The Ouroboros of Wall Street answers the question that vegans hear everyday… “Where do you get your protein?” Now available in the ESL Figure 8 Model.
If you’ve been to Sears or K-Mart you know what I’m talking about. I mean seriously… they don’t even seem like genuine businesses. The folks running Kmart, well, I’ll refrain from saying anything at all because I have nothing good to say.
Eddie Lampert has come up with the most convoluted balance sheet extortion scheme to harvest the assets of his own company for the benefit of shareholders (as if… a company’s shareholders can dine on the company’s bounty and somehow enhance shareholder value) like a dairy farmer hosting a beef rib barbecue expecting to be able to get a gallon of milk the next day from his Weber grill.
This scheme is essentially a mirror image of what we have witnessed in the overall markets which is a shrinking of the float, an increasing concentration of the ownership in fewer hands and a never-ending rise in asset “values” courtesy of quantitative easing.
Bears make money, bulls make money, but only flying pigs escape the slaughterhouse of bitcoin volatility
If you follow Dave on Twitter (see the eclectic list of leaders and innovators who do the same for some unknown reason @tradewithdave), then you know that we unlocked the distinction behind Yogi Bear and Yogi Berra by delving into the famous Ruggeri Restaurant Doctrine which posits that “A formerly popular restaurant is no longer a popular restaurant when no one goes there anymore because it’s too crowded.” It’s kind of a baseball coach’s version of Keynes broken window theory of economics if you use a baseball to break the window.
Well, Halsey Minor, former tech star, art collector, home re-modeler, Chapter 7 horse breeder has launched his own version of Bitcoin, but this time he has solved the one problem that no one else has seemed to be able to solve – volatility. That’s right. Halsey came up with the truly genius idea of allowing people to avoid Bitcoin/US Dollar volatility by giving their Bitcoins over to Halsey and Halsey sells your Bitcoins for dollars. I’m not joking and to make things worse, I actually think it’s going to work… “Hey Mikey! He likes it!”
Let’s start off by asking ourselves a few tough questions. How many people go to a payment station to pay their power bill, go to a Verizon store to pay their mobile phone bill, have ever made a purchase from Fingerhut over time or put something on layaway at K-mart? Plenty of people have. How many people have ever purchased a prepaid credit card such as a Green Dot or American Express Blue Bird? Plenty of people have. How many people have made Dave wait in line to purchase a sleeve of peanuts at WaWa while they purchased lottery tickets… well, technically that doesn’t apply, but I’m getting sick of waiting for your guys while you pay your chump tax.
Halsey Minor’s BitReserve.org is about as much of a “reserve” as Federal Express is the Federal Reserve. Let’s try that again. The Federal Reserve is about as “federal” as Federal Express and Bit Reserve has about as many “reserves” as the Federal Reserve which the last time Germany checked was not so much. But that doesn’t mean Dave doesn’t like BitReserve.org, au contraire. That’s the genius of it, at least until it breaks and U.S. Treasuries with it.
You see, Halsey is no Boo Boo when it comes to tech and even if he lost his shirt in Charlottesville and is persona non grata at a Sotheby’s auction, he’s no dummy. If you ask Dave, he’s played these cards flawlessly and when it comes to auctions Halsey’s the only guy I know who is getting to buy bitcoins consistently at the bid price rather than the ask price. There’s a whiff of arbitrage right there. Top that off with his ability to invest your dollars at interest while paying you ZIRP and you’ve got a business that has real potential while not being subjected to all that volatility that has plagued the bitcoin picnic like Yogi Bear at a Jellystone campsite. If interest rates go up, he’s got a land office business, but then again, the U.S. Treasury would collapse, so maybe not so much, but such scenarios never happen in non-fractional reserve world of blockchain accountability.
So what’s the downside for the CNET founder who is bringing genuine transparency to the BitReserve.org balance sheet? This level of real time transparency is cool and this is a key trend that we will be seeing in more and more places.
There’s just one thing-a-majig that catches Dave’s eye like a foul ball at Camden Yards just before it hits you in the head unexpectedly. It’s something that team Minor refers to as a “full reserve.” It kind of reminds Dave of a “full vault” as in the one that the Queen sashayed down in an attempt to dispell the re-re-re-hypothecation myth. In this case, the “reserve” is a T-bill that BitReserve.org “can redeem at any time for value.” I guess the logic is that BitReserve is a “full reserve” because the FederalReserve is at “full reserve” and so on… and so on. I guess conceptually Byrne’s example of “I want my money back” is as simple as Chair Yellen pushing the Staple’s Easy Button and requesting another ink cartridge.
So, the interesting part about this is that BitReserve is able to make an “investment” (presumably in the form of debt or equity) and still be at “full reserve” 100% of the time. Now, I don’t want to spoil the party of anything, but it’s been about a year since Tim Geithner told us that if you have money in a money market fund that you’re not a depositor, but rather you are a creditor and you are most definitely subject to a bail-in on demand by the government. If there’s one thing Halsey knows about it’s creditors. http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2013/05/29/cnet-co-founder-halsey-minor-files-for-personal-bankruptcy/
You haven’t forgotten this from November 2012:
MMFs that offer a stable NAV – MMFs that offer a stable NAV should be subject to measures designed to reduce the specific risks associated with their stable NAV feature and internalise the costs arising from these risks. Regulators should require, where workable, a conversion to floating NAV. Alternatively, additional safeguards should be introduced to reinforce stable NAV MMFs’ resilience and ability to face significant redemptions.
My name is Byrne Reese, and I am Head of Product at Bitreserve. I assure you that we maintain a full reserve. In fact, we strive to be over-reserved whenever possible.
But be that as it may, if we were to have a portion of our assets invested in a treasury bill, that would be an asset we possess which we can redeem at any time for value. In contrast, a partial or fractional reserve is one in which you do not have physical possession of the assets necessary to account for 100% of your obligations. When banks issue a loan for example, they take some of their assets and give them to someone else. So if there were to be a run on the bank, and everyone said, “I want my money back” the bank would not be in physical possession of the assets necessary to honor their obligations.
We don’t do that. We operate a full reserve, and are fully transparent in how it is managed and operated so that the public can verify our solvency at any time. We are the only financial institution that does this.
Not only does that mean we disclose our “investments” — although I have a hard time calling cash and a cash equivalencies an “investment” — it also means we disclose the revenue we make from the transactions that flow through our system. We are looking to build a financial services company with an unprecedented level of transparency, because we feel that transparency is the surest and most reliable way to garner people’s trust.
I hope that clarifies things for you. Please feel free to respond here with any more questions!
Dave is reminded of Jim Grant who is fond of describing the Fed’s quantitative easing zero interest rate policy as “return free risk” and that the best investment that you can make is to plant black walnut trees on the “back 40″, so you may think Dave is down on BitReserve.org. I’m not. I like it. It was such a simple way to address the volatility that it was right in front of my eyes the entire time and I didn’t see it. Avoid bitcoin volatility by avoiding bitcoins entirely. Pretty smart if you ask Dave. At the same time Halsey is providing access to the convenience yield of bitcoin and he’s doing it very efficiently and cost effectively considering how low interest rates are on your money right now.
This is a viable attack on prepaid credit cards and other inefficient forms of money handling if what Dave thinks is happening is actually happening and that’s the massive and broadbased adoption of bitcoin through a globally coordinated campaign to integrate it with Western banking interests which we will simply file under the “Windhover Transition” from “Open Mustard Seed” to “Arthur Levitt Sitting In A Mustard Tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G.” The entire thing is simply too coordinated not to be part of the new world order’s plan to both track all sources and uses of money while simultaneously bring fractional reserve banking to the world’s unbanked – Yipee!
There is one more thing. Before you can get the ball rolling on your fantasy full reserve thing-a-majig for your economy inspired by the Fed’s empty gold vaults, you’re going to need to come up with some of your own bitcoin. Halsey don’t play that game, so when you come to the table come loaded for bear.
Old Guys Rule
Don’t forget… “Money is just a number in a database” and gold isn’t money. Bitcoin conversation begins at the 31 minute mark.
Looks like Young & Rubicam’s Burson-Marstellar is on the receiving end of the Windhover Transition. These guys are marketing heavyweights and they certainly don’t work for free.
There was definitely a shift in the power structure and focus of Bitcoin today. That shift was from the entrepreneurial Wild Wild West world of Bitcoin that we’ve been witnessing and Dave has been writing about for years and years. The Bitcoin foundation controlled much of the power center of what happened with Bitcoin up until today.
With the advent of the sidechains proposal from Blockstream and the so-called Windhover Transition to the Windhover Principles, we were crossing the stream, so to speak, from the entrepreneurial side of the bitcoin (such as pitching it to folks in Budapest) to the regulatory and banking side of the bitcoin and connecting it to your bank account.
Today with the announcement out of DATA (the Digital Asset Transfer Authority) the shift of power is complete. Bitcoin is being groomed for mainstream adoption and connectivity. There will still be plenty of battles to be fought in the future, but as far as the Occidental banking world is concerned, Bitcoin is going to be regulated accordingly and in regard to you sovereignty and your privacy considerations they are addressed by something known as “proportionality.” Proportionate enforcement has arrived and you may as well get used to it.
You will notice there is only one name on the Board of Directors of DATA who is ex officio in his clear lack of a direct company association. That would be Patrick Murck, the lawyer who is also the new Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation. In the world of transitions, and attempting to cross the Rubicon without getting wet, would it be fair to refer to Mr. Murck’s potential conflict as a human bridge?
What did I think after I listened to this CNN interview on Bitcoin by the author of Bitcon? I thought about the response when Yogi Berra was asked about the popularity of Ruggeri’s, a St. Louis restaurant; ”Nobody goes there anymore… it’s too crowded.”
Well, what’s it been… maybe four hours since Dave wrote the following.
This is why the Bitcoin foundation is starting to rumble about gaining control over the “official” emblem as it relates to Bitcoin. They need to get a handle on the intellectual property because the entire Windhover Transition may just transition them into a new set of by-laws that could transition them right out of business. They are the preemptive and self-appointed “leader” of the “standardization” of the symbol and will therefore control the simulation even if they can’t control the word bitcoin itself. Pretty smart.
Mr. Matonis decision may be entirely unrelated to the change in circumstances brought about by Windhover. We’ll see.
Alan Greenspan speaks to the Council on Foreign Relations October 29, 2014
“Effective demand is dead in the water” and the effort to boost it via bond buying “has not worked,” said Mr. Greenspan. Boosting asset prices, however, has been “a terrific success.”
“It’s only by bringing the economy down can you burst the bubble,” and that was a step he wasn’t willing to take while helming the Fed, he said.
The question of when officials should begin raising interest rates is “one of those questions I cannot answer,” Mr. Greenspan said.
He also said, “I don’t think it’s possible” for the Fed to end its easy-money policies in a trouble-free manner….
“Recent episodes in which Fed officials hinted at a shift toward higher interest rates have unleashed significant volatility in markets, so there is no reason to suspect that the actual process of boosting rates would be any different”, Mr. Greenspan said.
“I think that real pressure is going to occur not by the initiation by the Federal Reserve, but by the markets themselves,” Mr. Greenspan said.
And finally – while CNBC’s audience is told what a terrible thing gold is, “The Maestro”, having personally created the financial cataclysm the world finds itself in following a lifetime of belief in fiat, Keynesian ideology and “fixing” one bubble with an even greater and more destructive asset bubble, has suddenly had an epiphany and now has a very different message from the one he preached during his decades as the head of the Fed.
Mr. Greenspan said gold is a good place to put money these days given its value as a currency outside of the policies conducted by governments. What Greenspan failed to add is that it is thanks to his disastrous policies (subsequently adopted by Bernanke and Yellen) that gold is the “place to put money.”
What does Dave think of all this? I’ve been thinking about it plenty, particularly in light of the mainstream market formation that appears to be occurring in the bitcoinosphere with the advent of the Windhover Transition. The Windhover Transition has all the hallmarks of a global coordinated plan to mainstream the adoption of the product and its integration into the Western banking system. In other words bitcoin is coming… big time.
So, what does this mean for gold? Gold (not GLD) and bitcoin exhibit a lot of the same traits in the same way that Dave and a video of Dave exhibit a lot of the same traits. The traits are on exhibit in a Jean Baudrillard matrixesque style display of Simulacra and Simulation. There’s a reasonable argument that they are the same thing… Dave and the video of Dave. Of course they aren’t, but in a world where we pay with simulations whether they be the fiat dollar, ApplePay or CurrentC, if they’re subject to being hacked, then they are simulations in an Oceans 11 sense of hacked video.
Getting back to the key question about the future price of gold. The problem, if you ask Dave is staring us right in the face when you say “the future price of gold.” How are you measuring that price exactly? Are you measuring that price in USD or BTC? Now that BTC is getting the mainstream grooming in preparation for its global rollout as the back-up currency in case Greenspan’s “zero probability of default” doesn’t end up working out that way, then precisely how do we plan on measuring prices (gold manipulation not withstanding)?
Here’s what I believe in a nutshell. If “things” get out of hand, the price of gold will be manipulated down further in an effort to get “things” back under control. “Things” getting out of hand can be everything from the kind of volatility we witnessed a couple of weeks ago to the continued rise to stratospheric Altucher 20,000 dow levels (http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/dow-20-000-call-stays–james-altucher-144312918.html) which would be inevitable in the case of QE4 which appears inevitable.
Then again if QE4 is already priced into the market (i.e. you can’t taper a ponzi) then maybe that’s Dow 10,000. If you’re not pricing in dollars because the world’s reserve currency becomes subjected to Ross Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety in a Bitcoin sidechains smorgasbord means of exchange, then we will have more than a choice between a Ducks Unlimited Visa Card and a American Airlines Advantage Mastercard. There will be as many different ways to satisfy your double coincidence of needs and wants as there are Sides A Fries at Sides A Fries in Chicago (http://tradewithdave.com/?p=20832) and Bad Decisions at Bad Decisions in Baltimore (http://technical.ly/baltimore/2014/10/21/bitcoin-bad-decisions-coinoutlet-atm/) .
To summarize, the question is how are you pricing your gold? If you’re pricing it in Bitcoin, the price of gold tripled in the past few months. If you’re pricing it in dollars, then it dropped by a third. If Bitcoin isn’t going mainstream, then this isn’t even a reasonable argument, but the manipulation of gold is a known fact and government’s and bank’s ability to continue to manipulate the price of gold is the subject you should be studying.
You see, when you read Baudrillard, you know that he focuses on symbols and signs. He says that our society displaces reality and meaning of real things (think gold) with signs and symbols such as “Mastercard Honored Here”. This is why the Bitcoin foundation is starting to rumble about gaining control over the “official” emblem as it relates to Bitcoin. They need to get a handle on the intellectual property because the entire Windhover Transition may just transition them into a new set of by-laws that could transition them right out of business. They are the preemptive and self-appointed “leader” of the “standardization” of the symbol and will therefore control the simulation even if they can’t control the word bitcoin itself. Pretty smart.
The question is, who controls the symbol for gold? I don’t think it’s the Comex of the London Bullion Market Association (do they still have that?) and just why exactly do we value gold? It is because it is formed in the core of a star which is where all of our energy comes from in the first place? If you can figure out why we value gold exactly, please drop me an email. Otherwise, if the price of gold drops (in bitcoin or dollars) because “markets” get out of control and central banks and governments intervene to calm markets by suppressing the price of gold, then you should buy it.
On the other hand, if the price of gold starts rising (in bitcoins or dollars), because “markets” get out of control and central banks and governments are unable to intervene to calm markets and gold spikes upward, then you should buy it. Buying gold is smart and buying gold is easy. The much bigger question is what to do with it once you have it in your hands. I would not suggest carrying it around like an Iphone or you may just get your thumb snipped off by some gardening shears.
With a sense of regret, I must announce that I’m beginning a process of closing my accounts with BitPay, Coinbase, and various other web-based bitcoin services, including, but not limited to, any accounts I have on brokerages or exchanges whose services are presented primarily through website-based interfaces. This message has first been posted on the Bitcoin Foundation forum, and will be sent by e-mail to bitcoin businesses or software project contacts listed above. This is a difficult decision, especially since I have watched as companies like BitPay and Coinbase lead the way with innovations (such as BitPay’s Copay, and Coinbase’s collaboration with BitMonet to facilitate micropayments). While this decision will not make my life easier, I consider it to ethically sound, and I look forward to using more decentralized models, such as (but not limited to) those presented by OpenBazaar, BitXBay, Counterparty, and Lighthouse, for my use in the very near future.
In part, my decision to close these accounts is due to the decision of BitPay, Bitstamp, and many other companies, to back the deeply flawed Windhover proposal, which – while innovative and exciting in many ways – unfortunately contains a poison pill that favors regulation of decentralized identity (referred to in the Windhover proposal as ‘Proportionate Enforcement and Risk-based regulation’) in a way which exchanges user privacy for temporary legal security that may be enjoyed for a short while by the companies which have backed the Windhover proposal.
As society moves into the realm of exploration of decentralized identity, and takes greater responsibility for matters relating to currency, production, identity, growth and sharing of food, giving processes, and more, it is vital that our decisions be honored when we attempt to move forward without utilizing hierarchical corporation-state regulation of identity (no matter what corporation-state in the world such regulations or laws may originate from). Our identities need not comport with nor answer to regulatory efforts. Throughout history, classical identity has been used for various types of slavery and genocide. Regulated identity has formed the basis for indirect controls that are used to coerce people in society in ways that are difficult to resist, as well as providing the backbone for systems which force many to release their funds to organizations of various corporation-states that profit from global warfare. This is an untenable situation that calls for a different direction: one in which strong public cryptography will form the basis for liberative trans-identical systems which are voluntary, cannot be enforced, and provide options of anonymity and the means to express numerous facets of individual or group identity.
However, my decision to begin closing down the accounts as mentioned above is not based solely upon the decision of various firms to back the Windhover proposal. It is also emanates from my reflections upon whether or not the web-based systems are viable business models for our future. This is not to say that I do not care about the development of the increasingly used website-based business solutions in the bitcoinisphere, because I do. I have repeatedly advocated both within the context of government proceedings on bitcoin (so as to raise awareness of implications of its use), and in discussions involving various private groups and cryptography professionals, that privacy and anonymity should be emphasized. I’ve also suggested to standards-based organizations (such as the W3C) that curves utilized in bitcoin and other decentralized, distributed-digital systems be utilized in the WebCrypto API. I deeply care about the progress of bitcoin and would like to see organizations who present offerings through website-based interfaces utilize zero-knowledge configurations to protect their customers from oppression, censorship, and jail time imposed by unreasonable corporation-state organizations. Unfortunately, the interest that most companies have in ‘onboarding’ customers, seems to have taken priority over development of systems that would protect privacy and anonymity of the users. This ultimately works against the userbase and against the bitcoin ecosystem itself. Responsible development does not rest upon its laurels in the context of any regulatory approval (or absence thereof), but rather, is exemplified by proposals where the code itself protects the user from disclosure, regardless of any external actions from interested organizations. In such a context, the code itself can be designed to balance accountability and privacy while ensuring that a user’s identity is not disclosed, or to disclose transactions that exceed a certain limit, but should never be used to censor transactions that do not incorporate taxation, for example. Such distributed-digital cryptosystems should always be voluntary in nature, and always offer users a choice as to whether they wish to engage in facilitating taxation (regardless of where it occurs in the world) or not. Mandatory regulation in its many forms relies upon coercion and violence in order to succeed. Consensus-based, voluntary systems offer reasonable alternatives to the coercive and often violent systems which most people must use today.
In closing, I ask that the companies who may see this letter consider more deeply the privacy of users, and do the following to protect the many users of their services who will undoubtedly grow over time:
- Implement zero-knowledge processes (not only in authentication to your services, but in all aspects of how customer data is managed) so as to protect the users from yourselves (and from anyone else).
- Work with your staff either on warrant canary and/or seppuku pledge development, to protect the userbase.
- Renew and redouble efforts to decentralize exchanges, brokerages, and identity systems that are used to correspond to these. Examples of such decentralization, which involves varying degrees of user control and privacy, can be found as utilized by Keybase, OpenBazaar, and Mastercoin. (Notably, Mastercoin, in addition to presenting a decentralized exchange, is also working on warrant canary processes.)
- Provide users with the option of anonymity ‘built in’ as a core aspect of systems you work on, and where anonymity does not exist for a system you work on because of technological limitations, work to support its development.
- Support and respect those who choose the path of utilizing decentralized identity that does not comport with classical regulation or classical identity (examples: BitName, IDMAS). Do not censor or exclude such users.
He said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? To what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and put in his own garden. It grew, and became a large tree, and the birds of the sky lodged in its branches.” Luke 13: 18-19