Sunday, May 16, 2021

WTF Spike of Retail Sales Lives Another Month on Surging Prices & $1,400 Stimmies. Gonna Be Tough in May

by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street:

Government gives consumers Free Money, retail sales spike. Free Money peters out, retail sales sag. Welcome to the new normal.

The $1,400 stimmies that started flowing in March were still flowing voluminously in April, and the last big waves are still flowing in May, and then they’ll peter out. For retailers, this petering out will be a moment of truth. But in April, those stimmies kept coming and kept getting spent.

Retail sales in April maintained the peak of the epic WTF spike of March, as Americans spent the same epic record pile of money of $620 billion (seasonally adjusted) at their favorite brick & mortar retailers, online, and at restaurants and bars, the Census Bureau reported today.

WHO’S MINDING THE MINT?

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by Joseph P. Farrell, Giza Death Star:

Every now and then I receive a story that (1) comes from a source I do not know, (2) that is full of sensational details that make me question the whole narrative, and (3) which details nonetheless “connect” to other stories I do credit. That’s the case today with this story shared by A.F., and the story it connects to are those bearer bond stories, and my hypothesis of a hidden system of finance, based upon obfuscated bullion amounts, the physical transfer of bearer bonds, and just a whole lot of rehypothecation and other types of fraud and malfeasance, including “official counterfeiting”. Additionally, I believe in some fashion it is related to the “missing trillions” that Catherine Austin Fitts, Dr. Mark Scidmore, and others have talked about. In any case, when I get such stories, I simply have to blog about them, following my method of assuming the details to be true for the sake of the daily dose of high octane speculation.

Episode 945 – Here Come the Receipts … Fraud in Maricopa and the Coming Digital Currency Revolution

from Bannons War Room:

TRUTH LIVES on at https://sgtreport.tv/

The US Government Is On Track to Top Last Year’s Record-Breaking Deficits

by Ryan McMaken, Mises Institute:

The Treasury department has issued its spending and revenue report for April 2021, and it’s clear the US government is headed toward another record-breaking year for deficits.

According to the report, the US federal government collected $439.2 billion in revenue during April 2021, which was a sizable improvement over April 2020 and over March 2021. Indeed, April 2021’s revenue total was the largest since July of last year when the federal government collected 563.5 billion following several months of delays on tax filing deadlines beyond the usual April 15 deadline. (Not surprisingly, in most years, April tends to be the federal government’s biggest month for tax collections.)

In spite of April’s haul, however, the federal government managed to spend much more than that, with spending topping $664 billion during April. This means the federal government ran a sizable deficit in April of 225.6 billion. This was a middling sum compared to other monthly deficits this fiscal year (which began on October 1), but deficits are adding up fast.

State of the American Debt Slaves: Fed “Confounded” as They Pay Down Credit Cards, Other High-Interest Debt, and HELOCs

by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street:

Forbearance Effect: Serious delinquencies of mortgages & student loans plunge to record lows as delinquent loans in forbearance don’t count as delinquent.

Our always amazing American debt slaves are still borrowing, mind you, but to the great consternation of the Fed, they’re reducing their debt where banks and shadow banks make a big pile of their money: credit cards and other high-interest-rate debt such as personal lines of credit.

Total household debt – mortgages, HELOCs, credit cards, auto loans, student loans, and other debt – rose by $85 billion in Q1, to $14.6 trillion, according to the New York Fed’s Household Debt and Credit report Wednesday afternoon, based on data from Equifax.

The end of the LBMA is nigh

by Alasdair Macleod, GoldMoney:

Basel 3 is on course to regulate the LBMA out of existence. And with it will go all the associated arbitrage business and position-taking on Comex, because most bullion bank trading desks will cease to exist. The only supply to buy-side speculators of gold and silver contracts will be producer hedging.

In recent months there has been some limited commentary concerning the introduction of Basel 3 regulations and the implications for precious metals trading. These new regulations are scheduled to be introduced for European banks at the end of June — only seven weeks’ time — and in the UK from 1 January next, affecting all LBMA member banks.