Hoards of Ancient Coins Including Biblical Widow Mites


 

 

QUESTION: Do you have any more Roman coin you will offer for Christmas? I would really like to buy a few to give to my grandchildren.

WJ

ANSWER: Yes. I have several hoards I will make available some that I bought probably back in the 1970s. There are no major quantities. Generally less than 100 of various types. I do have a very nice lot of bronze Sestertius, which is the main Roman coin used as the unit of account pictured above.

I have only perhaps 50 Judaea widow’s mites which were the coin that was presented in the Synoptic Gospels (Mark 12:41-44, Luke 21:1-4), in which Jesus is teaching at the Temple in Jerusalem. The Gospel of Mark specifies that two mites (Greek lepta) are together worth a quadrans, the smallest Roman coin. I know everyone will want these really bad. I just do not have a sufficient quantity for everyone.

 

I still have a limited number of Alexander the Great drachms and the Victoritai. I also have a small hoard of silver denari and 3rd-century bronze Antoniniani. We really cannot mail them outside the USA anymore. Those from overseas we can hold then if you are attending the WEC. We can probably ship to Asia, not Australia. Europe seems to be just a no go.

I will put everything together and let everyone have a shot online

Precious Metals were Worth Less than the Coinage


QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; I do not understand your statement that even when coins were silver and gold, they were still a form of fiat money. Could you explain that please?

BB

ANSWER: The evidence that supports that statement is abundant. We find coins of the immediate financial capital be it Greece or Rome, were IMITATED by the surrounding peripheral regions. Here are four Celtic imitations of a silver Tetradrachm of Thasos, an island in Thrace. Because of its proximity to the Celtic world, they were engaged in trade. However, the Celts minted imitation coinage copying the designs as best they could to satisfy their own internal commerce.  You can see a genuine coin at the top with a weight of 16.91 grams and four imitations that were very close to the same metal content. Obviously, the raw silver was worth more when it was in coin form or they would never have bothered to imitate the Greek coinage.

There are imitations by the Swiss of gold coins of Macedonia made by the Helvetii tribe. In this case, they appear to be half denominations. We find imitations of the famous Athen’s Owls. These type of imitations are dominant in North Africa. Here is a SILVER DIDRACHM which is style off of the main trade coin being the Dekadram. This design of the facing owl with open wings only appeared on the large Dekadrachms and not on smaller denominations.

Interestingly, the Egyptians never minted their own coins under they were conquered by Alexander the Great. Nevertheless, we have Egyptian imitations of Athenian owls as well. Here the metal is good and the designs are properly performed as well as the denominations. Obviously, we have raw metal being shaped into coins that imitate the Greek world when they were the Financial Capital of the World.

The numismatic record is abundantly clear. The peripheral economies routinely imitated the coinage of the dominant economy which I refer to as the Financial Capital of the World at that moment in time. So here we have even Egypt which imitates the coinage of Athens so that they can make use of silver in trade. The produced no coinage for domestic circulation and instead used a receipt monetary system based upon grain.


 

Here we have India imitating the gold coinage of Rome. They appear to have imitated the coinage even changing the design with the current emperor from the time of Tiberius onward. Once again, we do not see that these were counterfeits, but imitations. They were struck generally with the same quality of gold and at the proper weight. There is an over-weight gold aureus of Septimus Severus (193-211AD). These Indian imitations extend into the 3rd century at least until the monetary crisis begins with the capture of the Roman Emperor Valerian I in 260AD.

Here we have a Double Aureus (Bino) of a rare Emperor Pupienus who reigned only between April 22nd and July 29th, 238AD. We have an Indian imitation of a coin that has not survived in its genuine form. All we have is a single Indian imitation to suggest it existed.

 

 

The mere existence of “imitations” establishes that statement as contrasted with counterfeits.  Throughout the Roman coinage, there exist  Fourrée Denarius. These appear to be struck generally with official dies but on bronze based coinage silver plated. One theory is that people from the mint produced these forgeries and pocketed the profit.

Here is a genuine silver denarius of Octavian (circa 30-29BC). Note that on the cheek of Octavian there is a crescent-shaped punch mark. This is an ancient banker’s mark that is rather common demonstrating that the coin was tested to see if it was a forgery.

You can easily see that there are counterfeits and then there are imitations. The raw metal was worth LESS in trade than a coin. This is why I take issue with those who think that merely minting a coin from gold or silver means it is NOT fiat. That is simply not true. The coinage was worth MORE than the raw metal involved

Italy Warn that Stopping QE will Lead to Collapse of Eurozone


Italy has called on the ECB to guarantee the bond yields warning that if they END quantitative easing the Eurozone will break apart. On this score, they are not wrong. The economic spokesman for the Italian governing party Lega has warned of a collapse of the Eurozone. The ECB should ensure that the yield spreads of government bonds of the euro countries are contained and not allowed to soar. This is what Claudio Borghi told Reuters. “Either the ECB offers a guarantee or the euro will break apart.” Interest on Italian, Spanish and Portuguese bonds rose in response to the currency crisis in Turkey. Borghi warned that this situation cannot be solved and will explode in everyone’s face. This is the Sovereign Debt Crisis coming into play. We are no looking at the risk premium for ten-year Italian government bonds has risen to 2.7% above Germany. The promise that a single currency would produce a single interest rate has been a complete failure

Turkey & Foolish European Banks


Erdogan is shifting to Russia already. He will abandon the West all to retain power. Turkey was the critical lynch-pin for emerging markets. Many foolish banks ran to buy Turkey’s debt because they could earn 20% interest. The currency has fallen 25% in two days. We are looking at European banks taking major losses on Turkish debt. Trump has to stop his trade war. This is now about undermining the fabric of the global economy. Welcome to the beginning of the crisis that will end only with a monetary reset in the years ahead. Erdogan claims he has a plan to stabilize the lira but he offers no details. He fails to grasp the root problem – he has lost all confidence domestically and internationally to remain head of state.

Meanwhile, Erdogan is still focused on Syria. He is planning a summit with Russia on the 7th of September in the Turkish capital Ankara. This is to be a four-person summit, which Erdogan has proposed as a distraction for the collapse in the lira. He will limit the summit to Germany, France, Turkey, and Russia.

Cryptocurrency – Private v Public


QUESTION: Dear Marty:
I have been reading you for over a decade. I notice a change in your attitude towards Bitcoin/Crypto. Initially, you were completely against it, now you seem to be neutral. Has something changed? We now have Futures, CBOE is coming out with an ETF, every major bank is thinking of entering the space. The G20 will soon come out with a supportive statement.
Thank you,
YA

ANSWER: No. I regard this as an ASSET CLASS for trading. That is distinct and separate from the claim it is a currency. Even Hyun Song Shin, the economic advisor and research director of the Swiss-based Bank for International Settlements (BIS), told Bloomberg that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are “far from maintaining a monetary system” and “just pretend to be real currencies “. On that score, he is absolutely correct. This is like expecting Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey to stand up and say he is wrong and his policies have been disastrous for Turkey and he will put the good of the nation before himself, or the same in Venezuela, or the religious leadership in Iran. Currencies move into hyperinflation NOT because of the rise in the quantity, but because of the collapse in CONFIDENCE, that then forces the increase in the quantity of money to pay the bills. I suppose it’s the question which came first? The chicken or the egg?

You have to separate reality from fiction. That does not mean that Bitcoin is not an asset class. It just is not a currency that has any real footing within the economy. So there is NO POSSIBLE WAY any government will allow a PRIVATE cryptocurrency to replace a national currency. That will NEVER happen. However, I have previously stated that governments want to ELIMINATE cash for tax reasons. Only about 4% of transactions today are in paper currency, to begin with. The bulk of our monetary system is already digital currency that does not exist. The pitch that cryptocurrency will circumvent central banks and governments is just absurd. You have to separate PRIVATE from PUBLIC. That is the issue against Bitcoin.

The commercial banks that are looking at it are for non-currency issues of the blockchain. Goldman Sachs is looking to a custodian to hold money for cryptocurrencies to make money. But the sales-pitch that Bitcoin will become the reserve currency, replace central banks, and eliminate national currencies is really way out there. The FAX machine was invented by the Scottish inventor Alexander Bain who worked on chemical mechanical fax type devices. Back in 1846, he was able to reproduce graphic signs in laboratory experiments. He applied and received a British patent #9745 on May 27, 1843, for his “Electric Printing Telegraph”, but it took more than a 100 years to actually become usable. Yes, you can see the future and no doubt you could envision sending photographs around the world back in 1843. There is just a huge gap between technology and its implementation. Back in the 1960s when integrated circuit chips first appeared, it was obvious we would shrink a computer to fit on a desktop. The problem was trying to figure out what people would do within. Later Microsoft, Lotus, etc., figured out how to use it and the computer age began for the mainstream. We are NOT there yet in cryptocurrencies any time soon.

 

Can the economy move to purely electronic currency? The answer is NO – not yet. We may still be looking at that well AFTER 2032. India and Sweden have found it impossible to get away from paper money. There is a large segment of the population that do not bank no less own a computer or even a smart phone. The EU passed a law calling it everyone has a “right” to have a bank account, which was really a step to try to move closer to an electronic currency. You are looking at the basic requirement of a generational shift. As the older generation dies out, money will become completely digital, newspapers will see their last print, and paper books may be found only in a museum. Things always change – but not as fast as people think. The DOT.COM Bubble was all about the rage of how the internet would replace stores. The prices got ahead of the reality. Eventually, the technology changes the system. But it always takes time. Eventually, new higher were made and a more solid market emerged – with TIME!

 

Cryptocurrencies are an “asset class” meaning they are tradable with futures. However, that is a far cry away from being an actual currency that is legal tender accepted everywhere including taxes. We have included it in the markets analyzed by Socrates for that very reason. It is an instrument to trade. Just don’t marry the trade

Martin Armstrong – Rates are Going to Jump to 10% Instantaneously


Martin Armstrong – Rates are Going to Jump to 10% Instantaneously

Greg Hunter
Published on May 19, 2018
Where does renowned financial and geopolitical analyst Martin Armstrong see big trouble brewing? Look no further than the bond market. Armstrong explains, “The bond market is going down. . . . We’ve already started into it. . . .You have to understand both Japan and Europe have destroyed their bond markets. They have completely and utterly destroyed them. They are the buyers. That’s it. There is no pension fund that can buy 10-year paper at 1.3% when they need 8% to break even. They are locking in a 10 year loss. They can’t do it. We have been helping major funds shift into equities because it is the only place they can go. . . . Once you start seeing the cracks in Europe, you are going to see interest rates rise faster than you have ever contemplated in your life. There is nobody in their right mind that can buy an Italian bond at 1.3%. It’s just not going to happen. Once the ECB is forced to stop, those rates are going to jump to 10% instantaneously. Once it starts to crack, that’s it, it’s gone. What is going to make everyone know it is cracking is when you see rates going up dramatically, and the ECB is at a point it just can’t buy any more.”

Armstrong does not see a big War in the near term, but one is brewing in the Middle East. What Armstrong does see right now is “increasing civil unrest.”

On gold, Armstrong sees the yellow metal “fighting a stronger dollar” but predicts it will have its day sometime after 2020 to 2021.

Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with financial and geopolitical expert Martin Armstrong.

Donations: https://usawatchdog.com/donations/

Stay connected to USAWatchdog.com: https://usawatchdog.com/join/

All links can be found on USAWatchdog.com: https://usawatchdog.com/dollar-up-bon…
Category
News & Politics

The Shortage of US Dollars


What people have to understand is that the Federal Reserve is moving in the opposite direction with respect to its monetary base. The Adjusted Monetary Base is the sum of currency (including coin) in circulation outside Federal Reserve Banks and the U.S. Treasury, plus deposits held by depository institutions at Federal Reserve Banks. These data are adjusted for the effects of changes in statutory reserve requirements on the quantity of base money held by depositories. This peaked with the Economic Confidence Model turn in 2015 on October 1st. The Fed has been shrinking its balance sheet and believe it or not, there has been growing a SHORTAGE of dollars contrary to those who keep saying the world is awash with dollars so buy gold, cryptocurrencies, or whatever.

I have been stating that (1) were are in a major bull market for the dollar, and (2) it is the US economy that is supporting the world. What I mean is simply this. Everyone from China to Europe is DEPENDENT upon trade with the USA because it is the US consumer who is the marketplace. The balance of the world CANNOT win a trade war with the USA. They have focused on selling to the USA rather than developing their own domestic consumer economies. China has shifted and understood that important distinction and has indeed turned its focus to developing a domestic economy. Europe has not and it is significant to comprehend that the structure of the European Union is disastrous. They want to PRETEND to be the federalized entity of Europe, but all 28 member states must agree on trade. This PREVENTS Germany from accepting Trump’s proposal to abolish all tariffs because France will not agree to an absolute free trade and that will prevent the EU from acting in the best interest of the whole. It requires unanimous consent.

Australia has imposed a 10% tariff on anything purchased overseas and they expect foreign businesses to collect their taxes. They call it a GST, but it is imposed on all products as a protective measure they claim for local businesses. FREE TRADE is simply not feasible politically while Trump gets all the blame. The rest of the world CANNOT win a currency war. So far, our computer has been spot on. We are headed toward a monetary reset in the years ahead but to get there, we must experience a STRONG dollar – not a WEAK dollar. The sooner these pretend analysts stop the same rhetoric that stems from the broken Quantity Theory of Money, the sooner we will begin to truly understand how the economy works. Turnkey is a live example of the most vital element of all – CONFIDENCE. When that is lost, this is what produces hyperinflation – NOT the quantity of money.

There is a SHORTAGE of US dollars on the trading desks around the world – not an excess. This is also what is behind the bid.

Are Cryptocurrencies A Fictional Dream?


COMMENT: Dear Mr. Armstrong; I suppose we have to learn the hard way. Our electronic currency system crashed here in Zimbabwe. Many people were using it because of the old hyperinflation. The argument that private money would be better than government made a lot of sense here given the history. Most people were using US dollars and just about all other currencies from surrounding countries. We lived exactly the experience you have described when the confidence in government collapses. Yet now, many are wondering if this cryptocurrency is just another way to undermine the economy.

JKW

REPLY: I believe the vast majority of the world has never looked at exactly what was taking place in Zimbabwe. The new mobile money emerged as the leading transaction platform in Zimbabwe because of the previous hyperinflation. However, its weaknesses came into focus after the dominant EcoCash network in Zimbabwe collapsed for two days. Consumer businesses were left floundering in an already difficult economy. Many people were just locked out of the economy with no alternative.

EcoCash was competing against smaller platforms run by state-controlled telcos NetOne and Telecel Zimbabwe. The people preferred a privately run system the to the government. EcoCash was conducting business with more than eight million registered. It was also being used by expat Zimbabweans in South Africa and Botswana. This has obviously exposed the weakness of the electronic currency market. Take out the power grid and the economy will collapse overnight.

 

Cryptocurrencies are not a dead end. They are an asset class for now. There are a lot of problems with the technology and it would clearly make the entire economy vulnerable to a crisis in the failure of platforms or the power grid. Goldman Sachs sees the opportunity because of all the fraud. They are looking at stepping in as a CUSTODIAN because the integrity of the security behind a cryptocurrency is often questionable.

In war, you target the electricity grid as a first objective and then the total economy would collapse as well as the effort to fund a war. During a war, governments have often counterfeited each other’s currency. The British did that with American colonial currency. If they could undermine the confidence and cause hyperinflation, then funding the war effort would collapse. Today, you would do this by hacking and targeting the power grid.

In all the high-level meetings I have had about this technological innovation, the single greatest concern is would it make a nation more vulnerable during a war? Can a cyber attack simply paralyze the economy? Keep in mind that only about 4% of the economy takes place in cash. The rest is electronic deposits. Therefore, this threat is NOT limited to cryptocurrencies. It may very well be the next way to win a war. Attack the banking system and you will freeze the ability to fund a war. Don’t think they are not thinking about that right now

The Minsky Moment


A number of people have asked if I ever looked at Hyman Minsky’s concepts in forecasting the economy. Minsky’s Financial Instability Hypothesis failed not because of the fact that he attempted to interject cycles and even listened to Schumpeter, the problem was that he was an economist and not a trader. His own attempts to devise a mathematical model of his hypothesis were unsuccessful. The first of Minsky’s two papers in the AER set out a mathematical model of a financially driven trade cycle developed during his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1954 but he never attempted to develop the model further.

There have been many people who have claimed they used his model and were able to forecast the 2007 crash. I know many traders around the world in a professional capacity and I do not know ANYONE who did not see the crash coming. Being able to say this is a bubble and it will end badly was the topic of the movie The Big Short. Being able to see such a bubble is by no means unusual for many who are seasoned. I know of no profession who bought into the whole Bitcoin nonsense of how it would replace the dollar, end central banks, and start a new age all within a matter of months. The professionals just laughed because they know such a change takes decades not months.

Minsky’s observations of the Great Depression are seriously flawed. The primary problem was that they were focused domestically. They did not take into consideration the entire world economy. His hypothesis of financial instability argued that a financial crisis is endemic in capitalism because periods of economic prosperity encouraged borrowers and lenders to be progressively reckless. This excess optimism creates financial bubbles and then later busts. Therefore, capitalism is prone to move between periods of financial stability to instability. This is a type of market failure and it justifies government regulation to smooth the cycle, which is also his agreement with Keynesianism. The real cause is simply the human emotion. Women’s skirts rise and fall and men’s ties get wide and then back to thin. Fashion changes. Paintings of Paul Rubens portrayed robust women for that proved they were wealthy and could afford to eat. Skinny women were unattractive and considered to be poor. Even during the 1920s, advertisements told women how to gain weight. Today, the trend is the opposite. There is a cycle to everything.

Minsky’s Financial Instability Hypothesis is merely something that monitors domestic considerations and from that perspective, he completely failed to comprehend the Great Depression. It was far more than merely excessive debt etc. He agreed also with Galbraith who blamed corporations and never even looked out the wholesale collapse of government debt on a major worldwide scale in 1931. There was NO MENTION of the Sovereign Debt Crisis of 1931 you can read about in Herbert Hoover’s memoirs 1931.

Under Minsky’s theory, he endorses government power to smooth out the business cycle which they have never been able to do even once. Yet in all fairness to him, Minsky also believed that financial instability was a characteristic feature of capitalism as did Kondratieff yet the very institutional and policy measures introduced by governments sometimes contribute to the problem. It has become known as the Minsky Moment which is a sudden major collapse of asset values which is part of the credit cycle or business cycle. Such moments occur because long periods of prosperity and increasing value of investments lead to increasing speculation using borrowed money. Unfortunately, while it sounds authoritative, it can be applied to many periods that did not result in a major crash of the economy and can simply be confined to one market rather than the whole as was the case with the DOT.COM bubble and the Bitcoin crash. Neither produced a major depression.