Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Robert Pringle: Do Central Banks Rely Too Much on Economists?

Whenever Robert Pringle publishes a new article on his blog, I try to feature it here. Mr. Pringle brings a unique perspective to the issues we try to follow here because he has spent a lifetime working with central bankers all around the world. He can provide insights that I don't think you find very often in most mainstream media publications.



In this new article on his blog, he asks if central bankers rely too much on the views of economists and then reflects on the question in a somewhat philosophical way. Below are a few excerpts from his article.

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"If  economics is likened to a religion it is easy to see how it may be viewed as dangerous. It may blind its devotees to the claims of competing world-views. If  economists arrogantly claim that their special insight gives them the right to prescribe policy, it may provide spurious legitimacy for harmful actions. It may lead them to ignore the fact that differences in values may lead people to prefer different outcomes to that which appears economically “efficient”..

. . . . .

It may surprise people to know that, in my experience, central bankers do not like money – I mean, they do not like to see their job as handling money. They hardly ever mention money in their communications. An authoritative review of central banks’ inflation targeting regimes and communications strategies does not once mention the word “money”.

Andy Haldane of the Bank (BOE) believes that money is a subject dear to the hearts of central bankers.  I don’t agree. Of course, they are only human; they do not decline a decent salary. But professionally, they tend either to dismiss it or run away from it. Especially in the UK and US – continental Europeans and Japanese have somewhat different historical experiences and different cultural attitudes.

Ever since I can remember, the Bank of England has distanced itself from both the word and the idea. Post World War II, up to and including the 1960s, it left such matters to the Treasury. In the 1970s, its executives thought that inflation was the result of cost-push pressures, conflict over the distribution of incomes and government sfiscal policy- i.e. nothing to do with money or with the Bank.  In the 1980s it fought a bitter battle with Margaret Thatcher’s government to avoid being saddled with targets for money."

What the Bank hated most


"The Bank (BOE) hated, above all, being told to target the money base.  It won the struggle. It thus avoided being held accountable for the only thing it could, without any doubt, control – its own balance sheet.  It later dropped all monetary aggregates with indecent haste. As Charles Goodhart among others has often pointed out, money does not feature in the models central banks use to – well – manage money. Just look at any Inflation Report. They are all about output gaps, prices, etc.

It is ironic that only since the collapse of all central bankers’ dreams of financial stability – only since the Great Crash – have they openly turned to money itself. Indeed,  they have tried to create as much of it as possible. They even admit to it. They embrace it as the cure for so-called deflation (which is more myth than reality) while turning their eyes away in distaste. But society has not returned the embrace. Private money has shrunk in the face of the tsunami of official money.

Some central bankers were so cross about this they propose to nationalise money creation once and for all.

What really went wrong was that  their failure to understand what money is meant that when the central banks finally embraced it, they did so at the wrong time and in the wrong way."

. . . . .

New waves of credit

"Headlines again proclaim that we are “awash in a sea of easy credit” (The Times, July 26).

Our defences are weak. We have money but no true standard.  Yes, some central bankers have started to warn about the risks of credit expansion. But the system forces central banks to go on misusing money. They see it as a technique of social engineering. That is to mistake its nature.

. . . . 
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Added comments: Recently we ran this two part article that posted the actual email exchange discussion on monetary system reform between Robert Pringle and Allan Meltzer back in 2014. Readers who missed that may enjoy taking a look at it now. It has some fascinating comments by both Robert Pringle and Allan Meltzer. Also, we will feature a new similar (but more expanded) article on this later this month.

It appears we will have another gold linked payment system launching in the fourth quarter of 2017 and based in London. GlintPay has a pre launch web site (click here) and was recently featured in TechCrunch (click here). This is a quote from the TechCrunch article:

"However, I understand that Glint will offer a frictionless way to both store and spend your money in gold, including at the point of sale, just like a regular local currency." 

I was also forwarded this exclusive quote to use here from GlintPay CEO Jason Cozens:

“Although businesses like GoldMoney are doing a very good job of stimulating the conversation around the need of alternative and independent currency, Glint will be very different from them. Glint is focused on giving clients reliability, independence and choice and we are excited about bringing these qualities to the market later this year.”  ---  Jason Cozens, Founder and CEO of Glint

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Important News Note: Per Andrew Maguire - ABX Severs Ties with BullionCoin

Just as the BullionCoin web site launched today Andrew Maguire puts up this comment on his Twitter feed:



VERY DisappointingDigital Gold fumbles golden opportunity to change precious metal markets forever. ABX has a plan B
12:55 PM - 15 Aug 2017

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Below I have pasted in the text of the link just above and after that some added comments:


ABX withdraws from its collaboration with Digital Gold Limited

15 August 2017

Allocated Bullion Exchange (‘ABX’) has issued this statement in response to questions from our Members, their customers, stakeholders, potential BullionCoin investors, and the precious metals industry at large, concerning the release of Digital Gold Limited’s (‘Digital Gold’) BullionCoin digital asset product.

Regrettably, and effective immediately, ABX’s Board has today, Tuesday the 15th of August 2017, resolved to cease any further collaboration with Digital Gold.

This action was not taken lightly, but rather, as a result of recently obtained information, as well as ABX’s inability to reconcile material risks to supporters of the BullionCoin product structure due to the following factors:

1.    Against strong advice from ABX, Digital Gold was insisting to structure its metal ownership so that investors in the digital asset would be, in our view, unsecured creditors of Digital Gold. This form of ownership is commonly referred to as an ‘unallocated’ holding, and results in the investor only having a ‘claim’ to the metal, as opposed to having ownership of the asset and being protected in the event of a Digital Gold default. It has long been ABX’s view that this model is inherently flawed and would result in genuine counterparty risk to holders of BullionCoin. A detailed explanation of ‘allocated vs. unallocated’ metal ownership and the substantial risks associated with unallocated metal, can be found 
here;

2.    ABX has been unable to satisfy itself regarding the security and integrity of Digital Gold’s bullion holdings structure and thus ABX is of the view that there are risks similar to other flawed cryptocurrency businesses in recent times where investors have lost significant amounts of money;

3.    ABX have received confirmation that a competitor of Digital Gold intends to initiate legal action against Digital Gold upon the launch of BullionCoin due to alleged infringement of intellectual property rights. This, in our view, would have the potential to put at risk all BullionCoin-backed unallocated bullion, to the detriment of BullionCoin holders and investors;

4.    Digital Gold is insisting on utilising private vaulting networks that, in ABX’s view, would permit external bullion deposits with limited quality verification, thereby circumventing, and being not subject to ABX’s robust bullion framework for assuring the quality of the bullion in its network;

5.    Digital Gold is developing and utilising a non-standard matching engine and order book within its BullionCoin System (‘BCS’) secondary market which, in our view, will result in an atypical trading experience that ABX believes will cause confusion and disputes;

6.    Digital Gold has made frequent and substantial scope of project amendment requests and in ABX’s view, has been unable to meet any mutually agreed project development timelines; and

7.    ABX’s unwavering commitment to allocated and transparent precious metal ownership.

ABX is disappointed that it has been forced to withdraw from this collaboration. Unfortunately, ABX believes that it simply had no alternative as it found itself in the untenable position whereby the mechanics of the business model originally pitched to ABX were not what Digital Gold ultimately delivered.

ABX intends to continue work to support and / or launch its own precious metal backed digital currency. The experience with Digital Gold has resulted in the Board forming a view that they do not have the expertise or experience or professionalism to launch a product or service which will adequately satisfy the needs of ABX's stakeholders. Based on ABX's experience, and the legal advice taken, ABX is recommending to its stakeholders that they do not work with Digital Gold for the reasons stated above.

On a positive note however, ABX has recently been contacted by several other bullion-backed digital currency providers who have identified ABX as the market leading facility for allocated physical precious metals. Now that ABX has withdrawn from the Digital Gold collaboration, the Board has approved collaborations with several other advanced stage allocated precious metal digital currency providers.

To this end, ABX is pleased to announce that it will be issuing a press release to its stakeholders on these new collaborations and partnerships in the immediate future.

Allocated Bullion Exchange

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My added comments: This certainly came out of nowhere. The ink was not fully dry from our article just below on the BullionCoin launch when this news broke. I cannot say I am real surprised though because during my efforts to research this as potential news impacting the gold market, I encountered difficulty getting consistent answers to some questions I had asked related to the institutional support for BullionCoin. At this point, there is nothing to indicate such institutional support exists and the comments this year about large gold buy orders remain unexplained and of doubtful credibility. For anyone interested, we documented the full trail of comments on this during 2017 in this article up to 8-15-17 where the trail ends.

If more news surfaces, we will cover it here if it appears to be significant news. Otherwise, our coverage of BullionCoin ends here.

Andrew Maguire adds this additional Twitter comment.

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Added note 8-16-17: David Gibson of GoldVu who provided some information by email for our earlier article here released this statement regarding BullionCoin on his web site here.

Important Notice on BullionCoin following its launch on 15 August:
"BullionCoin and the Allocated Bullion Exchange have been collaborating closely with each other until it's launch in order to deliver a gold & silver backed digital currency.
However, a few minutes after BullionCoin's website went live, the ABX issued a statement announcing it was withdrawing from its collaboration with BullionCoin citing several reasons.
Whilst this unfolds, I am going to treat the information as objectively as I can, and so should you.
I strongly suspect it may well turn out to be a storm in a tea cup and not actually be anywhere near as drastic as it sounds, and BullionCoin could well become the digital currency we all want it to be.
Things like this often happen in business and it should not reflect poorly on either party as they both have a great product.
I have spoken to Thomas Koenye, the co-founder of BullionCoin, and it looks like ABX's statement may have been unfairly issued and there are some areas that need clarification which I have added as a pre-face to ABX's statement. Thomas' reply is here.
However, as my primary and overriding concern is the safety and security of client and potential client money and their vaulted precious metals, I will always take the options and decisions that will not expose you to any risks. I will update you as soon as I have completed my due diligence on this matter.
If you have any questions about this then please do contact me and I'll be happy to help. You can also contact BullionCoin and ABX for further clarification from them."
Yours faithfully,
David Gibson, Managing Director
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My additional added comments: If you take time to read this point by point response by David Gibson to the statement released by ABX, you will understand what I meant above when I said I had difficulty getting consistent answers to some questions I had asked. It is pretty clear from this statement by ABX Associate Member David Gibson  (GoldVu) that he was not always on the same page in terms of his understanding of BullionCoin. Also, note that he says he was "very surprised at ABX's statement". I have no doubt that is true.

Trying to cover this story has been interesting, but will end with this article unless something truly impacting the gold market arises out of this. The business dispute between BullionCoin and ABX is not the type of news we have interest in covering here. We did cover this story until the BullionCoin launch because of the potential for this to impact the gold market and the price of gold. No such impact appears imminent based on this latest news. Time to move on.

BullionCoin Launches Web Site

Today BullionCoin launched its new web site and released its white paper. The web site can be viewed here and this is the link to the white paper (email address may be required to access). The white paper is 27 pages long and cannot be copied and pasted so I will not try to present any of it here. In a quick review of the white paper, I did not see any information that did not agree with the basic concepts of BullionCoin that are out on the GoldVu web site we mentioned in our earlier article.


Here is some information from the web site about the debit card that BullionCard will offer:


"In order to simplify payments in global “fiat” currencies, like US dollars, BullionCoin members have the opportunity to ask for a BullionCoin MasterCard. This highly convenient prepaid card facility is denominated in gold (XAAU) or silver (XAAG) BullionCoins and allows members to pay directly in BullionCoins.



The Prepaid BullionCoin Debit Card is a world-class financial product allowing you to be topped-up at any moment without having to sell BullionCoins. The prepaid card converts XAAU or XAAG BullionCoins instantly into any fiat currency to complete a payment or transaction. Prepaid card payments are only limited by the balance of member’s account."



This description make it sound like this debit card will actually convert the physical gold or silver in the card holders account to the local fiat currency of choice instantly at the point of sale. I do not know if that would be viewed as "sale" of the actual gold or silver for tax reporting purposes or not. I did not see any tax issues discussed on the web site or in the white paper. 

One item of interest on page 19 of the white paper is that BullionCoin chose to setup a centralized KYC (Know Your Client) process. They feel an advantage to this is that a lost or stolen BullionCoin eWallet can be recovered providing more safety than many crytocurrencies do in this regard.

At first glance, BullionCoin appears to work pretty much like it has been described on the GoldVu web site and the information about how it will work are all on the web site and in the white paper. All that remains now is to see what kind of support actually exists for BullionCoin. 

Along those lines, there was no further news on the 250 ton gold buy order that has been said to be coming on the web site launched today. Since that is probably the major question people will have related to what has been talked about all this year leading to a gold price "reset", here is the information I have at this point in a bullet point list:


- in this article, I published David Gibson (of GoldVu) stating by email that only Andrew Maguire knew the details related to those comments about sovereign sized buy orders of 250 tons. He also told me BullionCoin should launch within 3-4 weeks which has turned out to be correct. 

- in one twitter comment  recently, Andrew Maguire said that the one of the events he has talked about this year would lead to the 250 ton gold buy. We assume he meant the launch of BullionCoin, but David Gibson has said that it is possible that the 250 ton buy order is not directly related to demand from the launch of BullionCoin. We also have this recent twitter comment. We simply do not have very clear information on this so far and it seems clear that not even ABX member David Gibson knows the details behind these general comments.

- in Twitter comments here, David Gibson (GoldVu) responds to some questions on the 250 ton gold buy order. He repeats what he told me by email that many people are assuming the the BullionCoin launch would generate the 250 ton buy order, but that may not be the case and people should not assume that. In other words, the 250 ton buy order might be a separate event not directly related to initial demand for BullionCoin.

- in this article I laid out the full timeline of articles and interviews done by Andrew Maguire in 2017 talking about a coming gold price reset and the 250 ton gold buy order. At this point we are still waiting for this to materialize. I will update this article for about another month to see if anything further of significance surfaces related to BullionCoin and then post the full timeline again. Unless we get some bigger news by then, that will be the final update here on BullionCoin. (update note: looks like we got bigger news already today, see news update article just above)

At this point, until there is some kind of tangible news or evidence related to the large gold buy orders that have been predicted and substantial institutional support for BullionCoin, there is not much more to report in relation to what we try to cover here.

If news on that does surface, we will cover it. Otherwise we will just move on since thus far BullionCoin has not made any significant impact on the gold market that can be seen. The market has not given any indication so far that anyone sees a big immediate demand for physical gold or silver coming soon that cannot be met with supply. If that does happen, it will clearly take the market by surprise. 

Update 8-15-17 (3:45 pm CST): The ink on this article was barely dry when this news from the ABX broke. The ABX announces it has severed ties with BullionCoin and will move in another direction. It does not appear that BullionCoin will have any significant impact on the gold market so we will not cover it further here since that was the original reason we did try to cover it.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Incrementum: Advisory Board Minutes Discussion on US Wanting a Weaker Dollar?

This is the last of our articles featuring the recently released July 5th Board Meeting Minutes put out by Incrementum. We have noted that this report is really full of interesting and relevant information in terms of what we follow here. 



Below are some excerpts from the report on discussion about the idea that there may be poltical pressure in the US to get a weaker US dollar along with some reasons why that may well indeed happen.

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Ronald Stöferle

"Luke (Gromen), you have mentioned the economists’ petition aimed at Yellen to increase the inflation targets, which hasn’t been mentioned very often in the media. I think this fits in with your views that Donald Trump wants and needs a weaker dollar. And with the disinflationary developments that are currently taking place I believe the Fed will have a hard time continuing to raise rates, and I believe they will have to make a u-turn. I would appreciate if you could talk about this economist petition, and then give us your market outlook for the second half of 2017 and some of your best trade ideas."

Luke Gromen

"Sure. A few weeks ago, there was a letter sent to Janet Yellen that was signed by around 20 senior level neo-liberal academic economists, many of which had served in the prior administration or in past administrations. All of these economists effectively said that we are not achieving our inflation targets and not only do we need to focus on achieving it; we should also increase the target. This went underreported in the media.

Moreover, Trump is talking about exporting oil all over the world, but with the dollar where it is, US shale resources are one of the world’s highest marginal cost sources of oil. And recently two former IMF officials released a book, which was featured prominently in the Wall Street Journal, and they explicitly said that the dollar is too strong and that it needs to be devalued. So we are seeing tension between the strong dollar “mechanics” numerous analysts and economists are talking about (heavily driven by Eurodollar market USD shortages and US rate differentials) and the internal US political pressure to weaken the dollar."

Mark Valek

"When do you think the US dollar will weaken, and when do you believe this knee-jerk reaction of a stronger dollar during market sell-offs will change? Would a change in this type of behavior confirm your view?"

Luke Gromen: 

"During recent risk-off periods the dollar has not been acting well, i.e. there has not been a knee jerk reaction where investors automatically buy the dollar. Historically, the dollar has appreciated during risk-off periods. But in the last few weeks we have seen the dollar depreciate significantly on risk-off days. That’s the type of behavior you would expect to see if the dollar is falling out of favor, but it’s too early to say if there has been a paradigm shift. It was mentioned earlier in the call that bonds and equities have been selling off at the same time in recent weeks, which is also something you might expect to see in such a paradigm shift. But this is also too early to tell, so we are watching the markets and seeing how they develop going forward. "

Please Click Here to read the full Incrementum Report


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Added news note: I added the paragraph below to the page of information on SDR's found in the upper hand of this blog (or click here). A new currency Token called the ACChain (Asset Collection Coin) based in China has created quite of bit of discussion and uproar on alternative media platforms. The promo video for this new token seems to imply it is some kind of new digital version of the SDR. I do not believe that is the case as explained below. I added the information below because it is the best information I have on this at this time. If that changes, I will update it over time. I am working on more research on this for now.

August 2017 - Alternative Media View of the SDR - this video appears describing a new currency token (ACC - Asset Collection Coin) as being tied to a new digital form of the SDR that the IMF would propose as a replacement for the US dollar. It's an interesting idea, but I cannot find any connection between this new token and the IMF. An expert I talk to on these kinds of issues does not believe this would be any kind of SDR from the IMF, but rather what he calls an example of a private SDR like the SDR bonds China has issuedAt this point, this appears to just be a private venture token (based in China) that is using the SDR instead of the US dollar or the Yuan as the unit of account. An account holder of these tokens would see them valued in SDR's instead of dollars for example, but would not actually own official SDR's. This does however show how it is possible to some day create a digital version of the SDR which is something we have talked about as being possible in the future. The best information I have right now is that nothing like that is on the near term horizon. I would expect to see some national central banks issue a central bank digital currency long before any kind of digital SDR might be looked at based on information I get from experts I talk to on this. I am keeping an eye on Singapore.

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BullionCoin Update 8-14-17: BullionCoin has sent out the email below to anyone who signed up to request information on how it will work:


Hello

3....2....1.....

BullionCoin launch date coincides with Nixon Shock of August 15th 1971. The difference in 2017 is made by bringing back the Gold and Silver Standard.

Digital Gold Limited introduces BullionCoin Market which constitutes of two closed marketplace ecosystems:
  • Primary Marketplace where BullionCoin is created - BullionCoin Exchange (BCX)
  • Secondary Marketplace where BullionCoin is traded - BullionCoin System (BCS)

BullionCoin Exchange (BCX) is an online ecosystem marketplace where investors are able to buy BullionCoin contracts and create BullionCoin units as additional supply in Secondary Marketplace.

BullionCoin System (BCS) is an online channel/organic environment, accessed via a web-browser, tablet or smartphone, which provide end-users with features to buy/ sell or trade BullionCoins in units/ fractions between participants, transfer ownership of BullionCoins between members on title transfer basis and exchange BullionCoins with merchants on bartering mechanics.

Digital Gold Limited offers:
  • “Ongoing Discount” where Investors of Primary Marketplace will always have the opportunity to purchase BullionCoins into existence at a discount at any point in time.
  • “Time Limited Incentive Schemes on Coins Creation” from time to time as Reward Payout for Life to participants as Early Adopters (Ambassadors) in the Primary Marketplace.
  • “Ongoing Incentive Schemes on Coins Creation” as Reward Payout for Life to participants (Prime Investors) in the Primary Marketplace.
  • “Ongoing Referral Program on eWallet Recruiting” as Reward Payout for Life on every additional eWallet recruited by participants of Secondary Marketplace.

Next Steps…
  • Our website will launch August 15th 2017 (tomorrow!)
  • “30 Days of Early Adopters” window will be open for pre-commitments applications of interested investors in the Primary Marketplace for BullionCoin creation.
  • During which all interests will be collected, potential investors will be complete KYC and AML requirements and corresponding inactive accounts will be set up.
  • After this 30 Days of Early Adopters window, private correspondents will be communicated with details on Subscription Execution that will entail completing documentation, activating wallets, funding account and placing purchase orders for BullionCoin contracts.
  • Each Application will be treated according to its eligibility from the available incentive schemes.

We welcome all your enquiries, questions and comments by using the button below.
             
-- The BullionCoin Team    
Link connected to the button on the email: https://help.bullioncoin.com/








Thursday, August 10, 2017

Incrementum: Advisory Board Minutes Discussion on Potential Systemic Risks

In reviewing the recently released Incrementum Advisory Board Meeting Minutes (see preview page here), it hit me at just how much interesting and relevant information is contained in this report. I can most certainly recommend to readers that it is worth your time to read through the report. 



I plan to do this article and another one to feature a couple of aspects of the discussions contained in the report. This first one deals with some various systemic risks that were talked about. Right now, there is very little talk anywhere about triggers for another major crisis that could lead to the kind of changes we watch for here. However, this report does contain some very thoughtful exchanges of ideas on that. Below are a few excerpts that illustrate that.

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Heinz Blasnik:

'What we are seeing is similar to what we usually see in the final stages of a bubble. And we are currently hearing a lot of bubble talk in the media. But at the same time we also see that people who previously made bearish comments have capitulated, and have turned bullish. Retail inflows into equity mutual funds reached a new high in early 2017, margin debt is at a record high, speculators have large net long futures positions and the Shiller PE ratio is the second highest on record. So sentiment and valuation indicators are very stretched, If you look at the last 2-3 years the indicators have been stretched for a long time so, which is also typical for the late stages of asset bubbles, but makes precise timing tricky as well.

But this time the differentiating factor is that the money supply is declining at the same time as the indicators become ever more stretched. This situation is similar to what happened prior to previous market peaks; the market continues to do well, but the monetary backdrop is weakening. And while we can’t tell with precision when it will happen, the current situation suggests a high probabiility that we will have another crash. I don’t think it will be like 2008 when it took a while from the time the market started turning down until it actually crashed. I believe that this time we will experience a very sharp correction that will happen more quickly and come as a surprise. A dangerous development in this context is the large increase in quantitative/ systematic investing strategies and the proliferation of ETFs. Many ETFs are holding investments that are not particularly liquid - particularly corporate bond ETFs - which is likely to pose a big problem in the next downturn."

Luke Gromen:

"It’s interesting to hear Heinz’s thoughts because we have written about something similar to this, just from a slightly different angle, multiple times this year. The consensus has been that the dollar would continue strengthening, that inflation would finally take off and that growth would resume, but coming into 2017 we were saying that the US economy was in much worse shape than the consensus believed. And in the first half of the year we have seen the disinflationary impulse grow and the dollar weakening. We continue to be bearish on the fundamental side of the economy, but what we wrestle with is how that translates into both the political situation and US risk assets. Pension fund problems have started to come to the forefront with Illinois potentially being downgraded to junk, Connecticut has had funding problems, New Jersey and Maine have also begun seeing fiscal strains.

If we were to have a sell-off in risk assets, the funding situation for these states would get much worse. Furthermore, from a broader perspective, we have done research on what percentage of consumption is driven by capital gains (and therefore in large part by stock prices), and the number is high. In the US 60%-65% of GDP is driven by consumer spending, and a lot of that spending is driven by capital gains in the stock market. The US therefore finds itself in a precarious situation where economic fundamentals appear to be worsening, which is happening in conjunction with a worsening fiscal crisis (of which Illinois, Conneticut, New Jersey and Maine are important symptoms.) If we get any type of US recession or crash in the stock market there will be fiscal and political problems in the US very rapidly. And so we believe the Fed will very rapidly introduce monetary measures if we do have a crash because they understand how precarious the situation currently is, both from a fiscal and political side."


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My added comments: This gives you a feel for the discussions in this report. The report covers a broad range of issues and the quality of the information is very good. In our next article, we will look at some excerpts of the discussion in this report about whether there is political pressure in the US to get a weaker dollar.

BullionCoin Update: While we wait for additional news on BullionCoin, it appears that another competitor in this space plans to enter the market in Q4 2017. GlintPay appears to be based in London and has this website up . Some comments on it are found in this article on TechCrunch.  Here is a quote from the TechCrunch article:

"However, I understand that Glint will offer a frictionless way to both store and spend your money in gold, including at the point of sale, just like a regular local currency." 

8-11-17: Two new Twitter comments from Andrew Maguire here and here. They say BullionCoin will launch on 8-15-17 along with the white paper. Timed to coincide with the 46th anniversary of Nixon taking the US off the gold standard.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

News Note: Jim Rickards Interview on Sky News on North Korea

Obviously there is serious news out regarding North Korea. Jim Rickards is one of the best sources we have on issues like this because of his contacts with people who have an in depth understanding of these kinds of situations. 


Last night he did this interview with Sky News based on the news out yesterday on North Korea. I would recommend that everyone pay attention to this situation in the coming months. Please note that in this interview Jim mentions a maximum one year window of time for the US to deal with this threat. We will just pray for a resolution to this with as little harm as possible to people everywhere. Everyone needs to set aside politics and hope the US can deal with this without a need for war if that is possible.

Video
@SkyNewsAust


Update 8-11-17: Jim adds this new article today on North Korea


Added note: For more background, here is an in depth discussion of North Korea Jim did back in May . Here is a key excerpt from that discussion:

"Kim Jong-un has two big reasons to keep his program going:  1) He believes that if he perfects it, the U.S. won’t mess with him and he can perpetuate his regime, and; 2) He can sell the technology for gold to keep his people happy and protect his regime. He’s like the Godfather sitting up there.
The problem is, the United States is not going to allow him to nuke Los Angeles. He might say, “I just want the capability so you guys won’t mess with me,” but the answer is, “No, you’re not going to get the capability.”
You can’t gamble with Los Angeles. You can’t even take a 1% gamble with Los Angeles. You can’t even take a fraction of 1%. This is something Dick Cheney called the 1% doctrine, which meant that when the risks are existential, you can’t take even a minute fraction of 1%. You can’t make that bet; you have to eliminate it.
Kim Jong-un is on a course to get the weapons, and the U.S. is on a course to prevent him from getting the weapons. Each side misreads the intentions of the other. Now, here’s where it gets really interesting and I think war could be imminent:  How do you actually root out this program?
There’s an old saying, If you shoot the king, don’t miss, meaning if you try to assassinate a leader – shoot the king, in other words – and you miss, you’re dead. They’re going to come back to you.
This is what happened with Hitler and the Wolf’s Lair plot when they actually got a briefcase bomb two inches from Hitler. It blew up, but the briefcase had been moved behind an oak panel at the last minute. Hitler was injured and wounded but not killed. Of course, that was bad news for all the perpetrators, because they all got killed.
If you shoot the king, don’t miss, so if we, the United States, are going to take out the North Korean nuclear program, we must get it all. We can’t leave them with any fissile material, any missile launch capability, any reactors, etc., because they’ll just come back and get us.
There are ways to do it. I’ve been talking about the ICBM in Los Angeles as the existential threat, but they could unleash a military barrage on Seoul. I’ve been to Seoul a number of times, and it’s very close to the North Korean border.
It would be nicer for them if they were down around Busan or someplace further away, but they’re not. They’re well within artillery range. I’m not talking about bomber range; I’m talking about artillery range of the North Korean border, and they will be massively bombarded. Then North Korea could use even their short-range missiles to attack U.S. bases in Korea and the region.
Even if they can’t reach L.A. because we hit them before they can get the ICBM, they can easily kill a lot of Americans in the region. That’s exactly what they’ve threatened to do and have the capability of. If we hit them, we have to take out everything, or else the retaliation on us, the South Koreans, probably the Japanese, and others will be pretty horrendous. So, if you shoot the king, don’t miss.
What does it mean when I say don’t miss? The North Korean stuff is underground buried in mountains and heavily fortified. We do have GBUs (bunker buster bombs) and have been working on that, but if we give them more time and let them burrow in deeply and dig more tunnels, we might have to use tactical nuclear weapons.
Now, atomic weapons. I’m switching back and forth between atomic and nuclear weapons to distinguish between Hiroshima-type bombs and thermonuclear devices, which North Korea is not even close to getting. Russia and United States have them.
Atomic weapons are the kind used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. August 1945 was the last and only time these weapons were used in warfare, but obviously, they’ve been tested up until the 1960s.
There are some smaller-yield, tactical nuclear weapons called sub-nuclear, which are pretty powerful. They get up to a certain critical stage and unleash a lot of energy. I don’t want to get too technical on all this, but the point being, those are obviously more powerful than the bunker busters.
Will we have to use those to wipe out the North Korean program to make sure if we shoot, we don’t miss? All I know is the more time that goes on, the more likely that becomes. If you’re the United States and are saying “We don’t want to use tactical nuclear weapons, because that crosses a separate red line that gives Russia permission to use them elsewhere,” then you’d better act sooner rather than later.
Here’s the dynamic:  Kim Jong-un is on a course where he says, “I’m keeping my nuclear weapons to perpetuate my regime and so that the U.S. won’t mess with me.” The U.S. is on a course that says, “We have to take out your program sooner rather than later because it’s an existential threat.” That’s a recipe for war sooner rather than later."
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"He (Lindsey Graham) added that he feels the U.S. will head toward war with the North "unless the world can stop North Korea", saying Mr. Trump will "pick homeland defense over regional stability and he has to." 


BullionCoin Update 8-9-17: While the official BullionCoin web site has not launched yet as of this note, there is a help site now online for people who have
expressed interest and may have questions ahead of the launch. It is here.