The Mark of the Beast?

The Mark of the Beast?

The Mark of the Beast?

Dear CIGAs,

There were many questions to a recent interview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwwcNSR6nQE. I did last Friday (released Sunday) asking about what a “cashless” society would mean so I’ve decided to expand on it. As it turns out, the timing was very good (by mistake) because over the weekend Europe announced plans to discontinue the 500 euro notehttp://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/16/business/international/european-central-bank-weighs-eliminating-500-euro-bill.html?_r=0. This was immediately followed on Monday with a trial balloon by Larry Summers https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/02/16/its-time-to-kill-the-100-bill/ calling for the end to the $100 bill. You can certainly see where they are headed!

First, let’s look at why they want to do this and then move on to what exactly it will mean to you and me. If we take Larry Summers at his word (something I hesitate to do!), discontinuing the $100 bill will hamper corruption and terrorism. He also talks about the use of cash for tax evasion purposes. It is said drug dealers would be put out of business if cash were banned. Maybe so but then you must ask yourself “who” is at the heart of supply and generates “dark” cash flow for funding? Wouldn’t this be like shooting yourself in the foot?

As for terrorism, I agree there are some crazies out there who want to do some very radical things. However, I would ask you the following questions. How many “terror attacks” have actually been false flags? And who actually funds some of these terror organizations? Have you ever “followed the money” to see who actually funds ISIS or even formed Al Qaeda years ago? Enough said I think.

Now let’s get to the REAL reasons to ban currency. First and foremost, those in power understand the viability to the current system is now very limited. In other words, they know the system is going to come down. On one hand the West has already passed legislation for “bail ins”. On the other hand, how best would it be best to corral capital into these banks they know will be bailed in? Now your putting the dots together!

This all assumes a couple of things. First, is there even enough time left before the system goes upside down to corral cash back into the banks? Then, will the population accept it willingly or will they revolt? The answer to the first question I believe is “no”. The system is so unstable (the East knows this), we can wake up any morning (probably a Monday) and find the markets cannot be opened.

The next question is whether the population will accept it? If markets have already seized up, I think the answer is a resounding no. Who, no matter how oblivious they are would give up their cash if they’ve already seen the banks bail in their balances? The problem of course is whether or not the currency even retains any value in the event of a collapse (no)? If the ban on cash were to come quickly and before collapse, I believe the American public would be split. Many, (me included) would not go for it, others would go along with it just as Bostonians allowed the police into their homes with no resistance. On this point, I am not sure what the reaction would be if the current chewing gum cobbling the markets together does hold. After the collapse it will be a moot point as the “acceptance” of paper dollars may only last two weeks to a month. For this reason, I do not believe we will go cashless until AFTER a collapse as we will “need” a new currency (digital or not). However, any new currency will necessarily be backed by something (gold?) to create confidence.

When you break this down, the real reason for a cashless society is “control”. What would people do if interest rates went negative? This is a very good question because it is the only policy option left for central banks. There would be a run on the banks and people would simply withdraw their cash. This would mean people moving out of the system instead of staying in the ringed fence area. A run on physical cash poses big problems for our planners, and “why” they will try to do away with it.

Without “cash”, the public will be at the mercy of those pushing and pulling the levers. Your account could be frozen for any reason. Your account could be stolen for any reason. In other words, by banning cash they are throwing away “the key” to your exit door and control of the masses becomes simple. I use the word “simple” because without “money” you cannot purchase food. Here in the U.S., we are no longer farmers. Instead we just go to the grocery market and get what we need or want. If someone had “control” over the availability to your money, they have control over your food …and ultimately YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!

We did receive some questions like “what good will gold and silver do if there is no cash to trade for?”. I would first say, any time something is banned or outlawed, the value always goes higher in the black markets. This is what spawned the bootlegging and moonshine industries. Just ask NASCAR and the Kennedys! More importantly, gold and silver will still be valued and coveted in the East, if you have some metal outside of borders prior to capital controls you will be able to take advantage of this. Further, a cashless society being created to hide collapse will NOT prevent the collapse, ie. the tree still fell in the woods even though no one heard it. Some sort of financial system will necessarily rise like a Phoenix from the current one, gold and silver will have value and will finance the re start. Unless 5,000 years of history is turned upside down, you can bank on this.

As for the title “The Mark of the Beast”, I referred to this in my last interview. This situation of not being able to conduct commerce without the “mark” was briefly written about in the Bible. It was described in Revelations. Is this description not one of a “cashless society”? How will one do business if they have no “card” (mark) or in today’s world maybe even an implanted RFID chip? I find it incredible that writings from a time even before the printing press was invented, anyone could opine or even speak of a cashless society. From a human standpoint, a cashless society could only have been dreamed about over the last 30-40 years or so as the technology did not exist prior. I am not sure about you but even as a child in the 60′s, if someone told me I could “put money in the bank” but someone (other than my Dad) could control how much or whether I could take it out, spend it or use it …my bank account would never have been opened in the first place!

I have taken some heat recently and been accused of trying to turn my blog into “the God channel”. Mentioning “the mark of the beast” will probably bring further such comments. I write what I write out of logic as that is the way my mind works. If my logic in financial affairs or economics is wrong, please tell me how or where you believe it is faulty. Please don’t tell me I am an idiot because I am a Christian and some “big eye in the sky cannot exist”. This country was originally formed because of religious and economic persecutions. If you disagree with my faith, either ignore it or please allow my logic to stand on its own and attack that, not the messenger.

The fact is, “good and evil” do exist and we are now facing evil factions trying to control us by controlling our access to savings from our past labors and investment. Please understand, this is not only about control but also about “cloaking” what they are doing. Money supply and indebtedness can then be hidden, altered, changed or whatever they choose from behind the scenes. Doing away with cash has nothing to do with “convenience” for you or “protecting you” from terrorists, it has everything to do with snapping a leash to your life’s collar!

Standing watch,

Bill Holter
Holter-Sinclair collaboration
Comments welcome! bholter@hotmail.com

Repricing Reality

Repricing Reality

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It ought to be a foregone conclusion that Mr. Obama’s replacement starting January 20, 2017 will preside over conditions of disorder in everyday life and economy never seen before. For the supposedly thinking class in America, the end of reality-optional politics will come as the surprise of their lives.

Where has that hypothetical thinking class been, by the way, the past eight years? Don’t look for it in what used to be called “the newspapers.” The New York Times has become so reality-averse that the editors traded in their blue pencils for Federal Reserve cheerleader pompoms after the Lehman incident of 2008. Every information-dispensing organ has followed their lede: The Recovery Continues! It’s a sturdy plank for promoting the impaired asset known as Hillary.

Don’t look for the thinking class in the universities. They’ve surrendered their traditional duties to a new hybrid persecution campaign that is equal parts Mao Zedong, the Witches of Loudon, and the Asylum at Charenton. For instance the President of Princeton, Mr. Eisgruber, was confronted with a list of demands that included 1) erasure of arch-segregationist Woodrow Wilson’s name from everything on campus, and 2) creation of a new all-black (i.e. segregated) student center. He didn’t blink. Note: nobody in the media asked him about this apparent contradiction. That’s how we roll these days.

Don’t look for the thinking class in business. The C-suites are jammed with people still busy buying back stock in their own companies at outlandish prices with borrowed money. Why? To artificially boost share price and thus their salaries and bonuses. Does it do anything for the fitness of enterprise? No, in fact it makes future failure more likely. Why is their no governance of their insane behavior? Because they’ve also bought and paid for boards of directors composed of a rotating cast of praetorian shills, with fresh recruits entering the scene weekly through the fabled “revolving door” between business and government regulators.

Oh, and then there’s government. Anyone viewing the boasting-and-defamation contests that the cable TV networks call “debates” knows that these spectacles are based on the opposite of thinking. They are not only reality-optional, they’re thought-optional. Hence, it appears for now that America is fixing to elect either a primal screamer or a road-tested grifter to preside over the epochal collapse of our hobbled, exhausted, way of life.

The recent carnage in the stock markets will probably see a retracement after the President’s Day hiatus. They’re bouncing up in other parts of the world today, the triumph of hope over all the available evidence that something fatal has happened out there in Tom Friedman’s supposedly permanent global economy. Some observers suspect that it has something to do with the price of oil, because the oil futures market and the stock indexes seem to go up and down in tandem. But they don’t really get it.

How hard is it to understand that A) that something adverse happens to oil companies when it costs them $70-a-barrel to hoist the product out of the ground and then sell it for $30-a-barrel? And B) that all of the infrastructure of techno-industrial civilization was designed to run on oil under $30-a-barrel and founders when the price goes higher? That’s how it is. That’s your basic reality.

We’ve been trying to work around this vexing problem — the non-linear manifestation of the supposedly bygone predicament called “peak oil” — since the early part of this century. Mainly, we worked around it by borrowing money that wasn’t there. Having created this matrix of borrowed money, we’ve also created an expectation in market obligations that it must be paid back. In fact, the process of paying back money owed is the only thing that supports confidence in a system based on that essential trust — even if that expectation was unreal to begin with. When it is violated, terrible things happen in markets and economies.

Those terrible things are underway. We’re going to be a much-distressed and poorer so-called republic when this year is done with us. The markets will crack and the trade relations that comprise globalism will fall apart as nations and regions of nations struggle to survive. We’ll move inexorably to a very possibly disastrous election. We’ll face the basic choices, as distressed societies always do, of freaking-and-acting-out (usually in the form of war), or opting for a reunion with reality and its mandates. So far, it’s not looking good for the better option.

If you are a thinking person, the months ahead might be your last chance to protect whatever wealth you have and to move to some part of the country where, at least, you can grow some of your own food and become a useful part of a social and economic network that might be called a community.

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The System Has Failed

No wonder we’re devolving into a society of a few privileged haves and a vast populace of marginalized have-nots.

American culture contextualizes failure in individualistic terms: the system didn’t fail–you failed. Never mind the system is set up to fail many (if not most) participants: the cultural narrative is that failure to succeed, failure to get ahead, and failure to fit in all boils down to personal failure: failure to follow the rules, work harder, please your boss, transition to a new career, extricate yourself from dysfunctional situations, and so on.

This narrative of individual failure and redemption is the foundation of thousands of self-help books, seminars, motivational speeches and the ever-present gung-ho rah-rah: you can beat any odds if you work hard enough, get out there and meet the right people, sell yourself, etc. etc.

Pop culture is a schizoid mix of this “dress/socialize/study for success” celebration of individual initiative and an equally zealous embrace of victimhood and self-pity: I made all these ridiculously poor choices because my family was dysfunctional or I was led astray.

No wonder our culture is psychotic. The way to get sympathy (and rationalize poor choices) is to make yourself out as even more of a victim than the rest of the self-justifying crowd.

But the ideal turn-around to self-pity and victimhood is the personal redemption via hard work, discipline, better choices, going back to school, etc.

These inspirational narratives at the heart of American culture serve a useful purpose, but they ignore the other half of the story: our institutions have failed us: they have failed not just the failures but the successful as well. They have failed the nation and every one of its citizens, but this systemic failure is verboten: speaking of systemic failure invites ridicule as a loser who blames the system instead of themselves.

Memo to the motivation-solves-everything crowd: Self-help books and rah-rah speeches won’t change failed systems.

What can we say about a system that has hired tens of thousands of college administrators (under-assistant associate deans of student affairs et al.) at $200,000 each for doing nothing remotely productive in terms of educating students for the real world, while the system cheers impoverished students to take on $100,000 in student debt for increasingly worthless college diplomas?

How can anyone claim a system that glorifies the construction of $100 million student union complexes while loading over a trillion dollars of debt on students is not part of the success-failure equation?

Instead of shrugging off the systemic failure and pushing every student to borrow even more and “go back to school” as the “solution” to marginalization, how about turning our energies on tearing down a failed system and creating a system of higher education that is 90% cheaper and 90% more effective?

If you think this is “impossible,” please read my book The Nearly Free University and the Emerging Economy. It’s not only possible, it’s necessary.

How can anyone claim a system that charges $22,000 for an emergency room visit for acute pain in the right side of the abdomen, and misdiagnoses what turns out to be appendicitis (and charges another $22,000 for the second visit a few hours later, and $40,000+ for the operation) is not part of the success-failure equation? (True story.)

As I have noted here before, the system only generates jobs for those whose labor is profitable. Unprofitable work is paid by the government, and that’s how we end up with $500 Pentagon hammers, $800 cotton balls and $100,000 for worthless college degrees.

The system itself is broken, from the incestuous corruption of Washington D.C. to every institution that feeds at the federal/state trough. But it’s not just the central state that’s broken–the private sector is broken, too, because profitable work is increasingly scarce.

Though the culture insists everyone is equal not just in civil rights but in potential to go out and be a sports hero, Steve Jobs clone, etc., the reality is many of us will never manage to shoehorn ourselves into these rah-rah success boxes. It’s not that we’re not willing to work hard, or give it our best shot–we just don’t have the capacity to do the stuff that’s profitable in this economy.

Everyone that doesn’t have what it takes to be brilliant, flexible, sociable to a fault, etc., is marginalized: their role in the system is to fill a dead-end job, enlist in the army of Precariats scratching out an insecure free-lance living, or sink into some variety of state dependence: “crazy money,” disability, early retirement, etc.

I am all for carving out an individual definition and measure of success. That’s the reason I wroteGet a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy and listed the eight essential skills everyone should develop if they want to navigate an increasingly challenging economy.

But individual initiative and developing new skills and capital isn’t going to fix failed systems.That requires admitting the over-arching systems and institutions of the nation have failed and need to be completely re-worked from the ground up.

This isn’t a job for a centralized state, for the simple reason the source of the failure is centralization itself, as centralization concentrates wealth that then corrupts concentrated power which then destroys democracy.

The need for a new decentralized, more humane and truly democratic system is why I wrote A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology and Creating Jobs for All: The Future Belongs to Work That Is Meaningful.

We can’t magically make all of us equal in ability, bandwidth, or sociability, and embracing the illusion that this is possible is a core reason why our culture is toxic and our economy is stagnant. We need a system that has productive social roles and meaningful work for everyone, not just the well-connected, the brilliant and the highly flexible multi-tasker.

No wonder we’re devolving into a society of a few privileged haves and a vast populace of marginalized have-nots: the system has failed, but we can’t even talk about it.

The War On Cash——–Control, Tax, Confiscate

Control, Tax, Confiscate

BALTIMORE – Harvard economist Larry Summers is a reliable source of claptrap. And a frequent spokesman for the Deep State.

To bring new readers up to speed, voters don’t get a say in who runs the country. Instead, a “shadow government” of elites, cronies, lobbyists, bureaucrats, politicians, and zombies – aka the Deep State – is permanently in power.

22_summers_560x375

Larry Summers – the man with a plan for everyone. An economist whose economic theorizing is truly abominable crap (more on this in an upcoming post), a reliable, crypto-fascist, bought and paid for evil intellectual in the service of the Deep State. His “policy proposals” all have one thing in common: they are apodictically certain to restrict economic progress and individual liberty.

Photo credit: Fabrice Coffrini / AFP / Getty Images

Put simply, it doesn’t matter which party is in power; the Deep State rules. Want to know what the Deep State is up to now? Read Larry Summers.

It’s time to kill the $100 bill,” he wrote in the Washington Post (another reliable source of claptrap).

The Deep State wants you to use money it can easily control, tax, and confiscate. And paper currency is getting in its way.

France has already banned residents from making cash transactions of €1,000 ($1,114) or more. Norway and Sweden’s biggest banks urge the outright abolition of cash. And there are plans at the highest levels of government in Israel, India, and China to remove cash from circulation.

Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan predicts that cash “probably won’t exist” 10 years from now. And here is Mr. Summers in the Washington Post:

“Illicit activities are facilitated when a million dollars weighs 2.2 pounds as with the 500 euro note rather than more than 50 pounds, as would be the case if the $20 bill was the high denomination note.”

He proposes “a global agreement to stop issuing notes worth more than say $50 or $100. Such an agreement would be as significant as anything else the G7 or G20 has done in years.”

What makes Mr. Summers so confident that a ban on Ben Franklins would be a good thing? It turns out that a research paper – presented by Peter Sands, the former CEO of British bank Standard Chartered, and published for the Harvard Kennedy School of Government – says so.

Idiotic Ideas

High denomination notes,” said the report, “play little role in the functioning of the legitimate economy, yet a crucial role in the underground economy.”

Mr. Sands should know about hiding money. While he was CEO, New York’s top financial regulator threatened to strip Standard Chartered of its banking license. It claimed the bank “schemed” with the Iranian government to hide at least 60,000 illegal transactions – involving at least $250 billion.

benjamin

If the Benjamin is killed, it will “deter illicit activities” they say, apparently taking us all for complete idiots. Very organized criminals all over the world could be heard rolling on the floor laughing their heads off at this pronouncement. Here’s another idea: if we lock all the peasants up in a small room without doors and windows, they will no longer have to suffer the indignities and dangers inflicted by bad weather! Never again will they be made wet and uncomfortable by rain, and the threat of skin cancer due to excessive exposure to sunlight (as recently highlighted by Hugh Jackman’s withering nose) will soon be but a distant memory. Isn’t such a comprehensive level of security well worth whatever small trade-offs it involves?

Here at the Diary, we don’t pretend to know how to improve the world. We just know what we like. And we don’t like other people telling us what to do. Last year, we traveled all around the world. We went where we wanted to go. We did more or less what we wanted to do. Rarely did we feel that someone was bossing us around. But back in the USA…

Take your belt off. Take your shoes off. Anything in your pockets? Take it out…

Turn on lights. Fasten seat belts. Turn on windshield wipers.

This morning, walking through the park, we found this sign:

Not just a courtesy to your neighbors

IT’S THE LAW

judge_dredd_its_the_law_low
The unspoken threat behind the “law”, made explicit.

Image credit: Francesco Francavilla

People who insist you follow their ideas are always the same people whose ideas are idiotic.

Always do the opposite of what they tell you do,” said a friend in France whose father was mayor of a small town during World War II.

There had been ‘an incident.’” he explained. “I think the Resistance had killed a German soldier in the area. It was that time, late in the war, when the Nazis were retaliating against civilians.

So, they told my father to get everyone in town to assemble in the town square. Instead, my father told everyone to run for the woods. They all did. They were lucky. They survived the war.

Electronic Dollars

And now, Mr. Summers wants us to bring our cash to the town square. Instead of $100 bills, he wants to force us to use electronic notations faithfully recorded in a federally regulated bank. Have you ever seen one of these “electronic dollars,” dear reader?

We have not. We don’t know what they look like. And we’re deeply suspicious of the whole thing. The European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan – along with central banks in Denmark, Sweden, and Switzerland have already imposed a negative interest rate “tax” on the accounts commercial banks hold with them (known as “reserve accounts”).

Negative yielding bonds
Negative yielding government bonds in Europe as of December 2015 – a monument to the decline of Western civilization

These central banks are hoping banks will pass on this new tax to their customers. This has already happened in Switzerland…

As colleague Chris Lowe told Bonner & Partners Family Office members at our recent annual meeting in Rancho Santana in Nicaragua, Alternative Bank Schweiz (ABS) will begin charging a negative interest rate on customers’ deposits this year.

ABS will levy an annual penalty of 0.125% on deposits of less than 100,000 Swiss francs ($101,173) and an annual penalty of 0.75% on deposits of more than 100,000 Swiss francs. Essentially, ABS is charging its customers to keep their money on deposit.

If you put $1 million in the bank, at 0.75% negative interest, you come back a year later, and you have $992,500 left. The bank has confiscated the other $7,500. At a negative rate of, say, 3%… you pay $30,000 a year just to keep your money on deposit. It sounds like a scam…

Governments abolish cash. You have no choice but to leave your savings on deposit. And you’re forced to pay banks for storing your money.

Cash Outlaw

But wait. Banks are not really storing “your” money at all. A bank deposit is an IOU from your bank. There is no vault cash backing it up… just 1s and 0s on a database somewhere. If the bank decides not to give you “your” money, you’re out of luck.

It’s as though someone offers to store your cherry pie. Then he goes and eats the pie, promising to give you one just like it when you want it. He then has the cheek to charge you every month for “storing” the pie. And when you want it, he won’t be able to give it to you.

cartoon_stickup-cyprus-bank_robbery_of_the_cypriot_people
The precedent – no-one can say they weren’t warned.

Cartoon by Harm Bengen

I don’t have any baking powder. You’ll have to come back tomorrow,” he says. Or, “I’m sorry. But the federal government has declared cherries an endangered species. I’m not allowed to give you your pie back. It was very tasty, though.

How much could this electronic pie be worth anyway… if you have to pay someone to eat it for you? Imagine the automobile you have to pay someone to drive away. Or the rental unit you have to pay someone to live in.

When you have to pay someone to take it off your hands, you can imagine how much your money is really worth. And when your bank – or the Deep State – wants to confiscate your money, who will stop it?

At least if you have your money in cold, hard cash, they will have to come and physically get it from you. When it is “in the bank” – existing as nothing but electronic account balances – all they have to do is push a button.

banksters_robbing_sheeple1
Once it’s all numbers in a computer, they won’t even have to point their guns at you anymore. Then it will be possible to rub out your money savings by simply pushing a button on a computer keyboard. At that juncture you’d better not be too uppity, citizen.

Cartoon by Chappatte

That’s what happened in Cyprus. The banks were going to the wall. So, they confiscated deposits to help make themselves whole again. Who will stop the same thing from happening in America?

The judge the Deep State appointed? The police on the Deep State’s payroll? The politicians the Deep State bought and paid for?

When cash is outlawed… only outlaws will have cash. And we intend to be among them.

Chart by: Deutsche Bank

Chart and image captions by PT

The above article originally appeared at the Diary of a Rogue Economist, written for Bonner & Partners. Bill Bonner founded Agora, Inc in 1978. It has since grown into one of the largest independent newsletter publishing companies in the world. He has also written three New York Times bestselling books, Financial Reckoning Day, Empire of Debt and Mobs, Messiahs and Markets.

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of acting-man.com. To view original, click here.

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