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Let's Play "Who Said It?"

215
Wed, May 23, 2012 - 10:21am

As you've probably figured out, I recently received another shipment of hats, so we might as well give away another one.

So we begin today with a game of "Who Said It?" The first person to correctly identify the author of these thoughts will win a genuine, authentic and autographed Turd Ferguson hat. Of course, with google and the like, this contest may end fairly quickly but so be it. All I ask is that you read the entire passage before entering your guess.

"Under a gold standard, the amount of credit that an economy can support is determined by the economy's tangible assets, since every credit instrument is ultimately a claim on some tangible asset. But government bonds are not backed by tangible wealth, only by the government's promise to pay out of future tax revenues, and cannot easily be absorbed by the financial markets. A large volume of new government bonds can be sold to the public only at progressively higher interest rates. Thus, government deficit spending under a gold standard is severely limited. The abandonment of the gold standard made it possible for the welfare statists to use the banking system as a means to an unlimited expansion of credit. They have created paper reserves in the form of government bonds which - through a complex series of steps - the banks accept in place of tangible assets and treat as if they were an actual deposit, i.e., as the equivalent of what was formerly a deposit of gold. The holder of a government bond or of a bank deposit created by paper reserves believes that he has a valid claim on a real asset. But the fact is that there are now more claims outstanding than real assets. The law of supply and demand is not to be conned. As the supply of money (of claims) increases relative to the supply of tangible assets in the economy, prices must eventually rise. Thus the earnings saved by the productive members of the society lose value in terms of goods. When the economy's books are finally balanced, one finds that this loss of value represents the goods purchased by the government for welfare or other purposes with the money proceeds of the government bonds financed by bank credit expansion.

​In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its illegal, as was done in the case of gold (in the 1930s). If everyone decided, for example, to convert all of his bank deposits to silver or copper or any other good, and thereafter declined to accept checks as payments for goods, bank deposits would lose their purchasing power and government-created bank credit would be worthless as a claim on goods. Therefore, the financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves.

​This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists' tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists' antagonism toward the gold standard."

​OK, have at it. TF

About the Author

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turd [at] tfmetalsreport [dot] com ()

  215 Comments

apex101 · May 23, 2012 - 2:40pm

i dont know about the end game coming soon. I swear in 2006 you said we still be talking about all this shit in 2012 i say no way. I thought by now that the derivative/debt problem would have been solved or blown up by now. Here we are 6 years later still talking about this. 6 years later and some gold miners are right back where they started :*(. I think this shit can play out for another 10 years possibly. I mean i would hate to have to wait 10 years before i sell all these PM's but might happen. I mean Jesus look at japan. I remember the "Bond Bubble" in japan talk 20-15 years ago. Still talking about it today. I hope this shit comes to some type of climax before 2015 my patience is wearing thin. 

beardeus · May 23, 2012 - 2:41pm

Many here claimed just within the last couple months that we'd never see <30 again.

It is a similar attitude that people directed towards Ivars when the man was pretty spot on.

onealpha · May 23, 2012 - 2:41pm

I will sell only when fiscal sanity has returned or I need to. It is insurance. The last line of defense. 

· May 23, 2012 - 2:41pm

how can I say this politely - using the words 'only an idiot', when numerous people, myself included, have said that they would have acted just like your 'idiot' - is challenging my efforts at civil communication. A 'stack' isn't something you can buy and sell in a day. What is the intent of your line of questioning?

tmosley tpbeta · May 23, 2012 - 2:42pm

tpbeta:

If I had a time machine I could make infinite moneys with a few bets based on a sports almanac a la Back to the Future 2. That doesn't make sports betting a good idea.

Sure, you could pat yourself on the back for selling at $49 IF you were 100% certain that you could buy back today. But what happens when the delivery gets delayed, first by a week, then by a month, then a year, then your order is canceled and you are left with worthless fiat?

That is the risk we are hedging against by buying silver. The fact that there is a superpowered fundamental upside is gravy. If we didn't want that, we would go for gold, or huge mounds of copper, or some other non-degradable commodity. 

The Springbok · May 23, 2012 - 2:43pm

There is strong chance that the metals will rally, even in the face of a strong dollar. Please remember, the dollar is not strong, it it the euro (and financial system)that is weak. Dollar trend is up, 10yr bond is up, and the last safe haven asset is in a down trend....that won't last forever.

QE to infinity tpbeta · May 23, 2012 - 2:43pm

For example, would you sell it if you think it more likely than not it will drop in value in the next 12 months?

​No, as that would really be gambling, wouldn't it? Survival stack isn't the one to gamble with. I may sell some (from non-survival pilesmiley), but not the core holding.

recaptureamerica · May 23, 2012 - 2:44pm

Tpbeta, I can't speak for others but I started and restarted to stack due to rough waters. I like knowing, when I had some, that my money, REAL money, would be worth something more in the future than what the Jedi Masters would have us believe due to NO inflation.. Right. You can roughly estimate how much your dollar, euro, whatever currency you chose will devaluate in purchasing power by dividing the so called inflation rate into 72. So an example.. At 2% your money saved buys 50% less, or is worth 50% less in 36 years. At 3 % ..24 years at 4 %. 18 years. At a 10 % inflation, which is where we are, based on what a dollar doesn't buy today, would cut your money in half in just 7 or so years..,and that what we are seeing. Things are costing double in dollars today than they did 7-8 yrs ago. I'm not talking govt tweaked bs numbers.. Real life stuff. Are there exclusions? Of course..

onealpha · May 23, 2012 - 2:44pm

Ironically Dr G has been very critical of Ivars in the past. Just sayin. 

recaptureamerica · May 23, 2012 - 2:46pm

Oh, and the opposite is true too.. How long it takes to compound your money.. If you receive 4% interest, it will take 18 years to double your money, etc.

recaptureamerica · May 23, 2012 - 2:53pm

Gupta trial jury told about "top secret" Buffett deal https://us.lrd.yahoo.com/_ylt=AhhpqgEdg7dZhcfV8zhsDxEHuodG;_ylu=X3oDMTFi...

recaptureamerica · May 23, 2012 - 2:56pm

It wouldn't surprise me to see the Dow go positive by 4:00 pm. Because everything is fixed... Literally and figuratively

Groaner · May 23, 2012 - 2:57pm

Its all about options expirations more than Greece

https://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/

recaptureamerica · May 23, 2012 - 2:59pm

IMF's Lagarde says world facing worst economic crisis since the Great Depression https://ransquawk.com/!#/headlines/224673

apex101 · May 23, 2012 - 3:02pm

you know gold is about to have its 4th down month in a row. Thats never happened before since the bull market started.

Groaner · May 23, 2012 - 3:02pm

what a stressed out day

so I went and bought a new Weber 330 grill.. real cheap, yeah right

Airgead · May 23, 2012 - 3:03pm

happening right now.

tpbeta Prize Fighter · May 23, 2012 - 3:04pm

I'm in no doubt at all that we are somewhere within a major buying opportunity for silver. But it's worth questioning the assumptions behind that.

SilverFocker · May 23, 2012 - 3:04pm

In the grand scheme of things, who cares anymore what the TA is supposed to be, where the PM price should be. 

The most important thing to remember and base you purchase of PM's on is the BASIC FUNDAMENTALS of why you bought in the first place.

There has been way to much disagreement on where the train stops next and why it is stopping, when Really it just don't matter when you base everything you are doing on the FUNDO'S.

I agree that QE is not coming soon, it is not needed right now as there are to many global black swans in the water that is only reinforcing the fact that the Dolla is the king of the hill (for now).

If the deflation can be contained long enough for the EU to form some stability in the coming months, then the only printing we will see outright will be the debt limit........Which brings us back to the FUNDO'S, this will be enough to devalue the dolla and keep rates and deflation in check, and we know it is coming right after the election.

Enjoy this time to build your stack with less FRN's. Enjoy the game they have unfolded, take advantage of the prices. A little here a little there.......it's summer time....TITS are out in full force, enjoy the stackscheeky while you can.

recaptureamerica · May 23, 2012 - 3:06pm

Gold: The World’s Friend for 5,000 Years https://www.321gold.com/editorials/holmes/holmes052312.html

· May 23, 2012 - 3:06pm

I will sell my metal when it is all I have left.

HappyNow · May 23, 2012 - 3:10pm

Glad to be living in one of the top 10. Obviously not the only one who is Happy here.

Scanning through the list it is surprising that health and health care is mentioned as often as it is in those countries. I mean reading all the bashing of public health care as spillover from the US election banter and how the USA would degenerate if such a thing were to happen.

Still, so many of those countries have public health care.

Degeneration into happiness. Hmm.

sprite · May 23, 2012 - 3:10pm

Silverwealth's comments on page 1 are spot on.

The world is rushing into the USD because the majority PERCEIVE that the dollar is a safe asset.

This is step 1 in the "risk cycle"

Step 2 is for the hordes to realise that the USD, just like every other currency, is not backed by anything. 

Step 3 is the average man in the street frantically looking around for something else to put his money into

By then the majority on this site would have established their PM positions.

Step 4 will be a surge in PMs

Step 5 will be those already in PMs looking to partially take profits and invest in the next asset class expected to boom, whatever that may be.

 If we manage to get through all these steps without civil war or WW III, bioterrorism, loss of civil liberties and the genesis of a police state, we will be doing well.

Better get out my copy of 1984 for a refresher.

Side note for those even remotely interested in technicals: The rate of descent in both silver and gold is increasing. Both also gapped down today from yesterday's close. Personally I think we are heading lower, as long as the USD is perceived as "safe" If you also look at the candle patterns for all major reversals in the last 8-10 years, there is a similarity to them. I haven't yet seen the same patterns in the most recent chart movements.

Another side note: the number of people visiting their brokers to take physical delivery is double what it was 6 months ago. They have discarded backpacks for bullion carry cases.

Vagabond · May 23, 2012 - 3:11pm

https://www.constitution.org/mon/greenspan_gold.htm

An almost hysterical antagonism toward the gold standard is one issue which unites statists of all persuasions. They seem to sense — perhaps more clearly and subtly than many consistent defenders of laissez-faire — that gold and economic freedom are inseparable, that the gold standard is an instrument of laissez-faire and that each implies and requires the other.

In order to understand the source of their antagonism, it is necessary first to understand the specific role of gold in a free society.

Money is the common denominator of all economic transactions. It is that commodity which serves as a medium of exchange, is universally acceptable to all participants in an exchange economy as payment for their goods or services, and can, therefore, be used as a standard of market value and as a store of value, i.e., as a means of saving.

The existence of such a commodity is a precondition of a division of labor economy. If men did not have some commodity of objective value which was generally acceptable as money, they would have to resort to primitive barter or be forced to live on self-sufficient farms and forgo the inestimable advantages of specialization. If men had no means to store value, i.e., to save, neither long-range planning nor exchange would be possible.

What medium of exchange will be acceptable to all participants in an economy is not determined arbitrarily. First, the medium of exchange should be durable. In a primitive society of meager wealth, wheat might be sufficiently durable to serve as a medium, since all exchanges would occur only during and immediately after the harvest, leaving no value-surplus to store. But where store-of-value considerations are important, as they are in richer, more civilized societies, the medium of exchange must be a durable commodity, usually a metal. A metal is generally chosen because it is homogeneous and divisible: every unit is the same as every other and it can be blended or formed in any quantity. Precious jewels, for example, are neither homogeneous nor divisible. More important, the commodity chosen as a medium must be a luxury. Human desires for luxuries are unlimited and, therefore, luxury goods are always in demand and will always be acceptable. Wheat is a luxury in underfed civilizations, but not in a prosperous society. Cigarettes ordinarily would not serve as money, but they did in post-World War II Europe where they were considered a luxury. The term "luxury good" implies scarcity and high unit value. Having a high unit value, such a good is easily portable; for instance, an ounce of gold is worth a half-ton of pig iron.

In the early stages of a developing money economy, several media of exchange might be used, since a wide variety of commodities would fulfill the foregoing conditions. However, one of the commodities will gradually displace all others, by being more widely acceptable. Preferences on what to hold as a store of value will shift to the most widely acceptable commodity, which, in turn, will make it still more acceptable. The shift is progressive until that commodity becomes the sole medium of exchange. The use of a single medium is highly advantageous for the same reasons that a money economy is superior to a barter economy: it makes exchanges possible on an incalculably wider scale.

Whether the single medium is gold, silver, seashells, cattle, or tobacco is optional, depending on the context and development of a given economy. In fact, all have been employed, at various times, as media of exchange. Even in the present century, two major commodities, gold and silver, have been used as international media of exchange, with gold becoming the predominant one. Gold, having both artistic and functional uses and being relatively scarce, has significant advantages over all other media of exchange. Since the beginning of World War I, it has been virtually the sole international standard of exchange. If all goods and services were to be paid for in gold, large payments would be difficult to execute and this would tend to limit the extent of a society's divisions of labor and specialization. Thus a logical extension of the creation of a medium of exchange is the development of a banking system and credit instruments (bank notes and deposits) which act as a substitute for, but are convertible into, gold.

A free banking system based on gold is able to extend credit and thus to create bank notes (currency) and deposits, according to the production requirements of the economy. Individual owners of gold are induced, by payments of interest, to deposit their gold in a bank (against which they can draw checks). But since it is rarely the case that all depositors want to withdraw all their gold at the same time, the banker need keep only a fraction of his total deposits in gold as reserves. This enables the banker to loan out more than the amount of his gold deposits (which means that he holds claims to gold rather than gold as security of his deposits). But the amount of loans which he can afford to make is not arbitrary: he has to gauge it in relation to his reserves and to the status of his investments.

When banks loan money to finance productive and profitable endeavors, the loans are paid off rapidly and bank credit continues to be generally available. But when the business ventures financed by bank credit are less profitable and slow to pay off, bankers soon find that their loans outstanding are excessive relative to their gold reserves, and they begin to curtail new lending, usually by charging higher interest rates. This tends to restrict the financing of new ventures and requires the existing borrowers to improve their profitability before they can obtain credit for further expansion. Thus, under the gold standard, a free banking system stands as the protector of an economy's stability and balanced growth. When gold is accepted as the medium of exchange by most or all nations, an unhampered free international gold standard serves to foster a world-wide division of labor and the broadest international trade. Even though the units of exchange (the dollar, the pound, the franc, etc.) differ from country to country, when all are defined in terms of gold the economies of the different countries act as one — so long as there are no restraints on trade or on the movement of capital. Credit, interest rates, and prices tend to follow similar patterns in all countries. For example, if banks in one country extend credit too liberally, interest rates in that country will tend to fall, inducing depositors to shift their gold to higher-interest paying banks in other countries. This will immediately cause a shortage of bank reserves in the "easy money" country, inducing tighter credit standards and a return to competitively higher interest rates again.

A fully free banking system and fully consistent gold standard have not as yet been achieved. But prior to World War I, the banking system in the United States (and in most of the world) was based on gold and even though governments intervened occasionally, banking was more free than controlled. Periodically, as a result of overly rapid credit expansion, banks became loaned up to the limit of their gold reserves, interest rates rose sharply, new credit was cut off, and the economy went into a sharp, but short-lived recession. (Compared with the depressions of 1920 and 1932, the pre-World War I business declines were mild indeed.) It was limited gold reserves that stopped the unbalanced expansions of business activity, before they could develop into the post-World War I type of disaster. The readjustment periods were short and the economies quickly reestablished a sound basis to resume expansion.

But the process of cure was misdiagnosed as the disease: if shortage of bank reserves was causing a business decline — argued economic interventionists — why not find a way of supplying increased reserves to the banks so they never need be short! If banks can continue to loan money indefinitely — it was claimed — there need never be any slumps in business. And so the Federal Reserve System was organized in 1913. It consisted of twelve regional Federal Reserve banks nominally owned by private bankers, but in fact government sponsored, controlled, and supported. Credit extended by these banks is in practice (though not legally) backed by the taxing power of the federal government. Technically, we remained on the gold standard; individuals were still free to own gold, and gold continued to be used as bank reserves. But now, in addition to gold, credit extended by the Federal Reserve banks ("paper reserves") could serve as legal tender to pay depositors.

When business in the United States underwent a mild contraction in 1927, the Federal Reserve created more paper reserves in the hope of forestalling any possible bank reserve shortage. More disastrous, however, was the Federal Reserve's attempt to assist Great Britain who had been losing gold to us because the Bank of England refused to allow interest rates to rise when market forces dictated (it was politically unpalatable). The reasoning of the authorities involved was as follows: if the Federal Reserve pumped excessive paper reserves into American banks, interest rates in the United States would fall to a level comparable with those in Great Britain; this would act to stop Britain's gold loss and avoid the political embarrassment of having to raise interest rates. The "Fed" succeeded; it stopped the gold loss, but it nearly destroyed the economies of the world, in the process. The excess credit which the Fed pumped into the economy spilled over into the stock market, triggering a fantastic speculative boom. Belatedly, Federal Reserve officials attempted to sop up the excess reserves and finally succeeded in braking the boom. But it was too late: by 1929 the speculative imbalances had become so overwhelming that the attempt precipitated a sharp retrenching and a consequent demoralizing of business confidence. As a result, the American economy collapsed. Great Britain fared even worse, and rather than absorb the full consequences of her previous folly, she abandoned the gold standard completely in 1931, tearing asunder what remained of the fabric of confidence and inducing a world-wide series of bank failures. The world economies plunged into the Great Depression of the 1930's.

With a logic reminiscent of a generation earlier, statists argued that the gold standard was largely to blame for the credit debacle which led to the Great Depression. If the gold standard had not existed, they argued, Britain's abandonment of gold payments in 1931 would not have caused the failure of banks all over the world. (The irony was that since 1913, we had been, not on a gold standard, but on what may be termed "a mixed gold standard"; yet it is gold that took the blame.) But the opposition to the gold standard in any form — from a growing number of welfare-state advocates — was prompted by a much subtler insight: the realization that the gold standard is incompatible with chronic deficit spending (the hallmark of the welfare state). Stripped of its academic jargon, the welfare state is nothing more than a mechanism by which governments confiscate the wealth of the productive members of a society to support a wide variety of welfare schemes. A substantial part of the confiscation is effected by taxation. But the welfare statists were quick to recognize that if they wished to retain political power, the amount of taxation had to be limited and they had to resort to programs of massive deficit spending, i.e., they had to borrow money, by issuing government bonds, to finance welfare expenditures on a large scale.

Under a gold standard, the amount of credit that an economy can support is determined by the economy's tangible assets, since every credit instrument is ultimately a claim on some tangible asset. But government bonds are not backed by tangible wealth, only by the government's promise to pay out of future tax revenues, and cannot easily be absorbed by the financial markets. A large volume of new government bonds can be sold to the public only at progressively higher interest rates. Thus, government deficit spending under a gold standard is severely limited. The abandonment of the gold standard made it possible for the welfare statists to use the banking system as a means to an unlimited expansion of credit. They have created paper reserves in the form of government bonds which — through a complex series of steps — the banks accept in place of tangible assets and treat as if they were an actual deposit, i.e., as the equivalent of what was formerly a deposit of gold. The holder of a government bond or of a bank deposit created by paper reserves believes that he has a valid claim on a real asset. But the fact is that there are now more claims outstanding than real assets. The law of supply and demand is not to be conned. As the supply of money (of claims) increases relative to the supply of tangible assets in the economy, prices must eventually rise. Thus the earnings saved by the productive members of the society lose value in terms of goods. When the economy's books are finally balanced, one finds that this loss in value represents the goods purchased by the government for welfare or other purposes with the money proceeds of the government bonds financed by bank credit expansion.

In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its holding illegal, as was done in the case of gold. If everyone decided, for example, to convert all his bank deposits to silver or copper or any other good, and thereafter declined to accept checks as payment for goods, bank deposits would lose their purchasing power and government-created bank credit would be worthless as a claim on goods. The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves.

This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists' tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists' antagonism toward the gold standard.

JML-2012 · May 23, 2012 - 3:14pm

First post, long time daily reader. I have my own take on the argument regarding the importance of the fiat value of PMs. After waking up to the dire economic realities back in Jan. 2011 I watched on the sidelines as PM's soared into the spring, still too new to the idea and leary of jumping in with little cash savings I and my family had stashed away. But after the initial May beat down and months of scouring the net day and night reading all the familiar PM and collapse-related blogs, by late summer increasingly convinced that PMs were the only true financial safe haven, I decided to go with my guts and began purchasing PMs on the dips. But with little cash savings that I didn't want to exhaust completely, I was extremely limited in what I could buy. So about 6 months ago, I was receiving multiple credit card offers at 0% for 12 and 18 month periods. After much thought, I decided it was a risk worth taking. I've since maxed two cards up to about $20k, have cost averaged my silver at a bit over $35/oz and I still have a year of 0% on those loans to go. Several small gold bars purchased too for diversification. Little by little each month I pay these debts down (abt $400/month), but there's no way I'll have them paid off entirely by the time the 0% rate expires. So basically I'm counting on there being a large enough fiat-price increase in silver between now and then that I can sell off a portion (40% or so) of my stack to pay down all of the remaining balance of this borrowed money before interest kicks in. I'm stacking for a means of not only financial protection, but also debt reduction. Any thoughts on this strategy? I mean if silver hits $60 or $80 by next summer I can pay down the debt and retain a decent stack to help safeguard my family thru the shitstorm on the horizon. But if it keeps in this downward spiral for too long, I may be a bit fcked! The point is, this is a gamble for some of us who don't have the financial means to convert thousands of $'s into PMs but also understand the fundamentals and don't want to be on the shit end of the stick through this major global shift occurring. So there it is. That's my reasoning for wanting to see prices spike before too long, and not eternally celebrating beat downs as stacking opportunities. May good fortune smile upon us all who seek and yearn for truth.

recaptureamerica · May 23, 2012 - 3:15pm

For those that doubt the power silver hedging inflation, a " junk" quarter in 1964 bought a gallon of gas, and even today, with gas at almost 4 bux still a gallon, and the price murdering of pms recently, still if you were to sell one junk Washington, would get you 1.25 gallons... GO silver!

ivars · May 23, 2012 - 3:15pm

Incidentally, USDx is still 82,12, but silver is up to 27,80. So , the rule of "exact" opposites is broken again. And so will it continue, with silver gaining on USDx, so on USD. It just not so easy or obvious, but it starts to become more and more noticeable, if one is not chronically USDx "blind". Things are changing. Right now.

tpbeta George Clooney · May 23, 2012 - 3:16pm

I apologise for my language - I had not realised I could possibly be describing the views and actions of a real person. 

Allow me to rephrase - it appears to me to be suicidally irrational to refuse to sell your stack if you are certain it will halve in value. This is a thought experiment though - no-one has been faced with such certain knowledge.

The point is that some folk (not a majority I hasten to add) have in practice no criteria under which they would sell their stack. That makes their ownership ideological. Nothing wrong with that, of course. But it does make for a very pointless apples and pears debate with people of a more pragmatic bent such as Dr G and co.

ivars · May 23, 2012 - 3:18pm

Within one year, there will certainly be moments when silver goes over 60 USD/oz, may be even 80 USD. Just do not miss them.

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