Thursday , April 9 2020
Home / Claudio Grass
Claudio Grass

Claudio Grass

Claudio Grass is a passionate advocate of free-market thinking and libertarian philosophy. Following the teachings of the Austrian School of Economics he is convinced that sound money and human freedom are inextricably linked to each other. He is one of the founders of GoldAndLiberty.com.

Articles by Claudio Grass

Corona crisis: the cost of the response – Part I

6 days ago

The absolutely unprecedented wave of shutdowns, new restrictions and regulations that the coronavirus epidemic has triggered on a global scale is truly hard to quantify. We’ve simply never seen anything like it before. Never in the history of mankind have countries all over the globe intentionally hit the kill switch on their own economies and simultaneously pulled the brakes on anything even remotely resembling productive activity. 

Some of the consequences of these radical policies are plain to see – in fact, they are already materializing. Unemployment is just beginning its upward trajectory, while entire industries have already been decimated, with hugely important service sectors like travel and hospitality on the brink of collapse. The impact of the governments’ actions in

Read More »

Is gold still a safe haven?

15 days ago

There have been moments in recent months when many gold owners, myself included, have asked themselves whether gold might have lost its safe haven status, at least in the western world. Was it enough for two generations, who grew up in a paper money system, to forget the history and the 5000-year-old status of gold as real money? 

And yet, just as these doubts began to arise, reality struck back and decisively dispersed them. A few hours prior to writing this, a surprising number of physical precious metals traders suspended their operations, as a result of the overwhelming wave of new orders. The supply of physical gold, disrupted by the various coronavirus measures and restrictions, has in many cases failed to keep up with the ongoing gold rush that shows no signs of slowing down

Read More »

Gold-Update from Switzerland

19 days ago

Dear all, 

There are more and more indications that the physical gold market is running at its limit. The Canadian Mint will not supply Maple Leaf coins for at least the next 3 months, various large refineries are under pressure, while traders are barely keeping up with the order flow. We do not know how the supply will develop in the future. With closed borders, a massive reduction in international transport capacity, slashed work hours and severe operational cuts, I see a real danger ahead in a serious mismatch between supply and demand. We’re already seeing many people who would like to buy but cannot. We run a very real risk of prices for physical gold diverging considerably from the “official” price of paper gold. In fact, there are signs that this is already under way.

In

Read More »

A crisis is a terrible thing to waste – Part I

20 days ago

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that, it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” -Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff from 2009 to 2010.
Only a couple of weeks ago, if anyone told you that your entire country would be basically shutting down, that events and public gatherings would be outlawed, that you’d be looking at empty shelves in your local supermarket and that the global stock market would be on the brink of collapse, you’d never have believed them. Or if you did, you’d probably be expecting some kind of armed conflict scenario, a revolution, or an alien invasion, or something equally bombastic. You’d never have imagined that it’d be a bug that did that and in what now seems like a blink

Read More »

A crisis is a terrible thing to waste – Part II

20 days ago

“Trust the state. Do what they say. They’ve never lied to us before, have they?” – Daniel McAdams, Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

Central bankers are washing their hands too

Looking at the carnage that stock markets have suffered, it’s not surprising to see central banks jumping in to save the day. It’s even less surprising to see them all deploy the very same remedies that have long stopped working, only in astronomically higher doses. Of course, rate cutting and massive money printing might have never done anything for the ordinary citizen, but it’s a strategy that was known to make stock markets happy. Until now, that is. Because this time, not even the Fed bringing back ZIRP was enough to stop the plunge. Perhaps even mainstream investors and speculators finally

Read More »

A crisis is a terrible thing to waste – Part I

21 days ago

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that, it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” -Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff from 2009 to 2010.

Only a couple of weeks ago, if anyone told you that your entire country would be basically shutting down, that events and public gatherings would be outlawed, that you’d be looking at empty shelves in your local supermarket and that the global stock market would be on the brink of collapse, you’d never have believed them. Or if you did, you’d probably be expecting some kind of armed conflict scenario, a revolution, or an alien invasion, or something equally bombastic. You’d never have imagined that it’d be a bug that did that and in what now seems like a blink of an eye. And

Read More »

Modern Monetary Theory Is an Old Marxist Idea

26 days ago

Modern monetary theory, or MMT, has been getting a lot of attention lately, often celebrated as a revolutionary breakthrough. However, there is absolutely nothing new about it. The very basis of the theory, the idea that governments can finance their expenditures themselves and that therefore deficits don’t matter, actually goes back to the Polish Marxist economist Michael Kalecki (1899–1970).
MMT as a Centralization Tool 
MMT says that the national debt means that we owe the money to ourselves, so the central bank in combination with the political branch, which gives its blessing and approval, can now together spend as much as they want without facing any consequences. In other words, we can print our way to prosperity. The only real problem according to the

Read More »

Media hysteria: Lessons from Brexit for citizens and for investors

27 days ago

The coronavirus epidemic has instilled real terror in the hearts of many investors, triggering a rude awaking to the actual state of the economy and panic unseen since 2008. This fear, that has spread among investors as it has among the general public, has been largely fueled by the coverage of the threat. Mainstream media, having themselves been threatened with extinction over the last decade, due to rising public mistrust, irrelevance in the age of the Internet and social media, and vastly reduced ad revenue, undoubtedly saw an opportunity in the Chinese virus story.  

A mysterious contagious disease, out of China of all places, with the potential to develop into a full-blown pandemic – it really was a gripping narrative, like something out of a movie. Of course, when it all

Read More »

Christine Lagarde’s New Vision for the ECB

March 5, 2020

On December 12, Christine Lagarde introduced her goals and vision in her first rate-setting meeting as the new president of the European Central Bank (ECB). On the actual policy front, there were no surprises. She remained committed to the path set by her predecessor, Mario Draghi, and kept the current monetary stimulus unchanged. The central bank kept its deposit rate at the present record-low –0.5 percent and pledged to continue its €20 billion bond purchases every month, to the chagrin of its many critics, who have repeatedly and loudly expressed serious concerns over the policy’s impact on the banking sector, on the insurance industry, and on everyday savers and pensioners. This was all widely expected, as the new president had so far only praised Draghi’s

Read More »

Silver and Platinum: buying opportunities gone unnoticed

March 3, 2020

Gold has been making headlines in recent days, as its price skyrocketed close to $1,700, a rise that most analysts have attributed to the spread of the coronavirus. The fears over its economic impact have sent global stock markets tumbling and, as is usually and reliably the case, panicked investors rushed to the safe haven of gold, en masse, cause a surge in demand. While the spike is indeed noteworthy and while it does, once again, confirm the fact that gold remains a dependable store of value and an excellent hedge in times of crisis, the real opportunity for precious metals investors at this moment is nowhere to be found in mainstream headlines and superficial market news coverage.

Overlooked and undervalued

Gold’s spectacular rise presents a dilemma from a strategic

Read More »

Modern Monetary Theory is an old Marxist Idea

February 28, 2020

There is nothing new under the sun
Modern Monetary Theory, or “MMT”, has been getting a lot of attention lately, often celebrated as a revolutionary breakthrough. However, there is absolutely nothing new about it. The very basis of the theory, the idea that governments can finance their expenditures themselves and therefore deficits don’t matter, actually goes back to the Polish Marxist economist, Michael Kalecki (1899 – 1970).
MMT as a centralisation tool 
MMT says that the national debt means that we owe the money to ourselves, so the central bank in combination with the approval and blessings of the political branch can now together spend as much as they want without facing any consequences. In other words, we can print our way to prosperity. The only real

Read More »

Modern Monetary Theory is an old Marxist Idea

February 27, 2020

There is nothing new under the sun

Modern Monetary Theory, or “MMT”, has been getting a lot of attention lately, often celebrated as a revolutionary breakthrough. However, there is absolutely nothing new about it. The very basis of the theory, the idea that governments can finance their expenditures themselves and therefore deficits don’t matter, actually goes back to the Polish Marxist economist, Michael Kalecki (1899 – 1970). 

MMT as a centralisation tool 

MMT says that the national debt means that we owe the money to ourselves, so the central bank in combination with the approval and blessings of the political branch can now together spend as much as they want without facing any consequences. In other words, we can print our way to prosperity. The only real problem

Read More »

Coronavirus panic

February 25, 2020

Fear vs Facts

The coronavirus epidemic seemingly came out of nowhere in the beginning of the year and within a matter of days managed to wreak havoc with stock markets. As the days and weeks passed, and as the confirmed cases and the death toll rose, the media stoked fear and panic over worst-case scenarios. All kinds of “experts” and commentators put forward near-apocalyptic warnings and theories over a potential global pandemic that would trigger an economic recession. But how valid are such fears and what should investors really be worried about?

Dangerous speculation

While it is true that the scale of the epidemic is already worrisome and the number of those infected is indeed newsworthy, we must remember that context is everything. As of the time of writing this, there

Read More »

Gold is the 7th sense of financial markets

February 22, 2020

Interview with Ronald Stöferle – Part II
Claudio Grass (CG): Looking at the interest rate policy of the last years, it would seem that central banks are backed into a corner. They cannot hike borrowing costs without risking a domino effect, as both government and corporate debt have reached record highs, encouraged by the central banks’ own NIRP and ZIRP policies. In your view, is there a “safe” way out of this vicious circle?
Ronald-Peter Stöferle (RPS): Well, for us at Incrementum, this is precisely one of the main risk factors we’re seeing going forward and it really is quite shocking how little attention it is receiving. In our In Gold We Trust reports, we’ve dedicated roughly 2,000 pages of research and analysis on this topic and as I also explain in great

Read More »

Gold is the 7th sense of financial markets

February 20, 2020

Interview with Ronald Stöferle – Part II

Claudio Grass (CG): Looking at the interest rate policy of the last years, it would seem that central banks are backed into a corner. They cannot hike borrowing costs without risking a domino effect, as both government and corporate debt have reached record highs, encouraged by the central banks’ own NIRP and ZIRP policies. In your view, is there a “safe” way out of this vicious circle?

Ronald-Peter Stöferle (RPS): Well, for us at Incrementum, this is precisely one of the main risk factors we’re seeing going forward and it really is quite shocking how little attention it is receiving. In our In Gold We Trust reports, we’ve dedicated roughly 2,000 pages of research and analysis on this topic and as I also explain in great detail in my

Read More »

Gold is the 7th sense of financial markets

February 19, 2020

Interview with Ronald Stöferle – Part I
As we embark on this new decade, there are plenty of good reasons to be optimistic about gold’s prospects. The global economy and the financial system are already stretched to a breaking point and demand for precious metals is heating up. This, of course, is plain for all to see, even as mainstream investors and analysts still refuse to face facts and prefer to focus on naïve hopes of an eternal expansion. These facts, however, remain, and the more one looks into them in detail, the more obvious it seems that there are great risks going forward.
To discuss these issues and to shed some more light on what investors might expect in the new year and beyond, I turned to my long-time friend Ronald Stöferle, who serves as the

Read More »

Gold is the 7th sense of financial markets

February 18, 2020

Interview with Ronald Stöferle – Part I

As we embark on this new decade, there are plenty of good reasons to be optimistic about gold’s prospects. The global economy and the financial system are already stretched to a breaking point and demand for precious metals is heating up. This, of course, is plain for all to see, even as mainstream investors and analysts still refuse to face facts and prefer to focus on naïve hopes of an eternal expansion. These facts, however, remain, and the more one looks into them in detail, the more obvious it seems that there are great risks going forward.

To discuss these issues and to shed some more light on what investors might expect in the new year and beyond, I turned to my long-time friend Ronald Stöferle, who serves as the managing partner

Read More »

Das Internet – die dezentrale (R)Evolution

January 29, 2020

(If you want to read this text in English, please use www.deepl.com – a great translation tool that uses language semantics.)
Menschen werden durch unterschiedliche Motive angetrieben. Die einen sehen das höchste Glück in der Ansammlung von materiellen Werten, und andere sind von geistigen Werten angetrieben. Eine Idee kann genauso wie eine Rolex Glücksgefühle und Ansporn auslösen. Mich persönliche treiben Ideen an. Meine Ideen basieren auf Prinzipien und Werten, welche jedem das von Natur aus gegebenem Recht zugestehen, frei über seinen Körper und Geist zu bestimmen. Der Mensch ist nicht Mittel zum Zweck, sondern Zweck in sich selbst, um es mit den Worten von Immanuel Kant auszudrücken. Einzige Grenze der freien Entfaltung soll der Zwang gegenüber Mitmenschen

Read More »

Das Internet – die dezentrale (R)Evolution

January 28, 2020

(If you want to read this text in English, please use www.deepl.com – a great translation tool that uses language semantics.)

Menschen werden durch unterschiedliche Motive angetrieben. Die einen sehen das höchste Glück in der Ansammlung von materiellen Werten, und andere sind von geistigen Werten angetrieben. Eine Idee kann genauso wie eine Rolex Glücksgefühle und Ansporn auslösen. Mich persönliche treiben Ideen an. Meine Ideen basieren auf Prinzipien und Werten, welche jedem das von Natur aus gegebenem Recht zugestehen, frei über seinen Körper und Geist zu bestimmen. Der Mensch ist nicht Mittel zum Zweck, sondern Zweck in sich selbst, um es mit den Worten von Immanuel Kant auszudrücken. Einzige Grenze der freien Entfaltung soll der Zwang gegenüber Mitmenschen darstellen.

Read More »

What lies ahead for gold in 2020

January 28, 2020

Over the last few months, gold’s performance has been remarkable. Many market observers and mainstream analysts have pointed to various geopolitical developments in their efforts to explain away the bullishness as a reaction to whatever happens to be in the headlines at the time. The Trump impeachment, the US-China trade war, more recently the tensions with Iran, are all among the reasons that have been put forward so far to justify the current gold rush. And yet, while all these events might have played some part in fueling short-term price spikes, I personally think that the explanation for the overall rise in gold demand runs much deeper than that. The real motivations behind it have a lot more to do with fundamental issues and chronic ones at that, which means

Read More »

What lies ahead for gold in 2020

January 28, 2020

Over the last few months, gold’s performance has been remarkable. Many market observers and mainstream analysts have pointed to various geopolitical developments in their efforts to explain away the bullishness as a reaction to whatever happens to be in the headlines at the time. The Trump impeachment, the US-China trade war, more recently the tensions with Iran, are all among the reasons that have been put forward so far to justify the current gold rush. And yet, while all these events might have played some part in fueling short-term price spikes, I personally think that the explanation for the overall rise in gold demand runs much deeper than that. The real motivations behind it have a lot more to do with fundamental issues and chronic ones at that, which means that this uptrend is

Read More »

Investing in crypto the sound way!

January 19, 2020

Interview with Christian Zulliger
I have long been fascinated by the far-reaching consequences and the great potential of the wave of new technologies and ideas that emerged with the crypto revolution. While most of us first came into contact with these concepts in 2017, this tectonic shift that is only just beginning has been in the making for nearly a decade. Now, we begin to see the basic ideas and tools take shape and give rise to endless exciting possibilities that can affect multiple sectors. The distributed ledger technology, the concept of increased efficiency by cutting out unnecessary middlemen, an emphasis on privacy and individual responsibility, as well as the overarching principle of decentralization and peer-to-peer transactions, have all played a

Read More »

Investing in crypto the sound way!

January 16, 2020

Interview with Christian Zulliger

I have long been fascinated by the far-reaching consequences and the great potential of the wave of new technologies and ideas that emerged with the crypto revolution. While most of us first came into contact with these concepts in 2017, this tectonic shift that is only just beginning has been in the making for nearly a decade. Now, we begin to see the basic ideas and tools take shape and give rise to endless exciting possibilities that can affect multiple sectors. The distributed ledger technology, the concept of increased efficiency by cutting out unnecessary middlemen, an emphasis on privacy and individual responsibility, as well as the overarching principle of decentralization and peer-to-peer transactions, have all played a crucial part in

Read More »

“The seeds have been sown for unrest in 2020 in Europe”

January 14, 2020

Interview with Godfrey Bloom

The latest election in the UK promised to bring about a long-overdue end to the Brexit story. Getting out the EU has been a long and winding road for Britain and the multiple delays and setbacks have both infuriated and disappointed the millions of citizens who voted to Leave, by now three times already. Ever since the referendum, all (at least, foreign) eyes have been fixed on the latest Brexit updates, however, there have been other important shifts and changes in the nation, both economic and socio-political, that could have a more meaningful impact going forward.   

This is why I reached out to Godfrey Bloom, to get his perspective on these developments and to better understand Britain’s present and future challenges. I find that his refreshingly

Read More »

The owl has landed: Lagarde’s new vision for the ECB

January 11, 2020

Christine Lagarde. Photo Credit: European Parliament
On December 12, Christine Lagarde introduced her goals and vision in her first rate-setting meeting as the new President of the ECB. On the actual policy front, there were no surprises. She remained committed to the path set by her predecessor, Mario Draghi, and kept the current monetary stimulus unchanged. The central bank kept its deposit rate at the present record-low -0.5%, and pledged to continue its €20 billion bond purchases every month, to the chagrin of its many critics who have repeatedly and loudly expressed serious concerns over the policy’s impact on the banking sector, on the insurance industry and on everyday savers and pensioners. This was all widely expected, as the new President had so far only

Read More »

The owl has landed: Lagarde’s new vision for the ECB

January 9, 2020

On December 12, Christine Lagarde introduced her goals and vision in her first rate-setting meeting as the new President of the ECB. On the actual policy front, there were no surprises. She remained committed to the path set by her predecessor, Mario Draghi, and kept the current monetary stimulus unchanged. The central bank kept its deposit rate at the present record-low -0.5%, and pledged to continue its €20 billion bond purchases every month, to the chagrin of its many critics who have repeatedly and loudly expressed serious concerns over the policy’s impact on the banking sector, on the insurance industry and on everyday savers and pensioners. This was all widely expected, as the new President had so far only praised Draghi’s leadership and his “whatever it takes” campaign to save

Read More »

While everyone talks, Bitcoin just keeps running – Part II

December 31, 2019

Claudio Grass (CG): During the 2017 hype, when most people became aware of Bitcoin, it was mainly sold as the payment vehicle of the future, as a great investment for the “little guy” who has no access to equity markets and even as a store of value that would replace precious metals. In your opinion, what are the main misconceptions that the average “crypto layman” may still hold today? 

Konrad S. Graf (KG): Some critics argue that Bitcoin as a whole can just be copied to make other coins and that this represents the potential for infinite inflation. It is certainly the case that the software and its chain can be copied and varied. There have already been thousands of knockoffs and variants, as well as quite distinct projects grouped under the increasingly vague category of

Read More »

While everyone talks, Bitcoin just keeps running – Part I

December 26, 2019

I have long been fascinated by both the progress made so far, and by and the promise of this new era of decentralized money that is only just beginning. Although I lack the technical expertise to fully understand the finer points of the code behind the different cryptocurrencies or to assess the nuances of the inner workings of Bitcoin, I do understand money, its history, its multifaceted functions, and the potential for abuse once a monetary monopoly arises. Therefore, I was inspired by the revolution that started with Bitcoin. The fact that its popularization put the idea in people’s minds that there can be better options than fiat currencies gave me hope that we might see the end of total state dominance over money in our lifetimes. It also convinced me that Bitcoin, as well as

Read More »

How Today’s Central Bankers Threaten Civilization

December 26, 2019

When I was asked to write an article about the impact of negative interest rates and negative yielding bonds, I thought it was a chance to look at the topic from a broader perspective. There have been lots of articles speculating about the possible implications and focusing on their impact in the short run, but it’s not very often that an analysis looks a bit further into the future, trying to connect money and its effect on society itself.
Qui Bono?
Let us begin with a basic question, that lies at the heart of this issue: Who profits from a loan that is guaranteed to pay back less than the amount borrowed? Obviously, it is the borrower and not the lender, which in our case is the government and those closely connected to it. Negative rates and negative-yielding

Read More »

Corporate Debt Time Bomb

December 21, 2019

While I have reportedly highlighted the many risks of the current monetary policy direction and the multiple distortions that it has created in the markets, in the economy, and even in society, one of the most pressing dangers of the unnaturally low rates and cheap money is the staggering accumulation of debt. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the ballooning corporate debt, especially in the US. It has been growing so rapidly and for so long, that many investors and analysts eventually got used to it, accepted it as a fact of life, and became desensitized to the immense risk it poses to the economy at large. Now, another crucial milestone has been reached and a red line has been crossed, that will hopefully force market participants to finally heed the many

Read More »