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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

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 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 03 2018

moneymetals

Trump’s Fed Feud; Indexing Capital Gains Taxes to Inflation?

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

Samuel pelaez

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome in Samuel Pelaez, CIO and Portfolio Manager at Galileo Global Equity Advisors, a Canadian subsidiary of U.S. Global Investors. Sam manages Galileo's Growth and Income fund as well as the Technology and Blockchain fund and also follows the natural resource and gold mining space quite closely. And it's a real pleasure to have him on with us today.

Sam, thanks so much for the time and welcome.

Samuel Pelaez: Thanks, Mike. It's a great pleasure to join you. I think this is the first time.

Mike Gleason: Yeah, absolutely. Excited to get a chance to talk to you finally. You've been talking about commodities being way undervalued. You published a chart back in the spring showing the value of the S&P GSCI Index of commodities companies relative to the broader S&P 500 Index. The ratio is near all-time lows. Since that chart was published in April not a great deal has changed, so talk about where we're at here in commodities now and give us your thoughts on what the value proposition looks like today because they certainly have been laggards compared to the broader markets.

Samuel Pelaez: Yeah, absolutely. That's my favorite all-time chart I think. I'm a big proponent of commodities and natural resource investing. Keep in mind, that chart goes over 60 years or so of markets. We've had cycles like this three times or this will be the third time. Twice in the past we’ve seen that sort of extreme rating where commodities are so undervalued relative to the broader market as measured by the S&P 500.

What that suggests is that we may be at a juncture here that provides an opportunity to invest in resources that we haven't had for over 20 years. Last time this happened was coincidental with the NASDAQ 1990-2000 boom. That was the time when the commodities were as undervalued relative to the broader market. And what happened since was obviously the big industrialization of China commodities did very well for a decade up until 2008 and even a little bit further than that.


Check out the full podcast here.: 
https://www.moneymetals.com/podcasts/2018/08/03/bull-market-natural-resources-001588

July 26 2018

moneymetals

Silver Threads among the Gold: What the Tea Leaves Seem to Be Telling Us

The ongoing July silver (and gold) slam has a 2008 feel about it. Important data point elements are different, but there's an air of panic on the part of physical precious metals' owners.

"Major trend lines" being broken to the downside; physical metals' buying (in the U.S. off significantly so far on the year; (some) long-term silver holders giving up the ghost and selling their metal below spot.

About the only thing we have yet to see – on a large scale – is "paper metal" being offered at a price well below what a customer would actually pay for the physical.

In late 2008, while silver was being quoted in the markets at $9.50/ounce, you simply could not find it in "real life" for much less than $12 the ounce.

How Might George Soros Approach This Situation?

In a recent interview for The New York Times Magazine, George Soros talked about his years' running the very successful Quantum Fund – which yielded investors an almost unheard of 40% annual rate of return.

He spoke of his "theory of reflexivity" – the idea that "peoples' biases and perceptions can move prices in directions that don't accord with the underlying reality."

He would "nibble" on an idea until investors' emotions became increasingly disconnected from what was really taking place – or what was almost certainly slated to be – once more balanced circumstances had come to pass. Then he would substantially add to his position.

Soros didn't always get it right, but when he did, he made a killing. His most famous bet was shorting the British pound... against the Bank of England.

Soros claimed his strength as an investor was in recognizing and acting on what he referred to as “far from equilibrium” moments.

SGE silver delivery volume chart

Shanghai International Gold Exchange silver volume continues to rise sharply.

A Technical Take

As for near-term action, Hidden Pivot maven, Rick Ackerman wrote recently in his Rick's Picks column, that silver has the potential to make a large move either up or down, depending upon what the price does on the hourly and monthly charts.



July 23 2018

moneymetals

Gold & Silver Need THIS to Unfold before They Rally Sharply Higher...

Well now, for more on the unfolding trade war, the selloff in commodities and gold, and much more, let’s get right to this week’s exclusive interview.

Greg weldon

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome in Greg Weldon, CEO and president of Weldon Financial. Greg has over three decades of market research and trading experience, specializing in the metals and commodity markets, and his close connection with the metals led him to author a book back in 2006, titled Gold Trading Boot Camp, where he accurately predicted the implosion of the U.S. credit market and urged people to buy gold when it was only $550 an ounce.

He's a regular presenter at financial conferences throughout the country, and is a highly sought-after guest on many financial shows. And it's always great to have him on the Money Metals Podcast. Greg, good to talk to you again. Welcome back.

Greg Weldon: Thanks, Mike. My pleasure.

Mike Gleason: Well, Greg, we've been keeping a close eye on the dollar, as I know you have been as well. For metals investors, the rally in the dollar is providing some serious headwinds. When we last spoke in early May, the rally had begun. You weren't surprised, and thought it might run up to the vicinity of 96 on the DXY Index, and that's looking like a very good call. We're just a bit over 95 currently. But you thought the rally could fizzle out, and the dollar could be back on the slide somewhere in the second half of the year. So, what are your thoughts currently? Has anything changed your outlook for the greenback, Greg?

Greg Weldon: Yeah. I think the odds of the dollar continuing higher have expanded here, and I think it's a function of the Fed. I think we got information in the last week or so that is, frankly, pertinent, because if you kind of trace back to what we were talking about in May, we started to see signs of stagflation. We started to see signs of stress in the second derivatives of where the growth had been. A place like Germany, an export juggernaut. When you start to see some issues in places like the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, they provide semi-finished goods to Germany that finishes them and exports them. So, we had already kind of seen some cracks in the global macro dynamic globally.

And the question then was, "well, if inflation's going higher, will the Fed follow inflation even at the risk of potentially bringing the hammer down on the backend on the consumer who is extremely leveraged here, unprecedented borrowing.” Same thing as 2006 and 2007. You're borrowing against unrealized paper profits. In that case it was mortgages, in your home, the value, all right?

In this cases it's the stock market. Like the case in 2006 and '07, home prices will never go down, right? Well, we learned that's not true. And then the case here it seems like stock prices will never go down, right? Passive investment, just pile in, and you'll be rich, and here's the American dream in a nutshell, no problem. Well, we can call into question that, of course, and if the stock market declines and consumers are on the hook, you're going to be facing a very similar situation where the consumer's kind of upside down.

Having said all of that, the question really puts the focus on the Fed, and what the Fed just told us in their monetary report, which is the basis for which Chairman Powell is using as his testimony here on Capitol Hill, The Humphrey-Hawkins semiannual report to Congress. The Fed was very specific. I was really surprised at the language in this report. It's 71 pages. I went to every single page. It took me six hours yesterday doing this, but it was really worth it because the Fed say in this report, not only do we want to get to a level where we're at the neutral rate, the kind of natural rate, the neutral rate of Fed policy which we've been saying all along. They want to get to neutral, which is somewhere between two and two and a half based on where inflation is.

Well, the Fed just told us, "We don't want to just get to neutral, we want to get a slight bit above neutral, i.e. we actually want to get tight here." All right? And if inflation's moving higher and the Fed wants to get tight, meaning above the rate of inflation, they're behind the curve and they're going to have to move more quickly and this was kind of the tone of this monetary report.

And the sense was, they're admitting, "Hey! Inflation is now above our target for the first time, that doesn't mean we're slowing down.” So this is bothering commodity markets because it's lifting the dollar. The Fed is presumably going to be tighter, it's going to chase inflation, doesn't care about what the back end economic dynamic might be and that you throw in the trade dynamic, which is having a huge impact, i.e. look at the declining commodities. Look at the decline in China. Look at the decline in Canada in terms of some of the economic numbers, let alone the markets. Look at the pressure on emerging market currencies.

The other thing the Fed said in this report was the external risk is primarily seen in Argentina, Turkey, China, and emerging Asia. We run spreadsheets here where I have my own proprietary algorithms that I wrote back in the 1980's. I'm a math geek by heart, by history and we have algorithms that we use to track the ETF's out there, all of them. Well, I ran a full scan yesterday and the top 25 trends right now in the ETF world, including international ETFs, commodity ETFs, fixed income ETFs, all the sector ETFs in the U.S., 25 top trends, 24 were bearish and it was spread out among metals, commodities, China, and emerging Asia. All the things the Fed just cited as their risk factors.

So, my question then becomes, again, does the Fed pay attention? Is the Fed doing their normal puppeteering here where they're trying to be vocally tighter so they can use words to kind of ease some without actually having to totally shift policy and start cutting rates? I don't know, but I think right now, whereas maybe we might think that the dollar would soften when the Fed rhetoric softened, that's not happening because the Fed rhetoric is not softening. In fact, it's getting harder and this is becoming a problem. You see it in emerging markets, you see it in commodities, and you certainly see it in gold and silver.

You can read or listen to the entire podcast here

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)

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 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

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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 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

May 04 2018

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Greg Weldon: Stock Market "As Overextended as Anything I’ve Ever Seen" Audio Player

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome in Greg Weldon, CEO and President of Weldon Financial. Greg has over three decades of market research and trading experiencing, specializing in the metals and commodity markets and even authored a book in 2006 titled, Gold Trading Boot Camp where he accurately predicted the implosion of the U.S. credit market and urged people to buy gold when it was only $550 an ounce. He's a highly sought-after presenter at financial conferences throughout the country and is a regular guest on many popular financial shows, and it's great to have him back here on the Money Metals Podcast.

Greg, good to talk to you again today and thanks for coming on.

Greg Weldon: Thanks, Mike. My pleasure.

Mike Gleason: When we spoke to you last back in February, Greg, we talked about the U.S. dollar. It had been sliding for more than a year and looked weak. Since early April, however, the greenback has been rallying hard. The move has been weighing on gold and silver prices over the past couple of weeks. What is your take on the dollar's recent move higher? What's driving it? Do you think it has further to climb or is this a bit of a sucker's rally?

Greg Weldon: Well, how about all of the above? I think that it's a corrective move first of all. I see an upside push maybe towards 96 would be kind of a target for a rally here in the dollar. I think the secular pressure on the dollar remains in full force, and that is Twin Towers deficits particularly the deepening U.S. budget deficit, how that links into first of all the tax cuts of course, but really more significantly, the rise in interest cost. So you're kind of in this cycle here where higher interest costs beget higher debt which begets deeper deficits which begets higher interest costs, so on and so forth.

I think longer term by the end of the year we're probably looking at a lower dollar, but having said that I think last week gave us a really good kind of example as to why the dollar has pushed higher here, and it really kind of only broke out in the last few days. And I think that's on the back of the downside reversal you have going on in some of the European bond markets after Mario Draghi's press conference last Thursday. I thought it was very interesting the comments that he made, particularly about, "We don't see signs of sustained inflation. We see a moderating in the economy. That moderating is sharp, it's broad, although we believe it's temporary."

So, the thought process had been that maybe the ECB, once the end of September came and the QE kind of taper, ran down that they might actually tap out from QE. And as a preparation for raising interest rates next year, something that is still priced into the futures market in the Euro Board deposit rate futures, but less so than it had been. And I think the key here of course is inflation. I think inflation is going to be rising throughout the rest of the year. We talked about this earlier in the year, the end of last year in our January year ahead piece and we targeted the May to June period for this to start to really show up in the data. And I think we're going to see that in terms of energy prices.

And then the wild card, which is the Ag markets and food prices, which we see on the rise as well, particularly as it relates to the U.S. grain crops and some of the stuff that we can talk about maybe in a minute. But I think that in that context, thinking that European bond yields are going to break down further from here seems unrealistic unless in fact the ECB is going to re expand QE, something that Mario Draghi floated on Thursday. So I think that really caught the market by surprise. It really hurt the euro, boosted the dollar, but I think to suggest that the German two-year can get back below -60 basis points at a time when German GDP growth is three percent, and German inflation is 1.6 and likely to rise. I mean, not only is it a negative 60 basis point two-year in Germany, think about the real yields you're talking about here. They're so deeply negative.

We saw the same thing in the U.S. really in September when then chair Janet Yellen suggested they wanted to not normalize rates, but go to neutral, which meant to lift the bond market, particularly in the short end, which was wildly overpriced because of QE to the level of inflation. And that's what we've seen in the two-year note. It went from 140 when she made these comments in September of last year to where it is now at 250, which is a new high. So, in the context of the rising ECI, the rising wages in the U.S. ... and let's not forget, and one point I'll make without making this answer too long ... If you look at the U.S. Employment Report from last month, all the talk was about hourly earnings being subdued and not rising. The fact of the matter is a lot of the Fed reports show us, tell us very clearly that firms looking for skilled workers, having difficulty finding skilled workers, are now extending the hours of their current workers. So, if you're not making more per hour, but you're working longer hours, you're still making more money.

So the weekly earnings from the Employment Report were at 3.3. You got import prices of 3.6, and now you got from the ECI private sector wages are around 3. So you see some movement here in the U.S. that boosts the two-year to two and a half, at the same time the German two-year is falling and thus the yield differentials kind of come back into vogue as a driving force in the dollar. But I think that the decline in European bond yields will be short-lived and I think you'll see a reemergence of an upside push, particularly in Germany. And that's probably something that will add to pressure on the dollar later in the year along with a continued deficit widening story.

Mike Gleason: Greg, those of us who question whether or not the Fed can get away with raising rates, look at the months ahead as sort of a moment of truth if "normalizing" interest rates means that treasury yields are headed back to four to five percent. You've got to think that it will just crush the federal budget and the U.S. economy, which is addicted to ultra-low rates as we all know will in our view have to endure some painful withdrawal symptoms. And now on the one hand, the Fed has hiked rates several times seemingly without major repercussions. On the other, volatility is creeping back into the equity markets and the indexes have fallen since their highs in late January. Mortgage rates have moved higher. So we're very curious about how this will play out and wanted to get your thoughts. Is the Fed going to be able to stay the course and double the Fed funds rate over the next 24 months here, Greg? Or are the markets and the economy at large going to rebel and force officials at the Fed to abandon their plans for tightening?

Read/Listen to the full podcast here (source) ​

April 20 2018

moneymetals

Jim Rickards Forecasts New Financial Crisis & Makes Prediction About Gold

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

Jim rickards

Mike Gleason: It is my great privilege now to be joined by James Rickards. Mr. Rickards is Editor of Strategic Intelligence, a monthly newsletter and Director of the James Rickards Project, an inquiry into the complex dynamics of geopolitics and global capital. He's also the author of several bestselling books including The Death of MoneyCurrency WarsThe New Case for Gold and The Road to Ruin. In addition to his achievements as a writer and author, Jim is also a portfolio manager, lawyer and renowned economic commentator, having been interviewed by CNBC, the BBC, Bloomberg, Fox News and CNN, just to name a few. And we're happy to have him back on the Money Metals Podcast.

Jim, thanks for coming on with us again today. We really appreciate your time as always and how are you?

Jim Rickards: I'm doing great Mike, great to be with you. Thank you.

Mike Gleason: Well Jim, I figure a good place to start here is with one of your most recent books. We want to get your take on the state of the world economy. In your book titled The Road to Ruin: The Global Elites' Secret Plan for the Next Financial Crisis, you make some very interesting comments. Now while the financial media is talking about booming stock markets and accelerating GDP growth, you aren't quite as optimistic. We both know that most of the growth we've seen in recent years has been built with huge amounts of central bank stimulus and the fundamental problems that drove the last financial crisis have hardly been resolved. In fact, you think the next financial catastrophe isn't too far away and many among the elite are getting ready for it. If you can, briefly lay out some of what you've been seeing.

Jim Rickards: Sure Mike, you touched on two different threads. One is, let's call it the short to intermediate term, which is how's the economy doing? What would the forecast be for the year ahead? What do I think about stocks and so forth? That's one part of the analysis, but the other one is a little bigger and a little deeper, which is what about another major financial crisis, a liquidity crisis, global financial panic and what would the response function be to that.

Let me separate. They're related because, I mean the point I always make is that there's a difference between a business cycle recession and a financial panic. They're two different things. They can go together, but they don't have to. For example, October 29, 1987, the Stock Market fell 22% in one day. In today's Dow terms that would be the equivalent of 5,000 Dow points, so we're at 26,000 or whatever, as we speak, a 22% drop would take it down about 5,000 points. You and I both know that if the Dow Jones fell 500 points that would be all anybody would hear about or talk about. Well, imagine 5,000 points. Well, that actually happened in percentage terms in October 1987. So, that's a financial panic, but there was no recession. The economy was fine and we pulled out of that in a couple of days. Actually after the panic, it wasn't such a bad time to buy and stocks rallied back. Then, for example in 1990, you had a normal business cycle recession. Unemployment went up. There were some defaults and all that, but there was no financial panic.

In 2008, you had both. You had a recession that began in 2007 and lasted until 2009 and you had a financial panic that reached a peak in September-October 2008 with Lehman and AIG, so they're separate things. They can run together. Let's separate them and talk about the business cycle. I'm not as optimistic on the economy right now. I know there's a lot of hoopla. We just had the big Trump Tax Bill and the Stock Market's reaching all time highs. I mean, I read the tape. I get all that, but there are a lot headwinds in this economy. There's good evidence that the Fed is over-tightening.

​Read/Listen to the full podcast (here) ​

March 19 2018

moneymetals

New Sound Money Public Policy Breakthroughs Occur in the States

Well now, without further delay, let’s get to this week’s featured interview between Money Metals president Stefan Gleason and Pete Fetig during a recent summit on all things precious metals.

Stefan gleason

Pete Fetig: Stefan, I would like to start with what are precious metals and why should someone even own something like that?

Stefan Gleason: Thanks Pete. That is obviously the most fundamental question to this entire conversation. Is what are precious metals and why should you care? And this is something that has been driven out of the public consciousness to a great extent over the last 80 or 90 years and especially in the last 40 years. And that is that the role the precious metals play in our society and in our monetary system and as an investment. First and foremost, I would say that people should understand gold and silver is money. It is true money. It is been chosen throughout time as a medium of exchange, a store of value, and has been used in trade ever since several thousand years B.C. So gold and silver is first and foremost money. It has been chosen as money for a lot of reasons and those reasons are still in existence today.

First of all, it is tangible. It’s an actual asset. It cannot be created from nothing. Like paper money today is created from nothing or even electronic equivalent of paper money. It is private. It is something that you can exchange between people and it is not tracked or traced. Like so many things are in our electronic monetary system today. It is highly liquid. It is accepted by all people or governments at least. Certainly, private individuals understand that it has value. Always going to have value. It has always been accepted. Ultimately, even central bankers view it as that. Even though, they have waged a war against gold and silver and gold and silver ownership, particularly in the last several decades, they hold it as a reserve asset. They understand that it is the ultimate form of payment. It’s a form of payment that has no counterparty risk. It is not also someone else's liability at the same time, like the dollar is. And so central banks, while they do not talk about it, are holding gold and silver as reserve assets because they know that it has timeless value.

More immediately gold and silver are precious metals that are really a form of financial insurance. It’s a non-correlating asset. It does not move necessarily with the stock market, the bond market, the real estate market. It’s something that you should have as a part of your asset allocation because when everything else falls apart, gold and silver typically does very well. Just like an insurance policy that you do not necessarily want to have to cash in. You still have it. You have an insurance policy in your house. You probably have one on your car. You should have an insurance policy against your financial asset. Gold and silver is that insurance policy. It is also of an excellent hedge against inflation. It is really the ultimate hedge against inflation.

That is today, in the last 40 years in particular, since the United States and really the whole world, went off the gold standard. You’ve had an explosion in debt. You’ve had an explosion in the creation of fiat money. We now have really a competition going around the world to devalue fiat money. It’s a race to the bottom. That is done with the creation of new debt and the printing of new money to sort of prop up the economy, prop up the bond market, the stock market. And as result of that, as a result of more paper money and electronic money being created, it has caused data reduction in the purchasing power of these other currencies. Gold and silver have maintained and even increased their purchasing power, over time.

Since the Federal Reserve System in the United States was created a little over 100 years ago, the US dollar has lost over 97% of its purchasing power. In the 100 years prior to that, except for a short period of time during the Civil War when they went off the gold standard, the purchasing power of the dollar was relatively the same, but then declined dramatically since the Federal Reserve system was created. So you have this massive devaluation of currencies happening all across the globe, and gold and silver are tangible assets that are a hedge against that, that benefit from really the devaluation as they rise in price. We have seen that, gold and silver, have reached all-time highs in recent years. They got a little overheated and pulled back in dollar terms since 2011, but at the end of the day you want to own a certain amount of gold and silver as a hedge against inflation and financial turmoil.

Read/Listen to the full podcast (here) ​

March 12 2018

moneymetals

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) ​

February 15 2018

moneymetals

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.


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February 05 2018

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January 15 2018

moneymetals

The 2018 Stock Market Bubble vs. Gold & Silver

The U.S. Stock Market is reaching its biggest bubble in history. When the price of the Dow Jones Index only moves in one direction… UP, it is setting up for one heck of a crash. While market corrections aren’t fun for investors’ portfolios, they are NECESSARY. However, it seems that corrections are no longer allowed to take place because if they did, then the tremendous leverage in the market might turn a normal correction into panic selling and a meltdown on the exchanges.

So, we continue to see the Dow Jones Index hit new record highs, as it moved up 765 points since the beginning of the year. Now, if we go back to 1981 when the Dow was trading about 800 points, it took five years to double itself by another 800 points. However, the Dow Jones Index just added 765 points in less than two weeks. It doesn’t matter if the (1) point increase in the Dow Jones today is insignificant compared to a (1) point increase in 1981, investors feel rich when the numbers are increasing in a BIG WAY.

This is the same phenomenon taking place in the Bitcoin-Crypto Market. Crypto investors who are used to 10-20 baggers (10-20 times increase) no longer have the patience to invest in a real company that might grow on a 10-25% basis annually. Why the hell put money in a real business that employees a lot of people when you can turn $1,000 into $50 million in a few weeks?

Unfortunately, the Bitcoin-Crypto Market has destroyed the new Millennials ability even to consider making old fashion sound investments in real capital-intensive companies. Today, the Entrepreneurs rather make money trading Cryptos on their I-Phone, sporting a few thumbs-up Selfies, compared to the previous generation of business people doing deals out of their briefcases.

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