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Posts Tagged ‘Zimbabwe

Inner freedom comes first

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from Brandon Smith
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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The Economics of the World Apartments

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by Gregory Wyche
Originally posted Oct 26 2010

Why pretending to have money is a bad idea…

IMAGINE AN APARTMENT BUILDING REPRESENTING THE WORLD, and imagine different countries residing in the building, each within their own apartment. Each of the tenants in the building own and produce various things. Imagine then, a long time ago the tenants began trading with each other to obtain things they didn’t have. A few of the tenants were lucky enough to have gold mines. It turned out gold was something everyone in the building liked. As time went by each apartment ended up owning some gold as they traded goods with the tenants that had mines. Gold was rare, ever- lasting and considered beautiful. It was worn by both men and women and used to symbolize intimate relationships.

An agreement was made that rather than having to exchange one good for another (which was cumbersome and inefficient) the building would use gold for medium of trade. This caused gold to become currency. Some apartments had used salt as currency as it was once very rare. Later salt was discovered almost everywhere which caused it to lose its rarity (and so devalued) and it was no longer suitable as currency.

Thousands of years went by and some of the tenants decided to use paper notes that would represent the gold they owned. Soon each tenant used their home printers to make notes and paper money was born. This made trade easier since gold was heavy and hard to carry from one floor to next; after all, the building had not yet installed elevators. The ability to exchange paper money for gold created trust between neighbors and trade increased. After a while the tenants of the world apartments enjoyed a wide variety of goods they purchased from each other with notes back by gold.

From time to time tenants disagreed with each other. If the disagreements were serious games (war) were played to resolve them. The winning apartment received a prize from the looser. Games were expensive to play so many tenants began to avoid them. In the 1960’s two tenants (USSR and USA) played a very expensive game in Southeast Asia’s apartment. The game dragged on and in 1971 some tenants worried about the value of the US money.

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Why 30% gains in Western stock markets will become meaningless in the future

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by J. S. Kim
Posted originally October 14th, 2010

WITH DECEPTION IN THE MAINSTREAM FINANCIAL MEDIA REACHING NEW HEIGHTS regarding the recent rallies in Western stock markets, it’s time to shed some light on this matter. The first rule of building wealth is that your gains have to outpace the rate at which Central Bankers depreciate the currency in which your asset is denominated. Otherwise you end up with more money in you account but no better standard of living. For example, if your investment adviser tells you that his or her goal for you this year is 8% returns, if Central Bankers have depreciated your currency by 15% this year, then fulfilling his/her goal actually results in a 8.2% destruction of your wealth, exclusive of tax consequences .

Even though every investment veteran, sans the most naïve of the naïve, understands that the US stock market has been rigged higher for the past two years solely through free market interference by politicians and Wall Street elements, what if these rigging games continue and the Central Banking/government cartel successfully rigs the DJIA and the S&P 500 higher by another 30%? Those still naively invested in the broad US stock markets should be ecstatic because of the fact that their accounts now hold 30% more paper money, right? Wrong. In 2007, the Zimbabwe Industrial Index soared 545% and at one point, on a 12-month rolling period, was up more than 12,000%! However, Central Bankers in Zimbabwe would probably not care to reveal that the unemployment rate during this stock market “boom” was also an astounding 80%.

But this is the trick that Central Bankers use to fool those that don’t understand how the monetary system works. Central Bankers can actually rig the stock markets to return a greater absolute amount of dollars (or Euros, or Yen, or Pound Sterling or Yuan) and a significant positive return in nominal terms, that in actuality, may contribute nothing to or may even decrease your REAL net worth.

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Inflation Unplugged

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by Phil at Phil’s Stock World

The dollar is making new lows.

AS I’VE BEEN SAYING ALL WEEK(S) THAT IS THE STORY THAT IS DRIVING THE MARKET. Still people interview me and ask me how high I think the markets can go which is kind of silly because, as I keep trying to explain, the markets aren’t going anywhere, the only variable is the currency they are priced in. Why do people not get this? Why do financial writers not get this? Why do TA guys not get this? Why does nobody talk about this in the MSM?

Sure they talk about the weak Dollar or the strong Yen (but rarely the strong Pound or Euro, because it is contrary to the average viewer’s vision of America and we don’t want to upset the viewers, do we?) but who ever shows you a simple and obvious chart of the S&P or any other index priced in a foreign currency? How hard is this to understand?

I still see chart guys running out on CNBC telling us their TA tells them we can go to the moon. Sure, we can go to the moon. Price your stocks in Hungarian Forints and suddenly the S&P is at 240,000 – all we have to do is ignore the fact that the currency has changed – JUST LIKE WE DO WITH THE DOLLAR – and we are rich, Rich, RICH!

Yes, that would be ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as a bunch of grown men, who make a living analyzing the markets, acting as if the underlying value of the currency we are pricing things in doesn’t matter. Do you know what the world’s hottest market was in 2007?  Zimbabwe!  That sucker would gain 500-1000% in a single day – invest over there and you made money hand over fist. Howard Stern had a game called “Who Wants to be a Turkish Millionaire” and he would give away a Million Turkish Lira and the joke was how excited the contestants were and how much they would be willing to humiliate themselves for what they did not realize was about $6.

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How Quickly could the Dollar Collapse?

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How Quickly Could the Dollar Collapse?
We popped up on the “wrong” side of the inflation/deflation argument here the other day with a hyperinflation scenario that seems to us not just possible but likely. Although we hold fast to a prediction that deflation is going to run its course, throwing tens of millions of Americans into bankruptcy, before relief comes to debtors, we are persuaded that at some point well down the road the U.S. will throw the switch to hyperinflate.  Even so, we believe that the attendant collapse of the dollar will play out far more quickly than the collapse of the German mark during the Weimar hyperinflation of 1922-23. So swiftly will this occur, in our opinion, that the hyperinflationary spike will begin and end in mere weeks, leaving deflationary to dominate both before (as it continues to do now) and long after.
A contributor to the Rick’s Picks forum, Ed M,, disagreed — mainly, he said, because there is no precedent for so swift a collapse of a sovereign currency. We present his argument below, followed by our response, but also some interesting thoughts of Ed’s concerning barter.
Here’s Ed:
“The idea that a hyperinflation would come and go in a few days or weeks has no precedent, and, as such I give it little credence.  However, the question for those owning [precious metals] concerning what to ‘transfer’ one’s ‘profits’ into, is very relevant.  Furthermore, there is the issue of taxes on what could be, at least nominally, outsized profits. So, while leaving the question of what to buy momentarily behind, let me offer that arranging some sort of barter might be the way forward for [precious-metal] holders.
“Choices of what to purchase will be more or less the same in future as they are today, but in what will likely be a chaotic environment, some items will be, for a variety of reasons, difficult to acquire expeditiously and economically.
“But here are some of the choices that, depending on where one resides, and what connections one has, may be possible.  Each choice has obvious advantages and disadvantages having to do with relative liquidity, availability, perceived value, maintenance costs, taxes, ‘fungibility,’ etc.
1) Raw Land
2) Food Stuffs
3) Currency
4) Developed Property- commercial and/or residential
5) Precious gemstones
6) Objets d’art
7) ‘Services’ unspecified
8) Other commodities
9) Heavy equipment
10) Businesses unspecified
11) Stocks
12) Bonds
“I haven’t done much research on this question yet, but I imagine that bartering [precious metals] for raw gemstones might be worthwhile.”
Our reply:
History Rarely Repeats
When we try to guess how long it will take for the dollar to collapse, why should precedent matter? History almost never repeats itself in a way that can be clearly foreseen and easily predicted. There’s always a twist, and in this case the speed of the collapse is exactly what we might expect to undo even those who profess to be “ready”.  Bear in mind that the dollar is already a fundamentally valueless IOU, not money, and it is therefore only mere perceptions that need change to make this so in practice. That could happen — globally — in the space of time it takes to air the evening news.
Moreover, it is not the reichsmark or Zimbabwean dollar that we are talking about, but a currency in which nearly everyone on the planet has a crucial stake either directly or indirectly.  Under the circumstances, and given the lightning speed at which news travels these days, it is not difficult to imagine how a global run on the dollar might become unstoppable in mere hours.
The world may be ready and perhaps even resigned to the dollar’s collapse; what few seem to be imagining, however, is how very quickly the collapse could run its course around the world — as quickly, even, as a run on a single bank.

by Rick Ackerman
Posted originally on Rick’s Picks, August 20, 2009

1-bill-smallWE POPPED UP ON THE “WRONG” side of the inflation/deflation argument here the other day with a hyperinflation scenario that seems to us not just possible but likely. Although we hold fast to a prediction that deflation is going to run its course, throwing tens of millions of Americans into bankruptcy, before relief comes to debtors, we are persuaded that at some point well down the road the U.S. will throw the switch to hyperinflate. Even so, we believe that the attendant collapse of the dollar will play out far more quickly than the collapse of the German mark during the Weimar hyperinflation of 1922-23. So swiftly will this occur, in our opinion, that the hyperinflationary spike will begin and end in mere weeks, leaving deflationary to dominate both before (as it continues to do now) and long after.

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