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The complete history of Barack Obama's second term -- click Views/Repies for top stories

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How Obama Sends Oil Soaring And The Dollar Crashing

By Dick Morris on March 2, 2012

Dear Friend,

In this video commentary, I discuss why gas prices are going up and why it is Obama’s fault. Tune in!

Click Here to give me your thoughts and continue the discussion.

Click the buttons above to share this video commentary with your friends!

Thanks for watching,



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          EVERY Fiat Currency in history has CRASHED & BURNED


Fiat Currency: Using the Past to See into the Future

The Daily Reckoning Presents:

Fiat Money -Toilet Paper Money

The history of fiat money, to put it kindly, has been one of failure. In fact, EVERY fiat currency since the Romans first began the practice in the first century has ended in devaluation and eventual collapse, of not only the currency, but of the economy that housed the fiat currency as well.

Why would it be different here in the U.S.? Well, in actuality, it hasn’t been. In fact, in our short history, we’ve already had several failed attempts at using paper currency, and it is my opinion that today’s dollars are no different than the continentals issued during the Revolutionary War. But I will get into that in a moment. In the meantime, I will show you that fiat currencies have not been successful, and the only aspect of fiat currencies that have stood the test of time is the inability of political systems to prevent the devaluation and debasement of this toilet paper money by letting the printing presses run wild.

Fiat Money -Rome — The Denarius

Although Rome didn’t actually have paper money, it provided one of the first examples of true debasement of a currency. The denarius, Rome’s coinage of the time, was, essentially, pure silver at the beginning of the first century A.D. By A.D. 54, Emperor Nero had entered the scene, and the denarius was approximately 94% silver. By around A.D.100, the denarius’ silver content was down to 85%.

Emperors that succeeded Nero liked the idea of devaluing their currency in order to pay the bills and increase their own wealth. By 218, the denarius was down to 43% silver, and in 244, Emperor Philip the Arab had the silver content dropped to 0.05%. Around the time of Rome’s collapse, the denarius contained only 0.02% silver and virtually nobody accepted it as a medium of exchange or a store of value.

Fiat Money -China — Flying Money

When the Chinese first started using paper money, they called it “flying money,” because it could just fly from your hands. The reason for the issuance of paper money is simple. There was a copper shortage, so banks had switched to the use of iron coinage. These iron coins became overissued and fell in value.

In the 11th century, a bank in the Szechuan province of China issued paper money in exchange for the iron coins. Initially, this was fine, because the paper money was exchangeable for gold, silver, or silk. Eventually, inflation began to take hold, as China was funding an ongoing war with the Mongols, which it eventually lost.

Genghis Khan won this war, but the Mongols didn’t assume immediate control over China as they pushed westward to conquer more lands. Genghis Khan’s grandson Kublai Khan united China and assumed the emperorship. After running into some setbacks with paper currency, Kublai eventually had some success with fiat money. In fact, Marco Polo said of Kublai Khan and the use of paper currency:

“You might say that [Kublai] has the secret of alchemy in perfection…the Khan causes every year to be made such a vast quantity of this money, which costs him nothing, that it must equal in amount all the treasure of the world.”

Even Helicopter Ben would be impressed. Marco Polo went on to say:

“This was the most brilliant period in the history of China. Kublai Khan, after subduing and uniting the whole country and adding Burma, Cochin China, and Tonkin to the empire, entered upon a series of internal improvements and civil reforms, which raised the country he had conquered to the highest rank of civilization, power, and progress.”

Wait a second, I thought we were bashing fiat currencies here…Can anyone say crackup boom? Since Marco Polo experienced this firsthand, and has been very helpful to us thus far, I think I will allow him to finish his analysis of China’s paper money experiment.

“Population and trade had greatly increased, but the emissions of paper notes were suffered to largely outrun both…All the beneficial effects of a currency that is allowed to expand with a growth of population and trade were now turned into those evil effects that flow from a currency emitted in excess of such growth. These effects were not slow to develop themselves…The best families in the empire were ruined, a new set of men came into the control of public affairs, and the country became the scene of internecine warfare and confusion.”

I wonder if Keynes read Marco Polo’s experiences with Chinese fiat currencies when he said that the U.S. government should just bury bottles full of money in old mine shafts to spur economic growth.

Fiat Money -France — Livres, Assignats, and Francs

The French have been particularly unsuccessful in their attempts with fiat money.

John Law was the first man to introduce paper money to France. The notion of paper money was greatly helped along by the passing of Louis XIV and the 3 billion livres of debt that he left.

When Louis XV was old enough to make his own mistakes, he required that all taxes be paid in paper money. The currency was backed by coinage…until people actually wanted coins.

The theme of the day…the new paper currency rapidly became oversupplied until nobody wished to own the worthless junk anymore and demanded coinage for their currency.

Oops. It looks like Law didn’t think that anyone would actually want coins ever again. After making it illegal to export any gold or silver, and the failed attempts by the locals to exchange their paper currency for something of actual value, the currency collapsed.

John Law became the most hated man in France and was forced to flee to Italy.

In the latter part of the 18th century, the French government again tried to give paper money another go. This time, the pieces of garbage they issued were called assignats. By 1795, inflation of assignats was running at approximately 13,000%. Oops.Then Napoleon stepped on the scene and brought with him the gold franc. One of the good things that Napoleon realized is that gold is the way of a stable currency, and that’s what pretty much ensued during his reign.

After Waterloo had come and gone, the French gave it another go in the 1930s, this time with the paper franc. It took only 12 years for them to inflate their currency until it lost 99% of its value. History has proven a couple things about the French: 1) They are quick to surrender and 2) They are very talented at making worthless currency.

Weimar Germany — Mark
Post-World War I Weimar Germany was one of the greatest periods of hyperinflation that ever existed. The Treaty of Versailles was essentially a financial punishment placed on Germany to make reparations.

The sums of money to be paid by Germany were enormous, and the only way it could make repayment was by running the printing press. (Huge unpayable debt — that sounds familiar. I wonder what the solution in the U.S. will be.)

Inflation got so bad in this period that German citizens were literally using stacks of marks to heat their furnaces. Here is a brief timeline of the marks per one U.S. dollar exchange rate:

April 1919: 12 marks

November 1921: 263 marks

January 1923: 17,000 marks

August 1923: 4.621 million marks

October 1923: 25.26 billion marks

December 1923: 4.2 trillion marks.

Fiat Money -More Recent Times

In recent times, fiat failures have become more common occurrences. For the sake of time, I won’t go into extensive details of all these examples of paper money failures, because there are SO many. But here you have it:

In 1932, Argentina had the eighth largest economy in the world before its currency collapsed. In 1992, Finland, Italy, and Norway had currency shocks that spread through Europe.

In 1994, Mexico went through the infamous “Tequila Hangover,” which sent the peso tumbling and spread economic hardships throughout Latin America.

In 1997, the Thai baht fell through the floor and the effects spread to Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and South Korea.

The Russian ruble was not the currency you wanted your investments denominated in in 1998, after its devaluation brought on economic recession. In the early 21st century, we have seen the Turkish lira experience strokes of hyperinflation similar to that of the mark of Weimar Germany.

In present times, we have Zimbabwe, which was once considered the breadbasket of Africa and was one of the wealthiest countries on the continent. Now Mugabe’s attempts at price controls, combined with hyperinflation, have the nation unable to supply the most basic essentials such as bread and clean water.

Fiat Money -Lessons to Be Learned

Here in the U.S., I should say the lessons were not learned. There are many consistencies from the above-mentioned stories that led up to the eventual collapse of the currencies.

The scary thing is that the U.S. has some of these above-mentioned characteristics, the ones that lead to toilet paper money becoming just that. More on that in just a second. I would first like to give a brief look at the U.S. attempts with paper money in our short history.

The first attempt with paper money came in 1690 with the issuance of Colonial notes. The first Colonial notes were issued in Massachusetts and were redeemable for gold, silver, corn, cattle and other commodities.

The other Colonies quickly jumped on the toilet paper money bandwagon and began issuing their own paper currencies. Like a broken record, the money quickly became overissued. The lessons of John Law and others were definitely not learned. It is not good enough just to say that a currency is backed by commodities. It actually HAS to be backed by commodities. Essentially, it was still a fiat money, and in a short period of time, Colonials became as good as toilet paper.

The next experiment came during the Revolutionary War. Big surprise — the issuance of paper money was used to finance the war efforts. This time, the currency was called a continental.

The crash of the continental was spectacular, and the phrase “not worth a continental” was coined. This brought on a large distrust for paper currency, and until 1913, toilet paper money in the U.S. wasn’t used. Enter the infamous Federal Reserve and its monopoly on money and interest rates. Now we have the greenback.

Although the money was “officially” backed by a gold standard until 1971, it wasn’t a true gold standard. When the government found it inconvenient to have a gold standard, it just made it illegal for U.S. citizens to hold gold or exchange dollars for gold.

As reported on

“Under the infallible leadership of President Franklin Roosevelt, it was made illegal to own gold. On March 11, 1933, he issued an order forbidding banks to make gold payments. On April 5, Roosevelt ordered all citizens to surrender their gold — no person could hold more than $100 in gold coins, except for collector’s coins. He also made it unlawful to export gold for payment abroad, unless done through the Treasury. The penalty for defying Roosevelt was 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.”

But the official demise of the dollar was locked into place in 1971 when “Tricky Dick” Nixon completely severed all ties between the dollar and the gold standard. During the decade that followed, the U.S. experienced some of the worst inflation in its history, only matched by today’s U.S. monetary and fiscal irresponsibility.

The U.S. of A. has all the characteristics set in place that have led to the collapse of every other fiat currency money in history.

We are currently at war, and the financing of this war is extremely inflationary. In fact, if you look back at our history, since 1914, the U.S has engaged in 16 military conflicts. We have been involved in some form of violent international accord in 44 of the past 93 years. The overwhelming majority of military conflicts result in monetary inflation.

The U.S. has a debt similar to that of Weimar Germany. All though the reasons for the debt are completely different, it appears thatthis Mount Everest of IOUs is going to be impossible to pay back. I guess the U.S. could just print 10 trillion dollar bills and hand them out, but the implications of such actions are obvious.
We are currently increasing the supply of dollars at a rate of 13% per annum. This overissuance of a currency has been the leading indicator of a currency on the brink.

So what’s in the future for the dollar?

Some, myself included, might say that the dollar has already failed. It has lost over 92% of its value since its initial issuance in 1913. After the revaluation in 1934, the dollar dropped another 41%. In my opinion, it already is toilet paper money, but for the above-mentioned characteristics, which are alarmingly similar to the circumstances that led up to the eventual collapse of the dollar’s toilet paper predecessors, I believe that we have seen only the tip of the iceberg of the dollar’s inevitable path toward becoming toilet paper money.

Read more: Fiat Currency


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In 1973 Nixon turned the US Dollar into a Fiat Currency setting the stage for future politicians and central bankers to steal the wealth of America....Enter Tim Geithner, Ben Bernecke and Barry the usurper Obama, the future politicians and central bankers... 

Fiat Money History in the US

In a fiat money system, money is not backed by a physical commodity (i.e.: gold). Instead, the only thing that gives the money value is its relative scarcity and the faith placed in it by the people that use it. A good primer on the history of fiat money in the US can be found in a video provided by the website.

In a fiat monetary system, there is no restrain on the amount of money that can be created. This allows unlimited credit creation. Initially, a rapid growth in the availability of credit is often mistaken for economic growth, as spending and business profits grow and frequently there is a rapid growth in equity prices. In the long run, however, the economy tends to suffer much more by the following contraction than it gained from the expansion in credit. This expansion in credit can be seen in the
Debt/GDP ratio. We track the bubbles created by this expansion of debt at the inflation / deflation page.

In most cases, a fiat monetary system comes into existence as a result of excessive public debt. When the government is unable to repay all its debt in gold or silver, the temptation to remove physical backing rather than to default becomes irresistible. This was the case in 18th century France during the Law scheme, as well as in the 70s in the US, when Nixon removed the last link between the dollar and gold which is still in effect today.

Hyper-inflation is the terminal stage of any fiat currency. In hyper-inflation, money looses most of its value practically overnight. Hyper-inflation is often the result of increasing regular inflation to the point where all confidence in money is lost. In a fiat monetary system, the value of money is based on confidence, and once that confidence is gone, money irreversibly becomes worthless, regardless of its scarcity. Gold has replaced every fiat currency for the past 3000 years.

The United States has so far avoided hyper-inflation by shifting between a fiat and gold standard over the past 200 years.

1785-1861 - FIXED Gold standard 76 years
The founding fathers were concerned about the unrestrained control of the money supply. One thing they all agreed upon was the limitation on the issuance of money,
Thomas Jefferson warned of the damage that would be caused if the people assigned control of the money supply to the banking sector, "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a money aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. This issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of the moneyed corporations which already dare to challenge our Government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country"
Thomas Jefferson, 1791

Many of the founding fathers experienced the damage caused by fiat currency. Most of the revolutionary war was financed by worthless currency called "Continentals".

The Continental Currency ("Not worth a Continental") that American colonists issued for the Continental Congress to finance the Revolutionary War was replaced by the US Dollar in 1785 when The Continental Congress adopted the dollar as the unit for national currency. At that time, private bank-note companies printed a variety of notes. After adoption of the Constitution in 1789, Congress chartered the First Bank of the United States and authorized it to issue paper bank notes to eliminate confusion and simplify trade. The U.S. Constitution (Section 10) forbids any state from making anything but gold or silver a legal tender. The Federal Monetary System was established in 1792 with the creation of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. The first American coins were struck in 1793. The U.S. Coinage Act of 1792, consistent with the Constitution, provided for a U.S. Mint, which stamped silver and gold coins. The importance of this Act cannot be stressed enough.
  • One dollar was defined by statute as a specific weight of gold.
  • The Act also invoked the death penalty for anyone found to be debasing money.
  • President George Washington mentions the importance of the national currency backed by gold and silver throughout his initial term of office and he contributed his own silver for the initial coins minted.
  • The purchase of The US Mint in Philadelphia, was the first money appropriated by Congress for a building to be used for a public purpose. It was purchased for a total of $4,266.67 on July 18, 1792.
  • 1862-1879 - FLOATING fiat currency 7 years
    The first use of fiat money (called Greenbacks) in the United States was in 1862, it was used as a tool to pay for the enormous cost of the Civil War. Greenbacks were a debt of the U.S. government, redeemable in gold at a future unspecified date. They were circulated along with Gold certificates, backed by the government’s promise to pay in gold.
    1880-1914 - FIXED Gold standard 34 years
    The US dollar was hard pegged to gold resulting in domestic price stability and virtually no inflation. The financial needs of WW1 ended this.
    1915-1925 - FLOATING Fiat currency 10 years
    In order to "pay" for WW1 countries had to print a lot of paper currency which by necessity mandated a delinking from gold because there wasn't enough gold to support the paper.
    1926-1931 - FIXED Gold standard, 5 years
    The gold exchange standard was established wherein each country pegged its currency to the US dollar and British pound which were then supposed to be backed by the dollar. When the depression began countries tried to cash in their pounds and dollars for gold. That "run" on gold forced the end of the gold exchange standard.
    1931-1945 - FLOATING Fiat currency, 14 years
    Fiat currencies reign worldwide leading to huge economic imbalances from country to country and was of the major contributing factors to the beginning of WW2.
    1945-1968 - FIXED - Gold standard, 26 years
    1944 Bretton Woods Accord (similar to gold exchange standard of 1926-1931) Two main currencies again, the US dollar and British pound. A run to convert pounds to gold collapsed the pound and began the end of the Bretton woods accord. It took 3 years while governments tried to salvage the system and also to determine what to do next. Kind of like having one leg on the boat and the other on shore. 1963 - New Federal Reserve notes with no promise to pay in "lawful money" was released. No guarantees, no value. This is also the year of the disappearance of the $1 silver certificate. Once again, a subtle shift in plain view.

    1965 - Silver is completely eliminated in all coins save the Kennedy half-dollar, which was reduced to 40 percent silver by President Lyndon Johnson's authorization. The Coinage Act of 1965 signed by Lyndon Johnson, terminates the original legislation signed by George Washington 173 years earlier (carrying the death penalty) enabling the US Treasury to eliminate the silver content of all currency.

    1968 - June 24 - President Johnson issued a proclamation that all Federal Reserve Silver Certificates were merely fiat legal tender and could not really be redeemed in silver.
    1971 - FLOATING - Fiat currency, 5 months
    August of 1971 President Nixon ended the international gold standard and for the first time no currency in the world had a gold backing.
    1971-1973 - FIXED - Dollar standard, 2 years
    The Smithsonian Agreement was passed pegging world currencies to the dollar rather than gold as a fixed exchange rate.
    1973-? - FLOATING - Fiat currency, 30 years
    The Basel Accord established the current floating exchange of currency rates we are operating under today.

    A good barometer of the size of a currency's leverage is the percentage of total Debt to GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Currently, that percentage (299%) is higher than the level the nation experienced during the depression era 1930's. With budget deficits projected for 2003 and 2004, the US will soon exceed this already inflated level.


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    I would gladly pay 10 dollars a gallon until Nov. if it would guarantee that Obama is gone.

    Bernanke is another arrogant tool of this administration. When is the last time you saw a Fed chair go out in the middle of the night to greet returning soldiers?? This is rich. Meanwhile the soldiers are getting screwed on healthcare, retirement (great idea to save money by cutting people just prior to getting their pensions), and job security. Dems can ALWAYS see their way clear to cut the military, and it's never draconian then. Besides, the government cannot continue to function under normal conditions without Budbernanke. With a debt of 1.5 trillion to the Chinese, they cannot afford to have interest rates go up now, their house of cards might fall before Obama could get reelected. He still has work to do, the final collapse that Alinsky called for is SO close now, they can taste the dictatorial powers, and in fact are trying them out a little at a time..........just like kids at Christmas they can't wait to open their goodies, so they peek, and play with the stuff a little early.

    It's only draconian to stand up for the life of babies, because we all know that life only starts when a dem says it starts, and the rest of us should pay up, and shut up to keep the Planned Parenthoods going. Obama signed on to providing NO assistance to a born alive baby that wasn't successfully killed during the abortion. He shows mercy only to killers, apparently. Evil. A true cancer. The greatest destroyer of America. Who are the morons who would reelect him? I'm getting Revelation vibes here. Sorry for the rant.

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    Editorial from IBD 3/1/2012  



    "Bernanke Fed's Ease: Insurance Against Incompetence?


    Economy: Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke strongly hinted he'll keep monetary policy easy, despite 3% economic growth in 2011's fourth quarter. Does he know something that we don't about this economy?

    As we've noted, it's very suspicious the nation's top central banker would keep such an easy monetary policy even as the economy grows.

    Does the Fed chief think the economy is more fragile than it appears? Or is he just so concerned about the economic policy ineptitude of the Obama White House that he doesn't dare alter the most stimulative Fed policy in history?

    At this point, it may be a bit of both. On the surface, things don't seem so bad. According to the latest revision, GDP grew at a 3% rate in the fourth quarter, a little higher than the 2.8% estimate made in January.

    The official unemployment rate has edged down to 8.3%, while the Dow industrial average closed above 13,000 Tuesday for the first time since 2008. Consumer confidence — including our own IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index — is on the rise.

    On Wednesday, Bernanke himself lauded what he called "positive developments in the labor market."

    So — the economy's doing a lot better, right?

    Well, we hate to be naysayers, but maybe not. Real unemployment remains quite high. An estimated 19% of Americans — one out of five — are underemployed, according to recent data from Gallup. 

    As for GDP growth, recent spikes in oil prices don't bode well. There's never been a jump in oil prices of this magnitude — the per-barrel price rising 11% in just a month — without a recession or severe slowdown.

    Inflation? Using the Fed's measure, the personal consumption deflator, it hardly seems an issue. In December, it rose just 2.4% — barely worth mentioning.

    And yet an alternative measure just released by the American Institute for Economic Research, called the Everyday Price Index, rose 8% in 2011 — almost three times the headline CPI measure.

    In the face of all this, President Obama's policies seem peculiarly inappropriate, if not outright damaging. As oil prices rise, he has imposed strict limits on drilling and exploration while pursuing costly green policies that threaten to bankrupt many American employers.

    His attempts at stimulus, spending $836 billion, and the auto industry and bank bailouts, an additional $700 billion, have significantly failed to create growth. As noted elsewhere in IBD today, the U.S. has gone since 2006 without a single quarter of growth of 4% or higher — the longest stretch since at least 1950.

    We are now in a period of grinding, subpar growth with higher inflation, like Europe. The government's soaring debt — $16 trillion-plus now and destined to rise an additional $11 trillion over the next decade — will permanently cap our nation's ability to grow.

    With Obama threatening tax hikes on the nation's most productive citizens, Bernanke's policy suddenly makes sense. The central bank's unprecedented creation of $2 trillion in new money hasn't exactly lit a fire under the economy. Bernanke knows this, but he fears the incompetence in the White House and Treasury.

    This isn't Fed policy. It's incompetence insurance."



    The Market action rolled over in higher volume after Berneckes remarks. Initially my take was the market did not believe Bernake's statement..Shortly after, a large sale of US Treasuries occured causing a chain reaction in streagthening of the dollar and causing a precipitous sell off of Precious Metals. Reeks of more Government manipulation of the markets for political purposes...








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    Reply with quote  #7 

    Obama running on empty

    After calling for a comprehensive energy plan during the campaign, Barack Obama has failed to advance such a plan while in the White House. With millions still struggling in Obama's economy, rising gas prices are making things worse.

    A man that lies about who he is will never have a problem lying about what he does

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    Reply with quote  #9 

    Meanwhile, at the pump


    Originally posted by bushido

    A man that lies about who he is will never have a problem lying about what he does

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    Reply with quote  #10 

    Try this one Lou:


     A quarter, minted in 1965, could purchase 1 gallon of gasoline, in that same year. That same quarter would now get you 2.5 gallons. The price of gasoline has actually GONE DOWN. The problem is, inflation. The dollar has very little purchasing power left. And now under obama, stealth inflation is on STEROIDS..

    Lou E Brown

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    Reply with quote  #11 

    I don't understand a word of that, but we are a retired teacher and a retired service man(USNavy). My monthly, less than 2K,retirement went up, are you ready for this, .01. And the notice came in an envelope that cost more than that to purchase and with a 45cent stamp on it.  This is monetary sanity? What is my dollar actually worth? I may live a long time, but on what?


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    Reply with quote  #12 

    BTW Quanitative Easing 3 began about 10 days ago.  Watch the price of commonidies over the next few months....



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    Reply with quote  #13 
    If you converted all your US Dollars to Silver at the beginning of 2009, it would have cost you approximately $10 per oz.. NOW because of multiple rounds of Quantitative Easing (printing dollars out of thin air), if you use your silver to buy gas it will cost you approximately $1.00 per gallon... The Fed and the obama adminstration wants us to believe there is no current inflation ??? Yea right...DO NOT BELIEVE all the political rhetoric regarding the increase in gas prices...Supply is now above average and yes there is speculative upside pressure because of possible supply disruption due to Iran and the Straits of Hermutz. But no way in hell does that account for a $2.65 premium difference as per the Silver/Oil ratio. Stealth inflation in order to monetize the debt is more to blame than thing else. What do you think the effects are going to be on hard working people who get minimal if any pay raises? OR worse yet the effect on fixed income retirees ?? WE are being conned by our politicians and the federal reserve bankers, and it will be too late to do anything about it by the time most people get it.... 
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