The cleansing of the Temple. To begin I will state that I am an atheist. Religion on the other hand exist and most of it is good.  Religion is a construct of man, a derivative of culture, an attempt to provide rules and mores to enable man to inhabit a society civilly.  Societal existence requires, to some extent, that mans nature and freedoms are restrained. Religion was a natural evolution of mans wonder at the things currently unexplainable and the necessity of law. The squabbles and wars that have plagued man are not an outcome of religion but a happening despite religion. There has, andRead More →

Tax cash withdraws will of course give “capital controls” a new dimension. Greek banks have proposed a series of measures to combat tax evasion, strengthen the electronic transactions and limit the use of cash in the economy, and as KeepTalkingGreece.com reports, one of the measures proposed is a special tax on cash withdrawals.  Bankers reportedly stress that cash money can easily and largely be channeled in the black economy. Therefore, a tax on cash withdrawals will drastically reduce cash transactions and by extension the black economy. The bankers suggest that also credit and debit cards as wells as new technologies enabling cash-less transactions even forRead More →

Submitted by Richard J.Maybury via The Mises Institute, Each year at this time, schoolchildren all over America are taught the official Thanksgiving story, and newspapers, radio, TV, and magazines devote vast amounts of time and space to it. It is all very colorful and fascinating. It is also very deceiving. This official story is nothing like what really happened. It is a fairy tale, a whitewashed and sanitized collection of half-truths which divert attention away from Thanksgiving’s real meaning. The official story has the Pilgrims boarding the Mayflower, coming to America, and establishing the Plymouth colony in the winter of 1620–21. This first winter isRead More →

Russia gold buying accelerated in October with the Russian central bank buying a very large 48 metric tonnes or 1.3 million ounces of gold bullion. This is the largest addition of gold to the Russian monetary reserves since 1998 and could be seen as a parting ‘gift’ by Prime Minister Putin to his rival ex-President Obama. The Russian central bank gold purchase is the biggest monthly gold purchase of this millennium. Concerns about systemic risk, currency wars and the devaluation of the dollar, euro and other major currencies has led to ongoing diversification into gold bullion purchases by large creditor nation central banks such as Russia andRead More →

Derek Scissors China edges toward a big mistake Asia, Economics, Foreign and Defense Policy Font SizeAA The People’s Bank of China may be in the process of losing its collective mind. Again. In August 2015 and January 2016, China’s central bank changed currency policy in opaque fashion. The result was intense capital outflow and ultimately a policy reversal. It may be happening again; if so, the results this time would be worse. The yuan has been slipping against the dollar since the beginning of May. From that time until election day, it fell from 6.47 to 6.8. The decline has accelerated since Donald Trump’s electionRead More →

Deutsche Bank’s long-held analogy of “plate-spinning” central bankers acting like the old popular circus act where the performers would spin plates on numerous poles and run between them in order to re-spin before they came crashing down to the ground, has held perfectly for several years. Over the years more plates have been added and central bankers have had to run faster and faster between them to stop gravity taking over.  But now Deutsche Bank is concerned: Up to this year we’ve felt confident that they could continue this art for the foreseeable future and thus keep asset prices elevated as a result. We acceptedRead More →

Facebook Apologizes for Overstating Video Metrics   Facebook apologized on Friday for an error in the way it measured video viewership, a miscalculation that greatly overstated how much time, on average, its users were spending watching videos. The incorrect numbers were displayed to partners, including advertisers and publishers, for more than two years, as Facebook aggressively challenged YouTube for online video dominance and urged partners to embrace video publishing and advertising on the platform. While Facebook called the problem a “discrepancy,’’ it is a troublesome admission for major advertising agencies and publishers that rely on Facebook’s metrics to assess their investments on the platform —Read More →

In the aftermath of the ECB halting production of the €500 banknote, and more recently, India phasing out its highest denomination bills instantly eliminating some 86% of the cash in circulation as increasingly more countries make a move toward a cash-free society, another central bank – the world’s oldest – has started planning its own transition away from paper cash. Sweden’s Riksbank, which was the first central bank in the world to issue paper currency in the 1660s, is preparing to become a monetary pioneer yet again, and has launched a project to examine what a central bank-backed digital currency would look like and whatRead More →

Donald Trump exclaimed that “we’re going to get Apple to build their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries,” in January, and now as Nikkei reports, Key Apple assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry, also known as Foxconn Technology Group, has been studying the possibility of moving iPhone production to America. iPhones might one day soon carry “Made in America” labels. “Apple asked both Foxconn and Pegatron, the two iPhone assemblers, in June to look into making iPhones in the U.S.,” a source said. “Foxconn complied, while Pegatron declined to formulate such a plan due to cost concerns.” Foxconn, based inRead More →

As we’ve noted before, Defined Benefit Pension Plans are, almost by definition, a ponzi scheme. Current assets are used to pay current claims in full in spite of insufficient funding to pay future liabilities: classic Ponzi.  But unlike wall street and corporate ponzi schemes no one goes to jail here because the establishment is complicit.  Everyone from government officials to union bosses are incentivized to maintain the status quo – public employees get to sleep better at night thinking they have a “retirement plan,” public legislators get to be re-elected by union membership while pretending their states are solvent and union bosses get to keepRead More →