Saturday, July 2, 2022

Jim Rogers: The Dollar Will CRASH! – Cashless Society Means The Government OWNS Us!

from World Alternative Media:

Josh Sigurdson sits down with investment legend and author Jim Rogers to talk about the inevitable dollar crash. Rogers breaks down why the dollar will crash, the delusion of central bankers and the horrific technocratic control of a centrally planned cashless society. Jim Rogers has been correctly predicting trends for decades and will always tell you, “Don’t listen to me, do your own research!” which is always important as so many will sooner listen to noise than actual ensure their own financial stability and wealth insurance themselves. With that said, Jim Rogers gives the viewer a look at how he invests and keeps his money safe.

THE WAR FOR TRUTH: House Judiciary Demands Special Counsel To Investigate Comey, Lynch, And Clinton

from Zero Hedge: Roughly a month ago, we noted that Republicans might be well served to stop sitting around twiddling their thumbs waiting for the next Russia ‘bombshell’ to drop and actually go on the offensive against an ‘investigation’ that has obviously morphed into mass hysteria courtesy of free-flowing leaks from a conflicted “intelligence community” intent upon bringing down a presidency rather than finding out the truth.  Here’s what we said:

Of course, until someone within the Trump administration or Republican Party smartens up and calls for the appointment of a ‘Special Counsel’ to look into Hillary’s email scandal, something that should have been done long ago, and not for retaliatory reasons but simply due to Comey’s and AG Lynch’s blatant mishandling of the investigation (a point which Deputy AG Rosenstein obviously agreed with), the Democrats have no reason to calm their mass hysteria.  Then, and only then, do we suspect that Hillary might just be able to ‘convince’ her party to exercise some form of reasonable judgement.

Well, it seems that some folks on the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), seem to agree.  As such, 20 Republican Representatives have sent a letter to Attorney General Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein demanding the appointment of a Second Special Counsel to look into a laundry list of potential scandals surrounding Hillary Clinton, James Comey, Loretta Lynch and many others from the Obama administration.

We are writing to you to request assistance in restoring public confidence in our nation’s justice system and its investigators, specifically the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). While we presume that the FBI’s investigation into Russian influence has been subsumed into Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, we are not confident that other matters related to the 2016 election and aftermath are similarly under investigation by Special Counsel Mueller. The unbalanced, uncertain, and seemingly unlimited focus of the special counsel’s investigation has led many of our constituents to see a dual standard of justice that benefits only the powerful and politically well-connected. For this reason, we call on you to appoint a second special counsel to investigate a plethora of matters connected to the 2016 election and its aftermath, including actions taken by previously public figures like Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Many Democrats and members of the Washington media previously called for a “special prosecutor” to investigate Russian influence on the election and connections with the Trump campaign. Not surprisingly, once you actually made the decision to appoint a special counsel, the calls for further investigations by congressional committees continued, focused on allegations that have heretofore produced no evidence of criminality, despite the fact that over a year has passed since the opening of the original FBI investigation. Political gamesmanship continues to saturate anything and everything associated with reactions to President Trump’s executive decisions, and reveals the hypocrisy of those who refuse to allow the Special Counsel’s investigation to proceed without undue political influence. It is an unfortunate state of affairs.

Among other things, the letter specifically highlights the inappropriate handling of the Clinton investigation by James Comey and efforts on the part of Loretta Lynch to obstruct justice in order to assist a political ally.

Your stated rationale for recommending Director Comey’s termination as FBI Director was his mishandling of former Secretary Clinton’s email investigation and associated public disclosures concerning the investigation’s findings. We believe this was the correct decision. It is clear that Director Comey contributed to the politicization of the FBI’s investigations by issuing his public statement, nominating himself as judge and jury, rather than permitting career DOJ prosecutors to make the final decision. But many other questions remain unanswered, due to Mr. Comey’s premature and inappropriate decision, as well as the Obama Justice Department’s refusal to respond to legitimate Congressional oversight. Last week, the Republican Members of this Committee sent a letter to the Justice Department, asking for responses to those unanswered inquiries. These questions cannot, for history’s sake and for the preservation of an impartial system of justice, be allowed to die on the vine.

As we referenced above, Democrats and the mainstream media called for a special counsel to be appointed to investigate any Russian influence on President Trump’s campaign. Their pleas were answered, but there are many questions that may be outside the scope of Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. This was clear following Mr. Comey’s recent testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, 2017, which ignited renewed scrutiny of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and the actions she took to mislead the public concerning the investigation into the Clinton email investigation.Last year, this Committee inquired repeatedly about the circumstances surrounding that and other matters, but our inquiries were largely ignored.

During his testimony, Mr. Comey referenced a meeting on the Phoenix airport tarmac between Ms. Lynch and former President Bill Clinton. Mr. Comey raised concerns about Ms. Lynch’s conduct, and questioned her independence, stating:

At one point, the attorney general had directed me not to call it an investigation, but instead to call it a matter, which confused me and concerned me. That was one of the bricks in the load that led me to conclude, ‘I have to step away from the department if we’re to close this case credibly.

And here is the full list of things the “Second Special Counsel” would be instructed to investigate:

1.  Then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch directing Mr. Comey to mislead the American people on the nature of the Clinton investigation;

2.  The shadow cast over our system of justice concerning Secretary Clinton and her involvement in mishandling classified information;

3.  FBI and DOJ’s investigative decisions related to former Secretary Clinton’s email investigation, including the propriety and consequence of immunity deals given to potential Clinton co-conspirators Cheryl Mills, Heather Samuelson, John Bentel and possibly others;

4.  The apparent failure of DOJ to empanel a grand jury to investigate allegations of mishandling of classified information by Hillary Clinton and her associates;

5.  The Department of State and its employees’ involvement in determining which communications of Secretary Clinton’s and her associates to turn over for public scrutiny;

6.  WikiLeaks disclosures concerning the Clinton Foundation and its potentially unlawful international dealings;

7.  Connections between the Clinton campaign, or the Clinton Foundation, and foreign entities, including those from Russia and Ukraine;

8.  Mr. Comey’s knowledge of the purchase of Uranium One by the company Rosatom, whether the approval of the sale was connected to any donations made to the Clinton Foundation, and what role Secretary Clinton played in the approval of that sale that had national security ramifications;

9.  Disclosures arising from unlawful access to the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) computer systems, including inappropriate collusion between the DNC and the Clinton campaign to undermine Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign;

10.  Post-election accusations by the President that he was wiretapped by the previous Administration, and whether Mr. Comey and Ms. Lynch had any knowledge of efforts made by any federal agency to unlawfully monitor communications of then-candidate Trump or his associates;

11.  Selected leaks of classified information related to the unmasking of U.S. person identities incidentally collected upon by the intelligence community, including an assessment of whether anyone in the Obama Administration, including Mr. Comey, Ms. Lynch, Ms. Susan Rice, Ms. Samantha Power, or others, had any knowledge about the “unmasking” of individuals on then candidate-Trump’s campaign team, transition team, or both;

12.  Admitted leaks by Mr. Comey to Columbia University law professor, Daniel Richman, regarding conversations between Mr. Comey and President Trump, how the leaked information was purposefully released to lead to the appointment of a special counsel, and whether any classified information was included in the now infamous “Comey memos”;

13.  Mr. Comey’s and the FBI’s apparent reliance on “Fusion GPS” in its investigation of the Trump campaign, including the company’s creation of a “dossier” of information about Mr. Trump, that dossier’s commission and dissemination in the months before and after the 2016 election, whether the FBI paid anyone connected to the dossier, and the intelligence sources of Fusion GPS or any person or company working for Fusion GPS and its affiliates; and

14.  Any and all potential leaks originated by Mr. Comey and provide to author Michael Schmidt dating back to 1993.

Seems the gauntlet has officially been thrown down…what say you Mr. Sessions?

Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

Why Economists Cannot Forecast Recessions

by Alasdair Macleod, GoldMoney: The purpose of this article is to draw the widest attention to the chronic inability of the economic establishment to forecast recessions. Next time you hear an economist make a prediction on mainstream media, your default assumption should be he or she is simply wrong.

Why do I allege this? An IMF economist, Prakash Loungani, did some interesting research in 2000 about the accuracy of economists’ forecasts. Using data taken from a publication called Consensus Forecasts (published by Consensus Economics), which is widely used as a source of independent estimates of economic growth by individual governments, Loungani found that of the 60 recessions recorded since 1989 in the 63 countries sampled, only two were forecast in April the year before and two-thirds remained undetected in the April of the year they occurred. Furthermore, analysts’ forecasts emanating from both private and public sector economists were little different, and had a strong bias towards optimism.i

Loungani was recently interviewed for a BBC programme, updating his original paper. In that interview, he claimed that over three decades, of the 150 recessions recorded only two had been forecast, implying that since the turn of the century no recessions had been forecast at all.ii The failure rate has increased to 100{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}, not decreased, as might be expected from economic models that are updated in the light of experience. Unsurprisingly, Loungani admitted he was unpopular amongst his peers for disclosing their complete and utter failure.

It is a timely reminder that the Queen’s apposite question in late 2008, about the failure of economists to predict the great financial crisis, hit the nail on the head. In an example of unintended humour, a consensus of macroeconomists, constituting the economic establishment, then considered the matter and over a year later wrote a three-page letter to Her Majesty, explaining why it was not their fault, and importantly, not the fault of their method. They summarised it as follows:

“…. the failure to foresee the timing, extent and severity of the crisis and to head it off, while it had many causes, was principally a failure of the collective imagination of many bright people, both in this country and internationally, to understand the risks to the system as a whole.”iii

In other words, understanding risk is a financial function conducted in markets, not a function of economic prediction. Yet, despite the failure of the academic community to add any predictive value to our lives, they are still relied upon by governments as the basis for managing the economy and to forecast tax revenues. Forecasts are central to economic management. Unless you can predict or measure the outcome, economic policy has no justification and should not be embarked upon. The continuing, total failure of the macroeconomic establishment to quantify the effects of the policies they recommend would not be permitted in a rational world. Their version of the dismal science offers no benefit to humanity.

IMF and Brexit

Despite the evidence from an IMF economist of their own total incompetence, the IMF has not acknowledged the futility of forecasting economic outcomes. It also seems that when they try to forecast a recession, instead of mistakenly forecasting economic growth at rates that turn out to be too optimistic, they get that wrong as well. They warned, along with the Bank of England and the Treasury, that a vote for Brexit would be an economic disaster for the UK. Instead, the economy has prospered, with unemployment falling to the lowest in forty years. They warned that industrial investment would collapse. Instead, it continued at an accelerated pace, once the uncertainty caused by the establishment’s negativism had ended with the referendum. They warned that the City would suffer badly, frozen out of EU markets. The City continues to prosper. The one time the establishment, including the IMF, the UK Treasury and the Bank of England, decided to forecast a recession as opposed to continued growth, it got it completely wrong.

Only last week, the IMF decided to have another try, with an update to its World Economic Outlook, issued 19th July. Here is an example of the IMF’s suppositions:

“The outcome of the U.K. vote, which surprised global financial markets, implies the materialization of an important downside risk for the world economy. As a result, the global outlook for 2016-17 has worsened, despite the better-than-expected performance in early 2016”iv

So, having admitted it got its forecast for the UK completely wrong, now Brexit is an excuse for the IMF’s downward revision of previously too optimistic expectations. It seems Brexit is so much against the establishment play-book, they cannot leave it alone. However, it is hard to resist the temptation to conclude that as a contrary indicator, the WEO is positive news for the British and global economies.

There is a simple explanation for this unmitigated forecasting failure, overlooked by the planners. While the distortions and unintended consequences of monetary and economic interventions accumulate and occasionally trigger a crisis, the rest of the time people just get on with their lives. They do not sit on their hands and await instructions from government economists as to how they should behave. Consequently, state interventions have limited, if unpredictable results.

Why economic forecasting will never work

The unblemished record of bad advice from mainstream economists is truly staggering, yet collectively we still believe in it. Part of the problem is systemic, with any dissenter from the broad consensus asking for trouble. Far better, surely, for a career economist to keep his head down and not gain a reputation amongst his peers as a maverick. That explains, and justifies, group-thinking conformity. But it still doesn’t fully explain the almost perfect non-correlation between economic forecasts and outcomes.

Read More @ GoldMoney.com

Demand for Physical Gold Up, Supply Down in First Half of 2017

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by Peter Schiff, Schiff Gold: It’s easy to get caught up in what the Fed will do next, or the latest political brouhaha in Washington D.C. And of course, this stuff matters. But when it comes to gold, you should never lose sight of fundamentals.
Nothing is more fundamental than supply and demand. Based on the GFMS Gold Survey 2017 H1 Update Outlook, the fundamentals for gold are trending in a positive direction. Demand is pushing upward, while supply is falling.

Demand for physical gold rose to 1,895 tons in the first half of 2017, a 17{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} increase over the same period last year.

Comparing the first and second quarter of this year also reveals an upward trend. Demand climbed in Q2 2017 to 957 tons. That was up from 938 tons in Q1, a 2{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} increase.

Meanwhile, total supply dropped 5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in the first half of the year. Mine output was stagnant, falling by 0.2{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}. Production dropped precipitously in China and Australia, the world’s number one and number two producers. The amount of scrap gold also fell, helping to drive the decline in supply.

In many ways, the demand increase signals a return to normalcy after a tumultuous 2016.

After the rollercoaster ride of events for the gold market in 2016, from a jewelers’ strike to Brexit to Trump to demonetization, 2017 has avoided similar dramatic events in the first half, at least from a gold perspective with far right candidates seeing little success in a range of European countries. Indeed the first half of this year has arguably been more of a reversion to normality across much of the gold market, with neither the highs (of ETF demand) or lows (of truly pitiful Asian demand) that were recorded in the first half of 2016 being repeated.”

While the trends are positive, demand still hasn’t returned to 2015 levels. Despite falling supply, there was a market surplus of 138 tons in the first six months of this year, compared to a balanced market during the same period of 2016.

Indian demand was a big factor in pushing global demand higher. Gold imports into the country have already topped the total for all of 2016. Indian gold demand in Q2 surged by 126{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-on-year. Demand for gold in India hit the highest level in the last six quarters. India imported 272 tons of gold in Q2 2017, up from 78 tons in the same period last year.

While Indians rushed to buy gold, Americans sat on the sidelines. Investment in physical gold in the US plunged 40{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-on-year, falling to 18.5 tons.

This staggering decline was mainly driven by a generally weak investment appetite for gold combined with very low coin fabrication.”

Read More @ SchiffGold.com

The U.S. Empire Continues to Stumble Towards Ruin

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by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg: There is a true law, a right reason, conformable to nature, universal, unchangeable, eternal, whose commands urge us to duty, and whose prohibitions restrain us from evil. Whether it enjoins or forbids, the good respect its injunctions, and the wicked treat them with indifference. This law cannot be contradicted by any other law, and is not liable either to derogation or abrogation.

Neither the senate nor the people can give us any dispensation for not obeying this universal law of justice. It needs no other expositor and interpreter than our own conscience. It is not one thing at Rome and another at Athens; one thing today and another tomorrow; but in all times and nations this universal law must for ever reign, eternal and imperishable. It is the sovereign master and emperor of all beings. God himself is its author,—its promulgator,—its enforcer. He who obeys it not, flies from himself, and does violence to the very nature of man. For his crime he must endure the severest penalties hereafter, even if he avoid the usual misfortunes of the present life.

– Marcus Tullius Cicero

There’s been a lot going on this week, so it’s unsurprising that an extremely important vote in Congress failed to get the attention it deserves. What I’m referring to is the recent Russia/Iran/North Korea sanctions bill passed by the House of Representatives in a frighteningly lopsided 419-3 vote.

Let’s turn to Bloomberg for a quick analysis on the Russian reaction:

Russia threatened to retaliate against new sanctions passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, saying they made it all but impossible to achieve the Trump administration’s goal of improved relations.

The measures push U.S.-Russia ties into uncharted territory and “don’t leave room for the normalization of relations” in the foreseeable future, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Wednesday, according to the Interfax news service.

Hope “is dying” for improved relations because the scale of “the anti-Russian consensus in Congress makes dialogue impossible and for a long time,” Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the international affairs committee in Russia’s upper house of parliament, said on Facebook. Russia should prepare a response to the sanctions that’s “painful for the Americans,” he said.

The bill, passed by a vote of 419-3 on Tuesday, would strengthen sanctions against Russia less than three weeks after President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held their first official meeting at the Group of 20 summit. The measure, which now goes to the Senate, would let Congress block any effort by Trump to unilaterally weaken sanctions imposed under the Obama administration for Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections and its support for separatists in Ukraine. The White House has sent mixed signals about whether Trump will sign the bill.

U.S. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said Wednesday that senators want to examine North Korea sanctions added to the bill by the House. If senators insist on changes to the bill, passage could be delayed, possibly until September, when lawmakers return from a recess.

“We all want this to become law before we leave here for the recess,” Corker told reporters in Washington. He added: “The White House doesn’t like this bill. The State Department doesn’t like this bill. This bill is going to become law, OK.

The sanctions are “pretty sad from the viewpoint of Russian-American relations and prospects for developing them, and no less depressing from the perspective of international law and international trade,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Wednesday on a conference call. Putin will decide on a response if the bill becomes law, he said.

Trump will sign the law because “he’s a prisoner of Congress and anti-Russian hysteria,” Alexei Pushkov, a senator in Russia’s upper house of parliament, said on Twitter. The sanctions are “a new stage of confrontation,” he said.

Russia has prepared “economic and political measures that will be adopted if the Senate and Trump support the bill,” said Vladimir Dzhabarov, deputy chairman of the international affairs committee in the upper house, the RIA Novosti news service reported. Relations with the U.S. “are at such a low level that we have nothing to lose” by retaliating, he said.

To summarize, the entire House of Representatives other than three Republicans, Justin Amash of Michigan, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, and John Duncan of Tennessee, voted for this thing. Not a single Democrat voted against the sanctions.

We supposedly live in a “representative democracy,” but 99{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of our so-called representatives voted for this bill. Does this really represent the will of 99{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the public? These are the kind of numbers you’d expect to see in totalitarian states, and the ironic thing is the vote was driven by a desire to put a stop to supposedly fascist Trump. We’ve got much bigger problems than Trump.

Michael Tracey put it perfectly on Twitter earlier today:

The complete conformity of views in the political/media class re: sanctions — virtually no dissent at all — should be a major warning sign

— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) July 26, 2017

As troubling as the bill is for relations with nuclear armed Russia where tensions are already high, the response from European allies is arguably more concerning.

Read More @ LibertyBlitzkrieg.com

Hegemony is a Three-Player Game

by Jim Rickards, DailyReckoning: Three-player games are easy to model — it’s always two against one. The art of geopolitics and examining hegemony powers in such situations is to be part of a duo that pressures the remaining player, or, at a minimum, keep the other two players separated.

This is basic balance-of-power politics as practiced since the rise of Napoleon (1799), with antecedents in the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), and Machiavelli’s The Prince (1532).

The case for normalizing relations between Russia and the U.S. rests on the coming confrontation between the U.S. and China. This confrontation stems from China’s refusal to help the U.S. deal decisively with North Korea, which is pushing the U.S. toward a pre-emptive war on the Korean peninsula.

Other flashpoints with China include conflicting claims in the South China Sea, currency manipulation, trade subsidies, theft of intellectual property, and cyber-warfare.

These conflicts were held in abeyance while China was given “100 days” (from the Mar-a-Lago summit on April 6, 2017 to July 15, 2017) to help with North Korea. Now that the 100 days are up and China has failed to deliver, the gloves are off. The months ahead will witness increasing tension and specific actions by the U.S. aimed at China.

To secure the U.S. position in this conflict and as a simple matter of statecraft, the U.S. needs improved relations with Russia as an offset to deteriorating relations with China.

Russia can assist the U.S. is numerous ways. First and foremost is Syria. Russia and the U.S., along with indigenous forces from Iraq, Jordan and the UAE, are well down the path of eliminating ISIS as a political entity. (ISIS will remain as a terrorist incubator along with Al Qaeda franchises and their respective sympathizers).

A modus vivendi can be reached where Russia and their Ba’athist allies, U.S.-backed rebels, Kurds, and Turkey all have separate spheres of influence in Syria. The loser in this scenario is Iran, which has been a leading backer of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Russia can also help the United States on the North Korean dossier even though China has proved unable or unwilling to do so. Russia has enormous economic leverage in North Korea. Private intelligence service STRATFOR reported the following on July 11, 2017:

Russia shipped $2.3 million worth of oil products to North Korea between January and April 2017, a 200 percent increase, Yonhap and Korea Times reported July 11. Last year, North Korea reportedly turned to Russia after experiencing difficulty securing oil supplies from China. A North Korean defector suggested Russia supplies North Korea with 200,000 to 300,000 tons of fuel annually via a company in Singapore. North Korea’s increased dependence on Russian fuel indicates its anticipation of tougher international sanctions following its recent intercontinental ballistic missile launch on July 4.

By stepping into China’s shoes as a supplier to North Korea, Russia has increased its leverage over North Korea and therefore has increased its ability to assist the United States. This type of leverage is one of the few paths to a resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue without resorting to war. It is of enormous value to the U.S. and argues in favor of improved U.S.-Russian relations.

The foregoing is an overview of the greatest political struggle in the world today. The nationalists and realists want to improve U.S. relations with Russia. The globalists are horrified at the prospect and want to maintain warm relations with China while isolating Russia.

Hegemony and Geopolitical Struggle

The White House has already decided in favor of Russia. The problem is how to execute that plan in the face of withering attacks about phony scandals from the media, Democrats, resistance and globalists.

Read More @ DailyReckoning.com

Markets Relax Merrily on a Powerful Time Bomb

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by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street:

Magnitude unknown but huge. Brokerages push it to new heights.

Stock and bond market leverage is everywhere. Some of it is transparent, such as NYSE margin debt which was $539 billion as of the June report. But the hottest form of stock and bond market leverage is opaque, offered by financial firms that usually don’t disclose the totals: securities-based loans (SBLs) — or “shadow margin” because no one knows how much of it there is. But it’s a lot. And it’s booming.

These loans can be used for anything – pay for tuition, fix up that kitchen, or fund a vacation. The money is spent, the loan remains. When security prices fall, the problems begin.

Finra, the regulator for brokerages, doesn’t track this shadow margin, nor does the SEC. Both, however, have been warning about the risks. No one knows the overall amount of this shadow margin, but some details have been reported:

Morgan Stanley had $36 billion of these loans on its balance sheet as of the end of 2016, up 26{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} from 2016, and more than twice the amount in 2013. Bank of America Merrill Lynch had $40 billion in SBLs on the balance sheet at the end of 2016, up 140{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} from 2010; UBS and Wells Fargo “also have made billions in such loans, people familiar with those banks” told the Wall Street Journal. Raymond James, Stifel Nicolaus… they’re all doing it. Fidelity used to fund its own SBLs for its clients, but three years ago partnered with US Bancorp. Even the little ones are trying to get their slice of the pie: In April, robo-advisory startup Wealthfront, with less than $6 billion, announced that it would offer SBLs to its clients.

And now Goldman Sachs, which has been offering SBLs to its 12,000 super-wealthy clients through its Private Banking unit — accounting “for more than half of the unit’s $29 billion in loans outstanding,” according to the Wall Street Journal — announced on Thursday that this wasn’t enough and that it is partnering with Fidelity Investments to spread these loans far and wide.

This effort to lever up investors’ portfolios occurs after an eight-year bull run, with stock indices hopping from one all-time high to the next even as the economy has been growing at a dreadfully slow pace and even as corporate earnings have mostly gone nowhere for years.

Since July 2012, the trailing 12-month “adjusted” earnings-per-share of the companies in the S&P 500 rose just 12{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in total. Over the same period, the S&P 500 Index itself soared 80{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}.

Read More @ WolfStreet.com

GOLD UP $ 10.45 WITH SILVER UP 13 CENTS/GOLD/SILVER EQUITY SHARES FLOUNDER AT THE END OF THE DAY SIGNALLING A POSSIBLE RAID TOMORROW

EU IS FORCING 3 COUNTRIES TO ACCEPT MIGRANTS AGAINST THEIR WISHES/SWITZERLAND FOR ITS 2ND CONSECUTIVE MONTH EXPORTS MORE GOLD THAN IT IMPORTS: IT HAS 0 MINING OPERATIONS IN ALL OF SWITZERLANDfrom Harvey Organ:

In silver, the total open interest surprisingly ROSE BY 1352 contracts from 206,347 UP to 207,699 DESPITE THE FALL IN PRICE THAT SILVER TOOK WITH YESTERDAY’S TRADING (DOWN 9 CENT(S). YESTERDAY AGAIN THE COMMERCIALS TRIED IN VAIN TO COVER BUT TO NO AVAIL. EVEN WITH THE HELP OF OPTIONS EXPIRY THEY COULD NOT GET THE SILVER LONGS TO LEAVE THE SILVER TREE. THE SPECS SHORTS ALSO DESPERATELY TRIED TO COVER THEIR SHORTFALL. RELUCTANTLY THE BANKERS CONTINUED TO SUPPLY THE SHORT PAPER.

In ounces, the OI is still represented by just OVER 1 BILLION oz i.e. 1.04 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 148{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT MAY MONTH/ THEY FILED: 112 NOTICE(S) FOR 560,000 OZ OF SILVER

In gold, the total comex gold AFTER A ONE DAY HIATUS FELL BY A WHOPPING 13,506 CONTRACTS WITH THE FALL IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($2.25 with YESTERDAY’S TRADING). The total gold OI stands at 450,321 contracts. The liquidation in the front month has now resumed where we left off on Tuesday as spec longs liquidated their comex contracts FOR EFP CONTRACTS which gives them a fiat bonus plus a future delivery product which most likely is a London based forward. (It was extremely strange yesterday to witness WEDNESDAY’s huge OI gain..maybe an error from the CME.)

we had 4 notice(s) filed upon for 400 oz of gold.

Read More @ Harveyorganblog.com

Total Government And Personal Debt In The U.S. Has Hit 41 Trillion Dollars ($329,961.34 Per Household)

by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse Blog:

We are living in the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world. In 1980, total government and personal debt in the United States was just over the 3 trillion dollar mark, but today it has surpassed 41 trillion dollars. That means that it has increased by almost 14 times since Ronald Reagan was first elected president. I am searching for words to describe how completely and utterly insane this is, but I am coming up empty. We are slowly but surely committing national suicide, and yet most Americans don’t even understand what is happening.

According to 720 Global, total government debt plus total personal debt in the United States was just over 3 trillion dollars in 1980. That broke down to $38,552 per household, and that figure represented 79 percent of median household income at the time.

Today, total government debt plus total personal debt in the United States has blown past the 41 trillion dollar mark. When you break that down, it comes to $329,961.34 per household, and that figure represents 584 percent of median household income.

If anyone can make a good argument that we are not in very serious debt trouble, I would love to hear it.

And remember, the figures above don’t even include corporate debt. They only include government debt on the federal, state and local levels, and all forms of personal debt.

So do you have $329,961.34 ready to pay your share of the debt that we have accumulated?

Nobody that I know could write that kind of a check. The truth is that as a nation we are flat broke. The only way that the game can keep going is for all of us to borrow increasingly larger sums of money, but of course that is not sustainable by any definition.

Eventually we are going to slam into a wall and the game will be over.

One of my pet peeves is the national debt. Our politicians spend money in some of the most ridiculous ways imaginable, and yet no matter how much we complain about it nothing ever seems to change.

For example, the U.S. military actually spends 42 million dollars a year on Viagra.

Yes, you read that correctly.

42 million of your tax dollars are being spent on Viagra every year.

And overall spending on “erectile dysfunction medicines” each year comes to a grand total of 84 million dollars…

According to data from the Defense Health Agency, DoD actually spent $41.6 million on Viagra — and $84.24 million total on erectile dysfunction prescriptions — last year.

And since 2011, the tab for drugs like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra totals $294 million — the equivalent of nearly four U.S. Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

Is this really where our spending on “national defense” should be going? We are nearly 20 trillion dollars in debt, and yet we continue to spend money like there is no tomorrow. For much more on the exploding size of our national debt and the very serious implications that this has for our future, please see my previous article entitled “Would You Like To Steal 128 Million Dollars?

I didn’t think that our debt bubble could ever possibly get this big, but I didn’t think that our stock market bubble could ever possibly get quite get this large either. For a few moments, I would like for you to consider a list of facts about this stock market bubble that was recently published by Zero Hedge

The S&P 500 Cyclically Adjusted Price to Earnings (CAPE) valuation has only been greater on one occasion, the late 1990s. It is currently on par with levels preceding the Great Depression.

Read More @ TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com

The Most Precious Metals Bullish I’ve Ever Been

by Andy Hoffman, Miles Franklin:

Today is a very big day for me – at least, in my mind. As, at five years, nine months, my employment with Miles Franklin has officially tied the previous longest job of my career – at Salomon Smith Barney, from May 1999 through February 2005. After which, I spent five years working for numerous mining companies – all of whom, either went bankrupt or otherwise failed. Thus, when I was afforded the opportunity to “move up the totem pole” of stability in October 2011 – as Marketing Director of one of America’s oldest, most trusted bullion dealers – I jumped at the chance. Since then, the partnership I formed with the firm’s owners, David and Andy Schectman; and brokerage and back office team – most of whom, have been with the firm for decades – has been, in my view, extremely successful. To that end, I look forward to serving the Precious Metals community for “as long as it takes,” until the war we are fighting with the powers that be is inevitably – and hopefully, imminently – won.

That said, I intend to make significant waves on this day of extremely important personal achievement. As, per today’s title, I am departing significantly from my “box” of industry commentator – with a more forceful statement of what I anticipate. Sure, I could be wrong; but as the title of my July 18th SGT Report podcast states – taped when gold was $1,240/oz – I foresee “no more downside to Precious Metals.” And no, I don’t mean they can’t go down at all; but instead, that the supply/demand fundamentals have become so positive on an absolute basis; and more so, relative to their historically suppressed prices; that I view their all-in risk/reward profiles as the most favorable in the 15 years I have been watching this sector, tick for tick.

Yes, I know four pieces of economic propaganda – I mean, “data” – are coming out an hour from now; and the “all-important” GDP report tomorrow, rivaled only by the CPI and NFP jobs report in the amount of politically-motivated accounting gimmickry they are subject to. However, it’s starting to feel like gold and silver are becoming “immunized” to “bad news” like “better than expected” economic data. And now that Janet Yellen “sealed the deal for no rate hikes until at least December (expectations fell to 0{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} for September and 48{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} for December) after yesterday’s uber-dovish FOMC policy statement; it’s difficult to envision the dollar demonstrating material strength any time soon, unless something really bad occurs in Europe.

Which of course, would be wildly PM-bullish. As irrespective, per what I discussed in the five “if a nuclear bomb destroyed Europe” articles penned over the past three years, the “dollar index”; which is largely a proxy for the dollar/Euro exchange rate; is in reality, immaterial to the dollar-priced gold and silver. To the contrary, they are determined by supply/demand factors in dollars; and given the accelerating tsunami of dollar-negative events coming our way; as PM prices trade at all-time inflation-adjusted lows; it’s difficult to envision an environment where prices do not, at the least, challenge last year’s post BrExit highs in the coming months, en route to much higher levels thereafter.

Amidst the historic price suppression, and most violently PiMBEEB – or Precious Metal bullish, everything-else-bearish” – environment in memory, PM sentiment has been driven to levels not experienced in my entire 15 years in the sector. And yet, gold is, on average, no more than 15{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} below its all-time high in nearly all fiat currencies. Not to mention, it – and silver – are up roughly 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} from their ultimate bottoms of December 2015; “coincidentally,” the week the Fed first raised rates. This, as the most manic COMEX “commercial” short covering ever is ongoing – to the point that in both metals, their cumulative net short positions are at lows last seen in…drum roll please…December 2015 – when gold and silver prices were significantly lower than today.

Everywhere I look, lies, propaganda, and manipulation have caused chaos in the world of Precious Metal “analysis” – particularly from those incented to pretend markets are freely traded, who literally ignore “sixth sigma” price movements in their pursuit of remaining mainstream. For instance, this “veteran trader” – who claims gold’s value will never be “allowed” to be realized. Or the top Bitcoin technical analyst – who is actually quite good in Bitcoin; who is constantly calling for sub-$1,000 gold due to the “weak technicals” the charts paint – despite his admission that he has always been wrong about this prediction; and that frankly, gold’s enigmatic price moves have him “puzzled.” Or, best of all, “wrong way Harry” Dent – who a year ago, predicted “$700 gold by mid-2017.” And then there’s Wall Street – which considers gold its mortal enemy; and the Precious Metal “newsletter writers” who pretend they have proprietary technical knowledge. And of course, Central bankers, which view gold the way vampires view the light of day.

The problem is, that essentially everything their “research” is predicated on is either fatally flawed or purposely influenced. As no matter what angle one takes, of how the world has “changed” or whatnot, Precious Metals always have, and always will be, effective stores of value; particularly when this, the most egregious price suppression scheme ever concocted, runs its course. And in my view, per what I have been writing of endlessly in recent weeks, this scheme is nearing the end of its rope. Supply-wise, gold and silver production – platinum, too – are expected to plunge in the coming decade, have decidedly peaked in 2015. This, as the malignant, terminal stage of history’s largest, most destructive fiat Ponzi scheme causes Central bank money printing – already, at record-high levels – to go parabolic. Not to mention, as the inventories of above-ground, available-for-sale metal have been taken down to mere fumes by Central banks and governments – most notably, the United States – in misguided, unwinnable efforts to prolong the dying status quo.

And then there’s the actual news flow; starting with the ugliest global economic environment of our lifetimes, save a few “deer in headlights” moments post-9/11, and at the height of the 2008 Financial Crisis – featuring all-time high, parabolically rising debt that can only be serviced with record low; in many cases, negative; interest rates. Next, the historic wealth inequality a decade of historic money printing and market manipulation has caused – which in turn, has catalyzed social upheaval the world round; even in the U.S., where Donald Trump was elected President.

Read More @ MilesFranklin.com

Keiser Report: MAGAnomics (E1102)

from RT:

In this episode of the Keiser Report’s annual Summer Solutions series, Max and Stacy talk to JP Sottile of Newsvandal.com about whether or not MAGAnomics will help make America Great Again. They discuss trade deals and automation: which has played more in making American jobs not so great. They also look at the role of opioid addiction and whether or not a universal basic income might help the likes of Mark Zuckerberg maintain monopoly-style control over the internet.

Are We Becoming Western Money Slaves?

by Peter Koenig, Information Clearing House: Electronic money, a cashless society, is perhaps the ultimate and most direct means of the New World Order (NWO), also called One World Order (OWO), to control us all via its financial system. A system that the NWO would like to maintain as the world’s financial system, albeit, it has already been reduced to the western world’s financial system.

Why reduced to the Occident? – Because the Orient, China, Russia and the other countries belonging to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and to the Eurasia Economic Union (EEU) have already largely delinked themselves from the western dollar-based system of fraud. They are saved from slavehood.

This reminds of one of the oldest and world’s worst criminal agent against humanity – still alive and kicking – Henry Kissinger:

“Who controls food, controls the people; who controls energy controls entire continents; and who controls money controls the world.”

He is, of course, right on all fronts, and has given us this clue already more than 40 years ago. But nobody has really seriously taken it to heart and acted upon these edicts.

Many, including me, have written about freeing the world from the NWO money control.

Deglobalizing would be a first step towards freeing us all from the bloody claws of the Washington implemented, and Dark State directed NWO.

Critics often talk of an overhaul and reform of the system. This monetary system cannot be reformed. It is privately owned and rotten to the core. None of the private owners, the Rothschild, Rockefeller clans et al, would allow interfering with their wealth, usurped of the back of the world’s workers and populace at large. Former attempts (e.g. under JFK)  to bring the FED (Federal Reserve) under national reign, have resulted in failure.

Compare the dollar-based monetary system to the European Union – which cannot be reformed either. Any ‘reform’ is just fiddling at the margins – as is inherent in the term ‘reform’. And that’s not good enough. As we know by now, the EU was not the construct of Europeans, per se, but an idea behind the ‘deep state’, already at the onset of Phase II of the Great Hundred Year War (WWII – September 1939 to September 1945). Phase I (WWI – 1914 – 1918), as well as Phase II were induced to weaken Europe, to make her ready for full domination.

Imagine a ‘Picador’ of a Spanish bullfight, whose job it is to weaken the bull to the point where the torero and matador have a relatively easy task subduing and killing the bull. Well, Europe is the bull. They don’t want to kill Europe altogether, good old Lady Europe, because they need her as a stepping stone for subjugating the rest of the world, for vital trade that helps justifying and generating the unlimited dollar machine – and, as a cushion to the East, where massive military troops and weapons can be stationed in the name of NATO, to eventually launch, what they would like to think, is the final blow on the East, starting with Russia.

For all this the European (non)-Union was created, her Brussels hub, dominated by the non-elected European Commission (EC) which also dictates most of the rules imposed on her 28-member states – and which are all not-so-coincidentally run by neoliberal, some close to neofascist governments. Of course, by adhering to the Brussels dictate, they have become devoid of national sovereignty. That is a must. A sovereign country would not submit to the horrors of police state and militarization that are in the coming. The euro with the Wall Street (Goldman Sachs – GS) run European Central Bank (ECB) is just a logical add-on to the fake EU. By now, many serious scholars have concluded that neither the EU nor the euro are sustainable, but are doomed to collapse sooner or later.

The EU and the euro are a complex construct, largely manipulated and carried forward by the Dark State’s main secret services, CIA, NSA, Mossad, MI6 with close collaboration of Europe’s national secret services. Hence, the creation of a complete political and monetary vassal, the European Union and her currency, equally fraudulent as its master currency, the US-dollar.

***

It is not by chance that today’s western US-dollar based monetary system, with its center, the Federal Reserve (FED), has been created just at the onset of Phase I of the Hundred Year war, i.e. WWI. In 1910, Rhode Island Senator, Nelson Aldrich, with his heart close to the world of bankers, organized a ”hunting trip” for five top Wall Street (WS) bankers to travel in disguise by train to Jekyll Island, off the coast of Georgia, where they concocted in a few days the concept of the modern FED – which was to become the ‘mother’ of the new dollar-based world monetary system, now reduced to the western monetary system. The Federal Reserve Act was signed into law in December 1913 by President Woodrow Wilson.

On his death bed, in 1924 Wilson apparently declared,

“I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.”

The FED, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS – also called the central bank of all central banks, manipulating gold prices and currency exchanges), as well as the related dollar-machine are totally privately owned. On top of the owner pyramid are the Rothschild and Rockefeller clans, et al. Henceforth, all international monetary transactions had to transit through a WS bank, be it in New York or London. This is the only reason why the US government, i.e. Washington and its dark handlers, are able to hand out economic and financial ‘sanctions’ as they please, to control those, who do not want to bend to their dictate.

Read More @ Informationclearinghouse.info