May 28, 2015

How a second-hand idea has now become a mass movement

Posted in Irish Independent · 63 comments ·
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The way in which popular movements morph from being extreme to becoming mainstream is inherently fascinating. The Marriage Referendum is an example of one such process. Not that long ago, gay people’s issues were exactly that: gay people’s issues.

By last Friday, what was once a minority issue had become a national movement.

It is impossible to predict when and why certain ideas jump from being regarded as eccentric to being conventional. Take fashion. For example, I am not too sure when young, white, rugby-playing boys from South Dublin started wearing their trousers low slung down around their arses, but I know where it came from.

It came from prisons in the US where belts were banned due to suicide risk. So the inmates regularly wore trousers too big for them as they were given their hand-me-down prison uniform when they arrived. Soon, prisons became full of men wearing trousers that may have been too big for them and therefore fell down around their ass. This became a prison look.

In time, young black men on the outside decided to ape the behaviour and fashions of prisoners to make them seem as hard as those lads on the inside.

Soon, American inner city streets were full of young black men wearing trousers hanging down low. Because so much of our urban fashion is a derivative of the hip-hop-inspired black street culture, the fashion jumped races from black to white. And in no time it spread from white Americans to white Europeans, so much so that we now have rich, white, south Dublin schoolboys dressing like they are in super-max American prisons – and they don’t even realise it!

This dissemination of ideas has always fascinated me.

The spread of tolerance in Ireland, which culminated in the Yes vote the other day, was something that was building for a long time. In fact, the vote didn’t change the country, it merely reflected the extent to which the country had already changed. The idea had already spread and jumped from the minority to the mainstream.

We are now experiencing a similar spread of an idea and a form of public behaviour that will have enormous ramifications for the entire retail sector in Ireland.

I am talking about the massive shift in the past few years to online buying and selling of everything from cars to iPhones, from baby buggies to Foo Fighters tickets, from fireplaces to communion dresses.

The figures for this relatively new business, that was hardly on the radar screen five years back, are quite unbelievable. The market leader in the business is DoneDeal so I will use their figures (and in the interests of disclosure, I have been working on the impact of this business on the economy).

In the last four years, the number of ads placed on DoneDeal has increased by 215pc. The number of new people creating accounts has increased by 32pc in the past two years to 486,452. This is one in six of the adult population. This Ireland, second-hand Ireland, is growing at an extraordinary rate and shows no sign of abating.

In economics, context is everything and the context to the growth of second-hand Ireland has been the recession. As the recession embedded itself in the society, our attitude to buying and selling changed dramatically. And as the recession abated, the legacy of the recession lingered. Our shopping behaviour has changed forever.

In our new post-recession Ireland, value trumps bravado, caution beats carelessness and bargain beats brash. If the Celtic Tiger was all about flash, in-your-face public spending of other people’s money, today’s chastened Ireland is about low-key, understated, private bargain hunting. We’ve done the ‘boom, debt, bust’ thing and don’t want to go back there again. Today, it’s all about price, value and living well within our means.

However, for a change in behaviour to take off, context isn’t enough; it needs to be mixed with a disruptive technology which enables a change in behaviour. That piece of technology was obviously the internet and then more recently, the smartphone.

Online marketplaces are enabled by technology. As a result of technology, hundreds of thousands of Irish people are buying and selling online, every day, every hour, from every corner of the country. This is the new way of trading. Stuff that you thought was for the skip is now of value and stuff that was beyond your reach is now accessible, albeit second hand.

Most importantly, companies such as DoneDeal make the individual the king of the transaction.

The individual buyer or seller sets the price, sets the terms, does the bargaining and arranges when and where to collect. This is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year business.

Contrast this freewheeling new economy with the traditional retail strictures.

Think about the way we used to shop only a few years ago. Shops opened from 9 to 5, selling specific goods and nothing more.

In the old days, the shopkeeper hoped that random people would stroll by and they might, just at that particular moment, fancy buying one of those specific goods at a price that was fixed by the shopkeeper and which you, the buyer, had no say in. The buyer had to be enticed to buy maybe with a ‘sale’ sign. But the entire trade was a series of coincidences; one side hoping the other might stumble upon them!

This is frankly ridiculous when seen in the context of a 24/7 buying-and-selling economy.

A bit like the low-slung trouser fashion, no one is quite sure when this online trading economy flipped from being the pursuit of the few to the fashion or commercial pastime of the many.

The figures speak for themselves.

Last year, DoneDeal saw 499,755 unique sellers place 1.85 million ads on their site with an average of 156,000 ads per month.

There has been an explosion of activity in the second-hand market in the last four years with the number of ads placed on DoneDeal increasing by 215pc since 2010. The amount of new people creating accounts with DoneDeal has increased by 32pc from 2013 to 486,452.

For the economy in general, this is huge.

The DoneDeal second-hand market is valued at more than €300m per month and stood at almost 3pc of GNP as of Q4 2014. This represents a whopping €3.9bn in activity in 2014.

This is now a mass movement which is building every day.

Like Irish society, the Irish economy has reached a tipping point.

What started as a small bunch of online traders has become a mass retail movement. This is changing the way we shop, forever.

Welcome to Second-Hand Ireland.

For more information of these trends, see www.tomorrowsireland.ie


  1. survivalist

    I hear what you’re sayin’ even a paltry 2.5% tax on that 3.9 billion gives us nearly 10 million in revenue .Bingo! Get that to the Troika!

    Or would that be double taxation (if that’s even a problem)? Well who cares! Let’s ram that legislation through the Dail while the nation divides itself again; looking the other way on the pro-life referendum!

    Plus gay marriage might just equal a spending bonanza in the wedding industry in 2016/2017? Well at least a proportionately representative increase then?

    And divorce/family law solicitors could be looking at a revenue boost in the coming years?

    On a side note I am not so sure if it is accurate to call the recent drive to Gay marriage as the result of a popular uprising-it was on the programme for government when they were first elected 2011.

    A cursory glance at Google trends/search hits (can someone do a media database search?) shows the populace’s need for gay marriage materials in the years 2005 to 2010 was pretty much non existent for the Rep of Ireland. Flatline.
    (Except in Lucan and Galway?)

    Odd that; though it did come to life (barely) around the time the Gov got in. So either the popular movement started coincidently at the same time as the government who responded to the then already established as barely on the radar issue that it was in 2011 or they recognised then that this was gonna be huge (in terms of a necessary future distraction?) and got on board.
    Anyway in 2015 it exploded! Almost like it came out of nowhere?

    Grass-roots or Astro-turf?

    • survivalist

      Apologies the revenue is rather closer to 100 million!(97,500,000) to be precise? Though doubtless the IMF would have noted the error of such a transaction.

  2. michaelcoughlan

    Hi All.

    @TonyBrogan: Please don’t shoot me off the parapet Tony.

    David highlighted in this article how ideas that were once thought radical can become mainstream and also talks about disruptive technologies and how they can take economic activity in new directions.

    Something has just happened in the goldbug world (I don’t see myself as a goldbug) which falls into this category is the sale of goldmoney to bitgold for around 50m Canadian dollars.

    Bitgold using blockchain technology is trying to do what goldmoney and e-gold failed to do because of no demand and that is facilitate the use of gold in everyday transactions using digital and blockchain technology.

    What I find really eye opening is that goldmoney made a loss of over 9m in 2014. The reasons cited are unhedged positions in metal. In other words James Turk a true believer in gold had the company long the physical even though gold has been in a down trend since 2011. Unhedged? I couldn’t believe it?

    So Brogan’s statements on how gold is manipulated in the futures markets are far more important in my view than whether gold will or wont save anybody because I don’t believe it will. The whole fiat versus sound money Keynesian versus Austrian economics ideas can be looked at from a narrow perspective in this regard and in my view is as follows; Neither the Keynesians nor the Austrians seem to differentiate between the functions of money and currency.

    Historically gold has always been used as a store of value whereas silver has always acted as the currency. Silver being far less value on a par basis weight wise than gold complies with Gresham’s law a bad currency drives out a good one. Gold is there to facilitate large transactions and to give real value to the silver circulating as currency.

    What we have here is the last capitulation of the last bull (Turk). One of the bitgold guys is only 28 and may not have the experience of understanding how the price of the metal is being controlled in the futures market.

    This brings us to China. Who are buying every ounce of gold they can as is Russia. So what do they know? China is the workshop of the world and will use golds value storage characteristic to protect the wealth creating industries in its country. Russia will use its gold to give value to it s bilateral trade within the brics.

    Interesting times. If the technology above could be used to replace the fiat currency 97% digital and 3% physical circulating in the UK with digital version which were an IOU for a supply of coin from the UK mint then overnight the person providing the disruptive technology could replace the interest bearing bank of England fiat with a complimentary GBP digital interest free currency backed by the mint.

    If that became a mass movement then every UK citizen using the new complimentary currency would automatically force the authorities to cancel the debt bearing fiat just by using the platform and that really would be a mass movement worth supporting.

    I have put up such an idea on Max kaiser’s startjoin under the concept section and would love if you guys went on there to highlight mistakes and inaccuracies any single person is prevalent to.

    Regards,

    Michael.

    • Excellent Michael, very well put.

      • Adelaide

        Well said, Michael, using the blockchain as the basis for alternative monetary models will be the accumulative undoing of what E.C.Riegel termed the ‘Political Money System’, as long as the pernicious private banking government FIAT model aka “Political Money System” governs our lives then all our successes will be second-hand victories.

        • cooldude

          Very interesting article David. Very good ideas Michael on Bitgold which is definitely a very interesting form of money both as a medium of exchange and definitely as a proper store of value. The biggest danger to it’s success will be from the CB’s who don’t like the idea of people having a choice in what form they keep their hard earned. Here’s an article about Bernard von Naut Haus who tried to implement the liberty dollar in the US. Seems like the opposition were not impressed

          http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/25/us/liberty-dollar-creator-awaits-his-fate-behind-bars.html

          • michaelcoughlan

            Hi cooldude.

            I don’t advocate using gold in my suggestion;

            ” If the technology above could be used to replace the fiat currency 97% digital and 3% physical circulating in the UK with digital version which were an IOU for a supply of coin from the UK mint then overnight the person providing the disruptive technology could replace the interest bearing bank of England fiat with a complimentary GBP digital interest free currency backed by the mint.

            If that became a mass movement then every UK citizen using the new complimentary currency would automatically force the authorities to cancel the debt bearing fiat just by using the platform and that really would be a mass movement worth supporting.”

            I would love to lobby david to try this on a trial basis in Ireland. Like I said before david imagine if the local currency “Marble” could be used in this manner at a local level in kilkenny to see how it works.

            Instead of printing marble notes/tokens why not issue a marble debit card pre loaded with a digital iou to the value of the load. Charge a percentage per transaction less than the banks to cover administration.

            As a person runs low on the digital iou in the card the customer deposits more money with the seller of the marble debit card and this person sends the money to whoever in ireland is responsible for the currency (the cb I think) in exchange for a contract to supply an equivalent value in coin.

            All it would need David is someone high profile like you or hobs or costantine to back it and you really would have a revolution on your hands a citizen driven bottom up initative to replace interest bearing currency with mint issued interest free fiat.

            the marble debit cards would circulate outside of kilkenny since they are euro backed.

            Michael.

          • DB4545

            cooldude

            Thanks for the link to that article cooldude. It’s interesting that someone who mints coins using real precious metal is in the process of being jailed for his troubles and governments can debase a paper currency and nobody is held to account.

            I think we’re approaching a fiscal reformation just like the religious reformation of Martin Luther. People accept and have a belief in the currency in their wallet without rational analysis almost like an article of faith. It is a form of unquestioning idolatry and just like religion they appear to want to silence the fiscal heretics to prevent doubt spreading in the wider population.

            Bizarre (but not surprising)that governments who advocate the free market and competition are unwilling to face any form of competition that may threaten their own interests.

            DB

    • “digital version which were an IOU for a supply of coin from the UK mint”

      So if your coin is not of true value as in a precious metal Michael, what type of useless coin would it be. just another piece of valueless zinc, or what.

      I assumed as you were talking Bit gold that you meant gold or silver coin.

      So I retract my affirmation of “good one” and replace it with “too much convolution” and replacing a fiat currency with another fiat, abiet one with no interest but still back by nothing, and issued by politicians etc
      Bit gold appears to be a better option than Bit coin to me because it is backed by a tangable substance for which it can be redeamed; that is gold bullion in hand.

      There is no need for a set value as it will find market value. If an individual wants to convert savings or other wealth into money all they have to do is liquidated an asset, obtain gold, deposit it with bitgold and voila, the money supply increases on demand. Likewise if the money is not required it can be redeamed for the gold or can be spent on another asset or service. The amount of currency in circulation will then be determined by the economy rather than a politician and central banker.

      India is in the process of trying to monetise their citizens gold. However they want to pay interest on gold deposits and there lies another problem. Where does the gold come from to pay the interest?

      It is better to ban the use of interest as a monetary tool because it only results in debt that cannot be paid without skimming from the productive real economy and the skim goes to the hand of the banker. Nothing changed there.

      So far anyone who has proposed an alternative currency based on precious metals has been sued and prosecuted by a government and put out of business. That includes Goldmoney which was prevented from allowing people to buy and sell to each other using deposited precious metal. I used it to buy a painting and to buy a subscription before this function was denyed under a section of the bank act. Thereafter goldmoney lost its function as money or a currency and was only a savings repository.

      We watch and wait what the result will be for Bit Gold. As it is backed by Soros et al it may be a pre-authorized version and be allowed to continue!!

      • DB4545

        Donedeal is an easy website to use and it’s cheap and cheerful. A three Euro ad to buy/sell a 5000 Euro car is fairly cost effective in my experience. I really don’t know who’d be bothered to place an ad anywhere except on online media today. Who reads ads in print media? Or watches or listens to them TV or Radio? Even death notices are read on RIP.ie these days. People and specifically kids are experts at editing out anything that wastes their time.

        On a separate note I signed up to Bitgold and stuck in a few quid as an experiment. I think it’s an interesting concept and I really hope it works. People have become cynical and deeply distrustful of all government. Business has become global and transnational corporations are loyal to shareholders only. Perhaps people are moving beyond loyalty to a Nation State or Region and the means of exchange within that region. Maybe they’re just moving back to a wealth store that has outlasted Nation States, Wars and upheavals. People have placed their trust in the “legal tender” of the Nation State/Region and that trust has been abused. When I look at the reckless incompetence of people elected to government I’m looking for safety and I’m not seeing it in the banking system. If money is mobile for corporations why shouldn’t individuals follow suit?

        I wonder what the sign up rate is for Greece? And Germany?

        DB

      • michaelcoughlan

        “So I retract my affirmation of “good one” and replace it with “too much convolution” and replacing a fiat currency with another fiat, albiet one with no interest but still back by nothing, and issued by politicians etc”

        Yes you are correct. And what I have devised since the first post is as follows based on your advice re hugo salins price.

        When the debit card is manufactured incorporate into the card a 1/4 oz (at todays price say $4.50) of recoverable silver as a min. When the buyer purchases the card the price of the card will include a sum for the relevant amount of silver at the spot price when manufactured.

        What happens then is that each time the card is used the price of the spot at the time of use is compared to the total silver content in the card. If the spot price has advanced significantly then when the card is loaded the difference between the original price of the silver to the current price will be automatically transferred from the customers account to the mint in exchange for more ious to preserve the purchasing power of the silver.

        If all digital technology breaks down the card itself will be tradeable for its silver content. If the price of the silvers drops blow the original price then nothing happens.

        Regards,

        Michael.

      • michaelcoughlan

        “We watch and wait what the result will be for Bit Gold. As it is backed by Soros et al it may be a pre-authorized version and be allowed to continue!”

        Yes Tony. It stinks to high heaven. Soros has got control of a company in financial difficulty (goldmoney) with customers with tons of gold in storage through the webportal. Bitgold has barely started trading and can buy goldmoney? These cock suckers are hovering up that last repositories of the physical.

        It has motivated me to buy more coins. I still believe though gold only acts as insurance.

        Michael.

        • DB4545

          michaelcoughlan,

          Did a little bit of research on coins/bullion Heraeus/Degussa/Kruggerand etc. When the product hits an approved dealer most seem to have a 15-30% mark up over the spot price so you’d have to see an equivalent rise in the spot price just to break even. The same mark up applies when you go to sell. I also read about a scam in NYC regarding 500g bullion bars. They had gold sleeves and tungsten cores (almost identical weight 1 dollar an ounce). Genuine 500g bars are US$ 19,140 approx and the gold content was US$ 4500. Even experienced bullion dealers got caught out. What’s in it for the little guy and how do you avoid the scammers Michael?

          DB

          • Mike Lucey

            @DB4545

            I mulled the question, “Is it real?” for quite some time. I read what I could find and the more I read the more disillusioned I became.

            Then I read something that made good practical sense. The advise was that the scammers have to coat the tungsten with a couple of mm of pure gold to make it work. The advise was to only buy ‘thin’ gold.

            I looked around and found some of this ‘thin’ gold in the form of 1g, 5x1g 20x1g and 50x1g. If / when the shit hits the fan it would be much easier to barter 1g for food / shelter. Walking around with a kilo could be dangerous!

          • DB4545

            And just to add there’s a ponzi operation called Karatgold involved in multi level marketing b**lshit with multiples of 1 gram bars. I’m not aware of them operating in Ireland but there’s warnings to avoid them like the plague.

            DB

          • DB4545

            Mike Lucey

            If/When sh** ever hits a fan Mike gold will be the least of your worries. Firearms become the default currency in those circumstances.

            DB

          • DB contact a peputable coin dealer.
            For example, Gold Canadian Maple Leaf sells with a 4% premium and is bought at spot.
            Silver is usually a 6-7% premium and bought at spot.
            Now you have and hold in your hand. No counter party risk.

            I will now look up VBCE in Vancouver.
            http://www.vbce.ca/rates/precious-metals

            Kitco shows current price at 1482 Canadian

            VBCE will buy from you at 1476
            And sell to you at 1541

            Buy price is close to spot and in my experience is what I get.

            Selling to you is 1541/ 1482 = 1.0398 or a 4% premium.

            I used a local dealer to sell a few coins and received spot price as displayed in real time on my phone.

            Any dealer much outside these perameters is ripping you off. Check for reputation and you do not have to worry about tungsten etc.

            We have been reading about the silver squeeze for months and how it is in backwardtion.

            At a buy of 21.46 and a sell of 24.11 there is a premium offered to you sell above spot
            of 2146/2080 = 1.0373 or 3.73% premium.
            To buy it is 2411/2080 or 1.15916 or nearly 16% premium. The differential is 12% or 5% higher than the last time I checked.

            There is something happening with Silver so get some at any price because 48 was the last high and 100 may be the next. Why worry about 15 or 20% when the upside is 200-400% for starters.

            Silver is a lot easier to spend than gold if you need to spend. Gold is wealth and insurance , silver is money and currency par excellence. Canadian Maple Leafs are accepted in many countries. Carry a few in you pocket.

  3. tomahawk

    7 x mentions of Done deal. Must have been a deal done!
    Not sure what the point of the article is.
    Shopping on line has been around a while and no secret as to where its going.
    Donedeal shopping for second hand gear would not be top on the list of sites which have an adverse effect on the high street except for charity shops.
    Incidentally for some reason ordering the product (book, clothes, shoes, car part etc) through the high street shop can be often a lot cheaper than directly online and has all the associated benifits.

  4. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    David’s article on how second-hand ideas become mass movements brought to my mind the story of how Freudism became a mass culture phenomenon in the US and how it was imported back from the US to Europe, married with Marxism and put on a pedestal in Ireland as an unquestionable dogma of “progressivism” in the “liberal” Irish media.

    The story of why Freudism became so popular can be best explained through its links to German philosophy on one hand and to its links to marketing on the other hand. Freud was a far less original thinker than one thinks, although one can argue that the way he managed to apply his vague and chaotic ideas to his (unsuccessful) therapeutic practice was original. Freud copied his ideas of unconsciousness and libido from Arthur Schopenhauer and gave them a very vulgar form (only at the end of his life he admitted he copied them). Schopenhauer was arguably the most popular 19th century philosopher among artists, musicians and writers. He picked up on Kant’s question which was how do we know that there is actually any world outside if all we can experience are sensations (touching, seeing, hearing). Schopenhauer claimed that science can never penetrate to the inner truth of the world, the only thing that it can do is to connect our appearances. The clue to the inner reality is the desire that powers our own existence (this inspired Freud and Jung). Schopenhauer called that craving a Will (the struggle to exist) and gave it cosmic dimensions while Freud called it libido and narrowed it down to sexuality. Only by turning a back on ourselves we can, according to Schopenhauer, extinguish that blind force and this can be achieved through contemplating of art or empathy. Freud called that superego and concluded that the whole culture is a result of sublimating sexual desires – in other words, while Schopenhauer would in his analysis orbit around the whole universe, Freud boiled it down to someone’s mickey or a lack thereof. Schopenhauer was a deep thinker and a fine writer (in fact his German was far superior to any other famous German philosopher) while Freud was more practical and since he did not have an intellect of a philosopher, he found a way of making money off the ideas he copied from real thinkers. Then Freudism was exported to the US through his nephew (Freud himself remarked on being applauded in the US that they do not realise we bring them pest), used successfully in marketing which appealed to the Unconscious (in a jocular way I could say that Adam Smith taught the Americans how to make money, Freud how to spend it and Keynes taught them how burden their children with more debt if they are in the red) and in its different mutations became a predominant philosophy there until now. And then the mutated version of Freudism (Herbert Marcuse married Freud with Marx) was imported from the US to Europe and it resulted in chaotic minds such as Daniel Bendit-Cohn, Jose Manuel Barosso or Martin Schulz, the capo-di-tutti-cappi in the EU Parliament (one of Polish MEPs spoke to him to recently and he found out that he has a mental capacity of a troglodyte – Schulz tells Ireland what Ireland should do or how people should behave in the EU parliament, but he was to stupid to even pass a leaving cert).

    How was that success of a mediocre thinker possible?

    Well, back then as well as today, the Americans were not aware of any literature not written or translated into English, so they simply did not know anything about Schopenhauer (actually the situation is hardly different today – few people in Ireland realise that educated Eastern Europeans would read all the authors that English speakers read – i.e., there is popular weekly in Poland with translations from articles from around the world and most important books in history, philosophy or sociology are immediately translated – while educated Irish would only be aware of news or ideas in English – only 3% books sold in Ireland and the UK had been translated into English – plus very selected, usually very left-wing writings or films, usually Spanish or French; as a result, every time I go to visit Poland, which I very rarely do, I sort of catch up on what goes on in world’s cinema or world’s news as films like the Norwegian “Force Majeure” which are showed in Poland almost immediately here in Ireland are shown a year later and only once or twice (“Force Majeure” is an excellent movie because it shows failures of the Scandinavian model as an ideology); another example, try to find a book in Ireland, UK or the US of the philosopher Gomez Davilla – it simply has not been translated into English; what also worries me is that Irish media are particularly unaware of what topics are discussed in Germany and one of them topics is the revision of Polish western borders – which will surely result in WWIII as it would be against the US interest – and there is no point it me trying to make media or people here aware of the latest political debates in Germany as there is no interest in it – then one day people will be surprised that Ireland will lose whatever little independence it has along with independent (on paper) Scotland with its supply lines controlled by Russian ships like they already did with Sweden and Estonia, energy and food prices will double or triple as Ireland is totally energy-dependent and does not produce anything other than expensive food, and gullible people will blame for it Eastern Europeans like me who came here to work, not the FF/FG/Labour government who polished German asses or themselves as they voted for the Lisbon Treaty).

    So the same lefty media in Ireland which at same stage bored its listeners to death with daily reports about paedophile scandals in Catholic Church (not that this should not have been investigated for it’s hard to follow moral demands of any institution which failed to account for its own sins) prepared by journalists who obtain astronomical amounts of our money for basically 3 hours of gobbledygook on Saturday morning (I remember that 10 years ago I was checking her in at Hilton and I greeted her in her voice – I am quite good at impersonating people – “Hello there, and a very good morning to you” – she was not amused, but the other guests were) are at the same time keeping its viewers and listeners unaware of the scale of the moral bankruptcy of the 68’ generation – from their support to Mao’s holocaust in China (Jose Manuel Barosso), their support to ideologies which resulted in famines and class wars (Marxists like Vincent Browne and Fintan O’Toole), unknown to TV-licence payers Eamon Gilmore’s “Workers Party” links with Stasi and North Korean tyranny (oh, and in case you did not know – at one public event I bumped into Mr. Gilmore singing, as it were, love poems to the Israeli ambassador and praising Israel’s policies – that’s the same Gilmore who closes embassies in Vatican – that’s the cute hoorism of the highest calibre) to hiding from Irish viewer facts like the Left’s attempts to legalise paedophilia or Irish trade unions support for Jaruzelski’s dictatorship in Poland (I am aware that this has changed later on, but the fact is they initially voted against the support of Solidarnosc).

    The same media who hush up the inconvenient truth about the Left rely on slanderous opinions when reporting the outcome of the presidential election in Poland. Now, I did not vote for the new Polish President Andrzej Duda because his stance on the EU is too wobbly – far from being ultra-conservative as he is portrayed in Ireland, he was oscillating between his previous support of David’s Cameron’s attempts to reform CAP and his inexplicable support to German attempts to cut the CO2 emissions (in case you did not know: serious German politicians do not give a flying f…k about CO2 emissions, their plans to restrict them is only an attempt to eliminate competition from cheap industries in Eastern Europe – Germany is burning more coal than at any point since 1990 and while the EU CO2 emission fell by 1.3pc in 2013, German emission rose by 1.8pc; they have just started buing coal mines in Poland that they had forced Poland to close; the same hypocrisy was produced in relation to shipyard industry – they forced Poland to close shipyards because they violated the EU competition law and then Germany and France violated the same law in order to expand their shipyards).

    Having said that, the fact that the Irish Independent – albeit via the British newspaper’s correspondent in Warsaw – relies on biased and unverified accounts of Adam Michnik and Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz in their reports on presidential election in Poland is really unprofessional. Adam Michnik described the new president views as “the velvet road to dictatorship”. Him and the ex-communist Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz think that Law and Justice will be motivated by prejudice in their policies. Now, like I said, I am not a supporter of the Law and Justice party (although I do have some influential friends in that party and they are now debating whether the office of the new President should sue the Irish Independent and sue them big), but I feel compelled to enlighten the Irish readers as to who is Adam Michnik.

    Adam Michnik is a Polish-Jewish dissident who changed his views in the 60s from an orthodox communism (his father was in the Communist Party of the Ukraine and as such he was against Polish independence). He was a co-author of an open letter to the Polish United Workers Party criticising it for diverting from orthodox socialism. He then became involved with the Trotskyite movement in France (how was he allowed to travel to Vienna, Munich and Paris and then come back is beyond my understanding). Him and the likes of him benefited hugely from being protected and fed by the Catholic Church in Poland, who did not even demand from them to abandon their atheism. In the 80s Adam Michnik had a very glorious episode in his life – he was imprisoned by gen. Kiszczak, beaten up and he refused an offer to leave Poland for French Riviera and have money and attracted girls provided to him by communists provided he would shut his mouth. In 1988 he came to an agreement with Jaruzelski’s regime – the communists were to share power with “Solidarnosc” provided that “Solidarnosc” would eliminate from its higher echelon anyone who is libertarian or conservative and that it would provide a soft landing for the communists. An appropriate law had been passed and Michnik became the editor-in-chief of the biggest and most influential Polish newspaper. That newspaper lost its popularity after 2005 when it transpired that Michnik tried to influence the media market in Poland via the ex-communist. Michnik tried to portray himself as the one who revealed the scale of corruption in Poland, but Poles were getting sick of monotonously mentoring, progressive and pro-Israeli tone of his newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza (which in the 90s commented the seizure of Palestinian territory by Israeli forces and brining there Jewish settlers against the UN as “Jerusalem is ours”).

    After Kaczynski brothers came to power, Michnik lost the plot so much so that he was sidelines from Gazeta Wyborcza shareholders because his rants started to affect sales. The trick that Michnik would use was to sue everyone who would disagree with him, using his connections to ex-communists secret service people, strict defamation laws in Poland and his enormous fortune as well as his links to Trotskyite movement in France and Grand Orient freemasonic lodge in France (one of Polish Foreign Ministers promoted by Michnik was a member of that lodge). From now on, Michnik would proclaim a total war on anyone who dares not to toe his newspapers line – not only via court cases (if he lost, he would publish an apology on 10th or 17th page, but even in that case he would bankrupt the person he would sue) – but also via foreign media thanks to his views being shared by the lefties in the EU such as Daniel Bendit-Cohn.

    However, all of that changed when Germany severed their links with Russia after coup d’etat in Ukraine and the US made an attempt to come back to Eastern Europe. Pro-Putin Michnik suddenly found himself in a void – not needed by the now anti-Russian Merkel and not needed by the not-so-pro-Israeli Obama.

    Once again his newspaper tried to influence the outcome of the presidential election in Poland – his newspaper called one of the candidates who tried to liberalise oligopoly media market in Poland, a conservative Grzegorz Braun, a fascist. Braun sued Michnik and Michnik lost. He was furious – he had already lost a previous court case in the Appeal Court in Warsaw – he sued a journalist for accusing him that his newspaper tries to stifle political debate in Poland. He became so desperate that his friend, a celebrity journalist Tomasz Lis the new President Andrzej Duda pointed out in Newsweek that Duda’s father-in-law is a Jew: in Michnik’s sick mind Poles are anti-Semitic and they would not vote for someone from a Jewish family: how wrong he was, Michnik’s newspaper underestimated Duda’s support by 12pc.

    And now here he is, in the Irish Independent, spitting vile on the new Polish President, while Michnik’s own brother murdered many Polish freedom fighters as in mock-court cases as a Stalinist judge in the 40s and 50s and has found a safe haven in socialist Sweden:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefan_Michnik

    And by the way, should anyone be interested in my opinion on the new Polish President, I would say this: Andrzej Duda is a moderate (he was formerly a member of a party which was rather like the Liberal Democrats in Britain) with some conservative inclinations. His background is social-liberal, although he then started to evolve towards mild conservatism (probably after he was elected an MEP and saw the scale of corruption in the EU).

    His party, the Law and Justice, will change the balance of power in Poland slightly towards pro-UK/US and anti-German if they win election in October – while the Civic Platform, pro-American in rhetoric, in reality toes the German line trying at the same time attach the odium of radicalism to Polish right-wing parties using police provocation:

    http://inside-poland.com/t/polands-secret-tape-scandal-goes-surreal-amid-claim-that-minister-ordered-arson-attack-on-russian-embassy-in-warsaw/

    while they themselves are the ones who are radical in their choice of words:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSvF8KAmzaw

    ).

    Paradoxically, Duda in his campaign was talking about going easy in Polish involvement in Ukraine as opposed to Komorowski’s and Kaczynski’s full involvement (I think his stance on arming Ukraine has changed while he was traveling around Poland and his voters started to question while Poland has been helping Ukraine financially and by admitting their refugees while the Ukrainian government is passing anti-Polish laws).

    In Europe Duda will probably be an ally of David Cameron as he has been in the past, but that probably depends on how Cameron behaves as he is feeling huge pressure from his voters and may become unpredictable before the EU referendum.

    • Grzegor,

      I enjoyed the first part of your piece. Thanks for the insights and the account into Polish infighting. I can only defer to your better knowledge of your home, however, re Michnik, watch out, your host might have very similar DNA!!:):)

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        Thanks David, I am glad that you enjoyed at least some of my writing and that I could contribute something to our readers.

        I’ll come back to the question of DNA (considering that all of it goes through PRISM anyway I think the safest strategy is to be on the square with our views :-) but first I would like to clarify something: I am aware that the lion’s share of the latest Polish political infighting would not be interesting for the readers of this blog (or even me), so what I am trying to do is to offer some political insights only if I think that changes on the Polish political stage may be relevant to the Irish political landscape (indirectly, via changes in the balance of power in Europe). And to be honest, privately I am of a rather high opinion of Indo, relatively speaking (sometimes they are the only Irish paper where there is any ideological debate going on: in other Irish papers everything has already been decided).

        However, I think that one of the articles published in the Indo on Mr. Andrzej Duda in which they quoted Mr. Michnik saying that the result of the election “could pose a threat to democracy” and it would swaddle the country “in all prejudices and obsessions” was so unprofessional from a journalistic point of view and so irresponsible in terms of international relations that I thought I had to do something about it, so I sent the copy to a friend of mine from college who was involved in Mr. Duda’s campaign in Krakow for their office to have a closer look at it (since Mr. Michnik seem to have been actually talking to an English paper and Indo copied it, this is where the matter will probably end – even though Poland and Ireland are two countries with probably the most strict defamation laws in Europe: an opinion shared by the Chief of Justice Susan Denham in private conversation during the conference on freedom of information I attended last year – I notified her in details about Mr. Michnik’s attempts to stifle political debate in Poland using defamation laws and asked her if there is anything she could do to liberalise that area of law in Ireland).

        Actually I forgot to mention in my previous comment to your article on DoneDeal that Mr. Duda’s campaign was a good example of how the internet replaces traditional trading: in this case the information trading as Duda’s support was underestimated by 12pc because the current government did not account for the fact that it is no longer sufficient to monopolise TV stations if the young voters in Poland take all their information from the internet and in the internet you can call the bluff of all propaganda (an even bigger winner of this new way of information trading was not Duda, but a punk-rock star Mr. Pawel Kukiz who received over 20pc support without even have a political party: Mr. Kukiz’s program is a mixture of trade unionism, nationalism and Mr. Nigel Farage’s free-market views – if that makes sense – it does not to me :-).

        All in all the conclusion from my insights is that if I am reading the Polish politics correctly Poland will change her government in October from a pro-German into anti-German, which would play into UKiP’s hands which are now Mr. Cameron’s hands too (it’s also in keeping with your articles on the rise of the English nationalism – I expect the future Law and Justice and Kukiz coalition to facilitate that rise for they will support Mr. Cameron is his anti-Brussels rhetoric – Mr. Kaczynski’s strategy was always to play the role of the US Trojan Horse in the EU – plans while at the same time being more tough on him in other issues, such as Poland contributing to the British rebate which may piss off Mr. Cameron’s electorate); as a matter of fact, the most pro-German TV station in Poland has just changed the ownership from German to a pro-Republican American owner and immediately they had to restrain their attacks on Mr. Duda: if there is one mistake that Ireland should learn from Poland is not to let 90pc of country’s newspapers to be bought by German capital (in Poland it is a German capital; the rest is the US capital and only two weekly magazines in Poland – and no daily newspapers – are Polish owned): keep most of the Irish press in the Irish hands (and force politicians to grant the Irish abroad the rights to vote – David, you talk so much about the outsiders, you should start obtaining signatures for that project and demand from politicians to declare themselves where they stand on that issue; it’s simple – only 1 out of 10 Poles in Ireland voted for the current Polish President because they had to leave because of the likes him: he signed 13 bills raising 21 taxes and he deepened the divisions between the outsiders and insiders like never before (public sector salary in Poland is now 3 times the salary in retail and you can only get a job in public sector in Poland if you are related to a politician); so likewise, the Irish citizens abroad would not vote for the current or FF government)!

        I think that you did right when you did not go along the Democracy Now project: I think that it’s too early for the pro-free market movement in Ireland which could play any significant role: all the anti-system opposition is even more left than the government. In my opinion Ireland has to go through a stage of Sinn Féin and the socialists (where do all those outside-the-Dáil lefties get money from? Is it still Russia, like in the past?) getting to power first – only when they start screwing up the economy the pendulum will swing right because people will wake up and see that nationalisation, benchmarking and trade unionism cannot grow this country out of debt and they will be more inclined to vote for politicians who promise structural reforms, free-market competition and re-shaking of the crony capitalism: this will be the time for people like you or me to enter the Irish politics. But we need to start from the campaign to grant the Irish citizens living abroad the right to vote (and I do not take the argument I often come across from the Irish (sic erat scriptum!) that the Irish abroad do not pay taxes so they should not vote: this principle may be actually quite sound, but what about the TD’s or union bosses who live entirely from your taxes? – why should they be entitled to vote? In pre-WWII Poland, before it degenerated into the sorry state that it is now, local councillors had to do their job for free for the same reason we do not have prenuptial agreements in the Irish Family – and they still do it on a voluntary basis in some towns in the US).

        Our campaign might be successful if we make sure that every TD who refuses to sign for such proposal will be stigmatised in social media, on street posters and during political debates. The success of such campaign may make you a very popular person, David, as you may target both the socialist, liberal and conservative electorate.

        Coming back to an article in Indo:

        http://www.pressreader.com/ireland/irish-independent/20150526/282089160365158/TextView

        People say that Fox, CNN or Sky News are biased – well they are, but even in Sky you usually have a split screen with a “yes” and “nay” advocates. At the end of the day it is the Irish reader who loses the most from such uncritical journalism when all they would know about the future Polish President (who oversees foreign policy and can veto any new legislation, so he is an important figure) comes from two people – one (Mr. Michnik) who, after his laudable role in “Solidarnosc” (Michnik’s record in the 80s, unlike the legendary Lech Walesa’s record, was impeccable), did everything he could to prevent sending to jail in the 90s a man who was responsible for murdering 100 people including 13 miners who went on strike and had been shot (gen. Czeslaw Kiszczak, whom Mr. Michnik famously called “The Man of Honour” and who actually let Stasi operate in Poland, which is completely bizarre to most historians: now BND has files on all Polish politicians and used it once to blackmail one of them), and the former communist minister Mr. Cimoszewicz, involved in insider trading as their second source (both are good examples of what too much money can do to your head).

        My motivation of loading the readers with so many details on Mr. Michnik was not the fact that the topic of the article was Poland (I would be the first person to reveal what’s wrong with Polish politics, but only when it is verifiable) – I was equally outraged during the Irish presidential campaign when I run through voting records of all Irish candidates and found out that one of them had voted as an MEP to make his expenses secret and the second runs a dodgy lobbying company in the EU parliament which does nothing good for Ireland, I can assure you of that – I said back then I would go public with it and I did: the whole country could see me outlining the details during one of the presidential debates and I still have the recording (the candidates withdrew shortly after).

        Now, as to DNA… First of all, without assuming anything, I would like to state that my sarcasm at “Gazeta Wyborcza” comment “Jerusalem is ours” has nothing to do with the Jewish question. Mr. Michnik does not represent the Jewish or (narrowing it down) even the Israeli voice in Poland – what he represents is rather that kind of political approach which is blindly pro-EU, pro-Israeli left, pro-social experiments such as euthanasia, pro-German and French, anti-UK (btw, Law and Justice would be much more pro-Ireland than Civic Platform as they see themselves in the UK/US/Ireland bloc against the Germans, although in 2005 their former Prime Minister Donald Tusk promised the Poles “the second Ireland” which after the Anglo-Irish scandal became a butt of a joke in Poland: “Tusk said we would be a second Ireland and we are”) – even though Michnik’s friend is in charge of the Leeds University, that’s how influential he is! – and at some stage also pro-Putin: his paper defended a contract with Gazprom as a result of which Poland pays the highest gas price in Europe (now he is anti-Putin).

        What I find dangerous for setting the standards of how politics should be run not only in Poland, but also in the EU (Mr. Michnik is influential also in the EU, particularly in France and Germany) is his leniency towards corruption and repeated demands to acquit murderers of 100 victims of the Martial Law in Poland: in the 90s his newspaper would launch vicious attacks on anyone who said that people with blood on their hands should not be active in Polish politics and the same paper would only investigate corruption cases of his political opponents, such as Law and Justice (there had been a few, but not even near as many and serious as in the ruling Civic Platform – the most recent one was a deal with the governor of the Polish Central banks that was meant to influence the last regional election, which perhaps does not sound very serious except that VAT on children’s clothing and books had to be raised from 7pc tp 23pc to finance it; in fact Kaczynski brothers had arguably the best record on corruption from all Polish governments: it is their naïve obsequiousness to the US that I would rather hold against them, for which Poland got nothing except for dead soldiers in Iraq, where Poland had its occupation zone between the US and the UK occupation zones – I mean Jasus, had Poland done it for oil it would have been a crime but it would still be better than doing it only because we like the Americans and Kaczynski likes them even more because he thinks they can stop Merkel from germanising Europe).

        As a matter of fact, one can say that both Mr. Michnik and his opponent Mr. Kaczynski have a very good press in Israel (the late President Lech Kaczynski had even introduced the Jewish Hanukah celebrations to his Presidential Palace) – but Mr. Michnik on the Israeli left and President Lech Kaczynski on the Israeli right – all of that is easy to verify). This is in keeping with the fact that until the 60s the three factions in Knesset would debate respectively: the Right in Hebrew, the Liberals in Polish and the Left in Russian. What’s more, few would know that one can say that Poland has – I know this sounds a bit megalomaniac, but wait till I tell you – to an extent created the state Israel as before WWII the Polish authorities trained underground cells that participated in organizing migration to Palestine (I guess this statement will make me many enemies as in Poland you could not publish anything anti-Israeli and here you cannot published anything pro-Israeli without being ostracised – Ireland has the most anti-Israeli President in Europe – but I am neither pro nor anti-Israeli: I criticise Israel if I think I should (apartheid and their annoying lobby in the US) and I praise it when I think I should (6pc of GDP spending on the army – this ensured the transfer of the latest technologies which gave rise to modern economy in Israel and helped to alleviate the problem of unemployment: someone would say Ireland cannot afford 6pc of GDP on the army, but hang on: how much do we spend on public servants and banksters?): the Polish authorities brought about courses in which Irgun officers were trained in advanced military issues and as pilots; all of them officers spoke Polish (further details in: “Marriage of convenience, New Zionist Organization and Polish Government 1936-1939” by Dr. Laurence Weinbaum).

        I was going to touch on Michnik’s economic illiteracy and how this brought about Poland being done by the likes of Soros and the IMF (100bn dollars had been transferred out of Poland and found its way to the pockets of international gamblers – and the likes of Michnik helped to broker this “deal”; in fact Mr. J. Sachs from the IMF said in an interview that the deal was done in Mr Michnik’s Trotskyite friend Mr. Jacek Kuron, with Mr. Michnik present), but as a matter of fact I was so relieved that I did not have to hear any more about him (until that article in the Irish Independent)…
        By the way, I think David that in your excellent “Going For Gold” article when you discuss gold and the Great Depression you forget that even Keynes – not the first name that comes to our minds when we think of gold standard advocates – thought that gold standard did not work in the UK because the government set the exchange rate wrong after WWI (so back to Hayek’s idea of free banking maybe?); the second thing I would like to point out is that although I am vehemently anti-Keyenesian when it comes to money printing, I am of the opinion that Keynes was right on two things and two things only: animal spirits and exports.

        Germany is a good example that it is better to have an export surplus imbalance than import, provided you CARVE OUT A MARKET FOR YOUR MANUFACTURING BASE using a network of currencies, political unions and sometimes military force.

        Whether such market is sustainable in the long-term is another cup of tea:

        http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2012/02/real-problem-with-giips-current-account.html#more-1015

        Sometimes, when you are not satisfied with food production limits and CO2 emissions restrictions imposed on weaker countries in order to eradicate your competition you can resort to direct bribing, as in case of Polish politicians (one of pro-German Civic Platform Polish Foreign Ministers, the late Mr. Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, was so used to receiving money from Germany every 3 months that when he became a minister and did not get a German award, he complained about it in an interview: soon the German city of Karlsruhe awarded him money :-) :-) :-) which they enigmatically and perhaps sarcastically named “Spark in the Reason” award: I think this is a more breathtaking audacity from a politician than even Teflon Bertie’s horse on which he had won his money or SF cries to hold our TD’s to account when they still did not account for Maira Cahill or petty thefts like the ink money:

        http://www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/not-an-inkling-26827992.html

        ).

        And on that bombshell…

        • “thought that gold standard did not work in the UK because the government set the exchange rate wrong after WWI ”

          Setting the exchange rate is simply a form of price fixing or currency control. It never works as the market place sets the value. Such value is often at odds with the the fixed rate and so distortions occur.

          Post WW2 the gold standard had been reset in 1944 at Bretton Woods and the gold price was set at $35 US. No other coutry set the price of gold but they set their currncy to the US dollar thereby indirectly using the remnat of the gold standard. This allowed the US to print huge amounts of dollars based upon the 20,000 tons of gold allegedly held by the US. The rest of the world bought US dollars to use in international trade.

          As the US spent more than it earned every year the other countries accumulated a US dollar suplus in trade. They used these dollars to redeem the gold at the $35 US an ounce. The US stash og gold depleted to 8200 tonnes where it sits today if one believes the officials.

          This would not have happened if the price of gold had not been fixed. The currencies of all countries were inflated because of the increase in the amount of US dollars (as the US funded its deficit and ever growing debt). This in simple terms devalued all currencies against the valus of all goods and commodities. Gold at $35 US became radically cheap and totally undervalued.

          At that point Nixon said no more and refused to redeem any more gold in exchange for US dollars.

          Gold was now (1971) totally demonetised , officially, and the printing of paper currencies now had and still has no limit. Hence QE to infinity and the destruction of all major currencies.

          The setting of the price of gold was still practiced but in the face of the open market pressures. As the central bankers destoy the valus of currencies (as visualised by inflation and the increasing costs of living) it becomes imperative that this be disguised as much as possible.

          Two ways this is done. Firstly by lieing about the statistics. This is done by constant adjustments to the cost of living metrics and elinination of other items from the core inflation calculations. This includeds the cost of food and energy.

          The second way is to manipulate the price of gold downward as dispite all efforts gold is still money. Central bankers know this and so paper promises to buy and sell gold are issued that exceed the actual amount of physical bullion availavle by factors of 2, 5 10 or 20 times. Thus the COMEX now is a fraud of paper derivitives wher huge volumes of “paper gold” are sold in fractions of minutes to drive the price down.

          The law of diminishing effects means that greater and greater amounts of paper gold are required to keep the price down. This is a daily happening and the volatility is beginning to show. The real value of gold will and is showing itself.

          The destruction of the currencies will be seem in the resetting of the real value of the worlds real money.
          China, Russia and other nations prepare for this. Eurpean nationa are taking steps to repatriate their gold holdings.

          There is no requirement to have a price set, but the value of gold should be allowed to operate in a free market and reflect its true value. Gold is the measure for all other currencies and not the other way around.

          The day that gold is allowed to perform its true function as a store of value and a medium of exchange will be the day that the economy of the world will healed and returned to a properly functional market place.

          Until this occurs we will continue to be subjected to machinations and manipulations of the market that will be for the benefit of the elites or so called 1%

          It is past time that honesty be returned to the market place and the communities by the closing of the central banking fiat currencies and and replacing with the use of the honest money based on gold.

          This is a huge undertaking as it requires a release from the general corrution of thought and reason of people in their acceptance of the current monetary system as normal.

          Our economists and educators must lead the way and advocate for a just and moral system to replace the current lies and deceit.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            Tony, of course setting the exchange rate for gold is a form of price fixing or currency control. But my point was not that lesson from post-WWI period was that government should have been doing price fixing, but rather that when Dave, who is an (open) neo-Keynesian says in his article that “Surely anyone with a grasp of economic history knows that strict adherence to the gold standard, with the balanced budget mantra, at a time of asset price deflation in the early 1930s exacerbated the recession, which morphed into the Great Depression.”

            http://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/2012/08/27/going-for-gold

            he forgets that even Keynes – who was an opponent of the gold standard – did not actually blame the gold standard for the Great Depression, but rather he blamed the exchange rate the government has set on gold. Sometimes I have the impression that no one has red Keynes for the last few decades and all that is discussed is some sort of straw man version of Keynes – just look at how Paul Krugman and Steve Keen have opposite views and they both declare themselves as Keynesians…

            “Post WW2 the gold standard had been reset in 1944 at Bretton Woods and the gold price was set at $35 US.” – no, if my memory serves me correctly, the $35 price for gold has been set not at Bretton Woods, but 11 years earlier by President Roosevelt when he confiscated people’s savings. He bought gold from poor souls for $20.67 and then he said: boohoo, now gold is worth €35, thank you most kindly.

            So when people talk about Roosevelt’s highways and employment programs and debt forgiveness they forget that this was partly financed by confiscating savings and partly by avoiding bankruptcy due to WWII
            As you probably know, Germany could attack Poland ONLY BECAUSE

            1. the Soviets cooperated with them – here I disagree with RT crosstalk and Max Keiser propaganda when they say that Russia is defending herself from NATO expansion because they have bad experience from WWII – but the WWII could start ONLY because Russia helped to build the German army and attacked Poland and

            2. Roosevelt did not pass to Poland the information about the Ribbentrop-Molotov secret annex so Hitler assumed Poland knew about it when he was declaring war.

            As to fractional reserve, I would need a separate entry to clarify my stance on it, so I’ll drop it for the moment.

            As to gold, I wonder what you think about debasing it. Historically, it was not as much important whether you had fiat money or gold but rather who controlled the currency. For example, the Roman Empire had gold and silver but it had collapsed because of the “fiatization” of gold (a term I have just made up ;-).

            Of course, you can always check whether gold coins are 999 gold or, say, 10% gold. But so what? – who controls currency also controls police and legal tenders – and means of control are now like millions of times better than in the Roman Empire…

            I am curious about your opinion on bitcoin. The more I think about the more I am inclined to suspect bitcoin is a Ponzi-scheme.

            For example, Max Keiser says there will never be more than 21m of bitcoins. So how come it can become a reserve currency???!!!!
            Furthermore, Mr. Keiser said on Alex Jones show that he is a bitcoin millionaire. So that means he has at least 1m out of those 21m coins. Asked whether he invented bitcoin, Max denied and named someone who invented it whereupon Mr. Jones said about that name “but that’s you” and Keiser did not deny…

            So the chances are that whoever bought bitcoin at the wrong time would be like those schmucks who invested in houses for €500,000 in Longford with no electricity or playgrounds times 50…

            Once again, thanks for all your links you posting, but particularly documentaries – I am so tired of that PBS/BBC narrative where every crisis is attributed to a group of people and not the system.

            Maybe you might be interested in reading a short article on the geopolitical situation in Poland with my comment below – it’s from 3 years ago, but nothing has changed except that there is now more debt and public spending (and even though the Polish Central Bank is forbidden to finance budget deficits, its governor had been asked to do it illegally by the minister in a phone conversation which had been leaked to media, probably by Russian secret service).

            http://www.economist.com/node/18620924

            http://www.economist.com/node/18620924/comments#comments

  5. http://investmentresearchdynamics.com/sot-ep-31-gerald-celente-to-pee-or-not-to-pee/

    You don’t have a clue what’s going on in Government and neither do the American people because if they did there’d be a revolution in this country. – John Connolly (Secretary of Navy under Kennedy, Secretary of Treasury under Nixon, Governor of Texas) to Gerald Celente, 1992

  6. coldblow

    “It is impossible to predict when and why certain ideas jump from being regarded as eccentric to being conventional.”

    Oh I dunno. ‘Traditional Christmas’ was devised by our colonial upper classes for their own sport. ‘Traditional’ white weddings did not spring into life spontaneously in the imagination of Darby O’Gill and our fathers of yore who dwelt among the bogs. Novel forms of marriage, like water charges, have been known to have occurred elsewhere in recent times and it is unlikely that the Sons and Daughters of Erin rose from their pleasant slumbers and took up their arms without a bit of advance briefing. And indeed our celebrated ‘tolerance’ is not entirely moulded from pure Irish clay and genius (nor is it quite without imperfection).

    “It is impossible to predict…”

    Still, let’s have a try, if only for a laugh.

    Abortion. Euthanasia. Secularization. More Europe. Assorted rules ‘n’ regulations. Prime Time will get onto it.

    How do I know this?

    Ah now!

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      Euthanasia in the Netherlands has obviously nothing to do with our collapsing pension systems, oh no, God forbid…

  7. Sectors of the Patriot Act are set to expire but the controlers want to keep you in a cage. Illegal spying by the state on the individual has become acceptable??

    http://chooseliberty.org/pa-d.aspx?pid=ts07

  8. https://www.europesilverbullion.com/

    They advertise that one can buy silver coins without VAT and deliver anywhere in Europe.

  9. “The proposed gold monetisation scheme to bring the idle gold lying in Indian homes to the banking system may prove to be a costly affair for banks. In the past, the Gold Deposit and Gold Metal Loan schemes have not been popular because of the low interest rates offered on those schemes. The proposed scheme will allow banks to sell the deposited gold to generate forex. However, the cost of refining the gold along with payment of interest on the deposits may prove costly for banks. Moreover, gold as a commodity has an emotional value for Indians who may not like to part with it. Another area of concern is proof of ownership, which would be required before banks can accept the gold from people. Gold in India has been used to hoard black money in a secured form. Bringing it into the formal system may not be profitable for a majority of the people.” … Neeraj Thakur

  10. Mike Lucey

    Back on topic!

    I think an example of what DMcW is talking about might be the launch of Xapo.com and the intended launch of 21 Inc.

    Xapo appears to be an easy and secure way of buying, storing and using bitcoin for everyday transactions using their debit card. I am still waiting to see Bitgold introduce their intended debit card!

    Xapo are dropping the intended €15 charge for the debit card and introducing the following charges which have some folks grumbling,

    Set Up €0.00
    Monthly Service Fee €3.95
    ATM transaction €2.50
    Int ATM transaction €3.50
    Decline €1.00
    Association transaction €0
    Foreign Conversion 3%
    IVR per call €0
    Card balance at ATM €0.50
    Card replacement €4.50
    Expedited Card replacement €60.00
    ATM PIN change €0.50
    Redemption of unused funds per request €10.00

    For peace of mind it might be worth using Xapo. I like the idea of the vault containing the non internet connected servers deep in an ex-Swiss military compound half way up the Alps. These compounds were pointed out to me some years ago while traveling around Switzerland and they would be very tough to break into.

    21 Inc. intend to turn our smart phones etc into Bitcoin miners!
    Plans for Mass Bitcoin Miner Distribution
    http://www.coindesk.com/21-inc-confirms-plans-bitcoin-distribution/

    I understand Xapo and 21 Inc have common board members so I imagine one will feed off the other.

    Like DoneDeal’s easy to use advert / sale system, Xapo and 21 Inc could bring the ordinary man / woman on the street into using Bitcoin in their everyday activities and business dealings. It could be a force that increases the velocity of Bitcoin use which I understand is a problem at the moment as the vast majority of Bitcoin are being held.

    Mike

  11. Midas du Metropole

    “You may recall me recently covering GATA’s trip to our Nation’s Capital to meet with Speaker Hastert in May of 2000. As mentioned, he could not have been more gracious.

    Who knows what this is really all about, but it is yet another example of what a joke of a Federal judicial system we have. First the soccer sting, now this. So Hastert makes super headlines and is charged with a crime while the prominent bankers charged in criminal proceedings (pay $30 billion in fines) never get personally charged with anything. It is farcical beyond comprehension … and yet these despicable facts will never be discussed by our bought off press in America.

    If whatever Hastert did deserves criminal charges, what about the financial banker crooks? And meanwhile, back at the soccer ranch, the President of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, was just elected to his 5th term. Maybe Dennis Hastert should run for Speaker again!

    *This has been a trend that keeps on keepin’ on…”"

    I wonder who the news reporter is who will break this story??

    • DB4545

      Tony Brogan

      Thanks for the information regarding coins. FIFA? I don’t doubt the corruption but the timing of arrests was interesting. It’s like Bugsy Siegel and Las Vegas. Siegel opened up Vegas and the Mob back east saw the money to be made. Siegel was taken out and the local outfits and politicians in Nevada were made an offer they couldn’t refuse. Blatter opened up Asia and Africa and the local crews in those regions got a taste of what was possible and they’re in no hurry to give it up. The Mob in FIFA Europe want to control the franchise. They see the possibilities with sponsorship and advertising and their not handing it over without a fight. The issue isn’t corruption just who benefits from the proceeds.I wish them all a long a happy life.

      DB

      • From what I read fraud was involved

        • DB4545

          Tony Brogan

          Tony fraud is the environment of course fraud is involved.Fraud isn’t the issue it’s being going on for years. The issue is how the proceeds of that fraud are divided up and allocated to the parties involved. Mario Puzo said finance is a gun, politics is knowing when to pull the trigger.

          What motivated the timing of arrests a few days before the election? Every soccer organisation in Europe and politician was singing off the same song sheet following the arrests. Why the US interest? It’s hardly a critical US interest except perhaps for the brands involved through sponsorship.If fraud is the key issue the US could request the Swiss authorities to arrest individuals from a number of interesting organisations in Switzerland and get a better bang for the buck of US taxpayers.

          You may remember Bernie Madoff. The SEC were handed the information detailing his fraud and sat on it for ten years? Check out the banks and hedge funds linked to that fraud and you’ll see a lot of familiar names still in business.That was a huge fraud perpetrated against US taxpayers.Politics is knowing when to pull the trigger.

          DB

          • Yes and thanks for the above.
            Corruption is endemic. Nothing and no one can be trusted. Regualators are in the hands of the crooks.
            Just becvause something is ongoing does not make it a non issue. acceptance allows continuation.
            It is the sad state that corrution is the norm. Regulations are only used to draw attention to smaller fry while the larger crimes go unpunished.

            What do you think many of my postings are about? There are a litany of regulations broken where people should go to jail but are slapped on the wrist with fines. Just a cost of doing business!!!

            I’ll go back and say it all starts with the money system we use. Without the corruption there much of the ancilliary corruption would disipate and die. It just could not be funded.

            I begin to think that my postings are largely a waste of time and effort.

            I’ll go sailing again today and reflect on the ammoral state of the world that it is now acceptable to say something is not an issue as it has been going on for a long time. That is not good enough.

  12. *This has been a trend that keeps on keepin’ on…””

    (Got the headline in the wrong article!! This is the correct one.)

    http://nypost.com/2015/05/28/man-falls-to-death-outside-luxury-building/

    I wonder what info he had that would make him jump?

  13. *SMFH!* Had to rise from the dead for this one….

    David writes article linking social innovation [#MarRef] to trading platform innovation [#DoneDeal] and the usual suspects start droning on about: Gold/Bitcoin/DaFedz and all the rest of the bollix that’s capsized this blog over the years. Like lifers in Fed Max prisons they shuffle around the exercise yard with their pet peeves, pumping iron or lifting their mass of gold bars to flex their Libertarian steroid enhanced *intellectual muscles* erm….LOL! and FFS!

    Meanwhile the world has moved on. Lots of mad-ass Dub lads at Kilmainham tonight doing that whole Tallaght Eminem Wigger stuff to Run The Jewels or vibing to Ritchie Hawtin whilst bombed on shrooms. Their ‘bitchez’ were in bikinis though it was perilously cold and I had my winter coat on. But….we see this all the time ‘on the streets’. At least these lads’n'lasses have no pretensions towards being taken seriously unlike the myriad tossers on this thread who think they can ignore the gist of every single article to go back to strokin their pet rocks/each others c*cks. Erm, fcuk off with that crap. Or keep it to the showers….

    Still no idea why #DMcW didn’t max his brand by loudly shouting from the roof-tops his prescient support for the whole #2ndRainbowNation faggot logic stuff, but nay boder, as I’ve clued Enda and the rest in.

    Hi Enda. Well done, mt8, you finally kicked the homophobe FG rump to the kerb and stepped up to the plate. Ain’t it Lulz how it all pans out~ My best mt8, a Catholic priest who went to school with you….LOLOLOL!!!!

    Glad you saw sense and ran with the youth cadre of Fine Gael. I had lots in reserve to torture you with, but wisely, you realised who runs Shawshank and that his name is ‘Andy’. Though that’s no longer the case, is it?

    “what’s it all about, Alfie?”

    This blog is fine for the articles but most of the folk who comment should be put in a gold-lined cask and thrown off the next Irish Ferries boat to Holyhead, with a cascade of Bitcoin hailstones showering their watery grave, before the #2ndRainbowRepublic rainbow appears.

    Can someone tell Joan Burton that if she’s gonna rifle my Twitter feed for pithy soundbites, she could at least give credit? Or I’ll get Mario to give her some serious grief. OK? Good.

    Over and out. See some of ye in the years ahead when I drop the facade, reveal my allegiances/alliances and step up to run this place and save it from a fate worse than death. Please note: I’m not actually interested in anyone’s opinion on all this. Real Alphas don’t bother with Beta feedback. Just ask Enda what happens when inmates get uppity with BrummieBoy. Or ask the forlorn 33 years Corpsetarian/Cheesetarian casualty Morrissey what the hell he makes of the ‘shy, bald, Buddhisht BCFC Zulu from B10 who nailed his career to a cross of hypocrisies such that future generations will hear ‘How Soon Is Now?” and loudly chorus “Clown…Klovn” Etc. ……

    best. and bye.
    [channeled via the ghost of Patrick Pearse's Dad in Birmingham]

    The Artist FKA as “AndrewGMooney”
    Generator
    Smithfield Sq
    Dublin.
    1.6.2015

  14. just to revisit the last essay. Chris Spivey was quoted and and condemned.

    However it would appear that the behaviour he complained of is indeed rampant.

    This is just one news report.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/11617789/Scale-of-child-sex-abuse-revealed-in-new-police-figures.html

    • coldblow

      Tony

      Spivey is not a credible source, to put it mildly. As I said earlier, even Essex has its village idiots. I wouldn’t say it to his face. Have you seen those tattoos? How on earth can you take him seriously?

      Your linked article only really tells us that a large number of allegations have been made about sexual abusers and these have been indulged by credible police, politicians and media. This is what happens in witch hunts. Apparently 1,400 men are under suspicion. It does not mention other genders (Facebook apparently recognizes 58 varieties so far discovered) perhaps because these are by definition beyond suspicion. This is all in the wake of Jimmy Savile’s death and it is clear that the excitement has not died down and is not likely to for a long time. In the circumstances I would be very cautious indeed about these claims. Liars and fantasists are commonplace. I know several people where half of what they say is untrue. The difficulty is you don’t know which half (and they are often not sure themselves).

      Once again, you need named witnesses to step forward and stand over their claims. It will turn out in the Westminster case that nobody saw anything after all, because there wasn’t anything to see. Of course, the irresponsible fools and liars who begin these rumours will retreat into the shadows and forget about it, until a new one comes along.

      The article warns about the dangers of abuse on the internet. I don’t doubt it. I resisted going online at home until January last year.

      My main point was about organized paedophile rings at the Highest Level, protected by the Establishment, and involving Powerful People (not to forget the obligatory Senior Police Officers). This is fantasy and rhetoric (they feed off each other) and it is both dangerous and very stupid indeed.

      This interests me because it is an obvious injustice in itself and also because it throws light on our intellectual failings. This is largely why we are in the predicament we find ourselves in.

      Finally, as regards the police, note that North Wales Police were behind the Bryn Estyn case (see the late Richard Webster’s website) and the more recent Chad Evans case. Look at Evans’s own site – it is a real eye-opener. Having been convicted of rape in very strange circumstances, Evans was prevented from resuming work as a professional footballer because of petitions and pressure from the on-line lynch mob. (He can’t play abroad as that would break his parole conditions – you really couldn’t make it up.) But that’s fine because he is a footballer.

      As a clear example of police stupidity, incompetence and sheer populist gormlessness this one is still hard to beat (Plebgate):

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCS-e00Rmnw

  15. Military-Industial complex rules the roost. funded by the central bankers money system.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-31/how-us-indirectly-armed-isis-over-2300-humvees

  16. Michael Ballanger…Posted on lemetropolecafe.com

    Criminality is rampant…

    The incredible part about trading markets these days is watching these Central Bank bozos violating every rule of law imaginable. If a mining company fudges assay results, it’s called “fraud” and the stock gets delisted and people are fined and go to jail. If an oil trading firm doctors its sales and earnings with off-balance-sheet debt covenants, heads roll and the stock gets annihilated. If a government gets economic data that is contrary to their interests, they simply issue “adjustments” or “revisions” and everyone celebrates by putting on their “Dow 20,000″ hats. No one calls it “fraud”; no one calls it “racketeering”; no one invokes the RICO act; and no one goes to jail for issuing false statements. Meanwhile, regulators force mining companies to spend millions and millions of dollars on “independent reports” by “Qualified Persons” under National Instrument 43-101 in order to protect the public from unscrupulous operators capable of defrauding the public with bogus drilling data. If you drill two holes 51 metres apart instead of 50, you are censured as if you were a terrorist; if you “seasonally adjust” a lousy economic number to “beat estimates”, you are a Central Bank-controlled bureaucrat and are applauded. If you are a farmer and you want to hedge your 300,000 bushels of corn, you have to PROVE that you own the corn; if you are a bullion bank and want to sell three times annual global production of silver, you have to prove NOTHING; you wave your magic wand and the CFTC accepts your sale as a “hedge”.

    This is where the world is today; it is no different that Chicago in the Roaring Twenties; Capone owns the police, the judges, the juries, and the politicians.

  17. More of the same sucking the lifeblood out of the nation. Oft repeated, does this become acceptable as it is more of the same. If you think so, you too are a part of the corruption.

    http://awaken-longford.com/2015/06/01/let-me-tell-you-a-great-credit-story-sorry-i-should-say-a-great-debt-story/

  18. Corruption reigns in government and the Free worlds foreign aid to poor countries perpetuates the corruption abroad as well as at home.

    http://www.thedailybell.com/editorials/36328/Mises-Institute-Freedom-Global-Poverty-and-the-Failure-of-Foreign-Aid/?uuid=6F800609-5056-9627-3C5071902B060BF2

  19. here is a second hand idea gaining some traction

    From The Moneychanger.

    A few nights ago I read Texas House Bill HB483. You can find out all about it and get a copy at http://bit.ly/1GSJY1w

    It establishes a Texas State precious metals depository. For all the years I have been working for and praying for and risking my life for a sound money system and the end of fiat money, and this is the nearest step to it I have seen. It has everything:

    1. No talk of doom, gloom, and world’s end, only a plan for building the future.

    2. A guard against confiscation. Think that won’t do any good? Thin k again. It’s Texas. If anybody would stand up to the Feds, it’s Texas.

    3. Payment Provision. Account holders can pay other account holders, gold, silver, platinum, palladium, or rhodium.

    4. Check writing. Yes, you can write a check against your account to pay metals or, I believe, the yankee dollar equivalent.

    5. A statewide network of depository agents in every dusty hamlet.

    6. NO HYPOTHECATION. No derivatives, no futures, no delayed delivery, none of that hocus-pocus New York & London feed off of. Hard metal in hand.

    7. Official exchange rates. Requires comptroller to publish official exchange rates for precious metals transactions into yankee dollars and other currencies, but not “setting” an official rate.

    8. In sum, this bill establishes a state-wide gold and silver bank for payments & storage.

    This is the very best sound money bill I’ve seen so far, far better than those pitty-pat Utah-type solutions that say silver & gold coin are legal tender when the constitution and US statutes already provide that but everybody’s & every state’s too chicken to enforce it.

    Since at least 1991 I have firmly believe that whenever an electronic gold & silver payments system could be established, it could supplant fiat currencies worldwide in two years at most, less time given a crisis. Everywhere it has been tried, the US government has fought it bloody tooth and nail, nationally and internationally, & sought to stop it by criminal prosecutions & regulations.

    Now Texas steps forward to make it stick. And if Texas has nerve to carry through, it could make Texas a center of world finance to rival New York and London — Better than Switzerland because it is home to 27,695,284 Texans and all but two of ‘em are armed and serious.

    The bill has passed the house and senate, and the senate has sent it back to the house with a few amendments. If you live in Texas, go to http://www.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx & find out who your representative is and send him an email NOW urging him to vote for this bill. And SHAME on you if you won’t.

    • Mike Lucey

      Well at least Texas will ultimately save themselves $1 million a year in storage fees that are currently being paid to the NY FED.

      I will await to see if the gold is actually in NY and how long it takes for Texas to get delivery. They should have a word with the Germans on how to expedite matters.

      The chickens are coming home to roost in their droves!

  20. http://moneymorning.com/2015/05/31/market-corruption-becomes-business-as-usual/

    “There is something profoundly wrong with a world where those entrusted with power are consistently found to be corrupt. But it is even more disturbing that this corruption is treated as “business as usual” in the media and the markets.”

  21. The EU is an autocratic dictatorship

    Out of his self-locked closet at last, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is showing genuine signs of really wanting to tell it like it is. In a Le Monde article yesterday, no punches were pulled….as this extract shows:

    ‘The lack of agreement so far is not due to an alleged inexorable, intransigent and incomprehensible attitude from Greece but rather the persistence of certain institutional actors in continuing to submit absurd proposals showing no awareness of the recent democratic choice of the Greek people….this suggests a complete abolition of democracy in Europe. It means ultimately the authority to create a technocratic monster, leading to a Europe totally alien to its founding values….For those countries that refuse to bow to the new power the solution is simple: Harsh punishment. Mandatory austerity, even more restrictions on the movement of capital, disciplinary sanctions, fines, and even parallel currency. A new European power will be built at the expense of member States, and the first victim is to be Greece. If, however, anyone imagines that this decision concerns only Greece, they’re making a massive error. I would suggest such people reread Hemingway’s masterpiece: “For whom the bell tolls”’.

    https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/coming-economic-crisis-western-consumers-give-vote-of-no-confidence-eastern-manufacturers-give-evidence-of-lower-exports-russian-rouble-shows-resilience-greek-leader-offers-strong-resistance/

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