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Ascot Advisory Services
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Assisting Expatriates Obtain A Less Taxing Lifestyle For 16 Years and Counting. . . . .
Assisting Expatriates Obtain A Less Taxing Lifestyle For 16 Years and Counting. . . . .

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What’s really going on in the US Housing Market? Mr. Wolf Richter breaks it down for you.
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An excellent article by Daniel Nevins. Worth a read. The upshot? The real statistics regarding the US Federal Budget & long term debt is bad news. Mr. Nevins tells us that the US Federal Government debt to GDP could be: “210%, 230% and 260% of GDP, respectively, in the three scenarios. Those are the optimistic estimates for where America’s debt-to-GDP ratio might be in 30 year’s time. For reference, America’s “debt held by the public” is currently 76% of GDP, so the optimistic estimates call for about a tripling in proportion to the economy over the next three decades”. As I have said many times before, I don’t believe anything any politician says but rely on the real numbers (often enough, buried, hidden or “massaged”) to gain insight. Politicians lie through their teeth but honest statistics do not.
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Interesting stuff. As the rest of the so-called developed group of nations are trying to get rid of cash and push a digital only payment society, Mexico is now going the other way now issuing a larger currency note with the new 2,000 Peso . Mr. Peter Sands published a report for The Harvard Kennedy School of Government back in 2016 arguing for the elimination of so-called “high value” currency notes supposedly to make it more difficult for “illicit” and “illegal” activities to flourish. However, the real reason is the first step in eliminating all cash (if they can get away with it). This is why the 500 Euro note has gone the way of the dinosaur and they are trying to get rid of the US$100 note as well (apparently if you have or use large denominated currency notes you are suspected of some kind of illegality). In any event, watch this theme as I suspect the choke hold on cash will continue in Europe & US whereas they cannot eliminate cash in the emerging markets (and I would include Mexico in that comment).
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What grabbed my attention was the reference to findings from the Pew Research Center whereby they claim “the average paycheck has the same purchasing power it did 40 years ago.”
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A conservative revolt at Facebook?
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Professor Bill Anderson writes a very interesting article regarding his visit to Latvia & Russia. In short, he comments upon life under communism and the current situation. He goes on to comment: “I recently saw a photograph of American Antifa protesters holding up a communist flag with the hammer-and-sickle and images of Mao, Lenin, and Marx. Perhaps they and the editors of the New York Times want to see the USA embrace a system that others that have lived under it now reject, and reject vehemently. Perhaps the ultimate irony will be that Americans of the future might have to travel to the former U.S.S.R. in order to see free people and see a relatively free economy. One hopes not, but the daily onslaught of socialism into our body politic says this no longer is an impossible scenario”.
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Mr. Robert Wenzel calls attention to the ever increasing interest rate costs to service the US Treasury debt. He opines that: “The latest data released by the Treasury shows that US government interest payments just hit an all time high of $538 billion in Q2 2018”. But even worse than that (in my opinion) is the monetization of the debt. Meaning, when any central bank simply creates even more fiat money to buy up the bonds because no one else wants them or the demand less than the supply being sold. Countries whereby the central bank ends up buying 100% of recently issued bonds is often referred to as “banana republics”, at least fiscally speaking. In any event, Mr. Wenzel does get it right when he says “The more monetization, the higher the price inflation”.
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JP Cortez pens an interesting article looking at which US States are more “pro” sound money than others. The findings? The most “pro” states are Utah, Wyoming & Texas.
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Depending upon what statistics you want to accept, consumer spending in the US economy accounts from 40% to 70% of GDP (again, all depending what metric you want to use). Regardless, 40% is a high enough number as it is. The problem with GDP derived from debt spending instead of savings is that it is unsustainable. Further more, if consumers are using debt to purchase long term physical or capital assets (such as real estate) one thing BUT if they are using such borrowed money to spend on short term services, meals, or items that do not last then you have a very serious problem as well. And even more alarming is that consumer debt is now HIGHER than it was in 2008. In short, this next economic “adjustment”, when it comes, will be worse than 2008.
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