Archive for March, 2013

MARC FABER: Not Even Gold Will Save You From What Is Coming

Posted in Finance on March 31, 2013 by betweentwopines

Marc Faber, who authors the Gloom Boom & Doom newsletter, is usually pretty bearish on stocks and bullish on gold.

Lately, though, gold doesn’t seem like it can catch a bid.

“Despite the continued reverberations regarding the Cyprus bailout and its involvement of bank deposits, gold struggled to maintain the positive momentum created in the first two weeks of March and instead now looks very likely to move lower, towards $1580/oz,” wrote Deutsche Bank commodities analyst Xiao Fu in a note this morning.

So, what does Faber have to say about it?

This morning, on Bloomberg Surveillance with Tom Keene and Alix Steel, Dr. Doom was asked why gold wasn’t holding up.

Here’s his explanation:

When you print money, the money does not flow evenly into the economic system. It stays essentially in the financial service industry and among people that have access to these funds, mostly well-to-do people. It does not go to the worker. I just mentioned that it doesn’t flow evenly into the system.

Now from time to time it will lift the NASDAQ like between 1997 and March 2000. Then it lifted home prices in the U.S. until 2007. Then it lifted the commodity prices in 2008 until July 2008 when the global economy was already in recession. More recently it has lifted selected emerging economies, stock markets in Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, up four times from 2009 lows and now the U.S.

So we are creating bubbles and bubbles and bubbles. This bubble will come to an end. My concern is that we are going to have a systemic crisis where it is going to be very difficult to hide. Even in gold, it will be difficult to hide.

Faber is, of course, still bearish on U.S. stocks. He told Bloomberg that he sees “considerable downside risk” in the market.

Read more:

Wall Street’s Brightest Minds Reveal The Charts That Worry Them Most

Bitcoin Bubble 2.0: “From A Monetary Standpoint—It’s On Par With The Stuff You Find At Chuck E. Cheese’s”

Posted in Finance on March 31, 2013 by betweentwopines

March 28, 2013 | By Tekoa Da Silva


Publisher’s Note: One of the hardest working young college graduates I’ve met in recent years, Patrik Korda, was kind enough to contribute an essay shown below regarding the issue of “Bitcoin”.

For context, Bitcoin is a newly formed digital currency which has rapidly grown in popularity (as well as in price) following the Cyprus banking system collapse. The chart below is the price performance of Bitcoins, which have seen a market cap expansion of almost 20x—from about $50mm to roughly $1B where it stands today—in less than one year

(click to enlarge)

Bitcoin Bubble 2.0

By Patrik Korda

It is also important to make certain that our efforts are directed at the decisive core of the problem and not on distracting side issues. The more complex the difficulties we face, the more important it becomes to bear this in mind, for it is human nature to try to evade what we cannot cope with
– Bernard Baruch, My Own Story

A conversation with a typical bitcoiner usually leads into a whole series of ignoratio elenchi after ignoratio elenchi revolving around technological jargon. Thus, I think it would be useful to start this article off with a parable set in the past. Suppose that during the 1970′s, when consumer price inflation was an actual problem, someone went ahead and developed an alternative currency. Of course, there were no computers in the average household, no internet, and no peer-to-peer during that stagflation.

Coinstamp Parable

An entrepreneur named Wei Boyang sets up to take advantage of the situation. His proposal is to print a total of 1,000,000 units of what he calls coinstamps. He goes through great measures to insure that there would be no coinstamp counterfeits in the future, using various methods such as signing each stamp, classified materials, codes, et cetera. For the sake of argument, the coinstamp truly is counterfeit-proof. The only entity that could create more coinstamps is Wei Boyang. However, Boyang just happens to be a really nice guy, and having read Lord Acton, he even goes so far as to cut off his hand in order to make sure he cannot make more coinstamps.

Some may cry aloud that coinstamps have no intrinsic value or that they are not backed by anything. Wei Boyang, having also read his Carl Menger, points out that there is no such thing as intrinsic value. Value, explains Boyang, is a subjective phenomenon. Moreover, Boyang argues that it is actually a good thing that coinstamps are not backed by any commodity. If they were backed by something, such as platinum, then the underlying asset could easily be seized. Moreover, since there is no underlying asset to coinstamps, there are no storage fees and transfers are far cheaper than they would otherwise have been.

With inflation approaching double-digits, people who are worried about gold or silver confiscation start to pile into coinstamps. Similarly, investors who are worried about holding the least bad fiat currencies such as the Swiss Franc or the Deutsche Mark due to potential inflation in order to help exporters, also start to pile in. Coinstamps truly seem to be a stroke of genius. People start using them as a means of payment worldwide, even for long-distance transactions. The Federal government is unable to do anything meaningful about coinstamps because it does not have the resources to check every envelope that happens to be mailed. Moreover, since the stamps are so light and thin, lots of people mail them discreetly inside of other items, just to be on the safe side.

By all measures, coinstamp seems to be a hit. Through various ingenious methods, Wei Boyang helps prevent counterfeiting of the stamps. Moreover, Boyang ends up being labeled a domestic terrorist and arrested, which has the unintended consequence of increasing the popularity and awareness of coinstamps, leading people start piling in big time. There is but one problem, other fellows such as Jean de Meung, Johann Georg Faust, and Tycho Brahe also get in the game. While they are unsuccessful at counterfeiting coinstamps, they are successful at copying the protocol and making their own version. Although different in name, the knockoffs are virtually the same in substance. Jean de Meung makes meungstamps, making only 1,000 units, with his own fingerprints on every meungstamp as one of the security measures. Subsequently, he burns off his fingertips as part of a rigorous public relations campaign. With coinstamps trading at $750/cs, the new protocols start to gain traction. Since Wei Boyang wants nothing to do with the government, he has no patents on his invention. The fact that he was first to develop the alternative currency makes no difference to those flocking into the more affordable protocols. The lack of a moat on the scheme eventually sends the entire house of cards collapsing.

Back to Reality

While bitcoins cannot be hyperinflated in name, they certainly can be hyperinflated in substance. Already, there are numerous knockoffs such as namecoin*, freicoin*, and litecoin* in place. This is a particularly valid point because bitcoin is a starfish i.e., it is fully decentralized. As put by Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom, ‘The starfish doesn’t have a head. Its central body isn’t even in charge. In fact, the major organs are replicated throughout each and every arm. If you cut the starfish in half, you’ll be in for a surprise: the animal won’t die, and pretty soon you’ll have two starfish to deal with‘*. After Napster went under, Niklas Zennström (the creator of Skype) stepped in with his creation called Kazaa, which had no central server that could be shut down. Eventually, the peer-to-peer programs got more and more numerous, including Kazaa Lite, eDonkey, eMule, BitTorrent, et cetera. While this may be good news for people who like to download and share content for free, it certainly is not for people who are under the impression that bitcoin is a hedge against inflation.


Does bitcoin jive with the Austrian stand on money? The only way to find out is to read what the Austrians had to say. Let’s start with Carl Menger. In Principles of Economics, Carl Menger made the point that money, a medium of exchange, has always tended to be the most saleable commodity of the time. Menger wrote, ‘In the earliest periods of economic development, cattle seem to have been the most saleable commodity among most peoples of the ancient world‘. This is perfectly understandable in a world where barebone subsistence is a reality for most people and the structure of production is virtually nonexistent. As society progressed, however, cattle became less and less marketable. Menger goes on to write, ‘With the progress of civilization, therefore, cattle lost to a great extent the broad range of marketability they had previously had with respect to the number of persons to whom, and with respect to the time period within which, they could be sold economically…They ceased to be the most saleable of commodities, the economic form of money, and finally ceased to be money at all

As civilization progressed, Menger states that ‘peoples who were led to adopt a copper standard as a result of the material circumstances under which their economy developed, passed on from the less precious metals to the more precious ones, from copper and iron to silver and gold, with the further development of civilization, and especially with the geographical extension of commerce‘ Gold won out due to a variety of reasons, such as being durable, amalgamable, malleable, divisible, homogeneous, and rare. Yet, the primary reason that gold won out is because it was the most saleable of commodities. As Menger goes on to write, ‘Gold nuggets extracted from the sands of the Aranyos River by a dirty Transylvanian gypsy are just as saleable in his hands as in the hands of the owner of gold mine, provided the gypsy knows where to find the right market for his commodity. Gold nuggets can pass through any number of hands without any decrease whatsoever in marketability. But articles of clothing, bedding, prepared foods, etc., would be suspect and almost unsaleable, or at any rate of greatly depreciated value, in the hands of the gypsy, even if they had not been used by him, and even if he had, from the beginning, acquired them only with the intention of passing them on in exchange

This point about marketability bears elaboration. One may have a Picasso at home, which will fetch quite a sum at a Sotheby’s auction during a boom, but a Picasso, like a poem by Friedrich Shiller, a work of Sanskrit, or a multi-decade old bottle of red wine can never be the most saleable good. As Menger put it, ‘Compare only the number of persons to whom bread and meat can be sold with the number to whom astronomical instruments can be sold‘. This leads us to another criticism of bitcoin: It can never be the most saleable good. The reasoning for this is quite simple, until the majority of the 7 billion or so people that inhabit this planet have either a smartphone or frequent access to the internet, a digital currency is out of the question. Gold, on the other hand, is easily recognizable, as opposed to silver that may be mistaken for other metals such as nickel. Moreover, it melts at a relatively low temperature and is a relatively soft metal, which provides superior amalgamation and explains partly why it historically won out to metals such as platinum. If one questions the role of gold in the present monetary system, one only has to walk down the street and see a ‘We Buy Gold’ sign. Moreover, central banks hold gold and lots of it, they do not hold cattle, wheat, soybeans, copper, silver, or bitcoins.

Menger also went on to write, ‘I am ready to admit that, under highly developed conditions of trade, money is regarded by many economizing men only as a token. But it is quite certain that this illusion would immediately be dispelled if the character of coins as quantities of industrial raw materials were lost‘*. This, of course, leads us to that pesky thing called the regression theorem. In an article entitled ‘Bitcoins, the regression theorem, and that curious but unthreatening empirical world‘ author Konrad S. Graf* attempts to reconcile the regression theorem with bitcoins. He states,

‘First, one element to consider for intangible objects such as bitcoins are various “inherent” direct-consumption values that may be primarily psychological or sociological in character. Consider, for example, the geek value hackers find in creating and attempting to crack encryption codes of any kind: “Dude, look at this code; I bet you can’t crack it,” may indeed be more highly valued to some people in some contexts than certain “real” economic objects or specific quantities of fiat money. Regardless of any potential future indirect-exchange value, one can imagine such persons expending hundreds of hours of effort in creating and breaking encryption codes, just because they like to. This may be true, separate from any degree of dependence on any particular expectations of future exchange values of code objects’

While it may very well be true that some early adopters valued bitcoins with what Menger described as imaginary value, the point of the most saleable good bears repeating. Gold is and has been seen as an object of beauty since the dawn of civilization. Thus, the argument that bitcoins are in accord with the regression theorem because a handful of people consume them as they would a Picasso is like saying paper money has value because John Law or Ben Bernanke really enjoy playing monopoly. In fact, we might as well say that Alchemy works, considering a significant amount of human history and energy was spent in attempting to find the philosopher’s stone. Some people may enjoy work just for the sake of working. Unfortunately, this is not a sufficient justification for slavery nor the labor theory of value.

So where does bitcoin stand when it comes to the Austrian framework of money? For this we have to turn to The Theory of Money and Creditby Ludwig von Mises. Mises never claimed that only gold or silver are money. On the contrary, he stated that ‘the market enables any commodity to be turned into money and money into any commodity‘. Furthermore, Mises went so far as to say that silver was no longer a monetary metal, which explains why the gold/silver price ratio has tilted significantly towards gold from the late 19th century onwards, in having written ‘If any kind of money is deprived of its monetary characteristics, then naturally it also loses the special value that depends on its use as a common medium of exchange, and only retains that value which depends upon its other employment. In the course of history this has always occurred when a good has been excluded from the constantly narrowing circle of common media of exchange. Generally speaking, we do not know much about this process, which to a large extent took place in times about which our information is scanty. But recent times have provided an outstanding example: the almost complete demonetization of silver. Silver, which previously was widely used as money, has been almost entirely expelled from this position, and there can be no doubt that at a time not very far off, perhaps even in a few years only, it will have played out its part as money altogether‘. He further went on to crystallize this point by classifying silver as fiduciary media, having written, ‘Of no greater relevance is the circumstance that the fiduciary media were in the one case predominantly bank notes and cheques and are in the other case predominantly silver coins. The silver rupee is in truth nothing but a metallic note, for the conversion of which its issuer, the State, is responsible‘. Those who rushed into silver in 2011 would have been well advised to have read the TMC, and so would bitcoiners.

Ludwig von Mises claimed that there were three main types of money: (1) commodity money, (2) fiat money, and (3) credit money. What is important when it comes to commodity money are the technological aspects. With fiat money, the important aspect is the stamp that (initially at least) represented a fixed weight of commodity money. Credit money, on the other hand, is a claim falling due in the future (IOU) used as a medium of exchange. We can safely assert that bitcoin is not a credit money. Nor is bitcoin a fiat money since there is not a sovereign proclaiming it to be a fixed amount of anything. So is bitcoin a commodity money? The answer is no.

Bitcoiners would have one believe that bitcoin is a digital manifestation of the gold standard, and thus should be considered a commodity money since it is technologically similar. The problem with this reasoning has already been touched upon: bitcoins can be hyperinflated in substance. In the real world, a Niklas Zennström cannot come along and create underground reserves ex nihilo of what in substance would be the equivalent of gold, except that it be blue and called jold. On the other hand, the amount of potential flavors of bitcoin on the cloud is theoretically restricted to the amount of aggregate geobytes available on the various smartphones, tablets, notebooks, and all other electronics capable of using peer-to-peer.

If bitcoins are not commodity, fiat, nor credit money, then what are they? Has Ludwig von Mises missed something? The answer, once again, is no. The aforementioned types of money are a narrow subset of the broad money scheme that Ludwig von Mises had formulated. There were, aside from the three types of money already mentioned, so-called money-substitutes. Within money-substitutes are two categories, (1) money-certificates, and (2) fiduciary media. Money-certificates are self-explanatory, examples of which include countless paper notes that promise to pay the bearer x amount of gold on demand. The relevant thing to bear in mind as far as this article is concerned is that bitcoins are not money-certificates.

Thus, we are left with only one remaining option: fiduciary media. Within fiduciary media, there are (1) uncovered bank deposits and notes, or (2) token money. The former stuff is what has periodically led to booms and busts as well as countless bank runs. However, bitcoins are definitely not uncovered bank deposits or notes. Thus, we have an answer before us: bitcoins are fiduciary media, or more specifically token money. From a monetary standpoint, as devised and formulated by Ludwig von Mises, they are on a par with the stuff you find at Chuck E. Cheese’s.


(click to enlarge)


With the imminent hyperinflation meme fading away and no longer holding much water, the new reason to hold bitcoins is the anonymity, nay, the freedom that it provides. Want to gamble online or buy something illegal? Bitcoins are the solution. It is a way of circumventing the Kremlin and uplifting free and voluntary trade, or so goes the story. Unfortunately for many of the misinformed, the reality is toto caelo. This article is too short and not intended to get into the details. Thus, it would be best to take it from bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik himself.

The fun starts at 3:20

The ironic part about this is that anyone and everyone who has participated in illegal activity using bitcoins, presumably because they thought it was anonymous, now has a permanent record of every single one of their transactions contained on the public ledger. Imagine if bitcoins existed 50 years ago. Chances are, none of the last three Presidents (including Barack Obama) would have ran for office.

Bubble Time?

The question left to be answered is whether or not bitcoin is once again taking the shape of a bubble. The answer is yes. There is present a reflexive pattern of people buying because prices are rising, and prices rising because people are buying. The myopic are extrapolating the price trend of the past three months, which they deem is normal, and in so doing they exacerbate it to the upside, thus attracting even greater fools. The inflection point will come when the continuity of bullish thought is broken, which could be anywhere between $49/bc to $69/bc. One thing is for sure, the amount of suckers left who are willing to jump on the moving and ever accelerating train is drawing thin, and so are their pockets.

When prices for any asset go parabolic, it does technical damage to a chart. It is sort of like someone deciding to go full speed in the middle of a marathon. Surely, one would look good for a few minutes. However, at a certain point one would inevitably collapse, with the possibilities of finishing the race being greatly diminished, let alone doing as well as they would have otherwise. Like Icarus, who had soared too high and melted the wax on his wings, parabolic moves always end in a crash. Ironically, the best thing that can happen for bitcoin naysayers is if bitcoin skyrockets to $100/bc within a week.

There is nothing anti-Austrian about acknowledging that there exists in the market place a lot of naïve, irrational, and misinformed players. During the dotcom bubble, for example, a maintenance and building company called Temco Services almost tripled in a matter of minutes in 1998. The reason is because by 1998 every other layperson was involved in the market. Thus, the level of competence significantly dropped. The ticker symbol for Temco is TMCO, which was fairly close to that of Ticketmaster Online, which was TMCS. Ticketmaster Online (then TMCS) just happened to trade publicly for the first time on the day that Temco Services (TMCO) tripled. Rising asset prices create euphoria, and euphoria significantly drops the IQ of the participants.

So why is it that people are attracted by rising prices and shy away from falling prices, when in fact the rational thing to do would be to buy low and sell high? The answer is that we are wired that way. As put by Jason Zweig, ‘Groundbreaking new research in neuroscience shows that our brains are designed to perceive trends even where they might not exist. After an event occurs just two or three times in a row, regions of the human brain called the anterior cingulate and nucleus accumbens automatically anticipate that it will happen again. If it does repeat, a natural chemical called dopamine is released, flooding your brain with a soft euphoria‘*. The process also works in reverse, which explains why most people are turned off by falling prices. A loss fires up the amygdala, which is the part of the brain that processes fear and anxiety. If one were to look at the Google Trends chart* of bitcoin and the USD price chart at mtgox* (formerly magic the gathering online exchange), the data is nearly identical with the google trend followingthe price. The bottom line is that people are attracted to bitcoin because the price is rising.

Another reason why bitcoin is so susceptible to becoming a bubble is because it is perceived as being something new. New Era thinking always attracts lots of attention. The tulip was introduced to Europe by way of Turkey in the middle of the sixteenth century. In fact, the word tulip came from the Turkish tulipan, which means turban. Aside from being something new to Amsterdam, a country which at the time possessed an abundance of newly discovered gold and silver from the New World, the tulip also had an intriguing element to it. The plain tulip may turn into a precious Semper Augustus, the most precious tulip of them all. The reason is that the various color schemes of tulips were caused by a virus that attacked the bulb. Likewise, the Mississippi bubble, which was perpetrated by John Law, promised vast richest to be had from the New World. The manias in railways, the radio, the internet, you name it, most of them involved something new or something perceived to be new.

» Bitcoins can be hyperinflated in substance
» Bitcoins can never be the most saleable good
» Bitcoins cannot account for the regression theorem
» Bitcoins are the equivalent of token money
» Bitcoins are the opposite of anonymous
» The USD price of a bitcoin has been rising in an unsustainable fashion, the only thing missing being a blow-off top

The Starfish and the Spider was originally published in 2006

* Underline added by the present writer

The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham, Commentaries by Jason Zweig





Posted in Finance on March 31, 2013 by betweentwopines


On Wednesday, SD broke the news that Canada had buried a provision for depositor bail-ins for systemically important banks deep inside its official 2013 budget, and stated that the Cypriot bail-in was not just a one-off event, but is in fact the new collapse template for the entire Western banking system.

We suspected that the same policy change had been made by the US & the UK, but was simply yet to be discovered, buried in the website of a Federal agency.

We suspected correctly…

10ozntr ban

In the introduction, the resolution informs readers that the FDIC and the Bank of England have been working together to formulate the new bail-in model for future bank failures:

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Bank of England—together with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and the Financial Services Authority— have been working to develop resolution strategies for the failure of globally active, systemically important, financial institutions (SIFIs or G-SIFIs) with significant operations on both sides of the Atlantic.
The goal is to produce resolution strategies that could be implemented for the failure of one or more of the largest financial institutions with extensive activities in our respective jurisdictions. These resolution strategies should maintain systemically important operations and contain threats to financial stability. They should also assign losses to shareholders and unsecured creditors in the group, thereby avoiding the need for a bailout by taxpayers.

The joint US/UK resolution states that depositor haircuts are already legal in the UK thanks to the 2009 UK Banking Act:

In the U.K., the strategy has been developed on the basis of the powers provided by the U.K. Banking Act 2009 and in anticipation of the further powers that will be provided by the European Union Recovery and Resolution Directive and the domestic reforms that implement the recommendations of the U.K. Independent Commission on Banking.  Such a strategy would involve the bail-in (write-down or conversion) of creditors at the top of the group in order to restore the whole group to solvency.

And that the legal authority has already been given in the US buried in Dodd-Frank:

It should be stressed that the application of such a strategy can be achieved only within a legislative framework that provides authorities with key resolution powers. The FSB Key Attributes have established a crucial framework for the implementation of an effective set of resolution powers and practices into national regimes. In the U.S., these powers had already become available under the Dodd-Frank Act. In the U.K., the additional powers needed to enhance the existing resolution framework established under the Banking Act 2009(the Banking Act) are expected to be fully provided by the European Commission’s proposals for a European Union Recovery and Resolution Directive (RRD) and through the domestic reforms that implement the recommendations of the U.K. Independent Commission on Banking (ICB), enhancing the existing
resolution framework established under the Banking Act.
The development of effective resolution strategies is being carried out in anticipation of such legislation.
The unsecured debt holders can expect that their claims would be written down to reflect any losses that shareholders cannot cover, with some converted partly into equity in order to provide sufficient capital to return the sound businesses of the G-SIFI to private sector operation. Sound subsidiaries (domestic and foreign) would be kept open and operating, thereby limiting contagion effects and cross-border complications. In both countries, whether during execution of the resolution or thereafter, restructuring measures may be taken, especially in the parts of the business causing the distress, including shrinking those businesses, breaking them into smaller entities, and/or liquidating or closing certain operations.

The resolution states that while the US would prefer large financial institutions be resolved through ordinary bankruptcy, depositor wealth confiscation will be pursued in the case of a systemically important institution (i.e. BOA, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, etc):

As demonstrated by the Title I requirement of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act), the U.S. would prefer that large

financial organizations be resolvable through ordinary bankruptcy. However, the U.S. bankruptcy process may not be able to handle the failure of a systemic financial institution without significant disruption to the financial system.

The resolution authority states that shareholders would lose all value prior to depositor scalpings:

Under the strategies currently being developed by the U.S. and the U.K., the resolution authority could intervene at the top of the group.  Culpable senior management of
the parent and operating businesses would be removed, and losses would be apportioned to shareholders and unsecured creditors. In all likelihood, shareholders would lose all value and unsecured creditors should thus expect that their claims would be written down to reflect any losses that shareholders did not cover.

Under both the U.S. and U.K. approaches, legal safeguards ensure that creditors recover no less than they would under insolvency.

The banksters plans for a bail-in resolution agency include investment banks and clearing houses as well as deposit bearing institutions!!!

The introduction of a statutory bail-in resolution tool (the power to writedown or convert into equity the liabilities of a failing firm) under the RRD is critical to implementing a whole group resolution of U.K. firms in a way that reduces the risks to financial stability. A bail-in tool would enable the U.K. authorities to recapitalize an institution by allocating losses to its shareholders and unsecured creditors, thereby avoiding the need to split or transfer operating entities. The provisions in the RRD that

enable the resolution authority to impose a temporary stay on the exercise of termination rights by counterparties in the event of a firm’s entry into resolution (in other words, preventing counterparties from terminating their contractual arrangements with a firm solely as a result of the firm’s entry into resolution) will be needed to ensure the bail-in is executed in an orderly manner.

The existing Banking Act does not cover nondeposit-taking financial firms, notably investment banks and financial market infrastructures (clearing houses in particular), the failure of which, in many cases, would also have significant financial stability consequences. The Banking Act also has limitations with regard to the application of resolution tools to financial holding companies. The U.K. is in the process of expanding the scope of the Banking Act to include these firms. This is expected to be achieved through the introduction of the U.K. Financial Services Bill, which is due to complete its passage through Parliament by the end of this year.

 Exactly as played out with the Cyprus template, depositors will receive equity shares in the new, bailed-in institution:

The remaining claims of the debt holders will be converted, in part, into equity claims that will serve to capitalize the new operations. The debt holders may also receive convertible subordinated debt in the new operations. This debt would provide a cushion against further losses in the firm, as it can be converted into equity if needed. Any

remaining claims of the debt holders could be transferred to the new operations in the form of new unsecured debt.


Exactly as played out with the Cyprus template, depositor funds will be stolen in whatever quantities are required to keep the TBTF zombie bank afloat:

Once the recapitalization requirement has been determined, an announcement of the final terms of the bail-in would be made to the previous security holders.

This announcement would include full details of the write-down and/or conversion.
Debt securities would be cancelled or written down in order to return the firm to solvency by reducing the level of outstanding liabilities.  The losses would be applied up the firm’s capital structure in a process that respects the existing creditor hierarchy underinsolvency law. The value of any loans from the parent to its operating subsidiaries would be written down in a manner that ensures that the subsidiaries remain solvent and viable.

For now (until the rules are changed when a greater need for funds arises, funds will only be stolen from depositors with more than the FDIC insured $100,000 in their account:

Insofar as a bail-in provides for continuity in operations and preserves value, losses to a deposit guarantee scheme in a bail-in should be much lower than in liquidation.

Insured depositors themselves would remain unaffected. Uninsured deposits would be treated in line with other similarly ranked liabilities in the resolution process, with the expectation that they might be written down.

In order for the resolution to work, the banksters state that the public must be convinced their deposits are safe, when in fact they are subject to bail-in confiscation:

Similarly, because the group remains solvent, retail or corporate depositors should not have an incentive to “run” from the firm under resolution insofar as their banking
arrangements, transacted at the operating company level, remain unaffected.  In order to achieve this, the authorities recognize the need for effective communication to depositors, making it clear that their deposits will be protected.

0.1% interest on savings deposits with the now VERY REAL THREAT OF COMPLETE CONFISCATION in the US & UK doesn’t sound like such a great return to us.

The Fed appears to be making a calculated play to force savings out of the TBTF banks and into stocks and real estate, a move that is likely to backfire spectacularly.


ATS thread

Think Your Money is Safe? Think Again: The Confiscation Scheme Planned for US and UK Depositors

Posted in Finance on March 29, 2013 by betweentwopines

Confiscating the customer deposits in Cyprus banks was not a one-off. It could happen here.

Photo Credit: Tatiana Popova/

March 28, 2013  |

Confiscating the customer deposits in Cyprus banks, it seems, was not a one-off, desperate idea of a few Eurozone “troika” officials scrambling to salvage their balance sheets. A joint paper by the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Bank of England dated December 10, 2012, shows that these plans have been long in the making; that they originated with the G20 Financial Stability Board in Basel, Switzerland (discussed earlierhere); and that the result will be to deliver clear title to the banks of depositor funds.

New Zealand has a similar directive, discussed in my last article here, indicating that this isn’t just an emergency measure for troubled Eurozone countries. New Zealand’sVoxy reported on March 19 th:

The National Government [is] pushing a Cyprus-style solution to bank failure in New Zealand which will see small depositors lose some of their savings to fund big bank bailouts . . . .

Open Bank Resolution (OBR) is Finance Minister Bill English’s favoured option dealing with a major bank failure. If a bank fails under OBR, all depositors will have their savings reduced overnight to fund the bank’s bail out.

Can They Do That?

Although few depositors realize it, legally the bank owns the depositor’s funds as soon as they are put in the bank. Our money becomes the bank’s, and we become unsecured creditors holding IOUs or promises to pay. (See here andhere.) But until now the bank has been obligated to pay the money back on demand in the form of cash. Under the FDIC-BOE plan, our IOUs will be converted into “bank equity.”  The bank will get the money and we will get stock in the bank. With any luck we may be able to sell the stock to someone else, but when and at what price? Most people keep a deposit account so they can have ready cash to pay the bills.

The 15-page FDIC-BOE document is called “ Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important, Financial Institutions.”  It begins by explaining that the 2008 banking crisis has made it clear that some other way besides taxpayer bailouts is needed to maintain “financial stability.” Evidently anticipating that the next financial collapse will be on a grander scale than either the taxpayers or Congress is willing to underwrite, the authors state:

An efficient path for returning the sound operations of the G-SIFI to the private sector would be provided by exchanging or converting a sufficient amount of the unsecured debt from the original creditors of the failed company [meaning the depositors] into equity [or stock]. In the U.S ., the new equity would become capital in one or more newly formed operating entities. In the U.K., the same approach could be used, or the equity could be used to recapitalize the failing financial company itself—thus, the highest layer of surviving bailed-in creditors would become the owners of the resolved firm. In either country , the new equity holders would take on the corresponding risk of being shareholders in a financial institution.

No exception is indicated for “insured deposits” in the U.S., meaning those under $250,000, the deposits we thought were protected by FDIC insurance. This can hardly be an oversight, since it is the FDIC that is issuing the directive. The FDIC is an insurance company funded by premiums paid by private banks.  The directive is called a “resolution process,” defined elsewhere as a plan that “would be triggered in the event of the failure of an insurer . . . .” The only  mention of “insured deposits” is in connection with existing UK legislation, which the FDIC-BOE directive goes on to say is inadequate, implying that it needs to be modified or overridden.



Mexican vigilantes seize town, arrest police

Posted in Politics on March 29, 2013 by betweentwopines

Hundreds of armed vigilantes have taken control of a town on a major highway in the Pacific coast state of Guerrero, arresting local police officers and searching homes after a vigilante leader was killed. Several opened fire on a car of Mexican tourists headed to the beach for Easter week.

Members of the area’s self-described “community police” say more than 1,500 members of the force were stopping traffic Wednesday at improvised checkpoints in the town of Tierra Colorado, which sits the highway connecting Mexico City to Acapulco. They arrested 12 police and the former director of public security in the town after a leader of the state’s vigilante movement was slain on Monday.

A tourist heading to the beach with relatives was slightly wounded Tuesday after they refused to stop at a roadblock and vigilantes fired shots at the car, officials said.

The vigilantes accuse the ex-security director of participating in the killing of vigilante leader Guadalupe Quinones Carbajal, 28, on behalf of local organized crime groups and dumping his body in a nearby town on Monday. They reported seizing several high-powered rifles from his car, and vigilantes were seen toting a number of sophisticated assault rifles on Wednesday, although it was not clear if all had been taken from the ex-security director’s car.

Full story at

Stunning Corn Comparison: GMO versus NON GMO

Posted in Health on March 29, 2013 by betweentwopines

The claims that “There is no difference between GMO corn and NON Gmo corn” are false. Yesterday while on a playdate at the lake, Vince from De Dell Seed Company, Canada’s only NON GMO corn seed company called me to support the march and Americans finding out about GMOs. He emailed me this stunning report, clearly showing the nutritional value difference between GMO corn and NON GMO corn. I was floored. And at the same time, not totally surprised because Glyphosate draws out the vital nutrients of living things and GMO corn is covered with it.

The important thing to note in these deficiencies is that these are exactly the deficiencies in a human being that lead to susceptibility to sickness, disorders and cancer.  People who have osteoporosis are low in calcium and magnesium, people who have cancer are low in maganese. The list goes on and on.

GMO Corn has 14 ppm of Calcium and NON GMO corn has 6130 ppm. 437 X more.

GMO corn has 2 ppm of Magnesium and NON GMO corn has 113ppm. 56 X more.

GMO corn has 2 ppm of Manganese and NON GMO corn has 14ppm. 7X more.

Look at the levels of Formaldehyde and Glyphosate IN the corn! The EPA standards for Glyphosate in water in America is .7ppm. In Europe it is .2 ppm. Tests showed organ damage to animals at .1ppm of Glyphosate in water. This corn has 13 ppm!

In another study taht Dr. Huber reported,  .97 ppm of formeldehyde showed to be toxic in ingestion to animals. This corn has 200X that! That is why the animals , given a choice will not eat it at all, they can smell the formeldehyde!

Please share this report with your legislature, farmers, news editors, school district food services and Moms.

We will no longer be feeding our children food with nutritional deficiencies,  foreign proteins, food sprayed with Glyphosate, or injected with pesticides. Nor will we be fed their lies of safety!



THANK YOU De Dell sharing this report and supporting the Americas in GMO labeling and in going GMO Free!

Zen Honeycutt


ATS thread

Aliens worked with US military 2013 March 23 Australian TV

Posted in Alien on March 28, 2013 by betweentwopines

The truth is out there: aliens visit to help, and use the loo

Read more:

The “tall white” aliens near Indian Springs NV  

UFO Contact – Former Canadian Defence Minister

Aliens Exist According to Mainstream Scientists