from Peter Schiff:
by Jim Rickards, Daily Reckoning:
Many investors are familiar with the fact that President Franklin Roosevelt closed all of the banks in America and confiscated all of the privately-owned gold by executive order in the early days of his administration, which began in 1933.
Presidents since then have seized assets from countries such as Iran, Syria, North Korea and Cuba and imposed sanctions on Russia and many other countries by executive order.
Yet, relatively few are familiar with the statutory authority for these orders.
The president does not need an act of Congress to support such extreme actions. The laws have already been passed and the president has standing authority to act like a dictator with regard to financial assets.
by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street:
For a prisoner exchange between Switzerland and Spain?
Hervé Falciani, the French-Italian former HSBC employee who blew the whistle on HSBC and 130,000 global tax evaders in 2008, has been arrested in Madrid on Tuesday in response to an arrest warrant issued by Switzerland for breaking the country’s bank secrecy laws.
He lives in France, which rarely extradites its own citizens. But when Spanish authorities learned that he was in town to speak at a conference ominously titled, “When Telling the Truth is Heroic,” they made their move. If he is extradited to Switzerland he could face up to five years in prison.
by David Stockman, David Stockman’s Contra Corner:
The are few snarkier defenders of the current rotten financial status quo than Ben White of Politico’s Money Morning. So it’s not surprising that he is out this AM with the latest Trumb-o-phobe meme from Swamp Dweller’s Central.
To wit, the renewed stock market swoon is purportedly all the Donald’s fault owing to his unhinged tweet storms, protectionist trade initiatives and attacks on the casino’s sacred cow of the moment, Amazon:
WELCOME TO THE TRUMP SLUMP – President Donald Trump is killing his own stock market rally. The president’s tweet storm attacking Amazon and his protectionist trade actions against China and other nations helped crush the stock market on Monday with the Dow falling over 700 points in late afternoon trade before closing down 458, or close to 2 percent.
For much of the past year, we’ve been carefully monitoring developments in the high-end of the world’s ritziest property markets – cities like New York, London and Hong Kong as well as tony suburbs like Greenwich, Conn. – for warning signs that America’s torrid post-crisis real-estate rally could be nearly exhausted.
As US home prices have rocketed to within a hair’s breadth (1%) of their highs from 2006, we’ve pondered the question of whether this is a “market top” or a “breakout.” The high end, ultimately, could be the final piece of this puzzle.
by Pam Martens and Russ Martens, Wall St On Parade:
The 401(k) was never a genuine plan to help Americans better prepare for retirement. Like everything else that Wall Street spends hundreds of millions of dollars to lobby for each year, the 401(k) was a wealth-transfer mechanism to enrich the denizens of Wall Street while transforming the mindset of the rank and file worker into shareholder capitalists. The fantasy expanded as the “ownership society,” during the George W. Bush administration.
The Wall Street implosion of 2008-2009, which devastated the 401(k)s of most Americans and led to stress, anxiety and health issues for millions of hardworking citizens, should have been the wake up call to Congress on the need to return to corporate-funded pension plans known as Defined Benefit plans because they “define” a monthly payment that will be made at retirement age. The 401(k) promises no guaranteed monthly payment but simply lets workers roll the dice in the stock market or bond market while mutual fund fees drain the bulk of the return.