold (money) in a totally different way.

Unfortunately, the majority of economists and precious metal analysts look at gold in a very specialized way.  While precious metals analysts see gold as real money versus the Keynesian view of a Fiat Dollar System, both fail to grasp gold's true value.  Gold is more than a precious metal based on supply and demand.  Furthermore, the Austrian School of Economics looks at gold as a foundation of money in the procurement of goods and services.  However, gold's real value comes from energy in all forms and in all stages in its production.

The Foundation Of Gold Money:  ENERGY = GOLD = MONEY

To understand this principle, I have decided to use one of the largest gold producers in the world as an example, Newmont Mining.

According to Newmont's 2013 All-In-Sustaining-Cost for producing gold, they provided the following chart:

Now, this was a few years ago when the price of oil (energy) was higher, so with lower energy prices, costs have come down since then.  Regardless, this still provides us with a list of costs.  The main part of Newmont's sustaining costs are shown as CAS - Cost Of Sales.  That's the blue part of the bar chart, which is broken down on the right, in the circle pie-chart.

If we look at the pie-chart by itself, we see that energy comprises 20% of the total costs.  Of course, the knee-jerk reaction from a typical precious metals analyst is that energy is only 20% of Newmont's cost to produce gold.  The analyst only sees 20% energy cost because his mind has been trained to look in a superficial and specialized way.

Here is a breakdown of the CAS -Cost Of Sales pie-chart:

As we can see, diesel at 10% and power (electricity) at 10% comprises 20% of pure energy for Newmont's gold cost.  However, we must realize that labor at 50%, is also a form of energy.... it's HUMAN ENERGY.  People need to understand that science breaks down labor into work or energy.  The term Horsepower was developed from the energy of horses performing work.  Thus, human labor is a form of work, and is also a form of energy.

Now, some of the labor force gets paid more because their labor contains more experience and specialization.  For example, an experienced mechanic working on the huge earth moving machines gets paid more than another working doing regular manual labor because of the TIME & ENERGY invested in the mechanic's trade.  The mechanic spent years doing work and education which consumed one hell of a lot of energy in different forms to have 20 years experience.  Thus, the energy in labor for years of work has provided him that experience.  Which means, the amount of work-energy the mechanic has done for 20 years allows him to be paid a higher rate.

So, if we add human labor (work-energy) of 50% of the CAS cost with the 20% of diesel and power, the total is now 70%.  So, if we were going by scientific terms of doing work-energy, pure energy and labor energy comprises 70% of Newmont's cost to produce gold in its CAS- Cost Of Sales breakdown.

Okay, let's look at the remaining two categories:

     Consumables = 10%
     Materials & Parts = 20%

Newmont's uses a lot of consumables to produce gold.  Here is a list of some of Newmont's consumables provided in their 2015 Sustainability Report:

I decided to use lime as perfect example, because the production and transportation of lime is very energy intensive.  Again, according to a typical gold mining analyst, he places lime as a "consumable cost" and not an energy cost.  Once we look at the total process of producing and transporting lime, we will realize the overwhelming value or cost of lime is from the ENERGY in ALL FORMS and in ALL STAGES.

Here is simple diagram of the production of lime, which Newmont consumed 515,800 tonnes in 2015 to produce gold:

The lime is first mined from the ground and transported to the production plant.  This costs a lot of energy from the diesel in the truck as well as the labor-energy of the truck driver.  As the lime moves through the producing plant, it consumes a great deal of energy as electricity is needed to power the plant as well as the high-temperature Kilns that process the lime.

Here is a small section of an EPA Report on the Economic Production of Lime in the United States:

As the report states, the cost of materials for producing lime is much greater than the labor... three to four times greater.  If we go back to Newmont's CAS - Cost of Sales, labor was 50%, which is half the cost, while the other half was from energy, materials and consumables.

Regardless, the largest percentage of materials used to produce lime is liquid fuels.  Furthermore, the lime industry spent $138.2 million on energy in 1996, which was 31.4% of its material cost.  I would imagine that energy cost is much higher now and accounts for an even higher percentage of total costs.

In addition, we must add the percentage of human labor to the total energy cost in producing lime.  Moreover, all the other materials used to make lime also must be viewed the same way in their production.  Even though the lime industry purchased materials to produce lime, the overwhelming value of those materials came from the energy consumed in ALL FORMS and in ALL STAGES.

Once the lime is produced, it has to be transported to Newmont's gold mines.  Lime is very heavy, so it takes a lot of energy to transport lime via ship, railroad or by truck.  Either way, the energy burned in the ship, locomotive and truck as well as the labor by the ship captain and crew, locomotive engineer or truck driver also must be added to the total cost as ENERGY.

Using lime as an example, we can see that other consumables such as cyanide, grinding materials and cement also get their value from the energy in all forms and in all stages in their production.  This is also true for the other category of "Materials & Parts."

If Newmont has to replace a large part of a system in one of their ore processing facilities, the value of that part comes from all the energy consumed in all forms and in all stages along the way.

Additional Newmont Mining Full Cycle Energy Costs Explained

Let's take a look at Newmont's All-In-Sustaining-Cost chart once more:

Okay, I just explained the first category on the bottom of the bar chart in blue, the CAS - Cost Of Sales.  Let's discuss the next category called "Sustaining Capital (in red)."

Newmont Mining spends a lot of money on sustaining capital to be able to produce gold on a continual basis.  According to their Q2 2016 financial report, they will spend between $650 and $700 million on sustaining capital in 2016.  One part of sustaining capital is "stripping costs."  This is a tremendously energy intensive activity of stripping (removing) overburden and poor quality ore.

Many of you are aware of this huge cost if you watch the show, GOLD RUSH.  If my memory serves me correctly, the team under Parker Schnabel spent something close to $500,000 to remove the overburden and move their wash plant on one of their biggest gold cuts last year in Alaska.  The majority of that cost was the diesel to power the huge earth moving machines to remove that overburden.

Basically, the stripping cost listed as "Sustainable Capital" is from the liquid energy burned and human labor.  Another energy cost found in sustainable capital is the making of new haul roads to get to the new ore cut.  This takes a huge amount of energy as loaders, haul trucks and other earth moving machines transport the rock and gravel to make these new haul roads.

If I went down the entire list of sustaining capital, the overwhelming expenditure of the $650-$700 million Newmont will spend this year will be from all the energy in all forms and in all stages.

Another category not included here is regular "Capital Expenditures."  This would include purchasing a new one of these massive haul trucks below:

This is the Caterpillar 797F that costs $5 million.  If we went on the same journey as we did when I explained the cost to produce lime, we would find out that the overwhelming value of that massive CAT 797F comes from all the ENERGY in ALL FORMS and in ALL STAGES.

Hell, the huge tires for the CAT 797F, that cost $40,000 a piece, each contain nearly 2,000 pounds of steel, enough to build two small cars and enough rubber to make 600 tires to put on them.

Again, according to the gold mining analysts, they list the Caterpillar 797F as a capital expenditure.  However, if we look through the entire ENERGY MATRIX, we now see that what Newmont purchased as a CAT 797F haul truck, is again.... all the energy in all forms and in all stages in its production.

If we consider the last few categories in Newmont's All-In-Sustaining-Cost bar chart of Exploration-Advanced Projects, General & Administration and Other, we can apply the same energy logic.  It takes a lot of energy to explore for gold as well as advancing new gold mining projects.  Not only does it take the burning of a lot of energy to explore and advance projects for gold mining, there is also a lot of human labor (manual & experienced), materials and parts to consider in the total process.

Unfortunately, most people have been programmed to compartmentalize everything today.  They see most things separately and are not able to understand how energy gives value to the majority of goods and services in the world today.  They just see the end result and believe that it magically appeared on the storeroom shelf.  I would assure you that the value of most goods sitting on the shelves in the thousands of Walmarts across the country were derived from ENERGY, in all forms and in all stages.

While Newmont is showing on its balance sheet that it purchased, lime, materials or equipment, it really purchased a great deal of energy that was consumed in their production.

There are several other items that Newmont has to dish out money to be in the business of producing gold, such as interest expense and taxes to name a few.  I would imagine someone reading this article would be quick to blurt out that interest expenses and taxes are not energy.  Well, that might be true if we look at them in a superficial way, but most taxes go to pay the governments to maintain roads, infrastructure, public buildings and government employees that function as a necessary part of our highly complex society.

Thus, the government spends a lot of money on energy as well as human labor to maintain roads and infrastructure.  So, if we really expand our ENERGY MATRIX horizons, we would see that ENERGY is the main driver that comprises the value of most goods and services in the world today... including GOLD.

The Strategic Importance Of ENERGY = GOLD = MONEY

Hundreds of years ago, the prize by empires was obtaining gold and silver.  This was especially true for the Spanish Empire and its leading role in the world at the time due to its ability to acquire massive amounts of gold and silver from South America and Mexico.

During the 1500's when the Spaniards were using Aztecs as slaves to loot gold and silver from their lands, the energy source at the time was mainly human and animal labor.  To build the massive Spanish Armada that was destroyed or then sunk by a huge storm in 1588, it took a great deal of human and animal labor.

(courtesy of Wikipedia)

Furthermore, according to this source, On May 28th 1588, the Armada, with around 130 ships, 8,000 sailors and 18,000 soldiers, 1,500 brass guns and 1,000 iron guns, set sail from Lisbon, Portugal, headed for the English Channel.  The Spanish were able to amass such a large fleet of ships, crew and armaments due to massive amount of gold and (especially) silver they plundered from South America and Mexico.

According to the Historical World Silver Production 1492-1927, the Spaniards produced over 90 million oz of silver from 1521-1600 in Mexico alone.  They started mining silver in Zacatecas, Mexico in 1540, the region where the largest primary silver miner in the world, Fresnillo is currently producing silver.

Furthermore, the Spanish opened large-scale mines in Peru, in the land of the Incas.  From 1533 to 1600, over 94 million oz of silver were produced.  As we can see, the Spanish became the leading empire on the globe due to their ability to amass the largest hoard of silver on the planet at the time.

Well, this all changed in the early 1900's when the top oil barons realized the value of money would come from oil and no longer from just human and animal labor.  This is why the top oil companies decided to carve up the globe in the early 1900's and work with each other to control, extract, and sell the most important energy source to world.

Oil was also the main reason why Hitler decided to attack Russia in World War 2.  He needed the oil to continue with his plans of Nazi expansion.  Instead of using gold or silver, Hitler needed oil.. and badly.

According to this source on Germany & Oil:

At the outbreak of the war, Germany’s stockpiles of fuel consisted of a total of 15 million barrels. The campaigns in Norway, Holland, Belgium, and France added another 5 million barrels in booty, and imports from the Soviet Union accounted for 4 million barrels in 1940 and 1.6 million barrels in the first half of 1941. Yet a High Command study in May of 1941 noted that with monthly military requirements for 7.25 million barrels and imports and home production of only 5.35 million barrels, German stocks would be exhausted by August 1941.

 

The 26 percent shortfall could only be made up with petroleum from Russia. The need to provide the lacking 1.9 million barrels per month and the urgency to gain possession of the Russian oil fields in the Caucasus mountains, together with Ukrainian grain and Donets coal, were thus prime elements in the German decision to invade the Soviet Union in June 1941.

Here we can see that Hitler gained five million barrels of much-needed oil from Norway, Holland, Belgium and France  to be able to attack Russia.  I have read some accounts that Russia was the REAL PRIZE for Hitler and the Nazi's.  Which is why they used their lightning-speed Blitzkrieg Warfare on the Western European countries to consume as little fuel as necessary while acquiring the necessary petrol to attack Russia.

When the United States entered into World War 2, it was just a matter of time before the Germans were beaten.  The U.S. was the Saudi Arabia at the time and was providing most of the oil to the allies.  It was the huge reserves of oil and natural resources that propelled the United States to becoming the leading empire in the world.

Unfortunately, the United States peaked in cheap oil production in 1970.  One year later, Nixon dropped the Dollar-Gold peg.  How ironic... aye?  Then of course we had the Arab oil embargo in 1973 and Iranian oil crisis of 1978 which pushed the price of oil from $1.80 a barrel in 1970 to $31 by 1979.  This had a profound impact on the price of gold and silver as they skyrocketed during that decade.

However, over the next 45 years, clever bankers on Wall Street, London and etc, have hoodwinked investors into putting their surplus funds into paper assets which have become the GREATEST PONZI SCHEME in history.

This paper ponzi scheme can only work on RISING OIL PRODUCTION.  Again, the greatest ponzi scheme in history can only work on rising oil production.  Furthermore, it can only work on rising CHEAP oil production.  Unfortunately, the world has peaked in cheap oil production a decade ago.  We are filling in the gaps with very expensive oil production that the world cannot afford without the massive increase of debt.

According to the work by the Hills Group and Louis Arnoux, they believe an OIL PEARL HARBOR will take place by the end of the decade:

They don't see a rising oil price in the future, rather they believe it will fall as the available net energy to the market will continue to decline.  They also believe the economic principle of supply and demand will no longer function as a "Thermodynamic Collapse" of oil will take place.

With rapidly falling oil production, the $250 trillion in total world assets of Stocks, Bonds, Real Estate and Insurance Funds will be in big trouble.  Thus, investor fleeing rapidly falling paper assets and Real Estate will move into gold (and silver) to protect wealth.

Energy has been the key driver for the value of gold and silver for thousands of years.  For the majority of our history, the energy has come from human and animal labor.  However, as coal, then oil came in the picture, this changed the dynamics considerably.  With the peak of inexpensive global oil production, the world is about to experience one hell of a FINANCIAL CALAMITY.  Very few people are prepared for what is coming.

With the understanding that most goods and services in the world are based upon all the ENERGY in ALL FORMS and in ALL STAGES, things are about to get very interesting.  Some believe falling energy production will depress the price of gold.  This is an incorrect assumption

Due to the massive funneling of the world's funds into paper assets over the past 45 years, this has artificially lowered the value of gold (and silver).  Once the world wakes up to the fact that they are invested in ENERGY IOU's, investors will move into physical gold to protect wealth as oil production declines in earnest.

We have a new series at the SRSrocco Report site, called WELCOME TO THE CONVERSATION where we discuss new topics about energy, mining, precious metals and the economy:

Lastly, if you haven't checked out our new PRECIOUS METALS INVESTING section or our new LOWEST COST PRECIOUS METALS STORAGE page, I highly recommend you do.

Check back for new articles and updates at the SRSrocco Report.

The War On Whistleblowers & Why America's Next President Will Kill Julian Assange

Zerohedge - Sat, 08/27/2016 - 21:15

Submitted by Jake Anderson via TheAntiMedia.org,

I’m worried about Julian Assange. This is not a maternal instinct, but rather, a pragmatic one. The increasingly hostile statements made by top state officials and their surrogates show a widespread condemnation of whistleblowers in the halls of government. President Obama set the tone early in his administration.

In the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the rhetoric goes well beyond condemnation of methodology and straight to advocating for his brutal murder.

We already know that Obama, Clinton, Sanders, and Trump have all said they would prosecute Assange. Clinton, to get more specific, wants him extradited from Ecuador, prosecuted for espionage, and his WikiLeaks removed from the Internet. Her desire to charge him with espionage is only a little ironic considering the Clinton Foundation’s Pay-to-Play system arguably warrants an espionage indictment, as does Clinton’s storing of Special Access Program intelligence on an unencrypted private server.

Meanwhile, over in the Trump Tower of Mordor, the business mogul’s draconian approach to just about everything includes a ruthless hatred of all journalists, and most certainly whistleblowers. Trump has indicated his treatment of an extradited Assange or Snowden would be severely harsh. Snowden, in particular, would be assassinated if Trump had his way. I can only shiver imagining how a President Trump would react to a major leak from the inner chambers of his new political empire.

The transition from authorities’ vows of prosecution to their use of surrogates who openly call for Assange’s assassination is highly disturbing, to say the least.  Granted, Assange supposedly has his ‘thermonuclear’ device — a 1.4 GB cache of files containing the identity of spies, military secrets, and unredacted documents from Bank of America and BP that can be unencrypted and released upon his death or arrest — but with a large faction of the mainstream media acting as a bullhorn for state propaganda, any damage inflicted by Julian’s ‘insurance’ packet could likely be mitigated by some social engineering. Remember the Panama Papers? A couple months ago people were saying it was the biggest leak in human history. Have you heard even a nostalgic reference to it since?

All this wouldn’t be quite as surprising — or alarming — if the anti-democratic venom hadn’t trickled down into the daily talking points of media figures and network journalists (whom I affectionately refer to as the State Department’s paid interns). Voices from across the political spectrum have repeated the claim that Russia has ‘weaponized’ Wikileaks. Sometimes they pose the conspiracy theory as a question. “Has Russia weaponized Wikileaks to disrupt a U.S. election?” My question in response would be: has the U.S. media questionized State Department propaganda in order to deflect attention away from a rigged primary and a political power structure that is rotten to the core? It’s actually a brilliant little piece of state agitprop. They managed to turn the public’s attention away from one of the most egregious examples of election fraud in recent history and demonize both Russia and Wikileaks in one fell swoop.

Such blatant propaganda is to be expected from the government. But coming from a journalistic establishment that is ostensibly there to dig for the truth, it’s rather shocking to see rampant election tampering from a major American political party get trumped by an unproven accusation toward a foreign country. Regardless of one’s conspiratorial appetite, seeing the 4th estate function as the infotainment branch of the State Department, parroting its every chirp of propaganda, should be profoundly distressing.

Let me give you a couple of examples, first from a mainstream right-of-center publication, then from a wildly popular left-of-center ideologue. In the former, we have TIME Magazine, which has had the hickeys of state propaganda on its neck for decades. On August 12th, 2016, TIME published an article called “WikiLeaks Is Getting Scarier Than the NSA.” I’ll let that sink in for a moment. I don’t even have the emotional bandwidth to explain why that title earns the ‘Psyop of the Century’ award. Just. . . remember to be scared.

On the left, we have Bill Maher, whose excoriations of hypocritical Republicans can be extremely entertaining and perceptive. Like The Daily Show, Maher functions as the liberal end of what some cultural philosophers think of as a manufactured spectrum of acceptable discourse. When Maher, who claims solidarity with Assange and the cause of WikiLeaks, repeats the same government talking point that Russia is tampering with our elections, it kind of forces you to consider that all corporate media — left or right — operates under the same tent.

The anti-WikiLeaks propaganda wouldn’t feel so existential if I didn’t believe anti-whistleblower messaging is soon going to escalate into an actual long-term military campaign against leakers and hacktivists around the world. In the near future, don’t be surprised if there is some ‘event’ that catalyzes a mobilization of military campaigns against targets that are deemed ‘a danger to our democracy because of their unlawful disclosures of matters of national security.’ This would almost assuredly include symbolic targets like Julian Assange and Edward Snowden to achieve a “chilling effect.” We’ve already seen Intercept writer Barrett Brown receive prison time for essentially hyperlinking to leaked information in an article. Add to this the fact the Obama Administration has used the Espionage Act to prosecute twice as many defendants as all previous administrations combined, and you get a sense of how power structures are increasingly criminalizing the dissemination of information.

Now back to my non-maternal worrying over Julian’s safety. Recently, in a stunning interview (above) with Dutch television program Nieuwsuur, Assange may have underhandedly confirmed that the recently murdered DNC operative Seth Rich was the leaker of the 3,000 emails that showed the DNC colluded with the Clinton camp, the implication being he was killed either out of revenge for the leak or to prevent future leaks. He didn’t state this explicitly but his abrupt and completely random reference to the murder in the context of assessing the dangers faced by WikiLeaks sources doesn’t make sense unless that was his way of ‘accidentally’ signaling a connection.

The interviewer picked up on that and asked him, “Why make the suggestion of a young guy being shot in the streets of Washington?”

The fact that Wikileaks posted a $20,000 reward for any information on Seth Rich’s murder suggests they do not believe it was a random robbery, which is further evidenced by the fact that his wallet, credit cards, and phone were not taken.

It is also certainly a bit coincidental that within days of the conspiracy going viral, Seth Rich’s family made a public statement asking for rumors about his death to stop. On a likely related note, their new family spokesman is none other than Brad Bauman, who is a Democrat ‘crisis communications’ consultant with the Pastorum Group. According to his LinkedIn profile, Brad’s job is “providing strategic communications advice to Democratic candidates.”

Disputes over this conspiracy persist, but there is no hard evidence linking his death to a politically motivated act of violence by DNC or Clintonian operatives. However, one can surely admit it is unusual for a family to hire a high-powered PR firm that provides “public relations for progressive candidates.” One logical explanation is that the Clinton campaign realized suspicions would surface after Seth Rich was found murdered and immediately started damage control. If Pastorum hadn’t only been created last year, it might not seem so peculiar. And if their web page had any content on it whatsoever, it would be possible for people to easily learn about the origins of their creation. But, like Russia’s connection to the DNC leak, it’s just a theory.

Again, the assertion that a whistleblower was murdered by an operative for a major political party cannot be proven at this time. Nor can the assertion that the murders of five people (in two months) who were going to testify against Clinton had any connection with Clinton operatives.

What can be proven, and what should be taken far more seriously, is the metamorphosis of the state’s rhetoric against Wikileaks from hostile to downright war-like. Not vitriolic, but war-like — as in quite literally the kind of rhetoric that leads to actual war with tanks, guns, and bomber planes — or, in this case, maybe just a bomb robot or a stealthy climber.

It’s a worrisome time for Assange supporters. The last two weeks, in particular, have been downright surreal. First, Obama hagiographer Michael Grunwald tweeted with maniacal delight his support of Assange being killed in a drone strike. Then, Clinton strategist Bob Beckel went on Fox News and jumped up and down in his seat begging for someone to “illegally shoot the son of a bitch…[because] a dead man can’t leak stuff.”

Hillary Clinton strategist Bob Beckel called for WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange to be assassinated. #DNCLeak pic.twitter.com/9L2ixl24Er

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 10, 2016

These two men, Democrat luminaries regularly featured on POLITICO and CNN, advocated the extrajudicial killing of a whistleblower to millions of people.

The stigmatization and demonization of whistleblowers and hacktivists come after a decade in which the U.S. government’s civil liberty abuses have been laid bare for all to see. Snowden’s history-altering revelations about the NSA set the precedent that in the information age, state abuses can be illuminated for citizens to see. Transparency doesn’t bode well for Big Brother.

Notably, the NSA leaks facilitated by WikiLeaks are still pouring out. The Intercept recently began publishing internal NSA newsletters written by and circulated among its critically important Signals Intelligence Directorate, or SIGINT. Intercept writer Micah Lee spoke to Anti-Media about the SIDtoday articles.

“Besides the hundreds of small, but significant, individual revelations about the NSA,” he said, “the SIDtoday articles as a whole describe a secret history of the United States’s response to the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Until Snowden leaked documents, the public didn’t understand, or consent to, what America’s spies were doing, but SIDtoday tells the story of how and why it came it be.”

Micah says the Intercept has only published 9% of what it has, which will amount to around 4,500 articles. Micah acknowledged the dangerous environment in which whistleblowers now find themselves.

“No matter [who is elected], it will be an uphill battle for whistleblowers, but I doubt that will stop them.”

It is my assertion that both Trump and Clinton are likely to engage in specific military operations to dismantle organizations responsible for high-level leaks. It could very well be the next ubiquitous war.

Clinton has cultivated a well-documented track record of pro-war ideologies, not the least of which is her perpetual use of the War on Terror to trigger fear and trauma in the minds of voters. Who could forget the primary debate in which she used 9/11 imagery to defend her Wall Street connections?

An example that may have flown under the radar was the Clinton Foundation’s advertisement for the 2014 exhibit “Spies, Traitors, and Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America.” It was a featured installation at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in my hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas.

According to the Clinton Foundation’s site:

Americans have endured thousands of incidents of terror, violence, or subversion right here at home by domestic terrorists and foreign agents, militant radicals and saboteurs, traitors and spies…The exhibition reminds us that Americans have known and dealt with acts of terror since the founding days of the republic and will continue to face these challenges in the years ahead.”

For Clinton (and assuredly Trump, too) war is a permanent fixture in the American empire, as it was for Bush, Obama, and virtually all presidents before them. But the enemies are scattered and amorphous now. Radical jihadists are not like traditional standing armies; their prosecution requires a global, never-ending ubiquitous brand of war that is encoded into the very structure of American foreign policy. A widespread declared war against hackers, hacktivists (Anonymous), whistleblower organizations (WikiLeaks) and individual whistleblowers (Snowden, Chelsea Manning, etc.) would be similar. The empire’s enemy would be scattered, and tracking them would require that the tentacles of the security state slither further into every home and digital device.

For the empire, these leaks are a direct assault on the power and hegemony of the ‘deep state,’ the synergistic nexus of state diplomats and officials, defense contractors, financial institutions, surveillance courts, and the military-industrial complex that together forms the connective tissue holding together a globalist oligarchy.

They stand to lose too much from hacked information showing their improprieties. And the rhetoric continues to accelerate. Guccifer 2.0’s recent hack of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s computer provoked her to use the phrase “electronic Watergate.”

It will be a bipartisan war, and the battle lines will be drawn harshly. In the same vein as Bush’s “you’re either with us or against us” axis of evil, the umbrella of terrorism will expand to include any organizations that leak classified information, any group that publishes the information, and eventually, any journalist that links to a publication containing the information. Barrett Brown, currently serving 63 months for linking to a leak, may agree with me.

Whatever administration is in office will, of course, invoke national security as the pretext for the War on Leaks.

Maybe a giant financial institution is hacked, and the information released is said to be the catalyst for an economic downturn; then another leak is blamed for a terrorist attack that kills hundreds of innocent people; then several more major corporations have their entire systems compromised; then an individual hacker releases 50 million social security numbers; celebrities see more of their lascivious sex acts on TMZ (maybe a couple of A-listers are outed).

Soon the entire country agrees: we must go to war with hackers and organizations that leak information.

After years of hating the government, Americans welcome Big Brother back into their lives as the protector of information. They need the state.

Artist's Impression Of Hillary Clinton's Old Office

Zerohedge - Sat, 08/27/2016 - 20:40

Presented with no comment...

 

 

Source: MichaelPRamirez.com

Jim Rogers Explains What He Is Doing Before "The Next Time The World Comes To An End"

Zerohedge - Sat, 08/27/2016 - 20:28

One week after RealVision brought us the latest Jeff Gundlach interview, in which the DoubleLine bond king explained why he is now "100% net short", on Friday Grant Williams interviewed Jim Rogers, in which George Soros' former partner (the two co-founded the Quantum Fund in 1973), is about as gloomy, warning "the next time the world comes to an end, it's going to be a bigger shock than we expect."

Nonetheless, since an interview talking about canned foods, radioactive fallout shelter and guns would be relatively brief, Rogers presents several non-traditional ideas, most notably as relates to various frontier markets he is looking at currently, as well as Russia, a market where he has notoriously been invested since the start of 2015 when he went long Russian stocks, and which recently - and very much under the radar - hit all time highs. So Rogers takes a well-deserved victory lap.

The investing legend, who doesn’t belong to any economic school of thought, also touches on China and reminds RealVision subscribers that “Beijing has said we're going to let people go bankrupt, which I hope they do.”  He then emphasized, “they don't do that in the West. The communist Chinese are going to let people go bankrupt, because they're good capitalists.” China has amassed debt and will not be able to help countries as they did the last time the world fell apart in 2008. “The next time the world comes to an end it’s going to be a bigger shock than we expect,” says Rogers. Still, while China will face problems, Rogers assures it “will be the most important country in the 21st century.”

Throughout the interview, Rogers describes unconventional investments including government bonds in Russia, where he proclaims, “the yields are astonishing.”

My three shareholdings are all making all-time highs. I own shares of Aeroflot, going through the roof. Moscow Stock Exchange, going through the roof. PhosAgro, big fertilizer. I'm a director. Big fertilizer. Making all-time highs. I mean, how can this be? A country which is a disaster, which everybody hates.

 

I own Russian government bonds in rubles. The yields are astonishing. And as long as the ruble doesn't collapse or disappear, which it's not doing, at least not at the moment. The yields are beyond  comprehension. If I could just have those yields for the rest of my life, I'd be in hog heaven.

To be sure, Rogers' extreme investing is not for the faint hearted, as he predicts a bear market and bankruptcy for the US, waxes lyrical on the decline in Western Europe and forecasts more pains for China, which is still his greatest hope for global growth.

For profitable investing, Rogers is advocating Russia and the astonishing yields he’s getting there, while opening the debate on putting money to work in North Korea, which now has 15 free trade zones. With Rwanda, also up for discussion - which resources wise could be the Singapore of Africa in time - and even Zimbabwe considered, there are trading ideas here you won’t see anywhere else.

Some of the bigger picture highlights from the interview:

First, on Rogers' current take on China, he does not see a simple solution to China's debt problem, as the country will have to let companies go bankrupt, and a shock will be the ultimate outcome.

China is going to have problems too. It's just the way the world works. In 2008, when the world fell apart, China had a lot money saved for a rainy day, and they started spending it when it started raining. This time, China has a lot of debt themselves. It's amazing how much debt has built up in China in just a few years. And so this time, while China's in better shape, or less bad shape than most of us, China's got a lot of debt, and they're not going to be able to help us like they did before.

 

Beijing has said we're going to let people go bankrupt, which I hope they do. They don't do that in the West. The red Chinese, the communist Chinese are going to let people go bankrupt, because they're good capitalists. Americans won't let anybody-- and the Europeans won't let anybody go bankrupt so they can save the world.

 

But China has said they will let people go bankrupt. It'll be a shock for the people who go bankrupt. It'll be a shock for the world. But it will certainly be good for China, and for the world, if they do let mistakes get cleaned up. But it will mean that they will not be able to save us as much as they did before. So the next time the world comes to an end, it's going to be a bigger shock than we expect.

While explaining his view on the fate of currencies, Rogers thinks "safe haven" FX such as the US dollar, the Japanese yen and the Swiss Franc, will continue rising as most other currencies fall:

the US dollar is strong and will continue to be strong, because everybody's panicked about the world. And when there's panic, people look for a safe haven... [People] think the US dollar is a safe haven. It's not. It is certainly not. I own a lot of US dollars, though. Not because it's a safe haven, but because people think it's a safe haven. And when the world falls apart, people will put their money into the dollar. That's going to mean the dollar's going to go up, so that means a lot of currencies will go down, including the Chinese currency, including the European currency, the British currency. Many other currencies will go down. The dollar is going to get overpriced, and the dollar might even turn into a bubble, depending on how bad the turmoil is. If there's no place to go-- at the moment, people are also going into the Swiss franc and the Japanese yen.

On the dollar and gold rising together:

There have been times in the past when the dollar and gold have gone up together. So it can happen and it will happen. People looking for a safe haven. They think the US dollar's a safe haven. They don't know what else. They think gold is a safe haven. Therefore neither are a safe-- nothing is a safe haven. But that's what's going on. I'm not the only person who knows there's turmoil coming. And people are looking for ways to protect themselves. I am not buying gold at the moment. I'm not buying dollars, either, but I own plenty of both.

On which other investors he follows and what he thinks of others agreeing with him:

Q. You're one of the early guys talking about this. But we've had Stan Druckenmiller come out recently and say get out of stocks. We've heard Jeff Gundlach come out and say sell everything. A lot of people watch for what you say about these things. Are there any guys that you watch for, that you think are good?

 

Rogers: I wouldn't even watch me, much less somebody else. No, I certainly read the same press you do. I see when people, lots of people are thinking like I do. I usually don't like it when I see other people thinking like I do, even if they're smart people. But no, I see it.

On how bear markets emerge:

The way bear markets work is something happens. It's a shock. People get over it. Then something else, and you know. In 2007, Iceland went bankrupt.  Iceland? Who's Iceland? What do you-- who cares? Then Ireland went bankrupt and the next thing you know, Lehman's going bankrupt. But that's the way these things always work. They start on an outlier, a marginal company, marginal country, and then it leads, and then everybody says, oh, well, we knew that. We knew it was a bear market coming. Well, they usually don't. They shake it off until it's too late.

Why very few are concerned about the approaching bear market:

Given that this bear market is approaching, and I think a lot of people now can see it, but they're still hoping that they can make a little bit more, because yields and returns are so low, they kind of want to stay in the game a little bit longer just to squeeze a little bit extra out of it. How are you preparing for this bear market? What steps you taking time to get yourself ready for what you see coming?

On the Russian market, whose rebound he famously called nearly two years ago:

My three shareholdings are all making all-time highs. I own shares of Aeroflot, going through the roof. Moscow Stock Exchange, going through the roof. PhosAgro, big fertilizer. I'm a director. Big fertilizer. Making all-time highs. I mean, how can this be? A country which is a disaster, which everybody hates. I own Russian government bonds in rubles. The yields are astonishing. And as long as the ruble doesn't collapse or disappear, which it's not doing, at least not at the moment. The yields are beyond comprehension. If I could just have those yields for the rest of my life, I'd be in hog heaven.

Some even more extreme frontier market

I opened an account in Nigeria, but I haven't done anything, which I've never, ever, ever in my whole life thought about investing in Nigeria. I've opened an account in Kazakhstan. I'm trying to open an account in Rwanda.... Rwanda wants to be the Singapore of Africa, and it could well be. It could even be better than the Singapore of Africa down the road. I don't know why. I finally, after thinking about  Rwanda for many years, two weeks ago I said let's get the account open. I'm not sure what clicked, except something clicked.

On trading versus investing, Rogers says he is a hopeless trader, is early at most things, and so he "holds":

I'm a hopeless trader, fortunately, I'm not going to worry about margin calls, because I'm not rushing out and buying a lot of sugar on 5% margin or something. There was a time in my life when I did that, but that was a long, long time ago. Now I'm doing other things. The fundamentals continue to get worse, but as I think you and I spoke about last time, I'm the single worst market timer in the world. I'm the worst trader. I know that about myself. I've learned it over the years that when I say, now's the time, I should wait another year or two. The problem is I do. I wait another year or two and I should wait another year or two, because I'm so hopeless and so early at most things. But fortunately, as I say, I'm not so leveraged or in such margin that I have to worry about most things.

Unlike Gundlach, Rogers does not seems to be a fan of Trump's proposed economic policies:

If Mr. Trump does what he says-- I'm just saying what he says-- if he does, it means bankruptcy and war. I mean, trade wars. He is determined, he says, to have lots of trade wars. If he does that, that's always, always led to bankruptcy. One of the, I guess, the main lesson of history is that nobody knows the lessons of history.

However, that does not mean he is a fan of Hillary either:

Now, if Mrs. Clinton wins, same thing, it just takes longer. She doesn't have a clue what she's doing, absolutely, no clue what she's doing. And she'll bank-- she'll tax us all and bankruptcy us all, sooner or later, sooner probably. Maybe a little later than if Mr. Trump wins. But either way, there's a bear market in your future. And the two people on the horizon, which apparently one of will win-- it's as I said before, these things start slowly, a marginal country, marginal companies, and the next thing you know we're in the midst of a bear market.

So "you have to be short"

You have to be short and most markets are already down. There are very few markets that aren't down already in the world, except the averages in New York. Now, you can certainly short Europe, because it's going to get worse. You can certainly short the UK, because it's going to get worse. But the things that are still high, I'm sure your parents taught you to buy low and sell high. Well, the things that are high still happen to be the US, more than anything else....  You should be short the US. That's the market that's still the highest. It hasn't gone down yet. One can have shorts in any place you want, but the Japanese market is down 70%, 75% from its all-time. The Russian market -  who wants to short Russia? I'm long Russia. I mean, where are you going to short? Everything's collapsed. I'm not buying India. There was a recent remarkable development in India, but it's not enough to make me buy India.

On the lessons of investing and history:

I've learned over my career, not just my career, but reading about the world, the stranger it sounds, the more you should say, wait a minute. That sounds really strange. Let me look at it. Let me hear what's going on. Because I have certainly learned that over my life, not just my life. You read history. You read anything. As I said before, the lesson of history is that most people don't learn the lesson of history. They ignore the lesson of history. Now, we all know that if we'd invested in China 1981, we'd be the richest people in the room right now. And yet, in 1981, including me, we would have said what's wrong with you? Don't you know about Mao Zedong? Doesn't he know about the Great Leap Forward? Doesn't he know about all this stuff, what "Chinese" is?

 

Or Japan: Don't you know about the disaster of what this country was? If you'd said Japan, don't you know about Hiroshima? The atomic bomb? You don't know about the dictator, the emperor? How could you  invest there? They're little, bitty yellow people who must be dishonest and cruel. But those are the lessons of history.

Finally, on the cyclicality of history, how in 15 years everything we know has changed:

The lessons of history are very, very, very clear. Pick any year in history, whatever we think is true, that year, 1900, 15 years later, it's a whole entirely different world. And we all know in 1900 how the world is, and we should be saying to ourselves, find me a weird guy. Find me a strange guy to tell me how this is going to change. 1950, 15 years later, everything we knew, everything we knew was totally wrong.

So I, at least, have learned that, that lesson of history. And perhaps that's why I'm more-- not interested, more I'm excited when I start looking at the way the world is today and what we all know. Because I know what we all know is not going to be true in 15 years, no matter what it is. And my problem is how do I figure it out. How do I figure it out? Whatever we know today, no matter what it is is not going to be true in 15 years.

* * *

Selected excerpts from the interview:

Watch the full 50 minute interview with Jim Rogers exclusively on Real Vision TV.

American Electorate Loses As Partisan Media Coverage Of Candidate Health Turns Outright Bizarre

Zerohedge - Sat, 08/27/2016 - 18:30

The recent media frenzy surrounding Clinton and Trump's health records has accomplished little more than to, once again, expose a "press" that is becoming increasingly partisan with each passing day. 

Right-leaning media outlets have spent countless hours reporting on the various health issues experienced by Clinton over the years and pointing to pictures of her falling down on the campaign trail or seemingly zoning out at times as evidence of her frailty.  Meanwhile the left-leaning organizations have mostly dismissed the Hillary health concerns as conspiracy theories of right-wing nut jobs.  

Like this tweet from a New York Times columnist....

Google should fix this. It shouldn't give quarter to conspiracy theorists https://t.co/frnJTHq113 pic.twitter.com/kZLTI4JxlU

— Farhad Manjoo (@fmanjoo) August 21, 2016

 

Or this interview by Rachel Maddow where Hillary's health concerns are repeatedly dismissed as conspiracy theories.

 

The problem is that Hillary's potential health issues were easy to dismiss when they were only being covered by some "right-wing" media outlets like Breitbart.  But now, as The Hill points out, reputable doctors are starting to come forward to suggest that Hillary's health might be a serious issues.  One such person is Dr. Bob Lahita, Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, who offered the following comments on Hillary's health:

"This is a very unusual story with Hillary,” said Lahita, pointing to the two blood clots she's been diagnosed with in the past. "The very fact that she’s having these clots and she’s had two bouts of thrombosis is disconcerting to say the least."

 

When asked if questions about Clinton's health are legitimate and not part of a political conspiracy, Lahita said without hesitation, “I don’t think it’s a conspiracy.”

 

Lahita then pivoted to past presidents who entered office with health problems.

 

“You go back to the history of our presidents and we’ve had many presidents up until Lyndon Johnson who’ve concealed their health during their campaigns," explained Lahita.

 

"It had dire effects for our country, going from Kennedy to Roosevelt, to Woodrow Wilson, whose wife ran the White House for some time," he continued, "So we have issues here and I think both candidates should be very forthcoming and perhaps have an impartial panel of physicians review the data and make that kind of decision before Americans go to the polls."

Last week, we also reported how Dr. Drew Pinsky, board-certified medicine specialist and CNN employee, broke the mold of conformity at CNN, when he said that he is "gravely concerned" about presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s health, pointing out that treatment she is receiving could be the result of her bizarre behaviors (see "CNN Cancels Dr. Drew's Show One Week After He Voiced "Grave Concern" For Hillary's Health").  Pinsky's honesty promptly got him fired from CNN.

With legitimate doctors coming forward with questions about Hillary's health, the left has been forced to pivot on their "conspiracy theory" narrative.  Which is why they are now going on the offensive by raising questions about Trump's health and painting his doctor as someone who belongs in the "loony bin" (they may have a point there actually).

Countless hours of media coverage have been spent analyzing the following letter from Trump's doctor who declares "If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency." 

 

 

And the following video where Trump's doctor admits he threw together the letter in a rush...

 

While we find the media circus "entertaining", we have some radical ideas on how to put this topic to bed.  Is the health of the next President of the United States a legitimate issue?  Of course it is - let's face it, no one is voting for the candidate with the best VP. 

So why not just have a transparent process where independent doctors review and assess the historical health records of both candidates?  Wouldn't the American voters benefit from some facts rather than the empty media rhetoric? 

But, logical solutions like that wouldn't sell many newspaper or TV ads so no holding of breath please.

The Stunning Roadmap To The Coming Global SDR Currency

King World News - Sat, 08/27/2016 - 18:24

With many investors worried about the economic turmoil that has engulfed the globe, here is stunning the roadmap to the coming global SDR.

The post The Stunning Roadmap To The Coming Global SDR Currency appeared first on King World News.

Close All Mosques, Ban Koran; Poll-Leading Dutch 'Freedom' Party Unveils De-Islamization Manifesto

Zerohedge - Sat, 08/27/2016 - 18:00

Geert Wilders, head of the right-wing Dutch Freedom Party (PVV), launched a new manifesto that calls for the "de-Islamization" of the Netherlands" as he leads in the polls to become the next prime minister.

Titled, "The Netherlands is ours again," Wilders published the one page, 11 point screed on Thursday, highlighting the party’s hard-line positions on Islam...

NEDERLAND WEER VAN ONS! pic.twitter.com/iOHCiUYJUL

— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) August 25, 2016

The document, published ahead of a general election in March, calls for the closure of all mosques and Islamic schools, a ban on the Koran, and “no more immigrants from Islamic countries.” A ban on “Islamic headscarves” in public is also proposed, as well as the prohibition of all “Islamic expressions which violate public order.” All these measures will, Wilders argues, save the country €7.2 bn (US$8bn).

An English translation can be found here...

THE NETHERLANDS BELONGS TO US!

Millions of Dutch have had enough of the Islamization of our country. Enough of the mass immigration, asylum, terror, violence and lack of safety. Here is our plan: instead of financing the entire world and the people we do not want here, we give our money back to the common Dutch person.

 

This is what the PVV will do:

 

1) de-islamize the Netherlands

  • Zero asylum seekers and no more immigrants from Muslim countries: we are closing our borders.
  • Withdrawal of all residence permits already granted to asylum seekers; asylum seeker centers closed down.
  • No more Muslim veils in public functions
  • Ban of overall Muslim expressions that are against the public order
  • Preventive incarceration of radical Muslims
  • Criminals with double nationality stripped of their Dutch citizenship and deported
  • Syrian fighters not allowed back in The Netherlands
  • All Mosques and Muslim schools are to be closed and the Koran banned.

 

2) The Netherlands will reclaim its independence. Therefore, we leave the EU.

 

3) Direct democracy: binding referendums, citizens have the power.

 

4) Deductible/excess in healthcare insurance is eliminated

 

5) Rents to be lowered

 

6) Age of retirement back to 65 years old. Pensions for everyone.

 

7) No more money for foreign aid, windmills, art, innovation, public broadcasters, etc.

 

8) Past budget cuts involving care will be reversed.

 

9) Plenty extra funds for defense and police

 

10) Lower income taxes

 

11) 50% reduction for vehicle ownership taxes

 

Financial benefits per point

1. + 7.2 billion Euro
2. to be calculated at a later date
3. to be calculated at a later date
4. - ?3.7 billion Euro
?5. - 1 billion Euro
?6. - 3.5 billion Euro
7. + 10 billion Euro
?8. - 2 billion Euro
9. - ?2 billion Euro
?10. - 3 billion Euro
??11. - 2 billion Euro

As RT notes, Wilders - who we remind readers is leading the polls - is no stranger to controversy.

In 2009, Wilders was banned from the UK on public security grounds after his film “Fitna” branded the Koran a "fascist book" and linked it to terrorism, causing much controversy. An immigration tribunal ruling overturned the ban shortly after, however.

 

The following year, the PVV supported a minority government led by the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). This relationship ended in 2012, however, when the PVV pulled their support over austerity measures VVD wanted to introduce.

So will NExit be next?

Is This Hillary Clinton's Roadmap For America?

Zerohedge - Sat, 08/27/2016 - 17:30

As Conservative Review's Jen Kuznicki explains, in 1993, the president of Wellesley College approved a new rule upon being contacted by Bill Clinton’s White House. The rule stated that all senior theses written by a president or first lady of the United States would be kept under lock and key. The rule was meant to keep the public ignorant about the radical ties of the first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton, to the radical Marxist organizer, Saul Alinsky. The 92-page thesis was titled, “There is only the fight…: An Analysis of the Alinsky Model.” The thesis became unlocked after the Clintons left the White House and is now posted online.

After being ruled by Barack Obama, another Alinskyite, for 8 years, perhaps one might think the fact that the modern Democratic Party is completely taken over by Alinskyites is old news, but the connection between Alinsky and Hillary is special.

 

Hillary describes Alinsky as a “neo-Hobbesian who objects to the consensual mystique surrounding political processes; for him, conflict is the route to power.” Alinsky’s central focus, she notes, is that the community organizer must understand that conflict will arise and to redirect it and, as she quoted him in her thesis, be “...dedicated to changing the character of life of a particular community [and] has an initial function of serving as an abrasive agent to rub raw the resentments of the people of the community; to fan latent hostilities of many of the people to the point of overt expressions... to provide a channel into which they can pour their frustration of the past; to create a mechanism which can drain off underlying guilt for having accepted the previous situation for so long a time. When those who represent the status quo label you [i.e. the community organizer] as an 'agitator' they are completely correct, for that is, in one word, your function--to agitate to the point of conflict.”

 

The thesis in and of itself is limited to whether or not “social justice” can be attained through the tactics described by Alinsky in “Reveille For Radicals,” and the numerous speeches he gave on hundreds of college campuses in the 1950s and 1960s. What had become clear was that Alinsky’s previous organizing had fallen apart and almost all attempts to recapture the original intent had gone by the wayside.

 

Hillary noted that, “Alinsky's lessons in organizing and mobilizing community action independent of extra-community strings appear to have been lost in the face of the lure of OEO money.” Pointing out that the power of the government took away the work of the “local organizer.” It is here that we see her light bulb illuminate. With this reasoning, the better approach would be to be the government who had the power to force social change.

 

But just because Hillary criticized Alinsky’s model in 1969 doesn’t mean she disagrees with his politics. In fact, it could very well be that Hillary’s model, which was to gain political power and wield it to gain social change, is simply her thesis finally realized. She criticized Alinsky, not so much for his tactics, but for his focus on organization. What is possibly the best way to put Hillary’s philosophy is what she told the Black Lives Matter movement, saying, “I don’t believe you change hearts, you change laws, you change allocation of resources, you change the way systems operate.”

 

Hillary questions whether organizing as Alinsky did in the Back of the Yards neighborhood in Chicago and eventually across the country was effective enough because of the unanticipated results. She pointed to other lefty thinkers that criticized Alinsky as a “showman rather than an activist.”

 

It should also be noted that while Alinsky’s “Reville for Radicals” was directed at labor organizing, “Rules For Radicals” was directed at middle class youth, instructing them how to carry out his model in a new age. Ever the social observer, Alinsky recognized that the blue-collar workers of the 1930s were no longer, “where it’s at,” but that middle class youth of the 60s was ripe for organization. But also, the emphasis in the prologue of working within the system is eerily similar to Clinton’s argumentation. In her 2003 book, “Living History,” Clinton wrote, “He believed you could change the system only from the outside. I didn't. Alinsky said I would be wasting my time, but my decision was an expression of my belief that the system could be changed from within.”

 

At the end of Clinton’s thesis, she includes correspondence she received from Alinsky, and notes the personal interviews she conducted with him: twice in Boston in October 1968 and once at Wellesley in January 1969. She followed his organization, Industrial Areas Foundation, which was a training institute for communist radicals. She credited Saul Alinsky for both “providing a topic” and “offering me a job.” She never questioned the organization’s ultimate goal to achieve a Marxist utopia. What drove Hillary was how to get there.

 

Hillary’s whole life has been dedicated to socialist/communist ends. The fact that the arguments and the anger fomented by Alinsky in the 40s, 50s and 60s are the same arguments and anger of today’s Obama/Clinton model is telling. For 75 years, inner city blacks have been poor, labor unions have worked to put their members out of a job, and everyday there is some new group claiming it doesn’t have equality. All of these groups have been targeted by these so-called organizational geniuses. No matter what happens, either by the power/conflict ideals of Alinsky and Obama or by power grabs/money laundering of the Clintons, the lives of the people get worse. It is not whether Saul or Hillary are right about how to “achieve democratic equality,” or whose tactics are more effective, but of the failure of the philosophy behind it.

 

Hillary kept in contact with Alinsky throughout college and while in law school, she wrote him a letter claiming that she missed corresponding with him. The letter began, “Dear Saul, When is that new book [Rules for Radicals] coming out — or has it come and I somehow missed the fulfillment of Revelation? I have just had my one-thousandth conversation about Reveille [for Radicals] and need some new material to throw at people,” — she added, a reference to Alinsky’s 1946 book on his theories of community organizing.

David Brock, in his 1996 biography, "The Seduction of Hillary Rodham," called Hillary "Alinsky's daughter." That may be anapt label. Where Alinsky tactics are used now on both sides to confuse and agitate, Hillary is poised to become a leader with all the power and tools of government at her fingertips.

Saul’s daughter has it all figured out:

How To Create A Socialist State (by Saul Alinsky)

 

There are eight levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a socialist state. The first is the most important...

 

1) Healthcare — Control healthcare and you control the people

 

2) Poverty — Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.

 

3) Debt — Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.

 

4) Gun Control — Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.

 

5) Welfare — Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income).

 

6) Education — Take control of what people read and listen to — take control of what children learn in school.

 

7) Religion — Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools.

 

8) Class Warfare — Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.

So is this Hillary's roadmap for America?

It Begins: Barney Frank Tells Yellen Not To Hike Before The Election, "It Risks Destabilizing Markets"

Zerohedge - Sat, 08/27/2016 - 16:58

Even as speculation had built up that the "apolitical" Fed would not dare to hike rates ahead of the election to avoid a market swoon, one which would significantly boost Trump's presidential odds, so far nobody - either on the left or the right - had suggested to Yellen not to hike rates before November 8, for one simple reason: it would immediately crush the scripted narrative of an independent Fed (something which Fed governor Lael Brainard apparently was unaware of when she donated repeatedly to the Hillary Clinton campaign), a narrative which benefits both republicans and democrats who can pretend they are busy in Congress simply by pointing at the all time high in the S&P500, which alas is simply a function of global asset bubbles.

However, that changed earlier today when, just one day after Janet Yellen's closely watched Jackson Hole speech which may or may not have opened the door to a September rate hike, Barney Frank - one of the architects of the 2010 Dodd-Frank "Wall Street Reform" act - and a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton, told The Hill it would be a mistake for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates before the election.

Frank advised the Fed board not to risk destabilizing markets and perhaps the broader economy a few weeks before Election Day.“I think it would be a mistake to do it this close to the election,” Frank told The Hill. “It will be interpreted, over interpreted."

What he really meant is that a crash taking place within 3 months of the election would boost Trump's victory chances to 86%.  As we reported in January,  the market performance in the three months leading up to a Presidential election has displayed an uncanny ability to forecast who will win the White House… the incumbent party or the challenger. Since 1928, there have been 22 Presidential Elections. In 14 of them, the S&P 500 climbed during the three months preceding election day. The incumbent President or party won in 12 of those 14 instances. However, in 7 of the 8 elections where the S&P 500 fell over that three month period, the incumbent party lost.  There are only three exceptions to this correlation: 1956, 1968, and 1980. Statistically, the market has an 86.4% success rate in forecasting the election.

As we asked at the start of the year, a "reflexive question emerges: does the market predict the election outcome, or does the move in the market - whether by design or by chance - predetermine the election outcome?"

Frank would rather not take a chance that the answer is the latter, and so said that "what the Fed should do this close to the election is make no waves" adding that “unless there was some totally off-the-charts jobs number, doing something this close to the election I think roils the waters unnecessarily.” Frank was envisioning a "blockbuster jobs report showing the creation of something on the order of 400,000 new jobs" as justifying action "but anything in line with recent job gains would argue in favor of keeping rates level."

What was shocking about Frank's statement is not that he expressed what he thought - most political and market watchers know that to be the case - but that he made it so clear that, just as Trump had previously noted, and was promptly called a conspiracy theorist for it, the Fed is aligned against him. 

To be sure, even The Hill gets the impact of the lack of a rate hike into the election: "It is generally thought that a rate hike before the election could be risky for Clinton, who is seeking a third term for Democrats in the White House. A rate hike could make it more expensive to borrow money and could slow the economy and cause stocks to fall."

As such, involving the Fed, an organization that is at least superficially expected to be apolitical, in the presidential race is a shocker. However, since the suggestion came from the left, it will get absolutely not media coverage as usual.

Meanwhile, even Wall Street admits politics should stay out of it and Yellen shouldn’t let political considerations interfere with her decision-making. (she will ): 

Jacob Frenkel, the chairman of JP Morgan Chase International and a former Bank of Israel governor, told CNBC Thursday that Yellen would risk politicizing the Fed by waiting until December to hike rates only because of the potential impact on the presidential and congressional races. “I think it will be a mistake to take into account the political process not because it is irrelevant to the economy but because this will actually be the politicization of monetary policy,” he told CNBC’s Steve Liesman while attending the Fed’s Jackson Hole summit.

Other observers think the Fed will wait because board governors are leery of wading into a political controversy. “If you want to take politics into account, you probably want to wait until after the election,” said Axel Merk, the president and chief investment officer of Merk Investments. “Fed officials, especially former ones more than current ones, will tell you that you don’t want to hike just before an election because it’s kind of political,” he added.

It certainly is, and the reality is that both a rate hike or lack thereof would now be perceived as a political move, in the former case it would imply support for Trump; in the latter, the Fed would be accused of aiding Hillary. 

Merk added that the Fed “has been looking for every excuse in the book not to raise rates and this may be one of them.”

That may be so, but last night, Citi's William Lee brought up an interesting point: "in the unlikely event of a surprise Trump win, it is unlikely that a December rate hike would occur, and focus will shift toward easing options."

Which prompts an interesting question: while it is clear that if the Fed wants Hillary to win, it will not hike in September, the flipside is what if the Fed wants to have justification to begin an easing (oe QEasing) cycle, in the medium-term? In that case, hiking now just to cut and launch more QE, would be precisely the way to do it; and best of all, it will have "president Trump" to blame for unleashing another $4 trillion in wealth transfer from the middle class to the 1%.

In The News Today

JS Mineset - Sat, 08/27/2016 - 16:32

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary The latest from John Williams’ www.shadowstats.com - Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Second-Quarter Growth Revised to 1.1% (Previously 1.2%) versus 0.8% in First Quarter- Gross Domestic Income (Theoretical GDP Equivalent) Growth Plunged to 0.2% in Second Quarter from 0.8% in First Quarter- Gross National Product (Broadest Measure) Growth Jumped to 1.6% in Second... Read more »

The post In The News Today appeared first on Jim Sinclair's Mineset.

Clinton's Pay-to-Play Is The Natural Consequence Of Big Government

Zerohedge - Sat, 08/27/2016 - 16:30

Submitted by Peter Klein via The Mises Institute,

Hillary Clinton has been taking heat for her relationship with the Clinton Foundation. Did individuals and firms making large donations to the Foundation, or paying large speaking or consulting fees to Bill Clinton, get preferred access to Ms. Clinton as Secretary of State? Is there a revolving door between the Clinton campaign and the Foundation’s fundraising staff? Are these relationships the subject of the emails she deleted from her private server?

These questions point to a more basic issue about the role of money in politics. What, exactly, do large corporations get in exchange for their payments to candidates and current and former government officials? Ms. Clinton gave 92 speeches between 2013 and 2015 that netted her $21.6 million, including $1.8 million for just 8 speeches to large banks. (CNN provides eye-opening details about her speaking requirements — the $225,000 fee is just the tip of the iceberg.) Ms. Clinton is hardly known for her business acumen; her infamous cattle-futures trades are widely recognized as a political payoff, and her views on corporate governance have been ridiculed by experts. Her opinions on world politics are already in the public domain, so I doubt Goldman Sachs was getting $200K worth of unique insight into global affairs. Bill Clinton, with zero experience in higher-education administration, bagged $17 million to be honorary chancellor of an obscure for-profit university. Why are these companies throwing their money away?

Most people assume that campaign contributions, speaking and consulting fees and lucrative board positions for former and future politicians, and similar payments are pure graft, the kinds of pay-to-play arrangements common under crony capitalism. And some of these transfers surely do buy access and even specific policy outcomes. There are several problems with the common assumption, however. First, research on campaign contributions finds that the expected rate of return on these payments is quite high and yet, given the potential gains, the contribution amounts are remarkably small. Second, there is little systematic evidence that policies are, on average, greatly influenced by such contributions, leading some to suggest that this form of payment to politicians and political parties is mainly consumption, not investment.

Lobbying as a Defensive Strategy 

A more intriguing finding, however, is that most large companies not only give generously, but about equally to both major parties, even when the parties’ candidates and representatives differ on particular issues. This suggests that payments to politicians are best understood as a form of insurance. Money in politics provides protection against what Fred McChesney has called “rent-extraction” by government. For example, before the mid-1990s, the tech industry had a very low profile in Washington — few contributions, no DC headquarters for the big tech companies, and so on. After the Microsoft antitrust trial, this situation was completely reversed, and now tech companies are among the biggest lobbyists in the US. The message was clear: you want to play ball, you pay up — or we shut you down. It’s not that companies are necessarily paying for specific outcomes; rather, they are paying for the right to do business at all.

As Ludwig von Mises pointed out, doing business in a world of aggressive governmental regulation is tricky. One consequence is to make firms more bureaucratic, by which Mises means less effective at responding to consumer needs in the most efficient manner.

The Cost of Compliance with Government Regulations

Under capitalism, the size, complexity, and strategy of corporations, reflects the decisions of capitalist-entrepreneurs about how best to earn profit, competing freely with each other for resources and consumer patronage.

Under interventionism - what we now call crony capitalism - the situation is different. Now companies must employ large staffs of lawyers, accountants, lobbyists, public relations teams, and others who focus not on creating economic value, but on satisfying legal, tax, regulatory, and other government requirements. That large firms are filled with such non-productive employees is not, Mises writes in Human Action, “a phenomenon of the unhampered market economy,” but a result of government policy.

In his earlier book Bureaucracy, published in 1944, Mises challenges the idea that bureaucracy is a necessary consequence of firm size. No pro?t-seeking enterprise, no matter how large, is liable to become bureaucratic provided the hands of its management are not tied by government interference. The trend toward bureaucratic rigidity is not inherent in the evolution of business. It is an outcome of government meddling with business.” By this Mises means that government interference impedes the entrepreneur’s use of economic calculation and the attempt to use prices to impose managerial discipline. Mises gives three examples: taxes and price regulations that interfere with corporate pro?ts (distorting an important signal of employee performance); laws that interfere with hiring and promotion (including the need to hire people to deal with government); and the omnipresent threat of arbitrary antitrust or regulatory activity, in response to which entrepreneurs must become adept at “diplomacy and bribery.”

This is why large companies send millions of dollars to the Clintons and other top politicians in both major parties. A President Hillary Clinton could direct billions to favored companies, and take billions of potential profits away from those that don’t “play the game.” Just as journalists know that tough questions will get them banned from future press conferences, business leaders under crony capitalism know that if they don’t contribute, don’t hire, don’t pay the right people in Washington or Brussels or wherever, they won’t be successful.

The solution? Take away the ability of government to intervene in economic affairs. Just imagine the popularity of Ms. Clinton on the speaking circuit in a world like that!

Bill Holter Interview with SGT Report

JS Mineset - Sat, 08/27/2016 - 16:27

All, Please watch, post or forward link if you wish to my latest interview with SGT Report. Best, Bill https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rwwma-zqupU http://sgtreport.com/2016/08/wake-up-call-our-entire-world-is-going-to-change-bill-holter/

The post Bill Holter Interview with SGT Report appeared first on Jim Sinclair's Mineset.

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