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11.21.19 - Can Bloomberg's Billions Buy Presidency?

Gold last traded at $1,463 an ounce. Silver at $17.06 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices steadied Thursday on mixed economic and trade signals. U.S. stocks fell for a third day as investors digested the latest reports surrounding the U.S.-China trade war.

4 Trends To Watch As Gold Prices Soar -Yahoo Finance
"There's a common saying 'hope for the best, but prepare for the worst'... And that's never been more true than in today's markets. Just spend 5 minutes watching the news...The UK is looking down the barrel of an economically crippling no-deal Brexit...One of the world's top financial hubs, Hong Kong, is teetering on the edge...Germany's manufacturing sector is collapsing...And the U.S.-China trade war is taking domestic victims left and right. It's safe to say that the global economy has seen better days. And according to economists and veteran market analysts alike...It's about to get a whole lot worse. Of course, we should hope for the best. No one is actually hoping for a global recession, after all...But it is time to start preparing for the worst. And what's the best way to hedge against a potential global recession? Gold. Investors are piling into gold in a big way. The market has never been hotter. Some are even saying that $2,000/oz gold may be on the horizon."

USvsChina US Relations With China Were Just Destroyed, And Nothing Will Ever Be The Same Again -Zero Hedge
"Our relationship with China just went from bad to worse, and most Americans don't even realize that we just witnessed one of the most critical foreign policy decisions of this century. The U.S. Senate just unanimously passed the 'Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019', and the Chinese are absolutely seething with anger. Violent protests have been rocking Hong Kong for months, and the Chinese have repeatedly accused the United States of being behind the protests. Whether that is true or not, the U.S. Senate has openly sided with the protesters by passing this bill, and there is no turning back now....To the Chinese government, this move by the U.S. Senate is essentially an assault on China itself. They are going to argue that the U.S. is inciting a revolution in Hong Kong....The Chinese take matters of internal security very seriously, and the status of Hong Kong is one of those issues that they are super sensitive about. China will never, ever compromise when it comes to Hong Kong, and if the U.S. keeps pushing this issue it could literally take us to the brink of a military conflict. And you can forget about a comprehensive trade agreement ever happening....The trade deal that President Trump was trying to put together was already on exceedingly shaky ground. 'Phase one' was extremely limited, nothing was ever put in writing, and nothing was ever signed....'If we don’t make a deal with China, I'll just raise the tariffs even higher,' Trump said. Unfortunately, raising tariffs isn't going to fix anything at this point. In fact, Trump can raise tariffs until the cows come home but it isn't going to cause the Chinese to budge....The U.S. and China are now enemies, and ultimately that is going to result in a tremendous amount of pain for the entire planet."

Why investors in U.S. stocks shouldn't underestimate Hong Kong as a big risk -Marketwatch
"The U.S. Congress has unanimously challenged the Chinese government at a critical time for trade talks. In a boost for Hong Kong's pro-democracy protestors, the House and Senate each passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. Clearly politicians have the guts to show that, for them, it is not all about money. However, for the momo (momentum) crowd in the stock market, it is all about money, and they dislike Congress' decision....The probability is high that Trump may not back Congress and stay focused on getting phase one of the trade deal done. However, Congress may not give Trump a choice, and Trump may be forced to veto a bill. In this scenario, there are likely to be enough votes to override his veto. Investors should not dismiss the Hong Kong issue. Wall Street is assuming that phase one of the trade deal will get done. If it does not get done, watch out below."

Can Bloomberg’s billions buy the presidency? -Ponte/World Net Daily
"'It is time for a wealth tax,' says Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., in a new ad on CNBC that identifies four billionaires and openly appeals to viewer envy. These billionaires, however, are not her primary target. Warren is a front-runner in the race to become the 2020 nominee of a Democratic Party skyjacked by leftists. She could be the next president of the United States, but first she must subtly demonize and defeat a new contender: former three-term mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg. 'Mike Bloomberg has more money than God,' says political pollster Frank Luntz. The founder of Bloomberg News, a slightly center-left giant business news service, Bloomberg could let other Democratic contenders drain their finances on the first four primaries. He could then enter the Super Tuesday vote next March 3 'with more money than all of them,' says Luntz, '[and] potentially more money than all of them combined.'....How rich is Michael Bloomberg? Donald Trump, age 73, today has a net worth of roughly $3.1 billion, according to Forbes, which makes him the 259th wealthiest person in the United States and 715th richest person in the world. Bloomberg, by comparison, is worth roughly $52.3 billion, making him the ninth richest person in the U.S. and 14th wealthiest person in the world. He has not yet declared himself a 2020 presidential candidate, but he met the filing deadline for Alabama and Arkansas. Bloomberg represents more than the Democrats' own version of billionaire Donald Trump. Like Trump, Bloomberg has been so wealthy that he could not be corrupted or 'bought' by political donors and special interest groups....Like Trump, Bloomberg could afford to follow his own mix of right and left ideas...Mayor Bloomberg was a nanny statist control freak who tried to regulate not only guns but also how much soda pop, salt and transfats citizens consume and where they could smoke....Now 77, Bloomberg has the human warmth of a technocratic robot who stands 7 inches shorter than Trump. In presidential races the taller candidate usually wins."

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11.20.19 - World's Rich Are Seeking Old -Fashioned Security

Gold last traded at $1,468 an ounce. Silver at $17.06 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices steadied Wednesday ahead of the latest Fed minutes release. U.S. stocks pulled back from record highs as investors took a pause to asses the trade situation and a batch of retail earnings.

U.S. Stocks Slip as Trade Talks Flounder -Wall Street Journal
"U.S. stocks fell Wednesday as trade talks between the U.S. and China appeared to near an impasse, with President Trump threatening to raise tariffs further....Investors are growing concerned that relations between the world's two biggest economies may be further strained after the U.S. Senate passed a bill in support of Hong Kong's antigovernment protesters....'The Chinese aren't very happy about that bill progressing,' said Paul Flood, multiasset portfolio manager at Newton Investment Management. 'It does make the tariffs discussion more difficult.' A breakdown in the trade talks would derail the White House's plans for a limited 'phase one' agreement this year. Investors are also growing concerned that fresh tariffs on Chinese products including smartphones and toys may be put into effect Dec. 15, directly hitting American consumers. Mr. Trump said in a Tuesday cabinet meeting that China needs to make a deal he likes to avoid levies going even higher."

China War '1984' in China -New York Times
"Communist leaders engage in modern-day totalitarian brainwashing, bizarre lies and industrial-level indoctrination to suppress Muslims. 'Ying shou jin shou' - 'Round up everyone who should be rounded up.' The echo of '1984,' 'Brave New World' or 'Fahrenheit 451' is unmistakable. But this is not dystopian fiction. It's a real bureaucratic directive prepared by the Chinese leadership, drawing on a series of secret speeches by Xi Jinping, China's authoritarian leader, on dealing ruthlessly with Muslims who show 'symptoms' of religious radicalism. This modern-day totalitarian brainwashing is revealed in a remarkable trove of documents leaked to The New York Times by an anonymous Chinese official....That someone from within the unforgiving, secretive Chinese leadership would take the enormous risk of leaking 403 pages of internal documents to a Western newspaper it becomes clear from the documents that Mr. Xi is far more concerned by any challenge to the Communist Party's image of strength than foreign reaction....International outrage could turn that into a wake-up call for China's leaders, despite their totalitarian swagger, if the world begins to see them as pariahs, not just trading partners."

Editor's Note: The so-called 'China trade deal' makes headlines daily; but analysts doubt a fair, long-term China trade deal will ever happen. Meanwhile, financial markets are hanging on every shred of news - fake and real. The truth is, China is waging a very deceptive economic war against the U.S. that's putting your savings and investments at risk. Swiss America chairman Craig R. Smith has just released his newest Special Report: CHINA'S TOP SECRET WAR. In it you will discover why communist China's grand strategy is nothing less than world domination, not simply arriving at a temporary, stock market-boosting trade agreement. Call 800-289-2646 or CLICK HERE to request your free copy of CHINA'S TOP SECRET WAR.

Breakdown in U.S.-China talks to send gold surging above $1,500 -Kitco
"A total breakdown of U.S.-China talks could potentially trigger a global recession and send gold prices above $1,500 an ounce, according to FXTM. 'A complete breakdown in the current trade talks should send Gold surging back above $1,500 while potentially paving the way for a global recession,' writes FXTM market analyst Han Tan. As markets start to doubt the progress surrounding the 'Phase I' trade deal, gold is gaining ground. But, even if a limited deal is signed, gold is still likely to end the year 'with its double-digit annual gain intact,' FXTM says. A new potential obstacle on the horizon is the U.S. Senate passing legislation in support of the Hong Kong protests. 'Such a move threatens to drive a wedge into ongoing U.S.-China negotiations while potentially raising the barrier to a trade deal,' the market analyst writes."

World's Rich Are Rattled and Seeking Old-Fashioned Security -Yahoo Finance
"From London to Switzerland to parts of the U.S., the rich are looking to store precious metals, cash and cryptocurrency. For some, it's the threat of a global recession. Others are avoiding bank deposits as negative interest rates force lenders to charge for holding cash. Many are concerned about natural disasters. Hedge fund titan Ray Dalio captured the anxiety last month when he warned the global economy is under threat from an explosive mix of ineffective monetary policy, a widening wealth gap and climate change. A majority of wealthy investors are stockpiling cash in anticipation of a sharp market drop before the end of next year, according to a survey of clients from UBS Global Wealth Management. 'We've seen extraordinary demand for safe-deposit boxes ever since we started offering them in 2015, and that demand has really gone up since the late summer,' said Ludwig Karl, a spokesman for Swiss Gold Safe Ltd., which operates high-security alpine vaults. 'Most people say they are planning for difficult economic circumstances.'....There are more than 25 million safe-deposit boxes by some estimates in the U.S. alone...A private collector held the Crown of the Andes, made with 5.3 pounds of gold and more than 400 emeralds, in a Citibank box before its sale four years ago to the Metropolitan Museum of Art."

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11.19.19 - China Diversifies Away From US Dollar

Gold last traded at $1,474 an ounce. Silver at $17.11 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose Tuesday on bargain-hunting and a weaker dollar. U.S. stocks traded lower as losses in Home Depot outweighed a rise in Boeing shares.

Why You Should Secure Your Money in Gold -Casey/Bonner And Partners
"It's an unfortunate historical anomaly that people think about the paper in their wallets as money. The dollar is, technically, a currency. A currency is a government substitute for money. But gold is money....There's nothing magical about gold. It's just uniquely well-suited among the 92 naturally occurring elements for use as money…in the same way aluminum is good for airplanes or uranium is good for nuclear power....What are the characteristics of a good money? Aristotle listed them in the 4th century BCE. A good money must be all of the following: 1. Durable: A good money shouldn't fall apart in your pocket nor evaporate when you aren't looking. It should be indestructible....2. Divisible: A good money needs to be convertible into larger and smaller pieces without losing its value, to fit a transaction of any size....3. Consistent: A good money is something that always looks the same, so that it's easy to recognize, each piece identical to the next....4. Convenient: A good money packs a lot of value into a small package and is highly portable....5. Intrinsically valuable: A good money is something many people want or can use....Actually, there's a sixth reason Aristotle should have mentioned, but it wasn’t relevant in his age, because nobody would have thought of it… 6. It can't be created out of thin air....If you try to make airplanes out of lead, or money out of paper, you're in for a crash. That gold is money is simply the result of the market process, seeking optimum means of storing value and making exchanges."

Hong Kong Hong Kong university becomes a battleground -Vox
"The campus of a Hong Kong university transformed into an apocalyptic scene on Monday as riot police armed with tear gas and rubber bullets surrounded pro-democracy protesters. The standoff between authorities and protesters at Hong Kong Polytechnic University has turned into one of the fiercest, most violent conflicts in the nearly six months of protests in the autonomous territory. What began as a movement to block a controversial extradition bill morphed into a sustained call for greater democratic rights in Hong Kong and a pushback against the growing influence of China....Some demonstrators have managed to sneak away; photographers documented people running along a footbridge away from campus. But others are holed up, waiting for an opportunity to break free and avoid arrest....Hong Kong officials said they were allowing the Red Cross to enter the campus and treat injured protesters. Other supporters - including parents of some students at the university - staged a sit-in outside campus. They carried signs that said 'Save our Kids.'....At least 150 people were arrested over the weekend, according to the New York Times. That number is likely to rise, though, as about 500 protesters were still believed to be trapped inside campus well past midnight local time....On Monday, the Chinese government warned that 'no-one should underestimate' Beijing's will 'to safeguard its sovereignty and Hong Kong’s stability.'...The campus unrest also threatens to derail upcoming local elections in Hong Kong, scheduled for this weekend, where pro-democracy lawmakers are expected to win big."

China diversifying FX reserves, assets to counter US dollar exposure -CNBC
"China is heavily exposed to the U.S. dollar, but now, with the risk of 'decoupling,' Beijing is silently diversifying its reserves to reduce its dependence on the world's largest reserve currency, analysts say. Ongoing trade tensions with the U.S. has 'increased the risk of a financial decoupling' between the two largest economies, ANZ Research said in a recent report. The White House reportedly considered some curbs on U.S. investments in China such as delisting Chinese stocks in the U.S....'The pace of diversification into other currencies will likely quicken going forward,' ANZ says in the report, adding that the share of the dollar in the country's foreign exchange reserves was estimated to be around 59% as of June. Meanwhile, Beijing is gradually reducing its holdings of U.S. Treasurys, which it is heavily invested in - China was the largest foreign holder until June, when it was surpassed by Japan. Since peaking in 2018, China has reduced its holdings by $88 billion in the last 14 months, DBS said in a note....The world's second-largest economy has been pushing for greater, more globalized use of the yuan. Efforts are likely to continue to reduce the world's reliance on the dollar, said Roache."

Keeping Up with the "Joneses" -Becoming Minimalist
"Rather than trying to 'keep up with the Joneses,' try to 'keep up with the person you want to be.' It is, almost certainly, different than the life the Joneses are living. Society has an interesting affect on us. Too often, it calls us to conform. Think of the changing styles and how quickly the masses adopt them....'Keeping up with the Joneses' is, by its very nature, a pursuit of conformity. We want what they have, or buy what others are talking about, or click-to-ship the same product everyone else is buying on Black Friday. But one of the rarely mentioned side effects of conforming to the life that others are living is the complete and total loss of individuality...Deep down, do we even want those things? Do we even want to change our clothing styles?....Live your life ignoring conformity. Pursue those things that bring you fulfillment and significance and meaning."

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11.18.19 - Catastrophic China War 'Inevitable'

Gold last traded at $1,472 an ounce. Silver at $17.01 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose Monday amid growing U.S.-China trade deal pessimism. U.S. stocks pulled back from record highs as investors digested mixed signals around U.S.-China trade talks.

Gold firms on US-China trade deal pessimism -CNBC
"Gold prices firmed on on Monday after CNBC reported Chinese officials are pessimistic about the prospect of a U.S.-China trade deal, following a report of 'constructive talks' over the weekend. The mood in Beijing about a trade deal is pessimistic due to President Donald Trump's reluctance to roll back tariffs, which China believed the U.S. had agreed to, a government source told CNBC's Eunice Yoon....Chinese state media Xinhua reported Washington and Beijing had a high-level phone call on Saturday and that the two sides discussed each other's core issues for the first phase of an initial trade agreement....Meanwhile, investors also kept a close eye on developments in Hong Kong, with police on Monday trapping hundreds of protesters inside a major university and demonstrators rampaging through a tourist district, after almost two straight days of standoffs. Gold is considered a safe store of value during times of economic or political uncertainty."

bank boardroom Too Much Money Pushing up Prices, It Ends With a Guillotine -Blain/Zero Hedge
"To be brutally frank - we all know what the problems are: Too much money in the markets pushing up the prices of market assets. The fact is too much of that too much money is owned by too few people who use their too much money to buy all these financial assets. These too few people who own all the financial assets get richer everyday as their too much money makes their too many financial assets even more valuable. And these too few people get even richer by getting even more too much money to put into the already too expensive financial markets by 'persuading' central banks to keep rates low, to buy financial assets through QE, and get their in-the-pocket politicians to enact tax cuts so their too much money is even more too much money…With me so far?? Meanwhile, politicians pay for the too much money they give to too rich people, by taking it away from the much more numerous too many too poor people through Austerity. The too many people who don't have any assets and owe any money they have to the people who have too much money and too many assets - aren't happy. They blame society, they blame governments and as they get even more unhappy they get angry. These too poor, too angry people then get very angry and start blaming people, which is what is happening across the globe. Still there?... Ultimately, it gets messy. The too many poor people set up a very sharp razor in the center of a square in the capital of their country and start teaching the too few people with too much money and too many assets, that these are essentially worthless if their heads are cut off."

'Catastrophic' conflicts unless China and US settle differences -Kissinger/South China Morning News
"Conflict between the United States and China will be 'inevitable' and result in 'a catastrophic outcome' that 'will be worse than world wars' unless the countries settle their differences, according to former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger. 'We are in a difficult period now. I am confident the leaders on both sides will realize the future of the world depends on the two sides working out solutions and managing the inevitable difficulties,' he said at an event hosted by the National Committee on US China Relations in New York on Thursday. 'There is no doubt many aspects of the evolution of China are challenging to the US,' the 96-year-old said. 'It never happened before that two major countries in different parts of the universe were in similar positions.' But they must understand that a permanent conflict between them could not be won and would end in 'a catastrophic outcome' for Beijing and Washington, he said. If no resolution was achieved, 'it will be worse than the world wars that ruined European civilization', he said. 'It's no longer possible to think that one side can dominate the other,' he said."

Facts poll: Americans struggle to ID true facts -Associated Press
"In a sharply divided country, here's something many Americans agree on: It's hard to know what's a true and honest fact. A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and USA Facts finds that regardless of political belief, many Americans say they have a hard time figuring out if information is true. Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they often come across one-sided information and about 6 in 10 say they regularly see conflicting reports about the same set of facts from different sources. 'It is difficult to get facts. You have to read between the lines. You have to have a lot of common sense,' said Leah Williams, 29, of Modesto, California. A Republican, Williams says she relies on like-minded friends and family to help sort through conflicting information. 'There are wolves in sheep's clothing everywhere.' The poll found that 47% of Americans believe it's difficult to know if the information they encounter is true, compared with 31% who find it easy to do so....The poll found majorities say they have little to no confidence in information they get about the government from social media, the president, members of Congress and businesses."

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