Saturday, April 17, 2021

"Is China Preparing A Gold-Backed Digital Yuan? Beijing Greenlights Purchases Of Billions In Bullion"

Full screen recommended.
"Is China Preparing A Gold-Backed Digital Yuan? 
Beijing Greenlights Purchases Of Billions In Bullion"
by Epic Economist

"Recent evidence shows the Chinese government is getting ready to launch the first Central Bank Digital Currency backed on gold, threatening to put an end to the dollar's reign as the world's reserve currency and triggering a global banking crisis during that process. Since 2018, global market specialists have been arguing that China had started to secretly turn to hard money in order to strengthen the status of its currency, and the latest data release is exposing that they were right. The debates begun after the Chinese introduced a gold-backed, yuan-denominated oil futures contract in that year. Although such contracts were priced in yuan, they were convertible to gold, which sparked discussions about the prospect that “the rise of the petroyuan could be the death blow for the dollar.”

The U.S. dollar is facing a number of challenges, particularly due to the fast expansion of the money supply over the past year and the growing national debt. A couple of weeks ago, the IMF reported that the global share of US-dollar-denominated exchange reserves had fallen to 59.0% in the fourth quarter, matching the 25-year low of 1995. Meanwhile, China has rapidly advanced in financial matters over the past 12 months, and just last week, it has finally implemented a Digital Yuan, becoming the major economy to unleash a Central Bank Digital Currency.

Moreover, just yesterday, a Reuters report confirmed that the Chinese government has given permission to domestic and international banks to import large amounts of gold into the country. Traditionally, the People's Bank of China (PBOC), the nation's central bank, is the agency that regulates how much gold enters the country through a system of quotas given to commercial banks. The bank typically allows enough metal in to satisfy local demand but, oftentimes, it restricts the flow. However, the report revealed that during the past few weeks, it has given permission for large amounts of bullion to enter.

All that seems to be setting the stage for the Chinese to launch a gold-backed digital yuan, putting all major fiat currencies at risk, but especially threatening the U.S. dollar leading position as the world's reserve currency. That's according to the forecast of the founder of Heisenberg Capital and pioneer investor in cryptocurrencies, Max Keiser, who said the recent evidence signals the new Chinese digital currency is going to be backed by gold. Keiser also predicts that the PBoC will soon declare that it has 20,000 tons of gold, and this enormous amount will serve as a reserve backing for the new digital currency. The plan isn't to convert digital yuans into gold. China will use gold reserves in the vaults of its central bank to bolster confidence in the digital currency in circulation. Last year, GoldMoney's Alasdair Macleod wrote an article pointing out that the best way for the eastern superpower to escape the fate of a dollar collapse is by tying the yuan to gold.

Even though the country has enough resources to push the dollar to a devastating collapse, the financial analyst argues that it is not in China's best interest to be the driver of such a catastrophe, particularly because it owns roughly $3.4 trillion dollars. The Chinese government will call out for the Federal Reserve to control the dollar collapse in the foreign exchanges. However, that's exactly where the real problem lies. The Federal Reserve will be tempted to solve the situation with more inflationary policies. That's why the expert anticipates that a global banking crisis is embedded in this script, having critical effects on all fiat currencies, "since international banking is overwhelmingly a dollar affair," he says, and as a result, that would compromise its position as the reserve currency.

Macleod argues that "it is clearly not in China’s current geopolitical interest to introduce a gold standard that undermines the dollar. For this reason, China will only do so once it is clear that the dollar is in the early stages of an unavoidable inflationary collapse, and the risk of the yuan going down with it must be urgently addressed". The Chinese government must be seen by the rest of the world trying to protect its own interests by returning to sound money and not deliberately crushing the dollar.

In short, it seems that the dollar reign has its days counted. A gold-backed digital yuan is the beginning of the end. At this point, it all depends on how the federal government's and policymakers' agenda will handle the debt trap of rising interest rates and the explosive hyperinflationary spike that looms. Nothing lasts forever, and right now we're entering a stage that might set the end game for the United States as the global leading economic power."

Musical Interlude: Vangelis, "Hymn"

Vangelis, "Hymn"

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Large, dusty, spiral galaxy NGC 4945 is seen edge-on near the center of this rich telescopic image. The field of view spans nearly 2 degrees, or about 4 times the width of the Full Moon, toward the expansive southern constellation Centaurus.

About 13 million light-years distant, NGC 4945 is almost the size of our own Milky Way Galaxy. But X-ray and infrared observations reveal even more high energy emission and star formation in the core of NGC 4945. The other prominent galaxy in the field, NGC 4976, is an elliptical galaxy. Left of center, NGC 4976 is much farther away, at a distance of about 35 million light-years, and not physically associated with NGC 4945.”

"The Questions..."

“I don't pretend we have all the answers.
But the questions are certainly worth thinking about.”
- Arthur C. Clarke

The Daily "Near You?"

Commerce City, Colorado, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

The Poet: Henry Austin Dobson, “The Paradox Of Time"

“Time passes in moments. Moments which, rushing past, define the path of a life, just as surely as they lead towards its end. How rarely do we stop to examine that path, to see the reasons why all things happen? To consider whether the path we take in life is our own making, or simply one into which we drift with eyes closed? But what if we could stop, pause to take stock of each precious moment before it passes? Might we then see the endless forks in the road that have shaped a life? And, seeing those choices, choose another path?”
- Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully, “The X-Files”
“The Paradox Of Time"

“Time goes, you say? Ah no!
Alas, Time stays, we go;
Or else, were this not so,
What need to chain the hours,
For Youth were always ours?
Time goes, you say? – ah no!
Ours is the eyes’ deceit
Of men whose flying feet
Lead through some landscape low;
We pass, and think we see
The earth’s fixed surface flee;
Alas, Time stays, – we go!
Once in the days of old,
Your locks were curling gold,
And mine had shamed the crow.
Now, in the self-same stage,
We’ve reached the silver age;
Time goes, you say? – ah no!
Once, when my voice was strong,
I filled the woods with song
To praise your ‘rose’ and ‘snow’;
My bird, that sang, is dead;
Where are your roses fled?
Alas, Time stays, – we go!
See, in what traversed ways,
What backward Fate delays
The hopes we used to know;
Where are our old desires?
Ah, where those vanished fires?
Time goes, you say? – ah no!
How far, how far, O Sweet,
The past behind our feet
Lies in the even-glow!
Now, on the forward way,
Let us fold hands, and pray;
Alas, Time stays, – we go!”

- Henry Austin Dobson
Full screen recommended.
Hans Zimmer, "Time"

"Here's A Question..."

“Here’s a question every angry man and woman needs to consider: How long are you going to allow people you don’t even like – people who are no longer in your life, maybe even people who aren’t even alive anymore – to control your life? How long?”
- Andy Stanley

“That goes for old wounds, too, you know. I really wish we’d had the chance to talk before this,” he says, cracking the window so the smoke can escape. “There’s a Longfellow quote I have stuck on my bulletin board at the church office – ‘There is no grief like the grief that does not speak’ – and it’s true. I’ve found that keeping pain inside doesn’t give it a chance to heal, but bringing it out into the light, holding it right there in your hands and trusting that you’re strong enough to make it through, not hating the pain, not loving it, just seeing it for what it really is can change how you go on from there. Time alone doesn’t heal emotional wounds, and you don’t want to live the rest of your life bottled up with anger and guilt and bitterness. That’s how people self-destruct.”
- Laura Wiess

"Covid-19 Pandemic Update 4/17/21"

"Covid-19 Pandemic Update 4/17/21"
“When you don’t have the data and you don’t have
 the actual evidence, you’ve got to make a judgment call." 
 April 17, 2021 9:07 AM ET: 
The coronavirus pandemic has sickened more than 140,023,900 
people, according to official counts, including 31,598,030 Americans.
Globally at least 3,000,700 have died.

"The COVID Tracking Project"
Every day, our volunteers compile the latest numbers on tests, cases, 
hospitalizations, and patient outcomes from every US state and territory.
"The individual comes face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists. The American mind has not come to a realization of the evil which has been introduced into our midst. It rejects even the assumption that human creatures could espouse a philosophy which must ultimately destroy all that is good and decent."
- J. Edgar Hoover
"Entirely Possible This Will Be Used For Massive-scale Depopulation"
by Mordechai Sones

"America’s Frontline Doctors (AFLDS) spoke to former Pfizer Vice President and Chief Science Officer Dr. Mike Yeadon about his views on the COVID-19 vaccine, hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, the regulatory authorities, and more. At the outset, Dr. Yeadon said “I’m well aware of the global crimes against humanity being perpetrated against a large proportion of the worlds population. I feel great fear, but I’m not deterred from giving expert testimony to multiple groups of able lawyers like Rocco Galati in Canada and Reiner Fuellmich in Germany. I have absolutely no doubt that we are in the presence of evil (not a determination I’ve ever made before in a 40-year research career) and dangerous products.

In the U.K., it’s abundantly clear that the authorities are bent on a course which will result in administering ‘vaccines’ to as many of the population as they can. This is madness, because even if these agents were legitimate, protection is needed only by those at notably elevated risk of death from the virus. In those people, there might even be an argument that the risks are worth bearing. And there definitely are risks which are what I call ‘mechanistic’: inbuilt in the way they work.

But all the other people, those in good health and younger than 60 years, perhaps a little older, they don’t perish from the virus. In this large group, it’s wholly unethical to administer something novel and for which the potential for unwanted effects after a few months is completely uncharacterized.

In no other era would it be wise to do what is stated as the intention. Since I know this with certainty, and I know those driving it know this too, we have to enquire: What is their motive? While I don’t know, I have strong theoretical answers, only one of which relates to money and that motive doesn’t work, because the same quantum can be arrived at by doubling the unit cost and giving the agent to half as many people. Dilemma solved. So it’s something else.
Appreciating that, by entire population, it is also intended that minor children and eventually babies are to be included in the net, and that’s what I interpret to be an evil act.

There is no medical rationale for it. Knowing as I do that the design of these ‘vaccines’ results, in the expression in the bodies of recipients, expression of the spike protein, which has adverse biological effects of its own which, in some people, are harmful (initiating blood coagulation and activating the immune ‘complement system’), I’m determined to point out that those not at risk from this virus should not be exposed to the risk of unwanted effects from these agents.”

AFLDS: The Israel Supreme Court decision last week cancelling COVID flight restrictions said: “In the future, any new restrictions on travel into or out of Israel need, in legal terms, a comprehensive, factual, data-based foundation.”

In a talk you gave four months ago, you said, “The most likely duration of immunity to a respiratory virus like SARS CoV-2 is multiple years. Why do I say that? We actually have the data for a virus that swept through parts of the world seventeen years ago called SARS, and remember SARS CoV-2 is 80% similar to SARS, so I think that’s the best comparison that anyone can provide.

The evidence is clear: These very clever cellular immunologists studied all the people they could get hold of who had survived SARS 17 years ago. They took a blood sample, and they tested whether they responded or not to the original SARS and they all did; they all had perfectly normal, robust T cell memory. They were actually also protected against SARS CoV-2, because they’re so similar; it’s cross immunity.

So, I would say the best data that exists is that immunity should be robust for at least 17 years. I think it’s entirely possible that it is lifelong. The style of the responses of these people’s T cells were the same as if you’ve been vaccinated and then you come back years later to see if that immunity has been retained. So I think the evidence is really strong that the duration of immunity will be multiple years, and possibly lifelong.”

In other words, previous exposure to SARS – that is, a variant similar to SARS CoV-2 – bestowed SARS CoV-2 immunity. The Israel government cites new variants to justify lockdowns, flight closures, restrictions, and Green Passport issuance. Given the Supreme Court verdict, do you think it may be possible to preempt future government measures with accurate information about variants, immunity, herd immunity, etc. that could be provided to the lawyers who will be challenging those future measures?

Yeadon: “What I outlined in relation to immunity to SARS is precisely what we’re seeing with SARS-CoV-2.
The study is from one of the best labs in their field. So, theoretically, people could test their T-cell immunity by measuring the responses of cells in a small sample of their blood. There are such tests, they are not “high throughput” and they are likely to cost a few hundred USD each on scale. But not thousands. The test I’m aware of is not yet commercially available, but research only in U.K.

However, I expect the company could be induced to provide test kits “for research” on scale, subject to an agreement. If you were to arrange to test a few thousand non vaccinated Israelis, it may be a double edged sword. Based on other countries experiences, 30-50% of people had prior immunity & additionally around 25% have been infected & are now immune.

Personally, I wouldn’t want to deal with the authorities on their own terms: that you’re suspected as a source of infection until proven otherwise. You shouldn’t need to be proving you’re not a health risk to others. Those without symptoms are never a health threat to others. And in any case, once those who are concerned about the virus are vaccinated, there is just no argument for anyone else needing to be vaccinated."

AFLDS: My understanding of a “leaky vaccine” is that it only lessens symptoms in the vaccinated, but does not stop transmission; it therefore allows the spread of what then becomes a more deadly virus. For example, in China they deliberately use leaky Avian Flu vaccines to quickly cull flocks of chicken, because the unvaccinated die within three days. In Marek’s Disease, from which they needed to save all the chickens, the only solution was to vaccinate 100% of the flock, because all unvaccinated were at high risk of death. So how a leaky vax is utilized is intention-driven, that is, it is possible that the intent can be to cause great harm to the unvaccinated.

Stronger strains usually would not propagate through a population because they kill the host too rapidly, but if the vaccinated experience only less-serious disease, then they spread these strains to the unvaccinated who contract serious disease and die.

Do you agree with this assessment? Furthermore, do you agree that if the unvaccinated become the susceptible ones, the only way forward is HCQ prophylaxis for those who haven’t already had COVID-19? Would the Zelenko Protocol work against these stronger strains if this is the case? And if many already have the aforementioned previous “17-year SARS immunity”, would that then not protect from any super-variant?

“I think the Gerrt Vanden Bossche story is highly suspect. There is no evidence at all that vaccination is leading or will lead to ‘dangerous variants’. I am worried that it’s some kind of trick. As a general rule, variants form very often, routinely, and tend to become less dangerous & more infectious over time, as it comes into equilibrium with its human host. Variants generally don’t become more dangerous. No variant differs from the original sequence by more than 0.3%. In other words, all variants are at least 99.7% identical to the Wuhan sequence.

It’s a fiction, and an evil one at that, that variants are likely to “escape immunity”. Not only is it intrinsically unlikely – because this degree of similarity of variants means zero chance that an immune person (whether from natural infection or from vaccination) will be made ill by a variant – but it’s empirically supported by high-quality research.

The research I refer to shows that people recovering from infection or who have been vaccinated ALL have a wide range of immune cells which recognize ALL the variants. This paper shows WHY the extensive molecular recognition by the immune system makes the tiny changes in variants irrelevant.

I cannot say strongly enough: The stories around variants and need for top up vaccines are FALSE. I am concerned there is a very malign reason behind all this. It is certainly not backed by the best ways to look at immunity. The claims always lack substance when examined, and utilize various tricks, like manipulating conditions for testing the effectiveness of antibodies. Antibodies are probably rather unimportant in host protection against this virus. There have been a few ‘natural experiments’, people who unfortunately cannot make antibodies, yet are able quite successfully to repel this virus. They definitely are better off with antibodies than without. I mention these rare patients because they show that antibodies are not essential to host immunity, so some contrived test in a lab of antibodies and engineered variant viruses do NOT justify need for top up vaccines.

The only people who might remain vulnerable and need prophylaxis or treatment are those who are elderly and/or ill and do not wish to receive a vaccine (as is their right). The good news is that there are multiple choices available: hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, budesonide (inhaled steroid used in asthmatics), and of course oral Vitamin D, zinc, azithromycin etc. These reduce the severity to such an extent that this virus did not need to become a public health crisis.”

AFLDS: Do you feel the FDA does a good job regulating big pharma? In what ways does big pharma get around the regulator? Do you feel they did so for the mRNA injection?

Yeadon: “Until recently, I had high regard for global medicines regulators. When I was in Pfizer, and later CEO of a biotech I founded (Ziarco, later acquired by Novartis), we interacted respectfully with FDA, EMA, and the U.K. MHRA.
 Always good quality interactions.

Recently, I noticed that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) had made a grant to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)! Can that ever be appropriate? They’re funded by public money. They should never accept money from a private body.

So here is an example where the U.K. regulator has a conflict of interest. The European Medicines Agency failed to require certain things as disclosed in the ‘hack’ of their files while reviewing the Pfizer vaccine. You can find examples on Reiner Fuellmich’s “Corona Committee” online. So I no longer believe the regulators are capable of protecting us. ‘Approval’ is therefore meaningless.

Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg and I petitioned the EMA Dec 1, 2020 on the genetic vaccines. They ignored us. Recently, we wrote privately to them, warning of blood clots, they ignored us. When we went public with our letter, we were completely censored. Days later, more than ten countries paused use of a vaccine citing blood clots.

I think the big money of pharma plus cash from BMGF creates the environment where saying no just isn’t an option for the regulator. I must return to the issue of ‘top up vaccines’ (booster shots) and it is this whole narrative which I fear will be exploited and used to gain unparalleled power over us.

PLEASE warn every person not to go near top up vaccines. There is absolutely no need to them. As there’s no need for them, yet they’re being made in pharma, and regulators have stood aside (no safety testing), I can only deduce they will be used for nefarious purposes.

For example, if someone wished to harm or kill a significant proportion of the worlds population over the next few years, the systems being put in place right now will enable it. It’s my considered view that it is entirely possible that this will be used for massive-scale depopulation.”

"$1400 Third Stimulus Check & Third Stimulus Package Update 2021; 4th Stimulus Check Update 2021"

LALATE Early Morning, "$1400 Third Stimulus Check & Third Stimulus 
Package Update 2021; 4th Stimulus Check Update 2021"

"How It Really Is"


"Nation Braces For Most Peaceful Protests Yet"

"Nation Braces For Most Peaceful Protests Yet"
by The Babylon Bee

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - "As the Derek Chauvin trial continued this week, the nation began bracing for the most peaceful protests so far. "We're getting ready for some really peaceful protests," said one business owner as he boarded up his storefront. "We ain't seen nothin' yet when it comes to just how peaceful Black Lives Matter can be."

While last summer, BLM unleashed their mostly peaceful brand of protests, they said at the end of this trial, they will be unleashing their most powerful weapon: entirely peaceful protests, involving even more peaceful bricks, Molotovs, and more peaceful deaths. Black Lives Matter representatives announced that that they will definitely be rioting if Derek Chauvin is acquitted. They also said they would riot if he is convicted. Additionally, they said they would just be rioting no matter what so everyone should get ready.

"We will riot if Chauvin is acquitted," said one spokesperson for the movement gathered outside the courthouse in Minneapolis. "And also, you know, if he's convicted. Yep, we'll still be rioting then. In fact, we'll be rioting no matter what happens, so buckle up, America. You thought last summer was bad? Get ready for peace."
Hat tip to The Burning Platform.

"The Ugly Truth About Printing-Press Money"

"The Ugly Truth About Printing-Press Money"
by MN Gordon

"Weeping and gnashing of teeth shall come…We don’t know when, exactly. But we do know a certain catastrophe’s approaching. In fact, we can see it on the horizon. Does anyone in Washington give a rip the nation’s beyond broke? Does anyone in Congress care that outright money printing is what’s financing their stimulus bills? Does House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters think it’s all a real hoot?

Surely, someone in the legislature is aghast at federal spending that’s gone completely out of control. Are you aghast? We are. But there’s nothing we can do to stop it. Nearly all remnants of fiscal conservatism have been quarantined from federal government.

The majority of the electorate have voted for generous gifts from the public treasury. They want free education, free food, free phones, free transportation, and free drugs. They want debt forgiveness. Most of all, they want free money. Many representatives are pushing the President to give the voters what they want…and what the politicians have promised. Specifically, more stimmy checks. According to MoneyWise: “More than 75 members of Congress say that until the pandemic is over, there should be regular stimulus checks. President Joe Biden is being urged to wrap them into the $2.3 trillion infrastructure spending plan he’s now promoting.”

Stimmy checks, as far as we can tell, have nothing to do with infrastructure. Yet that’s the beauty of perpetual stimmy checks in the interminable pandemic era. The legislature can “wrap them into” just about anything. All it takes is a simple stimmy check earmark.

Hemorrhaging Red Ink: The longer personal livelihoods are funded by government giveaways the more dependent people become. Those who were once self-supporting through their own work derived income are now reliant on stimulus…and generous unemployment checks. Why work, when it’s much more lucrative to loaf and invite your soul?

Meanwhile, Washington’s hemorrhaging red ink. This week the U.S. Treasury Department released its Monthly Treasury Statement. It’s unlikely Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen read it. But if she had she would’ve discovered the federal government has already racked up a $1.7 trillion budget deficit in fiscal year 2021.

The fiscal year extends through the end of September. The running budget deficit reported this week was through March – the halfway point. At this rate, we’re looking at a $3.4 trillion deficit for fiscal year 2021. This even tops the $3.1 trillion record deficit attained in fiscal year 2020. The federal government ran a budget deficit of nearly $660 billion in March alone. In 2017 – just four years ago – the annual deficit was $666 billion. At the time, this was considered reckless and insane.

Now the federal government goes in the hole by $660 billion in one month and no one bats an eye. What’s more, Congress demands further spending, bigger deficits, stimmy check earmarks, and uncompromising fiscal insanity. Where’s the money coming from? By now anyone who’s bothered to ask is clued into where the money comes from. And from where it comes is flagrant deception…

The Ugly Truth About Printing Press Money: The Federal Reserve adds a notation to its balance sheet – now over $7.7 trillion – and the credit magically appears from thin air. The Fed then loans the freshly minted credit to the Treasury through the purchase of Treasury notes. The Treasury then directs this printing press money into Washington’s various spending programs. This inflation of the money supply is inflation in the truest sense. And it comes with destructive consequences.

John Maynard Keynes, Fabian socialist and the godfather of modern day economic planning, in his 1919 work, "The Economic Consequences of the Peace", wrote: “By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security but [also] at confidence in the equity of the existing distribution of wealth.

[…]. As the inflation proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless; and the process of wealth-getting degenerates into a gamble and a lottery.”

Could this continuing process of inflation explain the extreme divergence between today’s freshly minted bitcoin millionaires and the abundance of Hoovervilles in cities across the country? Could it explain the extreme divergence in net worth between the average Congressional representative and the average plumber? What about the extreme divergence between house prices and incomes…or the extreme divergence between market capitalization and gross domestic product?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average just eclipsed 34,000 – is this some kind of joke? After asset price inflation and wild gambling and speculation comes consumer price inflation…the real wealth destroyer. This is the ugly truth about printing press money. The ugly truth Fed Chair Powell and Treasury Secretary Yellen will never share as they champion the virtues of their policies of mass inflation. Weeping and gnashing of teeth shall come."
Look at your cash, if you have any...
too bad the joke, as always, is on us.

"The Science of Why We Repeat Mistakes"

"The Science of Why We Repeat Mistakes"
by The Hutch Report

"History has shown us that we have made many, many mistakes as a society. It has also demonstrated that we tend to repeat previous mistakes made, despite our better judgement. “But why do so many people make the same errors over and over again?” This was the question asked in an article published in The Atlantic.

Procedural memory or Process memory is a part of your long-term memory. It is responsible for knowing how to do things. It is considered a subset of, what is sometimes referred to as, your subconscious memory. Memory is basically nothing more than the record left by a learning process. Thus, memory depends on learning. But learning also depends on memory. The knowledge stored in your memory provides the framework to which you link new knowledge by association.

When we do something repetitively it gets recorded into our neural pathways. The brain is not able to tell whether or not we are forming a good habit or a bad habit. Our neural pathways are therefore created for both positive and negative behaviors, depending on where you place your focus. Our brains see a repeated action, whatever it may be, and creates a pattern. It automates that action appropriately for the next time. This allows us to save energy.

A study by Johns Hopkins, published in the 'Journal of Current Biology', showed that a subject’s attention towards a previously reward-associated stimuli was positively correlated with the release of dopamine. “Dopamine released within the caudate and putamen is known to underlie habit learning and the expression of habitual behaviors.” This means that there is evidence that our brains are wired to pay attention to things that were once rewarding, even if they aren’t anymore.

We tend to fall victim to a number of human biases that dominate the direction of our thinking. The Ego Effect, or Egocentric Bias can lead us to keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Example, someone who is highly skilled in a certain expertise may struggle to imagine the perspective of others who are more unfamiliar with it.

In 1987 we experienced Black Monday in the US as the stock market fell precipitously. As Investopedia recounts, “There were some warning signs of excesses that were similar to excesses at previous inflection points. Economic growth had slowed while inflation was rearing its head. The strong dollar was putting pressure on U.S. exports. The stock market and economy were diverging for the first time in the bull market, and, as a result, valuations climbed to excessive levels, with the overall market’s price-earnings ratio climbing above 20. Future estimates for earnings were trending lower, but stocks were unaffected.”

During the savings and loan crisis, the US experienced the failure of 1,043 out of the 3,234 S&L banks from 1986 to 1995. It is believed that the failure began with inflation that started in the 1960s, which led to Paul Volker, U.S. Central Bank Chairman at the time, to raise interest rates. Mortgage rates eventually topped out at 18.45%. This helped bring on a recession which saw the beginning of the S&L crisis. Deregulation of the industry, combined with regulatory tolerance, and fraud worsened the crisis.

During the 1990s, we experienced a Finnish, Swedish and British banking crisis. In 1997, we experienced the Asian financial crisis. 1998 saw the Russian financial crisis, followed by the Ecuador and Argentinian financial crises in 1998-1999.

In 2008, we experienced a financial crisis that ravaged the economy and engulfed the country and the world. The government and the Central Bank intervened with a number of bailout programs, which saved the banks, stabilized the financial system and corporate America. Not surprisingly, the combination of regulatory tolerance and fraud allowed the banks freedom to do as they wished, and worsened the crisis…..once again.

Having the Central Banks and Governments backstop every poor practice perpetrated by financial institutions has, time and time again, created a situation of “moral hazard.” This essentially means that if you are confident somebody will bail you out, you will have a tendency to risk as much as you possible can.

In addition, financial institutions are looking for that dopamine hit. As we previously described from the Johns Hopkins study, our brains are wired to pay attention to things that were once rewarding to us. It is then understandable how greedy bankers will keep trying to identify those high risk, high payoff investments despite the risk and dangers.

Government, Central Banks and Regulatory authorities tend to fall prey to the Ego Effect bias. They believe that they are smarter than everyone else, and have a hard time to understand how the general population would not see things the way they do. It is all under their control!

So, we can see how not only have we not learned from our past mistakes, we continue to make them. Looking at the present economic situation, the level of asset prices and the bravado of the current Central Bankers, you can expect another crisis to arise, which will most likely be more severe than the last. Why? Simply because they have shown us that they are not capable of learning from past mistakes.

Does this mean that humans are not capable of learning from their mistakes? No, we certainly are. It just takes effort and a large amount of humility. It may not seem that way at the moment, but in an increasingly complex and uncertain world which we live, people and organizations that embrace failure and create a strong culture around learning from their mistakes will ultimately thrive. Hopefully we’ll learn from our mistakes following the next once-in-a-lifetime crisis!"

Friday, April 16, 2021

"David Einhorn Warns Of A Stock Market Crash: The Market Is Fractured And Will Break Completely"

Full screen recommended.
"David Einhorn Warns Of A Stock Market Crash: 
The Market Is Fractured And Will Break Completely"
by Epic Economist

"The new massive stimulus package has just pumped trillions into the economy, and now we're passing through a moment of relative calm as the flood of printed money is functioning as a Band-Aid laid over our deep economic wounds. The stock market rally continues to push valuations even higher, but a number of investors, traders, and hedge-funds do not believe this crazy frenzy will be sustainable for much longer. Warnings of a stock bubble burst don't stop coming up. But in face of a fresh liquidity injection, the market has entered a stage where stocks won't cease to go up until the price bubble becomes so overblown and so fragile it inevitably explodes. Even though stocks have shown great resilience in face of all the devastating events happening all across the globe, over the past few days, we do not see much volume in the market, and this is something that traders are closely watching because when stocks start moving higher on a lower volume this is a warning sign for a stock market crash.

We have to consider the economy didn't come back to life due to economic growth. The Fed defibrillated our collapsing economy with monumental piles of dollars created out of thin air. The stock market isn't recording record-highs for almost a year by itself either. The Fed's near-zero interest rates and "assurances" to make stocks more appealing at the expense of safer bonds is what has been supporting the current rally. That's why most hedge funds, and, most notably, David Einhorn's Greenlight believe the market might be on its way for a reckoning, as this “engineered” recovery will come at a price.

As there's a record pile of money sitting on the sidelines and a large part of that pile is expected to flow into the economy after the sanitary outbreak is over. Additionally, a historical infrastructure bill is being drafted by the current administration office to allegedly rebuild “crumbled” America. Biden's new plan is to spend $2.25 trillion. But to avoid falling into a deeper debt hole, Biden's master plan is to fund his spending bill by increasing taxes for big corporations. According to a UBS study based on their quant models, equity analysts made a list of S&P 500 stocks that were the most exposed to the prospect of a stock bubble burst, and it includes big tech names that are now at the very top of the stock market, such as America’s gaming giant Activision Blizzard, Apple, and Facebook, as well as Starbucks and Chipotle.

Thus, while this staggering spending spree would sound great for stocks, companies would likely pay for it with higher taxes and higher interest rates. Elevated rates, in turn, make stocks look less attractive for investors since they become riskier assets. And faced with the prospect of widespread losses, only the unprepared or the blind will hold on to volatile stocks. And a speedy sell-off never failed to trigger a stock market crash or, at the very least, a significant price correction.

Signs of rising inflation and higher interest rates are already sparking chaos on Wall Street. But the Fed keeps arguing the economy can handle it. David Einhorn doesn't think so. In a recent note to clients he wrote: "The Fed has indicated that it believes any abnormally high inflation will be transitory. We wonder, how will the Fed know? Do price increases come with a label that says 'transitory'?," he asked.

A shift in investors' sentiment has already started. Now, according to the results from the latest E*Trade survey, an increasing majority of investors believe the stock market is in a bubble. As Einhorn's Greenlight, most hedge funds are aware that the current bull run isn't backed by real economic prospects, and once stimulus support is withdrawn, we are likely to see the market rally rapidly fading. If hedge funds begin to join investors' sentiment shift and start walking away from risky stocks, we are likely to see the U.S. stock market plunge, as their absence leaves the door open for a significant correction or a stock market crash.

In a time when retail traders have been boosting a dozen stocks of bankrupt companies and Wall Street is registering a boom in penny stocks, it is evident the market is unbalanced and valuations are completely unrealistic. That's why Einhorn concluded his letter highlighting that "from a traditional perspective, the market is fractured and possibly in the process of breaking completely". A crash is just a matter of time. With a market crumbling from within and without real support, there's only so much the Fed's printed money can do to avoid everything from blowing up in the air. You can't say you haven't been warned."

Musical Interlude: Jacob's Piano, "1 Hour Original Relaxing Piano"

Jacob's Piano,
  "1 Hour Original Relaxing Piano"

"A Look to the Heavens"

"Close to the Great Bear (Ursa Major) and surrounded by the stars of the Hunting Dogs (Canes Venatici), this celestial wonder was discovered in 1781 by the metric French astronomer Pierre Mechain. Later, it was added to the catalog of his friend and colleague Charles Messier as M106. Modern deep telescopic views reveal it to be an island universe - a spiral galaxy around 30 thousand light-years across located only about 21 million light-years beyond the stars of the Milky Way. Along with a bright central core, this stunning galaxy portrait, a composite of image data from amateur and professional telescopes, highlights youthful blue star clusters and reddish stellar nurseries tracing the galaxy's spiral arms. 
It also shows off remarkable reddish jets of glowing hydrogen gas. In addition to small companion galaxy NGC 4248 at bottom right, background galaxies can be found scattered throughout the frame. M106, also known as NGC 4258, is a nearby example of the Seyfert class of active galaxies, seen across the spectrum from radio to X-rays. Active galaxies are powered by matter falling into a massive central black hole."

The Poet: Rolf Jacobsen, "When They Sleep"

"When They Sleep"

"All people are children when they sleep.
There's no war in them then.
They open their hands and breathe
in that quiet rhythm heaven has given them.
They pucker their lips like small children
and open their hands halfway,
soldiers and statesmen, servants and masters.
The stars stand guard
and a haze veils the sky,
a few hours when no one will do anybody harm.
If only we could speak to one another then
when our hearts are half-open flowers.
Words like golden bees
would drift in.
God, teach me the language of sleep."

- Rolf Jacobsen,
"The Roads Have Come to an End Now"

"The Worst Of Them All..."

"Science may have found a cure for most evils,
but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all -
the apathy of human beings."
- Author Unknown

"The Truth"

"The Truth"
by Neal Ross

"In life there are certain things that are known as constants; things that never change. It takes the Earth 365 days to complete one orbit around the sun; that is a constant. In mathematics there are constants as well; one will always equal one is but one example. All things being equal, Newton’s Laws of Physics are also constants. But these are not the constants I would like to talk about; there is one other that I have yet to mention–the truth.

Simply defined, the truth is the state of things as they actually are. When one is called upon to be a witness in a courtroom they are asked to repeat the following, “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?” Have you ever stopped to think about what that entails?

Let me begin by discussing the phrase, the whole truth. As the truth is a statement of things as they actually are, or were, by omitting certain relevant facts the truth can be altered and those hearing the testimony of the witness will form opinions based upon incomplete evidence. On the other end of the scale there is the phrase, and nothing but the truth. This requirement is so that the person testifying will not embellish their testimony with facts that are not relevant to the questions being asked of them, or add their opinions or beliefs into their testimony.

If a person under oath is found to have delivered a false testimony they can be charged with perjury; a criminal offense in and of itself. Again, simply stated, perjury is simply the violation of the oath to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

That is all well and good…in a courtroom where there are penalties for willfully telling things that are untrue, or incomplete versions of the truth. But what about in the courtroom of public opinion; how can we impose justice upon those who spew lies every time they open their mouths?

There is a scene in the film Apocalypse Now where Colonel Kurtz is talking to Captain Willard and he says, “There is nothing that I detest more than the stench of lies.” I couldn’t agree more; the problem is that whenever I hear people discuss history and politics they are repeating the lies that they have been taught or told by those whose job was to speak truthfully to them.

There is a quote from the 19th Century English novelist Isabella Blagden that forms the basis for a quote falsely attributed to Vladimir Lenin, “If a lie is only printed often enough, it becomes a quasi-truth, and if such a truth is repeated often enough, it becomes an article of belief, a dogma, and men will die for it.”

The problem, at least as I see it, is that once an opinion takes hold that is based upon lies, it is next to impossible to break people free from it so that they can embrace the truth. I have never claimed to be in possession of the whole truth; but I have made it my quest to seek out as much of it as I can find. One thing I’ve learned, and which is best stated by quoting Einstein, is, “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.”

Remember now, the truth is a constant. If you may have noticed, I did not say what people pass off as the truth is constant; only the truth itself. Sometimes the truth takes a little digging to expose; sometimes it takes a lot of digging before you find it. But you owe it to yourself to at least make the effort to seek it out; that is of course unless you are content to live your life repeating the lies that have been spoon fed to you by everyone from your school teachers to those you have placed your faith and trust in to run this country according to the Constitution and their oaths to support and defend it.

There is something else you need to know about the truth, it does not care if you seek it out, or if you ignore it; it has no feelings; it simply exists as the state of things in their true nature. The truth will always be there; whether anyone chooses to look for it or not. There is one final thing you also need to understand about the truth; that being that it is useless unless it is put to use. As von Goethe so aptly states, “Knowing is not enough, we must apply.” You might know the truth, but if you haven’t changed your opinions or beliefs to be in accordance to the facts, what good is the knowledge you’ve obtained?

When a nation, or a people have been lied to for generations, and the lies have been compounded over time, then people often find it hard to accept the truth; let alone speak it those who have fallen for the lies they have been taught.

In psychological study there is a term called Cognitive Dissonance; one of the definitions of it being the reaction to, or stress caused when one is exposed to the truth that conflicts with existing beliefs. I’m no psychologist, but I believe Cognitive Dissonance is directly proportional to the magnitude of the lie people have been told; the bigger the lie the more stress the truth causes when one finally encounters it. I also believe that some would rather just ignore the truth rather than deal with the hassle of changing their beliefs because they were based upon lies. That is simple human nature; to take the easiest path possible. In a way, it’s just like Churchill said, “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up as if nothing happened.”

But throughout history there have always been those who sought out the truth, and once they found it they proclaimed it loudly; and were condemned for it. Galileo was charged with heresy for claiming the Earth revolved around the sun, not the other way around. More recently, Edward Snowden exposed the truth to the people of the world that America’s government was routinely spying on them, and for his exposing the truth he was forced into exile.

When the lie has taken hold, it becomes the truth people base their opinions upon. It therefore becomes very difficult to find ways for people to accept that they have been lied to about almost everything they were taught about the history and system of government of this country. Those who speak the truth to them find themselves ignored, ridiculed, and often accused of being dangers to society because what they speak goes against what is commonly accepted as the truth. But remember, the truth itself is constant, not what you believe is the truth. It is as Orwell said, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

Now you may be asking yourselves, “Why did Neal just spend two pages rambling on about the truth?” Well it’s quite simple actually; it is because I would now like to discuss certain truths; things which you may not have known, or given much thought to.

After nearly a century and a half of seeing their rights ignored and violated by their government, many of the Colonists of America decided they would be better off severing the ties which bound them to said government. Delegates to a convention to deal with these violations of their rights chose a young man, Thomas Jefferson, to draft a document declaring the Colonies independence from British rule.

Jefferson could very easily have said something along the lines of, “We, the Colonies of British America do hereby declare our independence, and here are our reasons why…” Instead Jefferson chose to make a statement about the nature of the rights of all men and the relationship between those who are governed and those who govern. The Declaration of Independence can rightfully be said to be the document which gave birth to America; and upon it any system of government owes its existence to.

The version of the Declaration of Independence we are all familiar with begins with the following words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident…” There is that word again; truth. The revised edition of the Declaration of Independence declares that they are self-evident.

Oh, you didn’t know that the copy you may have read is not Jefferson’s original draft? Well it isn’t. Jefferson brought his original draft to the Committee of Five, who edited it down and changed the wording; sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst. In his original draft, Jefferson states, “We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable…“

Self-evident merely means that the thing being espoused needs no explanation; everyone understands it to be true. Sacred and undeniable is something else altogether, as it implies that these truths come from a higher authority than man.

There is something else you need to realize about Jefferson’s opening words. If you’ll notice, he did not say this truth, he said these truths; meaning there was more than one truth he was about to discuss.

The first of these truths is that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; among them being the right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Now as truths do not change over the course of time, (remember they are constant), what Jefferson states does not change just because situations and political climates change. Our rights, as described by Jefferson are the same now as they were when he first put quill to parchment.

I have spoken of this before, but it is important that I make clear the meaning of unalienable. Unalienable means that something cannot be sold, transferred or taken away. Therefore, if our rights are unalienable, no government, no politically correct society can deprive a single individual of them. For as you recall Jefferson said that ALL MEN are created equal and possess these rights. Just because a portion of society does not like that another portion exercises a right they find offensive, that does not entitle them to deprive anyone the freedom to exercise that right.

Now let’s talk a moment about equality; shall we? Jefferson merely states that all men are created equal and equally all men have these rights. But he also says that one of these rights is the PURSUIT of happiness. He does not say the guarantee of happiness, only that we have the freedom to seek it. Today people are of the belief that society owes people happiness and success; and that if people are unable to obtain these things on their own, then government should provide it for them; unfortunately, this usually comes at the expense of others.

Forty years after Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he spoke of this principle in a letter to Joseph Milligan, stating, “To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.“

As the principle is that all men are created equal and are guaranteed to right to PURSUE happiness, then any belief that declares that society owes people happiness or success MUST be founded upon a lie; as they have no factual basis in what our Founders believed at the time our country came into existence.

The next truth Jefferson discusses is in regard to the fact that governments exist to secure these rights, and that government derives its authority from the consent of the governed. It is a legal maxim that those holding delegated power cannot have more power than those who originally delegated that power to them.

Whether the Constitution was written in secrecy and ratified by fraud is not relevant; as I am going on the presumption that the Constitution was written with the best of intentions, and ratified in a manner that was above board and without deceit.

The Constitution is that delegated power that I speak of; it was the consent of the governed to establish a government to serve those it was to represent, and to secure the rights for which it was established. That Constitution declares that it is the Supreme Law of the Land, and that all laws passed in pursuance of it are also the Supreme Law of the Land. But what about the laws our government passes which are not authorized by the Constitution; what would you call them?

I can only tell you what our Founders would say; they would call it tyranny. In "Federalist 47" James Madison tells the people of New York, “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”

Now if you think about that, can you not come to the conclusion that Madison would have believed that the power being held was based upon political party ideology, rather than the confines of the Constitution, would be an apt definition of tyranny? I certainly do.

In the very next edition of the Federalist, Madison goes on to say, “It will not be denied that power is of an encroaching nature and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it.” And where, may I be so bold to ask, are those limits found? Why, they are found in the Constitution. And if the people do not know what the Constitution says, and vote for people based upon what their respective political parties declare to be their platforms, cannot it be said that the people are voting based upon lies; not the truth?

Yet Jefferson was a wise man, he knew that governments could, over time, become tyrannical and oppressive; so he included in the Declaration of Independence a remedy; another truth we have forgotten; “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Now this is where it gets a bit tricky. Back when our Constitution was written, each State was sovereign and independent from the others; each with their own government to regulate the internal affairs of the States. The government established by the Constitution was to represent the States and the people; not just the people, like it does today. That didn’t occur, officially at least, until 1913 when the 17th Amendment was supposedly ratified.

So the question is, did the Constitution leave the States as sovereign and independent entities, or did it forge a permanent Union, or a consolidation of the States into the entity known as the United States of America; to which they were forever bound?

The answer to that is found in the Declaration of Independence where Jefferson states, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…” If the government established by the Constitution became oppressive to one portion of the country, which then benefitted another segment of the country, can it be expected that the segment being subjugated and oppressed must remain in a union that was destructive of the ends for which government was established?

If your answer is yes, then you cannot, in all honesty, state that you believe the Founders were justified in seeking independence from English rule. Using your logic, the Colonies had no right whatsoever to leave the British Empire, or declare themselves free of British rule.

But, if you believe the Colonists were justified in breaking all ties with England, then how can you deny that any portion of the Union of sovereign and independent States could not do the same when the government established by all became oppressive to a portion of the country?

In the book “Atlas Shrugged”, author Ayn Rand writes, “Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.” Therefore, if you support the right of the Colonists to sever all ties with England, you must support the belief that any portion of the United States reserved the right to resume their status free from the rule of the government they all had established.

In fact, this fact was attested to when Virginia ratified the Constitution, “We the Delegates of the People of Virginia duly elected in pursuance of a recommendation from the General Assembly and now met in Convention having fully and freely investigated and discussed the proceedings of the Federal Convention and being prepared as well as the most mature deliberation hath enabled us to decide thereon Do in the name and in behalf of the People of Virginia declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression and that every power not granted thereby remains with them and at their will …” (My emphasis)

At the onset of, what you call the Civil War, if the North chose to remain in the Union, that was their choice; but neither they, nor the government established by the Constitution had any legal authority to perpetually bind any State to a Union which was detrimental to their internal well being. You see, what you call the Civil War was not a civil war, as a civil war is a war in which two entities seek control over the system of governance over the whole. That was not the case in 1861; one segment merely sought to sever the ties which bound them to a voluntary Union of States and form their own system of government which would best suit their needs.

It doesn’t matter what their reasons were for leaving the Union, they retained the right to do so whether it was over slavery, tariffs, or a combination of the two; and the central government was not endowed with the authority to force them into staying.

In 1783 when the Treaty of Paris was agreed to, those who had fought for liberty and independence won. However, in 1865 when Lee surrendered at Appomattox, those who had fought for liberty and independence lost. The Civil War was, in fact, America’s Second War for Independence, and this time the outcome affected us all.

The South Was Right: The outcome of the Civil War was that the government established by consent of the people could override the will of the people, or a portion of the people, and exercise exclusive domain and authority; it ended the concept of the States being free and independent entities and finalized the consolidation of them all into the entity we now call the United States of America.

The fact that we have been lied to by our educators about the Civil War, and what it was really fought over, and the fact that we have been lied to about the subsequent subjugation of the South known as Reconstruction, has produced entire generations that have had the truth hidden from them.

That is why I provided the quote from Blagden, the one which said, “If a lie is only printed often enough, it becomes a quasi-truth, and if such a truth is repeated often enough, it becomes an article of belief, a dogma, and men will die for it.” That is why so many have come out and openly spoke out of how anything about the Confederacy is racist and offensive; because they have come to believe the lie; it has become their dogma. I don’t know if they are willing to die defending their beliefs, but if they don’t stop pushing they are certainly going to be put to the test.”