Saturday, August 17, 2019

Scaramucci Talks Gold Price and Market Volatility; Weighs In on a Gold Standard 2.0

Gold is a near-term safe haven asset, said Anthony Scaramucci, but the hedge fund manager and former White House Communications Director sees potential in other assets on a longer-term basis. 

“It’s a near-term safe haven but long-term it really doesn’t solve people’s problems,” Scaramucci told Kitco News. “I would prefer to put the money or the capital into assets that I think are actually going to return something as opposed to be waiting for other people to think it’s more valuable to me in terms of where my entry point is.” 

Scaramucci noted Warren Buffett’s view on gold, which is that the yellow metal’s value is derived from its finite supply rather than contribution to productive economic growth.

- Source, Kitco News

Friday, August 16, 2019

Inflation Rising: Consumer Goods Prices Increase by Most in Seven Years

The trade wars are taking root and finally, finally the damage is starting to ripple through not only Wall St, but Main St as well, as inflation steadily ticks higher.

This comes on the heels of a rate cut last month, in which one of the reasons why the Federal Reserve acted, was because they believe inflation was too low.

This is laughable that this is even a reason to act and it just goes to show the complete disregard that the Fed has for the average person on the street, who works hard their entire lives, saves for retirement, just to see those saving slowly chipped away by an easy money policy.

The Federal Reserve has a 2% inflation target, a target that until recently they believed they would not reach.

That may however be about to change, as the Labor Department stated on Tuesday that its consumer price index increased by 0.3% last month,  surpassing some analysts expectations.

Meanwhile, CPI Goods are up 0.4% year over year, which is the highest level since November 2012.

Relatively speaking, these levels are minor and nothing major to worry about, but what is truly worrying is how the Federal Reserve openly admits that they would love to see inflation rise to higher levels.

Rest assured that this recent uptick in inflation is going to do nothing to change the Federal Reserves easy money policy that they have embraced, the printing presses are going to continue working in overdrive and the markets are still highly anticipating an additional rate cut at the next months Fed meeting.

Both Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are amongst those who believe that more rate cuts are on the way, with Morgan Stanley even going as far to predict that rates are going to return to zero, which is pure madness.

These additional cuts are only going to fuel inflation to even higher levels.

Sadly, more pain is on the way as we have yet to see the full ramifications of the ongoing US - China trade wars, that continue to loom over the worlds head.

Next month, on Septemeber 1st, an additional 10% in US tariffs are set to be enacted on Chinese goods entering into the country. It is expected that this will affect roughly $300 billion worth of imports.

Once again, these tariffs are going to hit consumer goods the hardest, as that it predominately what is imported from China, meaning that new highs in the CPI goods are likely on the way.

This strategy to drive prices higher and force companies to move the production of their goods to other countries is working, as I have recently highlighted, however, it is undoubtedly going to cause some short to medium term pain for consumers as well.

President Trump once again inflamed the divide between the United States and China, taking to twitter to launch a renewed attack on Tuesday;

"Through massive devaluation of their currency and pumping vast sums of money into their system, the tens of billions of dollars that the U.S. is receiving is a gift from China. Prices not up, no inflation. Farmers getting more than China would be spending. Fake News won’t report!"

No one is going to come out unscathed from these trade wars.

Sadly, it appears that we are going to be entering into a new era of rising inflation, as the Fed continues to be beholden to the markets, maintaining an easy money policy and as consumer goods prices continue to rise due to the ongoing trade wars.

Fortunately, this is exactly where precious metals come into play and as we have witnessed recently, are doing exactly what they should do in their time of need.

Most notable has been gold, as it continues to maintain above the crucial $1500 level, despite suffering repeated attacks from those who would love nothing but to see it brought lower.

If these trade wars are not rapidly brought to a close, then I believe that gold is destined to go higher, much higher, possibly even testing than breaking through old highs, with silver rapidly following suit shortly after.

The trade wars continue on, the easy money policies continue on.

Keep stacking.

- Source, as seen on the Sprott Money Blog

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Steve Keen: Could A Debt Jubilee Really Work?

One way or another, we're going to have to address the $trillions of outstanding bad debts. 

Over the past decade, the world’s central banks have distorted the price of money by bringing interest rates to record lows. 

With credit so cheap, asset prices have risen dramatically as companies and governments have borrowed to the hilt. 

And now with the “Everything Bubble” threatening to burst (perhaps in mid-bursting already?), we’re suddenly realizing that the phantom asset price gains were ephemeral, while the debts are permanent. 

How will the economy cope with dangerously overleveraged nations, industries and households? Not well.

- Source, Peak Prosperity

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Rob Kirby: Protect Your Money Before It's Too Late

You've been warned. You're enjoying the rising tide that's lifted your IRA, 401-K, and home valuation.​.. 

You know you're at risk... 

You know you're riding on a bubble... You've told yourself you'll take some steps to deal with it... Some day... Pretty soon... But you've gotten too busy... 

And on the news, and the president, and lots of people are saying everything's going to be okay... But you know in your gut everything's NOT okay. 

Rob Kirby, experienced credit and precious metals expert, proprietary analyst, and founder of KirbyAnalytics.com, returns to Reluctant Preppers to answer YOUR viewer questions, and to offer us his characteristically honest insight.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Wolf Report: Fuel for the Next Mortgage Bust?

Here we go again: Cash-out refi hype is back full-blast, and for the first time since early 2006, people are doing it.

- Source, The Wolf Report

Monday, August 12, 2019

Bill Murphy: Silver Cheapest Asset on the Planet

Bill Murphy, Chairman of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA) is most bullish on silver. 

Murphy says, “For anyone that wants to get involved in precious metals, silver is going to be a home run. It actually just started.

Gold goes first because the physical market is tight. Then, the industry and silver people are going to make sure they have secure supply, and all of a sudden it’s going to be like a panic.

Silver is the bargain of a lifetime. It’s certainly the cheapest asset on the planet.”

- Source, USA Watchdog

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Craig Hemke: Watch Gold Now, Gold Knows What is Happening

Trade wars, escalating tariffs, China is devaluing their currency while unloading US Debt and stockpiling gold, ​US Economy struggling, and looming recession... 

Which way will these mega-forces drive our economic lives? Craig Hemke, founder of TFSMetalsREport.com, returns to Reluctant Preppers to answer YOUR viewer questions and also share his perceptive and witty perspectives on the imminent breakthroughs in the gold market. 

Hemke tells us to watch gold closely at this time, since China's fiscal policy response and each week's closing gold price may ignite the next stage of the current gold rally...

Saturday, August 10, 2019

The Renewed Eruption of the Currency Wars Will Ensure Gold and Silver Move Higher

Gold is trading solidly above the $1500 mark at the time of writing and I believe we are only just getting started, the currency wars are back in full swing and they are going to be more intense than ever.

The United States government, ironically labelled China a currency manipulator for the first time since 1994, marking a severe uptick in their rhetoric against the Chinese government as the trade wars continue to spiral out of control, with seemingly no end in sight.

Many simply waved this move off as nothing more than what it initially appeared to be, jawboning with no true ramifications behind it, however others see it as a blatant threat by the US administration against China, as the last time this language was used 25 years ago, was when China was placed on a currency blacklist.

Some were surprised by this move, as they see it as an overreaction, fearing that we have now moved into another phase of the ongoing currency wars that have been bubbling behind the scenes for years, currency wars that are now in plain site for all to see.

Unfortunately, this should come as no surprise to anyone, as President Trump stated back in 2016 that he fully intended on labelling China a "currency manipulator", a statement that was laughed off, until now.

This move comes on the heels of a Fed interest rate cut, in which the Fed Chief Jerome Powell lowered rates by 0.25%, citing fears in a weakening global economy and ongoing trade wars.

Of course, China is far from the only currency manipulator in the world, as countries are constantly "racing to the bottom" in an attempt to lower the value of their currencies, increasing their competitiveness on the international markets, by artificially making the price of their goods lowers.

In addition to this, lowering the value of ones currency drastically cuts down on the true cost of the national debt, of which the United States now finds itself roughly $22.5 trillion dollars in the hole.

Savers be damned. Retirees be damned. The race to the bottom must and will continue on.

This race to the bottom is one of the many reasons why gold and silver are posting such impressive gains recently, as the markets are finally coming to the realization that many of us in the precious metals community reached years ago. The printing presses are not going to be slowed down, they are not going to be stopped.

This is not just limited to the United States, but is a global phenomenon, as no country can afford to be left behind in the currency wars. 

On Wednesday, three additional countries joined in on the action, following the United States lead. 

Central Banks in India, Thailand and New Zealand all lowered interest rates in a move that shocked and surprised the markets, signalling just how rapidly things are deteriorating.

This, in addition to the moves made by China on Monday, in which they allowed the Renminbi to fall through a key threshold level, earning them the "currency manipulator" title, sent markets spinning throughout the week, only just stabilizing on Thursday.

Expect rate cut after rate cut, by country after country.

Already the Fed has been under renewed attack by President Trump, who took to Twitter to state the following;

"As your President, one would think that I would be thrilled with our very strong dollar. I am not! The Fed’s high interest rate level, in comparison to other countries, is keeping the dollar high, making it more difficult for our great manufacturers like Caterpillar, Boeing, John Deere, our car companies, & others, to compete on a level playing field. 

With substantial Fed Cuts (there is no inflation) and no quantitative tightening, the dollar will make it possible for our companies to win against any competition. 

We have the greatest companies in the world, there is nobody even close, but unfortunately the same cannot be said about our Federal Reserve. They have called it wrong at every step of the way, and we are still winning. Can you imagine what would happen if they actually called it right?"

Sadly, if people think the "worst is over", then they are badly mistaken. We have entered into a whole new phase of the currency wars, in which country after country is going to be racing to see who can spin the quickest down the drain.

The markets and the President are going to continue to lean on the Federal Reserve, who is likely to cut rates multiple times more, even before the year is out.

Other countries are simply going to follow suit as the two economic powerhouses that are the United States and China continue to battle it out.

The currency wars are here, they are full blown and gold and silver are going higher in response to the madness that is erupting all around us. Much higher.

- As first seen on the Sprott Money Blog

Friday, August 9, 2019

John Williams: A Compelling Case for Dollar Destruction and Hyperinflation

Walter J. "John" Williams shares his educated opinion on how soon he sees a dollar decline leading to hyperinflation and what we should do to protect ourselves.

Is there a strong case for letting the dollar destroy itself? What will be the ultimate outcome if that is what happens?

Unfortunately, it appears that, that is the path we are headed down, no matter what we do now.

- Video Source, Jay Taylor Media

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Ray Dalio: How The Economic Machine Truly Works

Economics 101 -- "How the Economic Machine Works." 

Created by Ray Dalio this simple but not simplistic and easy to follow 30 minute, animated video answers the question, "How does the economy really work?" 

Based on Dalio's practical template for understanding the economy, which he developed over the course of his career, the video breaks down economic concepts like credit, deficits and interest rates, allowing viewers to learn the basic driving forces behind the economy, how economic policies work and why economic cycles occur.

- Source, Ray Dalio

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Dave Kranzler: Everything is Artificially Priced

Today's guest, Dave Kranzler, shares his thoughts on the artificial nature of the economy and financial markets.

- Source, Silver Doctors

Sunday, August 4, 2019

The Fall Of The US Dollar: Is The Return To A Gold Standard Inevitable?

Is the return to a gold standard inevitable? Grant Williams, Senior Advisor at Vulpes Investment Mgmt, breaks down the history of the gold standard and the impact it will have on the future of world currency. This is a must watch if you are reviewing your current investment portfolio.

- Source, Cambridge House

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Global Gold Demand Hits H1 Three Year High as Central Banks & ETFs Lead the Charge

The World Gold Council has just released their latest figures for global gold demand for the first half of the year (H1) and as predicted, it once again ticked higher, solidifying an already strengthening trend and proving that the flight towards safety, towards precious metals in here to stay.

As I have written about numerous times over the past year, countries are adjusting to the new geopolitical uncertainty that the world now finds itself in. 

Trade wars are raging all across the globe, with the current US administration leading the charge, as President Trump seeks to fulfill one of his key campaign promises of placing "America first", bull charging ahead and shattering the normality of trade that the world created over the last few decades.

No matter where you stand on this situation, whether it is in support, disgust, or indifference, it matters little (at least until the 2020 elections), as this appears to be the new reality we now find ourselves in and is unlikely to change in the short term.

 A number of Central Banks, with the most notable being China and Russia, are finding themselves directly in the center of this geopolitical storm and are thus actively making plans to protect themselves from financial ruin, including the rapid accumulation of gold bullion and the shedding of US dollars.

As the World Gold Council highlights, H1 gold demand reached a three year high, hitting 2,181.7 tons, with Central Banks and ETF inflows leading the charge. This is an 8% increase year over year, illustrating just how strong the trend towards gold bullion is.

Central Bank buying accounted for 374.1 tons, leaving the market in H1, while ETFs, the next largest collective institutional purchaser added 67.2 tons in Q2, bringing their combined gold holdings to 2,548 tons, a six year high.

In addition to Central Banks and ETFs being large purchasers of gold, another key player in the metals market fiercely increased its demand, the Indian consumer.

On the heels of a strong wedding and festival season, India’s jewelry market increased its demand for gold bullion by 12% in Q2, accounting for 168.8 tons.

In many parts of the world, gold bullion is given the honor it deserves and is looked at for what it is, no matter the form it takes, whether it be bar, coin, or jewelry, it is looked at as money and treated as such.

This positive news in total global demand for gold bullion confirms the recent strong action we have seen in the price of precious metals, with the yellow metal posting impressive gains, breaking through the $1400 mark and trading solidly above it, building a floor.

Now, in addition to the Central Banks continuing their trend into gold bullion, we have the Federal Reserve once again cutting interest rates, just as the markets widely predicted they would do.

This has caused gold to sharply move higher, as people are finally waking up to the fact that the easy money party is not only going to continue, but get even better.

In classic FED double speak, Chairman Powell is quoted stating the following during Wednesdays rate cuts;

“Let me be clear – it’s not the beginning of a long series of rate cuts,”

Only to follow later with;

“I didn’t say it’s just one rate cut.”

FED jawboning at its finest.

What we can expect throughout the remainder of 2019 is continued strength in global gold demand, with silver eventually waking up and playing catch up. I believe this is where the real, significant gains are going to be made.

Strong demand in all likelihood is going to remain in place as Central Banks continue their accumulation process and as the FED continues to act in a dovish manner, doing the bidding of Wall St as they attempt to keep this artificially inflated market chugging along, for as long as they can.

In the mean time, remember the following. The trend is your friend until the end and the trend towards higher gold bullion prices is now solidly in place. Keep stacking.

- As first seen on the Sprott Money Blog

Friday, August 2, 2019

Unfunded Pensions & Potential Retirement Crisis

Brian Reynolds, former chief market strategist at Rosenblatt Securities, sits down with Real Vision’s Tyler Neville to discuss how unfunded pension liabilities are the real engine for the US credit boom and how this financial engineering has produced one of the greatest bull markets in history. 

A legal mandate requires these funds to generate 7.5% returns, and when they fail to do so, taxpayers foot the bill. As a larger percentage of these pensions are moved onto corporate balance sheets in the form of debt, the tightrope these pension funds walk gets more and more precarious. Filmed on March 25, 2019 in Goffstown, New Hampshire.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Gold, Silver, Or Bitcoin? Which One to Choose? Which One is the Safest?

Gold, silver or bitcoin?

That question is likely coming into focus for investors and traders as they seek safety or protection with the stock market at record highs.

But, for some, there are clear winners in the group.

“Since last November — so, for about eight months or so — when the Fed started to move towards dovish, people flocked to gold and to bitcoin and they ran them both up,” Jim Iuorio, a veteran futures and options trader, said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Futures Now.” 

“They forgot silver, but... silver sometimes lags gold and then catches up all at once. We’ve seen that in the last couple weeks.”

Now, trust in the trio is being tested. Gold is up almost 11% this year, with most of that run occurring in the last three months; silver is up over 9% in the last three months and is on track for its third straight week of gains; and the Wild West that is bitcoin is up over 150% this year and has seen huge swings in both directions in the last several weeks.

“Bitcoin, all of a sudden, has shown some drastic volatility over the last two weeks, including a $3,000 drop in about a minute two weeks ago,” said Iuorio, who is managing director of TJM Institutional Services.

“So, to me, bitcoin’s out,” he said. “Silver’s rallied hard recently. That leaves gold. Yes, the dollar’s rallying. Gold and the dollar have rallied together at the same time before. I like gold the best.”

On Tuesday, Iuorio — who said that he was long gold and planned on growing his long position — put on a gold trade by buying $1,428 contracts with an upside target of $1,448 and a downside stop at $1,417. U.S. gold futures were trading around $1,419 on Friday.

Scott Nations, president of NationsShares, was less inclined to go for gold because of what he called its “horrible technical setup.”

“It had a key reversal,” he said in the same “Futures Now” segment. “I’m not the biggest technician in the world, but I pay attention to key reversals. What does that mean? It means that the contract made a new high and finished lower on the day, and that’s horrible. And, since then, gold has been terrible.”

Instead, the longtime options trader settled for the second-most-popular precious metal: silver.

“I would much rather own silver. ... I would be a buyer of the September contracts [at] $16.45,” Nations said. “Silver’s actually remained strong. My target to the upside would be $17.50 and my stop to the downside would be $15.75. A couple of reasons: [The] dollar’s been really strong, and that’s going to impact silver less than gold.”

Silver will be slightly more protected that gold amid dollar strength because of its variety of “industrial uses” and fewer ties to interest rates, Nations explained.

And, if the precious metal can indeed hold up and head higher, Iuorio wasn’t opposed to trading it, either.

“I think if silver shows a little more strength, I like silver, too. I mean, just for the fun of it, I’ll say Scott’s wrong and gold’s way better, but I don’t hate his trade,” he said.

- Source, CNBC

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Trump Fed Pick’s Push for Gold Troubles Lawmakers

Decades after the U.S. abandoned its policy of tying the dollar’s value to gold, President Donald Trump’s latest pick for the Federal Reserve, Judy Shelton, wants to bring it back into style.

Shelton’s longtime promotion of a return to a gold standard is so out of the mainstream that it’s likely to be an obstacle on her road to Senate confirmation. Yet it’s only one of several ideas she has espoused that would redefine — and diminish — the Fed’s role in the economy. And that matters because, while Shelton would be only one of seven Fed governors if confirmed, she could be in line to chair the central bank if Trump wins reelection.

A gold standard would make deficit spending much more expensive. It would limit the central bank’s ability to take the kind of extraordinary measures that it did during the financial crisis to stop the economy from going into freefall. And it would link the Fed’s interest rate decisions to gold market fluctuations rather than to its current goals of fighting inflation and maximizing employment.

“The gold standard would probably shatter a lot of people’s dreams around the world right now,” said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), a key member of the Banking Committee, which will vet her nomination. “There was a reason to get off of it.”

“I’ve gotta see where she’s at on a lot of other stuff, but this is not necessarily something that I would give her high marks for,” added Sen. Jon Tester, a centrist Democrat who also sits on the Banking Committee and has voted with the GOP majority on some important legislation.

For her part, Shelton says she’s glad the topic is being discussed. “I am actually quite grateful that these ideas, that have been my focus for some 25 years, are being elevated to the level of public debate without people’s eyes glazing over,” she wrote in one of multiple emails to POLITICO.

While even Shelton agrees that the U.S. is nowhere near being on track to returning to a gold standard, which was fully abandoned by President Richard Nixon in 1971, the idea has maintained popularity in certain conservative and libertarian circles as a way to increase the dollar’s stability.

That's particularly true among those with a strong distrust of the Fed — a camp that includes Shelton.

While both the 2012 and 2016 Republican Party platforms called for a new commission to consider fixing the dollar’s value to a precious metal, most economists argue that returning to gold would prevent the central bank from acting in the best interest of the economy. They also say it would attempt to aggressively head off a problem that hasn’t existed for decades: runaway inflation.

In 2012, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business asked 40 prominent economists whether a return to the gold standard would be better for the average American. All of them said no.

Support for tying the dollar to gold's value makes a Fed candidate “manifestly unqualified, in the same way I wouldn’t have a surgeon general who supported leeches and bloodletting,” said Jason Furman, a Harvard professor and former chief economist to President Barack Obama. “It handcuffs the Fed and locks them into focusing on an objective that has no underlying reality, which is the price of the dollar relative to gold.”

Republicans have not publicly voiced concerns about Shelton herself, whose selection comes in the wake of senators’ objections to Trump’s last two picks, Stephen Moore and Herman Cain — both forced to withdraw. But neither are GOP senators embracing the idea that has been central to her policy advocacy for more than two decades.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), an influential Banking Committee member, said he wouldn’t support a return to the gold standard, although he said pegging rates to “some commodity basket index would not be an unreasonable way to anchor monetary policy.”

“I haven’t had a chance to drill down and study what she has written and what she has said, and I’ve never met her,” he added, a sentiment echoed by Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.).

Some senators are ignoring the question entirely. “I don’t think it’s relevant,” Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said when asked about her views on gold, adding that there was no need to focus on “controversial statements” when “she has decades of work that we can actually look at.”

But talking about Shelton’s decades of work means talking about gold, and her candidacy for the central bank gives her a bigger platform than ever to make her case.

The dollar is now valued by trading on the open market, rather than having a fixed value in terms of gold, and its price often appreciates in connection with positive developments in the U.S. economy. Trump has in recent months bemoaned the strength of the dollar relative to other currencies, because it makes U.S. exports more expensive, and called on the Fed to devalue it. Shelton, in contrast, has long advocated for a strong, stable dollar.

She says returning to an authentic gold standard — in which dollars are redeemable for a certain amount of gold — “would not be feasible” now, because there are too many dollars in circulation relative to the U.S. government’s store of gold. Such a standard hasn’t fully existed in the U.S. since the Great Depression...

- Source, Politico

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Peak Prosperity: Overdosing on Crazy Pills

Financial bubbles happen. History is full of them. It’s just that they’re just not supposed to happen more than once a generation.

How can so many people have completely forgotten the painful lessons of not one, but two, recent bubbles?

The bursting of the DotCom bubble in 2000 was traumatic. “Eyeballs” were favored for a time over “earnings.” But then investors woke up to the fact that all of their rationalizations for the sky-high valuations of profitless companies were actually ridiculous.

Okay, fine. Lesson learned. Earnings are actually important.

But here we go, again, less than 20 years after the DotCom bubble (and only 10 years post-subprime bubble — both far less than a full generation later to allow the keepers of the memories a chance to die off) with exactly the same dynamic at play:

In the pre-financialization era that ended a few decades ago, a more normal mix would have been roughly 15% of IPOs with negative earnings. Today it’s nearly 80%.

Just as it was in 2000.

By way of example, let’s look at Uber and Lyft. Both companies aren’t just unprofitable, but wildly so. The more these companies make in revenue, the greater the accompanying losses:

This is the very essence of a broken business model. It’s no different – literally, exactly the same – as a circa-1999 DotCom losing gobs of money on a pie-in-the-sky business scheme that sounded great but didn’t actually work.

No matter to Lyft’s stock price, though, as the market (or ““market”” as I refer to it because it’s so deformed it needs double quote marks to signify that condition) now values this cash-burning furnace at $18.9 billion:

Lyft’s stock price just keeps going higher, no matter the losses. One can only imagine how much higher it will explode if Lyft manages to somehow turn in slightly-less-than-negative-as-last-time earnings next quarter.

What matters during an asset price bubble is not the rational, but the rationalizations. Uber and Lyft are “transforming transportation” and “reducing urban congestion” even though taxis already existed and there’s zero evidence of the latter...

- Source, Peak Prosperity

Monday, July 29, 2019

Kevin Shipp: Americans Are Not Ready for the Coming Financial Calamity

Former CIA Officer and whistleblower Kevin Shipp says a very big risk is the global economic system suffering a financial calamity. 

This includes the U.S. Shipp contends, “Russia and China are stocking up on gold as they agree to stop using the U.S. dollar and go to the yuan and ruble, which means they will stop recognizing the U.S. dollar

The dollar will lose its value because of that. We have a huge debt, and by 2025, our deficit will be $30 trillion. 

It is impossible to pay that off. The global deficit is $245 trillion. This thing has got to burst, and it’s going to burst.

Donald Trump has come out against the Deep State and Shadow Government in ways I could only dream of. 

I am a Trump supporter, but what he has got on his hands is a coming catastrophe. 

You cannot stop the collapse caused by the deficitTrump will take some significant action. 

This is a national security issue, and he can step in and make some changes. 

This is a huge catastrophe, and Americans are not aware of what is coming and are not ready for a financial calamity.”

- Source, USA Watchdog

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Did Ben Bernanke Tell Us Back in 2016 What Central Banks Would Do In The Future?

Because the 2016 US Presidential Election was heating up, and the media coverage of Donald Trump was non-stop, many people missed Ben Bernanke writing a blog article on the Brookings Institute about negative interest rates in March 2016 and then his visit to Japan later that year where he recommended that the Bank of Japan (BOJ) convert its bond holdings into zero-coupon perpetual bonds.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Crossing the Rubicon: Tensions With Iran Threaten Global Trade

This is not good for anyone. Tensions are rapidly escalating and we are now incredibly close to crossing the Rubicon in regards to the spiralling out of control situation in the Straight of Hormuz.

This dangerous game of chicken is no game at all, but is one that could upend the apple cart in regards to international trade and commerce, especially when it comes to the price of oil.

Iran is not backing down from the West, and the West is not backing down from Iran. The question is, who is going to blink first? If anyone does at all.

Earlier this month, the United Kingdom assisted its American allies, getting in on the conflict with Iran, seizing the oil tanker Grace 1 which was carrying approximately 2 million barrels of oil, off the coast of Gibraltar.

This oil was suspected to be going to Syria and was thus stopped by the Royal Navy at the request of the United States military.

This action infuriated Iran and they vowed to get revenge for these actions, of which they would in very short order.

Retaliation came last Friday, when the Iranian Revolutionary Guard boarded and seized two oil tankers, one that was registered in the United Kingdom and the other Liberia (however, UK operated).

The UK oil tanker, Stena Impero was taken into port, along with its 23 man crew, which later images would show them understandably frightened and terrified.

Fortunately, the government of Iran guarantees that the crew is safe and sound in their custody, which I have no doubt is the truth, as the ramifications of doing harm to the civilian crew would be drastic indeed.

The excuse being given by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard for seizing the UK owned oil tanker was first that it had infringed maritime regulations, then later that it had collided with an Iranian fishing vessel.

Meanwhile, the owners of the oil tanker state that this vessel was seized in international waters illegally after being surrounded by a number of small boats and helicopters, while breaking no international regulations.

Jeremy Hunt, the UK foreign secretary, stated the following;

“We are absolutely clear that, if this situation is not resolved quickly, there will be serious consequences.”

What is most likely in this scenario is that Iran was simply following through on their threats and were taking an "eye for an eye", or rather in this scenario, an "oil tanker for an oil tanker".

This has been escalating for days and has grown more severe the longer the detained crews remain in custody, with people demanding that a resolution be reached.

Iran, however, is showing no signs of backing down and have continued to escalate their rhetoric, uttering a threat against the entire global economy when they stated they would "secure the Straight of Hormuz" if not allowed to access it for trade, a similar threat that they have made in the past.

Taking it one step further, Hossein Dehghan, the Islamic Republic's top military adviser rejected any possibility of new negotiations with the United States and said that Iran and its regional allies would target and attack all US bases in the area, if war action were taken.

As I have previously mentioned, when first covering the start of this conflict, this rapidly escalating crisis threatens all of global trade, as approximately 17.2 million barrels of oil per day flows through the Straight of Hormuz.

Oil is the lifeblood of commerce and is often called "black gold" for a good reason. It affects the price of everything. 

War in the Straight of Hormuz would cause the price of oil to explode in price. If oil goes up in price, then so too does transportation, production and the cost of just about everything else. This one commodity is so interconnected with global commerce it is scary.

This situation, if it crosses over the Rubicon could spark one of the greatest economic crises of our lifetimes.

In this scenario, precious metals will explode higher in price, as they move in tangent with a higher price of oil and an increase in global geopolitical risk.

The United States, the United Kingdom, the World will not allow the Straight of Hormuz to be shut down and unfortunately, Iran cannot afford to be locked out of this vital shipping lane either.

Conflict looks assured, but there is still time for cooler heads to prevail. Let's hope the latter is the outcome we get, for the sake of global trade, for the sake of everyone.

- Source, As first seen on the Sprott Money Blog

Friday, July 26, 2019

Central Banks Should Forget About 2% Inflation

Despite years of monetary stimulus, inflation in the United States, Japan, and the eurozone continues to undershoot central banks’ 2% target. Rather than doubling down on their oft-missed goal, however, perhaps the Fed and other central banks should quietly stop pursuing it aggressively.

CAMBRIDGE – The United States Federal Reserve has some reasons to cut interest rates at its July 31 meeting, or subsequently if the US economy weakens. (There is also a case for holding rates steady, if growth remains as strong as it has been over the past year.) But one argument for easing is less persuasive: a perceived imperative to get US inflation up to or above 2%.

The Fed set the 2% inflation target in January 2012 under former Chair Ben Bernanke, after some other central banks had already done so. Japan followed suit a year later, shortly after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned to power on the promise that monetary policy would raise inflation (Japan had previously suffered from falling prices).

The logic was impeccable. With unemployment still high and growth still low in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, further stimulus was needed. But central banks had already lowered nominal interest rates to zero and could not cut them much further. Monetary policymakers therefore tried to stimulate economic activity by raising expected inflation.

An increase in the expected inflation rate would lower the real interest rate (the nominal interest rate minus expected inflation). And by making it cheaper to borrow in real terms, central banks hoped to persuade households and firms to purchase more cars, buildings, and equipment.

Monetary authorities took several steps to boost inflationary expectations among the public. They emphasized their 2%-or-higher inflation objective; were sincere in doing so; and kept their foot on the monetary accelerator (via quantitative easing) so long as inflation remained below target. In the process, central banks increased their monetary base many times over. It is hard to see what more they could have done.

Did it work? On one hand, inflation is still below 2% in the US, Japan, and the eurozone. Month after month, year after year, the authorities have had to explain that achieving the target would take a bit longer.

Meanwhile, however, the US and Japanese economies had returned to approximate full employment by 2016. America’s jobless rate has now fallen to 3.7%, its lowest level since 1969, while unemployment in Japan is 2.4%, down from over 5% in 2010. So it is past time to declare victory on that front. The main purpose of the plan was achieved, even if the intended mechanism largely failed.

Most economists and central bankers, however, fear that their credibility is at stake, and remain fixated on the need to reach the 2% inflation target. In fact, a few economists even want to raise the target from 2% to 4%. One proposal popular among monetary economists is so-called price-level targeting, whereby the Fed would pledge to achieve future inflation that is one percentage point above the 2% goal for every year that it has already fallen short of that target.

But why should these more ambitious inflation goals be credible or achievable when policymakers have failed to reach even the 2% target? Instead, economists should ask why the standard measures of inflationary expectations, such as professional forecasts, have not risen much in recent years.

Perhaps the public’s expected inflation – a central element of economists’ models for a half-century – does not really exist. Or, to be more precise, it may not be well defined when prices are relatively stable. After all, most people pay little attention to the inflation rate when price growth is as low as it has been in recent years.

In a recent paper, Olivier Coibion, Yuriy Gorodnichenko, Saten Kumar, and Mathieu Pedemonte argue that households and firms generally do not have well-informed expectations of future inflation, and often do not know what the inflation rate has been in the recent past. Large policy-change announcements in the US, the United Kingdom, and the eurozone, the authors argue, seem to have only limited effects on the inflation expectations of households and firms. (In a separate paper, two of the authors argue that reading news coverage of the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee meetings has little effect on American households’ inflation expectations.)

They point out that US households’ expected inflation rate has averaged around 3.5% since the early 2000s – well above the actual rate or professional forecasts. In addition, when they asked hundreds of top executives for their US consumer inflation forecasts over the next 12 months, some 55% said they did not know. Among those who offered an inflation forecast, the average, 3.7%, was again too high.

Moreover, studies in Germany, other eurozone countries, and New Zealandindicate that the public’s inflation expectations are similarly off-target elsewhere. At the same time, the authors say, some standard surveys of the public’s inflation expectations can produce misleadingly reasonable forecasts by “priming” respondents beforehand with a set of choices.

Former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan once defined price stability as “that state in which expected changes in the general price level do not effectively alter business and household decisions” – in other words, inflation is low enough that people don’t think about it in their daily lives. In today’s environment, therefore, policymakers should not be too concerned if the average person does not have well-informed inflation expectations.

Why, then, should central bankers keep banging their heads against the wall of a desired inflation rate? To be sure, monetary authorities should be transparent about their expectations for long-run inflation, as well as for real GDP growth and unemployment. Rather than doubling down on their oft-missed 2% target, however, perhaps the Fed and other central banks should quietly stop pursuing it aggressively.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

The End of the "Road" Financial Presentation

Featured faculty for this webinar include Ted Siedle, national pension expert and recipient of the two largest-ever whistleblower settlements from the SEC and CFTC, Chris Martenson PhD, economic analyst and co-founder of PeakProsperity.com, and Brien Lundin, publisher of GoldNewsletter.com and producer of the world’s longest-running investment conference.

- Source, Peak Prosperity

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

$50 Million Gold Coin Makes Splash at NYSE

Perth Mint made history on Tuesday by bringing the world’s largest gold coin to the NYSE. 

The coin, weighing in at 1 tonne, holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest, is valued close to $45 - $50 million at market prices, with spot gold last trading at $1,411.10 an ounce. 

The coin’s unveiling at the NYSE marks the Perth Mint’s launching of its gold-backed ETF, the Perth Mint Physical Gold ETF (NYSEArca: AAAU). 

AAAU is the world’s first government-backed gold ETF, with the majority of the fund’s gold vaulted at the Perth Mint.

- Source, Kitco News

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

What is Driving the Recent Silver and Gold Movement?

What drives an individual to take responsibility for their financial future through the ownership of silver and gold?

- Source, Silver Fortune

Monday, July 22, 2019

Martin Armstrong: Dow 35,000 By 2021?

The most hated stock market rally still has room left to become truly despised, according to Martin Armstrong. Armstrong is an economic forecaster, former hedge fund manager, monetary and foreign exchange currency expert and a deep student of history.

He has advised central banks, powerful political leaders, and has testified before Congressional committees on economic cycles and monetary and currency issues. 

At present, he’s extremely concerned about the gross distortions central bank policies have had on the global economy. Excess liquidity has caused asset prices to become recklessly inflated while enabling otherwise-doomed companies to persist by feeding off of the cheap and plentiful capital. 

But while Armstrong predicts this “one giant mess” “is not going to end nicely”, he warns that things may get a lot more deformed, especially in the US, before the break point is reached. 

With so much of the rest of the world beginning to succumb to the arriving global recession, capital is fleeing towards the relative safety and positive returns offered by America’s financial markets. 

As a result, Armstrong sees the US stock market continuing to power higher from here, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average potentially tagging 35,000 by 2021.

- Source, Peak Prosperity

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Silver is Headed for the Moon, Watch Out Says Bubba

Silver prices are in for a bid if key levels are broken, this according to Todd Horwitz, chief strategist of Bubba Trading. 

“Silver has caught a bid and it looks like it wants to go higher. If this breakout can continue, we can clear $16 or $16.20 [an ounce], then I think we’re on our way to $17 and then if we can get through there, then I think you’re on your way to $20,” Horwitz told Kitco News.

- Source, Kitco News

Saturday, July 20, 2019

China Dumps Treasuries, Buys Gold For Seventh Straight Month

The trade war with China continues on, with seemingly no end in sight.

Tensions remain high, with neither party willing to back down from the fight and unfortunately for many parties involved, it appears that the thought of a quick resolution has long ago been cast aside.

President Trump cannot and will not back down from this fight. 

In his eyes and those who support him, his hard headed attitude has won him a number of concessions in recent trade war bouts, even if it has come at a cost to certain companies and individuals, and he is not going to change his "winning" formula.

US farmers have taken the brunt of the damage domestically, having to be bailed out by the United States government repeatedly.

Iowa farmers, who have taken tremendous losses, just recently received approximately $1 billion in relief funds, that is intended to help them mitigate some of the damage these ongoing disputes have caused.

The pain and suffering are likely to continue on for years to come, and thus, you can expect the bailouts for US farmers hit the hardest to continue on as well, until they can appropriately adjust their business models to the new economic reality they find themselves in.

However, who has been hit the most is undoubtedly China, as businesses have been migrating their factories and thus production to the country for countless years, ballooning and swelling their economy, resulting in staggering economic growth.

Yet, this is starting to change, as businesses who have off-shored their production are also starting to feel the pinch of President Trumps roughly $250 billion worth of tariffs and are starting to make the required changes to circumvent these new taxes.

This is resulting in some companies redesigning their products to get around tariff laws, mislabeling items, or even outright moving production out of the country entirely.

Global News reports;

"Consider Xcel Brands, a New York-based company that owns such brands as Halston, Isaac Mizrahi and C. Wonder. Two years ago, it made all its clothing in China. 

Now it’s on the move — diversifying production to Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh and Canada and considering Mexico and Central America as well. By next year, it expects to have left China completely."

These trade wars are undoubtedly one of the major reasons why China's GDP has continued to tick lower, albeit still at at enviously high growth rate of 6.2%.

Upon learning of this slowdown, President Trump took to twitter to claim victory, however preemptive it may be;

“China’s 2nd Quarter growth is the slowest it has been in more than 27 years. The United States Tariffs are having a major effect on companies wanting to leave China for non-tariffed countries. Thousands of companies are leaving. 

This is why China wants to make a deal with the U.S., and wishes it had not broken the original deal in the first place. In the meantime, we are receiving Billions of Dollars in Tariffs from China, with possibly much more to come. These Tariffs are paid for by China devaluing & pumping, not by the U.S. taxpayer!”

Still, if you think that China is going to take this lying down and that there are not going to be consequences then you would be horribly mistaken.

China continues to play the long game, knowing that they ultimately are going to be the most hurt throughout these trade wars, as they have built an entire economy on supplying goods to both the United States and Europe, the latter of which is also slowing down their demand for Chinese goods.

This puts China between a rock and a hard place and the best weapon they have is debt.

China has accumulated a monstrous amount of US Treasuries over the years, assisting greatly in the rapid accumulation of US national debt, which now stands at a staggering $22 trillion and growing.

Choosing to punch back, China has been dumping some of the US Treasuries that they have accumulated throughout the years, accelerating their deleveraging with each passing month.

In April alone, China shed $7.5 billion in Treasuries, according to the US Treasury Department, bringing their total holdings down to $1.1 trillion.

However, this is just what we know, as China is notorious for not disclosing all of their financial information, shrouding much of what they do in mystery and funnelling funds through alternative routes.

While at the same time China has been very open about where they prefer to park some of these newly liquidated funds, gold bullion.

Increasing their holdings for seven straight months, China added another hefty purchase to their gold reserves in June, 10.3 tons. 

This results in an increase of 74 tons over the same period of time, proving that this is not a "one off" and that they are dead serious on their long term strategy of dollar deleveraging and gold accumulation.

Regardless of whether or not the trade wars continue on for the foreseeable future, I believe that there is no going back from this strategy and that China, along with other countries such as Russia are going to continue to shed US dollars and buy gold.

This is going to create a floor in the physical price of gold, eventually overwhelming the fiat paper gold markets that are horrendously over-leveraged and thus destined to implode as physical demand becomes too much for it to bear.

I believe that this underpinning in the gold bullion markets is just one of the many reasons why we have seen such strength recently and is why I believe that over the next few years we are going to continue to see higher and higher prices, retesting and inevitably breaking through the old highs.

- As first seen on the Sprott Money Blog

Friday, July 19, 2019

Bitcoin Officially Declared a Currency: What's Next for GOLD?

Gold market insider and proprietary analyst Rob Kirby returns to Reluctant Preppers to answer YOUR questions about what's next for Gold, Silver, Cryptos, the Fed, free elections, and the financial collapse!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

This is One of the Biggest Market Risks That Nobody’s Talking About...

A recession is a natural part of the business cycle, and policy makers should not be artificially propping up the economy, said Jeff Tomasulo, founder and CEO of Vespula Capital. 

“My view on it, and this has been my view for the last nine years, is that I don’t want a market manipulator in there. 

I don’t want the Fed to get as involved as they are, I want a recession to happen. I want the market cycles to come back the way market cycles should come back which is free markets. 

Let the market figure it out itself,” Tomasulo told Kitco News.

- Source, Kitco News

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Retail Inferno: 12,000 US Stores Are Forecast To Close In 2019

The retail inferno is escalating in 2019.
According to Coresight Research,  in the USyear-to-date announced closures have already exceeded the total we recorded for the full year 2018. Coresight Research estimates announced US store closures could reach 12,000 by the end of 2019.
So far this year, US retailers have announced 7,062 store closures and 3,017 store openings. This compares to 5,864 closures and 3,258 openings for the full year 2018.
Here is Coresight’s complete list of store closures so far for this year:
Payless ShoeSource: 2,589 (includes 248 Canada locations and 114 smaller-format stores in Shopko Hometown locations).
Gymboree/Crazy 8: 749
Dressbarn: 649. Here are the locations that closed in June and closing in July.
Charlotte Russe: 494; but the company’s new owner is opening new stores.
Shopko: 371
Charming Charlie: 261
LifeWay Christian Resources: 170
Topshop: All 11 U.S. stores
Henri Bendel: 23
E.L.F. Beauty: 22
Here are more announced closures that could roll into 2020:
Family Dollar: As many as 390 stores
Fred’s: 442; the company said it would close another 129 stores with going-out-of-business sales beginning Friday.
Chico’s: 74, but 250 over the next three years.
GNC: 233
Gap: Roughly 230 in next two years
Walgreens: 195
Foot Locker: 165, total includes closings outside of the U.S.
Signet Jewelers: The parent company of Kay, Zales and Jared said it would close another 150 stores.
Pier 1 Imports: 57, but up to 145 could close.
Ascena Retail: 120
Destination Maternity: 117
Sears: 72
Victoria’s Secret: 53
Vera Bradley: 50
Office Depot: 50
Kmart: 48
CVS: 46
Party City: 45
Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores: 45
The Children’s Place: Up to 45
Z Gallerie: 44
DKNY: 41
Stage Stores: 40 to 60
Bed Bath & Beyond: 40
Abercrombie & Fitch: 40
Francesca’s: At least 30 stores
Build-A-Bear: Up to 30 over two years
Williams-Sonoma: 30
J.C. Penney: 27
Bath & Body Works: 24
Southeastern Grocers: 22
Saks Off 5th: 20
Lowe’s: 20
J. Crew: 20
Macy’s: 8
Nordstrom: 7
Target: 6
J.Crew: 5
Kohl’s: 4
Whole Foods: 1
Calvin Klein: 1
Pottery Barn: 1
Now, that is a lot of retail store closings! Hopefully, The Fed doesn’t adopt the practice of buying failing retail stores to prop-up REITs and CMBS.