Week in Review

Quote of the week

“[T]he U.S. has by far the largest military force in the world, but Washington has taken unto itself the largest military obligation in the world – namely the responsibility of policing the whole planet.” – Richard Maybury

The Case for the Gold Standard

by David Stockman

“It took 200 years to build and perfect the classic gold standard system; then it was destroyed in about seven weeks when the Guns of August 1914 thundered across Europe; and now I am allotted seven minutes to resurrect it. Fortunately, Churchill’s defense of democracy also applies to the daunting task at hand: To wit, the classic gold standard is the worst possible monetary system – except for all of the alternative inflation-generating, savings-destroying, debt-breeding, bubble-emitting and boom and bust-prone systems which have been tried in the 100 years since its demise. Hence, we offer six present day monetary vices which are curable by gold:” more…

When Capital Is Nowhere in View

by Jeffrey A. Tucker

“One can easily see how people can get confused, because the answer is not obvious until you have some economic understanding. A random visitor might easily conclude that Haiti is poor because somehow the wealth is being hogged by its northern neighbor, the United States. If we weren’t devouring so much of the world’s stock of wealth, it could be distributed more evenly and encompass Haiti too. Or another theory might be that the handful of international companies, or even aid workers, are somehow stealing all the money and denying it to the people.” more… [Well written article with a good example of how capital accumulation is a prerequisite for prosperity.]

The War on Terror is Bleeding the US Dry

by Rocky Vega

“More than ever, the seemingly endless and boundary-less post-Osama War on Terror now appears devoid of concrete objectives. Certainly, Americans generally want US citizens to be safe at home and abroad, but at what cost to the nation?” more…

Satellite Images of North Korea Prison Camps Find 200,000 Living as Slaves

by Singularity Hub

“No one really knows how bad it is, but it’s much worse than I thought possible. Piecing together information from satellite images and eye witness accounts, Amnesty International suspects that the horrific concentration camps in North Korea are growing. Some 200,000 people live as slaves – enduring starvation, torture, and rape while performing hard labor. Many die every year, only to be replaced by fresh bodies. Of those that survive, few will ever be released. Deemed ‘prisoners’, the victims of North Korea’s political pogroms are interned for the smallest criticisms of the regime of Kim Jong-Il, and when they are carried away their extended families are rounded up as well. This is not genocide, it’s not a war crime, it’s an unending consequence of North Korea’s authoritarian government. And it’s been getting worse for the last decade. Amnesty International’s satellite research shows these slave camp expanding, their populations swelling with ‘criminals’ as the general population starves inside its borders and refugees who are caught trying to leave North Korea are executed…or sent to these gulags. Sixty years ago the world was embroiled in a global war that saw some of the worst crimes against humanity we had ever experienced. Today, the concentration camp lives on in North Korea. Will this evil still be with us another sixty years from now? Despite all my hope about the future, a voice inside me says ‘yes’…I can’t believe this is still happening.” more…


Other Stuff

And now the numbers…

DOW Jones Industrials – 12,595.75 (-42.99/-0.34%)
S&P 500 – 1,337.77 (-2.43/-0.18%)
VIX – 17.07 (-1.33/-7.23%)
CSI 300 (China) – 3,128.093 (-14.873/-0.47%)
BSE 500 (India) – 7,205.83 (+25.13/0.35%)
MICEX (Russia) – 1,632.23 (-48.78/-2.90%)
BOVESPA (Brazil) – 63,235.301 (-1,182.039/-1.83%)
Nikkei 225 (Japan) – 9,648.77 (-182.05/-1.85%)
RICI (Commodities) – 4,013.13 (+30.56/0.77%)
Oil/bbl (Brent) – 113.83 (+4.18/3.81%)
Corn/bu – 682.00 (-12.50/-1.80%)
Wheat/bu (CBT) – 727.75 (-50.00/-6.43%)
Rough Rice (CBOT) – 13.985 (-0.39/-2.71%)
Copper/lb – 398.35 (-6.05/-1.50%)
Gold/oz – 1,493.60 (-1.70/-0.11%)
Silver/oz – 35.013 (-0.922/-2.57%)
EUR-USD – 1.4119 (-0.0282/-1.96%)
USD-JPY – 80.795 (+0.2215/0.27%)
USD-BRL – 1.6363 (+0.0215/1.33%)
USD-HKD – 7.7728 (+0.0018/0.02%)
NZD-USD – 0.7874 (-0.0055/-0.69%)
3 Month Treasury – 0.02 (+0.01/100.00%)
2 Year Treasury – 0.53 (-0.04/-7.02%)
10 Year Treasury – 3.17 (UNCHG)
30 Year Treasury – 4.31 (+0.01/0.23%)
3 Month LIBOR – 0.26 (-0.01/-3.70%)
U.S. Public Debt (official) – 14,307,799,341,563.80 (-13,867,846,187.80/-0.10%)
Baltic Dry Index (BDIY:IND) – 1,306.00 (-34.00/-2.54%)

Things seem to be getting back on track here. At least I’m feeling like I have more time on my hands. In fact I went sailing this morning, which was a lot of fun.

Baby Girl and I went for a walk around the block yesterday. She made it over half way around on her own two feet. When we first started out she was holding my hand and we were strolling along at a pretty focused pace. Then we saw the robin. She chased it and it flew away, and as it did she says “more”. I promised that we would run into more birds (we did) and got her going down the sidewalk. Right up until we got to the yellow flowers that had fallen off a nearby tree. She picked them up and threw them a few times, and then it was on to the tulips, of which each needed to be sniffed. A little ways up the road we picked dandelions. And after that we played with fallen pine cones. A while later we got to a portion of the sidewalk fully covered with pink flowers that had fallen from a tree. Those had to be handled as well. At this point we were a little more than half way around the block, but the rain started so I picked her up and quickly walked home.

What really gets me is how interested she is in everything. It’s like each part of the world is new and exciting and she just wants to explore it all. It’s so fun to watch her.

Meanwhile, it is spring time for sure. Everything is blooming and it’s very colorful.

Otherwise I’ve been keeping busy at work. We’ve got some exciting things going on and we’ll be rolling out an updated product over the rest of the year. Hopefully there will be some screenshots that I can share. Otherwise I’ve been reading through a microeconomics book and easing back into politics, where I have taken up opposing the placement of surveillance cameras in Ann Arbor.

Anyway that’s all for now. Have a great weekend!

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