Tag Archives: Federal Reserve

The GOP isn’t fracturing, it’s transforming into libertarians

The Week has a three-point list of divisions the Republican Party is currently squabbling over:

1. Libertarians vs. social conservatives

These two GOP strains have never gotten along with each other. One group says government should stay out of people’s personal lives while the other tries to impose its own morality on others.

2. Right wing populists vs. the pro-business crowd

Despite campaign rhetoric, pro-business Republicans are usually just fine with government subsidies, liberal immigration policies, and bailouts — as long as they help keep the profits flowing. But the populist strain in the party sees big business as no better than big government.

3. Deficit reduction hawks vs. small government activists

Though it would seem these two groups have a lot in common, real deficit hawks recognize we must raise taxes along with cutting spending to get the country out from under the debt burden. But the small government fanatics are against all tax increases for any reason.

Republicans have been able to paper over their differences for decades, mainly by uniting the party against the common enemy of “big government.” But when the GOP controlled all branches of government during the Bush years, they actually did nothing to shrink government. It just got larger, helping to exacerbate the tensions between the various factions.

Of course, the real story isn’t GOP factions fighting over these issues, but that libertarians have filled their ranks and converted minds since the the Ron Paul revolution began in earnest back in 2007. Libertarians are flanking GOP statists from all sides and enthusiastically showing the errors and results of the Republican establishment’s deviations from their core principles.

After all, it hasn’t been mainstream Republicans spearheading a Federal Reserve audit, corporate entitlement cuts (opposing bailouts) and ending foreign entanglements, but it’s something that even John Boehner can no longer ignore. The fights that once belonged to libertarians, until the Tea Party movement began forcing those issues into the mainstream, are not something party leaders are willing to come to terms with, but they will.

Now, the Tea Party brand has obviously crested and is being re-enveloped by the indefatigable libertarian brand. In its wake is a generation of liberty activists who have grown up and come of age having failed to see the Republican revolution of the 90s keep its promises. These libertarians now threaten to either: topple the Republican establishment from within towards limited government principles; Further implode it into a powerless vacuum of dissent and antipathy.

This isn’t fracturing, it’s a war of transformation back to small-government principles, and libertarians are riding a tsunami of discontent all the way to victory.

( -)-(- )7 comments

Germany wants 300 tons of its US gold

Back in November, German politicians were grumbling that they wanted to see their gold deposits being held at the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

Now, they’ve upped the ante and are beginning to cash out, demanding shipment of 300 of their 1,536 tons of gold held in the U.S.:

In what sounds like the setup for a stylish Hollywood heist movie, Germany is transferring nearly 700 tons of gold bars worth $36 billion from Paris and New York to its vaults in Frankfurt.

The move is part of an effort by Germany’s central bank to bring much of its gold home after keeping big reserves outside the country for safekeeping during the Cold War.

Shipping such a large amount of valuable cargo between countries could be a serious security headache. A gold robbery — the subject of such movies as Die Hard 3 and The Italian Job — would be embarrassing and expensive for Germany.

The high-stakes, high-security plan is to move the precious metal — 374 tons kept in vaults in Paris and 300 tons stored at the New York Federal Reserve Bank — to the Bundesbank in Germany’s financial center over the next eight years.

The speed at which the German central bank’s transition from an audit to actaully moving gold has been rather swift. As they are now in negotiations Lufthansa Cargo to move the 300 tons of gold across the Atlantic, they’ve allowed themselves until 2020 to complete the process of being able to store half their gold reserves in the Heimatland (homeland).

By 2020, the Bundesbank intends to store half of Germany’s gold reserves in its own vaults in Germany. The other half will remain in storage at its partner central banks in New York and London. With this new storage plan, the Bundesbank is focusing on the two primary functions of the gold reserves: to build trust and confidence domestically, and the ability to exchange gold for foreign currencies at gold trading centres abroad within a short space of time.

Interestingly enough, stashed away in the extended Bundesbank press release was an interesting nugget (translated from German):

Function of Gold – Why do Central Banks hold Gold?
- Diversification
- Universal Acceptance
- Resilience to Shocks (State or currency risks)
- Confidence

This money-like exchange of gold for foreign currencies will likely embolden critics of Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve. Bernanke, who was queried by Ron Paul in a 2011 Congressional Committee famously folded on the issue, stated that gold wasn’t actually money, rather “it’s tradition. Long term tradition.”

In Germany, that tradition is alive and well, and demanding the Federal Reserve hand it over.

( -)-(- )4 comments

Ron Paul’s new year’s resolutions for Congress

As I prepare to retire from Congress, I’d like to suggest a few New Year’s resolutions for my colleagues to consider. For the sake of liberty, peace, and prosperity I certainly hope more members of Congress consider the strict libertarian constitutional approach to government in 2013.

In just a few days, Congress will solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic. They should reread Article 1 Section 8 and the Bill of Rights before taking such a serious oath. Most legislation violates key provisions of the Constitution in very basic ways, and if members can’t bring themselves to say no in the face of pressure from special interests, they have broken trust with their constituents and violated their oaths. Congress does not exist to serve special interests, it exists to protect the rule of law.

I also urge my colleagues to end unconstitutional wars overseas. Stop the drone strikes; stop the covert activities and meddling in the internal affairs of other nations. Strive to observe “good faith and justice towards all Nations” as George Washington admonished. We are only making more enemies, wasting lives, and bankrupting ourselves with the neoconservative, interventionist mindset that endorses pre-emptive war that now dominates both parties.

All foreign aid should end because it is blatantly unconstitutional. While it may be a relatively small part of our federal budget, for many countries it is a large part of theirs–and it creates perverse incentives for both our friends and enemies. There is no way members of Congress can know or understand the political, economic, legal, and social realities in the many nations to which they send taxpayer dollars.

Congress needs to stop accumulating more debt. US debt, monetized by the Federal Reserve, is the true threat to our national security. Revisiting the parameters of Article 1 Section 8 would be a good start.

Congress should resolve to respect personal liberty and free markets. Learn more about the free market and how it regulates commerce and produces greater prosperity better than any legislation or regulation. Understand that economic freedom IS freedom. Resolve not to get in the way of voluntary contracts between consenting adults. Stop bailing out failed yet politically connected companies and industries. Stop forcing people to engage in commerce when they don’t want to, and stop prohibiting them from buying and selling when they do want to. Stop trying to legislate your ideas of fairness. Protect property rights. Protect the individual. That is enough.

There are many more resolutions I would like to see my colleagues in Congress adopt, but respect for the Constitution and the oath of office should be at the core of everything members of Congress do in 2013.

( -)-(- )Comments Off

GOP civil war: Herman Cain calls for new third party

Not content with getting his ass handed to him by the Ron Paul supporters over his comments on the Federal Reserve (“there were plenty of internal audits”), and being forced to walk away from the 2012 Republican primary campaign trail in disgrace over multiple alleged sex scandals, Herman Cain is now calling for a civil war within the GOP which will culminate in a new third party full of social conservatives:

“I never thought that I would say this, and this is the first time publicly that I’ve said it: We need a third party to save this country. Not Ron Paul and the Ron Paulites. No. We need a legitimate third party to challenge the current system that we have, because I don’t believe that the Republican Party … has the ability to rebrand itself,” Cain said.

You can listen to the whole radio interview here.

It’s pretty clear from his actions that Cain has no interest in building anything other than a gold palace to himself in his lifetime, so I say let him start off down the third party road to failure so many have traveled.

Cain’s Pro War and Racist Pizza Party can ignore the Federal Reserve’s deplorable fiscal policy of printing fiat money by the truckload, offer to leverage the government to force people to conform to socially conservative policies that are widely rejected, and we can all laugh when this inexperienced upstart third party fails miserably behind the Constitution Party due to the ridiculous ballot access laws.

The media sneering will of course be bipartisan in nature, but maybe we’ll come to like him again in Internet memes if he’ll flash that creepy smile at us some more.

( -)-(- )3 comments

Germany wants to see its US gold reserves

Der Spiegel has an article about how German politicians are getting anxious about their gold reserves held by the Federal Reserve:

This demand, which even the bank’s inspectors saw as nothing more than routine, alarmed the Berlin political establishment. Indeed, the partially blacked-out report read like the prologue to an espionage thriller in which the stunned central bankers could end up standing in front of empty vaults in the US.

For decades, German central bankers have contented themselves with written affirmations from their American colleagues that the gold still remains where it is said to be stored. According to the report, the bar list from New York stems from “1979/1980.” The report also noted that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York refuses to allow the gold’s owners to view their own reserves. see more…

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Libertarians: revenge of the nerds!

In my travels across this great land of ours, I’ve had the fun and sometimes not-so-fun occasion to stumble across this chasm of human oddity. In these travels, I’ve met more scientifically gifted minds in libertarian circles (computers, finance, world’s smallest political quiz takers, and for Carl Milstead the world’s most retro) than in government officials.

Anecdote: I once pub crawled with The Lakewood city fire chief whose one of many priorities was securing funds for a faster boat during the epic downturn of recent yore. He was a proper chap though and just wants to do his job as best as he understands the system presented to him.

Inappropriate Anecdote: Somewhere along the line at one of the seedier bars with stovetop shoved in a closet gigs, I had the worst urge to manifest porcelain and expel the terrible gut-wrenching fiasco of fully digested nachos and previous night’s round of beers. All without recourse to a proper bathroom. I truly felt bad for the stranger who walked in while the devastation of a slight buzz and lack of giving a fuck gave way to absurd relief.

Where was I, not on human oddity, but the libertarian nerd. see more…

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Romney negative on Fed’s QE3 intentions

Once again we can partially agree with Romney, though it’s painfully obvious he’s just been listening to Ron Paul’s fiscal conservatism and wants to hitch a ride on that political undercurrent. From CNN:

“I am sure the Fed is watching and will try to encourage the economy. But I don’t think a massive new QE3 will help the economy,” Romney said, referring to a program called quantitative easing.

While July’s just-released jobs figures showed the public sector taking a major beating, Romney repeated his belief that a government stimulus program is not the right course, saying the first one did not work and “expecting a different result is, as famously said, the definition of insanity.”

It’s a testament to Ron Paul’s vigorous House actions to audit the Federal Reserve that this is even being brought up on the campaign trail, much less by the same guy who less than six months ago claimed credit for the structured bankruptcy nature of the ill-fated U.S. auto maker bailouts: see more…

( -)-(- )Comments Off

No new U.S. banks in 2011

That’s the jaw-dropping news on how hard the brakes have been put on financial innovation amongst the aspiring bourgeois:

There were no new banks created in the US in 2011, making it the first year in decades that the country has gone without the establishment of a single start-up lender.

The lack of new or de novo banks underscores the rapidly shifting business environment for US financials and changed attitudes towards the industry after the recent crisis.

[...] “The number of de novos has been trending down for a few years. There’s a pipeline effect – somewhere between one or two years,” said one analyst. “The lack of de novos now is probably a reflection of public attitudes in 2008.” Other analysts say the still-challenging operating environment for US financials is deterring banking start-ups.

I decided to looking into the process of opening a bank, and ran into a lovely website so conveniently set up by the Federal Reserve. For some reason it is geared towards “Minority-Owned and De Novo Institutions.” I felt a bit insulted at the minority thing, since I would call my fictional bank The 99%. see more…

( -)-(- )1 comment