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Disasters Can Happen

The Perfect Storm Bearing Down Upon Us

Stock Marketby MN Gordon

Economic Prism

The barbarous relic wasn’t the only thing that got smashed last week. Commodities did too. On Thursday copper fell nearly 2 percent, to its lowest level since 2009.

Iron-ore prices also dropped. Oil did too…falling below $50 a barrel. Still, commodity prices could fall even further.

According to Morgan Stanley, the ongoing oil slump could be the worst crash in more than 45 years. The rationale is simple to follow. In short, at this point in an oil price decline cycle, production would have tapered back and, hence, supply would have dropped.

A reduction in supply would be the precursor to a price recovery. Yet this time around, even though oil prices have fallen, supply has increased. This is completely illogical.

Following the price collapse earlier this year, U.S. production has leveled off. This is what one would expect. But, for whatever reason, OPEC production hasn’t decreased or even been flat. Instead, it has increased from roughly 30.5 million barrels per day in January to over 32 (Read More....)

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The Barbarous Relic takes a Beating

Stock Market Crashby MN Gordon

Economic Prism

Fantasies, failings, fraud, and folderol. These are the elusive straws we grasp for when contemplating the marvels of modern day money. There’s little hope we’ll ever come up with a solid handful we can pull ourselves up by.

Still, we continue to mull things over like a freshman math major mulling over Fermat’s Last Theorem. With a little luck we may eventually have a breakthrough. Where to begin?

President Nixon’s dirty deed in 1971 is as good an entry point into the review as any. Recall that seizing the unique opportunity of the breakdown of Bretton Woods, Tricky Dick severed the last vestiges of gold backed money and stiffed the world unconditionally.

No longer could foreign governments redeem the dollars they acquired through trade for gold. The world’s currencies became wholly the fiat – paper money – of governments. Since then currencies have floated like anchorless buoys, rising and falling on a sea of surging (Read More....)

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China’s Exercise in Futility

Chinaby MN Gordon

Economic Prism

At the moment, it appears the Chinese government has forestalled a full stock market meltdown. To do so, the People’s Bank of China made direct purchases of stocks trading on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. What type of chimera is this?

Obviously, this was a desperate measure that only pushes instabilities further out on their precarious perch. For all is not well in China. Like the stock market, the financial and economic fundamentals of the country are also out of whack.

Beijing’s policies of mass credit creation have enticed the Middle Kingdom’s corporations to borrow gobs of money. Corporate debt in China has run up to $16.1 trillion. This is the largest corporate debt pile in the world…and it appears to be breaking down.

The situation Chinese businesses find themselves is the unfavorable place where debts are rising while profits are fading. Borrowing more money to increase production only exacerbates the problem. Companies can’t make up for profit losses with higher volume.

Making matters more difficult is the (Read More....)

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Will We Get the 1930s or 1970s?

Stock Marketby MN Gordon

Economic Prism

What’s the deal with your neighbor? His car’s 12 years old. His house has minimal upgrades. He’s the only guy left on the street who still cuts his own grass. Is he a weirdo? Or is he a millionaire?

Certainly, he’s a bit unconventional. He does things a little different than everyone else. But there’s a good chance he’s also a millionaire. In fact, as explained in the book “The Millionaire Next Door” by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko, this humble neighbor of yours fits the profile of a millionaire. No kidding…

“The book defines the ‘millionaire next door’ as someone who doesn’t look the part,” explains Philipvan Doorn at MarketWatch. “He or she makes no ostentatious display of wealth. There’s no fancy car, no $5,000 watch, no McMansion. This wealthy person lives in a regular middle-class or lower-middle-class neighborhood.

“According to statistics backing the book, ‘more (Read More....)

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Playing the Hand Dealt

Playing the Hand Dealt- Greek Exitby MN Gordon

Economic Prism

Does anyone really care about Greece anymore? The ‘Grexit’ talk has been going on for years. It became dull, tedious, and exhausting long ago.

Unquestionably, Greece’s relationship with Europe is ugly. Greece owes more money than it can possibly pay back. But the European Union won’t let them default. Somehow the can continues to get kicked down the road until it must get kicked again. Why not just let Greece default already?

Greece’s economy makes up only about 2 percent of the euro zone’s total GDP. Certainly, the departure of Greece wouldn’t be a major loss to the European Union. They’re significance to the European Union’s economy is a mere gnat on an elephants behind.

But the Greece problem does expose a flaw in bloc currencies. Namely that unifying different countries – and different cultures – under the same currency isn’t the prodigious idea it was thought to be. Some countries are greater credit risks. Their debt should (Read More....)

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The Ghost of Mao Zedong

Chinaby MN Gordon

Economic Prism

“Let a hundred flowers bloom.” – Mao Zedong

Someone screamed “fire” in a crowded theatre in Shanghai about a month ago. For whatever reason the audience was on edge. Perhaps they were watching a suspense thriller, or maybe a horror flick. We don’t know.

But we do know that all at once, a manic herd of panicked patrons all made a mad dash for the theatre exit. Then, however, something went terribly wrong. They couldn’t escape.

The hysterical masses piled up against the inwardly opening door. The force of the bodies made it impossible to egress. Pushing for the exit the patrons sealed their fate…they went up in flames, along with the building.

Fortunately, this grim theatre incident is merely a graphic yarn. There’s been no fire that we are aware of. No fatalities either. There have been casualties, though. Namely money…lots of it.

Anyone with even half their wits saw this money combustion coming from miles away. We could even see it from (Read More....)

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A Handbook For A Peaceful Return To The REPUBLIC

HopeGuest Post, Jim Bob

INTRODUCTION

This booklet is the result of many years of studying and finding connections across a variety of subjects in an effort to understand our world and my place in it. This reflects my honest understanding of the view from my window. This is my considered opinion and only that. It is full of what I believe to be facts but I urge the reader to do his or her own homework. Seek out verification or refutation, for facts are cheap and information is abundant, but knowledge is precious. The world around us is not always what it seems and our understanding of it is limited to our observations and the observations of others we choose to add to our own. The problem is always with verifying the observations of others, including all of the teachers and professors we've had. Many of us took what they said as gospel. After all they were the experts. Beware of the experts for most have or follow an agenda.

Our views of the world are a complex web of interconnecting bits of information. When a new bit of information appears we look for connections to (Read More....)

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