Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E
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Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E
Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E
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The Obvious Politics of Downturn(s) –

The Obvious Politics of Downturn(s) – | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
The whole economic system rots for lack of imagination. And what Japan’s plight proves most of all is that it can go on and on far longer than you might otherwise think possible (a recovery has to happen at some point, right? NO.) It’s something out of Keynes; the economy can go without legitimate growth far longer than any peoples can remain rational.

For good measure, Destatis, Germany’s government bureau responsible for producing that country’s GDP estimates, also reports today a negative number for its last quarter (Q3). It is being dismissed as emissions and climate/weather, but Japan’s concurrent weakness shows otherwise. This is a growing global downturn.



This year is proving to be a trainwreck in too many important places. It was supposed to be the arrival of worldwide recovery. Worse, too many arrows are still pointing down for 2019. But you wouldn’t know it from the Bank of Japan, ECB, Federal Reserve, etc. Not until they are forced into some honest assessments for once.

What I wrote in 2016 still applies. There is plausible path back to full and complete recovery. It just has nothing to do with QE’s or even Economics, except the total purge of any thoughts about QE’s as well as to transform Economics back into economics (starting with monetary economics). It is purely political. And this is why populism becomes increasingly radical (in both directions, left and right) as all this economic pain goes unanswered each and every time.
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If You Think Trump and Powell Aren’t Getting Along… –

If You Think Trump and Powell Aren’t Getting Along… – | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
If you think President Trump is upset with Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell, you should see what’s going on in India. Central bankers had been every government’s close friend for years; a decade even. The relationships were beyond chummy, particularly as many governments celebrated their central bank heroes for heroically heroic actions saving the world from something like a repeat of 1929.

While conventional perceptions were shaped by things like QE and low rates, reality, of course, has been much different. Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson recently said people like Ben Bernanke saved us all from that other disastrous fate. Except the US economy is about to complete an entire decade where it has underperformed the Great Depression.
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Contagion –

Contagion – | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
The word contagion is easy enough to understand. Whether the spread of disease or disaster, sometimes it is difficult if not impossible to contain. In financial terms, contagion is often thought of along the lines of 2011; Greece started it and it spread throughout the rest of Southern Europe. The euro was coming apart, and what “it” was didn’t seem to matter.

The eurodollar system is not a single, monolithic whole. It features many different pieces that sometimes don’t fit together at all. There is always something wrong somewhere, even during the best of times. It is eerie in hindsight, but there was a huge outbreak of repo fails, for example, in 2001 following September 11th. It kept up for months on end, until the middle of 2002. Outside of dot-com stocks, the system didn’t crash.
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Is Cultural Marxism America's New Mainline Ideology? | Mises Wire

Is Cultural Marxism America's New Mainline Ideology? | Mises Wire | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
Another name for the neo-Marxism of increasing popularity in the United States  is cultural Marxism.” This theory says that the driving force behind the socialist revolution is not the proletariat — but the intellectua
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4 Reasons Why Socialism Fails

4 Reasons Why Socialism Fails | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
The new “democratic socialists” want to make their followers believe that one could redistribute wealth and income and socialize a large part of the economy without harming production and productivity. They claim that a comprehensive control of the economy by the government would bring more justice and more prosperity. The democratic socialists want more planning and less market. Yet this postulate ignores that socialism does not fail by accident or circumstance. Socialism fails because it suffers from four fundamental design defects.

First, socialism eradicates private property and markets and thus eliminates rational calculation.
Second, socialism allows soft budgets, so there is no mechanism in place to discard inefficient production methods.
Third, abolishing private property and replacing it by the state distorts the incentives.
Four, the socialist system with its absence of private property and of free markets inhibits the economic coordination of the system of division of labor and capital.
The Importance of Market Prices
Socialism cannot bring prosperity because it destroys the market functions of private property. Under socialism, private ownership of the means of production no longer exists, and thus there are no market prices for capital goods available. Institutionally, socialism consists in abolishing the market economy and replacing it with a planned economy. By doing away with private property of the means of production, one wipes-out market information and valuation. Even if the socialist administration puts price tags on the consumer goods, and the people may own consumer goods, there is no economic orientation about the relative scarcity of capital goods.

Many supporters of socialism suppose that business management is nothing more than a kind of registration or simple bookkeeping. Vladimir Lenin believed that the knowledge of reading and writing, and some expertise in the use of the basic arithmetic operations and some training in accounting, would be enough for the conduct of business operations. The socialists promote engineering and science, but they believe that there is no need for the entrepreneur. The regime may spend heavily on education but when there is no entrepreneurial economy, the people will stay poor, nevertheless.
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Half A Decade Later, Here We Are Confused Again –

Half A Decade Later, Here We Are Confused Again – | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
These things are processes. They take time, a lot of time. Given that, I keep coming back to what might otherwise seem an absurd idea. The best-case scenario for all of us just might be a global crash, one that would make 2008 blush. At least then it might afford the world the benefit of unambiguousness. We almost got there ten years ago before it was interrupted by “give ‘em another chance to figure this out”; “them” being Economists and central bankers.

It is absolutely stunning just how much time has been wasted repeating ourselves, not that most people would know it. Here’s what I wrote half a decade ago in August 2013 during that particularly perplexing hot summer:

The US$ shortage has been a theme around here for most of 2013. To this point, it has been largely hidden in the shadows and vagaries of modern global finance, only hinted at through secondary and tertiary indications. Even then, like the gold selloff, the dollar shortage was ambiguous and cunning. From repo warnings and the dire state of collateral availability, to emerging market currencies it has been slowly building.

Replace “2013” with “2018”, would it be any less appropriate for today? What would eventually come out of that prior episode was the 2015-16 global downturn, the devastating “rising dollar.” It’s deflation, only not all at once. It comes at us in fits and starts, which compounds the problem. Every single time it gives way to reflation, all is lost. The urgency which had been building toward some real truth seeking just disappears as the recovery fairy tale gets reimposed.

Human nature is our own worst enemy. Inertia is, without the benefit of perfect clarity, oftentimes insurmountable.

It was that way in 2013, too, as I was trying to point out. Underneath the forecasts for great things was an entire menu of not-so-great suggestions. That it took another year to more completely develop tells us something of this divorce. The “rising dollar” may not have broken out until the middle of 2014, but it was there all along – if you wanted to see it.
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Why We Can't Ignore the "Militia" Clause of the Second Amendment

Why We Can't Ignore the "Militia" Clause of the Second Amendment | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
The Second Amendment as a Guard Against a Standing Army
Looking at the debates surrounding the Second Amendment and military power at the end of the eighteenth century, however, we find that the authors of the Second Amendment had a more sophisticated vision of gun ownership than is often assumed.

Fearful that a large federal military could be used to destroy the freedoms of the states themselves, Anti-Federalists and other Americans fearful of centralized power in the US government designed the Second Amendment accordingly. It was designed to guarantee that the states would be free to raise and train their own militias as a defense against federal power, and as a means of keeping a defensive military force available to Americans while remaining outside the direct control of the federal government.

This grew out of what was a well-established opposition to standing armies among Americans in the late eighteenth century. In his book Eagle and Sword: The Federalists and the Creation of the Military Establishment in America, 1783–1802, Richard Kohn writes:
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How To Get Rid Of Paranoid Conspiracy Theorists \

Are you as sick and tired as I am of all those tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy nutters who express skepticism whenever the kind and beneficent US intelligence agencies bestow us with urgent information about a new country in need of regime change? Do you want to get rid of that kooky fringe 74 percent of Americans who believe in a “Deep State” which controls the elected government?

Well you’re in luck, bucko! I happen to have compiled right here a list of six simple steps that our compassionate government and fearless media can take to rid America of these looney toon paranoid conspiracy theorists once and for all:

1. Stop fucking lying all the time.


Simple, right? Just stop lying and people will stop wondering how the narrative they’re being spoon fed by their politicians and the media differs from reality!


Click to read the balance...

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Taibbi: Beware the Slippery Slope of Facebook Censorship –

Taibbi: Beware the Slippery Slope of Facebook Censorship – | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
Facebook was “helped” in its efforts to wipe out these dangerous memes by the Atlantic Council, on whose board you’ll find confidence-inspiring names like Henry Kissinger, former CIA chief Michael Hayden, former acting CIA head Michael Morell and former Bush-era Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff. (The latter is the guy who used to bring you the insane color-coded terror threat level system.)

These people now have their hands on what is essentially a direct lever over nationwide news distribution. It’s hard to understate the potential mischief that lurks behind this union of Internet platforms and would-be government censors.
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The Blockchain Is a Tempting Target for Central Banks

The Blockchain Is a Tempting Target for Central Banks | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
For the past several years, one of the most consistent themes in the world of of central banking has been the ongoing drive to incorporate blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies into the central bankers’ tool kit. The mysterious potential of the blockchain has tempted central banks around the world into a wide range of experiments with the new technology, and in a previous Mises Wire article as recently as late-2016, I discussed the Bank of England’s plan to mint its own Bitcoin-style cryptocurrency for use in inter-bank payments. Although that plan has now been shelved for the foreseeable future, the general overhaul of the Bank of England’s payments systems has continued and moved in new directions, with attempts to incorporate distributed ledger technologies having now taken on a different character.

It was these attempts which led to the recent publication of a report which announced that, when it rolls out its new Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system, the Bank of England will break with established norms by allowing blockchain-based FinTech firms to access that system.

An RTGS system is a specialist funds transfer service which “ essentially forms the foundation ” of all of the activities of Britain’s central bank. The Bank of England’s RTGS system facilitates instantly-cleared, high-value transfers of money (usually central bank reserves) and securities between financial institutions, in order to maintain the liquidity of Britain’s financial system on a minute-by-minute basis. Britain’s RTGS system facilitates around half a trillion pounds worth of inter-bank transactions every day, a number equivalent to almost a third of the UK’s total annual GDP, with the money used in the system currently being comprised of around £300 billion of electronic central bank reserves, plus around a fifth of that amount in physical banknotes.

Access to the Bank of England’s RTGS system has previously been a special privilege of banks and other such traditional, large financial institutions. So why is the Bank of England now planning to open the system up to a new generation of tech startups based around the decidedly non-traditional payments system of the blockchain? The Bank of England’s report on its decision offers few clues to the underlying reasons for the shift, mainly concerning itself with vague and generic statements about the need to “meet the challenges posed by a rapidly changing landscape” by offering “a diverse and flexible range of settlement models, to enable existing and emerging payment infrastructures to access central bank money”. It is certainly true that Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has been adamant in his desire to modernise the Bank’s RTGS system, with the current “ambitious rebuild” representing one of the key endeavours of his tenure. But Carney himself could certainly not be described as an enthusiastic supporter of blockchain technology, and has been outspoken in his criticisms of cryptocurrencies in the past , viewing them as a largely criminal ‘Wild West’ of the modern monetary system, in dire need of the taming influence of civilisation.
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Judge Andrew Napolitano: How the Courts Killed Natural Law

Judge Andrew Napolitano: How the Courts Killed Natural Law | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
The Constitution represented a coup from the beginning, and it's a dead letter today. The Declaration of Independence, however, is a truly radical libertarian document still worthy of consideration. Judge Andrew Napolitiano, our Distinguished Scholar in Law and Jurisprudence, recently gave a rousing talk at Mises University on the Declaration's natural law tradition–and how federal courts relentlessly and successfully attacked the principles it represented. This is Judge Nap at his scorching best, and you won't want to miss his comments on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
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U.S. Tech Giants Are Too Big, Too Powerful and Now Are Running Into Serious Trouble

U.S. Tech Giants Are Too Big, Too Powerful and Now Are Running Into Serious Trouble | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
“I’m against large companies and governments collaborating in the oppression of their people, and feel like transparency around what’s being done is in the public interest,” the source said, adding that they feared “what is done in China will become a template for many other nations.”

From The Intercept article: Google Plans to Launch Censored Search Engine in China, Leaked Documents Reveal

Today’s post will explain why I think the U.S. tech giants are in the early stages of destroying themselves. It will focus on two of the biggest names in the space, Facebook and Google. Both face serious issues that are only now truly coming to a head and rooted in two primary factors, size and politics.

Facebook is further along in the process of being in serious trouble, so let’s start there. The social media company currently has 2.2 billion active users worldwide, which amounts to well over half of all human beings online at the moment (estimated at 3-4 billion). In other words, the company already has a tremendous share of global potential users. Since everybody already knows what Facebook is, you have to assume those who aren’t using it (like me), aren’t using it for a reason. Thus, you have to ask whether or not meaningful growth in active users is remotely realistic for Facebook. I would argue not.

There are many reasons to bet against Facebook significantly growing active users in the years ahead, but the main hurdle seems to be keeping the users it already has actively engaged. Specifically, I think there are two types of users Facebook risks losing going forward. These people might not “delete Facebook” per se, but their engagement with the platform may drop meaningfully.


The first consists of the not insignificant number of Americans who in part blame Facebook and “fake news” for the election of Donald Trump. These types are placing enormous amounts of pressure on politicians to “do something” and you can see Facebook executives starting to squirm. Facebook doesn’t know what to do and risks responding to this political outrage in a manner that could irreparably harm the platform’s appeal.
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Russia Attacked Us

Russia Attacked Us | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
This idiotic fantasy congealed in the political matrix last week as everyone across the spectrum of parties and factions scrambled for patriotism brownie points in what is shaping up as an epic game of Capture-the-Flag for the mid-term elections. Listen to me for a moment, as our arch-nemesis Vlad the Putin said to Fox News knucklehead Chris Wallace in an interview aired Sunday Night — when Wallace interrupted Mr. Putin for perhaps the fourth time, saying, “I don’t want to interrupt you, sir, but….”

“Listen to me. Be patient,” Mr. Putin repeated dolefully, like a second-grade teacher struggling with an ADD kid.

The interview was trying my Christian patience, too. And my own personal fantasy was that Mr. Putin would whip out 30 inches of rebar and whap Chris Wallace upside the head with it. But he only repeated, “Be patient….”

So, listen to me: Russia did not “attack” us. Trolling on Facebook is not an attack on the nation. The allegation that Russia “hacked” Hillary’s email and the DNC server is so far without evidence, and computer forensics strongly suggests that the information was transferred onto a flash-drive on its journey to Wikileaks. And, of course, the information itself, concerning embarrassing unethical hijinks among Democratic Party officials, was genuine and truthful — they “meddled” in their own primary elections.

This lingering Russia hysteria got a big re-boot last week following Mr. Trump’s impressively awkward performance onstage with the nimble Mr. Putin, whose self-possession only reinforced Mr. Trump’s lumbering oafishness and amazing verbal incoherence. It’s hard enough for Americans to understand what the Golden Golem of Greatness is trying to say; imagine the torment of the translators untangling his tortured utterances!

I daresay that some of the American observers secretly wished that we could swap over Mr. Trump for Mr. Putin so as to have a national leader with some decorum and poise, but alas…. And one can’t help but wonder how Mr. Putin sizes up POTUS among his intimates inside the Kremlin. I’d love to be a fly on that wall.

The Helsinki summit meeting has the look of a turning point in Mr. Trump’s political fortunes. One irony is that he may escape his enemies’ efforts to nail him on any Russia “collusion” rap only to be sandbagged by financial turmoil as the dog days of summer turn nervously toward autumn. Events will cancel the myth that his actions as president have produced a booming economy. If anything, the activities that make up our economy have only become more vicious rackets, especially the war industries, with all their inducements to counter the imagined Russia threat.

The financial markets are the pillars of the fantasy that the US economy is roaring triumphantly. The markets are so fundamentally disabled by ten years of central bank interventions that they don’t express the actual value of any asset, whether stocks, or bonds, or gold, oil, labor, currencies, or the folly known as crypto-currency. We await the fabled “moment of truth” when the avenging angel of price discovery returns and shatters the illusion that accounting fraud equals prosperity.

The revelation that Mr. Trump is not an economic genius will spur a deeper dive by chimerical Democrats into nanny state quicksand. They will make the new fad of a Guaranteed Basic Income the centerpiece of the midterm election — even though many Democrats will not really believe in it. They are pretending not to notice how broke the USA actually is, and how spavined by unpayable debt. The lurking suspicion of all this is surely behind fantasies such as Russia attacked us, the displacement of abstruse and impalpable fear onto something simple and cartoonish, like the President of the United States.
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Elections And Morbid Contango –

Elections And Morbid Contango – | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
As always, it’s about the whole thing. A true economic boom spreads out real gains to the vast majority of the population. There will always be some proportion of people who are left out. But in the good ones, the true upswings, that share is minimal.

This is the big problem right now, especially as GDP has been positive in a lot of places for a long time. It is what confuses people into thinking there has to be a boom. The sad fact is that economic output all over the world, the US included, hasn’t been near enough to minimize the proportion being excluded from these small economic gains. There are still too many people on the wrong side of the economic divide.

In America, though they go along with the media as to how the economy is described they sure aren’t acting consistent with the rhetoric. Spending remains down across-the-board, and those in the most afflicted of areas are swinging back and forth looking for someone to give them answers.
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‘Godfather’ of chart analysis says ‘damage done to the stock market’ is much, much worse’ than anyone is talking about

‘Godfather’ of chart analysis says ‘damage done to the stock market’ is much, much worse’ than anyone is talking about | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it

Acampora tells MarketWatch that the action under way in the stock market reminds him of the 1987 crash

Ralph Acampora is bearish on stocks
Prominent market technician Ralph Acampora says the stock market is in bad shape and it’s worse than many on Wall Street investors appreciate.

A pioneer in the field of chart-based trading, Acampora said the technical damage that has resulted in the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.97% and the S&P 500 index SPX, +1.09% erasing all of their gains for 2018, and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +2.01% falling into correction territory—usually characterized as a decline of at least 10% from a recent peak—will take months to repair.

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It’s A Slump Now –

It’s A Slump Now – | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
If it wasn’t before, it is definitely a slump now. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said today that the sales of existing homes across the US in September 2018 fell more than 3% seasonally-adjusted from August. At just 5.15 million (SAAR), that’s the lowest volume in almost three years.



Hurricane Harvey had managed to disrupt a good chunk of resale activity in September 2017, and yet there is only Florence to blame for September 2018 which managed somehow to post significantly fewer home sales. Year-over-year, sales activity dropped by more than 4%.

Economists want to make this about interest rates. That’s a big change from late last year when the hurricane high had many convinced that the economy was so much booming not even the Fed could disrupt the real estate sector.
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We Still Haven't Learned the Right Lessons from the 2008 Crash

We Still Haven't Learned the Right Lessons from the 2008 Crash | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
Financial media-administered history lessons — whether by commentaries or interviews — on the Great Crash that occurred 10 years ago are frightening. The would-be history teachers are in total denial (or ignorance) of the key fact that 2008 was a monetary-made disaster. This climate of denial continues to foster ever greater danger in the future not to mention a heavy cumulative burden in the decade since — as measured by prosperity lost.

In effect, the Central Bankers Club and their backers among the political elites have been totally successful, it seems, in expunging monetary forces as the key driver — or even as a major factor — in the journey to the 2008 Crash. This started with President George W. Bush nominating Ben Bernanke as a Fed Governor (effective August 2002) in the clear expectation that this Princeton Professor would prove effective in implementing the monetary inflation which he preached. True, Alan Greenspan was still the chief, but by then on shaky footing, given the known hostility of the Bush-Baker “clan” which resented his earlier close cooperation with the Clinton Administration. And Before that, Greenspan was perceived to have some responsibility for the 1991-2 economic downturn which spelled defeat for the older Bush. The implicit term extension deal for Greenspan in 2003 (by two years) was that he would “listen” to the new Governor from Princeton.
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Crypto-Mania Collapse Update: $638 Billion Gone

Crypto-Mania Collapse Update: $638 Billion Gone | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
Of the seven biggest, six have plunged by 78% to 92%.
Cryptocurrencies and tokens are multiplying like rabbits: There are now 1,926 listed on CoinMarketCap.com, 500 more than early 2018. And even as the number of cryptos continues to swell, each crypto constantly creates new units through “mining.” This dilution and hyperinflation is worse than with all but the worst fiat currencies, such as the Venezuelan bolivar.

Cryptos are “decentralized.” That was one of the major selling points in whitepapers full of intelligent-sounding gobbledygook and other propaganda promoted in myriad ways, including by an army of crypto trolls and celebrities paid by the tweet. Because cryptos are decentralized, everyone can create their own, and all kinds of outfits are mining new units of existing cryptos. It’s really just a big joke. But people are losing large amounts usually expressed in their hated fiat currency. The pain is real. And the numbers are big.

At the peak on January 7, total market cap was $704 billion, per CoinMarketCap at the time.

But new cryptos arrive all the time, and cryptos are also multiplying themselves via the mining process. CoinMarketCap figures the market cap going backwards, based on today’s existing cryptos to arrive at a theoretical market cap at a date in the past, as if all those new cryptos and tokens had already existed on that day in the past. And by this measure, the theoretical market cap for January 7 was $830 billion.

Based on this measure, the aggregate market cap has plunged 77%, from $830 billion to $192 billion in eight months. $638 billion vanished or transferred to those who sold in time from those who didn’t.
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Yet Another Lesson In Nightmares –

Yet Another Lesson In Nightmares – | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
I don’t know how many different ways I can write this. Reserves are not insurance against monetary reversal, they are the calamity. If you have them, that only means you have a problem. And if you have a lot of them, well.

The Financial Times yesterday writes again about Argentina. No matter what’s thrown at that country, nothing will staunch the monetary bleeding. The following is a good enough summation for 2018:

Argentina may have reluctantly fallen back into the embrace of the International Monetary Fund, but the biggest aid package in history has not managed to inoculate the country from an onslaught of market pain.

But why? The global economy is booming, or at least on the verge of one. That’s what everyone says. “They” made it their entire point to add “synchronized” to the narrative for a reason. This one unlike the other false dawns wasn’t going to leave anyone behind.

Except maybe Argentina. And Brazil. Turkey. Indonesia. India even. And then China. As I wrote yesterday, “If things are going so well, why aren’t they going so well?”
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Turkey's Crisis and the Dollar's Future

Turkey's Crisis and the Dollar's Future | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
Last week’s collapse of the Turkish lira has dominated the headlines, and it is widely reported that this and other emerging market currencies are in trouble because of the withdrawal of dollar liquidity. There are huge quantities of footloose dollars betting against these weak currencies, as well as commodities and gold, on the basis the long-expected squeeze on dollar liquidity is finally upon us.

Doubtless Triffin’s dilemma is dominating these speculators’ thoughts, telling them demand for the dollar as the reserve currency is infinite. This article points out that foreign financial entities as a whole already possess most of the excess liquidity created by monetary expansion of the dollar since the Lehman crisis. Admittedly, ownership of dollars is unlikely to be evenly distributed across correspondent banks representing all foreign nations. But this is no reason to say dollars are not under-owned by foreign users, and we must not forget dollars are also available in the foreign exchanges, as always, for credible buyers. Nor must we forget that the reason for the enormous quantity of currency derivatives ($75 trillion in US dollars alone1) is that future demand for dollars is already significantly hedged.

No, the reason certain EM currencies are losing purchasing power is the fault of individual governments and their central banks, who do not seem to realize that their unbacked fiat currencies are valued purely on trust, both that of their own people and on the foreign exchanges. And as we should know, trust is not something to be toyed with.

Furthermore, comments that China is in trouble from trade tariffs and being undermined by a strong dollar are wide of the mark. Geopolitics dominates here. America’s occasional successes in attacking the rouble and yuan are no more that transient pyrrhic victories. She is not winning the currency war against China and Russia. China is not being deflected from her strategic goals to become, in partnership with Russia, the Eurasian super-power, beyond the reach of American hegemony.

This article looks beyond the short-term rush into the dollar, which is driven predominantly by hot money, to gain a more balanced perspective on the dollar’s future.
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When Central Banks DON’T Print –

When Central Banks DON’T Print – | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
We all know, or we think we do, what happens when central banks print money. There are any number of historical images from which we can refresh our collective memory. Weimar Germany usually comes to mind, as does Venezuela or Zimbabwe in recent times. But what about the opposite?

It sounds absurd. No government officials in their right mind would ever stop the printing presses. If that situation ever happened to arise there must be something seriously wrong, right?

I really don’t think people appreciate just what the eurodollar system means in detail. Even these eurodollar events we keep having don’t really do justice to describing the various ways they really hurt. Robert Triffin was correct in one sense when he described his famous paradox six decades ago. The dollar carries huge responsibilities that are often unsuitable to competing forces which arise more often than we might expect.

It didn’t seem that way for a long time, though. The prior so-called Great “Moderation” wasn’t blind dumb luck so much as Economists James Stock and Mark Watson were at loss to find the monetary center of gravity really behind it (or Bernanke, he of “global savings glut” lunacy). Before August 2007, there was no downside to letting the Trojan Horse of contagion through your national gate.

Domestic monetary systems that were therefore built upon eurodollar supply can only suffer by the lack of it. This is contrary to the narrative that every central bank is, well, central. They aren’t, though they often do everything in their power to appear that way. Some central bankers actually still believe it, and you can tell which ones by how quickly they fail.
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Notes From the Brink: Reasons Behind the Crypto Bear Market

Notes From the Brink: Reasons Behind the Crypto Bear Market | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it


Long road to go:


Futures trading in Bitcoin, as well as other cryptocurrencies, still has a long road to go before it can be considered totally fail-safe — and even then, there are bound to be mishaps. However, like Cheung says, there are lessons to be learned as the trading option matures in this new and volatile space.

Bitcoin is still a very new asset class, relative to others that are used in futures, and as such, traders are still in the experimental stages. It will take some time to iron out issues that crop up in this new form of trading, but by trying to mitigate the losses, it should be a relatively painless process to get Bitcoin futures operating smoothly.

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The Social Media Purge: Is the Mises Institute Next?

The Social Media Purge: Is the Mises Institute Next? | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
When a politician, particularly a US senator, tells companies what they "must" do, there is a clear threat of government action if they don't. What exactly does Mr. Murphy imply for noncompliance? Harsh new regulations? Antitrust inquiries? Tax audits?

The word for this, as Justin Raimondo points out, is extortion.

Big Tech, however, is fully complicit in this era of growing "soft censorship" by ostensibly private companies. In the past 48 hours, several social media platforms —  including Facebook, twitter, YouTube (Google) and iTunes (Apple) — banned provocateur Alex Jones from their platforms. Jones often promoted guests like Dr. Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell, and Peter Schiff in the 1990s, when alternative voices were few and far between. 

Twitter also suspended the accounts of Ron Paul Institute director Daniel McAdams, Antiwar.com editor Scott Horton, and retired US Foreign Service officer Peter Van Buren, three prominent libertarian and non-interventionist voices.

Senator Murphy did not have to lift a finger.

Yes, tech companies are private organizations with shareholders. Yes, nobody has a right to a platform, or a microphone, or an audience. Yes, nobody in America is being put in jail or fined by government for speech — yet (so-called hate speech laws already are in place across the West, and supported by many voters in the US). We do not advocate regulation of social media or technology companies under common carrier/utility theories or some tenuous expansion of public accommodations laws.

But the unholy nexus of state and corporate power is at the core of the libertarian critique. Big Tech is deeply involved with government at many levels, from data collection to spying to developing weapons and AI to providing cloud space to noxious federal agencies. Tech companies derive their economic, social, and cultural power not only from their competence in the marketplace, but increasingly from their connection to the state as well. 

It is precisely this alliance that gives rise to justified criticisms of a power elite. Taken to its ultimate conclusion, the alliance becomes openly fascist. In this sense libertarians have every justification to oppose consolidations of economic power — and to recognize the blurring between First Amendment violations by express state actors and de-platforming of alternative voices by state-connected actors.

Is the Mises Institute next? Will we be de-platformed, shadow banned, or otherwise erased for promoting views — proudly radical, anti-state, and anti-war views — that the power elite cannot abide?

The answer lies in building independent platforms. Mises.org was a very early pioneer online, providing a critical forum for libertarian and Austrian writers beginning way back in October 1996. As a result, the site had a head start in becoming among the most-visited economics hubs in the world. Much of our site traffic is organic: visitors either direct their browser to the home page, or arrive at a particular page through search engines like Google.

Unlike newer sites, mises.org is less dependent on social media feeds to drive traffic to it — less than 20%. And while our traffic is robust, that 20% sourced from social media clicks will drop as platforms adjust their algorithms to punish content sites. They don't want you clicking through to mises.org. 

So while the site could and would survive being de-platformed by social media companies, it would not take much for search engines to "disappear" our content. Imagine typing "Austrian economics" or "Mises" into Google and finding no mises.org results — or having those results shunned to the twentieth page of results. 

You can help fight back by taking small steps today: set mises.org as your homepage, and visit frequently to make sure you're seeing articles and content that social media outlets hide from your feeds. When you do see our articles pop up, help us by clicking through. And circulate them via email to acquaintances using direct links, rather than simply sharing social media posts that in many cases disappear down a rabbit hole. 

The state and its cronyist friends have built a world that seeks to silence our perspectives. We must recognize that arguments and content mean nothing if conduits for disseminating them are shut down. 
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The Race We All Lose

The Race We All Lose | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
In October 2015, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal. Pedigree matters, a fact easily established by how easy it is for central bankers and former central bankers to have their thoughts published in any mainstream outlet of their choosing. Record doesn’t mean so much, performance on the job secondary at most to consideration of titles once held and official positions once occupied.

The topic of Dr. Bernanke’s musing was, ironically, his record as Federal Reserve Chairman. Never one to miss a chance at beating his own drum, whomever cooked up the title for the piece accurately captured Bernanke’s sense of his accomplishment. It was titled simply, How the Fed Saved the Economy.

There wasn’t anything as far as evidence save for one specific comparison. The US economy wasn’t nearly as bad off as Europe’s. The Europeans were reluctant to embrace QE, therefore Ben Bernanke is our hero. “Hey, at least we aren’t Europe” is a little too close to “jobs saved.”

Europe’s failure to employ monetary and fiscal policy aggressively after the financial crisis is a big reason that eurozone output is today about 0.8% below its precrisis peak. In contrast, the output of the U.S. economy is 8.9% above the earlier peak—an enormous difference in performance.

No, actually, it wasn’t an enormous difference in performance. As usual, as an Economist he was counting on the difference in sign to mesmerize away any legitimate thoughts about gradation. With so much time having past since the Great “Recession”, +8.9% wasn’t truly any better than -0.8%. They were at best different shades of atrocious.

In a twisted way, 2017 saw something of a role reversal if only to justify this latest sense of globally synchronized growth. Europe as the world’s second sickest economy, not quite matching Japan in that category, if it was breaking out to a substantial upside, a boom even, then that would be something special. And since the ECB in 2015 finally relented on QE, double plus good.

Europe’s supposed boom alongside China’s supposed resurgence was supposed to mean guaranteed economic fortitude felt everywhere. The US would be unable to resist and inflation hysteria crept toward the even more hysterical.

That was 2017.
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An Open Letter About Anti-Russian Paranoia

An Open Letter About Anti-Russian Paranoia | Breaking News from S.E.R.C.E | Scoop.it
I almost spilled my coffee when driving home from work, listening to you filling in for Sheila Liaugminas on Relevant Radio the Catholic radio network.1 You and Andrew Malcolm were reinforcing the mainstream spin on the Trump-Putin summit, and you mentioned the need to check Russian imperialism.

It was the tone that got me, as if everyone knows Russian imperialism is a self-evident scourge akin to global warming, the national debt, and the continued popularity of Justin Bieber.

I thought: wow. Talking about Russian imperialism is the modern version of talking about what fine clothes the Emperor is wearing in that H.C. Andersen fairy tale, when in truth he is walking around as naked as a character in a Stormy Daniels movie. In both cases, there are many courtiers and cronies interested in maintaining the state's interpretation of a situation as opposed to, well, reality.

Given that reality is presumably relevant (on Relevant Radio no less), my guess is that if the hypothetical disinterested Martian were to visit our planet and assess international relations, he would come to the conclusion that it is the United States that acts like the imperialist. After all,

Russia does not have over 100 military bases spread around the world. In fact, it maintains a grand total of two outside its own borders.
Russia did not unilaterally withdraw from the ABM treaty. That would have been the United States in 2002.
Russia dissolved the Warsaw Pact and moved on from the Cold War, while the United States has maintained and expanded NATO. In so doing, it broke promises not to position bases near the Russian border.
Russia watched the US intervene in the Ukraine, overthrow its democratically elected president, and then ramp up military assistance to its puppet government. To be sure, this event led to Russia's bloodless coup in Crimea in 2014. This response was unfortunate but, I think, more moral than US-instigated bloody “regime changes” in Serbia, Iraq, Libya, and Syria.
Russia's military budget is about 10 percent of the US’s. In fact, recent Trumpian increases in the defense budget exceeded the Russian military budget in toto.
You may disagree with this analysis, but would it be unreasonable for some of the logicians among us to conclude the anti-imperialist had become the imperialist? After all, becoming your enemy in order to defeat it was the admonition of the young William F. Buckley in 1952 in the Catholic journal Commonweal that, in order to defeat the totalitarian threat posed by the Soviet Union, the US itself had to become totalitarian.2

The social and political forces shaping the United States in its first decades understood the deleterious effects standing armies and foreign entanglements had on liberty in the home front. Looking for “monsters to destroy” makes us less free, enriches connected classes, and centralizes power. Pre-Buckley, Old Right conservatives used to appreciate how an expanding warfare state breeds the welfare state and would not be surprised with the growth of government we have today.
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