Friday, October 25, 2013

N.Korean Unification

According to Jim Rogers,

-Kim Jong Un is educated in Europe.
-The Lieutenants and captains have lived in China, Moscow, and other cities, and now they are Generals.
-They have seen changes elsewhere and want to replicate it in their country.
-The N.Koreans are educated and know about the outside world.
-There're lots of propaganda about reunification.
-N.Korea is opening up economically.
-Lots of Chinese are moving goods into N.Korea - like mobile phones and Dvds.
-There's a huge black market in N.Korea

These are signs that North Korea will open up soon, and don't be surprised that both Koreas merge in the next few years. The current S.Korean regime can be less hostile and do more to aid the process. The Japanese and US won't like it, of course. Lots of mainstream news on N.Korea are from them.

One way to invest is to buy N.Korean gold coins or stamps. When there is no more N.Korea, these stuff will become valuable.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Super Austrian to Super Keynesian


In 2006, then Senator Obama spoke like a true Austrian champion.
Ever since being elected, he has turned into a super Keynesian. 

When Mr. Obama became president in January 2009, the total federal debt stood at $10.6 trillion. Now it has surpassed $16.7 trillion — an increase of 57 percent. This is not counting unfunded liabilities which dwarf the official debt figure.

Sometimes I feel bad for the Singapore government.

This is just one of the many amusing stuff happening in another country right now. It was once the land of the free, with the most sublime piece of Law of the Land ever written in history.

Some people question why I criticise other governments but not the Singapore government. Well, I do disagree with certain policies. Some government policies infringe on rights and discourage free-market competition, but in this messed up world today, this country is a haven. 

Put into perspective, the Singapore government, in comparison to other governments, is way better. If the world monetary system changes to one backed by hard money, we will really see Singapore shine. Without inflation, there will be more babies, more wealth, less welfarism and less stress. Too bad it has to play by international rules. Some things are just out of the government's control, and they've been unfairly blamed on certain issues.

Is savings money bad for the economy?

I posted a piece in the past touching on this issue as well. It can be viewed here:

We must get back to Austrian-style world, where thrift and savings are rewarded; a world where hard-money reigns and where there is a steady price deflation.

We have seen a few decades of Keynesian-style consumption and spending and money-printing and artificially-created low interest rates and massive inflation, which punish savers.

How much longer this current system can last is anyone's guess. It didn't last long when empires and nations in the past did it. Now we have the whole world doing it for the past 3-4 decades, and the problems are becoming very apparent, as the Austrians have warned.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fiat vs Precious Metals

Race to Debase. The annual result of fiat vs precious metals is out.
In the 21st Century, fiat currency has lost an average of 78.16% of its value to Silver. 
In the 21st Century, fiat currency has lost an average of 81.04% of its value to Gold.

Just like the Fed's record of forecasting.

Hilarious Charts Of The Day: IMF's "Growth Forecasts" Over Time

China and Japan will not dump treasuries!
Wrong. People are still making this kind of argument. Fact is, pretty soon, China and Japan will not worry about that few trillion they've spent, but the trillions in the future that they need to spend to prop treasuries up.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

US default on 17 Oct? Nah.

The market is fixated with and nervous about the idea that the US may default come 17 Oct, if the debt ceiling is not raised.

I disagree with this view, simply because the Fed can print more money and kick the can down the road, and because the government may decide to reduce spending on other programs and actually pay the interest incurred on the debt. 

If the US government do default, it is a deliberate choice. As of now, their total annual tax revenue is about 10 times more than the annual interest payment on their debt. So, they can pay the interest on the debt if they really want to. The problem is that they would have to cut spendings on other areas and infuriate a lot of American voters. If this persists, we will see the type of riots on the streets that is happening in Europe right now.

Enter the Fed. The Fed will use the excuse that the economy is not growing up to their expectation yet (for the record, they've been wrong in every single forecast in the past decade... and by a large margin), and that inflation is still low enough (of course it is not low). In fact, the likelihood that the Fed will increase the size of the QE is much greater than the likelihood of the US defaulting on Oct 17. The Fed will print money to bankroll the government further. Janet Yellen is likely to be appointed as the next Fed chairman. They're all the same - advocates of money-printing.

What we're seeing now is political-brinkmanship in the US government. The Democrats think that they have pushed the Republicans into a corner and force them to eventually drop any attempt to defund the (unlawful and very wasteful) Obamacare. The Republicans are hoping that the citizens will come to realise that it is Obama and the Democrats who do not want to negotiate with them and that they're the ones responsible for the government-shutdown debacle. In fact, the Republicans have sent many bills to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to reopen certain parts of government, but he refused to entertain them.

This debt-ceiling issue is a charade. Obama is lying when he says that raising the ceiling will not cost taxpayers a single cent and that the US has never defaulted and that the US always pays its bills. What he doesn't mention is that it is precisely because the government doesn't pay its bill that it has to raise the debt ceiling so that it can borrow more money from the same lenders to repay their existing debts. The self-imposed-but-never-observed debt ceiling is not the problem. The real problem will come when lenders impose a lending ceiling, as Peter Schiff likes to say.

This is just another political game. Almost the entire market were expecting the Fed to taper last month, but were caught by surprise when the Fed did not do it. Eventually, the market should realise that this is all about keeping interest rates low for government bonds and large financial institutions that hold toxic bonds and mortgages. It has got less to do with the real economy.

The situation in US is very unstable now, as I've been warning for the past 4 years. The government bubble is too big and it will find a pin to prick it rather soon. The world is slowly moving away from using USD as the main reserve currency, and there will come a time when people panic and dump USD and US debt in droves. Don't get me wrong. The US is still the world's largest economy and it will not fall off the cliff tomorrow morning. It is, however, in a decline relative to the other parts of the world and investors should position themselves accordingly.

Thoughts on gold and silver

Gold and silver finally seem like they are ending a year down in price. Like Jim Rogers said, given their unusual 12-year straight bull-run, they are likely to have an unusual process of bottoming too. In my post on 22 Aug 2009, I made some predictions just for kicks. They can be viewed here:

In my mind, I wish the bottoming process takes a longer time to complete. Given that the fundamentals are so good, the longer it is that prices stay this low, the more opportunity there is for one to buy. This year alone, I've increased my position by 50%. If prices continue to go sideways or fall in the months ahead, I hope I can increase my gold/silver holdings by another 50%.

Anti-gold bugs everywhere, however, continue to criticise this investment. When asked why it is a bad investment, the answer is always the same - that they think the metal is useless. They better hope that the market also think the same way in the years ahead. Other than this bit of argument, there isn't any other thoughtful analysis by them. History, fundamental economics, and the way currencies work are totally ignored. These people will rather attack precious metals investors than focus on their own money-losing investments. They are the only source of headache (but yet, fun) for me. I guess I have no choice but to put up with it, given that I am so outspoken about precious metals and the evils of central banking and market interventionism.

The price of silver continue to be irresistible for me. I am looking to start buying big-time into agriculture as well - starting from sugar probably. In the next few months, I am producing some nice reports on precious metals and agricultural commodities for those who are interested.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Immense pain ahead.

This is obviously sustainable in the long-term!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

S&P vs Uncle Sam

Will S&P dare to downgrade the US again, when it has been slammed with a $5 billion lawsuit by Uncle Sam for downgrading the US slightly back in Aug 2011?

Then again, another feeble downgrade is still not reflective of the true value of the govt debt.
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