Swiss America Blog Archive

3.15.17 - Fed Hikes, Gold Spikes!

Gold last traded at $1,219 an ounce. Silver at $17.35 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose sharply Wednesday following the Fed .25% rate hike. U.S. stocks were also lifted by the Fed action as they reiterated the promise of two additional hikes in 2017.

Gold rises after Fed announcement - CNBC
"Gold prices rose on Wednesday after the Fed announcement. Spot gold jumped 1.18 percent to $1,212.50 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures for April delivery rose $1.90 to settle at $1,200.70. Gold futures hit $1,214.90 earlier, the highest level since March 8 when futures hit $1,218.50. For the second time in three months, the Federal Reserve increased its benchmark interest rate a quarter point amid rising confidence that the economy is poised for more robust growth. In December the Fed forecast three rate rises this year....Spot silver was up 1.75 percent at $17.14."

slow economy Atlanta Fed Slashes Q1 GDP Forecast To Just 0.9% Hours Before Fed Rate Hike -Zero Hedge
"While it may not be the very definition of irony, we do find the fact that the Atlanta Fed has just cut its Q1 GDP forecast from 1.2% to 0.9%, a number which if confirmed would be the lowest quarterly print in year, just two hours before the Fed's rate hike quite humorous. As a reminder, the number was as high as 3.4% one and a half months ago. From the Atlanta Fed: 'Latest forecast: 0.9 percent - March 15, 2017 - The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the first quarter of 2017 is 0.9 percent on March 15, down from 1.2 percent on March 8. The GDP growth forecast declined 0.3 percentage points on Friday when the February estimate of the model's latent dynamic factor used to forecast yet-to-be released GDP source data declined after the employment situation release from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).'....And since the Fed is hardly raising rates in light of the ongoing slowdown in the economy, one can only assume that the reason for the Fed's hike is to put the breaks on runaway inflation and/or various asset bubbles."

Justice Department charging Russian spies and criminal hackers in Yahoo intrusion -Washington Post
"The Justice Department is set to announce Wednesday the indictments of two Russian spies and two criminal hackers in connection with the heist of 500 million Yahoo user accounts in 2014, marking the first U.S. criminal cyber charges ever against Russian government officials. The indictments target two members of the Russian intelligence agency FSB, and two hackers hired by the Russians. The charges include hacking, wire fraud, trade secret theft and economic espionage, according to officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the charges have not yet been announced. The indictments are part of the largest hacking case brought by the United States."

Garbage In, Garbage Out at the Federal Reserve
"It is the view of Fed Chair Janet Yellen that signs of overheating in the broader economy are 'scarce.' The indispensable Grant’s Interest Rate Observer isn’t so sure and devoted its front page and then some of its March 10 issue to inflation and how it’s measured. After all, the price level is the North Star of central bank policy. Grant’s sent its Harrison Waddill to tag along with a 'government inflation scout' who was sampling prices for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) at a New York supermarket....Our man from the BLS related a story about a store no longer carrying the prepared salad he was to price, so he made the executive decision to substitute a fruit salad, and finally 'found prepared prices of fruit.' Unfortunately for our part time price picker, his substitution didn’t pass muster with the BLS brass, 'not enough nuts or croutons,' they said. He was given 'a list of different items (not salad) to price instead.'....What we know for sure, is what the Fed does is mislead entrepreneurs with ill-conceived monetary monkey business. Sadly, while they rest on their PhDs, they don’t know what they don’t know."

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3.14.17 - Inflation Spikes to 5-Year High

Gold last traded at $1,202 an ounce. Silver at $16.92 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices remained steady Tuesday, despite a stronger dollar and Fed worries. U.S. stocks traded lower amid falling oil prices and Fed uncertainty.

US Producer Prices Spike At Fastest Rate In 5 Years -Zero Hedge
"With tomorrow's rate hike baked in the cake, today's hotter than expected PPI print for February provides Yellen more cover (as economic growth forecasts slump). PPI Final Demand surged 2.2% YoY (more than expected) driven by a 4.0% YoY jump in final demand goods. This is the highest inflationary print since March 2012. Final Demand Energy prices surged 19.8% YoY. In February, another major factor in the increase in prices for final demand services was the index for traveler accommodation services, which rose 4.3 percent....Prices for wireless telecommunication services and for securities brokerage, dealing, and investment advice also decreased. 70% of the increase in prices for final demand goods is attributable to the index for electric power."

Any way you slice it, even official government stats can no longer mask rising inflation - both on a wholesale and retail level. Inflation may seem harmless, but some economists and futurists are now forecasting prices to spike in the months ahead. Now is the time to prepare your portfolio with a few simple steps which are covered in our special report, The Inflation Solution

rick amato Jobs Go Boom! Will Washington Gridlock Succeed In Stopping Trump? -Amato/Smith - YouTube
"February's job growth and wages increase numbers were impressive. Manufacturing job growth tripled that of government jobs! But will President Trump's opponents succeed in creating the political gridlock that brings economy to halt? Craig Smith, CEO of Swiss-America Trading Corp. joins Rick to weigh in". Watch video

The Market's Response to the Fed Will Be Telling -Alhambra Partners
"Our market based indicators agree somewhat but nominal and real interest rates are still below their mid-December peaks so I don’t think a lot has changed. More interesting will be how the markets react after the Fed does what everyone expects it to do. I suspect we will soon be hearing - again - about the conundrum of long term interest rates. The economic data in any case hasn’t really been all that strong. Yes, the first derivative does seem to have turned higher but the incline is still pretty gradual....President Trump and his supporters have been quick to take credit - I'm pretty sure Joe Kernen fainted on CNBC when the number was announced Friday - but there may be less there than meets the eye....The dollar still appears to be in a topping process, not what one would expect if the US economy is about to accelerate....Gold did seem to confirm the better growth prospects reflected in bond markets though...If the dollar continues to fall, gold will find support soon enough."

India gold recycling plan fails to tempt households -Reuters
"India's ambitious plan to recycle thousands of tons of gold lying idle in temples and households looks to have foundered on concerns over high costs and slight returns, in a blow to government hopes of cutting imports of the metal. After 16 months, temples and households have turned over just seven tons of gold out of the 24,000 tons believed to be in private hands, two industry sources and a government official said, with almost all the gold coming from temples....The plan was for holders of idle gold to lodge it with banks in return for interest and cash at redemption. The government would melt the gold and auction or rent it to jewelers, reducing the need for imports....The struggling scheme was launched with much fanfare by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November 2015, with India seeking ways to stem the spending of billions of dollars on a non-essential commodity that accounted for 27 percent of its trade deficit in the year to March, 2016."

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3.13.17 - Risk of Cyber-Attack Greater Than Ever

Gold last traded at $1,203 an ounce. Silver at $16.97 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices stabilized Monday on a flat dollar ahead of expected Fed rate hike this week. U.S. stocks traded mixed as investors mulled over volatility potential amid multiple rate hikes this year.

Bracing for a Trump vs. Fed Money Crisis - Smith-Ponte/PontificationBlog
"The biggest surprise of President Donald J. Trump’s Administration might not involve congressional lawmakers, the Deep State, mobs of protestors, or foreign policy. One part of the national policy apparatus still under liberal control is the Federal Reserve. Its Chair Janet Yellen, a grandmotherly-appearing Keynesian academic from the University of California Berkeley, will hold her position until January 2018, an election year, and says she likely will remain a member of the Fed’s Board of Governors until 2024....Yellen will also try to create deliberate inflation. And President Trump’s policies - tax breaks that will bring trillions back to the U.S., and a trillion in infrastructure spending to put Americans back to work and lift the economy that Mr. Obama left flat for 8 years, and so forth – will flood the U.S. with money. Both President Trump and Fed Chair Yellen will inevitably generate some inflation - perhaps uncontrollable - and reduce the purchasing power of our paper fiat dollars. This could harm the Trump economy." Full story...

cyberattack Ted Koppel Exposes Financial Cyberattack Risks -YouTube
Former ABC Nightline host Ted Koppel reveals that U.S foreign policy has been influenced by international threats to hack major New York banks. So, if the CIA, NSA and other Intelligence Agencies cannot stop cyberattacks, who CAN protect your bank account? Your stock account? Your 401(k) account? Get educated! Learn the secret to protecting your assets with Swiss America's 2017 free newsletter, Volatility's Last Stand.

The U.S. Troop Presence in Syria Is at Its Highest Ever. But How Long Are They on the Ground for and Why? -TIME
"The Trump Administration is intensifying America’s involvement in the ground war in Syria, having announced on March 9 that it is sending 400 more troops to join the fight against ISIS there. The new deployment of Army Rangers and a U.S. Marine artillery unit raises fresh questions about the scope and timeline of the U.S. mission in Syria, where the number of American troops is now approaching a high of around a thousand (Washington has not disclosed an exact number). The U.S. is also sending another 2,500 troops to a staging base in Kuwait, awaiting possible deployment to Iraq or Syria....Recent comments from U.S. officials suggest that the military is contemplating a deployment in Syria that extends far beyond the defeat of ISIS as a conventional armed force."

Under President Trump The Fed Is Suddenly In A Hurry To Raise Rates -Forbes
"Unemployment, employment, labor force participation rates, and inflation are all relatively unchanged from before the presidential election. The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow real-time forecast actually has been declining, lowering its forecast of first-quarter economic growth. What data has changed sufficiently to make the Fed so much more bullish than the past several years? The big changes in data have been in sentiment. Consumer confidence and business owner confidence have both risen significantly since President Trump’s election....One possibility is that the Federal Reserve believes both that President Trump and the Republicans in Congress support policies that are better for the economy than President Obama’s were and that they will get their plans implemented....The only other alternative to the idea that the Fed thinks President Trump and the Republicans will implement successful economic policy improvements is that the Fed simply dislikes President Trump and the Republicans and does not want to be as accommodating to them as it was to President Obama."

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3.10.17 - Bull Market's Last Birthday?

Gold last traded at $1,201 an ounce. Silver at $16.92 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices slipped further Friday on profit-taking amid upbeat jobs data. U.S. stocks traded mostly higher after a better-than-expected U.S. jobs report while investors looked ahead to next week's Fed meeting.

U.S. Jobs, Pay Show Solid Gains in Trump's First Full Month -Bloomberg
"U.S. employers added jobs at an above-average pace for a second month on outsized gains in construction and manufacturing while wage growth picked up, as the labor market continued its steady improvement in the new year. The 235,000 increase followed a 238,000 rise in January that was more than previously estimated, the best back-to-back rise since July, a Labor Department report showed Friday in Washington. The unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent, and wages grew 2.8 percent from February 2016....The participation rate, which shows the share of working-age people in the labor force, increased to 63 percent, the highest since last March, from 62.9 percent. It has been hovering close to the lowest level in more than three decades. The number of people out of the labor force, a figure repeatedly highlighted by Trump as a sign of economic malaise, fell by 176,000 to 94.2 million."

swiss america gold Three Ways to Value Gold. Three Conclusions. -Wall Street Journal
"Where is the price of gold headed? Well, consider this: One closely followed statistical model concludes that bullion is 46% overvalued, while another says that gold is 35% undervalued. Which is closer to the truth? It’s impossible to say....To see how sharply those views differ, consider three different ways to value gold: as an inflation hedge, as a hedge against political uncertainty and as a way to get portfolio diversification....three economics and finance professors - Scott Baker of Northwestern University, Nick Bloom of Stanford University and Steven Davis of the University of Chicago - created a series of Economic Policy Uncertainty, or EPU, indexes. And sure enough, according to Prof. Harvey, gold shows a modest historical correlation with the global version of the EPU. That modest correlation translates into a bullish forecast for gold currently, since the global EPU index is at an all-time high, while gold is trading 35% below its record high of $1,925 an ounce."

A fourth way to value gold has almost nothing to do with its price. If gold is viewed and valued as the world's first and only trustworthy international currency, then its relative price in fiat currencies becomes unimportant. Swiss America believes every American should have a percentage of their savings in physical gold as wealth insurance - regardless of the price. Discover The Timeless Truth About Gold & Silver - Free Special Report!

Happy Birthday, Bull Market! It May Be Your Last -Fortune
"Wall Street this week celebrated the arrival of a bronze-cast defiant girl staring down its iconic charging bull statue, installed in honor of International Women's Day. But the proverbial bull is also celebrating a milestone of its own: The bull market in U.S. stocks turns eight years old on Thursday, March 9....How long does this bull market have yet to live? No one knows for sure, but because bull markets age in what you might call dog years, if it were a human it would be very, very, very old....Don't count out the current bull market's ability to celebrate its golden birthday on March 9 next year with similarly impressive returns. Writes Stovall in an eloquent research note this week, 'Bull markets don’t die of old age, they die of fright...'"

Gold to jump $200 by end of the year, Bank of America says -CNBC
"Gold may be under pressure in the run-up to the next Federal Reserve rate hike, but prices are expected to rally by around $200 by the end of the year, according to the corporate and investment banking division of Bank of America. In a research note Thursday, analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch highlighted its recent dip but said there were reasons for optimism. 'While tighter monetary policy is not bullish, inflation and a range of uncertainties, including European elections and protectionism should support the yellow metal. As such, we see prices at $1,400 (per troy ounce) by year-end'."

The Conflict Within The Deep State Just Broke Into Open Warfare -Zero Hedge
"The battle raging in the Deep State isn't just a bureaucratic battle - it's a war for the soul, identity and direction of the nation. When do the unlimited powers of the Intelligence/Security agencies threaten America's domestic and global national interests? The CIA and its political enablers claim the agency's essentially unlimited powers, partially revealed by Wikileak's Vault 7, pose no threat to America's interests, since they are intended to 'defend' American interests. This is the rationale presented by neocon CIA allies in both political parties: the CIA can't possibly threaten America's interests because the CIA defines America's interests. This is the wormhole down which civil liberties and democracy have drained. It is an extraordinarily defining moment in American history when the director of the FBI publicly declares that there is no such thing as 'absolute privacy' in the U.S."

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3.9.17 - Will Debt Ceiling Shutter Gov Next Week?

Gold last traded at $1,203 an ounce. Silver at $17.04 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices stabilized Thursday as the dollar declined with oil prices. U.S. stocks were lower in choppy trading ahead of Friday jobs data and upcoming Fed rate meeting.

The Impending Debt Ceiling Could Bring U.S. Economic Growth To A Halt -ETF Daily News
"From Steven Vannelli, CFA: The interplay between debt and income can be a difficult thing to understand. Here is a useful analogy. Imagine a hot air balloon lying on the ground preparing for take-off. The fuel tank, used to heat the air, is the balance sheet in this analogy while the loft of the balloon is the income statement. The pilot begins by firing the burner, causing the balloon to inflate with hot air and slowly stand up. With a little more fuel, the balloon lurches from the ground into the air. It took a good bit of fuel (debt) to get the balloon rising (income)....Unless or until the US can start experiencing GDP growth greater than debt growth, the US appears to be stuck in a hot air balloon economy. With the debt ceiling around the corner, we may shortly test the hypothesis of whether or not the US is on a self-sustaining recovery path."

AMTV A Whole New World of Gold Demand Is Opening Up... Muslims -Gold Seek
"Most analysis of gold and silver markets tends to be U.S.-centric. However, the next secular trend in precious metals markets may have less to do with U.S. debt, U.S. politics, the U.S. central bank, and the U.S. dollar and more to do with a gigantic new source of demand. Today, it’s a whole new world when it comes to sources of gold demand....Going forward, the fastest growing source of gold demand could come from the Islamic world....The Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions recently approved a new Shariah Standard on Gold. This new standard is expected to be widely adopted this year by Islamic banks, brokerages, and other financial institutions. It will enable gold to be held as an investment asset within Shariah-compliant accounts."

This new law could unleash the greatest pent-up demand for gold this year, according to a critical new Swiss America Special Report, The Great Convergence of 2017. CLICK ON THIS NEW AMTV VIDEO FOR DETAILS.

The Path to $10,000 Gold -Rickards/Daily Reckoning
"I’m very impressed with the recent gold action because it’s holding its own in the face of an impending rate hike. It’s fallen off a bit, but not dramatically. It tells you there are good fundamentals behind it, independent of the threat of a stronger dollar....So I expect gold to take off in the spring and finish the year very strongly. It could challenge $1,300 or $1,400....Now, as many of my readers know, my long-term forecast is for $10,000 gold. We’re obviously not there now. So how do I arrive at $10,000?....Many people say there’s not enough gold to support the money supply. That’s one of the objections to gold standard. But my answer is that’s nonsense. There’s always enough gold to support the money supply. It’s a question of price. Now, if you back 40% of the $24 trillion of money supply with the amount of official gold, it implies a gold price around $9,000 an ounce. But I predict $10,000."

U.S. Consumer Comfort Just Reached Its Highest Level in a Decade -Bloomberg
"Americans’ confidence continued to mount last week as the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index reached the highest point in a decade on more-upbeat assessments about the economy and buying climate, figures showed Thursday. Stock indexes near record highs and persistent strength in the job market have lifted the consumer comfort gauge in five of the last six weeks since the inauguration of President Donald Trump. The report showed respondents view the buying climate as the most favorable in nearly 15 years, indicating household spending may rebound after a slow start to 2017. While sentiment has been particularly strong among those who vote Republican, the data also showed political independents were the most upbeat since July 2001."

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3.8.17- Yes, Inflation Is Really Back

Gold last traded at $1,209 an ounce. Silver at $17.29 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices retreated further Wednesday as upbeat jobs data further boosted the U.S. dollar. U.S. stocks traded mixed after the jobs data virtually assured a Fed rate hike next week.

It's (almost) official: The Fed is raising rates next week -CNBC
"If there were any doubts about whether the Federal Reserve would be hiking interest rates this month, Wednesday's blockbuster jobs report almost completely removed them. A report showing that private companies added 298,000 jobs in February pushed market-implied probability of a Fed move to 92 percent, according to the CME's FedWatch tracker that measures the futures market. Traders had assigned an 82 percent chance of a move Tuesday but pushed it higher after the report from ADP and Moody's Analytics....The ADP numbers come ahead of Friday's key nonfarm payrolls report, considered the official count of job creation in the public and private sectors. Expectations are for the report to show a gain of 185,000 from January's 227,000, according to FactSet."

CPI Index The Next Domino To Fall: Commercial Real Estate -Zero Hedge
"Unless the Federal Reserve intends to buy up every dead and dying mall in America, this is one crisis that the Fed can't bail out with a few digital keystrokes....Crises may rhyme, but they don't repeat. The next Global Financial Meltdown won't start in subprime mortgages - that sector has been wiped out, written down, or passed on to the poor tax-donkey taxpayers....The central banks and state treasuries around the globe may be confident they can bail out the banks, but what if the next domino to fall isn't a bank? What if it is a 'safe, high yield asset' held by institutional owners such as pension funds, insurance companies and REITs (real estate investment trusts)? What if the next crisis isn't a spot of bother caused by excessive leverage, but a systemic collapse of collateral as an entire sector - retailers holding millions of square feet of bricks-and-mortar store space - falls off a cliff?....Commercial real estate is grossly overbuilt in retail and office space. Combine sky-high valuations with cratering demand and billions in short-term CRE loans that must be rolled over into new loans, and we don't have a liquidity crisis, we have a collateral crisis - the assets supporting the debt are no longer worth the loan balance."

Inflation Is Back: Now Get Ready to Deal With the Consequences -Motley Fool
"Have you found that you're needing to part with a bit more of your hard-earned money to buy your usual assortment of goods and services? If so, you're not alone. Inflation is back!....On an annual basis, the CPI is showing an increase of 2.5%, which is a five-year high....Since consumption represents about 70% of U.S. GDP, deflation can potentially be more dangerous than high levels of inflation. On the other hand, runaway inflation is no laughing matter....For the consumer, it means higher variable credit card interest rates, while prospective homebuyers could be facing sharply higher mortgage rates....Perhaps an even bigger, multitrillion-dollar concern is that higher inflation levels could wreak havoc on the stock market."

Why the Trump Bump Has Set Us Up for a Market Crash -Fortune
"Donald Trump's economic platform has sent stocks skyward. That's great for anyone already invested in the stock market, and planning on selling soon. But anyone who has years before they cash in their 401(k) should beware: The Trump Bump will make it far, far tougher to make money in the stock market in the years ahead. It may even set some investors up for big, big losses....The question is whether, given the high levels where stock prices stood pre-election, and the astounding run-up since then, investors have raised the bar for corporate performance so outrageously high that even if Trump does deliver on what he has promised rich returns may still be out of reach....The market is a hotbed of emotions in short interludes. But numbers tend in reign over long periods. The irony is that potentially excellent policies have raised expectations Trump Tower-high. Hope and emotion has gotten us to this summit. Market math will dictate where we go from here."

Trade Deficit in U.S. Widens to Largest in Almost Five Years -Bloomberg
"The U.S. chalked up its largest trade deficit since March 2012 as a jump in merchandise imports in January exceeded a smaller gain in shipments overseas. The gap in goods and services trade increased by 9.6 percent to $48.5 billion, matching the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey, Commerce Department figures showed Tuesday....Rising imports of consumer goods, capital equipment and motor vehicles reflect steady demand from American households and companies, with help from a stronger dollar. The wider deficit indicates trade, which subtracted 1.7 percent from fourth-quarter growth, will weigh on the economy in early 2017....Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Tuesday that the latest data show 'there is much work to be done' on trade agreements and enforcement."

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3.7.17 - Is Gold a 'Sure Thing' in 2017?

Gold last traded at $1,216 an ounce. Silver at $17.53 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices slipped to 6-week lows Tuesday on profit-taking and a stronger dollar. U.S. stocks traded negative for a second day amid lower energy and Fed rate worries.

Why Gold Is A Sure Thing In 2017 -Yahoo! Finance
"As Trump sets out to 'make America great again', gold is back on everyone's radar, gaining on widespread uncertainty and promises of high-level inflationary infrastructure spending. For our favorite precious metal, this is a euphoric time. Gold is great again, and all-American gold - even better....With gold futures up 10 percent and spot prices up almost 7.5 percent in the first quarter, history is preparing to repeat itself with another gold rush....Gold thrives on chaos, and even the slight possibility of impeachment keeps gold prices up. But gold is now good in any scenario. If he remains in office, Trump will pursue highly inflationary policies, and while gold loves chaos first and foremost, inflation is its mistress."

Inflation Deception Everything the Market Thinks About Inflation Might Be Wrong -Dow Jones
"No number is more important for investors right now than inflation. The belief that it will continue to rise underpins the recent rally in financial stocks and the slump in government bonds. It is key to commodities, currencies and more....After years of post-crisis monetary experimentation, it's not even clear central bankers can do much about inflation at all....What's more, the last several years of extraordinary monetary policy have shaken a theory that had held sway for decades in financial markets....Indeed, some money managers today believe President Donald Trump's tax-cutting policies may spur demand and thus inflation. His protectionist policies may also push up domestic wages and make imported goods more expensive. Yet, historically, a better guide to inflation has been prices of raw materials, largely commodities. Swings in oil markets and market expectations of long-term inflation have moved in lockstep. Arend Kapteyn, chief economist of UBS's investment bank, calculates that 84% of the variation in inflation since 2002 is explained by shifts in oil and food prices."

In 2017, the cost of living (aka 'inflation') is set to rocket far beyond the control of the Federal Reserve or President Trump's control. Learn how to reduce your financial exposure now by reading THE INFLATION DECEPTION, a free book by Craig R. Smith which explores the root causes of inflation and offers seven simple steps to prepare.

Atlanta Fed Slashes Q1 GDP To Only 1.3% With Yellen Set To Hike -Zero Hedge
"One week ago, we pointed out a curious bifurcation: the Fed was telegraphing an imminent rate hike - one which following Yellen's Friday conference is now virtually assured - even though it appears the FOMC would be hiking in a quarter in which GDP comes in in the mid 1%-range, or lower. The reason: while 'soft data' - which is important to animal spirits if not actual economic output - continues to surge, the 'hard data', that which actually matters to the economy, is still disappointing. Fast forward one week when according to the Atlanta Fed, Janet Yellen is about to dig an even deeper hole because should the Fed hike next Wednesday it will do so in a quarter in which GDP was just revised from 1.8% as of last week to just 1.3%. This forecast was more than double, or 2.7%, as recently as one month ago."

Free Trade And Fiat Money -Forbes
"In contemporary economics, there are perhaps only two contentions that enjoy the endorsement of the entire discipline. The first is the beneficial nature of free trade. The second is that the gold standard is dangerous and obsolete....A gold standard would constrain central banks in time of a crisis. It would crunch down spending and 'demand.' History has proven it a disaster....Once the top economists (very much including Ben Bernanke at Princeton) loudly laughed at the gold standard, lessers at provincial places got in step lest they be revealed as cranks....The trashing of gold came, conveniently, not when the gold standard was extant, but when it was retired. It came in the stagflation decade, the 1970s, very much rung in by the U.S. decision in 1971 to quit the dollar’s definition in gold at $35 per ounce....Fiat money is an arrogant illusion....If Congress and the president would set up a low, flat sales tax on all goods, foreign and domestic, in exchange for a repeal of the 16th amendment to the Constitution that establishes the income tax, we would see an improvement in economic efficiency and growth. And if Congress and the president did this concurrent with a definition of the dollar in gold (a move that is ultra-Constitutional), we might stand to reclaim our good economic old days of yore."

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3.6.17 - European Union Survival is Iffy

Gold last traded at $1,225 an ounce. Silver at $17.77 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices traded lower Monday on profit-taking and a firmer dollar amid Fed speculation. U.S. stocks retreated on geopolitical worries and increasing odds of a Fed rate hike next week.

Gold and silver are a ‘gift’ right now, strategist says -CNBC
"While the prospect of a Federal Reserve interest rate hike sent gold lower on Friday, strategist David Tice told CNBC he is a big believer in the precious metal. He also likes silver, and especially gold and silver stocks. 'They really represent a gift here. We had such a big decline from 2011. A lot of those stocks lost 80 to 90 percent of their value,' he said in an interview with 'Closing Bell' on Friday....Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, because they increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced. However, Tice said when the Fed raised interest rates in December 2015, gold 'still took off for the first half' of 2016. Plus, he thinks the U.S. dollar can still be relatively strong and gold can still 'beat it,' particularly because President Donald Trump has already indicated he doesn't want the dollar to get much stronger."

The Swiss America research department has developed three reports to help our readers and clients stay ahead of the 2017 financial curve: America's First 100 Days, The 2017 Gold Report: Early Edition and The 2017 Silver Report: The Infrastructure Metal. Call Swiss America now at 800-289-2646 or register HERE and we will send you ALL THREE of these important Research Reports ... Free Of Charge!

Yellen The Fed’s Getting Ready to Raise into Weakness -Rickards/Daily Reckoning
"Speculation began after Janet Yellen’s testimony to House and Senate committees last month. She said a solid job market and an overall improving economy suggested the Fed would likely resume raising rates soon....When she starts sounding like a hawk, it’s time to pay attention. As I said, markets are now pricing in nearly a 75% chance of a March rate hike (my estimate is now 90%). But there’s a big difference between the dynamics behind my view of a rate increase and the market’s view. In effect, markets are saying, 'The Fed is hiking rates, therefore, the economy must be strong.' What I’m saying is 'The Fed is tightening into weakness (because they don't see it), so they will stall the economy and will flip to ease by May.' My view is the economy is fundamentally weak, the Fed is tightening into weakness. By later this year, the Fed will have to flip-flop to ease (via forward guidance) for the ninth time since 2013. Stocks will fall, while bonds and precious metals will rally....Under my scenario, the stock market is headed for a brick wall in April or May, when weak first-quarter data roll in. But for now, it's still up, up and away."

Wall St. is misreading Trump, and a market bloodbath is imminent: Stockman -CNBC
"Former top federal budget official David Stockman has a stark warning for investors: There's going to be a disaster in Washington and you're not going to see it coming....'Wall Street is totally misreading Washington,' Stockman told CNBC's 'Futures Now' in a recent interview. 'It's pricing in a fantasy about a Trump stimulus that simply isn't going to happen.'....According to Stockman, the main catalyst for his pessimism about Trump's policies is the 'debt ceiling trap' that he contended will prevent tax reform, infrastructure and defense spending that have excited so many investors....'We will have a government shutdown,' said Stockman. 'It is totally unexpected, unpriced in by Wall Street, [and] it will spook everybody.'"

The vote that could wreck the European Union -The Economist
"It has been many years since France last had a revolution, or even a serious attempt at reform. Stagnation, both political and economic, has been the hallmark of a country where little has changed for decades, even as power has rotated between the established parties of left and right. Until now. This year’s presidential election, the most exciting in living memory, promises an upheaval. The Socialist and Republican parties, which have held power since the founding of the Fifth Republic in 1958, could be eliminated in the first round of a presidential ballot on April 23rd. French voters may face a choice between two insurgent candidates: Marine Le Pen, the charismatic leader of the National Front, and Emmanuel Macron, the upstart leader of a liberal movement, En Marche! (On the Move!), which he founded only last year. The implications of these insurgencies are hard to exaggerate. They are the clearest example yet of a global trend: that the old divide between left and right is growing less important than a new one between open and closed. The resulting realignment will have reverberations far beyond France’s borders. It could revitalize the European Union, or wreck it."

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3.3.17 - The soaring Cost of Living

Gold last traded at $1,226 an ounce. Silver at $17.74 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices ended the week lower Friday amid a firmer dollar and hawkish Fedspeak. U.S. stocks traded near flat line as the Dow struggled to hold 21,000 level after Fed Chair Yellen's speech.

Trump Tax Plan Could Make Gold Great Again -The Street
"I believe the argument for investing in gold remains compelling both in the near- and long-term, and a Trump tax-reform plan should only help....Gold has long been used as a store of wealth and hedge against inflation and that trade seems to be back in vogue. The U.S. annual inflation rate already moved from 2.07% in December to 2.5% in January. The Trump tax plan seems to promise increased government deficits through both additional infrastructure spending and tax reductions. This would certainly add to an inflation story that's already gaining steam....Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan explained another reason in a recent interview with the World Gold Council why the metal seems to be moving higher, saying: 'I view gold as the primary global currency.' Although it's not well known, many central bankers hold this view....This view of gold as a 'currency among nations' will only grow as individual nations continue to be manipulate fiat currencies....Lastly, gold seems like a bargain to me at current levels, given that U.S. stocks are trading at all-time highs and interest rates still close to all-time lows. Even if gold rises to $1,450 (up 25% for the year), the metal will still be 24% below its all-time high of about $1,900. Add it all up and I believe that there's still plenty of value in gold."

Fed's Yellen: March rate hike 'appropriate' if data holds up -Reuters
"The Federal Reserve is set to raise its benchmark interest rate later this month as long as economic data on jobs and inflation holds up, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Friday, in comments that likely cement a rate hike at its next meeting....'At our meeting later this month, the committee will evaluate whether employment and inflation are continuing to evolve in line with our expectations, in which case a further adjustment of the federal funds rate would likely be appropriate,' Yellen said in prepared remarks to a business luncheon in Chicago."

Why Is The Cost Of Living So Unaffordable? -Zero Hedge
"The mainstream narrative is 'the problem is low wages.' Actually, the problem is the soaring cost of living. If essentials such as healthcare, housing, higher education and government services were as cheap as they once were, a wage of $10 or $12 an hour would be more than enough to maintain a decent everyday life. Here are some examples from the real world. In 1952, it cost $30 to have a baby in an excellent hospital. If we adjust that by official inflation as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistic's inflation calculator to 2017, the cost would be $275. ($1 in 1952 = $9.16 in 2017). What does it cost to have a baby delivered in a hospital today? $5,000? $10,000? Who even knows, given the convoluted billing process in today's sickcare system?....Here's a chart that illustrates the breathtaking rise in healthcare costs. Wages are the nearly flat line....Strip away the centralized power that protects and funds cartels, and prices would plummet...The same dynamics would radically transform the cost structure of housing, healthcare, defense and everything else currently controlled by monopolies or cartels."

health care costs

It will all go horribly wrong -von Greyerz/GoldSwitzerland
"There is a lot of talk about the Trump effect. Is the new US president going to continue to fuel market sentiment or will he cause a collapse. It is of course not Trump that will change the direction of markets. More likely, he could be one of the catalysts that will cause the credit and stock market bubble to burst. When markets are overbought, overvalued and overloved, there is not much needed to change the direction. And this is where we are now. A change in sentiment and fear will make markets turn on a sixpence. In the short term the gold price is a reflection of fear. But in the longer term, all gold does is to reflect the debasement of paper currencies....For anyone who understands the problems that the world is now facing, physical gold ownership gives peace of mind and the best insurance that money can buy. So why is less than 0.5% of world financial assets invested in gold and gold stocks? There are several reasons for this. Firstly, 100 years of massive credit expansion and money printing have mainly inflated the asset classes that investors understand, be it stocks, bonds or property. Also, financial repression, which in layman’s terms means manipulation, has totally distorted most financial markets....With the risks we are seeing around the globe currently, we believe that holding up to 50% in physical gold and silver (outside the banking system) is the best way to protect wealth against the coming collapse of paper money as well as major defaults in the financial system."

What do economists know? -Roberts/Medium
"A journalist once asked me how many jobs NAFTA had created or destroyed. I told him I had no reliable idea. Certainly jobs had been lost when factories closed and moved to Mexico but other jobs had been gained because Americans now had more resources and increased their demand for products that would not be easy to identify....The journalist got annoyed. 'You’re a professional economist. You're ducking my question.' I disgreed. I am answering your question, I told him. You just don’t like the answer....Claims about these issues fill our newspapers, our twitter feeds, and the seminar rooms in economics departments around the country. How should we evaluate these claims? How can we know which of the estimates are true and which are false? When two well-trained really smart economists are on opposite sides of one of these issues and have the empirical analysis to back up their claims, how do we judge which one is right?....What I am arguing here is that the combination of economics with statistics in a complex world promises a lot more than it delivers. We economists should be more humble and honest about the reliability and precision of statistical analysis."

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3.2.17 - Cost of Living at Four-Year High

Gold last traded at $1,232 an ounce. Silver at $17.74 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices retreated Thursday on profit-taking as rising odds of a March Fed rate hike boosted the dollar. U.S. stocks backpedaled after rushing to Trump-inspired record highs following his congressional speech.

Bank Of America Sets A Date For The Market's "Great Fall" -Zero Hedge
"According to Bank of America, 'the “great fall' in risk assets comes when hawkish Fed & weaker EPS combine. That particular fusion will take place in H2, which is when Harnett says it will be time to get out....The Fed has hiked just 2 times in the past 10 years. On March 15th the Fed will likely tighten for the 2nd time in 3 months. A second rate hike in 3 months would cause markets to anticipate a hike each quarter in 2017, and a jump in the Fed funds rate to 1.5-2% by early 2018. As if that wasn't enough, March 15th is also the date of the Dutch election, and also when the US debt ceiling will be - hopefully - reinstated and immediately surpassed. However, it is the Fed's tightening that is the biggest concern to BofA: 'this acceleration of US financial tightening is a huge deal, and could in time become hugely negative.'....BofA's bottom line: 'we recommend buying S&P 500 puts for the second half of 2017.'"

gold comparison

11 Stunning Visualizations of Gold Show Its Value and Rarity -Visual Capitalist
"Since Ancient times, gold has served a very unique function in society. Gold is extremely rare, impossible to create out of 'thin air', easily identifiable, malleable, and it does not tarnish. By nature of these properties, gold has been highly valued throughout history for every tiny ounce of weight. That’s why it’s been used by people for centuries as a monetary metal, a symbol of wealth, and a store of value. With all that value coming from such a small package, sometimes it is hard to put gold’s immense worth into context."

Swiss America's 2017 newsletter, Volatility's Last Stand, explains the importance of viewing gold as wealth insurance - the ultimate ‘numeraire,’ as Craig Smith puts it - only then will you find gold's daily price movements much less important over the long-term. Our 2017 Gold Report - Early Edition further explains why now is the time to diversify your assets into gold - before the next unintended consequence strikes.

Timing of the Next Fed Rate Hike Is Now a Balancing Act -Bloomberg
"Will they or won’t they? Bond traders are now pricing in odds above 75 percent that Federal Reserve policy makers will raise interest rates when they meet in two weeks, but there is still plenty of data to chew on before then. Moreover, there is no shortage of Fedspeak this week, with 11 officials lined up ahead of the blackout period, including Chair Janet Yellen and Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer....March is a tough call. On one hand, comments from Fed officials make it clear that rate hikes are coming at a faster pace than in each of the past two years. At the same time, even doubling the pace means just two 25-basis-point increases this year....The timing of the next hike is a balancing act between the need for preemptive policy to stave off inflationary pressure against the desire to let labor market strength continue to eat away at any residual underemployment."

Inflation highest in more than four years, PCE shows -Marketwatch
"The higher cost of goods such as gasoline pushed U.S. inflation in January to the highest level since 2012, offsetting rising household incomes and raising the odds of an increase in interest rates soon....Yet an inflation index known as PCE also jumped 0.4% in January, pushing the increase over the last 12 months to 1.9% from 1.6% in December. That matches the highest year-over-year level since October 2012. The PCE index is the preferred tool for the Federal Reserve to measure inflation. The rate of inflation is now close to the Fed’s 2% long-term target, and if it keeps moving higher, the central bank could raise interest rates more aggressively."

Donald Trump’s Economic Plan Has a Trillion Dollar Problem -Fortune
"In his address to Congress on Tuesday, President Trump assailed the steep rise in federal debt under his predecessor. 'In the past eight years, the past administration has piled on more new debt than nearly all other presidents combined,' Trump said....But while Trump has denounced the dangers of piling on mountainous debt, his own 'phenomenal' plans for the US economy seem to do the same....Let's examine four factors that explain the looming perils of excessive debt. The budget is in worse shape than the official numbers show....The tax bill threatens to dig a big hole in the tax revenues....To make his plan work, Trump needs to get America growing really, really fast....Bottom Line: Debt and Deficits kill growth....The Trump agenda will bang against tough constraints, as trillion dollar deficits spread fears of a fiscal crisis, a lot sooner than its champions are admitting. The tax plan is good, the lack of spending cuts to pay for it may be the Trump plan's undoing."

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3.1.17 - Precious Metals the "opportunity of a lifetime"?

Gold last traded at $1,250 an ounce. Silver at $18.48 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices traded mixed Wednesday amid Trump euphoria and a firmer dollar. U.S. stocks traded sharply higher, with the Dow crossing the 21,000 level following president Trump's inspiring Congressional address.

Dow tops 21,000 in intraday trade—on pace for 2nd-fastest milestone in history -Marketwatch
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday traded above 21,000 on Wednesday, putting it on pace to touch a psychologically significant level at the second-fastest rate in history. The blue-chip gauge closed at 20,000 just about 24 trading days ago, marking a then-second-fastest push (42 days) to a 1,000-point milestone. Now, equity benchmarks appear to be shaking off the prospect of an interest-rate hike as early as mid-March to touch another key level, on the heels of reignited optimism about the health of the U.S. and global economy and the belief that Trump can bring into reality, campaign promises that include boosting fiscal spending and cutting taxes. Details around those reforms are still scant but investors appeared to be heartened by the tone Trump established during his address in front of joint session of Congress in a State of Union-style speech late Tuesday."

TTAM Gold And Silver: Opportunity Of A Lifetime? -Forbes
"Over the past 39 years, I have rarely used the words 'opportunity of a lifetime.' However, I feel there is a good chance of another one in progress....One year ago, in my February 18, 2016 issue, I wrote about the 2011-2015 decline possibly having been a cyclical bear market in the longer-term secular bull market. If that is correct, much higher highs are ahead....The long-term chart of gold below goes back to the start of this secular bull market in 2001....My view is that gold is a hedge against a loss of confidence in currencies....The new administration is only a few weeks old. However, so far I see signs that we could see a significant inflationary blow-off if the trends of the late 1970s are repeated."

"Buy low and sell high" is timeless advice from seasoned investors to grow wealth. In today's market that translates to selling some sky-high stocks and buying some low-priced precious metals. The Timeless Truth About Gold & Silver Special Report and DVD provides seven timeless truths about money you need to know.

Fed Watching: Why Rates Could Rise A Lot Faster Than You Think -HedgeEye
"Don't freak out. But are you prepared for rising interest rates? It appears as though the Federal Reserve is gearing up for one ahead of their March meeting. Rates could rise a lot faster, in 2017, than investors currently think. Don't take our word for it, here's a smattering of comments from Fed heads yesterday: 'The case for monetary policy tightening has become a lot more compelling,' New York Fed President William Dudley told CNN yesterday....'In my view, a rate increase is very much on the table for serious consideration at our March meeting,' San Francisco Fed President John Williams said in a speech yesterday....Investors heard this message loud and clear. After this trifecta of Fed Heads spoke, here's what investors priced into the Fed Funds futures market this morning, writes Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough in today's Early Look: Probability of a March rate hike spiked to 80% today....Maybe, just maybe, the Fed is waking up to economic reality. U.S. economic growth and inflation are accelerating."

NY Teamsters Pension Becomes First To Run Out Of Money As Expert Warns "Pension Tsunami" Is Coming -Zero Hedge
"The New York Teamsters Road Carriers Local 707 Pension Fund has won the unfortunate award for 'First Pension to Officially Run Out of Money.' According to the New York Daily News, and a host of angry former truck drivers who've had their pension benefits slashed, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) has officially been forced to step in and take over payments to retirees of the Local 707, albeit at a much lower rate....'It’s a nightmare, it has just devastated all of our lives. I’ve gone from having $48,000 a year to less than half that,' said Chmil, one of five Local 707 retirees who agreed to share their stories with the Daily News last week....And while the Local 707 pension was the first to dry up, it certainly won't be the last...Also on the brink of drying up are the pensions for two Teamster locals - 641 and 560 - in New Jersey, union officials said. Plus 35,000 Teamster members upstate who are part of the money-hemorrhaging New York State Teamsters Pension Fund."

Trump just delivered the best speech of his political career -NY Post
"Donald Trump gave the best speech of his short political life last night, and it had nothing to do with grand oratory. He was thoroughly presidential, speaking plainly and yet masterfully in projecting an optimistic vision of the America he aims to build. It is a vision so optimistic and encompassing that even steaming Democrats had to join boisterous Republicans in the applause at times....His speech was well written, and well delivered, chock full of initiatives and full of changes in mood....Most of all, the president led the Capitol to an emotional crescendo by introducing one of his guests, the tearful widow of Ryan Owens, the Navy SEAL killed in a recent raid in Yemen. The loud, sustained applause was simultaneously heartbreaking and inspiring....Put it this way: If the Trump of last night is the Trump who shows up to the Oval Office every day, he will be an extraordinary force with the potential to reshape the political landscape of both parties....Sure, he can be his own worst enemy, but there will be no stopping him if he can bottle last night’s approach. 'The time for trivial things is over,' he said at one point in an appeal to Democrats."

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2.28.17 - Gold Gains a Billion New Buyers

Gold last traded at $1,253 an ounce. Silver at $18.46 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices steadied near 3-month highs Tuesday amid political uncertainty and a flat dollar. U.S. stocks drifted lower ahead of a highly anticipated presidential speech addressing Congress tonight.

The Dollar Trap: How to Escape -PontificationBlog
"With the dollar’s golden anchor gone, President Nixon used America’s might to secure another. He agreed to defend the Saudis in exchange for their agreement to sell their oil only for dollars. We thus jumped from a gold standard to an oil standard, the 'Petrodollar.'....America and President Trump now have three options, according to economist John D. Mueller. (1) We can try to muddle through using the current dollar standard. Two problems: this condemns us to perpetual economic chaos because of what economists call the Triffin Dilemma; we, in effect, must uphold the entire global economy with money we print, and if we use fiat money printed out of thin air, this is unsustainable....(2) We can let the International Monetary Fund (IMF) create its own currency from Special Drawing Rights (SDR) to carry the global economy, shifting the burden off America’s Atlas shoulders. Trouble is, the IMF is highly political and arbitrary, and not necessarily in a pro-U.S. Direction....(3) President Trump could move toward a new modernized international gold standard that could restore our currency’s power and end our dependency on the Saudis. Such Monetary Rearmament could begin with Mr. Trump naming pro-gold standard people to the Federal Reserve Board. Trump has already spoken favorably of the Gold Standard, which if approved could increase the value of gold to $5,000 or more per ounce. This change would be manna from heaven from those who got gold for pennies on the new dollar."

gold AAOIFI unveils new Islamic Shari'ah standard on gold -Zawya
"Developed in collaboration with the World Gold Council, the new Standard sets out the framework for Shari'ah-compliant investment in gold and silver....It is likely to help open up a new investment asset class, enabling Islamic banks and other financial institutions to grow their customer bases and facilitate the creation of a broader range of saving, hedging and diversification products....The Standard means that savers and investors may benefit from gold in a Shari’ah-compliant way....As a Shari’ah-compliant asset class, gold could attract the attention not just of both Muslim and non-Muslim individual and institutional investors but also of Islamic commercial banks....It would be surprising if Central Banks do not follow this route. The relative illiquidity and limited size of investable asset classes remain major problems in Islamic finance....The Standard will be adopted by countries and jurisdictions that currently adopt AAOIFI’s rulings on a mandatory basis (Bahrain, Oman, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria), as well as those countries that use these Standards as the basis for national Shari’ah guidelines (Indonesia and Malaysia) as well as individual institutions in other jurisdictions where the AAOIFI standards are used as the basis for internal guidelines (Saudi Arabia, France, UK, UAE, Qatar and countries in Africa, Central Asia and North America). The new Standard was first published in Arabic but will be available in other languages shortly, including English, Russian and Urdu among others."

March 31st might bring one of the greatest money moments in history! Why? Because a new law clarifies what nearly a quarter of Earth's population is permitted to do with gold as an investment. This new law could unleash the greatest pent-up demand for gold ever to happen on a single day, according to a critical new Swiss America Special Report, The Great Convergence of 2017.

Silver Will Not Stay This Quiet For Long -Seeking Alpha
"Silver has done well so far in 2017. The speculative precious metal has posted steady gains and it seems to have a bullish wind behind its back....Meanwhile, the steady rise in open interest throughout the course of the recovery rally provides technical confirmation of the current bullish trend in silver....Additionally, silver has a perfect record from a weekly perspective in 2017. The precious metal has rallied and posted a gain for nine straight weeks as of the close of business last Friday....Silver has a penchant for big price variance and so far in 2017 it has yet to show its true colors. I believe that silver is on the verge of a big move that may shock the market and one reason is events taking place in the copper market."

Silver prices have quietly risen 16% so far in 2017- outperforming almost ever other asset! Given the significant supply deficit and a host of demand factors, silver is on a roll. Learn more in our FREE 2017 Silver Report: The Infrastructure Metal.

Trump's Speech: A Chance For Some Grace Notes -Real Clear Politics
"President Trump loves the word 'beautiful.'...But, as Ralph Waldo Emerson could have told him, that word, by itself, is not enough. 'Beauty without grace,' wrote the 19th-century philosopher-poet, 'is the hook without the bait.'....Trump is hardly the first politician who finds it more comforting to speak to his political base. But tonight’s speech - not officially called a State of the Union address, but that’s what it is - affords him the chance to try and broaden his audience. It’s delivered in the U.S. Capitol for a reason; members of Congress aren’t just a backdrop, they are the men and women who will vote on the president’s plans to reform Obamacare, change the tax code, spend money on highways and roads, rewrite trade deals he finds wanting, and keep the nation safe without completely turning off the spigot of immigration that has always been this country’s wellspring. Like it or not, the members of Congress who spring to their feet theatrically in partisan unity for some lines while sitting on their hands for others - that's his audience now. He won the 2016 campaign, but 2017 is a time for governing. Here, too, President Trump can heed the wisdom of Emerson. 'The less government we have the better,' he wrote in 1844. Trump and his political party share that sentiment, though they’d do well to keep in mind another admonition Emerson issued the same year. 'Government exists to defend the weak and the poor and the injured party,' he wrote. 'The strong can better take care of themselves.'"

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2.27.17 - Stockman: 'Fiscal Bloodbath' Coming

Gold last traded at $1,258 an ounce. Silver at $18.41 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices steadied near 3-month highs Monday on a flat dollar. U.S. stock inched higher in choppy trading ahead of President Trump's key address to Congress on Tuesday.

President Trump: Replace The Dollar With Gold As The Global Currency To Make America Great Again -Benko/Forbes
"Inside President Trump’s otherwise 'standard Trump stump speech' at CPAC was nestled what might be a most intriguing observation: 'Global cooperation, dealing with other countries, getting along with other countries is good, it’s very important. But there is no such thing as a global anthem, a global currency or a global flag. This is the United States of America that I’m representing.'....No 'global currency?'....As it happens, there is a global currency. It’s called the 'U.S. dollar.'....In an interview with the World Gold Council’s Gold Investor Chairman Greenspan, stating 'I view gold as the primary global currency'....Want prosperity? Heed Chairman Greenspan and do not just view but restore 'gold as the primary global currency.' President Trump: replace the dollar with gold as the global currency to make America great again."

debt ceiling Stockman: "After March 15 Everything Will Grind To A Halt" -Zero Hedge
"Two weeks after David Stockman warned that 'the market is apparently pricing in a huge Trump stimulus. But if you just look at the real world out there, the only thing that's going to happen is a fiscal bloodbath and a White House train wreck like never before in U.S. history' and exclaimed that, when looking at markets, 'what's going on today is complete insanity' he is back with another interview, this time with Greg Hunter of USAWatchdog in which he, once again warns, that a giant fiscal bloodbath is coming soon, and urges listeners to pay especially close attention to the March 15, 2017 debt ceiling deadline, at which point everything could 'grind to a halt.'....'The debt ceiling will freeze in at $20 trillion....By summer, they will be out of cash. Then we will be in the mother of all debt ceiling crises. Everything will grind to a halt. I think we will have a government shutdown. There will not be Obama Care repeal and replace. There will be no tax cut. There will be no infrastructure stimulus. There will be just one giant fiscal bloodbath over a debt ceiling that has to be increased and no one wants to vote for.' Stockman also predicts very positive price moves for gold and silver as a result of the coming budget calamity."

The Devil Is In The Details: Trump Trade Cracks Emerge -HedgeEye
"Yesterday the first legitimate signs of the execution risks related to 'Trump Trades' emerged in the market. Some risks were associated with policies that may not come to pass, and some were associated with policies investors were fearful would come to pass. Republican Senators have begun to revolt against the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT). In turn, political analysts are modifying their models to try to find a way to find the revenue to finance corporate income tax cuts. The stark reality is that it is essentially impossible to get to the Congressional Republican’s 20% rate. There is no doubt the President’s 15% rate is a near impossibility....The market also responded to reports that the President’s aggressive infrastructure agenda will likely be delayed until next year....Interestingly, while these policy problems influenced performance in their defined spaces, they did not manifest in the broad market today as another round of new highs were registered. That being said, the developing trend appears to be that as more details emerge, so do more challenges. There’s a reason they say 'the devil is in the details.'"

Trump Angst, Looming Elections Driving Europe ETF Buyers to Gold -Bloomberg
"For a clue at how much anxiety there is among European investors, take a look at Xetra-Gold, the exchange-traded fund backed by bullion that lured the most money among its peers this year. Investors poured almost $906 million into the Frankfurt-listed ETF this month, on course for its biggest inflow since inception in 2007, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Bullion prices have rallied more than 9 percent this year as investors seek havens amid anxiety over anti-establishment electoral candidates in the Netherlands, France and Germany. Concern has mounted that victories for those candidates could cause more exits from the European Union after the U.K. voted to leave the bloc in June. Investors are also trying to gauge the impact on economic growth of U.S. policies under President Donald Trump, who addresses Congress on Tuesday."

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2.24.17 - Burst Bubble Preparation Strategies

Gold last traded at $1,258 an ounce. Silver at $18.34 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose Friday for the 4th consecutive week on safe haven buying despite a stronger dollar. U.S. stocks drifted lower amid a chorus of financial analysts' warnings about market overvaluation.

Will the Fed tell every American to buy gold before it destroys the dollar? -GoldSwiterland
"To find wise Central Bank Governors we must go East. In the West, fiat money rules and no government or Central Bank chief understands the significance of gold. How refreshing it then is to find a governor of a country, which has a similar size population to Norway, who wants each one of his citizens to own 100 grams (3oz) of gold. The country is Kyrgyzstan and the Central Bank Governor Abdygolov advocates gold as an excellent method of saving: 'We are hopeful that our country’s population will learn to diversify its savings into assets that are more liquid and - more importantly - capable of retaining their value', he said....When did we last hear a Western Central Bank head tell the citizens that the best way of protecting themselves against the Central Bank’s destruction of the currency is to own gold. Imagine if Janet Yellen told the Americans that the US will soon print unlimited amounts of money to save the country and therefore the Fed suggests that everyone buys 100 grams or 3 ounces of gold before they start printing. If 325 million Americans bought 3 oz of gold each the US people would own 32,500 tons which is 4X what the US government allegedly holds and 10 years’ global mine production....But we are of course dreaming. Yellen would never tell the American people that the Fed and the US government will destroy the dollar. Nor will she tell them that since Nixon abolished the gold backing of the dollar in 1971, their money has lost 97% in real terms, when measured in gold. Instead, in the next few years the American people will sadly find that their US dollar will be completely worthless."

inflation It's Bubble Time: Wisdom & discipline will separate winners from victims -Martenson/PeakProsperity
"It's impossible to predict with certainty how much more insane our financial markets will get before an inevitable correction. But my personal bet is: A lot! For my reasons why, take a few minutes to watch the chapter on bubbles below from The Crash Course. For those who haven't seen it before, the takeaway is this: bubbles pop only when greed in the market has been exhausted: Bubbles make no sense economically. Or rationally. But they happen all the time as a part of the human condition. Even while financial bubbles are enabled by dumb monetary and banking decisions, their actual genesis is rooted in primal human emotions. Greed on the way up, and fear on the way down...Sadly, bubbles used to happen only once in a generation. Once those burned by the last bubble have died off, the younger generation has no living memory to prevent them from getting suckered by the next one. But for some reason, our current generation has something of an addiction to bubbles. We've lived through the tech stock bubble, the real estate bubble, and now we're living inside the 'everything' bubble."

Chris Martenson is a big believer in precious metals, which he feels are the best way for the average investor to own real wealth. On the horizon he sees a huge wealth transfer - from those holding paper to those owning the real wealth - which is why he both advocates and personally owns gold and silver.

James Grant Explains How A Crash In 1921 'Cured Itself' -Forbes
"James Grant’s The Forgotten Depression (2014) is a splendid account of an important period in U.S. economic history - the sharp but brief 'depression' of 1921 - that is easily overshadowed by the Great Depression a few years later. It seemed to be, as Grant’s subtitle says: 'The crash that cured itself.' This stands in contrast with the Great Depression, which remained uncured throughout the 1930's even after enormous government intervention....A gold embargo in 1917 effectively suspended the gold standard and allowed inflation. When the gold embargo was lifted in 1919, the Federal Reserve had to reverse some of its wartime money-creation to raise the value of the dollar back to its prewar parity and halt gold conversion outflows....With the war over, shrinking government spending, military demobilization and a return to gold standard discipline, these high prices and wages were unsustainable. In the ensuing adjustment, 1920-1921, prices and wages fell dramatically. And then, it was over: in mid-1921, the wonderful economic boom of the 'Roaring ’20s' began. The government’s response was the opposite of the interventionist nostrums that the economic manipulators have pushed for most of the last century. There was no government deficit spending and 'easy money.' Exactly the opposite. And the result, after the intense but short-lived discomfort, was one of the best expansions of the twentieth century."

4 Flashpoints Where War with China Could Start -Rickards/Daily Reckoning
"The sphere of global capital markets include stock, bonds, derivatives, gold, commodities, foreign exchange, etc. These those two worlds are not completely independent, and often converge. The point of intersection is getting larger, as are the flashpoints. Think of it as two circles that start out apart. They get closer and closer. Well, suddenly they come together and there’s an intersection....These are two worlds that are converging where you cannot understand one without the other. The first thing is the number of hot spots in the world is growing. That means the potential for conflict and war, where a situation is sufficiently dangerous enough that you could not rule out a war. These threats include a shooting war with China, a military theatre with multiple dimensions from the battle space, a possible cyber war, or even a financial war....All of these potential conflict regions have one specific thing in common. China has dangerous hegemonic ambitions."

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2.23.17 - Is World War III Imminent?

Gold last traded at $1,251 an ounce. Silver at $18.18 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose Thursday on safe haven buying and a weaker dollar. U.S. stocks traded mixed as investors mulled over Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's promised tax reform by this summer.

Gold hits 3-month high as Fed dampens rate hike expectations -Reuters
"Gold prices hit a three-month high on Thursday after the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve policy meeting further dampened expectations of an interest rate hike in March, lowering U.S. bond yields and stalling upward momentum in the dollar. Spot gold was on track for its biggest daily gain since Feb. 6, rising 0.9 percent by 1611 GMT to $1,249.05 an ounce, its highest since Nov. 11. U.S. gold futures rose 1.3 percent to $1,250....Investors were looking ahead to an address by U.S. President Donald Trump to Congress on Feb. 28. 'Currencies, the bond market, gold, will all take their cue from what he says on Tuesday,' Bhar said....'Should Trump become the feared 'unguided missile', which we still believe is unlikely, safe-haven demand would increase even more,' Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke said in a note. Silver was up 0.5 percent at $18.11 an ounce."

Swiss America's 2017 newsletter, Volatility's Last Stand, explains the importance of viewing gold as wealth insurance - the ultimate ‘numeraire,’ as Craig Smith puts it - only then will you find gold's daily price movements much less important over the long-term. Our 2017 Gold Report - Early Edition further explains why now is the time to diversify your assets into gold - before the next unintended consequence strikes.

inflation The Return of Stagflation -DeviantInvestor
"Equities sell for all-time highs and at historically high valuations by many measures. Bonds have probably entered a bear market, like the 1970s. Equities trade in the zone where we should expect a correction or crash even though central banks are blowing bubbles and levitating markets via direct purchases and ever increasing debt. Expect higher interest rates, lower stock prices and more political turmoil....Expect aggressive national participation in the 'blame game.' Blame will be directed toward Russia, China, ISIS, Trump and Obama. Expect the S&P 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average to correct and possibly crash toward normal valuations. Expect the economy to grow slowly or decline due to overwhelming debt. A weak economy + higher prices = Stagflation! Expect a vicious repeat of the 'stagflation' of the 1970s but with prices rising far more rapidly than incomes, except for the top 1%. Expect silver, gold, mining stocks and the silver to gold ratio to rise rapidly in 2017 and 2018."

Top Economist Says Global Imbalance Could Trigger WWIII -SATC Research
"Is a Chinese 'Pearl Harbor' Attack Coming? Standing at the podium was Richard Duncan, one of the world’s top thinkers on credit cycles and how they drive the economy… and author of three books on the crisis in fiat money. 'What if China plunges into a depression?' began Richard… 'And what if that depression causes it to launch a Pearl Harbor-style military attack against America and its allies?'....According to Mr. Duncan’s website... 'The crisis in the global economy is a crisis of imbalances....This imbalance developed when governments began 'creating' money after the United States destroyed the Bretton Woods international monetary system in which money had been backed by gold. When the link between money and gold was broken, an explosion of credit brought about an unprecedented expansion of industrial capacity around the world....If President Trump really does carry out his campaign promises to cut taxes, increase government spending and eliminate the US trade deficit, interest rates will spike, causing credit to contract, asset prices to crash and the economy to collapse back into a 2008-stlye recession – or worse.'....Mr. Duncan’s conclusion is that investors should have a broadly diversified portfolio which includes physical gold as wealth insurance. Swiss America Chairman Craig Smith strongly agrees with Mr. Duncan and believes a minimum of a 20% allocation to gold in your portfolio is needed to offset potential market loss from recession, inflation or even war."

The Yuge-est Threat to the Trump Economy: Spiking Interest Rates -Fortune
"The Trump economic plan has spawned a bull market in optimism, sending CEO spirits and stock prices soaring. But a spike in another metric – interest rates – threatens to scuttle the President's pledge to restore American growth to heights unseen since well before the Great Recession....In a recent report, Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody's Analytics, predicts that the 10-year will yield 3.2% by the fourth quarter of this year. That would mean a jump of roughly 80 basis points from today's level, and a rise of 104 basis points from the final quarter of 2016, which would be one of the largest 12-month increases since the 1990s. The power behind the surge: Investors are betting that Trump's policies will spur inflation, now running at a modest 1.6%, to rise swiftly. The reason is two-fold. First, the new president promises increased spending on infrastructure, veterans' benefits, and the military, while at the same time championing steep corporate and personal tax cuts. It's likely that the plan will greatly deepen annual federal budget deficits that are already on course to reach over $1 trillion, or 19% of all spending, in 2023....The fear is that the spending will rapidly lift wages because of a shortage of workers, and that the extra take-home pay, enhanced by lower taxes, will chase cars and appliances that are in short supply. The new administration's hardline stance on illegal immigration could speed up this cycle, by exacerbating the labor shortage. Put together, that's a classic recipe for inflation."

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2.22.17 - Solar Shines Upon Silver

Gold last traded at $1,233 an ounce. Silver at $18.02 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices traded higher Wednesday on a weaker dollar and Fedspeak. U.S. stocks traded mostly lower on political uncertainty and hawkish Fed meeting minutes.

Gold ETFs Gain From Currency Pain -Bloomberg
"The flip side of declines in the euro, yen and pound in recent months has been a massive increase in gold buying as investors in Asia and Europe try to protect their wealth. The hunger for bullion is so strong that purchases of exchange-traded funds backed by gold last year eclipsed buying by the world’s central banks, the biggest holders of the metal, for the first time since at least 2010. So far in 2017, investors poured $3.1 billion into the ETFs backed by precious metals, after a record inflow of $23 billion last year. That’s helped boost gold prices 6.8 percent since the end of December, following the biggest annual gain in five years. 'When you have a volatility in certain markets, a stable, safe place to go could be gold, which is almost a currency alternative,' said Lara Magnusen, a La Jolla, California-based portfolio manager for Altegris Advisors LLC, which oversees $2.37 billion....Billionaire investor Stan Druckenmiller, who sold all his gold in November, said he jumped back into the market in December and January. 'I wanted to own some currency, and no country wants its currency to strengthen,' he said in a Feb. 7 interview."

silver report Why Solar Could Put a Shine on Silver -Barrons
"Silver is taking its turn in the sun. Spot prices were up 0.12% on Tuesday, reaching $18.08. Meanwhile the $6 billion iShares Silver Trust was up 0.35%. While the commodity has experienced nice gains lately, there may be 20% more upside in silver, according to Maxwell Gold of ETF Securities. Gold wrote that growth in solar panel usage will help drive that growth. The metal's uniquely reflective and conductive characteristics are a key component in capturing and generating electricity via sunlight. That's why the fastest growing industrial segment for silver has been due to its use in photovoltaic or PV panels. Global solar PV annual installed capacity is on a steady path to an estimated 112 gigawatts by 2021, with a cumulative increase in PV electricity capacity by 506 gigawatts over the next five years, according to GTM Research. That could give silver a boost, considering a single PV panel uses about two-thirds of an ounce of silver."

After a 15% price increase in 2016, silver enters 2017 with a significant supply deficit and a host of demand factors that could dramatically influence prices. Learn more in our FREE 2017 Silver Report: The Infrastructure Metal.

Trump Fights the “Deep State” -PontificationBlog
"The people voted last November to put Republicans, the 'Small Government' Party, in charge of the House, Senate, and White House. But the permanent government of 2.6 million bureaucrats in 2,000 federal agencies, commissions and departments cannot be voted out of power in our democratic republic. They have become the Fourth Branch of our government....The word 'bureaucracy' has two roots - the Old French word bureau, meaning 'desk or office,' and the Latin Kratos, 'rule or political power.' A bureaucrat rules us politically because he sits at the desk or in the office making and imposing rules....The bureaucracy has become part of the Deep State, the 'Machine' that monetary expert Craig R. Smith and I discuss in our 2016 book Money, Morality & The Machine: Smith’s Law in an Unethical, Over-Governed Age. The outcome of President Trump’s battle with the bureaucracy could determine whether America’s Constitution and economy survive. It is literally a battle to the death, liberty versus the government our Framers tried so hard to control."

Iran ready to give U.S. 'slap in the face': commander -Reuters
"The United States should expect a 'strong slap in the face' if it underestimates Iran's defensive capabilities, a commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday, as Tehran concluded war games. Since taking office last month, U.S. President Donald Trump has pledged to get tough with Iran, warning the Islamic Republic after its ballistic missile test on Jan. 29 that it was playing with fire and all U.S. options were on the table. 'The enemy should not be mistaken in its assessments, and it will receive a strong slap in the face if it does make such a mistake,' said General Mohammad Pakpour, head of the Guards’ ground forces, quoted by the Guards' website Sepahnews."

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2.21.17 - Why and How Gold Hedges Market Risk

Gold last traded at $1,238 an ounce. Silver at $18.07 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices traded steady on Monday amid ongoing uncertainty despite a firmer dollar. U.S. stocks reach new highs led by energy and consumer staples despite market valuation concerns.

BlackRock Backs Gold to Hedge Market Risk -Bloomberg
"While the stock surge and below-average volatility show investors are more optimistic, markets are underpricing global political risks, said Russ Koesterich, who helps manage the $41 billion BlackRock Global Allocation Fund. He recommends gold as insurance. Looming elections in Europe and political uncertainty in the U.S. are among developments that could shift investor sentiment, Koesterich said. Adding to the threat is the potential impact of Britain’s exit from the European Union and a debt crisis in Greece. Such concerns have helped boost haven demand for gold, which has climbed almost 8 percent this year after posting the worst quarter since 2013. 'That hiding political risk is not reflected in markets,' Koesterich said in a telephone interview Thursday. 'People are not that nervous, and there are things that could go wrong, particularly when you think about all of the political risks. That adds to the argument for having gold in a portfolio.'"

As we cover in our 2017 Gold Report - Early Edition, rising economic and financial market risks are being fueled by dramatic political events which could seriously impact your financial security in 2017. There is perhaps no better moment in time to diversify assets into the enduring value of the world’s oldest form of money than now.

Euphoria returns to markets -The Economist
"Like the weather in Chicago, you don’t have to wait long for a new trend in the stock markets. Just a few weeks ago, investors seemed to have second thoughts about their Trump-related euphoria (which itself was a contrast to the widespread nervousness ahead of the election). Now they have been recording new highs again. While the spark for the rally seems to have been a presidential comment about forthcoming tax cuts, the causes have been much broader; the MSCI World Index has also hit new highs....All this may sit rather oddly with the general air of political turmoil that has set in since June and the Brexit vote....But the election of Marine Le Pen as French president would be a real threat, given her proposal to redenominate French debt into francs, and investors seem to be taking it more seriously as the FT reports today....The risks are high that investors might be disappointed....And valuations remain high, by historical standards...So this latest trend may be as short-lived as the previous ones; President Trump should be careful about claiming credit for the stock market. You never know what will happen next."

market cycle chart Goldman Sachs: Investors are at 'maximum optimism' and have a letdown coming -CNBC
"Goldman Sachs strategists aren't buying into all the optimism surrounding the stock market in 2017. In fact, they believe investors are reaching 'the point of maximum optimism' that will lead later in the year to a pullback....'Financial market reconciliation lies ahead,' said David Kostin, Goldman's chief U.S. equity strategist....Kostin sees a dichotomy between investor hopes and the reality on the ground, and says it's indicative of 'cognitive dissonance' in the market....Investors have pinned their hopes to Trump's plans to cut taxes, reduce regulations and increase domestic government spending. However, Kostin thinks tax reform probably won't get done until the back half of the year. Indeed, there are multiple headwinds that could come along to thwart a rally that seems priced for perfection."

China Economy Forecast for 2017 Signals Potential Collapse -LombardiLetter
"China, which recorded almost 15% gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2007, is heading toward a GDP level last seen in the 1990s. That was before the country joined the World Trade Organization (WTO). China must make do with 2017 growth estimates of 6.5%. There’s little that China can do to change that. Faced with the protectionism of Donald Trump’s America, China further devaluing its currency, the yuan, might make matters worse. Such a move would not alter the China economy forecast for 2017. It could make matters worse, playing into Trump’s insinuations that China manipulates its currency....China has no choice but to start reducing its trade surplus. It has to become an economy based more on internal consumption....The possibility of China’s slowing GDP growth - which is, for all purposes, a recession, even if it’s 6.5% - converging with tighter credit and aspirations of political change represent a major risk. All the elements for such an explosive process are already in place. The fuse is set, it just needs a spark....Beijing has promoted domestic consumption as a driver of growth. If it fails to work, it will create a crisis of legitimacy for the Communist Party."

Greeks Turn to the Black Market as Another Bailout Showdown Looms -New York Times
"Greece is the crisis that never quite goes away for the European Union, and with another tense negotiation with creditors scheduled for this coming week, the country is struggling to recover from the longest downturn in the eurozone....Few problems are more ingrained, or harder to combat, than the shadow economy, which appears to be growing again as new austerity measures compel once law-abiding Greeks to go off the books. Greece’s black market is estimated at 20 to 25 percent of the gross domestic product, as more people have stopped reporting their income to avoid paying taxes that, by some estimates, have risen to 70 percent of an individual’s gross income....Electricians, plumbers, hairdressers, journalists, computer consultants and a variety of other self-employed workers have all taken the plunge. On a recent afternoon, Yiannis, a young television production designer, stood in line in a government office to de-register as a consultant. Had he not, he said, his take-home pay this year would amount to just 30 percent of earnings."

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2.17.17 - Inflation Threatens Middle Class

Gold last traded at $1,239 an ounce. Silver at $18.03 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metals traded steady Friday, notching a small weekly gain, despite a stronger dollar. U.S. stocks fell amid growing French election fears and weaker oil prices.

Gold Standard Needed Now More Than Ever? -Alan Greenspan/Kitco
"It would be best not to be short-sighted when it comes to gold; at least that is what one former Fed chair says. '[T]he risk of inflation is beginning to rise...Significant increases in inflation will ultimately increase the price of gold,' noted Alan Greenspan, Federal Reserve chairman from 1987 to 2006, in an interview published in the World Gold Council’s Gold Investor February issue. 'Investment in gold now is insurance. It’s not for short-term gain, but for long-term protection....We would never have reached this position of extreme indebtedness were we on the gold standard, because the gold standard is a way of ensuring that fiscal policy never gets out of line.'"

In 2017, Mr. Greenspan appears to have arrived at the same conclusion he espoused a half century ago, prior to serving as Fed Chairman... "An almost hysterical antagonism toward the gold standard is one issue which unites statists of all and economic freedom are inseparable." -Alan Greenspan, 1966 White Paper-Speech

inflation Why inflation threatens the middle class -Marketwatch
"Buffeted by slow growth and too few decent paying jobs, Americans now have to deal with more inflation. In January, consumer prices rose 0.6%....Yet, economic growth is not likely to accelerate enough to support wages that rise as fast as prices going forward. The Federal Reserve will be faced with an uncomfortable choice - raise rates too quickly to combat inflation or continue printing more money in hopes of further supporting economic growth. Here are four things to know about higher inflation. 1. More Money Won’t Boost Growth, 2. Easy Money and High Inflation Steals from the Elderly, 3. Federal Policies Make Too Much Inflation Certain, 4. A Higher Minimum Wage Will Only Make Matters Worse."

BlackRock: Inflation Is Surging, So Buy Some Gold -ETFDailyNews
"Russ Koesterich discusses the signs that inflation is rising faster than many expect, and what that means for your portfolio. Like the proverbial frog that does not notice the rise in water temperature until it’s too late, investors seem to be experiencing a similarly stealthy rise in inflation. Changes in headline inflation measures suggest a gentle firming in prices. However, underneath the surface there is evidence that inflation may continue to rise past the steady 2% nirvana that central banks prefer. 'Consider the following: Housing costs are now rising at the fastest pace in nearly a decade… Medical inflation is not as contained as many had hoped… Wages are rising… Consumer inflation expectations are also starting to tick higher. None of this signals ’70s style inflation; it does suggest inflation may surpass still modest market based expectations… To the extent realized inflation and inflation expectations continue to rise, investors may want to consider several themes in their portfolios … Finally, should inflation expectations rise faster than nominal rates, gold is likely to continue to merit a place in most portfolios.'"

Currency Manipulation Is a Real Problem -Wall Street Journal
"Passionate defenders of the 'global rules-based trading system' should be wary of thinking their views are more informed than President Trump's. He has been branded a protectionist and thus many conclude he is incapable of exercising world leadership. Meanwhile, those who embrace the virtues of global free trade disregard the fact that the 'rules' are not working for many American workers and companies. Certainly the rules regarding international exchange-rate arrangements are not working. Monetary integrity was the key to making Bretton Woods institutions work when they were created after World War II to prevent future breakdowns in world order due to trade. The international monetary system, devised in 1944, was based on fixed exchange rates linked to a gold-convertible dollar. No such system exists today. And no real leader can aspire to champion both the logic and the morality of free trade without confronting the practice that undermines both: currency manipulation."

The Fed Exists As the Barrier to the American Dream -Real Clear Markets
"The problem with the Fed is not so much the Fed as those who are currently at it. As if we wouldn’t know already by their condescending and nonsensical insult to American workers (and American commonsense), nothing would change if President Trump fired Janet Yellen tomorrow. She would be replaced in exactly the same manner as she replaced Ben Bernanke, who replaced Alan Greenspan, etc.; people who have in the failure of their best designs now blame dumb, lazy Americans for systemic despairing....This used to be the Land of Opportunity, but they would have you believe, in polite terms, it was squandered by you and me. Forgive me if I don’t believe that America stopped being America at exactly the moment central bank monetary failure was most exposed for what it always was - a lie. The consequences of it have finally been revealed even to the ideologically blinded. Both the Fed and I agree for once, the output gap is gone and there is nothing left for them to do. In fact, if they would all just resign, then the road to recovery might actually begin, no rehab or retirement facilities required."

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2.16.17 - UBS advises "Hold Gold"

Gold last traded at $1,241 an ounce. Silver at $18.07 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose Thursday on safe-haven buying as downbeat economic data weighed on the dollar. U.S. stocks drifted lower after joblessness climbed and housing starts dipped.

This Banking Giant Says Take Hold of Gold in 2017 -Fortune
"Hold on to that shiny safe haven asset in your portfolio, banking giant UBS says. The price of gold was at $1,228.76 Monday, a near 7% rise year to date, as President Donald Trump's bumpy first few weeks in office have spread jitters through the investing world, and led to doubts about the three interest rate hikes the Federal Reserve had projected. That's at least part of the reason why UBS's commodity and Asia-Pacific commodity head, Dominic Schnider says the precious metal could reach $1,300 this year in a CNBC interview. 'There's plenty of uncertainty out there,' Schnider told CNBC Monday. 'Inflation is going to accelerate faster than the Fed is going to hike rates; that's good for real assets. On top of it, we are looking for a weak dollar on a broad basis; that combination has a good tendency to boost prices.'"

For additional insights on the many factors driving the gold bull market of 2017 - which could send prices up dramatically - request your free copy of our 2017 Gold Report - Early Edition

business Trump Prepares to “Do a Number” on Dodd-Frank Banking Laws -Craig Smith/SATC
"President Trump wants America to be the most competitive in the world against their foreign rivals. To make that happen, banks need to get back to lending which Dodd-Frank slowed and in some cases stopped altogether...President Trump has made it crystal clear he will not allow another taxpayer bailout and wants to make sure 'too big to fail' never imperils the economy again. However he understands banks have been handcuffed with what has clearly been an overreaction to the 2008 crisis. Simply put Dodd-Frank is far too strict. If the president get the changes he wants, it will increase the potential for bad behavior at the banks. Therefore any changes must be met with a serious focus of prosecuting excessive risk taking. To date not one person who helped cause the crisis of 2008 has faced criminal charges. That needs to change....President Trump has promised to 'drain the swamp'. I believe he will. Dodd-Frank is a small part of that process. But using his analogy is not a nice, easy and clean process - just the opposite. It is messy, dirty and sometimes ugly. However we either do it now voluntarily; or involuntarily when the debt crisis hits." Full story

French Election Puts Possibility of ‘Frexit’ on the Agenda -Wall Street Journal
"What’s striking about the French presidential election is the extent to which the two front-runners share a basic analysis of the choice facing the country. Marine Le Pen, the leader of the right-wing National Front, and Emmanuel Macron, the 39-year-old former economy minister who quit François Hollande’s government to stand as an independent, are poles apart politically. But both agree that the defining issue is France’s membership of the eurozone. Both point to the widening divergence between Germany and France’s economic performance during the past decade as evidence that the status quo isn’t sustainable....Mr. Macron...wants France to stay in the euro and is campaigning for changes to the country’s public sector, welfare system and labor rules, which he says are needed to restore the country’s competitiveness....Ms. Le Pen, on the other hand, believes there is no appetite for cuts to welfare, which the National Front says provides an important economic as well as social safety net, helping to maintain household consumption. It argues that the only way to preserve the welfare system is to quit the eurozone and devalue the currency."

The Dignity Deficit: Reclaiming Americans' Sense of Purpose -Brooks/Foreign Affairs
"'He who establishes conventional wisdom owns history,' a historian once told me. So it’s no surprise that ever since last year’s extraordinary U.S. presidential election, all sides have been bitterly fighting over what happened - and why. The explanations for Donald Trump’s surprise victory have varied widely. But one factor that clearly played an important role was the alienation and disaffection of less educated white voters in rural and exurban areas. Trump may have proved to be a uniquely popular tribune for this constituency. But the anger he tapped into has been building for half a century. The roots of that anger lie all the way back in the 1960s, when President Lyndon Johnson launched his so-called War on Poverty. Only by properly understanding the mistakes made in that war - mistakes that have deprived generations of Americans of their fundamental sense of dignity - can the country’s current leaders and political parties hope to start fixing them. And only once they properly understand the problem will they be able to craft the kind of cultural and political agenda that can heal the country’s wounds."

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2.15.17 - Inflation Up, Real Wages Down

Gold last traded at $1,233 an ounce. Silver at $17.96 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices were supported Wednesday amid rising inflation data and a flat dollar. U.S. stocks cheered the return of widespread consumer inflation and retail spending data.

Consumer Prices Surge At Fastest Pace In 5 Years As Real Wages Tumble -Zero Hedge
"Stagflationary trouble looms. As prognosticators ohh and aah over the soaring consumer price index (up 2.5% YoY - the most since March 2012), driven by a 14.2% YoY spike in gasoline prices, it appears they missed the fact that real average weekly earnings plunged by 0.6% YoY - the biggest wage collapse since November 2011....The food index rose 0.1 percent in January, its first increase since April 2016....The energy index rose 4.0 percent in January, its fifth straight increase. The gasoline index continued to rise, increasing 7.8 percent....The shelter index rose 0.2 percent in January after increasing 0.3 percent in both November and December....The index for new vehicles rose 0.9 percent, its largest increase since November 2009."

convergence The Great Convergence of 2017 -New Swiss America Special Report
March 31st might bring one of the greatest money moments in history! Why? Because a new law clarifies what nearly a quarter of Earth's population is permitted to do with gold as an investment. This new law could unleash the greatest pent-up demand for gold ever to happen on a single day, according to a critical new Swiss America Special Report, The Great Convergence of 2017. Our bigger concern, however, is protecting your wealth; which will be in danger if you do nothing. If a trillion extra dollars suddenly enter the world economy, each dollar you have invested or saved will lose more purchasing power. To receive your FREE SPECIAL REPORT call 800-289-2646 or register HERE.

Top gold ETF gets Islamic finance certification to tap new markets -Reuters
"The world's largest physically-backed gold fund said on Wednesday it has been certified as sharia compliant, the latest effort aimed at spurring demand for bullion from investors across majority-Muslim countries. Gold had traditionally been classified as a currency in Islamic finance, confining its use to spot transactions, but new guidance issued in December is making room for a wider range of investment products....The SPDR Gold Trust, an exchange-traded fund which holds 836.7 tonnes of bullion worth $33 billion, now falls in line with rules from the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI)....'This announcement marks an important step in addressing the demand for gold in the $2 trillion Islamic finance market,' said Joseph Cavatoni, Principal Executive Officer at World Gold Trust Services....'It opens up another source of investor demand, which should at least allow those sources to be more diversified.' Last year, investment demand for gold increased by 70 percent and gold-backed ETFs saw an increase of 532 tonnes, the second highest annual inflow on record, according to a WGC report."

Is Fed's Janet Yellen Hawkish, Dovish Or Just Plain Chicken? -Hedge Eye
"Unsurprisingly, Yellen declined to lay out a specific rate hike timeline but did sound ratchet up rate hike speculation....Investors read Yellen's comments as hawkish (i.e. rate hike possibilities rising)....What if consensus is wrong? What if U.S. economic growth and inflation are accelerating faster than consensus (and the Fed) expects? Will the Fed raise interest rates faster than is currently expected? We think so....The Fed risks falling behind the curve if they don't raise rates (and soon). We think investors don't yet appreciate how fast rates could rise in 2017. The Fed is falling behind and Janet Yellen is a Dead Dove Walking."

Restoring Conventional Monetary Policy At The Fed -Investors
"When Chair of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen testifies before the House Committee on Financial Services this week, she will face a political and economic environment far different than she encountered during her last visit to Capitol Hill in September. A new president has taken office, giving Republicans unified control of the federal government. And we are wasting no time addressing the regulatory overreaches and bad policies of the last administration that have hamstrung our economy, including the financial regulatory law known as Dodd-Frank. While it is clear that regulatory burdens imposed by the Dodd-Frank Act have thwarted growth, investment and jobs - let's not forget the harm the Federal Reserve's unconventional monetary policy has inflicted on our economy....The Federal Reserve's balance sheet has more than quadrupled from slightly under $1 trillion before the Great Recession to more than $4.5 trillion today after several rounds of quantitative easing, Operation Twist, and other ongoing reinvestments of matured assets....For the sake of families, businesses and taxpayers, we must replace today's top-down monetary mischief with a policy framework where market prices give households and businesses the information they need to find their most promising opportunities. To accomplish these goals, I will work with the members of my subcommittee on a Federal Reserve reform package."

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2.14.17 - Can Gold Make America Great?

Gold last traded at $1,225 an ounce. Silver at $17.88 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices steadied Tuesday as Fedspeak boosted the dollar. U.S. stocks traded flat following hawkish comments from Fed Chairman Janet Yellen.

US wholesale inflation sees biggest monthly gain in 4 years -AFP
"US wholesale inflation continued its upward trend in January, recording its largest monthly gain in more than four years, according to data released Tuesday by the Labor Department. The Producer Price Index, which measures prices from the seller's perspective, rose 0.6 percent in seasonally adjusted figures, which was the largest such gain since September 2012 and well above an analyst consensus forecast of 0.3 percent....The large month-to-month gain supports views among US monetary policymakers that further interest rate increases may be necessary in 2017 to contain inflation....The large month-to-month gain supports views among US monetary policymakers that further interest rate increases may be necessary in 2017 to contain inflation. The central bank earlier this month left interest rates unchanged after raising them in December for the first time in a year."

titanic Fed Chair Yellen: 'Unwise' to wait too long to hike interest rates -CNBC
"Waiting too long to raise interest rates would be 'unwise' as economic growth continues and inflation rises, Fed Chair Janet Yellen told Congress on Tuesday....Traders do not expect the policymaking Federal Open Market Committee to hike at the March session. However, Yellen did say that increases would be evaluated 'at upcoming meetings.'....Yellen urged lawmakers to focus on long-term growth and productivity and to put the burgeoning U.S. debt load on a 'sustainable trajectory.' The national debt currently sits at $19.2 trillion, of which the public is responsible for $14.4 trillion....The remarks touched little on how the Fed plans to unwind its mammoth $4.5 trillion balance sheet, a topic of increasing concern on Wall Street."

Fed Chair Janet Yellen's comments about waiting too long being 'unwise' are both laughable and a sad testament to what they have already done. The Fed is always behind the curve because their agenda is keeping the big banks afloat, rather than U.S. citizens. As Craig Smith says in the Introduction of his latest book, Money, Morality & The Machine ... "The banks have manipulated the financial system to suit their own ends and our faith in their integrity has all but evaporated. The money for which we labor, save for college and retirement, and use to fund this great experiment we call America is no longer honest."

Big Brother is watching you: Jim Rogers prophesizes death of cash & total govt control of spending -RT
"The time will come when you won't be able to buy a cup of coffee without being traced, warns investment guru Jim Rogers. To control people, governments will increasingly seek to hunt down cash spending, he adds. 'Governments are always looking out for themselves first, and it's the same old thing that has been going on for hundreds of years.'....'Some states in the US you cannot make cash transactions above a certain amount. Governments love it. Then they can control you. If you want to go and buy a cup of coffee, they know how many you drink, where you buy them, etc., if they can all put it into electronic formats and they will. The world is all going electronic,' the investor said. According to Rogers, governments will claim they are doing it for the public good, not for themselves. 'When it's done, the governments are going to be very, very happy they are going to say they're doing it for our own good, this is not them, this is for our good. That they're doing this, but it’s coming, and it's going to be a whole different world in which we live.'"

Jim Rogers tells it like it is. Get the full story in our 12-page White Paper: The Secret War on Cash.

Making America Great Again! Don’t Sit and Watch, Be Prepared! -Carrillo/SATC
"While growth and making America great again are obviously the goals of all working Americans, the unwinding of massive debt, troubled banks and over a decade of bad policies will prove difficult and may come with severe pain for unprepared citizens - especially retiring baby boomers. The new policies being put on the table by President Trump are badly needed, but history shows they could also to be a catalyst for much higher gold prices for many reasons. As Mr. Trump has stated, he needs to drive the dollar much lower vs. the Chinese Yuan in order for us to compete with China and for his new trade policies to be effective....His goal of halting corporate outsourcing of labor to foreign countries could be extraordinarily inflationary and may end up creating an awkward, complex, or hazardous situation for corporate earnings....Because gold and the U.S. dollar move in opposite directions, when inflation rises, gold soars. It is also vitally important to remember that physical gold has no counter-party risk or issuer risk. Gold has always been the ultimate non-investment, simple, sound, store of value money to preserve wealth - unlike government-issued currencies which float (or sink) in an ever-deepening ocean of debt. Full story

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2.13.17 - Wall Street Sounding An Alarm

Gold last traded at $1,225 an ounce. Silver at $17.82 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices slipped Monday on profit-taking and U.S. dollar strength. U.S. stocks rose to fresh record highs as investors remained bullish on President Trump's economic agenda.

Some of the smartest minds on Wall Street are sounding the alarm on the Trump bump -BusinessInsider
"US stocks have had a good run since the election of Donald Trump....But the speed and scale of the rally - and the realization that Trump's policies aren't just good news for investors - has several influential voices in the market sounding the alarm. Comments from the White House on issues ranging from currency devaluation to border taxes have put the market on edge. Worry about inflation is emerging, too, and there's also concern about the overheated valuations on stocks....The primary concern among investors is that nothing is going to be as smooth as stock market valuations currently reflect, with investors overlooking the effects of border taxes and trade restrictions on profit margins and global economic growth....A pickup in inflation spells bad news for the bond market, as it means the Federal Reserve may be forced to lift rates more quickly than expected, crushing investors who bought bonds in the period of extremely low interest rates....Then there is China. Much of the world is focused on what Trump says, does, and tweets, but the Asian giant remains a key risk."

Craig Smith Comment: I believe most Americans hope Mr. Trump’s new initiatives will boost job growth, reduce taxes and stimulate the economy. But in 2017, it's wise to hedge against the unexpected. Financial markets do not forgive debt or mistakes. Mispriced markets ultimately correct - regardless of who is in the White House. Full story

worthless dollar Investors are snapping up gold. Here's why -Shell/USAToday
"Gold, the yellow metal Wall Street normally flocks to in tough economic times, is shining bright at a three-month high, despite record stock prices and improving economies around the globe. So what’s spooking investors enough to push gold up in price five of the past six weeks...? Here’s a short checklist: Economic policy uncertainty in the U.S. under President Trump. Political anxiety surrounding the populist movement in Europe and elsewhere. Ongoing stimulus from global central bankers. Angst over rising inflation. The U.S. dollar falling in value versus foreign currencies....Higher inflation expectations, which is a threat to financial assets like bonds, is also giving gold a lift, adds Fawad Razaqzada, technical analyst at Gold, Razaqzada adds, would likely surge higher if the stock market, currently near record highs, were to suffer a decline of a big enough magnitude to add to the fear level on Wall Street."

For additional insights on the many factors which are driving the gold bull market of 2017, please request a free copy of our 2017 Gold Report - Early Edition

America’s Biggest Creditors Dump Treasuries in Warning to Trump -Bloomberg
"In the age of Trump, America’s biggest foreign creditors are suddenly having second thoughts about financing the U.S. government. In Japan, the largest holder of Treasuries, investors culled their stakes in December by the most in almost four years, the Ministry of Finance’s most recent figures show. What’s striking is the selling has persisted at a time when going abroad has rarely been so attractive. And it’s not just the Japanese. Across the world, foreigners are pulling back from U.S. debt like never before. From Tokyo to Beijing and London, the consensus is clear: few overseas investors want to step into the $13.9 trillion U.S. Treasury market right now....Combined with the unpredictability of Trump’s tweet storms, interest-rate increases in the U.S. could further sap overseas demand. Mark Dowding, who helps oversees about $50 billion as co-head of investment-grade debt at BlueBay Asset Management in London, says the firm has already moved to insulate itself from further losses due to higher rates."

Are We Prepared For the Next Financial Crisis? -Samuelson/RealClearMarkets
"Comes now Timothy Geithner, treasury secretary from 2009 to 2013, to tell you that much of what you 'know' about Dodd-Frank - Congress’s response to the 2008-2009 financial crisis - is wrong....Proposition No. 1: A financial crisis 'is certain at some point' - we just don’t know when and how bad. Conditions change....Proposition No. 2: A true crisis is 'not self-correcting.' Most declines in markets (for stocks, bonds, loans) are self-limiting. Prices drop to levels that buyers think are a bargain. Not so with a panic....Proposition No. 3: In a panic, only the federal government can mobilize the needed financial resources 'to preserve the functioning of the credit system necessary for economic recovery.'....Proposition No. 4: Despite this, Dodd-Frank has crippled government’s ability to defuse future financial crises....The real Dodd-Frank scandal is that this misinterpretation of events, widely embraced by both parties, has been allowed to stand."

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2.10.17 - Cash No Longer King?

Gold last traded at $1,235 an ounce. Silver at $17.97 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose Friday on safe haven buying and a flat dollar. U.S. stocks extended gains amid upbeat tax reform momentum and rising energy prices.

Arizona Business Owner Reacts to Proposed Trump Tax Cuts -Fox News
According to Kevin Brady (R-TX) tax reform is going to happen this year. Craig Smith tells Fox News host Neil Cavuto that he believes if U.S. corporate tax rates are lowered from 35% - the highest in the world - down to 15-20%, corporations from around the world will want to move to the U.S. Mr. Smith believes both JFK and Reagan proved that supply-side economics and free market economics can get an economy growing. Watch the interview...

cash Cash No Longer King: Europe Accelerates Move To Begin Elimination Of Paper Money -Zero Hedge
"In the shadow of Donald Trump’s spree of controversial actions, the European commission has quietly launched the next offensive in the war on cash. These unelected bureaucrats have boldly asserted their intention to crack down on paper transactions across the E.U. and solidify a trend that has been gaining momentum for years. The financial uncertainty amplified by Brexit has incentivized governments throughout Europe to seize further control over their banking systems. France and Spain have already criminalized cash transactions above a certain limit, but now the commission has unilaterally established new regulations that will affect the entire union. The fear of physical money flowing out of the trade bloc has manifested a draconian response from the State. Negative interest rates and high inflation are a deadly combination that could further destabilize the already fragile union in the future. With less physical currency circulating, these trends ensure that the impact of any additional central bank policies will be maximized. If economic conditions deteriorate, the threat of citizens pulling cash out of their accounts and starting a bank run is eliminated in a cashless system....Since the public’s attention has been drawn to emotional manipulations and political stunts, the threat the war on cash represents has gone unrecognized....The value of advocating for decentralized and physical alternatives to the banking system may not be easily grasped by the activists of today, but few other things have the potential to erode freedom on such a massive scale."

Today cash is under attack from all sides - government, banks, technology and anti-free market economists. 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 FREE 12-page White Paper: The Secret War on Cash.

Gold’s Crazy Secret -Daily Reckoning
"Let’s talk about gold. But not in any way you’ve likely read about ever before. You know everything there is to know already, right? That gold has been real 'money' for all of human history…That Gold is scarce; it has unmistakable properties; and it does not rust, wear out or fade…That even in today’s crazy Trump market, gold is one of the only 'safe-haven' assets. But forget about what you know about gold right now. Because gold has the potential to do much more than just protect wealth…That’s because its unique properties extend way beyond what’s obvious to the naked eye. In this particular industry, gold will create wealth… and make investors rich. The industry I’m talking about is biotechnology. Believe it or not, gold is an excellent delivery vehicle for a variety of biotech-related applications, since it has the ability to take up and hold proteins on its surface. It can carry everything from genes to stem cells. As a plus, gold isn’t rejected by the human body. Because of this, gold could be revolutionary in the treatment of disease."

U.S. Consumer Sentiment Cooled in February on Views of Finances -Bloomberg
"Consumer confidence retreated in February from a 13-year high, as Americans tempered expectations of their finances and the economy....Expectations for wage gains in the coming year deteriorated even as more respondents said this month that they were better off financially than at any other time in the past 12 years. More than half of those surveyed expect better economic conditions in the future, though the results reflected stark differences between Republicans and Democrats....Interest rates were expected to increase by three out of four consumers, the highest share in a decade....Consumers projected the inflation rate in the next year will be 2.8 percent, up from 2.6 percent in the prior month’s survey."

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2.9.17 - Markets Cheer Trump Tax Reform

Gold last traded at $1,236 an ounce. Silver at $17.74 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices eased back Thursday on mild profit-taking and a firmer dollar. U.S. stocks rose on speculation about President Trump's promise of soon-to-be-released tax reform proposals.

Stanley Druckenmiller seems poised to make a killing on gold -Marketwatch
"Remember Stanley Druckenmiller? He’s the hedge-fund titan who dumped his holdings of gold the night before Donald Trump was elected president. Well, Druckenmiller is back and now he’s bullish on the yellow metal, and that may be a telling piece of news for investors making bets that the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq Composite Index will continue to maintain cruising altitude in record territory. In a Bloomberg interview on Tuesday, Druckenmiller said he dipped back into gold in December and January. His rationale is fairly simple. 'I wanted to own some currency and no country wants its currency to strengthen,' He continued: 'Gold was down a lot, so I bought it.' In fact, gold, viewed as a haven asset which often trades in the opposite direction of equities, has been on an upswing lately. Gold futures have climbed 2.8% in February and have gained about 7.9% year to date, according to FactSet data."

taxes Trump Says He Will Announce "Something Phenomenal On Taxes In Next 2-3 Weeks" - Market Turmoils -Zero Hedge
"After a few hours of relative calm, President Trump has injected some renewed chaos into capital markets this mornings after comments that he will release "something phenomenal on taxes in the next 2-3 weeks" among other things...'We are going to be announcing something over the next two or three weeks that will be phenomenal in terms of tax,' President Trump says in meeting with airline CEOs. USD spiked, bonds dumped, and gold dropped...And USDJPY and Stocks are soaring..."

Dollar jumps as Trump announces forthcoming 'phenomenal' tax plan -Reuters
"The dollar surged more than 1 percent against the yen and rose broadly on Thursday after comments from U.S. President Donald Trump that he would be releasing his 'phenomenal' tax plan in the next few weeks. Investors have been waiting impatiently for details on Trump's campaign trail pledges to inject the U.S. economy with large-scale fiscal stimulus through additional spending and tax cuts. Trump said his administration will be announcing 'something phenomenal in terms of tax' over 'the next two or three weeks' during a meeting with airline executives on Thursday....The dollar gained more than 5 percent against a basket of major currencies in the month and a half after Trump's election but has been on a decidedly downward turn since the new year began as Trump has focused more on trade and immigration than fiscal stimulus."

Study Finds Most Government Workers Could be Replaced by Robots -HeatStreet
"A study by a British think tank, Reform, says that 90% of British civil service workers have jobs so pointless, they could easily be replaced by robots, saving the government around $8 billion per year. The study, published this week, says that robots are “'more efficient' at collecting data, processing paperwork, and doing the routine tasks that now fall to low-level government employees. Even nurses and doctors, who are government employees in the UK, could be relieved of some duties by mechanical assistants. There are 'few complex roles' in civil service, it seems, that require a human being to handle. 'Twenty percent of public-sector workers hold strategic, ‘cognitive’ roles,' Reform’s press release on the study says....Reform suggests that government employees should probably look into opportunities presented by the 'sharing economy,' like driving for Uber – at least until robots replace those, too."

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2.8.17 - Preparing for Market Surprises

Gold last traded at $1,239 an ounce. Silver at $17.70 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices touched 3-month highs Wednesday on a weaker dollar and political uncertainty. U.S. stocks drifted lower led by financials and energy price volatility.

Be Prepared for Surprises -Craig R. Smith/CBN
"In his first days, Trump has hurried to make major policy changes he thinks are needed to get the U.S. economy growing again. Last month we witnessed a frenzy over the Dow topping 20,000. But what will February bring?....Since 1999, the Dow has doubled from 10,000 to 20,000, but gold prices have risen nearly fivefold, from $260/oz. to about $1,200/oz. So far this year, stocks are even and trending downward, while gold prices are up over 5% and trending upward. Make sure the trend is your friend. I believe most Americans hope Mr. Trump’s new initiatives will boost job growth, reduce taxes and stimulate the economy. But in 2017, it's wise to hedge against the unexpected. Financial markets do not forgive debt or mistakes. Mispriced markets ultimately correct - regardless of who is in the White House." Full story

gold charts Use This Gold Chart to Bank 20% Gains -Daily Reckoning
"During the first six weeks of 2016, gold soared 17%. These gains approached an incredible 27% by July, capping an epic comeback in the forgotten precious metals sector. Right now, we’re seeing this exact pattern shaping up to begin 2017. If this relationship holds true, double-digit gold gains are headed your way over the next several weeks....We’ve noticed a curious development in gold so far this year. Gold’s advance for the first six weeks of 2017 has perfectly mirrored the action we witnessed during the first six weeks of 2016....If gold continues to mirror its 2016 advance this year, we’re in for a strong month that could deliver double-digit gains before spring arrives."

Trump Can Succeed On Trade By Ending Global Currency Manipulation -Gilder/The Federalist
"What we call a crisis of trade is really a scandal of money....According to the latest figures from the Bank of International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, foreign exchange trading is now some $5.1 trillion dollars a day - 25 times global GDP. For example, take the matter of NAFTA, repeatedly denounced as a 'horrible deal' by candidate Trump. He was right. The problem was not its specific terms, however, but the preposterous movements of monetary values in its wake that rendered the entire agreement a capricious charade....How Can We Fix the Broken System?....So long as central banks possess the power to change currency values virtually at will, free trade cannot be either fair or efficient....As a step toward restoration of this constitutional regime, a key early measure of the Trump administration should be an executive order requiring equal treatment of gold, silver, and dollars as money as the Constitution provides....This short-term restoration of the rules of constitutional money should be combined with a strategic plan for monetary reform throughout the world economy....Rather than conducting a trade war with China, Russia, Japan and Europe, the U.S. can launch a new monetary conference to bring them all into a new monetary regime. Modeled on the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1944 for a post-war dollar standard disciplined by a tie to gold, such a new initiative could rescue the global environment from a trend toward economic conflict to a path toward monetary cooperation and reconciliation....The best way to obviate both inflation and deflation is a global agreement to tie currencies to gold in the spirit of Bretton Woods....The Trump administration should test this economic dogma by making this $5.1 trillion-dollar-a-day industry face competition from the fixed exchange rates that throughout history have accompanied the eras of most impressive economic progress and prosperity."

Why India's War on Cash Is a Warning to the U.S. -TheStreet
"India's economy crumbled in just weeks, all because of a misguided war on cash. This should be a lesson to anyone pushing for a cashless society....The motivation for Modi's cash grab was to stamp out corruption and other criminality. That's pretty much the stated reason that people in the U.S say they want to eliminate hundred-dollar bills. They want to crack down on illegal activity. Will the U.S. have more success than India? Possibly, but the move, if it comes, will not be without consequences....In the simplest terms, private money will be created that suits the market place better than government-controlled money that lacks privacy....For investors, any move toward banning large bills would likely lift prices for Bitcoin Investment Trust, which holds bitcoin, and similar alternative currencies. Likewise, expect gold prices to rise, too..."

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2.7.17 - President Trump Boosting Gold

Gold last traded at $1,236 an ounce. Silver at $17.75 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices steadied near 3-month highs Tuesday despite a stronger dollar. U.S. stocks traded mixed amid corporate earnings, a rising trade deficit and falling oil prices.

Donald Trump has gold moving higher — and it's probably not done climbing -CNBC
"The man who built gold towers is now driving up the price of gold because of the uncertainty he brings to the White House. Gold futures prices hit a more-than-two-month high Monday, and they're set to elevate further. 'It's looking the best it's looked in several months, from a technical perspective anyway,' said Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco. 'We could see $100 more on the upside easily.' President Donald Trump's trade and currency comments have driven investors to seek safety in the metal. That trade got another boost Monday after Trump said Sunday that the effort to dismantle - and replace - Obamacare could take until 2018, raising concerns that his entire agenda is now being pushed back....Trump has taken some of the wind out of the dollar recently, and the market is also adjusting to a new U.S. stance on the currency. Both he and Treasury secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin have said the dollar is too strong."

As we cover in our 2017 Gold Report - Early Edition ... there is perhaps no better moment in time to diversify assets into the enduring value of the world’s oldest form of money than now.

druckenmiller Multi-Billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller Just Bought Back His Entire Gold Position! -KingWorldNews
"Today King World News is pleased to be the first news outlet in the world reporting that hedge fund legend Stanley Druckenmiller, who now manages his own $4.7 billion fortune, just bought back his entire gold position after selling it on the night of Trump’s victory as President of the United States. When it was reported that Druckenmiller had sold his entire gold position on the night of Trump’s win, it sent shockwaves through the gold market. From one of Bill Fleckenstein’s readers: 'On Wednesday I had the opportunity to hear Stan Druckenmiller speak at Purdue University....He (Druckenmiller) said he was long gold and short stocks going into the election as he thought Hillary would win and we would get higher taxes and more regulation which he viewed as negative. When it became clear that evening that Trump was going to win and gold was up big and equities were down big, he sold his gold and got long stocks....It will be very interesting to see what happens to the price of gold in the coming days."

"If All Is Well, Why Are Billionaires Buying Gold?" asked Swiss America CEO Dean Heskin last May ... "Last year legendary hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller placed over $323 million into gold. 'Some regard it as a metal, we regard it as a currency, and it remains our largest currency allocation,' said Mr. Druckenmiller."

Arizona Committee Passes Bill to Support Sound Money -TenthAmendmentCenter
"An Arizona bill that would eliminate state capital gains taxes on gold and silver specie, and encourage its use as currency, passed an important House committee today. Final approval of the legislation would help undermine the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money. In effect, passage of the bill would 'legalize the Constitution' by treating gold and silver specie as money. HB2014 passed the House Ways and Means Committee by a 5-0 vote, with four members abstaining. Under current Arizona law, gold and silver are subject to capital gains tax when exchanged for Federal Reserve notes, or when used in barter transactions. If the purchasing power of the Federal Reserve note has decreased due to inflation, the metals’ nominal dollar value generally rises and that triggers a 'gain.' In most cases, of course, the capital gain is purely fictional. But these 'gains' are still taxed - thus unfairly punishing people using precious metals as money."

Be Prepared for a Bear Market -Bloomberg
"Every day since President Donald Trump took office seems to bring a new political shock, so you might be surprised to learn that the stock market is just shy of all-time highs. The new president may be unpredictable, but that volatility has yet to spill over into the financial markets. But remember, regardless of the president, there’s a high probability that investors will see a bear market during a commander in chief’s time in office....It’s no fun worrying about bear markets when we are close to all-time highs, but we should prepare for a downturn before it occurs, not after it’s already underway....On average, bear markets last almost one year, and stocks fell almost 30 percent....Assuming you are a long-term investor, you need to have other asset classes to keep you afloat and sane during these severe market downturns."

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2.6.17 - The New IRS Travel Ban?

Gold last traded at $1,232 an ounce. Silver at $17.69 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose near 3-month highs on safe-haven buying despite a firmer dollar. U.S. stocks drifted lower amid ongoing Trump policy worries.

Gold hits highest since November, politics and dollar boost -Reuters
"Gold climbed on Monday to its highest in nearly three months as worries about the political landscape in the United States and Europe and a subdued dollar reinforced investor interest. Political uncertainty in the United States has been fueled by President Donald Trump's policies, the most controversial of which is a temporary ban on immigrants from seven mostly Muslim countries. A U.S. judge put a nationwide block on Trump's order on Friday....'The initial euphoria of the Trump presidency seems to be fading and the elections in Europe are making people nervous. The uncertainty does mean upside for prices,' said Warren Patterson, commodities strategist at ING."

For additional insights on the many factors which are driving the gold bull market of 2017, please request a free copy of our 2017 Gold Report - Early Edition

gold pot Another Travel Ban: IRS Moves To Revoke Passports For Unpaid Taxes -Forbes
"President Trump's executive order on travel may be generating big protests, but an IRS missive on travel and passports may not go down too well either. More than a year ago, in H.R.22, Congress gave the IRS a new weapon to collect taxes. Tax code Section 7345 is labeled, 'Revocation or Denial of Passport in Case of Certain Tax Delinquencies.' The law isn't limited to criminal tax cases, or even cases where the IRS thinks you are trying to flee. The idea of the law is to use travel as a way to enforce tax collections. It was proposed and rejected in 2012. But by late 2015, Congress passed it and President Obama signed it. Now, over a year later, the IRS has finally released new details on its website. If you have seriously delinquent tax debt, IRS can notify the State Department. The State Department generally will not issue or renew a passport after receiving certification from the IRS. The IRS has not yet started certifying tax debt to the State Department. The IRS says certifications will begin in early 2017, and the IRS website will be updated to indicate when this process has been implemented."

Liberals AND Conservatives Prepare for Disaster, Escape -PontificationBlog
"'Some of America’s richest people are spending billions quietly preparing for a global Apocalypse,' reported the U.K. Daily Mail days ago. 'What do they know that the rest of us don’t?' These people include rightists and leftists....A sudden passion for acquiring survivalist guns, grub and gold has, surprisingly, swept over liberals....President Trump, meanwhile, is using carrots and sticks - tax and regulation cuts as well as tariffs - to persuade companies to bring investment and jobs to America, even as some of our richest citizens are preparing to flee abroad. 'Is the wall only to keep illegals out, or is it also to keep the rich in?' asks veteran think tank futurist Lowell Ponte....'A rich American might own a protected estate in New Zealand, but the IRS can instantly turn off his passport and keep him here until he pays a potentially huge amount of money to buy his freedom,' says Ponte. [In Money, Morality, & the Machine] 'We document 19 such risks that are a trap for the unwary, and we show people how to protect themselves and their life savings.'"

Time to sell the dollar on ‘erratic’ Trump policies, J.P. Morgan says -Marketwatch
"The dollar enjoyed a strong run after Election Day, but the Trump administration has turned into a headwind for the buck and more troubles are ahead, strategists at J.P. Morgan warn. 'Dollar confidence and positioning is being eroded by erratic policy emissions from the White House,' the J.P. Morgan team said in the report. 'USD has retraced 45% of the Trump rally, but we believe risk-reward favors a deeper setback to USD vs. those pairs that have lagged, most notably JPY,' the strategists added. In fact, the dollar suffered its worst January in 30 years. That came after Trump on Jan. 17 described the dollar as 'too strong', considering where currencies like China’s yuan and Japan’s yen are trading.”

To help our readers prepare for widespread economic change under the new Trump administration in 2017, request your free copy of our newest special report, America's First 100 Days and Your Money.

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2.2.17 - The Gold Bull is Back!

Gold last traded at $1,219 an ounce. Silver at $17.42 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices extended gains on Thursday amid political uncertainty and a weaker dollar. U.S. stocks struggled as concerns about trade partners weighed on market sentiment.

As The Dollar Plunges (Again), Gold Hits 3-Month Highs -Zero Hedge
"After the worst January in 30 years (since Reagan in 1987), the US Dollar is starting February in the same way - plunging. Now at its lowest level since Nov 11th, the greenback has almost entirely erased the post-election gains...Still we are sure stocks know what they are doing. And as the dollar fades so precious metals are bid and Gold is back above $1225 for the first time since just after the election."

gold bull The Gold Bull is Back! -Craig R. Smith/SATC
"Precious metal prices started off 2017 with a bang amid robust safe-haven buying and falling U.S. dollar. In January, gold prices rose over 5% and silver prices rushed up over 10%. Meanwhile, despite topping the 20,000 level in January, the Dow ended the month virtually flat as rising political uncertainty and trade worries tripped up the so-called Trump rally. Today more and more analysts are jumping on the gold bandwagon in 2017....There are dozens of additional reasons why buying gold near $1,200 an ounce is THE BARGAIN OF THE CENTURY. It could be the last chance to buy low-cost wealth insurance as protection against a fiat currency-based world. Full story...

For additional insight on the the gold bull market of 2017, please request a free copy of our 2017 Gold Report - Early Edition

Fed Will Be Forced to Print & Kill Dollar -John Williams/USAWatchdog
"Economist John Williams warned last year the U.S. economy never really recovered, and it was going to turn down again. That downturn happened Friday when the latest GDP figures came in below 2% growth in the fourth quarter of 2016. Williams says the economy 'contracted,' and he contends it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better....On rising interest rates, Williams predicts, 'I think the Fed is going to suppress rates. Unfortunately, the bad economy we have now will be at least the better part of 2017. As the economy weakens, that puts renewed stress on the banking system. The Fed is going to be forced back to accommodating the solvency of the banking system. The Fed will be moving back towards the quantitative easing (money printing) that it had before. They have to save that banking system as they did back in 2008...As they do that, it will kill the dollar'....'In terms of the Fed (getting control) and the long term solvency issues, these are death knells for the dollar. Unless those are addressed, you are going to see massive selling of the dollar, a debasement of the dollar and high inflation that will lead you into hyperinflation.'"

Fed Falls Desperately Behind The Curve On U.S. Growth & Inflation -Hedge Eye
"Fed Chair Janet Yellen missed an obvious opportunity to raise interest rates at yesterday’s Fed meeting....Instead of raising rates, the Fed said 'economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases' in interest rates and 'inflation will rise to 2 percent over the medium term.' Both of these statements are misguided...Contrary to what Yellen says, inflation is already heating up. The Consumer Price Index finally ended a 30-month streak below the Fed's 2% inflation target....To make matters worse, our proprietary leading indicator suggests year-over-year inflation to hit 3, even 4% in the first quarter of 2017. That would definitely get the Fed’s attention. They are officially behind the curve now, McCullough writes, 'we may need 4-6 rate hikes with inflation data like this.'....Yellen & Co. are falling desperately behind the curve on both U.S. growth and inflation. Then again, the Fed missed both growth slowing in 2016 and now growth accelerating in 2017. At least they're consistent."

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2.1.17 - Trump Policies Boost Metals

Gold last traded at $1,208 an ounce. Silver at $17.45 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices continued higher Wednesday after the Fed decision to hold interest rates steady. U.S. stocks traded mixed following Fedspeak and rising uncertainty despite upbeat jobs data.

Trump Policies, Comments Send Investors Rushing Into Gold -Investors
"Gold, a big loser following Donald Trump's election, has rebounded in 2017 as the new president's policies and currency talk make precious metals attractive.... Gold futures rose 1.3% to $1,211.40 on Tuesday, with the 5.2% monthly gain the best since June. President Trump's trade and immigration policies are spurring more uncertainty. Meanwhile, Trump issued new complaints about the strong dollar, saying 'other countries take advantage of America by devaluation,' and singled out China and Japan as 'planning money markets.' Hours earlier, Trump economic advisor Peter Navarro said Germany is exploiting its trading partners by using the 'grossly undervalued' euro."

As we cover in our 2017 Gold Report - Early Edition ... there is perhaps no better moment in time to diversify assets into the enduring value of the world’s oldest form of money than now.

trump dollar Trump seems bent on punishing the U.S. dollar -Marketwatch
"The dollar unraveled in January and some see more declines in its future. The greenback has enjoyed a nice bounce in the era of Donald Trump but the newly minted U.S. president appears hellbent on beating back the buck - in the short term, and at least one analyst is predicting more pain ahead for the currency. In recent weeks, political risk, namely, jawboning from the Trump administration, has rattled the U.S. unit, which coughed up 2.6% in January....The action prompted Steve Barrow, currency and fixed-income analyst at Standard Bank in a Wednesday note to forecast that the roller-coaster ride for the buck would likely end with greenback significantly lower at the end of Trump’s tenure in the White House."

The Government’s War on Money Laundering Is Causing the Wrong Kind of Casualties -Mitchell/Wordpress
"President Trump says he wants to roll back the burden of regulation. Give the morass of red tape that is strangling the economy, this is a very worthy goal. It’s also a daunting task....Simply stated, go after the red tape that imposes the highest costs while yielding the fewest benefits. And if that’s the approach, so-called anti-money laundering regulations should be on the chopping block. Banks and other financial institutions are now being forced to squander billions of dollars in order to comply with laws, rules, and red tape that require them to spy on all their customers. The ostensible purpose of AML policies is to discourage criminal behavior, but experts have concluded that this approach has been a failure....In other words, lots of costs, mostly born by poor people and poor nations, but no evidence that criminals and terrorists are being stopped. Rather than imposing lots of red tape and requiring banks to spy on everybody, it would be much better if the government followed normal rules in the fight against crime."

The -Other- “Ban” That Was Quietly Announced Last Week -Black/Sovereign Man
"Most of the world is in an uproar right now over the travel ban that Donald Trump hastily imposed late last week on citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries. But there was another ban that was quietly proposed last week, and this one has far wider implications: a ban on cash. The European Union’s primary executive authority, known as the European Commission, issued a 'Road Map' last week to initiate continent-wide legislation against cash....It’s always the same song: cash is a tool for criminals and terrorists....This idea that criminals and terrorists only deal in bricks of cash is a pathetic fantasy regurgitated by the serially uninformed....Think about it: every time you make a deposit at your bank, that savings no longer belongs to you. It’s now the bank’s money. It’s their asset, not yours. You become an unsecured creditor of the bank with nothing more than a claim on their balance sheet, beholden to all the stupidity and shenanigans that they have a history of perpetrating."

Read more from Simon Black about the accelerating war on cash in Swiss America's 2017 newsletter, Volatility's Last Stand.

I Advise Central Banks, And I Tell Them To Buy Gold: Professor -Kitco
"Gold prices continue to benefit as investors seek safe-haven assets, and although one professor is not a ‘wild bull’ on the metal, he remains fairly optimistic. 'If I was advising a central bank, which I do, the recommendation is buy,' Steve Hanke, professor of Applied Economics at the Johns Hopkins University and a known trader, told Kitco News in a phone conversation Tuesday. 'Uncertainty in general…and all kinds of things going on [right now] are favorable to gold.'....'I do think gold is relatively cheap now,' he said."

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