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“The Euro is finished”

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from Mike Krieger of KAM LP
Posted September 8, 2011

There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation.  One is by the sword. The other is by debt. 
– John Adams

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

TO REGULAR READERS OF MY PIECES OVER THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS this may not seem like a particularly poignant statement.  After all, I have referred to the Euro and the U.S. dollar both as worthless political toilet paper for years.  The reason I bring it up right now is not to state the obvious long-term macro conclusion that the Euro is a foolish, unnatural creation that only political types twiddling their thumbs in a room could come up with.  No, rather the reason I say it now is because I believe the Sword of Damocles is now hovering right over it.

The only question in my mind at the moment regards the specifics of how it will end.  I would say that the majority of those that think there is a strong likelihood that the euro falls apart envision the PIIGS countries leaving or being thrown out. While I certainly think this is a possibility, especially if Greece just calls it quits and then successfully transitions to its own highly devalued currency since this would for sure start the ball rolling and before long many of the other financially weak nations would also bail.

In such an event, I suppose what is left of the euro could be comprised of stronger Northern European nations and in that case what is left of the common currency could in fact strengthen materially versus other fiat currencies for which no such “restructuring” has occurred. However, I am not convinced this is what happens. The reason I am not convinced is because I don’t believe that the desired austerity measures will ever really go into effect in these nations and even if they did it would merely collapse those economies and the problem would not be solved.

As many have stated over and over (including myself) there is no conventional solution to this crisis. There is far too much debt and there is no way real GDP growth can grow fast enough to counter this. The debt will be defaulted on via restructuring/default or a dramatic destruction of the purchasing power of fiat currencies. Nevertheless, the bureaucrats in Europe have such a deep love affair with their preposterous experiment they will turn a blind eye to all the transgressions of the PIIGS and continue to just pretend they have solved something with every new bailout scheme.

So that brings us to the other, and I think increasingly likely, outcome. That is namely that the ECB continues to transfer wealth from the prudent and fiscally more sound nations (mainly Germany) to the periphery until the populace of Germany snaps.  I think that moment is very, very close at hand.  Once that tipping point is reached there will be no turning back. The popular anger at the ECB and Euro will be so profound and so long festering that it will overwhelm all attempts to keep things together. Germany could leave the Euro. Or it could make it so difficult for the PIIGS that they are forced to leave. Either way, Germany is EVERYTHING.

Nothing else in Europe matters right now besides the sentiment on the German street and it has become pretty clear lately which way that is going. I am 100% convinced that Germany will play nice until that crucial moment is reached where it really is put up or shut up (we are close). At that point, I have no doubt that Germany will do what is best for Germany. In the event that Germany was to leave, the Euro would be gone forever. It would become pure confetti overnight. This is not my base case but it could happen. Anything can happen right now.

The Fourth Turning is Global

All of this discussion about the euro brings me to a broader point. While for obvious reasons I focus my attention on the United States because this is where I live and what I know best it is imperative for me to clarify my view that this Fourth Turning we are in is global in nature. Remember, what really characterizes these shifts is the fact that the trends, institutions, political structures and parties, social mores, money systems, etc. all die and are reborn during such episodes.

The last to get this of course are the elites and the political class who are always in bed together and seemingly at the height of their collective corruption once the Fourth Turning hits. We see this everywhere at the moment, from the U.S. to the Eurozone to China. What makes me laugh more than anything else are all these political hacks and financial “analysts” who keep saying that the answer to the crisis in Europe is a fiscal union in Europe.

That somehow this crisis will lead to the necessary resolve to form a fiscal United States of Europe, or some idiocy like that, sorry folks, it’s not going to happen. This whole “problem, reaction, solution” playbook worked for the elite in the prior era but it will no longer work. The playbook is out there. It has been read and studied. We know the playbook. It’s not going to work this time.

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Wikileaks discloses the reason(s) behind China’s shadow gold buying spree

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by Tyler Durden
Posted Zero Hedge, September 3, 2011

WONDERING WHY GOLD AT £1850 IS CHEAP, OR WHY GOLD AT DOUBLE THAT PRICE will also be cheap, or frankly at any price? Because, as the following leaked cable explains, gold is, to China at least, nothing but the opportunity cost of destroying the dollar’s reserve status. Putting that into dollar terms is, therefore, impractical at best, and illogical at worst.

We have a suspicion that the following cable from the US embassy in China is about to go not viral but very much global, and prompt all those mutual fund managers who are on the golden sidelines to dip a toe in the 24 karat pool. The only thing that matters from China’s perspective is that “suppressing the price of gold is very beneficial for the U.S. in maintaining the U.S. dollar’s role as the international reserve currency. China’s increased gold reserves will thus act as a model and lead other countries towards reserving more gold. Large gold reserves are also beneficial in promoting the internationalization of the RMB.” Now, what would happen if mutual and pension funds finally comprehend they are massively underinvested in the one asset which China is without a trace of doubt massively accumulating behind the scenes is nothing short of a worldwide scramble, not so much for paper, but every last ounce of physical gold…

From Wikileaks:

“China increases its gold reserves in order to kill two birds with one stone”

“The China Radio International sponsored newspaper World News Journal (Shijie Xinwenbao)(04/28): “According to China’s National Foreign Exchanges Administration China ‘s gold reserves have recently increased. Currently, the majority of its gold reserves have been located in the U.S. and European countries. The U.S. and Europe have always suppressed the rising price of gold. They intend to weaken gold’s function as an international reserve currency. They don’t want to see other countries turning to gold reserves instead of the U.S. dollar or Euro. Therefore, suppressing the price of gold is very beneficial for the U.S. in maintaining the U.S. dollar’s role as the international reserve currency. China’s increased gold reserves will thus act as a model and lead other countries towards reserving more gold. Large gold reserves are also beneficial in promoting the internationalization of the RMB.”

Perhaps now is a good time to remind readers what will happen if and when America’s always behind the curve mutual and pension fund managers finally comprehend that they are massively underinvested in the one best performing asset class.

From The Driver for Gold You’re Not Watching (via Casey Research):

You already know the basic reasons for owning gold – currency protection, inflation hedge, store of value, calamity insurance – many of which are becoming clichés even in mainstream articles. Throw in the supply and demand imbalance, and you’ve got the basic arguments for why one should hold gold for the foreseeable future.

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Inner freedom comes first

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from Brandon Smith
Alt-Market
Posted September 2, 2011

IS FREEDOM A PLACE, OR AN IDEA? A STATE OF SOCIETY, OR A STATE OF MIND? Does it begin around us, or within us? In today’s world of the all-you-can-eat sensory buffet, where every facet of life is a bit and a byte and a radio wave and a laser beam, most of humanity looks for all of its answers to such questions in the grand ether of the tumbling data stream.

We see changes in the tapestry of cultural interaction as the final measure of national progression, or regression. We confuse forward sounding language with forward moving political transformation. We are mesmerized by the illusion of environmental appearance, and forget that the indelible root of all things outward is nurtured by that which lay within.

In America, in the midst of economic crisis and government driven moral hazard, millions of people are scrambling for “solutions”. The term is used rather haphazardly and often without proper context. There are, indeed, very evil men out there in the dark precipices of global infrastructure, and, these men often instigate very bad events. However, “doing away with them” is NOT a solution. It is NOT a plan. It is merely a goal. A solution requires more than an end result; it also involves the steps necessary to achieve said result.

The Liberty Movement, as it is commonly called, tends to run into so much frustration and angst, I believe, because it consistently attempts to skip to the end of the story without traveling the rest of the very necessary journey.

End the Fed! Sue the Fed! March on Washington! Vote the bums out! Take up arms! These are not actions, but reactions triggered by the confusion of the moment. Not only are they single minded responses that lack the strategy and logistics inherent in a successful counter-offensive, but such cries ignore the other devious culprit responsible for our national heartache; ourselves.

Yes, the world must change, and soon, if our principles are to survive. But, for this to happen, we must change first. Instead of looking up, down, and all around us for some magical all encompassing answer, we have to question our very assumptions and world views. No weapon of steel or of law will ever undo the tragedy we live in day to day while we lack the conviction to confront our own biases and failings. We have always been the greatest obstacle to a truly freedom based society, not the elites, who are nothing but parasites feeding off our willfully perpetuated inadequacies.

Working methodologies for combating globalization and centralization do exist. State nullification, for instance, is a significant tool for defusing obtrusive federal authority, but without the organizational willpower and perseverance to take back the now thoroughly corrupt election process county by county, state by state, while producing viable liberty minded candidates and grassroots activist groups, nullification is impossible.

Survival preparation is essential for anyone who wishes to decouple from the collapsing mainstream system, but without the determination to make prepping a reality, we are left with nothing but a bunch of hungry, desperate nobodies huddled on the sidelines of the war for truth. Barter networking and alternative markets require extensive patience and unerring dedication, along with constant self education on the processes of sound money and private trade. Safe Haven and Free State Projects push us even harder, requiring us to uproot from everything we have been conditioned to accept as normal and comfortable, and travel, perhaps long distances, to begin anew in a place likely unfamiliar. All of these things involve an internal finality of purpose, a clear and unwavering path unhindered by regret. Those who undertake the above initiatives do so not because they were “told to”, but because they know, above all else, that what they are doing is right. They no longer stand in their own way, and thus, the possibilities become infinite.

For others, the endless circular battle between action and apathy continues. Below, are some of the most frequent excuses uttered by those aware of the burgeoning dangers of a disintegrating culture but who are incapable of taking the first steps of inward freedom needed to do anything about their predicament…

1) I know things are getting bad in this country, but I only have time to focus on my own problems right now…

Your immediate problems are certainly yours to solve, but they are also very likely an aftereffect of the wider problems of the world around you. Ironically, only by taking personal responsibility for the problems of the world can we alleviate the incredible pressures of our microcosmic existence.

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Central scam artists downgraded: Greenspan – Bernanke – Federal Reserve

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GoldSilver.com
Posted August 8, 2011

It seems Alan Greenspan, the Ex-Chairman of the US Federal Reserve and mentor of his protege in crime, current Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke, should get their fables straight before they appear on television.  Check out how brazenly dangerous Alan Greenspan conducted himself this past Sunday morning on NBC’s Meet The Press:

 The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money…
Alan GreenspanAugust 7, 2011


Wait a second, perhaps Alan should check with Ben on their story because according to Ben’s interview late last year on CBS’ 60 Minutes, the US is not printing money and the monetary base is not expanding all that much:

One myth that is out there is that what we are doing is printing money. We are not printing money… The money supply is not changing in any significant way. –Ben Bernanke, December 5, 2010


It looks like Alan and Ben need to get on the same page when it comes to money printing and what is officially happening to the monetary base of the US dollar:

Finally there is the instant classic of Ben Bernanke’s recent denial of historical facts, common sense, and basic economic laws. Check out Ben’s ridiculous retort when asked by Ron Paul on July 13, 2011 as to whether or not gold is money:


Central bankers and the lies they tell are the antithesis of gold. When they blurt moronic statements in large public forums like the aforementioned examples, gold, the true money of mankind tends to explode to the upside. The central scam artists can say whatever they want.  The fact is that the dollar, euro, yen, franc, pound, peso etc. are and will continue to bow to true free market monies, gold and silver.

For this reason we continue to convert our paper debt based cash and fiat currencies into physical gold and silver bullion long-term. With central bankers like these, it is making the inevitable wealth exchange happen at breath taking speed with a real possibility of the move going parabolic. Are you ready?

Why gold and silver prices will more than double again even from current “expensive” levels

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by J. S. Kim
SmartknowledgeU
Posted August 4, 2011

THOSE THAT ARE  FAMILIAR WITH MY WRITINGS ABOUT GOLD AND SILVER for the last six years know that I have said gold was cheap at $500, $600, $700, $800, $1000 and $1,200 a troy ounce and know that I have said silver was cheap at $11, $12, $14, $16, $25, and $30 a troy ounce.

Today, I will reiterate that gold is still cheap in the $1500 to $1600 range and that silver is still cheap in the $40 range because the largest movements in gold and silver prices as well as gold and silver mining stocks have still not happened and will materialize over the next four to five years.

Again, this doesn’t mean that gold and silver can’t or won’t correct or consolidate again in the future because both PMs always do. I have written publicly so much about this topic over the years (and even in much greater depth to my subscribing members) because I truly believe it is insanity not to participate in one of the best ways to invest in gold and silver today – the ownership of physical gold and physical silver.

Hundreds of millions of investors worldwide, influenced by the propaganda of Western bankers, have consciously made poor decisions not to own a single ounce of physical gold and physical silver today. One of the first realities an investor must understand about the gold and silver market is that the Economics 101 concept of price being set by physical supply and physical demand is an utter lie. In today’s world of banking and financial industry lies, the price of gold and silver are NOT set by the physical demand and physical supply of either of these metals, but rather by the artificial supply and demand of paper contracts predominantly backed by no physical metal.

By now, the following facts are very well known by seasoned physical gold and physical silver buyers but likely still unknown to the average investor worldwide. A CPM Group document released in the year 2000 stated, “With the start of the London Bullion Market Association’s release of monthly trading data, the market has become aware that 100 times more gold and silver trade hands each year, just in the major markets, than is produced or used. Some market participants have wondered aloud how 10 billion ounces of gold could trade via the major markets each year, compared to 120 million ounces of total supply and demand, while roughly 100 billion ounces of silver change hands, compared to around 628 million ounces of new supply.”

Thus, one can see that the fraud perpetrated by bullion banks in the silver futures market exceeds even the fraud they commit in the gold futures markets. Take the figures provided above, and a quick calculation reveals that bankers were trading nearly 160 times of paper ounces of silver every year than the annual physical supply of silver mined from the earth.

However, break down these numbers even more and the fraud becomes even more astounding. While in 2000, about 628 million ounces of new supply of physical silver came to market, in 2010, mine production of new silver supply was slightly higher at 735.9 million ounces. Net government sales accounted for another 44.8 million ounces, old silver scrap provided an additional 215 million ounces, and producer hedging accounted for the final 61.1 million ounces. Thus a total annual supply of roughly 1 billion ounces of silver existed in 2010. However, industrial usage, photography and jewelry used up nearly 78% of the one billion ounces of physical silver supply in 2010 and left less than 100 million ounces available for minting in the form of silver coins. (Source: The Silver Institute).

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Gold and silver: We were right – they were wrong

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by Brandon Smith of Alt Market
Posted July 25, 2011

ONLY NOW, AFTER THREE YEARS OF ROLLER COASTER MARKETS, EPIC DEBATES, and gnashing of teeth, are mainstream financial pundits finally starting to get it. At least some of them, anyway.

Precious metals have continued to perform relentlessly since 2008, crushing all naysayer predictions and defying all the musings of so called “experts”, while at the same time maintaining and protecting the investment savings of those people smart enough to jump on the train while prices were at historic lows (historic as in ‘the past 5000 years’).

Alternative analysts have pleaded with the public to take measures to secure their hard earned wealth by apportioning at least a small amount into physical gold and silver. Some economists, though, were silly enough to overlook this obvious strategy. Who can forget, for instance, Paul Krugman’s hilarious assertion back in 2009 that gold values reflect nothing of the overall market, and that rising gold prices were caused in large part by the devious plans of Glen Beck, and not legitimate demand resulting from oncoming economic collapse.

To this day, with gold at $1600 an ounce, Krugman refuses to apologize for his nonsense. To be fair to Krugman, though, his lack of insight on precious metals markets is most likely deliberate, and not due to stupidity, being that he has long been a lapdog of central banks and a rabid supporter of the great Keynesian con. [And he a Nobel Prize winner!] Some MSM economists are simply ignorant, while others are quite aware of the battle between fiat and gold, and have chosen to support the banking elites in their endeavors to dissuade the masses from ever seeking out an alternative to their fraudulent paper. The establishment controlled Washington Post made this clear with its vapid insinuation in 2010 that Ron Paul’s support of a new gold standard is purely motivated by his desire to increase the value of his personal gold holdings, and not because of his concern over the Federal Reserve’s destructive devaluing of the dollar!

So, if a public figure owns gold and supports the adaptation of precious metals to stave off dollar implosion, he is just trying to “artificially drive up his own profits”. If he supports precious metals but doesn’t own any, then he is “afraid to put his money where his mouth is”. The argument is an erroneous trap, not to mention, completely illogical.

Numerous MSM pundits have continued to call a top for gold and silver markets only to be jolted over and over by further rapid spikes. Frankly, it’s getting a little embarrassing for them. All analysts are wrong sometimes, but these analysts are wrong ALL the time. And, Americans are starting to notice. Who beyond a thin readership of mindless yuppies actually takes Krugman seriously anymore? It’s getting harder and harder to find fans of his brand of snake oil.

Those who instead listened to the alternative media from 2007 on have now tripled the value of their investments, and are likely to double them yet again in the coming months as PM’s and other commodities continue to outperform paper securities and stocks. After enduring so much hardship, criticism, and grief over our positions on gold and silver, it’s about time for us to say “we told you so”. Not to gloat (ok, maybe a little), but to solidify the necessity of metals investment for every American today. Yes, we were right, the skeptics were wrong, and they continue to be wrong. Even now, with gold surpassing the $1600 an ounce mark, and silver edging back towards its $50 per ounce highs, there is still time for those who missed the boat to shield their nest eggs from expanding economic insanity. The fact is, precious metals values are nowhere near their peak. Here are some reasons why…

Debt ceiling debate a final warning sign

If average Americans weren’t feeling the heat at the beginning of this year in terms of the economy, they certainly are now. Not long ago, the very idea of a U.S. debt default or credit downgrade was considered by many to be absurd. Today, every financial radio and television show in the country is obsessed with the possibility. Not surprisingly, unprepared subsections of the public (even conservatives) are crying out for a debt ceiling increase, while simultaneously turning up their noses at tax increases, hoping that we can kick the can just a little further down the road of fiscal Armageddon. The delusion that we can coast through this crisis unscathed is still pervasive.

Some common phrases I’ve heard lately: “I just don’t get it! They’re crazy for not compromising! Their political games are going to ruin the country! Why not just raise the ceiling?!”

What these people are lacking is a basic understanding of the bigger picture. Ultimately, this debate is not about raising or freezing the debt ceiling. This debate is not about saving our economy or our global credit standing. This debate is about choosing our method of poison, and nothing more. That is to say, the outcome of the current “political clash” is irrelevant. Our economy was set on the final leg of total destabilization back in 2008, and no amount of spending reform, higher taxes, or austerity measures, are going to change that eventuality.

We have two paths left as far as the mainstream economy is concerned; default leading to dollar devaluation, or, dollar devaluation leading to default. That’s it folks! Smoke em’ if you got em’! This train went careening off a cliff a long time ago.

If the U.S. defaults after August 2, a couple of things will happen. First, our Treasury Bonds will immediately come into question. We may, like Greece, drag out the situation and fool some international investors into thinking the risk will lead to a considerable payout when “everything goes back to normal”. However, those who continued to hold Greek bonds up until that country’s official announcement of default know that holding the debt of a country with disintegrating credit standing is for suckers. Private creditors in Greek debt stand to lose at minimum 21% of their original holdings because of default. What some of us call a “21% haircut”.

With the pervasiveness of U.S. bonds around the globe, a similar default deal could lead to trillions of dollars in losses for holders. This threat will result in the immediate push towards an international treasury dump.

Next, austerity measures WILL be instituted, while taxes WILL be raised considerably, and quickly. The federal government is not going to shut down. They will instead bleed the American people dry of all remaining savings in order to continue functioning, whether through higher charges on licensing and other government controlled paperwork, or through confiscation of pension funds, or by cutting entitlement programs like social security completely.

Finally, the dollar’s world reserve status is most assuredly going to be placed in jeopardy. If a country is unable to sustain its own liabilities, then its currency is going to lose favor. Period. The loss of reserve status carries with it a plethora of very disturbing consequences, foremost being devaluation leading to extreme inflation.

If the debt ceiling is raised yet again, we may prolong the above mentioned problems for a short time, but, there are no guarantees. Ratings agency S&P in a recent statement warned of a U.S. credit downgrade REGARDLESS of whether the ceiling was raised or not, if America’s overall economic situation did not soon improve. The Obama Administration has resorted to harassing (or pretending to harass) S&P over its accurate assessment of the situation, rather than working to solve the dilemma. Ratings company Egan-Jones has already cut America’s credit rating from AAA to AA+.

Many countries are moving to distance themselves from the U.S. dollar. China’s bilateral trade agreement with Russia last year completely cuts out the use of the greenback, and China is also exploring a “barter deal” with Iran, completely removing the need for dollars in the purchase of Iranian oil (which also helps in bypassing U.S. sanctions).

So, even with increased spending room, we will still see effects similar to default, not to mention, even more fiat printing by the Fed, higher probability of another QE announcement, and higher inflation all around.

This period of debate over the debt ceiling is liable to be the last clear warning we will receive from government before the collapse moves towards endgame. All of the sordid conundrums listed above are triggers for skyrocketing gold and silver prices, and anyone not holding precious metals now should make changes over the course of the next month.

What has been the reaction of markets to the threat of default? Increased purchasing of precious metals! What has been the reaction of markets to greater spending and Fed inflation? Increased purchasing of precious metals! The advantages of gold and silver are clear…

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The Fed wages its war on gold on behalf of fraudulent paper money

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by Dave in Denver
Posted June 17, 2011

http://truthingold.blogspot.com

Question:   If you were advising the Federal Reserve, what would you say are the unsolved economic problems of the day?
Milton Friedman:  One unsolved economic problem of the day is how to get rid of the Federal Reserve. –January 1996 interview on NPR

RON PAUL HAS BEEN AGGRESSIVELY SEEKING AN OFFICIAL, INDEPENDENT audit of the gold that is supposedly being held at Ft. Knox on behalf of all U.S. citizens.  Such an audit has not taken place since Eisenhower was the President? What gives there?  In the face of mounting criticism and citizen requests for this audit, why does the Treasury ignore this issue?  What does it have to hide?

At this point, anyone who looks at the Treasury financial statements is placing their “full faith” in the belief that the Government is honestly reporting its numbers. Does anyone really believe that the economic numbers the Government publishes on a weekly basis? Everyone believe that the Government is telling truth about why we’re spending trillions on wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya?

The Fed has been spending millions to fight all of the recent Freedom Of Information Act requests, which have been filed so that we can see what the Fed is doing secretly with our money – especially now that most of what Fed does has a guarantee on it by the Treasury. Most notably for me is the GATA request that we get to see what kinds of transactions the Fed has been in engaging in with OUR gold. It is highly likely that the 8100 tonne book entry on the Treasury balance sheet is just another electronic entry on a piece of paper. How about we get to take a look at the actual physical gold that is supposedly represented by that electronic entry? How about we get to see if that gold has any legal encrumbrances attached to it like Federal Reserve gold swaps and leasing transactions?

An audit needs to be done and it needs to be done under the full, transparent scrutiny of all U.S. citizens who would like to watch it happen. And of even more immediate concern, at least to me, is the drain on physical gold and silver occurring at the Comex. It’s kind of spooky the way unencumbered physical silver is being, and has been, “sucked” out of the system (Comex, SLV) over the past couple months. As much as I want to see Ron Paul force an open audit of Ft. Knox, I’d love to see an open audit of the Comex. I believe the Comex problem is the Achilles Heel of this whole mess.

It wouldn’t take much to stage a run on the Comex. And when that occurs, if it turns out that the Comex is unable to make deliveries of actual physical metal and instead changes its rules and defers to cash settlement of contracts, that’s when all hell will break loose. I would then expect that GLD and SLV will head south quickly in price while the global spot price of gold and silver head for the moon. The slight inversion in silver futures will go nearly verticle and the dollar index will go into a serious tail-spin. But how about we just start with a simple audit of Ft. Knox?

Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men’s protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it becomes, marked: ‘Account overdrawn.’  (famous speech by Francisco D’Anconia in “Atlas Shrugged”)