A Holiday Tradition: Fresh Jackass


With all of the madness of the impending hostilities in Syria, what a perfect time to connect once again with The Golden Jackass himself, Jim Willie.

As you might expect, Jim has his own theories as to the rationale for these recent events and they differ somewhat from the mainstream script. So, rather than poke and prod, today I just gave Jim the microphone so he can explain in his own words what he thinks is behind this seeming rush to war in Syria.

Here is a link to the article that accompanies this interview: https://news.goldseek.com/GoldenJackass/1377892800.php

So, sit back, relax and open your mind. Consider what Jim has to say, form your own conclusions and prepare accordingly. TF


Sep 3, 2013 - 5:33am

G & S spike...

5:00 am EST See nothing yet on newsfeed..... What's up? *edit Now straight back down......whipsaw!

Sep 2, 2013 - 11:17am

John Galt

I think one of the more consistent things about the US Preemptive strikes was in your statement that "Syria is not a member of the BIS". Seems to be a common thread through the wars and the destruction of sovereignty in non arab countries in Europe...either non association with the BIS or control by the BIS. Maybe we need a preemptive strike on the BIS and much of this can be on its way to ironing itself out.

Sep 2, 2013 - 9:42am

Social Security's problems will hit well before 2037


The idea that SS's problems will arrive only when it runs out of assets in it's trust fund by 2037 is indeed what the letter says - but they have an erroneous assumption built into that date.

That false assumption is that the bonds for billions of dollars in the SS trust fund will be more or less effortlessly redeemed when the Social Security administrators want to do so.

That won't be the case. Because the only way to redeem those bonds for cash is for either 1) US taxpayers to shell out additional cash from the general fund "pocket" that the Federal Gov't uses for day-to-day expenses and give it to SS to pay benefits, or 2) borrow money.

It's as though someone diligently saved $100 every month for their retirement. As soon as the $100 was put into the shoebox for safekeeping, the next thing they did was to get a post-it note and write "I.O.U. $100" on it, put the post-it note in the shoebox, and then took the $100 cash and spent it.

When the time comes to redeem the post-it notes (i.e. bonds in SS trust fund) - there is *nothing* there of value. The only option when that day comes will be to demand our children and grandchildren be taxed more heavily to provide the cash (and lifestyle) which us baby boomers have been promised, or to borrow the money.

This problem will become more visible as the redemptions from the trust fund grow to larger levels, necessitating ever greater amounts of taxing and/or borrowing.

I'm not an actuary, but I suspect the growing redemptions from the SS trust fund will become a problem well before 2037.

I'd note that it is not at all clear to me that the Gen X generation (~82 million), who will outnumber us Baby Boomers (~76 million) at the ballot box, and who will have to pay for our Social Security benefits, are going to have much sympathy for us when the crunch time comes.

Best Regards,


Mr. Fix
Sep 2, 2013 - 12:55am

The new 100s are coming,

But they'll cost you $200, and will be worth $50.

Burt Reynolds
Sep 1, 2013 - 10:49pm
Sep 1, 2013 - 7:23pm

News Blast: Markets & World


The Ultimate Macro Bull vs Bear Debate - Pragmatic Capitalism
It's Not What You Earn, It's What You Keep - The Aleph Blog
Time For Petulant Banks To Grow Up - The Undercover Economist
Can Microsoft Avoid Extinction? - BusinessWeek
Economics, Science & What Works - Joseph Calhoun, Off The Street
A New Type Of Market Crash Proliferates - The Economist
The World Is Still Deceived With Ornament - Robert Seawright
Larry Summers & The Politicization Of The Fed - Felix Salmon, Reuters
Behind The Big Food Stamp Increase - Casey Mulligan, Economix
A Manifesto Of Ignorance - Joseph Calhoun, Off The Street
This Is (Still) Not Austerity - Cullen Roche, Pragmatic Capitalism
Everyday Millions Of Strangers Are Working For You - Cafe Hayek
Don't Underestimate Google - Paul La Monica, The Buzz

4 Reasons The Fed Should Taper In September - MoneyBeat
Can Putin Survive The US Energy Boom? - Brian Bremner, BBW
How George Soros Trades Stocks - William Meade, ETF Daily News
This Year's Big Investing Lesson - James Picerno, The Capital Spectator
The REIT Liquidity Barometer - Jeffrey Snider, Alhambra Partners
The Rise Of The American Fascist State - Ironman, Off The Street
Profits Always Mean Revert - Cullen Roche, Pragmatic Capitalism
Broken Market? Why There's More Trouble Ahead - Jeff Cox, NetNet
Why Do People Listen To Harry Dent? - Larry Swedroe, MoneyWatch
Japan's Amazing Market Drama - Doug Short, DShort
The Difference Between Risk & Fear - Jeff Miller, A Dash of Insight
Don't Blame Syria For Market Rout - Lawrence McMillan, MarketWatch


Has America Lost Its Sense of Purpose? - Janet Daley, Daily Telegraph
Intervention Would Destroy Syria - Steven A. Cook, Washington Post
Can Obama Sell a Syria Strike? - Walter Russell Mead, American Interest
Obama: The Most Imperial President - Steve Chapman, Chicago Tribune
The International System Hinges on Congress' Vote - John Judis, TNR
The Case for NATO Intervention in Syria - Geoffrey Robertson, Australian
Russia's Looming Economic Crisis - Aleksander Zotin, Kommersant
Female Judge in Putin's Crosshairs - Anna Nemtsova, The Daily Beast
Quebec's Heavy-Handed Secularism - Doug Saunders, Globe and Mail
Rouhani to the Rescue in Iran? - Faezeh Samanian, The Diplomat
British Foreign Policy a Shambles - Alex Massie, Foreign Policy
Is Britain Sleepwalking Toward Isolationism? - Paddy Ashdown, Observer
Obama Shows That Israel Is Truly Alone - Avi Issacharoff, Times of Israel
Mexico's Reform Agenda at Risk - Roger Noriega, Miami Herald
South Korea: The Global Underdog - Grace Kim, New Geography

How France Became America's Favorite Shooting Buddy - Y. Dreazen, FP
Obama's Plan to Lose His Accidental War - Mark Steyn, National Review
Obama's Slow-Strike Strategy - Philip Ewing, Politico
Is Syria Worth More Graves in Arlington? - Dana Milbank, Washington Post
Tripping on His Own Red Line - David Sanger, New York Times
Syria Strikes Would Battle-Test Chinese Radars - Wendell Minnick, DN
Private Security Contractors Under Scrutiny - Mark Walker, San Diego U-T
Too Radical for the Taliban - Sami Yousafzai & Ron Moreau, Newsweek
How the War on Terror Changed How We Go to War - S. Gaskell, Defense 1
Raytheon-Rafael Pitch 4th-Gen Patriot System - Barbara Opall-Rome, DN
Why Are Chemical Weapons Different? - Joby Warrick, Washington Post
The Men Who Would Lead a Syria Strike - Richard Sisk, DOD Buzz
Obama's Bizarre Syria Policy - John Podhoretz, Commentary
Obama's Strange Strategy on Syria - Trudy Rubin, Philadelphia Inquirer
Attacking Syria Makes Less Sense Than Iraq - Ramesh Ponnuru, Bloomberg
5 Consequences of Letting Congress Decide - David Rothkopf, Foreign Policy

Sep 1, 2013 - 7:16pm

Other Markets...

May be a holiday in the USA, but other markets are "active" ;-(

(See Kitco)

Sep 1, 2013 - 7:09pm

Possible reasons for Syria action

1. Save (or should I say kick the can down the road) the bond market crash. 2. MOPE: now there are two tools for interest rate moves... have the FED march out people to talk up/down interest rates. AND the White House now can march people back and forth to talk up/down Syria. 3. Debt Ceiling. Now the White House can trap Rep's into backing war only if the lift the debt ceiling. I'm sure gold will get hit hard early... but then once everyone figures out that we are going in... and it will be tied to increasing the debt ceiling... gold should get a strong bid.

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Sep 1, 2013 - 6:50pm

@ Thorus

thanks for posting your letter online. Actually, if you read on there, benefits will be reduced, ceteris paribus, in 2037 to that level. Long time to get this shit figured out so I don't have to rely on it.

MsMaryMacUrban Roman
Sep 1, 2013 - 6:47pm

UPDATED: 01:31 EST, 7 May 2013

  • "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...."

    UN accuses Syrian rebels of carrying out sarin gas attacks which had been blamed on Assad's troops

    • Carla Del Ponte said UN Commission investigating war crimes in Syria has 'strong, concrete suspicions' that rebels used chemical weapons
    • Her remarks contradict statements by the U.S. and UK which said intelligence indicated Syrian soldiers used the weapons
    • Today fighting continued across Syria as rebels advanced on a northern airbase and shot down helicopter in the east


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Key Economic Events Week of 10/26

10/27 8:30 ET Durable Goods
10/27 10:00 ET Case-Shiller home prices
10/27 10:00 ET Consumer Confidence
10/27 10:00 ET Richmond Fed
10/28 8:30 ET Advance Trade in Goods
10/28 8:30 ET Wholesale Inventories
10/29 8:00 ET ECB monetary policy stmt
10/29 8:30 ET Q3 GDP first guess
10/30 8:30 ET Personal Income and Spending
10/30 8:30 ET Core Inflation
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10/22 8:30 ET Initial Jobless Claims
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Key Economic Events Week of 10/12

10/13 8:30 ET CPI and Core CPI
10/14 8:30 ET PPI
10/14 9:00 ET Goon Chlamydia
10/15 8:30 ET Philly Fed
10/15 8:30 ET Empire State Idx
10/15 8:30 ET Import Price Idx
10/16 8:30 ET Retail Sales
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Key Economic Events Week of 10/5

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10/6 10:45 ET Chief Goon Powell
10/7 2:00 ET Sept FOMC minutes
10/7 3:00 ET Goon Williams
10/8 8:30 ET Initial jobless claims
10/9 10:00 ET Wholesale Inventories
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Key Economic Events Week of 9/28

9/29 8:30 ET Advance trade in goods
9/29 9:00 ET Case-Shiller home prices
9/29 10:00 ET Consumer Confidence
9/30 8:15 ET ADP employment report
9/30 9:45 ET Chicago PMI
10/1 8:30 ET Personal Income and Spending
10/1 8:30 ET Core Inflation
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10/1 10:00 ET ISM Manu PMI
10/2 8:30 ET BLSBS
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9/23 9:45 ET Markit flash PMIs for September
9/23 10:00 ET Chief Goon Powell on Capitol Hill
9/23 11:00 ET Goon Evans again
9/23 Noon ET Goon Rosengren
9/24 1:00 pm ET Goon Bostic #3
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Key Economic Events Week of 9/14

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Key Economic Events Week of 8/31

9/1 9:45 ET Markit Manu Index
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Key Economic Events Week of 8/24

8/24 8:30 ET Chicago Fed Idx
8/25 10:00 ET Consumer Confidence
8/26 8:30 ET Durable Goods
8/27 8:30 ET Q2 GDP 2nd guess
8/27 9:10 ET Chief Goon Powell Jackson Hole
8/28 8:30 ET Pers Inc and Consumer Spend
8/28 8:30 ET Core Inflation
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