The first Liberty Forum will take place between December 4th and 8th. The conference has a focus on asset protection, wealth preservation and the preservation of liberty. Some off-the-chart successful investors, metals and resource experts, offshore service providers, and international legal and accounting professionals will be on hand to help with personal preservation strategies.
Keynote speakers are Peter Schiff, Doug Casey and Mark Skousen. One of the many lectures will be held by Claudio Grass, a passionate advocate of free-market thinking and libertarian philosophy. Mr. Grass is convinced that sound money, i.e. gold and silver, and human freedom are inextricably linked to each other. In his function as Managing Director at Global Gold in Switzerland he offers investors a safe, convenient and competitive Swiss solution for buying, selling, storing and delivering a variety of physically allocated bullion coins and bars, completely outside of the banking system and protected under Swiss law.
Claudio Grass has written several white papers, research notes and articles. In them, he has clearly explained that the most likely outcome of the current global debt situation is that governments will try to inflate their debts away. That is what has always happened throughout history. The current evolution of events has not changed his view. The latest actions by Bernanke, in particular his decision not to stop QE, underlines the validity of Claudio Grass’ view. “Taking Yellen’s history into account, I am certain she will follow in the footsteps of her predecessor. Therefore, nothing has changed from my point of view.”
The Liberty Forum conference brings up some fundamental statistics about the debt situation
- The U.S. currently owes 885% of its GDP, more than any other industrialized country.
- America hasn’t passed a budget since April of 2009.
- As a country, the U.S. has had a budget deficit in 42 out of the last 47 years.
- U.S. expenses are 56% higher than its revenues.
- America expects to double its debt within the next 10 years (the interest on that debt alone will equal $1 trillion a year).
- Its annual income is $2 trillion, while its total debt obligations are $121 trillion (that’s a debt ratio of 60/1 – typically anything over 1/1 is a HUGE red flag to any investor, indicating that a country is not likely to be able to pay its debts in 12 months’ time).
The true US financial situation remains remarkably underexposed as the mainstream media is mainly concentrating on Europe and increasingly the emerging markets. We asked Claudio Grass about his opinion on that.
German economist Wilhelm Röpke once said: “The theories men construct, and the words in which they are framed, often influence their mind more strongly than the facts presented by reality”.
This sentence nicely describes today’s mindset amongst most people in the western word. It is no wonder because we were raised in a government controlled education system, in which we are indoctrinated from childhood that the path of success is based on memorizing and repeating! We are not taught to question [authority], the reason for this is that it is much harder to manipulate logical or independent thinkers.
This is why I am such a fan of history; our world is the result of thoughts and actions from the past. You see the cause and effect? The problem is that the actual system we live in focuses only on the effects but never discloses the underlying causes, let alone trying to connect the dots. This research needs to be done by the individual. However, research requires a healthy portion of curiosity and bravery as well as independence and self-confidence to stand up for one’s own opinion, which will be in contrast to the story we are told by governments and the mainstream media. The emperor has no clothes; however, it always takes time until the child that reveals it will be heard.
The world reserve currency is still the USD and more than 60% of all the reserves with central banks are still based on the USD, and only approximately 25% are in Euros. Therefore, many more governments and pressure groups are dependent on the USD and have an interest in not disclosing the truth about the actual state of the dollar. Also, in terms of global trade the USD is still the prevailing currency, especially as long as the USD keeps its hegemony over the Middle East and its oil reserves. In addition, specifically related to the USD, there is a single institution that has decisive power. It is therefore much more reactive than the Euro system with different central banks and different nations, each with their own national political agendas. Therefore, the power of the Euro is much more limited, which makes it also more fragile and vulnerable.
Bankrupt governments likely to confiscate wealth and independence
Claudio Grass goes on to point to a concerning trend: as governments run out of money, people’s sovereign rights to wealth and independence get increasingly trampled. What the world is experiencing for the last 100 years is an ongoing centralization especially in terms of credit – the so called monetary system – and political power in the hands of a few. This is only financeable if existing wealth is redistributed from the bottom to the top, through inflation and taxation. Since 2007 the average U.S. family wealth plunged 40%. Back in 1913 the average government quota was less than 10%. Today, depending on the country, government quotas are between 50-70%. The trend is obvious! This system can go on until the remaining 50-30% is nationalized. The result is simple: Slavery!
That’s why it is my conviction that we are going to see “tools of financial repression” kicking in much harder within the next 5 years, which will impoverish most of middle class, but also affluent people. I see some parallels with the Weimar Republic before World War II. Back then, the US government in cooperation with Wall Street, flooded especially Germany with cheap credit by implementing the Dawes and Young Plan during 1924 and 1932. Afterwards it happened what always comes after an artificial boom: destruction and bust. This created a toxic environment for persons such as Hitler, Stalin, Franco and Roosevelt, to name just a few who came to power at about the same time, and more important, promoted more centralized political power and war. People were exhausted and the future was not really bright – and we are facing the same symptoms again today. We have 50 Million Americans living off food vouchers and this figure is still climbing. I believe history does not repeat itself but it rhymes, and therefore people need to understand that within the actual system property-rights do not really exist. People need to realize they are dependent on the whims of government and banks.
The first signs of these trends are already visible. Politicians and mainstream media say that things are improving which does not reflect the above mentioned trends. Most economic reports even expect economic growth. How can expectations be so different while everyone is looking at the same data? Claudio Grass answers that question with a quote of Edward Bernays, Father of Propaganda.
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in a democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. [...] We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. [...] In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons … who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”
Include a monetary crash in your risk assessment
Claudio Grass looks at the mess the world is in today and suggests to include a possible crash of the actual system as part of one’s risk assessments. Therefore, an investment into a tangible asset, without having any counterparty-risk, makes absolutely sense.
It is impossible to foresee when the system will crash. Inevitable does not necessarily mean imminent. However, “I am convinced that this world will look very different in the coming years and what can be said, too, is that it is not developing in the right direction.”
Anthony C. Sutton (British and American economist, historian and notable author, answered this question once by stating: “It will not stop until we act upon one simple axiom: that the power system continues only as long as individuals want it to continue, and it will continue only so long as individuals try to get something for nothing. The day when a majority of individuals declares or acts as if it wants nothing from government, declares it will look after its won welfare and interest, then on that day power elites are doomed.”
I started buying physical Gold and Silver in 2004 and so far it has been a very good investment. At the same time I explored the fascinating history of money; it reads like a criminal novel or even like a horror story in some cases. I personally support a system that is based on free market money where people can freely decide what they want to use as currency – sound money for a sound society. Money stands in the center of how human beings live together. It must be consequently a property title and not a debt promise. Gold and Silver are money in its pure form! They allow people to exchange goods, based on mutual respect and honesty….. With sound money we used to have production and trade and therefore prosperity. With fake money these periods have been dominated logically by corruption and wars; or in the words of Lord Acton, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”
Claudio Grass will be talking at the St. Kitts Liberty Forum Conference about facts and fiction about buying and holding gold in Switzerland. More info about the Liberty Forum Conference or register now.