Turkey, a NATO member, to join BRICS!

The leftist West is getting a blow back!

The elections to the European Parliament elevated parties that are maliciously referred to as far-right;

the war in Ukraine is going badly for the collective West;

in the United States Donald Trump, maliciously labelled as populist is about to win the presidential election;

France and the United States are being pushed out of Africa;

de-dollarization is in progress;

– Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico has survived the assassination (how the EU commissioners would have wished he had died!);

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is openly against the European Union’s policy of confrontation with Russia; and now – to top it all

Turkey – has announced its willingness to join BRICS!

What a mess! Turkey, which boasts the second largest army in NATO, is about to seriously partner among others with… Russia, a country against which the same NATO is waging war!

The West is getting blow after blow after another blow. How ungrateful the world is! The collective West has been meaning to

save the planet from the man-made climate change;

extend the human rights by bringing to the forefront homosexuals and lesbians;

eradicate racism by coercing races and nationalities to share the same ares, towns and villages, schools and factories,

and it turned out that the world has remained blind and deaf to all those advances… Goodness me!

All of which might suggest one serious suspicion: out of impotence and a thirst for vengeance the collective West might be thinking about retaliatory steps. What are these going to be? The leftist West needs to disrupt BRICS, to keep Russia at bay, to stop the march of the “far-right” through the institutions (a historical irony, indeed), to thwart Donald Trump from winning the elections, to preserve the dollar as the instrument of global exploitation and dominance, and so on, and so forth. What are they going to do? A wounded and hitherto domineering animal can be terribly dangerous.

FED is not playing fair – can it go bankrupt?

The most important central bank in the world, the US Federal Reserve (FED), recently presented its financial report, which shows that it had a substantial loss of USD 114 billion last year. Why such a large loss for the FED? To explain this, one should first distinguish between two aspects of the central bank’s activities.

Firstly, the FED holds large quantities of US bonds, which in turn yield interest. Of course, in this case, this interest is income for the central bank. It is worth noting that since the FED began buying bonds on a large scale in 2008, interest rates have also risen considerably
Secondly, the Federal Reserve allows commercial banks and various types of funds to hold money in an account at the central bank. At the same time, it pays a certain amount of interest on these funds, which depends primarily on the level of interest rates.

Well, between 2022 and 2023, there was a series of interest rate hikes in the US. Eventually, a level of 5.5% was reached. This meant that the FED had to pay 5.5% interest to banks and funds (and there were a lot of them) that wanted to keep their money in a central bank account.

So on the one hand, the Fed still held a similar amount of bonds in 2023, for which it received interest rates close to the 2022 level (i.e. much lower than this 5.5%). On the other hand, it had to pay much higher interest rates to commercial banks or money market funds. This resulted in the loss.

You may ask: What happens when a central bank suffers a loss? From a purely financial point of view: Nothing significant happens. It is assumed that this loss will be covered by future profits. In the context of a central bank, it is difficult to talk about bankruptcy, especially as central banks can create gigantic amounts of money under the current system.
Gefira is critical of the monetary policy of central banks, but for completely different reasons. No one from the central bankers is commenting on the following questions:

1) Is it fair that the central bank only rescued and wants to rescue selected financial institutions simply because they operate on a large scale?

2) Is it normal for these institutions (especially banks) to hold their reserves at the central bank and safely receive a few percent interest in return?

3) What’s more – is it fair that unprofitable companies are kept alive by the central bank printing money, which in turn makes it more difficult for new companies to enter the market?

4) Is it good for the economy that unprofitable zombie companies are kept afloat in this way, which otherwise – in the real free economy – should have gone bankrupt long ago?

Argentina’s President Milei successful against the Davos elites

In December last year, we wrote about Javier Milei – the recently elected President of Argentina. Now, with his recent speech in Davos, he has turned the bottom into the top.

To understand what happened and what Milei got himself into, you first need to comprehend what exactly the World Economic Forum (WEF) is and who makes it up. The WEF is the world’s elite: the CEOs of the world’s richest companies (only companies with billions in revenue are invited to the Forum), leading bankers and technology specialists, politicians, representatives of major business organizations, lobbyists, selected intellectuals, journalists and activists of all kinds. The WEF meetings are therefore full of people who use their connections and influence to try to steer the world in a direction that benefits them and not necessarily the majority of people. It’s about power and money, not about a better life for ordinary citizens.

The aforementioned elite meet every year in Davos to present their proposals on how they want to intervene in our lives. They negotiate agreements among themselves and exert pressure on the world’s most influential politicians. In the meantime, of course, there is a lot of empty talk and boring debates about the world’s social and economic problems. The founder of the forum is Klaus The-Great-Reset Schwab, who became known as an advocate of collectivism. He is credited with the famous saying: You will have nothing and be happy.

This is where Milei comes into play. In a place where the ideas of feminism, birth control and increased government intervention in the economy are supported year after year, where the foundations for Agenda 2030 and its associated eco-terrorism were laid, Milei looks the globalists in the eye and dismantles their propaganda simply and vividly by exposing the lies of the globalists.

In many of his interviews and speeches, Milei refers to the so-called culture war. In his view, the causes of Argentina’s decline are cultural problems and moral decay. Among other things, this gives rise to the deep belief that the state is the guarantor for the satisfaction of citizens’ needs. At the same time, the Argentinian president points out that state intervention is counterproductive, as it should only contribute to the opposite when trying to solve a problem.

Here we summarize the most important theses of his speech in Davos:

1. Capitalism creates prosperity and is moral

Socialism leads to impoverishment and is based on violence. Wherever socialism has been introduced, it has brought more harm than good.

“The West is in danger because it has opened itself up to socialist ideas. It was capitalism that liberated humanity from mass poverty and created unimaginable prosperity. (…) In the countries where we should be defending the values of the free market, private property and other institutions of libertarianism, parts of the political and economic establishment – some because of flaws in their theoretical approach, others out of a desire for power – are undermining the foundations of libertarianism by opening the door to socialism and potentially condemning us to poverty, misery and stagnation. It should never be forgotten that socialism is always and everywhere an impoverishing phenomenon that has failed in all countries where it has been tried. It has failed economically as well as socially and culturally. It has also contributed to the deaths of more than 100 million people.”

So capitalism, rather than today’s Western neo-Marxism, is the way to abolish poverty.

2. Socialism is a repressive and unjust system:

“(…) Social justice is neither fair nor beneficial to society. Quite the opposite. It is an inherently unjust idea because it is based on force. It is unjust because the state is financed by taxes and taxes are levied by force. Or would any of you say that you pay taxes of your own free will? In other words, the state finances itself through coercion, and the higher the tax burden, the greater the coercion and the less the freedom. Advocates of social justice assume that the entire economy is a cake that can be shared. Yet, this cake did not fall from the sky. It is wealth created by what Israel Kirzner, for example, calls the process of market discovery. If there is no demand for the goods produced by a company, that company will fail if it does not adapt to the demands of the market. If it produces a good quality product at an attractive price, then it will be successful and produce more because the market is a process of discovery in which the capitalist finds the right direction in the course of his actions. If the state, however, punishes the capitalist for his success and blocks him in this discovery process (through excessive regulation, as in the EU – author’s note), it destroys his motivation, and the result is that he produces less and the pie shrinks, which damages society as a whole. By inhibiting these processes of discovery and making it difficult to adopt what has been discovered, collectivism inhibits the entrepreneur and prevents him from flourishing.”

3. The fight for women’s rights or nature conservation is just a pretext:

“When the socialists realized that the workers were not getting poorer under capitalism, but richer, they changed their strategy. Today, the class struggle between capitalists and workers has been replaced by alleged conflicts between men and women or between man and nature. It is claimed that to save the environment, population growth must be controlled; abortion is promoted”.

4. Public opinion is the result of decades of “brainwashing” in the direction desired by the elites

“The neo-Marxists have changed public opinion in a long process of taking control of the media, the universities and even international organizations. As everyone here knows, the WEF is one of the latter. Socialist ideas must be fought frontally and vociferously.”

5. Socialists have more than one name:

“There are many varieties of socialism in the broadest sense. Socialists are not only those who call themselves socialists, but also social democrats, Christian democrats, communists, Keynesians, Nazis, nationalists and globalists. They all share a belief in regulation and the state”.

6. The real heroes are the entrepreneurs. The state, on the other hand, is only a threat to freedom:

“The real heroes of society are entrepreneurs. They are creators of wealth who can be proud of making profits by meeting the needs of others. They should not be allied with the state, not even through the WEF. The state is not the solution. The state is the problem. The state is a threat to freedom.”

Since Milei’s speech, the number of views of his video on the official WEF channel has exceeded half a million. Is that a lot? Just look at the other “great speakers” who have lagged far behind. The conversation with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, for example, reached 56,000, the speech by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen 42,000, and the other speeches received even less attention. (As at the end of January 2024)

An interesting case is the speech by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who, as the country’s extreme socialist leader – i.e. in complete opposition to Milei – made a staid appearance and barely reached 12,000 views. In his speech, he talks about everything and nothing. He mentions the current problems and challenges, but offers no solutions. The Spanish Prime Minister’s speech was preceded by congratulations on Spain’s strong economic growth, which the Prime Minister himself also boasted about. So let us quote here the conclusions of one of Spain’s leading independent economists, Daniel Lacalle, who summarizes it as follows: ‘The reality in which Spain finds itself today is different from the one presented by the Spanish government under Pedro Sanchez. The ruling socialists are using the same techniques that the Greek socialists resorted to at the end of the 1990s. Namely, they are increasing public spending and debt to hide the fact that investment and consumption in the country have stalled and exports are falling. Taxes are being increased because/although tax revenues have been falling in recent years. The choice between because and although in the last sentence reveals what you think about the right economic policy.

Blitzkrieg of the anti-globalists next fall?

1% owns 50% of the world’s wealth and there are countries that want to change it. About geopolitical redistribution.

In 1974, the middle class had the highest share of world wealth. Today, it is at its lowest level in 100 years. Within the last 50 years, there has been a gigantic transfer of wealth from the working class to the class of society that owns assets. The latter, elitist stratum owns a disproportionate share of the wealth generated throughout the world and constantly increases it thanks to the central bankers who skillfully cause sometimes recession, sometimes revival of the economy through their interest rate policies and increase or decrease the money supply. These are the waves on which the great ones of the financial world surf and later eat caviar and drink champagne. You know it well that this elitist class is not sitting in Beijing, Jakarta, Rio or Moscow. It’s enough to name two cities and you already know who it’s really about: London and New York.

Erdoğan and the president of Brazil, leaders of ASEAN countries and comrade Xi – they all want to make their middle class bigger and stronger because they know it that the first industrial revolution, which lasted 150 (!) years, was possible only thanks to the creative and hard-working middle class. Therefore, they want to introduce their own monetary system, independent of Anglo-Saxon influences, which

(i) operates fairly,

(ii) is not dependent on a fiat currency like the dollar,

(iii) enables the middle class to accumulate wealth, and

(iv) does not serve to remove politically undesirables from the face of the earth through currency wars or military intervention. Suffice it to mention here how weak the Turkish lira is during Erdoğan’s tenure, or how Saddam Hussein fared because of the oil trade in euros, or Gaddafi because of the attempt to introduce the Pan-African currency, which was supposed to be based on gold.

The latter initiatives of countries seeking to free themselves from dollar domination – be it agreements between Russia and China, the BRICS initiative, agreements among ASEAN countries, and many others – all aim at creating some kind of common currency for these, as they are called in the West, “rapidly developing emerging economies.” This currency, however, should not be a fiat currency, such as the euro, but a currency based on tangible assets, thereby ensuring its purchasing power. It may be digital or classic – one thing is certain: its introduction will mean a huge war against the U.S. dollar. It will mean a war against the COMEX (USA) and LME (London) exchanges, where precious metal prices are now decided. And as we emphasized several times before in analyses in our bulletins: these prices have been suppressed and manipulated for decades by the so-called US bullion banks. So, the elitist class that owns the highest share of the world’s wealth may be in for a treat this September, when the BRICS group’s decisions are to be made. One possible scenario: the BRICS countries may, for example, buy countless futures contracts on precious metals and demand delivery of the physical commodity on the expiration date. Since it is common knowledge that COMEX and LME can physically back up perhaps only 20% of their transactions with physical reserves (the paper gold problem), there would be a collapse similar to the Nixon days.

So will the yuan or a whole new emerging market currency soon become a new world reserve currency? If you look at the chart below, you can see that nothing lasts forever and that the dollar’s days may be numbered. 

Major reserve currencies since 1250

Who does the euro destroy?

After the 2015 introduction of the common currency in Lithuania, much has changed. On the one hand, the euro positively influenced economic growth, as loans became cheaper, resulting in increasing exports and investments, on the other hand, the gap between rich and poor and between the level of living in the cities and in the countryside deepened. Until the beginning of the post-pandemic inflation, prices and salaries increased continuously in the Baltic country, but the latter mainly in the cities. Already between 2015-2019, prices increased by 10%, among others food by 6% and services by 22%. In the post-pandemic period, all Baltic countries are now among those with the highest inflation, with salaries, including those of the richer urbanites, unable to catch up with galloping food prices for a good two years. The ECB’s policy is not helping anyone. If one speaks to a Lithuanian or Latvian on this topic, one hears the following: I used to be able to often invite my girlfriend to the restaurant, now I can hardly afford it (a Latvian truck driver aged around 30). Prices have become European, salaries have not.

However, the argument with growth seems to be a bit misguided. Polish economy with its own currency is growing faster than that of Slovakia and Slovenia, which quickly adopted the euro. Since the introduction of the common currency in the PIGS countries, they systematically lose their growth rate compared to Germany. Contrary to the widespread complaints in the German media about Polish fiscal policy (and the hope that it would be “disciplined” after the introduction of the euro), public debt in Poland is keeping within limits – and this despite the policy of social transfers never seen before. In the euro zone, on the other hand, debt is exploding, despite various formal restrictions. This is true even for the countries that joined the euro without having a public debt problem. The debt has been created over time – precisely in this oh-so-fantastic union. This fact is illustrated in the following graph.

Source: Ameco

The culprit is the crazy idea that one monetary and fiscal policy should fit all countries like a universal recipe (one size fits all). One policy for 24 countries – that can’t work, like a 5 year plan for all Soviets, or one for the so very different regions of China. The same interest rate for the entire Eurozone cannot be effective. It leads to destabilizing and costly imbalances in individual member states, which subsequently spill over to the entire euro area, which cannot develop fast enough vis-à-vis the U.S. and China.

But what’s all the talk about? After all, it’s summer vacation and you want to relax. That’s when we recommend a vacation in Croatia – the latest to enjoy the benefits of the single currency. After the introduction of the euro this year, prices in the once cheap country rose to the level of Austria. The Austrian “Kronenzeitung” even compared the price level with Swiss health resorts. The Croatian newspaper “Slobodnaja Dalmacija” calculates that a kilo of cherries and figs now costs 8 euros – 10 percent more than a year ago. Wholesalers have to pay 5 euros for a kilo of pears, 3 euros for cucumbers and 5 euros for peaches. No wonder tourists are canceling their reservations in the country that depends on them the most in the whole EU (11% of GDP comes from them). Another local newspaper “Jutarnji list” points out the surprisingly high cost of daily rent of a deck chair. On the island of Hvar it costs €40, in Split €35 and in Dubrovnik €33. On Croatian social media, a video of an American tourist is very popular, where she aptly notes that the price of the service remained the same after the currency conversion from kuna to euro. The greed of (small) entrepreneurs is one downside of it all, the other is that the euro is actually always Teuro. So we wish you a nice vacation in Poland.

Why do people trust central bankers?

I can’t understand that. I would rather say: There should be a movement here and there under the prevailing circumstances, a kind of yellow vest against the bankers. But lo and behold, the anti-globalists protest against the “rulers” during the G7 summits, as if they don’t know who pulls the strings in G7. The bankers were, are and will be spared. Look at the history of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, how it was mercilessly swept away by the rulers. You could say: like an oppositional movement in Russia, but in the middle of freedom-loving America. What does the dictatorship of the bankers look like at the moment? And what threats does it pose to us?

Mario Draghi. Remember his assurance that he would do everything to preserve the euro and its stability? Whatever the cost? This is what he said and did in fact, but at the expense of taxpayers. A more recent example: Jerome Powell, the head of the FED assured on June 21 of this year, in relation to the problems of cryptocurrencies in the U.S. market, made by rigorous actions of the FED and SEC against the platforms and banks dealing in this digital money, that he would do everything to preserve the dollar as the main reserve currency in the world. How much will this cost the American taxpayers? Hello, Mr. Powell! Have you lost touch with reality? The Saudis are renouncing U.S. guarantees and reconciling with Iran; China is trading with the yuan with its partners; The BRICS countries are banding together, looking to add new members, including perhaps France – who knows? And you, Mister Powell, together with your colleagues, want to introduce the digital dollar, called “FED-NOW”, sometime in July 2023 at any cost to show every country in the world who rules here? Pride always comes before a fall.

As always, the next crisis is carefully prepared. One day an article appears, for example in “Financial Times”, the other “qualitative” media follow the topic. Then comes the “crisis,” always like a bolt from the blue. What is the “Financial Times” writing now? That the Bundesbank is broke. And that’s true. But then they publish a counter-statement. After all, the “crisis” has to be baptized in the media at the right time. They have to wait until the bankers themselves (the owners of the leading media) will give a sign to the editors; Yes, you may write that now because all the rats have long since fled the sinking ship and the captain never existed.

Why would the Bundesbank need a bailout right now? Because it is, of course, too big to simply let it fall? Yes, of course. But the reason is too boring for the average citizen, so he ignores the facts, but as always only until the headlines sound the alarm or until the next “unexpected” tax increase comes along. It is about bonds, the world of the bankers, which hardly everyone understands and therefore fails as a small investor mostly because he invests against the current, by the way.

Super Mario, otherwise called “Cost what it may”, bought for years from the member banks of the ECB their government bonds so that they (especially his Italian home central bank) could service their debts. Thus, the over-indebted PISA countries did not become insolvent. But, wait, wasn’t that forbidden by the Maastricht Treaty? Yes, of course, but only if the bank in Frankfurt am Main had bought the debt directly from the states. The states, however, wisely sold their debts to the biggest bigwigs in the financial world, including the infamous funds like Black Rock. Thus, the ECB financed and continues to finance the private US money industry, which has done nothing to any EU citizen. These piles of the securities were hoarded in the bunker in Frankfurt and the great Italian banker had hoped that they would not lose value. But then inflation came, and his successor (remember: he himself did not) had to raise interest rates significantly. Since while prime rates were rising, fixed-income securities were losing value, it turned out that the bunker was full of toilet paper. Independent journalists (not those from the leading media) have calculated that the total loss of the EU monetary guardians could be as high as 500 billion euros. If the Bundesbank takes a stake in the ECB of about 10%, that’s already a small problem. But as a well-known German politician once said: Not all Germans believe in God, but they all believe in the Bundesbank. The euro will last forever. Maybe for 1000 years. 

FED in a china store

We have recently seen a significant increase in the price of gold, which today is approaching the mark of $ 2,000 per ounce. The appreciation we predicted in the recommendations of our bulletin was largely fueled by the liquidity crisis, which was only exacerbated by the expansion of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet and a small rate hike (25 pts) by Jerome Powell and his colleagues. It is worth noting that the market was expecting a 50 basis point hike even before the Silicon Valley Bank problems.

The Fed’s head insists that the $297 billion increase in total assets is the result of a completely unique situation related to banks’ liquidity needs. What is crucial, however, is not the reason, but the fact that further substantial funds were created out of thin air – and this is directly related to another dose of fuel for inflation, which continues to show no signs of abating. So the risk of stagflation caused by an economic slump remains.

The last notable example of an exit from stagflation in the U.S. occurred in the 1970s. In response, Paul Volcker, then chairman of the Federal Reserve, raised interest rates above 19% to restore confidence in the economy. The positive real interest rates achieved at that time (with inflation at 13.5%) are out of reach for central bankers today.

An economic crisis will happen sooner or later for one reason or another. History simply shows that. The important question, however, is what methods will be available to central bankers when that crisis occurs (if we don’t already have it). In past decades, these were based primarily on lowering interest rates and expanding the money supply. However, the above measures are now being drastically curtailed because of their impact on the rise in inflation. A further rise in inflation would probably only prompt investors to withdraw their money from financial institutions in order to protect their capital elsewhere from the increasing loss of purchasing power. Such decisions would only lead to further liquidity problems. It also cannot be ruled out that the Fed will decide to raise interest rates further. These in turn would devalue the bonds held by banks, which would also deal a severe blow to the financial system. The impact is likely to be similar in both cases: either a liquidity crisis or inflation that is likely to spiral out of control sooner or later, or a combination of both. Janet Yellen and Jerome Powell thus seem to be caught between the hammer and the anvil, and their actions resemble those of an elephant in a china store.

Also worth mentioning is the recent news about the growing risk of a Deutsche Bank default. The banking crisis seems to be coming to a head, also in Europe. Even more important than the crisis itself, however, as already mentioned, seems to be the considerably limited room for maneuver of central bankers to counter it.