The current situation in Iraq is a modern tragedy. But in more practical terms it is a very stark illustration of the folly of central planning and the limits of state power in the face of entrenched traditions and proven history.
On June 5th, Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank (ECB), announced a package of measures, including a policy of negative interest rates, aimed at encouraging or even forcing Eurozone banks to increase their lending to businesses.
By concluding that capitalism, even if it is confined to just a few countries, will lead to increasing poverty among the masses around the world, many cynical observers may conclude that Piketty is laying out a carefully planned case towards global socialism.
The French economist Thomas Piketty has achieved worldwide fame by promoting a thesis that capitalism is the cause of growing economic inequality. Unfortunately, he is partially right.
At 35 percent, the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world. But this doesn't even factor in the additional taxes heaped on by many of the states.
When the former Soviet Union collapsed almost 25 years ago, most global strategic forecasters assumed that the U.S. would adapt pragmatically to her new status of sole world superpower.
For decades many of us in the hard money world have speculated that cloak and dagger activity by large financial interests has played a large role in determining performance in the gold market.
For those investors who have grown used to the relatively minor geo-political crises of the past few years, the developing situation in the Ukraine and the Crimea must come as an unexpected communiqué from the early 20th Century.
Ever since President Nixon broke the US dollar's last link to gold, the world has been set adrift on a sea of fiat currencies that have been increasingly debased, serving the interests of governments and financial elites.
Although the U.S. stock market continues to hit new nominal highs on a nearly daily basis, the U.S. economy bumps along at a lackluster pace. This disconnect has been achieved by a massive Fed experiment in monetary stimulation.
Last month, Americans were transfixed by the amateur theatrics undertaken by the Washington political establishment in connection with the debt ceiling crisis. The bad faith, poor tactics and wholesale avoidance of reality were offered by all players in very large doses.
In recent months economic commentators and financial markets have focused almost excessively on the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing ("QE") policy as the market's main driver. However, last month two senior economists at the Federal Reserve called this devotion into question.
In late September Germans will go to the polls for a national election to determine the makeup of their national parliament, the Bundestag. Some believe that Chancellor Merkel's ruling coalition may be vulnerable.
In short, the policies of central banks, combined with those of overbearing government, are crushing the middle class and with them the single most important bastion of democracy.
Last week, EU growth projections were reduced by a further 0.1 percent to a negative 0.4 percent. Facing this grim reality and shrinking resistance from the dominant Germans, the EU bureaucracy appear to be becoming more lenient.
Today, we are witnessing an epic, international struggle between the natural forces of a deflationary recession pitted against the inflationary forces unleashed by the monetary expansionism by three of the world's most important central banks: the Fed, the Bank of Japan, and the ECB.
Members of the EU elite may be purposefully leveraging the crisis to push for a centralized European banking system to cement the political framework of an EU superstate.
Bernanke has indicated that the Fed will maintain both zero percent interest rates and massive QE into the foreseeable future. We must assume that such moves will continue to create dubiously impressive trends in spending and stocks.
Singapore, alone, has been able to sustain genuine economic growth in the context of a strong national currency.
For the past few years, the Fed has maintained that the U.S. inflation rate, which is represented by the Consumer Price Index, or CPI, has hovered around two percent. Most consumers who buy food, goods and services such as health in the real world, will find this figure derisory.
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