Category Archives: The Economic Decline

Economics, wealth building and finance and exactly what the category title suggests…

Dead People, Seeing Only What They Want to See

“I see dead people. Walking around like regular people. They don’t see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don’t know that they’re dead.” ~ Cole Sear: The Sixth Sense

People love the sentimentality of their beliefs, the traditions and tribalism and forms of a self-conception, the good feeling that they get from believing that they are better than and different from the great body of mankind. Religions do this Even atheists and political parties and schools of economics and philosophy do this, since theirs constitutes a belief as well. We can be wonderfully profane.

But when it comes to applying those higher principles of belief in their daily lives, most people are highly selective, and in general want nothing to do with them, except as it is convenient, and serves their purposes without sacrifice. Continue reading

What’s Driving Social Discord

Russian Social Media Meddling or Soaring Wealth/Power Inequality?

The nation’s elites are desperate to misdirect us from the financial and power dividethat has enriched and empowered them at the expense of the unprotected many.

There are two competing explanatory narratives battling for mind-share in the U.S.:

1. The nation’s social discord is the direct result of Russian social media meddling – what I call the Boris and Natasha Narrative of evil Russian masterminds controlling a vast conspiracy of social media advertising, fake-news outlets and trolls that have created artificial divides in the body politic, or exacerbated minor cracks into chasms. Continue reading

This ancient city would still be among the wealthiest in the world today

In the year 440 BC, more than two decades into the reign of Pericles, an audit of treasury in Athens showed a massive surplus of more than 9700 “talents”.

A talent was a common unit of measurement in the ancient world, especially for gold and silver, and, based on today’s precious metals prices and the traditional gold/silver ratio (14:1) used by the ancient Greeks, 9700 talents is equivalent to about $700 million today.

At the time, Athens boasted a population of around 43,000 citizens and 28,500 foreign residents… so on a “per capita” basis, the ancient Athenian surplus amounted to just under $10,000 per person in today’s money.

If you compare this figure to our modern world, it’s pretty extraordinary. (Continue to full posting…)

Trump’s ‘middle class miracle‘ in Tax reform

I am hearing (as is the case when CUTS are talked about) that any loss of tax receipts will add more to the national debt.

This is easily solved and we can be left with money left over if we follow a simple formula as do those Americans who live on limited income and do so without going into debt beyond having a mortgage on a house and possibly a loan for a vehicle.
Continue reading

You’ve been Equi-Fuxed!

In the words of Bob Dylan – “the times are a-changing…” – and NOT for the better. My apologies (not really) for the tile of this entry – but understand – due to this breach – YOU are going to need to spend the rest of your life watching on a monthly basis for any security breach in your economic world. From your bank accounts and trading accounts, as well as your Social Security and Medicare accounts and to all of your retirements accounts, including Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA’s) 401K/501C3, et al. No one else can do it. You will need to freeze all credit information (which is restricted to a 90 day period – which will unfrozen the minute that you apply for a new loan, for a car, mortgage or anew credit card, after-which you will need to freeze access to it all over again – for another 90 day period. Welcome to the New World. ~ Jeffrey Bennett, Publisher and President, Kettle Moraine, Ltd.


The Equifax Hack Is The Most Disastrous Data Breach In History Because Now Hackers Have The Credit Information Of 143 Million Americans
Talk about a nightmare. It is being reported that criminals were able to hack into Equifax and make off with the credit information of 143 million Americans. We are talking about names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, home addresses and even driver’s license numbers. If this data breach was an earthquake, we would be talking about a magnitude-10.0 on the identity theft scale. We have never seen anything like this before, and to say that this will be “disastrous” for the credit industry would be a massive understatement…. (Continue to full article)

Thinking Through the Equifax Security Breach
If you’re one of the 143 million Americans who just got screwed by the massive security breach at Equifax, you may be wondering what you can do to protect yourself going forward. For those who’ve been living under a rock, the personal data that was stolen included names, addresses, social security numbers, and birth-dates. In addition, 209,000 had their credit card numbers stolen, 182,000 had dispute documents with personal data stolen, and an undetermined number of people had their driver’s license numbers stolen… (Continue to full article)

Equifax sent customers to a fake phishing site for weeks to check if their data was compromised in historic breach
And is anyone investigating the underlining crimes of ‘Insider Trading’? On August 21, roughly 2,500 put contracts betting on Equifax shares dipping below $135 by September 15 and traded for a total price of about $181,000. By end of trading on September 8, these puts were worth about $2.6million, according to options analytics firm Trade Alert data… (Continue to full article)

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Kettle Moraine, Ltd.
P.O. Box 579
Litchfield Park, AZ 85340

Bitcoin In An Illusionary Age

It is altogether fitting that crypto currencies, in particular Bitcoin, have witnessed a meteoric rise in this illusionary age. Not only has their monetary value gone to dizzying heights, but they are now being touted as the destroyer of the current, crumbling monetary order and the next paradigm upon which a new money and banking system will emerge.

In an era where sacrifice, hard work, loyalty, ingenuity, tradition, and independent thought are considered anathemas, while affirmative action, sloth, effeminacy, office seeking, and something-for-nothing schemes are endemic in every walk of life, it is not surprising that non-tangible, computer-generated currencies would become a “natural” feature of such a world. Continue reading

Illegal Aliens Have More Rights Than IRS Taxpayers

“If illegal aliens can break our laws and get rewarded for it, if illegal aliens have more rights than the taxpayers that pay the billions of dollars to support illegal immigration, then there is no law and we become a de facto lawless nation without borders and without sovereignty.” ~ Ron Ewart


For over eleven years we have been writing a weekly column pointing out the injustices inflicted upon Americans and the American taxpayer by government and special interests. But no injustice is more egregious than allowing foreign nationals to invade our country by the millions where they get to profit from the invasion, rather than being put in jail or deported as they would be in any other country. No other sovereign nation on earth allows illegal immigration to exist on such an enormous scale, as does the United States of America. What is even more unfathomable is why this injustice doesn’t fester in the hearts and minds of the American people to the point where they put an immediate halt to it, or fire those in government who are responsible. What does it take for the American people to rise up against this injustice in full force and fury, as they should? Continue reading

Only in California…

California Can’t Afford to Fix Dams, But They Want to Give Universal Healthcare to Illegal Aliens

The land of Pelosi, fruits and nuts has a state debt that is spiraling out of control (over a trillion dollars), they are so short on water they have to buy much of it from neighboring states and they have a healthcare industry that is on the brink of collapse due to the ever burgeoning population of illegal aliens. (Or as Governor Moonbeam would say “undocumented workers”.) Continue reading

What’s In Your Wallet?

All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise, not from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from the downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation. ~ John Adams

Money_gold_bars_HD_wallpaper.jpgAside from those who don’t have much of it, money is one of those things people take for granted. People open their wallets, or purses, and pull out a couple pieces of paper/clothe and expect that they will be able to exchange it for a certain amount of goods or services. But what is that stuff you carry around and use to make purchases? Money you say? I don’t think so.

The Sixth Edition of Bouvier’s Dictionary of Law defines money as: gold, silver, and some other less precious metals. What you hold in your wallets and purses is currency; and you should at least know a basic history of how it came to replace real money. Continue reading

The Grinches Who Stole (And Continue To Steal) Their Children’s (And Grandchildren’s) Future

As I write this, financial markets are bouncing near all-time (artificial) highs, with the Dow hovering around 20,000 (a point that also played a central role in last week’s article, “Making America Great” Through Anti-Christian Economics.)

This sky high (and then some) market exuberance is in no small part due to the next wave of anticipated bailouts of “too big to fail” banks and businesses through the black magic of our fiat economic system.

In case you haven’t heard, after Obama’s mountains of debt spending which followed eight years of ginormous government growth under Dubya, we’re now gonna “Make America Great Again” by – you guessed it! – spending tons of fake money on tons of cool stuff; everything from propping and/or expanding the satanic/Marxist constructs of Social Security and public schools to the funding of ginormous military buildups and road/rail/everything-else improvements is on the table. Continue reading

Dateline: December 27, 2016


I make $2.35 an hour in coal country…
I don’t want handouts. I want a living wage!” The white working class doesn’t need a savior at the ballot box. We need decent pay in the jobs we already have. (Continue to full article)

Herbert Hoover: Godfather of the New Deal
Herbert Hoover was worth $4 million in 1914 as a mining engineer and mine owner. This was before World War I, when the dollar bought 25 times more than it does today. He was good at what he did in the private sector… (Continue to full article)

As Socialism Shattered Venezuela, the Useful Idiots Applauded
Coming one day to Estados Unidos… (Continue to full article)

Static economy due to meddling by Big Government
It’s not just America. Meet the White Obama! … (Continue to full article)

Criminal Banksters and Their Demented Enablers
The central planners/central banksters, who answer to no one, have completely lost their minds. What has happened, beginning in 2008, has never been tried before in the history of the world. These maniacs, who are in charge of our economies and finance, are literally making up the rules and changes as they go along… (Continue to full article)

Goldman-Sachs Caught Manipulating US Dollar — No One Arrested, Slap on Wrist Instead
Goldman-Sachs was ordered to pay 120 million, “to settle charges that it often tried to manipulate a global dollar benchmark for interest rate products over a five-year period… (Continue to full article)

BUNDESBANK Hauls Its Gold Back from New York & Paris Faster Than Planned
Rumors ran wild that the gold was really gone, and that the Bundesbank had one heck of a time trying to round it up. About 45% of Germany’s gold was held at the New York Fed, and that’s where a lot of fingers were pointing… (Continue to full article)

Ex-Fed Advisor: Looming Pension Catastrophe Makes It “Hard to Sleep at Night”
Of all the troubling economic issues in the United States today, the current crisis erupting from mismanaged public pension programs stands out as a uniquely menacing threat to Americans’ financial security. Five major cities have filed bankruptcy over pension woes since 2008, and dozens more are teetering on the brink (Continue to full article)

Why Gold?
The answer to the title question is simply: Why Not? A series of columns and commentary showing the history and importance of the ownership of ‘specie.’ (Continue to full series)

Beginning January 2, 2017, Life, Liberty & All That Jazz will be heard at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) for TWO-HOURS, each Monday through Friday on The Micro Effect.

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Kettle Moraine, Ltd.
P.O. Box 579
Litchfield Park, AZ 85340

Something WICKED This Way Comes

something_wicked_this_way_comesI stopped trying to predict markets back in 2008 when the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department, Wall Street bankers, and their propaganda peddling media mouthpieces colluded to rig the markets to benefit the elite establishment players while screwing average Americans. I haven’t owned any stocks to speak of since 2006. I missed the the final blow-off, the 50% crash, and the subsequent engineered new bubble. But that doesn’t stop me from assessing our true economic situation, market valuations, and historical comparisons in order to prove the irrationality and idiocy of the current narrative.

The proof of this market being rigged and not based upon valuations, corporate earnings, discounted cash flows, or anything related to free market capitalism, was the reaction to Trump’s upset victory. The narrative was status quo Hillary was good for markets and Trump’s anti-establishment rhetoric would unnerve the markets. When the Dow futures plummeted by 800 points on election night, left wingers like Krugman cackled and predicted imminent collapse. The collapse lasted about 30 minutes, as the Dow recovered all 800 points and has subsequently advanced another 1,500 points since election day. Krugman’s predictive abilities proven stellar once again. (Read complete story)

The Secret of the Bankers ~ The Series

What is Money?
What is money? Really. It’s a token, receipt or an electronic note we get or give for some thing or some doing. It’s a convenient marker to interchange value.

jig-saw_buckOh, and it’s also the most powerful WMD ever been used against us, for centuries.

A small group knows lots about money but they don’t want us to know what it is or how to use it to prosper because they are the ones who have been using it against us.

Maybe it has crossed your mind that something is wrong with money; that it’s not working right; that maybe the whole monetary system is broken; that “economics” is just being used to justify money failures; that maybe banks get richer because we get poorer. Mostly we ignore it because it’s there. Hmm? Continue reading

The New American Dream – A Life In Hock

We live in a society driven by debt.

debtCars, for example, have become hugely expensive (even on the low end) relative to what people can afford – because of the easy availability of credit. Which is the nice word used to speak about debt, intended to encourage us to get into it.

It takes at least $15,000 or so to drive home in a “cheap” new car, once all is said and done. And the “cheap” car will have to be registered, plated and insured.

It runs into money. Continue reading

Economic Reforms That Trump Can Pursue but Not Achieve

great-seal-on-the-dollar-public-domain-460x345A couple of friends of mine have proposed lists of economic reforms that Trump would be wise to follow.

This list is from Joe Salerno. I have known him since 1974. He is a sensible economist.

This list is from John Mauldin. He used to be my business manager in the mid-1980’s. He is a sensible newsletter publisher.

The question is this: Which of these reforms could Trump get through Congress? He might get one. He won’t get two. Continue reading

The Economic Decline: November 16, 2016


Middle Class Jammed By Fed’s Credit Bubbles
dollar_down_de_drainThe American middle class has suffered from painfully low wage growth since The Great Recession. In fact, 82% of Americans of suffering through the worst wage recovery since 1965. It was the first post-recession wage since 1965 without a single month above 2.7% YoY wage (or earnings) growth… (Continue to full article)

UBS Urges Ban On Large Denomination Notes
UBS is the latest to call for Australia to scrap large denomination bank notes, citing that it would help eliminate the black economy… (Continue to full article)

Copper’s Warning to Deflationists
copper_rnd_thumb‘Doc Copper’ is widely viewed as being able to predict upswings and slumps in the economy of manufacturing and real goods, so we should want to get this one in particular right. The post-election rally in Copper futures is on track for putting up one of the strongest months in the past decade. Buyers have retrenched somewhat in the last few days, but… (Continue to full article)

New Home Sales Slowing, Higher Rates Won’t Help
New home sales have rebounded nicely in 2016, but recent developments suggest the new home market could be looking at more softness ahead… (Continue to full article)

US Mint Stonewalling on the Fort Knox Audit
Auric Goldfinger contaminated the gold after all… (Continue to full article)

GoldfingerGold Signals That Trump Is No Different
The good news is that Hillary lost but the bad news is that Trump won. A massive take-down of the gold and silver markets was put into action shortly after it became obvious that Trump was going to take the election… (Continue to full article)

Silver Price and The Winds of Complacency
silver bullet_smlNot even a surprise Presidential election result could sever the bonds that have held prices in check for more than 5 years. From a mainstream media perspective, the financial system is a neat little house of cards… (Continue to full article)

Silver and the Train Wreck
Train-Wreck-300x300The U.S. National Debt is a “train-wreck.” The official debt is nearly $20 trillion and the unfunded liabilities are $100 – $200 trillion, depending on who is counting… (Continue to full article)

Gold: The Cost Of Production Is Near
Gold is no longer vulnerable. It has entered a nice buying area. The $1225 – $1200 price zone is both technically and fundamentally important. Here’s why… (Continue to full article)

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Kettle Moraine, Ltd.
P.O. Box 579
Litchfield Park, AZ 85340

Good To Me

“When is a crisis reached? When questions arise that cannot be answered. ~ Ryszard Kapuscinski

supermoon2And it is also when the excessive leverage of a financialized market begins to implode, as the holders of claims discover that they have been the unwitting victims of misrepresented counterparty risks .

I am upgrading my computer and I am going to have to spend a little time on that one, getting some software and applications that are misbehaving sorted out.

The US dollar was on another tear higher today, and so we saw some weakness in the precious metals.

The bonds, especially the longer dated ones, have been getting beaten up of late. No real surprise there as they were caught up in a mispricing of risk, or in plainer words a bubble, for quite some time, compliments of the Fed. Continue reading

The Economic Decline: November 14, 2106


Bernie: Democrats Failed Working People
bernie_sanders_ben_garrison“It is an embarrassment, I think, to the entire of [the] Democratic Party that millions of white working-class people decided to vote for Mr. Trump, which suggests that the Democratic message of standing up for working people no longer holds much sway among workers in this country,”… (Continue to full article)

Copper calls Gold Bottom on Trumphoria Surge
copper_rnd_thumbThe reaction of the markets to the election was quite dramatic. Seemingly infused with the idea that Trump would live up to his election promises and make everything right with a sweep of his hands, the markets surged and the S&P500 index broke out upside from its bearish Dome pattern. Gold and PM sector investments were dumped in favor of the broad market. Copper rocketed higher at the prospect of the proposed massive infrastructure spending… (Continue to full article)

Dollar strength will continue as Trump policies fuel US inflation
Expectations of higher inflation would in turn boost expectations that interest rates would climb, which would likely attract inflows into the U.S. dollar… (Continue to full article)

How to Avoid Buyer’s Remorse With Your Mortgage
Detroit_houseMore than 25 percent of first-time homebuyers are unhappy with the lender that they chose to help them secure financing for their house, according to a new report from J.D. Power . Among all… (Continue to full article)

Regardless Of Price, Gold Demand Increases On Rising Market Uncertainty
Buy it and hold it, for the future is unknown… (Continue to full article)

Leaving the military? Here’s a financial checklist for returning to civilian life
Soon-to-be veterans must get their finances in order before leaving the military… (Continue to full article)

Waiting For the Bottom In Gold Is A Fool’s Errand! Dollar-Cost Average Instead
man_with_the_golden_armWhen it comes to precious metals investing, waiting for the bottom is a fool’s errand. We never know how long a price drop will last, or how deep it will go. All signs point to a coming bull market for gold. If you keep watching precious metals prices and waiting to move on investing, you risk being shut out of the market altogether. Stop waiting to get into the precious metals market! Dollar-cost average instead… (Continue to full article)

America Will Live, Financial Markets Will Die!
Trump not only won, but did so in a landslide! Sure, America’s deadly demographics – featuring an explosion of welfare-seeking immigrants; plus tens of millions of disenfranchised “locals” desperately seeking the same, made the result closer than the underlying sentiment of hatred for the establishment, and a desire for change. However, in winning essentially all “swing states,” despite massive election fraud, the soon-to-be-final Electoral College tally of 309-218 is as close to a landslide as you’ll get. In other words, for the second time this year, a major Western power elected to withdraw from tyranny, in favor of the unknown… (Continue to full article)

Kennedy, the Federal Reserve and Executive Order 11110
kennedy_cvr_webOn June 4, 1963, a little known attempt was made to strip the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money to the government at interest. On that day President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order No. 11110 that returned to the U.S. government the power to issue currency, without going through the Federal Reserve. Mr. Kennedy’s order gave the Treasury the power “to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury.” Five and a half months later – he was DEAD… (Continue to full article)

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Kettle Moraine, Ltd.
P.O. Box 579
Litchfield Park, AZ 85340

Inside that ‘Great Wage Growth Number’ – Election Jitters

“The wealth of another region excites their greed; and if it is weak, their lust for power as well. Nothing from the rising to the setting of the sun is enough for them.

wall-streetAmong all others only they are compelled to attack the poor as well as the rich. Robbery, rape, and slaughter they falsely call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace.” ~ Tacitus

“He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.” ~ Samuel Johnson

In our artificial economy real things do not matter so much, but politics and managing the perceptions of the public are of paramount importance.

And so the ‘Goldilocks‘ Jobs Report, which is how the business TV channels described that lukewarm piece of dreck, did little to rally the markets except fleetingly intraday. Continue reading

The Economic Decline: Weekend of November 4, 2016


In its final report before next week’s presidential election, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Friday that 94,609,000 Americans are not in the labor force, 425,000 more than last month’s 94,184,000, and the second highest number on record… (Continue to full article)

The Wall Street Journal will launch a new format for the newspaper with fewer sections on Nov. 14, and has begun laying off employees as part of an effort to cut costs, according to two memos reviewed by Reuters on Wednesday… (Continue to full article)

Hundreds of CVS Health employees in Rhode Island and several other states learned Thursday they no longer have a job… (Continue to full article)

Will lay off about 2,000 workers, and sustain a charge of up to $250 million in the current quarter, connected to a “transformation” of its business… (Continue to full article)

To shed 7,000 jobs and invest in its digital platforms to make annual savings of $1 billion by 2021… (Continue to full article)

Average US inflation since 1995 has been steady at around 2.2%. But during that same period, cable TV prices have increased by 5.8% per year on average… (Continue to full article)

Wall St Plan To Acquire Retiree Savings
Hillary Clinton Economic Team planned secret meeting with Wall Street mogul pushing to shift retiree savings to financial firms… (Continue to full article)

US Auto Repossessions On the Rise
As the Financial Times recently pointed out, auto repossessions in the US are soaring and, with the exception of the “great recession” in 2008 and 2009, stand at the highest levels recorded in 20 years. … (Continue to full article)

3rd Consecutive Quarter of Weak Productivity
US Nonfarm Business Sector Output Per Hour Of All Persons YoY was just released for Q3 2016. It printed at … (drumroll) … 0% YoY. That is the third consecutive quarter of negative or zero growth YoY for Nonfarm productivity…. (Continue to full article)

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Kettle Moraine, Ltd.
P.O. Box 579
Litchfield Park, AZ 85340