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September 21 2018

moneymetals

Oil Prices, War Fears, and Rising Inflation All Point to Gold Strength Audio Player

Well now, without further delay, let’s hear this week’s exclusive interview with the man who famously advises people to have always have guns, gold and a getaway plan.

Gerald celente

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

Gerald, thanks for the time again today, and welcome back.

Gerald Celente: Oh, thanks for having me on, Mike.

Mike Gleason: Well Gerald, one of the hot topics in the markets today is the escalating trade tensions. Trump just announced another $200 billion in tariffs on China and he looks ready to more than double that if the Chinese should retaliate. The President is confident the U.S. can win a trade war. Do you share that optimism? How do you see this playing out?

Gerald Celente: I absolutely share that. Because I mean, here's the deal. If your or I were to do business and I'm making $350 billion more than you are, are you going to want to renegotiate this? Hey listen, something's wrong over here. So, when you look at even with the tariffs that Trump is putting on, that still amounts to a very small percentage of China's GDP, about 0.3%, or something like that, 5%, 6% tops. So China's going to negotiate. They're not going to give up a very lucrative business deal, so they could keep making more when the other business partner wants a better share.

Mike Gleason: And how do you see the escalating tariffs impacting markets? So far the response appears mixed. The dollar seems to be benefiting, and metals are suffering. We aren't sure the markets have it right when it comes to the dollar though. It seems to us that tariffs should drive price inflation. Either Americans pay a higher price for the imported goods, or replace them with more expensive domestic products. And the Chinese aren't likely to be buying as many dollars or treasuries if exports to the U.S. fall – to say nothing of their ability to wage and all-out currency war against the dollar. But so far, at least the dollar is getting stronger in foreign exchange markets. What are we missing?

Gerald Celente: Well, I think what people are missing is they're making too much of a deal of the trade war. It's every day. It's almost become stupidity with the business media. Every day they're going, “the market goes up because trade wars eased. The market’s down because trade fear is increased.” I mean, come on. What are they kidding? I mean, the world is bigger than that. Even what you saw car sales start slumping in China, the headlines blamed the trade wars. Does the average person give a damn about a trade war? They're buying what they're buying, they got what they got. If they don't have it, they don't spend it. If they have it, they spend it. They don't know what's going on behind the scenes and the details of a trade war. The media has dumbed down so much… it's every day. It's one excuse. And as far as the dollar going up, it's interest rates.

I mean, the United States is raising interest rates. You're looking at what, even with the United States raising interest rates, what are you looking at the overnight, the Fed funds rate? 1.75 to two? And what is it 1.5 in Canada and the U.K. Negative interest rates in Europe and the European Union. Negative in Denmark. Negative in Sweden. Negative in Japan. I mean, it's ridiculous. So what I'm saying, Mike is that the markets cannot take a rate increase. That's why the currencies are going down. And matter of fact, we just heard from the number two guy in China, Lee, saying that to think that the Chinese, he said, want to devalue our currency is ridiculous. He said we're not going to make up that much more trade on having our currency decline. Because by the same token, you look at China, what are they the largest importer of energy in the world? And now the Yuan is going down, and oil prices are going up. Oh, and what are oil prices based on? Petrodollars. So now as their currency declines, they got to input more energy. And it's based in dollars, as the dollar gets stronger, they don't want this to happen.

So to me it's a lot of misinformation out there. And again, I'm no Trump fan. I mean, I think the guy is ridiculous on a lot of stuff. But the media is so anti Trump that they'll keep using one play a day, and overlooking the bigger story.

Full Podcast here: https://goo.gl/9oqzzB

September 19 2018

moneymetals

Which Precious Metals Are Likely To Be Better Investments During The Next Market Crash?

The question on the minds of many investors, is which of the precious metals will be better investments during the next market crash? I should know because I receive this question in my email box quite often. So, I decided to test the price action of several metals and how each traded during a large market correction.

This article will focus on the top four precious metals, gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. Even though Rhodium and other metals are considered precious, the ones listed above take the lion’s share of the investment market. Furthermore, while platinum and palladium are purchased as investments, they have a much larger industrial component than gold or silver.

As I have mentioned many times, gold and silver disconnected from the broader markets when the Dow Jones Index fell 2,000 points in the first six weeks of 2016.

The two reasons I believe gold and silver jumped considerably as the markets sold off at the beginning of 2016 were:

  1. Gold and Silver were extremely oversold, and the Commercial hedgers’ short positions were at a low, thus very bullish
  2. Investors were extremely worried that the Dow Jones and markets were beginning a massive correction, so they moved into both gold and silver

To explain why investors were spooked in 2016, we need to look at the following chart:

Dow jones (september 14, 2018)

Typically during a major correction, the market makes several attempts at a top. In 2007, there were three tops made before the market finally came down in 2008. Then in 2015, we had three more tops and two large corrections. The reason investors’ worry turned into fear at the beginning of 2016 was that the last top did not reach the previous 18,000 level.

Full Article: https://goo.gl/asrgNh

moneymetals

Trump’s Backdoor Power Play to Rein In the Fed

“Just run the presses – print money.”

That’s what President Donald Trump supposedly instructed his former chief economic adviser Gary Cohn to do in response to the budget deficit. The quote appears in Bob Woodward’s controversial book Fear: Trump in the White House.

Trump disputes many of the anecdotes Woodward assembled. But regardless of whether the President used those exact words, they do reflect an “easy money” philosophy that he has expressed many times before.

Trump Likes Low Rates, Loose Money

President Trump has described himself as a “low interest rate person.”

Trump and the federal reserve

This past summer, Trump launched a very public attack on the Federal Reserve’s rate hiking campaign. He wants it to stop because it’s making the dollar “too strong” and threatening to undercut his tax cut fiscal stimulus.

There’s only so much dollar strength the U.S. economy and U.S. debt and equity markets can take. President Trump is keenly aware of the risks.

A Fed rate hike next week is a given at this point.

The Trump-versus-Fed feud will likely heat up again in December if the central bank raises its benchmark short-term rate at its scheduled policy meeting. Although a December hike is far from certain, Fed chair Jay Powell and company seem intent on raising interest rates again – and possibly a couple more times in 2019 if the markets don’t melt down before then.

Additional tightening will increasingly put the central bank on the wrong side of the President’s Twitter feed. If Donald J. Trump wants to put more than social media pressure on Fed officials, he can threaten to remove them.

Trump himself appointed Powell, a decision he now apparently regrets. It would be unprecedented for a president to fire a Fed chairman before his term is up... but not necessarily inconceivable. After all, President Trump has done a number of unprecedented things, as the anti-Trump media are wont to remind us.


Read more: https://www.moneymetals.com/news/2018/09/18/trumps-power-play-fed-001619

September 17 2018

moneymetals

A Reader Asks: Should I Sell Gold and Buy Bitcoin?

Although the fervor has diminished substantially since the crypto price smash earlier this year, we do still see a degree interest in bitcoin among precious metals investors.

Question and answer

Bitcoin and metals arguably share some appeal as an “honest” alternative and as a hedge against the fiat dollar and the insolvent U.S. government which backs it.

In light of the bitcoin price falling dramatically this year, one reader asked, “Is now a good time to swap gold for bitcoin?” Below is our response.

It may be bad form to answer a question with another question, but it seems like a good way to approach this subject. So we ask; are you in the mood to gamble? If you are, it might make sense to swap some metal for bitcoin.

Cryptocurrency can potentially generate bigger returns... in exchange for bigger risk. Since there is no tangible backing to bitcoin, it could conceivably go to zero – much like shares in a defunct “dot com” company.

The two assets are far from interchangeable and will serve different purposes in your portfolio. Bitcoin has often been called “digital gold,” but that comparison is dangerously wrong. Gold is a reliable store of value with a track record thousands of years long. Bitcoin’s price has collapsed from its all-time high of nearly $20,000 to $6,000.

This is a vital difference between gold and bitcoin: gold will always retain some intrinsic value, while the price of a digital token might go all the way to zero. That is not our prediction for bitcoin. It is, however, a possibility.

A technology, which is one way to think of bitcoin, must hold its value amongst a growing number of alternatives. If it cannot, it will be replaced. That happens, even to leaders. Remember Napster and CompuServe?

Continue Reading: https://goo.gl/EHsJYV


September 14 2018

moneymetals

Gold vs. Bitcoin

Since its introduction in 2009, bitcoin has taken the financial world by storm.

The enormous gains in bitcoin’s value are attracting attention around the world, both positive and negative. People ranging from everyday consumers to central bankers now have an eye on the digital currency.

Some remain skeptical. Several high-profile hacks in which tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars-worth of bitcoin were stolen from bitcoin exchanges have raised doubts that a purely digital asset can ever be secured. Others wonder if money without official government backing and no physical manifestation can really succeed.

On the other hand, many see bitcoin as the future of money – destined to end run banks and governments and the fiat currency systems they control.

What is Bitcoin?

what is bitcoinBitcoin is a peer-to-peer, decentralized, digital currency with more than 10 million holders as of this writing. The lure of decentralization, lower transaction fees, and pseudo-anonymity has fostered adoption around the world. And people are increasingly looking for alternatives as central banks around the world continue to abuse national currencies.

There is a particular concern regarding the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank’s perpetual devaluation of its Federal Reserve Notes – commonly known as dollars. Although it is no longer a true dollar, which was historically defined in terms of a certain amount of silver, today’s U.S. dollar is still the world’s reserve currency. And Fed officials recognize no limits in terms of how many dollars can be created.

​Check it out here: 
https://www.moneymetals.com/guides/bitcoin-vs-gold


August 21 2018

moneymetals

Spot Prices Are Falling, But Premiums Are on the Rise

Gold and silver premiums – the price dealers add to the melt value of an item to cover manufacturing and overhead – began climbing in the past two weeks.

Many clients see falling gold and silver spot prices as an opportunity to buy, but some are disappointed to find the premium for the item they want is suddenly higher, negating some of the price drop.

The challenge they face is that lots of other bargain hunters are trying to jump on the same opportunity.

Supply & demand

Premiums are very sensitive to supply and demand in the retail market for finished coins, bars, and rounds, and the reasons are pretty straightforward.

First, when prices drop, retail bullion investors stop selling and start buying. That has a profound effect on the availability of resale, or secondary market, product inventory.

The large quantities coins, bars, and rounds coming back to market in the past year or two have driven premiums to the extraordinarily low levels we saw recently. Now, supply from the secondary market is drying up fast.

Second, there are only a few mints and refiners making coins, bars, and rounds. Like any manufacturer, they gear production to market demand. Scaling up takes a bit of time, and it isn’t something most will do without first developing some confidence that the higher demand will persist.

​Continue reading: https://goo.gl/cRFcUF​

July 24 2018

moneymetals

THE INDIAN INVESTOR: The Major Wild Card In The Silver Market

There’s a sleeping tiger in the silver market, and it isn’t the Chinese. While the Chinese continue to acquire a lot of gold, they aren’t that interested in silver However; it’s the Indian investor who is has been the dominant player in the silver market. Why?

According to an article published last year on LiveMint.com, “Silver is so ingrained in Indian tradition that the country’s currency, the rupee, is named after ‘Rup,’ the Sanskrit word for silver.” How interesting. I have been doing research in the silver market for over a decade, and I just found out from this article that India’s currency, the Rupee, is named after silver. It just goes to show, we learn something new every day.

Thus, it makes perfect sense that the Indians are the major player in the silver market as their silver imports have accounted for a significant portion of annual global mine supply. In a recent article by Louis at Smaulgld.com, he provided the following charts on Indians monthly and annual silver imports:

Indian silver imports 2017-2018

(Indian Monthly Silver Imports)

Indian silver imports 1999-2018

(Indian Annual Silver Imports)

As we can see, India imported a record 902 metric tons of silver in April since last year. Furthermore, as Louis states in his article quoted above:

Indian silver imports through April 2018 were 2,889 or an average of 722.5 tons. If this average holds throughout the year, India would import 8,667 tons of silver in 2018.

If India continues to import the same amount of silver as it has over the past four months for the remainder of the year, it will reach nearly 8,700 metric tons (mt) and surpass its previous record set in 2015 at 8,529 mt. Now, if India did import 8,700 mt of silver this year, it would account for 32% of total world mine supply.

Continue reading....

July 17 2018

moneymetals

Gold & Silver Investors’ 8 Commandments for Avoiding Rip Offs

For every promising investment opportunity you come across, there are multiple opportunities for bad-faith brokers and hucksters to try to rip you off.

It could be undisclosed commissions and fees in an annuity, unwanted accounts opened up by a banker seeking additional fees, trades sabotaged by market manipulators, or any number of other schemes.

Rip-off artists, unfortunately, operate within the precious metals space as well.

Most recently, a scammer posing as a government agent in order to gain people’s trust was convicted of selling counterfeit gold bars and phony Morgan silver dollars. He took one investor for $11,000, according to reports.

You can avoid this type of scam as well as other common cheats when buying or selling precious by heeding the following guidelines.

1. Avoid “Too Good to Be True” Deals

If a price on a bullion product sounds too good to be true – or comes with exorbitant incentives or exaggerated claims – you should be suspicious.

Too good to be true!

Gold and silver bullion products do not legitimately sell below spot prices. Individuals holding precious metals can visit a dealer and sell items immediately, for full value. Given that everyone has this option, it is highly likely anyone offering items well below actual value is trying to stick it to you.

Legitimate dealers cannot afford to offer items way below cost either. Dealers must charge small premiums above spot prices to reflect product minting costs and the costs of doing business. (One notable exception: 90% silver U.S. coins minted prior to 1965 (aka “junk” silver) which exhibit significant wear occasionally become available at melt value or even slightly lower.)


Check out the other commandments.. (https://goo.gl/Zb8zg4)

July 05 2018

moneymetals

Trump’s Trade Wars Could Spark Global Flight to Gold

President Donald Trump’s “America First” trade policies are upending decades of global arrangements and entanglements. Globalists are aghast that the leader of the free world is openly confrontational toward NAFTA, NATO, the European Union, United Nations, and World Trade Organization.

In rebuffing the global community by pursuing unilateral tariffs and vowing to win trade wars against both rivals and putative allies alike, Trump is playing a high stakes game. Trump’s trade wars could test the U.S. dollar’s status as world reserve currency.

According to economist Brad Schiller, “Nations are willing to accept U.S. dollars in exchange for their goods because they trust that the dollar will retain its value… The long history of U.S. dollar stability gives the U.S. this unique trade advantage — a key reason we can import more goods than we export year after year.”

Schiller, like many conventionally trained economists, seems to believe that our ever-growing trade deficit benefits us. In the near term, we do get to consume more things. But countries that are sending us stuff in exchange for our dollars are effectively accumulating claims on our future.

China holds title to an enormous hoard of U.S. dollar IOUs. U.S. taxpayers now owe China more than $1.2 trillion. China ran a $366 billion trade surplus in 2017 alone.

President Trump has moved to impose tens of billions of dollars in tariffs on China and other trading partners including Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. They have responded with retaliatory tariffs affecting everything from wheat crops to Harley-Davidsons.

United states tariffs

Winning trade wars may not be as easy as Trump had thought.

Dying U.S. Senator John McCain, a longtime Trump detractor and globalist, is among those who are actively rooting against the U.S. administration and consoling foreign countries.

“To our allies: bipartisan majorities of Americans remain pro-free trade, pro-globalization & supportive of alliances based on 70 years of shared values. Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn’t,” McCain ranted on Twitter.

It's not clear the failed former presidential candidate speaks for “bipartisan majorities of Americans” as he boasts. Nor is it clear that these foreign alliances reflect our “shared values.”





June 29 2018

moneymetals

Frank Holmes: Tariff War Akin to Raising Taxes, Recession Looms

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome in Frank Holmes, CEO and Chief Investment Officer at U.S. Global Investors. Mr. Holmes has received various honors over the years, including being named America's Best Fund Manager for 2016 by the Mining Journal. He is also the co-author of the book, The Goldwatcher: Demystifying Gold Investing and is a regular guest on CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox Business, as well as right here on the Money Metals podcast.

Frank, welcome back and thanks for joining us again. How are you today?

Frank Holmes: I'm great, and it's great to be chatting with you about this languishing gold market.

Mike Gleason: Yeah, we certainly have a lot to talk about. Never a dull moment here in these markets. To start out here, Frank, when we had you on back in March, we talked about the steel and aluminum tariffs Trump imposed. Things have escalated since then. The president is talking about tariffs on European automobiles and another $2 billion on imports from China. We're very curious about what impact this trade policy might have on the dollar and, by extension, precious metal. So far, at least, the dollar has been strengthening, but we aren't sure how seriously the markets are taking the possibility of a trade war becoming a currency war. If that happens, the U.S. certainly seems vulnerable. We have by far the most to lose given the dollar's status as a global reserve currency. What do you make of the recent strength in the dollar, and where do you think things may be headed if we wind up in a full-blown trade war?

Frank Holmes: Well, first, what I'd like to say is I wrote a piece said, "President Trump, you can't suck and blow a balloon at the same time." It was a just amazing feat to get corporate taxes down, and that was really the catalyst that launched the stock market, that fulfilled and provided visibility for the next several years of robust economic growth. When I talk to all the macroeconomists, all the macro analysts who are pointing out that immediately Walmart increased salaries as a consumer company, and a manufacturing company started spending more money on factory upgrades. 10 years since they've really spent a lot of money on durable goods. And that was really important for the metals as a whole.

But with this whole tariff war, well, that's basically raising taxes. Tariffs are always an indirect tax on an industry or sector of the economy, and it's defeating. And this week, the Fed chair was saying that, Powell, that he's getting feedback that exports are starting to be canceled because of the tariff battle right now. So I think the combination of the stronger dollar along with the tariff battle is only going to set us up for a recession faster than we thought, unless he can tune back what he's been talking about.

But I think to understand capital markets, the flows of funds, that historically when the two-year government bond, which is the bond that relates to all the short-term currency fluctuations, they compare 90 days and two-year government yields to the inflationary rate of their country, and then they look at all the countries and compare them to net positive return. And right now, the U.S. dollar is strong because the two-year government bond is above the dividend yield of the S&P 500. Well, as soon as that happened, immediately, pension fund institutions stopped buying stocks because they can turn around and get a guaranteed yield for the next two years with no risk on a dividend yield that's higher than what the S&P's forecasted to deliver in the future of two years and giving now.

So that creates this VIX explosion. And then we have this sort of fear that rates are going to continue to rise with the CPI number because inflation is rising, and that's put a dent in the price of gold and made the dollar strong. But a strong dollar at this stage, along with tariffs, is the worst thing for economic growth and prosperity. And Trump's ego is big enough and rational that he wants growth and he wants economic growth, so I think we're going to see in the second half, we've had a peak in rates, and we'll see rates come off. And I think then you'll see this move in the price of gold.

Mike Gleason: Setting aside any ramifications for the dollar, do you think the U.S. can win a trade war? I mean, the president certainly seems confident. On the one hand, we agree with an observation you made when we spoke last, China has stolen a lot of intellectual property, and it would be nice if we could do something about that. But on the other hand, tariffs are bound to raise prices for Americans. It's a tax, like you said, and there are plenty of examples of trade restrictions and that sort of central planning leading to all sorts of unintended consequences. So how do you rate the president's chances for success here, Frank?

​Read/Listen to the entire article here. ​


June 26 2018

moneymetals

U.S. Gold Exports to London Surge

As U.S. gold exports to Hong Kong and China fell 25% in the first four months of the year, London picked up the slack. According to the USGS, U.S. gold exports to London surged more than doubled from January to April, compared to the same period last year. Interestingly, the amount of gold exported to London during this period nearly equaled the total U.S. domestic gold mine supply.

From the data reported in the USGS Gold Mineral Industry Survey’s, U.S. gold exports to the U.K. (London) jumped to 64.3 metric tons (mt) Jan-Apr, versus 25.5 mt during the first four months last year:

Total u.s. gold exports to the u.k.

Here is the breakdown of U.S. gold exports to London for each month:

Jan = 12.2 mt

Feb = 12.1 mt

Mar = 21.2 mt

Apr = 18.8 mt

Total 64.3 mt

As I have mentioned, a lot London’s gold is exported to China and Switzerland. And then, the majority of Switzerland’s gold is exported to Hong Kong and China. For example, according to the statistics on GoldChartsrus, in March, the U.K. exported 16 mt of gold to China and 32 mt of gold to Switzerland. In the very same month, Switzerland exported 80 mt of gold to Hong Kong and China. So, most of the west’s gold still ends up in Hong Kong and China.




Continue reading the article 

June 22 2018

moneymetals

Gerald Celente:Why You Still Need Guns, Gold, and a Getaway

Well now, without further delay, let’s get right to this week’s exclusive interview.

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. Gerald, thanks for taking the time again today, and welcome back.

Gerald Celente: Thanks for having me on.

Mike Gleason: Well, Gerald, the potential for a trade war is the hot topic in the financial press these days. Around here, the question is what escalating concerns over trade might mean for the precious metals markets, and we would like to get your thoughts on that. But first, please give us your take on the President's trade policy in general. Some people think the U.S. has been a major beneficiary of trade. We've been able to import real goods and services in exchange for increasingly worthless dollars. Others hate what so-called globalization has done to U.S. manufacturing and think Trump is delivering a long overdue warning shot to nations who have taken advantage of the U.S. So, where do you stand on all this?

Gerald Celente: Well, we've been in the business since 1980. When NAFTA began, actually under Reagan began it trying to push through and Bush Sr., and they couldn't push through much, but Bill Clinton was the one that really brought us into NAFTA and China into the World Trade Organization. So, you just look at the numbers, and the numbers speak for themselves. Before we were in NAFTA, we had basically a neutral exchange in terms of merchandise trade deficit between Mexico and the United States. And now we have a $71 billion deficit. Who would do business like that? Would you do business with someone where you lose $71 billion a year? Then when you look at China ... and we lost by the way about 975,000 manufacturing jobs, and Clinton promised that we would gain 200,000. But I didn't have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky, and I smoked but I didn't inhale, so you know the guy's full of it from the beginning and to the end, and he's still a hero.

Then you look at China, what he did bringing them into the World Trade Organization. We lost about 3.5 million jobs, and we have a merchandise trade deficit with them of $375 billion a year. You can't blame Mexico or China or other countries on this. You have to, as we look at it, put the blame on the companies that went overseas to get their products made by cheap labor and then bring them back to the United States and sell them so they could gain greater profits. If you can't have an agreement with workers in your country to pay them a living wage, go to a slave labor country and get them made over there is basically what happened.

For example, 97% of the shoes and clothing that we wear are made overseas. When you go back to the 1990s, that wasn't true. It was being made over here. And then you look at the standard of living and the declines. The facts are all there. A matter of fact, we're right now, our standard of living of real personal income is below 1999 levels. Again, we don't blame anybody other than the ones that did it. China and all these other countries, Vietnam, they didn't have the technology. The Europeans and the Americans gave them the technology to do it. So, they sold us out.

So what Trump is doing with this, as we see it, this is typical Trump's Art of the Deal negotiation strategy that we point out in our Trend Alerts. You take North Korea, for example. He calls the guy Rocket Man, a moron, a maniac, and then after he meets with him, he's an honorable, great guy. The deal is done. He goes to the extremes. And that's what we believe he's doing with the tariff situation, because again, China's only buying about $130 billion worth of our goods. And they're selling us $375 billion. Are they going to kill the deal? Of course not. So, there's going to be a negotiation of this. Bottom line is, Mike, at this level, we don't see a trade war coming yet. It's not in the cards right now.

Mike Gleason: Now, when it comes to the gold and silver markets, the impact of trade policy will, we think, largely depend upon how that policy impacts the U.S. dollar. So far, the foreign exchange markets are reacting as if a potential trade war might be good for the dollar. It has been strengthening relative to other world currencies. Now, we're not so sure the markets have it right. The U.S. may run massive trade deficits on lots of products, but the one product that we export a ton of is the U.S. dollar. Anything that reduces this demand for the greenback overseas is liable to cause some problems, and the dollar is already under attack as the global reserve currency. What do you think? Will these escalating trade conflicts be good or bad for the dollar, and good or bad news for gold?


Read/Listen to the entire podcast here: 

June 08 2018

moneymetals

Pento: Inflation to Skyrocket When Fed Reverts to New QE & Interest Rate Cuts


Michael pento

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now 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 favorites here on the Money Metals Podcast. We always love getting his highly-studied Austrian economist viewpoint.

Michael, welcome back, and thanks for joining us again.

Michael Pento: Thanks for having me back on, Mike.

Mike Gleason: Well, Michael, we were struck by one statistic in particular in the latest edition of your always great Pentonomics commentary and we urge people to sign up for your email list, so they can start getting those themselves, if they're not doing that already. But in that piece, you referenced Chapter 11 bankruptcy spiking 63% in March versus the same month a year ago. This is a dramatic move, and it tells a very different story than the one people are hearing all day long on CNBC these days. You also mentioned the carnage in the retail sector, rising delinquencies in the subprime auto loans and other indicators, which are back to levels we last saw just before the 2008 financial crisis.

Meanwhile, the talking heads are going on about how strong the U.S. economy is, and to be fair, they can point at statistics such as unemployment, strong performance in the equities, at least until recently, consumer sentiments, and other positive signs. At this point, most Americans think the U.S. economy is in better shape and likely to get stronger, but we know at key turning points in the markets, most people wind up being wrong. Now, you are certainly sounding the alarm here, Michael, so give us your thoughts on the real state of the U.S. economy, and what are a couple of the key indicators, and what are those indicators telling you about what we should expect in the months ahead?

Michael Pento: Well, Mike, first of all, this kind of reminds me a little bit of maybe late 2007, early 2008. And I want to remind all your listeners that the economy entered a recession officially, for NBER rates recessions, in December of 2007. We were already in a recession at the end of 2007, but nobody really knew it. The stock market was still doing okay. And if you look at the metrics, some of the metrics that you quoted in that question still looked very well and fine and dandy, but underneath that ersatz construct, the economy was eroding very quickly. The yield curve had already inverted. Bank lending was drying up. And home prices were already in the process of rolling over. You fast-forward to today, and you can point to many things that will make you think the economy is doing well. You look at the JOLTS, Job Opening Labor Turnover construct. If you look at ISM Manufacturing surveys, we still have some time to go before this recession becomes absolutely, positively manifest.

But here's what's going on underneath. Let me just show you how, and let me try to prove to your listeners and your audience why this particular edifice is built of cards, this economic edifice is going to wash away. Let's just take a couple of things that I want to point out to your audience. In the wake of the Great Recession, it became clear to me that the level of asset prices along with the amount of debt outstanding in the world absolutely mandates that interest rates remain near 0% and never normalize. Otherwise, the entire artificial financial construct falls apart. This is the only thing keeping everything together. So, this is the rubber bands and tape and glue that's keeping Japan solvent, that's keeping the eurozone solvent, that's keeping China any semblance of solvency, and even in the United States.

Let me give you an example of what I'm talking about. If you look at the total value of equities as a percent of GDP, it's now at a record high, very close to 150%. If interest rates move too far off the zero bound, that ratio would close by the denominator, which is GDP, falling, but the numerator, which is asset prices, crashing much, much faster. Let me give you one more example. You touched on it a little bit when you mentioned business debt. Corporate debt as a percentage of GDP is also at a record high. These are nominal records and as a percentage of the economy. And also, the credit quality of that debt is at a record low. As this ratio contracts, what you'll see is GDP contracting again, but corporate debt defaulting in spades, which will manifest into a global recession/depression, which will be marked by rapid deflation. That is the condition of the global economy today. It's held together by artificially low rates, which are now in the process of being removed.

Don't forget, in the United States, QE ended in, I believe, 2014. QE ended. We have raised rates six times. There'll be a seventh rate increase next week. The ECB went from €80 billion per month to €30 billion. They'll probably end that program. We'll find out more next week. They'll probably end that program by the end of this year. And what you have is a condition when you have global debt as 330% of GDP, $230 trillion, up $70 trillion since the Great Recession. Interest rates are going to start to rise, because central banks have the hubris to believe that they solved all of the world's problems. And it is that rising debt, which is going to pop asset prices and pop corporate debt and personal debt and student loans and credit cards and leveraged loans, CLOs, these are all of the things that are going to pop simultaneously. It's going to happen very quickly. And unfortunately, I believe it is going to be much worse, the fallout is going to be much worse, than that of 2009.

Mike Gleason: People listening to this would say, "Well, why do they have to raise rates? Maybe they'll just stand where they are or go with the lower," but obviously there's a credibility factor here that's going to probably prevent them from reversing course, at least talking about the Fed. They've talked about raising interest rates. They're probably going to do it because their credibility is at stake. Isn't that fair to say?


You can find the entire podcast here​

June 06 2018

moneymetals

Total U.S. Public Debt & Interest Expense Hit A New Record High

The total U.S. public debt hit a new record high of $21.145 trillion on the last day in May. AS the U.S. debt increased, so did the interest expense which jumped by more than $26 billion in the first seven months of the fiscal year. That's correct; the United States government forked out an additional $26 billion to service its debt (Oct-Apr) versus the same period last year.

While the U.S. debt reached a new high on May 31st, it took nearly two months to do it. Let me explain. During tax season, the total U.S. public debt actually declined from a peak of $21.135 trillion on April 10th to a low of $21.033 trillion on May 3rd. Since then, the U.S. debt has been steadily moving higher (including some daily fluctuations):

If you spend some time on the TreasuryDirect - Home site, you will see that the total public debt doesn’t go up in a straight line. There are days or weeks where the total debt declines. However, the overall trend is higher.


Continue reading here

​:​
(https://www.moneymetals.com/news/2018/06/05/us-debt-new-record-001510​)​

June 04 2018

moneymetals

Money Metals Is the Best Place to Sell Your Metal (Even If We Don’t Think You Should)

We don’t talk about it much, but Money Metals Exchange is literally the best in the nation when it comes to buying precious metals from clients who need to sell. We’ll explain why that is in just a moment. First, however, it’s important to explain why we don’t promote it, despite having several competitive advantages.

We just don’t think most people should be selling metals, at least not now.

Buy, hold, sell

In fact, holding a position in physical bullion is, we believe, more important than ever. Our position on that hasn’t changed, even though the sideways action in the metals markets in recent years has sometimes been frustrating and difficult to watch.

The dollar’s future is more bleak than ever. The U.S. borrows too much, spends too much, and promises too much.

A national bankruptcy is coming and it will destroy confidence, the ephemeral foundation underpinning the Federal Reserve Note dollar.

We believe this is a truth which cannot be avoided, and no amount of price rigging or central economic planning can change it.

That said, it has always been a priority for us to make an honest and fair two-way market for our clients. We’re committed to supporting them whether they need to buy OR sell.

And there are, of course, plenty of good reasons to sell metal. Sometimes folks simply need cash for some other purpose – and gold and silver are highly liquid assets. Or maybe they simply disagree with our take on where the precious metals markets are headed.

So Money Metals has been steadily building tools to make it even easier for sellers as well.

​Continue reading the article on MMX

June 01 2018

moneymetals

Axel Merk Exclusive: Inflation & Precious Metals to Rise, Fed to Act Late

Well, now without further delay, let’s get right to this week’s exclusive interview.

Axel merk

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome back Axel Merk, President and Chief Investment Officer of Merk Investments and author of the book Sustainable Wealth. Axel is a highly sought after guest at financial conferences and on news outlets throughout the world and it's great to have him back on with us.

Axel, it's a pleasure to have you join us again today and thanks very much for coming on.

Axel Merk: Great to be with you. What a week.

Mike Gleason: Exactly. Well, Axel when we spoke to you in February the equity markets were in the midst of a sell off and some significant volatility, which had been extraordinarily low, came roaring back to life. Since then, the stocks have recovered some. The S&P regained about half of what it lost by the end of February and has been trading in a range since then.

Our thoughts are that precious metals are trading inversely correlated to equities markets, at least for now. Unless we get a pullback in stocks or more appetite for safe-haven assets it will be hard for metals to get much going to the upside. But what are your thoughts on the relationship between gold prices and stock markets, Axel? And what factors do you expect to be driving stocks between now and say the end of the year?

Axel Merk: Sure, and for context I think we should just mention we are talking before the Non-Farm Payroll Reports (are out), so who knows what's happened to markets since we have talked? One of the things I don't recall if I mentioned in February is, ever since last December, and I still believe in that, the markets have been a bit like a washing machine. That correlations have been breaking down. And, if you go back to, kind of, all the way to the financial crisis, that's the 2008 one, not the one from a week ago, that means that whenever there was a crisis the Fed bought treasuries. And so whenever “risk” falls off, when equities are plunging, bonds were rising. And that kind of ingrained this perception about certain types of correlations and so, similarly, the price of gold was actually reasonably highly correlated to that of treasuries. And so we got this thing that gold and the stocks are sometimes moving in tandem, sometimes they move in opposite directions.

Since January 1970, if you look at monthly correlations, the correlations between stocks and bonds is 0.00. So, there is no correlation. Yet, we get caught up in this thing that, for months at a time, sometimes there’s a correlation that is significant. I think the most noteworthy thing of late is that yields have been, until a good week ago, have been matching higher and the price of gold was falling up. And then, conversely, when bond yields were falling, gold didn't rise.

And so, gold has kind of marched on its own in some ways and I happen to believe that a lot of the buyers of gold these days are doing it because they are concerned about the equity markets because of volatility spiking. And the reason why volatility and the price of gold are related is because gold doesn't have cashflow. And that means the future cashflows don't get discounted more, whereas, if you have a quote unquote risk asset, like equities, and volatility increases, those future cashflows get discounted more and the prices of equities, all else equal, tends to fall. So, that's why in “normal” circumstances the price of gold should rise when equities tumble. Obviously, that doesn't always happen.

Mike Gleason: You pay more attention than most people to events in Europe and the European markets. Lately, troubles in the PIGS nations have crept back into the news. Populace in Italy and Spain are making hay by opposing EU imposed austerity and it's a reminder that deep fundamental issues remain and the union may not survive. Let's start by getting your take, if we can, on the overall status of the EU. Will there be any high-profile exits, perhaps by Italy or Spain? Is Great Britain going to complete its exit? Or are you expecting the EU to weather the storm here, Axel​? 


Continue reading (source) ​

May 31 2018

moneymetals

ALERT! Copper May Be the Metal for the Era of Trump – Up 50% since January 2016


  • The Metal for the Era of Trump – You Can’t Build Infrastructure Without Copper!
  • You Can Still Buy Copper at Near Absolute Melt Value – Almost ZERO Over Spot
  • PLUS Gleaming 1 oz. Copper Rounds – Any Design, a Buck Apiece
2018 - copper prices chart

(MoneyMetals.com) Did you know that copper is up 50 percent since January 2016?

Copper is essential in the modern economy. Electronics, automobiles, and utilities among other things can’t function without it. Optimism surrounding the President’s $1 trillion dollar infrastructure spending proposal and his efforts to support U.S. manufacturing is driving copper prices higher.

Donald Trump’s pro-business plans are very bullish for copper. This rally may just be getting started and savvy investors are taking notice.

  • The spot price of copper is up 50% since January 2016.
  • The copper contained $1,000 face value of pre-1983 U.S. Lincoln pennies is now worth about $2,200.
  • Yet you can still buy these appreciating 95% pure copper U.S. legal tender coins at – or very near – absolute melt value.

Bag of pennies

Pre-1983 pennies at just
2.85% over Copper Spot Price

Precious metals investors – and dealers – tend to overlook copper. We think that’s a mistake; Money Metals is actually stocking up on copper pennies and rounds to meet the demands of our savvy customers.

Copper in the form of 95% pure pre-1983 pennies is one of the few legal tender metals where the price you pay is nearly identical to the spot market price...

  • 34 pounds of pre-1983 pennies: today’s price from Money Metals, $101.66
  • Melt value: 34 pounds x .95 purity x $3.06 per pound spot price = $98.84
  • Percent over melt: 2.85% … virtually untouchable for legal tender metal!

It’s been 35 years since the federal government dealt the third and final blow to precious metals content in US coinage – an essential part of its long-term strategy to devalue the nation’s currency –

A stash of 95 percent copper pennies can come in handy in the event you need metals to barter and trade. Copper fills an important gap, being suitable for smaller transactions where gold and even silver may not be practical options.

Copper is the only metal that’s actually cheapest in coin form. The minting costs of pennies were paid off decades ago; unlike with gold and silver, there’s no premium to get official, trusted and legal tender coins. The coins are actually available at a huge discount relative to other forms of copper bullion!

Money Metals has pre-1983 95% copper pennies sold by weight in 34 pound bags (approx 4,925 pennies per bag). Stock up on these legal tender coins while we still have them at less than two percent above melt value. Order securely at MoneyMetals.com


Check out the full article (source

May 30 2018

moneymetals

A Tale of Two Crooked Companies

Are people still letting what might be viewed as a criminal enterprise manage their deposits and mortgages? Unfortunately, it is a rhetorical question. Millions of people are still clients of major Wall Street banks despite widespread financial malfeasance.

They are ignoring warning signs while misplacing their trust in regulators and authorities. They shouldn’t.

Too big to jail

If you deal with crooked people, you should expect to get screwed – sooner or later. Even if the crooks are people you never meet or interact with in a large multi-national bank.

Here is the story of two companies which illustrate why everyone must look after themselves by being selective about who they trust in business. And why nobody should trust regulators or government to protect them from the cheaters.

The first is Wells Fargo – a "Global Systemically Important Bank." The bank has Warren Buffet as a major stakeholder and lavishes Washington DC politicians and bureaucrats with political contributions and lucrative job opportunities. It is considered "too big to fail."

Wells Fargo clients who take comfort in that status are missing the more important "flip side" of the bank’s size and political connections. The bank’s executives may also be too big to jail. Wells Fargo, like other major banks, is being granted a sort of license to cheat based on its size and status.

As a result, the bank has built a rap sheet a mile long over the past 10 years. The bank has been caught opening phony accounts, adding services (and fees) clients didn’t request, rigging bond markets, abusing foreclosure rules, and a lot more. Millions of their clients appear to have been cheated and scammed.

All the while, we are not aware of any senior executive that has been prosecuted. The bank’s shareholders, not the executives directly responsible, pay the fines.


Continue reading (source

May 29 2018

moneymetals

GLOBAL FINANCIAL BREAKDOWN CONTINUES: Economic Growth Chokes On Massive Debt Increases

The U.S. and global economies are choking on a massive amount of debt. While Wall Street and the Mainstream financial media continue to rationalize the skyrocketing debt as merely the cost of doing business, the disintegrating fundamentals point to an economic catastrophe in the making.

Of course, a full-blown economic meltdown may not occur this year or even next, but as time goes by, the situation continues to deteriorate in an exponential fashion. So, the cheerleaders for higher stock, bond, and real estate prices will continue to get their way until the economy is thrown into reverse as decades of increasing debt, leverage and margin finally destroy the engine for good.

Yes, I say for good. What seems to be missing from the analysis is this little thing called energy. The typical economist today looks at the global markets much the same way as a child who is waiting for the tooth fairy to exchange a tooth for a $20 bill. When I was a kid, it was $1 per tooth, but like with everything today, inflation is everywhere.

Mainstream economists just look at market forces, percentages, and values on a piece of paper or computer. When economic activity begins to fall, they try to find the cause and remedy it with a solution. Most of the time, the solutions are found by printing more money, increasing debt, changing interest rates or tax percentages. And… that’s about it.

There is no mention of what to do with energy in the economist’s playbook. For the typical economist, energy is always going to be there and if there are any future problems with supply, then, of course, the price will solve that issue. Due to the fundamental flaw of excluding energy in College economic courses; the entire profession is a complete farce.

Unfortunately, even the more enlightened pupils of the Austrian School of Economics fail to understand the Thermodynamics of value. Instead, we are only taught about SUPPLY & DEMAND to impact price. While supply and demand forces impact price, they only do so over a short period of time. However, the primary factor that determines price (for most goods, services, commodities, metals & energy) is the cost of production. Supply and demand only pull price above or push it below the cost of production trendline.

Regardless, you don’t have to take my word for it, just look at the following charts below.


Continue reading (source
moneymetals

David Smith: Debilitating Inflation Is Like an Army of Termites Eating Away Your House

Well now, without further delay, let’s get right to this week’s exclusive interview.

David smith

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome back David Smith, Senior Analyst at The Morgan Report, and regular contributor to MoneyMetals.com.

David, thanks for joining us again, how are you?

David Smith: You bet, Mike. It's great to speak with you again.

Mike Gleason: Well David, we published an article you wrote on inflation this week on our MoneyMetals.com website, and it's really great, by the way, and I hope everyone listening will take a few minutes to read it, because the subject matter, that being inflation, is very timely.

Right now, metals are suffering because of a rally in the U.S. dollar. There's lots of talk on Wall Street about how well the dollar's performing over the past few weeks, but traders, of course, are focusing exclusively on the dollar's exchange rate with other world currencies. You and I know that isn't really what matters. What counts is not how many euros or yen the dollar will purchase, it's how much gasoline, or housing, or food it will buy. And the reality is that it buys less of those things every year. We have inflation regardless of whether you define the term as an increase in the money supply, or as an increase in the price of goods and services.

However, precious metals have fallen in recent weeks simply because the dollar is stronger in foreign exchange markets. The fact that the dollar buys more yen is trumping the fact that the dollar buys less oil. It's as if we have deflation but the truth is, inflation is actually positive and starting to accelerate. So, what gives here, and how long do you think it will be before Wall Street figures out what is really happening to the dollar's value, David?

David Smith: Well, Mike, I think a lot of it has to do with Wall Street looking at the exchange rate because they're asking themselves what effect will it have on the profitability of companies that do business overseas or that import things and it has a significant effect on them if there's a change in the dollar's relation vis a vis to the currencies.

But the more immediate effect happens to the rest of us because we start paying more with inflation for things that we buy and sell on an everyday basis. So we're in a different universe from Wall Street in that regard. I don't know about you, but I've noticed the price of services going up substantially. Some prices have stayed the same for several years at the grocery store, beyond just the normal seasonal fluctuations of produce that you might expect to be more like avocados certain time of the year.

But a lot of other things, too, that normally have been pretty stable seem to have a built-in upward bias and all that does is to take more and more purchasing power out of our pockets, yours and mine, and the people listening to this, and place them someplace else. So, it's kind of a subterranean type of thing that's going on but it's not to the good for any of us.

Mike Gleason: Yeah certainly, well put and obviously the markets seem to be focusing very much on what it does relative to those other currencies and not really what it's buying, like you said right there. I mean everyone can attest to the fact that things are getting more expensive. There's no doubt about that.

As you have written, inflation is a destructive force for most of us. The powers that be have done a masterful job of painting a degree of inflation as somehow healthy for the economy, but you spend a lot of time traveling in South America, as you mentioned in this week's article. So you've seen firsthand what is happening in places like Argentina and I guess the government there has given up talking about how wonderful it is that money buys less every year. Obviously nobody there is going to be buying that line of bull anymore.

In Venezuela, people are starving, and violence is on the rise. Talk a bit if you would about what a rampant inflation looks like on the ground. You recently took another trip to South America. Tell us what it's like when confidence in the money begins to fail.


Read/Listen to the podcast here: (source
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