Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Defaulting CPF 1

CPF minimum sum (MS) will be revised upwards to S$131,000, up from S$123,000. There are many ways to default.

  • Inflate away debt. (CPF interest is lower than inflation)
  • Refusing to pay full amount and let inflation do the rest of the job. (as in raising minimum sum to S$131,000)
  • extending the full payment dateline and let inflation do the rest of the job.
If our government is really concern of inflation hitting our pension fund, she can easily raise CPF interest rate, or allow us to purchase gold as hedging. Instead, PAP is now locking up our monies while turning its money printing press full steam ahead. 

Singaporean are the most avid savers in the world. However, I am sure Straits Time will trumpet Singaporean "over-spend" and have left nothing for retirement.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Singapore Median Income 1: Reconstruction of Top Secret

Median Income of Singaporean is still a "Top Secret". The data is likely to be a big scandal to PAP. MOM website and Singstat does not even publish timer series income of resident (Singaporean + PR). But I have managed to reconstruct the Singapore "Employed" "Resident" median income from various sources. The data was obtained when MOM megaphone spins that wages have now hike through the roof, in the Singapore paradise. I shall analyze the data in next few blogs. 

Certain points should be highlighted. The data ONLY indicate median income of 

  • Singapore Resident (Singaporean + PR, aka trying to hide how miserable Singaporean is)
  • Employed Resident (PAP massage statistic by omitting unemployed resident)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Singapore population explosion 3. PAP creates artificial unemployment

Above: Divergence of statistic between Singstat and World bank. Singstat telling big lies

Whopping 5% of unemployment rate in Singapore

For a fair large part of 21th century the unemployment rate of Singapore hovers above a whopping 5%, when PAP is trying very hard to import foreigners. You would comprehend the crooked logic of this economics nonsense if you are well aware that PAP is Satan's agent in Singapore.

A fair significant reason for foreigners to be here is to create unemployment.

First, to the rich, at least 5% of the workforce must be keep miserable by unemployment. A full employment rate will drive up wages and emasculate the ability of managers to dominate. Prostitute economist euphemism this as Natural Rate of Unemployment, which is currently being taught in high school economics all over the world.

How about under-employment and part-timers? They will never be captured to make sure PAP looks good.

While Europe and US has similar policies in place, there is nevertheless instituted social welfare system. In Singapore, the propaganda machine is perpetually on full blast accusing the poor "lazy", "stupid", "choosy".

Propaganda and Lies

To justify structural unemployment creation, PAP tells all sorts of big lies.

  • Singapore is a paradise. So loser failed because of their own fault.
  • Downside massage the unemployment statistic by PAP through Singstat. Looking at Singstat statistic, one can always find numerous fine prints. Those fine prints are not to help you to understand statistic. They are there because PAP wants to tell a lie.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Singapore population explosion 2. Rigged property market

Above : HDB flat per capita

While Singapore's population exploded more than 1 million from 1999 to 2009, less and less public housing are being built. From 1999 to 2003, 50 000 HDB flats came online. Just 3200 flats came online on 2008. 

Together with government's money printing, low interest rate, one witness the biggest property bubble, during the biggest downturn since the Great Depression. 


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Singapore population explosion 1. Worse than africa

Low fertility is a perpetual problem for PAP leaders. Hence they import foreigners so that our population grows at the rate -- equivalent to a total fertility rate of 4 children per woman.

Meanwhile Singapore total fertility rate hits new low of 1.16. Assuming the trend continues and Singaporean only breeds with one another -- then there will only be six 5th generation grandson for every hundred Singaporean.

Index Mundi

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

PAP and Shylock's daylight robbery

Sibor at record low thanks to US FED

Two esoteric terms on my charts, Sibor and Prime lending rate. In short, Sibor is the loan interest rate banks charge to one another. Besides, bank pays an interest roughly around Sibor to our saving deposit. Prime rate is the interest what you Joe pay when you incur bank loans.

The implication of low sibor is you savers are short changed by negative interest rate if inflation taken. 

Spread of Sibor and Prime Rate Diverging : Banks are robbing our monies

Sibor is 0.44% and prime rate is 5.38% as in 2011 May. Instead of lending 0.44% interesting rate to poor people, our country is lending 5.38% injuring the poor. Instead of jailing those criminal bankers and speculators, we are giving them cheap monies of 0.44% interest so that they can further screw us.

The low Sibor rate may not be entirely the government's fault, but definitely our government is able to lower the prime rate, selectively, for the poor.

Offering Sibor rate to Citizen

A very simple way to offer low interest rate to the needy is for HDB to reduce the interest of mortgage to sibor level. By not doing it, our government is clearly guilty of robbing the poor enrich the elites.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Singapore medical cartel 1: Making rentier profit

There are many reasons for the exorbitant healthcare cost in Singapore. Artificial scarcity in healthcare resource cook up by medical cartel colluding with PAP is one of the main reasons.

In 1999, there were 11,742 hospital beds and a population of around 4 million in Singapore. In 2009, the hospital beds actually decreased to 11, 663 while our population hit around 5 million. 

Our hospital bed ratio is behind Greece, Turkey, Argentina...etc and far behind the world average of 3.96. I wonder if PAP is reincarnate of parasite? 


Monday, May 23, 2011

Anatomy of Money Creation in Singapore 1

Having received feedback from my previous blog regarding M1 money supply, I decided to delve deeper into the topic. I need to apologize as my previous blog is kind of extreme.

Put it simply, Singapore dollar is created when Joe goes to MAS trading his foreign currency for SGD. MAS simply creates the money and give it to Joe. 

This is the reason our government claims SGD is backed more than 100% by FX. The real money creation mechanism is of course much more complicated and our government makes it clear that SGD is peg to the exchange rate of a basket of currencies.

The US Fed starts to print money since 2008, MAS prints in tandem when hot monies flows to Singapore. This is the reason of hike in M1. In other words, US action has forced MAS to debauch our currency as well so as not to erode our competitiveness.

Our elite is well aware that the increase in M1 spell inflation for Singaporean, which is the main reason of property bubble. They are not responsible to the sin of US Fed but are guilty of--
  • Allowing property bubble to develop even further. (a few regulations here and there will simply mitigate the bubble)
  • Failed to provide proper hedging for CPF, for example they can give us an option to convert CPF monies to 100% physical gold. The elite should be well aware that Fed QE can be fully hedge by gold.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Pricing Singapore property in gold 3

16 Years of Bear Market

In real terms, Singapore's property is undergoing some of the most spectacular crash. But then, wait a minute, why "experts" fail to see this? Besides, ordinary Singaporean are complaining being priced out of real estate bubble. 

Real Wages Fall Faster than Asset

If we are aware that all economist are prostitute, then we would have no difficulties in understanding the truth. Indeed the average Singaporean incur incredulous amount of debt when they decided to own a home nowadays. The main reason is because in terms of gold, Singaporean wages are having an even larger crash.   

Gold is the Real Money

Gold, after years of downside manipulation by central bankers, the free market is reasserting itself. Measured in terms of gold, the wage deflation of workers clearly shows up.

The financial engineering of government, banks and the spin of economist is right now on full power, all out to deceive the angry working class. The era of fiat money is coming to an end. Right now, the financial elite are trying their best to preserve the current rigged system. They will inevitably be overwhelmed by the free market. 

Pricing Singapore property in gold 2

The chart illustrate increase of Singapore real estate compared 1960. The property of 2011 is 25 times if priced in SGD, and 1.5 times if priced in gold, compared to property of 1960.

That never stop the pundits from parroting that Singapore dollar is strong and inflation rate is low. The truth is all Singaporean are being duped and robbed by elites by means of currency debasement. Our M1 money supply increases around 8 times since 1990. The value of anything will simply show up when one prices things in gold.

Maybe PAP can blame demand and supply again for increasing price level. So much for our government who claim that they "subsidize" public housing.

The price of 1960 is taken to be 1 unit

Pricing Singapore property in gold 1

Singapore property is 25 times the price since 1960. If priced in gold, you just need 1.5 times the amount of gold to purchase similar real estate compared to 1960. That is despite of a population increase from 1.5 million to 5 million over that span of time.

4Q98 = 100 


Friday, May 20, 2011

Alan Greenspan on Gold (1966)

People who have an insights on the hostility of bankers towards gold would have no difficulty in understanding the world economic structure.

Alan Greenspan wrote an extremely elegant article about gold. Nevertheless, there are many critical flaws. Greenspan claims that state uses fiat currency system to help the poor. This is manifested on the statement.   

The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves.

Nothing can be further from truth. The fiat standard is being instigated and supported by the bankers aiming for plundering the peasants to fatten the elites.

by Alan Greenspan

An almost hysterical antagonism toward the gold standard is one issue which unites statists of all persuasions. They seem to sense — perhaps more clearly and subtly than many consistent defenders of laissez-faire — that gold and economic freedom are inseparable, that the gold standard is an instrument of laissez-faire and that each implies and requires the other.

In order to understand the source of their antagonism, it is necessary first to understand the specific role of gold in a free society.

Money is the common denominator of all economic transactions. It is that commodity which serves as a medium of exchange, is universally acceptable to all participants in an exchange economy as payment for their goods or services, and can, therefore, be used as a standard of market value and as a store of value, i.e., as a means of saving.

The existence of such a commodity is a precondition of a division of labor economy. If men did not have some commodity of objective value which was generally acceptable as money, they would have to resort to primitive barter or be forced to live on self-sufficient farms and forgo the inestimable advantages of specialization. If men had no means to store value, i.e., to save, neither long-range planning nor exchange would be possible.

What medium of exchange will be acceptable to all participants in an economy is not determined arbitrarily. First, the medium of exchange should be durable. In a primitive society of meager wealth, wheat might be sufficiently durable to serve as a medium, since all exchanges would occur only during and immediately after the harvest, leaving no value-surplus to store. But where store-of-value considerations are important, as they are in richer, more civilized societies, the medium of exchange must be a durable commodity, usually a metal. A metal is generally chosen because it is homogeneous and divisible: every unit is the same as every other and it can be blended or formed in any quantity. Precious jewels, for example, are neither homogeneous nor divisible. More important, the commodity chosen as a medium must be a luxury. Human desires for luxuries are unlimited and, therefore, luxury goods are always in demand and will always be acceptable. Wheat is a luxury in underfed civilizations, but not in a prosperous society. Cigarettes ordinarily would not serve as money, but they did in post-World War II Europe where they were considered a luxury. The term "luxury good" implies scarcity and high unit value. Having a high unit value, such a good is easily portable; for instance, an ounce of gold is worth a half-ton of pig iron.

In the early stages of a developing money economy, several media of exchange might be used, since a wide variety of commodities would fulfill the foregoing conditions. However, one of the commodities will gradually displace all others, by being more widely acceptable. Preferences on what to hold as a store of value will shift to the most widely acceptable commodity, which, in turn, will make it still more acceptable. The shift is progressive until that commodity becomes the sole medium of exchange. The use of a single medium is highly advantageous for the same reasons that a money economy is superior to a barter economy: it makes exchanges possible on an incalculably wider scale.

Whether the single medium is gold, silver, seashells, cattle, or tobacco is optional, depending on the context and development of a given economy. In fact, all have been employed, at various times, as media of exchange. Even in the present century, two major commodities, gold and silver, have been used as international media of exchange, with gold becoming the predominant one. Gold, having both artistic and functional uses and being relatively scarce, has significant advantages over all other media of exchange. Since the beginning of World War I, it has been virtually the sole international standard of exchange. If all goods and services were to be paid for in gold, large payments would be difficult to execute and this would tend to limit the extent of a society's divisions of labor and specialization. Thus a logical extension of the creation of a medium of exchange is the development of a banking system and credit instruments (bank notes and deposits) which act as a substitute for, but are convertible into, gold.

A free banking system based on gold is able to extend credit and thus to create bank notes (currency) and deposits, according to the production requirements of the economy. Individual owners of gold are induced, by payments of interest, to deposit their gold in a bank (against which they can draw checks). But since it is rarely the case that all depositors want to withdraw all their gold at the same time, the banker need keep only a fraction of his total deposits in gold as reserves. This enables the banker to loan out more than the amount of his gold deposits (which means that he holds claims to gold rather than gold as security of his deposits). But the amount of loans which he can afford to make is not arbitrary: he has to gauge it in relation to his reserves and to the status of his investments.

When banks loan money to finance productive and profitable endeavors, the loans are paid off rapidly and bank credit continues to be generally available. But when the business ventures financed by bank credit are less profitable and slow to pay off, bankers soon find that their loans outstanding are excessive relative to their gold reserves, and they begin to curtail new lending, usually by charging higher interest rates. This tends to restrict the financing of new ventures and requires the existing borrowers to improve their profitability before they can obtain credit for further expansion. Thus, under the gold standard, a free banking system stands as the protector of an economy's stability and balanced growth. When gold is accepted as the medium of exchange by most or all nations, an unhampered free international gold standard serves to foster a world-wide division of labor and the broadest international trade. Even though the units of exchange (the dollar, the pound, the franc, etc.) differ from country to country, when all are defined in terms of gold the economies of the different countries act as one — so long as there are no restraints on trade or on the movement of capital. Credit, interest rates, and prices tend to follow similar patterns in all countries. For example, if banks in one country extend credit too liberally, interest rates in that country will tend to fall, inducing depositors to shift their gold to higher-interest paying banks in other countries. This will immediately cause a shortage of bank reserves in the "easy money" country, inducing tighter credit standards and a return to competitively higher interest rates again.

A fully free banking system and fully consistent gold standard have not as yet been achieved. But prior to World War I, the banking system in the United States (and in most of the world) was based on gold and even though governments intervened occasionally, banking was more free than controlled. Periodically, as a result of overly rapid credit expansion, banks became loaned up to the limit of their gold reserves, interest rates rose sharply, new credit was cut off, and the economy went into a sharp, but short-lived recession. (Compared with the depressions of 1920 and 1932, the pre-World War I business declines were mild indeed.) It was limited gold reserves that stopped the unbalanced expansions of business activity, before they could develop into the post-World War I type of disaster. The readjustment periods were short and the economies quickly reestablished a sound basis to resume expansion.

But the process of cure was misdiagnosed as the disease: if shortage of bank reserves was causing a business decline — argued economic interventionists — why not find a way of supplying increased reserves to the banks so they never need be short! If banks can continue to loan money indefinitely — it was claimed — there need never be any slumps in business. And so the Federal Reserve System was organized in 1913. It consisted of twelve regional Federal Reserve banks nominally owned by private bankers, but in fact government sponsored, controlled, and supported. Credit extended by these banks is in practice (though not legally) backed by the taxing power of the federal government. Technically, we remained on the gold standard; individuals were still free to own gold, and gold continued to be used as bank reserves. But now, in addition to gold, credit extended by the Federal Reserve banks ("paper reserves") could serve as legal tender to pay depositors.

When business in the United States underwent a mild contraction in 1927, the Federal Reserve created more paper reserves in the hope of forestalling any possible bank reserve shortage. More disastrous, however, was the Federal Reserve's attempt to assist Great Britain who had been losing gold to us because the Bank of England refused to allow interest rates to rise when market forces dictated (it was politically unpalatable). The reasoning of the authorities involved was as follows: if the Federal Reserve pumped excessive paper reserves into American banks, interest rates in the United States would fall to a level comparable with those in Great Britain; this would act to stop Britain's gold loss and avoid the political embarrassment of having to raise interest rates. The "Fed" succeeded; it stopped the gold loss, but it nearly destroyed the economies of the world, in the process. The excess credit which the Fed pumped into the economy spilled over into the stock market, triggering a fantastic speculative boom. Belatedly, Federal Reserve officials attempted to sop up the excess reserves and finally succeeded in braking the boom. But it was too late: by 1929 the speculative imbalances had become so overwhelming that the attempt precipitated a sharp retrenching and a consequent demoralizing of business confidence. As a result, the American economy collapsed. Great Britain fared even worse, and rather than absorb the full consequences of her previous folly, she abandoned the gold standard completely in 1931, tearing asunder what remained of the fabric of confidence and inducing a world-wide series of bank failures. The world economies plunged into the Great Depression of the 1930's.

With a logic reminiscent of a generation earlier, statists argued that the gold standard was largely to blame for the credit debacle which led to the Great Depression. If the gold standard had not existed, they argued, Britain's abandonment of gold payments in 1931 would not have caused the failure of banks all over the world. (The irony was that since 1913, we had been, not on a gold standard, but on what may be termed "a mixed gold standard"; yet it is gold that took the blame.) But the opposition to the gold standard in any form — from a growing number of welfare-state advocates — was prompted by a much subtler insight: the realization that the gold standard is incompatible with chronic deficit spending (the hallmark of the welfare state). Stripped of its academic jargon, the welfare state is nothing more than a mechanism by which governments confiscate the wealth of the productive members of a society to support a wide variety of welfare schemes. A substantial part of the confiscation is effected by taxation. But the welfare statists were quick to recognize that if they wished to retain political power, the amount of taxation had to be limited and they had to resort to programs of massive deficit spending, i.e., they had to borrow money, by issuing government bonds, to finance welfare expenditures on a large scale.

Under a gold standard, the amount of credit that an economy can support is determined by the economy's tangible assets, since every credit instrument is ultimately a claim on some tangible asset. But government bonds are not backed by tangible wealth, only by the government's promise to pay out of future tax revenues, and cannot easily be absorbed by the financial markets. A large volume of new government bonds can be sold to the public only at progressively higher interest rates. Thus, government deficit spending under a gold standard is severely limited. The abandonment of the gold standard made it possible for the welfare statists to use the banking system as a means to an unlimited expansion of credit. They have created paper reserves in the form of government bonds which — through a complex series of steps — the banks accept in place of tangible assets and treat as if they were an actual deposit, i.e., as the equivalent of what was formerly a deposit of gold. The holder of a government bond or of a bank deposit created by paper reserves believes that he has a valid claim on a real asset. But the fact is that there are now more claims outstanding than real assets. The law of supply and demand is not to be conned. As the supply of money (of claims) increases relative to the supply of tangible assets in the economy, prices must eventually rise. Thus the earnings saved by the productive members of the society lose value in terms of goods. When the economy's books are finally balanced, one finds that this loss in value represents the goods purchased by the government for welfare or other purposes with the money proceeds of the government bonds financed by bank credit expansion.

In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its holding illegal, as was done in the case of gold. If everyone decided, for example, to convert all his bank deposits to silver or copper or any other good, and thereafter declined to accept checks as payment for goods, bank deposits would lose their purchasing power and government-created bank credit would be worthless as a claim on goods. The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves.

This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists' tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists' antagonism toward the gold standard.

Republican hypocrisy

The budget deficit is in large part the consequence of disastrous GOP policy, in giving tax cut and bailing out the rich, and the reckless wars. When the GOP loses power, they advocate balancing the budget -- by cutting social service to the poor. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

M1 of Singapore

A look at M1 money supply of Singapore from MAS website. The PAP government does not publish M0,  so we can only make a rough estimation of MAS printing press base on M1. Our M1 increases by almost 8 times in 20 years.

Deleted content.

Update :  Refer to [link] for more balanced view.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dalai Lama, the Marxist

File:Tenzin Gyatzo foto 1.jpgLKY prides himself in "defeating" communism in Singapore. LKY's ideology of social Darwinism, free market are in fact bunch of codeword for exploitation and slavery. Below is what Dalai lama got to say about Marxism.

If Dalai Lama is Singaporean, he will be locked up in cage by ISD, simply because that his Marxist economic view hurt the rich. Remember Operation Spectrum

Of all the modern economic theories, the economic system of Marxism is founded on moral principles, while capitalism is concerned only with gain and profitability. Marxism is concerned with the distribution of wealth on an equal basis and the equitable utilization of the means of production. It is also concerned with the fate of the working classes--that is, the majority--as well as with the fate of those who are underprivileged and in need, and Marxism cares about the victims of minority-imposed exploitation. 

...... I still think of myself as half-Marxist, half-Buddhist.-- 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso [link]

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Goh Keng Swee golden legacy

USA do not have any foreign reserve, she has gold reserve. That is enough to tell you what is wealth. PAP is forever proud of her foreign reserve. Unfortunately our foreign reserve is soon going to worth less than toilet paper.

The flawed FX policy of LKY is going to wipe out our savings overnight. What is left after the inevitable collapse of USD is what Dr Goh Keng Swee has preserve through gold reserve.

After these years since 1968, Singapore has only increase our gold reserve by 26 tonnes. This is what the LKY has been doing. Lets hope I am wrong, and lets hope that LKY is secretly accumulating gold reserve for Singapore.

I am sure if Dr Goh is around, he will be doing that. 

Dr Goh bought Singapore's first 100 tons - around 101,600kg - of gold reserves from the South African Finance Minister, then Dr Nicolaas Diederichts, in a private exchange at the World Bank meeting in 1968. The minister reportedly went to Dr Goh's hotel room and turned up the TV volume before discussing the deal.

After agreeing to sell the gold, he took out a United States dollar note and cut it in half, giving one half to Dr Goh.

This was used for verification of identity when the Singapore representatives - Mr Ngiam Tong Dow and veteran banker Wee Cho Yaw - later met the South African sellers in Switzerland.

And that's how Singapore obtained its first gold reserves, at US$40 per ounce.
As of March, Singapore had about US$212 million in official gold reserves, according to the MAS website. Gold price is now nearly US$1,250 an ounce. [link]

Friday, May 13, 2011

99% of economists are whore

Our academia economist are bunch of hopeless prostitute. I was corrupted in my mind when took A level economics. By the time when I was around 30s, I then realized  that our economics curriculum inculcate pandering rich and justify the economics oppression system. I am going to elaborate a few items below.

The Iron Law of Wages 

In short, this law states real wages always tend toward the minimum level necessary only to sustain the wretched life of the worker.

This law is rubbish. To make "Iron Law" seem true, the economist advocate creating unemployment. The "unemployment is a must theory" is coined under the name 

Natural rate of unemployment.

The economist fear-monger that full employment is bad as it creates inflation. But then everyone knows that "inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon" ( Milton Friedman ). In another words, central bank and government is the culprit of inflation and the people has to pay the price.

The elite always has an interest in creating unemployment even if economy is blooming. Full employment will cause firm competing for labor resulting to increase in wages.

In USA, the official policy is to put 5% of the people out of job. God will definitely not judge these elites kindly for their cruelty in destroying life of the peasants.

Consumer Demand Sustained by Debt rather than High Wages  

Have you wonder why government tries so hard to put people into debt. Even if the people are discipline, the government takes up sovereign debt on the behalf of people.

In the environment of low wages, the rich is going burst because no one is going to buy their wares. The only way to perpetuate this low wage game is by debt.

But ultimately, a tipping will be reached when all good collaterals are gone. Next, the debt ponzi will go burst. That will bring everyone down.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Break the rent seeking of elites

Singaporean is under bankruptcy siege by doctors and big pharma, "not so rich "Mauritian sing all the way for free health care.
To put things short, our rentier elite is the cause of all our misery.

Joseph E. Stiglitz

The Mauritius Miracle

Suppose someone were to describe a small country that provided free education through university for all of its citizens, transportation for school children, and free health care – including heart surgery – for all. You might suspect that such a country is either phenomenally rich or on the fast track to fiscal crisis.
After all, rich countries in Europe have increasingly found that they cannot pay for university education, and are asking young people and their families to bear the costs. For its part, the United States has never attempted to give free college for all, and it took a bitter battle just to ensure that America’s poor get access to health care – a guarantee that the Republican Party is now working hard to repeal, claiming that the country cannot afford it.
But Mauritius, a small island nation off the east coast of Africa, is neither particularly rich nor on its way to budgetary ruin. Nonetheless, it has spent the last decades successfully building a diverse economy, a democratic political system, and a strong social safety net. Many countries, not least the US, could learn from its experience.
In a recent visit to this tropical archipelago of 1.3 million people, I had a chance to see some of the leaps Mauritius has taken – accomplishments that can seem bewildering in light of the debate in the US and elsewhere. Consider home ownership: while American conservatives say that the government’s attempt to extend home ownership to 70% of the US population was responsible for the financial meltdown, 87% of Mauritians own their own homes – without fueling a housing bubble.
Now comes the painful number: Mauritius’s GDP has grown faster than 5% annually for almost 30 years. Surely, this must be some “trick.” Mauritius must be rich in diamonds, oil, or some other valuable commodity. But Mauritius has no exploitable natural resources. Indeed, so dismal were its prospects as it approached independence from Britain, which came in 1968, that the Nobel Prize-winning economist James Meade wrote in 1961: “It is going to be a great achievement if [the country] can find productive employment for its population without a serious reduction in the existing standard of living….[T]he outlook for peaceful development is weak.”
As if to prove Meade wrong, the Mauritians have increased per capita income from less than $400 around the time of independence to more than $6,700 today. The country has progressed from the sugar-based monoculture of 50 years ago to a diversified economy that includes tourism, finance, textiles, and, if current plans bear fruit, advanced technology.
During my visit, my interest was to understand better what had led to what some have called the Mauritius Miracle, and what others might learn from it. There are, in fact, many lessons, some of which should be borne in mind by politicians in the US and elsewhere as they fight their budget battles.
First, the question is not whether we can afford to provide health care or education for all, or ensure widespread homeownership. If Mauritius can afford these things, America and Europe – which are several orders of magnitude richer – can, too. The question, rather, is how to organize society. Mauritians have chosen a path that leads to higher levels of social cohesion, welfare, and economic growth – and to a lower level of inequality.
Second, unlike many other small countries, Mauritius has decided that most military spending is a waste. The US need not go as far: just a fraction of the money that America spends on weapons that don’t work against enemies that don’t exist would go a long way toward creating a more humane society, including provision of health care and education to those who cannot afford them.
Third, Mauritius recognized that without natural resources, its people were its only asset.  Maybe that appreciation for its human resources is also what led Mauritius to realize that, particularly given the country’s potential religious, ethnic, and political differences – which some tried to exploit in order to induce it to remain a British colony – education for all was crucial to social unity. So was a strong commitment to democratic institutions and cooperation between workers, government, and employers – precisely the opposite of the kind of dissension and division being engendered by conservatives in the US today.
This is not to say that Mauritius is without problems. Like many other successful emerging-market countries, Mauritius is confronting a loss of exchange-rate competitiveness. And, as more and more countries intervene to weaken their exchange rates in response to America’s attempt at competitive devaluation through quantitative easing, the problem is becoming worse. Almost surely, Mauritius, too, will have to intervene.
Moreover, like many other countries around the world, Mauritius worries today about imported food and energy inflation. To respond to inflation by increasing interest rates would simply compound the difficulties of high prices with high unemployment and an even less competitive exchange rate. Direct interventions, restrictions on short-term capital inflows, capital-gains taxes, and stabilizing prudential banking regulations will all have to be considered.
The Mauritius Miracle dates to independence. But the country still struggles with some of its colonial legacies: inequality in land and wealth, as well as vulnerability to high-stakes global politics. The US occupies one of Mauritius’s offshore islands, Diego Garcia, as a naval base without compensation, officially leasing it from the United Kingdom, which not only retained the Chagos Islands in violation of the UN and international law, but expelled its citizens and refuses to allow them to return.
The US should now do right by this peaceful and democratic country: recognize Mauritius’ rightful ownership of Diego Garcia, renegotiate the lease, and redeem past sins by paying a fair amount for land that it has illegally occupied for decades.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Nuking Silver

As the insane CME margin hike for silver run on course, silver is playing out some of the most spectacular plunge of 29%.

Rumors are strife that bankers are suffering huge paper loss in the silver bull market. In the latest ambush, the nefarious COMEX didn't simple make one margin hike, but rather a whopping five margin increase in ten trading days.

Besides, the later margin hikes occur when silver is falling on a cliff. Henceforth, silver future is the least leverage-able. Below is taking from Jeff Nielson.

We can also demonstrate the illegitimate nature of the CME Groups actions by viewing them over the longer term. As I noted earlier, raising margin requirements acts like “the brakes” for commodity markets. However, unlike any mechanical braking device, raising margin requirements can only be done once. As you raise the amount of funds which any/all traders must post with each contract from 20% to 30% to 40%, this progression can never be repeated. Thus, in frequently and rabidly raising margin requirements for the silver sector (totally out of proportion to any other market), the CME Group is using-up its “brakes” for this market.

What happens when margin requirements reach 100%? The CME Group will have no means of any kind to restrain this market further. This means that all of these hikes in margin requirements (while silver remains far below any fair-market value) are illegitimate on a collective basis, because rather than “adding stability” to this market, the reckless managers of the Crimex exchange are wearing-out their “brakes” – much like the corrupt and intellectually bankrupt Federal Reserve has done in slashing interest rates to zero.

As precious metal rises and fiat monies falls in value, be prepare for the transition period of painful wars, depression and even shortage of material well-being. At the end of the transition, we will see the destruction of USD as well as the Anglo-bank complex.

Monday, May 2, 2011

PAP is bringing Singapore down the road of food crisis

I foresee an imminent worldwide food crisis in the near future due to global warming, over-population, peak oil and soil erosion. The crisis will hit Singapore badly. When the crisis runs it course, all food producing country will halt food export never mind how much monies we pay them.

Are Singapore never be able to be self-sufficient in food production as what our propaganda spinned?

What if PAP has been doing the right thing instead? 

Japan has 49,000 square kilometres of farmland feeding 127 million population. If our population is to be maintained at 2.5 million as per the 80s, we can be self-sufficient with around 950 square kilometres of farmland.

Technology advancement will take agro-productivity further. The state of art rice seed is able to produce around 7,5 tonnes/hectareBase on per capita consumption of 70 kg, a mere 230 sq km of farmland is able to make a 2.5 million population self-sufficient in rice.

Unfortunately, the endless greed of PAP has decided increase our population without sustainability. Our off-spring will suffer the consequences.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Peak oil and doomsday Singapore

In the coming decades, food is going to be a major problem for city state like Singapore. When cheap energy runs out, Singapore as a state may no longer be viable.

Even if we have money, our food supplier would prefer to keep production for themselves. And the transportation of food from its source of production would be so unbearably expensive we would no longer be able to afford it.

Some cities can supplement by urban farming and high tech agro industries. For Singapore, the population density is too high due to the greed of our elite. Such is not possible to solve our problem.

Excerpts from Peak Oil and Soil (August 1, 2007) by Eric Andrews.

First is that readers may not realize the gravity of the situation concerning food and Peak Oil. There is a wing of the Peak Oil argument that statistically demonstrates how food presently can be said to be a form of oil. Numbers run as high as 10 calories of oil per calorie of food, which with 2,000 mile Caesar salads from California and 10,000 mile apples from New Zealand, is not hard to believe. 

In fact, every step of the food chain rests entirely on oil and cheap energy: seed production and storage; plowing and planting via diesel tractors; irrigation of the desert by diesel pumps; fertilizer created from natural gas, without which tired fields that have no natural tilth or manure could not otherwise produce; pesticides and herbicides created from oil and applied with tractors; the harvest by diesel combine and shipped by semi from remote areas; the drying of grain or year-round cold storage; shipping by truck center to the mill and then the grocery where coolers and air conditioning with computer registers and just-in-time inventory again support the entire process. 

In fact, there is less than a week’s supply of food in the entire food chain, while consumers—in contrast to America before 1960--hold less than a week’s worth of food at home in their refrigerators. 

The “Green Revolution”, which ended the famines of the 70s, could arguably be said to be a result of eating oil. The logical conclusion is that without cheap oil, we must again return to those times, except with 1/3 more population.

Let’s look at the 10,000 mile apple: Here in New York, our groceries also sell Washington and New Zealand apples, although we are the heart of apple country, one of the three major producing regions. Why? Modern grocers are super-sized while it remains competitive to ship such distances. Can your 50 acre family farm provide 100,000 pallet boxes to Costco, delivered year-round on time? They need size. Also the shiny, wooden varieties that store and ship well that are produced in such places.

Let’s raise the price of oil: The New Zealand apples become uncompetitive locally, and although the grocer may want size, they will be forced to the trouble of the smaller local farms and/or those farms will collectivize their sales as they have in the west. Alternately, the large grocers may not adapt and we would return to local markets. New Zealanders will eat their goods, while we will eat ours. That foods will again become regional and seasonal is a given because the alternatives are a luxury.

For energy-intensive cold storage, we now have cement-block warehouses run by bulk refrigeration. But it was not always that way. Not only were the cold storage built uninsulated (back when energy was cheap) but there is no need to store in this way at all. Even today with the poorly-insulated buildings farmers can and do cool their potatoes with night air and shut up the warehouses by day. Historically, they used to stack cabbage in pyramids and bury in sand. In the 50’s this was done with bulldozers or at home in the root cellar. This works with apples in barrels, carrots and root vegetables, or pumpkins and squash. I can’t guarantee the same storage success, but I can guarantee a far lower energy use.

The storage success is not as important as it seems either, as only a fraction of food produced gets to market. Anything smaller in size, blemished, picked on a wrong day, or otherwise too troublesome to sort is dumped. …And this is before the 50% of food that arrives on restaurant plates or grocery displays only to be thrown in a dumpster. There is far MORE food being produced than necessary already—it’s just being used inefficiently.

But suppose this part cannot be helped. Won’t production fall due to oil shortages? The fertilizers and pesticides, the planting and harvesting? Again, just because we do things a certain way NOW, doesn’t mean it is the only way, or even the best way.

First, we choose a variety of plants that are annuals and not perennials. This has been human choice for 10,000 years, to base on wheat, corn, and rice and not olives or apples. Nevertheless, it is not necessary. One of the greatest producers of carbs per acre is the chestnut. (a great contender as ethanol feedstock, btw) It requires no plowing or planting, and very modest weed control, easily done by scythe and harrow. Some other major perennial producers are walnuts, grapes, apples, or jerusalem artichokes.

While we’re speaking of other varieties, why do we plant corn, wheat and soy? It’s cultural inertia. Amaranth and Millet are far more productive with less input. Other things are edible we’ve never explored, such as milkweed, cattail, and arrowroot. These sound odd to us, but it was not long since the Peruvian potato and tomato were hotly disputed introductions, dismissed as toxic or as poverty food but are now staples. In Asia, the strangest things are eaten with the least comment.

This cultural inertia is true in the way we plant as well. Worldwide, historically men have had a field of staples: corn, wheat or rice; and the rest has been filled with mixed crops: a fruit and nut orchard with some deep radishes, squash, cucumbers, grapes, berries and the like. Near the house was the kitchen garden rounded out with geese, turkeys, chickens, or a modest milk cow. In energy terms, this mixed field was the greatest producer. It carried not one crop a year, but 2 or 3 or more. While the yield on the extracted staple crop falls without rotation or amendment, the mixed crop maintains itself. While the staple needs plowing and planting with horses and tractors, the permaculture stand needs little more than a shovel. More importantly, while the yield on a mixed acre isn’t 2 or 3x the staple, it is still far more than 1x the yield of the staple acre. And at less work per pound.

But, you say, you cannot grow to scale with a quirky stand of mixed perennial crops—how can you get the volume required without combine-width rows? But this is exactly the question in modern agriculture. Back in 1900, the US, like modern-day China, had well-heeled government initiatives to get farmers away from the farms and into the manufacturing centers. That they could grow more acres with less men was obvious progress. …But the progress was not so obvious. The upscaling of agriculture demolished the “family” in the family farm, as well as the communities that supported them. Soon, anyone who could make something of themselves were leaving for the cities instead, taking their knowledge and strength with them, and with them, the fabric of the community.

At the same time yield per man was rising, (potential) yield per acre fell. It is a truism that the more hand-worked an acre is, the higher the yield, in fact, so much greater is the quality and yield that Eliot Coleman (see: “The New Organic Grower”) recommends truck farmers plant an acre per worker even if they have to leave the rest fallow, rather than waste time and effort on 2-3 acres per person. While this is far more true of truck crops, it would still hold true for staple crops or their substitutes. One reason staples are grown rather than substitutes is BECAUSE of the dearth of hand labor. The Chinese would be wise, while they are paving their scarce fertile acres, to note that moving men to the cities further reduces their yield.

Where would we get the men to support a man-per-acre kind of farming? Well, oddly, the system that promoted getting men off the farm and into the cities has depopulated the farms who now produce at a fraction of their potential while an epidemic of healthy men sit unemployed in the cities. Is this an efficient use of our resources? If people are to sit on one side of the street while there is useful work waiting on the other? So far, no one has crossed the street, but that’s not to say it can’t be done. This would be also true over age groups: older workers may not be as productive as younger ones, yet is it better to add something to production, or to add nothing? Not all farm work is arduous. Much of it is paperwork, cooking, sorting, repairs, going to town and so on; jobs well suited to knowledgeable and trustworthy retirees.

Lastly, there is the problem of soil and acres. The best soil in America is quite possibly underneath the city of Chicago, followed by the river bottoms in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Napa Valley, San Francisco, New Jersey (the Garden State) and Long Island among others. People have always located on the river valleys, and on the best land. It goes without saying then that the best land in America is now buried under suburban asphalt. This is a grave problem, as that is where the (present) population lives and needs the food to arrive. What to do?

Going back to the mixed acres, you can see that, although a combine will never again fit between McMansions of Indianapolis, yet throughout the houses and surrounding areas small, people-sized crops can be grown. These were always more productive anyway, but now are forced into use by our careless buildout or infrastructure during the previous century of cheap energy. It’s not that there isn’t still land (here in America) but that we don’t see what land we have.

I think of the miles of endless highways, well drained with excellent access, snaking through the population centers, peppered with catfish ponds and growing grass. If they grew the least crop—grapes on the fences—we would be overwhelmed with food. If they planted oats rather than lawn, a combine could drive from Albany to St Louis before turning around on the opposite margin. If every inch, every slope, every ditch, were filled with appropriate food plants, the production would be unimaginable, ripening through every season of the year. –And this is just the highways, not adding the suburbs, the trainyards, the slopes and cuts, and overlooked lots. In Japan an acre is a field; here it’s a yard—it depends on your perspective.

Who loses in all this? Scale. Large, centralized processes and organizations would be keenly ill-suited to a human-sized and powered agriculture. That is part of the reason it isn’t in place already, as the lobbying power of agribusiness over family business permitted them to tip the scales in favor of size and centralization for over 100 years. This would carry over the political realm as well, where re-localization due to high energy costs leads people to question the need for extensive support of remote lobbyists in a distant capitol. The resulting lower taxes and greater diversity would arguably be beneficial to the country, and to employment and commerce, while invigorating the principles of limited and localized government the nation was founded on.

So yes, Peak Oil and soil loss are acutely grave problems that very well might spark a catastrophic decline in population. However, there are things that we can do, provided we start early and are not too proud to work, too proud to reach, or too proud to try new things. All it takes is for us to decide we wish to do it.

Peak Oil is frightening, and the statistics are fatal. The solutions, however, create a new, better—and more human--world.