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John Perkins: The Shadow World Of The Economic Hitman

An exposé of the ugly global battle for control of resources
Sunday, March 6, 2016, 1:51 AM

If you're hoping to have a 'feel good' day today, we're about to owe you an apology.

John Perkins, author of The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, is someone we've been trying to get on the program for some time. He tells a dark story of an elite cabal working in the shadows to subjugate governments as it pursues ever-greater control of the planet's resources.  » Read more

What Should I Do?

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The Money Side of the College Experience

The growing financial monster must be fed
Tuesday, January 14, 2014, 7:02 PM

Going to college in the USA has never been cheap, but those who haven’t been in the market recently don’t realize how crazy it’s become. » Read more

Blog

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Why We All Lose If the Fed Wins

Fighting the wrong battles
Monday, August 19, 2013, 7:20 PM

If we hold the view that humans are behaving unsustainably in terms of any of the 'three Es'  the economy, energy, or the environment  then any rapid resumption of a paradigm of exponential growth in our consumption of natural resources or in our growth of debt over income simply takes us more quickly to the bitter end of this story. » Read more

Blog

Europe's Precarious Banks Will Determine the Future

Ticking time bombs
Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 5:09 PM

Crying Wolf?

It is easy to get the impression that the naysayers are wrong about Europe. After all of the predictions of Armageddon, ten-year government bond yields for Spain and Italy fell to the 4% level, France (which is retreating into old-fashioned socialism) was able to borrow at about 2%, and one of the best-performing bond investments has been until recently – wait for it – Greek government bonds! Admittedly, bond yields have risen from those lows, but so have they everywhere. It is clear, when one stands back from all the usual euro-rhetoric, that, as a threat to the global financial system, it is a case of "panic over." » Read more

Insider

Off the Cuff: Interest Rates Getting 'Interesting'

Are central banks losing control?
Thursday, June 13, 2013, 9:12 PM

In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Mish discuss:

  • Interest Rates Breaking Out
    • The last thing the economy needs right now
  • Loose Lending = Bad Loans
    • Didn't we learn this lesson in 2008?
  • The Market vs. the Fed
    • Market forces always prevail in the end

Well, the volatility predicted in recent Off the Cuff podcasts has arrived on schedule. » Read more

Podcast

Bill Black: Our System is So Flawed That Fraud is Mathematically Guaranteed

How did we allow things to get this bad?
Saturday, May 25, 2013, 1:06 PM

[Chris lost his voice this week due to illness, so we were unable to record a new podcast. So while Chris recuperates, enjoy this excellent discussion from the archives will Bill Black, recorded a year ago, on the pervasive control fraud within our current financial system. ~ Adam]

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."  ~ Frederic Bastiat

Bill Black is a former bank regulator who played a central role in prosecuting the corruption responsible for the S&L crisis of the late 1980s. He is one of America's top experts on financial fraud. And he laments that the U.S. has descended into a type of crony capitalism that makes continued fraud a virtual certainty while increasingly neutering the safeguards intended to prevent and punish such abuse.

In this extensive interview, Bill explains why financial fraud is the most damaging type of fraud and also the hardest to prosecute. He also details how, through crony capitalism, it has become much more prevalent in our markets and political system. 

A warning: There's much revealed in this interview that will make your blood boil. For example, the Office of Thrift Supervision. In the aftermath of the S&L crisis, this office brought 3,000 administration enforcement actions (a.k.a. lawsuits) against identified perpetrators. In a number of cases, they clawed back the funds and profits that the convicted parties had fraudulently obtained.

Flash forward to the 2008 credit crisis, in which just the related household sector losses alone were over 70 times greater than those seen during the entire S&L debacle. So how many criminal referrals did the same agency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, make?

Zero. » Read more

Blog

2012 Year in Review

Free markets, rule of law, and other urban legends
Friday, December 21, 2012, 3:34 PM

Background

I was just trying to figure it all out.

~ Michael Burry, hedge fund manager

Every December, I write a Year in Review that has now found a home at Chris Martenson’s website PeakProsperity.com.1,2,3 What started as a simple summary intended for a couple dozen people morphed over time into a much more detailed account that accrued over 25,000 clicks last year.4 'Year in Review' is a bit of a misnomer in that it is both a collage of what happened, plus a smattering of issues that are on my radar right now. As to why people care what an organic chemist thinks about investing, economics, monetary policy, and societal moods I can only offer a few thoughts.

For starters, in 33 years of investing with a decidedly undiversified portfolio, I had only one year in which my total wealth decreased in nominal dollars. For the 13 years beginning 01/01/00—the 13 toughest investing years of the new millennium!—I have been able to compound my personal wealth at an 11% annualized rate. This holds up well against the pros. I am also fairly good at distilling complexity down to simplicity and seem to be a congenital contrarian. I also have been a devout follower of Austrian business cycle theory—i.e., free market economics—since the late 1990s.4

Each review begins with a highly personalized analysis of my efforts to get through another year of investing followed by a more holistic overview of what is now a 33-year quest for a ramen-soup-free retirement. These details may be instructive for those interested in my approach to investing. The bulk of the review, however, describes thoughts and observations—the year’s events told as a narrative. The links are copious, albeit not comprehensive. Some are flagged with enthusiasm. Everything can be found here.5 » Read more

Insider

Off the Cuff: Out of Order

We are dependent on models that don't work
Thursday, November 29, 2012, 12:36 PM

In this week's Off the Cuff with Mish & Chris podcast, Mish and Chris discuss:

  • Fiscal Cliff Follies
    • Whatever 'solution' is enacted won't solve much
  • The Broken U.S. Education Model
    • We are graduating a generation of debt slaves
  • Dangerously Optmistic Stock Prices
    • Assuming elevated earnings in perpetuity
  • Pension Fund Posion
    • No way these funds will meet their actuarial targets

While there are no guarantees that any progress will emerge from the Obama-Boehner showdown, what is clear is that the impact of any agreements (higher taxes and spending cuts) struck on the "Fiscal Cliff" will be GDP-negative. So plan for the headwinds on our economy to strengthen in force next year.

Despite this certainty, as Chris and Mish look across the markets today, they see way too much 'pricing for perfection.' For example, corporate profits are far above their historical norm due to a number of extraordinary events over the past few years. But their underlying stocks are priced as if these elevated earnings levels will continue unabated far into the future. » Read more