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Podcast

Lightspring/Shuttestock

Brien Lundin: If They Don't Want You To Own It, You Probably Should

The wisdom (and challenges) of owning safe haven assets
Monday, August 14, 2017, 8:39 PM

One of the most perplexing mysteries to us is that right as the Federal Reserve embarked on QE3 -- which was a huge, enormous, $85 billion a month experiment -- commodities began a multiyear decline within two weeks of that announcement. Concurrently, the world’s central banks plunged the world into steeply negative real interest rates, a condition that has almost always resulted in booming commodity prices -- but not this time. Today, the ratio between commodity prices and equities is at one of, if not the most, extreme points in history.

To explain that gap, we talk this week with Brien Lundin, publisher of Gold Newsletter and producer of the New Orleans Investment Conference (where Chris and Adam are speaking on Oct 25-28): » Read more

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Signs Of Distress

The need to change is becoming more obvious than ever
Friday, August 11, 2017, 10:06 PM

The world is edging closer to the final moments after which everything will be forever changed.

Grand delusions, perpetuated over decades, will finally hit the limits of reality and collapse in on themselves.

We’re over-budget and have eaten deeply into the principal balances of all of our main trust accounts. We are ecologically overdrawn, financially insolvent, monetarily out past the Twilight Zone, consuming fossil fuels (as in literally eating them), and adding 80,000,000 net souls to the planet’s surface -- each year! -- without regard to the consequences.

Someday there will be hell to pay financially, economically, and ecologically as there simply isn’t any way to maintain these overdrafts forever. Reality does not renegotiate. Its deal terms aren't compromisable. » Read more

Podcast

Oleksii Sergieiev | Dreamstime

Richard Sylla: This Is An Inherently Dangerous Moment In History

Low interest rates are causing distortions & mis-allocations
Monday, August 7, 2017, 2:42 PM

"The rates we’ve had in recent years, including right now, are the lowest in history. The book that I co-authored on the history of interest rates traces back to the code of Hammurabi, Babylonian civilization, Greek and Roman civilization, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and early modern history right up to the present. And I can assure our listeners that the rates that they’re experiencing right now are the lowest in human history."

So says Richard Sylla, Professor Emeritus of Economics and the Former Henry Kaufman Professor of the History of Financial Institutions and Markets at New York University's Stern School of Business. He is also co-author of the book A History Of Interest Rates

We invited Professor Sylla onto the podcast after hearing his work favorably referenced by the panel convened at the recent hearing held by the US Congress titled: “The Federal Reserve’s Impact on Main Street, Retirees and Savings.”

Based on his deep study across the scope of millennia of human history, Sylla warns we are at a dangerous moment in time. » Read more

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Patrick Byrne: Why Cryptocurrencies Matter

They make freedom from the central banking cartel possible
Sunday, July 30, 2017, 3:28 PM

This week we talk with Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com, and rare courageous voice within corporate America raising concern that powerful interests on Wall Street are destroying US companies for profit, robbing investors and destabilizing our financial system in the process. 

Byrne has been an early advocate for digital currencies and their potential to protect financial wealth from the massive policy missteps being undertaken by the Federal Reserve. (In 2014, Overstock.com became the first major retailer to accept Bitcoin payments.) 

In this week's podcast, Byrne details out the promising potential of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain, as well as his thoughts as to whether they will be able or not to evade subversion by the world central authorities. » Read more

Podcast

Alex J. Pollock: Insights From The Recent Congressional Hearing On The Fed

Finally, some lawmakers are becoming concerned
Monday, July 24, 2017, 2:43 PM

On June 28th 2017, the United States Congress held a hearing titled: “The Federal Reserve’s Impact on Main Street, Retirees and Savings.” If you haven't watched it yet, we highly recommend doing so.

Joining us for today's podcast is Alex J. Pollock, one of the experts who participated on that Congressional panel. In this discussion, he details out his assessments of the Fed's major transgressions against the interests of the general public. But perhaps more interestingly, he shares his observations from the hearing and how it struck him that many of the members of Congress that convened it appear to be growing increasingly concerned about the Fed's lack of accountability, as well as its potential fallibility. » Read more

Blog

What To Do With Your Cash?

Is it folly to hold cash right now? Or brilliant?
Saturday, July 22, 2017, 12:19 AM

Have you moved a material percentage of your financial portfolio to cash? Have you become so concerned about the meteoric ramp upwards in asset prices that you find it wiser instead to move to the sidelines, build "dry powder", and wait to re-enter the markets at saner valuations?

If so, you have my sympathies.

The past 5+ years have been brutal for savers pursuing this strategy. I know this well, as I'm one of those folks, too. » Read more

Insider

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The Value Drivers Of Cryptocurrency

These factors will determine which coin(s) will win out
Friday, June 23, 2017, 9:27 PM

Executive Summary

  • The critical value of scarcity
  • Understanding the utility of the blockchain
  • Will (can?) governments ban cryptocurrencies?
  • A coming geometric explosion in the price of cryptocurrency?

If you have not yet read Part 1: Understanding The Cryptocurrency Boom available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, we surveyed the exciting but confusing speculative boom phase of cryptocurrencies. Here in Part 2, we will contextualize this mad swirl by running it through two filters: scarcity and utility.

What’s Scarce? Scarcity Creates Value

Regardless of one’s economic ideology or system, scarcity creates value and abundance destroys value.  When we say supply and demand, we’re really talking about scarcity and abundance and the rise or fall of demand for the commodity, good or service.

In classical economic theory, scarcity is met with substitution: ground beef too expensive due to relative scarcity? Buy ground turkey instead.

But this model has weaknesses.  There aren’t always substitutes, or the substitutes are more expensive or problematic than what is now scarce. 

As a general rule, profits flow to any scarcity of goods and services with high utility value.  We value what’s scarce and useful, and place little value on what’s abundant and of limited utility.

Currency has three basic functions: a store of value (it will retain its purchasing power over time), means of exchange (we can use it to trade goods and services, pay debts, etc.) and as an accounting mechanism to track assets, debts, income, expenses and exchanges/trades.

We assume all currency has this function, but only currency that is easily divisible and easily tradable enables easy accounting.  If a notched stick is a unit of currency, and one stick buys a pig, what do I use for purchases smaller than a pig?

In today’s world, a currency must be.... » Read more

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digitalcoinsexchange.com

Understanding The Cryptocurrency Boom

A ground-level assessment
Friday, June 23, 2017, 9:26 PM

Today, there are hundreds of cryptocurrencies, and a speculative boom has pushed bitcoin from around $600 a year ago to $2600 and Ethereum, another leading cryptocurrency, from around $10 last year to $370.

Where are cryptocurrencies in the evolution from new technology to speculative boom to maturation? Judging by valuation leaps from $10 to $370, the technology is clearly in the speculative boom phase.

In trying to predict which forms of cryptocurrencies will dominate the mature marketplace of the future, we know that markets will sort the wheat from the chaff by a winnowing the entries down to those that solve real business problems (i.e. address scarcities) in ways that are cheap and robust and that cannot be solved by other technologies.
Podcast

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Steen Jakobsen: 60% Probability Of Recession In The Next 18 Months

The world economic engine is slowing to a standstill
Sunday, June 11, 2017, 6:46 PM

Steen Jakobsen back on, Chief Investment Officer of Saxo Bank, returns to the podcast this week to share with us the warning signs of slowing economic growth he's seeing in major markets all over the world.

In his view, the world economy is sputtering badly. So badly, that he's confident predicting a global recession by 2018 -- or sooner. » Read more

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Why The Markets Are Overdue For A Gigantic Bust

It's just not possible to print our way to prosperity
Friday, June 9, 2017, 7:38 PM

As much as I try, I simply cannot jump on the bandwagon that says that printing up money out of thin air has any long-term utility for an economy.

It's just too clear to me that doing so presents plenty of dangers, due what we might call 'economic gravity': What goes up, must also come down. » Read more