Friday, April 19, 2019

Silver to $25 in 2019, and That's Just the Beginning

Chris Vermeulen, founder of TheTechnicalTraders.com, joins me for a discussion centered around what the charts have to say about the future of silver and gold in the next 12 months.

- Source, Silver Fortune

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Top 10 Reasons I Buy Gold and Silver

When the average investor thinks about gold, they may view it as an inflation hedge. Or maybe as crisis insurance. Or perhaps solely as a portfolio diversifier. 

These are all good reasons to own gold—but those are always good reasons to buy precious metals. 

Mike Maloney’s reasons to own gold and silver at this point in history are very different than what passes as standard arguments. 

Given the monetary and economic risks present today, and the types of crises Mike believes are coming, he wanted to share his personal reasons with everyone. 

And he has a brand new video that details them. They center around a perfect storm of worldwide trends that are set to explode simultaneously and push gold and silver into hyper-bubbles.

- Source, Mike Maloney

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Silver and Gold: It's About Liberty, Not Just Wealth Preservation

Name another asset that has the qualities that silver and gold possess in their ability to opt out of the system.

- Source, Silver Fortune

Friday, April 12, 2019

Liberty Under Attack: Gold and Silver Fall?!

On a day like today, the irony of gold and silver losing key psychological support levels is beyond ironic, it is ludicrous.

Unless you are living under a rock, then you will of heard that after seven years of hiding out in the Ecuadorian Embassy, Julian Assange, the founder and head of Wikileaks was forced out of asylum and arrested by the UK government.

(Image Source, via Ruptly)

This move, which has been highly anticipated for days caused a sudden and almost immediate flood of emotions, with some supporting the move and others screaming out in rage and shock, as they watched a disheveled Assange being dragged out of the Embassy and thrown into an awaiting police vehicle.

His appearance once again raised concerns of his well being and health, as many of his supporters have raised the issue of the damage being done on his mental health over the last seven years of being confined.

This concerns appeared to be valid, as Julian Assange without a doubt looked absolutely horrible.

Whether or not you support Julian Assange and Wikileaks as a whole likely depends on the way the political winds are currently blowing.

I remember well the entirety of the Assange saga and the work that Wikileaks has done throughout the years, exposing such things as the "Iraq War Logs" and the "leaked State Department cables".

These two very prominent leaks by Wikileaks exposed a deep level of corruption within the US government and thus he became a massive enemy of the United States bureaucrats and the deep state.

The first major leak made Assange a hero of the left, as it greatly damaged President Bush and the Republican party of the time, exposing the violent acts of torture that the military was committing overseas.

The second major leak saw the political winds change, blowing them in another direction. 

Turning the left who once idolized him, against him.

Meanwhile, since Obama was in office and it made the Democrats look negative, Republicans began to embrace Wikileaks with open arms.

This flip flopping of support for a journalistic organization that has proven itself to not be partisan should make anyone that has done so hang their heads in shame. 

Whether or not you believe or don't believe the allegations against Assange in his personal life, is up to you, however, the organization of Wikileaks itself has proven that they are only loyal to liberty and not a political party.

The truth should always be embraced.

Returning to my opening statement, it is therefore with cynical humor that I watch the ticker symbol of both gold and silver bullion trend lower throughout today's breaking news.

This news, no matter what you believe, is overall being heralded as an attack on liberty and the freedom of truth, as it is without a doubt that it was largely politically motivated.

Gold and silver which represent the embodiment of free, honest money, should be soaring higher as they watch this government crackdown unfold in real time.

Instead, we have the exact opposite, in which they have both lost important support levels, with gold falling below $1300 USD per ounce, and silver falling below $15 USD per ounce.

Sadly, it appears that today is not only finding liberty on sale, but also gold and silver as well.

However, as does truth and liberty always prevail in the end, despite how many setbacks they may face, so too will gold and silver bullion ultimately break free of their restraints and ultimately move higher.

Who's Worse: Julian Assange or the New York Times and Washington Post?

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks at the Ecuadorian embassy after Swedish prosecutors drop rape inquiry against him on, London. May 19th, 2017 (Matrix/MediaPUnch via AP)

The arrest of Julian Assange by British authorities was met with nearly unanimous hosannas by U.S. politicians who gave their requisite soundbites cum gravitas on Capitol Hill Thursday. The self-styled journalist, they almost all said, should be extradited to the U.S. as quickly as possible to face the proverbial music for having exposed state secrets of our country — or at least the Democratic Party. Well, not exactly that — more accurately for having conspired with former U.S. intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to download classified databases, a legal distinction.

Ironically, not a peep has been heard from the same people (or almost anybody for that matter) thus far about another recent egregious misuse of journalism that resulted not in arrests but in the awarding of its most famous prize, the Pulitzer. As Beth Baumann noted for Townhall:

Let's not forget that The Washington Post and The New York Times won the 2018 Pultizer Prize for their national reporting of President Donald Trump's alleged collusion with Russia. They were awarded $15,000 in a joint prize.

The "award winning" journalists include Maggie Haberman, Jo Becker, Matt Apuzzo and Mark Mazetti from The Times and Rosalind Helderman, Tom Hamburger, Ellen Nakashima, Adam Entous and Greg Miller from WaPo.

They received the award "For deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign, the President-elect’s transition team and his eventual administration. (The New York Times entry, submitted in this category, was moved into contention by the Board and then jointly awarded the Prize.)"

Deeply sourced? What a laugh. As we now know post-Mueller report, these "respected" journalists were simply trafficking in collusion lies whispered to them by biased informants. In other words, they were a bunch of gullible, over-zealous propagandists. For that they received their Pulitzers, as yet unreturned, needless to say (just as the Pulitzer for Walter Duranty still hangs on the New York Times' wall despite decades of pleas from Ukrainians whose countrymen's mass murder by Stalin was bowdlerized by Duranty)...

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Is Your State a Second Amendment Sanctuary?

You have good reason to be concerned that coming unconstitutional federal laws are going to strip you of your second amendment rights. 

Constitutional scholar Edwin Vieira returns to Reluctant Preppers to discuss the breaking national rebellion of cities, counties and states rising up against tyrannical overreach by the federal government.

BREAKING: Julian Assange Arrested In London

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's nearly seven year stay in the Ecuadorian embassy in London has finally come to a disastrous end. After Wikileaks warned last week that Ecuador was preparing in revoke Assange's asylum based on the claim that he violated its terms, Assange was ousted on Thursday morning, and is now in the custody of British police.

He will likely face extradition to the US, after a sealed indictment against him were accidentally revealed last year. Wikileaks accused Ecuador of illegally terminating Assange's asylum, adding that the Ecuadorian ambassador invited police inside the embassy to take Assange into custody.

In a tweet published moments ago, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno said that Assange's "discourteous and aggressive" behavior, as well as "hostile" acts committed by Wikileaks, pushed Ecuador to revoke his asylum. Moreno cited Wikileaks' publication of sensitive Vatican documents earlier this year as the straw that finally broke the camel's back. Members of the organization purportedly visited Assange in the embassy after the leak, apparently substantiating suspicions that Assange was still in charge of the organization.

Furthermore, Moreno declared his asylum "unsustainable and no longer viable" because Assange had repeatedly violated "clear cut provisions of the conventions of on diplomatic asylum."

Following reports last week that the termination of Assange's asylum was imminent, a UN envoy on torture warned Ecuador that revoking Assange's protection would be a violation, since he could face "torture" and mistreatment should he be extradited to the US. Assange's relationship with his host had become increasingly strained over the past year. Last year, Ecuador briefly revoked some of Assange's "privileges", including access to the Internet, over his 'poor hygiene habits', the #INAPapers about offshore money laundering, implicating the Ecuadorian president in a corruption scandal.

The expulsion comes just a day after Wikileaks held a press conference accusing Ecuador of carrying out an "extensive spying operation"on Assange and handing intel over to the British and American authorities.

- Source, Zero Hedge

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Trump is Right to Blow Up the FED

Last week, President Donald Trump set the economics community aflame by suggesting that he will appoint businessman and presidential aspirant Herman Cain to the Federal Reserve Board. Even more than political economist Stephen Moore, the critics maintain, Cain represents a threat to the cabal that has controlled the central bank for decades.

Why? Because Cain is a successful executive who founded a real business, took risks, and created jobs, things most academic economists will never ever do.

Media outlets and other allied constituencies have howled with rage at the prospect of President Trump “packing the Fed,” a distant reference to attempts by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to pack the Supreme Court in the 1930s. Those worried about the independence of the Federal Reserve Board should reconsider. Independence from what exactly?

While the Fed is meant to be independent from the executive branch on a day-to-day basis, it is certainly not independent of Congress or the law. Yet the Fed in recent years has shown a troubling tendency to deviate from its legal mandate and make up new authorities to fit the changing economic situation. Case in point: the dubious notion that we should seek a 2 percent rate of inflation.

Anybody who cares to read the 1978 Humphrey Hawkins law will know that the Fed is directed by Congress to seek full employment and then zero inflation. Not 2 percent, but zero. Yet going back a decade and more, the Fed, led by luminaries such as Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke, has advanced a policy of actively embracing inflation. And neither Bernanke nor Yellen bothered to consult Congress when they decided to discard their legal responsibilities.

Quantitative easing, to take another example, represents a vast inflation of the financial markets and housing, yet Fed officials actually appear in public and talk about the conundrum presented by “low inflation.” The inflation in home prices that occurred during and after the Fed’s purchase of trillions in securities has permanently raised the price of housing in many parts of the country, preventing millions from purchasing homes. Yellen confesses to be “perplexed” by the dearth of home purchases by young families, but she is the cause of the malady.

Not only are these pro-inflation policies in violation of the letter of the Humphrey Hawkins law, but they have contributed to increased volatility in the financial markets. The third and frequently forgotten mandate in the Humphrey Hawkins law commands the Fed to employ policies that will produce “stable interest rates.” But the economists have long since stopped talking about this.

The basic problem with the Fed today is that it has gradually fashioned a new set of rules for itself, particularly since 2008, on which Congress has never been consulted. In the same way that economists use their imaginations to concoct new theories about economic behavior, the Fed board has apparently decided to take up legislative powers as well. Is the Fed meant to be free of any real-world restraint on its actions?

Monday, April 8, 2019

John Rubino: The Next Recession Could Blow Up Financial Markets, For Good

Financial Writer John Rubino says, 

“It is possible that a garden variety one year recession would blow-up the financial markets. 

That’s the stuff that they are hearing (in the White House) that is terrifying.

There are probably older and wiser people whispering in Trump’s ear who are saying the next equities bear market might be the end of the financial world for us.

They are so worried, they are will to experiment with monetary policy again in order to prevent the crash that could make them this generation’s Herbert Hoover.”

- Source, USA Watchdog

Saturday, April 6, 2019

China & India Help Propel Global Gold Demand to Four Year Highs

The trend towards precious metals, most notably gold bullion continues onward, with a recent report from consultancy firm Metals Focus predicting that the world as a whole will consume 4,370 tonnes of gold throughout 2019.

This is a very positive development for precious metals advocates indeed, as this would mark the highest level of consumption for the yellow metal since 2015.

As of late, this trend has been largely driven by eastern central banks, such as Russia, China, Turkey and a few select others, of which I have reported on extensively over the past year.

These central banks, that are wise to what is unfolding in the world are going to continue to play a major role in driving the demand for gold bullion higher, however, now as is being reported, consumer demand is returning in a major well, adding yet another pillar of demand.

This consumer demand is coming in the form of gold jewelry, of which India and China are heavily buying once again.

It is expected that gold jewelry demand will increase by 3% this year in China and 7% in India.

These two countries continue to be the largest purchasers of physical gold jewelry, but what many are unaware of is why these countries continue to purchase this asset.

In the West, jewelry is often bought as a luxury good, a novelty and not as a form of investment.

In countries such as China and India, along with many others, gold bullion in its bar and coin form are of course purchased, but what many may be unaware of is that physical jewelry is a commonly purchased investment asset as well.

The reasons for this are many, but one thing that is undeniable is the fact that precious metals jewelry is a much more convenient and easier way to move your assets in a time of need, as it can simply be worn by you and your family members.

Take these two scenarios into consideration;

1) You attempt to board a flight to another country with a stack of gold coins in your possession. 

2) You attempt to board a flight wearing a .999 gold necklace.

One is considered a fashion accessory in many countries, the other is looked at as money. One is more likely to go unnoticed, the other is highly likely to raise red flags.

Both in reality are money, but which is more likely to be confiscated? I think you know the answer. 

With both central banks and jewelry demand picking up, the last pillar that will ultimately drive gold to new heights is undoubtedly going to come. 

Investment demand in the West is already picking up among the "smart money" crowd, as they can see the writing on the wall and can see what is coming for the global economy.

We stand on the precipice of a major economic global correction, whether it be started by the madness that is erupting in Venezuela, or the chaos that continues to unfold around BREXIT.

Perhaps it will come from within the United States, as we head into the 2020 election, of which I am predicting to be both bloody and vicious, in both a literal and figurative sense.

Total demand for gold bullion is expected to be 4,370 tonnes this year, which is very significant in its own right. 

However, I believe as we move forward and as things continue to unfold across the globe that this is going to look small in the not too distant future.

The trend towards precious metals continues onward. 

It is only a matter of time before physical demand overwhelms the fraudulent fiat paper gold price markets and breaks free to new highs, leaving these suppressed prices as nothing more than a fleeting memory.

Keep stacking.

- Source, as first seen on the Sprott Money Blog

Friday, April 5, 2019

Alex Newman: Crazy Democrat Party Now Showing True Colors

There is no hiding the outrageous open borders and baby killing policies of the now far left Democrat party. Journalist Alex Newman says, “The crazy is now coming out of the closet. That’s why they want the open borders. 

They know they have lost the American people. They are now coming out of the closet with this kookiness. 

They kill babies, they praise a communist cop killer. We knew this was the Democrat party. We knew that the elites held these crazy views, but the public at large didn’t. Now, they are revealing their true colors.

Democrats have now become a threat to the survival of our republic as a free republic. They have become a threat to the survival of our Constitution and our liberties. 

It’s win or lose right now. That is the situation they are in. If they don’t succeed this time around, I think they realize too many people are going to wake up, and they are going to be in major trouble. 

So, they are just going for it all the way right now--full stop. 

It really is a fight to the finish, and I think they are hoping with voter fraud, illegal immigration and brain washing of the kids, they can still pull this off. 

The reality is people are waking up in huge numbers, and they can’t contain it anymore, even with censorship of the internet.

People are hungry for the truth, and people know they have been lied to.”

- Source, USA Watchdog

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Dave Janda: Treasonous Globalists Want to Destroy and Loot America

Dr. Dave Janda of the popular radio show “Operation Freedom” says, “This is a huge awakening project for the American public.

There has to be a huge awakening of the public. The public has been propagandized for decades, and the first part of bringing down that facade was labeling the mainstream media (MSM) as being fake. 

The MSM was all involved in treason and sedition. They were all involved in propagandizing the public, and they are all part of the problem.” 

Dr. Janda says the real end goal of the globalists is to destroy America and loot it in the process. 

Dr. Janda explains, “Yes, because we were the speed bump to the globalists’ goal and objective of a New World Order, a One World Government and complete control.”

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Bitcoin Bursts Above $5,000 As Crypto Melt Up Continues

Bitcoin Cash is up over 100% in the last 24 hours, Litecoin up 60% and Bitcoin and Ethereum up 25%.

Bitcoin has broken back above $5000 and pushed to new cycle highs...

The broad Cyrpto market capitalization has risen around $40 billion in the last 24 hours...

As for other altcoins, CoinTelegraph notes that all major currencies except Maker (MKR) and Tezos (XTZ) are in the green and seeing moderate to visible gains in the last 24 hours. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has jumped to over $280, showing gains of around 50 percent. Another major winner is Litecoin (LTC), gaining over 20 percent within a day and trading at $84.

Dogecoin (DOGE), recently promoted by Tesla’s Elon Musk as his favorite coin, has seen over a 30 percent rise in price following the entrepreneur’s tweet.

The major market recovery, which started late April 1, has been widely discussed both in the crypto community and financial world. Most of the crypto insiders state that there is no particular reason behind the leap, and that all of the explanations are currently speculatory.

For instance, Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao, most known as CZ, admits that he’s “clueless” about the real causes of what is happening, while Bloomberg author Eric Lam also believes that there is no definite answer.

Ikigai founder and a former Point72 Asset Management executive, Travis Kling, called the recent Bitcoin price surge “nail in the coffin.” King made his remarks during an interview with Yahoo Finance on April 2. He said:

“The likelihood that we’re going to retest the lows of mid-December has materially diminished over the last seven weeks. And then, with the price action last night, I think it’s pretty safe to say that there’s about as close to a nail in the coffin as you can have in terms of feeling good about the bottom being in for this crypto market. Never say never, but it would take a massive shift in the appetite for risk assets globally for us to go retest the lows or make new lows for the crypto market now.”

Gold Moves to Tier 1: What's Next?

​The latest Basel-III policy announcement by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) officially recognizes gold as a Tier-1 asset like cash as of 4/1/2019. 

Why are the banks now positioning themselves to acknowledge physical gold as money, and what does this signal for what is coming next? 

What are the immediate and future impacts to you and your preparedness? 

Bewildered about whether to invest your war chest in selected stocks, hold onto cash, buy precious metals, or run for the hills? The answer may be a layered approach...

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Former Fed Insider: Now Is A Pivotal Time For Investors To Seek-Out The Protection Of Gold

Danielle discusses why it’s important that people understand the way central bank policies affect their lives.

Her book reveals how the Fed has lost its way due to creating monetary policy based on market patterns and politics instead of economic metrics. The Fed is increasingly becoming backed into a corner ever since the money printing of 2008 with the introduction of “Zero Interest Rate Policies” and “Quantitative Easing.”

Now the Fed has again become dovish over seemingly small corrections occurring in the markets.

- Source, Palisade Radio

Monday, April 1, 2019

Plan Confirmed, Use the Economy, Patriots in Control

The central bank credit economy is getting worse and worse by the day. More and more people are finding it hard to make ends meet and they are using their credit cards to pay rent and utilities. 

The White House is calling on the Fed to lower interest rates, right on schedule. More and more countries are dropping the central bank currency. 

The deep state plan is to attach the Trump administration to the economy, then bring it down to blame it on Trump, problem is Patriots are in control.

- Source, X22 Report

Bannon: Trump Is Going To Go Full Animal On His Opponents Now That The Mueller Investigation Is Over

“I have a better education than them, I'm smarter than them, I went to the best schools; they didn't. Much more beautiful house, much more beautiful apartment. Much more beautiful everything. And I'm president and they're not,” declared Trump at his Michigan MAGA rally, refusing to take profit on the trade.

You see, Mueller found him innocent of Russian collusion. And while the report stopped short of exonerating him for obstruction, Mueller’s overall ruling was an enormous windfall.

A typical trader would take at least some profit, selling into the euphoria, rising above it all, extending a hand to broaden his base.

“Trump is going to go full-animal on his political opponents now that he’s no longer in the shadow of Mueller’s investigation,” predicted Bannon, the President’s former Chief Strategist. Steve’s usually right.

And as Trump ordered OPEC to lower oil prices, his economic advisor Larry Kudlow and Federal Reserve nominee Stephen Moore called for an immediate 50bp interest rate cut from the Fed - desperate to fire up the economy heading into 2020.

“The Democrats have to now decide whether they will continue defrauding the public with ridiculous bullshit, partisan investigations or whether they will apologize to the American people and join us to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and bring down the cost of health care and prescription drugs,” taunted Trump.

And as his MAGA crowd went wild, replacing “Lock Her Up” with “AOC Sucks”, Democrats entered the five stages of grief: denial comes first, followed by anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. And naturally, it would be so much easier if the Dems could just take a loss.

But in today’s internecine conflict, with tribes fighting for absolute victory or utter defeat, no one seems willing to extend a hand, take a profit or a loss and move onward, upward, as The United States of America.

- Source, Eric Peters, CIO of One River Asset Management

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Can't Stop, Won't Stop, Russia Buys Another Million Ounces of Gold

As the Western media and political elites continue to be enraptured with the latest "breaking news", deciding best on how to be outraged by it and how to spin it to their advantage in favor of  their"team", the East continues to make long term, strategic plans.

As I have reported time and time again and as I will continue to report as long as the trend continues on, Russia has once again moved heavily into precious metals, acquiring an additional one million ounces, or 31.1 tons of the yellow metal throughout the month of February 2019.

This brings the Russian gold reserves to 2,149 tons, which makes them the fifth largest holder of gold bullion in the entire world and a position that I doubt they will remain for long at this steady rate of accumulation.

What is truly scary is how this news simply goes by without barely a mention.

Wall St and the majority of investors are blissfully ignorant to the rapid and steady accumulation of one of the rarest commodities in the world.

A commodity that has served as a linchpin in the financial world for over 10,000 years, including to this present day, despite their claims that it is a "barbarous relic".

Foolishly, in the age of fiat money, many have forgotten how vital of a role gold and silver bullion have played throughout our monetary history. 

Sadly, I believe this is a hard lesson that many are going to have to relearn as economic and geopolitical turmoil once again begins to rear its ugly head in the coming days.

Fortunately, even though Wall St and the vast majority of investors could care less about Russia's affinity to gold, Washington may finally be taking notice, after years of being asleep at the wheel.

Jim Rickards, one of the most prominent names in the precious metals space had the following to say in a recent tweet;

"Yesterday was the 20th of the month and you know what that means. New gold data from the Central Bank of Russia! They bought 31.1 tons in February, bringing total to 2,149 tons. Washington is finally noticing; part of the reason I was there Wednesday. This is the new Great Game."

Russia has stated that they see precious metals as a hedge against political risk and the history books confirm this statement. 

The increased risks we are now seeing in the world is exactly why they are accumulating gold bullion month after month, year after year, with seemingly no end in sight.

Proving just how serious they are, Russia is now buying the majority of their domestic gold production for the foreseeable future.

With the FED once again capitulating to the market, you can expect that not only will Russia continue to buy every ounce they can get their hands on, but other countries not previously buying bullion will begin to accumulate as well.

The risk of endless fiat money flooding the system is once again threatening our already fragile system and all it will take to ignite this monetary bonfire is a spark, setting off blazing inflation the likes we have never seen before.

The smart money are already acting, accumulating gold and silver bullion while prices remain artificially suppressed. 

The sale is still on, but for how long? The clock is ticking, it is only a matter of time. 

Are you prepared? I hope so.

- Source, as first seen on the Sprott Money Blog

Friday, March 29, 2019

Gold and Other Treasures to Store Before the Collapse

Lynette Zang, chief market analyst at ITM Trading, returns to Reluctant Preppers to answer YOUR viewer questions! Lynette tackles a range of topics including: 

- Signs & signals before the crash, 
- Silver vs Gold vs Palladium: what to consider, 
- When to buy productive land..depending on this crucial personal factor! 
- Options for raising at least some of your own food, even if you’re not a farmer, 
- When & why to network with your neighbors.. especially if they’re not into preparedness, 
- and More!!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Inflation Weakness Pushes Central Bankers Closer to Reversal

Central banks from the U.S. to Asia are turning dovish as they increasingly fret about getting inflation to pick up in a bruised global economy.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell effectively extended the U.S. central bank’s pause on interest-rate increases on Wednesday, even opening the possibility that the next move could be a cut. On Thursday, central banks in Indonesia and the Philippines -- among the most aggressive rate hikers last year -- kept policy on hold, as did the Swiss National Bank.

Global growth is under pressure after a sharp slowdown in 2018, and policy makers are waiting for clarity on issues from trade tariffs to Brexit. But inflation in particular is dominating concerns, with little sign that the post-crisis recovery, extreme monetary stimulus and a decline in unemployment is driving up price pressures.

Powell was “sounding optimistic on the economic outlook, but pricing power is not that much in evidence in the U.S. economy,” said Paul Donovan, chief economist at UBS. “Thus the inflation imperative to raise rates quickly is not there in the view of the Fed.”

That idea was also in evidence at the SNB, which cut its inflation forecasts, but left its prediction for Swiss economic growth unchanged. The European Central Bank, which now plans to keep rates on hold at least for the rest of this year, said Thursday that underlying inflation is “muted.”

“The normalization of monetary policy has been pushed further into the future,” said SNB President Thomas Jordan. “For the foreseeable future we’ll have have low rates internationally.”

In Asia, the U.S. policy shift may have opened the door for rate cuts as inflation remains subdued and economic growth slows. That’s a stark contrast from last year, when the prospect of further Fed hikes was pummeling the region’s currencies and pressuring current account deficits.

"The Fed’s big shift will end the tightening wave for Asia’s central banks and open the door for future easing," said Hak Bin Chua, an economist at Maybank Kim Eng Research Pte in Singapore.

Elsewhere on Thursday, Taiwan’s central bank kept its benchmark rate at 1.375 percent, citing mild economic growth and a stable inflation outlook. The Bank of England also stood pat in a decision announced in London.

While the BOE is hemmed in by Brexit, even some of its most hawkish members have signaled a change in tone on inflation and policy tightening. Michael Saunders said this month that economic growth is “probably not strong enough to create excess demand and inflation.”

- Source, Bloomberg

JUSTICE IS COMING: Trump Vows "FBI & DOJ" Investgation As Leaked Email Reveals Scramble To Cover Tracks

President Trump says the FBI and Justice Department will investigate the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of 16 felony charges against Empire star Jussie Smollett, who Chicago PD accused of staging his own hate crime.

Two Nigerian-born brothers caught on surveillance camera buying ski masks and red hats were ready to testify that Smollett paid them $3,500 to stage the January 29 attack, and that the 36-year-oldactor was behind a threating letter received a week prior.

After Michelle Obama's former Chief of Staff, Tina Tchen contacted State's Attorney Kim Foxx, however, charges against Smollett were dropped. Prosecutors said that Smollett's debt to society had been paid in the form of $10,000 and 16 hours of community service he had already performed over two days at Rev. Jesse Jackson's human rights coalition.

Smollett, meanwhile, maintains his innocence.

The sudden dismissal enraged Chicago PD, while drawing a harsh rebuke from Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Mayor Rahm Emanuel - who called it a "whitewash of justice."

- Source, Zero Hedge

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Great Reckoning

The big macro wheels are turning and everybody better pay very close attention. The Reckoning is coming. Best hope for a substantive China trade deal and a last minute save on Brexit to perhaps delay the inevitable: The Coming Recession.

This week’s full frontal capitulation by the Fed has not only removed a key buying carrot, but also has brought about the inversion of the yield curve, a classic confirming warning sign that a recession is coming. The key question of course: The when and the how. Bulls will want to hope the recession is at least another year or two away to engage participants in a final game of musical chairs before the rug gets pulled. Bears will point to structural forces and factors that suggest that a recession may come a lot sooner than anyone expects.

In this edition of the Weekly Market Brief I’ll outline some key macro risk factors and dissect some key technical developments I think everyone should be aware of.

Before I do that a quick announcement: After considering all the feedback I’ve received (thanks by the way) I’ve decided to continue to provide a video component as part of the Weekly Market Briefs whenever possible. They truly help provide context and color to the charts. If you want get notifications of the videos you can subscribe via my channel here: NT YouTube Channel.

Now onto markets:

Let’s me get something straight here: Bulls continue to be wrong on the macro and bears continue to be right.

Fact: All the glorious projections made by bulls about growth and earnings continue to get overrun by the deteriorating macro reality. The same folks that didn’t forecast the 2015/2016 earnings recession also didn’t predict the 2019 earnings recession (or the 2018 20% market drubbing for that matter) and are once again clinging to dovish central banks to bail them out.

And, up until Friday, this game has worked yet again:

Let’s call a spade a spade: Without a complete policy flip flop by the Fed $SPX wouldn’t be trading anywhere near 2800 so soon in 2019. Can we all just acknowledge this?

- Source, Northman Trader

Former Fed chair Yellen says yield curve may signal need to cut rates, not a recession

Former U.S. Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said on Monday the U.S. Treasury yield curve may signal the need to cut interest rates at some point, but it does not signal a recession.

Yellen, who led the Fed between 2014 and 2018, was speaking at the Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong.

The yield curve inverted on Friday for the first time since mid-2007, a shift that has in the past signaled the risk of recession. The slope regained its ascendancy in European trading on Monday after stronger-than-expected German data.

Charles Evans, a voting member of the Fed's policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee, told the same conference on Monday that it was understandable for markets to be nervous when the yield curve flattened.

- Source, Yahoo Finance

The Reckoning Finally Arrives For The Trump Resistance

“The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” That single sentence, taken from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, calls for a reckoning.

It’s a reckoning for Democrats who saw almost every development in this almost-two-year investigation as another dot connecting a conspiracy Mueller has not found. It’s a reckoning for many in the media that dutifully passed along this theory without scrutiny or context. And it’s a reckoning for many national security officials who abandoned their traditional nonpartisan role as custodians of state secrets to engage in a campaign against a president they loathed.

Their suspicions, I should note, were not unwarranted. During the 2016 election, there was strong evidence that Russia had hacked the emails of leading Democrats, a fact supported by Mueller’s indictments. The country later learned from Mueller that Moscow conducted a social media campaign to flood Twitter and Facebook with fake news and propaganda to discredit Hillary Clinton. Trump, meanwhile, once publicly invited the assistance of the Russians.

But many people who should have known better went beyond suspicion and embraced conspiracy. Remember Senator Harry Reid’s explosive letterto James Comey, released just a few days before the election, alleging that the FBI director possessed devastating information about Trump and his campaign’s ties to Russia? Reid did not provide many details. We now know that many of the allegations to which Reid referred echoed an infamous dossier prepared by a former British spy at the behest of an opposition research firm paid by the Democratic Party.

Reid wasn’t the only one. Last year the House Intelligence Committee released memos that showed how this dossier was part of the underlying evidence the FBI provided in a surveillance application to a secret court to monitor the communications of Carter Page, a low-level foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. Page has not been charged with a crime, and yet his reputation has been trashed after a top-secret warrant for his surveillance was leaked to the media.

The dossier set the initial narrative for the Trump administration. After CNN reported that it was included as part of a briefing Comey himself provided to Trump and Obama, Buzzfeed published the whole thing with the helpful caveat that it was not verified and was in places incorrect. The most important takeaway so far of the Mueller probe is that this dossier is garbage.

Then there is the matter of Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn. He was forced from the administration and into a legal nightmareafter his monitored conversations with Russia’s ambassador to Washington leaked a few weeks before Trump’s inauguration. It’s true that Flynn failed to file as a foreign agent for Turkey, a crime that is normally punished with a slap on the wrist. At the time though, the accusation against Flynn was that he was a Russian spy, based on leaked transcripts that are never supposed to see the light of day. How silly do these hyperventilations look today in light of Mueller’s conclusions?

What’s more, it’s a scandal that no one has investigated how those transcripts were leaked in the first place. Given that the FBI’s own inspector general found that leaking with impunity is commonplace, the bureau’s agents should at least be among the suspects.

Finally, there is that handful of former officials who validated the worst fears of Americans about Trump without ever providing actual evidence. The best example is former CIA Director John Brennan. For the last two years, Brennan has been a frequent guest on cable TV to spread the innuendo that Trump is compromised by Russia. Just this month, he speculated that Mueller would be indicting members of Trump world for criminal conspiracy, even as he insisted he had no “inside knowledge” of Mueller’s deliberations. That last part, at least, turns out to have been true.

The saddest part of all of this is that there was a lot of evidence, hiding in plain sight, that could have spared many collusion proponents their embarrassment. Mueller’s indictment of Roger Stone, for example, alleged that Stone was tasked by a senior campaign official to find out what was in the emails that Russia hacked from Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. If the campaign was coordinating with Russia’s influence campaign, why would Stone have needed to go to Wikileaks?

There were also the transcripts of interviews before the Senate Judiciary Committee of participants in the June 2016 Trump Tower meetings where Donald Trump Jr. and others in the campaign took a meeting with a Russian lawyer who initially promised dirt on Hillary Clinton. Under oath, those witnesses said nothing came of the offer.

And Trump, it should be noted, has appointed Russia hawks at the highest levels. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton and his predecessor H.R. McMaster, and former Secretary of Defense James Mattis all have long public records when it comes to Russia. If Trump were a Russian stooge, why would he appoint them to such posts? And despite his own baffling sycophancy toward Russian President Putin, Trump has not been weak on Russia in terms of policy.

The end of the Mueller probe is more than just a reckoning. It is also a reminder, if anyone needed another one, that the FBI and the intelligence community can be wrong. And it is a powerful illustration of the importance of keeping spies and lawmen out of politics.

- Source, Eli Lake via Bloomberg Opinion

A RIGGED SYSTEM: Jussie Smollett Charges Dropped Over Alleged Attack Hoax

If there was ever a doubt in your mind that there are laws for "them" and laws for "us", then this recent breaking news will finally shock you out of your day dream.

The Blast reports;

Jussie Smollett is in the clear after the District Attorney in Cook County dropped all charges against the “Empire” star over allegations he lied to police in faking an alleged hate crime against himself.

According to reports, the state filed the motion to dismiss the case and the judge signed off. The judge also granted a motion to seal the case, according to Charlie De Mar of CBS Chicago.

Smollett is expected to speak to the media once the hearing has concluded.

His attorneys released a statement saying, “Today, all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and his record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him. Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29th. He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public causing an inappropriate rush to judgment.”

The statement continued, “Jussie and many others were hurt by these unfair and unwarranted actions. This entire situation is a reminder that there should never be an attempt to prove a case in the court of public opinion. That is wrong. It is a reminder that a victim, in this case Jussie, deserves dignity and respect. Dismissal of charges against the victim in this case was the only just result.”

They concluded, “Jussie is relieved to have this situation behind him and is very much looking forward to getting back to focusing on his family, friends and career.”

Jussie Smollett entered a not guilty plea earlier this month to 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report.

- Source, The Blast, read more here

Hogwashed: A Sullen John Brennan Suggests He May Have Received Bad Information On Collusion

A somber looking John Brennan suggested on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Monday that "bad information" may be to blame after more than two years of being dead wrong about Trump colluding with Russia.

Brennan - the former director of the CIA - was so convinced of Trump's collusion that he penned an angry Op-Ed in the New York Times after his security clearance was revoked, titled: "President Trump’s Claims of No Collusion Are Hogwash."

The article starts off with a picture of the very patriotic looking Brennan swearing in before some testimony we're sure was truthful - unless he had bad information of course.

Mr. Trump’s claims of no collusion are, in a word, hogwash.

The only questions that remain are whether the collusion that took place constituted criminally liable conspiracy, whether obstruction of justice occurred to cover up any collusion or conspiracy, and how many members of “Trump Incorporated” attempted to defraud the government by laundering and concealing the movement of money into their pockets. -John O. Brennan

Last April - after President Trump called former FBI Director James Comey a "proven LEAKER & LIAR," Brennan dusted off his favorite thesaurus and tweeted "Your kakistocracy is collapsing after its lamentable journey."

And less than one year later - Trump has been vindicated of collusion by special counsel Robert Mueller, leaving Brennan mumbling on MSNBC with a stone-face; "Well, I don’t know if I received bad information but I think I suspected there was more than there actually was," adding - with a mouth full of crow "I am relieved that it’s been determined there was not a criminal conspiracy with the Russian government over our election."

- Source, Zero Hedge, read more here

It Begins: Pentagon Approves $1 Billion To Build Trump's Border Wall

What was already a bad week for Democrats just got worse.

Not only did AG Barr embarrass party leaders like Adam Schiff, as well as their allies in the cable news media, when he revealed that Robert Mueller's nearly two-year investigation into the Trump campaign had turned up zero evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, but now, despite a spate of lawsuits and bipartisan resistance in Congress, Trump has received the first tranche of Pentagon funds that will be used to build more than 230 miles of the border wall - helping to fulfill one of his most popular campaign promises.

According to CNN, the Pentagon notified Congress Monday night that it had authorized $1 billion to begin construction of a new segment of the wall along the US-Mexico border. The notification elicited a wave of outrage from Democratic lawmakers.

The approved money will help build 57 miles of border fencing, improved roads, and other measures. Construction is expected to begin immediately.

Pentagon budget reprogramming notification sent to Capitol Hill on Monday and obtained by CNN indicates that up to $1 billion will go toward building 57 miles of fencing, improving roads and other measures on the southern border.

The Department of Defense authorized the Army Corp of Engineers to begin planning and construction for the project Monday night. The department will direct the funds toward 18-foot-high fencing along the Yuma and El Paso sections of the border, according to a letter acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan sent to Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.

The money is part of about $2.5 billion from the Defense Department’s drug-interdiction program authorized by Trump's emergency order. All told, the order reappropriated (Trump's opponents would say 'raided') some $7 billion from various sources, which will instead be used for the wall.

Monday's announcement was just the first $1 billion the administration is making available for wall funding. The administration said previously it plans to shift an additional $1.5 billion at some point in the future.

These initial counterdrug funds will ultimately flow from the Department of Homeland Security to the Army Corps of Engineers to begin construction.

- Source, Zero Hedge, read more here