Wednesday, July 15, 2020

“Financial Stress” Spikes. Markets, Long in Denial, Suddenly Grapple with New Era

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by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street:

Fed’s monetary policy shift is finally taking hold. It just took a while.

The weekly St. Louis Fed Financial Stress index, released today, just spiked beautifully. It had been at historic lows back in November, an expression of ultra-loose financial conditions in the US economy, dominated by risk-blind investors chasing any kind of yield with a passion, which resulted in minuscule risk premiums for investors and ultra-low borrowing costs even for even junk-rated borrows. The index ticked since then, but in the latest week, ended February 9, something happened:

The index, which is made up of 18 components (seven interest rate measures, six yield spreads, and five other indices) had hit a historic low of -1.6 on November 3, 2017, even as the Fed had been raising its target range for the federal funds rate and had started the QE Unwind. It began ticking up late last year, hit -1.35 a week ago, and now spiked to -1.06.

The chart above shows the spike of the latest week in relationship to the two-year Oil Bust that saw credit freeze up for junk-rated energy companies, with the average yield of CCC-or-below-rated junk bonds soaring to over 20%. Given the size of oil-and-gas sector debt, energy credits had a large impact on the overall average.

The chart also compares today’s spike to the “Taper Tantrum” in the bond market in 2014 after the Fed suggested that it might actually taper “QE Infinity,” as it had come to be called, out of existence. This caused yields and risk premiums to spike, as shown by the Financial Stress index.

This time, it’s the other way around: The Fed has been raising rates like clockwork, and its QE Unwind is accelerating, but for months markets blithely ignored it. Until suddenly they didn’t.

This reaction is visible in the 10-year Treasury yield, which had been declining for much of last year, despite the Fed’s rate hikes, only to surge late in the year and so far this year.

It’s also visible in the stock market, which suddenly experienced a dramatic bout of volatility and a breathless drop from record highs. And it is now visible in other measures, including junk-bond yields that suddenly began surging from historic low levels.

The chart of the ICE BofAML US High Yield BB Effective Yield Index, via the St. Louis Fed, shows how the average yield of BB-rated junk bonds surged from around 4.05% last September to 4.98% now, the highest since November 20, 2016:

Read More @ WolfStreet.com

It’s Not China That Is Dumping US Treasurys, It’s Japan

from ZeroHedge:

Recent concerns about a liquidation by China of its US Treasury holdings appear to have been greatly exaggerated because according to the latest TIC data released at 4pm on Thursday, in December, China not only added $8.3 Billion to its holdings, bringing the total to $1184.9BN, or about $26 billion more than a year ago, but for the full year 2017, China added the most Treasury holdings going back seven years.

But while China appears content with its US paper inventory, it was the second largest foreign US creditor, Japan, that has been liquidating in recent months, and in December, Japan sold $22.6 billion in TSYs, bringing its total to $1,061.5BN, the lowest total since the start of 2012.

Other notable holders were mixed:

  • Russia sold $3.5BN to $102.2BN
  • The United Kingdom added $12.5BN to $250BN
  • Belgium, i.e. the proxy for China and other anonymous buyers, rose by $3.9BN to $119.2BN
  • Cayman Islands, i.e. hedge funds, also added some $2.5BN to $269.9BN

The good news for all these buyers of US debt is that thanks to Trump’s budget, there’s plenty more where that came from.

Looking at the broader universe of all US International capital transactions, in December, foreign public and private entities sold a total of $16BN in Treasurys while buying $16.4BN in Agencies; they also sold a modest $1.25 BN in corporate bonds.

Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

GOLD DOWN $2.45 TO $1352.95/SILVER DOWN 8 CENTS TO $16.84

by Harvey Organ, Harvey Organ Blog:

HUGE EFP TRANSFER IN GOLD OF 22,672 CONTRACTS/SILVER EFP ISSUANCE: 1731 CONTRACTS/THE KEY USA/YEN CROSS PLUMMETS TO CLOSE TO 106.00/TWO BIG USA DATA POINTS TODAY; PPI IS SCORCHING HOT AND THAT MEANS INFLATION AROUND THE CORNER/INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION FALTERS MEANING STAGFLATION MAY BE UPON US/MORE SWAMP STORIES FOR YOU TONIGHT

GOLD: $1352.95 DOWN $2.45

Silver: $16.84 DOWN 8 cents

Closing access prices:

Gold $1353.50

silver: $16.88

SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: FIRST FIX 10 15 PM EST (2:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)

SECOND FIX: 2:15 AM EST (6:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)

SHANGHAI FIRST GOLD FIX: $XXXX DOLLARS PER OZ

NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: $XXXX

PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $3.78

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SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $XXXX

NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1333.50

discount of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$1.20

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LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX: 5:30 am est $1353.70

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1353.90

LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX 10 AM: $1352.45

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. $1351.900

For comex gold:

FEBRUARY/

NUMBER OF NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR FEBRUARY CONTRACT: 1 NOTICE(S) FOR 100 OZ.

TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR:1784 FOR 178400 OZ (5.5489 TONNES),

For silver:

FEBRUARY

1 NOTICE(S) FILED TODAY FOR

5,000 OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 308 for 1,540,000 oz

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Bitcoin: BID $9638/OFFER $9714: up $198(morning)

Bitcoin: BID/ $99029/offer $9999: up $492  (CLOSING/5 PM)

 

end

Let us have a look at the data for today\

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In silver, the total open interest ROSE BY A HUGE SIZED 3070 contracts from 194,056  RISING TO 197,126 WITH  YESTERDAY’S HUGE  35 CENT GAIN IN SILVER PRICING.  WE  HAD ZERO COMEX LIQUIDATION. HOWEVER, WE WERE AGAIN NOTIFIED THAT WE HAD ANOTHER GOOD SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONGS TRANSFERRING THEIR CONTRACTS TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE:  1731 EFP’S FOR MARCH AND AND 0 EFP’S FOR MAY AND ZERO FOR ALL  OTHER MONTHS  AND THUS TOTAL ISSUANCE OF 1731 CONTRACTS.  WITH THE TRANSFER OF 1731 CONTRACTS, WHAT THE CME IS STATING IS THAT THERE IS NO SILVER (OR GOLD) TO BE DELIVERED UPON AT THE COMEX AS THEY MUST EXPORT THEIR OBLIGATION TO LONDON. ALSO KEEP IN MIND THAT THERE CAN BE A DELAY OF 24 HRS IN THE ISSUING OF EFP’S. THE 1731 CONTRACTS TRANSLATES INTO 8.915 MILLION OZ DESPITE  WITH THE CONTINUAL DROP IN OPEN INTEREST IN SILVER AT THE COMEX.

ACCUMULATION FOR EFP’S/SILVER/ STARTING FROM FIRST DAY NOTICE/FOR MONTH OF FEBRUARY:

36,852 CONTRACTS (FOR 12 TRADING DAYS TOTAL 36,852 CONTRACTS OR 184.26 MILLION OZ: AVERAGE PER DAY: 3071 CONTRACTS OR 15.355 MILLION OZ/DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SUPPLY THIS MONTH IN SILVER:  SO FAR THIS MONTH:  184.26 MILLION PAPER OZ HAVE MORPHED OVER TO LONDON. THIS REPRESENTS AROUND 26/32% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION

ACCUMULATION IN YEAR 2018 TO DATE SILVER EFP’S:  432.60 MILLION OZ.

ACCUMULATION FOR JAN 2018: 236.879 MILLION OZ

RESULT: A HUGE SIZED GAIN IN OI SILVER COMEX WITH THE HUGE  35 CENT GAIN IN SILVER PRICE.  WE ALSO HAD A GOOD SIZED EFP ISSUANCE OF 1731 CONTRACTS WHICH EXITED OUT OF THE SILVER COMEX AND TRANSFERRED THEIR OI TO LONDON AS FORWARDS. SPECULATORS CONTINUED THEIR INTEREST IN ATTACKING THE SILVER COMEX FOR PHYSICAL SILVER . FROM THE CME DATA 1731 EFP’S  FOR  MONTHS MARCH AND MAY WERE ISSUED FOR TODAY  FOR A DELIVERABLE FORWARD CONTRACT OVER IN LONDON WITH A FIAT BONUS.   WE GAINED  4801 OICONTRACTS i.e. 1731 open interest contracts headed for London (EFP’s) TOGETHER WITH A INCREASE OF 3070  OI COMEX CONTRACTS. AND ALL OF THIS HAPPENED WITH THE HUGE RISE IN PRICE OF SILVER OF  35 CENTS AND A CLOSING PRICE OF $16.92 WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING. YET WE STILL HAVE A FAIR AMOUNT OF SILVER STANDING AT THE COMEX.

In ounces AT THE COMEX, the OI is still represented by just UNDER 1 BILLION oz i.e. 0.986 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 141% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

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

In gold, the open interest  ROSE BY A HUMONGOUS 16,637 CONTRACTS UP TO 528,382 WITH THE GIGANTIC SIZED RISE IN PRICE OF GOLD WITH YESTERDAY’S TRADING ($27.40). HOWEVER, IN ANOTHER DEVELOPMENT, WE RECEIVED THE TOTAL NUMBER OF GOLD EFP’S ISSUED FOR TODAY AND IT TOTALED AN ATMOSPHERIC SIZED  22,672 CONTRACTS OF WHICH  APRIL SAW THE ISSUANCE OF 21,922 CONTRACTS AND  JUNE SAW THE ISSUANCE OF 750 CONTRACTS AND THEN ALL OTHER MONTHS ZERO.    The new OI for the gold complex rests at 528,382. ALSO REMEMBER THAT THERE WILL BE A DELAY IN THE ISSUANCE OF EFP’S.  THE BANKERS REMOVE LONG POSITIONS OF COMEX GOLD IMMEDIATELY.  THEN THEY ORCHESTRATE THEIR PRIVATE EFP DEAL WITH THE LONGS AND THAT COULD TAKE AN ADDITIONAL 48 HRS SO WE GENERALLY DO NOT GET A MATCH WITH RESPECT TO DEPARTING COMEX LONGS AND NEW EFP LONG TRANSFERS. DEMAND FOR GOLD INTENSIFIES GREATLY AS WE CONTINUE TO WITNESS A HUGE NUMBER OF EFP TRANSFERS TOGETHER WITH THE MASSIVE INCREASE IN GOLD COMEX OI  TOGETHER WITH  THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF GOLD OUNCES STANDING FOR FEBRUARY COMEX. EVEN THOUGH THE BANKERS ISSUED THESE MONSTROUS EFPS, THE OBLIGATION STILL RESTS WITH THE BANKERS TO SUPPLY METAL BUT IT TRANSFERS THE RISK TO A LONDON BANKER OBLIGATION AND NOT A NEW YORK COMEX OBLIGATION. LONGS RECEIVE A FIAT BONUS TOGETHER WITH A LONG LONDON FORWARD. THUS, BY THESE ACTIONS, THE BANKERS AT THE COMEX HAVE JUST STATED THAT THEY HAVE NO APPRECIABLE METAL!! THIS IS A MASSIVE FRAUD: THEY CANNOT SUPPLY ANY METAL TO OUR COMEX LONGS BUT THEY ARE QUITE WILLING TO SUPPLY MASSIVE NON BACKED GOLD (AND SILVER) PAPER KNOWING THAT THEY HAVE NO METAL TO SATISFY OUR LONGS. LONDON IS NOW SEVERELY BACKWARD IN BOTH GOLD AND SILVER (BIG RISE IN BOTH GOFO AND SIFO) AND WE ARE WITNESSING DELAYS IN ACTUAL DELIVERIES. IN ESSENCE TODAY DESPITE YESTERDAY’S TRADING IN GOLD,  WE HAVE A GAIN OF 39,309  CONTRACTS: 16,637 OI CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX AND A GIGANTIC SIZED  22,672 OI CONTRACTS WHICH NAVIGATED OVER TO LONDON.(39,309 oi gain in CONTRACTS EQUATES TO 122.26 TONNES)

YESTERDAY, WE HAD 6481 EFP’S ISSUED.

ACCUMULATION OF EFP’S/ GOLD(EXCHANGE FOR PHYSICAL) FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY STARTING WITH FIRST DAY NOTICE: 131,430 CONTRACTS OR 13,143,000  OZ OR 408.80 TONNES (12 TRADING DAYS AND THUS AVERAGING: 10,952 EFP CONTRACTS PER TRADING DAY OR 1,095,200 OZ/ TRADING DAY)

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA AS TO THE HUGE SIZE OF THESE EFP TRANSFERS :   SO FAR THIS MONTH IN 12 TRADING DAYS: IN  TONNES: 408.80 TONNES

TOTAL ANNUAL GOLD PRODUCTION, 2017, THROUGHOUT THE WORLD EX CHINA EX RUSSIA: 2200 TONNES

THUS EFP TRANSFERS REPRESENTS 408.80/2200 x 100% TONNES =  18.58% OF GLOBAL ANNUAL PRODUCTION SO FAR IN FEBRUARY ALONE.

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S YEAR 2018 TO DATE:  1042.2 TONNES

ACCUMULATION OF GOLD EFP’S FOR JANUARY 2018: 653.22  TONNES

Result: A  HUGE SIZED INCREASE IN OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE HUGE SIZED GAIN IN PRICE IN GOLD TRADING YESTERDAY ($27.40). IT IS WITHOUT A DOUBT THAT MANY OF THE DEPARTED COMEX LONGS  RECEIVED THEIR PRIVATE EFP CONTRACT  FOR EITHER  APRIL OR JUNE. HOWEVER, WE HAD ANOTHER GOOD SIZED NUMBER OF COMEX LONG TRANSFERRING TO LONDON THROUGH THE EFP ROUTE: 22,672 CONTRACTS AS THESE HAVE ALREADY BEEN NEGOTIATED AND CONFIRMED.   THERE OBVIOUSLY DOES NOT SEEM TO BE MUCH PHYSICAL GOLD AT THE COMEX AND YET WE ALSO OBSERVED A HUGE DELIVERY MONTH FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER. I GUESS IT EXPLAINS THE HUGE ISSUANCE OF EFP’S…THERE IS HARDLY ANY GOLD PRESENT AT THE GOLD COMEX FOR DELIVERY PURPOSES. IF YOU TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE 22,672 EFP CONTRACTS ISSUED, WE HAD A NET GAIN IN OPEN INTEREST OF 39,309 contracts ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:

22,672 CONTRACTS MOVE TO LONDON AND  16,637 CONTRACTS INCREASED AT THE COMEX. (in tonnes, the GAIN in total oi equates to 122.26 TONNES).

we had: 1 notice(s) filed upon for 100 oz of gold.

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

GLD

WITH GOLD DOWN $2.45 TODAY, NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/

Inventory rests tonight: 823.66 tonnes.

SLV/ 

NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV/ AGAIN WITH TODAY’S HUGE RISE IN SILVER PRICE:   NO CHANGE IN INVENTORY

/INVENTORY RESTS AT 314.045 MILLION OZ/

end

First, here is an outline of what will be discussed tonight:

1. Today, we had the open interest in silver ROSE BY A HUGE 3070  contracts from 194,056 UP TO 197,126 (AND now A LITTLE FURTHER TO THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET ON FRIDAY/APRIL 21/2017 AT 234,787) DESPITE  THE HUGE SIZED FALL  IN PRICE OF SILVER  (35 CENTS WITH RESPECT TO  YESTERDAY’S TRADING).   OUR BANKERS USED THEIR EMERGENCY PROCEDURE TO ISSUE ANOTHER GOOD 1731 PRIVATE EFP’S FOR MARCH AND 0 EFP CONTRACTS OR MAY  (WE DO NOT GET A LOOK AT THESE CONTRACTS AS IT IS PRIVATE BUT THE CFTC DOES AUDIT THEM) AND 0 EFP’S FOR ALL OTHER MONTHS .  EFP’S GIVE OUR COMEX LONGS A FIAT BONUS PLUS A DELIVERABLE PRODUCT OVER IN LONDON. WE HAD SOME COMEX SILVER COMEX LIQUIDATION. IF WE TAKE THE  OI GAIN AT THE COMEX OF  3070 CONTRACTS TO THE 1731 OI TRANSFERRED TO LONDON THROUGH EFP’S, WE OBTAIN A GAIN OF  4801  OPEN INTEREST CONTRACTS .  WE STILL HAVE A GOOD AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES THAT ARE STANDING FOR METAL IN JANUARY (SEE BELOW). THE NET GAIN TODAY IN OZ ON THE TWO EXCHANGES:  24.00 MILLION OZ!!!

RESULT: A HUGE SIZED INCREASE IN SILVER OI AT THE COMEX WITH THE HUGE SIZED GAIN OF 35 CENTS IN PRICE (WITH RESPECT TO YESTERDAY’S TRADING ). BUT WE ALSO HAD ANOTHER GOOD 1731 EFP’S ISSUED TRANSFERRING COMEX LONGS OVER TO LONDON. TOGETHER WITH THE GOOD  SIZED AMOUNT OF SILVER OUNCES STANDING FOR FEBRUARY, DEMAND FOR PHYSICAL SILVER INTENSIFIES AS WE WITNESS MAJOR BANK SHORT COVERING ACCOMPANIED BY INCREASES IN GOFO AND SIFO RATES INDICATING SCARCITY.

(report Harvey)

.

2.a) The Shanghai and London gold fix report

(Harvey)

2 b) Gold/silver trading overnight Europe, Goldcore

(Mark O’Byrne/zerohedge

and in NY: Bloomberg

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

)Late WEDNESDAY night/THURSDAY morning: Shanghai closed /Hang Sang CLOSED UP 599.83 or 1.97% / The Nikkei closed UP 310.81 POINTS OR 1.47%/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED UP 1.16%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.3415/Oil DOWN to 60.58 dollars per barrel for WTI and 63.84 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED DEEPLY IN THE GREEN  .   ONSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP AGAINST THE DOLLAR AT 6.3415. OFFSHORE YUAN CLOSED UP AGAINST  THE ONSHORE YUAN AT 6.2980//ONSHORE YUAN A LITTLE STRONGER AGAINST THE DOLLAR/OFF SHORE A LOT STRONGER TO THE DOLLAR/. THE DOLLAR (INDEX) IS A LOT WEAKER AGAINST ALL MAJOR CURRENCIES .  CHINA IS  HAPPY TODAY AS THEY BEGIN THEIR NEW YEAR ONE WEEK HOLIDAY TOMORROW

Read More @ HarveyOrganBlog.com

“Thelma and Louise” Moments in Markets

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by Gary Christianson, Miles Franklin:

The movie “Thelma and Louise” was released in 1991. One theme it discussed was “crossing over” or going beyond the point of no return. The consequences were tragic.

Markets occasionally experience “Thelma and Louise” (T&L) moments when they “cross over” into a new phase. The results are usually tragic. Now is a good time to call Miles Franklin to convert over-valued digital assets into real silver bullion.

Thelma (Geena Davis):  “… something’s like crossed over in me and I can’t go back…”

“Thelma and Louise” moments or T&L moments occur in markets when:

a. Market prices have moved rapidly higher and almost vertically. Such vertical or parabolic moves are unsustainable, but the degree and timing of the correction or crash is unpredictable.

b.Technical indicators such as the RSI (relative strength) are very high and turn downward.

c. Market prices fall below a rising support line.

Consider T&L moments in history:

The DOW in 1973

Gold in 1980

The DOW in 1987

The NIKKEI 225 in 1990

The NASDAQ 100 in 2000

Crude Oil in 2008

The S&P 500 Index in 2008

Present day Possibilities:

The DOW in 2018

Netflix in 2018

Amazon stock in 2018

XIV in 2018 (confirmed)

The above markets from 1973 – 2008 went vertical, were strongly “over-bought” and eventually broke support lines. Usually they crashed.

No guarantees exist and markets do not crash or correct every time, but consider the similarities to stock markets in early 2018.

From “Thelma and Louise”

         Max:  “You know, the one thing I can’t figure out are these girls real smart or real real lucky?”

         Hal:  “Don’t matter. Brains’ll only get you so far and luck always runs out.”

The market parallel:  Astute trading will create success, and luck helps, but an exit strategy is always necessary. 

Read:  Bill Holter: “Something Is Definitely Changing

Examine the graphs of these T&L moments from history. Note where over-bought prices fell through the green support lines – marked with red ovals.

Read More @ MilesFranklin.com

Have You Heard of Goldman Sachs’ Theory Called the “Balanced Bear”?

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by Pam Martens and Russ Martens, Wall St On Parade:

Last Friday, Christian Mueller-Glissmann, an equity strategist at Goldman Sachs, took to the airwaves at CNBC to discuss last week’s market selloff and entered a new phrase into the lexicon of investing. Mueller-Glissmann said: “The way this market has traded in this correction has been very much in line with our thesis from last year which was called the ‘Balanced Bear.’ You might remember this – this idea that equities and bonds can sell off together.”

In response to a question from his CNBC interviewer as to whether this means there is nowhere to “go and hide” in a market like this, Mueller-Glissmann responded: “Exactly. I think you’re dealing with a much higher portfolio risk, not only with equities being riskier but a much higher portfolio risk because there’s very little places to hide.”

If there’s nowhere to hide, we’d like to suggest that the new paradigm should be called the ‘Naked Bear’ rather than the ‘Balanced Bear.’

Historically, if the stock market is selling off sharply, money is moving into U.S. Treasury notes as a safe-haven play. That drives up the price of the notes which drives down their current yield. (The market expression for this is that yields move inversely to note and bond prices.) Likewise, if the stock market is rallying sharply, money should be moving out of Treasuries into stocks.

Now, obviously, retail investors are not making quick trades like this intraday in the stock and bond markets. We’re talking about hedge funds, institutional traders and the big trading desks on Wall Street that move at lightening speed from one asset class to another.

Lately, however, normal market behavior has been replaced by weird trading action, leading to a lot of speculation that the market is broken or rigged. Take yesterday for example. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) was released in the morning showing a higher than expected 0.5 percent increase. The 10-year Treasury price sold off, meaning its yield moved higher in anticipation that the Federal Reserve would interpret the higher inflation data as a sign it needed to move more quickly with rate hikes. In a normally functioning market, that should have been enough to send the stock market plunging which would, in turn, dampen the upward move in the 10-year Treasury yield as money moved into it as a safe haven play. But just the opposite happened. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed with a gain of 253 points while simultaneously the yield on the 10-year Treasury spiked to trade intraday at 2.919 percent, hitting a four-year high.

One market that did behave as it should yesterday was gold. U.S. gold futures for April delivery rose 2.1 percent to $1,358. Gold is perceived as a hedge against inflation.

The aberrations in the markets are likely rooted in the aberrations of the Trump administration’s economic policies. And, let’s not forget that the immediate past President of Goldman Sachs, Gary Cohn, is Trump’s Director of the National Economic Council. At a time when the economy is in a growth mode, the Trump administration is planning on massive deficit spending rather than saving that maneuver for a period of recession when it’s critically needed. And at a time when the national debt is already an albatross around the nation’s economic neck at $20.6 trillion, Trump pushed through a tax cut that will add more than a trillion dollars to the debt load over a decade and increase the issuance of Treasuries at a time when the Federal Reserve is scaling back its purchases of Treasuries in order to normalize its balance sheet from the monster holdings it acquired to stem the financial crisis following the 2008 crash.

Gary Cohn’s former boss at Goldman, Lloyd Blankfein, who remains in the positions of Chairman and CEO at Goldman, voiced concerns about the situation in an appearance yesterday with Christine Romans of CNN. Blankfein said:

“I’m in the world of contingency planning for risks. And I would say that the odds of a bad outcome have gone up. I wouldn’t say that’s my case. That’s not my best case. But the idea that the Fed is behind – don’t forget, all these deficits have to be paid for, so there’s going to be more Treasuries that are going to be issued and they have a competitor, the central bank, which has to get rid of its inventory of Treasuries and they’re going to sell into the same kind of market to the same investors…”

Romans asked Blankfein what he’d say, not to bankers but to regular Americans who are watching the stock market. Blankfein responded:

“At this particular time I would say ‘don’t throw all in.’ People are saying, gosh, you should buy more at the lows. Yes, if you’re rich and you have a lot of excess capital. But I wouldn’t throw all in. I’d be planning for the contingency that this turns out to be a worse time than people are thinking. I wouldn’t be more audacious today with the Fed on a raising rates, with the withdrawal of QE, with the budget deficit widening out. I wouldn’t say this is the time I would max out on my risk as opposed to a year ago.”

Read More @ WallStOnParade.com

Professor: George Soros supports the plan for the destruction of the nation state and the West

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from Voice Of Europe:

Professor Alexandre Del Valle, said in an interview with French news organisation Damoclès, that the radical left wants to destroy the nation state and the West.

According to Del Valle there’s a clear ideological plan, supported by George Soros, for both goals. The ideal situation for them would be that “Europe would not only be multicultural but that its Christian European character is destroyed”.

Read More @ VoiceOfEurope.com

Regime Change Fails: Is A Military Coup or Invasion of Venezuela Next?

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by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, Consortium News:

Several signals point to a possible military strike on Venezuela, with high-ranking officials and influential politicians making clear that it is a distinct possibility.

Speaking at his alma mater, the University of Texas, on February 1, Secretary of State Tillerson suggested a potential military coup in in the country. Tillerson then visited allied Latin American countries urging regime change and more economic sanctions on Venezuela. Tillerson is also reportedly considering banning the processing or sale of Venezuelan oil in the United States and is discouraging other countries from buying Venezuelan oil.

In a series of tweets, Senator Marco Rubio, the Republican from Florida, where many Venezuelan oligarchs live, openly called for a military coup in Venezuela. “The world would support the Armed Forces in #Venezuela if they decide to protect the people & restore democracy by removing a dictator,” the former presidential candidate tweeted.

How absurd — remove an elected president with a military coup to restore democracy? Does that pass the straight face test? This refrain of Rubio and Tillerson seems to be the nonsensical public position of U.S. policy.

The U.S. has been seeking regime change in Venezuela since Hugo Chavez was elected in 1998. Trump joined Presidents Obama and Bush before him in continuing efforts to change the government and put in place a U.S.-friendly oligarch government.

They came closest in 2002 when a military coup removed Chavez. The Commander-in-Chief of the Venezuelan military announced Chavez had resigned and Pedro Carmona, of the Venezuelan Chamber of Commerce, became interim president. Carmona dissolved the National Assembly and Supreme Court and declared the Constitution void. The people surrounded the presidential palace and seized television stations, Carmona resigned and fled to Colombia. Within 47 hours, civilians and the military restored Chavez to the presidency. The coup was a turning point that strengthened the Bolivarian Revolution, showed people could defeat a coup and exposed the US and oligarchs.

U.S. Regime Change Tactics Have Failed In Venezuela

The U.S. and oligarchs continue their efforts to reverse the Bolivarian Revolution. The United States has a long history of regime change around the world and has tried all of its regime change tools in Venezuela. So far they have failed.

Economic War
Destroying the Venezuelan economy has been an ongoing campaign by the US and oligarchs. It is reminiscent of the US coup in Chilewhich ended the presidency of Salvador Allende. To create the environment for the Chilean coup, President Nixon ordered the CIA to “make the economy scream.”

Henry Kissinger devised the coup noting a billion dollars of investment were at stake. He also feared the “the insidious model effect” of the example of Chile leading to other countries breaking from the United States and capitalism. Kissinger’s top deputy at the National Security Council, Viron Vaky, opposed the coup saying, “What we propose is patently a violation of our own principles and policy tenets .… If these principles have any meaning, we normally depart from them only to meet the gravest threat … our survival.”

These objections hold true regarding recent US coups, including in Venezuela and Honduras, Ukraine and Brazil, among others. Allende died in the coup and wrote his last words to the people of Chile, especially the workers, “Long live the people! Long live the workers!” He was replaced by Augusto Pinochet, a brutal and violent dictator.

For decades the US has been fighting an economic war, “making the economy scream,” in Venezuela. Wealthy Venezuelans have been conducting economic sabotage aided by the US with sanctions and other tactics. This includes hoarding food, supplies and other necessities in warehouses or in Colombia while Venezuelan markets are bare. The scarcity is used to fuel protests, e.g. “The March of the Empty Pots,” a carbon copy of marches in Chile before the September 11, 1973 coup. Economic warfare has escalated through Obama and under Trump, with Tillerson now urging economic sanctions on oil.

President Maduro recognized the economic hardship but also said sanctions open up the opportunity for a new era of independence and “begins the stage of post-domination by the United States, with Venezuela again at the center of this struggle for dignity and liberation.” The second-in-command of the Socialist Party, Diosdado Cabello, said, “[if they] apply sanctions, we will apply elections.”

Opposition Protests
Another common US regime change tool is supporting opposition protests. The Trump administration renewed regime change operations in Venezuela and the anti-Maduro protests, which began under Obama, grew more violent. The opposition protests included barricades, snipers and murders as well as widespread injuries. When police arrested those using violence, the US claimed Venezuela opposed free speech and protests.

The opposition tried to use the crack down against violence to achieve the U.S. tactic of  dividing the military. The U.S. and western media ignored opposition violence and blamed the Venezuelan government instead. Violence became so extreme it looked like the opposition was pushing Venezuela into a Syrian-type civil war. Instead, opposition violence backfired on them.

Violent protests are part of U.S. regime change repertoire. This was demonstrated in the U.S. coup in Ukraine, where the U.S. spent $5 billion to organize government opposition including U.S. and EU funding violent protesters. This tactic was used in early US coups like the 1953 Iran coup of Prime Minister Mossadegh. The U.S. has admitted organizing this coup that ended Iran’s brief experience with democracy. Like Venezuela, a key reason for the Iran coup was control of the nation’s oil.

Funding Opposition
There has been massive U.S. investment in creating opposition to the Venezuelan government. Tens of millions of dollars have been openly spent through USAID, the National Endowment for Democracy and other related US regime change agencies. It is unknown how much the CIA has spent from its secret budget, but the CIA has also been involved in Venezuela. Current CIA director, Mike Pompeo, saidhe is “hopeful there can be a transition in Venezuela.”

The United States has also educated leaders of opposition movements, e.g. Leopoldo López was educated at private schools in the US, including the CIA-associated Kenyon College. He was groomed at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and made repeated visits to the regime change agency, the National Republican Institute.

Elections
While the US calls Venezuela a dictatorship, it is in fact a strong democracy with an excellent voting system. Election observers monitor every election.

In 2016, the economic crisis led to the opposition winning a majority in the National Assembly. One of their first acts was to pass an amnesty law. The law described 17 years of crimes including violent felonies and terrorism committed by the opposition. It was an admission of crimes back to the 2002 coup and through 2016. The law demonstrated violent treason against Venezuela. One month later, the Supreme Court of Venezuela ruled the amnesty law was unconstitutional. U.S. media, regime change advocates and anti-Venezuela human rights groups attacked the Supreme Court decision, showing their alliance with the admitted criminals.

Years of violent protests and regime change attempts, and then admitting their crimes in an amnesty bill, have caused those opposed to the Bolivarian Revolution to lose power and become unpopular.  In three recent elections Maduro’s party won regional,  local and the Constituent Assembly elections.

The electoral commission announced the presidential election will be held on April 22. Maduro will run for re-election with the United Socialist Party. Opposition leaders such as Henry Ramos and Henri Falcon have expressed interest in running, but the opposition has not decided whether to participateHenrique Capriles, who narrowly lost to Maduro in the last election, was banned from running for officebecause of irregularities in his campaign, including taking foreign donations. Capriles has been a leader of the violent protests. When his ban was announced he called for protests to remove Maduro from office. Also banned was Leopoldo Lopez, another leader of the violent protests who is under house arrest serving a thirteen year sentence for inciting violence.

Now, the United States says it will not recognize the presidential election and urges a military coup. For two years, the opposition demanded presidential elections, but now it is unclear whether they will participate. They know they are unpopular and Maduro is likely to be re-elected.

Is War Against Venezuela Coming?

A military coup faces challenges in Venezuela as the people, including the military, are well educated about US imperialism. Tillerson openly urging a military coup makes it more difficult.

The government and opposition recently negotiated a peace settlement entitled “Democratic Coexistence Agreement for Venezuela.” They agreed on all of the issues including ending economic sanctions, scheduling elections and more. They agreed on the date of the next presidential election. It was originally planned for March, but in a concession to the opposition, it was  rescheduled for the end of April. Maduro signed the agreement even though the opposition did not attend the signing ceremony. They backed out after Colombian President Santos, who was meeting with Secretary Tillerson, called and told them not to sign. Maduro will now make the agreement a public issue by allowing the people of Venezuela to sign it.

Read More @ ConsortiumNews.com

China’s ‘New Silk Roads’ reach Latin America

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by Pepe Escobar, Asia Times:

Beijing is turbo-charging its infrastructure connectivity across the region and the Caribbean

A sharp, geoeconomic shift took place last month in Santiago, Chile at the second ministerial meeting of a forum grouping China and the 33-member Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. 

The Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, told his audience that the world’s second-largest economy and Latin America should join efforts to support free trade. This was about “opposing protectionism” and “working for an open world economy,” he said.

After encouraging Latin American and Caribbean nations to participate in a major November expo in China, Wang delivered the clincher – Latin America should play a “meaningful” role in the ‘New Silk Roads’, known as the Belt and Road Initiative. The Chinese media duly highlighted the invitation.

The Latin American stretch of the Belt and Road project may not turn out to be as ambitious as the Eurasia program. Yet the trend is now clear with Beijing turbo-charging its infrastructure connectivity drive across the region and the Caribbean, with more deals on the way.

The strategic imperative is to build smooth connections across the continent, converging on its Pacific coastline – and forward through maritime supply lines to the Chinese seaboard. You could call it the Pacific Maritime Silk Road. 

Last year, Chinese banks and institutions invested US$23 billion in Latin America – the biggest surge since 2010. And they are all in for the long haul.

Predictably, fellow BRICS member Brazil is the largest recipient of Chinese foreign investment for the past 10 years at about $46.1 billion, plus more than $10 billion in acquisitions. Russia, Indian and South Africa are the other nations that make up the BRICS bloc.

Costs plummeted

Marcos Troyjo, the director of the BricLab at Columbia University, has broken down the numbers. Up to mid-2010, Brazil was very expensive. Then suddenly costs plummeted because of the exchange rate or devaluation of companies.

Large Brazilian groups were badly damaged by the incredibly complex ‘Operation Car Wash’ corruption investigation. The infrastructure industry depended on state funds, which suddenly dried up and a wild privatization spree followed with Chinese, American and European groups taking advantage.     

China is already the top trading partner of Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru. Others will inevitably follow. This is not only because China’s imports of commodities, such as iron ore, soy and corn tend to rise, but also because the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank will increase lending. 

China’s master plan for Latin American trade and investment follows what is dubbed the “1+3+6” framework, mapped out by President Xi Jinping in July 2014 at a summit in Brasilia.  The “1” refers to the cooperation plan itself, guiding specific projects and ranging from 2015 to 2019 as Beijing aims for $250 billion in direct investment and around $500 billion in trade.

The “3” is about the key areas of cooperation – trade, investment and finance. And the “6” prioritizes cooperation in energy and resources, and infrastructure construction, as well as agriculture, manufacturing, scientific and technological innovation, alongside information technology.

Read More @ ATimes.com

Coinbase Cuts Off New Credit Cards for US Customers

by Wolfie Zhao, Coinbase:

Cryptocurrency startup Coinbase said Tuesday that its U.S.-based users won’t be able to add new credit cards as a payment option.

Making the announcement through its official blog post on Feb. 13, Coinbase said the platform currently is unable to offer a smooth credit card purchase experience. As a result, it has “disabled adding new credit cards as a payment method for U.S. customers.”

The move is a follow-up to the platform’s previous confirmation that credit cards issued by four U.S. banks are barred from being used to buy cryptocurrencies. Coinbase said, however, that debit cards remain as a payment option.

“We know many customers have added credit cards as their primary payment method; we did not make this decision lightly,” the company said in the post. “We are actively working with card networks and card issuers to find a long term solution. For customers in the UK, EU, Canada, Australia and Singapore, we are collecting feedback and evaluating similar changes.”

In addition, the platform said users who have already linked credit cards to the Coinbase platform can continue using them “so long as your bank allows them.”

As reported previously, at least four banks in the U.S. – JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citi and Capital One – have barred credit card holders from making purchases on the exchange.

Read More @ Coinbase.com

So, what isn’t fake?

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by Bob Rinear, The International Forecaster:

No matter where we look, we see it. The media lies, the politicians lie, the markets get rigged, and we’re left to try and navigate through this mess. It gets frustrating. You find a stock that should be trading considerably lower. Their balance sheet stinks like 5 day fish.

I’ve been doing this for a long time. The first letters went around to investment clubs back in 1995. So in those almost 23 years, I’ve covered a lot of ground. I’ve talked about so many topics, I certainly couldn’t name them all.

Probably the most consistent them over the years, is what Trump famously calls “fake news”. But it isn’t just the news that’s fake. It’s darned near everything you’re told. Lies, distortions, shell games, exaggerations and such, dominates us, especially in the world of economics. Nothing is as it appears.

For years we talked about the manipulations and the “rigging” of the gold and silver markets. People brought up on a diet of CNBC, or Bloomberg would roll their eyes and scoff. “There goes Bob on his conspiracy rants again” was a common thread.

But over the years, we’ve been vindicated. Major banks have been fined north of 40 billion dollars for rigging everything from the Silver quote, to the Libor rates. Not to mention that little situation during the housing bubble where it was proven that banks were taking toxic mortgages, packaging them as AAA paper and selling them as investments. No matter where you looked ( and still look) we see deception.

The stock, bond and currency markets are the biggest “business” on earth. It’s bigger than the top 100 companies combined. On any given day the NYSE will trade north of 170 BILLION dollars worth of stocks. On any given day the FX market will trade between 4 and 15 TRILLION worth of currencies. Tell me of any other sort of business that generates that much flow. You can’t.

So it stands to reason that those sorts of values are going to attract some genuinely “not so nice” people. Think about it. Willie Sutton was a famous “bank robber” who over the course of his career had gotten away with about 2 million dollars. While he didn’t actually say the verse that is attributed to him, the idea remains the same. When asked why he robs banks, he replied “because that’s where the money is” ( actually a reporter wrote those words after interviewing Willie)

It’s the same in the markets. It draws in criminals like mice to cheese. Why? Because that’s where the money is. So, it is NOT unusual that over the years we’ve exposed silver manipulation. It’s not hard to understand that gold’s been manipulated. It’s easy to see why stocks, and the market itself is chock full of things that either are, or should be illegal.

Almost like clockwork, word broke over the past few days that the volatility indexes were also being manipulated. “oh no, say it isn’t so!”. But alas, yes it is indeed true. This is from Bloomberg:

“A whistle-blower today told U.S. regulators that a scheme to manipulate the VIX, the volatility gauge thrust into the spotlight last week during a wild trading session, costs investors hundreds of millions of dollars a month.

A Washington-based lawyer told the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission — the nation’s top markets regulators — in a letter today that his client found a flaw that allows traders “with sophisticated algorithms to move the VIX up or down by simply posting quotes on S&P options and without needing to physically engage in any trading or deploying any capital.” Billions in purportedly ill-gotten profits have been scooped up by “unethical electronic option market makers,” according to the letter.

The client wasn’t identified by name. He has held “senior positions at some of the largest investment firms in the world,” according to the letter written by Jason Zuckerman of Zuckerman Law, who has appeared on Washingtonian magazine’s list of top whistle-blower lawyers in the nation’s capital.”

Now go figure. Someone was spoofing the market? Imagine that. Whether it’s high frequency traders posting bids and pulling them in a nano-second, or the gang of seven marking the silver quotes for the day, everything is rigged.

I guess there’s just certain levels of rigging however. For instance it’s my belief that gap up and gap down opens on the market should be illegal. What form of “free” market do you have when you can own a stock into the close at say 100.00 and the very next day it opens at 95.00 because of some news event? Did you have any way to protect yourself from that loss? Nope. Was there a way for you to digest the news and decide to sell at 2 am if you wanted? Nope. Yet that’s the way it goes, day after day.

Maybe because it’s been that way for so long people are just accustomed to it. They don’t question it. It just “is”. But other times the manipulation is fairly well hidden from public view. Consider the banks. After the melt down of 2008-09 they were all insolvent by virtually any count. So they simply “changed” the rules considering reporting.

Where previously they had to mark their assets to “market”, meaning what they’re worth in real time dollars on the open market, they were instead allowed to mark them to “model”. What’s that? They were simply allowed to mark their assets to what their economic forecast models “said” they were worth. So if you had an asset worth 10 cents on the open market, they could account for it at 1 dollar, because that’s what their models say it should be worth. How many people knew/know that?

Read More @ TheInternationalForecaster.com

How Our Dependence on Global Shipping Will Come Back to Bite Us

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by Cat Ellis, via SHTFPlan:

If the general public understood how vulnerable our reliance on global shipping made us, they’d all become preppers overnight. Trucks, planes, and cargo ships are responsible for just about everything modern life depends upon. This reliance on global goods and long-distance shipping puts us all at risk.

Our Dependence Upon Global Shipping

Modern shipping keeps us clothed and fed. It brings us necessary medicines, fuel to the pumps, and delivers chemicals necessary to municipal water treatment plants. It is truly amazing how seamless it all appears to the average consumer, especially considering shipping’s global scale.

That is until there is a problem. Problems can be anything from a trucker’s strike to a plane crashing to a cyber attack shutting down the largest global shipping company.

Global shipping is a necessary evil in a world where we rely on global goods. When companies take their manufacturing operations overseas, the first thing we think of is lost jobs. But, we also put access to those goods at risk. Some of these risks include:

  • Relations with China breaking down over North Korea.
  • Hackers taking down software (navigation, customer orders, inventory tracking, systems diagnostics, etc) on ships, planes, trucks, and at ports and command centers.
  • An EMP causing all electronic systems to cease working.
  • Employees of shipping companies across an industry going on an extended strike.
  • Deteriorating domestic infrastructure interfering with the delivery of goods.
  • War/terrorism anywhere in the world causing delays and lost shipments of imports/exports.

Just a 24-Hour Delay Causes Shortages

A perfect example of this is shipping fresh food to Alaska all year long. Alaskan grocery stores do what they can to stock Alaska-grown items on their shelves, but due to the climate, Alaskans rely on imported produce and goods. The Anchorage Daily News reported on the impact of a single ship being delayed by just 24 hours for a repair.

Here’s what one of their agriculture experts had to say about why Alaska imports so much of its food.

Much of Alaska’s food comes up by container ship over the water. Some also arrives via trucks that take the Alaska Highway, or by air freight.

“It’s cheaper to barge or fly it in than it is to grow it here,” said Stephen Brown, a Palmer-based district agriculture agent with the University of Alaska Fairbanks. “The problem with that is that creates a very fragile food supply that’s very easy to be disrupted.” (source)

Further into the above-linked article, a recent disruption came when a ship needed repairs before heading up to Alaska.

A Tote Maritime Alaska ship was the one that was late getting to Anchorage last week, due to a weld that required a repair by divers in Tacoma.

“When there are disruptions to that supply chain, things can become difficult rather quickly. That’s when you can start to see shelves looking a little bit thinner. … Nobody wants to buy 2-week-old strawberries that are half-rotten,” said Grace Greene, vice president at Tote Maritime Alaska. “Having a tight supply chain is really critical.”

Cyberattacks Can Shut Down Global Shipping

This isn’t just an Alaska problem. Disruptions in shipping can happen anywhere and on a much larger scale. Recently, global shipping giant, AP Moller-Maersk, was hit by a major ransomware attack. This left ships sailing off course and ports were unable to accept ships.

According to Reuters:

The cyber attack was among the biggest-ever disruptions to hit global shipping. Several port terminals run by a Maersk division, including in the United States, India, Spain, the Netherlands, were still struggling to revert to normal operations on Thursday after experiencing massive disruptions. (source)

This was a wake up call for many in the industry. The article goes on to say

“The Maersk attack raises our awareness of the vulnerability of shipping and ports to technological failure,” said Professor David Last, a previous president of Britain’s Royal Institute of Navigation.

“When GPS fails, ships’ captains lose their principal means of navigation and much of their communications and computer links. They have to slow down and miss port schedules,” said Last, who is also a strategic advisor to the General Lighthouse Authorities of the UK and Ireland. (source)

There’s a Shortage of Truck Drivers

Add to this that we are experiencing a shortage of truck drivers due to fewer people looking for work, plus increased shipping costs due to increased regulations. The CEO of Tyson foods says:

“These additional costs are included in our outlook,” he told investors and analysts Feb. 8. “However, we’re assuming we’ll recover the majority through” higher prices for consumers.

The tightness in the trucking market probably won’t ease any time soon. Employers can’t find enough drivers — at least at the wages companies want to pay — as low unemployment spurs competition from other industries.

Construction jobs, for example, pay on par or better and allow workers to be home more with their families. Long-distance truckers can be on the road for weeks at a time. (source)

If a kink in the chain develops, there are fewer people capable of stepping in when needed.

Imagine If Truckers Went on Strike

If long-haul truckers were to strike, the store shelves would be bare within days. Everything from food, medicines, toilet paper, to gasoline would disappear from store shelves. Life as we know it would come to a grinding halt.

Back in 2008, diesel fuel prices rose so high that truckers protested and rallied in cities across the US, threatening to go on strike.

Independent U.S. truckers are planning to stop hauling freight Tuesday in protest of record-high diesel prices that drivers say they can no longer afford.

Independent truckers, who constitute 90 percent of the nation’s trucking fleet, are being hit especially hard by soaring diesel prices and compensation lags far behind rising costs, according to the American Trucking Association. (source)

Read More @ SHTFPlan.com

The Great Californian Exodus

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by Tara Dodrill, Health Wyze:

Anyone who is yet to realize that leftism is attempting to destroy America as we know it should examine how the far left has unabashedly warped the state of California. America is on the verge of a civil war. It will not be fought along geographical lines, but cultural ones. The same treacherous ideology that is consuming the bulk of Europe has been at play in the Golden State for far too long. Giant technology companies that lined the deep pockets of California are poised to abandon it, as are many of the small businesses, which have been struggling most to survive under the massive burden of obscene taxation, regulation, and the litigious nature of the California courts. The “white flight” that happened in the metropolitan areas of England and throughout Europe are now in full swing in California. When both middle class and affluent citizens have completed their mass exodus from California toward the freedoms of the more conservative states, there will be virtually nobody left to pay for the governmental benefits of California’s nanny state, of which a significant portion of the state’s residents live on.

 The California public education system may be responsible for the state's utter ignorance of the lessons of history. This was a Berlin Wall memorial, which was dedicated to Peter Fecter, an 18-year-old man who was fatally shot while attempting to escape to freedom in the West. People never willingly flee to a socialistic state.
The California public education system may be responsible for the state’s utter ignorance of the lessons of history. This was a Berlin Wall memorial, which was dedicated to Peter Fecter, an 18-year-old man who was fatally shot while attempting to escape to freedom in the West. People never willingly flee to a socialistic state.

Paul Chabot, a two-time congressional candidate in California was defeated by Pete Aguilar in November of 2016. Chabot inflamed liberal ire after releasing “Terrorist Hunting Permits” as part of his campaign literature. After his loss, Chabot decided to pursue his dream of serving the public in another way, by launching Conservative Move. It is an organization specializing in helping Americans to relocate from leftist states, like California, to states where their rights are respected, their beliefs are not mocked, and the populace is not threatened by American patriotism. Chabot launched Conservative Move after relocating his own family to Texas, in the beginning of 2017. The former congressional hopeful said that he wanted to help decent families to find new opportunities and offer them the guidance that he would have appreciated during his own exodus from California.

“We want to be able to express to people that these areas that are conservative have safer streets, better schools, better-paying jobs, lower taxes,” Chabot said when describing what Conservative Move does and why. “We hope that this doesn’t become divisive, but it becomes a bridge that brings more and more people into this camp that loves faith, freedom, family, God, country and apple pie.”

An article heralding the launch of Conservative Move was tattered with vile commentary from California Democrats and communists, which serves as a commentary about the ongoing struggle to preserve what remains of America’s soul. Leftist Californians, who keep voting for ‘progressive’ politicians and ballot measures to usurp their own rights, mocked Chabot and the lot of conservative states which have become popular amongst those fleeing California’s unholy bastion of progressivism. The leftist detractors berated “cesspools in rural areas”, as if their filth and crime-ridden cities were providing a better quality of life than mainstream America. They even reminisced in the joy which comes only from paying higher taxes, because doing so “supports the community”.

California’s infrastructure is in the same dire straights as its economy infamously is, thanks to decades of leftist rule. California’s ‘progressive’ virtue signalers, who love to wag their morally-superior fingers in the faces of conservatives, used incredibly disparaging language when describing those who live in conservative states. They jealously showed a particular disgust toward those who reside in nearly crime-free rural areas, in wholly disrespecting the very God-fearing people who feed the world. Within their leftist system of ‘morality’, it is now socially unacceptable to refer to a man in a dress as a man because he might “identify” as a woman, but it is not in the least bit inappropriate to deem all rural Americans as “hillbillies”. Faithfulness, hard work, and community standards are all indications of perversion to leftists, but genuine mental illness and sexual perversion are their virtues. Deciphering how the leftist mind works and how ‘progressives’ justify their own moral hypocrisies can only steer one to the conclusion of mental illness in the form of a mass hysteria.

From 1990 to at least 2007, approximately 3.4 million California residents vacated to other states, according to Real Clear Politics. This is the time period when California’s teetering on the brink, both culturally and economically, hit a fevered pace. If its spending had grown proportionally in relation to both inflation and population fluctuations during this time period, then California taxpayers would not have a $65 billion bill coming due. Had the leftist politicians, who were in full control of the state’s government spent within their means, California’s fiscal health would resemble that of nearby Oregon.

It is not just individuals that are leaving California. Entire companies are fleeing. As was reported by Fox News, from 2007 through 2015, as many as 9,000 companies had fled, or were in the process of fleeing California. The list of fleeing companies includes: Toyota, Jacobs Engineering Group, Nestlé, Nissan, Carl’s Jr., Jamba Juice, Occidental Petroleum, Numira Biosciences, and Omnitracs; to name but a few. Most of the smaller companies cannot afford to relocate, so they are simply dying.

The former economic powerhouse of California was centrally micromanaged to such a shocking and illogical extreme that 26 percent of its factory jobs and 35 percent of its technology jobs evaporated. The large employment gains in California came just before its downfall by way of unionization. Membership in the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, which has the highest-paid union workers in the United States, increased by 24 percent. A.S.C.M.E. members can retire as young as 50 and receive up to 90 percent of their final year’s earnings every year for the remainder of their lives. These governmental employees did not produce anything meaningful or provide a service that was based on supply and demand. Their numbers and salaries were determined by the whims of the politicians at the statehouse, and not on the free market. As deficits exploded in California, and more companies began fleeing to conservative states, the leftist state leaders strengthened the ranks of the union, which obliged politicians with hefty donations to Democrat campaigns. This was happening on the backs of the overburdened taxpayers and surviving businesses.

Read More @ HealthWyze.com