The Gold Rush Spreads From China And India To Saudi Arabia

Well it was only a matter of time before the authoritarian rulers of Saudi Arabia got involved in physical gold, especially with their oil reserves over stated. Courtesy of Zerohedge:

In the “west”, the higher the price of gold rose, the more demand there seemingly was by momentum-chasing gamblers investors, if only for paper certificates claiming to represent gold, or GLD as the case may be. Conversely, once the momentum turned, the same investors couldn’t be bothered with gld (sic) even at 30% lower. At the same time, in the “east” the higher the price of gold rose, the lower the demand was for physical, which for that extinct breed of deranged gambler known as “value investor” is a familiar concept.” And now that gold’s price is not only back to early 2011 levels, but is essentially below production costs, demand out of China is off the charts. Demand in India – traditionally the greatest in the world – continues to also at unprecedented levels, although now that official purchases of gold are regulated and limited through capital controls, it is forcing the local population to smuggle in gold through the most innovative of schemes.

But while the west is the west, and the east is the east, and no amount of adaptive behavioral modifications can change that, much to central bankers’ chagrin, what lies in-between? Courtesy of the Saudi Gazette we learn that the uber-rich middle eastern kingdom, which floats on a sea of oil has picked its side… and it has chosen to take advantage of the ongoing paper-driven price collapse and load up on as much gold as possible. Continue reading

Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke

A quality article from Matt Taibi and one of the few mainstream writers who are shining a light on the malfeasance and malevolence of the system. Courtesy of Rollingstone:

If you’ve ever been arrested on a drug charge, if you’ve ever spent even a day in jail for having a stem of marijuana in your pocket or “drug paraphernalia” in your gym bag, Assistant Attorney General and longtime Bill Clinton pal Lanny Breuer has a message for you: Bite me.

Breuer this week signed off on a settlement deal with the British banking giant HSBC that is the ultimate insult to every ordinary person who’s ever had his life altered by a narcotics charge. Despite the fact that HSBC admitted to laundering billions of dollars for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels (among others) and violating a host of important banking laws (from the Bank Secrecy Act to the Trading With the Enemy Act), Breuer and his Justice Department elected not to pursue criminal prosecutions of the bank, opting instead for a “record” financial settlement of $1.9 billion, which as one analyst noted is about five weeks of income for the bank.

The banks’ laundering transactions were so brazen that the NSA probably could have spotted them from space. Breuer admitted that drug dealers would sometimes come to HSBC’s Mexican branches and “deposit hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, in a single day, into a single account, using boxes designed to fit the precise dimensions of the teller windows.” Continue reading

Tax avoidance: a capital idea!

Courtesy of Private Eye:

“OFFSHORE investors avoiding millions in tax spent £7 billion on London’s lavish properties in last year sending market prices soaring.” So screamed a Daily Mail headline a year ago. What the newspaper didn’t report was that a chunk of the “offshore” purchases of prime London property were accounted for by its very own proprietor, Lord Rothermere.

Home for Rothermere, his wife Claudia and their five children is Ferne House, a neo-Palladian mansion in 224 acres of grounds in Wiltshire. But the family also has a London house on Addison Road, Holland Park, a ten-minute walk up Kensington High Street from the Mail’s Derry Street headquarters. This is no pokey pied-a-terre either. Property website Zoopla, part of Rothermere’s Daily Mail and General Trust plc group, values it at £21.75m.

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The Hidden Motives Behind The Federal Reserve Taper

Courtesy of Brandon Smith of Alt Market:

“The powers of financial capitalism had (a) far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland; a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank… sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world.” – Carroll Quigley, member of the Council on Foreign Relations

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If one wishes to truly understand the actions behind private Federal Reserve policy, one must come to terms with a fundamental reality – everything the Fed does it does for a reason, and the most apparent reasons are not always the primary reasons. If you think that the Fed simply acts on impulsive stupidity or hubris, then you haven’t a clue what is going on. If you think the Fed only does what it does in order to hide the numerous negative aspects of our current economy, then you only know half the story. If you think the Fed does not have a plan, then you are sorely mistaken… Continue reading

Debiasing the Mind Through Meditation

Courtesy of Psychological Science:

Abstract

In the research reported here, we investigated the debiasing effect of mindfulness meditation on the sunk-cost bias. We conducted four studies (one correlational and three experimental); the results suggest that increased mindfulness reduces the tendency to allow unrecoverable prior costs to influence current decisions. Study 1 served as an initial correlational demonstration of the positive relationship between trait mindfulness and resistance to the sunk-cost bias. Studies 2a and 2b were laboratory experiments examining the effect of a mindfulness-meditation induction on increased resistance to the sunk-cost bias. In Study 3, we examined the mediating mechanisms of temporal focus and negative affect, and we found that the sunk-cost bias was attenuated by drawing one’s temporal focus away from the future and past and by reducing state negative affect, both of which were accomplished through mindfulness meditation.

Millions of homeowners ‘may need second job’ if interest rates rise, BoE warns

Well folks, we’re fast approaching 2014 and the Tory government is going full steam ahead with their plans to impoverish a generation or two. When interest rates rise and they will, we will see hundreds of thousands, if not millions slip into negative equity and permanent debt. This reduction in available funds will have a detrimental effect on the real economy, with less funds to spend we will likely see a deflationary episode/crash which will cause further issues (negative feedback loop) in the housing market. Do not forget, this is all by design and it’s going to plan. Viva la revoluçion. Courtesy of The Telegraph:

Millions of homeowners will be forced to rein in their spending or take a second job when interest rates rise to cope with higher mortgage repayments, the Bank of England has warned.

Almost a third of the 11m households who currently have a mortgage will have to cut back or work longer hours if interest rates climb to 3pc from their current low of 0.5pc – even if annual pre-tax incomes grow 5pc.

Under the most extreme scenario, where wages are frozen and rates hiked by 2.5 percentage points, the Bank said half of mortgage holders, which account for a quarter of the £1.2 trillion stock of loans, would have to slash spending.
One in six households would be pushed to the edge of affordability, the Bank added, with the proportion of “vulnerable” borrowers with repayments above 35pc of gross income doubling to 16pc.

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