Posts Categorized: Jim’s Mailbox

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The time has come to begin the splash of the many private crypto currencies, so as to give birth in time to a single crypto, which is only tradable between central banks as a new reserve currency to replace a dethroned dollar. Courtesy of JB.

Jim

U.S. Top Diplomat Calls For Release Of Two Reporters Arrested In Myanmar
December 15, 2017

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Friday that the U.S. government has demanded the release of two Reuters reporters being held in Myanmar.

Reuters journalist Wa Lone, who is based in Myanmar, is seen in this undated picture taken in Myanmar. REUTERS/Stringer

“Our local representatives at the mission in Myanmar, at the embassy, are expressing our concerns over the detention of individuals, demanding their immediate release or information as to the circumstances around their disappearance,” Tillerson told reporters.

Myanmar’s information ministry said on Wednesday that the reporters faced charges under the British colonial-era Official Secrets Act, though officials have since said they have not been charged.

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

Courtesy of JB.

 

Courtesy of JB.

Jim

Arrested Saudi Prince’s Business Empire Apparently Collapsing
December 13, 2017

The Kingdom Holding Company, founded by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, has lost nearly a fifth of its value since its billionaire owner was detained last month as part of a Saudi nationwide anti-corruption campaign.

According to Forbes, the value of the Riyadh-based conglomerate fell $8.5 billion, shrinking the tycoon’s net worth by two billion dollars to $16 billion. Prince Alwaleed reportedly owns 95 percent of Kingdom Holding.

The company has more than $12.5 billion under management globally and “enjoys a solid financial position underpinned by a prudent and conservative funding plan,” according to the chief executive Talal Al Maiman.

However, any meaningful activity by the corporation has been halted in Alwaleed’s absence, according to unnamed Saudi bankers, as quoted by the FT. Local and international banks are so concerned over the arrest that they reportedly put on hold one billion dollars in loans to fund the acquisition of a 16 percent stake in Saudi Fransi Bank from Credit Agricole, planned by KHC.

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Courtesy of GG.

Jim

ISIS Jihadis Have Left Syria And Are Heading Back To Europe To Mount Terror Attacks, Says Captured Militant
December 12, 2017

A former Islamic State militant captured after the fall of Raqqa says that jihadist fighters have left Syria intending to travel to Europe to launch attacks. 

Saddam al-Hamadi, 26, was arrested by Turkish security forces last month after exploiting an evacuation deal designed to free civilians. 

He was detained as he reached the Turkey-Syria border. 

But the ex-ISIS fighter has warned that extremists planned to use the chaos of the fall of Raqqa to travel to Europe.

A threat issued by Islamic State on its channels showing a bloodied knife with the Eiffel Tower and a Christmas market in the background and the caption, ‘Soon in your holidays’

 

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It is just so correct. Courtesy of JB.

Jim

A New Christmas Poem

Twas The Night Before Christmas,

He Lived All Alone,

In A One Bedroom House Made Of

Plaster And Stone.


I Had Come Down The Chimney

With Presents To Give,

And To See Just Who

In This Home Did Live.


I Looked All About,

A Strange Sight I Did See,

No Tinsel, No Presents,

Not Even A Tree.


No Stocking By Mantle,

Just Boots Filled With Sand,

On The Wall Hung Pictures

Of Far Distant Lands.


With Medals And Badges,

Awards Of All Kinds,

A Sober Thought

Came Through My Mind.


For This House Was Different,

It Was Dark And Dreary,

I Found The Home Of A Soldier,

Once I Could See Clearly.


The Soldier Lay Sleeping,

Silent, Alone,

Curled Up On The Floor

In This One Bedroom Home.


The Face Was So Gentle,

The Room In Such Disorder,

Not How I Pictured

A United States Soldier.


Was This The Hero

Of Whom I’d Just Read?

Curled Up On A Poncho,

The Floor For A Bed?


I Realized The Families

That I Saw This Night,

Owed Their Lives To These Soldiers

Who Were Willing To Fight.


Soon Round The World,

The Children Would Play,

And Grownups Would Celebrate

A Bright Christmas Day.


They All Enjoyed Freedom

Each Month Of The Year,

Because Of The Soldiers,

Like The One Lying Here.


I Couldn’t Help Wonder

How Many Lay Alone,

On A Cold Christmas Eve

In A Land Far From Home.


The Very Thought

Brought A Tear To My Eye,

I Dropped To My Knees

And Started To Cry.


The Soldier Awakened

And I Heard A Rough Voice,

“Santa Don’t Cry,

This Life Is My Choice;


I Fight For Freedom,

I Don’t Ask For More,

My Life Is My God,

My Country, My Corps.”


The Soldier Rolled Over

And Drifted To Sleep,

I Couldn’t Control It,

I Continued To Weep.


I Kept Watch For Hours,

So Silent And Still

And We Both Shivered

From The Cold Night’s Chill.


I Didn’t Want To Leave

On That Cold, Dark, Night,

This Guardian Of Honor

So Willing To Fight.


Then The Soldier Rolled Over,

With A Voice Soft And Pure,

Whispered, “Carry On Santa,

It’s Christmas Day, All Is Secure.”


One Look At My Watch,

And I Knew He Was Right.

“Merry Christmas My Friend,

And To All A Good Night.”

Posted by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

This is an excellent take on bitcoins type tulips.

Jim

My Take on Bitcoin
December 18, 2013

Let me say from the onset that I am happy to see the introduction of a free market medium of exchange. In my book, The New Gold Standard, I state that in this technological age there is absolutely no way to predict what form a new money, or a new monetary system for that matter, will take, should one develop. The keys to any successful money or system however, lie in competition, use value, acceptability, and of course, integrity. Any lasting money must be market-originated and market-tested to survive.

Down through the ages almost every conceivable good was used as money, from sea shells, to tobacco, to olive oil, to metals. It wasn’t until the 1500s and well into the 1600s that an international system of money was contemplated and eventually implemented. It was the gold standard. Nicolas Copernicus and Sir Isaac Newton were two of the great minds that contributed to this effort in their respective times. And in fact the gold standard reigned for centuries virtually unimpaired.

While gold has been around for over 5000 years as a medium of exchange in one form or another, bitcoins have been around for about an hour and a half — in millennial terms. And therein lies its problem. No one really knows how viable this currency will be over time – it’s not tested. The Euro has been around for a lot longer than the bitcoin, but has still to pass the confidence test. I peg 1933 as the year the new fiat dollar was created. That was the year the US government confiscated gold and made it illegal for Americans to own. That was the year that the dollar became a true fiat currency, not dependent on the market value of an underlying commodity, but reliant completely on government decree. Not only was the supply of money now controlled by the Fed, but convertibility of what were paper claims to gold, was now outlawed by the government.

The Pound has actually survived the longest as a currency, both gold-backed and as a fiat currency. Which brings us to the inescapable conclusion that fiat currencies can survive and function even though that functioning is dubious at best. They have historically lost value. The dollar has, since the Fed took over the money supply in 1913, lost 98% of its value. But it still exists as a medium of exchange and functions effectively. Milton Friedman believed a fiat standard was the best standard as long as the money supply was controlled. This is what Bitcoin is attempting to create, a non-political currency based purely on supply and demand. The one difference between this fiat currency and others is that the supply will eventually be fixed at 21 million bitcoins. This has never been done before.

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Bill & Jim,

I know YOU know about this, but now it is getting closer to “main stream” news. Of course, this article comes from those rascally Russians :o)

CIGA Buz

Russia-China Real Gold Standard Means End Of US Dollar Dominance
December 9, 2017

The BRICS counties are considering starting an internal gold trading platform, according to Russian officials. When this happens, the global economy will be significantly reshaped, and the West will lose its dominance, predicts a precious metals expert.

In 2016, 24,338 tons of physical gold were traded, which was 43 percent more than in 2015, according to Claudio Grass, of Precious Metal Advisory Switzerland.

Gold moving from the West to the East

“We have to put the BRICS initiative into a broader context. It is just part of a geopolitical tectonic shift which started decades ago. We have seen a constant outflow of physical gold from the West to the East. At the same time, the West has lost the economic war, and as a consequence, the focus now turns to the financial system. China dominates the world economy and has displaced the US as the world’s most formidable economic powerhouse,” he told RT.

The creation of a new gold standard by BRICS is also a step to end the US dollar’s domination of the global economy

“As Bejing and Moscow understand that America used the dollar to control the world, by implementing a new kind of ‘Gold standard 2.0’ they want to distance themselves from this control. Furthermore, the vast majority of the people in Asia sees gold as superior, or ‘real’ money, something the West has forgotten, because of all the paper wealth (credit) they have accumulated,” said Grass.

The expert notes the BRICS countries account for 40 percent of the world’s population and around 23 percent of the world’s domestic product.

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Just because this comes from RT does not make it false. In fact, they certainly have a better track record than the like of CNN et al.

Bill

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Coutesy of JB

Jim

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“If you audit yourself, you have not been audited!” Courtesy of JB.

Jim

Officials Announce First DoD-Wide Audit, Call for Budget Certainty
December 7, 2017

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2017 — The Defense Department is starting the first agencywide financial audit in its history, Pentagon officials announced today.

Defense Department Comptroller David L. Norquist and chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White spoke during the Pentagon news conference, in which they also addressed the possibility of a government shutdown when the continuing resolution that has been keeping the government running expires tomorrow.

Norquist said he received the DoD Office of Inspector General’s notification that the financial statement audit begins this month.

Taxpayer Confidence

The audit is massive. It will examine every aspect of the department from personnel to real property to weapons to supplies to bases. Some 2,400 auditors will fan out across the department to conduct it, Pentagon officials said.

“It is important that the Congress and the American people have confidence in DoD’s management of every taxpayer dollar,” Norquist said.

Audits are necessary to ensure the accuracy of financial information. They also account for property. Officials estimate the department has around $2.4 trillion in assets. “With consistent feedback from auditors, we can focus on improving the processes of our day-to-day work,” the comptroller said. “Annual audits also ensure visibility over the quantity and quality of the equipment and supplies our troops use.”

The DoD Office of the Inspector General hired independent public accounting firms to conduct audits of individual components – the Army, Navy, Air Force, agencies, activities and more – as well as a departmentwide consolidated audit to summarize all results and conclusions.

“Beginning in 2018, our audits will occur annually, with reports issued Nov. 15,” Norquist said.

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Jim/Bill,

One of my daughters sent me an excellent site from Bloomberg showing the Bitcoin supporters and naysayers.

https://www.bloomberg.com/features/bitcoin-bulls-bears/

I looked at the proponents (in Green) and evaluated their reasoning.   Came up with hogwash!

Carve their statements up like a surgeon with a knife and all you get is conjecture and misunderstanding.

My comments are next to the individuals’ names.

Here are most proponents listed below:

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

Jeff Currie  (Boy is he wrong.  It DOES have counterparty risk to some extent.  You don’t have it in your hand.)

Global head of commodities research, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

“I don’t see why there is all this hostility to it.” Bitcoin is “not much different than gold” because it doesn’t have liability attached to it, by definition, like a security.

Kyle Bass  (“It’s a Mania and people will go broke”.  some resounding support!)

founder, Hayman Capital Management

“I think it will be an asset class that will work over time. I’m not sure how to value it yet, I really have no idea … I think there’s a digital gold rush that’s gone on. I think a whole bunch of people are going to lose a lot of money. These ICOs? You’re going to see a bunch of them go completely broke. A bunch of them are frauds, and that’s going to be problematic for all the people that just rushed in. And so I feel like it’s a bit of a mania at the moment, but I think in the long term, it’s a viable asset class.”

Mark Cuban  (It’s only a trading vehicle, nothing more!  He got that right.  Not exactly reassuring.)

billionaire venture capitalist

Bitcoin’s “value is a function of supply and demand; it doesn’t really do anything else … Blockchain is a great platform for future applications.”

Lloyd Blankfein  (” I don’t have an investment in it.”   That says it all.)

chief executive officer, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

“I don’t have an investment in it, but I’m not willing to pooh-pooh it, and that’s why I say I’m open to it.”

Peter Thiel   (It’s an IOU, nothing more nothing less.  Too much volatility and instability.)

co-founder, PayPal and billionaire venture capitalist

Bitcoin critics are “underestimating [it] … It’s like a reserve form of money, it’s like gold and it’s just a store of value. You don’t need to use it to make payments.”

Mike Novogratz   ( Great!  Invest in it because it’s a bubble.)

former macro manager, Fortress Investment Group

“This is going to be the largest bubble of our lifetimes … Prices are going to get way ahead of where they should be. You can make a whole lot of money on the way up, and we plan on it.”

Abigail Johnson (“I’m just about alone as a believer.”  So what makes her right?)

chief executive officer, Fidelity Investments

“I’m a believer. … I’m one of the few standing before you today from a large financial-services company that has not given up on digital currencies.”

Haruhiko Kuroda  (He’s talking about Blockchain..;….NOT Bitcoin.)

governor, Bank of Japan

“Given that the development of financial services has been supported by ledgers as the basic infrastructure for information, the dramatic changes in how ledgers are kept may have the potential of significantly changing the structure of financial services.”

Richard Branson  (As a currency, it’s NOT working….yet.   But be in it for volatility to make money (gambling))

founder, Virgin Group

Bitcoin as a currency “is working. There may be other currencies like it that may be even better. But in the meantime, there’s a big industry around bitcoin. People have made fortunes off bitcoin; some have lost money. It is volatile, but people make money off of volatility, too.”

Milton Friedman  (I know he’s a Nobel Laureat, but think about what he’s saying:  “It’s exactly like cash”.  Furthermore, why would you want to give money (e-cash) to someone you don’t know?)

Nobel prize-winning economist

“The internet is going to be one of the major forces for reducing the role of government. The one thing that’s missing, but that will soon be developed, is a reliable e-cash: a method whereby on the internet you can transfer funds from A to B without A knowing B or B knowing A — the way in which I can take a $20 bill and hand it over to you, and there’s no record of where it came from.”

Posted by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Not to mention $21 trillion in additional “missing” funds…!

Bill

Jim/Bill,

Slick.  Real Slick.

National Debt stands at $20.5 trillion.   This can be seen here:  http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Even the article states it’s $20.5 trillion.

Yet the headline picture on Yahoo implies the debt is only $14.4 trillion.  $6 trillion less than it actually is!

It appears they are using a picture from over 5 years ago when the debt was significantly lower.

Assuaging through subliminal suggestion!

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

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A National Sales Tax Is Coming
December 6, 2017

The national debt, though huge, isn’t a problem right now, which is why Republicans who claim to be budget hawks are willing to borrow another $1.5 trillion over the next decade to give tax cuts to most businesses and some households.

But at some point, the United States will have to reduce annual deficits that could swell to $1 trillion per year as early as 2019. Republicans would prefer to solve that problem by cutting social spending. But that seems unlikely. To make a difference, cuts in programs such as Social Security and Medicare would have to be vast, which would outrage voters.

A more likely solution is a national consumption tax, otherwise known as a value-added tax, or VAT. “A 5% VAT would raise an enormous amount of money,” says Jeremy Scott, a tax attorney who is vice president of editorial at the publisher Tax Analysts. “The next major fiscal crisis might be followed by a VAT.”

Barring surprises, this could be some ways off. The economy is healthy now and there’s no sign of an imminent recession. The GOP tax cuts could boost growth, a little bit, for a couple of years once they go into effect.

A recession will spur government to boost revenue

But we’re also in the later stages of the business cycle, with a recession inevitable sooner or later. And Washington’s flexibility to respond to a downturn narrows as the national debt grows. The national debt is now $20.5 trillion, which is 103% of GDP. Economists used to think this much debt was unsustainable — but they turned out to be wrong. If there were a problem, investors would show reluctance to purchase Treasury securities, pushing interest rates up. Credit ratings on U.S. debt might fall, with a whole cavalcade of ugly ramifications if investors really began to doubt Washington’s ability to pay what it owes. None of that has happened.

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CIGA Werner with a reminder…

Bill

This is the most important chart of the year potentially care of Jim Stack..

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Jim/Bill,

This move, by President Trump, could initiate the beginning of another Holy War in the Mideast.  The entire Islamic Nation worldwide could get involved.  This is not a triviality.

A thousand years ago the Crusades began; holy wars waged against the Mohammedans or Saracens, with the intention of taking back Palestine   There were a number of them, with victories going back and forth, lasting about 200 years, from 1095 to 1291.

It encompassed the Muslim Nation against Christianity.

Jerusalem is not only important to Christians and Jews alike, but also to Islam.

“Jerusalem is important to Muslims because it is believed that the Prophet Muhammad ascended to the heavens from Jerusalem after being taken there from Mecca.”

The New Knights Templar:

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

Trump Recognizes Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital; Middle East Prepares For Violence
December 6, 2017

As expected, President Trump on Wednesday recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announced plans to relocate the U.S. embassy there, a decision that is certain to inflame tensions in the region and throw a wrench in potential peace negotiations, paradoxically uniting the fractured middle east world against Israel and the U.S.

“I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Trump said shortly after 1pm in the White House.

Trump said the announcement “marks the beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and Palestinians.”

As discussed earlier, Trump’s move reverses decades of American policy in the Middle East and alienates regional allies, even as the president has made brokering an elusive Middle East peace deal a key goal.

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The planet is far better when one has friends.

JB

Are we living though a modern form of government opposition party sponsored anarchy?

Jim

Why is a government funded group encouraging breaking of laws?

JB

Leftist Group that Gets Millions from U.S. Offers to Pay Legal Fees of Arrested Tax Reform Protestors
December 05, 2017

A leftist nonprofit that offered to pay the legal and transportation expenses of tax reform protestors receives tens of millions of dollars from the government, according to records obtained by Judicial Watch. The New York City-based group, Housing Works, describes itself as a “healing community of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.” Its mission is to end homelessness and AIDS through advocacy, lifesaving services and businesses that sustain the efforts.

Last week, Housing Works organized a big demonstration in Washington D.C. to protest the Republican tax overhaul and the group plans to return to the Capitol this week to try to keep the measure from passing. A D.C.-based news publication obtained an internal email that reveals Housing Works  encouraged supporters to commit illegal behavior. “We will transport, house and feed you, and deal with all legal support,” reads the email to supporters. “Caveat: if you are far away from DC and expensive to transport, we can probably only fly you if you can risk arrest.” Next to the message is a link to sign up. The group described the protests like this: “The Rs voted and fled the room, but were snagged by reporters in the hallway, surrounded by bird-doggers, and shamed for their disgraceful votes.”

Undoubtedly, the measure has ignited controversy because it would be the most sweeping reform of the nation’s tax code in three decades. Americans from all walks of life and groups such as Housing Works have the right to express their opinion and rally supporters to make an impact. But it’s outrageous for a group that receives millions of taxpayer dollars to, not only embolden law breakers, but offer to pay for their legal and transportation expenses. The news publication that broke the story points out that “organizers on either side of the aisle sometimes attempt to coordinate logistics for their teams, but the requirement that an individual need to risk arrest in the District in order to qualify for aid is unique, especially given the fact that hundreds of protesters are facing decades of prison time for violently protesting President Donald Trump’s inauguration.”

What the article failed to mention is that Housing Works gets a lot of money from American taxpayers, the records obtained by Judicial Watch show. Since 2009 the group has received nearly $22 million, including $4.7 million in 2017 alone. The cash flows through the departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Health and Human Services (HHS). The biggest chunk of money comes from HUD, the notoriously corrupt and bloated federal agency embroiled in a multitude of scandals. Of the eight grants issued this year, only one—for $1 million from HUD—was issued before Donald Trump became president. The rest were doled out in February, May and August. A $1,187,909 HHS allocation on May 23, 2017 is described in the records as an Obamacare grant for “new and expanded services under the Health Center Program.” Judicial Watch reached out to both agencies for comment on taxpayer funds being used to promote and defend illegal behavior, but telephone calls and emails to their public affairs department went unanswered.

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Courtesy of JB

Jim