Pastor Lindsey Williams shares his own perspective on making money and taking advantage of the elite:
- An offer you cannot afford to turn down – Mark Johnson
- Riots and protest marches, why have they stopped
- Health Miracle – It could save your life! Heart Attack/Stroke
- The new tax law
- Oil exploration
- What is really happening in the economy
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From James Harkin (Webmaster & Editor of LindseyWilliams.net). Here is a summary of articles of interest from around the world for this week. Please LIKE the Lindsey Williams Online Facebook Page to see stories posted daily regarding the current state of the economy around the world.
Latest News From March 24, 2017 to March 30, 2017:
- After Dramatic Obamacare Failure, Trump Now Faces A Looming Government Shutdown He May Not Be Able To Prevent
If you thought that the Obamacare debacle was bad, just wait until you see what happens next. The continuing resolution that is currently funding the government expires on April 28th, and if a new funding agreement is not reached prior to that time, there will be a government shutdown like we witnessed in 2013 starting on April 29th. Unfortunately, as I will explain below, if a government shutdown happens it may go for a lot longer than just a couple of weeks this time around. April 28th may sound like it is quite some time away, but because the congressional calendar has so many “holes” in it, there is actually not very much time for Congress to act. If you can believe it, there are only 12 “legislative days” between now and April 28th, and if something is not done on one of those 12 days the government will shut down on April 29th.
- Broken America
Is this the beginning of the end for the United States of America? It has been said that a house divided against itself will surely fall, and today we live in a shattered union. In all my years, I have never seen so much strife, discord, bitterness and resentment in this country. Everyone can see what is happening, but nobody can seem to stop it. Politically, you have got tens of millions of people trying to pull America one way, and you have got tens of millions of people trying to pull it the exact opposite way. As I discussed in a previous article, the term “civil war” is now being thrown around by some pundits even though nobody has started shooting yet. We are a deeply divided and broken nation, and if we don’t find a way to fix things America will not survive.
- Obamacare is the Reason for Anemic Growth
Analyst and entrepreneur Karl Denninger predicted years ago that Obamacare would “kill the economy” and “eventually implode.” Today, the first quarter GDP came in at just .9%, and Denninger contends Obamacare is part of the reason the economy is so anemic. Denninger says, “Since the crash in 2008, we’ve had 2% GDP expansion roughly on an average basis, and you are trying to expand the growth of one program in the government by 8.5%, and that’s not going to work. This is the problem you have. What Obamacare has done has caused the 2% expansion. . . . So, what has happened here is we have taken this program and crammed these costs into the economy on a mandated basis, and the result is the productivity expansion has gone into the toilet.”
- Ex-cyber security chief says Government is ‘using' Westminster attack to grab unnecessary spying powers
The Ministry of Defence’s former cyber security chief has accused the Government of trying to “use” the devastating Westminster attack to grab unnecessary and intrusive surveillance powers. Major General Jonathan Shaw said ministers were attempting to “use the moment” to push for security services having more control, despite there being only a weak case for it. Home Secretary Amber Rudd has turned up the heat on internet firms, saying it is “completely unacceptable” that authorities cannot look at encrypted social media messages of attacker Khalid Masood, but her words come as debate continues over allowing spy agencies further intrusive powers – only last year Parliament granted them sweeping new capabilities.
- Congress just cleared the way for internet providers to sell your web browsing history
Internet providers now just need a signature from President Trump before they’re free to take, share, and even sell your web browsing history without your permission. The House of Representatives passed a resolution today overturning an Obama-era FCC rule that required internet providers to get customers’ permission before sharing their browsing history with other companies. The rules also required internet providers to protect that data from hackers and inform customers of any breaches. The resolution was first passed by the Senate last week and now heads to the president, who’s expected to sign it. At that point, there’ll only be a vague baseline of privacy rules governing internet providers and some promises from them not to misbehave.
- The Unaccountable Military Industrial Complex Is Destroying America and the Rest Of The World Too
On Jan. 17, 1961, US President Eisenhower gave the nation a dire warning about what he described as a threat to democratic government. He called it the military-industrial complex. He warned, “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.”
- Russia Plans 2017-2019 Budget Based On $40 Barrel
Russia is budgeting its federal spending to expectations that oil prices will hover around $40 a barrel for the next several years, according to a new report by Bloomberg. Such preparations go against predictions by international oil industry experts that barrel prices will rise to $60 and remain there over the long term. These forecasts are based on expectations that the global oil supply glut will reverse over the next couple of years, bringing prices up to a new normal, which will still stand far lower than the $100+ levels seen before the market crash occurred in late 2014.
- Australia, China to protect globalization
In a testament of growing bilateral ties, Australia and China pledged on Thursday to safeguard globalization and free trade and do away with barriers which might be established as protectionist policies. “We believe that to resolve trade imbalance we need to continue to expand trade, that is the solution. We cannot close our doors, that is not the solution,” Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said during his visit to the Australian capital Canberra. “Free trade can only thrive in a peaceful and stable environment, both our countries know this well,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said. While this is the first visit by a Chinese Premier to Australia in more than a decade, it comes on the heels of strengthened trade ties between the two countries.
- Health-Care Industry Debt Turns into “Systemic Recession Risk”
Sector booms and busts have historically been driven by speculation and over-borrowing, often triggering regional or even national recessions. Textbook examples include the 2014 Energy and 2008 Financial sector collapse. In both of these instances, fallacies such as perpetual $100+ oil and ever rising home prices drove rampant speculation, overinvestment, and unsustainable debt buildup.
- More About The Great Collapse In Retail
Retail Revolutions Are Neither Rare Nor Permanent – Sears, Roebuck and company recently issued a very strong caution about its ability to survive while moving forward. That instantly brought to memory the near dominance in retailing Sears had once attained. The fascinating story of the rise and reverse of Sears is wonderfully outlined as part of some recent presentations by my good friend John Mauldin.
- Global Warming Is Real Say the Academies of Sciences of All of the Major Countries, But a Handful of my Readers Know Better
I am fortunate in having readers who look after me. Some have offered me refuge in their countries and their homes from what they expect otherwise will inevitably be the midnight knock on my door. Others correct my mistakes from typos to content. As I have never considered myself infallible, I carefully read what they have to say. Usually those who want to straighten me out on a subject are polite and respectful. However, among those corrections brought in by my reporting on the dangers implied by the warming of the poles and melting of the ice were a few not merely ignorant and uninformed, but also condescending and rude. One even accused me of selling out to the climate change hoax in order to buy my way off the lists of Russian agents and fake news purveyors.
- Trump is America’s Last Chance
Economist John Williams says President Trump has to do something fast and big to turn the faltering U.S. economy around. Williams explains, “You are seeing the economy slow down. Some people are recognizing that. The Fed’s statement a week or two ago . . . many analysts consider that dovish. The Fed knows what’s going on here. They are trying to get rates up a little, but they have a circumstance that they are not out of the woods with the banks. What they are hoping for is maybe the Trump Administration is going to bail them out and stimulate the economy.”
- One Mother’s Chilling Close Encounter With A Team Of Child Abductors That People Can’t Stop Talking About
After reading this article, you will never be careless with your child in a public place ever again. There really are predators out there that make a lot of money abducting children. Some of the children that are abducted are abused, tortured or even killed inside the United States, but many others are quickly sent to the nearest port, shipped overseas, and ultimately used for some of the most horrific purposes that you can possibly imagine. So if your child is kidnapped by professional traffickers, there is a chance that your precious little one could end up on the other side of the planet.
- Thousands Of Americans Are Fleeing The Big Cities In Preparation For The Coming American Apocalypse
Why are so many people suddenly moving away from major U.S. cities? Recently, I wrote about the mass exodus that is happening out of the state of California, but the truth is that what is happening there is just part of a national phenomenon. The populations of some of our largest cities are steadily shrinking, and many experts are completely mystified by the seismic demographic shifts that we are now witnessing. Of course there are a whole host of reasons why people would want to move away from huge cities such as Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore and Cleveland. For some families, it simply comes down to wanting a better life for their children. But as you will see below, there are others that believe that things in this country are about to take an apocalyptic turn, and the big cities will not be a place that you want to be when economic collapse, rioting, looting, civil unrest and crime are all spiraling out of control.
- UK set to begin ‘momentous journey' to life outside EU
Britain will take the first step on its “momentous journey” to a future outside the European Union when Theresa May launches divorce proceedings that will bring to an end a relationship of more than 40 years. The Prime Minister has signed the letter that starts the formal exit process and the historic document will be hand-delivered by a senior diplomat to EU chiefs. It will mark the start of complex and contentious negotiations that put the UK on course to break its ties with the Brussels club by the end of March 2019.
- Chile pensions protest draws tens of thousands
Tens of thousands of people in Chile have taken part in demonstrations against the country's controversial privatised pension system. Demonstrators called on the socialist government of Michelle Bachelet to scrap the the system, which is managed by private funds. Critics say the system benefits the rich but leaves poorer Chileans with a pension below the minimum wage.
- Europe Unveils New Gun Laws: “Like Putting A Band-Aid On A Bullet Wound”
The EU has almost regulated firearms enough to keep people completely safe from terrorism. Just one more law, and they should be able to usher Europe into a new age of utopian peace. What happened: The European Parliament passed a bill this month which closes loopholes in regards to “acoustic” and “deactivated” prop guns to make them irreversibly unusable. If the law passes the Council of Ministers, it will also apply stricter regulations on semi-autos with high capacity magazines. Included in the bill are obligations of member states to monitor the issuance of firearms licenses, and share that information across the EU. Countries in the EU will have 30 months to implement the required procedures for tracking firearms.
- “We've Reached Our Limits” – Greece Begins Blocking Refugees
Greece will cease taking back refugees under the controversial Dublin Regulation, as the country’s limited capacities to host people are already on the brink of collapse, the Greek migration minister announced in an interview. RT reports that as the European Commission pressures Athens to re-implement the Dublin Regulation – stipulating that refugees can be returned to the first EU state they arrived in – the Greek migration minister told Spiegel his country is not in a position to do so. The agreement was put on hold for Greece back in 2011 over problems in the country’s asylum system.
- Your Pension Will Be At The Center Of America's Next Financial Crisis
I’m not a fan of the “greed is good” mentality of Wall Street investment firms. But the next financial crisis that rocks America won’t be driven by bankers behaving badly. It will in fact be driven by pension funds that cannot pay out what they promised to retirees. According to one pension advocacy organization, nearly 1 million working and retired Americans are covered by pension plans at the risk of collapse. The looming pension crisis is not limited by geography or economic focus. These including former public employees, such as members of South Carolina’s government pension plan, which covers roughly 550,000 people — one out of nine state residents — and is a staggering $24.1 billion in the red. These include former blue collar workers such as roughly 100,000 coal miners who face serious cuts in pension payments and health coverage thanks to a nearly $6 billion shortfall in the plan for the United Mine Workers of America. And when the bill comes due, we will all be in very big trouble.
- America's March To Default
“May you live in interesting times,” says the ancient Chinese curse. No doubt about it, we live in interesting times. Hardly a day goes by that we’re not aghast and astounded by a series of grotesque caricatures of the world as at devolves towards vulgarity. Just this week, for instance, U.S. Representative Maxine Waters tweeted, “Get ready for impeachment.” Well, Maxine Waters is obviously right – impeaching the president is an urgent task of the utmost importance. As everybody knows, he is best friends with Vladimir Putin, the shirtless barbarian who rules the Evil Russian Empire (they were seen drinking kompromat together in Moscow, a vile Russian liquor that reportedly tastes a bit like urine. Senator McCain has the details on that story). And as Maxine Waters has just disclosed, Putin’s armies are recently advancing into Korea! We cannot let this stand, or he’ll invade Kekistan next (note that he already controls Limpopo and Gabon). Who knows where it will end?
- Pensions mistakes of the past must be avoided, says John Cridland
Mistakes of the past must be avoided when telling people of any rise in their state pension age, the author of a major review has told the government. John Cridland published the independent review on Thursday, proposing that those under the age of 45 may have to work a year longer, to 68. He told BBC Radio 4's Money Box that there should be no repeat of the issues currently facing women in their 50s. Many say they were not told directly of two rises in their state pension age.
- Over-Regulation Has Criminalized The Practice Of Medicine
This criminalization of everyday life is not just insanely costly and insanely counter-productive–it's insanely punitive. The average person has little exposure to the criminalization of everyday enterprise in America via over-regulation and outsized penalties for even accidental violations of rules and regulations. One field that continues to be burdened with excessive/counter-productive regulations and outsized penalties is the practice of medicine.
- Goldman Asks “Have We Reached Peak Cash?”
In several major economies it's crunch time for the future of cash. Goldman Sachs notes that this is largely policy-driven: tangible steps are being taken to wean economies off cash (e.g. India, Europe); but adds that, at the same time consumer expectations around convenience are rising and enabling technologies have proliferated in the shape of contactless cards, mobile wallets, cryptocurrencies and more. So, they ask, does the decline in cash payments imply the demise of cash? Not necessarily.
- UK's ‘largest undeveloped oil field’ discovered off Scottish coast
Shares in U.K.-listed Hurricane Energy gushed higher Monday after the firm said it had found the “largest undeveloped (oil) discovery on the U.K. continental shelf”. Hurricane Energy said in a market release Monday that the firm has located a kilometer-deep oil column which is believed to connect to an existing field. The discovery is near the Shetland Islands, off the north coast of Scotland.
- Russia Readies Back-Up System For Potential “Split With International Banking System”
The grand order of things could be undergoing some major overhauls. To put it more bluntly, a war to reset the global financial order is about to be unleashed. Preparations inside Russia are being made in case the ultimate banking sanctions are placed on them, cutting off commerce inside the all-encompassing Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecomm SWIFT system – which runs credit, debt, and banking card transactions across a real time global network. As it would be doled out by the banking elites, the price for misbehavior at the Kremlin could be ostracization from this global commerce vehicle. But that isn’t the end of the story… Putin is readying his people to divorce from the international banking system altogether, and start over with a nationalistic platform, backed by thousands of tons of gold, and growing alliances with Europe, China and the BRICS nations, the Middle East and several emerging powers.
- Watch These Geopolitical Flashpoints Carefully
Anyone who has been involved in alternative geopolitical and economic analysis for a decent length of time understands that the establishment power structure thrives according to its ability to either exploit natural crises, or to engineer fabricated crises. This is not that hard to comprehend, but for some reason there are a lot of people out there who simply assume that global sea-change events just happen “at random,” that the elites are stupid or oblivious, and that all outcomes are a matter of random chance rather than being directed or manipulated. I call these people “intellectual idiots,” because they believe they are applying logic to every scenario but they are sabotaged by an inherent bias which causes them to deny the potential for “conspiracy.”
- McCain: “The New World Order Is Under Enormous Strain”
It was a bumper day for John McCain when on Friday Donald Trump's Republican nemesis gloated as Trump's “art of the deal” collapsed in the last minute, after the President and Ryan-led effort to repeal Obamacare suffered what appears to be a terminal setback. In the wake of Trump's misfortune, McCain renewed his calls on Friday for a return to a legacy neocon status quo, when speaking at the Brussels forum, said that the world “cries out for American and European leadership” through the EU and Nato, and said that the EU and the US needed to develop “more cooperation, more connectivity”.
- Canada Passes ‘Blasphemy' Bill To Silence Critics Of Islam
Despite polls showing that 71% of Canadians would not have voted for the measure, Canada's Parliament, with the strong backing of Justin Trudeau's Liberal government, passed a motion this week 201 to 91 that critics say singles out Islam for special protection. Tabled by Muslim liberal MP Iqra Khalid, M-103 urges the federal government to “condemn Islamophobia” and to “develop a whole-of-government approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia.” The term “Islamophobia” is nowhere defined in the motion.
- China Bans Buying Of Hong Kong Property On Credit Cards
In China's latest effort to control capital flight, authorities have banned Chinese citizens from buying property in Hong Kong using their credit cards.The use of Chinese credit cards to pay for a portion of property transactions is widespread in Hong Kong. Willy Liu, chief executive of local real estate agent Ricacorp, said 15-20 per cent of new property buyers were mainland Chinese. The majority use UnionPay cards to pay for 5 per cent of the home price as a mortgage deposit in Hong Kong. Most of those transactions are worth at least HK$500,000 ($64,371), Mr Liu said, surpassing the $50,000 annual limit for personal foreign exchange imposed by China’s regulators.
- What A Westinghouse Bankruptcy Could Mean For U.S. Utilities
International news services now report that Japan’s Toshiba Corporation (9502.T) is preparing to make a chapter 11 bankruptcy filing for its Westinghouse Electric subsidiary as soon as this Monday, March 27. For most of our readers this news evokes little surprise. This is merely another chapter of a slow moving financial and accounting train wreck involving nuclear design and construction firm Westinghouse and its troubled Japanese parent, Toshiba. But like an old, leaky garbage scow there is much to clean up in its wake.
- Spying Lying Exposed-Trump Proven Right, Economy Tanking, North Korea Update
Donald Trump was mocked by the mainstream media (MSM) for saying Obama “wiretapped” or spied on Trump and his top advisors. This week, Trump was proven 100% correct when information came out that President-elect Trump and his transition team were, in fact, wrapped up in government surveillance. Information was illegally leaked to the press, and identities were illegally “unmasked” to discredit and embarrass the incoming President and his team. This makes Watergate look like a squirt gun fight, and this investigation is now set to reveal “smoking gun” proof that the Obama Administration was involved in illegal activity. This investigation is far from over and could directly implicate former President Obama.
- Trump to approve Keystone XL pipeline
President Trump and his administration will approve the Keystone XL pipeline on Friday, according to senior U.S officials, but only after the State Department delivers a positive recommendation to start construction on a project that has been delayed for quite some time, the Keystone pipeline has served as a key point in the debate about climate change. The undersecretary of state for political affairs, Tom Shannon, would make a recommendation on Friday that the pipeline serves U.S national interests, said two senior officials. Afterwards, the White House would make a formal announcement citing approval, said the officials, who weren’t given permission to comment publicly on the matter.
- Banks Are Crashing
Party's over… With the yield curve flatter than before Trump's election, and rates collapsing, reform was the last best hope for bank bulls… And after Friday's debacle, it appears investors have lost patience… Banks are now red YTD… Think banks are oversold? Maybe not…
- Financial Collapse Will Trigger Civil War
Best-selling author Doug Casey wrote “Crisis Investing” at the time when the U.S. political landscape was transitioning from the Carter Administration to the Reagan Administration. Now, Casey sees a coming crisis that is equal or worse than the Civil War. Casey explains, “In the U.S. right now, there seems to be so much antagonism it’s almost like pre-Civil War. There is actually hatred in the U.S. at this point. It used to be the Republicans and Democrats could disagree, but they could have a civil conversation about a difference of opinion. Now, it’s active hatred between these two groups. This is not going to end well.”
- “They're Like The Praetorian Guard” – Whistleblower Confirms NSA Targeted Congress, The Supreme Court, & Trump
NSA whistleblower William Binney told Tucker Carlson on Friday that the NSA is spying on “all the members of the Supreme Court, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Congress, both House and Senate, as well as the White House.” Binney, who served the NSA for 30 years before blowing the whistle on domestic spying in 2001, told Tucker he firmly believes that Trump was spied on.
- Prophetic Voices: ‘Exposure’ And ‘Dividing’ Are Coming Due To ‘Perversion’ In The Church
When prophetic voices all over the nation start saying the exact same thing, you might want to start listening. In the Scriptures, there is a very clear pattern when it comes to judgment. God always sends warnings in advance so that people can have a chance to repent. In recent days there has been a flood of warnings for the church in America, and I am going to share a few of those with you in this article. Considering the fact that there is such agreement in the prophetic community, it would be quite foolish to refuse to take these warnings seriously.
- Scientists Warn That The Coming California Megaquake Could Plunge Large Portions Of The State Into The Ocean
Over the years, many people have been shown that someday a giant earthquake will cause significant portions of California to fall into the ocean. But up until now, most scientists have disputed the idea that this could ever actually happen. Well, now all of that has changed. According to a brand new study, a megaquake along the west coast “could plunge large parts of California into the sea almost instantly”. In fact, the researchers that conducted this study say that it is almost certain to happen eventually. Of course they probably don’t believe that such an event is imminent or else they would be moving out of the state like so many other people are.
- Member Of Congress Warns Of A 1,000 Point Stock Market Crash If Obamacare Lite Does Not Pass
Are we going to see a dramatic stock market plunge if the effort to get “Obamacare Lite” through the U.S. House of Representatives ultimately fails? On Thursday, a vote on the Republican healthcare bill was postponed once it became clear that there would not be enough votes for it to pass. House Republican leaders are still optimistic that there will still be a vote on Friday, but that is far from certain. Many strong conservatives in the House are balking at supporting this bill because while it does eliminate a few of the most troublesome provisions of Obamacare, it keeps many of the elements of Obama’s signature healthcare law that have proven to be popular with the American people. In other words, this bill is much more about “tweaking” Obamacare than “repealing” it.
- Jobs of the future may not have stable hours, holiday pay, sick pay, or pensions, DWP secretary says
Jobs of the future may not have stable hours, holiday pay, sick pay, or pensions, the Work and Pensions Secretary has said. Damian Green described the trend in employment practices towards the so-called “gig economy” as “exciting” and said the changes had “huge potential”. The Cabinet minister’s endorsement of the approach comes a month after an employment tribunal found that drivers for the Uber car service should in fact get the minimum wage and paid holiday. The tribunal dismissed the taxi company’s claim that its drivers were in fact self–employed and not entitled to these rights.
- The Worst Retail Cataclysm Ever: Sears Warns It Is On The Verge Of Collapse As Payless Prepares To File For Bankruptcy
More than 3,500 retail stores are going to close all across America over the next few months as the worst retail downturn in U.S. history gets even deeper. Earlier this week, Sears shocked the world when it announced that there is “substantial doubt” that the company will be able to “continue as a going concern” much longer. In other words, Sears has announced that it is on the verge of imminent collapse. Meanwhile, Payless stunned the retail industry when it came out that they are preparing to file for bankruptcy. The “retail apocalypse” that I have been warning about is greatly accelerating, and many believe that this is one of the early warning signs that the economic collapse that is already going on in other parts of the globe will soon reach U.S. shores.
- None of the world’s top industries would be profitable if they paid for the natural capital they use
The notion of “externalities” has become familiar in environmental circles. It refers to costs imposed by businesses that are not paid for by those businesses. For instance, industrial processes can put pollutants in the air that increase public health costs, but the public, not the polluting businesses, picks up the tab. In this way, businesses privatize profits and publicize costs. While the notion is incredibly useful, especially in folding ecological concerns into economics, I’ve always had my reservations about it. Environmentalists these days love speaking in the language of economics — it makes them sound Serious — but I worry that wrapping this notion in a bloodless technical term tends to have a narcotizing effect. It brings to mind incrementalism: boost a few taxes here, tighten a regulation there, and the industrial juggernaut can keep right on chugging. However, if we take the idea seriously, not just as an accounting phenomenon but as a deep description of current human practices, its implications are positively revolutionary.
- This New Bubble Is Even Bigger Than The Subprime Fiasco
In 1988, a bank called Guardian Savings and Loan made financial history by issuing the first ever “subprime” mortgage bond. The idea was revolutionary. The bank essentially took all the mortgages they had loaned to borrowers with bad credit, and pooled everything together into a giant bond that they could then sell to other banks and investors. The idea caught on, and pretty soon, everyone was doing it.
- 5 Charts That Scream “This Is It”
Before yesterday, the S&P 500 and DJIA hadn’t seen a 1% drop since October 2016. For some perspective, Hillary Clinton was the presidential frontrunner the last time markets fell 1%. This was the longest such streak for both indices in over 20 years. In February, the DJIA recorded its longest “winning streak” since 1987. It closed 2,000 points above its 200-day moving average for the first time ever. Also in February, the combined market cap of the S&P 500 topped $20 trillion for the first time. Its market cap has increased by over $2 trillion since the election—staggering. Like we discussed last month, with a proliferation of “record” highs in 2017, where are market valuations at today? The five charts below paint the whole picture best.
- Lead Poisoning In “Dozens Of California Communities” Worse Than Flint, Michigan
California, a state infamous for its environmental protections, including a $65 billion tunnel project being pushed by Governor Jerry Brown so as not to disrupt the habitat of a tiny, non-native fish species, may be facing a lead poisoning crisis more severe than Flint, Michigan.
According to blood test data obtained by Reuters, rates of childhood lead poisoning in several California cities surpass those measured in Flint, Michigan, with one Fresno locale showing rates nearly three times higher. In fact, in Fresno’s downtown 93701 zip code, nearly 14% of children tested showed lead levels at or above 5 micrograms per deciliter of blood, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s current threshold for an elevated reading. As the CDC noted, no level of lead exposure is safe, but children who test that high warrant an immediate public health response.
- Sears Enters Death Spiral: Vendors Halt Shipments, Insurers Bail
When we commented yesterday morning on the unexpected “going concern” notice in Sears' just filed 10-K which sent the stock crashing, we pointed out the immediate spin provided by Eddie Lampert's distressed retailer which promised that its comeback plan may help alleviate the concerns, “satisfying our estimated liquidity needs 12 months from the issuance of the financial statements”, to which however we added the footnote that “the question is what happens when vendors start demanding cash on delivery as concerns about SHLD.'s liquidity concerns continue to grow.”
- Dear America: Better Read The Fine Print On Your Credit Card Statement
What will replace the current system after it self-destructs? That's the question. You know those disclosures on your credit card statements? That it will take 27 years to pay off your balance if you only make the minimum payment each month, and so on?
- PBOC Injects Hundreds Of Billions Into Chinese Banks After Sudden Defaults In Interbank Payments
As is customary virtually every time the Chinese central bank commences some form of tightening, overnight the PBOC injected “hundreds of billions of yuan into the financial system after some smaller lenders failed to repay borrowings in the interbank market”, according to people familiar with the matter. According to a brief note by Bloomberg, Tuesday’s injections followed missed interbank payments on Monday, anonymous sources said; the matter is not made public over concerns of bank deposit flight risk. The institutions that missed payments included rural commercial banks. One of Bloomberg's trader sources said a borrower failed to repay an overnight repo of less than 50 million yuan ($7.3 million). China’s smaller lenders have been squeezed by a rise in money market rates this week, with the benchmark seven-day repurchase rate jumping to the highest level since April 2015 on Tuesday. As we described last Wednesday, the PBOC for the second time in a month engaged in tightening by hiking the rate on reverse repos as well as various liquidity conduit operations such as the MLS.
- Venezuela Stops Publishing Money Supply Data For Obvious Reasons
More than a year after hyperinflating banana republic Venezuela stopped reporting official inflation data, Venezuela has stopped publishing money supply data, depriving the general public of the last, and best, available tool to ascertain soaring inflation in what has become the world's worst-performing economy. Then again, one hardly needs official data to confirm the blistering wave of hyperinflation sweeping through the nation which has seen the value of the bolivar disintegrate under the Maduro regime. The money supply indicator suddenly stopped appearing on the central bank's website on Feb. 24. The data in question, which will no longer be updated, looked as follows most recently.
- Genetically-modified crops have benefits – Princess Anne
Princess Anne has said genetically-modified crops have important benefits for providing food and she would be open to growing them on her own land. She told BBC Radio 4's Farming Today “we have to accept” the process could help production and livestock health. Her brother, the Prince of Wales, has previously warned GM crops could cause an environmental disaster. But Princess Anne said: “To say we mustn't go there ‘just in case' is probably not a practical argument.”
- The Curse of Unlimited Money
We live in an age of government fiat money, meaning it's not real and constitutional money, like gold and silver. Since government, via its central bank, can create as much money as it wants, it can finance whatever it wants….wars, welfare, social engineering, you name it. No price tag is too big. Imagine having the ability to create (out of thin air) as much money as you'd like. Putting all jokes aside, what would become of you? How would that change you? We're not talking about earning as much money as you'd like. That's totally legitimate. We're talking about — one moment the money doesn't exist, and the next it's in your hands. How would that warp every aspect of your humanity? Let's just say, it wouldn't be pretty, as intoxicating as the prospect may sound on the surface.
- Meals on Wheels Responds to Fake News Claims Trump’s Budget Will Shut Them Down
For the mainstream media sending hundreds of millions of tax dollars to support terrorists organizations in the middle east isn’t worth covering. But God forbid Trump dare propose cutting $250K from Meals on Wheels. A budget move that, if you only listen to what the fake news complex feeds you, would have you believing will shut down the organization and close its doors for good. But is that $250K really going to cripple Meals on Wheels? Is that really the bulk of funding for the organization? Not even close. In fact, around 3% or less of their funding comes from taxpayers via the federal government.
- Iconic Wall Street Bull Artist Unhappy with Fearless Girl Statue
For decades, an iconic bronze bull has stood at the ready in front of the New York Stock Exchange, a symbol of America’s perseverance during difficult financial times. On March 7th the bull met what many felt was an inspirational opponent in a statue dubbed “The Fearless Girl” – a young woman standing tall and staring down the behemoth animal meant to act as a symbol of the power of women in modern American society. The only problem with the young lady’s visage is that it has adversely affected the power of bull’s symbolism, according to the artist who created and donated the beast to The Big Apple.
- Opinion: Here’s where the next financial crisis is lurking
Animal spirits are running high. President Donald Trump’s promises to repeal Obamacare, cut taxes, and roll back regulations have supercharged stock prices and business optimism. However, history teaches when expectations are most buoyant, investors and decision makers are inclined to overlook dangers in specific markets that could abscess into a systemic collapse. Here are five problems that could saddle Trump with the next financial crisis: Housing Bubble, Student Debt, European Banks, China and Trump’s Promises and Political Divisions.
- Mainstream Media in Total Collapse
Few any longer believe the “mainstream media,” that is, the presstitutes. This has put them into a panic as the presstitutes lose their value to the ruling elite if the presstitutes cannot control the explanations in order to justify the self-serving agendas of the ruling elite. To fight back against the alternative media that does tell the truth, a secret group, PropOrNot, as well hidden as an offshore money-laundering operation, published a list of 200 websites accused of being “Russian agents/dupes.” PropOrNot’s effort to discredit truth-tellers was hurt by the site’s anonymity.
- NSA Whistleblower Releases Documents Proving Trump Surveillance
At a time when deep state insiders have been consistently leaking classified information in an effort to discredit President Trump, they have either failed to recognize the fact that they were endangering American lives, or they just simply didn’t care. With liberals, the ends always justify the means… so don't be surprised if it's the latter. Despite the deep state's best efforts, the Russian conspiracy allegations are fast being disproved, and with any luck they’ll collapse on themselves once and for all sooner before later. Meanwhile, the “Obamagate” scandal has just begun to pick up steam. New evidence has recently emerged that’s bound to throw more fuel into the fire, making things a bit hot for President Obama.
- Central Bank Shell Game: What Sweden’s Negative Interest Rates Do to Consumers
Sweden’s welfare state supposedly allows for success while providing a safety net for those unable to keep up with the market. In principle, it is an ideal, utopian-like state. However, Sweden’s touted economic success has come at the expense of its currency, the Krone (SEK), and long-term sustainability. Riksbank, the Swedish Central Bank, like its European contemporaries, has undertaken experimental policy, driving real and nominal interest rates below zero.
- The Collapse of Trust in the West
Just as President Putin has stated that governments and media in the West have destroyed Russia’s trust in the West, the governments and media in the West have destroyed the trust of their citizens, who have been transformed into serfs to whom government no longer is accountable. I have stressed in many columns that the absence of trust between nuclear powers is a great threat to all life on earth. Yet the Western governments and media continue to work 24/7 to worsen relations between the US and Russia and the US and China. Those of us who warn of the possible consequences are put on lists of “Russian dupes” and purveyors of “fake news.” These lists show the desperation behind the orchestrated “Russian threat.” A one thousand billion dollar annual military/security budget is at stake along with American financial and political hegemony. In brief, greed for money and power are driving the world to destruction.
- Rising Inflation, Four Rate Hikes, Financial Repression on Menu in 2017: Fed Heads
Inflation will rise above target, and that’s OK, the Fed heads who’ve been talking since last week’s meeting said. The Fed will hike rates, maybe faster than expected, but they won’t catch up with inflation, keeping the Fed purposefully behind the curve, and inflation will overshoot, and real interest rates will be deeply negative, whether you like it or not. That’s the Fed’s message emerging since the last meeting. Today, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans echoed Fed Chair Janet Yellen who’d suggested on Wednesday that the Fed could try to push inflation above the 2% “target.”
- The Conspiracy Against President Trump
Listening today to the broadcast of testimony by FBI Director Comey and National Security Agency Director Admiral Michael Rogers before the House Intelligence Committee (an oxymoron) made it clear that the Democrats, Comey, and Rogers intend conflict with Russia. The Republicans, for the most part, were interested to know how security leaks targeted at Trump Republicans came from meetings at which only the CIA Director, NSA Director, and FBI director were present. Of course, they did not get an answer, which shows how powerless congressional oversight committees are. Comey repeatedly said that he could not tell the committee anything, because it would confirm that a press leak was true. But, he said, speaking generally and of no specific leak, most leaks come from “someone who heard something” and passes it on to the media, which also explains the inaccuracy of some leaks. In other words, don’t blame us.
- Pastor Lindsey Williams introduces Pastor David Bowen – March 23, 2017
Pastor Lindsey Williams introduces Pastor David Bowen with his regular short weekly video for readers of Pastor Williams' weekly newsletter.
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From James Harkin (Webmaster & Editor of LindseyWilliams.net). Here is a summary of articles of interest from around the world for this week. Please LIKE the Lindsey Williams Online Facebook Page to see stories posted daily regarding the current state of the economy around the world.
Latest News From March 17, 2017 to March 23, 2017:
- Keiser Report – Health Care ‘Hard Choices’
We discuss the allegedly ‘hard choices’ in resolving America’s problem providing health care. In the second half, Max talks to trends forecaster, Gerald Celente of TrendsResearch.com, about the Fed’s interest rate hike and whether or not Trump’s threatened trade wars will lead to hot wars.
- Great Recession Headed for Greater Depression
Money manager Michael Pento says don’t believe the Fed when it says “the economy is doing well.” It’s not. Pento explains, “As long as the stock market continues to go up, the Fed is going to continue to slowly raise interest rates. So, when the inevitable collapse occurs, and that’s what the Fed does, the Fed is in the business of lowering interest rates, creating asset bubbles, which pile up the level of debt, then raising rates and collapsing the economy. That’s their mantra. That’s their MO (modus operandi) and it has happened over and over again. The occurrences are going to be much more dire as we go through time. So, the Fed is trying to get bullets in the chamber. The Fed is going to raise rates slowly. The yield curve is going to invert. . . . We are going to have another catastrophe in the stock market and in the bond market and in the real estate market and in the global economy.”
- ALERT: Big Money Just Made A Massive Short Bet Against The U.S. Stock Market!
After this week’s Fed decision, big money just made a massive short bet against the U.S. stock market. Smart Money Establishes A Big Short. Jason Goepfert at SentimenTrader: “Last August, “smart money” commercial hedgers in S&P 500 futures were net short about $24 billion worth of the full and e-mini contracts. As stocks declined into October, they covered and went net long. Even as stocks climbed, they added to their positions, ultimately having long exposure worth about $13 billion…
- The Upcoming Trade War Between The U.S. And China Will Be The Biggest In The History Of The Planet
The United States and China are the two largest economies in the world by far, and the upcoming trade war that is about to erupt will be cataclysmic for both sides. The Trump administration and the Chinese government are both gearing up for a prolonged trade war, and this is going to have very severe implications for the entire global economy. During the campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly stated that we “can’t continue to allow China to rape our country”, and he was quite correct about that. Over the past ten years, the U.S. has run a trade deficit of over $2 trillion with China, and as a result of imbalanced trade we have lost tens of thousands of manufacturing businesses, millions of good paying jobs, and hundreds of billions of dollars of tax revenue.
- The Global Famine Begins: UN Announces That The Worst Food Crisis Since World War II Is Happening Right Now
We always knew that this would start happening. Earlier this month, I wrote about the severe economic problems that are plaguing South America, but up to this point I have neglected to discuss the horrific famines that are breaking out all over Africa. Right now there is a desperate need for food in South Sudan, Somalia, northeast Nigeria, Eritrea and Kenya. And Yemen, even though it is not technically part of Africa, is being affected by many of the same factors that are crippling nations all over eastern Africa. The United Nations says that more than 20 million people could die from starvation and disease if nothing is done. When I write about economic collapse, this is the kind of thing that I am talking about, and we are starting to see alarming conditions spread across the globe. Many believe that we could never possibly face this kind of food crisis in the western world, but unfortunately wishful thinking will only get you so far.
- 1961 Prophecy From Evangelist Tommy Hicks Described The Army Of The Last Days That Is Rising Now
More than 50 years ago, God showed evangelist Tommy Hicks what the mighty army of the last days would look like. Hicks was best known for his work in South America, and you can see some old photos of him ministering during the Argentinian revival of 1954 here. According to Hicks, on the morning of July 25th, 1961 he was shown the same vision “three times, exactly in detail”, and what he saw changed the course of his life forever. In this vision God revealed to Hicks that the Spirit of God would be poured out on “the nobodies” all over the world in the last days, and that this incredible army would shake the world for God like we have never seen before.
- First Real Hope for Flint Water as Trump Bestows $100 Million
Under authority granted the agency by the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act of 2016, the EPA just issued a $100 million grant to the beleaguered city of Flint, Michigan, to help in the effort at replacing the city’s badly corroded and lead-tainted system of water pipes. Some progressive critics of President Donald Trump have pointed to his proposed budget cuts at the Environmental Protection Agency as proof that he is a terrible president who doesn’t care about ensuring that Americans have clean air and water. However, the recent report from The Daily Caller about Trump’s EPA grant just did threw that narrative into a tailspin.
- “This Is Going To Blow Sky High” – Observations On Canada's Housing Market
For months we've been warning about real estate bubbles re-emerging in various markets around the world from Canada to Australia (see “There Are 66,719 Empty Mansions In Vancouver” and “Vancouver Home Sales Crash 40%, As Toronto Home Prices Soar 22%”). And while facts and figures clearly indicate that certain markets are bubbling over courtesy of all the same mistakes that caused the ‘great recession' in 2008, nothing helps to confirm the truly obscene nature of a real estate bubble quite like attending a good ole-fashioned, get-rich-quick real estate expo. As such, below are the musings of one financial market observer who recently attended the Canadian Real Estate Wealth Expo as a joke but walked away convinced the system is about “to blow sky high.”
- Another Senior Russian Official Has Died
Since the day of Donald Trump's election, high-ranking Russian officials have been dropping like flies and today's reports that a top official of Russia's space agency has been found dead brings the total to eight. As we noted previously, six Russian diplomats have died in the last 3 months – all but one died on foreign soil. Some were shot, while other causes of death are unknown. Note that a few deaths have been labeled “heart attacks” or “brief illnesses.”
- Gartman Goes Short: “Something Broke In The Markets Yesterday”
Just when it seemed the follow through from yesterday's selloff would continue, algos may have found the only catalyst they need to lift some offers: in his overnight note, Dennis Gartman writes “we actually ventured to the short side of the market, buying bearish derivatives and by 1:00 in the afternoon, doubling those positions and carrying them “home” through the close of trading.”
- EU Taxpayers Brace As Deepening Banking Crisis Means Euro-TARP Looms
If the ECB scales back stimulus, banks face even greater risk of collapse. But now there’s a new solution. Events are moving so fast in Europe these days, it’s almost impossible to keep up. While much of the attention is being hogged by political developments, including the election in the Netherlands, Reuters published a report warning that the European banking sector may face even higher bad loan risks if the ECB begins to scale back its monetary stimulus programs, something it has already begun, albeit extremely tentatively. The total stock of non-performing loans (NPL) in the EU is estimated at over €1 trillion, or 5.4% of total loans, a ratio three times higher than in other major regions of the world.
- Used Car Prices Crash Most Since 2008
According to NADA Used Car Guide, wholesale prices on used vehicles are getting crushed. Let’s take a look at the details. NADA partially blames late tax refunds for some of the declines in March. While it’s true the IRS slowed claims for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) to combat fraud, late refunds in 2017 cannot possibly explain an eight-month trend. Yet, based on tax refunds, NADA expects a rebound in used car prices in March. With massive incentives on new vehicles, I say, let’s see. Regardless, it’s pretty clear that car sales are slowing, and it takes bigger and bigger incentives to push them out the door.
- We may have just moved closer to a global trade war
Until now, Wall Street investors and foreign leaders had given President Donald Trump's antitrade views the benefit of the doubt, dismissing some of Trump's louder threats to rip up global commercial agreements as mere bluster. That perception changed significantly this weekend, when Trump's Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, seen as among the more moderate members of the administration, held his ground on weakening the Group of 20 nations' long-standing commitment to free trade.
- EU chief Juncker: We'll make an example of Britain that no-one will want to follow
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is not worried about other EU countries leaving the bloc after Britain because Brexit will make them see it is not a good option, he said in a newspaper interview. Asked by Bild am Sonntag newspaper if other member states would follow Britain's example in quitting, Juncker said: “No. Britain's example will make everyone realise that it's not worth leaving.”
- Theresa May to trigger article 50 on 29 March
Theresa May will trigger article 50 on Wednesday 29 March, the prime minister’s spokesman has confirmed. The UK’s permanent representative to the European Union, Sir Tim Barrow, notified the EU on Monday morning that a letter should be expected on that date. May, who was visiting Swansea on Monday, intended to visit Northern Ireland and Scotland before the formal notification was sent by letter on 29 March, Downing Street said.
- White House meeting with Trump was catastrophic for Merkel
There were discernible slights and insults for German Chancellor Angela Merkel at her first meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday. For Donald Trump, it was just another day, full of outrageous behavior and controversy. The grave consequences of rudeness at this rarefied diplomatic level should not be underestimated. But it was nuances of what was said and what wasn’t said at the White House that will have the more far reaching results. Angela Merkel was portrayed by the world media as a put upon woman, a victim of the slights of a misogynist. But she is a mature and substantial politician in her own right. She will know that she came away from this summit with nothing. She is the kind of consensus, liberal politician that Trump holds in the greatest contempt. And she has the most to fear.
- Ukraine says IMF suspends discussion on fresh handout
Ukraine on Sunday said the International Monetary Fund has postponed a board discussion on disbursing a new $1-billion loan tranche after Kiev cut trade links with Russian-backed rebel eastern regions. “The IMF board of directors has postponed for a short period the review planned for Monday of the issue,” Ukraine's finance ministry said in a statement. There was no separate confirmation from the IMF.
- Row Breaks Out At G-20 Over Future Of Global Trade
One day after yesterday's at times painfully uncomfortable first official meeting between Angela Merkel and Donald Trump, it will hardly come as a surprise that during today's G-20 meeting in Baden Baden, Germany- the first for the Trump administration, whose delegation is led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin – where the dominant topic is trade, and specifically globalization vs protectionism, that a row would break out over how the post-Trump world will deal with trade.
- Mexicans Flood Into Canada As 2017 Border Detentions Surpass All Of 2016
A couple of days ago we noted that Mexican immigrants were suddenly flooding into Canada to avoid deportation from the U.S. The increase in northern border crossings came, at least in part, courtesy of Canada's decision to lift visa requirements for Mexican ‘tourists' as of December 1st. Per the new rules, rather than a visa, under Trudeau's administration, Mexicans are now only required to have a so-called Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) which can be purchased online for CAD $7. Unfortunately, while Canada's relaxed travel requirements were applauded as an enlightened, progressive alternative to Trump's xenophobic, racist approach to immigration, under the surface, Canada's policies still function much like Trump's proposals. As Mexican immigrants are suddenly finding out, while Canada is happy to host ‘tourists' from our Southern neighbor, getting a work visa can be nearly impossible and Mexicans with a criminal record are not welcome.
- Is Denmark On The Brink?
Iben Thranholm examines political and social events with focus on their religious aspects, significance and moral implications. She is one of Denmark’s most widely read columnists on such matters. Thranholm is a former editor and radio host at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR), at which she created a religious news program that set a new standard for religious analysis in the newsroom. She has traveled extensively in the Middle East, Italy, the United States and Russia to carry out research and interviews. She has been awarded for her investigative research into Danish media coverage of religious issues.
- Headaches Set In for Traders With NYSE Glitch Near Market Close
NYSE Group sowed confusion among traders after a technical error hobbled one of its exchanges on Monday, wreaking havoc on hundreds of exchange-traded funds. NYSE Arca, the largest U.S. listing venue for ETFs, left traders scrambling at the end of the trading day after a system upgrade went awry. An upgraded version of its software that went live on Monday derailed closing auctions for certain securities, a key moment at the end of the trading day. The exchange shifted to backup methods for calculating the closing prices for most names, and went back to using an old version of its software, according to an email to clients. A total of 341 symbols did not complete their closing auctions, the exchange said.
- Venezuela has a bread shortage. The government has decided bakers are the problem.
Facing a bread shortage that is spawning massive lines and souring the national mood, the Venezuelan government is responding this week by detaining bakers and seizing establishments. In a press release, the National Superintendent for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights said it had charged four people and temporarily seized two bakeries as the socialist administration accused bakers of being part of a broad “economic war” aimed at destabilizing the country.
- It's Time To Get Painfully Honest: Banks Are Evil
I don't talk to my classmates from business school anymore, many of whom went to work in the financial industry. Why? Because, through the lens we use here at PeakProsperity.com to look at the world, I've increasingly come to see the financial industry — with the big banks at its core — as the root cause of injustice in today's society. I can no longer separate any personal affections I might have for my fellow alumni from the evil that their companies perpetrate. And I'm choosing that word deliberately: Evil.
- ‘Anonymous' Joins Hacker Crusade To Steal Millions From Global Central Banks
Roughly a year ago we wrote about perhaps the most notable bank heist in history in which a group of hackers used Swift, the interbank messaging system, to steal $81 million from the Central Bank of Bangladesh. But Bangladesh isn't the only country whose Central Bank has been targeted by a growing number of hackers seeking to score a quick, and massive, loot. As Bloomberg notes, hacks on global financial systems soared in 2016 and claimed Russia, Poland, Uruguay and Mexico, just to name a few, as victims.
- Deported Mexicans Vow To Flood Into Canada – Immigrating To “The U.S. Is Over…Now It's Canada's Turn”
Canada has been applauded in recent months for its decision to lift visa requirements for Mexican ‘tourists' as of December 1st. Rather than a visa, under Trudeau's administration, Mexicans are now only required to have a so-called Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) which can be purchased online for CAD $7. As one media outlet praised, the move “provides a stark contrast to proposed policies from the US president-elect Donald Trump, who has said he will immediately deport between two and three million illegal immigrants and will build a wall along the US-Mexican border.” Not surprisingly, news of the rule changes in Canada quickly made the rounds in the migrant community with one recently-deported Mexican nationalist declaring that “For those without documents, I think (the United States) is over. Now it's Canada's turn.”
- Why Is Goldman On A Buying Spree For Delinquent Mortgages
Last year Goldman Sachs entered into a settlement with federal and state governments over its role in packaging and selling toxic mortgage-backed securities in the housing meltdown to unsuspecting buyers while subsequently turning around and shorting those very same securities. As part of the settlement, Goldman agreed to provide $1.8 billion in homeowner debt relief to delinquent U.S. borrowers. The only problem with the settlement is that Goldman doesn't actually own any mortgage debt, they prefer to package it up into pretty little bundles, slap a AAA rating on it and sell it to pension funds for a fee instead. Of course, that's not a problem for Wall Street's vampire squid because they've found a whole other way to satisfy the entire $1.8 billion settlement without funding a single penny of that obligation in cash, in fact, they're making money on the scheme.
- The EPA May Have Been in Bed with Big Pesticide for Years
There is, at the moment, a massive lawsuit against the Monsanto company regarding Roundup, its most popular pesticide. The company is being sued by citizens who maintain that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is responsible for their cancers. On Tuesday, the judge overseeing the case unsealed some of the documents that have been filed related to the case, and nobody comes out clean-not the company and, sadly, not the EPA, either.
- Our Political Economy Is Designed to Create Poverty and Inequality
Let me begin by sharing with you the story of an inner-city Cleveland family of seven, two adults and five children all under the age of 11. The family did not own a home. They were renters. As the family grew, it became ever more difficult to find rent. At one point the old car in which they roamed the city in search of rent became their living quarters. Evenings, the father and mother and a newborn slept in the car’s front seat, and the four other children, in the back.
- Rand Paul introduces the most sweeping reform of civil asset forfeiture law in decades
Sen. Rand Paul has long taken the lead in calling for the reform of civil asset forfeiture laws, a controversial police practice in which authorities basically steal the property of citizens without due process and little recourse. Billions have been seized from citizens by the police based on nothing more than suspicion, which many see as a direct violation of the Fifth Amendment. It’s state-sanctioned theft. “Under civil forfeiture laws, your property is guilty until you prove it innocent,” says the Institute for Justice’s Scott Bullock. On Thursday, Sen. Paul reintroduced FAIR (Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration) Act, which specifically addresses victims of civil asset forfeiture who have not been convicted of a crime.
- Associate of Paul Craig Roberts Just Warned This Major Market Is Ready To Collapse
As the world awaits the Fed’s decision on interest rates, today an associate of former Assistant U.S. Treasury Secretary official, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, just warned that this major market is ready to collapse. “There’s so much inventory, and that influx is hitting across all price points, even studios.” – Director at Douglas Elliman. NYC was one of the first markets hit hard in 2007-2008. This Is Beginning To Happen Across The Country. Dave Kranzler: For awhile, any weakness in the NYC housing market was attributed exclusively to the high end. I am on record stating that price dynamic would spread to all price segments. It’s not rocket-science, it’s simple supply/demand/price economics. Studio rents in NYC dropped the most on record in February. This same dynamic is also beginning to happen in many of the other hottest cities across the country…
- Greyerz – The Greatest Bubble In History Is Beginning To Implode
With continued uncertainty around the globe, today the man who has become legendary for his predictions on QE, historic moves in currencies, told King World News that the greatest bubble in history is beginning to implode. Things Are Finally Beginning To Implode. Egon von Greyerz: “So the Fed decision is finally out. The rate increase was a certainty. But the problem is that no one believes the Fed, not even the Fed itself…
- Billionaire banker David Rockefeller dies aged 101
Former Chase Manhattan Chief Executive David Rockefeller has died at the age of 101. Rockefeller died in his sleep at home in Pocantico Hills, New York, on Monday morning as a result of congestive heart failure, according to a family spokesperson Fraser P. Seitel. The businessman, who had an estimated fortune of $3 billion, retired as head of Chase Manhattan in 1981 after a 35-year career.
- America in Totally Unknown Territory
Former CIA Station Chief Scott Uehlinger says the 2016 Presidential Election put “America in totally unknown territory.” Uehlinger explains, “I lived in countries like Azerbaijan, Moldova and Kosovo. These were rough and tumble places where this was my bread and butter. There was always a Prime Minister or a head of state that was using intelligence services to embarrass or frame or destroy members of the opposition party. This is something I have seen time and time again. This is something I have had to collect intelligence on time and time and time again, and I think this kind of gives me a unique perspective into what is going on in the United States right now. I have seen this all before, but we also have to remember that this has never been here before. This is something new for Americans and, unfortunately, it’s not really new for me.
- Woman That Prophesied Trump Would Win Now Warns That A “Great Shaking” Is Coming And Churches Will Fall
If Dr. Patricia Green is correct, America is about to be shaken like we have never seen before. And considering her track record, I would take what she has to say very seriously. She correctly prophesied in advance that Donald Trump would win the election in November. If you are not familiar with this prophecy, you can find it on a video that she published on September 28th right here. She also correctly prophesied Barack Obama’s first election victory in advance, and she did it at a time when Hillary Clinton was expected to get the Democratic nomination. So unlike many other “prophets” that are floating around these days, she has a very long track record of being accurate.
- A Rare Solar Eclipse In 2017 And Another One 7 Years Later In 2024 Will Mark A Giant ‘X’ Across The United States
On August 21st, 2017, something is going to happen in the United States that has not happened since 1918. On that date, a total solar eclipse will be visible all the way from the east coast to the west coast. Incredibly, another rare solar eclipse of this nature will move across the country just seven years later in 2024. If you plot the projected courses of these two solar eclipses on a map, you will find that they form a giant “X” across the continental United States. In the Scriptures, Jesus told us that “there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars” just prior to His return, and many are speculating about what this giant “X” might mean.
- The Debt Ceiling Deadline Has Passed, And Now The Biggest Test Of Donald Trump’s Presidency Begins…
On Wednesday, the temporary suspension of the debt ceiling ended, and so now the federal government is not going to be able to go into any more debt until the debt ceiling is raised. For the moment, the Trump administration can implement “emergency measures” to stay under the debt limit, but it won’t be too long before we get to a major crisis point because the federal government is quickly running out of cash. Already, the U.S. Treasury has less cash on hand than Apple or Google, and that cash balance is going to keep on dropping until the debt ceiling is finally lifted. You may remember that the debt ceiling became a major issue a couple of times during the Obama years. Last time around, Barack Obama and the Republicans in Congress agreed to a horrendous deal which suspended the debt ceiling until several months after the 2016 election…
- 12 Reasons Why The Federal Reserve May Have Just Made The Biggest Economic Mistake Since The Last Financial Crisis
Has the Federal Reserve gone completely insane? On Wednesday, the Fed raised interest rates for the second time in three months, and it signaled that more rate hikes are coming in the months ahead. When the Federal Reserve lowers interest rates, it becomes less expensive to borrow money and that tends to stimulate more economic activity. But when the Federal Reserve raises rates , that makes it more expensive to borrow money and that tends to slow down economic activity. So why in the world is the Fed raising rates when the U.S. economy is already showing signs of slowing down dramatically? The following are 12 reasons why the Federal Reserve may have just made the biggest economic mistake since the last financial crisis…
- Trump’s First War? ‘All Options Are On The Table’ As The U.S. And North Korea Prepare For The Second Korean War
This may be the closest that we have been to war with North Korea since the original Korean War ended in 1953. The North Koreans are feverishly working to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles that could strike the U.S. mainland, and meanwhile Donald Trump has not moved from his position that North Korea will simply not be allowed to have ICBMs. If North Korea does not blink, it means that we are literally counting down the days until we go to war. Unfortunately, North Korean leaders appear to literally be insane and they have shown absolutely no signs of backing off. In 2016, North Korea tested two nuclear bombs and test-fired 24 missiles, and so far this year they have test-fired five ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan.
- Somebody is Lying About Spying, Fed Hikes Rates & Gold Spikes, War Update
Somebody is lying about spying on Donald Trump. The Senate says they see “no evidence,” and yet the New York Times runs a story about revealing information that came from “wiretapping Trump aides.” Respected Judge Andrew Napolitano says British Intelligence did the spying because it has 24/7 access to NSA records. The British Spy agency denies this charged. Bottom line, The Trump Administration is overtly and covertly under attack, and that is clear. Expect a counterattack and soon from the Trump camp.
- How The Federal Reserve Is Setting Up Trump For A Recession, A Housing Crisis And A Stock Market Crash
Most Americans do not understand this, but the truth is that the Federal Reserve has far more power over the U.S. economy than anyone else does, and that includes Donald Trump. Politicians tend to get the credit or the blame for how the economy is performing, but in reality it is an unelected, unaccountable panel of central bankers that is running the show, and until something is done about the Fed our long-term economic problems will never be fixed. For an extended analysis of this point, please see this article. In this piece, I am going to explain why the Federal Reserve is currently setting the stage for a recession, a new housing crisis and a stock market crash, and if those things happen unfortunately it will be Donald Trump that will primarily get the blame.
- Consumer Confidence: Democrats Expect “Deep Recession”, Republicans Look To New Golden Age
UMich consumer confidence rose in the preliminary March print, beating expectations at 97.6 with current conditions surging but expectations stalling somewhat. This exuberance is occurring as real earnings growth slumps. But crucially, the partisan divide is unprecedented. The overall level of consumer sentiment remained quite favorable in early March due to renewed strength in current economic conditions as well as the extraordinary influence of partisanship on economic prospects.
- Minimum wage hikes are causing businesses to cut jobs
In January, 19 US states raised their respective minimum wages. Washington was among the most generous, hiking by $1.53 (bringing it to $11 per hour). Arizona got an increase of $1.95—their “bottom rung” now sits at $10 per hour. In all, 4.3 million workers are slated to receive a hike as they earn less than the new minimum wage in their respective states. Well, that’s what’s meant to happen. Judging by the fallout from recent hikes, it seems things aren’t going according to plan.
- “We Are All Doing It”: Thousands Of Canadian Bankers Admit Lying To Customers To Boost Sales
Several days after shares of Canada's TD Bank tumbled following reports that its employees were engaging in practices similar to those which led to a major scandal at Wells Fargo, which cost CEO John Stumpf his job and led to bonus clawbacks and numerous terminations over the practice of “cross-selling”, employees from all five of Canada's big banks have flooded CBC's “Go Public” whistleblower hotline with stories of how they too feel pressured to upsell, trick and even lie to customers to meet unrealistic sales targets and keep their jobs. In nearly 1,000 emails, employees from RBC, BMO, CIBC, TD and Scotiabank locations across Canada describe the pressures to hit targets that are monitored weekly, daily and in some cases hourly. “Management is down your throat all the time,” said a Scotiabank financial adviser. “They want you to hit your numbers and it doesn't matter how.”
- Amazon is going to kill more American jobs than China did
Amazon.com has been crowing about its plans to create 100,000 American jobs in the next year, but as with other recent job-creation announcements, that figure is meaningless without context. What Amazon AMZN, +0.58% won’t tell us is that every job created at Amazon destroys one or two or three others. What Jeff Bezos doesn’t want you to know is that Amazon is going to destroy more American jobs than China ever did. Amazon has revolutionized the way Americans consume. Those who want to shop for everything from books to diapers increasingly go online instead of to the malls. And for about half of those online purchases, the transaction goes through Amazon.
- This Map Shows US States Renamed For Countries With Similar GDPs
The U.S. economy is so big that all of the individual states are comparable to entire countries… As Visual Capitalist's Jeff Desjardins notes, not surprisingly – big states like California, New York, and Texas are very similar in size to other formidable economies like France, South Korea, and Canada. Perhaps even more interesting, however, is that even small states are similar to the size of countries.
- Violent threats against the president are OK now?
Turn on TV or browse your newsfeeds on social media, and you will be bombarded with polemics about the sky falling and credible threats of violence against conservative figures. The FBI investigated a threat to kill Milo Yiannoupolis for the audacity to want to speak on a college campus. Threats against former Labor Secretary nominee Andy Puzder’s wife caused him to withdraw himself from consideration. Multiple intimidatory remarks haunted members of the Trump-voting Electoral College. President Trump has been the target of declarations of violence on a near daily basis. And yet, when it comes to this constant flow of threats, there seems to be little outrage from the nation’s leading journalists and pundits.
- Are Collapsing Pensions “About To Bring Hell To America”?
The toxic dollar is bringing hell in a handbasket. Along with the student loan debt bubble and other major financial factors, the looming pensions crisis is bound to be the death of us all. Because it’s based on a future promise to pay, it has long been a benefit dangled to solve strikes and union disputes – because, in the end, it is just more debt, whether private or public. With tens of trillions in unfunded liabilities, the weight of an avalanche remains dangling over our heads. An aging population is cashing in on needed retirement benefits while the younger generations must support multiples that are unsustainable financially.
- Intelligence Sources Reveal: Obama Used British Agents For Trump Wire Tap Surveillance
While President Obama has vehemently denied issuing direct orders to the Justice Department or other domestic agencies to monitor President Trump during the 2016 election campaign, it is common knowledge that the National Security Agency has the ability to access video and audio from any number of devices in real time. In fact, according to Edward Snowden and documented in the recently released Snowden motion picture, U.S. spy agencies can simply flip a switch to watch or listen in on anything going on in a particular room by turning on a particular device’s cameras and microphones.
- Canada Flagged For Recession By BIS
As if Canadians needed more proof that the country’s real estate is in a bubble, and that this misallocation has spread to other sectors of the economy, the Bank of International Settlements released its latest quarterly confirming what any critical observer can see: binging on debt is rarely a good idea. Canada’s debt-to-GDP gap is widening and even the central bank of central banks is concerned. The BIS uses its credit-to-GDP analysis as an indicator and predictor of troubling economic waters. They claim successes in predicting financial crises in the United States, England and a few other economies. Generally speaking, according to the BIS, when a country’s credit-to-GDP gap is higher than 10% for more than a few years, a banking crisis emerges which is followed by a recession.
- China Is Again Selling US Treasuries As Foreign Central Banks Liquidate $45BN
After December's brief dead cat bounce, in which foreign central banks bought $18.6 billion in US Treasuries, breaking a streak of 12 consecutive months of selling, in January they resumed their liquidation. According to the just released TIC data, foreign official institutions, which includes mostly central banks, but also sovereign wealth funds and various other official entities, sold another $44.9 billion in Treasuries, in line with the aggressive selling seen for most of 2016. Curiously, the sales by foreign central banks were largely offset by purchases by private holders, mostly corporate institutions and foreign retail investors, who bought $37.9 billion in the month, the most since last March when they acquired $41 billion. Combining the two, foreigners sold a total of $7 billion in TSYs in January.
- The Fed Just Gave Gold The Green Light To Move Higher
On March 1st the US economy gave the Fed an inflation scare. That's when the Fed's favorite inflation measure, the PCE Price Index, reported a breakout higher. Most Fed officials scrambled to announce they were flipping from dove to hawk. But that was then. Yesterday morning however, the CPI release calmed the Fed enough so that they stuck to their pre-March 1st original plans. The real news yesterday was that, after all that huffing and puffing from Fed officials for the last couple of weeks, in the end, aside from the quarter-point rate increase which was widely expected, not much really changed. That gives gold the green light to push higher.
- Steve Cohen Developing A.I. To Replace Expensive, Talentless Traders
Steve Cohen, the infamous billionaire hedgie who plead guilty to insider trading back in 2013 and paid a record $1.8 billion penalty, has never been shy about offering up his opinion on the lack of real trading ‘talent' in New York. Speaking at the Milken Institute Global Conference last May, Cohen said “Frankly, I’m blown away by the lack of talent…It’s not easy to find great people but we whittle down the funnel to maybe 2 to 4% of the candidates we’re interested in…talent is really thin.” And while we would be the last to argue that there's a huge pool of people in New York truly worthy of Cohen's coveted 8-digit salaries, we might suggest that in his particular case the pool of applicants may be somewhat limited to the select few people willing to risk jail time for their employer….but that's just pure speculation.
- Balance Of Student Loans In Default Soars To Over $137 Billion
Last week we noted a survey from LendEDU which found that 31% of college co-eds spend at least some portion of their student loan debt proceeds to fund week-long hedonistic, binge drinking trips to Cancun and Daytona Beach for spring break. And, just to add insult to injury, 24% said they spend those taxpayer-subsidized loan dollars on drinking at school and 7% even splurge on drugs (see “31% Of College Students Spend Their Loans On Spring Break”). In light of those findings, it probably shouldn't be terribly surprising that, according to new data published by the U.S. Department of Education, $137 billion of federal student loans were in default as of December 2016, a 14% year-over-year increase.
- Idaho House Votes Overwhelmingly To End Income Taxation Of Precious Metals
By an overwhelming 56-13 margin, the Idaho House of Representatives today voted to end all Idaho taxation on precious metals, e.g. gold and silver coins and bars. Bill sponsor Representative Mike Moyle (R) and the entire Republican caucus voted for the measure. If the Republican-controlled Idaho Senate follows suit and Governor Butch Otter (R) signs the bill, Idaho citizens will better be able to use gold and silver as a form of savings which protects against ongoing devaluation of America’s currency. Backed by the Sound Money Defense League, Idaho Freedom Foundation, Money Metals Exchange, and grassroots activists, HB 206 expands Idaho’s existing sales tax exemption to end Idaho income taxation of sales of “precious metals bullion” and “monetized bullion.”
- Jones Bootmaker woes leave 1,145 jobs at risk
There are hopes a buyer can be found for Jones Bootmaker as it stands on the cusp of falling into administration, placing 1,145 jobs at risk. The private equity owner of the 160-year old brand, Alteri Investors, has filed a notice to appoint administrators amid tough business conditions for the chain, which trades digitally and from 103 stores and concessions. The decision is designed to give it some breathing space from creditors seeking to recover debts from the footwear and accessories retailer while it seeks a new owner.
- Trumpcare: Different Plan, Same Problems
With his widely followed, and positively reviewed, address to Congress last week, President Trump showed how easy it could be to unite Washington around a big-budget centrist agenda on health care, immigration, taxes, infrastructure and the military. But the continued accusations surrounding his campaign’s alleged Russian connections, and the President’s conspiratorial responses, have insured that the battle lines have only hardened. However, anyone with even a casual concern with ballooning government debt should take notice just how easily both parties in Washington would agree to vastly expand the gushing red ink if a political truce can be brokered. Those fears should galvanize around the newly-issued Republican replacement for Obamacare. If such a monstrous bill could successfully navigate Congress, we would find ourselves stuck deeper in a deficit deluge than we can possibly imagine.
- Ancient Babylonian Banking and Our Modern Financial System
Ancient Babylonia is known as the “cradle of civilization,” because it helped develop many important parts of our modern society, from laws (Code of Hammurabi) to advancements in astronomy and architecture. It also helped establish rules and procedures that have influenced modern day banking institutions. A quick look back at Babylonian finance provides insights into the basics of how our financial systems work today.
- Gold Surges Most Since Brexit After ‘Dovish' Fed Hike
With the focus overnight on the Rutte ‘win' despite the surge in populist angst, and headlines from The Fed, PBOC, BoJ, and BoE sending global stocks to record highs, one might be forgiven for not noticing that Gold is surging (most since Brexit) following Janet's decision to raise rates for the 3rd time in 11 years – far outperforming other assets classes. The Dollar continued to get pounded overnight as China unexpectedly tightened policy…
- Brexit Bill granted royal assent giving PM power to trigger Article 50
Theresa May has been given the legal power to start Brexit talks after the Queen granted royal assent to the Article 50 Bill. Speaker John Bercow told MPs that the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, which was passed by MPs and peers on Monday, had received its final sign off, prompting cheers from the Conservative benches. Mrs May has said she will invoke Article 50, the legal mechanism for withdrawal from the EU, by the end of the month in what will be a “defining moment” for the country.
- Pastor Lindsey Williams introduces Pastor David Bowen – March 17, 2017
Pastor Lindsey Williams introduces Pastor David Bowen with his regular short weekly video for readers of Pastor Williams' weekly newsletter.
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From James Harkin (Webmaster & Editor of LindseyWilliams.net). Here is a summary of articles of interest from around the world for this week. Please LIKE the Lindsey Williams Online Facebook Page to see stories posted daily regarding the current state of the economy around the world.
Latest News From March 10, 2017 to March 16, 2017:
- Eric Peters: “If China And The World Bank Are Right, We're Headed For A Depression”
“Some people blindly invested offshore and were in a rush to do so,” explained China’s central bank chief, justifying his recent capital controls. “Some of this outbound investment was not in line with our own policies and had no real gain for China.” No doubt he’s right. The tycoons fleeing Chinese capital markets have done so selfishly. “So to regulate capital flows, I think it is normal,” concluded the central banker. Chinese credit relative to GDP has doubled in the past decade to 300%. Which remains less than the US at 350%, but the rate of Chinese credit growth is as unsustainable as it is difficult to reverse — without tanking the economy. The tycoons are running from this dynamic. Because such loops almost always end badly.
- US Government Revenues Suffer Biggest Drop Since The Financial Crisis
On the surface, today's monthly budget statement was disappointing: in February the US Treasury brought in total receipts of $172 billion, versus outlays of $364 billion, resulting in a decicit of $192 billion, more than tha $190 billion expected (if in line with last year's $192.6 billion deficit). For the fiscal year through Feb. 28, the total US budget deficit was $349 billion, virtually identical to the $351 billion deficit over the same period in 2016 and set to keep rising this year and for the foreseeable future.
- Credit Reports to Exclude Certain Negative Information, Boosting FICO Scores
Many tax liens and civil judgments soon will be taken off people’s credit reports, the latest move to omit negative information from the powerful financial scorecards. The decision by the three major credit-reporting firms— Equifax Inc., Experian PLC and TransUnion—could help boost credit scores for millions of U.S. consumers, but could pose risks for lenders. The reports and scores often help decide how much consumers can borrow for a new house or car as well as determine their credit-card spending limit.
- Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich Warns Congress that CIA Wiretaps Are Real and It Happened to Him
Restive cerements of the left have given pard-like support for the CIA — believing the motives of the heralded agency to be only just and honorable, in spite of all of the evidence suggesting otherwise. Hysterically, it was the left who've always been reticent about the motives of the CIA. According to a poll done by the WSJ/NBC, support for the CIA is soaring in recent months, alongside cognitive dissonance — due to ephemeral dreams of deep state coups being plotted against the Trump regime.
- American Men Are Giving Up On Jobs
I’ve written about this before, but there are 10 million American males between the age of 24 and 64 who have literally dropped out of the workforce. It means that they have given up on finding a job or are simply not looking. But, focusing on just one subset among those who are 24–64, we see that white working-class males’ labor force participation rate has dropped to 59%. The Economist has created something called a Forgotten Men Index, which shows the gap between white working-class men in particular and all men in general. I bring this data up because white working-class men have become the focus of much current political discussion. The participation numbers are similar or worse for other racial categories except for Asians.
- FBI Used Best Buy's Geek Squad To Increase Secret Public Surveillance
Recently unsealed records reveal a much more extensive secret relationship than previously known between the FBI and Best Buy's Geek Squad, including evidence the agency trained company technicians on law-enforcement operational tactics, shared lists of targeted citizens and, to covertly increase surveillance of the public, encouraged searches of computers even when unrelated to a customer's request for repairs.
- Fed may have to accelerate rate rises to accommodate Trump policies: ECB's Visco
The economic policies of U.S. President Donald Trump could hurt global trade and could speed up an increase in U.S. interest rates, European Central Bank policy maker Ignazio Visco said on Monday. “Given the current situation of the U.S. economy, which is close to full employment, strong fiscal expansion risks having a pro-cyclical impact,” Visco said in a speech at the Italian foreign ministry. “In such a case, the process of normalizing monetary conditions undertaken by the Federal Reserve could be less gradual,” said Visco, who sits on the ECB Governing Council and is the governor of the Bank of Italy.
- Huge Oil Find Could Save Alaska's Oil Sector
Spanish oil firm Repsol SA just announced the largest onshore oil discovery in the U.S. in three decades, a 1.2 billion barrel find on Alaska’s North Slope. Repsol has been actively exploring in Alaska since 2008 and finally hit a big one. The find came after drilling two wells with its partner, Armstrong Oil & Gas. Repsol says that it if it moves forward and develops the project, first oil could come by 2021. The field could produce 120,000 bpd, a significant volume given the predicament the state of Alaska finds itself in.
- Gander Mountain files Ch. 11 bankruptcy, closing 32 stores
Outdoor and sporting goods retail chain Gander Mountain says it plans to shut down 32 stores as part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Gander Mountain announced on Friday that it plans to remain open, but is putting the business up for sale. Thirty-two under performing retail locations will begin a shutdown process in the next several weeks, according to the company. The list of stores slated for closing does not include the recently remodeled Gander Mountain at the Eastwood Mall Complex in Niles.
- 2016 Debt Binge Produces (Surprise!) 2017 Inflation. Guess What That Means For 2018?
Just as everyone was finally accepting the idea of deflation and negative interest rates, inflation decides to pay a return visit. In the past day, articles with the following headlines appeared in major publications around the world: Swiss inflation rises at highest monthly rate in 5 years. China February producer inflation fastest in nearly nine years. Year-over-year import prices at highest level in five years. ECB keeps bond-buying, rates unchanged amid inflation flare-up. Food inflation doubles in a month as UK shoppers start to feel the pinch. What happened? Well, towards the end of 2015 most of the world’s major governments apparently got spooked by deflation and decided to ramp up their borrowing and money creation.
- The Conflict within the Deep State Just Broke into Open Warfare
When do the unlimited powers of the Intelligence/Security agencies threaten America’s domestic and global national interests? The CIA and its political enablers claim the agency’s essentially unlimited powers, partially revealed by Wikileak’s Vault 7, pose no threat to America’s interests, since they are intended to “defend” American interests. This is the rationale presented by neocon CIA allies in both political parties: the CIA can’t possibly threaten America’s interests because the CIA defines America’s interests. This is the wormhole down which civil liberties and democracy have drained. It is an extraordinarily defining moment in American history when the director of the FBI publicly declares that there is no such thing as “absolute privacy” in the U.S.
- U.S. Crude Stockpiles Soar, Gasoline Inventory Plunges
U.S. crude oil inventories surged last week to another record high, while gasoline stocks went the other direction, posting their largest one-week drop in nearly six years, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. Crude inventories rose 8.2 million barrels in the week to March 3, compared with analysts’ expectations for a 2 million-barrel build. Most of that – 4.6 million barrels – came from an unexpectedly large surge in stocks on the west coast. The ninth weekly crude build boosted total stockpiles, excluding the nation’s strategic petroleum reserves, to a fresh record of 528.4 million barrels.
- Goldman Sachs: Zero Upside Left For Stocks This Year
After the inflation in P/E multiples has sent the S&P500 to to a level above the 90% percentile of all historical valuations, Goldman has called a time out. The venerable firm says that there will be no more multiple expansion this year. As a result only one thing will push stock prices higher “as equity valuations compress as interest rates rise” – higher profits.
- OPEC Back In Focus Amid Oil’s Latest Collapse
OPEC and the U.S. continue to fight for dominance in the global oil market. The battle has been recently been defined by OPEC’s production cuts, but new U.S. shale production has been countering strongly as of late. Despite the current supply glut (especially in the United States), the price of oil has been kept in the lofty $50s for a while now, ever since OPEC and Russia agreed to restrict 1.8 million barrels of crude oil from the world market. The higher prices have led to higher profits, however, even in the U.S. These prices have incentivized increased U.S. production, allowing companies to be drilling at their highest rates in over a year, posed to reach record levels by year-end.
- The American Media Hide From The Truth
The CIA created and accumulated from other sources a huge array of malware and cyber attack capability capable of stealing information from any individual, any government, any corporation, any intelligence agency and either leaving no trace or leaving a “fingerprint” of an innocent party. The CIA, being arrogant and incompetent, lost control over its monster which escaped and now is in the hands of we know not who. Floating around the Internet, it was sent to WikiLeaks.
- The US government now has less cash than Google
In the year 1517, one of the most important innovations in financial history was invented in Amsterdam: the government bond. It was a pretty revolutionary concept. Governments had been borrowing money for thousands of years… quite often at the point of a sword. Italian city-states like Venice and Florence had been famously demanding “forced loans” from their wealthy citizens for centuries.
- When will Brazil emerge from the worst ever recession?
Try as they may, Brazil’s legislators have been unable to carve a dent in what has now become the worst recession in the country’s history. Recent data from the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE) – the country’s official statistics agency – shows that Brazil’s GDP growth contracted by 3.6 per cent in 2016. This puts immense pressure on President Michel Temer who is already fighting on multiple fronts. He faces a number of corruption charges, has a popularity rate around 10 per cent according to pollsters, and has been struggling to push through radical, if not controversial, reform measures in congress.
- $21,714 For Every Man, Woman And Child In The World – This Global Debt Bomb Is Ready To Explode
According to the International Monetary Fund, global debt has grown to a staggering grand total of 152 trillion dollars. Other estimates put that figure closer to 200 trillion dollars, but for the purposes of this article let’s use the more conservative number. If you take 152 trillion dollars and divide it by the seven billion people living on the planet, you get $21,714, which would be the share of that debt for every man, woman and child in the world if it was divided up equally. So if you have a family of four, your family’s share of the global debt load would be $86,856.
- Trump Needs a War Team
Former Assistant Secretary of Housing and financial advisor Catherine Austin Fitts says the Trump Administration is at the beginning of a long war against his deep state enemies. Fitts recommends, “I don’t think it’s an accident that WikiLeaks dumps out documents proving that the CIA has the capacity to do a hack and make it look like the Russians. So, what we are watching are war games. This is like chess. You try to take out the lieutenants before you take out the queen. . . . My guess is you have very significant capacity on the Democrat side, literally hundreds of people and law firms doing surveillance and intelligence, and figuring out how they can weaken the Trump team. Now, what we see coming back the other way, including the WikiLeaks dumps, there is clearly capacity on the other side. The Trump team is going to have to build two lines. The key to being successful in an operation like this is you need a team. In the story of Nehemiah, when the wall was broken, they needed a tool in one hand and a weapon in another. Trump is going to have to put together a war team that can handle and manage the warring back and forth between the factions. You do not want that war to interrupt or undermine your management team. You’ve got to have your Cabinet, and their job is to “Make America Great Again.” Ultimately, that’s how you are going to be judged, and the general population will support you if you keep doing that. You don’t want your team to be buried by war games.”
- Noah’s Flood of Cash Coming
Mexican billionaire and retail magnate Hugo Salinas Price is a big proponent of using silver as money in Mexico. Salinas Price explains, “The idea is not to go back to a silver standard, but to create a parallel currency which would be a monetized silver coin. It would not bear a stamped value. It would be a plain silver coin with a quoted value given to it. This value would be adjusted upward with a fall in the value of the peso or a rise with the price of silver.” Salinas Price pushed ideas similar to this in the past. This idea is being talked about again in the Mexican legislature, but there is no guarantee it will become a reality. Why silver coins for the Mexican people? Salinas Price says, “All material progress comes from saving, not from spending. You have to save first, and from savings comes investment, and from investment comes jobs and income for a better way of life. Savings are the primary source of prosperity.”
- Are Germans About to Be Made to Pay for Their Love of Cash?
Germany loves physical money. According to a Bundesbank study, approximately 80% of payments in Germany are made in cash. Even among millennials, two-thirds say they prefer paying in cash to electronic means, a much higher level than in almost any other advanced economy with the exception of Japan. This is a big problem for a European establishment that is desperate to consign physical money to the scrap heap. Some countries, including France and Spain, have already set maximum cash limits of €1,000. Greece has dropped its cap for cash transactions from €1,500 to €500.
- FBI Director Gives Shocking News to Americans: Privacy Is ‘Dead’
Welcome to the information age, where everything you do or say can and will be monitored and used against you. Your constitutional right to privacy? Forget about it! At least according to FBI Director James Comey who delivered this chilling line at a recent cybersecurity conference “There is no such thing as absolute privacy in America; there is no place outside of judicial reach,” and with the information revealed by the WikiLeaks Vault 7 documents, we know that their capability extends far beyond ‘judicial reach’.
- How Will Stocks Come Unglued? Wolf Richter on the Keiser Report
In the first and hilarious section of the Keiser Report, Stacy Herbert and Max Keiser discuss how artificial intelligence and machines are replacing lawyers and other creatures, and what in the end will come of humans. My interview with Max Keiser starts 11:50 minutes into the video. We discuss what caused the S&P 500 index to soar 87% since 2011, even as aggregate earnings of the companies in the index in 2016 were back where they’d been in 2011. In other words, what caused stocks to skyrocket over five years, even as earnings went nowhere? And how will the equation come unglued?
- U.S. Health Care Ranked Worst in the Developed World
The U.S. health care system has been subject to heated debate over the past decade, but one thing that has remained consistent is the level of performance, which has been ranked as the worst among industrialized nations for the fifth time, according to the 2014 Commonwealth Fund survey 2014. The U.K. ranked best with Switzerland following a close second. The Commonwealth Fund report compares the U.S. with 10 other nations: France, Australia, Germany, Canada, Sweden, New Zealand, Norway, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the U.K. were all judged to be superior based on various factors. These include quality of care, access to doctors and equity throughout the country. Results of the study rely on data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Health Organization and interviews from physicians and patients.
- 10 Things You Didn’t Know About The CIA Before Last Week
WikiLeaks’ Vault 7 release of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) documents yesterday opened eyes worldwide about an agency President John F. Kennedy once vowed to “splinter…into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds.” Here’s a comprehensive list of ten things we didn’t know about the CIA before last week leak: 1. The CIA has an illegal domestic spying apparatus similar to the NSA. 2. The CIA has a secret base in Germany. 3. The CIA has a cyber group dedicated to forging other countries digital fingerprints in false-flag attacks. 4. The CIA can spy on you through your smart TV and tap into the microphone. 5. The CIA can spy on you through any tablet or phone. 6. The CIA can transcribe your Skype conversations. 7. The CIA has exploits for every major Anti-virus software provider and major personal computer software programs, including Microsoft Word, VLC, and all operating systems. 8. The CIA can hack vehicle control modules including cars, trains, and planes. 9. The CIA has an air gap virus that can infect systems even if not connected to the internet. 10. The CIA has a Meme Warfare Center. The meme war – is real.
- U.K. Parliament Gives Theresa May Approval To Start Brexit
Moments ago, UK Parliament passed legislation giving prime minister Theresa May approval to start the Brexit process and allowing the government to invoke Article 50, with the House of Commons overturning amendments from the unelected House of Lords that sought to limit May’s room for maneuver. While press reports earlier said May could trigger Article 50 as early as Thursday, subsequent reports from Bloomberg suggested that she will commence Brexit in the last week of March. The victory for May in Parliament, where she has a slim majority, allows her to negotiate Brexit with a free hand and consolidates her hold on power in the ruling Conservative Party. That said, according to Bloomberg she now faces the simultaneous challenge of pulling Britain out of the EU on good terms while navigating a second constitutional upheaval: Scotland’s renewed bid for independence.
- New York City Rents Crash Again In February Under Weight Of “So Much Inventory”
After years of gouging the precious, Ivy League snowflakes that flood Manhattan every summer with nothing but their $10 million inheritance checks, a dream and the Faconnable shirts on their back, New York City landlords, courtesy of the flood of new apartment supply coming online, are being forced to offer record-high rent concessions to attract tenants. Per the latest February 2017 rental report from Douglas Elliman, the number of new leases signed on Manhattan apartments crashed 27.9% YoY as listing inventory surged 11.7% and median rental prices dropped 1.7%. Meanwhile, even a massive increase in the share of apartments carrying rent concessions, which averaged 1.2 months of free rent, wasn't enough to spark demand.
- Trump budget expected to seek historic contraction of federal workforce
President Trump’s budget proposal this week would shake the federal government to its core if enacted, culling back numerous programs and expediting a historic contraction of the federal workforce. This would be the first time the government has executed cuts of this magnitude — and all at once — since the drawdown following World War II, economists and budget analysts said. The spending budget Trump is set to release Thursday will offer the clearest snapshot of his vision for the size and role of government. Aides say that the president sees a new Washington emerging from the budget process, one that prioritizes the military and homeland security while slashing many other areas, including housing, foreign assistance, environmental programs, public broadcasting and research. Simply put, government would be smaller and less involved in regulating life in America, with private companies and states playing a much bigger role.
- Canada's New Blasphemy Laws
A resolution, M-103, seeking to condemn so-called “Islamophobia,” was introduced a few weeks ago in the peaceful country of Canada by Liberal Party MP Iqra Khalid in the House of Commons, sparking a controversy. A similar motion, labelled M-37, was later tabled in the Ontario provincial legislature by MPP Nathalie Des Rosiers on February 23, 2017, and was passed by the provincial parliament. M-37, like its predecessor, demanded that lawmakers condemn “all forms of Islamophobia” and reaffirm “support for government efforts, through the Anti-Racism Directorate, to address and prevent systemic racism across government policy, programs and services”. Although these motions are not legally binding, extremists have already started demanding them as laws.
- Greece introduces cashpoint tax in desperate bid to raise revenue and stop run on banks as country teeters on brink of bankruptcy
Greece has revealed it is to introduce a surcharge for all cashpoint withdrawals and financial transactions in a desperate attempt to prevent citizens withdrawing their money from the country's beleaguered banks. Ministers hope the controversial move could raise as much as €180 million, which the Athens government hopes will help the country avoid defaulting on debts owed to international creditors. As the Greek economy teeters on the verge of bankruptcy, millions of panicking citizens have completely cleared their accounts – pulling more than €28 billion out of banks and pushing the total cash revenue held in the country's financial institutions to a 10-year low.
- Widespread AT&T Outages Reported Across The U.S.
Two weeks after a massive Amazon cloud outage crippled numerous websites on the East Coast, this morning users of AT&T across the nation are reporting widespread outages in their cellphone service. This appears to be confirmed by the current downdetector.com data on reported problems with the cellphone carrier. Twitter users from around the country have confirmed the interruption in service. While some have joked that AT&T has activated the downtime to remove embedded CIA eavesdropping features, for now there has been no official statement from AT&T… or from the crack team of Kremlin-controlled spies for that matter.
- California Is Exporting Its Poor To Texas
California exports more than commodities such as movies, new technologies and produce. As The Sacramento Bee reports, it also exports truck drivers, cooks and cashiers. The leading destination for those leaving California is Texas, with about 293,000 economically disadvantaged residents leaving and about 137,000 coming for a net loss of 156,000 from 2005 through 2015. Next up are states surrounding California; in order, Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Losing impoverished residents to other states is better for the state’s economy than losing wealthy residents, some experts said. But they said the migration itself is a symptom of deeper social problems largely related to how expensive California has become.
- Iceland to end capital controls from 2008 financial crisis
Iceland will lift all capital controls on its citizens, businesses and pension funds from Tuesday. Capital controls, such as those to restrict money flowing in and out of the country, were imposed in 2008 after the country's biggest banks collapsed. The government thinks the economy has recovered sufficiently to end controls. Controls were imposed after the collapse of the country's three biggest banks – Glitnir, Landsbanki and Kaupthing. At the same time Iceland's national currency, the krona, fell in value. The removal of the capital controls – which helped stabilise the currency and economy during the country's financial crash – represents the completion of Iceland's return to international financial markets.
- “Who Hit The Brakes?” – Bank Loan Creation Suddenly Tumbles To Five Year Low
While the overall economy appears to be humming along, at least according to the Fed which on Wednesday is expected (with 100% certainty according to the market) to hike rates by 25bps for the second time in three months on concerns it has fallen behind the inflationary curve, with last week's payrolls report providing some validation despite prevailing weakness within “hard data” in recent months offset by soaring “soft” sentiment reports, one area of material concern has emerged: a sudden collapse in loan growth in general, and the all important Commercial and Industrial Loan segment in particular, a drop which the WSJ recently dubbed an “ominous economic signal” and blamed policy uncertainty under Trump for the collapse in growth.
- Woman asks ALEXA “Are You Connected To The CIA?” ALEXA – Who supposedly can't lie – Refuses to Answer
So, this happened. Following Wikileaks Vault 7 release alerting Americans to the fact that the CIA is using tons of exploits to turn all sorts of internet-connected smart devices into surveillance microphones, granting the intelligence agency access to millions of people’s private homes, people started asking questions. Namely, this woman below asked her ever-listening Amazon Echo device if it is connected to the CIA. Well, first she asks Alexa if Alexa would lie, then makes sure Alexa knows what the CIA is. Twice she asks Alexa if she’s connected to the CIA… and twice Alexa refuses to answer. Must go against the “cannot tell a lie” protocol. After this video went viral, Amazon sent Alexa an updated way to answer the question… which still doesn’t really answer the question. Or does it?
- Samsung Will Shift Manufacturing from Mexico to U.S., Invest $300 Million
Samsung announced an investment in expanding production in the United States this week, according to The Wall Street Journal. According to sources close to the company, the initial capital investment will total close to $300 million and will involve shifting some production from Mexico to the United States. The sources claim that the move could generate around 500 jobs. Samsung, which is based in Seoul, South Korea, may increase manufacturing of home appliances such as refrigerators, washer, and dryers in the United States. According to The Wall Street Journal, the decision to move production to the United States was influenced by President Trump after he campaigned to move manufacturing jobs for products bought in the United States from overseas into this country.
- NASA-funded study: Over 32 advanced civilizations have collapsed before us, and we’re next in line.
As any long-time reader of this column knows, we routinely draw from historical lessons to highlight that this time is not different. Throughout the 18th century, for example, France was the greatest superpower in Europe, if not the world. But they became complacent, believing that they had some sort of ‘divine right’ to reign supreme, and that they could be as fiscally irresponsible as they liked. The French government spent money like drunken sailors; they had substantial welfare programs, free hospitals, and grand monuments.
- Trump's first full month in office brings massive employment boom as U.S. companies added whopping 298,000 new jobs in February
U.S. companies added a whopping 298,000 new jobs in February, beating economists' expectations by more than 100,000. The report from ADP, a global human resources and payroll firm, provides the first hard economic numbers from Donald Trump's first full month as president. Trump tweeted a self-congratulatory note, calling the number ‘much more than expected!' He also wrote Wednesday on Twitter about another similar measure, citing numbers from a new LinkedIn workforce report that showed strong job-adding numbers from January and February.
- Exclusive: Mexico cancels sugar export permits to U.S. in trade dispute
Mexico has canceled existing sugar export permits to the United States in a dispute over the pace of shipments, according to a letter seen by Reuters, in a flare-up industry sources said could temporarily disrupt supplies. The letter sent by Mexico's sugar chamber to mills on Monday partly blamed the situation on unfilled positions at the U.S. Department of Commerce, which it said has led to a “legalistic” interpretation of rules with no U.S. counterparts in place in Washington for Mexican officials to negotiate with. The cancellations are the latest dispute of a years-long trade row between Mexico – the United States' top foreign supplier of sugar – and its neighbor at a time when cane refiners are struggling with prices and tight supplies, U.S. industry sources said.
- Urban Outfitters CEO Says the Retail Bubble Has Burst
Shares of Urban Outfitters Inc. and Express Inc. fell on Wednesday after the apparel chains gave a dour outlook for the industry, renewing concerns about America’s overabundance of retail stores. Urban Outfitters’ fourth-quarter earnings fell short of estimates, and same-store sales were flat. At Express, sales tumbled 13 percent on that basis last quarter. The company warned that it may post a loss this quarter, surprising analysts. Clothing sellers are struggling to cope with slow foot traffic at malls and a shift to e-commerce. The industry also has had to rely more heavily on discounts to attracts shoppers, weighing on margins. Urban Outfitters Chief Executive Officer Richard Hayne said the holiday season was disappointing, with higher markdowns than expected.
- Burger-flipping robot replaces humans on first day at work
A burger-flipping robot has just completed its first day on the job at a restaurant in California, replacing humans at the grill. Flippy has mastered the art of cooking the perfect burger and has just started work at CaliBurger, a fast-food chain. The robotic kitchen assistant, which its makers say can be installed in just five minutes, is the brainchild of Miso Robotics. “Much like self-driving vehicles, our system continuously learns from its experiences to improve over time,” said David Zito, chief executive officer of Miso Robotics.
- Global Leaders Rattle Their Sabers As The World Marches Toward War
Iran just conducted another provocative missile test, more U.S. troops are being sent to the Middle East, it was just announced that the U.S. military will be sending B-1 and B-52 bombers to South Korea in response to North Korea firing four missiles into the seas near Japan, and China is absolutely livid that a U.S. carrier group just sailed through contested waters in the South China Sea. We have entered a season where leaders all over the globe feel a need to rattle their sabers, and many fear that this could be leading us to war. In particular, Donald Trump is going to be under the microscope in the days ahead as other world leaders test his resolve. Will Trump be able to show that he is tough without going over the edge and starting an actual conflict?
- 16 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Live In California
It has been said that “as California goes, so goes the nation”. That is why it is such a shame what is happening to that once great state. At one time, California seemed to be the epicenter of the American Dream. Featuring some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the entire world, the gorgeous weather and booming economy of the state inspired people from all over the world to move to the state. But now people are moving out of the state by the millions, because life in California has literally become a nightmare for so many people. I certainly don’t have anything against the state personally. My brother and sister were both born there, and I spent a number of my childhood years in stunning northern California. When I was younger I would sometimes dream of getting a place on the coast eventually, but for reasons I will discuss I no longer think that would be advisable.
- The Dark Secrets Of The Catholic Church Are Starting To Come Out
We aren’t supposed to talk about what goes on behind closed doors when the cameras are off and the public can’t see what is happening. There is corruption in virtually every large organization, but those that hold themselves out as “spiritual leaders” need to understand that they are going to be held to a higher standard than everyone else. And when those “spiritual leaders” greatly violate the trust that the public has put in them, the fallout can be absolutely devastating. In this article you are going to read about some things that are deeply disturbing. An immense wave of evil has swept through major religious organizations, and the Catholic Church is certainly no exception.
- Bitcoin crashes after SEC rejects Winklevoss ETF
The price of the digital currency bitcoin has been flying for the last few weeks, reaching an all-time high today of $1,350 per coin just this week. But on Friday afternoon it began plummeting. Here’s why: the SEC on Friday released a long-awaited ruling on an application for a bitcoin ETF (exchange-traded fund) submitted by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss of Facebook fame. The SEC denied the proposal—brutally.
- Is The Left Trying To Start A Civil War?
An army of subversives is attempting to undermine the Trump administration from within the government, and at the same time a whole host of prominent leftist leaders are fueling the flames of hate against Trump and are promoting riots, civil uprisings and in some cases even violence. And of course the mainstream media is a more than willing accomplice, because pretty much everyone that works in the mainstream media absolutely hates Donald Trump. On a fundamental level, the United States is more divided today than it has been in any of our lifetimes, and the radical left is treating the presidency of Donald Trump as if it was the end of the world. We are seeing terms such as “Nazi”, “racist” and “dictator” thrown around very casually, but people need to understand that words really matter. When subversives on the left use such inflammatory language, there is a very real danger that they could actually spark a violent insurrection against the United States government.
- This Region Of The World Is Being Hit By The Worst Economic Collapse It Has Ever Experienced
The ninth largest economy in the entire world is currently experiencing “its longest and deepest recession in recorded history”, and in a country right next door people are being encouraged to label their trash so that the thousands upon thousands of desperately hungry people that are digging through trash bins on the streets can find discarded food more easily. Of course the two nations that I am talking about are Brazil and Venezuela. The Brazilian economy was once the seventh largest on the globe, but after shrinking for eight consecutive quarters it has now fallen to ninth place. And in Venezuela the economic collapse has gotten so bad that more than 70 percent of the population lost weight last year due to a severe lack of food. Most of us living in the northern hemisphere don’t think that anything like this could happen to us any time soon, but the truth is that trouble signs are already starting to erupt all around us. It is just a matter of time before the things currently happening in Brazil and Venezuela start happening here, but unfortunately most people are not heeding the warnings.
- Every ‘Conspiracy Theorist’ In America Has Just Been Vindicated…
Yes, the government can use your phone, your computer and even potentially your television to spy on what you are doing inside your own home. On Tuesday, Wikileaks released thousands of documents that prove what virtually every “conspiracy theorist” in America has been saying for years about government spying. And I don’t even like to use the term “conspiracy theorist” much, because the truth is that most “conspiracy theorists” are simply citizen journalists that are attempting to expose things that the mainstream media doesn’t want to talk about. And one of the things that the mainstream media has always been hesitant to address is the unconstitutional surveillance that U.S. intelligence agencies systematically conduct on their own citizens.
- A Third Of All U.S. Shopping Malls Are Projected To Close As ‘Space Available’ Signs Go Up All Over America
If you didn’t know better, you might be tempted to think that “Space Available” was the hottest new retail chain in the entire country. As you will see below, it is being projected that about a third of all shopping malls in the United States will soon close, and we just recently learned that the number of “distressed retailers” is the highest that it has been since the last recession. Honestly, I don’t know how anyone can possibly believe that the U.S. economy is in “good shape” after looking at the retail industry. In my recent article about the ongoing “retail apocalypse“, I discussed the fact that Sears, J.C. Penney and Macy’s have all announced that they are closing dozens of stores in 2017, and you can find a pretty comprehensive list of 19 U.S. retailers that are “on the brink of bankruptcy” right here. Needless to say, quite a bloodbath is going on out there right now.
- UN experts denounce ‘myth' pesticides are necessary to feed the world
The idea that pesticides are essential to feed a fast-growing global population is a myth, according to UN food and pollution experts. A new report, being presented to the UN human rights council on Wednesday, is severely critical of the global corporations that manufacture pesticides, accusing them of the “systematic denial of harms”, “aggressive, unethical marketing tactics” and heavy lobbying of governments which has “obstructed reforms and paralysed global pesticide restrictions”. The report says pesticides have “catastrophic impacts on the environment, human health and society as a whole”, including an estimated 200,000 deaths a year from acute poisoning. Its authors said: “It is time to create a global process to transition toward safer and healthier food and agricultural production.”
- Is Janet Yellen Trying to Trigger a Recession For Political Purposes?
Trump might want to put a call in to Janet Yellen. The Fed is supposed to be a neutral, independent entity. However, that myth went out the window when Bernanke “gifted” QE 3 to Obama in 2012 to aid with the latter’s re-election bid. The Yellen Fed seems to be even more committed to defining the Fed as nothing more than a leftist establishment mechanism. Back in October when it still looked like Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 Presidential election, Yellen commented that she was considering letting the economy run “hot” meaning allowing inflation to rise without implementing additional rate hikes. One month later, Donald Trump won the Presidency and Yellen announced she wanted to hike rates in December with three more additional hikes in 2017.
- Austria To Stop Giving Food, Shelter To Rejected Asylum Seekers
In a bill aimed at encouraging asylum seekers to leave voluntarily, Austrian lawmakers are considering halting the provision of food and accommodation to migrants who are denied asylum and refuse to leave the country. Austria took in roughly 90,000 asylum seekers in 2015, more than 1 percent of its population, as it was swept up in Europe's migration crisis when hundreds of thousands of people crossed its borders, most on their way to Germany. As Reuters notes, it has since tightened immigration restrictions and helped shut down the route through the Balkans by which almost all those people – many of them fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and elsewhere – arrived. Asylum applications fell by more than half last year.
- BIS Admits TARGET2 Is A Stealth Bailout Of Europe's Periphery
While debates over the significance of the Eurosystem's TARGET2 imbalances may have faded into the background now that sovereign yields in the Eurozone remains broadly backstopped by the ECB's debt monetization generosity, and fears about an imminent European breakdown fall along the lines of populist votes more than concerns about lack of funding, the BIS has finally chimed in with the truth about what the TARGET2 number really showed. As a reminder, in mid 2012, financial pundits “discovered” the gaping imbalances building up within the Eurozone, as a result of a huge increase in TARGET2 claims at the Bundesbank, offset by a matched surge in liabilities across the European periphery, most notably Italy and Spain.
- Eurozone Capital Flight Intensifies: Target2 Imbalances Widen Again
A quick perusal of Target2 Balances for January shows capital flight from Italy and Spain to Germany intensified again. German target2 imbalances exceed levels hit in the Eurozone crises in 2012. Things improved considerably after ECB president Mario Draghi made his famous statement “Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. And believe me, it will be enough”. The ECB claims this action is due to its bond-buying program. I strongly disagree.
- Albert Edwards: “Let Me Tell You How This All Ends”
The dollar's recent rapid slide has been accompanied by a constant backdrop of dovish cooing from the Fed. Until this week, SocGen's Albert Edwards notes that both equity and commodity markets had embraced the weak dollar as the elixir to solve all their ills. That relief, however, has now proved fleeting as fear of weak economic activity has reasserted its influence on investors. The weak dollar, Edwards warns, should be seen as merely a shuffling of deckchairs on the Titanic before the global economy sinks below the icy waves. Risk assets are once again refocusing on the increasingly dismal prospects for global growth rather than the short-term relief of dollar weakness, according to SocGen's inimitable Albert Edwards. The US remains the main concern, although the rapid unravelling of Abenomics in Japan and a likely imminent tightening of monetary policy in China to snuff out yet another housing bubble in the major cities also feature high on investors' worry list.
- Pastor Lindsey Williams introduces Pastor David Bowen – March 9, 2017
Pastor Lindsey Williams introduces Pastor David Bowen with his regular short weekly video for readers of Pastor Williams' weekly newsletter.
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Latest News From March 3, 2017 to March 9, 2017:
- Greyerz – Global Panic Is Now Only Days Away
With continued uncertainty around the globe, today the man who has become legendary for his predictions on QE, historic moves in currencies, told King World News that global panic is now only days away. Global Panic Is Now Only Days Away. Egon von Greyerz: “In the Roman calendar, the Ides of March was the same as March 15th in today’s calendar. This date was not significant until Julius Caesar was assassinated on 15 March 44BC. Shakespeare then coined the phrase “Beware of the Ides of March” in his Julius Caesar work…
- “It's A Declaration Of War”: South Africa's President Calls For Confiscation Of White Land
After South Africa's embattled president Jacob Zuma pledged, in a surprising address to parliament one month ago, to break up white ownership of business and land to reduce inequality (in a State of the Nation address which was disrupted by a fistfight), it now appears that Zuma's intentions to convert what was until recently Africa's most prosperous economy into a new Zimbabwe were all too real, and as the Telegraph reports, the South African president officially called on parliament to change South Africa’s constitution to allow the expropriation of white owned land without compensation. Zuma, 74, who made the remarks in a speech on Friday morning, said he wanted to establish a “pre-colonial land audit of land use and occupation patterns” before changing the law.
- Arizona Challenges The Fed's Money Monopoly
History shows that, if individuals have the freedom to choose what to use as money, they will likely opt for gold or silver. Of course, modern politicians and their Keynesian enablers despise the gold or silver standard. This is because linking a currency to a precious metal limits the ability of central banks to finance the growth of the welfare-warfare state via the inflation tax. This forces politicians to finance big government much more with direct means of taxation. Despite the hostility toward gold from modern politicians, gold played a role in US monetary policy for sixty years after the creation of the Federal Reserve. Then, in 1971, as concerns over the US government’s increasing deficits led many foreign governments to convert their holdings of US dollars to gold, President Nixon closed the gold window, creating America’s first purely fiat currency.
- Germany's Jihad On Freedom Of Speech
Carnival in Germany is a time for some light-hearted fun, fancy costumes and political satire. This year, many German cities held traditional float parades on Rosenmontag, or Rose Monday, many of which depicted political themes. Images of U.S. President Donald Trump took centre stage in many float processions, in some instances with his decapitated head held up high by the Statue of Liberty, in the style of an ISIS beheading. Other floats went after nationalist European leaders and right-wing parties. In Düsseldorf, President Trump was shown standing next to a blond Hitler, joined by France's Marine Le Pen, and the Netherlands' Geert Wilders. Germany prides in its traditional Narrenfreiheit (“jesters' freedom”) to mock the high and mighty. This year, Germany's state-run Deutsche Welle news agency proudly proclaimed, “German jesters take on kings for 2017 Carnival.”
- France's Death Spiral
A “no-go zone” in the eastern suburbs of Paris. Police on patrol hear screams. They decide to check. While there, a young man insults them. They decide to arrest him. He hits them. A fight starts. He accuses a policeman of having raped him with a police baton. A police investigation quickly establishes that the young man was not raped. But it is too late; a toxic process has begun. Without waiting for any further evidence, the French Interior Minister says that the police officers have “behaved badly.” He adds that “police misconduct must be condemned”. French President François Hollande goes to the hospital to give his support to the young man. The president says he has conducted himself in a “dignified and responsible manner.” The next day, a demonstration against the police is cobbled together. The demonstration turns into a riot.
- Judicial Watch Sues CIA, DOJ For Intel Leak Records: “President Trump Is On To Something”
Given that the Obama White House was (self-described as) “the most transparent administration ever,” we hope that Judicial Watch's demands of the Trump administration will be met positively. Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the United States Department of Justice and the Department of the Treasury regarding records related to the investigation of retired United States Army Lieutenant General Michel Flynn’s communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak (Judicial Watch v. Central Intelligence Agency et al. (No.1:17-cv-00397)). (The National Security Agency refused to confirm or deny the existence of intelligence records about communications between Gen. Flynn and Amb Kislyak.)
- Shock Video Exposes Tent City Crisis In Failing California
Citizen journalists have captured stunning video and images of homeless encampments that are spiraling out of control in the shadows of Disneyland and Anaheim Stadium in California. The tent city has recently sprung up along the Santa Ana riverbed, near a busy convergence of three major California highways known as the “Orange Crush,” at the border of Anaheim and Santa Ana, the latter a “sanctuary city.” Homeless activists estimate that as many as 1,000 people are camped in the region.
- “The Reality Is, Half Of Americans Can’t Afford To Write A $500 Check”
The CEO of Assurant appeared on Bloomberg TV to explain why demand for his services is likely to increase: the chief executive of the mobile phone insurer said he expects a surge in demand as carriers charge customers more to replace their devices. “If you think back five years ago, you as a consumer didn’t know how much that phone cost, you thought it was free or close to free,” Assurant's Alan Colberg said Monday. “Now you’re paying $600, that’s a lot. So we’ve actually seen the attachment rate, or the number of people buying the product, going up a little bit in the last couple of years.” He then proceeded to give Bloomberg his traditional sales pitch: Assurant is counting on growth at its business covering phones and appliances to help counter a decline in the segment that insures foreclosed homes for lenders. While improvement in the real estate market has limited the number of vacant homes, Colberg said there are still many cash-strapped consumers.
- How 90% of American Households Lost an Average of $17,000 in Wealth to the Plutocrats in 2016
America has always been great for the richest 1%, and it's rapidly becoming greater. Confirmation comes from recent work by Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman; and from the 2015-2016 Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databooks (GWD). The Richest 1% Extracted Wealth from Every Other Segment of Society. These multi-millionaires effectively shifted nearly $4 trillion in wealth away from the rest of the nation to themselves in 2016. While there's no need to offer condolences to the rest of the top 10%, who still have an average net worth of $1.3 million, nearly half of the wealth transfer ($1.94 trillion) came from the nation's poorest 90% — the middle and lower classes, according to Piketty and Saez and Zucman. That's over $17,000 in housing and savings per lower-to-middle-class household lost to the super-rich.
- 40% of households in Philadelphia can't pay their water bill
America is in the midst of an “invisible water crisis” as the post-war water infrastructure reaches the end of its duty-cycle and cash-strapped public utilities struggle to find the money to rebuild it. In cities like Philadelphia, Atlanta, Seattle, and Detroit, families increasingly find themselves in water debt, and in Detroit, 50,000 households have had their running water cut off because of delinquency. The estimated bill for upgrading the end-of-lifed American urban water infrastructure is $1 trillion. Cities that have tried privatization as a means of pushing the bill onto investors have been shocked by the bills: in Atlanta, the private water provider charges $325.52 a month, which only qualifies as “affordable” if your household income tops $87K.
- What’s Different This Time? Stocks – This market (“Dow 30,000”) assures Fed rate hikes
The two-year US Treasury yield just shot through 1.33%, the highest since June 2009, when it had briefly spiked from 1% to 1.42%. And that had been the highest since November 2008. It eventually hit a low of 0.16% in September 2011. This surge in yield is a sign that the bond market is adjusting to a rate hike in March, to more rate hikes later this year, and to more rate hikes next year. The 10-year yield has returned to the 2.5% neighborhood, on its way to take out the recent high set in mid-December of 2.6%.
- CHINA'S WARNING: Beijing to take measures over US missile system in South Korea
CHINA has said it will take measures over the US missile system deployed in South Korea, saying the move destroys the security balance in the region. The US started to establish the first parts of its anti-missile defence system in South Korea on Tuesday after North Korea's test of four ballistic missiles. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had personally supervised Monday's missile launches by an army unit that is positioned to strike US bases in Japan, according to the country’s state media. The US is deploying its Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system but China has now reacted saying the move upsets the area’s security balance.
- This is Worse than Before the Last Three Crashes – This chart shows “multiple compression” is coming
How long can this surge in stocks go on? That’s what everyone wants to know. Projections range from “forever” – these projections have become increasingly common – to “it’s already finished.” That’s a fairly wide range. Everyone has their own reasons for their boundless optimism or their doom-and-gloom outlooks. But there are some factors – boundless optimists should push them aside assiduously – that, from a historical point of view, would trigger tsunami sirens. Because in the end, it’s not different this time. And the cycle of “multiple expansion” and “multiple compression” is one of those factors.
- Is Mexico Facing “Liquidity Problems?”
At 49% of GDP, Mexico’s public debt may seem pretty low by today’s inflated standards. It’s a mere fraction of the debt loads amassed by bigger, richer economies such as Japan (229% of GDP), Italy (133%) and the United States (104%). But when it comes to debt, everything is relative, especially if you don’t enjoy the benefits that come from having a reserve-currency-denominated printing press. In Mexico’s case it’s not so much the size of the debt that matters; it’s the rate of its growth. In the year 2000 the country had a perfectly manageable debt load of roughly 20% of GDP. Today, it is two and a half times that size.
- The Deep State is Dying-Clif High
Internet data mining expert Clif High says the world is witnessing the unmasking of the so-called “Deep State” and revealing it’s long held control over humanity. High explains, “The level of complexity of humans has increased, and that was the factor that the Deep State did not take into account. They kept their rigid mindset, their rigid rules, their compartmentalization and kept everything so boxed in even they were unaware that humanity has evolved out and around their obstruction. So, the Deep State is dying simply because the knowledge of it is so prevalent. It can’t be stopped, and is growing exponentially, and, basically, the knowledge itself is going to crush the Deep State.”
- Of Course Big Brother Was Spying On Trump’s Calls – The Shocking Truth Is That They Spy On All Of Our Calls
The mainstream media is all in an uproar over Donald Trump’s claim that Barack Obama personally ordered the phones in Trump Tower to be “wiretapped” just before the election. But nobody should really be surprised that the government was listening to Donald Trump’s phone calls. After all, the truth is that they systematically collect the content of all forms of digital communication, and this has been going on for many years. During Obama’s presidency, nobody really got too upset when it was revealed that the Obama administration was spying on friendly foreign leaders (including Angela Merkel), nobody got too upset when it was revealed that the Obama administration was spying on journalists, and nobody got too upset when it was revealed that the NSA was grabbing baby photos and nude selfies off of the Internet. But now that Trump has gotten extremely angry because the government was listening to his calls, maybe something will finally be done about all of this unconstitutional surveillance.
- Government Spooks Can Use The Mic And Camera On Trump’s Phone Even When He Thinks It Is Turned Off
After reading this article you might not ever view your electronic devices the same way again. Last year, Hollywood released a biographical political thriller based on the life of Edward Snowden that had one particularly creepy scene. In that scene, a government spook used a program to remotely activate the microphone and camera on a laptop, and by doing so he was able to watch a woman as she got undressed. Sadly, as you will see below, this kind of thing is happening constantly. Any digital device can potentially be accessed and used to spy on you even if it appears to be turned off. And this is why Donald Trump needs to be so careful right now, because the intelligence community wants to take him down and they can literally use any digital device in his possession to try to gather dirt on him. We have a “deep state” that is absolutely obsessed with watching, tracking and monitoring the American people, and something desperately needs to be done about this unconstitutional surveillance. Now that Trump has become greatly upset about how the government was tapping into his phone calls, maybe something will finally get accomplished.
- Pepsi Lays Off 20% Of Its Philadelphia Workers, Blames Soda Tax
Two weeks ago, we pointed out that when Philadelphia became the first US city to pass a soda tax last summer, city officials were eagerly looking forward to the surplus-tax funded windfall to plug gaping budget deficits (and, since this is Philadelphia, the occasional embezzlement scheme). Then, one month ago, after the tax went into effect on January 1st we showed the tax applied in practice: a receipt for a 10 pack of flavored water carried a 51% beverage tax. And since PA has a sales tax of 6% and Philly already charges another 2%, the total sales tax was 8%. In other words, a purchase which until last year came to $6.47 had overnight become $9.75.
- John Podesta joins The Washington Post as a contributing columnist
The Washington Post today announced that John Podesta will join the Opinion section as a contributing columnist. Podesta, former chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign, will provide commentary and analysis on the intersection of politics and policy, the Trump administration and the future of the Democratic Party. “No one knows more about how Washington works, how the White House operates, and how policy ideas are translated into reality than John Podesta,” said Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt. “His long experience in Congress, inside two Democratic White Houses and on the front lines of numerous presidential campaigns, will offer readers vital insight into Washington and politics at the start of a new era.”
- Loretta Lynch: Need more marching, blood, death on streets
The Obama administration’s former Attorney General Loretta Lynch has made an impassioned video plea for more marching, blood and death on the streets – a video that was later posted on the Facebook page of Senate Democrats as “words of inspiration.” The video is less than a minute long and begins by stating that people are experiencing “great fear and uncertainty,” with the unstated implication it is due to Donald Trump’s takeover of the White House.
- Thousands of ICE detainees claim they were forced into labor, a violation of anti-slavery laws
Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement were forced to work for $1 day, or for nothing at all — a violation of federal anti-slavery laws — a lawsuit claims. The lawsuit, filed in 2014 against one of the largest private prison companies in the country, reached class-action status this week after a federal judge’s ruling. That means the case could involve as many as 60,000 immigrants who have been detained. It’s the first time a class-action lawsuit accusing a private U.S. prison company of forced labor has been allowed to move forward.
- Deutsche Bank’s turnaround plans are punishing its stock
Wall Street isn’t thrilled with Deutsche Bank’s turnaround plans. Shares of John Cryan’s bank dropped nearly 4 percent Monday following a weekend announcement that it would raise $8.5 billion through a stock-diluting equity offering. Shares fell 3.8 percent to $18.61 at the end of the trading day, the lowest since Jan. 17.
- Deutsche Bank shares hit by cash call
Shares in Deutsche Bank closed 3.7% lower on news it plans to bolster its finances through selling new shares. Germany's biggest bank plans to raise about 8bn euros (£6.9bn, $8.5bn) through the sale, due later this month. The sale by the troubled bank is part of a wider shake-up. Deutsche will also partially float its asset management business and retain Postbank – the retail banking business that it had been expected to sell. The company will be reorganised around three divisions: private banking and wealth management; asset management; and corporate and investment banking. The bank is trying to reshape itself after grappling with huge losses and a 15bn euro legal bill imposed by regulators since 2012.
- Soros-Tied Obama Lawyers Form Group to Battle Trump
Further evidence of Barack Obama’s close association with efforts to oppose President Trump has emerged: a group of former top lawyers for the Obama administration have formed an organization aimed at utilizing legal advocacy methods to oppose Trump’s policies. The organization is calling itself United to Protect Democracy, drawing on the theme of Obama’s farewell speech last month. The group is already partnered with an organization heavily financed by billionaire George Soros and is led by a former Obama lawyer who previously worked at a Soros-financed global activist outfit. Politico first reported on the formation of United to Protect Democracy, which has already raised $1.5 million and hired five staffers.
- House Republicans release long-awaited plan to replace Obamacare
House Republicans on Monday released long-anticipated legislation to supplant the Affordable Care Act with a more conservative vision for the nation’s health-care system, replacing federal insurance subsidies with a new form of individual tax credits and grants to help states shape their own policies. Under two bills drafted by separate House committees, the government would no longer penalize Americans for failing to have health insurance but would try to encourage people to maintain coverage by allowing insurers to impose a surcharge of 30 percent for those who have a gap between health plans.
- China overtakes eurozone as world’s biggest bank system
China’s banking system has surpassed that of the eurozone to become the world’s largest by assets, a sign both of the country’s increased influence in world finance and its reliance on debt to drive growth since the global financial crisis. While China’s gross domestic product surpassed the EU’s economic bloc in 2011 at market exchange rates, its banking system did not take over the top spot until the end of 2016, Financial Times analysis shows. The lag reflects Beijing’s increased “financial deepening” — the term for the growth of a country’s financial system relative to gross domestic product. This has been fuelled by an extraordinary increase in bank lending since 2008, when the government unleashed aggressive monetary and fiscal stimulus to buffer the impact of the global crisis.
- ‘This is McCarthyism!’ Trump accuses Obama of wire tapping Trump Tower before election win
US President Donald Trump has accused his predecessor Barack Obama of “wire tapping” Trump Tower just before his election win in November, according to his latest tweet. Trump made the accusation in a tweet decrying the alleged surveillance as “McCarthyism.” Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis denied Trump’s allegation, according to Reuters, saying: “A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice.”
- Snopes caught releasing fake “fact-check” in defence of Democrats
Snopes, the popular myth-busting website, pushed misleading facts to cover for Democrats Keith Ellison and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who didn’t leave their seats during the second standing ovation for Carryn Owens, widow of the deceased hero Navy SEAL Ryan Owens. During Trump’s address to Congress on Tuesday, Carryn Owens received two standing ovations. The second ovation, which lasted two minutes, Keith Ellison and Debbie Wasserman Schultz chose to stay in their seat.
- Juncker Has Meltdown While Debating Future Of EU: “Shit! What Do You Want Us To Do?”
There should be no doubt about the current status of the European Union. It’s crumbling before our very eyes. Between the sprawling unaccountable bureaucracy in Brussels, the unpayable debts, the unfettered immigration, and the unprecedented emergence of conservative, nationalistic groups, it’s obvious that the EU is not long for this world. No nation can survive those pressures; much less a loosely held, 24 year old political union consisting of a wide variety of languages and cultures. And this fact is beginning to show. Not just because nations like the UK have already voted to leave the EU, and talk of independence referendums is spreading like wildfire across the continent. This fact is beginning to show on the faces and lips of the EU’s leaders.
- The NSA Wiretaps Every Future President
Trump's on the warpath. He just called out Obama for wiretapping Trump Tower in the months leading up to the election. We are seeing commentaries popping up around the internet claiming that this is a modern-day Watergate scandal. We respectfully disagree. It's far, far more serious. If Trump Tower was wiretapped, it was almost certainly done by the NSA.
- Valerie Jarrett Has Moved Into Obama’s Anti-Trump Command Center To Aid In The Effort To Sabotage The President
Never before have we seen a previous president and his team openly attempt to sabotage the next president, but that is precisely what is happening. Traditionally, most ex-presidents have chosen to move far away from Washington, but Barack Obama decided to purchase a home less than two miles from the White House, and many of his former staff members are either working directly with him or are working for his political organization Organizing for Action. And of particular concern is the fact that Valerie Jarrett has actually moved into Obama’s five million dollar home, which many are referring to as Obama’s “anti-Trump command center”. For eight years the Obamas wouldn’t even sneeze without consulting Valerie Jarrett first, and needless to say Jarrett has not moved in to help them pick out wallpaper and drapes. Jarrett is a hardcore political operative, and she has reportedly convinced Obama that he needs to lead the fight against Trump.
- President Oprah? Speculation Rises That The 2020 Election Will Feature An Epic Battle Between Donald Trump And Oprah Winfrey
When Donald Trump originally announced that he was going to run for president, he said that his ideal choice for a running mate was Oprah Winfrey, but now he may be actually running against her in the 2020 election. A recent episode of The David Rubenstein Show that featured an interview with Oprah Winfrey is creating a tremendous amount of buzz that Oprah Winfrey may throw her hat into the ring during the next election cycle. This particular episode was taped back on December 12th, but it didn’t actually get aired on Bloomberg TV until last Tuesday. You can see the portion of the interview in which Oprah is asked about her presidential aspirations on YouTube right here, and as you can see, she definitely sounds like someone that is very seriously thinking about running…
- 11 Quotes From Trump’s Speech To Congress That Show That The U.S. Economy Is In A State Of Collapse
After Tuesday night, nobody should have any more doubt that the U.S. economy has been in the process of collapsing. Donald Trump’s speech to a joint session of Congress is being hailed as his best speech ever. Even CNN’s Van Jones praised Trump, which shocked many observers. Jones said that when Trump honored the widow of slain Navy Seal Ryan Owens that it “was one of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics”, and Jones believes that Trump “became President of the United States in that moment”. But Trump’s speech is not just being praised for that one moment. He detailed many of the most important problems that our nation is facing, and he explained his prescription for addressing those problems.
- S&P 500 ETF saw historic inflows in Wednesday’s monster rally
Wednesday marked the largest one-day rise for the S&P 500 since November, but the biggest exchange-traded fund to track the benchmark index took down an even longer-standing record amid the broad advance. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY, -0.19% saw inflows of more than $8 billion on Wednesday, the biggest single-day move into the fund since December 2014, and one of the top 10 biggest flow days for the ETF in its history. The flow data includes the 34.2 million shares that were created in the fund, according to data provided by State Street Global Advisors, which runs the fund.
- Euro Breakup Contagion Risk Is Exploding
With existential elections looming, Sentix Euro Break-up Contagion Index – a market measure of the contagion risk from one or more countries leaving the euro area within the next 12 months period – has hit its post-2012 record recently… As Sentix notes, the Eurocrisis is once again in the limelight. And this time the drama consists of three main actors: Greece, Italy and France. How dangerous this tendency for the cohesion of the eurozone could become is a look at the index to the spreading risk, which has almost climbed to the 50% mark – an all-time high!
- Newly-Declassified Documents Show that CIA Worked Closely with Owners and Journalists with Many of the Largest Media Outlets
Newly-declassified documents show that a senior CIA agent and Deputy Director of the Directorate of Intelligence worked closely with the owners and journalists of many of the largest media outlets. The United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities found in 1975 that the CIA submitted stories to the American press.
- This Chart Signals China's Housing Bubble May Burst Soon
The probability that a real estate bubble may burst in China is rising. The financial sector heavily depends on real estate, which in turn exposes the entire Chinese economy to systemic risk. This link means that a downturn in real estate could soon spread to other areas of the Chinese economy if banks face liquidity shortfalls. Also, falling housing prices could result in more non-performing loans (NPLs). While NPLs officially account for only 1.75 percent of all Chinese loans, the government is likely understating the figure. BMI Research, a financial consulting firm, estimated in a 2016 report that NPLs could be close to 20 percent of loans.
- China Strikes A Path To Develop Its Own Digital Currency
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has reportedly been taking steps to develop a digital currency of its own. In 2014, China assembled a research team to study digital currencies and application scenarios by collaborating with experts from Citigroup Inc. and Deloitte LLP. Although the team did not specify what technology the PBOC would use to issue digital currency, or how it would work in relation to the yuan, a later 2016 research paper did outline ways that a national digital currency could work.
- Trump Seeks “Historic” $54 Billion Increase To Defense Spending
As observed earlier in the day, as part of the leaked preliminary Trump budget, the president was set to unveil major spending increases for US defense offset by cuts to federal agencies, and other non-defense sectors. And on Monday morning, the first details emerged, including that the boost to defense spending is expected to be about 10%, or some $54 billion, and will be revenue neutral, offset by cuts in non-defense areas, and will not “add a dime to the deficit.” As Trump said, he is seeking a “historic increase” in military spending. “This budget will be a public safety and national security budget,” Trump told state governors at the White House. “It will include an historic increase in defense spending to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America at a time we most need it,” he said.
- The Greek “Bank Jog” Is Back: Bank Deposits Tumble To Lowest Since 2001
It didn't take much for the Greek bank run jog to return: with Greece once again stuck between an IMF rock and a Schauble hard case, and whispers that another bailout may be on the horizon, the local population took advantage of whatever capital controls loopholes they could find, and withdrew money from the local banking sector, which to this day remains on ECB life support, almost two years after the 3rd Greek bailout in the summer of 2015. According to Greece central bank data, Greek private sector bank deposits declined in January for the second month in a row, driven by renewed concerns over the country's neverending bailout. Business and household deposits fell by €1.63 billion, or 1.34% month-on-month to €119.75 billion ($126.8 billion), the lowest level since November 2001. The January outflow follows a “jog” of €3.4 billion in December, making the two-month drop the worst since the latest Greek bailout panic in July of 2015.
- China Accounts For Half Of All Global Debt Created Since 2005: Here Are The Implications
Over three years ago, in November 2013, when the world's attention was still largely focused on what the “Big 4” central banks would do with QE and/or interest rates, we wrote an article showing in one simple chart “How In Five Short Years, China Humiliated The World's Central Banks”, and noted that in just the brief period since the financial crisis “Chinese bank assets (and by implication liabilities) have grown by an astounding $15 trillion, bringing the total to over $24 trillion. In other words, China has expanded its financial balance sheet by 50% more than the assets of all global central banks combined.”
- The European Debt Bomb Fuse Is Lit! Target2 Imbalances Hit Crisis Levels
Eurozone Target2 imbalances have touched or exceeded the crisis levels hit in 2012 when Greece was on the verge of leaving the Eurozone. Others have noted the growing imbalances as well. I had a couple of questions for the ECB regarding Target2, which they have answered, I believe disingenuously. First, we will explain Target2, then we will take a look at various charts, viewpoints, and the email exchange with the ECB.
- Trump’s border wall plan already working: Illegal immigration down 27%
According to number released by Customs and Border Protection on Monday, illegal immigration over the southern border diminished 27% in the first month of 2017 from the previous month of December. In January a total of 31,575 migrants were apprehended for entering the U.S. illegally and an additional 10,899 were inadmissible. Although chatter of Trump’s proposed construction of a wall has likely thwarted migrants, for now, the flow of human traffic into the U.S. is expected to pick back up in the spring months.
- Poll: Majority of Americans fear US will become involved in another major war
A majority of Americans are concerned that the United States will become involved in another major war over the course of President Trump's term, according to an NBC News/Survey Monkey online poll released Wednesday. Sixty-six percent are worried that the U.S. will become engrossed in another major war, while 33 percent are not worried. The poll also found that 62 percent believe the U.S. should consider its allies’ interests even if doing so means making compromises, while 34 percent of Americans think the country should do what is best for its own national interest.
- Under the Heel of the Rothschilds
That America is on “life support” has been clear for a long time—in fact, ever since the Swinging Sixties and the end of the Vietnam war. America’s rapidly deteriorating condition of the late seventies is what led to my search for what happened to the promise of “the American dream”. What I cannot comprehend is all this wringing of hands, rending of garments and gnashing of teeth. It’s like that old scorpion story. Didn’t America know what was going on before Trump was elected to ride on its back? Apparently not. Observe: the Rothschilds consolidated their European holdings of wealth and power by the late 1700s. By the turn of that century, they virtually owned, and most certainly controlled Britain, the sole superpower of the day, a global power on whose colonial holdings “the sun never set.”
- Georgia high school punishes student for supporting President Trump
Paul Joseph Watson reports for InfoWars, Feb. 28, 2017, that Patrick Ragozzine, a student at Cherokee High School in Canton, Georgia (about 45 minutes from Atlanta), received an ISS (in school suspension) for supporting President Trump against students who called Trump a racist. Ragozzine writes: “I overheard some students bashing Donald Trump, making false claims that he’s a racist, sexist, xenophobic person. The teacher defended the other students and began lecturing me on Trump’s ‘hateful’ rhetoric and how the other students have the right to hold those feelings.”
- How We Got Here In One Sentence
In every annual budget debate since the 1980s, one side figures out that the way to get what it wants – which is higher spending – is to frame the request in a particular, ingenious way: We have to borrow and spend way more now if we want to borrow and spend way less later. History has of course proven this argument to be idiotic, but because it moves the pain of living within our means into the indefinite future, it always manages to attract enough votes to win the day.
- The Largest Debt Bomb In Human History is About to go BOOM!
The media doesn’t seem to be talking much about national debt these days, perhaps because under the Trump administration it actually reduced by $12B in January? Unfortunately, that’s nothing but a drop in the bucket because our debt levels are at the highest point in human history. And not just national debt but corporate and personal debt levels as well. And the United States is not alone in this… Right Wing News looks at how the American and global economy has largely been propped up by debt-fueled spending. This is what a hundred years of credit expansion will do, and the only question is when, not if, this house of cards will come crumbling down. Will you be prepared when the inevitable occurs?
- Crack-up Boom Here Now-Rob Kirby
Macroeconomic researcher Rod Kirby thinks the world is well on its way to much higher inflation. Kirby explains, “Some people say there is a dollar shortage in the world. I do not believe there is a dollar shortage. I think we are seeing evidence that there are too many dollars in the world, not too few. Look at real estate prices around the world. In Canada, they are at record levels. In America, they are at record levels. Real estate prices are at record levels in Britain. There are record levels in Australia. They are at record levels in China. This is not what you’d expect in an environment where there are too few dollars. We are seeing the equity markets rally day after day and make new all-time highs. These are not the kinds of things you see when there are too few dollars. In my view, this might be the thin edge of the wedge of a crack-up boom. Money is getting to the street because money is being taken out of dark pools on the dark side of the U.S. Treasury and is being injected into the market place as bonds are being sold off and redeemed. The world is flush with money, extremely flush with money.”
- Giant Fiscal Bloodbath Coming Soon-David Stockman
Former Reagan Administration White House Budget Director David Stockman says financial pain is a mathematical certainty. Stockman explains, “I think we are likely to have more of a fiscal bloodbath rather than fiscal stimulus. Unfortunately for Donald Trump, not only did the public vote the establishment out, they left on his doorstep the inheritance of 30 years of debt build-up and a fiscal policy that’s been really reckless in the extreme. People would like to think he’s the second coming of Ronald Reagan and we are going to have morning in America. Unfortunately, I don’t think it looks that promising because Trump is inheriting a mess that pales into insignificance what we had to deal with in January of 1981 when I joined the Reagan White House as Budget Director.”
- Trump Has Treason in White House-Robert David Steele
Former CIA operative and military Intel officer, Robert David Steele, says there is no doubt President Trump is dealing with “treason in his own house.” Steele explains, “Donald Trump’s biggest worry right this minute is they are stripping away every single one of his loyal staff members and planting spies in the White House. Reince Priebus, in my judgment, is not loyal to Donald Trump. Reince Priebus’ highest mission in life is to keep Donald Trump from unrigging the system, while helping the neo-conservative and the extreme left two party establishment strip away all of Trump’s options to the point that they drive Trump out of office, and Mike Pence is the go along, get along President that keeps the two-party tyranny in place. . . . If he forces the NSA to provide support to the FBI, and if he scrutinizes every phone call that Reince Priebus has made and received, he will find the treason in his own house. I guarantee you there are 30 traitors at NSA, 30 traitors at FBI and over 500 traitors across the U.S. government, including the Departments of State and Defense. Counterintelligence has to be set in motion right now.”
- Why Is NASA Using The Discovery Of 7 New Earth-Sized Planets To Promote The Idea That Alien Life May Exist?
NASA told us in advance that there would be a huge announcement on Wednesday, and it certainly was not a disappointment. NASA’s declaration that 7 new Earth-sized planets had been discovered approximately 40 light years away from our sun made headlines all over the globe, and the Internet immediately started buzzing with lots of discussions about the possibility that these newly discovered worlds may have life on them. This isn’t the kind of thing that I normally write about on The Economic Collapse Blog, but some of the things that were being said by the scientists involved in this discovery seemed quite odd. It is one thing to say that some new planets have been found, but it is another thing entirely to start speculating about life on those planets. With each new discovery that is made, why does it always seem like NASA is trying to promote the idea that alien life may exist somewhere out there? Could it be possible that they are trying to mentally prepare us for something?
- How Angry Will You Be If The Republicans In Congress Do Not Repeal Obamacare?
Top Republicans are now publicly saying that Obamacare will never be fully repealed. In fact, many Republicans in Congress are already using the term “repair” instead of “repeal” to describe what is going to happen to Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law. Without a doubt, the Republicans in Congress are eventually going to do something, but strategists in both parties are now suggesting that most of the key elements of Obamacare are going to remain once everything is all said and done. It will be put into a more “conservative” package, but it will still be Obamacare. On Thursday, former House Speaker John Boehner made headlines all over the country when he said that a complete repeal of Obamacare is “not what’s going to happen”. Instead, Boehner said that Republicans are going to “fix Obamacare” and that they will “put a more conservative box around it” in order to keep their constituents happy.
- As Wendy's Is Proving, Target Has Shown, Higher Minimum Wages Lead To Job Losses
We people who know our economics keep insisting that raising the minimum wage will lead to people employing less labour. That's just what people do when the price of something rises, they buy less of it. The other name for people using less labour is that we will lose jobs, there will be unemployment. A number of theories are put forward for why this won't happen but happen it still does. As the twin stories of Target and Wendy's show us.
- Retail Apocalypse Gains Momentum As David Stockman Warns ‘Everything Will Grind To A Halt’ After March 15th
J.C. Penney and Family Christian Stores are the latest retail giants to announce widespread store closings. As you will see below, J.C. Penney plans to close between 130 and 140 stores, and Family Christian is closing all of their 240 stores. In recent months the stock market has been absolutely soaring, and so most people have simply assumed that the “real economy” must be doing well. But that is not the case at all. In fact, the retail apocalypse that I have been documenting for quite some time appears to be gaining momentum. J.C. Penney is not in as rough shape as Sears is just yet, but it is definitely on a similar trajectory. In the end, they are both headed for bankruptcy. That is why it wasn’t too much of a surprise when J.C. Penney announced that they are getting rid of about 6,000 workers and closing at least 130 stores…
- Ford set to axe 1,160 UK jobs, Unite warns as it gears up for strike action
Unite has said up to 1,160 jobs will go by 2021 after Ford said it will cut investment in a new engine programme. The union has warned workers at Ford's Bridgend plant in Wales will be “one step closer to strike action” if the company doesn't commit to protecting jobs. At the moment, the headcount is 1,760. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey is visiting the site today with three mass meetings being held. He said: “Unite members are committed to Ford, the Welsh Assembley is committed to Ford, all we need now is for Ford to commit to its workforce. That means investment, new product lines and a clean plan for the plant's future.”
- Is Something Strange Happening Inside The Earth?
Why are “giant fountains of lava” suddenly pouring out of some of the most dangerous volcanoes on the entire planet, and why are so many long dormant volcanoes suddenly roaring back to life? The spectacular eruption of Mt. Etna in Italy is making headlines all over the world, but it is far from alone. According to Volcano Discovery, 35 major volcanoes either are erupting right now or have just recently erupted, and dozens of others are stirring. So what is causing this upsurge in volcanic activity? Is something strange happening inside the Earth? According to the USGS, magma is “molten rock underground”, and lava is molten rock “that breaks through the Earth’s surface”. Right now, something is pushing magma up through the crust of the Earth at a number of key spots around the planet. On the island of Sicily, the “giant fountains of lava” that are coming out of Mt. Etna can be seen 30 kilometers away…
- Venezuela is down to its last $10 billion
Caracas is running out of cash. Venezuela only has $10.5 billion in foreign reserves left, according to its most recent central bank data. For rest of the year, Venezuela owes roughly $7.2 billion in outstanding debt payments. In 2011, Venezuela had roughly $30 billion in reserves. In 2015, it had $20 billion. The trend can't persist much longer, but it's hard to know exactly when Venezuela will run completely out of cash.
- If You Admit That You Are A Trump Supporter, It May Cost You Your Job
Many liberals that are still extremely bitter about the outcome of the election are taking out their frustrations on Trump supporters all over the country. And in some cases, employees are actually being “reassigned”, fired or asked to leave their jobs if they openly admit their support for President Trump. This kind of political discrimination is not supposed to be happening in our workplaces, but it is happening. Many leftists that are in positions of authority around the nation are using that authority to punish people that voted for Donald Trump. So if you voted for Trump and your boss didn’t, you might want to keep your political views to yourself at your workplace if you want to keep your job.
- In Letter Sent Home To All Parents, Chicago Public Schools Promise To Obstruct ‘The Enforcement Of Federal Civil Immigration Law’
The Chicago public school system has decided to openly defy the president of the United States. More than 392,000 students attend public schools in Chicago, and on Tuesday a letter was sent home with each of those students telling their parents that Chicago schools will not “assist in the enforcement of federal civil immigration law”. In fact, the letter actually says that federal officials will not even be allowed “to access CPS facilities”. In essence, every Chicago public school has now officially been declared to be a “sanctuary” for illegal immigrants. This is just another example of how deeply divided we are as a nation. The entire public school system of one of our largest cities is now in open rebellion against the president, and that is a very dangerous sign.
- Radical Leftists Are Warning That The Trump Years Will Be ‘Apocalyptic’ – And They Just Might Be Right
Is the United States about to plunge into an apocalyptic nightmare from which it may never recover? During the Obama era conservatives often warned of such scenarios, but now things have completely shifted. At the moment, conservatives are generally more optimistic than they have been in many years, but quite a few liberals are warning that the Trump years could have absolutely disastrous consequences for this country. They are concerned that Trump’s policies could burst the giant debt bubble that we have been living in and trigger economic collapse, they are concerned that widespread civil unrest could soon erupt in our cities, they are concerned that our rapidly deteriorating environment and major natural disasters could soon kill millions, and they are also concerned that faltering relationships with other nations could lead us into World War III.
- Pastor Lindsey Williams introduces Pastor David Bowen – March 2, 2017
Pastor Lindsey Williams introduces Pastor David Bowen with his regular short weekly video for readers of Pastor Williams' weekly newsletter.
Latest News From February 24, 2017 to March 2, 2017:
- March 2017: The End Of A 100 Year Global Debt Super Cycle Is Way Overdue
For more than 100 years global debt levels have been rising, and now we are potentially facing the greatest debt crisis in all of human history. Never before have we seen such a level of debt saturation all over the planet, and pretty much everyone understands that this is going to end very, very badly at some point. The only real question is when it will happen. Many believe that the current global debt super cycle began when the Federal Reserve was established in 1913. Central banks are designed to create debt, and since 1913 the U.S. national debt has gotten more than 6800 times larger. But of course it is not just the United States that is in this sort of predicament. At this point more than 99 percent of the population of the entire planet lives in a nation that has a debt-creating central bank, and as a result the whole world is drowning in debt.
- What This Woman Was Shown About The Future Of The United States Will Shake You To Your Core
Judgment is coming to America very soon. Recently, Julie Whedbee was shown what life will be like for believers in the United States during the Tribulation. She has been having dreams and visions for over 20 years, and she is someone that I have come to hold in high regard. What was revealed to her about the future of the United States is quite chilling to say the least. She was shown a time when Christians have to live in hiding in a post-apocalyptic America where millions of people have already been killed.
- Virtually Everyone Agrees That Current Stock Market Valuations Are Not Sustainable And That A Great Crash Is Coming
Current stock market valuations are not sustainable. If there is one thing that I want you to remember from this article, it is that cold, hard fact. In 1929, 2000 and 2008, stock prices soared to absolutely absurd levels just before horrible stock market crashes. What goes up must eventually come down, and the stock market bubble of today will be no exception. In fact, virtually everyone in the financial community acknowledges that stock prices are irrationally high right now. Some are suggesting that there is still time to jump in and make money before the crash comes, while others are recommending a much more cautious approach. But what almost everyone agrees on is the fact that stocks cannot go up like this forever.
- Video: Nancy Pelosi Refuses to Applaud American Job Creation
As President Donald Trump hailed the creation of private sector jobs by American companies since he was elected, many in Congress cheered tonight. Except Nancy Pelosi. During his Address to Congress, Trump ran down a list of companies that have announced investments and job additions in the last several weeks. “Since my election, Ford, Fiat Chrysler, Generall Motors, Spring, Sofbank, Lockheed, Intel, Walmart and many others have announced that they will invest billions and billions of dollars in the United States and create tens of thousands of new American jobs,” Trump said. As many stood to applaud, Pelosi remained seated with a sour look on her face.
- California Governor Spends $25 Billion Per Year On Illegals, Officials Warned Dam Failing 12 Years Ago
According to a report from the Washington Times, California Governor Jerry Brown has been spending $25 billion a year supporting illegal immigrants while neglecting the failing Oroville dam. Despite California’s utter hatred for President Trump they sure do expect a lot from him. When President Trump said $1 trillion needed to be spent on the nation’s infrastructure Governor Brown responded by submitting a $100 billion wishlist for projects in California. In the $100 billion request submitted by Governor Brown there was not a single mention of the Oroville dam. Governor Brown had absolutely no plans to fix it despite warnings that the dam was in serious need of repair for nearly 12 years according to Mercury News.
- Obamas To Make Over $60 Million From Book Deal
What took the Clintons years of confidential speeches before major investment banks and middle eastern clients of the Treasury Department, the Obama's plan to achieve with just two books. According to the FT, several publishers are participating in a blockbuster auction for the global rights to two books by Barack and Michelle Obama where the bid has reached more than $60 million. The Obamas, who are writing separate books but selling the rights jointly, stand to make a record amount for their presidential memoirs.
- Russia and China veto UN vote on Syria
Russia and China veto UN Security Council resolution imposing sanctions on Syria, as in a blow to the Western powers a raft of non-aligned countries decide to vote against or abstain. As promised Russia voted against the latest attempt by the Western powers to use the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Syria, this time in connection with Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons. This is the seventh occasion that Russia has wielded its veto on Syria’s behalf. China also voted against the resolution, the sixth time China has voted against a Western sponsored resolution concerning Syria.
- What's So Bad About Globalism? (Spoiler Alert: Everything)
As far as I can tell, globalism is a scheme concocted by the rich to destroy the working and middle classes through worldwide financial imperialism. I have a strong hunch that globalism is also a plot hatched to obliterate indigenous cultures and real human differences under the deceptive ruses of “multiculturalism” and “diversity.” This is why I’m confused whenever I hear someone say they hate “the rich,” oppose “imperialism,” and support “the working class” while being an unquestioning cheerleader for open borders and global government.
- Millionaire Migrants: Countries That Rich People Are Flocking To
Money may not buy happiness, but it does buy the ultimate flexibility for making financial and lifestyle decisions. For many of the world’s millionaires, money provides a highly effective means to escape their home country when times get tough. They can pack their bags, and move their family and capital to a location that will provide superior opportunities for prosperity. According to a new report by New World Wealth, this couldn’t have been truer for 2016, as the amount of millionaire migrants increased by 28% from the previous year.
- The FTSE 100 broke its record closing high for a 13th time in 2017
Britain's FTSE 100 reached an all-time closing high on Wednesday buoyed by a weakening pound and a rise in sentiment following Donald Trump's more conciliatory than expected speech to Congress on Tuesday evening. Trump's speech, along with hints from members of the the US Federal Reserve's FOMC that the central bank could hike interest rates helped push the dollar higher and the pound lower, driving a more than 1.6% rally in the UK's benchmark share index. The FTSE closed at 7,384.6 points on the day, a gain of 1.67%, surpassing the previous record of 7,337 points, a milestone reached in January of this year.
- NY Teamsters Pension Becomes First To Run Out Of Money As Expert Warns “Pension Tsunami” Is Coming
The New York Teamsters Road Carriers Local 707 Pension Fund has won the unfortunate award for “First Pension to Officially Run Out of Money.” According to the New York Daily News, and a host of angry former truck drivers who've had their pension benefits slashed, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) has officially been forced to step in and take over payments to retirees of the Local 707, albeit at a much lower rate. Of course, the Teamsters 707 and other Teamster pension boards attempted to submit plans that would have cut benefits in order to prolong payments to retirees but those plans were universally rejected by the Obama administration… better that the pensions just run out of cash completely.
- FULL: President Trump Speech to Congress – 2/28/2017
President Donald J. Trump addresses Congress for the first time.
- Trump declares it's ‘time to join forces' to fix US problems
Heralding a “new chapter of American greatness,” President Donald Trump stood before Congress for the first time Tuesday night and issued a broad call for overhauling the nation's health care system, significantly boosting military spending and plunging $1 trillion into upgrading crumbling infrastructure. Striking an optimistic tone, Trump declared: “The time for small thinking is over.” Trump's address came at a pivotal moment for a new president elected on pledges to swiftly shake up Washington and follow through on the failed promises of career politicians. His opening weeks in office have been consumed by distractions and self-inflicted wounds, including the bungled rollout of a sweeping immigration and refugee executive order that was blocked by the courts.
- Trump Proposes Cutting State Department Budget By 37%
One month ago, a media frenzy broke out after the WaPo reported of mass voluntary resignations at the State Department, to protest the arrival of Rex Tillerson. Shortly after, it was revealed that not only was it not a “mass resignation” (there were only four high level resignation) but it was all procedural, meant to streamline the transition from one administration to the next. However, the bloodbath at the State Department – for years Hillary Clinton's kingdom, and populated with many pro-Clinton staffers – may have been merely deferred because as AP reports, the Trump administration is proposing deep cuts in spending for diplomacy and foreign aid programs to help pay for increased military spending. Officials familiar with the proposal say it calls for slashing more than a third, or 37%, of the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development budgets. Development assistance would take the biggest hit.
- “There Must Not Be A Bail In”: Germany Vows “No Debt Relief For Greece”
The standoff over the Greek debt crisis was nowhere closer to an amicable resolution on Sunday, when Germany's deputy finance minister Jens Spahn said in an interview with German broadcaster Deutschlandfunk that Greece must not be granted a “bail in” that would involve creditors taking a loss on their loans, reiterating the German government's opposition to debt relief for Athens, and confirming that when it comes to Europe's recently adopted “bail-in” protocols, they “work” in theory, but certainly not in practice (see the latest taxpayer funded bailout of Monte Paschi for another recent example). “There must not be a bail-in,” Jens Spahn said quoted by Reuters, adding that “we think it is very, very likely that we will come to an agreement with the International Monetary Fund that does not require a haircut,” he said, referring to losses that Greece's creditors would have to take if debt was written off.
- Barclays Server Crash Leaves Customers Unble To Withdraw Cash, Use Debit Cards
Having managed to stem its recent earnings rout, reporting a Q4 rebound in income from continuing operations which rose to £380 million after reporting a loss of £2.24 billion a year ago, UK's Barclays is facing a more traditional problem: on Saturday Barclays customers have reported problems using their cards in shops and withdrawing money from some cash machines according to the BBC. Barclays customers tweeted about problems using their cards when out shopping or trying to access online banking on Saturday afternoon. “Wondered why my card was declined when paying for lunch. Barclays servers have crashed. Brilliant,” said one customer, James.
- Poland, Hungary Join Together To Challenge EU Bureaucracy
The rifts within the EU continue to widen as Poland and Hungary join together in opposition to the EU bureaucracy. Soon after Poland’s ultra-conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party came to power in October 2015, the Polish parliament passed a law allowing the government to appoint the judges of its choosing to the highest court and not recognize those chosen by its predecessor, the liberal Civic Platform party. The crisis began in 2015 when Civic Platform, the party then in power, improperly nominated two judges to the constitutional court. When the PiS won October’s elections, it refused to recognize them and also blocked three other judges who had been properly selected by parliament. PiS also wants the court to hear cases in chronological order, rather than setting its own priorities for tackling its caseload. The Polish government believes it is unfair that a constitutional court with a majority of judges appointed under the previous parliament should be able to scupper flagship policies for which PiS secured a mandate in democratic elections in 2015.
- Stockman: “After March 15 Everything Will Grind To A Halt”
Two weeks after David Stockman warned that “the market is apparently pricing in a huge Trump stimulus. But if you just look at the real world out there, the only thing that's going to happen is a fiscal bloodbath and a White House train wreck like never before in U.S. history” and exclaimed that, when looking at markets, “what's going on today is complete insanity” he is back with another interview, this time with Greg Hunter of USAWatchdog in which he, once again warns, that a giant fiscal bloodbatch is coming soon, and urges listeners to pay especially close attention to the March 15, 2017 debt ceiling deadling, at which point everything could “grind to a halt.” As Greg Hunter writes, former Reagan Administration White House Budget Director David Stockman says financial pain is a mathematical certainty. Stockman explains, “I think we are likely to have more of a fiscal bloodbath rather than fiscal stimulus. Unfortunately for Donald Trump, not only did the public vote the establishment out, they left on his doorstep the inheritance of 30 years of debt build-up and a fiscal policy that’s been really reckless in the extreme. People would like to think he’s the second coming of Ronald Reagan and we are going to have morning in America. Unfortunately, I don’t think it looks that promising because Trump is inheriting a mess that pales into insignificance what we had to deal with in January of 1981 when I joined the Reagan White House as Budget Director.”
- Minimum Wage Massacre: Wendy's Unleashes 1,000 Robots To Counter Higher Labor Costs
In yet another awkwardly rational response to government intervention in deciding what's “fair”, the blowback from minimum wage demanding fast food workers has struck again. Wendy's plans to install self-ordering kiosks in 1,000 of its stores – 16% of its locations nationwide. Wendy's chief information officer, David Trimm, said the kiosks are intended to appeal to younger customers and reduce labor costs. Kiosks also allow customers of the fast food giant to circumvent long lines during peak dining hours while increasing kitchen production.
- Trump's first budget proposal will call for $54 billion increase in defense spending
President Donald Trump's first budget will call for a $54 billion (£43bn) increase to defense spending and an equal cut in what his administration deems lower priority programs, an Office of Management and Budget official told reporters Monday. Under Trump's proposal, most federal agencies would face budget reductions, but the official did not say which would see the biggest cuts. Foreign aid spending would also drop. Speaking at a meeting with governors Monday, Trump said, “We're going to do more with less and make the government lean and accountable.”
- Former IMF Chief Sent To Jail As Spain Prosecutes 65 Elite Bankers In Enormous Corruption Scandal
In many other countries, excluding the United States, corrupt bankers are often brought to task by their respective governments. The most recent example of a corrupt banker being held accountable comes out of Spain, in which the former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Rodrigo Rato was sentenced to four years and six months behind bars. According to the AFP, Spain’s National Court, which deals with corruption and financial crime cases, said he had been found guilty of embezzlement when he headed up Caja Madrid and Bankia, at a time when both groups were having difficulties.
- Arizona House Unanimously Passes Bill Taking on State, Federal Asset Forfeiture
Today, the Arizona House voted 60-0 to pass a bill reforming the state’s asset forfeiture laws. The bill also takes on federal forfeiture programs by banning prosecutors from circumventing state laws by passing cases off to the feds in most situations. Rep. Eddie Farnsworth (R-Gilbert) introduced House Bill 2477 (HB2477) on Feb. 7. The legislation would require prosecutors to establish a higher evidentiary standard for asset forfeiture. As it stands, the law only requires a preponderance of the evidence. HB2477 would raise that, requiring police and prosecutors to provide “clear and convincing evidence” the property was linked to a crime. While the proposed law would not require a criminal conviction before proceeding with asset forfeiture, it would take a step toward reforming Arizona’s forfeiture laws under that essential standard.
- Former Trump trade adviser: The world's foremost authority on trade could be Trump's next target
The senior adviser who led President Donald Trump's trade transition team suggested to Business Insider that the next trade agreement that could come under fire from the White House was the US's participation in the World Trade Organization. Dan DiMicco, the former Nucor CEO and board member of the Coalition for a Prosperous America, said “right now” the global organization “does not work for us.” Formed in 1995, the organization consists of more than 160 members. It acts as an international body that, based on a set of agreements negotiated and signed by those members, supports free trade and opposes the sort of protectionist policies that were the hallmark of Trump's campaign promises.
- New Studies Found Something That Really Causes Climate Change (And It Has Nothing To Do With Human Beings)
A new study produced by a University of Wisconsin-Madison geoscientist and Northwestern astrophysicist presents an explanation of the fluctuations of the earth's temperatures in the past that highlights the complexity of the forces at work on the earth's climate and how much we still have to learn about them. The study maintains that the cycle of changes in the climate over the millennia is largely a result of changes in the amount of solar radiation, in part caused by small changes in the orbits of Earth and Mars. While the notion that the impact on earth's orbital cycle on solar radiation levels is a significant factor determining global temperatures is anything but new, the team of scientists seem to have tied the phenomenon to planetary orbits in a more concrete manner than previous studies.
- Trump cuts US debt by $12bn in his first month in office, accuses media of ‘not reporting’ it
The US President Donald Trump has tweeted that he managed to decrease the US total public debt by US$ 12 billion during his first month in office while the former President Barack Obama increased it by US$200 billion over the same period. Trump has also accused the media of turning the blind eye to this fact. “The media has not reported that the National Debt in my first month went down by $12 billion vs a $200 billion increase in Obama first mo,” he said in his Twitter post.
- Dallas Police Pension Board Approves Benefit Cuts; Asks For More Taxpayer Money To Avoid Collapse
For the past several months we've warned that the taxpayers of the City of Dallas, despite all of the tough talk coming out of their elected city council members, would ultimately be forced to bail out the failing Dallas Police and Fire Pension (DPFP) system. And just last night the DPFP board voted 9-0 to approve a plan that would do just that. The plan to save the DPFP was proposed by Dan Flynn, chair of the pensions committee in the Texas House of Representatives, and calls for Dallas taxpayers to contribute 34.5% of police and firefighter salaries each year into the failing pension system, up from 27% in 2015, plus an incremental $11 million per year. In total, the adopted plan will cost Dallas taxpayers an extra $22 million per year.
- Auto Loan Bubble Bursting, And Lenders Know Where Your Car Is At All Times
The story of the Car Loan subprime lending epidemic is nothing new (one of many, student loans etc). Zerohedge has been writing about it for years, with the financial MSM catching on not too long ago. Even John Oliver had a segment about it on his popular show, Last Week Tonight. The new subprime lending epidemic, in the $1.1 Trillion market, which the experts tell us is contianed and won't have the same effect as in the previous crisis, is where all it takes to buy a car at a dealership is the ability to fog a mirror. Cracks have been rearing their heads over the last few months, but nothing like we are seeing as of late. According to the latest data, auto loan delinquencies are now at levels not seen since the last financial crisis.
- Is it Autumn 2007 All Over Again?
While the financial world continues to delight in Trump Mania, the US economy has rolled over into recession. I realize this sounds completely insane. After all, stocks are at new all time highs and a full 61% of Americans view the economy as “strong.” Unfortunately, this is perception, not reality. When it comes to the economy today, Americans are like the guy who hasn’t realized the party is over, and keeps dancing while others are already starting to leave. Consider Government tax receipts. This is perhaps the single most objective economic metric on the planet. If the economy is growing, business are being started, jobs are being created, and more people and entities area paying taxes.
- How Many Euro Crises Will This Make? It’s Getting Hard To Keep Track
Every few years, it seems, one or another mismanaged eurozone country falls into one or another kind of crisis. This leads to speculation about the end of the common currency, which in turn spooks the global financial markets. Then the ECB conjures another trillion euros out of thin air, buys up and/or guarantees all the offending country’s bonds, and calm returns for a while. At least, that’s how it’s gone in the past. The latest crisis has more than the usual number of flash-points and could, therefore, be something new and different.
- Reasons Are Mounting To Be Very Cautious About Stocks Right Now
This year, that outlook could be best described as cautious, which stands in sharp contrast to the bullishness on display in the stock market itself so far in 2017. It’s been said many times that bull markets climb a “wall of worry” but there seems to be a shortage of worry these days among professional investors. The CBOE SPX Volatility Index (VIX), the stock market’s favorite fear-gauge, has collapsed in recent months, hitting a low under 10 at the beginning of February. That’s the lowest level of market volatility recorded in two-and-a-half years … no worry here! And the percentage of Bullish Investment Advisors hit 62.7% last week, a 12-year high! No worry here, either.
- The World Now Faces A Devastating Endgame And How “They All Sold At The Absolute Bottom”
With continued uncertainty around the globe, today the man who has become legendary for his predictions on QE, historic moves in currencies, spoke with King World News about a devastating endgame the world faces and how they all sold the absolute bottom. “They All Sold At The Absolute Bottom” Egon von Greyerz: “Western central banks have a real knack for timing the sale of their gold reserves. They are absolute experts when it comes to picking the bottom of the gold market. Central banks in the UK, Switzerland and Norway, to mention a few, timed their sales to perfection. The only problem is that they all sold at the absolute bottom between 1999 and 2004. That was of course the time to buy gold and not to sell. But the finance ministers in charge of Western economies have no understanding of economics. They don’t even understand that the absolute destruction of their paper money is always revealed by the gold price…
- President of US Mint AP: Trump Tariff Could Divorce Physical Silver From Spot Prices!
Roy Friedman, President of US Mint Authorized Purchaser Manfra, Tordella, & Brookes Joined the Show This Week For A Fascinating Discussion On the Inner Workings of the US Physical Silver Bullion Market. Friedman Discusses The Coming Asset Reallocation, Physical Silver Bullion Shortages, & Trump: Could The Donald Be the Catalyst That Finally Separates the Paper and Physical Silver Markets?
- Man Who Advises Top Sovereign Wealth Funds In The World Says Price Of Silver Will Skyrocket In 2017
On the heels of a wild start to the 2017 trading year where the Dow has repeatedly hit new all-time highs, today King World News spoke with the man who advises the most prominent sovereign wealth funds, hedge funds, and institutional funds in the world. Eric King: “Michael, what’s exciting today is you have a new outperform in the precious metals sector.” Michael Belkin: “Yes, Eric. We have a new 7 stock basket of silver stocks that our model forecast says will outperform the silver universe. We’ve just introduced it in this week’s forecast and I’m recommending these stocks for new purchases right now. I think there is a big opportunity right now in silver stocks. I have silver stocks moving into an outperformance mode in relative and absolute terms.
- A New Monetary System Is Coming But We Are Being Threatened With A Crushing Blow To Our Way Of Life
With tensions heating up around the world, a new monetary system is coming but we are being threatened with a crushing blow to our way of life. A New Monetary System And A Threat To Our Way Of Life. Stephen Leeb: “I’m starting this interview with a depressing admission: today, for the first time in a pretty long life, geopolitical events are starting to really scare me to death. No, it’s not Trump, or any particular president, nor is it Korean missile tests or any other specific event in the news. Instead, I refer to America’s growing inability to see, think, or plan long term. Commodity shortages are coming, a new monetary system is coming, and a divided, short-sighted country has no response. We are threatened with a crushing blow to the U.S. and our way of life…
- The Mother Of All Financial Bubbles
At PeakProsperity.com, we pride ourselves on providing fact-based context to breaking important events. Within 72 hours of the Japan tsunami in 2011, we had analyzed the situation and concluded with high probability that three core meltdowns had occurred at the Fukushima nuclear plant. While it took years for officials to finally admit to the full extent of the crisis, history has validated our initial analysis. How did we get it right? By using a science-based approach grounded in observation, deduction and a healthy skepticism of what the “experts” in charge claimed. We also went to great lengths to educate our readers about the science in play, explaining in detail how radioactivity and contamination differ, the health risks from such a nuclear accident, and what concerned folks could do to remain as safe as possible.
- Russia Gold Buying Returns In January – Buys One Million Ounces
Russia gold buying returned in January with the Russian central bank buying a very large 1 million ounces or 37 metric tonnes of gold bullion. The increase in the gold reserves came after Russia did not buy a single ounce in December – a move seen as potentially a signal or an olive branch to the U.S. and the incoming Trump administration. It also came after Russia had accelerated its gold buying in the final months of the Obama Presidency. October 2016 saw an increase of 1.3 million ounces or 48 metric tonnes and this was the largest addition of gold to the Russian monetary reserves since 1998. Indeed, it was the biggest monthly gold purchase in this millennium for the Russian central bank.
- The Billionaire-Owned, Corporate Media is as Worthless as Ever
Rather than focus its journalistic energy on chronicling the economic insecurity plaguing so many of our fellow Americans, the billionaire-owned corporate media appears entirely obsessed with chattering endlessly about Russia conspiracy theories and domestic coup plots. Instead of looking in the mirror and admitting how its countless errors and propaganda pushing led to multiple humanitarian disasters over the last couple of decades, the oligarch-owned mainstream media insists upon a narrative that Trump the individual is at the root of our problems, as opposed to an entrenched executive branch with excessive power. This is because the mainstream media isn’t actually concerned about our cancerous, systemic metastasizing statism, it merely doesn’t want Trump in charge of it. I, on the other hand, want to dismantle that unconstitutional state entirely and transfer power to the American people where it belongs — self-government. Does anyone actually think for a second the media would be this adversarial if Hillary won?
- Iran Announces 2 Billion Barrel Shale Oil Find
The western province of Lorestan will be getting new attention from the Iranian oil ministry following the discovery of major shale oil reserves in the region, according to new reports emerging from the area. The resources, found in the Ghali Koh field, totaled two billion barrels, Bahman Soleimani, the National Iranian Oil Company’s Soleimani said on Monday, citing a recent study. “The oil is light,” he described. Other research on the area’s shale gas reserves will be completed by October 2017, the official added.
- Biggest Gasoline Glut In 27 Years Could Crash Oil Markets
Oil prices are stuck in a holding pattern, waiting for more definitive data on what comes next. OPEC compliance is helping keep prices afloat, but rising U.S. oil production is acting as a counterweight. A new problem that has suddenly emerged is the record levels of gasoline sitting in storage. The market has already had to digest the fact that U.S. crude oil stocks were rising, and investors have done their best to explain away the trend. But now gasoline inventories are climbing to unexpected heights. It would be one thing if crude stocks were rising, perhaps because refiners were going offline for maintenance. But if that were the case, then gasoline stocks would draw down on lower refining runs. But if both crude and refined product inventories are going up at the same time, then there should be some reasons for worry.
- The Stakes for Trump and All of Us — Paul Craig Roberts
We need to understand, and so does President Trump, that the hoax “war on terror” was used to transform intelligence agencies, such as the NSA and CIA, and criminal investigative agencies, such as the FBI, into Gestapo secret police agencies. Trump is now threatened by these agencies, because he rejects the neoconservative’s agenda of US world hegemony that supports the gigantic military/security annual budget. Our secret police agencies are busy at work planting “intelligence” among the presstitute media that Trump is compromised by “Russian connections” and is a security threat to the United States. The plan is to make a case in the media, as was done against President Nixon, and to force Trump from office. To openly take on a newly elected president is an act of extraordinary audacity that implies enormous confidence, or else desperation, on the part of the police state agencies.
- China pushes for open world economy
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told a G20 meeting in Bonn, Germany on Thursday that Beijing wants to see an open world economy system and said his country stresses multilateralism and globalization. He called on his German hosts to work with China to promote global rebalancing and safeguard trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. He said such efforts would ensure continued global economic growth. During his meeting with (EU) foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini that China and Europe should work together on global security and trade. He also called on the EU to fast track Article 15 of the protocol on China’s entry into the World Trade Organization.
- A new arms race in the Middle East?
New data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute on global weapons sales indicates that there may be an arms race in full swing in the Middle East and Asia. According to a report on trends in international transfers of major weapons published by SIPRI, arms sales have reached their highest since the late 1980s, just before the end of the Cold War. “The flow of arms increased to Asia and Oceania and the Middle East between 2007–11 and 2012–16, while there was a decrease in the flow to Europe, the Americas and Africa,” SIPRI says. SIPRI examines arms imports in five-year increments.
- The Russian Love Affair With Donald Trump Sours As The U.S. And Russia Move Toward War
In recent months Donald Trump has been severely criticized by both Democrats and Republicans for not being sufficiently “anti-Russia”, but the truth is that the Trump administration has not been working hard enough to repair a relationship that is now souring very rapidly. When Donald Trump won the election in November, the Russians celebrated tremendously, because they greatly preferred Trump over Hillary Clinton. But just because Trump was victorious does not mean that our relationship with Russia will automatically improve. Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin both have huge egos, and it is quite easy to imagine a scenario in which things between them go very, very badly.
- What Exactly is the “Deep State” People Are Talking About???
Prior to the 2016 presidential election, there were many topics that were deemed “off limits” by academia, the media, the establishment, the “Powers That Be,” or whatever other crafty names a person can think of to describe the invisible hand that guides society. Over the last several decades, by using agents within academia, the media, and Hollywood to assist them, those very same aforementioned powers have “conditioned” the masses (without many even realizing it), on how to respond to people who ask too many questions about complex or controversial topics. The “Deep State” is one of those topics.
- Will We See an “American Spring” 2017? We Better…
In 2011, a revolutionary wave of both violent and non-violent demonstrations, protests, riots, coups and civil wars arose seemingly independently of one another, and spread across the Arab world. Today, we know U.S. intelligence agencies (aka the “deep state”) were involved many of the uprisings. In some instances entire regimes fell, and in other instances there were far less predictable outcomes. In light of how many career bureaucrats have been very vocal about their unhappiness with President Trump’s surprise victory, is it really all that shocking to see the same intelligence apparatus relentlessly launching assaults against the Trump Administration? In a word: Yes. Why? One of the hallmarks of what makes America such a unique and special country, has always been our peaceful transition of power with each new administration since our country’s inception… but all that was “pre-Obama.”
- Fed Frets about Commercial Real Estate Bubble & its $2 Trillion in Loans Mostly at “Smaller Banks”
The fear of what Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Tuesday – and other Fed governors earlier – called “waiting too long” before raising interest rates is increasingly inserting itself into Fed pronouncements. One of the aspects – and this is getting articulated with increasing intensity – is commercial real estate (CRE) and its impact on banks whose nearly $2 trillion in CRE loans are backed by collateral whose boom-prices are known to crash periodically in phenomenal busts. Or is it the fear of “having already waited too long?”
- “Seriously Delinquent” Auto Loans Surge – Bank regulators have been warning, now it’s happening.
The New York Fed, in its Household Debt and Credit Report for the fourth quarter 2016, put it this way today: “Household debt increases substantially, approaching previous peak.” It jumped by $226 billion in the quarter, or 1.8%, to the glorious level of $12.58 trillion, “only $99 billion shy of its 2008 third quarter peak.” Yes! Almost there! Keep at it! There’s nothing like loading up consumers with debt to make central bankers outright giddy. Auto loan balances in 2016 surged at the fastest pace in the 18-year history of the data series, the report said, driven by the highest originations of loans ever. Alas, what the auto industry has been dreading is now happening: Delinquencies have begun to surge.
- S&P 500 Earnings Stuck at 2011 Levels, Stocks up 87% Since
The S&P 500 stock index edged up to an all-time high of 2,351 on Friday. Total market capitalization of the companies in the index exceeds $20 trillion. That’s 106% of US GDP, for just 500 companies! At the end of 2011, the S&P 500 index was at 1,257. Over the five-plus years since then, it has ballooned by 87%! These are superlative numbers, and you’d expect superlative earnings performance from these companies. Turns out, reality is not that cooperative. Instead, net income of the S&P 500 companies is now back where it first had been at the end of 2011. Hype, financial engineering, and central banks hell-bent on inflating asset prices make a powerful fuel for stock prices.
- Trump Administration Toughens Asylum Rules, Speeds Deportation Process
Amid judicial blockages, and rogue border agents, it appears the Trump administration is still trying its best to follow through on its campaign promises to crackdown on illegal immigration. As Reuters reports, The Department of Homeland Security has prepared new guidance for immigration agents aimed at speeding up deportations by denying asylum claims earlier in the process. Following last week's apparent crackdown on DREAMers, Reuters reports new guidelines, contained in a draft memo dated February 17 but not yet sent to field offices, directs agents to only pass applicants who have a good chance of ultimately getting asylum, but does not give specific criteria for establishing credible fear of persecution if sent home.
- North Korea's Regime In Jeopardy After China Bans All Coal Imports
North Korea just lost a very big ally. On Saturday, China said that it was suspending all imports of coal from North Korea as part of its effort to implement United Nations Security Council sanctions aimed at stopping the country’s nuclear weapons and ballistic-missile program. The ban, according to a statement posted on the website of the Chinese Commerce Ministry, takes effect on today and will last until the end of the year. While China will hardly suffer material adverse impacts, Chinese trade – and aid – have long been a vital economic crutch for North Korea, and the decision strips North Korea of one of its most important sources of foreign currency.
- “There's Something Weird Going On”: Jeff Snider On The Global Dollar Shortage
The first time we explained that one of the biggest risks facing a world in which the dollar is the reserve currency is a global USD shortage, was in mid-2009, when we wrote “How The Federal Reserve Bailed Out The World.” At the time, the IMF calculated that just ahead of the financial crisis, “major European banks’ US dollar funding gap had reached $1.0–1.2 trillion by mid-2007. Until the onset of the crisis, European banks had met this need by tapping the interbank market ($432 billion) and by borrowing from central banks ($386 billion), and used FX swaps ($315 billion) to convert (primarily) domestic currency funding into dollars.” The IMF then extrapolated that “were all liabilities to non-banks treated as short-term funding, the upper-bound estimate would be $6.5 trillion.”
- US Aircraft Carrier Group Begins “Routine” Patrols In Disputed South China Sea
Threatening to destabilize the tentative improvement in Sino-US relations achieved in recent days following Trump's recent concession over the “One China” policy, was the US deployment of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) to the disputed waters of the South China Sea on Saturday as part of maritime “routine operations”, according to an announcement posted on the Vinson's Facebook page. Sailing with the 97,000-ton Vinson is the guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer, the Navy said in a statement. The Vinson carries a flight group of more than 60 aircraft, including F/A-18 jet fighters.
- New Political Turmoil In Italy After Renzi Quits As Ruling Party Leader, Triggering Re-election Battle
Two months after an unexpected, landslide loss in the December 4 constitutional referendum which cost him his job as Italy's prime minister, on Sunday Matteo Renzi quit as leader of Italy’s ruling party, in the process triggering a re-election fight against minority dissidents that threatens the stability of the center-left government, Bloomberg reports. Renzi told a national assembly of the ruling PD that he had handed in his resignation acknowledging he was set back by defeat in last year's referendum, one day after critics from leftist factions threaten to abandon the Democratic Party.
- The Unthinkable Just Happened In Spain
Untouchable. Inviolable. Immunity. Impunity. These are the sort of words and expressions that are often associated with senior central bankers, who are, by law, able to operate more or less above the law of the jurisdictions in which they operate. Rarely heard in association with senior central bankers are words or expressions like “accused”, “charged” or “under investigation.” But in Spain this week a court broke with that tradition, in emphatic style. As part of the epic, multi-year criminal investigation into the doomed IPO of Spain’s frankenbank Bankia – which had been assembled from the festering corpses of seven already defunct saving banks – Spain’s national court called to testify six current and former directors of the Bank of Spain, including its former governor, Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez, and its former deputy governor (and current head of the Bank of International Settlements’ Financial Stability Institute), Fernando Restoy. It also summoned for questioning Julio Segura, the former president of Spain’s financial markets regulator, the CNMV (the Spanish equivalent of the SEC in the US).
- ‘I will not submit!' Marine Le Pen REFUSES to grovel to Merkel and EU in swipe at elite
MARINE Le Pen delivered a rousing speech last night promising that as French President she will not take instructions from Angela Merkel nor beg for her approval. Marine Le Pen continued her fight for the French Presidency, as she laid her policies to put her country's sovereignty first and foremost. In a rallying cry to a crowd in Clairvaux-Les-Lacs, Ms Le Pen said she will not bow down to Angela Merkel and Jean-Claude Juncker. She said that for too long nationals leaders had to ask for permission from the German Chancellor before announcing any action.
- Pastor Lindsey Williams introduces Pastor David Bowen – February 23, 2017
Pastor Lindsey Williams introduces Pastor David Bowen with his regular short weekly video for readers of Pastor Williams' weekly newsletter.
Latest News From March 25, 2016 to March 31, 2016:
- Negative Interest Rates: Causes, Consequences and Ramifications
Central Banks are under the mistaken belief that negative interest rates could be the magic kiss which turns their toad economics into Prince Charmings. Why exactly do they think this? What makes Draghi, Kuroda, and others think imposing negative interest rates will stimulate credit and lending in their respective economies? It is important to understand the logic behind this historic moment in global monetary history. Negative interest rates are unprecedented and show how far we have gone off course in terms of policy related to money and credit markets. They are already having a tremendous effect in several European countries and Japan, and they may eventually be coming to the US. Negative rates hold significant future implications for gold as well.
- SunEdison shares tumble 55% on bankruptcy filing fears
Shares of renewable power firm SunEdison plummeted 55% Tuesday as it teetered on the edge of bankruptcy amid slumping oil prices and swirling questions over the company's accounting practices. SunEdison faces a “substantial risk” of bankruptcy, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing by a subsidiary, TerraForm Global. SunEdison develops, installs and operates alternative energy projects.
- 23 Percent Of Americans In Their Prime Working Years Are Unemployed
Did you know that when you take the number of working age Americans that are officially unemployed (8.2 million) and add that number to the number of working age Americans that are considered to be “not in the labor force” (94.3 million), that gives us a grand total of 102.5 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now? I have written about this before, but today I want to focus just on Americans that are in their prime working years. When you look at only Americans that are from age 25 to age 54, 23.2 percent of them are unemployed right now. The following analysis and chart come from the Weekly Standard…
- Dallas Fed Respondent Sums It Up: “Anyone Saying We're Not In Recession Is Peddling Fiction”
Headlines will crow of the seasonally-adjusted ‘beat' of expectations for the Dallas Fed survey (-13.6 vs -25.8 exp) but this is the 15th month in contraction (below 0) – something only seen in recession. Scratching below the surface we see employees, workweek, and capex all in contraction and forward expectations for new orders and employment tumbled. Perhaps that reality is what drove one respondent to rage, “anyone who says the economy is not in recession is peddling fiction.”
- Q1 GDP Crashes To 0.6%: Latest Atlanta Fed Estimate
Earlier today we said that following the abysmal January spending data revision that “the Atlanta Fed will have no choice but to revise its Q1 “nowcast” to 1.0% or even lower, which would make the first quarter the lowest quarter since the “polar vortex” impacted Q1 of 2015, and the third worst GDP quarter since Q4 2012. It means one-third of already low Q1 GDP growth has just been wiped away.” It was “even lower.”
- US Goods Trade Balance: Exports Stabilise at Low Levels
There was a small recovery in exports for February, which offers some hope that the sector has bottomed out. The latest US trade deficit for goods increased slightly to US$62.9bn for February, from a revised US$62.2bn the previous month and was slightly above the consensus US$62.4bn. Compared with February 2015, there was a widening of over US$7bn in the deficit.
- Chinese Seizing Golden Opportunity; Gold Demand Surging
Generally speaking, rising prices tend to temper demand, but when it comes to gold in China, the recent price rally has created the opposite effect. As the Wall Street Journal put it, “Chinese investors see a golden opportunity.” Demand for gold has surged in China over the last several weeks, during a period generally considered out of season. And it’s not typical Chinese jewelry purchases driving the demand. Chinese investors are buying gold coins and bars.
- Seven years after the Great Recession, some Chicago suburbs may never recover
Mitchell and Loria Versher say they were looking for one thing when they bought their first home in South suburban Markham: “Stability.” They might have been better off buying swampland in Florida. In retrospect, July 31, 2007, was a bad day to go shopping for property anywhere. But the modest 900-square-foot Cape Cod-style home the Vershers bought that day for $137,000, on the eve of the worldwide credit crunch, has fared especially badly, by any standard.
- How They Brainwash Us — Paul Craig Roberts
Anyone who pays attention to American “news” can see how “news” is used to control our perceptions in order to ensure public acceptance of the Oligarchy’s agendas. For example, Bernie Sanders just won six of seven primaries, in some cases by as much as 70 and 82 percent of the vote, but Sanders’ victories went largely unreported. The reason is obvious. The Oligarchy doesn’t want any sign of Sanders gaining momentum that could threaten Hillary’s lead for the Democratic nomination.
- Heidi Cruz: Her Evil Past Is Now Being Revealed
While I am aware that Heidi Nelson Cruz apparently does suffer from deep depression, just after Hillary Rodham Clinton, she is the next person to be feared the most in this presidential race for 2016. Yes, I believe in common decency, but I also stand for the dignity of women, which means that they must be respected and treated equally even if it requires the truth. In an article written by Jesse Byrnes for The Hill that was released today on March 25, 2016, under the title “Trump aide fulfills threat to ‘spill the beans' on Heidi Cruz,” he reports on the recent interview on MSNBC that Steve Kornacki had with Katrina Pierson who is an aide for Donald Trump.
- Chemtrail Flu: Have You Got It Yet?
Pastor Williams: ‘There is a near epidemic going on in America.' ‘You’re sick. Your nose is stuffy. Your body aches, You’re sweaty, coughing, sneezing and you don’t have enough energy to get out of bed. It’s not the flu. It’s a conspiracy, according to Dr. Len Horowitz. His opinion is not based on conspiracy theory but on conspiracy fact. Over the past 10 years, Horowitz has become America’s most controversial medical authority. A university-trained medical researcher, Horowitz, 48, charges that elements of the United States government are conspiring with major pharmaceutical companies to make large segments of the population sick. The mainstream media is reporting that hospital emergency rooms are jammed with patients suffering from a bizarre upper respiratory infection that doesn't quite seem like a virus. They are reporting that it’s a “mystery” flu and that the flu vaccines are ineffective against it. “That’s all hogwash, bogus nonsense”, says Dr. Leonard Horowitz.
- HARRY DENT: Civil unrest is coming to America
I made a confession to our Boom & Bust subscribers last month. While I generally advise against owning most real estate, I have a secluded property in the Caribbean. It's the only property I own (I rent my home in Tampa), and I know for a fact that its value will probably depreciate in the great real-estate shakeout I see ahead, though most likely by half as much as a high-end property in Florida. I own this property because I see rising chances for civil unrest in the inevitable downturn ahead, especially in the US. I want a place to go if things get really bad, and it looks increasingly likely that they will. The evidence for that is piling up in this year's presidential race.
- Is This The Debt Jubilee?
Not so long ago the financial world viewed certain numbers as limits beyond which lay trouble. Interest rates near zero, for instance, were thought to risk destabilizing the banking system. And government fiscal deficits above 3% were considered so dangerous that exceeding this level was prohibited by the Maastricht treaty that all eurozone members were required to sign. Those numbers — 0% and 3% — are still considered bad. But now for the opposite reason: They’re insufficiently aggressive. A big part of the world, as everyone now knows, operates with negative interest rates. And prominent economists are urging even greater negativity as a way to make government debt profitable and get people borrowing and spending again.
- Empty Buildings and Wasted Debt: The Chinese Economic “Miracle”
There’s no doubt that the Chinese economic miracle is real. When you move 500 million people from rural to urban settings, taking them from small farms and putting them in a specialized labor force, the economic dividend is massive. That’s how you keep GDP growing more than 7% for 25 years. But along the way, they wanted more. Beyond building factories and housing for new arrivals, local politicians started building massive, wasteful projects. Political meeting halls… Unused apartment buildings… Empty shopping malls… Part of it might have been poor economic planning, but a bigger, and more common, problem was at work.
- Global Economy Dying Pig-No More Rate Hikes-Rob Kirby
Macroeconomic researcher Rob Kirby predicted the Federal Reserve’s interest rate increase late last year “would be one and done.” Kirby explains, “They had no business raising rates in the first place because the economy was not exhibiting enough strength to warrant any rate raises whatsoever, and there won’t be any more interest rate raises because the economy continues to roll over. Doctored economic data cannot make the sick pig that the global economy really is look any better. It doesn’t matter how much lipstick you put on that dying pig. It’s still a dying pig.”
- Mitsui Sees First Loss Since 1947 Amid $2 Billion Writedown
Mitsui & Co., Japan’s second biggest trading house, forecast its first net loss since it was founded in its modern form in 1947 due to impairment charges on mining and energy projects from South America to Australia. The Tokyo-based trading house expects a net loss of 70 billion yen ($623 million) in the fiscal year ending March after booking impairment charges of 225 billion yen on assets including the Browse LNG project in Australia and the Caserones copper development in Chile, according to a statement Wednesday. Mitsui previously forecast net income of 190 billion yen.
- This Game’s Almost Over: Central Banks Are Running Out Of Options
Going into last week’s Fed meeting, the general consensus was that they would not raise rates. When they hiked rates by a quarter point in December, they projected there would be four additional quarter-point raises in 2016. That’s starting to look fishy as we’re almost a quarter of the way through the year and there’s still no hike. Sure enough, the Fed left rates unchanged as expected last week, and revised their rate expectations lower through 2016. Now, they anticipate only hiking another half point by the end of the year.
- The reserve currency curse
Is reserve currency status a blessing or a curse? The answer might seem obvious, as reserve currencies have been shown to confer lower borrowing costs on their issuers. But what of the borrower who, enticed by low interest rates, borrows more than they can pay back? Naturally the result will be a default. However, for the issuer of a reserve currency that is unbacked by a marketable commodity, such as gold, in the event that they borrow too much, they can just print more reserves. While this avoids default indefinitely, it also hollows out the economy, erodes the capital stock, reduces the potential growth rate and, eventually, leads to a dramatic devaluation of the currency and loss of reserve status. History has not been kind to countries that have followed this path, nor to their financial markets. In my view, the grave investment risks associated with the possible eventual loss of the dollar’s reserve status are not priced into financial markets.
- Well That Didn’t Work
The Bank of Japan and European Central Bank eased recently, which is to say they stepped up their bond buying and/or pushed interest rates further into negative territory. These kinds of things are proxies for currency devaluation in the sense that money printing and lower interest rates generally cause the offending country’s currency to be seen as less valuable by traders and savers, sending its exchange rate down versus those of its trading partners. This was what the BoJ and ECB were hoping for — weaker currencies to boost their export industries and make their insanely-large debt burdens more manageable.
- Belgium Terror Just the Beginning of Insecure World-Egon von Greyerz
Financial expert Egon von Greyerz (EvG) says terror attacks, like the one that just happened in Brussels, can destabilize the entire world. EvG, who lives in Switzerland, explains, “This is obviously a very sad day for our friends in Belgium, but at the same time, we know this is just the beginning, not only in Europe, but with the whole world. We are going to see a much more insecure world. It is worldwide. We know that the refugee problem has included a number of potential terrorists. . . . The problems that will be in the west were created by the U.S. and Europe. The problems that were created in the Middle East and North Africa will lead to more of this. There is anarchy in Libya. There is anarchy in Iraq, and the West has created this. So, they are paying us back, and I don’t think this is finished. We will see a less secure world, and it is not just Europe. The U.S. will see similar problems.”
- Central Banks Move Into Crypto-Currencies As Part Of Cashless Society Hustle
Top UK Telegraph journo Ambrose Evans-Pritchard just wrote about this planned crypto-currency in what is either an incredibly stupid and uneducated article or pure propaganda… it was titled “Central banks beat Bitcoin at own game with rival supercurrency.” The article is horrible central bank happy-talk that reads like the Bank of England wrote it for him and starts off with a blatant lie only three words in… this new RScoin, put out by the central bank of England, has not BEAT bitcoin. It is worse in every imaginable way than bitcoin… right down to the name. RScoin… central banker types aren’t exactly the most creative. We’ll call it FiatCoin around here.
- Lloyd's of London Takes `Massive Hit' From Low Returns
Lloyd’s of London reported a 30 percent drop of full-year profit as the world’s largest insurance market was hurt by continued pressure on pricing and the lowest investment returns since at least 2001. Earnings declined to 2.1 billion pounds ($3 billion) for 2015 as income from investments, primarily in fixed income, sank 60 percent to 400 million pounds with the majority earned in the first half of the year, according to the company’s annual report Wednesday. Weaker insurance pricing in 2015 is expected to continue this year, hurting profitability. “We’ve taken a double hit from reduced margins in underwriting and lower investment yield,” Chief Executive Officer Inga Beale said in an interview with Bloomberg Television Wednesday. “On the investment side we saw a dramatic reduction in 2015 that was a massive hit” to earnings.
- Economic Collapse: Marc Faber Issues Dire Warning for America
U.S. on Verge of Economic Collapse, Says Marc Faber. Adding more emphasis on his belief that the U.S. is on the verge of an economic collapse, perma-bear investor Marc Faber advised retail investors not to put money in U.S. stocks; instead, according to Faber, investors should pour their funds into emerging market equities. The publisher of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report newsletter told Bloomberg that U.S. stocks are highly priced by several measures, including price-to-sales, price-to-earnings, and market cap-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratios, whereas emerging markets have corrected significantly since 2006 and 2011.
- U.S. Mining Losses Last Year Wipe Out Profits From Past Eight Years
The U.S. mining industry—a sector that includes oil drillers—lost more money last year than it made in the previous eight. Mining corporations with assets of $50 million or more recorded a collective $227 billion after-tax loss last year, according to Commerce Department data released Monday. That loss essentially wipes out all the profits the industry had made since 2007.
- Here We Go Again: Government Ramps Up Borrowing As Private Sector Slows
This morning, US existing home sales plunged and the Chicago Fed’s national activity index turned negative. Both are obvious signs of a slowing economy. Anticipating this kind of news, Credit Bubble Bulletin’s Doug Noland in his most recent column analyzed the Federal Reserve’s quarterly Z.1 Report for signs of changing financial trends, and found something potentially serious.
- Michael Hudson on Debt Deflation, the Rentier Economy, and the Coming Financial Cold War
Michael Hudson has sent us the transcript of his newly-released interview with Justin Ritchie on
February 26 with XE Podcast
- NIRP Is Absolutely Crushing Big Parts Of The Finance World
Savers are the obvious victims of the past few years’ plunge in interest rates. But there are other casualties, including money market funds, which have no reason for existing if their yield is negative, and insurance companies, which price their policies on the assumption that they’ll earn good returns on their bond portfolios. As bond yields plunge, the returns insurance companies can expect are also plunging, forcing them into huge write-offs and, soon, steep premium increases that will scare away customers.
- US Military Increases South China Sea Presence; China Balks
In response to China’s assertive moves in the South China Sea, the U.S. State Department struck a deal with the government of the Philippines to permit American military forces to operate from five Philippine bases. The Chinese seem more annoyed than intimidated by the increased American military presence in the region.
- Interest Rates Are Never Going Back to Normal
Let’s see… U.S. corporate earnings have been going down for three quarters in a row. The median household income is lower than it was 10 years ago. And now JPMorgan Chase has increased its estimated risk of a recession to about one in three. These things might make sober investors wonder: Is this a good time to pay some of the highest prices in history for U.S. stocks? Apparently, they don’t think about it… Last week U.S. stocks rose again, after the Fed announced that it would go easy on “normalizing” interest rates. The Dow rose 156 points on Thursday, putting it in positive territory for 2016.
- The Government Wants to Give You Free Cash
Could the government start handing out free cash? It sounds crazy. But believe it or not, it’s a real possibility. In fact, an Ivy league economist just predicted it will happen within five years… If you’ve been reading the Dispatch, you know the Federal Reserve has used crazy monetary policies to “stimulate” the economy since the 2008 financial crisis. These policies have been huge failures. After seven years, the U.S. economy is barely growing. Yet, instead of acknowledging its failure, the government is preparing to double down. And its friends in the lapdog media think it’s time for “helicopter money.”
- Gold and Gold Stocks – A Change in Market Character
Similar to many others, we have been waiting for some sort of correction in gold and gold stocks, but obviously, not much has happened in this respect so far. We have written quite a lot about gold and gold stocks between August 2015 and February 2016, because we felt a good opportunity was at hand – a short term trading opportunity at the very least, but one with the potential to become more than that.
- NATO’s RAGE: Trump Questions America’s Role in ‘Nation-Building’ – Talks of Restoring Russian Ties
GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump unveiled his noninterventionist platform to The Washington Post’s editorial board and in the process – questioned America’s relationship with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization…
- China Sends Fed A Warning: Devalues Yuan By Most In 2 Months
With the USD Index stretching to its longest winning streak of the year, jawboned by numerous Fed speakers explaining how April is ‘live' (and everyone misunderstood the dovishness of Yellen), it appears that The PBOC wanted to send a message to The Fed – Raise rates and we will unleash turmoil on your ‘wealth creation' plan. Large unexpected Yuan drops have rippled through markets in recent months spoiling the party for many and tonight, by devaluing the Yuan fix by the most since January 7th, China made it clear that it really does not want The Fed to hike rates and cause a liquidity suck-out again.
- This map shows every country's major export
Bank of America Merrill Lynch is out with its “Transforming World Atlas” research note, which examines global economic trends through a series of maps. One particular map that stood out showed each country's major export, using data from the CIA World Factbook. Notably, many countries heavily rely on commodities as their primary source of foreign income. Consequently, one can use this as a map to see which country gets hit the hardest when commodities drop. For example, those in navy were hardest hit by the oil crash.
- These are the fastest growing and shrinking counties in America
The American population is always changing in various ways. The Census Bureau recently released their annual estimates of population change in the 3,142 counties and county equivalents of the US, showing how populations grew and shrank between July 1, 2014, and July 1, 2015. Using those estimates, we made a map showing the total population change in each county. Red counties had a loss of population, and blue counties saw increases. As has been the overall trend for decades, the Northeast and Midwest tended to see a loss in population, while the big cities of the South and West, along with oil-rich regions in west Texas and North Dakota, saw big increases.
- HEDGE FUND MANAGER: This is ‘no longer an investment market but a battlefield'
London-based hedge fund manager Crispin Odey, who runs $11 billion in assets, said this is “no longer an investment market but a battlefield.” In Odey's OEI Mac fund's February investment update, Odey slammed central banks for lowering or not raising interest rates. “Several years of watching central banks watching central banks responding to ever falling productivity numbers by reducing interest rates have shown that they can effect asset prices with their actions, but that not only do they have almost no effect on economic activity, but they positively damage it,” Odey said. This year has been brutal for Odey. The OEI Mac fund, which invests in Odey's flagship European fund, finished January up 8.3% before seeing all its gains wiped out after falling -10.6% in February.
- Swiss National Bank Admits It Spent $470 Billion On Currency Manipulation Since 2010
By now it is common knowledge that when it comes to massive, taxpayer-backed hedge funds, few are quite as big as the Swiss National Bank, whose roughly $100 billion in equity holdings have been extensively profiled on these pages, including its woefully investments in Valeant and the spike in its buying of AAPL stock at its all time high. But while the SNB's stock holdings are updated every quarter courtesy of its informative SEC-filed 13F (we wish the Fed would also disclose the equities it holds courtesy of its Citadel proxy), getting a gllimpse of the flow is more problematic, and involves waiting for the hedge fund's, pardon central bank's annual report. Earlier today patience was rewarded when the SNB filed its 108th annual report, in which it disclosed that it spent CHF 86.1 billion or $88 billion, on current interventions last year, a measure of its efforts to shield the economy from deflation.
- This Is One Of The Most Important Silver Charts Of 2016!
On the heels of gold and silver continuing to consolidate their gains from the early part of 2016, analyst David P. out of Europe sent King World News an extremely important chart of silver, along with a brief commentary. The following long-term silver chart and commentary was sent to KWN by analyst David P. out of Europe: “The silver chart looks incredibly bullish. The buy signal on the MACD has confirmed the upward move and just look at the setup.”
- Desperate Chinese Investors Flood US, Canadian Housing Markets, But Real Numbers Are Taboo
Buying a home in the US or Canada has been an effective way for foreign residents to launder some money and get their wealth out of harm’s way. In the trophy markets on the US West Coast and in the Canadian cities of Vancouver and Toronto, rumors of a massive influx of Chinese money have swirled with growing intensity for years. The Chinese economic elite are worried about a devaluation of the yuan. They’re worried about getting rolled up by their own government. They’re worried about markets collapsing. They’re worried about pollution. They’re worried about a million things. They have one foot out the door. If push comes to shove, they’re ready to make the move. So capital flight from China has turned into a tsunami. And this money has to go somewhere.
- Oman Gas Projects Could Undermine U.S. LNG Market Ambitions
Two separate projects in the sultanate of Oman are about to turn the tiny Gulf country into an important international liquefied natural gas (LNG) player that the U.S. will have to contend with in its ambition to become the leader of this market. The first one is an agreement with Iran for the construction of a 400-kilometer pipeline that will transport Iranian natural gas to be liquefied at the three-train processing facility of Oman LNG.
- What Is Happening With GLD And Emerging Markets?
The following charts and commentary are from Jason Goepfert at SentimenTrader: ETF traders keep coming into gold. The GLD fund is seeing inflows even as the fund struggles to hold its gains.
- BERNANKE: Here are some of the exotic tools the Fed could use if we see another slowdown
Although the U.S. economy appears to be on a positive trajectory, history suggests that at some time in the next few years we may again face a slowdown, with a weakening job market and possibly declining inflation. Given that the historically low level of short-term interest rates is likely to limit the scope for conventional rate cuts, how would the Federal Reserve respond?
- Bank Earnings Get Mauled by “Leveraged Loan” Time Bomb
Banks have a few, let’s say, issues, among them: a source of big-fat investment banking fees is collapsing before their very eyes. S&P Capital IQ reported today that there was an improvement in the “distress ratio” of junk bonds, after nearly a year of brutal deterioration that had pushed it beyond where it had been right after Lehman’s bankruptcy. The recent surge in oil prices seems to have lifted all boats for a brief period. But not “leveraged loans.” Their distress ratio spiked to the highest levels since the Financial Crisis!
- “The Greatest Crash Of Your Life Is Just Ahead…” – Harry Dent Warns
Harry Dent, best-selling author and economist, has warned that the stock bubble in the U.S. today is the biggest in history and that the “greatest crash of your life is just ahead…” Writing on his website EconomyandMarkets.com, Dent warned that ‘The story on Wall Street and CNBC continues to be that we’re in a correction and this is a buying opportunity. Even Warren Buffett joins the chorus of stock market cheerleaders for the skeptical public. Well, I agree with the skeptical public, not the experts here! The bull market from early 2009 into May 2015 looks just like every bubble in history, and I’m getting one sign after the next that we did indeed peak last May.
- Keiser Report: Warnings from Confucius
In a double-Stacy episode, we look at the warnings from Confucius and Adam Smith. First, we look at the danger of those who think but do not learn; so ‘free trade’ deals are imposed because a ‘think tank’ believes it’s a great ideological idea but without looking at history to see what happens when wealth and hope are taken from an entire class of people. Then, in the second half, we look at the most important issue of 2016: creeping monopolization as oligopolies emerge in every major sector in America and across the world.
- Top Advisor To Largest Sovereign Wealth Funds Exposes Fed Manipulation And Intervention
Michael Belkin on the Fed’s interventions and manipulations: “I’m utterly convinced that the Federal Reserve manipulates the stock market. I experienced this firsthand when I worked at a government securities dealer, Solomon Brothers, which was one of the top three investment banks back in the 1980s and early 1990s. And in the 1987 stock market crash, they (the Federal Reserve) came in through us and intervened in the markets to make the markets bounce back. Everybody on the desk knew that. They (at Solomon’s trading desk) watched the (Solomon Brothers) Vice Chairman start bidding for multiple huge blocks of stock with money that we didn’t have. At that point the trading desk was paralyzed and nobody knew what was going on.
- This Oil Sector Hasn’t Crashed Yet… But It’s About to
Unlike the rest of the oil industry – which has been decimated by lower oil prices – U.S. oil refiners have marched on to new highs. But the five-year-long bull market for these companies is about to come crashing down. Let me explain… You can see the incredible uptrend in the following chart of refining giant Valero Energy (VLO). Its shares are trading near an all-time high…
- Oil Prices Fall Fast On Huge Inventory Build
Two hundred and twenty-two years after Josiah G. Pierson patented the rivet machine, and the oil market remains as riveting as ever. (I’m here all week, folks). After yesterday’s API report gave a flourishing hat-tip towards a large build to crude stocks and a large draw to gasoline, oil is sliding amid a stronger dollar, while gasoline is pushing higher. Here are some things to consider today: Jumping straight into economic data, the most insights we’ve had overnight have come from Brazil. Its mid-month inflation print dropped into single digits (at +9.95 percent), but still close to a 12-year high. Meanwhile, its unemployment rate jumped to 8.2 percent, its highest level in nearly 7 years.
- There has been ‘a perfect storm' on Wall Street
By now it should come as no surprise that first-quarter results will be pretty horrendous for Wall Street. Banks will begin reporting Q1 earnings in mid-April, and a chorus including Morgan Stanley's head of trading and the CEO of JPMorgan's investment bank has warned that it will be unusually weak. The data-analytics firm Dealogic's preliminary Q1 results for investment-banking fees show the worst first quarter since the dark post-financial-crisis days of 2009.
- Gold, Silver & The Final Currency War
Andy Hoffman from Miles Franklin is back to help document the global economic collapse for the third week of March, 2016. Thanks for tuning in. And despite the horrific “terror attack” in Belgium today, March 22, 2016 [Google: 322 Skull and Bones], I hope you all have a great week.
- Peter Schiff on gold, the Fed and the world’s addiction to stimulus
Peter Schiff is the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital Inc., and is an outspoken critic of the Fed’s stimulus and zero interest rate policies. He is the author of several New York Times bestsellers including Crash Proof, and most recently, The Real Crash.
- More Confessions of an Economic Hit Man: This Time, They’re Coming for Your Democracy
Twelve years ago, John Perkins published his book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, and it rapidly rose up The New York Times’ best-seller list. In it, Perkins describes his career convincing heads of state to adopt economic policies that impoverished their countries and undermined democratic institutions. These policies helped to enrich tiny, local elite groups while padding the pockets of U.S.-based transnational corporations.
- Japan Goes Full Krugman: Plans Un-Depositable, Non-Cash “Gift-Certificate” Money Drop To Young People
The Swiss, the Finns, and the Ontarians may get their ‘Universal Basic Income' but the Japanese are about to turn the Spinal Tap amplifier of extreme monetary experimentation to 11. Sankei reports, with no sourcing, that the Japanese government plans to unleash “vouchers” or “gift certificates” to low-income young people to stimulate the “conspicuous decline” in consumption among young people. The handouts may not be deposited, thus combining helicopter money (inflationary) and fully electronic currency (implicit capital controls and tracking of spending).
- Durable-Goods Orders Weaken Amid Global Headwinds
A key measure of U.S. manufacturing health tipped back into decline last month, evidence that headwinds from weak global growth, low oil prices and financial volatility are weighing on company spending. New orders for durable goods—products designed to last at least three years, like dishwashers and aircraft—fell a seasonally adjusted 2.8% in February from a month earlier, the Commerce Department said Thursday.
- The Initial Jobless Claims Mystery Continues
Still hovering near 43 year lows, initial jobless claims printed a better than expected 265k against expectations of 269k. Continuing claims also dropped from 2.218m to 2.179m – also back near 43 year lows. So, the mystery is – why is the ISM's composite manufacturing and services employment index collapsing to 6 year lows?
- The labor market just did something that hadn't happened since the 1970s
Thursday's initial jobless claims came in stronger than expected, with 265,000 claims versus expectations of 269,000. But the truly historic part of the report actually came three weeks ago. “Today's release also includes revisions of both initial and continuing claims dating back to 2011,” Thomas Simons, senior economist at Jefferies, wrote. “Most of the changes were relatively modest, but the most notable aspect of the revisions is that claims for the week of March 5th (3 weeks ago) were revised down to 253,000 which is, as far as we can tell, the lowest weekly claims figure since November 24, 1973.”
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Latest News From March 18, 2016 to March 24, 2016:
- Connecticut Credit Risk Spikes To Record High
Amid cuts in aid and surging taxes, it appears the market remains less than impressed at Connecticut's debt sustainability. Following last week's disappointing bond auction, CT bond risk has spiked to 65bps over the benchmark – a record spread demanded by investors to take CT repayment risk. CT becomes the 4th riskiest US state after NJ, IL, and PA.
- Humans need not apply: RBS to replace 550 roles with robots
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) plans to replace 550 of its face-to-face investment advisers with so-called robo-advisers. 220 investment advice roles and 200 protection advice jobs will be cut while face-to-face investment advice will be available only to customers with at least £250,000 in investment assets.
- US Manufacturing PMI Misses By Most Since 2013, Presidential Election Blamed
Given the extraordinary jumps in several regional Fed surveys, hope was rife that US Manufacturing PMI's flash print would jump… it didn't. Hovering near multi-year lows at 51.4, PMI missed expectations of 51.9 by the most since Aug 2013. With record highs in wholesale inventories, Markit claims that “pre-production inventories decline at the steepest pace in over 2 years.” The blame for this plunge: dollar strength, weak global demand, and Trump. Not recovering…
- Americans just had $176 million in wages garnished by the government due to unpaid student loans
Despite more programs available to federal student loan borrowers to manage their loans, borrowers are still struggling. In fact, between October 1 and December 31, 2015, private debt collection companies hired by the Department of Education garnished more than $176 million in wages from defaulted student loan borrowers in order to pay back their debts, according to data released last week. Though the government provides a variety of options to help student loan borrowers manage their payments, it also has extraordinary powers — including wage garnishment — to collect on the debt if a borrower defaults.
- U.S. existing home sales tumble in warning sign for housing market
U.S. home resales fell sharply in February in a potentially troubling sign for America's economy which has otherwise looked resilient to the global economic slowdown. The National Association of Realtors said on Monday existing home sales dropped 7.1 percent to an annual rate of 5.08 million units, the lowest level since November. Sales have been volatile and prone to big swings up and down in recent months following the introduction in October of new mortgage regulations, which are intended to help homebuyers understand their loan options and shop around for loans best suited to their financial circumstances.
- Fed's Lacker says he is confident inflation will return to 2 percent
U.S. inflation is likely to accelerate in coming years and move toward the Federal Reserve's 2 percent target, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker said on Monday, flagging upside risks to price growth. Inflation has been unusually sluggish since the 2007-2009 recession. The Fed has kept interest rates low in part to foster faster price gains and said last week it was likely to raise interest rates more slowly than policymakers had expected in December.
- Share Buybacks Turn Toxic
Companies are still borrowing and spending billions on buying back their own shares – one of the big drivers behind the blistering stock market rally of the past few years. It worked wonderfully and without fail. But suddenly, it’s doing the opposite, and now the shares of the biggest buyback queens are getting hammered. Something broke in the gears of this financially engineered market! During the November-January period, 378 of the S&P 500 companies bought back their own shares, according to FactSet. Total buybacks in the quarter rose 5.2% from a year ago, to $136.6 billion. Over the trailing 12 months (TTM), buybacks totaled $568.9 billion. That’s an enormous amount of corporate cash that was dumped on the market!
- It's Day 26 Of The Rally – Decision Time
In September/October 2015, the S&P 500 miraculously rallied just over 13% in 25 days amid falling earnings expectations, before collapsing back to fresh cycle lows. It has now been 25 days (and just over 13%) since the Mid-Feb lows (and earnings expectations are plumbing new lows)… The same but different?
- Rich people are paying lawyers to get truthful stories deleted from the internet
Last week, Bloomberg, The Independent, Business Insider and a handful of other news organisations all deleted from their websites a story that a rich family did not want published. I can't tell you why it was deleted or who the story was about, because of a court order from a judge in London ruling that the facts be kept under seal.
- January ‘Bounce' Dies As Fed's National Activity Index Tumbles Back Into Contraction Near 2-Year Lows
After January's hopeful spike to 6 month highs, Chicago Fed's National Activity Index plunged back into contraction (at -0.29) near 2 year lows. A shockingly large 58 of the 85 individual indiators within the index made negative contributions to the overall index which printed notably below the lowest economist's expectations.
- Nanobot implants could give us ‘God-like' intelligence, but machines won't overtake us until they learn to love, scientist claims
The human brain could be enhanced by tiny robotic implants that connect to cloud-based computer networks to give us ‘God-like' abilities, according to a leading computer scientist. Ray Kurzweil, an author and inventor who describes himself as a futurist who works on Google's machine learning project, said such technology could be the next step in human evolution. He predicts that by the 2030s, humans will be using nanobots capable of tapping into our neocortex and connecting us directly to the world around us. However, he admitted that computers won't take over us until they learn to love and laugh.
- Existing home sales plunge 7.1% to a 3-month low in February
Existing-home sales plummeted 7.1% in February, pointing to ongoing rockiness in a housing market struggling to find its footing. Sales ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.08 million, the National Association of Realtors said Monday, well below the 5.3 million rate forecast by economists surveyed by MarketWatch. February’s decline followed a strong two months. Sales surged by the most ever in December, and followed with a sturdy reading in January when most economists had expected some giveback.
- Federal Reserve Hot Air Pumped Up a Stock Market Bubble; 93% of Gains Due to Monetary Policy
The mainstream financial media is like a stopped clock. Every once in a while, it stumbles into being right. Last week, we had a veteran trader on CNBC Futures Now telling everybody to buy gold as long as central banks continue their expansionary monetary policy, all the while swearing he isn’t a “gold-bug.”
- Legend Warns The Price Of Silver May Hit $660 As The World Financial System Melts Down
On the heels of wild start to the 2016 trading year, today the man who has become legendary for his predictions on QE, historic moves in currencies, and major global events, just warned that the price of silver may be headed to the stratospheric price of $660 as the world financial system melts down. Egon von Greyerz: “The Fed last Wednesday did what I had already forecast back in December and did not increase rates. They know that the real economic situation in the US and in the world is a lot worse than all the manipulated figures and propaganda. Therefore, we are now getting closer to Minsky Moment for the world economy…
- Gerald Celente On Why People Are Buying Gold And Why The Price Is Headed Higher
Today the top trends forecaster in the world spoke with King World News about why the price of gold is going higher. Gerald Celente: “Why are people going into gold and why are gold prices going up? Listen to what former Fed president Richard Fischer said, ‘They (the central banks) are running out of ammunition.’ He also said, ‘We injected cocaine and heroin into the system,’ to basically keep the Ponzi scheme going. So why are people buying gold? Because it (the entire global financial system) is on a fake high. So that’s why gold is going up — it’s a fraudulent game. It’s not working. It’s a fake high. That’s why people are buying gold…
- Radical Leftists Unleash Anti-Trump Riots Starting On March 19th
Many of the exact same groups that participated in Occupy Wall Street and helped organize protest rallies in Ferguson and Baltimore are now promising to bring us “the largest civil disobedience actions in a generation”. I recently wrote about the trouble that radical leftists have caused by attempting to disrupt Trump campaign events, but now there is a very organized effort to turn this into a national movement. On March 19th, thousands of angry protesters will descend on Trump Tower in New York City to denounce Donald Trump’s “fascist policies”, and on April 2nd dozens of leftist organizations will join together to launch “Democracy Spring” in Philadelphia. From there, large numbers of liberal activists will march to Washington D.C. where they will “risk arrest” during a “peaceful” sit-in at the U.S. Capitol from April 11th to April 18th. If the radical left is this freaked out about Donald Trump now, how bad will things get if he actually becomes the Republican nominee?
- Why Investing In Silver Is Vastly Superior To Investing In Gold Right Now
When panic and fear dominate financial markets, gold and silver both tend to rapidly rise in price. We witnessed this during the last financial crisis, and it is starting to happen again. Because I am the publisher of a website called The Economic Collapse Blog, I am often asked about gold and silver when I do interviews. In fact, just a few days ago I was sitting right next to Jim Rickards during the taping of a television show when this topic came up. Jim expressed his belief that investing in gold is superior to investing in silver, but I had the exact opposite viewpoint. In this article, I would like to elaborate on why I believe that silver represents a historic investment opportunity right now.
- Catalonia Nears Default, Threatens Spain’s Debt
When Catalonia’s regional government announced a road map to independence from Spain in November last year, Madrid’s response was to threaten to cut off the financial supply lines to the region. It was the equivalent of a declaration of economic war, riddled with risks, especially with an acutely cash-strapped Catalonia facing over €4.6 billion of bond redemptions in 2016.
- China Hard Landing Hits Electricity Consumption
OK, we’ve heard the official story. China is transitioning from a manufacturing economy to a consumption-based economy. Consumers are king. They’re going to buy stuff. And that’s going to heat up the economy. Imports and exports have been plunging for months, but no big deal, Chinese consumers – and there are a lot of them – are going to pull the economy forward. That’s the official story.
- A Strange Pattern Emerges When Trading The US Dollar In 2016
One of the more surprising market developments of 2016 has been the violent obliteration of those who had taken part in the biggest consensus trade of 2015, namely long the USD. As the Fed finally admitted earlier this week, the US economy is sputtering and is woefully incapable of handling 4 rate hikes, or 3 for that matter. In fact, the Fed will be lucky to push through even one more rate hike without the Chinese Yuan collapsing and unleashing even more capital outflows (which precipitated the major market swoons in the summer of 2015 and early 2016) arguably the main topic during the alleged Shanghai G-20 “central bank accord.” The result: this week saw the biggest two-day USD collapse against a basked of foreign currencies in years, and currently the DXY is trading at a lower level than a year ago.
- January Mortgage Delinquencies up 6.6%; 98,000 Bad Mortgages Face Statute of Limitations in 3 States
The Mortgage Monitor for January (pdf) from Black Knight Financial Services (BKFS, formerly LPS) reported that there were 659,237 home mortgages, or 1.30% of all mortgages outstanding, remaining in the foreclosure process at the end of January. This was down from 688,672, or 1.37% of all active loans that were in foreclosure at the end of December, and down from 1.76% of all mortgages that were in foreclosure in January of last year. These are homeowners who had a foreclosure notice served but whose homes had not yet been seized, and the January “foreclosure inventory” is now showing the lowest percentage of homes that were in the foreclosure process since the fall of 2007. New foreclosure starts, which have been volatile from month to month, fell to 71,900 in January from 78,088 in December and from 93,280 in January a year ago, while they were still higher than the 66,626 foreclosure starts we saw in November, which had been the lowest since the crisis began. Over the past year, new foreclosure starts have remained in a range about one-third higher than number of new foreclosures we we seeing in the precrisis year of 2005.
- “Don't Take The Public For Fools!”: China Hides Millions Of Layoffs, Jails Miners Protesting Unpaid Wages
When you look out across markets and across the increasingly fraught geopolitical landscape, there are plenty of black swans waiting in the wings (no pun intended). And quite a few of them are Chinese. China has, among other problems: a massive debt overhang that, all told, amounts to more than 250% of GDP; a decelerating economy that Beijing swears will be able to pull off a miracle and move away from the smokestack and away from export-led growth without slipping into recession; a currency crisis; a new property bubble in Tier-1 cities; and a burgeoning NPL problem in the banking sector. All of those issues are of course inextricably bound up with one another. They are set like dominoes and once the first one tips, the rest will too as sure as night follows day.
- Life and Times During the Great Depression
The economy of the United States was destroyed almost overnight. More than 5,000 banks collapsed, and there were 12 million people out of work in America as factories, banks, and other shops closed. Many reasons have been supplied by the different economic camps for the cause of the Great Depression, which we reviewed in the first part of this series. Regardless of the causes, the combination of deflationary pressures and a collapsing economy created one of the most desperate and miserable eras of American history. The resulting aftermath was so bad, that almost every future Central Bank policy would be designed primarily to combat such deflation.
- Goldman FX Head: “No Central Bank Conspiracy” To Crush The Dollar, “We Are Right, The Market Is Wrong”
Anyone having listened, and traded according to the recommendations of Goldman chief FX strategist Robin Brooks in the past 4 months, is most likely broke. First it was his call to go very short the EURUSD ahead of the December ECB meeting, which however led to the biggest EURUSD surge since the announcement of QE1. Then, two weeks ago, ahead of the ECB meeting he “doubled down” on calls to short the EUR ahead of the ECB, the result again was a EUR super surge, the biggest since December. And then, as we previously reported, ahead of the FOMC's uber-dovish meeting, Brooks released a note titled the “The Dollar Rally Is Far From Over” in which he said the following: “today brings the latest FOMC meeting. We expect the Fed to signal that it wants to continue normalizing policy, which means three hikes this year and four in 2017, with the statement referring to the risks as “nearly balanced,” reverting to phraseology used in October, just before December lift-off. Overall, our sense is that the outcome will be more hawkish than market pricing, in particular given that the FOMC may leave open the option of tightening at the April meeting.”
- US Money Supply and Debt – Early Warning Signs Remain Operative
Year-end distortions have begun to slowly come out of the data, and while broad true US money supply growth remains fairly brisk, it has begun to slow again relative to January’s y/y growth rate, to 7.8% from 8.32%. So far it remains in the sideways channel (indicated by the blue lines below) between approx. 7.4% and 8.6%, in which it has meandered since mid 2013. We believe the next break “below the shelf” is likely to be a significant event.
- The World Map of the U.S. Trade Deficit
The United States has now run an annual trade deficit for 40 years in a row. Last year was no exception, and in 2015 the U.S. had over $1.5 trillion in exports while importing $2.2 trillion of goods. The resulting trade deficit was -$735 billion. Today’s map from HowMuch.net, a cost information site, helps put this most recent information into perspective. Keep in mind that a trade deficit also means an outflow of domestic currency to foreign markets, as the U.S. is spending more money abroad than it is bringing in.
- The Lego Movie Economy
After the February jobs report, President Obama said “America’s pretty darn great right now.” He then went on to disparage the “doomsday rhetoric” of the Republicans, which he said was pure “fantasy. I think that there is a good chance that this will enter the Hall of Fame of miss-timed statements, right up there with this jewel from Ben Bernanke in March 2007: “At this juncture, however, the impact on the broader economy and financial markets of the problems in the sub-prime market seems likely to be contained.”
- Munich Re Gives The ECB The Middle Finger, Owns Almost 300,000 Ounces Of Gold
Last week, we reported on the ECB’s decision to cut the interest rates and how Mario Draghi said ‘helicopter money’ is ‘an interesting concept that is being studied’. In the accompanying Q&A session, Draghi also said he did not expect the ECB would have to reduce the (already negative) interest rates even further which disappointed the markets. In fact, the disappointment was so big, the ECB already sent one of its members into the trenches to walk back on that statement.
- Investors Buy Gold ETFs at Record Pace
What were the three most popular investments over the last month? If we’re judging by ETF inflows, the three areas that investors piled into were precious metals, government bonds, and low-volatility equities. Notably, it was gold ETFs that set a new record with their highest monthly inflows in eight years, as investors bought $7.9 billion of securities in February. This is according to the latest from market data company Markit, that also noted that inflows relative to assets under management (AUM) were equally as impressive. More specifically, last month’s buying represented an increase of 14.6% in terms of AUM. This is a level only surpassed once before during the heat of the Financial Crisis, when inflows relative to AUM hit 17.7% in February 2009.
- World’s Second Largest Reinsurer Buys Gold, Hoards Cash To Counter Negative Interest Rates
The world’s second-largest reinsurer, German Munich Re which is roughly twice the size of Berkshire Hathaway Re, is boosting its gold reserves and buying gold in the face of the punishing negative interest rates from the European Central Bank, it announced today. As caught by Mark O'Byrne at GoldCore and reported by Thomson Reuters this afternoon, the world’s largest reinsurer is far from alone in seeking alternative investment strategies to counter the near-zero or negative interest rates that reduce the income insurers require to pay out on policies. Munich Re has held gold in its coffers for some time and recently added a cash sum in the two-digit million euros, Chief Executive Nikolaus von Bomhard told a news conference.
- Your Money In The Bank Will Be Gone
The world is now starting the final phase of the failed experiment in creating wealth and prosperity for a select few and massive debt and misery for the masses. It all started with the creation of the Fed in 1913. This led to a global credit creation and money printing extravaganza of a magnitude that the world has never seen before. We have now reached the point when it makes no difference who becomes US president or what the Fed or the IMF will do. No, now we are at the point that von Mises so succinctly defined.
- 12 Obamacare Insurance CO-OPs Fold After Getting $1.2 Bil from Govt.
More than half of the government-funded nonprofit health insurers created by Obamacare have failed, sticking taxpayers with a $1.2 billion tab and leaving hundreds of thousands of people in more than a dozen states scrambling for medical coverage, a new federal audit reveals. The nonprofit insurers are known as Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan Program (CO-OP) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has pumped $2.4 billion into them under the president’s hostile takeover of the nation’s healthcare system.
- Is coercion ever justified?
Last week’s editorial asked the question: Can the Constitution be improved? We said that the American Constitution represented an new concept in history. It declared that the sovereign power of the state rightfully is derived from the people instead of the divine right of kings. We concluded that it was an amazingly successful beta model but that it was not perfect, because it contained undefined phrases, such as “the general welfare” clause, that left holes through which political predators eventually were able to enter and undermine original intent.
- The Internet Of Things Will Be The World's Biggest Robot
The Internet of Things is the name given to the computerization of everything in our lives. Already you can buy Internet-enabled thermostats, light bulbs, refrigerators, and cars. Soon everything will be on the Internet: the things we own, the things we interact with in public, autonomous things that interact with each other. These “things” will have two separate parts. One part will be sensors that collect data about us and our environment. Already our smartphones know our location and, with their onboard accelerometers, track our movements. Things like our thermostats and light bulbs will know who is in the room. Internet-enabled street and highway sensors will know how many people are out and about—and eventually who they are. Sensors will collect environmental data from all over the world.
- Smartphones to replace cards at bank machines
Here's another use for the smartphone as it invades daily life: in place of your debit card at your bank cash machine. The “cardless” automatic teller machine (ATM) is gaining ground in the US and around the world, with smartphone technology allowing for speedier and more secure transactions. Dozens of US banks are installing new ATMs or updating existing ones to allow customers to order cash on a mobile application and then scan a code to get their money without having to insert a bank card. US banking giants Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase are in the process of deploying the new ATMs, as are a number of regional banks and financial groups around the world. Makers of ATMs and financial software groups are ramping up to meet this demand.
- The New New ‘Deal' – “Markets Are Too Important To Be Left To Investors”
Our story so far… In the second half of 2014, export volumes in every major economy on Earth began to decline, the result of divergent monetary policies that crystallized with the Fed’s announced tightening bias in the summer of 2014. This decline in trade activity – which is far more impactful than a decline in trade value, because it means that the global growth pie is structurally shrinking – accelerated in 2015 and 2016 as Europe and Japan intentionally devalued their currencies to protect their slices of the global trade pie. In game theoretic terms, Europe and Japan have been “free riders” on the global system, using currency devaluation to undercut the prices of competing US and Chinese products in a way that avoids domestic political pain.
- Oil output rises even as US rig count falls to historic lows
The number of oil and gas drilling rigs in the US has fallen to the lowest level since data started being collected, although production remains near record highs. The number of rigs drilling in the US now stands at 94, three down on last week and the lowest rig count since the energy consultancy Baker Hughes starting tracking the figures back in 1948. The rig count has dropped by 63 per cent over the past year and is almost 90 per cent lower than peak levels five years ago when oil was in excess of $US110 a barrel.
- Even Mainstream Economists Starting to Admit that “Free Trade Agreements” Are Anything But …
Trump and Sanders have whipped up a lot of popular support by opposing “free trade” agreements. But it’s not just politics and populism … mainstream experts are starting to reconsider their blind adherence to the dogma that more globalization and bigger free trade agreement are always good.
- Trump is completely wrong about the U.S. trade deficit
Thomas Sowell once explained that economists visit the dentist so often because we gnash our teeth hearing so much “ignorant nonsense about the economy.” Thanks to the gibberish spewed almost daily about international trade, dentists must be having an especially busy year. Virtually all economists support free trade and oppose protectionism. For example, a 2014 University of Chicago survey found that 93% of the country's top economists agreed with the statement “Past major trade deals have benefited most Americans” and none disagreed (7% were uncertain).
- The world's second biggest coal miner could be about to go bankrupt
Peabody Energy, one of the world's biggest producers of coal, has warned that it is at risk of going bankrupt in the very near future, thanks to a lack of “sufficient liquidity to sustain operations and to continue as a going concern” caused largely by the continuing downturn in the coal mining industry. In a regulatory filing on Wednesday, the US-based producer said: “There can be no assurance that our plan to improve our operating performance and financial position will be successful.” Peabody has undertaken a huge programme of cost-cutting in recent years to stave off a massive crash in the price of the commodity.
- Richard Russell – The Key To The Bull Market In Gold & The Bear Market In Global Stock Markets
Late last year, Richard Russell gave us the key to the bull market in gold and the bear market in global stock markets. This is the second in a series of releases KWN will be publishing on the wisdom passed down from the Godfather of newsletter writers. From legendary Richard Russell: “I want to start this site off with a bow to Fred Hickey, who puts out The High Tech Strategist. Hickey is a prodigious worker and reads everything. Fred is a true believer in gold and I read his work carefully. Americans are scared to death and befuddled by the news of the day. They are well aware that their own lives and jobs have little to do with the nonsense that the Fed and the government is shoveling out to them.
- Peter Boockvar – Fed Suspends Reality As The Rush To Gold Continues
On the heels of the Fed’s decision not to raise rates, today Peter Boockvar sent King World News a fantastic piece discussing the Fed’s decision and the subsequent surge in the gold market. Peter Boockvar: For the past few years the Fed has been chipping away at the concept that they are driving monetary policy dependent on the data that they see. We know that because they kept changing the rules of the game in that every time a goal was reached the goal was altered. Well, I believe it is safe to say that after yesterday’s FOMC statement, the Yellen press conference and what was said in them, the communication and structural strategy of ‘data dependency’ has been officially neutered. The Fed’s goal is now a perfect world. As we of course will never get there, the rest of us are left flying blind as to what to expect from monetary policy…
- Why Global Debt Growth May Extend The Oil Glut
In this post I present some selected parameters I monitor which may help understand near term (2-3 years) oil price movements and levels. It has been my understanding for some time that the formulations of fiscal and monetary policies affect the commodities markets. Changes to total global debt has and will continue to affect consumers’/societies’ affordability and thus also the price formation of oil.
- Political Turmoil Rages in Brazil, Puts Oil Industry On Edge
More than 3 million people protested in the streets of major cities across Brazil on March 13, numbers that may have exceeded even the massive rallies that took place at the end of the country’s military dictatorship in the mid-1980s. The population is fed up with corruption, fed up with the ruling party, and are seeking the ouster of President Dilma Rousseff.
- The Terrible Oil News Nobody Noticed
A terrible bit of news went unnoticed in the commotion amid the rebound in oil prices over the past two weeks. While every news outlet shouted about Iran and OPEC, a U.S. energy icon quietly announced news that could potentially shatter the industry. As I’ve explained recently, many oil companies are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. But news out of Alaska could lead to disaster. BP Prudhoe Bay Royalty Trust (BPT) – operated by the Alaskan division of oil giant British Petroleum (BP) – sells oil from the Prudhoe Bay oilfield.
- The Wisdom Of Jesse Livermore As Gold And Silver Surge Strongly After Fed Decision
On the heels of the Fed’s decision not to raise rates, gold soared more than $30 and silver surged as well, and the U.S. dollar tumbled. But even with the recent positive action in the gold and silver markets, what some of the gold and silver community are struggling with at this point is exercising patience. Some have been selling positions and moving to the sidelines, waiting for the next shoe to drop. While there will be pullbacks, KWN readers around the world need to understand that you don’t want to give up your position at the beginning of a new bull market…
- And this is When the Jobs “Recovery” Goes Kaboom
The future for employment looks bright. The gig economy is firing on all cylinders. The FOMC, in its statement concerning its interest rate decision today, was practically gleeful about employment and where it’s headed: A range of recent indicators, including strong job gains, points to additional strengthening of the labor market. The Committee currently expects that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market indicators will continue to strengthen.
- Fleckenstein – Silver May Be About To Scream Higher As People Lose Confidence In Idiot Central Bankers
With many people wondering what’s next for the markets, today Bill Fleckenstein warned silver may be about to scream higher as people lose confidence in idiot central bankers. Despite the Fed’s dovishness, overnight markets were mostly lower, though that did not seem to matter too much to the SPOOs or trading here, as the indices were not very far from unchanged through midday, with the Dow and the S&P slightly higher and the Nasdaq a touch lower. In the afternoon they all marched higher still. By day’s end the Dow/S&P gained about 0.75% (with the Nasdaq just up fractionally despite decent strength in lots of speculative names, especially chips)…
- WTI Crude Slides Back Into Red For 2016 As The Fed And Oil Remain On Unsustainable Paths
Oil prices have increased 50 percent since the lows exhibited earlier this year, a rise that is largely linked to the positive market reaction to the OPEC output freeze. But WTI Crude has given up all its early morning “see oil is fixed” gains in a hurry as once again the algo ramps give way to the realization that, as OilPrice's Leonard Brecken notes, comes even as for all intents and purposes OPEC has nearly reached its production limits and Iran still plans in increasing output.
- The Stunning Size Of China's Housing Bubble In One Chart
Over the past month we have documented the surreal reemergence of China's latest housing bubble (recall the first one burst in early 2014 which forced Beijing to reflate the stock market bubble, which also burst over a year later). But nothing does China's housing bubble justice quite like a simple chart showing what is going on right now with home prices in Shenzhen, which incidentally also puts the housing bubble in the context of China's recently burst stock market bubble. No comment necessary.
- ALERT: Gerald Celente Issues Trend Forecast On Gold And The Fed
The top trends forecaster in the world just announced a trend alert for gold and the Fed! He also discusses the unprecedented moves by central banks. Gerald Celente – Once upon a time, in a pre-smartphone and Facebook Age, workers of the world with a little extra cash did what the millennial generation would never dream of and probably never heard of. They’d deposit their money in savings accounts or buy certificates of deposit…
- Caterpillar cuts Q1 earnings, revenue guidance
Caterpillar on Thursday cut its first-quarter earnings and revenue guidance, but said it remains comfortable with its prior full-year forecast. Shares of Caterpillar fell more than 3 percent in premarket trading on the news. (Get the latest quote here.) The world's largest construction and mining equipment maker's giant said it expects quarterly adjusted earnings of 65 cents to 70 cents a share, sharply lower than Street expectations of 97 cents a share. Revenue was forecast at $9.3 billion to 9.4 billion for the quarter, below expectations of $10.4 billion.
- U.S. current account deficit narrows in fourth quarter
The U.S. current account deficit narrowed in the fourth quarter, but the improvement is unlikely to be sustained as a strong dollar continues to undercut exports of goods. The Commerce Department said on Thursday the current account deficit, which measures the flow of goods, services and investments into and out of the country, fell 3.6 percent to $125.3 billion. The third-quarter deficit was revised up to $129.9 billion from $124.1 billion. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the current account deficit falling to $118.9 billion in the fourth quarter. For 2015, it totaled $484.1 billion, the largest since 2008.
- Is This Why Yellen Went Full-Dove: U.S. Hiring Plunges Most Since November 2008
While the BLS' JOLTs report usually gets a B-grade in terms of importance due to its one-month delayed look back (we just got the January report which is one month behind the most recent payrolls number) it serves an important function due to its breakdown of various labor components such a job openings, new hires, separations, quits and terminations, all of which make up Janet Yellen's “labor dashboard.” In fact, according to Yellen herself, the JOLTs data is as important, if not more so, than the BLS report. Which may explain why yesterday the Fed surprised as dovishly as it did. As a reminder, the key number most look for in the monthly JOLTs report is the number of Job Openings: for January the BLS reported a print of 5,541K, which modestly beat the expected 5,500K consensus number.
- Luxury jeweler Tiffany's profit beats estimates as costs fall
Upscale jeweler Tiffany & Co (TIF.N) reported a better-than-expected profit for the holiday quarter as it raised prices and benefited from lower prices of diamonds, gold and silver. Shares of the company, which became a household name due to the 1961 Hollywood classic “Breakfast at Tiffany's”, rose as much as 4 percent in morning trading on Friday. Weakness in the global economy and a strong dollar have hurt Tiffany and other luxury retailers such as Nordstrom Inc (JWN.N), Neiman Marcus Group and Macy's Inc-owned (M.N) Bloomingdale's as tourists shy away from buying high-end items.
- Consumer Sentiment Index Falls For Third Straight Month
Consumer sentiment unexpectedly fell for a third straight month in March, according to the latest University of Michigan survey, as Americans suspect that the era of cheap gas is ending. That’s a bad sign for consumer spending from Apple (AAPL) iPhones to Tiffany (TIF) jewelry. The Michigan sentiment index’s flash reading was 90, down 1.7 points from the February’s final reading of 91.7, January’s 92 and December’s 92.6. It’s the lowest reading since October. Wall Street expected a flash March reading on 92.2. The index hit 95.9 in April, the highest since January 2007, but quickly retreated to 87.2 in September.
- The Economic Recovery: A Myth Built Upon a Myth
No matter how much data you point to showing the health of the US economy isn’t as good as advertised, you will inevitably hear the refrain, “But look at the jobs numbers!” Just the other day, Peter Schiff appeared on Fox Business and said the US economy is likely already in recession. Peter repeated his prediction that the Fed wasn’t going to raise rates again, but would instead drop them to zero. National Alliance Securities Global strategist Andy Brenner was having none of that. He insisted the Fed would raise rates at least two more times this year because the economy is doing OK. And what was his proof? You guessed it – jobs! Peter made mincemeat out of Brenner’s argument, pointing out that most of the new jobs in the February report were part-time and low paying.
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Latest News From March 11, 2016 to March 17, 2016:
- Record Swings of Deflation and Inflation Coming-Michael Pento
Money manager Michael Pento says the Fed and other global central banks are “not going to stop manipulating the markets.” Pento explains, “There is no escape from the manipulation by central banks and manipulation of asset prices. There is no escape of manipulation of interest rates, of money supply growth, of stock values and of bond prices. They can never stop. . . . Just a hint that this massive manipulation of all markets and asset classes might end someday sends them crashing. So, there is no escape in Japan, China, Europe and the United States. That means we are headed for massive bouts of wild swings between inflation and deflation, the likes of which we have never before seen in the history of economics.”
- This Chart Shows the First Big Crash Is Likely Just Ahead
The story on Wall Street and CNBC continues to be that we’re in a correction and this is a buying opportunity. Even Warren Buffett joins the chorus of stock market cheerleaders for the skeptical public. Well, I agree with the skeptical public, not the experts here! The bull market from early 2009 into May 2015 looks just like every bubble in history, and I’m getting one sign after the next that we did indeed peak last May.
- What’s in Store for the Real Economy
The Census Bureau announced today that total business sales in January did what they’d been doing relentlessly for the past one-and-a-half years: they fell! This time by 1.1% from a year ago, to $1.296 trillion, and by 5% from their peak in July 2014. They’re now back where they’d been in January 2013. Sales are adjusted for seasonal and trading-day differences, but not for price changes. And since January 2013, the consumer price index rose 2.8%! This is why the US economy has looked so crummy. That’s bad enough. But it gets much worse.
- U.S. Consumer Prices Fell in February
U.S. consumer prices fell in February due largely to a slide in gasoline prices, but other evidence pointed to steadily building inflation pressures that could reassure the Federal Reserve as it considers raising short-term interest rates. The consumer-price index, a gauge of what Americans pay for everything from refrigerators to dental care, declined 0.2% over the month, the Labor Department said Wednesday. Overall prices haven’t risen since November and are up just 1% over the past year.
- U.S. industrial output resumes downturn in February
After hopeful signs of stabilization in January, industrial production decreased 0.5% in February, according to data released by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a 0.6% fall in industrial output for February. The Fed revised January’s strong gain in output to 0.8%, down a tad from the 0.9% gain initially estimated. Many analysts said the details were not as disappointing as the headline.
- US Recession Data Signals It's A Very Short Road To Capital Controls
“Prosperity is like a Jenga tower. Take one piece out and the whole thing can fall.” That’s a direct quote from John Williams, the President of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank in a speech he gave a few weeks ago. He could have just as easily been talking about propaganda. The Fed, the White House, Wall Street, the media have a vested interest in peddling a certain narrative about the economy. The narrative goes something like this: “Everything’s awesome. Stop asking questions”. But if you look at their own data, the numbers tell a different story.
- China Freight Index Collapses To Fresh Record Low
The Baltic Dry Index has risen for the last few weeks, buoyed by hopes (a la Iron Ore) of a National People's Congress stimulus surge from China. While the scale of the ‘bounce' is negligible in real terms compared to the total collapse, it has caused such momentum-muppets as Jim Cramer to proclaim China ‘fixed' and investible. So we have one quick question – if everything is awesome, why did the China Containerized Freight Index just crash to new record lows? It appears BDIY gets over-excited relative to CCFI…
- US Government Blames 9/11 On Iran, Fines Iran $10.5 Billion; Iran Refuses To Pay
On March 14th, Iran announced that it will never pay the $10.5B that a U.S. court demanded it pay for the 9/11 attacks. The same Bill-Clinton-appointed judge who had ruled, on 29 September 2015, that Saudi Arabia has sovereign immunity for 9/11 and so can’t be sued for it, ruled recently, on March 9th that Iran doesn’t have sovereign immunity and fined Iran $10.5 billion to be paid to 9/11 victims and insurers; but, on March 14, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Iran won’t pay, because, as the Ministry’s spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari put it, “The ruling is ludicrous and absurd to the point that it makes a mockery of the principle of justice while [it] further tarnishes the US judiciary’s reputation.”
- RBS to cut almost 450 investment banking jobs in UK
Royal Bank of Scotland is cutting 448 investment banking jobs in the UK, moving two-thirds of them to India. The bank, 73% of which is owned by the taxpayer, said it would cut back- and middle-office roles in its investment bank, including a small number of technology jobs. Under its chief executive, Ross McEwan, RBS has been shrinking the division to focus on its personal and small business operations in the UK and Ireland.
- US retail sales dip in Feb.; Barclays slashes GDP view
U.S. retail sales fell less than expected in February, but a sharp downward revision to January's sales could reignite concerns about the economy's growth prospects. The Commerce Department said on Tuesday retail sales dipped 0.1 percent last month as automobile purchases slowed and cheaper gasoline undercut receipts at service stations.
- Japanese Gold Buying Spree Confirms Negative Interest Rates Good for Gold
Over the last several weeks, we’ve been building the case that negative interest rates are good for gold, and mainstream analysts have echoed our thoughts. Last week, Britain’s largest bank, HSBC, issued a statement saying the longer the world’s central banks continue to experiment with negative interest rates, the better the outlook for gold.
- US Business Inventory-Sales Ratio Jumps To Post-Crisis (7 Year) High
Following the recessionary surge in Wholesale Inventories-to-Sales ratio, this morning's Total Business inventories-to-sales rose to 1.40x – the highest since May 2009. With a 0.4% slump in sales and 0.1% rise in inventories, the smell of recession lays heavy on US businesses… but then again – who cares if Draghi can keep buying ‘assets' and saving the world?
- Unpaid subprime car loans hit 20-year high
Americans with lower credit scores are falling behind on auto payments at an alarming pace. The rate of seriously delinquent subprime car loans soared above 5% in February, according to Fitch Ratings. That's worse than during the Great Recession and the highest level since 1996. It's a surprising development given the relative health of the overall economy. Fitch blames it on a dramatic rise in loans with lax borrowing standards that have helped fuel the recent boom in auto sales. More Americans bought new cars last year than ever before and the amount of auto loans soared beyond $1 trillion.
- Ackman takes $1B hit as Valeant tumbles 49%
Somebody give Bill Ackman an aspirin. Better make it a double. The embattled hedge fund mogul saw the value of his investment in Valeant Pharmaceuticals fall by $766 million on Tuesday after shares of the troubled company fell by 51 percent in the wake of three troubling disclosures.
- Gold Falls as Investors Lock in Gains Ahead of Fed Meeting
Gold prices fell Monday, as investors locked in gains on the precious metal ahead of this week’s Federal Reserve meeting. Gold for May delivery closed down 1.1% at $1,245.10 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
- The Cashless Society – Keynesian “Stability” Vs Trumpian Turmoil
In this article, Claudio Grass, Managing Director at Global Gold Switzerland, talks to economist and Mises Institute Senior Fellow Thomas DiLorenzo. This exclusive interview covers central bank monetary policies, Keynesian economics, the economic“recovery,“ political correctness, and much more.
- The Liquidity Endgame Begins: Whiting's Revolver Cut By $1.2 Billion As Banks Start Slashing Credit Lines
Earlier today we reminded readers about the circular (and why note fraudulent conveyance) scheme hatched by JPMorgan to reduce its secured loan exposure to Weatherford, when just two weeks ago none other than JPM underwrote an WFT equity offering in which it sold equity in the company, and which proceeds were promptly used by the company to repay the JPMorgan revolver. We then showed that it wasn't just Weatherford: most of the “uses of funds” from the recent record surge in oil and gas equity offerings, have been used to repay the secured debt/revolver facilities, thereby eliminating funded and unfunded balance sheet exposure of major US banks.
- Having Killed Their Equity Market, China Unleashes “Tobin Tax” For FX Market
In September last year, Chinese regulators stepped on the throat of a ‘fair' market in equity futures trading and for all intent and purpose killed the Chinese equity market. Tonight – after 2 days of Yuan weakness – having warned everyon from Soros to Kyle Bass that “betting against the Yuan can't possibly work,” The PBOC just unleashed plans for so-called “Tobin Tax” on FX transactions (which implicitly taxes each transaction, reducing liquidity, raising margins and reducing leverage). Deputy central bank governor Yi Gang raised the possibility of implementing a Tobin tax late last year in an article written for China Finance magazine, and now, as Bloomberg reports, it is on!
- Trump is a Picky Eater Who Sleeps 3 Hours a Night and Hates Sloppy Dressers, His Ex-Butler Says
What is it like serving at Donald Trump's beck and call? The billionaire’s former butler Tony Senecal has much to tell — like when a young Mr. Trump and first wife Ivana, had four butlers waiting on them hand and foot. Senecal, who served Trump for almost 20 years, told IE: “After Mr. Trump and Ivana got a divorce, we were going over to his room one night and he said: ‘Tony, do I need four butlers?' and I said: ‘As long as it's me Mr. Trump you only need one.’ He got rid of the other three.” Senecal describes Trump as a man always on the move and rarely relaxes. “I'm going into the room to clean it after he's gone and he's re-arranged the closet. And the clothes are all on the floor that he wants to get rid of,” he said. The former butler said that Trump is always busy because he is “always thinking.”
- “It's The Q2 2015 Rally All Over Again” – Morgan Stanley Warns Big Oil Drop Imminent Due To “Rampant Hedging”
One week ago, the market was disappointed when Goldman's head commodity strategist, Jeffrey Currie pointed out the obvious, namely that the higher the price of oil rises, the greater the probability it will tumble shortly, as a result of recently shut off production going back online. To wit: Last year commodity prices were driven lower by deflation, divergence and deleveraging which were reinforcing through a negative feedback loop. Deflationary pressures from excess commodity supply reinforced divergence in US growth and a stronger US dollar which in turn exacerbated EM funding costs and the need for EMs to de-lever though lower investment and hence commodity demand. While we believe that these dynamics likely ran their course last year resulting in signs of rebalancing, the force of their reversal has created a new trend in market positioning that could run further. However, the longer they run, the more destabilizing they become to the nascent rebalancing they are trying to price.
- Bloomberg Stumbles On The “Only One Buyer Keeping The Bull Market Alive”
Last week, when Bloomberg was celebrating the 7 year anniversary of the third longest, most central bank-supported, and thus “most hated” bull market in history, it said that “investors are awash in angst, showing little faith the run can continue. They worry about contracting corporate earnings, slowing Chinese growth and uncertainty over interest rates. And they’re walking the talk by pulling cash from stocks at almost the fastest rate on record. It’s not unwarranted – the S&P 500 has gained just 0.5 percent in the last 18 months.”
- Stocks are climbing that ever-higher “wall of worry”
It can hardly be denied that stocks are climbing that infamous “wall of worry”. Every day it seems, more and more doom-laden headlines appear in the media to suggest stocks are heading for an almighty fall. That is making my “headline indicator” (HI) start to twitch (as it has done recently for crude oil and gold). On Thursday afternoon, Mario Draghi unleashed his latest money-printing bazooka, and I made a few comments on Friday on how that related to the euro. Since then, there has been a veritable barrage of negative comment from the pundits on why central banks are out of ammo. Many conclude that the next crisis will see them powerless to stem the inevitable wave of selling.
- Fed’s ‘Cocaine and Heroin Injection’ a Criminal Act-Gerald Celente
Trends forecaster Gerald Celente says former Fed President Richard Fisher dropped an ominous truth bomb last week on CNBC. Celente says, “Last week, when it was a celebration of . . . 2009 and the markets started going up, Fisher says, quote, ‘We injected cocaine and heroin into the system to enable a wealth effect . . . and now we are maintaining it with Ritalin.’ Fisher also said, a few weeks ago, that ‘the Fed is a giant weapon that has no ammunition left.’ Let’s take his quote, and this is very important, ‘We injected cocaine and heroin into the system.’ You go back to our 2010 alert, and we said this was no recovery. It was a cover-up. What Fisher just said was a criminal act. Injecting cocaine and heroin into the system was a criminal act by the banking gang.”
- Still not enough: US gov’t collects record $1.2 trillion in taxes, or over $8k per taxpayer
Uncle Sam hauled in $1.248 trillion in taxes for the first five months of fiscal year 2016, costing each taxpayer $8,263, according a monthly Treasury Department statement. Even after adjusting for inflation, however, the government is still in the red. The federal government collected more money between October 2015 and February 2016 than it did any other five months in history, said the Treasury statement, released on Thursday. The US fiscal year begins on October 1 and runs through September 30.
- Obama makes case for gov access to all digital devices to prevent terrorism and tax cheats
Without mentioning the government’s case against Apple directly, President Barack Obama told a Texas audience that mobile devices should be built such a way that the government can access them in order to prevent a terrorist attack or enforce tax laws. “The question we now have to ask is: If technologically it is possible to make an impenetrable device or system where the encryption is so strong that there is no key, there’s no door at all, then how do we apprehend the child pornographer, how do we solve or disrupt a terrorist plot?” Obama said during a question and answer session at the South by Southwest Interactive festival in Austin, Texas on Friday, according to Reuters.
- Trend Forecaster Gerald Celente Warns: Prepare For The Panic Of 2016: “History Will Remember This”
Earlier this week hedge fund manager Marin Katusa explained that up until the recent stock market hit all the easy money flowing into the energy sector was being exuberantly spent on hookers, blow and fancy toys. Now, as oil prices hover under $40 per barrel, Katusa said more pain is likely coming and oil, along with other asset classes, are going to go “lower for longer.” In a recent interview with Future Money Trends, trend forecaster Gerald Celente echos Katusa’s concerns. Having accurately predicted the Crash of 2008 nine months ahead of the bottom falling out on a global scale, Celente says another panic is coming this year.
- Credit Card Debt In The United States Is Approaching A Trillion Dollars
For the first time ever, total credit card debt in the United States is approaching a trillion dollars. Instead of learning painful lessons from the last recession, Americans continue to make the same horrendous financial mistakes over and over again. In fact, U.S. consumers accumulated more new credit card debt during the 4th quarter of 2015 than they did during the years of 2009, 2010 and 2011 combined. That is absolutely insanity, because other than payday loans, credit card debt is just about the worst kind of debt that consumers could possibly go into. Extremely high rates of interest, combined with severe penalties and fees, can choke the financial life out of almost any family in no time at all.
- Beware: The market’s ‘crystal ball’ just turned from bullish to bearish
Once again, the stock market’s crystal ball proved to be deadly accurate. About a month ago, I wrote that the option premiums on the Volatility Index (“VIX”) were slanted highly in favor of a lower VIX. And because a lower VIX usually means a higher stock market, I argued the market’s crystal ball – VIX option prices – was predicting a rally in stocks…
- Until this happens, keep buying gold: Gartman
Gold is up nearly 20 percent in 2016, and that has veteran trader Dennis Gartman urging investors not to sit out on the rally. “The trend is up, the trend has been up for the last several months and I continue to think that as long as the monetary authorities are going to remain as expansionary as they are [this trend will continue],” the editor and publisher of The Gartman Letter said in an interview with CNBC's “Futures Now” on Thursday. “Monetary expansion equals higher gold prices.”
- Jim Rogers: ‘This isn’t the end of the correction in gold’
I recently had a chat with fellow Singapore resident Jim Rogers, one of the most successful investors in history. Jim co-founded the Quantum Fund, one of the world’s most successful hedge funds. After the fund generated returns of more than 4,200% over 10 years, Rogers quit full-time investing. He went on to drive around the world, literally, and write several excellent books that blend travelogue, investment insight, and political commentary. Today, Jim is viewed as one of the founding fathers of the boots-on-the-ground approach to investing in emerging and frontier markets around the world.
- Secret Monetary Group Warns a Catastrophe Is Coming
The Bank for International Settlements is nothing if not obscure. As the central bankers’ bank, it seems little-more than a back-door, private club for monetary elites to rub shoulders. And it’s located in Switzerland which has always carried a reputation for financial secrecy. Then it has this going for it – John Keynes of “Keynesian economic theory” opposed its dissolution back in the 1940s. His was the kind of thinking that has largely influenced central banks to hijack our economies with manipulative monetary policies! So you’d probably think I hate these guys.
- Bundesbank Fears “Doom Loop”
“ECB barrel-scraping getting louder” – that’s what Daiwa Capital Markets called it. But those acts of desperation, as sweet as they seem to the markets, had slammed into opposition at the German Bundesbank. And now “people familiar with the matter” and a “central bank source” are talking to the Wall Street Journal to air their concerns. Yesterday, the ECB bent over backwards to increase the negative interest rate absurdity, given how well it has been working so far. It cut its deposit rate one notch to negative 0.4%. That was less than expected. But it also added a slew of “surprises” intended for the markets to feed on and soar.
- SILVER OUTBREAK: Investment Demand Will Totally Overwhelm The Market
It's no secret to the precious metal community that silver is one of the most undervalued assets in the market, however 99% of Mainstream investors are still in the dark. This was done on purpose to keep the majority of individuals invested in Wall Street's Greatest Financial Ponzi Scheme in history. You see, this is the classic PUMP & DUMP strategy. Unfortunately, it's not a lousy penny stock that Wall Street is pumping, rather it's the entire market. Most pump & dump stock campaigns last a day, week or a few months. Sadly, this one has gone on for decades and the outcome will be disastrous for the typical American.
- “Gloom” Returns To China's Economy: Industrial Production, Retail Sales Miss Lowest Estimates
After an unprecedented surge in Chinese attempts to stimulate the economy in late 2015, mostly on the fiscal side, coupled with recent monetary easing by the PBOC which cut the banks' reserve ratio recently and unleashed a tsunami of new loan creation in January, many expected that this unprecedented credit impulse would translate into at least a modest rebound for the economy, prompting a stable pick up in spending for the economy which many are touting is now consumer-spending driven as opposed to export and production.
- From Champs To Chumps: Latin America Oil Giants Owe $275 Billion
The Latin American state-run oil companies whose largesse filled government coffers from Mexico to Brazil during the crude boom of the previous decade are quickly becoming dangerous liabilities as soaring debt levels spook investors. Regional leaders are being forced to shelve plans to spend petro-cash on popular projects after oil prices plunged more than 50 percent in the past two years and are instead grappling with mounting bills at their state-backed champions. The burden is being amplified as local currencies crumble against the dollar, driving up the cost of to pay off foreign debt.
- A Right Way and a Wrong Way to Weather “The War on Cash”
Many people have been talking recently about the “war on cash.” With policymakers seriously talking about eliminating cash, it can be worrisome. But there is a way to avoid the consequences of the “war on cash. You just need to pick the right strategy. With the endless lowering of interest rates and the possibility that they could turn negative, there is more incentive than ever for people to pull their dollar savings from banks and just hold on to the paper cash at home. After all, why risk your dollars in a bank that yields zero return or even charges you to hold your money? As a result, people are buying up safes, pulling their dollars out of the bank, and storing them at home.
- Why Negative Rates Can’t Stop the Coming Depression
Are you ready to pay to save? Agora founder Bill Bonner explains why “negative interest rates” are spreading around the world…and could soon come to the U.S. Negative interest rates are a disaster story in the making. And they will only speed up the major monetary collapse we believe is coming. Bill believes the fallout from his catastrophe will be far worse than 2008. When it hits, every service you’ve come to depend on – your bank…your grocery store…your Social Security checks – will shut down.
- U.S. import prices fall for eighth straight month
U.S. import prices fell in February for an eighth straight month, weighed down by declining costs for petroleum and a range of other goods, but the pace of decline is slowing as the dollar's rally fades and oil prices stabilize. The Labor Department said on Friday import prices slipped 0.3 percent last month after a revised 1.0 percent decrease in January. Import prices have decreased in 18 of the last 20 months, reflecting a robust dollar and plunging oil prices. They were down 6.1 percent in the 12 months through February. That was the smallest year-on-year drop since December 2014. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast import prices slipping 0.6 percent last month after a previously reported 1.1 percent fall in January.
- China's yuan hits 2016 high on strong fixing, global US dollar weakness
China's onshore yuan on Friday (March 11) hit its strongest level against the US dollar in 2016, buoyed by the central bank's firmest midpoint this year and the greenback's slide after the European Central Bank suggested it was done cutting rates for now. Offshore yuan strengthened 0.3 per cent from Thursday to hit its highest level since early December at 6.4733 just before midday. The onshore yuan hit 6.4866 in late morning trade, its highest level since Dec. 29. Its previous 2016 peak was 6.4880, on Feb 15.
- Silver Could Be Poised to Come Out of the Shadows
While there’s been a lot of attention focused on gold over the last few months, silver has remained in the shadows. The white metal has lagged a bit behind as the gold market turned bullish over the last few months. But there are some good reasons to take a close look at silver. According to Bloomberg, silver has advanced 10% since the first of the year while gold surged 18%. But dynamics look good for silver to close that gap: “Silver hasn’t been so cheap relative to gold for more than seven years and with mine supplies forecast to contract this year that may be a sign it’s ready to come out of the yellow metal’s shadow.”
- Men's Wearhouse parent closing 250 stores
Shares of Tailored Brands, formerly known as Men's Wearhouse, jumped more than 11 percent in early trading Thursday, a day after the company announced plans to close roughly 250 stores this year. That includes shuttering 80 or 90 full-price Jos A. Bank stores. The announcement followed worsening sales trends at that label in the fourth quarter, with the company adding that it expects weakness there to continue into 2016. Revenues at Jos. A. Bank have gotten whacked since the company ended its ubiquitous Buy One Get Three Free promotion in October.
- The World Economy Wreckers Of Beijing
The desperate suzerains of the Red Ponzi are incorrigible. There appears to be no insult to economic rationality that they will not attempt in order to perpetuate their power, privileges and rule. So now comes the most preposterous gambit yet. Namely, a veritable tsunami of state handouts to foster, yes, capitalist entrepreneurs! That’s right. As described by Bloomberg, Premier Li Keqiang gave the word, and, presto, nearly $340 billion poured into an instantly confected army of purported venture capital funds run by local government officialdom all over the land.
- German bank that almost failed now being paid to borrow money
German bank Berlin Hyp had just issued 500 million euros worth of debt… at negative interest. I wondered if I really did go through a time warp, because this is exactly the same madness we saw ten years ago during the housing bubble and the subsequent financial crisis. To explain the deal, Berlin Hyp issued bonds that yield negative 0.162% and pay no coupon. This means that if you buy €1,000 worth of bonds, you will receive €998.38 when they mature in three years. Granted this is a fairly small loss, but it is still a loss. And a guaranteed one. This is supposed to be an investment… an investment, by-the-way, with a bank that almost went under in the last financial crisis. It took a €500 billion bail-out by the German government to save its banking system. Eight years later, people are buying this “investment” that guarantees that they will lose money.
- ECB cuts rates to new low and expands QE
The European Central Bank has unveiled a series of new measures to strengthen the eurozone’s recovery, with policy makers expanding their quantitative easing package and cutting benchmark interest rates to a new low. The ECB has raised the amount of bonds the eurozone’s central bankers buy each month under QE from €60bn to €80bn — a greater amount than many analysts had expected. It also expanded the range of assets it will buy to include corporate bonds. At the moment, the ECB buys mostly government debt alongside smaller amounts of bundles of smaller loans repackaged into asset-backed securities and covered bonds. The central bank’s governing council also cut its deposit rate by 10 basis points to minus 0.4 per cent. The main refinancing rate fell by 5 basis points to 0 per cent. The move, which was towards the low end of markets’ expectations, in effect raises the fee charged on some bank deposits parked at central banks in the Eurosystem.
- Former Reagan Advisor: Congress Just “Hatcheted” Your Social Security Benefits
While it went virtually unnoticed, Section 831 of the House's new budget bill could radically change your Social Security benefits as soon as May 1. This change will affect the benefits that as many as 21.3 million Americans could be eligible for, instantly. It could change your chosen retirement date. It could change the way you vacation. It could change your entire financial future…
- Bear Market 2016 Will Get Worse for One Major Reason
During a four-day rally last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 490 points. And that was just the most recent surge in the index's 1,200-point recovery since its dismal start in early January. While the signs of a rebound were encouraging, Money Morning experts say “bear market 2016” isn't close to being over. “Despite some moderately positive economic news last week, the global economy remains depressed and the prospects for significantly higher stock prices are low,” Money Morning Global Credit Strategist Michael Lewitt said.
- The Stronger U.S. Dollar Is Actually Destroying the Markets
The U.S. dollar remains the most important financial instrument in the world. The dollar rally has been the single most decisive factor in determining economic growth (or weakness) and market direction since early 2014. And – right now – that's not a good thing. Don't listen to Alan Ruskin, the macro strategist from Deutsche Bank (need I say more?) who posits that the strengthening dollar is largely a positive, since it's paired with an “improving labor market” and a “lower misery index.” He's looking for misery in all the wrong places.
- Terminally ill face being forced to do work experience or lose their benefits
Terminally ill people face being forced to work to keep their benefits under draconian new Government plans, it was revealed yesterday. Cancer patients who have more than six months to live could have to do work experience or see their payments slashed under the scheme by Work and Pensions Minister Iain Duncan Smith.
- Number of people on zero-hours contracts in UK increases to 801,000
The number of workers on zero hours contracts in the UK has increased by 15 per cent in the last three months of 2015 compared with a year earlier, an increase of 104,000 contracts, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics. One in 40 UK workers is on a contract that does not guarantee a minimum number of hours, the figures show. Some 801,000 workers were on zero-hours contracts in the UK from October to December 2015, or 2.5 per cent of people in employment, compared to 697,000 workers in the same period in 2014. Part of the increase may be accounted for by additional recognition of the term zero-hours, the ONS said, rather than new contracts.
- Jim Rogers Says 100% Probability US Is Heading for Recession; Data Backs Him Up
Media and government officials keep telling us the economy looks great, but a peek behind the curtain tells a different story. Some people do see the writing on the wall. Peter Schiff has been saying the US may well have already entered a recession. Last month, Jim Grant echoed Peter, saying the US economy likely went into recession in December 2015. And in a recent interview, Rogers Holdings Chairman Jim Rogers said there is a 100% probability the US will be in a downturn within a year: “It’s been seven years, eight years since we had the last recession in the US, and normally, historically we have them every four to seven years for whatever reason—at least we always have. It doesn’t have to happen in four to seven years, but look at the debt, the debt is staggering.”
- This chart explains how the Baltic Dry Index could spell doom for the global economy
Even if you follow markets and global economics news, you still may not know what the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) is and why it matters. You might guess it's related to shipping – and you'd be right. The BDI is a very useful gauge of global trade, and tells you how much it costs to move goods around the world in massive ships. These goods can be pretty much anything: iron ore, grain, coal … stuff the world needs to build things and function. As such, analysts keen to predict how the health and future of the global economy like to pay close attention to it.
- Are You Kidding Me? Chinese Exports Plunge 25.4 Percent Compared To Last Year
We just got more evidence that global trade is absolutely imploding. Chinese exports dropped 25.4 percent during the month of February compared to a year ago, and Chinese imports fell 13.8 percent compared to a year ago. For Chinese exports, that was the worst decline that we have seen since 2009, and Chinese imports have now fallen for 16 months in a row on a year over year basis. The last time we saw numbers like this, we were in the depths of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. China accounts for more global trade than any other nation (including the United States), and so this is a major red flag. Anyone that is saying that the global economy is in “good shape” is clearly not paying attention.
- China Resorts to “Stealth Interventions” to Prop Up Yuan and Stock Market
A record $1 trillion or so has fled China in the last year or so. Official reserve data is masked, so it’s difficult to pin a precise number. We do know the official monthly drain is the smallest since June, but Daiwa Capital Markets believes PBOC Using Stealth Intervention as Reserves Decline.
- Crackpot Valuations
The markets are eerily quiet. With so many trends and facts to titillate us all, you’d expect a little more excitement. As it is, the big sell-off at the start of the year seems incomplete – a kind of financial foreplay without the climactic battering of a real bear market. What to make of it?
- A $10 billion hedge fund is bracing for a 2008-type event
Perry Capital, a $10 billion New York-based multi-strategy hedge fund led by Goldman Sachs alum Richard Perry, is preparing for another credit event like 2008. Perry Capital bought $1 billion worth of credit-default swaps (CDS) on about 10 investment-grade corporate bonds, The Wall Street Journal reported last month. Investment-grade bonds have a rating of BBB or higher by Standard & Poor's or Baa3 or higher by Moody's. They are companies seen as having the safest balance sheets. Perry stands to profit if those companies are downgraded by ratings agencies.
- Markets betting on near-zero interest rates for another decade
World markets may have recovered their poise from a torrid start to the year, but their outlook for global growth and inflation is now so bleak they are betting on developed world interest rates remaining near zero for up to another decade. Even though the U.S. Federal Reserve has already started what it expects will be a series of interest rate rises, markets appear to have bought into a “secular stagnation” thesis floated by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. The idea posits that the world is entering a peculiarly prolonged period in which structurally low inflation and wage growth – hampered by aging populations and slowing productivity growth – means the inflation-adjusted interest rate needed to stimulate economic demand may be far below zero.
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