Tax Freedom Day is the day when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay its total tax bill for the year. A vivid, calendar based illustration of the cost of government, Tax Freedom Day divides all federal, state, and local taxes by the nation’s income. In 2013, Americans will pay $2.76 trillion in federal taxes and $1.45 trillion in state taxes, for a total tax bill of $4.22 trillion, or 29.4 percent of income. April 18 is 29.4 percent, or 108... (more)
Paulson has roughly $9.5 billion invested across his hedge funds, of which about 85 percent is invested in gold share classes. Gold dropped 4.1 percent today, shaving about $328 million from his net worth on this bet alone.
Gold tumbled and entered a bear market after falling more than 20 percent since Augus... (more)
Pirate Party Crowd-Sources File-Sharing Fine Settlements
posted 04/14/2013, 4:04 AM (TorrentFreak) [Category: Economy] Anyone obtaining and sharing files on the Internet should be aware of the risk that someone, somewhere, might consider their behavior to constitute a breach of their rights. If people are eventually held to account, painful monetary fines can be the outcome. However, a new initiative by the youth division of the Swedish Pirate Party aims to soften the blow for those unlucky enough to get caught by paying their copyright infringement fines.... (more)
Friday April 12th, 2013
Sam Zell: "The Stock Market Feels Like The Housing Market Of 2006"
posted 04/12/2013, 7:17 AM (ZeroHedge) [Category: Economy] Instead of the endless procession of "different this time", "buy-the-dip", "money-on-the-sidelines" asset-gathering, Muppet-fleecers that CNBC so typically trots out, Sam Zell graced them with his presence and the truth was allowed a voice for a few minutes. Joined by David Rosenberg, who clarifies the insanity that engulfs US equities, explaining in wonderment that it is "not surprising the market rises even in the face of bad ISMs, worse jobs, and worst NFIB data, because Japan and the US are ... (more)
Bitcoin just hit a low of $52.99 per Bitcoin on the BTC-e.com exchange, it stands currently at $59. MtGox has been down for hours for maintenance and the price has been plummeting throughout. Bitcoin hit a high of $266 just yesterday before the ensuing crash. At this point the price is still double what it was two months ago, so it's yet to go through a full routing erasing all gains since going parabolic.
But jobs in and of themselves do not guarantee well-being. Suppose that the employment is to dig huge holes and filll them up again? What if the workers manufacture goods and services that no ... (more)
However, whenever I mention Bitcoin to anyone, I strongly encourage them not to invest more than they are prepared to lose. I myself only own 10 BTC. Why? Because Bitcoin has flaws, and it has potential enemies,... (more)
Bitcoin Suffers A Correction Amid Apparent DDOS Attacks On Some Exchanges
posted 04/11/2013, 2:38 AM (TechCrunch) [Category: Economy] The Tokyo-based exchange said last week that hackers are engaging in a strategy to manipulate the price of the currency: “Attackers wait until the price of Bitcoins reaches a certain value, sell, destabilize the exchange, wait for everybody to panic-sell their Bitcoins, wait for the price to drop to a certain amount, then stop the attack and start buying as much as they can. Repeat this two or three times like we saw over the past few days and they profit.”... (more)
The Maryland "Rain Tax"
posted 04/11/2013, 2:37 AM (Gazette) [Category: Economy] In 2010 the Obama administration's Environmental Protection Agency ordered Maryland to reduce stormwater runoff into the Chesapeake Bay so that nitrogen levels fall 22 percent and phosphorus falls 15 percent from current amounts. The price tag: $14.8 billion.
And where do we get the $14.8 billion? By taxing so-called "impervious surfaces," anything that prevents rain water from seeping into the earth (roofs, driveways, patios, sidewalks, etc.) thereby causing storm water run off. ... (more)
What Bitcoin Is Teaching Us
posted 04/10/2013, 3:10 AM (Jeffrey Tucker) [Category: Economy] "Thanks to Bitcoin, I am now living debt-free, just today managed to pay off all of my credit card debt!” — so reports a poster on Reddit, and the statement was echoed by many others. A currency that not only discourages debt, but earns enough money to pay off previous debt, plus encourages saving?
It seems unthinkable to people today. That’s because non... (more)
US Government To Decide How Much Is Enough For Your Retirement
posted 04/09/2013, 2:12 AM (The Dollar Vigilante) [Category: Economy] Welcome to the new US. Socialism always has the same predictable process. Once the government collectivizes a sector then the politicos and bureaucrats get to work on "improving the system". In a private enterprise, that'd mean offering more to your customers for a cheaper price. In government, it is always the opposite, finding ways to reduce benefits for their "customers".
This is why Obamacare is and will be a disaster to anyone interested in having quality medical care and... (more)
Jeff Berwick is interviewed by Thomas Pochari on World Affairs Daily
- The unsustainability of the financial system
- The growing number of people learning Austrian economics
- Are the financial string pullers stupid or evil?
- The world changing power of the internet
- The booming Chilean economy
- The public indoctrin
IRS Wants Tech Firms' Lunch Money
posted 04/09/2013, 2:11 AM (Reason) [Category: Economy] If you don’t work at a Silicon Valley tech firm and are envious of the stories about their fancy, fully-decked-out work environments. Apparently the IRS is envious too, or at least envious of the money behind it and whether they should get a cut.... (more)
Bitcoin: Money of the Future or Old-Fashioned Bubble?
posted 04/09/2013, 2:10 AM (Mises Institute) [Category: Economy] Bitcoin has been all the rage lately. The stuff, or lack thereof, runs on peer-to-peer technology, is fully decentralized, has no patents, and is open source. Currently, there are almost 11 million bitcoin units in existence and the maximum amount of bitcoin units that will ever be created by the logic of its design are 21 million. ... (more)
April 4 (Bloomberg) -- Betty Liu reports on Italian police finding one ton of gold in a car. She speaks on Bloomberg Television's "In The Loop. (Source: Bloomberg)
Friday April 5th, 2013
The Stockman Backlash
posted 04/05/2013, 1:14 AM (Peter Schiff) [Category: Economy] This week, while economists should have been closely considering the implications of the actual bankruptcy of Stockton, California, they instead heaped scorn on the perceived ideological bankruptcy of David Stockman. In other words, Stockman trumped Stockton.
Ronald Reagan’s former Budget Director contributed “Sundown in America” a multi-page opinion piece to the Sunday New York Times which loudly and eloquently described the illusions of our current economic system. While I ... (more)
Doug Casey: All Banks Are Bankrupt
posted 04/05/2013, 1:14 AM (Casey Research) [Category: Economy] L: Doug, there is considerable disagreement over the significance of the Cyprus crisis. A lot of people are saying that it's just a flash in the pan; Cyprus is a small country, far off, and doesn't really matter. Other people are saying it's very significant. The European Central Bank took unprecedented steps. What do you think?
Doug: I think this could be the spark that ignites the keg of dynamite under the current financial system.... (more)
Bitcoin for Beginners, Part II
posted 04/05/2013, 1:13 AM (Jeffrey Tucker) [Category: Economy] In March, I was at a conference in New Hampshire when a few Bitcoin businessmen sat me down to lunch. It seems like the last thing one wants, a long lunch at which one is hammered by unrelenting geek-speak about the glories of some crazy software thing.
Good riddance to deposit 'insurance'
posted 04/04/2013, 3:23 AM (DetlevSchlichter.com) [Category: Economy] Once the public furor and shrill media coverage have died down it will become clear that events in Cyprus did not mark the death of democracy or the end of the euro but potentially the beginning of the end of deposit 'insurance'. If so, then three cheers to that. It may herald a return to honesty, transparency and responsibility in banking.
Let us start by looking at some of the facts of deposit banking: When you deposit money in a bank you forfeit ownership of money and gain owne... (more)
Alasdair talks to Marc Faber, publisher of the Gloom Boom & Doom (new.gloomboomdoom.com) Report. Marc discusses his 40 years of experience in capital markets and the lessons he has learned.
He looks at the underlying nature of the American economy and details the problems arising since 2007. Money printing -- along with the insidious effects of underreported inflation -- is to some exten... (more)
The Money-ness of Bitcoins
posted 04/04/2013, 3:22 AM (Mises Institute) [Category: Economy] Bitcoins have been much in the news lately. Against the background of renewed concerns about the integrity of the euro zone and the imposition of capital controls in Cyprus, the price of a bitcoin has tripled over the last month and reached more than $141 for 1 BTC. Are we witnessing the spontaneous emergence of an alternative virtual medium of exchange, as some would put it? This article offers an answer to this question by considering three aspects of the economy of bitcoins: their production ... (more)
Wednesday April 3rd, 2013
Bitcoin Hits Astonishing $147 High Per Coin
posted 04/03/2013, 3:26 PM (InformationLiberation) [Category: Economy]
Bitcoin hit an astonishing $147 per coin today on the MtGox exchange before easing back to $128 per coin. At $147 per coin the outstanding value of all Bitcoins was over $1.6 billion, currently it's just under $1.4 billion. Bitcoins have increased in value over fourfold in the past 30 days, making it by far the best performing currency in the world.
Yes, you can buy drugs with Bitcoin, it's called the free market. Jeff Berwick schools Fox News on the wonders of decentralized currencies. (Of course, most illegal drugs and guns are payed for with U.S. dollars, but hey, we just ignore that cuz 'Murica's number one.)
Ron Paul: 'The Great Cyprus Bank Robbery'
posted 04/03/2013, 1:10 AM (Ron Paul) [Category: Economy] The dramatic recent events in Cyprus have highlighted the fundamental weakness in the European banking system and the extreme fragility of fractional reserve banking. Cypriot banks invested heavily in Greek sovereign debt, and last summer's Greek debt restructuring resulted in losses equivalent to more than 25 percent of Cyprus' GDP. These banks then took their bad investments to the government, demanding a bailout from an already beleaguered Cypriot treasury. The government of Cyprus then turne... (more)
Growing wealth inequality means that the wealthy have nowhere to hide and that events like those in Cyprus will happen in more countries around the world, including developed nations, said Marc Faber, the contrarian investor and publisher of the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report.
"It will happen everywhere in the world, in Western democracies," Faber said "Squawk on the Street" on Tuesday. "You ... (more)
Investors are unlikely to raise gold holdings because inflation has remained low, signs that the economy is improving may spur the Federal Reserve to curb stimulus and the dollar has strengthened, the bank said today in a report. Bullion is down 4.6 percent this... (more)
Tuesday April 2nd, 2013
Flying High on Borrowed Wings
posted 04/02/2013, 1:02 AM (Peter Schiff) [Category: Economy] After selling off an astounding 56% between October of 2007 and March 2009, the S&P 500 has staged a rally for the ages, surging 120% and recovering all of its lost ground too. This stunning turnaround certainly qualifies as one of the more memorable, and unusual, stock market rallies in history. The problem is that the rally has been underwritten by the Federal Reserve's unconventional monetary policies But for some reason, this belief has not weakened the celebration.
CEO of Euro Pacific Capital Peter Schiff's latest gold call. As gold posts its first back-to-back quarterly losses since 2001, is the metal ready for a comeback? With CNBC's Jackie DeAngelis and the Futures Now Traders, Rich Ilczyszyn at the CME and Anthony Grisanti at the Nymex.
In an essay published yesterday in the New York Times (NYT), Stockman wrote that the Fed’s quantitative easing policies following the credit crisis have flooded stock markets with cash even while the “Main Street economy” remains weak. The combination, he wrote, is “unsustainable.”
Misunderstanding High Wages
posted 03/28/2013, 10:48 PM (James E. Miller) [Category: Economy] Private business unceasingly gets a bum rap in major print. No matter the rise in living standards or technological advances brought about through market forces, there will always be some wiry, neurotic journalist bemoaning over social justice and demanding that capitalism kills. Socialism has proven itself to be impoverishing and murderous. Even Sweden, every liberal's favorite exemplar of successful welfarism, had to concede to free enterprise reforms in the 1990s to avoid economic catastr... (more)
Not All Countries Are Analytically Equal
posted 03/28/2013, 10:47 PM (Robert Higgs) [Category: Economy] Economists and other social scientists have a long history of conducting analyses based on cross-sectional international data. Sometimes these studies examine a handful of countries; sometimes they examine scores of countries. The studies with the larger samples are, it seems, generally viewed as more solidly based than those with smaller samples.
It is common among economists for objections to particular studies to take the form, "But what about country X? It certainly did not fo... (more)
Spot The Housing Recovery
posted 03/28/2013, 10:47 PM (Zero Hedge) [Category: Economy]
The housing recovery was described by one muppet on CNBC yesterday as 'parabolic' so we decided to go in search of this mystical anecdotal surge that is so often heard on the airwaves of the preachers. ... (more)
The EU/IMF raiding bank accounts in Cyprus to bail out the country's financial system sets a dangerous precedent and investors should "run for the hills" said investor Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings, on "Squawk on the Street" Thursday.
Rogers said that with Cyprus, politicians are saying that this is a special case and urging people not to worr... (more)
In the wake of the Cyprus banking crisis, Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Precious Metals says, "There's no question a crisis is on its way. The end game is a huge crisis." With that in mind, Schiff says, "Why would you leave any extra money in a bank to get zero percent interest. . . . I think pull your money out, and put it into some kind of investment. . . . anything other than a piece of paper that's ... (more)
The Stimulus Trap
posted 03/27/2013, 11:02 PM (Peter Schiff) [Category: Economy] For years we have been warned by Keynesian economists to fear the so-called "liquidity trap," an economic cul-de-sac that can suck down an economy like a tar pit swallowing a mastodon. They argue that economies grow because banks lend and consumers spend. But a "liquidity trap," they argue, convinces consumers not to consume and businesses not to borrow. The resulting combination of slack demand and falling prices creates a pernicious cycle that cannot be overcome by the ordinary forces ... (more)