Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Most Millennials Don't Plan to Use Bitcoin






A new survey from Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research indicates that Millennials have mixed feelings about Bitcoin so far. 
  • A slight majority – 51% – haven't used Bitcoin, and don't plan to use it in the future. 
  • However 27% have used Bitcoin before.Twenty-two percent are active users, and another 5% have tried it before but don't plan to adopt it again. 
  • The final chunk – 22% – haven't used it but might in the future. 

But:



The high percentage of Millennials in the survey that say they use Bitcoin deserves some skepticism considering that there are only about 6.5 million Bitcoin wallets in the world — the survey implies that some 16 million US Millennials have used Bitcoin. 
Bitcoin activity is relatively small globally. Only 4 to 8% of Bitcoin wallets contain bitcoins – the rest are empty. And global daily Bitcoin-based retail sales are an estimated $2.3 million, which would represent just .015% of total daily retail sales in the US ($15 billion), according to data acquired by Reuters.

Call for Papers: Mises Conference in Ukraine

CALL FOR PAPERS

The 3rd International Conference of the Ludwig von Mises and Modern Societies Studies

October 1-2, 2015, Lviv, Ukraine



Dear Colleagues and Friends,


    We are pleased to invite you to the 3rd international conference of the Ludwig von Mises and Modern Societies Studies, which will be held  at the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe in Lviv, Ukraine. The city of Lviv is Ludwig von Mises's birthplace.

    All sessions will be devoted to this year's theme: Liberalism, Post-Communism, and Reforms. If you are interested in presenting papers, serving as chairs or discussants, or proposing entire panels, you should submit proposals to include the following information:

 affiliation (position, title, and organization), e-mail address, telephone number, and title of paper with abstract. The conference selection committee will review proposal and notify authors, if your paper is selected.,


 All selected papers will be published in the 3rd volume of the Ludwig von Mises and Modern Societies Studies. Your paper (up to 20,000 characters (with spaces), or 12 pages typed) must include an abstract and key words (in English), footnotes, and bibliography. All submissions must be emailed to Mykola Bunyk at mykolabunyk@gmail.com .


On behalf of the Executive Committee, I would like to say that I hope to see you soon in Lviv. Please, support our efforts to promote liberty in Ukraine.



Sincerely,                                               

Mykola Bunyk, Conference Director  

Professor of Political Science

Political Science and Philosophy Department

Public Administration Regional Institute

16 Sukhomlynskiy St., Lviv, Ukraine 79491.

---


Conference Registration


Conference registration fee is 30 Euros. You can make your registration payment at the conference site prior to the start of the conference. The registration fee includes conference materials, two meals, and publication cost. The conference committee will be glad to assist you with booking a hotel room or other accommodations.



Travel & Visa Information

Lviv is a major European tourist hub. It is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. And it is ranked #1 on the Top Ten European Cities to See List endorsed by Reuters and VitrualTourist.

Official tourist website of Lviv: http://www.justlviv.it/en. If you are either a U.S. citizen or a EU citizen, you do not need a Ukrainian visa for stays less than 90 days within a 180-day period.



Conference Main Events

.          Plenary sessions on liberalism and post-communism;

.          Reception and music concert;

.          Group photo in front of the house where Ludwig von Mises was born;

.          A tour of the historic part of Lviv, including Ludwig von Mises's heritage tour.



Conference Organizations

Center for Urban History of East Central Europe, Lviv, Ukraine

Public Administration Regional Institute, Lviv, Ukraine

Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education & Research, Vienna, Austria



Conference location

The Center for Urban History of East Central Europe, 6 Bohomoltsia Street, Lviv, Ukraine.



Conference website

http://www.lvivcenter.org/en/conferences/conferences/?newsid=1120

(via Walter Block)

Greek Government on the Edge of Collapse

It sure sounds like Eurogroup officials don't like the current Greek government at all. The head of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, spoke to the press on Tuesday evening and took a hardline stance saying that it is too late to agree a deal to save Greece from defaulting at midnight. He also signaled unhappiness with the current Greek government leadership.

Part of what is going on now is the Eurogroup squeezing Greece to force a change in the current government.

The Sunday referendum in Greece for all practical purposes should be considered a vote on the current Syriza government. If the Greek  Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras does not get the "No" vote he is asking for on the referendum to reject a recent Eurogroup bailout proposal that includes higher taxes and cuts in government pension payouts, then the Tsipras government will likely collapse




 -RW

Coinbase Freezing Some Large Purchaser Bitcoin Accounts

Jaison De Montalegre emails:
Looks like the compliance officer at Coinbase has a bone to pick with several high level purchasers. As documented here in this Reddit thread more than a few people are seeing their accounts frozen when buying in large quantities.

I like the fact that my precious metals can't have their "account" frozen, and buying small amounts doesn't leave me dealing with compliance officers.

I repeat: Bitcoin is a very trackable payment method and Bitcoin currency exchange operators will have to do the work of government surveillance agencies or lose their license.

 -RW

Eurozone Rejects New Greek Request for Bailout Extension

In a hurriedly-organized conference call, Eurozone finance ministers voted down an unexpected third request from Greek Prime Minister Alex Tsipras for a bailout extension.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the Eurozone would wait until after Greece's Sunday  referendum on whether to accept terms of a recent Eurozone proposal, before launching further discussions with the Greek government.

 -RW

Poverty Pimps, Free Markets and Freedom: Walter Williams Talks Race and Economics

House Prices Up 4.9%

Thank you Janet Yellen.

S&P Dow Jones Indices has released the most recent S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indexes data. The 20-city composite gained an average of 4.9% year over year for the 12-month  period ending April 2015.

Denver and San Francisco had the highest year-over-year gains in home prices. The highest price increases were in Denver at 10.3% and then San Francisco at 10.0%. Coming in at third place was Dallas, which reported an 8.8% year-over-year gain.

 -RW

How Greece’s Debt Has Shifted Since the Last Bailout

At the end of 2011, shortly before the first bailout, the split of debt holdings was roughly a third each for banks, shareholders, and governments/international organisations.

Now, governments and supranational organisations own three-quarters with Eurozone members holding 60%, the European Central Bank 6%, and the International Monetary Fund 10%.

This is the main reason the EuroZone is playing hardball, they no longer feel pressure from the private bankster elite.


 -RW

(via World Economic Forum)

Chelsea Clinton Speech: 10 Minutes for $65,000

University of Missouri at Kansas City paid $65,000 for Chelsea Clinton to speak for 10 minutes, and then participate in a 20-minute, moderated question-and-answer session, to headline gala luncheon marking the opening of the Univerity's women’s hall of fame.

According to WaPo, Chelsea Clinton’s image-makers exerted tight control over the visit, ranging from close editing of marketing materials and the introductory remarks of a high school student to limits on the amount of time she spent on campus.

Notes WaPo:
Just shy of her 34th birthday, Clinton commanded a higher fee than other prominent women speakers who were considered, including feminist icon Gloria Steinem ($30,000) and journalists Cokie Roberts ($40,000), Tina Brown ($50,000) and Lesley Stahl ($50,000), the records show.
 -RW

Obama Goes Full Mussolini on Over Time Pay

Benito Mussolini loved to dictate to business.

-RW

LEAKED NSA DOCUMENT French Government Official Says French Economy In "Dire Straits", "Worse Than Anyone Can Imagine"

Wikileaks has released a new batch of NSA intercepts. Among them is an intercepted communication which reveals that then French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici believes the French economic situation was far worse, as of mid-2012, than perceived.


Moscovici who served as French finance minister until 2014 and is now the European commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs,said the French economic situation was "worse than anyone [could] imagine and drastic measures [would] have to be taken in the next two years”. 

Good On You, Alexis Tsipras (Part 1)

By David Stockman

Late Friday night a solid blow was struck for sound money, free markets and limited government by a most unlikely force. Namely, the hard core statist and crypto-Marxist prime minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras. He has now set in motion a cascade of disruption that will shake the corrupt status quo to its very foundations.

And just in the nick of time, too. After 15 years of rampant money printing, falsification of financial market prices and usurpation of democratic rule, his antagonists—–the ECB, the EU superstate and the IMF—-have become a terminal threat to the very survival of the kind of liberal society of which these values are part and parcel.

In fact, the Keynesian central banking and the Brussels and IMF style bailout regime—which has become nearly universal—-eventually fosters a form of soft-core economic totalitarianism. That’s because the former first destroys honest financial markets by falsifying the price of debt. So doing, Keynesian central bankers enable governments to issue far more debt than their taxpayers and national economies can shoulder; and, at the same time, force investors and savers to desperately chase yield in a marketplace where the so-called risk free interest rate has been pegged at ridiculously low levels.

Both Sides Dig In Before the Greek Vote

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is defiant, urging voters to reject eurozone officials demands, insisting a "No" vote in next Sunday's referendum would strengthen Athens' negotiating hand.

Meanwhile, European leaders warned Greeks that Sunday’s vote on the country’s international bailout was a referendum on its membership of the eurozone, insisting rejection would bring no better offer and could have disastrous economic consequences.

-RW

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Greek Soap Opera Will Never End

By Theodore Dalrymple

Over the past few years I don’t know how many hours I’ve wasted reading articles in newspapers about the Greek debt crisis. It isn’t as if I could have affected it in one way or the other. Moreover, newspapers these days, which cannot compete with the immediacy of the electronic media, devote more and more of their space to the future than to the past: what might happen, what might not happen, what must happen, what mustn’t happen, what can happen, what can’t happen. What actually did happen is by comparison now of small account.

I know that the crisis affects the real lives of millions of Greeks, who used to make a decent living by recycling the money obtained from loans (as millions of the British still do), but I cannot help thinking that the best way of conceptualizing the Greek debt crisis is as a soap opera. It has been going on for ages, it has its ups and downs, it has its heroes and villains, every episode ends on a high point of tension until the next, which always starts anticlimactically, and there is no end in sight. There is melodrama, tragedy, farce. Make ’em laugh, make ’em cry, make ’em wait: That was the recipe of the 19th-century British writer Charles Reade for the successful concoction of serial novels, and the Greek government, the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission have certainly followed that recipe closely.

I suddenly realized how foolishly I had frittered away so much of my time, relatively little of which remains to me, when I read the following in a newspaper today: “‘Having had a couple of days to absorb the details of the new Greece debt deal, equity markets have continued to remain upbeat, despite the fact that the [Greek] proposal is economically illiterate and probably doomed to fail,’ Michael Hewson of CMC Markets said.”

Economically illiterate and only probably doomed to fail? In other words, the link between economic literacy on the one hand and success or failure on the other is uncertain at best. Economically illiterate but possibly will succeed? Economically literate but possibly will fail? Mr. Hewson of CMC Markets clearly doesn’t want to put all his eggs in one predictive basket. Therefore I say, throw economics to the dogs; I’ll have none of it.

The real star of the soap opera, of course, is Alexis Tsipras, and the most important question raised by the series is when will he wear a tie? The economic precedents set by leaders who wouldn’t wear ties are not altogether happy: Mao, Nyerere, Mobutu, to say nothing of the Iranian revolutionaries. If I may be allowed another metaphor, Mr. Tsipras’ neckwear is the canary in the mine. No tie, noxious gas in the mineshaft.

But I am beginning to take the whole thing seriously again. Here are a few of the titles of the episodes of the soap opera of only the past two months, taken from the newspaper:

Please share this article by using the link below. When you cut and paste an article, Taki's Magazine misses out on traffic, and our writers don't get paid for their work. Email editors@takimag.com to buy additional rights. http://takimag.com/article/as_the_world_turns_theodore_dalrymple/print#ixzz3eTpBWJQH

Read the rest here.

Is Ben Bernanke an Arrogant Keynesian Dorkface Chump?

Richard Daughty of The Mogambu Guru considers the possibility:

I was ready to hit bottom, having dimly decided to give the glories of gluttony one more try (but this time with less bacon and more pornography), was absolutely delighted to read that Ben Bernanke was paid $250,000 to give a speech. A speech!

I was reborn! The reason for my new-found zest for living is because Ben Bernanke is BOTH a total, monumental failure as a former chairman of the Federal Reserve (I mean, look around you!), and an arrogant Keynesian dorkface chump if there ever was one. Yet, look at the loot!

One speech! A quarter mill! I mean, this guy is absolutely, completely delusional by actually thinking, and believing, that laughable Keynesian econometric gibberish (to replace falling consumer spending with more government spending) can prevent the horrific economic collapse that always comes after radical expansions of the money supply that distorts the whole price structure of everything into a bloated, inflationary insanity.

And what did we get, in terms of the aforementioned bloated, inflationary insanity? Well, buckle your seat belt, because I’m going to tell you!

Peak bond prices so high that interest rates are almost literally zero! The S&P500 peaking at a P/E ratio so high that it is in the “historically high” range! Housing prices that cost an incredible four times the average income! An $18 trillion national debt, more than 100% of GDP! Total (government, business and personal) debt of an astonishing $60 trillion, against an entire GDP of only $17 trillion!

Government spending (federal, state and local), school systems and myriad taxing authorities together spend about 40% of GDP!

And a huge, unfathomable derivatives market that, combined with accrued government obligations, totals in the multi-quadrillions of dollars! This is thousands of trillions of dollars! Quadrillions! Truly incomprehensible sums!

And taxes, taxes, taxes upon taxes everywhere.

And a vast ocean of laws upon laws! Regulations upon regulations! Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles upon bubbles! Excessive repetition upon excessive repetition, which gets complaint upon complaint.

In the late 18th century, of course, you could write stupid sentence constructions like that last one, and nobody would say anything. But at the same time, France sentenced John Law to death for essentially doing this same damned thing: Creating paper money to excess, disastrously expanding the money supply, which ruined France with price inflation and economic misery.

It got so bad that Marie Antoinette (as I understand it) had to advise the French people to eat cake instead of bread.

Thank You Janet Yellen: 'Golden Girls' Home Listed for $15.99 Million





The estate of the late Bea Arthur has listed her home for $15.99 million.

The home includes 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, a tennis court, circular swimming pool and hiking trails.

New F. A. Hayek Interview Emerges on Monetary Policy, the Gold Standard, Deficits, Inflation, and John Maynard Keynes

In this video from 1984, Hayek is interviewed at the University of Freiburg in Germany by James U. Blanchard III,founder of Blanchard Gold and chairman of the National Committee for Monetary Reform.

Krugman: Greek Voters Should Vote "No" on Bankster Referendum

Paul Krugman commentary actually makes some sense on the July 5th Greek referendum, where voters will vote on whether to accept the most recent bailout/austerity package proposed by European banksters:
I would vote no..the political implications of a yes vote would be deeply troubling. The troika clearly did a reverse Corleone — they made Tsipras an offer he can’t accept, and presumably did this knowingly. So the ultimatum was, in effect, a move to replace the Greek government. And even if you don’t like Syriza, that has to be disturbing for anyone who believes in European ideals.
And in his column today, he has this beautiful first line:
 It has been obvious for some time that the creation of the euro was a terrible mistake.
And this:
[T]he Greek government should be ready, if necessary, to leave the euro.
And more clearly on the last bankster proposal to Greece:
 This is, and presumably was intended to be, an offer Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, can’t accept, because it would destroy his political reason for being. The purpose must therefore be to drive him from office, which will probably happen if Greek voters fear confrontation with the troika enough to vote yes next week.
Of course, the Krugman ideal would be a Greek government that goes and merrily prints up new drachma to solve all its problems. That's jumping from the bankster fire into the Zimbabwe fire.

That said, Greece leaving the euro is not a bad thing. In fact, it would be great if a fiscally responsible government was in charge in Greece that would also remove the suffocating regulations on the economy and run a sound monetary policy, but that is not the case. When the choice is bankster austerity oppression or radical leftist government interventions, any way the Greeks go they will suffer and suffer tremendously.

-RW

F. A. Hayek and Why Government Can't Manage Society, Part II

Richard Ebeling emails:

Dear Bob,

I have a new article on the news and commentary website, “EpicTimes,” on, F. A. Hayek and Why Government Can’t Manage Society, Part II.”

Last week I discussed the historical context and significance of F. A. Hayek’s famous article on “The Use of Knowledge in Society,” since this year marks the 70th anniversary since its original publication in September 1945.

Hayek demonstrated why it was inherently impossible for central planner to manage a complex society better than leaving individuals free to make their own choices and decisions, because the essential and necessary knowledge to successfully plan and coordinate the actions of tens of millions is dispersed and decentralized in the minds of all the members of society. Only a competitive price system can integrate and coordinate that entire people do for their mutual benefit.

But Soviet-style socialist central planning has died. The world functions on the basis of various forms of market economies – both more or less regulated and controlled by governments. Are Hayek’s arguments still relevant in today’s world? The answer is yes., as I explain, now, in part II of this article.

The very importance of individual freedom and the competitive price system is shown when we look at: central bank manipulation of interest rates through monetary expansion; minimum wage laws that generate misallocations of resources, besides pricing the unskilled out of the labor market; and production regulations that prevent private enterprisers using their distinct localized knowledge of time and place in a changing market setting.

Thus Hayek’s message is as relevant now as when he penned “The Use of Knowledge in Society” seven decades ago.

http://www.epictimes.com/richardebeling/2015/06/f-a-hayek-and-why-government-cant-manage-society-part-ii/

Best,
Richard

Greeks Are Standing in Line with Garbage Bags at ATMs

By Simon Black

It is somewhat amusing that the word 'crisis' originates from Ancient Greece.

It's actually a medical term; Hippocrates wrote extensively about 'crisis' being the key turning point in disease progression-- the time at which it either overcomes the patient, or it subsides.

And though the word 'crisis' is thrown about routinely these days, it's safe to say that Greece is now truly in crisis in the purest sense of the definition.

Same with the euro, for that matter.

A century from now when future historians write about our time, it's highly likely they'll conclude that the euro was the dumbest invention of this age.

And that will really be saying something because the competition is fierce: pet rocks. Acid-washed jeans. FATCA. Google Glass. Fox Business News. Obamacare.

But the euro deserves first prize in the ugly contest.

The idea was to take completely incompatible economies, pretend that they were all Germany, and put them under one monetary roof simply because they were on the same continent.

This is ridiculous, especially today. It's 2015. Geography is an irrelevant anachronism.

Imagine jamming Argentina, Australia, Angola, and Azerbaijan into a currency union simply because they all start with the letter "A". It's just as pointless and arbitrary as geography.

And when one of them starts to collapse (probably Argentina), rather than admit their mistake and dissolve the whole stupid idea, the bureaucrats spend massive amounts of other people's money fruitlessly trying to hold the project together.

This is what's happened in Europe.

Every time they wrote a bailout check or extended another loan package to Greece, all the bureaucrats did was INCREASE their risk exposure.

It's like running back into a burning building-- literally the *exact opposite* of what any sensible person would do.

Eurocrats have spent untold billions of other people's money to save face, just so they wouldn't have to admit that Project "Make Everyone Germany" has failed.

But what they never acknowledged was that no matter how much they extend and pretend, the disease will always reach its crisis.

And this financial disease is going to slay the patient. History is very clear on this point: debt kills.

Heavy Hits Being Taken by US Hedge Funds that Hold Billions in Greek Gvt Debt

NYT reports:

[T]he question of what happens when the markets do open is particularly acute for the hedge fund investors — including luminaries like David Einhorn and John Paulson — who have collectively poured more than 10 billion euros, or $11 billion, into Greek government bonds, bank stocks and a slew of other investments.

Through the weekend, Nicholas L. Papapolitis, a corporate lawyer here, was working round the clock comforting and cajoling his frantic hedge fund clients.

“People are freaking out,” said Mr. Papapolitis, 32, his eyes red and his voice hoarse. “They have made some really big bets on Greece.

But there is no getting around the truth of the matter, he said. Without a deal with its European creditors, the country will default and Greek stocks and bonds will tank when the markets open...

Most of the hedge fund money in Greece is invested in about 30 billion euros of freshly minted Greek government debt securities that emerged from the 2012 restructuring of private sector bonds.

The largest investors include Japonica Partners in Rhode Island, the French investment funds H20 and Carmignac, and an assortment of other hedge funds like Farallon, Fortress, York Capital, Baupost, Knighthead and Greylock Capital.

A number of hedge funds have also made big bets on Greek banks, despite their thin levels of capital and nonperforming loans of around 50 percent of assets....

They include Mr. Einhorn at Greenlight Capital and Mr. Paulson, both of whom have invested and lost considerable sums in Piraeus Bank. Fairfax Financial Holdings and the distressed investor Wilbur Ross own a large stake in Eurobank, one Greece’s four main banks.

Big positions have also been taken in some of Greece’s largest companies. Fortress Capital bought $100 million in discounted debt belonging to Attica Holdings, Greece’s largest ferryboat holder. York Capital has taken a 10 percent stake in GEK Terna, a prominent Greek construction and energy firm.

In 2014, Blackstone’s credit arm bought a 10 percent chunk of the Greek real estate developer Lamda Development. And Third Point, one of the earliest, most successful investors in Greek government bonds, has set up a $750 million Greek equity fund.

Many of these forays were made during the heady days of 2013 and early 2014, when the view was that, in a rock bottom global interest rate environment, risky Greek assets looked attractive, especially if the reform process continued.

Among the most dubious of these was a 10 percent equity stake, then worth about $137 million, that Mr. Paulson’s hedge fund took last year in the Athens water monopoly. The company had little debt and was set to be privatized, making it an attractive prospect at the time.

But the privatization process is now frozen and the monopoly is struggling to collect payment on its bills from government entities that are nearly broke, making it unlikely that Mr. Paulson will get much of his money back.

China Continues to Fall



Note: This is more domestic problems than the like the decline in Italy, which is more related to the Greek crisis.

Also see: BREAKING Biggest Chinese Stock Market Crash in 19 Years!!

-RW

Italy's Stock Market Down 4%


Now Puerto Rico Admits Debts ‘Not Payable’

Puerto Rico’s governor has admitted that the island’s  $70 billion debt pile is “not payable”.

In an interview with NYT, Puerto Rican Governor Garcia Padilla said that Puerto Rico would seek to restructure its liabilities, including some debt payment deferrals and extended repayment schedules, without giving further details.

“There is no other option. I would love to have an easier option. This is not politics, this is math,” he told the newspaper. He added that creditors must now “share the sacrifices” already imposed on the island’s residents.


BREAKING Biggest Chinese Stock Market Crash in 19 Years!!

The Chinese stock market has been in near free fall since June.



The Shanghai Composite index lost a further 3.75 per cent on Monday morning, while the tech-heavy Shenzhen Composite sank 5.93 per cent and ChiNext crashed 8.05 per cent.

China's tech-heavy high beta 'Nasdaq' is down 19% in the last 3 days, and 33% from highs in early June.

-RW

Sunday, June 28, 2015

"Nothing is Confirmed Until Officially Denied" (Part 2)

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, early Sunday:


Later in the day:

CNBC: Greek PM calls for bank closures, capital controls
Bloomberg:  Greece Imposes Capital Controls 
Part 1 of "Nothing is Confirmed Until Officially Denied" is here.

-RW

Greek Prime Minister: Your Money is Safe But You Can't Have It

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has announced that banks in Greece will, indeed, not open on Monday,

Reports indicate that members of the Greek Financial Stability Council have recommended that the banks stay shut for a total of six days.

The significance of that recommendation is unclear, but all banks will be closed for at least tomorrow.

In his comments Tsipras said:
The recent decisions of the Eurogroup and ECB have only one objective: to attempt to stifle the will of the Greek people.

They will not succeed. The very opposite will occur: the Greek people will stand firm with even greater wilfulness.

In the coming days, what's needed is patience and composure. The bank deposits of the Greek people are fully secure.

The same applies to the payment of wages and pensions- they are also guaranteed.

In these critical hours, we must remember that the only thing to fear is fear itself.

In other words, Tsipars is going Hotel California here, Greek depositor money is safe but they can't have it.

Government wage earners and pensioners should also be concerned since Tsipars also declared that their  payments are "safe."

-RW

Euro Down at the Start of Trading in Asia



The euro is down on the first day of trading after the EuroGroup said it will not provide Greece with any further emergency funds.

The 19-nation euro dropped 1.4 percent to $1.1016 by 5:38 a.m. in Tokyo, and slid 2.3 percent to 135.12 yen.

Greece plans to close its banks Monday after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ decision to call a July 5 referendum on the proposed bailout package spurred savers to withdraw money at the weekend.

-RW

UPDATE

Near 6:30 pm ET, futures for Germany's Dax index were down 542 points, or 4.7%.

The CAC in Paris was off 235 points,down 4.6% drop.

London's FTSE 100 was off 206 points, aprox. 3%.

"Nothing is Confirmed Until Officially Denied"- Bismark

Reuters reported on Saturday:
A senior Greek politician on Saturday issued an assurance that banks would remain open and asked people to remain calm, hours after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced a surprise referendum on bailout terms offered by foreign creditors...

"Citizens should not be scared, there is no blackmail," Panos Kammenos, head of the government's coalition ally, told local television. "The banks won't shut, the ATMs will (have cash). All this is exaggeration," he said.

Headlines less than 24 hours later:

Greeks Line Up at Banks and Drain ATMs- Bloomberg


Greek ATMs Run Dry- Forbes



Greek banks will not open Monday | Fox News




Politicians should never be trusted, but especially not during a crisis.

BREAKING: Athens Stock Exchange Will Not Open Monday

...Greek  official tells WSJ.

Breaking: Greek Banks Will Not Open Monday

...a bank official tells WSJ.

ECB Says "Greek Bank Holiday Now Necessary"

The European Central Bank bekieves that Greece will need to impose a bank holiday to stem deposit outflows as liquidity dries up, according to a person familiar with the ECB’s thinking, reports Bloomberg.

The level of Emergency Liquidity Assistance available to the Greek banking system, which is based on proper collateral, is insufficient to cover lenders’ needs, the person said

Bitcoin Poker Site Founder Takes Plea Deal

Another Bitcoin-related operator crushed by the government.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Bryan Micon,  who ran a Bitcoin-based online poker site and then fled to Antigua after being raided earlier this year, has pleaded guilty.

He accepted probation on Thursday and will also pay a $25,000 fine, surrender the site computers, 3.0996 bitcoins ($750) and the $900 that were seized from him during the raid. Once complete, his charge will be reduced to a gross misdemeanor of operating an unlicensed interactive gaming system.

I repeat, the idea that Bitcoin is some kind of magical currency that immunes one from government prosecution is absurd. It is more trackable than currency.

-RW

EMPTY

In Greece, a sign indicates empty ATMs.


-RW

The Latest Updates to the Palgrave Dictionary Are Out


Some past Murray Rothbard entries:

MISES, LUDWIG EDLER VON (1881–1973)
Mises was born in Lemberg, Austria-Hungary, on 29 September 1881 and died in New York City on 18 October 1973. The son of a Viennese construction engineer ...
By Murray N. Rothbard. From The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition, 2008

IMPUTATION
‘Imputation’ is a term introduced into economics as Zurechnung by the Austrian School economist Friedrich Freiherr von Wieser (Wieser, 1889). The term ...
By Murray N. Rothbard. From The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition, 2008

 CATALLACTICS
The term, meaning ‘the science of exchanges’, was proposed as a replacement for the name ‘political economy’ by the Rev. Richard Whately in his 1831 Drummond ...
By Murray N. Rothbard. From The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition, 2008

TIME PREFERENCE
Time preference is the insight that people prefer ‘present goods’ (goods available for use at present) to ‘future goods’ (present expectations of goods ...
By Murray N. Rothbard. From The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition, 2008

 -RW

The Janet Yellen-San Francisco Boom: On Going Construction Projects

These are major construction projects in what is known as the SoMa district of San Francisco. There are some other projects in SF, but the majority are in this area.




535 MISSION
This glassy 27-story office tower located in SOMA is under construction and will eventually reach a height of 378 feet.
ONE RINCON HILL, TOWER 2
The much delayed second tower of the One Rincon Hill development has reached its 50 story pinnacle, just shorter than its older brother next door. Glass facade installation is rising quickly and construction will be complete later this year.
This $500 million expansion will add over 200,000 sq. ft. to the existing rentable space as well as improving pedestrian conditions. The new space will be both carved out below ground and atop the existing Howard Street structure.
NEMA
This massive complex, totaling over 700 apartments, is already partially completed and occupied. The 37-story main tower is getting it's finishing touches and will be occupied later this spring when construction wraps up.
1321 MISSION
Patrick Kennedy's micro-unit apartment building will feature 160 units throughout 11 floors. 120 units would be designated as efficiency dwelling-units, and at least 80 units will be reserved for student housing. 3,359 sq. ft. of retail and 240 bicycle parking spaces will occupy the ground and basement. Demolition on the existing low-rise structure was recently completed and excavation has begun.
350 MISSION
Now an official 30-story tower designed by Craig Hartman, this building is just a few floors above the ground currently, but will begin to rise rapidly in the coming year. The tower is completely pre-leased to Salesforce.com, with a total of 440,000 sq. ft.
222 SECOND
This 26-story office tower, to be constructed in SOMA, will feature set-backs on the 5th and 17th floors, as well as 8,600 sq. ft. of open public space. Construction is well underway, with excavation completed and the basement levels currently being built.
181 FREMONT
This 700-foot tower will be located adjacent to the Transbay Transit Center, will feature a mix of office, retail and residential space throughout it's 54 floors, as well as a sky-bridge to the transit center itself. The site has been cleared and construction is now underway. Expect much of 2014 to be spent performing work below ground, with most of the height achieved net year.
45 LANSING
This Rincon Hill tower spent nearly all of 2013 building what appeared to be the deepest basement in the city. It is now above ground and will reach a final height of around 400 feet, with 330 luxury units, near the end of 2014.
LUMINA
The "sister" project to the Infinity Towers across the street will feature 37- and 42-floor towers, along with 2 8-floor low-rise buildings. Designed by Arquitectonica, the 669 unit residential project is currently getting the subterranean levels, but will rise above ground later this year.
250 FOURTH
Approved nearly a year ago, this future 11-story hotel is expected to get going in 2014. The building will be one of only a handful of hotels currently planned for the entire city.
HAMPTON HOTEL
This 15-floor hotel will feature 174 mid-level rooms near Mint Plaza and the Moscone Center. The site, currently under construction, is best known for being the former home of the Kink.com porn studios. Current progress puts the hotel around floor 5-6, and should be topped out in the coming months.
TRINITY PLACE
Phases one and two are now complete and occupied, while phase three is just getting underway. When all is complete the project will feature at least 4 towers, ranging in height from 18-26 floors, and 1,900 units.
TRANSBAY TOWER
Currently in competition with LA's future Wilshire Grand to be the tallest building west of the Mississippi, the 61-story, 1,070 foot-tall Transbay Tower officially broke ground on March 27th, but only recently started making significant progress. This tower will be office space over ground floor retail, and be directly connected to the Transbay Transit Center, currently under construction.
TRANSBAY TRANSIT CENTER
Dubbed the "Grand Central of the west" by its supporters, the future bus and rail depot is the catalyst behind much of the progress being made in the area. Completion of the terminal and bus connections is expected in 2016, with rail connections TBD.
299 FREMONT
This 32-story residential tower, compete with townhouses and podium, broke ground late last year. When finished it will provide 409 apartments to the Transbay area along with ground floor retail.
340 FREMONT
Demolition permits for the existing low-rise buildings have been issued to clear the site for this future 400-foot residential tower. Located in the blossoming Rincon Hill area, the building will create an additional 348 units, 269 parking spaces, and a lot of shiny glass.
1415 MISSION
With its new rendering resembling an updated factory, this 12-story residential building will feature 121 housing units, ground-floor retail and underground parking. Foundation and excavation work is currently underway.
1400 MISSION
At 15 floors at the highest point this tower will contain 190 Below-Market-Rate units to satisfy requirements for the Lumina development. Early stage construction is currently underway at a very crowded 10th and Mission intersection.
TRANSBAY BLOCK 9
One of many 400-foot towers currently or expected to be built in the coming years, this glass-and-garden beauty by SOM is anticipated to get started this year. Along with the tower will be an 85-foot podium building, totaling 563 housing units near the corner of 1st and Folsom streets.
SOUTH OF MARKET SKATEPARK AND DOG PARK
While very nearly in the Mission, this dog and skate park in Western SoMa is now under construction. When completed expect 17,000 feet of skating area and 10,000 feet of doggy play space.
870 HARRISON
Approved since 2009, this 26-unit building is currently under construction near the intersection of Harrison and 6th. Ground floor retail will be reserved for a rare "production, distribution, and repair" zone.
399 FREMONT
The 400 foot tower and podium, by Solomon Cordwell Buenz, planned to rise at the corner of Fremont and Harrison will contain 452 units, 238 parking spaces and 150 bike spaces.
50 1ST STREET
Considered one of the most desirable locations left on Mission Street, this mega-project is zoned for up to 1.25 million sq. ft. of office space, 182 housing units, 266 hotel rooms and 43,000 sq. ft. of retail. The original drawings have been scrapped and a new architect is expected to be announced next month.
MEXICAN MUSEUM TOWER
This planned 480-foot, 47-story tower has been nothing short of controversial. Appeals, lawsuits and angry neighbors galore have slowed this project to a near halt. The project is still projected to break ground later this year, but will we see a shortened version that appeals to NIMBY sensibilities?
KAPLAN'S SURPLUS / SPORTING
This 74-year old institution will soon be shutting its doors to make way for a new hotel development. Zoned for 100 rooms, the new project will demolish the old single-story building and construct one up to 90 feet tall.
SFMOMA EXPANSION
At a mind-boggling $610, this 10-story Snøhetta-designed expansion and remodel will transform the SFMOMA into a world-class modern art museum with nearly 500,000 sq. ft. of gallery space. Construction has been underway for about 6 months, and the museum is expected to reopen in late 2015.
81 BLUXOME
Some new office space is headed for Bluxome Street, near 5th, in the form of a 5-floor, 65-foot building. A 2-story building will be demoed to make way for 55,000 sq. ft. of tech-catering open floor plans. No parking will be involved, but there will be 17 bicycle spaces.
CENTRAL SUBWAY
While not confined to SoMa exclusively, the new Central Subway will bring two new stations to the area on 4th Street, one near the Caltrain station and the other near Moscone Center. Much like the Transbay Transit Center, the new subway has become a catalyst for development in the increasingly dense central SoMa area.
AVA
This 17-floor apartment tower, by developer Avalon Bay, is now leasing and will open for occupancy this spring. The glass-enveloped structure will add 260 units to the already busy Mid-Market area.
STRAND THEATER RENOVATION
Renovations have begun on the shuttered, historic theater in the Mid-Market area. When completed the building will house a 300-seat flexible hall for both formal and informal performances by new owners ACT.
MARKET STREET PLACE
Demolition of the old ST. Francis Theater was completed last summer, yet this new shopping mecca has yet to start construction. When it is finally completed expect a 225,000 sq. ft. glass mall that will help extend the Union Square-area shopping center a little further down Market Street.
333 BRANNAN
This new office development near South Park has drawn so much interest the developers plan to have the entire building pre-leased before the first piece of glass is installed. Construction recently broke ground and is expected to take around 18 months to complete.
ST. JOSEPH'S CHURCH
Conversion plans for the 100 year-old church and into office and retail space is moving along slowly, with permits issued and then revised. Renovations are expected to begin sometime this year.
HUGO HOTEL
Plans to demo the existing Hugo Hotel (and its defenestration art exhibit) have been approved by the city. In its place will rise a 9-story affordable housing structure with 67 family-sized units.
1532 HARRISON
Dubbed "modern communal living" by its developers, a 3-building shared housing facility is headed for Western SoMa. 235 "suites" would be divided into 9 "houses" with each featuring a common kitchen, dining and living areas. An abundance of outdoor space would also be available to residents.
MOSSO PHASE 1
Currently building at the corner of Folsom and 5th, this giant rental building will feature 282 units over 5,000 sq. ft. of retail. The building is expected to go live this summer.
MOSSO PHASE 2
The second portion of the Mosso development will add another 181 units and 5,000 sq. ft. of retail just around the corner from phase 1. The second building is expected to open just after the first.
72 TOWNSEND
Another long-delayed project is this historic warehouse conversion taking place in South Beach. The project will add 9 floors to an existing 1-story structure featuring 74 new condos.
345 BRANNAN
This companion to 333 Brannan Street has already been completely gobbled up by tech firm Dropbox (along with all of 333 Brannan) before a shovel has even hit the dirt. Together the 2 buildings will give the firm a new 295,000 sq. ft. headquarters.
270 BRANNAN
Another highly-coveted location on Brannan Street is this future 7-floor, 65-foot office building. Containing 189,000 sq. ft, construction is expected to begin this spring, and be ready for occupancy in late 2015.

(via SF Curbed)