Arab Autocracies and US Inflation

February 24th, 2011 8:55 pm  |  by  |  Published in Banking, Big Government, Economics, energy, government spending, inflation, Money  |  Comments Off

by Michael Pento, Senior Economist at Euro Pacific Capital (

Civil revolt is currently spreading across the Arab world. What began in Tunisia has now metastasized into Bahrain, Egypt and Libya. Though two dictators have been ousted, the chances that these regimes will fundamentally transform from autocracy to a system of free markets and property rights are also up in the air. An important question is whether or not Saudi Arabia will eventually get into the mix; and, if so, whether the current struggle in Libya would morph into a proxy war between Saudi Arabia (Sunni Muslims) and Iran (Shiite Muslims). It remains to be seen whether the new regime in Egypt-whatever form it ends up to be – will allow Iran to use the Suez Canal to parade warships across the Mediterranean Sea and into Syria. If so, what would Israel’s reaction to such a perceived provocation be?

There are many unknowns, but what is known is that the turmoil has had an immediate and significant impact on the price of oil. WTI is now trading just below $100 a barrel and Brent Crude is already well above the century mark. If the unrest does indeed spread to Saudi Arabia – which produces 12 million barrels of oil per day and is the second largest producer in the world – mainstream analysts have made some wild predictions about how high the oil price could reach. Rising energy prices will further cripple the third world, which has already been placed under extreme pressure from skyrocketing food costs.

Read More »

The Two Faces of Ben Bernanke

February 10th, 2011 10:36 pm  |  by  |  Published in Banking, congress, energy, Federal Reserve, Liberty, Peter Schiff, War  |  Comments Off

by Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, and host of The Peter Schiff Show, broadcasting live from WSTC Norwalk CT from 10am to noon Eastern time every weekday, and streaming at

Based on his recent public comments, Fed Chairman Bernanke seems determined to give the U.S. dollar the reputation of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak: an unwanted relic of the past that everyone agrees must go, but stubbornly clings to a privileged position. The dollar is currently the world’s ruling currency, but, as with Mubarak, I believe that growing public discontent will spur regime change quicker than most pundits expect.

Clearly, the most significant problem facing central bankers around the world is the recent eruption of inflation, which is sparking unrest in Asia and the Middle East. With respect to this issue, Bernanke is alternating his responses through two different personas.

Sometimes he chooses to act like Baghdad Bob, the Iraqi Information Minister who, in the opening days of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, continued to deny the presence of American troops even as U.S. tanks rumbled behind him. The parallel to Bernanke’s testimony to Congress today is striking.

Speaking to the House Budget Committee, Baghdad Ben not only claimed that there is no evidence of overall inflation in the U.S., but that even food and energy prices are rising less than 1% annually. This is simply not true. He then claimed that the Fed’s massive QE purchases of U.S. Treasuries do not distort the yield curve, despite the fact that he has stated repeatedly that the program was specifically designed to lower long-term rates.

The reason behind these lies should be evident. Acknowledging inflationary threats would force him to raise rates. But Baghdad Ben knows that the current economic “expansion” is a lie built on a weak foundation of ultra-low interest rates. He knows that even marginally higher rates will trigger a savage return to recession. In his view, the only choice is to sell us an elaborate fiction – even when it obviously conflicts with the facts.

Read More »

The government’s hidden role in the BP oil spill

May 17th, 2010 10:44 am  |  by  |  Published in Big Government,, energy, Environment, Market Regulation, Politics  |  1

Quote of the Day: “Government’s view of the economy can be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” — Ronald Reagan (paraphrased)

The politicians meddle with everything. For example, when it comes to energy production there are . . .

* Direct subsidies
* Tax breaks and tax penalties
* Liability limits, but also potential fines if you don’t do things just right

What a meddling muddle! This is why . . .

It’s fair to say that the federal government played a hidden role in the BP oil spill. To learn more read the sample letter to Congress below.

We think it would be better . . .

* For oil companies to pay all the costs and carry all the potential risks of each drilling project
* To have all of these costs and risks reflected in the prices consumers pay, rather than hidden in legislation and regulations

Read More »

The Precarious State of Our Union

January 29th, 2010 4:01 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Economics, energy, government spending, Peter Schiff, Politics  |  Comments Off

Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital and author of Crash Proof 2.0: How to Profit from the Economic Collapse

In this week’s much anticipated State of the Union address, President Obama again demonstrated his poor understanding of the fundamental problems that confront our nation.  By following the advice of the same people who helped guide our economy to the precipice of total collapse, Obama now threatens to push it over the edge.

Notwithstanding his well crafted lip service regarding future spending restraint, the essence of his current program is for more government spending and larger deficits. For all his talk about job creation, his policies will further burden those who might otherwise create those jobs with higher taxes and more regulation. While he did call for tax cuts for the middle class and offered what amounts to bailouts for those struggling to repay student loans, such cuts do nothing to promote growth in the near term and will add to the deficits in the long term.

The President spoke optimistically about the future, but in reality there is little evidence to support such an upbeat outlook.  He began his speech by assuring us that the worst of the storm had passed.  General Custer may have said something similar when the first wave of Indian attacks ebbed at Little Big Horn.

While Obama did have some harsh words for Wall Street (not exactly a courageous political stance), he leveled no criticism at the Federal Reserve or other government agencies that had financed and guaranteed all the ridiculous real estate speculation that precipitated the crash. And while he at least conceded that the prosperity of the last decade was based on illusions, he continued to endorse the very policies that produced the mirage in the first place.

Read More »

Horrors! More Sinister Climate Change E-mails Found!

December 21st, 2009 7:00 am  |  by  |  Published in climate change, energy, Environment, Humor  |  1

by Clyde James Aragon

In November 2009, computer hackers broke into the computer of the Climate Research Unit in England revealing the shady behavior of climate scientists there, some of whom have been literally making up data to support the climate change/global warming hysteria that is gripping the planet these days.

Well, the hackers have done it again.

They have now hacked into the computer network of the Institute for Cold and Hot Study in Burbank, California. Currently circulating around the Internet are the following smoking gun round robin e-mail exchanges between lead scientist Dr. Emmanuel Bogstock and his climate scientist underlings Daniel Dankel of Morbo University, Aspiro Mafioso of the Swedish Weather and Personality Clinic, and Jorge Redenko of Smogstack, L.L.C. in Upper Volta which reveal how sinister the global climate conspiracy really is:

From: To: E.B., D.D., A.M., J.R. Subject: Climate Change
How do we get the ball rolling on this climate thing? My university underwriters want to see me working harder on this.

From: To: E.B., D.D., A.M., J.R. Subject: Climate Change
Get that U2 guy, Bono, to write a song about it. Then DiCaprio will bring his Hollywood people in on it. And Gore will string it all together when he talks about it at a conference somewhere. That should get them off your back.

From: To: E.B., D.D., A.M., J.R. Subject: Bono
Bono’s turning sceptic. His tour bus got stuck in a snow bank in Fargo, South Dakota a few days ago. I hear he’s starting to have his doubts.

From: To: E.B., D.D., A.M., J.R. Subject: Bono
He bought the one that solar flares cause heat rash.

Read More »

Copenhagen Treaty, Cap and Trade… Will international organizations govern you?

October 22nd, 2009 3:47 pm  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Big Government, congress,, energy, Environment, globalism, Liberty, Market Regulation, Politics  |  Comments Off

D o w n s i z e r – D i s p a t c h

Will President Obama sign a treaty in Copenhagen this December that will give international bureaucrats control over the U.S. economy?

Our own James Wilson has analyzed this issue on our blog.

The good news is that President Obama isn’t going to Copenhagen to sign a treaty, but he may sign a proposal that could lead to a treaty at a later date. The Copenhagen proposal is designed to create an international scheme to control carbon emissions (and the entire world economy in the bargain).

President Obama wants to have the “cap and trade” (cap and tax) bill passed before he goes to Copenhagen.

Our goal should be to send him to Denmark empty-handed.

Cap and trade should be defeated because . . .

  • It hasn’t worked in Europe
  • It probably isn’t the best way to control carbon emissions, assuming you believe that’s important
  • The climate models that supposedly justify cap and trade have been consistently wrong

Cap and trade needs 60 votes to come to the floor in the Senate. If we can stop that from happening now then there’s no way that 67 Senators will come together later to ratify a treaty for the same purpose, especially if that treaty cedes American sovereignty to international organizations.

We must defeat cap and trade. We must send Obama to Denmark empty-handed.

Please send Congress a letter opposing cap and trade.

You can use my letter to Congress as a guide . . .

Read More »

How Efficient is the Department of Energy?

October 9th, 2009 9:19 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Constitution, energy, Liberty, Politics  |  1

Department of EnergyWhen thinking of unconstitutional federal agencies I’d like to abolish, so many come to mind: IRS, DEA, Dept of Education, etc.

But what about the department of energy? A little snippet from Doug Casey’s Daily Dispatch answer this one quite succinctly:

Does anybody remember the reason given for the establishment of the Department of Energy…. during the Carter Administration? Anybody? No?

Didn’t think so! Ready??It was very simple… and at the time, everybody thought it very appropriate.
The  Department of Energy was instituted on 8-04-1977… to lessen our dependence on foreign oil.

Hey, pretty efficient, huh???

And now it’s 2009 – 32 years later – and the budget for this “necessary” department is at $24.2 billion a year. They have 16,000 federal employees and approximately 100,000 contract employees. And look at the job they have done!

Good ole bureaucracy.

And now we are going to turn the banking system, healthcare, and the auto industry over to the same government? Hellooo! Anybody home?

Quick Hits: Guns, Obama, Ron Paul, The Big Three, and Random Thoughts

July 10th, 2009 8:10 am  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Big Government, Civil Liberties, Commentary, congress, Constitution, Court Cases, Economics, energy, Environment, Free Market, government spending, Gun Control, Health Care, Individual Responsibility, Liberty, Market Regulation, Maven Commentary, Money, Ron Paul  |  13 Responses

This week I’m thinking about the 2nd Amendment and gun control. By now everyone has heard about the Heller Supreme Court victory last year that struck down DC’s gun ban. There is another “gun fight” brewing. The Heller case dealt with applying the 2nd Amendment to the federal government. The new case explores whether the 2nd Amendment applies to the states. Perhaps most compelling about this new case is that it is an effort to strike down Chicago’s gun ban and we have a President who would love nothing more than to extend that ban to all the states.

Make no mistake that is what Barack Obama wants to do. Whether he actually can accomplish it is another story. For more details on the new case and its history see this excellent article from Reason. Let’s all hope that the Supreme Court takes the case and does the right thing.

Read More »

Quick Hits: Obama’s Forbidden Question, Rand Paul, Cap and Trade, Guns, and Random Thoughts

July 3rd, 2009 8:30 am  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Civil Liberties, Commentary, congress, Constitution, Debate, energy, Environment, Gun Control, Health Care, jobs, Maven Commentary, Rand Paul, Ron Paul  |  3 Responses

It’s Friday and that means it’s time for another installment of  “Quick Hits”.

Helen Thomas and Chip Reid berated White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs the other day for pre-selecting questions for Obama’s “town hall” and “controlling” the press. It appears that the honeymoon (I call it the “Obamagasm”) is coming to an end. Gibbs seems to be out of his league as Obama’s Press Secretary. I’ll be surprised if he makes it through Obama’s first and hopefully only term.

There is one particular forbidden health care question for Obama. I would love to hear his answer to the following question:

“Mr. President, you are considered a Constitutional scholar. Could you educate the American people a bit and tell them what section, article, or amendment permits the federal government to provide health care?”

Sure, he would dodge the question, but it is one dodge that I long to hear.

On Monday, Ron Paul’s son Rand Paul held another money bomb campaign fund raiser. The goal was to break $100k. The goal was met. This is huge news and a great sign that the Ron Paul wing of the Republican Party is not going anywhere. Rand Paul raised over $100,000 in about a month without an official fund raiser. Senator Rand Paul has a nice ring to it.

There was high drama last Friday afternoon on the House floor during the debate on the narrowly passed Cap and Trade bill. The Republicans kept pointing out that the legislation will lose more jobs and put a higher tax burden on the American people.

Read More »

Apparently, John Boehner supports the Read The Bills Act

June 26th, 2009 6:18 pm  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Big Government, congress, energy, Environment, Free Market, Liberty, Maven Commentary, Politics, rule of law  |  Comments Off

As I write this right now, Republican Minority Leader John Boehner (who also is a cosponsor of HR1207) has been talking on the House Floor for about 50 minutes. He is stepping through (almost page by page) the 300+ page addition to the Cap and Trade (Climate Bill) that was added around 3am this morning.

He’s actually making many great points about the horrible details in the bill.

What he is doing right now is giving great ammunition for supporting the “Read the Bills” Act in the near future.

“Is there anything that we aren’t regulating in this bill?”, Boehner yells.

At about 20 minutes in, Henry Waxman interrupted and asked how long Boehner would be permitted to speak. The chairwoman stated that it is customary to hear the leadership speak, forcing Waxman to sit down and allow Boehner to continue (to great cheers from the GOP side of the House).

We live in interesting times folks.

Please continue to contact the Reps who are on the fence regarding the bill. For a list see this page from the NTU.