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1.20.17 - Markets Cheer Trump Change

Gold last traded at $1,204 an ounce. Silver at $17.03 an ounce

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose Friday on a weaker dollar and rising uncertainty as President Trump takes over U.S. political leadership. U.S. stocks also cheered despite fears of Trump protectionist policies ahead.

Trump pledges 'America first' creed, says 'you will never be ignored again' -CNBC
"Donald J. Trump preached the populist and nationalist message that fueled his presidential campaign in his first remarks as the 45th president of the United States, pledging an 'America first' creed....As raindrops fell on the crowd gathered on the National Mall, Trump said he planned to 'transfer power from Washington, D.C.' to the people, taking swipes at politicians, some of whom stood just over his shoulder. He told Americans that 'you will never be ignored again,' repeating his campaign pledges to push companies to return jobs to the U.S. and to rebuild American infrastructure." Full Inaugural Address Transcript

100 days Investors Need to Look Well Beyond the Inauguration -Bloomberg
"One of the best ways to plan for the long-term is by setting reasonable expectations. What's considered reasonable based on where we stand today? Hint: Lower your expectations for future stock market returns in the U.S., expect higher returns in foreign equities and brush up on your bond math....The U.S. is the most expensive market across every valuation metric, but that makes sense given the huge outperformance over the past five years....Unlike stock market performance, bond returns are more or less governed by math....Also, expect an uptick in volatility in bonds because the yields are much lower than they have been historically, meaning the same change in interest rates will have a greater effect now on bond prices than they would have at higher rates in the past."

FREE REPORT! From repealing Obamacare and rolling back regulations, to controlling the border and cutting taxes - the Trump agenda has both implications and ramifications. This insightful report also includes Trump's 26-point comprehensive "Contract With The American Voter". To request your complimentary copy call 800-289-2646 or register HERE.

Bullion Bulls Have History on Their Side as Trump Takes Helm -Bloomberg
"Gold bulls wagering the bullion rally has more room to run may have history on their side with the arrival of a new U.S. president....Gold has averaged gains of almost 15 percent in years marking the inauguration of a new president since the 1970s, advancing in five of those seven years. In contrast, the S&P 500 index of equities declined in four of those years for an average loss over the period of 0.9 percent....The metal has climbed almost 5 percent this year as questions over the possible economic impact of Donald Trump’s policies add to investor angst over Brexit and mounting trade frictions. Bulls reason that gold will extend its gain as scant details of Trump’s fiscal stimulus program and tensions with trading partners including China unnerve investors. 'We have no idea what’s going to happen with some of Trump’s policies - everybody is a little nervous,' said Axel Merk, San Francisco-based founder of Merk Investments LLC, which manages $300 million in assets. 'Gold is relatively undervalued and will push higher.'"

Washington Prepares to Be Upended by President Trump -New York Times
"Donald John Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States on Friday, ushering in a new and more unpredictable era in which he vowed to shatter the established order and restore American greatness....He said the inauguration represented not just the peaceful transfer of power from one party to another. 'We are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you the people,' he said....Within hours of taking office, the new president could begin signing executive orders freezing regulations put in place in the last weeks of Mr. Obama’s tenure and reversing policies on health care, immigration and other areas. His son Donald Trump Jr. said the new president was coming to grips with the gravity of his new position, even if it did not necessarily seem so in public. 'He’s been humbled by the whole process,' he said on MSNBC."

We are pleased to hear that America's newest politician feels "humbled" and hope he remains humble. As discussed in our 35th Anniversary Real Money Perspectives newsletter, Volatility's Last Stand ..."Perhaps Trump has learned it takes pride to get elected (get the deal) and humility to govern wisely (keep the deal). Time will tell if President Trump can live up to his new Secret Service handle ('Humble') and if his proud showmanship will give way to humble statesmanship. 'Humility is the most difficult of all virtues to achieve; nothing dies harder than the desire to think well of oneself,' said essayist and playwright T.S. Elliot."

Trump Inaugural Address Focuses On ‘We,’ Leaves Himself Out Of Speech Almost Entirely -Daily Caller
"The first time Trump referred to himself came about halfway through the speech, when he said: 'The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.' Trump’s other two references to himself came shortly afterwards. 'I will fight for you with every breath in my body - and I will never, ever let you down,' Trump said. That was the extent to which Trump gave himself any mention in his inaugural address. He referred to 'we' the American people 45 times over the course of the address, including a string of mentions at the end of his speech, playing off his 'Make America Great Again' slogan: 'Together, We Will Make America Strong Again. We Will Make America Wealthy Again. We Will Make America Proud Again. We Will Make America Safe Again. And, Yes, Together, We Will Make America Great Again.'"

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1.19.17 - Market Rigging A Buying Opp?

Gold last traded at $1,201 an ounce. Silver at $17.00 an ounce

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices eased back on Thursday after Fed head Janet Yellen jawbones coming interest rate hikes. U.S. stocks traded lower as real estate prices fell and the Trump inauguration looms large.

Washington D.C. Turned Into "Virtual Fortress" As 250,000 Protesters Descend Upon The City -Zero Hedge
"Over the past couple of days, we've highlighted a couple of the mass protests that are being planned by disaffected Hillary supporters in an effort to disrupt the various Trump inaugural events that get kicked off tomorrow evening. Perhaps the most aggressive 'disruptions' have been planned by groups called 'DisruptJ20' and the 'DC Anti-Fascist Coalition' and include plans to 'paralyze the city' with ....'blockades' of bridges and tunnels, 'stink bombs' in ventilation systems and chaining metro trains to station platforms to shut down rail traffic. Unfortunately for them, all of their plans were caught on tape by Project Veritas (see 'New Video Exposes Anti-Trump Groups Plotting Criminal Acts To Disrupt Inauguration') so we suspect police will be well prepared. As Reuters points out this morning, efforts to disrupt the inaugural process will have to evade a massive force of 28,000 security personnel and miles of fencing and roadblocks fortified by sand-laden dump trucks and other heavy equipment."

markets Does Market Rigging in the Metals Signal a Buying Opportunity? Miller On The Money
"The need to protect your retirement nest egg from inflation is growing by the day. If the best inflation protection on the planet, precious metals, is being artificially held down in price what should an investor do? I contacted Ed Steer. I asked his opinion on the smoking gun and the implication for those who need to protect their life savings from inflation. DENNIS: ....As a member of the GATA committee, I know you are on top of the situation. The smoking gun appeared. Will this change the 'big boys' continual market manipulation? ED: Hi Dennis...The largest 8 traders, mostly U.S. banks and brokerage houses, are still mega-short the precious metals...The 'smoking gun' you refer to with the Deutsche Bank revelations has confirmed that the silver market is rigged – as is the gold market....DENNIS: ....What would you tell readers who are concerned about funding their retirement and making sure they have ample funds to pay their bills for the rest of their life? ED: Inflation is coming whether we want it or not – and it’s not going to be just a little bit of inflation. Central banks will move heaven and earth to ensure that it happens. The first place it will show up will be in precious metal prices, along with their associated equities. A portion of your retirement savings in them, whatever portion you feel comfortable with, will go a long way to not only preserving your wealth, but also your future purchasing power."

Weiss Research reports, "GATA says 'The objective of this manipulation is to conceal the mismanagement of the U.S. dollar so that it might retain its function as the world’s reserve currency.' Craig R. Smith, founder of Swiss America Trading Corp says he accepts the GATA arguments because 'there has to be a force greater than normal market conditions that has repressed the price of gold.'"

The “war on cash” has nothing to do with fighting crime -Saville/The Speculative Investor
"Don’t be hoodwinked by the relentless propaganda into believing that the efforts being made to eliminate physical cash are motivated by a desire to reduce crime and corruption. Fighting crime/corruption is just a pretext. The logic behind the propaganda goes like this: Criminals often use physical cash in their dealings, therefore cash should be eliminated. This makes as much sense as saying: Criminals often use cars, therefore cars should be banned....The reasons being put forward for the elimination of cash are therefore bogus. What, then, are the real reasons? The main real reason is to maximize tax revenue. If all transactions are carried out electronically via the banking system then every transaction can be monitored, making it more difficult to avoid tax. In other words, the main reason that governments are very keen to eliminate physical cash is that by doing so they increase the amount of money flowing into government coffers....So, any economist or financial journalist who advocates the elimination of physical cash is clueless at best and a government/banking-system stooge at worst."

Yellen speech bolsters dollar after Trump's mixed messages -Reuters
"The dollar climbed on Thursday as solid U.S. data reinforced a theme of robust U.S. economic growth, while the euro fell after European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi alluded to sagging inflation and the need for further monetary policy assistance....The ECB announced it would maintain its negative interest rate policy and maintain a record pace of asset purchases to stimulate tepid growth. Draghi described the current euro zone recovery as 'dampened by the sluggish pace of structural reform' and said a 'very substantial degree' of monetary policy stimulus was still needed."

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1.18.17 - Why Investors Are Nervous

Gold last traded at $1,204 an ounce. Silver at $17.09 an ounce

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices steadied near 8-week highs Wednesday on a slight dollar rebound. U.S. stocks traded mixed ahead of Fedspeak amid growing political uncertainty

Should We Trash Cash? -New York Times
"I wonder, though, about the wisdom of the anti-cash crusade. The problem with the argument is that it concedes too much power to the modern triple-headed monster of the economy - the state, the central bank and the banking system. If there is no cash, there is nowhere for the private citizen to hide any assets at all, not just for criminal reasons but simply for financial security. The year 2008 was a reminder of how fragile our banking system is and how all-encompassing financial crisis can be....Cash is one of the few ways in which ordinary citizens can enjoy a tiny taste of the freedom, privacy and security that the rich take as their due. That, for me, is what’s missing in the critique of cash. If there were to be a big, convincing, system wide drive to tax the hidden assets of the rich, to drag them inside the same norms that constrain the rest of us, to make it clear that we are all playing by the same rules - well, then maybe we can start to talk about abolishing cash. Until then, we would do well to bear in mind a favorite line of the pro-cash lobby, Dostoyevsky’s observation from a czarist prison: ‘Money,’ he wrote, ‘is coined liberty.’"

gold Trump Will Make Volatility and Uncertainty Great Again -Real Clear Markets
"It remains my view that volatility and risk are materially underpriced in today's markets. While animal spirits have taken over the markets, abetted by machines and algorithms that often create an artificial market setting by exaggerating market moves, I will remind all that there is a reason why they are called animal spirits and not human spirits....Is it Reagan's 'Morning in America?' -- a metaphor for renewal. We all hope so, but I doubt if this will be the case this time....I am doubtful and I continue to believe that Donald Trump will make volatility and uncertainty great again....I would fade the 'animal spirits'... as I am fearful of elevated stock prices in a post-fact investment world. I would overweight gold and underweight stocks."

As we cover in our 2017 Gold Report - Early Edition ... "The discord surrounding the 2016 US election is clear evidence that political volatility in America is here to stay. US voters passed up ‘certainty’ for the ‘unknown.’ We are sitting on a powder keg of unpredictability. As a result, there is perhaps no better moment in time to diversify with the enduring value of the world’s oldest money than now."

Trump vs. the Dollar: Why Investors Are Right to Be Nervous -The Fiscal Times
"The dollar's rise was one of the lynchpins of the post-election rise, fueling the weakness in emerging market stocks and currencies (on trade war and border tax fears) and building intense demand for U.S. equities. The dollar’s rise helped crush safe haven assets like gold and Treasury bonds. Over the last few weeks, trend reversals have been seen in precious metals and bonds. Gold has climbed for three consecutive weeks to top the $1,200-an-ounce level for the first time since November....Suddenly, there is an interest in safety again. Now, it's the dollar's turn: On Friday, the greenback closed below its 50-day moving average for the first time since September. That drop continued on Tuesday after Trump told The Wall Street Journal that the dollar is 'too strong.'....History suggests that when the dollar weakens after a sustained uptrend, the losses tend to continue..."

Liberal Preppers Stock Up On Guns, Food As Trumpocalypse Looms -Vocativ
"With Trump on the horizon, the survivalist movement - long a pastime of the right - is picking up progressive converts fast....Long a calling among conservatives spooked by big government boogymen and calamitous natural disasters, the so-called prepper movement is gaining a decisively liberal following. 'We’re tired of being perceived as wusses...' said Stacy, a Texas Democrat who recently caught the prepper bug. She spoke with Vocativ on the condition we not publish her last name. 'I, for one, don’t like to be thought of as some precious snowflake.'....'It’s the nature of the political beast,' said Kevin O’Brien, a conservative prepper and realtor who specializes in off-the-grid properties in eastern Tennessee. 'Obama had many on the right really wound up. Now it’s the left’s turn.'"

RealMoneyBlog - Free daily/weekly email 1.17.17- Gold Surges on New Uncertainty

Gold last traded at $1,212 an ounce. Silver at $17.14 an ounce

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices were boosted by safe-haven buying Tuesday after President-elect Trump called for a weaker U.S. dollar. U.S. stock prices fell amid growing Trump policy worries.

Gold jumps to 8-week high on nervousness over Brexit, Trump -Marketwatch
"Gold prices jumped to their highest levels since mid-November on Tuesday as nervousness surrounding Britain’s push to exit from the European Union’s single market and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration this week fed haven demand for the precious metal. Gold for February delivery rose $17.20, or 1.4%, to $1,213.40 an ounce after trading as high as $1,218.90. A settlement around these levels would be the highest since mid-November, according to FactSet data. 'Uncertainty on the Trump transition continues to unsettle markets,' said Peter Hug, global trading director at Kitco Metals. 'President-elect Trump has over the past two days angered China on his Taiwan comments, disparaged NATO and insulted Germany’s Angela Merkel.'"

Physical gold is the world's safest haven and best form of 'wealth insurance.' Swiss America's 2017 Gold Report - Early Edition is an in-depth assessment of the dramatic political and economic events that will impact our financial security in the New Year.

davos Davos 2017: Aristocrats Face the Pitchforks -Wall Street Journal
"The disconnect between the Davos community - among the principal beneficiaries of globalization - and the rest of the world is striking. If the highly integrated, early 21st-century global economy had an aristocracy, it would be roughly the group of people who gather this week in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos....The tide of populist anger that swept the major economies in 2016 - highlighted by the British vote to leave the European Union and the election of Donald Trump in the U.S., marked also by rising support for nationalist parties and anti-establishment causes elsewhere in the developed world, is lapping at the elegantly appointed front door of Davos Man....The disconnect between this fraternity and the rest of the world is striking....The question for the Davos leadership this year is twofold: Will they continue to dismiss and deride voters who want to maintain or restore those borders as racist, xenophobic or even neo-fascist?... And second, what, if anything, do they intend to do about it?"

Craig Smith comment: The Davos panel all agree that uncertainty and lack of trust are rampant throughout the financial world. An over-extended period of artificially low interest rates have distorted price discovery to the point that no one can determine real value of underlying assets supporting all the bonds purchased by central banks. The titans of world finance are nervous, uncertain and believe that until interest rates normalize (which will be around 5-6%) we are in for a rough period. Liquidation of dead assets are necessary to clear the balance sheets of the central banks before we see transparent paper asset pricing. Gold ownership must not be dismissed in this environment.

Dollar retreats on Trump’s concern over strength -Financial Times
"The dollar retreated from the high it struck at the start of the year after Donald Trump signaled his preference for a weaker currency by warning that the greenback was 'too strong' for US companies to compete with their Chinese counterparts....Economists and currency analysts have speculated about the risks a robust US currency, which is trading at a 14-year high against a basket of its peers, poses to the president-elect’s growth strategy, and predicted that the incoming administration in Washington would soon start talking down the dollar. The first inklings of that tactic emerged in an interview Mr Trump gave to the Wall Street Journal late on Monday in which he said: 'Our companies can’t compete with them [Chinese companies] now because our currency is too strong. And it’s killing us.'....The dollar index has fallen 3 per cent since its January 3 high."

Cash Ban Gives India Gold Lovers No Way to Buy Wedding Rings -Bloomberg
"A self-imposed cash shortage in India is creating chaos for jewelry retailers in one of the world’s biggest gold-buying countries. Sales are plunging....In November, the government banned what amounts to half the circulated cash, part of a plan to curb corruption and tax evasion....'All our plans went for a toss after the demonetization,' said Ferreira, 28, a marketing consultant. 'Cash is just not an option now. We can’t get married without rings.'....Rural residents were hurt the most because they use cash almost exclusively, from buying clothes or food to paying for weddings."

A hot, new video by AMTV explains the many economic risks facing the new Trump administration and why the growing "War on Cash" is going on worldwide.

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1.13.17- Gold: Only Asset Safe From "Meddling"

Gold last traded at $1,196 an ounce. Silver at $16.76 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices steadied near 7-week highs Friday on bullish sentiment and on a flat dollar. U.S. stocks rose on upbeat bank earnings, NASDAQ tech index hits record high.

Central-Bank Bashing Has Gold Only Asset Safe From Meddling -Bloomberg
"Baring Asset Management’s Christopher Mahon has one major conviction about 2017: it will be the year in which central-bank bashing by politicians becomes the new normal, so he’s seeking shelter in gold. 'This year is the turning point,' Mahon said in an interview on Monday. 'For seven years or so, central banks have largely escaped critique even though one could argue that their policies have been pretty inadequate in many senses. It’s very plausible now that politicians stand up and throw stones at central bankers.'....Mahon is betting that gold will rise if political intervention causes central banks to miss inflation and growth targets....Gold used to be the center of the global financial system, for that reason it has a reputation as a currency -- but as a currency that’s not issued by governments and not controlled by governments.”

gold coin The gold market in 2017 -World Gold Council
"In 2016, investors around the world returned in large numbers to the gold market, as a combination of macroeconomic drivers and pent up demand kept interest in gold high. As we start the new year, there are some concerns that US dollar strength may limit gold’s appeal....Using the economic perspective from our guest economists as a backdrop, we believe that there are six major trends in the global economy that will support gold demand and influence its performance this year: 1. Heightened political and geopolitical risks. 2. Currency depreciation. 3. Rising inflation expectations. 4. Inflated stock market valuations. 5. Long-term Asian growth. 6. Opening of new markets. World Gold Council's 2017 Outlook

For the First Time, Lady Liberty Depicted as a Woman of Color on U.S. Currency -NBC News
"For the first time in American history, Lady Liberty will be portrayed as a woman of color on United States currency. In celebration of the U.S. Mint and Treasury's 225th anniversary, the new $100 coin was unveiled on Thursday featuring Lady Liberty as a black woman. Since the passage of the Coinage Act in 1792, all coins are required to feature an 'impression emblematic of liberty,' in either words or images. The new 24-karat gold coin, which is set to be released in April and is meant primarily for collectors, is one of a series of new, diverse commemorative coins the Mint will unveil in the coming years."

Beleaguered Small Businesses Set For Big Rebound Under Trump -Investors
"Small businesses and entrepreneurs have had a rough time of it for these past eight years. New startups and entrepreneurial activity have pretty much been stagnant, weighed down by heavy regulation, high taxes and an economy that's just been stumbling along. But in recent weeks, there are signs of renewal that could mark a turnaround in the fortunes of small business. Most impressively, the National Federation of Independent Business' small-business optimism index surged in December by the most since 1980, a year when another maverick conservative-leaning candidate surprised everyone and won the presidency. His name was Reagan.... Since 2009, small businesses have accounted for over 60% of all new jobs....In short, when small business booms, the economy booms."

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1.12.17- The Looming Assault on the Fed

Gold last traded at $1,199 an ounce. Silver at $16.82 an ounce

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose again Thursday on momentum buying and a sharply weaker dollar. U.S. stocks erased all 2017 gains following Trump statements focused on protectionism rather than tax cuts and stimulus.

Gold Surges Above $1,200 as Details-Shy Trump Weighing on Dollar -Bloomberg
"Gold futures rallied to a seven-week high as investors flooded back into funds backed by the metal and the dollar declined in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s press conference that provided little detail on his economic stimulus plans. The metal on Thursday rose above $1,200 an ounce for the first time since late November as exchange-traded holdings jumped by the most since the day after the election. The U.S. currency fell against all of its major peers, dropping 1 percent against the Japanese yen. Gold has risen more than 4 percent this year, bolstered by a weaker greenback that’s spurring demand for the metal as an alternative asset."

big fishTop-Down Frustration in a Bottom-Up World -American Conservative
"Wall Street and the Fed have stacked the deck against Main Street - and the nation’s long-term prosperity is at risk....The world has become a collection of winners and losers, and the winners - usually large established institutions - are manipulating the system at the expense of the entrepreneurial newcomers....Tech investor Peter Thiel, who co-founded PayPal, argues that these firms are engaged in 'the opposite of innovation; they are monopolies.' Main Street Capitalism, the Great Equalizer, the kind of capitalism that demands a level playing field, is under massive assault in this new zero-sum economic environ­ment where the 'big' almost always carry the day....True economic success emerges largely as a result of behavioral changes from the bottom up - not the top down. In his book The Evolu­tion of Everything, Matt Ridley points out the fascination by elites with top-down design rather than bottom-up 'evolution' when it comes to major achievements in science, economics, and social change."

Amazon to create more than 100,000 full-time jobs in the next 18 months -Marketwatch
"Amazon.com Inc. said Thursday that it will create more than 100,000 full-time, full-benefit jobs across the U.S. over the next 18 months. The new additions will take the U.S. full-time workforce from 180,000 in 2016 to more than 280,000 by mid-2018. The new jobs will be nationwide and cut across functions from software developers and engineers to entry-level positions, the company said. Most will be in fulfillment centers currently under construction in states including Texas, California and New Jersey. Amazon says it has created more than 150,000 jobs in the U.S. over the past five years."

The Looming Assault on the Federal Reserve -Barrons
"The new regime hates the Fed: Donald Trump’s supporters are remarkably unified on the Federal Reserve: It monetizes the debt, it creates asset bubbles, it is utterly nontransparent, it’s controlled by Keynesians, its regulations hurt the economy, its bloated balance sheet will be impossible to wind down in an orderly manner, etc. But most importantly, the new regime thinks the Fed has too much power....Sen.Rand Paul, an increasingly important player, has re-introduced his ‘Federal Reserve Transparency Act,’ which has a good chance of passing in the Senate as well...If it passes, Trump would sign it....Trump might eventually appreciate a dove like Yellen, but he and his supporters have a bigger issue than Yellen - their beef is with the Fed as an institution....Trump gets two nominees this year and two more in 2018; the key may not be whether these nominees are monetary hawks or doves - it’s whether they want to curb the Fed’s power, reduce its balance sheet and accept more transparency."

'Fake news' has not spared the financial markets -Business Insider
"As much as we may not want to hear it, there is nothing new about the phenomenon known as fake news. Combatting it has proven to be a viable business for Snopes.com, which has been exposing fake news items, from fabricated messages to factual distortions since the mid-1990s. That being said, the occurrence of fake news spiked in 2016 running the gamut from political to financial so much so that the German government is considering fines of up to $522,000 for each day Facebook 'leaves a 'fake news' story up without deleting it.'....Politics and celebrities aren’t the only arenas for fake news. Financial markets have also seen their fair share of rumor and fake news as well. In early 2014, Adam Feuerstein at The Street identified that, 'a single individual used three different pseudonyms to push articles on Seeking Alpha. After looking into the matter, the Website discovered that a single individual wrote five articles.' ....Without question, investors need to do their homework before committing capital to either a long or short position."

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1.11.17 - Gold Looks "Very Undervalued"

Gold last traded at $1,189 an ounce. Silver at $16.82 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rally, ending at seven-week highs on Wednesday. U.S. stocks traded mixed following President-elect Donald Trump's first news conference of the year.

Gold looks very undervalued: Frank Holmes -CNBC Video
"Frank Holmes at U.S. Global Investors says that growth in China will lead to strong physical demand for the precious metal....According to Holmes, "I've always recommended a 10% weighting in gold and rebalancing each year...I think we are going to see a stronger year this year...I call it the 'love trade' - which has to do with gift-giving - which accounts for about 50% of the gold buying. It follows what's going on in China, in India...in addition to the 'fear trade' which is based on negative interest rates."

As we discuss in our 2017 Gold Report - Early Edition, 2017 may prove to be another history making year. The world has a crammed election calendar with a host of vulnerable incumbents, deep political divides, and an escalating clash between elitism and populism. Add all the carry-over threats from last year - Russia, Iran, the refugee crisis, terrorism, North Korea - and we are sitting on a powder keg of unpredictability. In such a highly charged climate a single vote, election outcome, or referendum could very well send currencies plunging, global stocks tumbling and investors retreating to the safety of gold.

gold report Killer Cash! -Daily Reckoning
"The global elites’ latest volley in the 'war on cash' is a weird one. They’re telling us cash is - drumroll, please - a public health issue. If you’ve been reading us for any amount of time, you’re familiar with the war on cash — the increasing push to get us all to perform our transactions electronically, the better to be tracked and taxed. Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers figures the least that could be done is abolish the $100 bill; Harvard economist Ken Rogoff would just as soon do away with cash altogether, making his case in a book called The Curse of Cash. As you might already know, most of the arguments against cash are a variant on the following proposition: If we don’t do away with cash, then the money launderers and drug runners and terrorists win. Which is what makes the health gambit, if nothing else, novel…'Studies have piled up in recent years describing exactly how filthy - specifically how bacteria-laden - our dollars and cents can be,' says an article in Scientific American."

Cash is under attack from multiple entities - government, banks, technology and now scientists. As we explained in our 2014 book, Don't Bank On It! the use of cash today could get you branded as a criminal. Capital controls are already being put in place to prevent bank runs. Get the full story in our 12-page White Paper: The Secret War on Cash .

World Economic Forum says capitalism needs urgent change -Associated Press
"Reforming the very nature of capitalism will be needed to combat the growing appeal of populist political movements around the world, the World Economic Forum said Wednesday....In a wide-ranging report from the organizer of the annual gathering of political and business leaders in the Swiss resort of Davos, the WEF identified 'rising income and wealth disparity' as potentially the biggest driver in global affairs over the next ten years....'This points to the need for reviving economic growth, but the growing mood of anti-establishment populism suggests we may have passed the stage where this alone would remedy fractures in society: reforming market capitalism must also be added to the agenda,' it said in its latest Global Risks Report. 'The combination of economic inequality and political polarization threatens to amplify global risks, fraying the social solidarity on which the legitimacy of our economic and political systems rests,' it added."

German fury grows over inflation 'Horror-Kurve' as fears of destructive boom-bust cycle mount -Evans-Pritchard/Telegraph
"Inflation rage is coming to the boil in Germany. Leaders of the country's prestigious institutes warn that the economy is hitting capacity constraints and risks spiraling into a destructive boom-bust cycle. In a series of interviews with The Telegraph they said that the ultra-loose monetary policy of the European Central Bank is now badly out of alignment with German needs. It has begun to threaten lasting damage, and is fast undermining political consent for monetary union. 'The ECB wants to inflate away the debt of the southern European countries. This is a clear conflict of interest with net creditors like Germany,' said Clemens Fuest, president of the IFO Institute in Munich."

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1.10.17 - Gold Rises To 6-Week High

Gold last traded at $1,186 an ounce. Silver at $16.84 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY:
Precious metal prices rose near 6-week highs Tuesday on increasing demand, despite a firmer dollar. U.S. stocks rose modestly, lead by financials and technology.

Gold prices climb to highest levels in 6 weeks -Marketwatch
"Gold futures edged higher Tuesday, with a weaker U.S. dollar and uncertainty in the markets a day ahead of President-elect Donald Trump’s press conference lifting the precious metal to its highest level in six weeks. The markets look forward to details Wednesday on spending plans from the incoming Trump administration. Wednesday will mark Trump’s first official news conference since July, an appearance that has injected added volatility into dollar and metals trading and left stocks trading only modestly higher....'The weakness in the dollar is the major factor here, as traders are wary' ahead of Trump’s media briefing, said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at ThinkMarkets."

cashless The Rise of the Cashless City: 'There Is This Real Danger of Exclusion' -Forrest/Guardian
"Cities from Sweden to India are pushing for a totally cash-free society. But as more shops and transport networks insist on electronic payments, where does this leave the smallest traders and poorest inhabitants?....As more shops and transport networks adapt to contactless card and touch-and-go mobile technology, many major cities around the world are in the process of relegating cash to second-class status. Some London shops and cafes are now, like the capital’s buses, simply refusing to handle notes or coins. Could we see a whole city go cash-free? From Seoul to Bergamo, cities big and small are at the forefront of a global drive to go digital....'The beauty of cash is that it’s a direct and simple transaction between all kinds of different people, no matter how rich or poor,' explains financial writer Dominic Frisby. 'If you begin to insist on cashlessness, it does put pressure on you to be banked and signed up to financial system, and many of the poorest are likely to remain outside of that system. So there is this real danger of exclusion.'....According to a recent report by Fung Global Retail & Technology, nine of the top 15 'most digital-ready' countries are in Europe. It predicts Sweden could become the world’s first completely cashless society."

U.S. Small-Business Optimism Index Surges by Most Since 1980 -Bloomberg
"Optimism among America’s small businesses soared in December by the most since 1980 as expectations about the economy’s prospects improved dramatically in the aftermath of the presidential election....The share of business owners who say now is a good time to expand is three times the average of the current expansion, according to the NFIB’s data. More companies also said they plan to increase investment and keep hiring, which reflects optimism surrounding President-elect Donald Trump’s plans of spurring the economy through deregulation, tax reform and infrastructure spending. 'Rising confidence adds to the economy’s upward momentum,' Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, New York, said in a note....'We haven’t seen numbers like this in a long time,' Juanita Duggan, president and chief executive of the NFIB, said in a statement. 'Small business is ready for a breakout, and that can only mean very good things for the U.S. economy. Business owners are feeling better about taking risks and making investments.'"

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1.9.17 - AMERICA: Attractive for Business Again!

Gold last traded at $1,184 an ounce. Silver at $16.68 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose sharply on Monday amid a weaker dollar and demand upswing. U.S. stocks traded mixed on weaker oil prices ahead of the start of corporate earnings season.

Gold Is Cheap Insurance No Matter What The Fed Will Do -Forbes
"Many investors wonder if gold has entered a lasting bear market. Or if this is the time to buy while prices are low. The world is focused on the prospect of rising interest rates. Yet, the market is pricing-in modest rate increases....Years of loose monetary policy - coupled with Trump’s infrastructure, de-regulation, and fiscal plans - could unleash a time of economic expansion which would likely include inflation. Based on the Fed’s past behavior, we expect them to be slow to hike rates and catch up. Real rates may turn negative. It would be very favorable for gold prices....The US economy is in the headwinds of a strong dollar and over-indebtedness. Lower taxes and increased spending could tip the scale and cause a recession....Add to this a very volatile geopolitical environment, fragile economies worldwide, and excessive levels of debt across the globe: the case for gold as insurance and also as a solid long-term investment is as strong as ever."

Yes, physical gold is the world's best 'wealth insurance.' Swiss America's 2017 Gold Report - Early Edition is an in-depth assessment of the dramatic political and economic events that will impact our financial security in the New Year.

fox news Is Trump Making America Great Again? -Craig Smith/Fox Business
Swiss America chairman Craig R. Smith was a guest on Fox News 'Your World With Neil Cavuto' today to discuss the positive economic trends leading into the Trump presidency. For example, today Jack Ma, the founder and chairman of Alibaba Group, met with President-elect Donald Trump to discuss plans to create one million US manufacturing jobs and allowing small businesses to sell to China through the company's platforms. According to Mr. Smith, "Mr. Trump has laid out a pro-growth, pro-business, low tax, low regulation agenda - where he can show corporations around the world that we have the best work force, the best capital markets and the best technology. And that if you decide to do business here in America; we're going to make sure you don't have to give all of your money back to the government, you're going to have steady electricity, steady water and a steady work force. I think he's making America great again, but he's also making America very attractive for business again, Neil."

Is India’s Cash Ban A Test Case For The West? -Zero Hedge
"The decision to abolish the high denomination bank notes shouldn’t be taken lightly, as they represent almost 90% (!) of all bank notes in circulation and on top of that, India is predominantly a cash-nation. Most businesses and consumers prefer to seal their transactions with cash rather than plastic and digital money, and now hundreds of millions of Indians were forced to line up at the banks to try to convert their cash in new and approved notes....Within HOURS. That’s how fast 86% of a country’s cash stash was deemed to be ‘illegal’ and completely worthless. And this might very well happen in western countries as well."

Would a cashless world change your life for the good or bad? Find out for yourself by reading our two special reports on the subject: TEN CONSEQUENCES OF A CASHLESS WORLD & THE SECRET WAR ON CASH.

There Is No Limit On Holding Gold -Somasundaram/Outlook India
"Somasundaram PR, Managing Director, India, World Gold Council, talks to Pragya Singh about the gold market and demonetization - and why it’s tough to regulate gold with strictures. What would be the effect of the government’s recently proposed limits on gold holdings? First of all there is no limit at all. You can hold any amount of gold. The government has only said that if it finds one ton of gold with you, it will ask you how you got it. Up to 500 grams you can keep, no questions asked....Why do Indians value gold more than other assets? That is because there’s a lot more uncertainty in India....gold makes more people credit-worthy. It drives economic activity beyond what we see....Gold is confidential, unlike land....You’re very bullish post-demonetization? Yes, you see, it is difficult to take gold away by regulating it. If you say everybody has to come and deposit their gold—hypothetically—then people will just hold it in locker."

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1.6.17 - ANALYST: "Grab Some Gold!"

Gold last traded at $1,173 an ounce. Silver at $16.51 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices took a breather Friday after rising every day in 2017 on short-term profit taking. U.S. stocks rose, led by technology sector, despite disappointing job growth data.

Grab some gold because the Fed can’t figure out Trump, a growing chorus says -MarketWatch
"If you’re trying to make sense of the new world order or of the latest Fed minutes, here’s some good news: A few gold watchers have it all sorted out. The precious metal is jumping to a four-week high today because yesterday’s minutes are beating up the almighty dollar, says Naeem Aslam at Think Markets. Janet Yellen and her sidekicks are feeling really uncertain about the 'timing, size, and composition' of any infrastructure spending or other U.S. fiscal stimulus, the account of the Fed’s December meeting revealed. 'The Fed is surely betting that Donald Trump will be able to deliver when it comes to fiscal spending and tax reforms. But the reality may be far off what the market is positioned for,' Aslam writes.... 'As such — and despite the considerable retracement declines in precious metals in the back half of last year — we continue to like their long-term prospects in what we believe will be a lower real yield market environment."

gold I'm Really Into the Gold. Here Are the Reasons Why -Kass/Real Clear Markets
"While the animal spirits may have taken over the equity markets and have ignored the gold market, we should recall that there is a reason why Keynes called them animal and not human spirits. That's because animals are a lot dumber than humans! As excited as investors are about stocks, they are now uninterested in gold. I remain a minority and outside of consensus regarding gold. However, given the developing and concerning conditions -- and lack of credible policy responses -- that I now see falling into place, the uncertainty premium should be rising and gold may be a beneficiary this year....I believe the odds that gold will shine brightly this year are growing, and that the commodity may go from goat in 2016 to hero in 2017. I have moved to a large holding in gold."

Smart advice from Doug Kass, a respectable mainstream financial journalist. Although gold has lost some it's luster to short-term speculators, it remains a smart buy for the long-term investor for many common sense reasons as explained in our brand new 2017 Real Money Perspectives newsletter, Volatility's Last Stand , available free in print or online HERE

Where The December Jobs Were: Nurses, Waiters, And Waste Cleaners -Zero Hedge
"Something remains very broken with the US labor market: while the unemployment rate remains just shy of the lowest print since August 2007, rising fractionally to 4.7%, wage growth for most workers, as reported earlier, rose just 2.5%, far below the 4.0% it was when the unemployment rate last hit 4.7%.... Still, according to the BLS at least, some 155,000 seasonally adjusted jobs were added in December, arbitrarily goalseeked as they may have been. Where were they? Here is the answer: The most actively hiring sector was health care, which saw a whopping 70,000 increase in December jobs, nearly half of total....Professional and Business Services rose by a total of 30,500, the second highest gaining category....Another minimum wage job category that added jobs in December was Leisure and Hospitality, which added a grand total of 24,000 jobs. Here, the biggest contributor was an old favorite: employment in food services and drinking places, which continued to trend up in December (+30,000)."

Why Hong Kong going cashless is no small change -South China Morning Post
"Hong Kong prides itself on being up to date with the latest technology, and the government likes to call it a 'smart city', but to really embrace that concept, many believe Hongkongers must abandon the idea that cash is king and join the global trend towards electronic payments. Take Larry Salibra, a tech-savvy shopper, for example. He is frustrated that he is forced to carry cash whenever he is commuting around Hong Kong, even though at least a dozen e-payment options are available....‘I tend to go to restaurants that accept cashless payment. I don’t want to have to deal with cash,’ Salibra said. ‘I don’t want to deal with the responsibility of carrying it around and losing it.’ Hong Kong was one of the first places in the world with a cashless payment system when it introduced the Octopus card in 1997, but since then e-payment options have mushroomed globally....A deep-rooted cash culture, an older population reluctant to adopt new technologies, and the fear of ‘Big Brother’ snooping on transactions are some of the obstacles stopping Hong Kong from becoming truly cashless."

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1.5.17 - 2017 Gold Bullishness on the Rise

Gold last traded at $1,181 an ounce. Silver at $16.63 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices shot up over 1% Thursday on bargain hunting and a sharply weaker dollar. U.S. stocks fell amid growing uncertainty about President-elect Trump's economic and trade policy changes.

Gold ETF Mechanics: An Infographic -Zero Hedge
"Gold-backed Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) have grown strongly in scale and popularity over the last decade and their combined gold holdings now surpass all but the largest central bank gold reserve holdings. However, its important to understand the mechanics of these gold-backed ETF investment vehicles and to appreciate what they can and can't provide to gold investors. This infographic takes you on a tour of gold-backed ETFs and illustrates insights into how these products really work, including the following: The contemporary gold holdings of the world's largest gold-backed ETF platforms, Why holders of gold ETFs are holders of units / shares, not gold holders, The characteristics and common objectives of gold-backed ETFs, How the world's largest gold ETFs support and perpetuate the opaque practices of the London Gold Market."

gold cartoon Gold Traders Most Bullish Since 2015 on New Year Concerns -Bloomberg
"There’s one thing almost all gold traders and analysts agree on, now is a great time to own bullion. Those surveyed by Bloomberg were the most positive they’ve been on the metal’s price outlook since the end of 2015, with 14 saying they’re bullish on the metal, two bearish, and one neutral....'The euro zone has plenty of crisis triggers over coming months; Indian and Chinese buying remain strong and Trump’s policy threatens inflation,' said Adrian Day, president of Adrian Day Asset Management in Annapolis, Maryland, which oversees $190 million. 'All this is positive for gold.' The metal for immediate delivery has risen every day this year, and was up 1 percent at $1,175.38 an ounce as of 1:56 p.m. in London, according to Bloomberg generic pricing."

'Audit the Fed' bill gets new push under Trump -The Hill
"Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have re-introduced legislation to 'Audit the Fed,' after a similar effort stalled in the last Congress....Both chambers are controlled by Republicans long critical of the Fed’s policies, and President-elect Donald Trump has heaped scorn on the central bank since the beginning of his presidential campaign....'The U.S. House has responded to the American people by passing Audit the Fed multiple times, and President-elect Trump has stated his support for an audit. Let’s send him the bill this Congress,' said Paul. Under the bill, the Fed’s monetary policy deliberations could be subject to outside review by the Government Accountability Office....'It is time to force the Federal Reserve to operate by the same standards of transparency and accountability to the taxpayers that we should demand of all government agencies.'"

Here’s Why the Federal Reserve Is Worried About Donald Trump -Fortune
"At their December meeting, Trump's presidential win led members of the Fed to predict that interest rates would rise higher and more quickly than expected, in 2017 and beyond. That prediction cooled the stock market and put the brakes on the 'Trump Bump,' the rise in the stock market since the election, which has essentially stalled since mid-December. The Fed said in its minutes, which were released Wednesday, that its anticipated path of interest rates rose significantly following Trump's presidential win....If the Fed decides to raise interest rates faster than investors and business leaders currently expect, that could make Trump's proposed stimulus efforts less effective, because higher interest rates tend to slow the economy. While Trump has been critical of the Fed, he has said that he would prefer interest rates to stay low for the time being."

Donald Trump’s First 100 Days ... and Your Money! is a brand new Swiss America special report which outlines how the new Commander-in-Chief could impact world markets, the dollar, diplomatic relations and precious metals in the very early days of his presidency and beyond. The report also includes Trump's 26-point comprehensive "Contract With The American Voter".

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