Archive for the ‘Monetary System’ Category

There is only us people here…

Posted: February 14, 2017 in Monetary System
Tags: , ,

There are no such things as ‘Corporations’. These entities only exist on paper in legal form, in reality, companies are just people some of whom fulfill multiple functions; employees, customers, shareholders. Some customers are employees. Some are both that and shareholders….where are the incentives and who are the ultimate beneficiaries therefore? If you fine a company, or tax it, the customers and the employees are the ones that foot the bill.

There are no such things as ‘The State’. They are just legal entities, sometimes, not always, bound together by another legally binding piece of paper, called a constitution, but who are the governments, the police and the army…they are same people who pay taxes, vote and follow the law? If a government takes on debt, it’s the citizens who pay it off.

Any institution is made up of only people. Behind the logo, behind the image and the advertisements and the facade…there are only people

And what of ‘The Market’….no it is not some miraculous spirit, beyond the flaws of human behaviour….it is made up of irrational humans itself, subject to whims like anything else, sometimes herd mentality will run supreme, other times we may get genuine independent movement, however let us not be fooled that it is not subject to manipulation and power plays, just like any other area of human activity.

But here’s a preview: it comes down to the fact that the people “in charge” of the economy fundamentally misunderstand it. We call it the machine metaphor: thinking of the economy as a machine with levers and pedals and gauges that can be operated to make it run faster. Of course the economy isn’t. It’s much closer to a natural ecosystem, made up of the free decision-making of millions of people.

In the machine economy, you become a cog. The state becomes the operator. It’ll pull whatever levers it can to try and make the machine run the way it wants. If that destroys a cog, so be it – the machine itself is more important.

Nick O’Connor, MoneyWeek

Prices change expectations (or perhaps “beliefs” is a better word), which change behaviour. Behaviour changes prices, which change expectations/beliefs. On and on it goes.

John Stepek, MoneyWeek

These are all examples of constructs; created structures that man builds and then becomes oppressed by. Invisible to the eye yet all encompassing, let us not be fooled in believing in apparitions….. some people think that is what ‘religion’ is for.

Who are the clergy, the establishment, the monarchs…..they are just people too. The consume, defecate, procreate and expire

Do not fear that which we create and build with out own hands and minds.

A Fascinating and extremely pertinent view expressed by MoneyWeek in the following article

A question which has certainly been raised in discussions about the nature and indeed, the durability, of this cryptocurrency, one must decide whether this trend will fall victim to many of the faults of other fiat currencies or does it take of the allure of precious commodities which can potentially outlast humanity itself?

On the surface I cannot think of Bitcoin as anything other than pseudo-fiat, however we may never even know the authority behind it, even if it is everyone of those that use it – can we not fall victim to the same whims of the State? Any man made invention will have its deep flaws and cannot be assumed to be beyond manipulation.

However, I understand the commodity like nature of it too, but as Buffet once remarked about gold, you certainly cannot eat bitcoin, you can’t even touch it, so how much of a commodity can we really think of it as?

..if someone were to hack the algorithm behind a bitcoin, that might have the same effect as a central bank printing money: it could lead to a loss of faith and value. Now there’s an irony! Central bankers are to fiat currencies what hackers are to cryptocurrencies!

My research will continue….

This past week, the London School of Economics, hosted an event on the Nature of Money, see details here.

One of the speakers was Dr Waltraud Schelkle, part of the LSE, an Associate Professor of Political Economy.

Please play the audio from time stamp 52.05 for a question put to the panel regarding the fraudulent aspects of the system. Dr Schelkle answers that she disagrees that the system is indeed based on deceit and she points to the ‘success’ of the Capitalist nations….

I think Susan Steed, another panellist, does an excellent job of refuting her shallow argument, without mentioning by name what I think is most key when understanding how the rich became rich…the Transatlantic Slave Trade…

I would also point the Dr to the numerous posts examining this on this blog, and will make an effort to highlight other key counterarguments in future

Fortuitously, this week I received a post from MoneyWeek entitled…”A 92bn Scam

It went on to state;

The $92 billion was income generated on the Federal Reserve’s portfolio of US government bonds. It bought vast numbers of these bonds by expanding its balance sheet and printing money. The government then paid interest on those bonds. That interest is the Federal Reserve’s return. That return is then passed back to the government as an important source of income.

To be clear, this is the state creating money from nothing… to lend to itself… to then pay interest on… and then use that interest as another source of revenue. That’s Deep State financial policy.

Misrepresenting transactions, making it seem as though the government is solvent when it is using a glorified Ponzi scheme…..that’s Fraud in my book.

As the new calendar year opens and the prior year draws to a close, many media slots are filled with both reviews of the past 12 months and predictions for the coming period.

In a year which has shattered any pretence, if there was indeed any in the first place, that certain qualified professionals have an innate ability to understand and predict future events and trends more so than those not so versed, I find it bewildering how the routine of setting predications continues apace.

Yet, nothings changes with the time and space given to these commentators. Does this suggest that we are simply suffering the fall out of the media’s own making?

Does it become a necessary exercise in futility that cannot be undone. People are paid to ply their trade, plenty of investors hoping to be the early bird yearn for such opinion, however what fundamentals change with the ticking of the clock past midnight on the 31st of December….none. Events occur at various moments, they may be game changers, or just another part of an ongoing trend, but until such time, why do many of us become caught up, entangled, in the futility of reviewing for only the sake of review? Until material events take place, should the consensus be the same from one small moment to the next?

With the amount of opinions available, getting the right outcome then becomes a sure fire way to earn a name for yourself…and then ensure others listen to you the next time. It will also set yourself apart from others and thus raise your status even further, allowing one to earn a greater share of the pie.

But the emphasis seems to be to write for the sake of writing, to pick winners or make new observations, not because anything has changed, but because of the need to make a statement, an observation or raise an issue not already discussed. Because the machine is too bloated and it needs more junk to feed on, many are only too pleased to oblige, and before we know it, we don’t have quality research on the market, we have noise. Distracting garbage probably not worth the paper its written on, something to separate the herd from the those with an eagle eye.

No-one can be right all the time, and no-one can rightly claim to know more than their peers. And yet in a year such as 2016 when eggs have been freely spread over the faces of our esteemed experts no such change is thought to be appropriate this time around.

Sometimes, less is needed, not more. Sometimes no comments are more insightful than the need to fill a void, to sell more observations to the detriment of the ordinary investor. I find a great connection here to the fact that even in an information age, with so much growing information at the tips of our fingers, we are arguably becoming ever more ignorant, being drowned in distraction not clarity. Look at the clamour of reporters trying to decipher from the tiniest inferences from Central Bank Governors as to the perceived direction of rates and the economy….there is just too much at stake not to be overzealous in this regard.

Will we think back to the remarkable number of events throughout modern history when the herd were quite disastrously wrong (EU Single Currency argument ?), or is this too just many people buying the trash up for sale. Perhaps we have never been accurate at all but the blurred reality shown to us is one that most experts get it right… mostly, but who’s really keeping check?

I wonder how the future will pan out…..let me see what those in the know are saying….?

 

 

 

Image result for The Big Short Poster

An excellent and well articulated movie which once again demonstrates the high ignorance shown by market participants, the “emperors clothes” mentality which authorities displayed and the falsehood by which many were duped into believing the boom would continue indefinitely. Contrarians would certainly be pleased with this

As the tag line says, “This is a true story”, its hard to believe but it really is!. Nothing else needs to be added showing the level impact the plain truth can have.

Interested viewers should also note that they can search the LEARN series of posts on this blog site for an easy to understand tutorial on many of the credit based products mentioned in this film.

I have linked here the latest article from Jim Rickards, touching on what he believes to be the next economic catastrophe. Note the quote below which illustrates his view of lessons not learned sufficiently from the causes of previous crises, and the disdain for perceived wisdom

The equilibrium and value-at-risk models used by banks will not foresee the new panic. Those models are junk science relying as they do on notions of efficient markets, normally distributed risk, continuous liquidity, and a future that resembles the past. None of those hypotheses match reality.

Advances in behavioural psychology have demolished the idea of efficient markets. The future does not resemble the past; it keeps getting worse

 

AI is not an upcoming trend to watch for. It is a reality becoming ever more present and considerably more powerful with each passing moment.

The following documentary by the acclaimed filmmaker Adam Curtis, only touches upon this in the wider context of his narrative, however I wish to focus particularly on his coverage of the asset management giant, BlackRock, and the Aladdin platform and risk management system it employs.

Adam-Curtis-Hypernormalisation

This sparked my interest into the use of such intelligence within the monetary system itself. The finance industry is clearly not distinct for its use of AI as compared to that of other spheres of life and work. I believe it is worthwhile exploring this in the following articles from The Economist;

The Monolith and the Markets

The rise of BlackRock

ASK conspiracy theorists who they think really runs the world, and they will probably point to global banks… Oil giants …..may also earn a mention. Or perhaps they would focus on the consumer-goods firms that hold billions in their thrall….

One firm unlikely to feature on their list is BlackRock, an investment manager whose name rings few bells outside financial circles. Yet it is the single biggest shareholder in all the companies listed above. It owns a stake in almost every listed company not just in America but globally. …..Its reach extends further: to corporate bonds, sovereign debt, commodities, hedge funds and beyond. It is easily the biggest investor in the world, with $4.1 trillion of directly controlled assets (almost as much as all private-equity and hedge funds put together) and another $11 trillion it oversees through its trading platform, Aladdin

In this context, let me quote Mark Wood, from The Memo;

Machines are only as moral as we tell them to be. And we are all flawed…

…..Machines are logical and lack the emotions that make us human. If we give them the power to think, why should they protect us rather than divide and conquer?