The Debt Crisis – What Really Falls to Dust?

Armstrong Economics Blog/Sovereign Debt Crisis Re-Posted Mar 9, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

QUESTION: The sales pitch seems to be that there is this $2 quadrillion in global debt that overhangs everything. Paper assets, therefore, will all implode!  They seem to be saying that everything has risen due to this debt bubble and it was all created with Zero interest rates. Now that they are going up, the debt bubble will burst and everything will decline. The story seems to be that this decades-long Boom Bust cycle was created over and over by the Federal Reserve. 

This seems to be like you have said, they try to reduce everything to a single cause and effect.

What really happens?


ANSWER: These people seem to keep preaching the same story but have no historical understanding whatsoever of how the monetary system has ever worked. Their focus on the Federal Reserve shows that they are not looking at the world economy and they do not even comprehend how bad things really are outside the United States.  They do not comprehend what is an interest rate. It is the compensation to a lender for his anticipation of inflation plus a profit. If I think the dollar will decline by 50%, why would I lend you dollars for a year if when you pay me back it buys half of what it did when I lent it to you?

Debt can be a performing asset. I advised many of the Takeover Boys during the 1980s. We would borrow in one currency to buy the asset in another using the computer to distinguish the long-term trends. I would not recommend that to someone just operating on a gut feeling.

We were also advising on real values, which Hollywood distorted and based the movie Wall Street with Michael Douglas and his famous speech on greed. What they did not really understand was that after a Public Wave that peaked in 1981, stocks were suppressed and the full-faith in government created the broadly supported bond market.  Hence – bonds were conservative and stocks were risky. There were two aspects that were behind the entire Takeover Boom.

First, I was showing these charts and how in terms of book value, the Dow Jones bottomed in 1977. It was obvious that if you could buy a company, sell its assets, and double or triple your money, then the market was obviously not overpriced. We had forecast that the Dow was undervalued and that it would rise from the 1982 low of 769.98 and test the 2500 level in two years in 1985. Indeed, it reached 2695.47 by September 1987. We also projected that by the next decade, the Dow would test 6,000 on its next rally.

Even the press in Japan was shocked. We were also projected that Crude would fall below $10 in 1998. Indeed, that forecast was covered by Mark Pitman at Bloomberg News. It bottomed at $10.65 in 1998. In gold would forecast that it would drop to test $250 by 1999 completing a 19-year cycle low. Then gold would rally to test 1,000. Gold reached the $1,000 level by 2008. The Japanese press thought those forecasts were wild, to say the least.

The SECOND aspect of our advice to the takeover boys of the ’80s was something the press NEVER understood. We would advise borrowing in one currency for an asset in another. We were able to turn debt into a performing asset. We would make 20-40% profit on the currency alone. Often, the press would just look at the debt and not understand what we were even doing.

Most of this reasoning stems from Sir Tomas Gresham’s observations when he represented England at the Amsterdam exchange during the reign of Henry VI’s reign and debasement. As Henry debased the silver coinage as was taking place in Spain, the more they debased the coinage, the higher the inflation took place. His observation that bad money drives out the good has been grossly misunderstood. When I was growing up, they took the silver out of the coinage in 1965.  People were culling out the silver showing that the debased new coinage of 1965 drove out of circulation the old silver coinage. The same thing has taken place with the copper pennings.

Because people hoard old coinage, the money supply shrinks. That then forces the government to issue far more debased coinage to compensate for the coinage that has been withdrawn from hoarding. Consequently, inflation unfolds for all tangible assets to rise in value as expressed in the newly debased coinage.

What these people always try to sell is the same old scenario that they cannot point to a single instance in history where everything collapses to dust but only gold survives. Such periods will typically result in revolution. When Caesar crossed the Rubicon, that was also all bout a debt crisis.

You must also understand that interest rates will be at their LOWEST internationally in the core economy of the Financial Capital of the World – which is the USA right now. The further you move from the center, the higher the interest rate will be. Hence, I have warned that the United States will be the LAST to fall – never the first. This is not based upon my opinion, this is simply historical fact.

We have interest rates back to 3000 BC and have studied the impact of such convulsions in economic history. As for the Debt Crisis that forced Caesar to cross the Rubicon, I suggest you read Anatomy of a Debt Crisis that appears, only Julius Caesar ever understood. 

The Bottom Line is very simple. There is just no such period as people describe where everything turns to dust and only gold survives. Even if that were true, they what good would the gold do if everything else is worth ZERO? Gold would have also ZERO value since nothing would have value.

The real issue is that as government defaults unfold, tangible assets will rise in value for the amount of money in debt always dwarfs that in even the stock market. We are in a Sovereign Debt Crisis and that is very different from a private debt crisis.

What is Really the Foundation of Money?

Armstrong Economics Blog/America’s Economic History Re-Posted Feb 17, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

COMMENT: Martin,
After several years of reading your blog, I have concluded that Socrates’ prognostications appear to be spot on. I also share your assertion that a study of history supplies an insight into future events due to the constancy of “human nature.” Where we appear to part ways is in the definition of “money.”

In the early 20th century J. P. Morgan said: “Gold is money; everything else [used as currency] is credit.” Hence, paper money, (and digital entries in an electronic ledger) when issued by a monopolist i.e. government, inevitably descends to its intrinsic value: zero.


ANSWER: Human society has recorded our monetary history and you should not confuse irresponsible government with what is really money. I have a great deal of Respect for J.P. Morgan. If you asked the question of what is money in a Babylonian, it would be a silver shekel. Even the Bible spoke of weighing the silver and how Judas sold out Christ for a handful of silver coins. To a Greek from Anatolya (Turkey), he would have said it is a stater. To an Athenian, he would say a drachma. A Roman would have replied a denarius. But when Rome was first forming, money had been cattle which became thereafter bronze. Indeed, if you had asked before all of them, a Minoan, would have it was bronze. Money has been many things including sea shells, and cattle.

A Spanish during the 15th century would have said it was a one-ounce silver reale. The German would have said no – it’s the silver thaler. The British would disagree and said it was the pound sterling (.925 silver). The Americans, not wanting to be subservient to England, adopted the dollar, which was a version of the German thaler. In Asia, it was the cash, then the yen.

Saint Patrick in the 5th Century AD upon his arrival in Ireland, found that MONEY was expressed in human slave girls. He wrote in his Confession, “I think that I have given away to them no less than the price of fifteen humans.” This passage shows something very important. First, MONEY is not defined as the Medium of Exchange exclusively. It also serves the purpose of a Unit of Account. In fact, this becomes the true function of MONEY even more so than what it is. MONEY is a language of value.

Many of the major bankers, kings, and heads of companies were ancient coin collectors including President Teddy Roosevelt. JP Morgan understood banking and credit – but not money. This was a Syracuse Dekadrachm of Dionysios I (405-367BC) was one of the coins from his collection that was eventually sold by the coin firm Stacks of New York in September 1983.  You can download that catalog. People like Josiah K. Lilly Jr. and Paul A. Straub donated their collections to the Smithsonian.

Teddy Roosevelt (1858-1919) loved the high relief of ancient Greek coins. When Teddy Roosevelt became president on September 14, 1901 – March 4, 1909, he commissioned the artist Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848 –1907)  to redesign the $20 gold coin and made it high relief as the ancient coins had been struck. The machines could not handle the high relief for the dies would break and they lacked the power of an individual stamping out coins. Thus, the new $20 gold coins had to be reduced in their relief. Nevertheless, we have ancient coins to thank for the limitation on the confiscation of gold in 1934. It was that very reason that his cousin FDR exempted ancient gold coins from confiscation when FDR was himself a stamp collector instead.

I would say the problem here is the definition of money and what predates coinage was the development of a weight standard to enable trade. That invention of weighing technology appears to emerge around 3100 to 3000 BC. This was the most significant turning point in monetary history for it marked the beginning of economic history itself.

It was private merchants during the Bronze Age that created the weight systems. Trade took place through informal networks, but it was clearly Mesopotamian merchants who established a standardized system of weights that later spread across the Western region and into Europe. This innovation enabled international trade across the continent. By the second millennium BC, merchants could potentially trade anywhere in Western Eurasia simply by knowing the conversion factors of a multitude of local weight units. What was emerging was the formation of weight systems that was the foundation for the booming commercial interaction of the Bronze Age world.

From the very beginning, MONEY has been a commodity – nothing more. It simply began a barter. I will give you these carrots for potatoes.  When the Lydian King Kroisos (561-546BC) created the first bimetal monetary system, a gold stater was about 10.71 grams and the silver-gold ratio was 13.33:1 because gold was common in the Turkey. The inflation caused by war led to a gold weight reduction to 8.71 grams.  Fiscal mismanagement existed from the very beginning. This would have been no different than FDR revaluing gold in 1934 from $20.67 to $35 per ounce.

There were competing standards from the very beginning. The Lydian/ Milesian standard began with an electrum stater at 14.2 grams. The stater as minted under the Euboic Standard was 17.2 grams of electrum. There was the Phokaic Standard placing the electrum stater at 16.1 grams. Obviously, foreign exchange dealers became necessary for international trade among the city states.

I can find no evidence of a single standard that dominates the nations at this time. By 530BC, the invention of coins spreads to Greece and now the first city state begins to strike a silver stater at 12.6 grams – the Isle of Aigina. In Greece, silver was common and gold was rare.

In Athens they established the Attic Standard based on a silver didrachm (2 drachms) of 8.6 grams, but as inflation emerged, the standard coin became the tetradrachms (4 drachms) at 17.2 grams. So you can see there may have been gold and silver used as MONEY, but by no means was there a unified standard agreement as to weight. In Corinth, they set their stater at 8.5 grams and divided it into three drachms. Standardization comes only with conquest as was the case with Napoleon. Athens dominated many city states and in 449BC issued its famous enigmatic “Coinage Decree” promulgated by Perikles that restricted other city states from striking coins making their coins a single currency. Perhaps it was just a power play. On the other hand, it was most likely just the profit earned over the raw metal cost known as seigniorage. In other words, the coins once minted purchased more in goods than the raw metal.

China did not use gold. They had a silver standard. The West had to create silver trade dollars set to their weight standard, which was heavier than the standard United States silver dollar. There have been different monetary systems throughout world history. They have not all been based on precious metals. What it always boils down to is the capacity of the people to produce. There are plenty of places with natural resources and the countries are barely even 3rd world. China, German, and Japan rose from the ashes without gold. Their people produced and they rose to the top of the list of economies despite others having gold.

The bottom line has always been that the wealth of a nation is nothing more than they total productivity of its people.

War & Capital Flows

Armstrong Economics Blog/Capital Flow Re-Posted Feb 16, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

COMMENT: Marty, I attended your coming out WEC in Philadelphia in 2011. Just about everyone I spoke with said the same thing. They all showed up to make sure it was really you and not some government stooge pretending to be you.

I must say, when you put up the war cycle, I thought it was interesting and everyone respected your work so we listened. At the time it was perhaps a curiosity and would be something we would watch on TV instead of the Oscars. Here we are. In the middle of this mess. I can now see how they used that tactic to demonize Trump to get Biden elected if he was really elected.

Now every person who voted for Biden has voted for World War III. They bought the hatred of Trump to remove him when he was like JFK and would never have agreed to war as you said when you went to dinner at Mara Largo. The recent tapes show that Nixon confronted the CIA for killing JFK. The very people who did the Watergate break-in were operatives for the CIA to make sure Nixon would be removed.

Our leaders really want war. I would never have thought your war model would predict that we would be the aggressor. Our government lies about everything. Why? Do they hate humanity that much?


REPLY: I appreciate what you are saying. The Deep State has always had its agenda and it was always just about them. Never in my wildest dreams looking at these forecasts a decade ago did I ever contemplate that we would be the aggressor. The Neocons just want to annihilate every Russian. That is all they think about. That is why John McCain handed Hillary’s fake dossier to James Comey at the FBI. They were two Neocons and always wanted war with Russia. It was Hillary that conditioned the Democrats to think that Russia was the enemy and they rigged the election for Trump.

You see both Democrats and Republicans cheering war now. There is no stopping the warmongering. All we can do is prepare, and understand how the capital will shift as the arrays will give us the timing. This will enable us to position ourselves to make it to the other side of 2032. Fortunately, Socrates was constructed using the raw data to provide a picture of global capital flows.

That was why I was called in by the Brady Commission back in 1987 for as you can see, the G5 was taking the dollar down for trade by 40% and then foreign investors sell US assets for they will lose on the FX exchange. Those morons every understood capital flows or currency.

When again they were trying to talk the dollar down in 1997 for trade purposes, I warned them they would unleash another crash making the same mistake as before. They at least listened and backed off.

Depression Scrip – Coming to a Region Near You

Armstrong Economics Blog/Cryptocurrency Re-Posted Feb 15, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

QUESTION: At the WEC, you said as the nation breaks apart, the most likely course of action will be the creation of local currencies. You also said you would post a catalog of Depression Scrip. I have not seen that. Can you post that, please?

Thank you for a great WEC. Always learning something new.


ANSWER: Sorry. I may have forgotten to publish that because I searched Amazon and could not find it. It was published back in 1984. Because Depression Scrip is not a huge field of collectors largely because most have never heard of the existence of private currency during the Great Depression, this book is quite rare. You may find some used copies that go for $125 or more.

I have studied the subject from the standpoint of economics. During the reign of Tiberius (14-37AD), he was very frugal and as such there was a shortage of money which led to a Financial Panic in 33AD. During such periods, private money surfaces as a necessity. This is why history repeats because human nature never changes. It will always respond the same way.

Here is private money from the Panic of 1837. The denomination reads 12 1/2 cents. This was issued by a Coffee House. Here is a half-penny issued by the New York store of Macy’s in 1876 following the Panic of 1873.

Throughout history, we see the very same reaction each and every time. I have collected a large number of private currencies covering the various financial waves of panic since Roman times. It has been a critical part of being able to forecast what takes place during these events. The common denominator is always humanity since we never change for thousands of years. We only progress in terms of technology – not our human emotions.

Here is private scrip issued by the San Francisco Clearing House where transactions were settled in the bond and stock markets. The backing was the private shares in companies. This was the Panic of 1907.

Here is another issued in 1908 in Augusta, Georgia. It was the Panic of 1907 that really we began to see widespread stock exchanges issuing money that began because if there was a shortage of cash, you could not conduct any business whatsoever since it was impossible to pay.

Here is the Chicago Clearing House which issued private money during the Great Depression in 1933. We find various stock exchanges issuing private currency in times when there was a shortage of money because people were hoarding their cash in times of uncertainty.

This was the very first Depression Scrip I ever saw and immediately purchased it. This opened the door in economics for me to understand how things function during a great crash. What took place during the Great Depression was that there was such a shortage of cash, over 200 cities began to issue their own currencies just to enable transactions to take place. Businesses could not hire people because there was no available cash to pay them

There are catalogs available in German concerning the NotGeld, private issues of currency, during the Hyperinflation of the 1920s. Once again, it does not matter what nation or culture. The same human response will unfold every time.

As the United States breaks up, as is the case in Europe, we will see currencies appears on a regional basis. This is how it will always work. I spent more than two decades investigating these trends and collecting scrip from all financial crises going back to ancient times. Without access to these examples, there is just no economic historical account that has ever tied all of this together. I had to explore this all on my own.

The Real Debt Crisis is Here

Armstrong Economics Blog/Sovereign Debt Crisis Re-Posted Feb 14, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

QUESTION: Marty, Ever since the debacle in London with the long-term debt, there have been whispers in NYC about how the demand for long-term is drying up. When this becomes critical, is that when the whole thing comes crashing down?


ANSWER: That was the real gist of Yellen’s speech back in October of 2022. Of course, the US press will never elaborate on this problem until it smacks them in the face. Yellen publicly admitted that the Treasury asked the primary dealers of US government debt for their views on the merits and limitations of a buyback program. The Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee, made up of market participants, highly recommended considering the move because the demand for long-term was declining.

Yellen herself publicly acknowledged the decline in trading volume in 20-year bonds, which they reintroduced in 2020 thanks to COVID. Quoting from her direct comments:

“The 20-year Treasury is an area, an issue where there’s been less liquidity — but we haven”t made any decisions about it.” 

Even the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association came out and publicly also stated last October that there had been episodes of illiquidity. This was the same problem that created the Crisis in the Long-term British gilt market.

Institutions do not want to buy the long-term in the face of (1) rising interest rates to fight inflation, and (2) unlimited handing of money to Ukraine that will NEVER come back for Ukraine is a black hole and reliable sources are deeply concerned that Ukraine will lose and exist no more.

The escalation in debt on the horizon with World War III is beyond the capacity of the Primary Dealers to buy.  They are strained now with the debt expansion for socialism, then Ukraine, and add War, this system is cracking NOW! The Primary Dealers cannot buy more debt than their balance sheets allow. The “whispers” running around have been on the street. The press has not articulated this for (1) it’s above their pay grade to comprehend, and (2) they cannot dare report the truth.

Did Caesar Issue a Coin When He Crossed the Rubicon?

Armstrong Economics Blog/Ancient Economies Re-Posted Feb 7, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

QUESTION: I found it fascinating that you were able to calculate the funding of the war that Cleopatra provided Mark Antony. Have you done similar work to look at the funding of Julius Caesar to cross the Rubicon?


ANSWER: Yes. Where the Battle of Actium was a proxy war instigated by Cleopatra to try to seize control of Rome following the assassination of Julius Caesar. The best estimate I could make was that Mark Antony struck at least 25 million legionary denarii up to 35 million. Likewise, the coinage of Julius Caesar provides us with evidence of the cost of revolution as well, which is not recorded among contemporary historians. They were more interested in the reasons and biases of the time, not in the economics of the events.

Julius Caesar struck his Rubicon Coinage with the image of an elephant crushing a dragon-snake which represented the corrupt Senate. Some tried to claim that the snake represented Pompey the Great. Caesar had married Pompey to his daughter. He was greatly upset when the Egyptians beheaded Pompey and gave him his head as a gift. It is unlikely that the snake was ever a personal representation of Pompey. It was, in my mind, the Senate where the instigator of the civil war was none other than the vile and corrupt Cato. It was Cato who was the leader of the Opimates who controlled the Senate and tried to strip Caesar of all power which effectively forced him to cross the Rubicon.

It is most likely that this coinage commenced in Gaul, as part of Caesar’s preparations for invasion, in order to pay his troops. The number of dies suggests that this issue was also huge exceeding 25 million denarii. It most certainly was expanded when he acquired the reserves of the Roman Treasury that were left behind by the panic-stricken Senators, Optimates, when they fled Rome because the people never supported the likes of Cato or Cicero for that matter.

Elephant walking right, trampling on dragon-snake the head of which rears up before him, CAESAR in exergue. On the reverse, we see the emblems of the pontificate — simpulum, aspergillum, axe, and apex.

The coinage opens an economic window that allows us to understand the real motives and costs behind the events in history. This Rubicon Coinage reveals something far more politically significant than what the contemporary writers revealed. Caesar actually took personal responsibility for the production of this coinage which was obviously unconstitutional at the time. Typically, there was a treasurer also known as a moneyer who issued the coins. There is no moneyer on this coinage so Caesar is taking PERSONAL responsibility absent the possession of a qualifying magistracy appointed by the Senate.

This is why I call this the Rubicon Coinage for Caesar was declaring war on the Senate of Rome in this time of national crisis. The very creation of this coinage without a moneyer sanction by the Senate was a declaration of civil war. The symbolism of the obverse can hardly be anything other than the triumph of good over evil, whilst the reverse alludes to Caesar’s possession of the office of pontifex Maximus and he ended the corruption of bribing the high priests to extend the calendar to avoid elections. Hence, today we have the Julian calendar.

This issue of the Rubicon Coinage clearly funded the crossing of the Rubicon. How long this important type remained in issue after Cato and his corrupt Senators fled and the war with Pompey began is hard to say. It was most likely struck right up to the time of the final campaign leading to the Battle of Pharsalus which took place  August 9th, 48 BC, and the defeat of Pompey. It was on January 10th, 49 BC when Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon.

It took just 19 months to bring down the Republic or 82.3 weeks from Caesar crossing the Rubicon to the defeat of Pompey at the Battle of  Pharsalus in the Greek region of Thessaly. Thereafter, Caesar now consolidated his power He was elected as consul (normally a one-year term) in 48, 46, 45, and 44BC. Because of the political crisis and the corruption of the Senate which did not want to yield any power to the people, the new Senate thus waived the traditional requirement that a consul had to wait 10 years between terms. Caesar was also granted the title and office of  Dictator which was a political position in times of crisis during the years 49, 48-47, and 46-44. Traditionally, the office of the Dictator was confined to just six months and he would be granted special powers to one man for a limited period to escape the bureaucracy to get things done. This was the means to deal with an emergency that threatened the state.

To meet the Republic’s urgent need for cash, Caesar resumed coinage of gold, which had not been struck by Rome since the dictatorship of Sulla (82-81 BCE). Most of Caesar’s aurei (about eight grams) are crude in design and workmanship in 46 BC. The moneyer was Aulus Hirtius who was a key supporter of Caesar. He served as one of Caesar’s legates in Gaul from about 54 BC and was an envoy to Pompey in 50 BC. He served Caesar loyally during the Civil War against Pompey and his successors in 48-45 BC. Hirtius was appointed as Caesar’s mintmaster in Rome in 46 BC, and it was at this time as a moneyer when he struck the first truly large issue of gold aurei from the spoils of Caesar’s campaigns. These aurei were poorly designed and executed with a veiled female head on the obverse, often appearing as a male, with priestly implements on the reverse. They were used to pay Caesar’s soldiers after the great triumphal parade.

Following Caesar’s assassination, Hirtius initially supported Marc Antony, but, after taking over as Consul in 43 BC, he raised an army against Antony at the instigation of Cicero and Octavian. His army defeated Antony at Mutina in April of 43 BC, but Hirtius was killed in the fighting. He left that political stage leaving Octavian and Antony masters of Rome. Hirtius was a loyal supporter of Caesar for he preserved and edited Caesar’s Commentaries on the Gallic and Civil Wars.

It was during the latter part of 45BC when this particular series of Aureii was produced for Caesar’s Spanish triumph in October of that year. Indeed, that the obverse type of the winged goddess Victory clearly refers to Caesar’s victory at Munda against Roman adversaries. Caesar was a Populares, a man of the people, who was not shy to express his increasing disdain for the factions of the aristocracy – the Optimates led by Cato. Caesar even celebrated a triumph in the capital, an unprecedented commemoration of victory over other Romans illustrating he regarded the Optimates as the enemy of the people. The presence within the issue of a gold half-aureus, or quinarius, makes it almost certain that this type was minted specially for the Spanish triumph since the denomination was typically associated with the distribution of largess at public celebrations.

Lucius Munatius Plancus, whose name appears on the reverse of this coin, was one of the Urban Prefects appointed by the dictator in 46 BC to administer the capital while he was on campaign. After this prominent issue of aurei was minted under his name, he rose to the position of governor of Transalpine Gaul in 44 BC where he founded the colony of Lugdunum, and later was appointed consul in 42 BC. Although he supported Marc Antony in the tumult which followed Caesar’s assassination, he eventually became an adviser to Octavian and according to Suetonius he dissuaded the princeps from assuming the name of Romulus as a ‘second founder of Rome’ (Suet. Aug. 7) and instead on 16 January 27 BC he formally proposed that the title ‘Augustus’, meaning ‘revered one’ be granted to the young princeps.

It was not until Caesar received the unprecedented title of “Dictator in Perpetuity” (DICT PERPETUO on the coinage) early in 44 BCE, conservative Romans were horrified. To them, this was akin to a monarchy. Here is a coin struck before his assassination with the title DICT PERPETUO issued by the moneyer Macer.

They assassinated Caesar on the Ides of March – the 15th. Therefore, coins with the portrait of Caesar with the legend “DICT PERPETUO”  had to have been struck for only a few weeks. He was granted that title between January 26th, 44BC and February 15th, 44BC. It was on February 15th when Rome celebrated the festival of the Lupercal, which we call today Valentines’s Day.  That was when Mark Antony twice presents Caesar with a royal diadem, urging him to take it and declare himself king. He refuses this offer and orders the crown to be placed in the Temple of Jupiter. It was most likely at this time when Caesar took the title “DICT PERPETUO” as the alternative. Curiously, it was 30/31 days later when he was assassinated – Pi?

The conspirators who again fled Rome, also began to issue coins pretending they are defending the Republic, championed by the fake news of Cicero,. This is even when Brutus issues silver and gold coinage bragging that he killed Caesar on the EID MAR – 15th of March.

When Caesar was assassinated, that is when we see the coinage change. Mark Antony starts to issue denarii with his picture on one side and Caesar’s on the other.

We also see Octavian issuing even gold aurei with his image on one side and Caesar on the other. They even issued coins announcing their Triumvirate against the corrupt Polulares. We even see Augustus, after he defeats Cleopatra and Mark Antony, issuing coinage showing the comet in the sky that people took as the omen that Caesar was now a god.

The coinage documents events written by contemporary writers at the time. This was the basis of Shakespeare’s play – Julius Caesar. The coinage has both confirmed history but also opened the door to establish answers to important economic trends.  One with the coinage was it possible to answer the question of how fast did Rome really fall. By imputing this data, it became possible for the computer to even correctly forecast the fall of communism and the Berlin Wall in 1989. It is fascinating how it takes a finite amount of time to bring down a nation-state. When it starts to fall, it does so in a Waterfall type event. Rome fell in just 8.6 years.

Can the Future be Altered?

Armstrong Economics Blog/Armstrong Economics 101 Re-Posted Feb 7, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

QUESTION: Good afternoon – Will try to make this one quick. Know you are busy. Have you ever asked Socrates how to “defeat” its predictions? Or to reduce volatility/amplitude of projected events?

(Really, you should be recognized alongside Adam Smith, Ricardo, et al. for your discoveries and contributions.)


ANSWER: Because the entire world is connected, it does not appear that it is possible to prevent an event from unfolding. I have come to the conclusion that the best we can ever hope to accomplish is to reduce the magnitude of volatility.

The CFTC had even subpoenaed me demanding a list of all my clients worldwide. I defeated them in court. Their argument was that I had been manipulating the world economy and by turning over my client list, they would prove the magnitude of my influence. These people do not believe in forecasting for they only believe in manipulating society. Even Larry Summers claimed that if you create a model that actually worked, then that would dictate the future.

What these people miss is the fact that we are all connected globally. This is why government IS THE PROBLEM for they think that they can manipulate the future. But since we are all connected globally, it is impossible for one nation to alter the course of the global trend.

The world economy cannot be manipulated. It is far too complex to alter the course of the entire globe. It has been governments that have always created war. Look at every time the bankers thought that they had the guaranteed perfect trade, they have blown up and run to the government for bailouts.

Their allegation against me has never changed. If I say gold will double and it does, it is ONLY because I have too many people as followers rather than the fact that the computer has identified the trend.

So Socrates has confirmed on many occasions – the world economy must travel through these cycles. It is just how society functions.

2018 Warning of Coming Bond Crisis

Armstrong Economics Blog/Bonds Re-Posted Feb 4, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

Gold v Digital Fiat & Marxism

Armstrong Economics Blog/Gold Re-Posted Feb 2, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

QUESTION: Hi AE…so gov’t “money” (fiat currency) will become just some abstract floating measurement of value, an electronic entry in an electronic account in the cybersphere. As these various so-called gov’ts become less reliable, even between themselves, do you see the possibility of them simply skipping their phony currencies, & trading directly in gold. Russia could ship a specific quantity of crude to China, for a specific amount of gold bars. Your argument about the impracticality of a gold-backed currency makes sense, but what about large transactions being settled in gold?


ANSWER: The entire problem that people do not grasp with regard to any return to a gold standard is that if the money supply is FIXED in any way, that necessitates the collapse of SOCIALISM. The two are directly linked. Politicians only know how to run with deficits. Vote for me and I will give you this or that!

The Bretton Woods gold standard collapsed because they FIXED the price of gold at $35, but they continued to print money far beyond the supply of gold at that fixed price. In addition, you have a business cycle. There will be times when no matter what the money might be, there will be boom times when the value of money declines and the asset values rise.

This argument over gold v fiat is absolutely just nonsense. The wealth of any nation is the productive capacity of its people. For centuries, the business cycle has existed and that is the entire cause for the “inflation” in assets when money declines in value, and then the “deflation” in assets with the value of money rises. Arguing over what we use for money will NEVER stop the business cycle.

The cycle is also in part driven by all governments. It becomes a drug of power that is abused. It would not matter what we use for money right now, they want to create World War III so they can default, and escape from the abuse of this Marxism that they have turned into a system of borrowing every year with no intention of paying anything back. But we have reached the confrontation between Keynesianism where central banks are expected to prevent inflation by rising interest rates, but that has no impact on the government which has become the biggest borrower in the system.

We are going BUST not because of the money we use, but because of the abuse of power in government which has always existed since ancient times.

Trust me. Forget gold standards. They will never work because all governments act only in their own self-interest. You should have learned that with COVID. They will never admit any mistake EVER! It is far better to keep gold on our side of the table and we can then use it as a hedge against governments. They are seeking to move to digital currencies ONLY so they can track when you hired the 16-year-old girl next door to babysit for you so they can go after her for the government’s 50% share.

Even Bitcoin is fiat. There is no backing. People have dived headfirst into cryptocurrency on the entire proposition that they are limited. All they have done is proven my point. Money, historically, has been everything from seashells and cattle to bronze, silver, and gold. Of all the various forms of money, only bronze and cattle had any real commodity value based on utility.

The Egyptians really invented paper money for the farmers would deposit their grain and receive a receipt which was a bearer instrument used in trade. They also used raw metal, not coins, and traded based on weight, as it stated in the Bible. Here is a piece of pottery from Egypt recording a complaint about taxes written in Greek. It stated the sum amounted to a total of 90 talents of silver with 15 talents of tax on the transfer of land – 16.6%.

For thousands of years, Egypt had no coins until it was conquered by Alexander the Great, and upon his death, his general Ptolemy I (305/304 – 282 BC) took the throne and it was his Greek line from which Cleopatra VIII came – not Egyptian.

Our system is starting to implode. Never in the history of human civilization have governments demanded taxes on income requiring reporting every year. This was the gift of Karl Marx. Just as this Egyptian tax on the transfer of land, we see that property taxes and a form of sales tax were the norms.

The American Constitution was intended to give thenational government greater power to raise revenue because the previous Articles of Confederation had been a fiscal disaster. Nevertheless, most people remained fearful of taxation by governments. Indirect taxes were to be the way to secure our liberty from tyrannical governments. It was generally understood that indirect taxes meant taxes on consumption like a retail sales tax and/or excise taxes on imports. It was believed that indirect taxes did not lend themselves to abuse by tyrannical governments. Consequently, the general belief was that “direct taxes” has to be taken off the table. Incomes taxes, throwing out the window of all the wisdom of the ages, were imposed by the new age of Marxism in 1913.

Our computer warns that 2025 will be the turning point in Marxism.

Hoards Are Vital to our Understanding of History

Armstrong Economics Blog/Ancient Economies Re-Posted Jan 26, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

QUESTION: Why do you buy hoards? It is interesting. Just curious.


ANSWER: The coinage is the ONLY way to truly confirm the history. Much of the most important periods like the 3rd century AD, the fall of the Republic, or the Revolution during the Debt Crisis of the 1st century BC known as the Social War, can only be properly understood through the coinage lacking really detailed accounts of financially what was taking place. By recreating the monetary system using coinage, I was able to answer the question – How did Rome Fall? Gradually? Or Catastrophically? By assembling all the coinage, and testing it out, I could establish what nobody else could due using documents or archaeological digs. Rome collapsed in just 8.6 years.

That was then observed in testing and using the same methods around the world. The collapse of the English coinage that inspired Gresham’s Law, bad money drives out good, also took just 8 years.

The Great Monetary Crisis of 1092 saw the gold content collapse also in just 8 years. The same pattern has unfolded time and time again. History repeats NOT because of wars or abstract theories. It repeats simply because human nature never changes – on technology.

The computer was about to forecast the fall of Communism in 1989.95 and it spread and took down the Berlin wall a few months after Tiananmen Square. People attributed that to modern communication. That was nonsense, The Roman Republic fell in 509 BC, and in the same few months in Athens, they too overthrew their tyrants, and Democracy was born.

The question is NOT how fast the information spreads. It could have traveled from Rome to Athens in a few days. The real question is how long does it take to filter through society to create political change?

Therefore, assembling the number of coins by examining hoards and the number of different dies multiplied by 15,000 will give us a good idea of the money supply at that time as illustrated above. Granted, this research project cost tens of millions of dollars to produce. Nonetheless, it has yielded a wealth of information that enabled us to see specifically what took place economically. Human nature has not changed. When Rome burned, Nero did visit the victims. Tiberius issued coins for the aid of Asia when a major earthquake devasted the region we call Turkey today.

I am finishing a book on the famous Battle of Actium where Mark Antony lost to Octavian giving birth to Imperial Rome. The number of dies and the amount of coins issued by Antony demonstrates that the entire wealth of Egypt was at his disposal and it was really an Egyptian proxy war against Rome. The number of silver denarii struck had to be at least 25 million. The sheer massive amount of the increase in the money supply thanks to Egypt was huge. Antony’s coins remained in circulation for decades, although very work. They were the most common coin found in hoards at Pompeii in 79AD about 100 years later. Hoards enable us to see the cost of that war and how it changed Egypt and Rome.

Where Rome began with bronze as its monetary unit and one pound was known as a Roman As, we can see that the price of the Punic Wars as what was one pound of bronze consistently declined. Here we found it was six waves of 51.6 years which are in themselves six waves of 8.6 years,  that produced the major wave of 309.6 years. So if we look from the beginning of the Roman As being 341 grams in 280 BC, by the time we get to Nero in 54AD, the Roman As was about only 10 grams.

Even looking at the reforms of Diocletian in 295AD, his introduction of the follis declines remarkably also following the six waves of 8.6 years. I have looked at the monetary systems of Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas. they have conformed to the Economic Confidence Model confirming that this is a cycle that clearly incorporates everything from war to climate change.

Even though Emperor Titus’ (79-81AD) reign was marked by a relative absence of military and political conflicts after his father, Vespasian (69-79AD) had defeated Judaea was defeated, there were several disasters during his brief leadership. On October 24 in 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted and almost destroyed the cities and resort communities around Naples. The cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were buried under stones and lava in 79AD shortly after Titus (79-81AD) came to power. Titus made all efforts to help the victims of the volcano and donated large amounts of money from the imperial treasury. The emperor visited Pompeii right after the tragedy happened.

A single silver denarius was discovered in 1974 among the 180 silver coins buried in Pompeii. When it was cataloged, it overturned history. Titus’ father died on June 24th, 79 AD. Therefore, any coin of Titus as emperor would have to have the very first recording of his power “IMP VIIII” or 8th Imperator, which was a title that meant ‘leader of the army’ to the Romans. The coin discovered in Pompeii had the legend “IMP XV,” which was granted to Titus for the war in Britannia. Titus sent Gnaeus Julius Agricola who pushed further into Caledonia and managed to establish several forts there as recorded by Tacitus (Agricola 22). Therefore, Titus received the title of Imperator for the fifteenth time for this event, according to Cassius Dio (Roman History LXVI.20). This took place we know in September 79 AD about 3 months after becoming emperor following his father’s death. Obviously, if any coin was discovered in the ruins of Pompeii with “IMP XV” in its legend, then this provides absolute proof that the date for Vesuvius of August 24th, 79 AD cannot be correct.

Archeologists in Pompeii have discovered a remarkable inscription written in charcoal which has survived the catastrophe confirming that the eruption of Mt Vesuvius indeed took place in October 79AD as confirmed by the coin discovered and ignored by historians.  The charcoal writing, discovered on the wall of a villa during a new phase of excavations, adds weight to a theory that the volcano destroyed the town in October 79AD rather than August of that year in line with Cassio Dio and the denarius of Titus. The date of August 24th, 79 AD, came from a letter addressed by Pliny the Younger to the Roman historian Tacitus, originally written some 25 years after the event.

Titus devoted much of his silver coinage of Atonement to the gods for the disaster of Pompeii. There were four main Atonement issues commemorating the services of prayer and propitiation through which the emperor attempted to address the public alarm over the disaster. People often attributed such events to the gods being angry. The coinage showed emblems seeking the approval of Jupiter, Neptune, Apollo, and the deceased former Emperors to watch over the Roman people.

News actually spread rapidly around the Roman Empire. There were formal boards where notices would be posted in which important news and major events would be informed to the people much like such a board in a big company with notices to the employees. These boards were called the Acta Diurna and they were designed to inform the Roman people thereby avoiding fake news. We could call them ancient billboards in modern terms and even government officials would walk up and pin a written notice and the crowds would rush to see what is news. Thus, everyone knew of Pompeii in a matter of days. It did not take long for information to circulate.

Because the coin dies back then were hand carved, we are able to identify the number of dies in use during a given year because each is unique. Just look at these portraits on the famous Tribute Penny of Tiberius (14-37AD). It all depended upon the artistic ability of the engraver.

The coin itself has taken its name because Jesus, referring to a denarius, which the English translated to “penny” because that was their silver coin, asked: “Whose is this image and superscription?” When answered that the likeness was Caesar, He replied; ”Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:20-21). Thus, the coin has been called the tribute penny meaning that was how you paid your taxes.

Hoards have enabled me to (1) see what was in circulation at that point in time for the hoard can be dated to around the most recent coin in the hoard. (2) I also have a number of ancient Roman dies like this one of Tiberius. Studies creating modern dies to test how many coins could be struck from such a die before it cracked provides a picture of about 15,000 coins.

By completing die studies quantifying how many were in use, it then becomes possible to estimate the money supply. Here we can see that during the Social War of 90-87BC, there is a drastic increase in the quantity of coinage issued obviously to pay for soldiers. However, conducting metal testing on the coinage of this period, we find that Rome also debased the coinage slightly adding up to 10% copper to the silver. Therefore, studying hoards allows one to actually ascertain the extreme of monetary affairs.

The Social War of the First Century BC was a failed Revolution against the corrupt Republic. The rebellion was waged by ancient Rome’s Italian allies (socii) who were denied equal rights with the Romans, despite the fact that they also fought alongside Romans in battle. They were seeking to separate and thus they fought for independence. Here are the coins of the rebels. They are very rare. You can see the theme celebrating the female head of Italia.

The allies in central and southern Italy had fought side by side with Rome in several wars and had grown restive under Roman autocratic rule, wanting instead Roman citizenship and the privileges it conferred. In 91 BC, the Roman tribune Marcus Livius Drusus proposed granting them Roman citizenship. The arrogance of the Senators erupted into a heated opposition. They went as far as to even Drusus for daring to propose such a decree. That resulted in the revolution.

When I dug deeper, the coinage with the debasement also reveals that there was a financial crisis. In all honesty, it was the Debt Crisis that ended the Roman Republic. There was a Sovereign Debt Crisis during the Roman Republic period that resulted in a dictatorship and a debt default. The Roman Debt Crisis of the 1st century BC has left behind a vivid account of what took place. The volume of gold and silver in Italy had increased dramatically during the late 2nd century BC following the Punic Wars. We have the first real gold coins issued by the Roman Republic at that time.

However, this concentration of wealth, which was akin to the United States after World War I and II, was absorbed by commercial expansion and investment in Gaul and Asia. A period of excessive concentration of money and large profits came to an end with the rise of the Social War of 91-88BC which was a war waged between the Roman Republic and several of the other cities in Italy (no taxation without representation), which prior to the war had been Roman allies for centuries. The war was begun by the Picentes because the Romans did not want to afford them Roman citizenship, thus leaving the Italian groups with fewer rights. The war resulted in a Roman victory and genocide against the Samnites. However, Rome granted Roman citizenship to almost all of its Italian allies, including the Samnites, to avoid another war. Therefore, we find that the debt crisis was correlated with a separatist movement – which we are beginning to see worldwide starting in Europe, but will eventually become a contagion in the United States as the conflict between left and right erupts after the November elections.

The Social War led to the complete state bankruptcy of the Roman State. We can see the dramatic rise in the money supply created during this time of war. This turmoil was then followed by the dictatorship of Sulla who then imposed an attempt to control the debt crisis capping interest rates at 12%. The previous legal rate was capped at 8.5%, but obviously, the market had exceeded that limit and Sulla had to confront that reality in 88BC. The debt crisis continued and then in 86 BC, the government was compelled into default. This is when the Valerian Law came into play. The State debts were defaulted on and thus reduced to 25%.