Category Archives: Economy

Hans-Hermann Hoppe on the History of Population, Property and Wealth

Hans-Hermann Hoppe gives a great mind-dump of his wisdom on the history of economics, population, wealth and property.

Hans-Hermann Hoppe, “From the Malthusian Trap to the Industrial Revolution”

A speech given in May 2009 to the fourth annual conference of the Property and Freedom Society at the Hotel Karia Princess in Bodrum, Turkey.
Video shot and edited by Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance.

The Federal Reserve Is Playing Defense

October 1, 2011
Gary North |

You probably missed any media coverage of the September 26 speech by Federal Reserve Board of Governors member Sarah Raskin. The media ignored it. You would be wise not to ignore it.

There were a few brief news reports about it. There was no detailed analysis. The media usually ignore speeches by any FED Board member other than Bernanke.

Raskin’s speech reveals what is slowly dawning on the public. The economy is getting worse, and the FED is powerless to stop it.

Her speech was an attempt to reassure her listeners that the FED really does know what it’s doing, contrary to the evidence. The Federal Reserve has spent 45 months trying to deal with the sagging U.S. economy. Nothing is working. It looks as though nothing will work. But she wants us to believe that it’s not the FED’s fault. She did not say whose fault it is.

I have offered a line-by-line analysis of her speech. If you have money in a retirement fund, you would be wise to read it. I have posted it here.

I do not expect many people to read it. People are too busy. Bernanke knows this. The other Board members know this. They give their speeches, which get little coverage. They receive little criticism. They receive little applause. They have little power.

The Federal Open Market Committee has the power. Every eight weeks, the FOMC makes decisions in closed-door sessions that affect a billion people.

Then why read speeches by members of the Board of Governors? Officially, they are the government’s only source of indirect control over the FOMC, which is made up of presidents of the regional Federal Reserve banks, who in turn are appointed by regional FED banks, which are privately owned.

Members of the Board are appointed by the President. Their organization’s Web address ends in .gov. Legally, the Board is in charge of the entire system. This is a convenient myth for public consumption. Operationally, the Board acts as the mouthpiece of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. The New York FED is the most important private economic organization in the world.

Board members are apologists for the New York FED. When I say “apologists,” I mean this in the theological sense: “apologetics” – the defense of the faith. I do not mean it in the sense of offering an apology. The FED never says it is sorry for anything it has done. That would be perceived by Congress and the public a sign of weakness.


The main spokesman for the FED is the Chairman of the Board of Governors: Bernanke. He is legally the agent of Congress. He is operationally the barrier between Congress and the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

This is how all government agencies work, and the Board of Governors is a government agency. The head of every cabinet-level department is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. He serves at the convenience of the President. He imposes the President’s wishes on the bureaucracy.

In a pig’s eye.

The Secretary of Education is close to impotent to change any major policy. There is only one way to change policy: stop all funding to every branch of the bureaucracy that implements the old policy. Fire them all. Sadly, this is illegal. They are protected by Civil Service law.

Well, then, just stop the funding the old policy. Shut down the departments. Move all employees to other departments.

Legally, this can be done. It is never done. There would have to be hearings before both houses of Congress. Endless hearings. The American Federation of Teachers would scream bloody murder, meaning the nearly permanent senior officers in the AFT would scream bloody murder. The hearings would go on for years. Then the President leaves office. His reform program ends.

The bureaucracy cannot be fired. The newly appointed Secretary of Whatever goes out on the hustings to give speeches to special-interest groups related to the Department of Whatever. He has little authority over the day-to-day operations of the department. His task is to defend the budget and the reputation of “his” department.

Officially, the departmental Secretary is the agent of the Administration. Operationally, he becomes the agent of the department he oversees for a few years. He will leave. The employees will remain. If you want to grasp this system in two minutes, watch this segment from Yes, Minister.

Members of the FED’s Board of Governors are appointed for 14-year terms. We read:

The full term of a Governor is 14 years; appointments are staggered so that one term expires on January 31 of each even-numbered year. A Governor who has served a full term may not be reappointed, but a Governor who was appointed to complete the balance of an unexpired term may be reappointed to a full 14-year term.

Once appointed, Governors may not be removed from office for their policy views. The lengthy terms and staggered appointments are intended to contribute to the insulation of the Board – and the Federal Reserve System as a whole – from day-to-day political pressures to which it might otherwise be subject.

There is no industry-related agency of the U.S. government that is more insulated from politics. Therefore, there is no agency that is more completely under the domination of the industry that it is supposed to control. (The CIA and the NSA are not representatives of industries. They are separate fiefdoms.)

If the United States Army were this insulated from politics, the USA would live in a militarized society. The Army would run the show. Its only major rivals would be the Air Force, the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, and the Federal Reserve. To imagine that Congress would have any say in such a society would be naive. The defense industry would be the premier industry in the society.

Our society is a bankers’ society, meaning a handful of large banks. The supreme mark of this is the openly announced independence of the Federal Reserve from politics. No other agency of government has publicly claimed this degree of independence from politics, which means independence from the voters.

In every textbook on history or politics that mentions the FED, the author assures the readers that this utterly undemocratic arrangement is for the good of the people. The fact that the arrangement is a flagrant violation of the religion of democracy, which governs all tax-funded educational institutions, is never mentioned in polite circles.

So, our elected officials are not the operational agents of the voters in matters of banking. They are the operational agents of the big bank cartel.

Until the crash of 2008, most voters were unaware of this system of representation. But that crash changed the old climate of opinion. The reason was Ron Paul. His candidacy for the Republican nomination for President in the second half of 2007 got the message out. Then the crash and the bailouts confirmed his message.

This had not happened in the history of the Federal Reserve. The FED’s Board is now playing defensive politics. Yet, legally, it is not a political institution.

This is why people should pay more attention to speeches by members of the Board of Governors.


I will only go over the highlights here. I have covered the speech in detail elsewhere.

Like all members of the Board, she is burdened by the inescapable reality of the sagging economy. Unemployment is over 9% two and a half years after the beginning of the recovery. This has never happened before.

Housing prices are still falling. The bubble that popped in 2006 is still in decline. There is no sign that we are close to the bottom.

Consumer spending is stalled. This is a mark of government and central bank policy failure for a Keynesian economist. The only worse mark is falling spending.

She praised the FED for falling interest rates. She claimed that the FED’s monetary policies have achieved this positive result. What she, Bernanke, and other Board members never mention is this: falling interest rates are the universal mark of a recession in progress. Investors buy bonds in order to lock in an interest rate. They see this as safe-haven investing.

Falling rates since 2007 have been the result of investors who have moved their capital to government bonds. But FED officials claim that FED policies achieved this. So, Mrs. Raskin said this.

Rather than reviewing the vast academic literature regarding the effect of conventional monetary policy, I will simply pose the counterfactual question: What would have happened to U.S. employment if monetary policy had failed to respond forcefully to the financial crisis and economic downturn? Economic models – the Fed’s and others – suggest that if the federal funds rate target had been held at a fixed level of 5 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007 until now, rather than being reduced to its actual target range of 0 to 1/4 percent, then the unemployment rate would be several percentage points higher than it is today. In other words, by following our actual policy of keeping the target funds rate at its effective lower bound since late 2008, the Federal Reserve saved millions of jobs that would otherwise have been lost. Of course, substantial uncertainty surrounds various specific estimates, but there should be no doubt that the FOMC’s forceful actions helped mitigate the consequences of the crisis and thereby spared American families and businesses from even greater pain.

The FedFunds rate is the rate that applies to banks’ overnight lending to each other. Demand for this type of short-term funding collapsed in 2008. Banks have increased their holdings of excess reserves to $1.7 trillion. This is why we are not seeing hyperinflation. Bankers are afraid of another recession. They want money in the bank.

The FED can take credit for having given credit to big banks in the big bank bailout of October 2008, which was opposed by voters. The FED could argue along these lines.

It is true that interest rates fall in a recession. The last time in American history that we have seen rates this low was in 1933. But, because the Federal Reserve bought nearly worthless Fannie and Freddie bonds at face value from the government after Hank Paulson unilaterally nationalized the mortgage market in September of 2008, and because the FED swapped at face value its portfolio of highly liquid T-bills for illiquid toxic corporate bonds held by large banks, we are not in a depression. Which do you want: low interest rates with 9% unemployment or 12% unemployment. Those were our only choices in 2008 and 2009. Trust us.

But this is not the Party Line at the FED. The Party Line is that the FED’s increase of about $2 trillion in its portfolio was the source of bank stability, corporate survival, and an acceptable though unfortunate unemployment rate of 9.1%. The FED pushed down interest rates – rates that would have stayed high, contrary to all historical records of recessions. That saved the American economy and the world economy.

Raskin heaped great praise on the FED.

Given the magnitude of the global financial crisis and its aftermath, the Federal Reserve clearly needed to provide additional monetary accommodation beyond simply keeping short-term interest rates close to zero. Consequently, like a number of other major central banks around the world, the FOMC has been deploying unconventional policy tools to promote the economic recovery.

This is exactly what we would expect from one of five members of a government Board that governs monetary policy, and which is supposed to be held responsible for failure. But, as the video from “Yes, Minister” indicates, no one is ever supposed to be held responsible in a government agency. She thinks they deserve a round of applause.

My FOMC colleagues and I have recently been faced with complex decisions about the use of unconventional policy tools under extraordinary economic and financial conditions. And while we may not all agree with every decision, I believe that the public can have a very high degree of confidence in the fundamental integrity and soundness of our decisionmaking process.

My response is to give them a standing zen ovation: the sound of millions of one-handed people clapping.


Mrs. Raskin offered no evidence for hope of reduced unemployment, revived business investing, or increased consumer spending. She was remarkably silent on these issues. She reaffirmed the decision of the FOMC. It will be mid-2013 before the FED dares reverse its present policy of twisting.

In August, we decided to be more specific about the timing, and our two most recent meeting statements have indicated that “economic conditions – including low rates of resource utilization and a subdued outlook for inflation over the medium run – are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through mid-2013.”

So, we are still in the swamp of low growth. We will remain in it for a long time, politically speaking. She has issued President Obama a challenge: run your campaign in a stagnating economy.

She offered no analysis of the labor market. Yet her speech was entitled “Monetary Policy and Job Creation.”

This was a defensive speech. It indicates that the FED has no plan to get the economy back on track.

Falling long-term interest rates are the preliminary sign of a looming recession.

What will the FED do when recession hits next year, as seems likely? What rabbits will they pull out of the monetary hat?

The FED is on the defensive. Investors should take heed.

Chart Analysis: Tanzanian Royalty Exploration (TRX)

Let’s start by reviewing the period between April 2006 to January 2010.  This is when several levels of long-term importance were established.  Given the high at around $9 and the low at around $1.50, the fibonacci levels now influencing the share price are established.  Additionally, an up-trend was established, as indicated by the trend line from the dips in October 2008 and September 2009; this up-trend has remained in tact and serves as long-term support.

Here is a long-term chart for October 2006 to August 2011 showing the long-term up-trend with trend support at $5 and various reactions around key fibinacci support levels at 61.2% and 78.6%.

Here is the long-term chart for September 2008 to August 2011 showing the long-term up-trend with long-term trend support at $5.

Medium-term chart for October 2010 to August 2011, indicating a short-term range trade between long-term fibonacci levels 60.8% and 78.6% descending wedge with trend support at $5.

Short-term chart for March 2011 to August 2011, indicating a descending wedge formation nearing completion.

UPDATE: 9/2/2011

It looks like we have a short-term down-trend-line breakout on the 1-year chart in TRX.

TRX 9/2/2011 - 1 Year Chart - Tanzanian Royalty Exploration Corporation
TRX 9/2/2011 - 1 Year Chart - Tanzanian Royalty Exploration Corporation

Martin A. Armstrong on the S&P Ratings Downgrade of the USA

The following is a question asked to Martin Armstrong, author of the Pi Cycle Economic Confidence Model and former chairman of Princeton Economics International. Martin Armstrong is a bona-fide economic genius with a number of amazing predictions having come true to date. His words are definitely worth considering in your own planning.

Will a Downgrade of USA FROM AAA Really Mean Anything?


The hype about Standard & Poor going to downgrade USA credit rating is just not important. Oh the
talking heads will cry the sky is falling. They downgraded Japan in 2002 and nothing took place. Not even their rates increased. The same is likely in the USA and quite frankly, if S&P really thinks they have that much power, they should stop drinking their own bath water.

Downgrades come AFTER the market has already shown its course of action. It is not like the rating agencies actually pontificate and then the markets wake up and say: Oh my God! Ratings follow the market activity and have no power otherwise. The credit rating they gave the CDOs did not convince people to buy them. Once the junk was rated AAA, they were good collateral for the REPO market. That was the key. They rated the junk AAA and that made it good collateral and that was the ONLY reason the stuff sold. Without that rating, the NY boys couldn’t sell anything.

When it comes to sovereign debt of the USA, we are talking about the US$ is the RESERVE currency. About two-thirds of central bank reserves globally is in dollars and the way those dollars are held is in government treasuries. Does anyone really think that if S&P downgrades the USA that its debt will not be sold?

When you deal in REAL money, there is a problem. How do you store it? You can’t just put a billion on deposit at a bank. They will sell it every night and don’t have to tell you. If the REPO market blows up and you go to the bank and say I want my billion, they lost it, and so you turn to FDIC to collect your $100,000. Right! The ONLY way to park serious money is in treasuries. If you have hundreds of billions, now you have the added problem of MARKET SIZE. You can’t just go to any country. Their debt structure cannot provide the ability to park serious money. This is the difference from taking personal economics and applying it to the whole world. It doesn’t work! Don’t worry. Be happy! Until we revise the world monetary system and the dollar is no longer the RESERVE currency, sorry boys, but you are spinning scenarios that scare people, sound good as talking points, but are just gibberish in the real world of serious money. Rates will rise because capital will shift out of bonds into assets not because of the S&P.

The Generational Bull Market in Gold: Why $1600 Is Just The Beginning

Gold benefits from: out of control sovereign debt, nanny states, media mind control, war, over-the-counter derivatives, unfunded liabilities, trillion dollar deficits, accounting fraud, artificially low interest rates, quantitative easing, loss of confidence in governments and paper assets. Gold benefits from these things because it allows imbalances to get out of control in a major way.

In just 5 years the gold market has bid up the price by $1000. It is likely that, in the next 10 years, the gold price will rise to at least $15,000.

Oh, and did I mention that nothing meaningful or effective has been done to address those issues listed above, which help to create a bull market for gold. That’s why these kinds of great movements of civilizations can last for a decade or more; because of the unwillingness of societies to solve their problems until its too late.

Gold is Not in a Bubble

Gold is mistakenly thought of as being in a “bubble”; however, gold has a history of being a currency of last resort when confidence-based systems fail. So when you have vast sums of “wealth” worldwide tied up in confidence systems, such as the US-Dollar and the US reputation is subsequently crushed, what you see in gold is actually a deflation of a world-wide bubble of confidence in paper assets.

If you consider the trillions and trillions of dollars, still tied up in questionable confidence-based paper assets, why should $1600 be the ceiling for gold? The US and other major debtor nations never stop raising their debt ceilings and never address the underlying problems, so why would gold stop reflecting these problems anytime soon?

What I believe you will see, over the long-run, is that the next 10 years will look like the last 10 years; but sharper to the up-side and more violent in its volatility as things become increasingly more unstable.

Gold went from around $250 – $1600 during this 10 year period (a 560% increase); it will likely go from $1650 – $15000 during the next 10 year period (an 800% increase).

Why Gold May Eventually Reach $15,000

Jim Sinclair is well known for his prediction of the rise in gold to nearly $900 in the 1980’s. The formula Mr. Sinclair used was roughly: the price gold would have to reach, in order to make the gold held by the United States equal to the amount owed to foreign creditors, on the international balance sheet of the US.

In the 1980’s that “balanced” value was $900. Today the “balanced” value would be $15,000+.

Jim Sinclair | Jim Sinclair’s Mine Set


Because gold is held by many central banks, once as a reserve currency but now as an inventory currency, it functions as a swing asset to balance the International Balance sheet of the US.

Central banks are sellers of dollars but still hold, by default, large dollar inventories.

China has hedged its dollar position 50% through commitments to long term dollar commercial agreements, pay in, mineral, and energy deals internationally. That is an act of pure genius.

We can assume other central banks still hold 90% of their reported dollar positions, on average unhedged by commercial obligation positions.

In crisis times, the US dollar price of gold ALWAYS seeks to balance the International Balance Sheet of the USA.


Take 90% of international US dollar debt less China and then add 50% of the US debt owned by China. Then divide that number by the ounces supposed to be owned by the US Treasury. The result is where gold wants to go.

In 1974 this gave me $900 gold. Now you do your homework, and submit your analysis to me. Do this, and I will give you Angels going to that price by a little known technique of Jesse Livermore that only works on gold after it has broken to a new high above all resistance.

Little by little I am passing on all that I have learned from Jesse through Bert to those that read every day in thanks for your support of me and mine.


When you evaluate recent data, with the above formula, you get the following:

source: Jim Sinclair’s Mine Set

Using the methodology you specified in your article today, I get a target price for gold of: $15,600.

Most current TIC report:

Total Foreign Holdings of Treasury Securities: $4,479.2 Billion
-Less : China – Mainland (1,144.9)
-Plus: 50% of China – Mainland 572.5

Adjusted Foreign Holdings of Treasury Securities $3,906.8 Billion

Number of Fine Troy Ounces held in Custody by the US Mint for the US Treasury:

Note to Financial Statements 6, “Custodial Gold and Silver Bullion Reserves”, page 59
Statutory value @ $42.2222 per FTO $10,574,053,000
Number of FTO 250,438,229

Valuation of Gold required to equal Adjusted Foreign Holdings of Treasury Securities
Adj Fgn Holdings $3,906,800,000,000
Number of FTO Gold at US Mint 250,438,229

Gold price Valuation $15,600

The Option to Protect Yourself is Still Available

So all of those people who complain about having missed their chance to protect themselves from what is to come are full of shit. Even if you can only spare a hundred or so dollars at a time to get a 1/10 ounce gold coin, or buy a few shares of a gold mine each month, you can benefit greatly by protecting yourself from the coming rout of inflation.

One interesting fact, is historically quality shares in gold mines have held a 3x leverage to the price of gold. This means that if gold goes to $15,000, the likely return on the share price would be at least 2400%. Junior gold miners can have an even higher level of leverage, given that their share prices tend to stay suppressed and then eventually explode when the fundamentals take over as gold rises.

Gold will be there for you to use when the value of everything else is called into question. It does not require anyone to perform on their obligations, as all paper assets do. Given that we are living in a vast sea of empty promises, is it any wonder that people are choosing gold and other precious metals to protect themselves?

Increasing credit risk will push up interest rates

Gijsbert Groenewegen | Groenewegen Report
Posted Jul 1, 2011

Increasing credit risk will cause much higher interest rates across the borders

The Belgian/French bank Dexia, with a ¤4.3bn or $6bn+ exposure (according to S&P’s Corp) to government debts in Greece, has back stopped (guaranteed) $17bn in municipal bonds in the US according to an article in the WSJ. As a result of the problems in Greece interest rates of municipality bonds in small towns in the United States used to finance municipal facilities like schools, bridges, ice rinks etc are being pushed up. S&P warned last month of a possible downgrade of Dexia’s investment- grade credit ratings. It looks indeed like Lehman revisited when one of the victims of the CDO crisis in the US was a small town in Norway which had bought “triple A” CDO s. And don’t forget the exposure of AIG to the housing market through the Credit Default Swaps (CDSs) that were never going to be called because of the triple A status of the CDOs, and how it almost bankrupted Goldman and others.

While other investors are stepping in to buy those bonds, they are demanding sharply higher yields as compensation for the increased risk following a possible downgrade of Dexia’s credit rating. As a result, borrowing costs for some municipalities are now the steepest since the financial crisis. Some cost of borrowing are tripling and quadrupling in a matter of weeks.

Dexia is obliged to buy as much as $17 billion in municipal bonds if investors withdraw during the remarketing or rollover process. Some $400 million has already been taken back though in those cases, allowing Dexia to increase the interest rate paid by the municipalities whilst at the same time it can demand an accelerated pay back schedule. Some municipalities are trying to replace Dexia with other banks though the refinancing is likely to lead to much higher interest rates in some cases from 3% to 12% which increase borrowing costs by tenth of thousands of dollars which in turn leads to very high fees for the related facilities.

With the QE2 ending on June 30 (the Fed has bought 85% of all treasury issuances this year!!) and higher credit risks higher interest rates could bring down the markets. If we break above the 4.80% level on the 30-y Treasury bond we will break out of the downtrend since 1981 and could see much higher interest rates with all its obvious consequences for the financial markets and economies.
Continue reading Increasing credit risk will push up interest rates

Economy and Liberty or Profusion and Servitude

“We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our selection between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat in our drink, in our necessities and comforts, in our labors and in our amusements, for our callings and our creeds…our people.. must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live.. We have not time to think, no means of calling the mis-managers to account, but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow suffers. Our landholders, too…retaining indeed the title and stewardship of estates called theirs, but held really in trust for the treasury, must…be contented with penury, obscurity and exile.. private fortunes are destroyed by public as well as by private extravagance.

This is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle becomes a precedent for a second; that second for a third; and so on, till the bulk of society is reduced to mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering… And the fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.”

–Thomas Jefferson

Jim Sinclair: Margin of Risk

Posted On: Saturday, August 16, 2003
Author: Jim Sinclair

Q: Jim, you used margin when you where building your foundation. I am young and willing to accept risk. So Jim, what’s your problem?

A: Let me answer your question under two subheadings for simplicity’s sake.


Few who write on the Web fully recognize the responsibility they have to their readers. I would also suggest that this statement applies equally to those in the print and electronic media as well. In contributing to the debate on questions of the day – whether they be economic, political, or both – you need to consider your words with attention and care, especially when someone else’s livelihood is at stake.


My father is Bertram J. Seligman. From simple observation and a study of history, I believe he was the greatest trader that ever lived. Yes, greater than Jesse Livermore who befriended Bert because of his talent.

Bert traded like an old master painted. He used to trade 10% of the NYSE’s volume and ended the day with a 500 share position. He taught me to trade from as far back as I can remember. I sat beside him in the car, in the office, and in the house.

We failed miserably as father and son but succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest imagination as partners. He was also a business man. He financed the first movies in aircraft via “In-flight Motion Pictures, Inc.” He put the first refrigeration device in trucks via “Thermo King Inc.”

A partner of Smith Barney who ran its trading department had inadvertently become a controlling shareholder in a small company and called Bert when the company asked him to lower his position. Bert took on the man’s entire position and control of the company and went on to promote Dr. Land’s new camera. The company eventually became Polaroid and Dr. Land visited my home on several occasions.

Bert financed a company that had invented a feminine hygiene product called Pursettes which was sold in the U.S. through the 1960’s and 1980’s. One of the great fortunes he made was in a metals company called Strategic Materials.

He was also a partner in deals and trading operations with Jesse Livermore, Old man Kennedy and Arthur Cowen. He invented what is today called the NASDAQ.

At my request, he left me totally out of any financial or material inheritance, having given me more than that: the knowledge to spot value in businesses and – more importantly – how to trade for a living.

I was in a trading department when I was 12 years old. At 19, I was an over-the-counter market maker maintaining 35 markets. That is the training and qualification you need to handle huge margin positions.

During the entire gold market [of the late 80s presumably], I never got a margin call – not because I never made a mistake but rather because I margined myself and if a call was pending I liquidated my holdings before the close of that trading day.

I am trained to be a survivor in a battle that takes no prisoners. You may not be. I live markets day and night. I come from the lineage of Jesse Seligman and a famous banking family.

Now you will love this. The Cartel of Common interest [The (Gold) Cartel of Common interest is apparently a term that Jim Sinclair used in the 200-2003 timeframe.] is comprised largely of Seligman firms. Yes, my ancestors founded them all except Merrill. Goldman and Lehman are my family’s. Many of you made fun of me when I first told you those cartel members had met their match. Well, they have. They face the bloodline of their founder and did not know it until know.

Read the book, “Our Crowd,” by Stephen Birmingham and it’s all there. Markets, metals and entrepreneurialism course through my entire body not just my blood. The market is my mistress but compared to the real life equivalent I thrive on the volatility associated with this one.

I am committed totally to markets. I love risk and feel alive only when all is committed. Absolutely nothing else in the material sense interests me. Now that I have played the material game, even that no longer interests me. Money does not interest me. I have given away much more than I have. The game interests me. The game is called building companies and trading markets.

Now I am passing my love of this business on to whoever recognizes the gift and is willing to run with it. My two youngest children have chosen to go their own routes outside the financial sphere and my eldest daughter is in my service in Africa. She is an adventurer in her own right but remains uncomfortable with the intensity I show when the bell rings which is her feminine prerogative.

For the curious, my name has been James E. Sinclair since the day I was born. My mother was Abbey’s Irish Rose.

Martin Armstrong: Staring Into the Abyss

Martin Armstrong’s history has shown his mastery at truly understanding the laws of economics. He has predicted many of the pivotal economic events over the past few decades and has developed a highly sophisticated PI-cycle forecasting system, capable of cutting through the bullshit; becoming more aware of what is really going on in the world of economics.

On July 31, 2010 Armstrong published a newsletter issue titled Staring Into the Abyss in which he detailed his latest predictions for our future.  I have transcribed this newsletter, from its type-written form, so it will be searchable and more useful to the community.

Staring into the Abyss

Original PDF Version

Dow Jones Industrials Monthly Chart

by Martin A. Armstrong

When all is said and done, no matter how we spin the story, we are in the final stages of the collapse of Western Society as we know it. By that I do not mean the sky will fall and people will be running through the streets naked fighting over 2 week old bread. That did not even happen with the fall of Rome, nor with Communism in China and Russia. It is possible that our political ruling class become so desperate that they take the tyranny path to extort every dime from the people hoping to hold on to fleeting moments of past glories. When it is all said and done, we will ask how was this citadel of the earthly powers of man fallen, and laying motionless and prostrate on the ground before all the great empires that have expired before it. The answer will be the same. Debt and fiscal mismanagement. Our greatest problem has been our arrogance and presumption that we have conquered history and the laws of practical economics do not apply.

When empires die, the clash between private and public assets swings into hyperactive mode. Those who see the Dow crumble and fall to 1400 because that is what happened in 1929, fail to ever understand that such an event took place because of deflation that was created by the fact that the dollar rose to extreme levels when everyone else was defaulting in 1931. This is why Roosevelt confiscated gold and devalued the dollar by raising gold from $20 to $35. Money was still something tangible. Today, we are looking at a massive sovereign debt default on a worldwide level.

Under a situation from the European view in 1931, the only thing to survive was tangible assets. That is not only gold, but shares in corporations with tangible value. velocity is always the key for as it declines due to people hoarding money you get deflation. When people are afraid the money will become worthless (paper or debased coinage) they spend it faster before it depreciates and that creates hyperinflation at the other extreme. It all depends on where the confidence resides – with government or within the private sector. We are headed into the later.

I have been working at full speed to get this book complete. I have passed the 300 page mark and I am deeply in debt to those assisting me from outside to get me the reference material I need to ensure this is more than just an opinion, but also authoritative.

Adam Smith in his Wealth of Nations wrote in his final volume about Public Debt and what he asked was why people had ever considered lending money to government was safe or that their debt was somehow quality. I have been working on this issue in great detail. Smith stated that never had any government ever paid off its debt and that was in 1776. He was correct. I am assembling all the defaults that are a subject that no one seems to want to talk about.

Yet, there are stark and monumental conclusions that emerge from such a long list of defaults. Society does not end as the doomsday crowd portray. This seems to be just their desire or opinion. Many seem to wish disaster upon the world for they feel cheated and did not become rich with the crowd. But those sorts of claims are truly the exception. The fall of Rome ended in disaster as people fled cities and the population of Rome itself fell from 1 million to just 30,000. That was what the Romans called suburbium and why we still today call moving out of the city to the suburbs. The flight took place because of the collapse of the Rule of Law and unprecedented taxation that set in motion a migration that eventually lead to feudalism. Continue reading Martin Armstrong: Staring Into the Abyss

Hyperinflation in USA by 2010

Judging by the way they are spending money in Washington DC, you’d think these politicians and central bankers are living in a fantasy world. When you give a government the ability to borrow endless sums of money, you tend to get this kind of disconnect from reality.

What the people don’t seem to realize is the fact that money creation is a hidden tax. When they do this reckless kind of spending; it isn’t magically creating new wealth to add to the system. Instead, it is actually stealing from the people who save their money and lowering the standard of living for the middle/lower class.

The Federal Government is overrun by thieving, self-serving scoundrels who pass ridiculously expensive, unrealistic and unconstitutional legislation. They stand up in front of the population, with a straight face, and tell them the new programs are actually going to save them money; however, history shows that these kinds of claims are rarely true. In fact, government programs usually cost many multiples of the amounts estimated by government bean counters.

The populace of this country is now dominated by left-wing socialists, who fail to understand the economic trouble we are in. All you need to do, in order to spend us further into the ground, is throw the plethos a few crumbs. In the case of “health care reform,” they gave pre-existing condition reform and a few other reforms which were sought by a fair chunk of the population. There is no doubt that reform was needed; but this reform further destabilizes both the health care system and even more pivotally, the economy.

There is a very strong chance that we will have hyperinflation in the United States of America sooner rather than later.

Healthcare Bill to Cause U.S. Hyperinflation By 2015

Source: PRNewswire

FORT LEE, N.J., March 20 /PRNewswire/ — The National Inflation Association – – today issued a warning to all Americans of a potential outbreak of hyperinflation in the U.S. by year 2015 caused primarily by the healthcare bill and rising interest payments on our national debt.

Medicare was created in 1966 at a cost of $3 billion per year and the House Ways and Means Committee estimated in 1966 that in 1990 the cost of Medicare would reach $12 billion per year. Instead, the actual cost of Medicare in 1990 was $107 billion (792% more than what was projected) and today Medicare costs $408 billion annually. In 2003, the White House Office of Management and Budget estimated that the Iraq War would have a total cost of $50 to $60 billion. So far, we have already spent $713 billion on the Iraq War (over 1,000% more than what was projected).

The Congressional Budget Office is estimating that the healthcare bill will cost $940 billion over the next 10 years, but if history is any indication, the actual cost will likely be several trillion dollars. NIA believes the healthcare bill will be the final nail in the coffin of the U.S. economy and will just about guarantee that we will see hyperinflation by the year 2015.

The U.S. government last week reported a record monthly budget deficit for February 2010 of $220.9 billion. Total tax receipts for the month were only $107.5 billion compared to outlays of $328.4 billion. The total U.S. deficit for the first five months of fiscal year 2010 was $651.6 billion, with tax receipts of $800.5 billion and outlays of $1.45 trillion. The deficit was up 10.5% for the first five months of fiscal year 2010 over the same period in fiscal year 2009.

We are now at a point where if the U.S. government taxed Americans 100% of their income, the tax receipts generated would not be enough to balance the budget. Likewise, if the U.S. government cut 100% of its spending including defense, but kept paying Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, we would still have a budget deficit. NIA believes it will be impossible for the U.S. to have a balanced budget ever again.

The U.S. national debt is now $12.67 trillion of which $8.061 trillion is public debt. Due to the Federal Reserve’s artificially low interest rates of 0% to 0.25%, interest payments on our national debt last month were only $16.9 billion, an interest rate of only 2.548% on our public debt. The reason for the spread between our 2.548% interest rate on the public debt and the federal funds rate of 0 to 0.25% is that a portion of our national debt is made up of long-term bonds at higher interest rates.

Our debt ceiling was recently raised to $14.3 trillion, which we are on track to reach in less than a year, sending our public debt up to about $10 trillion. If the Federal Reserve raises the federal funds rate up to just 2% during the next year, NIA believes the interest rate on our public debt could rise to 5% and our annual interest payments will likely rise to $500 million or 23% of projected 2010 tax receipts of $2.165 trillion.

The White House is not projecting for interest payments on the national debt to break the $500 million mark until fiscal year 2014. By then, even if we go by White House projections that the deficit will be cut to $828 billion in 2012, $727 billion in 2013 and $706 billion in 2014, in 2014 we will still be looking at a national debt of over $18.5 trillion with a public portion of around $13.14 trillion. We find it shocking that the White House is projecting an interest rate on our public debt in 2014 of only around 4%.

All of this means that the While House expects the Federal Reserve to leave interest rates at artificially low levels almost indefinitely. However, we know it will be impossible for them to do so without creating a huge outbreak of inflation in the prices of food, energy, clothing, and just about everything else Americans need to live and survive. In order to prevent hyperinflation, we need interest rates to be higher than the rate of inflation.

NIA believes the real rate of U.S. inflation to already be approximately 5%. If the Federal Reserve doesn’t raise the federal funds rate to above 5% in the short-term, in our opinion, an outbreak of double-digit inflation is inevitable. By 2014, it is possible the Federal Reserve will be forced to raise the federal funds rate up to above 10% and the public portion of our national debt could exceed $15 trillion. Therefore, in 2014 we could see the interest payments on our national debt reach $1.5 trillion, about triple what is currently being projected and 43% of the government’s projected tax receipts that year of $3.455 trillion.

Besides the cost of the healthcare bill and rising interest payments on our national debt, another major catalyst for hyperinflation will be social security payments, which adjust to the CPI-index. As the government’s CPI-index rises, so will the social security payments that it owes. This could cause a death-spiral in the U.S. dollar. Inflation is still the last thing on the minds of most Americans, but soon it will be their primary concern.

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About us:

The National Inflation Association is an organization that is dedicated to preparing Americans for hyperinflation. The NIA offers free membership at and provides its members with articles about the economy and inflation, news stories, important charts not shown by the mainstream media; YouTube videos featuring Jim Rogers, Marc Faber, Ron Paul, Peter Schiff, and others; and profiles of gold, silver, and agriculture companies that we believe could prosper in an inflationary environment.
Contact: Gerard Adams, 1-888-99-NIA US (1888-996-4287),
SOURCE National Inflation Association