Sunday, June 16, 2019

Washington Is Destroying American Power

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by Paul Craig Roberts, Paul Craig Roberts:

Readers at home and around the world want to know what to make of the announcement that China henceforth will conduct oil purchases and sales in gold-backed Chinese currency.

Is this an attack by Russia and China on the US dollar? Will the dollar weaken and collapse from being discarded as the currency in which oil is transacted? These and other questions are on readers’ minds.

Below is my opinion:

The US dollar’s value depends on whether central banks, corporations, and individuals are content to hold their assets or wealth in dollars. If they are, it does not matter what currency is used to transact oil. If they are not, it does not matter if all oil is transacted in dollars. Why?
Because if they don’t want to hold dollars, they will dump the dollars as soon as the transaction is completed and move into other currencies or gold. What China is doing is creating a currency that might be a more attractive currency to hold.

It is possible that the gold-backed Chinese currency is a move against US power, but I see it differently. I see it as a protection against US power. China and Russia are disassociating from the dollar system, because Washington, in its abuse of the world currency role, uses the dollar payments mechanism to impose sanctions on other countries and to threaten them with exclusion from the payments clearing system.

In other words, Washington, instead of operating a fair system, uses its world currency role to dominate other countries. Russia and China are too strong to be dominated, and, thus, are throwing off the dollar system. If other countries follow, the dollar will cease to be an instrument of US control over the rest of the world.

To put it in different words, Bretton Woods gave Washington the responsibility for the world financial system. Washington abused the power entrusted to it by using the dollar system to destabilize other countries, such as Venezuela currently. Washington’s abuse of the world currency role in order to advance American financial and business interests and Washington’s power over the foreign and domestic policies of other countries has set in motion forces that will eliminate the dollar’s role as world reserve currency.

The hubris and arrogance of Washington are destroying American power.

Read More @ PaulCraigRoberts.org

The Added Liquidity Caused By 2 Votes

by J. Johnson, Miles Franklin:

We have been involved in one heck of a transition these past 5 quarters. Not only has the politically gamed background been forced up front and center for both party’s embarrassment, the intelligence agencies and foreign agreements (entanglements such as those of NATO, NAFTA, CAFTA et al.) are now totally open to full exposure speculation.  And boy the protestations coming from those that are finally being looked at are loud and obnoxious aren’t they? So much commotion is going on that it is really hard to stay on a singular subject without asking if we are not being told all we need to know.

If we stick to the subjects within the sectors of precious metals and currency, we’ll find that there seems to be very little meaningful data at hand with the only exceptions coming from the financial priests on high (G7) who claim all is well and to fear not what they do, for their data is invincible. So what if it’s all in secret?  It’s all they say but it doesn’t jive with what we are living thru at present.

Without getting into all the other things that used to make the movements within the markets, we’ll look at what has happened based on a time period from June 2016 to the present in chart form. The US Dollar is our first post; with a brand new low

The European Currency is next; with a brand new high

Now Gold;

And of course Silver; both seem to be coiling

Each one of these charts are set up in the continual format in order to keep balance in the prices during what is called the roll over periods in the commodities market. The charts all seem to be pointing to a clarification of contention and imo, we’re about to see some volatile movements in fiat and a continued climb in precious metals.  I set these charts up to show the changes that have occurred from June 2016 to the present because a major currency event occurred and since that time another happened that required the term “liquidity” to be used beyond what has ever happened in the past.

The Brexit Vote was taken in June 2016 with the outcome going towards England not becoming a player in the failed system of conjoin nations. I call it failed because ironically no one thought about the “what if” scenarios, like having a way out of the failed marriage after the money was gone or other uncalculated events not brought up before the blind acceptance.  It failed for the simple reason that it was built that way, because those that decided upon the terms knew what they were doing by not allowing exit terms.  Now the populations of each enslaved nation are starting to react negatively and their anger is aimed upwards and towards these deciders.  It’s obvious to all under the conditions created that the whole idea of central planning anything failed, to the point that no other country wants to join. In fact, more and more countries want to leave and now the actors on stage are playing it out like “Sorry, we have no exit clause …. Too bad it wasn’t planned out in case we failed!”

The US Dollar and the European Currency (EC) go against one another almost exactly, but the precious metals follow their own course and are in line positively with the Brexit reaction. First the Dollar explodes from around 91 to just under 97 and the EC goes from around 1.1450 down to about 1.0950, all in a three day period. That type of swing used to be very disruptive in all things currency and debt but apparently it means nothing anymore. Now we see a new low for the past year in the Dollar and a new high in the EC, I think it is possible these trends will continue.

Silver and Gold traders seemed to have had a longer lasting view about the Brexit vote in that they knew this would be very disruptive to the entire G7 currency system no matter what the outcome.  Most likely because of the many failed attempts to leave the union after a nation was absorbed into the uncontrollable clutches of EU debt and its new rules.  Gold went from around $1,200 to about $1,380 (13{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}) in a short period of time and Silver went from just below $16 to just over $21 (23{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}). Indeed a decent move for both metals but the one piece of data that cannot be seen in these charts is the jump up in Open Interest within Silver that made a life of contract high during the Brexit vote period and the Trump win in November.

Open Interest is the total amount of buyers and sellers holding their contracts overnight. The highest Open Interest ever recorded before these two events was around 198,000. When Silver tried to surpass the 1980 all time high most recently 2011, the OI was only in the 135,000 area, but now our new mark to beat is 235,000 OI which happened during these 2 votes. What does this tell us? Imo, some hedgers or flat out new shorts have come in to supply liquidity for the buyers. At least that was the micro-phoned statement used by main stream to blow over the fact that these prices do not represent mined products, just a diluted way of reducing the price under dollar terms and additional shorted contracts.

There seems to be an issue with these 2 separate events (Brexit/Trump) but both create the impression that they are in play inside the Comex Silver market and it’s Open Interest. Many sources from withinGATA and other experts over the past 2 decades, have stated they believe that Silver IS the lynchpen to all things monetary. If that is close to being true it would explain why Comex Silver contracts have such a huge point of leverage with 5,000 troy ounces per trade compared to Golds 100 ozs.  In truth I don’t know how they came up with these contract sizes. They certainly do not represent any sort of 15 to 1 ratio in what used to be our nations currency spread between the 2 metals.

Read More @ MilesFranklin.com

How The Elite Dominate The World – Part 3: 90{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} Of What You Watch On Television Is Controlled By Just 6 Giant Corporations

by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse Blog:

How much is your view of the world shaped by what you see on television?  On average, Americans spend more than 150 hours watching television every month, and it is called “programming” for a reason.  If you allow anyone to pour ideas and information into your mind for five hours a day, it is going to change how you look at reality.  Everyone has an agenda, and every single news program, television show and movie is trying to alter your views.  Sadly, our society has become absolutely addicted to media, and the mainstream media is completely dominated by the elite.  In fact, about 90 percent of the programming that comes through your television is controlled by just 6 gigantic media corporations.  Most of us are willingly plugging ourselves into this “propaganda matrix” that is completely dominated by the elite for several hours each day, and that gives them an enormous amount of power over the rest of us.

In Part I and Part II of this series, I discussed how the elite use money as a tool to dominate the planet.  Today, we are going to talk about how they use information.  If you control what people think, then you control a society.  And through their vast media empires, the elite are able to shape how we all think to a frightening degree.

Just think about it.  What do we talk about with our family, our friends and our co-workers?  To a large extent, those conversations are about movies, television shows, something that we just saw on the news or a sporting event that just took place.  The reason why we talk about certain things is because the mainstream media gives those things attention, and other things we ignore because the mainstream media does not make them seem to be important.

The mainstream media literally sets the agenda for our society, and it would be difficult to overstate the power that is in their hands.  And as I mentioned above, the mainstream media is almost entirely controlled by just 6 colossal corporations.  The following list of these 6 corporate giants comes from one of my previous articles, and this is just a sampling of the media properties that they each own…

Comcast

NBC
Telemundo
Universal Pictures
Focus Features
USA Network
Bravo
CNBC
The Weather Channel
MSNBC
Syfy
NBCSN
Golf Channel
Esquire Network
E!
Cloo
Chiller
Universal HD
Comcast SportsNet
Universal Parks & Resorts
Universal Studio Home Video

The Walt Disney Company

ABC Television Network
ESPN
The Disney Channel
A&E
Lifetime
Marvel Entertainment
Lucasfilm
Walt Disney Pictures
Pixar Animation Studios
Disney Mobile
Disney Consumer Products
Interactive Media
Disney Theme Parks
Disney Records
Hollywood Records
Miramax Films
Touchstone Pictures

News Corporation

Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox News Channel
Fox Business Network
Fox Sports 1
Fox Sports 2
National Geographic
Nat Geo Wild
FX
FXX
FX Movie Channel
Fox Sports Networks
The Wall Street Journal
The New York Post
Barron’s
SmartMoney
HarperCollins
20th Century Fox
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Blue Sky Studios
Beliefnet
Zondervan

Time Warner

CNN
The CW
HBO
Cinemax
Cartoon Network
HLN
NBA TV
TBS
TNT
TruTV
Turner Classic Movies
Warner Bros.
Castle Rock
DC Comics
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
New Line Cinema
Sports Illustrated
Fortune
Marie Claire
People Magazine

Viacom

MTV
Nickelodeon
VH1
BET
Comedy Central
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Home Entertainment
Country Music Television (CMT)
Spike TV
The Movie Channel
TV Land

CBS Corporation

CBS Television Network
The CW (along with Time Warner)
CBS Sports Network
Showtime
TVGN
CBS Radio, Inc.
CBS Television Studios
Simon & Schuster
Infinity Broadcasting
Westwood One Radio Network

If nobody tuned in to their “programming”, they would not have any power over us.

But according to a report put out by Nielsen, Americans are plugging into “the matrix” more than ever before.  The following is how our daily use of media breaks down by device

Live TV: 4 hours, 31 minutes
Time-Shifted TV: 33 minutes
Radio: 1 hour, 52 minutes
DVDs: 8 minutes
Video Game Consoles: 14 minutes
Multimedia Devices (Apple TV, Roku, etc.): 13 minutes
Internet on PC: 58 minutes
Smartphone: 1 hour, 39 minutes
Tablet: 31 minutes

When you total those numbers up, it comes to 10 hours and 39 minutes.

In essence, Americans are spending most of their waking hours plugged in to something.

And if you only add together “live television” and “time-shifted television”, Americans are spending an average of more than five hours each day just watching television.

Of course many of us spend countless hours on the Internet as well.  It has been estimated that 54,907 Google searches are conducted, 7,252 tweets are posted, 125,406 YouTube videos are viewed, and 2,501,018 emails are sent out every single second.

You may have guessed this already, but most of the news and information that we consume on the Internet is also controlled by the elite

Overall, the top 10 publishers — together owning around 60 news sites — account for 47{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of total online traffic to news content last year, with the next-biggest 140 publishers accounting for most of the other half, SimilarWeb found.

The biggest online news publisher for the U.S. audience was MSN, owner of MSN.com, with just over 27 billion combined page views across mobile and desktop, followed by Disney Media Networks, owner of ESPN and ABC News, with 25.9 billion.

Read More @ TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com

Goldman Sachs Says Gold Is Better Than Bitcoin

by Dave Kranzler, Investment Research Dynamics:

“Precious metals remain a relevant asset class in modern portfolios, despite their lack of yield,” analysts including Jeffrey Currie and Michael Hinds wrote. “They are neither a historic accident or a relic.” Looking at properties such as durability and intrinsic value, they are still relevant even with new materials discovered and new assets emerging, such as cryptocurrencies, they said (LINK)

Here’s what blows my mind:  When gold ran from $250 to $1900, the entire western mainstream financial media called it a bubble. Bitcoin has run from $250 to $5500 and price momentum-chasers and the usual hypster con artists exclaim that it’s going to $100,000. Qu’est-ce que c’est, Rudolph Havenstein?

This is typically what a bubble looks like:

NVDA is without a doubt in a parabolic bubble. In a recent Short Seller’s Journal I explained in detail why NVDA’s fundamentals might justify a price closer $30 and provided ideas for shorting NVDA. Short-selling is the market’s method of introducing accountability and price discovery into the valuing assets. The problem with Bitcoin is that it can’t be borrowed and shorted. There’s no mechanism to impose express a bearish view of Bitcoin’s fundamental value.

The Goldman report goes on to say:   Intrinsic value:   There’s a limited supply of gold and other precious metals in the Earth’s crust, whereas in the case of cryptocurrencies, it’s easy to create alternatives, meaning there’s effectively no control over supply at a macroeconomic level and no intrinsic value due to rarity.  Unit of account: Gold is better at holding its purchasing power, and has much lower daily volatility. Bitcoin/dollar volatility has averaged almost seven times that of gold in 2017, the bank said.

Read More @ InvestmentResearchDynamics.com

Wells Fargo Gets Clocked in California

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by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street:

Why is Tim Sloan still CEO, asks California Treasurer.

In a letter so brutally scathing it’s practically funny, California Treasurer John Chiang skewers Wells Fargo, its Board of Directors, and its new CEO Tim Sloan. And he extended the sanctions on Wells Fargo, first imposed in September last year, by “at least” another year.

The Treasurer’s office oversees “nearly $2 trillion in annual banking transactions, manages a $75 billion investment pool, and is the nation’s largest issuer of municipal debt,” Chiang pointed out last year when he imposed the sanctions on Wells Fargo’s “most highly profitable business relationships with the State of California.” Those sanctions include:

  • Suspension of investments by the Treasurer’s Office in all Wells Fargo securities.
  • Suspension of the use of Wells Fargo as a broker-dealer for purchasing of investments by his office.
  • Suspension of Wells Fargo as a managing underwriter on negotiated sales of California state bonds where the Treasurer appoints the underwriter.

With these sanctions, Chiang sought “real accountability and lasting reforms.” But it’s a long and complex relationship that dates back to the Gold Rush era:

Wells Fargo has evolved to become the nation’s second largest bank by total assets. California is set to become the world’s fifth largest economy. What we each do, therefore, matters and effects the public interest.

The sanctions were first triggered by revelations last year that Wells Fargo “had fleeced its own customers by opening millions of bogus accounts” which “raised concerns about the bank’s culture, leadership, and loyalties.” The sanctions were aimed “to spur” the leadership to answer this question:

“Could Wells Fargo identify and eradicate the root causes of this widespread and recalcitrant culture of customer abuse and restore public trust?”

Wells Fargo did accomplish a few things Chiang had demanded, including:

  • Separating the CEO and the chairman into two positions
  • Three of the board members “at the helm” at the time of the “bogus accounts scam and other abuses” have departed or will soon.
  • Key executives were fired and “there have been claw-backs of executive compensation across the company.”
  • Incentives for cross-selling having been eliminated.

 

But now there has been “a string of new disclosures about bad practices at the bank,” a veritable “infestation of problems” that “have come scurrying out of dark corners within Wells Fargo,” among them:

  • The number of phony accounts has ballooned from an initial 2 million to now 3.5 million.
  • This past July, news broke that as many as 800,000 consumers were forced by the bank to buy “lender -based” car insurance they did not need, tipping a quarter of a million Wells Fargo customers into delinquency and triggering 25,000 vehicle repossessions.
  • In August, a new and different auto insurance fraud scandal broke in which the bank is being accused of failing to make refunds to consumers who paid off their loans early.
  • Also in August, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $108 million to settle a lawsuit claiming it overcharged military veterans under a federal mortgage refinancing program.

As revelations like these are recurring “with such regularity,” Americans could “become de-sensitized to the bank’s pervasive exploitation of the public’s trust.” He added, “It concerns me when systemic fraud and abusive banking practices are broadly viewed as the new normal.”

The bank’s “reluctance to hang a lantern over past and present mistakes undercuts claims of repentance and meaningful reform.” He listed three examples of what Wells Fargo failed to do:

Read More @ WolfStreet.com

The Coming One-World Currency

by Martin Armstrong, Armstrong Economics:

QUESTION:

Bitcoin + Cryptocurrencies

Firstly, thank you – I’ve learned more from your blog and models that high-school would ever have hoped to teach me. And even after a year, I am a still at the start-line of knowledge.

I am also been a follower and investor/gambler on crypto for over a year.

I concur with your findings that Govt’ will ultimately try to ban or regulate to tax cryptocurrencies. It really is all about tax. nothing else. I really don’t see how it can have anything to do with terrorist funding and the need to track all transactions, considering that as far back as 1996 the Federal Reserve that “ about $200 billion to $250 billion of U.S. currency was abroad at the end of 1995, or more than half the roughly $375 billion then in circulation outside of banks.” So how do the track this cash? or do they really care?

But what happens if the people just ignore the gov’t(s) attempt to ban crypto? What then?

Is it likely, or even remotely possible that most gov’ts would work jointly and simultaneously to ban cryptocurrencies?

Will there always be several countries that will ignore / not join this movement to benefit from the flow of currency – even if this inflow is cryptocurrency or not hard currency?

What will happy if the people just revolt and ignore the gov’s efforts to tax crypto or ban it?

Some insight on how and what happened with previous alternative currencies who help shed some light on this. Could you also recommend some reading in this area?

Thanks again for your patience and skill in translating your work into digestible English so people like myself can benefit from your knowledge

 

D

ANSWER: This is a battle to the death.  A cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions and to control the creation of additional units of the currency. However, this idea has also falsely embraced the notion that a cryptocurrency will be a store of value and hence defeat inflation. That has proven to be absolute nonsense. The rise of cryptocurrency is a reflection that people do not trust the government. Those in power know that and see this as unacceptable. Edward Snowden has pointed out that BitCoin is not as safe as everyone believes. He said:

“Obviously, Bitcoin by itself is flawed. The protocol has a lot of weaknesses and transaction sides and a lot of weaknesses that structurally make it vulnerable to people who are trying to own 50 percent of the network and so on and so forth.” … “Focusing too much on bitcoin, I think is a mistake. The real solution is again, how do we get to a point where you don’t have to have a direct link between your identity all of the time? You have personas. You have tokens that authenticate each person and when you want to be able to interact with people as your persona in your true name, you can do so.”

Zcash is far better than BitCoin for to remain equally interchangeable, units of Zcash are unlinked from their history so that one unit is as good as any other unit and this makes them really fungible in the cryptocurrency world. They have unlinked shielded coins from their history on the blockchain. This means they can be used for tax avoidance and the government can use its Terrorist Card. They will not allow cryptocurrency to defeat taxes and BitCoin is not secure enough in that manner.

The rise in cryptocurrency has another side to it that is not being mentioned. Many of the people cheering BitCoin are the dollar-haters who also tend to be the goldbugs. The interesting question that arises from this is very blunt. Has the introduction of cryptocurrency been displacing gold as the alternative currency?

This is a subject that requires a lot more space for analysis than a blog post. We also have central banks looking at creating their own cryptocurrency and that raises the possibility that private cryptocurrency will be banned.

Read More @ ArmstrongEconomics.com

Is Silver Set to Soar?

by Peter Schiff, SchiffGold:

Could silver be set to soar?

Analysts Barron’s spoke with recently think so.

An article published on the business journal’s website last week predicted the white metal will emerge as a winner for the second straight year.

With a per-ounce price of $17.41 for silver futures as of Friday, analysts say the white metal is poised for a big climb, particularly as the gold-to-silver ratio stands well above historical averages.”

Peter Schiff talked about the silver-gold ratio over the summer, noting it is historically very high. This means silver is extremely undervalued. The current silver to gold ratio stands at nearly 76:1. This means you can buy almost 76 ounces of silver with one ounce of gold. Consider the historic average ratio hovers around 16:1, and the modern average over the last century is around 40:1. As Peter said, “This is silver on sale.”

It’s one of the greatest silver sales of all time, relative to the price of gold.”

Precious Metals Investing For Dummies author Paul Mladjenovic agrees with Peter’s assessment.

Silver is definitely undervalued compared to gold and as a stand-alone investment. I consider it likely to be the most undervalued asset in the general investment markets.”

Gold and silver have both shown nice gains in 2017, but the yellow metal has outpaced silver. Gold is up nearly 12{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} while silver gains currently stand around 6{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}. Last year, silver’s climb of about 16{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} outpaced gold’s rise of almost 9{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}. Mladjenovic told Barron’s he expects silver to close the gap again this year.

Silver isn’t keeping pace with gold because the market perception is that gold is a safer play, while the market perceives silver’s role as exposed to economic weakness. But as inflation heats up, more of the public will realize silver’s second role as a store of value and inflation hedge.”

Mladjenovic also said the world’s increasing appetite for silver as an industrial metal will ultimately push overall demand higher. Silver is an important element in the manufacture of solar panels. China, in particular, continues to rapidly increase solar energy production. In its 13th Five-Year Plan, Beijing aims to triple its solar capacity by 2020. Last year ranked as the strongest on record for solar-related silver demand.

This comes at a time of tightening supply. Total silver mined in 2016 fell by 0.6{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 885.8 million ounces. Silver scrap supply fell to 139.7 million ounces in 2016, despite higher silver prices. It was the first decline in overall silver production since 2002.

But many analysts say a weakening dollar will be the primary factor driving silver’s gains. Gold Newsletter editor Brien Lundin told Barron’s he thinks the dollar is the main reason gold has outperformed silver so far this year.

Gold and the greenback have been trading in a very close inverse correlation for about the last two years, and the relationship has only grown closer this year.”

Lundin noted that the dollar index has fallen 8.8{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} this year because of “underlying skepticism” about the Federal Reserve’s ability to keep raising rates.

Even the Fed admits a new-normal rate environment would mean a federal-funds rate of around 2.5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}. Balance that against its goal of 2{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} inflation, and you see they [the Fed] want an ultralow real-rate environment that would be bullish for gold and bearish for the dollar.”

Read More @ SchiffGold.com

History Says Global Debt Levels Will Lead to Another Crisis

from GoldSilver.com:

It may feel like we’ll escape a debt crisis since, well, the world hasn’t ended in spite of runaway debt levels. Some of us hard money people feel like we’re taking crazy pills; how the heck can debt be so out of control, so completely unpayable, and yet the financial system keeps chugging along as if nothing’s wrong?

Well, history has a message for us: the current calm won’t last forever, because there is a direct link between government debt levels and the number of financial crises that occur. And since global debt levels are high—the second highest level in the past 150 years—it’s not exactly a stretch to conclude that another financial crisis is coming.

Analysts at Deutsche Bank recently released an extensive study that demonstrates the link between debt and crisis. One chart in particular screamed for attention.

They measured G-7 government debt levels, as a percent of GDP, and charted that figure against the number of crisis those countries have experienced. Here are the primary events they classified as a crisis or shock:

  • 15{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} fall in stocks
  • 10{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} decline in the country’s currency exchange rate
  • 10{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} fall in bonds
  • A sovereign default
  • 10{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} inflation rate

They logged every time a nation encountered any of these events within a one-year period, and compared that to government debt levels. It’s not hard to spot the correlation.

Since 1864, the higher government debt levels, the greater the number of countries hit by a financial crisis or shock. Even in the 1970s when debt was “low,” it rose steadily, indicating politicians were relying on debt to help solve their economic problems. And that reliance led to greater crises.

You can see that current G-7 government debt levels are at the second highest reading in at least 153 years. Are these countries really going to buck the historical trend and avoid any further financial crises or shocks? It would be borderline irresponsible to think so (hello, gold haters).

So how did we get into this debt spiral?

The Root Cause of Current Debt Levels

The simplest explanation is that governments spend more than they bring in. And since each year’s deficit is added to the debt, the total keeps going up and up. It’s so high now that it’s mathematically impossible to repay (at least in current dollars).

How is it that central bankers and politicians can continue this free-for-all spending? You can tie it to one thing…

The world made a final break from a gold standard in 1971, when President Nixon ended gold convertibility. Up to that point there was some kind of gold (or silver) monetary regime for literally centuries (the primary exception to a lid on spending was during periods of war as the chart shows).

Now the entire world is on a fiat currency system for the first time in recorded history. And a fiat currency system always leads to ever increasing debt and money printing, because politicians and central bankers have no built-in controls to prevent them from doing so. Need more currency? Just spend it anyway or print it.

I have a question for those who mock the gold standard, or believe the fiat system is superior: why have all of the following events occurred since the world severed its last monetary tie to gold in 1971?

Read More @ GoldSilver.com

Andrew Hoffman – $5000 Bitcoin!

by Kerry Lutz, Financial Survival Network:

Monday Madness with Andrew Hoffman:

  • Bitcoin’s massive breakout above $5,000
  • Nearly at the $100 billion market cap level where ALL global investors can participate
  • Equally massive Bitcoin dominance surge vs. other cryptos
  • Upcoming BGold (Oct 25) and S2X (Nov 19) hard forks, and second Bitcore (Oct 30) airdrop
  • Crypto-Ruble launch
  • Not a crypto, but Russia going cashless
  • Chinese 19th National Congress this week
  • Major changes coming, all good for Bitcoin and gold
  • Etc.

Click HERE to listen

Read More @ FinancialSurvivalNetwork.com

Neck and Neck: Russian and Chinese Official Gold Reserves

by Ronan Manly, BullionStar:

Official gold reserve updates from the Russian and Chinese central banks are probably one of the more closely watched metrics in the gold world. After the US, Germany, Italy and France, the sovereign gold holdings of China and Russia are the world’s 5th and 6th largest. And with the gold reserves ‘official figures’ of the US, Germany, Italy and France being essentially static, the only numbers worth watching are those of China and Russia.

The Russian Federation’s central bank, the Bank of Russia, releases data on its official gold holdings in the Bank’s monthly “International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity” report which is published towards the end of the third week of each month, and which confirms gold reserve changes as of the previous month-end.

The Chinese State releases data on its official gold holdings via a monthly “Official Reserve Assets” report published by the State Administration of Foreign Reserves (SAFE) that is uploaded within the Forex Reserves pages of the SAFE website. This gold is classified as held by the Chinese central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC). The SAFE report is published during the 2nd week of each month, reporting on the previous month-end.

In both reports, official gold reserves (i.e. monetary gold) are specified in both US Dollars and fine troy ounces. Monetary gold is gold that is held by a central bank or other monetary authority as a reserve asset on a central bank’s balance sheet.

Delta: 100 Tonnes

For the Bank of Russia, its latest report, published on 19 September 2017 addressing August month-end, shows the Bank holding 56.1 million fine troy ounces of gold (1745 tonnes). For the Chinese State, the latest SAFE release is reporting Chinese official gold reserves of 59.24 million ounces (1842 tonnes).

Officially reported Russian gold reserves of 1745 tonnes are now just 100 tonnes shy of the ‘official’ gold reserves of the Chinese central bank. Given that the Bank of Russia is expected to add about another 70 tonnes of gold to its official reserves during the remainder of 2017,  then if the Chinese State does not reveal any increase in its ‘official’ gold reserves between now and the first quarter of 2018, Russia will most likely surpass China in terms of official gold reserves by April 2018.

While its possible and probable that the Chinese State / PBoC really holds more gold than it claims to hold, any upcoming scenario in which the Bank of Russia surpasses the People’s Bank of China in terms of gold holdings would at least be symbolic in terms of international monetary developments, and would be sure to generate some chatter in the financial press.

Although the official gold reserves of these two key nations are now nearly neck and neck, there are still some interesting contrasts between them, not least the way in which the Bank of Russia’s reported gold holdings have been steadily increasing month on month, while the reported gold holdings of the People’s Bank of China have remained totally unchanged for nearly a year now, since the end of October 2016.

Therefore the situation which is now emerging, i.e. the distinct possibility that Russian official gold reserves will surpass those of China something in early 2018, is a situation which is emerging precisely because the Russian Federation keeps adding to its gold reserves, while the Chinese State seemingly does not.

Differing Styles of Communication

The routes via which these two strategically important nations have amassed their official gold reserves are also quite different, at least at a public reporting level.

It wasn’t so long ago (2007) that the gold reserves of the Russian Federation were still in the region of 400 tonnes. However, beginning in about the third quarter of 2007, the Bank of Russia began a concerted campaign to rapidly expand its official gold holdings, a trend which never subsided and which has been ongoing now for exactly 10 years. By early 2011, official Russian gold reserves had exceeded 800 tonnes. By the end of 2014, the Bank of Russia was reporting holding more than 1200 tonnes of gold. And by the end of 2016, Russian official gold were more than 1600 tonnes. For full details on the Bank of Russia’s gold holdings, including gold storage, gold reserve management, gold purchases and Russian government views on gold, see “Bank of Russia, Central Bank Gold Policies” at BullionStar’s Gold University.

From the above chart, it can be seen that during 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively, the Bank of Russia added 171 tonnes, 208 tonnes, and 199 tonnes to its gold reserves, or in total 578 tonnes over a 3 year period. In 2017, with the Bank of Russia having added another 130 tonnes of gold for the year to end of August, its official gold reserves now stand at 1745 tonnes.

The route to the Chinese State accumulating 1842 tonnes of gold is a different one to that of the Russians, again at least from a publicly reported angle. While the Bank of Russia has historically published changes to its gold reserves on a monthly basis, the Chinese central bank has chosen to remain very secretive, and between 2001 and mid 2015 had only issued four public updates addressing the size and growth of its gold reserves. These 4 updates were as follows:

  • 4th Quarter 2001: From 394 to 500 tonnes: A 106 tonne increase
  • 4th Quarter 2002: From 500 to 600 tonnes: A 100 tonne increase
  • April 2009: From 600 to 1,054 tonnes: A 454 tonne increase
  • July 2015: From 1,054 to 1,658 tonnes: A 604 tonne increase

Beginning in July 2015, however, the Chinese State started to report changes in its official gold reserves on a monthly basis, and by July 2016 was reporting 1823 tonnes of official gold holdings. The following graphic, taken from a BullionStar infographic on the Chinese gold market, illustrates the sporadic reporting of Chinese official gold reserves between the early 2000s and July 2015. Note that between July 2016 and October 2016, the Chinese State through SAFE reported that the PBoC had acquired another 19 tonnes of gold, taking its total reported gold reserves to 1942 tonnes as of the end of October 2016.

Read More @ BullionStar.com

London Paul and Team RogueMoney Told Ya: The Crypto-Ruble is Almost Here

from Rogue Money:

“Uncle Sam and the dollar are being stalked by a thousand pound Russian bear”

— W the Intelligence Insider (paraphrased)

While the appeal of privately ‘mined’ fiat crypto-currencies has been their security and anonymity, the Russians are seeking to create a transparent system via the Moscow exchange whereby cryptocurrency holders and trades will be known to the authorities and, if capital gains occur, get taxed at Russia’s 13{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} flat tax rate. For a country where oil and gas still accounts for roughly less than a quarter (and a declining share) of GDP, smart contracts can also be used for settlement in crude oil where useful. In theory they could also assist in capitalizing Russian sectors like energy which have been cut off or limited by U.S./EU sanctions from accessing Western capital, by offering Russian and overseas investors affordable direct investment in refining assets or pipelines. Just as real estate ICOs are poised to supplant and eventually replace REITs, this is similar to how master limited partnerships and GDRs providing liquidity in the U.S. markets, but without the need for JP Morgan or Goldman Sachs consultations on issuing the smart contract logged stakes in physical capital.

The offset to the privacy disadvantages of a sovereign as opposed to privately held cryptocurrency are, that the ease and transparency of smart contracts can help to reduce Russia’s problems with corruption/offshore money laundering. Also, through ready cash conversion or hard asset backing, the move is intended to create stronger demand for crypto if not paper rubles in trade settlement (dumping the dollar and later, the euro), a key objective of President Putin’s long term ‘de-offshoreization’ and ‘rubleization’ strategies. The latter was previously emphasized via mid-September reporting that U.S. dollars will soon no longer be accepted for trade settlement at Russian seaports.

Read More @ RogueMoney.net