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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.
Today a former US Treasury official told King World News that the United States government is purposefully creating financial chaos all over the world in order to destabilize enemy countries and create a flight into the US dollar. This is an incredibly important interview, where the former US Treasury official lays out exactly what Washington and the US Fed are intentionally doing to the world in this powerful interview.
Eric King: “This emerging markets mess, your thoughts here because there is (so much) turmoil around the world at this point.”
Dr. Roberts: “Eric, there are different ways you can look at the emerging markets mess. One is that all the liquidity that the Fed created, some of it flowed into emerging markets, and now that the Fed is indicating an end to quantitative easing the money is flowing out. As it does it causes the sale of those currencies in those countries and they plummet, and this causes all kinds of financial chaos. That’s one way to look at it (the way the mainstream media propaganda is leading people to believe)....
The apparent suicide death of the chief economist of a US investment house brings the number of financial workers who have died allegedly by their own hand to four in the last week.
50-year-old Mike Dueker, who had worked for Russell Investment for five years, was found dead close to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State, says AP.
Local police say he could have jumped over a fence and fallen 15 meters to his death, and are treating the case as a suicide.
Dueker was reported missing by friends on January 29, and police had been searching for him.
A Sheriff’s spokesman said investigators learned that he was having problems at work but did not elaborate.
Jennifer Tice, a company spokeswoman declined to comment, however said, that Dueker was in good standing at Russell.
“After three painful years in gold prices and related stocks, have we hit the bottom? Will they head higher?” Steve Todoruk began a recent letter to his clients at Sprott Global Resource Investments Ltd. with these pressing questions.
His take is that either the metals will start going up in the next six months, or the big mining companies will have to close down a lot of their operations. That, in turn, could squeeze supply, initiating another long-term up move, but at a high cost to the producers.
So where are we headed next for precious metals and mining companies?
Big miners hesitate to cut production
“It all starts with the major mining companies,” says Steve. “These companies take on tremendous risk, along with their shareholders, in operating mines. Upfront infrastructure costs typically range in the billions and it takes years to permit and build them.”
Because of the long lifetime of a major mine – which can span several decades – miners must allow sufficient margin for their production to remain profitable over its lifetime. If prices crash and they lack the ability to maintain a margin, they might never generate sufficient return to get their money back.
There is also the risk of higher costs to produce the metals, through higher labor or equipment costs, for instance. Thus, as Steve says, “mines must make strong profits, because the more marginal the mine, the higher the risk that it could end up losing money.”
Because of these big upfront expenses, mining firms are highly reluctant to halt operations if they can avoid it. So they might keep a mine that is no longer making money -- or even losing some -- in production for a while.
“It is not a simple thing to shut down a mine,” he says. “You have to lay off all the miners, who may be under contractual obligations and part of a union. A lot of mines lease those big yellow mining trucks and shovels. The company will have to pay a lot of money to send all that equipment back to its owner.”
Even then, there would still be expenses associated with the non-productive mine. “With a lot of expensive equipment and infrastructure still at the mine site, they will have to keep some employees there for ‘care and maintenance’ in the hope that metal prices will rise at some point and they can re-open the mine.
"If they do re-start the mine, then they would have to re-hire all of the miners and bring back those trucks and shovels,” Steve explains.
All of these factors will cause a mine to run at a loss for a little while. But not for a long time.
“My guess is that mining companies will shut down money-losing operations in less than a year and maybe closer to six months,” says Steve.
China has topped France and Italy to become the world's biggest consumer of red wine, according to a study by International Wine & Spirit Research commissioned by Vinexpo.
Chinese consumers downed 1.865 billion bottles of red wine last year, contributing to a 136 percent rise in consumption over the past five years, the survey released on Tuesday showed.
The U.S. remained the world's biggest consumer of all types of wines.
The latest data on red wine consumption shows that China has pushed traditional wine-drinking countries France and Italy into second and third place respectively.
China consumed 155 million nine-liter cases of red wine in 2013. France consumed 150 million cases and Italy consumed 141 million cases.
Consumption of wine and spirits in China, the world's second biggest economy, has risen sharply in recent years alongside an increasingly affluent consumer society.
And analysts say red, viewed as a lucky color in China, helps explain a preference for red over white wine.
In fact, China's growing thirst is contributing to the risk of a global wine shortage, Morgan Stanley said late last year.
The data from VINEXPO was released ahead of an Asia-Pacific exhibition that will be held in May in Hong Kong.
Allegation that Central Banks Have Rehypothecated, Leased or Outright Sold the Gold They Claim to Have Is Gaining Momentum
We noted in 2012 that there are serious questions as to whether the Fed and other central banks really have the gold holdings which they claim.
This story is starting to go mainstream.
The Financial Times writes today (h/t Zero Hedge):
A year ago the Bundesbank announced that it intended to repatriate 700 tons of Germany’s gold from Paris and New York. Although a couple of jumbo jets could have managed the transatlantic removal, it made security sense to ship the load in smaller consignments. Just how small, and over how long, has only just become apparent.
Last month Jens Weidmann, Bundesbank president, admitted that just 37 tons had arrived in Frankfurt. The original timescale, to complete the transfer by 2020, was leisurely enough, but at this rate it would take 20 years for a simple operation. Well, perhaps not so simple. While he awaits delivery, Herr Weidmann is welcome to come and look through the bars in the Federal Reserve’s vaults, but the question is: whose bars are they?