Wednesday, February 29, 2012
And, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gave his economic check up to lawmakers today which meant a reacquaintance with republican presidential hopeful and federal reserve executioner hopeful, Ron Paul. He asked the Fed Chairman if he does his own shopping, among other things, and that if he did, he would know that there is inflation. Well, one thing we have inside knowledge of here at capital account is that, in fact, ben bernanke does do his own shopping as our colleague Alyona can vouch for since she saw him at Whole Foods!
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
In this episode, Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, discuss 'no wrongdoing' settlements, defrauding school children and a morbidly obese, bedridden Volcker Rule.
In the second half of the show, Max talks to Karl Denninger of the Market-Ticker.org about rigging Libor, ruining Volcker and shorting Facebook.
After a downturn in the 1970s, the last resident left in 2008. Unfortunately, the local mayor Bernard Guilhem cannot afford the price tag. "We wish for this village to come back to life and for Courbefy to become inhabited again," said Guilhem.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Saturday, February 25, 2012
In the second half of the show, Max talks to David Hales about ending top down Central Bank imposed financial and economic systems with peer to peer economics.
Friday, February 24, 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Demand for the white metal in India is seen surging this year from last year's 4,800 tonnes and prices are expected to shoot up as a result says the Bombay Bullion Association.
Silver prices in India are set to surge to over US$60/ounce in 2012 given the uncertain global economic situation, according to an official of the Bombay Bullion Association, an apex traders body that deals in gold and silver. The world's largest importer of silver, India, could well import 5,000 tonnes this year as compared to about 4,800 tonne in 2011, the official pointed out.
"India is one of the largest users of silver and is ranked third in the world after USA and Japan. With average silver imports per annum of around 3,100 tonnes, the country's imports jumped to 4,800 tonnes in 2011. The previous year, India imported just 2,800 tonnes,'' said Jitendra Jain of the Association.
He added that though lots of silver was bought last year by retailers and investors, "imports of gold too were heavy. However, this year, gold imports are set to decline for the first time in three years and could well be way below 900 tonnes.'' Manubhai Shroff, bullion retailer added, "India's gold imports were valued at $29 billion in 2011 and were expected to cross $40 billion in the coming financial year. The recent import duties hike has however dampened demand and resulted in a decline. Silver has got much support though despite the duty hikes.''
On Thursday, spot silver rates for 1 kilo of silver in the Mumbai market was trading at US$36.73 an ounce. Shroff noted that the price could well rise in the coming months and shoot up with a good monsoon season. India could import 300 tonnes of silver during the quarter, said Prithviraj Kothari, president of the Bombay Bullion Association.
Though the country registered a 30% fall in silver imports in May 2011, demand is seen as surging this year and prices are expected to shoot up, he added. Silver prices in India have more than doubled in the last two years. Kothari said investors are intent on selling silver with every small jump and eager to book a profit. Despite the high prices of silver, Kothari added the consumption of the metal has been rising in India.
India produces around 7.3 million ounces of silver a year (206.95 tonnes). Appetite for the white metal predominantly comes from rural buyers, with normal monsoons boosting crop production with a consequent benefit to incomes. Around 50% of imports come from China, while recycling makes up some of the supply of the metal. Traders said Indian investors are keen to buy more silver to hedge market losses, since silver is proving to be an ideal investment tool. Though the weak global economic data may dampen the outlook for silver's industrial use, traders said inflation concerns in India are set to bring in more investors.
February 23, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Greece has just been thrust further into junk status by the Fitch credit rating agency, which is predicting a Greek default very soon. That as the government in Athens rushes through its most punishing package of cuts yet.
They're a precondition for the next 130 billion Euro bailout - which will be handed over once Athens yields to the last of the EU's demands. But unions, weary of years of austerity, are already mobilising for new rallies. Today and tomorrow - it's expected that thousands will surround the Greek Parliament.
Greece's long-term economic outlook blew a sigh of relief on Tuesday. The Eurozone finance ministers agreed on a 130-billion-euro bailout for the country that has gone through waves of austerity measures.
Although Greece was set to go into nonpayment next month, they have dodged default once again. Part of the default deal was to make more cuts to services for the Greek people and the move has received opposition from the citizens of the country. So are these bailouts just avoiding the inevitable? J.A. Myerson, independent journalist, gives us his take on the Eurozone crisis.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
This is what the ECB has been doing thus far, indeed it has been criticized for lowering the standards by which it has judged quality collateral, not just from Greece, but from numerous other national banking systems within the euroarea since the outbreak of this crisis.
The percentage of those in poverty in the US is its highest in two decades, and more of us are impoverished than at any time in the past 50 years. The prospects for the middle class in the EU-euro are equally grim. Thus, are we seeing the end of one of the most important institutions of western style societies -- the role of the middle class?
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Constantine Gurdgiev is a Russian economist based in Dublin, Ireland. He is a former editor of Business and Finance Magazine and a regular contributor to Tonight with Vincent Browne on TV3.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Any financial system that is based on debt is doomed to fail. Today, we are living in the greatest debt bubble that the world has ever seen, and if all of a sudden people could not use credit to buy things our economy would immediately ground to a halt. Unfortunately, no debt bubble can last forever. When this current debt bubble finally bursts, faith in the financial system is going to disappear, credit is going to freeze up and there is going to be a massive wave of bank failures. Right now, Greece is a warning sign for the world. Nobody wants to lend money to Greece, the Greek banking system is dying, one out of every four businesses has already shut down, unemployment is soaring and the Greek economy has now been in recession for five years in a row. Sadly, the economic implosion in Greece is rapidly accelerating. The Greek economy shrunk at a 7 percent annual rate during the 4th quarter of 2011. That wasn't supposed to happen. Things were supposed to be getting better in Greece by now. But instead the Greek depression is getting even worse, and very soon the rest of the world is going to be going through what Greece is currently experiencing.
Unfortunately, most in the mainstream media are treating what is happening in Greece as an "isolated incident" rather than as a very serious warning sign for the world.
Thankfully, there are at least a few reporters out there that are realizing the gravity of the situation. The following is how one reporter from the New York Times recently described what life is like in Greece now....
By many indicators, Greece is devolving into something unprecedented in modern Western experience. A quarter of all Greek companies have gone out of business since 2009, and half of all small businesses in the country say they are unable to meet payroll. The suicide rate increased by 40 percent in the first half of 2011. A barter economy has sprung up, as people try to work around a broken financial system. Nearly half the population under 25 is unemployed. Last September, organizers of a government-sponsored seminar on emigrating to Australia, an event that drew 42 people a year earlier, were overwhelmed when 12,000 people signed up. Greek bankers told me that people had taken about one-third of their money out of their accounts; many, it seems, were keeping what savings they had under their beds or buried in their backyards. One banker, part of whose job these days is persuading people to keep their money in the bank, said to me, “Who would trust a Greek bank?"
Can you imagine?
Greece is experiencing a full-blown economic collapse and nobody can see a light at the end of the tunnel at this point. As I have written about previously, the overall rate of unemployment in Greece has now risen above 20 percent and the youth unemployment rate in Greece has soared to an astounding 48 percent.
Deleveraging can be an extremely painful process. Greece has been forced to try to reduce the size of its budget deficit, but every time it cuts government spending that causes economic activity (and thus government revenues) to slow down as well.
Now the EU and the IMF are demanding that even more very painful austerity measures be implemented in Greece even though Greece is already experiencing a full-blown depression. The EU and the IMF are demanding that Greece fire 15,000 more government workers immediately and a total of 150,000 government workers by 2015.
The EU and the IMF are demanding that wages for government workers be cut by another 20 percent. The EU and the IMF are demanding that the minimum wage be slashed by more than 20 percent.
The EU and the IMF are also demanding significant reductions in unemployment benefits and pension benefits. Of course all of those cuts are going to make the short-term economic conditions in Greece even worse.
The rioting, looting and burning of buildings that we are witnessing right now in Greece is likely to continue for quite some time as exasperated citizens attempt to express their frustrations to politicians that simply do not seem to care.
According to the National Confederation of Greek Commerce, recent rioting resulted in damage to 153 businesses in Athens. 45 of those businesses were totally destroyed.
You can view some stunning footage of the current rioting in Greece right here. [a must view, informative, to the point].
Despite all of the austerity measures that have already been implemented, the truth is that Greece is very likely to default soon anyway. There is a very good chance that the new austerity agreement that the Greek parliament just approved will never be implemented.
There are new elections scheduled for April and the current party in power is polling in the single digits. The new Greek government is likely to look much different from the current one, and nobody knows for sure if the new government will follow through on any of the promises being made by the current government.
In addition, the German parliament must approve this new deal with Greece, and the German parliament is not scheduled to vote on it until February 27th. Considering the mood in Germany right now, approval is not guaranteed. So there are all kinds of things that could go wrong with the "deals" that are currently being discussed. The truth is that a Greek default in the coming months seems to become more likely by the day.
Some in the financial world almost seem eager for a Greek default. The following is what Jon Moulton, the chairman of Better Capital, recently told CNBC....
"If I was Greek, I wouldn't be going for these measures, I'd be going for default and getting it over with. Would you like two to three years of pain or 20?"
But a disorderly Greek default would not be a pleasant thing for the global economy at all. A recent article in the Guardian detailed what some of the consequences of a Greek default and exit from the eurozone might be...
But default and "re-drachmatisation" would be a costly and chaotic process. In the long term the euro might be strengthened if some of its weaker members headed for the door. But in the short term banks across the eurozone might have to be closed to prevent a run on the single currency as investors speculated about which country might be next. A new wave of bank nationalisations would be likely to follow as lenders counted their losses on now worthless Greek debt.
Capital controls would have to be imposed and borders shut to stop money flooding out of Greece. Portugal, Italy and Spain would come under intense pressure from investors wary about the risk of another victim. Banks everywhere, already reluctant to lend, would cut back hard, nervous about their exposure to the bonds of all Europe's crisis-hit states.
And the financial crisis in Europe is going to continue to spread well beyond Greece. Moody's Investors Service just downgraded the credit ratings of six European nations. The following is how Bloomberg described the downgrades....
Spain was downgraded to A3 from A1 with a negative outlook, Italy was downgraded to A3 from A2 with a negative outlook and Portugal was downgraded to Ba3 from Ba2 with a negative outlook, Moody's said. It also reduced the ratings of Slovakia, Slovenia and Malta.
Countries such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Hungary are heading down the exact same road that Greece has gone. Greece was the first one to experience a full-blown depression, but soon Greece will have a lot of company. Greece is most definitely a warning sign for the world.
If you keep recklessly piling up debt, eventually a day of reckoning comes. It is inevitable.
But Barack Obama does not seem to understand this. He continues to pile another 150 million dollars on to our national debt every single hour. He knows that cutting spending significantly right now would hurt the economy and that would significantly hurt his chances for another term.
Needless to say, Barack Obama is not likely to do anything that is going to significantly hurt his chances for another four years in the White House. So we continue to roll on toward disaster.
The U.S. financial system is like a car with no brakes that is heading straight toward a 5,000 foot drop at 100 miles an hour. It is all going to seem like fun and games to some people until we hit the canyon floor.
Once that happens, nobody will be laughing.
February 15, 2012
February 15, 2012
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Investors' worries over Greece eased as politicians, if not the public, appeared to be inching towards consensus over budget cuts needed to secure the next bailout package. The official line was that any outstanding issues would be resolved before a planned conference call with eurozone ministers, who cancelled a face-to-face meeting.
Chinese companies are buying up farmland all over the world, but a court in New Zealand, a country where agriculture is fundamental to the economy, has ruled against one such sale. It vetoed the sale of dairy farms to a Chinese company because it was not of benefit to New Zealand.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
On Tuesday President Obama meet with the future leader of China. Xi Jinping was welcomed at the White House where the two discussed several issues. Obama said that a strong relationship between the US and China was "vital," but his actions have shown otherwise. In November of last year, President Obama made the announcement that the US will position 2,500 Marines in Australia, and in the past Obama has been outspoken towards China's influence and has declared this is a top priority. So why is Obama being two-faced with China? Doctor Paul Craig Roberts, a former Reagan Administration official, joins us to look into the bipolar relationship with China.
European Parliament, Brussels, 14 February 2012 Speaker: Godfrey Bloom MEP, UKIP (Yorkshire & Lincolnshire), Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group.
he European Commission could fine Spain's new government for allegedly exaggerating last year's deficit figures so that the current year's data would look better, according to sources quoted by the Reuters news agency. That would be a blow to centre-right Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy who, Spanish officials say, had hoped to be given leeway on the country's deficit target in return for bringing in sweeping economic reforms.
Who will benefit from the new set of Greek austerity measures, which got a violent response from the crowd on Sunday? Adrian Salbuchi, author and consultant talks to RT, suggesting it's the bankers, who are responsible for the economic downturn in the first place.
On Monday tens of thousands of Greeks expressed their rage toward the Greek government. Protesters clashed with law enforcement after the Greek Parliament voted to grant another round of austerity measures. In the already troubled Greek economy, the deal approved the lowering of the national minimum wage and has resulted in approximately 15,000 public sector jobs lost. Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital, joins us to assess the situation in Greece.
Monday, February 13, 2012
You have probably seen the images by now. Athens on fire, the city literally burning as politicians within parliament voted to pass tough austerity measures to meet the demands of the EU and IMF, Greece's international lenders. This story is about more than just austerity and riots - it's wealth-extraction amidst economic collapse at work. The Greek economy is in the 5th year of a recession, which is a nice way of saying that it is in a depression.
Money supply continues to contract, deposits are being drained and liquidity has dried up. The economy is in a free fall, and there is no bottom in sight. The proposals for recovery through "austerity" are just another way to keep the political system in place for as long as possible with the hope that the elites will be able to ride this storm out and come out the other end richer and more powerful than every before.
The people of Athens have woken up to what looks like a war zone. Protesters set dozens of buildings ablaze in an orgy of destruction as parliament approved a deeply unpopular austerity bill on Sunday night.
The worst riot damage in years has struck Greek cities as MPs pass harsh new austerity measures. Amateur video shows violent protests in central Volos, where a branch of one of Greece's largest banks - Eurobank - was torched.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Greece's parliament has approved tough austerity cuts in line with measures set out by international lenders for a new bailout, despite strong dissent. Prime Minister Lucas Papademos received a majority of 199-74 in favour of drastic cutbacks, but a total of 37 MPs from the majority Socialists and conservative New Democracy party either voted against the measures, abstained or voted present - in opposition.
Greek police have fired tear gas at protesters hurling stones and petrol bombs outside parliament, as politicians inside debated budget cuts. Lawmakers must pass the unpopular austerity measures to get another bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
In this episode, Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, discuss the gold standard extremism and how your dollar got to be worth just 3.8 cents. In the second half of the show, Max talks to Francine McKenna of reTheAuditors.com about the crimes and illegitimate activity of the MF Global collapse.
Friday, February 10, 2012
As Greeks took to the streets on Friday to show their anger at austerity measures, several politicians also walked off the job. The industrial action is the first day of a 48 hour general strike organised in response to the deal struck to get the 130 billion euro bailout loan.
Protesters in Athens are clashing with police, some throwing stones and Molotov cocktails. Greece's coalition government managed to agree on a new austerity deal their creditors demanded. But Eurozone finance ministers say they want to see concrete action before the second bailout worth 130 billion Euros can be handed over.
The Greek Parliament is expected to vote on Sunday. But a junior coalition member says he will not back the new plan.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
In this episode, Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, discuss the latest discoveries of blackholes in the financial universe and the populations growing permanently poorer as a result. In the second half of the show, Max talks to Dr. Yanis Varoufakis about financial horror, a currency from which you can't escape and the Greek situation.
Many sectors of the global economy may be struggling in the recession, but precious metals remain a valuable commodity. Over the last 10 years, the price of gold has risen sharply, peaking at $1,921 an ounce in September and now hovering around $1,730 an ounce.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
US Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum won all three republican voting contests last night. Let's just remind our viewers what some of his thoughts are regarding foreign policy and Iran...remember what he said on the campaign trail about nuclear scientists ending up dead being a good thing? He's also advocated airstrikes on nuclear facilities.
As we hear the drum beat of war between the West and Iran, we often see war and politics as separate from the economy. They are not. Putting aside the human cost for a moment, which is huge, let's look at the economic cost. The price of economic sanctions, and any conflict for energy...what effect will it have on prices for the basic things that we need, like oil? What effect will this have on an economy already muddling through the dirt?
Will countries resort to even more resource wars as a result, and will these lead to currency wars?
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
This is an hour long video we screened in the Casey Research Pavilion at the Cambridge House Vancouver Investment Conference, starring Doug Casey, Eric Sprott, John Hathaway, and Rick Rule.
Mike Maloney was lucky enough to interview Congressman Ron Paul, and share the session with his customers at GoldSilver.com. The full interview never made it to YouTube, so here it is for the first time. Enjoy! Check out the link at the end of this video - an epic presentation on gold and silver. Please share, like, rate and favourite our videos - it helps us immensely. Many thanks, GoldSilver.com
Monday, February 6, 2012
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed exasperation at the time the Greek government is taking to accept the latest tranche of austerity and reform conditions demanded to secure a 130 billion euro rescue loan.
Friday, February 3, 2012
The US unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent for January -- naturally it was a good photo opportunity for US president Barack Obama to say the economy is improving. Really? In fact, a large chunk of those people who finally found work last month landed low wage jobs, and almost half of the unemployed (43%) have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks. That's 6 months without a job for 5.5 million people in this country, and that's only the official tally. Youth unemployment is also awful, stuck at 23 percent.
So what are we supposed to do? How do we fix this? Well, author Jeffrey Tucker is in studio with us today -- a special treat -- and he will tell us what he thinks should be done. One solution that washington has proposed is raising taxes, and in fact, today is the income tax's birthday.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Ben Bernanke is defending the Federal Reserve's financial repression of savers today on the Capitol Hill. He also says there are no signs of higher inflation. Maybe that is because he is wearing his CPI, or PCE goggles...lucky for us, we have legendary investor Jim Rogers on Capital Account today to tell us why Ben Bernanke may not know what he is doing.
Jim will also tell us what he thinks of financial repression, and the destruction of the saver in America with these punishingly low interest rates. Does America need savings, and should savers be punished so that the rest of the country's speculative class can continue to bet on the financial roulette wheel? Meanwhile, Angela Merkel is in China reportedly trying to convince the country with 3.2 trillion dollars worth of foreign exchange reserves to throw a little in the direction of the eurozone.
And another major eurozone credit-pusher Christine Lagarde, we just saw her take her fundraising efforts to the World Economic Forum coming to collect for the IMF. But why might these heavy hitting women be butting heads? We'll give you the back story, and we'll ask Jim Rogers what he thinks as well.