January 15, 2015

We are at risk because Germany hasn't learnt its lesson

Posted in Irish Independent · 136 comments ·
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Contrary to the popular myth, Hitler was voted into power in Germany because of deflation, not inflation. Hitler was elected in 1932, following three years of deflation – the consequence of restrictive polices after the great crash in 1929.

In contrast, inflation – often quoted as being responsible for Hitler’s victory – peaked in Germany in 1923. This was a full decade before the Nazis democratically entered the Reichstag.

The reason the European elite is now panicked about deflation in the Eurozone is because the political implications of deflation are impossible to predict. In the next two years, every major European country, with the exception of Germany, has an election.

The Hitler example is not meant to be in any way portentous or analogous to today’s Europe, it is simply a way of reinforcing to you how dangerous deflation is and why Europe’s politicians are taking enormous risks in allowing deflation to take hold, particularly as Europe’s economy is mired in debt both public and private.

Of all the financial pathologies to afflict an economy, too much debt combined with simultaneously falling prices, can tip an economy from recession into depression, from which it is extremely difficult to escape.

The ECB is just now beginning to realise that the gravitational pull of falling prices is so strong that it cannot be counteracted using monetary policy alone.

There is a real danger that the debt deflation dynamics that afflicted the world in the 1930s become embedded with catastrophic consequences.

Here’s why. In a normal economy, people and companies buy and sell stuff to each other. In the Eurozone, we all buy and sell to each other. As the Eurozone is a pretty closed economy, each country’s spending is another country’s income. France buys from Italy and vice versa. France’s spending is Italy’s income. The same equation holds at a personal level: your spending is also my income and vice versa.

If there is a shock to demand, such as a massive Eurozone financial crisis, people and companies get worried about the future and they start saving for the rainy day. But if everyone is saving, who is spending? And if no one is spending what happens to income?

Typically, if the private sector is saving, governments will take up the slack, but if they don’t, overall spending falls and so too does, by definition, income.

As debts are expressed in terms of income, if income is falling, debt ratios are rising without any new debt being incurred.

Out on the street, retailers experience a sharp fall in demand for their products. So what do they do? They cut prices to coax people into the shops. But because our incomes are falling, something strange happens deep inside our heads. We don’t see the new lower price as a bargain, but as a harbinger for further price falls. So rather than encouraging people to come out and spend, the very fall in prices repels demand.

When prices are falling and companies and workers can’t pass their costs on via higher prices or wages, their debts get worse, not better. Therefore, good debt goes bad, performing loans become delinquent.

This is when interest rates don’t work. Because the private sector and/or the public sector has too much outstanding debt, it doesn’t want to borrow new credit and because the banks have too much bad debt, they don’t want to lend, irrespective of how low the interest rates go.

As bad debts mount on both the balance sheets of the private sector and the banks, demand and income contracts further. This means that debt ratios actually rise because income is falling faster than debt is being paid off. In turn, debt to income ratios rise, not despite but because of efforts to pay off debt. To introduce aggressive debt repayment schedules while in a liquidity trap is like putting an anorexic on a diet.

This is a liquidity trap and this is when the economy gets stuck.

When the economy is caught in the twin embrace of falling prices and too much debt, the paradox of aggregation comes into play, whereby what is good for the individual may not always be good for the collective.

The banks in Europe, now worried about their own balance sheets, urge the debtors to sell their assets to repay outstanding loans. For the individual debtor this sounds good. They will sell the asset, get some cash, pay off what they can and clean up their balance sheet. They will de-lever and become solvent.

But what happens if everyone tries to de-lever and sell at the same time?

The paradox of de-leveraging tells us that the price of assets will collapse because the markets will be flooded by distressed sellers, who de-lever their way to bankruptcy by crystallizing losses, leaving the economy with asset price deflation. The debtor risks the paradoxical conclusion where the more he repays, the more he owes!

Traditional economics says that the economy will adjust via falling wages and, in time, we will rebalance and see a lower standard of living and start again.

But in reality wages don’t fall, particularly in the Eurozone.

Trade unions and public sector interests – the Insiders – move to protect their own workers. Wages in the protected sector change little. The adjustment doesn’t come through lower wages; it comes through higher unemployment for those on the outside – the Outsiders.

These Outsiders eventually listen to the politician who seems to understand their plight. This is when deflation tips over into democracy and we see the evisceration of the political mainstream and its replacement with something entirely different.

Is it any wonder that Europe’s political centre-ground are worried about deflation? The solution to deflation is inflation, yet up to now Germany refuses to allow the ECB to print money to alleviate the situation. Are we all to be put at risk because Germany doesn’t understand the lessons of its own history?


  1. After I read this great piece I decided to watch old WW11 movie documentaries showing the periods immediately prior to the start of and during WW11 . The parallels are striking with life today and what could come.

  2. BrianC

    The reality is that Europe has been in a psychological depression for the last number of years. This is a Humpty Dumpty issue the system is broken and they are not able to put it back together. The Euro is really the Duro and the German intellect cannot accept the only way out is write down of debt and quanititve easing. At the end of the month Europe will receive the political signal from the Greeks. The question for the Greeks is whether or not they have the pschological strength to strike down debt and leave the Euro. As for Ireland we are not in the equatioin in any matter as there is not one politician in Ireland who has the back bone to confront the EU. The Irish political system is totally geared to appeasing the EU for the favoured interests of the special interest groups who have a voice at the political table in Ireland. Thus the ordinary person in Ireland can look to Greece for someone to represent their interests. In France Mr Holland must be clapping his hands with joy at the terrorists attacks for the eye of the French is now looking to their National pride and liberty of freedom of speech whilst its economic climate is negative and those in political positions in France who spoke out against austerity were dismissed. All we can do is wait and see how the Greeks vote. So will the soverignty of the people win out over the German banks.

    • jaysus

      Amazing that just before Christmas Latvia brought in the Euro to their country!! Next in 2015 is Lithuania. What possesses them to join a broken currency that it wrong for their minnow economies (compared to Germanys)? You’d have to wonder about the intelligence of these people….

    • Daithi7

      Look it strikes me at this stage that everyone knows the solutions to this apparent crisis: The US & the UK have already done it and others such as Japan are following rapidly too:

      1. reduce interest rates
      2. deal with the banks
      3. print currency
      4. live within your means (not too much but within)
      5. Innovate (particualrly with regards to public service provision/rationalistation, energy policy, industrial policy, etc,etc)

      The Us have gone thru this cycle already shale gas and oil being their headline innovation but there have been others e.g. banking, car industry, war/peace policy, health care provision, etc…

      In Europe, they/we need to cop on fast. Ireland has already gone a long way down this road (thank god!!) but the French, Italians, Spanish and even the thrifty hard working Germans need to man up fast.

      I am an optimist and see them doing it. China will roar back now the US consumer is spending again. Euro companies trade with themselves but also these 2 blocks mostly. I am glad to see war mongering Russia and oil drop, there are more positives IMO than negatives actually. Yes Euro sclerosis is an issue and yes it needs coercive action but Europe has overcome alot worse since the 30s than some impending risk of a depression. Europe now has the smarts, people, democracy &voting infrastrucutre and legislature to counteract such an economic/societal threat effectively, albeit there could be a period of rationalisation and upping competiveness… not bad things sometimes!!

      • michaelcoughlan

        Hi dathi7,

        If this post represents your view I’d say the chances are you are 25 or under and possibly a recent graduate?

        respectfully,

        Michael.

        • BrianC

          Hi Michael

          LOL

          What can I say. I am one hell of a lot older than 25. And what I can tell you is that the problem with Economists is that in the main they never get it anything right.

          In fact if a regular reader of Krugman as I believe you are he often refers to the fact that Economists seem to fail to get anything right. Why? Because they have a habit of making the simple too complex and fail to see the facts for what they are.

          Personally it is ephmeral to me whether or not David got it right or wrong about hperinflation or deflation in 1930′s becasue he is on the mark about the fact that Europe is falling into the hole of deflation. The politicians in the EU need to wake up and do something about it. If they believe austerity is the root to the solution then we are all destined to penury save you belong to the favoured who have a voice to secure more.

          Finally I would pay more attention to what a child has to say about economics than anyone who advocates austerity or carries on with the nonsense of complex economics to deliver the Duro from a mess of its own making.

        • Daithi7

          Yo michael,

          Over 25, 35 & 45 actually, and it’s been close on 20 years since my masters. I am sorry the apparent simplicity of my views offend your need for complexity. You see my views are evidenced based, and when one uses evidence particularly recent evidence from other neighboring& trading economies such as the US & the UK, then one doesn’t need massively complicated and self servingly opinionated theories to explain what needs to happen next…….. you just copy the ones who are getting it most right ( I.e. the US). Sorry if that’s just too common sensible for you. But that’s the thing with common sense, it’s just not nearly common enough! :-)

          • michaelcoughlan

            Hi,

            I wasn’t offended or being facecious. Since you answered honestly and made clear your view is genuine I’d say You probably have a top job in a government agency or massive bank or hedge fund.

            God help us all.

            Michael.

      • Mike Lucey

        @Daithi7

        You say, “I am glad to see war mongering Russia and oil drop”. You might want to reexamine the restraint Putin has been showing for some considerable time.

        I think its been quite the opposite of ‘war mongering’ not even proxy war mongering. Hopefully Putin will remain in power in spite of the engineered heave underway and he will continue to play geopolitical chess with the Western warmongers which regretfully includes Ireland via their USA military facilities in Shannon.

        Although as I smoker I am thankful for the departure area smoking facility that was laid on the in-transit military.

        • Daithi7

          Fair enough Mike,

          disregarding the dig at Putin the powerful, I just like oil prices dropping as it helps world growth, and particularly energy importing economies and countries such as Ireland, the UK & Western Europe.

          All we’ll hear now from the sky is falling in merchants will be about the death of the euro and how we are all going to die. Both may be true but the medium term negative effect of the demise of the former is arguable, in probability it may actually be a good thing for Europe (after all the euro is only a relatively recent constructed standard unit to trade goods & services with). The latter is undoubtedly true and a lamentable fact of life, but the issue is not that we are all going to die but how did we live, love, work & prosper when alive. For me, Europe offers far more hope than despair on those fronts. Whatever about the fuppin euro!!

    • Deco

      Greece would be out of it’s depression if the bond market was given a cold bath.

      Yes, it would have gotten very ugly.

      And every government in Europe would be forced to get it’s house in order. Instead, most of them continue to be profligate, and the Greeks are forced to economise.

      It is also likely that the Greeks would be forced to do something about political corruption, welfare fraud, and internal state waste.

      However, I think that if you look at Greece now, you will see a country where very little is solved.

  3. McGoo

    David,

    A nice explanation of debt deflation, and why lowering interest rates won’t stop it. However :
    “The solution to deflation is inflation, yet up to now Germany refuses to allow the ECB to print money to alleviate the situation.”

    According to Brian Lucey (Trinity), printing money does NOT cause inflation, in fact the idea that it does is “conceptually and empirically flawed.”:
    https://brianmlucey.wordpress.com/2014/12/20/helicopters-money-and-mines/

    So what do we do next?

  4. Sounds to be David that Germany is a risk because it hasn’t learned our lesson.

    Any comparisons involving the Austrian Corporal are fraught with danger, however what is interesting is that the NSDAP finagled its way in to absolute power with 37% of the vote because the traditional parties had completely lost the faith of the electorate. That last bit sounds familiar.

  5. Deco

    David, I think you are missing the point. The economy is structured on a certain model, to behave in a certain manner.

    The context of early 20th Century Germany is no longer relevant.

    The problem presently is income distribution. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, we have seen a relentless rigging of the market in favour or monetary speculation, and at a cost to human factor production.

    People end up having to work longer hours, and more years, and more intensely to pay the bills. This reduces the cost of many products and services. With the resulting deflation.

    We are seeing deflation because large sections of the economy are continually competing against each other.

    In other sectors there is inflation. The state is getting more expensive every year. It has the reverse effect. Political power being used to make those who are well connected, or part of a large (increasingly parasitical). State services are getting more expensive. Quality is declining.

    We see this with the Third level sector. Salaries in this sector are absurdly generous. We see it in FAS. We see it in Irish Water. If ever you needed an example of the state treating those on the inside like spoiled children, and those on the outside like debt machines. We see it in RTE – and repeated attempts to tax the internet for the benefit of the millionaires in the Montrose building.

    And we see it in the banking sector (which is highly state owned).

    We are codding ourselves big time, in our current behaviour model.

    The quality of the debate is poor, and the debate is largely absent.

    We have endless money-printing, but that money is ending up in the asset markets. The economy would be better off if it was used to write off public debt, and reduce labour based taxation. The current asset Ponzi schemes make society “feel richer” model is just a sop to the people who hold the power in the current societal model – the extremely rich.

    We currently have the worst of both worlds.

    The real reason justifying more money printing is to prevent another stock market crash. Stock market corrections are actually useful, in weeding out the chancers in capitalism.

    But what happens when the chancer element in capitalism gets too much power over the political system ?

    You get what the West has endured since the 1980s, that is what happens !!!! Stock markets up, real wages down ! That is the real problem.

    Deflation in the wage sector. And there is a push for another trade agreement with the US which will induce harder deflation.

    I don’t see David or anybody writing about this as a threat of deflation.

  6. ps200306

    David,

    Good description, but I wonder could there be a demographic aspect to all of this that is overlooked? Why do we want inflation? Because it is good for a growing economy with lots of new entrants to the labour force.

    But where are these new entrants today? Look at the German or, indeed, Eurozone demographic bulge. Its “waistline” has now hit the fifty year old mark. Europeans are not having children, and the new labour force contains a lot of immigrants upon whom low wage inflation has been enforced. Meanwhile the aging, property-owning, indigenous population has benefitted from a long period of rising wages and asset prices.

    The result is that there is a large cohort (including the people most likely to vote) for whom deflation seems not so bad at all. They’ve made their money and now they want to keep it. Falling prices stretches their savings further, whereas the thing that is guaranteed to wipe them out is a period of sustained inflation. They’re not overly concerned about the under forties struggling with job security and the fall out of house price collapses.

    The oldies do not want to be the ones throwing “helicopter money” to upcoming generation. They want to be the ones escaping in helicopters from the roof of the burning building. (In case I be accused of stirring intergenerational strife, I’m one of those 40+ oldies with plenty of savings).

  7. ps200306

    P.S. Saw Deco’s excellent post, after posting mine. I agree with all that and see it as an extension of the same thing — once the intergenerational economic divide has been created, it becomes self-reinforcing through the mechanisms that Deco describes.

  8. Deco

    Merkel is being overrated by the English speaking media.

    There is a lot of corruption in Frankfurt(Hesse), in relation to be banking sector and Merkel’s political party. The Frankfurt banks practically own the CDU in Hesse.

    Germans have told me that she produces spectacular gaffes also. And that these were influential in provincial electoral setbacks.

    And then there is Germany’s demographic problem. It is especially serious in cities like Hamburg, and Dusseldorf, where “moved in” Ossi families (from the former DDR) are the only ones having more than two kids.

    In fact the DDR gave Western Germany a demographic bailout, in the form of normal families in the past twenty years, but this was still insufficient.

    Does Germany have a plan ? apart from retiring rich on the Med ?

    In Ireland the provinces have largely decided that centralized planning from Dublin 2 is completely unreliable, and essentially a scam for the benefit for somebody well connected. It seems that the Ossis have a similar approach.

    But in Western Germany, people can be naïve to a frightening degree, in their trust of the entire social security system, and an obsession with penny pinching that is clueless.

    Merkel herself is part of the delusion.

    Germany’s intellectual contribution to civilization is immense. It has some serious thinking to do here. The modern German is never one to run away from his responsibilities.

    It is that aspect that the rest of the Europe needs to rediscover. The current EU centralization model indicates that the EU prefers to centralize everything to a degree that causes problems.

  9. Deco

    Germany has some predicaments to resolve.

    Housing in certain Western cities is now overpriced. And the demographics in those cities are not supportive of such pricing. (unless the market can be manipulated).

    The nuclear shutdown policy is costing a fortune. And there is no plan b with respect to “standby power production”.

    The Russian market is switching to Asian suppliers, and Merkel is proving incapable of addressing the issue at a diplomatic level. In fact it would seem that Washington is determined that there will be no diplomatic solution.

    Massive deposits, and an aging population that will not be feeding those deposits.

    A government that tries to reassure the population that it is in control, but that is really becoming more obedient to the needs of big business and the EU. [ and the EU is becoming a puppet of big business and lobbyists].

    A media that is expert at what is wrong everywhere else, but which is failing to deal with the out of control monstrosity that is the EU.

  10. Ruairi_OBroin

    Greetings David, i dispute your thesis that falling prices reduce demand. It’s quite the opposite. Falling prices boost demand! You are taking the Keynesian view which is not universally accepted. I would argue that falling prices boosts demand and leads to higher turn over and profits. It’s like the fall in petrol prices, are they also bad for the economy or will they boost economic activity and profits? If falling prices are bad i presume you include oil in the equation, right?

    • cooldude

      I agree completely Ruari. I have pointed out to David on many previous occasions that the deflation in prices in iphones, televisions and other hi tech electrical goods has in fact led to an INCREASE in demand. Look at the demand for the latest smart phones. Everyone knows they will be cheaper in a years time but the demand is still immediate. Consistently flawed analysis which is constantly used to push the great solution of “money printing”.

      The idea that increasing the money supply can bring any sort of real economic progress is completely flawed and has never been seen to have worked. In the US the only thing it achieved was a rise in asset classes such as the stock market and high end real estate ie. speculation. It encourages speculation and benefits the speculators to the detriment of the real economy. The labour participation rate (which is the only true measurement of labour) has consistently dropped during QE. The number of full time workers has also constantly dropped with the only increase coming in low paid, zero hour (slave labour) jobs and the number of people on food stamps (modern soup kitchens). As for Japan it is a complete basket case after it’s reckless QE.

      I agree with Deco that the only purpose of QE is to benefit the banks and the speculators. I think it is coming to Europe soon but it won’t benefit the real economy in any real way.

      How about an article on the now legal “bail in” legislation which is now inevitable given the state of European banks in general.

      • Ruairi_OBroin

        yes i agree with you cooldude. You only have to look at the queues at the annual sales to prove that falling prices boosts demand. Falling prices means that more people can afford a product or service so business grows exponentially. It’s like that with iPhones etc as you point out, a small drop in prices leads to a bigger growth in profits because hugh numbers of people can suddenly afford them. I also disagree that falling prices means people put off purchasing until next year or whatever, people want things now and saving a few bob down the road is rarely a big consideration. Proof of this is the hugh interest rates people are prepared to pay on credit cards etc to have something right away rather than save the money and buy it later. Yes there are exceptions but they are not so significant.

        I’m of the opinion that the US experiment with QE will prove to be an expensive failure and the longer it goes on the worse the fall out will be. (i believe QE4 will come further down the road because interest rates cannot rise above near zero given the massive debts. QE 4 when it comes will probably kick the can down the road one last time until a worse crash than 2008 occurs (given the bigger problems). It would be a mistake for the EU to follow the US example regarding QE, don’t believe the hype , QE is not working as well as you think and will not work in the end. Meanwhile the hugh debts continue to mount. We need to somehow return to sound money principles but before that i fear we’re in for some storm seas to say the least.

  11. Deco

    The main source of deflation….the policy of capitalism for the poor and socialism for the rich.

    It is relentlessly squeezing money out of those that sweat and toil, and persistently awarding it to those that corrupt the political process, to use state power to enrich themselves – whether by small amounts or large amounts.

    The EU is the institutional framework for implementing policies that enable this transfer mechanism.

    The EU – we were sold a pup.

    • Deco

      The real reason for deflation – working people have less money. And this is the outcome of persistent policy frameworks designed to push up their costs, and drive down their net wages.

      We have a pro-corporate policy framework, which incidentally is anti-worker.

      Fascism is the merger of state and corporate power – Benito Mussolini.

      Just look at the regimes since Reagan in Washington. Or look at the current regime in Kiev – the oligarch’s in power. It is like something from Orwell.

      And the media continually patronizes any policy that is anti-corporate with the derisory term “populist” which is always pronounced in a derogatory manner.

      Basically, populism (attending to the needs of people) is seen as evil. Corporatism is never pronounced as even existing, and is presented as the solution.

      RTE seems to think that IBEC need to be involved in the running of Ireland.

      Did any of you ever vote for IBEC to be running Ireland ? No. But they have substantial influence on state policy. And the enthusiastically support the policies driving deflation in the wage sector, and increased debt loads on the same people in the same sector.

      • Populism sometimes takes an ugly turn, as we can see with the springing up of far-right neo-Nazi parties who are beginning to make big inroads similar to Hitler. I agree with a lot of the rest of your argument.

  12. McGoo

    Ruairi,
    “i presume you include oil in the equation, right?”

    Well, my heating oil tank is only quarter full, and normally I would get it filled, but I’m delaying it as much as possible in the hope of getting a lower price in the future. I’m sure industrial users, airlines and the futures market a doing the same thing on a much larger scale. So, falling oil prices are reducing current demand!

    • Michael O’Leary locked in an oil price around 6/7 months ago, buying supplies for a period of 12 months at least.

      So not everyone is on board with “hold out, hold out”

    • DB4545

      McGoo.
      Heating oil (Kerosene) is priced at 433.00Euro/1000 litres in Newry and 595.00Euro/1000litres in the South today a difference of 162.00Euro/1000litres. When oil was last at sub $50.00 a barrel petrol was just under a Euro a litre at the pumps. Even when factoring in differentials in duty/tax someone is still on a nice little earner and it ain’t the consumer.

      • The Rip Off Republic Strikes Again!

        • DB4545

          Part of it is Rip off Republic Adam and part of it is pure consumer laziness. I see a 10cents/litre price differential on petrol where the petrol stations are less than 2km apart. On a 50 litre fill/week that’s 500 Euro a year or 1000 Euro a year that you had to earn before tax. That’s consumers rewarding greedy petrol retailers and penalising those who are price competitive.

          • You are not factoring in the laundered petrol and diesel. Consumers buying the cheapest petrol and diesel are being rewarded with burst engines. Cheap? I don’t think so.

          • DB4545

            Groengoen. The prices I quoted were for petrol which had a price differential of 10cent/litre. The dearest was Topaz and the cheapest were Texaco and Applegreen in North Dublin. Whatever their pricing strategy I understand they would be considered reputable suppliers. In relation to heating oil I checked cheapestoilprice North and South and again prices are from reputable suppliers and include all taxes/duty payable in either jurisdiction.

    • Ruairi_OBroin

      i’m sure when you run out you will get more oil at whatever the price. Or will you sit in the cold and wait to save a few quid down the road? Lower oil prices means individuals and businesses have reduced margins and therefore higher profits, which means more spending and investment in their business leading to economic growth, higher salaries…and the circle continues. When the airlines etc run out of oil they will have to buy more at the market price.

      • McGoo

        Of course I won’t freeze, I’ll buy oil at the market price just before the tank runs dry. But I’m delaying my purchase more than I usually would, because oil prices are falling, and I think that I’ll probably get it cheaper in the future. So, falling oil prices are indeed reducing my current demand for oil.

        • Ruairi_OBroin

          yes maybe your current demand, ill give you that, but over the space of say one winter season your purchases of oil will be the same regardless of the price.

          • Ruairi_OBroin

            or in fact you might decide to use more oil and crank up the central heating if the price looks set to fall further, i.e. falling prices boosts demand.

          • McGoo

            Ok, the idea that I might keep the house warmer if oil was cheaper is certainly plausible. Fair point.

            Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that, if the price of oil fell and then levelled out, and I expected it to stay at that new lower price, then I might use more of it.

            But if I expected the price to keep falling, I would not increase my use, because I would want to delay purchase as much as possible, in order to buy at the lowest possible price.

            Interesting market dynamic. Thanks for prodding me to think about it.

  13. After every credit based boom is a corresponding bust. 1928 or 2008, it matters not.

    JP Morgan.,..gold is money, all else is credit.

    No matter how it is twisted, it is a fact that our money system is based on credit. The increase in the money supply only increas s the debt

    Blaming Germany for the current credit boom is wrong and inflamatory.

    Rather blame the spendthrifts using borrowed money.

    The premise of the article is flawed and bas d on ignorant assertions. Plain wrong.

    There is still no discussion of the source of all the credit. The central banking debt based fiat ponzi scheme.

    David, you add to the problems by ignoring the basic issue.

    There is no hope when the educated prattle ignorance.

    Too bad. I used to hope for better. Now I know better than to hope.

    • michaelcoughlan

      Hi Tony,

      Gold won’t be money if the government says so like Rosevelt in the 1930′s when he prevented the ownership of it by the American Public.

      Don’t be caught by the fact that a politican muight stop a citzen from using gold as money to suit his own agenda. Gold had no value when the khmer rouge were in charge either.

      Michael.

      • Ruairi_OBroin

        greetings from Cambodia. No, paper money (local currency at least) had no value under the Khmer Rouge but owning a few ounces of gold was often the difference between life and death for many families, allowing them to escape the death squads. Even the ignorant KR cadres understood the value of gold and would accept it as bribes while local currency was burned in piles to heat water..

        • michaelcoughlan

          Hi Ruairi,

          You are correct of course and I made my point badly. All I was trying top point out was that if you were caught with gold in your possession in the US at the time you faced jail or in Cambodia at the time you faced death. That is all. Thank you for pointing out my error.

          Michael.

  14. Mike Lucey

    The last time we saw the current situation the result was WW II and once the dust settled, a reset whereby the .01% reshuffled the pack and dealt out the cards in their favour again.

    The current ‘false flags’ are doing what is intended. France is back in the fold and England’s backbenchers will follow suit when they see a few more ‘false flag’ events in their back yard.

    Obama will have his way shortly as regards the removal of Assad by putting ‘boots on the ground’, 60,000 pairs I believe. This will cause Putin to react along with Iran and the chain reaction will be underway.

    I just hope its not a nuclear chain reaction. Then again it probably will be as the .01% feel that there are a couple of billion too many of us around.

  15. Shush

    David, thanks for your article which though impressively written (as always), seemed to have fundamental flaws. I forwarded it to a friend of mine who (without realising who had written it) responded within minutes. See his response pasted below:
    Hi John,
    Given the nature of the article, I apologise in advance in having to mention the biography of a certain hyper-statist from Central Europe in the last century. I have only a few minutes to deal with this ‘article’.

    If we fact check, we will find that Hitler and his cohort carried out the Putsch in Munich in November 1923, which was the exact same month in which the hyperinflation reached its height. This is not myth, it is empirical historical fact.

    What followed was a court case, in which the judge indulged Hitler allowing him rant and rave on the evils of the Weimar regime. The fact was that pretty much everyone was in despair from the hyperflation.

    The reason the current regime ‘are all Keynesians now’ is that it blesses endless government debt, taxpayer guarantees for bankers etc, etc, etc. To get the simple version of this argument check out ‘Fight of the Century – Keynes v Hayek Round 2’.

    Keynesians will terrify central bankers and politicians with the spectre of the liquidity trap. They will have us live in a perpetual bubble of assets prices: property, stock market, or government bonds. The money printing (QE) has not shown up in the wider economy, but it has shown up in bond prices and share prices. We’ve now seen oil prices fall dramatically. Are we to conclude that this is the first market to fall to deflation, with stocks and bonds to follow (banker and politicians nightmare).

    The article has it totally the wrong way around. Hitler came to power on the back of hyperinflation and not deflation.

    The thesis to which I subscribe as that we shall experience first a deflation and the statists will continue to print like crazy and we shall get either super-inflation or possibly even hyper-inflation. My big worry is that we might also get war, when I say war I mean the type of war that one can only get from a bunch of hyper-statists.

    I applaud those who try to stop the currency printing. I take exception to the author who claims to know history, with which he clearly has only a passing acquaintance, accusing an entire country of not understanding the lesson of history.

    Best Regards…
    Rory

    • michaelcoughlan

      Hi shush,

      Forward tyhe following link to Rory for his opinion and let us know what he thinks. In my view deflation brought thr nazis to power.

      From the link;

      “Paul Krugman has pointed out, “the 1923 hyperinflation didn’t bring Hitler to power; it was the Brüning deflation” of the early-1930s”

      http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2013/11/economic-history-1

      Michael.

    • Hi Sush

      Unfortunately, your friend is trying to “bash a confession out of the data” when the data is telling sa different story. It is the typical monetarist approach to history. The fact is during hyperinflation, Hitler was a nobody in the streets of Munich. He came to real prominance after 1929 in truth because of the silly monetarist dogma of the Gold Standard – which was nothing more than a creditors’ charter and three years of austerity. But hey, if we want to subsitute 1923 for 1932 and go with the myth of hyperinflation beign the cause, who am I to argue with fiction?

      The bigger point of the article is that deflation has political consequences and these are not insignificant.

      All the best

      David

      • Of course he was a nobody, his actions in 1923 were only important in retrospect due to what he became. Otherwise he would have just been a footnote. David is correct on the specific point that it was deflation not hyperinflation.

      • Ruairi_OBroin

        the hyperinflation around 1923 was a disaster for Germany of course, the streets were seething with conspirators and plotters just like Hitler and the NSDAP. Hitler tried and failed to seize power at that time but the numbers just weren’t there yet. After the hyperinflation of the early 20s came the austerity policies of the early 30′s which were the trigger for economic collapse and the rise of the Nazis. Therein lies the reality, hyperinflation and/or deflationary recessions are equally destructive and have similar political consequences. If Hitler had been successful in the Munich Beer Hall in 1923, would you blame it on hyperinflation?

  16. michaelcoughlan

    Hi David,

    Super article. The narrative flows a lot more freely and indicates an author at ease intuitively with his subject.

    One observation re postponing purchases; it’s not just the result of consumers being more thrifty. Sometimes they have less money to spend because wages will fall in deflationary times and taxes will rise meaning less disposable income with a reduction in the velocity of money.

    The article dovetails beautifully with your bull trap graph of a few months ago and in my view is a treatise which indicates the top of the market.

    You offered the solution to the problem during your interview with Miriam 280k pa on prime time but in my view the application was incorrect. The Germans need to be made aware that in a monetary union the stronger partners need to take responsibility for shouldering the responsibility for sorting the monetary problem especially when their economy benefited from a currency much weaker than should have been the case if they had a national currency.

    So what needs to happen is that the German state itself rather than the ECB needs to buy the distressed assets in Europe instead of international short term vulture funds like Gsucks and others. The German Govt would then install German expertise with both a local and long term view on running businesses and municipalities as demonstrated by your brilliant article of a few months ago showing how a local focus being applied in German soccer clubs was the real secret to the success of the German national side.

    The money for this could be obtained I would say from selling bonds to the private markets from an investment vehicle backed by the German state using the distressed assets as collateral and these bonds should appreciate in value rapidly after acquisition by this investment vehicle of the underlying distressed assets.

    The solution to deflation David I’SNT deflation it’s REFLATION and this topic was dealt with by you in your brilliant analogy of the babysitting token circle you published a year or so ago.

    http://the-difference-between.com/reflation/inflation

    Michael.

    • michaelcoughlan

      “The solution to deflation David I’SNT deflation it’s REFLATION ”

      Should read;

      The solution to deflation isn’t inflation its reflation.

  17. Pants Piddling on stage at the PAC

    Honahan has accepted that Anglo should have been liquidated and that Lenihan was prevented from doing so by others ie the Taoiseach and Atorney General .

    Imagine now what might have happened had liquidation proceeded .

    How would that have affected you today ? Would you ( singularly) have been better off ? How would your neighbors have fared out ?

    This a rubicon moment because of this new revelation to procrastinate and think of the time before and the time after . A code breaking exercise .

    • Yes John, very important stuff. Honohan pisses me off too.

      It’s spineless pathetic stuff. Someone else said in this thread that there’s no Irish politician that has the balls to stand up to the EU and that’s a disgrace.

      I don’t think Comical Lenny did either, I think they are just bigging him up seeing as he’s no longer with us.

  18. Deco

    There is an ongoing wage crisis in many economies. This would depress the real estate markets, except there are a series of policies implemented to push up real estate valuations (planning restrictions in urban areas, low interest rates, aggressive lending, highly centralized state systems, substance abuse to drive people out of the cheaper areas, and immigration to pull people into the cheaper areas).

    There is still a chronic frailty in the economic system – because…..wage pressure is relentlessly downwards.

    And taxation on labour is profoundly deflationary on the economy. Loose taxation on financial assets is profoundly inflationary on the stock market.

    The whole thing is a policy mess. And it is causing massive societal problems.

    It is the society, stoooooopid !

  19. Fat Tony

    In the previous article on QE, David outlines a situation where QE will drive up asset prices (make the rich richer), whereas here it is deflation.
    What is going to happen to Irish House Prices?

  20. Pat Flannery

    Deflation is the result of too low wages and too high personal debt. It’s that simple. People have no discretionary income. And the cure is equally simple: increase wages.

    • michaelcoughlan

      you must first write down debt.

      • Pat Flannery

        You are right Michael. I should have written “increase income”. I was actually thinking “income relative to expenses” – I am still basically an accountant.

        Reduced debt service (whether reduced capital or reduced interest), reduced taxes, reduced prices of essential commodities such as petrol and domestic fuel, all increase discretionary spending power.

        It is wrong to say that reduced prices leads to deflation, on the contrary it increases spending power and therefore spending. People like to spend when they have it.

      • Any increase in wages will be levered to increase the debt load by borrowing even more!!!! As The Mogambo Guru says, “We are all freeking doomed” or “Whee , this investing stuff is easy.”

        http://mogamboguru.com/current_issue.html

        • Annual Mogambo Christmas Poem

          ‘Twas the day before Christmas in the bankrupt US
          Mogambo and Ron Paul are playing chess
          Talk turns to gold, silver and oil
          And Mogambo’s blood begins to boil

          This market manipulation has gone on too long
          What they’re doing to the middle class is entirely wrong!
          “Simmer down”, say Ron, “and finish your lunch
          Don’t get your panties all up in a bunch
          The day is soon coming when it’ll all collapse
          This is nothing more than the Fed playing craps”

  21. tomahawk

    If the general population feels deflated its bound to in due course to infect the economy!
    Solution… inflate the people and lets start another bubble.

  22. cooldude

    It seems David is correct and that the ECB is about to start QE to create some inflation which will keep the ponzi afloat for another while. Proof of this is the decision yesterday of the Swiss CB to end the peg with the Euro because they know the Euro is about to be debased through QE and it will be too expensive to maintain a peg to a currency dropping sharply in value.

    Just one more quote on the supposed benefit of inflation, which in reality doesn’t exist despite all the nonsense we get from Keynesian economists. Here is a quote from no less than Keynes himself explaining the role inflation plays in an economy.

    “By a continuing process of inflation a government can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens…..The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and it does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”

    Well it seems David isn’t able to diagnose how destructive this process actually is.

  23. cooldude

    For anyone interested in an alternative to this glorification of currency debasement here is an alternative view.

    http://mises.org/library/deflation-and-liberty-1

    • Demand cannot be increased by simply expanding the money supply.
      All currencies are issued as debt. Increasing the money supply simply increases the debt. The interest payable on such debt is not created but withdrawn from the economy by using capital to repay.

      States, all governments, corporations, cities , towns , villages and individuals are all collectively overwhelmed with the debt and the attendant interest payable.

      The solution is promoted as lower interest rates to allow more borrowing from a diminishing income flow.
      It was foretold here and is coming to pass that even negative interest rates can not be afforded. New debt is impossible to accommodate.

      This is the first time that this scenario is world wide and all embracing. Before there has always been a rich relative to bale out the profligate or a solvent country to take up the slack. Not so this time.

      The past booms have been fueled by credit and that based on debt. This has not been based on invested savings and accumulated capital. There is no foundation to these booms. Just a hollow debt inspired shell.

      The grim reaper of finance will come to claim his own until all that debt is extinguished one way or another. The financial meltdown will occur. The longer it is propped up by QE of money expansion by any other name or means, the greater the delay in settlement the bigger the settlement will be. We live on credit and seek to borrow yet more credit to pay off old credit. Our credit cards are collectively maxed out and then some.

      Germany has a memory of this and has tried to operate within a structure of work , production, savings and reinvestment. It is now lampooned and blamed for causing the plight of its profligate neighbours. It will be dragged down just as the wayward son can waste the family fortune and bankrupt the family business.

      Switzerland has been coerced into ridding itself of its unencumbered savings, its gold reserves, and resorting to a fiat peg to the euro. Market forces repelled this approach and the cost to the Swiss too great to bare. Having being talked out of a return to gold savings as reserves as this would have raised the Swiss franc value too high it suddenly decided enough is enough and released the peg.

      Market forces propelled the currency 40% higher in minutes. The fall out from this is yet to be visualized but be sure there are all sorts of bankrupted entities around as the financial grim reaper cuts his first swath.

      Russia now stops the gas flow to selected parts of Europe and the grim reaper draws his blade back for the next swath. Germany being blamed for the problems of Europe will look North and East to trade out off the US/Euro sphere and move to the ascendant Yuan. What this will do to the EU is still debatable.

      so before we blame Germany we should look to our own wasteful greedy ways and solve our own problems.

      This involves recognising the basic problem and treating the problem rather than the symptoms. We must recognise that our money system is based on debt. We must obtain a money system based on proper assets reather than illusory figments of imagination.

      We have to be rid of the current debt based ponzi scheme of our current system. That means getting rid of the central bank issuance of debt based money and returning to honest currency backed by honest money. Our current system is a lie and a fraud or simply put, dishonest.

      Repeated again but cannot be said too many times. gold is money, all else is credit. China knows this (the nation has suffered at least three periods of inflationary destruction from unlimited paper money production during the last 800 years), Russia realizes this, Indans know this, Chinese citizens know this so what is so difficult to understand about it.

      As an individual, one must be rid of unwarranted debt, and hold solid assets. Land, furniture, necessary goods such as food and water etc and savings in solid money.

      As a matter of interest the gold price was the second best performing asset last year by some accounts and is starting the year with a 12% gain and silver 16% as based on Canadian currency.

      The choices are yours to make for yourself so do not blame your neighbour (Germany) for your problems.

    • The mises attachment is a good read. Thanks cooldude

  24. Colin

    £1 = €1.31 now, or putting it another way, €1 = 76p.

    $1 = €0.87 now, or putting it another way, €1 = $1.15.

    $1 = €0.73 back in the summertime when we believe non-performing irish property loan books were sold to american venture capitalists, in dollars (assuming).

    So, my question is David, have these American Venture Capitalists made a massive fcuk up and wasted a whole lot of money? I do remember you saying they typically have a 3 year horizon and then the sell up and ride off into the sunset with their boots filled.

    • Good question, I’d like to know the answer to this too, but presumably they are hedging something elsewhere to cover the exchange rate risk. Some fantasy derivative no doubt.

    • michaelcoughlan

      It all depends on which currency they borrow in to fund their investments as far as I know. McWilliams has been saying many of these guys are borrowing in yen at zero interest. He calls it a carry trade.

      It would be interesting to see what David thinks on this question.

      Michael.

  25. Pat Flannery

    It is important to separate consumer spending from capital spending. QE will not move the consumer spending needle. David’s hypothesis (that people wait for prices to come down) applies mainly to capital spending, while consumer spending is the real economy.

  26. Pat Flannery

    Good news this evening from Europe.

    It seems that only national central banks may be allowed to buy the sovereign debt of their respective countries with a ceiling of 20-25% of their individual national debt. That would preserve the Euro as a solid reliable currency, which is what Ireland needs to grow its economy.

    Thank you Germany. Here is the RTE story:

    http://www.rte.ie/news/business/2015/0116/673034-ecb-meeting/

  27. David NZ

    I’ve just read Pats’ RTE story. Thank you Germany? Why?

    Thank you Germany for making any QE so lame that it has no chance of working and Europe cannot escape the vortex of inflation. Great.

    What are the sovereign banks going to do with the money they get from the sale of bonds? Increase loans to customers – probably not. Increase loans to businesses – lack of sales in a deflationary market means that there will be few takers. The banks will probably invest in the US sharemarket.

    Dollar bull.

    The correct solution is fiscal spending by national govts/the Eurozone sufficient to increase aggregate
    demand to the point where it comes into balance with the excess supply of labour and capital that currently exists within the Eurozone.
    Increases in firms efficiency will only increase unemployment when sales cannot be increased.

    But sales can be increased by exports with a cheaper euro! Yes, but not to any discernible effect on the current rate of employment and not before there is an almighty backlash from the rest of the world via protectionist measures.

    • David NZ

      Excuse me, I meant the vortex of deflation. The vortex of inflation. The world should be so lucky.

    • Demand cannot be increased by simply expanding the money supply.
      All currencies are issued as debt. Increasing the money supply simply increases the debt. The interest payable on such debt is not created but withdrawn from the economy by using capital to repay.

      States, all governments, corporations, cities , towns , villages and individuals are all collectively overwhelmed with the debt and the attendant interest payable.

      The solution is promoted as lower interest rates to allow more borrowing from a diminishing income flow.
      It was foretold here and is coming to pass that even negative interest rates can not be afforded. New debt is impossible to accommodate.

      This is the first time that this scenario is world wide and all embracing. Before there has always been a rich relative to bale out the profligate or a solvent country to take up the slack. Not so this time.

      The past booms have been fueled by credit and that based on debt. This has not been based on invested savings and accumulated capital. There is no foundation to these booms. Just a hollow debt inspired shell.

      The grim reaper of finance will come to claim his own until all that debt is extinguished one way or another. The financial meltdown will occur. The longer it is propped up by QE of money expansion by any other name or means, the greater the delay in settlement the bigger the settlement will be. We live on credit and seek to borrow yet more credit to pay off old credit. Our credit cards are collectively maxed out and then some.

      Germany has a memory of this and has tried to operate within a structure of work , production, savings and reinvestment. It is now lampooned and blamed for causing the plight of its profligate neighbours. It will be dragged down just as the wayward son can waste the family fortune and bankrupt the family business.

      Switzerland has been coerced into ridding itself of its unencumbered savings, its gold reserves, and resorting to a fiat peg to the euro. Market forces repelled this approach and the cost to the Swiss too great to bare. Having being talked out of a return to gold savings as reserves as this would have raised the Swiss franc value too high it suddenly decided enough is enough and released the peg.

      Market forces propelled the currency 40% higher in minutes. The fall out from this is yet to be visualized but be sure there are all sorts of bankrupted entities around as the financial grim reaper cuts his first swath.

      Russia now stops the gas flow to selected parts of Europe and the grim reaper draws his blade back for the next swath. Germany being blamed for the problems of Europe will look North and East to trade out off the US/Euro sphere and move to the ascendant Yuan. What this will do to the EU is still debatable.

      so before we blame Germany we should look to our own wasteful greedy ways and solve our own problems.

      This involves recognising the basic problem and treating the problem rather than the symptoms. We must recognise that our money system is based on debt. We must obtain a money system based on proper assets reather than illusory figments of imagination.

      We have to be rid of the current debt based ponzi scheme of our current system. That means getting rid of the central bank issuance of debt based money and returning to honest currency backed by honest money. Our current system is a lie and a fraud or simply put, dishonest.

      Repeated again but cannot be said too many times. gold is money, all else is credit. China knows this (the nation has suffered at least three periods of inflationary destruction from unlimited paper money production during the last 800 years), Russia realizes this, Indans know this, Chinese citizens know this so what is so difficult to understand about it.

      As an individual, one must be rid of unwarranted debt, and hold solid assets. Land, furniture, necessary goods such as food and water etc and savings in solid money.

      As a matter of interest the gold price was the second best performing asset last year by some accounts and is starting the year with a 12% gain and silver 16% as based on Canadian currency.

      The choices are yours to make for yourself so do not blame your neighbour (Germany) for your problems.

    • Pat Flannery

      David NZ,

      Would there be a different set of consequences between the ‘German-friendly’ form of QE, where national central banks buy up quantities of their own national government’s bonds and the ECB buying those same bonds?

      The Germans are against QE of any kind because it will let profligate national governments off the hook of making painful economic reforms, which is exactly why the weaker national governments want it.

      The Germans are saying if you think we are wrong and you are right go ahead and make your own monetary policy. But if it fails do not send us the bill. Is that so unreasonable?

      Germany was the economic rock upon which the EU was founded, it remains so today. If Germany caves in to the financial markets now the EU is finished, which of course is what the financial markets-controlled Anglo-American political bloc wants.

      It is high noon in this world war.

      If Germany holds firm there will be a gargantuan adjustment in the financial markets where many if not most of the big international financial houses will go the way of Lehman Bros.

      If Germany blinks the world may get a few more months of make-believe only to face an even greater calamity later. A massive correctional slaughter is now inevitable. The only question is who will be standing when the fog of war clears.

      We live in interesting times.

    • Key point made by Sachs:

      “It is time for the West to allow the Arab world to govern itself and to choose its path without Western military interference. And there are heartening reasons to believe that a self-governing Arab Middle East would wisely choose to become a peaceful global crossroads and a partner in science, culture, and development.”

      • ps200306

        What a complete crock. The most generous interpretation is that it’s wishful thinking on Sachs’s part. The more likely reason is that Sachs is one of the many useful idiots in the West who think that the antipathy between Iran and the regional Sunni powers, among a host of other tensions in the region, can be assuaged by a bit of Western liberal guilt.

      • Colin

        Global crossroads me arse, Vasco De Gama made Middle East irrelevant when he reached India from Portugal in 1498. And coupled with Columbus’ discovery of America 6 years earlier, the monopolistic trade route controlled by arabs (which had existed prior to that) was smashed.

        And don’t believe the Turkish nutjob/comedian Erdogan who claims muslims discovered America before Columbus. The muslims could not even discover the Canary Islands off their own coast of north west Africa, let alone America. But believe what you want Adam.

      • Agree with you Adam. Power politics is part of the problem. We should go home and mind our own business. That includes Canada too, with full military support in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria etc, etc.

  28. Sorry, not sure how that got posted twice – usually the site blocks duplicate posts.

  29. Podium Request

    As it is a waning moon at the moment and we are all looking forward to a new article from David tomorrow I chosed this moment to divert your attention . I did some time ago explain on site the revelations of new ancient words and that I was having them examined and some readers asked me to let them know how it went . So below in next submission I have tried to do that .

  30. Tinnitus in Words

    Words we speak have origins .They may not be recent and they may be a very long time ago . Maybe man learned some from animals too .It is difficult to imagine how words first were used and where they came from .

    The Irish language did have a substrate language spoken on The Isles prior to the arrival of people from Europe recorded as The Celts .My evidence has revealed that this language arrived directly by boat from West Africa in an area now known as Senegal .This language was never part of the language chemistry mixing with other languages from elsewhere in the world prior to arrival on The Isles . My compilation includes 100 words and also 10 words on Ptolmeys map never encrypted before . From the best printed books and knowledge gathered it has been acknowledged that there has up to now been no evidence of proof any ancient words and readers can only resort to assumptions. I believe I have changed that stalemate and it is important that these words must be studied to learn more about who we are , how we think and why and how these people saw our lands many many many thousands of years ago .

    Finding these origins and new word revelations is pale compared to finding paid responsible civil servants of The State to examine these findings and report thereon. My exercise has shown to me how inept and naïve their policies and lack of them are . This void in our nationalism as a sovereign country and the disrespect shown to our culture can only show to the next generation and emigrants how hopeless we Irish want to remain as a people we once were .

    I can include the following as among those state bodies I contacted and refused for reasons they excused as not within their remit : Dept of The Gaeltacht , Language Commission , Dept of The Taoiseach and Dept of Education .

    Other contacts that might be considered arms of The State referred me to people that clearly did not have normal Irish names and might have been raised in eastern Europe and hold specialised qualifications in a form of linguistics that includes comparing all languages that interacted on the continent at some stage prior to arrival in Ireland . They use a theory test that has no relevance to these findings because these words arrived directly from Africa unblemished from other cultures and makes these findings very unique in the language we claim to be our own .

    Various Professors of Irish and ancient Irish refused to examine these words .

    As an Irish citizen and brought up to learn Irish I find these actions a betrayal of who we are and can only add to the farse The State promulgates .

    Many reasonable Irish people have seen these findings that include Irish Teachers , Native Irish Speakers and other Irish with a general knowledge of Irish ( that include myself ) and it made a lot of sense to them .

    Finally I have to conclude that I did approach Trinity College Dublin and could only reach directly by e-mail a male administrator to the Irish section and no further. At this point I was refused any meeting with anyone with relevant qualifications . Then I was requested to submit findings only by e-mail . After no response and making further enquiries I was told my evidence was useless because it did not conform to a theory law on sound relevant to other languages in Europe. I was refused the identity of who read the evidence and after protesting to demand a meeting in person and provoking them to listen to me I was told in writing to go to a Catholic University .

    I subsequently submitted a written complaint to the Department of Education who had originally referred me to them and received no response to date .

    • Good stuff John. I hope those people from Senegal weren’t Muslim or else we are all tainted and in danger of ‘going postal’ at any time. That would scare a few of the lads on here I tell you. Shitting themselves as it is.

      • Colin

        Those people from Senegal were not islamicised at the time (as mohammaed’s inspirational guide book for jihad had not been written yet because he had not been born yet), otherwise mosques and madrassas would have littered the Irish coast following their arrival if they had been islamicised.

        • Yeah we got the Catholics instead, praise Jesus for that!

          • Colin

            You won’t get shot or blown up for upsetting the catholics, but walk into your local mosque with your charlie hedbo comic and let me know how you get on.

          • I wouldn’t use that rag to wipe my arse if I was stuck in the middle of the Sahara desert with no bog roll.

            How many people were killed by Catholic Inquisitions and Crusades and all that other nonsense over the years?

            How many people have been killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria etc. recently by God-fearing Christians?

            All religion is a pile of shite That’s about as insulting I will get about the topic. Let people believe what they want.

            JeSuisAdam.

          • Colin

            you will find atheist totalitarian regimes like stalin, mao, pol pot, kim jung-il etc… murdered a hell of a lot more than the crusaders or inquisitors.

          • So justice depends on historical numbers now does it Colin?

            Well compare 100,000 plus people in Iraq to 12 juvenile arsehole ‘journalists’ in that French rag.

            You must be living in some kind of parallel universe dude.

            Of course Western lives ARE more precious and valuable than Muslim ones, so you have a point there. They don’t even love their kids those barbarians.

          • Colin

            Adam, you are the one who first mentioned numbers, and when I point them out to you, you cry foul. Grow up Adam!

          • ps200306

            The 100,000 in Iraq were killed almost exclusively by other Muslims. Only people with a large axe to grind ignore that inconvenient fact when talking about Iraq. Some of the same recalcitrant elements from that vicious civil war are still on their murder binge in Iraq and Syria, while Western self-loathing wusses stick up their hands to claim responsibility.

          • I think the Vikings killed a lot of Christians in Ireland. God damned pagans! We should send all those pesky Norwegians home!

          • That’s me told. Okay I’ll try to grow up Colin. Really hard. I will.

          • I said “contributing to creating the circumstances where that can happen” (hundreds of thousands getting killed) but if you don’t want to listen or read English then that’s your business. There’s a lot of that going on, on this blog.

          • Colin

            Adam,

            The Vikings did kill a lot of Irish Christians. That’s why the Irish (led by Boru of Thomond) had enough and fought the battle of Clontarf to rid Ireland of that foreign menace. I think they were Danish in origin, not Norweigan, so most of them went back to Denmark following their defeat in battle. Those that stayed blended in and became Christian and were no longer a menace.

            I don’t have the number of fatalaties involved to hand, apologies for that.

          • Haha you couldn’t make it up! Comedy gold! Thanks Colin.

          • Colin

            you know you are wrong again Adam.

          • Colin

            Liam Lawlor taught you well with his approach to the truth.

  31. DB4545

    There’s nothing wrong with religion Adam if you make them toothless like modern day Christianity. But we’re facing elements that are firmly rooted in the middle ages. Islam hasn’t gone through a reformation and there are factions within it that make those bible bashers and crazy cults from the US seem almost sane. They are intent on silencing all criticism. We’re dealing with people who have the mindset of the tudors or borgia popes armed with AK’s and SAM missiles. Think about that while people are trying to protect you while you’re whizzing around at 35000ft. The nutjob end of this market have tried to assassinate a Pope, murdered a Catholic Archbishop and murdered Christian missionaries. The haven’t created party central for their own societies and not content with that they want to f**k up our society.

    • Yes I fully agree that those kind of factions need to be dealt with – take them out by all means with prejudice. Let me be VERY CLEAR on that.

      Invading countries, manipulating entire continents and alienating hundreds of millions of normal people is not the way to do it though – that creates more enemies than it eliminates.

      • As well as killing hundreds of thousands of people, or contributing to creating the circumstances where that can happen, even if not being 100% responsible. It’s very complex, there are no easy solutions. There won’t be.

  32. We will have to mine all the outhouses. There’s gold in those sewage pits.

    https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/14af878dba934c5d

  33. “Second homes and passports, physical gold ownership, access to healthy food and clean water, all these are more important than ever to assure the safety and well-being of your loved ones.”

    – See more at: http://www.thedailybell.com/editorials/36003/Anthony-Wile-Alarmism-Goes-Global-Now-Comes-the-Tipping-Point-Meme/?uuid=6F800609-5056-9627-3C5071902B060BF2#sthash.yReKiPmW.dpuf

  34. “The U.S. now ranks not first, not second, not third, but 12th among developed nations in terms of business start up activity as Gallup CEO Jim Clifton rages, for the first time in 35 years, American business deaths now outnumber business births. Wall Street, Clifton explains, needs the stock market to boom, even if that boom is fueled by illusion. So both tell us, “The economy is coming back.” Let’s get one thing clear, he exclaims, “This economy is never truly coming back unless we reverse the birth and death trends of American businesses.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-14/gallup-ceo-blasts-us-leadership-economy-not-coming-back

  35. http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/36000/Should-the-Fed-Stop-Paying-Interest-to-Banks-on-Reserves/?uuid=6F800609-5056-9627-3C5071902B060BF2

    A little deflation caused by efficiency and better production is a good thing. Why are central bankers and governments so afraid of it. Is everyone a Keynesian now?

  36. Central banks now control every aspect of your life , with coming disastrous consequences.

    Prepare yourself to protect yourself.

    http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/35996/British-Sobs-of-Deflation/?uuid=6F800609-5056-9627-3C5071902B060BF2

  37. Yes we are at risk but not because of Germany.

    It is time to cash in your paper chips and sit in cash or bullion. Your choice.

    http://www.silver-phoenix500.com/article/examining-stock-market-dow-jones-total-market-groups

  38. Banking system manipulation of the gold price downward results in a massive flow from London to Hong Kong. Result is, there is little gold in London vaults but the Chinese et al build huge vaults to house their increasing hoard. He who has the gold rules!!!!!!!!

    http://www.tfmetalsreport.com/blog/6520/how-they-did-it

  39. ““This country cannot move forward with integrity until it faces the fact that bankers have criminalized the financial services industry. We, the people, have to demand an honest government that enforces the law, even against super-rich criminals.”

    http://wallstreetonparade.com/2015/01/two-lawyers-make-the-case-for-rico-charges-against-jpmorgan-execs/

    JP Morgan fined billions but no charges laid—————yet

  40. Boom Goes The Dynamite: The Crashing Price Of Oil Is Going To Rip The Global Economy To Shreds
    By Michael Snyder, on January 12th, 2015

    http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/boom-goes-dynamite-crashing-price-oil-going-rip-global-economy-shreds

    We are at risk as the Saudis et al are pissed at the US actions re Israel and Iran and Syria.

  41. http://www.usagold.com/cpmforum/2015/01/18/swiss-franc-trade-wipes-out-830-million-hedge-fund/

    Of course our warning in that newsletter was delivered in the context of owning gold as a portfolio insurance against such risks. As happened last Thursday, you retire in the evening and all appears to be normal, or at least as normal as can be expected in these precarious times. You wake up in the morning only to find that the interconnected global financial village has just gone over a cliff. One owns gold not because he or she thinks it might turn a profit. One owns it to protect his or her portfolio against the very same kind of unforeseen event that occurred last Thursday

  42. What to expect in 2015?

    Foreign Affairs

    More American troops will be sent overseas to places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Ukraine. There will be no military victories to brag about. More American military personnel will be killed in 2015 than in 2014. Military contractors will be used in growing numbers and their casualties will not be counted as military casualties.

    The Ukraine civil war will not end, and the United States will be further bogged down in this conflict. Relations with Russia will continue to deteriorate. The neocons in Congress will gain even more influence over our foreign policy. Punishing sanctions will continue to be made more severe and push Russia further into China’s sphere of influence. Gold will gain credibility as we isolate the Russians from the financial markets. – Ron Paul

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