Tag: nature

NEWSFLASH: The Meltdown Didn’t Have to Happen

Filed in Alan Greenspan, BP, democrats, Federal Reserve, Gold, Gold Market, lead, Lear, o, Yahoo by on January 28, 2011 0 Comments
NEWSFLASH: The Meltdown Didn’t Have to Happen

Watching the government do practically anything is often akin to watching molasses run down the hill in January. But like that slow running ooze, even the government eventually manages to accomplish its feat. The problem in this case is that they are telling us what we already know. So here’s the newsflash sportfans: the financial meltdown could have been stopped. Gee thanks… From the New York Times by Sewell Chan entitled: Financial Meltdow was ‘Avoidable’, Inquiry Concludes “ The 2008 financial crisis was an “avoidable” disaster caused by widespread failures in government regulation, corporate mismanagement and heedless risk-taking by Wall Street, according to the conclusions of a Congressional inquiry. The government commission that investigated the financial crisis casts a wide net of blame, faulting two administrations, the Federal Reserve and other regulators for permitting a calamitous concoction: shoddy mortgage lending, the excessive packaging and sale of loans to investors, and risky bets on securities backed by the loans. “ The greatest tragedy would be to accept the refrain that no one could have seen this coming and thus nothing could have been done,” the panel wrote in the report’s conclusions. “If we accept this notion, it will happen again.” The commission’s report finds fault with two Fed chairmen: Alan Greenspan, a skeptic of regulation who led the central bank as the housing bubble expanded, and his successor, Ben S. Bernanke, who did not foresee the crisis but then played a crucial role in the response to it. It criticizes Mr. Greenspan for advocating financial deregulation and cites a “pivotal failure to stem the flow of toxic mortgages” under his leadership as “the prime example” of government negligence. It also criticizes the Bush administration’s “inconsistent response” to the crisis — allowing Lehman Brothers to go bankrupt in September 2008 after earlier bailing out another bank, Bear Stearns, with help from the…

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In Praise of Anarchy

Filed in AMAG, BP, deflation, Lear, o, Spot Gold, ubs, US Dollar by on January 24, 2011 0 Comments

Left alone, good people tend to do good things. And, when unobstructed by coercion, force, violence or any other tool employed by the state in order to foster and maintain a more “responsible,” “socially conscious” citizenship, most people tend toward being good people…all on their very own. Nowhere was this sentiment better expressed during the past few weeks than in the flood-stricken state of Queensland, Australia (and, more lately, in the state of Victoria, to Queensland’s south). The rains that inundated an area the size of France and Germany (combined!) across the Sunshine State wrought havoc and destruction upon its people. Lives were lost, property damaged and industry crippled. When the worst of Mother Nature’s wrath had subsided, Queensland residents were left with a monumental clean up. To their credit, these individuals, in the face of near-immeasurable disaster, performed admirably. They did what came naturally. Contrary to the patriotic rally cries of politicians, they didn’t do what Queenslanders do; they did what good people do. And it was beautiful. The general feeling was perhaps best summed up by Wally “The King” Lewis, a retired national football hero, who spent the last week of his holidays helping his fellow Brisbane residents prepare sandbags and to bail rising flood waters out of their homes. (It is worth pointing out here that, for many Australians, there is no higher office to be attained in the land than that of venerated sporting legend.) Speaking to National Nine News from the waterlogged front yard of a neighbor – whom he had never met – Wally said, “If someone’s doing it tough, I think it’s the right thing to do to put the hand up and ask them if they want any help.” The interviewer then turned his microphone to another volunteer. “What was your reaction when Wally Lewis turned up?” Typifying the laid back disposition of the crowd, the young man casually replied, “[Laughs] Yeah, I was a little surprised but…you know…people help out. It’s all good.” The Australian people appeared to be perilously close to discovering something very important about themselves; something, perhaps, they’ve always known; an instinctual tendency toward human solidarity, the natural urge to help a neighbor in distress, to lend a hand; in short, to volunteer. Alas, barely had the first piece of debris been cleared away when the media, as it typically does, lost sight of the bigger picture. Alongside inspirational stories of non-violent, voluntary cooperation, the local papers turned their attention to the state’s role in the cleanup. Should the state and federal governments remain focused on returning “their” budgets to surplus, or should they deploy funds to assist those in need of help? In other words, how “best” should the state spend its citizens’ money…as if the only just, honest option had not already expired on point of expropriation in the first place? [The answer, in other words, is not to steal it.] While sifting through the news …

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Market Wrap-Up for Jan.6 (TGT, GPS, MON, POT, MOS, HSY, more)

Many pundits talk about the significance of the first week of January in the markets. The old saying goes, “How goes the first week of January, goes the rest of the year for the markets.” There is statistical data that does show some truth to this adage, but at the end of the day, it’s still just one week of the long market year. Tech stocks have been flying this week, but you can’t argue a touch of the euphoria is likely tied to the CES show in Las Vegas that is starting today (as well as the recent Qualcomm deal to buy Atheros Communications). All the latest and greatest tech gadgets are on display this week, and the momentum crowd is buzzing with optimism. Optimism is a good thing, and for investors it doesn’t hurt to start feeling better about where things are today, as opposed to the low spirits many felt when the banking system was imploding a couple years ago. Now, that doesn’t mean to go crazy buying as many stocks as possible right this minute, but for some investors, there needs to be a time to get over the “Wall Street is rigged and no one can make money in the markets” mentality. I’ve been analyzing the markets for a long time, so I’m certainly not naive enough to think that there aren’t “insiders” out there that use underhanded means to profit immensely. But at the same time…

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Freedom and Opportunity Await Those with the Courage to Leave the U.S.

Filed in BP, deflation, economy, EPS, euro, Gold, o, silver, Tanzania, target, US Dollar by on December 6, 2010 0 Comments

Freedom, independence, and awareness are undoubtedly in decline in the western world, particularly the U.S. In the last 10-days, Homeland Security has started seizing Internet domains from ‘rogue’ webmasters, and TSA has begun labeling dissenters of its new security procedures as domestic extremists. It’s as if the government’s actions are being ripped from Atlas Shrugged and 1984 … and yet the trend, at least for now, is still more government control, fake security, and reduced freedom. I recently sent you a controversial article about the nature of patriotism . In the article I suggested that when you find yourself increasingly isolated from your country’s declining values, it’s probably time to pack up and head somewhere else. Many people found this idea to be cowardly and weak. Obviously I believe the opposite to be true. One of the most difficult things you could ever do is pack up your life, leave everything familiar, and head to a new world full of uncertainty. Just about everyone reading this had ancestors who did just that. These were not cowards, they were pioneers; they were trading tyranny for opportunity, heading to a land full of bright prospects where they could carve out a life accountable for their own …

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Skeptic paper on Antarctica accepted – rebuts Steig et al

Filed in Bank Gold, Gold, Gold Spot Market, o by on December 1, 2010 0 Comments
Skeptic paper on Antarctica accepted – rebuts Steig et al

In a blow to the Real Climate “hockey team” one team member’s paper, Steig et al Nature, Jan 22, 2009 (seen at left) has been shown lacking. Once appropriate statistical procedures were applied, the real data spoke clearly, and it … Continue reading →

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Human Nature and the GRA, Part I

Filed in 1099, Debt, deflation, earnings, Gold, New Gold, obama, silver, Spot Gold, US Dollar by on October 19, 2010 0 Comments

A very bright reader extrapolated from two very different recent articles and asked, “Linda…? Have you considered what can happen when forced GRAs are implemented and the consequences to those who refuse to play and sell out before the deadline?” Blush. No, I hadn’t; I talked about the proposed GRA swindle in one piece and the other was on home war-gaming as an investment aid . Most of you have an IRA or a 401(k) and have at least heard rumors that Congress is scheming to coerce you into rolling the funds into a Government Retirement Account filled with freshly-printed treasuries backed by the full faith and credit of the folks who brought you Social Security and Medicare. It sounds like a grand idea to appropriate somewhere between $7.5 trillion and $14.5 trillion (depending upon the estimator and where the Dow is) if you are a rapacious government official seeking whom you might devour. Is it, though, really? That is, can the ploy actually work? Bearing in mind that fewer than 8% of those associated with Mr. Obama have any business experience at all, and given that it is difficult to make most of us who are aware of danger behave to our disadvantage, let us consider two very simple scenarios covering 1. Those who geek and let the government appropriate their savings; and 2. Those who take their lumps via taxes and fines quickly and wrest what they can from the clutches of the Feds. 1. Okay, Messires Bernanke, Geithner, Reid, and Obama, suppose you have managed to claw half of all such retirement accounts from their unhappy owners. We’ll be conservative, as always, and estimate that you are now in possession of $3.5 trillion in the form of stocks, in a very hinky market. What are you going to do next? “Well, uh, we’re going to replace the stocks with government bonds, just like the non-negotiable ones in the so-called ‘Social Security Fund,’ and spend the money.” That’s nice, gentlemen. What will you do with the stocks themselves? That is, how do you plan on …

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Why a Bottom in Housing Is a Long Way Off

Filed in Debt, deflation, Gold, Gold Bullion prices, lead, ubs by on September 16, 2010 0 Comments
Why a Bottom in Housing Is a Long Way Off

(One of the sharpest investors we know, a local stockbroker who is also a close friend and collaborator of economist David Rosenberg, thinks the housing market is nowhere near a bottom. In the essay below, one of several we have presented by the same author, he amply supports his thesis, pausing along the way to draw an insight from the Kodak Super 8 movies that his grandfather used to run in reverse. RA) Over the last few weeks there have been a larger number of articles written about the housing market. The increased volume is probably attributable to recent data showing that home sales have dropped off sharply since the Home Buyer Credits expired. In addition, we are witnessing increasing foreclosures and a general lack of success in mortgage modification efforts. Certainly economic recovery and housing market recovery go hand in hand, so the spin on housing has tended toward the affirmative in most analysis. Most articles place an emphasis on affordability, which is at or near record levels by most measures, as the primary reason for optimism. The primary deterrents to a more robust turnaround (in addition to the unemployment dilemma) are typically identified as more stringent underwriting conditions and a deflationary mindset among qualified buyers, causing them to hold off on making offers. What seems to be missing in the analysis is the obvious fact that the overwhelming majority of potential homebuyers also have one to sell. While that has typically been the case, there are several factors that make it substantially more critical to market dynamics now than it has been in the past. When we were experiencing a secular bull market in real estate combined with a secular credit expansion, having a home to sell was an enormous positive because the capital gain on the current home was the source of the increased equity needed to move to a more expensive pad. Between first-time, move-up and second- home buyers, we had a virtuous food chain. Things are much different, post-bubble. Downsizing Is Where It’s At I am reminded of my Grandfather and his Kodak Super 8. Many of us Baby Boomers were fortunate to have someone in the family who took movies. We would sit around on the living room floor after dinner and watch past events, with a particular interest in seeing ourselves look funny, or cool. But Grandpa Seeley had created something that we always clamored to watch: a backward movie! It was hilarious and surreal. People filling up Coke bottles with their mouths, cars racing down the street in reverse, Doug emerging from the deep end and landing straight up on the diving board. Of course it was all rather impossible, and the housing market is no different. In order for the housing market to function normally — and this is key — at the margin, there must be a preponderance of first-time and move-up buyers …

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The Ostrich Effect, Do You Suffer From It?

Filed in Gold, Gold Bullion prices, lead by on September 14, 2010 0 Comments

A letter just arrived at your doorstep. It’s your financial statement. What do you do? Before you answer, imagine that the market has been on a massive bull run and you are fully invested. Chances are, if you are like most people, you will be scrambling to open the letter as quick as you can. And you’ll be thinking to yourself “I’m rich, I’m rich!” But if you suffer from the Ostrich Effect, you will probably react in the exact opposite way during a bear market. In fact, there’s at least a 50/50 chance, you will stick your head in the sand and completely ignore the statement altogether. After all, it is easier for us to treat a risky situation by pretending it doesn’t exist at all! Research conducted by Galai and Sade in 2006 noted that the Ostrich Effect can influence levels of interest in financial portals too! For example, entrance to a leading financial portal in Israel was positively correlated to the financial markets. And further research by Loewenstein and Seppi showed that, in Scandinavia, people reviewed their financial statements 50%-80% less frequently during bad markets. When we boil down our nature to its simplest form, we just hate to feel pain. That’s why the Ostrich Effect is so pervasive. It is a way of pretending the losses aren’t there, even if there is no way to eliminate them. But it’s not all bad if you suffer from the Ostrich Effect. On the other end of the spectrum, overconfidence can lead to a tendency to trade too frequently, which other researchers have shown can reduce net returns. One obvious reason is that excessive trading will result in exorbitant accumulated commission costs. A self-imposed commitment device is

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Why You Should Be Thrilled About Australia Right Now

Filed in Debt, deflation, Federal Reserve, New Gold, shares, silver, Spot Gold by on August 23, 2010 0 Comments

If Henry David Thoreau was right when he wrote, “That government is best which governs least,” then Australia got itself the best government in the world on Saturday. Of course technically speaking, Australia didn’t elect a government. And that government which is not a government cannot govern at all. Thus, “not at all” being less than “least”, the unelected government not elected on Saturday is best! Okay. Enough of the japery. Let us put our dour and serious face on and see what Saturday’s election means for markets… On second thought, let’s not be serious. After all, this is a great result, is it not? That would be the unconventional take on things. The conventional take is that markets hate uncertainty. What they got on Saturday was an extra portion of uncertainty with a dollop of extra time. But to paraphrase Gordon Gecko, “Gridlock is good.” With neither major party able to secure 76 seats in the lower House of Parliament on its own, and with postal and absentee votes to be counted in some key electorates, there may not be an official result for at least a few days, and maybe longer. It’s a hung parliament left twisting in the wind. But upon further review, we’d be surprised to see a big move in the currency or the share market in the next few days. Why? Gridlocked governments have to govern from the centre, and they usually don’t get very much done. About the only certain result from a gridlocked government is no major legislation will be passed. That’s generally a positive result for everyone. If no news is good news, no news laws are good laws. In fact, we’d be willing to offer politicians a raise if they promised to do nothing. Put them on the dole! That the market could rise in such a fluid environment may seem wacky. But it’s a wacky world. Given the nature of the status quo, with three of the independent members of the lower House former members of the National party and another National elected in Western Australia, it looks like the Mineral Resource Rent Tax is dead (MRRT). Killing the tax might not be popular with constituencies on the fringe, but it’s about the only thing Labor could offer the three ex-Nationals as a sweetener for their vote. On the other hand, Tony Abbott could probably promise some kind of hybrid public-private national broadband network and that might do the trick. It doesn’t look a carbon tax or a revised emissions-trading scheme will figure in the horse-trading. But then, we know nothing in general and even less about Australian politics. It has been an entertaining weekend though. And full credit to the Australian people for voicing their discontent with both parties. One possible outcome, according to former Treasurer Peter Costello, is a weak government that hangs on for a year or so and then is forced to go back to the polls. And that’s assuming that one of the parties is able to form a minority government. What would this mean for the share market and the currency? The longer there is uncertainty about the two major policy issues that affect the resource market — the MRRT and the ETS — the more negative it is for Australian stocks. We reckon a weak, one-year government makes it a trader’s market, but that’s about it. You …

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TKO: Ron Paul Pummels Bernanke

Filed in Gold, Gold Market, Ron Paul by on July 23, 2010 0 Comments
TKO: Ron Paul Pummels Bernanke

Here’s another classic exchange between Ron Paul and Ben Bernanke just one day after the Fed chief told Congress that the economic outlook was “unusually uncertain”. Given that Fed has failed miserably in its most basic functions, you’d have to think that Ron Paul was the last guy Ben would like to run into these days. Paul scores the TKO before Barney Frank steps in to end the vicious beating. Again… “All the perplexities, confusion and distresses in America arise not from defects in the constitution or confederation, nor from want of honor or virtue, as much from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation.” – John Adams Enough said. Have a great weekend. Related Articles: The Boom Bust Rap Anthem Ron Paul vs. Ben Bernanke Ron Paul: End The Fed Ron Paul’s “National Nightmare” Ron Paul: Fed Secrecy is Wrong To learn more about Wealth Daily click here Advertisement Why the BP Disaster Could Multiply Your Money 5 Times by Next Year As millions of gallons of oil pour into the Gulf, there remains only one smart oil play on the market today… And this FREE report details exactly what that is. This rare opportunity to turn one company’s terrible mistake into a massive profit opportunity is now available for a short time. 508% gains could be yours by this time next year — and all the details are available right here. TKO: Ron Paul Pummels Bernanke originally appeared in Wealth Daily . Wealth Daily is a free daily newsletter featuring contrarian investment insights and commentary.

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Secret Plan To Undermine The EU Parliaments Authority?

Filed in euro, Gold Investing by on June 26, 2010 0 Comments

Recently released documents, confiscated from the DAS by the Colombian Attorney General’s office, highlight the nature of “Operation Europe.” Its objective is to neutralize the influence of the European judicial system, the European Parliament’s human …

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Does Israel suffer from ‘Iranophobia’?

Filed in gld, Gold by on June 20, 2010 0 Comments

Barely a day goes by without a strident warning from a top Israeli official, politician, or general about the nature of the “threat” Iran poses to the Jewish state. It’s unprecedented. Or it’s imminent. Or it’s existential. And it is declared to be behind every Israeli problem, from the rearming of Hezbollah in Lebanon to the “terrorist” humanitarian activists aboard the Gaza flotilla. WRH permalink

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