Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What is $23 quadrillion amoung friends?

Good to know our credit card system can handle such large numbers just incase we have Zimbabwe like inflation.

NEW YORK (CNN) -- A technical snafu left some Visa prepaid cardholders stunned and horrified Monday to see a $23,148,855,308,184,500 charge on their statements.

Josh Muszynski noticed the 17-digit charge while making a routine balance inquiry.

Josh Muszynski noticed the 17-digit charge while making a routine balance inquiry.

That's about 2,007 times the size of the national debt.

Josh Muszynski, 22, of Manchester, New Hampshire, was one Visa customer aghast to find the 17-digit charge on his bill. Adding insult to injury, he had also been hit with a $15 overdraft fee.

He noticed that his debt exceeded the world GDP while making a routine balance inquiry on his online Bank of America account. According to his statement, he had spent the profound sum in one pop at a nearby Mobil gas station -- his regular stop for Camel cigarettes.

"Very, very panicked," he jumped in his car and sped to the station.

Had they perhaps noticed any "outrageous" charges come across their books recently, he inquired of the cashier there. She checked the records. They had not. Video Watch the story of an astounded customer in Memphis, Tennessee »

Muszynski wondered aloud what he might possibly have asked to purchase for such an astronomical price. "Can I buy Europe on pump 4?"

He next called Bank of America, the issuer of his Visa prepaid debit card. The bank kept him on hold for two hours, during which time he contemplated the impossibly bleak financial future that might await him. He also felt a stab of fear that he had saddled all his unborn grandchildren -- and their grandchildren -- with a lifetime of debt. "Down the generational line, nobody would have any money."

Finally, a bank representative told him that the $23 quadrillion charge -- and the $15 overdraft fee -- would be stricken from his account.

Muszynski compared the giant debt reprieve to receiving "an amazing Monopoly card that says, 'Bank error in your favor.' "


In a statement, Visa said the rogue charges affected "fewer than 13,000 prepaid transactions" and resulted from a "temporary programming error at Visa Debit Processing Services ... [which] caused some transactions to be inaccurately posted to a small number of Visa prepaid accounts."

The company assured customers that the problem has been fixed and that all falsely issued fees have been voided. "Erroneous postings have been removed ... this incident had no financial impact on Visa prepaid cardholders.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Is California the next Zimbabwe?

The Daily Capitalist: We Buy and Sell California IOUs

Buyers are clamoring for discounted scrip, but the SEC tries to put the kibosh on the deal

By | Published on 07.10.2009

This is the power of capitalism. When the big banks announced that they would not accept California’s IOUs as cash deposits, it took about three minutes for a market to spring up on eBay and Craigslist for this scrip. Of course, many buyers want a discount on the paper.

Then some idiot at the Securities and Exchange Commission comes up and says the scrip is a security and no one can sell without registering them.

So, now a promise to pay is a security because some bureaucrat said so. I don’t think so. I would love to see the SEC try to get away with this. If it was a security, the state of California as the issuer would first have to register the IOUs as a security. Then the people working a secondary market on an already registered security would need a broker-dealer license to trade them. The state controller insists they aren’t securities, but rather “a form of payment.” And they are correct.

If you need cash, what’s wrong with someone buying an IOU at a discount? Willing buyer and willing seller and all that. And don’t try to argue there’s no risk to this stuff. The state just got downgraded to BBB, pretty close to junk.

The best idea I heard today is that you go out and buy these IOUs at a discount and pay your taxes with them. If you buy at 80 percent of notional value, you get a 20 percent tax break. Not bad. (more)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Peter Schiff on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 6-9-09

Why is it that The Daily Show tell more truth than MSM?
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Peter Schiff
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorNewt Gingrich Unedited Interview

Ron Paul's H.R. 1207 Passes 218 Co-sponsors

Historic news - Dr. Paul's Audit the Fed Bill has passed the 218 co-sponsor benchmark, and now sits with 222.

Read his congressional press release here. More.

Jim Grant on CNBC: Bring on Ron Paul's Audit of the Fed! 6/10/09

It this doesn't put you asleep, it will wake up of about the Fed and Inflation.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Amazing what a little Economic freedom does in Zimbabwe.

I came across this today. Zimbabwe still has a long way to go, but at least stores have food now.

Goods reappear in Zimbabwe shops

HARARE (AFP) — A man whistles as he picks groceries from the shelves of a supermarket in Zimbabwe's capital. Another shopper, spoilt for choice, compares cooking oil bottles while queues form at the tills.

In Zimbabwe, these were simple and almost forgotten luxuries.

For more than a year, supermarket shelves were bare and shops resembled empty warehouses as the country reeled under an economic crisis that turned sugar and the staple corn meal into rare commodities.

Now shops are stocking up again, after the government in January agreed to allow retailers to conduct business in foreign currency.

The government has even stopped printing Zimbabwe dollars, which it once churned out in trillion-dollar denominations that quickly became worthless under inflation that independent economists estimated in the quadrillions. (More)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Yet another form of printing money.

The sadest part or this artical is the last sentance.  

CNN Reports.

Gramley said worrying about inflation now is like worrying about causing water damage when considering whether to spray a hose on a burning house. (Whole)

Will the Fed go long?

The Fed won't cut short-term rates at its next meeting, but look for long-term rates to drop if the central bank announces plans to buy Treasurys...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Deflation today Inflation tomrrow?

Someday we may look back at this article and either laugh or cry.

Deflation warning bells ring louder

Consumer prices may fall on an annual basis for the first time in more than 50 years. Is this the beginning of a deflationary spiral or just a blip?

NEW YORK ( -- Prices are falling for just about everything these days.

The government will report its key inflation index Friday morning, the Consumer Price Index, and economists believe the report is likely to show the first year-over-year drop in prices since 1955. (more)

Friday, February 6, 2009

What is 12 Zero's Amoung Friends?

Zimbabwe dollar sheds 12 zeros

Z$500 million note
Notes valued at millions of Zimbabwe dollars have been virtually worthless

Zimbabwe is revaluing its dollar again, removing twelve zeros from the currency with immediate effect.

The country's central bank is introducing seven new notes in an effort to stave off economic collapse.

The country is in the grip of world-record hyperinflation. The most recent estimate in July 2008 put it at 231m%.

Only last month, a Z$100 trillion note was introduced and the government moved to allow people to use foreign currencies alongside Zimbabwe's dollar.

The announcement will see Z$1 trillion reduced to Z$1.

The denominations of the new notes are Z$1, Z$5, Z$10, Z$20, Z$50, Z$100 and Z$500. (More)

200% Inflation in the US?

A prediction from CNBC

The US risks being hit by Zimbabwe-style hyperinflation and there are signs that the world's biggest economy risks turning into a banana republic, Marc Faber, author of the Gloom, Doom & Boom report, told CNBC's "Asia Squawk Box."

"In the US, we have a totally new school, and it’s called the Zimbabwe school," Faber said. "And it’s founded by one of the great leaders of this world, Mr Robert Mugabe, that has managed to totally impoverish his own country. And that is the monetary policy the US is pursuing." (more)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What Ten Trillion Looks like

This Ten Trillion Zimbabwe Dollar note is the largest bank note ever printed. As of Jan 23rd this note was worth 75 US cents. Zimbabwe also plans to print 100 Trillion Note.

Friday, January 16, 2009

RBZ unveils $10, $20, $50 and $100 Trillion Notes

Forget $100 Billion or even 1 Trillion lets jump to $10 Trillion. The Zimbabwe Herald Reports:

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has introduced a new family of trillion-dollar banknotes in denominations of $100 trillion, $50 trillion, $20 trillion and $10 trillion that go into circulation today, starting with the $10 trillion note.

The $20 trillion, $50 trillion and $100 trillion notes will be introduced gradually.

In a statement yesterday, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said the notes would ensure that those in formal employment withdraw their salaries with minimal hassle.

‘‘In a move meant to ensure that the public has access to their money from banks, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has introduced a new family of banknotes which will gradually come into circulation, starting with the Z$10 trillion,’’ read the statement from the RBZ.

With effect from January 12, workers can now withdraw their entire January salary in cash as long as they produce their current payslips.

The new notes have the same security features as the existing ones: a colour shift stripe with RBZ printed on it, the Zimbabwe Bird colour shift on the front, and see-through of the values on either side which are in perfect register.

The $10 trillion note has the image of the RBZ Building and the Conical Tower at the Great Zimbabwe National Monuments.

The $100 trillion note has the image of a buffalo and the Victoria Falls, the $50 trillion the Kariba Dam spilling and an elephant, while a mineworker drilling in an underground shaft and the GMB grain silos appear on the new $20 trillion note.

RBZ last week introduced $10 billion, $20 billion and $50 billion notes with a view to enabling workers to access their full salaries

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

$50 Billion Zimbabwe Dollar Picture

January 2009 $50 Billion Zimbabwe Dollar

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Zimbabwe introduces new $20 & $50 billion note

CNN Reports.

Zimbabwe's central bank will introduce a $50 billion note -- enough to buy just two loaves of bread -- as a way of fighting cash shortages amid spiraling inflation.
Zimbabwe's dollar is virtually worthless with foreign currency now being used to purchase basic items.

Zimbabwe's dollar is virtually worthless with foreign currency now being used to purchase basic items.

The country's acting finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa, made the announcement in a government gazette released Saturday.

While Chinamasa did not give the date on which the $50 billion and new $20 billion notes would come into circulation, an official at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said the notes would be distributed to all banks by the end of Monday.

Zimbabwe is grappling with hyperinflation now officially estimated at 231 million percent and its currency is fast losing its value. As of Friday, one U.S. dollar was trading at around ZW$25 billion.

When the government issued a $10 billion note just three weeks ago, it bought 20 loaves of bread. That note now can purchase less than half of one loaf.(more)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

8 Trillion and Counting

US Bailouts are 8 Trillion and counting.

CNN reports.

NEW YORK ( -- Sitting down? It's time to tally up the federal government's bailout tab.

There was $29 billion for Bear Stearns, $345 billion for Citigroup. The Federal Reserve put up $600 billion to guarantee money market deposits and has aggressively driven down interest rates to essentially zero.

The list goes on and on. All told, Congress, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and other agencies have taken dozens of steps to prop up the economy.

Total price tag so far: $7.2 trillion. (more)