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Claudio Grass

Claudio Grass

Claudio Grass is a passionate advocate of free-market thinking and libertarian philosophy. Following the teachings of the Austrian School of Economics he is convinced that sound money and human freedom are inextricably linked to each other. He is one of the founders of GoldAndLiberty.com.

Articles by Claudio Grass

Gold Bull Market Remains Intact – Long Term Fundamentals Outweigh Short Term Market Gyrations

November 22, 2016
Gold Bull Market Remains Intact – Long Term Fundamentals Outweigh Short Term Market Gyrations

A Strong First Half of the Year, Followed by Another Retreat
In early 2016 gold had a big bull run. The precious metal rose close to 25% this year, pushed higher in a summer rally that peaked on July 10th. Gold experienced a bumpy ride over the remainder of the summer though, as investors became increasingly concerned about a potential rate hike by the Federal Reserve. Uncertainty returned to gold market and has intensified further since then.
 
Initially, gold rallied sharply in 2016, but then retreated again in the second half as concerns over Fed rate hikes and the impact of Mr. Trump’s election victory have pushed bond yields and the US dollar up in the short term.
 

 Trusting the Establishment a Bit Too Much?
Investors cannot be blamed for their skittishness, considering the misleading information released by officials. Fed chair Janet Yellen stated at the Jackson Hole meeting of central bankers that the case for rate hikes had “strengthened”, yet she gave markets little guidance on timing, saying that rate hikes would be “gradual” and happen “over time”.
This probably discouraged investors from buying gold, because they still trust the establishment and consider the Fed to have credibility. A rate hike offers investors an alternative to owning gold, as gold doesn’t pay interest.

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Love him or Hate him: Trump is the Revolution Against the Establishment

October 26, 2016

The U.S. Elections: The Latest Crack in the System
The 2016 U.S. presidential elections are unprecedented: I don’t believe we have ever witnessed before a campaign year so toxic, so dangerously divisive and full of ad hominem attacks. Both camps have vilified the opposition and their followers, creating a schism in society. There has been no rational dialogue on the issues that truly concern the American public.
 
The schism
Illustration by : M. C. Escher
 

Instead, we have witnessed personal insults and petty attacks, rumors and gossip. At this point, as a result of this catastrophic campaign, the public will not vote in favor of the candidate they agree with the most or the one they like, but against the one they hate!
In this article, we do not focus on comparisons between Clinton and Trump; enough has been said and written about the candidates themselves. Here, we look at their supporters – the crowd behind the candidates, those that will in fact shape American policy making in the coming four years.
 
Hillary Clinton: The Establishment Remains in Control
The most important and formidable group within those backing Clinton belong to the upper echelon of society: Wall Street’s movers and shakers, big business, the top of the political pyramid and the servants and profiteers of the public sector. In one word: the establishment.

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Is It Safe To Travel To Europe?

October 13, 2016

Lurid Media Coverage
In recent months, more and more of our clients and friends from overseas are asking us whether it is safe to travel to Europe. These fears are understandable, given the media coverage of the tragic events that occurred this year. The press painted a sinister and truly graphic picture of Europe as a war zone, as a target of global terrorism.
 
Inside the Brussels airport shortly after the bomb blast in March.
Photo credit: Pavel Ohal
 

The attacks in Brussels, the horrors we saw in Nice on Bastille Day and the Normandy Church attack, as well as the Munich shooting – all were tragic and shocking to us all. Nevertheless, as a Swiss and European citizen (noting that Switzerland is a federal republic within Europe but not part of the EU), I can confidently and emphatically reassure our clients: Yes, Europe is safe, to visit, to live, and to do business in.
Similar attacks occur worldwide – only this past weekend, there were bombings in New York and New Jersey. Does this mean that New York is no longer safe? These fears and concerns make it all the more important that we go deeper and understand where they came from, see how they were fostered and fueled, so that we can hopefully dispel them altogether and regain confidence and trust in our societies.

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The Undemocratic Nature of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

September 27, 2016

Mounting Resistance
Thousands of people recently demonstrated in Brussels against free trade deals negotiated by the EU. This happened just days before a meeting of EU trade ministers in Bratislava last Friday, which was considered the last push to salvage the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the United States. Not only is Europe divided on the deal, but the talks have been extremely secretive.
 
This placard carried by anti-TTIP protesters in Brussels goes to the heart of the problem, namely the secrecy characterizing the deal.
Photo via flushthetpp.org
 

It appears that the two partners wanted the negotiations process to remain well under the public’s radar, counting on people being distracted by other matters, such as “Brexit”, terrorism, the refugee crisis, and the ongoing economic slump.
It proved impossible though to keep voters and taxpayers on both sides of the Atlantic completely in the dark about the terms of a deal that has the potential to affect their lives, jobs and businesses directly and decisively.

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Crimea: Digging For The Truth

September 16, 2016

Renewed Escalation
This summer witnessed a renewed escalation between Russia and Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of sending saboteurs to attack Russian troops, targeting “critical infrastructure”. Kiev denied the allegations and claimed Russia’s “fantasy” was nothing but a false pretense to launch a “new invasion”.
 

August 10: Russian president Putin announces that there was an altercation involving a group of Ukrainian saboteurs at the border with Crimea. We note he appeared to be genuinely angry about it.
 

But what does the media tell us about what has been happening in Ukraine? I’m sure that if we base our opinion solely on mainstream information, the picture of this conflict will be completely different than if we followed independent sources.
I am a big fan of Dr. Daniele Ganser, the founder of the Swiss Institute for Peace and Energy Research, Dr. Ron Paul, the Mises Institute and people linked to them – all these I consider valuable sources, particularly due to the investigative approach they took in their analyses on Ukraine.
I therefore decided to write a short article about my personal impressions, which also takes a study by the University of Ottawa into consideration. The situation in Crimea is extremely delicate: it is already described as a ‘new cold war’, which can easily turn into armed conflict.

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Loose Monetary Policy and Social Inequality

August 29, 2016

The Rationale for Interventionism
It has been almost eight years since former U.S. President George W. Bush warned the world that “without immediate action by Congress, America could slip into a financial panic and a distressing scenario would unfold.”
 
September 2008: a solemn-faced “rescue party” of bureaucrats and politicians (from left to right: Ben Bernanke, GW Bush, Hank Paulson and Donald Cox) announces that the village needs to be destroyed in order to save it (“normally, we’re all for free market capitalism, just not this time”).
Photo credit: Credit Larry Downing / Reuters
 

The government’s response to the crisis was a USD700 billion rescue package that was supposed to prevent U.S. banks from collapsing and encourage them to resume lending, which was soon to be followed by a series of Quantitative Easing (QE) packages injecting money into the economy.
The rationale for this government intervention was that it would boost spending, restore confidence in the market and reignite economic growth to everyone’s benefit – but has it succeeded in doing so?
 
QE: Faith-Based Monetary Policy
With QE still ongoing (albeit tapered down to reinvestment of maturing debt), it is no longer part of a “rescue” package – it has now become the new normal – despite the utter lack of positive results.

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The Fabian Society and the Gradual Rise of Statist Socialism

August 10, 2016

The “Third Way”
 
“Stealth, intrigue, subversion, and the deception of never calling socialism by its right name” – George Bernard Shaw
 
An emblem of the Fabian Society: a wolf in sheep’s clothing
 

The Brexit referendum has revealed the existence of a deep polarization in British politics. Apart from the public faces of the opposing campaigns, there were however also undisclosed parties with a vested interest which few people have heard about.
And yet, they have been instrumental in transforming Great Britain into a State based on the principles of democratic socialism.
This happened when new ideas such as liberty, self-determination, the rights of man, parliamentary representation and constitutional government threatened the old order.
Unfortunately, liberalism and capitalism were not victorious; instead, a “third way” was adopted, a notion developed and promoted by the Fabian Society.
 
The Origins of the Fabian Society
The group emerged out of the British socialist movement, which became popular between the late 1800ds and 1914. Guided by socialist ideals, the group believes in a top-down approach to political rule, using government and intellectuals to bring about societal change.

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Investing in Gold in 2016: Global Paradigm Shifts in Politics and Markets

August 5, 2016

Crumbling Stability
In the past few months, we have witnessed a series of defining events in modern political history, with Britain’s vote to exit the EU, (several) terror attacks in France and Germany, as well as the recent attempted military coup in Europe’s backyard, Turkey.
 
Global stability continues to be undermined
 

Uncertainty over Europe’s political stability and the future of the EU keeps growing. These worries are quite valid, as geopolitical developments have the potential to shake markets to the core. The current high-risk environment makes it especially important to take prudent investment decisions in order to protect one’s wealth.
 
Helicopter Hopes
Markets have greeted the rumors of helicopter money with intense enthusiasm, beginning with Ben Bernanke’s visit to Japan. This is a symptom of the economy’s addiction to loose monetary policy and “something for nothing” fiscal remedies.
Helicopter money, the next evolutionary stage of QE, is the manifestation of the failing, yet persistent, monetary policies adopted and enforced by modern-day central bankers.
This time, their proposed solution for rescuing an economy that flatly refuses to get back on a growth track (despite a long series of aggressive interventions), is a direct and permanent injection of newly printed money into the economy, by circumventing the banking system completely.

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Claudio Grass Interviews Ronald Stoeferle: Central Banks In A Lose-Lose Situation

July 28, 2016

A Fragile System
 
Ronald Stoeferle, managing partner and investment manager at Incrementum AG, and probably best known to our readers as  co-author of the “In Gold We Trust” report, the most widely read gold report in the world
Photo credit: Elke Mayr / WB
 

Claudio Grass, Global Gold: Ronald, it is a pleasure to have the opportunity to speak with you. We’ve known each other for a very long time, both on a personal and professional level. Because of our central banks, we find our economies today operating on artificial stimulus and negative interest rates. How would you summarize the consequences of this policy?
Mr. Stoeferle: I have always considered it impossible to create a “self-sustaining” economic expansion by means of the printing press. By so doing, central bankers only succeeded in suppressing symptoms, but the underlying structural problems that created the 2008 financial crisis in the first place, have only gotten worse.
The primary goal, namely to stimulate the economy, has not been achieved. Low interest rates have provided artificial life support for unproductive and highly indebted companies, as well as for states. According to Standard & Poor’s, budget deficits in the euro area would on average be 1-2% of GDP higher, if the average level of interest rates between 2001 – 2008 were applicable today.

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End of an Era: The Rise and Fall of the Petrodollar System

July 18, 2016

The Transition
 
“The chaos that one day will ensue from our 35-year experiment with worldwide fiat money will require a return to money of real value. We will know that day is approaching when oil-producing countries demand gold, or its equivalent, for their oil rather than dollars or euros. The sooner the better.”
Ron Paul

 
A new oil pipeline is built in the Saudi desert… this one is apparently destined for the Ghawar oil field, one of the oldest fields in Saudi Arabia and still the largest in the world
Photo credit: Saudi Aramco
 

The intricate relationship between energy markets and our global financial system, can be traced back to the emergence of the petrodollar system in the 1970s, which was mainly driven by the rise of the United States as an economic and political superpower.
For almost twenty years, the U.S. was the world’s only exporter of petroleum. Its relative energy independence helped support its economy and its currency. Until around 1970, the U.S. enjoyed a positive trade balance.
Oil expert and author of the book “The Trace of Oil”, Bertram Brökelmann, explains a dramatic change took place in the U.S. economy, as it experienced several transitions: First, it transitioned from being an oil exporter to an oil importer, then a goods importer and finally a money importer.

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Toward Freedom: Will The UK Write History?

June 21, 2016

Mutating Promises
 We are less than one week away from the EU referendum, the moment when the British people will be called upon to make a historic decision – will they vote to “Brexit” or to “Bremain”? Both camps have been going at each other with fierce campaigns to tilt the vote in their direction, but according to the latest polls, with the “Leave” camp’s latest surge still within the margin of error, the outcome is too close to call.
 
The battle lines are drawn….
 

It is a rare moment in history. The British haven’t had their say since they voted to join the European Community back in 1975. What was initially thought of as a project to unite Europe into one common market, with the benefits of free trade and great promises of increasing national wealth, has mutated into a completely different entity.
The British have, instead, found themselves being dragged into a regional economy of zero growth, a weak currency and heavily indebted states. You may have come across the arguments of both camps, but here we wish to address what a “Brexit” or “Bremain” scenario would mean for Britain.
 
If the UK Bremains…
If the British vote to “Bremain”, Britain will start to operate with a “special status” within the union, after Prime Minister David Cameron reportedly renegotiated Britain’s relationship with the EU, in anticipation of the referendum.

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Claudio Grass Talks to Godfrey Bloom

June 15, 2016

Introductory Remarks – About Godfrey Bloom
[ed note by PT: Readers may recall our previous presentation of “Godfrey Bloom the Anti-Politician”, which inter alia contains a selection of videos of speeches he gave in the European parliament. Both erudite and entertaining, Mr. Bloom constantly kept the etatistes of the EU on their toes.]
 
Godfrey Bloom, back in his days as UKIP whip
Photo credit: Reuters
 

Before becoming a politician, Godfrey Bloom worked for 35 years in finance and investment management. Discontent with over-regulation of this sector, he entered the world of politics in 2004, as a Member of the European Parliament. Bloom started as a representative for the UK Independence Party until 2013, then continues as an independent MEP.
He is known as a fierce libertarian and a firm opponent of government regulation and centralization. Bloom is also widely known as a euro-skeptic and is currently heavily involved in the Brexit “Leave Campaign” as an independent activist.
He is also a good friend of the Mises Institute Europe. In recognition of Mr. Bloom’s role at such a decisive moment in the history of the UK, the president of the Mises Institute, Jeff Deist, had the following words to say about Mr. Bloom:
 
“It’s great to see Mr.

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Switzerland About to Vote on “Free Lunch” for Everyone

May 24, 2016

Will the Swiss Guarantee CHF 75,000 for Every Family?
In early June the Swiss will be called upon to make a historic decision. Switzerland is the first country worldwide to put the idea of an Unconditional Basic Income to a vote and the outcome of this referendum will set a strong precedent and establish a landmark in the evolution of this debate.
 
The Swiss Basic Income Initiative in a demonstration in front of parliament. As we have previously reported (see “Swiss Parliament Shoots Down Socialist Utopia” for details), Switzerland’s parliament has already rejected the idea, with even the socialists voting against it (proving that they are still in possession of most of their marbles and quite likely in possession of an abacus as well).
Photo credit: Peter Klaunzer
 

The Swiss public will have to approve or reject a change in the constitution that would allow for the introduction of an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI), or a preset, monthly minimum income to be paid out by the government to every adult and child in the country if their income falls below a specific threshold. Even though details of this proposal have been few and far between, the most commonly cited amount of this guaranteed income would be 2,500 Swiss Francs for adults and 625 francs for children.

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Cultural Marxism and the Birth of Modern Thought-Crime

April 18, 2016

What the Establishment Wants, the Establishment Gets
If a person has no philosophical thoughts, certain questions will never cross his mind. As a young man, there were many issues and ideas that never concerned me as they do today. There is one question, however, which has intrigued me for the longest time, and it still fascinates me as intensely as it did back then: Does spirit precede matter or is it the other way around?
In other words, does human consciousness create what we perceive as our reality and physical existence or vice versa; does the pre-existing material world determine our sentience and shape our cognition? In essence, what really lies beneath the surface of this question is the following: is man born as a conscious being with free will and self-determination or not?
 
You may think citizen, but it will be best if you confine yourself to approved collectivist thought. In case you find yourself unable to do so, you may need to be reeducated.
Illustration by LibertyManiacs.com
 

Do not be alarmed; this is not an article on political philosophy. But it is a fundamental existential issue that I found underpins many of the doubts I have regarding the functioning of our society and our political culture.

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Gold – The Best Defense Strategy

April 8, 2016

The War on Cash is on!
If you are used to making visits to your bank to make your credit card payments, you may find this no longer an option in the future. Some banks are no longer accepting (or limiting their acceptance) of cash deposits. The war on cash forges on. Paper money, which is indeed more or less worthless, is slowly being taken out of circulation and being replaced by digital currency.
 

Photo credit: Stephen Krow
 

This shift presents of course the same fundamental problem as paper money itself: “digital money” is also not backed by gold or other precious metals or any asset representing real value. The whole concept of digitizing our transactions is being marketed as a convenience, a hassle-free payment method and a transparent, easy new way to smoothly run our lives and businesses, without the burden of carrying cash around.
However, the realistic flip side of this joyful argument is more ominous than we might at first realize: Now, account monitoring or freezing, and confiscations will be easier than ever. And of course, by eliminating cash, central banks are getting rid of the last existing barrier to negative interest rates.
 
The Global Economy is Stuck… Gold is on a Roll
In the first quarter of 2016, the gold price rallied by 14.3%, and in February alone, it jumped 9.6% – this was the highest single-month increase in four years.

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The People Against the Establishment

March 15, 2016

The Swiss are Resisting EU Domination in the Name of Liberty and Self-Determination
Last Wednesday, the Swiss National Council voted to withdraw the country’s dormant application to join the European Union (EU). A clear majority of Swiss voters are not interested in joining the EU. And no democratically sanctioned application was ever submitted. However, it has been “in the drawer” for quite some time.
 
The seven members of the Swiss Federal Council in 2016 (not depicted: chancellor Walter Thurnherr, who “assists” the council). Some explanation is in order for people not familiar with the Swiss political system, which will make it easier to understand the nature of the inner-Swiss political conflict. In effect, the federal council is a “collective head of state”. Its members are elected by parliament, and are supposed represent a cross-section of Switzerland’s regions, political parties and linguistic groups. The departments are chosen by its members based on their seniority. On average, council members tend to serve for 10 years, as they are usually reelected (it has only happened four times since 1848 that a federal councilor was not reelected; some have even served for 30 years). Its members cannot be recalled during a legislative period.

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Thomas DiLorenzo on the Economy, the War on Cash, Political Correctness and the Election

March 1, 2016

Claudio Grass Interviews Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo
Claudio Grass, Managing Director at Global Gold Switzerland, talks to libertarian Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo, an American economist and representative of the Austrian School of Economics, well known for his fierce libertarian approach in criticizing government intervention. This exclusive interview covers central bank monetary policies, Keynesian Economics, the economic ‘recovery’, political correctness, and much more.
 
  American economist and historian Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo, inter alia author of The Real Lincoln
Photo via mises.org
 

Claudio Grass, Global Gold: Thomas, it is an honor to have this opportunity to talk to you. I am also pleased to announce that you will be delivering the keynote speech at the BFI Inner Circle Wealth Forum in Florida on April the 18th and 19th. Let’s get started! Given the limited impact of loose monetary policy thus far, where do you think we are headed on the central bank front? Do you think it is likely that the Fed moves interest rates into negative territory, like many central banks across the globe have already done? What would the implications of such a step be?
Dr. DiLorenzo: On the central bank front, we are headed where Japan has been over the past twenty years or so: more and more easy money in a quixotic quest to push interest rates into negative territory, a truly crazy idea.

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Radical Decentralization Ensures Sovereignty of the People

February 24, 2016

Switzerland’s Exceptional Legacy in Direct Democracy
Our readers probably realize by now what a proud Swiss fellow I am, and how I take every possible opportunity to argue that Switzerland represents a role model for achieving radical decentralization and respect for civil liberties. When municipalities, cities or smaller states are in competition with each other, the power of politicians is limited and the right to self-determination is ensured.
 
Switzerland and Lebanon (long known as “the Switzerland of the Middle East”)
 

I was particularly intrigued by the comparison made by Rahim Taghizadegan, a polymath I very much admire, in a lecture he delivered at the last Property and Freedom Society conference of Hans-Hermann Hoppe, entitled “The Lebanon – A Switzerland of the Near East”. Having lived in the Middle East, specifically in Tiberias and Damascus for 2 years, I was quite interested in this comparison, and to understand where and how Lebanon deviated from the Swiss path.
 
What are the Similarities between Lebanon and Switzerland?
Both Lebanon and Switzerland cover small territories that are surrounded by mountain terrain. The existence of mountains is of great strategic importance as it acts as a natural protective barrier. Interestingly, I learned that these difficult terrains developed hard working and innovative inhabitants with a low time preference.

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The World is Red

February 19, 2016

With a Gloomy Start to 2016, a Bust Seems just Around the Corner
Markets have corrected substantially since the beginning of the year as most of the gains of the past two years have been erased. According to Bloomberg, 40 out of the largest 63 markets have dropped over 20%. The image below shows the performance of markets word-wide since their most recent peaks. Most markets are in a bear market phase or are at best experiencing a strong correction. The world is red!
Where do global markets stand?
 
A heat map of global stock markets by Bloomberg – click to enlarge.
 

China’s economy is slowing down and oil prices have slumped to a new multi-year low. Is this the bust phase of the cycle that started in 2008? In our ‘Clean Slate’ report about Austrian Business Cycle Theory, we explained that there appear to be short-term cycles in operation, which last approximately 7 years, but also long-term cycles with a duration of around 50 years.
Those familiar with the bible are aware of the term “jubilee”, which signifies the end of a 50-year long-term debt cycle, when all outstanding debts are annulled and slaves are freed. But before the “jubilee” of our time happens, things are likely to get worse. Governments are apt to take measures that will constrain our liberties further.

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Liberland

January 6, 2016

Global Gold Talks to Vít Jedlička, the President of Liberland
Vít Jedlička is a Czech politician, publicist and activist. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Economics, Prague in 2009 and his Master’s degree from CEVRO Institut in 2014. Since 2009, he has been a member of the Free Citizens Party, where he was elected the first Regional President in the Hradec Králové Region. Vít Jedlička considers himself a libertarian with liberal views on individual freedom and has described himself as a Bastiat-influenced anarcho-capitalist.
 
The Liberland coat of arms
 

Jedlička is also a Eurosceptic and highly critical of the European Union as an institution, as well as the general conduct of some of its member states. On 13 April 2015, he founded and proclaimed the Free Republic of Liberland on land between Serbia and Croatia unclaimed by either nation and became its first president.
 
Vít Jedlička, the first president of Liberland: “Socialism is the false belief that the state will spend your money better than you would.”
Photo credit: Jan Husák
 
Claudio Grass Interviews Vít Jedlička
Claudio Grass, Global Gold: Vit, it is a pleasure to have this opportunity to talk to you. Let’s dive right in and start with the topic that made headlines this year: Liberland.

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Six Signs That 2016 Will Be Much Worse Than 2015

December 22, 2015

A Turbulent Year
In the course of 2015 we have witnessed several events that had, and will have, negative repercussions on individual freedom. Orwellian totalitarianism is increasingly creeping into our everyday lives. How much more intrusive will the violations of our liberties become and for how long will the establishment get away with this? These are questions that remain unanswered.
 
United we move toward a perfectly monitored society – the US Congress has just passed the controversial CISA spying law – the worst possible version of it – by sneaking it into a budget bill. This utterly corrupt method of enacting laws that would not get passed on their own because they are such a huge affront to decency and civilization has become the norm in the “land of the free” – which ironically is “exporting democracy” by force of arms all over the world!
 

With regards to the financial system, no real solution was found to issues such as those in the euro zone. Furthermore, the financial system as a whole once again got deeper into debt. For how much longer can central banks and governments continue kicking the can down the road without any real reform? I will try to answer these questions and identify trends for 2016 by looking at six key issues that have had an impact this year.

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Professor Fekete About Gold And The Debt Society

December 21, 2015

Claudio Grass interviews Professor Antal E. Fekete
GLOBAL GOLD: “Prof. Fekete, it is a pleasure to have this opportunity to talk to you. You are a fierce critic of the current monetary system and a strong proponent of the gold standard, particularly the variety that combines with the Real Bills Doctrine (RBD) of Adam Smith which we shall get into later. We are very much interested to learn how this interest of yours started in the first place and what led you to believe in gold and Austrian Economics in general.”
 
Professor Antal E. Fekete (see further below for biographical details)
Photo credit: verlagjohannesmuller
 

AF: “I have been a lifelong student of gold money which led me to Austrian economics. However, I find that the writings by Austrian authors such as Hayek and Mises on gold somehow deviated from Carl Menger’s basic idea of marketability of goods in favor of the Quantity Theory of Money. For this reason, I find they did not address the nexus between gold and interest. I take pride in pioneering a new departure to develop a theory of interest based on the idea of marketability of goods (also known as hoardability) that puts this nexus right into the center. My own view is that gold and silver are the only monetary metals for reasons having to do with the fact that they are the most hoardable substances in existence.

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Switzerland Asserts its National Identity in Right-Wing Election Victory

December 10, 2015

Concerns over Immigration Motivated Voters – Relations with the EU may come under Severe Strain
On October 18th, the Swiss went to the polls to cast their votes in the country’s parliamentary elections. The right-wing triumphed as the Swiss Peoples’ Party or SVP won 29.4% of the vote. The papers described it as “the best performance by a party in at least a century”. The Free Democratic Party (FDP) also gained, winning 16.4% of the vote. In terms of the number of seats, the Swiss Right secured 14 new seats (11 from the SVP’s gains alone) to reach a total of 98 seats (65 for the SVP).
 
A landslide victory for right-of-center parties in Switzerland – click to enlarge.
 

The political climate in Switzerland was strained and the electorate was concerned about the issue of immigration and the rush of asylum seekers to Europe, even though Switzerland has not seen a similar flow of refugees or migrants as others on the continent. The media described voters as being motivated by fear, which is true to a certain extent, but it was also about securing their Swiss culture and its identity.
It also showed that the Swiss people don’t like centralization and understand that by voting for the SVP they are sending a clear statement to political parties that still want to delegate Swiss sovereignty to the EU.

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Paris Attacks Legitimize a New Wave of Counter-Terrorism and Emergency Laws

December 2, 2015

Switching Enemies
The tragic Paris attacks are leading me to raise questions once again, since it is the second time that France has topped the news headlines this year. I believe that followers of Global Gold’s Outlook Report are by now aware that I am a big fan of historícal research. I tend to consult my history books to reflect on the past and see if I can recognize patterns similar to the events we are experiencing today.
Looking back, it seems obvious that in the course of the 20th and 21st century, wars went from being about nationalism to ideological wars (communism versus democracy or what we would call ‘state capitalism disguised as democracy’), to becoming about religion, which sort of takes us back to the dark ages.
Since the Berlin wall came down back in 1989 and communism was defeated, the latter has been replaced by the “Muslim World” as the new enemy. We could see this change in Hollywood movies and in our media coverage.
 
“All terrorists are Muslims” – except the 94% who aren’t. Attribution of terror attacks in the US between 1980 to 2005 according to the FBI.
 

Audiences which are unaware of political contexts, easily link Islam to terrorism. As a result, they have wrongfully become two sides of the same coin. In our coverage of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, we talked a lot about freedom of the press.

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