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March 15 2018


BOOM: Wyoming Ends ALL TAXATION of Gold & Silver

​Breakthrough Sound Money Bill Becomes Law Today with Wide Support

Cheyenne, Wyoming (March 14, 2018) – Sound money activists rejoiced as the Wyoming Legal Tender Act became law today. The bill restores constitutional, sound money in Wyoming.

Backed by the Sound Money Defense League, Campaign for Liberty, Money Metals Exchange, and in-state grassroots activists, HB 103 removes all forms of state taxation on gold and silver coins and bullion and reaffirms their status as money in Wyoming, in keeping with Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution.

Introduced by Representative Roy Edwards (R-Gillette), HB 103 received a 55-5 favorable vote on final passage in the Wyoming House last week following Senate approval by a vote of 25-5. Gov. Matt Mead let HB 103 become law today without his signature.

The most immediate impact of the new law, which formally takes effect on July 1, is to eliminate all Wyoming sales taxes when purchasing gold or silver.

While Wyoming does not currently have an income tax, the bill stipulates “the purchase, sale or exchange of any type or form of specie or specie legal tender shall not give rise to any tax liability of any kind.” That means no income tax, property tax, sales tax or any other Wyoming tax can be assessed against the monetary metals.

Lead sponsor Roy Edwards said, “Imagine going to the grocery store and asking the clerk for change for a $20 bill and being charged $1.00 in tax. That’s what we’re doing in Wyoming by charging sales taxes on precious metals and we’re taking steps to change that.”

With the adoption of HB 103, Wyoming joins all its bordering states (South Dakota, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska) and more than 30 other states that do not assess a sales tax against precious metals.

Some states have specifically eliminated income taxation on gold and silver (Arizona and Utah) or have established precious metals depositories to store the state’s own physical gold and help citizens save and transact in gold and silver bullion (Texas).

You can view the full press release here (source

March 12 2018


Trump Says the U.S. Will Win Any Trade War; Our Debt Load Says Otherwise

Donald Trump fired off some major new shots in the global trade wars. With the exception of imports from Canada and Mexico, steel entering the U.S. will be subject to 25% tariff and aluminum will be taxed at 10%.

The president’s trade policy has been applauded by people seeking to protect domestic industry and criticized by free marketeers. There is no shortage of disagreement over the policy, but some of the outcomes seem easier to predict.

Rising prices

Higher price inflation is one probability.

Domestic manufacturers who use steel and aluminum are going to pay more for those metals and will need to raise prices. A wide gamut of goods ranging from airplanes and automobiles to steel building materials will soon cost more.

Unfortunately, the higher costs will put domestic manufacturers who must buy steel and aluminum at a disadvantage.

While they pay more for imports from Europe or Asia, the cars and appliances manufactured elsewhere and shipped into the U.S. aren’t affected.

Goldman Sachs estimates the steel tariffs will cost Ford and General Motors each $1 billion in profits. Imported models suddenly get a major cost advantage in the U.S. marketplace.

There is also the possibility of higher inflation driven directly by the foreign exchange markets.

Disgruntled trading partners may choose currency warfare as their response to tariffs. This would involve liquidating dollars they hold as reserves. In the case of China, Japan, and the EU, those stockpiles are enormous.

​Continue to the full article (source) ​

Gerald Celente Exclusive: "If rates go up too high, the economy goes down, end of story"

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome in Gerald Celente, publisher of the renowned Trends Journal. Mr. Celente is perhaps the most well-known trends forecaster in the world and it's always great to have him on with us.

Mr. Celente, thanks again for the time today and welcome back.​

Gerald Celente: Oh, it's always great being on. Thank you.

Mike Gleason: Well, Gerald, it's never a dull moment in Washington, D.C., these days. President Trump always keeps it lively. We have the never-ending Russia controversy, of course, the war of words with North Korea, and the intervention in Syria have both been regulars in the headlines over the past year. Now Trump is talking about tariffs and people are worried about a trade war. Volatility is coming back to the stock markets and some investors are getting nervous about rising interest rates. When it comes to Russia interfering in U.S. elections, it seems more or less like a smoke screen. We have very little doubt there is plenty of collusion and a fair bit of it involved Hillary shepherding the Uranium One deal over the finish line.

So, we're finding it hard to predict which of these stories are worth paying attention to and which are likely to fade away. And there's nobody better who can help us evaluate this than you, so I'm excited to talk today. So, which of the current stories have legs, Gerald? Will there be a trade war, a big correction in stocks, another attempt by Democrats to impeach Trump? What?

Gerald Celente: Well, the attempt by the Democrats to impeach Trump have never stopped. And, again, Mike, I've been at this a lot of years, and anybody awake and alive that hasn't tuned out knows that every time we've had an election in this country, whether you like the person or not, they always used to say, "Well, whether you like it or not, this is the new person. Let's rally behind him and try to push the country forward." That never happened with Trump. And I want to make this really clear. I'm not a Trump supporter. I didn't vote in this last election. And (people say), "Oh, you didn't vote? Did you get what you deserve?", to which I say, "Grow up. If you voted for any of these people, then you got what you deserve and I don't deserve either of them. My standards are different."

And I look what's going on. It doesn't make the news, all the things that you just mentioned. Hey, how about what just happened in Italy with Cinque Stelle, the Five Star Movement, becoming the major party, a party that just started in 2009 because the people are disgusted with the establishment. How could you be disgusted with the establishment? You should love the establishment. How could you dare be anti-establishment? That's the stupidity of the language that they use.

They call it, for example, what Trump is doing, protectionist movements. Oh, a protectionist? Oh, I'm a close combat practitioner, have been for over a quarter of a century. I'll protect myself. I'll protect myself if I'm being attacked. But yet if you're being attacked trade-wise, economically, and you go to protect yourself, well, you're a protectionist. So, listen to the language, it's very important as a trend forecaster.

You mentioned about the Russian elections. The bar has sunk so low that people are listening to Samantha Power, the former UN Ambassador. And I'm tired of hearing this baloney, "Oh, if only women were in charge." It's not about men, women, race, creed or color. Good and bad comes in all of them. Let's call it equal. This is a woman, along with Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power and Susan Rice that started the Libyan War, that overthrew a sovereign nation, whether you liked the guy or not, that did nothing to us and created the refugee problem that nobody talks about and the migrant crisis. Because when Qaddafi was in there in Libya, they weren't going into Europe. He made a deal with them and warned them that when he went, the migrants would come.

Continue to the article (source

March 06 2018


SILVER INVESTMENT: The Lowest Risk, Highest Return Potential vs. Stocks & Real Estate

While silver is completely off the radar to most investors, it will turn out to be one of the best investments to own as the massive amount of leverage in the stock and real estate market evaporates. Unfortunately, investors, today are no longer capable of recognizing when an asset displays a HIGH or LOW risk. Thus, fundamental indicators are ignored as the investors continue the insane strategy of “Buying the Dip.”

A prudent investor is able to spot when an asset becomes a high risk and then has the sense to move his or her funds into one that is a lower risk. However, the majority of investors do not follow this practice as they are caught by surprise when a Market Crash occurs… again and again and again. Even worse, when investors are shown that the indicators are pointing to assets that are extremely risky, then ignore it and continue business as usual.

Today, complacency has turned investors’ brains into mush. They are no longer able to discern RIGHT from WRONG. So, when the market really starts to correction-crash, they will hold on to their stocks waiting for Wall Street’s next BUY THE DIP call.

Regardless, if we can understand the fundamentals, then we would be foolish to keep most of our investment funds in Stock and Real Estate assets. The following chart follows the KISS Principle – Keep It Simple Stupid:

Comparing high & low risk assets

You don’t need to be a highly-trained financial or technical analyst to spot the HIGH vs. LOW-RISK assets in the chart above. Hell, you don’t even need to see the figures in the chart. If we understand that all markets behave in cycles, then it’s common sense that asset prices will peak and decline. We can plainly see that both Real Estate and Stocks asset values are near their top while the silver price is closer to its bottom.

Thus, assets that are near a top are HIGH RISK, and those near a bottom are LOW RISK. It’s really that simple.

Continue reading... (source)

March 02 2018


Michael Pento: Currencies Will Be ‘Flushed Down the Toilet’ Triggering a ‘Mad Rush into Gold’

Michael Mike Gleason: It is my privilege not to welcome back Michael Pento, president and founder of Pento Portfolio Strategies, and author of the book The Coming Bond Market Collapse: How to Survive the Demise of the U.S. Debt Market.

Michael is a well-known money manager and a fantastic market commentator, and over the past few years has been a wonderful guest and one of our favorite interviews here on the Money Metals Podcast and we always enjoy getting his Austrian economist viewpoint.

Michael, welcome back and thanks for joining us again.

Michael Pento: What a great introduction. Thanks for having me back on, Mike.

Mike Gleason: Well, we often talk about bond yields with you, Michael, and I think that's a good place to start today. You recently published an article where you made the case that 4% would be the floor when it comes to the 10-year note – not the ceiling, the floor, and you made some observations that now seem striking. The yield on that note averaged 4.6% in 2007, just the year before the 2008 financial crisis.

Today practically nobody remembers yields ever being that high… 10 years is a long time we suppose. Heck, it seems like investors have already forgotten the early February selloff in the equities market, so I guess we can't be surprised that they can't remember the situation a decade ago.

In any event, markets are not prepared, or priced for 4% yields on the 10-year. Talk a bit about why 4% is likely to be a minimum and why yields should probably be much higher than that.

Michael Pento: Let's start with the fact that normally speaking throughout history, the 10-year note seems to run with nominal GDP growth, which is basically your real growth plus inflation. So, if we're running around 2% inflation and we have growth at 2.5% around that, you would assume that the 10-year note should be historically speaking around 4.5% right now. But I can make a very cogent argument, Mike, that rates should be much, much higher because if you look back ... as you mentioned the 2007 when that average interest rate was, again, 4.6% and nominal GDP was sort of around that same ballpark, the annual deficit was 1.1% of GDP.

But going into fiscal 2019... sounds far away, not maybe that far away, but it sounds further away than really what it is. It begins in October of this year. Our annual amount of red ink will be $1.2 trillion. That is the Treasury's annual deficit, but you have to add to that to the fact that the central bank of the United States will be selling... and I say selling, because what they don't buy the Treasury must issue to the public, $600 billion less of Treasury Bonds. So, that's $1.8 trillion deficit. That has never before happened in the history of mankind, a $1.8 trillion deficit, which happens to be 8.6% of our phony GDP if we don't go into a recession.

Read/Listen to the full podcast (here)


Why U.S. GDP Hasn’t Really Increased Since 2000

While official sources forecast U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to surpass $20 trillion this year, the real figure is probably much less. So how much less is real U.S. GDP? Well, that depends on how it is measured. If we factor in energy consumption and the increase in total public debt, U.S. GDP is likely less than half of the current figure.

Yes, it sounds insane to say that the current U.S. GDP is likely overstated by at least 50%, but if we go by fundamental data, it isn’t that crazy at all. Unfortunately, Americans have been conditioned to believe that money grows on trees and energy comes from the Wizard of Oz. Thus, if we need more money, then the U.S. Treasury can print more Federal Reserve Notes, or we can swipe the credit card. And, if we need electricity, we just switch on the light. Easy… Peasy.

Due to the highly complex nature of the world in which we live in today, the individual is clueless as to the tremendous amount of energy and work that it takes to produce the foods we eat and the goods, energy, and materials we consume. So, it should be no surprise that U.S. GDP can be overstated by 50%+.

If we go by the data that shows the growth of Global GDP is related to the growth of Global Oil Supply, then it is very quite easy to spot inflated GDP figures. However, you have to be able to understand this essential ENERGY=GDP relationship. Of course, this is not taught in business or economic classes in high school or college. Instead, the economic teachers focus on the insane theory of SUPPLY vs. DEMAND. If individuals are taught GARBAGE, then their thinking and reasoning is GARBAGE. So, we really can’t blame them.

In looking at the following chart by Gail Tverberg, the increase in Global GDP corresponds to the rise in Global Oil Supply:

World oil supply growth vs. world gdp growth

As the annual growth percentage of World Oil Supply declined in the periods shown in the chart above, the same trend took place in World GDP. If we can understand the OIL-GDP relationship figures in the chart, then it is impossible for a country to grow its GDP if it does not increase its energy consumption.

Continue reading (source

February 28 2018


February 27 2018


New Warnings on Risky “Self Storage” Gold & Silver IRAs

Bullion investors buy gold and silver as a matter of self-reliance. Physical metals aren’t dependent upon the promises of financial institutions, governments, or other third parties.

This lack of counterparty risk makes precious metals quite different from most conventional assets. There is no possibility of a default or mismanagement which renders them worthless. That is a lot more than can be said of securities such as stocks and bonds.

Gold retirement nest egg

Recently a few firms promoting “self storage” precious metals IRAs have been trying to exploit the self-reliance streak running through bullion investors in a manner that could cause significant harm.

These firms offer a scheme to circumvent IRS rules which require IRA metals be stored by a third party, and some people are biting. The desire to have possession and control of the metals appears to be outweighing good sense.

The warnings are piling up. Last week, the Industry Council on Tangible Assets issued the latest warning about storing IRA metals at home.

The trouble is rooted in the IRS requirement that assets in your retirement account be held by a third party.

Some firms have begun offering a dangerous work-around. They help investors create an LLC company which they claim will fill the role of the third party. The LLC buys and holds the metals, and the IRA holder manages the LLC.

IRS officials have already signaled that they see the formation of the LLC as a simple fiction to grant control over assets which are supposed to kept at arm’s length. ”Self storage” IRA holders seem likely to find their accounts disqualified, with taxes and penalties due immediately (as an early distribution of the full account balance).

As one expert frames it; “you can own a bakery with your IRA, but you cannot be the baker.” Owning a business with your self-directed IRA is okay. Hiring yourself and paying a salary is a definite no-no. Likewise it is perfectly fine to buy investment real estate, but your IRA cannot purchase your personal residence.

IRA promoters are offering LLC or “checkbook” IRAs despite knowing the program has not been defended successfully in court. It certainly does not have the blessing of the IRS.

​Continue reading (source)​

February 23 2018


5 Big Drivers of Higher Inflation Rates Ahead

Investors got lulled into a state of inflation complacency. Persistently low official inflation rates in recent years depressed bond yields along with risk premiums on all financial assets.

That’s changing in 2018. Five drivers of higher inflation rates are now starting to kick in.

Inflation Driver #1: Rising CPI

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a notoriously flawed measure of inflation. It tends to understate real-world price increases. Nevertheless, CPI is the most widely followed measure of inflation. When it moves up, so do inflation expectations by investors.

On February 13th, the Labor Department released stronger than expected CPI numbers. Prices rose a robust 0.5% in January, with headline CPI coming in at 2.1% annualized (against expectations of 1.9%).

In response to the inflationary tailwinds, precious metals and natural resource stocks rallied strongly, while the struggling U.S. bond market took another hit.

Inflation Driver #2: Rising Interest Rates

interest rates

Since peaking in mid-2016, the bond market has been stair-stepping lower (meaning yields are moving higher). In February, key technical levels were breached as 30-year Treasury yields surged above 3%. Some analysts are now calling a new secular rise in interest rates to be underway after more than three decades of generally falling rates.

The last big surge in interest rates started in the mid 1970s and coincided with relentless “stagflation” and soaring precious metals prices. It wasn’t until interest rates hit double digit levels in the early 1980s that inflation was finally quelled and gold and silver markets tamed.

​Continue to the full article (source)

February 15 2018


U.S. Public Debt Surges By $175 Billion In One Day

After the U.S. Government passed the new budget and debt increase, with the President’s signature and blessing, happy days are here again. Or are they? As long as the U.S. Government can add debt, then the Global Financial and Economic Ponzi Scheme can continue a bit longer. However, the days of adding one Dollar of debt to increase the GDP by two-three Dollars are gone forever. Now, we are adding three-four Dollars of debt to create an additional Dollar in GDP. This monetary hocus-pocus isn’t sustainable.

Well, it didn’t take long for the U.S. Government to increase the total debt once the debt ceiling limit was lifted. As we can see in the table below from the treasurydirect.gov site, the U.S. public debt increased by a whopping $175 billion in just one day:

U.S. debt increased 175 billion feb 2018

I gather it’s true that Americans like to do everything… BIG. In the highlighted yellow part of the table, it shows that the total U.S. public debt outstanding increased from $20.49 trillion on Feb 8th to $20.69 trillion on Feb 9th. Again, that was a cool $175 billion increase in one day. Not bad. If the U.S. Government took that $175 billion and purchased the average median home price of roughly $250,000, they could have purchased nearly three-quarter of a million homes. Yes, in just one day. The actual figure would be 700,000 homes.

Continue reading... (source)

February 14 2018


Huge Market Correction Update & Silver Price Trend

While the Dow Jones Index and broader markets are recovering from their lows set on Friday, the worst is still yet to come. Investors need to realize that stock market indexes don’t fall in a straight line. Also, there is also the possibility that the Dow Jones Index could surpass its previous high of 26,600 points. Only time will tell.

However, the leverage, margin and insane valuations in the markets are still in way out of whack. Just because the Dow Jones Index has added 1,200 points from its lows in early Friday trading, it is still 2,000 points below its peak of 26,600. Furthermore, when the Dow Jones peak at 14,100 points in 2007, it took six months and three different peaks before the index started to fall off a cliff in 2008.

For example, the Dow Jones Index hit three peaks in 2007:

  1. July 2007 = 13,900
  2. Oct 2007 = 14,100
  3. Dec 2007 13,600

Over that six month period in 2007, the Dow Jones Index rose and fell three different times. The biggest percentage drop was between July 2007 and Oct 2007, at nearly 10%. However, the Dow Jones index peaks were at the most, 3.5% from their high of 14,100. Moreover, it took six months for the Dow Jones Index to finally head lower on a sustained basis and it wasn’t until nearly a year later in Oct 2008 did the market finally crash.

So, if you think the Dow Jones correction is over, then you are going to be in for a rude awakening.

Continue reading (source

February 13 2018



As the Dow Jones Index continues to drop like a rock, the worst is yet to come. Today, investors once again plowed into the markets because they are following the Mainstream Financial advice of BUYING THE DIP. Unfortunately, those who bought the dip before yesterday’s 1,032 point drop and the 400+ point drop this afternoon, have thrown good money after bad.

Of course, we could see a late day rally to calm investor’s nerves…. but we could also see an increased sell-off. Either way, I could really give a rat’s arse. Why? Well, let’s just say the Dow Jones Index has a long way to fall before it gets back to FAIR VALUE. However, my fair value is likely much lower than the Mainstream analysts’ forecasts.

I wanted to publish this post today but will be putting together a Youtube video with more detail this weekend.

If you haven’t seen this video, I highly recommend that you do. When I published that video, the Dow Jones Index was trading at 26,100. Today it is already down to 23,400. However, as I stated, we have much further down to go. Here is my newest chart:

Dow jones index - feb. 9, 2018

Continue reading (source)

February 12 2018


Reckless Deficit Spending by Congress Set to Wreck the Dollar

U.S. equities got a free ride on the Trump train after his election, even as Federal Reserve officials hiked interest rates. That ride may have ended last week.

Hiked rates

If commentators are correct and the blame for recent selling in the stock market falls on the burgeoning fear of rising interest rates, it looks like Fed tightening is finally having the effect many predicted when the cycle began.

Most currently expect the FOMC to continue with hikes at about the same pace set in 2017. They have gotten away with several hikes, but attempting several more will be harder for them.

The question is whether the Fed’s tolerance for pain is any higher under new chairman Jerome Powell. We’d wager that it won’t take much in the way of flagging stock prices and slowing growth to have them reversing course and punching the stimulus button.

No one should bet that last week’s rally in the dollar means the bottom is in. The next few years look downright terrifying for the greenback. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Congressional Republicans embarrassed themselves last week by proving the lip service they pay toward fiscal conservatism is nothing but lies. The Republican leadership shepherded through $300 billion in additional spending. Furthermore, they once again completely suspended the limit on borrowing;
  • The Treasury will be issuing staggering amounts of new debt to fund the Congressional spending spree. Last fall’s tax cut may be good news for taxpayers, but it will also magnify federal deficits. Net new debt in 2018 is expected to be $1.3 trillion – the highest since 2010!
  • President Trump will soon begin the push for a trillion-dollar infrastructure program. That will almost certainly be paid for with additional borrowing.
  • The creditworthiness of the U.S. is once again back in the news. Rating agency Moody’s raised the idea of a downgrade for U.S. debt last week.

​Continue reading (source)​

February 06 2018


DANGER AHEAD FOR U.S. GOVT: Unable To Service Debt As Interest Rates Surge

The U.S. Government is in serious trouble when interest rates rise. As interest rates rise, so will the amount of money the U.S. Government will have to pay out to service its rapidly rising debt. Unfortunately, interest rates don’t have to increase all that much for the government’s interest expense to double.

According to the TreasuryDirect.gov website, which came back online after being down for nearly a month, reported that the average interest rate paid on U.S. Treasury Securities increased from 2.2% in November 2016 to 2.3% in December 2017. While this does not seem like a significant change, every increase of 0.1% in the average interest rate, the U.S. Government has to pay an additional $20.5 billion in interest expense (based on the $20.5 trillion in total U.S. debt).

Already, the U.S. Government is off to a BANG as it’s interest expense paid for the first three months of the year increased to $147 billion compared to $139 billion in the same period last year:

US oct dec 2015 2017 interest expense

This chart was taken directly from the TreasuryDirect.gov site, with my added annotations. As we can see, the U.S. Government paid $126.5 billion to service their debt Oct-Dec 2015. We must remember, the U.S. Government Fiscal period starts in October. So, in just two years, the interest expense the U.S. Government paid for Oct-Dec increased more than $20 billion. Now, what is interesting is that the average interest rate in Dec 2015 was 2.33%, but in Dec 2017 it was only 2.31%. Thus, it was actually lower, even though the interest expense increased by $20 billion.

The reason for the $20 billion increase in the interest expense during Oct-Dec 2017 versus Oct-Dec 2015 was due to a more than $2 trillion increase in U.S. debt over that two-year period. So, the U.S. Government will have a serious problem as interest rates really start to rise… and that doesn’t even include the continued increase in total U.S. debt.

Check it out here (source)

February 05 2018


January 31 2018


WORLD’S LARGEST SILVER MINES: Suffer Falling Ore Grades & Rising Costs

The world’s two largest silver mines have seen their productivity decline substantially due to falling ore grades and rising costs. Gone are the days when silver mines could produce silver at 15-20 ounces per ton. Today, the Primary Silver Mining Industry is likely producing silver at an average yield of 4-5 ounces per ton.

In my newest video, I discuss the changes that have taken place in the world’s two largest silver mines, the Cannington Mine in Australia and the Fresnillo Mine in Mexico. Falling ore grades and rising energy costs have contributed to the doubling and tripling of production costs at many silver mining companies. Investors who believe it still only costs $5 an ounce to produce silver, as it did in 1999, fail to grasp what is taking place in the silver mining industry:

A big problem that has confused investors is the reporting of the “CASH COST” metric by the mining industry. Some silver mining companies can brag that they have a very low cast cost of $5 an ounce, but they arrive at that figure by deducting their “by-product credits.” By-product credits are the revenues they receive from producing copper, zinc, lead, and gold along with their silver.

Continue to the full article here: (source


For Anyone Still Wondering If Gold Prices Are Rigged...

That said, it is way too soon for investors in gold futures to start counting on fair dealing. There are, as usual, a few telltale signs that the action is unlikely to have much effect.

There are no U.S. based banks listed as part of this enforcement action, but that is merely suspicious. What really looks bad is the fact that, once again, no senior bank executives have been charged with a crime.

No matter how often people at these same firms get caught lying, rigging, and defrauding their own clients and investors at large, regulators never manage to pin blame on the top brass.

They have yet to suspend the trading privileges of any major bank.

James McDonald, who became the CFTC’s head of Enforcement last year, gave market participants a pretty good idea of what to expect from the agency – a passive attitude toward enforcement. Reuters summarized his approach this way:

He plans to encourage companies and staff to report their own wrongdoing and cooperate with investigators, a strategy he hopes will make it easier to prosecute more individuals.

With a policy like this, Wall Street banks don’t have much to worry about. Investors looking for a fair shake in precious metals futures markets, on the other hand, don’t have a whole lot to look forward to.

 (Original Source)

January 30 2018


Illinois’ Debt Crisis Foreshadows America’s Financial Future

Those wanting a glimpse into the future of our federal government’s finances should have a gander at Illinois. The state recently “resolved” a high-profile battle over its budget. Taxpayers were clubbed with a 32% hike in income taxes in an effort to shore up massive underfunding in public employee pensions, among other deficiencies.

But, predictably, it isn’t working. People are leaving the state in droves.

Illinois the land of debt

In fact, Illinois now leads the nation in population collapse. Statistics show people leaving the state at the rate of 1 every 4.3 minutes and the state dropped from 5th place to 6th in terms of overall population.

Turns out that people with options aren’t planning to stand there and take the epic tax increase.

Illinois officials’ hands are tied. Decades ago, public employee unions successfully lobbied for an amendment to the state constitution which prevents cuts to pensions. The taxpayers are hostages.

Illinois officials are instead considering one final gambit, one well-tried by many insolvent governments through history. They will address the problem of too much debt by borrowing even more money. Specifically the plan under review calls for selling $107 billion in debt in the largest ever municipal bond offering.

Worse, the state would use the borrowed funds to invest in financial markets. The state would purchase stocks and other securities near their all-time highs.

The Illinois credit rating has suffered in recent years, so borrowing costs will be higher. That means the state will need to take on even greater levels of risk to generate returns. What could go wrong?

Illinois is demonstrating a universal truth which certainly still applies at the national level. Governments do not voluntarily shrink. They grow until they can no longer be sustained. Then they get desperate – just before the default.

(Original Source)

January 29 2018


The Coming Market Crash Will Set Off The Biggest Gold Panic Buying In History

The leverage in the economic system has become so extreme; investors have no idea of the disaster that is going to take place during the next stock market crash. The collapse of the U.S. Housing and Investment Banking Industry in 2008 and ensuing economic turmoil was a mere WARM-UP for STAGE 2 of the continued disintegration of the global financial and economic system.

While the U.S. and the global economy have seemingly continued business as usual since the Fed and Central Banks stepped in and propped up the collapsing markets in 2008, this was only a one-time GET OUT OF JAIL free card that can’t be used again. What the Fed and Central Banks did to keep the system from falling off the cliff in 2008 was quite similar to a scene in a science fiction movie where the commander of the spaceship uses the last bit of rocket-fuel propulsion in just the nick of time to get them back to earth on the correct orbit.

Thus, the only way forward, according to the Central banks, was to increase the amount of money printing, leverage, asset values, and debt. While this policy can work for a while, it doesn’t last forever. And unfortunately, forever is now, here….or soon to be here. So, it might be a good time to look around and see how good things are now because the future won’t be pretty.

To give you an idea the amount of leverage in the markets, let’s take a look at a chart posted in the article, A Market Valuation That Defies Comparison. The article was written by Michael Lebowitz of RealInvestmentAdvice.com. I like to give credit when credit is due, especially when someone puts out excellent analysis. In the article, Lebowitz stated the following:

The graph above highlights that valuations using this measure dwarf any prior valuation peak since at least the 1950’s. At over 350% above the mean, stock investors are currently paying significantly more for a unit of economic growth than at any time in the last 70 years. To extend the analysis, we estimated the adjusted CAPE level of 1929, as shown on the graph, and come to the same conclusion.

Margin & gdp adjusted cape (chart)

Most astute investors know that stock valuations are at or near historical highs. Even these investors, however, may be unaware that today’s valuations, when adjusted for the level of economic growth and heightened profit margins, defy comparison with any prior period since the Great Depression. The simple fact is that investors are paying over three times the average and almost twice as much as the prior peak for a dollar of economic growth. Furthermore, it is happening at a time when we are clearly late in the economic cycle and the outlook for growth, even if one is optimistic, is well below that required to justify such a level.

Continue reading (source) ​

Precious Metals Markets Outlook 2018

The first trading days of 2018 are confirming signs of renewed investor interest in the precious metals sector after a long period of malaise.

Gold bull

Gold and silver markets entered the year with some stealth momentum after quietly posting gains late in 2017. Gold finished the year above $1,300/oz. – its best yearly close since 2012.

Over the past five years, the yellow metal has been basing out in a range between $1,050 and $1,400. A push above $1,400 later this year would therefore be significant.

It would get momentum traders and mainstream financial reporters to take notice.

The alternative investing world was enthralled by Bitcoin in 2017. While we don’t expect a Bitcoin-like mania to take hold in precious metals in 2018, we do expect gold and silver markets to make some noise.

Stimulus to Push Up Commodity Prices Again

Even as the Federal Reserve vows to continue raising its benchmark interest rate and “normalizing” its balance sheet, a flood of new fiat stimulus is set to hit the economy. The recently passed tax cuts will cause hundreds of billions – perhaps eventually trillions – of dollars to be repatriated back to the United States.

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