Finance | - Part 3

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Weekly Ramblings of an Australian Stock Trader - incorporating
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Category — Finance

Is The Australian Economy The New Switzerland?

Is The Australian Economy The New Switzerland?

Switzerland is the place that has traditionally stood above all the rest in its reputation for financial stability.

Why? Because the currency was well-managed, the banking system was sound, and the country had a long tradition of treating capital well.

Over the last few years, however, these advantages have collapsed.

Switzerland has voluntarily surrendered banking privacy, and the many Swiss banks are now haemorrhaging cash.

Even worse, the Swiss government destroyed its reputation for respecting capital when they pegged the Swiss franc to the euro in 2011 to arrest the franc’s rapid rise.

The country’s top central banker at the time, Philipp Hildebrand, claimed that he would buy foreign currencies in ‘unlimited quantities’ to defend the peg.

This is not something a responsible steward of currency should ever say. The currency peg was nothing more than a form of capital controls…and it effectively screwed anyone that had trusted the Swiss system with their savings.

Since then, the market’s need to find a financial safe haven has only become more desperate. One only needs to look at Cyprus to see why.

Yet just a small handful of countries inspire confidence in the marketplace. And the most popular seems to be Australia.  [Read more →]

April 21, 2013   Comments Off

Bitcoin For Beginners, Part II.

In March, I was at a conference in New Hampshire when a few Bitcoin businessmen sat me down to lunch. It seems like the last thing one wants, a long lunch at which one is hammered by unrelenting geek-speak about the glories of some crazy software thing.

It turned out very differently. A developer suggested that I download a smartphone application called Blockchain. I did this. He then took at an image of my QR code — that funny square design that looks like a 3-D bar code. It looks like this:

Within a few seconds, I was the proud owner of my first Bitcoin. I felt the rush. Ownership changes everything.

My wallet lived on my smartphone. Only three years ago, some wonderful applications had already developed around the currency unit. Although I’m a bit of a ‘techy’, I’m not a rocket scientist, and I’m quite certain that I would have been out of my league.

But this is how digital institutions develop to become ever more user-friendly. At the same event at which I became a Bitcoin owner, I also used a Bitcoin ATM. I put in the green stuff, held my digital wallet up to the scanner, and then felt the buzz on my smartphone. Physical became digital. Beautiful. [Read more →]

April 13, 2013   Comments Off

Currency Anarchism.

This article is contributed by One of the TOP sites for up to date information on the Canadian and US Stock Markets. For more information subscribe to their free newsletter.

Aaron Hoddinott's picture
Written by Aaron Hoddinott

Dear member,

The story of Bitcoin, the world’s largest decentralized,peer-to-peer fiat currency, which today outranks many sovereign currencies in liquidity (and also overall market value), is indeed a fascinating one in both investment trends and distrust in government. The only reason thisdigital currency even exists is because of broad frustration in the global monetary system.
What was once a currency traded amongst your neighborhood anarchists online, Bitcoin is now blowing up in popularity. So called ‘Bitcoin Millionaires‘ are starting to pop up.

The early adopters of this currency, which started back around Halloween 2008 (near the climax of the subprime meltdown), have seen their holdings in Bitcoin skyrocket in value over the last few years.

image source:
In just the last few months, Bitcoin’s value has increased roughly 500%. It is completely unrelated and untied to any government or the unpredictable bearish market that has left many currencies and assets gasping for life. [Read more →]

April 12, 2013   Comments Off

Bitcoin For Beginners, Part One.

Understanding Bitcoin requires that we understand the limits of our ability to imagine the future that the market can create for us. That is exactly what is happening with Bitcoin right now.

As I type, the price is exploding, the main exchanges are overloaded, and people around the world can’t convert from government currency into this digital gold fast enough.

Absolutely no one imagined such a thing five years ago. Why are we surprised? We should get used to surprises in this digital age. Thirty years ago, for example, if someone had said that electronic text — digits flying through the air and landing in personalized inboxes owned by us all that we check at will, any time of the day or night — would eventually displace first-class mail, you might have said this is impossible.

After all, not even The Jetsons cartoon imagined email. Elroy brought notes home from his teacher on pieces of paper. Still, email has largely displaced first-class mail, just as texting and social network private messages and even Voice over Internet Protocol are replacing the traditional telephone.

It turns out that the future is really hard to imagine, especially when entrepreneurs specialize in surprising us with innovations. The markets are always outsmarting even the most wild-eyed dreamers, and it is certainly smarter than the intellectual who keeps saying such and such cannot happen.

It’s the same today. What if I suggested that digital money could eventually come to replace government paper money? Heaven knows we need a replacement. [Read more →]

April 9, 2013   Comments Off

Why Crime Pays for ‘Too-Big-to-Fail’ Banks.

Why Crime Pays for ‘Too-Big-to-Fail’ Banks

You need to know the truth about banks.

Why? Because they rob you.

Why? Because they can.

It’s the Willie Sutton bank robber quote in reverse. Willie was asked, ‘Why do you rob banks?’

He famously answered, while in handcuffs, ‘Because that’s where the money is.’

But, banks can’t keep robbing the public if they keep shooting themselves in their feet. That’s where central banks come in.

They are the real kingpins keeping their robber minions in pinstripes — instead of prison stripes.

Estimates now are that US banks — the too big to fail ones — will end up paying more than $100 billion in fines, settlement costs, to buy back bad mortgages, to right some of the past wrongs related to the mortgage crisis they caused. [Read more →]

April 7, 2013   Comments Off

Why The Federal Reserve and Central Banks Should Be Abolished.

Why The Federal Reserve and Central Banks Should Be Abolished

Last week I spent two days speaking to senior government officials and business leaders in Bermuda, which is one of the world’s leading international insurance and reinsurance hubs. The men and women in the room are responsible for hundreds of millions in assets worldwide.

I spoke for over an hour on the implications and opportunities of the financial crisis.

As I was finishing up, I received one of the most provocative questions I’ve gotten in a long time from the darkness beyond the stage lights: ‘Does any nation really need a ‘Fed’?’ asked one of the directors.

The answer is, unequivocally, no. Especially if it’s modelled after the United States Federal Reserve.

The individual depositors who were the protected class when the Fed was originally formed are little more than cannon fodder today. Instead, the banks the Federal Reserve supports have become the protected few.

To be honest, I didn’t always think this way. For much of my career, I took the Federal Reserve for granted, believing like millions of Americans that it was acting in our country’s best interest.

Then I sat down with legendary investor Jim Rogers in Singapore a few years back at the onset of the current financial crisis. During our discussion, he pointed out several things that really made me think about the Fed and its role in not only creating this crisis, but making it worse. [Read more →]

March 30, 2013   Comments Off

New Developments on Whether You Can Get Your Mortgage Cancelled.

New Developments on Whether You Can Get Your Mortgage Cancelled

If you’re not familiar with the story on how you could have your mortgage cancelled, why not take a quick peek at the one-minute long movie trailer? You can find it here.

Our recent articles about this opportunity have really thrown the cat amongst the pigeons. People affected by the crisis have sent in their thanks, feedback, criticism and remarkable stories.

One couple that emailed were a victim of the kind of manipulation the video exposes not once, but twice. Both when they got their initial loan and when they refinanced. They only found out because the banks sent them the proof by mistake.

But we’re just getting started. Soon, anyone in Australia will be able to find out if they can get their mortgage cancelled too.

The thing is, we’re not the only ones exposing this mess. Denise Brailey has worked hard in the name of individual wronged borrowers, as well as spearheading the effort to wake up Australians generally.

In her latest email to me she laid out her plans. Her evidence is explosive and cannot be ignored any longer. If you’re interested in the story, why not become a member of her dedicated consumer support association here. [Read more →]

March 22, 2013   Comments Off

Just Like Cyprus: How the Australian Government Turned on its Citizens.

Just Like Cyprus: How the Australian Government Turned on its Citizens

Yes, this is getting old, but this week a new Mediterranean country became the centre of the financial world’s attention.

It’s not even big enough to be one of the PIIGS, which used to make all the headlines.

But Cyprus is important for a whole new reason.

This time around, bank depositors will take a hit in the effort to bail out the banks.

And that’s causing panic across Europe

What you need to know about this isn’t in the details. They’re a complete mess and keep changing from one hour to the next. One moment all depositors will lose a few percent of their deposits, the next only some will.

What’s really important is the signal this sends. We’re entering into the next stage of the financial crisis. The stage where governments turn on their citizens.

This is exactly in keeping with Kris’ theme in Money Morning. He’s written about this for over four years, including the Australian government’s attempts to take your wealth, like they’re going to do in Cyprus. It’s not just Cyprus, by the way. [Read more →]

March 22, 2013   Comments Off

Where Cyprus Got The Idea For Its Savings Raid.

Pursuit of Happiness reader Brian sent me a link to a UK Daily Mail story about the Cypriot government’s plan to impose a 9.9% savings tax on bank accounts.

I posted a link to the story on my Google+ page. If you don’t yet follow me on Google+ you can do so now by clicking here. It’s free to sign up for an account. And all you have to do is add me to your ‘circles’.

The benefit of Google+ is that you get to see some of the tens or hundreds of articles that I come across every day. Before Google+ those stories would just end up on the ‘cutting room floor’.

But now I can share them with you shortly after I read them by posting a link on my Google+ page. Think of it as your opportunity to look over my shoulder and see what passes across my screen each day.

And if you had looked over my shoulder yesterday you would have seen me devouring info on the latest raid by a national government on private savings. Of course, what’s happening in Cyprus is just a drop in the ocean compared to what’s happening here in Australia.

Perhaps it’s why the Aussie media is only giving the issue scant coverage… [Read more →]

March 21, 2013   Comments Off

Government Theft in Cyprus.

Government Theft in Cyprus

Here’s a scenario for you.

You wake up one morning. Over the radio, you hear that the government has said that all the banks are bust. Everyone is going to have to sacrifice 10% of their savings to bail the system out. It’s the only solution.

Now, you’ve only got 20,000 in the bank. You know up to 85,000 is insured under the nation’s deposit protection scheme. So you think you’re covered.

Not so. Turns out the 10% fee is a tax. A ‘wealth’ tax, if you like.

So you lose 2,000 of your savings anyway, even although you thought you were playing by the rules.

Sound unfair? I’m sure the residents of Cyprus would agree with you. Because that’s exactly what happened to them this weekend.

And the ramifications will spread well beyond their little island… [Read more →]

March 20, 2013   Comments Off