The Case Against the Cashless Society

(Tacoma, WA) This morning we’re reeling from credit card fraud out here in the PNW.

So we take another look at credit cards and the dark side that none of the advocates of the cashless society seem to be able to resolve.

But first a look at the Trading Model which is telling us….well, we’ll get to that.  After a couple of headlines and comments, and coffee, of course.

Oh, and something odd is happening in the Washington state marijuana industry…

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Handicapping Greece, Financial Date Rape

(Tacoma, WA)  Also known as handicrapping geese.

You may have figured out that I’m fairly skeptical of the “World’s gonna end ‘cuz of Greece” talk.,

There was another attempt at getting last-minute talks going, but they went approximately nowhere.

The Greek people are getting screwed, with cash withdrawals from ATM’s limited to 50-Euro now as cash runs out.

But that’s what happens if you let a megalomaniacal foreign government (The Ure-a-peein’ Onion) control the currency of your country.

Once the meglo’s are bounced, as this seems to be one outcome to the polling to take place Sunday, Greece could issue its own currency and from there either “go Iceland” and have a nice life.  Or, they could go down the more government than sense road, in which case the Nuevo Drachmas (or whatever they call it) can quickly becoming like the currency of Zimbabwe.

Pick your poison.

European Insanity Revealed

There is a logical inconsistency of Biblical proportions to all this which about 100% of US financial reporters seem incapable of grasping.

Let’s me ‘splain you, Lucy.

Factoid 1:  Greece is a financial sinkhole.

The country has been doling out dough fasters than the Great Society under LBJ.  Free lunch for all, seconds and thirds if you want it.

Factoid 2:  The EU lends money to the sinkhole.

Factoid 3:  The sink hole is getting deeper and needs even MORE money.

Factoid 4:  When it looks like the sink hole might actually go away and no longer be a drain on the EU, the European markets decline.

Now, I only scored a 4.0 GPA in my MBA program from a no-name school (which could be because I attended) BUT it sure seems to me that if “rational market”theory were true (and it’s often not, by the way) then European markets should have put on one hell of a what?

“Greeks are leaving and taking their sink hole with them” rally.

But look at the major European indices.

The German market closed last week at 11,492.43.  When I looked earlier this morning it was at 11,099.    Is that a 3.4% decline? 

Now I ask you, why would that drive a market down?  Mercedes sales gonna fall if the EU doesn’t lend money to Athens?  Help me here!

By the same token, France was at 4,819 when I looked.  A week ago it was 5,059.17.   Uh…is that a 4.7% drop in a week?

Would the loss of a Greek sinkhole really screw France out of that much Champagne and Citroen sales to Greece?

This is why we sit bank in an immersion chamber full of decaf and try to view “world-ending problems” from the highest level.

I also generalize countries as a thought tool.

When I think Germany I remember my old 1986 930 whale tail and Heidi Klum.  I don’t see Angela Merkel.   I think BMWs.  Excellence pops to mind.

Ditto France.  I see a massively cool cultural heritage from Bridgette Bardot to Chateau Lafite Rothschild.  I See the Citroen 2CV – one of the most basic cars in the world.  The original earth-car…with less than half the horsepower of the original VW Bug.  Style is the word here.

And when I look at Greece?

There’s not a word for it.

I see an Onassis who married the Widow Kennedy.

I see a country which blew the Gyro marketing opportunity.

And yes, I am not a huge fan of Retsina.  Think  of it as tasting like a nice California blush wine with a side of pine tar.

Somewhere, deep down in the darkest caves of the unconscious America, imagery like this holds sway.  We are all mostly unconscious, right?

The sink hole may go away and yet people are upset?   Makes no sense.

Poverty – the fertile ground from which inventiveness springs – is what we’re talking about here.

Ever notice how all the major inventions in world history seem to come in the temperate zones of the Earth, not in the Tropics?  Four seasons drive humans to greatness.  Plan a little or die is a good thing.

Oh, sure, Pyramids and fine and all, but functionally useless.  That’s tropical thinking.  Egpoic, pure and simple.

I’ll take me one of them moveable type Gutenberg things, any time.  Was Edison in the tropics?  No.  Tesla?  No.

See many root cellars in the Bahamas?  Nope.

Remember, the high culture of the Aztecs was up at the four-seasons elevations.  Been there, done that, and Cusco is cold.

Point being?

Humans thrive in adversity.  Give us a problem and we’re bound to fix it.  It’s why we love robotics and app development.  Single sideband, SR-71s and ‘vettes and M-16s.  Beechcraft and Skunk Works.

Greece is facing a marvelous problem-solving opportunity.  A gold-backed Drachma would be a fine thing.

But instead, they want to stay in bed with a currency that’s coyote-ugly…the Euro.

So no, I don’t get it.

Somebody is conning someone and my money is on the odds that this is another ”Too big to fail con” run by our old friends the bondies.

If truth in labeling really mattered, we would file this all under Leachcraft Holdings and not worry so much.

The Swaps and Derivative types don’t want an “event” because there wouldn’t be enough money on Earth to save us from the damage, is the chant.

Fact is, we could stiff them all and teach ‘em a lesson once and for all that the world won’t be held hostage.

We won’t,. of course.  And big money will buy the best talking-head sock puppets they can to scare us all into higher taxes and whatever it takes to run the herd again.

But think about tomorrow: Independence Day.

Independence nowadays is a highly personal thing.  You either think for yourself, or you go with the herd to the financial slaughter house.

But don’t look for that to be “In your face” anywhere, especially the Mainstream Media.

That doesn’t sell papers, does it?

No sir.  No ratings share for skeptical.  No face time for rational.  No interviews with detached.

Whip us, scare us good, then skin our wallets alive.

First thing you know, we get a crooked trade deal and a bail-in of Greece happens.  Amidst much hand-wringing and despair.

Oh, this is so bad, so dangerous, whatever shall we do?

And you, my friend, will then experienced date-rape economics.

That’s why I refer to tomorrow as the 4th of July and not Independence Day which I sincerely can’t write with a clear conscience.

We’re simply NOT.

With the way political correctness and weak-willed thinking about core values of the Melting Pot are running, drop by next year when we will  likely  be writing of  the “4 de julio.”


Write when you break-even,