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Inflation History Overview (For Some Selected Countries)

Note: This is a preliminary draft of a section from my inflation primer. It is an overview of the “modern” inflation experience for a few developed countries. I expect to add data and comments for a few continental European and Antipodean countries lat…

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This article was originally published by Bond Economics

Note: This is a preliminary draft of a section from my inflation primer. It is an overview of the “modern” inflation experience for a few developed countries. I expect to add data and comments for a few continental European and Antipodean countries later. This content will be familiar to anyone who has pored over historical inflation charts, but not everyone is in that boat. As for the readers interested in my modelling work, I put up a post on my Patreon about the latest additions to my agent-based modelling package. Although it did not add new content to the model, this work will now make it easier to add new complex agents to the mix.

This section offers a short overview of the inflation experience in a few developed countries for relatively recent history – from 1914 for the earliest case. To keep the book brief, in other sections I mainly show data from the United States, with a few exceptions. As a Canadian, I am not a fan of American-centric content, but from a big picture standpoint, the overall inflation experience was similar across countries, albeit with differences in the magnitude of inflation, as well as when inflation came under control. The usual experience was relatively stable inflation in the 1950s to early 1960s, then an acceleration in the 1970s, then a reversal with stable low inflation rates starting in the 1990s.

The situation was more diverse in developing countries, some of which experienced long stretches of high inflation (if nor hyperinflation – Section 2.5). My background comes from following the developed markets, and I prefer not to stick my neck out too far into territory I am unfamiliar with. As such, I am confining my remarks to developed countries, and generalisations I make should be understood with that context.

Ye Olde Days

The period I am discussing was an inflationary period, which was considered unusual. Before World War II, currencies tended to be tied to gold – the various incarnations of what we refer to as The Gold Standard. The usual experience was that prices tended to be stable in the long run. There were disruptions, most notably wars that were associated with rising prices. However, officialdom then pursued deflationary policies to return prices to where they were earlier.

This certainly affected how people thought about money and prices. Thomas Piketty made the following observation about literary classics in Chapter 2 of Capital in the Twenty-First Century:

In eighteenth- and nineteenth-century novels, money was everywhere, not only as a abstract force but above all as a palpable concrete magnitude. Writers frequently described the income and wealth of their characters in francs or pounds, not to overwhelm us with numbers because these quantities established a character’s social status in the mind of the reader. Everyone knew what standard of living these numbers represented.

Things changed in the twentieth century. To use a more low-brow example than Piketty, the monetary demands of supervillains in 1960s movies were a laughingstock in the 1997 movie Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (“One million dollars!”).

We can see how the trend changed when we discuss the history of the Canadian CPI. However, we only have official CPI data that starts at the tail end of the pre-Bretton Woods Gold Standard era. There are price series, but they were developed by academics, and there may or may not be academic controversies associated with them.

I am not going to dwell on the Gold Standard experience for two reasons. The first is that we live in a world of fiat currencies, and I am writing about that world. The second is that a significant number of people have decided to base their personalities upon the wonders of the Gold Standard and the evils of fiat currency, and even the slightest misstatement by myself would provoke instant blanket condemnations of everything else within this text.

The only thing I want to discuss in respect to this is the often-stated belief that fiat currencies must suffer inflation. As we will see in the discussion of Japan, this is not really the case.

I will now step through some observations about a few selected countries.

The United Kingdom

The United Kingdom generally faced higher inflation than the United States after World War II, but still followed the same pattern of peaking in the early 1980s. The chart above shows headline Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation rates. There was a burst of inflation that happened in the late 1980s that coincided with the Lawson Boom as well as an oil spike that happened with the first Gulf War. After that inflation petered out, inflation rates largely stabilised (other than some oil price related shenanigans).

One thing that separates the United Kingdom from North American experience is that the United Kingdom had more difficulties with its currency. The higher inflation rate in the United Kingdom than its trading partners meant that the pound was often overvalued during the Bretton Woods period, and the government was forced to devalue its peg versus the U.S. dollar, which was embarrassing. (For those readers who are not familiar with the Bretton Woods system, it was a framework where countries pegged their currencies versus the U.S. dollar, and the dollar was backed by gold. This structure was needed as the United States had ended World War II with most of the world’s gold reserves, making it impossible for other countries to directly peg their currencies to gold.)

The misadventures with pegging continued after the demise of the Bretton Woods system up until the United Kingdom joined the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM). The exchange rate mechanism was the forerunner to the euro and was a de facto pegging of currencies to the German deutschemark. Within a pegged currency zone, interest rates are generally forced to converge – in this case to German rates. Those rates were lower than British households were used to, and coupled with other reforms, led to a housing boom (the Lawson Boom mentioned earlier). However, the economic dislocations created by German reunification pushed up interest rates, and the pound was once again overvalued. This led to the famous speculative attack on sterling that drove the U.K. out of the ERM. (This was viewed as most embarrassing by the Brits I talked to, while us students who had foreign currency scholarships thought it was great.)

This experience has meant that many Britons have very different attitude towards currencies than is the case in North America, at least among commentators in financial markets. (I do not know what polling of the population at large would tell us.) The reasons are straightforward.

  • Although the U.S. dollar was the centre of the global financial system, American policymakers preferred to only discuss policy in terms of its domestic effects. (Policymakers now might pay more attention to global matters after the Global Financial Crisis of 2008.) The Secretary of State John Connally best summarised the attitude by saying the dollar “is our currency, but your problem.”

  • The Canadian dollar floated almost the entire period after 1950 (there was a currency peg in that period that lasted less than a year). Although I remember jokes about the Canadian dollar dropping versus the U.S. dollar back in the senior Trudeau government’s day in the 1970s, but since then, the value of the Canadian dollar attracts only limited attention. (Admittedly, some of members of the Canadian establishment do have fainting spells about the Canadian dollar when it is politically convenient.)

The increased sensitivity to currency movements often translates into greater concerns about currency weakness leading to domestic inflation.

One thing that one might observe that RPI inflation after the 1990s was higher than was the case in the United States. In the figure above, I zoom in on the post-1990 period, and compare the RPI with the newer Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI was designed to fit into harmonised European statistical methodologies, and thus reflects more recent academic research on price indices. Although the RPI and the CPI move in the same direction, most of the time RPI inflation is higher than the CPI.

Although the U.K. statistical agencies and government believe that the CPI is a better measure of inflation, the RPI (or other indices based on the RPI) are used in things like pension inflation adjustments. As such, there is a lot of controversy about using the CPI – pensioners want to be paid as much as possible.

Although some might expect that the difference is due to monkeying around with the components of the price indices, the calculation methods matter. The chart above shows the contribution of the “formula effect” to the gap between the RPI and CPI. It started off at a reasonable 0.4% per year, but then moved to around 0.8% per year after 2010. Although it is debatable whether one can really notice a difference of 0.8% per year in prices, that is a considerable portion of the total inflation rate in a low inflation environment.

For more information on this topic, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has put a free book on the internet – Measuring the Economy, edited by Jonathan Athow and Joe Grice. Inflation measurement in the United Kingdom is the topic of chapter one.

I do not have an opinion regarding whether either index is “better,” although I feel that the old vintages of consumer price index calculations (like the RPI) did overstate inflation versus other economic variables. This is not the popular view – the inflation measure that is higher is always “correct.” Instead of getting upset about statistical procedures, my view is that the sensible take away is that measuring aggregate prices is complicated, and just simple things like averaging price changes differently results in differences that are a large portion of the total inflation measurement in a low inflation environment. We need to treat all aggregates with suspicion.

Canada

Continuing within the Commonwealth, we visit Canada next. The above series for headline inflation provided by StatsCan starts in 1914 – allowing coverage of the inter-war Gold Standard.

The top panel shows the level of the CPI. It bounces along at a low level until the 1970s, at which point it appropriately takes on a hockey stick shape. (TK: Should convert to log scale, but will have to fix later.) The earlier period did see some wild swings during World War I and the Great Depression, but we see that the inflation during World War I was met by a deflation after the war. Such a deflation did not happen after World War II. Inflation marched up until it became a serious concern in the 1970s (which I can personally attest to). Inflation rates then moderated.

The figure above superimposes Canadian inflation with that of the United States. As can be seen, they moved together. (This is helped by the fact that I used headline inflation, and so gasoline price spikes tend to hit both countries similarly.) One may note that it is effectively impossible to pick out any large deviations between the countries – even though the Canadian dollar has been quite volatile versus the U.S. dollar over the shown period.

Japan

Japan is one developed country that definitely does not fit the inflation pattern seen by the United States. Japan was hit hard by the 1970s oil price shock, but then inflation rates trended downward. Although there was a small peak in inflation rates around 1980 (bottom panel), one could argue that the inflation trend was broken earlier.

From the information in this chart alone, we cannot really pick out the effects of an economic event that affected Japan very differently from the rest of the developed world: the Japanese investment bubble and bust that ran from the mid-1980s to early 1990s. The post-1990 inflation story is quite interesting.

The top panel shows the level of the CPI. Since the mid-1990s, the level has been bouncing around the 100 level. Looking at the bottom panel, we see what must happen: small periods of positive inflation followed by periods with negative deflation (deflation).

If you look at hand-wring commentary from American pundits, Japan has been trapped in “deflation” since the bubble popped. However, that was a wild exaggeration. Instead, Japan has achieved price level stability: the inflation rate on average is 0%.

For New Keynesian economists, price level stability is allegedly a disastrous state to be in. Visiting American academics repeatedly lectured Japanese officials that they needed to achieve 2% inflation. The Japanese responded by announcing a target of 2% inflation – which they continue to miss, year after year.

Whether Japanese officials are incompetent or are just play-acting to keep American academics happy is a question that might only be answerable by Japanese officials (who certainly are not going to enlighten me).

We can also draw an important lesson from this: inflation is not pre-ordained, even for a fiat currency. It is a policy choice. The conventional view is that a low level of inflation is the best policy, and so it should not come as a surprise that we end up with a relatively low inflation rate.

Final Remarks

I cannot write a comprehensive history of inflation in the developed countries and keep the book near its desired length. However, there is enough of an overlap of experiences that we do not need to look at each country’s history to discuss each point of interest. That said, we need to keep Japan in mind as an example of a non-inflationary fiat currency.

References and Further Reading

  • Piketty, Thomas. “Capital in the 21st Century.” Cambridge, MA: President and Fellows, Harvard College (2013). ISBN: 978-0-674-43000-6

  • Measuring the Economy, Edited by Jonathan Athow and Joe Grice. U.K. Office of National Statistics. URL: https://measuringtheeconomy.uk/

Email subscription: Go to https://bondeconomics.substack.com/ 

(c) Brian Romanchuk 2021

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Miramar’s Randalls gold project ripe for discovery

Special Report: Allan Kelly-led explorer Miramar Resources has been granted ground containing the ‘Randalls’ project, adjacent to Silver Lake Resources’…

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Allan Kelly-led explorer Miramar Resources has been granted ground containing the ‘Randalls’ project, adjacent to Silver Lake Resources’ 1.5Moz Mt Belches gold operations in the Eastern Goldfields of WA.

Purchased as part of the Miramar (ASX:M2R) IPO in October 2020, Randalls covers extensions to the mineral-rich Banded Iron Formation (BIF) that hosts the high-grade Maxwell’s, Cockeyed Bob, Rumbles and Santa gold deposits operated by Silver Lake Resources.

Several high-grade results have also been returned from rock chip sampling of BIF at the Pryde and Logan prospects along strike, which were recently acquired by Horizon Minerals.

Despite the proximity to these deposits, the BIF has been relatively poorly explored within Miramar’s tenement, especially the fold hinges which are generally considered prime targets for BIF-hosted gold mineralisation.

Historical exploration comprised a limited series of shallow drill holes which did not test the obvious fold hinge positions — generally considered prime targets for BIF-hosted gold mineralisation — within the northern half of the tenement.

Gold assays are not reported in open file reports for a number of these holes.

Furthermore, surface sampling is likely to have been ineffective across a significant portion of the tenement “due to the presence of a north-south trending drainage system and associated sheetwash material”.

Proposed exploration at Randalls

Miramar has kicked off planning for initial work at Randalls, which will include compilation of all relevant historic drilling and geochemical data followed by aircore and/or RC drill testing of key targets.

Miramar’s initial focus will be on drill testing the obvious fold-hinge targets with aircore and/or RC drilling.

Miramar exec chairman Allan Kelly says the company was excited to be able to commence exploration on the third of its highly prospective Eastern Goldfields projects.

“Our strategy in the Eastern Goldfields was to acquire under-explored gold projects within close proximity to existing mining and/or processing facilities,” Kelly says.

“Randalls definitely fits the bill, with a lack of any systematic exploration of a mineralised BIF along strike from multiple existing high-grade gold operations and with a haul road crossing the project.”

 


 

 

This article was developed in collaboration with Miramar Resources, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

 

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.

The post Miramar’s Randalls gold project ripe for discovery appeared first on Stockhead.

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The Importance Of Dune, Part 2: The Jihad

The Importance Of Dune, Part 2: The Jihad

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, ‘n Guns blog,

Read Part 1 here

In 2020 I wrote a pair…

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The Importance Of Dune, Part 2: The Jihad

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog,

Read Part 1 here

In 2020 I wrote a pair of editorials for the Gold Goats ‘n Guns Newsletter in sympathy to the movie’s original release for last December. This one appeared in November after the (s)election of Joe Biden as U.S. president. I’ve written a lot about the ideas contained in this essay but I felt it appropriate to revisit it now that we’re in the window of seeing our story play out on the big screen, where art still has the possibility of moving us to action.

The Jihad

“We Fremen have a saying: God created Arrakis to train the faithful. One cannot go against the word of God.”

— FRANK HERBERT

In my last editorial I talked about why Frank Herbert’s Dune was even more relevant today than when it was published in 1965.  As we approached the election, after re-reading Dune, I made it into Herbert’s sequel, Dune Messiah.

And having not read it in thirty years I was amazed at how good it was.  The whole book is about a moment in time that Paul, who can see into the future, cannot see beyond.  The 2020 election felt exactly that way to me.

That moment was a singularity, a point we pass through without knowing what lies on the other side.  The parallels were simply too deep for me to ignore.  The trope Herbert used in Dune Messiah has been copied a hundred times since then, but its metaphoric power remains the same.

A moment like that turns everything on its head when it happens.  It shattered Paul’s life and ushered in the next period of chaos far deadlier than the last.

Dune left us knowing that with the victory over the entrenched, sclerotic power structure of the great houses there would be a religious jihad by the Fremen which would sweep across the galaxy like a plague of killer locusts.

That jihad occurred and Paul was powerless to stop it.

And, like Paul, this is what I fear is coming. The results of the election confirm for me that what comes next will be a terrible thing. 

The Davos Crowd think they have won the war, that they have been successful in defeating the insurgent Trump and his Deplorable sand rats.  They think there are only a few of us vocally leading a loose contingent of conspiracy theorists on the fringe of society who can be easily controlled and marginalized.

This was the mistake the establishment made in Dune, thinking the Fremen numbered in the thousands.  In reality, they numbered in the tens of millions and were viciously angry, self-sufficient and disciplined; ready to remake the world and shut off the source of the power, the spice.

When Dune was written the spice was a metaphor for oil.  Today information is the currency of the realm, and Davos thinks that by controlling all information flow they can control everything else.

But they don’t control the information anymore, even if it looks that way. Because by cheating and creating false value throughout the society, by degrading the quality of the information, they have raised the value of producing real things with real labor to the point of it being existential to their power.

And when you marginalize the tens of millions of people who produce the goods which sustain their false reality, when you remove their ability to speak their mind and make their voices heard, when you insult them, berate them, hector them and beat them then you will bear the consequences when the sleeper awakens, in Herbert’s words.

This isn’t a threat or an open invitation to violence.  This is an observation of what always comes next.  These people know that they have been lied to, their children spiritually separated from them.  The election was a cruel joke meant to rub our noses in their complete power over us.  You can see it every day on Twitter.

What comes next will be nothing short of a Fremen-esque jihad by the 70+ million people who voted for Donald Trump.  If his allies prove the systematic thievery of the election, it will fuel what is now a simmering anger to a violent boiling rage with a near-religious frenzy.

They will be fully justified.

I get that anger.  I feel it building in me.  Paul saw this coming in Dune and failed in his attempt to control it.  And I can see it coming today.

Their Jihad will be joined by the people who didn’t want to win by cheating.  There are millions of them, too.  They voted against Trump but don’t view their neighbors as enemies.

The alternative to it is worse, acquiescence and vassalage to a corrupt system.  And that’s why today it’s clear to me this only ends in violence.  The elites had a choice.  They chose poorly.

They have their own religious zealots, suffused with the righteous anger at a corrupt system but blaming it on the wrong people, their neighbors. 

The people have a choice, stand their ground or be ground into paste. 

This is why I feel the only option for Davos when faced with the coming jihad against them will be to unleash a response to it orders of magnitude deadlier than COVID-19.  That’s a moment I, frankly, don’t want to see beyond.

*  *  *

I think it’s quite clear now that we’re in the middle of that next response. The ‘Jihad’ of angry Trump voters hasn’t quite materialized yet, but it has in other parts of the world.

The descent into random violence with brutal Harkonnen police and embedded Sardaukar mercenaries putting down protests in Melbourne, Australia is not only deeply disturbing but, sadly, wholly predictable.

The Fremen were trained by Arrakis through privation and extreme thrift imposed on them by the desert to find meaning and beauty in the simplest things. We’re not there yet. But by now brutally imposing vaccination mandates through a terror campaign people have woken up quickly.

Because they already saw the problem if they didn’t want to believe it would ever come to this.

The sleeper will awaken here in the U.S. The more they take away from us the more it will feed the burning inside.

Davos’ Sardaukar are sustained through blood sacrifice and dehumanization, the Harkonnens through good ol’ payola. They serve this system not because they believe in it but because they are fed by it. Australians will begin imposing costs on them that outweigh their comfort and they will collapse.

It’s already happening in France. It will happen in Germany this fall. And when the U.S. joins the jihad that’s when the violence gets real.

Fat, roid-freaks running around beating old women and unarmed men with gang tactics will turn into massacres, but not for us, for them. They have told us they are no longer negotiating with us. Become subservient or be destroyed. Their call isn’t a bluff but it ultimately is.

We have reached that moment today where the choice is clear. Get hard, get in shape, get tough-mined and become #ungovernable or be extinguished. You are not alone.

Moments like this take generations to build to. Welcome to Arrakis.

*  *  *

Join my Patreon if you can see The Jihad forming

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Tyler Durden Sun, 09/26/2021 - 20:00
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Central Bank Digital Currencies: A Future of Surveillance And Control

Central Bank Digital Currencies: A Future of Surveillance And Control

Submitted by Ronan Manly, BullionStar.com

One of the most potentially…

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Central Bank Digital Currencies: A Future of Surveillance And Control

Submitted by Ronan Manly, BullionStar.com

One of the most potentially far-reaching trends in the financial landscape right now is the imminent roll-out of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), and the parallel attacks which central bankers are waging on private digital currencies and tokens as they tee up the launch of their CBDCs.

First some clarifications. While the majority of central bank issued currencies (fiat currencies) in existence around the world are already in digital form, a fiat currency held in digital form is not the same as a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

What is a CBDC?

A CBDC generally refers to electronic or virtual central bank (fiat) money that is created in the form of digital tokens or account balances which are digital claims on the central bank. CBDCs will be issued by central banks and will be legal tender.

Many CBDCs that are being researched and developed employ Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), with the recording of transactions on a blockchain

However unlike private cryptocurrencies which use a permissionless and open design, CBDCs that use DLT will use permissioned variants (deciding who has access to the network and who can view and update records in the ledger). See here for a discussion of permissionless vs permissioned blockchains.

CBDCs - The antithesis to decentralized private cryptocurrencies and tokens

Critically, as the name suggests, CBDCs will be centralized and governed by the issuing authority (i.e. a central bank). So, in their design and structure, CBDCs can be viewed as the very antithesis to decentralized private cryptocurrencies and tokens.

Central banks have already working on two types of CBDCs, ‘wholesale’ digital tokens that would have access restricted to banks and financial entities to be used for activities like interbank payments and wholesale market transactions, and ‘general purpose’ (retail) CBDC for the general public to be used in retail transactions.

It is this ‘general purpose’ CBDC which most people are referring to when they discuss central bank digital currencies, and it is these ‘general purpose’ CBDCs that will be most important to watch when  central banks and governments begin to attempt their roll-outs to distribute CBDCs to billions of people across the world either through account-based CBDCs or ‘digital cash’ tokens.

As you can guess, account-based CBDCs will be tied to user identities and Digital IDs, and straight off the bat they allow for total surveillance by the State and torpedo any chance of anonymity. For this reason, they are already a favourite among central banks. Given that CBDCs will be centralized ledgers and can be programmable, the ‘digital cash’ token option is not much better in terms of privacy and freedom.

The Bank for International Settlements - The Dark Tower of Basel

Many central banks will probably opt for a hybrid model of both account-based and token based digital cash. As an example, Canada, the one time liberal democracy, perhaps illustrates the account-based vs token based choices best, where Canada’s central bank, the Bank of Canada, in it’s design documentation for CBDCs shows that at the end of the day, it's about surveillance and control, saying that:

“anonymous token-based options would be allowable for smaller payments, while account-based access would be required for larger purchases.”

Central banks are also experimenting with various models for distribution of CBDCs to the masses, including using private commercial banks and payment providers who will intermediate on the central banks’ behalf, and also direct distribution of payments by a central bank to a population. Either way, you can see that CBDCs greatly facilitate the statists to advance their Orwellian plans for Universal Basic Income (UBI) and dependency on the state.   

Accelerating rollout

CBDCs are not just a buzzword or a hazy innovation that may appear sometime in the distant future. They are actively being developed now, and in widespread fashion.

In January 2020, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) issued the results of a survey on CBDCs that it had conducted in the second half of 2019, and to which 66 central banks had responded. Strikingly, 10% of central bank respondents (which represented a fifth of the world’s population) said that they were likely to issue a ‘general purpose’ CBDC (for the general public) in the near future (within the next 3 years). Another 20% of central bank respondents said they would likely issue a ‘general purpose’ CBDC in the medium term (within 6 years).

In August 2020, the BIS published a comprehensive working paper on CBDCs titled “Rise of the central bank digital currencies: drivers, approaches and technologies” one part of which analysed the BIS database of central banker speeches and found that between December 2013 and May 2020, there had been 138 central banker speeches mentioning CBDCs, with a dramatic increase in CBDC related speeches since 2016, a timeframe which coincided with central banks launching research projects on CBDCs. The same BIS report also highlighted that, (totally coincidentally) the Covid-19 'pandemic'  "accelerated work on CBDCs in some jurisdictions.

BIS slide on CBDC global project status - August 2021. Source.

Fast forward to right now, and on the website of the globalist Atlantic Council (headquartered in Washington D.C.), there is an interesting Central Bank Digital Currency Tracker which lists all the countries that have either launched or piloted a CBDC or are developing or researching a CBDC.

Here we find that 5 central banks have already launched a CBDC, 14 have a CBDC in pilot, 16 have a CBDC in development, and another 32 central banks are at the research stage with their CBDC. That makes 67 central banks (countries in total). While the 5 currency areas that have already launched a CBDC are all islands in the Caribbean, the central banks at the pilot stage include heavy weights such as China, South Korea, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and Sweden.  

Those at the development stage include the central banks of Canada, Russia, Brazil, Turkey, France and Nigeria. Those at the research stage include the central banks of the US, UK, Australia, Norway, India, Pakistan and Indonesia.

So as you can see, this is not some theoretical issue. Centrally controlled digital currencies are coming down the pipe in a big way, and some will be appearing, if not imminently, then very soon. And given the ease with which governments have imposed lockdowns and restrictions on their compliant populations during 2020 and 2021, it is not hard to envisage that these same pliable masses will be easily influenced to embrace CBDCs as being in their 'best interests'.

BIS Switzerland - The Usual Suspect   

In fact, one third of the entire BIS annual report 2021 is focused on CBDCs in a section titled “CBDCs: an opportunity for the monetary system”.

Here, the BIS predictably trumpets the benefits of introducing central bank issued centralized digital currencies while at the same time attempting to undermine private cryptocurrencies. The BIS wording reveals the fact that central banks are in panic over the competitive threat of private cryptos and have accelerated the development of CBDCs partially due to this fear, with the BIS stating that:

“Central bank interest in CBDCs comes at a critical time. Several recent developments have placed a number of potential innovations involving digital currencies high on the agenda.

The first of these is the growing attention received by Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies; the second is the debate on stablecoins; and the third is the entry of large technology firms (big techs) into payment services and financial services more generally.”

The BIS then attempts to dismiss each of these 3 threats:

Cryptocurrencies, claims the BIS “are speculative assets rather than money, and in many cases are used to facilitate money laundering, ransomware attacks and other financial crimes”.

Bitcoin comes in for some special mention with the BIS saying that “Bitcoin in particular has few redeeming public interest attributes when also considering its wasteful energy footprint’.

Stablecoins, says the BIS “attempt to import credibility by being backed by real currencies” that are “ultimately only an appendage to the conventional monetary system and not a game changer.

The entry of large tech firms that dominate social networks, search, messaging, and e-commerce into the realm of financial services and payments provision infrastructure seems to especially bother the BIS, and it spins it’s criticism into the argument that although these platforms have large network affects, this creates “further concentration” in the market for payments.

The irony is not lost on the fact that it’s the BIS, as the central bank of central banks and one of the most concentrated power centres in the world, that is criticizing others’ “concentration” of power.  

Throughout this CBDC pitch, the BIS report refers at numerous points that digital currencies should be “in the public interest”, which really means that digital currencies should be controlled by the BIS and its central bank members, as well as perpetuate their centralized monetary power structure.

The BIS even has the gall to claim that CBDCs should respect privacy rights, when in fact the whole architecture, rationale and design of central bank digital currencies will allow central banks and national authorities to invade totally on privacy rights. 

But sometimes the BIS let's it's guard down, and reveals it's authoritarian plans for CBDCs. A case in point is a recent interview with Agustín Carstens general manager of the BIS, where he chillingly said: 

"We don’t know who’s using a $100 bill today and we don’t know who’s using a 1,000 peso bill today.

The key difference with the CBDC is the central bank will have absolute control on the rules and regulations that will determine the use of that expression of central bank liability, and also we will have the technology to enforce that.”

See video segment below for Carstens' remarks:

Singing from the Same Song Sheet

With the BIS is Basel Switzerland as the conductor and orchestrator, it's not surprising that central bank governors and country heads are now singing from the same song sheet, the song being ‘private digital currencies bad, central bank digital currencies good’.

Earlier this month (September 2021) at a banking conference in Stockholm, the governor of Sweden’s central bank (Riksbank), Stefan Ingves, commented that ‘private money usually collapses sooner or later’, while conveniently failing to mention the hundreds of government and central bank issued paper currencies that have collapsed throughout history due to overprinting, depreciation and hyperinflation. Nor did Ingves mention Voltaire’s famous quote that “Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value - zero”.

Ingves, whose country is one of the leaders in promoting a cashless society, also took a derogatory swipe at Bitcoin saying “sure, you can get rich by trading in bitcoin, but it’s comparable to trading in stamps.” All the while the Riksbank is pushing ahead with it’s central bank digital currency, called the e-krona, a CBDC which uses distributed ledger technology, and which the Swedish central bank is currently testing in conjunction with Handelsbanken, one of Sweden’s largest retail banks.

In the same week as Ingves’s comments in Sweden, the governor of Mexico’s central bank, Alejandro Diaz de Leon, was also taking a shot at private cryptocurrencies and for good measure he also put the boot into precious metals.

Diaz de Leon said that Bitcoin is more like a method of barter than ‘evolved’ fiat money, and continued “in our times, money has evolved to be fiat money issued by central banks. Bitcoin is more like a dimension of precious metals than daily legal tender.

That comment, which attacks two birds with one stone (crypto and precious metals), will definitely please his central bank governor colleagues at thee BIS, and may even earn Diaz de Leon a nomination as the next BIS general manager, to succeed his fellow countryman Agustín Carstens.   

Speaking of the BIS, Benoit Coeure, head of the BIS Innovation Hub, also gave a WEF style speech about CBDCs in early September, acknowledging the convenient catalyst of the covid 'pandemic', and the accelerated development of CBDCs by central banks: 

"the world is not returning to the old normal. Payments are a case in point. The pandemic has accelerated a longer-running move to digital .... the world's central banks are stepping up efforts to prepare the ground for digital cash – central bank digital currency (CBDC):

"A CBDC's goal is ultimately to preserve the best elements of our current systems while still allowing a safe space for tomorrow's innovation. To do so, central banks have to act while the current system is still in place – and to act now."

Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, also recently joined in the attack on private digital currencies, while simultaneously promoting Turkey’s CBDC. At an event on 18 September, the Turkish president stated that: 

we have absolutely no intention of embracing cryptocurrencies

on the contrary, we have a separate war, a separate fight against them. We would never lend support to [cryptocurrencies]. Because we will move forward with our own currency that has its own identity.

China: Digital Yuan - An Ominous Blueprint 

A huge red flag over CBDCs and user privacy is that these central bank digital currencies are programmable, as details on China’s ‘Digital Yuan’ already show.

For example, the Digital Yuan can be programmed to be activated on a certain date, programmed to expire on a certain date, programmed to be only valid for certain purchases, and ominously, programmed to be only available to citizens who meet certain pre-conditions.

As a potential blueprint for other CBDCs, people across the world need to sit up and take notice, because the issuing authorities of these CBDCs coming down the pipe can therefore decide who gets access to CBDCs, what they can transact using those currencies, and how long the purchasing power remains valid.

Central Banks can thus influence and control the behaviour of the recipients of this centralised digital cash,  as well as exclude those who they want to penalize or who don’t comply with the State's rules or parameters.

And right on cue as this article was just published, Chinese authorities have now announced (on 24 September)  a total ban on all cryptocurrency transactions. Except of course, it's upcoming authoritarian Digital Yuan.   

The future according to WEF's Klaus Schwab and his Elite private banker handlers

Conclusion - Slavery or Monetary Freedom

Although central banks will claim that they are introducing CBDCs for reasons such as improving payments efficiency, boosting financial inclusion for the unbanked and tackling illicit transactions, their real motivations, as always, are for surveillance and control.

Surveillance of a population via complete visibility into financial transaction flow and user identities, and centralized control of the money supply within a cashless financial system. Think China’s social credit system on a global dystopian scale, where vax passes evolve into digital IDs and digital IDs link to CBDC issuance and use. In fact, the entire coercion around implementing vaccine passports and digital IDs looks to be a pre-planned stepping stone for the roll-out of central bank digital currencies and global social credit systems.

The timing of the accelerated emergence of CBDCs may partially be an attempt by central banks to outflank the numerous private cryptocurrencies, tokens and decentralized finance ecosystems that have emerged and that are a threat to the power of the centralized banking system at whose apex sits the BIS.

But it would be naïve to think that central banks that knew in advance about the initiation of a‘WEF’ global technocratic and corpocratic takeover that would begin in 2020, are not now orchestrating the rollout of CBDCs as part of a long-term global agenda, that agenda being the global socialist Agenda 2030, and a future in which, according to the Davos World Economic Forum (WEF) “You’ll own nothing. And you’ll be happy”.

BIS and central bank attacks against private cryptocurrencies are to be expected. After all, the same central banks and the BIS have waged a very long war against physical gold and silver. And precious metals have been money since 4000 B.C..

With the launch of CBDCs by central banks and their elitist private banking controllers, that war looks set to intensify. So, do you want a future of monetary freedom, or a future of perpetual slavery to central banker CBDCs? 

If you want monetary freedom, then ownership of physical precious metals and private and anonymous digital currencies are now some of the only ways to counter and protect against the ominous CBDC plans which the BIS and its central bank members are intent with imminently rolling out.

*  *  *

This article originally appeared on the BullionStar.com website under the same title "Central Bank Digital Currencies – A Future of Surveillance and Control"

Tyler Durden Sun, 09/26/2021 - 15:00
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