Archive for category Federal Reserve

Excess Reserves at the Federal Reserve. One of The Biggest Financial Scams In History: A Whopping US$1.794 Trillion

Banks’ excess reserves at FED is one of the biggest scam by the FED and there is a conspiracy of silence as to its actual implications. Economists and financial analysts spewing nonsense to mislead and divert attention to non-issues so that the public is kept in the dark.

The issue of banks’ reserves at the FED and other central banks in the world is a complex subject with much technical jargons that confuses a lot of people. Besides, don’t be surprised that your bank branch manager on Main Street as well as lecturers in finance and economics are also ignorant on this issue. In the case of the latter, this subject is hardly taught in universities. And this is the reason why the scam has not been exposed till today.

But, for those who have a basic idea of bank reserves and how this huge amount of “excess reserves” have been created by the FED, have you asked yourself, “Why have I not spotted this scam earlier?”

Many have been taken in by the propaganda that “excess reserves” is the means to encourage banks to extend credit (give out loans) to desperate borrowers who needed urgent funds to survive and to jump-start their businesses. This propaganda is grounded on the assumption that there is insufficient liquidity in the market.

This assumption is misleading.

What are Excess Reserves

The latest figures obtained from the H.3 release from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the FED) shows excess reserves of about $1.794 trillion (data as of April 17, 2013), This level of excess reserves is unprecedented and is the highest since reserves were legislated as a requirement.

Please read the below paragraph carefully, ponder deeply before proceeding further. Don’t rush. It is important that you understand this simple fact as otherwise you would not appreciate the audacity of this financial scam!

Excess reserves are the surplus of reserves against deposits and certain other liabilities that depository institutions (collectively referred to as “banks”) hold above the statutory amounts that the FED requires in accordance with the law. The general requirement is that banks maintain reserves at least equal to ten percent of liabilities payable on demand. There is now data to show that as much as 50% of these “excess reserves” are held for United States banking offices of foreign banks.

Let me elaborate. Banks receives deposits from their customers which are inter-alia placed in current accounts (checking accounts) or time deposits (fixed deposit accounts) and which the customer can at any time withdraw from the bank. But, banking practice shows that at any one time, only a small fraction of customers would withdraw their deposits in full. So, there was no need for banks to keep all the deposits in their vaults to meet such a demand for payment. Laws were enacted to allow banks to keep in reserve a small amount of monies to meet such demands.

That being the case – if only 10% reserves is all that is required according to banking regulations to meet repayment demands, why should there be such a huge amount of reserves, beyond the legal requirement of 10%?

Keep this question at the back of your mind to understand the huge scam by the FED.

A Slight Digression

In a previous article, I had exposed the fact that when a customer deposits monies in a bank, he is in law a “creditor” (he has loaned the monies to the bank) and the bank is a “debtor” (and he can use the money in any way at his absolute discretion, even to speculate).

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This is because the ownership of the money has been transferred to the bank. The money is no longer the money of the customer. It now belongs to the bank. And as long as the bank is solvent, and there is a demand for repayment of the deposit, the law of contract stipulates that the bank must repay together with the agreed interest that has accrued.

However, if at the time when demand for repayment is made, the bank is bankrupt (i.e. in a liquidation) then the depositor/customer in law is deemed an “unsecured creditor” and must join the queue of all unsecured creditors to share the proceeds of any remaining assets after all secured creditors have been paid. If there are no remaining assets, the depositors get zilch! Ouch!!!!!!

That is why and as illustrated in the bank confiscation of deposits in Cyprus banks acting in concert with central banks can expropriate all customers’ deposits to pay their secured creditors.
I will elaborate on this issue later.

Let’s return to the issue of excess reserves.

How Did The Excess Reserves Balloon To A Massive US$1.794 Trillion? A Simple Summary

The Fed’s overall balance sheet has expanded from about $909 billion before the crisis (i.e. before 2008) to about $3.3 trillion in 2013. Of the $2.4 trillion increase, approximately $1.8 trillion is excess reserves.

Banks were up to their eyeballs in toxic assets (financial sewage) and they are drowning in this cesspool but for the rescue efforts of the FED and other central banks they would have sunk to the bottom of the cesspool.

First Stage of Excess Reserves Scam

From the diagram below, you will see that the FED created trillions of money out of thin air by a digital entry in its books to purchase the toxic assets (financial sewage) in batches from the banks. The objective of QEs is to save the banks and to save the US Treasury from bankruptcy and not Joe Six-Packs. However, in this article we are focusing on the banks.

So, let’s say that the banks HAVE OVER US$10 trillion of financial sewage AND WANT TO DISPOSE THEM WITHOUT AROUSING ANY ALARM.

From the diagram below, you will see the monies flowing from the FED to the banks to purchase the financial sewage. The financial sewage is sucked into the FED’s financial vacuum. However the monies are not channeled to the banks’ branches in Main Street to be loaned out to Joe Six-Packs. It is re-routed back to the FED as “reserves”. When the reserves exceed the minimum 10% requirement, the excess is classified as “excess reserves.”

This is merely a book entry! And adding insult and injury to Joe Six-Packs, interest of 0.25% is paid on the reserves (i.e. giving profits to the banks).

The banks are allowed to survive in spite of their massive frauds and other financial hanky-pankies. The banks are allowed to use digital technology (e.g. high-frequency trading) to corner the market and destroy Joe-Six-Packs. But, Joe-Six-Packs have to suffer the indignity of unemployment, foreclosures, reduced unemployment benefits, survive on food-stamps, and other austerity measures. Additionally, and to prevent any opposition to the financial and ruling elites, Joe-Six-Packs are now under intense surveillance by NSA’s Prism Program that tracks every move, phone calls, emails, etc.
Can you now see the audacity of this scam?

The money flows from the FED to the Too Big To Fail (TBTF) Banksters to Buy Toxic Assets, which is sucked in by the FED’s Financial Vacuum, thereby cleansing the TBTF banks’ balance sheets. The money is then re-routed back to the FED as “excess reserves”.

The FED create monies out of thin air to bail-out the Too Big To Fail banks (TBTF banks) by purchasing their financial sewage (valued at book value as opposed to mark-to-market i.e. instead of paying only 10 cents on the dollar or less, the FED pays dollar for dollar) thereby removing the financial sewage from the balance sheet of the TBTF banks to reflect a “healthier” balance sheet as there are now less financial sewage in the banking system.

And, because the TBTF banks are suffering losses, the FED pays 0.25% interest on the “excess reserves” created so as to generate easy profits for the TBTF banks for doing nothing at all. They are earning profits merely from a book-entry in the FED’s books!

The propaganda which I referred to earlier that such monies were meant to enable the TBTF banks to extend credit is therefore bullshit and a load of financial nonsense. So why are the so-called reputable economists at leading universities such as Harvard, Princeton, Cambridge, Oxford etc. touting this propaganda?

There is so much financial sewage in the banking system, that in law the banks cannot extend further credits to Joe Six-Packs unless and until the balance sheets of the TBTF banks are cleaned up, and the banks properly re-capitalised to continue with their banking business. (See Basel III Accords).

The so-called record profits declared by the TBTF banks and the huge bonuses given out to the bankers and their hire-lings are all window dressing as long as the toxic assets are not marked-to-market and not declared as junk. If such assets are properly declared, the fiat money banking system would be staring at a bottomless black-hole of toxic assets and indebtness!

This is the reason why QE has to continue. The QE programs are to drain the financial sewage from the banking system.

I had earlier stated that banks are required at have at least 10% of the deposits as reserves.

This has compounded the problem. After the Global Financial Tsunami, all the TBTF banks don’t have enough reserves to meet the withdrawal of deposits placed by customers before the crash. The TBTF banks don’t even have the requisite 10% reserves to meet these demand deposits (Old Deposits). That is why this scam was perpetrated by the FED as illustrated in the above diagram.

However, banks are continuing to receive deposits from customers of which 10% of these deposits must be transferred to the FED as reserves.

Under the fractional reserve banking system, the banks are allowed and can loan out the remaining 90% of the deposits as loan by a multiplier of ten – i.e. if new deposits total US$100 million, US$10 million will be transferred to reserves to meet withdrawals as explained above. By fractional reserve banking principles, the bank can loan out (based on a multiplier of ten) US$90 million x 10 = US$900 million. Data shows that customers’ deposits are at an all time high (since 2007), but bank lending is not keeping pace.

Banks are not lending out what they are entitled to do so for two reasons:

1) The banks are using a portion of the “New Deposits” to meet the liability of having to repay the “Old Deposits” in the system. This is because even the excess reserves (created under the QE) are insufficient to meet the demand for repayment of the Old Deposits. So, part of the current New Deposits would be utilised for that purpose. This is the Deposit Ponzi Scheme.

2) Banks are earning no risk profits from interests on “Excess Reserves” at the FED and are only willing to lend to credible borrowers. In the present economic climate, there are just too few credible customers. This is another reason why banks are not lending.

Therefore, and as stated earlier, the problem is not liquidity but rather, it is and always has been the insolvency of the TBTF banks and the financial sewage clogging the entire fiat money banking system.

Food For Thought

“Reserves don’t even factor into my model, that’s not what causes inflation and not how the Fed stimulates the economy. It’s a side effect.” – Former Fed Governor Laurence Meyer, co-founder of Macroeconomic Advisers

Second Stage of Excess Reserves Scam

If and when the economy recovers (maybe 2019??), the FED will repackage the toxic assets into new financial products to be sold to a new generation of stupid investors. Banks are not even required to pay, as the monies are still kept with the FED (book entry). In this final transaction, there will be a reverse-entry in the banks’ books.

Laurence Meyer is saying what many has deliberately ignored and or missed out completely. When QE stops, the FED would not be out on a limp because the monies used to purchase the financial sewage from the TBTF banks are still in the FED’s books.

The Fed need only to have a reverse entry in it’s books after re-packaging the financial sewage INTO SOME NEW FORM OF FINANCIAL PRODUCT OR WHATEVER (which the TBTF banks are adept at doing before the crash and are still continuing to do so) and dumping them back to the banks and another generation of stupid investors at such time when and if the banks have recovered – maybe 2019?

Further, with the bank’s unbridled right (sanctioned by law) to confiscate the customers’ deposits (now commonly referred as “Bail-In”) using the Cyprus template, banks have additional financial resources to continue with the plunder and financial rape of the public. Wake Up, I rest my case.

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Quantitative Quicksand

quicksandAuthored by Allan Meltzer, originally posted at Project Syndicate,

Almost all recoveries from recession have included rapid employment growth – until now. Though advanced-country central banks have pursued expansionary monetary policy in the wake of the global economic crisis in an effort to boost demand, job creation has lagged. As a result, workers, increasingly convinced that they will be unable to find employment for a sustained period, are leaving the labor force in droves.

Nowhere is this phenomenon more pronounced than in the United States, where the Federal Reserve has reduced interest rates to unprecedented levels and, through quantitative easing (QE), augmented bank reserves by purchasing financial assets. But inflation – which rapid money-supply expansion inevitably fuels – has so far remained subdued, at roughly 2%, because banks are not using their swelling reserves to expand credit and increase liquidity. While this is keeping price volatility in check, it is also hindering employment growth.

Rather than changing its approach, however, the Fed has responded to slow employment growth by launching additional rounds of QE. Apparently, its rationale is that if expanding reserves by more than $2 trillion has not produced the desired results, adding $85 billion more monthly – another $1 trillion this year – might do the trick.

America’s central bankers need not search far to find out why QE is not working; evidence is published regularly for anyone to see. During QE2 (from November 2010 to July 2011), the Fed added a total of $557.9 billion to reserves, and excess reserves grew by $546.5 billion. That means that banks circulated only 2% of QE2’s contribution, leaving the rest idle. Similarly, since QE3 was launched last September, total bank reserves have grown by $244.1 billion, and excess reserves by $239.4 billion – meaning that 99% of the funds remain idle.

Given that banks earn 0.25% in interest on their reserve accounts, but pay very low – indeed, near-zero – interest to their depositors, they might choose to leave the money idle, drawing risk-free interest, rather than circulate it through the economy. At current interest rates, banks lend to the government, large stable corporations, and commercial real-estate dealers; they do not extend credit to riskier borrowers, like start-up companies or first-time home buyers. While speculators and bankers profit from the decline in interest rates that accompanies the Fed’s asset purchases, the intended monetary and credit stimulus is absent.

At some point, the Fed must realize that its current policy is not working. But developing a more effective alternative requires an understanding of the US economy’s actual problems – something that the Fed also seems to lack. Indeed, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke often says that his goal is to prevent another Great Depression, even though the Fed addressed that risk effectively in 2008.

The US economy has not responded to the Fed’s monetary expansion, because America’s biggest problems are not liquidity problems. As every economics student learns early on, monetary policy cannot fix problems in the real economy; only policy changes affecting the real economy can. The Fed should relearn that lesson.

One major problem, insufficient investment, is rooted in President Barack Obama’s effort to increase the tax paid by those whose annual incomes exceed $250,000 and, more recently, in his proposal to cap retirement entitlements. While such proposals have been met with opposition, Obama cannot be expected to sign a deficit-reduction bill that does not include more revenue. As long as that revenue’s sources, and the future effects of new regulations, remain uncertain, those whom the policies would most harm – the country’s largest savers – are unlikely to invest.

Likewise, Obama’s health-care reform, the Affordable Care Act, has hampered employment growth, as businesses reduce their hiring and cut workers’ hours to shelter themselves from increased labor costs (estimates of the rise vary). Meanwhile, the faltering European economy and slowing GDP growth in China and elsewhere are impeding export demand.

While subdued liquidity and credit growth are delaying the inflationary impact of the Fed’s determination to expand banks’ already-massive reserves, America cannot escape inflation forever. The reserves that the Fed – and almost all other major central banks – are building will eventually be used.

Debt-Slavery For Dummies

Also posted at zerohedge.com
Submitted by G at Knowmadiclife blog,

Everything the Fed does ultimately leads to less economic activity, less savings and more debt resulting in poverty for Americans, not prosperity.  Debt is not prosperity. Debt is poverty and economic slavery.

Why are you working harder but getting poorer?

Let us analyze the effectiveness of the Fed’s only policy tool of printing money since the onset of the great financial crisis in 2008 by looking at:

  • Economic activity as measured by human action – the real source of all wealth
  • Earnings
  • Savings
  • Debt
  • Poverty
  • Government dependency

 

How can Americans ever be expected to reverse the slide into debt-slavery if real wages are stagnating? Even when using the official government inflation numbers which understate the real level of price inflation (CPI-W until 2009 and CPI-U from 2010) real wages in America have been flat at best since 2008.

Did you notice the mysterious vertical jump in the data series between December 2009 and January 2010? It was here when the government changed the inflation index it uses to calculate real wages from the CPI-W to the CPI-U. This change from one bogus number to a different bogus number resulted in an instant jump in real wages – further distancing the illusion from reality. Why are no mainstream economists telling us about this?

This arbitrary change in the inflation formula used to compute real wages is a great example of how government numbers do not reflect real economic activity. In reality, these numbers are completely meaningless in the real world. These numbers only have value in the illusionary matrix created by the Intellectual Idiots and the central planners for us to live in. It is smoke and mirrors to hide the ongoing failures of the central planners and the Intellectual Idiots advising them.

 

Artificially low interest rates discourages savings and increases spending by causing the cost of daily living to increase. We end up spending more than before for the same goods. Combine this with the government purposely understating the real level of price inflation and voila! – we magically have economic growth – at least the illusion of economic growth. In reality, we are getting poorer just to maintain the same standard of living. Consumption leads to poverty. Poverty leads to dependency on the state – economic slavery – debt slavery.

 

Stagnant wages combined with rising price inflation has forced many Americans to rely on debt just to make ends meet. This is not a sign of economic growth as the MSM and statist economists would have you believe. Most of the time reality is the opposite of what they are telling you. You have to think for yourself to know the truth. When you think for yourself the truth becomes apparent – Americans are going deeper into debt because they are broke not because they are prospering.

 

 

Is this what an economic recovery looks like? Of course not. Do not let the teleprompter reading propagandists on TV fool you. They are simply highly educated in that which is false. You know better than them.

The Fed’s policy of money printing has resulted in less economic activity, no wage growth, less savings, more debt, increased poverty and increased dependency on the government for Americans than when the GFC started! Americans are now economically worse off than they were in 2008.

The recession never ended. The central planners have simply hidden the deteriorating economic reality from us by money printing resulting in nominal price increases – in combination with misleading official unemployment and inflation figures. As long as the money printing continues things will continue to get worse, not better.  This leads us to one curious question: if the Fed knows reality is deteriorating and it’s monetary policies are causing this deterioration to accelerate, what is the endgame the government and the Fed have in store for Americans?

What is the road back to prosperity?

There is an easy solution that takes us away from this road to debt-slavery and puts us back on the road to prosperity. That road to prosperity for Americans is ending the Fed’s interest rate manipulation and letting the free market determine interest rates, or the “price” of money (Dr. Robert Murphy does an excellent explanation of this in this video). In a free market the interest rate is the price of money – it reflects the point where the supply of savings and the demand for debt in the economy balance. As interest rates rise Americans will be incentivized to spend less and to save more. Saving leads to prosperity. Prosperity leads to independence from the state – economic freedom.

The debt will liquidate and the money supply will contract, or deflate. This money supply deflation will allow the value of money to increase rather than decrease. Prices of things we buy will begin to fall rather than increase – making us wealthier. Real wages for Americans will begin to rise again. The American middle class will begin to grow again as it’s earnings is worth more, saves more and earns more on that savings.

As prices fall capital investment that previously was not seen as profitable will become profitable. Capital investment based on real consumer demand will pick up. Because this will be real economic activity based on the real market price of money (interest rate) and real consumer demand the destructive extremes of the Fed created boom-bust business cycle will ease considerably.

To find that road to prosperity we must first begin with reforming the Fed’s toxic policies designed SOLEY to profit the banks, it’s owners and shareholders (here and here and here)

That reformation starts with ending the Fed’s monopoly on the US money industry. Free up the money industry to competing currencies with legislation such as the Free Competition in Currency Act (explained by Professor of Economics at George Mason University Dr. George White here and by Congressman Dr. Ron Paul in this video). Give Americans freedom of choice in currency – examples would be gold and silver back currencies. If the Fed’s debt, our US dollar, is so great for Americans it should have nothing to worry about regarding competition from barbaric relics such as gold and silver, right?

Why are all the Fed’s policies leading towards economic slavery of the American people? Ignoring these policies will not change the inevitable economic outcome resulting from these policies. You can ignore reality but you cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.

Why are YOU allowing this to be done to you?

Do you want to learn more about the Fed and sound money? More resources than you can shake a stick at are available at this Federal Reserve Knowledge Bomb or the Knowmadic Life website – check out the Recommended Reading, Documentaries and Site Links sections. Or you can go for the mother load of information at The Mises Institute at www.mises.org.

From knowledge comes awareness. From awareness comes freedom.

Fed to launch QE3 by buying mortgage securities

fed-accountability2

$40 bln of MBS per-month, will do more unless job market strengthens

Teaser: Read entire article at original site at marketwatch.com

The Fed announced on Thursday [Sept.13, 2012] a third round of asset purchases to drive down interest rates and help lower the unemployment rate

By Greg Robb

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The Federal Reserve, worried that improvement in the unemployment rate has stalled, announced a third, large purchase of bonds on Thursday in an effort to bring down long-term interest rates and spur growth.

The Fed said it would buy mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month.

The Federal Open Market Committee, which ended a two-day meeting on Thursday, said it was concerned that, without the action, “economic growth might not be strong enough to generate sustained improvement in labor market conditions.”Read text of statement.

In addition to bond purchases, the Fed said it intends to keep the benchmark short-term interest rate – the federal funds rate, at nearly zero until mid-2015. The prior guidance on the first rate hike had been late-2014.

The guidance now extends well beyond the term of Fed Chief Ben Bernanke, which ends early in 2014.

The Fed has left the federal funds rate at nearly zero since December 2008.

The committee’s vote was 11 to 1. Jeffrey Lacker, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, dissented, as he has at every meeting this year.

The Fed took the aggressive action out of a growing concern for the economic outlook, especially the anemic labor market.

The Fed said it would continue to monitor incoming information.

“If the outlook for the labor market does not improve substantially, the committee will continue its purchases of agency mortgage-backed securities, undertake additional asset purchases, and employ its other policy tools as appropriate until such improvement is achieved in a context of price stability,” the FOMC said.

Despite holding interest rates at zero for more than three-and-a-half years, and the central bank buying $2.3 trillion in assets, the unemployment rate has been stuck above 8% since early 2009. There are 12.5 million unemployed workers.

Economists and even Fed officials disagree on whether further asset purchases will have any lasting effect on the economy.

(End teaser from original article, read entire article at original site at marketwatch.com)

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Also, a nice addition for everyone’s general understanding – see it at the original article’s page:

A short explanation of QE3.

It’s not a big British cruise ship.

You’ve probably seen countless discussion of will or won’t the Federal Reserve launch QE3 Thursday. But what does that acronym mean?

Quantitative easing is a monetary policy under which a central bank tries to stimulate growth by lowering borrowing costs by buying up debt, thus pushing yields lower. It also puts a lot of money in the hands of people who otherwise had those securities it just bought, so they can go out and buy something else, which has included U.S. stocks.

In the U.S. this has been done through the Fed’s purchases of Treasury and mortgage-related debt (the latter specifically targeting housing finance, with the idea that lower borrowing costs would revive the battered and important housing sector.)

The first two rounds of quantitative easing — QE1 and QE2 — are a big part of what pushed mortgage rates and Treasury yields to record lows recently. So, in theory at least, QE3 would be good for bonds because you have a new, deep-pocketed buyer. (How it plays out in real life is more complicated because of lots of other influences, such as the European debt crisis.)

But it’s a fairly controversial policy, because having a central bank buy up a lot of securities is essentially the same as if it printed money.

That’s seen as potentially creating inflation, and devaluing a country’s currency because they’re making more of it available. Some central banks, such as Germany’s Bundesbank, are strongly against adding extra money to their financial system through special measures like bond buying; critics cite examples like the hyperinflation Germany faced between World War I and World War II as a reason QE is a bad idea.

In general, QE tends to be negative for the dollar, and positive for gold and other hard assets seen as an alternative and hedge against devaluation and inflation.  That’s been the case for gold since 2008. Advocates of QE says it’s a necessary risk to help the U.S. avoid a depression, which would be even worse for the dollar.

The Fed has completed two similar programs already since the Great Recession, so this is seen as the third round – hence called QE3. And Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has made pretty clear he thinks the policy has been helpful to the economy.

Gold Sees Surge as Fed Announces ‘Unlimited QE’

Swiss 20 Franc Helvetia “Vreneli” Gold Coin

Infowars.com
September 13, 2012

After holding steady at above $1,700 this past week, gold’s price per ounce has surged close to $40 in response to the announcement of QE3, which allows the Federal Reserve to buy up “$85 billion in new assets, including $40 billion mortgage-backed securities every month until the end of the year.”

As the Committee announced an “open-ended,” or “unlimited QE,” the fed will decide when enough is enough after the Federal Open Market Committee decides the economy is back on track: “To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee expects that a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy will remain appropriate for a considerable time after the economic recovery strengthens.”

As Reuters notes, gold has already made a 2 per cent gain this month in addition to the 5 per cent leap it saw in August.

As predicted, the Fed’s decision to buy up large-scale bonds has led to further deflation of the already sinking US dollar, urging both silver and gold prices to rise, with the latter rallying near $1,800.

Ed Meir, formerly of MF Global and now of INTL FCStone, told Reuters the Fed’s decision should be seen as unsettling: “Although previous rounds of QE have helped kick-start some growth in the U.S., the fact that we are once again at the ‘money trough’ is not very reassuring.”

Congressman Ron Paul released a statement earlier today addressing the Fed’s decision:

“No one is surprised by the Fed’s action today to inject even more money into the economy through additional asset purchases. The Fed’s only solution for every problem is to print more money and provide more liquidity. Mr. Bernanke and Fed governors appear not to understand that our current economic malaise resulted directly because of the excessive credit the Fed already pumped into the system.

“For all of its vaunted policy tools, the Fed now finds itself repeating the same basic action over and over in an attempt to prime the economy with more debt and credit. But this latest decision to provide more quantitative easing will only prolong our economic stagnation, corrupt market signals, and encourage even more misallocation and malinvestment of resources. Rather than stimulating a real recovery by focusing on a strong dollar and market interest rates, the Fed’s announcement today shows a disastrous detachment from reality on the part of our central bank. Any further quantitative easing from the Fed, in whatever form, will only make our next economic crash that much more serious.”

How Long Will The Dollar Remain The World’s Reserve Currency?

Sinkingdollar

This article was written by Ron Paul and originally published at Paul.House.Gov

We frequently hear the financial press refer to the U.S. dollar as the “world’s reserve currency,” implying that our dollar will always retain its value in an ever shifting world economy.  But this is a dangerous and mistaken assumption.

Since August 15, 1971, when President Nixon closed the gold window and refused to pay out any of our remaining 280 million ounces of gold, the U.S. dollar has operated as a pure fiat currency.  This means the dollar became an article of faith in the continued stability and might of the U.S. government.

In essence, we declared our insolvency in 1971.   Everyone recognized some other monetary system had to be devised in order to bring stability to the markets.

Amazingly, a new system was devised which allowed the U.S. to operate the printing presses for the world reserve currency with no restraints placed on it– not even a pretense of gold convertibility! Realizing the world was embarking on something new and mind-boggling, elite money managers, with especially strong support from U.S. authorities, struck an agreement with OPEC in the 1970s to price oil in U.S. dollars exclusively for all worldwide transactions. This gave the dollar a special place among world currencies and in essence backed the dollar with oil.

In return, the U.S. promised to protect the various oil-rich kingdoms in the Persian Gulf against threat of invasion or domestic coup. This arrangement helped ignite radical Islamic movements among those who resented our influence in the region. The arrangement also gave the dollar artificial strength, with tremendous financial benefits for the United States. It allowed us to export our monetary inflation by buying oil and other goods at a great discount as the dollar flourished.

In 2003, however, Iran began pricing its oil exports in Euro for Asian and European buyers.  The Iranian government also opened an oil bourse in 2008 on the island of Kish in the Persian Gulf for the express purpose of trading oil in Euro and other currencies. In 2009 Iran completely ceased any oil transactions in U.S. dollars.  These actions by the second largest OPEC oil producer pose a direct threat to the continued status of our dollar as the world’s reserve currency, a threat which partially explains our ongoing hostility toward Tehran.

While the erosion of our petrodollar agreement with OPEC certainly threatens the dollar’s status in the Middle East, an even larger threat resides in the Far East.  Our greatest benefactors for the last twenty years– Asian central banks– have lost their appetite for holding U.S. dollars.  China, Japan, and Asia in general have been happy to hold U.S. debt instruments in recent decades, but they will not prop up our spending habits forever.  Foreign central banks understand that American leaders do not have the discipline to maintain a stable currency.

If we act now to replace the fiat system with a stable dollar backed by precious metals or commodities, the dollar can regain its status as the safest store of value among all government currencies.  If not, the rest of the world will abandon the dollar as the global reserve currency.

Both Congress and American consumers will then find borrowing a dramatically more expensive proposition. Remember, our entire consumption economy is based on the willingness of foreigners to hold U.S. debt.  We face a reordering of the entire world economy if the federal government cannot print, borrow, and spend money at a rate that satisfies its endless appetite for deficit spending.

End the Fed! Whether Congress Wants us to or Not!

Posted on tenthamendmentcenter.com by 

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 12:31 — 11.5MB)

Nullify the FedToday was a big day for supporters of Sound Money – as Ron Paul’s Audit the Fed Bill passed the House 326-99. But, it still needs to get through a very hostile Senate, where it will likely never see the light of day. So in closing tonight, a new approach – Ending the Fed. Whether Congress Wants us to or Not!

Since its inception, the Federal Reserve’s monetary policies have led to a decline of over 95% in the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar. As a result, there have been several attempts to reduce or even eliminate the Federal Reserve’s powers.

Louis T. McFadden led efforts in the 1930s. Wright Patman pressed again in the 1970s. Henry Gonzalez got things moving in the 1990s. And, Ron Paul has led the charge for more than twenty years now. In nearly eighty years, though, none of these efforts have succeeded.

And, even with House passage of Ron Paul’s Audit the Fed bill earlier today, it’s highly unlikely that the imperial Senate would ever allow light to be shed on the actions of its financial backer. Resistance to these efforts is seriously entrenched.

But yet, a large number of people across the political spectrum want to know what goes on behind the Fed’s curtain. And with calls to audit the federal reserve reaching a fevered pitch, it’s a good time to ask the basic question – is this even a worthy effort?

Not to say that you should want a secret national bank, but rather – is this kind of activism the best place for you to put your energy…and hope? Will lobbying the Senate get Harry Reid to allow a vote? Will calling Mitch McConnell change anything? Will Barack Obama or Mitt Romney allow such a bill to pass without their veto?

I believe the answer to all these questions is a big, fat NO.

PULLING THE RUG OUT

On the other hand, in contrast to attempts to put a stop to the Fed at the national level, a paper that William Greene presented at the Mises Institute’s “Austrian Scholars Conference” proposes an alternative approach to ending the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money. The “Constitutional Tender Act” is a bill template that can be introduced in every State legislature in the nation. Passage would return each of them to the Constitution’s “legal tender” provisions of Article I, Section 10:

“No State Shall…make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts”

Such a tactic would achieve the desired goal of abolishing the Federal Reserve system by attacking it from the bottom up – pulling the rug out from under it by working to make its functions irrelevant at the State and local level.

Under the Constitutional Tender Act, the State would be required to use only gold and silver coins – or their equivalents, such as checks or electronic transfers – for payments of any debt owed by or to the State. This includes things like taxes, fees, contract payments, and the like.

All such payments would be required to be denominated in legal tender gold and silver U.S. coins, including Gold Eagles, Silver Eagles, and pre-1965 90% silver coins. The market would then require that all State-chartered banks – as well as any other bank acting as a depository for State funds – offer accounts denominated in those types of gold and silver coins, and to keep such accounts segregated from other types of accounts such as Federal Reserve Notes.

But that’s not all! Not only would the use of Federal Reserve Notes by the State be made illegal; the use of legal tender U.S. gold and silver coins would be encouraged amongst the general population too – by eliminating sanctions against its use.

HOW IT PLAYS OUT

Passage of the Constitutional Tender Act would introduce currency competition with Federal Reserve Notes by outlawing their use in transactions with the State. Ordinary people, being required to pay their State taxes in gold and silver coins, would find it necessary to conduct some transactions with metal – including the use of checks and debit cards based on bank accounts denominated in such coins

All businesses operating within the State, being required to pay their State sales taxes and license fees in gold and silver coins, would need to do the same. Most importantly, though, in order for businesses to acquire the amount of gold and silver needed, they find it necessary to offer their goods and services in “dual currency” denominations, where customers could choose to pay in Federal Reserve Notes or gold and silver coins.

This kind of “bottom up” approach to ending the Fed will have a greater likelihood of success than the “top-down” approaches we’ve seen over the years for two major reasons:

1. The top-down approach has been an utter failure. While it has succeeded greatly in an educational role, it has simply not worked tactically.

2. It’s decentralized. Political opposition won’t be as strong or well-funded on a state level. Strategies and tactics can be adapted much quicker. And, most importantly, success in one state can be a far greater educational tool – and a source of courage – for people of a neighboring state, than endless calls to a Congress which almost never does what’s right.

Support Sound Money with a TAC Medallion!

BYE BYE

Greene tells us that use of sound money would drive further use. He writes:

“Over time, as residents of the State use both Federal Reserve Notes and silver and gold coins, the fact that the coins hold their value more than Federal Reserve Notes do will lead to a “reverse Gresham’s Law” effect, where good money (gold and silver coins) will drive out bad money (Federal Reserve Notes). As this happens, a cascade of events can begin to occur, including the flow of real wealth toward the State’s treasury, an influx of banking business from outside of the State – as people in other States carry out their desire to bank with sound money – and an eventual outcry against the use of Federal Reserve Notes for any transactions.”

Once things get to that point, Federal Reserve notes would become largely unwanted and irrelevant for ordinary people. Nullifying the Fed on a state by state level is what will get us there.

Without a single act of Congress, the Federal Reserve system can be brought to its knees.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Get the model legislation, the Constitutional Tender Act, HERE. Read William Green’s full Scholar’s Conference paper HERE.

Michael Boldin [send him email] is the founder of the Tenth Amendment Center. He was raised in Milwaukee, WI, and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. Follow him on twitter - @michaelboldin, on LinkedIn, and onFacebook.

Collapse At Hand

Paul Craig Roberts
Infowars.com
June 6, 2012

Ever since the beginning of the financial crisis and quantitative easing, the question has been before us: How can the Federal Reserve maintain zero interest rates for banks and negative real interest rates for savers and bond holders when the US government is adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt every year via its budget deficits? Not long ago the Fed announced that it was going to continue this policy for another 2 or 3 years. Indeed, the Fed is locked into the policy. Without the artificially low interest rates, the debt service on the national debt would be so large that it would raise questions about the US Treasury’s credit rating and the viability of the dollar, and the trillions of dollars in Interest Rate Swaps and other derivatives would come unglued.

In other words, financial deregulation leading to Wall Street’s gambles, the US government’s decision to bail out the banks and to keep them afloat, and the Federal Reserve’s zero interest rate policy have put the economic future of the US and its currency in an untenable and dangerous position. It will not be possible to continue to flood the bond markets with $1.5 trillion in new issues each year when the interest rate on the bonds is less than the rate of inflation. Everyone who purchases a Treasury bond is purchasing a depreciating asset. Moreover, the capital risk of investing in Treasuries is very high. The low interest rate means that the price paid for the bond is very high. A rise in interest rates, which must come sooner or later, will collapse the price of the bonds and inflict capital losses on bond holders, both domestic and foreign.

The question is: when is sooner or later? The purpose of this article is to examine that question.

Let us begin by answering the question: how has such an untenable policy managed to last this long?

A number of factors are contributing to the stability of the dollar and the bond market. A very important factor is the situation in Europe. There are real problems there as well, and the financial press keeps our focus on Greece, Europe, and the euro. Will Greece exit the European Union or be kicked out? Will the sovereign debt problem spread to Spain, Italy, and essentially everywhere except for Germany and the Netherlands?

Read the rest of the original article on Infowars

Economic Alert: If You’re Not Worried Yet…You Should Be

white shark kayak3By Brandon Smith

For the past four years I have been covering the progression of the global economic crisis with an emphasis on the debilitating effects it has had on the American financial system.  Only once before have I ever issued an economic alert, and this was at the onset of the very first credit downgrade in U.S. history by S&P.  I do not take the word “alert” lightly.  Since 2008 we have seen a cycle of events that have severely weakened our country’s foundation, but each event has then been followed by a lull, sometimes 4 to 6 months at a stretch, which seems to disarm the public, drawing them back into apathy and complacency.  The calm moments before each passing storm give Americans a false sense of hope that our capsized fiscal vessel will somehow right itself if we just hold on a little longer…

I don’t have to tell most people within the Liberty Movement that this is not going to happen.  Unfortunately, there are many out there who do not share our awareness of the situation.   Debt implosions and currency devaluation NEVER simply “fade away”; they are always followed by extreme social and political strife that tends to sully the doorsteps of almost every individual and family.  The notion that we can coast through such a tempest unscathed is an insane idea, filled with a dangerous potential for sour regrets.

There are some people who also believe that the private Federal Reserve with the Treasury in tow has the ability to prolong the worst symptoms of the collapse indefinitely, or at least, until they have long since kicked the bucket and don’t have to worry about it anymore (the ‘pay-it forward to our grandkids’ crowd) .  I can say with 100% certainty that most of us will live to see the climax of the breakdown, and that this breakdown is about to enter a more precarious state before the end of this year.  You can only stretch a sun-boiled rubber band so far before it snaps completely, and America’s financial elasticity has long been melted away.

A pummeling hailstorm of news items and international developments have made the first half of 2012 almost impossible to track and analyze.  The frequency at which negative information has surfaced is almost dizzying.  However, a pattern and a recognizable motion are beginning to take shape, and, I believe, a loose timeline is beginning to form.

At the end of January, I covered the incredible nosedive of the Baltic Dry Index (a measure of global shipping rates that signals a fall in global demand) to historic lows.  I pointed out the tendency of stocks and the general economy to crash around 8 months (sometimes a little longer) after the BDI makes such a dramatic downturn.  Mainstream analysts, of course, attributed the fall to an “overproduction of ships”, which is the same exact excuse they used when the BDI collapsed back in 2008 just before the derivatives bubble burst.  It would seem that the cable TV talking heads were wrong yet again, as the international market facade quickly evaporates right in line with the BDI’s almost prophetic knack for calling an economic derailment in advance.

Here are some of the most important reasons why every American should be prepared for much harder days, especially before the end of 2012:

The European Union Is Officially Dead In The Water

Stick a fork in er’, the EU is done!  We are talking about full scale dismantlement, likely followed by a reformation of core nations and multiple collapse scenarios of peripheral countries.  The writing is all over the wall in the wake of the latest election results in Greece and France, where, as alternative researchers have been predicting for some time, the battle between the government spending crowd and proponents of austerity has reached a fever pitch.

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The Greeks and the French are royally pissed over draconian cuts in public programs and the destruction of pensions which have been a mainstay of their economies for quite some time.  They are also furious over being sold off like collateral to the IMF and World Bank.  Rightly so.  Like the American taxpayer, the taxpayers of floundering EU nations are wrongly being held responsible for the financial mismanagement and fraud of their governments and global banks which have remained untouched and unpunished for their trespasses.  The problem is, the voters of both countries are signing on to the socialist/quasi-communist bandwagon in response.  In Greece, the Left Coalition Party, a splinter group of the traditional communist party, has now taken a primary position of power:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/07/us-greece-idUSBRE8440DG20120507

In France, voters have elected socialist Francois Hollande (a Bilderberg attendee), whose latest promise is to spend France into recovery through his “pro-growth agenda”:

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/french-president-elect-hollande-won-t-difficult-obama-195617064.html

I have no doubt that the elections of the EU are as manipulated by elitists as they are here in the U.S., and I’m sure false paradigms abound.  Have Europeans forgotten that it was overt government spending that set them on the path to calamity in the first place?  Or, are they like Americans; just desperate for any change in the ranks of leadership?  One would think that they would take note of the problems here in our country and realize that electing a socialist to replace another socialist is no way out of economic hardship.

Former officials like Nicolas Sarkozy may have claimed to be distanced from the socialist ideal, but, as with all globalist puppets, their actions did not match their rhetoric, and they have always supported policies of centralization and big government.  The French and the Greeks have essentially replaced closet collectivists with outspoken collectivists, and will see NO relief from the crisis in the Euro-zone as a result of the political reordering.  In fact, the stage has now been set for a volatile chain of dominos.  Germany, which is the only economy left holding the EU together, has been unyielding on austerity cuts.  A conflict between France and Germany is now inevitable.  Neither will compromise their position, and I can see no other eventual result than a reexamination and perhaps abandonment of the EU charter.

How does this affect America?  Being that international banks and corporations have forced our countries into interdependency through the engineered chicanery of globalization, any collapse in Europe is going to strike hard around the world, but the worst will hit the U.S. and China.  Which is probably why China is disengaging trade away from the U.S. and the EU and focusing on other developing nations:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/08/us-china-economy-trade-idUSBRE84702N20120508

If you thought the Greek rollercoaster was a pain in the neck for investment markets, just wait until the whole of the EU is in a shambles!

Spain is next in line, with a 25% official unemployment rate and a massive black market economy forming.  As I have been saying for years now, when governments disrupt the financial survival of the people, they WILL form their own alternatives, including black markets and barter markets.  It is about survival.  The Spanish government does not care much for these alternatives, though, and has now banned cash transactions over 2500 euros in a futile attempt to squeeze taxes out of the populace through digitally tracked payment methods:

http://thedailybell.com/3814/Spain-Bans-Cash

Another major concern for Americans is the fact that Europeans are inching towards an abandonment of the dollar.  Francois Hollande has openly called for an end to the dollar’s world reserve status, and with a majority backing of the French people, he could easily make this happen, at least where France is concerned.  All it takes is for a few key countries to publically and completely drop the Greenback and the dollar’s reputation as a safe haven investment will be quashed.  This could very well happen before 2012 is over.

QE3 Is The End

Here is the bottom line; U.S. growth is a theater of shadows.  There has been no progress, no recovery, only the misrepresentation of statistics.  Millions of Americans have fallen off unemployment rolls because they have been jobless for too long, which lowers the unemployment rate, but does not change the fact that they are still without work.  Durable goods orders are dropping like an avalanche.  U.S. credit has been lowered yet again by ratings agency Egan-Jones.  With China making bilateral trade deals in numerous countries on the condition that the dollar be dropped as the primary purchasing mechanism, and with the EU turning to economic mulch, the currency’s safety is nonexistent.  Traditional investors who cling to the idea that a falling Euro spells dollar strength will be sorely disappointed when the currency is suddenly being rejected in international currency markets.

The Federal Reserve has already stated that any signs of “relapse” into recession (the recession that we never left) will be met with all options on the table, including QE3:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/12/us-usa-fed-idUSBRE83B1KD20120412

I believe that QE3 will probably be announced this year (due in large part to trauma from Europe), and, that this will trigger a mass movement by foreign nations to drop the dollar as the world reserve.  QE3 will be the straw that broke the camel.  How exactly this will play out socially and politically, I do not know (I could take a good guess though).  But, the technical results are predictable.  The Fed will respond to the lack of treasury purchases by ramping up fiat printing in order to cover the ever increasing costs of the government machine.  The Greenback will immediately lose a large portion of its value, at least in terms of imported goods, causing inflation in prices.  Oil and energy prices will skyrocket if OPEC follows suit (which they will, though the Saudis may still honor dollars for a time).  Doing any traditional business will become nearly impossible, and price inflation will dominate the lives and the minds of average unprepared citizens.

The amount of time that it will take for these difficulties to unfold is also not clear.  We are operating in uncharted territory, and dealing with a collapse scenario on a truly planetary scale.  My best advice is to assume that the avalanche will move fast.

While markets in our country have seen only mild disruptions so far this year, their solidity is predicated on a host of props and costume pieces, any one of which could pull the rug out from under America’s suspension of disbelief if it strays but a little from the illusion.  As long as the dollar holds, stocks can be infused with bailout juice through major banks.  So can major companies and even desperate state governments on the verge of bankruptcy.  The Dow will remain relatively friendly, and day traders and the public will remain happy.  As soon as the dollar comes into question, all bets are off…

Does This Mean Doom, Or Just Another Bad Day?

The real beginning of today’s collapse is tied to the events of 2008.  The pace of it has been deceptive, but also, in a way, it is a gift.  Over the past four years, I have personally seen the awakening of thousands of people that may have never had the chance if the system had gone into full spectrum breakdown right away.  The question now is, how much longer can the U.S. wobble along on one wheel?  In my view, and from the evidence I see in markets at the moment, not much longer.

It is hard to set aside any expectations that the next leg down will be easy to digest for the populace.  The reality of our predicament is starting to hit home.  All the tax return checks have been spent.  The credit cards have been maxed.  The new cars have been sold off and traded in for ghetto-mobiles.  The good jobs have been replaced with Taco Bell slavery.  A trip to see The Avengers is now the family vacation.  And, the distractions of reality TV just aren’t buttering our bread anymore.  It’s the little things at first that really signal the financial mood of a society, as well as reveal the more vital and looming issues just over the horizon.

All indicators suggest that this year will be unlike any other before.  In 2008, we saw the first trigger events for the collapse.  In 2008/2009, we saw the creation of the bailout culture, setting the stage for inflation and dollar disintegration.  In 2010, we saw the first bilateral trade deal cutting out the dollar between China and Russia, which is now the template for trade deals all over the globe.  In 2011, we saw the first downgrade of the U.S. credit rating and the crisis in the EU become epidemic.  In 2012, I see not just another difficulty to add to the mountain, but a culmination of all these detriments to produce something entirely new; a vast and subversive realignment forcing many of us to take a more aggressive stance in the fight for an economically and socially free America.

Financial disasters have always been a convenient catalyst for a host of even more frightening obstacles, including civil unrest, and blatant totalitarianism.  This is the cusp.  It is one of those moments that people of later generations read about in awe, and sometimes horror.  The “doom” is not in the event, but in the response.  What we make of the days approaching determines the darkness that they cast upon the future.  It is a test.  It is not something to be dreaded.  It is something to be seized upon, and dealt with, as great men and women before us have done.  At the very least, we know that it is coming.  That, in itself, could well seal our success…

You can contact Brandon Smith atbrandon@alt-market.com

Alt-Market is an organization designed to help you find like-minded activists and preppers in your local area so that you can network and construct communities for mutual aid and defense.  Join Alt-Market.com today and learn what it means to step away from the system and build something better.

To contribute to the growth of the Safe Haven Project, and to help us help others in relocating, or to support the creation of barter networks across the country, visit our donate page here:

http://www.alt-market.com/donate

Do you have enough Non-GMO seeds in case of economic collapse?  Seeds are the OTHER alternative currency, and if you aren’t stocked, then you aren’t prepared.  To buy top quality non-GMO seeds at a special 10% discount, visit Humble Seed, and use the code Alt10

NOTE FROM STEWART RHODES, FOUNDER OF OATH KEEPERS:

Brandon has been proven very correct and prescient with his writings over the last two years.  Much of what he predicted has come to pass, such as the ongoing decoupling from the dollar by China and Russia, and the now forming ASEAN trading block.   Oath Keepers, it is now far past time for you to get your bullets, beans, and band-aids in order – your preparedness.  Do you have food storage?   Do you have at least a month worth of the canned and box goods you use all the time anyway?   If not, why not?  Start buying some extra each time you go to the store.  Build up that extra supply till you have a week worth, then two, then three, and so on.

Do you have a stack of 50 lb bags of rice and 50lb bags of beans?  That is super-cheap food insurance that no one, not one of you, has any excuse for not having.  A 50 lb bag of rice or beans can be had for under $22.00.  Want to buy it even cheaper, go to a Mormon food cannery (where you can also buy powdered milk, wheat, and bulk salt and sugar).   Even if you are on a tight budget, get some bags of rice and beans.   Together, they make a meal, and they are simple to prepare. All you need is water and heat, and a pot.   Surely you should store more complete foods, and a variety of other foods, but those bags of rice and beans will help keep you and yours alive.   You have no reason to not have them, so get them.

In the economic collapses of Wiemar Germany, Hungary, and Austria in the 1920s, people would have been thrilled to have 50 lbs of rice, beans, wheat, anything at all to eat.  City people took suit-cases full of the family silver and jewelry out to the country and traded them for one bag of grain or potatoes.   They traded grand pianos for a bit of food.

We need to face the fact that the dollar cannot be saved, and it will die, just like the German Mark in the 20s, and just like the Argentinian Peso in 2001.  In both examples, people saw the value of their paper currencies drop by 75% in just a couple of days when the rest of the world stopped accepting their currency and began to dump it.  Once the rest of the world stops taking dollars, and they instead dump the dollar on the market, you will see the same thing happen here.   When that happens, many people, especially those on a fixed income, will not be able to afford food even if it is still available.   And then, it is also very possible that the food will not be available at any price.  This happened in Germany, Hungary, and Austria in the 1920s.  The farmers no longer wanted to send their produce into the cities for worthless Marks, and instead held onto their crops and consumed them or traded among themselves.  The cities were left with no food, and that is when you saw desperate city people hauling their family treasures out to the country to trade for a bag of anything edible.

That is what is coming here.   It is time to get our houses in order, and then get our neighborhoods and local communities prepared.   Put at least half of your effort on getting yourself and your family prepared with food, water purification and water storage, medical supplies, and fuel you will need when the stores are empty.   Build up to three months of canned and boxed goods, and also build up your bulk, cheap foods like wheat, rice, beans, powdered milk, sugar, salt, oils, and all you will need to cook with those basics.  Grow a garden.  Keep chickens.  Get ready to feed yourself.  A year supply of basics should be your goal, but anything is better than what most Americans have now – which is a week’s worth at most.    Start now, and build it up.   And make sure you have a rifle and ammo to feed it too.   Even a dirt-cheap Mosin Nagant or an old .303 Enfield is better than no rifle.  Buy what you can afford.  Make sure every adult has one.  And then get something better when you can.  Pick up a copy of Boston’s Gun Bible and follow his excellent advice (he has recommended firearms for every budget, from dirt poor to middle-class, to well off).     Get your means of self defense now and then get some training.  An Appleseed Shoot is a good start.

Please take this seriously, and take another good look at our recommended priorities from our Operation Sleeping Giant (which will be getting a much needed facelift and expansion soon).  They are listed in order of priority and necessity.  Food comes first.  Security a close second.  Then sound money and independent local economies.   Then working for state independence and sovereignty.  They are all important, but that is our recommended order of priority:

  1. Food, fuel, emergency medical, and communications security and independence (and general preparedness) – as individuals, within local veterans organization chapters, neighborhood mutual aid societies, churches, co-ops, farmers markets, and at the town, county and state levels. As a start, follow the advice on http://www.providentliving.org/ (you don’t need to be LDS to learn from their experience in food storage and preparedness, or to use their canning facilities). Grow gardens. Support your local farmers. Fight any regulation that would limit your ability to grow your own food. Why is food first? Because it is the hardest to improvise, and it is a great weakness of modern man, who, with few exceptions, no longer stores up for bad times. Ditto for fuel and medical supplies. And when it comes to communications, we must have in place an alternative system, such as HAM Radio, so if/when the internet comes down (or is taken down) we can still communicate (for example, if each VFW Hall had a HAM Radio, and portable radios too, that would provide a state-wide network).
  2. Physical security and Independence – again as individuals, neighborhoods, veterans organization chapters, towns, counties and states, to include forming neighborhood watches; mutual aid associations; a volunteer sheriff’s posse (staffed by self-supplied volunteers but under direct command of the sheriff); and county militias established by county ordinances but staffed by self-supplied and self-funded volunteers (as is done in volunteer fire departments all over this nation); state defense forces under command of the governor; and ultimately, a true state militia, established by state statute, capable of “repelling invasions” (using the research and model bills of Dr. Edwin Vieira). As for training, a great first step for the newbie or for those who are rusty would be to attend the Project Appleseed rifle instruction program, offered for a pittance in every state by traveling volunteer instructors. See www.appleseedinfo.org for details.
  3. Economic security and independence – as individuals and communities, including barter networks, use of silver and gold as real money, and sound money bills at the county and state levels (as Utah just passed). This would also include each of us having a “liberty trade” – something you can do even in a very localized, back-to-basics economy, and we must support and build resilient local economies that can weather hard times. We must have an alternative to the fiat money system in place when it collapses, so we can resist what the globalists have in store for us next. See www.alt-market.com for details.
  4. State sovereignty and nullification of unconstitutional federal laws and actions. Veterans must support only sheriffs, local and state legislators, and governors who have the knowledge, courage, and integrity to keep their oaths. To vote for an oath breaker, is to become an oath breaker. We must enforce the bounds of the Constitution and defend the powers reserved to the states and to the people (see the Tenth Amendment) by supporting state sovereignty resolutions and nullification of unconstitutional laws. See http://www.tenthamendmentcenter.com/. Likewise, we must defend the inherit power of the jury to judge the law as well as the facts and to acquit even in the face of the law (jury nullification). See www.fija.org. And eventually we must kick the bums out of DC and replace them with citizen legislators, as GOOOH recommends. See http://goooh.com/

Remember, what we do now, in whatever time we have left, will be critical. We must focus on solutions, not just diagnoses of the problems. And the solution is to restore our Republic from the bottom up, strengthening our communities at the neighborhood, town, county and state levels as we go. None of us has a crystal ball. We don’t know exactly at what point the collapse will come. But when it comes we will certainly be in a stronger position than we are now, if we start from the bottom up, rather than putting all of our focus on Washington DC, as people tend to do.

Maybe we will only have time to get our neighborhoods ready. Maybe we will be fortunate enough to be squared away at the county level when the collapse comes. Or maybe we will be fortunate enough to have time to get it done all the way up to the state level. Certainly, we can work on all levels at the same time, but it is best to focus most of our energy on ourselves and our local communities, and work our way up from there. And we can do it in both the private and public sphere. We shouldn’t put all our eggs in any one basket. Let’s build up public institutions, but also while doing so, let’s take private action as individuals, family, friends, and neighbors.

Once again, we should be doing all of the above anyway, because that’s what it means to be a free people in free, sovereign states, in a constitutional republic, but it is especially crucial as we face the prospects of a coming economic collapse. Time is short, so please help us spread the message to all veterans and all Americans, and turn the tide.   Become a leader in your community.   Take personal responsibility for waking up veterans in your community, and also your neighbors, members of your church, etc.  and above all, make sure you and your family are squared away, because if you are unprepared, you will not be much help to anyone else.

For the Republic,

Stewart Rhodes

Time To Accumulate Gold And Silver

This article was written by Jeff Clark and originally published at The Market Oracle

Do you own enough gold and silver for what lies ahead?

If 10% of your total investable assets (i.e., excluding equity in your primary residence) aren’t held in various forms of gold and silver, we at Casey Research think your portfolio is at risk.

After speaking at the Cambridge House conference last month and talking with many attendees, I came away convinced that most investors fall into one of two categories: those that hold an abundance of gold and silver (which tends to be physical forms only), and those with little or none. While both groups need to diversify, I’m a little more concerned about the second group. Here’s why.

Regardless of what you think will happen over the remainder of this decade, one thing seems virtually certain: the value of paper money will be affected, perhaps dramatically. Even if the economy slips into deflation, the deflation wouldn’t last long. A panicked Fed would print to the max and set off a wild rise in prices. This is why we’re convinced currency dilution will not only continue but accelerate.

Let’s take a look at what’s happened so far with the value of our currency vs. gold, after accounting for the loss in purchasing power.

Both the US and Canadian dollar, after adjusting for their respective CPIs, have lost about a quarter of their purchasing power just since 2000. Concurrently, gold has increased dramatically in buying power, far outpacing the effects of inflation.

This is the core reason why I’m convinced we should hold our savings in gold and silver instead of dollars. Let’s take a brief look at how gold and gold stocks might perform if the economy takes a turn for the worse…

What If We Enter a Recession or Depression?

Mayan prophecies aside, many of our panelists last month, including most of the senior Casey staff, believe economic, monetary, and fiscal pressures could come to a head this year. The massive build-up of global debt, continued reckless deficit spending, and the lack of sound political leadership to reverse either trend point to a potentially ugly tipping point. What happens to our investments if we enter another recession or – gulp – a depression?

Here’s an updated snapshot of the gold price during each recession since 1955.

Clearly, one should not assume that gold will perform poorly during a recession. Even in the crash of 2008, gold still ended the year with a 5% gain. And with the amount of currency dilution we’ve undergone since that time, it seems more likely gold will rise in any economic contraction than fall. Indeed, if the response of government to a recession is more money printing, precious metals will be a critical asset to have in your possession.

Even if the gold price ends up flat or down this year, the CPI won’t. Gold’s enduring purchasing power is why we hold the metal.

How about gold stocks?

In spite of the debilitating 1970s that suffered from stagflation, price controls, three recessions, and the Vietnam war, gold producers rose over 600% while the S&P was basically flat. And that includes a roughly 65% fire-sale correction, much like we saw in 2008. To be clear, gold and silver stocks won’t be immune to sell-offs if a recession or worse temporarily clobbers our industry. But in the end, we’re convinced they will prevail.

Don’t lose patience with, or confidence in, your gold holdings. What happens to the price over any short period of time is only one chapter in the book of this bull market, and we think you’ll be happy by the time that last chapter is written.