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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

“Today’s EU is the embodiment of bureaucratic hubris”

6 days ago

Interview with Dr. Markus Krall:
When it comes to identifying and evaluating the key vulnerabilities and inherent risks of the banking and financial system, there are few who have the insights and practical experience that is required to truly understand the scale of the issue and its investing implications. This is precisely why Claudio Grass turned to Dr. Markus Krall, who graciously agreed to share his thoughts and observations, as well as his outlook on the future of the financial system and the economy.
Dr. Markus Krall, managing director of the consulting firm goetzpartners, has worked in the financial industry for over 25 years. Over the span of his successful career, he has amassed extensive global experience working with leading international corporations, regulatory bodies,

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Claudio Grass – Sound Money & Human Liberty Are Inextricably Linked

18 days ago

SBTV speaks with Claudio Grass, an independent precious metals adviser based in Switzerland. A proponent of sound money and the Austrian School of Economics, Claudio shares his convictions on why human liberty and sound money are inextricably linked.
Discussed in this interview:
02:39 Relationship between liberty and sound money
06:51 Keynesian view of money
09:58 Similarities between Austrian School and Keynesian economics?
14:00 Geopolitical issues clouding the near future
18:08 Hindrance to going back to sound money
23:12 Gold and silver to be monetary metals again?
26:23 Not enough gold to back fiat currencies?
28:08 New monetary system with gold and cryptocurrencies?
31:53 Why hold silver?
34:56 How much longer fiat currency system will last.
Find out more about Silver Bullion:

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ECB: running out of runway – Part II

22 days ago

Knock-on effects
Overall, under Mr. Draghi’s watch, the ECB’s balance sheet has ballooned to a previously unimaginable scale and aggressive policies like the extensive QE program and negative rates have encouraged the accumulation of debt and heavily distorted market mechanisms.
Scores of “zombie” companies, that would have otherwise died off without the artificial life support of cheap credit, are now plaguing most major economies. The encouragement and purposeful incentivization of debt over saving or prudent, long-term investing has created a toxic pile of bad loans, of a potentially catastrophic scale. Should a default avalanche be triggered, the already ailing and highly vulnerable banking sector is unlikely to

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ECB: running out of runway – Part II

24 days ago

Knock-on effects
Overall, under Mr. Draghi’s watch, the ECB’s balance sheet has ballooned to a previously unimaginable scale and aggressive policies like the extensive QE program and negative rates have encouraged the accumulation of debt and heavily distorted market mechanisms.

Scores of “zombie” companies, that would have otherwise died off without the artificial life support of cheap credit, are now plaguing most major economies. The encouragement and purposeful incentivization of debt over saving or prudent, long-term investing has created a toxic pile of bad loans, of a potentially catastrophic scale. Should a default avalanche be triggered, the already ailing and highly vulnerable banking sector is unlikely to be able to absorb the shock.
At the same time, key European

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ECB: running out of runway – Part I

26 days ago

At the end of January, only a month after the official end of the QE program of the European Central Bank (ECB), its President Mario Draghi told the European Parliament’s committee that the central bank could resume its bond purchasing, in a questionable effort to assuage concerns over the impact of the policy change. As Europe’s economy flashes increasingly bright warning signs, doubts are multiplying over the sustainability of the ECB’s plans, the efficacy of its measures and its capacity to support the economy, should another crisis come to pass.

The many vulnerabilities of the European economy
The most recent Euro-area industrial production figures have revealed a very worrying 0.9% drop, more than twice the

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ECB: running out of runway – Part I

28 days ago

At the end of January, only a month after the official end of the QE program of the European Central Bank (ECB), its President Mario Draghi told the European Parliament’s committee that the central bank could resume its bond purchasing, in a questionable effort to assuage concerns over the impact of the policy change. As Europe’s economy flashes increasingly bright warning signs, doubts are multiplying over the sustainability of the ECB’s plans, the efficacy of its measures and its capacity to support the economy, should another crisis come to pass.
The many vulnerabilities of the European economy
The most recent Euro-area industrial production figures have revealed a very worrying 0.9% drop, more than twice the forecast in December. On year-on-year basis, the slump has been the worst

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Brexit: A country divided

February 20, 2019

One of the most commonly cited arguments initially against Brexit, and now against a no-deal scenario, is the towering threat of businesses leaving the UK. A great many campaigners and leading figures of the Remain camp have warned voters time and time again of the dangers to British industry and ultimately to their jobs. They will often point to early evidence of such a shift, to companies moving either their headquarters or part of their operations to Germany, the Netherlands or other EU member states. They also like to highlight the concerns of various business leaders that have taken the Remain position, while some have supported the idea of a “People’s Vote”, a second referendum that they hope will reverse the original decision.
The dire warnings and the near-apocalyptic visions

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China: Harbinger of Global Economic Decline

February 13, 2019

The latest numbers released by China’s statistics bureau fueled widespread concerns about the outlook of the global economy, as the Asian superpower reported its slowest growth rate since 1990. The figures showed a 6.6% growth for 2018, confirming the view that the growth engine of the world economy is running out of steam.

Deep-seeded vulnerabilities, far beyond the trade war
China’s weakening growth has been widely attributed to the country’s trade frictions with the United States. To some extent this accurate, as the dispute has burdened both countries with billions of dollars from tariffs and retaliatory counter-tariffs. The 3-month ceasefire that was agreed during the last G20 conference in Buenos Aires is set

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China: Harbinger of global economic decline

February 12, 2019

The latest numbers released by China’s statistics bureau fueled widespread concerns about the outlook of the global economy, as the Asian superpower reported its slowest growth rate since 1990. The figures showed a 6.6% growth for 2018, confirming the view that the growth engine of the world economy is running out of steam.

Deep-seeded vulnerabilities, far beyond the trade war
China’s weakening growth has been widely attributed to the country’s trade frictions with the United States. To some extent this accurate, as the dispute has burdened both countries with billions of dollars from tariffs and retaliatory counter-tariffs. The 3-month ceasefire that was agreed during the last G20 conference in Buenos Aires is set to end in March and if an agreement is not reached by then,

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Crypto-crash: An optimistic post-mortem – Part II

February 5, 2019

Blatant security deficits and rampant fraud
Over the last year, news of crypto hacks and heists became so prevalent that the new breaches were hardly worthy of reporting anymore. Among the headliners, however, was the Coincheck case, the Japanese exchange that lost over $530 million worth of the NEM cryptocurrency, as was Zaif, another exchange also from Japan, that saw $60 million worth of digital currencies vanish. Bancor, an Israeli-Swiss decentralized exchange lost $23 million to a hack this past summer, while BitGrail, a small Italian cryptocurrency exchange lost $170-195 million worth of its customers’ digital assets. All in all, nearly $1 billion was lost to hackers from exchanges and other platforms in just the first nine months of 2018, according to research by blockchain

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Crypto-crash: An optimistic post-mortem – Part I

January 30, 2019

2018 was an Annus Horribilis for the entire crypto industry. Believers and crypto enthusiasts, swept up by the rally of 2017, found themselves on the wrong side of a crashing market. On the right side where the early critics, who were once accused of cynicism and a lack of imagination for calling the crypto market a bubble, and were finally vindicated. 
As the media eventually turned on the sector and gleefully reported on its demise, investor sentiment soured and soon anyone who’d ever even heard of Bitcoin lost interest and faith on all things crypto. It sure seems like the dizzying highs and crypto-craze of 2017 are long gone and unlikely to return. But was it all just a deja-vu of the tulip mania, or was it more akin to the DotCom bubble? In other words, was it all merely a

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Sound Money & Human Liberty Are Inextricably Linked

January 24, 2019

SilverBullion TV speaks with Claudio Grass, an independent precious metals adviser based in Switzerland. A proponent of sound money and the Austrian School of Economics, Claudio shares his convictions on why human liberty and sound money are inextricably linked.
Discussed in this interview:
02:39 Relationship between liberty and sound money
06:51 Keynesian view of money
09:58 Similarities between Austrian School and Keynesian economics?
14:00 Geopolitical issues clouding the near future
18:08 Hindrance to going back to sound money
23:12 Gold and silver to be monetary metals again?
26:23 Not enough gold to back fiat currencies?
28:08 New monetary system with gold and cryptocurrencies?
31:53 Why hold silver?
34:56 How much longer fiat currency system will last.
[embedded content]

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As Germany goes, so goes the Eurozone

January 22, 2019

Until recently, Germany has been the seemingly unbreakable workhorse that has pulled the European economy back from the brink and kept it ticking along through a myriad of internal and external pressures, as well as political crises, over the last decade. As the undeniable leader of the bloc, the country has spearheaded and supported rescue plans for the Eurozone’s weaker links, as well as a number of controversial policies that work towards further centralization within the EU. However, with clouds now gathering over Germany’s economic outlook, concerns over potential knock-on effects on the entire monetary union are on the rise.
Falling below expectations
Trade tensions, the threat of a hard Brexit and weaker emerging markets growth have all played a part in dampening Germany’s

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Yellow Vests: Shockwaves felt across the continent

January 9, 2019

When the first demonstrations on the streets of Paris were reported seven weeks ago, nobody could have foreseen the endurance, the tenacity and the viral effect of the Yellow Vests movement. After all, the French are known to protest and to strike, it’s part and parcel of their culture. However, by the time this article is being written, protests, marches and demonstrations have broken out in a multitude of European cities.
Why was it different this time?
To begin with, it is worth taking a closer look at the situation in France, the point of origin of this “contagion”. There are a few very important elements that set the Yellow Vests apart from past protesters. For one thing, unlike previous demonstrations, this one wasn’t led by the unions, nor was it organized by any identifiable

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War is the Health of the State

January 8, 2019

I wrote this article in 2015 – however, I believe it is still relevant, more than ever.
For liberty,
Claudio

Produced and published by Global Gold.
The Misfortune of Being Born Into a State
In an essay titled “The State”, Randolph Bourne, an American writer, made a distinction between a country and a state that I find crucial. He described one’s country as “an inescapable group into which we are born”. In his view, a country is “a concept of peace, tolerance, of living and letting live. But the State is essentially a concept of power, of competition; it signifies a group in its aggressive aspects. And we have the misfortune of being born not only into a country but into a State, and as we grow up we learn to mingle the two feelings into a hopeless confusion”.

Randolph Silliman

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Money: How its past predicts its future – The denationalization of money!

January 3, 2019

What is money, where does it come from and more importantly where does it go?
At first glance, it might appear inexplicable and bizarre that our governments and our rulers have managed to keep their stronghold over the monetary system for 2000 years, especially when one thinks about the countless ways in which they abused that power and used their monopoly to the detriment of their own citizens. It was a mass delusion that facilitated this, a blind belief that they, and they alone, can be trusted with this vital task while looking out for our best interests as well. However, now, as mistrust against our rulers is justifiably deepening, it is becoming increasingly clear that only we as individuals can ensure our best interests and it is only a matter of time before the entire

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The Great War Christmas Truce: ‘They Were Positively Human’

December 23, 2018

“Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and only the very best for 2019!
I hope you will enjoy reading this article, written by Hunter Derensis, which reminded me immediately of what Ayn Rand said about man: “
“Man – every man – is an end in himself, not a means to the ends of others; he must live for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself.”
Warmest regards,

Claudio

A 19th-century peace activist once asked, “Is it possible that any Christian, of whatever sect, who believes the New Testament to be anything better than a fable, can doubt for a moment that the time will come when all the kingdoms of the earth shall be at peace?”

Jesus Christ, as both a religious and historical figure, has been chronicled as the “Prince of Peace.”

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The Big Picture: Paper Money vs. Gold

December 12, 2018

Numbers from Bizarro-World
The past few months have been really challenging for anyone invested in gold or silver; for me personally as well. Despite serious warning signs in the economy, staggering debt levels and a multitude of significant geopolitical threats at play, the rally in risk assets seemed to continue unabated.
In fact, I was struggling with this seeming paradox myself. As I kept looking at the state of the markets, I couldn’t help but wonder “what if they just keep kicking the can down the road for the next 20 years, or even longer?”
Since the peak in 2011, gold and silver have been in a strong correction period and overall, prices haven’t benefited from all the trillions that have been injected into

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Italy: The brewing storm

December 11, 2018

Over the last couple of years, the main challenge to EU cohesion has been Brexit, with the media sharply focused on the negotiations and all relevant developments. Since the release of the draft withdrawal agreement, largely perceived as a victory for the EU, those who support the European project and believe in a strong leadership from Brussels have projected confidence and optimism for the future. According to these voices, the divisions caused by the rise of nationalism and populism in the past years are healing, the relationship between member states is normalizing, while a future of stability and harmony awaits.
However, such a vision might prove naive, as it discounts a much greater risk to the EU than Brexit ever was: the political and economic powder keg that is Italy.
The

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Venezuela: when fiat money reaches its intrinsic value

December 6, 2018

Over the last years, Venezuela has become a modern poster child for the failure of socialism and with good reason. It offers an abundance of lessons and stern warnings for many western nations, but it also provides a very insightful and relevant reminder for individual investors too.
Economic, social and human costs
Within the space of 5 years, a combination of plunging oil prices and extreme socialist policies have brought the country to its knees, together with its increasingly desperate citizens. Despite the fact that Venezuela has the world’s largest proven oil deposits and is also rich in coal and gold, the country today faces one of world’s worst humanitarian crises, according to the UN. Its downhill path began with the Hugo Chavez presidency, during which billions were pumped

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A Fake Brexit and the “Noble Dream” – Claudio Grass Speaks With Godfrey Bloom

August 30, 2018

Introductory Remarks: The “Anti-Politician” Godfrey Bloom, by PT
Most of our readers will probably remember former UKIP chief whip and European Parliament representative Godfrey Bloom. As far as we know, he is the only politician who ever raised the issue of the workings of the fractionally reserved central bank-directed monetary system in the EU parliament. This system is of course central to the phenomenon of the recurring boom-bust sequences plaguing the global economy.
Godfrey Bloom (left) and interviewer Claudio Grass
It is also a major means of redistributing wealth from the poor and the middle classes to those who are already rich and own most of the assets likely to appreciate in price due to monetary

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Separating Signal from Noise

August 1, 2018

Claudio Grass in Conversation with Todd “Bubba” Horwitz
Todd Horwitz is known as Bubba and is chief market strategist of  Bubba Trading.com. He is a regular contributor on Fox, CNBC, BNN, Kitco, and Bloomberg. He also hosts a daily podcast, ‘The Bubba Show.’ He is a 36-year member of the Chicago exchanges and was one of the original market makers in the SPX.
Before you listen to the podcast, I would like to provide some additional context and background to the discussion, that could offer a deeper understanding and highlight further aspects of the positions and arguments that we will elaborate on with Todd Horwitz.
“The idea that man can shape the world around him according to his wishes is what I call the fatal

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Love him or Hate him: Trump is the Revolution Against the Establishment

November 24, 2016

The U.S. Elections: The Latest Crack in the System
The 2016 U.S. presidential elections are unprecedented: I don’t believe we have ever witnessed before a campaign year so toxic, so dangerously divisive and full of ad hominem attacks. Both camps have vilified the opposition and their followers, creating a schism in society. There has been no rational dialogue on the issues that truly concern the American public.
Instead, we have witnessed personal insults and petty attacks, rumors and gossip. At this point, as a result of this catastrophic campaign, the public will not vote in favor of the candidate they agree with the most or the one they like, but against the one they hate!
In this article, we do not focus on comparisons between Clinton and Trump; enough has been said and written about the candidates themselves. Here, we look at their supporters – the crowd behind the candidates, those that will in fact shape American policy making in the coming four years.

The schism

Illustration by : M. C.

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Gold Bull Market Remains Intact – Long Term Fundamentals Outweigh Short Term Market Gyrations

November 22, 2016

A Strong First Half of the Year, Followed by Another Retreat
In early 2016 gold had a big bull run. The precious metal rose close to 25% this year, pushed higher in a summer rally that peaked on July 10th. Gold experienced a bumpy ride over the remainder of the summer though, as investors became increasingly concerned about a potential rate hike by the Federal Reserve. Uncertainty returned to gold market and has intensified further since then.

Gold Price(see more posts on gold price, )Initially, gold rallied sharply in 2016, but then retreated again in the second half as concerns over Fed rate hikes and the impact of Mr. Trump’s election victory have pushed bond yields and the US dollar up in the short term. – Click to enlarge

Trusting the Establishment a Bit Too Much?
Investors cannot be blamed for their skittishness, considering the misleading information released by officials. Fed chair Janet Yellen stated at the Jackson Hole meeting of central bankers that the case for rate hikes had “strengthened”, yet she gave markets little guidance on timing, saying that rate hikes would be “gradual” and happen “over time”.
This probably discouraged investors from buying gold, because they still trust the establishment and consider the Fed to have credibility.

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Is It Safe To Travel To Europe?

October 17, 2016

Lurid Media Coverage
In recent months, more and more of our clients and friends from overseas are asking us whether it is safe to travel to Europe. These fears are understandable, given the media coverage of the tragic events that occurred this year. The press painted a sinister and truly graphic picture of Europe as a war zone, as a target of global terrorism.
The attacks in Brussels, the horrors we saw in Nice on Bastille Day and the Normandy Church attack, as well as the Munich shooting – all were tragic and shocking to us all. Nevertheless, as a Swiss and European citizen (noting that Switzerland is a federal republic within Europe but not part of the EU), I can confidently and emphatically reassure our clients: Yes, Europe is safe, to visit, to live, and to do business in.
Similar attacks occur worldwide – only this past weekend, there were bombings in New York and New Jersey. Does this mean that New York is no longer safe? These fears and concerns make it all the more important that we go deeper and understand where they came from, see how they were fostered and fueled, so that we can hopefully dispel them altogether and regain confidence and trust in our societies.

Inside the Brussels airport shortly after the bomb blast in March.

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The Undemocratic Nature of TTIP

September 27, 2016

Mounting Resistance
Thousands of people recently demonstrated in Brussels against free trade deals negotiated by the EU. This happened just days before a meeting of EU trade ministers in Bratislava last Friday, which was considered the last push to salvage the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the United States. Not only is Europe divided on the deal, but the talks have been extremely secretive.
It appears that the two partners wanted the negotiations process to remain well under the public’s radar, counting on people being distracted by other matters, such as “Brexit”, terrorism, the refugee crisis, and the ongoing economic slump.
It proved impossible though to keep voters and taxpayers on both sides of the Atlantic completely in the dark about the terms of a deal that has the potential to affect their lives, jobs and businesses directly and decisively.
What is the story behind this secret agreement that Obama and Merkel have been  pushing for so strongly? Why is there no transparency?  Why has information that is of crucial public interest been withheld throughout the process?

This placard carried by anti-TTIP protesters in Brussels goes to the heart of the problem, namely the secrecy characterizing the deal. Photo via flushthetpp.

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Crimea: Digging For The Truth

September 16, 2016

Renewed Escalation
This summer witnessed a renewed escalation between Russia and Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of sending saboteurs to attack Russian troops, targeting “critical infrastructure”. Kiev denied the allegations and claimed Russia’s “fantasy” was nothing but a false pretense to launch a “new invasion”.
But what does the media tell us about what has been happening in Ukraine? I’m sure that if we base our opinion solely on mainstream information, the picture of this conflict will be completely different than if we followed independent sources.
I am a big fan of Dr. Daniele Ganser, the founder of the Swiss Institute for Peace and Energy Research, Dr. Ron Paul, the Mises Institute and people linked to them – all these I consider valuable sources, particularly due to the investigative approach they took in their analyses on Ukraine.
I therefore decided to write a short article about my personal impressions, which also takes a study by the University of Ottawa into consideration. The situation in Crimea is extremely delicate: it is already described as a ‘new cold war’, which can easily turn into armed conflict.

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The Fabian Society and the Gradual Rise of Statist Socialism

August 10, 2016

The “Third Way”
“Stealth, intrigue, subversion, and the deception of never calling socialism by its right name” – George Bernard Shaw
The Brexit referendum has revealed the existence of a deep polarization in British politics. Apart from the public faces of the opposing campaigns, there were however also undisclosed parties with a vested interest which few people have heard about.
And yet, they have been instrumental in transforming Great Britain into a State based on the principles of democratic socialism.
This happened when new ideas such as liberty, self-determination, the rights of man, parliamentary representation and constitutional government threatened the old order.
Unfortunately, liberalism and capitalism were not victorious; instead, a “third way” was adopted, a notion developed and promoted by the Fabian Society.

An emblem of the Fabian Society: a wolf in sheep’s clothing – click to enlarge.

The Origins of the Fabian Society
The group emerged out of the British socialist movement, which became popular between the late 1800ds and 1914. Guided by socialist ideals, the group believes in a top-down approach to political rule, using government and intellectuals to bring about societal change.

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Investing in Gold in 2016: Global Paradigm Shifts in Politics and Markets

August 5, 2016

Crumbling Stability
In the past few months, we have witnessed a series of defining events in modern political history, with Britain’s vote to exit the EU, (several) terror attacks in France and Germany, as well as the recent attempted military coup in Europe’s backyard, Turkey.
Uncertainty over Europe’s political stability and the future of the EU keeps growing. These worries are quite valid, as geopolitical developments have the potential to shake markets to the core. The current high-risk environment makes it especially important to take prudent investment decisions in order to protect one’s wealth.

Global stability continues to be undermined – click to enlarge.

Helicopter Hopes
Markets have greeted the rumors of helicopter money with intense enthusiasm, beginning with Ben Bernanke’s visit to Japan. This is a symptom of the economy’s addiction to loose monetary policy and “something for nothing” fiscal remedies.
Helicopter money, the next evolutionary stage of QE, is the manifestation of the failing, yet persistent, monetary policies adopted and enforced by modern-day central bankers.

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Claudio Grass Interviews Ronald Stoeferle: Central Banks In A Lose-Lose Situation

July 28, 2016

A Fragile System
Claudio Grass, Global Gold: Ronald, it is a pleasure to have the opportunity to speak with you. We’ve known each other for a very long time, both on a personal and professional level. Because of our central banks, we find our economies today operating on artificial stimulus and negative interest rates. How would you summarize the consequences of this policy?
Mr. Stoeferle: I have always considered it impossible to create a “self-sustaining” economic expansion by means of the printing press. By so doing, central bankers only succeeded in suppressing symptoms, but the underlying structural problems that created the 2008 financial crisis in the first place, have only gotten worse.
The primary goal, namely to stimulate the economy, has not been achieved. Low interest rates have provided artificial life support for unproductive and highly indebted companies, as well as for states. According to Standard & Poor’s, budget deficits in the euro area would on average be 1-2% of GDP higher, if the average level of interest rates between 2001 – 2008 were applicable today.

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