Bitcoin is an unregulated, uncontrolled online currency – worth more than Ł500m, it's the world's fastest growing. It can be used to buy drugs, move money across the world, or get rich quick. The people behind Bitcoin speak to the Guardian's James Ball at their home in a squat in central London.
Elizabeth Warren's Unwarranted Wage
posted 03/26/2013, 11:18 PM (Walter Block) [Category: Economy] Murray N. Rothbard used to say that it is impossible to convince the economically illiterate with reductios ad absurdum. Why? This is because the very purpose of this type of logical argument is to embarrass our friends on the Left (and the Right too, sad to say, see below) by taking up the premises of their proposals and applying them to cases not contemplated by them. But suppose they are unable to be embarrassed? Suppose they cannot grasp the fallacy of their own position even when it is obvi... (more)
Following an interview on Fox Business during which I discussed the situation in Cyprus and the potential broader implications of the crisis, Lou Dobbs, apparently now more optimistic about the U.S. economy, was very dismissive of my comments. But instead of just countering my arguments, he also impugned my character. He effectively accused me of being a charlatan, ... (more)
60 Completely Outrageous Ways The U.S. Government Is Wasting Money
posted 03/25/2013, 10:00 PM (The American Dream) [Category: Economy] Is there anyone better at wasting money then the U.S. government? Despite the sequester and all of the talk about “deep cutbacks”, the federal government continues to waste money in some of the most outrageous ways imaginable. For example, does the U.S. government really have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to study the size and shape of the reproductive organs of ducks? Does the U.S. government really have to spend 1.5 million dollars to study why so many lesbians are overweight? ... (more)
March 25 (Bloomberg) -- Puerto Rican lawmakers are hoping their island paradise will join the ranks of the Bahamas and the Caymans as a tax-friendly playground for billionaires.
posted 03/25/2013, 9:58 PM (Tim Kelly) [Category: Economy] With all the government meddling in the economy, it is virtually impossible to sort out free-market functions from political manipulations. It is also impossible to predict the economy’s future performance with any degree of accuracy. There are simply too many variables, and with most economic data being manipulated to serve political agendas, the chances of getting an accurate picture of current economic conditions are slim.... (more)
The US Internal Revenue Service spent $60,000+ of your money to produce this terrible Star Trek spoof. Despite being really bad, the film does demonstrate the culture of government: You, the citizens, are tax cattle to be farmed for the state. Without genius central planners civilization itself would fall.
Friday March 22nd, 2013
Deposit Taxes: Should We Prepare?
posted 03/22/2013, 3:54 PM (Douglas French) [Category: Economy] There’s no way it could happen in the United States. That’s the conventional wisdom on this side of the pond about the ECB’s bailout of the banks in Cyprus. That caper looks as if it may take a chunk out of the hides of at least some bank depositors on the tiny Mediterranean island.
So far, the Cyprus parliament can’t pull the trigger on a plan to tax insured and uninsured bank deposits to pay a share of the bailout. However, a bank holiday has been declared and Cypriot depositors... (more)
Cyprus Lifts the Curtain
posted 03/22/2013, 3:53 PM (Peter Schiff) [Category: Economy] This week financial analysts, economists, politicians, and bank depositors from around the world were outraged that European leaders, more specifically the Germans, currently calling many of the shots in Brussels and Frankfurt, could be so politically reckless, economically ignorant, and emotionally callous as to violate the sanctity of bank deposits in order to fund a bailout of Cyprus. The chorus of condemnation may have been the deciding factor in giving the Cypriot parliament the confidence ... (more)
Meanwhile, Rep. Timothy Huelskamp (R-Kansas) says the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has failed to respond to multiple members of Congress asking why DHS bought more than 1.6 billion rounds in the past year.
Police Chief Cameron Arthur of Jenks, Oklahoma says, "Ammunition and assault weapons ... (more)
Obama's "No Fly"ť List for FedEx and UPS
posted 03/22/2013, 3:45 PM (Wendy McElroy) [Category: Economy] The Obama administration is notorious for crony capitalism, through which big businesses reap huge riches by virtue of their cozy association with government. Big oil, big car companies, big agrobusinesses, big banks, and big drug corporations are among the legally privileged cronies who are profiting at the expense of nonprivileged competitors and of customers who pay higher prices.
Now the Department of Justice (DOJ) is trying to institute the shipping version of a "no fly" ... (more)
Nigel Farage Message To Europeans: "Get Your Money Out While You Can"
posted 03/20/2013, 10:42 AM (ZeroHedge) [Category: Economy] In Nigel Farage's first TV appearance since the Cypriot wealth tax was announced, the Englishman pulls no punches. In all his years and all his experience of the desperation of the European Union's leadership "never did [he] think they would resort to stealing money from people's savings accounts." The simple fact is that they know they cannot let any country leave, no matter how small, for "once one country goes, the whole deck of cards will come tumbling down." There is now "clear irre... (more)
The Fed chief is of the view that, for the purposes of financial stability, a continuation of the central bank’s aggressive stimulus, conducted through purchases of Treasury and mortgage securities, remains the optimal approach.... (more)
The Fraudulent Marketplace Fairness Act
posted 03/20/2013, 10:41 AM (Glenn Jacobs) [Category: Economy] The Internet is currently our best example of the free market at work. Since the government has not been able to capture the Internet under its thumb, the Net illustrates how well the market really functions when the government stays out of the way.
But have no fear. Control freak politicians never rest, and a few of the more dedicated ones are working relentlessly to slap chains on the world’s most unfettered market. Of course, no exercise in the d... (more)
Eustace Conway, 51, who has been called ‘The Last Great American Man’ for his rustic way of living, could lose his camp in the Appalachian Mountains, his home for the past three decades.
The Watauga County Planning Department in North Carolina has found several health and sanitary violations in his encampm... (more)
None Dare Call It Theft
posted 03/19/2013, 11:22 AM (Jeffrey Tucker) [Category: Economy]
The euro elites don’t call it theft or robbery or even a tax, much less an outright default by the banks of Cyprus. They are calling it a “stability levy,” a plan that could lead not to stability, but a domino-style collapse of the banking system in Europe.
True to the nature of government propaganda, the Cypriot head of state, Nicos Anastasiades, says this “stability levy” is necessary to forestall “a complete collapse of the banking sector.” It’s the same kind of language we hea... (more)
What happens in Cyprus doesn't necessarily stay in Cyprus. The media says it can't happen here but it can. If several major U.S. banks failed, trillions of deposits would be at risk, including hundreds of billions insured by the FDIC. However, the FDIC barely has any reserves to cover the potential losses. A bigger bailout than TARP would be required to bailout depositors. Where would the government ge... (more)
First we had top Democrat consultant Donna Brazile scratching her head and wondering why her health insurance premiums were going up. Now we have painfully unfunny HBO comedian Bill Maher discovering the unfairness of confiscatory taxation, courtesy of NewsBusters.
The whole exchange began with the high-octane stupidity of MSNBC host Rachel Madd... (more)
Florida Moves Major Red Light Camera Reform
posted 03/18/2013, 2:51 AM (TheNewspaper) [Category: Economy] Opponents of automated ticketing machines in Florida concede they lack the votes to get a repeal of the state's red light camera law through the legislature. As the next best option, state Representative Frank Artiles (R-Miami) moved a bill addressing some of the biggest complaints: due process concerns, the duration of yellow lights and tickets for boulevard stops. The bill sailed through the state House Economic Affairs Committee with a 12-4 vote on Thursday. Some of the changes would have a p... (more)
"They're walking a fine line," Buckley said. "This would be the first time that Puerto Rico would kind of deliberately erode the U.S. tax base for individuals."
Already, 10 Americans have taken advantage of a year-old Puerto... (more)
Paulson Says He Has No Plans to Relocate to Puerto Rico
posted 03/18/2013, 2:50 AM (Bloomberg) [Category: Economy] John Paulson, the New York hedge- fund manager who was considering a move to Puerto Rico, said he won’t set up a permanent residence on the island.
“In light of the media attention surrounding a relocation to Puerto Rico, he has no plans to move to Puerto Rico,” Paulson & Co., John Paulson’s hedge fund, said today in a statement. “While Mr. Paulson has considered real estate investments and has vacationed on the island, he has no plans to establish a permanent residence there.”... (more)
Hedge funds and other large speculators raised net-long positions across 18 U.S. futures and options in the week ended March 12 by 30 percent to 528,680 contracts, the biggest gain since July and up from a four-year low the previous week, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission d... (more)
Several states including California and Maryland raised taxes on high earners last year, and Congress boosted federal levies on them. Families who look to change their domicile to a state with no income taxes such as Florida or Nevada open themselves up to years of scrutiny and possible litigation as local governments search for reven... (more)
Someone charge these criminals for making terroristic threats! - Chris
Bitcoin 'Glitch' Sparks 23% Flash Crash
posted 03/13/2013, 6:59 AM (Zero Hedge) [Category: Economy] While we are used to seeing insta-crashes in our highly-regulated and trustworthy equity markets, the unregulated digital world of Bitcoins suffered another flash-crash last night. According to Ars Technica, the 23% plungefest in the value of the digital currency (the second in a week) was due not to Waddel & Reed, not HFT algos, but 'forking' Cryptographic algos gone wild agreeing on different (legacy) keys as being correct - akin to finding Tungsten in your Gold bars (and hence the drop in th... (more)
Investors sold 106.2 metric tons valued at $5.4 billion from exchange-traded products in February, the most since their creation in 2003, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Another 26.1 tons was cut since then. Credit Suisse Group AG and Barclays Plc say the 12-year rally will peak in 2013 and billi... (more)
Tuesday March 12th, 2013
Remarkable New Puerto Rican Law Exempts U.S. Citizens From Multitude Of Taxes
posted 03/12/2013, 6:21 AM (InformationLiberation) [Category: Economy]
A remarkable new law passed last year in Puerto Rico reportedly exempts U.S. citizens who choose to become residents of the territory from a multitude of taxes. Bloomberg reports John Paulson, the hedge fund manager who made $3.7 billion shorting sub prime mortgages in 2007 before their crash, is possibly looking at moving there, and many wealthy individuals involved in internet, software, and financial companies are looking at taking advantage of the new law.
For the first time in recorded history, we have nearly every central bank printing money and trying to debase their currency. This has never happened before. How it’s going to work out, I don't know. It just depends on which one goes down the most and first, and they take turns. When one says a currency is going do
The Demographics Of Bitcoin
posted 03/11/2013, 6:27 AM (Zero Hedge) [Category: Economy] With the growing popularity and perhaps relevance of a globally decentralized currency system in a world adrift in fiat devaluation death-matches, it is perhaps interesting to understand just who these Bitcoin'ers are? The ongoing survey of Bitcoin users (here) has some intriguing results already: The 'average Bitcoin user' is male (96%), 32.7 years old, libertarian / anarcho-capital... (more)
The stock market's run will result in either a 20 percent correction or a more nasty sell off at some point this year, Marc Faber, publisher of the Gloom Boom and Doom report, told CNBC's "Closing Bell" on Thursday.
Faber pointed out that it's been almost exactly four years since the stock market bottomed out. "We're up very substantially, I think investors who today rush into stocks sho... (more)
Thursday March 7th, 2013
Government thinks that you are an idiot
posted 03/07/2013, 1:09 AM (Jeffrey Tucker) [Category: Economy] The European Commission has fined Microsoft $732 million for failing to give options on the opening Windows screen for downloading other browsers. This proves that consumers are smarter than governments. After all, most consumers have figured out on their own that they have other options to Internet Explorer. Chrome is the number one browser in the markets today, IE is second,... (more)
One computer expert working alone has built a historic newspaper site (http://fultonhistory.com) that's orders of magnitude bigger and more popular than one created by a federal bureaucracy with millions of dollars to spend. Armed only with a few PCs and... (more)
PayPal's Private Governance
posted 03/06/2013, 1:56 AM (The Freeman) [Category: Economy] Markets have a long history of generating rules and enforcement mechanisms from within (endogenously) rather than requiring market participants to wait for the State. Instead of attributing the success of markets to government bureaucrats and elected officials, we should instead thank PayPal founders like Peter Thiel, Max Levchin, and other providers of private governance who help make markets work. ... (more)
The Fed's Tightening Pipe Dream
posted 03/04/2013, 5:26 AM (Peter Schiff) [Category: Economy] Testifying before the US Senate this past Tuesday, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke made an extraordinary claim about its bloated balance sheet: "We could exit without ever selling by letting it run off." What Bernanke means here is that the Fed could simply hold its Treasuries and agency bonds until they mature, at which point the government would then be forced to pay the Fed back the principal amount. Through this process, the Fed's unprecedented and inflationary position will be gradually ... (more)
Personal income decreased by $505.5 billion in January, or 3.6%, compared to December (on a seasonally adjusted and annualized basis). That's the most dramatic decline since January 1993, according to the Commerce Department.... (more)
Saturday March 2nd, 2013
Ben's Balance Sheet Blues
posted 03/02/2013, 1:52 AM (Peter Schiff) [Category: Economy] During his testimony before Congress this week, Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke made it a priority to dampen the growing concern that the unprecedented growth of the Fed's balance sheet presents great risks to the economy. There has been a heightened sense even among normally complacent members of Congress that the Fed could spark a precipitous decline in the economy and the financial markets if and when it seeks to "withdraw liquidity" by selling even a minor portion of its bond portfolio (wh... (more)
And if you're an online retailer, you may have to collect and remit sales taxes for all fifty states no matter where your online business resides. But don't worry, lawmakers want to force all states to adopt the same standard for sales taxes, thus making it easier... (more)
An epic debate about the creation and preservation of wealth featuring Rick Rule, Peter Schiff, John Mauldin and Grant Williams. The highlight is a classic faceoff between Peter Schiff and John Mauldin that takes place around 7:30 in and goes on for several minutes and really heats up at 9:30.
The debate took place February 24, 2013 at Cambridge House's California Resource Investment Con... (more)