Archive for September, 2010

$2,000 Gold

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

"There hasn’t been an empire in the history of mankind that has given away its wealth and its power base like the United States is currently doing. What are you doing? You’ve got 20% unemployment, you’re trying to bailout out the Chinese, you’re trying to bailout the Indians, you’re trying to bailout the Middle East, and no peace is arising you’ve got wars still everywhere. So what are you doing? Why are you allowing this huge transfer of your wealth to these other countries, who, I promise you, from and international perspective, are laughing."

Manduca does a fine job in explaining the global issues that will fuel the price of gold to much higher levels:

Subsidy of Debt: The Broken Business Model

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Remember when “flipping” houses was the hottest investment around.  Just go down to Florida and buy a condo, put it back on the market at a higher price and wait.  If you had a good credit score and reasonable cash flow, you could leverage up dramatically thus generate much greater profits.  60 Minutes interviewed a young man who did that in Phoenix.  He had in excess of 10 houses and he had no true prior business expertise.  After a short period of time, he was a millionaire on paper.  All that is history now.  The Federal Government is now subsidizing a broken business model of debt and leverage.  Ben Bernanke is prepared to take interest rates “negative”.  That means you will pay to keep your money in the bank and that is a scary thought.  The longer the government subsidizes the broken business model, the worse the outcome.

We do not have a free market but an interventionist market instead.  When you have this type of market, you can throw out most of your economic assumptions and past comparisons.  The intervention perverts the normal technical analysis of markets.  The Fed and others thought we could borrow our way into perpetual prosperity.  Wrong!  There are now doubts about the fiat currencies’ continued viability.  The issue with fiat currencies is that their problems are serious and complex.  Nobody is certain about the total liabilities tied to these currencies.

We are now moving into the endgame and it is high risk.  The potential of the destruction of currencies is real and the probability is rising rapidly.  The destruction could occur within a few weeks’ time and the Central Banks’ balance sheets could balloon by a factor of 20,30, even 50 times the current size.  At that point, the currency is “toast”.  Interest rates would rise dramatically and bust the bond market where investors would lose billions if not trillions in value.

The subsidy of debt with fiat currency is forcing all fiat currencies downward relative to the price of commodities, specifically gold and silver.  This is why both metals are achieving fresh highs in their prices.  For the gold & silver prices to fall, the central banks would have to get religion and increase interest rates substantially to prop up their currency.  Don’t expect that to happen soon with the sustained unemployment numbers.  If China revalued their currency by 20%, millions of Chinese workers would lose their jobs and their central government will not take the risk.

There are no consistent rules in today’s economy.  The savers are “loaning” banks money at virtually 0%.  Does that mean that their money has no value? Preposterous!  The banks are turning around and loaning that money at 6%.  Whose interest does the government have at heart?  What “public” are they serving?  Someone is living a lie and it may be the entire American structure.

The average investor incorrectly thinks we are a capitalistic country.  In the U.S., we operate as socialism at the top where interest rates dictated and the government intervenes in the markets.  At the bottom, we have fierce competition for jobs.  The socialistic top structure will fail.

The U.S. has sent low paying manufacturing jobs overseas over the last 30 years which converted us to an asset based economy.  Those low paying jobs are now developing into middle class jobs but they are not here in the U.S. but in China and other developing countries.  Our productive capacity continues to decline thus our future value will decline as well.

We don’t know what would have happened in 2008 if there had not intervention in the financial markets.  GE would have probably bit the dust.  Several large banks would have evaporated.  As long as there is intervention by the Fed, we will not go through deflation because their mandate is inflation.  This is the reason you are seeing new highs in gold and silver almost on a daily basis now.

The Game: Easy to get in, hard to get out

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

“Greed is the root of all evil.”  Yes, I know we have heard that the “love of money” should start the sentence but the translators could have easily replace the phrase with the word greed.  Greed is an excessive desire to possess wealth or goods and it also known as known as avarice or covetousness.  The last three of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 dealt with greed:

15 "You shall not steal.

16 "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

17 "You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s."

The title of the blog is a quote from the new movie WALL STREET: Money Never Sleeps and features a man named Gordon Gekko who epitomizes the Wall Street mentality.  In the original 1987 movie, Gekko proclaims “greed is good”.  In this sequel, he now adds “greed is legal”.

Greed is what put the U.S. in its current economic recession (or depression if you are without a job).  The Wall Street banksters managed to lobby Congress and get the laws changed, repealed, or watered down to the point where greed could take over in reckless abandon.  We may find that there has never been a point in this nation’s history where the greed of a few has had such a disastrous impact on so many.  Greed found a way to exploit the covetousness of the average person wanting a bigger, nicer house, car, or trappings.  This greed got kicked off in the early 80’s with changes in the law over the next 20 years.  This greed is found throughout Scripture.  The greed of inheritance surfaces when Judah wanted to remove Joseph from the scene in Genesis 37.  Judah was in line to receive the cherished inheritance from Jacob but Joseph’s dream indicated otherwise.  Judah needed to insure that Joseph’s dream would not come to pass.  His spirit of greed rose up and took action.  Nobody was going to take his inheritance away.  He did not trust in the Word of the LORD so he felt he must take immediate and decisive action.  Get rid of the kid!  Is today any different?  How many first or second hand stories do each of us know of where the inheritors ravage through the house and belongings of the parent who has died?  Inheritance can bring out the root of all evil.  On the other hand, Love exposes this evil and can pluck it out by its root.

“Legal” greed is going to take down the economy of this country unless it plucked up by the root.  Passing new laws to confiscate personal wealth is a form of greed by lawmakers to perpetuate their paradigm of power.  Lowering interest rates to transfer wealth from the savers to the banks is another form of greed.  The banks lost money in their greedy quest for bonuses and now the hard earned money of the savers of this country will re-liquefy the very banks that need to be shut down.  As fruit inspectors we must conclude that greed is indeed legal. 

Walking Worthy of Your Calling

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Ephesians 4:1-2   I, therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live worthily of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,

Each of us has a calling by Our Heavenly Father and you can be sure it is to give of ourselves.  Whether it is to give affirmations to those in fear or sorrow or to give financially to those who are poor, we are to be givers.  There is a flow associated with giving and receiving and it is a flow of  life (zoe).  Communication is a flow between two people, one giving a thought and the other receiving the thought.  This blog is a communication.  A word of kindness and affirmation could be the most important act you do today.

“To walk worthy” indicates a choice.  Paul is urging us to take the path of righteousness and to be a vessel of honor.  How do we walk in righteousness?  We must walk with all humility, gentleness, patience, and most of all bearing with one another in love.  Our Heavenly Father has sent His Most Holy Spirit to lead and guide us on a daily basis.  This in itself indicates that there is no place where His Spirit in not.  HIS Spirit is everywhere, there is no empty space.  Everyone and everything is connected.  Our Heavenly Father hears our prayers for HE is not in some distant universe but HIS Spirit embraces every nook and cranny.  As we gain the revelation of Love, we will walk worthy.

If we have a calling, then we must be empowered with gifts to fulfill that calling.  Each of us was formed with “intent” just as each angel was formed with an intent.  When Our Heavenly Father formed us in the womb of our mother, there was a Divine intent written in all of our GOD particles that make up our bodies.  Those particles belong to us and they are held together by Love.  This mysterious magnetic attraction keeps these particles in unison and they group together in specialized functions to form the human body.  These smallest of particles can act as a wave or a particle, depending on their mandate.  Each particle has an intent associated with it.  When that intent is perverted, those particles are hindered.  This perversion converts the natural magnetic attraction with force.  The force can simply be our will to walk away from our calling and extinguish the flow of Life with the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and/or the pride of life.

We are called to walk worthy of the LORD, unto all, being fruitful in every good work, increasing in the knowledge of GOD.  Be a fruit inspector.  Look at yourself in the mirror.  Open up your checkbook and see if you are a giver.  Open up your personal diary and see who you last ministered to.  Open up your calendar and see where you have been spending your time.  Are you interrupting the flow of Life?  Are you sucking the life out of someone else, draining their resources that could be directed toward someone else?  Yes, it is important to receive in time of need but if you are always in need, you must ask yourself if you have failed to listen to Our Heavenly Father.  If you have failed to listen then stop, repent, be quiet, listen.  HIS grace and mercy is sufficient to put you back on the path of your calling.

Stuxnet: a Case against Complexity

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

I have been associated with the technology field for nearly 40 years.  It used to be an 8 to 5 job but is now 24×7.  Our misassumption is that technology will improve our lives but I beg to differ.  It will certainly change our lives but it will also put us at risk of loss on all fronts.

Some of us remember when our cars could be fixed without a computer, no longer true.  Three networks on TV were enough, 150+ channels is the new standard.  We can now be entertained 24 hours a day without getting off the sofa, except for bodily input and output.

Our fascination with technology and its expanded application will enslave us soon.  We are putting our trust in a paradigm perception encapsulated in safety which forms a target for techno-soldiers.  We buy all of this technology without considering the safety factor or assuming there is some type of protection built in.

We don’t want to sweat or stress so we apply technology to eliminate biological transport and strengthening systems that Our Heavenly Father created.  Sweat removes toxins and stress builds muscles and maturity.  We want a technologically enhanced life of ease with all of its trappings.  Our assumptions are our weaknesses and they will be exploited by predators.

We all assume hackers simply want notoriety but this is a simplistic view.  Serious hackers want to exploit technology weaknesses without the user realizing anything has occurred.  This complacency will be exploited and may prove to be newest form of control, war and terrorism.  See:

The Hidden Depression

Friday, September 17th, 2010

One in seven Americans is living at poverty levels which equates 43.6 million people.  This number does not account for the underground cash economy.  Some of these people are not reporting cash payments and are evading the tax system.  By doing this, they do not contribute their share of social security and the tax structure of state and local governments.  They consume the services but avoid paying their share of the costs.  On the other hand, wage destruction of those who are not yet classified at the poverty level would probably offset those who avoid taxes.

Declining interest rates are now moving toward diminishing returns.  When interest rates move lower, the monthly payment difference is not as great as it would be if the rates were above 7-9%.  For instance, a $100,000 loan moving from 7.5% to 6% would save about $100 per month.  From 6.5% to 5% saves $95.  When comparing the savings to the closing costs and upfront cash requirements, the incentive and the ability to lower monthly borrowing costs is reduced.  Couple this with many Americans’ change in credit score and monthly cash flow, you find that lower rates are not functioning as the Federal Reserve had expected.

Energy prices remain high while the American economy suffers.  Why?  The developing countries such as China are taking up the slack in American demand for oil and other sources of energy.  China is now the largest new car market in the world.  Increased commodity prices will translate to higher inflation in food and energy prices.

Home foreclosures are up 25% over last year and home construction is in the tank.  It appears that the weak recovery has just about run its course.  Locally, our economy is in better shape than most but new construction reflects the national trend.  People are pessimistic about the future and are rethinking all purchases.

Savings rates are dismal.  The problem is that there are no truly safe alternatives to cash at this point in time except for gold and silver.  The Fed has reduced rates to benefit the banking system thereby transferring wealth from the savers to the bankers.  The banks enjoyed the profits in the past without the exposure of the offsetting risks of loss.  How sweet it must be!

Gold has hit a new record high.  For those reading the blogs at this website, we have been predicting this event for some time.  NBC Nightly News is now reporting on gold as an investment.  This signals an increase in public awareness which typically causes an increase in overall demand.  The result is higher gold  (and silver) prices.

It wasn’t that long ago you could eat lunch for $5 at the local sandwich shop.  Now the price point is $6.50.  This 30% increase in prices is not reflected in the government numbers but the average citizen feels the pinch.  Utility bills continue to rise and exceed the meager wage increases that employers can pay.  All of this combined causes consumer frustration.  How can the average person save for retirement with all of the stiff economic headwinds.  To some, these are hurricane winds.

Complexity promotes diminishing returns.  The automobile is a great example.  In the 1960’s, I could replace the starter, alternator, and thermostat.  Today, the engine has become too complex for the average person to tackle auto repair.  Special tools are required that most of us don’t own.  Now where do these extras parts go?  Yes, the extra gadgets are great, your buns can be cooled in the summer and heated in the winter by those new seats but at what cost!

Over the last 50 years, we have enjoyed improvements in the comforts of living.  All of this was built on cheap energy.  Those days are coming to an end.  Our infrastructure promotes energy consumption, not conservation.  There are those who point out cheap alternatives but the capital costs and the time frame to make the transition are substantial.  Also, the corporate will to change has not yet manifested.  The Tea Party has surfaced to reflect the “anger” cycle of loss.  Loss of what?  The way of life we have come to expect.  We are no longer in denial of the problem.  Next comes the sadness then followed by acceptance.  At that point will new leadership rise to guide us in the right direction.  Could it be the glorified sons of GOD?

Commercial Real Estate Deterioration

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

The following describes the downward spiral of the commercial real estate contraction:

1. Less consumer traffic forces marginal retailers to close once they have liquidated their merchandise at distressed prices.

2. Distressed prices redirect consumers away from the stronger retailers moving them toward marginal business levels.

3. Further price erosion occurs in an attempt to regain volume, especially among the large retailers.

4. Malls and strip centers increase their vacancy rate and reduce their rental income placing pressure on cash flow to support existing borrowings.

5. Landlords walk away from properties and loans (in most states)

6. Stronger properties reduce their lease rates to attract or keep occupants.

7. Banks now have more toxic assets.

8. Banks reduce their exposure to commercial real estate.

9.  Existing properties begin to deteriorate.

10. Consumers stay away from deteriorated malls and strip centers.

11. Remainder of occupants move to better, cheaper locations.

12. Contraction of spending increases unemployment thus starting the process over again (#1)


How do you stop the spiral downward?  It will be painful.  Retailers will be closely watching the Christmas spending season this year.  Could the 1/11/11 date see a massive correction?

Crisis Window

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

The next five years (2011-2016) have a high probability of a national if not a global crisis.  The globe is headed towards an economic cliff and the challenge is that no one knows “when” we will arrive.  Those in power simply do not know how to fix the economic problems and are now beginning to admit this reality.

The Federal Reserve is committed to inflation.  They will print as much money as possible to keep deflation from occurring since there is no gold standard to hinder them.  This will increase the price of commodities priced in U.S. Dollars.  Other countries will defend themselves by printing more of their own currencies.

“The U.S. is bankrupt, neither spending more nor taxing less will help pay its bills”  The real debt of the U.S. is 22 times the official debt declared by the government.  In order to survive, we must radically simplify our tax system, healthcare system, retirement system, and our financial system.  Tax revenue is currently  14,,9% of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and to survive, we must double the tax revenue on a permanent basis.  Is it possible to do this without collapsing the economy?  No!  The alternative is to immediately cut spending.  There are about 80 million baby boomers in the U.S.  When they are fully retired (within 20 years), the government is committed to paying them about $4 Trillion per year in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid payments.

There are three ways to deal with this issue: heavy taxation, decreased spending by reducing benefits, and printing more money thus devaluing the currency.  Those is power will do all three.  Other countries will suffer as well since they are interconnected with the U.S. economy.

Complexity allowed our financial system to become corrupt.  It is riddled with fraud and and those assets have been classified as “toxic assets”.  The government knows it, the banks know it, and the public knows it, but nobody wants to really admit it.  Living out this illusion will prove to be one critical aspect of the coming crisis.  The “too big to fail” policy is simply a “get out of jail free” card.  Independent verification of appraisals, income statements, and disclosures did not occur.

We need a new system.  Taking from the young and giving to the old is a ponzi scheme.  When the life span of the elderly was much younger, this was not a problem.  However, increased life spans has brought this scheme to light.  This scheme is now in its latter stages where the money runs out.  When will it crash?  That is the $202 Trillion question.

A complex system hides the fraud and the truth about our fiscal situation.  If we don’t simplify our system and expose the truth about our issues, we will surely experience a disaster and collapse.  Will we take our pain early?  The current generation is pretty immature and will probably try to delay the solution as long as possible.  This will cause the crisis to be more severe.

The Collapse of Credit

Friday, September 10th, 2010

The baby boomer generation has fueled the use of credit for the last 40 years and that is now changing.  The prime means of increasing wealth was through the use of leverage: borrow as much as possible to buy the biggest house because it will increase in value.  The problem was the “end game”.  What do you do with your big asset?  Sell it and buy a smaller house and bank the profit for a retirement nest egg?  It seemed like a good plan at the time.

The Law of Familiarity 

How many of us want to live in Hawaii?  The problem is that once you have spent a substantial amount of time in a locale, it becomes familiar and much less exotic.  Each sunset is less of a surprise and no longer tweaks the senses.  The same is true when buying a larger house.  Once the newness has worn off, it is simply a larger asset to maintain.  Less is now more.

Looking Inward

Once all of the big boy toys have lost their appeal, baby boomers will look inward and reassess their priorities.  After all, we can’t take our toys with us when we die.  I believe this collapse of credit will bring forth an awakening of mankind.  Our priorities will shift from material to spiritual.  People will become important again and relationships will once again be a priority.  This will usher in new revelation rather than reviving old revelation and our understanding will be expanded after the idols have been disposed of.

The Fallacy of Assumptions

Over the last five decades, financial assumptions of asset appreciation have served many Americans well.  That is about to change.  Housing may not be the investment it once was.  Granted, everyone has to live somewhere but your house may not hold your retirement funds you were counting on.  Being out of debt with a house that is paid for contains an inherent return on investment (ROI).  You are “making money” by simply not paying rent or a mortgage payment thus you need less money to live on and also will have less tax burden to support.  Those that see the fallacy of more and bigger “things” will position themselves well in the coming economic change.

The Expense Annuity

Many boomers will focus on recurring monthly expenses and energy consumption will be at the top of the list.  Your monthly utility bills are like financial “black holes”.  Once that money is gone, it never returns.  Minimizing monthly recurring expenses will move to the forefront of boomers’ minds.  Energy efficient windows, insulation, and other measures will provide entrepreneurs with a notable growth opportunity.

Gold and Silver

The gold price is flirting with a new all time high.  As the uncertainty continues, more investors will put gold on their radar.  As of late, silver has been leading the way in price appreciation.  Related stocks stand to gain from this price strength.  Physical assets are replacing paper assets as the best store of value.

Inflation or Deflation?

How about both!  It depends on your perspective.  Price deflation of “toys” and McMansions is likely to occur as the attitude and focus of the boomers change and the velocity of money is reduced.  However if the Fed persists in printing more money, inflation will force up prices in food and other necessities of life.  Food, shelter, and clothing are needed no matter what the environment.

The credit “traps” of the past have been uncovered.  Tax credits to increase our borrowing are no longer the incentives they once were.  People are tired of being servants to the lenders.  This servitude has caused many to grow weary.  This fundamental “megatrend” change will create a brave new world.

What a journey!

Where is your focus?

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

Luke 17

20  Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God does not come with observation;

21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed,the kingdom of God is within you."

One of the reasons I wrote “The Circumcised Heart of Love” was that I needed to redirect my focus to the most important personal attribute an “aspiring” overcomer should have.  I find that all of Christiandom focuses on just about anything else.  We were created by Love, the universe was created by Love, and our restoration to Our Heavenly Father was achieved by Love going to the Cross.

Observing the Feast Days is good but if the focus is always on the outward without regard for the inward then we have missed the mark.  During the days that Jesus walked the earth, the priests were still carrying out the rituals of the Temple.  The Son of the Most High God was walking in their midst and they were oblivious to it.  By focusing on outward events and signs, you will miss the point of Luke 17:21- The Kingdom of God is within you!

Jesus spent much time in prayer and he had greater revelation than any of us.  That ought to tell us something.  “And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.”  We must guard against this unfruitfulness that Jesus spoke of in Mark Chapter 4.

Think not that when the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles is fulfilled on a corporate basis that it will be any different than when the Day of Pentecost was fulfilled in that the disciples had been focused at a personal level on the spiritual things that Jesus had taught them.  After the Resurrection, They all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication in the Upper Room.  This is what ushered in the Day of Pentecost.

Will you be one of those who usher in THAT GREAT DAY when glorification occurs?  It will also come by prayer and supplication.  The flesh must be circumcised from around our hearts.  This will be done by focusing on Love and its infinite attributes.  As we focus on Love, our fruit will be a witness to the world.  If you have no fruit, change your focus.