Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:48 pm
by Deron Desautels
M4 Membership Manager
***This is NOT a statement of political standing, suggested economic or governmental changes, or a criticism of any social movement. It is a direct criticism of ignorant viewpoints – or, at least viewpoints that aren’t seeing the full picture***
I wanted to start this post by addressing a comment that was recently stated by a person in my network (and, iterated and re-iterated among many others):
“So, yes, I think ones propensity to behave unethically is directly related to one’s socio-economic status.”
It makes me cringe at the thought of such naivety. This is one of the most common social / financial misconceptions in our society.
Here’s one perspective on this:
A lack of ethics means a lack of positive education on ethics – whether through parenthood, schooling, or social and employment environments. I would personally argue that the higher the socio-economic status, the more likely to be educated.
And, the more likely to be educated therefore means the more likely to have been trained in ethics, as well as professional and social protocol and… well… manners.
But, even if we do not want to get into the philosophical / speculative assumptions, let’s look at the following….
Posted November 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm
We know the above question might seem silly, considering that we pass long research related to it…
Yet, it’s still worth probing and we’d like your opinion on it AFTER watching this thought-provoking 3-minute video…
Posted November 19, 2012 at 2:35 pm
by Jeff Thomas
In order for socialism to appeal to the masses, a great lie has been put forward: the concept of the “haves” and the “have-nots,” or the “rich” and the “poor”. Most any socialist will refer to these categories regularly and is unlikely to characterise himself as “rich.”
Even celebrities, with incomes in the seven-figure range will never refer to themselves as “rich.” Rich is equated with “evil.” Therefore, a businessman who may earn under $100,000 per year is “one of the greedy rich,” whilst a celebrity whose annual income is in the millions is “one of the people.”
How, then, is “rich” defined by those of a socialist bent? Well, in fact, it is unlikely that any socialist has ever put a number on it, but there is a decided trend to suggest that, if my neighbour has more than me, he is rich.
Posted August 28, 2012 at 10:10 pm
by Brian Lund
I had a number of great conversations with some intelligent and thoughtful investors and traders.
But unfortunately, the vast majority of the people I spoke with did not fall into that category. Instead they chose to embrace “active ignorance” about the financial markets.
They roughly broke down into five different categories, and if you are one of these “types” you deserve to lose all your money as far as I am concerned.
The answer to everything is gold.
These people are what are known as “gold-bugs” but they should be known as “gold-idiots.” And although thanks to the “broken clock” phenomenon they may have seemed wise at times over the last few years, remember, most have been calling this same tune since 1980.
“I don’t trust the markets so I am buying gold.”
“I don’t trust the financial professionals so I am buying gold.”
“I don’t trust the government so I am buying gold.”
“I think my wife is cheating on me so I am buying gold.”
“I am having erectile dysfunction issues so I am buying gold.”
That is all they can answer to any question, “gold!”
What’s even more ridiculous is that their distrust of the markets makes their myopic view exponentially worse. They pay huge transaction fees, taxes, and risk thievery by hoarding physical gold instead of “owning” it in a more efficient way that would free up space for homemade preserves and elk jerky in their shelters.
[ Details / Source: Above is our hand-picked KEY excerpt(s) from this full article: "5 Reasons You Deserve To Lose Every Penny In The Market"]
Posted June 1, 2012 at 2:44 am
by Izabella Kaminska
Goldbugs don’t just believe in the fundamentals of gold. They worship at the altar of gold.
The goldbug view represents a market philosophy, a doctrine and a belief-system.
Question it and you incite anger, rage, ridicule.
For ‘non-believers’ this can be frustrating. It’s impossible to have a rational discussion on the subject because goldbugs inevitably intervene with ‘ absolute’ views, none of which are open to adjustment. They stick to those absolutes, even if the facts don’t fit support the narrative.
Unlike the gold system, which asks you to put your faith in an inanimate shiny object, a paper “fiat” system asks you to put faith in relationships, in your neighbours, your community.
It asks you to believe that society will honour its debts because it doesn’t make sense for it not to — largely because it is just as dependent on you honouring your debts to it, as you are on it honouring its debts to you. It’s a system based on quid pro quo relationships. A symbiosis based on trust.
Anthropologist and author David Graeber makes a similar argument. He believes that fiat currency is nothing more than a favour system and that it’s wrong to call it a debt-based economy. It’s far more akin to a credit-backed standard, one that evolves from a need to share what you’ve got today because you don’t know what favours you might need to call upon from others tomorrow.
What’s more, what you have today is often subject to decay. Thus hoarding (and acting only in your own interest) doesn’t actually make sense for the economy.
Debt comes into it because, in the old disintermediated and fragmented world which lacked today’s connectivity, it made sense to harmonise individual credits with those of others. Also, before the advent of marketplaces, you couldn’t guarantee that you would find a grateful recipient for your surplus milk production before it went to waste.
[ Details / Source: Above is our hand-picked KEY excerpt(s) from this full article: "Debunking goldbugs" ]
WV Editor’s Note: Here’s some more downright anti-gold bug fun from one of our trader contacts: See Doug Robertson’s response to one of our own rants on the subject.
Posted June 1, 2012 at 1:44 am
by Maura Pennington
An attitude continues to grow in America that is being reflected in public policy, which heaps disdain on the creative and successful. Even if fully 99% of the population support it, this mentality will never lead to progress and cannot be sustained.
To really move forward, we have to reassess what it means to be creative and start respecting again what the best and the brightest do for us.
Part of our devaluation of creativity comes from the fact that people assume it is related to education. Yet creativity is not taught. The impulse has to already be present in a person; it cannot be implanted by a curriculum.
Creativity is not a commodity, either. It cannot be bought by federal funding or parents paying for private tutors. Creativity is a natural quality — either you can imagine what doesn’t exist or you can’t — that is then nurtured to make new things out of nothing.
It is an outright restriction on creative activity to put a limit on how well a person can do this. The 99% Spring cosigners merely want an ambiguous limit and unspecified recalibration of American democracy, stated in goals of vaguely explained substance. In and of itself, the movement is random and ill-defined. The serious issue is the culture of envy breeding the curious logic that has ensnared bored young activists and legitimate national organizations.
[ Details / Source: Above is our hand-picked KEY excerpt(s) from this full article: "The 99% Movement Scorns American Creativity" ]
Posted May 31, 2012 at 3:55 am
by Josuha M Brown
When looking at gold ($GLD), you can be an expert in the fairy tale aspect of it and cite episodes from Ancient Sumeria as proof of its value — or you can grow up and accept the fact that it is literally the ultimate Greater Fool trade, for better or for worse.
Since there are no earnings produced from gold we really only have supply and demand to go by, and that is why the technicals are really all that matter with this particular “asset class.”
I’m speaking to an audience of 6000 gold bugs in Vancouver next Monday, if I should disappear as a result of this post, please give my blog to Tadas Viskanta and my Twitter handle to Joe Weisenthal, as per my living will.
Anyway, 150 seems like a pretty important level for $GLD (1500 for an ounce of gold) and it seems to be flirting with breaking under as we speak. My rudimentary charting skills on display below (and here)…
[ Details / Source: Above is our hand-picked KEY excerpt(s) from this full article: "Gold on the ropes…" ]
WW Editor’s Note: for our own come-on-lets-keep-this-real-folks take on the barbaric metal, see the links at the bottom of our Critical thinking on Gold, Money, Currencies post.
Posted May 31, 2012 at 3:21 am
by Howard Lindzon
There are no quick ways to get rich for the masses but there are many ways to get poor quick.
Fading the front pages of media is one of the great ways to make long-term consistent money. It is not a skill you can pick up in one reading of the weeklies and dailies. It takes time.
The media is dead wrong these days about… the death of equities, the death of VC and Facebook as a scam IPO. America needs its’ terrorists and today they are Facebook’s CFO, $JPM, $MS and The Nasdaq.
The Facebook IPO was NOT a scam. It was the largest IPO ever. Shares were coming at the Nasdaq from all angles – 100 lots, 1 million lots, odd lots. Everybody who wanted a share got one. The bankers made the ‘long tail’ happy for once and because of that Facebook maximized their cash hoard. Definitely not perfect, but hardly a scam.
Now, just a week later, we have the ‘death’ of Facebook. All wrong!
What we are witnessing is an ‘outlier’ event. We went from Microsoft and some russian dude being insane to have invested at a $15 billion valuation, to Ivan’s grandma in Bulgaria begging for an IPO allocation.
Outliers break things. The breakage creates opportunities. Mark Cuban argues that Facebook has peaked but is long $150,000 shares in the meantime. That’s beautiful.
Equities are a means to an end…a tool.
In the last year I have been long software stocks that have doubled and tripled and been acquired ($ARBA $LPSN $RNOW) . No ‘big data’ feeds, no inside information or Bloomberg machines were necessary. I used, price, volume, social tools and the social graph I have tended to since 2005. You can accelerate yours by globbing onto mine. That is ‘birth’ of markets and opportunities, not ‘death’.
[ Details / Source: Above is our hand-picked KEY excerpt(s) from this full article: "Facebook was just a PARTIAL Scam, Venture Capital is ALIVE, and Equities are NOT Dead!" ]
Posted May 7, 2012 at 1:35 pm
by Barry Goss
Managing Editor & Publisher, The Wealth Vault
There’s not a day goes by that I don’t see a level of casualness, or downright pointlessness, to the ins and outs of gold chatter.
So, when I see Reuters deploying their editors to ask the wrong question — or, even more annoyingly, wasting their time wondering if something ONCE widely accepted can or should be accepted NOW — it just makes me wanna bring out my gold guns (er, maybe that’s my visual interpretation of quashing the nonsense via my provoking prose here)
Anyway, when somebody writes an e-book with the title of ‘Is Gold a Currency?‘ (the reference to that is via the video on the Reuters page), one begins to scratch their head (er, I do) and ask back rhetorically: “Is Google’s stock a currency?’
The answer to that one is an obvious NO!
But, why do the words ‘currency‘ and ‘money‘ get so conflated around GOLD?
My bet is this: people like confusing and repositioning timelines — as in ‘history was like this’ so it ‘should be like this’ NOW.
You see, there is a long history of governments throughout the world pegging their currency value to gold.
As far as the U.S. goes, between a FIXED gold standard and a FLOATING fiat currency system (i.e., not linked to physical reserves), money has shifted back ‘n forth in about 10 different time-frames… ever since the first form of paper money was issued by The Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1690.
There’s gold seen as “money” (like when you see coins tossed around in Old Western movies); there’s gold remembered as an asset to find and hide away; and there’s gold the inert metal, traded as a commodity 24 hours a day, that does not have much pragmatic use.
But, the raw modern reality is this: Even though I can easily convert GOOG shares to cash, it doesn’t mean that those GOOG shares are legal currency in the US (I’m pretty darned sure I’m not going to be able to take those share certificates and go out to a nice restaurant or buy a new car with them).
Gold bullion (in the form of coins, bars, ingots, jewelry, etc) is certainly more recognized and/or accepted for ‘exchange transactions’ than certifications of stock. Yet, the rub is still this:
Bullion is, by useful function in today’s modern world, a ‘monetary asset.’ Just like the shares of Google are an asset, and not a currency, neither is gold really currency. Not even useful money NOW! (Things like cowrey shells, arrowheads, and cacao beans were ONCE useful too, ya know)
Gold bullion is more a solid form of back-up money. Or, to be technically correct, a “currency of last resort,” as Greenspan has stated many times through the years. As in, “if the public one day decides not to have confidence in the USD, CAD, YEN, etc. — all derivatives of tangible and ideal money — maybe we can all feel good about resorting to lugging around heavy and obnoxiously impractical coins.”
Yes, gold CAN BE pure insurance against paper currency breakdown. Which, like California falling over into the Pacific Ocean, is not something I’ll expect to see in my lifetime.
The cries for “buy, buy, buy” gold (bullion, that is) can get so loud that the high priests of the metal (think Glenn Beck, Mike Maloney, or Howard Ruff) truly feel that using your hard-earned money for anything else is a crime.
News Flash to all Gold Bugs: there is ab-so-lute value in holding your cash [paper money] in dollars (or any other major currency based on where you live and conduct business).
Money, as commonly understood, represents both a medium of exchange and a store of value. Ideal money (not a required ideal, either, to work) is both, and it’s important to acknowledge that the dollar HAS served in that capacity in living memory.
For reasons as to why it may not hold rein in that position at ALL TIMES, read this article…
Currency — a made up word that just means paper notes — can be an excellent stand-in for money, as long as something sustainable (doesn’t JUST have to be ‘tangible money’) always stands behind the currency.
Until the day comes when society-at-large no longer wants to have faith in using their debit cards and other digital forms of monetary transactions at WalMart, just accept the fact that GOLD (and even real estate) will probably make you look like the ever-so-wise one if you’re around to see a legit collapse of the current banking/currency system.
And, quite honestly, if you want to believe in the ultimate doomsday scenario — think Mad Max style — gold is the last thing people will clamor for… in that situation, if you have some mini bottles of liquor stored up, you’ll control the world
FOR MORE ANTI-GOLD-BUG THOUGHTS, click the links below:
Posted April 26, 2012 at 2:43 am
Like all revolutions, this one will be disruptive. Digital technology has already rocked the media and retailing industries, just as cotton mills crushed hand looms and the Model T put farriers out of work. Many people will look at the factories of the future and shudder.
They will not be full of grimy machines manned by men in oily overalls. Many will be squeaky clean—and almost deserted. Some carmakers already produce twice as many vehicles per employee as they did only a decade or so ago. Most jobs will not be on the factory floor but in the offices nearby, which will be full of designers, engineers, IT specialists, logistics experts, marketing staff and other professionals.
Consumers will have little difficulty adapting to the new age of better products, swiftly delivered. Governments, however, may find it harder. Their instinct is to protect industries and companies that already exist, not the upstarts that would destroy them.
They shower old factories with subsidies and bully bosses who want to move production abroad. They spend billions backing the new technologies which they, in their wisdom, think will prevail. And they cling to a romantic belief that manufacturing is superior to services, let alone finance.
[ Details / Source: Above is our hand-picked KEY excerpt(s) from this full article: "The Third Industrial Revolution" ]