Sunday, May 17, 2015

SOLAR UPDATE MAY 17, 2015
















Zerohedge: Leading German Keynesian Economist Calls For Cash Ban

Tyler Durden's picture


It’s official: the world has gone central-planner crazy.

Monetary policy, whether in the form of “conventional” methods such as the micromanagement of policy rates or so-called “unconventional” measures such as QE, has proven utterly ineffective when it comes to both “smoothing out” the business cycle and reigniting economic growth in the wake of severe downturns. If anything, recent history has shown the exact opposite to be true. That is, the Fed helped to engineer the housing bubble and has now succeeded in inflating a similar bubble in stocks and fixed income. Meanwhile, the Japanese experience with QE has plunged the country into what we have affectionately dubbed “The Kuroda Zone”, wherein the BoJ has cornered both the stock and bond markets while failing to promote wage growth or meaningfully raise inflation expectations. In China, the PBoC has taken to cutting policy rates at the first sign of weakness in the stock market, helping to sustain what will perhaps go down in history as the second coming of the tulip bulb mania, while the ECB has taken the insane step of adopting a trillion euro bond buying program while simultaneously demanding fiscal discipline, meaning the central bank’s bond monetization efforts are set against a backdrop of meager supply.

In sum, the collective actions of the world’s most influential central banks have done wonders when it comes to inflating asset bubbles but have done very little to revive robust economic growth. In fact, far from smoothing out the business cycle and resuscitating DM demand, post-crisis monetary policy has actually had the exact opposite effect: it has set the stage for an even more spectacular collapse while simultaneously creating a worldwide deflationary supply glut.

At this stage, a sane person might be tempted to call it a day on the monetary experiments, especially considering that at this point, the limits have been reached. That is, there are literally no more assets to buy and rates have hit the effective lower bound where rational actors will eschew bank deposits in favor of the mattress. But not so fast, say folks like Citi’s Willem Buiter and economist Ken Rogoff: the world could always ban cash because if you eliminate physical currency and force people to use a debit card linked to a government controlled bank account for all transactions, you can effectively centrally plan everything. Consumers not spending? No problem. Just tax their excess account balance. Economy overheating? Again, no problem. Raise the interest paid on account holdings to encourage people to stop spending. So with Citi, Harvard, and Denmark all onboard, we bring you the latest call for a cashless society, this time from German economist and member of the German Council Of Economic Experts Peter Bofinger.
Via Spiegel (Google translated):
Coins and bills are obsolete and only reduce the influence of central banks. This position represents the economy Peter Bofinger. The federal government should stand up for the abolition of cash, he calls in the mirror…

The economy Peter Bofinger campaigns for the abolition of cash. "With today's technical possibilities coins and notes are in fact an anachronism," Bofinger told SPIEGEL.

If these away, the markets for undeclared work and drugs could be dried out. In addition, it would have the central banks easier to enforce its monetary policy.The teaching in Würzburg economics professor called on the federal government to promote at the international level for the abolition of cash. "That would certainly be a good topic for the agenda of the G-7 summit in Elmau," he said. (Click here to read the full interview in the new mirror .)

Even the former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and economist pleaded for an end to the already cash . Likewise, the US economist Kenneth Rogoff . He also argued that the interest rates of central banks have less clout when banks or consumer credit rather than hoard cash.

Critics warn, however , such debates would only distract from the real problems of the current monetary policy.
Yes, the “real problems” with current monetary policy. Like the fact that by design it can't possibly work (but it can and will push stocks to unprecedented highs). Paging Mr. Weidmann, your countrymen are going Keynesian crazy.

ZEROHEDGE: The War On Cash Destroys A Small Entrepreneur


You know the real shame of this is the really big money laundering goes on with tankers full of crude oil (which is very fungible), real estate transactions, and through organized religion (which get a lot of cash donations).  As usual the government takes the "arrest the usual suspects" approach rather than go to where the problem is really at...  This is not about money laundering, its about back door currency controls.  Currently, if you are a millionaire and want to transfer money around the world, money that lawfully belongs to you, you will find it very difficult to do just that for personal purposes. There's a lot of people with money stuck in banks on the ruse of "money laundering suspicions" when the real reason large amounts of money can't move is that there's a financial gearing of 1000 to one in derivatives on that deposit made by the same bank who's job it is to safeguard that value and to deliver it upon demand.  We are the stage now where banks are not merely greedy and powermad... they are not even fulfilling societal purpose in transferring lawful value.  Is it any wonder then Bitcoin has become popular? -AK


The War On Cash Destroys A Small Entrepreneur

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/16/2015 17:15 -0400


Submitted by Joseph Salerno via Mises Canada,

Lyndon McClellan is a small entrepreneur who owns and operates L & M Convenience Mart in Fairmont, North Carolina.


L & M comprises a gas station, convenience store, and a small restaurant serving hot dogs, hamburgers, and catfish sandwiches. One day last July, more than a dozen federal, state and local law enforcement agents swarmed Mr. McClellan’s business, including agents from the FBI and the North Carolina Alcohol and Law Enforcement agency—and they were “asking” for him. When Mr. McClellan arrived, he was escorted by two federal agents into his stock room for a private chat. The agents showed him paperwork indicating that he had made two cash deposits totaling $11,400 within a 24-hour period in his bank account at the Lumbee Guarantee Bank. They informed him that the papers also indicated that he had a history of “consistent cash deposits” of less than $10,000, which was a violation of the the Federal law against “structuring.” They also informed him that the IRS had seized all of the $107,702.66 in L & M’s bank account.

What Mr McClellan did not know was that it was against the law to make cash deposits of less than $10,000. Banks are legally obligated to report any deposit of more than $10,000 to the U.S. Treasury Department. But if an individual makes several cash deposits of less than $10,000 over an unspecified period of time that total more than $10,000, then he is presumed to be a money launderer or drug trafficker who is committing the dastardly crime of structuring, that is, seeking to circumvent the bank’s reporting requirement and maintaining the privacy of his financial affairs Thus banks are also required to file “suspicious activity reports” on cash deposits of less than $10,000. Based on these reports, if one is merely suspected–not convicted–of structuring, his bank account is seized by the IRS under “civil asset forfeiture” laws, which permits seizures of money or other property suspected of being related to a crime.

Government agencies have a financial incentive to invoke civil asset forfeiture laws because the law permits the seizing agency to keep the assets and use them to expand their activities without an appropriation from Congress. In its insatiable hunger for funds, the IRS even “deputizes” state and local law enforcement agencies to go through “suspicious activities reports” in exchange for a cut of the loot subsequently seized by the IRS. This is probably how a small entrepreneur like Mr. McClellan living peacefully in a sleepy hamlet was targeted for destruction in the War on Cash.

Months after the seizure of his bank account, the federal government offered Mr. McClellan 50 percent of his money back if he agreed to a settlement. He heroically refused and intends to pursue the matter in court. Unfortunately, under the oppressive and despotic “civil asset forfeiture” laws, he bears the burden of proving his innocence. But as he puts it:

It’s not fair to the American people who work for a living that one day they can knock on the door, walk in their businesses, and say, ‘We just took your money’ … I always thought your money was safe in the bank, but I wouldn’t say that now.

Neither would I!

The Banker's Game Plan



Jeb Bush Confronted By College Student: 'Your Brother Created ISIS'


Women are showing their power! Wow... -AK

Jeb Bush Confronted By College Student: 'Your Brother Created ISIS'

The Huffington Post | By Marina Fang



Posted: 05/13/2015 11:33 pm EDT Updated: 05/14/2015 10:59 am EDT


A college student told likely GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush on Wednesday that his brother, former President George W. Bush, was to blame for the rise of the Islamic State.

The heated confrontation took place at a town hall meeting in Reno, Nevada, according to The New York Times. Ivy Ziedrich, 19, a student at the University of Nevada, approached the former Florida governor to question him about comments he had made during the event. Bush had argued that the Obama administration's weak foreign policy was responsible for the rise of the terrorist group, also known as ISIS, in the Middle East.

Ziedrich countered that Obama wasn't to blame -- and that it was his predecessor's decision to disband the Iraqi army that made the group's formation possible.

"Your brother created ISIS," she told Bush.

What followed was a contentious exchange, according to the Times. Ziedrich accused Bush of "spouting nationalist rhetoric to get us involved in more wars," pointing out that under his brother, the U.S. had spent years in the Middle East, waging "pointless wars where we send young American men to die for the idea of American exceptionalism."

Bush responded by defending the war in Iraq. "When we left Iraq, security had been arranged, al Qaeda had been taken out," he said. "There was a fragile system that could have been brought up to eliminate the sectarian violence."

Read the full Times report here.

Ziedrich's case is stronger than it may seem. To be sure, had the U.S. not invaded Iraq, the region's history would have unfolded differently. But more to her point, specific decisions made by the Bush administration also led to the rise of ISIS. Most notably, the administration engaged in a widespread and controversial policy known as debaathification, which made most people, even low-level bureaucrats, who had been associated with the former regime, ineligible for government employment in the new era. The German magazine Der Spiegel in April published a trove of documents that once belonged to the mastermind of ISIS, Haji Bakr, who created the infrastructure of the Islamic State.

Der Spiegel describes the route Bakr took to found ISIS:


In 2010, Bakr and a small group of former Iraqi intelligence officers made Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the emir and later "caliph," the official leader of the Islamic State. They reasoned that Baghdadi, an educated cleric, would give the group a religious face.
Bakr was "a nationalist, not an Islamist," says Iraqi journalist Hisham al-Hashimi, as he recalls the former career officer, who was stationed with Hashimi's cousin at the Habbaniya Air Base. "Colonel Samir," as Hashimi calls him, "was highly intelligent, firm and an excellent logistician." But when Paul Bremer, then head of the US occupational authority in Baghdad, "dissolved the army by decree in May 2003, he was bitter and unemployed."
Thousands of well-trained Sunni officers were robbed of their livelihood with the stroke of a pen. In doing so, America created its most bitter and intelligent enemies. Bakr went underground and met Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Anbar Province in western Iraq. Zarqawi, a Jordanian by birth, had previously run a training camp for international terrorist pilgrims in Afghanistan. Starting in 2003, he gained global notoriety as the mastermind of attacks against the United Nations, US troops and Shiite Muslims. He was even too radical for former Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. Zarqawi died in a US air strike in 2006.


Bush has had difficulty distancing himself from his brother's controversial foreign policy legacy, chiefly the Iraq war. On Monday, he fumbled a question about whether he would have authorized the war if he had today's intelligence, responding that he would have. He later claimed to have misheard the question, and then backtracked and refused to give a definitive answer, saying instead that "mistakes were made." At the town hall on Wednesday, he shrugged off further questions about the war by claiming they were "hypotheticals" and "a disservice for a lot of people that sacrificed a lot."

Bush has advocated a hawkish approach to dealing with the Islamic State, and has repeatedly criticized Obama for not combating the extremist group more aggressively.

"Restrain them, tighten the noose and then take them out," Bush said in February.

Watch the video above.
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