Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.The Greatest Stock Market Crash Of Your Life Is Just Ahead… – Warns Harry Dent - GoldCore
2.Budget 2016: Borrowing, Lifetime ISA, House Prices, Economy, Syria, Brexit and Stocks - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Gold Price Intermediate Top - Clive_Maund
4.Brussels Terror Attacks, Death of the European Union, BrExit Wake up Call - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Stock Market Maybe This Time is Different? - Tony_Caldaro
6.UK House Asking Prices Break Above £300k! Housing Market Paralysis - Nadeem_Walayat
7.A Big Reason Why Silver Price Is Set To Soar - Hubert_Moolman
8.The Financial Crisis Has Just Begun; Is The American Dream Is Over? - Chris_Vermeulen
9.Gold Stocks Spring Rally - Zeal_LLC
10.GLX, GLDX, Baby Gold Bull Market Stillborn? - Rambus_Chartology
Last 7 days
Stocks Extended Their Short-Term Downtrend But Will They Continue Lower? - 5th May 16
Monetary Liquifaction, Gold And The Time Of The Vulture - 5th May 16
US 2016 Election Is a Global Risk - 5th May 16
A Few Facts About Gold That Nay-Sayers Conveniently Ignore - 5th May 16
Save the Environment and Your Retirement: Sell Tesla - 4th May 16
Silver Bullion Has Key New Player – China Replaces JP Morgan - 4th May 16
Gold Stock Picks Up Over 400%, What's Next ? - 4th May 16
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew: Puerto Rico Needs Urgent Action - 4th May 16
Technical Trading Mastery for Traders & Investors - 4th May 16
Derivatives Crisis Of Banks…Worldwide - 3rd May 16
Bank of North Dakota Soars Despite Oil Bust: A Blueprint for California? - 3rd May 16
Stock Market Technical Analysis - 3rd May 16
Central Banks Need a Higher Gold Price : Hello GATA - 3rd May 16
A Currency War Battle That Europe and Japan Can’t Afford To Lose - 3rd May 16
When the Truth is Found to be Lies, Confidence in Currency Dies - 2nd May 16
How Brexit Could Help All of Europe - 2nd May 16
US House Prices Outpacing Official Inflation Rate, Household Income - 2nd May 16
USD Still Declining... - 2nd May 16
Gold & Silver Rally Huge as Central Bankers & Analysts Flub - 2nd May 16
Stock Market Bounce Day - 2nd May 16
Stock Market Uncertainty Following Two-Month Long Rally - Will It Continue? - 2nd May 16
Stock Market Correction Underway "Upside Objective Reached" - 2nd May 16
USD, Yen and an ‘Inflation Trade’ Update - 2nd May 16
Gold Commitments of Traders and More - 1st May 16
The Magic of Gold Ratio Charts - 1st May 16
Consensus Forming: China Heading Back Into Financial Crisis - 30th Apr 16
The Next Technical Price Targets for Gold & Silver - 30th Apr 16
Stock Market Downtrend Should be Underway - 30th Apr 16
Gold And Silver – A Clarion Alarm Call For All Paper Assets - 30th Apr 16
US Economic Statistics LIES, LIES AND OMG, MORE LIES - 30th Apr 16
Stock Market Strong Elliott Wave Relationship is Developing - 29th Apr 16
Fed's Kaplan: Brexit to Factor in US June Interest Rate Decision - 29th Apr 16
Silver Miners Strong in Grim Q4 - 29th Apr 16
Is Silver a better bet than Gold in the Near Future? - 29th Apr 16
How to Use the CoT Report in Gold Investing? - 29th Apr 16
Sri Lanka is Intriguing: Areas to Consider for Value Investing - 29th Apr 16
Gold “Chart of The Decade” – Maths Suggest $10,000 Per Ounce Says Rickards - 29th Apr 16
Are We or Are We Not in a New Gold Bull Market? - 29th Apr 16
Silver: The “Five Year Plan” and the Great Leap Forward - 28th Apr 16
Michael Hudson: The Wall Street Economy Has Taken Over The Economy and Is Draining It! - 28th Apr 16
AUD/USD - Trend Reversal or Just a Bigger Pullback? - 28th Apr 16
A Gold Revaluation Could Transform Your Financial Status - Overnight - 28th Apr 16
Monetary Policies Misunderstood - 28th Apr 16
Gold Bullion vs Gold Miners - 28th Apr 16
OECD Suggests BrExit Would Cut Net Migration by 1.2 Million by 2030 - 28th Apr 16
MP Naz Shah Punished for Tweets Made During Israel's Genocide of Gaza Palestinian People - 28th Apr 16

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Catching a Falling Financial Knife

Obama Arrogance, America, like Rome, Will Cross The Most Dangerous Line

Politics / US Politics Jul 22, 2013 - 10:54 AM GMT

By: Money_Morning

Politics

Keith Fitz-Gerald writes: Romulus Augustus, the last emperor of Rome, had a lot of time to think about what went wrong to cause the fall of the greatest empire in history. Here, for the first time, in this exclusive essay he tells the full story of the fall and gives Obama sage advice to our Chief Investment Strategist, Keith Fitz-Gerald on how to avoid the same fate in the US. Please forward this to interested friends or family members.

My name is Romulus Augustus. I was the last Roman Emperor. Though I only ruled a few years before giving up my throne on 4 September 476, I lived for at least another 25 years according to the tax records. I drew a pension until at least 507 according to Cassiodorus. And, in doing so, had plenty of time to think about what went wrong.


I have made the journey through time to offer my counsel and perspective lest your country repeat the same damning mistakes that ended centuries of Rome's greatness.

Let's begin at the top.

When I took the throne, the puppet masters held sway over the citizens. Theoretically, the citizens ruled Rome but sadly, true power was held by those who served as their representatives. The concentration of power is very real when it is the diffusion of power that best serves liberty.

Do not let your representatives take this for granted.

America, like Rome, will cross the most dangerous lines once voters figure out that they can entitle themselves. You will go from a nation of makers to a nation of takers.

We learned the hard way as our treasury became a proxy for a handout. Our citizenship changed radically and so did our elections. Towards the end, our political process was not about who would build a better future for the Empire, but who would be least likely to take away the handouts.

We tried giving the people free wheat as the progressive minds of our time thought that would change things. In reality, it made them worse.

Big operations and even bigger government led to large scale unemployment, particularly in our larger cities where people had nowhere else to go.

In the afterlife, I hear everybody from Henry the 8th to Julius Caesar debating the merits of leadership. Even Elvis weighs in which brings me to my next point...

Politicians who focus on surviving threats from each other lose sight of the nation they serve and their people.

We never got this right. You have the chance to do so. Today...now....before it's too late.

One of our biggest challenges was the large rival factions operating outside the political structure to create controversy and misleading attacks on rivals. They were little more than privately funded corporations acting in the guise of public interest. Eventually, they split the people so effectively that everybody lost...any nobody won.

Our government became "at" the people instead of "for" the people; corruption became a way of life amongst our leaders.

This was particularly true when it came to stimulating the economy in an attempt to correct the progressively bad policies these actions created.

At some point, you will have to take your losses. We tried to avoid the issue and, although it took centuries to unwind, the role of the state in presuming that it would operate more efficiently than the private markets ultimately led to economic fragmentation.

As conditions deteriorate, you would be wise to watch carefully for the concentration of power risks becoming absolute. Know that influence peddling is just as alive in your time as it was in mine.

And it is every bit as dangerous.

High taxes and public spending rob the economy.

We learned very painfully that when money is cheap, productivity falls as do margins, even though overall business activity expands for a time.

I only wished we had learned sooner.

Beginning with Marcus Aurelius, we suffered from merciless inflation. Some of this was simply due to the fact that we stopped conquering other lands and peoples. Mostly, however, it was due to the fact that without a constant inflow of new wealth from those lands, we could not keep up our spending.

The term "pyramid scheme" did not exist in our time but I believe it applies.

Our wealthy had plenty of gold to spend but the majority of our citizens watched helplessly and hopelessly as the amount of actual money in circulation dropped to the point where it became worthless.

We repeatedly devalued our currencies swapping one for the other as values dropped. We printed money in the short term oblivious to the damage we were doing in the longer term.

We also began reducing the actual metal content in our gold and silver coins so that the actual metal made up less than 25% of its weight. In some cases, we even used tin in an attempt to maintain the silver color of coins, but that didn't fool people for long.

To compensate, merchants raised prices to the point where nobody could afford to use real money. Inflation hit very hard. Barter became the method of the day.

As hard as it is for you to imagine, salaries were eventually paid in food and clothing. Taxes were collected in fruits and vegetables. Our troops were eventually paid with rationed supplies.

The middle class was obliterated as once free men transitioned into debtors' hell, existing hand to mouth under draconian taxes that robbed them of their future.

We learned the hard way that a strong currency creates hope. And hope, in turn, creates value.

The strongest years of our Empire were driven by the concept of a better future rather than merely by survival. Taxing our public enslaved them, creating what in the Middle Ages would come to be called serfdom.

Most of our banks, by the way, failed in the 3rd and 4th centuries. Unless you are prepared to endure the same crisis, I urge you to do whatever it takes to support your currency.

Do not let Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke or any of his central banking cabal to further devalue the money you need to function.

Hold your nation together and keep your people free.

When the cost of money is low, governments will waste it and businessmen will not invest.

Lending to the government does not count because it's an implied tax that robs the private sector of the wealth needed for innovation and growth.

Stimulus is simply not sustainable. Like the drugs we took to enhance our orgies in years past, the short term fix feels great. Our markets, enjoyed periods of strong performance following each new stimulative effort, too.

But know this....

Bread and circuses will not placate the masses for long. In ancient Rome, our emperors used to pay privately for circuses, gladiatorial contests and public food as a means of distracting our population from the hopelessness of their situation.

It worked quite well for a while. But eventually people figured out the bread was rotten and that the circuses really were a colossal waste of their money and did nothing for their future.

By the time we realized that radical fiscal reform was necessary to build a stronger Roman Empire and a more balanced economy, it was too late.

Once our elite no longer saw the necessity to serve the people, much less in our military, we broke down.

Our Empire failed because we did not appreciate the need for mutual obligation and appreciation.

One last thing. Don't be so arrogant to believe that it can't happen.

Your president, Barak Obama and all your elected leaders must understand that they have been voted into office by the people for the people.

They must not fail. This is their watch.

They would be wise to treat the people who put them in power with the respect their nation asks of them and the trust embodied in their office.

Source :http://moneymorning.com/2013/07/22/dont-be-so-arrogant-mr-president/

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2013 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email: customerservice@moneymorning.com

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2016 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife