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Nov 24, 2020

11.24.20 - Morgan Stanley: "Expect a Correction"

Gold last traded at $1,807 an ounce. Silver at $23.29 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices dipped to 4-month lows as optimism over COVID-19 vaccines drove investors to riskier assets. U.S. stocks rallied after the Trump administration moved to begin the transition process.

Why Gold Could Be Heading To $5,000 -OilPrice
"Gold prices were already on a tear amid wild pandemic, economic and electoral uncertainty, with big banks predicting $3,000 gold …Or even $5,000 gold...Right before Biden’s electoral victory, JPMorgan had called another 5% price hike in a 'blue wave'....What gold loves more than anything is the Biden-backed promise of monetary stimulus. Historically, gold has risen consistently on similar economic packages...And today is no different....In times like these, gold isn't just a safe haven, it may be a massive opportunity."

correction Why Morgan Stanley Expects A Correction: "Market Pressure Is Necessary To Get Congress Or Fed To Act" -Zero Hedge
"'Wall Street's most accurate analyst' - the bank's chief US equity strategist Michael Wilson - is bullish over the next 12 months...yet bearish into year end, expecting another corrective 'drawdown' in the S&P500...More than a few people were surprised and worried about the inability of the market to break through 3600 on a deluge of good news from vaccine efficacy and lower election related overhangs....The following concerns emerged: 1) Case counts are rising and so is lockdown risk which could damage consumer confidence and balance sheets. 2) The vaccine doesn't do anything for the economy until April. 3) We don't have clarity on fiscal support for the consumer between now and the time the vaccine is available. 4) The transition of power is not going smoothly...What gives Wilson the most pause is the technical picture due to 'repeated failure to break through long term resistance lines'....Wilson's bottom line is that 'both fiscal and now monetary policy have become reactive rather than proactive. For markets, that becomes the itch that needs to be scratched - i.e. market pressure is necessary and likely to get Congress and/or the Fed to act.' Stated even more simply, stocks can drift higher, but to shoot up and break the resistance level, the market will first need to slide to provoke the 'appropriate' response either from the Treasury or the Fed."

Dems Pick the Worst Time to Propose Doubling the Minimum Wage -Wilford/Real Clear Markets
"Raising the federal minimum wage from its current $7.25 an hour rate has been a progressive dream for some time. So much so, it seems, that Democrats are willing to push for it despite the worst economic climate for such a change in years. Democrats in Congress are expected to push for a $15 an hour minimum wage as part of the next major COVID-19 relief bill. Though this would likely be paired with some business tax incentives to blunt the impact on small businesses, it remains a dangerous idea that could hamper the economic recovery from the pandemic. The minimum wage has always enjoyed a disproportionate amount of focus in progressive parlance, in large part due to a pervasive belief in left-wing circles that businesses will pay workers the absolute legal minimum that they can get away with. This just isn't the case - in January, prior to the onset of the pandemic, just 1.1 percent of full-time American workers were paid at or below the federal minimum wage. Nevertheless, hiking the federal minimum wage to more than double the current minimum could have severe consequences for businesses still dealing with the economic consequences of the pandemic and its associated lockdowns....For one, $15 an hour means different things in different areas - while the median worker makes over $35 an hour in the District of Columbia, the median Idahoan makes less than half that rate per hour. While a New York City business may expect to pay entry-level hourly wage workers around $15 an hour already, in line with the city's inflated cost of living, a $15 an hour minimum wage in rural areas could put some smaller operations out of business. Paired with the fact that the latest coronavirus wave appears to behitting rural communities disproportionately hard, this could prove a one-two punch for small businesses ill prepared to take even a single hit....Only when businesses are back on their feet should Congress even consider policies that could saddle them with new burdens. Until that time, it just risks putting more Americans on the unemployment rolls."

The Price of Bad Polling -Editors/Wall Street Journal
"The 2020 polling autopsies are still being written, and there are many unanswered questions: How did Republicans win 27 of 27 House districts identified as tossups by the Cook Political Report? How did Sen. Susan Collins win Maine by nine points when she didn’t lead in a single major poll for months? How are President Trump and Joe Biden separated by a little under four points in the national popular vote when Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight average showed an 8.4-point Biden lead on Election Day?....The polling industry and statistical models make claims to objective expertise, yet they again clearly missed Republican strength. Combined with media conformity, this can lead pundits and the public astray. The prognosticators make projections - shaped by assumptions about demographics, turnout and response rates - which influence the press. These views are reinforced on social media, especially Twitter....The predictions that Democrats would gain 10-15 seats or more in the House were so wrong that they may have hurt the GOP chances to take House control in what was a very close result....'In my judgment, there was a blue wave building, a pretty big one, then something happened, like a fish getting spooked before taking a bite out of a lure,' Charlie Cook of The Cook Political Report explained. 'Too many of the most experienced political operatives in both parties could see it coming. My guess is that while a majority, albeit a small one, wanted to unseat Trump, they got skittish about giving Democrats unified control.'....Pollsters are working on better models, but it would be healthier if politics and media narratives were shaped less by instant snapshots of quantified opinion...Journalists and opinion leaders could develop insights on popular sentiment the old-fashioned way - by actual reporting. Those insights might also be shaped by bias, but at least they wouldn't be presented with an imprimatur of scientific authority."

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Nov 23, 2020

11.23.20 - The High Cost of Lockdowns

Gold last traded at $1,840 an ounce. Silver at $23.62 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices fell Monday on profit-taking and upbeat economic data. U.S. stocks rose as investor cheered promising results from a third potential Covid-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca.

Bitcoin no match for gold in coronavirus world -Fox Business
"The recent surge in bitcoin's price has created some new believers, but the cryptocurrency will never supplant gold as a store of value or medium of exchange, some Wall Street investors say. The cryptocurrency's price has soared more than 70% over the past six weeks to more than $18,000 a coin and is 11% below its all-time peak of $20,089. At the same time, gold's price has traded in a tight range between $1,850 and $1,950 an ounce. 'To try to act like bitcoin is some kind of improved version of gold, it's going to disrupt gold because it's a better store of value, it's a better medium of exchange, all that is pure nonsense,' said Peter Schiff, CEO of Westport, Conn.-based Euro Pacific Capital. 'It's not a store of value because it has no value to store.' Gold, widely viewed as a safe haven for investors seeking to preserve wealth during periods of market upheaval such as the coronavirus pandemic, has value not only in trade but its use in fine jewelry and electrical conductivity. Bitcoin, generated - or mined - by the verification of transactions in a blockchain digital ledger, has no use other than as a limited medium of exchange and has historically been subject to wide price swings....'Crypto is the mother or father of all scams and bubbles,' Nouriel Roubini, CEO of Roubini Macro Associates and a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, said in testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Community Affairs....'There's no real use for bitcoin,' Schiff said. 'All you can do with Bitcoin once you buy it is sell it, but you need somebody else to buy it from you. It's a massive pump-and-dump.'"

advice If We Want People To Accept A COVID-19 Vaccine, We Should Stop Lying To Them About The Disease -Fumento/Issues & Insights
"COVID-19 vaccines when ready should be available for those who want them. Yet it's possible, nay probable, that the fabricated hysteria over COVID-19 virus will make people reject injections. Why? Because authorities have lost their trust regarding everything to do with the virus. If they can't trust them over cases and deaths, why trust them over safety and efficacy of vaccines. Indeed, polls show a steady decline in those who said they would immediately receive a coronavirus vaccine, only 58% of Americans in the latest survey. There are actually several good reasons for trepidation...In the past, haste has made not just waste, but death. In 1976, after being warned that the death of a single soldier from influenza might portend a new 'Spanish flu' - then-President Gerald Ford ordered a turbocharged program overseen by the CDC...After 45 million injections the government slammed the brakes when it was realized too many recipients developed a rare and often permanent form of paralysis called Guillain-Barré syndrome. Some died....Just three years ago the Philippines shut down a dengue fever vaccination program after it was associated with 'hundreds' of excess deaths. There were accusations of approval with 'undue haste' and indeed some dengue experts had warned that the vaccine should only be given to those who had had previously been infected. They were ignored. Both of these disastrous vaccines still did pass their allocated human clinical trials just as the announced Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, vaccines appear to be doing. The side effects apparently weren't clear until the general vaccination programs began. Modern technology can't change that. The Pfizer vaccine so far has been tested on less than 45,000 people, Moderna's on about 30,000. That can hardly be representative of the 330 million unique individuals that comprise the United States...Despite the steady stream of slogans like 'We're all in this together' we are all by now long aware that young people with no pre-existing conditions are at almost no risk of severe illness. This notwithstanding the media's desperate effort to comb through every obituary and local news story on the planet for possible exceptions....If governments and health authorities want to gain public trust in a vaccine, they need to win back public trust regarding coronavirus generally. By telling the truth...There's no quicker way to scare people off than by trying to make the vaccine mandatory. Denmark announced it would do so and then backed down after nine days of protests."

Cost of Lockdowns: A Preliminary Report -Staff/AEIR
"In the debate over coronavirus policy, there has been far too little focus on the costs of lockdowns. It's very common for the proponents of these interventions to write articles and large studies without even mentioning the downsides. Here is a brief look at the cost of stringencies in the United States, and around the world, including stay-at-home orders, closings of business and schools, restrictions on gatherings, shutting of arts and sports, restrictions on medical services, and interventions in the freedom of movement. 1) Mental Health: During late June 2020, 40% of US adults reported to be struggling with mental health or substance abuse. Of adults surveyed, 10.7% had thoughts of suicide compared to 4.3% in 2018...More than 40 states have reported increases in opioid-related mortality....2) The Economy: This year, between 71 and 100 million people will fall into extreme poverty...Q2 2020 GDP decreased at an annual rate of 32.9%, and Q1 2020 GDP decreased at an annual rate of 5%....3) Unemployment: Unemployment rate increased to 14.7% in April 2020. This is the highest rate of increase (10.3%) and largest month over month increase in history of available data (since 1948)...The unemployment rate between February and April increased by 12% for women and 10% for men...One out of four women who were surveyed reported their job loss was due to lack of childcare, twice the rate of men surveyed....4) Education: About 24 million children may drop out of school next year as a result of the lockdown's economic impact...A decrease in life expectancy by 5.53 million years of life is found to occur for US children due to the closing of US primary schools....5) Healthcare: Diagnosis for 6 cancers (breast, colorectal, lung, pancreatic, gastric, and esophageal) has declined 46.4% compared to 2018...Breast cancer diagnosis has dropped 51.8% compared to 2018...Admissions for chemotherapy decreased 45-66% while urgent referrals for early cancer diagnosis decreased 70-89%....6) Crime: During the first six months of 2020 murder and nonnegligent manslaughter offenses increased 14.8%, and aggravated assault offenses were up 4.6%...Between June and August 2020 homicides increased 53% and aggravated assaults increased 14% compared to the same period in 2019....7) Food and Hospitality: The restaurant industry is set to lose $240 billion in revenue and 8 million employees in 2020...1 in 3 restaurants are expected to close."

The Economic Emergency In 2020 and Beyond Won't Be Covid -Snyder/Real Clear Markets
"The economic emergency facing the global economy in 2021 is not COVID. Overreactive governments arbitrarily imposing their authority, sure, that's a big problem. The economic damage, however, has already been done; twice. In each case, as consistent with depression economics, the labor market has suffered. As it has suffered, unrest and disarray become more the operative state in political and social factors. Some things never change. While the unemployment rate had dropped to a 50-year low during 2019, the labor force participation rate had 'achieved' something similar; which meant the two major employment measures directly opposed one another. The inflation which should have accompanied the unemployment rate view never materialized, therefore joining the disinflationary (or deflation) evidence already including everything from bond yields to productivity. Now another great deflationary shock unleashed in March 2020. On top of the other one not yet solved, a second from which the same symptoms have already arrived. The unemployment rate falls while the participation rate barely improves for an even lower number. More immediate, initial jobless claims halfway into November, eight months after the initial shock and dislocation, continue to be above weekly rates that previous to this year would've been record highs. Following the absolute peak (record) reached in October 1981, it had taken only about the same eight months for the level of initial jobless claims to recover back all the way to the prior 'normal' levels. Following the 2008-09 Great 'Recession', it would take five years - a relatively sobering demonstration for how the labor market had never really recovered from it at all. Which course does it sound like we're currently following? More to the current point, and our future worries, what had distinguished 2008-09's 'great recession' from the rather nasty one in 1981-82? The answer...stop looking to central banks for answers."

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Nov 20, 2020

11.20.20 - Fed May Extend Emergency Programs

Gold last traded at $1,872 an ounce. Silver at $24.35 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose Friday on bargain-hunting and a flat dollar. U.S. stocks fell on rising new coronavirus cases and doubts over central-bank funding for key emergency programs.

Gold Is a Hedge Against Bad Government Decisions -Dillian/Bloomberg
"Investors don't really have a handle on what gold is or what it represents....Gold is a hedge on government authorities making poor economic choices. Inflation is usually the result of those poor decisions, but people confuse cause and effect here. Gold is a hedge on policy makers screwing up, and there has been a lot of screwing up in the last 20 years. Gold has significantly outperformed stocks this century, gaining about 555% versus 79% for the MSCI All-Country World Index of stocks and 146% for the S&P 500 Index. This is a direct result of significantly looser financial conditions, and no constraints on monetary and fiscal policy. From a financial perspective, the global economy is in a much worse place than 20 years ago, and there is no evidence that things are going to improve."

hyperinflation The Velocity of Money Is Increasing -Bonner/Rogue Economics
"Inflation in Argentina is running at about 50% per year. if history is any guide, pesos will continue to lose value against the U.S. dollar. And then, the dollar will lose value against everything else. The post-1971 dollar has already lost 96% of its value, in terms of gold. In the years ahead, it will almost surely lose the rest of it. This week the Dow leapt to absurdity, coming to rest only 50 points shy of 30,000 – a new record. What is driving stocks higher? Two things… First, there was more 'good news' about a coronavirus vaccine. According to the popular narrative, the economy will soon get a shot in the arm and life will return to normal. But it is not normal for stocks to be so expensive. And it is not normal for an economy to depend on printing-press money. Businesses have had the life crushed out of them. Jobs have been permanently lost. Habits have changed. States are telling families not to get together for Thanksgiving. Santa is shopping for a face-protector. The second reason is even more absurd. Now that Sleepy Joe Biden is packing up for his move into the White House, investors expect the fake money to flow...Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer announced last week that their last proposal - $3.4 trillion of additional fake money - was now just a 'starting point.' Is this 'normal?' And the Federal Reserve is 'printing' new money - debasing its own currency - at the rate of $11 billion per day. Is that 'normal?' Far from it. The whole program - spend, borrow, print… boom, bubble, crash… pain, panic, bailout… spend, borrow, print… boom, bubble, crash… pain, panic, bailout… - is grotesque and unnatural. And the weak link in this freakish chain is the U.S. dollar. The feds can print 'em. But they can't control their value....The St. Louis Fed reports that the 'velocity' of money - the rate at which money changes hands - has suddenly turned up. Zero Hedge: 'In a Friday note from Goldman's chief FX strategist Zach Pandal, he predicts that 'depreciation in the broad Dollar can continue in 2021' and writes that his USD cross forecasts translate into a 6% decline in the broad trade-weighted Dollar index over the next 12 months, and a 'sustained but orderly' 15% real depreciation from its 2020 peak to the end of 2024.' Is this the beginning of the end for the fake dollar… the fake interest rates… the fake stimulus… the fake bailouts… the fake recovery… the fake stock market boom… and all the rest of the fakiness? It is too early to tell."

Fed's Powell signals emergency credit programs should be extended -Reuters
"Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Tuesday it was not time to shut down emergency programs aimed at battling the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, with cases again surging and the economy left with 'a long way to go' to recover. 'I don't think it is time yet, or very soon,' to shutter the suite of credit programs set up by the Fed last spring with the authorization of the Treasury Department and funding from Congress, Powell said in the clearest indication yet he feels the programs are likely needed beyond Dec. 31, when many are due to expire. Extending the programs would require Treasury's approval under the 'lame-duck' Trump administration. Some Republicans in Congress have balked at keeping them open, particularly the program of lending for local governments. But Powell and other Fed officials are concerned about how competing perceptions of where the economy stands may bog down debate over the proper policy response....Powell said the recent news that experimental vaccines had been highly effective in trials is 'certainly good' in the medium term, but he noted that in the best case they won't be widely available for months. 'With the virus now spreading at a fast rate, the next few months will be very challenging,' he said."

Coronavirus Surge Drives Down U.S. Consumer Confidence -Morning Consult
"Morning Consult's daily U.S. Index of Consumer Sentiment reads 88.51 as of Nov. 17, down 2.13 points from the prior week. The drop in confidence this past week primarily reflects the increase in the spread of the coronavirus across the United States. The relationship between consumer confidence and the coronavirus has essentially become a rule at this point: When the average number of new daily coronavirus cases in a country increases, consumers in that country grow less confident in the economy. However, the inverse is not true: When new cases stabilize or decrease, confidence does not necessarily increase; rather, the effect of the virus on confidence weakens. In this sense, the relationship between the spread of the virus and consumer confidence is asymmetric. This rule has been on display across the largest economies in Europe over the past month, and now it's front and center again in the United States."

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Nov 19, 2020

11.19.20 - Feds Propose More Bank Spying

Gold last traded at $1,863 an ounce. Silver at $24.07 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices eased back Thursday on profit-taking and a firmer dollar. U.S. stocks fell amid disappointing U.S. unemployment data and rising coronavirus cases.

$3,000 Gold Could Be Just the Beginning -Sjuggerud/Daily Wealth
"The 1970s was the decade our country's monetary system changed forever. Until the 1970s, gold was what backed the value of our currency. If you wanted to convert your dollars to physical metal, you could do it. President Richard Nixon broke that structure in 1971. He removed gold's convertibility. And overnight, our gold-backed currency became backed only by full faith in the U.S. government. That change allowed the price of gold to fluctuate on its own for the first time. And it's why the 1970s gold boom was possible in the first place. There was another key driver though. Today, we'll look at what it was... and why it could push gold to $3,000 an ounce... or even higher....Clearly, the 1970s are the banner example of rising inflation triggering a gold boom. But that's far from the only time we've seen the trend play out. Importantly, the same kinds of things that set off inflation in these past scenarios are happening today...The Fed has once again lowered interest rates to zero in order to boost the economy. Even more, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell announced that he wants to keep interest rates low for at least three years...Today, inflation is at 1.3%. And if the Fed has any say in it, we could see that number rise to 4% - or even 6% - in the coming years. That will be enough to send gold on a multiyear bull run. And it means the metal could double - or more - from here. That means $3,000 could be just the beginning for gold. It won't happen overnight. But the setup is in place. And that means you need to own the metal now."

climate Joe Biden's Net-Zero Isn't Normal -Darwall/Real Clear Energy
"Those hoping that a vote for Joe Biden would be a ticket to normalcy will be disappointed. 'At this moment of profound crisis,' the Biden-Harris transition website states, 'we have the opportunity to build a more resilient, sustainable economy - one that will put the U.S. on an irreversible path to achieve net-zero emissions, economy-wide, by no later than 2050.' Resilient and sustainable? The U.S. has just achieved energy independence - a goal sought by every president since Richard Nixon. Those economic and strategic advantages will be thrown away by a Biden administration as it moves to outlaw domestically produced oil and gas in favor of vast quantities of imported minerals from countries such as China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Russia for use in wind turbines, solar panels, and electric vehicles. As for resiliency, better check out California, the state of the rolling blackout, to get an idea of the results that come from pursuing such a strategy. Of course, a Biden administration promises millions of 'green jobs' - because generating energy from wind and solar is highly labor-intensive. A 2017 analysis found that to produce the same amount of electricity as one worker in the coal sector required two in the natural gas sector and 79 workers in the solar sector. One megawatt hour of electricity generated from wind and solar is worth less than one from gas- or coal-fired power stations because wind and solar produce electricity only when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining - and not necessarily when people want it....Economic logic, therefore, suggests that energy prices will be higher and wages lower in an economy using more wind and solar power. In January 2020, before Covid struck, the national payroll average weekly wage was $971.15. For workers in the oil and gas sector, weekly pay was $2,059.28 - more than double the national average. By contrast, in 2019, the average wage for wind turbine technicians was $1,014.71 a week; for solar panel installers, it was $860.91. Solar panel installers must work 2.4 times longer to earn the same pre-tax wages as workers in the oil and gas industry....Since 2005, American has boosted its production of natural gas by 75% and since 2008, of crude oil by a spectacular 145%. To give up being the world's hydrocarbon superpower represents a huge strategic and economic sacrifice that no other country is making. And yet an even greater one is being demanded. Enforcing net-zero requires continuous state interventions across society to bring about unprecedented changes in people's lifestyles and habits, with more bans, rules, and taxes sustained not over a few electoral cycles but over the next three decades. Put simply, net-zero is incompatible with federalism and the separation of powers." [Rupert Darwall is a senior fellow of the RealClear Foundation and author of THE CLIMATE NOOSE: BUSINESS, NET ZERO AND THE IPCC'S ANTICAPITALISM.]

Feds Propose Even More Surveillance of Your Banking Habits -Reason
"It is remarkable just how unremarkable America's massive financial surveillance system has become to most people. Americans were rightly outraged when Edward Snowden revealed the government's widespread spying campaigns on online communications. Yet every day, our financial transactions are subject to similar scrutiny. The programs aren't even secret: you can read up about them on official government websites. But for some reason, we accept this surveillance as a fact of life. We shouldn't. If you give an agent a surveillance program, he will try to expand it. This is the case with the many legally questionable financial reporting requirements sprung forth from the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 (BSA), which is kind of like the PATRIOT Act for money. Most recently, the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department have proposed expanding what is called the 'travel rule' to capture international funds transfers above $250. Currently, financial institutions are required to make certain reports on customers when they send international transactions in excess of $3,000. This has been the threshold since the travel rule was first adopted in the U.S. in 1996, despite inflation since then. Here's how it works: Let's say someone wants to send $5,000 to someone else in the U.S. or abroad. That person goes to their bank and tells them where they'd like to send the money. The bank, by law, must collect, store, and send certain identifying data to the receiving financial institution, including the name, address, and account information for the sender and receiver. This data must be passed along intermediary financial institutions and stored for at least five years. It isn't immediately shared with the government unless it is determined to be 'suspicious' enough to trigger Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) requirements under the BSA. In other words: banks must keep this data on hand in case the government needs it. These surveilled people are suspected of no crime, nor are they given any opportunity to opt out of this data collection. Still, the government preemptively requires that their transactions be tagged and tracked as if they had done something wrong. The threat of government involvement is apparent. It has effectively deputized banks to keep treasure troves of transaction data on hand in case it should become useful. But there are many other good reasons that innocent people should oppose these programs that don't have to do with the government at all. Forcing third parties to maintain financial records on transactions gives them an intimate window into your life....If the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department had considered the proposed $250 travel rule's privacy costs on individuals, perhaps it would not pass a cost-benefit test. Actually, maybe it would prompt the agencies to rethink the architecture of our financial surveillance altogether."

A Way Forward for Judy Shelton -Editors/New York Sun
"The Democrats may be celebrating this evening their success in at least temporarily blocking the Senate from voting on the nomination to the Federal Reserve of Judy Shelton. It might not be the end of the line, though. For it looks like Ms. Shelton has the votes - if they can only get to the Senate floor before the end of November. Senator McConnell and the White House seem determined to stick with it, and we certainly wish them luck. It's an important moment in America's long debate over monetary reform. The vote in the Senate this afternoon against ending debate on Ms. Shelton was 50 to 47. Mr. McConnell switched to the Democratic side at the last moment, a maneuver that preserves his right to move to reconsider, which he promptly did. Two other Republicans were quarantining, either because of Covid (Senator Grassley) or because of exposure (Senator Rick Scott). If they can get back, the odds on reconsideration are for a vote of 50 to 49 in favor. That's without Vice President Pence having to come back from vacation to break a tie. It's amazing to us that three Republican senators - Susan Collins, Lamar Alexander, and Mitt Romney - have fallen away on this issue. Ms. Shelton's positions on the Federal Reserve, after all, strike us as fitting in fine with the GOP's, as outlined in the party platform on which Mr. Trump stood in 2016. The platform's most important feature relating to the Fed is the establishment of a monetary commission - similar to one President Reagan and Congress convened - to consider the feasibility of a metallic basis for U.S. currency. We're coming up on the 50th anniversary of fiat money, meaning money that is not defined in law and is not backed with specie, such as gold or silver. How does the era of fiat money compare to, say, the era of the gold-exchange standard that obtained during Bretton Woods? That was the world's monetary system between 1945 and 1971. America redeemed dollars held by foreign governments at a 35th of an ounce of gold. The record of that period ought to be the envy of Democrats as well as Republicans. Unemployment averaged something like 4.6%...Why in the world would either party rule out of consideration for the Fed a nominee who has studied this for a whole career? It's easy to see of what doctrinaire Democrats are so scared. The vast deficits and government debts Congress has been racking up would be harder to take on under a sound money system. It's much harder to comprehend the opposition to Ms. Shelton by the several members of the GOP who are voting against her or failing to vote at all."

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