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

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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.

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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

Why The Market Is Slowly Dying

Original article submitted by Tyler Durden on Zero Hedge here.

Three years ago, when virtually nobody had yet heard of High Frequency Trading, Zero Hedge wrote “The Incredibly Shrinking Market Liquidity, Or The Upcoming Black Swan Of Black Swans” in which we asked “what happens in a world where the very core of the capital markets system is gradually deleveraging to a point where maintaining a liquid and orderly market becomes impossible: large swings on low volume, massive bid-offer spreads, huge trading costs, inability to clear and numerous failed trades?” Subsequent to this, our observation was proved right on both an acute (the May 6, 2010 Flash Crash), and chronic (the nearly 50% collapse in average daily volumes since the 2008 top) secular basis. And while we are not happy to have been proven correct in this particular forecast, as it ultimately means the days of equity capital markets in their current configuration are numbered, we now note that none other than Morgan Stanley’s Quantitative and Derivative Strategies released a note which, with a three year delay, effectively predicts the end of capital markets in a world where every declining retail participation (another topic we have been hammering for the past 3 years as it is only the most natural response to a world in which not only equities are openly manipulated by central banks, but in which perpetrators for massive market disturabances are neither identified nor prosecuted) is replaced by artificial high frequency trading churn, which never was and never will be a true liquidity provider on a long-term basis.

To wit from Morgan Stanley: “In our mind, many of the approaches to algorithmic execution were developed in an environment that is substantially, structurally different from today’s environment. In particular, the early part of the last decade saw households as significant natural liquidity providers as they sold their single stock positions over time to exchange them for institutionally managed products… While the time horizon over which liquidity is provided can range from microseconds to months, it is particularly shorter-term liquidity provisioning that has become more common.” Translation: as retail investors retrench more and more, which they will due to previously discussed secular themes as well as demographics, and HFT becomes and ever more dominant force, which it has no choice but to, liquidity and investment horizons will get ever shorter and shorter and shorter, until eventually by simple limit expansion, they hit zero, or some investing singularity, for those who are thought experiment inclined. That is when the currently unsustainable course of market de-evolution will, to use a symbolic 100 year anniversary allegory, finally hit the iceberg head one one final time.

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How does Morgan Stanley frame their analysis? First, MS notes the ever increasing ownership of the stock market by big institutions, as retail investors took a back seat to investment allocation decisions, a secular theme until 2008, which however has subsequently plateaued:

Asset management has become increasingly institutionalized over the years. Individuals have outsourced their wealth management to institutions, whether pension funds, insurance companies or investment advisors. These, in turn, invest mostly in institutionally managed products such as mutual funds, ETFs, or long/short vehicles. The net result of this is that the vast majority of investable assets are held through institutionally managed vehicles. Exhibit 1 shows the evolution of ownership vehicles of corporate equity in the US. 37% of the USD 22tn of corporate equity is held by ‘Households and Nonprofits’ now, down from 50% at the turn of the century. This segment includes endowments and foundations, as well as on-shore hedge funds. Arguably, these should be counted as institutional investors as well. This means that direct household ownership of corporate equity is substantially below this figure.

 

For a universe of large-cap stocks4, Exhibit 4 shows the evolution of the percentage of ownership attributable to 13F filers and mutual funds since Dec 2001. This data corroborates Exhibit 1 on the increase in institutional ownership – on average, institutional ownership increased from 54% in March 2000 to 81% at the end of 2011.

 

Following the rapid growth of institutional asset management, however, the pace of increase in institutional ownership has slowed since 2008. We see this as one of the key drivers of the change in market structure and liquidity sourcing opportunities in recent years.

As more and more “equity capital” was concentrated into the hands of fewer and fewer people, the only logical outcome took place:

Trading decisions have become more concentrated as asset management has institutionalized. There are fewer decision makers (fund managers) now than in a world where management is dispersed across households. The size of their parent orders, on the other hand, has grown. The basic set up of the market – in terms of a continuous auction limit order book supplemented with ‘upstairs’ solutions –  has not changed. The details of the implementation have adjusted, of course – such as competition in execution venues, new order types,  and greater use of technology.

 

One of the most significant results of the tension between fewer market participants and larger parent order sizes is that the share of ‘real’ trading volume has declined by around 40% in the last five years. In Exhibit 5, we show the average proportion of quarterly trading volume that is attributable to changes in the 13f filings of each institution. We use this as our definition of ‘real’ trading volume. We also calculate the trading volume from our separate dataset of mutual fund holdings. We aggregate ‘buys’ (positive position changes) and ‘sells’  separately for each institution and mutual fund, on a per-stock basis, and calculate the average percentage of volume across stocks in our universe.

As a result, reports of the market’s evaporating volume are not greatly exaggerated.

In our mind, these numbers constitute a lower bound on the amount of ‘real’ trading volume in the market (defined as the trading volume from market participants that hold assets for longer periods).

 

The share of real trading volume shows three distinct phases. From 2001 to 2006, institutional buys accounted for 27% of total trading volume on average, while sells accounted for 20%7. The asymmetry between buys and sells reflects the growth in the institutional share of ownership over the period (see Exhibit 4). From 2008 to 2011, we see a significantly lower share of trading volume – buys represent just 16%, and sells 13%, a drop in market share of almost 40%.

 

The 2007/2008 period represents a transition period, with a rapidly declining share of ‘real’ trading volume. This period coincided with rapidly increasing overall trading volume (Exhibit 6) – in 2006, the ADV was 4.8bn shares, while in 2008 it was 8.8bn shares. Volume has since declined again – YTD ADV is 6.9bn shares.

While it will not come as news to any of our regular readers, the disappearance of retail investors has meant the incursion of electronic trading in the form of relentless rise in HFT dominance.

Throughout the last decade, the share of institutional trading volume by each institution type has been remarkably constant (Exhibit 7). This means that the reduction in institutional share of overall trading volume between 2007 and 2008 was not due to a reduction in trading activity by any one institution type, but rather due to the introduction of a new type of trading volume.

 

A potential reason [for the drop in our measure of the share of ‘real’ institutional trading volume] is that institutional execution strategies have made liquidity more challenging to find. Concentration in assets under management has led to larger order sizes. One of the responses to this has been automation in execution strategies. The algorithms used tend to split parent orders into smaller child orders. As a result, we find that block trades, which made up around 30% of trading volume in 2003, accounted for just over 5% of trading volume in 2011 – see Exhibit 8. At the same time, the average trade size has fallen to around 250, from more than 1,000 back in 2003. Both data series are based on NYSE listed stocks.

 

Next Morgan Stanley explains precisely why the current market is no longer fit to deal with the existing roster of players, fit for a previous iteration of capital market topology such as that which prevailed when Reg-NMS was conceived, but certainly not the current one, especially if retail continues to withdraw from trading equities and invest its cash forcibly into that other terminally epic bubble – bonds.

In our mind, many of the approaches to algorithmic execution were developed in an environment that is substantially, structurally different from today’s environment. In particular, the early part of the last decade saw households as significant natural liquidity providers as they sold their single stock positions over time to exchange them for institutionally managed products. Adjusting the institutional execution strategy to capture this liquidity was a rational thing to do.

But…

This institutionalization of asset management is mostly done by now, as we showed in Exhibit 4. As a result, execution strategies that were calibrated on the earlier market environment may no longer be optimal. The rise in trading volume since 2007 (when the growth in institutional ownership leveled off) reflects the growing challenges of sourcing liquidity. The way this has been resolved is through the introduction of more ‘market making’ activity in the form of liquidity provider trading.

Let’s repeat that for the cheap seats: “As a result, execution strategies that were calibrated on the earlier market environment may no longer be optimal and we could in theory just end it here. 

We all know that the bulk of HFTs close each day flat to avoid overnight holding risk, which they do by increasing churn amongst each other to unprecedented levels, in the process generating massive momentum swings as every player piggybacks on either side of the move. End result: even Moran Stanley admits that churn is not liquidity, and that the inability of HFT to carry inventory and have a longer-term bias is the fatal flaw in the current market topology, precisely as we warned back in April 2009!

The risk-carrying capacity of these providers is limited. If natural liquidity does not materialize, they may trade with another intraday liquidity provider to manage their inventory. This is particularly true if the institutional parent orders are larger and hence typically longer lasting.

From here, everything else follows:

Typical market-making liquidity provisioning strategies can be modeled as mean reversion strategies. If liquidity demand is persistently one-sided (such as in the case of large parent orders), it is rational to flatten the market maker position faster if the risk-carrying capacity is limited. In the absence of natural liquidity on the other side, this will often be through a trade with another intraday liquidity provider.  The net result is that the the amount of trading volume that is attributable to this segment of the market will increase.

Thus: lim investing time horizons approaches 0 as HFT ->  infinity

While the time horizon over which liquidity is provided can range from microseconds to months, it is particularly shorter-term liquidity provisioning that has become more common. This is partially a reflection of the changing nature of the default liquidity provider – ‘High-Frequency Trader’ is a commonly applied term.

Unfortunately, the “High Frequency Trader” is NOT, as explained, a liquidity provider in the conventional sense: it is an ultra-short time horizon churn facilitator and liquidity extractor (when the meager rebate for providing liquidity does not offset the capital holdings risk) and nothing else. Which is why just like the Fed has become the artificial lender of last resort in a regime that is unsustainable and where central banks are forced to grow their assets exponentially (as shown on Zero Hedge) just to preserve the flow so very needed to keep equities from collapsing, so HFT has become the artificial provider of fake liquidity.

The problem is that just like the half lives of central bank intervention, so the incremental benefits of ever greater HFT penetration are becoming less and less.

What happens next? Here Morgan Stanley, while trying to be diplomatically correct, comes to precisely our conclusion – trade while you can.

In our view, many of the changes in the market environment – such as the decline in trading volume – are secular. The trade from household direct share ownership to institutionally managed ownership has happened, removing one of the natural sources of liquidity. At  the same time, the micro-efficiency of the market in identifying and exploiting liquidity demand, exemplified by the growth in intraday liquidity provisioning strategies, is here to stay.

 

What are the implications for institutional execution strategies? The first implication is a re-evaluation of parent order sizing. Liquidity for institutional trades is now ultimately sourced from other institutions for the most part, rather than from households. The share of trading volume from these institutions has been falling by almost 40% over the last five years. This means that the amount of liquidity we can reasonably expect to source in the market should also fall by a similar amount. For example, we find that the upper limit of the percentage of ADV that can be traded in a VWAP-type strategy without undue price impact is typically around 4-5% now, versus 10-15% in the period before 2007.

 

The second implication is that execution strategies have to focus on maximizing the likelihood of being a liquidity provider. This has always been the objective of portfolio managers (‘Buy Low, Sell High’). Within the institutional asset management process, that has not always  been as central to the execution strategy. The assumption has been that liquidity will be available in the markets, and that the cost of demanding that liquidity (the market impact cost) was small relative to the alpha potential over time. As the composition of trading volume changes, this assumption has become more problematic. Having urgency constraints (e.g. having to finish a trade at a particular time)  becomes increasingly costly relative to the alpha potential.

Where Morgan Stanley stops short is the logical next question: what will detour this transition to a market driven by quantized incremental binary decision-making, aka RISK ON, RISK OFF, where with every passing day, we get greater and greater volatility shifts? The answer: nothing, unless of course, for some reason retail investors do come back, however with Lehman, the Flash Crash, MF Global, central planning, forced media propaganda telling everyone “it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to buy”, even as markets in real terms are still down nearly 40% from 2000, retail has had enough of the rigged stock market casino.

Simply said: they are done.

Hence HFT will have no choice but to become a greater and greater role in equity trading, pardon, churning. Until one day, by logical extrapolation, only HFT is the marginal setter of prices, with no regard for value, logic or analysis, and a price-determining function set purely by historical precedent yet a precedent which will be no longer applicable in the least as the paradigm shift to a conceptually different “market” will have then happened. Or said otherwise: “large swings on low volume, massive bid-offer spreads, huge trading costs, inability to clear and numerous failed trades“… just as we predicted back in April 2009.

Just as simply said: with its advent, HFT sowed the seeds of its own self-cannibalization.

Which also goes back to another key concept, and arguably the biggest flaw in all of modern economics: it is never about the stock. It is all, and always has been, about the flow. Last week Goldman tacitly acknowledged it for the first time. Expect more and more economic hacks to follow suit.

The irony that ties it all together, is that if indeed for some reason retail investors do come back, and do pile their over $8.1 trillion in fungible money currently stored under the electronic cushion as we described in This Is Where “The Money” Really Is – Be Careful What You Wish For, which in turn would also unleash the titanic wall of money hidden behind the Shadow Banking dam wall (at last count about $35 trillion contained among the custodial holders of all securities why are quietly swept into the shadow banking system’s re-re-rehypothecated pseudo asset pyramid and regulated by exactly nobody), which no conventional economic theories account for, yet which as Ben Bernanke this week, and Zero Hedge for the past 2 years, has been warning is the real catalyst of the (hyper) inflationary spark, then the Fed will be powerless to stop the biggest avalanche of empty artificially created fiat currency ones and zeros to ever hit the monetary system in the history of the world since Weimar. Only this time it will have the added benefit of HFT to accentuate every move imaginable as cash transitions from an inert form to an active, asset managed one.

But this is far beyond what one learns in Econ 101, which is why we will have to wait at least another 3 years before the Morgan Stanleys and all other bandwagon chasers of the world close the loop on what we are (and have been for a while) warning right now.

In the meantime, we are confident readers will enjoy the supreme irony: in their attempt to perpetuate the insolvent status quo farce, the central planners are now forced to choose between the terminal Scylla and Charybdis: a pyrrhic Schrödinger [alive|dead] market, or an even more pyrrhic Schrödinger [alive|dead] monetary regime.

We hope they choose wisely.

15 Fundamental Problems with Fiat Currencies

Ron Hera
financialsense.com
April 8, 2012

Value Subjectivism and Monetary Instability

Subjectivism is the philosophy that reality is what we perceive to be real and that no underlying, true reality exists independent of human perception. In other words, the nature of reality for an individual person is dependent on that individual’s own consciousness. It follows that each person experiences their own reality that is not shared with others. What is true and what seems moral to one person may not be true or moral for another person, i.e., truth and morality are relative. In contrast, objectivism is the philosophy that reality exists independent of human consciousness; that human beings have direct contact with reality through sense perception; and that objective knowledge of reality can be obtained through perception, evidence and logic, e.g., through scientific methods.

A subjectivist might view the stock market as a perpetual bubble floating on the hopes and dreams of entrepreneurs and investors who invest in stocks in the same way that gamblers place chips on a craps table in a casino, without any concept of an objective economic reality outside of the game. A subjectivist might view technical analysis, which is based purely on trading activity in the stock market, as the ideal tool to understand financial markets, despite the fact that is has no direct connection to the objective economic realities of the companies that stocks represent. In contrast, an objectivist might view the stock market as a venue for participation in business ownership where stocks have value as a function of the particular businesses that they represent and because of the goods and services that the businesses provide in the objective world. A subjectivist might say that “everything is relative” (although the statement is self contradictory), while an objectivist might say that they “…believe in justification, not by faith, but by verification” (Thomas H. Huxley 1825-1895). Although they may not know it, Keynesian economists, bankers and day traders are often philosophical subjectivists while Austrian economists, advocates of the gold standard and value investors are often philosophical objectivists.

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World Bank Wants Control Of The High Seas

By Brandon Smith
Original article on Alt-Market

As a proponent of legitimate free markets, I am always up for a little creative entrepreneurship.  However, there is a considerable difference between building productive markets, and engaging in monopolistic piracy.  Global conglomerates and the elites that operate them have long been familiar with the pirate’s life, and not the fun filled adventure-time rope swinging swashbuckling brand.  In fact, it was elitists like Sir Francis Drake, commissioned by the English monarchy, who embodied this disturbing covert bedlam.  We’re talking murder, mayhem, and blood-money, folks!  So, it should be of no surprise to anyone that the thieving mercantile swine of our era are returning to the high seas to plunder once again, only in a much more subversive and devious manner.

This past week, World Bank President Robert Zoellick made his organization’s intentions for oceanic regimentation known, at least in a candy coated way, at the Economist World Oceans Summit in Singapore:

http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/NEWS/0,,contentMDK:23126775~pagePK:34370~piPK:34424~theSitePK:4607,00.html

Over the last several years, World Bank has seen fit to insinuate itself into the environmental movement as a “bastion” of green ideology.  In reality, World Bank has long used the threats of environmental destabilization (some of them real, some of them fake) as tools for the centralization of resources into the hands of mega-corporations.  In fact, if one was to attempt to sum up exactly what it is that World Bank actually does in a single phrase, it would probably be “resource domination”.  This domination is achieved through the strict lending guidelines that sovereign countries have to commit to in order to attain financing from the supranational entity.

Like a greasy loan shark working for a hardboiled mob cartel, World Bank’s M.O. is to lend large capital packages (made with money or credit created out of thin air) which the target country and its government obviously cannot afford to pay back.  These loans often stipulate that the country relinquish control of its natural resources, the true wealth of the nation, over to international corporate bodies for “management”.  Through this process, World Bank removes competition from a market and hands designated companies (globalist front-companies) the keys to the kingdom.

Environmental manipulation has been used in the past by World Bank as a cover for resource piracy.  Global corporations including Enron, Bechtel, GM, and Monsanto from the late 90’s onward have been handed coveted water rights to entire communities and nations under the guise of managing “water scarcity”.  This control of the water supply has extended even to rainwater collection.  World Bank’s argument in the case of water privatization was that monetizing the resource would create “incentives” for populations to conserve water.  That is to say, the higher they could increase the cost of water, the more coveted it would become, and the more careful people would be when using it.  This feudalistic idea was expressed clearly in a World Water Council (founded with the help of the Vice President of World Bank) document entitled “The Long Term Vision For Water, Life, And Environment”:

http://www.bvsde.paho.org/bvsaca/i/fulltext/mirh/education.pdf

In 1998 the World Water Forum expounded a need for control and regulation over the planet’s water supply.  This meeting was packed with top multinational corporations and commissioned by a viper’s nest of global elites, including:

-Dr Ismali Serageldin (Commission Chair), Vice President, World Bank, and Chair of Global Water Partnership
-Margaret Catley-Carlson, President, Population Council
-Gordon Conway, President, The Rockefeller Foundation
-Mohamed T. El-Ashry, Chair and CEO of the Global Environment Facility
-Howard Hjort, former Deputy Director, FAO
-Enriquo Iglesias, President, Inter-American Development Bank
-Yolanda Kababadse, President, World Conservation Union
-Jessica Mathews, President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, USA
-Robert S. McNamara, Co-Chair, Global Coalition for Africa
-Maurice Strong, Chair, Earth Council, member of Commission on Global Governance, and a chief adviser in charge of the UN reform process
-Wilfred Thalwitz, former Senior VP, World Bank
-Jerome Mondo, Chair of the Supervisory Board, Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux

In March of 2000, the forum made the following statement:

“Water is an economic good and its economic value should be recognized in the allocation of scarce water resources to competing uses. While this should not prevent people from meeting their basic needs for water services at affordable prices, the price for water must be set at a level that encourages conservation and wise use…”

http://www.waternunc.com/gb/secwwf11.htm

This methodology of artificially raising prices through the issuance of securities to enforce a particular environmentalist ideal, in the end, has NOTHING to do with protecting the environment.  Essentially, it creates the derivitization of natural resources that is the calling card of globalized tyranny.  Cap and Trade programs were designed to monetize air usage.  Energy derivatives were used by Enron to allow easier manipulation of electric and oil prices.  Water privatization was designed to corporatize a free flowing resource and create artificial scarcity.  And now, World Bank wants to apply the same con game to one of the last economic commons; the ocean.  The only beneficiaries in these schemes have always been large conglomerates, along with a smattering of stock investors who revel in the idea of erecting entire markets out of absolutely imaginary products with no real inherent value.

As with water privatization, the flood of massive bureaucracy in the guise of corporate management over oceanic usage will only create a mind boggling maze of red tape that will thwart all business interests except the largest.  This is entirely deliberate.

Not only does it cause prices to rise to levels beyond what the impoverished (a global majority) can pay for a commodity, but it also squeezes out small business owners whose only advantage was the level playing field of an open resource.  On the oceans of World Bank, a small fishing outfit will have no chance to make a living, because the permit process, new taxes, and new legal requirements, will empty their bank accounts before they ever get started, leaving only the big boys to ravage the seas at will, and legally, because they will have paid the exorbitant fees for the right to do so.

There is also a very good reason why Zoellick at the World Oceans Summit mentioned fishery issues so often, and why he is so keen on the idea of international regulations on their operations.

On dry land, companies like Monsanto are the slavemasters of food supply.  The centralization of national farming infrastructures has given these companies unrivaled power over how we eat, and thus, how most of the populace survives.  However, the ocean, an unparalleled food source, is still a decentralized region of production.  Anyone can fish it, almost anywhere, without having to ask permission from the government, or a private company.  This obviously does not sit well with World Bank, not because they fear overfishing, but because it provides a sovereign means of survival, allowing people to remain independent from the globalist system.

By utterly corporatizing resources that have through all of time been freely accessible to every human being, World Bank and the elitists they serve hope to build a framework for total centralization of all means of production and sustenance on Earth.  Does this sound like mad scientist stuff?  Absolutely.  Does that make it any less factual or terrifying?  Not a chance.

The real cleverness in using the environmental aspect of ocean management lay in the reality that there is, indeed, severe damage being done to many parts of the ocean’s ecosystems.  Cap and trade is based on the lie of anthropomorphic global warming and highly misrepresented data on the effects of CO2 (just ask any global warming enthusiast why NASA and the CRU have never released the source data for their experiments to prove that their claims are true).  The monetization of the air we breathe can be defeated in the minds of the general public for this reason.  But with the oceans, legitimate pollution is occurring.  This gives World Bank a much more tangible argument for supranational regulation in the name of environmentalism.  What people must realize, though, is that this regulation will have no effect on the deterioration of the seas.  In fact, it will likely hasten their destruction.

The international nature of how the oceans are utilized also opens the globalization door to World Bank.  When a supranational entity is given de facto governance over a region that is used by all sovereign countries, it gives that entity the ability to interfere in the decision making processes of those nations without any input or respect to the people who live within them.  For Americans, this means being susceptible to laws created by men far outside our borders who we cannot vote in, vote out, or chase down with our pitchforks when the voting is rigged.  This has always been the goal of globalists; to create the most dominant and unaccountable ruling body in history, while at the same time convincing the masses that we cannot live without it.

At bottom, centralization is the foundation for the collectivist fallacy; that there is a “greater good” that must be maintained by the establishment.  This process makes the establishment indispensable in the minds of the public.  The elites in power today have chosen environmental dogma as their version of the “greater good”, because the “end of the world as we know” can be used to rationalize almost any brand of despotic behavior, from food and water rationing as a method for social conditioning, to population control or even depletion in the name of “saving the planet”.  Always beware the true motivations of any governing institution that seeks to assert itself as the purveyor of all that is “best” for the people.  Such groups are rarely if ever what they seem.

 

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.

You Don’t Own Yourself – The Federal Reserve Does.

Click here for original article on viewzone.com.

by Gary Vey for viewzone

For a while I have been receiving e-mails from a good friend who has asked me to investigate something weird about the Birth Certificates. He wanted me to take a look at them because they have certain numbers and other things printed on them that need an explanation.

When I looked at my own Birth Certificate, I noticed it was a copy of the original. So I went through old boxes and baby books that my Mom had saved before she died and found what I was looking for — my original Birth Certificate. It was brittle and yellowed with decades of age but — wow — it was NOT the original!

What I have learned since is kind of like discovering that you are part of the Matrix. It seems none of us have our original Birth Certificates — they are all copies. And the copies have a serial number on them, issued on special Bank Bond paper and authorized by “The American Bank Note Company.” Huh?

The truth is stranger than fiction. But here it is:

It seems that back in 1913 the United States was short of cash. World War I had depleted the treasury and there were several really bad financial panics (in 1907 especially) so the country needed to print more money than it had as equity to restore confidence in the money supply and get the economy back on its feet.

When you or I need more money, we use something as collateral and go to a bank for a loan. When a country needs more money it has to go somewhere also. But in 1913 there wasn’t anywhere to go. So the US created the Federal Reserve Act. This established a private central bank (The Federal Reserve Bank) that would regulate the amount of money the US government was allowed to borrow and put in circulation. It also would expect to be repaid, like any bank, with interest.

After only 20 years things went from bad to worse. During Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency, in 1933, the US was unable to pay its debt. The county was bankrupt. The private banks that made up the Federal Reserve demanded their money and Roosevelt responded. He had to use the only thing left of any value to pay the banks and continue doing business with them — the citizens of our country. Us!

Exactly how all this was orchestrated is too lengthy to be addressed here, but this much can be told. The original birth or naturalization record for every U.S. Citizen is on file in the official records in Washington, D.C. (you get to keep a copy!) and the property and assets of every living U.S. Citizen is pledged as collateral for the National Debt!

Within two weeks and three days each Certificate of Live Birth is to be filed in Washington D.C. Evidence reveals that there is even a Federal Children Department established by the Shepherd/Townsend Act of 1922 under the Department of Commerce that appears to be involved in this process in some way. Every citizen is given a number (the red number on the Birth Certificate) and each live birth is valued at from 650,000 to 750,000 Federal Reserve dollars in collateral from the Fed.

This kind of makes you feel a little different when you look at Federal Reserve Chairman, Bernanke, doesn’t it?

OK. Let’s take a pause to look at the Birth Certificates [below]. You will see the red numbers and you will see the fact that it is, in reality, a “Bank Note.” Congratulations — you and I are commodities!

Names in “ALL CAPS” on Birth Certificates

Since the early 1960s, State governments have issued Birth Certificates to “persons” with legal fictional names using “ALL CAPS” names. This is not a lawful record of your physical birth, but rather the acknowledgement of the “birth” of the juristic, all-caps name. It may appear to be your true name, but since no proper name is ever written in all caps (either lawfully or grammatically) it does not identify who you are. The Birth Certificate is the government’s self-created document of title for its new property — you and me! In a way, it makes us a kind of corporation whose company name is the same as our real name, but written in ALL CAPS. This “corporation” then generates taxes and wealth over its lifetime and in this way repays the collateral that Uncle Sam borrowed from the Federal Reserve.

Remember that “Bond” thing printed on the bottom of the certificate?
Bond.I a: A usually formal written agreement by which a person undertakes to perform a certain act (as fulfill the obligations of a contract) . . with the condition that failure to perform or abstain will obligate the person . . to pay a sum of money or will result in the forfeiture of money put up by the person or surety. lb: One who acts as a surety. 2: An interest-bearing document giving evidence of a debt issued by a government body or corporation that is sometimes secured by a lien on property and is often designed to take care of a particular financial need. — Ibid. — Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Law (1996).Banknote. A kind of negotiable instrument, a promissory note made by a bank payable to the bearer on demand, used as money, and in many jurisdictions is legal tender. Along with coins, banknotes make up the cash or bearer forms of all modern money.
Birth certificates are a form of securities called “warehouse receipts.” The items included on a warehouse receipt, as descried at §7-202 of the Uniform Commercial Code, the law which governs commercial paper and transactions, which parallel a birth certificate are:

  • the location of the warehouse where the goods are stored…(residence)
  • the date of issue of the receipt…..(“Date issued”)
  • the consecutive number of the receipt…(found on back or front of the certificate, usually in red numbers)
  • a description of the goods or of the packages containing them…(name, sex, date of birth, etc.)
  • the signature of the warehouseman, which may be made by his authorized agent…(municipal clerk or state registrar’s signature)

Birth certificates now appear to at least qualify as “warehouse receipts” under the Uniform Commercial Code. Black’s Law Dictionary, 7th ed. defines:
Warehouse Receipt. “…A warehouse receipt, which is considered a document of title, may be a negotiable instrument and is often used for financing with inventory as security.”
It is not difficult to see that a state-created Birth Certificate, with an ALL CAPS name is a document evidencing debt the moment it is issued.

Once a state has registered a birth document with the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Department notifies the Treasury Department, which takes out a loan from the Federal Reserve. The Treasury uses the loan to purchase a bond (the Fed holds a purchase money security interest in the bond) from the Department of Commerce, which invests the sale proceeds in the stock or bond market. The Treasury Department then issues Treasury securities in the form of Treasury Bonds, Notes, and Bills using the bonds as surety for the new securities.

This cycle is based on the future tax revenues of the legal person whose name appears on the Birth Certificate. This also means that the bankrupt, corporate U.S. can guarantee to the purchasers of their securities the lifetime labor and tax revenues of every citizen of the United States/American with a Birth Certificate as collateral for payment. This device is initiated simply by converting the lawful, true name of the child into a legal, juristic name of a person.

Legally, you are considered to be a slave or indentured servant to the various Federal, State and local governments via your STATE-issued and STATE-created Birth Certificate in the name of your all-caps person. Birth Certificates are issued so that the issuer can claim exclusive title to the legal person created thereby.

Sleep well, fellow slaves.

Ben Swann: The Fiat Dollar is the Real Reason for High Gas Prices

There is so much talk right now about gas prices.
Who’s at fault? Is it President Obama for not drilling enough? Is it OPEC for price fixing? Could it be greedy oil companies?
There are many reasons being floated as to why gas prices are so high but there is one that you aren’t going to hear from most media and it is tied directly to the value of the dollar in your pocket.

Ben Swann has the Reality Check.

February 20, 2012 – Veterans for Ron Paul Marching to the White House Chanting END THE FED!

Video courtesy of Ransom Christova Godwin.
Click here for original video on his Facebook page.