Saturday, January 25, 2020

Continue to Beware the Job Numbers (Is it the Bureau of Labor Statistics or Bureau of Lying Statistics?)

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by David Haggith, The Great Recession Blog:

One reason I started my own economics blog was because of how tired I was of reading government-regurgitated half truths about the economy. Nothing has changed. As Newsmaxand other publications report this week that July was a bumper month for lower-wage earners, I continue to have to sift for myself through all the glitter to find the globs of buried ugly truths. First, the DayGlo report:

Eight years into the economic recovery,Americans on the lower rungs of the ladder are finally getting some relief in the job market, and there could be more to come.

Underneath a 209,000 gain in July payrolls that was stronger than forecast on Friday, significant shares of job growth were in lower-wage industries such as restaurants and home health-care services. As the overall labor-force participation rate ticked up 0.1 percentage point, the level for people age 25 or older without a high school degree surged to the highest since 2011. In leisure and hospitality, which typically carries lower pay, annual wage gains of 3.8 percent outpaced the average.

That’s wonderful, but parse between the lines and look for some background statistics, and a hideous picture of a continually deteriorating jobs market emerges. Parsing the lines: while the unemployment rate supposedly fell to 4.3{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in July, all the job growth last month happened in part-time, mostly minimum-wage jobs. Looking deeper into statistics not included in that article, full-time jobs actually stepped backward by 54,000 in July. The headline should have been “Full-time Jobs on Retreat” because those are the jobs we care about. Part-time jobs, on the other hand, saw huge growth (+393k) (The numbers don’t reconcile because the 209k increase was from the BLS Establishment Survey of Nonfarm Payroll: The other numbers (+393k PT and -54k FT jobs) come from their “Household Survey” to give a broader picture.)

Said the late Henry Hazlitt, economics writer for the New York Times (back when it was in the news business):

The bad economist sees only what immediately strikes the eye; the good economist also looks beyond. The bad economist sees only the direct consequences of a proposed course; the good economist looks also at the longer and indirect consequences. The bad economist sees only what the effect of a given policy has been or will be on one particular group; the good economist inquires also what the effect of the policy will be on all groups. (Mises Institute)

Looking at the effect on various groups changes the picture substantially. July saw the biggest increase in part-time jobs in almost a year, but how many of those were full-time people losing those 54,000 FT jobs and scaling down?

As a result of such a big leap in PT jobs, minor wage increases should be expected in the part-time sector. However, even those wage increases may have only been due to parts of the country that have been raising their local minimum wage — a factor that would be hard to sift out. Certainly the noted wage increase happened entirely in the sector that has been receiving a lot of talk lately on minimum-wage increases. (Seattle being a prime example of a city that voted several years ago to graduate its minimum wage up to $15 an hour — a move that is still in progress.)

I doubt the statement that wages at that level grew 3.8{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} annually is what it appears, although that is still a minute increase when you are talking about wages that are so small in the first place. You cannot tell for sure from the way Newsmax wrote its article, but was that 3.8{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} increase the actual year-on-year gain, or is that the “annualized” figure of what last month’s increase would amount to if it continues for the next twelve months? If they meant the latter, that is a case that is unlikely to actually play out.

Either way, one would expect this sector to have the largest percentage increase because you are 1) talking about the smallest wages in the first place where every 1{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} wage increase amounts to mere pennies and because 2) jobs are shifting from much better paying full-time jobs to lower-paying part-time jobs, giving room for companies to bump up the PT wages. What’s not included in that insignificant wage gain (as the reason why I call it “insignificant”) is the huge loss in benefits that almost certainly corresponded with this human migration downward from full-time jobs group with benefits to the part-time jobs group without benefits. Companies may be willing to pay a few shekels more in wages when they are saving hundreds of dollars on benefits. The transition is a net gain for the wealthy for certain.

So, that was the real story this month — full-time jobs actually declined as part-time jobs shot upward. That, to me, looks less like job improvement than like a tipping of the scale from one side of the economy to the other. What the government never measures (or, at least, it never gets reported) is the change in full-time equivalencies. Last month was probably a decline on that front also, but we cannot tell because we don’t know how part-time the part-time jobs were (three-quarter, half, one-quarter time, half a day a week?). We have no idea.

The way the figures are window-dressed in articles like this, which just parrot the government’s statistics, makes it sound like poor people finally got the boost they’ve been yearning for. Hallelujah! The wage gains are starting to trickle down! The real truth? More formerly full-time people became poorer part-time people. Oh. Sad.

This is the reporting baloney we have had to live with throughout the Great Recession and its aftermath because investigative reporting is dead. The numbers required to get the fuller picture just aren’t presented, except on alternative-media sites like Zero Hedge.

While the job market in July deteriorated significantly toward more part-time jobs, the news about jobs this month is even worse than that.

Insidious evil buried in the jobs data

The New York Fed reported the following for the past year, but you don’t see much about it in the derelict press either: Those with a high-school diploma or less saw their ratio of employed people to their population go up; while those with college educations, saw the percentage of those who are employed drop over the past year.

It would appear we’re adding a lot more bar-tenders, house-keepers and burger flippers. In fact, yes, statistics in July showed that almost all the jobs added were in those industries, which have been the hottest hiring sectors both last month and over the past seven years. “Food services and drinking places” saw the biggest increase in July’s job numbers. (That adds up since that is also an industry with a lot of part-time jobs.) No doubt, the nation needs more bartenders of late with all those people in retail who are losing jobs as 20,000 retail establishments shutter their doors this year next (many of them major retailers).

Read More @ TheGreatRecessionBlog.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

US Congress on Pace to be the Least Productive Legislature in 164 Years

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by Everett Numbers, The Anti Media:

Without even enough Senate Republican support for a “clean repeal” of Obamacare, this Congress is on its way to historical levels of getting nothing done. So is the ‘Resistance’ winning? And will the divided GOP endanger President Donald Trump’s 2020 chances?

Another U.S. civil war may not be just around the corner, but then again, just imagine the status quo for another 10 years. Congress is on pace to pass the least number of bills in 164 years, David Faris, associate professor of political science at Roosevelt University, wrote Tuesday in The Week. As Washington, D.C. revels in permanent division and another “lesser of two evils” 2020 election cycle creeps into view, something’s got to give.

Immediately following the late Monday evening announcement that the Obamacare “repeal and replace” strategy would be split into two separate bills, many Republican voters expressed optimism that Congress may actually get something done. Or, rather, undone. But…

Nope! Despite Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) all being on the same page for a “clean repeal” and ready to hear bipartisan “replacement” proposals, there were at least three other GOP voices already shutting down the entire plot.

Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia all came out Tuesday against that proposal, with fellow Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas telling NPR that there were “five or six” total Republicans who opposed separating repeal and replace.

An inactive Congress certainly has its benefits, but a pendulum swings hardest from either extreme. As opposed to former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush signing a “jobs” bill and a tax decrease by this time in 2009 and 2001, respectively, Trump has signed mostly symbolic bills. The current GOP-led Congress has successfully snipped away some administrative regulations in 14 signed bills, but there are 238 House-passed bills the Senate has yet to take up, with just a fraction having any shot at advancing, according to Faris at The Week.

If it’s too much to draw parallels with the Civil War and today’s polarized politics, perhaps it could be more accurately stated that the U.S. is already in a slow-motion civil war. The Republicans’ control of Congress and the White House, which they haven’t had since 2006, could be lost in 2018 and 2020, notwithstanding a seemingly unfocused Democratic Party.

Former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich warned in a Fox News interview Monday that if, by Thanksgiving, the GOP doesn’t pass “a very large tax cut, retroactively designed back to January 1,” there will be “real danger of having Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2019.”

Trump also stands to lose from an inactive Congress, as he campaigned to be a D.C. dealmaker. But it remains to be seen how much blame Republican voters will assign to Trump, who won support as an outsider during the 2016 primary.

Whether or not Trump maintains his base may not matter, anyway. A poll released Tuesday by the Washington Post and ABC News finds independents highly disapprove of the job the president is doing. Those non-affiliated voters decide elections, so when 59 percent strongly or somewhat disapprove of Trump — while just 32 percent approve — the base of Trump’s support may become less relevant come campaign season.

Read More @ TheAntiMedia.org

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

Imagine What Would Happen if China Decided to Impose Economic Sanctions on the USA?

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by Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research:

In June, Washington threatened Beijing with a sanctions regime, in response to China’s increased bilateral commodity trade with North Korea. Initially, the US sanctions were not intended to be against the Chinese government: selected Chinese banks and trading companies involved in the financing of China-DPRK commodity trade would be potential targets of US reprisals.

Having lost patience with China, the Trump administration is studying new steps to starve North Korea of cash for its nuclear program, including an option that would infuriate Beijing: sanctions on Chinese companies that help keep the North’s economy afloat.

According to Chinese sources, China’s trade with the DPRK increased by 37.4 percent in the first quarter of 2017, in relation to the same period in 2016. China’s exports increased by 54.5 percent, with imports from the DPRK experiencing an 18.4 percent increase.

The insinuation was crystal clear: curtail your trade with North Korea, or else…

Coupled with the aggressive legislative sanctions “package” recently adopted by the US Congress directed against Russia, Iran and North Korea, Washington now threatens China in no uncertain terms.

Trump is demanding that Beijing relinquish its relationship with the DPRK, by unconditionally siding with Washington against Pyongyang. Washington has granted China six months “to prove that it is committed to preventing a nuclear-armed North Korea”, despite the fact that Beijing has expressed its firm opposition to the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program.

The political deadline is coupled with veiled threats that “if you do not comply”, punitive trade measures will be adopted which could result in the disruption of China’s exports to the United States.

Moreover, the White House is intent upon conducting “an investigation into China’s trade practices” focussing on alleged  violations of U.S. intellectual property rights. A “Section 301” investigation, named after a portion of the 1974 Trade Act is slated to be launched.

Following the completion of the investigation, Washington threatens to “impose steep tariffs on Chinese imports [into the US], rescind licenses for Chinese companies to do business in the United States, or take other measures, which could, “pave the way for the U.S. to impose sanctions on Chinese exporters or to further restrict the transfer of advanced technology to Chinese firms or to U.S.-China joint ventures.”

In formulating these veiled threats, the Trump administration should think twice. These measures would inevitably backlash on the U.S. economy.

China is not dependent on US  imports. Quite the opposite. America is an import led economy with a weak industrial and manufacturing base, heavily dependent on imports from the PRC.

Imagine what would happen if China following Washington’s threats decided from one day to the next to significantly curtail its “Made in China” commodity exports to the USA.

It would be absolutely devastating, disrupting the consumer economy, an economic and financial chaos.

“Made in China” is the backbone of retail trade which indelibly sustains household consumption in virtually all major commodity categories from clothing, footwear, hardware, electronics, toys, jewellery, household fixtures, food, TV sets, mobile phones, etc.  Ask the American consumer: The list is long. “China makes 7 out of every 10 cellphones sold Worldwide, as well as 12 and a half billion pairs of shoes’ (more than 60 percent of total World production). Moreover, China produces over 90{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the World’s computers and 45 percent of shipbuilding capacity (The Atlantic, August 2013)

A large share of goods displayed in America’s shopping malls, including major brands is “Made in China”.

“Made in China” also dominates the production of a wide range of industrial inputs, machinery, building materials, automotive, parts and accessories, etc. not to mention the extensive sub-contracting of Chinese companies on behalf of US conglomerates.

Read More @ GlobalResearch.ca

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.

Geopolitical Tensions Are Designed To Distract The Public From Economic Decline

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by Brandon Smith, The Sleuth Journal:

Tracking geopolitical and fiscal developments over the past several years is a bit like watching a slow motion train wreck; you know exactly what the consequences of the events will be, you try to warn people as much as possible, but, ultimately, you cannot reverse the disaster. The disaster has for all intents and purposes already happened. What we are witnessing is the aftermath as a forgone conclusion.

This is why whenever someone asks me as an economic and political analyst “when the collapse is going to happen,” I have to shake my head in bewilderment. The “collapse” is here now. It is done. It is a historical fact. It’s just that not many people have the eyes to see it yet, primarily because they are hyper-focused on all the wrong things.

For many centuries now, elitists in power have understood the value of geopolitical distraction as a tool for controlling the masses. If you examine the underlying motivations behind the majority of wars between nations regardless of the era, you will in most cases discover that the power brokers on both sides tend to be rather friendly with each other. In fact, monarchies and oligarchies are historically notorious for fabricating diplomatic tensions and conflicts in order to force populations back under their control.  That is to say, wars and other man-made conflicts give the citizenry something to react to, instead of hunting down the establishment cabal like they should.

One of the greatest illusions of human progress is the notion that most conflicts happen at random; that there are two sides and that those sides are fighting over ideological differences. In truth, most conflicts have nothing to do with ideological differences between governments and financial oligarchs. The REAL target of these conflicts is the people — or, to be more precise, the psychology of the people. Conflicts are often engineered in order to affect a particular change within the minds of the masses or to distract them from other dangers or solutions.

These scenarios are taken at face value by many because, unfortunately, most people have short attention spans. If an observer in 2007 was to be transported 10 years into the future, in 2017 they would find a world in dramatic and horrifying decline. The shock would be overwhelming. Ask an observer today what they think of the state of the world and they might not see much to be concerned about. The human mind becomes easily acclimated to crisis over time. We are resilient in this way, but also weak, because we forget the way things should be in order to deal with the way things are.

We only seem to take drastic actions to improve our situation after we have already hit rock bottom. The year of 2017 has so far been host to some extreme accelerations in crisis and collapse, and rock bottom is not looking too far away anymore.

Four trigger points around the globe concern me greatly, not because I think they will necessarily lead to a disaster any greater than the one we are already living in, but because they have the potential to effectively distract the public from more serious concerns. I am of course talking about the powder keg issues of Syria, North Korea, China vs. India, as well as Russia.

First, let’s be clear, the ongoing destabilization of our economy should be the primary concern of every person on the planet, most particularly those in the West. We are living within the husk of a dead fiscal system, reanimated with the voodoo of central bank stimulus, but only for a limited time. Economic decline is the greatest threat to cultural longevity as well as to human freedom. Even nuclear war could not hold a candle to the terror of financial disaster, because at least in a nuclear war the slate is wiped clean for establishment elites as well as the normal population. At least, in the event of nuclear war, the elites face anarchy just like we do.

In an economic crisis, the establishment maintains a certain level of control and thus its arsenal of toys – Including biometric surveillance grids, standing military support in the form of martial law, as well as the delusion among the populace that things “might go back to the way they were before” given enough time and patience.

There will be no nuclear war.  Perhaps a limited nuclear event, but not a global exchange. There will be no moment of apocalypse as it is commonly displayed in Hollywood films. However, we WILL witness lesser conflicts as a means to turn our gaze away from the economy itself.

Read More @ TheSleuthJournal.com

STUNNING RESULTS: Four Top Primary Silver Miners Production Plummets

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by Steve St. Angelo, SRSrocco:

In an interesting change of events, production at four of the top primary silver miners plummeted during the second quarter of 2017.  This goes well beyond normal fluctuations in mining companies production figures during different quarterly reporting periods.  The company with the least percentage decline in silver production still suffered a 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} reduction of mine supply in the second quarter.

According to recently released company data, silver production declined between 20-34{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} from these four primary silver miners during the second quarter.  The company that suffered the biggest decline in silver production was Hecla at -34{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}, followed by Endeavour Silver at -26{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}, Silver Standard at -24{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} and First Majestic with a decrease of 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}:

Total silver production from these four primary silver miners fell 27{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}, from 11 million oz (Moz) during Q2 2016, to 8 Moz Q2 2017.  We can see the breakdown in the chart below:

Hecla suffered the largest decline in silver production by falling 34{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} due to a mining strike at its Lucky Friday Mine in Idaho.  Production at the Lucky Friday Mine has been suspended since a workers strike began at the mine on March 13th.  Furthermore, Hecla’s Green Creek Mine in Alaska saw its silver production decline from 2.1 Moz Q2 2016 to 1.9 Moz Q2 2017 due to falling ore grades.

The second largest percentage decline in silver production was from Endeavour Silver.  Production at Endeavour Silver fell from 1.6 Moz in the second quarter of 2016 to 1.1 Moz in Q2 2017.  This 26{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} decline in silver mine supply was blamed on several factors:

  1. Reduction in capital and exploration expenditures in the beginning of 2016 due to lower silver prices, but the company has increased spending once again in the second half of 2016
  2. narrowing veins, falling ore grades and less ore processing due to a reduced capital expenditures in the beginning of 2016
  3. less access to mine areas as pump failures due to power overloading caused flooding in some portions of the mines

This huge decline in silver production at Endeavour Silver, plus falling earnings, impacted its stock price which fell 16{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in one day after the news.

Silver Standard (renamed SSR Mining) which suffered a 24{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} decrease in silver production saw its mine supply fall to 1.9 Moz in Q2 2017 versus 2.5 Moz during the same period last year.  This steep reduction in the company’s silver mine supply was due to the closure of their Pirquitas open-pit mine.  SSR Mining’s mine plan for Pirquitas was to move from open-pit operations to underground mining.  Silver production at Pirquitas for the remainder of 2017 will be from processing of open-pit stockpiled ore.

Furthermore, SSR Mining will be supplementing silver production from its Pirquitas underground mine from new venture called Chinchillas project located 45 km from Pirquitas.  However, production from the Chinchillas project is not expected to begin until the second half of 2018.

The company that experienced the least percentage decline of silver production in the group was First Majestic.  Silver production at First Majestic fell 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} from 2.8 Moz during Q2 2016 compared to 2.3 Moz Q2 2017.  Production declines at First Majestic were due to mine stoppages at several projects due to unionized worker disputes and labor issues.  In addition, declining silver yields of approximately 8{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} also attributed the decline in Q2 2017 silver production versus the same period last year.

So, we can see how labor disputes, falling ore grades and power outages have negatively impacted many of the top primary silver miners in the industry.  Of course, not all primary silver miners experienced declines in production.

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