Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Could a Trade War Jump-Start a Breakout in Gold?

by Peter Schiff, Schiff Gold:

The trade war is heating up. Could it jump-start a breakout in gold?

Some analysts think so.

China fired a salvo in what could become a full-blown trade war on Monday. The Asian nation slapped tariffs of up to 25% on 128 US products including frozen pork, wine and steel pipes in retaliation for US tariffs levied on Chinese steel and aluminum.

Meanwhile, the US plans to impose more tariffs on China – this time targeting tech goods. The Trump administration will reportedly release a list of advanced technology imports targeted for tariffs totaling $50 to $60 billion. According to a Reuters report, “The tariffs are aimed at forcing changes to Chinese government policies that USTR says results in the ‘uneconomic’ transfer of US intellectual property to Chinese companies.”

America’s Fiscal Doomsday Machine

by David Stockman, DailyReckoning:

Maybe the Democrats did win the 2016 election. Or at least the the Deep State and its accomplices among the beltway political class, K-Street lobbies and the media did.

That’s because the media won a giant victory against something they deplore and despise more than anything else — the public debt ceiling. They sanctimoniously admonish that it’s a relic of the nation’s fiscally benighted past. They operate on a belief that this is an episodic tendency to threaten America’s credit and to offer Capitol Hill an opening to grandstand about the fiscal verities is a blight on orderly governance.

So the Donald’s latest burst of impetuosity — agreeing with Sen. Schumer to permanently abolish the public debt ceiling — has descended on the beltway like manna from heaven. Not Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter or even the Great Texas Porker, Lyndon Johnson, dared to utter the thought of it — at least not in polite company.

Suddenly, and notwithstanding all the good he has done disrupting the status quo, the Donald has become the foremost enemy of America’s very financial survival.

The Federal budget is a Fiscal Doomsday Machine. The depository of American wars and entitlements have run rampant. Under the pile drivers of a global empire and the retiring baby boom, it is rapidly propelling the nation toward fiscal catastrophe. That grim outcome is virtually guaranteed if the only remaining safety brake — the debt ceiling — is summarily abolished.

Due to entitlements, debt service and the slow pipeline of appropriated spending there is no such thing as an annual Federal budget or accountability for how much Uncle Sam spends and borrows. Instead, the $4.1 trillion that Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects the Federal government will spend in FY 2018, and the $563 billion it will borrow, reflects the dead hand of the past.

Entitlements and other mandatory spending alone is projected to reach $2.566 trillion or 63{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of total FY 2018 outlays.

Another $307 billion will be required for interest on the nation’s $20 trillion public debt, while upwards of half the $1.22 trillion for so-called “discretionary” or appropriated programs also reflects funds appropriated years ago.

Altogether, $3.5 trillion, or 85{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of outlays, will be essentially baked into the cake before a single Congressional vote is taken on anything regarding the FY 2018 budget.

The Federal spending machine is almost entirely on autopilot and heading for disaster owing to ballooning populations and debt. Ten years from now the combined cost of mandatory programs and debt service will reach $5.12 trillion compared to just $2.87 trillion during FY 2018.

Entitlement spending will be nearly double — even if Congress took a 10-year recess!

As shown below, that means the Federal spending share of GDP is now inexorably climbing toward 30{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} owing to baby boom retirements, even as revenue under current law is stuck at about 18{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of GDP. The CBO’s latest projection of the widening fiscal gap — soon more than 10{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of GDP annually — leaves nothing to the imagination.

America really does have in place a Fiscal Doomsday Machine.

The Fiscal Doomsday Gap Is Uncloseable — The Crisis Is Permanent

In the chart above, it is easy to see why the beltway argument — that we’ve already spent the money and must liquidate by borrowing whatever it takes — is so thoroughly wrong. The tidal forces driving the budget are so enormous and dangerous that some kind of automatic, institutionalized braking force is absolutely necessary.

The fiscal exigencies of empire, demographics and debt have now become insuperable.

In the case of demographics, it is all right here. The baby boom is retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day, and the wave will not crest until there are nearly 100 million Americans over 65 years of age — double today’s 50 million.

Needless to say, at an average cost of $35,000 per year for retirement pensions and medical care alone, the fiscal math becomes prohibitive.

The voting and political math is downright impossible, and has been that way for the last 34 years.

The last time any significant chunk was taken out of social security or medicare benefits was back in 1983 when the Congress did agree to the Greenspan Commission’s proposal to delay the payment date of the Social Security cost of living allowance (COLA) by the grand sum of 90 days on a one-time basis!

There was one other change, that I was personally involved in, that seals the case. Working with Greenspan we had narrowed the benefit cut options down to a binary choice and presented it to the swing vote on the commission. The latter happened to be 88 year-old Claude Pepper — a left-over from the New Deal era and champion of America’s elderly lobby.

Did he want a reduction in early retirement benefits immediately or an increase in the retirement age starting 30 years hence? Apparently, Senator Pepper concluded he would not live to be 118, and choose the second option!

All of that happened when the over 65 population was about 28 million, not 100 million.

Read More @ DailyReckoning.com

New AI That Makes Fake Videos May Be the End of Reality as We Know It

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by Jake Anderson, The Anti Media:

A new artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm is capable of manufacturing simulated video imagery that is indiscernible from reality, say researchers at Nvidia, a California-based tech company. AI developers at the company have released details of a new project that allows its AI to generate fake videos using only minimal raw input data. The technology can render a flawlessly realistic sequence showing what a sunny street looks like when it’s raining, for example, as well as what a cat or dog looks like as a different breed or even a person’s face with a different facial expression. And this is video —  not photo.

For their work, researchers tweaked a familiar algorithm, known as a generative adversarial network (GAN), to allow their AI to create fresh visual data. The technique involves playing two neural networks against each other, but Nvidia’s new program requires far less input and no labeled datasets. In other words, AI is getting much, much better at mimicking reality.



Nvidia researcher Ming-Yu Liu says it would normally require multiple pairs of datasets for an ‘image translation’ AI to generate this kind of information. The new iteration of GAN is a massive improvement and allows for the unsupervised growth of AI functionality.

“[And] there are many applications,” says Liu“For example, it rarely rains in California, but we’d like our self-driving cars to operate properly when it rains. We can use our method to translate sunny California driving sequences to rainy ones to train our self-driving cars.”

Read More @ TheAntiMedia.com

FBI Raids San Juan Government Offices as Part of Widespread Investigation Into Fraud

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by Cristina Laila, The Gateway Pundit:

Trump-hating Mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz

The FBI raided government offices in San Juan, Puerto Rico this week as part of an investigation into fraud and obstruction of justice charges.

An anonymous tipster called into the city comptroller’s office over how the corrupt mayor’s office awards government contracts – specifically, a $4.7 million deal with construction company BR Solutions, Fox News reported.

Very #FakeNews CNN Caught Editing Video to Make Trump Look Like a Feckless Boor in Japan (VIDEO)

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by Jim Hoft, The Gateway Pundit:

The liberal Trump-hating mainstream media is pushing more #FakeNews on Donald Trump today during his historic trip to Asia.

They want so desperately to paint the US president as some kind of rude American jerk.
And they won’t stop at anything to push their agenda.

Trump and Prime Minister Abe took time out to feed the koi in Japan.
President Trump dumped his box of fish food in the pond.

The media even tried to turn this moment into a Trump-bashing incident.

CNN claimed Trump got impatient and dumped his box into the pond.

They cropped in on the president for the shot.

This is CNN:

Read More @ TheGatewayPundit.com

Climbing the Milligram Ladder – Precious Metals Supply and Demand

by Pater Tenebrarum, Acting Man:

FRN Muscle Flexing

Shh, don’t tell the dollar-paradigm folks that the dollar went up 0.2mg gold this week. Or if that hasn’t blown your mind, the dollar went up 0.01 grams of silver.

It’s less uncomfortable to say that gold went down $10, and silver fell $0.08. It doesn’t force anyone to confront their deeply-held beliefs about money. But it does have its own Medieval retrograde motion to explain.

Bombshell Lawsuit Claims FBI Knowingly Hid Evidence from Congress of Explosives Used on 9/11

by Matt Agorist, The Free Thought Project:

The Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry has filed a joint federal lawsuit citing that the FBI knowingly failed to turn over key evidence of the use of pre-placed explosives in World Trade Centers 1,2, and 7.

In yet another major move from the great folks over at the Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry, Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, and 9/11 victim family members Robert McIlvaine and Barbara Krukowski-Rastelli, a joint federal lawsuit has been filed to assess any evidence the FBI may have known about that contributed to the destruction of the towers on 9/11 which they may have kept from Congress.

VEGAS SURVIVOR WHO DIED SUDDENLY HAD PLANNED GROUP TO EXPOSE COVER-UP

by Adan Salazar, Infowars:

Kymberley Suchomel believed media was covering up multiple shooters

A woman who died days after surviving the ill-fated October 1 country music festival in Las Vegas wanted to organize a survivor’s group in order to flesh out the strange event, Facebook conversations reveal.

Kymberley Suchomel, 28, died suddenly on October 9 at her Apple Valley, California, residence five days after posting her version of events to Facebook.

In the days following the massacre, friends reached out to Suchomel over a October 4 post in which she described someone setting off “fire crackers” near the venue, and detailed being chased by numerous people, concluding at one point “There was more than one gun firing. 100{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} more than one.”

One longtime friend of Suchomel’s, who asked to remain anonymous, provided Infowars with screenshots of a conversation he’d had with her, in which she indicated planning to “organize a group of survivors” in order “to piece things together.”

 

Read More @ Infowars.com

LYFT Stock IPO Mania is Wall Street’s Dead Canary

by Michael Pento, Market Oracle:

Recently, Wall Street has been myopically focused on the IPO of a ride-sharing company called Lyft, which by the way, is hemorrhaging money. Since investors have become much less concerned about profits and valuations, this offering was an incredible 20 times oversubscribed. Meaning, the underwriters received $47 billion of orders for Lyft shares but raised $2.3 billion. The company generated $2 billion in revenue last year and lost an incredible $911 billion! Investors rewarded this profligate business model with a market cap of $27 billion.

This is a great example that Wall Street has gone nuts. The Lyft IPO price was $72 per share and shot up to $88.60 on its first day of trading. But the following trading day those shares were down 24% from the high. Indeed, this is emblematic of the dead canary in Wall Street’s coal mine.