Maslow’s hierarchy of money


A new study shows that the form of shadow “money” used in US prisons is changing. For many years it has been cigarettes (tobacco), and to a lesser extent stamps and envelopes. But now it seems the popularity of these in the prison black economy is declining – in favour of food. Specifically, Ramen noodles, a high-calorie, substantial foodstuff. Without examining the reasons for this change, it would be easy to assume that this is a matter of relative scarcity. Perhaps Ramen noodles are cheaper and more widely available than cigarettes, so inmates are turning to them because they are […]

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Song Xin: Increase Gold Reserves And Join SDR.


BullionStar The Chairman of the China Gold Association and General Manager and Party Committee Secretary of China National Gold Group Corporation, the latter being China’s largest gold mining enterprise, is Song Xin and happens to be one of my favorite commentators in China. This gentleman made waves in July 2014 when he candidly wrote on Sina Finance that the People’ Bank Of China (PBOC) should slowly raise its official gold reserves to 8,500 tonnes, more than what the US Treasury claims to hold. The article was published in Chinese but translated by BullionStar to share the views by Song Xin […]

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Detroit Has Gone From Being The Greatest Manufacturing City In The World To A Global Joke


In 1960, the city of Detroit was the greatest manufacturing city that the world had ever seen.  Nearly two million people lived there, and it had the highest per capita income in the United States.  That may be hard to believe, because today it actually has one of the lowest per capita incomes of all of our major cities.  Over the decades more than a million people have left the city, and thousands of abandoned homes have been torn down.  But there are still tens of thousands of abandoned dwellings that remain standing, and some have sold for as little […]

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If Trump Loses, Expect Civil War


Bernie Sanders may have conceded the democratic nomination to Hillary Clinton last month, but that doesn’t mean he’s going anywhere. Which I’ve been saying for months now. Win or lose, both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump will have strong support groups for years to come. Especially when the economy turns south in the months and years ahead! Days after endorsing Clinton, Sanders came out saying he’ll continue his “Revolution” with at least two new organizations. One called the “Sanders Institute” will push his political agenda… and another named “Our Revolution” will actually help put more progressive candidates into state and […]

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As Predicted, Obamacare Is Absolutely Killing The Middle Class


The critics of Obamacare have been proven right.  The Obama administration promised that health insurance premiums would go down.  Instead, they have absolutely skyrocketed.  The Obama administration promised that Obamacare would not kill jobs.  Instead, firms are hiring fewer workers because of suffocating health care costs.  As you will see below, even the Federal Reserve is admitting this.  The Obama administration also promised that the big health insurance companies would love the new Obamacare plans and would eagerly compete with one another to win customers in the new health insurance marketplaces.  Instead, many of the big health insurance companies are […]

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Come Out to Visit the Dent Research Team in Palm Beach


Whenever two Texans meet for the first time on neutral territory – and by neutral, I mean anywhere outside the Lone Star State – somehow, some way, the meeting inevitably becomes a contest to see whose Texan roots run deeper. It’s the closest thing to a manhood-measuring contest I can imagine without a ruler. At last year’s annual Irrational Economic Summit, I was once again measured… and fell far shorter than ever before against my new friend. It was a guest from the Houston area whose roots dug all the way back to before Texan statehood, the Republic of Texas […]

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No, please don’t show me your model


Unsurprisingly, on my post “The Art of Economics“, which attempted to put the mathematical models beloved of mainstream economics firmly in their place, is a comment defending mainstream mathematical models. Here it is, in part: Secondly, you definitely don’t need obscure heterodox models to predict a financial crisis. I’ve cited it before, but for instance Kiyotaki-Moore basically sketches out how a crisis like this can occur. There are actually plenty of examples of perfectly fine mainstream papers on this topic. And it wasn’t just heterodox economists that predicted it. People like Dean Baker, Roubini or even Krugman didn’t exactly rely on […]

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Are Trolls Turning The Internet Into A Festival Of Hate?


Have you noticed that people say some of the most hateful things imaginable on the Internet?  Earlier today, I came across a Time Magazine article entitled “How Trolls Are Ruining the Internet“, and it made me reflect on my own experience as the publisher of a number of prominent websites.  Over the years, I have often gotten to see what is really going on in some of the darkest hearts in our society.  There are people that come to my websites that somehow think that making crude sexual remarks about the wives and children of people that they have never […]

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The Power Of The Gold Community: Crowdfunding For FOIA Request Fort Knox Audit Documents Completes Within 24 Hours.


BullionStar Since 2014 I’ve been investigating the alleged audits of the US official gold reserves. Of course my goal is to figure out if these audits are credible, or if they’re invented by the US government to silence the people that think gold has any value and forms the very material basis for a well-functioning monetary system. My first post on this subject, A First Glance At US Official Gold Reserves Audits, published on March 27, 2014, was purely based on publicly available reports. Not surprisingly, all those reports together compounded to a logical story. The US government wouldn’t present anything that’s implausible at the surface. That first […]

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The art of economics


Over at Bloomberg View, Noah Smith has a pop at what he calls “heterodox economics”. By this he means the new ideas in economic thinking that have sprung up since the 2008 financial crisis but so far haven’t made it into mainstream economic journals. Noah starts by admitting that mainstream economics abjectly failed to predict the crisis and gave little or no guidance on how to deal with it. Because of this, according to Noah, “many people have looked around for an alternative paradigm — a new way of thinking about macroeconomics that would have allowed us to avoid the […]

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