Dear Prime Minister Tsipras,
First, congratulations for mustering the popular support to say “no” to the troika. The euro has long offered Greece a perverse incentive to borrow, and now your country is trapped in debt. By any conventional means, Greece cannot repay (I propose an unconventional way, below). The sooner everyone acknowledges this simple fact the better.
While I don’t claim to know why you agreed to a bailout deal this weekend, I can guess. The troika threatened to maximize the costs of leaving the euro. They can shut off access to further credit; including the Emergency Liquidity Assistance, European Stability Mechanism loans, liability transfers via TARGET2, and bond buying programs. They could do more, such as refuse to clear payments to and from Greece.
That would utterly destroy the Greek banking system. In turn, that will wipe out all Greek savers and employers who haven’t already transferred their bank balances out of the country. Defaults of all euro denominated liabilities will cascade throughout Greece, including insurance, annuities, corporate bonds, business credit lines, personal loans, and mortgages. Every liability is someone else’s asset, and few creditors would survive. The government will collapse when no one can pay taxes. Greece will end, a failed state.
The troika wants you to accept another bailout deal, to service Greek debts a while longer. Since bailouts mean borrowing more, you cannot avoid default in the end. Going deeper into debt is no good for anyone.
Should you choose to default instead, you will not be able to continue using the euro. Even if the troika doesn’t immediately act, the threat is real. No one would lend to the Greek government, or even businesses, with that Sword of Damocles hanging over you. However, you need outside capital to restart production and trade. Otherwise, your industries will be shuttered, even including exports.
Some economists advise you to create a currency board. This is a new monetary authority that maintains a fixed exchange rate, by holding euros and issuing Greek currency. It’s nothing more than using the euro, though indirectly. It has all of the flaws and risks I just described.
Greece has no future, so long as it clings to the euro.
Adopting the dollar might seem less bad. At least, the Federal Reserve isn’t likely to stop you. Greek businesses and banks could even attract some dollar-based credit. Once you leave the euro, Greeks will probably end up using the dollar, with or without legal tender law. What a wasted opportunity.
You could create a new drachma and redenominate all debts in the currency. Lamentably, even Nigel Farage offered you this advice at the European Parliament. It’s tempting to think that Greece can just print its way out of debt, but it’s a trap. Don’t do it.
It’s obvious that the purpose of a new drachma is to fall. No one outside Greece will hold it. Few Greeks will hold it either, so the drachma will not find a bid. It may get you out of debt, but at the cost of the further destruction of businesses and jobs. Greece will become the next Zimbabwe.
You can’t stay with the euro. Switching to the dollar isn’t much of a move forward. Imposing a new drachma will only harm the long-suffering Greek people. By the logic of Aristotle, that leaves one other option. Adopt gold as money.
You have an historic opportunity to create another golden age for Greece.
Begin by allowing the Greek people to use gold, free from legal tender laws and taxes on gold. Your people will begin accumulating savings again, which they desperately need to rebuild businesses. And speaking of building businesses, if you want to attract capital from the rest of the world, gold will do it like nothing else. Dollar denominated bonds will attract tepid investment, at best. With gold bonds, Greece can raise unlimited amounts. At least it can get as much honest credit as it needs. Honest means that the borrower has the means and intent to repay. It means credit is financing productive enterprise that generates income to amortize the debt.
I said that no conventional approach will let Greece get out of debt. Let me briefly outline an approach to use gold to get out of debt without default or hyperinflation (I refer you to my paper, an entry to the 2012 Wolfson Prize, for the full explanation).
Greece should issue gold bonds.
These are not conventional bonds backed or collateralized with gold, but bonds that have the principal and interest denominated and paid in gold. There is one twist. Buyers don’t pay in euros, or any paper currency. Instead, they pay by redeeming outstanding Greek bonds. For example, to buy a 1000oz gold bond, a bidder might be willing to bring you €500,000 worth of existing Greek government bonds.
This is the only mechanism that lets Greece get out of debt cleanly.
Greece will exploit a rising euro to gold exchange rate (i.e. gold price). With each new tranche issued, the price of gold will be higher. It will take less gold to retire more debt. And believe me, the gold price will begin rising once the markets realize that gold is being remonetized. Greece will be the first country, the leader, in using gold bonds to avert financial Armageddon. Many others will follow.
With each new tranche, the paper bond to gold bond exchange rate will also be rising. As buyers realize that the value of gold does not erode, they will prefer a future gold payment to one in a paper currency. Gold bonds will sell for a premium over the gold price, compared to paper bonds. This premium will rise.
You will find that the market will happily buy long term bonds, giving you the opportunity to pay off your debt without having to constantly roll short-term liabilities.
If you can buy the time to let this strategy play out, you will get out of debt completely, avoid default, and end with the best credit rating. You will immediately attract capital, and then industry, and jobs to Greece.
At this point, Mr. Tsipras, you have nothing to lose. Why not win the future?
Keith Weiner, PhD
Chairman, The Gold Standard Institute
This article is from Keith Weiner’s weekly column, called The Gold Standard, at the Swiss National Bank and Swiss Franc Blog SNBCHF.com.
via Zero Hedge Read More Here..
From the Slope of Hope: Only a government employee could point to a 99.5% failure rate and declare it a success.
Look no farther than my local newspaper this morning: the city of Menlo Park (which is an affluent superb like Palo Alto, but even whiter and more sheltered) spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on equipment to read the license plates of all the cars passing by certain intersections. (We’ll set aside the creepiness of the surveillance and just focus on the economics here.)
The latest quarterly report came out, and out of 198,286 license plates read, 204 of them were brought to the attention of authorities as “wanted” vehicles. OK, cool. Looks like we’re getting some hits here and and go grab some criminals, right, boys?
The problem is that 203 of the 204 weren’t “wanted” at all. The plates were all misread. There was one – count ’em, one – license plate out of the 198,286 which was indeed a plate from a stolen car, and the police captain (which, around here, is a quarter-million dollar year salary) assures the public that the license plate readers are “working properly” since, after all, they did button down one vehicle (which, if I may speculate, was probably worth, oh, about ten thousand bucks or so).
Suffice it to say that the hundreds of thousands spent on the equipment – – to say nothing of the time and effort involved from the police force (each member of which enjoys a six-figure salary) probably is a substantially greater sum than the value of the single vehicle retrieved. Here ya go:
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The eradication of polio, the oft-used debate tactic of pro-vaccine advocates, is perhaps one of the most misunderstood public health stories of the 20th century.
Through clever data manipulation, diagnostic changes, and a slew of media-generated hysteria, polio would eventually become a modern-vaccine ‘miracle’ that could quickly end any argument against vaccine efficacy.
The graph below, published by VacTruth, is from the Ratner report, a transcript of a 1960 panel sponsored by the Illinois Medical Society, on which sat three PhD statisticians and an MD, who met to discuss the problems with the ongoing polio vaccination campaign.
The polio vaccine was licensed in the U.S. in 1954. From ‘50 thru ‘55, the striped and clear portions of the bars represent about 85% of the reported cases, or 30,000 per year, on average, VacTruth reports.
Those cases were automatically eliminated by two radical changes the CDC made to the diagnostic parameters and labeling protocol of the disease as soon as the vaccine was licensed – 30,000 cases a year we were subsequently told were eliminated by the vaccine.
The ‘success’ of the polio vaccine was no more than a mere illusion. The CDC, always clever in their misrepresentation of data, fooled an entire global population so that they could hold ‘facts’ above the heads of anyone questioning vaccine efficacy.
When The CDC Changed The Definition of A Polio Epidemic
As addressed in the Ratner report, the CDC also changed the definition of a polio epidemic, greatly reducing the likelihood that any subsequent outbreaks would be so labeled – as though the severity, or noteworthiness, of paralytic polio had halved, overnight. It’s summed up thusly in the report:
Presently , a community is considered to have an epidemic when it has 35 cases of polio per year per 100,000 population. Prior to the introduction of the Salk vaccine the National Foundation defined an epidemic as 20 or more cases of polio per year per 100,000 population. On this basis there were many epidemics throughout the United States yearly. The present higher rate has resulted in not a real, but a semantic elimination of epidemics.
In short, polio wasn’t really eliminated, but rather it was semantically eliminated through diagnostic changes.
Furthermore, in the decades following the release of the vaccine, additional changes were made to the diagnostic parameters of the disease, changes involving analysis of cerebrospinal fluid and stool and additional testing, each succeeding change making it less and less likely that a diagnosis of paralytic polio would result.
Before the polio vaccine was licensed, polio diagnoses were made objectively without any lab analysis required. Since the vaccine was licensed, only the CDC has been allowed to issue confirmations of paralytic polio – all suspected cases have to be sent to them for analysis and testing, which has clearly affected the number of actual instances reported.
How The Media Amplified The Public Perception Of Polio
Before the polio vaccine, video news coverage of polio symptoms spread like wild-fire, showcasing victims in leg braces, or immobilized, strapped to huge, inclined boards, or housed in foreboding iron lungs.
Because polio parameters had not yet been refined, the public perception was that tens of thousands of children were suffering greatly from the paralytic polio, when in fact the pictures and videos involved only a fraction of a percent of the diagnosed cases.
Something that also should be said is that while for many the perception was that the iron lung was a permanent fixture, in the majority of cases the machine was needed only temporarily – generally about one to two weeks.
The change in diagnostic parameters of polio from two months to three months is perhaps the biggest kicker (see the graph above, represented by the striped portions of the bars in the graph). This resulted in the subsequent elimination of thousands of cases of polio, feeding into the illusion that polio had been eradicated by the vaccine.
All of the non-paralytic cases of polio (represented by the clear portion of the bar in the graph above), which were the majority of cases reported simply as polio each year, were all discarded.
Here is what a search through public health and disease statistics found:
It may be noted that the Dominion Council of Health at its 74th meeting in October 1958 recommended that for the purposes of national reporting and statistics the term non-paralytic poliomyelitis be replaced by “meningitis, viral or aseptic” with the specific viruses shown where known.
VacTruth sums it up nicely:
Of the “35,000 cases of polio reported on average in the late 1940s and early 1950s,” only 15,000 were paralytic – the reduction to 2,500 cases of paralytic polio in 1957, and the complete disappearance of all the non-paralytic cases, was a direct result of the diagnostic changes. It’s smoke ‘n mirrors.
Polio Eradication Initiatives In India & Africa
In the 90s, “polio eradication initiatives” were also implemented in India and Africa.
The WHO quickly established the same diagnostic changes in those nations as were made in the U.S. in 1955. The result, as expected, was the announcement two years ago that India is now polio free.
What the WHO so conveniently omitted was any mention of the skyrocketing incidence, in both nations, of acute flaccid paralysis, clinically identical to polio, and following in the wake of the use of the oral polio vaccine, abandoned fifteen years ago in the U.S. because it triggers Vaccine Associated Paralytic Polio.
As you can see in the graph, incidences of acute flaccid paralysis soared while polio cases coincidentally plummeted.
The Take-Away From This
The polio lie has been the go-to ammunition for vaccine proponents for many years, but just as data continues to become more accessible to the public, so too do secrets and deceit become more transparent.
This stands as just another example of how medical institutions stretch data to suit their financial initiatives. Lest we not forget about the multi-billion dollar industry ($50+billion to be exact) that vaccines comprise.
Truthfully, anyone should know that information built on a foundation of lies is only waiting to eventually implode.
For the truth seekers, the parents, the medical professionals, the pro-choice advocates, and the families who have witnessed the pain of vaccine injuries, no secret, no matter how well hidden it may be, will be left unburied until the truth is at last disclosed to the people.
What are your thoughts on the manipulated polio data? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Vía Collective-Evolution http://ift.tt/1JN2WUn
In what appears like a coordinated USDJPY-driven intervention, the Panic Plunge Protection Team has swung into action not once but twice tonight so far. After China opened down between 5% and 7%, and initial momentum bounce from USDJPY failed onlyt to be followed by a bigger more energentic push to get Shaghai Composite back to unchanged… but Chinese stocks are once again losing momentum…
Double PPPT effort tonight…Spot The Difference
But it appears to be fading fast… as dip-buyers cover into the government buying
We're gonna need moar JPY selling…
MUST.REGAIN.CONTROL… MUST.SHOW.OMNIPOTENCE… #FAIL
- *CHINA'S SHANGHAI COMPOSITE FALLS 1% TO 3,688.48 AT BREAK
- *CHINA'S CSI 300 INDEX FALLS 0.2% TO 3,810.65 AT BREAK
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This is really interesting. Have you ever noticed that after a breakup its like all bad memories of your ex significant other have been completely erased, and all you can remember is the good moments and times you’ve shared? A breakup takes you right back to the beginning of the relationship when things were still cute, fresh, new, and exciting.
Are We Literally Addicted To Love?
Everything that reminds you of your partner, whether it be a memory, photograph, smell, place – you name it, triggers the reward neurons inside of the caudate nucleus and the ventral tegmental area of the brain. These areas of the brain actually light up when the people who are at the ‘puppy dog’ stage of new love are asked to look at photographs of their partners. Interestingly enough, these are the same areas of the brain that light up when given cocaine or heroin.
Can you relate?
When the reward neurons are turned on, repeated floods of the neurotransmitter dopamine are released, which then activates circuits in the brain, creating a craving for more. In the case of a new relationship, what you need more of is your new partner. This is what will give you the dosage of dopamine that you are literally craving.
Eventually, after the initial high from the early stages of a relationship wear off and a more long-term partnership develops, the obsession fades away. You almost build up a tolerance to it as you become used to the feeling. After a breakup happens, memories of the way things used to be with your partner come back with a vengeance, and the brain starts looking for its romantic fix – but doesn’t get the usual responses it expects. Have you ever noticed how crazy and irrational people can become during a breakup? They are looking for their next fix, much like a drug addict looking for their next high.
Love Hurts And The Pain Is Real
It is incredibly interesting to consider how the emotional pain of a breakup can actually be felt physically. You know, the tightness in your chest, nausea in your stomach. Two studies (linked below) looked at the brain activity of people who were going through a breakup and found that the reward systems were not the only areas of the brain which had been activated, but also the regions of the brain which control distress and physical pain. The areas of the brain that capture pain sensations were quiet, but the systems those are tied to, the ones that determine how the body reacts to pain, were telling the body that something bad or “painful” was happening. The brain controls functions of the body, which can lead to the release of stress hormones, which in turn can have grave impacts on the body’s well-being. Breakups can actually lead to some pretty extreme conditions, such as takotsubo cardiomyopathy, also known as “broken heart syndrome,” which is caused by the heart weakening and expanding under this kind of emotional stress. Although rare, this can lead to death.
What Can You Do?
Unfortunately the best cure for dealing with breakups is time. Eventually you will lose your obsession and begin to make new memories. Have you ever been in a relationship that ended and your partner got a new love interest right away? They appear to be completely over the breakup, but this is most likely because their need for love, their addiction, is still being satisfied. There’s a reason we warn people against these kinds of “rebound” relationships.
When you begin to have memories of your ex-lover, just try to think of the reasons that you broke up in the first place, even write some of them down to help remind yourself in times of weakness. This should help with the obsessive memories that, realistically, are probably not even that accurate anyways. It is important to appreciate the relationship for what it taught you and move on to new experiences.
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The mythology of the Fountain of Youth has been in our consciousness since about 5th Century BCE. Legend spoke of a mysterious spring that would restore the youth of anyone who drank or bathed in its waters, but whether or not this ‘Fountain’ has ever been truly found is still an enigma.
Perhaps, the “Fountain of Youth” is not necessarily a destination (or a physical place), but instead a spiritual practice – that each and every one of us may be able to access through will, discipline, and focusing our minds over matter.
For example, let us take into account the curious story of Li Ching-Yuen. According to Wikipedia:
Li Ching-Yuen was a Chinese herbalist who supposedly lived to be over 256 years old. He claimed to be born in 1736, while disputed records suggest 1677. Both alleged lifespans of 197 and 256 years far exceed the longest confirmed lifespan of 122 years and 164 days of the French woman Jeanne Calment. His true date of birth was never determined. He was reported to be a martial artist, herbalist and tactical advisor.
He worked as an herbalist, selling lingzhi, goji berry, wild ginseng, he shou wu and gotu kola along with other Chinese herbs, and lived off a diet of these herbs and rice wine. Li had also supposedly produced over 200 descendants during his life span, surviving 23 wives.
According to one of Li’s disciplines, Taijiquan Master Da Liu, when Li was 130 years old he encountered a hermit in the mountains who claimed to be over 500 years old. He said the hermit taught him Baguazhang and a set of Qigong with breathing instructions, movements training coordinated with specific sounds, and dietary recommendations. Li apparently credited his longevity “to the fact that he performed the exercises every day – regularly, correctly, and with sincerity – for 120 years.”
The book, The Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth by Peter Kedler, also proposes a theory of exercises/rites that may be the key to everlasting life:
Legend has it that hidden in the remote reaches of the Himalayan mountains lies a secret that would have saved Ponce de Leon from years of fruitless searching. There, generations of Tibetan monks have passed down a series of exercises with mystical, age-reversing properties. Known as the Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation or the Five Rites, these once-secret exercises are now available to Westerners in Ancient Secret of the Fountain Of Youth. Peter Kelder’s book begins with an account of his own introduction to the rites by way of Colonel Bradford, a mysterious retired British army officer who learned of the rites while journeying high up in the Himalayas. Fountain of Youth then offers practical instructions for each of the five rites, which resemble yoga postures. Taking just minutes a day to perform, the benefits for practitioners have included increased energy, weight loss, better memory, new hair growth, pain relief, better digestion, and just feeling younger.
The exercises of the Five Rites can be attempted by following the instructions below…
“Stand erect with arms outstretched, horizontal with the shoulders. Now spin around until you become slightly dizzy. There is only one caution: you must turn from left to right.”
“While the feet and legs are being raised it is a good idea also to raise the head, then while the feet and legs are being lowered to the floor lower the head at the same time.”
“Now gently raise the body, at the same time bend the knees so that the legs from the knees down are practically straight up and down. The arms, too, will also be vertical while the body from shoulders to knees will be horizontal. As the body is raised upward allow the head gently to fall backward so that the head hangs backward as far as possible when the body is fully horizontal. Hold this position for a few moments, return to first position, and RELAX for a few moments before performing the Rite again.”
“When the body is pressed up to complete horizontal position, tense every muscle in the body.”
“Place the hands on the floor about two feet apart. Then, with the legs stretched out to the rear with the feet also about two feet apart, push the body, and especially the hips, up as far as possible, rising on the toes and hands. At the same time the head should be brought so far down that the chin comes up against the chest. Next, allow the body to come slowly down to a ‘sagging’ position. Bring the head up, causing it to be drawn as far back as possible.”
“The muscles should be tensed for a moment when the body is at the highest point, and again at the lowest point.”
As technology continues to speed up, and we enter an age where, soon enough, we may be able to upload our consciousness to achieve ‘immortality’ – we must not discount the ‘technology’ that is latent within our skin (and through our breath) which may be able to allow the same results.
Knowledge comes through experience, and experience can unlock new doors that may have been previously closed – so whether or not the fountain of youth is literal/metaphorical/allegorical/experiential, attempting these “keys” may potentially enhance our individual experience, and life span, so they are surely worth exploring.
Vía Collective-Evolution http://ift.tt/1MT2JlM
Before I get into the meat of this post, I want to make it clear that just because I point out the following doesn’t mean I like tax and think we need more of it. Rather, there are two main points I want to get across.
1) Oligarchs create tax loopholes for themselves. Oligarchs control the politicians who write legislation to suit oligarch needs. Whenever you hear politicians talk about taxing the wealthy they mean the suckers in the top 10% who are not politically-connected oligarchs. The super rich will never be touched by such legislation. They will always have loopholes available to them. This is why the statement “we need higher taxes on the rich” is basically a bullshit political talking point.
2) You’ll notice much of the wealth that has been moved offshore originated from dictators who bled their home countries dry of resources as their populations starved. Many of these dictators had the full support of the U.S. government throughout their decades in power, during which time they plundered and destroyed entire nations.
Just remember that the next time you hear a super rich person call for more taxes. They never mean on themselves. Second, understand that the root of the problem is systemic. There are no easy fixes, the entire system needs a total reboot.
From the Guardian:
The world’s super-rich have taken advantage of lax tax rules to siphon off at least $21 trillion, and possibly as much as $32tn, from their home countries and hide it abroad – a sum larger than the entire American economy.
James Henry, a former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey and an expert on tax havens, has conducted groundbreaking new research for the Tax Justice Network campaign group – sifting through data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and private sector analysts to construct an alarming picture that shows capital flooding out of countries across the world and disappearing into the cracks in the financial system.
Using the BIS’s measure of “offshore deposits” – cash held outside the depositor’s home country – and scaling it up according to the proportion of their portfolio large investors usually hold in cash, he estimates that between $21tn (£13tn) and $32tn (£20tn) in financial assets has been hidden from the world’s tax authorities.
“These estimates reveal a staggering failure,” says John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network. “Inequality is much, much worse than official statistics show, but politicians are still relying on trickle-down to transfer wealth to poorer people.
“This new data shows the exact opposite has happened: for three decades extraordinary wealth has been cascading into the offshore accounts of a tiny number of super-rich.”
In total, 10 million individuals around the world hold assets offshore, according to Henry’s analysis; but almost half of the minimum estimate of $21tn – $9.8tn – is owned by just 92,000 people. And that does not include the non-financial assets – art, yachts, mansions in Kensington – that many of the world’s movers and shakers like to use as homes for their immense riches.
Since this doesn’t include non-financial assets, you can be sure the actual number is multiples higher. We have all seen how oligarchs worldwide are using houses and other tangible assets as overseas bank accounts. Recall:
In many cases, the total worth of these assets far exceeds the value of the overseas debts of the countries they came from.
The struggles of the authorities in Egypt to recover the vast sums hidden abroad by Hosni Mubarak, his family and other cronies during his many years in power have provided a striking recent example of the fact that kleptocratic rulers can use their time to amass immense fortunes while many of their citizens are trapped in poverty.
Mubarak, a close ally of the U.S. government all the way until he was toppled.
The world’s poorest countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, have fought long and hard in recent years to receive debt forgiveness from the international community; but this research suggests that in many cases, if they had been able to draw their richest citizens into the tax net, they could have avoided being dragged into indebtedness in the first place. Oil-rich Nigeria has seen more than $300bn spirited away since 1970, for example, while Ivory Coast has lost $141bn.
Assuming that super-rich investors earn a relatively modest 3% a year on their $21tn, taxing that vast wall of money at 30% would generate a very useful $189bn a year – more than rich economies spend on aid to the rest of the world.
The sheer scale of the hidden assets held by the super-rich also suggests that standard measures of inequality, which tend to rely on surveys of household income or wealth in individual countries, radically underestimate the true gap between rich and poor.
Milorad Kovacevic, chief statistician of the UN Development Programme’s Human Development Report, says both the very wealthy and the very poor tend to be excluded from mainstream calculations of inequality.
“People that are in charge of measuring inequality based on survey data know that the both ends of the distribution are underrepresented – or, even better, misrepresented,” he says.
What we need is fundamental systemic change. This means truly restructuring the entire financial system, from Central Bank power, to Wall Street funding both political parties, to lengthy jail sentences for financial criminals. If we do that, oligarchs won’t be able to parasitically amass billions so easily in the first place.
via Zero Hedge Read More Here..
This weekend I saw a really amazing Beatles tribute, the Classical Mystery tour with the SF Symphony. Tony Kishman is an uncanny Paul. So much so that I started to wonder…
Holy crap. Uncanny. Just listen to him! Wait, that’s not Paul? Nope. Tony plays right handed, Paul McCartney is a lefty. But wait… if Kishman can sound so much like Paul, then … is Paul really Paul?
The theory is that Paul died in 1966 and was replaced. Here are interviews 1966 and 1967.
Paul apparently had a rounder face. Other claims are that he was shorter, had a different nose and a narrower inner mouth with more crooked teeth.
In the end, I think the current Paul McCartney is amazing enough that it doesn’t matter. As Paul said of Tony Kishman, “He’s a very good musician and I wish him well.”
Vía Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff) http://ift.tt/1KuYYCO
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