We live in an age of conspiracies about a world shaped by shadowy plots, secret organisations and deals made behind closed doors. And while they are often viewed as the fictions of sad people wearing anoraks and tin foil hats, they can relate to the real business of global politics. Conspiracy theories surround the likes of TTIP, Davos, the CIA, and this week, the Bilderberg meeting.
Haven’t heard of Bilderberg? That’s because security is very heavy, journalists are not invited, and all participants are forbidden from talking about the discussions. The 2016 took place in the rather pleasant looking Taschenbergpalais in Dresden. Other details, however, are kept under wraps. Read more…
Multilevel marketing nutrition company Herbalife is in a battle but it is hardly embattled. They have an army of 3,1 million representatives stationed in 84 countries. One would presume it to be a healthy army since most of the soldiers buy the products for self-consumption.
Herbalife is facing the conflict on an embattled battlefield, the New York Stock Exchange, where a general of the latter is accusing the former of being an $8 billion pyramid structure resembling a ponzi scheme. Read more…
In 1726, Daniel Defoe wrote, “Things as certain as death and taxes, can be more firmly believed.” Many others have quoted it since, so often that one would have thought that the only inevitable occurrences in life are death and taxes.
Alas, tax havens have allowed many individuals, banks and corporations to dodge paying taxes, leaving the bill to the less fortunate. Read more…
We understand the concept of the housing bubble very well: sell houses at inflated prices, launch the bubble, and you end up owning the houses AND you still have people who owe you money for those houses they do not have. You can sell the houses later when the market recovers (and the people will still be paying on the houses they do not have). In the meantime, while the FED interest rate is at zero, borrow even more money so you can lend it back to people later at a nice high rate. Read more…
Joe asks God, “Santa, what does a thousand years mean to you?”
God replies, “A second.”
Joe asks, “And what does a thousand dollars mean to you?”
God replies, “A penny.”
Joe asks, “Can I have a penny?”
God replies, “In a second.”
An honest politician, a clever banker and Santa Claus were walking down the street and saw a $10 bill. Which one picked it up?
Santa. The other two don’t exist!
Mexican Carlo Slim Helu ousted Bill Gates as the world’s richest man, according to the famous Forbes Rich List. There’s only half-a-billion between them, though: Slim is worth $53.5 billion and Gates $53 billion. But even that is a ton of money. Actually, more than a ton. If you stack one million $1 bills, it would be 361 ft (110m) high and weigh exactly 1 ton. So there is 500 tons of dollar bills difference between the world’s two richest men.
Now, if you’re bored, you can work out how high a pile of money Carlos Slim has. Or take the length of a dollar – 6.14 inches long (2.61 inches wide) – and see how far his money will go. Or lay it out side-by-side (a dollar is 15 square inches) and you’ll see that the money of one man covers the whole earth. Except that it doesn’t, of course. Because it’s mostly based on stock values and if that breaks – as often happens – he wouldn’t have enough money to cover his arse. In short, the value of a billionaire is in the eyes of the beholder, the latter being other billionaires. If they lose sight – as often happens – you lose everything (332 members of last year’s billionaires list lost out this year, most likely never to return). Read more…
When Greek astronomer Aristarchos explained in the 3rd century BC that earth revolves around the sun he was laughed at. When Peter Schiff warned in 2006 about an impending economic bust he was heckled on television by other economists. When Nouriel Roubini said in 2005 that speculation in the housing market would sink the economy he was labeled as “Dr Doom,” sharing the title with Marc Faber, who predicted the 1987 stock exchange crash and almost every other bear and bull market since. Today, at a presentation in Japan, Faber painted another picture of the economy, displayed excellently in The Times.
The Dr Dooms’ predictions: Roubini predicted in 2009 that the recession will last a few years; Faber predicts “a dirty war” and that the US will go bankrupt. Schiff has long predicted the eventual fall of the dollar. Read more…
Banks borrow money from the public, create an insane amount of new money based upon multiples of the base money at an almost uncontrolled level, and then lend it back to the public at hugely increased rates. Money from nothing. Never made sense to me that almost all money is created by private banks without them having any security for it except other multiples of the base money, meaning they simply print more money in the form of creating more debt avenues.
What makes even less sense is that the public has voted for this (when they drew that little cross on the voting form). What is totally astounding is that the public will do so again on the next election day (in whichever country). The reason why they do so is simple: they never do due diligence on the party or person they vote for; it is a brain-numbing thought in this, the twenty-first century, when we are supposed to have more information available at our fingertips than ever before. For some reason, people seem simply not to believe or understand that almost all money in circulation is created by the banks for their own profit, no-one else’s. And that this is fake money. (The cash profits the bankers take are the real deposits made by the public and investors like pension funds.) If the created money was real money, based on actual value, the banks would not have needed bailing out. Read more…
The world’s brightest have been meeting in Davos, Switzerland. The measurement of brightest, in this case, comes from the reflection of the shiny bald heads. Same faces, same sins. The list of attendees looked like the Who’s Who from the Land of Duh.
It is not that the members of the World Economic Forum do not have good intentions. Their intentions are perfect. For themselves. Their slogan for this year included “Improve the State of the World.” They obviously live in a different world.
The slogan continues: Rethink, Redesign, Rebuild. Of course, if they had thought, designed and built properly in the first place they wouldn’t have needed this line. Last year the idea was to move from “Ego capitalism” to “Eco capitalism.” Well, you know what happened last year. (By the way, have you found a job yet?)
“Davos” has become the symbol for “Them against Us.” And, to quote an old friend: “There we were, two against two thousand – but, boy, did we f* those two up!” It’s time to saddle up.