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5.22.15 - Obama Trade Secrets
Gold last traded at $1,204 an ounce. Silver at $17.05 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks traded mostly lower following Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen's speech on Friday on low volume ahead of the Memorial Day Holiday. Yellen repeated her statement that interest rates will rise "this year", but admitted the economic outlook is "highly uncertain." Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar rallied on rising consumer price inflation data, as the CPI gained 0.1% last month. Gold prices held above $1,200 an ounce.
OBAMATRADE: The proposed 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (or TPP) is the latest bill targeted for fast-track passage by the Obama administration, with strong support by some Republican leaders and strong opposition by some Democrats. The secret White House deal promises to expand opportunities for U.S. workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses by giving access to emerging markets. But opponents say the negotiations have inadequate protections for workers, the environment, financial regulations, and food-safety measures. If this bill is so great, why are the details being kept secret from the American people? Brietbart reports Senator Orrin Hatch admitting, "I Don’t Know Fully What’s in TPP Myself". But Michael Wessel, a commissioner on the U.S. Trade Deficit Review Commission has read TPP and says it "Will Damage This Nation", reports Zero Hedge. Could this be another case of "Just trust us... we have to pass it so you can see what's in it"?
BANKS: "The Big Banks Are Corrupt - and Getting Worse," reports Huffington Post. "The Justice Department's latest settlement with felonious big banks was announced this week, but the repercussions were limited to a few headlines and some scattered protestations. That's not enough. We need to understand that our financial system is not merely corrupt in practice. It is corrupt by design - and the problem is growing....The percentage of bankers who believed their own colleagues had engaged in illegal or unethical behavior has nearly doubled since 2012." Today the biggest banks are 30% bigger than during the 2008 crisis as DON'T BANK ON IT! reveals. The Obama administration has helped too-big-to-fail bankers become too-big-to-jail while they extract billions in fines for further wealth redistribution, as the introduction to Chapter Five, Banking Left explains ...
The 2008 near-collapse of our economy, the Great Recession, and today’s lowest job participation rate in almost 40 years all began because Progressive politicians misused government regulatory power to coerce banks into redistributing home mortgages to groups of people the politicians favored. Today such politicians plan to use regulatory power to squeeze money out of our banks, and your bank account, in even more sinister ways.
GOLD: "Central Banks Continue to Stock Up on Gold," reports NewsMax. "There is a growing disconnect between central banks, which see an increasingly unstable economic environment and thus a need to diversify into gold, and investors, whose interest in gold is slowly declining amidst the same uncertain economic environment. There are several reasons for this. Many investors take the short view." In today's microwave culture, it is important to maintain a clear view of the long-term big picture. This means thinking strategically about the risk-to-reward ratio of your portfolio holdings. Most wise financial experts advise between 10% and 30% be held as a golden foundation, regardless of whether gold prices are rising, flat, or even falling. Central banks own gold to protect their currencies, you and I must own gold to protect our future from growing financial uncertainty.
5.21.15 - The 'Great Unraveling' Continues
Gold last traded at $1,204 an ounce. Silver at $17.13 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks eked out small gains Thursday despite missed economic data expectations, falling home sales and rising jobless claims. Why no stock market correction yet? "Because corporations keep buying their own stocks," equity trader Michael Antonelli tells Marketwatch. Investors now face titanic risks in today's 'Twilight Zone' stock market. Meanwhile, precious metal prices hovered near recent highs on a weaker U.S. dollar.
RECESSION: "For Many American States, It's Like the Recession Never Ended," reports Bloomberg. "Six years after the recession [officially] ended, many U.S. states are hard pressed to balance budgets because of a sluggish recovery and their own policy decisions. The fiscal fragility raises questions about how they will weather the next economic downturn. Thirty-two states faced budget gaps in fiscal 2015 or 2016 or both, according to an April 27 report by Standard & Poors." There are no big surprises in this latest news report, which was predicted last year in DON'T BANK ON IT!, page 107 ...
The economic devastation of the Great Recession has been immense. The shockwave of this bubble bursting circled the world in 2008 and 2009, wiping out $50 Trillion in investor equity – an amount approaching one year’s Gross Domestic Product for the entire planet. At least $10 Trillion of that loss was from American equities, as a stock market that had topped 14,000 plummeted to 6,600.
The average home price in America fell by 30 percent or more, a loss to homeowners of more than $5 Trillion in what for most was the biggest investment in their lives, the equity nest egg many had planned to use for retirement or their children’s college education.
This Great Unraveling cost more than five million people their homes, lost to foreclosure or fire sales. Millions more lost their life savings, typically spent to hang on in what then-Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke called an “unusually uncertain” wild roller coaster economy.
Few believe this crisis is near its end. Many fear that worse, perhaps much worse, is soon to come. We continue to suffer in a fragile recovery that is taking longer than what followed the Great Depression.
HOUSING: "Existing home sales unexpectedly drop in April," reports CNBC. The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday existing home sales dropped 3.3%, giving a cautious signal on the strength of the housing market. Zero Hedge reports, "The most stunning data point from today's report: Housing inventory declined from last year and supply in many markets is very tight, which in turn is leading to bidding wars, faster price growth and properties selling at a quicker pace...roughly 40 percent of properties sold last month went at or above asking price, the highest since NAR began tracking this monthly data in December 2012." If you are hoping to sell real estate before the next financial crisis hits, this summer may offer your last great opportunity.
BANKS: Yesterday we reported that Too-Big-To-Jail bankers understand no matter how many felonies they commit, none of them will go to jail so long as they pay billions in fines to politicians. Today Bloomberg reports, "Investors yawned at the news Wednesday that five of the world's biggest banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, agreed to plead guilty in a currency-rigging probe....Barely more than a year ago, criminal charges against major U.S. banks were considered unthinkable, with lawyers and analysts viewing felony convictions as a death sentence and a threat to the financial system. Now, by granting waivers allowing lenders to keep operating even after a felony plea, the government has managed to punish firms while protecting them from fatal consequences." Once again Progressive government leaders illustrate that crime does pay, if you are a big enough banker. Sad.
ATM: "Theft of Debit-Card Data From ATMs Soars, reports the Wall Street Journal. "Criminals are stealing card data from U.S. automated teller machines at the highest rate in two decades, preying on ATMs while merchants crack down on fraud at the checkout counter. Debit-card compromises at ATMs located on bank property jumped 174% from Jan. 1 to April 9, compared with the same period last year, while successful attacks at nonbank machines soared by 317%, according to FICO." Major banking risk #3 listed in DON'T BANK ON IT! on page 215 ...
3. In the dawning age of cyber warfare, banks and the individual accounts in banks will be prime targets for looting, disruption and erasure.
5.20.15 - Not Too-Big-To-Jail Banksters
Gold last traded at $1,208 an ounce. Silver at $17.11 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks barely treaded water following dovish Fed minutes and ahead of Fed chair Janet Yellen's speech on Friday. Meanwhile, government regulators around the globe fined banks nearly $6 billion for rigging in the currency and interest rate markets. Precious metal prices inched higher despite a firmer dollar.
BANKS: "5 Banks to Pay Billions and Plead Guilty in Market Manipulation," reports New York Times. "Adding another entry to Wall Street's growing rap sheet, five big banks have agreed to pay more than $5 billion and plead guilty to multiple crimes related to manipulating foreign currencies and interest rates, federal and state authorities announced on Wednesday. The Justice Department forced four of the banks - Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland - to plead guilty to antitrust violations in the foreign exchange market as part of a scheme that padded the banks' profits and enriched the traders who carried out the plot."
DON'T BANK ON IT!, Chapter Eight: The Death of Banking, "Not Too-Big-To-Jail" page 183 explains why bankers who commit felonies never end up in jail ...
When fined, bankers understand that no matter what violations of law they are accused of committing, none of them will go to jail so long as they pay the millions or billions of dollars the politicians demand. This has become the tradeoff for banker acquiescence, compliance and submission.
When Attorney General Eric Holder in 2014 huffed and puffed and warned that executives at the largest banks were “not Too-Big-To-Jail,” he was just playing at populist politics for the cheers of the peanut gallery.
The heads of the biggest banks trust that, in the long run, this is merely a politicized money-laundering operation. By retaining their legal status, large banks retain the privilege of staying in business and will soon be able to refill what politicians siphon from their coffers.
PRIVACY: "In privacy, Americans lack trust in government", reports AFP. "Americans are worried about the privacy of their online information, and have little confidence the government will keep that data secure, a poll showed Wednesday. Just six percent of adults surveyed say they were 'very confident' that government agencies can keep their records private and secure, with another 25 percent saying they were 'somewhat confident'". Maintaining private wealth today may require owning some private wealth from the past. Classic $20 Saint Gaudens Double Eagles and $20 Liberty Double Eagles are considered a collectible and as such, may be exempt from public reporting required on other forms of bullion gold. Read more...
IRAN: "Iran rejects access to military sites," reports Associated Press. "Iran's supreme leader vowed Wednesday he will not allow international inspection of Iran's military sites or access to Iranian scientists under any nuclear agreement with world powers. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told military commanders that Iran will resist 'coercion and excessive demands' from America and other world powers." Is it any wonder why Americans distrust the proposed new agreement between the U.S. with Iran? As Craig Smith and Lowell Ponte explain in AMERICA ENGULFED ... "The apocalyptic Ayatollahs of Iran believe that they can bring about the global triumph of Islam through nuclear war, and their Shiite theology teaches that it is acceptable to lie in order to advance the cause of Islam. Our Israeli allies understand this. Perhaps President Obama does not."
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