Swiss America Blog Archive


6.20.17 - The Dangerous Era of Public Rage

Gold last traded at $1,243 an ounce. Silver traded at $16.41 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices steadied Tuesday despite a firmer dollar. U.S. stocks pulled back from record highs as oil enters a 2017 bear market.

Oil Slides to Seven-Month Low -Bloomberg
"Oil dropped to the lowest level in seven months, pulling energy stocks down, as Libya revives production and fuel storage levels grow. Futures tumbled as much as 3.1 percent in New York, heading toward the first bear market since August amid growing concerns that OPEC-led output cuts won’t succeed in balancing the market. Libya is pumping the most crude in four years after a deal with Wintershall AG enabled at least two fields to resume production. The amount of oil stored in tankers reached a 2017 high earlier this month....Oil has stayed below $45 a barrel as supplies in the U.S. remain plentiful and the oil rig count rises to the highest level since April 2015....'Right now there is little support to be found in light of recent supply-side developments, including further reinstatement of production in Libya, another rise in the U.S. rig count and reports of floating storage building up again,' said Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodity markets strategy at BNP Paribas SA in London."

government and banks Breaking the monopoly on money -WashingtonTimes
"The idea of money has been around for several thousand years, along with precious metal coins to serve as money. The question has remained as to whether governments, private parties or both should create money. When the weight of a gold or silver coin determined its value, it mattered little to the user who struck the coin. After the invention of paper money by the Chinese, 'over-issuance' (producing more paper value than the real value of the metal in the vault) became much easier than shaving the coin - the manifestation of which we know as inflation. Zimbabwe holds the record for paper inflation by having produced a 100 trillion Zimbabwe dollar note. The move to electronic money and money transfers (as contrasted with the physical movement of checks and other paper monies) has made it even easier to create infinite amounts of money with little or no backing in the form of real assets. Governments and banks do not like paper currencies or paper checks. They are costly to handle and move about. They are easily stolen and it is very hard to keep track of ownership (which is big problem for legitimate law enforcement, and also for regimes that do not respect financial privacy and wish to spy on their citizens)....There is no reason governments should monopolize the issuance of money (gold, paper currency or a cryptocurrency) any more than they should monopolize the production of paper clips....The great shame is that when governments steal from everyone, no one goes to jail. The good news is that real, privately issued, global currency competition is alive and well, whether governments like it or not."

By withdrawing cash from your bank you are declaring financial independence from the government's "War on Cash", which continues to escalate daily. By converting paper or electronic 'money' into physical GOLD and SILVER you become free from the downward trajectory of our modern monopoly money. Now is the time to take action!

SocGen: The Fed Is Raising Rates Too Slowly To Contain Asset Bubbles -Zero Hedge
"Yesterday, when looking at the divergence between the slowing US economy and the Fed's insistence on hiking rates, Bank of America's David Woo asked if there is a different motive behind the Fed's tightening intentions, namely is the Fed trying to pop the market asset bubble: 'Can it be the case that its hawkishness was prompted by something other than its reading of the economy? For example, is it possible that the Fed has become concerned about the recent surge in the equity market, especially tech stocks that has been feeding off low interest rates and low volatility?'....Today, in a note which may have been inspired by BofA's rhetorical question, SocGen's FX strategist Kit Juckes picks up on what Woo said and notes that 'Whether the Fed is raising rates too fast given their inflation mandate or not, they are raising them too slowly to contain asset price inflation.'"

Rage Is All the Rage, and It’s Dangerous -Noonan/WallStreetJournal
"What we are living through in America is not only a division but a great estrangement. It is between those who support Donald Trump and those who despise him, between left and right, between the two parties, and even to some degree between the bases of those parties and their leaders in Washington. It is between the religious and those who laugh at Your Make Believe Friend, between cultural progressives and those who wish not to have progressive ways imposed upon them. It is between the coasts and the center, between those in flyover country and those who decide what flyover will watch on television next season....By indulging their and their audience’s rage, they spread the rage. They celebrate themselves as brave for this. They stood up to the man, they spoke truth to power. But what courage, really, does that take? Their audiences love it. Their base loves it, their demo loves it, their bosses love it. Their numbers go up. They get a better contract. This isn't brave....So many of our media figures need at this point to be reminded: You belong to something. It’s called: us. Do your part, take it down some notches, cool it. We have responsibilities to each other."

We agree. In fact, our media partner AMTV just published a video explaining how and why the mainstream media are portraying violence to target Republicans and the 45th President of the United States. Current events illustrate why now is the time to prepare yourself.

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6.19.17 - Half of Americans have ZERO savings

Gold last traded at $1,246 an ounce. Silver traded at $16.50 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices slipped back Monday on a rising U.S. dollar and recent Fed signals. U.S. stocks higher as tech stocks bounce back.

What You Can Learn From Billionaires Who Invest in Gold - Newsmax
"If you want to be successful in investing and accumulate enough money to live a comfortable retirement, sometimes it’s a good idea to take advice from those who have experience in the arena. Learning about sound investments from others can help prevent you from making mistakes that you might otherwise make if you try to rely on your own abilities.....Gold always rises in price over the long term and it often rises in price in the short term, particularly during times of financial crisis. That makes it a win-win for people looking for a sound investment. Gold also maintains its purchasing power over time. One ounce of gold a hundred years ago buys you roughly the same amount of goods it buys you today. You can’t say the same thing about paper currency. If you need a solid store of value, gold is what you want....If you’re looking for a store of value that will help diversify your portfolio, it’s important to remember that gold isn’t a get-rich-quick investment. Yes, its value will continue increasing over time, but ultimately gold is used for wealth preservation. That is what it excels in doing. And that is why the development of gold IRAs has been such a boon to investors looking to safeguard their retirement savings."

Unlike every other form of money on earth, Gold has a 4,000-year history of preserving wealth and offering instant liquidity worldwide; while offering you a way to maintain your personal privacy. Our TIMELESS TRUTH ABOUT GOLD & SILVER Special Report will give you a BIG picture overview of the seven timeless truths about money and gold you need to know.

national parks Budget cuts threaten forests’ roads, hunting, fishing - York Dispatch
"The roads to the national forests could get bumpier. Trails could get messier. Maintenance on bridges, dams and recreation sites could become tougher under President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal 2018, which begins Oct. 1. The White House is seeking only about $100 million in funding for capital improvement and maintenance by the National Forest Service, down from $363 million this year. That 73 percent cut could have a huge impact on recreation, according to Rebecca Turner, senior director of programs and policy for American Forests, a nonprofit conservation organization. Turner said roads are used to access the trails leading to 'majestic overlooks,' and lakes and rivers in the forests. She said the budget cuts would also lead to campsites and facilities not being maintained. Turner said that if the Forest Service is unable to maintain safe roads, boat launches and campgrounds, they’re likely to close. 'When you can’t access the forests, then it’s much harder to enjoy them,' she said."

Here's how many Americans have nothing at all in savings - CNBC
"Most people in the U.S. are living in financially precarious circumstances. Half of all Americans have nothing put away for retirement and the vast majority of them have under $1,000 saved, total. According to a 2016 GOBankingRates survey, 35 percent of all adults in the U.S. have only several hundred dollars in their savings accounts and 34 percent have zero. Only 15 percent have over $10,000 stashed away.... Experts also stress the importance of, at a minimum, having enough to cover three to six months of expenses in an emergency fund, should you be hit by a medical crisis or a layoff....The discrepancy between what workers know they should do and what they manage to do may be why so many Americans' No. 1 financial regret involves not saving enough: A whopping 46 percent of adults surveyed by Bankrate about their biggest money mistakes wish they had put more away, whether for retirement, emergency expenses or their children's educations."

Power grid operators say cyber-attacks one of the top risks - Electric Light & Power
"Each ISO/RTO acknowledges the risk of a cyber-attack as one of the top corporate risks, and collectively, the ISO/RTO Council (IRC) supports the resiliency efforts of each of its members and the advancement of the cybersecurity posture of the power grid, the IRC said in a statement provided to TransmissionHub on June 15, in light of the CRASHOVERRIDE malware framework that was disclosed in a recent report by the cybersecurity company, Dragos Inc....According to the report, CRASHOVERRIDE is the first ever malware framework designed and deployed to attack electric grids; the fourth ever piece of ICS-tailored malware...used against targets; and the second ever to be designed and deployed for disrupting physical industrial processes....While the malware could be leveraged at multiple sites simultaneously, the scenario is not cataclysmic and would result in hours, potentially a few days, of outages."

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6.16.17 - Stocks Mirror Dot-Com Bubble Era

Gold last traded at $1,256 an ounce. Silver traded at $16.66 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices ended the week steady as downbeat economic data weakened the dollar. U.S. stocks traded lower amid ongoing tech valuation worries despite Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods.

Stocks continue to mirror the dot-com era in ominous ways -Marketwatch
"The recent selloff in technology shares on Wall Street...has drawn comparisons to the abrupt end of the original dot-com run-up, and not simply because it’s the same sector driving market direction, and because the same sector is facing the same charges of being overvalued. 'This is my 33rd year in capital markets, and what I’m seeing is very reminiscent of 1999,' said Mark Travis, chief executive officer of Intrepid Capital Funds. 'Back then, it was the ‘Four Horsemen of the Nasdaq’ leading the market; today it’s the FANG stocks - there’s a similar level of concentration.'....The resemblance in conditions means that 'from a big-picture perspective, the comparison to 1999 holds up remarkably well,' said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network....McMillan looked at the four economic indicators he deems most important for comparing market conditions across eras: consumer confidence, business confidence, jobs growth and the yield curve. All of them reflect trends that are today equal to or are even more extended than in that earlier era."

AMTV The UNOFFICIAL Shots of the Second Civil War Were Fired -Greene/AMTV
"In today’s video, I explain The Unofficial Shots Were Fired in the Second Civil War. As a result of the tragic shooting in Alexandria we have learned that it is the mainstream media (MSM) that has weaponized crazed lunatics on the Left to carry out gross atrocities simply because they don’t like President Donald Trump. How is this possible? Leading up to the shooting of Representative Steve Scalise, who is still in critical condition undergoing a third round of surgery, Madonna warned she ‘had thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House,’ Kathy Griffin depicted a decapitated President Trump, and a re-enactment of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar assassination embodying Trump has been put on display in New York's Central Park. What do all of these portrayals have in common? They all portray violence and are being weaponized by the MSM to target Republicans, Christians and the 45th President of the United States. Current events illustrate why now is the time to prepare yourself. Download Swiss America's Free Investor Kit and enter to win a Free AMTV Bugout Bag."

Could Illinois be the first state to file for bankruptcy? -CBSNews
"Illinois residents may feel some solidarity with the likes of Puerto Rico and Detroit. A financial crunch is spiraling into a serious problem for Illinois lawmakers, prompting some observers to wonder if the state might make history by becoming the first to go bankrupt. At the moment, it's impossible for a state to file for bankruptcy protection, which is only afforded to counties and municipalities like Detroit....Nevertheless, Illinois is in a serious financial pickle, which is why radical options such as bankruptcy are being floated as potential solutions....'We're like a banana republic. We can't manage our money,' Gov. Bruce Rauner said after the Illinois Legislature failed to produce a full 2017 budget earlier this month....Like Puerto Rico, Illinois has a massive pension crisis. Its unfunded pension liability for the state's five major plans grew 25 percent alone in one year, reaching $251 billion, according to Moody's....The result? Growing unfunded liabilities...Adding to the state's financial pain is a shrinking tax base."

NY Fed Slashes Q2 GDP Forecast -ZeroHedge
"A day after President Trump proclaimed Q2 GDP 'numbers are going to be shockingly good,' The New York Fed has slashed its forecast for America's growth to just 1.86%. Wednesday...'I think this quarter's GDP numbers are going to be shockingly good given all the facts we're seeing.' Thursday...'I think some very good numbers are going to be announced, by the way, in the very near future, as to GDP.' Friday... Thanks to the collapse in housing data this morning, The New York Fed has slashed its growth expectations for Q2 GDP to just 1.86% (from 3% in March)...It is hardly surprising that both The Atlanta Fed (which cut its guess from 3.2% to a series low 2.878%) and New York Fed are cutting their expectations as US macro data disappoints gravely...Given the plunge in US Macro data, we wonder if President Trump meant the GDP numbers are going to be 'shocking.'"

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6.15.17 - "Stupid" New Law Against Cash

Gold last traded at $1,254 an ounce. Silver traded at $16.71 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices slipped back Thursday after the latest Fed rate hike boosted the buck. U.S. stocks retreated amid ongoing tech valuation worries after Alphabet stock was downgraded.

You won’t believe this stupid new law against Cash and Bitcoin -Black/SovereignMan
"Recently a new bill was introduced on the floor of the US Senate entitled, pleasantly, 'Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act of 2017.' You can probably already guess its contents. Cash is evil. Bitcoin is evil. Now they’ve gone so far to include prepaid mobile phones, retail gift vouchers, or even electronic coupons. Evil, evil, and evil. These people are certifiably insane....This new bill adds a laundry list of offenses for which they can legally seize your assets… all of which pertain to money laundering and other financial crimes. Here’s the thing, though: they’ve also vastly expanded on the definition of such ‘financial crimes’, including failure to fill out a form if you happen to be transporting more than $10,000 worth of ‘monetary instruments’. Have too much cash? You’d better tell the government. If not, they're authorizing themselves in this bill to seize not just the money you didn’t report, but ALL of your assets and bank accounts....And if that weren’t enough, this bill also gives them with new authority to engage in surveillance and wiretapping (including phone, email, etc.) if they have even a hint of suspicion that you might be transporting excess ‘monetary instruments’. Usually wiretapping authority is reserved for major crimes like kidnapping, human trafficking, felony fraud, etc. Now we can add cash to that list....This bill is nothing more than another weapon in their ongoing War on Cash… and now cryptocurrency too."

"You are a casualty of the 'war against cash' if you have a bank account – and probably do not even know it," author and Swiss America Chairman Craig R. Smith recently told talk show host Michael Savage in a confidential off-air interview now available on a FREE CD or mp3. Discover what steps must be taken to protect your hard-earned money from this accelerating WAR ON CASH.

government The next rate hike is expected - but doesn't make sense -Crudele/NewYorkPost
"The Federal Reserve on Wednesday continued to normalize borrowing costs by increasing its federal funds rate by a quarter point. But this is the most abnormal normalization in history....There are two reasons Janet Yellen's Fed has to get rates back to normal. Reason 1: Low interest rates have hurt a large segment of the population that needs interest income to survive. Reason 2: The Fed is helpless unless it gets rates up enough so that it can cut them if the economy weakens. But some of the developments surrounding the Fed’s latest hike were perverse. For one thing, the stock market rallied on the news, sending the major indexes to record levels. But Wall Street shouldn’t be rallying on rate hikes; it should be nervous....The other thing that was abnormal about Wednesday’s rate hike was that it happened even though the US economy is looking very iffy....The most abnormal part of the Fed’s outlook was related to the labor market. The Fed said that 'the labor market has continued to strengthen' this year, but job growth has been weaker than expected and less than desired over the past few months....Before the end of 2017, there will be more talk about the Fed cutting rates to help the economy than about raising them. That might seem absurd right now, but nothing is normal these days."

Is Gold Undervalued? -Morningstar
"The gold price has risen year to date - but one multi-manager is saying the real asset looks cheap and has invested on a value basis....Gold is traditionally held as an insurance against losses elsewhere; when economic outlooks look clouded, or there is great volatility in equity markets. The finger this time around could be pointed at the political uncertainty across developed markets; Trump, Brexit and European elections. But for Stan Verhoeven, co-lead portfolio manager, Multi Asset Factor Opportunities at NN Investment Partners, his preference for gold is for a different reason: value. In May, Verhoeve upped his gold allocation to more than 10% from having previously shorted the precious metal the month earlier....Rather than letting macro events dictate his investment philosophy he invests based on five factors; value, carry, momentum, flow and volatility. Within the value factor he seeks to benefit from incorrect valuations, buying undervalued assets and selling overvalued assets."

Mr. Verheven is not distracted by the daily investment noise. This allows him to maintain peace of mind and to maintain a wise asset allocation strategy. His 'five factors' (value, carry, momentum, flow and volatility) all lead him to owning gold. Learn more about the wisdom of owning gold and silver today by reading our free 2017 Gold and Silver Research Reports.

What the latest Fed rate hike means for mortgage rates -USAToday
"Fed Chair Janet Yellen and her Federal Open Market Committee counterparts go out of their way to make sure short-term interest rate moves are anything but a surprise to world markets. But even an expected interest rate increase can have some very real consequences. Here’s what this latest move means for mortgage rates....Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic, says, 'Fixed-rate mortgage rates are likely to gradually edge higher over the next six to 12 months. Rates are likely to rise to 4.25% to 4.50% by the end of 2017.'....The Fed is planning another action that could affect mortgage rates: selling off its portfolio of mortgage-backed securities. The Fed now holds more than $1.7 trillion in mortgage-backed securities, about one-third of all those outstanding....The 'double whammy' of rising mortgage rates and higher home prices are thwarting potential home buyers. For example, with fixed-rate loan rates up by 0.5% since last summer, and house prices in national indexes up at least 5%, the monthly principal and interest payment is more than 10% higher than it was last summer, adding to affordability challenges for first-time buyers."

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6.14.17 - Banks Growing Irresponsible ... Again

Gold last traded at $1,275 an ounce. Silver traded at $16.88 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices traded mixed after the Fed lifted interest rates 0.25% to 1%. U.S. stocks traded mixed following the Fed's upbeat economic statement.

State investors stock up on record gold reserves amid uncertainty -GATA
"The gold reserves of the world's biggest public sector investors reached an 18-year high as they hoarded the precious metal after Donald Trump's election and the Brexit vote added to geopolitical uncertainty. State investors increased their net gold holdings by 377 tons to an estimated 31,000 tons last year - the highest level since 1999, according to a study of 750 central banks, public pension plans and sovereign wealth funds with $33.5 trillion in assets. Danae Kyriakopoulou, chief economist at the Official Monetary and Financial Forum, the central bankers' forum that compiled the research, said state investors had flocked to the precious metal because of its status as a 'haven asset' and to take advantage of rising prices. 'There was a lot of political uncertainty in the past year. There were big political shocks with Brexit and Trump, which have driven investors back to gold,' she said."

Bank Banks Are Becoming Less Safe... Again -Black/SovereignMan
"What I’m about to tell you isn’t some wild conspiracy. Or fake news. It’s raw fact, based on publicly available data from the US Federal Reserve. This data shows a very simple but concerning trend: banks in the United States are becoming less safe. Again. And they’re doing it on purpose. Again. Few people ever give much thought to the safety and security of their bank....The Federal Reserve’s most recent report on 'Assets and Liabilities of Commercial Banks in the United States' published last Friday showed a continuing trend in the erosion of bank safety. This is a weekly report, so there’s tons of data. And the trend goes back now at least 2.5 years. Since late 2014, for example, Fed data show that total cash assets at US banks has been in steady decline, dropping roughly 25% over that period. But at the same time, total deposits at the banks has actually increased around 15%. So you can see the issue: cash is falling while deposits are increasing. This is the OPPOSITE of what a responsible bank should be doing. A conservative bank seeks to INCREASE or at least MAINTAIN the level of cash it has on hand as a percentage of customer deposits. Banks in the US have been doing the opposite - decreasing their cash holdings while deposits have been rising."

Bank safety concerns are rising daily. The war on cash is happening on many fronts. In Swiss America's 2017 free White Paper, The Secret War, discover why - under threat of punishment - banks must now spy on you for the government. Today carrying too much cash around just might get you branded a criminal!

Stockman Fears Fiscal Bloodbath As "Mother Of All Debt Ceiling Crises" Looms -Zero Hedge
"While the Imperial City is frozen in the Second Coming of Comey, it doesn’t mean that the Washington spending machine is on pause. In fact, the Treasury’s cash balance yesterday stood at only $153 billion - down by $130 billion just since the tax season peak was reached on April 25th. Uncle Sam has been burning cash at a rate of $3.2 billion per calendar day since then and has no more room to borrow. That’s because the public debt ceiling is frozen at its March 15th level ($19.808 trillion) and the mavens at the Treasury Building have run out of borrowing gimmicks....The long and short of it is straightforward. The Democrats are not about to bail-out the Donald when they believe they have him on the ropes. At the same time, there is no GOP majority for any meaningful deficit reduction plan that could be attached to a debt ceiling increase bill as a legislative quid pro quo....Washington is heading for the unthinkable. That is, the need for the US Treasury to prioritize and allocate spending based on the available inflow of revenues."

Prepare Now for the End of the Bull Market -Bloomberg
"The time to prepare or adjust your expectations for market turmoil is before it occurs, not during or after the fact. I have no idea what will be the exact trigger that causes this bull market to end, but here are some possible scenarios to consider: The economy could go into a recession....A melt-up could turn into a meltdown....Interest rates could rise substantially....Faster inflation....Monetary policy could get too tight....Investors could always decide to panic for any number of reasons beyond a recession, so one way or another, it makes sense to mentally prepare for a market downturn to avoid panicking when it eventually comes."

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6.13.17 - Fed Can't Stop The Dollar Breakdown

Gold last traded at $1,268 an ounce. Silver traded at $16.76 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices steadied Tuesday on a weaker dollar ahead of the Fed's statement on Wednesday. U.S. stocks rebounded following a two-day tech sell off based on growing valuation concerns.

Hedge funds face a crisis of confidence -New York Post
"Hedge funds are dancing with the devil. They are facing a crisis of confidence and potential lawsuits amid unprecedented fund closures, job losses and - most critically - low investment returns. It's finally time to bail, one money man in Short Hills, NJ, warned last week of these leveraged alternative investments for superwealthy and not-so-wealthy middle-class investors. 'Get out,' echoed financial adviser Stephen Ng, as more unwelcome news hit hedgies. 'I have been talking about this - and now I think more and more investors are beginning to realize it.'....Investors already withdrew $111.6 billion from hedge funds last year, according to eVestment, as some 1,100 funds - the largest total since the 2008 financial crisis - closed, and thousands of pros were axed. About 9,700 hedge funds remain. 'These funds have very good marketing,' said Ng. 'But you can also lose 50 or 100 percent of your money.'"

central bank chart Massive Central Bank Asset Purchases: Last Ditch Effort To Save Economy & Cap Gold Price - SRScroccoReport
"The Central banks bought a staggering $1.5 trillion in assets in the first five months of the year to keep the economy from imploding while at the same time, capping the gold price. Yes, it’s true…. $300 billion a month of Central bank asset purchases pushes up STOCK, BOND and REAL ESTATE values while it depresses or caps the gold (or silver) price. The amount of Central bank asset purchases are now reaching insane levels....Central banks are now injecting a record $300 billion in liquidity per month, above the $200 billion which Deutsche Bank recently warned is a 'red-line' indicator for risk assets....Total global gold investment is approximately $3 trillion. That’s everything which includes Central Bank gold inventories, and all large and small public-private gold holdings. So, we can plainly see in the chart, that $1.5 trillion in Central banks asset purchases in just the first five months of the year, would have bought HALF of all Global Gold Investment....Which brings me to the subject of 'Frustrated Precious Metals Investors.' I continue to see precious metals investors who are extremely frustrated by the so-called 'WRONG CALLS' by the analysts on the gold and silver price movements. Yes, it is true that many of us didn’t realize the degree in which the Central banks would go to prop up the markets… but this is getting completely insane now. If the Central banks were to stop purchasing assets… then the markets would collapse. Heck, they are trying to collapse even with the massive Central bank intervention. The signs are everywhere. Folks, without the over $12 trillion in Central bank asset purchases since the 2008 U.S. Housing Market and Banking collapse, the gold price would have been stunningly higher… so would the silver price."

Connecting the Dots: A Dollar Breakdown Is Coming -MarketAnthropology
"As we have shown over the years, the dollar's performance has been one of the primary driving forces behind the direction of real yields, with gold naturally closely tracking the inverse performance of both....Until the growth cues of stabilizing and rising yields materialize for a considerable period, the notion of a more secular continuation of a stronger US dollar and higher real yields is as misplaced as expectations for sustained GDP growth above 3 percent per year....All things considered, we remain bullish on gold, which should continue to find considerable upside motivation as rate hikes by the Fed come to an end and the dollar breaks down further from its cyclical high. Similar to the move in long-term Treasury yields last year, we expect the dollar index to eventually weaken to the trough of its long-term downtrend, which should provide ample motivation for gold and real yields to test their respective cycle highs and lows."

Britain's Election: Another Trump-Like Miracle? -PontificationBlog
"Democracy gets more and more surprising. The liberal mainstream media gives $2 Billion worth of free airtime to nominate the least-electable Republican, but their scheme to help Hillary Clinton backfires and elects President Donald Trump, who is moving America away from globalism and back toward free markets, prosperity, and national greatness. No wonder the leftist media has gone berserk trying to remove Mr. Trump by any means. And now in Great Britain, 'communitarian' (i.e., opposed to selfish individualism and too little taxation of capitalism) Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May, with her party 20 points ahead in the polls, calls a snap election to increase her majority. Instead, the debate-ducking leader falls eight seats short of keeping a parliamentary majority at all. But instead of resigning, May says she will continue to govern with the 10 parliamentary votes of her 'friends and allies' of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Northern Ireland, a Tartan Tory party that could move England’s compromised Conservative Party farther to the right....Democracy nowadays is full of surprises, and sometimes even miracles."

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6.12.17 - "The Worst Crash in Our Lifetime"

Gold last traded at $1,268 an ounce. Silver traded at $16.94 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices steadied Monday on a flat dollar ahead of Fed meeting. U.S. stocks fell as Apple downgrade and valuation concerns dragged tech stocks lower.

Gold edges up on weaker stocks, dollar ahead of Fed meeting -Reuters
"Gold inched up on Monday as Asian stocks fell and the dollar eased ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting that could give clues on the pace of interest rate hikes over the rest of the year. With the Fed widely expected to raise interest rates at its two-day meeting that ends on Wednesday, the focus will be on any fresh hints on the pace of further tightening in the months to come and next year, and any further details on its plans for trimming its balance sheet. The focus is on whether the Fed is looking at three or four rate hikes this year, according to Argonaut Securities analyst Helen Lau....In the wider markets, Asian stocks edged lower in early trade on Monday following a slide by U.S. technology shares."

lights out Security firms warn of new cyber threat to electric grid -Reuters
"Two cyber security companies said they have uncovered a sophisticated piece of malicious software capable of causing power outages by ordering industrial computers to shut down electricity transmission. Analysis of the malware, known as Crash Override or Industroyer, indicates it was likely used in a December 2016 cyber attack that cut power in Ukraine, according to the firms, Slovakian security software maker ESET and U.S. critical-infrastructure security firm Dragos Inc.....Dragos founder Robert M. Lee said the malware is capable of causing outages of up to a few days in portions of a nation's grid, but is not potent enough to bring down a country's entire grid. The firm has alerted government authorities and power companies about the threat, advising them of steps to defend against the threat, Lee said in an interview....'With small modifications, it could be leveraged against the United States,' he said."

It is only a matter of time before computer hackers will strike the U.S. power grid, effectively turning the clock back 100 years for American citizens; at least temporarily. Modern life would instantly come to a halt due to our 100% dependence upon electricity for almost everything - from waking up, to making coffee, buying gas, getting cash from an ATM, you name it. Experts say America is woefully unprepared for such an attack. In this YouTube video watch hackers break into the US power grid. Read AMERICA'S CYBER-HIT LIST, a new Swiss America Research Report that reveals hundreds of the biggest U.S. firms that have been hacked in recent years and what you can do to protect your money.

JIM ROGERS: The worst crash in our lifetime is coming -BusinessInsider
"Legendary investor Jim Rogers sat down with Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget on this week's episode of 'The Bottom Line.' Rogers predicts a market crash in the next few years, one that he says will rival anything he has seen in his lifetime. Rogers: I learned very early in my investing careers: I better not invest in what I want. I better invest in what’s happening in the world. Otherwise I'll be broke - dead broke. Well, what's going to happen is it's going to continue. Some stocks in America are turning into a bubble. The bubble's gonna come. Then it's going to collapse, and you should be very worried. Blodget: So when is this going to happen? Rogers: Later this year or next. Blodget: And what will trigger it? Rogers: Well, it's interesting because these things always start where we're not looking. In 2007, Iceland went broke. People said, ‘Iceland? Is that a country? They have a market?’ And then Ireland went broke. And then Bear Stearns went broke. And Lehman Brothers went broke. They spiral like that. Always happens where we're not looking. Blodget: And how big a crash could we be looking at? Rogers: It’s going to be the worst in your lifetime - my lifetime too. Be worried."

We've Lost All Sense of the Common Good -CharlesHughSmithBlogspot
"The theory of American civics is that the competitive process of every group advocating for its narrow self-interests will magically generate the Common Good, that is, a political and social order that serves everyone's common/shared interests. Unfortunately, that's not how civic life functions in real-world America....As entrenched interests compete to protect their profitable skims, scams, monopolies and fiefdoms, the bottom 95% are slipping into darkness....Corporations and entrenched interests exist for one purpose: maximize profits for shareholders/ members. The Common Good means nothing, is worth nothing, except as a flimsy marketing ploy. Self-interested lobbies do not create a Common Good. They actually destroy the Common Good by redefining the political, financial and social order as nothing more than a zero-sum game in which the winners gain centralized power and the chumps (the bottom 95%) are manipulated by the political parties and corporate media into focusing on a fast-paced and wonderfully distracting circus of pyrotechnics, spinning mirrors and freak shows. The Common Good cannot possibly be served by ceding power to privately owned, profit-maximizing corporations and self-serving state elites. The only way to rebuild a Common Good is to radically decentralize political, financial and media concentrations of ownership and power."

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6.9.17 - Load Up on Gold Before a Crisis

Gold last traded at $1,271 an ounce. Silver traded at $17.22 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices slipped back Friday on a firmer dollar ahead of Fed meeting next week. U.S. stocks rose as investors looked past UK election shocker and Comey testimony.

James Comey's Contradictory Testimony -PontificationBlog
"Big news happened Thursday in James Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, but it will never be reported by the media that is using these hearings to wound or destroy President Donald Trump. Mr. Comey previously said that he 'has not been pressured to close an investigation for political purposes.' That would 'be a very big deal,' he testified under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 3. 'It's not happened in my experience.' But on June 8, in response to questioning by Senator James Lankford (R.-Oklahoma), Mr. Comey said that President Barack Obama’s Attorney General Loretta Lynch had ordered him not to say Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was under 'criminal investigation' by the FBI. Call it a 'matter,' she ordered Comey....On Thursday, Mr. Comey contradicted his prior sworn testimony. He had been told to end an FBI 'criminal investigation' for obviously political reasons - not by President Trump, but President Obama's Attorney General....As the old saying goes, were it not for double standards, some people would have no standards at all."

gold The Best Time to Load Up on Gold Is During a Bull Market -MotleyFool
"You've heard it said before: fire insurance is typically much cheaper before the forest fire approaches the city lines. In financial markets, gold has a number of purposes. One of its primary roles is as a hedge to volatility and market downturns. As volatility continues to hover near all-time lows, many investors are now simply brushing off the concept of investing in gold....While traditionally viewed as a hedge, gold has a few other key purposes, such as a store of value in regions where fiat currency has been discredited, and as a key metal in some industrial and commercial industries. Buying a gold-related security (or the physical bullion itself) is just one of many ways of buying portfolio insurance....While many options exist for an investor to hedge a portion of a portfolio, I remain a believer that having a small percentage, perhaps 5%, of a portfolio invested in gold-related securities can provide some security and peace of mind for investors that may be focused heavily on growth stocks or higher-return securities. The bull market may still have legs for some time given the relatively relaxed monetary policy we are now seeing worldwide; however, it is never a bad idea to have a little insurance tucked away - just in case."

Unlike every other form of money on earth, Gold has a 4,000-year history of preserving wealth and offering instant liquidity worldwide; while offering you a way to maintain your personal privacy. Our TIMELESS TRUTH ABOUT GOLD & SILVER Special Report will give you a BIG picture overview of the seven timeless truths about money and gold you need to know.

The impeach-Trump conspiracy -Buchanan/WorldNetDaily
"Consider the questions that have convulsed this city since the Trump triumph, and raised talk of impeachment. Did Trump collude with Russians to hack the DNC emails and move the goods to WikiLeaks?....We hear daily on cable TV of the 'Trump-Russia' scandal. Yet, no one has been charged with collusion, and every intelligence official, past or present, who has spoken out has echoed ex-acting CIA Director Mike Morrell: 'On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all. … There's no little campfire, there's no little candle, there's no spark.' Where are the criminals? Where is the crime?....So, what is really going on here?....Trump ran in 2016 not simply as the Republican alternative. He presented his candidacy as a rejection, a repudiation of the failed elites, political and media, of both parties. Americans voted in 2016 not just for a change in leaders but for a revolution to overthrow a ruling regime. Thus, this city has never reconciled itself to Trump’s victory, and the president daily rubs their noses in their defeat with his tweets."

At the Edge of Inside -Brooks/NewYorkTimes
"In any organization there are some people who serve at the core. These insiders are in the rooms when the decisions are made....Then there are outsiders. They throw missiles from beyond the walls. They are untouched by internal loyalties and try to take over from without....But there’s also a third position in any organization: those who are at the edge of the inside. These people are within the organization, but they're not subsumed by the group think. They work at the boundaries, bridges and entranceways....I borrow this concept from Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest who lives in Albuquerque. His point is that people who live at the edge of the inside have crucial roles to play....A person at the edge of inside can be the strongest reformer. This person has the loyalty of a faithful insider, but the judgment of the critical outsider....When people are afraid or defensive, they have no tolerance for the person at the edge of inside. They want purity, rigid loyalty and lock step unity. But now more than ever we need people who have the courage to live on the edge of inside, who love their parties and organizations so much that they can critique them as a brother, operate on them from the inside as a friend and dauntlessly insist that they live up to their truest selves."

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6.8.17 - Comey Fails To Rock Wall Street

Gold last traded at $1,279 an ounce. Silver traded at $17.42 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices eased back Thursday amid mild profit-taking and a firmer dollar. U.S. stocks breathed a sigh of relief as former FBI head James Comey's testimony failed to shock investors.

Why the Gold Price Could Hit $2,000 in the Next 3 Years -Investing News
"Speaking with the Investing News Network at the recent International Metal Writers Conference, John Kaiser of Kaiser Research shared his thoughts on the junior resource sector, China’s economic slowdown and what companies he is following right now. 'I believe we are in the second year of a discovery/exploration cycle that has probably four to five years to run,' he said. Kaiser talked about gold in 2017 and explained the impact that US President Donald Trump’s presidency is having on the market. He also shared his thoughts on the zinc market and discussed how environmental concerns in China could be the wildcard this year. Watch the video to hear why Kaiser thinks gold will reach $2,000 in the next three years and to hear some useful tips for investors who are brand new to the resource sector."

Mr. Kaiser presents some solid facts and logic behind his call for $1,500-$2,000 an ounce gold prices by 2020. Today there are so many geopolitical wild cards out there which could easily send investors running for proven safe-haven assets; such as gold and silver. Learn more by reading our free 2017 Gold and Silver Research Reports today.

Comey Comey's Testimony Unlikely to Rock Wall Street -Crudele/NYPost
"Like everyone else, the people on Wall Street will be closely watching former FBI Director James Comey's testimony to Congress Thursday. What does Wall Street want to hear? Well, normally investors want less chaos rather than more....When Bill Clinton's impeachment started in December 1998 the markets got very nervous....Just for the record, I don't think there is any chance Trump will be impeached....So whatever Comey says Thursday might not have an immediate impact either on Trump’s political fortunes or the fortunes of investors....Wall Street, however, could be shaken out of its slumber if the Comey hearing goes off course....And that could wake the financial markets up to the seriousness of what is now going on: Democrats and their media allies are trying to overturn the election of a President."

The economy of mass prosperity -WashingtonPost
"After proposing $1 trillion investment into infrastructure, the Trump administration is harnessing the brainpower of renowned experts to unlock the insoluble problem of how many jobs will be created for each billion dollars of spending....The purpose of the capitalist economy is to create wealth. Employment and the subsequent distribution of the spoils of an economy are byproducts of capitalism....Our current economic period was fueled by a huge expansion of credit, which temporarily has taken the economy beyond its limits. Through excessive borrowing, consumers have spent far more than they can afford, and the expansion of social programs and futile attempts to stimulate the economy via government spending have left the country with $20 trillion of debt. At this point the consumer is broke, the country is broke, and the economy of mass consumption is on a respirator and cannot be resuscitated by further spending. If not the spending, what then, is the catalyst that will take capitalism to its next phase of evolution?....Privatization of the infrastructure will open a new, multitrillion-dollar frontier for capitalism, and its effect could be massive....Hence, we do not need to borrow our way into prosperity; we just have to let capitalism work."

USA Plunges To 114th 'Most-Peaceful' Nation On Earth -Zero Hedge
"The 2017 Global Peace Index was released last week and it found that the world has actually become a slightly safer place during the past year. However, as Statista's Niall McCarthy notes, the divisive presidential election in the United States and its fallout has resulted in peace levels in North America deteriorating. 161 countries were analyzed in the index and the U.S. actually experienced the greatest decline in peace out of all them, plummeting 11 places to 114th most-peaceful country. Iceland was named the world's most peaceful country with New Zealand and Portugal coming second and third respectively. Unsurprisingly, Syria is has the lowest peace rating worldwide. Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen also find themselves at the very bottom of the peace list. According to the index, global violence in 2016 came to $14.3 trillion in purchasing power parity terms, equivalent to 12.6 percent of the world's GDP or $1,953 for every person."

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6.7.17 - Stock Market Braces for Rising Volatility

Gold last traded at $1,293 an ounce. Silver traded at $17.62 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices held near 7-month highs Wednesday amid rising market uncertainties. U.S. stocks retreated as investors braced themselves for rising political turmoil.

Bill Gross: "Market Risk Is Highest Since Before The 2008 Crisis" -Zero Hedge
"Speaking at the Bloomberg Invest summit in New York, Bill Gross (of the recently merged Janus Henderson) who may or may not have been talking his bond book, issued a loud warning to traders saying U.S. markets are at their highest risk levels since before the 2008 financial crisis 'because investors are paying a high price for the chances they’re taking.' Well, either that, or simply ignoring the possibility of all ETFs having to sell at once. 'Instead of buying low and selling high, you’re buying high and crossing your fingers,' Gross said Wednesday quoted by Bloomberg. The rest of Gross' complaint is familiar to long-suffering traders who have to navigate centrally-planned markets for much of the past decade: he said that central bank policies for low-and negative-interest rates are 'artificially driving up asset prices while creating little growth in the real economy and punishing individual savers, banks and insurance companies.'"

gold Why gold could be heading much higher -CNBC
"Gold just hit its highest level since election night, and some see more upside ahead for the precious metal. Gold experienced 'a textbook breakout from a symmetrical triangle or wedge,' Rich Ross, technical analyst with Evercore ISI, said Tuesday on CNBC's 'Power Lunch.' 'That's quite bullish,' Ross added. He also pointed out that gold's 50-day moving average has broken above its 200-day moving average, which is commonly seen as a sign of accelerating momentum....Matt Maley, equity strategist with Miller Tabak, also sees constructive signs on the gold charts....'We've got a lot more room to run here,' Maley concluded. 'I think $1,375 is a good target here.'"

With a possible correction looming in the stock market, 'it's time to sell,' expert warns -CNBC
"Barry James, president of James Advantage Fund, has a warning for investors. 'We don't know when there will be a peak in the market and a tumble but it does look like a tire with a bulge,' he said in an interview with 'Power Lunch' on Tuesday. It's just a matter of whether the air leaks out slowly or quickly, he added....In the last three months, the typical S&P 500 stock rose about 0.5 percent, while the index overall is up about 2.5 percent, he noted. 'We see this building towards perhaps some type of a correction in the stock market and we believe it's time to sell,' James said."

Dollar slumps to its lowest level of the Trump era -CNN Money
"The Trump bump is over. The U.S. dollar slumped to a seven-month low against a basket of currencies on Tuesday, wiping away the last of its post-election gains. The currency gained more than 5% to hit its highest level in 13 years following President Trump's electoral victory. But momentum has reversed because of weak economic data and doubts over Trump's ability to finalize his economic agenda and move it through Congress. 'The generally disorganized nature of the Trump administration has made investors less confident of a big fiscal stimulus being passed any time soon,' said Andrew Hunter of Capital Economics....The dollar has also weakened because of factors beyond the U.S. The euro, for example, has strengthened in recent weeks because of stronger economic data in Europe....While most of his predecessors generally favored a strong dollar, Trump said in April that the currency was 'getting too strong'."

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6.6.17 - China's Next Step to Destroy US Dollar

Gold last traded at $1,297 an ounce. Silver traded at $17.71 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices prices shot up 1% Tuesday on safe-haven demand and dollar weakness. U.S. stocks retreated for a second day amid economic uncertainty and geopolitical turmoil.

Gold surges to seven-week high on weaker dollar, political risks -Reuters
"Gold rose to its highest level in seven weeks on Tuesday as weak economic data in the United States reduced expectations of rapid U.S. interest rate rises this year, pushing the dollar to a seven month-low and lowering U.S. bond yields. Investors were also drawn to gold, seen as a safe place to park assets, by uncertainty around Thursday's European Central Bank meeting, an election in Britain and testimony to a Senate committee by former FBI Director James Comey. A weaker dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of other currencies, while lower yields reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion....'Light positioning and numerous upcoming geopolitical events should continue to underpin demand for the metal,' said MKS PAMP trader Sam Laughlin in a note....'The uptrend seems intact,' said Mitsubishi analyst Jonathan Butler. 'It's been helped by the dollar drifting lower and equity markets in the U.S. trading more or less flat.'"

paris accord The Dirty Secret Behind The Paris Accord -PontificationBlog
"The Paris agreement - which was never a treaty because President Barack Obama refused to submit it for the constitutionally-required two-thirds Senate ratification - was never really about global climate change....The Copenhagen effort fizzled after 'Climategate,' the leak of private emails by prominent scientists boasting that they had been able to manipulate their data to 'hide the decline' in global temperatures....The first permanent head of the European Union, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, had declared that '2009 is…the first year of global governance,' in large part because 'the climate conference in Copenhagen is [a] step towards the global management of our planet.'...In other words, to change capitalism, as Craig R. Smith and I explain in our latest book, Money, Morality & The Machine....The goal of the Paris Climate Accord is squeezing up to $100 Trillion out of the United States in coming decades, expropriating and transferring our wealth to other countries and the U.N., and tying us up in the same 'green' political regulations and lawsuits that have made European countries non-competitive in global markets....Is it really worth $100 Trillion and more than 6 million lost American jobs for the unscientific hope of reducing Earth’s temperature by 0.2 degrees C by year 2100?....To Progressives, this agreement's real purpose from the outset was never to 'save the Earth,' but to loot and disempower the United States, undermine capitalism, and collectivize our economy and society under an unelected ruling elite."

China’s Next Step to Destroy the Dollar -King/Daily Reckoning
"China is currently modifying the terms of its oil trade with Saudi Arabia. Specifically, China is working on a deal to pay for Saudi oil using Chinese yuan. This effort poses a direct threat to the security of the dollar....To recap, the petrodollar is weakening because the dollar is losing power as the world’s reserve currency. This is similar to the way pounds sterling gradually fell out of favor during the decline of the British Empire. The decline may take a long time, but what we’re seeing today is another step in the death march of the dollar....Looking ahead, Saudi Arabia will find itself more and more locked-out of the Chinese oil market if it won’t sell oil for yuan. But to do this, the Saudis must move away from U.S. dollars— and from petrodollars — if Saudi wants to maintain and increase access to China’s oil market....Jim [Rickards] and I strongly recommend a 10% allocation of your investable portfolio to precious metal."

Why Old-Timey Jobs Are Hot Again -Wall Street Journal
"Millennials are driving a resurgence of age-old crafts, choosing to become bartenders, butchers and barbers in part as a reaction to the digital age. Walk around parts of Brooklyn, Portland or Pittsburgh, and you’ll find stylish cocktail bars, barbers and the occasional butcher shop staffed by young, college-educated employees. For an affluent segment of today’s urban economy, these jobs have been revalued from low-status semi-manual labor to glamorous occupations, says sociologist Richard Ocejo. In his new book 'Masters of Craft: Old Jobs in the New Urban Economy,' Mr. Ocejo examines the forces driving a resurgence of occupations such as butcher and bartender among young middle-class urbanites. A similar dynamic is at work with a handful of other jobs, including craft brewer, bookbinder, furniture maker and fishmonger. The Labor Department projects that between 2014 and 2024 the number of bartenders and barbers in the U.S. will grow 10%, while butchers will see a 5% increase, compared with a 7% job growth for all occupations over the same period. Median pay for these jobs was less than $30,000 a year in 2016."

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6.5.17 - Global Cyber Attack Imminent -Experts

Gold last traded at $1,282 an ounce. Silver traded at $17.58 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices touched six-week highs Monday on geopolitical turmoil. U.S. stocks struggle for direction in wake of U.K. terror attacks and Apple downgrade.

Gold Seen Rising to Four-Year High as Fed ‘Gentle’ on Rates -Bloomberg
"Gold may extend gains after climbing to the highest level in six weeks following disappointing monthly reports on U.S. employment and wages, according to two analysts attending a conference in Singapore this week. Prices will probably increase to a four-year high above $1,400 an ounce this year as a 'less than inspiring' recovery means the Federal Reserve won’t step up the pace of increases in borrowing costs, leaving real rates in negative territory, according to Nikos Kavalis, director and founding partner of Metals Focus Ltd., an independent consultancy....While the Federal Reserve is poised to raise interest rates at its meeting next week after increases in March and December, investors increasingly doubt the central bank’s projection for additional hikes. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. pushed back its forecast for a third rate increase this year to December from September."

Soaring Debt = Slow Growth = Even More Debt = Systemic Crisis -Zero Hedge
"It's just common sense: Borrow too much money and the weight of this debt makes it hard to do things that used to be easy. This truism is now (finally!) hitting home, and blame is being apportioned....The average rate of growth for the U.S. economy over the past 10 years is exactly equal to the average rate that the U.S. economy grew during the 1930s; 1.33%....All the 'fixes' have fatally weakened the real economy, and created a dangerous illusion of 'wealth,' 'growth' and solvency....What's amazing about these charts is that monetary stimulus on this scale produces soaring asset prices yet only Depression-level real growth. But that's just what too much debt does to a system. And the crisis that follows is, unfortunately, just as predictable."

bubble chart

A devastating global cyber attack is imminent, warn experts -DailyMail
"The hack, called 'ExplodingCan', targets computers running on Microsoft Windows 2003, which means that it could be used to attack 375,000 computers worldwide. This puts it in the same risk category as last month's WannaCry ransomware attack which caused mayhem around the world, crippling vital servers such as those used by the NHS. ExplodingCan has been created by the Shadow Brokers hacking group, which was also responsible for the WannaCry attack, and attributed to an organization linked to the NSA....And if you do find yourself a victim of the attack, not even Microsoft can help you, as the firm has declared Windows 2003 out of support."

AMERICA'S CYBER-HIT LIST, is a new Swiss America Research Report that reveals hundreds of the biggest U.S. firms that have been hacked in recent years. Find out what can be done to help make sure you are not the next victim. Call 800-289-2646 for a FREE copy today!

Strange Currencies and Barter 101 -Macromon
"Once upon a time, currencies had intrinsic value. But now the dollar slouches towards Wampum. Ever wonder where the term 'buck' comes from?....Animal skins have a surprisingly important history as currency in different parts of the world. In North America, the European settlers and First Nations tribes found skins to be one commodity they both agreed had value. The use of buck skins in trade gave rise to 'buck' as a slang word for currency, which we still use to describe dollars today....Or how about the etymology of the term 'salary' or the phrase Lebron is 'not worth his salt?' Salt was highly valued for food preservation, but its production was very limited. As a result, in many places of the world, salt was used as currency....A soldier's salary was cut if he was 'not worth his salt', a phrase that still exists today."

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6.2.17 - Lessons From 'The Wizard of Lies'

Gold last traded at $1,278 an ounce. Silver at $17.53 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose over 1% Friday on safe-haven buying and a sharply lower dollar. U.S. stocks rose despite disappointing April jobs and wage data.

Gold gains after disappointing U.S. jobs data -Reuters
"Gold prices rose to a near six-week high on Friday in response to disappointing U.S. non-farm payrolls data that lowered expectations for more aggressive U.S. interest rate increases. Data showed that U.S. job growth slowed in May and employment gains in the prior two months were not as strong as previously reported, suggesting the labor market was losing momentum. A slow recovery in the world's biggest economy dents the likelihood for higher interest rates which benefits non-interest yielding and safe-haven gold. 'This is not the kind of report people had hoped for, and that has put pressure on the dollar and yields, and gold is always happy to profit from that, Georgette Boele, commodity strategist at ABN AMRO, said."

WizofLies The Wizard of Lies -EW review
"The 2008 financial crisis is the single most important event in recent history that barely anyone understands. The numbers are difficult, the language obtuse, the intentions inscrutable. The problem was computers, or capitalism, or them, or us....The Wizard of Lies approaches the crisis laterally. Madoff's scheme unravels when the system does. And the film's Bernie situates himself in the greater context of 2008. 'This country needs a villain,' he says. (The implication isn't that they picked the wrong guy, but rather, they should've picked more guys.) The film properly begins on December 10, 2008, with Madoff trying to write a few final checks before the money disappears. He reveals his great lie to his family, and things spiral from there. We see the scandal, and we see what led up to it....Michele Pfeiffer is stunning. She plays the part with a Queens accent so thick it's funny, but Pfeiffer digs past rich-housewife-gone-broke schadenfreude, and find the heartbreakingly confused tragedy. She's been demolished - by the man she loved, and the lives he ruined. She doesn't understand how, can't really grasp why. Neither do we."

Deutsche Bank Trader Admits To Rigging Precious Metals Markets -Zero Hedge
"After months of 'smoking guns' and conspiracy theory dismissals, a Singapore-based Deutsche Bank trader (at the center of fraud allegations) finally confirmed (by admitting guilt) what many have suspected - the biggest banks in the world have conspired to rig precious metals markets. The Deutsche Bank trader, David Liew, pleaded guilty in federal court in Chicago to conspiring to spoof gold, silver, platinum and palladium futures, according to court papers. Bloomberg notes that spoofing involves traders placing orders that they never intend to fill, in an attempt to manipulate the price....This is not the first time Deutsche Bank has been involved, implicated, and exposed to rigging the precious metals markets. As we noted in December, when we first reported that Deutsche Bank had agreed to settle allegations it had rigged the silver market in exchange for $38 million, we revealed something stunning: 'in a curious twist, the settlement letter revealed that the former members of the manipulation cartel have turned on each other', and that Deutsche Bank would provide documents implicating other precious metals riggers."

S&P, Moody's Downgrade Illinois to Near Junk -Bloomberg
"Illinois had its bond rating downgraded to one step above junk by Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings, the lowest ranking on record for a U.S. state, as the long-running political stalemate over the budget shows no signs of ending. S&P warned that Illinois will likely lose its investment-grade status, an unprecedented step for a state, around July 1 if leaders haven’t agreed on a budget that chips away at the government's chronic deficits. Moody's followed S&P's downgrade Thursday, citing Illinois's underfunded pensions and the record backlog of bills that are equivalent to about 40 percent of its operating budget. By June 30, the state will owe an estimated $800 million in interest and fees on the unpaid bills that have been piling up, according to estimates from Comptroller Susana Mendoza, a Democrat. She warned of 'dire' consequences for residents....'We’re going to start to see some real pain now,' Senate President John Cullerton told reporters in Springfield on Wednesday."

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6.1.17 - Services Jobs Booming, But Are Wages?

Gold last traded at $1,264 an ounce. Silver at $17.27 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices eased back Thursday on profit-taking and a firmer dollar. U.S. stocks rose after an ADP report showed a boost in service sector jobs.

ADP Employment Surges Despite Biggest Job Cuts Spike In 2 Years -Zero Hedge
"Despite Challenger's headlines of a 71% jump in job cuts YoY in May, ADP reported a bigger-than-expected 253k rise in employment for May (above all economist expectations) after a big plunge in April. Services jobs outpaced goods-producing jobs once again (+205k vs +48k) with medium-sized business seeing the biggest jump....While this move is decent, the risk is that it proves short-lived and as we type, there's evidence that it will. More jobs are great but remember that the market is looking for more money - via a higher Average Hourly Earnings (AHE) print - on Friday."

REboom The Housing Market Is Ripe for Tech Disruption -Ritholtz/Bloomberg
"For those buying or selling a house, the impact of technology may not be especially visible. But it is there. You just have to squint a bit to see it. Extrapolate the trend a decade out into the future, and the impact will become much more obvious. Real estate is ripe for disruption. In fact, the process has already begun....Savvier homebuyers need less from agents. They can learn about neighborhoods via their own social networks and online resources....Surveys show that almost half of all real estate searches begin online...Ever since the smartphone became ubiquitous, home-sale information has been set free....I came up with a fun little Zillow hack that helped a lot; you have to register with Zillow.com to do it, but it is free and very useful....I searched for a house with as many similar characteristics to mine as possible....From this set, you can create two different lists: the first is of those homes most similar to yours that are for sale; the second is made up of similar homes that were sold during the past two years....we priced our house in the middle of that ask range, and sold it in less than a month within $10,000 of our asking price. So yes, technology is changing housing sales."

Real Estate and Real Money have two big things in common: Neither can be created from thin air and they both face limited supply with growing demand. Mark Twain said, "Buy land - they aren't making it anymore." JP Morgan added; "Gold is money. Everything else is credit." Got Real Money? Learn more in our free 2017 Gold and Silver Research Reports today.

Pending-home sales decline again, deepening housing market funk -Marketwatch
"A gauge of home purchase contract signings slumped for a second month in April, another sign the housing market is still struggling for a balance between supply and demand. The pending home sales index from the National Association of Realtors fell 1.3% to a level of 109.8 from a downwardly-revised March reading. The index was 3.3% lower than a year ago in April, marking the first yearly decline since December....Housing inventory is tightening and affordability declining, nudging contract activity down. Homes are coming off the market much more quickly than new listings are being added, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun noted in a release....The West was the only region to notch an increase in April, with a 5.8% rise - although it’s still lower than a year ago."

Financials just gave up this year's gains - and that could be a terrible sign -CNBC
"The financial sector just gave up all of its gains for the year and is now negative year to date. Some strategists say its underperformance is sending the broader market a message about the economy's health....The sector, composed of a range of financial services firms such as insurance companies and banks, was leading the market for part of the year to date and was up 9 percent as of the beginning of March. The drop is a function of rates falling, along with ongoing concerns about global growth, said Oppenheimer head of technical analysis Ari Wald....Financials underperforming in a falling-interest-rate environment flashes a 'lacking vote of confidence about economic growth,' he wrote Wednesday in an email to CNBC....Investors in the space were betting on sure-fire economic growth, reflation around the world, deregulation, and interest rate and balance sheet normalization following the U.S. election, he wrote in an email to CNBC. But the 'reflation trade' and the prospects for deregulation under the Trump administration are now less certain, he wrote."

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5.31.17 - The Complete Asset "Reset" Ahead

Gold last traded at $1,272 an ounce. Silver at $17.31 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices traded mixed Wednesday, with gold prices rising on dollar weakness. U.S. stocks retreated as downbeat existing home sales data caused investors to pause.

Gold’s Next Spike -Rickards/Daily Reckoning
"The question for investors today is: Where does the gold market go from here? We’re seeing a persistent excess of demand over new supply. China and Russia alone are buying more than 100% of annual output each year. ....With gold sellers disappearing and large demand continuing, the price will have to go up to clear markets - regardless of how much 'paper gold' is dumped. Geopolitics is another powerful factor. The crises in North Korea, Syria, Iran, the South China Sea, and Venezuela are not getting better; they’re getting worse....Gold is the most forward-looking of any major market. It may be the case that the gold market sees the Fed is tightening into weakness and will eventually over-tighten and cause a recession. In short, all signs point to higher gold prices in the months ahead. I look for a short-term rally to $1,300 in the next month, and then a more powerful surge toward $1,400 later this year based on Fed ease, geopolitical tensions, and a weaker dollar."

Now is the time to take a portion of your stock portfolio profits off the table for safety's sake. Precious metals offer the best 'noncorrelated asset' choice. Request our free 2017 Gold and Silver Research Reports for a full explanation of the compelling logic behind owning hard money in today's uncertain world.

illusionpillars

One of the Biggest Pillars of the Stock Bull Market is Crumbling -Business Insider
"Since the start of the eight-year bull market, one of the most reliable drivers of stock returns has been the willingness of companies to repurchase their own shares....But the heyday of share repurchases may be coming to an end as investors stop rewarding the companies that use them the most. A Goldman Sachs basket of stocks with the highest buyback yields has trailed overall S&P 500 performance by 2.3 percentage points so far in 2017. This is an enormous turnaround: The same gauge beat the benchmark by more than 100 percentage points from the start of the bull market through 2016. In response to this dwindling efficacy, companies have scaled back repurchase activity. Executed buybacks have dropped 20% in 2017 compared to the same period a year ago...One reason buybacks have fallen out of favor is that shares have simply gotten too expensive. The median stock in the S&P 500 currently trades at the 98th percentile of historical valuation across multiple metrics, according to Goldman data."

The Next Recession May Be A Complete Reset Of All Asset Valuations -MauldinEconomics
"Sometime this year, world public and private plus unfunded pensions will surpass $300 trillion. That is not even counting the $100 trillion in US government unfunded liabilities....We are coming to a period I call 'the Great Reset.' As it hits, we will have to deal, one way or another, with the largest twin bubbles in the history of the world. One of those bubbles is global debt, especially government debt. The other is the even larger bubble of government promises. History shows it is more than likely that the US will have a recession in the next few years. When it does come, it will likely blow the US government deficit up to $2 trillion a year....The Great Reset will also bring an increase in volatility. And the correlation among asset classes will once again approach 1.0, as it did during 2008–2009....I think the answer lies in diversifying among noncorrelated trading strategies that can invest in any asset class."

Blame game for cyber attacks grows murkier -Reuters
"Veteran espionage researcher Jon DiMaggio was hot on the trail three months ago of what on the face of it looked like a menacing new industrial espionage attack by Russian cyber spies. All the hallmarks were there: targeted phishing emails common to government espionage, an advanced Trojan horse for stealing data from inside organizations, covert communication channels for grabbing documents and clues in the programming code indicating its authors were Russian speakers. It took weeks before the lead cyber spying investigator at Symantec, a top U.S. computer security firm, figured out instead he was tracking a lone-wolf cyber criminal....The example highlights the dangers of jumping to conclusions in the murky world of cyber attack and defense, as tools once only available to government intelligence services find their way into the computer criminal underground....In recent weeks, ShadowBrokers has threatened to sell more such tools, believed to have been stolen from the U.S. National Security Agency, to enable hacking into the world's most used computers, software and phones."

AMERICA'S CYBER-HIT LIST, is a new Swiss America Research Report that reveals hundreds of the biggest U.S. firms that have been hacked in recent years. Find out what can be done to help make sure you are not the next victim. Call 800-289-2646 for a FREE copy today!

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5.30.17 - "You Can't Trust Banks"

Gold last traded at $1,262 an ounce. Silver at $17.36 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices traded mixed Tuesday amid political and economic uncertainty. U.S. stocks drifted lower as investors digested key economic data.

Gold touches one-month high on European political worries -Reuters
"Gold eased after setting a one-month high on Tuesday in response to rising political uncertainty in Europe which spurred increased safe-haven demand....Investors are concerned about next week's election in Britain, as well as the prospect of early elections in Italy and worries over Greek debt, which analysts said supported gold and dented stocks....Euro zone finance ministers' failure to agree on Greek debt relief with the International Monetary Fund last week also added to risk aversion. 'The ongoing political uncertainty in the market is really driving safe-haven buying at the moment,' ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes said."

Anditsgone PayPal co-founder: You can't trust banks -Fox Business
"PayPal co-founder Max Levchin said people don’t trust traditional banks - especially millennials. 'They have reason not to trust,' Levchin told the FOX Business Network. 'If you look at something like a deferred interest product where it’s truly too good to be true and you get caught off guard and suddenly you owe almost twice as much as you thought you would, you find yourself going wait a second, I thought I was getting a great deal and now I’m in debt and I might be in debt forever....'People have been harmed by products that they can’t understand...Not all banks, not all financial institutions are created equal. I speak with a lot of them and I have a great degree of respect for them. I think many of them are finding out that the mobile age caught them off guard, he said. He also thinks transparency is critical."

Will Trump's Climate Treaty Shatter The Globalist Agenda? -PontificationBlog
"Last week, President Trump caused rage at the G-7 meeting by standing alone, refusing to support the Paris Climate Accord, a globalist scheme to increase centralized government power and to transfer huge wealth from the advanced nations. This week he will decide whether to reject this agreement. Especially furious was German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said that the United States - and the United Kingdom, whose citizens voted last June to exit from the European Union - were no longer 'reliable' allies. Europeans, she said, must 'take our fate into our own hands.' What does this mean? Europe has been fighting World War III since at least 1999, the year the 'Euro' currency, really the Deutsche Mark in disguise, began replacing national currencies in Europe. This was Germany’s third attempt in a century to gain control of Europe, this time with economic instead of military weapons. Another part of this takeover, as Craig R. Smith and I explain in our latest book Money, Morality & The Machine, is the European Union (EU). The people of Britain decided to 'Brexit' when they noticed that 61 percent of the laws and regulations ruling them now come from an elite of unelected EU 'Eurocrats' in Brussels....As a nationalist, President Trump is, like George Washington, a threat to the imperialist globalist agendas of Europeans like Merkel, Putin and the European Union. But by attacking Trump and the United Kingdom economically, Merkel threatens to undermine the dollar and your individual job, savings, and investments. People need to 'Merkel-proof' their savings in simple, secure ways."

The Fed may finally be getting nervous about the stock market -Crudele/NY Post
"The Fed said something that was even more important than addressing a rate hike in last Wednesday’s communiqué. It said 'vulnerabilities appeared to have increase for assets valuation pressures.' The Fed never speaks in plain English. But that means the Fed is getting nervous about bubbles (and it’s about time) in places like the stock market. And that’s not surprising, because the Fed’s actions in keeping interest rates so low for so long have forced millions of people into the stock market who wouldn’t otherwise be in it. Remember, it was in 1996 that former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, who is most responsible for our country’s financial problems, warned of 'irrational exuberance' in stocks. Four years later, the dot-com bubble eventually did pop and investors lost a lot of money."

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5.26.17 - Gold's Days of Glory Just Beginning

Gold last traded at $1,268 an ounce. Silver at $17.35 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices shot up 1% Friday amid geopolitical worries despite a firmer dollar. U.S. stocks drifted lower ahead of the 3-day Memorial Day holiday.

Gold at highest since May 1 on political uncertainty, dollar -Reuters
"Gold hit its highest in nearly four weeks on Friday as political uncertainty led investors to shun riskier assets in favor of bullion. 'We have had the political noise coming from Trump and the U.S. administration and there is a certain element of uncertainty in the markets in general, which is supporting gold. Equities are also down,' analyst Carsten Menke at Julius Baer in Zurich said. Leaders of the world's rich nations face difficult talks with Donald Trump at a G7 summit in Sicily on Friday after the U.S. president lambasted NATO allies and condemned German trade policies a day earlier. Gold is used as an alternative investment during times of political and financial uncertainty....Spot silver rose 1.4 percent to $17.36 and was on track to gain 3.3 percent this week, its biggest weekly rise since early January."

gold Globalization, Gold and the Return of History -WallStreetJournal
"Donald Trump’s first venture abroad has been notable for its calm, after the tumult he left behind in Washington. For investors worried that the U.S. president could destabilize the global trade and security regime, his willingness so far to stick to the script might have come as a relief....The long-term picture isn’t so benign for those who’ve profited from globalization, as former HSBC chief economist Stephen King sets out in a new book, Grave New World. Mr. King’s thesis is that the increased globalization of the past four decades is an anomaly in historical terms, and - in a nod to Francis Fukuyama - we’re seeing 'the return of history.' Unfortunately for investors it is tricky to play the Great Game of geopolitics....Perhaps the best alternative is to use part of a portfolio to hold insurance, in the form of what Mr. King calls a 'universally acceptable store of value,' physical gold. If the global trade and financial system retreats to national borders, gold becomes one of the few international assets. If everything turns out fine for free traders, the cost of the gold has to be thought of as an (expensive) insurance premium. 'We’re dealing with inherent deep uncertainty,' Mr. King says. 'It’s all very well assuming that globalization is the natural order of things, but it’s not. You should at least have a hedge.'"

Owning physical gold and silver is not a luxury, it's a necessary "hedge" for the "deep uncertainty" our world faces each day. Read our 2017 Gold Report and 2017 Silver Report to discover why right now is an excellent buying opportunity for both gold and silver.

Gold's Days of Glory Beginning as Dollar's Are Ending -GoldSwitzerland
"The best time to buy an asset is when it is unloved and undervalued like gold and silver were in the early 2000s. What few investors realize is that the current levels of gold and silver, when real inflation is taken into account, are very similar to where the metals were in 2000-2. Thus gold at $1,265 and silver at $17 is an absolute bargain and unlikely to remain at these levels for long....With most asset markets surging since 2009 why haven’t gold and silver. To answer that question, we need to take a slightly longer perspective. Since the beginning of this century, gold has outperformed most asset classes. The Dow for example is down 61% against gold since the beginning of 2000. Thus, gold has been an outstanding investment as well as being the ultimate wealth preservation asset in the 2000s....The dollar, which is a bankrupt currency, will tell us when markets and the economy will turn...The dollar should have crashed long ago but the competition is so poor with badly managed economies around the globe so the dollar has held up due to its reserve currency status. But the dollar’s glory days are now coming to an end. It seems the dollar peaked back in December 2016 and that it is soon starting its journey down to the intrinsic value of zero."

A renovation boom is turning homes into ATMs again -CNBC
"Fast-rising home prices and a record-low number of homes for sale have a lot of homeowners choosing to stay put - and put in a new bathroom or update the kitchen. Higher home values also mean they have more cash to take out of their homes. With mortgage rates so low for so long, most borrowers are opting for a second loan rather than refinancing their current mortgage to take cash out. Second loans, such as home equity lines of credit (HELOC), are booming. HELOC originations were up 10 percent year over year in 2016, hitting an eight-year high, according to Black Knight Financial Services, and they continue to rise....Ironically, the new boom comes just as the pain of the last home equity line boom is ending. These credit lines have a 10-year 'draw period,' when borrowers are required only to pay interest on the loans....One in 5 borrowers facing resets this year has less than 10 percent equity in their homes, making refinancing out of the loans difficult."

*Swiss America will be closed on Monday, May 29th, in observance of Memorial Day*

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5.25.17 - Why Gold & Silver Could Double in 2017

Gold last traded at $1,256 an ounce. Silver at $17.19 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices eased back Thursday on mild profit-taking and a firmer dollar. U.S. stocks rose to fresh highs led by big tech and Fed debt-cut hopes.

Fed Warns "Vulnerabilities" From Elevated Asset Valuations "Pose Risks To Financial Stability" -Zero Hedge
"In today's FOMC Minutes, Fed member issued yet another explicit warning to America's investing public (before they pull the pin on the balance sheet normalization) about asset valuations being 'vulnerable' and also piling on once again that commercial real estate values were 'elevated.' Of course, traders don't care and have bid stocks to the highs of the day....The Fed's explicit warning that 'vulnerabilities have increased for asset valuation pressures.'....Additionally, as America's retailpocalypse continues, The Fed warned once again on commercial real estate prices."

Inflation Isn't Evenly Distributed: The Unprotected Are Impoverished Debt-Serfs -CharlesHughSmith
"The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measure of inflation is bogus on a number of fronts, a reality I've covered a number of times: though the heavily gamed official CPI is under 2% for the past four years, the real rate is 7% to 12%, depending on whether you happen to live in locales with soaring rents/housing and healthcare costs....But the other reality is that inflation is not evenly distributed throughout the economy or populace: Those fully exposed to the skyrocketing costs of healthcare insurance and higher education are being reduced to impoverished debt-serfs."

debt

"My insightful colleague Lance Roberts prepared this devastating chart that shows how debt-serfs deal with soaring prices - they borrow more to fill the widening gap between what they earn (stagnating) and the cost of living (skyrocketing)....Welcome to debt-serfdom, the only possible output of the soaring cost of living for the unprotected many who are ruled by a hubris-soaked, subsidized Protected Elite."

Government inflation data is extremely untrustworthy. Many experts are now warning about the risks of stealth inflation and stagflation (a rising cost of living coupled with a stagnant economy) which we ravaged our nation during the Jimmy Carter years in the late 1970s. President Trump's road back to making America great again has a major pitfall. Learn how to avoid it by reading THE INFLATION SOLUTION, a new Swiss America special report.

Silver And Gold Rally Will Happen -SeekingAlpha
"Today the Federal Reserve is trying to slowly raise interest rates, but the overwhelming debt they have created, is threatening to destroy our ability to repay, particularly if interest rates rise. As interest rates rise on our debt due, the payments increase to unsightly levels. The higher prices resulting from inflation are witnessed in gigantic increases in health insurance premiums, health insurance deductible payments, and food prices among many....Our dollar is worth less, and there will be more printing of money, because Congress can rarely agree to even reduce spending on a program, let alone an actual 'cut'. The Fed cannot print silver or gold. Precious metals are valued globally, and the mining process is slow and expensive. Gold is money and an investment. 'The case for gold is not as a hedge against monetary disorder, because we have monetary disorder, but rather an investment in monetary disorder.' (James Grant-publisher of the Interest Rate Observer)....Today Gold is at $1258 per ounce and Silver is at $17.20. I would not be surprised to see these prices double over the next 6 months as economic and international tensions mount."

China Can’t Sustain Its Debt-Fueled Binge, Moody’s Says -NY Times
"China has gone on a spending spree, borrowing money to build cities, create manufacturing giants and nurture financial markets - money that has helped drive the economic powerhouse in recent years. But the debt-fueled binge now threatens to sap the energy of the world’s second-largest economy. With its economy maturing, China has to pile on ever more debt to keep its growth going, at a pace that could prove unsustainable. And the money is increasingly flowing through opaque channels that operate outside the regulated banking system, leaving China vulnerable to blowups. A major credit agency sounded the alarm on Wednesday, saying the steady buildup of debt would erode China’s financial strength in the years ahead. The agency, Moody’s Investors Service, cut the country’s debt rating, its first downgrade for the country since 1989....By far, the biggest category of debt in China is corporate debt, which equals almost 170 percent of annual economic output. This debt consists overwhelmingly of loans by state-owned banks to state-owned enterprises."

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5.24.17 - Which is worse? Detroit vs. Puerto Rico.

Gold last traded at $1,253 an ounce. Silver at $17.11 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose Wednesday after Fed minutes revealed uncertainty about a June interest rate hike. U.S. stocks cheered the Fed's proposed gradual plan to trim balance sheet.

Arizona "Metals are Money" Law -CampaignForLiberty
"HB 2014 defines gold, silver, and other precious metals as legal tender and exempts them from capital gains taxes, thus allowing Arizona residents to use precious metals instead of Federal Reserve notes. Dr. Ron Paul testified before the Arizona Senate Finance Committee in support of the bill in March. 'Every supporter of free-markets should cheer Arizona’s passage of HB 2014. There is no more justification for forcing individuals to use government-created money than there is for forcing them to drive government-manufactured cars. In fact, as the Federal Reserve’s 114 years of failure shows, giving monopoly control over our money supply to a secretive central bank is the most dangerous form of government intervention,' said Dr. Ron Paul....'Campaign for Liberty is planning to work with activists across the country to get more state legislatures to follow Arizona's lead. We will also continue our critical work to change our nation's money monopoly by getting Congress to vote on -- and pass - Audit the Fed.'"

keynesian The Keynesian Cult Has Failed: "Emergency" Stimulus Is Now Permanent -CharlesHughSmith
"What do we call a status quo in which 'emergency measures' have become permanent props? A failure. The 'emergency' responses to the Global Financial Meltdown of 2008-09 are, eight years on, permanent fixtures. Everyone knows what would happen if the deficit spending, money-printing, zero interest rates, shadow banking, asset purchases by central banks and all the rest of the Keynesian Cult's program stopped: the status quo falls apart....The Keynesian world-view is doggedly simplistic. The economy is based on aggregate demand for more goods and services. People want more stuff and services, and as long as they have the means to buy more stuff and services, they will avidly do so (this urge is known as animal spirits). The greatest single invention of all time in the Keynesian universe is credit, because credit enables people to borrow from their future earnings to consume more in the present...But credit, aggregate demand for more stuff and animal spirits make for a volatile cocktail....The euphoria of credit expansion turns to painful contraction....The Keynesian answer is simple: the government should borrow and spend lots of money to replace all the money that the private sector is no longer borrowing and spending....In sum: nothing has worked as the Keynesians expected. Instead, state/central bank measures that were supposed to be temporary are now permanent, and the expansion of private-sector debt has failed to 'trickle down' to earnings....Clearly, the real-world economy does not function like the simplistic Keynesian coloring-book model."

Fed to wind down $4.5 trillion balance sheet -CNBC
"The Fed is holding a $4.5 trillion portfolio, known as its 'balance sheet,' of mostly government debt it accumulated in the years after the crisis. Until now, the central bank has been taking the proceeds it receives from maturing debt and reinvesting them in more bonds. In recent days, officials have been indicating that the balance sheet will be unwound, likely starting later in the year, raising questions from investors about how the process will work and what impact it will have....The Fed has used its balance sheet to keep interest rates low and the economy moving higher since the crisis. By buying up bonds, the Fed provided demand that held government yields back. In keeping the balance sheet large, it helped prevent a flood of bonds into the market that might have driven yields higher and pushed up borrowing costs....Fed watchers have worried that the process, if not done correctly, could be disruptive and drive up rates unexpectedly."

Detroit and Puerto Rico: Which Is the Worse Insolvency? -RealClearMarkets
"Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate is very high at over 12%. This not as huge as Detroit’s 22%, but Puerto Rico’s abysmal labor participation rate of 40%, compared to Detroit’s already low 53%, offsets this difference. This leaves Puerto Rico with proportionally even fewer earners with lower incomes to pay the taxes to pay the much higher debt. On a macro basis, then, it appears that the creditors of Puerto Rico can expect to do even more poorly than those of Detroit. How poorly was that? At its exit from a year and a half of bankruptcy, Detroit’s total debt had been reduced to $10.1 billion. Overall, this was 53 cents on the dollar, or a loss of 47% from face value, on average....As a macro estimate, if we take as a baseline Detroit’s average settlement of 53 cents on the dollar and multiply it by Puerto Rico’s 59% of Detroit’s ratio of per capita income to debt, we get a guess of 31 cents on average for all the creditors."

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5.23.17 - The Next Greek Tragedy: Asset Seizure

Gold last traded at $1,251 an ounce. Silver at $17.07 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices traded steady Tuesday despite profit-taking and a firmer dollar. U.S. stocks traded mixed amid Trump budget concerns and the latest UK terrorist attack.

$1,300 gold if the political situation in US worsens -ForexLive
"Safe haven buying has provided strong support to gold prices over the past six months. However rising geopolitical risks in the US and elsewhere are likely to propel prices even higher, despite the specter of a rate hike in the US next month. We see gold holding above USD1250/oz in the short term, and an increasingly possibility of it breaking through USD1300/oz this year if the political situation in the US worsens. Even without the support of safe haven buying, we still see an environment conducive to higher gold prices. Much has been debated about the impact of rising US interest rates on gold. However, we don't see this as a hindrance over the next 12 months. In fact, over the past seven rate hikes cycles (going back to the 1970s), gold has pushed higher in all but one case. Moreover, gold has outperformed in the cycles where interest rates were increasing relatively slowly. We are also seeing signs of an improvement in the physical market. While coming from a low base, physical demand in India and China have rebounded sharply in recent months."

greek economy Greek Authorities To Launch Mass Confiscation Of Safe Deposit Boxes, Securities, Homes In Tax-Evasion Crackdown -Zero Hedge
"Last week, the Greek parliament once again approved more austerity to unlock withheld Greek bailout funds in Brussels: a symbolic move, which has little impact without any actual follow through, like for example, actually imposing austerity. And while Greeks have been very good in the former (i.e. promises), they have been severely lacking in the latter (i.e. delivery). That may be changing. According to Kathimerini, Greek Finance Ministry inspectors are about to start seeking out the owners of all local undeclared properties, while the law will be amended to allow for financial products and the content of safe deposit boxes to be confiscated electronically. The plan for the identification of taxpayers who have 'forgotten' to declare their properties to the tax authorities is expected to be ready by year-end, according to the timetable of the Independent Authority for Public Revenue. What follows then will be a wholesale confiscation by the government of any asset whose source, origins and funding can not be explained....Once the necessary regulations are in place for the operation of an automatic system to collect debts, the tax authorities will be able to issue online confiscation notices and immediately get their hands on the contents of safe deposit boxes, confiscating cash, precious stones, jewelry and so on."

Trump has officially become a negative for the US dollar -CNBC
"Boosted by the Trump trade, the dollar had soared after his election on the prospect that lower taxes, fiscal stimulus, and deregulation would boost the U.S. economy. But that trade has reversed, and the dollar index is now down 6.6 percent from its post-election high and down 0.9 percent since the election. 'The Trump premium in the dollar has become a Trump discount. Global capital just doesn't feel safe coming to the U.S.,' said Robert Sinche, chief global strategist at Amherst Pierpont....Alan Ruskin, head of G-10 currency strategy at Deutsche Bank, said investors who are shorting the dollar do not appear to be concerned about the potential for a Fed rate hike in June to send the currency higher."

Mother Of All Short Squeezes About To Send Gold & Silver Prices Skyrocketing -KingWorldNews
"James Turk: 'Gold jumped higher early in the week, and after briefly falling back and retracing its advance, gold bounced right back. That was good news. But even more importantly, gold held its ground, and now today we are seeing upside follow through. This kind of trading action is rare. Typically after a big advance, gold gets whacked by its price manipulators. So it is not only refreshing to see what gold has done, but it is also a significant change in the way gold has been trading....Well, if I’m right, they can expect much higher gold prices. Remember, I am expecting a different kind of short squeeze. It’s not just about price. I am expecting a short squeeze where the shorts do not have the ability to deliver physical gold to meet the growing demand for metal. In the squeeze, the longs will be clamoring for metal, not paper. Keep in mind that I have been expecting gold to rocket higher as we enter into the delivery period for June gold options....If the gold price rises because of a short squeeze in the demand for physical gold, you can bet on the silver price rising too, and probably even faster than gold. There are a couple of reasons for this, but the main one is that the paper shorts in silver are even more unbalanced than they are in gold.'"

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5.22.17 - The Secret Saudi-Dollar Connection

Gold last traded at $1,261 an ounce. Silver at $17.19 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices extended gains Monday on bargain hunting and a weaker dollar. U.S. stocks rose after President Trump delivers on overseas deals to help stabilize the Middle-East.

The Price of Gold Doesn't Change, Things Change In Terms of Gold -Oliver/Myrmikan Research
"Despite gold’s four thousand year monetary history, during which its every attribute has been explored to the minutest detail ad nauseum, confusion continues to reign over the proper price for gold. In fact, as I had to explain on a recent panel at the Mines & Money conference in New York, the price of gold does not change - it is the price of other things that change in terms of gold. Gold has the most stable value of any substance, the reason the market has chosen it as money over thousands of years. As Karl Marx himself wrote: 'The truth of the proposition that, although gold and silver are not by Nature money, money is by Nature gold and silver, is shown by the fitness of the physical properties of these metals for the functions of money'....Gold is the most stable store of value and the safest depository of wealth - all other assets are mere speculations. Speculations can pay off, of course. Those holding gold were left behind in the NASDAQ bubble, the housing bubble, and now the everything bubble. All these bubbles have had as their foundation the global paper currency bubble. But gold always wins in the end. Empires rise and fall, but it is the gold coins of the preceding republican period that retain value. To determine where the 'price' of gold is going in dollar terms, therefore, requires an examination not of gold but the of dollar, which is now defined as a unit of liability of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet."

Does this sound familiar? It should. We have been saying the same thing for many years; the real price of Gold never changes because Gold is the plumb line of all prices. In our 2017 newsletter, Volatility's Last Stand, Swiss America Chairman Craig R. Smith explains the importance of viewing gold as real money - the ultimate ‘numeraire.’

oil The Secret Saudi-Dollar Connection -Smith/Ponte/SATC
President Donald Trump was greeted and treated like a wise and welcome world leader and ally in Saudi Arabia. But the media said almost nothing of the secret connections that for 46 years have kept our two nations linked in a special, mutually-dependent relationship....After printing billions to fight the Vietnam War, he announced in August 1971 that the U.S. would no longer redeem dollars for gold. Without its gold anchor, the dollar tried to float but its value promptly sank by a third....Nixon then 'negotiated an agreement with Saudi Arabia that the Muslim nation would sell its oil only in exchange for U.S. Dollars,' as we explain in our latest book, Money, Morality, & the Machine. 'This shored up the dollar’s status as the global reserve currency, a tremendous boon to us because we exclusively manufacture legal U.S. Dollars,' we write. Our global economic dominance - with at least 40 percent of world trade in dollars - was made possible by the Saudi special relationship....This 'petrodollar' symbiosis has made Saudi Arabia the biggest purchaser of our weapons and one of the biggest buyers of our ever-growing debt. This was again on display during President Trump’s visit as American corporate leaders were on hand along with weapon sales of at least $110 Billion and total sales from U.S. companies that could top $350 Billion over the next ten years as the Saudis diversify away from oil. Full story

Trump's Budget Will Slash $1.7 Trillion In Entitlements, Cut Food Stamps By 25% -Zero Hedge
"More details from President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal are trickling out via a flurry of overnight reports from The Washington Post, Associated Press and Bloomberg News....The budget will slash $1.7 trillion in spending on entitlement programs, according to Bloomberg. Trump’s budget will include a massive nearly $200 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the modern version of food stamps, over the next 10 years – what amounts to a 25% reduction, according to The Washington Post. The food stamp cuts are part of a broader $274 billion welfare-reform effort, according to a report by The Associated Press....Predictably, Democrats are already up in arms over the proposal, even though a formal draft isn’t expected until Tuesday....To be sure, Republicans have also expressed some discomfort with the cuts, particularly Trump’s plan to whack $54 billion in discretionary spending."

Inside The Elite North Korean Cyber Warfare Cell Behind the Sony Hack -Newsweek
"North Korea's main spy agency has a special cell called Unit 180 that is likely to have launched some of its most daring and successful cyber attacks, according to defectors, officials and internet security experts. North Korea has been blamed in recent years for a series of online attacks, mostly on financial networks, in the United States, South Korea and over a dozen other countries. Cyber security researchers have also said they have found technical evidence that could link North Korea with the global WannaCry 'ransomware' cyber attack that infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries this month. Pyongyang has called the allegation 'ridiculous'. The crux of the allegations against North Korea is its connection to a hacking group called Lazarus that is linked to last year's $81 million cyber heist at the Bangladesh central bank and the 2014 attack on Sony's Hollywood studio. The U.S. government has blamed North Korea for the Sony hack and some U.S. officials have said prosecutors are building a case against Pyongyang in the Bangladesh Bank theft."

Many financial firms you are dealing with may be on the growing cyber-hit list! Call 800-289-2646 for your FREE copy of: AMERICA'S CYBER-HIT LIST.

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5.19.17 - Death Of The Virtuous Economic Cycle

Gold last traded at $1,253 an ounce. Silver at $16.79 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose Friday on safe haven buying and a weaker U.S. dollar. U.S. stocks rebounded from a turbulent week of political uncertainty and increased market volatility.

Gold: best weekly advance in 5 weeks -Marketwatch
"Gold prices traded near break-even levels Friday, as U.S. stocks moved higher, highlighting a pause on the haven demand that has supported the yellow metal over the past several sessions. The precious metal was on track to post a roughly 2% advance for a week, marked by rising volatility and political unrest in the White House. That would be the largest weekly gain since mid-April....The U.S. Dollar Index fell 0.6% as its drop this week wiped out the post-election climb. Also Friday, U.S. stocks traded mostly higher but the main indexes were still on track to end lower for the week....'The key question now is what will happen in the equity markets and the U.S. dollar,' said Fawad Razaqzada, technical analyst at Forex.com. But 'gold will remain in demand should risk sentiment stay cagey,' he said..."

cyber hit list ‘Unprecedented cyber threat’ Security chief says risk is everywhere after NHS attack -Express
"The cyber attack affected 200,000 people in 180 countries on Friday according to Europol Director Rob Wainwright as he urged on 'all sectors' to take the threat seriously. Mr Wainwright urged governments and businesses to take action because of an 'escalating' threat of cyber crime following the ransomware attack. Hackers took control of computers in several NHS hospitals and GP practices on Friday and the attack hit 200,000 people worldwide, including businesses in China and Russia. The European policing agency’s director Rob Wainwright said: 'We’ve never seen anything like this.'....The ransomware was used with a 'worm functionality' so the infection spread quickly, the attackers took over data on a system and demanded a payment from users in return for unlocking it."

NEW REPORT: Cyber-attacks are becoming more widespread and dangerous every day because financial accounts are mere electronic computer blips that can be stolen, scrambled or erased by hackers. AMERICA'S CYBER-HIT LIST, is a new Swiss America Research Report that reveals hundreds of the biggest U.S. firms that have been hacked in recent years. The list includes the largest tech firms, health care providers, government agencies, social media, and financial services companies such as; JP Morgan, Bank of America, Citibank, Countrywide Financial, and AmeriTrade - which handle billions in U.S. citizen savings and retirement accounts. Many firms you deal with may be on this cyber-hit list! Call 800-289-2646 for your FREE copy of: AMERICA'S CYBER-HIT LIST.

A Century Later, Mises Is Still Being Validated -Gordon/FEE
"It has been said that 'the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.'....The miscalculations of the past continue to dictate the insanity of the present....In 1908, Enrico Barone’s light was a socialist utopia achieved through 'scientific management' of the economy, lorded over by the Ministry of Production....With just a little common sense, Barone’s ideas are quickly exposed as absurd. From an academic standpoint, in his 1920 monograph, Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth, Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, poked so many holes through the rationale it was transformed to Swiss cheese....Indeed, the results of government intervention are always the same. Stagnation, inflation, declining living standards, and widespread social disorder. No doubt, they’ll be repeated to insanity....Although many refuse to recognize it, Mises’ truths are currently born out in the United States, and other social and corporate welfare economies, where money, which is a form of private property, is covertly confiscated by the insidious effects of a centrally planned system that’s based on ever increasing issuance of debt."

The Death Of The Virtuous Cycle -Zero Hedge
"Understanding value, pricing and risk/reward tradeoff within the context of the business and credit cycles provides a durable platform from which results-oriented, sound investment can happen. As Ben Graham said, 'Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.' During periods of extreme bullish sentiment, investors tend to get overly enamored by price trends and investing fads while neglecting fundamental analysis and the primary driver of asset prices, the macroeconomic landscape. Accordingly, to level the playing field, many of the articles we have published have been devoted to exposing fallacious economic thinking. We believe our discussion on the matter is imperative as most Ph.D. economists, including those at the Federal Reserve, have convinced investors, policy-makers and U.S. citizens that durable economic growth stems from debt-fueled consumer spending. This is not only a patently false claim, but it has immense implications for investors as we have explained and depicted on many occasions. In particular, we wrote, The Death of the Virtuous Cycle, to provide readers with a clear understanding of why the United States and many other developed economies have seen productivity, wages, and economic growth stagnate."

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5.18.17 - Volatility Ramps up

Gold last traded at $1,252 an ounce. Silver at $16.67 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices eased back Thursday on short-term profit taking and a firmer dollar. U.S. stocks rebounded from the worst sell-off of the year following ever-increasing political uncertainty.

Gold's Haven Status Refreshed as Trump's Turmoil Wounds Stocks -Bloomberg
"Gold traded near a two-week high as the disarray engulfing Donald Trump’s White House boosted the commodity’s allure as a haven, with equities in retreat and investors scaling back the odds of the Federal Reserve tightening policy next month....Gold is benefiting as Trump faces the biggest crisis of his presidency after a series of damaging revelations, including reports he pressed FBI Director James Comey to drop a probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. As the potential implications of the claims reverberated through Washington, equities sank and the dollar traded near the lowest since November....'People are now worried that he may get impeached,' said Brian Lan, managing director of Singapore-based GoldSilver Central Pte, referring to Trump. 'So safe-haven assets are now back in.'....'The ongoing political uncertainty is likely to keep upward pressure on gold,' Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. said, noting that expectations of a June hike had receded."

gold The 'Orange Swan' Looms Ever Closer: Sell Stocks, Buy Gold -RealClearMarkets
"It is growing increasingly clear that, at best, the Trump administration's policy initiatives - tax and regulatory reform and various fiscal endeavors, including infrastructure spending and cash repatriation - probably will be delayed and diluted. At worst, the decline of Trump's presidency is now coming into focus....In the near term, all of the administration's economic initiatives likely will come to a stop in a collision course of credibility....The markets have risen on the assumption that the new president would be successful in his bold agenda of regulatory and tax reform and aggressive fiscal policy programs....By my gauge, the market's downside risk substantially exceeds the upside reward - perhaps by as much as 4:1. As I said back in late 2016, Donald Trump will make market volatility and economic and profit uncertainty great again....Be less concerned about return on capital and more concerned with return of capital. Sell stocks, buy gold."

We agree that market volatility is headed for a big spike in 2017, as we discuss in Swiss America's 2017 newsletter, Volatility's Last Stand. We cover the many financial bombs which may explode this year; creating a global chain reaction of financial destruction beyond Mr. Trump's control. Craig Smith also explains the importance of viewing gold as real money - the ultimate ‘numeraire.’ Once you discover the key role physical gold plays in a portfolio you'll also understand why gold's daily price movements are much less important over the long-term.

The Deep State Moves on Trump -Stockman/Daily Reckoning
"To be sure, this latest 'bombshell' is just another installment of the Deep State’s campaign to remove the Donald from office based on the trumped-up Russia meddling story. In this case, it’s even focused on the thinnest aspect of the entire cock-and-bull narrative. 'A whole new door has opened,' said a well-known Republican operative who has worked to help the Trump White House. 'A week ago, we were talking about the agenda grinding to a halt,' the Republican said. 'Now, the train is going down the hill backwards.' Yes, and tumbling down the drain with it is Trump’s purported pro-growth Fiscal Stimulus. Likewise, any prospect whatsoever that Washington can avoid an endless bloodbath on the budget front has surely now been deep-sixed, to reintroduce a term from the Nixon era now upon us....To be sure, the rot which will bring on the next recession has been hiding in plain sight all along. But it was Wall Street’s expectation of perpetual stimulus that kept it obscured. But with the Fed resolutely on the path toward policy normalization and Washington plunging into the nightmare of impeachment, the evidence won’t stay in the shadows for long - even in the deep canyons of Wall Street."

The dollar has erased nearly all its post-election gains -Business Insider
"The US dollar index is down by 0.2% at 97.890 on Wednesday. That brings the dollar back to roughly where it was just before the US presidential election. The index closed at 97.861 on November 8, the day of the election, according to Bloomberg data. Analysts have suggested that the currency is suffering from the tumult of news coming out of the embattled Trump administration in the wake of the firing of FBI Director Jim Comey and bombshell reports that the president shared classified information with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak....'The US dollar has drifted lower against most of the major currencies as the culmination of news from Washington, escalating already rising concerns about the economic agenda that was to bolster growth with dramatic tax reform, infrastructure, and re-orienting trade,' Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman, said....Back in April, Trump said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, 'I think our dollar is getting too strong, and partially that’s my fault because people have confidence in me.'....More recently, markets have switched into a more risk-off positioning amid the turmoil in Washington."

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5.17.17 - Trump Vultures Circling D.C. and Wall St.

Gold last traded at $1,258 an ounce. Silver at $16.90 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices jumped higher Wednesday on safe haven buying and a sinking dollar. U.S. stocks tumbled as White House chaos put the GOP agenda at risk.

Gold rallies to May high as Trump worries spark haven bid -Marketwatch
"Gold futures rallied Wednesday, with fresh U.S. political worries lifting prices to their highest settlement of the month. The latest concerns come after a New York Times report said President Donald Trump tried to influence an FBI probe into links between his inner circle and Russia....'Back-to-back salacious stories in the Washington Post and New York Times on President [Donald] Trump has the potential to sidetrack Trump’s growth agenda,' including tax cuts, Obamacare rollback and regulatory reform, Michael Armbruster, principal and co-founder at brokerage firm Altavest, told MarketWatch. 'This is negative for the U.S. dollar on several levels, and is bullish for gold.'....'The political mess in the U.S. is finally impacting U.S. and global markets,' said Mark O’Byrne, research director at GoldCore. 'Trump tremors appear to be impacting markets and a ‘Trumpquake’ could lead to a new bout of risk aversion.'"

Market volatility is making a comeback with a vengeance. Now is the time to take a position in Gold and Silver - the only asset class with a proven track record in protecting wealth, no matter the outcome of the political mess our nation is facing in 2017. Call a Swiss America representative at 800-289-2646 to discuss your best options for adding physical metals to your 2017 wealth insurance plan.

Wall Street Dollar, stocks weighed down by 'real-life House of Cards' -AFP/Yahoo
"The dollar sank Wednesday with a fresh crisis in the White House fueling concerns that Donald Trump's economy-boosting agenda could be run off-track. Stock markets also fell as the administration was once again rocked by allegations over its links to Russia after it was reported Trump had divulged classified information to the nation's foreign minister....Equity indices are on the back foot again as investors digest the latest real-life episode of House of Cards, said Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, in reference to a popular US political TV series. The latest events are 'slowly sapping faith in stimulus policies getting even partisan approval', he said....The dollar took a beating, as the euro broke above $1.11 to levels not seen since Trump's election win in November, while the yen was also piling pressure on the US unit....Gold, a safe-haven investment, rose by nearly two percent in the European afternoon."

Trump Faces Deepest Crisis of Presidency With Comey Memo -Bloomberg
"Donald Trump is facing the deepest crisis of his presidency after contents of a memo written by James Comey when he was FBI director surfaced Tuesday, alleging that the president asked him to drop an investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. The White House was already on the defensive over the president’s firing of Comey a week ago and over a report Monday that Trump disclosed sensitive intelligence to Russian officials. Then another political bombshell exploded Tuesday night. After a conversation Comey had with Trump in February, a day after Flynn was ousted for what the White House said were misleading accounts of his conversations with Russia’s U.S. ambassador, the FBI director wrote a memo documenting the Oval Office meeting. In it, Comey said the president asked him to abandon the Flynn investigation, according to a person who was given a copy of the memo and spoke on condition of anonymity. 'I hope you can let this go,' Trump told the FBI director, according to the memo as cited by the New York Times, which first reported its existence....The memo’s emergence, after Trump fired Comey, had congressional Democrats raising the specter that the president engaged in obstruction of justice, an impeachable offense."

The End of the Trump Rally Has a Silver Lining -Bloomberg
"If you followed the Trump Rally narrative, these moves made complete sense. The idea was that the president was going to come in with a $1 trillion infrastructure program, health-care reform, banking deregulation, a tax overhaul, and the repatriation of overseas corporate profits. Many predicted that these moves would help banks, industrials and materials corporations, and hurt health-care and tech names. Many also expected rising rates and higher inflation from increased government spending; thus the bond losses in those first few months. It appears, however, that the Trump Rally was short-lived. Markets have seemingly moved on from those trades as most of them have completely reversed from the early days after the election....Asset class performance in 2017 shows no signs of the Trump trade. Foreign stocks are outpacing their U.S. counterparts by a wide margin. U.S.-based small caps are now lagging....Many investors may still be hung up on the Trump Rally, but it looks like the markets have already made their determination that it’s over and have moved on."

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5.16.17 - U.S. Housing Bubble 2.0?

Gold last traded at $1,236 an ounce. Silver at $16.74 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose Tuesday on bargain-hunting, geopolitical worry and a weaker dollar. U.S. stocks traded mixed as health care stocks fell and investors paused to digest political uncertainty.

The worst news for the economy might be coming from banks, not retail -CNBC
"Loan issuance declined in the first quarter from the previous three-month period, the first time that has happened in four years, according to an SNL Financial analysis of bank earnings reports filed for the period....Commercial and industrial lending, considered an economic bellwether, usually pops this time of year as companies prepare for the construction season again. Instead, 2017 began with just a 0.9 percent rise in C&I transactions, a gain that couldn't offset the normal seasonal drop in credit card loans. In addition, the lending picture was hampered by an unusual decline in auto loans, which fell for the first time since banks started reporting on them in 2011....Where the lending data fit in is a puzzle for the Trump administration, which believes a pro-growth agenda that has languished in Congress will spur more growth. If it doesn't, that could jeopardize the stock market rally....Much of the focus thus far has been placed on weak retail numbers as the big economic stumbling block. But an unwillingness by consumers and businesses to borrow could be a bigger problem."

cybersecurity A Foretaste of the Coming Cyber-Apocalypse? -PontificationBlog
"The cyber-attack began last Friday worldwide, causing computer chaos in at least 150 nations and more than 200,000 computers, hitting banks and other companies. This is only the latest of what could be many doomsday attacks to come. 'In 2017, hackers infected the computers of 140 banks in 40 countries with a program that let the criminals order bank ATMs to spit out untold millions into the paper bags of waiting accomplices,' Craig R. Smith and I reported in our free 2017 White Paper Don’t Bank On It!, which updates and summarizes our book of the same name. 'In 2016, North Korean hackers put a bug into the computers of SWIFT, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications in Belgium, an electronic clearinghouse for global bank transfers,' we wrote. 'The hackers had SWIFT issue false documents that tricked banks in several nations into giving their agents a combined $81 Million, including $12 Million from Wells Fargo Bank in the U.S.' The attack last Friday shut down ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines) in regions of China, leaving citizens without access to their money. Credit cards failed to work at many gas stations. The Bank of China was a target....Your bank account today is merely electronic blips in a computer that can be stolen, scrambled, or erased by a smart enough individual or government hacker. (China employs 125,000 soldiers to do full-time cyber warfare.) And our government is rapidly moving to a 'cashless' society in which all dollars will be digital and 'virtual,' i.e., unreal. The only way to escape a future computer apocalypse will be to convert dollars to real, hard money such as gold – which cannot be stolen or held for ransom by a few hacker strokes on a computer keyboard."

Gold climbs for fourth day as dollar slips and euro rallies -Reuters
"Gold prices extended gains for a fourth day on Tuesday as political troubles in the United States dented the dollar while a more upbeat scenario in Europe lifted the euro....The dollar index slipped to the weakest in more than six months after two U.S. officials said President Donald Trump disclosed highly classified information to Russia's foreign minister about a planned Islamic State operation. Investors regarded Trump's difficulties as another obstacle to planned U.S. tax cuts and infrastructure spending which had boosted the dollar in the months following the November election....Gold is used as an alternative investment during times of political and financial uncertainty. Investors may become more cautious, however, due to recent global developments including a North Korean missile test and the 'ransomware' cyber attack, which could lift gold prices over the next two weeks, said Mark To, head of research at Hong Kong's Wing Fung Financial Group."

Home Sales Jump to Near-Boom-Era Levels -Wall Street Journal
"Home sales in the first quarter hit their fastest pace in a decade, a sign that rising prices and slightly higher mortgage rates haven’t deterred home buyers from rushing into the market. Total existing-home sales climbed 1.4% in the quarter to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.62 million, the highest since the first quarter of 2007, according to the National Association of Realtors....Homes have become less affordable over the past year due to rising prices and mortgage rates, though they remain theoretically within reach for most families....Affordability is likely to become more challenging if prices keep rising at this pace and mortgage rates also climb. The rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage has risen to 4.05% from about 3.5% in November. Economists expect rates to inch closer to 4.5% by the end of the year, which could make affordability even more challenging."

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5.15.17 - Bitcoin Plunges on Cyber-Ransom

Gold last traded at $1,230 an ounce. Silver at $16.60 an ounce

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose Monday on rising uncertainty and a weaker dollar. U.S. stocks rose as investors bought up big cyber-security stocks on the heels of the largest global cyber-attack last Friday.

Gold rises as weak U.S. data dampens rate hike expectations -Reuters
"Gold rose as U.S. political turmoil, a missile test by North Korea and a worldwide cyber attack fueled demand for safe-haven assets, while weaker than expected U.S. data pushed the dollar lower, making gold cheaper for holders of other currencies....'Continued unpredictability of the Trump administration, North Korea flexing its muscles again and weaker data coming from the U.S. has helped bring back some interest,' said Ole Hansen, head of commodities strategy at Saxo Bank. Worse than expected U.S. data has reduced expectations of aggressive interest rate increases by the U.S. Federal Reserve this year, though traders still expect a rise in June....Saxo Bank's Hansen said that gold's gains could end a liquidation of long positions that helped to push it to last week's lows. Gold demand, meanwhile, has strengthened in China and India, supporting prices."

On Friday, May 12, a crippling cyber-attack hit hundreds of thousands of computers in over 150 countries worldwide; including government agencies, factories, banks and health services. When you own physical money you have a tangible alternative form of money which can serve as your escape hatch to safety during any disruption in "the system". Today owning physical money is not a luxury, it is a necessity. Read our 2017 Gold Report and 2017 Silver Report to discover why right now is an excellent buying opportunity for both gold and silver.

Global Cyberattack Spreads as Experts Try to Limit Damage -WallStreetJournal
"Governments and companies reported Monday more infected computers stemming from a global cyberattack that wreaked havoc through the weekend, as IT departments around the world kicked off a fourth day trying to determine the scope of damage and recover from it....Chinese state media reported nearly 40,000 public and private institutions had been hit in the country. The official Cyberspace Administration of China said victims included government agencies and private corporations, hitting sectors including education, banking and information technology....So far, no one has identified the equivalent to a 'patient zero,' or initial victim."

WannaCry

"A forensic probe of that first attack could provide an online paper trail that could help investigators dig out the perpetrator. European investigators first blamed a phishing attack using Microsoft Office documents, but later reversed that point. Attackers have been using three specific bitcoin wallets, or addresses, according to several people tracking the attack, with about 202 payments going into them totaling about $51,417 as of Monday morning, according to a bitcoin analytics firm Chainalysis Inc. None of the funds have been moved out of the wallets. While identifying bitcoin wallet owners is difficult, tracking money moving out of such wallets is potentially easier."

New Variant Of 'Ransomware' Begins To Spread: "We've Never Seen Anything Like This" -Zero Hedge
"Governments and companies around the world began to gain the upper hand against the first wave of the unrivaled global cyberattack this morning....The initial attack was stifled when a security researcher disabled a key mechanism used by the worm to spread, but experts warned the hackers were likely to mount a second attack because so many users of personal computers with Microsoft operating systems couldn’t or didn’t download a security patch released in March that Microsoft had labeled 'critical.'....But the world is still digging out...Europol executive director Rob Wainwright told Britain's ITV television on Sunday that the attack had been 'unprecedented'. 'We've never seen anything like this,' he said. In China, 'hundreds of thousands' of computers were affected, including petrol stations, cash machines and universities, according to Qihoo 360, one of China's largest providers of antivirus software. The malware affected computers at 'several' unspecified Chinese government departments, the country’s Cyberspace Administration said on its WeChat blog Monday. Since that initial attack, agencies and companies from the police to banks and communications firms have put preventive measures in place, while Qihoo 360 Technology Co., Tencent Holdings Ltd. and other cybersecurity firms have begun making protection tools available, the internet overseer said."

Bitcoin plunges $200 after cyber attackers demand ransom using the digital currency -CNBC
"Bitcoin plunged from a record high hit last week to below $1,700 after cyber attackers locked up data in 200,000 computers Friday and demanded ransom in the digital currency. 'It's a big hit to sentiment,' said Brian Kelly, CEO of BKCM. 'This is some negative publicity for bitcoin.' Bitcoin fell more than $200 from an all-time high of $1,848.75 reached Thursday to a low of $1,644.64 Friday. The cryptocurrency steadied over the weekend and on Monday traded more than 5 percent lower on the day near $1,676.42."

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5.12.17 - Guaranty Bank shut down by Fed

Gold last traded at $1,227 an ounce. Silver at $16.40 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose Friday on bargain hunting and a weaker dollar. U.S. stocks traded lower as retail earnings sunk further, led by a 9% JC Penney decline.

Feds Shut Down Guaranty Bank, Closing Branches In Walmart, Kroger Stores -Consumerist
"Last week, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency shut down Guaranty Bank, which also did business as BestBank. While the shutdown and transfer process is supposed to be relatively simple for bank customers, they’re facing long lines at the remaining banks....The issue for customers is that the majority of its branches were inside Walmart stores and Kroger-owned supermarkets, but the only branches that will reopen as First Citizens Bank & Trust are the free-standing ones....The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that the bank was still dealing with after-effects of bad loans made during last decade’s housing crisis....Customers aren’t happy about this, since the store-based branches will not re-open, and they were 105 of Guaranty’s 117 branches....It wasn’t just the shutdown: The bank had gone from 48 locations in the state to 10 over the weekend, which meant that regular Monday-morning bank business transferred to the standalone branches too....Former Best Bank customers in Georgia and Michigan are completely out of luck, since there were no standalone branches in their states at all."

Yes, bank closures are back in the news in 2017. Guaranty Bank depositors will likely end up getting their money, but not without some major inconvenience in the process - such as driving to a different state to withdraw their money! Meanwhile, there are at least 20 other major risks bank depositors face which are covered in our 2017 White Paper Don’t Bank On It!

hacked Hospitals Across England Go Dark After Massive "Cyber-Attack"; Hackers Demand Ransom -Zero Hedge
"Hospitals across the UK have been hit by what appears to be a major, nationwide cyber-attack, resulting in the loss of phone lines and computers, with many hospitals going 'dark' and some diverting all but emergency patients elsewhere. At some hospitals patients are being told not to come to A&E with all non-urgent operations cancelled, the BBC reports. The UK National Health Service said: 'We’re aware that a number of trusts that have reported potential issues to the CareCERT team. We believe it to be ransomware.' It added that trusts and hospitals in London, Blackburn, Nottingham, Cumbria and Hertfordshire have been affected and are reporting IT failures, in some cases meaning there is no way of operating phones or computers....According to the Telegraph, doctors across the country have seen this message - what appears to be ransomware - flash up on their screens. The notification demands that $300 worth of bitcoin be sent to a specific address to unlock the infected computer....IT specialists are working to resolve the problem as quickly as possible, a statement from the trust says....Services affected are thought to include picture archiving communication systems for x-ray images, pathology test results, phone and bleep systems and patient administration systems."

Gold firm as U.S. political concerns lend support -Reuters
"Gold rose on Friday and was set to end the week slightly higher as the sudden sacking of the FBI head in the United States stoked investor concerns and boosted demand for bullion, even as the dollar headed for its strongest week this year....'You continue to see the political uncertainty continue to support gold,' said ETF Securities analyst Martin Arnold, naming the dismissal of the FBI's James Comey and the upcoming British election as sources of uncertainty....New applications for U.S. jobless benefits unexpectedly fell last week, while producer prices rebounded strongly in April, pointing to a tightening labor market and rising inflation that could spur the Fed to raise interest rates."

Trump on Trumponomics: nationalism plus flexibility -Economist
"There is such a thing as Trumponomics, President Donald Trump has told The Economist. At its core, he said: 'It really has to do with self-respect as a nation.' In a wide-ranging interview in the Oval Office Mr Trump included moments of America First nationalism familiar to anyone who saw him rail against multilateral trade pacts, or accuse China of economic 'rape', during the campaign. But he also included hints of dealmaking pragmatism, and a willingness to see government deficits soar, as the near-term price of tax cuts. Breaking with aides who previously claimed that higher growth will pay for a tax-cutting plan that they outlined in April, Mr Trump freely admitted that deficits might increase in the short-term - two years is his optimistic prediction. This deficit-fueled stimulus, which he called 'priming the pump', 'is OK, because it won’t increase it for long,' the president said. 'What you have to do is you have to put something in before you get something out.'....Mr Trump sees no need for overall levels of legal immigration to come down, instead wanting America to move to a merit-based system, similar to Canada’s, in which skilled migrants are vetted more thoroughly and commit to staying off government subsidies for five years. For the many farms that employ migrant workers without legal papers, Mr Trump has a work-visa scheme in mind. 'We like those people a lot,' he declared."

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5.11.17 - Markets Worry About Lack of Worry

Gold last traded at $1,224 an ounce. Silver at $16.26 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rebounded Thursday on a flat dollar and rising wholesale inflation data. U.S. stocks fell back amid retail worries and a rising volatility index.

Strategist Horwitz Sees Breakout in Oil, Gold Soon -Bloomberg
"In today's 'Futures in Focus,' Todd Horwitz, chief strategist at Bubba Trading, and Bloomberg's Vonnie Quinn examine the battle over oil prices being waged by OPEC and U.S. shale producers and look at the factors impacting gold prices and the U.S. dollar. They speak on 'Bloomberg Markets.'"

TRANSCRIPT: "I do think that gold is probably a really good buy somewhere around here, maybe as low as $1,200. I think we are going to see much higher prices. It's a great hard asset for people to own anyway." -Horwitz

Now is the time for action! Not sure? Read our 2017 Gold Report and 2017 Silver Report to discover why this is an excellent buying opportunity for gold and silver.

roller coaster Stagflation Builds As US Producer Prices Spike Most In 5 Years -Zero Hedge
"For the 3rd month in a row, US Producer Prices have risen at a faster rate than The Fed's mandate. April healdine PPI rose 2.5% YoY - the most since Feb 2012, and well above the highest analyst estimate, despite disinflationary credit impulse pressures from China being seen in industrial metals. The biggest driver is surging costs for investment advice! The full breakdown shows that over a quarter of the April advance in the index for final demand services is attributable to prices for securities brokerage, dealing, investment advice, and related services, which increased 6.6 percent. The indexes for guestroom rental; loan services (partial); machinery, equipment, parts, and supplies wholesaling; portfolio management; and airline passenger services also moved higher....So Q1 saw The Fed hike as GDP growth plummeted (weakest quarterly growth for a rate hike since 1980) and inflation surged... this won't end well."

The road back to making America great again has a major pitfall. Learn how to avoid it. Read THE INFLATION SOLUTION, a Swiss America special report.

Trading desks worry about the markets lack of worry -Telegraph
"After a year of political surprises, an eerie calm has descended on markets....This stillness wasn't expected, given 2016 was marked by worries of a Chinese slowdown, the unexpected election of Donald Trump as US president, huge swings in the price of crude oil, and the surprise result of the EU referendum in the UK. But trading desks - fresh from an upswing in market activity from their clients - are getting worried....That would mean that the banks which boasted surges in trading revenues for the opening months of the year - notably Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley as well as European banks such as Britain’s Barclays - could see their fortunes reverse if people don’t start worrying again soon....'Low volatility encourages institutions to reduce cash and invest in higher-risk assets,' said Craig Coben, the global head of equity capital markets at Bank of America Merrill Lynch....Still, the tranquility may not last for long. Some observers fear that the drop off in volatility could signal the calm before the storm and that a market correction is looming."

Michael Savage: How to save Trump presidency -WorldNetDaily
"'Right now, truthfully, the administration is in trouble. It’s not because they did anything wrong; it’s because of the appearance that the radical left has created,' Savage said. 'The mad, mad bees of the left are swarming and stinging.'....'Number one, stop the impulsive tweeting. It’s unnecessary, it doesn’t help. You can make mistakes when you tweet,' Savage said, pointing to tweets about the firing of FBI Director James Comey Tuesday as an example. I think he should calm down. I think he should withdraw from the picture for awhile. I think he should let all the president's men stand up there and take the heat,' he continued....Relying so much on his family for advice, Savage said, directing his words to Trump, 'may work in a business, it may work in interpersonal relations, but it may not work with your base, which did not elect your family. We elected you, and we elected you because you expressed our views,' he said. 'We did not elect the liberal Manhattan views of some of your family members, God bless them.'"

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5.10.17 - What's Behind Comey’s Firing?

Gold last traded at $1,218 an ounce. Silver at $16.20 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices traded steady Wednesday on a flat dollar amid political uncertainty. U.S. stocks traded mixed as investors reflected on the sudden Trump firing of FBI Director Comey.

Hold Gold Through Thick And Thin; Another Crisis Is Around The Corner -Murenbeeld/Kitco
"In an interview with Kitco News, Martin Murenbeeld, president of Murenbeeld & Co. said that he is comfortable with gold at current levels or even lower as he expects continued financial and geopolitical uncertainty to support the yellow metal for the rest of the year. 'I’m going to hold my position and just wait for the next crisis to hit,” he said....Although gold is 5% down from its five-month highs seen last month, Murenbeeld said that gold is still managing to find support at higher levels. He added that this is because investors see value in holding a core positioning in gold as uncertainty continues to simmer in the background....With markets betting on perfection from Trump, Murenbeeld said that anything less from the new president would be messy for equities and in turn good for gold."

GDP U.S. Commerce's Ross says 3% GDP growth not achievable this year -Reuters
"The U.S. economy will fall short of the Trump administration's goal of 3 percent growth this year and will only achieve that when its regulatory, tax, trade and energy policies are fully in place, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Tuesday. The GDP target 'is certainly not achievable this year,' Ross told Reuters in an interview. 'The Congress has been slow-walking everything. We don't even have half the people in place.'....Ross also signaled the Trump administration would try to use existing tools to aggressively enforce trade rules and insist on fairer treatment for U.S. goods, rather than adopt the slash-and-burn approach Trump discussed on the campaign trail in 2016. The comments appear to represent another move to the center by the administration, with Ross acknowledging that trade deficits for things like imported oil are 'blameless' and not inherently bad."

The Feds Turn a Blind Eye to Goldman’s Game -TheFiscalTimes
"Goldman Sachs is on a shopping spree. Last week, it spent $500 million to buy 12 percent of Riverstone Holdings, a private equity firm focused on energy investments. This is part of a $2 billion private equity strategy for the vampire squid. Through a couple of subsidiary funds, Goldman has already acquired stakes in private equity players Littlejohn & Co. and ArcLight Capital Partners, and Accel-KKR, a firm specializing in tech companies. There’s only one problem with these investments: They’re supposed to be illegal under the Dodd-Frank Act. But “the law” is only as good as the men and women willing to enforce it, as Goldman Sachs has discovered to its delight. Big banks have turned one key section of Dodd-Frank into mush, such that Goldman can flaunt its defiance openly without an ounce of fear. It makes me wonder why House Republicans are working so hard to repeal Wall Street reform when regulators have shown so much willingness to repeal by neglect. The result is an ineffective policy that complicates the otherwise clean political debate over regulation. Why should Democrats defend a law that’s so watered down, delayed and compromised?....Why should Republicans bother to spend political capital to defeat it, rather than going through the motions and letting regulatory abandonment do the job? It speaks to the weaknesses of half-measures and technocratic tweaks when the banking industry is the adversary...The lesson for the future is this: To really impact Wall Street’s activities, you have to attack the structure of finance directly, not at the margins. "

Behind Comey’s firing: An enraged Trump, fuming about Russia -Politico
"Trump's firing of the high-profile FBI director on the 110th day since the president took office marked another sudden turn for an administration that has fired its acting attorney general, national security adviser and now its FBI director, whom Trump had praised until recent weeks and had even blew a kiss to during a January appearance. The news stunned Comey, who saw news of his dismissal on TV while speaking inside the FBI office in Los Angeles. It startled all but the uppermost ring of White House advisers, who said grumbling about Comey hadn't dominated their own morning senior staff meetings. Other top officials learned just before it happened and were unaware Trump was considering firing Comey. 'Nobody really knew,' one senior White House official said. 'Our phones all buzzed and people said, 'What?' By ousting the FBI director investigating his campaign and associates, Trump may have added more fuel to the fire he is furiously trying to contain - and he was quickly criticized by a chorus of Republicans and Democrats. "The timing of this firing was very troubling," said Sen. Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican."

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5.9.17 - Is Gold Market Selling Overdone?

Gold last traded at $1,216 an ounce. Silver at $16.06 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices slipped to 7-week lows as speculators took profits and the U.S. dollar rose. U.S. stocks traded mixed amid tech bullishness and low market volatility.

The Weakness In Gold Is Over -SeekingAlpha
"The technical indicators all show that the selling in gold is overdone....Nevertheless, sustained oversold territory is possible, as seen in late 2016 as markets anticipated a December rate hike. While anticipating a June hike, it is quite possible for gold to linger in oversold territory as gold traders buy the rumor....The unwinding of the euro trade will keep the dollar and gold from collapsing too much further. Technical indicators also show support for gold. We must be aware of a potential sustained oversold territory for gold if the fed funds rate probability continues to increase for the June FOMC meeting....I expect gold to have a positive week ahead."

If gold ownership is viewed properly as "wealth insurance" then lower gold prices are good news - just like lower prices on car, home or health insurance. Now is the time for action! Read our 2017 Gold Report and 2017 Silver Report to discover why owning gold and silver in 2017 is not a luxury, but rather a necessity!

Fox Business What Does "Eerie" Low Market Volatility Mean? -Fox Business
Swiss America Chairman Craig R. Smith and Heather Zumarraga, AIG Fund analyst, joined Neil Cavuto to discuss why the stock market fear and volatility index is at nearly 25-year lows despite so much economic uncertainty. Zumarraga says it has an "eerie" feel to it, but with the Fed "propping up" the market, investors still feel confident. Mr. Smith says it's a dangerous case of "cognitive dissonance" which allows investors to tune out the bad economic news of falling GDP and productivity in favor of chasing higher returns.

This Time is Not Different -HussmanFunds
"Mark Twain once said 'History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.' Each separate instance has its own wrinkles, and within those wrinkles is wrapped the delusion that 'this time' is cut from wholly different cloth. In the financial markets, the unique features of 'this time' entice investors away from systematic analysis and durable relationships....If doctors behaved like investors do, every time a new strain of virus emerged, they would declare a 'new era,' immediately disregarding every known principle of the immune system until everybody was dead....But investors should not use some 'new era' argument to dismiss the central principles of investing, as a substitute for carefully quantifying the impact of those wrinkles....If we are careful about history, evidence, and market analysis, we repeatedly find that the central principles of investing are captured by a few iron laws. Two of them are particularly important in our discipline. The first of these is what I call the Iron Law of Valuation: Long-term market returns are driven primarily by valuations....A second principle is what I call the Iron Law of Speculation: While valuations determine long-term and full-cycle market outcomes, investor preferences toward speculation, as evidenced by uniformity of market action across a broad range of internals, can allow the market to continue higher over shorter segments of the cycle, despite extreme overvaluation....While about 80% of the market gain since the 2009 low occurred by the end of 2014, a sequence of novelties since then (particularly Brexit and the U.S. election) have worked to extend this high-level top-formation. Still, I continue to view this as a period of top-formation."

Adieu, France -PontficationBlog
"France’s death warrant was issued Sunday, as voters chose Emmanuel Macron as their next President. If his promised policies are followed, then the ally who helped America win its independence will see its borders erased and its identity absorbed into the empire of the European Union (EU). A woman will rule France after this election, his nationalist opponent Marine Le Pen predicted. Either she would win, or France would be dominated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel through the EU. Ms. Le Pen lost, getting slightly over one-third of the vote....The EU had originally been conceived by French political philosopher Jean Monnet after World War II...'Europe’s nations should be guided towards the Super-state without their people understanding what is happening,' wrote Monnet in a diary that Craig R. Smith and I quote in our latest book, Money, Morality, & the Machine....The new political polarization is nationalism vs. globalist collectivism. The emerging economic choice will be between a post-dollar, post-American socialist globalist 'cashless' economy - or the hard, honest universal coin of gold. As Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once wisely observed, if you must choose between trusting the natural stability of gold and the honesty and intelligence of members of the government, then 'I advise you, as long as the capitalist system lasts, to vote for gold.'"

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5.8.17 - Obama's Debt-Bubble Legacy

Gold last traded at $1,227 an ounce. Silver at $16.25 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices traded steady amid dollar volatility following the French election results. U.S. stocks traded near flatline as oil prices slumped and investors digested the impact of Macron's presidential victory.

Why your 401(k) is vulnerable as tax reform plays out in Washington -Chicago Tribune
"If you are counting on 401(k) savings to keep a roof over your head when you retire, don't take your eye off tax reform negotiations in Washington. Your 401(k) is vulnerable. And worse yet, if tax changes play out as some are proposing on Capitol Hill, you may have the extra burden of picking up the tab for millions of Americans who will go into retirement without enough saved to cover food, housing and other basic needs....Roughly 54 percent of Americans have 401(k)s or other retirement savings plans at work, and the government currently tries to entice workers to participate in those plans by rewarding savers with a tax deduction on whatever they sock away. But the deductions could be on the chopping block as Congress looks for revenue sources to make up for other tax cuts....There are other possibilities too, such as freezing maximum 401(k) contributions so that workers won't shelter additional money from taxes in the future. Deductions for Individual Retirement Accounts also could be cut....Already the nation is facing a looming retirement crisis because millions of workers aren't saving enough to cover basic needs like food and housing when they can no longer work. Ultimately, if these people need welfare, Medicaid or other aid, taxpayers could be asked to pick up the burden."

A Precious Metals IRA is the smartest way to protect the long-term purchasing power of your savings and retirement funds. Swiss America can help you create a personalized precious metals savings and retirement plan that will help preserve your family's wealth.

gold vs debt The United States Is Hosting A Debt Party – $2,000 Gold Is Coming -ZeroHedge
"'The trifling economy of paper, as a cheaper medium, or its convenience for transmission, weighs nothing in opposition to the advantages of the precious metals: that it is liable to be abused, has been, is, and forever will be abused, in every country in which it is permitted…' -Thomas Jefferson- The US has seen accelerated debt build-up since the early 1980s, before culminating in the financial crisis of 2008-2009. In 2014, debt over took GDP for the first since post-World War II....For every dollar of GDP growth, we are adding $1-2 dollars in debt! What does this mean for gold? Since the end of Bretton Woods, gold has followed debt. We saw a period of divergence, but this was quickly rectified by a spike of 500% in gold price. Currently, we are seeing another divergence, and we believe another spike is in the works. While gold is already on the mend, the resulting rally can easily put gold over $2,000/oz. or more. The world cannot fix its debt problem overnight. In the near future we see a sustained period of economic drought and gold price abundance."

The debt-bubble landmine Obama left for Trump -NewYorkPost
"President Trump came in for much jeering when he told reporters he had 'inherited a mess' from President Barack Obama. On the economy, though, Obama did indeed leave behind a hidden mess: a seemingly healthy jobs market dependent on cheap debt. When this debt bubble bursts, just as the last one did, the manufacturing jobs Trump wants to save will be in even greater peril. The country’s last bubble was in housing. Between 2000 and 2007, Americans nearly doubled their mortgage debt, from $5.9 trillion to $10.6 trillion....Since the 2008 crash, neither Democrats nor Republicans have been interested in creating a sturdier economy. Instead, they’ve built up another bubble, this time in the car and SUV industry. How? The same way: cheap debt. In 2010, Americans owed $809 billion on their cars (after adjusting for inflation). Today, they owe nearly $1.2 trillion, according to the New York Fed....These loans are for people who have no choice but to borrow to buy a car, and no bargaining power on the interest rate they pay: close to 20 percent....If people with terrible credit can’t borrow an average of nearly $18,000 to buy a used car (what the DriveTime customer pays), the market for used cars collapses. That, in turn, affects the market for new cars."

Donald Trump Is Stuck In a Low-Growth Trap -Samuelson/RealClearMarkets
"We are eight years into the recovery from the Great Recession, the unemployment rate has dropped to 4.4 percent, the stock market is pushing record highs, and consumer confidence seems robust. And yet the economy doesn’t feel as good as it looks. Anxieties lurk. We have entered a new era of low economic growth and high political disappointment. Our democratic system requires strong-enough economic growth to raise living standards and support activist government. These expectations, present in most advanced democracies, are no longer realistic, because the global economy has changed in ways that reduce growth. The causes of the current slowdown can be summed up as the Three Ds: depopulation, deleveraging and deglobalization, families are having fewer children, banks are not expanding their lending [as before], and countries are engaging in less cross-border trade....Protective social institutions - widely called the 'welfare state' elsewhere and the 'social safety net' in the United States - shielded against economic upsets and personal misfortune....This assurance has now gone missing. At best, the model desperately needs repair; at worst, it is busted."

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5.5.17 - "Most Americans don't trust themselves with their own money"

Gold last traded at $1,226 an ounce. Silver at $16.27 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices steadied near 6-week lows Friday on profit-taking and a flat dollar. U.S. stocks traded mixed despite upbeat jobs data.

Solid jobs number means Fed on track to raise interest rates and worst fears for the economy ease - CNBC
"April's surprise drop in unemployment to a 10-year low and strong hiring eases some of the worst fears that the economy hit a rut. It also means the Federal Reserve is on track to raise interest rates at its June meeting. There were 211,000 jobs added in April, and the unemployment rate fell to 4.4 percent. Economists had expected 185,000 jobs after March's initial report of 98,000. Even more impressive, the U-6 unemployment rate fell by a surprise three-tenths of a point to 8.6 percent....A '4.4 percent unemployment rate, that's great, but with a downtick in participation, that underscores how hard it is to re-engage the people we lost,' said Diane Swonk, CEO of DS Economics. 'Unfortunately, this is what full employment looks like in an economy that has a shadow of a Great Recession.'"

world Dollar SuperCycle Ends -Whalen/TheInstitutionalRiskAnalyst
"What do the US residential housing market, the stock market and the dollar all have in common? All of these markets represent bubbles created and driven by the aggressive social engineering of the Federal Open Market Committee. Will live in an age of asset bubbles rather than true economic growth....Whether you look at US stocks, residential homes in San Francisco or the dollar, the picture that emerges is a market that has risen sharply, far more than the underlying rate of economic growth, due to a constraint in the supply of assets and a relative torrent of cash chasing the available opportunities....It seems that many market indicators such as the dollar and LIBOR suggest a market that is either schizophrenic or dysfunctional....There are seismic changes going on in the world of trading cash securities and collateral lending, changes that see a host of non-banking firms returning to this traditional nonbank space....The clear question from all of this: What happens when this latest dollar super cycle ends?....All things do come to an end, including the seeming ability of the FOMC to painlessly levitate the fortunes of heavily indebted nations on a sea of easy dollar credit."

Buy the dip? Why ‘fear and love’ could send gold on a 20 percent rally -CNBC
"Gold's latest swing lower could be a screaming buying signal. Frank Holmes, who runs an investment management firm specializing in gold, says he's optimistic that the precious metal could rally by more than 20 percent within the next 12 months - a forecast that's not just based on 'fear' of a negative geopolitical event, rising interest rates or an economic soft patch. 'There is the 'love' driver, and that's also very significant, the U.S. Global Investors CEO and CIO said Wednesday on CNBC's 'Trading Nation.' Holmes' 'love driver' refers to the ravenous appetite for gold in China and India. He calls them major players, accounting for 40 percent of the world's population....Holmes, who encourages investors to have a 10 percent gold weighting in their portfolios, wants investors to see this as a buying opportunity - calling the latest bearish activity 'temporary.'"

Most Americans don't trust themselves with their own money -USA Today
"'Would you rather have an easier or a harder time accessing your money?' How do you think the average person would answer that question? Most people would assume that folks would rather have easier access to their money. Heck, that's the basic premise of mobile banking and debit cards, both of which are very, very popular inventions. As it so happens, classical economic theory would agree with you....That's why a working paper by John Beshears, et al., is such a big deal - it turns this long-held tenet on its head....Researchers ran two separate experiments. In the first, they offered participants cash, and the option to deposit the money into two accounts in whatever manner the participants wished. One account was completely liquid...The other account was illiquid....Interestingly, more restrictive accounts generally had higher deposits than less restrictive accounts. That means that more restrictive accounts are more attractive, a result that was wholly unexpected....Three accounts spring to mind when you combine the ideas of restrictions and savings: certificates of deposit (CDs), individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and 401(k)s."

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5.4.17 - How Governments Can Kill Cash

Gold last traded at $1,228 an ounce. Silver at $16.30 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices drifted lower Thursday as investors took profits amid an uncertain outlook. U.S. stocks fell as oil hit a 5-month low and a revised GOP health-care vote looms.

Why now may be a good time to buy gold and silver -MarketWatch
"Lately, gold and silver prices have been on the decline, but lower prices for the metals aren’t likely to last long, according to one bullish strategist. David Beahm, president and chief executive officer of precious-metals retailer Blanchard and Company, makes the case that now may be the appropriate time to scoop up metals that have been dinged in recent trade. 'With all of the uncertainty out there, now is the time to add gold and silver to a portfolio,' said Beahm. 'Both metals performed exactly as they should have during the 2008 financial crisis and they will do the same during the next crisis, wherever it comes from,' he said."

Gold is the ultimate form of trustworthy money, instantly liquid worldwide. Read our 2017 Gold Report and 2017 Silver Report to discover why owning gold and silver in 2017 is not a luxury, but rather a necessity!

gold weight A Dubai firm is launching the first-ever gold-backed digital currency -StepFeed
"A Dubai-based firm is launching a gold-backed and Shariah compliant digital currency, catering to a previously unfilled niche in the investment and finance market. OneGram, an Islamic financial services and technology company, has partnered with GoldGuard, an online gold trading platform also based in Dubai, to make the new digital currency a reality. Each digital token of the currency will be redeemable for one gram of real gold. The gold will be stored in what will be one of the world's largest gold vaults, currently under construction in Dubai....The currency will have its initial launch on May 21 and could raise as much as $554 million, making it the largest cryptocurrency crowd sale to date....Islam is the world's fastest growing religion and Muslims already account for about a quarter of the global population."

April jobs report will test Yellen’s rate plans -Crudele/NewYorkPost
"A little Twilight Zone music, please. Friday’s April jobs report could make Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s job extremely difficult - no matter what the number is....Experts are expecting about 185,000 new jobs, which was about what they had been expecting in March. But it turned out that only 98,000 jobs were created in March, which caused a problem for Yellen because she is determined to raise interest rates. For that, she needs the economy to show good growth - which it isn’t. The US economy in the first quarter, as measured by the Gross Domestic Product, grew just 0.7 percent on an annualized rate. That’s barely above recession levels and threw into doubt Yellen’s ability to keep her promised threat of higher interest rates....But the FOMC still holds out hope that the economy was simply in a temporary slump....To put it simply, the government has its thumb on the scale during April and this continues into the May employment numbers that will be released the first week of June. During those two months, Labor arbitrarily adds a huge number of jobs to its estimates - a guess-timate of jobs added that it can’t fully track."

We’re Witnessing Irrational Exuberance, 2017 Style -TheFiscalTimes
"Looking from the outside in, shares of Pets.com circa 1999 or a McMansion in Phoenix circa 2007 seem like terrible ideas. But in the heat of the moment, with emotions like greed and envy in full swing, the ebullience seems justified....We could very well be in a similar situation now, as the Nasdaq Composite pushes toward 6,100 amid mixed big-tech earnings and a very weak first-quarter GDP report. One must ask: What exactly is justifying this ongoing confidence? After all, stocks have only been more expensive - based on a cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings (CAPE) ratio - two other times in history: The manic runup to the 1929 and 2000 market bubble peaks....This week has provided further evidence: One by one, the motivators of the epic post-election rally have been severely weakened. And yet Wall Street has largely ignored the shifts. If this isn't irrational exuberance, I don't know what is....U.S. GDP expanded just 0.7 percent in the first quarter on a mere 0.3 percent increase in consumer spending - despite months of survey data showing off-the-charts consumer sentiment - for the worst result since the fourth quarter of 2009. At the same time, the Federal Reserve is still looking at an aggressive pace of rate hikes. Trade tensions are rising. And whole economy profits remain about a $100 billion below their late 2014 high - a drop of nearly six percent during which the Nasdaq rallied nearly 30 percent. Does this all seem justified to you?"

How Governments Can Kill Cash -Rickards/DailyReckoning
"The war on cash has two main thrusts. The first is to make it difficult to obtain cash in the first place. U.S. banks will report anyone taking more than $3,000 in cash as engaging in a 'suspicious activity' using Treasury Form SAR (Suspicious Activity Report). The second thrust is to eliminate large-denomination banknotes. The U.S. got rid of its $500 note in 1969, and the $100 note has lost 85% of its purchasing power since then. With a little more inflation, the $100 bill will be reduced to chump change....The whole idea of the war on cash is to force savers into digital bank accounts so their money can be taken from them in the form of negative interest rates. An easy solution to this is to go to physical cash. Yet if physical cash becomes scarce (or nearly worthless due to inflation), savers may pay a slight premium for large-denomination notes. Your premium disappears because the note pays no interest. The elites have actually figured out a way to have negative interest rates follow you from digital accounts to paper money....One solution to negative interest rates is to buy physical gold. But governments always use money laundering, drug dealing and terrorism as an excuse to keep tabs on honest citizens and deprive them of the ability to use money alternatives such as physical cash and gold. When you start to see news articles about criminals using gold instead of cash, that’s a stalking horse for government regulation of gold."

In Swiss America's 2017 free White Paper, The Secret War, discover why - under threat of punishment - banks must now spy on you for the government. And why carrying too much cash around just might get you branded as a criminal!

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5.3.17 - Will The Fed Change Course?

Gold last traded at $1,247 an ounce. Silver at $16.54 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices drifted to 4-week lows Wednesday on profit-taking ahead of today's Fed statement. U.S. stocks fell on disappointing Apple earnings amid growing geopolitical uncertainty.

Is the Fed Ready to Change Course? -El-Erian/Bloomberg
"The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee is meeting this week in the context of a weaker data patch in which 'hard' measures of economic activity continue to lag better sentiment indicators....Last week’s disappointing reading of 0.7 percent gross domestic product growth for the first quarter, the lowest in three years, added to other data releases (such as retail sales, inflation and autos) suggesting that the U.S. economy - and consumption in particular - is going through a softer economic patch....The Trump administration has reiterated its intention to pursue a large tax cut that, if approved by Congress (a big if), would most likely lead to a considerably wider budget deficit....Rather than soften its policy guidance, the central bank is likely to maintain its baseline projection of two additional rate hikes this year (for a total of three) and advance discussions on the normalization of its balance sheets....This is not an easy position for the Fed to be in. If officials decide to maintain their policy guidance unchanged, they would risk tightening into an economic slowdown. But if they back away, they would risk reinforcing a market behavior that has already decoupled prices from fundamentals and distorted asset allocation in markets and the economy."

spending How Did We Get to $20 Trillion Budget Deficit? -Medium
"In survey after survey, most Americans tell pollsters they want politicians to address the national debt....Almost all politicians pledge to spend responsibly while on the stump, but once they’re in office, voters are at the mercy of a system so complex and crisis-driven it becomes all but impossible to know who’s keeping their word....Fortunately, the rise of open data has made figuring out politicians’ track records just a little bit easier. SpendingTracker.org compiles spending estimates from the Congressional Budget Office and cross-references them with every vote cast in order to track public spending and assign responsibility. Here are a few things we learned from the most recent Congress: Republicans and Democrats are Shockingly Similar....The Longer You’re in Office, the More You Vote to Spend....The Budget Process is Fundamentally Broken....We Have to Take Big Entitlement Programs off Autopilot....So What’s Next? This database tool represents the first time anyone has linked voting records to total new spending, and the results are uncomfortably illuminating for people who want fiscal sanity."

Puerto Rico To Seek Bankruptcy Protection In Largest Ever US Municipal Debt Restructuring -Zero Hedge
"Moments ago Puerto Rico's governor announced the commonwealth will request bankruptcy protection of a portion of the island's $70 billion in debt, setting up a showdown with Wall Street firms owed billions of dollars, in what will be the largest-ever U.S. municipal debt restructuring and further complicating the U.S. territory’s efforts to pull itself out of a financial crisis....According to the WSJ, 'the governor said he would petition Puerto Rico's federal oversight board to invoke a quasi-bankruptcy law that puts its standoff with creditors before a judge.'....As a reminder, Puerto Rico and its agencies owe $73 billion to creditors, dwarfing the roughly $18 billion owed by the city of Detroit when it entered what was previously the largest municipal bankruptcy in 2013."

Michael Savage: 8 years later: No. 1 author, radio host still banned in Britain -WND
"Friday will mark the eighth year of Britain’s ban of a prominent American talk-radio host and bestselling author from entry because opinions he expressed on the air purportedly made him a threat to national security. On May 5, 2009, Michael Savage, host of the nationally syndicated 'The Savage Nation' and a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame, was blacklisted by Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s government, which lumped him together with Muslim jihadists and leaders of racist groups for 'seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred,' as WND reported. The British government, however, has never specified what Savage has said that might threaten the nation’s security. Now, with Donald Trump in the White House, a new petition is urging the president and the U.S. State Department to demand that Britain remove Savage from the list. SIGN THE PETITION HERE URGING PRESIDENT TRUMP AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT TO DEMAND BRITAIN LIFT ITS BAN ON MICHAEL SAVAGE."

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5.2.17 - An Immigrant Talent Invitation

Gold last traded at $1,257 an ounce. Silver at $16.83 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices traded steady Tuesday ahead of the next Fed statement. U.S. stocks inched higher on upbeat corporate earning expectations ahead of Fedspeak and April jobs data on Friday.

Bullish on Bullion: Reasons to Buy Physical Gold Now -Investing Daily
"It’s time to give the 'gold bugs' their due....The major motivation for owning gold is protection from risk, but a gold ETF or mining stock is part of the financial system you’re trying to hedge against. While I don’t consider myself a gold bug, today’s worsening dangers make it worth considering the purchase of physical bullion. Why physical gold? Here are three key reasons: 1) The yellow metal maintains its intrinsic value despite a government’s ability to back its currency....2) Gold is universally accepted around the world, without the need to convert it into the local currency....3) If there’s ever an economic crisis and banks freeze individual accounts, a physical gold investment can always be accessed."

secret war An Update on the Escalating "War on Cash" -ElliotWave
"Surplus cash might come in handy sooner than you think - ask the Japanese. Cash is the one asset that is almost sure to rise in value during a deflationary period. Yet, the "war on cash" has been escalating. Here's why you should start storing away plenty of cash. In a 'buy / sell' transaction, place a 'Benjamin' in someone's palm, and that person knows he or she has $100, no ifs, ands or buts about it. Cash doesn't 'bounce' or have fees like credit cards. Put simply, people like cash. But did you know that there's been a 'war on cash'? ....Many cities have become literally cashless. In London, for instance, buses as well as many shops and cafes refuse to handle paper currency and coins....Even before the 'war on cash' escalated to its current level, we suggested that safety-minded investors store away significant sums of cash. Why? It's the one asset that is almost sure to rise in value during a deflationary depression. The idea of such an event might seem far-fetched with stocks indices near all-time highs. But, remember, Japan was riding high financially in the 1980s just before the start of a deflationary period in the early '90s that Japan is still grappling with today....Cash has appreciated 300 percent in eleven years in terms of how many shares of Japanese stocks it can buy....In our view, now is the time to start preparing for the next inevitable downturn, when your cash can buy shares at much cheaper prices."

Cash and gold both represent financial freedom because they are instantly liquid. In Swiss America's updated 2017 free White Paper, The Secret War, discover why - under threat of punishment - banks must now spy on you for the government. And why carrying too much cash around just might get you branded as a criminal!

Trump Quietly Urges Huge Human Transformation That Could Devastate the Left -PontificationBlog
"The new Trump tax plan offers a potentially-hefty tax break to those who turn themselves into corporations. Trump’s plan would lower the highest individual marginal tax rate to 35 percent - but would drop the corporate tax rate to 15 percent....Even more infuriating to liberals than corporate tax avoidance has been the Supreme Court’s 2010 'Citizens United v. FEC' ruling that found corporations to have freedom of speech, and that held that government could not restrict or prohibit a corporation such as Citizens United from making independent political expenditures. Craig R. Smith and I discuss the implications of this in our latest book, Money, Morality, & the Machine....Progressives have for decades tried to take free speech rights away from capitalists and others who challenge the Leftist dogma - and in places like university campuses and the mainstream media, their intimidation has created a near-monopoly of Leftist speakers. Critics such as Ann Coulter are silenced....And imagine Leftist fury at President Trump giving Americans a powerful incentive to incorporate - and thereafter to favor government policies that will be friendly to business corporations and free enterprise. As New York Times columnist Neil Irwin put it: 'For every child who grows up dreaming of having a limited liability company [a type of corporation] of his or her own, President Trump’s tax plan promises a dazzling future.'"

America is pushing away immigrant talent -USAToday
"We're rebranding ourselves as unwelcoming, so people are taking their big dreams elsewhere. Something powerful jolted the U.S. economy in 1959. Fidel Castro’s rise to power in Cuba started pushing hard-working, entrepreneurial people off the island. The talent flow continues to pay dividends for the United States nearly 60 years later. Cuban refugees include former McDonald’s president Ralph Alvarez, former secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez and the late actor Desi Arnaz. Children of Cuban immigrants include Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Washington Capitals and Wizards co-owner Raul Fernandez, and recent presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz....'Push' and 'pull' factors are critical in entrepreneurship, based on new research I conducted with co-authors from the University of Illinois. We look specifically at what motivates aspiring entrepreneurs to quit their corporate jobs and strike out on their own, but similar dynamics drive the movement of people across borders....Vetting to keep potential criminals out is necessary, but countries that discourage immigration in the spirit of economic protectionism will suffer a double whammy - similar to the organizations we study. Not only will they will lose talent from within, they also will enable their competition from the outside. Recent rhetoric invites Americans to push away, but the door to economic growth opens in the other direction. As someone who celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit in my country of choice, I implore: Keep pulling, America."

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5.1.17 - Are Americans Undertaxed?

Gold last traded at $1,255 an ounce. Silver at $16.84 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices traded lower Monday on profit taking and a flat dollar. U.S. stocks were boosted by a temporary budget deal and tech earnings lifted the NASDAQ index to a fresh all time high.

Lawmakers settle on $1T plan to avoid US gov’t shutdown -AP/WTOP
"Lawmakers on Monday unveiled a huge $1 trillion-plus spending bill that would fund most government operations through September but would deny President Donald Trump money for a border wall and rejects his proposed cuts to popular domestic programs. The 1,665-page bill agreed to on Sunday is the product of weeks of negotiations. It was made public in the predawn hours Monday and is tentatively scheduled for a House vote on Wednesday. The catchall spending bill would be the first major piece of bipartisan legislation to advance during Trump’s short tenure in the White House....'It will avert a government shutdown but more important than that, it’s going to be a significant increase in military spending,' Pence said in an interview with 'CBS This Morning.'....Trump's request for additional immigration agents was denied and the IRS budget would be frozen at $11.6 billion instead of absorbing cuts sought by Republicans."

taxes America Is Undertaxed, and Taxes Will Go Up -Samuelson/RealClearMarkets
"America is an undertaxed society. Our wants and needs from government - the two blur - exceed our willingness to be taxed. This has been true for decades, but it’s especially relevant now because the number of older Americans, who are the largest beneficiaries of federal spending, is rising rapidly. Unless we’re prepared to make sizable spending cuts (and there’s no evidence we are), we need higher taxes. To the extent that President Trump’s proposed 'tax reform' obscures or worsens this inconvenient reality, it is a dangerous distraction....The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget puts the likely 10-year cost at $5.5 trillion with a range from $3 trillion to $7 trillion. Why is this bad? Three standard reasons are routinely given for avoiding large and escalating deficits. First, the government’s extra borrowing might raise interest rates, crowding out productive private investment....Second, some national emergency (war, pandemic, a natural disaster) might compel large borrowings that would be difficult....And third, too many dollars in the world - as cash, stocks, bonds and other securities - would lead to a crisis of confidence."

Gold steadies on dollar drop, weak U.S. data -Reuters
"Gold prices were little changed on Monday, buoyed by weaker-than-expected U.S. construction spending and manufacturing data that pushed the dollar index lower but pressured by an agreement that averted a government shutdown....Many financial markets in Asia and Europe were closed on Monday for the May Day holiday. Tokyo markets will be closed for three days from Wednesday for a string of holidays known as Golden Week, and many investors take additional time off....The Federal Reserve will meet for a two-day meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, with a statement scheduled for release at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT) Wednesday....'We see gold maintaining a relatively higher trading range in May as tensions with North Korea will command more attention now that the bearish impact of the French election is out of the way,' said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir."

Economic Reality: Bottom 50% Of Americans No Longer Matter -Zero Hedge
"The Fed likes to brag about the 'We saved the world' recovery. However, the unfortunate truth of the matter is a record Half of American Families Live Paycheck to Paycheck....Nearly 1 in 5 (19%) Americans have nothing set aside to cover an unexpected emergency. Nearly 1 in 3 (31%) Americans don’t have at least $500 set aside to cover an unexpected emergency expense, according to a survey released Tuesday by HomeServe USA, a home repair service....As long as the Fed can keep stocks and home prices elevated, there is no concern about the food-stamp, rent-subsidized, Medicaid-supplement, disability-income, Obamacare-subsidized 50% of Americans struggling paycheck-to-paycheck....Previously, the bottom third did not matter. Then the bottom 40% did not matter. Now the bottom 50% do not matter....As soon as the bottom 65% don’t matter, those 65% may vote to take matters into their own hands."

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