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Archive for the ‘Food and Staples’ Category

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: July 21, 2011 Reporting From: Split, Croatia

In Business, Business/Political Trends Worldwide, Continental Travel, currency, Expatriation, Food and Staples, Government, History, Money and Finances, Offshore accounts, Opportunity, Personal, Sovereign Man, Taxes, Travel on July 21, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Sovereign Man

Notes from the Field

Date: July 21, 2011
Reporting From: Split, Croatia

Print. Lie. Borrow. Deceive. Deny. These are a the principal tenants of the Greek restructuring plan that were released today from Brussels… it’s as if EU policymakers put it together after shaking a Magic 8-ball.

The whole world knows that Greece is bankrupt and has been living bailout to bailout for over a year. Deep in debt and devoid of cash, the country has completely forsaken its sovereignty in exchange for becoming a ward of the European Union; Prime Minister George Papandreou is now a hapless stooge awaiting instructions from Germany.

It’s ironic that the Greek proposal released today calls for a ‘Marshall Plan’ of investment across Europe… given that the last time Greece was being controlled by Germany was during the country’s occupation by Nazi forces after being vanquished by Hitler’s 12th Army in April 1941.

And so, with limited debate and even less fanfare, Europe has just officially signed on to destroy its own currency. Utterly worthless, quasi-defaulted Greek debt will become perfectly acceptable collateral, much in the same way that the US Federal Reserve took every scrap of toxic paper it could find off banks in 2008 and 2009.

Given the favorable market reaction, European politicians must be feeling pretty proud of themselves. The euro is up. The stock market is up. Oil is up. Well, never mind about oil, they’ll blame that on evil speculators… just like food prices.

And the proposal is so deliberately vague, they can go back home and tell constituents whatever they want. Angela Merkel can tell German voters that the French are paying for it, and Sarkozy and tell French voters that the Germans are paying for it. Win, win!

The European sovereign default SOP has just been set. When Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Ireland’s time of insolvency arrives, it will be handled just like this: Print. Lie. Borrow. Deceive. Deny.

Every day it becomes more and more obvious that the financial system as we know it is breaking down. The United States and European monetary union, whose currencies comprise nearly the entirety of the world’s fiat reserves, have both signed up to debase their currencies as rapidly as possible.

This is going to kick inflation up another notch as anyone holding on to Greek debt is going to trade out of it as quickly as possible. All that money has to go somewhere… and it’s a sure bet that a lot of it will feed rising commodities price (which translates into more inflation).

If you haven’t found a safe haven for your savings yet, it’s time to start. Now. No more excuses. A few you could consider:

Swiss franc, Norwegian krone, Singapore dollar, Chilean peso: These four currencies are generally regarded as safer, stronger, and managed by less obtuse central banks. In a world of fiat, these are among the least worst of the bunch.

Unidad de Fomento (UF): This is a special unit of account used in Chile that was set up during the hyperinflation days of the 1960s. The UF is designed to keep pace with inflation and it’s possible to establish a bank account denominated in UF in Chile. I’ll be telling SMC members how to do that in an upcoming issue.

Agricultural Property: Nothing hedges your risk against rising food prices like being able to produce your own food. This idea underpins the concept for the resilient community we’re planning in South America.

Precious Metals: Portable, divisible, durable, and scarce, precious metals are the classic hedge against rising prices. Gold and silver aren’t going to go up in a straight line, and gold in particular is due for a correction, but in a world ruled by an economic magic 8-ball, it’s a much safer store of value than a government IOU.

High quality equities: If my only two options are Apple stock and a bank account earning 0% interest, I’m going with Steve Jobs. The chief problem with equities is that the more money that central banks print, the more money flows into equities… pushing valuations up to dizzying (and unsustainable) levels.

Firearms and ammunition: Weapons and ammo serve a dual purpose of providing better home security, as well as a reasonable store of value. Unfortunately, they can also serve a third purpose– putting you on some government agency’s radar.

This list is by no means exhaustive… but if you have the majority of your savings just sitting there wasting away, it’s time to act.

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com

This article appears courtesy of SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit http://www.SovereignMan.com

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: June 30, 2011 Reporting From: Andorra la Vella, Andorra

In Continental Travel, Food and Staples, Government, History, Interesting places, Opportunity, Personal, Political, Political parties, Taxes, Travel on June 30, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Sovereign Man

Notes from the Field

Date: June 30, 2011
Reporting From: Andorra la Vella, Andorra

In addition to being one of the most picturesque places on the planet, Andorra is a textbook example of what happens to an economy when a limited government sets up a liberal tax regime.

Like conjuring money out of thin air, taxation is just another form of inflation that either directly or indirectly sticks the end-user consumer with a higher price.

Think about it– when businesses get taxed on their payrolls and profits, it’s consumers who end up paying for it at the cash register. When governments decide to pass sales taxes or increase VAT rates, it’s consumers who end up paying more.

This is theft, plain and simple… a robbery from everyday, hardworking people perpetrated by unproductive bureaucrats. Governments around the world collect trillions of dollars each year by sticking consumers with higher prices, only to go waste it all trying to centrally plan their economies.

In his recent book Daemon, author Daniel Suarez summed this up when he wrote, “Anyone who has ever tried to share pizza with roommates knows that [central planning] cannot ever work. If Lenin and Marx had just shared an apartment, perhaps a hundred million lives might have been spared…”

The major fallacy in politicians’ logic is that if governments can collect enough tax revenue, they will be able to dump it all back into the economy, creating jobs and stimulating growth.

It sounds great in theory, but in practice, government spending is prone to massive misallocations and value distortions… let alone corruption and bribery. This is how we end up with bridges to nowhere, empty cities, expensive wars, and millions of dollars of stimulus money spent on giant signs bragging about how much stimulus money has been spent.

Spain is a great example of how this doesn’t work. For years, the government has been collecting painfully high taxes on earnings, savings, consumption, and death, then plowing this stolen booty back into the economy, effectively becoming the country’s dominant economic force.

Years of misallocations have created dismal economic conditions, as well as a horrible debt crisis.

At this point, the government has nearly run out of cash, the official unemployment rate is north of 20%, and retail prices on the street are rising by the month. So how has the government dealt with such overwhelming economic adversity? By raising taxes, of course… calling the exact same play, even though it never works.

After raising the VAT last year to 18%, personal income rates have been raised to nearly 50% on Spain’s top earners. Even middle-income earners are being taxed now at 37% to 43%. Capital gains rates have also been hiked. Guess what’s going to happen to prices?

You’d think that Spanish politicians would look at their track record and realize that government spending does not buy a one-way ticket on the economic gravy train… especially when low-tax Andorra is just up the road.

Andorra has no direct taxation on individual income, no tax on business profits, no tax on gifts, no tax on inheritances, and limited taxation on consumption (like sales tax or VAT). The net result looks a lot like Switzerland– a bright, clean, beautiful, prosperous country that consistently has some of the world’s lowest unemployment.

It’s not like Andorra is sitting on a huge oil reserve. This place is high up in the Pyrenees Mountains. There’s barely any place to grow a turnip around here, let alone drill for oil. No, Andorra has prospered because the country has set the right conditions that attract productive people and their capital, similar to what Hong Kong has done.

Prices here are reasonable. In fact, it’s much cheaper than Spain with quality as nice as Switzerland. Crime in Andorra is… well… it isn’t, basically. Standard of living is among the best in the world, and Andorrans even have the fourth highest life expectancy in the world at 82.43 years (compared to 81, 80, and 78 in Canada, UK, and United States).

With such a fantastic model right on its borders, its absolutely mind boggling that politicians in Spain, and the rest of Europe for that matter, refuse to take a page from Andorra’s playbook and set conditions for success.

For SMC subscribers, I’ll be telling you in the upcoming July edition how you can set up residency here, as well as establish a bank account. Also, don’t forget about our monthly subscriber teleconference this afternoon at 4pm eastern.

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com

This article appears courtesy of SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit http://www.SovereignMan.com

Sovereign Man Notes from the Field Date: June 27, 2011 Reporting From: London, England

In Business, Business/Political Trends Worldwide, Constitution of The United States, Continental Travel, Food and Staples, Jobs, Medicine, Opportunity, Political, Sovereign Man, Taxes, Travel on June 28, 2011 at 9:45 am

Sovereign Man

Notes from the Field

Date: June 27, 2011
Reporting From: London, England

Are you a US taxpayer? Do you have at least $10,000 in overseas accounts? It’s time to put those annual disclosure statements in the mail… and quickly. Let me explain.

Each year by June 30th, US taxpayers are obliged to report all foreign financial accounts in which they have either a beneficial interest or signature authority, so long as the aggregate value of all the accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year. The form is known as the FBAR.

You must accurately disclose the highest value of each account during the previous calendar year on your FBAR… so make sure you go back through your bank and brokerage statements to check.

Let me give you a few examples:

Iggy Noramus is a US citizen who keeps all of his money in the United States. He happily watches the value of his dollars depreciate and completely ignores important warning signs like the Treasury Department confiscating pension funds to make up for their budget shortfalls. Iggy does not need to file the FBAR.

Guy Sharpe is also a US citizen who took action in 2010 to set up a foreign bank account in Hong Kong after reading an issue of Sovereign Man: Confidential. He only funded the account with $1,000, figuring that he just wanted to have an overseas account ready in an emergency. Guy doesn’t need to file the FBAR either.

Dee Pockets is a US citizen with four overseas accounts. One personal account in Switzerland has just over $1 million, one business account in Singapore has $5 million, one small account in Belize has just $50, and a Cayman brokerage has $250,000. Dee must file the FBAR and declare each of the four accounts.

Goldie Bugg is another US taxpayer who established an account in 2010 with GoldMoney; she opened the account with only $8,000 at the beginning of the year, but the market value of her gold peaked at $11,500 during 2010. Goldie must file an FBAR as well.

The gold ruling is new this year, and we first reported this back in March. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Division (FinCEN) made it quite clear that any gold held in the custody of another firm or individual constituted a foreign financial account and needs to be reported on the FBAR.

Frankly I’m starting to believe that this was part of a larger movement to recast gold as a ‘financial instrument,’ subjecting precious metals to regulation, control, and potential confiscation.

Given what we’re seeing now with so many brokerages cutting off their OTC gold contracts, this hypothesis is becoming more credible. I’ll have more on this working theory in another letter.

For now, make sure that you get your FBAR’s filed in time. The Treasury Department changed its language in the instructions this year, spelling out that they expect to receive the report by June 30th, which is this coming Thursday.

The form only takes a few minutes to fill out (assuming you have the information), and the instructions are self-explanatory. Consult your tax advisor with any questions.

If you don’t have a foreign bank account yet, you really ought to consider it for four key reasons:

1) A foreign bank account often makes it much easier to diversify out of the dollar. If you believe that, excluding some short-term rallies, the dollar’s long-term trend is lower, you can easily hold foreign currencies in a foreign account.

2) Foreign banks are often much stronger, not these quasi-zombie banks propped up with deceptive accounting rules and public funds we see in the west. Singapore, for example, has never had a banking failure, ever. I’ve even recommended one bank in SMC that keeps 100% of deposits in cash equivalents.

3) Banks overseas are typically much more innovative. In the west, banks think they’re being innovative when they get a Twitter account. In Asia, you can sign up for the next big IPO from an ATM. You can send a worldwide wire transfer from your mobile. You can denominate accounts in different currencies and precious metals.

4) Foreign banks are not controlled by your government. Get sideways with a bureaucrat in your home country and see what happens to your assets; there are dozens of agencies and courts out there, whether at the state, local, or federal level, that can freeze you out of your own money with a single phone call.

They can’t do that if your money is offshore. Capital controls, fear and intimidation tactics, frivolous lawsuits, etc. have limited impact on offshore accounts. It’s often possible to apply through the mail, and I’ve seen some banks with account minimums as low as $0.

If you have any savings at all, I strongly urge you to consider moving at least a portion of it overseas for the reasons I outlined above.

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com
This article appears courtesy of SovereignMan.com: Notes From The
Field
, a free newsletter dedicated to individual freedom,
internationalization, asset protection and global finance. For a
complimentary subscription, visit http://www.SovereignMan.com

eFoods Global – Your best Food choice for your Preservation.

In Business, Food and Staples, Home Projects, Opportunity on May 6, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Hey Folks; will you and your family be prepared to preserve yourselves when the going gets real rough. Will you have enough Food Reserves to prevail for at least 6 months up to 2 years?? You can help yourself right here with the best food staples you can get to help you through the worst of times. Maybe your relatives and neighbors too…Look into it, you won’t be disappointed. Yours and mine food prices are on the march. I went to the market yesterday and again experienced another price increase of my last visit. The cereal prices are on an upswing just like the gas prices at the pump. What used to cost $40.00 now costs $60 to $70.00 with out question. A small investment in the above named product may just be the key to helping you and me when the end of the month comes along and the old checkbook is running on empty. Gonna give that some serious thought for sure. You and I will save on gas too because the stuff is delivered and we won’t have to move out of the house. Savings just might be two fold….Yea, I know that delivery can be expensive but formulate a plan and that cost can be resolved maybe. WE must get a plan, the costs are just gonna keep rising, especially, if this government of our keeps permitting folks to use more and more of our corn for fuel. The cereal prices will never stop escalating. Speaking of fuel, what are your thoughts regarding the benefits that have been given Brazil and Petrobras??? Our 2.5 billion dollars for oil exploration for their benefit and the permitting of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico with the use of a large area for oil storage here in our backyard is not making sense and should not be allowed. Where do we fit in, just putting up the $$$$$$ is all, nothing else..What gives???? Time to get rid of the EPA and all the Presidents CZARS….Let’s get that done this time around….Drill BABY Drill….When are we gonna start????

eFoods Global – Your best Food choice for your Preservation..

In Business, Food and Staples, Home Projects, Opportunity on April 24, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Hey Folks; will you and your family be prepared to preserve yourselves when the going gets real rough. Will you have enough Food Reserves to prevail for at least 6 months up to 2 years??
You can help yourself right here with the best food staples you can get to help you through the worst of times. Maybe your relatives and neighbors too…Look into it, you won’t be disappointed.

Yours and mine food prices are on the march. I went to the market yesterday and again experienced another price increase of my last visit. The cereal prices are on an upswing just like the gas prices at the pump. What used to cost $40.00 now costs $60 to $70.00 with out question. A small investment in the above named product may just be the key to helping you and me when the end of the month comes along and the old checkbook is running on empty. Gonna give that some serious thought for sure. You and I will save on gas too because the stuff is delivered and we won’t have to move out of the house. Savings just might be two fold….Yea, I know that delivery can be expensive but formulate a plan and that cost can be resolved maybe.
WE must get a plan, the costs are just gonna keep rising, especially, if this government of our keeps permitting folks to use more and more of our corn for fuel. The cereal prices will never stop escalating.
Speaking of fuel, what are your thoughts regarding the benefits that have been given Brazil and Petrobras??? Our 2.5 billion dollars for oil exploration for their benefit and the permitting of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico with the use of a large area for oil storage here in our backyard is not making sense and should not be allowed. Where do we fit in, just putting up the $$$$$$ is all, nothing else..What gives????

Time to get rid of the EPA and all the Presidents CZARS….Let’s get that done this time around…..Happy Easter to ALL….

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