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‘The Hive’ – Please Talk Amongst Yourselves

Here is our weekend discussion thread, where comments on the general topics of the day are very welcome.

But please remember to post and comment on specific news items in the ‘Reader Selected News’ thread below or via the ‘News Selected By Our Readers’ link found in the sidebar.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, May 17th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

13 Responses to “‘The Hive’ – Please Talk Amongst Yourselves”

  1. captstubby

    How the Obamas Manage Their Money
    By Rick Newman
    Thu, May 16, 2013 1:00 PM EDT

    “The Obamas’ net worth is somewhere between $1.9 million and $6.9 million, according to disclosure rules that allow elected officials to report the value of their assets within a wide range, allowing for large swings in value. Obama has readily acknowledged he’s a member of the one percent, though he’s not nearly as wealthy as other presidents were during their tenures, such as both Bushes, Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy.
    The Obamas don’t act like fat-cats either: Their investments are mostly plain-vanilla assets that Wall Street money managers might find naively simplistic. Yet the Obamas’ portfolio does reveal a certain worldview and an outlook for the future. Here are five takeaways from the Obamas’ disclosure forms:
    In the long run, the Obamas have faith in the U.S. economy. Roughly 15 percent of the Obamas’ money is invested in S&P 500 stock index funds, which in general rise or fall along with the U.S. economy. This money is in retirement funds, so the Obamas aren’t planning to tap it for a couple of decades at least, but by putting a large portion of their overall nest egg in U.S. stocks, the Obamas are betting that the U.S. economy will remain dominant for years to come. These funds appear to be the only direct stock investments the Obamas have.

    “The Obamas have at least $250,000 in checking accounts, leaving the president a handy fund for covering those occasional posh dinners he hosts for Congressional Republicans. ”

    “Their largest class of holdings is Treasury notes, which account for more than half of their net worth. At the moment, these relatively short-term securities are paying interest rates lower than inflation, which means the Obamas, like millions of hyperconservative investors, are essentially losing money on these holdings over time.”

    “Of course, there will be plenty of time for the Obamas to bulk up their wealth after 2016.”

    the American tax payer picks up most of the tab.

    • Petronius

      Interesting.

      Currently the best investment in Venezuela is toilet paper and the hottest investment in the USA is ammo.

      In planning an investment portfolio, it is worthwhile first to consider where we are headed as a country, both politically and economically; which freedoms will next be lost; our tolerance level for tyranny and totalitarian socialism; and what we might do as individuals to protect ourselves and our loved ones. I believe this formulation largely accounts for the five-year bull market in ammo.

      With this in mind, I offer the anti-Nerobama portfolio par excellence (or how to survive in the coming Dark Age):

      1. A bug-out bag.

      2. Get your assets out of Dodge. Even if you plan to stay in the USA, keep some of your assets in a foreign country. And avoid countries that are tax havens such as Switzerland or the Caymans because they have been targeted by the regime. Go plain vanilla, like a bank account and safe deposit boxes in Canada or England.

      3. Establish your own “secret” Swiss bank account in the US by opening a non-interest checking account and safe deposit box in a friendly small town bank near you. This should be at a different bank than your regular checking account. Consider using a local or small regional bank. You won’t miss the interest income from a savings account because the interest rate is nearly zero anyway.

      4. Renew your passport and keep it in order. Possession of a foreign passport would be invaluable.

      5. If you can afford it, buy a retreat in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, or the British Isles. If you speak a foreign language, you have more choices. (Canada, by the way, is the Saudi Arabia of toilet paper.)

      6. Keep most of your assets liquid –– US dollars, strong foreign currencies, the local currency of your retreat, and physical gold and silver.

      7. Add to your personal ammo dump whenever possible. Go for popular calibers, including those commonly used by police and military.

      8. Stockpile other handy survival items.

      Most of Nerobama’s investment is in short term Treasuries, which is a low-risk, capital preservation approach. It’s about the next closest thing to a savings account. With the interest rate on 10-year Treasuries below two percent, he may lose a little to inflation, but he won’t lose his principal (provided the government can continue to service its debt and interest rates don’t go up).

      Although stocks are setting record highs, and may head higher in the near term, we should consider that the Fed has tripled the amount of money in circulation since the 2008 subprime meltdown. The Fed is also holding interest rates near zero. Thus many believe this is a Fed-fueled bubble in stocks. And on a constant dollar basis, the stock market’s performance is not impressive.

      Retirees and baby boomers approaching retirement get almost no return from their savings accounts, CDs, and bonds, and are being forced to increase their risk factor by going more heavily into stocks. This is a potentially dangerous situation.

    • DW

      (Canada, by the way, is the Saudi Arabia of toilet paper.)

      Oh great, I can hear it now….some leftist hollering “No blood for Charmin!”
      (btw, we still have readily available ammo up here, but shipping it south is problematic)

  2. I sympathize with survivalists and believe we will eventually face serious chaos, so I’m preparing also.

    But I’m amused by people who hoard gold and other tangible assets in safes and bank deposit boxes. There’s very little safety in doing that. FDR seized gold in the early 1930’s and made it a federal crime to hold bullion. He didn’t have technology to help him do the dirty work, and still got it done.

    It’s very different now. Financial records aren’t sealed and all purchasers of safes, bullion, coins, diamonds, etc. can be observed easily by computer. All banks now are tied into the Federal Reserve, and if the feds seize gold again, you won’t be allowed to take it out the bank.

    If you have a safe at home, how long do you think it would take for people to realize you had a lot of valuables in it? If things got bad enough, roving bands of desperate people will seek out those with safes; a la New Orleans after Katrina.

    Can you remain armed and awake 24/7? These are much more challenging times.

    • Petronius

      RiverO: “I’m amused by people who hoard gold … in safes and bank deposit boxes.”

      Laugh if you like, but for me the risk of US government freezing or seizing bank boxes is pretty low on my list. I would expect the government to seize investment capital and even bank accounts before boxes.

      I have held boxes at various banks in four States and two foreign countries without any problems. I’ve held boxes for nearly fifty years and in all that time I haven’t lost a moment’s sleep over them. Of course I’m choosy about the locations of the banks I use. Also, only I know what goes into and out of those boxes. However, if I ever felt that any of them were threatened, I’d move them.

      In Nerobama’s first week in office (Jan 2009), the regime clamped down on Americans with foreign bank accounts, imposing new and onerous IRS regulations and intrusive reporting requirements on them, including stiff penalties for mistakes. This is always one of the first steps taken by Marxist regimes wherever they come to power. As a result, many American citizens living or working abroad have elected to forfeit their US citizenship, rather than attempt to comply and risk prosecution for mistakes. Shortly afterwards, Tigellinus-Holder and the IRS began lawsuits against Swiss banks doing business in the US, and American customers of those banks. Like Lenin before him, Nerobama wants to make sure that other people’s money does not escape his clutches.

      As I noted in my earlier post, each person needs to define where they think the country is heading, both politically and economically, and which freedoms will be lost next. My concerns differ from yours. Threats that I choose to guard against are:
      • government prevents people from moving money overseas;
      • government requires repatriation of old money held overseas;
      • government stigmatizes and persecutes Americans who hold money overseas;
      • government requires an exit visa to leave the US;
      • government requires that investment capital be redirected into US Treasury bonds in order to support the public debt.

      The last bullet is in fact the way Nerobama chooses to invest his private wealth –– he loans his money to the Federal government by buying Treasuries. That may be revealing.

      As unpleasant as it now seems, leaving the USA may well become the easiest path for many people. Or at least getting their assets out of Dodge. So it is important to prepare your way while the exit door is still open.

      CNBC interview with Dr Marc Faber (8/23/2011):

      Faber: “I prefer if investors hold physical gold in a safe deposit box ideally outside the US, in various locations … Switzerland, Singapore, Hong King, Australia, Canada…. I think it’s important in today’s very uncertain world to diversify, not only the various asset classes … but also the custody of your assets should be in different jurisdictions.”
      [Shocked expressions on the faces of his CNBC hosts in their New York studio.]
      CNBC: “Uh, so do you thus not trust US banks or US custodians? Do you think they might fail or abscond with the gold?”
      [Guffaws and incredulous snickers emerge from the co-hosts.]
      Faber: “I don’t trust anyone.”
      [Uncomfortable silence.]
      CNBC: “Hmmm. Interesting.”

  3. I sympathize with survivalists and believe we will eventually face serious chaos, so I’m preparing also.

    But I’m amused by people who hoard gold and other tangible assets in safes and bank deposit boxes. There’s very little safety in doing that. FDR seized gold in the early 1930’s and made it a federal crime to hold bullion. He didn’t have technology to help him do the dirty work, and still got it done. `

    It’s very different now. Financial records aren’t sealed and all purchasers of safes, bullion, coins, diamonds, etc. can be observed easily by computer. All banks now are tied into the Federal Reserve, and if the feds seize gold again, you won’t be allowed to take it out the bank.

    If you have a safe at home, how long do you think it would take for people to realize you had a lot of valuables in it? If things got bad enough, roving bands of desperate people will seek out those with safes; a la New Orleans after Katrina.

    Can you remain armed and awake 24/7? These are much more challenging times.

    • LAND

      That is the main ingredient to survival when the economy eventually crumbles. If you own land, fertile soil, and can survive during a growing season, you will live as comfortably as everyone did in the past 6000 years.

      Guns, seeds, tools, LAND.

      Any gold you have purchased will be confiscated, as it’s all the government’s anyway. No bank will issue it back to you no matter what. Unless you have it hidden at the bottom of a well, the gov’t will take it, and make rules in which you can’t use your hidden gold unless it has a special stamp or some sort of insignia declaring it “legal.”

      Isn’t it amazing that most people have just accepted the fact that the country is DOOMED, and are at least mentally preparing for that eventuality?

      The 7 Stages of Grief
      SHOCK & DENIAL-
      PAIN & GUILT-
      ANGER & BARGAINING
      DEPRESSION”, REFLECTION, LONELINESS
      THE UPWARD TURN-
      RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH-
      ACCEPTANCE & HOPE-

      I’m on the 7th stage. It’s best to just allow the crash to happen, clear out the dead wood, and rebuild. It can’t continue on the way it has, and probably shouldn’t anyway.

    • canary

      Yes, except the govt will seize land and homes.

      The government probably has high-tech gold metal detectors, just like those guns that pick of bar codes in paper money.

    • Petronius

      Of course the great drawback to land is that it’s not portable.

      Canary may be right –– if you own land in America it is subject to taxation and vulnerable to confiscation; as a practical matter you only rent your land from the government. Southerners learned this lesson from the carpetbaggers during Reconstruction; the carpetbaggers were America’s original redistributors.

      Or, if you own a farm or ranch, the government might move 100 Somali refugees onto your farm and order you to feed and support them. This is virtually the situation for Texas farmers and ranchers along the Rio Grande today.

      So buy land by all means, but remember location, location, location. Best to buy a retreat in a safe foreign country where the rule of law and private property rights still exist.

  4. captstubby

    Republicans Informed of IRS Investigation Last Year
    By Jonathan Karl | ABC News

    Much has been made of the fact that senior Treasury Department officials were told about the investigation into the treatment of tea party groups in June 2012 – months before last year’s the Presidential election. Republicans who requested the investigation were also told about it at approximately the same time.

    In a letter dated July 11, 2012, the man who conducted the investigation – IRS inspector general J. Russell George – wrote to Rep. Darrell Issa, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, telling him that he was investigating the issue and offering to keep him updated as the investigation progressed.
    “we won’t be able to provide a detailed, substantive briefing until late April/early May.”

    so somehow Republicans are guilty too by not crying like a little girl before a
    investigation uncovered any facts?

  5. Melly

    Before there was Benghazi, there was Extortion 17.

    “But before Benghazi, there was Extortion 17, the call sign of a special operations mission in Afghanistan on Aug. 6, 2011. Three months after the strike on Osama bin Laden, 30 Americans — including 15 from the bin Laden strike-team unit, Navy SEAL Team 6, and two other SEALs — were killed in the costliest single-day loss for the U.S. military in the Afghanistan war, and the largest SEAL loss ever. A “lucky shot” in the dark brought down the old CH-47 Chinook helicopter attempting to land them in the middle of an ongoing battle in Wardak Province. Or so the U.S. military claims. The families are not so sure.”

    http://townhall.com/columnists.....7-n1598966

    https://www.facebook.com/Extortion17DemandaCongressionalHearing?ref=tn_tnmn

  6. Noyzmakr

    I watched the 3 hour press conference the families held a few days back. It was sickening to hear what the Pentagon put them through. How they lied to their faces about the attack and why their sons were there in the first place.

    To top it off. That damn Muslim Iman that the pentagon allowed to damn their souls to hell in arabic at their memorial service before their bodies left Afghanistan is outrageous. Not to mention that Afghan soilders remains were most likely under American flags and our heros were probably shipped home under Afghan flags because their bodies were unidentified until they got to the US. Unbelievable.

    But I think the worse thing is a POS named Admiral William McRaven went to one family’s home and sat at theiir kitchen table and flat out lied to them!

    BTW, he was TIME magazines runner up for person of the year 2011. Link below.

    http://www.time.com/time/speci.....30,00.html

    It’s enough to make you sick. Where is the leadership? Even our military is over-run by political correctness and it’s going to get us all killed.

    Can you tell I’m pi*#ed off? God forgive me, but I REALLY hate these people!

    • Petronius

      The US military is the most politically correct and thoroughly affirmative actionized organization in America.

      “As great a tragedy as this was, it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well.” And later, “Our diversity not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.”
      – Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey, Jr. remarks following the Fort Hood massacre.


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