What is “Supreme Excellence”?

There was quite an interesting headline in the news, which, to my great surprise, went almost completely under the radar, at the close of 2013.  It was only picked up by a few small media outlets, and then was quickly dropped.
Nothing further was said, and no additional commentary was even given.  I hope to remedy that today.
The headline was this: Russian banks buy up 181.4 tons of gold, in 2013.
Read that againcarefully.
Does it say, “Central Bank of Russia buys 181.4 tons of gold”?
No, it says that commercial Russian banks bought almost 90% of Russia’s gold production in 2013.

Click here for more on Russian banks loading up on gold:

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Comics Jim Davidson, Janey Godley and a possible Canadian cottage misunderstanding

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“In Jim Davidson’s Fringe show, he put his annus horribilis behind him” Read my latest daily blog in full here

• SO IT GOES – John Fleming’s Blog


Michael Lewis Heaps Praise on Timothy Geithner

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Michael Lewis on Timothy Geithner:

“He’s written a really good book — we might as well get that out of the way, as so much else about Timothy F. Geithner remains unsettled… There’s hardly a moment in Geithner’s story when the reader feels he is being anything but straightforward — a near-superhuman feat for someone who spent so much time in public life defending himself from careless and dishonest personal attacks. The decisions he made are easier to criticize than they are to improve upon. I doubt many readers will put his book down and think the man did anything but his best. On his feet he might have stammered and wavered. That in itself was always a sign he was unusually brave.”–Michael Lewis, New York Times Book Review

See Also: “Michael Lewis, Wall Street’s Smart Aleck Apologist

Janet Tavakoli just joined Twitter: @JanetTavakoli


It’s Not Just Politics That’s Broken–The Status Quo’s Model of “How the World Works” Is Broken

The Status Quo is dysfunctional because its model of how the world works is broken.

Much has been written about the dysfunction in Washington D.C. Pundits have been wringing their hands for years over the rise of bitter partisan politics and the resulting gridlock. The impact of this–what I have termed profound political disunity–extends beyond the narrow confines of domestic politics, a reality reflected in Foreign Affairs new survey of our winter of political discontent, Dysfunction Junction.

But all these discussions of our dysfunctional politics ignore the larger truth, which is the entire model of the Status Quo is broken. 

Read more ›

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REINVENTING CRYPTO + CROWDFUNDING. Want to own a piece of http://StartJOIN.com ?


Pippa Malmgren’s new book “Signals” looks like a winner


Russia Coordinating Gold Reserve Accumulation With Ex Soviet States?

Gold bars in a vault in West Point, N.Y. (Associated Press)
Or are they?

The IMF’s latest international gold reserves data, updated yesterday, shows that in July, Russia raised its official gold reserves to 35.5 million ounces (1,104 tonnes). Read more ›

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ISIS has found the missing pallet of cash sent over by US to Iraq with the missing $2.3 trillion


Is Bitcoin Making People Want To Kill Themselves?

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Originally appeared at Bitcoinomics.Net

In the bitcoin community, discussion generally revolves around the success of the technology over the past five years. Rarely does it venture forth into a darker area of conversation: the psychological toll participating in a world disrupting, extreme growth industry. In fact, bitcoin is much more than an extreme growth industry. It is perhaps the first example of a decentralized autonomous corporation, or peer-to-peer corporation. In this view, all of the participants in bitcoin are working towards preserving, growing and marketing the 24/7, global project. They are, in a way, contractors for the technology. This seems pretty exciting. But, there is a darker side. Like any job, helping to develop bitcoin and the bitcoin ecosystem can trigger stress and all its associated detriments. Read more ›

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The New Misery Index

The Status Quo is desperate to mask the declining fortunes of those who earn income from work, and the Misery Index 2.0 strips away the phony facade of bogus unemployment and inflation numbers.

The classic Misery Index is the sum of unemployment and inflation, though later variations have added interest rates and the relative shortfall or surplus of GDP growth.

Since the Status Quo figured out how to game unemployment and inflation to the point that these metrics are meaningless except as a meta-measure of centralized perception management, the Misery Index has lost its meaning as well.

I propose a Misery Index 2.0 of four less easily manipulated (and therefore more meaningful) metrics:

1. The participation rate: the percentage of the working-age population with a job

2. Real (adjusted for inflation) median household income: an imperfect but still useful measure of purchasing power

3. Labor share of the non-farm economy: how much of the national income is going to wage-earners

4. Money velocity: a basic measure of economic vitality

The foundation of Misery Index 2.0 is jobs, earned income and the purchasing power of earnings.Inflation is easily gamed by underweighting big-ticket expenses and offsetting increasing costs with hedonic adjustments, and unemployment is easily gamed by shifting people from the work-force to not in the workforce. This category of zombies–not counted in measures of unemployment–has skyrocketed:

The participation rate is the more telling metric: if fewer people of working age have jobs, the claim that the Main Street economy is “doing better” rings false.

Even though the rate of inflation is heavily gamed, real median household income is the best available gauge of purchasing power. Purchasing power simply means how many goods and services will your income buy?

For example: if your daily salary buys 20 gallons of gasoline, and a year from now you get a raise but your daily pay only buys 15 gallons of gasoline, the purchasing power of your earnings fell despite the higher nominal salary.

Real median household income has declined, meaning the purchasing power of earnings fell.

This chart also shows labor’s share of the non-farm economy: that broad measure of earned income (as opposed to corporate profits, unearned income and rentier income) reflects a steady decline in labor’s share of the national income.

Once again, claims that the Main Street economy is “doing better” make no sense if labor’s share of the national income is declining.

An economy in rude good health has a high velocity of money. An economy bedeviled with high taxes, rentier skims, cartels, politically untouchable fiefdoms, quasi-monopolies and free money for financiers provided by the central bank has a declining velocity of money.

You can fake unemployment and inflation, but it’s harder to paper over the weakness reflected in money velocity:

Central-planning always leads to ginned-up phony statistics, because centrally planned economies always stagnate due to corruption, malinvestments, and some are more equal than others skims and scams by insiders, cronies, cadres and apparatchiks.

The Status Quo is desperate to mask the declining fortunes of those who earn income from work, and the Misery Index 2.0 strips away the phony facade of bogus unemployment and inflation numbers.


The ideal Back-to-School reading for high school/college seniors:
Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy
,
a mere $9.95 for the Kindle ebook edition and $15.47 for the print edition.

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The Bailout of Robert Mugabe – How Wall Street Money Led to Intimidation, Torture and Death in Zimbabwe

Four days later, Camec announced it was using the money it raised to purchase a joint venture with the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corp., or ZMDC, Mugabe’s state-owned mining company. The joint venture owned the platinum stakes on the Great Dyke that had been taken back just a few weeks earlier from Anglo American. The price included $5 million in cash; Camec issued shares to partners whose identities were shielded by a shell company based in the British Virgin Islands; and $100 million to Mugabe’s government. Camec said the $100 million was a cash loan “to comply with its contractual obligations to the government of Zimbabwe” for the platinum claims. It said the money would be repaid out of ZMDC’s share of future platinum earnings. Camec’s balance sheets for the period make clear that funding for the platinum rights came from the private transactions involving Och-Ziff.

- From the excellent Bloomberg article, The Hedge Fund and the Despot

The $100 million figure mentioned above that flowed directly to Zimbabwe’s brutal dictator Robert Mugabe was more than just a cash infusion to a corrupt dictator. Rather, it was a veritable political lifeline to a desperate and vulnerable despot. Facing defeat in the initial round of elections to the opposition, and with the nation’s currency hyper-inflating, the only thing he had at his disposal were valuable platinum assets that were at the time held by Anglo American Platinum. So Mugabe did what any desperate tyrant would do. He expropriated the assets from Anglo-American and immediately put them on the market to raise money to crush his opposition. Enter Wall Street.

Read more here.

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Is this Broadside About to Free Silver Again?

The Unlooked for Juggernaut
As many commentators point to very significant signs that the imbalance in silver’s supply and demand are reaching critical points, very few of them seem to be paying attention to a forgotten metric to watch in silver.  

It is that metric which may be about to broadside the silver market again and break it open for good:

Click here for more on the Broadside that could free silver again:

 

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