24 Sep 2012

Jim Grant offers his Observations on QE Infinity and the Great Levitation!

The Fed was once credited with what came to be known as "The Great Moderation." Decades of remarkably strong and steady economic growth coupled with persistently low inflation. However, when looking at today's era of Fed policy, would this best be described as "The Great Levitation?" Our guest, Jim Grant, founder and publisher of Grant's interest rate observer, talks about the global unintended consequences of Federal Reserve policy post-QE3 or better yet, "QE to infinity." Could we finally get that runaway inflation that bond bears have been screaming about?

Transcending Our Brain Created Reality: A New Call to Lift Nature’s Veil

The study of non-ordinary states of consciousness is quickly becoming an established area of scientific and philosophical inquiry. Yet, all the enthusiasm about finding out what these non-ordinary states are somehow obfuscates much bigger, important, and urgent questions: What as-of-yet unknown aspects of reality do they give us access to? And what significance do those hold for the human adventure in space-time?
In this article, I’d like to make a call-to-arms of sorts: A call for a structured, systematic, and rational inquiry into nature through non-ordinary states of consciousness, next to the now established investigation of non-ordinary states of consciousness.

What Can We Really Know?

Our Western civilisation is justifiably proud of its cultural, social, scientific, and technological achievements. Western values now pervade nearly all cultures on Earth, and Western-created technology has become an integral part of human activity. We look back at our historical past with the patronising attitude of an adult looking at a child: We have absolutely no doubt that we now know a lot more than we knew then and smile, full of hubris, at the naiveté of our ancestors. Unlike them, we now understand what nature is all about; we know who we are and what is going on; we even acquired a large measure of control, through our Faustian technology, of the forces and mechanisms underlying nature. The present is seen as the highest point ever reached in the historical mountain humanity has been climbing for about two hundred thousand years. Kings of the hill, we see ourselves.
But are we, really? Do we really know what is going on? Or have we been caught in an invisible web of self-referential epistemic trappings?
Allow me to explain what I mean here. The currently accepted view in neuroscience is that the ordinary, waking reality we experience every day is in fact a brain-constructed ‘hallucination’ analogous in nearly every way to a dream. Indeed, the same neuronal mechanisms underlie our experience of dreams and of waking reality.

Ron Paul's Texas Straight Talk

Interest Rates Are Prices
By Ron Paul: One of the most enduring myths in the United States is that this country has a free market, when in reality, the market is merely the structural shell of formerly free institutions. Government pulls the strings behind the scenes. No better illustration of this can be found than in the Federal Reserve's manipulation of interest rates.

Not Ready To Die In Your Wars!

QE3 Another Fed Give Away to the Banks

Michael Hudson says - Shoveling money to the banks not meant to create jobs, it's a way to give banks even more speculative capital and prepare them for another meltdown. Source

Spanish Military Threatens Treason As Catalonia Seeks Secession Referendum

Tyler Durden's picture "Do not play with the feelings of the Catalans" is the totally unveiled threat after Catalonia's beggars-can-be-choosers demand for an unconditional bailout fell on deaf ears. The traditionally separatist-minded province has decided, according to ANSAmed, has decided to pull a Greece - and escalate with a move to secession. A resolution, on the right of the Catalan people to cut off ties with the Spanish state, will be voted on Thursday by the regional parliament.

This statement of "the will of Catalan people to vote on the bond with the State of Spain" opens the way for forthcoming elections on November 25 to become a referendum on the sovereignty of Catalonia.

The Spanish military are not taking this lying down with the counter-threat that these 'separatists' and their 'inappropriate and unacceptable' threat to break-up Spain shall be, according to El Economista, charged with high treason. We are sure Draghi has a 'grand plan' for this.

Black tie activists crash HMRC boss' retirement do

By HMRC boss Dave Hartnett is the man responsible for cutting dodgy deals with Vodafone, Goldman Sachs and other large corporations that have cost the taxpayer billions in lost revenue.

When we discovered that he was making his retirement speech at an elite tax avoidance conference, we couldn't resist popping in. We donned our best Goldman Sachs and Vodafone costumes, bought some flowers and knocked up a fake award. This is what happened. Source

GREEK DEBT: under-reported in 2007, over-reported in 2009, and indeterminate in 2012 - The Slog

When it comes to Greek debt, the only certainty is uncertainty
A couple of days ago, Der Spiegel gave the Greeks something of a hammering by sensationally alleging that the country’s deficit isn’t €12.5bn at all, but in fact €20bn. But from Day One, the real size of the country’s problem has been the subject of wildly differing views.
The Spiegel piece is interesting in that it is Wolfgang Schäuble’s systemic leak aperture of choice, and would thus suggest that Berlin’s FinMin at least has decided an onslaught of “they’re useless” is called for prior to summary Greek ejection from the eurozone.
As always, the situation in Germany is confused, with Merkel blowing this way and that but, on the whole, convinced that chucking Athens out of the ezone would be the start of a rush for the door…stopping off to raid the ECB’s bailout coffers on the way. Indeed, Der Spiegel itself reported as much a fortnight ago.
But the Bankfurt faction has gained ground in recent weeks, and Germany’s Finance Minister shares many of their concerns. Unsurprisingly, the Greeks have flatly denied the Spiegel story: but over time, there have been charges of both under and over-reporting the Greek debt problems as circumstances dictated.
Many in the Greek intelligentsia have long maintained that George Papandreou was persuaded by Berlin in 2009 to overstate the problem he’d given them on coming to power. Three weeks ago, Zoe Georganta of the Greek Statistical Authority ELSTAT wrote a long piece after studying that period very closely. This was her conclusion:

China vs Japan Islands Dispute - Mark Selden, Bruce Klingner and Brian Becker

The China-Japan island dispute is mounting. What is this growing dispute really about? The rise of China or the insecurity of Japan? Is it a resource grab? A security issue? Who do the islands rightfully belong to? Does the US have a hand in the argument? And is there really any solution? CrossTalking with Mark Selden, Bruce Klingner and Brian Becker. Source

Why QE3 Won't Jumpstart the Economy and What Would

By Ellen Brown:
The economy could use a good dose of “aggregate demand”—new spending money in the pockets of consumers—but QE3 won’t do it.  Neither will it trigger the dreaded hyperinflation.  In fact, it won’t do much at all.  There are better alternatives.   

The Fed’s announcement on September 13, 2012, that it was embarking on a third round of quantitative easing has brought the “sound money” crew out in force, pumping out articles with frighting titles such as QE3 Will Unleash' Economic Horror' On The Human Race.”  The Fed calls QE an asset swap, swapping Fed-created dollars for other assets on the banks’ balance sheets.  But critics call it “reckless money printing” and say it will inevitably produce hyperinflation.  Too much money will be chasing too few goods, forcing prices up and the value of the dollar down.   

All this hyperventilating could have been avoided by taking a closer look at how QE works.  The money created by the Fed will go straight into bank reserve accounts, and banks can’t lend their reserves.  The money just sits there, drawing a bit of interest.  The Fed’s plan is to buy mortgage-backed securities (MBS) from the banks, but according to the Washington Post, this is not expected to be of much help to homeowners either.

It’s time to evolve

By Curt Williams: Recently on my radio show Room 101 I had one of my good friends JG Vibes on to speak about philosophy’s role in today’s day & age (listen here). When people hear the word “philosophy” a lot of us, me included at one time, think academics.
Maybe they think that in order to be a “philosopher” you need an academic degree. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Another pre-conception about philosophy is that it’s just about asking deep questions like: “who am I?” “Why are we here?” “Is God real?” “What is real?” and so on. Although these questions are asked quite frequently in philosophical circles, there is a very personal aspect to philosophy.
For instance, an individual suffers from depression, a constant feeling of being overwhelmed by the stresses of the world. Something all of us feel, but for some it is just too much and those people rush to the psychiatrist for today’s quick fix pill. A lot of times going they have already diagnosed themselves thanks to that informative commercial paid for by the very poison factories that make your quick fix, get better with no effort pills.
Well actually the real help is in the effort. As JG Vibes mentioned during our talk, when the negative feelings like depression creep up, that’s when we should embrace it, instead of running away from it and suppressing it with pills.
You may ask, why am I feeling this way? I don’t I know, it can’t be that simple. Everyone is different and there is no single quick fix or solution. Try understanding what it is you are feeling exactly. One of the greatest sources of fear is the fear of the unknown. Once knowledge and understanding are brought into the equation, fear subsides.

Silver Smashed to $33.50 As 50% of US Annual Silver Production Dumped on Market in 5 Minutes

By : Apparently Blythe’s monkey’s are burning the Sunday midnight oil in order to prevent silver clearing $36 and triggering JPM’s rumored silver derivative losses.
A miniature replica of the May 2nd, 2011 drive by shooting was just completed, as silver was knocked down the proverbial mine-shaft moments ago, dropping nearly a dollar in nano-seconds on Monday’s Asian open.
Volume data indicates that 3,297 contracts, or 16.5 million paper ounces of silver were dumped on the market in a mere 5 minutes between 9:00 and 9:05pm EST.
In other words, approximately 1/2 of the entire US annual silver production was dumped on the market by the cartel in a 5 minute period on a Sunday night.