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(Commentary by Ellen Brown) For years, homeowners have been battling Wall Street in an attempt to recover some portion of their massive losses from the housing Ponzi scheme. But progress has been slow, as they have been outgunned and out-spent by the banking titans.
In June, however, the banks may have met their match, as some equally powerful titans strode onto the stage. Investors led by BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, and PIMCO, the world’s largest bond-fund manager, have sued some of the world’s largest banks for breach of fiduciary duty as trustees of their investment funds. The investors are seeking damages for losses surpassing $250 billion. That is the equivalent of one million homeowners with $250,000 in damages suing at one time.
The defendants are the so-called trust banks that oversee payments and enforce terms on more than $2 trillion in residential mortgage securities. They include units of Deutsche Bank AG, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, HSBC Holdings PLC, and Bank of New York Mellon Corp. Six nearly identical complaints charge the trust banks with breach of their duty to force lenders and sponsors of the mortgage-backed securities to repurchase defective loans.
Why the investors are only now suing is complicated, but it involves a recent court decision on the statute of limitations. Why the trust banks failed to sue the lenders evidently involves the cozy relationship between lenders and trustees. The trustees also securitized loans in pools where they were not trustees. If they had started filing suit demanding repurchases, they might wind up suedon other deals in retaliation. Better to ignore the repurchase provisions of the pooling and servicing agreements and let the investors take the losses—better, at least, until they sued.
Commentary by Lars Schall
Well, if you take the US Supreme Court and representatives of the Federal Reserve System at their own words, the case is pretty clear: the member banks of the Federal Reserve System are private corporations / banks.
Related to a book that I’m writing in German, I was asking myself whether the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks are privately owned.
The US Supreme Court, I found out, said this on January 3, 1928 in the case “United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation v. Western Union Telegraph Co.“:
Instrumentalities like the national banks or the federal reserve banks, in which there are private interests, are not departments of the government. They are private corporations in which the government has an interest. Compare Bank of the United States v. Planters’ Bank, 9 Wheat. 904, 907, 6 L. Ed. 244.
The fifth episode of the world's first ever crowdfunded financial news show - Get REAL with Jan Skoyles - features a debate between Jim Rickards (author of Currency Wars and The Death of Money) and James Turk (founder of GoldMoney.com)
A very health discussion on safety of your money in the first place. Rick has been driving the same point home for years, but looks that no one is listening ...
In this commentary, Claudio Grass, managing director of Global Gold in Switzerland, sound money and monetary history specialist, discusses his view on the ongoing trend based on history with Casey Research (source).
After 2008, the central banks tried to counter deflation by printing huge amounts of money. But the velocity of money, which is the credit in the system, is 30% down compared to 2008. It means that all the newly created “money” has not gone in the real economy. Most of the money has gone in the stock market, real estate market and government bonds. This could go on for a while. The outcomes, however, are limited. Deflation is one of them, but central banks will do whatever they can to avoid that. On the other hand, we can see hyperinflation, or a deflationary collapse, which both have the same outcome at the end of the day.
Your mutual funds may have changed categories last week without you knowing it.
Normally, that’s a big reason for concern, a sign that something is afoot and that management has been following a new path.
Existing home sales for the first two months of 2014 were down nearly 25% on an annualized basis. The new home sales decline is getting steeper. Pending home sales appear to be collapsing.
As per John Williams on Shadowstats.com:
Based on this morning's (March 20th) reporting, existing-home sales were declining at an annualized quarterly pace of 24.4%, based on two months of reporting for first-quarter 2014. That follows an annualized quarterly pace of decline of 25.6% in fourth-quarter 2013.
The Dow Jones Home Construction Index (DJUSHB) is down 12.3% since closing Feb. 27 at 536. In that same time period, the S&P 500 was basically flat. A negative divergence from the broad market of this degree is typically a strong warning sign that something is wrong with the underlying fundamentals for the divergent market sector. With that in mind, the housing data released in the last week suggests that the housing market may entering a severe decline.
By Paul Mylchreest of Monument Securities
A critical juncture
Over the course of the last century, the US Congress has been blamed for much that has gone wrong in international relations. The unwillingness of Congressional leaders in 1919 to support US participation in the League of Nations doomed from the outset that quixotic attempt to put global relations on a rational basis. Renewed world war was the eventual outcome. Then in 1930, Congressional passage of the Tariff Act, widely known as Smoot-Hawley, marked the break-out of beggar-thy-neighbour trade practices that no less an authority on that period than Mr Bernanke has maintained contributed to the length and depth of the global depression. It is no matter that some historians argue that Smoot-Hawley merely built on the Fordney-McCumber Tariff Act of 1922; that had been Congress’s doing as well. More recently, the US Congress has resisted presidential demands for ‘fast-track’ authority to tie up international trade deals. The lack of faith of the USA’s counterparties in Washington’s ability to ratify trade agreements was an important factor in the collapse of the Doha Round, which has put a brake on the development of the World Trade Organisation. Now, the US Congress is acting in a way which could have consequences at least as serious as those that followed these past examples of obduracy.
Silver expert David Morgan is warning of coming financial changesthat may be forced on the U.S. during the next G-20 meeting. Morgan says,“The impetus here is the U.S. has had too much financial power backed bythe military for far too long and they (G-20) are going to implement changeone way or the other. There are so many dollars sitting out there doingnothing that could change like a flock of birds. They are all flying inone direction, and then for no reason we could understand, they go theother direction instantly. We could have an instant change where nationstates say I need to get out of dollars. If that were to take place youcould see http://usawatchdog.com/dollar-value-could-suffer-instant-change-david-morgan/a huge change virtually overnight.”
The Inteligencia Financiera Global blog (Global Financial Intelligence Blog) is honored to present an exclusive interview with economy world expert Jim Rickards. Jim is the author of the bestseller “Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis” and the forthcoming, “The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System”.
He is a portfolio manager at West Shore Group and a partner in Tangent Capital Partners, a merchant bank based in New York. He is an advisor on capital markets to the U.S. intelligence community and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
By Dave Kranzler: As I have detailed in several previous articles, the housing market data since the middle of last summer has been trending lower on a monthly sequential basis, signaling that the housing mini-bubble which has inflated over the last two years is about to pop.
In the past week, more empirical evidence has surfaced which I believe further confirms my bearish view on the housing market. In fact, I would argue that the factors which inflated this round two of the housing market bubble are becoming non-factors, which will cause another "popping" of the housing bubble.
The biggest factor in driving home sales and prices higher over the last two years has been the big institutional investor. This homebuyer segment engaged in a strategy of buying up huge portfolios of distressed homes and converting them into rental properties.
Chris Powell: “That King World News story really spread around the world. I traced it to a Russian-language Ukrainian newspaper. It was certainly a very believable story based on past U.S. actions. But you did that particular interview with William Kaye out of Hong Kong, who I happened to know has some excellent Ukrainian sources himself. This made the story even more powerful....
In short, the cybercurrency darling Bitcoin had a MAJOR setback. We’ll cover some of the important details today — plus, we’ll take a look at a safer place to stock your money than the latest currency du jour.
According to CNN Money, “The Bitcoin trading website Mt. Gox was taken offline late Monday, putting at risk millions of dollars put there by investors who gambled on the digital currency.”
As of this morning, Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan where it was headquartered. All together it’s estimated the exchange lost half a billion dollars worth of the digital currency.
Brent Cook worked alongside Rick Rule from the late 90’s to the early 2000’s at Sprott Global Resource Investments Ltd. A respected geologist and speaker, he is now the author of Exploration Insights.
“The major miners were being slammed with a falling gold price at the beginning of 2013,” he told me earlier this year. “They wanted to mitigate the damage to their share price. ‘What can we do to attract investors?’ they asked.
“Their best idea was to lower expectations as much as possible. They felt that if they lowered expectations related to production, costs and profits, then at year end they could beat, or at least meet those expectations.”
How did that work out?
“Well, to a large extent, they managed to meet or beat the lowered guidance for 2013, and the analysts were able to brag about the new numbers.
“Sort of, that is. They know very well that this game can’t go on, because even with lowered expectations we are seeing additional write downs and decreased mine reserves. They are saying that these cuts are for the better anyway. This time they are ‘serious’ about bottom line earnings – yeah right!”
Since then, many major mining companies have published dismal returns for fourth quarter of 2013, and cut their reserves because many of their unmined reserves were uneconomic at their revised gold price estimates.
The London gold fix, the benchmark used by miners, jewelers and central banks to value the metal, may have been manipulated for a decade by the banks setting it, researchers say.
Unusual trading patterns around 3 p.m. in London, when the so-called afternoon fix is set on a private conference call between five of the biggest gold dealers, are a sign of collusive behavior and should be investigated, New York University’s Stern School of Business Professor Rosa Abrantes-Metz and Albert Metz, a managing director at Moody’s Investors Service, wrote in a draft research paper.
The author of the best-selling book ‘Currency Wars’ and the forthcoming ‘The Death of Money’ talks about how China uses gold and the IMF to remove the dollar as reserve currency ...
Surprise! For the 3rd time in the last 20 years, homebuilder sentiment got way ahead of reality... and as the February NAHB data shows, reality is starting to catch up to them. The NAHB sentiment index crashed by its most on record in Feb, missed expectations by its most on record, and fell back below the crucial 50-level, as it starts to play cyclical catch-down to home sales and mortgage apps. Think it's the weather? nope...It's across every region (with The West dropping the most on record - hot dry weather?)
Yet again hope fades...
When attempting to quantify the amount and quality of a possible mineralized deposit on their property, exploration companies and producers generally follow a process which seeks to state, in reasonably accurate and concise terms, just what they have…or might have. Following the Bre-X fiasco, wherein ‘highly inaccurate’ reserves of a supposed deposit in Borneo were publicized and acted upon by a tidal wave of investors, sophisticated and neophyte alike, a new set of reporting rules was enacted.
Canadian National Instrument 43-101, is a rule developed by the Canadian Securities Administrators governing the process of disclosing to the public, scientific and technical information about mining projects. The NI 43-101 report is presented (usually within the context of a company News Release) by a “Qualified Person” – by a (presumably) competent licensed geoscientist, who often works for the company in question and is assumed to be skilled in analyzing the mineralization under review.
Reduced to its essence, the continuum of terms, expressed from highest to lowest confidence levels is as follows:
Column by Chris Martenson
Are fish from the Pacific safe to eat? What about the elevated background radiation readings detected in Japan, and recently, in California? Are these harmful levels?
Should we be worried? And if so, what should be done about these potential health threats? What steps should we take to protect ourselves?
As many of you know, I'm a scientist by training. In this report, I'll lay out the facts and data that explain the actual risks. I'll start by pointing out that Fukushima-related fears have been overblown as well as heavily downplayed by parties on each side of the discussion.
Much of this stems from ignorance of the underlying science. But some of it, sadly, seems to be purposefully misleading. Again, on both sides.
To assess the true risks accurately, you need to know about the difference between radiation and contamination. The distinction is vital, and, unfortunately, one of the most glossed-over and misused facets of the reporting on nuclear energy.
Alquity Africa: Year in Review
When Venezuelan oil minister Rafael Ramirez recently announced an ambitious new target of six million barrels per day by 2019, the state-run press heralded the imminent expansion of an industry vital to the country’s health.
But people here heard the news and rolled their eyes. After all, the last five-year plan had a goal of 5.8 million barrels a day by 2012, only to finish last year at just 2.9 million. That’s down from 3.2 million back in 2005.
Marc Faber, the original “Dr Doom”, has lashed out at central bankers for being out of touch with reality and stimulating asset bubbles that are socially divisive by pumping out trillions of dollars in monetary stimulus since the financial crisis.
“Central bankers are completely insane,” he said, speaking to The Australian Financial Review from Thailand. “These are people who are professors, academics who never worked a single day in their life in an ordinary job. Because money printing doesn’t help ordinary people . . . it helps asset prices.”
Fund manager and author James G. Rickards tells The Epoch Times this week that "outright manipulation" is "very visible" in Comex gold futures prices.
"Between central bank manipulation through Comex futures and bullion banks dumping the physical and by cleaning out the GLD warehouse and the Comex warehouse for that matter," Rickards says, "there is a massive amount of gold that came on the market over and above normal supply trends, putting massive selling pressure on the Comex."
But the trend of investors to move gold from investment banks, where it can be "rehypothecated" to oblivion, to ordinary vaults outside the banking system is tightening the gold supply, Rickards adds.
His interview is posted at the Internet site of The Epoch Times here:
"I think it is remarkable that, despite the growth the US has enjoyed since the 1960s, the poverty rate has barely changed. Writing for the Wall Street Journal last month under the title “How the War on Poverty Was Lost”, Robert Rector notes that: “Fifty years and $20 trillion later, LBJ’s goal to help the poor become self-supporting has failed.” He writes further: ...
In decades past, we have seen that any commodity China really wants goes through the roof. We saw it in copper. We saw it in oil. We saw it in liquefied natural gas. If China starts mandating a 5% blend of ethanol to gasoline, ethanol should trade on par with gasoline. So says Chen Lin, author of the widely read newsletter What is Chen Buying? What is Chen Selling? But there's more to the story: because China produces no ethanol, U.S. ethanol producers could be looking at a massive new market, not to mention a spike in profit margins. In this interview with The Energy Report, Chen discloses his favorite ethanol picks, as well as some compelling fracking names.