Monday, April 22, 2019

The Dow Closes At A Record High For The 9th Straight Time But Experts Warn That A Stock Market Crash Could Be Imminent

1

by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse Blog:

The bigger they come, the harder they fall.  On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a record high for the ninth straight session.  It has been a remarkable run, but many experts are pointing out that big trouble is brewing under the surface.  As you will see below, 79 components of the S&P 500 have already dropped more than 20 percent below their 52-week highs, and it is mostly just a handful of high flying tech stocks that are still propping up the market at this point.  Over the past several weeks, I have been documenting so many of the prominent voices that are loudly warning about an imminent stock market crash, and in this article you will hear some more of these warnings.  There is no way that stock prices can keep going up like this, and when the inevitable correction does arrive it is going to be exceedingly painful for millions of investors.

When the market is about to turn in a major way, one of the key things to watch is market breadth, and according to Brad Lamensdorf market breadth has now turned “exceedingly negative”

Market breadth, a measure of how many stocks are rising versus the number that are dropping, has turned “exceedingly negative,” according to Brad Lamensdorf, a portfolio manager at Ranger Alternative Management. Lamensdorf writes the Lamensdorf Market Timing Report newsletter and runs the AdvisorShares Ranger Equity Bear ETF HDGE, -0.70{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} an exchange-traded fund that “shorts” stocks, or bets that they will fall.

“As the indexes continue to produce a series of higher highs, subsurface conditions are painting an entirely different picture,” Lamensdorf wrote in the latest edition of the newsletter.

When Lamensdorf uses the phrase “exceedingly negative”, he is not exaggerating at all.  As I mentioned above, 79 components of the S&P 500 are already in a bear market

According to an analysis of FactSet data, 79 components of the S&P 500 are trading at least 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} below their 52-week high; a bear market is typically defined as a 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} drop from a peak.

Another key measure that I like to keep my eye on is Robert Shiller’s cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio.  At this point, it is roughly at the same level as it was just before the stock market crash of 1929, and the only time it has been higher was during the peak of the dotcom bubble.

This is why so many investors are making extremely large bets that a major correction is imminent.  History tells us that stocks are likely to only go down from here.  And when stocks do start falling, the price action could become quite violent.  In fact, Barry James is comparing this current market to the Yellowstone supervolcano

Warning: A correction in the market is “inevitable” and there are three key factors that could spark chaos on Wall Street, according to James Advantage Fund president Barry James.

The investor likened the market to Yellowstone National Park’s famous supervolcano, which many believe is close to eruption.

Of course not everyone agrees with James.  Michael Wilson of Morgan Stanley insists that everything is just fine and that “there continues to be a level of skepticism that seems out of whack with what is actually happening”.

In the end, we will see how the coming months play out.

Over the past several years, there have been two primary trends that have been relentlessly driving up stock prices.  One of these trends has been an unprecedented level of stock buybacks.  And so far this year, hundreds of billions of dollars worth of stock buybacks have already been announced

Through May, some $390 billion in buybacks have been announced this year, $13 billion more than at this time in 2016, according to figures compiled by Jeffrey Yale Rubin at Birinyi Associates, a stock market research firm.

June 28 was the biggest single buyback announcement day in history. That was when 26 banks disclosed buybacks worth $92.8 billion, largely a response to having just passed the stress tests administered by the Federal Reserve Board. That figure blew past the previous record of $56.4 billion announced on July 20, 2006.

Secondly, central banks have been pumping trillions upon trillions of dollars into the global financial system, and this has perhaps been the biggest reason for the surge in stock prices.  But now central banks are starting to pull back, and that could mean big trouble very soon.  The following comes from Matt King

With asset prices displaying a high degree of correlation with central bank liquidity additions in recent years, that feedback loop makes the economy, upon which both corporate profitability and bank net interest margins depend, more reliant on central banks holding markets together than almost ever before. That delicate balance may well be sustained for the time being. But with central banks beginning to move, however gingerly, towards an exit, is it really worth chasing the last few bp of spread from here?

Throughout our history we have seen financial bubbles come and go, but we never seen to learn from our mistakes.  Right now, Warren Buffett is sitting on nearly 100 billion dollars in cash in anticipation of being able to buy up financial assets for a song after a crash happens, but meanwhile multitudes of ordinary Americanscontinue to pour vast quantities of money into stocks even at such absurd valuations.

Despite all of the warnings, many will be caught unprepared when the music stops playing.  Just like all of the other financial manias in our history, this one will come to a bitter end too.  The following comes from the New York Times

In the late 1960s the mania was for the “nifty 50” American companies like Disney and McDonald’s, which had been the “go-go” stocks of that decade. In the late 1970s it was for natural resources, from gold to oil. In the late 1980s it was stocks in Japan, and in the late 1990s it was the dot-com boom. Last decade, investors flocked to mortgage-backed securities and big emerging markets from Brazil to Russia. In every case, many partygoers were still in the market when the crash came.

In life, timing is everything, and those that got out of the market in time are going to end up being very happy that they did so.

Read More @ TheEconomicCollapseBlog,com

Audioblog #205-Fiat VS. Crypto-The Ultimate Monetary “Death Cross”

by Andy Hoffman, Miles Franklin:

Andrew (“Andy”) Hoffman, CFA joined Miles Franklin as Marketing Director in October 2011. For more than a decade, he was a U.S.-based buy-side and sell-side analyst, most notably as an II-ranked oil service analyst at Salomon Smith Barney from 1999 through 2005. Since 2002, his investment focus has been entirely on Precious Metals – and since 2006, has written free, public missives regarding gold, silver, and macroeconomics.  Prior to joining the company, he spent five years working as an Investor Relations officer or consultant to numerous junior mining companies. 

Click HERE to listen.

GOLD UP 30 CENTS/SILVER DOWN 3 CENTS/U.N. SANCTIONS NORTH KOREA WITH A 15-0 VOTE (VOTE IN THE AFFIRMATIVE BY CHINA AND RUSSIA)

from Harvey Organ, Harvey Organ Blog:

NORTH KOREA OFFERS AN ANGRY RESPONSE TO THE ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS/SOUTH AFRICA TO HAVE A NON CONFIDENCE VOTE ON ZUMA TOMORROW/TED BUTLER REPORTS ON SILVER/USA STUDENT LOANS, AUTO LOANS AND REVOLVING CREDIT AT RECORD LEVELS

In silver, the total open interest SURPRISINGLY FELL BY ONLY 146 contracts from  204,833 DOWN TO 204,687 DESPITE THE HUGE FALL IN THE PRICE THAT SILVER TOOK WITH RESPECT TO FRIDAY’S TRADING (DOWN 34 CENT(S). SIMPLE EXPLANATION: THE BANKERS SUPPLIED THE NECESSARY PAPER BUT MORE NEWBIE SILVER LONGS ENTERED THE ARENA WITH THE REMAINING SILVER LONGS REMAINING STOIC AGAIN AND REFUSING TO BUDGE FROM THE SILVER TREE.

 In ounces, the OI is still represented by just OVER 1 BILLION oz i.e.  1.025 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 146{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT MAY MONTH/ THEY FILED: 1 NOTICE(S) FOR 5,000OZ OF SILVER

In gold, the open interest FELL by A CONSIDERABLE 9,501 WITH the FALL in price of gold ($10.50 LOSS ON FRIDAY.)  The new OI for the gold complex rests at 448,278. WITH THE RAID ON FRIDAY, THE BANKERS WERE SUCCESSFUL IN COVERING SOME OF THEIR SHORTFALL AS NEWBIE SPECS FLED FROM THE SCENE.

we had: 73 notice(s) filed upon for 7300 oz of gold.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

With respect to our two criminal funds, the GLD and the SLV:

GLD:

Today, no changes in gold inventory:

Inventory rests tonight: 787.14 tonnes

IN THE LAST 17 DAYS: GLD SHEDS 50.1 TONNES YET GOLD IS HIGHER BY $44.85 . 

SLV

Today: : WE NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY TONIGHT:

INVENTORY RESTS AT 339.606 MILLION OZ

 

end

Read More @HarveyOrganBlog.com

Mysterious Trader With “Nearly Unlimited Bankroll” Said To Manipulate, Dominate Price Of Bitcoin

from ZeroHedge:

It was over three years ago, back in May 2014, when we wrote “How Bots Manipulated The Price Of Bitcoin Through “Massive Fraudulent Trading Activity” At MtGox” in which we first demonstrated one of the more striking observed “bot-driven” bitcoin manipulation schemes, in this case related to the infamous collapse of the now defunct Mt.Gox bitcoin exchnage.

As we wrote at the time, a number of traders began noticing suspicious behavior on Mt. Gox. Basically, a random number between 10 and 20 bitcoin would be bought every 5-10 minutes, non-stop, for at least a month on end until the end of January, by what appeared to be two algos, named later as “Willy” and “Markis.” Each time, (1) an account was created, (2) the account spent some very exact amount of USD to market-buy coins ($2.5mm was most common), (3) a new account was created very shortly after. Repeat. In total, a staggering ~$112 million was spent to buy close to 270,000 BTC – the bulk of which was bought in November.

“So if you were wondering how Bitcoin suddenly appreciated in value by a factor of 10 within the span of one month, well, this is why. Not Chinese investors, not the Silkroad bust – these events may have contributed, but they certainly were not the main reason. But who did it? and why?”

Of course, in the end this alleged manipulation did not help Mt.Gox which eventually collapsed in what has been the biggest case of cryptocoin fraud in history.

We bring up this particular blast from the past, because in the latest case of bitcoin market abuse – with Bitcoin trading at all time highs above $3,000 – Cointelegraph reports of rumors swirling about a trader “with nearly unlimited funds who is manipulating the Bitcoin markets.” This trader, nicknamed “Spoofy,” received his “nom de guerre” because of his efforts to “spoof” the market, primarily on Bitfinex.

Of course, spoofing is what Navinder Sarao pled guilty of last year, when regulators inexplicably changed their story, and instead of blaming a Waddell and Reed sell order for the May 2010 flash crash, decided to scapegoat the young trader who allegedly crashed the market due to his relentless spoofing of E-mini futures (and also making $40 million in the process of spoofing stock futures for over five years).

It now appears that a spoofer has once again emerged, only this time in Bitcoin.

For those unfamiliar, spoofing is simple: it is the illegal practice of placing a large buy order just below other buy orders, or a large sell order just above other sell orders, then cancelling if it appears that the order is about to be hit or lifted. The idea is to make traders think that somebody with deep pockets is getting ready to buy or sell, in hopes of moving the market. If traders see a sell order of 2000 Bitcoin they may rush to panic sell before the whale crashes the price. And vice versa on the bid-side.

As an example of Spoofy’s trading pattern, here is a breakdown of a typical “trade” by the mysterious entity as noted by BitCrypto’ed who first spotted the irregular activity: Spoofy is a regular trader (or a group of traders) who engages in the following practices:

  • Places large bids ($2 million and up) for Bitcoin, usually just under a smaller bid order, only to remove them once someone starts to sell. These orders usually have a lifetime of minutes, or sometimes as short as 5–10 seconds to manipulate the price up (more common)
  • Places large asks ($2 million and up), for Bitcoin when he wants the price to go down, or stop going up (less common)
  • Occasionally ‘Spoofy’ will allow orders deep in the orderbooks to remain for a few hours, usually $50–$100 below the current price. For example, during the recovery above $2,000, he had roughly 4,000 BTC of false orders in the $1,900 range that were unlikely to execute, and ultimately were never executed.

As noted above, spoofing is actually illegal – as ultimately the trader has no intention of ever executing the publicized trade – but as Bitcoin markets are largely unregulated, it’s a very common practice.

What is unusual in this case is the nearly unlimited bankroll that Spoofy has at his disposal: He regularly places orders approaching $60 million.

Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

BRICS countries strike FATAL BLOW on US dollar supremacy

0

from Pravda Report:

The United States has declared a war of sanctions on Russia and continues putting trade pressure on China. It is not ruled out that the USA will restrict supplies of steel products from China. In return, Moscow and Beijing intend to abolish the US dollar in mutual settlements within the scope of the BRICS organization. The move will mark the end of the era of the undivided financial domination of the United States of America in the world.

As soon as the US Congress adopted a package of new sanctions against Russia, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Ryabkov issued a formidable warning to Washington. “US sanctions against Russia will only encourage Russia to create an alternative economic system, in which dollars will not be needed,” the Russian diplomat said.

Interestingly, the statement was made on the eve of the two-day summit of BRICS trade ministers, which opened on August 1, 2017 in Shanghai. This organization, which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, becomes a powerful counterweight to the Group of Seven.

Today, the BRICS countries account for 26{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the Earth’s territory, 42{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the world’s population (almost three billion people) and 27{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of world GDP. According to experts’ forecasts, the share of BRICS countries will account for more than 40{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of world GDP by 2050

However, BRICS trade ministers chose not to put the horse before the cart.

Russia’s Minister for Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin stated that BRICS countries, in particular Russia and China, may switch to settlements in national currencies already in the near future. The minister also said that the trade turnover between Russia and China may reach $200 billion by 2020.

Meanwhile, on the sidelines of the Shanghai summit, the ministers discussed opportunities for the creation of a new monetary system to exclude the use of the US dollar. In 2015, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia was opting for settlements in national currencies and created currency pools with several countries.

Read More @ PravdaReport.com

Gold Price: USD 65,000/oz in 5 years?

0

from Bullion Star, via Zero Hedge:

Financial market prices are generally set by the trading venues which command the highest trading volumes and liquidity. This is also true of the gold market where the venues with the highest gold trading volumes – the London over-the-counter and COMEX gold futures markets – establish the international gold price.

However, these two gold markets merely trade paper gold claims in the form of unallocated gold positions (London Gold Market) and gold futures derivatives (COMEX). This trading creates paper gold supply out of thin air and is also highly leveraged and fractional in nature since the paper gold claims are only fractionally backed by real physical gold.

Although these highly leveraged synthetic gold trades have nothing to do with the transacting of physical gold, perversely they still establish the international gold price because physical gold markets merely inherit the gold prices derived in these ‘high liquidity’ paper gold markets.

BullionStar maintains that these paper gold markets cannot price physical gold accurately because they don’t trade physical gold, instead they trade infinitely scalable fractional claims on a smaller amount of physical gold. The international gold price is thus an artificial gold price totally removed from supply and demand in the physical gold markets.

Drawbacks of paper gold / Benefits of physical gold

Each trading day in the London OTC gold market, the equivalent of a staggering 6500 tonnes of gold is traded.

To put this into perspective, less than 7500 tonnes of physical gold vaulted in the entire London gold vaulting network, most of which is owned by central banks and Exchange Traded Funds.

Nearly all trading in the London OTC gold market is speculate activity based on unallocated gold positions. Unallocated gold positions are just book-keeping entries where the holder of the position is an unsecured creditor to a counterparty bullion bank, and the position just represents indebtedness between the two transacting parties.

Likewise, on the COMEX futures exchange during 2017, only 1 in every 2650 gold futures contracts actually reached delivery via a transfer of underlying gold. The remainder (99.96{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}) of gold futures are cash-settled. There is very little physical gold backing COMEX gold trading i.e. Registered physical gold inventories in COMEX approved gold vaults represent only a tiny fraction of the total volume of gold futures traded at any given time.

Conversely, real physical gold is a tangible asset that exists in limited quantities, it is inherently valuable, difficult to produce, difficult to counterfeit, and most importantly when held in the form of fully allocated, segregated and unencumbered gold bars and gold coins, it has no counterparty risk and so is no one else’s liability.

Real physical gold is not a claim on gold. It is gold. Real physical gold is real money, and is the ultimate form of saving and store of value due to its ability to retain its purchasing power over time. Unfortunately, the proliferation of paper gold trading dwarfs the volume of physical gold traded, and thus the gold price is set on these huge paper gold trading volumes.

Price Disconnect

But given the dominance of gold pricing by the paper gold markets, can this situation continue, and if so for how long?

BullionStar would contend that this situation can only continue while the bulk of paper gold market participants are happy to continue trading paper gold claims and in the absence of a shock to the physical gold demand-supply balance.

Conversely, a shift in the trading behaviour of paper gold traders away from paper gold towards physical gold, or a scenario in which physical gold demand overwhelms available physical gold supply, could cause a disconnect between gold pricing in the paper gold and physical gold markets, with the paper price falling while the physical price simultaneously rises.

Physical Gold flows West to East

As Western institutional and retail investors continue to speculate and trade staggering volumes of paper gold instruments, Eastern buyers in Asia continue to accumulate real physical gold, physical gold which is in limited supply.

These flows of physical gold from West to East have been ongoing for some time and can even be viewed as a slow and silent bank run on the physical gold market.

Classic commercial bank runs either begin when a subset of a bank’s customers suspect that the bank may not have sufficient liquid cash to repay all depositors, or else suspect that the bank’s loan base has soured. Since commercial banks employ fractional reserve banking where only a fraction of depositors’ money is kept in reserve (the majority being lent out in the form of loans), depositors with early suspicions begin withdrawing their money first.

Word spreads that the bank is having trouble meeting withdrawal requests and more and more depositors follow suit attempting to make withdrawals. Panic soon sets in with the bank forced to limit withdrawals and request emergency assistance from regulators.

The same end-game could be said to be true of fractional-reserve gold banking where holders of claims on physical gold rush to be the first to convert their claims into physical gold. Since the early 2000s, there has been a continual and substantial flow of physical gold from West to East. For example, since 2001, India has net imported over 11,000 tonnes of gold. This imported gold has for the most part stayed within India.

Likewise, since 2001, China has imported over 7,000 tonnes of gold. Because exports of gold are prohibited from the Chinese gold market, this gold cannot leave China mainland. In addition, the Chinese central bank has reported a 1400 tonne increase in its gold holdings since 2001. This is gold that the People’s Bank of China buys exclusively on international gold markets in the form of wholesale gold bars and imports secretively into China, and is above and beyond reported Chinese gold import figures.

In the global gold market, Eastern buyers of physical gold are analogous to the early depositors of a commercial bank withdrawing their cash. In this scenario, a gold market ‘depositor shock’ prompting further withdrawals from the global stock of gold would be analogous to a widespread realization that the outstanding set of traded gold claims is far larger than the dwindling quantity of physical gold backing those claims. This realization would prompt further rotation out of paper gold into physical gold.

If at the margin, paper gold market players (later adopters) begin converting their paper gold claims into physical gold, or more realistically cash settle their paper claims and then try to use the proceeds to buy physical gold, this could set the scene for a disconnect between physical gold prices and paper gold prices.

On the one hand, a shift towards physical gold would overwhelm available physical gold supply, a situation which could only be rectified via an increase in the physical gold price to induce supply from existing above ground stocks. On the other hand, selling pressure in the paper gold markets to release proceeds to convert into physical gold would drive the paper gold price lower, thus also reinforcing this gold price disconnect.

Gold Price $65,000 +

But what would the real price of physical gold be in the absence of the subduing influence of the fractional and limitless paper gold market, or how do we even approach calculating a range of such physical gold prices?

Throughout history, gold has been the ultimate money and ultimate store of value. Until 1971, physical gold backed the international monetary system. Throughout monetary history and up until the latter half of the 20th century, gold played a critical role in backing paper currencies and in backing monetary debt. It is thus still appropriate to analyse the value of gold in relation to the value of currencies and the value of outstanding debt.

Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

Dumb – And Dumber — Money Keeps Pouring In

0

by John Rubino, Dollar Collapse:

Someday, stock, bond and real estate valuations will matter again. And the mechanism by which this return to sanity is achieved will probably be the torrent of money now flowing in from people who, for various reasons, don’t care about (or understand) the prices they’re paying.

Millennials, for instance, seem to have reached the “beginners’ mistakes” phase of their financial lives. They’re major buyers of recreational vehicles – see The Perfect Crash Indicator Is Flashing Red — and are now opening stock brokerage accounts at a startling pace:

 

Schwab: “New Accounts Are At Levels We Have Not Seen Since The Dot Com Bubble” As Millennials Rush Into Stocks

(Zero Hedge) – In its Q2 earnings results, [stock broker Charles] Schwab reported that after years of avoiding equities, Schwab clients opened the highest number of brokerage accounts in the first half of 2017 since 2000. This is what Schwab said on its Q2 conference call:

 

New accounts are at levels we have not seen since the Internet boom of the late 1990s, up 34{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} over the first half of last year. But maybe more important for the long-term growth of the organization is not so much new accounts, but new-to-firm households, and our new-to-firm retail households were up 50{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} over that same period from 2016.

In total, Schwab clients opened over 350,000 new brokerage accounts during the quarter, with the year-to-date total reaching 719,000, marking the biggest first-half increase in 17 years. Total client assets rose 16{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to $3.04 trillion.

Schwab also adds that the net cash level among its clients has only been lower once since the depths of the financial crisis in Q1 2009:

“Now, it’s clear that clients are highly engaged in the markets, we have cash being aggressively invested into the equity market, as the market has climbed. By the end of the second quarter, cash levels for our clients had fallen to about 11.5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of assets overall, now, that’s a level that we’ve only seen one time since the market began its recovery in the spring of 2009.”

But wait, there’s more: throwing in the towel on prudence, according to a quarterly investment survey from E*Trade, nearly a third of millennial investors are planning to move out of cash and into new positions over the coming six months. By comparison, only 19{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of Generation X investors (aged 35-54) are planning such a change to their portfolio, while 9{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of investors above the age of 55 are planning to buy in.

Furthermore, according to a June survey from Legg Mason, nearly 80{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of millennial investors plan to take on more risk this year, with 66{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of them expressing an interest in equities. About 45{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} plan to take on “much more risk” in their portfolios.

In other words, little by little, everyone is going “all in.”

Here’s a related chart showing margin debt – money investors borrow against existing stock portfolios to buy more shares. Not surprisingly given the above, it’s at record levels and rising.

Corporations, meanwhile, continue to hoover up their own shares even as the market averages break records:

 

Big Pharma Spends on Share Buybacks, but R&D? Not So Much

(New York Times) – Under fire for skyrocketing drug prices, pharmaceutical companies often offer this response: The high costs of their products are justified because the proceeds generate money for crucial research on new cures and treatments.

 

It’s a compelling argument, but only partly true. As a revealing new academic study shows, big pharmaceutical companies have spent more on share buybacks and dividends in a recent 10-year period than they did on research and development. The working paper, published on Thursday by the Institute for New Economic Thinking, is entitled “U.S. Pharma’s Financialized Business Model.”

The paper’s five authors concluded that from 2006 through 2015, the 18 drug companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index spent a combined $516 billion on buybacks and dividends. This exceeded by 11 percent the companies’ research and development spending of $465 billion during these years.

The authors contend that many big pharmaceutical companies are living off patents that are decades-old and have little to show in the way of new blockbuster drugs. But their share buybacks and dividend payments inoculate them against shareholders who might be concerned about lackluster research and development.

While stock buybacks appear to be particularly troublesome among drugmakers, big companies in other industries — in sectors like banking, retail, technology and consumer goods, among others — are also buying back boatloads of their shares. Through May, some $390 billion in buybacks have been announced this year, $13 billion more than at this time in 2016, according to figures compiled by Jeffrey Yale Rubin at Birinyi Associates, a stock market research firm.

June 28 was the biggest single buyback announcement day in history. That was when 26 banks disclosed buybacks worth $92.8 billion, largely a response to having just passed the stress tests administered by the Federal Reserve Board. That figure blew past the previous record of $56.4 billion announced on July 20, 2006.

Note that last sentence: The previous record for corporate share repurchases occurred about a year before stock prices fell off a cliff.

Read More @ DollarCollapse.com

Dave Janda Operation Freedom – Sunday, August 6, 2017 – John Titus and Adam Taggert

by Dave Janda, Dave Janda:

Topics Discussed

Cyber-Security, Bank Of International Settlements, The Hammer, Illegal Surveillance, Oklahoma City Bombing, Manipulation of financial markets, New World Order Syndicate, Obama Care, Free Market Health Reform, Putin, The Ukraine, ISIS, Syria, The Constitution, Natural resources, Reserve currency, Corruption, gold, silver, Global Elite, International Banking Cabal, debt, Federal Reserve, Too Big To Fail Banks, Crony Capitalism, Debt Ceiling, Financial implosion, Recession, Economic Depression, Freedom, Liberty

Click HERE to listen to John Titus

Click HERE to listen to Adam Taggert

BOOM! Bitcoin Rockets To New All-Time High As Cryptocurrencies Surge Higher!

by Jeff Berwick, The Dollar Vigilante:

All eyes were on bitcoin on August 1st, as it underwent the biggest change it had undergone since its inception in 2009.

After years of debate, the issue of scalability resulted in a fracturing of bitcoin onto two separate paths, now called Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.

The usual cast of characters came out to warn that this was the death of bitcoin. And, as it always seems to do, bitcoin pushed on unscathed.

In fact, it was more than just unscathed. Just days after the fork it skyrocketed to new all-time highs.

On August 1st, bitcoin was trading at $2,735 and it hit a high so far today of $3,329 for a gain of 22{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in the last few days.

And, that’s not including Bitcoin Cash which everyone who was holding bitcoin on August 1st also now has.

Bitcoin Cash has sold off the last few days and currently sits just over $200.

The two combined mean that anyone holding bitcoin on August 1st now has over $3,500 worth of bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.

The entire cryptocurrency space skyrocketed today, with the exception of Bitcoin Cash.

Read More @ TheDollarVigilante.com

The West continues to buy paper gold while the East buys physical according to World Gold Council

by Kenneth Schortgen, The Daily Economist:

On Aug. 3 the World Gold Council published a report for the second quarter (Q2) on overall sales of the precious metal.  And in this report the WGC found that although there was a rise in gold buying in the United States and Europe, the majority of their purchases were done in the ETF and paper markets.

Simultaneously, gold buying in India and China rose over the first quarter (Q1), and their primary buying was done in the physical gold markets.

Global gold demand was 953.4 tonnes in the second quarter, which was 10{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} lower than the same time last year. Demand in the first half fell 14{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-on-year to 2003.8 tonnes. The World Gold Council stressed that the declines in demand reflect a slowdown after a surge in ETF demand during the first half of 2016. 

Gold-backed ETFs enjoyed a 56 tonne increase in assets under management in the quarter, with holdings of ETFs reaching 2,313 tonnes in June – the highest level since October last year. Holdings in the first half rose by roughly 168 tonnes. 

Second quarter investment in the U.S. and Europe was 30.9 tonnes and 35.2 tonnes, respectively, though European-listed ETFs accounted for 76{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of net global inflows in the first half. Assets under management in European-listed funds hit a record high of 977.7 tonnes at the end of the second quarter. However, Chinese investors turned cold on gold in the quarter: 

Chinese demand for bars and coins was strong in the second quarter, rising 56{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} from the same time last year. Here’s a little more detail from the World Gold Council: 

This was a solid quarter, broadly in line with the three- and five-year average quarterly demand of 62.9t and 69.5t respectively. But when we look at recent trends it is clear that Chinese retail investment has slowed down a little. China saw exceptionally strong demand in the final quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017, with over 100t bought in each. A depreciating currency and fears over State-imposed restrictions on the property markets in Tier 1 and 2 cities fuelled demand for gold as a high-quality liquid asset. So far in 2017, however, the yuan has stabilised and the property market regulations have not had the impact many investors had feared. 

Indian coin and bar demand rose 46{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-on-year in the second quarter, while demand in Turkey rose to the highest level since 2013. Indian jewelry demand rose 41{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-on-year in the second quarter: 

India drove global Q2 jewellery demand growth almost single-handedly. Demand shot up to 126.7t compared with just 89.8t in Q2 2016. The strong recovery had been widely expected after exceptional import figures were reported, hitting an all-time high of 104.6t in May as the market stockpiled gold ahead of the June GST rate announcement. Expecting a punitive GST rate, jewellers and consumers alike crammed their purchases into the first two months of the quarter, slowing down once the government confirmed that a 3{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} rate would be applied. – Barrons

As usual, most Americans do not truly understand diversification in their portfolios, as their buying of gold through and ETF means that they have only purchased another dollar based security, and have only a promise of access to real gold.  However over in Asia, diversification is much more acute since many investors there are buying assets in opposition to their own sovereign currencies, such as with physical gold, cryptocurrencies, and overseas real estate.

Read More @ TheDailyEconomist.com

The Deep State’s Final Solution for Trump Is Fast Approaching

by Dave Hodges, The Common Sense Show:

Question:  Why was there a Vietnam War?

Answer: Because JFK was assassinated.

Question: Why did America fall in 2018?

Answer: Because somebody very important had to die. The fundamental question is, who is going to die?

 

This article takes a long look at the current state of affairs with regard to the agenda of the Deep state and the fate of Donald Trump and possibly even Hillary Clinton.

This logic cuts to the heart of what is likely coming Trump’s way. Increasingly, it is becoming clear that for the Deep State to fulfill their goals of the fall of the United States, the subsequent installation of globalism and raping the American people of every last dime, someone has to die.

The Fate of the Independent Media Is the Barometer of the Nation’s Welfare

Without the Independent Media there is no Donald Trump Presidency. During the primary election, the Independent Media (IM) provided the only positive coverage enjoyed by Donald Trump. The IM was the only source of scorn and legitimate ridicule of Hillary Clinton.

The Deep State is being exposed for all of its Satanic evil thanks to the IM. Certainly, CNN is not going to expose itself.

In military strategy, the first objective of an invasion is to eliminate as much of the command and control of the enemy. In actual combat that entails taking out radar and other surveillance. In politics and in a coup attempt, eliminating command and control means to obliterate the portion of the media that would expose the coming coup and subsequent take down of America. This is precisely why Google, Youtube and Facebook are rearing their ugly heads and imposing communist Chinese media censorship policies against ALL of the IM.

The attacks upon the IM by social media should serve as the chest pains before the heart attack warning. America, here me clearly. You are witnessing the Deep State trying the severely eliminate the reach of the IM in educating the American people about what is truly going on, which is a coup against the Republic. Hagmann, Quayle, Adams and yours truly will not be around at the end of this fight. By the time America’s fate is sealed we will all have but disappeared from the eye of the public.

When we look at the ramifications of these Deep State actions, we must conclude that something very big is coming. The Deep State must eliminate the Independent Media in order to make sure we are not around to report on the Deep State coup against our country and our way of life.

Donald Trump Must Be Removed

There is a lesson to be learned from the fact that when the Viet Cong would take over a village, they would kill the teachers and the politicians. They had to kill the teachers because they needed to rewrite history to fit their own narrative. Donald Trump must be removed from office at all costs for exactly the same reason. He has provided America hope that we can roll back globalism to an extent that the middle class can be revived and the American people can preserve their liberties. Donald Trump is not just dangerous to the Deep State because of his policies, he is most dangerous because he has changed the psychology of the nation.

President Trump is an immediate threat to the Deep State because he threatens to eliminate open borders which would preserve our national identity. He is threatening to roll back the free trade agreements which have earned the globalists hundreds of billions of dollars from the acquisition of cheap overseas labor which has cost America millions of jobs and has divested our wage structure. The President is also attacking Deep State profiteering based on child-sex-trafficking, gun running, drug dealing and organ trafficking. Through his actions, Trump is dangerously close to fully exposing the Deep State and all of their evil to the mainstream of America. He must be stopped and he must be stopped at all costs.

Deep State Strategy to Rid Themselves of President Trump

To the average person, the easiest thing the Deep State could do would be to assassinate the President. However, as they discovered with JFK, there are negative implications that can last generations when this course of action is pursued. And it can be said with certainty, that America is done buying the worn out narrative of a single assassin with a narrative, who is a lone nut and who also has a diary stating what he is going to do. That fiction has been put to bed by the assassinations of RFK, MLK and JFK.

For the moment, the Deep State is pursuing administrative action against Trump. Yesterday, I exposed how the DNC’s Crowdsource webserver and top DNC personnel created the Russian narrative just in case Clinton was to lose. This is the basis for the possible upcoming impeachment proceedings. However, if they are not able to remove Trump from office quickly and through the indictment/impeachment process, they will take it to the next level as the same kind of power structure did with JFK.

Let me say it bluntly and boldly, many of us in the IM, believe that Trump will be assassinated if impeachment fails. I have often said that David Rockefeller would never have gotten away with the assassination of JFK if there was an Independent Media. And with the purge by social media of the IM, the stage is being set for an assassination and a subsequent coup.

Whatever Is Going to Happen Will Happen Very Quickly

When Robert Mueller impaneled a grand jury to consider the affairs of Donald Trump, that told me that the Deep State is going for broke. If this grand jury does not produce the intended result of indictment/impeachment, the Deep State will take this to the next level because they will have exhausted all of their administrative/legal options.

What Would Follow an Assassination?

After John Kennedy was murdered, the phone system was taken down in Washington DC for over an hour. That was to prevent an anticipated counter-revolution to the coup that had just taken place. Again, this is why the IM is being taken down because the Deep State fears our influence. The nation went on alert and was on the verge of martial law. There is one big difference between 1963 and 2017. Namely, in 1963, the people trusted their government. That is no longer true. Martial law will be imposed for this reason. Yes, that means FEMA camps, NDAA detentions and the likely use of death squads against anticipated agitators as that is what Jade Helm was primarily concerned with. I will explore these possibilities as long as I am allowed to publish and to broadcast.

Are There Any Counter-Measures That Can Be Employed?

When a ship or plane is about to be attacked by a heat-seeking missile, the intended target employs counter measures. Typically, a “hot” debris field is distributed to take the missile off course and explode it as it contacts the countermeasure releases. The American people could employ the same tactic.

Read More @ TheCommonSenseShow.com

A2A with Rob Kirby

by Turf Ferguson, TF Metals:

What great timing to have Rob Kirby back for an A2A webinar. Rob’s vast experience provides a unique perspective on the failure of The Generally Accepted Narrative for 2017 as well as some wisdom on where we are headed from here.

Among the topics discussed today:

  • Rob’s thoughts on how The Fed was able to institute ZIRP and why rates remain historically low.
  • Why the POSX is falling so rapidly in 2017.
  • What message could be gleaned from Terry Duffy’s appearance on FBN two weeks ago.
  • Why Rob prefers physical gold and silver to owning the mining shares.
  • And much, much more!

This was an incredibly informative presentation and we should all be grateful that Rob so generously shared his time today. Please try to carve out some time to give this podcast a thorough listen.

Click HERE to Listen

Read More @ TFMetals.com

Keiser Report: Bitcoin Drama (E1106)

from RT:

In this final episode of the Keiser Report from Freedom Fest in Las Vegas, Max and Stacy encounter Peter Schiff in the halls of the convention center and challenge him on bitcoin. Max continues his interview with bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem to discuss the latest drama and innovation in the cryptocurrency space.