After eight years of litigation, Visa and MasterCard are within shouting distance of their long-term goal: protection of a massive and increasing flow of cash from consumers without further interference, litigation, or competition.
In the wake of gold prices cratering in recent days, more than a few prominent experts have already started pinning the blame on Western central banks — especially the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank (ECB). According to numerous analysts, the central bankers are desperate to salvage their fiat currencies and eliminate competition as monetary authorities continue to create ever-greater quantities of euros and dollars out of thin air.
Some experts, whistleblowers, traders, and former officials say the Fed dumped as much as 400 or even 500 tons of “paper gold” on the market — metals that it might not even have — as part of a naked short sale aimed at driving down the prices. Other analysts, especially among the establishment, pointed to the ECB chief’s recent suggestion that struggling European authorities in countries like Cyprus would have to sell their precious metals to keep receiving bailouts.
The battle between a stock market that moves inexorably higher and an economy that continues to languish will be won when reality is recognized: The economy is getting weaker and consequently stocks are overpriced.
After looting some 30 percent of selected bank account holders’ deposits in Cyprus on behalf of the so-called “Troika”— the European Union (EU), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the European Central Bank (ECB) — eurozone boss Jeroen Dijsselbloem told reporters this week that taking money from savers in other crisis-hit nations to prop up banks could become the norm. Across Europe, analysts, experts, economists, markets, and especially savers recoiled in horror, prompting the increasingly discredited Dutch Finance Minister to backtrack slightly. In Cyprus, meanwhile, anger is boiling over as authorities prepare to impose capital controls in an effort to avoid a full-blown bank run.
A researcher at the International Monetary Fund expressed surprise at the greatly increased production of natural gas due to fracking and the law of supply and demand in a market economy. Those increases are reducing transportation costs and bringing lower prices to American consumers.