Thursday, November 14, 2019

Really Bad Ideas, Part 3: Government Debt Isn’t Actually Debt

by John Rubino, Dollar Collapse:

The failure of fiat currency and fractional reserve banking to produce a government-managed utopia is generating very few mea culpas, but lots of rationalizations.

Strangest of all these rationalizations might be the notion that government debt is not really a liability, but an asset. Where personal and business loans are bad if taken to excess, government borrowing is not just good on any scale, but necessary to a healthy economy. Here’s an excerpt from a particularly assertive version of this argument:

 

What if every government paid off its national debt?

(Medium.com) – IT might make you feel better but tomorrow if the US Federal Government, or Australia or the UK repaid the entirety of its national debt, it would make not one dollar’s difference to your bank account.

 

In fact the economy would tank.

“If America repaid all its national debt tomorrow, we very likely would crash into the mother of all great depressions long before the debt is ‘paid off’”, says economist, Professor Randall Wray.

There were six times in US history in which budget surpluses were achieved for long enough to retire a significant amount of debt. Five of those were followed by depressions, the last of which culminated in the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The last time America ran a significant budget surplus (about 2.5 years) was under President Clinton. The 2002 recession is a direct result of Clinton’s 1999 surplus which forced the domestic private sector into deficit. Consumer spending fell, unemployment rose and a recession occurred.

The economy crashed first in 2000 and then onwards into the Great Recession that began in 2007.

Economist Ellis Winningham concurs with Professor Wray that the economy would ‘crash’ long before the outstanding debt would be retired.

“The surplus would then become a deficit again,” he said.

“But reducing or retiring the debt isn’t what caused the economic downturns. It was the surpluses that caused it. Simply put, you cannot operate an economy with no money in it.”

So why have we convinced ourselves that government debt is the mother of all evil? That somehow, if the government is in surplus, our bank accounts will automatically improve?

In fact, as we shall see, the precise opposite is what would probably happen.

What is debt?
Anyone who has ever been chased by a debt collector has come to associate the word ‘debt’ as necessarily scary, bad and to be avoided. If you are a household, this is likely to be true.

But debt has an entirely different meaning for governments.

To whom is the national debt owed? That would be us: the people.

But this truth has been avoided in favour of eliciting a pavlovian response based entirely on the principle that a government budget is the same as that of a household.

“People think that public debt is like a household debt, hence, they buy into the neoliberal nonsense about the government going ‘bankrupt’ and then it’s financial armageddon and we will all die,” says Winningham. “It’s total nonsense. The public debt is just a bunch of savings accounts that pay interest.

“People think it will improve their lives because they believe that the government’s debt is their debt. In reality, the government’s debt is the private sector’s asset.”

In truth, there is no such thing as the national debt beyond a rhetorical device used to scare the public into submission.

In the US, the National Debt is the sum-total of all US dollars ever issued by the Federal Government, from the nation’s founding up until this very moment, that have never been taxed away by the Federal Government.

The national debt is actually the government’s savings account

“From around the 1790’s until today, 2017, the US government has issued, after taxes, $18 trillion dollars for everyone in the non-government sector to use,” says Winningham. “In fact, the national debt has been around for over 170 years now, so at some point, you’re going to have to start understanding that it is not an actual problem.

“Further, you need to start understanding that when you accuse Obama, or Bush, or Trump of adding to the national debt, you’re actually accusing them of adding US dollars to the US economy. Or, more precisely, you’re accusing them of adding US dollars to our national savings.”

Let’s start with the idea that the 2000 tech stock crash was caused by the tiny (and in any event fictitious) surpluses run by the Clinton administration in the 1990s.

What actually happened in that decade was a massive increase in societal debt via the private sector – encouraged by the Federal Reserve’s decision to bail out every entity anywhere in the world that ran into financial problems. Long Term Capital Management, Russia’s default, Mexico’s peso crisis, and the Asian Contagion were all met with lower rates, loan guarantees and aggressive money printing.

The result was a torrent of hot money, much of which flowed into US tech stocks, sending their valuations to stratospheric, completely unsustainable levels (while filling government coffers with capital gains tax revenues). The inevitable crash had nothing whatsoever to do with those temporary surpluses and everything to do with equity valuations that had exceeded anything seen during even the Roaring 20s.

As the following chart illustrates, US total debt rose from 235{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of GDP in 1995 to 250{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in 2000, producing the tech bubble. And then it really got going as the government responded to the subsequent bust with even easier money, producing a housing bubble that in its own way was as historically extreme as the tech bubble. When this burst we got the Great Recession – which was then countered with massive increases in government debt worldwide.

Read More @ Dollar Collapse.com

Thank You, Google

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by Bionic Mosquito, Lew Rockwell:

Google engineer James Damore wrote a ten-page memo (PDF), titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.”  Google fired him.

You know all about the contents already.  To make a long story short, he suggests…

…that biological differences could help explain the gender gap in tech employment in Silicon Valley, and criticized Google’s policy of silencing discussion on the issue.

And wouldn’t you know it, Google attempted to silence discussion on the issue.

The ten-page memo is well written and well documented; based on my quick (and likely not perfect) count, he has thirty-four hyperlinks and eleven footnotes.

The reaction from the left is exactly what you would expect.  A typical example is offered by The Guardian.  They found an expert on the topic:

One former Harvard student, who was in the systems biology program at the same time as Damore, told the Guardian that it was not surprising to find out he was the author of the controversial manifesto, which was widely criticized for relying on shoddy science.

“His comments do not reflect the ability to read literature critically that a typical Harvard student develops over the course of actually completing a PhD,” the former classmate said.

A systems biology student.  What is systems biology?

Systems biology is based on the understanding that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. It has been responsible for some of the most important developments in the science of human health and environmental sustainability.

This doesn’t sound like someone qualified to pass judgement on the science in Mr. Damore’s memo.  Let’s find someone who is.  How about Jordan Peterson?  Who is Jordan Peterson?

With his students and colleagues, Dr. Peterson has published more than a hundred scientific papers, transforming the modern understanding of personality, and revolutionized the psychology of religion with his now-classic book, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief. As a Harvard professor, he was nominated for the prestigious Levinson Teaching Prize, and is regarded by his current University of Toronto students as one of three truly life-changing teachers.

He sounds qualified.  What does he have to say?  Interestingly, he has just done an interview with Mr. Damore; it can be seen here.  To summarize, the science cited by Mr. Damore is consistent with the current academic research.

Not enough for you?  The Google Memo: Four Scientists Respond:

Lee Jussim is a professor of social psychology at Rutgers University and was a Fellow and Consulting Scholar at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University (2013-15).

The author of the Google essay on issues related to diversity gets nearly all of the science and its implications exactly right.

Since earning his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. in personality psychology from the University of Michigan David P. Schmitt has authored or co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

Alongside other evidence, the employee argued, in part, that this research indicates affirmative action policies based on biological sex are misguided. Maybe, maybe not.

Geoffrey Miller is an evolutionary psychology professor at University of New Mexico.

Among commentators who claim the memo’s empirical facts are wrong, I haven’t read a single one who understand sexual selection theory, animal behavior, and sex differences research.

For what it’s worth, I think that almost all of the Google memo’s empirical claims are scientifically accurate. Moreover, they are stated quite carefully and dispassionately. Its key claims about sex differences are especially well-supported by large volumes of research across species, cultures, and history.

Debra W Soh is a Toronto based science writer who has a PhD in sexual neuroscience from the University of York.

As a woman who’s worked in academia and within STEM, I didn’t find the memo offensive or sexist in the least. I found it to be a well thought out document, asking for greater tolerance for differences in opinion, and treating people as individuals instead of based on group membership.

Within the field of neuroscience, sex differences between women and men—when it comes to brain structure and function and associated differences in personality and occupational preferences—are understood to be true, because the evidence for them (thousands of studies) is strong. This is not information that’s considered controversial or up for debate; if you tried to argue otherwise, or for purely social influences, you’d be laughed at.

Conclusion

Why do I thank Google?  Google, by firing Mr. Damore, might have done more to smash political correctness on this topic than anyone who came before him.  We will have to see how all of this progresses; let’s just say I have the same feeling I had during Trump’s campaign.

Read More @ LewRockwell.com

FINAL CURRENCY DEBASEMENT TO ZERO HAS STARTED

by Egon von Greyerz, Gold Switzerland:

Fake money has created a totally uneven playing field for most ordinary people.

Money used to represent a medium of exchange that would facilitate bartering. Instead of exchanging goods or services, people would receive a piece of paper that was equal to the value of their goods or services. This was initially an honest system when for each service or goods offered there was only one bank note issued. Eventually the banker started to cheat and issued a lot more money/paper than the counter value produced in kind. And that was the beginning of money printing. It just became too tempting and convenient for governments and bankers to simply create more money since nobody would really know. So if the value of a day’s work or a pig were both say $100, the money or paper issued for this should be $100 for each. But gradually governments/banks would issue more and more paper with nothing produced in return. All banks today lend at least 10x the money deposited so for every $100 received $1,000 is leant. But the leverage can be much greater like Deutsche Bank which is leveraged nearer 50x.

The effect of this money creation is that the $100 pig will eventually cost 50x more or $5,000 for the same pig. The pig hasn’t gone up in price since there is no scarcity of pigs but the money has instead gone down in value to 1/50th. The same for a day of labour. The man who previously received $100 per day now gets $5,000 for his work. He is not working harder and the price of labour has not gone up in real terms. But the value of money has gone so he needs to work one day to buy a big which now costs $5,000. I do realise it is a very simplified explanation but in essence, it is the way the corrupt monetary system works.

And this is how governments destroy the value of money. As they mismanage the economy and can’t make ends meet, they just issue more paper which has zero real value since it just lowers the purchasing power of money.

The value of paper money has been totally decimated in the last 100 years since the creation of the Fed in 1913. The chart shows how paper money has declined in relation to “real money” which is gold. All major currencies have declined 97-99{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} against gold during this period. So there is only 1-3{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to go until they reach ZERO. But from here to zero is another 100{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} fall which will be disastrous for the world and involve an economic collapse as well as hyperinflation.

In a final attempt to save the world governments will print unlimited amounts of money. This is what will make paper money totally worthless and reach zero. This is of course nothing new in history. Governments have always done it. The Roman did it and many governments since. I don’t know how many times I have quoted Voltaire in the last 17 years but it is worth repeating what he said in 1729:

“PAPER MONEY EVENTUALLY RETURNS TO ITS INTRINSIC VALUE – ZERO”

The problem with money printing is not just that it destroys the value of paper money, as creating money out of thin air also creates a totally uneven playing field. To produce goods or services requires a lot of hard labour for ordinary people. But governments and bankers have the upper hand because they just need some electricity which allows them to press a button to produce money. And this money that they produce has the same value that ordinary people struggle to earn.

We are now not far from the point when the bubbles in stocks, credit and property will collapse. This will lead to a final futile attempt by governments to save the world by printing unlimited amounts of money. At that point, normal people will finally realise that the money they are holding is totally worthless. This will lead to protests, attack on government and bankers as well as social unrest.

In spite of a small move in the last few days, many holders of precious metals are getting restless. This is totally normal since we have seen a 6 year range of $150 above or below the June $1,220 bottom.

I often get the question if the paper gold manipulation will go on forever as seems to be the case since 2013. My very firm belief is that we are likely to see the end of this consolidation period right now. During the autumn of 2017, gold is likely to resume its uptrend to eventually much higher levels. That next strong uptrend in gold will also eventually break the paper gold market.

The reasons for the coming move are manifold. The risk situation in the world are more critical than ever both economically and geopolitically as I have outlined many times in my articles. Also, the supply situation physical gold is very tight. All the mine production of 3,000 tonnes are easily absorbed and no more can be produced.

Read More @ GoldSwitzerland.com

Understanding the Hysterical Reaction to the Google Memo Using Spiral Dynamics

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by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg:

Today’s post is the final installment of a four part series on the Google memo and the various issues it’s raised regarding our cultural capacity for intelligent debate. I’ve also touched upon the very serious issue of Google’s expanding position as an integral and willing tool of U.S. imperial foreign policy, as well as its defense of oligarchy and status quo thinking at home.

Here are the first three parts, in case you missed them:

Part 1 — Why the Google Memo Brings Forward an Overdue Conversation

Part 2 — ‘The Firing’

Part 3 — Google: Search Engine or Deep State Organ?

Before I get started, I want to make something clear. I am entirely sympathetic to the fact that the Google memo justifiably made many women who work in the tech industry feel uncomfortable and anxious. While I’ve never worked in that field, I worked in the highly aggressive and male-dominated environment of Wall Street for a decade. That sort of culture can definitely make women feel left-out, awkward or worse. I do not deny that such problems exist in an industry dominated by one gender. Unfortunately, that very legitimate issue has become totally swamped in the public mind due to the hysterical, dishonest and illogical reactions by many to the Google memo.

Irrespective of what you think of the memo, it’s dangerous and counterproductive to start calling people names rather than engage in calm, intelligent debate. Certainly, James Damore could’ve done some things differently in the composition of his memo, but anyone who reads it can see he was trying to be fair and open-minded. I have no doubt that he was genuinely trying to have a conversation about an issue he identified at Google and feels passionately about. He wasn’t trying to make his colleagues feel anxious or uncomfortable. For that transgression he was demonized and fired. Are we already back to burning witches?

 

Today’s post will focus on applying what we learned about consciousness evolution in my five-part series on Spiral Dynamics to the Google memo affair. I’ll do my best to make this as understandable as possible for those of you who never read those posts, but to fully grasp what I’m about to discuss, you should probably read (or reread) them.

As I started reading the Google memo I couldn’t help but think that I was reading something written by someone coming from a second-tier consciousness perspective. This is important, because according to author and thinker Ken Wilber only a small fraction of the world’s population (about 5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}) is centered around yellow consciousness or higher. Here’s a brief description of yellow consciousness from a prior post.

     7. Yellow: Integrative. Life is a kaleidoscope of natural hierarchies [holarchies], systems, and forms. Flexibility, spontaneity, and functionality have the highest priority. Differences and pluralities can be integrated into interdependent, natural flows. Egalitarianism is complemented with natural degrees of excellence where appropriate. Knowledge and competency should supersede rank, power, status, or group. The prevailing world order is the result of the existence of different levels of reality (memes) and the inevitable patterns of movement up and down the dynamic spiral. Good governance facilitates the emergence of entities through the levels of increasing complexity (nested hierarchy). 

If that’s confusing, here’s an alternative attempt:

Yellow value system Characteristics

Firstly, he noticed that a Yellow orientated lifestyle is much more free than a lifestyle in any of the other value systems. Yellow oriented people seemed to move and express themselves completely free and independent of their life environment. Contrary to people in other value systems, they were not afraid anymore to be rejected and they didn’t fear other people’s or God’s judgment. They didn’t show the need to make an impression on others and to reach the top at the cost of everything.

They also didn’t strive anymore for absolute truths and they didn’t have the need to belong to something anymore. In short: these were people without irrational fears, compulsive needs and compulsive behaviors. However, this Yellow freedom doesn’t mean that people in the Yellow value system are not connected to their environment. On the contrary, Yellow oriented people are very much involved and show a lot of compassion. The biggest difference with people from other value systems is that their life environment is not fearfully or compulsively leading them.

Right off the bat, I identified James as a second-tier thinker when he wrote the following about political leanings.

Read More @ LibertyBlitzkrieg.com

Neil Howe: The really big crisis has yet to arrive!

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by Erik Townsend, Macro Voices:

Erik Townsend welcomes Neil Howe to MacroVoices. Erik and Neil discuss:

  • What is the Fourth Turning?

  • Why the Fourth Turning started with GFC

  • Is there another big global event on the horizon?

  • Future changes in political landscape

  • What to expect for the next decade?

  • Impact of baby boomers retiring

  • Understanding the Homelander generation

  • Silent vs. Homelander generation

  • Reflections on the Fourth Turning book and new consideration


The podcast targeting pro finance and sophisticated investors, hosted by Hedge Fund Manager Erik Townsend

Read More @ MacroVoices.com

Silver Miner Stock Super Undervalued when Compared Against Crypto Currency

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from America Needs To Know:

 

In this video we take a look at First Majestic Silver and compare market caps and current prices. Major value buy is found in this company right now. Many people don’t see it.

Is the Yellen Fed Planning to Sabotage Trump’s Presidency?

by Stefan Gleason, Money Metals:

The Federal Reserve can make or break a president.

Monetary policy influences all financial markets as well as the cycles in the economy. No president wants to have to run for re-election when the stock market and economy are turning down.

Recall that President George H.W. Bush was sitting on sky-high job approval numbers in 1991 and was expected to coast to victory in his 1992 re-election bid. But then the economy swooned toward recession, giving Bill Clinton the opening he needed.

Bush later blamed Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan for his defeat. Greenspan had held interest rates too high for too long, Bush complained.

On the campaign trail in 2016, Donald Trump complained that Fed chair Janet Yellen was trying to help Hillary Clinton by keeping rates near zero and pumping up the stock market with liquidity.

“They’re keeping the rates artificially low so that Obama can go out and play golf in January and say that he did a good job.

It’s a very false economy,” Trump told reporters in September 2016.

Later that month in the second presidential debate, he declared, “We are in a big, fat, ugly bubble. . . The only thing that looks good is the stock market. But if you raise interest rates even a little bit, that’s going to come crashing down.”

Reappointing Janet Yellen Could Be Politically Dangerous to Trump

Now that he’s president, Trump may have become the stock market bubble’s most high-profile cheerleader. He certainly doesn’t want it to burst on his watch.

The president has warmed up to Yellen’s Dow-friendly easy money policies. He even suggested he might reappoint her to the Federal Reserve in early 2018.

That would be a politically dangerous move. The Fed could help determine which party has the advantage in the 2018 mid-terms and the 2020 presidential election beyond that.

Of course, Fed officials insist they are “data driven” and don’t make policy decisions based on politics. Whether they intend to be or not, Fed policymakers are inevitably involved in politics. The members of the Federal Reserve Board are political appointees.

Yellen is a liberal Democrat, appointed by President Obama. She understands what’s at stake in the upcoming elections. She understands that Democrats are in a state of political desperation right now. They hold only 15 governorships, are a minority in Congress, and stand to be steadily replaced in the courts. But they STILL control the Federal Reserve Board.

President Trump now has the opportunity to re-shape the Fed. Three of the seven positions on the Federal Reserve Board remain vacant. Trump can fill them. More importantly, he can replace Yellen as Fed chair next year.

Fed Moves Could Crash the Stock Market, Hurting Republicans in 2018

It’s understandable that Trump is playing nice with Yellen while she’s helping keep things seemingly peachy keen in the markets. But the consequences of the Fed’s balance sheet “normalization” program may start to be fully felt next year. He shouldn’t underestimate the risks of the bubble he identified in 2016 bursting in time for the elections in 2018.

Read More @ MoneyMetals.com

YOU WILL GET MICRO CHIPPED, IT’S ONLY A MATTER OF TIME

by Dawn Luger, The Daily Sheeple:

The powers that be in the media and government want us to know one thing: you will be micro chipped, whether you like it or not. And it’s only a matter of time.

Controversy surrounded the micro chipping of human employees at a Wisconsin firm. The Three Square Market embedded microchips in some of their employees last week to ditch company badges, corporate logins, and wallets. Employees may now also make purchases through their micro chip in the company’s break room. The Internet exploded with many saying they would never submit to being chipped like an animal. But the powers that be in the media, government, and education are saying “too bad. You will be chipped.”

“It will happen to everybody,” says Noelle Chesley, 49, associate professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. “But not this year, and not in 2018. Maybe not my generation, but certainly that of my kids.” The government has made mention that they would like to microchipanyone who receives any form of government welfare in the recent past.

Straight from the tales of an oppressive dystopian future, in which government has all the power and can control your life with simply changing information on your RFID chip, embedded in your hand, comes the realization that microchipping is right around the corner. It may start with welfare recipients, but it won’t end there.

Gene Munster, who is an investor and analyst at Loup Ventures, is an advocate for augmented reality, virtual reality, and other new technologies. He thinks embedded chips in human bodies is 50 years away. “In 10 years, Facebook, Google, Apple, and Tesla will not have their employees chipped,” he says. “You’ll see some extreme forward-looking tech people adopting it, but not large companies.” The idea of being chipped has too “much negative connotation” today, but by 2067 “we will have been desensitized by the social stigma,” Munster says. Meaning, with enough propaganda, those who seek to rule and control others will have made micro chipping mainstream.

Munster says that Three Square Market’s (32M) decision to micro chip employees was a “public relations stunt” for the company to get attention to its product and it certainly succeeded. But “PR” is simply another word for propaganda, and we’re seeing it everywhere surrounding this particular issue. Edward Bernays, the psychologist responsible for his research on manipulating the human mind even gave a glimpse into this term.

And with 32M succeeding in their propaganda stunt, don’t be overly shocked when this issue starts being talked about with the frequency of “Russian election meddling.” Getting the small start-up company air time on most major mainstream media outlets, like ABC, NBC, and CBS, and generating headlines worldwide, the company, which sells corporate cafeteria kiosks designed to replace vending machines, would like the kiosks to handle cashless transactions. Their goal has to first be the destigmatization of being micro chipped as a human being.

In the U.S., Dangerous Things, a Seattle-based firm, says it has sold “tens of thousands” of chips to consumers via its website. The chip and installation cost about $200.

 After years of being a subculture, “the time is now” for chips to be more commonly used, says Amal Graafstra, founder of Dangerous Things. “We’re going to start to see chip implants get the same realm of acceptance as piercings and tattoos do now.” –USAToday

In other words, more propaganda is needed to convince people that micro chipping is the answer to all of their ills. “It becomes part of you the way a cell phone does,” Graafstra says. “You can never forget it, and you can’t lose it. And you have the capability to communicate with machines in a way you couldn’t before.”

Read More @ TheDailySheeple.com

This cryptocurrency website is selling for more money than Facebook’s

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by Simon Black, Sovereign Man:

What’s money worth if interest rates are negative?

Interest rates, after all, are the “price” of money.

When we borrow money from a bank and pay interest on the loan, it means that the money we’re borrowing has value. That –capital- has value.

Negative interest rates, on the other hand, suggest that capital is totally worthless.

This isn’t a philosophical exercise. These are the times we’re living in.

Despite a few tiny increases, interest rates worldwide are still near the lowest levels they’ve been in 5,000 years of human history.

Bankrupt governments across Europe who are already in debt up to their eyeballs have issued trillions of euros worth of new debt with negative yields.

And there have even been famous cases (also in Europe) in which bank depositors have had to PAY interest, while borrowers were BEING PAID to take out a mortgage.

Capitalism is defined by capital.

How does capitalism function when the cost of capital goes negative?

How does price discovery take place in a market where people (and governments) are literally being paid to borrow money?

I’m asking these questions because I honestly don’t know the answers.

Something is fundamentally broken in the market today.

Stripping capital of its value causes people to do stupid things.

How else could anyone explain that Argentina, a country in perpetual crisis that has defaulted on its debt eight times in the past century, sold billions of dollars worth of 100-year bonds last month to eager investors?

Or that Netflix, a company which consistently burns through billions of dollars of capital, was able to borrow over $1.5 billion at an interest rate of just 3.625{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}?

Again, this company lost $1.7 billion last year.

Plus they say they’ll lose another $2.5 billion in 2017, and that they don’t see this situation improving anytime soon.

In fact, Netflix’s most recent quarterly report states very plainly, “we expect to be FCF [free cash flow] negative for many years.”

Tesla, another serial value destroyer, is also tapping the debt markets.

That company is raising $1.5 billion to fund production of its low-priced Model 3.

That will bring the total amount of capital Tesla has raised since 2014 to nearly $8 billion.

Of course, Tesla needs to keep raising money because they burn through it so quickly.

Tesla loses $13,000 on every single car that it makes.

And the company has lost $1.6 billion in the past two quarters alone, not including the absurdly expensive Model 3 launch.

Then there’s Uber, a company ‘worth’ nearly $70 billion (and has raised around $14 billion in cash).

Yet the company loses nearly $3 billion every year.

And let’s not forget the mad dash for Bitcoin, which just hit yet another record high… or the even more high-flying market for ‘Initial Coin Offerings’, or ICOs.

ICOs are so white-hot that, earlier this summer, one company raised $153 million through the Ethereum blockchain in just THREE hours.

And of course there’s Ethereum itself, which is up 2,000{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} so far this year.

Perhaps most telling is that the domain Ethereum.com is available for sale for TEN MILLION DOLLARS.

Read More @ SovereignMan.com

Mozilla Joins George Soros’s Efforts In Launching A Strike Against “Fake News”

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by Aaron Kesel, Activist Post:

Mozilla, the non-profit organization which runs the Firefox internet browser, said Wednesday it was launching an effort against “fake news,” as fact-checking software backed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and George Soros got its first run-out in public to shape our Orwellian nightmare of future truth arbiters.

Mozilla said it was “investing in people, programs and projects” in a new initiative to “disrupt misinformation online” calling for a “Mozilla Information Trust Initiative,” or MITI for short, Business Insider reported.

They further stated the “internet’s ability to power democratic society suffers greatly” because of fabricated stories, such as the “Pope endorsing Donald Trump for the U.S. presidency” or a “dead FBI agent killed in a mysterious fire with information on former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton” – just two examples of stories that turned out to be bogus.

Mozilla’s innovations director, Katharina Borchert, told AFP that the organization was working on tools for Firefox and better online education with media groups, universities, and tech activists.

The “Mozilla Information Trust Initiative” comes just as an automated real-time fact-checking engine dubbed the “bullshit detector” was demonstrated in London.

The group that created the fact-checking engine, Full Fact foundation, is backed by Omidyar and our favorite billionaire tycoon Soros.

The organization stated its software is “capable” of spotting lies in real-time and was used to fact-check a live debate at the House of Commons. How that objective was achieved isn’t clear since it’s likely automated A.I., but algorithms are not 100{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} accurate.

“As the proponents of propaganda and misinformation become more sophisticated in their use of technology, it is important that fact checkers do not fall behind in our fight against it,” Full Fact said.

“This is an important investment in the future of fact-checking,” Stephen King, of the Omidyar Network, told The Guardian.

“You only have to look at the number of initiatives that have risen up to address this challenge, either by tech companies or other organizations to see how worrying this phenomenon is to so many,” Borchert added.

I worry more about those who want to act as fact checkers, blatantly ignoring propaganda and fake news by the MSM while targeting alternative media and dictating what is and isn’t important for public consumption.

“Whether it’s become a big enough priority is perhaps a better question,” Borchert said, arguing that it was time for rival news organizations to “rally around” each other to confront the spread of fake news

Read More @ ActivistPost.com