Summer Ends, Jackass Appears


In a continuance of our "holiday tradition", Jim Willie stopped by Turdville yesterday to share his thoughts on current events and where he thinks this all headed.

The Jackass was his usual self, even if a bit under the weather. In this podcast, we discuss:

  • Yesterday's announcement by Gazprom that they will begin accepting payment in rubles and yuan
  • The escalation of US and EU sanctions against Russia and how they are failing/backfiring
  • The growing isolation of the US as a economic superpower
  • The eventual emergence of a new global currency regime

This baby clocks in at slightly over 60 minutes so please try to pace yourself. You don't want to overdo it. wink



Aug 29, 2014 - 10:15am


First first

Aug 29, 2014 - 10:17am

Happy Labor Day Weekend

I Truly Hope Everyone Enjoys This Labor Day Weekend, With Good Friends and Family.

With everything spinning at such a faster pace than ever before. Coming off the tracks seems to be almost an inevitability.

Craig Thank You for everything you do and This Great Community That We Have Here.

When you next speak to Jim Tell Him Thank You for all he does too.

Everything Is Greatly Appreciated


Aug 29, 2014 - 10:20am

Thanks Turd

have a great weekend!

Aug 29, 2014 - 10:24am

Gold, silver up on festive season demand, global cues

NEW DELHI: Extending gains for the second day, gold prices moved up by another Rs 70 to Rs 28,300 per ten gram in the national capital today on increased buying by jewellers and retailers, driven by festive season demand coupled with firming global trend. Silver also rose by Rs 150 to Rs 43,000 per kg on steady inflow of buying by industrial units and coin makers. Traders said sustained buying by jewellers and retailers to meet festive season demand and a firming global trend, as escalating tension between Ukraine and Russia spurred safe-haven demand, mainly boosted sentiment. Gold in Singapore, which normally sets price trend on the domestic front, traded tad higher at $1,290.22 an ounce from $1,289.65 yesterday. Silver also advanced 0.3 per cent to $19.57 an ounce.

Mr. Fix
Aug 29, 2014 - 10:27am

Excellent interview

It was great to be able to listen to you and Jim last night as a bedtime story,

 and it was encouraging to hear that “the end of the great Keynesian experiment” will not be a nuclear holocaust.

 Anything that helps me sleep is always appreciated!

R man J
Aug 29, 2014 - 10:27am

I was worried

Thankful that the jackass is well again. Newsletter had much good content even though he was very ill for a long time.

Aug 29, 2014 - 10:31am


The Fight of The Century

"Fight of the Century": Keynes vs. Hayek Rap Battle Round Two

Brilliant. Bloody brilliant.

Aug 29, 2014 - 10:35am

silver inventory at shanghai futures exchanges

dropped below 100 tons today, stands at 95 tons!

backwardation in shanghai

sept. 2014 is 1.5% above dec. 2014

dec. 2014 is 1% above june 2015.

shanghai spot silver price is 6.5% above comex!

this is unprecedented!

Aug 29, 2014 - 10:40am

Hi, judejin. Yes, pls keep us posted

Earlier this week, SRSrocco asked me to check with Andy Maguire to see what he thinks of this. Andy emailed back that this Shanghai drawdown is "a very big deal".

judejin TF
Aug 29, 2014 - 10:59am

the other good news is

the very few gold miners in the chinese A share market are getting ready to break out of the 3-year-long consolidation.

in 2009, the three biggest gold miners repeatedly topped the most traded stocks for weeks, accounting for 1/10 or 1/20 of the entire daily turnover!!

records are set to be brokensmiley

Aug 29, 2014 - 12:07pm

Rocks vs Roths

Interesting comment from Jim Willie starting at the 26:58 mark:

"We have a major break going on right now between the Rothschild banks and the Rockefeller energies ..."

Something Ivars has been saying for quite some time now.yes

Dagney Taggart
Aug 29, 2014 - 12:52pm

Thanks Fix

Received your message and have it noted. Thanks. Finally taking a day to enjoy the scenery.....

Aug 29, 2014 - 1:00pm


Now THAT is what I call scenery! ;-)

Dagney Taggart
Aug 29, 2014 - 1:07pm


Sometimes I take it for granted and shouldn't. But it's life around here half the year.

Aug 29, 2014 - 1:18pm

Another glimpse at 9-11 . . . what really happened . . .

From a White House and Pentagon aide on the staff of Paul Wolfowitz:

“Once the Israelis got the nuclear pits they double crossed us. No one ever thought that they would be so ruthless to do what they did in using them to destroy the World Trade Center on 9/11.

The problem is the chemical finger print of left over PU-239 fallout
proves that it was made in the USA at Hanford. You can’t hide this. A
simple chemical mass spectrometry test will reveal it. That’s the problem. Half of Washington has known for a decade that 9/11 was an ‘inside job’ done with stolen American weapons”

In 2003, the original Department of Energy 9/11 report was released to the White House, select members of the Department of Defense, senior Pentagon staffers and select Federal Judges.

These judges were tasked with “killing” an civil or criminal cases filed related to 9/11.

More than two dozen senior members of Congress were briefed also. For over a decade this cabal, most of whom are still in military, government or judicial posts of some kind, continue to facilitate this betrayal.

Aug 29, 2014 - 3:19pm

so that

germany can buy oil, and crimea is russia.

now where did we hear that before?

Gold, not Rickards SDRs, will be the next reserve currency.

now where did we hear that before?

Aug 29, 2014 - 3:45pm

get well Jim

Glad that you are recovered

Aug 29, 2014 - 3:46pm
Aug 29, 2014 - 5:21pm

I guess after listening to this.....

Perhaps we can call the US economy a "living doll" :

Video unavailable

A "living doll" at the mercy of a bear who is pulling all the strings...

Aug 29, 2014 - 5:34pm

The Republican Party Animals

The Republican Party Animals Music Video
Aug 29, 2014 - 5:46pm

Excuse me,

Summer is not over... Check the Texas temps! LOL

I look forward to this fall, with the attendant turmoil as well as entry into the rennie world (renaissance faire world), and I hope to make enough to buy some silver again. I'm supposed to work for a vendor this fall, but first, I do some bar-backing at a pub nearby, and then I move over to another faire for the fall.

See you out there, me hearties!

Aug 29, 2014 - 6:56pm

Whether You Love It or Hate It....

A rather interesting perspective on BitCoin:

Whether You Love It or Hate It, You’re Missing What Really Matters About Bitcoin

Paul Rosenberg, Editor, A Free Man's Take

Dear Reader,

For the past year or so, the word “Bitcoin” has worked like a Jedi mind trick. Speak it to a small group of people, and their emotional shields fall right off. The ones that like it, love it with ardor. Those that don’t, hate it with an existential revulsion. It’s a special sight to behold. But the real importance of Bitcoin has eluded all of these people.

We’ll discuss this below, but here’s a hint: What matters about Bitcoin is not the price. In fact, the price in dollars is one of the least important things about it. Actually, Bitcoin is far more important than any of the attributes that have been held up as either blessings or curses.

Read more:

My earlier arguments:

Aug 29, 2014 - 7:30pm
Safety Dan
Aug 29, 2014 - 10:01pm

@ Dagney

Thanks for the wonderful view. Its allows nice to see such beautiful scenery. 

Good to see you back on the boards.. 

Safety Dan
Aug 29, 2014 - 10:34pm

To Make You All Smile Like Me

Cuz sometimes that's all you can do.. 


Mr. Fix
Aug 29, 2014 - 10:45pm

Hi Dagney,

It's good to see your back on Main Street!wink

Aug 29, 2014 - 10:50pm

Looks like SIlver

...Could be the thing that starts to put pressure on the cartel's paper games? We live in hope that China, in its search for physical silver, will place enormous orders on Comex and stand for delivery. That would get their attention quite quickly.....

Aug 29, 2014 - 11:18pm

Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis rally as crisis escalates


SANAA, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of thousands of pro- and anti-government Yemenis staged demonstrations across the country on Friday, as fresh crisis triggered by steep fuel price hike escalates in the impoverished country.

Supporters of the Shiite Houthi rebels rallied in the capital Sanaa and more than ten provinces in Yemen, demanding the government to resume fuel subsidies and resignation of the cabinet.

The protesters accused the transition government of corruption and demanded immediate resume of fuel subsidies as the government almost doubled the fuel prices at the end of last month.

Ibrahim al-Abdi who supports the Houthi group said:"We will continue the revolutionary protest until we achieved our three demands which are the dismissal of the government, resuming the fuel subsidy and implementation of the outcomes of the national reconciliation dialogue."

The Shiite rebels also urged the formation of a new technocrat government led by an independent prime minister and a broad partnership in policy-making process.

The Yemenis have suffered mass blackout and shortage of daily necessities since political upheaval hit the country in 2011. A steep increase in fuel prices deepened the crisis as some observers said the government has transferred the sustainable financial deficit from itself to the Yemeni families' pockets.

The crisis escalated as negotiations between the government and Houthi group collapsed last week.

Government officials told Xinhua that Yemeni President Abd- Rabbu Mansour Hadi on Friday dispatched another team to resume talks with the Houthi leader in Saada province, the rebels' stronghold in northern Yemen.

Hadi has offered during the last week's talks to include Houthi members in the future cabinet and allow them in broad political partnership. The officials said both sides are willing to end the current crisis.

The protesters has set up sit-in tents around several ministries, and near a military airforce base and Sanaa International Airport in Sanaa. Meanwhile, the Houthi group also mobilized tens of thousands of armed fighters at entrances of Sanaa.

Hadi said he would defend the capital and secure the five million residents as he had ordered the army and security forces on high alert, according to the official Saba news agency.

On the same day, tens of thousands of pro-government protesters also rallied near Hadi's residence in western Sanaa, calling for national solidarity and denouncing threats of military groups.

Pro-government protester Mohamed al-Sabri said:"We called on the international community, including the U.N. Security Council and human rights organizations to punish military groups that are threatening stability in Yemen. They have to act together to stop the crisis in Yemen."

In his speech on Thursday, Hadi warned of escalating protest rallies in Sanaa and unrest caused by the Houthi group. He said that Yemen faces a critical juncture imposed by the Houthi group, warning of regional and sectarian influence behind the current crisis.

He also defended the cut of fuel subsidies which cost the country's three billion US dollars every year.

Yemen's cash-stripped government said it had been seeking to secure a loan for over a year from the International Monetary Fund, but the latter demanded an immediate cut to the fuel subsidies at first.

The Houthi group has fought against the Yemeni army in the country's northern regions for years. Last month they seized Amran province, some 50 km north of Sanaa, after nine months of sporadic fighting with the army, during which hundreds of people were killed and tens of thousands displaced.

Hadi has urged Houthis to leave Amran and promised to provide five billion Yemeni rials (23 million dollars) to rebuild the provincial capital city.

According to the United Nations agencies, up to 40,000 people have been displaced by conflict in Amran province since October, 2013, about half of whom fled their homes this May.

The Yemeni authorities accused the Houthi group of seeking to control the capital, which was denied by the rebels.

Taking advantage of the security vacuum since 2011, the Shiite Houthi group have since expanded its control over northern provinces. The group has controlled the northern Saada province since August, 2010, when it signed a ceasefire deal with the government and ended a six-year intermittent war.

Aug 29, 2014 - 11:55pm

Saudi-Iranian thaw will take time

The interpretation that comes readily to mind regarding the visit to Riyadh by the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian and his talks on Tuesday with the Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal would be that a thaw is in the offing in the ties between the two countries. 

The time for a thaw may appear propitious. The surge of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL] is a matter of concern to both Tehran and Riyadh and, arguably, they have a shared interest in countering the tidal wave of extremism and terrorism sweeping Iraq and Syria. 

Certainly, Iran played a key role in the replacement of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, which also happened to be a long-standing Saudi demand — although Tehran had its own weighty reasons to promote the transition in Baghdad. 

Most certainly, Iran is working hard for a national unity government in Baghdad, which is inclusive and would accommodate Sunni aspirations and preserve Iraq’s unity and territorial integrity, as the recent visit to Iraq by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to Iraq testifies. The Saudis have been clamoring for an inclusive approach in Iraqi politics. 

Again, make no mistake, Iran aspires to be a factor of stability in Iraq. Zarif’s consultations in Iraq displayed the spectacular reach of Iranian influence in Iraq — be it in Erbil, Baghdad, Najaf or Karbala.

Thus, it may come as no surprise that the Iranian account of Abdollahian’s consultations with Faisal is on a manifestly positive note, highlighting their commonality of interests on the grave issues buffeting regional security in the Middle East today. IRNA says the two diplomats “stressed the importance of opening new page in the political relations between the two countries.” (here).

However, there is no word in the report about the languishing invitation from Faisal in May to Zarif to visit Saudi Arabia. Zarif has been extensively touring the Gulf Cooperation Council region but has studiously sidestepped Saudi Arabia so far. (Zarif is currently in Ankara on his second visit to Turkey in, perhaps, as many months.)

Indeed, the Saudi-Iranian tango is never quite visible to the naked eye. What is extremely significant is that even as Faisal was holding Abdollahian’s hand in Riyadh, Tehran let it be known  in a characteristically roundabout way quoting ’sources’ that the Israeli spy drone that Iran shot down on Monday had only flown from a Saudi air base.

A senior Iranian commander from the Revolutionary Guards claimed, here, that Tehran spotted the spy drone even as it took off but deliberately let it cross the border with a view to monitor its flight path and identify the ‘targets’ that would excite the Israeli engagement. (The prime ‘target’ turned out to be Iran’s Natanz nuclear enrichment centre.)

Of course, Tehran has threatened Israel with retaliation — but then, it has ignored Israel’s Saudi partner as unworthy of such high consideration. The Iranian reaction has been very sharp — “Our response to this aggression will not be diplomatic, we will retaliate in the battlefield, but will not necessarily announce it. The enemy will see and understand it.” (here). 

What could it be? Quite possibly, Iran may now upgrade the transfer of missile technology to Hamas and bring it on par with the Hezbollah so that a kind of ’strategic parity’ is reached in Palestine, too — like on the Lebanon-israel front.

There is no suggestion in the media reports that Abdollahian had any word with Faisal specifically regarding the Saudi complicity in the affair of the ill-fated Israeli spy drone. Simply put, it is not the Iranian style to be blunt — unlike the Gulf Arabs. 

The intricate pantomime playing out in Tehran and Riyadh only goes to show that an enduring ‘thaw’ is hard to achieve in a short term between the two ancient adversaries. There is a fundamental contradiction in the Saudi-Iranian relationship insofar as Iran’s rise as regional power, its normalization with the Western world, its integration with the world community, its full-fledged entry into the world energy market that is imminent, its economic and technological regeneration that will follow once the sanctions are lifted, its support of the stirrings of the ‘Arab Spring’ — all these are antithetical to Saudi interests. Put differently, Iran’s rise ‘diminishes’ Saudi Arabia — its clout as America’s number one regional ally — and Iran’s emergence as an Islamic democracy rattles the Saudi nerves. 

The collaboration with Israel on a dangerous intelligence operation directed against vital Iranian nuclear installations only goes to show the Saudi intentions to try a little bit harder to ‘contain’ Iran despite the collapse of the US’s 3-decade old containment strategy as such. 

So, why did Abdollahian undertake the mission to Riyadh? Clearly, yesterday’s Saudi-Iranian consultations were scheduled in advance. The curious part is that Faisal, who is reputed to be an implacable hardliner on Shi’ite Iran, would most certainly have known about the invasive flight by the Israeli spy drone into the Iranian air space on the very same day Abdollahian emplaned from Tehran to meet him in Riyadh.

Aug 30, 2014 - 12:19am

Disagreements over the EU's Ostpolitik

IN RECENT years Germany has become Poland's closest political ally and economic partner. The heads of state, heads of government and foreign ministers of the two countries are on excellent terms and see each other frequently. But in the last few months this new closeness has been put to a test as Berlin's conciliatory policy towards Russia over the escalating crisis in Ukraine is provoking increasingly loud grumbles in Warsaw.

Polish officials are concerned that Germany is too keen to end the conflict in Ukraine on Russia's terms, and is reluctant to impose tougher economic sanctions on Russia and to shift NATO forces to the east. The latest salvo comes from Roman Kuzniar, foreign-policy adviser to Bronislaw Komorowski, Poland's president. In a toughly worded column in Rzeczpospolita, a daily, Mr Kuzniar denounces western European governments for refusing to stand up to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, accusing them of appeasement. “Putin is paralysing their freedom of action in the same way that a snake in the desert paralyses a rabbit,” he writes, before taking special care to castigate Germany. “We have to accept that, because of Berlin's specific relationship with Russia, we cannot count on Germany in matters of regional security,” he writes, adding that Germany is treating Russia “like a special needs child who has to be raised without stress”.

The tone marks a sharp break from the recent warmth between Poland and Germany. The two countries are partners in the European Union. Their economies are closely intertwined, with low-cost Polish factories making car parts, electronics and other components that power the mighty German export machine.

The foreign ministers of the two countries took the lead in negotiating an end to the bloodshed in Kiev's central square, Maidan, earlier this year. But as the scope of the Ukrainian crisis is growing, Poland and Germany are increasingly taking diverging views. Poland (and the three Baltic countries) is very alarmed about Russia's regional ambitions, fearing a return to the imperial policies that made it a Russian colony for most of the last three centuries. Germany has for years been trying to modify Russian behaviour through a policy of economic engagement. But so far the main result has been to tie German business ever more closely to Russia whereas the Kremlin's course has hardly changed. Trade between Germany and Russia amounted to €76.5 billion ($101 billion) last year, not far off the €71.5 billion of trade between Germany and Poland.

Comments like those from Mr Kuzniar are designed to send a message to Germany, says Olaf Boehnke, head of the Berlin office of the European Council on Foreign Relations. “This is an attempt by the Poles to push Germany into a stronger confrontation with Russia,” he says. But while Mr Kuzniar's grumbles may not succeed in changing Germany's policy, the increasingly brazen Russian intervention in Ukraine may, in the end, drive Berlin to take a tougher line with Moscow.

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