Golden Chocolate Bar

Being the Christmas season, sales of chocolate gold coins no doubt soared as parents filled their little ones’ stockings with edible treasure.

But wealthy individuals worried about what the New Year could bring are instead stocking up on gold chocolate bars.

Swiss refinery Valcambi has been selling its CombiBar to private investors in Switzerland, Austria and Germany who are worried about a return of Weimar Republic-style hyperinflation.

Gold chocolate bar: An employee divides a gold Combibar at a plant of gold refiner and bar manufacturer Valcambi in the southern Swiss town of Balern. Sales have soared amid economic uncertainty in Europe
An employee shows a 1 gram piece of a gold Combibar
 Gold chocolate bar: An employee divides a gold Combibar at a plant of gold refiner and bar manufacturer Valcambi in the southern Swiss town of Balern. Sales have soared amid economic uncertainty in Europe
Crisis currency: Swiss refinery Valcambi has been selling its CombiBar to private investors in Switzerland, Austria and Germany who are worried about a return of Weimar Republic-style hyperinflationCrisis currency: Swiss refinery Valcambi has been selling its CombiBar to private investors in Switzerland, Austria and Germany who are worried about a return of Weimar Republic-style hyperinflation

The size of a credit card, the 50g gold CombiBars are easily be broken into one gram pieces to be used as money in times of crisis.

Now the company wants to bring them to market in the U.S. and build up sales in India – the world’s largest consumer of gold, where it has long served as a parallel currency.

Investors worried that inflation and financial market turmoil will wipe out the value of their cash have poured money into gold over the past decade.

Prices have gained almost 500 per cent since 2001 – compared to a 12 per cent increase in MSCI’s world equity index, a benchmark for the value of the world’s business investments.

Sales of gold bars and coins were worth almost $77billion (£48billion) in 2011, up from just $3.5billion (£2.2billion) in 2002, according to data from the World Gold Council.

Stocking filler for the wealthy: The divisible gold bar has a purity of 99.9 percent, weighs 50 grams and also has predetermined breaking points which allow it to be easily separated into 1g pieces without any loss of materialStocking stuffer for the wealthy: The divisible gold bar has a purity of 99.9 percent, weighs 50 grams and also has predetermined breaking points which allow it to be easily separated into 1g pieces without any loss of material
Panic buying: Sales of gold bars and coins were worth almost $77billion (£48billion) in 2011, up from just $3.5billion (£2.2billion) in 2002, according to data from the World Gold CouncilPanic buying: Sales of gold bars and coins were worth almost $77billion (£48billion) in 2011, up from just $3.5billion (£2.2billion) in 2002, according to data from the World Gold Council

‘The rich are buying standard bars or have deposits of physical gold. People that have less money are buying up to 100 grams,’ said Michael Mesaric, CEO of Valcambi.

‘But for many people a pure investment product is no longer enough. They want to be able to do something with the precious metal.’

Mr Mesaric said the advantage of the CombiBar – dubbed a ‘chocolate bar’ because pieces can be easily broken off by hand – is that it is easily carried and is cheaper than buying 50 one gram bars.

‘The produce can also be used as an alternative method of payment,’ he said.

Gearing up for the Christmas rush: A Valcambi employee holds an unpressed gold CombibarGearing up for the Christmas rush: A Valcambi employee holds an unpressed gold Combibar
Punched metal: The bars' grooves and details are imprinted with a powerful pressPunched metal: The bars’ grooves and details are imprinted with a powerful press
Quality control: An employee checks a Combibar after it has been machined into the right shapeQuality control: An employee checks a Combibar after it has been machined into the right shape
Nearly ready to ship: The CombiBar is particularly popular among grandparents who want to give their grandchildren a strip of gold rather than a coin, says Andreas Habluetzel, of gold trading company DegussaNearly ready to ship: The CombiBar is particularly popular among grandparents who want to give their grandchildren a strip of gold rather than a coin, says Andreas Habluetzel, of gold trading company Degussa

Valcambi, a unit of U.S. mining giant Newmont, is building a sales network in India and plans to launch the CombiBar on the U.S. market next year. In Japan, it wants to focus on CombiBars made of platinum and palladium.

In Europe, demand is particularly strong among the Germans, still scarred by post-World War One hyperinflation, when money became all but worthless and it took a wheelbarrow full of notes to buy a loaf of bread.

‘Above all, it’s people aged between 40 and 70 that are investing in gold bars and coins,’ said Mr Mesaric. ‘They’ve heard tales from their parents about wars and crises devaluing money.’

The CombiBar is particularly popular among grandparents who want to give their grandchildren a strip of gold rather than a coin, said Andreas Habluetzel, head of the Swiss business of Degussa, a gold trading company.

‘Demand is rising every week,’ Mr Habluetzel said. ‘Particularly in Germany, people buying gold fear that the euro will break apart or that banks will run into problems.’

Doing a roaring trade: In Europe, demand is particularly strong among the GermansDoing a roaring trade: In Europe, demand is particularly strong among the Germans

Some fund managers, however, remain sceptical.

Stephan Mueller, who manages bank Julius Baer’s $6billion gold fund, said one problem with using gold as a method of payment is that people have to take its value on blind trust.

More conventional Christmas fare: Sales of chocolate gold coins are probably soaring as well...
More conventional Christmas fare: Sales of chocolate gold coins are probably soaring as well…

‘Gold is a useful store of value,’ Mr Mueller said. ‘However I doubt whether it will succeed as a method of payment.’

Nonetheless, as developments in the euro zone lurch from one crisis to another, demand for gold that can be sold in vending machines is also growing.

‘Sales rise according to the temperature of the crisis,’ said Thomas Geissler, whose firm Ex Oriente Lux operates 17 gold vending machines in Europe, the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates.

The machines saw record sales in 2010, one day after the then Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackermann raised doubts over whether Greece would be able to pay its debts.

Since the launch of the machines, which operate under the name ‘GOLD to go’, 50,000 customers have withdrawn more than 21million euros in gold. The average buyer is male, over 50 years old and well off.

‘Customers are hoarding gold mostly at home as a precaution against a crisis, just as their fathers and grandfathers did before them,’ Mr Geissler said.

If you wish to consider purchasing gold or silver Combibars you link to the Valcambi site here.
Attribution: Damien Gayle, Daily Mail

Fiscal Cliff

Although I don’t agree will all the following points of this article, Mr. Livingston does make one think.

The Fiscal Cliff Is A Mirage, But A Real Cliff Is Ahead

by: Bob Livingston

The Fiscal Cliff Is A Mirage, But A Real Cliff Is Ahead

Don’t worry over the so-called fiscal cliff. It is just the latest in a long line of crises created by the elected sociopath class as another ploy to extract more wealth from the American people and further advance its agenda.

The cliff you need to worry about is the one we are barreling toward regardless of how the fiscal cliff negotiations turn out. It’s the hyperinflation cliff. It’s dead ahead. It has become unavoidable. The Nation is in default.bush tax cuts

The fiscal cliff is the term adopted to refer to the end of the misnamed George Bush tax cuts (which expire on Dec. 31 and because Obama extended them in 2010, so we will rightly call them Obama tax cuts) and sequestration ($1.2 trillion in cuts to social programs and defense spending that kick in on Jan. 1 barring a budget deal). It’s an unpalatable option to the political class because the political class hates cutting government — which reduces the power of the state — and uses a progressive tax rate to help reinforce the Hegelian dialectic.

President Barack Obama and his redistributionist minions have drawn a line in the sand over the misnamed George W. Bush tax cuts. Obama wants to end his own tax cuts on those making more than $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers). This, despite his statement in 2010: “You don’t raise taxes in a recession.”

The United States remains in the old or has entered into a new recession. As John Williams of Shadowstats.com writes here1 (subscription required): “[T]here has been no recovery in economic activity, since the economy plunged from 2006/2007 into mid-2009, just ongoing low-level stagnation. Reporting of retail sales, production and durable Wall Streetgoods orders shows the economy turning down, once again, into what will become recognized as the second-dip of a double-dip recession, likely timed from third-quarter 2012. The reality remains that current economic woes are an ongoing part of protracted economic collapse, not the beginning of a new cycle.”

While the “official” phony-baloney government statistics show U.S. gross domestic product rising steadily since late 2009, real GDP growth remains stagnant, as it has since late 2009, and mirrors real unemployment, retail sales and housing starts.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has instituted QE3 to infinity. This will serve to prop up banks and the establishment, but it will hasten the demise of the dollar. (Watch the prices of gold and silver for confirmation.) It’s out-and-out theft from the American worker, saver and retiree.

QE3 and the unwillingness of the political class to make substantial and substantive cuts to government have prompted Williams to shorten his outer hyperinflation timeline from 2018 to 2014.

America is a warfare/welfare state2. A full 20 percent ($718 billion) of the Federal budget in 20113 was spent on perpetual war, defense and security-related international activities. “This portion of the budget is untouchable,” according the warfare wing of both parties.

Another 21 percent ($769 billion) went to Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). An additional 13 percent ($466 billion) went to safety-net programs like SSI, food stamps, school meals, housing and childcare assistance, etc.entitlements “These are untouchable,” according to redistributionist class of both parties.

And 20 percent ($731 billion) paid for Social Security, which provided retirement benefits to 35.6 million workers and other benefits to another 19.8 million spouses and children of retired workers, spouses and children of deceased workers, disabled workers and their eligible dependents. Social Security is considered an entitlement program, but it should not be since it is supposedly funded by money confiscated from workers — who had no say in the matter — to fund their retirement. The program was long ago looted by the elites and is the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. “Social Security is sacrosanct and untouchable,” leadership of both parties lie to you as they confiscate the funds faster than they pour in.

Obama and his redistributionist minions play the class-warfare game to perfection, pitting the poor against the so-called rich in order to steal more from the middle class. Their big lie is that the “rich” pay a lower percentage of income in taxes than the poor or middle class. The politics of envy —The-Politics-Of-Envy nasty, vile and green wealth envy that causes some to wish ill will or disaster on others who have enjoyed more success and has turned to hatred in the hearts of many — is advancing us toward total totalitarianism.

And now Republicans — supposedly the party of low taxes and smaller government — are joining the growing ranks of redistributionists and feeding the dialectic.

According to Internal Revenue Service data5, the highest average tax rates in America are paid by those making between $1.5 million and $2 million. Their tax rate is 25.1 percent. Tax rates then begin to fall on incomes greater than $2 million, as a greater percentage of income comes from capital gains and dividends. Still, those making more than $200 million pay an 18 percent tax rate on their adjusted gross income.

Those making $1 million to less than $1.5 million pay a 24.9 percent tax rate. Those making $500,000 to less than $1 million pay 24.1 percent, and those in the $200,000 to less than $500,000 range pay 19.6 percent. Tax rates below $200,000 break down as follows:

  • $100,000 to less than $200,000 incomes pay 12 percent.
  • $50,000 to less than $100,000 incomes pay 7.5 percent.
  • $30,000 to less than $50,000 incomes pay 4.8 percent.
  • Those making less than $30,000 paid no Federal taxes6 after deductions and credits.

Representative Tom Price (R-Ga.) says Obama’s plan to increase taxes on the rich will generate only enough revenue to fund the Federal government for eight days7. What he doesn’t tell you is that income taxes don’t fund the government. They are simply a wealth redistribution/information gathering tool used by the government.wealth redistribution

Price is one of the employees of the state who daily work to propagandize the masses on the idea that there is government debt and that money (sometimes called “revenue” to fool the people with doublespeak) to pay that debt must be confiscated from the masses. But there is no debt. Ask yourself this question: If you had a machine that would crank out an unlimited number of bills, would you have debt? Of course not. And that’s what government does.

Government debt is a world-class delusion. It is a tool used to justify theft and redistribution. And it has worked to perfection, pitting the have-nots against the haves, while the 1 percent (government workers and elected class) make out like the bandits they are. Meanwhile, many become ever more embittered over the idea that someone may have a greater pile of worthless green paper strips than they do.

It won’t be too much longer before people will be papering their walls with the green paper strips they’re so jealous of others for having. Study your history, and look to Weimar Germany as the example.

Workers were transporting wheelbarrows of cash to the store for bread, hoping to arrive before the prices changed. The price of coffee would triple between the time it was poured hyperinflationand the time it was consumed and the check arrived. Mothers prostituted themselves so their kids could be fed.

The next U.S. Great Depression is the cliff to be concerned with. Time is short. Store food (buying it now is also a hedge against inflation) and water, guns and ammunition, and personal hygiene items. Accumulate silver and gold. This Christmas, give silver as a gift that keeps giving — especially pre-1965 U.S. silver coins:

  • Dec. 1, 2000: silver $4.69/oz.; today: silver $34.28/oz.
  • Dec. 1, 2000: Dow Jones industrial average 14,053; today: DJIA 13,023.

Times will be especially difficult for the unprepared and those who depend upon the system for sustenance.

Geronimo!

To Hell With It, Let’s Jump Off the Fiscal Cliff

HunterBy Derek Hunter

We’ve all heard about the “fiscal cliff.” But what does it mean? The media won’t bother to explain it in any detail, and people aren’t looking it up on their own. So, a great many Americans think it’s a physical place, a vacation destination of some sort. I understand people are busy with their lives, but a majority of Americans just voted to re-elect President Obama, a man whose failed leadership created this harmonic convergence of economic mess that is the fiscal cliff. So I say, “To hell with it; let’s jump.”base-jumping

President Obama is still in campaign mode, traveling the country to sell his unserious proposal of $1.6 trillion in tax hikes, more insane spending and a laughably small amount of spending cuts. So much for a “balanced” plan. But the president couldn’t even be bothered to deliver his “plan” to Congress himself. He sent Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, an alleged financial wizard who claims he “misfiled” his taxes because he couldn’t properly use the near idiot-proof TurboTax.

Democrats are unwilling to take seriously the coming crush of entitlement spending. They took entitlement reform off the table before negotiations even began, and their megaphones in the media don’t put down their pompons long enough to report honestly about any of it.

The House of Representatives has passed an extension of the current tax rates, and the Democratic-controlled Senate has done exactly nothing with it. The Senate could vote to just extend the current rates they support and deal with it in a conference committee, but it won’t. It won’t do anything because the party that controls the Senate doesn’t want anything done.

harry_reid_is_a_jerkWhat few leftists will tell you is they want tax rates to increase on everyone. That’s why the president campaigned on extending them for the middle class for only one year, not permanently. They know, just like hiking rates on top earners, that will harm the failing economy, but they don’t give a damn. They want more money.

Liberals have no interest in even inching toward a government that lives within its means because, unlike every other individual, company and entity in the world, government is the only entity that can simply vote itself more means. Max out your credit cards, then tell Visa you’re raising your own credit limit, and let me know how that works out for you.

Republicans should start now, raising a lot of money and running ads about how Democrats are unserious and responsible for taxes going up. Spend money to explain the situation to the American public. The media never will report it, and Republican leaders, such as John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, don’t have the bully pulpit or ability to communicate as Ronald Reagan did. So paid media is the only option.ronald-reagan-great-communicator

In the meantime, the people voted for Obama, so let them have Obama. Just make sure to pin every ounce of failure on his chest like a scarlet letter.

Yes, sequestration will cause serious cuts in defense spending, but the military can handle it. Liberals become aroused at the prospect of cutting defense, and liberal voters in Virginia and Maryland would be hardest hit as defense contractors lay off Obama voters in those blue states. I say good. Sometimes voters have to take their medicine, even if it’s a suppository.

It won’t be easy, but the military will adapt. That’s what the military does, and that’s why it is the best in the world. And half the automatic sequester cuts will come from domestic spending – bureaucracies also filled with Obama voters, who will be less able to deal with them. If they can’t adjust their spending to absorb the cuts, they’ll have to lay off people. Again, good.

If Republicans refuse to extend unemployment benefits, these newly unemployed Obama voters eventually will get to experience first-hand the lifestyle their vote empowered. Welfare state overlords on welfare. Can you think of a better education for bureaucrats than to be forced onto the very programs they administered, so they themselves experience the soul-sucking, aspiration-killing impact of what they’ve done to others? Karma is exactly what they say it is.

no gutsOr, if Republicans don’t have the “intestinal fortitude” for this (which leadership hasn’t displayed in years), the House should pass a middle-class tax cut but keep the top rates the same. And make them permanent. That would force Democrats to reject an actual middle-class tax cut, not the “keeping-rates-the-same” nonsense they’re now trying to sell to the American people as a tax cut.

We know Democrats aren’t interested in cutting taxes for the people they claim to fight for, so call their bluff. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama like lying about middle-class tax cuts, so pass the bill and see how they react.

But none of this will work if Republicans don’t start a smart, aggressive, expensive and sustained ad campaign that circumvents the media. The key word is “smart,” and it’s also the catch. The Republican Party needs to treat itself like Keith Richards and embrace failure and go with all new blood. If the party doesn’t shed those who brought us the debacle of Nov. 6, no strategy will work. Just like voters who re-elected a failed, incompetent president expecting a different outcome, Republicans can’t retain the same failed team and expect to win.

Democrats have no interest in addressing our massive deficit and out-of-control spending; it’s up to Republicans. The question is this – do Republicans have the will? We’ll all have to have to take our medicine sooner or later. If we don’t take advantage of the opportunities now, that suppository will end up being like a cyanide pill.