ECB launches bold measures including negative interest rate to boost eurozone

We are entering what is commonly termed the ‘batshit insane’ phase in European monetary policy, negative interest rates, though there is plenty more to come. This means that the bank charges you to hold cash held on deposit, encouraging you to spend instead of saving, keeping the Ponzi schemes going and to fight off deflation. If this is the case, it’s the perfect reason to buy gold and silver.

Looking at bond rates within ECB countries over the past 200 years or so, we are cruising through batshitinsaneville but no one really cares or understands, expect puppies and balloons when this all comes to fruition.

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Courtesy of The Guardian:

The European Central Bank unveiled an unprecedented package of measures on Thursday in a dramatic attempt to inject life into the eurozone’s flagging economy and ward off a damaging deflationary spiral.

In a historic first for the troubled region, the ECB boss, Mario Draghi, and his colleagues on the governing council cut the deposit rate for the region’s commercial banks to -0.1% from zero. Continue reading

A Maryland inventor’s big energy ideas have promise and big ifs

Courtesy of G G McClathy @ Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

WASHINGTON — While scientists are engaged in an all-out, worldwide scramble to avert the energy and climate change crises, the biggest discoveries could come from a surprising quarter: a modest redwood home on a wooded, 5-acre tract in rural Maryland, where a lone inventor toils day and night.

Ronald Ace lacks hefty academic credentials or any of the billions of dollars that have flowed to other researchers. That hasn’t diminished his zeal in a years-long crusade to accomplish what many scientists deem unattainable.

If the 73-year-old inventor is right, he is on the brink of two historic breakthroughs.

If his novel ideas are validated and take hold, they could change the world.

Those are big ifs.

Ace has applied for patents for two inventions that he believes could speed a dramatic transition to cheap and abundant clean energy, shrink oil consumption to a gurgle and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a smidgen of today’s levels.

His “Solar Trap,” first reported by McClatchy in May 2013, has gained some credence from a former solar engineer at the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M., who did a confidential review and found “no apparent deficiencies.”

Ace calls his flat-panel trap “a fundamental scientific and environmental discovery” and contends that it could collect sunlight at high enough temperatures to shatter the barriers to a solar age. The device can capture more than 90 percent of the rays that hit it, as much as 10 times more than sun-tracking photovoltaic panels being installed around the globe, he said.

More recently, Ace filed a second patent application, for an invention that he touts as likely able to transform heat into electricity with nearly 100 percent efficiency, 20-fold that of comparable devices in the clean-as-you-can-get field of thermoelectrics. Continue reading

Methodology

Courtesy of Peter Van Coppenolle @ NASOE.org:

Prof. Carl Menger dedicated an entire book to what he considered the appropriate methodology for the thinker in the human and social sciences, of which the field of theoretical economics is a subsection.

If the methodology has been handed to us, why expand on it? Times have not changed since Menger exposed the fallacies of positivist theories. The scorn heaped on subjectivism from positivist corners has increased, even after positivism was found wanting. And not only in the subsection of theoretical economics.

This contribution is intended for the scholar in the hope it will shed more light or provide a deeper understanding on the justification for a subjectivist methodology in theoretical economics. As a philosophy of science, subjectivism draws on a seasoned and proven track record, something Menger thoroughly realised. One hundred and fifty years after Menger, what is the score?

Whατ Δο ωΣ (κ)ποω ?

Evaluating the scientific tools on their appropriateness is not a task for the tools themselves. Obviously, that decision is a task for the philosophy of science to make. The quality of this philosophy will determine the quality of decision making about science and the quality of thinking within science.

One significant result of the Age of Enlightenment has been a marked narrowing of the field of reason to the sense realm. For pre-moderns, reason included in its field the moral and spiritual dimension of human life. For the majority of Western intellectuals since the Enlightenment reason is restricted to the empirical or quantifiable aspects of human existence. Continue reading

RBS could fail due to ‘£100bn black hole’ – with British taxpayers in line to lose their entire £45bn stake

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Courtesy of Tom Harper @ The Independent:

British taxpayers risk losing their entire £45bn stake in Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) which is in grave danger of failing within 10 years, according to an explosive new book.

A new study of the disgraced bank, which brought the UK to the brink of financial ruin, reveals RBS still has a £100bn “black hole” in its finances due to “five broad areas of alleged criminality and wrongdoing”.

They include the mis-selling of financial products such as payment protection insurance, the alleged duping of investors who were persuaded to plough more than £12bn into RBS shares just before the banking crash in 2008, further fallout from the Libor scandal, and current criminal investigations into the manipulation of the £3trn-a-day foreign exchange markets.

Shredded: Inside RBS, The Bank That Broke Britain, by the financial journalist Ian Fraser, concludes that the governments led by Gordon Brown and David Cameron have “let the people of Britain down” by failing to reform RBS after it received its mammoth bailout under the stewardship of former chief executive Fred “The Shred” Goodwin.

“The result has been that, at the time of writing, RBS is probably a worse bank than it was under Fred Goodwin,” Fraser said. “If the right moves are now made, RBS could become a great bank again. If they’re not, I doubt it will even exist in 10 years’ time.

“Whatever happens, it now seems impossible that British taxpayers will ever see a return on their £45.5bn investment in the bank,” he writes in the book.

RBS is under the spotlight again Fraser analyses the bank’s extraordinary largesse under Goodwin, whom, he claims, squandered billions of pounds on overpriced acquisitions, fleets of Mercedes and extravagant buildings and decor.

The book also claims that Goodwin and his wife, Joyce, avoided tens of thousands of pounds in personal tax liabilities over their repeated use of a controversial £20m private jet bought by RBS in 2002. Continue reading

Fluoride Officially Classified as a Neurotoxin in World’s Most Prestigious Medical Journal

Courtesy of Eat Local Grown:

The movement to remove industrial sodium fluoride from the world’s water supply has been growing in recent years, with evidence coming out against the additive from several sources.

Now, a report from the world’s oldest and most prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, has officially classified fluoride as a neurotoxin, in the same category as arsenic, lead and mercury.

The news was broken by author Stefan Smyle and disseminated by the Facebook page Occupy Food, which linked to the report published in The Lancet Neurology, Volume 13, Issue 3, in the March 2014 edition, by authors Dr. Phillippe Grandjean and Philip J. Landrigan, MD.

Industrial Chemicals Identified

As noted in the summary of the report, a systematic review identified five different similar industrial chemicals as developmental neurotoxicants: lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic, and toluene.

The summary goes on to state that six additional developmental neurotoxicants have also now been identified: manganese, fluoride, chlorpyrifos, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, tetrachloroethylene, and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers. The authors added that even more of these neurotoxicants remain undiscovered.

ADHD, Dyslexia, and other cognitive impairments

In the Lancet report, the authors propose a global prevention strategy, saying that “untested chemicals should not be presumed to be safe to brain development, and chemicals in existing use and all new chemicals must therefore be tested for developmental neurotoxicity.”Also in the report, they note that neurodevelopmental disabilities, including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and other cognitive impairments, are now affecting millions of children worldwide in what they call a “pandemic of developmental neurotoxicity.” Continue reading