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12.6.19 - What's Behind Today's Blockbuster Jobs Report?

Gold last traded at $1,460 an ounce. Silver at $16.58 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices dipped on profit-taking Friday after upbeat economic data boosted the buck. U.S. stocks rose on the back of U.S. jobs growth as Wall Street wrapped up a choppy week of trading.

Here Is The Main Reason For Today's Blockbuster Jobs Report -Zero Hedge
"Following a disastrous ADP print just two days ago, which showed that the US economy added just the second fewest number of private payrolls since March 2010, and a sellside 'whisper' number that was about half the consensus expectation of 183K, the BLS reported a blockbuster jobs report, according to which the US economy added 266K jobs (according to the establishment survey), the biggest monthly increase since January, and a near record divergence with what ADP indicated. To be sure, peaking behind the headline data revealed some questionable data, like only an 83K increase in employment (according to the Household survey), a 7K drop in mining jobs, a 4K decline in wholesale trade, a stagnant construction sector, lot of seasonal hiring, a catch up in census worker hires, and so on. Warts aside, many are confused what was behind the surprise upside print, and how the payrolls print came 29K jobs more than the highest forecast among 78 economists. The simple answer: a surge in manufacturing workers. As shown in the chart below, 54K manufacturing workers were added in November, the most in over two decades, or since 1998, as a result of about 41K GM striking workers returning to their jobs. That said, the November surge was an offset to the 43K slide in October, so on net, the print was largely a wash between the two months."

Ball Gazing into the recession crystal ball -One America News
"The protracted trade war between China and the United States and a deteriorating global growth outlook have left investors nervous that the longest expansion in American history is at risk of ending. Recession fears were sparked earlier this year when the yield curve inverted – a key indicator of a pending downturn....While concerns have eased, an economic rebound is not expected any time soon, according to a recent Reuters poll of economists, and pockets of the economy and markets which are causing concern...A recent report from S&P Global Ratings pegs the chance of a U.S. recession over the next 12 months from 25%-30%....Consumer demand is a critical driver of the U.S. economy, and historically consumer confidence wanes during downturns. Currently consumer confidence is near cyclical highs....Credit spreads – the premium investors are paid above the yield on safer U.S. Treasuries to hold the riskier securities – typically widen when the perceived risk of default rises. Investors are now pulling out of the riskiest U.S. corporate debt amid concerns about leverage levels as the economy slows."

Markets In 'Goldilocks' Mode Amid Strong Job Gains -Forbes
"November turned into an employment bonanza, helped in part by the return of workers from a strike at General Motors (GM). The economy busted out with 266,000 new jobs, the highest total for any month since January. If you add the Labor Department’s upward revisions of a combined 41,000 jobs for September and October to this impressive November tally, new jobs growth has averaged a very healthy 205,000 the last three months and 180,000 for the year to date....If you're punching a clock, you earned on average of seven cents more for each hour on the job in November compared to October. That puts wage growth at 3.1% year-over-year, right in the heart of the 'Goldilocks' zone that gives workers a wallet boost but probably won’t be enough to have the Fed fretting about potential inflation....With the Fed meeting looming next week, it's not too early to start thinking about outcomes. At this point, chances for a rate cut look about as likely as a snowstorm in Miami, if the futures market is any indication."

'Don't fall asleep on gold' as it gears up for another run -Marketwatch
"'The noise around gold during its big run in the summer has certainly quieted down as the metal has been consolidating for over three months. ETF inflows for gold have finally moderated from extreme levels as investor exuberance fades,' said Jeff deGraaf, chairman of Renaissance Macro Research, in a Thursday note. 'We don't want you to fall asleep on gold, the charts are too good,' deGraaf said. 'A drop in extreme sentiment during a period of consolidation as the overbought condition works off after breaking out of a large basing pattern is exactly the type of action you want to see.'....Gold sits around 5.6% below the September high, holding a 15.8% year-to-date gain and posting a 19% rise over the last 12 months. The popular, bullion-tracking SPDR Gold Trust is up 14.8% year to date and 18.9% over the last 12 months....'Gold may be gearing up for another run and we think it's worth owning here,' he said."

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12.5.19 - 10 Outrageous 2020 Predictions

Gold last traded at $1,479 an ounce. Silver at $16.98 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose Thursday on bargain-hunting and a weaker dollar. U.S. stocks decline despite upbeat employment data amid China trade deal worries.

Gold prices to rally to $1,600 by end of 2020 -ABN AMRO/Kitco
"Easy monetary policy and low interest rates are here to stay and that will support gold prices in the long term, but investors need to be a little patient, according to one market analyst. In her 2020 outlook forecast published Wednesday, Georgette Boele, senior FX and precious-metals strategist at ABN AMRO, said that she is bullish on the precious metals next year, but the yellow metal could see a modest correction in the first half of the year....Looking past the near-term risks, the Dutch bank is bullish on gold, looking for the price to push above $1,600 an ounce by December 2020...Monetary policy and lower real interest rates are the biggest reasons Boele expects to see higher prices in the second half of 2020. She added that ABN AMRO economists expect the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates in the first quarter of 2020. 'Central banks remain keen to support growth and/or to reach their inflation target. In the near term, we expect growth in the eurozone to remain weak and the economic situation in the U.S. to deteriorate,' she said. 'The outstanding amount of negative-yielding government bonds will probably grow; while gold has no yield, it is at least not paying negative rates.' Boele also said that weak economic growth should weigh on the U.S. dollar, providing another bullish factor for gold."

Risk Could 2020 Rhyme with 1980? -Craig R. Smith/Swiss America
"Forty years ago gold prices spiked up over eight-fold – from $100/oz. in January 1977 to $850/oz. in January 1980. (A 1980 gold price of $850/oz. would equate to an inflation-adjusted gold price of $2,574/oz. today). What were the factors that pushed gold prices to rocket to historic highs four decades ago? Could we see a similar scenario play out again forty years later in 2020? History may not always repeat, but sometimes it rhymes. Several factors converged in 1980 which sent investors rushing for the protection of physical gold. One of which was geopolitical uncertainty, as Russia invaded Afghanistan and the Iran hostage crisis erupted. We faced a diplomatic standoff between the United States and Iran over fifty-two American diplomats and citizens held hostage for 444 days between November 4, 1979 and January 20, 1981. Fast-forward to 2019, and the Mid-East is just as combustible as ever. A conflict could break out in any number of places for any number of reasons. Consider the September 14, 2019 attack on Saudi oil facilities, Iran's U.S. threats against our trade sanctions, an Iranian-backed Shiite militia in Iraq, an attack by Hezbollah on Israel, or if Syria's repression morphs into an international confrontation. Any of these could erupt by early 2020." Full Story

10 Outrageous Predictions 2020 -Saxo Bank
"Continuing almost two decades of tradition, our experts have made 10 Outrageous Predictions for the year ahead. Their consensus-smashing forecasts would send shockwaves through the markets, if they come to pass. So will they prove pure fantasy or visions of reality? 1. Chips go cold in AI winter - Diminishing returns on chip applications sees the SOX Index of semiconductor stocks collapse 50%. 2. Stagflation rewards value over growth - The iShares MSCCI World Value Factor ETF outperforms the FANGs by 25%. 3. ECB folds and hikes rates - European banks make a comeback as the EuroStoxx bank index rises 30%. 4. In energy, green is not the new black - The green revolution gets a reality-check as dirty energy starts to pay once again. 5. South Africa gets electrocuted by ESKOM debt - USDZAR rises from 15 to 20 as world cuts credit lines to the rainbow nation. 6. Trump announces America First Tax - A 25% tax on all foreign-derived revenue scrambles supply lines and pushes inflation higher. 7. Sweden breaks bad - Sweden’s pragmatic attitude shift leads to a massive increase in fiscal spending that drives up the SEK. 8. Dems win clean sweep in 2020 election - Democrats take control of the presidency and both houses of congress. Big healthcare and pharma stocks collapse 50%. 9. Hungary leaves the EU - HUF collapses to EURHUF 375 as Hungary’s leadership and the EU fight over the country’s place in the Union. 10. Asia launches digital reserve currency - An Asian, AIIB-backed, digital reserve currency tanks the US dollar by 30% versus gold. Gold prices rise above $2,000/oz."

How jittery investors would respond if Trump doesn't reach a trade deal with China -The Hill
"President Trump's off-the-cuff remark yesterday that a trade deal with China could be delayed until after the U.S. elections in 2020 spawned a large stock market sell-off. While markets have since recouped some of the losses amid hopes that a deal will be reached, the reaction to Trump’s statement raises the specter of what might happen if there is an impasse. Previously, investors hoped an accord would be reached whereby China purchased more agricultural goods from the U.S. while the Trump administration rolled back some of the tariff hikes it had implemented. If not, the round of tariff hikes totaling $156 billion that were slated for December 15 would go into effect and virtually all imports from China, worth about $550 billion, would be subject to duties of 15 percent to 25 percent. Throughout the negotiating process, he has suggested that a deal is about to be consummated, only to pull the rug at the last moment. Investors have been caught off guard each time, because they believe it is rational for both sides to reach an agreement before economic damage is inflicted. But this is not how the president views the situation. He believes the U.S. has the upper hand in negotiations, because China depends on the U.S. as an export market and its domestic economy is slowing more than official statistics indicate....Thus far, the impact of tariff hikes has mainly been felt by U.S. manufacturers, farmers and businesses that have borne the brunt of the tariff hikes...But the latest round of hikes that were implemented this summer and which are scheduled for this month will mainly affect consumer goods....Should consumer confidence falter, it would likely be accompanied by stock market weakness."

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12.4.19 - 2020: An Election Year Recession?

Gold last traded at $1,480 an ounce. Silver at $16.91 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices eased Wednesday on profit-taking despite a weaker dollar. U.S. stocks rebounded from a 3-day slide based on an upbeat report about the U.S. China trade agreement.

Gold Outlook 2020 -FX Empire
"Technical analysts seem to be painting a bullish picture with 2019's mid-year breakout laying the groundwork for even higher prices in 2020. The bears are watching the 10-year yield, the bulls, the chart pattern. The two will work together to produce a strong rally if signs of recession re-emerge next year....'According to our work, gold broke out of a critical 6-year base in June 2019 and established a new bull market. The correction that began in September is nearly complete, and gold should resume the uptrend in 2020. For 2020, we expect gold to continue to advance the larger pattern and challenge key resistance between $1750 – $1800. Our current forecast calls for a pattern breakout above $2000 by 2021 or 2022. However, that time frame could be expedited depending on the results of the 2020 election. Longer-term, we believe gold will continue to progress throughout the 2020s, potentially reaching $7500 - $10,000 or higher as the debt super cycle implodes globally." writes AG Thorson of Gold Predict."

christmas An Election Year Recession? -Levisohn/Barrons
"President Donald Trump said that he'd be happy to wait on a trade deal until after the 2020 election. Did he just make a 2020 recession more likely, and in an election year at that?....My main argument...The economy isn't nearly as strong as it looks and a soft landing is not assured....Yesterday's November's ISM manufacturing index showed a decline in manufacturing activity, not a rebound. And then today, trade fears returned after having been calmly swept into the corner. The latter is particularly bad for the bullish narrative, and stocks have reacted accordingly. But how realistic is a 2020 recession, particularly since it is an election year?...In a note released last week, Societe General's Stephen Gallagher argued that there wasn't much room for monetary stimulus - the Fed already cut interest rates - or fiscal stimulus - tax cuts have already ballooned the deficit. And with a divided government, it's highly unlikely an agreement can be reached until after a recession has started, he continues. The good news is that a recession during an election year is very unlikely. Since 1950, only two have started during an election year: In 1960 - when John F. Kennedy beat Richard Nixon - and 1980 - when Ronald Reagan beat incumbent Jimmy Carter - according to Dow Jones Market Data Group. We'll give an honorable mention to the Financial Crisis, which earned its name in 2008, even though the recession actually started in 2007. That puts the odds of a recession during an election year at 17.6%."

Trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, and hardly a voice of caution to be heard -The Hill
"In the old days, a decade or so ago, Democrats would have assailed Donald Trump's failure on federal deficits; instead of eliminating it, as promised, the deficit has doubled to a trillion dollars as far as the eye can see....Yet deficits, as a political issue, are dead....For Democrats, the pressing urgency of unmet needs in health care, education, infrastructure and the social safety net far outweigh any rising debt. They favor tax hikes, mainly on the rich, to reverse the huge 2017 Republican tax cuts, but there's less premium on the green eyeshade test of paying for all spending initiatives. Most Republicans strongly want to keep those tax cuts - the only significant achievement of three years of party rule - and have little interest in tackling politically popular entitlements....Even Washington's most stalwart and consistent fiscal hawk, Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, acknowledges the budget deficit isn't a top policy concern right now 'as low interest rates buy us some time.' However, she cautions that the fiscal situation 'is the worst it has been since just after World War II,' adding, 'No one knows when the tipping point is or what it looks like, but those are questions we shouldn't want to find the answers to.'"

Citizen Bloomberg -Ponte/WorldNetDaily
"In 1941, filmmaker Orson Welles created what many regard as the best movie ever made. 'Citizen Kane' followed the career of a newspaper magnate who began as an idealist but gradually became ruthlessly obsessed only with power. In the film, Charles Foster Kane changes from a puppet master who elects and pulls the strings of tawdry politicians into a politician himself....Michael Bloomberg - who should be called 'Citizen Bloomberg' - is one of today's most powerful media magnates. He owns a major interest in a slightly left-of-center news service, a radio and a television network, and Bloomberg Business Week Magazine, a media complex that employs approximately 2,700 journalists and analysts...His media empire has earned Bloomberg $52.3 billion in net worth, which makes him at least the ninth-richest person in America....Earlier this year, writes AP, Bloomberg 'pledged to separate myself from his foundation and private businesses should he launch a campaign.' Now, however, he has as yet offered no firewall that would keep him from using his media outlets in the presidential campaign, nor has he agreed to sell his media companies if elected. Can he ethically be both an elected president and a media baron? This raises hundreds of legal and ethical questions. Can those reporting for Bloomberg's media empire be fair and objective if their boss is a candidate? He has said: 'I don't want the reporters I'm paying to write a bad story about me.' Can reporters elsewhere who might someday need to seek a job with Bloomberg's empire be truly impartial, or would they be afraid of being put on his 'enemies list' and censor themselves?....Bloomberg allegedly has a long record of stop-and-frisk close encounters with female employees, as the New York Police Department under his 12 years as a firearms-confiscating mayor did disproportionately with African American and Latino males. He has recently apologized for both behaviors, but this raises the question of who Citizen Bloomberg, 77, is becoming."

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12.3.19 - Here's What Happens If Dec. 15 Tariffs Kick In

Gold last traded at $1,484 an ounce. Silver at $17.24 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices shot up to 1-month highs Tuesday amid rising China trade uncertainty. U.S. stocks sank after President Donald Trump suggested he may delay a trade deal with China until after the 2020 presidential election.

The price of gold is up sharply on flight to safety flows -Forex Live
"The price of gold is up sharply in reaction to flight to safety flows on the back of a deterioration of US China trade. Technically, looking at the daily chart, the price rise of $17.60 to $1480 has the precious metal moving closer to its 100 day moving average at $1486.17. The high price today has so far reached $1481.86. The last few days has seen the price consolidating at lower levels. However the run to the upside today has traders eyeing that key moving average. A move above would be more bullish from a technical perspective."

trade war The New Cold War? It's With China, and It Has Already Begun -Ferguson/New York Times
"When did Cold War II begin? Future historians will say it was in 2019. Some will insist that a new Cold War had already begun - with Russia - in 2014, when Moscow sent its troops into Ukraine. But the deterioration of Russian-American relations pales in comparison to the rise in Sino-American antagonism that has unfolded over the past couple of years....Public opinion made a similar shift. A Pew Research Center survey showed that the percentage of Americans holding an unfavorable view of China jumped to 60 percent in 2019 from 47 percent the year before. Only 26 percent of Americans held a favorable view of the country. Something else changed in 2019. What had started out as a trade war - a tit for tat over tariffs while the two sides argued about the American trade deficit and Chinese intellectual property theft - rapidly metamorphosed into a cluster of other conflicts....The threat also loomed of a currency war over the exchange rate for the Chinese yuan, which the People's Bank of China has allowed to weaken against the dollar....Evidence of Chinese espionage and influence operations in American academia and Silicon Valley is already pushing the government to reprioritize national security in research and development. It would be nothing short of disastrous if China won the race for quantum supremacy, which could render all conventional computer encryption obsolete. The one big risk with Cold War II would be to assume confidently that the United States is bound to win it....In 2007, the economist Moritz Schularick and I used the term 'Chimerica' to describe the symbiotic economic relationship between China and the United States. Today, that partnership is dead. Cold War II has begun. And, if history is any guide, it will last a lot longer than the president on whose watch it started."

Trump Says Trade War Could Drag On, Stokes France Spat -Wall Street Journal
"President Trump suggested a trade war with China could drag out past the 2020 election and stoked a tariff spat with France during a visit to Europe for a NATO meeting. Mr. Trump said he had 'no deadline' to conclude a trade deal with China, adding that 'in some ways I like the idea of waiting until after the election,' during a sitdown with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday in London. The president’s comments injected fresh uncertainty over the future of a 'phase-one' trade deal between the U.S. and China. Looming closer are the administration's plans to impose tariffs on smartphones, toys and other products from China on Dec. 15. Mr. Trump also criticized French President Emmanuel Macron for comments he made about the 29-member military alliance, and expressed frustration with France’s new digital-services tax. 'I don't want France taxing American companies. If they're going to be taxed it's going to be the United States that will tax them,' Mr. Trump said...The French tax, which was signed into law July 24, applies a 3% tax on revenue that tech companies reap in France from such activities as undertaking targeted advertising or running a digital marketplace. In response, the Trump administration has proposed tariffs of up to 100% against $2.4 billion of French imports."

Here's What Happens to Markets If U.S. Tariffs on China Kick in Dec. 15 -Bloomberg
"The Dec. 15 flashpoint on tariffs was thrown into sharp relief Tuesday when Trump said he sees no urgency to complete a deal, right after he threatened an assortment of trading partners with levies. 'If tariffs scheduled for Dec. 15 are implemented it would be a huge shock to the market consensus,' said Sue Trinh, managing director for global macro strategy at Manulife Investment Management in Hong Kong. 'Trump would be the Grinch that stole Christmas,' she said....It will be 'definitely risk-off across the screen,' Tongli Han, chief investment officer at Deepblue Global Investment, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. 'What happened recently makes this trade deal more costly for Chinese leaders - so I'm seeing a gloomy future for the short term, one-to-two months.'....The message to investors is 'maybe trim a little bit of equity exposure, or certainly not chase the market at this stage. But look to do so in the next few weeks if we see a 5-to-7% pullback.'....'Even if there is a trade deal, it doesn't solve most of the issues that we still have with China,' which is something that markets are going to have to reflect in time, said Christopher Smart, chief global strategist at Barings Investment Institute, on Bloomberg TV. 'In fact, it probably makes the relationship more difficult to manage, because we've taken tariffs off the table.'"

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12.2.19 - Selling Your Home to Fund Retirement?

Gold last traded at $1,469 an ounce. Silver at $17.00 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices steadied Monday on bargain-hunting and a weaker dollar. U.S. stocks faltered as investors digested disappointing manufacturing data along with deteriorating trade news.

The Narrative About Gold is Changing Again -Yahoo Finance
"Let's face it, we live in a world of radical uncertainty. There are not only many known unknowns in the world, but the same can't be said of unknown unknowns...But the real issue is that we do not know the probabilities, because we even do not know how the world works. You see, the probability applies in a casino but not in a real world. So how do we cope with the unknown? Mervyn King, former governor of the Bank of England, provides an answer in his interesting book The End of Alchemy. According to him, a coping strategy comprises three elements – a categorization of problems, a set of rules of thumb to cope with the latter class of problems; and a narrative. What is narrative? King defines it as 'a story that integrates the most important pieces of information in order to provide a basis for choosing the heuristic and the motive for a decision.'....The narratives are of great importance in the financial markets. As King points out, 'under radical uncertainty, market prices are determined not by objective fundamentals but by narratives about fundamentals.'....Now, it seems that the narrative about the economy, the central banking and gold is changing again. The economy is slowing down and people worry about recession. The global bond market is awash in negative yields. The Fed abandoned its tightening cycle. The price of gold jumped above $1,400 and it is flirting with $1,500. In such an environment, there are substantial odds that narratives will change in favor of gold."

free market The Hidden Link Between Fiat Money And The Increasing Appeal Of Socialism -Zero Hedge
"What causes the seemingly unfounded confidence in socialism we encounter more and more in the news media and among political activists? It is likely not a coincidence that most people living today have lived most of their lives in a world dominated by fiat money. It has now been nearly fifty years since the United States broke all ties between the dollar and gold. It's been even longer since other major currencies were tied to gold at all. Consequently we now live in a world where the creation of wealth is seen by many as requiring little more than the creation of more money. In this kind of world, why not have socialism? If we run out of money, we can always print more....Gold backing of a currency provided a solid intellectual foundation of reality that few even recognized existed within themselves; (i.e., that we live in a world of scarcity and uncertainty). This reinforced the idea that wealth has to be built. It cannot be conjured out of thin air, just as gold cannot be conjured out of thin air. But fiat currency can be conjured out of thin air and in enormous amounts. The longer a fiat currency is the coin of the land, the more one is led to believe that nothing should be in short supply, since everything is bought with money and money need not be in short supply....The psychological impact of a lifetime within a fiat money economy cannot be underestimated. One's world is turned upside down....If wealth is so easy to create, many conclude only greed and cruelty are what stand between us and far greater prosperity for all. But that is the very reason that fiat money is so subversive to the social order. In a sound money economy any new spending program can be funded only by an increase in taxes, an increase in debt, or by cutting existing funding....It would be hard to invent a more effective method for the destruction of modern society."

After the US-China Trade War -Roach/Project Syndicate
"Trade truce or not, a protracted Cold War-like conflict between the United States and China has already begun. That should worry the US, which, unlike China, is devoid of a long-term strategic framework. The so-called phase one 'skinny' trade deal announced with great fanfare on October 11 may be an important political signal. While the deal, if ever consummated, will have next to no material economic impact, it provides a strong hint that Trump has finally had enough of this trade war. Consumed by domestic political concerns - especially impeachment and the looming 2020 election - it is in Trump's interest to declare victory and attempt to capitalize on it to counter his problems at home....But the Chinese leadership is not about to capitulate on its core principles of sovereignty and its aspirational mid-century goals of rejuvenation, growth, and development....If a phase one accord is reached, it behooves us to ponder what the world will look like after the trade war. Several possibilities are at the top of my list: deglobalization, decoupling, and trade diversion. Deglobalization is unlikely....Global decoupling is also unlikely....Trade diversion is another matter altogether...Putting pressure on one of many trading partners - precisely what the US is doing when it squeezes China in an effort to reduce its merchandise trade deficits with 102 countries - is likely to backfire....Trade truce or not, a protracted economic struggle between the US and China has already begun....That should worry the US, which is devoid of a long-term strategic framework. China is not. That is certainly the message from Sun Tzu in The Art of War: 'When your strategy is deep and far-reaching … you can win before you even fight.'"

Planning to sell your house to fund your retirement? Think again -Marketwatch
"Meager personal savings, debt, looming health care costs and more are pushing millions of older Americans to the brink. At least you could always cash out of your house and move somewhere cheaper, right? Perhaps, but as a new study from Zillow, the real estate website warns, perhaps not. The problems are threefold: Demographics, geography and finances....Zillow says 34% of all owner-occupied homes in the U.S. are owned by people aged 60 or older. Millions of these homes will hit the market over the next two decades as senior boomers either die, move in with their children or to an assisted living facilities. The problem: There are too many homes to be absorbed by Gen Xers. This suggests that prices will have to fall. Geography matters, too, and will impact some areas more - perhaps much more - than others. It's no surprise that homes in Rust Belt cities will be under pressure as people, for one reason or another, try to sell....Then there is the undeniable problem of finances. While some baby boomers have the luxury of having some sort of pension, along with retirement savings, Gen Xers are highly unlikely to have the former and have done little about the latter."

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11.27.19 - 2/3 of Americans Expect a 2020 Recession

Gold last traded at $1,460 an ounce. Silver at $16.92 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices eased Wednesday as upbeat economic data boosted the dollar. U.S. stocks traded mixed after the release of stronger-than-forecast durable goods data.

China's gold-backed crypto looming as 'Pearl Harbor type event' for US dollar in 2020 -Keiser/RT
"There are two economies in the United States, says RT's Keiser Report, the real economy, where the 99 percent live, and the one-percent economy, where bankers and the corporate elite live. 'Consumers are spending and life is going on,' whereas on Wall Street one can see 'non-stop interventions, quantitative easing is needed, interest rates cuts for the top one percent,' Stacy Herbert says. 'There's never enough money,' as those from the one percent 'want more and more...' According to Max Keiser, there could be 'a catastrophic trapdoor opening underneath the US economy.' When China announces as a surprise its 20,000 tons of gold and a gold-backed cryptocurrency that 'will kill the US dollar deader than a doornail,' it will be a 'Pearl Harbor-type event and it's coming in the next six to nine months,' he predicts."

money tree Printing More Money Could Lead to Financial Calamity -Bonner/Bonner And Partners
"We're searching the woods, hills, and urban jungles for the coveted 'magic money tree.' For thousands of years, alchemists, grifters, and proto-central-bankers have tried to find it. But it has remained as elusive as the Himalayan snow lizard and the American jackalope. But it must be out there somewhere....The idea - given to us by David Graeber, Elizabeth Warren, Thomas Piketty, and a whole cast of MMT enthusiasts and half-wit hallucinators - is that money really does grow on trees. It is just a matter of political willpower, they say… even courage… to put it to use....Sounds great, doesn’t it? Almost too good to be true. So, maybe some due diligence is in order…First, how is it that this magic money tree has remained hidden all these many, many years? That is, we know of no episode in history… even when people were starving by the millions and desperately begging for pennies…when the discovery of this magical tree solved the problem. Instead, they had to work their way out of every financial crisis....Second, there are many episodes in history when people thought they had discovered the wondrous tree… only to be rudely disappointed years later...Just because something never happened before doesn't mean it won't happen now...A printing press can produce all the currency with all the zeros you could possibly want. Currency is not money. It's only money if people are willing to trade their time and wealth for it. That'’s the trouble with hyperinflation - fewer and fewer people are willing to make the trade. Eventually, no one will. Then, the currency becomes worthless."

Two-Thirds of Americans Anticipate a 2020 Recession -Fortune
"As long as American consumers - the lifeblood of the economy - keep spending away, recession speculation is unlikely to turn into reality. Maybe you shouldn't feel guilty for that $5 coffee after all? But this means we should keep a close eye on Americans spending habits and their personal economic outlook, especially when considering manufacturing is contracting. That's why Fortune and SurveyMonkey teamed up to conduct a poll of more than 10,000 Americans. 66% of Americans think a recession will occur over the coming 12 months. 45% of Republicans think a recession will occur over the coming 12 months, compared to 84% of Democrats....'If not for consumer spending, we'd be in a recession... Consumer spending accounts for more than all of the growth in the economy. The rest of the economy is contracting,' says Scott Hoyt, head of consumer economic research at Moody's Analytics. In the third quarter, U.S. gross domestic product growth slowed to 1.9%, with key components like exports falling 5.7% and private investment down 1.5%. Yet consumer spending rose 2.9%."

Black Friday Is Coming, And 48 Million Americans Still Have Holiday Debt From Last Year -The Economic Collapse Blog
"The biggest shopping day of the year is almost here, and marketers are working hard trying to extract as much money from U.S. consumers as possible. Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get consumers to open up their wallets, because many of them are already drowning in debt. As a society, we have been trained to think of this as 'the happiest time of the year', and for many Americans the most important part of the holiday season is opening presents on Christmas morning. So there is a tremendous amount of pressure to spend a lot of money on presents, but this often leads to high levels of credit card debt. In fact, a survey that was just released discovered that 48 million Americans 'are still paying off credit card debt from last holiday season,' according to a NerdWallet survey conducted by The Harris Poll. Sadly, some of those consumers will end up paying the credit card companies more than twice what those Christmas presents originally cost, and it can be exceedingly difficult to ever get ahead when you are trapped in a seemingly endless cycle of debt. So why do people do it? Well, according to one financial therapist many Americans are chasing an 'emotional experience' this time of the year…'This is a sad and lonely time for many people,' says Sarah Newcomb, behavioral economist for Morningstar. Shopping (for anything or everything) can be a convenient coping mechanism."

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