I haven't written about Scotland's secession referendum coming up on Thursday, but that belies its importance. It witnesses a centuries-long social trend of centralization reversing, & has immediate consequences for the EU as well.
Scots, like Greeks, can prosper like kudzu anywhere in the world except in their own nation. There they engage in ceaseless cuttings & shootings, and formerly, cattle-stealing raids into England. I know, because my ancestors lived on the rustling border before they moved to Northern Ireland, thence to America. We Scotch Irish never met a grudge we didn't like, and couldn't carry for generations. We are born fighting, and if nobody else is there, will gladly fight each other.
Scotland & England shared a king from the accession of James I in 1605. The 1707 Act of Union merged their parliaments as well. Wales, Ireland, & Northern Ireland were added later to the United Kingdom. I will not list out the UK's contributions and accomplishments in science, industry, and self government. I'd need days.
With 5,327,700 inhabitants, Scotland claims about 8.3% of the UK's 64 million population. (Tennessee has 6.4 million, Colorado 5.26 million). With 30,414 square miles (about the size of South Carolina), Scotland has 32.3% of the UK's land area.
I'm guessing the Scots enjoy the same ignorant contempt from most of the rest of the UK that Southerners enjoy in the US. What other US citizens, and I suspect UK subjects as well, don't grasp is how deep a nation's consciousness flows in its children's blood. You drink it in with your mother's milk. (By "nation" I refer back to the word's Latin root, which means "to be born." One is born into a nation, one doesn't join it.) Just as other US citizens can never understand the thrill that passes through Southern hearts whenever we hear our now-banned anthem, Dixie, so I suspect UK subjects don't get the appeal of "Scots wha hae" to Scottish hearts. To cling to one's own people, to delight in them, is a response as strong and natural as breathing.
Don't miss this: this in-born nationalism has been suppressed since the rise of the corporation state and its centralizing trend. Since roughly 1600 power has flowed away from peripheries and nationalities to centralized non-human corporation states. Before loyalty had been sworn to a human, a king, but the sovereign was replaced by a non-human legal fiction, a corporation. Nationalities were scorned, suppressed, and shoehorned into central corporation states.
The peak of the centralizing trend, not the continuation, is witnessed by the present sole world-wide hegemony of the American empire. It has beaten all the other empires and centralized all power within itself. Yet for at least the last 30 years the trend has been turning from centralization to DE-centralization. For the next three centuries or so power will consistently flow away from centralized states to decentralized peoples and peripheries. The central state will fight the trend with bloody fang & claw.
Proof is found in in the unquenchable nationalism of Catalan and the Basque country in Spain, the Celtic areas of France, Northern Italy and the Liga Nord's desire to secede from southern Italy, Bavaria, Serbia, Croatia, and a host of nations within the old Soviet Union, not to mention the latent nationalism of the American South. The last 5 years of crisis have shown the incompetence of central states as well as the European Union's imperial administration. Meanwhile, for the last 60 year and more the US has been perfecting its imperial overreach that now stretches to hundreds of overseas bases & wars on several fronts at once, setting itself up for grand failure.
None of this is a recipe for stability as personal loyalties are transferred from artificial states to nations and even to NGOs that represent common interests. The corporation state as an institution has all the bright future of the passenger pigeon.
Since the parties pushing for Scottish independence are largely socialist & since Scotland is presently a net tax consumer in the UK, secession will not help Scotland's economy or the people's plight. Never mind, whether Scotland votes to secede or not, the idea is loose and the trend favors it. Referendum in Scotland will be followed by referenda for the Catalans, Basques, Walloons and Flemings, Northern Italians, and on and on. Nothing is so powerful as an idea whose time has come.
Finally, Scottish independence would deeply wound the UK's strength. Long term, it will also work against the European Union's cohesion.
Remember this decentralizing trend. It will be the most powerful force in social development for the next several centuries.
Now to markets: That "idea" I mentioned yesterday took the form in the stock market today of "Janet Yellum won't change anything tomorrow" which provided an excuse for the market to rise. But in the US dollar index, where the bet has been Mother Yellum would raise interest rates soon, speculators were starting to puke in their waste baskets.
Dow today made a new intraday high, but not a new high close. Rose 100.83 (0.6%) to 17,131.97. S&P500 added 14.85 (0.75%) to 1,998.98. That brought the Dow but not the S&P500 back up to the level it had been eroding from for the last two weeks.
Dow in Gold hit a new high today at 13.85 oz (G$286.30 gold dollars), higher by half an ounce than the December high. Sho' nuff Fish or Cut Bait Time. Must reverse soon, I'd say tomorrow.
Dow in silver rose 0.34% to 915.12 oz (S$1,183.19 silver dollars). Tomorrow would be a good time for the DiS to turn 'round, too.
US dollar index gave up 15 basis points (0.17%) to 84.22. Still fighting and fiddling with that 9 year downtrend line. A fall here would not necessarily negate the potential for the dollar to break out later. Disappointing interest rate news out of the FOMC tomorrow will send the dollar skidding. Euro gained 0.15% to $1.2960 while the yen moved up only 0.04% to 93.33.
Blasted FOMC meeting has cast its destabilizing pall over all markets. Gold rose $1.60 to $1,235.20 today, silver gained ten cents to 1865.6c. Both are waiting for the FOMC announcement.
Have y'all noticed that throughout the last week's weakness the gold/silver ratio has not moved much, staying in the 66+ range. That's positive for both metals, because when they are plunging with determination, that ratio soars.
Once again we see the great Federal Reserve which was supposed to stabilize markets only destabilizes markets by its interference. When they make me dictator the first thing I'll do is abolish the Fed. Second thing is pull the funding for NPR. Third thing will be to legalize raw milk and Farm Gate Sales. SPECIAL OFFER -- My overstocked Krugerrands
I've bought a lot of South African Krugerrands lately & find myself overstocked, so I'm pricing these to move.
South Africa revolutionized the gold coin industry in 1968 when they introduced a gold coin containing exactly one troy ounce of gold -- it made the math easy to figure what it was worth. They have minted these 22 karat (91-2/3% pure) coins in the same weight and fineness ever since. They proved so popular that in 1985 when the US began minting the gold American Eagle, they copied the Krugerrand specifications exactly.
I have only Eighty (80) coins to sell. No re-orders at these prices after those are spoken for. Spot gold basis is $1,235.20. OFFER NO. 1
Four (4) each South African Krugerrands at $1,272.75 each for a total of $5,091.00 plus $35 shipping for a grand total of $5,126.00. That's a premium of 3.0% over melt value. OFFER NO. 2
Five (5) each South African Krugerrands at $1,272.25 each for a total of $6,363.75 plus $35 shipping for a grand total of $6,398.75. That's a premium of 3.0% over melt value. OFFER NO. 3 -- Mix and Match
Any lot of eight (8) or more South African Krugerrands at $1,272.75 each plus $35 per order shipping. Still at a premium of 3%.
NOTE: I will charge shipping only once per order no matter how many lots you buy.
First come, first served, and no re-orders at these prices. I will write orders based on the time I receive your email Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sorry, we will not take orders for less than the minimum shown above.
All sales on a strict "no-nag" basis. We will ship as soon as your check clears, but we allow Two weeks (14 days) for your check to clear. Calls looking for your order two days after we receive your check will be politely and patiently rebuffed.
It increases your chances of getting your order filled if you offer me a second choice, e.g., "I want to order Three lots of Offer #3 but if not available will take One lot of Offer #2." ORDERING INSTRUCTIONS:
1. You may order by e-mail only to email@example.com. No phone orders, please. Please do NOT order by replying to THIS email, because it will not reach me timely.
Please include your name, shipping address, & phone number in your email. Surprising as it is, we cannot ship to you without your address. Sorry, we cannot ship outside the United States or to Tennessee.
Repeat, you must include your complete name, address, and phone number. We will read your mind, but will have to charge you three times the price. Cheaper if you just supply your information so I don't have to read your mind.
2. When you buy from us, we cannot later change or cancel the trade. We are giving you our word that we will sell at that price, & you are giving us your word that you will buy at that price, regardless what later happens in the market, up or down.
If you break your word to us, we will never again do business with you.
3. Orders are on a first-come, first-served basis until supply is exhausted.
4. "First come, first-served" means that we will enter the orders in the order that we receive them by e-mail.
5. If your order is filled, we will e-mail you a confirmation. If you do not receive a confirmation, your order was not filled.
6. You will need to send payment by personal check or bank wire (either one is fine) within 48 hours. It just needs to be in the mail, not in our hands, in 48 hours.
7. "No Nag Basis" means that we allow fourteen (14) days for personal checks to clear before we ship.
Want your order faster? Send a bank wire, but that's not required. Once we ship, the post office takes four to fourteen days to get the registered mail package to you. All in all, you'll see your order in about one month if you send a check.
Argentum et aurum comparanda sunt —
Silver and gold must be bought.
— Franklin Sanders, The Moneychanger