The Fed’s Bathtub Economics Brigade Blathers On

In case you are wondering what the meaning of “some” is—-don’t bother. It’s just the same old Fed ritual incantation, chanted in 2/2 “cut time”. That means there are only two beats to each of its monthly meeting measures—–employment and inflation. Like in the musical world, each beat is a half-note. But they might be better described as half-assed notes. The denizens of the Eccles Building are using BLS junk statistics to measure both variables. They don’t have a clue that they are rhythmically chanting a pretentious chorus about nothing more significant than short-run economic noise. We got a load of evidence on that point with this morning’s Q2 GDP release and the accompanying benchmark revisions reaching back to 2012. What these fresh reports show is that this “recovery” has been even more of a dud than was previously evident, and that the Fed’s monthly claims that the US economy is inching toward some kind of Keynesian full-employment nirvana are pure rubbish. In fact, our monetary politburo is driving the US economy in the opposite direction. That is, toward dis-employment of its true, wealth-creating economic resources—–human labor, entrepreneurial talent and market driven gains in economic factor efficiency. Contrary to yesterday’s self-congratulatory statement, all is not well and its not getting weller. Instead, what we really have is net business destruction, faltering investment in productive assets, massive unutilized and under-utilized labor hours, falsified capital market prices, grotesque mis-allocation of investable funds, euthanized savers, zombified business enterprises, rampant financial engineering, stock-option addicted C-suites, massive waste of VC capital and stupendous over-valuation of every asset class that can be monetized, manipulated or margined. Indeed, if we step back from the Fed’s two-note incantations and monthly economy weather reports, what we get is a truly troubling trend in the US economy’s core metric. Namely, it appears that real final sales—-a serviceable aggregate measure which is free of transient inventory fluctuations—–have nearly ground to a halt. To wit, today’s Q2 number of $16.2 trillion represents just a 1.03% annualized rate of gain from the $15.0 trillion level posted seven-and-one half yearsOriginally appeared at: http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/the-feds-bathtub-economics-brigade-blathers-on/

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Bitcoin winners starting to break free: CoinJar founder

Winners and losers have been chosen from the first wave of bitcoin startups, according to CoinJar founder Asher Tan.   The Melbourne founded startup which has a presence in the UK, is a bitcoin exchange and wallet provider, allowing individuals to buy, sell, store and transfer bitcoin.   It also has a bitcoin debit card, CoinJar Swipe, which automatically converts bitcoin to Australian dollars when it is used as a payment method or to withdraw cash.   Tan says that from the first wave of bitcoin startups, those that offer the ability to buy, sell or store bitcoin, the leaders are starting to break free.   “The guys who are ahead are starting to pull away, now that bitcoin has been accepted as a technological breakthrough,” he says.   “A lot of the infrastructure that companies like CoinJar have worked on over the last two years has been stable enough for other people to start working on their own projects. People are starting to toy with new ideas. “The bitcoin ecosystem, we’re seeing it become a lot more corporate, enterprise (focused). There’s a lot more consolidation in the field.”       Where CoinJar will fit into that consolidation is not yet clear. Tan recently travelled to the US, where he visited Boost VC, a startup accelerator that focuses on bitcoin, virtual reality and augmented reality. He wouldn’t comment on CoinJar’s runway, revenue, or fundraising status, except to say “hopefully in the next six months it will become clearer”.   Recently Coinbase, one of the world’s leading bitcoin exchange and wallet startups and a CoinJar competitor, announced that Westpac-backed venture capital firm Reinventure had participated in its $US75 million Series C round in January.   Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam says Westpac’s strategic investment willOriginally appeared at: http://www.startupsmart.com.au/growth/innovation/bitcoin-winners-starting-to-break-free-coinjar-founder/2015073115217.html

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ASIC issues another stop order for Bitcoin Group’s IPO

ASIC issues another stop order for Bitcoin Group’s IPO This is the second interim stop order in a month the Australian regulator issues against Bitcoin Group’s IPO prospectus. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) today issued another interim stop order for the Initial public offering (IPO) prospectus that Melbourne-based Bitcoin miner Bitcoin Group Ltd lodged to the regulator in the end of June 2015. This is the second interim stop order that the Australian securities watchdog issues against Bitcoin Group’s IPO prospectus in less than a month – the previous one was published on July 13, 2015. And, yet again, ASIC is not unveiling the reasons for the order. Let’s stress that an IPO is not blocked unless the regulator issues a final stop order. At the moment of publication of this article, the schedule for Bitcoin Group’s planned IPO on the Australian Securities Exchange has not changed. The proposed listing date is still September 2, 2015, and the expected offer close date remains set for August 21, 2015. Photo credit: ASIC. Photo credit: ASX. Originally appeared at: http://leaprate.com/2015/07/asic-issues-another-stop-order-for-bitcoin-groups-ipo/

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Coingaming launches Bitcoin sportsbook

Share ! tweet Coingaming.io, software provider for white-label Bitcoin casino solutions has announced that it has launched its bitcoin only sportsbook product ahead of the forthcoming English Premiership football season which starts on August 8th 2015. The sportsbook solution will offer several unique opportunities for bitcoin gaming operators. The new product has been designed and built in-house to maximize profits for bitcoin operators looking to add sports to their gaming portfolio, or for those wishing to improve their current sports offering. Mark McGuinness, Communications Director of Coingaming, commented on the launch “The underlying bitcoin sportsbook technology shall offer significant advantages over traditional fiat currency based fixed-odds platforms. We have over 10,000 live betting markets on offer per week, including fast developing betting sports such as MMA and eSports.  Benefits for the player include the ability to place larger bets on events on any device with better odds, instant deposits and cash-outs. These features will appeal to young smart, mobile focused sports bettors that demand instant gratification.” Originally appeared at: http://www.sbcnews.co.uk/technology/2015/07/31/coingaming-launches-bitcoin-sportsbook/

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Former Obama Official: Bitcoin Could Change Governance

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Brian Forde, who previously served as the senior advisor at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, recently came on record claiming that bitcoin technology could become a cornerstone of governance and public policy. Forde no longer works for the White House and is now the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s director of digital […]

The Military-Industrial Complex Finally Did It——-Invented A Trillion Dollar Plane (F-35) That Will Add Zero Value To National Security

By WILLIAM S. LIND at The American Conservative When we think of militarism, Prussians in spiffy uniforms goose-stepping down Unter den Linden probably comes to mind. Prussia’s fixation on her army was less an “ism” than a product of her geography, which stranded the country between two great land powers, France and Russia, with no natural defenses on her borders. Nonetheless, a cartoon from the Kaiser’s time depicts such militarism well. It shows a Berlin street full of people in various uniforms, all staring pop-eyed at a man in a suit. The caption reads, “A civilian! A civilian!” A book a friend recommended offers a supplementary definition of militarism, one that touches closer to home for Americans. The work, A History of Militarism by Alfred Vagts, was first published in 1937. Vagts makes an important distinction at the outset: Every war is fought, every army is maintained in a military way and in a militaristic way. The distinction is fundamental and fateful. The military way is marked by a primary concentration of men and materials on winning. … Militarism, on the other hand, presents a vast array of customs, interests, prestige, actions and thought associated with armies and wars and yet transcending true military purposes. Indeed, militarism is so constituted that it may hamper and defeat the purposes of the military way [emphasis added]. Modern militarism has … specific traits … modern armies … are more liable to forget their true purpose, war, and the maintenance of the state to which they belong. Becoming narcissistic, they dream that they exist for themselves alone … perpetuating themselves for the purpose of drawing money. This definition of militarism is alive, well, and running the show on Capitol Hill and in the Pentagon. As Vagts warns, theOriginally appeared at: http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/the-military-industrial-complex-finally-did-it-invented-a-trillion-dollar-plane-f-35-that-will-add-zero-value-to-national-security/

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BTC China CEO: Bitcoin is a Viable Digital Currency

In an interview with Bloomberg’s Rishaad Salamat on “Trending Business”, BTC CEO Bobby Lee maintains that bitcoin is a viable digital currency. According to a Goldman Sachs study, 80% of the world’s bitcoin trading volume are in renminbi, which suggests that majority of it takes place in China. Lee cites that people all over the world are still using bitcoin as a form of payment, regardless of its negative reputation and price volatility. Bitcoin has been associated for its use in money laundering or criminal activities, as the transactions are anonymous and cannot be traced to identities. Bitcoin in China According to Lee, the recent events in the global financial market such as the Greek debt issue and the currency crisis in Argentina are driving people to an alternative form of currency. And with the start of increased regulation such as what is being seen in the US, he believes that the cryptocurrency can be able to gain legitimacy. He reiterated that bitcoin is not a company and that the brand is promoted by the entire network or industry, which makes it an acceptable form of payment and store of value worldwide. Lee also explained that the price volatility comes with the fact that it’s a new asset class and that the price swings are much more subdued in the last twelve months. “We are somewhat at the end of the bear market, hopefully,” he added. When it comes to bitcoin being used for criminal activity, Lee said that it’s hard to control what people use bitcoin for, just as it is difficult to control how people use cash. He acknowledged that there will be offenders but bitcoin, for the most part, will remain a viable asset that can be used in normal life. The interview also went on to discuss blockchain, which Lee defined asOriginally appeared at: http://www.newsbtc.com/2015/07/30/btc-china-ceo-bitcoin-is-a-viable-digital-currency/

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