Category Archives: Physical resources
You can hold in you hand or touch it, but what are you going to do with it?
In Russia first moves of geopolitical chess they have secured their pawn in their major trading port of Rostov-on-Don, and moved forces to the Russian sympathetic region (oblast) of Crimea. Apparently minimal violence has occurred and the Russian are questioning legitimacy of the ousting of Yukanovych. Ukraine is concerned that Dnipropetrovsk (home to nuclear weapons, missile and defense industries) will be the next target for Russian occupation. Its difficult o determine whether Russia is acting with outright aggression/conquest of simply making sure things don’t get too out of control, perhaps both are true. The distance between Kiev and Moscow is similar to the distance between Melbourne and Sydney, so no one want things to get too crazy.
The somewhat autobiographical story of Jordan Belfort and Stratton Oakmont.
The story of Jordan Belfort is closely but not exactly told in ‘wolf of wall street’. Some names and facts have been changed to protect the less guilty. In the film he alludes to what Lehman brothers and other now infamous investment/banking houses were doing with derivatives ten years before it became topical (and disastrous).
Having just Acquired his stock brokers license Jordan Belfort begins working at L.F. Rothschild as a stockbroker on wall street. Two problems: 1) This Rothschild is not related to the ultra moneyed European Rothschilds, and 2) the 1987 stock market crash occurred on his first day and he looses his job with he collapse of the company he worked for.
Jordan then stumbles into penny stocks and realizes with his license to sell blue chip stocks he can then induce the much bigger market into far riskier and stock broker lucrative penny stocks. But along the way Jordan attracts a band of merciless hustlers that become his boiler room. The film Boiler room is also about this con game. If this wasn’t enough there we the drugs, The drugs were cocaine, Quaaludes and almost anything they could get their hands on, prescription or not.
A bunch of small time drug dealers/dabblers hustle their way to the top, their modus operandi is essentially no different to the larger game. Agressive con men fueled by drugs and excess in a massive ponzi scheme, what could go wrong? The creation of an artificial empire of hookers, drugs and a charismatic cult leader imploring and mentoring his followers to rake in more mammon (money). Some of the editing in the movie even shows blatant continuity errors when Jordan is wasted on drugs. The rolling down the country club stairs to get to his car is an example, though the car damage is more obvious.
Its a fugazi
The money that goes into the market stays in the market. The pyramid is not build if people start removing the blocks. Just like removing a block from the corner of a pyramids base can collapse the whole pyramid. So if you are skilled enough to get people to invest in the first place, be skilled enough to make them keep their money in the game. All the money is fake once it enters the system, destined to never be seen again by investors.
Think about it, if the broker takes a 50% commission on the sale of $1000 of stocks the clients investment has lost 50% on day 1. The stock has to reach to more than $2000 just for the client to break even. Where exactly does the money to pay investors come from? from the fugazi vortex? No, any possible gains are then plowed back into the vortex of imaginary money. So for a penny stock investor to make money their stock price must reach more than 201% of their purchase price. While some penny stocks can do this they are rare, especially when you consider that most of the stock were subject to price manipulation in a classic pump and dump system.
A fire in the side show can spread to the big-top.
Regulators really don’t care for the victims of these frauds, they just want to make sure a few operators don’t threaten the faith in larger ponzi game (con) of money printing and taxation. Its salient point that Belfort served 22 months of a 4 year sentence for frauds totaling 110 million dollars. A small penalty for stealing the life savings of thousands of people He was forced to pay back about 10 million which mostly came from the sale of his house leaving the question open, where did the other 100 million go? Remember the guy was using a variety of money laundering systems.
22 months imprisoned for stealing 110 Million dollars from his clients, that equates one month in prison for stealing 5 million dollars.
Would you be willing to steal 5 million dollars if you punishment was only 1 month in prison and there is a good chance you were able to hide a great deal of the money and have it waiting for you secretly once you were freed?
The state is less concerned when you steal from the citizenry than when you steal from the state.
The state also punishes small thefts so much more harshly than large thefts. Recall the scene where the butler has an orgy at Jordan’s apartment and his money and jewelery is stolen. Oh the horror that some one might steal from him in a day, the amount that he might steal in a minute.
So what happens when everyone decides to go home?
The financial circus was never mean to close, it was a designed as a 24/7 365 day operation with a sucker born every minute. Unfortunately the circus became so big that it altered the town. The wars it funded eventually created a population bubble. Soon the bubble in population had fewer children than before and so did those children. Soon there were less suckers born and more wise to the game and lived long enough to collect on the bets. It was known in financial circles that 2007-2009 would be a very difficult time for markets, as the baby boomers would begin to retire and their vast proportion of the worlds wealth would begin exiting the market.
The sub prime bubble just made this problem even worse and more sudden, the market was facing the perfect storm of peak oil and peak boomer investment both oil and boomers were about to go into terminal decline.
Its is not that Stratton Oakmont was an anomaly in the system, its just that they exposed what the financial system is: a giant Ponzi scheme run by arrogant delusional narcissists addicted to excess and hedonism.
He was not the first Ponzi operator and he wont be the last, Bernie Madoff proved that, Madoff was just more sophisticated and low key in his approach.
But the biggest Ponzi will be implode soon, fiat currency itself.
So where is he now? Jordan Belfort currently is on the sales and motivation speaker circuit and still presumably owes tens of millions of dollars to his former investors.
Aurum: a thin layer of pure gold between printed polymer plastic layers.
This is an interesting idea. Actually trading in gold in a familiar pocketable, foldable format.
It is actual gold, not a purported/flimsy claim to a thing.
Can be melted back down to pure gold.
Denomination are small about 1 -2 dollars AUD.
Fills the gap between ounce bars making gold more divisible.
A familiar format for people; a note of value.
Customizable note images.
protected from central bank manipulation largely.
Could be forged with a gold appearing foil.
Gold cannot be tested with out destroying the note.
One denominations 1/20 of a gram meaning you would need approx 622 to make an ounce.
Gold is normally measured in troy ounces making the maths weird: i.e 622 to the ounce, a quarter of an ounce is 155.5 Aurum notes.
For small gold units people can and have used links in gold necklaces, more easily testable.
will there be other denominations such as 1/40th gram or 1/10 gram, will denominations be in fractions of ounces to match the standard troy ounce system.
A system of 1/500th of an ounce ( and 1/1000th) would have made more sense, like the metric system or not, gold has been in troy ounces for a long time. No problem adding the metric equivalent along side this number, but still the unit should be based on troy ounces (1 troy ounce being 31.1 grams).
More security features, holograms, weird difficult to copy patterns etc. A way to optically (non destructively) verify that is really is gold and not a polymer illusion.
Accept Bitcoins for these, it think the trade would be brisk as a lot of Bitcoin investors we those a little late for the gold bug and may now wish to diversify.
Has any one considered silver coins with a small individual, removable plastic container, similar idea to this.
The firs steps towards a new middle eastern nation are being taken today, with Kurdistan beginning sales of oil to Turkey. The Turks have been paying quite high prices for oil lately, so there is at least one satisfied customer but the economic price is just one part of the cost to consider. Iraq is clearly not happy as they feel it is their oil. Kurds might argue Iraq only ever existed (and was created) so that the British could get control of oil and have it delivered to the port of Basra.
The geopolitics of oil now have new factor in the complex equations of diplomacy. If Turkey Joins the EU there will be an oil state on the doorstep of the EU. Could a pipeline from Iran to Europe now be more feasible. Will Kurdish people flood to the newly cemented state?
Just like a new service station opening up in your town or city there are always flow on effect. Everything in the Middle east just got a little more interesting.
Good Luck to the Kurdish people.
Where is Kurdistan?
Kurds already control a region in Northern Iraq, but may want significant parts of Turkey, part of the border region of Iran and even some of Syria and Armenia.
With access to the oil trade some of these wishes may be fulfilled, but like any transaction is there a willing seller, and what will be the price?