Friday, January 18, 2008

Not a new problem, Andrew Jackson: Central Banking is a Den of Vipers and Thieves

Please consider Andrew Jackson's words on central banking:

"Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the Eternal God, I will rout you out... If people only understood the rank injustice of the money and banking system, there would be a revolution by morning." ….

Andrew Jackson publicly pledging to defeat international monopolist bankers to their face in his speech. Jackson vanquished a global cartel in its plans for a privately owned “U.S.” central bank. A public murder attempt on Andrew Jackson failed shortly thereafter by a double misfire of the assassin’s pistols.

Friday, January 11, 2008

UPDATE: Spot Gold At New Record High On US Rate Cut Talk

UPDATE: Spot Gold At New Record High On US Rate Cut Talk

(Adds analyst, trader comments.)

LONDON (Dow Jones)--Spot gold hit a new record high Thursday as talk of further interest rate cuts in the U.S. sparked a flurry of buying and pushed the metal even closer to its next big target of $900 a troy ounce.

As of 1830 GMT spot gold had hit an all-time high of $895.50/oz, breaking above Wednesday's record high of $891.50/oz, following comments by U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, traders said.

Bernanke said Thursday that more rate cuts "may well be necessary" as downside risks to the economy "have become more pronounced."

The comments caused the U.S. dollar to weaken against the euro, which hit a high of $1.4815.

Financial markets expect as much as 0.75 percentage point of additional cuts in the fed funds target rate by the end of March, an expectation that seemed supported by Bernanke's remarks Thursday.

"Buyers are just waiting for opportunities to get back into the market," said TheBullionDesk analyst James Moore. Spot gold slipped from its high late Wednesday and some analysts predicted that gold could be in for a correction, but the interest rate talk prompted further buying.

Moore said the interest rate situation is helping to keep the U.S. dollar under pressure, and hawkish comments Thursday by the European Central Bank president added to fears of a U.S.-led slowdown.

Indications of further interest rate cuts to come out of the U.S. added further fuel to the spot gold bull run, which has seen prices rise as much as 7.5% since the start of the new year and 40.7% from the start of 2007.

Additionally, market uncertainty surrounding mortgage lenders and bond insurers, if it intensifies, is likely to encourage further gold buying, along with intensifying recession fears, said HSBC analyst James Steel.

Gold is seen as a hard asset when equities are volatile, and as a protection against inflation, with fears of that growing amid rising oil prices.

While $900/oz is seen as the next target, many investors are predicting this is just the beginning of a bull run with a few more years to go.

Strong fundamentals of constrained mine supply against a backdrop of economic uncertainty are likely to lift spot-gold toward $1,200/oz, James Burton of the World Gold Council said.

Momentum in the gold bull run is being led by investor interest, as indicated by the demand for exchange traded funds. That demand is expected to cause gold to average $850/oz in 2008, with $1,000/oz likely to be hit before the year's end, said New York-based Midas Fund manager Thomas Winmill.

But he said while investor interest has skyrocketed, physical demand, particularly in gold jewelry-hungry India, has tailed off.

"So we will have to see if investor demand can overwhelm that," Winmill said.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

U.S. Dollars No Longer Accepted at Indian Tourist Sites

U.S. Dollars No Longer Accepted at Indian Tourist Sites

Thursday, January 03, 2008

NEW DELHI — No dollars, just rupees please.

In a sign of how the once mighty U.S. dollar has fallen, India's tourism minister said Thursday that U.S. dollars will no longer be accepted at the country's heritage tourist sites, like the famed Taj Mahal.

For years the dollar was worth about 50 rupees and tourists visiting most sites in India were charged either $5 or 250 rupees.

But with the dollar at a nine-year low against the rupee — falling 11 percent in 2007 alone and now hovering at around 39 rupees — that deal has become a losing proposition for the tourism industry.

The country's tourism minister said, though, that the decision was only in part a reaction to the currency's plunging value.

"Before the dollar lost its value, there was a demand to have (admission tickets) just in rupees," Tourism Minister Ambika Soni told the CNN-IBN news channel.

Soni said that charging only rupees would not only be more practical, but would save money because "the dollar was weaker against the rupee."

The Taj Mahal, India's famed white marble monument to love, which had charged tourists $15 or 750 rupees, has been refusing to accept dollars since November.

The move makes visits pricier for American tourists, who now have to shell out nearly $20.

And it's likely to get worse.

"We expect a slight appreciation of the rupee to continue, although it won't be as dramatic as last year," said Agam Gupta, head of foreign exchange trading at Standard Chartered Bank in India.

The dollar has fallen against most major currencies, and it has lost ground against the rupee due to an influx of foreign capital into India, said Gupta.

Soni said she was not worried about the decision affecting tourism numbers as India provided more than just budget attractions.

"I always say it's not numbers I am looking for or working for. I am working for tourists to have a complete experience," she said.,2933,319807,00.html