6.30.17 - Gold Lowers Risk, Improves Performance
Gold last traded at $1,242 an ounce. Silver traded at $16.62 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices traded mixed Friday on mild profit-taking and a firmer dollar. U.S. equities traded mostly higher as Wall Street capped a strong first-half performance.
Gold's Role In A Portfolio -Seeking Alpha
"Modern portfolio theory teaches us that, even if an investment has a low return, it can improve the performance of a portfolio if it has a low correlation to the other investments in the portfolio. In this article, we will discuss how gold’s low correlation to both stocks and bonds make it an ideal portfolio diversifier....In the 48 years from 1969 through 2016, the S&P 500 has returned 9.6% compared to 7.0% for intermediate term U.S. government bonds....During the time period, gold returned 7.0%, about the same as bonds, but with much greater volatility than stocks. Gold’s utility becomes evident when we take a look at correlations. To examine gold’s role in a 60/40 stock/bond portfolio, we added a 10% position in gold and reduced the weighting in stocks to 54% and bonds to 36%....the three asset portfolio had 97% of the return of an all stock portfolio but with just 55% of the risk....In summary, a small position in gold’s low correlation to both stocks and bonds helps it improve the performance of a stock/bond portfolio."
U.S. Mint Releases 20th Anniv. American Eagle Platinum Proof Coin July 6 -Coinweek
"The United States Mint made numismatic history on June 6, 1997, when it introduced its first legal tender Platinum American Eagle Proof Coin. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of production of this coin, the Mint revived the original designs depicted on the coin. The obverse features the 'Portrait of Liberty' design. Liberty looks to the future in this modern interpretation of an American icon, the Statue of Liberty. Inscriptions include 'LIBERTY,' '2017,' 'IN GOD WE TRUST,' and 'E PLURIBUS UNUM.' The reverse depicts an Eagle soaring above America. Inscriptions include 'UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,' '.9995 PLATINUM 1 OZ.,' and '$100.'....Pricing for the 2017 20th Anniversary American Eagle One Ounce Platinum Proof Coin will be based on the Mint’s pricing schedule for products containing platinum. The mintage limit for this product will be 10,000 units with a household order limit of one."
Why Bastiat Is As Relevant As Ever on His 216th Birthday -FEE.org
"Today marks the 216th anniversary of the birth of the great French classical-liberal economist Frederic Bastiat (born June 29, 1801) whom economist Joseph Schumpeter called the 'most brilliant economic journalist who ever lived.'....Here’s Bastiat’s famous quote on legal plunder (now frequently referred to as 'crony capitalism'): 'Legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole - with their common aim of legal plunder - constitute socialism. But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.'.... 'The State [government] is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.'....Bottom Line: Bastiat was truly an economic giant and deserves credit for his many significant and important intellectual contributions to economic thinking that are as relevant today as they were in France in the mid-1800s when Bastiat was writing."
Dollar bulls have a lot to worry about in second half of 2017 -Marketwatch
"The poor performance of the U.S. dollar during the first half of 2017 is not all that surprising given how varied forecasts were at the end of last year....In hindsight, it is clear why the dollar underperformed major rivals by about 5 to 8% over the past six months. Since the start of the year, softer economic data in the U.S. and relative improvement in the eurozone coincided with a shift in expectations of successful implementation of tax reforms and infrastructure spending. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index, a measure of the greenback against six major rivals was declined 0.4% to 95.596 on Thursday, leaving it down 6.5% in the year to date....'One other scenario where the dollar will continue to weaken against the euro is if fiscal stimulus - assuming tax reform and infrastructure bills are passed - does not work and growth disappoints to the extent that the Fed cuts rates again,' said Neil Mellor, chief currency strategist at BNY Mellon."
6.29.17 - Is Yellen Repeating Bernanke's Big Mistake?
Gold last traded at $1,245 an ounce. Silver traded at $16.65 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices slipped Thursday on mild profit-taking despite a weaker dollar. U.S. stocks fell sharply as retreating tech giants overshadowed upbeat bank stock outlooks.
Gold eases as central bank comments lift yields -Reuters
"Gold eased on Thursday, surrendering early gains as signs this week that central banks may scale back their ultra-loose monetary policy pushed bond yields higher, though a decline in the dollar to its lows for the year lent support. 'Gold is caught between the weaker dollar and higher real yields,' UBS analyst Joni Teves said. 'That's feeding through to price action. There has been a shift towards more hawkishness (among central banks),' she said. 'We have been flagging the potential for European rates to head higher and exert pressure on global yields.' A raft of hawkish comments from central banks this week signaled the era of easy money, which helped gold hit record highs at $1,920.30 an ounce in 2011, might be coming to an end in more than just the United States."
Yellen's Hubris: Is She Repeating Bernanke's Big Mistake? -Hedgeye
"Would I say there will never ever be another financial crisis, probably that would be going too far. But I do think that we are much safer and I hope that it will not be our lifetime and I don’t believe it will be.” -Fed Chair Janet Yellen June 27, 2017- "There are just some things that should never be said, and then there are things that the head of a Central Bank should never say. Yellen's hubristic comments are rooted in her confidence in the post-crisis reform, oversight and regulation....The Fed Chair's comment is alarming because investors and traders are well aware that we live in an uncertain world with infinite possibilities. In addition to the technical failure among Technology names, we suspect the ignorance of Yellen's comment undermined investor confidence. Chair Yellen’s assertion above today is eerily reminiscent of Chairman Bernanke’s assertion a decade ago: '...we believe the effect of the troubles in the subprime sector on the broader housing market will likely be limited, and we do not expect significant spillovers from the subprime market to the rest of the economy or to the financial system.'....While we do not believe this Fed has the fortitude to truly step away from supporting asset prices, we do believe there is a great deal of risk associated with Chair Yellen’s overconfidence in the system and the environment she has created."
There Is No Excuse For Janet Yellen's Complacency -Forbes
"Janet Yellen has been reported by Reuters as saying in London yesterday that 'she does not believe that there will be a run on the banking system at least as long as she lives'....The only word I can use to describe this belief is 'delusional.' The only way in which her belief could be justified would be in financial crises were truly random events, caused by something outside the economy - or just by a very bad throw of the economic dice....This is the theory that led the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) to proclaim, two months before the crisis began in August 2007, that 'the current economic situation is in many ways better than what we have experienced in years', and that they expected that 'sustained growth in OECD economies would be underpinned by strong job creation and falling unemployment.'....So what we are getting from her is not merely her own personal complacency, but the complacency of an approach to economics which has always been grounded in the beliefs that (a) capitalism is inherently stable, (b) that the financial sector can be ignored - yes that’s right, ignored - when doing macroeconomics, and (c) that the Great Depression was an anomaly that can also be ignored, because it can only have been caused either by an exogenous shock or bad government policy, both of which cannot be predicted in advance."
The Shift is On: Why Institutional Investors Are Buying Gold Again -GoldSeek
"Retail demand for physical gold products has been strong over the past few years, and lukewarm from the institutional crowd. But now traders and dealers are witnessing a shift. Retail demand has gone soft - but interest from institutions and high net worth investors is spiking....Why the sudden shift into gold from the institutional crowd? 'It was hard to tell the gold story in 2012, because the stock market wasn’t at all-time highs,' says Peter DiMaria, a trader at Gold Bullion International in Manhattan. What Peter and his group at GBI have witnessed over the past several months is quite curious. They’re suddenly getting interest in gold from brokers, institutions, and high net worth investors. He says it takes half as many phone calls to schedule appointments, for example, as it did before. In some cases investors are cold-calling them. Purchases have picked up considerably. The reason? 'They’re nervous that underlying trends could reverse,' Peter explained. 'So they want a hedge in place.' The thing is, it’s not just the stock market at all-time highs that has led to renewed interest for history’s oldest form of money. 'It’s everything,' Peter stated soberly. 'This group is nervous about a reversal in the stock market, but also the bond market, the real estate market, the dollar, inflation - you name it. Most everything is stretched."
Liberal Impeachment Fantasies Have to Stop -TheDailyBeast
"In times of unexpected strife, the aggrieved seek comfort anywhere they can find it, like trees trying to grow on the side of cliffs. Since Donald Trump’s election, dejected liberals have sought catharsis in tears, in marches, in late-night comedy, in essays about reasons that marches occurred. But none of those things have changed the fact that Trump is the president....People who want Donald Trump to be president for as little time as possible are in the market for good news right now, but there’s not much good news to be had. Trump already has installed one Supreme Court justice and will probably get to nominate another...Trump has already pulled out of the Paris climate agreement, another victory for his base. He’s got part of his travel ban enacted, for the time being. His party has the House and the Senate, and most statehouses....The people who already liked Trump are always going to like him; the people who never liked him never will. Hoping for the best is sustaining. But the other half of that adage is 'prepare for the worst.' For too long, liberals have clung to the former and ignored the latter. In order to survive the Trump era intact, they must resist the urge to look for the future in the 1970s."
6.28.17 - Let's Stress Test Government, Not Banks
Gold last traded at $1,249 an ounce. Silver traded at $16.79 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose Wednesday on bargain-hunting and a weaker dollar. U.S. stocks rose propelled by U.S. banking stocks and EU reflation outlook.
Gold mine output turning down this year. Is Peak Gold with us? -SharpsPixley
"The latest weekly Precious Metals newsletter from London-based specialist consultancy Metals Focus at last sees gold output growth grinding to a halt during the current year....The analysts see mine supply as holding up reasonably robustly, at least in the near-term, but even so they forecast that global gold mine production will fall marginally overall in 2017, bringing to a close nearly a decade of continued growth....We continue to see gold flowing from West to East as the expansion in Asian wealth in particular, and the propensity of the citizens in that region to accumulate gold as financial insurance will gradually see pricing power for precious metals moving eastwards."
Pending Home Sales Tumble, Unchanged Since June 2013 -ZeroHedge
"After modest bounces in existing and new home sales (despite weakness in starts and permits and mortgage application declines), pending home sales in May tumbled 0.8% MoM and were revised even lower (-1.7%) in April. This dismal print was below all economists' expectations, missing by 4 standard deviations. This is the 3rd straight monthly drop and 2nd straight annual decline in pending home sales. The biggest MoM decline was in The West (down 1.3%), but Pending Home Sales are now unchanged since June 2013....NAR notes that prospective buyers are being sidelined by both limited choices and home prices that are climbing too fast. 'Monthly closings have recently been oscillating back and forth, but this third consecutive decline in contract activity implies a possible topping off in sales.'"
New computer virus spreads from Ukraine to disrupt world business -Reuters
"A cyber attack wreaked havoc around the globe on Wednesday, crippling thousands of computers, disrupting operations at ports from Mumbai to Los Angeles and halting production at a chocolate factory in Australia. The virus is believed to have first taken hold on Tuesday in Ukraine where it silently infected computers after users downloaded a popular tax accounting package or visited a local news site, national police and international cyber experts said. The malicious code locked machines and demanded victims post a ransom worth $300 in bitcoins or lose their data entirely, similar to the extortion tactic used in the global WannaCry ransomware attack in May....The aim of the latest attack appeared to be disruption rather than ransom, said Brian Lord, former deputy director of intelligence and cyber operations at Britain's GCHQ and now managing director at private security firm PGI Cyber. 'My sense is this starts to look like a state operating through a proxy ... as a kind of experiment to see what happens,' Lord told Reuters on Wednesday....Maersk was one of the first global firms to be taken down by the cyber attack and its operations at major ports such as Mumbai in India, Rotterdam in the Netherlands and Los Angeles on the U.S. west coast were disrupted."
Stress Test Government, Not Banks -FirstTrustOutlook
"The Federal Reserve just finished its annual round of large bank stress tests. The banks all passed - meaning they had enough capital to withstand a massive financial shock and deep recession. These stress tests are the political result of the government blaming banks, and not Fannie and Freddie, for the 2008 Panic and are designed to prevent another 'market failure.'....The biggest threat to prosperity has never been market failure; instead, the biggest threat is 'government failure.' Markets didn't fail in the Soviet Union, North Korea, Puerto Rico, Detroit, or Illinois. Government failed....There are three main types of government failure. One, government policies, even if well-intentioned, often cause poor investment decisions...Two, the tendency of government to kick the can down the road for others to fix later...And, three, the fact that government can't stop government entities from collapsing because they don’t operate like business....We won't hold our breath waiting for the government to stress test itself...because we already know what an honest assessment would say. The present course of government policy in many states - and the federal government as a whole - is unsustainable. Who’s going to stress test that?"
6.27.17 - Could Google Crash US Stock Market?
Gold last traded at $1,246 an ounce. Silver traded at $16.65 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose Tuesday on safe-haven buying and a sharply weaker dollar. U.S. stocks headed lower amid Google fallout after the UK fined the tech giant billions for search tampering.
Top money manager says gold may hit $1,500 for the first time since 2013 -Marketwatch
"Gold prices have climbed by around 8% year to date - close to what they gained for all of last year. That comes as no surprise to Frank Holmes, chief executive and chief investment officer at U.S. Global Investors, and he sees lots of reasons why prices could rally further - potentially to as high as $1,500 an ounce. That would be a 20% rise from its current level of roughly $1,250....'The metal is responding to the typical demand drivers that I always discuss, like geopolitical uncertainty, a weak dollar, low interest rates,' said Holmes. 'Perhaps one of the most shocking things is that last week, for the first time since the November [U.S. presidential] election, gold was outperforming the U.S. dollar.'....The 'fear trade' - the idea that factors such as geopolitical turmoil, both here and abroad, and low-to-negative government bond yields drive the demand for safe-haven assets - is likely to continue to support gold, said Holmes."
Ukraine cyber attack: Chaos as national bank, state power provider and airport hit by hackers -Independent
"Ukraine’s national bank, state power company and largest airport are among the targets of a huge cyber attack on government infrastructure. Rozenko Pavlo, the deputy Prime Minister, said he and other members of the Ukrainian government were unable to access their computers....Images from other affected computers and disabled cash points showed what appeared to be ransomware, demanding a payment of $300 in Bitcoin to re-gain access to encrypted files. Analysts said the virus, named Petrwrap or Petya, appeared to work similarly to the WannaCry ransomware that infected more than 230,000 computers in 150 countries last month....'As a result of cyber attacks, these banks have difficulties with customer service and banking operations,' a statement said....Many ATMs were disabled, displaying the message left by hackers, as were tills in supermarkets....We are getting closer, clearly, to a state of war - a state of war that could be more complicated, probably, than those we've known until now."
The size and velocity of new cyber-attacks is growing quickly. As we reported in yesterday's blog, some experts fear Russia's attacks on the Ukraine are just a warm up test for planned attacks against the U.S. banking system, power grid and/or transportation systems. Read AMERICA'S CYBER-HIT LIST, a new Swiss America Research Report that reveals hundreds of the biggest U.S. firms that have been hacked in recent years and what you can do to protect your money.
Google Gets Record $2.7 Billion EU Fine for Skewing Searches -Bloomberg
"Google’s record-breaking $2.7 billion European Union fine could end up being just a fraction of the costs from the EU’s demand that it stop skewing search results to favor its own shopping site. While the penalty will barely make a dent in its $90 billion cash hoard, Google faces the prospect of less ad revenue and a regulatory backlash targeting other services from maps to restaurant reviews as well as the threat of even more penalties....Alphabet Inc.’s Google must 'stop its illegal conduct' and give equal treatment to rival price-comparison services, according to a binding order from the European Commission. It’s up to Google to choose how it does this and inform the EU of its plans within 60 days....Tuesday’s fines could just be the first in a series of EU antitrust penalties for Google, which is fighting on at least two other fronts, including its Android mobile-phone software and the AdSense online advertising service."
IMF trims economic forecast for US -FoxBusiness
"The International Monetary Fund has trimmed its outlook for the U.S. economy, citing the number of uncertainties that surround President Donald Trump's plans to boost economic growth. The IMF forecasts that the U.S. economy will grow this year at an annual rate of 2.1 percent. That would be an improvement over last year's lackluster 1.6 percent growth rate but down from the IMF's April forecast for growth this year of 2.3 percent. The IMF also trimmed growth for next year and said that the economy would have a hard time achieving the 3 percent growth goal set in the president's first budget. The IMF's annual review of the U.S. economy says that history would suggest that the growth acceleration projected by the administration is 'unlikely.'"
6.26.17 - Puerto Rican Plague to Hit America?
Gold last traded at $1,246 an ounce. Silver traded at $16.63 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices dipped Monday following a huge sell order 'mistake' amid geopolitical uncertainty. U.S. stocks traded mixed on tech valuation concerns and international banking worries.
Huge sell order 'mistake' sends gold to six-week low -CNBC
"Gold tumbled to its lowest price in nearly six weeks as a large sell order and a stronger dollar hit sentiment on Monday, though losses were limited by political uncertainty around the world....'Clearly somebody sold it by mistake and bought it back quickly, triggering stops below $1,250,' said MKS trader Bernard Sin. 'Fundamentally, there is still a lot of uncertainty in the world, with Italian bank bailouts, Trump's policies and Brexit. The world is in geopolitical chaos and gold is still good insurance.'....In Italy, meanwhile, the state has come to the rescue of Monte dei Paschi di Siena and rival regional lenders Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca, but the Italian banking industry remains saddled with 300 billion euros ($335 billion) of soured debts."
Last Friday we shared with readers five "P's" to keep in mind in today's "Everything Bubble"; "Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance." When gold prices take a sudden dip (for any reason - real or accidental) smart money seizes the opportunity to buy, knowing that solid fundamentals confirm true value. Learn more about the wisdom of owning gold and silver today by reading our free 2017 Gold and Silver Research Reports.
The Best-Performing Asset Since The Fed Started Hiking Rates Is... -Zero Hedge
"...Gold! After all the concerns about interest-rate hikes curbing gold’s appeal, the metal has managed to retain its luster. Since Dec. 15, 2015, a day before the Federal Reserve began its current cycle of U.S. rate increases, bullion has climbed 18%. The barbarous relic has outperformed the broadest measure of US stocks (NYSE composite) as the long-bond is unchanged since Dec 2015 and commodities plunging back after inflation hope fades. As Bloomberg notes, non-interest-bearing gold is getting an added boost from speculation that the Fed will be slow to raise rates further, with 10-year Treasury yields near the lowest since November (below where they were at the start of the rate-hike campaign in 2015) and the yield curve has collapsed each time The Fed hiked rates...Perhaps the yield curve is reflecting the post-China-Credit-Impulse collapse in US macro data (no matter how hard and fast economists cut estimates, it's still disappointing)..."
Great recession fears as bankers warn next global crash could arrive 'with a vengeance' -Independent
"A new financial crisis is brewing in the emerging economies and it could hit 'with a vengeance', an influential group of central bankers has warned. Emerging markets such as China are showing the same signs that their economies are overheating as the US and the UK demonstrated before the financial crisis of 2007-08, according to the annual report of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS)....Chinese corporate debt has almost doubled since 2007, now reaching 166 per cent of GDP, while household debt rose to 44 per cent of GDP last year. In May, Moody's cut China's credit rating for the first time since 1989 from A1 to Aa3 which could potentially raise the cost of borrowing for the Chinese government."
How An Entire Nation Became Russia's Test Lab for Cyberwar -Wired
"Ahead of Ukraine’s post-revolution 2014 elections, a pro-Russian group calling itself CyberBerkut - an entity with links to the Kremlin hackers who later breached Democratic targets in America’s 2016 presidential election - rigged the website of the country’s Central Election Commission to announce ultra-right presidential candidate Dmytro Yarosh as the winner....Yushchenko, who ended up serving as Ukraine’s president from 2005 to 2010, believes that Russia’s tactics, online and off, have one single aim: 'to destabilize the situation in Ukraine, to make its government look incompetent and vulnerable.' He lumps the blackouts and other cyberattacks together with the Russian disinformation flooding Ukraine’s media, the terroristic campaigns in the east of the country, and his own poisoning years ago - all underhanded moves aimed at painting Ukraine as a broken nation....But many global cybersecurity analysts have a much larger theory about the endgame of Ukraine’s hacking epidemic: They believe Russia is using the country as a cyberwar testing ground - a laboratory for perfecting new forms of global online combat. And the digital explosives that Russia has repeatedly set off in Ukraine are ones it has planted at least once before in the civil infrastructure of the United States."
Experts say America is woefully unprepared for such an attack. In this YouTube video watch hackers break into the US power grid. Read AMERICA'S CYBER-HIT LIST, a new Swiss America Research Report that reveals hundreds of the biggest U.S. firms that have been hacked in recent years and what you can do to protect your money.
Will America Die of Puerto Rican Plague? -PontificationBlog
"According to the Constitution, no U.S. state or territory such as Puerto Rico can escape a $74 Billion debt – run up by liberal-spending, vote-buying local politicians - by declaring bankruptcy. But the U.S. Congress opened the door last year via PROMESA legislation to something like Puerto Rican bankruptcy, thereby setting a precedent for states such as Illinois – whose irresponsible politicians have put them into an economic 'death spiral' - to renege on their debts as well. Will states 'Too Big To Fail' get bailed out by a huge wealth transfer from taxpayers and unpaid bond holders in more conservative states? Is America about to suffer a potentially fatal epidemic of fast-spreading, fevered-spending, debt-ducking Puerto Rican economic plague? How did this island of only 3.5 million people run up $74 Billion in debt? As Craig R. Smith and I explained in our book We Have Seen The Future And It Looks like Baltimore: American Dream vs. Progressive Dream, this island the Spanish named 'Rich Port' has become America’s Greece, an economic basket case....If profligate politicians are bailed out, irresponsibility with rule. Many will stop investing or buying government bonds. The dollar will lose value as trillions more are printed to finance folly." Full story
6.23.17 - Gold: World's Best "Freedom Insurance"
Gold last traded at $1,256 an ounce. Silver traded at $16.64 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices traded at 1-week highs Friday on safe-haven buying and a weaker dollar. U.S. stocks inched higher despite concern over energy weakness as oil prices traded near 10-month lows.
Owning Gold Is The First Step To "Freedom Insurance" -Zero Hedge
"The same pattern has played out again and again around the world and throughout history. The worse a government’s fiscal health gets, the more destructive its policies become....It’s crucial to place some of your savings beyond the easy reach of your home government....International diversification is the ultimate insurance policy against an out-of-control government. Think of it as 'freedom insurance.' It keeps that government from trapping your money if and when it implements capital controls or outright asset seizures. Any government can do either without warning. The ultimate way to diversify your savings is to transfer it out of the immediate reach of your home government and into something tangible. Something that cannot be easily confiscated, nationalized, frozen, or devalued at the drop of a hat or with a couple of taps on the keyboard - while retaining as much privacy as legally possible. Something whose value is recognized around the world and is not controlled by any government. Gold (and silver) fit the bill perfectly."
Why the Stock Market Keeps Going Up, Up, Up -Gasparino/NewYorkPost
"All news is good news, apparently - at least if you judge by the stock market. US economic growth is sluggish, consumer confidence is down and President Trump’s tax reform is stalled. And yet, the market isn’t spooked - it has climbed to historic highs. The question is why. After all, the warning signs aren’t imaginary. The slow uphill trudge of Trump’s health-care reform is holding up his tax cuts because his aides say he needs health-care budget savings to finance them....There’s also the fact that the rally...has been pretty narrow; big names like Apple, Amazon and Facebook are powering much of the S&P index gains. That means many stocks are actually lower or treading water but the overall market performance is being carried by a few heavy hitters....And here’s one factor seemingly out of everyone’s control: There are just fewer stocks to invest in these days thanks to a decline in IPOs and mergers. In 1996, for example, there were about 8,000 stocks listed on major exchanges; today that number has shrunk to around 4,000....It’s often dangerous to make bold predictions about the markets going up; plenty of smart guys looked dumb predicting Dow 30,000 during the various bubbles over the past two decades."
A Cyberattack ‘the World Isn’t Ready For’ -New York Times
"The strike on IDT, a conglomerate with headquarters in a nondescript gray building here with views of the Manhattan skyline 15 miles away, was similar to WannaCry in one way: Hackers locked up IDT data and demanded a ransom to unlock it. But the ransom demand was just a smoke screen for a far more invasive attack that stole employee credentials. With those credentials in hand, hackers could have run free through the company’s computer network, taking confidential information or destroying machines. Worse, the assault, which has never been reported before, was not spotted by some of the nation’s leading cybersecurity products, the top security engineers at its biggest tech companies, government intelligence analysts or the F.B.I., which remains consumed with the WannaCry attack.....'The world is burning about WannaCry, but this is a nuclear bomb compared to WannaCry,' Mr. Ben-Oni said. 'This is different. It’s a lot worse. It steals credentials. You can’t catch it, and it’s happening right under our noses.' And, he added, 'The world isn’t ready for this.'....Both WannaCry and the IDT attack used a hacking tool the agency had code-named EternalBlue....The attack on IDT went a step further with another stolen N.S.A. cyberweapon, called DoublePulsar. The N.S.A. used DoublePulsar to penetrate computer systems without tripping security alarms. It allowed N.S.A. spies to inject their tools into the nerve center of a target’s computer system, called the kernel, which manages communications between a computer’s hardware and its software. In the pecking order of a computer system, the kernel is at the very top, allowing anyone with secret access to it to take full control of a machine....'Time is burning,' Mr. Ben-Oni said. 'Understand, this is really a war - with offense on one side, and institutions, organizations and schools on the other, defending against an unknown adversary.'"
The Everything Bubble -MauldinEconomics
"In 2000, we had the dot-com bubble. In 2007, we had the housing bubble. In 2017, we have the everything bubble....First, let’s define what a bubble is. A bubble is not simply a matter of overvaluation. It has to be accompanied by an obsession or preoccupation with an asset class. When you see people making haystacks of cash all out of proportion to their intelligence or work ethic? Bubble!....That is kind of what is happening right now in cryptocurrencies. People are comparing bitcoin to tulip bulbs. I think those comparisons are apt. But at least with tulips, you had something tangible - a plant....If we get a bear market in stocks, we get a bear market in bitcoin (or vice versa). And if we get a bear market in stocks or bitcoin, we are probably getting a bear market in credit. And if we get a bear market in credit, we are probably getting a bear market in real estate. It is all connected. Basically, in the age of peak indexing, the only thing left is systematic risk....I think we’re very close to a downturn. I will be surprised if this doesn’t come to pass within 6-12 months...it will probably be the fastest downturn in history, owing to the degree of leverage and speculation. Proper preparation prevents poor performance."
6.22.17 - Americans Living as Large as Ever
Gold last traded at $1,249 an ounce. Silver traded at $16.50 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose Thursday on safe-haven demand and a flat dollar. U.S. stocks inched higher on rising healthcare stocks following the release of the Senate's version of an Obamacare replacement bill.
Gold basks in the glow of safe-haven demand -BusinessDay
"Gold rose on Thursday, benefiting from risk aversion as weaker oil prices dented stocks while the dollar retreated. 'The weakness on the equity market is a factor providing support to gold,' said Carsten Menke, an analyst at Julius Baer. Gold is often seen as a safe-haven option at times of volatility in riskier markets such as stocks. European equities took a battering as oil prices hovered near seven-month lows on concern about a supply glut. 'The uncontrolled oil price spill in the futures markets may have seen some traders pushing the risk aversion button and buying gold,' said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda."
Plunging toward Our Fast-Unfolding Future -Will/NationalReview
"Last week, the Kroger grocery chain’s lowered earnings forecast caused a 19 percent drop in share prices, which had already declined 12 percent in 2017. This was before Amazon announced that it is buying the Whole Foods grocery chain...Whole Foods, like Kroger, had been experiencing difficulties from competitors and expanding consumer options. The Wall Street Journal reports: 'Consumers are buying more of their groceries outside of traditional supermarkets. Online merchants, discounters and meal-kit delivery services are all grabbing market share.' In the accelerated churning of today’s capitalism, changing tastes and expanding choices destroy some jobs and create others, with net gains in price and quality. But disruption is never restful, and America now faces a decision unique in its history: Is it tired - tired of the turmoil of creative destruction? If so, it had better be ready to do without creativity. And ready to stop being what it has always been: restless....This is a profound truth: The interacting processes that propel the world produce outcomes that no one intends....Soon America will be 241. It is too young to flinch from the frictions - and the more than compensating blessings - of a fast-unfolding future."
Data Says Fed Is Making A Mistake -RealInvestmentAdvice
"Economic data has continued to remain extremely soft given the rise in confidence. We addressed previously that while the 'soft data' was hitting the highest levels seen since the 'Great Recession,' actual economic activity had failed to catch up. As noted on last week: 'For the 13th straight week, US economic data disappointed (already downgraded) expectations, sending Citi’s US Macro Surprise Index to its weakest since August 2011. The last time, Us economic data disappointed this much, Ben Bernanke immediately unleashed Operation Twist… but this time Janet Yellen is hiking rates and unwinding the balance sheet?'....While the Federal Reserve may hike interest rates simply to 'save face,' there is indeed little real support for them doing so....In fact, there have been absolutely ZERO times in history that the Federal Reserve has begun an interest-rate hiking campaign that has not eventually led to a negative outcome....While raising rates will accelerate a potential recession and a significant market correction, from the Fed’s perspective it might be the ‘lesser of two evils. Being caught near the 'zero bound' at the onset of a recession leaves few options for the Federal Reserve to stabilize an economic decline."
Americans Are Living as Large as Ever -Bloomberg
"New homes are shrinking, but the average American has been stockpiling square footage for more than a century. Are Americans embracing smaller homes? The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported that the average size of new-construction homes actually declined slightly, from an all-time high of 2,467 square feet in 2015 to 2,422....Many commentators jumped on the news to argue that at last the U.S. was giving up its addiction to living large....Since the 1890s, household size has declined dramatically. As a consequence, the average square feet of living space for capita has grown. In the 1890s, Americans had an average of 400 square feet of residential space per person. But by the early twenty-first century, that figure had doubled to 800 square feet....If the trends of the past century continue, it’ll be more still in the decades to come. Americans have more space than ever before - though what they are doing with it is a different question altogether."
6.21.17 - U.S. Anxiety Levels Climbing Fast
Gold last traded at $1,245 an ounce. Silver traded at $16.37 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices traded mixed Wednesday on safe haven buying and a weaker dollar. U.S. stocks traded mixed as lower oil price bearishness offset investor bullishness.
Tumbling crude a possible early warning sign -AlmanacTrader
"Typically at this time of the year crude oil would still be enjoying a rally off of its February lows as the North American summer driving season lifts demand and pulls prices higher until sometime in early July....This has not been the situation this year. Crude oil rallied off a November low to an early January peak just above $55 per barrel. It hung out around that level through early-March before entering its current downtrend. Crude’s losses really accelerated at the start of this month and it traded under $43 per barrel earlier today. Using the standard 20% decline from peak as the rule, crude oil is now in a bear market....There are more alternative energy sources available today than any other time in the past and economies are becoming more efficient with crude’s use, but persistent price weakness could be a warning sign that the global economy is not as strong as it appears. The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model is also showing signs of growth cooling as it now predicts Q2 GDP at 2.9%, down from 3.2% on June 14 and 4.0% on June 1."
The ONLY Gold Chart You Need -DailyReckoning
"If you’re thinking about buying gold, pay close attention…A major buying opportunity is about to ignite in everyone’s favorite precious metal....And the window is about to kick off this week....Have a look at an indicator called the Kinetic Composite for GLD, the popular SPDR Gold ETF....You can see how the Kinetic Composite signaled a rally at the start of the year, followed by a volatile sideways period, and then another rally kicking off this summer....Now, gold looks ready to kick off its next major K-Sign buy signal....This dead-simple price chart is all you need to look at to make money in gold in 2017. It shows the next Kinetic Window in gold and the K-Sign date...is June 23 - this Friday."
Daily Reckoning believes this Friday could mark a major turning point for gold prices, which are already up over 8% ytd. If this chart is accurate, now could be the best gold buying opportunity of the year. Learn more about the wisdom of owning gold and silver today by reading our free 2017 Gold and Silver Research Reports.
Illinois careens into financial meltdown – and not even the lottery is safe -FoxNews
"Illinois is grappling with a full-fledged financial crisis and not even the lottery is safe - with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner warning the state is entering 'banana republic' territory. Facing billions in unpaid bills and pension obligations, the state is hitting a cash crunch that is rare even by Illinois standards. A top financial official just warned 100 percent of the state's monthly revenue will be eaten up by court-ordered payments...And Illinois will – literally – lose the lottery if the budget fails....'Illinois is the fiscal model of what not to do,' Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., told Fox News, while not commenting on the bankruptcy question. 'This avoidance in behavior toward dealing with our challenges is what leads to the devastating impacts we are seeing today.'"
U.S. anxiety levels climbing fast -MiamiHerald
"Concerns about war and terrorism topped the list of matters gnawing at Americans, according to the Unisys Security Index, but viruses and hacking, bank-card fraud and identity theft also stoke insecurity. The Unisys index surveyed more than 13,000 people in 13 countries in April, and is considered one of the only recurring global snapshots of citizen perceptions....'It appears that our cloak of security, the impression that we had that we are more secure than the rest of the world, is starting to fade,' said Bill Searcy, vice president for global justice, law enforcement and border security at Unisys, a global information technology company. Levels of U.S. anxiety jumped sharply since the last such survey was conducted in 2014, and came in at the highest levels since the surveys began a decade ago....Topping the list were national security issues, which include war and terrorism as well as natural disaster. Of Americans surveyed, 68 percent said they were extremely or very concerned about those areas. Next came identity theft, which unnerves 61 percent. Bank-card fraud seriously unsettled 58 percent, and viruses or hacking deeply concern 56 percent."
6.20.17 - The Dangerous Era of Public Rage
Gold last traded at $1,243 an ounce. Silver traded at $16.41 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices steadied Tuesday despite a firmer dollar. U.S. stocks pulled back from record highs as oil enters a 2017 bear market.
Oil Slides to Seven-Month Low -Bloomberg
"Oil dropped to the lowest level in seven months, pulling energy stocks down, as Libya revives production and fuel storage levels grow. Futures tumbled as much as 3.1 percent in New York, heading toward the first bear market since August amid growing concerns that OPEC-led output cuts won’t succeed in balancing the market. Libya is pumping the most crude in four years after a deal with Wintershall AG enabled at least two fields to resume production. The amount of oil stored in tankers reached a 2017 high earlier this month....Oil has stayed below $45 a barrel as supplies in the U.S. remain plentiful and the oil rig count rises to the highest level since April 2015....'Right now there is little support to be found in light of recent supply-side developments, including further reinstatement of production in Libya, another rise in the U.S. rig count and reports of floating storage building up again,' said Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodity markets strategy at BNP Paribas SA in London."
Breaking the monopoly on money -WashingtonTimes
"The idea of money has been around for several thousand years, along with precious metal coins to serve as money. The question has remained as to whether governments, private parties or both should create money. When the weight of a gold or silver coin determined its value, it mattered little to the user who struck the coin. After the invention of paper money by the Chinese, 'over-issuance' (producing more paper value than the real value of the metal in the vault) became much easier than shaving the coin - the manifestation of which we know as inflation. Zimbabwe holds the record for paper inflation by having produced a 100 trillion Zimbabwe dollar note. The move to electronic money and money transfers (as contrasted with the physical movement of checks and other paper monies) has made it even easier to create infinite amounts of money with little or no backing in the form of real assets. Governments and banks do not like paper currencies or paper checks. They are costly to handle and move about. They are easily stolen and it is very hard to keep track of ownership (which is big problem for legitimate law enforcement, and also for regimes that do not respect financial privacy and wish to spy on their citizens)....There is no reason governments should monopolize the issuance of money (gold, paper currency or a cryptocurrency) any more than they should monopolize the production of paper clips....The great shame is that when governments steal from everyone, no one goes to jail. The good news is that real, privately issued, global currency competition is alive and well, whether governments like it or not."
By withdrawing cash from your bank you are declaring financial independence from the government's "War on Cash", which continues to escalate daily. By converting paper or electronic 'money' into physical GOLD and SILVER you become free from the downward trajectory of our modern monopoly money. Now is the time to take action!
SocGen: The Fed Is Raising Rates Too Slowly To Contain Asset Bubbles -Zero Hedge
"Yesterday, when looking at the divergence between the slowing US economy and the Fed's insistence on hiking rates, Bank of America's David Woo asked if there is a different motive behind the Fed's tightening intentions, namely is the Fed trying to pop the market asset bubble: 'Can it be the case that its hawkishness was prompted by something other than its reading of the economy? For example, is it possible that the Fed has become concerned about the recent surge in the equity market, especially tech stocks that has been feeding off low interest rates and low volatility?'....Today, in a note which may have been inspired by BofA's rhetorical question, SocGen's FX strategist Kit Juckes picks up on what Woo said and notes that 'Whether the Fed is raising rates too fast given their inflation mandate or not, they are raising them too slowly to contain asset price inflation.'"
Rage Is All the Rage, and It’s Dangerous -Noonan/WallStreetJournal
"What we are living through in America is not only a division but a great estrangement. It is between those who support Donald Trump and those who despise him, between left and right, between the two parties, and even to some degree between the bases of those parties and their leaders in Washington. It is between the religious and those who laugh at Your Make Believe Friend, between cultural progressives and those who wish not to have progressive ways imposed upon them. It is between the coasts and the center, between those in flyover country and those who decide what flyover will watch on television next season....By indulging their and their audience’s rage, they spread the rage. They celebrate themselves as brave for this. They stood up to the man, they spoke truth to power. But what courage, really, does that take? Their audiences love it. Their base loves it, their demo loves it, their bosses love it. Their numbers go up. They get a better contract. This isn't brave....So many of our media figures need at this point to be reminded: You belong to something. It’s called: us. Do your part, take it down some notches, cool it. We have responsibilities to each other."
We agree. In fact, our media partner AMTV just published a video explaining how and why the mainstream media are portraying violence to target Republicans and the 45th President of the United States. Current events illustrate why now is the time to prepare yourself.
6.19.17 - Half of Americans have ZERO savings
Gold last traded at $1,246 an ounce. Silver traded at $16.50 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices slipped back Monday on a rising U.S. dollar and recent Fed signals. U.S. stocks higher as tech stocks bounce back.
What You Can Learn From Billionaires Who Invest in Gold - Newsmax
"If you want to be successful in investing and accumulate enough money to live a comfortable retirement, sometimes it’s a good idea to take advice from those who have experience in the arena. Learning about sound investments from others can help prevent you from making mistakes that you might otherwise make if you try to rely on your own abilities.....Gold always rises in price over the long term and it often rises in price in the short term, particularly during times of financial crisis. That makes it a win-win for people looking for a sound investment. Gold also maintains its purchasing power over time. One ounce of gold a hundred years ago buys you roughly the same amount of goods it buys you today. You can’t say the same thing about paper currency. If you need a solid store of value, gold is what you want....If you’re looking for a store of value that will help diversify your portfolio, it’s important to remember that gold isn’t a get-rich-quick investment. Yes, its value will continue increasing over time, but ultimately gold is used for wealth preservation. That is what it excels in doing. And that is why the development of gold IRAs has been such a boon to investors looking to safeguard their retirement savings."
Unlike every other form of money on earth, Gold has a 4,000-year history of preserving wealth and offering instant liquidity worldwide; while offering you a way to maintain your personal privacy. Our TIMELESS TRUTH ABOUT GOLD & SILVER Special Report will give you a BIG picture overview of the seven timeless truths about money and gold you need to know.
Budget cuts threaten forests’ roads, hunting, fishing - York Dispatch
"The roads to the national forests could get bumpier. Trails could get messier. Maintenance on bridges, dams and recreation sites could become tougher under President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal 2018, which begins Oct. 1. The White House is seeking only about $100 million in funding for capital improvement and maintenance by the National Forest Service, down from $363 million this year. That 73 percent cut could have a huge impact on recreation, according to Rebecca Turner, senior director of programs and policy for American Forests, a nonprofit conservation organization. Turner said roads are used to access the trails leading to 'majestic overlooks,' and lakes and rivers in the forests. She said the budget cuts would also lead to campsites and facilities not being maintained. Turner said that if the Forest Service is unable to maintain safe roads, boat launches and campgrounds, they’re likely to close. 'When you can’t access the forests, then it’s much harder to enjoy them,' she said."
Here's how many Americans have nothing at all in savings - CNBC
"Most people in the U.S. are living in financially precarious circumstances. Half of all Americans have nothing put away for retirement and the vast majority of them have under $1,000 saved, total. According to a 2016 GOBankingRates survey, 35 percent of all adults in the U.S. have only several hundred dollars in their savings accounts and 34 percent have zero. Only 15 percent have over $10,000 stashed away.... Experts also stress the importance of, at a minimum, having enough to cover three to six months of expenses in an emergency fund, should you be hit by a medical crisis or a layoff....The discrepancy between what workers know they should do and what they manage to do may be why so many Americans' No. 1 financial regret involves not saving enough: A whopping 46 percent of adults surveyed by Bankrate about their biggest money mistakes wish they had put more away, whether for retirement, emergency expenses or their children's educations."
Power grid operators say cyber-attacks one of the top risks - Electric Light & Power
"Each ISO/RTO acknowledges the risk of a cyber-attack as one of the top corporate risks, and collectively, the ISO/RTO Council (IRC) supports the resiliency efforts of each of its members and the advancement of the cybersecurity posture of the power grid, the IRC said in a statement provided to TransmissionHub on June 15, in light of the CRASHOVERRIDE malware framework that was disclosed in a recent report by the cybersecurity company, Dragos Inc....According to the report, CRASHOVERRIDE is the first ever malware framework designed and deployed to attack electric grids; the fourth ever piece of ICS-tailored malware...used against targets; and the second ever to be designed and deployed for disrupting physical industrial processes....While the malware could be leveraged at multiple sites simultaneously, the scenario is not cataclysmic and would result in hours, potentially a few days, of outages."
6.16.17 - Stocks Mirror Dot-Com Bubble Era
Gold last traded at $1,256 an ounce. Silver traded at $16.66 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices ended the week steady as downbeat economic data weakened the dollar. U.S. stocks traded lower amid ongoing tech valuation worries despite Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods.
Stocks continue to mirror the dot-com era in ominous ways -Marketwatch
"The recent selloff in technology shares on Wall Street...has drawn comparisons to the abrupt end of the original dot-com run-up, and not simply because it’s the same sector driving market direction, and because the same sector is facing the same charges of being overvalued. 'This is my 33rd year in capital markets, and what I’m seeing is very reminiscent of 1999,' said Mark Travis, chief executive officer of Intrepid Capital Funds. 'Back then, it was the ‘Four Horsemen of the Nasdaq’ leading the market; today it’s the FANG stocks - there’s a similar level of concentration.'....The resemblance in conditions means that 'from a big-picture perspective, the comparison to 1999 holds up remarkably well,' said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network....McMillan looked at the four economic indicators he deems most important for comparing market conditions across eras: consumer confidence, business confidence, jobs growth and the yield curve. All of them reflect trends that are today equal to or are even more extended than in that earlier era."
The UNOFFICIAL Shots of the Second Civil War Were Fired -Greene/AMTV
"In today’s video, I explain The Unofficial Shots Were Fired in the Second Civil War. As a result of the tragic shooting in Alexandria we have learned that it is the mainstream media (MSM) that has weaponized crazed lunatics on the Left to carry out gross atrocities simply because they don’t like President Donald Trump. How is this possible? Leading up to the shooting of Representative Steve Scalise, who is still in critical condition undergoing a third round of surgery, Madonna warned she ‘had thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House,’ Kathy Griffin depicted a decapitated President Trump, and a re-enactment of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar assassination embodying Trump has been put on display in New York's Central Park. What do all of these portrayals have in common? They all portray violence and are being weaponized by the MSM to target Republicans, Christians and the 45th President of the United States. Current events illustrate why now is the time to prepare yourself. Download Swiss America's Free Investor Kit and enter to win a Free AMTV Bugout Bag."
Could Illinois be the first state to file for bankruptcy? -CBSNews
"Illinois residents may feel some solidarity with the likes of Puerto Rico and Detroit. A financial crunch is spiraling into a serious problem for Illinois lawmakers, prompting some observers to wonder if the state might make history by becoming the first to go bankrupt. At the moment, it's impossible for a state to file for bankruptcy protection, which is only afforded to counties and municipalities like Detroit....Nevertheless, Illinois is in a serious financial pickle, which is why radical options such as bankruptcy are being floated as potential solutions....'We're like a banana republic. We can't manage our money,' Gov. Bruce Rauner said after the Illinois Legislature failed to produce a full 2017 budget earlier this month....Like Puerto Rico, Illinois has a massive pension crisis. Its unfunded pension liability for the state's five major plans grew 25 percent alone in one year, reaching $251 billion, according to Moody's....The result? Growing unfunded liabilities...Adding to the state's financial pain is a shrinking tax base."
NY Fed Slashes Q2 GDP Forecast -ZeroHedge
"A day after President Trump proclaimed Q2 GDP 'numbers are going to be shockingly good,' The New York Fed has slashed its forecast for America's growth to just 1.86%. Wednesday...'I think this quarter's GDP numbers are going to be shockingly good given all the facts we're seeing.' Thursday...'I think some very good numbers are going to be announced, by the way, in the very near future, as to GDP.' Friday... Thanks to the collapse in housing data this morning, The New York Fed has slashed its growth expectations for Q2 GDP to just 1.86% (from 3% in March)...It is hardly surprising that both The Atlanta Fed (which cut its guess from 3.2% to a series low 2.878%) and New York Fed are cutting their expectations as US macro data disappoints gravely...Given the plunge in US Macro data, we wonder if President Trump meant the GDP numbers are going to be 'shocking.'"
6.15.17 - "Stupid" New Law Against Cash
Gold last traded at $1,254 an ounce. Silver traded at $16.71 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices slipped back Thursday after the latest Fed rate hike boosted the buck. U.S. stocks retreated amid ongoing tech valuation worries after Alphabet stock was downgraded.
You won’t believe this stupid new law against Cash and Bitcoin -Black/SovereignMan
"Recently a new bill was introduced on the floor of the US Senate entitled, pleasantly, 'Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act of 2017.' You can probably already guess its contents. Cash is evil. Bitcoin is evil. Now they’ve gone so far to include prepaid mobile phones, retail gift vouchers, or even electronic coupons. Evil, evil, and evil. These people are certifiably insane....This new bill adds a laundry list of offenses for which they can legally seize your assets… all of which pertain to money laundering and other financial crimes. Here’s the thing, though: they’ve also vastly expanded on the definition of such ‘financial crimes’, including failure to fill out a form if you happen to be transporting more than $10,000 worth of ‘monetary instruments’. Have too much cash? You’d better tell the government. If not, they're authorizing themselves in this bill to seize not just the money you didn’t report, but ALL of your assets and bank accounts....And if that weren’t enough, this bill also gives them with new authority to engage in surveillance and wiretapping (including phone, email, etc.) if they have even a hint of suspicion that you might be transporting excess ‘monetary instruments’. Usually wiretapping authority is reserved for major crimes like kidnapping, human trafficking, felony fraud, etc. Now we can add cash to that list....This bill is nothing more than another weapon in their ongoing War on Cash… and now cryptocurrency too."
"You are a casualty of the 'war against cash' if you have a bank account – and probably do not even know it," author and Swiss America Chairman Craig R. Smith recently told talk show host Michael Savage in a confidential off-air interview now available on a FREE CD or mp3. Discover what steps must be taken to protect your hard-earned money from this accelerating WAR ON CASH.
The next rate hike is expected - but doesn't make sense -Crudele/NewYorkPost
"The Federal Reserve on Wednesday continued to normalize borrowing costs by increasing its federal funds rate by a quarter point. But this is the most abnormal normalization in history....There are two reasons Janet Yellen's Fed has to get rates back to normal. Reason 1: Low interest rates have hurt a large segment of the population that needs interest income to survive. Reason 2: The Fed is helpless unless it gets rates up enough so that it can cut them if the economy weakens. But some of the developments surrounding the Fed’s latest hike were perverse. For one thing, the stock market rallied on the news, sending the major indexes to record levels. But Wall Street shouldn’t be rallying on rate hikes; it should be nervous....The other thing that was abnormal about Wednesday’s rate hike was that it happened even though the US economy is looking very iffy....The most abnormal part of the Fed’s outlook was related to the labor market. The Fed said that 'the labor market has continued to strengthen' this year, but job growth has been weaker than expected and less than desired over the past few months....Before the end of 2017, there will be more talk about the Fed cutting rates to help the economy than about raising them. That might seem absurd right now, but nothing is normal these days."
Is Gold Undervalued? -Morningstar
"The gold price has risen year to date - but one multi-manager is saying the real asset looks cheap and has invested on a value basis....Gold is traditionally held as an insurance against losses elsewhere; when economic outlooks look clouded, or there is great volatility in equity markets. The finger this time around could be pointed at the political uncertainty across developed markets; Trump, Brexit and European elections. But for Stan Verhoeven, co-lead portfolio manager, Multi Asset Factor Opportunities at NN Investment Partners, his preference for gold is for a different reason: value. In May, Verhoeve upped his gold allocation to more than 10% from having previously shorted the precious metal the month earlier....Rather than letting macro events dictate his investment philosophy he invests based on five factors; value, carry, momentum, flow and volatility. Within the value factor he seeks to benefit from incorrect valuations, buying undervalued assets and selling overvalued assets."
Mr. Verheven is not distracted by the daily investment noise. This allows him to maintain peace of mind and to maintain a wise asset allocation strategy. His 'five factors' (value, carry, momentum, flow and volatility) all lead him to owning gold. Learn more about the wisdom of owning gold and silver today by reading our free 2017 Gold and Silver Research Reports.
What the latest Fed rate hike means for mortgage rates -USAToday
"Fed Chair Janet Yellen and her Federal Open Market Committee counterparts go out of their way to make sure short-term interest rate moves are anything but a surprise to world markets. But even an expected interest rate increase can have some very real consequences. Here’s what this latest move means for mortgage rates....Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic, says, 'Fixed-rate mortgage rates are likely to gradually edge higher over the next six to 12 months. Rates are likely to rise to 4.25% to 4.50% by the end of 2017.'....The Fed is planning another action that could affect mortgage rates: selling off its portfolio of mortgage-backed securities. The Fed now holds more than $1.7 trillion in mortgage-backed securities, about one-third of all those outstanding....The 'double whammy' of rising mortgage rates and higher home prices are thwarting potential home buyers. For example, with fixed-rate loan rates up by 0.5% since last summer, and house prices in national indexes up at least 5%, the monthly principal and interest payment is more than 10% higher than it was last summer, adding to affordability challenges for first-time buyers."
6.14.17 - Banks Growing Irresponsible ... Again
Gold last traded at $1,275 an ounce. Silver traded at $16.88 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices traded mixed after the Fed lifted interest rates 0.25% to 1%. U.S. stocks traded mixed following the Fed's upbeat economic statement.
State investors stock up on record gold reserves amid uncertainty -GATA
"The gold reserves of the world's biggest public sector investors reached an 18-year high as they hoarded the precious metal after Donald Trump's election and the Brexit vote added to geopolitical uncertainty. State investors increased their net gold holdings by 377 tons to an estimated 31,000 tons last year - the highest level since 1999, according to a study of 750 central banks, public pension plans and sovereign wealth funds with $33.5 trillion in assets. Danae Kyriakopoulou, chief economist at the Official Monetary and Financial Forum, the central bankers' forum that compiled the research, said state investors had flocked to the precious metal because of its status as a 'haven asset' and to take advantage of rising prices. 'There was a lot of political uncertainty in the past year. There were big political shocks with Brexit and Trump, which have driven investors back to gold,' she said."
Banks Are Becoming Less Safe... Again -Black/SovereignMan
"What I’m about to tell you isn’t some wild conspiracy. Or fake news. It’s raw fact, based on publicly available data from the US Federal Reserve. This data shows a very simple but concerning trend: banks in the United States are becoming less safe. Again. And they’re doing it on purpose. Again. Few people ever give much thought to the safety and security of their bank....The Federal Reserve’s most recent report on 'Assets and Liabilities of Commercial Banks in the United States' published last Friday showed a continuing trend in the erosion of bank safety. This is a weekly report, so there’s tons of data. And the trend goes back now at least 2.5 years. Since late 2014, for example, Fed data show that total cash assets at US banks has been in steady decline, dropping roughly 25% over that period. But at the same time, total deposits at the banks has actually increased around 15%. So you can see the issue: cash is falling while deposits are increasing. This is the OPPOSITE of what a responsible bank should be doing. A conservative bank seeks to INCREASE or at least MAINTAIN the level of cash it has on hand as a percentage of customer deposits. Banks in the US have been doing the opposite - decreasing their cash holdings while deposits have been rising."
Bank safety concerns are rising daily. The war on cash is happening on many fronts. In Swiss America's 2017 free White Paper, The Secret War, discover why - under threat of punishment - banks must now spy on you for the government. Today carrying too much cash around just might get you branded a criminal!
Stockman Fears Fiscal Bloodbath As "Mother Of All Debt Ceiling Crises" Looms -Zero Hedge
"While the Imperial City is frozen in the Second Coming of Comey, it doesn’t mean that the Washington spending machine is on pause. In fact, the Treasury’s cash balance yesterday stood at only $153 billion - down by $130 billion just since the tax season peak was reached on April 25th. Uncle Sam has been burning cash at a rate of $3.2 billion per calendar day since then and has no more room to borrow. That’s because the public debt ceiling is frozen at its March 15th level ($19.808 trillion) and the mavens at the Treasury Building have run out of borrowing gimmicks....The long and short of it is straightforward. The Democrats are not about to bail-out the Donald when they believe they have him on the ropes. At the same time, there is no GOP majority for any meaningful deficit reduction plan that could be attached to a debt ceiling increase bill as a legislative quid pro quo....Washington is heading for the unthinkable. That is, the need for the US Treasury to prioritize and allocate spending based on the available inflow of revenues."
Prepare Now for the End of the Bull Market -Bloomberg
"The time to prepare or adjust your expectations for market turmoil is before it occurs, not during or after the fact. I have no idea what will be the exact trigger that causes this bull market to end, but here are some possible scenarios to consider: The economy could go into a recession....A melt-up could turn into a meltdown....Interest rates could rise substantially....Faster inflation....Monetary policy could get too tight....Investors could always decide to panic for any number of reasons beyond a recession, so one way or another, it makes sense to mentally prepare for a market downturn to avoid panicking when it eventually comes."
6.13.17 - Fed Can't Stop The Dollar Breakdown
Gold last traded at $1,268 an ounce. Silver traded at $16.76 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices steadied Tuesday on a weaker dollar ahead of the Fed's statement on Wednesday. U.S. stocks rebounded following a two-day tech sell off based on growing valuation concerns.
Hedge funds face a crisis of confidence -New York Post
"Hedge funds are dancing with the devil. They are facing a crisis of confidence and potential lawsuits amid unprecedented fund closures, job losses and - most critically - low investment returns. It's finally time to bail, one money man in Short Hills, NJ, warned last week of these leveraged alternative investments for superwealthy and not-so-wealthy middle-class investors. 'Get out,' echoed financial adviser Stephen Ng, as more unwelcome news hit hedgies. 'I have been talking about this - and now I think more and more investors are beginning to realize it.'....Investors already withdrew $111.6 billion from hedge funds last year, according to eVestment, as some 1,100 funds - the largest total since the 2008 financial crisis - closed, and thousands of pros were axed. About 9,700 hedge funds remain. 'These funds have very good marketing,' said Ng. 'But you can also lose 50 or 100 percent of your money.'"
Massive Central Bank Asset Purchases: Last Ditch Effort To Save Economy & Cap Gold Price - SRScroccoReport
"The Central banks bought a staggering $1.5 trillion in assets in the first five months of the year to keep the economy from imploding while at the same time, capping the gold price. Yes, it’s true…. $300 billion a month of Central bank asset purchases pushes up STOCK, BOND and REAL ESTATE values while it depresses or caps the gold (or silver) price. The amount of Central bank asset purchases are now reaching insane levels....Central banks are now injecting a record $300 billion in liquidity per month, above the $200 billion which Deutsche Bank recently warned is a 'red-line' indicator for risk assets....Total global gold investment is approximately $3 trillion. That’s everything which includes Central Bank gold inventories, and all large and small public-private gold holdings. So, we can plainly see in the chart, that $1.5 trillion in Central banks asset purchases in just the first five months of the year, would have bought HALF of all Global Gold Investment....Which brings me to the subject of 'Frustrated Precious Metals Investors.' I continue to see precious metals investors who are extremely frustrated by the so-called 'WRONG CALLS' by the analysts on the gold and silver price movements. Yes, it is true that many of us didn’t realize the degree in which the Central banks would go to prop up the markets… but this is getting completely insane now. If the Central banks were to stop purchasing assets… then the markets would collapse. Heck, they are trying to collapse even with the massive Central bank intervention. The signs are everywhere. Folks, without the over $12 trillion in Central bank asset purchases since the 2008 U.S. Housing Market and Banking collapse, the gold price would have been stunningly higher… so would the silver price."
Connecting the Dots: A Dollar Breakdown Is Coming -MarketAnthropology
"As we have shown over the years, the dollar's performance has been one of the primary driving forces behind the direction of real yields, with gold naturally closely tracking the inverse performance of both....Until the growth cues of stabilizing and rising yields materialize for a considerable period, the notion of a more secular continuation of a stronger US dollar and higher real yields is as misplaced as expectations for sustained GDP growth above 3 percent per year....All things considered, we remain bullish on gold, which should continue to find considerable upside motivation as rate hikes by the Fed come to an end and the dollar breaks down further from its cyclical high. Similar to the move in long-term Treasury yields last year, we expect the dollar index to eventually weaken to the trough of its long-term downtrend, which should provide ample motivation for gold and real yields to test their respective cycle highs and lows."
Britain's Election: Another Trump-Like Miracle? -PontificationBlog
"Democracy gets more and more surprising. The liberal mainstream media gives $2 Billion worth of free airtime to nominate the least-electable Republican, but their scheme to help Hillary Clinton backfires and elects President Donald Trump, who is moving America away from globalism and back toward free markets, prosperity, and national greatness. No wonder the leftist media has gone berserk trying to remove Mr. Trump by any means. And now in Great Britain, 'communitarian' (i.e., opposed to selfish individualism and too little taxation of capitalism) Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May, with her party 20 points ahead in the polls, calls a snap election to increase her majority. Instead, the debate-ducking leader falls eight seats short of keeping a parliamentary majority at all. But instead of resigning, May says she will continue to govern with the 10 parliamentary votes of her 'friends and allies' of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Northern Ireland, a Tartan Tory party that could move England’s compromised Conservative Party farther to the right....Democracy nowadays is full of surprises, and sometimes even miracles."
6.12.17 - "The Worst Crash in Our Lifetime"
Gold last traded at $1,268 an ounce. Silver traded at $16.94 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices steadied Monday on a flat dollar ahead of Fed meeting. U.S. stocks fell as Apple downgrade and valuation concerns dragged tech stocks lower.
Gold edges up on weaker stocks, dollar ahead of Fed meeting -Reuters
"Gold inched up on Monday as Asian stocks fell and the dollar eased ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting that could give clues on the pace of interest rate hikes over the rest of the year. With the Fed widely expected to raise interest rates at its two-day meeting that ends on Wednesday, the focus will be on any fresh hints on the pace of further tightening in the months to come and next year, and any further details on its plans for trimming its balance sheet. The focus is on whether the Fed is looking at three or four rate hikes this year, according to Argonaut Securities analyst Helen Lau....In the wider markets, Asian stocks edged lower in early trade on Monday following a slide by U.S. technology shares."
Security firms warn of new cyber threat to electric grid -Reuters
"Two cyber security companies said they have uncovered a sophisticated piece of malicious software capable of causing power outages by ordering industrial computers to shut down electricity transmission. Analysis of the malware, known as Crash Override or Industroyer, indicates it was likely used in a December 2016 cyber attack that cut power in Ukraine, according to the firms, Slovakian security software maker ESET and U.S. critical-infrastructure security firm Dragos Inc.....Dragos founder Robert M. Lee said the malware is capable of causing outages of up to a few days in portions of a nation's grid, but is not potent enough to bring down a country's entire grid. The firm has alerted government authorities and power companies about the threat, advising them of steps to defend against the threat, Lee said in an interview....'With small modifications, it could be leveraged against the United States,' he said."
It is only a matter of time before computer hackers will strike the U.S. power grid, effectively turning the clock back 100 years for American citizens; at least temporarily. Modern life would instantly come to a halt due to our 100% dependence upon electricity for almost everything - from waking up, to making coffee, buying gas, getting cash from an ATM, you name it. Experts say America is woefully unprepared for such an attack. In this YouTube video watch hackers break into the US power grid. Read AMERICA'S CYBER-HIT LIST, a new Swiss America Research Report that reveals hundreds of the biggest U.S. firms that have been hacked in recent years and what you can do to protect your money.
JIM ROGERS: The worst crash in our lifetime is coming -BusinessInsider
"Legendary investor Jim Rogers sat down with Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget on this week's episode of 'The Bottom Line.' Rogers predicts a market crash in the next few years, one that he says will rival anything he has seen in his lifetime. Rogers: I learned very early in my investing careers: I better not invest in what I want. I better invest in what’s happening in the world. Otherwise I'll be broke - dead broke. Well, what's going to happen is it's going to continue. Some stocks in America are turning into a bubble. The bubble's gonna come. Then it's going to collapse, and you should be very worried. Blodget: So when is this going to happen? Rogers: Later this year or next. Blodget: And what will trigger it? Rogers: Well, it's interesting because these things always start where we're not looking. In 2007, Iceland went broke. People said, ‘Iceland? Is that a country? They have a market?’ And then Ireland went broke. And then Bear Stearns went broke. And Lehman Brothers went broke. They spiral like that. Always happens where we're not looking. Blodget: And how big a crash could we be looking at? Rogers: It’s going to be the worst in your lifetime - my lifetime too. Be worried."
We've Lost All Sense of the Common Good -CharlesHughSmithBlogspot
"The theory of American civics is that the competitive process of every group advocating for its narrow self-interests will magically generate the Common Good, that is, a political and social order that serves everyone's common/shared interests. Unfortunately, that's not how civic life functions in real-world America....As entrenched interests compete to protect their profitable skims, scams, monopolies and fiefdoms, the bottom 95% are slipping into darkness....Corporations and entrenched interests exist for one purpose: maximize profits for shareholders/ members. The Common Good means nothing, is worth nothing, except as a flimsy marketing ploy. Self-interested lobbies do not create a Common Good. They actually destroy the Common Good by redefining the political, financial and social order as nothing more than a zero-sum game in which the winners gain centralized power and the chumps (the bottom 95%) are manipulated by the political parties and corporate media into focusing on a fast-paced and wonderfully distracting circus of pyrotechnics, spinning mirrors and freak shows. The Common Good cannot possibly be served by ceding power to privately owned, profit-maximizing corporations and self-serving state elites. The only way to rebuild a Common Good is to radically decentralize political, financial and media concentrations of ownership and power."
6.9.17 - Load Up on Gold Before a Crisis
Gold last traded at $1,271 an ounce. Silver traded at $17.22 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices slipped back Friday on a firmer dollar ahead of Fed meeting next week. U.S. stocks rose as investors looked past UK election shocker and Comey testimony.
James Comey's Contradictory Testimony -PontificationBlog
"Big news happened Thursday in James Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, but it will never be reported by the media that is using these hearings to wound or destroy President Donald Trump. Mr. Comey previously said that he 'has not been pressured to close an investigation for political purposes.' That would 'be a very big deal,' he testified under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 3. 'It's not happened in my experience.' But on June 8, in response to questioning by Senator James Lankford (R.-Oklahoma), Mr. Comey said that President Barack Obama’s Attorney General Loretta Lynch had ordered him not to say Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was under 'criminal investigation' by the FBI. Call it a 'matter,' she ordered Comey....On Thursday, Mr. Comey contradicted his prior sworn testimony. He had been told to end an FBI 'criminal investigation' for obviously political reasons - not by President Trump, but President Obama's Attorney General....As the old saying goes, were it not for double standards, some people would have no standards at all."
The Best Time to Load Up on Gold Is During a Bull Market -MotleyFool
"You've heard it said before: fire insurance is typically much cheaper before the forest fire approaches the city lines. In financial markets, gold has a number of purposes. One of its primary roles is as a hedge to volatility and market downturns. As volatility continues to hover near all-time lows, many investors are now simply brushing off the concept of investing in gold....While traditionally viewed as a hedge, gold has a few other key purposes, such as a store of value in regions where fiat currency has been discredited, and as a key metal in some industrial and commercial industries. Buying a gold-related security (or the physical bullion itself) is just one of many ways of buying portfolio insurance....While many options exist for an investor to hedge a portion of a portfolio, I remain a believer that having a small percentage, perhaps 5%, of a portfolio invested in gold-related securities can provide some security and peace of mind for investors that may be focused heavily on growth stocks or higher-return securities. The bull market may still have legs for some time given the relatively relaxed monetary policy we are now seeing worldwide; however, it is never a bad idea to have a little insurance tucked away - just in case."
Unlike every other form of money on earth, Gold has a 4,000-year history of preserving wealth and offering instant liquidity worldwide; while offering you a way to maintain your personal privacy. Our TIMELESS TRUTH ABOUT GOLD & SILVER Special Report will give you a BIG picture overview of the seven timeless truths about money and gold you need to know.
The impeach-Trump conspiracy -Buchanan/WorldNetDaily
"Consider the questions that have convulsed this city since the Trump triumph, and raised talk of impeachment. Did Trump collude with Russians to hack the DNC emails and move the goods to WikiLeaks?....We hear daily on cable TV of the 'Trump-Russia' scandal. Yet, no one has been charged with collusion, and every intelligence official, past or present, who has spoken out has echoed ex-acting CIA Director Mike Morrell: 'On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all. … There's no little campfire, there's no little candle, there's no spark.' Where are the criminals? Where is the crime?....So, what is really going on here?....Trump ran in 2016 not simply as the Republican alternative. He presented his candidacy as a rejection, a repudiation of the failed elites, political and media, of both parties. Americans voted in 2016 not just for a change in leaders but for a revolution to overthrow a ruling regime. Thus, this city has never reconciled itself to Trump’s victory, and the president daily rubs their noses in their defeat with his tweets."
At the Edge of Inside -Brooks/NewYorkTimes
"In any organization there are some people who serve at the core. These insiders are in the rooms when the decisions are made....Then there are outsiders. They throw missiles from beyond the walls. They are untouched by internal loyalties and try to take over from without....But there’s also a third position in any organization: those who are at the edge of the inside. These people are within the organization, but they're not subsumed by the group think. They work at the boundaries, bridges and entranceways....I borrow this concept from Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest who lives in Albuquerque. His point is that people who live at the edge of the inside have crucial roles to play....A person at the edge of inside can be the strongest reformer. This person has the loyalty of a faithful insider, but the judgment of the critical outsider....When people are afraid or defensive, they have no tolerance for the person at the edge of inside. They want purity, rigid loyalty and lock step unity. But now more than ever we need people who have the courage to live on the edge of inside, who love their parties and organizations so much that they can critique them as a brother, operate on them from the inside as a friend and dauntlessly insist that they live up to their truest selves."
6.8.17 - Comey Fails To Rock Wall Street
Gold last traded at $1,279 an ounce. Silver traded at $17.42 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices eased back Thursday amid mild profit-taking and a firmer dollar. U.S. stocks breathed a sigh of relief as former FBI head James Comey's testimony failed to shock investors.
Why the Gold Price Could Hit $2,000 in the Next 3 Years -Investing News
"Speaking with the Investing News Network at the recent International Metal Writers Conference, John Kaiser of Kaiser Research shared his thoughts on the junior resource sector, China’s economic slowdown and what companies he is following right now. 'I believe we are in the second year of a discovery/exploration cycle that has probably four to five years to run,' he said. Kaiser talked about gold in 2017 and explained the impact that US President Donald Trump’s presidency is having on the market. He also shared his thoughts on the zinc market and discussed how environmental concerns in China could be the wildcard this year. Watch the video to hear why Kaiser thinks gold will reach $2,000 in the next three years and to hear some useful tips for investors who are brand new to the resource sector."
Mr. Kaiser presents some solid facts and logic behind his call for $1,500-$2,000 an ounce gold prices by 2020. Today there are so many geopolitical wild cards out there which could easily send investors running for proven safe-haven assets; such as gold and silver. Learn more by reading our free 2017 Gold and Silver Research Reports today.
Comey's Testimony Unlikely to Rock Wall Street -Crudele/NYPost
"Like everyone else, the people on Wall Street will be closely watching former FBI Director James Comey's testimony to Congress Thursday. What does Wall Street want to hear? Well, normally investors want less chaos rather than more....When Bill Clinton's impeachment started in December 1998 the markets got very nervous....Just for the record, I don't think there is any chance Trump will be impeached....So whatever Comey says Thursday might not have an immediate impact either on Trump’s political fortunes or the fortunes of investors....Wall Street, however, could be shaken out of its slumber if the Comey hearing goes off course....And that could wake the financial markets up to the seriousness of what is now going on: Democrats and their media allies are trying to overturn the election of a President."
The economy of mass prosperity -WashingtonPost
"After proposing $1 trillion investment into infrastructure, the Trump administration is harnessing the brainpower of renowned experts to unlock the insoluble problem of how many jobs will be created for each billion dollars of spending....The purpose of the capitalist economy is to create wealth. Employment and the subsequent distribution of the spoils of an economy are byproducts of capitalism....Our current economic period was fueled by a huge expansion of credit, which temporarily has taken the economy beyond its limits. Through excessive borrowing, consumers have spent far more than they can afford, and the expansion of social programs and futile attempts to stimulate the economy via government spending have left the country with $20 trillion of debt. At this point the consumer is broke, the country is broke, and the economy of mass consumption is on a respirator and cannot be resuscitated by further spending. If not the spending, what then, is the catalyst that will take capitalism to its next phase of evolution?....Privatization of the infrastructure will open a new, multitrillion-dollar frontier for capitalism, and its effect could be massive....Hence, we do not need to borrow our way into prosperity; we just have to let capitalism work."
USA Plunges To 114th 'Most-Peaceful' Nation On Earth -Zero Hedge
"The 2017 Global Peace Index was released last week and it found that the world has actually become a slightly safer place during the past year. However, as Statista's Niall McCarthy notes, the divisive presidential election in the United States and its fallout has resulted in peace levels in North America deteriorating. 161 countries were analyzed in the index and the U.S. actually experienced the greatest decline in peace out of all them, plummeting 11 places to 114th most-peaceful country. Iceland was named the world's most peaceful country with New Zealand and Portugal coming second and third respectively. Unsurprisingly, Syria is has the lowest peace rating worldwide. Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen also find themselves at the very bottom of the peace list. According to the index, global violence in 2016 came to $14.3 trillion in purchasing power parity terms, equivalent to 12.6 percent of the world's GDP or $1,953 for every person."
6.7.17 - Stock Market Braces for Rising Volatility
Gold last traded at $1,293 an ounce. Silver traded at $17.62 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices held near 7-month highs Wednesday amid rising market uncertainties. U.S. stocks retreated as investors braced themselves for rising political turmoil.
Bill Gross: "Market Risk Is Highest Since Before The 2008 Crisis" -Zero Hedge
"Speaking at the Bloomberg Invest summit in New York, Bill Gross (of the recently merged Janus Henderson) who may or may not have been talking his bond book, issued a loud warning to traders saying U.S. markets are at their highest risk levels since before the 2008 financial crisis 'because investors are paying a high price for the chances they’re taking.' Well, either that, or simply ignoring the possibility of all ETFs having to sell at once. 'Instead of buying low and selling high, you’re buying high and crossing your fingers,' Gross said Wednesday quoted by Bloomberg. The rest of Gross' complaint is familiar to long-suffering traders who have to navigate centrally-planned markets for much of the past decade: he said that central bank policies for low-and negative-interest rates are 'artificially driving up asset prices while creating little growth in the real economy and punishing individual savers, banks and insurance companies.'"
Why gold could be heading much higher -CNBC
"Gold just hit its highest level since election night, and some see more upside ahead for the precious metal. Gold experienced 'a textbook breakout from a symmetrical triangle or wedge,' Rich Ross, technical analyst with Evercore ISI, said Tuesday on CNBC's 'Power Lunch.' 'That's quite bullish,' Ross added. He also pointed out that gold's 50-day moving average has broken above its 200-day moving average, which is commonly seen as a sign of accelerating momentum....Matt Maley, equity strategist with Miller Tabak, also sees constructive signs on the gold charts....'We've got a lot more room to run here,' Maley concluded. 'I think $1,375 is a good target here.'"
With a possible correction looming in the stock market, 'it's time to sell,' expert warns -CNBC
"Barry James, president of James Advantage Fund, has a warning for investors. 'We don't know when there will be a peak in the market and a tumble but it does look like a tire with a bulge,' he said in an interview with 'Power Lunch' on Tuesday. It's just a matter of whether the air leaks out slowly or quickly, he added....In the last three months, the typical S&P 500 stock rose about 0.5 percent, while the index overall is up about 2.5 percent, he noted. 'We see this building towards perhaps some type of a correction in the stock market and we believe it's time to sell,' James said."
Dollar slumps to its lowest level of the Trump era -CNN Money
"The Trump bump is over. The U.S. dollar slumped to a seven-month low against a basket of currencies on Tuesday, wiping away the last of its post-election gains. The currency gained more than 5% to hit its highest level in 13 years following President Trump's electoral victory. But momentum has reversed because of weak economic data and doubts over Trump's ability to finalize his economic agenda and move it through Congress. 'The generally disorganized nature of the Trump administration has made investors less confident of a big fiscal stimulus being passed any time soon,' said Andrew Hunter of Capital Economics....The dollar has also weakened because of factors beyond the U.S. The euro, for example, has strengthened in recent weeks because of stronger economic data in Europe....While most of his predecessors generally favored a strong dollar, Trump said in April that the currency was 'getting too strong'."
6.6.17 - China's Next Step to Destroy US Dollar
Gold last traded at $1,297 an ounce. Silver traded at $17.71 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices prices shot up 1% Tuesday on safe-haven demand and dollar weakness. U.S. stocks retreated for a second day amid economic uncertainty and geopolitical turmoil.
Gold surges to seven-week high on weaker dollar, political risks -Reuters
"Gold rose to its highest level in seven weeks on Tuesday as weak economic data in the United States reduced expectations of rapid U.S. interest rate rises this year, pushing the dollar to a seven month-low and lowering U.S. bond yields. Investors were also drawn to gold, seen as a safe place to park assets, by uncertainty around Thursday's European Central Bank meeting, an election in Britain and testimony to a Senate committee by former FBI Director James Comey. A weaker dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of other currencies, while lower yields reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion....'Light positioning and numerous upcoming geopolitical events should continue to underpin demand for the metal,' said MKS PAMP trader Sam Laughlin in a note....'The uptrend seems intact,' said Mitsubishi analyst Jonathan Butler. 'It's been helped by the dollar drifting lower and equity markets in the U.S. trading more or less flat.'"
The Dirty Secret Behind The Paris Accord -PontificationBlog
"The Paris agreement - which was never a treaty because President Barack Obama refused to submit it for the constitutionally-required two-thirds Senate ratification - was never really about global climate change....The Copenhagen effort fizzled after 'Climategate,' the leak of private emails by prominent scientists boasting that they had been able to manipulate their data to 'hide the decline' in global temperatures....The first permanent head of the European Union, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, had declared that '2009 is…the first year of global governance,' in large part because 'the climate conference in Copenhagen is [a] step towards the global management of our planet.'...In other words, to change capitalism, as Craig R. Smith and I explain in our latest book, Money, Morality & The Machine....The goal of the Paris Climate Accord is squeezing up to $100 Trillion out of the United States in coming decades, expropriating and transferring our wealth to other countries and the U.N., and tying us up in the same 'green' political regulations and lawsuits that have made European countries non-competitive in global markets....Is it really worth $100 Trillion and more than 6 million lost American jobs for the unscientific hope of reducing Earth’s temperature by 0.2 degrees C by year 2100?....To Progressives, this agreement's real purpose from the outset was never to 'save the Earth,' but to loot and disempower the United States, undermine capitalism, and collectivize our economy and society under an unelected ruling elite."
China’s Next Step to Destroy the Dollar -King/Daily Reckoning
"China is currently modifying the terms of its oil trade with Saudi Arabia. Specifically, China is working on a deal to pay for Saudi oil using Chinese yuan. This effort poses a direct threat to the security of the dollar....To recap, the petrodollar is weakening because the dollar is losing power as the world’s reserve currency. This is similar to the way pounds sterling gradually fell out of favor during the decline of the British Empire. The decline may take a long time, but what we’re seeing today is another step in the death march of the dollar....Looking ahead, Saudi Arabia will find itself more and more locked-out of the Chinese oil market if it won’t sell oil for yuan. But to do this, the Saudis must move away from U.S. dollars— and from petrodollars — if Saudi wants to maintain and increase access to China’s oil market....Jim [Rickards] and I strongly recommend a 10% allocation of your investable portfolio to precious metal."
Why Old-Timey Jobs Are Hot Again -Wall Street Journal
"Millennials are driving a resurgence of age-old crafts, choosing to become bartenders, butchers and barbers in part as a reaction to the digital age. Walk around parts of Brooklyn, Portland or Pittsburgh, and you’ll find stylish cocktail bars, barbers and the occasional butcher shop staffed by young, college-educated employees. For an affluent segment of today’s urban economy, these jobs have been revalued from low-status semi-manual labor to glamorous occupations, says sociologist Richard Ocejo. In his new book 'Masters of Craft: Old Jobs in the New Urban Economy,' Mr. Ocejo examines the forces driving a resurgence of occupations such as butcher and bartender among young middle-class urbanites. A similar dynamic is at work with a handful of other jobs, including craft brewer, bookbinder, furniture maker and fishmonger. The Labor Department projects that between 2014 and 2024 the number of bartenders and barbers in the U.S. will grow 10%, while butchers will see a 5% increase, compared with a 7% job growth for all occupations over the same period. Median pay for these jobs was less than $30,000 a year in 2016."
6.5.17 - Global Cyber Attack Imminent -Experts
Gold last traded at $1,282 an ounce. Silver traded at $17.58 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices touched six-week highs Monday on geopolitical turmoil. U.S. stocks struggle for direction in wake of U.K. terror attacks and Apple downgrade.
Gold Seen Rising to Four-Year High as Fed ‘Gentle’ on Rates -Bloomberg
"Gold may extend gains after climbing to the highest level in six weeks following disappointing monthly reports on U.S. employment and wages, according to two analysts attending a conference in Singapore this week. Prices will probably increase to a four-year high above $1,400 an ounce this year as a 'less than inspiring' recovery means the Federal Reserve won’t step up the pace of increases in borrowing costs, leaving real rates in negative territory, according to Nikos Kavalis, director and founding partner of Metals Focus Ltd., an independent consultancy....While the Federal Reserve is poised to raise interest rates at its meeting next week after increases in March and December, investors increasingly doubt the central bank’s projection for additional hikes. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. pushed back its forecast for a third rate increase this year to December from September."
Soaring Debt = Slow Growth = Even More Debt = Systemic Crisis -Zero Hedge
"It's just common sense: Borrow too much money and the weight of this debt makes it hard to do things that used to be easy. This truism is now (finally!) hitting home, and blame is being apportioned....The average rate of growth for the U.S. economy over the past 10 years is exactly equal to the average rate that the U.S. economy grew during the 1930s; 1.33%....All the 'fixes' have fatally weakened the real economy, and created a dangerous illusion of 'wealth,' 'growth' and solvency....What's amazing about these charts is that monetary stimulus on this scale produces soaring asset prices yet only Depression-level real growth. But that's just what too much debt does to a system. And the crisis that follows is, unfortunately, just as predictable."
A devastating global cyber attack is imminent, warn experts -DailyMail
"The hack, called 'ExplodingCan', targets computers running on Microsoft Windows 2003, which means that it could be used to attack 375,000 computers worldwide. This puts it in the same risk category as last month's WannaCry ransomware attack which caused mayhem around the world, crippling vital servers such as those used by the NHS. ExplodingCan has been created by the Shadow Brokers hacking group, which was also responsible for the WannaCry attack, and attributed to an organization linked to the NSA....And if you do find yourself a victim of the attack, not even Microsoft can help you, as the firm has declared Windows 2003 out of support."
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Strange Currencies and Barter 101 -Macromon
"Once upon a time, currencies had intrinsic value. But now the dollar slouches towards Wampum. Ever wonder where the term 'buck' comes from?....Animal skins have a surprisingly important history as currency in different parts of the world. In North America, the European settlers and First Nations tribes found skins to be one commodity they both agreed had value. The use of buck skins in trade gave rise to 'buck' as a slang word for currency, which we still use to describe dollars today....Or how about the etymology of the term 'salary' or the phrase Lebron is 'not worth his salt?' Salt was highly valued for food preservation, but its production was very limited. As a result, in many places of the world, salt was used as currency....A soldier's salary was cut if he was 'not worth his salt', a phrase that still exists today."
6.2.17 - Lessons From 'The Wizard of Lies'
Gold last traded at $1,278 an ounce. Silver at $17.53 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose over 1% Friday on safe-haven buying and a sharply lower dollar. U.S. stocks rose despite disappointing April jobs and wage data.
Gold gains after disappointing U.S. jobs data -Reuters
"Gold prices rose to a near six-week high on Friday in response to disappointing U.S. non-farm payrolls data that lowered expectations for more aggressive U.S. interest rate increases. Data showed that U.S. job growth slowed in May and employment gains in the prior two months were not as strong as previously reported, suggesting the labor market was losing momentum. A slow recovery in the world's biggest economy dents the likelihood for higher interest rates which benefits non-interest yielding and safe-haven gold. 'This is not the kind of report people had hoped for, and that has put pressure on the dollar and yields, and gold is always happy to profit from that, Georgette Boele, commodity strategist at ABN AMRO, said."
The Wizard of Lies -EW review
"The 2008 financial crisis is the single most important event in recent history that barely anyone understands. The numbers are difficult, the language obtuse, the intentions inscrutable. The problem was computers, or capitalism, or them, or us....The Wizard of Lies approaches the crisis laterally. Madoff's scheme unravels when the system does. And the film's Bernie situates himself in the greater context of 2008. 'This country needs a villain,' he says. (The implication isn't that they picked the wrong guy, but rather, they should've picked more guys.) The film properly begins on December 10, 2008, with Madoff trying to write a few final checks before the money disappears. He reveals his great lie to his family, and things spiral from there. We see the scandal, and we see what led up to it....Michele Pfeiffer is stunning. She plays the part with a Queens accent so thick it's funny, but Pfeiffer digs past rich-housewife-gone-broke schadenfreude, and find the heartbreakingly confused tragedy. She's been demolished - by the man she loved, and the lives he ruined. She doesn't understand how, can't really grasp why. Neither do we."
Deutsche Bank Trader Admits To Rigging Precious Metals Markets -Zero Hedge
"After months of 'smoking guns' and conspiracy theory dismissals, a Singapore-based Deutsche Bank trader (at the center of fraud allegations) finally confirmed (by admitting guilt) what many have suspected - the biggest banks in the world have conspired to rig precious metals markets. The Deutsche Bank trader, David Liew, pleaded guilty in federal court in Chicago to conspiring to spoof gold, silver, platinum and palladium futures, according to court papers. Bloomberg notes that spoofing involves traders placing orders that they never intend to fill, in an attempt to manipulate the price....This is not the first time Deutsche Bank has been involved, implicated, and exposed to rigging the precious metals markets. As we noted in December, when we first reported that Deutsche Bank had agreed to settle allegations it had rigged the silver market in exchange for $38 million, we revealed something stunning: 'in a curious twist, the settlement letter revealed that the former members of the manipulation cartel have turned on each other', and that Deutsche Bank would provide documents implicating other precious metals riggers."
S&P, Moody's Downgrade Illinois to Near Junk -Bloomberg
"Illinois had its bond rating downgraded to one step above junk by Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings, the lowest ranking on record for a U.S. state, as the long-running political stalemate over the budget shows no signs of ending. S&P warned that Illinois will likely lose its investment-grade status, an unprecedented step for a state, around July 1 if leaders haven’t agreed on a budget that chips away at the government's chronic deficits. Moody's followed S&P's downgrade Thursday, citing Illinois's underfunded pensions and the record backlog of bills that are equivalent to about 40 percent of its operating budget. By June 30, the state will owe an estimated $800 million in interest and fees on the unpaid bills that have been piling up, according to estimates from Comptroller Susana Mendoza, a Democrat. She warned of 'dire' consequences for residents....'We’re going to start to see some real pain now,' Senate President John Cullerton told reporters in Springfield on Wednesday."
6.1.17 - Services Jobs Booming, But Are Wages?
Gold last traded at $1,264 an ounce. Silver at $17.27 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices eased back Thursday on profit-taking and a firmer dollar. U.S. stocks rose after an ADP report showed a boost in service sector jobs.
ADP Employment Surges Despite Biggest Job Cuts Spike In 2 Years -Zero Hedge
"Despite Challenger's headlines of a 71% jump in job cuts YoY in May, ADP reported a bigger-than-expected 253k rise in employment for May (above all economist expectations) after a big plunge in April. Services jobs outpaced goods-producing jobs once again (+205k vs +48k) with medium-sized business seeing the biggest jump....While this move is decent, the risk is that it proves short-lived and as we type, there's evidence that it will. More jobs are great but remember that the market is looking for more money - via a higher Average Hourly Earnings (AHE) print - on Friday."
The Housing Market Is Ripe for Tech Disruption -Ritholtz/Bloomberg
"For those buying or selling a house, the impact of technology may not be especially visible. But it is there. You just have to squint a bit to see it. Extrapolate the trend a decade out into the future, and the impact will become much more obvious. Real estate is ripe for disruption. In fact, the process has already begun....Savvier homebuyers need less from agents. They can learn about neighborhoods via their own social networks and online resources....Surveys show that almost half of all real estate searches begin online...Ever since the smartphone became ubiquitous, home-sale information has been set free....I came up with a fun little Zillow hack that helped a lot; you have to register with Zillow.com to do it, but it is free and very useful....I searched for a house with as many similar characteristics to mine as possible....From this set, you can create two different lists: the first is of those homes most similar to yours that are for sale; the second is made up of similar homes that were sold during the past two years....we priced our house in the middle of that ask range, and sold it in less than a month within $10,000 of our asking price. So yes, technology is changing housing sales."
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Pending-home sales decline again, deepening housing market funk -Marketwatch
"A gauge of home purchase contract signings slumped for a second month in April, another sign the housing market is still struggling for a balance between supply and demand. The pending home sales index from the National Association of Realtors fell 1.3% to a level of 109.8 from a downwardly-revised March reading. The index was 3.3% lower than a year ago in April, marking the first yearly decline since December....Housing inventory is tightening and affordability declining, nudging contract activity down. Homes are coming off the market much more quickly than new listings are being added, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun noted in a release....The West was the only region to notch an increase in April, with a 5.8% rise - although it’s still lower than a year ago."
Financials just gave up this year's gains - and that could be a terrible sign -CNBC
"The financial sector just gave up all of its gains for the year and is now negative year to date. Some strategists say its underperformance is sending the broader market a message about the economy's health....The sector, composed of a range of financial services firms such as insurance companies and banks, was leading the market for part of the year to date and was up 9 percent as of the beginning of March. The drop is a function of rates falling, along with ongoing concerns about global growth, said Oppenheimer head of technical analysis Ari Wald....Financials underperforming in a falling-interest-rate environment flashes a 'lacking vote of confidence about economic growth,' he wrote Wednesday in an email to CNBC....Investors in the space were betting on sure-fire economic growth, reflation around the world, deregulation, and interest rate and balance sheet normalization following the U.S. election, he wrote in an email to CNBC. But the 'reflation trade' and the prospects for deregulation under the Trump administration are now less certain, he wrote."