El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana

El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana
The Conquistador who put the Amazaon baisn "on the map"....Francisco Orellana

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hide Your Liberty Dollars, Secret Service Is Coming to Confiscate!

You may remember Bernard von NotHaus, purveyor of the gold/silver backed “Liberty Dollar,” who was convicted of making, possessing, and selling his own coins, as well as conspiracy against the United States. The lead attorney on the case made it a point to refer to Mr. NotHaus’ dealing as a special form of domestic terrorism.
Since the coins NotHaus was selling have been deemed to violate Federal counterfeiting statutes, they are now considered contraband by the US Attorney and Secret Service. Coin World explains:
Liberty Dollars held by collectors may be subject to seizure as contraband by federal law enforcement, officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Secret Service said Aug. 24.
Statements by officials for those two federal law enforcement agencies seem to reverse the position taken in comments released from the United States Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, N.C., and published in Coin World in April, that mere possession of Liberty Dollars did not constitute a violation of any federal statute.
That position has apparently changed, although officials of the U.S. Secret Service — which would be the federal agency likely charged with executing any possible seizures — would not provide any definitive comments concerning under what circumstances Liberty Dollars would be seized.

Kessler [Secret Service Representative] could not provide a blanket position the Secret Service would take toward those owning Liberty Dollars, whether one piece or significantly more.
He said if a Secret Service agent witnessed something considered to be contraband, such as Liberty Dollars, they would be duty-bound to confiscate it.
If VonHaus was considered a domestic terrorist for violating counterfeiting statutes, you can be assured that those who purchased these silver and gold coins will now be classified as the same, because trading these coins in any capacity will in itself be an act of knowingly passing counterfeit currency.
If you’ve got any of these coins in your possession, chances are that the US government knows who you are and where you live. While no confiscation policy has been overtly applied to owners of the coins, we can be assured that if the government has the opportunity to do so, they will take everything they can, just as they did with $70 million in double eagle gold coins seized from Langbord family.
Our advice to concerned terrorists in possession of these coins is to either get a shovel, get them out of the United States (and even then you may not be safe under international treaties), or head to a smelter.
Hat tip CT
Author: Mac Slavo
Date: August 29th, 2011
Website: http://www.shtfplan.com/

Friday, August 26, 2011

US Government Asset Seizures on the Rise

The Wall Street Journal published a disturbing article earlier this week entitled “Federal Asset Seizures Rise, Netting Innocent With Guilty.”

You can already imagine the crux of the article.

In the United States, there are hundreds of regulations which authorize dozens federal agencies to confiscate private property — homes, cars, bank accounts, gold, company shares, and even personal effects.
Ironically, most Americans still think that they live in a country where you’re innocent until proven guilty. Nothing could be further from the truth, and it’s just another clear example of how the US Constitution has become a worthless piece of toilet paper for the federal government.

The Fifth Amendment states that “No person shall be...deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Tell that James Lieto, a New York businessman who was relieved of $392,000 when the armored car company used by his check-cashing firm was taken down by the FBI.

Lieto was innocent and not implicated in any wrongdoing, but the FBI took his money regardless as it just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Last October, another businessman named Raul Stio was suspected of wrongdoing by the Treasury Department. The government seized over $150,000 from his account, yet in the 10-months that followed, Stio has still not been charged with a crime.

According to Justice Department statistics, the total value of confiscated property exceeded $2.5 billion in 2010, more than double from five years ago. The average take per case? $166,000...and the vast majority of cases were non-criminal.

It’s truly staggering to think about how much can be taken away from you in the blink of an eye, all without any judicial oversight or right to a hearing.

The reason could be anything. Maybe you violated some arcane, meaningless regulation among the hundreds of thousands of pages of US Code (ignorance of the law is NOT an excuse!). Maybe you were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Or maybe they had no real reason at all other than mere suspicion.

One minute you have money, the next you’re completely locked out of your wealth and livelihood. They force YOU to prove to them that you aren’t guilty, but they take away any means you had to defend yourself.

Look, this is the new reality in America. The entire country has become a nation of criminals — there isn’t a single man, woman, or child alive who is not in violation of some obscure regulation or cannot be ‘suspected’ of wrongdoing.

This is really just a form of cannibalism — a government feeding on its own citizens in order to keep the party going just a little bit longer. They’ll raise taxes, seize assets, take over pension funds, erode freedoms, start wars and send people to die — whatever it takes to maintain the status quo.

I’ve long advocated for an internationalization strategy: diversifying various assets and interests overseas so that no one single government has total control over your livelihood.

Store your gold in Switzerland. Open a bank account in Hong Kong. Register your company in the BVI. Establish a ‘backup’ residency in Chile. Expand your business in Brazil. Get a better job in Singapore. Obtain a second passport in Malta. Open a brokerage account in the Cayman Islands.

This approach is NOT just for the super rich. In fact, I’ve helped all kinds of people to internationalize, young and old, rich and poor.

Taking some simple steps to protect yourself will give you extraordinary peace of mind. You’ll know that, without doubt, you have some savings socked away that NOBODY can touch. You’ll know that you have a solid emergency backup plan. You’ll know that everything you’ve worked for won’t vanish in an instant.


Simon Black,
for The Daily Reckoning

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Ultimate Crisis Hedge: Land. Physical Land.

We are publishing this post becase the author makes an excellent case that we concur with. However, our position may differ in that one should look at property outside of your home country. Moreover..in a country where property taxes is almost a non issue......like Ecuador....

A Not-Car Column….
By Eric Peters
Last weekend, we bought some land.
This flies against policy (our policy) of never buying anything except that which can be paid for at the time of purchase – and even though I know full-well that we won’t really own the land, just as we don’t really own the land we have (or the house that sits upon it) because owners don’t pay rent in perpetuity to the government, which we, like all “owners” must (in the form of annual property taxes) if we wish to continue to be allowed to remain on the land (and in “our”) house.


We did this deed as a way to hedge against what I am increasingly convinced is coming – the destruction of the dollar, followed about five minutes after this becomes common knowledge by the final implosion of what’s left of the American economy.

Land – physical land – is a good way (perhaps the only way, in a major economic crisis) to keep at least some of your wealth intact and more importantly – if you act in time – a way to transfer the value of fiat dollar-denominated assets into something tangible, of real value. Gold, of course, is another way to do this but it has a major disadvantage: It is only valuable as a sort-of proxy for wealth; that is, it has value only as long as someone else who has something you want is willing to trade you what he has for the gold you have – which means that he (the owner of the item you want) must believe he will be able to then swap the gold he gets from you to some other person who has something he wants, something that’s not gold. Put another way, gold is fungible only if there’s a still-operating economy. If the worst happens and the system really does experience a catastrophic collapse, the value of gold may collapse along with it – at least, for awhile. Until civilization re-assembles itself. But in the meanwhile, what will you do with your gold? It is pretty to look at but you can’t eat it and outside of a few specialized industrial applications that won’t matter during a period of crisis, it is useless.

Land, on the other hand, not only has tangible value (like gold) and is fungible (also like gold) because you can always convert it into gold or trade/sell it for something else you value – but perhaps much more importantly, in a time of real crisis, land can give you life.


You can grow food on land – which could mean the difference between life and death, when the system runs off the rails and Costco and Safeway are looted to the linoleum. Which – count on it – is sure to happen the moment the masses get a whiff of the dollar’s imminent collapse. And you can hunt on land, too – assuming enough acreage.

But the number one advantage to land, as I see it, is physical distance between yourself – you and your family – and the latter-day Golden Horde that is already in the process of forming itself up. (Witness the so-called “flash mobs” of “youths” in Wisconsin, Philadelphia and other places.) Just as it is harder for a thug to assault you from 20 yards away than when he’s right up in your face, you stand a better chance of making it through what may be coming if you and yours are not in the immediate vicinity (or path) of the rampaging mobs. They may not even notice you – and more significantly, you will enjoy a greater likelihood of noticing them before they notice you. In old-school cowboy lingo, this means getting the drop on them. And that can be the difference between life and death as much as having some food and other supplies stored up to get you through a few months of hard times.

In the most extreme eventuality – minions of the Clover State coming to round you and yours up for “relocation” to a FEMA camp or god-knows-what-else in the immediate aftermath of a SHTF-type scenario – you have the option of just… disappearing. Of going off the grid, into the heart of darkness. It will not be easy. It will certainly not be pleasant. But it is much more pleasant than the alternative.

I am in my 40s now and like most people in that age bracket, I like my comforts. I enjoy having my motorcycle and car projects; even doing the chores around the place that need to be done. But if the S does H the Fan, I will do everything in my power to make it through to the other side of whatever’s coming, which will hopefully be something better than what we have now. But above all else, I will not Submit and Obey. If they come for me and mine, if they are not willing to leave us be in return for us extending the same common decency toward them – well, then we have options.

Because we have some land.

If you are reading this, there is still time for you to do the same. I hope you will consider it – and I hope you can make it happen.

Meanwhile, let’s hope for the best and that all we’ll be doing next summer is cutting the grass…. .
Throw it in the Woods?

Eric Peters is the proprietor of Eric Peters Autos and provides commentary on everything from classic cars and SHTF vehicles, to preparedness information and Libertarian ideas.
Author: Eric Peters
Date: August 23rd, 2011
Website: http://epautos.com

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Property of the Month - August - Great "Gentelman´s Farm" 15 Hectares $40,000

This farm has great potential for growing Cacao...one of Ecuadors most popular up and coming export. As Chocolate becomes known world over for its new medicinal properties....we believe growing this plant can bring good returns.

The farm is located in "Los Bancos" which is about 3 hours from Quito. The soil is vocanic ash rich and is currently being underutilzied with pasture lands (no cows currently present) and citrus trees.

Moreover, the land has its own source of running water with not only a small river on the property but natural water wells.

As mentioned before, we love property that has been grazed by cattle. The land is furtile and can be prepared for new crop production.

Despite not having any physical structures, the property does have it own electricty  and septic service. The weather would be considered "sub tropical" which would provide also good production of bananas, yuka and other citrus. The elevation is around 600m2 from sea level.
For more information on this property and a tour of this great opportunity....email us at colonialquito@yahoo.com or call us in Quito at (5932-2) 257-1995 or our cell phone at 098828571. You can also call us in the USA at 225-612-6770.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

From the history pages of Property....compared to today´s chaotic capitalism did Fuedalism look that bad?

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

The distinction between individual and collective property has one fundamental point that is often presented in an unbalanced way, leading persons who deal with property in the Middle Ages to oppose one to the other in an exaggerated fashion. They present the two as if they were furious dogs ready to attack and destroy each other. To prevent this, they claim, the dogs must be restrained with strong chains to avoid a social catastrophe.

Let me try to resolve this unbalanced presentation by analyzing what actually happened in the Middle Ages regarding this dichotomy between individual and social property.

Man was created to exist in society, and society is formed for the benefit of men. Everything well-ordered in society comes from a previous good order inside man. There is no good social order unless we have men whose souls are well-ordered. When the souls are well ordered, a diversified, fecund and amiable type of social relations springs up spontaneously among men, without previous planning.

When someone brings a flower close to his nose, he smells its flagrance; when someone approaches a society where everyone is Catholic, where evil and sin are rejected, he perceives its order and sniffs the perfume of its harmony. So it was in the Middle Ages.
Harmony between individual & collective property

What actually happened in the Middle Ages regarding private property? Even though we are adepts of private property, we are obliged to recognize that there was a tendency then toward collective property.

The typical man under the Roman Law was the exclusive owner of his land - even if it was a piece as small as a rug. Property was conceived as a kind of a two-sided parallelogram that extended from the surface of his land down to the center of earth as well as upward until it reached the sky. Everything inside that space belonged exclusively to him and, therefore, his right over the property was absolute. This was the idea of ownership of land, of private property, according to Roman Law. This was also the idea of private property that prevailed in the 19th century in the bourgeois regime that came from the French Revolution.

But this was not the medieval idea of property. At that time there was a notion of property that was cumulative, that is, it belonged to several persons at the same time. This kind of property applied not only to land, but also to functions, charges, duties and offices; everything was cumulative. With this harmonic addition of duties and responsibilities, the social character of property was fulfilled. Cumulative authorities in the Church To understand the cumulative property of offices and functions, we can look at the role of the Hierarchy in the Catholic Church. The Pope is the Lord of the entire Church - he is the King, the Master of doctrine and the Inspirer of sanctification. Consequently, he has a direct jurisdiction over all and each one of the faithful.

The Pope has a jurisdiction over the faithful that is not just indirect - through the Bishops - but also full and direct. He can condemn the errors of a book written by an individual in the smallest Diocese of Brazil or in the largest Archdiocese in Japan. He teaches the entire Church; he names Bishops for the whole world. Thus, he has full power over the whole Church.

After affirming this so categorically, we need to consider some nuances. In local matters that do not concern the general interests of the Church or the preservation of Faith and Morals, the Pope should not intervene. If he intervenes, he makes a kind of usurpation of power, since local matters should be dealt with by the Bishop. The Bishop is the one with the local authority, the one who knows the local problems and resolves them the way he judges fit. If a Bishop thinks that his cathedral should be constructed in a certain part of the city but the Pope opines otherwise, the Bishop has the last word. The Pope may give a suggestion, but the final decision belongs to the Bishop. If the Pope were to intervene regularly in these local matters, he would nullify the role of the Episcopate in the Church. He would be a sort of usurper of the lesser power

Thus, the power of the Pope is cumulative; part of it belongs at the same time to the Bishops. It is a power exercised over the same men, but in different areas.

We see something similar with the parish priest and the Bishop. There are certain areas where the parish priest has autonomous authority and the Bishop does not intervene. It is the same complex mechanism of cumulative authorities.

These authorities are not merely individual. Because they are exercised cumulatively, they acquire a social aspect that balances their individual characteristic. This analysis allows us to see the supreme equilibrium of the Catholic Church, founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ and inspired and maintained by the Holy Ghost.
The emphyteusis in Latin American countries

In Brazil there is a form of property called emphyteusis that comes from the time we were a Colony of Portugal. It also exists in countries that were Colonies of Spain. Emphyteusis - long lease in Latin - is a type of property where the owner grants someone else almost the full rights of property, but keeps for himself some few rights. Therefore, he may maintain the right to receive a modest annual payment or the right to forbid certain things.

For example, a person who made a grant of lands to another could forbid that immoral houses of entertainment and heretical temples be built on those lands. If the beneficiary were not to fulfill those clauses, he would lose the land and it would revert to the first owner. Also, if the beneficiary dies without heirs, the land reverts to the first owner.

This kind of a contract is a remnant of the Middle Ages. It is still a medieval contract, a feudal contract. The contracts that linked the peasant to the lord and the noble to the king were of this genre.

The relation between a count or duke and a king was similar to the one that exists today between a bishop and a pope. It was also similar to the contract of emphyteusis. The count was the beneficiary and the king the one who granted the land, but the latter conserved some rights. He did not grant the full rights of the property. What was the advantage of this system? We can see it in one example.

Petropolis and Teresopolis

In Brazil, the Emperor Pedro II and his wife the Empress Teresa Cristina were the Lord and Lady of an enormous quantity of highland on the Serra do Mar, west of the city of Rio de Janeiro. At the time the population of Brazil was quite small, so they decided to invite German colonists to come to work those lands.

The colonists arrived and entered into emphyteusis contracts, which made them almost full proprietors over those lands, but not with all the rights. The Monarchs divided that land into small farms and gave them to the colonists, but conserved the right to receive a small sum of money, to have the preference to purchase the land should a beneficiary want to sell it, and to forbid immoral houses from being installed in those areas

The result was a good sum of money to maintain the Royal Family - since the Monarchs would receive a large number of modest payments from the many small farmsteads – and a great advantage for the colonists, who in effect became the almost full owners of those very good lands. The area flourished with an extraordinary progress and two cities were named - Petropolis and Teresopolis - in honor of the two Monarchs.

Everyone benefited from the system.
Contracts of the peasants & plebeians with the feudal lord

In the Middle Ages this kind of contract was made between the feudal lords and the king, and also between the peasants and the feudal lords. But there was another facet as well. In addition to small payments to the lord, the vassal would make an act of allegiance each year to his superior, which was a symbolic act of vassalage

I remember a Convent in Germany that was the beneficiary of a feudal contract of this kind and, as clauses of that contract, each year at Easter, Christmas and another feast – I don’t recall which one – a large cake made from a certain specified recipe for which the Convent was well known had to be sent to the Lord. It also was also stipulated that the Convent had to send its Lord - I don’t know the particular reason for this - three fish caught in the river that flowed on its lands and three roses from its garden.

Every year the Convent sent a group of peasants dressed in their regional garb to the Lord’s castle to bring him these tributes of homage from the nuns. Since the nuns could not leave the Convent for religious reasons, they sent the peasants as their representatives. It was a symbolic submission that re-affirmed the hierarchical character of this relationship.

This is an example of feudalism and cumulative propriety. Of course, the prerequisites of cumulative property were honesty, mutual esteem and the Catholic spirit.

This is the system that ruled Europe until the French Revolution.
The contract of feudal lord with the king

The feudal lord had more responsibilities toward the king than the plebeian toward his lord. Should the king face some threat or danger, the feudal lord had the obligation to come to his assistance with his personal knights, as well as a certain number of peasants and plebeians, depending on the terms of the contract.

Let us suppose a baron had agreed to send five armed knights and 25 capable infantry peasants and plebeians, which in the contracts were called simply ‘25 spears.’ The feudal lord was obliged to bring these men to the king’s aid, as well as to arm and feed them during the whole time the king was in danger.

He was also obliged to give counsel to the king when needed, which meant that he had to travel to the king’s castle and remain there during the period when all the nobles met.

Here again we see the application of the terms of cumulative property. The feudal lord did not have the full ownership of his lands; rather, those lands were granted to him and his family by his superior, the king, with certain stipulations.

Today it is difficult to understand this system because of the long distance between us and the social order that created it. But I tend to think that cumulative property is the perfect form of relationship between individual and social property, even though I admit that different harmonic forms may sprout in the future.

This is what feudalism actually was, with the good it produced, which was quite different from the revolutionary lies and defamations.

You’re Gonna Need MORE Than Gold...

Everyday more and more people are waking up to the idea that they MUST own gold if they want to protect their assets from an out of control government. Owning gold is a great first step, but as history tells us, responsible people can and should do more before it’s too late...

History paints a bleak picture of the decline of Rome. Once warring consuls Antony, Lepidus, and Octavian were finished duking it out with each other in 31 BC, any semblance of the original Roman republic was gone forever

Successive emperors of Rome included men like Tiberius, a paranoid deviant with a lust for executions. He spent the last decade of his reign completely detached from Rome, living in Capri.

Following Tiberius was Caligula, infamous for his moral depravity and insanity. According to Roman historians Suetonius and Cassius Dio, Tiberius would send his legions on pointless marches and turned his palace into a bordello of such repute that it inspired the 1979 porno film named for him.

Caligula was followed by Claudius, a stammering, slobbering, confused man as described by his contemporaries. Then there was Nero, who not only managed to burn down his city but was also the first emperor to debase the value of Rome’s currency.

You know the rest of the story – Romans watched their leadership and country get worse and worse.

All along the way, there were two types of people: the first group were folks that figured, “This has GOT to be the bottom, it can only get better from here.” Their patriotism was rewarded with reduced civil liberties, higher taxes, insane despots, and a polluted currency.

The other group consisted of people who looked at the warning signs and thought, “I have to get out of here.” They followed their instincts and moved on to other places where they could build their lives, survive, and prosper.

You’re reading this because you probably fall into the latter category. You’re aware of the problems. You can feel your civil liberties and economic opportunities slowly slipping away, all while the crop of national leadership grows more depraved with every election cycle.

You want to do something about it. You want to take steps to protect yourself, your family, and your livelihood. Perhaps you’ve already started by investing in precious metals. Gold is a great hedge against inflation, political turmoil, and default – things I call “sovereign risk.”

You see, some of the world’s largest governments are going broke, and these politicians will take any steps necessary in order to maintain the status quo: they will lie, they will steal, they will declare wars, they will bankrupt their people with hyperinflation...whatever it takes.

This is the greatest risk we face today. Buying gold is a great start, but there is MUCH more that you can do.

I’m an advocate of what I call planting ‘multiple flags.’ At its core, planting multiple flags means that you are diversifying your sovereign risk around the globe so that no single government has total control over your livelihood. Let me explain.

Let’s say you are from the US. If you live, work, bank, invest, register your business, own your property, store your gold, etc. within the US, and one little thing goes wrong, all of those assets and interests are at substantial risk. Any judge or bureaucrat could make them all disappear with a few mouse clicks.

It needn’t even be anything big. Maybe some three-letter agency suspects you of wrongdoing. Maybe your neighbor wants to sue you. Maybe they outlaw gold ownership (again). There are infinite possibilities, and infinite risks.

When you plant multiple flags, you diversify those assets around the globe. Store your gold in Switzerland. Open a bank account in Hong Kong. Register your company in Singapore. Establish an emergency ‘backup’ residency in Chile.

You can plant flags with just about any interest in your life – where you go to get high quality, cost effective medical care, where you set up your web servers for an online business, where you establish an international brokerage account, etc.

This approach is NOT just for the super rich. In fact, I’ve helped all kinds of people to plant their own flags, young and old, rich and poor.

Taking some simple steps to protect yourself will give you extraordinary peace of mind. You’ll know that, without doubt, you have some savings socked away that NOBODY can touch. You’ll know that you have a solid emergency backup plan. You’ll know that everything you’ve worked for won’t vanish in an instant.

I’ve made it my profession to know these tactics...and I’ve set up my own life in this way. I have official residency in one country, bank in another, have multiple citizenships in others, set up my company in another, etc.

A few months ago, I held a comprehensive, hands-on workshop; about 350 attendees spent 3-days learning from a diverse cadre of speakers – bankers, residency experts, gold dealers, corporate specialists, from places like Switzerland, New Zealand, Brazil, Singapore, the Philippines, Uruguay, Estonia, and more

You owe it to yourself and your family to heed the warning signs. The alarm bells are ringing, and only you can choose to listen.


Simon Black,
for The Daily Reckoning

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Gold Needs to Triple To Equal 1980 Peak *Chart*

In January of 1980 gold hit an all time historical high of $850. As the bubble popped, it subsequently fell to nearly $250 by the end of the 1980′s and continued in this price range for the next decade.
As the US government took on more debt, printed more dollars and began to lose the confidence of the global investing public, the price of gold began a meteoric rise, topping out at $1801 per ounce in August of 2011.
Analysts and financial pundits the world over have suggested that gold is in a bubble and a crash is imminent. While volatility will remain a constant for months and perhaps years to come, and gold may see significant price collapses, as it did in late 2008, the question of whether or not gold is actually in a bubble is debatable – at least in the mainstream.
Our view, which we have maintained for several years, is that gold is nowhere near a bubble, and is displaying none of the signs of an end to a bull cycle run.
In fact, if current events are truly to be described as the worst recession and economic crisis since the Great Depression, then chances are gold is going to explode even higher. The recession of the 1970′s was tough and lasted nearly a decade. Over this time period, gold rose and collapsed several times, dropping nearly 50% of its value in the mid 1970′s, and then once again resuming its price rise. Arguably, we are much worse off in terms of economic viability and growth than we were in the 70′s (and perhaps even the Great Depression).
With that in mind, we present to you the following chart sourced from Chart Works Ross Clark, Shadowstats, and Erste Group Research. Unlike other charts that we may have seen where the price of gold is adjusted for inflation, in the below graphic you’ll see gold charted from the standpoint of deflating its value with the SGS Shadowstats CPI alternative.
The takeaway? Gold would have to triple (at least) from where it is today just to reach the highs of January 1980.

As evidenced, we have yet to see the parabolic move that we saw from the late 1970′s into January of 1980.
Hold on to your gold. It’ll buy a lot more than just a nice suit in the (near) future.
Hat tip Daily Bail
Author: Mac Slavo
Date: August 16th, 2011
Website: www.SHTFplan.com

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ecuador Builds First Wind Farm

QUITO, 17 AUGUST, 2011: Ecuador's first wind farm to generate electricity will be built next month in the southern province of Loja.

The Electricity Corporation of Ecuador (Celec) said the project costing US$34 million providing a total of 15 megawatts to the national power system should be operational next year.

The construction will done by the Chinese company Global Goldwind, which won the contract through a tender in which four Chinese companies participated.

The wind farm, which will be the first to work 8,858 feet above sea level, comprises 11 wind turbines between 50 and 80 feet high, a substation and a three-mile transmission line to carry the power to the substation in the city of Loja and then to the National Interconnected System.

The government of President Rafael Correa is carrying out numerous projects aimed at developing the power generation using renewable energy sources in order to substantially change the national energy matrix, which is based on oil, sources said.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"The Extravagant Lifestyle I Never Thought I Could Afford"

By Lee Patrick

I had been researching the prospect of retiring overseas for two or three years.
I had targeted seven countries: France, Italy, Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, Uruguay, and Ecuador. I attended International Living's Live and Invest Overseas Conference in Las Vegas last September, and all these countries were represented.
I asked lots of questions and the more I learned (at the Conference and through my own research) the more it seemed like "leaving home" wasn't such a huge barrier.
In fact, I was being offered a better life than I could have at home, for less money. That meant I could do much more than if I stayed in the U.S.
Thanks to the Conference, I settled on Ecuador. Ten months after attending, I bought a pre-construction condominium in Cuenca. It's going to be beautiful...a large penthouse with big terraces overlooking a park and a rushing river. It's everything I wanted...and at a price I couldn't believe.
Because it was pre-construction, I was able to meet with the architect (at a moment's notice) and spend hours redesigning the space to suit my needs. It was a wonderful experience.
When I visited Cuenca, I knew I'd made the right decision. All those dollars I would have paid just to maintain myself in the U.S. will now go to providing a much more extravagant lifestyle in Ecuador.
Through contacts I met at the Conference, I arranged a rental apartment in Cuenca with a magnificent view of the blue domes of the cathedral, and language study with a local teacher who was also able to answer my millions of questions.
I spent my afternoons touring the city, seeing the neighborhoods, meeting with various real estate agents, looking at properties, shopping, poking my head into out-of-the-way shops, finding a doctor, touring hospitals, supermarkets, taking cab rides here and there, going to concerts, eating very nicely for very little in great restaurants.
In other words, I was trying out the "living" that I was planning to do full-time. I would heartily recommend this approach to everyone.
I was told I would lose weight in Cuenca. I took that bit of advertising with a grain of salt, especially since I ate much more than I do in the U.S. However, when I returned home, I had lost 10 pounds. I need to go right back and lose 10 more...it was easy.
I guess I walked more without realizing it...I was more active...I enjoyed the outdoors, so I dodged gaining weight in spite of all those ice cream cones.
A Sunday afternoon might find me in Parque Calderon listening to a free concert of Andean music, then maybe stroll over to a restaurant for a nice lunch of what they call locro de papas...wonderful potato soup with fresh cheese and avocado...so good. I did that often, many times with a wonderful glass of vino tinto...hey, I was on "vacation"...it was my red vitamins.
And all that talk about nice restaurants in Ecuador not costing much was true. I had some of the best meals served by waiters wearing white gloves and I spent a fraction of what I'd spend back in Virginia. I felt great when I returned home...now I'm anxious to go back to Cuenca and get the next phase of my life started.
While I was there wearing short sleeves during the day and a light jacket at night, at home it was over 100 degrees...sweltering. I'll not miss that kind of heat.
It's a good thing to have your eyes opened. I admit to being scared when I first thought of retiring overseas. But I took my time...and when the right time came, it turned out that the decision was SO easy.
International Living's Live and Invest Overseas Conference provided the materials and I thank you for starting me out on the right path. But I did the work—as I had to. I had to see for myself..."due diligence" my retirement haven

Monday, August 15, 2011

La Fete de l’Assomption and the Beginning of Faith-Based Money

Reckoning from Poitou, France...

Today commemorates the day when the Virgin rose to Heaven.

It is also marks the day when the world’s money system headed to Hell.

As to the first, Dear Readers need no reminder or instruction. Everyone knows about the Assomption of the Virgin, though no one we know seems to know how it happened, exactly, or what is the significance of it. Looking it up in our Petit Larousse, we find that it is a miracle of recent vintage, only established in 1950.

And now that we think of it, it seems unnecessary. Was there ever any doubt that the Virgin would go to Heaven? Why celebrate a victory that was in the bag from the get-go?

So, let us turn our attention to the second great thing that happened on this date...precisely 40 years ago. Here is a story with a cast of thousands – protagonists, antagonists, nihilists and monetarists! With dramatic tension up the wazoo. And who knows how it might turn out? Detlev Schlicter, writing in The Wall Street Journal:

Forty years ago today, US President Richard Nixon closed the gold window and ushered in, for the first time in human history, a global system of unconstrained paper money under full control of the state.
Of course, we know exactly where we were and exactly what we were doing on that fateful day. We were watching television...

Richard Nixon, President of All the Americans, had something terribly important to say to his people. But he was worried. He summoned his advisors together and posed the key question to them:

“Should we interrupt Bonanza?”

Bonanza was a very popular TV show, featuring a prosperous rancher, his three sons, and their Chinese cook. Since Bonanza was much more popular than Richard Nixon, the president hesitated to interrupt it...even though he was going to change the entire world’s monetary system...and, in fact, institute a bold new system of purely-paper money.

In trials, run over the preceding two thousand years or so, this new system had always failed. But Richard Nixon seemed unaware. In fact, he seemed unaware that he was changing anything important at all...and didn’t even mention it to TV viewers that night.

Instead, he directed his attentions to another experiment in central economic planning – another one that also failed every previous test – wage and price controls. Taking a page out of Emperor Diocletian’s book on “How to Screw Up an Economy,” Nixon announced that henceforth the authorities in Washington would decide how much a man should pay for a loaf of bread or how much his employer should pay him for his labors.

Naturally, this effort was a failure too...and was quickly forgotten. But Nixon’s other initiative stuck. The world has suffered from it ever since. We are 4 decades into this latest experiment with paper money – the most successful effort so far; no doubt about it. People still use dollars with few complaints. Butchers take them in exchange for meat. Prostitutes take them in exchange for services rendered. Politicians take them in exchange for votes.

As far as we know, nobody doesn’t want them. As far as we know nobody will not want them tomorrow either.

But wait, while dollars are universally accepted as a medium of exchange, as a store of value – money’s other purpose – green paper has been a flop. It began losing value immediately after the Federal Reserve was set up to protect it. And then, when President Nixon cut the dollar’s last connection to gold, it lost value even faster. Today, a dollar will buy only about a penny or two as much as a dollar from 1913.

And people are beginning to wonder. What’s wrong with the world’s financial system? How come so many economies – the US in particular – are in such a funk? And what or who is to blame? Could Richard Nixon’s new ‘funny money’ have something to do with it?

That answer, as long-time Daily Reckoning sufferers know, is ‘yes.’

And more thoughts...

What a week!

Last week ended in a state of calm. After heavy shelling and a murderous cross-fire all week, the Dow rose 125 points on Friday. The 10-year T-note yielded 2.25%. And gold fell $8...after hitting a record of $1,800 earlier in the week.


At a party last night, we were asked what we did for a living.

Not having a simple explanation we resorted to a simple lie.

“I’m an economist and a writer.”

Well, it was only half a lie. The economist part.

It turned out, we were sitting next to a woman with a Ph.D. in economics...and a man who taught economics at a university in Belgium. Unfortunately, it was a loud room, with about 50 different conversations going on at once, and the professor from Belgium had an accent with which we were unfamiliar, so we didn’t understand him as clearly as we would have liked.

Still...a lively conversation ensued...

“Well, you must be happy. You have so much to write about!”


“But what can you say? The system is a mess. But how often can you say that?”

“Every day.”

“Oh...don’t your readers get tired of hearing the same thing?”


“Oh my...perhaps you should become a juggler or an astronaut, or something.”


“But seriously...this is a big problem. What can you do? The banks are insolvent because they lent to developers, who are insolvent...and governments are going broke because they are trying to keep the banks from going broke.

“And that is in Europe...in America it is worse, because households are broke too...just as they are in Ireland...

“The whole system is a terrible mess. But I see three different approaches evolving. The developing countries are booming...and they’re going to continue. They need to catch up. Sure, they will experience their own busts and blow ups...but they are basically societies where there are a lot of people working hard to increase their standards of living. They are young. They are dynamic. They want more wealth.

“Europe is different. People don’t really care much about increasing their standards of living. They want to live better. That’s why they are so obsessed by the environment, for example. And their sausages. And their vacations. They want more free time. They want better views and better food.

“They don’t really care about being richer...not in a traditional sense.

“And Americans? They are the hardest to figure out. They are too busy. They worry me. They work hard but don’t get anywhere. And they don’t really have time to think about it. So, they end up doing silly things... You could look at US foreign policy that way. Trillions of dollars spent, for what? They never took the time to really think about it...

“Anyway, I think that is the way most Europeans see it. The Americans are so busy...and so naïve. They don’t have time for much reflection. They are people of action. Not people of thoughtfulness or reflection. So they tend to act without really considering what they are doing or why they are doing it.

“Don’t get me wrong... I know you’re an American...and I love America too... My husband and I spent several years in New York. We loved it. And we traveled all over the country. They were the happiest years of our lives, in many ways.

“But I do notice a dark trend in America... People are too busy. They are barely keeping up with their bills. They seem to be more and more desperate...looking for a simple solution. But there’s no simple, painless solution. That’s the problem of debt. There’s no painless way out.

“We all seem to be following in Japan’s footsteps in that regard. At least in the developed world. Here in Europe, people don’t seem to mind. In America, I don’t think it will go over so well.”


Bill Bonner,
for The Daily Reckoning

Signs of Coming Riots: “The United States is Becoming a Very Frightening Place”

10 Signs That Economic Riots And Civil Unrest Inside The United States Are Now More Likely Than Ever
You should let the video footage of the wild violence that just took place in London burn into your memory because the same things are going to be happening all over the United States as the economy continues to crumble.  We have raised an entire generation of young people with an “entitlement mentality”, but now the economy is producing very few good jobs that will actually enable our young people to work for what they feel they are entitled to.  If you are under 30 in America today, things look really bleak.  The vast majority of the good jobs are held by people that are older, and they aren’t about to give them up if they can help it.  It is easy for the rest of us to tell young Americans to “take whatever they can”, but the reality is that there is intense competition for even the most basic jobs.  For instance, McDonald’s recently held a “National Hiring Day” during which a million Americans applied for jobs.  Only 6.2% of the applicants were hired.  In the old days you could walk down to McDonald’s and get a job whenever you wanted to, but now any job is precious.  The frustration among our young people is palpable.  Most of them feel entitled to “the American Dream” and they feel like the system has failed them.  Unfortunately, many of them are already turning to violence.  But the economic riots and the civil unrest that we have already seen are nothing compared to what is coming.  Americans are angry, and as the economy continues to collapse that anger is going to reach unprecedented heights.
In recent days, even many in the mainstream media have been openly wondering if the riots that happened in London could happen here too.  There is a growing acknowledgement that this country is headed down a very dark path.
The sad thing is that these riots accomplish absolutely nothing.  The recent London riots did not create any jobs and they certainly did not solve any economic problems.  Instead, they actually hurt the economy even more because a huge am0unt of property was destroyed and people are even more afraid to continue with business as usual.
But when people get to the end of their ropes, most of the time they are not thinking rationally.  When frustration erupts, the results can be very, very messy.
All over the United States we are already seeing some very troubling signs of the violence that is coming.  The following are 10 signs that economic riots and civil unrest inside United States are now more likely then ever….
#1 Going to the state fair used to be such a fun thing for American families to do.  But now no place is safe.  The following is how one local ABC News affiliate described the “flash mob” attacks that took place at the Wisconsin state fair recently….
Milwaukee police said that around 11:10 p.m., squads were sent to the area for reports of battery, fighting and property damage being caused by an unruly crowd of “hundreds” of people. One officer described it as a “mob beating.”
Police said the group of young people attacked fair goers who were leaving the fair grounds. Police said that some victims were attacked while walking. They said others were pulled out of cars and off of motorcycles before being beaten.
One eyewitness said that the flash mob attacks at the Wisconsin state fair absolutely overwhelmed the limited police presence that was there….
When I saw the amount of kids coming down the road, all I kept thinking was, ‘There’s not enough cops to handle this.’  There’s no way.  It would have taken the National Guard to control the number of kids that were coming off the road.  They were knocking people off their motorcycles.
#2 According to a new Rasmussen survey, 48% of Americans believe that reductions in government spending are “at least somewhat likely” to result in civil unrest inside the United States.  Unfortunately, perception often greatly influences reality.
#3 U.S. consumer confidence is now at its lowest level in 30 years.
#4 Joblessness among young Americans is at an epidemic level, and when rioting does break out it is usually young people that are leading the way.  That is why the following statistics from an article in The Atlantic are so troubling….
One in five Americans are between 15 and 29-years old. And one in five of those Americans are unemployed. For minorities and the under-educated, the picture is much worse. Black teenagers have an unemployment rate of 44 percent, twice the rate for white teens.
#5 We are starting to see mindless violence in a lot of areas that used to be considered safe.  In Kansas City on Saturday night, three young people were hit with bullets as they walked the streets of the Country Club Plaza.  Mayor Sly James was about 50 yards away when the gunfire erupted.  Authorities in Kansas City are considering a stricter curfew for that area.
#6 “Flash mobs” have become such a problem in Philadelphia that the mayor has imposed a strict curfew on young people.  Now all teens between the ages of 13 and 18 must be indoors by 9 o’clock at night.  The mayor also says that teens need to start pulling up their pants….
“Pull your pants up and buy a belt ’cause no one wants to see your underwear or the crack of your butt.”
#7 All over the United States we are seeing that many struggling Americans will do just about anything for money.  For example, in Detroit recently three masked men crashed a vehicle through the entrance of a gas station and took off with an entire ATM machine.
#8 Desperate people do desperate things.  Many of America’s “forgotten poor” are trying to survive any way that they can.  For instance, a group of vagrants recently set up “a makeshift camp” near Prospect Park lake in Brooklyn. According to the New York Post, many nearby residents have been disturbed by what these “drifters” are doing to survive….
The drifters have been illegally trapping and cooking up the critters that call the park home, including squirrels, ducks and swan-like cygnets.
They used crude tactics to hunt their prey, including barbed fishing hooks that ripped off the top half of one poor gosling’s beak. They then cooked the meat over illegal fires. Some of the animals were eaten raw.
#9 According to CNN, sales of safes and vaults are absolutely soaring right now.  One store owner told CNN that she believes that she is selling a lot more safes now because people are scared that civil unrest could be coming….
“Folks are worried about the decreasing value of the dollar, burglaries on the rise in their neighborhoods … and even the possibility that the unrest we are seeing in other parts of the world slipping over to our country.”
#10 Over the past 100 years, the American population has moved steadily into our big cities and the surrounding suburbs.  This has created virtual “ghost towns” in our rural areas from coast to coast.  Back in 1910, 72 percent of Americans lived in rural areas.  Today, only 16 percent of Americans live in rural areas.  But when you crowd huge masses of people close together that makes riots and civil unrest much more likely.
Most Americans are already fed up, and the economy is not even that bad yet.  One recent survey found that 73 percent of Americans believe that the nation is “on the wrong track”.  Another recent poll found that only 17 percent of Americans now believe that the U.S. government has the consent of the governed.
Millions of very frustrated young people believe that the economic system has failed them and that the political system no longer holds any answers.
America is rapidly approaching a breaking point.  I have written previously about the collapse of society that we are already witnessing all over the United States.  When the economy totally breaks down, most Americans are not going to be able to handle it.
Sadly, instead of coming together and trying to do something productive, many Americans will resort to rioting, looting and civil unrest.  We have already seen this during local emergencies such as Hurricane Katrina.
But mindless violence accomplishes absolutely nothing positive.  It just always makes things worse.
Unfortunately, logic and reason are not going to be enough to stop the gigantic wave of frustration that is coming.  For most of the rest of us, it will be hard enough to get out of the way and protect our own families from the economic riots and the civil unrest that are coming.
The thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted is starting to disappear.  Hatred and anger are growing by the day.  The United States is becoming a very frightening place.
So get ready.  Our politicians certainly don’t have any answers for us.  The debt ceiling deal was a complete and total joke, and corruption is absolutely rampant in Washington right now.  Barack Obama is getting ready to leave for yet another vacation, and most of our politicians are only focused on the next election.
So don’t expect a “miracle” from those that are supposed to be leading us.
They don’t care about you.
You need to take care of yourself and your family and your friends.
A massive economic collapse is coming, and most Americans are going to be totally blindsided by it.
Don’t let that happen to you.
Date: August 15th, 2011
Website: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sales of gold up on eBay amid stock market turmoil

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- For gold sellers on eBay, the recent stock market turmoil has been a boon for business.
Gold and silver sales on eBay had already been rising steadily over the past several years -- so much so that eBay Inc. created a special area in May to make it easier for buyers to find sellers.
Now, activity on that part of the site, the Bullion Center, is intensifying as consumers unnerved by the economic uncertainty flock to gold in hopes it will be a stable investment.
"When people are coming down to the question, `Do they want to have cash in the bank or gold in their hands?' the answer is they'd rather have gold or silver," said Jacob Chandler, CEO of Great Southern Coins, the largest seller of precious metals on eBay.
The stock market just ended one of its most volatile weeks in years, prompted in part by a downgrade in the nation's credit rating and fears of another recession. The Dow Jones industrial average fell nearly 6 percent on Monday, its worst one-day drop since December 2008. Then the index rose Tuesday, fell Wednesday and rose Thursday and Friday to end the week 2 percent lower than a week ago.
Through most of last week, the average selling price increased for gold bullion -- bars or coins stamped with their weight and level of purity.
According to the most recent data available from eBay, sales of 1-ounce gold American Eagle coins and 1-ounce gold Pamp Suisse bars rose steadily from Aug. 5 to Wednesday, before dipping slightly on Thursday.
On Aug. 5, when Standard & Poor's lowered the nation's credit rating, American Eagle coins were selling for an average of $1,800 among eBay's featured sellers. The average price of the coins, produced by the U.S. Mint, rose more than 8 percent to $1,952 on Wednesday, before dropping to $1,915 on Thursday.
The Pamp Suisse brand of gold bars sold for an average of $1,787 on Aug. 5 and climbed nearly 8 percent to $1,927 by Wednesday. On Thursday, the bars dropped slightly to $1,890.
Even before last week's market turbulence, investors were cautious because economic signals in the U.S. and overseas pointed toward trouble.
The Dow index fell 6 percent in the week ending Aug. 6. That week, the number of gold buyers on eBay rose 11 percent compared with the year's weekly average. The number of gold sellers rose 14 percent. EBay would not provide the total number of buyers and sellers.
"With all the turmoil in the markets, this is seen as a way to diversify," said Anthony Delvecchio, eBay's vice president of business management and strategy for eBay's North America business.
EBay, which is based in San Jose, California, does not impose minimum purchase amounts for bullion. Sellers offer gold both through auctions and "Buy It Now" fixed-price sales.
The increased popularity of gold on eBay echoes what's happening in the broader gold market, where prices have spiked during the past two years.
Gold traded at about $900 per ounce in the summer of 2008, before the financial crisis unfolded that year. It passed $1,600 in late May and briefly rose above $1,800 for the first time on Wednesday before pulling back to $1,784. On Friday, gold fell to $1,740.60 per ounce, still nearly twice the summer 2008 prices.
Great Southern Coins has benefited from this uptick. Chandler said the company is selling more gold lately, and its silver sales remain strong, too. Chandler estimated his business has nearly quadrupled in the past 45 days, and he said it appeared to be up about five or six times during the past week, with most of this growth coming from sales on eBay.
Daniel Hirsch, a New York-based statistician who recently purchased more than a dozen gold coins on eBay from Great Southern Coins, said he started buying gold less than a year ago in an effort to expand his investment portfolio.
"It's kind of a safe haven and a hedge against low interest rates," he said.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ecuador Administration anaylzes possible impacts from economic crisis

By Mercedes Alvaro, Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
QUITO -(Dow Jones)- Ecuador's Minister Coordinator of Economic Policy said Tuesday that the Andean country is evaluating the possible economic impact from any global economic crisis, after a cut in the U.S. credit rating.
Katiuska King said the effects of the crisis could be seen in a decline in demand for various products. The minister said it is important to improve market diversification, something that the administration of President Rafael Correa has been promoting.
In 2006 industrialized economies such as the United States and Europe contributed 51% to the growth of world demand, while in 2010 that contribution was reduced to 25% and the contribution of emerging-market countries increased to 75% from 49%, the minister said.
King added that anti-cyclical economic policies applied by the country to confront the international crisis have revived the economy.
Ecuador's gross domestic product rose 8.62% in the first quarter of 2011, compared with the prior-year quarter, led by public investment and the oil sector.
It was the country's best quarterly GDP performance since 2008.
Correa recently forecast that GDP is poised to grow 4.2% next year, lower than the 5.24% estimated for 2011.
For 2012 the Correa administration sees 5.18% growth in the non-oil sector and a 2.38% decline in the oil industry, due to a planned temporary shut down of the fluid catalytic converter and other units of the Esmeraldas refinery, the largest in the country.
-By Mercedes Alvaro, Dow Jones Newswires; 5939-9728-653; mercedes.alvaro@ dowjones.com

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ecuador Expects $100 to $200 milion from advanced Mining royalties in 2012

QUITO -(Dow Jones)- Ecuador expects to receive next year between $100 million and $200 million from early payment of future mining royalties, President Rafael Correa said Saturday.
During his weekly media address Correa said his government is requesting advance payments of royalties "before starting to extract the mineral, and that means between $100 million to $200 million next year."
Currently the Correa's administration is negotiating to sign exploitation contracts with EcuaCorriente, the local unit of Canada's Corriente Resources Inc. for its Mirador project; the local unit of International Minerals Corp. (IMZLF, IMZ.T) for its Rio Blanco project; and Kinross Gold Corp. (KGC, K.T) for its Fruta del Norte project.
Correa said that negotiation with these companies will conclude in September and the contracts for mineral exploitation will be signed in October.
EcuaCorriente is controlled by the China Railway Construction Corp. (601186.SH, 1186.HK) and the Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group Co. (000630.SZ).
The Mirador project, in southern Ecuador, has estimated reserves of 10 billion pounds of copper, while the Rio Blanco project, in the southwest, has estimated reserves of 605,000 ounces of gold and 4.3 million ounces of silver.
Fruta del Norte has proven and probable mineral reserves estimated at 6.8 million ounces of gold and 9.1 million ounces of silver.
Recently, Correa said his government wants mining companies that are negotiating to sign exploitation contracts in Ecuador to pay 8% in mining royalties.
Copyright © 2011 Dow Jones Newswires

Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2011/08/06/ecuador-expects-100mln-200mln-from-advanced-mining-royalties-in-2012/#ixzz1URxmbm1R

1 Way I Avoid Inflated Gringo Prices

A lot of people ask me, "Do property sellers in Ecuador really 'up' the prices when they hear or see the buyer is a foreigner?"

My short answer... "Hell yeah they do!"

And if someone tells you otherwise, they're wrong, or probably trying to sell you something.

Now, to be fair, maybe 80% of the time you'll get quoted the same price as locals do, but there's still that 20% chance you'll get "upped".  In fact, it happened to me this week.  I got a tip a hotel was for sale for $150k... a deal... I approached, the owner saw I was a gringo, and quoted me $400k!

Why do sellers in ecuador do this?  Just like anywhere in a developing, relatively poor country, they think EVERYONE from rich countries is rich, and actually, comparatively, they're right.

Now, instead of just stating the obvious I'll leave you this week with one creative way I USE to avoid getting hit with special inflated "gringo prices".

I created a new email address under a VERY Ecuadorian name that I use to email and make first contact with properties I see advertised on the net in Ecuador, doesn't matter if it's listed by a "gringo (foreigner)" or Ecuadorian.

My alternative name is ... Juan Yagual.  Super coastal Ecuadorian.

A few VERY Ecuadorian names you could use are:

First names: Juan, Jose, Hector, Galo, Cilindro, Cesar, Mario, Diana, Carolina, Ana, Marisol, Paola, Karina
Last names: Yagual, Andrade, Sandoval, Fernandez, Caicedo, Ortiz, Amores

And in your email, a VERY local, yet polite, way to ask the asking price of a property...(to mask you're a gringo)...

Estimado[dear] (insert name if you now it),

Quería saber cuanto pide por la propiedad que tienes en venta?  [I'd like to know what's the asking price of the property for sale?]

Esperando la respuesta, [waiting for the response]

Juan Yagual  (Ecuadorians have two last names but sometimes only put one)

Remember, you only have to hide your identity until you know the asking price of the property, after that it's generally OK if they find out you're a foreigner.

For more interesting Ecuador house hunting tips like this that could save you thousands, try my full guide here.

Saludos until next week, sorry I'm a few hours late this Sunday with the newsletter, I had way too much fun last night,

Juan Yagual AKA Domenick Buonamici
Real Estate Reporter, Investor

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Debt Ceiling Madness

Why kicking the can down the road solves absolutely nothing.

Bill Bonner, reckoning today from Paris, France...

First, we turn to the news. And what do we find? Netscape's Money & Business has this report:

The House on Monday evening passed a bill that would raise the U.S. debt limit by at least $2.1 trillion and cut spending by a similar amount over the next decade. The agreement was reached Sunday night by congressional leaders and President Barack Obama. The Senate is expected to approve it on Tuesday, and it will go to Obama, who has indicated he will sign it.
If you read that fast enough, and drink enough whiskey, you might even think the feds have the situation in hand. Cut spending by an amount equal to the debt ceiling hike...hmmm....sounds almost like you come out even.

But wait, these are two very different things. If you would come out even, there would be no need to increase the debt ceiling. Instead, the deal allows both spending and the debt to go up. It will go up $2.1 trillion...and then, they'll raise the debt ceiling again.

And yes, they will ‘cut' spending too. From about $45 trillion over the next 10 years...down to $42.9 trillion (we're just estimating...we haven't seen the feds' numbers in any detail). A $2.1 trillion cut.

Analysts for the feds say they need about $4 trillion in cuts in order to keep the situation under control. That would allow the debts and deficits to increase...but at a pace equal to the growth in the economy.

Alas, the poor schmucks have no idea what they are doing. They base their assumptions on growth rates registered BEFORE the Great Correction began. They assume a full recovery, in other words.

It ain't gonna happen...for all the reasons Dear Readers know so well.
...an economy burdened by debt does not grow very fast
...an economy that is in the middle of a debt contraction barely grows at all
...forget adding more cash and credit ‘stimulus' -- it doesn't work when an economy is already drenched in debt
...the US economy is also burdened by the cost of maintaining a military empire -- costs that aren't going away
While revenues will not meet expectations, spending will exceed them. Why? Because the softness in the economy will leave more and more people on government support. Already, 59% of the public gets money from the feds. And because spending ALWAYS exceeds expectations...

Even $4 trillion worth of budget cuts would probably not be enough...not by a long shot.
As we told the investment conference in Vancouver, there is something bigger, more important going on. A Great Correction is underway. We wait to find out what it will correct.

...a real estate bubble?
...a bull market in stocks?
...a credit expansion?
...a great empire?
...the rise of the European powers after the invention of the steam engine?
...the outsized gains brought by using cheap oil?
We don't know its final destination. All we know is that a Great Correction is underway.