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04.23.14- A "Secret Correction" is Gripping Wall Street - Here's What You Need to Know
Birch Gold Group

Overall, the markets were flat last week, and took the day off on Good Friday. The operative word here is “overall”. Let’s look just a layer deeper…

A peek beneath Wall Street’s surface, according to analysis at Zero Hedge, reveals that a major, widespread correction is already underway but is being hidden by the few companies that are still beating the margins. With just this cursory glance beyond where most care to look, the report reveals that 40% of companies in the S&P 500 are already in correction mode – that is, they are down more than 10%. Only 72 companies are up, with the rest flat. This means less than 15% of companies are carrying the index, balancing out the red to make it look flatter overall. Read More

04.22.14- US financial showdown with Russia is more dangerous than it looks,
for both sides

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

The US Treasury faces a more formidable prey with Russia, the world's biggest producer of energy with a $2 trillion economy, superb scientists and a first-strike nuclear arsenal

The United States has constructed a financial neutron bomb. For the past 12 years an elite cell at the US Treasury has been sharpening the tools of economic warfare, designing ways to bring almost any country to its knees without firing a shot. Read More

04.21.14- You've heard the adage, "A penny saved is a penny earned"? What if I told you a penny doubled is several million earned??
Bobby Casey

If you want to know the secret to creating long-term wealth in a big way, this article is for you.

Yesterday, I was flying from New York City to Panama City for our spring conference – Global Escape Hatch. Sitting on the plane next to me was a very intelligent young man named Mike.

Normally, when I get on the plane, I am asleep before the plane is pushed back from the gate and wake up when the wheels touchdown at the destination. But this time, Mike and I chatted for most of the flight. Read More

04.19.14- “EU Officially Adopts the Bail-In” with Graham Mehl
My Two Cents - Andy Sutton

It has now been more than a year since that fateful weekend in the Mediterranean when everything changed. However, like most of the big changes we’ve seen lately, there is a subtlety afoot that somehow results in few noticing. This should surprise no one really. How the world can change in such dramatic ways without any type of mass awakening is a topic more for the psychologists who help pull the strings and the evil they represent than for anyone involved in the analysis of economics and events, but I say the above so that you know you’re not kidding anyone.

Even a year later, the subtlety continues and ignorance abounds. Most still don’t know the ramifications of the passage of the Dodd-Frank bill back in 2010. They take it at its word that it is a consumer protection act, but is nothing of the sort. Read More

04.18.14- And Now for Something Entirely Different: 66 years later!

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04.17.14- Economic outlook darkens
Alasdair Macleod

Many decades of Keynesian-inspired economic and monetary corruption have left advanced economies with a legacy of debt and low savings. In a nutshell, that is the problem which is driving us into another financial crisis. That moment could be drawing upon us, signalled by the recent collapse in bond yields.

This nearly happened in 2008. It was bought off by an open-ended central bank guarantee of infinite quantities of cash and credit, initially by the Fed, rapidly followed by all the other major central banks. Six years later, monetary medicine is still being applied globally in unprecedented quantities. And in some countries bank credit has finally begun expanding more rapidly than before. Read More

04.16.14- This Chart Shows Us How Bad The Economy Really Is: "Flashing Red Warning"
Mac Slavo

Recent weeks have led to a fairly significant drop in stock valuations, with many expert analysts struggling to figure out exactly why it’s happening. You’ll hear them cite the weather, or market overreaction, or any number of reasons for why stocks have seen their share prices reduced and why they’ll be rebounding in the near-term.

What they won’t show you on mainstream financial channels is what’s really happening behind the scenes.

Forget about all the minute-by-minute noise for a moment and take a look at the following chart. It gives a very simple overview of earnings growth trends for stocks listed on the S&P 500 on a quarterly basis. Read More

04.15.14- US Stocks Are 50% Overvalued … It's Time to Get Out
Bill Bonner

The Dow fell 143 points on Friday. Gold was just about flat. Why the fall in stock prices? Many reasons were proposed, but no one knows for sure. There may not be a reason at all. Stocks don’t need a reason to fall. From time to time, they just do. Not to put too fine a point on it, but asset prices go up … and then they go down. Always have. Always will.

Generally, it’s a credit expansion that drives them up. A credit contraction takes them back down. Credit is still expanding, says economist and author of The New Depression: The Breakdown of the Paper Money Economy Richard Duncan. But come the next quarter, watch out. Duncan reckons “excess liquidity” (as he calculates it, the surplus left over between QE stimulus and what the federal government absorbs through borrowing) is going to contract – sharply. Read More

04.14.14- It's Not the Rich – It's The Total Cost of Gov't That is Killing the Economy
Martin Armstrong

QUESTION: Do you believe in a fairer system where there is a minimum income cap and a maximum asset cap? We live in an age where productivity has risen through the roof due to technological advancement. Don’t you think humanity is at the stage where it can afford to offer basic income to people so better checks and balances can be set in place to thwart the exploitation of people (see the third world).

A maximum asset cap would also act as a  positive filter in business ownership, don’t you think? The businessmen interested mainly in greed won’t fill those positions, but those who are driven more by other means, hopefully positive ambitions, will fill those roles (CEO,COO, managers, etc.) Read More

04.12.14- Trillions in Subsidies, but Banks Still 'Struggle'
Rick Ackerman

Think you could make it in business with a trillion dollar subsidy? That's a very conservative estimate of what the banks can borrow each year at almost no cost, courtesy of Fed easing. Returning the favor, the banks plow most of the funny money into Treasury paper, stocks and bonds, then lend the crumbs that remain to the riff-raff at usurious rates that can exceed 20% — a tad more than Frankie the Camel charges his customers.  What a great way to make money!  And yet, how do we account for this recent headline in The Wall Street Journal:  Bank Profits Are Looking Stressed – Slumps in Trading Revenue, Mortgage Business Are Expected to Weaken Quarterly Earnings Reports.  Read More

04.11.14- Have They Decided To
"Get Out Of The Way?"

Bill Holter

Yesterday the Wall Street journal wrote that Goldman Sachs may be in the process of shutting down their "Sigma X" dark pool clearing. Little more than 2 weeks ago they first announced that they would no longer "play" in the HFT games and followed this by announcing they would give up their "Designated Market Maker" status on the NYSE. Why, what's up with this?

Speculation on my part but it seems to me like “they know.”  They know that something VERY BIG is afoot.  This “something” could be one of many possibilities but a firm like Goldman Sachs who has gorged at the table of American financial plenty forever would never ever leave if there was still food at the table.  Please remember that they are second only to JPM with their “trading” prowess over the last few years. Read More

04.10.14- IMF warns U.S. over potentially bumpy exit from extraordinary monetary policy
Lu Hui

A badly-timed and bumpy exit from extraordinary monetary policy in the United States could undermine global financial stability and spill over to emerging markets, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned Wednesday.

"Undue delay could lead to a further build-up of financial stability risks, and too rapid an exit could jeopardize the economic recovery and exacerbate still-elevated debt burdens in some segments of the economy," the Washington-based IMF said in its latest edition of Global Financial Stability Report, noting that "the timing and management of exit is critical."  Read More

04.09.14- Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: Gold and The Dollar Are In A Fight to the Death!
Greg Hunter

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04.08.14- What In The World Is Happening To The Nasdaq?
Michael Snyder

All of a sudden, the Nasdaq is absolutely tanking.  On Monday, it fell more than 1 percent after dropping 3.6 percent on Thursday and Friday combined.  At this point, the Nasdaq is off to the worst start to a year that we have seen since 2008, and we all remember what happened back then.  So why is this happening?  In recent years, the Nasdaq has been ground zero for "dotcom bubble 2.0".  The hottest stocks in the entire world are on the Nasdaq - we are talking about stocks like Yahoo, Netflix, Apple, Tesla, Google and Facebook.  Those stocks have gone to absolutely incredible heights, but now they are starting to fall.  Some are blaming insider selling, and without a doubt the "smart money" is starting to flee the stock market. Read More

04.07.14- COT Breakdown
Dan Norcini


Another Friday - another release of the Commitment of Traders report from the CFTC - let the entrail reading begin in earnest!

A caveat before we begin - the report only covers trading through the end of the combined pit and screen session on Tuesday of the current week. It therefore does not take into account the price action from Wednesday through the close of trading on Friday.

On Tuesday of last week ( 3-25-2014) gold closed at $1311.40. On Tuesday of this week, it closed at $1280 for a loss ( Tuesday - Tuesday ) of $31.60. Read More

04.05.14- Emerging Dynamics of Petro-Yuan Standard
Jim Willie

The shocks will be many as the USDollar struggles and falls off the global financial stage in full view. The desperate maneuvers like in Syria and Ukraine should be seen as last ditch efforts to save a dying system. For two decades the USDollar has been defended by military means. Worse, for 50 years the USGovt has been a hidden nazi enclave of wicked fascists who have hidden behind their overt disdain for communism, with Kissinger the flag bearer, with Brzezinski the ideologue, with Papa Bush the executor, with narcotics and genetics and gold thefts their principal agenda. Read More

04.04.14- Billionaire Warns: Yellen Collapse 'Will Be Unlike Any Other'
Money News

Another horrific stock market crash is coming, and the next bust will be “unlike any other” we have seen.

That’s the message from Jeremy Grantham, co-founder and chief investment strategist of GMO, a Boston-based firm with $117 billion in assets under management.

Grantham pulls no punches when he discusses who he holds responsible for the coming financial carnage. In a recent interview with The New York Times, he calls Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen “ignorant” and said the Federal Reserve all but killed the economic recovery. Read More

04.03.14- Dollar Death Mask
JC Collins

"This week, the US Congress again failed to approve a modest appropriation that would have shored up financing for the International Monetary Fund and given China and other emerging economies greater responsibility there. Support for the IMF may seem arcane, but it has important implications for America's global role – and the signs are not good."

From BusinessDay Website, Tuesday, April 1, 2014.

The shifting reality of the global economy is becoming more and more apparent.  With each passing day we are hearing and reading additional news and events which are leading the world towards the multilateral financial system.

Many of the discussion points and topics on this site have been spot on with many of the readers discovering supporting evidence well in advance of the mainstream media and other sites.  The hard work of everyone is making the overall picture clearer and clearer with each comment and link to outside sources. Read More

04.02.14- Underground Commerce is the Real Economy
James Hall

As the deadline for filing yearly income taxes is rapidly approaching, businesses especially hard pressed to make a profit in a depressed economy struggle with their tax compliance. Reporting legitimate deductions and costs is the easy part. When you are losing money, disclosing a diminished income stream based upon lower margins, is not a difficult decision. Nevertheless, small enterprises burdened with government regulation costs and tax obligations, often are unable to conduct business and retain a net return. Self-proprietorships frequently are so scared that many look to the cash underground economy to hide income earnings. Read More

04.01.14- Ukraine is the Waterloo event for the USDollar
Jim Willie

The desperation of the Anglo-American leadership, guided by the steady corrupt banker hands, has never been more acutely high, nor obvious in full view. The entire Ukraine situation is a travesty. It includes Langley agents killing police and street demonstrators from rooftops, the confirmation coming from the Estonian Embassy (translation of scripts).

  • It includes thefts of official Ukrainian Govt funds, again sent to the Swiss hill sanctuary.

  • It includes sanctions delivered by a US Paper Tiger, sure to cause horrific backlash.

  • It involves the last gasp attempt to obstruct the Gazprom energy pipelines, which will inevitably corner the European market in monopoly. Read More

03.31.14- Russia's secret weapon: crashing US economy by collapsing petrodollar
Igor Siletsky

Russia can collapse the United States, prominent US trader Jim Sinclair believes. The economist, famous for his forecasts, explains that the strength of the dollar is based on the US agreement with Saudi Arabia that all contracts for fuel deliveries be in the US dollars. Now, Moscow can collapse the petrodollar in one moment. The slapping of sanctions on Russia is tantamount to a shot in the foot. The expert explains that the only true value in the world today is the petrodollar. But Russia can collapse it by demanding Euros or Yuan for its oil.

What’s more, the US may lose its influence on Europe for good, if Russia starts selling its fuels for anything but the dollars. Angela Merkel would be only happy, for Germany, as well as other European countries would then have no need for currency markets. The rate of the Euro would then grow, while the cost of oil and gas would go down. But the United States should be ready for an abrupt increase in gasoline prices, for hyperinflation amid a poor business climate and a crash of the Dow Jones industrial average, Sinclair predicts. Read More

03.29.14- Gold And Silver – They Are Money!
Michael Noonan

Almost all who read our commentaries know that we place the greatest importance on reading the developing market activity, as best seen in charts, in order to have the closest pulse on what is going on in the market[s].  The reason is because the activity found in price and volume behavior reflects the decisions of all market participants.

Smart money leads, the rest follow.  What constitutes smart money?  Those with the most knowledge and deepest pockets that control what goes on.  In the US stock market, it used to be institutional money that drove stocks.  For the past few years, it has been the Federal Reserve, through Permanent Open Market Operations, [POMO], and the all of the QEs that have unsustainably propped up stocks. Read More

03.28.14- Directed History of the City's Alliance with China
The Daily Bell

Bank of England agrees Chinese London currency clearing hub ... The deal is part of a plan to make London a key offshore Chinese currency clearing centre ... The Bank of England has agreed a deal with the People's Bank of China to make London a hub for Chinese currency dealing. The memorandum of understanding, to be signed on Monday, sets out settlement and clearing arrangements for the renminbi, or yuan, in London. – BBC

This is great for London's City ... and so surprising, too. Read More

03.27.14- Welcome to the Currency War, Part 14:
Russia, China, India Bypass the Petrodollar

John Rubino

As it tries to punish Russia for the latter’s dismemberment of Ukraine, the West is discovering that the balance of power isn’t what it used to be. Russia is a huge supplier of oil and gas — traded in US dollars — which gives it both leverage over near-term energy flows and, far more ominous for the US, the ability to threaten the dollar’s rein as the world’s reserve currency. And it’s taking some big, active steps towards that goal. As Zero Hedge noted on Tuesday: Read More

03.26.14- Will Inflation Make A Comeback In 2014
When The Consensus Worries About Deflation

Ronald Stoeferle

Two months ago, Incrementum Liechtenstein released its chartbook entitled "Monetary Tectonics" which illustrated the raging war between inflation and deflation in 40 charts. Meantime, the authors of the chartbook have launched the "Austrian Economics Golden Opportunities Fund," a fund that takes investment positions based on the level of inflation. The key tool in their investment decisions is the "Incrementum Inflation Signal" (also referred to as the "monetary seismograph"), a continuing measurement of how much monetary inflation reaches the real economy based on a series of market-based indicators. Read More

03.25.14- How Edmund de Rothschild Managed to Let 179 Governments Pay Him for Grasping Up to 30% of the Earth
Anders Bruun Laursen

Woe to him that … establisheth a city by iniquity!… that the people shall labor in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity (Habakkuk 2:12-13)

After Edmund de Rothschild’s statement, without basis, at the 4th World Wilderness Congress in 1987, that CO2 is the cause of a non-existent global warming - and that combating it needs money (our money), he founded the World Conservation Bank for this reason. In 1991 its name was changed to The Global Environment  Facility (GEF). The purpose of this facility is to lend money to the poorest countries, printed by the IMF out of thin air, and with the guarantee of our governments. The facility takes wilderness areas with mineral riches as security. The GEF money is then to flow back to our governments as reimbursement for paid loans. I.e. We give away our tax money. For what? When a country cannot repay loans to the GEF it must give up a piece of its territory to the Rothschild banks. Read More

03.24.14- Barack Obama does -not- want you to own this stock…
Simon Black

When it comes to investing money, there’s no such thing as a sure thing.

Even the ‘safest’ investment in the world (US Treasuries) is anything but safe.

I mean… on what planet does it make sense to loan your hard-earned cash to the biggest debtor that has ever existed in the history of the world?

Once you deduct taxes, the net return you’ll receive won’t keep pace with the official rate of inflation. It’s an insane investment… hardly ‘risk free’. Read More

03.22.14- Jim Rickards: Gold Revaluation & The Death of Money
Mike Maloney




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03.21.14- Tumbling Chinese yuan sets off 'carry trade' rout, triggers derivatives contracts
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

The yuan has lost 3pc since January, a clear break with China's long-standing policy of slow appreciation

China’s yuan has suffered its biggest one-week fall in 20 years, nearing key trigger levels that threaten a wave of forced selling and mounting stress for those with dollar debts. Read More

03.20.14- The US Is Recovering but Britain Isn't? Don't Believe It
The Daily Bell

Budget 2014: Britain's false recovery is a credit mirage, unlike real recovery in the US ... UK has a current account deficit running at more than 5pc of GDP, the worst in a quarter of a century and by far the worst of the G7 ... David Bloom, from HSBC, says sterling is all of a sudden the "least ugly" currency in a world where even the Japanese and the Swiss are holding down their exchange rates. "There is nowhere else to go," he said. – UK Telegraph

Dominant Social Theme: Britain is recovering, that's obvious. Good, too.

Free-Market Analysis: This story is interesting for two reasons: It speaks the truth about Britain's non-existent recovery and it lies about the US one. Read More

03.19.14- Rick Rule: Coming Natural Resource Market Will 'Elate or Terrify You'
Sprott Global

Rick Rule, Chairman of Sprott Global Resource Investments Ltd., has been involved in natural resource for four decades. Rick says he expects some familiar patterns to emerge in the coming year.

Sprott Global: Rick, you've predicted an impending bear-market bottom in precious metals and natural resources. Are we there now?

Rick Rule: I believe we are. We'll see a rising market with higher highs and higher lows. We'll also see high volatility -- which one day will elate you and another day will terrify you. That's the way this works. Read More

03.18.14- Kremlin: If The US Tries To Hurt Russia's Economy, Russia Will Target The Dollar
Wolf Richter

Another warning shot was fired before an all-out assault on the dollar system begins. This time, an official shot: Alexey Ulyukaev, Russia’s Minister of Economic Development and former Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank, fired it. It was a major escalation, Valentin Mândra˘s¸escu, editor of The Voice of Russia’s Reality Check, told me from Moscow.

Last time, it was Sergei Glazyev, an advisor to Vladimir Putin who’d fired the shot. But he wasn’t a government official. “Anonymous sources” at the Kremlin claimed he wasn’t speaking for the government. As Mândra˘s¸escu reported in his excellent article, From Now On, No Compromises Are Possible For Russia: Read More

03.17.14- Gold's Protection Against Counterparty Risk Is Coming Alive
Taki Tsaklanos

History repeats itself. Although it does not repeat exactly in the same way, it rhymes. Consider this, exactly one year ago, on March 16th, Cyprus reached the newswires globally with the announcement of its bank bail-ins.

One year later, the geopolitical escalation between Ukraine and Russia is front stage. Just moments ago, the long awaited referendum in Crimea resulted in an overwhelming 95% of votes to join Russia, according to Reuters. The Western world, even before the closing of the referendum, has officially stated that it denies the results. Read More

03.15.14- Baltic Dry Plunges 8%, Near Most In 6 Years As Iron Ore At Chinese Ports Hits All Time High
Tyler Durden

It would appear record inventories of Iron ore and plunging prices due to China's shadow-banking unwind have started to weigh on the all-too-important-when-it-is-going-up-but-let's-blame-supply-when-dropping Baltic Dry Index.

With the worst start to a year in over a decade, the recent recovery in prices provided faint hope that the worst of the global trade collapse was over... however, today's 8% plunge - on par with the biggest drops in the last 6 years - suggests things are far from self-sustaining.

Still think we are insulated from the arcane China shadow-banking system, which suddenly everyone is an expert of suddenly? Think again. Read More

03.14.14- And whether pigs have wings Part One: Something Wicked This Way Comes
Johnny Silver Bear

(Editor's Note: One of the perks of editing "the Bear" is getting to repost my own rants. In an ongoing attempt to "turn the lights back on" I chose to start out the year (2012) with a three part piece, entitled; "And Whether Pigs Have Wings" The point of this series is an attempt to wake up those of you that are not exactly sure what I mean when I bring up the "Dumbing Down" of America. This will be Part one, through which I will try to enlighten you to a far larger, and much more insidious conspiracy that is intended to take absolute control over you, everything you have, and every thing you do. We have to take this journey one step at a time so as to keep it from becoming "overwhelming". In this part I will try and exhibit the fact that some of the things you are absolutely sure of are absolutely wrong.- JSB) Read More

03.13.14- U.S. Definitely Wants War in Ukraine-Paul Craig Roberts
Paul Craig Roberts

Former Assistant Treasury Secretary Dr. Paul Craig Roberts thinks the Neoconservatives in the U.S. government want war in Ukraine. Dr. Roberts says, "They definitely want war, of course. They've wanted it ever since Reagan was President. The Neocons were always saying we have to attack the Soviet Union, and Reagan said we are not going to win anything, we are going to end it. The Neocons got to where they really disliked Reagan because he wouldn't take advantage of Soviet weakness to attack them. So, they are war minded. They produce documents that say nuclear war is winnable. So, they are basically crazy people; and, yet, they have determined the course of foreign policy since the Clinton Administration. Under George Bush, they controlled the show; and today, under Obama, the Neoconservatives control it." Read More

03.12.14- Currency Devaluation Result Of Geopolitical Tension, Government Corruption, Money Printing
David Levenstein

Even though continued tensions in Ukraine gave a boost to gold prices in yet another turbulent week for the yellow metal, the upward momentum in prices was thwarted by a better-than-expected non-farm payroll report released in the US on Friday.

The price of gold soared to a fresh four-month high near $1,355 last week as tensions flared in Ukraine on Monday. However, gold prices were unable to hold above the $1350 an ounce level, and subsequently dipped but prices looked set to break above this level  again early Thursday. Read More

03.10.14- Elevating markets: A signal of reviving bank lending?
Alasdair Macleod

Earlier this week Bill Gross who runs Pimco's bond fund made a conditional case for investing in high-yielding bonds, even though on first cut the yield benefit appears insufficient to justify the extra risk. Put bluntly, he suggests that investing in bonds issued by insolvent Eurozone governments or second-rank corporate borrowers could be profitable.

Mr Gross is following some other smart and usually sceptical fund managers in appearing to throw in the towel against persistently low bond yields and equity markets that defy gravity. He is unlikely to take this stance without good reasons. Read More

03.08.14- Debt Rattle Mar 7 2014: The US Economy's Volatile Inertia
Raúl Ilargi Meijer

175,000 new jobs (we await revisions) and a rising unemployment rate (6.7%). Which was not due to people re-entering the labor force, as has been suggested, since the labor force participation rate remained stuck at 63%. This hasn’t been going anywhere for years now, it’s all stuck around 150,000 or so – the running to stand still level – , sometimes up, sometimes down, with lots of revisions. It should worry the pants off of America, but stock markets set new records on a regular basis instead.

Since the real economy is hardly budging at all, the “new profits” can only come from QE-esque money streams, and that, after 5 years now, is getting extremely worrisome. Read More

03.07.14- 8 Real World Events That Prove Your Money Isn't Safe In Europe (Or Anywhere)
Jeff Berwick

As I write this, the European Union has just announced a possible $15b aid package to the Ukraine (including 8 billion euros in fresh credit). Everybody has read the headlines about Europe: record unemployment, no end in sight, and so on. So you might be wondering just where the European Union, and its' constituent nations, scrapped together the money to propose aid for the Ukraine. Well, wonder no more, because the following eight events might give you an idea of where governments go to get a little extra cash. Read More

03.06.14- Putin Targets America's Achilles Heel: "He's Going to Destroy the Stock Markets"
Mac Slavo

In 2012 an elite insider claimed that on or around March 4, 2014 the doomsday clock would ring, the effect of which would be a complete collapse of the U.S. economy. How former Vice Presidential adviser Grady Means came to this conclusion with a specific target date may forever remain clouded in secrecy. But given the state of current affairs around the world today, one can’t help but consider that maybe Grady Means was on to something. With the fight over political and resource control in the Ukraine heating up, is it possible the Means was referring to this very set of circumstances?

We know the U.S. economy is literally on the brink of a collapse. All we need now is a triggering mechanism. Read More

03.05.14- Economist John Williams: Financial Collapse if Russia Sells U.S. Dollar Holdings
Greg Hunter

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03.04.14- When We Are In A Depression
Afred Adask

Once most Americans believed the national economy was depressed, it became extremely difficult for government to overcome that belief and cause an economic recovery. Some people think the Great Depression would've lasted 5 to 10 years longer if WWII hadn't begun and forced a dramatic change in public sentiment.

In order to understand whether we are or aren’t in an economic depression, we need a definition of the phenomenon that we can compare to our current conditions.  Wikipedia defines “depression” as follows:

"In economics, a depression is a sustained, long-term downturn in economic activity in one or more economies.  It is a more severe downturn than a recession, which is seen by some economists as inevitable part of capitalist economy. Read More

03.03.14- The Beginning of the End: It Really Is Time To Assess Where You Are on Your Preparedness Journey.
Lizzie Bennett

There is no doubt that the world is teetering on the brink of the abyss.

The global financial system is almost at the point of imploding with more and more countries watching their economy nose dive, the downward spiral of depression casting a shadow over hundreds of millions of lives across the world.

Emerging diseases and mutations of common viruses threaten our existence on a daily basis.

The Sun is producing  flares  that could knock  us back to the stone age by wiping out the electrical grid. It’s just good fortune that the angles have been wrong so far. Read More

03.01.14- Gold And Silver – All Eyes On Gold And China When Silver Could Be The Tipping Point.
Michael Noonan

incense - [noun] an aromatic substance acquired from certain resinous trees with aromatic biotic materials which release fragrant smoke when burned. The odor produced from smoke is not the incense, but the substance that is burned.

Fundamentals for gold and silver have become the incense of reality for Westerners. The primary focus is on how many tonnes of gold China has been importing for the past many years, the depletion of available stocks from the central bankers straw men, aka the LMBA and COMEX, the number of coins sold by various governments to the public, [a relative drop in the bucket, but its reporting has a sensation factor], etc, etc. Read More

02.28.14- 3 Reasons to Be Bullish on 3-D Printing in 2014
Josh Grasmick

If you’ve been with us long enough, you know the 3-D printing story.

50,000 years ago, you made a knife by banging rock on flint, chipping away at the thing until it was the right shape, good, and sharp.

That’s “subtractive manufacturing”, and it’s how we’ve been making things for most of history.

Over the past 30 years, however, engineers and technologists have taken a different approach:

…one initiative… aims to put 3-D printers in each of America’s roughly 100,000 public schools.

Start with the smallest ingredients, add successive layers, until… viola! You get a whole object. Read More

02.26.14- Markets Climbing a Wall of Worry – or Manipulation?
The Daily Bell

US stocks end off session highs; S&P 500 just below record close ... U.S. stocks rallied on Monday, lifting the S&P 500 to a intraday record and briefly clearing its 2014 loss, as investors embraced activity on the M&A front and continued to disregard lackluster economic data as largely due to winter weather. Mergers and acquisitions came into play, with RF Micro Devices agreeing to acquire TriQuint Semiconductor for about $1.6 billion, while Men's Wearhouse hiked its cash tender offer for Jos. A. Bank Clothiers. "Maybe stocks are not overpriced at these levels if you have big players coming in and still doing deals," said Chris Gaffney, senior market strategist at EverBank. – CNBC

This is so exciting. The stock market keeps going up. The economy must really be doing well even if most people aren't aware of it. It's like a secret economy or something ...

What can we say about a stock market like this? We do understand why the market keeps moving up, though most people probably don't. Read More

02.25.14- A World of Manipulated Markets
John Rubino

The following is excerpted from The Money Bubble, by James Turk and John Rubino

"There are no markets anymore, just interventions."
— Chris Powell, Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee

Once upon a time, a handful of countries sometimes described as "capitalist" claimed to operate on the principal that consenting adults should be free to buy, sell, build and consume what they wanted, with little interference or guidance from the authorities. The idea, derived from Adam Smith's 1776 classic Wealth of Nations, was that all of these self-interested actions would in the aggregate form an "invisible hand" capable of guiding society towards the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Coincidentally, the political framework for such a society was envisioned the same year on the other side of the Atlantic, when Thomas Jefferson penned in the American Declaration of Independence that in addition to life and liberty, there was a third inalienable right for every individual – the pursuit of happiness. The resulting "market-based" societies were messy but brilliant, producing more progress in two centuries than in the previous 50. Read More

02.24.14- An Unhealthy Obsession With All-Time Highs
Greg Guenthner

The obsession with all-time highs is making us all a little dumber these days…

As we head into today's trading session, the S&P 500 Index is just 0.26% below its all-time highs. After fighting back from a January swoon, stocks are on track to potentially break free once again this week…

"Not that that's anything new," we're reminded by my trading buddy, Jonas Elmerraji. "Since 1982, almost half of the S&P 500′s closes have been within 5% of all-time highs. That's a staggering statistic, especially considering the fact that it includes some major market corrections along the way." Read More

02.22.14- China Starts To Make A Power Move Against The U.S. Dollar
Michael Snyder

In order for our current level of debt-fueled prosperity to continue, the rest of the world must continue to use our dollars to trade with one another and must continue to buy our debt at ridiculously low interest rates.  Of course the number one foreign nation that we depend on to participate in our system is China.  China accounts for more global trade than anyone else on the planet (including the United States), and most of that trade is conducted in U.S. dollars.  This keeps demand for our dollars very high, and it ensures that we can import massive quantities of goods from overseas at very low cost.  As a major exporting nation, China ends up with gigantic piles of our dollars.  They lend many of those dollars back to us at ridiculously low interest rates.  At this point, China owns more of our national debt than any other country does.  But if China was to decide to quit playing our game and started moving away from U.S. dollars and U.S. debt, our economic prosperity could disappear very rapidly.  Demand for the U.S. dollar would fall and prices would go up.  And interest rates on our debt and everything else in our financial system would go up to crippling levels.  So it is absolutely critical to our financial future that China continues to play our game. Read More

02.21.14- Elite Free Trade: Smell the Panic
The Daily Bell

How to make the world $600 billion poorer ... Barack Obama's unwillingness to fight for free trade is an expensive mistake ... In July 2008, Barack Obama, then a candidate for the presidency, declared before an adoring crowd in Berlin that "true partnership and true progress [require] constant work and sustained sacrifice." So it is with free trade. If not championed by leaders who understand its broad benefits, it will constantly be eroded by narrow economic nationalism. Mr Obama now appears to be surrendering to protectionists within his own party. – The Economist

Dominant Social Theme:

Free trade is the best and this fellow Barack ought to get with the program.

Free-Market Analysis:

The power elite does not take kindly to political interference with one of its most sacred causes – so-called free trade. Read More

02.20.14- We Are Well Past the Eleventh Hour. The Global Currency Reset Looms!
Jim Willie

The rabbit hole was detected long ago, leading to multiple examples of Jackass epiphany. Many clients and inquisitive followers have asked how and when the conspiracy and deep plots were recognized. A sequence occurred to produce the newfound awareness, in certain key events that reeked of suspicion, sabotage, and bad economics. The awareness began around 1990, confirmed in 2000 & 2001 with the stock bust and 911 crime scene, solidified with Lehman in 2008. The steady policy decisions were so destructive, ordered by intelligent men, that they had to be intentional. Read More

02.19.14- IMF report: 'Debt is good'. What are these people smoking?
Simon Black

Probably every kid in the world has at some point dreamed of having a time machine and being able to travel back to the past… usually to see dinosaurs or something like that.

Time travel is an almost universal fantasy. And if I could snap my fingers and turn the pages of time, I’d be seriously curious to check out the thousand-year period between the decline of the Western Roman Empire and the rise of the Renaissance.

They used to refer to this period as ‘the Dark Ages’ (though historians have since given up that moniker), a time when the entire European continent was practically at an intellectual standstill. Read More

02.18.14- Europe May Be in the Calm Before the Storm
Andrew Cullen

Austrian business cycle theory explains that the "bust" phase of that cycle is created by extension of the cheap and plentiful credit by a fractional reserve banking (FRB) system. A FRB system is inherently fragile during the bust phase as its leverage (lending as a percentage of its own capital) exposes the banks to the emerging tsunami of non-performing loans and impaired collateral that are the manifestations of malinvestment.

Yet, in today's protected and regulated banking industry, the "bust" phase of the cycle is delayed and distorted by the wide-ranging interventionism of regulators, central banks, and governments. The ongoing crisis in the European banking sector is evidence of this. Its problems of insolvency are unresolved. The ECB is at the center of interventionist efforts to stall and mitigate a European banking sector collapse that looks increasingly likely within the next 18 months.[1] Read More

02.17.14- The global debt reckoning – Total global debt at $230 trillion
mybudget360

Total world debt over 300 percent annual GDP. There is no escape from a reckoning with debt markets.

Total global debt crossed a troubling event horizon by going past the $200 trillion mark last year.  Given the latest figures we are likely well above a total global debt of $230 trillion based on a comprehensive study done by ING last year.  The banking sector rummages for every possible way of accessing debt.  Global central banks from the Fed to the ECB to the Bank of Japan are now fully engaged in a digital printing end game. Read More

02.15.14- Marijuana: How We Will Seize
Our Opportunity – and Yours

Anthony Wile

Exciting times. Marijuana decriminalization and legalization is moving quickly.

Most recently, as was reported yesterday, the US Justice Department announced that banks and other financial entities could participate in the burgeoning marijuana industry without fear of penalty.

This is a huge step forward, but one I expected because it is obvious a decision has been made at the highest levels that marijuana is to be legalized much like tobacco and alcohol.

I've initiated immediate moves to take advantage of this incredible business opportunity – for our shareholders and our family of readers, many of whom have been with us for nearly five years. I hope you come along with us. Read More

02.14.14- The Vampire Squid Strikes Again: The Mega Banks' Most Devious Scam Yet
Matt Taibbi

Banks are no longer just financing heavy industry. They are actually buying it up and inventing bigger, bolder and scarier scams than ever

Call it the loophole that destroyed the world. It's 1999, the tail end of the Clinton years. While the rest of America obsesses over Monica Lewinsky, Columbine and Mark McGwire's biceps, Congress is feverishly crafting what could yet prove to be one of the most transformative laws in the history of our economy – a law that would make possible a broader concentration of financial and industrial power than we've seen in more than a century. Read More

02.13.14- Currency Wars author Jim Rickards reckons QE tapering will pause after March due to stock market event
Peter Cooper

The Federal Reserve will only continue its $10 billion-a-month reduction in its QE money printing program for another month before a crisis in the stock market intervenes and it has to stop, warns Currency Wars author Jim Rickards who forecasts gold will hit $7-9,000 an ounce in the next coming global financial crisis.

‘My expectation is there will be one more round of taper in the March meeting of the FOMC [Federal Open Market Committee] where they will probably taper another $10 billion,’ he told Epoch Times. ‘But by June it will become very apparent that the economy is stalling out, the stock market is going down. They risk a stock market collapse. I think they will stop by pausing the taper. Read More

02.12.14- The Great Inflation of 2014
Charleston Voice

For over a year now I've been expecting 2014 to be the year when the unintended consequences of five years of QE come home to roost. 

By the end of the year we are going to have a massive inflationary spike in commodity prices that will collapse the global economy.

It's all going to start with a final manic melt up phase in the stock market over the next 3-4 months.

Make no mistake, this bull market will not be over until the NASDAQ tests it's all time high above 5000. Read More

02.11.14- 100% Fake Recovery
- Robert Wiedemer

Greg Hunter

Robert Wiedemer, best-selling author of "The Aftershock Investor," says the so-called recovery is "100 percent fake."  Wiedemer explains, "If you look at the amount our economy has grown last year, our GDP grew 2% or $350 billion, but we borrowed over $700 billion.  That tells you right there that we are borrowing more than we are even growing.  Our entire growth is due to government borrowing . . . it's a fake recovery."  Wiedemer, who has totally rewritten and updated his book, goes on to say, "It would be great if we would adjust our economic figures for stimulus.  What would the figures really look like if you took the fake money and borrowed money away?"  It is supported heavily by printed money of over a trillion dollars last year.  We're not talking about what's driving the recovery we are getting, and it's powered by massive money printing and massive money borrowing.  Yes, we are getting some recovery, but it is not driven by something that is sustainable." Read More

02.10.14- A Bear Rally to Warm Wall Street's Black Heart
Rick Ackerman

What a difference a week makes! Last Monday, with the Dow Industrials approaching the nadir of a nearly 1200-point slide, one might have thought the world was about to end. In just one issue of The Wall Street Journal, we read about a nascent slump in housing and auto sales; a deflationary trend in pricing power for a wide swath of U.S. businesses, particularly mid-tier retailers; a shift toward defensive stocks by portfolio managers; and, alarming growth in the debts of emerging nations.

It didn't help that the neutron bomb called Obamacare continued to emit deadly toxins, threatening to consume what remains of middle-class households' meager after-tax savings. Read More

02.10.14- We Owe It To Ourselves?
Bill Holter

I promised I would write a piece that explains why the “we owe it to ourselves” explanation of our national debt is pure hogwash.  The thought process is that since “we owe it to ourselves” who cares how much total debt we have because it just doesn’t matter.  If we defaulted, we would only be defaulting on ourselves so no harm no foul.  This fallacy can be taken apart from several different angles so let’s explore a few of them.

From one angle, let’s look at this from a balance sheet perspective.  If we “owe” something but that “something” is also an asset then they just cancel each other out right?  Well yes, sort of but you also must look at this from a “quality” standpoint.  If we owe “too much” and the debt becomes unpayable from a practical or mathematical standpoint then just how “good” is the asset (Treasury bond) that we claim on our balance sheet?  One must also remember that for the debt markets to actually function correctly they must also be funded by foreigners. Read More

02.08.14- Surmounting Hostile Incoming
Deepcaster

If you view the progressive financial breakdown in America as some kind of 'comedy of errors' or a trial of unlucky coincidences, then there is not much I can do to educate you on the reasons behind the carnage. If, however, you understand that there is a deliberate motivation behind American collapse, then what I have to say here will not fall on biased ears.

"The financial crash of 2008, the same crash which has been ongoing for years, is NOT an accident. It is a concerted and engineered crisis meant to position the U.S. for currency disintegration and the institution of a global basket currency controlled by an unaccountable supranational governing body like the International Monetary Fund (IMF. The American populace is being conditioned through economic fear to accept the institutionalization of global financial control and the loss of sovereignty…. Read More

02.07.14- The Rockefellers, The Rothschilds and many other giant Dynasties…
Koos Jansen

John D. Rockefeller Sr and Jr

These financial industry giants lived through all the wealth cycles of the past 100 years and more. What used to be long term wealth investments evolved to the day-trading, making money activities, with a top in the year 2000. Then the financial industry morphed rapidly into the absurd High Frequency Trading. All wealth is now a spooky derivative of what it once was. Debt rules!

The US was the biggest gold reserve holder in the entire world, with 28,000 metric tons of gold in its vaults (60% of the world's total gold reserves). Most, if not all, of that gold disappeared from the UST, whilst the financial industry  and the debt driven economy, expanded.  First there was the London Gold Pool selling central bank gold reserves, then in 1974 Louise Auchincloss Boyer discovered that N. Rockefeller was selling UST Fort Knox gold. Three days later she fell out of her window (July 3, 1974). Read More

02.06.14- None Are So Blind As Those Who Refuse To See
Aubie Baltin CFA, CTA, CFP, PhD

Reserved for only people who are willing to think for themselves.

As you know, I am the ultimate contrarian.  I take nothing at face value especially government announcements and put everything under the microscope of common sense, free market capitalist economics.  Instead of beating my own drum, my regular readers already know how right I have been over the years.  For those of you who don't know, you can check my past letters in the archives of gold-eagle.com and 24hgold.com and other websites in the similar vein.

In light of what has recently come to pass, I have decided to extend the 2 for 1 special subscription rate of $249 for two years until February 15thRead More

02.05.14- Oh Great, Here We Go Again...
Adam English

A little over two decades ago, something seemingly crazy started in Las Vegas...

Archie Karas decided to drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas with only $50 in his pocket.

In six months, Karas' $50 became $17 million. In three years, he'd won more than $40 million.

He beat some of the world's best poker players and pulled in over a million playing pool at $40,000 a game. He hauled around millions of dollars' worth of cash and chips in his car, bought a gun, and had to have casino security guards escort him around town. Read More

02.04.14- What Is Supply-Side Economics?
Paul Craig Roberts

Supply-side economics is an innovation in macroeconomic theory and policy. It rose to prominence in congressional policy discussions in the late 1970s in response to worsening Phillips Curve trade-offs between inflation and unemployment. The postwar Keynesian demand management policy had broken down. The attempts to stimulate employment brought higher rates of inflation, and attempts to curtail inflation resulted in higher rates of unemployment.

In other words, the Phillips curve (named after economist A. W. Phillips) trade-offs between inflation and unemployment were worsening. Each additional job created had to be paid for with a higher rate of inflation, and each reduction in inflation had to be paid for with a higher rate of unemployment. Read More

02.03.14- We Owe It To Ourselves?
Bill Holter

I promised I would write a piece that explains why the “we owe it to ourselves” explanation of our national debt is pure hogwash.  The thought process is that since “we owe it to ourselves” who cares how much total debt we have because it just doesn’t matter.  If we defaulted, we would only be defaulting on ourselves so no harm no foul.  This fallacy can be taken apart from several different angles so let’s explore a few of them.

From one angle, let’s look at this from a balance sheet perspective.  If we “owe” something but that “something” is also an asset then they just cancel each other out right?  Well yes, sort of but you also must look at this from a “quality” standpoint.  If we owe “too much” and the debt becomes unpayable from a practical or mathematical standpoint then just how “good” is the asset (Treasury bond) that we claim on our balance sheet?  One must also remember that for the debt markets to actually function correctly they must also be funded by foreigners. Read More

02.01.14- The Triffin Dilemma
Greg Canavan

There is a fundamental incompatibility between the attainment of global economic stability and having a single national currency perform the role of the world’s reserve currency. This is hardly a new revelation. But events of the past few months have brought this topic back into the spotlight.

Belgian born American economist Robert Triffin first highlighted this incompatibility in the 1960s. He observed that having the US dollar perform the role of the world’s reserve currency created fundamental conflicts of interest between domestic and international economic objectives. Read More

01.31.14- Critical Forecast Signals
Deepcaster LLC

"U.S. Major markets will Implode, if Emerging Markets Implode." - Jim Sinclair

Sinclair's claim is correct, but the Markets' recent Negative Reaction to Argentina's Devaluation and Turkey's Massive Rate Increase provides us one Superb Forecasting Signal.

Indeed, so far in 2014 the Markets have provided us with several Superb Forecast Signals in Key Sectors.

"Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria." - John Templeton

John Templeton's wise observation is Relevant given the Markets' Euphoria on January 30, and that Euphoria provide yet another "Signal". Read More

01.30.14- The Emerging Market Collapse Through The Eyes Of Don Corleone
Ben Hunt

Like many in the investments business, I am a big fan of the Godfather movies, or at least those that don't have Sofia Coppola in a supporting role. The strategic crux of the first movie is the realization by Don Corleone at a peace-making meeting of the Five Families that the garden variety gangland war he thought he was fighting with the Tattaglia Family was actually part of an existential war being waged by the nominal head of the Families, Don Barzini. Vito warns his son Michael, who becomes the new head of the Corleone Family, and the two of them plot a strategy of revenge and survival to be put into motion after Vito's death. The movie concludes with Michael successfully murdering Barzini and his various supporters, a plot arc that depends entirely on Vito's earlier recognition of the underlying cause of the Tattaglia conflict. Once Vito understood WHY Philip Tattaglia was coming after him, that he was just a stooge for Emilio Barzini, everything changed for the Corleone Family's strategy. Read More

01.29.14- Prepare for Currency Chaos
Michael Pento

On November the 25th I published the following warning about the effects from the Fed's imminent tapering of asset purchases:

"There is a good chance that the beginning of tapering will lead to a reversal of the trade to sell gold ahead of the news. But the major averages have priced in a sustainable recovery on the other side of QE, which will not come to fruition. For the Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ the end of QE will be especially painful. A unilateral removal of stimulus on the part of the Fed will send the dollar soaring [especially against emerging market currencies] and risk assets plunging -- you could throw in emerging market equities and any other interest rate sensitive investment on planet earth." Read More

01.28.14- Before the Great Consolidation
JC Collins

Hegelian Economics and Sovereign Defaults

In philosophy there is a term called the Hegelian Dialectic.  For those of you who don’t know, it is the resolution of conflict between two opposing positions by way of the revelation of a higher truth which serves to unite all.  There is a thesis, which is in contradiction to the antithesis, and both are united by the synthesis.  These are the triads of the Hegelian Dialectic.

This philosophical principle has been widely used in our modern world as a form of manipulation.  In simpler terms, thesis becomes the problem, antithesis becomes the reaction to the problem, and synthesis becomes the solution, or reconciliation of the first two. Read More

01.27.14- The Next System
belangp

View Video

01.25.14- The Coming Bust
Tim Wood

Regardless of what we hear from various sources, fact is, the economy peaked in 2000.  This peak corresponded with the stock market top in 2000, which was followed by the decline into the 2002 low.  Since that decline began, the money masters have tried to reignite the underlying economy and in the process they have only made matters worse.  

Seriously, rather than letting the mainstream media tell you what to think, stop and think for a minute with some basic emotionless common sense.  If the economy was so good, then why did the money masters cut interest rates following the 2000 top? It's simple, in their own words, they were trying to "stimulate aggregate demand." Read More

01.24.14- Thoughts from the Frontline: Forecast 2014: "Mark Twain!"
John Mauldin

Piloting on the Mississippi River was not work to me; it was play — delightful play, vigorous play, adventurous play – and I loved it…

– Mark Twain

In the 1850s, flat-bottom paddlewheel steamboats coursed up and down the mighty Mississippi, opening up the Midwest to trade and travel. But it was treacherous travel. The current was constantly shifting the sandbars underneath the placid, smoothly rolling surface of the river. What was sufficient depth one week on a stretch of the river might become a treacherous sandbar the next, upon which a steamboat could run aground, perhaps even breaching the hull and sinking the ship. To prevent such a catastrophe, a crewman would throw a long rope with a lead weight at the end as far in front of the boat as possible (and thus the crewman was called the leadman). The rope was usually twenty-five fathoms long and was marked at increments of two, three, five, seven, ten, fifteen, seventeen and twenty fathoms. A fathom was originally the distance between a man's outstretched hands, but since this could be quite imprecise, it evolved to be six feet. Read More

01.23.14- The Outlook for 2014
James Turk

Before looking at the year ahead, it is useful to look back at the year just passed. This adage is particularly true now because little has changed. Three major markets – stocks, bonds and gold – will again be driven this year by the same forces that shaped 2013, but the outcome will be different in one key respect. This year the price of gold will rise.

In January 2013, my outlook for the year ahead focused on three specific events. These were a rising yield on the 10-year Treasury note, growth of the Federal Reserve's balance sheet, and a decline in the gold/silver ratio.

Two of these events unfolded as expected. But the third did not confirm the other two. Read More

01.22.14- The Russo-Chinese Pincer Movement Against The US Treasury
and The FED

Video Rebel

The Federal Reserve Bank is privately owned by member banks. If those member banks have either sold out to China or are bought for pennies on the dollar by them when the dollar crashes, then Beijing will own the American Federal Reserve Bank. Though at that point we could no longer call it American.

China has bought 60% of all the real estate in the Financial District of South Manhattan. This includes the J P Morgan Chase headquarters building at one Chase Plaza which has the largest private bold bullion vault in the world. It is next door to the New York Federal Reserve vault. When Dr Jim Willie saw the price the Chinese paid for the building, he wondered if that was a typo. After he confirmed the price, he began speculating  that J P Morgan might have lost a bundle and avoided bankruptcy by selling out to Beijing at a discounted price. He then began wondering whether or not the Chinese were taking over the Federal Reserve. Read More

01.21.14- The Big Reset: Why China Bought JPMorgan's Gold Vault
Koos Jansen

The office building of JPMorgan with its largest private gold vaults at Chase Manhattan Plaza, opposite to the New York Federal Reserve building, has been recently sold to the Chinese.
This indicates the US and China seem to be working together in advance towards a global currency reset whereby the US, Europe and China will back the SDR's with their gold reserves so the dollar can be replaced

We have now arrived at the point where it is not the banks, but the countries themselves that are getting in serious financial trouble. The idea that we can 'grow our way back' out of debt is naive. The current solution to 'park' debts on to the balance sheets of central banks is just an interim solution. Read More

01.20.14- You Don't Need to Trust Russian Stocks
Bill Bonner

'You can't trust the Russians,' was the warning.

It came from a Moscow cab driver, delivered to our son Henry. From our point of view, it was an unnecessary caution. We never trusted them anyway. Or the Chinese. Or the Democrats. Or wealth managers. Or General Petraeus. Or people from north of Baltimore or west of Hagerstown.

But what the heck?

You need confidence to buy Amazon. Or Google. Or Chipotle. You need confidence to buy a US T-bond, too. Or to let a contractor remodel your house on time and materials.

But Russian stocks are so cheap you don't need to trust them. Read More

01.18.14- Is China's economy headed for a crash?
John Aziz

George Soros sees China as the biggest risk to global growth going into 2014

In his assessment of the global economy's performance 2013, legendary financier George Soros warned of dangers in the Chinese economy:

The major uncertainty facing the world today is not the euro but the future direction of China. The growth model responsible for its rapid rise has run out of steam.

That model depended on financial repression of the household sector, in order to drive the growth of exports and investments. As a result, the household sector has now shrunk to 35 percent of GDP, and its forced savings are no longer sufficient to finance the current growth model. This has led to an exponential rise in the use of various forms of debt financing. Read More

01.17.14- This Credit Event Could Crush the US Stock Market
Bill Bonner

Now our nerves are settled. We can sleep at night. There's nothing more to worry about. Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, has reassured us.

Madame Lagarde tells us that further scaling back of QE won't mean a thing, as long as the Fed goes about its tapering in a gradual, measured way, which of course it will.

'We don't anticipate massive, heavy and serious consequences,' she said.

But wait... Read More

01.16.14- Why We Can Not Purchase Our Way Out Of Debt
Nicole Foss

Last week, there was a discussion in our comments section about the financial “crunch”, the big kahuna, and how it still has not happened despite our insisting it is inevitable, with people saying things like: ‘but the stock markets are way up!’, and ‘in my area home prices are up 30%’. As much as I understand the sentiments, at the same time I don’t really. Certainly for people who read The Automatic Earth, I would have thought it would be clearer what is going on “out there”. I have certainly written more articles than I care to remember about what goes on. Debt is what goes on.

Because in order to understand what really goes on in the world of finance, and the economy at large, today, you need to know only one word: debt (aka credit). And you then ask yourself with everything you read: what about the debt? Read More

01.15.14- Iran, Russia Ruffle US Feathers With Oil Swap Deal
Wolf Richter

(Editor's Note: This "in your fsce" action by Iran and Russia is simply another domino falling and will accelerate the demise of the Petro Dollar System. - JSB)

Reports are emerging that Iran and Russia are in talks about a potential $1.5 billion oil-for-goods swap that could boost Iranian oil exports, prompting harsh responses from Washington, which says such a deal could trigger new US sanctions.

So far, talks are progressing to the point that Russia could purchase up to 500,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil in exchange for Russian equipment and goods, according to Reuters. Read More

01.14.14- It's All About Confidence in the Market
Greg Canavan

Ouch! US stocks fell hard overnight, with the benchmark S&P500 falling 1.26%, its biggest decline in months. The Australian market followed it down, with the ASX200 down 50 points at the time of writing. Why investors decided to sell today and not yesterday, or last year, is anyone's guess. According to the Financial Review, the punters are becoming a little nervous about company earnings.

Company earnings you ask? What are they? Well, they are the fundamental driver of stock prices. Sometimes the market chooses to ignore them, which is what happened throughout much of last year. And sometimes the market worries about them, which seems to be what's happening now. Read More

01.13.14- 3 Ways You've Been Tricked Into Thinking the U.S. Economy Is Healthy
Sean Williams

To say that 2013 was a phenomenal year for the stock markets and its two most iconic indexes, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) , would be a brutal understatement. With no sizable corrections, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 advanced by 27% and 30%, respectively, practically tripling their historic average annual return. Read More

01.11.14- The Malachi Crunch Continues
Andy Sutton

Those of you who have known me any length of time know that I love to say 'they always tell you what they're going to do'. I had a really scintillating discussion yesterday with two fellow economists as to why that might be and we'll shelve that for now, but let's just say this: 'they' are at it again. Last week I referenced an IMF working paper penned by Harvard dynamic duo Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart regarding asset confiscation and other ways to wiggle our way our the current economic morass that we find ourselves in. This week I'm going to perform a full dissection because there is material in there that you simply cannot go on without knowing if you expect to salvage even a shred of your financial state as it exists today. Read More

01.10.14- Baltic Dry Index Collapses 35% - Worst Start To Year In 30 Years
Tyler Durden

Introduced in 1985, the Baltic Dry Index first and foremost is a measure of the global shipping rates of dry bulk goods, mostly consisting of vital raw materials used in the creation of other products. However, it is also a measure of demand for said materials in comparison to previous months and years.

When this indicator of global trade rises, everything is rosy and reams of asset-gatherers and talking-heads wil quote it as indicative of how great the world is. When it drops - silence. There's always an excuse - over- or under-capacity, too many ships, too few ships, etc. However, the last 2 weeks have seen a 35% collapse in the cost to ship bulk. There is a relative seasonal pattern over the holiday period - with shipping costs rising into the holiday and falling after but... this is the biggest drop from a Christmas Eve since at least 1984, 30 years! Seems like the inventory stacking of Q4 had absolutely no follow-through whatsoever... Read More

01.09.14- Three warning signs that a financial crash is imminent
James Smith

Do you really need more than that?

For years, prophets of profit have warned us that the next stock market crash “will be soon”, and that such a crash will be utter catastrophic. Farber, Celente, et al., have told us that such a crash will be epic and that life as we know it will be forever changed. There are some that challenge their assertions because of fondness for the Gold Market. Many take their advice because they are conservative – play-it-safe investors.

But hearing the same wailing for years does no one any good unless you can see the threat.

Seeing a threat makes it personal. It makes it “in your face” where you MUST deal with it. Read More

01.08.14- Investment Trends 2014
Anthony Wile

Welcome to 2014. Here are some dominant social themes I've selected to watch in 2014. In each case, I've selected a recent mainstream article to illustrate the trend in question:

Gold to begin with, given the slump this metal has been in of late... We don't have a time or a price point for gold going forward, but we do believe there are many signs of the yellow metal's manipulation and sooner or later it will be time to buy once again.

Biotech is sure to continue benefiting from what we have called the "Wall Street Party," a series of presumably arranged monetary and regulatory events that are boosting equity markets higher around the world and especially in the US – albeit not without volatility.

Obamacare hit the US hard late in 2013 and its current disastrous rollout carries in its wake numerous questions about the future of health fare in the US – and the future of insurers, as well. 2014 should hold some answers – if not for Obamacare itself, then for the future of the larger health care industry and structure. Read More

01.07.14- Cosmically Timeless Mogambo Monetary And Investment Wisdom (CTMMAIW)
Richard Daughty aka The Mogambu Guru

Snug and safe inside the silent and comforting Mogambo Big Boy Bunker (MBBB), I have a lot of spare time each day to work myself into a state of paranoid hysteria by thinking about the economic mess we are in. Being a cynic of the first order (everything is corrupt and nothing can be done) and sensing imminent doom (We're Freaking Doomed (WFD)!), it is not surprising to me that the evil Federal Reserve owns more than $3.5 trillion in Treasury debt, which is about 21 percent of ALL the nation's $17 trillion debt.

As totally bizarre and horrifying as this "monetizing the debt" crap is, the damage has already been done. Namely, the damage caused by all the newly created currency and credit, used to buy all the Treasury debt in the first place, has already long since flooded into the economy via government borrowing and spending the new money, inflating the money supply and causing horrifying inflation in prices. Ergo, the national craze to increase the minimum wage. Read More

01.06.14- "2013: A Watershed Year"
Andy Sutton

If you weren't paying close attention, 2013 might have gone down as a quasi-normal year. After all, the Dow Jones 'Industrials' (sic) hit 50 some new record highs, mostly in the latter half of the year. The NASDAQ went above 4,000 again (can anyone say 1999?), and the world didn't end as many had predicted. That's the surface view. Well, as a good friend of mine says, we're a mile wide and an inch deep, and in that world, a few positive headlines are good enough to pacify the average American consumer.

Well, as the consumption binge-spending hangover starts to kick in, how about we take a bucket of cold water and dump it all over 2013 and the notion that it was just another normal year? I'll even provide aspirin to anyone who needs it to make this more tolerable. No, we're not going to go away just in case you were wondering. We're not required to and besides, I'd feel at least a bit honored if this piece made it into the NSA's new datacenter that is going up in Utah. Read More

01.04.14- Market Movers for 2014
Deepcaster LLC

'Back in April, when the S&P500 was at 1580 we forecast that the price target on the S&P500 for the global central bank syndicate was 1900. The S&P closed the year at 1850, just barely missing said target, which was merely a function of the correlation between the stock market and the straight-line, diagonally expanding consolidated central banks' balance sheet (yes, it is a "market" for idiots, but such is life under central planning... while it lasts).

'Incidentally, there was a time as recently as two years ago, when saying the Fed is merely propping up stocks, was blasphemous in polite economist circles. Since then even the most tenured economists (not to mention the US Treasury) have finally admitted the truth…Read More

01.03.14- Overthrow the Speculators
Chris Hedges

Money, as Karl Marx lamented, plays the largest part in determining the course of history. Once speculators are able to concentrate wealth into their hands they have, throughout history, emasculated government, turned the press into lap dogs and courtiers, corrupted the courts and hollowed out public institutions, including universities, to justify their looting and greed. Today’s speculators have created grotesque financial mechanisms, from usurious interest rates on loans to legalized accounting fraud, to plunge the masses into crippling forms of debt peonage. They steal staggering sums of public funds, such as the $85 billion of mortgage-backed securities and bonds, many of them toxic, that they unload each month on the Federal Reserve in return for cash. And when the public attempts to finance public-works projects they extract billions of dollars through wildly inflated interest rates.Traders work at the Goldman Sachs posts on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in this file photo taken on March 15, 2012. Read More

01.02.14- NAV Premiums of Certain Precious Metal Trusts and Funds - Breaking Bad
Jesse's Café Américain

There is a blizzard moving into the northeastern US this evening.

It may affect tomorrow's trade in equities.

I had put a decent short position on in the closing minutes of 31 December.  I have taken most of that off the table here and now.

I am long gold and silver bullion.

To my mind, prices were pushed to some short term extremes for the year end tape painting. Read More

01.01.14- 2013 – Dense Fog Turns Into Toxic Smog
Jim Quinn

In mid-January of this year I wrote my annual prediction article for 2013 –Apparitions in the Fog. It is again time to assess my inability to predict the future any better than a dart throwing monkey. As usual, sticking to facts was a mistake in a world fueled by misinformation, propaganda, delusion and wishful thinking. I was far too pessimistic about the near term implications of debt, civic decay and global disorder.

Those in power have successfully held off the unavoidable collapse which will be brought about by their ravenous unbridled greed, and blatant disregard for the rule of law, the U.S. Constitution and rights and liberties of the American people. The day to day minutia, pointless drivel of our techno-narcissistic selfie showbiz society, and artificially created issues (gay marriage, Zimmerman-Martin, Baby North West, Duck Dynasty) designed to distract the public from thinking, are worthless trivialities in the broad landscape of human history. Read More

12.31.13- Market Crash In the Works: "A Canary May Have Just Keeled Over"
Mac Slavo

As holiday shoppers raided Black Friday sales and internet retailers ahead of Christmas, the establishment media heralded a new era of economic boom for the 2013 shopping season.

But things are not at all as they may seem if all you do is follow official government statistics and propagandized mainstream news report.

In the week leading up to Christmas, for example, retail analysis firm ShopperTalk advised that brick & mortar retail traffic was down over 20% this year. Read More

12.30.13- All the King's Horses and All the King's Men, Part Two:
Getting Out from Under the Bus.

Johnny Silver Bear

It is high time We the People see the military and economic hegemony in the Middle East for the farce that it is, and start developing alternative solutions to the unsustainable system of the Petrodollar, and we had better do it soon.

I might have been a bit "over the top" when I referred to the conflict, which is currently focused on Syria, as a farce. It is typical of "those who would be kings" to prefer to do everything they can, to control all of what is, rather than intelligently creating more, or by reducing the need. Read More

12.28.13- Top Ten Trends 2014: A Year of Extremes
Gerald Celente

KINGSTON, NY, 26 December 2013 — In 33 years of forecasting trends, the Trends Research Institute has never seen a new year that will witness severe economic hardship and social unrest on one hand, and deep philosophic enlightenment and personal enrichment on the other. A series of dynamic socioeconomic and transformative geopolitical trend points are aligning in 2014 to ring in the worst and best of times.

Ready or not, here they come. Read More

12.27.13- A Trip Through The Bitcoin Mines
Tyler Durden

Once upon a time, money – in the form of precious metals – used to be literally dug out of the earth. Limitations on the amount that could be mined, and on how much growth could be borrowed from the future (all debt is, is future consumption denied), is why eventually the world’s central bankers moved from money backed by precious metals, to “money” backed by “faith and credit”, in the process diluting both. It was the unprecedented explosion in credit money creation that resulted once money could be “printed” out of thin air that nearly destroyed the western financial system. Which brings us to Bitcoin, where currency “mining” takes place not in the earth’s crust, or in the basement of the Federal Reserve, but inside supercomputers. Read More

12.26.13- Greed + Confirmation Bias = Disaster
kid dynamite

If I could force-feed my readers a single concept to consider every day in their investing and trading endeavors, it would be to be cognizant of the perils of confirmation bias, and to do their best to avoid falling into the confirmation bias mindset.    I’ve written about confirmation bias previously, on more than one occasion, but the topic is essential so I’ll write about it again.

My summary of my thoughts on avoiding confirmation bias are simple:

When you’re in a trade or an investment, you should be more eager to hear from the people who disagree with your thesis than from the people who agree with your thesis. Read More

12.25.13- Retail Traffic Plunges By "Staggering" 21% In Week Before Christmas
Tyler Durden

(Editor's Note: The misinformation which spews continually from the sources of government's statistical revision, has attempted to lead us to believe that some kind of recovery was in progress. Pure tripe. The recent news of a modest taper, by the Federal Reserve, was also more pure tripe, piled higher and deeper. 2014 will be the year that the petro dollar system is finally rejected by the rest of the world, which will result in the repatriation of trillions of dollars arriving on our shores. This will certainly cause a massive dissolution in the purchasing power of American Federal Reserve Notes in the U.S. which will, in turn, cause the price of everything to rise and the standard of most American's lives to fall precipitously. This year's retail season's train wreck will, by then, have become a fond memory of those assessing the state of the economy at that point. - JSB)

That it has been one of the most lackluster shopping seasons in recent years has already been repeatedly covered, with average holiday spending expected to decline for the first time since the Great Financial Crisis of 2008, all this despite record promotions and an ever earlier start to Black Friday. Read More

12.24.13- Push of a Button: This Is How Fast They Can Lock Down the Entire Banking System
Mac Slavo

Late last week it was learned that some 40 million charge cards were obtained using physical processing systems located in Target retail locations nationwide. Though no details of the how the hack attack was executed have been released by Target, the FBI or other agencies investigating the breach, it is likely that the processing machines themselves were compromised. Target claims that the hack was sophisticated, but on the technical side, once hackers found a way into the credit card processing machines, probably via remote entry from servers somewhere in Eastern Europe or Russia, the theft of credit card data itself would have been fairly straight forward by using scripts or applications that simply capture the data and send it off to servers owned by the hackers. Read More

12.23.13- Rising Gold Prices Will Be Fueled By China Dumping U.S. Treasuries
Vronsky

The T-Bond Bull Market is probably the longest running Bull Markets in history. To my knowledge no other asset class has sustained a constantly rising bull trend for over 33 years (since 1980). 

That is to say all bulls eventually grow old and die…ALWAYS…ALWAYS!

This begs the question:  What will be the catalyst that will bring this monumental BOND BULL down? Who or what will kill this historical record breaking BOND BULL?

In a word…CHINA ! Read More

12.21.13- Manipulations Rule The Markets
Paul Craig Roberts

The Federal Reserve's announcement on December 18 that beginning in January its monthly purchases of mortgage-backed financial instruments and US Treasury bonds would each be cut by $5 billion is puzzling, as is the financial press's account of the market's response.

The Federal Reserve conveys a contradictory message. The Fed says that improvements in employment and the economy justify cutting back on bond purchases. Yet the Fed emphasizes that it is maintaining its commitment to record low interest rates "well past the time that the unemployment rate declines below 6.5 percent, especially if projected inflation continues to run below the [Open Market] Committee's 2 percent longer-run goal. When the Committee decides to begin to remove policy accommodation it will take a balanced approach consistent with its longer-run goals of maximum employment and inflation of 2 percent." Read More

12.20.13- The Dollar's Demise and the Rise of Bitcoin
Cliff Droke

One of the questions investors have been asking lately concerns the outlook for the U.S. dollar index. Investors are understandably concerned by the dollar's weakness and worry that perhaps that any notable increase in inflation could lead to further erosion in the dollar's value.

In a weak dollar environment, investors actively search for alternatives to cash which provide growth and relative protection from dollar weakness. Until 2011 the investment safe havens of choice were gold and silver; prior to that it was real estate. The new alternative investment versus the dollar is growing in popularity and becoming more widely accepted as a legitimate financial vehicle. I'm referring to Bitcoins, the open-source, peer-to-peer payment network and digital currency. Read More

12.19.13- Tapering - Join the dots and end up with ZIRP
Alasdair Macleod

Now we know: The Fed is going to purchase $75bn of assets, a reduction of $10bn a month. The two other bits of information that came from the FOMC meeting were that purchases of US Treasuries and mortgage bonds are to be cut by $5bn each, and interest rates will be held at zero for even longer. And to justify zero interest rates, the unemployment target is being shifted from 7% to 6.5%.

In my opinion the Fed showed through its FOMC statement yesterday it has little control over events, something that should dawn on markets in the coming days. To debate this we must put aside the question as to whether or not quantitative easing is sensible in the first place and only focus on this FOMC compromise. Read More

12.18.13- The Taper Round 3
Bob Rinear

The majority of MMA (mixed martial arts) bouts are 3 rounds, unless it is a title fight and then they are usually 5 rounds. Well, we’re entering round 3 in the “market versus Bernanke” fight concerning whether they are going to “taper” their QE program from 85 billion a year to something less.

The talking head Feds, those on the committee…have been out in force telling anyone that would listen that there’s a good chance the taper is coming in December at their next two day meeting next week. So, just like this summer, and again in September, as we’re approaching the date of the meeting, the market has fallen ahead of it. The Fed heads warned us then too that a taper was coming. It didn’t. Read More

12.17.13- Punking Ourselves to Death
James Howard Kunstler

The so-called Volker Rule for policing (ha!) banking practices, approved by a huddle of federal regulating agency chiefs last week, is the latest joke that America has played on itself in what is becoming the greatest national self-punking exercise in world history.

First of all (and there's a lot of all), this rule comes in the form of nearly 1,000 pages of incomprehensible legalese embedded in what was already a morbidly obese Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform (ha!) and Consumer Protection (ha!) Act of 2012 that clocked in at 2000 pages, not counting the immense rafts of mandated interpretations and adumbrations, of which the new Volker Rule is but one. These additions were required because the Dodd-Frank Act itself did not really spell out the particulars of enforcement but rather left it to the regulatory agencies to construct the rules — which they did with "help" of lobbyist-lawyers furnished by the banks themselves. That is, the lobbyists actually wrote the rules for Dodd-Frank and everything in it, which means the banks wrote the rules. Does this strain your credulity? Well, this is the kind of nation we have become: anything goes and nothing matters. There really is no rule of law, just pretense. Read More

12.16.13- Analysts Split Over Fed's 2014 Impact on Gold as QE in Spotlight
Adrian Ash

The price of gold bounced from a steady drop Monday lunchtime in London, trading back at $1234 per ounce as Asian stockmarkets ended sharply down but Europe ticked up ahead of this week's US Federal Reserve policy decision, due Wednesday.

China's gold premiums above international prices edged lower again, dropping to $6 per ounce at the close of solid trading on the Shanghai Gold Exchange.

Silver tracked and extended the moves in gold, cutting an earlier 1.2% drop in half to record a London Fix of $19.50 per ounce – exactly the level of Monday last week. Read More

12.14.13- Washington is standing in the way of US recovery
Dan Steinbock

In order to defer the next debt crisis, Washington seeks still another timeout.

After the latest jobs report, U.S. markets soared. The Dow Jones climbed to 16,020, while Nasdaq roared to over 4,060 and even S&P 500 exceeded 1,800.

However, today only 52 percent of Americans are personally or jointly invested in the market — the lowest level since the 1990s. What drives the U.S. economy is consumption, which accounts for more than 70 percent of the GDP. And yet, retail spending over Thanksgiving weekend dropped for the first time in seven years. Read More

12.13.13- VIX Trader Buys $5.1 Million in Calls to Bet on 50% Increase
Nikolaj Gammeltoft

An investor bought $5.12 million in call options that will be profitable if the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (VIX) jumps at least 50 percent in the next four months.

The trader purchased 40,000 April calls on the VIX with a strike price of 22 for $1.28 each, according to Trade Alert LLC. The bullish volatility bet was the biggest single block of options to change hands on U.S. exchanges, the research firm said. The VIX rose 0.8 percent to 15.54 today. Read More

12.12.13- How Far Will Stocks Fall This Time When The Fed Decides To Slow Down Quantitative Easing?
Michael Snyder

When QE1 ended there was a substantial stock market correction, and when QE2 ended there was a substantial stock market correction.  And if you will remember, the financial markets threw a massive hissy fit a few months ago when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested that the Fed may soon start tapering QE3.  Clearly Wall Street does not like it when their supply of monetary heroin is interrupted.

The Federal Reserve has tricked the American people into supporting quantitative easing by insisting that it is about "stimulating the economy", but that has turned out to be a massive hoax.  In fact, I just wrote an article that contained 37 statistics that prove that things just keep getting even worse for ordinary Americans. Read More

12.11.13- And Now, for Something Entirely Different: Flash Mob: The U.S. Air Force Band at the Smithsonian
Department of Defense

View Video

 

12.10.13- Currency War Means Currency Suicide
Patrick Barron

What the media calls a "currency war," whereby nations engage in competitive currency devaluations in order to increase exports, is really "currency suicide." National governments persist in the fallacious belief that weakening one's own currency will improve domestically-produced products' competitiveness in world markets and lead to an export driven recovery. As it intervenes to give more of its own currency in exchange for the currency of foreign buyers, a country expects that its export industries will benefit with increased sales, which will stimulate the rest of the economy. So we often read that a country is trying to "export its way to prosperity." Read More

12.09.13- May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor:
The Reaping

Jim Quinn

We are five years into the Crisis that will not resolve itself until sometime in the 2020's. No one can predict the specific events that will fundamentally change history over the next decade, but the catalysts of debt, civic decay and global disorder were evident sixteen years ago when Strauss and Howe wrote their prophetic generational history. The volcanic eruption occurred in 2008 when the worldwide financial system blew and the molten lava continues to spew forth and flow along the Federal Reserve created channels, protecting the corrupt establishment while incinerating senior citizens, the working middle class and Millennials. Deep within the volcano the pressure is building again as the mood of the country darkens. It will blow again and the economic, social, political and military distress will catalyze into a catastrophic emergency that will tear the fabric of the country asunder. Read More

12.07.13- "The Fate of Dollar Hegemony"
Andy Sutton

Despite the quiet nature of things lately from a geopolitical standpoint, coupled with the mainstream media's obsession with new nominal highs in the various paper indexes, there is definitely turbulence below the surface. There have already been a number of thought-provoking articles written regarding the future of dollar hegemony and the purpose of this week's piece is to hopefully add to the discussion and stimulate some thought.

The first important thing to remember is that unless one has access to credible inside information, most of what we read is speculation, and most of the commentators will readily admit that. I'm going to do the same thing here. Opinions will be clearly noted and facts will be referenced. Despite the abstract sounding nature of the term, 'dollar hegemony' is the paradigm that allows America to do what it is currently doing; namely spending money it doesn't have on things it doesn't produce (or need). It is the leverage mechanism that is used globally to politely – and sometimes with extreme prejudice – cajole other nations into doing what is in the Anglo-American banking syndicate's best interests. The fact that the entire paradigm is a complete fabrication without foundation is lost neither on the powerbrokers that perpetrate the scam, nor the parties the scam is perpetrated on. Read More

12.06.13- Gold Ricochets off of $1210
Dan Norcini

Earlier this week gold scored a low near $1210 before violently reversing on an "out of nowhere" short covering rally. Today, the initial reaction of the metal after the payrolls number was to plunge right back down towards $1210 again. However, it then staged another violent reversal higher on very strong volume. This action has gotten my attention.

As a general rule of trading - a market that fails to move lower AND STAY LOWER on what is considered bearish news is a market that odds favor having bottomed - at least temporarily. Again, with so many computers running our markets nowadays, one has to be careful with generalizations but this sort of price action is noteworthy nonetheless. Read More

12.05.13- Yet another massive nail in the dollar's coffin
Simon Black

On the other side of the world today, a couple of gentlemen that few people have ever heard of signed an agreement that has massive consequences for the global financial system.

It was a Memorandum of Understanding signed by representatives of the Singapore Exchange and Hong Kong Exchange. Their aim– to combine their forces in rolling out more financial products denominated in Chinese renminbi.

This is huge. Read More

12.04.13- Fractional Reserve Banking: How to Create and Destroy Money
Matthew Kerkhoff

"The key function of banks is money creation, not intermediation." — Michael Kumhof, Deputy Division Chief, International Monetary Fund

In November 18th's remarks I wrote a piece on Quantitative Easing and its implications regarding the money supply and inflation. I received lots of feedback and would like to say thanks to those who took the time to write in. The additional questions posed were very insightful and show there is substantial interest in understanding these concepts in greater detail.

The following piece delves deeper into bank lending and its function as the primary driver of expansion and contraction of our monetary system. Read More

12.03.13- Three Major Market Events
That WILL Happen

Bill Bonner

Thanksgiving is now out of the way. We can move on to Christmas. And New Years Eve. And then 2014. And 2015. And onward into the future!

But whats in the future? If only we knew...

Making predictions is tough...especially when we have no idea what to expect. But wait...Some of the most important things we will see in the future have already happened many times.

Yes, dear reader...your editor is going way, way out on a very solid limb. He has identified three things that WILL happen. No doubt about it. He guarantees it. Read More

12.02.13- 15 Signs That We Are Near The Peak Of An Absolutely Massive Stock Market Bubble
Michael Snyder

One of the men that won the Nobel Prize for economics this year says that "bubbles look like this" and that he is "most worried about the boom in the U.S. stock market."  But you don't have to be a Nobel Prize winner to see what is happening.  It should be glaringly apparent to anyone with half a brain. 

The financial markets have been soaring while the overall economy has been stagnating.  Reckless injections of liquidity into the financial system by the Federal Reserve have pumped up stock prices to ridiculous extremes, and people are becoming concerned.  In fact, Google searches for the term "stock bubble" are now at the highest level that we have seen since November 2007. Read More

11.30.13- Market Movers into 2014
Deepcaster

"The World is Getting Closer to that End Game Every Day,"
Jim Rickards, "Currency Wars, The Making of the Next Global Crisis"

Powerful Forces Extrinsic to the Markets will determine Key Market Moves over the next few months and beyond. We identify certain of those here and indicate how they are likely to affect the Markets.

For example, "Fundamentals," Technicals, and Interventionals all now point to an Impending (extrinsically generated) Big Move to Climax in one Key Sector, which we identified in our December Letter. Read More

11.29.13- Currency Investing:
"Hit 'Em Where They Ain't"

Doug French

If money is the mother's milk of politics, fiat currency is surely the same for government. The modern version of money has no backing and thus doesn't restrain government spending. The hopes and dreams of a generation of politicians can be paid for with money conjured from thin air and the imagination of central bankers.

Doug Casey often reminds us of the many currencies governments around the world have rendered to their intrinsic value. But while the current crop of money are ultimately destined for the dustbin of history, for the moment these weapons of mass economic destruction trade against each other in a world marketplace. Read More

11.28.13- For U.S. stores it is ugly out there:
in more ways than one

Dhanya Skariachan, Lisa Bbaertlein & Phil Wahba

(Reuters) - The 2013 holiday shopping season may end up being remembered for its ugly sweaters and, for many retailers, even uglier discounts.

With growing online competition, weak consumer confidence and no fashion must-haves, most U.S. retailers will have to offer both big discounts and stellar service to get consumers to spend freely, according to analysts who joined Reuters reporters on visits to stores in New York, New Jersey, California and Illinois ahead of the holiday season.

"People are being a lot more selective in where they spend their money," said Wedbush analyst Gabriella Santaniello while touring the Westfield Topanga mall in Canoga Park, California. Read More

11.27.13- Inflation is Raging – If You Know Where to Look
John Rubino

Most people – certainly most governments and economists – define inflation as a general rise in prices. But this is wrong. Inflation is an increase in the money supply, of which a rising general price level is just one possible result – and not the most common one.

More often, excessive money creation shows up as asset bubbles, where the new money, instead of flowing equally to all the products that are for sale at a given time, flows disproportionately into the 'hottest' asset classes. Readers who were paying attention in the 1990s might recall that the consumer price index was well-behaved while huge amounts of money flowed into financial assets, producing the dot-com bubble. Read More

11.26.13- Martin Armstrong: Expect Cashless Society, Not Hyperinflation
Cris Sheridan.

One of the greatest failed predictions over the last few years has been that the Fed's massive monetary stimulus would result in runaway hyperinflation. Certainly we can debate whether the official consumer price index is artificially lower than what reality would suggest, but it's clear current U.S. inflation is nowhere near levels of hyperinflation and has actually been trending lower over the past two years as deflationary trends persist, in spite of the Fed's best efforts to the contrary.

So how is it that the Fed can create all this money and not create inflation? Martin Armstrong, who has long criticized calls for hyperinflation or even high inflation in the U.S., said one of the main reasons is because the U.S. dollar is the global reserve currency. Read More

11.25.13- All Bulled Up With No Place To Go
James Howard Kunstler

The financial wires and pod-waves are all lit up these days like it was happy hour at the Lottery Winner's Lounge.  It appears that the American economy — capital management division — has found the long-wished-for magic alternative energy source: horseshit. It is fueling the conversation all over the Web and over the senile mainstream media megaphones. One technical analyst, celebrity Tweeter Ralph Acampora of Altaira Wealth Management, actually said this week that the USA would be "energy independent by 2016." That's rich. We'd only have to come up with 8.5 million new barrels of oil a day, or give up driving cars altogether. Read More

11.23.13- Two Great Bubble Threats, One Great Opportunity
Deepcaster

“I am very cautious on equities today, This market could easily have a big drop. Very simplistically put, a lot of the earnings are a mirage. They are not coming because the companies are well run but because of low interest rates.”
- Carl Icahn

Very smart Investor Carl Icahn is right to call “a lot of” corporate earnings a “mirage” because by reducing borrowing costs via ongoing QE, The Fed has artificially elevated earnings. Read More

11.22.13- China Announces That It Is Going To Stop Stockpiling U.S. Dollars
Michael Snyder

China just dropped an absolute bombshell, but it was almost entirely ignored by the mainstream media in the United States.  The central bank of China has decided that it is "no longer in China's favor to accumulate foreign-exchange reserves".  During the third quarter of 2013, China's foreign-exchange reserves were valued at approximately $3.66 trillion.  And of course the biggest chunk of that was made up of U.S. dollars.  For years, China has been accumulating dollars and working hard to keep the value of the dollar up and the value of the yuan down.  One of the goals has been to make Chinese products less expensive in the international marketplace.  But now China has announced that the time has come for it to stop stockpiling U.S. dollars. Read More

 

11.21.13- 7 More Years Of Low Rates..
And Then War?

Tyler Durden

While chart analogs provide optically pleasing (and often far too shockingly correct) indications of the human herd tendencies towards fear and greed, a glance through the headlines and reporting of prior periods can provide just as much of a concerning 'analog' as any chart.

In this case, while these 3 pictures can paint a thousand words; a thousand words may also paint the biggest picture of all. It seems, socially and empirically, it is never different this time as these 1936 Wall Street Journal archives read only too well...

from devaluations lifting stocks to inflationary side-effects of money flow and from short-covering, money-on-the-sidelines, Jobs, Europe, low-volume ramps, BTFD, and profit-taking, to brokers advising stocks for the long-run before a 40% decline. Read More

11.20.13- The froth before
another stock market crisis

MyBugget360

Stock market is overvalued by 27 percent based on historical price to earnings ratio.

The stock market has once again become an overvalued casino where only the large financial players can use massive leverage to enjoy short-term rewards.  Even looking at historical price-to-earnings (PE) ratios we find that stocks are dramatically overpriced.  Yet the stock market is a sham for most Americans.  In fact 53 percent of Americans don't even own any stock outright.  What is troubling is that for the first time in a generation, we are seeing real declines in household income occurring at the same time that the stock market is reaching all time highs.  This is the first time in 30 years that this kind of pattern has occurred.  This is playing out because the Fed has injected all sorts of liquidity into the banking sector expecting the financial segment of our society to responsibly guide the investment markets.  Of course, all that has happened is a large amount of froth is now spilling over and signs of a bubble are all over the place. Read More

11.19.13- Everything Happens Due To Bungling... Nothing Is Planned!
Charles Savoie

"Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know"---Michel De Montaigne 1533-1592 French author.

"The exact contrary of that which is generally believed is often the truth."---Jean de la Bruyere, 1645-1696, French author.

On November 13, 2013, a prominent voice in the gold arena, Nick Barisheff of Toronto based Bullion Management Group, let the world precious metals community down by remarking:

"I know many in the gold community feel there is a vast conspiracy amongst elites to control the world through bringing about a financial collapse and, eventually, a one-world currency and central bank. Others, like Dr. Paul, feel it is more a matter of incompetence. I tend to agree with this second view." Read More

11.18.13- Deflation, A Stock Market Crash And Then Christmas
Ilargi Meijer

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying things will happen in this order and timeframe. Just that they're going to if central banks and treasury departments don't up the ante. But they will. The question becomes more important now whether it'll be enough to continue keeping their - presumed - demons at bay. They can't go on forever. You can inflate asset price bubbles only so much. And then people will lose faith. So the order and timeframe is definitely an option.

Deflation is already here. Everyone's talking about lower inflation numbers than expected everywhere, but prices have been pushed up artificially in so many ways and in so many places that, even given the fact that they all ignore what inflation really is, it's getting profoundly absurd. Ironically, a few interesting lines this week came from an unexpected corner, the Telegraph editorial staff: Read More

11.16.13- Keep Your Eyes on Bonds
John Browne

Last month, Americans were transfixed by the amateur theatrics undertaken by the Washington political establishment in connection with the debt ceiling crisis. The bad faith, poor tactics and wholesale avoidance of reality were offered by all players in very large doses. When the Republican leadership finally capitulated (thereby bringing down the curtain on the tawdry production), it soon became apparent that sound and fury had signified nothing except another exercise in can kicking. Public approval of Congress sank to the lowest level on record, and has only dissipated due to the unmitigated disaster of the Obamacare launch. But as bad as domestic approval has become, the behavior of the U.S. government has played far worse internationally. Read More

11.15.13- "Russian Roulette?"
Andy Sutton

One of the biggest shames in the world is when someone else has to take care of your business when you are perfectly capable of doing so yourself. It used to be the ultimate form of embarrassment. However, we in the United States have turned shame into an art form over the past hundred years or so, squandering everything from our riches and blessing to the sacred honor Thomas Jefferson wrote about all those years ago in a document that is barely covered in most school curriculums today.

So what exactly are we talking about here? Our outrageous debt? Our profligate spending tendencies at virtually every level of society and government? The joke of an economic 'recovery' that even more realist publications are now subscribing to? Nope. No, this one is a little different. If a certain Russian lawmaker has his way, use of the US Dollar in any transaction involving Russian citizens and banks will become illegal. Read More

11.14.13- Thanksgiving is Dead
Andy Hoffman

I have never had a problem with Wal-Mart per se; that is, until now.  In my view, they have simply been the largest benefactor of the commandeering of U.S. business by powerful lobbying interests.   Frankly, its ability to import cheap Chinese goods has been one of the few factors mitigating the hyperinflationary impact of the Fed's maniacal money printing scheme; although sadly, this ability is on borrowed time.  Frankly, most Americans should be grateful that Wal-Mart has been able to hold prices down in a highly inflationary world; in the process, becoming the nation's largest employer.  True, said jobs are not of the highest quality – and in fact, contribute to the overall "underemployment" that causes roughly half of all citizens to require supplemental entitlement payments.  However, in my opinion, a bad job is better than none at all. Read More

11.13.13- Senior bank executives explain how US dominance is declining…
Simon Black

Much of this had been brought on by Rome’s utterly dismal economic condition.

The government simply did not have enough money to sustain its operations, let alone pay for all the generous welfare programs needed to placate the population.

So as you could imagine, they decided to make up the difference by debasing the currency. Read More

11.12.13- Crabs in a Bucket
Martin Armstrong

Thank you. Far too many people are only out for themselves. They are like crabs unable to escape from a bucket because all they do is try to pull down the one in front. They are trapped within their own self-interest and lack any concept of how to get ahead because they are fixed on grabbing every penny in front of them. Just throw some money on a table and watch how fast they try to steal it. Crabs cannot escape a bucket even with no lid any more than society can escape its fate because the majority of people are just crabs incapable of working together. My whole life has been nothing but people trying to steal the model assuming they will have unlimited wealth. It gets very disgusting to have to endure such characters.

Yes, my family has fought in every war since the American Revolution. My lineage goes back to New Amsterdam – the name for NY City given to it by the Dutch, A cousin even has the musket used in the American Revolution by my ancestor. But this Veteran’s Day I spent in a breakfast meeting visiting Capital Hill so you know it was not just plain vanilla to meet on a holiday. Read More

11.11.13- Inflation Avoidance: A Safer, Saner Strategy to Preserve Your Purchasing Power
Addison Wiggin

Want to know an asset class that's almost a surefire winner for the next five years? It's razor blades.

We're deadly serious. Figure out how many blades you go through in a year, then go to Costco or Sam's Club or BJ's and buy five times that amount. We can nearly guarantee a return on your investment at the end of the first year because by that time the price will be higher. And the returns will only get better as time goes by.

Our modest suggestion is a good starting point for an investing strategy now more than three decades old — long forgotten but still relevant. Turns out it's easier than ever to implement now in the 21st century… Read More

11.09.13- How China Can Cause The Death Of The Dollar and The Entire U.S. Financial System
Michael Snyder

The death of the dollar is coming, and it will probably be China that pulls the trigger.  What you are about to read is understood by only a very small fraction of all Americans.  Right now, the U.S. dollar is the de facto reserve currency of the planet.  Most global trade is conducted in U.S. dollars, and almost all oil is sold for U.S. dollars.  More than 60 percent of all global foreign exchange reserves are held in U.S. dollars, and far more U.S. dollars are actually used outside of the United States than inside of it.  As will be described below, this has given the United States some tremendous economic advantages, and most Americans have no idea how much their current standard of living depends on the dollar remaining the reserve currency of the world.  Unfortunately, thanks to reckless money printing by the Federal Reserve and the reckless accumulation of debt by the federal government, the status of the dollar as the reserve currency of the world is now in great jeopardy. Read More

11.08.13- Two Major Trends Of The 21st Century Are Reversing
Dan Hassey

I live in Southern California, in the city that inspired Jan & Dean's hit "Surf City."

It's no wonder that Huntington Beach inspired this nickname. It has stuck because one of the favorite fun activities here is watching surfers try to identify the perfect wave and ride it all the way to the shore.

As an investor, I try to do the same: identify a major trend and ride it as long as it lasts.

"Surf City" was co-written in the '60s by the Beach Boys' lead songwriter, Brian Wilson, and I hear it frequently in stores and restaurants even today.

While the soundtrack is still the same, the markets are in a transition year. And to fully understand the scope of what's coming, today let's "fast-forward" to the '70s. Read More

11.07.13- Why Preppers Should Be THRILLED
That The Stock Market Has Hit An All-Time High

Michael Snyder

I am a prepper and I LOVE the fact that the stock market is at an all-time high.  In fact, I hope that it keeps going up for as long as possible.  Why?  Because it gives me more time to prepare for the inevitable collapse that is coming.  As I will discuss extensively below, anyone with half a brain should be able to see that a great financial disaster is coming to this nation.

If you still doubt this after reading this article, please go check out The Economic Collapse Blog where I have posted nearly 1000 articles that break this down in excruciating detail. Read More

11.06.13- Socialism Brought Home
Martin Armstrong

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan”.. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A…. (substituting grades for dollars – something closer to home and more readily understood by all). Read More

11.05.13- 10 Corporations Control Nearly Everything You Buy
Michael Shedlock

PolicyMic has a very interesting chart that shows how 10 Corporations Control Almost Everything You Buy.

The chart was posted on Reddit as illusion of choice. I could not locate the original source.

PolicyMic explains…

Ten mega corporations control the output of almost everything you buy; from household products to batteries.

These corporations create the chain of supplies that flow from one another. Each chain begins at one of the 10 super companies.

Read More

11.04.05- Why Having Cash Sitting Idle May Be Your Best Investment Strategy Right Now
Sasha Cekerevac

Another day and another record-high stock market is what it seems like these days. That must mean that the economic recovery in America is close at hand, right?

Not so fast; the data on job creation appears to show that the situation is actually worsening.

Job creation is crucial to this economic recovery. While it is true that job creation is a lagging indicator, we do need to see an increase to verify whether or not the economic recovery is actually accelerating. Read More

11.02.13- Is Paul Krugman a Voodoo Economist?
Paul Craig Roberts

Readers ask me if Paul Krugman could be correct that deficits don't matter and that neither does printing endless reams of money with which to purchase the Treasury's debt instruments that finance the deficits.

If people at home and abroad who hold dollars and dollar denominated financial instruments do not care that trillions of new dollars are being created in order to cover the large gaps between revenues and expenditures in Washington's annual budgets and to support "banks too big to fail," that is, if these dollar holders do not see the value of their dollars diluted by the new dollars, which are appearing in greater quantities than new goods and services, Krugman is right. Read More

11.01.13- After "Currency Wars" Comes "The Death of Money"
Luis Martín

"The world is getting closer to that end game every day," says Rickards, who just finished writing the sequel to his bestselling Currency Wars.

In the winter of 2009, lawyer, investment banker, and advisor on capital markets to the Director of National Intelligence and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, James Rickards took part in a secret war game sponsored by the Pentagon at the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). The game's objective was to simulate and explore the potential outcomes and effects of a global financial war. Two years later, Rickards published what would become a national bestseller, Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis. Read More

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