Monday, October 14, 2019

THIS is socialism: Venezuelan children are STARVING to death as food must now be delivered under armed guard

by JD Heyes, Natural News:

All of the various economic models employed by dictators, thugs, and autocratic rulers worldwide have produced nothing but misery, hardship, and death, yet far too many American Millennials are supportive and even fascinated by them.

They are, in no particular order, communism, Marxism, and socialism.

Communism, as practiced by the Soviet Union, was ultimately responsible for its demise.

Marxism, as practiced by Cuba, transformed over decades what was once a thriving Caribbean hotspot into an impoverished, decrepit nightmare.

And socialism, as its being practiced in Venezuela, is turning that once-prosperous South American jewel into a failed state. As reported by The New York Times, things have gotten so bad there that food transports cannot move without a military escort.

What’s worse, the country’s most vulnerable citizens — it’s children — are starving to death at a much higher rate than the adult population, which is also high:

With delivery trucks under constant attack, the nation’s food is now transported under armed guard. Soldiers stand watch over bakeries. The police fire rubber bullets at desperate mobs storming grocery stores, pharmacies and butcher shops. A 4-year-old girl was shot to death as street gangs fought over food.

It wasn’t always like this. Before sycophantic, power-hungry “revolutionaries” Hugo Chavez and current leader Nicolas Maduro (a tyrant who holds onto power by blocking opposition candidates from running against him), Venezuela — an OPEC member with the world’s largest oil reserves — was the envy of South America. In fact, not long ago Venezuela, thanks to its oil riches, was the fourth-richest economy in the world. (Related: Banned video reveals the horrors of Venezuela’s starving population.)

The country used its oil wealth like Democrats in the U.S. use the Treasury: To pay for heaps of social programs and subsidize everything from transportation to wages.

The problem with that socialist approach is that eventually when market conditions change and national income falls, the programs don’t go away and must still be paid for. Worse, over decades, the population comes to depend on them as alternatives to the socialist structure eventually fade away.

Venezuela’s crunch came in the late 1980s and into the early 1990s with an oil glut; the country doubled down on their own misery when they began electing out-and-out socialists rather than free-market capitalists who would have diversified the economy so that it wasn’t reliant on a single industry.

Yet today, as the world is experiencing another oil glut, Venezuela still relies on oil for 95 percent of its exports. With exports down, national income is down and as such, there is less and less money to pay for so many government programs, including wage subsidies.

So Venezuelans are starving because the country cannot import or grow enough food for its people. And now, the country rests on the precipice of catastrophe. Or self-destruction.

“If there is no food, there will be more riots,” said Raibelis Henriquez, 19, who waited all day for bread in Cumaná.

The Times noted further:

Read More @ NaturalNews.com

Russia and China Lay Economic Foundation Based on Golden Rule

from The Daily Coin:

One of the many themes we support at The Daily Coin is the constant progress happening across the emerging markets, especially the nations involved the Eastern economic alliances like BRICS, BRI, SCO, EAEU and the like. These nations under the direction of China or Russia or a combination are laying the groundwork to be the driving force of the 21st Century and beyond.

We also continually report on gold moving from Western vaults to all points East. Most recently we discussed Kazakhstan and the importance of this nation both from a geographical position as well as natural resources like gold, rare earths and a wide variety of other elements within the borders of this growing nation.

Gold always has our attention as the rules/laws surrounding gold have not changed. While most people, especially in the West, have forgotten these rules that does not mean they have changed or been overturned.

One law that has stood the test of time is the golden rule – he who has the gold makes the rules. We also like the fact that JPMorgan, the man not the bank, stated in a congressional hearing that “gold is money and everything else is credit”. These two rules/laws working in conjunction with one another make for a formidable alliance. When you have natural rules/laws working together and nations begin forming alliances using these rules/laws as a foundation the rest of the world should take notice, but alias the Western world is more focused on “russia did it” than what Russia is actually doing.

“We (the Central Bank of the Russian Federation and the People’s Bank of China) discussed gold trading. The BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are major economies with large reserves of gold and an impressive volume of production and consumption of the precious metal. In China, gold is traded in Shanghai, and in Russia in Moscow. Our idea is to create a link between these cities so as to intensify gold trading between our markets.” Source

At this point it is well documented that China and Russia have been acquiring gold, swapping gold between countries through each nations banking systemand recently announced their intentions to assist the three other BRICS (Brazil, India and South Africa) nations in building their gold reserves. China and Russia also announced their desire to open BRICS gold exchange/markets in Beijing and Moscow. Why all this focus on acquiring gold, storing gold and assisting other nations in doing the same? It has been made very clear, by President Putin and the Russian government, that Russia sees the Federal Reserve Note as threat to their national security and decreasing their dependence on Federal Reserve Notes as trade settlement is a top priority.

Now we see the golden fruit of Russia’s gold acquisition efforts in 2017 as being the biggest year ever since Russia began reporting their gold holdings.

In November the Central Bank of Russia added 900,000 ounces (27.99 tons) of gold to her reserves, raising her total to 1828.88 tons or 58.8 million ounces. In October 2017, the Central Bank of Russia added 700,000 ounces (21.77243 tons) of gold to her reserves. In September 2017, the Central Bank of Russia added 1.1 million ounces (34.2138 tons). In August 2017, the Central Bank of Russia added 500,000 ounces (15.55 tons) of gold to her reserves (56.1 million ounces). In July, the Central Bank of Russia added 400,000 ounces (12.44139 tonnes) of gold to reserves after adding 300,000 ounces (9.33104 tonnes) of gold in June and 700,000 (21.77 tonnes) of gold in May. In April, the Central Bank of Russia added 200,000 ounces (6.22 tonnes) after adding 800,000 ounces (24.882 tonnes)in March, 300,000 ounces (9.331043 tonnes) in February and 1,000,000 ounces (31.104 tonnes) in January. Source

Read More @ TheDailyCoin.org

SD Market Alert: Gold & Silver Flight To Safety Is On As Bitcoin Crashes Hard

from SilverDoctors:

Investors are fleeing the speculative mania of Bitcoin and seeking refuge in the true flights to safety – gold & silver. Here’s an update…

Bad news for the cryptocurrency fans:

After hitting nearly $20,000 on Sunday night, just five days later the price for Bitcoin has been down as much as $9,000 from the highs.

A 10% move down is considered a correction.

A 20% move down is considered a bear market.

There is now way to describe a 45% move down as anything other than a crash.

I have long argued that Bitcoin is not digital gold, gold 2.0, or any of this safe haven, flight to safety, hedge against uncertainty stuff.

That would be gold and silver.

Period.

And sure enough:

Investors understand the difference between highly speculative risk gambles and quality, dependable and reliable gold & silver.

Read More @ SilverDoctors.com

Santa’s Stock Market Rally: Tears of Joy, Or Just Tears?

by Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds:

Everyone who believes risk has disappeared has fallen for the con.

Judging by this year’s version of Santa Claus’s reliable year-end stock market rally, risk has vanished, not just in stocks but in bonds, junk bonds, housing, commercial real estate, collectible art–just about the entire spectrum of tradable assets (with precious metals and agricultural commodities among the few receiving coals rather than rallies).

One of the maxims of this site is: risk cannot be made to disappear, it can only be cloaked, hedged or offloaded onto others. In other words, when the magician makes the white rabbit disappear, the physical rabbit does not in fact vanish; it is merely transported out of sight of the enthralled audience.

And so it is with risk in markets.

Risk is now viewed as something that can be reliably sold as a more or less guaranteed source of easy profits. In the present-day perception that risk has been eradicated from the markets, it makes little sense to hedge against risk; hedging is a waste of capital when there’s no risk in sight.

This suggests risk is either being cloaked and/or offloaded onto punters who aren’t aware that risk is piling up in their portfolios. If risk is being masked, every participant is exposed to risk that is being hidden behind policies (the Fed has our back,” etc.), statistics (everything’s coming up roses everywhere) and the diminishing premium for hedges.

If risk is being offloaded onto unsuspecting participants, then we must look to the poker table for guidance: if you can’t identify the marks, you’re the mark.

In other words, if we can’t identify the chumps who have unknowingly accepted all the accumulated risk, then we’re the chumps.

The successful con artist knows the marks want to believe the impossible, and so in essence they are begging to be conned. We all want to believe risk has vanished, because all the anxiety, uncertainty and the high cost of hedging all go away once risk has disappeared.

Everyone who believes risk has disappeared has fallen for the con. The tears of joy being shed as Santa Claus delivers his usual year-end rally may well become tears of shock, mourning and grief once the illusion that risk has been swept away is itself swept away.

To illustrate how risk is currently perceived, here is a chart of the VXX short-term volatility futures index: notice a trend here? How about a relentless two-year decline?

In the meantime, party hearty and borrow to the hilt (via margin) to buy more of all those risk-free assets in an apparently risk-free market:

Read More @ OfTwoMinds.com

The Petro-Yuan Bombshell and Its Relation to the New US Security Doctrine

by Pepe Escobar, Russia Insider:

“Russia and China … have concluded that pumping the US military budget by buying US bonds … is an unsustainable proposition …”

The new 55-page “America First” National Security Strategy (NSS), drafted over the course of 2017, defines Russia and China as “revisionist” powers, “rivals,” and for all practical purposes strategic competitors of the United States.

The NSS stops short of defining Russia and China as enemies, allowing for an “attempt to build a great partnership with those and other countries.” Still, Beijing qualified it as “reckless” and “irrational.” The Kremlin noted its “imperialist character” and “disregard for a multipolar world.” Iran, predictably, is described by the NSS as “the world’s most significant state sponsor of terrorism.” 

Russia, China and Iran happen to be the three key movers and shakers in the ongoing geopolitical and geo-economic process of Eurasia integration.

The NSS can certainly be regarded as a response to what happened at the BRICS summit in Xiamen last September. Then, Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted on “the BRIC countries’ concerns over the unfairness of the global financial and economic architecture which does not give due regard to the growing weight of the emerging economies,” and stressed the need to “overcome the excessive domination of a limited number of reserve currencies.”

 Yes, this is photoshopped, but still very apt - the whole world is wondering what his next move will be .
Yes, this is photoshopped, but still very apt – the whole world is wondering what his next move will be .

That was a clear reference to the US dollar, which accounts for nearly two-thirds of total reserve currency around the world and remains the benchmark determining the price of energy and strategic raw materials.

And that brings us to the unnamed secret at the heart of the NSS; the Russia-China “threat” to the US dollar.   

The CIPS/SWIFT face-off

The website of the China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS) recently announcedthe establishment of a yuan-ruble payment system, hinting that similar systems regarding other currencies participating in the New Silk Roads, a.k.a. Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will also be in place in the near future.    

Crucially, this is not about reducing currency risk; after all Russia and China have increasingly traded bilaterally in their own currencies since the 2014 US-imposed sanctions on Russia. This is about the implementation of a huge, new alternative reserve currency zone, bypassing the US dollar.   

The decision follows the establishment by Beijing, in October 2015, of the China International Payments System (CIPS). CIPS has a cooperation agreement with the private, Belgium-based SWIFT international bank clearing system, through which virtually every global transaction must transit.  

What matters, in this case, is that Beijing – as well as Moscow – clearly read the writing on the wall when, in 2012, Washington applied pressure on SWIFT; blocked international clearing for every Iranian bank; and froze $100 billion in Iranian assets overseas as well as Tehran’s potential to export oil. In the event that Washington might decide to slap sanctions on China, bank clearing though CIPS works as a de facto sanctions-evading mechanism.

Last March, Russia’s central bank opened its first office in Beijing. Moscow is launching its first $1 billion yuan-denominated government bond sale. Moscow has made it very clear it is committed to a long-term strategy to stop using the US dollar as their primary currency in global trade, moving alongside Beijing towards what could be dubbed a post-Bretton Woods exchange system.

Gold is essential in this strategy. Russia, China, India, Brazil & South Africa are all either large producers or consumers of gold – or both. Following what has been extensively discussed in their summits since the early 2010s, the BRICS countries are bound to focus on trading physical gold.

Markets such as COMEX actually trade derivatives on gold, and are backed by an insignificant amount of physical gold. Major BRICS gold producers – especially the Russia-China partnership – plan to be able to exercise extra influence in setting up global gold prices.

The ultimate politically charged dossier

Intractable questions referring to the US dollar as the top reserve currency have been discussed at the highest levels of JP Morgan for at least five years now. There cannot be a more politically charged dossier. The NSS duly sidestepped it.

The current state of play is still all about the petrodollar system; since last year, what used to be a key, “secret” informal deal between the US and the House of Saud, is firmly in the public domain.

Even warriors in the Hindu Kush may now be aware of how oil and virtually all commodities must be traded in US dollars, and how these petrodollars are recycled into US Treasuries. Through this mechanism, Washington has accumulated an astonishing $20 trillion in debt – and counting.

Read More @ Russia-Insider.com

Report: How Fusion GPS and the Obama Administration Weaponized the Trump Dossier

by Kristina Wong, Breitbart:

Did the Obama administration launch an investigation into the Trump campaign based solely off of unverified political opposition research? And was that “research” dressed up and given more credibility than it should have? It appears that way based on an investigation of open-source information by Tablet.

The outlet’s investigation begins with a June 24, 2017, Facebook post by Mary Jacoby, the wife of Glenn Simpson, the former Wall Street Journal reporter who started Fusion GPS, the firm behind the dossier.

Jacoby, a former Wall Street Journal reporter who once shared bylines with Simpson, bragged how her husband was not getting the credit he deserved for the dossier.

“It’s come to my attention that some people still don’t realize what Glenn’s role was in exposing Putin’s control of Donald Trump,” she wrote on Facebook. “Let’s be clear. Glenn conducted the investigation. Glenn hired Chris Steele. Chris Steele worked for Glenn.”

Until this day, the dossier is often referred to as the “Steele dossier,” named after the former British spy Christopher Steele who is believed to have authored the document.

Steele’s background has been used by collusion-believers to argue that the document is credible. But Jacoby’s post suggests that Steele might not have played as big of a role in the dossier as he is given credit.

Indeed, Fusion GPS hiring of Nellie Ohr — the wife of senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr — also shows that Steele’s role in producing the dossier may be exaggerated. Ohr is a Stanford Ph.D. whose expertise is Russia and she appears to be fluent in Russian. She may have conducted interviews or written parts of the dossier.

The dossier, however, only has Steele’s name on it — helping to credential the research as an “intelligence product.”

Tablet also took a look at Simpson and Jacoby’s work for the WSJ. In April 2007 — in the lead-up to the 2008 election — they co-wrote a story about Republican links to Russians.

In that story, titled “How Lobbyists Help Ex-Soviets Woo Washington,” they detail how prominent Republicans helped open doors for “Kremlin-affiliated oligarchs and other friends of Vladimir Putin.”

They reported on Viktor Yanukovich, who had paid political fixer Paul Manafort to introduce Yanukovich to powerful Washington, DC, figures. They later reported on May 14, 2008, that Manafort’s lobbying firm was escorting Yanukovich around Washington. Yanukovich would later become president of Ukraine in 2010.

Tablet explains how their reporting may have been the origins of the Trump dossier:

So when the Trump campaign named Paul Manafort as its campaign convention manager on March 28, 2016, you can bet that Simpson and Jacoby’s eyes lit up. And as it happened, at the exact same time that Trump hired Manafort, Fusion GPS was in negotiations with Perkins Coie, the law firm representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, to see if there was interest in the firm continuing the opposition research on the Trump campaign they had started for the Washington Free Beacon. In addition to whatever sales pitch Simpson might have offered about Manafort, the Clinton campaign had independent reason to believe that research into Manafort’s connections might pay some real political dividends: A Democratic consultant and Ukrainian-American activist named Alexandra Chalupa, told the Clinton campaign about Manafort’s work for Yanukovich. “I flagged for the DNC the significance of his hire,” Chalupa told CNN in July of this year.

Perkins Coie hired Fusion GPS in April, shortly after Trump hired Manafort.

Manafort’s role now allowed Simpson to highlight corruption that he already knew to exist, from his reporting. A line from the dossier states:

Ex-Ukrainian President YANUKOVYCH confides directly to PUTIN that he authorised (sic) kick-back payments to MANAFORT, as alleged in western media … Assures Russian President however there is no documentary evidence/trail.

Tablet notes that Special Counsel Robert Mueller would later find corruption by Manafort related to money laundering (before he joined the Trump campaign). It also points out that Tony Podesta — Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s brother — worked for Manafort at the time he represented Yanukovich. (The Podesta Group disbanded this year after those connections were made public, and the special counsel is reportedly investigating Podesta too.)

Read More @ Breitbart.com

Keiser Report: Magical thinking, whimsical robots & melting Alaska (1166)

from RT:

In the second half, Max continues his interview with author Jim Rickards of Meraglim.com about predictive data analytics and artificial intelligence… and bitcoin and gold.

Market Report: Books are balanced, time to party

by Alasdair Macleod, GoldMoney:

At least, that’s how the bullion bank traders must be thinking. Ahead of the Fed’s quarter-point rise in the Fed funds rate, they spooked the longs out of their positions to close their shorts, profitably. Nice bonuses all round.

This is the third time in succession this year-end ploy has worked. Our headline chart tells us that silver has been extremely profitable for the bullion banks, gold less so perhaps, but given the trading opportunities taken during the year, it has been pretty good on balance.

This week, gold rose $12 from last Friday’s close by early morning trade in Europe this morning (Friday) to $1268, and silver 12 cents to $16.20. Pre-Christmas trade has been subdued. Over the year, the dollar price of gold is up 10.4% from January 1, and silver is up a miserly 1.26%. However, this is mostly down to dollar weakness, with gold performing not nearly so well measured against other currencies, as our next chart shows.

In Japanese yen, gold is up 5.9%, in sterling 1.6%, and in euros down 2.3%. For the retail investment market, it has been a boring year, and it’s hardly surprising that the punters have had more excitement in cryptocurrencies. In Chinese yuan, gold is up barely 1% and in Indian rupees its lost 0.7%, yet physical demand from these countries continues apace. Holders of silver bullion in these currencies are faced with net losses.

Our third chart shows how the swap dealers on Comex have closed their net gold positions.

On 12 December, the swaps (as proxy for the bullion banks) in aggregate were net long 12,278 gold contracts (the red line), and it’s quite likely their books are level on other OTC derivative markets, or perhaps even net long as well. This is necessary for their trading strategy going into 2018, when shortages of physical bullion, and/or weakness in the dollar, might begin to drive the price. In silver, swaps are net long 8,877 contracts.

For the bullion banks trading on Comex ,it has been a good jobbing market. They are now in a position to run prices up, probably quite rapidly to avoid getting too short. In silver, the managed money category is net short, and outright shorts are over 50,000 contracts, representing one third of annual mine output. In gold, money managers are still net long 76,226 contracts, so the potential for a bear squeeze is not so marked as it is in silver.

Read More @ GoldMoney.com

Alternative Money Mania Coming with New Inflationary Cycle

by Mike Gleason, Money Metals:

David Smith: Cryptos Bringing Broad Attention to All Dollar Alternatives

Coming up we’ll hear another terrific interview with David Smith of The Morgan Report and MoneyMetals.com columnist. David weighs in whether crypto-currencies and precious metals can coexist and talks about what we can glean from the current mania in the cyrptos as it relates to the upcoming mania in precious metals. Be sure to stick around for my conversation with David Smith, coming up after this weeks’ market update.

Now that Republicans have passed their tax cut package, investors are trying to position themselves in what they think will be the big winners as the new law takes effect next year.

Click HERE to listen

Read More @ MoneyMetals.com