Friday, January 28, 2011

Chris Martenson Interview With Jim Rogers: Why Inflation Is Raging Worldwide And He's Shorting US Treasury Bonds


"I see more inflation and more currency turmoil as we go forward. There are huge debt imbalances in the world. U.S. is the largest debtor nation in the world and all the assets are in Asia. The largest creditors in the world are China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore – this is where the assets are and the debts are in the West. Those imbalances have to be resolved. They frequently lead to more currency turmoil. We’ll see more inflation, we’ll see more governments fall. We just saw Tunisia fall – more are coming because the world is going to continue to have these problems, and especially inflation that is going to cause more social unrest."

So said investing legend Jim Rogers when he spoke recently with about the inflationary pressures rising dramatically around the globe, despite some governments' best efforts to downplay them. Jim shares his "outside in" perspective on US monetary and fiscal policy, and how international players find themselves forced to react. He sees a lot of fundamental imbalances that need to be corrected for, as well as shortages of almost everything developing. In his words, "It's going to be a real mess before it's over."

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In this podcast, Jim explains why:

  • Inflation is ramping up worldwide, though many governments are trying to downplay the risk. In fact, the Fed is 'throwing gasoline on the fire' with its prodigious money printing.
  • Higher interest rates are inevitable, which will lead to a lower standard of living for everyone - except those who have recognized the risks and invested accordingly.
  • Dangerous supply drawdowns are occurring across the commodity landscape (including oil). This will increase the upward pressure on prices.
  • Given a future of higher rates, as well as massive debt issuance, Jim thinks it's now time to short U.S. Treasuries
  • The world economy is more interconnected than ever. All the players need each other, raising the systemic risk posed if countries start defaulting (which Jim notes is a more common occurance than most people realize).

As with our recent interviews with Marc Faber and Bill Fleckenstein, Jim ends the interview with his specific outlook for 2011.

Weekend chill out

This weekend's chill out is dedicated to the people of Egypt fighting for freedom from oppression. As this post is being written noon prayers are in progress in Egypt, when they end massive protest rallies have been promised. History will be written on the streets of Cairo today.

Egypt Key to Life

Global Political Awakening

From Global Research:

For the first time in human history almost all of humanity is politically activated, politically conscious and politically interactive... The resulting global political activism is generating a surge in the quest for personal dignity, cultural respect and economic opportunity in a world painfully scarred by memories of centuries-long alien colonial or imperial domination... The worldwide yearning for human dignity is the central challenge inherent in the phenomenon of global political awakening... That awakening is socially massive and politically radicalizing... The nearly universal access to radio, television and increasingly the Internet is creating a community of shared perceptions and envy that can be galvanized and channeled by demagogic political or religious passions. These energies transcend sovereign borders and pose a challenge both to existing states as well as to the existing global hierarchy, on top of which America still perches...

The youth of the Third World are particularly restless and resentful. The demographic revolution they embody is thus a political time-bomb, as well... Their potential revolutionary spearhead is likely to emerge from among the scores of millions of students concentrated in the often intellectually dubious "tertiary level" educational institutions of developing countries. Depending on the definition of the tertiary educational level, there are currently worldwide between 80 and 130 million "college" students. Typically originating from the socially insecure lower middle class and inflamed by a sense of social outrage, these millions of students are revolutionaries-in-waiting, already semi-mobilized in large congregations, connected by the Internet and pre-positioned for a replay on a larger scale of what transpired years earlier in Mexico City or in Tiananmen Square. Their physical energy and emotional frustration is just waiting to be triggered by a cause, or a faith, or a hatred...

[The] major world powers, new and old, also face a novel reality: while the lethality of their military might is greater than ever, their capacity to impose control over the politically awakened masses of the world is at a historic low. To put it bluntly: in earlier times, it was easier to control one million people than to physically kill one million people; today, it is infinitely easier to kill one million people than to control one million people.[1]

- Zbigniew Brzezinski

Former U.S. National Security Advisor

Co-Founder of the Trilateral Commission

Member, Board of Trustees, Center for Strategic and International Studies

An uprising in Tunisia led to the overthrow of the country’s 23-year long dictatorship of President Ben Ali. A new ‘transitional’ government was formed, but the protests continued demanding a totally new government without the relics of the previous tyranny. Protests in Algeria have continued for weeks, as rage mounts against rising food prices, corruption and state oppression. Protests in Jordan forced the King to call on the military to surround cities with tanks and set up checkpoints. Tens of thousands of protesters marched on Cairo demanding an end to the 30-year dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak. Thousands of activists, opposition leaders and students rallied in the capitol of Yemen against the corrupt dictatorship of President Saleh, in power since 1978. Saleh has been, with U.S. military assistance, attempting to crush a rebel movement in the north and a massive secessionist movement growing in the south, called the “Southern Movement.” Protests in Bolivia against rising food prices forced the populist government of Evo Morales to backtrack on plans to cut subsidies. Chile erupted in protests as demonstrators railed against rising fuel prices. Anti-government demonstrations broke out in Albania, resulting in the deaths of several protesters.

It seems as if the world is entering the beginnings of a new revolutionary era: the era of the ‘Global Political Awakening.’ on

Egypt's Internet Shut Down

From the Huffington Post:

Reports are emerging that Internet has gone down in Cairo and throughout Egypt, only hours before the largest planned protests yet.

According to a report from The Arabist, "Egypt has shut off the internet."

Multiple Internet Service Providers are affected according to the report, which states:

I just received a call from a friend in Cairo (I won't say who it is now because he's a prominent activist) telling me neither his DSL nor his USB internet service is working. I've just checked with two other friends in different parts of Cairo and their internet is not working either.

The news of the Internet outage came minutes after the Associated Press published a video of an Egyptian protestor being shot.

CNN reporter Ben Wedeman confirmed Internet is down in Cairo and writes, "No internet, no SMS, what is next? Mobile phones and land lines? So much for stability. #Jan25 #Egypt"

The Los Angeles Times is also reporting that BlackBerry Internet has been taken offline in on

Keiser Report: Australian Floods, Davos & Gold

China plays Europe card

By Jim Willie:

Whether Americans and Westerners in general like it or not, the Chinese have become and will remain the key drivers to many economic and financial market developments, progress, and averted wreckage. The intrepid lapdog US press, loyal to the syndicate, is a critical element to maintain distractions. Of course, China must adapt and react to their own stumbles and accidents, assured since for years they have maintained a tight link in monetary policy. Doing so has linked their asset bubble expansion and bust cycle to the deadly one in the United States, and filled their coffers with US$-denominated toxic debt securities. However, China has three advantages over the US that stand out. They have $2.65 trillion in savings, rainy day money in a war chest. They have a vast industrial base, courtesy of the US, the West, and Japan, which donated the technology for the fabled disastrous low-cost solution. They have an expanding middle class. Neither the US, the UK, nor Western Europe has anything remotely similar to these three benefit allowances. It is slowly becoming clear that the US granted the Most Favored Nation status to China in return for massive gold & silver swaps to the USGovt. The Wall Street fraud kings illicitly sold the leased bullion into the market, to sustain the American fiat paper congame, and thus a betrayal to the Chinese.

The Beijing leaders are highly motivated to unseat the Anglo bankers from their perched throne, emboldened by vengeance. The betrayal was to the American people also, since waves of jobs went to China from US shores, since the US sold not only its own Fort Knox gold inventory, but Western Europe's also, then China's to boot. Those who believe the USGovt has any gold reserves at all should donate their cerebrums to science while still alive, a euthanized suicide. The USGovt in all likelihood is in possession of less than zero gold, owing both Europe and China massive amounts. It is the American ticket to the Third World, paved by lost industry, locked by vast debt, assured by broken economic principles blessed by high priest heresy. The US banking leaders still believe the US can revive itself by the flood of more debt and stronger consumer spending, without a clue of what legitimate income means or where it comes from.

Before delving deeper into this important thesis topic, a comment is in order regarding President Obama's State of the Union address and his plan. As forecasted by the Jackass on repeated past occasions, the entirety of the sacrifice to reduce the USGovt budget will come from the domestic, non-defense, non-security side. Aid to businesses and households and dedication to infrastructure will be removed. The higher priority war machine will be preserved. He called it non-security measures, implying the sacred nature of the security of the nation. Ironically, the security of the nation has been put in peril from unspeakable banker fraud, abandonment of industry, and neglect of infrastructure, not to mention the continued ignorance toward capital formation and dutiful embrace of a consumption mindset. The Obama Admin will remain committed to gutting America, undercutting the middle class, and feeding the deterioration of the USEconomy. He will assure a reduced domestic blood supply and food intake. Expect more empty talk of clean energy and jobs. The greatest potential for spending cuts are from the defense budget, for which the USGovt spends more than the rest of the world combined. A vast array of military bases, embassies place on foreign soil, and weapons projects will be preserved. The maintenance of the foreign threat will be steadfastly maintained. The ethics of drone weapons, regeneration of enemies, destabilization of governments, and the absent economic multiplier effect from defense/offense spending will all conspire to weaken the United States in ways that our leaders seem incapable of understanding. They promote the Fascist Business Model, the very same that has contributed to the wreckage of the nation. The victims are economic growth, rule of contract law, sanctity of private property, and truth. The legitimate threat to the nation comes from its internal situation and the impunity of large scale financial crimes. When reference is made to a Sputnik moment for the United States, try not to laugh. A deeply indebted nation with spiraling deficits latched at the hip to a currency besieged by monetary inflation cannot afford any grand initiative, especially when its highest national priority is war. Survival will soon escalate to a higher priority.

The Chinese are well along a full court press to secure Gold bullion and dominate in the next phase of the global chess game that will span the next decade or more. With the expansion in the European Dollar Swap Window by the Chinese, the Euro currency has risen impressively. No benefit to Gold has been realized despite the USDollar slide in the last month. One must suspect the Chinese are busy as yellow jacket bees dumping USTreasury Bonds. But also, the Chinese might have suspended some of their Gold & Silver purchases. They might have actually drained for a time the COMEX gold inventory, and await its replenishment. Enter the BIS after midnight from the loading dock. Beijing leaders might be anticipating a high volume Gold bullion purchase flow from the back door in Europe. Refer to EuroBonds bought at discount using the Dollar Swap Window, converted eventually to Gold. My guess is the harlot Intl Monetary Fund will facilitate the Gold conversion, from the EU member nation central banks associated with PIGS nations. If inadequate supply of Gold is a problem with PIGS nations, perhaps some gold swap contracts can be enabled with the help of the Bank For Intl Settlements in Switzerland. But those swaps would seal the PIGS nation fates, since they would hand over industrial, commercial, and other collateral, assuring banker elite ownership of whatever keys to the kingdom are left. Therefore, Gold is vulnerable to hits during the time China takes its foot off the accelerator pedal. China has found a way to purchase high volumes of Gold bullion at a discount. The discount is essentially the EuroBond sovereign debt discount under distress, which might be in the 10% to 20% range. So the PIGS debt will be rescued for a while, but with forfeit of their central bank gold, or borrowed gold.

The last several decades have revealed some sordid bilateral contracts, critical deals like what was made with the Saudis. The USGovt pledged to protect the House of Saud and their kingdom, helped along by massive USMilitary weapon sales. The Saudis in turn would demand payment for crude oil in USDollar terms exclusively. The entire Persian Gulf has toed the line on US$ oil sales ever since, even other OPEC players like Nigeria and Indonesia. A difficult balancing act has been required, and still is required, to keep the peace and minimize the friction between Arab nations and the headquarters of the multi-faceted syndicate helm that has controlled the USGovt with tight reins for nine years and four months. The USGovt prefers to enforce and sustain its global domination with heavy handed banker tactics, financial market rigging games, export of crippling acidic debt, usage of the World Bank and IMF tools, and numerous clever devious nasty methods in the shadows best not described. Lately, a chief US export has been price inflation, most evident in food prices, courtesy of the QE2 program by the USFed. In the last decade, the chief export was toxic debt securities. The Chinese have a different approach, one that might have been more prevalent in the United States half a century ago. They have made 180 trade deals across the world, the exact number exaggerated. They do not place military personnel on foreign soil. They do not lace foreign banking systems with toxic debt. They establish multi-faceted contracts that involve the build-out of port facilities, railroad lines, schools, hospitals, and community living centers. They ignore ugly government facts of life like what exist in West Africa. They operate a sophisticated guerrilla economic warfare in sharp contrast to what the US does. The Chinese build partnerships, not without some friction, while the Americans ignite violent conflicts and demand that allies take sides, while extorting bank ruin, living above their means. The source of the ignition events is kept well under wraps. The ultimate motives of the Chinese is likewise kept rather quiet.

The most important factor to bear upon the financial markets globally in the last several months, the greatest change agent, in my view, is the creation of the Dollar Swap Windows by China. They are being erected in Europe. Their focus is on the PIGS nation sovereign debt. The debt of Greece, then Portugal, finally Spain very recently, and later inexorably Italy have found and will find a major buyer in China. They will buy PIGS debt at discount. They will win favor across the continent. They will gain advantages not well publicly mentioned. They will cut off geopolitical opposition in extremely subtle manner. They will open up the pathways for greater technology transfer. They will offer a semblance of stability to the currency markets in turmoil. They will spread their global presence, if not dominance. They will work some backdoor deals with motives to secure large volumes of gold bullion at discount. They will solicit more cooperation from previously devoted Anglo tools like the Intl Monetary Fund, and perhaps turn the IMF itself into a Chinese agent. They will possibly pave the way to a mild colonization movement, perhaps having already chosen Southern Spain over Southern California. The Mexican Civil War might have frightened them off any plan to send a million Chinese to North America, equal in intensity to the realization of rising hostility and trade war with the USGovt. Somehow friction with Basque Separatists and detente with Andora versus Spain seems tame compared to roving gangs of Mexican drug lord lieutenants ready to dole out violence on US soil, whose battle lines are drawn by tribal history far more than the US press reports. The systemic failure of Mexico was forecasted in the Hat Trick Letter in the summer 2007, with timing expected for some climax events and recognition in mid-2010, a correct forecast. The USGovt has gone from assisting China in economic and industrial development to blaming them for the depleted US condition. The bigger problem is obviously the deeply entrenched domestic devotion to asset bubbles and colossal bank fraud, run in parallel with the absurd destructive consumption mindset.

So the Dollar Swap Window has been constructed, with expansion a certainty. The Chinese will have an opportunity to dump a big batch of USTreasury Bonds on a regular basis. My full expectation is that the Chinese will sell far more USTBonds than they purchase PIGS nation sovereign debt. In other words, they are building a dumping ground. Key parts of the equation are that the Europeans have been promised a willing buyer (although with ulterior motive) in the Chinese for PIGS sovereign debt. The Germans are sick & tired, fed up to the gills, in supporting the Southern Europe welfare system which identifies the broken element of the faulty European Union. Its foundation had cracks from the start, more than the Jackass recognized admittedly in past years. The Europeans have been promised some important support for the embattled Euro currency. Every time the Greek crisis made the news in past months, the Euro currency sold off with gusto. No more! A strong broad plank of support for the Euro has been provided by China. They are selling their USTBonds and buying EuroBonds with PIGS brand markers. The Euro currency has risen from a January 10th low of 129 all the way to almost 137 in this month alone. The rise has occurred despite the ongoing saga of PIGS debt distress. The Portuguese sovereign debt has been shored up by Chinese promises of purchase. The Irish Govt debt is a totally different animal. They accepted and swallowed the lethal IMF poison pill, cut their budget, and seen enormous deficits spiral out of control as their economy craters. They have resorted to monetary inflation approaching Weimar style as proof of the disastrous error in decisions. Translated to US size difference terms, Ireland has expanded their Euro money supply the equivalent of the US doing so by $12 trillion, all in the space of three months on the Emerald Isle centered in Dublin. They are not keeping Dublin tidy!

The financial news reports fail to mention the China card. They fail to mention that China is exchanging USTBonds for Euros in order to purchase EuroBonds with PIGS skin labels. They fail to mention that large Chinese hands are supporting the Euro currency. My belief is that the news media does not wish to stress the expansion of Chinese influence. For a century, or perhaps three centuries, the cultural and heritage linkage between Europe and the United States has been firm and solid. A grand Chinese wedge has been inserted, not so much between Central Europe and Southern Europe as between Europe and the United States. China will be crucial in casting the Southern nations aside from the European core. They will become wards of China, even for exploit. The Dollar Swap Window constructed by China has actually isolated the USGovt in serious ways. Relief to PIGS EuroBonds is obvious. The numerous other effects are not, and those effects are not in the news. They are main elements of the Hat Trick Gold & Currency Report, and have been for several months. The expansion to Spain was a forecast made in November and December, with confirmation coming by denials in Madrid.

Something unique and unusual has happened in the last three weeks. The Euro currency has risen noticeably from 129 to 137, but the Gold price has fallen from $1385 to $1335 per ounce. For almost a full decade, the correlation between the US$ DX index and the Gold price has been in the minus 70% neighborhood. What has happened in the last month has been a gigantic outlier. It is not just significant with umpteen standard deviations above the norm. It is in the wrong direction. My best guess is that the Chinese have temporarily halted their usage of the COMEX avenue for gold acquisition. They have permitted the corrupted COMEX to push down the gold price, using its fraudulent paper mechanisms. They have given free rein for the Wall Street maestros to lower the gold price for any IMF deal to secure European gold bullion in exchange for EuroBonds. Most gold & silver contracts are settled in cash anyway these days, since the COMEX does not have much precious metal in its possession. Imagine the day coming before too many months when gold & silver can be traded in contracts at the COMEX with no gold or silver metal exchanging hands. That day is coming, along with ruin of the GLD and SLV defaults, ruin, deep discounts in share price versus the metal price, and investor lawsuits. As for the Gold & Silver price, they will rise when the Chinese decide to resume buying. Right now, their attention is diverted to EU gold bought at deep discount, and in volume. As usual, they are thinking at least 20 years ahead. The Gold & Silver price will rise soon enough for the patient minded. The physical market wrests control always, as the mid-term forces take over.

Germany is grateful that a new benefactor has come to Southern Europe. No longer does the German Govt feel burdened by the welfare enforced by the European Union dictum. The Germans are exhausted from $300 billion in annual welfare support of a deadbeat set of children in Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain. Over the last ten years, the drain of German wealth has been $3 trillion in total. A German banker has kept me up to date on the details. He frequently mentions that it is not a matter of willingness for the Germans to continue to support the broken nations of Southern Europe, complete with their grand deficits and inefficient economies, and greatly different work ethic, and their preference for song and dance and wine. The Germans are NOT CAPABLE of the continued drain of $300 billion per year, since the cost has turned into a nightmare burden.

In return for the outsized Chinese relief of PIGS debt, the Germans have offered key exports in technology. The main items are machine tools, telecommunications, construction equipment, and cars. Germany is the technology leader in Europe, with no close second competitor. France is a distant second. The German Economy is not a war economy, as they possess world class technology for domestic purposes. In the early part of the last 2000 decade, the technology transfer was significant from Japan to China. It enabled a great leap for Chinese industry. In many instances, the installed Japanese technology, like with machine tools and sophisticated manufacturing floor control systems, the Chinese leapfrogged the US easily. Enter the current phase, where the Germans are working with the Chinese in major deals. My view is that the Eastern Alliance, whose participants are Germany, Russia, China, and the Persian Gulf states, has many components not easily seen. They are working on the New Nordic Euro currency, complete with a gold component, in order to establish a replacement for global banking and commerce. It could become a new global reserve currency, all in time. Expect the alliance to include commitments for vast Russian resources, vast German technology, vast Chinese bank reserves, and guarantees of vast Arab oil supply. The Dollar Swap Window is an important component to the advancement of the Eastern Alliance, in which the US and UK are not players. They are shut out.

A significant hidden effect for the Dollar Swap Window has been the interruption of the trade war alliance encouraged and solicited by the USGovt. Evidence was clear at the most recent G-20 Meeting of finance ministers. The USGovt attempted to find wider support for hostility against China. They all fell of deaf ears. The American delegation was embarrassed, isolated, and stunned. With the Chinese acting as chief debt benefactor in Europe, with the Chinese forging Asian, Arab, South American alliances, nobody joined the adolescent US chatter to confront and combat China. The USGovt is increasingly isolated in its trade war against Beijing. The great trade war will be bilateral, with perhaps no other allies at the side of either nation. Witness the battle for global control and leadership. A great transition is in progress, as the global leader mantle passes from West to East, from the US hands to Chinese hands. The US is expert at creating enemies. As the Islamics fade in perceived threat, enter the Chinese who "stole" the US jobs and "sit on" vast hoard of money from "ill-gotten trade surpluses" in great ongoing accumulation. The ugly truth is that 60% to 65% of Chinese trade surplus from 2004 to 2008 was derived from US and Western corporations having expanded on Chinese soil with factories, fully endorsed by USGovt and Western Govts, often with direct support of ministries. The Europeans are courting the Chinese, and that is big news. China is playing the Europe card at the geopolitical table. Maybe the numerous NATO military bases will eventually fly Chinese flags and be converted to commercial supply transport usage.

The hypocrisy is thick. However, the incessant annoying shallow charges of currency manipulation ring hollow when the US Federal Reserve announced the Quantitative Easing #2. They hypocrisy was extra thick, since the USFed had heralded an end to the 0% monetary policy. The Exit Strategy was followed by monetary inflation, US style, mimicking as best they could the Weimar program 70 years ago. The hypocrisy was doubly thick since the first QE round was promised to be the only round. It was followed by QE2, as forecasted by the Jackass all last year. Expect a QE3 later this year, to rescue states and muni bonds, but only after government pension obligations are abandoned and smashed. In the process, the United States has become isolated. Numerous trade deals exclude the USGovt and USEconomy. The new perverse grand trade partners for the United States are war continuation, war expansion, and a deep embrace of the Printing Pre$$, the monetary inflation machinery. As USTreasury Bond creditors have stepped away, the USFed has entered with powerful demand from printed USDollars, all done electronically, boasted at zero cost. In my view, the cost is infinite, with broad capital destruction and economic disintegration.

Word is gradually leaking out that the Chinese have a powerful ulterior motive to purchase EuroBonds, not so much out of altruism, not even so much out of global expansion of influence. THE CHINESE WISH TO CONVERT DISCOUNTED EUROBONDS TO SECURE HUGE VOLUMES OF EUROPEAN GOLD. The Beijing leaders must for instance have a plan to convert a fixed percentage of EuroBonds to gold bullion, even a cut deal with European leaders and bankers, arranged carefully in advance. They wish to replace the gold bullion possibly swindled by the USGovt. Any USGovt gold leases to European nations from past years might be repaid directly to the Chinese, to close out the lease contracts. The acquisition will NOT be front page news, will NOT be discussed by European leaders, and will NOT be publicly debated. The choice for PIGS nations has been and will continue to be default on sovereign debt or to cut deals with China that buy time. Since Germany has let it be known that their credit line is cut off, China has filled the void. But Beijing leaders are crafty. They have very likely secured deals whereby the IMF harlot will facilitate huge gold bullion sales to China with the EuroBond securities. The IMF has run past cover in lease close-outs from the USGovt, complete with grand deceptions. The key to unmask the lease close-out deals is that the IMF never identified buyers. There were none often. A sale without a buyer is an end to a short trade after the passage of years in time. Without some promised conversion to gold, China would not have cut the deals. It is the quiet underpin. The common denominator in the great majority of Chinese deals forged worldwide in the last decade is the secured supply line of hard assets, like commodities. They also have a preference for port facilities. Energy supplies, mineral wealth, and foodstuffs are the main objective of the numerous Chinese trade deals, which increasingly involve establishment of currency swap facilities and conversion systems. See Brazil and Russia, which do not bother to use the USDollar in trade settlement. In the future, look for commodity deals that supply China with fresh water.

Expect this trend to increase to the point that eventually the Chinese Yuan (renminbi) is a global currency with full convertibility. Later, it might serve as global reserve currency. What gives it the edge in such a role is its rise, compared to the USDollar's decline. The next decade will see the Redback (Yuan) more and the Greenback (US$) less in banks worldwide, and in trade settlement. The extreme wild card in the entire equation is eventually colonization by the Chinese elite. If they aid in government debt purchase, then hold title to property, while providing supply lines to a wide range of consumer products (someday cars too), what would prevent them from sending 100 thousand people per year to occupy abandoned homes and empty apartment buildings held under proper title? Nothing!

Jim Willie CB is a statistical analyst in marketing research and retail forecasting. He holds a PhD in Statistics. His career has stretched over 25 years. He aspires to thrive in the financial editor world, unencumbered by the limitations of economic credentials. Visit his free website to find articles from topflight authors at . For personal questions about subscriptions, contact him at