Politics, Policy, Economics - Since 2010

 Two Charts: A year of silver  I'm calling for a quick price drop...Silver forecas...

Two Charts: A year of silver

 Two Charts: A year of silver 































I'm calling for a quick price drop...Silver forecasting is great with excellent charts. Anyone share my thoughts?
Physical silver is sold at a much higher premium than it's worth, and while there are obvious values in having bullion in your safe, silver is best traded in futures, ETFs or through exchanges like BullionVault
If you look at the above charts, to me they suggest a drop back to $20.00 or below, but not for long...



As the rupee is falling gold, copper and crude oil are sky rocketing. "The  Rupee  has been on a free fall and this has caused  gol...

Meanwhile: Commodities In Indian Are Skyrocketing

As the rupee is falling gold, copper and crude oil are sky rocketing.

"The  has been on a free fall and this has caused  and crude oil to hit a new high on Multi Commodity Exchange as these are dollar denominated commodities.

Rupee saw a drastic fall of 3% in today's trade and closed at Rs 68.80 per dollar on the back of heavy month end dollar demand from oil companies and importers.

'Further, outflow of foreign funds from equities and debt coupled with worries over the Current Account Deficit (CAD) acted as a negative factor for the currency.  However, selling of dollars from exporters and Reserve bank of India (RBI) at 68.75-levels couldn’t provide respite to fall in the currency. ,' Angel Commodities said in a report.

Silver is also at a 8 months high as it is following the movement of base metals as well as the movement in gold.  Silver on MCX hit a high of Rs 59,942 per kilogram.


RUPEE CHART

Copper, gold and crude oil for second day in a row have hit a high on the Indian exchanges. Copper in day trade hit an all time high of Rs 512.65 per kilogram, crude oil hit a high of 7784 per barrel while gold hit a high of Rs 35,074 per 10 grams."


Read More Here

There are some traits sociopaths exhibit that lead to success - so knowing them and applying them are very useful -  but it doesn't mea...

Be a sociopath—or just act like one

There are some traits sociopaths exhibit that lead to success - so knowing them and applying them are very useful -  but it doesn't mean you half to be one...

Copied from The Economist

WHAT is a sociopath? Diagnostically speaking, it is someone who possesses a mixture of the following characteristics: charm, grandiosity, bloodless rationality, impulsivity, an appetite for risk, an erratic sex-life and little capacity for remorse. A sociopath is rarely prone to introspection, which is why M.E. Thomas's "Confessions of a Sociopath" is such an odd memoir.

Ms Thomas is the pseudonym of a female law professor who is also a confirmed sociopath (as confirmed as it gets, at least, in a field of notoriously murky assessment tools: she says she was diagnosed by a professor of psychology who is also a leading researcher in the field). Blending autobiography, anecdote and research, her book is less juicy for its content than for its writing style, which amounts to an uncut expression of a sociopath's distinctive traits. There is bombast: Thomas compares herself to God, a lion tamer and a revolutionary soldier, and observes, "I have remarkably beautiful breasts". There is calculation ("Unless I am actively trying to convey a particular message or to seduce I would rather not talk to people"). There is deceit, presumably: Thomas claims to have averaged a 9.5% stock market return since 2004. And there is plenty of charm, too.

Too bad the author is anonymous. Ms Thomas’s refusal to disclose her identity may account for the book’s failure to climb bestseller lists, for which its subject and sexy cover seem well suited. Character studies are hard to pull off, and the presence of a flesh-and-blood author might have supplemented Ms Thomas’s writing, which is not quite up to the task. Still, given the stigma of a diagnosis like sociopathy, her reluctance to go public makes some sense (and this newspaper has some empathy for anonymous authors). And Ms Thomas's anonymity has an upside, as it permits readers to form their own mental rendering of her. (This reader went with a variation on Sharon Stone in the 1992 film "Basic Instinct".)

For all the book's appeal as a memoir, it is perhaps better as a self-help manual for the rest of us. As it turns out, high-functioning sociopaths are full of handy lifestyle tips. Prospero lifted the best from Ms Thomas's book, with tips on how to incorporate them into your own life.

Rule #1: Disregard unspoken rules

After being hired at an elite law firm, Ms Thomas exploited her company's "non-existent" vacation policy by taking long weekends and lengthy vacations abroad. "People were implicitly expected not to take vacations, but I had my own lifelong policy of following only explicit rules, and then only because they're easiest to prove against me," she explains.

How to apply to your own life: Ignore "suggested donation" pleas at museums, always help yourself to more food and drinks at dinner parties and recline your seat all the way back when flying.


Rule #2: Assess costs and benefits

Sociopaths, says Ms Thomas, “are incredibly sensitive to incentive structures and actively consider both actual costs and opportunity costs in their decision-making” (unlike the rest of us, to the disappointment of most economists). "I have always lived in the worst neighborhoods," Ms Thomas writes. "Rent is cheap and I figure there's no need for me to pay a safety premium if I have health insurance."

How to apply to your own life: Make spending decisions shrewdly, leveraging each discretionary dollar for its maximum happiness return.


“Sympathy makes for bad lawyering, bad advocacy, and bad rule-making,” Ms Thomas writes. Sociopaths are free of this burden. They are also, she says, excellent at reading people (useful during jury selection), immune to performance anxiety (useful during trial) and craftily seductive (useful for persuading juror and judge alike).Rule #3: The best lawyers are (probably) sociopaths 

How to apply to your own life: When in need, seek sociopathic counsel.

Rule #4: Be prepared

Ms Thomas's opportunism applies to the social as much as the professional realm. "I have learned that it is important always to have a catalogue of at least five personal stories of varying length in order to avoid the impulse to shoehorn unrelated titbits into existing conversations," she writes. "Social-event management feels very much like classroom or jury management to me; it's all about allowing me to present myself to my own best advantage."

How to apply to your own life: Have a few rehearsed anecdotes on hand for awkward social occasions. Might as well score some career points while you're sweating into your cocktail napkin.


Rule #5: If you can't beat them, confuse them.

One of Ms Thomas's favourite activities is attending academic conferences. Since she doesn't teach at a top-tier school, she captures her colleagues' attention by other means: "Everything about the way I present myself is extremely calculated," she writes. "I am careful to wear something that will draw attention, like jeans and cowboy boots while everyone else is wearing business attire." The goal, Ms Thomas says, is "to indicate that I'm not interested in being judged by the usual standards."

How to apply to your own life: If you find yourself at an institutional disadvantage, set yourself apart by other means. Cowboy boots optional.

I have wondered the same. Why did btc price skyrocket during the Cyprus situation?  This article is from Coindesk What really caused...

The Wealth Transfer Effect of Bitcoins


I have wondered the same. Why did btc price skyrocket during the Cyprus situation? 
What really caused the value of bitcoin to skyrocket back in April, when the price per BTC shot up to a record high of $266? Was it really because of Cypriot banking controls, where a number of uninsured accounts were lost? Or was it simply the idea that the banking industry could wield so much control over the finances of people that caused bitcoin to go up? Could it be that a wealth transfer effect, where people move from a fiat currency into bitcoin was happening, and continues to do so?

A historical look at prices


The high price of a Bitcoin in the beginning of March was $34.63. Source: Bitcoin Charts
The high price of a Bitcoin in the beginning of March was $34.63. Source: Bitcoin Charts

Entering the first part of March 2013, the price of bitcoin held in the $30 range. But that didn’t last long: volume caused the price level to move quickly into the $40 range, and it wasn’t long before it was close to $50.
Keep in mind when looking at the following chart that it was 16th March 2013 when it was announced that Cyprus was getting a $10 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. That day was a Saturday, traditionally a slow-moving day for bitcoin exchanges, but you can see the price broke through the $50 barrier during the beginning of the next week.

Source: Bitcoin Charts
Source: Bitcoin Charts

During this time, Bloomberg Businessweek published an article titled “Fleeing the Euro for Bitcoins”. In it, the author suggested that bitcoin was like an app for avoiding the banking system. Many investors read this and likely considered the possibility of investing in bitcoins. Thus, a wealth transfer effect appeared to be taking place where money was being put into bitcoins.
In the time since, bitcoin has reached new levels of awareness. But that awareness has not been reflected in the price. In fact, the price of a bitcoin has stayed in a more stabilized price support level since the days of March and April.

Source: Bitcoin Charts
Source: Bitcoin Charts

That’s important to point out since it is volatility that many associate with bitcoin. The sentimental possibility that the price could rise and rise and then drop still exists in people’s minds, which generates a degree of skepticism for the currency in its long term outlook.
It’s entirely plausible that what we’re seeing is a slower version of a wealth transfer effect into bitcoins. The network has an interesting supply-side element to it, as there are early investors and miners who are frequently selling bitcoins.
And there are investors who believe in it more soundly as time goes by. Investor and entrepreneur Roger Ver shared this sentiment with CoinDesk at the Bitcoin 2013 conference in May. When asked about the possible risks in the technical stability of the Bitcoin network, he said that, as time goes by, the threat of such a scenario fades. “There is a risk of that,” Ver acknowledged. “But as every day goes by that there hasn’t been a major catastrophe, [the risks] are lower and lower.”

I wrote a research paper on Egypt's economy in college for an ec- development course. To no surprise it primarily revolves - or r...

The Problems with Egypt



I wrote a research paper on Egypt's economy in college for an ec-development course. To no surprise it primarily revolves - or revolved - around tourism. But tourism has drastically dropped, and for the time being it seems halted.    
More alarming is that there are 80 mil people along the thin stretch of the River Nile, and Egypt cannot provide them with jobs and infrastructure.  
These are dangerous times...Quite confusing and complex too. In fact, Egypt is in the wrong region for this type of behavior, but yet they have massive problems and with no real solutions, and a government on its side. 

Unfortunately, when it comes to "Arab Springs" and what have you, the broadcast news industry is in the middle of such a tedious side step that recently we've seen them more unhelpful and inaccurate as ever before. 
Fools reading teleprompters (that is assuredly a dated word) and speaking what editors and producers copy and paste into files, is not what you need to pay attention to. 
  
Here is the best summary yet...

From QZ.com -

What’s really behind Egypt’s turmoil. Yes, yes; dictatorship, religious factionalism, military brutality. But also: falling oil production, a booming population, spiking food prices, dwindling water supplies. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed explains why Egypt’s military has already lost the war that it began.



From  http://www.wtnh.com WAITSFIELD, Vt. (AP) — Some Vermont farmers want to plant hemp now that the state has a law setting up rules to...

Vermont & 8 states allow hemp growth; fed law conflicts

WAITSFIELD, Vt. (AP) — Some Vermont farmers want to plant hemp now that the state has a law setting up rules to grow the plant, a cousin of marijuana that's more suitable for making sandals than getting high.
But federal law forbids growing hemp without a permit, so farmers could be risking the farm if they decide to grow the plant that the Drug Enforcement Agency basically considers marijuana.
Hemp and marijuana share the same species — cannabis sativa — but hemp has a negligible content of THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana. Under federal law, all cannabis plants fall under the marijuana label, regardless of THC content.
To grow marijuana for industrial purposes or research, a grower must register with the DEA and meet specific security requirements, such as installing costly fencing for a field of hemp.
A national nonprofit group is pushing to change current law and move regulation of hemp farming from the DEA to the state. In the meantime, the group, Vote Hemp, does not recommend growing hemp while state and federal laws conflict.
"It's literally betting the farm," said Tom Murphy, national outreach coordinator for the group. Farmers who grow it, or even conspire to grow it and import the seeds face jail time and the forfeiture of their land, he said. But it's unclear how seriously the DEA will enforce it.
Murphy said he's heard that people have planted hemp on leased land in Colorado.
"Now if somebody chooses to do it as civil disobedience, knowing full well what's going to happen, then that's on them," he said.
So far, 19 states have passed hemp legislation, including nine that allow its production. Eight states have passed bills calling for the study of hemp, while three states passed bills setting up commissions or authorizing the study of it, according to Vote Hemp.
The states hope to nudge the federal government to change its law.
John Vitko would like to grow hemp on his Vermont farm to use as feed for his chickens now that Vermont has passed a law setting up rules to grow it. He doesn't know where to find any seed and knows he would be breaking federal law if he finds some and grows a small amount of the plant.
With the cost of feed continually rising, he said hemp provides an economical way to feed and provide bedding for his 100 birds, whose eggs are used in the custard-based ice cream he sells to restaurants and in a dessert shop in Waitsfield.
"It's one of the few things that are manageable for a small farmer to handle," he said of hemp, which doesn't require large equipment to plant and harvest like corn does.
"It's complete protein," he said. "It has all their amino acids. It's a seed which birds like."
Hemp has been grown in the U.S. in the past to make rope, fabric and even the paper that used to draft the Declaration of Independence. The country even launched a "Hemp for Victory" campaign during World War II as supplies for other overseas fibers dwindled.
Now most hemp products in the U.S. are imported from Canada, China and Europe and some farmers think the U.S. is missing out on a lucrative crop.

Read the full article here
Industrial Hemp, Vermont, Trade, American Trade, Hemp, 2013, Reform

Limited supply too. "Tin is the smallest of the base metals in terms of production volume, with fewer than 360,000 tonnes produced...

Historical Tin Prices

Historical Tin Prices - Tin Price History Chart



Limited supply too. "Tin is the smallest of the base metals in terms of production volume, with fewer than 360,000 tonnes produced annually (2011) compared with some 45 million tonnes per year of aluminium. The small size of the market can mean tin faces liquidity issues at times, which can lead to increased volatility and some sharp and extended price moves." Link 

Also of importance, currently China is the #1 importer - Indonesia is the largest exporter... All electronics manufacturing uses tin.

AllBusiness.com Link Startups – Think Like Serial Entrepreneurs Serial entrepreneurs are the types that start multiple businesses. They beco...

From Allbusiness.com - New Post: Startups – Think Like Serial Entrepreneurs



AllBusiness.com Link



Startups – Think Like Serial Entrepreneurs


Serial entrepreneurs are the types that start multiple businesses. They become accustomed to the topography of the markets they deal in, and launch businesses and ventures based on data, experience, timing and trends. They tend to have more defined goals and a better network community, which as we know can be everything.


As the entrepreneurial rush continues, we’ll continue to see more and more of these types of entrepreneurs in addition to portfolio entrepreneurs, and more soon to emerge originals. Trained capitalists of sorts – like historic merchant privateers who staked out profitable trade routes.


In 2008, Harvard Business Review published a working paper – I have reposted this paper at my zine/ weblog. In abstract: “This paper presents evidence of performance persistence in entrepreneurship. We show that entrepreneurs with a track record of success are much more likely to succeed than first-time entrepreneurs and those who have previously failed. In particular, they exhibit persistence in selecting the right industry and time to start new ventures. Entrepreneurs with demonstrated market timing skill are also more likely to outperform industry peers in their subsequent ventures. This is consistent with the view that if suppliers and customers perceive the entrepreneur to have market timing skill, and is therefore more likely to succeed, they will be more willing to commit resources to the firm. In this way, success breeds success and strengthens performance persistence.”


Entrepreneurs often jump into ventures head first. And while you should be enthusiastic, you also need to be discerning. It depends on what you’re going after, but all business requires planning. You have to be strategic. Unfortunately, it’s a rather common situation to hear a story about an entrepreneur’s experience going south – they lost everything and went back to whatever previous job they had. Things go south, situations implode because of management practices and preset ideas. There are also acts of nature and economic lulls. Nothing is ever certain. And there is always another channel that needs development or another aspect that needs to be refined.


I find that ideas and ventures are a good tool for brain exercises and troubleshooting. Startups come from ideas, but ideas mean nothing unless they are managed, executed and deployed. By storing your mind maps and ideas and using them as a basis of research by (as an example) using Evernote to organize your thoughts and ventures – you should strive to create a survival of the fittest venture plan ecosystem in your own world. You should strive to thrive in the whole “no venture ever truly fails” mantra…


“Although working as a serial entrepreneur is rewarding, you must be willing to engross yourself in different industries with different people and different cultures. How business gets conducted varies. For example, my approach to my trucking companies is not the same as my approach to my real estate companies. You need to understand the culture of various industries and adapt as needed.” — Patrick Hull, Forbes.


The rewards are great, too. You never really get bored, you just have to manage yourself. You don’t have it all hanging on one idea that may not work. I was fortunate enough to watch my father build multiple middle-market companies throughout my formative years, and because of that I became a serial entrepreneur. Today I lead a portfolio of ventures and gravitate towards projects and businesses that I have a higher interest and knowledge in, or those that I wish to develop. I have tedious days, but the stakes are so much higher, you often – or at least I do – tend to overachieve and over-organize so as to limit surprises. They always happen anyway, so there is no reason to leave open space. I had to become a better organized person, and now with using tools like Evernote,Asana and my calendar I only excel with benchmarking and task management.


That is the whole point and part of the allure, to a degree. Serial entrepreneurs are accustomed to trends and have seen the ups and downs of business, thereby being able to apply a working dictionary of incidents, methods and mostly whittle down negative traits and habits to better adapt.


According to Harvard’s paper, serial entrepreneurs are more likely to succeed than first time entrepreneurs or those who have previously failed in part because serial entrepreneurs “exhibit persistence in selecting the right industry and time to start new ventures.” That would require having discipline. Lots of it. Everyone has been too early and too late.


This is a classic examples of how success breeds more success. Direction is key. So is adaptation. The study had some interesting findings about serial entrepreneurs, or as the authors called it “performance persistence in entrepreneurship.” Successful serial entrepreneurs are visionaries – really? They recognize opportunities and then they educate themselves about an industry and/or they surround themselves with a skilled team to implement their vision.


“Entrepreneurs who exhibit market timing skill in their first ventures also appear to outperform their industry peers in their subsequent ventures.” – HBS

I'm nuts about money - or how about this - I'm nuts about currency. I like money as everyone does, and as a capitalist and serial en...

INFOGRAPHIC: Money – The cold hard facts

I'm nuts about money - or how about this - I'm nuts about currency. I like money as everyone does, and as a capitalist and serial entrepreneur I strive daily to increase growth, my human network and profits, but it's good to know the cold hard facts behind a buck, and what it entails....

How many tonnes of ink does the US Bureau of Engraving use per day?
What are US paper bills made of?
What was the largest bill ever printed worth?
What's the prison sentence for counterfeiting currency?


Money: The Cold Hard Facts


Mining.com:


If you haven't had enough, here are some more facts:
- U.S. produces 26 million notes a day with a face value of around $907 million.
- Federal Reserve notes account for over 90% of U.S. currency.
- Federal Reserve: the central bank of the U.S. It was created to provide a safer, monetary system in 1913. Their duties include regulating banks and financial institutions, maintaining national financial security, provide services to U.S. government, and influencing money and credit conditions.
- It would take 14.5 million notes to make a mile high stack
- 1782 saw the introduction of the first dollar coin.
- A $100,000 gold certificate was the largest bill ever printed by the U.S.
- The Secret Service was created during the Civil War initially to combat counterfeiting.
- "In God We Trust" did not appear on paper currency until 1963
- The Bureau of Engraving and Printing uses approximately 9.7 tons of ink per day.
- A bill weighs one gram. 454 bills to a pound.
- The $100 bill is the largest produced currently.
- To produce a note of U.S. currency it costs 6.4 cents.
- The average note will require 4,000 double folds before it will tear.
- The average life spans of currency notes are as follows
- $100 – 7.5 years
- $50 – 4.5 years
- $20 – 2 years
- $10 – 18 months
- $5 – 16 months
- $1 – 21 months
- Currency made in any year will at least hold its face value.
- Oldest bills in circulation could be anywhere from 20 to 30 years on cash and 50 to 60 years on coin. However older currency very likely is out there.
- U.S. mint is responsible for producing coin and also military medals.
- Until 1804, no coin had their value on them. The size was the determination of the value.
- The first batch of coins was in March 1793 and included 11,178 copper cents.
- Abraham Lincoln was first on a regular coin in 1909.
- A coin's lifespan is thirty years.
- Nearly half of the bills produced are $1 and 95% of the bills produced are to replace circulated bills.
- A million dollars of $100 bills weighs around 22 pounds. $1 bills it is about a ton.
- A penny costs 1.23 cents to make and the nickel 5.73 cents.
- As of April 24, 2013, there was approximately $1.18 trillion in circulation and $1.14 trillion was in Federal Reserve notes.
Image compliments of MBA in Finance Degrees
Also credit to Mining.com - Article Link

Cold, hard facts about the US dollar. Chaganomics.com - monetary economics, monetary information, money supply, infographic, monetary infographic