Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sumo Wrestling in Europe, Can America afford to be Frugal? Not as long as Debt = Money

10/5/2011 Portland, Oregon - Pop in your mints…
In Europe, the sumo wrestlers have resumed their battle royal on the edge of the cliff.  In this metaphor, the wrestlers conveniently represent the various banks, semi-sovereign governments, central banks, and other unproductive, parasitic organizations with the words “Monetary Fund” in their name.

Up until now, with the exception of some jeering from the spectators, the battle royal has been good natured fun.  Each time one of the wrestlers has tumbled towards the cliff, several of his benevolent fellow competitors have come to his rescue.

First Greece, then Ireland, Northern Rock, Anglo-Irish, and The Bank of Ireland.  Now Alpha, Spain, Caja del Sol, Portugal, Italy, and Dexia.

Each time, they get up, dust each other off, and go back at it.

But the competitors are getting weary, as are the spectators.  With each new stumble towards the cliff, more competitors and even some spectators are required to jump in to avert certain disaster.  If this continues, when one of the weary wrestlers finally tumbles over the cliff, it is increasingly likely that he will take the rest of his competitors and a decent number of well meaning spectators over the edge with him.

Now things are starting to get interesting as BNP Paribas, SocGen, and France herself began to stumble towards the edge.  Who will save them?  Certainly not the Swiss National Bank, which last month stumbled to the edge of the ring and ironically may be the first to fall off.

Any sober observer will quickly point out that this is an insane pastime.  Why would a group of sweaty fat men repeatedly try to push each other from a ring along the edge of a cliff?

Why ask Why?  Just stay away from the Edge!
We can only venture a guess, and our guess is along the lines of “they somehow believe that they must.” 

It doesn’t make sense, neither do a great number of things that occur in the current, insane, “debt is money” currency system in which we live. 

People and institutions are trained to make decisions regarding money based on the assumption that money in and of itself has value.  This assumption, under which the world currently toils, was debased along with the US Dollar back in 1971.  Money today has very little in common with the money our fathers grew up with.  Peter Schiff, the outspoken CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, has gone as far as to call modern currencies the “hidden portfolio risk.

Our father’s money was based on the assumption that men were dishonest, and what they used as money (gold and silver) served to keep them honest.  Today, money is widely assumed to be honest, a fact which has served to make a great number of men dishonest.

Debt is not money, the proof

The only way that the illusion that debt is money can be perpetuated is when debt, and therefore the perceived money supply, is increasing.  First of all, who has ever been known to turn down free money?  When the exponential increase in the perceived money supply is occurring, it creates the welcome illusion of wealth.

Second, people quickly learn that the easiest way to make money is to position oneself as close as possible to the creation of new debt.  This is essentially the business model of Goldman Sachs and every other consumer and investment bank on the planet.

The money is so easy that no one stops to consider what would happen if aggregate debt were to begin to decrease, in turn decreasing the money supply by the same multiples with which it was created.
It will never happen, right?  People will never turn down free or almost free money.

Yet they are.  It turns out that people have a propensity for austerity when they have no choice.  If money were based on something real, austerity would be extremely healthy for the economy which would be accumulating a capital base from which to make the next series of technological advances.

In the current, insane, debt is money currency regime austerity (the reduction of aggregate debt) removes the life blood from the monetary system and causes the underlying economy to die a slow, then sudden and altogether painful, death.

The mirage of the debt fueled economy quickly vaporizes and the debtors and creditors in the system find themselves in the middle of an economic desert with a long road ahead of them.

There will be much struggle along the way, and their only hope is to walk together.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

P.S.  For more ideas and commentary please check out The Mint at

Key Indicators for October 5, 2011

Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,640 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

If the FED is the only Lender of US Dollars, the System has Collapsed

10/4/2011 Portland, Oregon - Pop in your mints…
The dust is beginning to settle after what must have been a tense weekend for bank execs on both sides of the Atlantic.  We can only imagine that banks pulled out all the stops to somehow make their numbers for the third quarter end.  In a practical sense this meant putting the stranglehold on equity and commodity positions and hanging on to dollars with all their might.

The vacuum action in the dollar funding markets was so extreme that at one point it was rumored that US dollar funding for banks in Europe was apparently non-existent.  We speculated that banks were holding on to cash in the absence of clear direction from the Eurozone as to how they intend to bail out their large institutions and governments.

The action looks like a sumo wrestling battle royal on the edge of a cliff.

The FED came to the rescue and re- opened its swap lines with European banks to provide dollars and avoid widespread panic.  According to a report that we saw from Bloomberg, the FED had gone from its role as the lender of last resort to a role as the lender of ONLY resort.

We left off with a question which we will consider today:

Does the fact that the FED is the only institution willing to lend dollars indicate that the US Dollar system has technically collapsed?

On the surface, it would appear that the evidence points to just the opposite.  The US Dollar index has gone through the roof which would indicate a preference for dollars, making them more valuable.  Doesn’t this prove that the US Dollar is alive and well?

Were the Dollar backed by something real, the above would be true.  However, in the current, insane, “Debt is Money” currency regime, it tells us quite the opposite.  The fact that the Federal Reserve, the creator of the current version of the US Dollar, is the only institution willing to lend said Dollars is in fact evidence that the system has failed.

It has failed because it is no longer self sustaining.  The willingness to take on new debt, which is the life blood of a debt based currency regime, is non-existent.  The usurers need fresh blood in order to sustain themselves and finding no new victims, are beginning to feed on each other.

Bernanke Readies His Helicopters
 Financial Institutions are attempting to hoard dollars on a net basis.  Instead of lending them to productive enterprises, they are paying down their dollar denominated liabilities.  In other words, the productive classes have begun to shun the dollar on a net basis and the ultra leveraged financial sector is beginning to vaporize as the productive debts are cancelled.

Financial institutions see this vaporization taking place at their counterparties and are unwilling to extend them credit on any terms.  The financial institutions which cannot meet their day to day funding requirements then turn to the Federal Reserve to lend them the Dollars necessary to meet their commitments.

The inter day funding action has, in effect, become a high stakes game of musical chairs.

While musical chairs is fun to watch, it is not evidence in and of itself of the collapse.  The evidence of the collapse emerges as we fix our gaze on the logical end of this vicious feedback loop.  The logical end is this:  The Federal Reserve ends up holding every worthless paper asset on the planet on its balance sheet which theoretically backs the dollars which it is emitting in exchange.  The banks, which are left with the dollars as their own “paper asset” and the Federal Reserve are left with staggering liabilities which they pass back and forth as investors, businesses, and consumers increasingly shun their paper.

For the moment, the world may have reached a peak in monetization, and the FED’s money machine is now backing up as the sewage of every bad loan on the planet begins to flood their balance sheet.

It is getting ugly.  How ugly?  So ugly that Bank of America’s website has been down for three straight days, presumably for technical reasons but avoiding an online bank run and forcing customers to pay $8 to bank at the branches come to mind as compelling technical reasons for a website failure.

Meanwhile, Europe is having their own “TARP moment” as Slovakian resistance is sure to be swiftly dealt with.  We know where that will lead.

Yes, the end of the insane system is approaching.  It won’t be long now until the authorities pull out their ultimate trump card, a wholesale change of the currency.  With nearly every government and bank on the planet heading to the poorhouse, it is the only trick that the currency regime has left.
Don’t fall for it, fellow taxpayer, for it too shall fail.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint


P.S.  For more ideas and commentary please check out The Mint at

Key Indicators for October 4, 2011

Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,624 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,052,100,000,000 RED ALERT!!!
M2 Monetary Base:  $9,511,300,000,000 YIKES!!!!!!!