Economics and Investing:

Several readers wrote to send this: Canada Stops Making Cents as Flaherty Lets Penny Drop. JWR’s Comment: Don’t miss the last line of the article: “The penny, with two maple leaves on one side and a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the other, has lost 95 percent of its purchasing power since it was first produced by the mint.” If journalist Quinn were more discerning and incisive, he could and should have written: “Since 1902, the citizenry of Canada has been slowly robbed of 95% of the purchasing power of their currency, through insidious inflation. The worthlessness of the penny is a reflection of that.”

Abandoning austerity, France goes into fiscal denial: Socialist Hollande triumphs in French presidential poll

Contagion and the viral spreading of debt based systems – CEO pay at regional banks surge on average to $10.5 million thanks to bailouts while austerity is forced onto the middle class.

G.G. sent this: Young Italians flock to become shepherds

Philip W. suggested a piece by Jeff Berwick at Lew Rockwell’s site: Forget Retirement… and Retirement Savings

Items from The Economatrix:

Roubini:  Expect Stagnant US Economy In 2013

America’s Safest Long-term Investment Is Gold

Gold Price Drops Three Straight Months For First Time Since 2001