Swiss America Blog Archive

Swiss America Blog Archive


4.5.24 - Veteran strategist: gold is headed to $3,000

Gold last traded at $2,322 an ounce. Silver at $27.39 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: At the end of 2023, we started to see a few predictions of gold reaching $3000 in the near-term. In recent weeks, more and more mainstream market experts have made the same call. Those who heeded those early forecasts are sitting pretty right now having already realized an 11% gain. If you haven't taken action, do so now, before the next price increase.

Veteran strategist says grab your hammer and pick — gold is headed to $3,000 -MarketWatch

by Barbara Kollmeyer

gold investing Gold has been 2024’s dark horse asset, logging record after record since early March and a roughly 11% gain for investors in 2024.

The run for the commodity GC00 has caused some head-scratching. As a rule of thumb, falling interest rates make gold more attractive to hold as it’s a nonyielding asset, and hopes for easing this year are high.

Some, like Commerzbank, caution that increasing uncertainty over Fed cuts will be a headwind for the metal. “We doubt that the Fed will embark on a pronounced easing cycle and therefore see limited further upside potential for gold in the medium term,” Commerzbank analyst Thu Lan Nguyen told clients on Wednesday.

But move over doubters, because our call of the day from the founder and president of Rosenberg Research, David Rosenberg, sees gold headed to $3,000 or even higher, and not just driven by the Fed.

“With an easing cycle on the horizon, global growth weak and looking weaker, and inflation on its last leg of decline, we’re of the view that the tailwinds blowing gold to new highs are about to get a lot stronger,” said Rosenberg, in a note to clients.

He points to increased demand by global central banks fretting about China’s yuan and an overreliance on the dollar, and strong appetite by retail gold markets, such as a booming India. READ MORE

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4.4.24 - A Must-See Silver Price Chart

Gold last traded at $2,291 an ounce. Silver at $26.93 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The excitement surrounding silver continues to grow. The first bullish target is $34.70 and the next is $50.00, both expected to happen within the year. With the current global demand, these seem like very reasonable targets. What do you think about these charts and their analyses?

A Stunning And Must-See Silver Price Chart - Investing Haven

silver demand The monthly silver price chart is simply stunning. It is THE most powerful chart, in financial markets, not just for April of 2024 but for the entire year.

“When oh when is your bullish silver prediction going to materialize,” is what many have been asking us. “Wait and see, relax, be patient,” was our default answer.

April 2024 seems to become a BIG month for silver.

If anything, silver’s price chart in April of 2024 is absolutely stunning.

While we do realize that the month has just begun, we also have sufficient evidence that this cycle is very bullish for precious metals. Our gold forecast 2024 is already achieved, it might be crushed during this quarter.

Below is the monthly silver price chart over 20 years. While the 50 year silver chart is impressive, we need a shorter timeframe to understand the medium term impact of dominant patterns.

The 20-year silver price chart could not have been any clearer than this – a clear and powerful silver breakout is ongoing. The upside target remains $34.70 which might be hit in May of 2024 already. READ MORE AND VIEW CHART

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4.3.24 - Gold Investing Madness Just Getting Started

Gold last traded at $2,300 an ounce. Silver at $27.20 an ounce.

US banking crisis of 2023 could easily happen again -Money Control

Could this year bring more bank failures as regulators fail to see all of the vulnerabilities modern banking brings? The reforms actually needed in the banking industry will take time and effort - two qualities in short supply in an election year.

by Bill Dudley

Ever since the demise of Silicon Valley Bank in March 2023, regulators have been focused primarily on increasing loss-absorbing capital at the largest US financial institutions. Much less attention has been paid to the problem that precipitated last spring’s banking crisis: banks’ vulnerability to sudden depositor withdrawals.

The SVB debacle exposed three weaknesses. First, depositors pulled their money much faster than assumed by requirements such as the liquidity coverage ratio, intended to ensure that banks have enough cash and easy-to-sell assets to survive 30 days of withdrawals. Second, the Federal Reserve couldn’t provide sufficient emergency discount-window loans, because banks hadn’t pledged enough collateral to the Fed. Third, uninsured depositors had ample reason to run, because they couldn’t be sure the government would make them whole: Such bailouts can happen only after a bank fails and regulators judge that the situation is bad enough to invoke the “systemic risk exception.”

What to do? Certainly, regulators need to recognise that depositor runs will be much faster, and outflow rates much higher, in an era of social media and 24-hour banking. Yet requiring banks to hold a lot more high-quality assets in response would be counterproductive. Tougher liquidity requirements would force banks to divert funds away from lending. READ MORE


The Gold Investing Madness Is Just Getting Started -Forbes

Our main takeaway in this piece from Bob Haber, "I currently recommend seizing every opportunity to accumulate gold on dips and to allocate a suitable portion of one's portfolio to it."

by Bob Haber

gold chart It's that time of year again—the end of March Madness, a period when sports fans are fully immersed in the exhilarating action of the NCAA men’s and women’s playoff basketball games spanning several weeks. What unites sports enthusiasts during this period is the quest for an elusive perfect bracket. With more than tens of millions of Americans submitting brackets each year, anyone who has participated knows the exhilarating feeling of believing they've made perfect picks before the tournament begins. But as it usually goes, you get some predictions right, some wrong, all while glued to the screen, eagerly hoping every bounce of the ball favors your choices.

It’s funny. The March Madness approach doesn’t sound too different from how many investors approach the stock market.

But the analogy between the tournament and investing breaks down when it comes to asset allocation. Holding uncorrelated assets in a portfolio isn't a matter of luck; it's based on Nobel Prize-worthy mathematics. Recognizing when a major asset class is transitioning from a good diversifier to a potentially lucrative investment opportunity isn't about luck either. As I've highlighted in my previous pieces ( Gold Can’t Be Downgraded and It’s No One’s Liability (forbes.com) and When The Gold Dust Settled (forbes.com)), such is the case for Gold at present. What is fortunate, however, is the apparent lack of attention to this, which could also be construed as a bullish sign.

In March, Gold broke out of a nearly four-year range to reach new all-time highs above $2,200 per ounce. When Gold breaks out, many assume that geopolitical crises are driving the surge. However, there haven't been any recent significant shocks from conflicts in the Middle East or Europe, which are typically catalysts for such rapid increases in the price of the yellow metal. READ MORE


Inflation-Risk Latecomers Pile Into Silver -ZeroHedge

Silver is long overdue for a run up. With gold already off and running, many are looking at silver as a more affordable inflation hedge.

Authored by Simon White, Bloomberg macro strategist

As gold makes new highs, speculators’ net longs in silver are jumping higher.

Inflation and global growth risks - as well as demand from China - are helping to drive gold to new all-time highs. For those late to the trade, silver is serving as the next best thing.

Silver remains well off the highs it reached in 1980 (the Hunt brothers’ infamous corner) and in 2011, and it is very cheap in comparison to gold.

That probably explains the surge higher in speculator net longs in silver, according to the Commitment of Traders data.

Silver positioning, from being nearly flat a month ago, is now near five-year highs, and longer on a percentile basis than any other major bond, equity or commodity future.

Silver is notoriously volatile, and if speculators are correct in their view, the gains could be rapid and large.

It’s up today over 9% in the last few days, topping its recent high of ~$26. VIEW CHARTS

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4.2.24 - 'Severe, irreversible scars' for America?

Gold last traded at $2,279 an ounce. Silver at $26.12 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: We continue to see the great financial minds of our day share their grave concerns over the snowballing debt, but it seems Washington is still choosing to turn a deaf ear and instead paint a rosy picture of our economic outlook; as we get ever closer to a pivotal election. Do our currently elected officials ever intend to pay back this debt? Or will they continue to inflate their way out until it's no longer their problem?

America will be left with ‘severe, irreversible scars’ if national debt goes unchecked. Now, a blockbuster report warns the bill is higher than believed, hitting $141T by 2054 -Yahoo! Finance

by Eleanor Pringle

debt National debt is fast becoming the thorn in the side of the American economy that nobody wants to extract—and it will continue to cause damage, sending the U.S. into financial crisis and 10 years of stagnation.

That is increasingly the opinion of a growing number of experts who are sounding the alarm over the pace at which the U.S. government is gathering debt. More important, they fear this debt will mean the country will not be able to afford necessary borrowing in the future, in addition to the funds needed to service existing debt.

Among the ranks of those in the concerned camp are Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, and Wharton vice dean Joao Gomes.

Their outlook is evidenced by a March report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The CBO estimates that by 2054 public debt will represent 166% of GDP, reaching $141.1 trillion.

Currently the nation’s $34 trillion debt is approximately 99% of GDP and, according to the CBO, will steadily increase over the next 30 years. In the near term, the CBO expects debt as a percentage of GDP to exceed the record peak of the Second World War by 2029.

This mounting debt, the CBO writes, “would slow economic growth, push up interest payments to foreign holders of U.S. debt, and pose significant risks to the fiscal and economic outlook; it could also cause lawmakers to feel more constrained in their policy choices.” READ MORE

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4.1.24 - Silver's turn to shine

Gold last traded at $2,254 an ounce. Silver at $25.15 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Precious metals continue to capture headlines as the uncertainties surrounding our economy continue to mount. Silver is now gaining more attention as many believe silver may perform just as well as gold in the coming months. Both metals are proving to be more than just a good place to diversify, they are becoming a necessity given our markets.

It may be silver's turn to shine after the gold rush to record high prices -MarketWatch

By Myra P. Saefong

gold chart $35 to $50 silver prices may become a 'real possibility' this year: analyst

Gold has generally outpaced performance in silver over the last few years, but the tide may soon turn in favor of silver.

Forecasts pointing to a fourth straight yearly deficit in global supplies and a rise in demand to its second-highest level on record raise the potential for silver prices to rally, and even roughly double before the end of 2024.

"Naturally, there will be growing interest in silver the higher the gold price goes," said Peter Spina, founder and president of investor websites GoldSeek.com and SilverSeek.com.

'Naturally, there will be growing interest in silver the higher the gold price goes.'Peter Spina, GoldSeek.com

Gold futures (GC00) (GCM24) settled at $2,238.40 an ounce on Comex Thursday, the highest finish on record. Silver futures, meanwhile, rose to a 2024 high of $25.975 on March 21- nowhere near its record intraday high of $50.36 from Jan. 18, 1980, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

"Gold prices are already breaking out to record highs," said Spina. Silver, meanwhile, "traditionally lags and has been doing so for some time."

But the "window is closing," he said. "The opportunity to buy 'poor man's gold' is ending and from a technical perspective, we are likely to see a huge price acceleration" in silver (SI00) (SIK24) in the coming quarters. READ MORE

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3.28.24 - ‘Snowballing Debt’ Hitting US Economy

Gold last traded at $2,232 an ounce. Silver at $24.95 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: More and more financial minds are warning of America’s impending debt doom, but will anyone listen? In an election year, chances are low. Since our leaders don’t seem to be willing - or able - to make the tough decisions needed to get the problem under control, what can you do to protect yourself? Now is the time to get your portfolio balanced with the assets that can ride out the coming storm.

Larry Fink Warns of ‘Snowballing Debt’ Hitting US Economy -Yahoo! Finance

debt (Bloomberg) -- BlackRock Inc. Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink said the US public debt situation “is more urgent than I can ever remember” and that the country needs to adopt policies to spur economic growth.

The nation can’t rely on taxes and spending cuts to get the problem under control, Fink wrote in his annual letter Tuesday. He raised the prospect of a “bad scenario” akin to Japan’s economy in the late 1990s and early 2000s, which led to a period of austerity and stagnation.

“A high-debt America would also be one where it’s much harder to fight inflation since monetary policymakers could not raise rates without dramatically adding to an already unsustainable debt-servicing bill,” said Fink, 71.

The cost of servicing the debt has already ballooned, and the 3 percentage points in extra interest payments the US government now must pay on 10-year Treasuries compared with three years ago is “very dangerous,” he wrote.

“More leaders should pay attention to America’s snowballing debt,” Fink wrote, saying the US can’t take for granted that investors will continue to want to buy as much US debt. Foreign countries are building their own capital markets and are likely to invest domestically, he said. READ MORE

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3.27.24 - Gold $2,600

Gold last traded at $2,192 an ounce. Silver at $24.58 an ounce.

Swift sets industry up for seamless introduction of CBDCs for cross-border transactions as interlinking solution finds more use cases -swift.com

The brave, new world of banking and finance appears to have arrived. Swift has created and tested a platform that will allow governments and institutions alike to conduct commerce with one another in a central bank digital currency (CBDC). This happens at a cost to our personal liberties as well as our financial privacy.

Swift today announced the findings of the second phase of industry-wide sandbox testing on its central bank digital currency (CBDC) interlinking solution, with the results showing that its connector can enable financial institutions to carry out a wide range of financial transactions using CBDCs and other forms of digital tokens, easily incorporating them into their business practices.

In one of the largest known collaborations on CBDCs, 38 institutions - including central and commercial banks as well as market infrastructures - took part in experiments which found that Swift’s solution has the potential to simplify and speed up trade flows, unlock growth in tokenised securities markets, and enable efficient FX settlement – all while allowing financial institutions to continue to make use of their existing infrastructure.

Interoperability is critical to Swift’s strategy for instant and frictionless transactions. The cooperative has focused its innovation agenda on interoperability between digital currencies and tokenised assets to overcome the potential risk of fragmentation, caused by the development of digital currencies on different technologies and with different standards and protocols. Swift’s solution has already been shown to enable cross-border transfers and connect CBDCs on different networks with each other, as well as with fiat currencies. READ MORE


Gold $2,600 - Daily Reckoning

Gold continues to make its climb this year, garnering more and more interest by the day. This most recent forecast is calling for $2,600 gold, but at what cost? A major area of concern is the US, our government and the ocean of unmanageable debt we appear to be drowning in.

by Greg Guenthner

chart The Senate quietly passed a $1.2 trillion funding package on Saturday morning to avert a partial government shutdown.

Just days earlier, Jerome Powell and the Fed soothed jittery investors, declaring that the Fed still intends to cut rates before the end of the year.

Meanwhile, you might have noticed gold and Bitcoin consolidating near their respective all-time highs.

Coincidence?

Probably not.

While you might consider the sharp moves higher in both assets to be no-brainers considering recent events, gold’s resilience in the face of numerous rally-busting pressures is where I want to focus our attention. Crypto and its mind bending rallies might have hogged a majority of the attention recently. But there’s something special brewing in precious metals right now, even though most investors aren’t paying close attention to the sector.

Today, I want you to briefly forget about the stocks-only-go-up rally, the artificial intelligence boom, and the roaring crypto market.

Sure, these are all important market themes. But I want to take a break from the endless noise to dig into what’s happening with gold and other metals right now – and how you should position your portfolio to profit from the next major leg higher. READ MORE


Almost 10,000 U.S. Banks Have Disappeared Since 1985, Leaving 4 Mega Banks Controlling 39 Percent of Bank Assets -Wall Street on Parade

Banking problems - along with bank closures - have become an all too familiar story these days. There have been nearly 10,000 closures since 1985. The real story is that this means there are now just four mega banks controlling over 39% of all assets. That's a very high concentration of banking power in the hands of just a few.

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

According to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) data, there were 14,417 federally-insured banking institutions in the U.S. in 1985. As of December 31, 2023, the FDIC reports there are only 4,587 remaining. The vast majority of the 9,830 banks that have disappeared since 1985 did not fail – they were merged with other banks.

Today, just four banks control $9.3 trillion in consolidated bank assets or 39 percent of all bank assets. Those four banks are JPMorgan Chase with $3.395 trillion in consolidated assets; Bank of America with $2.540 trillion; Wells Fargo with $1.7 trillion; and Citigroup’s Citibank with $1.685 trillion. (All asset figures are as of December 31, 2023 and come from the Federal Reserve’s statistical release of the largest banks.)

The political clout of these mega banks is such that one of them, JPMorgan Chase, has been allowed to commit a string of felonies and audacious crimes since 2011; get deferred-prosecution agreements and non-prosecution agreements from the Justice Department; assist the notorious sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein for a decade with the hard cash needed to keep himself and his pals supplied with underage girls; and still keep the same Chairman and CEO, Jamie Dimon, at the helm of the bank. READ MORE

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3.26.24 - Why gold will glitter in 2024

Gold last traded at $2,175 an ounce. Silver at $24.42 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you're still on the fence about gold, here are three more reasons to get on board. It's no longer just gold bulls talking about rising prices, research agencies are calling for a breakout year. If you haven't already diversified your investment portfolio or retirement savings into metals, you should do it now in order to take advantage of the explosive gains they're talking about.

Three factors why gold will glitter in 2024 -The Hindu Business Line

by Subramani Ra Mancombu

gold coins Three factors — the US Fed’s likely move to cut interest rates, a weaker dollar and geopolitical tension — will likely keep gold prices elevated in 2024 with research agencies raising their price forecast for the precious metal.

JP Morgan has picked gold as the top pick among commodities this year and has forecast its prices touching $2,500 an ounce. US research agency BMI, a unit of Fitch Solutions, sees gold hovering in the range of $1,950-2,250 in the coming month. It has raised the average price of the yellow metal to $2,100 this year from $1,950 it forecast earlier.

“Gold is set to rise even further in the coming months of 2024, especially when the Fed actually starts to cut,” said Sabrin Chowdhury, Head of Commodities, BMI.

“For the second consecutive year, the only structural bullish call we hold is for gold and silver,” said JP Morgan in its outlook for the precious metal.

“...we are bullish towards gold prices in the coming months, strong downside risks are stemming from still strong US economic data, which could result in fewer rate cuts by the US Fed than we currently expect,” said BMI in its commentary. READ MORE

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3.25.24 - BRICS ‘Ready To Work’ To Ditch US Dollar

Gold last traded at $2,172 an ounce. Silver at $24.66 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: What started off as a bad dream is possibly turning into an absolute nightmare, as it relates to the US dollar. Not only has the list of participants been growing, but there is an active and public effort to ditch the dollar.

BRICS ‘Ready To Work’ With All Countries To Ditch US Dollar -Watcher Guru

by Vinod Dsouza

BRICS BRICS member Russia is pushing the de-dollarization initiative in Africa urging nations to trade in local currencies and not the US dollar. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin vigorously called for African countries to start using local currencies for trade, including the Russian Ruble.

Putin explained that Russia is “ready to work” with African countries to help them shift away from the US dollar. He added that BRICS can help Africa build its financial infrastructure by connecting its global banking system to local currencies. The Russian President stressed that cross-border transactions without the US dollar are beneficial to Africa.

The BRICS alliance is convincing developing countries around the world to stop relying on the US dollar for trade. A handful of countries believe that BRICS has the power to usher the world into a new financial era. Read here to know how many sectors in the US will be affected if BRICS ditches the dollar trade. READ MORE

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3.22.24 - Gold Always Delivers

Gold last traded at $2,165 an ounce. Silver at $24.68 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Gold is in the news once again due to ongoing global turmoil and the increasing shakiness of US markets; but here is something that those partial to the yellow metal have always known, gold can weather any storm. It's beloved by individual investors all the way up to sovereign nations because of its stability, scarcity and reliability. There is a reason central banks continue to gobble up as much gold as they can get their hands on.

Gold Delivered 25% Profits Year-On-Year For 25 Years - Watcher Guru

by Vinod Dsouza

source: Watcher Guru
Gold has been a store of value for thousands of years and its glitter barely dimmed over the last few centuries. The precious metal is the most accumulated asset across the world as its price keeps inching forward every year. The commodity is also a safe haven for investors as gold acts as a hedge against inflation under economic turmoil delivering profits. This puts the commodity on a pedestal and is among the most sought-after investments in the markets.

Now let’s walk back 25 years and look at how gold prices fared over the last two and a half decades. It is been relentlessly pumping profits to investors who took an entry position for the long term. In this article, we will highlight how much profits gold delivered to investors from 1999 to 2024.

The average price of gold was $278 per ounce in 1999 after it recovered from its all-time low of $252 the same year. The price of gold breached the $2,200 mark this week and is attracting heavy bullish sentiments in the charts. Gold touched $2,208 this week after the US dollar dipped post the Feds FOMC meeting on Wednesday. The profits in gold now range from $278 to $2,208.

If you invested $10,000 in gold in 1999 at its $278 average price, you could get to accumulate 36 ounces. Fast-forward to 2024, gold prices are hovering around the $2,200 mark this week. Even when gold touched a high of $2,208, the $10,000 investment could have turned into $79,400 in profits. READ MORE

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3.21.24 - Gold's rally far from over

Gold last traded at $2,181 an ounce. Silver at $24.75 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: With central banks continuing their gold buying frenzy and the expectation that rates will be cut multiple times this year, gold will continue to be the top choice for those seeking safe haven, top-performing assets in 2024.

Gold prices have been hitting record highs — here’s why the rally is far from over -CNBC

by Lee Ying Shan

gold chart The rally in gold continues with prices hitting an all-time high on Thursday — and there’s room for it to rise more as central banks continue to purchase bullion in record amounts.

Prices could rise to $2,300 per ounce in the second half of 2024, especially against the backdrop of expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve could cut rates in the second half of 2024, Aakash Doshi, Citi’s North America head of commodities research, told CNBC. Gold is currently trading at $2,203.

Gold prices tend to share an inverse relationship with interest rates. As interest rates dip, gold becomes more appealing compared to fixed-income assets such as bonds, which would yield weaker returns in a low-interest-rate environment.

Macquarie has also forecast gold prices to notch new highs in the second half of the year. While acknowledging that physical purchases of gold have given prices a lift, Macquarie’s strategists attributed the recent $100 spike in prices to “significant futures buying” in their note dated March 7.

“Central banks, who have bought historic levels of gold over the past two years, continue to be strong buyers in 2024 as well,” World Gold Council Global Head of Central Banks Shaokai Fan said.

These purchases have strengthened gold prices despite high interest rates and a strong dollar, market watchers told CNBC. READ MORE

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3.20.24 - ‘Worrying’ Metric Shows Massive Inflation Spike

Gold last traded at $2,208 an ounce. Silver at $25.66 an ounce.

The Great Cashout—Jeff Bezos, Leon Black, Jamie Dimon, and the Walton family have now sold a combined $11 billion in company stock this month— some for the first time ever - Fortune

More and more billionaires are selling their own company stock. Does this point to a growing lack of confidence the financial elite have in our markets? Could this be a sign of what they expect to come or is there something else taking place behind the scenes?

by Amanda Gerut

High-profile CEOs, founders, and heirs are selling stock by the bucketload in the companies that made them billionaires. For nearly the entire bunch, shares prices are trading near all-time-highs.

Jeff Bezos sold Amazon shares worth $8.5 billion in multiple transactions this month. Meanwhile, Jamie Dimon, CEO and chairman of JPMorgan Chase, sold $150 million in stock last week, his first cashing out since taking the top job at the bank 18 years ago. Around the same time, Leon Black, co-founder and former CEO of Apollo Global Management, shed $172.8 million in stock—also a first-ever stock sale.

In dozens of trades since the beginning of February, Mark Zuckerberg unloaded about 1.4 million shares of Meta stock worth roughly $638 million, according to an analysis from insider stock sales data firm Verity. This latest batch of sales came after previously culling 588,200 shares in November, 688,400 in December, and 447,200 in January. He sold nearly $600 million in the three months leading up to February and his proceeds from combined sales during the past four months have reached $1.2 billion.

Similarly, the trust for the Walton family, heirs to Walmart’s founder, sold $1.5 billion in Walmart stock this month. The family owns about 45% of Walmart’s shares, according to Bloomberg. READ MORE


‘Worrying’ Metric Shows Massive Inflation Spike Hammered US, Far Higher Than Reported: Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers -Daily Hodl

We are all living in the reality of today's inflation; not the contrived numbers we've been given over the last several months. The title of this article refers to it as "worrying", but I think a more appropriate term might be 'devastating'.

by Alex Richardson

chart Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers says an old school method of tracking inflation may reveal the real amount of economic pain that Americans have had to endure.

Summers has co-authored and released a new paper exploring the effect of high interest rates on the American consumer.

The paper, in part, aims to paint an alternate and more accurate view of inflation by incorporating economist Arthur Okun’s pre-1983 system of measuring inflation, which took into account personal interest rates and housing financing costs.

After 1983, those metrics were taken out of the consumer price index (CPI), which Summers and the authors of the paper argue may be giving an inaccurate portrayal of inflation in the US.

Using the pre-1983 method of measuring inflation, the report says that in November of 2022, CPI spiked by about 18% – contrary to the official 4.1% number determined by the government.

The new numbers paint a darker picture of the inflation that Americans are dealing with to this day, with the report stating the pre-1983 measure offers a “more worrying picture of inflation in the current moment than the official inflation numbers.” READ MORE


56% of Americans can’t afford a $1,000 emergency expense: We are ‘living in a paycheck-to-paycheck nation,’ money expert says -CNBC

Many American families are either on the verge of financial failure or one unexpected expense away from it. The question remains, is a solution to this crisis anywhere in sight?

by Annie Probert

A majority of Americans say they can’t afford a $1,000 emergency expense, a recent report from Bankrate finds.

Only 44% of Americans surveyed said they could use their savings to pay for an unexpected expense, instead opting to put it on a credit card or borrow cash from family or friends.

“The reality is that we are, unfortunately, essentially living in a paycheck-to-paycheck nation,” Bankrate senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick tells CNBC Make It. “We’re a consumer-based society where people are implored on a constant basis to spend their money, and the messaging is not nearly as strong with respect to saving your money.”

Unexpected economic events that occurred in quick succession over the past five years, from the fallout over the pandemic to high inflation, have shocked the personal finances of many Americans, says Hamrick.

“It’s quite remarkable in the current environment that even with low unemployment and a job market that has been both robust and resilient in recent years, that we still have this remarkably low percentage of Americans who could pay this emergency expense,” he adds. READ MORE

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3.19.24 - A New Buy Signal for Gold

Gold last traded at $2,158 an ounce. Silver at $24.92 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: 2024 has already presented many geopolitical and economic reasons for hedging your portfolio with gold; but for those of you who like to base your investment moves on the technical aspects of any given asset market, here is your sign.

A New Buy Signal for Gold - Barron's

by Andrew Addison

gold Gold’s rally isn’t over yet.

In the Oct. 17, 2023, issue of the Institutional View, I highlighted the metal’s powerful bullish reversal from its support level of $1811 an ounce. After gold hurdled $1940 without breaking below $1900, my work generated a Buy signal for the metal.

Then, in the Dec. 29 issue of the Institutional View, I downgraded bullion to a Neutral $2065, and I recommended that clients sell and take profits. Why? Because gold reached $2135 intraweek but was unable to close the week above $2100.

During the last week of February, gold’s technicals improved markedly when it posted a bullish reversal—a higher high than the prior day, a lower low than the prior day, and a close above the prior day’s high—off its 50-day moving average (see chart above). With its close above $2041 on Feb. 29 (it ended the day at $2046), gold hurdled the downtrend from $2135, generating a Buy signal at $2046, as reported in the Feb. 29 Institutional View.

The weekly chart above shows that gold broke out of a four-year rounding base to begin a new bull market. Closing above $2220, it would accelerate and climb quickly to $2400.

It’s the monthly chart above that’s the most exciting. Within a 12-year base, gold formed successively higher and shorter high-level consolidations at the top of the base. This illustrates that selling pressure continues to weaken as buyers begin to take control. Once gold has a monthly close above $2200, then my work would generate upside projections of $3600 to $4000. VIEW CHARTS

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3.18.24 - BRICS: new currency update

Gold last traded at $2,159 an ounce. Silver at $25.05 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you've been wondering what the BRICS nations have been up to lately, the answer is simple...they've been buying gold. They now represent the most active buyers of the precious metal as they look to distance themselves from the debt-laden dollar.

BRICS Provides Update On The New Currency - watcher.guru

by Vinod Dsouza

BRICS BRICS is looking at creating a new currency in the global markets to settle international trade among member countries. The alliance wants to end dependency on the US dollar and give prominence to the soon-to-be-released currency. The bloc of nine countries wants their native currencies to strengthen as keeping the US dollar in reserve poses a risk to their growth.

The uncontrolled $34.4 trillion debt is making developing countries worried as it could leave a negative impact on their economies. Central Banks are now accumulating gold instead of the US dollar to stay away from the USD currency’s debt. For the uninitiated, BRICS countries are the largest buyers of gold accumulating tonnes of the precious metal, reported World Gold Council.

Brazilian Sherpa Mauricio Lyrio gave an update about the happenings of the BRICS currency. The Sherpa confirmed that BRICS continues working on a common currency and the topic will be discussed at the next summit. Lyrio explained that the alliance is working towards the advancement of the common currency and payment system.

“We are working on that (new currency),” Lyrio said. He added, “The countries are discussing it under the Russian presidency, and it’s one of the topics discussed during this presidency”.

Moreover, if BRICS launches a new currency or common payment system, the US dollar will be the hardest hit. Developing countries will slowly end reliance on the US dollar and opt for the new payment system. READ MORE

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3.15.24 - JPMorgan’s Top Pick in Commodities

Gold last traded at $2,159 an ounce. Silver at $25.25 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: It would seem as though gold is becoming the safe and preferred investment choice of 2024. JPMorgan sees the price reaching $2,500 an ounce. The time to buy is right now!

Gold Is JPMorgan’s Top Pick in Commodities With Price Eyeing $2,500 -Bloomberg

by Yvonne Yue Li and Tope Alake

money Gold is the No. 1 pick in commodities markets for JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the price has the potential to reach $2,500 an ounce this year, according to the bank’s global head of commodities research.

“We believe that $2,500 is a possibility” after bullion reached an all-time high of $2,195.15 on Friday, Natasha Kaneva said during a Bloomberg TV interview. “Because the market tends to get overexcited.”

To achieve that price target, “we need a confirmation from continued moderation in the inflation and in the jobs numbers as well and the confirmations that the Fed indeed is cutting,” said Kaneva.

The Fed’s long-anticipated pivot to looser monetary policy is widely expected to boost gold’s appeal compared with yield-bearing assets like bonds. Policymakers have said they needed to see more evidence that inflation is headed toward its 2% target before lowering borrowing costs. READ MORE

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3.14.24 - The U.S. Banks With the Highest Exposure

Gold last traded at $2,162 an ounce. Silver at $24.81 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: There is approximately $5.7 trillion in outstanding commercial real estate debt, and some banks have a higher concentration of commercial loans on their balance sheet than others. This graphic breaks down the most at-risk banks if a commercial real state collapse comes to pass.

The U.S. Banks With the Highest Exposure to Commercial Real Estate -Visual Capitalist

By Niccolo Conte

Article/Editing: Dorothy Neufeld

Graphics/Design: Sam Parker

(click to expand)
Today, there is roughly $5.7 trillion in commercial real estate debt outstanding—with U.S. banks holding approximately half of this total on their balance sheets.

The commercial property sector, which includes office, retail, healthcare, and multi-family properties, has faced mounting pressures amid high interest rates and lower occupancy levels. Given these headwinds, it poses the risk of higher defaults and steep loan losses in a sector that has not fully recovered since the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank last year.

This graphic shows the U.S. banks with the highest exposure to the commercial real estate sector, based on analysis from UBS. VIEW GRAPHIC

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3.13.24 - BRICS advancing at rapid pace

Gold last traded at $2,175 an ounce. Silver at $25.04 an ounce.

US national debt tracker for March 12, 2024: See what American taxpayers (you) owe in real time -Fox Business

Although we live in the greatest country in the world, I find this headline unsettling. Working hard, staying out of debt, and paying taxes is our responsibility as citizens. When you see what we "owe" because of decision made for us by politicians and their misspending, it becomes infuriating.

by Megan Henney

The U.S. national debt is climbing at an astronomical pace and has shown no signs of slowing down despite the heightened scrutiny on government spending.

The national debt — which measures what the U.S. owes its creditors — increased to $34,497,203,823,900.22 as of Tuesday afternoon, according to the latest numbers published by the Treasury Department. That is up about $25 billion from the $34,471,482,665,578.20 figure reported the previous day.

By comparison, just four decades ago, the national debt hovered around $907 billion.

The outlook for the federal debt level is bleak, with economists increasingly sounding the alarm over the torrid pace of spending by Congress and the White House.

The latest findings from the Congressional Budget Office indicate that the national debt will grow to an astonishing $54 trillion in the next decade, the result of an aging population and fishing federal health care costs. Higher interest rates are also compounding the pain of higher debt. READ MORE


US, European Union React to BRICS Rapid Growth -watcher.guru

We have been warning about the impact of BRICS for some time now. The US has addressed the progression of BRICS where it can and the likely economic fallout their advancement represents. It would seem BRICS is moving along so quickly, there will be no catching up.

by Michael Grullon

BRICS The BRICS bloc is ready to continue its expansion in 2024. Successfully inducting multiple new nations in January, the bloc is expected to invite more countries to join sometime this year. With more countries showing interest in BRICS and its missions, the United States and the European Union are facing a new developing threat.

BRICS is advancing at a rapid pace in its de-dollarization efforts by cutting ties with the US dollar. The new members have begun settling trade in local currencies by ending dependency on the greenback. Furthermore, India, China, Russia, and the UAE have started using their respective local currencies, reducing their reliance on the US dollar.

Multiple political/economic voices in the United have shared their concerns about the future of BRICS and its impact on the United States. As BRICS continues to grow, some are sure that its growth will pose an immediate threat.

US Politician Marco Rubio shared a warning to the US recently about BRICS, saying that its growth might interfere with the ability to exert sanctions on other nations. “If current trends continue, it will become harder and harder for the United States to prevent international violence and oppression through sanctions,” Rubio wrote in a recent op-ed article/open letter. READ MORE


Leading Tech Company Is Now Cutting A Whopping 8,000 Jobs -Frank Nez

Big Blue is yet another company replacing jobs with AI, along with many other tech firms. Greater efficiency perhaps, but at what cost for American families?

A leading tech company is now cutting a whopping 8,000 jobs, part of a plan to increase its AI output, sources confirm.

IBM told employees on Tuesday in its marketing and communications division that it is slashing the size of its staff, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Jonathan Adashek, IBM’s chief communications officer, made the announcement in a roughly seven-minute meeting with staffers in the unit, said the person, who asked not to be named because the news hasn’t been made public, reports CNBC.

In December, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna told CNBC that the company was “massively upskilling all of our employees on AI,” after it announced a plan in August to replace nearly 8,000 jobs with AI.

IBM said on its earnings call in January of last year that it was cutting 3,900 positions.

“In 4Q earnings earlier this year, IBM disclosed a workforce rebalancing charge that would represent a very low single digit percentage of IBM’s global workforce, and we expect to exit 2024 at roughly the same level of employment as we entered with,” IBM told CNBC in a statement. READ MORE

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3.12.24 - $15,000 Gold?

Gold last traded at $2,158 an ounce. Silver at $24.14 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Is it really possible for gold to hit a price target of $15,000 an ounce? Mr. Rickards makes the case here (click the link below to read his theory). But even if it comes nowhere close, gold still has a ton of upside potential between its current price of $2158 (today's price) and $15k. The fundamentals are in place for a major breakout this year, especially given the many nations actively avoiding the dollar.

Gold’s Got the Midas Touch Back - Daily Reckoning

by James Rickards

gold money After two years of trading in a 20% range between $1,600 and $2,000 per ounce, gold finally broke out to the upside, closing at a new all-time high of $2,126 per ounce on March 4.

Better yet, if you’re a gold investor, gold has held its ground around $2,100 per ounce since breaking that ceiling (gold’s trading at around $2,187 today).

The price is volatile, but gold broke even higher on March 5 when it hit $2,140 on an intra-day basis. Before getting too euphoric, gold investors should recall that the $800 per ounce record set in January 1980 during borderline hyperinflation would be $3,200 per ounce in today’s dollars if adjusted for inflation.

That can be a splash of cold water in the face. On the other hand, it’s highly encouraging. If gold is in a new bull market, $3,200 per ounce looks more like a price target than an insurmountable hurdle.

But I continually remind gold investors, whether in bullion or mining shares, not to get too euphoric when gold rallies and not to get too depressed when the dollar price retreats. Gold is still the best form of money and proves valuable to investors over time.

The bigger questions are: What are the factors driving gold higher, and will they continue the trend? READ MORE

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3.11.24 - Central Banks Boost Gold Reserves

Gold last traded at $2,184 an ounce. Silver at $24.49 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This headline says it all. The rest of the world sees our economy for what it really is; despite what DC is feeding to the rest of us. Gold is on the move and given the current state of the domestic and global economy, it's likely heading far higher. Call us today to secure your position.

Central Banks Boost Gold Reserves to Diversify from the Dollar -Yahoo! Finance

Authored by Simon White, Bloomberg macro strategist

chart Powell might not be overly worried about inflation - with his recent comments reiterating the Federal Reserve is on track to cut rates this year - but other central banks are not so relaxed. Gold’s new high signals global central banks are likely accumulating the precious metal in an effort to diversify away from the dollar, as persistently large fiscal deficits threaten to further erode its real value and lead to more inflation.

Gold’s move in recent days has been broad as well as pronounced (as well as hinted at by low gold vol), with the precious metal making 50-year highs versus three-quarters of major DM and EM currencies. The biggest holdings of gold after jewellery are for private investment - ETFs, bars and coins - followed by central banks’ official reserve holdings.

In recent years the swing buyers have been ETFs, which hold about 2,500 tonnes of gold. But ETF holdings have been falling even as the dollar price of gold has been rising.

The dollar has been stable and real yields (which anyway have a non-linear relationship with gold) are higher over the last three months. The bulk of seasonal buying, for instance Diwali in India, is likely behind us. Further, silver has not participated in the rise. It’s therefore a reasonable supposition the official sector, i.e. central banks, has been a significant driver of gold’s recent ascent to new highs. READ MORE

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3.8.24 - The 5 Charts The FDIC Doesn't Want You to See

Gold last traded at $2,177 an ounce. Silver at $24.32 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Many of our clients have shared their concerns over the solvency of our banks as of late. With Chairman Powell admitting Thursday that he expects to see more banks fail due to their exposure to the commercial real estate sector, it seems those concerns are well founded. The banks have been playing fast and loose with the rules for a while now and it looks like that behavior is finally going to catch up with them. Will the taxpayers once again be footing the bill for their irresponsibility?

These Are The 5 Charts The FDIC Does Not Want You Paying Attention To -Zero Hedge

by Tyler Durden

bank chart Washington's "Problem Bank List" rose again last quarter, capping off a year when US lenders struggled to cope with higher interest rates and more overdue loans for commercial buildings and credit cards.

The FDIC's confidential tally of lenders with with financial, operational or managerial weaknesses had grown by eight banks to 52, representing 1.1% of the institutions it oversees. The total assets held by those firms increased by $12.8 billion last quarter to $66.3 billion.

Although the number of firms on the FDIC’s list remains relatively low compared with historical highs, it continues an increasing trend that started early last year.

Always-friendly Senator Liz Warren lambasted Fed Chair Jay Powell today, claiming that “greedy bank executives” were behind bank failures, and the Fed needs to do its job of regulating those institutions.

Powell responded by saying they’ve reached out to banks with high levels of uninsured deposits and high levels of office real estate debt, adding that The Fed is examining whether they are “being truthful” with themselves.

With regard to being "truthful", as we detailed previously, many of the loans on banks' books are dramatically mispriced (over-valued):

"The worry now is that such firesales will set an example for other major investors seeking a way out of the turmoil too, forcing a wholesale crash in the Manhattan real estate market which until now had managed to avoid real price discovery."

Warren responds by exclaiming that Powell has "gone weak-kneed" on bank regulation, concluding with this shot across the bow:

“the American people need a leader at the Fed who has the courage to stand up to these banks.” READ MORE AND VIEW ALL CHARTS

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3.7.24 - BofA warns of dollar collapse

Gold last traded at $2,158 an ounce. Silver at $24.35 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The big banks are no longer remaining silent on the fate of the US Dollar. Is the death of the buck imminent? The Fed certainly isn't doing anything to strengthen it. Will this give BRICS even more power to dethrone King Greenback?

BRICS: Bank of America Issues Warning of a US Dollar Collapse -watcher.guru

by Vinod Dsouza

franklin The US national debt is now growing by $1 trillion every 100 days since 2023. The uncontrolled debt could lead to a financial disaster wreaking havoc not only in the US but across the world. BRICS and other developing countries are worried that a US dollar debt could make their native economies crash. Keeping the US dollar in reserves is now seen as a threat that could undo years of financial stability.

The US dollar national debt now touched a new high of $34.4 trillion and is barely under control. Elected representatives at Capitol Hill and officials from the Federal Reserve are unable to tame the ever-growing debt.

Amid the economic turbulence, Bank of America has issued a warning about a possible US dollar collapse. Moreover, this allows BRICS to spread the de-dollarization initiative across the world.

BRICS: Growing Debt Risks Exposure of a US Dollar Collapse, Warns Bank of America

Bank of America warned in the latest piece that the US dollar and economy face a “blowout year” in 2024. The growing national debt is the main reason why the US economy could be poised to head south. “The US national debt is rising by $1 trillion every 100 days,” Michael Hartnett, Chief Strategist of Bank of America wrote.

Hartnett warned that the collapse of the US dollar is imminent if the debt grows out of control this year. “This doesn’t end well,” wrote Genevieve Roch-Decter, a former Asset Manager at the Grit Capital. Also, BRICS is now waiting for a possible US dollar decline and could advance with a new currency in the global market. READ MORE

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3.6.24 - $1 Trillion in 100 Days!

Gold last traded at $2,148 an ounce. Silver at $24.17 an ounce.

Top real estate CEO warns ‘500 or more’ banks will either fail or be consolidated over the next two years -Yahoo! Finance

The talking heads at the Fed want us to believe our banking woes are behind us, but our clients continue to share their concerns that we've only seen the beginning. More and more experts in this sector are sounding an alarm that the coming commercial real estate correction will be devastating for banks. We tend to agree.

by Will Daniel

Ever since four regional banks holding a combined $532 billion in assets—headlined by Silicon Valley Bank—failed in March 2023, regional banks have been under scrutiny from regulators. And given the commercial real estate (CRE) industry’s issues, a key focus has been on banks with the most exposure to the volatile sector.

In an upcoming white paper seen exclusively by Fortune, RXR CEO Scott Rechler described how regional banks will face a “slow-moving train wreck” as waves of commercial real estate loans mature over the next few years. Rechler has faith that many commercial real estate owners, operators, and lenders will figure out a way to overcome the challenges facing them, but he’s more skeptical about regional banks. “I think there's going to be…500 or more fewer banks in the U.S. over the next two years,” he said. “I'm not saying they're all going to fail, but they're going to be forced into consolidation if they don't fail.”

“They don't have a business model that's going to enable them to stand alone, and be competitive, and retain deposits and service customers the way that they have,” he added.

Regulators’ fears about regional banks with exposure to CRE aren’t unfounded, New York Community Bancorp (NYCB) being the prime example. Shares of NYCB have plummeted roughly 78% from their July 2023 peak due to concerns over the bank’s CRE exposure. The pain accelerated after NYCB reported a surprise fourth-quarter loss and slashed its dividend on Jan. 31, 2024, because it had to put away more money to cover its CRE holdings.

For Rechler, regional banks’ CRE exposure could even end up being a “systemic issue.” READ MORE


$1 Trillion in 100 Days! -Daily Reckoning

What used to take 205 years, now takes 100 days! This sounds like an innovation in efficiency, but sadly, it's just the astounding growth rate of the US debt. Can we continue on this trajectory? It seems impossible, but when have you ever known the government to slow down spending?

by Brian Maher

debt How does a man descend into bankruptcy?

Gradually — then suddenly — in Mr. Hemingway’s famous telling.

The United States government has passed beyond bankruptcy’s gradual phase.

It has entered bankruptcy’s sudden phase.

Mr. Michael Hartnett, Bank of America’s chief strategist:

“The U.S. national debt is rising by $1 trillion every 100 days.”

United States debt first scaled $1 trillion 205 years after its inception. And today?

The work of 205 years presently reduces to 100 days.

$1 trillion every 100 days? Impossible — but there you have it: Debt Goes Exponential

And so today a pearl of sorrow courses down our crimson cheek… a mournful tear upon the ashes of the nation’s finances.

We fear its debt is assuming the hellacious form of a parabola.

That is, the business begins to assume an exponential aspect.

If only the nation’s gross domestic product could maintain pace with its parabolic and exponential debt.

It cannot… alas. READ MORE


As gold scales all-time highs, Wall Street analysts say it has even further to go

Gold is headed higher and it's not stopping soon. As we kick off a very uncertain year, gold should shine until at least November, and likely even longer based on who is elected.

by Jenni Reid

Gold prices pushed higher Tuesday after futures pricing for the precious metal notched fresh records in the previous two sessions — with analysts seeing strength lasting at least into the second half of the year.

The gold contract for April on Monday closed above $2,100 per ounce for the first time, and was up 0.37% at $2,134.2 at 1:15 p.m. in London. Spot gold was trading 0.7% higher at $2,129, though market-watchers note that in real terms, adjusted for inflation, gold is well below past peaks.

In a Monday note, analysts at Citi described themselves as “medium-term bullion bulls,” calling a 25% probability of gold averaging a record $2,300 per ounce in the second half. Their base case remains $2,150, and they reiterated a “wildcard” call for trade reaching $3,000 over the next 12 to 16 months.

Citi describes gold as a developed market “recession hedge,” and increasingly see tailwinds from uncertainty around the U.S. election in November.

Analysts at Berenberg also noted Monday that a Donald Trump victory in the election would provide a “major positive for gold,” with further support for the safe-haven asset from volatility around the ongoing wars in Ukraine and Gaza. READ MORE

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3.5.24 - Gold rises to highest level ever

Gold last traded at $2,127 an ounce. Silver at $23.67 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: At the end of 2023, many analysts were predicting a breakout year for gold in 2024. So far, those predictions have been spot on. With gold moving past $2,100 an ounce in early March and the economy continuing to teeter, the forecasts of gold hitting $3,000 an ounce by year's end are within reach.

Gold rises above $2,100 to highest level ever as traders bet on interest rate cuts -CNBC

by Spencer Kimball

money Gold futures settled at the highest level ever on Monday as traders bet the Federal Reserve will start cutting interest rates in the second half of the year.

The gold contract for April gained $30.60, or 1.46%, to settle at $2,126.30 per ounce, the highest level dating back to the contract’s creation in 1974.

It is the second consecutive trading session in a row in which gold has settled at a record, with the April contract closing at an all-time high of $2,095.70 on Friday.

The VanEck Gold Miners ETF (GDX) closed higher by 4.3% and for its third consecutive day of gains. It’s also trading above the 50-day moving average of $28.295 for the first time since Jan.12.

When adjusted for inflation, gold set an all-time high of about $3,200 in 1980, according to Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Financial Group.

“We’re still a ways away, which then also points to the potential upside,” said Boockvar, who thinks gold will also test the inflation-adjusted record.

Gold has performed well despite high interest rates and a strong dollar, he said. This is largely due to the world’s central banks buying an enormous amount of gold after the U.S. and European Union confiscated $300 billion of Russia’s foreign exchange reserves in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, he said. READ MORE

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3.4.24 - Another Banking Crisis?

Gold last traded at $2,114 an ounce. Silver at $23.89 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Could the US banking system be on the brink ... again? According to former IMF official Desmond Lachman, the answer is yes. He asserts the Fed is to blame and their latest actions - or inactions - will likely result in a hard landing for our already-battered economy.

America on Eve of Banking Crisis, Warns Ex-IMF Official, With Hundreds of Lenders at Risk of Failure -The Daily Hodl

by Alex Richardson

soft landing A former IMF official believes the U.S. Federal Reserve has pushed America to the brink of another banking crisis.

Desmond Lachman, who was deputy director in the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Policy Development and Review Department, says in a new blog post for public policy think tank The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) that Fed Chair Jerome Powell is “inviting a banking crisis.”

With banks already under pressure, Lachman says the Fed is making matters worse by keeping monetary policy tight, and liquidity thin.

The ex-IMF official says it’s a mistake that’s significantly raised the odds of a hard landing for the US economy while pushing lenders to the eve of a fresh banking crisis.

“In 2021, the Fed chose to ignore the markedly expansionary fiscal policy stance when it kept flooding the market with liquidity. The net result was a surge in inflation by June 2022 to a multi-decade high of over 9%.

Today, it seems to be making the opposite mistake of keeping monetary policy tight on the eve of a banking crisis at home and a weakening economic situation abroad. Unfortunately, this raises the risk of a hard economic landing within the next year or so.”

Lachman warns that commercial real estate, which makes up a major portion of US banks’ loan portfolios, is a clear Achilles heel for the industry that could result in the failure of around 385 small and medium-sized banks. READ MORE

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3.1.24 - Just How BIG Is This Bubble?

Gold last traded at $2,083 an ounce. Silver at $23.16 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The stock market seems capable of anything these days and it has certainly made many people very wealthy. However, it's hard to ignore all of the warning signs that are appearing as of late. Just one of which being The Great Cashout: high-profile CEOs, founders, and heirs are selling their stocks in droves, some for the first time.

Just How BIG Is This Bubble? -Daily Reckoning

by Brian Maher

bubble Never before have so many… owed so much… to so few.

We refer not to Mr. Churchill’s hosannas to the Royal Air Force — concerning 1940’s Battle of Britain.

We refer instead to the 2024 Battle of Bulls and Bears… to the stock market.

Never have so many investors owed so much of their money to so few stocks.

That is because a mere spoonful of stocks are hauling stocks to record heights.

These stocks are: Nvidia. Alphabet. Amazon. Apple. Meta. Microsoft. And Tesla — collectively, the “Magnificent Seven.”

These sweethearts boast a combined market capitalization of $12 trillion.

That is the combined market capitalization of the next 42 leaders of the S&P 500.

That is, a mere seven stocks haul the equal load of the next 42.

Investors have piled into them and fattened upon them.

Investors have also inflated a gorgeous bubble.

Bubble: “a good or fortunate situation that is isolated from reality or unlikely to last.”

Precisely how gorgeous is this bubble? READ MORE

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2.29.24 - Bank account 'disappeared from the app'

Gold last traded at $2,044 an ounce. Silver at $22.67 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: AI software has been blamed for a variety of errors lately. In fact, one Canadian airline tried to deny responsibility for their own AI software's behavior claiming it was its own legal entity, over which they had no control. Is this story a case of overzealous but innocent fraud detection software or is it a testing ground for locking depositors - who spend in ways contrary to social standards - out of accounts? Will this be the new way banks and governments deny citizens access to their own money? You be the judge.

My Chase Bank account ‘disappeared from the app’ and I learned they closed it – now I can’t get my $19k back -The U.S. Sun

Customers speculating Chase account closures are pointing to things like the bank's size and its AI fraud detection software

by Erica Scalise

Chase A CHASE Bank customer is alleging their account was closed for no reason and going in person to the bank didn't help.

Many members of Chase have shared stories on social media highlighting similar struggles and seeking the advice of fellow customers.

The story started when a Reddit user claimed that their account storing $19,000 was restricted after a friend tried to transfer them money via Zelle to pay for dinner.

Upon noticing the restriction, the user claimed they called to get access to their online account which had a credit card and a car loan linked to it.

Within a week, they claimed their checking account "disappeared from the app."

And upon calling to check the status of their remaining funds, an internal investigation was started, according to the customer who claimed to have used their account for "direct deposits and paying bills." READ MORE

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2.28.24 - 'What happens in Venezuela, not New York'

Gold last traded at $2,033 an ounce. Silver at $22.43 an ounce.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz Launches New Legislation To Ban Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) -The Daily Hodl

As our long term readers know, we have been warning about the government's secret war on your cash for years. Lately, that war is not so secret. The government would love to be able to track every dime you spend; and be able to shut off your access to your money if they decide you are not spending it how they want you to.

Republican senator Ted Cruz is continuing to press for the US government to ban central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

According to a new press release from Cruz (R-Texas), the Senator is introducing legislation to outright ban CBDCs.

According to the release, the legislation is a partisan effort between Sens. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.).

Says Cruz ...

“The Biden administration salivates at the thought of infringing on our freedom and intruding on the privacy of citizens to surveil their personal spending habits, which is why Congress must clarify that the Federal Reserve has no authority to implement a CBDC. I’m proud to lead the fight in the Senate to restrict the Federal Reserve’s exploration of and attempt to introduce a CBDC to the American economy.”

The bill dubbed the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act, would prevent the federal government from issuing CBDCs either directly or through a third party. READ MORE


Kevin O'Leary calls out potential seizure of Trump's assets: ‘What happens in Venezuela, not New York’ -Fox Business

In the quest to take down Trump, some of his opponents don't seem to realize the greater consequences of their actions. This may seem like a victory for those who feel Trump deserves to be punished, but two separate victims of these actions are liberty and freedom. As is common in today's political landscape, the scorched earth campaign against Trump will come at a cost to the state of New York as industries leave the area and move their capital to safer states.

by Kendall Tietz

Kevin Investment guru Kevin O'Leary was sharply critical Monday on "Mornings with Maria" over the potential seizure of former President Trump's assets should he fail to pay the nine-figure fine in his civil fraud case, calling it akin to a situation in places like Venezuela.

The 2024 Republican frontrunner is currently on the hook for just over $354 million, with post-judgment interest accruing at nearly $112,000 per day. New York Attorney General Letitia James has vowed that if Trump fails to pay, the state will start seizing his assets.

As a businessman, investor and O'Leary Ventures Chairman, O'Leary said the move by the New York court has developers asking whether the fine penalty interest is commensurate with the act.

"Remember there is no money lost, there's no victim here, so essentially just under half a billion-dollar fine for a situation where no monies were lost and the harmed party, supposedly the banks, were fully paid back," he said. "We are wondering does this make sense, asking ourselves how long will it take for the appellate court to bring down to a what reasonable number might be, I have no idea what that is."

New York Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that Trump and the defendants were liable for "persistent and repeated fraud," "falsifying business records," "issuing false financial statements," "conspiracy to falsify false financial statements," "insurance fraud," and "conspiracy to commit insurance fraud." Trump's legal team has appealed the ruling.

In the meantime, while the case is being litigated, O'Leary said investors are not putting any new money into projects in New York, adding he is "very concerned" about the next step of seizing assets. READ MORE


Cereal For Dinner: As The Economy Implodes, The CEO Of Kellogg Is Trying To Convince Americans That Frosted Flakes And Froot Loops Are A Cheaper Alternative -The Economic Collapse

While the government is still trying to convince us that inflation is under control, households are turning to cereal for dinner to make ends meet. Sure, Gary Pilnick is also in the business of selling cereal, but he's seeing firsthand what consumers are buying to at least put something on the table for their families.

Would you eat Cheerios for dinner? What about Lucky Charms? Many years ago when I was a college student, I would often eat cereal instead of a normal meal in the evening. Needless to say, that wasn’t good for my health at all. But now “cereal for dinner” has become quite trendy. Food prices have soared in recent years and millions of Americans are trying to cut costs anywhere that they can. As the economy continues to implode and more consumers find themselves “under pressure”, the CEO of Kellogg thinks that he will be able to convince even more of us that choosing cereal for dinner is a great way to save money…

Gary Pilnick, CEO of WK Kellogg Co., told CNBC, “When we think about our consumer under pressure, … cereal … has always been quite affordable and it tends to be a great destination when consumers are under pressure.”

He said his company has been focusing on messaging “to reach the consumer where they are, so we’re advertising about cereal for dinner. If you think about the cost of cereal for a family versus what they might otherwise do that’s going to be much more affordable.

“The price of a bowl of cereal with milk and with fruit is less than a dollar so you can imagine where a consumer under pressure might find that to be a good place to go.”

Pilnick said when looking at company data, “breakfast cereal is the number one choice for in home consumption” with over 25% of cereal consumption being outside of breakfast. “Cereal for dinner is something that is probably more on trend now and we would expect to continue as that consumer is under pressure.” READ MORE

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2.27.24 - Stock market increasingly 'casino-like'

Gold last traded at $2,030 an ounce. Silver at $22.45 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: There are two types of people in every market category: investors and speculators. Speculators may get rich quick, but their wealth can be vaporized just as rapidly. Investing for the long-term may not be the flashiest strategy but it is the most proven one. Mr. Buffett has always said that patience (and a balanced portfolio) is the path to greater wealth, and he would know. Long-term holds have a history of paying the greatest dividends.

Warren Buffett says the stock market is increasingly ‘casino-like’—and young investors need to remember this ‘one fact of financial life’ to avoid the mess - Fortune

by Will Daniel

Buffett Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett shared a moving tribute to his fallen friend and right-hand man Charlie Munger in his annual shareholder letter over the weekend. The Oracle of Omaha lauded Munger as the “architect” of Berkshire’s success, eulogizing the “abominable no-man” by discussing some of his favorite whipping posts—including his comparison of the modern stock market to a casino.

“For whatever reasons, markets now exhibit far more casino-like behavior than they did when I was young,” Buffett wrote, adding that “though the stock market is massively larger than it was in our early years, today’s active participants are neither more emotionally stable nor better taught than when I was in school.”

Buffett’s words of caution were definitely a throwback to some of Munger’s favorite lines. Throughout his more than 75-year career, Munger argued that there were two types of people who buy shares in the stock market: investors and speculators. The investors—who are, above all, disciplined, hard-working, and thoughtful when buying assets—were always Munger’s people. But the speculators—those who seek nothing more than a quick buck without care for the intrinsic value of what they’re buying—well, Munger really didn’t like them much.

"They love gambling, and the trouble is, it's like taking heroin,” he said in an April 2022 interview with Berkshire Hathaway investment officer Todd Combs. “A certain percentage of people when they start just overdo it. It's that addictive. It's absolutely crazy, it's gone berserk. Civilization would have been a lot better without it." READ MORE

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2.26.24 - America's ticking 'debt bomb'

Gold last traded at $2,031 an ounce. Silver at $22.52 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: America's out-of-control deficit spending is of concern to many, but those in the media tend to overlook this elephant in the room and instead praise the booming stock market. And yet, another billionaire believes this current trajectory is unsustainable. It's not hard to believe when it's projected that our interest payments on that debt will surpass defense and Medicare spending in 2024.

Billionaire Paul Tudor Jones warns of America's ticking ‘debt bomb’ — CBO projections suggest US interest spending is on track to surpass defense and Medicare in 2024 -AOL.com

by Jing Pan

franklin The U.S. federal government’s rising debt is alarming to many, with legendary investor Paul Tudor Jones also expressing significant concern.

In a recent interview with CNBC, the billionaire and founder of Tudor Investment Corporation highlighted the looming threat of America's "debt bomb" potentially reaching a critical point.

Jones acknowledged the current strength of the U.S. economy but attributed it to the government's extensive borrowing and spending.

He cautioned about the repercussions of persistent deficit spending, stating, “We've got a 6%-7% budget deficit. We're fast-pouring consumption like crazy. It should be going gangbusters because we've got an economy on steroids, and it's unsustainable.”

The Commerce Department's advance estimate revealed that real GDP in the U.S. experienced a 3.3% annual growth rate in Q4 of 2023, surpassing the anticipated 2% increase set by economists.

The stock market has witnessed substantial growth, too, with the S&P 500 surging 28% over the past 12 months.

However, Jones warned that the burgeoning debt issue is bound to impact the market sooner or later, stating, “It could be this year, it could be next year. Productivity may mask and it might be three or four years from now but clearly, clearly we're on an unsustainable path." READ MORE

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2.23.24 - Was America Just Attacked?

Gold last traded at $2,039 an ounce. Silver at $22.99 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Was Thursday's communication disruption a fluke? Or was there a more sinister cause at the root? We will likely never know the truth but moments like these remind us how vulnerable we are, with other world powers having the capability to shut down our communications systems in a flash. That would affect every aspect of our lives, from our livelihood to our safety.

Was America Just Attacked? We Have Now Been Put On Notice That Our Communication Infrastructure Is Extremely Vulnerable -The Economic Collapse

cyberattack What would we do if we suddenly couldn’t use the Internet or our phones any longer? For a lot of people, such a scenario would be unthinkable. In fact, it felt like the “world is ending” for many AT&T customers on Thursday. The disruption to AT&T’s network only lasted for a few hours, but it created quite a frenzy. If we are going to see this much panic for an outage that happens for just a few hours, what would our society look like if Internet and phone communication was down for days, weeks or even months?

Once the outage began, federal authorities moved very rapidly to determine whether it was a cyberattack or not…

Federal agencies are ‘urgently investigating’ whether the massive cellular outage that plagued Americans on Thursday was a cyberattack.

The Federal Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are on the hunt to track down what disrupted service AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and a dozen other cellular providers.

While the agencies have not shared details, a security expert told DailyMail.com that the outage has hallmarks of a hack. READ MORE

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2.22.24 - Avg US Household Costs: Up $1019 per month

Gold last traded at $2,024 an ounce. Silver at $22.75 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This headline is something you'll never hear the talking heads in DC admit. Instead, they keep manipulating the numbers to make our economy seem rosier than it is. Anyone who feeds a family or heats a home knows differently. US households are spending over $1,000 MORE per month in expenses than they were just three short years ago. And it's unlikely to improve given our current trajectory.

The Average U.S. Household Is Spending $1,019 More A Month Just To Buy The Same Goods And Services It Did 3 Years Ago -The Economic Collapse

food prices It seems odd to talk about 2021 as “the good old days”, but the truth is that the cost of living was far lower just three short years ago. Earlier today, I did an interview with Sam Rohrer of Stand In The Gap Today in which we discussed how food prices have gotten wildly out of control. One example that I brought up was the fact that a Big Mac “value meal” can cost up to 18 dollars in some parts of the country. There is no way that I would shell out 18 bucks for a burger, some fries and a drink at McDonald’s. But this is the economic environment that we live in today.

Has your income gone up by more than a thousand dollars a month over the past three years?

If not, you are falling behind.

According to economist Mark Zandi, the average U.S. household is now shelling out an additional $1,019 a month just to purchase the exact same goods and services that it did three years ago…

The typical U.S. household needed to pay $213 more a month in January to purchase the same goods and services it did one year ago because of still-high inflation, according to new calculations from Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi.

Americans are paying on average $605 more each month compared with the same time two years ago and $1,019 more compared with three years ago, before the inflation crisis began. READ MORE

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2.21.24 - No soft landing

Gold last traded at $2,026 an ounce. Silver at $22.89 an ounce.

All Of The Elements Are In Place For An Economic Crisis Of Staggering Proportions -The Economic Collapse

Several sources - for several months - have suggested a crash is coming in 2024; but why now? The Fed can no longer contain the debt or bolster the economy with free money. The day of reckoning, for four years of reckless spending, may be nigh.

They were able to delay the U.S. economy’s day of reckoning, but they were not able to put it off indefinitely. During the pandemic, the Federal Reserve pumped trillions of dollars into the financial system and our politicians borrowed and spent trillions of dollars that we did not have. All of that money caused quite a bit of inflation, but it also created a “sugar rush” for the economy. In other words, economic conditions were substantially better than they would have been otherwise. Unfortunately, there will be a great price to be paid for such short-term thinking. From the federal government on down, our entire society is absolutely drowning in debt, and now it appears that our economic problems are about to go to the next level.

In early 2024, there are all sorts of signs that economic activity in the U.S. is really starting to slow down.

For example, we just learned that consumer spending “fell sharply” during the month of January…

Consumer spending fell sharply in January, presenting a potential early danger sign for the economy, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. READ MORE


No soft landing: The US economy is going to fall into recession in the middle of 2024, Citi's chief economist says -Yahoo! Finance

I think we all hoped for a soft landing - that our economy could recover once again; but that seems to be a fading dream given the reality of our current situation. Citi's chief economist is stating that by mid 2024, we will be in a recession. It may be time to buckle our financial seat belts.

by Aruni Soni

soft landing The soft-landing dream is over; instead, the US economy is headed for a recession in the middle of 2024, Citi says.

"There's this very powerful and seductive narrative around a soft landing, and we're just not seeing it in the data," Citi's chief US economist, Andrew Hollenhorst, said in a CNBC interview.

On the surface, the data looks great: The economy is benefiting from historically low unemployment, strong consumer spending, and robust GDP growth.

But there's more going on with the numbers than meets the eye.

"The question is where are these forward-looking indicators showing us that we're going to go," Hollenhorst said.

One place the economy is showing a weakness is the labor market. January had a blowout jobs report, adding 353,000 jobs to the economy. But Hollenhorst noted that if you scratch beneath the surface, the number of hours worked is falling, the number of full-time workers has decreased, and sectors such as the restaurant industry have stalled on hiring.

"That's the key to the economy — what happens in the labor market," Hollenhorst said. "If the unemployment rate stays low, people continue to spend, the economy holds up." But he added that the unemployment rate was expected to start rising, which would be "the sign that we're going to have a more material decline in the US economy." READ MORE


A US Bank Is Now Making Unexpected Account Closures -Frank Nez

2023 was filled with a lot of negative banking news and a lot of uncertain depositors. We saw bank closures, seizures of cash with no explanation, unexplained account closures, etc. It would appear that this trend is continuing into 2024.

A US bank is now making unexpected account closures after a fuming customer said the bank told her a reason was not required.

A customer warned others on social media not to open an account with Varo Bank after her account was abruptly closed without warning.

The fuming customer posted a video on social media, informing her audience of the bank’s suspicious activity, reports The-Sun.

In a video by TikTok user Nikki Nicole (@nikiyanicole85), she encouraged her audience to “get your money and run.”

“If you have Varo Bank, leave them alone,” she heeded.

“Get your money out your account. Close your accounts immediately.”

The user claimed the bank was closing their customer’s account without reason.

“[The bank will] send you emails saying that they don’t have to have a reason to close your account.” READ MORE

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2.20.24 - Gold at $3,000 and oil at $100 by 2025?

Gold last traded at $2,024 an ounce. Silver at $23.00 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: It looks as though gold has a fantastic future ahead; this according to Citi. Citi analysts are weighing in on the yellow metal as they assess the current condition of the world and foresee some major gains on the horizon. They also see some aggressive gains being made in oil prices. The time to position in these areas is today!

Gold at $3,000 and oil at $100 by 2025? Citi analysts don’t rule it out -CNBC

by Lee Ying Shan

gold map Gold prices could soar to $3,000 per ounce, and oil to $100 per barrel within the next 12 to 18 months subject to any one of three possible catalysts, according to Citi.

Gold, which is currently trading at $2,016, could surge by about 50%, if central banks sharply ramp up purchases of the yellow metal, a possible stagflation, or in case of a deep global recession, Aakash Doshi, Citi’s North America head of commodities research, told CNBC.

Central bank’s gold rush

“The most likely wildcard path to $3,000/oz gold is a rapid acceleration of an existing but slow-moving trend: de-dollarization across Emerging Markets central banks that in turn leads to a crisis of confidence in the U.S. dollar,” Citi analysts including Doshi wrote in a recent note.

That could double central bank’s gold purchases, challenging jewelry consumption as the largest driver of gold demand, Doshi elaborated.

Central banks’ gold purchases have “accelerated to record levels” in recent years, as they seek to diversify reserves and reduce credit risk, Citi said. China and Russian central banks are leading gold purchases, with India, Turkey, and Brazil, also increasing bullion buying.

The world’s central banks have sustained two successive years of more than 1,000 tons of net gold purchases, the World Gold Council reported in January.

“If that goes again [to] double very quickly to 2,000 tons, we think that would be actually very bullish for gold,” Doshi told CNBC via phone. READ MORE

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2.16.24 - Bezos Unloads Another $2 Billion of Amazon Stock

Gold last traded at $2,013 an ounce. Silver at $23.39 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Jeff Bezos is selling off a few billion dollars worth of his stock. This is all part of what is known as a planned and disclosed sale of stock. The question is, why? And why now? As the talks of an overvalued market on the verge of crash continue, insiders selling off their stock tend to signal that it's time to get out.

Bezos Unloads Another $2 Billion of Amazon Stock in Latest Sale -Yahoo! Finance

by Kristine Owram

Amazon (Bloomberg) -- Jeff Bezos has unloaded another 12 million shares of Amazon.com Inc. valued at $2 billion, bringing the total sold in the past week to more than $6 billion.

He sold the latest tranche on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to a filing. The sales are part of an already disclosed plan to dispose of as many as 50 million shares of the company he founded.

In total, he’s now sold about 36 million shares. Bezos hasn’t explained why he’s selling, but the timing of when he instituted the trading plan may provide a clue. He announced on Nov. 2 he was moving to Miami from the Seattle region and adopted a so-called 10(b)5-1 plan on Nov. 8.

The move to Florida has now likely saved Bezos about $430 million in taxes. Washington state recently implemented a 7% levy on capital gains, while Florida has no such tax. READ MORE

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2.15.24 - Stock market flashing crash?

Gold last traded at $2,003 an ounce. Silver at $22.93 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Watching the stock market lately feels like suspended reality. The bullish euphoria feels at odds with all that is happening around us. We've sadly seen this too many times before to not know how this story ends. Not with a whimper but with a bang; an abrupt and sharp one - just like 2000 and 2008.

The stock market is looking a lot like it did before the dot-com and '08 crashes, top economist says -Yahoo! Finance

by Jennifer Sor

market crash he stock market is flashing the same warning signs of "speculative mania" that preceded the crashes of 2008 and 2000, according to economist David Rosenberg.

The Rosenberg Research president — who called the 2008 recession and who's been a vocal bear on Wall Street amid the latest market rally — pointed to the "raging bull market" that's taken off in stocks, with the S&P 500 surpassing the 5,000 mark for the first time ever last week.

The benchmark index has soared around 22% from its low in October last year, clearing the official threshold for a bull market. The index has also gained for the last five weeks and has been up for 14 of the last 15 weeks — a winning streak that hasn't been seen since the early 1970s.

But the stellar gains are a double-edged sword for investors, as the market looks dangerously similar to the environment prior to the dot-com and 2008 crashes, Rosenberg wrote in a note on Monday.

"With each passing day, this has the feel of being a cross between 1999 and 2007. It is a gigantic speculative price bubble across most risk assets, and while AI is real, so was the Internet, and so were the high-flying stocks that populated the Nifty Fifty era," he said, referring to the group of 50 large-cap stocks that dominated the stock market in the 60s and 70s, before falling by around 60%. READ MORE

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2.14.24 - Beneath the Skin of CPI Inflation

Gold last traded at $1,991 an ounce. Silver at $22.34 an ounce.

BRICS: Will Mexico Join The Bloc and Abandon US Dollar in 2024? -watcher.guru

It would appear our neighbors to the South are considering making the same move as several other nations and joining the BRICS alliance. If Mexico were to make this move alone, it wouldn't be much of an impact; however a lot of financially smaller nations combined with several larger ones could be crippling to the US.

by Michael Grullon

One of the most speculated nations on the brink of joining BRICS and abandoning the US dollar in 2024 is Mexico. The nation has been working to strengthen ties with its North American counterpart United States, therefore, many doubt that the sudden jump to BRICS is in Mexico’s future.

Mexico was long rumored to have an interest in joining BRICS last year. However, before the alliance’s August summit, Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador firmly stated that Mexico would not participate. Since that declaration, Mexico hasn’t appeared to change its mind on the alliance.

Both Mexico and the BRICS bloc would benefit if the country were to join the alliance in 2024. For example, The move could impact Mexico’s relations with other countries, including its neighboring the U.S. and Canada. The U.S. dollar’s global status will also be challenged if Mexico accepts the upcoming BRICS currency.

Mexico would have access to larger markets and greater bargaining power in international affairs. With the number of nations interested in and already involved with BRICS, Mexico’s economy will also have access to work in tandem with other top nations across the ocean. In addition, Mexico accepting BRICS currency for international trade could pave the way for Latin American countries to cut ties with the U.S. dollar. The BRICS currency could capture the Latin American markets making other nations end reliance on the U.S. dollar. READ MORE


Beneath the Skin of CPI Inflation, January: Powell’s Gonna Have a Cow when he Sees the Spike in “Core Services” Inflation-Wolf Street

Inflation continues to fight for top headlines. There was really no reason to believe inflation was waning; other than the empty assurances from overly optimistic Wall Street pundits and vote-seeking politicians.

by Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET

chart We’ll start with the “core services” CPI (services minus energy services) because this is so crucial, and because Powell keeps talking about it. We have been concerned here for months about the refusal of core services inflation to ease off, and we’ve found the acceleration in the fall last year “very disconcerting.” But that’s how inflation is – it tends to serve up nasty surprises. And now it did.

“Core services” CPI jumped by 0.66% in January from December, or by 8.2% annualized (blue). In this inflation cycle, only three months were worse (April, June, and September 2022). It includes housing, insurance, health care, subscriptions, etc., but not energy services. Core services is where consumers do the majority of their spending – and it’s re-heating from already hot levels.

The three-month moving average, which irons out the month-to-month squiggles, jumped by 0.50%, or by 6.2% annualized (red), the worst since March 2023. All this according to the CPI data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. VIEW CHARTS AND READ MORE


Bank of America Warns Customers of Data Breach -Retail Wire

Another data breach in the banking system has occurred. Data breaches are not a new thing but they are most definitely increasing in intensity and frequency. Banks have traditionally been a safe place to keep our money, but that narrative seems to be rapidly changing.

by Dennis Limmer

Bank of America has alerted its customers to a data breach after one of its service providers, Infosys McCamish Systems (IMS), was hacked last year.

The breach exposed customers’ personally identifiable information (PII), including names, addresses, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and financial details like account and credit card numbers. The Attorney General of Texas received these details.

Bank of America serves around 69 million clients across more than 3,800 retail financial centers and 15,000 ATMs in the United States, its territories, and over 35 countries.

When contacted for comment, a Bank of America spokesperson declined to provide additional details and directed inquiries to Infosys McCamish.

While the exact number of affected customers has not been disclosed by Bank of America, a breach notification letter filed with the Attorney General of Maine revealed that 57,028 people were directly impacted.

IMS experienced a cybersecurity event around Nov. 3, 2023, resulting in the unauthorized access of IMS systems and the non-availability of certain applications. On Nov. 24, 2023, IMS informed Bank of America that data related to deferred compensation plans may have been compromised, although Bank of America’s systems remained unaffected. READ MORE

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2.13.24 - Will the silver shortage lead to higher prices?

Gold last traded at $1,992 an ounce. Silver at $22.12 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The price of silver is poised for some explosive gains in 2024. Supply shortages are playing a major role in that prediction. Add to that, rising domestic and foreign financial pressures and these predictions may very soon be a reality.

Silver Set To Rise To $30 This Year, But Where Is Momentum? -Investing Haven

silver A recent physical silver market research report suggests silver to hit $30 in 2024. This seems a very low silver price target considering a silver supply deficit, bullish secular silver chart, silver relative to gold undervaluation.

Should the price of silver not be closer to $50 given the supply deficit?

The Silver Institute released its latest physical silver market report, about a week ago.

In summary, while silver demand is forecasted to remain robust, supply is expected to increase slightly, leading to a physical silver market shortage.

Demand Forecast: Global silver demand is projected to reach 1.2 billion ounces in 2024, potentially the second-highest level ever recorded. This growth is driven by stronger industrial offtake and is expected to hit a new annual high, propelled by increased industrial end-uses and a recovery in jewelry and silverware demand. READ MORE

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2.12.24 - Gold Forecasted To Reach Fresh All-time High

Gold last traded at $2,020 an ounce. Silver at $22.69 an ounce.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Last week we saw a 2024 gold price prediction of $2,200. This analyst sees an even greater high of $2,250. Some have suggested we will see $3,000 gold this year. Only time will tell, but what nearly all of these predictions have in common is their reasoning for a jump; market turmoil and ever-increasing geopolitical concerns.

Gold Forecasted To Reach Fresh All-time High of $2,250 -watcher.guru

by Vinod Dsouza

gold money Gold prices remain on a slippery slope as the XAU/USD charts are on a downward spiral this month in February 2024. The price of gold dipped from a high of $2,100 this year and is now hovering around the $2,240 level. It is now facing strong resistance at this level. The precious metal dipped after the US dollar outperformed all leading currencies and came out on top.

The US dollar index (DXY) is now at 104 and steadily climbed from a low of 101.80 this year. A stronger US dollar dimmed the lights for gold making it to head south in the charts for two weeks. Read here to know how the US dollar will fare this year in 2024.

Despite the market turmoil, commodities are expected to grow this year in 2024. Leading commodity analysts remain bullish and are confident that the markets will recover after Q2 this year. The dip is now a good time to accumulate and wait to create profits during the second half of 2024. Historically, gold has always delivered a positive monthly average return during on-hold interest rate periods by the Federal Reserve.

The Feds paused the interest rate hike for the fourth time in a row which could lead gold prices to recover. Naveen Mathur, the Director of Commodities at Anand Rathi forecasted that gold prices will shine from Q2 of this year. Moving ahead, he estimated that gold prices have a chance of reaching fresh all-time highs and could hit $2,250 in 2024. READ MORE

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