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A Man’s Gotta Know His Own Limitations

A Man’s Gotta Know His Own Limitations

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A Man's Gotta Know His Own Limitations Tyler Durden Mon, 09/14/2020 - 17:00

Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog,

As I’ve been observing the actions and justifications of men like Jerome Powell, Anthony Fauci, Andrew Cuomo, Joe Biden and Donald Trump during this self-inflicted global depression, I can’t help but channel the iconic American actor Clint Eastwood and his most famous role – Dirty Harry, when assessing whether they have an understanding of their limitations. If a man doesn’t know his limitations, he can ruin his own life.

When men in positions of immense power don’t know their limitations, they can ruin the world, destroying the lives of millions and propelling the world towards a catastrophic financial collapse and likely global conflict. Our benevolent leaders act as if they know what is best for mankind, when they are actually flailing about blindly, corrupted by their own power and wealth, leading us on a path to destruction, because their immense egos won’t allow them to humbly admit their dreadful mistakes and take corrective actions.

The second Dirty Harry movie, Magnum Force, came out in 1974, with Harry taking on vigilante cops in San Francisco. His lieutenant, played by Hal Holbrook, tries to keep Harry off the case of bad guys being executed by the lieutenant’s squad of dirty cops, using the logic that Harry posed a risk to society by not following proper police and justice procedures.

It’s funny how people in positions of power accuse others of doing what they in fact are doing themselves. In a condescending tone, the lieutenant boasts that he has never had to take his gun out of his holster as he has risen to a rank above Harry’s. The sarcastic response from Harry shows his contempt for those not willing to do the dirty work, keeping the streets safe from criminals:

“You’re a good man lieutenant. A good man always knows his limitations.”

At the end of the movie, after Harry has killed all the vigilante cops, the lieutenant pulls a gun on Harry and smugly tells him he will frame him for the murder of the cops. He then gets into the car Harry had been driving, not knowing Harry had activated a mailbox bomb and tossed it into the back seat. As he slowly drives away, the bomb goes off, killing the lieutenant. Another Dirty Harry happy ending. The movie ends with Harry saying:

“A man’s gotta know his limitations.”

That phrase keeps popping into my mind lately. Watching the world burn while what amounts to leadership bloviates, lies, misinforms, and makes decisions which condemn the masses to a future of poverty, homelessness, violent upheaval, and an economy gutted by reckless central bankers and feckless politicians, is infuriating to critical thinking rational people. I’m constantly baffled by the lack of forethought regarding how actions taken today by leaders, to supposedly alleviate problems created by their previous solutions, will lead to long-term disaster.

I used to blame these decisions on stupidity and incompetence. But I now attribute it to malice of forethought, driven by greed, envy and a sociopathic desire for power and control over others. Those chosen to hold the key positions in government, central banking, and in the media are hand-picked and groomed by shadowy billionaire types whose agenda is to reap riches, hijack the financial system and exercise control over the population.

The year 2020 has revealed the type of men we’ve allowed to control our economy, our government and our lives. We have become a nation of willfully ignorant, technology addicted, moronic dupes, being led down a path to destruction by sociopathic egomaniacal traitors to our country. These men have a high opinion of their intellectual talents and arrogantly believe they know the answers to all the questions and confidently put forth solutions designed to benefit themselves and those they serve – not you.

This is not a new development for mankind. Greed, envy and desire for control have driven a minority of men throughout history. A sociopath has no empathy for other human beings. They have no conscience, therefore have no qualms about lying, stealing, sending men to their deaths for oil or destroying the lives of millions. Their hubris and arrogance always lead to their downfall because they are incapable of the self-reflection necessary to understand their limitations.

There are three men, among many, who history will treat poorly when the story of 2020 is written (depending on who writes it). Anthony Fauci, Andrew Cuomo and Jerome Powell are men with high IQs, large egos, slaves to reputational accolades and used by the billionaires running this planet to implement their plans to control the world. Are they just pawns or active participants in the conspiracy to financially, politically, socially medically and militarily enslave the population of the planet through false narratives and financial engineering designed to impoverish the many and enrich the few?

It’s a question that reverberates through my mind constantly, as I watch in disbelief while these men continually do the exact opposite of what needs to be done to improve the lives of Americans and blatantly lie, misinform, and obscure the truth. Not being a sociopath, it is difficult for me to comprehend what drives men like these. It appears power to rule over others, admiration from the masses, corporate media enhanced status, wealth seeking, an over-inflated opinion of their intellectual talents and an inability to acknowledge their own limitations are their key traits. They have no second thoughts about sacrificing you at the altar of their gods – corporate billionaire oligarchs.

Anthony Fauci has been a government bureaucrat in charge of the U.S. infectious diseases department for the last thirty-six years. You can only last that long in one position by pleasing those who matter. In a rational world his performance over the last year would be considered disastrous, since his organization failed to see the pandemic coming, ignored it when the WHO and China conspired to cover it up, had absolutely no plans in place to combat it, downplayed the threat into early March, told people masks were useless (they are) before demanding the whole nation mask up, used the ridiculous Neil Ferguson model predicting 2 million deaths to convince the country to lockdown, has continuously provided conflicting advice, and has contributed greatly to the biggest economic collapse since the Great Depression.

He is clearly a tool of the left as he is a big fan of Hillary Clinton and does the bidding of Bill Gates on the need for a vaccine for a flu that will not kill 99.9% of all Americans. He clearly loves the limelight, appearing on dozens of TV shows every week, as his bureaucrat ego grows in proportion to the accolades he receives from the corporate media and the sheep who worship at the feet of the lockdown cult. He portrays himself as a scientist following the facts. He wasn’t lying about masks back in March.

The CDC’s own literature prior to the pandemic said masks are useless in stopping the spread of viruses, because they are. If he was a real scientist following the data, he would humbly admit Sweden was right all along, with no lockdown, no mandatory masking, no school shutdowns, and developing herd immunity as the infection rate reached 20%. The vulnerable (old and those with pre-existing conditions) should have quarantined and the young and healthy should have gone on with our lives. He is too proud and agenda driven to ever admit he was appallingly wrong. His guidance during this pandemic has been as accurate as his pitching.

Fauci and his acolytes have convinced the masses masking protects them as a way to exercise control and conformity, testing the limits of governmental authority. Compliance with the tyrannical dictates of governors and health “experts” (who are uniformly unhealthy looking) is a test run for further mandates and forced vaccines. For doing his part on behalf of Gates and the other billionaire oligarchs, Fauci will reap riches, with book deals, positions on drug company boards, speaking fees at healthcare conferences and TV appearances.

Fauci’s inability to realize his limitations and/or his moral failing as a supposedly neutral scientist have led to death and economic destruction on a far greater scale than if he had admitted what he did not know and didn’t fear monger the nation into a complete shutdown. The suicides, riot death and destruction, undiagnosed cancer and heart disease deaths, mental health epidemic, millions of jobs lost and hundreds of thousands of small business closures are real blood on his hands.

Andrew Cuomo is a particularly vile character whose enormous ego is so inflated it convinces him to write a book in the midst of the pandemic about what a stupendous job he did by having the largest number of Covid-19 deaths in the nation, by far, and murdering thousands of nursing home residents by purposely directing infected patients back into the nursing homes. I wonder how a man like this can sleep at night, with that many corpses on his conscience. But there is the answer.

Sociopaths have no conscience. Cuomo is so arrogant and self-loving; he actually believes he’s done an outstanding job. He believes he’s earned his position of governor when he rode the coattails of his daddy’s name recognition. He married a Kennedy (who he eventually divorced) and asked journalists how it would play, before proposing. He is nothing more than an ambitious self-promoting climber, willing to do anything to get ahead. Some animals are more equal than others when it comes to masking.

As with the other left-wing governors (Murphy, Wolf, Witmer, Newsome), Cuomo became intoxicated with the power he assumed during this pandemic. Governors are essentially figureheads during normal times. They rarely impact the day to day lives of their constituents. But, with the panic induced by medical “experts” and Trump buying into the end of the world scenarios from purposely faulty models, governors and mayors throughout the country assumed almost dictatorial power to control our lives, with threats of imprisonment or fines for not following their authoritarian decrees. They have had no legislative or judicial checks on their illegal mandates.

Cuomo was clearly inebriated with the attention he got from his daily briefings, copying Trump’s daily updates. He invoked a draconian lockdown, blamed the Feds for all his shortfalls, invoked fear among the populace rather than portraying the required stoicism, rational consideration of risks, and fortitude in the face of uncertainty. This maniacal blowhard has the gall to take a victory lap and ridicule other governors when his death count is twice any other state and three times as high as the states he has scorned.

If this man was capable of self-reflection, he would be on his knees begging forgiveness from thousands of families for his fatal error of putting infected patients into nursing homes, sentencing thousands of seniors to death. Instead he glories in the accolades of the left-wing media, who ignore his disastrous decisions, and support his claims Trump is to blame. Even though lockdowns have proven to be the wrong solution, Fauci proclaims Cuomo’s actions as an outstanding response to the pandemic.

I guess destroying the economy of the world financial capital, presiding over a self-imposed mass death event, encouraging BLM and ANTIFA terrorists to riot, murder and destroy businesses, and treating the public like pawns in a political game, constitutes success in Cuomo world. Cuomo’s limitations are many and his talents few, but he would never admit it. Mencken’s words from decades ago have never been truer:

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

That brings us to Jerome Powell, the man who sold the world. How could a man with such an undistinguished career of working as an underling on Wall Street and as a mid-level government bureaucrat, become the most important man in the world? As with his two predecessors, Yellen and Bernanke, they all had the mundane unimpressive careers of academics and bureaucrats. None of them distinguished themselves as brilliant thinkers or leaders. They fit Taleb’s description as IYI (intellectual yet idiot).

They all achieved “success” by playing the game, ingratiating themselves to the ruling class, and proving to be pliable tools to those pulling the strings. The reward for doing the bidding of the banking cabal and billionaire oligarchs running the Deep State is fame, media accolades, book deals, positions on boards, outrageous speaking “fees” (aka payoffs) and wealth they never dreamed of. Bernanke made more for giving a one-hour speech at a Bank of America conference than he was paid annually as chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Bernanke didn’t allow the creative destruction of capitalism to put a recklessly corrupt organization like Bank of America out of business, and reaped riches for doing so. Powell knows who butters his bread and will be compensated handsomely for saving the Wall Street cabal once again, while throwing Main Street and senior citizens under the bus.

As you can see from the chart below, the Fed Funds rate averaged between 4% and 5% from 1990 through 2008. A senior citizen could get a similar return on a safe money market fund, to supplement their Social Security. But thanks to Bernanke, Yellen and Powell, rates have essentially been zero for over a decade. These actions have benefited their true constituency – criminal bankers, hedge fund managers, wealthy oligarchs, mega-corporations, and politicians.

They have impoverished the middle class, encouraged market speculation rather than capital investment and destroyed the retirements of low-income senior citizens. They are solely responsible for the greatest level of wealth inequality in history. They have created two bubbles (2000, 2008) with their easy money policies which burst, leading to widespread economic destruction. But those bubbles pale in comparison to the world destroying bubble they have created as the “solution” to their last bubble.

Powell and his compadres have created a financial system so fragile that it couldn’t handle interest rates at 2.5%. By handle, I mean the stock market threw a tantrum and the spineless Wall Street lackey Powell did what he was told and started to cut rates in the summer of 2019. Something broke within the fetid rigged machinery of financial market chicanery in September, with overnight repo rates soaring to 10% – a level reflecting the true risk in the markets. Rates reflecting the true market risk are unacceptable to the powers that be. Powell was already doing the bidding of his bosses by lowering rates into the year-end and conducting stealth QE, while denying it was QE.

Powell is not a dumb man. He knows a country cannot run up it’s national credit card without negative consequences at some point – default, currency collapse, hyperinflation, civil chaos, global conflict. It would require a man of courage, fortitude and morality to stand up to the evil forces controlling the systematic pillaging of the nation. Powell is not that man.

His limitations are self-evident, as he has put the country on a path to destruction, while exacerbating the gulf between the Haves (Powell’s people) and the Have Nots (you and me). His monetary machinations have fueled the riots roiling the country, which is possibly exactly what his oligarch superiors desire. If the country is distracted by false narratives about systematic racism, with fighting in the streets, the systematic reaping of the national wealth can go on behind the curtain.

Powell has made a mockery of price discovery by buying up one third of the mortgages in the country, billions in junk bonds of companies that should be bankrupt, and convincing unemployed Robinhood day traders that stocks only go up, because Powell will rescue them if stocks start to drop. After observing the clearly desperate actions taken by Powell to prop up his Wall Street puppeteers, under the cover of a pandemic, one must wonder whether he has been threatened to do so or actually believes his traitorous actions are beneficial to the country.

By lowering rates to zero, expanding his balance sheet by $3 trillion in a matter of months, enabling the Federal government to run $3 trillion deficits, and providing the fuel for an epic stock, real estate, and bond bubble, Powell is solely responsible for the banquet of consequences we will experience. Powell has pushed all his chips on the table. A man of much higher character and intellect than this cowardly Powell character explained what will happen seven decades ago:

“There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion.  The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.” – Ludwig von Mises, Human Action [1949]

When this Powell-created bubble explodes, there will be many Dirty Harry type characters cracking a wry smirk and saying, “a man’s gotta know his limitations”.

*  *  *

The corrupt establishment will do anything to suppress sites like the Burning Platform from revealing the truth. The corporate media does this by demonetizing sites like Jim's by blackballing the site from advertising revenue. If you get value from Jim's site, please keep it running with a donation.

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Pfizer Responds After Director Says Company Is Developing Ways To Mutate COVID-19

Pfizer Responds After Director Says Company Is Developing Ways To Mutate COVID-19

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis…

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Pfizer Responds After Director Says Company Is Developing Ways To Mutate COVID-19

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Pfizer late Jan. 28 responded to comments from a director at the company about exploring ways to mutate COVID-19 as a method to “preemptively develop new vaccines.”

“In the ongoing development of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer has not conducted gain of function or directed evolution research,” Pfizer said in a lengthy written statement after days of ignoring queries from The Epoch Times and other outlets.

A sign for Pfizer is displayed in New York in a file photograph. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images)

Pfizer did say that it has conducted research “where the original SARS-CoV-2 virus has been used to express the spike protein from new variants of concern.”

“This work is undertaken once a new variant of concern has been identified by public health authorities. This research provides a way for us to rapidly assess the ability of an existing vaccine to induce antibodies that neutralize a newly identified variant of concern. We then make this data available through peer reviewed scientific journals and use it as one of the steps to determine whether a vaccine update is required,” the company added.

Pfizer did say it has conducted experiments in a level 3 laboratory.

Pfizer said, in its work developing a treatment for COVID-19, it has “engineered” the COVID-19 virus “to enable the assessment of antiviral activity in cells.”

“In addition, in vitro resistance selection experiments are undertaken in cells incubated with SARS-CoV-2 and nirmatrelvir in our secure Biosafety level 3 (BSL3) laboratory to assess whether the main protease can mutate to yield resistant strains of the virus,” Pfizer said. “It is important to note that these studies are required by U.S. and global regulators for all antiviral products and are carried out by many companies and academic institutions in the U.S. and around the world.”

Pfizer produces a COVID-19 treatment called Paxlovid, or nirmatrelvir that is authorized in the United States and some other countries.

In its statement, Pfizer did not dispute that Dr. Jordon Walker, who told a Project Veritas journalist that Pfizer is exploring how to “mutate” the COVID-19 virus, was or is a Pfizer employee.

Professional profiles for Walker, which have since been taken down, listed him as a director of messenger RNA research at the company. Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine utilizes messenger RNA. The profiles also listed a Pfizer email address, and an email sent to that address did not bounce back. A receptionist at Pfizer on Thursday also told The Epoch Times that Walker had an internal company profile, but a different receptionist on Friday said there was no listing for the doctor, indicating he might have been terminated after the comments were made public.

Malone

Dr. Robert Malone, who helped develop the messenger RNA technology, said that the experiments Pfizer described met the definition of “gain of function.”

Pfizer is basically acknowledging that they are doing the same type of gain of function research that Boston University was caught doing, but they are denying that it is gain of function or directed evolution,” Malone wrote on Twitter.

Malone pointed to Pfizer’s comment about taking the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and using it “to express the spike protein from new variants of concern.”

Gain of function generally describes experiments that aim to increase functions of a virus such as transmissibility and virulence. Walker had said in his comments that the work he was describing was not gain of function, but “directed evolution.”

Researchers with Boston University revealed in 2022 that they had developed a strain of COVID-19 that killed 80 percent of mice infected with it.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) is supposed to oversee risky research conducted in or funded by the United States but has faced criticism for only reviewing a handful of projects—none since 2019—under the oversight system.

The NIH funded gain of function experiments at the Wuhan laboratory situated near where the first COVID-19 cases were identified, and officials have promised to keep funding research in China.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) had written a letter to Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla referring to Walker’s remarks and questioning whether the company has or is planning to mutate the COVID-19 virus.

Walker’s comments “are alarming,” Rubio wrote in the Jan. 26 missive.

YouTube Takes Down Video

In a notice sent to Project Veritas, YouTube cited its medical misinformation policy, which bars “claims about COVID-19 vaccination that contradict expert consensus from local health authorities or the World Health Organization (WHO).”

It wasn’t clear which authorities specifically YouTube was relying upon to rebut the video.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, did not respond to a request for comment.

O’Keefe noted that the claims in the video were made by a Pfizer director.

Project Veritas was given a “strike,” which prevents the organization from taking actions like uploading new videos for one week. A second strike would block such actions for two weeks and a third strike in a 90-day period would result in a permanent removal of the group’s account, YouTube warned.

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Tyler Durden Sat, 01/28/2023 - 14:30

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Von Greyerz: As West, Debt, & Stocks Implode; East, Gold, & Oil Explode

Von Greyerz: As West, Debt, & Stocks Implode; East, Gold, & Oil Explode

Authored by Egon von Greyerz via GoldSwitzerland.com,

“The…

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Von Greyerz: As West, Debt, & Stocks Implode; East, Gold, & Oil Explode

Authored by Egon von Greyerz via GoldSwitzerland.com,

“The risk of over-tightening by the European Central Bank is nothing less than catastrophic” says Prof Kenneth Rogoff .

At Davos he also said:

Italy is extremely vulnerable. But this could pop anywhere. Global debt has gone up massively since the pandemic: public debt, corporate debt, everything.”

Rogoff believes that it is a miracle that the world averted a financial crisis in 2022, but the odds of a major accident are shortening as the delayed effects of past tightening feed through.

As Rogoff said: 

“We were very fortunate that we didn’t have a global systemic event in 2022, and we can count our blessings for that, but rates are still going higher and the risk keeps rising.”

But lurking in the murkiness is also the global financial assets/liabilities which is almost $500 trillion including the shadow banking system at 46% of the total. The shadow banking sector includes  pension funds, hedge funds and other financial institutions which are largely unregulated.

Shadow banking is not subject to the normal mark-to-market rules. Thus no one knows what the real position or losses are. This means that central banks are in the dark when it comes to evaluation of the real risks of the system.

Clearly, I am not the only one harping on about the catastrophic global debt/liability situation.

And no one knows the extent of total global derivatives. But if they have grown in line with debt and also with the shadow banking system, they could easily be in excess of $3 quadrillion.

Cultures don’t die overnight, but the US has been in decline since at least the Vietnam war in the 1960s. Interestingly, the US has not had a real Budget surplus since the early 1930s with a handful of years of exception.

But when you, like the US, live on borrowed time and borrowed money, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up appearances. In 1971, the pressures on the US economy and currency became too great.  Thus Nixon closed the Gold Window with the dollar having lost over 98% in real terms since then. This is of course a total catastrophe and a guarantee that the remaining 2% fall to ZERO will come in the near term future, whether it takes 5 or 10 years for the dollar to reach oblivion. Remember that the final 2% is 100% from today!

The US, EU and Japan have now reached the stage when no one wants their debt. So sovereign debt of these nations is no longer a question of “passing the parcel” but keeping the parcel. When every third party holder of these debts is a seller, who will buy?

These three countries will end up holding their own debt. Japan already holds over 50% of its debt. Before the Western Ponzi scheme comes to an end, these three nations will virtually hold 100% of their own debt. At that point, the bonds will be worthless and interest rates will have reached infinity. Not a pretty prospect!

US – PERFECT RECIPE FOR DISASTER

The final phase of all empires always includes excessive deficits and debts, inflation, a collapsing currency, decadence and war. And the US qualifies perfectly in all those categories.

Ernest Hemingway stated it superbly:

The first panacea of a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war.
Both bring temporary prosperity;
both bring a permanent ruin.
But both are the refuge of political
and economic opportunists. 

The US has failed in every war since the Vietnam war, including the Yugoslav Wars, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya. The results have been massive casualties and destruction of the countries, often leading to economic misery, anarchy and terrorism.

The Ukrainian war is not between Ukraine and Russia but between the US and Russia as I discussed in a previous article (Link). The clear proof that there is no desire for peace from the US is that they are sending money and weapons to Ukraine in the $100s of billions and “encouraging” an increasingly suffering Europe to do the same. But they are not sending any peace negotiators to Russia in an attempt to end the war. This is very ominous.

The geopolitical situation is now on a knife edge with two major nuclear powers fighting about a relatively insignificant country. This is how major wars normally start.

Let us hope that the current conflict does not lead to a major nuclear war since that would be the end of the world. Thus not worth to speculate about the outcome of this high risk scenario.

But the economic war and the collapse of the US dominated financial system is not just  inevitable but also catastrophic for the Western economies.

A COMMODITY DOMINATED WORLD

As the hegemony of the US is coming to an end, the dominance of the decadent West is moving quickly to the East and South. Commodity based countries like the enlarged BRICS will dominate for the next few decades and probably longer. Oil and gas will form the base of this shift but also many other commodities including gold which is now starting a new era.

It is likely that 2023 will be the first year of many when we will see a strong rise in gold just like 2000 – 2011 which saw a 7.5X gain.

The end of the Western debt based cycle and the rise of the Eastern and Southern commodity cycle is well illustrated in the graph below

OIL, GOLD TO GO UP > 9X AGAINST STOCKS

The S&P Commodity Index relative to Stocks has recently made a 50 year low. Just to return to the mean, the index would need to go up 4X. But when long term cycles turn up from a historical low, they tend to trend higher and longer than anyone expects. So a move past the 1990 high of 9 is very likely. This would mean that commodities, and especially oil and gold, relative to stocks would move up more than 9X!

This  9X move  would obviously involve a combination of falling stocks and rising commodity prices.

The expected move of the index confirms the shift from the West, based on an unsound and debt infested system, to the East & South, based on commodities.

Much of this move is based on the fossil fuels of the countries involved – to the chagrin of the climate movement zealots.

In today’s woke world, there is a tendency to believe that we can change all the laws of nature and science. This is the case both in the economy and climate.  Bankers and governments are confident that they can create permanent prosperity by printing worthless pieces of paper believing that these represent real and lasting value and wealth.

Well surprise, surprise, these people will soon have the shock of a lifetime as all that printed money returns to its intrinsic value of ZERO.

A debt based economy eventually becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The higher the debt, the more the debt needs to grow in a never ending vicious circle. In the end the debt cycle becomes a perpetual motion Ponzi scheme……. UNTIL IT ALL CRASHES!

The debt feeds on itself and the more that is issued, the more needs to be issued. As inflation rises, the escalating interest cost on the debt leads to more debt. Next is defaults, both private and foreign. Then the $2-3 quadrillion derivatives, a great part of which is in the shadow banking system, comes under pressure. This leads to massive further debt creation by the Fed and other central banks, desperately trying to save the system.

This will eventually lead to what von Mises called:  “…. a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.”

But remember that we are here talking about the Western financial system. The economic sun in the East will rise strongly and eventually be the guiding light for the world economy.

The debt based US and West will to quote Hemingway decline “first gradually and then suddenly.”  So due to the $2+ quadrillion size of the problem, the biggest part of the decline is unlikely to take more than 10 years and it could be a lot faster, especially at the end.

But the climate zealots

 will have to wait to 2050 to learn that through their actions they didn’t manage to limit the increase in temperature to 1.5 degrees. But with a lot of luck, climate cycles might be on their side and make the weather much colder.

Personally I believe that cycles determine the climate and not humans.

The climate cycle graph below covering 11,000 years shows that there has been numerous periods with warmer temperatures than currently. At the peak of the Roman Empire 2000 years ago, Rome had a tropical climate.

Fossil fuels produce 83% of the world’s energy today. According to forecasts this percentage is unlikely to come down significantly in the next 50 years.

Partly due to the increased cost of producing energy, fossil fuel production will fall by 26% by 2048. Increases in nuclear and renewables will not compensate for this decline.

If the world stops using fossil fuels, the world economy would totally collapse. Sadly the climate activist movement does not seem to worry about such disastrous consequences.

So it seems fairly clear that for a very long time, the world will be dependent on fossil fuels in order for the economy and population not to collapse.

For the above reasons, the commodity based countries will soon dominate the world and that for a very long time.

The constellations of commodity rich nations are forming rapidly.

Firstly we have the BRICS countries which currently consist of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Many countries are in the process of joining BRICS including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Algeria, Argentina and Turkey.

It is the enlarged BRICS aim to bypass the dollar and create their own trading currency.

Many talk about the Petroyuan replacing the Petrodollar but what would everyone do with the Chinese currency since it isn’t freely convertible. Better then to have a currency linked to several commodity countries like Special Drawing Rights. This would create more stability and usability. The Credit Suisse analyst Pozsar calls this Bretton Woods III.

There is also the EAEU or Eurasia Economic Union with Russia leading plus China, India, Iran, Turkey and UAE involved.

The SCO – the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation headquartered in China is also an important force. The SCO is a political, economic, international security and defence organisation. It includes many Eurasian nations like China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan etc.

All the economies involved in this important development are commodity based. For example, commodities are 30% of Russian GDP. Their target is to expand gold mining to 3% of GDP and become the biggest gold producer in the world.

Russia has the world’s largest commodity reserves at $75 trillion and produces 11 million barrels of oil per day. Russian friendly provinces produce another 14M totalling 25M. China produces 5m barrels and the Middle East Oil going through the Strait of Hormuz is 22M barrels.  So in a conflict with the US, Russia, China and Iran  could decide to close the Strait of Hormuz which means they would have control over 50% of global oil supply. As Goldman Sachs has stated, oil would then be in the $1000s.

If we take Russia, Iran and Venezuela, they control 40% of the global oil supply.

The point I am making is that these various constellations of commodity countries will be the dominant economic power of the future as the US and Europe decline.

So for Russia, gold and oil are two strategic commodities which will play an important role not just for Russia but for all of these Eastern/Southern countries.

And no one should believe that the US and European sanctions are working. Russia and Iran are selling oil and gas to China at a discount. China then exports this, including refined products, to Europe at premium.

So the sanctions are a farce which totally kills the European economy.

Interestingly, the relationship between yellow gold and black gold has been stable for decades as this chart shows:

GOLD / OIL RATIO 1950 – 2023

GOLD – THE VITAL WEALTH PRESERVATION ASSET FOR 2023 AND BEYOND

Gold was the best performing asset class in 2022 but the investment world didn’t notice since it is hanging on to the declining bubble assets of stocks, bonds and property.

Let’s look at gold’s performance in various currencies in 2022:

The chart shows gold up 15% against Swedish Kroner on the right and for example up 11.6% in pounds, 6% in Euros and virtually unchanged in US$.

Bearing in mind that most asset markets, including bonds, have fallen by 20-30%, this is an outstanding performance by gold.

But no one must believe that gold is going up. All gold does it to reflect the total mismanagement of most economies. The chart above should be turned upside down to reflect the loss of purchasing power of all paper money.

As has been the case since 1971, this trend of falling currencies will continue but not at the same steady pace.

With the debt infested Western economies collapsing, their currencies will implode one after the other.

So please firstly acquire as much physical gold as you can afford and then some more.

And when you own your gold, don’t measure the value in collapsing currencies. Just measure your gold in ounces, kilos or grammes.

Also please don’t keep it in the country where you live, especially if that country has a tendency to grab assets. I don’t need to tell you which countries you can’t trust. The problem is, there are not many you can trust.

BEWARE – A GOLD CUSTODIAN DISAPPEARED WITH CLIENTS’ METALS

Also if you store your gold with a gold custodian, ensure that only you can release it by having the Warehouse Receipt in your name. A custodian gold company disappeared last year with the major customer assets in spite of the gold being stored with a major vault company. The weakness was that the gold company could release the gold without the client’s approval. This is not an acceptable way to store your wealth preservation asset. 

Finally remember that gold is not just your most important wealth preservation asset but can also be beautiful.

TUTANKHAMUN’S DEATH MASK 1327 BC

Tyler Durden Sat, 01/28/2023 - 11:30

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Week Ahead Alchemy: Can Powell Turn a Quarter-Point Move into a Hawkish Hike?

The new year is still young, but the week ahead may be one of the most important weeks of the year. The divergence that the market has been anticipating…

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The new year is still young, but the week ahead may be one of the most important weeks of the year. The divergence that the market has been anticipating will materialize. The Federal Reserve will most likely hike by 25 bp on Wednesday, followed by half-point moves by the European Central Bank and the Bank of England the following day. On Friday, February 3, the US will report its January employment situation. It could be the slowest job creation since the end of 2020. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also will release the preliminary estimate of its annual benchmark revisions. 

The markets' reaction may be less a function of what is done than what is communicated. The challenge for Fed Chair Powell is to slow the pace of hiking while pushing against the premature easing of financial conditions. In December, ECB President Lagarde pre-committed to a 50 bp hike in February and hinted that another half-point move was possible in March. With the hawks showing their talons in recent days, will she pre-commit again? Amid a historic cost-of-living squeeze that has already kneecapped households, can Bank of England Governor Bailey deliver another 50 bp rate hike and sell the idea that it is for the good of Britain, for which the central bank does not expect growth to return until next year?

United States: The Federal Reserve has a nuanced message to convey. It wants to slow the pace of hikes, as even the hawkish Governor Waller endorsed, but at the same time, persuade the market that tighter financial conditions are necessary to ensure a times convergence of price pressures to the target. Indeed, Fed Chair Powell may warn investors that if it continues to undo the Fed's work, more tightening may be necessary. The market has heard this essentially before and is not impressed. Financial conditions have eased. Consider that the 2-year yield is down 20 bp this year, and the 10-year yield has fallen twice as much. The trade-weighted dollar is off by more than 1.5%. The S&P 500 is up 4.6% after a 7% rally in Q4 22. The Russell 200 has gained nearly 7% this month, on top of the 5.8% in the last three months of 2022.  

Last year, Powell drew attention to the 18-month forward of the three-month T-bill yield compared to the cash 3-month bill as a recession tell. It has been inverted for over two months and traded below -100 bp last week, the most inverted since the tech bubble popped over two decades ago. The market seems more convinced that inflation will fall sharply in the coming months. The monetary variables and real economy data, including retail sales, industrial production, and the leading economic indicators, suggest a dramatic weakening of the economy. Yet just like most looked through the contraction in H1 22, seeing it as primarily a quirk of inventory and trade, the 2.9% growth reported in Q4 22 does not change many minds that the US economy is still headed for weaker growth, leaving aside the fuzzy definition of a recession.

The median forecast in Bloomberg's survey is for a 188k rise in January nonfarm payrolls. If accurate, it would be seen as concrete evidence that the jobs market is slowing. This is also clear by looking at averages for this volatile series. For example, in the last three months of 2022, the US created an average of 247k jobs a month. In the first nine months of the year, nonfarm payrolls rose by an average of 418k a month. Average hourly earnings growth also is moderating. A 0.3% rise on the month will see the year-over-year pace slow to 4.3%. That matches the slowest since June 2021. The decline in the work week in December to 34.3 hours spurred narratives about how businesses, hoarding labor, would cut hours before headcount. Yet, we suspect it was partly weather-related, and that the average work week returned to 34.4 hours, which is around where it was pre-Covid. 

Benchmark revisions are usually of more interest to economists than the market, but last month's report by the Philadelphia Fed raised the stakes.  It looked more closely at the April-June 2022 jobs data. After adjusting for updated data from the Quarterly Census on Employment and Wages, it concluded that job growth was nearly flat in Q2 22. It estimated that only 10,500 net new jobs were created, a far cry from the 1.05 mln jobs estimated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Business Employment Dynamics Summary (released last week) was starker still. It points to a job loss of nearly 290k. Lastly, we note that US auto sales are expected to have recovered from the unexpected almost 6% decline (SAAR) in December. However, the 14.1 mln unit pace would still represent a 6% decline from January 2022, when sales spiked to 15.04 mln.  

The Dollar Index continues to hover around 102, corresponding to the (50%) retracement of the rally recorded from January 2021 through September 2022. It has not closed above the 20-day moving average (now ~102.80) since January 3. It remains in the range set on January 18, when it was reported that December retail sales and manufacturing output fell by more than 1%. That range was about 101.50-102.90. Although we are more inclined to see it as a base, the prolonged sideways movement last month saw new lows this month. That said, the next retracement target (61.8%) is near 99.00.

Eurozone:  The ECB rarely pre-commits to a policy move, precisely what ECB President Lagarde did last month. Apparently, as part of the compromise with members who at first advocated another 75 bp hike in December, an agreement to raise rates by 50 bp was accompanied by an agreement to hike by another 50 on February 2 and explicitly not rule out another half-point move in March. There was a weak effort to soften the March forward guidance, but the hawks pushed back firmly. The swaps market has about a 70% chance of a 50 bp hike in March rather than a 25 bp move. 

The ECB's deposit rate stands at 2.00%, and the swaps market is pricing 125 bp of hikes in the first half of the year. In contrast, the Fed is expected to raise the Fed funds target range by 50 bp. This has been reflected in the two-year interest rate differential between the US and Germany, falling from about 275 bp last August to around 160 bp now. We had anticipated the US premium would peak before the dollar, and there is a lag of almost two months. The direction and change of the interest rate differential often seem more important than the level. In late 2019, before Covid struck, the US premium was near 220 bp, and the euro was a little below $1.12.

There has been a significant shift in sentiment toward the eurozone. The downside risks that seemed so dominant have been reduced. A milder-than-anticipated winter, the drop in natural gas prices, and successful conservation and conversion (to other energy sources) lifted the outlook. Some hopeful economists now think that the recession that seemed inevitable may be avoided. The preliminary January CPI will be published a day before the ECB meets. The monthly pace fell in both November and December. The year-over-year rate is expected to ease to 5.1% from 5.2%, while the core rate slips to 5.1% from 5.2%. The base effect suggests a sharp decline is likely here in Q1, but divergences may become more evident in the euro area. This could see a reversal of the narrowing of core-periphery interest rate spreads. 

The EU's ban on refined Russian oil products (e.g., diesel and fuel oil) will be implemented on February 5. It is considering imposing a price cap as it did with crude oil. Diesel trades at a premium to crude, while fuel oil sells at a discount. There have been reports of European utilities boosting purchases from Russia ahead of the embargo. Separately, reports suggest that the EU was still the largest importer of Russian oil in December when pipeline and oil products were included. However, at the end of December, Germany stopped importing Russia's oil delivered through pipelines. This does not count oil and refined producers that first go to a third country, such as India, before being shipped to Europe.  

Pullbacks in the euro have been shallow and brief. Most pullbacks since the low was recorded last September, except the first, have mostly been less than two cents. That would suggest a pullback toward the $1.0730 area, but buyers may re-emerge in front of that, maybe around $1.0775. On the top side, the $1.0940 is the (50%) retracement of the euro's losses since January 2021. The euro rose marginally last week, even though it slipped by around 0.2% in the last two session. It has risen in eight of the past 10 weeks.   

UK: Without some forward guidance that stopped short of a pre-commitment, the market is nearly as confident that the Bank of England will deliver another half-point hike in the cycle to lift the base rate to 4.0%. The BOE was among the first of the G10 countries to begin the interest rate normalization process and raised the base rate in December 2021 from the 0.10% it had been reduced to during the pandemic. The swaps market projects the peak between 4.25% and 4.50%, with the lower rate seen as slightly more likely.

High inflation readings and strong wage growth appear to outweigh the economic slump. The BOE's forecasts see the economy contracting 1.5% year-over-year this year and output falling another 1% in 2024. The market is not as pessimistic. The monthly Bloomberg survey (51 economists) founds a median forecast for a 0.9% contraction this year and an expansion of the same magnitude next year. The survey now sees only a 0.2% quarterly contraction in Q4 22 rather than -0.4% in the previous survey. The median forecast for the current quarter was unchanged at -0.4%. 

Sterling continues to encounter resistance in front of $1.2450, which it first approached in mid-December. Although marginal new highs have been recorded, like the euro, it has been mainly confined to the range set on January 18 (~$1.2255-$1.2435). We are inclined to see this sideways movement as a topping pattern rather than a base, but it likely requires a break of the 1.2225 area to confirm.

Japan:  After contracting in Q3 22, the Japanese economy is expected to have rebounded in Q4 (~3.0% annualized pace). Reports on last month's labor market, retail sales, and industrial production will help fine-tune expectations. This month's rise in the flash composite PMI moved back above 50, pointing to some momentum. Still, Tokyo's higher-than-expected January CPI warns of upside risk to the national figure due offers good insight into the national figure, which may draw the most attention. We expect Japanese inflation to peak soon. The combination of government subsidies, the decline in energy prices, including the natural gas it gets from Russia, and the stronger yen (which bottomed in October) will help dampen price pressures. We look for a peak here in Q1 23. 

Last week, the dollar moved broadly sideways against the yen as it continued to straddle the JPY130 area. It repeatedly toyed with the 20-day moving average (~130.40) last week but has yet to close above this moving average for more than two months. Rising US and European yields may encourage the market to challenge the 50 bp cap on Japan's 10-year bond. A break of the JPY128.80 area may spur a test on the JPY128.00 area. However, the market seems to lack near-term conviction.

China:   Mainland markets re-open after the week-long Lunar New Year holiday. There may be two drivers. The first is catch-up. Equity markets in the region rose. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose every session last week and moved higher for the fifth consecutive week. The JP Morgan Emerging Market Currency Index rose about 0.40% last week and is trading near its best level since mid-2022. The euro and yen were little changed last week (+/- <0.20%). The second driver is new news--about Covid and holiday consumption. The PMI is due on January 31, and the median forecast in the Bloomberg survey is for improvement. It has the manufacturing PMI rising to 49.9 from 47.0 and the service PMI jumping to 51.5 from 41.6.  The offshore yuan edged up 0.3% last week, suggesting an upside bias to the onshore yuan, against which the dollar settled at CNY6.7845 ahead of the holiday. 

Canada:  After the Bank of Canada's decision last week, the FOMC meeting, and US employment data in the days ahead, Canada is out of the limelight. It reports November GDP figures and the January manufacturing PMI. Neither are likely to be market movers. The Bank of Canada is the first of the G7 central banks to announce a pause (conditional on the economy evolving like the central bank anticipates) with a target rate of 4.50%. The central bank sees the economy expanding by 1% this year and 1.8% next. It suggests that the underlying inflation rate has peaked and, by the end of the year, may slow to around 2.6%. The swaps market has 50 bp of cut discounted in the second half of the year. 

The Canadian dollar held its own last week, rising by about 0.5%, which was second only to the high-flying Australian dollar. The greenback approached CAD1.3300, its lowest level since last November when it traded around CAD1.3225. Quietly, the Canadian dollar has strung together a six-week advance, and since its start in mid-December, it has been the third-best performer in the G10 behind the yen (~6.2%) and the Australian dollar (~6.1%). We are more inclined to see the greenback bounce toward CAD1.3400 before those November lows are re-tested. 

Australia:  The market's optimism about China recovering from the Covid surge, with the help of government support and attempts to help the property market, has been reflected in the strength of the Australian dollar, which leads the G10 currencies with around a 4.4% gain this year. Yet, changes in the exchange rate and Chinese stocks are not highly correlated in the short- or medium-term. The surge of inflation at the end of last year, reported last week, lent greater credence to our view that the Reserve Bank of Australia will lift the cash target rate by 25 bp when it meets on February 7. In the week ahead, Australia reports December retail sales, private sector credit, and some housing sector data, along with the final PMI readings. The momentum indicators are stretched after a 2.5-cent rally from the low on January 19. It is at risk of a pullback and suggests a break of $0.7080 may be the first indication that it is at hand. We see potential initially toward $0.7000-$0.7040.

Mexico:  After falling by nearly 5.25% in the first part of the month against the Mexican peso, the dollar is consolidating. The underlying case for peso exposure remains, but there are two mitigating conditions. First, surveys of real money accounts suggest many are already overweight. Second, the dollar met key target levels in it late-2019 (~MXN18.80), even if not to the February 2020 low (slightly below MXN18.53). On January 31, Mexico reports Q4 GDP. The economy is expected to have expanded by 0.5% after 0.9% quarter-over-quarter growth in Q3 22. Growth is expected to slow further in Q1 23 before grinding to a halt in the middle two quarters. The following day, Mexico reports December worker remittances. These have been a strong source of capital inflows in Mexico. Remittances have a strong seasonal pattern of rising in December from November, which sees remittances slow. However, after surging for the last couple of years, they appear to have begun stabilizing. Also, the optimism around China is understood to be more supportive of Brazil and Chile, for example, than Mexico.  

We do not have a very satisfying explanation for the two-day jump in the dollar from about MXN18.5670 to MXN19.11 (January 18-19) outside of market positioning and the possibility of some large hedge working its way through. Still, it seemed like a transaction-related flow rather than a change in the underlying situation. The greenback has trended lower since then and has fallen in five of the last six sessions. It fell to nearly MXN18.7165 ahead of the weekend. Latam currencies, in general, did well, with the top two emerging market currencies coming from there (Brazil and Chile). The Mexican peso rose about 0.4% last week.   Last week, the Argentine peso's loss of almost 1.2% gave it the dubious honor of the worst performer among emerging market currencies. It is now off nearly 4.6% for this month. Mexican stocks and bonds extended their rallies. A firmer dollar ahead of the February 1 conclusion of the FOMC meeting may see the peso consolidate its recent gains.

 


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