Tumblelog by Soup.io
Newer posts are loading.
You are at the newest post.
Click here to check if anything new just came in.

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) ​

April 09 2018

moneymetals

Silver May Be Getting Ready to Shine Again

The setup for higher silver prices is so good it’s scary. The relative positioning of speculators versus the bullion banks in the futures markets is extraordinarily lopsided.

A bet on silver moving higher from here looks a lot like a no-brainer. So much so that David Morgan, publisher of The Morgan Report and silver guru is advising just a bit of caution, as he told listeners in an exclusive interview on this past Friday’s Money Metals Weekly Market Wrap Podcast.

The bullion banks (Commercials) are almost certainly now betting for higher silver prices and have relinquished their concentrated short position.

Meanwhile, the large speculators are positioned increasingly short. The good news for silver bulls is the bullion banks dominate the futures markets, by hook or by crook, and they generally win versus the speculators.

In the chart below from Zachary Storella (Investing.com), the red line represents the “Commercials” which are the bullion banks and miners. It shows their collective position virtually even, or neutral. It is the first time this has happened since the Commodity Futures Trading Commission began publishing the more detailed Commitments of Traders report in 2009.

Silver: cot futures large trader positions chart

One could argue that if the commercials are neutral, that isn’t exactly the same as the bullion banks being positioned long

​.


Continue to the full article: (source) ​

March 27 2018

moneymetals

Physical Gold Production May Be Peaking, But There Is No Shortage In Paper Gold

Gold production numbers for 2017 are still being compiled but estimates call for the first annual decline in mine output since 2008.

The gold price fell dramatically in the months following the 2011 peak in prices. It has languished at, or near, the cost of production for years. Low gold prices are having a predictable effect on mine output.

Many projects with marginal ore deposits were rendered uneconomic. High cost operators went out of business. Exploration budgets got slashed dramatically. And all of these factors compound a larger underlying issue. It is increasingly difficult to find gold deposits that make sense to mine. New discoveries are less than a fifth of what they were in 2006.

Exploration fail (chart)

Much higher gold prices will drive more exploration and should boost discoveries. Some projects which have been mothballed due to higher costs will become feasible once again. But the trend seems clear – the drought in discoveries, which began more than a decade ago, looks likely to persist regardless of the gold price. And the struggle to find economic deposits will translate to a serious decline in production in the years ahead.


Continue reading (source) ​

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) ​
moneymetals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Continue to the article (source

March 06 2018

moneymetals

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

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

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

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

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

Comparing high & low risk assets

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

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

Continue reading... (source)

March 02 2018

moneymetals

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


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

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

Michael, welcome back and thanks for joining us again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read/Listen to the full podcast (here)

moneymetals

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

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

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

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

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

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

World oil supply growth vs. world gdp growth

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



Continue reading (source

February 28 2018

moneymetals

February 27 2018

moneymetals

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

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

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

Gold retirement nest egg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

​Continue reading (source)​

February 23 2018

moneymetals

5 Big Drivers of Higher Inflation Rates Ahead

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

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

Inflation Driver #1: Rising CPI

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

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

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

Inflation Driver #2: Rising Interest Rates

interest rates

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

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

​Continue to the full article (source)

February 15 2018

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.


Continue reading... (source)

February 14 2018

moneymetals

Huge Market Correction Update & Silver Price Trend

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading (source

February 13 2018

moneymetals

DOW JONES INDEX CORRECTION & CRASH LEVELS: A Chart All Investors Must See

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

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

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

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

Dow jones index - feb. 9, 2018


Continue reading (source)

February 06 2018

moneymetals

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

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

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

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

US oct dec 2015 2017 interest expense

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

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

Check it out here (source)

February 05 2018

moneymetals

January 31 2018

moneymetals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 (Original Source)

January 30 2018

moneymetals

Illinois’ Debt Crisis Foreshadows America’s Financial Future

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

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

Illinois the land of debt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Original Source)


January 29 2018

moneymetals

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

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

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

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

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

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

Margin & gdp adjusted cape (chart)

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


Continue reading (source) ​

January 26 2018

moneymetals
Older posts are this way If this message doesn't go away, click anywhere on the page to continue loading posts.
Could not load more posts
Maybe Soup is currently being updated? I'll try again automatically in a few seconds...
Just a second, loading more posts...
You've reached the end.

Don't be the product, buy the product!

Schweinderl