Things That Make You Go Hmmm: Signing Off


On Christmas Eve 1979, 27 days before I became a teenager, in a surburban street in Moseley in Britain’s West Midlands, a group of musicians put the finishing touches on their debut album. The musicians — Brian Travers, Astro, James Brown (no, not that one), Earl Falconer, Norman Hassan, Mickey Virtue, and twins Ali and Robin Campbell — had a unique approach to the music business. Eighteen months prior to completing their first album, Ali Campbell and Travers had plastered the streets of Birmingham with leaflets promoting the band, which had taken its name from the document issued to people claiming unemployment benefits from the UK government’s Department of Health and Social Security (DHSS). The name of the form — and thus the band — was UB40. Having advertised themselves and with dreams of making a big splash on Britain’s reinvigorated music scene running wild in their heads, the band … Continue reading

The 10th Man: May the Fourth


By Jared Dillian I recently watched the movie Interstellar in the theater. I liked it so much, I watched it again… and again. Three times in 10 days. Next, I’ll get the DVD and see it dozens of more times. It’s my new all-time favorite movie.I’m something of an astrophysics geek. I think in another life I might have been one of these nerds working for the SETI project like Ellie Arroway in Contact. For my fifth-grade science project, I constructed a planetarium show. When my schoolmates were playing Contra on Nintendo, I was reading about quasars.Interstellar fascinates me because I don’t understand how someone gets $150 million of financing to make a movie that no one who doesn’t understand Einstein’s theory of relativity can fully appreciate. Christopher Nolan is a stud. There is no other explanation. I had to smile each time I left the theater, listening to the people walking out. “I didn’t understand … Continue reading

Outside the Box: The Burning Questions For 2015

John Mauldin

By John Mauldin Louis Gave is one of my favorite investment and economic thinkers, besides being a good friend and an all-around fun guy. When he and his father Charles and the well-known European journalist Anatole Kaletsky decided to form Gavekal some 15 years ago, Louis moved to Hong Kong, as they felt that Asia and especially China would be a part of the world they would have to understand. Since then Gavekal has expanded its research offices all over the world. The Gavekal team’s various research arms produce an astounding amount of work on an incredibly wide range of topics, but somehow Louis always seems to be on top of all of it.Longtime readers know that I often republish a piece by someone in their firm (typically Charles or Louis). I have to be somewhat judicious, as their research is actually quite expensive, but they kindly give me permission … Continue reading



December 18, 2014 [The following post is by TDV Editor-In-Chief, Jeff Berwick] The Internal Revenue Service has warned that it may have to shut down.  The fact that this was not met by thunderous applause from the American sheeple only shows how communist and brainwashed they are today in the USSA! In the recent $1.1 trillion spending bill monstrosity, Congress cut the IRS budget by $346 million to $10.9 billion. Chief Extortion Officer of the IRS, John Koskinen, said a shutdown would mean the IRS would “close the agency for a day, two days, whatever days it would take to close the gap that we can’t otherwise close in a reasonable way.” He went on to say that the agency estimates each closed day would save $29 million. If closing it for a day saves $29 million then why not close it for 365 days of the year.  That’d be … Continue reading

John Williams: A Downhill Run for the Dollar in 2015


Source: JT Long of The Gold Report  (12/17/14) Rosy GDP numbers may have cheered the masses, but John Williams says we’re a long way from prosperity. In this interview with The Gold Report, Williams debunks the myth of economic recovery and warns that we still have serious debts to settle. That is why he is recommending caution in 2015 to preserve purchasing power and maintain your standard of living. The Gold Report: Your hyperinflation report predicted 2014 would be dominated by economic distress, financial crisis and panics. Were you surprised by the performance of the economy this year? John Williams: No, at least not in terms of the actual performance. We’re getting some fantasy numbers, which I’ll be glad to address. The economic distress continued. If we look at the consumer conditions, generally median household income has continued to be stagnant at a low level of activity, below where it was in 1967 as adjusted by … Continue reading

For Traders and Asset Managers, Puerto Rico’s Tax Incentives Are a No-Brainer


By Nick Giambruno   Whenever I see the words “life-changing opportunity” or something like that, I immediately dismiss it as a lame gimmick or hyperbole. And while I am truly reluctant to use those often misused words, I can honestly think of no better way to describe Puerto Rico’s tax incentives for traders, hedge funds, private equity firms, and asset managers of all stripes. This is truly a life-changing opportunity for them, and that’s not BS. By the end of this article, you’ll see why. It’s not for no reason that investment legends like hedge fund manager John Paulson and Nick Prouty have planted their flags there. But you don’t have to be a big name to benefit too. As you’ll see, obtaining Puerto Rico’s tax incentives is really a no-brainer for anyone who makes their living off of capital gains. But first, you need to understand a few things … Continue reading

German Chancellor Merkel Won’t Let Ukraine Get in the Way of Business


By Marin Katusa, Chief Energy Investment Strategist The Ukraine crisis has moderated for now, but it should have awakened the world to the new “great game” being played in Eastern Europe. Vladimir Putin is positioning Russia to control the global energy trade, knowing that he holds the trump card: Europe’s dependence on Russian oil and gas. This epic struggle between the US and Russia could change the very nature of the Euro-American trans-Atlantic alliance, because Europe is going to have to choose sides. The numbers in Putin’s OIL = POWER equation are only going to keep getting bigger as Russia’s control and output of energy continues to grow and as Europe’s supply from other sources dwindles—as I outline in my new book, The Colder War. Finland and Hungary get almost all their oil from Russia; Poland more than 75%; Sweden, the Czech Republic, and Belgium about 50%; Germany and the Netherlands, … Continue reading

Thoughts from the Frontline: Oil, Employment, and Growth


By John Mauldin Last week we started a series of letters on the topics I think we need to research in depth as we try to peer into the future and think about how 2015 will unfold. In forecasting US growth, I wrote that we really need to understand the relationships between the boom in energy production on the one hand and employment and overall growth in the US on the other. The old saw that falling oil prices are like a tax cut and are thus a net benefit to the US economy and consumers is not altogether clear to me. I certainly hope the net effect will be positive, but hope is not a realistic basis for a forecast. Let’s go back to two paragraphs I wrote last week:Texas has been home to 40% of all new jobs created since June 2009. In 2013, the city of Houston had … Continue reading

Connecting the Dots: Dumb & Dumber: Relax Mortgage Rules, Financial Crisis 2.0


By Tony Sagami Mortgage credit is too tight. They should have changed that a long time ago. —Jamie Dimon, CEO JPMorganToday’s rule is an important step forward in creating an environment where good lenders and good borrowers can work together without reservation. —Julian Castro, HUD SecretaryGeez, I can’t decide who is dumber when it comes to repeating the same mistakes: the profits-at-any-cost crowd on Wall Street or the do-anything-for-votes politicians in Washington, DC. I can’t decide; they’re both dumber than dirt and often in bed when it comes to lining each other’s pockets. What I’m talking about today is the new regulations for mortgage qualification a.k.a. “qualified residential mortgage” (QRM) rules. Some background first. After the 2008 financial crisis and subprime mortgage implosion, governmental agencies led by the Federal Housing Finance Agency enacted a series of tougher rules to clean up the overly easy mortgage qualification process. Of course, tighter … Continue reading



December 12, 2014 [The following post is by TDV Editor-In-Chief, Jeff Berwick]                 I recently had the pleasure to speak with Glen Roberts, a self-described “techno-geek”, blogger and the author of How to Renounce Your US Citizenship in Two Easy Steps. The book was written as a guide to cut through opinions and describe the requirements and process of renouncing US citizenship… something in high demand lately. Glen renounced his US citizenship after living in various Central and South American countries for more than a decade and currently resides, statelessly, in Paraguay. His story is one of the most interesting we’ve heard in the neverending Escape from Amerika struggle.  Here was our conversation. The Dollar Vigilante (TDV): Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background and how you ended up in Paraguay? Glen Roberts (GR): I was born in 1962 and lived … Continue reading