1. The Globalist’s Fantasy Outcome for China Lies in Ruins

    Beginning in 1992, in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, the U.S., under the influence of globalist philosophy and led by the Clinton and Bush clans, decided that China needed to be welcomed into the club of nations.

    China’s physical size and one billion-plus citizens made it impossible to ignore. Yet, its communist leadership made it a threat to Western values. The globalist solution was to help convert China to capitalism. It was recognized that this process would take decades, but the payoff could be huge if China gradually converted from communism to capitalism and began to be “just like us.”

    The globalists poured direct foreign investment into China. We bought Chinese goods by the billions of dollars. China was welcomed into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, the IMFs SDR currency basket in 2016, and other multi-lateral institutions.

    China’s growth was enormous and the globalists’ plan seemed to be working fine. But, it was all an illusion.

    China promised to reduce subsidies to its companies under WTO rules, but they lied. They promised to maintain an open capital account under the IMF rules, but they lied. In fact, China has lied and reneged on every promise of openness and responsible behavior they have ever made.

    Today, the globalist’s fantasy outcome for China lies in ruins. China is shown to be the same aesthetic, totalitarian, brutal society it has been since 1949. This is revealed in its organ harvesting program (from still living dissidents), suppression of religious groups and widespread use of concentration camps.

    China has just signed a new trade deal with the U.S. There’s no reason to believe that the promise made in that trade deal will be honored any more than all of the other broken promises.

    At least Trump has left tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese imports in place and can add more if China does not live up to the deal. Meanwhile, as reported in this article, China is on trial for breaking other promises before the ink is even dry on the new trade deal.

    China has refused to provide information concerning efforts of its banks to evade sanctions on North Korea. China may be a world-class economic liar, but at least they’re consistent.

    Institutional investors can schedule a proof of concept with the world’s first predictive data analytics firm combining human and artificial intelligence with complexity science. Check out Jim Rickard’s company at Meraglim Holdings to learn more.

  2. WHEN IT COMES TO FINANCIAL WARFARE, DON’T MESS WITH UNCLE SAM

    We’ve been documenting financial warfare in our articles for years.

    Financial warfare tools include account seizures and freezes, expulsion from global payment systems, secondary fines and penalties on banks that do business with targeted entities, embargoes, tariffs, and many other impositions.

    These tools are amplified by the unique role of the U.S. dollar, which is the currency behind 60% of global reserves, 80% of global payments and almost 100% of transactions in oil. The U.S. controls the banks and payments systems that process dollar transactions. This leaves the U.S. well-positioned to impose dollar-related sanctions.

    Iran and North Korea are currently the target of U.S. “maximum pressure” campaigns where harsh sanctions are applied to a wide range of banks, companies and individuals. These sanctions have been instrumental in destabilizing the regime in Iran and bringing North Korea to the bargaining table to discuss its nuclear weapons programs.

    Iraq is that latest country to feel the sting of U.S. dollar sanctions as described in this article.

    Following the killing of Iranian terrorist Qasem Soleimani on Iraqi soil, Iraq threatened to expel all U.S. troops from Iraq. Trump answered in two parts. He said U.S. troops would not leave until Iraq repaid the U.S. for building bases and other infrastructure in that country. Trump also warned that Iraq’s access to its account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York could be terminated.

    That would make it impossible for Iraq to purchase and sell oil in dollars. It could also cause Iraq to lose access to about $3 billion currently held in that account.

    Iraq heard the U.S. threats loud and clear. As of now, U.S. troops are still in Iraq and not planning to leave anytime soon.

    The fact that Iraqi policy could be conditioned without a shot being fired shows the raw power of financial warfare. Investors need to be alert to these financial battles in order not to be caught in the crossfire.

    Institutional investors can schedule a proof of concept with the world’s first predictive data analytics firm combining human and artificial intelligence with complexity science. Check out Jim Rickard’s company at Meraglim Holdings to learn more.

  3. GERMANY TIGHTENS THE NOOSE ON GOLD BUYERS. GET GOLD WHILE YOU STILL CAN

    There’s a material difference between investors’ attitudes toward gold in the United States and the rest of the world.

    Citizens of the U.S. have been conditioned by fifty years of miseducation and mainstream economist propaganda (which even they believe), that gold is a “barbarous relic,” a “shiny rock” (actually, it’s a metal), and an inflexible form of money that cannot be used in a modern economy. These statements are untrue, but they do pass for conventional wisdom and economic education does nothing to clear up the misunderstanding.

    Europe and Asia are different. They have suffered through dictatorships, invasions, religious wars and communism in ways that Americans have not. They understand that physical gold is the best hedge against war, inflation, taxation, confiscation and other ruinous financial acts by corrupt or failing governments.

    Europeans and Asians have always allocated a portion of their wealth to gold (and silver) whether in the form or bullion, coins, jewelry or decorative objects. Americans are overly complacent, historically miseducated and completely vulnerable to government assaults on wealth. Of course, European and Asian governments are aware of this and are rapidly taking steps to limit the ability of their own citizens to acquire gold with some level of anonymity.

    As reported in this article, Germany lowered the limit for anonymous purchases of gold from €10,000 to €2000 as of January 1, 2020. In the days before New Year’s Day, Germans lined up in unprecedented numbers to purchase gold at the higher limit while still protecting their privacy.

    Supporters of the new law say that the lower limit helps to prevent tax evasion and money laundering. But, German citizens know that the real reason for reporting requirements on small purchases is to make it easier to confiscate the gold when the time comes.

    Interestingly, Americans may not understand gold, but America has some of the most liberal policies on gold reporting in the world. There are no required government reports on purchases and sales of gold bullion under Federal law. (Some states have local reporting requirements on gold jewelry sales as an tool to catch thieves, but these rules do not apply to bullion or can legally be avoided by transacting in another jurisdiction).

    Given events like the German reporting requirements, Americans would be well advised to purchase as much bullion as they can before similar laws come to the U.S. Yet, given Americans’ indifference to gold, that probably won’t happen – until it’s too late.

    Institutional investors can schedule a proof of concept with the world’s first predictive data analytics firm combining human and artificial intelligence with complexity science. Check out Jim Rickard’s company at Meraglim Holdings to learn more.

  4. FEEL THE BURN. A BERNIE SANDERS STAFFER SAYS OUR CITIES WILL BURN

    Bernie Sanders’s socialist leanings are no secret. He’s more of a communist than a socialist, but the socialist label seems more acceptable today.

    Sanders and his wife honeymooned in Moscow during the height of the Cold War when the Communist Party was still firmly in charge at the Kremlin. Although he’s running for the Democratic nomination for president, he’s not even a Democrat. He’s a registered socialist and runs as a socialist in his (adopted) home state of Vermont.

    He caucuses with the Democratic Party in the Senate but keeps his identity and registration socialist. The fact that Sanders proposes sky-high taxes, a government takeover of healthcare, free college, forgiveness of student loans and abolition of the oil and natural gas industry also comes as no surprise. That’s what socialists do.

    Still, Sanders comes off as an energetic if curmudgeonly figure who appeals to many voters because of his authenticity. Yet, that image might fade quickly if voters knew what was behind the façade.

    As described in this article, a Sanders campaign organizer was caught on tape saying that “cities burn” if President Trump wins reelection and “Milwaukee will burn” if Sanders does not get the Democratic nomination (the Democratic convention is scheduled to take place in Milwaukee this July). The Sanders worker also said that Trump supporters needed to be reeducated and that Stalin’s gulags (slave labor camps) would be a good model for how Trump supporters should be treated.

    None of this is my interpretation. It’s all taken word for word from the videotape in the article link.

    The campaign worker’s support for communist slave labor camps and threats of violence are consistent with Sanders’s close identification with the Communist Party of the former Soviet Union. So far, the Sanders campaign has not responded to reporters’ questions about the video and has taken no steps to discipline or fire the worker.

    If you’re supporting Bernie Sanders, you might want to think again. And, if you’re not supporting Sanders, you might get ready to freeze outside and break rocks in a “reeducation” camp in case he wins.

    Even partial success for Sanders in the upcoming Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary may be enough to give markets the shakes. (Warning: strong language is used in the video).

    Institutional investors can schedule a proof of concept with the world’s first predictive data analytics firm combining human and artificial intelligence with complexity science. Check out Jim Rickard’s company at Meraglim Holdings to learn more.

  5. FINALLY, SOME GOOD NEWS FROM THE FED, THANKS TO PRESIDENT TRUMP

    It’s difficult to remember the last time the Federal Reserve got anything right.

    Greenspan kept rates too low for too long in 2002-2006, which gave us a housing bubble that exploded into global panic in 2007-2008. Bernanke gave us QE1 in 2008, which was a needed liquidity injection, but his QE2 and QE3 (2010-2014) were failed science experiments with savers as guinea pigs.

    Again, rates were held too low for too long and the money supply was expanded over 300% (from $800 billion to $4.5 trillion) for no good reason. As a result, savers were deprived of a market-based return, asset bubbles spread to stocks and bonds, and sub-normal growth deprived the U.S. of $5 trillion of wealth compared to growth at historic trends.

    Janet Yellen’s fixation on the phony Phillips Curve led her to raise rates prematurely for fear of inflation, which never appeared. Instead, her rate hikes and balance sheet reductions caused disinflation that now threatens to turn into deflation. Jay Powell took the baton from Yellen and continued tightening until he almost caused a recession at the end of 2018. Then he got religion and reversed course.

    And, don’t even mention Fed forecasts of growth, which have been wrong by orders of magnitude for the past twelve years.

    Can the Fed do anything right? Maybe they can’t, but President Trump can.

    As described in this article, Trump has just nominated Dr. Judy Shelton to fill a vacancy on the Fed Board of Governors. Shelton is a longstanding Fed critic and an advocate for using gold as a reference point in setting monetary policy.

    Fans of Shelton immediately began talking about a return to the gold standard. That won’t happen anytime soon. Shelton likes gold, but she has expressed moderate views and understands that a gold standard cannot happen overnight. Besides, she’s just one vote among seven on the Board and twelve on the FOMC.

    Her easy money critics among mainstream economists came out of the woodwork immediately to derail her, but they won’t succeed. She has the qualifications for the Fed and the strong backing of Trump. This nomination should go through in the coming months, once the impeachment nonsense is cleaned up.

    What could be better than having Judy Shelton on the board? The answer is having her as Fed Chair!

    If Trump wins reelection (which we expect), appointing her Chair when Powell’s term expires may be the next bright spot.

    Institutional investors can schedule a proof of concept with the world’s first predictive data analytics firm combining human and artificial intelligence with complexity science. Check out Jim Rickard’s company at Meraglim Holdings to learn more.

     

  6. World On Knife Edge Of Debt Crisis

    Herbert Stein, a prominent economist and adviser to presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, once remarked, “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”

    The fact that his remark is obvious makes it no less profound. Simple denial or wishful thinking tends to dominate economic debate.

    Stein’s remark is like a bucket of ice water in the face of those denying the reality of nonsustainability. Stein was testifying about international trade deficits when he made his statement, but it applies broadly.

    To read the rest of this article, click here.

  7. Ben Bernanke Returns Like a Zombie Who Refuses to Die

    We’ve all seen zombie movies where the good guys shoot the zombies but the zombies just keep coming because… they’re zombies!

    Market observers can’t be blamed for feeling the same way about former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke. Bernanke was Fed chair from 2006–2014 before handing over the gavel to Janet Yellen. After his term, Bernanke did not return to academia (he had been a professor at Princeton) but became affiliated with the Brookings Institution on Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, D.C. (Washington has a strange pull on people. They come from all over, but most of them never leave. It gets more like Imperial Rome every day.)

    Just when we thought that Bernanke might be buried in the D.C. swamp, never to be heard from again… he’s baaack!

    As described in this article, Bernanke gave a high-profile address to the American Economics Association at a meeting in San Diego on Jan. 4, 2020. In his address, Bernanke said the Fed has plenty of tools to fight a new recession. He included quantitative easing (QE), negative interest rates and forward guidance among the tools in the toolkit.

    Bernanke failed to mention that QE2 and QE3 did not stimulate the economy; this has been the weakest economic expansion in U.S. history. All that QE did was create asset bubbles in stocks, bonds and real estate that have yet to deflate (if we’re lucky) or crash (if we’re not).

    Negative interest rates do not encourage people to spend as Bernanke expects. Instead, people save more to make up for what the bank is confiscating as “negative” interest. That hurts growth and pushes the Fed even further away from its inflation target.

    Forward guidance lacks credibility because the Fed’s forecast record is abysmal. I’ve counted at least 13 times the Fed flip-flopped on policy because they couldn’t get the forecast right.

    At least new Fed Chair Jay Powell is a pragmatist, not an ideologue like Bernanke. Ben should go back to Brookings and stay there. He had his turn on the stage and we’re all still counting the cost.

    Institutional investors can schedule a proof of concept with the world’s first predictive data analytics firm combining human and artificial intelligence with complexity science. Check out Jim Rickard’s company at Meraglim Holdings to learn more.

  8. Elites Long for the Good Old Days When They Controlled the Media

    This article is titled “How Trolls Overran the Public Square.” But a better title might be, “How Globalists Lost Control of the Media.”

    The article is written by J. Bradford DeLong. Brad is one of the most prominent mainstream economists, a conventional neo-Keynesian who bows down to icons such as Paul Krugman and Larry Summers. He’s a professor at Berkeley and a former Treasury Department official in the Clinton administration.

    DeLong has not won the Nobel prize in economics (like Krugman), but he’s probably on the short list to win it one of these days. That’s not exactly an endorsement of his views considering that over one-third of the Nobel prizes in economics have been awarded for false science such as the “efficient-market hypothesis” and a capital markets allocation model based on a “risk-free rate” (there isn’t one, because no assets are risk-free).

    DeLong pretends to complain about “trolls” on Twitter and other social media channels who challenge his mainstream thinking. As he puts it, “The current public sphere does not serve us well.” That’s what DeLong says, but that’s not what he really means.

    DeLong wants a return to the media landscape of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. That’s when everyday citizens had no voice and communication was controlled by three TV networks (CBS, ABC and NBC) and a handful of newspapers and magazines (Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times).

    Those channels only allowed approved individuals to express their views. Approval was based on correct thinking (Keynes is good, Hayek is bad) and correct policies (higher taxes are good, tax cuts are bad).

    In a world like that, DeLong would have a big megaphone and no criticism. Instead, his false theories and out-of-date models are criticized all day long by creative analysts on the internet. Too bad for DeLong, but great news for the rest of us.

    Institutional investors can schedule a proof of concept with the world’s first predictive data analytics firm combining human and artificial intelligence with complexity science. Check out Jim Rickard’s company at Meraglim Holdings to learn more.

  9. Social Media Is Not So Social When It Comes to Donald Trump

    We all know that social media can be a jungle at times. It can be populated by experts with valuable insights and by friendly faces whose postings are helpful or at least put a smile on your face. It can also be populated by vulgarity, stupidity and trolls who insult and attack you but offer nothing positive or constructive.

    Death threats are not unusual; I know… I’ve received a few from ISIS and Iran. Still, social media (primarily Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and a few other platforms) is best understood as a kind of Wild West. Anything goes… unless you’re a conservative politico.

    That’s where the censorship begins.

    Many conservative social media participants have had their accounts closed or suspended, not for threats or vulgarity but for criticism of progressive views (albeit criticism with some sharp edges). Other conservatives report being the targets of “shadow banning.” That’s where your account is open and seems to operate normally, but unbeknownst to you, much of the network is being blocked from seeing your posts and popular features such as “likes” and “retweets” are being truncated and not distributed.

    It’s like being a pro athlete who finds out the stadium is empty and no tickets are being sold.

    That’s bad enough. Now, Twitter has taken the war on conservatives a step further.

    One of the most widely followed accounts on Twitter is none other than Donald J. Trump’s, with 68 million followers. President Trump uses Twitter to announce policy initiatives and personnel changes and to offer pointed criticism of political opponents. It’s a major platform for him.

    As reported in this article, Trump recently issued a tweet that identified the so-called “whistleblower” of the Ukraine phone call that led to impeachment. That’s not as big a deal as it sounds because everyone in Washington knows who the whistleblower is (you can look his name up on the web), and he’s not even a real whistleblower because he doesn’t meet statutory requirements.

    Still, Twitter blocked Trump’s tweet. Twitter blamed a temporary system “outage,” but that claim is highly suspicious. Later, Trump’s tweet was restored, but the original account that Trump linked to had been deleted.

    No one ever said that politics was fair. But Twitter’s blatant interference in the election could have adverse consequences for the company in Trump’s second term.

    Institutional investors can schedule a proof of concept with the world’s first predictive data analytics firm combining human and artificial intelligence with complexity science. Check out Jim Rickard’s company at Meraglim Holdings to learn more.

  10. U.S. and Iran Have Traded Attacks, but a Full-Scale War Is Not in the Cards

    Tensions between Iran and the U.S. seemed to have eased up a little since the recent killing of Iranian terrorist Qasem Soleimani and Iran’s missile attack on U.S. bases in Iraq in retaliation.

    Of course, this could be temporary. Trump’s campaign of “maximum pressure” on Iran is having results including currency inflation, reduced revenues and a shortage of consumer goods in Iran. It also cuts Iran off from the payments system and limits its ability to finance terror in the region including Syria, Lebanon, Sinai, Iraq and Gaza.

    Iran is growing more desperate, so that means the confrontation with the U.S. is far from over. But there is a growing recognition that Iran does not want a full-scale war with the U.S. This article explains why.

    Iran’s ability to incite terror attacks and conduct hit-and-run cyberhacks is formidable. But its conventional military capability is greatly overrated.

    Iran is surrounded by U.S. and allied forces from Pakistan and Afghanistan to Kuwait, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and bases in Iraq. The U.S. may be drawing down troops in Iraq in the near future, but we have a huge troop presence in Qatar, Kuwait, UAE and Afghanistan. The U.S. could straightforwardly sink the Iranian navy, attack its missile sites, eliminate its oil industry and disable its internet and power grid and there’s almost nothing Iran could do to stop it.

    Importantly, this could be done without boots on the ground by using cruise missiles, B-52s, the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman and our Cyber Command.

    So you should expect continued terror operations from Iran and the occasional display of missile attacks that do little damage. But the full-scale war markets fear is likely out of the question.

    If it happens, the Iranians would suffer catastrophic economic and infrastructure damage and possible regime change. And they know it.

    Institutional investors can schedule a proof of concept with the world’s first predictive data analytics firm combining human and artificial intelligence with complexity science. Check out Jim Rickard’s company at Meraglim Holdings to learn more.