Investing in precious metals 101

Tag Archives: solutions

  • Insider
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    How You Can Limit Your Exposure to the Fed’s Financial Interference

    There are ways to protect yourself
    by charleshughsmith

    Thursday, August 1, 2013, 5:18 AM

    4

    Executive Summary

    • Understanding the Fed's ability to impact (or not) health & education, pensions, and inflation
    • What you can do to insulate yourself from the impacts of the Fed's financial interference
      • Mindset
      • Major expenses
      • Debt
      • Resilience
      • Income

    If you have not yet read Part I: The Fed Matters Much Less Than You Think, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

    In Part I, we found that the supposedly omniscient Federal Reserve is irrelevant to the engine of real wealth creation (innovation) and actively inhibits the allocation of capital and labor to innovation by incentivizing speculation and malinvestment.

    In Part II, we’ll look at what else matters that the Fed either negatively influences or does not control, as well as specific actions we can take as individuals to insulate ourselves from the collateral damage caused by misguided central bank policies.

    Health and Education

    We all know health and education are vital to individuals and the economy, and like everything else that matters, the Fed’s influence is limited to financial repression of interest rates that enables the Federal government to avoid the sort of healthy fiscal discipline that higher rates would demand. In other words, the Fed has widened the moat around government spending, protecting it from the hard choices that would accompany massive deficits and bond issuance in a free-market economy.

    Public and Private Pensions

    By at least one measure, the Fed’s repression of interest rates (designed to recapitalize the banks at no direct cost to the Fed or government) has cost savers $10.8 trillion in lost income. Since the majority of savings in the U.S. are in public and private pension plans, 401Ks, and IRAs (individual retirement accounts), the Fed’s repression of interest rates has pushed these income-security savings into risky speculative asset bubbles in stocks, bonds, and real estate, and critically undermined the financial health of pensions by radically reducing their low-risk, safe returns.

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  • Insider
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    How to Break Out of Stagnation

    Start "printing" future energy now
    by Gregor Macdonald

    Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 5:04 PM

    18

    Executive Summary

    • The world's ongoing net energy recession will continue to drag GDP downwards unless a technology mircale occurs (unlikely)
    • Reversing our net energy decline will be key to breaking out of this stagnation
    • Solar capacity build-out is an important growing trend, as it offers "free" streams of future energy after its up-front costs
    • Solar GW capacity is now growing at a classic exponential rate. The countries that invest the most here will have a long-term advantage over those that don't
    • Stimulative programs that invest in renewable energy infrastructure are looking increasingly attractive to our current fiscal ones that are clearly failing to return us to previous levels of growth

    If you have not yet read Part I: The Dead Weight of Sluggish Global Growth available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

    With OECD countries in an ongoing energy recession, and given that just about all major economies, both in the OECD and Non-OECD, depend on exports, the risk is that global trade and global GDP also start to slow down. In 2013, we see that is exactly what's starting to happen, as noted by the Economist:

    According to The Economist's calculations, world GDP grew by just 2.1% during the first quarter of 2013 compared with a year earlier. Just 12 months ago, output was growing at a reasonable clip of 3.1%. The European Union, the world's second-largest economy, which welcomes its 28th member on July 1st, is back in recession. Meanwhile there are concerns about stumbling blocks as China seeks to rebalance toward a more consumption-oriented economy and more moderate growth rates. Long the mainstay of the world's fortunes, China alone has been responsible for nearly half of all world economic growth since the end of 2009 when the world began growing again.

    While commodities from copper to oil have retained the majority of their price gains achieved over the past ten years, the fact remains that year-over-year inflation has settled in at a low, tepid level. Meanwhile, global wage deflation, a secular trend over the past decade, continues. Overall, this means that labor still has very little pricing power. Indeed, with structural unemployment now embedded in much of the OECD, the question remains: How will Western economies put enough people back to work to erase the idle labor pool?

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  • Blog

    Investing in the Future with SlowMoney

    by cmartenson

    Monday, May 24, 2010, 7:16 PM

    0

    I have been slow to throw my hat into the ring with organizations dedicated to bringing intelligent responses to our predicament. The reason is that I have a list of requirements that have to be met:

    • The proposed actions have to address the real challenges that we face.
    • The organization has to be strictly non-partisan and neutral or silent on a wide range of belief-centered positions.

    I know that doesn’t seem like a very long list of requirements, but it turns out that it eliminates an enormous number of organizations and individuals from consideration as affiliate partners.

    On the first requirement, there are a lot of efforts out there that are either in denial about the actual predicament in which we find ourselves or are approaching solutions in a socially-cautious, status-quo fashion.  Their incremental efforts run a very high risk of being in the category of ‘too little, too late,‘ and are therefore largely ineffective, even if energetic and well-meaning.  Even if I am glad they exist and wish them well, I simply have a hard time getting excited by efforts that, in my opinion, are badly overmatched by the pace and scope of the changes that are coming.

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  • Blog

    My Recent Talk at the UK House of Parliament

    by cmartenson

    Monday, March 1, 2010, 6:30 PM

    0

    NOTE:  We had some difficulty with the links to this talk which we have now mostly fixed.  There’s no video, but audio for the whole event is now uploaded to this site as are the PDFs links to which are provided below. 

    My recent talk at the House of Parliament was recorded and has just been put up on their website.  A video of the talk itself, a PDF of the slides, and an audio (MP3) recording of the Q&A session are all available.

    I have only watched the video and have not yet listened to the Q&A, so I don’t know if that portion came out at all.  (I imagine that the questions themselves will not have been captured well by the single microphone at the front, so hopefully I remembered to restate the questions like a good presenter should).

    But the video is certainly passably good for a single camera perched on a table off to the side.  If you flip through the slides as I talk, it’s not too hard to follow along, although the slides cannot be seen at all on the mini-screen.

    (Links to everything below)

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  • Blog

    Analyzing the Obama Plan

    by cmartenson

    Tuesday, January 6, 2009, 3:20 AM

    0

    One of my chief concerns is that our leaders in DC do not really understand the nature of this crisis and are therefore going to either perform ineffective actions or, worse, harmful ones.

    I have been silently crossing my fingers beneath the table, hoping that Obama’s team would figure out that this crisis is unique and will require some non-status-quo solutions.

    Although I titled this "Analyzing the Obama Plan," this is neither a partisan nor political posting, and not even as much a critique of Obama himself as it is an examination of how the DC machinery currently operates.  No one person controls much more than a sliver of the overall process and results that emanate from DC.

    Now that there’s finally some meat on the plan which we can react to, let’s parse the numbers.

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  • Blog

    What’s the plan?

    by cmartenson

    Wednesday, December 31, 2008, 7:56 PM

    0

    A Summary

    Many people have asked us, "Where are the large-scale solutions to all these problems you have described?" and  "What should we do as a nation to avoid the seemingly inevitable consequences of this fiat money system?"

    The lack of promotion of a large-scale solution set reflects a deliberate act of strategy rather than negligence. We believe we must reach a critical mass of individuals who have an understanding of the ideas presented in the Crash Course, before any national or global solutions will even be possible.

    Because we are still quite far from this tipping point of understanding, this website continues to focus primarily on educating people and helping them move from denial, to awareness, to understanding, and then towards actions rooted in a sense of personal responsibility.

    Once we have achieved a critical mass of people who understand the issues and have taken responsible actions as a result, solutions will find more fertile ground in which to take root.  Many people have already reached this place of understanding and assumed personal responsibility for their futures, but this site is organized around the principle that most have not.

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