It doesn’t require too dark an imagination to realize the gravity of the concerns over the digital yuan. China is a true pioneer when it comes to surveillance, censorship, and political oppression, and the digital age has given the state an incredibly efficient and effective arsenal. Adding money to that toolkit was a move that …Read More »
Articles by Claudio Grass
The corona crisis has already taken a very high toll and caused deep damage in our societies and our economies, the extent of which is yet to become apparent. We have seen its impact on productivity, on unemployment, on social cohesion and on political division. However, there is another very worrying trend that has been …Read More »
Interview with Jayant Bhandari: Part I of II
The global economic shutdown has inflicted unprecedented damage and caused widespread destruction both in the economy and in our societies. While the true scale of the crisis is yet to be revealed, we already have enough data to support the case for a deep recession that will likely last for a long time. And yet, mainstream media reports and “expert” commentary has so far largely been focused on the impact of the crisis in the West.
We keep reading analyses and seeing footage from European and US cities and hospitals, while our perception of the economic and human toll of the corona disaster is restricted to a Western point of view. On the rare occasions that the situation in emerging
Since the beginning of the year, the corona crisis has monopolized news coverage to the extent that a lot of very important stories and developments either went underreported or were ignored altogether. One such example was the very surprising ruling that came out of the German Constitutional Court in early May, which challenged the actions and …Read More »
Please forgive me that I don’t talk about the flue called “Corona”. I truly believe it is a deception and will be remembered as the attempt to destroy the private economy as well as the capitalistic system. What we are witnessing during this “corona-crisis” is simply unprecedented. It is nothing short of a blatant attempt to destroy the private sector, the capitalist system and the financial sovereignty of every citizen. The state denies the right of every individual to work, to put food on the table, to provide for their families and to take personal responsibility for their own choices. On a societal level, is nothing less than the transformation into a technocratic, big data “new normal” that already exists in China and thisRead More »
A high German court recently ruled that the European Central Bank has overstepped the bounds of its power. The angry response from high-ranking European bureaucrats tells us a lot about what they want for the EU. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros. Original Article: “The German Court’s …Read More »
Since the beginning of the year, the corona crisis has come to monopolize news coverage to the extent that a lot of very important stories and developments either went underreported or were ignored altogether. One such example was the very surprising ruling that came out of the German Constitutional Court in early May, which challenged …Read More »
Modern monetary theory, or MMT, has been getting a lot of attention lately, often celebrated as a revolutionary breakthrough. However, there is absolutely nothing new about it. The very basis of the theory, the idea that governments can finance their expenditures themselves and that therefore deficits don’t matter, actually goes back to the Polish Marxist …Read More »
On December 12, Christine Lagarde introduced her goals and vision in her first rate-setting meeting as the new president of the European Central Bank (ECB). On the actual policy front, there were no surprises. She remained committed to the path set by her predecessor, Mario Draghi, and kept the current monetary stimulus unchanged. The central …Read More »
There is nothing new under the sun
Modern Monetary Theory, or “MMT”, has been getting a lot of attention lately, often celebrated as a revolutionary breakthrough. However, there is absolutely nothing new about it. The very basis of the theory, the idea that governments can finance their expenditures themselves and therefore deficits don’t matter, actually goes back to the Polish Marxist economist, Michael Kalecki (1899 – 1970).
MMT as a centralisation tool
MMT says that the national debt means that we owe the money to ourselves, so the central bank in combination with the approval and blessings of the political branch can now together spend as much as they want without facing any consequences. In other words, we can print our
While I have reportedly highlighted the many risks of the current monetary policy direction and the multiple distortions that it has created in the markets, in the economy, and even in society, one of the most pressing dangers of the unnaturally low rates and cheap money is the staggering accumulation of debt. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the ballooning corporate debt, especially in the US. It has been growing so rapidly and for so long, that many investors and analysts eventually got used to it, accepted it as a fact of life, and became desensitized to the immense risk it poses to the economy at large. Now, another crucial milestone has been reached and a red line has been crossed, that will hopefully force market participants to finally heed the many callsRead More »
When I was asked to write an article about the impact of negative interest rates and negative yielding bonds, I thought it was a chance to look at the topic from a broader perspective. There have been lots of articles speculating about the possible implications and focusing on their impact in the short run, but …Read More »
When I was asked to write an article about the impact of negative interest rates and negative yielding bonds, I thought this is a chance to look at the topic from a broader perspective. There have been lots of articles speculating about the possible implications and focusing on their impact in the short run, but it’s not very often that an analysis looks a bit further into the future, trying to connect money and its effect on society itself.
Let us begin with a basic question, that lies at the heart of this issue: Who profits from a loan that is guaranteed to pay back less than the amount borrowed? Obviously, it is the borrower and not the lender, which in our case is the government and those closely connected to it.
There are numerous and wide-ranging reasons why someone may choose to invest in physical precious metals. A deep understanding of monetary history provides plenty of solid arguments, and so do the mounting geopolitical risks, the spiking probability of a recession and the long-term goal of many conservative investors to safeguard their financial self-determination. For me, while all of these reasons are important, there is also another argument that I find especially powerful and extremely relevant today. The vulnerability of the current banking system itself is a risk that is often overlooked or dismissed, as most mainstream investors, having short memories and a narrow attention span, tend to believe blindly in the bankingRead More »
“The essence of the interventionist policy is to take from one group to give to another. It is confiscation and distribution. “ – Ludwig von Mises, Human Action
In less than a year, we have witnessed an unprecedented monetary policy rollercoaster by the Federal Reserve, which began with a momentous U-turn in the central bank’s guidance in January, and has continued to escalate ever since. It is easy to forget that less than a year ago, all official statements and market expectations were aligned with sustained tightening, while repeated rate cuts were considered highly improbable, to say the least. Equity investors were almost coming to terms with the idea of policy normalization and the Fed was seen by conservative market
We’ve recently seen a lot of coverage and even more “expert analyses” on the state of the bond market, to the extent that the average investor, or the average citizen for that matter, is likely to be overwhelmed and very confused about what it all means. Experts from the institutional side and defenders of the current monetary direction argue that it is all the result of policy choices, that’s it’s all under control and that we really shouldn’t worry about the extreme phenomena and distortions we now see in the debt markets. However, it hardly takes an economist or a monetary policy expert to spot the many faults of this position.
To strike at the core of this issue, we only need to examine a very basic question:
[Adapted from an interview with His Serene Highness Prince Michael of Liechtenstein. H.S.H. Prince Michael of Liechtenstein is the Founder and Chairman of Geopolitical Intelligence Services AG, as well as president of the Think Tank ECAEF (European Centre of Austrian Economics Foundation). He is Chairman of Industrie- und Finanzkontor in Vaduz (Liechtenstein).] Claudio Grass (CG): …Read More »
Turkey has been almost constantly in the news over the past year, as troubling headlines about its economy and political situation continue to pile up. In a currency meltdown that escalated last summer, the Turkish lira has plunged by nearly 40%, threatening the Turkish economy as a whole. In January, inflation topped 20%, with skyrocketing …Read More »
Interview with Dimitri Speck
Given the massive intervention and monetary manipulation experiment by central banks over the last decade, the amount of distortions created in the market, as well as the record debt accumulation at all levels of the economy, have given rise to considerable risks for investors. For a more detailed understanding of these issues and for his outlook, I turned to Dimitri Speck, a renowned expert in the development of trading systems and in seasonal analysis, whose experience and successful career spans over two decades. Mr. Speck, founder and head analyst of Seasonax, also has valuable insights into the history of the gold market, as illustrated in his book “The Gold Cartel”. He therefore has a very
Interview with Dr. Markus Krall:
When it comes to identifying and evaluating the key vulnerabilities and inherent risks of the banking and financial system, there are few who have the insights and practical experience that is required to truly understand the scale of the issue and its investing implications. This is precisely why Claudio Grass turned to Dr. Markus Krall, who graciously agreed to share his thoughts and observations, as well as his outlook on the future of the financial system and the economy.
Dr. Markus Krall, managing director of the consulting firm goetzpartners, has worked in the financial industry for over 25 years. Over the span of his successful career, he has amassed extensive global experience working with
At the end of January, only a month after the official end of the QE program of the European Central Bank (ECB), its President Mario Draghi told the European Parliament’s committee that the central bank could resume its bond purchasing, in a questionable effort to assuage concerns over the impact of the policy change. As …Read More »
When the first demonstrations on the streets of Paris were reported nine weeks ago, nobody could have foreseen the endurance, the tenacity and the viral effect of the Yellow Vests movement. After all, the French are known to protest and to strike, it’s part and parcel of their culture. However, by the time this article …Read More »
Until recently, Germany has been the seemingly unbreakable workhorse that has pulled the European economy back from the brink and kept it ticking along through a myriad of internal and external pressures, as well as political crises, over the last decade. As the undeniable leader of the bloc, the country has spearheaded and supported rescue plans for the Eurozone’s weaker links, as well as a number of controversial policies that work towards further centralization within the EU. However, with clouds now gathering over Germany’s economic outlook, concerns over potential knock-on effects on the entire monetary union are on the rise.
Falling below expectations
Trade tensions, the threat of a hard Brexit and weaker emerging markets
When the first demonstrations on the streets of Paris were reported seven weeks ago, nobody could have foreseen the endurance, the tenacity and the viral effect of the Yellow Vests movement. After all, the French are known to protest and to strike, it’s part and parcel of their culture. However, by the time this article is being written, protests, marches and demonstrations have broken out in a multitude of European cities.
Why was it different this time?
To begin with, it is worth taking a closer look at the situation in France, the point of origin of this “contagion”. There are a few very important elements that set the Yellow Vests apart from past protesters. For one thing, unlike previous demonstrations, this one wasn’t led
What is money, where does it come from and more importantly where does it go? At first glance, it might appear inexplicable and bizarre that our governments and our rulers have managed to keep their stronghold over the monetary system for 2000 years, especially when one thinks about the countless ways in which they abused …Read More »
What is money, where does it come from and more importantly where does it go?
At first glance, it might appear inexplicable and bizarre that our governments and our rulers have managed to keep their stronghold over the monetary system for 2000 years, especially when one thinks about the countless ways in which they abused that power and used their monopoly to the detriment of their own citizens. It was a mass delusion that facilitated this, a blind belief that they, and they alone, can be trusted with this vital task while looking out for our best interests as well. However, now, as mistrust against our rulers is justifiably deepening, it is becoming increasingly clear that only we as individuals can ensure our best interests and
Over the last couple of years, the main challenge to EU cohesion has been Brexit, with the media sharply focused on the negotiations and all relevant developments. Since the release of the draft withdrawal agreement, largely perceived as a victory for the EU, those who support the European project and believe in a strong leadership …Read More »
Over the last couple of years, the main challenge to EU cohesion has been Brexit, with the media sharply focused on the negotiations and all relevant developments. Since the release of the draft withdrawal agreement, largely perceived as a victory for the EU, those who support the European project and believe in a strong leadership from Brussels have projected confidence and optimism for the future. According to these voices, the divisions caused by the rise of nationalism and populism in the past years are healing, the relationship between member states is normalizing, while a future of stability and harmony awaits.
However, such a vision might prove naive, as it discounts a much greater risk to the EU than Brexit ever was: the
Over the last years, Venezuela has become a modern poster child for the failure of socialism and with good reason. It offers an abundance of lessons and stern warnings for many western nations, but it also provides a very insightful and relevant reminder for individual investors too.
Economic, social and human costs
Within the space of 5 years, a combination of plunging oil prices and extreme socialist policies have brought the country to its knees, together with its increasingly desperate citizens. Despite the fact that Venezuela has the world’s largest proven oil deposits and is also rich in coal and gold, the country today faces one of world’s worst humanitarian crises, according to the UN. Its downhill path began with the
As the historic bull market is approaching its end, with volatility increasing and investor anxiety climbing, interest in gold is sure to be soon renewed. After stock markets revert to an uncertain, bearish stage, a seismic shift towards safety and capital preservation is bound to take place. Nervous investors looking for shelter in a time-tested safe haven will inescapably try to build up a defensive precious metals position. However, investing in gold can be a complicated affair for those who tend to overlook the small print. In a market full of “gold-backed” ETF products and pseudo-physical gold solutions, there are several traps to look out for.
A closer look at gold ETFs
Gold ETFs are often promoted as convenient and