How A Pork Bellies Trader And Milton Friedman Created “The Greatest Trading Casino In World History”

“I held in my hand the Holy Grail for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The most influential economic mind of the twentieth century provided the CME with the intellectual foundation upon which to build its financial superstructure.” Nixon’s estimable free market advisors who gathered at the Camp David weekend were to an astonishing degree clueless as to the consequences of their recommendation to close the gold window and float the dollar. In their wildest imaginations they did not foresee that this would unhinge the monetary and financial nervous system of capitalism. They had no premonition at all that it would pave the way for a forty-year storm of financialization and a debt-besotted symbiosis between central bankers possessed by delusions of grandeur and private gamblers intoxicated with visions of delirious wealth. In fact, when Nixon announced on August 15, 1971, that the dollar was no longer convertible to gold at $35 […] Read More

Mark Spitznagel Explains How To Make A Fortune (Or Go Broke)

Originally posted at Men’s Health, It’s a new year, and a new opportunity to get rich. Or at least start making better financial choices. But where to begin? You could seek guidance from your uncle, who swears he has investing ideas that could make you a small fortune. You could watch that Mad Money CNBC show, where Jim Cramer smashes red buttons and pretends he has any idea what he’s talking about. You could find a broker who hopefully isn’t a crook, or a penny stock investment guru who hopefully isn’t full of shit. Or you could skip the middlemen and just ask a billionaire. Let’s try the billionaire approach. Mark Spitznagel is the founder of Universa Investments, a Miami-based hedge fund that specializes in profiting from stock market crashes. We asked Spitznagel the questions you want to know. We also asked him the questions you didn’t know you […] Read More

Why Housing Will Crash Again – But For Different Reasons Than Last Time

Submitted by Chalres Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog, Institutionalizing the speculative excesses that inflated the previous housing bubble has fed magical thinking and fostered illusions of phantom wealth and security. The global housing market has been dominated by magical thinking for the past 15 years. The magical thinking can be boiled down to this: A person who buys a house for $50,000 will be able to sell the same house for $150,000 a few years later without adding any real-world value. The buyer will be able to sell the house for $300,000 a few years later without adding any real-world value. The buyer will be able to sell the house for $600,000 a few years later without adding any real-world value. And so on, decade after decade and generation after generation: a house should magically accumulate enormous capital (home equity) without the owner having to do anything but pay the mortgage for […] Read More

2014: Why Bitcoin is Important

By: Chris Tell at “Bitcoin is the anti currency”; “Bitcoin, the currency of the future”; the “currency of the resistance”; “Bitcoin is a Fad”; “Bitcoin is a fraud”; “Bitcoin is a currency for drug dealers,  kiddy fiddlers and terrorists.” These are some of the opinions I’ve heard thrown around when discussing Bitcoin. I have no particularly original insights into Bitcoin, and I won’t pretend to understand the technology behind it. I can barely understand how my coffee machine makes such great coffee. This is the complexity of the world. Firstly, let me say that we think Bitcoin is “cool”. I love disruptive technologies. 5000 years ago shipping changed the world. I discussed this in depth in an article entitled Predicting Prosperity. I alluded to the “Guano age” of the 1800’s which was destroyed by the advent of nitrate-based fertilizers. The Internet, at least, the Internet that most of us […] Read More