Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Cryptocurrencies: Modern Day Alchemy

by Michael Pento, Market Oracle:

Cryptocurrencies make good currencies, but fail miserably when trying to achieve the status of money.

Cryptocurrencies are both created and held electronically inside a virtual wallet. These digital currencies use encryption techniques to regulate the generation of new units and to verify the transfer of funds. Cryptocurrencies operate independently of governments and are decentralized.

The most popular cryptocurrency now is Bitcoin. Bitcoin has risen in popularity because, unlike government-backed fiat currencies, it has a finite number of coins–21 million, 15.5 million of which are currently in circulation–and user transactions remain anonymous. Thus, the argument goes, it is superior to the fiat currency system and a viable replacement for precious metals because of the limited supply, anonymity, and independence of central bank authority.

Cryptocurrencies are driven by a technology called Blockchain that allows for the transfer of stocks, bonds, property rights and digital currencies; directly, in real time, and with lower fees, because there is no middleman. The Blockchain technology itself is revolutionary and will make transactions more trusted, transparent and immutable.

While the technology driving cryptocurrencies is very interesting, the “coins” themselves are not equivalent with the Blockchain technology. Cryptocurrencies are simply piggybacking on the blockchain as they masquerade as real money. 

To explain, we must first consider what the properties of genuine money are. First and foremost, money is a store of wealth. For centuries PM’s have been the premiere storage of wealth – they have no challengers in this criterion. In order to be a store of wealth, money must have intrinsic value. In other words, there needs to be a significant cost involved in the production of new money: such as labor, equipment, and energy expended. It costs about $1,000 to extricate an ounce of gold from the ground. Gold simply cannot be produced by decree. {It is crucial to note that while additional Bitcoins must be mined with great expense, the creation of new cryptocurrencies is fairly easy to accomplish.}

Most importantly, money must also be virtually indestructible and extremely rare. Gold and platinum are extremely rare and do not corrode or oxidize. Essentially, they last forever.

However, unlike PM’s, fiat cryptocurrencies lose their utility during a simple power failure or whenever the internet goes down. People who put their faith in cryptocurrencies have to ask themselves how confident they are that there will never be a victim of an Electromagnetic Pulse bomb or a nuclear war that disables all forms of electronic communication. Try bartering for a can of beans with a fried PC.

A more likely scenario is that governments or hackers shut down Bitcoin exchanges. In fact, back in 2014, there was the infamous Mt. Gox hack, in which over 800,000 coins were stolen and almost caused the end of Bitcoin. The owners of cryptocurrencies must hope that governments never shut down the exchanges or websites that enable these electronic transactions. Governments can try to ban gold ownership, but that must be done on a door-to-door basis and is extremely difficult to accomplish. But to place confidence in cryptocurrencies is to put faith that governments cannot control the internet.

Gold and platinum are very rare within the earth’s crust, and the mine supply of these elements increase marginally each year. And the number of elements that are rare and indestructible are known, fixed and miniscule. If scientists routinely discovered new elements by the hundreds that are virtually indestructible and extremely rare, the value of all existing PM’s would become greatly diluted. That dynamic is exactly what is happening with cryptocurrencies.

Both cryptocurrencies and fiat paper money share this same inherent flaw: their supply is theoretically unlimited and can be increased by fiat. Even with this, the money supply of U.S. dollars, as represented by M2, has been increasing at a rate of about 5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} per annum. However, there are currently now over 1,000 digital currencies in existence, up from just a small handful in 2009, and that number is growing by the day.

These currencies are mostly homogeneous and therefore tend to act like a single commodity. Of course, there are some small differences. Ethereum, the second most popular cryptocurrency, offers self-executing agreements coded into the blockchain itself. But the core of the technology—decentralized digital money—is the same throughout the cryptocurrency world. Therefore, a more advanced currency with greater speed and capabilities would greatly reduce the value of all other inferior digital “money”; just as each new digital currency created greatly reduces the value of those already in existence.

The advocates of Bitcoin believe they have the upper hand to gold because it is limited to 21 million units. But what the holders of Bitcoins don’t yet understand is that even though this one cryptocurrency is limited in supply, the universe of commodity-like cryptocurrencies is unlimited.

Because cryptocurrencies are driven by quickly changing technology, you have no idea when your cryptocurrency will become obsolete. Therefore, you can go to sleep believing your wealth is stored in the equivalent of an iPhone and wake up realizing your life savings is parked in an eight-track cassette.

Read More @ MarketOracle.com

NO RAID TODAY AS GOLD RISES BY$5.05 TO $1291.20/SILVER REMAINS FLAT/GLD ADDS ANOTHER 3.85 TONNES TO ITS INVENTORY

by Harvey Organ, Harvey Organ Blog:

RUSSIA ADDS ANOTHER 12.44 TONNES TO ITS OFFICIAL RESERVES/MNUCHIN AGAIN AFFIRMS THE USA WILL RUN OF MONEY BY SEPT 29.2017/TWO COMMENTARIES TONIGHT ESSENTIAL TO READ: 1. JOHN WILLIAMS WITH GREG HUNTER; 2 DAVID STOCKMAN ON CHINA

GOLD: $1291.20  UP $5.05

Silver: $17.02  FLAT

Closing access prices:

Gold $1292.00

silver: $17.02

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

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

SHANGHAI FIRST GOLD FIX: $1290.86 DOLLARS PER OZ

NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME:  $1285.95

PREMIUM FIRST FIX:  $4.91

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SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1293.21

NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1285.30

Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$7.91

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LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX:  5:30 am est  $1287.60

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1287.60 

LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX  10 AM: $1292.90

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. $1291.90 ????

For comex gold:

AUGUST/

NOTICES FILINGS TODAY FOR APRIL CONTRACT MONTH: 0 NOTICE(S) FOR  nil  OZ.

TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 4581 FOR 458,100 OZ  (14.248 TONNES) 

For silver:

AUGUST

 

 24 NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR

 

120,000  OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 1075 for 5,375,000 oz

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

end

The open interest in gold rose to 506,000 contracts despite gold being down on Friday.  However silver’s OI continues to drop (tonight:188,000) as the bankers are looking over their shoulder at London and witnessing huge shortages of physical metal plus a severe backwardation. We are now entering options expiry week and you know that gold and silver will be whacked until August 31.2017 (a week this Thursday). The crooks will do anything to keep gold below $1300.00 and silver below $17.10

Let us have a look at the data for today

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In silver, the total open interest SURPRISINGLY FELL BY A LARGER THAN EXPECTED 981 contracts from 189,812 DOWN to 188,831 with THE TINY FALL IN THE PRICE THAT SILVER UNDERTOOK WITH  FRIDAY’S TRADING (DOWN 4 CENTS) . THE FALL IN OI IS TINY WHEN YOU COMPARE IT TO GOLD (SEE BELOW). THE BANKERS AGAIN PROVIDED THE SHORT PAPER TO INITIATE ANOTHER RAID ON FRIDAY NOON TIME (7TH CONSECUTIVE DAY OF TORMENT). THAT SUCCEEDED IN DRIVING DOWN THE SILVER PRICE TO BELOW $17.00 UPON WHICH THE HFT TRADERS TOOK OVER ACCENTUATING THE FALL. NEWBIE LONGS, REALIZING ANOTHER BARGAIN WAS AT HAND GOBBLED UP WHAT WAS OFFERED.  THE BANKERS ARE STILL LOATHE TO SUPPLY THE PAPER COMPARED TO GOLD. RESULT: A LOWER OI, COUPLED WITH AN OUTSIDE DAY REVERSAL TO THE DOWNSIDE, ENDING IN A TINY LOSS FOR SILVER.

 In ounces, the OI is still represented by just UNDER 1 BILLION oz i.e.  0.944 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 135{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT MAY MONTH/ THEY FILED: 24 NOTICE(S) FOR 120,000OZ OF SILVER

In gold, the open interest ROSE by A MONSTROUS 13,528 DESPITE THE FALL  in price of gold ($0.35 LOSS ON FRIDAY .). The new OI for the gold complex rests at 506,655. A raid was called upon at noon time FRIDAY (once London was officially put to bed) and that drove gold down from its zenith of $1301.00 down to 1286.15 at comex closing. Firstly newbie longs piled into the comex gold complex driving it up to the 1300 dollar area.  Then the bankers initiated their raid upon which the HFT traders accentuated the downfall.  However newbie specs did not liquidate but actually added on to their positions with the lower price. THE BANKERS CONTINUED TO SUPPLY COMEX GOLD WITH RECKLESS ABANDON.

Result: extremely higher OI with no gain in price

we had: 0 notice(s) filed upon for nil oz of gold.

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

GLD:

Today, a big change in gold inventory: a deposit of 3.85 tonnes

Inventory rests tonight: 799.29 tonnes

IN THE LAST 26 TRADING DAYS: GLD SHEDS 37.68 TONNES YET GOLD IS HIGHER BY $58.20 . 

SLV

Today:  WE HAD NO CHANGES IN SILVER INVENTORY TONIGHT:

INVENTORY RESTS AT 334.407 MILLION OZ

 

end

.

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

1. Today, we had the open interest in silver FALL BY 981 contracts from 189,812 DOWN TO 188,831 (AND now A LITTLE FURTHER FROM THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET ON FRIDAY/APRIL 21/2017 AT 234,787) DESPITE THE TINY FALL IN SILVER PRICE (4 CENTS). SILVER ROSE TO OVER $17.25 BY FRIDAY NOON AND THEN THE BANKERS INITIATED A RAID, ACCENTUATED BY HFT TRADERS. NEWBIE LONGS DID NOT BUCKLE AND KEPT THEIR POSITIONS DESPITE THE RAID. SOME OLD SPEC LONGS SOLD TO NEWBIE SPEC LONGS..COMMERCIALS STILL LOATHE TO SUPPLY THE PAPER.   RESULT: SLIGHTER LOWER PRICE WITH A SLIGHT LOSS IN OI .(COMPARED TO GOLD)

(report Harvey)

.

2.a) The Shanghai and London gold fix report

(Harvey)

 

2 b) Gold/silver trading overnight Europe, Goldcore

(Mark O’Byrne/zerohedge

and in NY:  Bloomberg

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)Late SUNDAY night/MONDAY morning: Shanghai closed UP 18.18 POINTS OR 0.56{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}   / /Hang Sang CLOSED UP 107.11 POINTS OR 0.40{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} The Nikkei closed DOWN 77.28 POINTS OR 0.40{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED DOWN 0.32{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.6719/Oil UP to 48.59 dollars per barrel for WTI and 52.66 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED MIXED , Offshore yuan trades  6.6803 yuan to the dollar vs 6.6722 for onshore yuan. NOW THE OFFSHORE IS WEAKER  TO THE ONSHORE YUAN/ ONSHORE YUAN STRONGER (TO THE DOLLAR)  AND THE OFFSHORE YUAN IS STRONG TO THE DOLLAR AND THIS IS COUPLED WITH THE WEAKER DOLLAR. CHINA IS HAPPY TODAY

Read More @ HarveyOrganBlog.com

You stand a higher chance of being crushed by a vending machine.

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by Simon Black, Sovereign Man:

There’s something I’ve always found mesmerizing about watching animals in the wild.

They have the most incredible instincts, honed from countless generations of survival against constant threats.

Animals have a keen sense of danger. They know immediately when something doesn’t feel right, and they act on it without hesitation.

I saw an incredible example of this last year when I was visiting a remote wildlife reservation in Zimbabwe.

It was late in the afternoon on a hot summer day, and my friends and I were ensconced in a hidden observation bunker situated on the edge of a water hole.

The animals all began to arrive, one species at a time, to cool off before nightfall. First the elephants. Then Rhinos. Zebras. Giraffes. Baboons.

It was a playful mood; all the animals seemed to be enjoying the water, when without warning, there was a stillness. The gazelles froze. The zebras’ ears perked.

Something wasn’t right. A smell. A sound. Something.

So they got the hell out of there.

We found out later that a ravenous pack of hyenas was on the prowl nearby, so the animals’ instincts were spot-on.

Deep, deeeep down, human beings have the same highly refined instincts.

Our long-lost ancestors struggled against every imaginable danger. And those lessons are hard-coded in our DNA.

We sense threats. We can feel it when something’s wrong.

The difference between our species and animals in the wild, though, is that we humans have way too many external influences that muck it all up.

Case in point: last week was obviously a tough one for anyone with any sense of humanity.

Acts of terrorism are scary.

And hearing about completely innocent people on a popular pedestrian promenade getting mowed down like bowling pins by some madman is definitely going to cause some discomfort.

But down here in Latin America at least, there was ensuring wall-to-wall news coverage for the next several days in a way I hadn’t seen since 9/11.

It’s all we saw. Terrorism. Terrorism. Terrorism.

This really amps up the fear factor for something that is already difficult to stomach.

So it’s easy to understand why I keep hearing people say things like, “We’re living through the most dangerous times in human history.”

It’s easy to lose perspective. But on the balance we have it pretty good.

13th century Europeans faced a far greater threat with the approaching Mongol hoard.

A century later they faced an even more terrible fate with the onset of the Bubonic Plague, which ultimately wiped out around 30{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of Europe’s population.

Even in more recent times, the threat of nuclear annihilation between East and West posed a constant threat.

Yes, acts of terrorism are appalling. But taken in historical and mathematical context the danger is actually quite low.

The Cato Institute published some data recently showing that the chances of dying in a terror attack are around 1 in 3 million.

Statistically speaking, you have a better chance of being crushed to death by a vending machine.

But we don’t demand that our governments spend hundreds of billions of dollars that taxpayers cannot possibly afford in order to protect us from vending machines.

That’s because deep down we sense that vending machines don’t truly pose a threat.

But with terrorism our senses are heavily manipulated until we believe that the threat is far greater than what the statistics show.

The real irony is that the manipulation works both ways.

Just as we are manipulated into being terrified of certain risks that pose no real statistical threat, we are manipulated into ignoring other risks that are far more likely.

I would raise financial markets as an obvious example.

Read More @ SovereignMan.com

Monday Outlook: Gold & Silver Poised to Break-out or Die Trying

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from SilverDoctors:

We don’t need another gold & silver break-out fake-out, so watch these indicators going into the week…

Before getting into anything else, let’s start by saying we need improving morale. The last two weeks we have been otherwise hopeful on the price action of gold and silver, so we don’t need our morale or hope crushed right now. Let’s hope to consolidate from here, and if we end the week above $1300 gold and $17.50 silver, that would give us the “we got this” morale boost that is so badly needed.

The difficulty will be in actually consolidating, especially in silver. There has been little to no consolidation all year. The precious metals are either moving up, or they are dropping. Mostly dropping. Before we get into the charts, there is, however, some rough fundamental waters are ahead of us down river, and we know darn well that when we get to them, the market manipulators makers will want to start rocking the boat so that gold & silver tumble overboard.

This week is the Fed Jackson Hole meeting. Specifically it is the 24th, 25th, and 26th. Which means the Fed will have follow-through and a chance to do a little weekend jawboning if their the manipulation markets don not finish the week as they have planned or anticipated.  Of interesting to note, ECB President Mario Draghi will attend this year’s event which is called “Fostering a Dynamic Global Economy”. There are so many things wrong with that name, but suffice to say the Fed is proud to use a US National Park to discus manipulating the liquidity and exchange rates wherever and whenever they are needed at any point around the globe to pump their banking syndicate. Makes you wonder who’s side they are on, but we already knew that. But perhaps, this year, we see that they are not just on the side of the banks, but the side of the banks and not at all fighting for “monetary policy” in the United States. Perhaps Jackson Hole will market will hammer the final nail (after Bannon) in the “America First” stance? Sometimes it seems as if there was never going to be an America First, that it was all for show, but I digress, we’re here to talk about the markets.

Rounding out the technical schedule for the week, it is not very jam packed as far as market moving events.

  • Monday: Chicago Fed National Activity Index
  • Tuesday: House Price Index & Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index
  • Wednesday: MBA Mortgage Applications, New Home Sales, EIA Petroleum Report
  • Thursday: Action Jackson, Jobless Claims, PMI Composite, Existing Home Sales, Fed Balance Sheet, Money Supply, Etc
  • Friday: Action Jackson, Durable Goods, Yellen Morning Speech, Baker-Hughes Rig Count
  • Saturday: Conclusion of Action Jackson (be on the look out for surprise weekend policy announcement)

So fundamentals will be alive and well in the markets this week. As we can see, the “official” fundamental market moving events are many, and this does not even take into consideration the threat of thermo-nuclear war, terrorism and chaos in Europe, racism and violence in the United States, or an increasingly isolated President Trump, whom might be the target of further impeachment talks now that Bannon is out and there really is nobody left who is an “outsider” who could bring fresh, America First views and pressure.

Moving on to the technical, let’s begin with silver. Silver needs to be shown in light of it’s under-performance. On friday, the price of gold put in an intra-day high. But last week, base metal copper and precious metal palladium both had closes at highs for the year. This begs the question, what the heck is going on with silver? Here’s the gap:

Late last year, the three metals were coupled, and this makes sense, because there was election uncertainty, and silver can swing either way in times of increased demand either for monetary use or industrial use. Once the election was over, copper began it’s move in earnest. Palladium began its move too, also based on the fact that palladium is both a precious metal and an industrial metal. Silver, well, without pulling any punches, in my humble opinion, comes down to the fact that out of all the things in the world the US government fears most, it is silver they fear the most.

Sure, there is supporting the dollar, and there is fighting terrorism, domestic extremism spilling over into American streets and worsening international relations, US political turmoil, and the threat of thermo-nuclear war, yet, in light of all the things the that are feared, a rise in the silver price is feared the most. They won’t ever say this, they won’t ever say anything good about silver, but the price action just doesn’t jibe with all the factors, both fundamental and technical. Though maybe that is just the silverbug in me frustrated to be sitting at $17 at the end of summer.

Read More @ SilverDoctors.com

If Assad Is “Killing His Own People” Why Are They Rushing Back To Him?

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by Brandon Turbeville, Activist Post:

As the mainstream corporate press attempts to guilt Westerners over making Syrian refugees return home, Western outlets are, in fact, deconstructing their own propaganda narrative for all to see.

For instance, according to the International Organization for Migration, more than 600,000 Syrians have returned home to Syria since the beginning of 2017, more than the number of returning refugees in the entire year of 2016.

IOM reports that the majority of those Syrians going home were internally displaced people. After that, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq followed respectively.

The typically pro-imperialist NPR attempted to suggest that the return of the internally displaced to their homes are being forced to relocate back home by the Syrian government. That claim, while largely nonsensical, is also contradicted by reports from other mainstream agencies.

IOM is worried that the “appropriate measures” to ensure safety to those Syrians returning home are not yet in place.

Of course, the real question that needs to be asked here is simple: “If Assad is killing his own people, why are Syrians running back to him in droves?” After all, when African refugees were being labeled Syrian two years ago, we were told that these people were fleeing the “brutal Assad,” the dictator “killing his own people.” So why would people who were being slaughtered by their own government rush back to it at the earliest possible opportunity?

Perhaps because they actually prefer to live in Syria than some other country. Perhaps their government isn’t killing them like Americans are being told they are.

It is also important to point out that the rate of return for Syrian refugees has increased directly with the amount of territory liberated by the Syrian government. In other words, as the Syrian government liberates more territory, more Syrians return to their homes in government-controlled territory. Obviously, if Syrian refugees were fleeing Assad, we would be seeing an increase in refugees.

Regardless, it is clear to all who are not being paid to see otherwise that Syrians are returning home because America’s terrorists are losing territory and, thus, they now have the ability to return to their homes under government control.

Read More @ ActivistPost.com

Trump Will Soon End the Korean War

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by Jim Rickards, Daily Reckoning:

The potential for war over the Korean Peninsula is as great as ever. The news cycle we live in is a world of 24-hour updates.  With what seems more like 24-minutes between when stories come and go it is easy to lose focus on the major stories.

The situation in North Korea is absolutely not going away. That’s really important for investors to recognize because this is going to come back again and again.

“Buying the dip” is a successful strategy — until it isn’t. Now that we have entered the escalatory phase in rhetoric and military preparation, markets have still not come to terms with reality.

In March of 2003 when the United States invaded Iraq, we could see that coming. The CIA Director, George Tenet was sending warnings, Secretary of State, Colin Powell was speaking at the United Nations and then President Bush declared Saddam Hussein a global threat.

While the CIA bungled the pre-war intelligence, the point is that the orders to invade Iraq were given a year before. The same story is playing out now.

While the President can always call off military action, the planning phases for an attack on North Korea are going on now. Orders have been given. Preparations have been made. It is fair to say that contingency plans have been in place since the late 1990s.

The North Korean issue was dumped in Donald Trump’s lap.  It is largely attributed to bad diplomacy and faulty leadership through the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations. There have been deals with North Korea put in place throughout the years that put hard sanctions on the regime.

We’ve been down this road before. Every time North Korea engages in dangerous behavior, the international community and the United States places pressure on them. It has worked where both sides have agreed to terms, but the North Koreans continuously break their promises and escalate programs.

For the eight years under the Obama administration nearly nothing was done and the issue was largely ignored.  It’s hard to point blame at Trump, and while he has dialed up the rhetoric, this has been going on for decades.

North Korea: The Logic of War

As tensions increase, there’s going to be rising stock market volatility. This is where the logic of war comes in. The French call it, La Logique de la Guerre. The logic of war is different than the logic of diplomacy. It refers to the dynamic of how wars begin despite the fact that the war itself will be horrendous, counterproductive, and possibly end in complete defeat.

Under the logic of war, there’s an escalatory logic that leads to war even when no one thinks it’s a good idea.

There is a theory that Kim Jong-Un is mentally unstable, but in many ways the situation is even more complex because he is extremely isolated and exists in his own dangerous bubble.

There are very few that have told the North Korean leader that he is going down the wrong path. Even if there are talks going on currently behind the scenes with the Russians and Chinese, he’s not someone who is getting much independent advice.

The United States has to come to a decision on whether it can live in that world where it can be threatened by North Korean nuclear weapons and missile programs.

If the US were to attack, it would not just hit weapon systems. The aim would be to have regime change and greater stability that replaces it.

For Kim Jong-Un looking at that outcome, it appears that he believes the United States is bluffing. North Korea is looking at the case in Syria a few years ago where a “red line” was given but no action was taken.

That’s why the logic of war is important. Kim Jong-Un is able to operate with a logic of his own. His logic pushes him away from verifiable cessation of the arms testing and into some version of normalization with relief of sanctions. It moves him away from diplomatic channels and in the direction of pushing his missile programs as far as he can.

That’s where a breakout happens. It is a dash for the finish line where a country aims for an objective without even pretending it is operating with peaceful purposes. Actions are taken regardless of negotiations or critical pressure.

War, Nuclear Weapons and Break Out Escalation

In a breakout, there is an increase in the probability of attack but it drastically decreases the decision-making time and the window in which your enemy, in Kim Jong-Un’s perspective the United States, can actually attack you. That’s where the US is right now. He is in breakout mode. He’s testing his missiles at rapid pace. He’s testing his weapons and putting all the pieces together.

This decision has forced the United States to think hard about war and is providing very little time to act. It could be a matter of months before North Korea has this capability.

The North Korean regime is also aiming to launch a missile from a submarine. The capacity that they have is nothing like the U.S Trident submarines, or a more sophisticated system, but they do have a submarine. The action is going to be a shock to the stock market. It’s going to be a huge wake up call.

The worst case scenario is facing a submarine that can be maneuvered in the Pacific Ocean. While it might be able to be tracked, it allows for a threat to be closer to US territory and the missile range to be greatly diminished.

When that happens, that’s going to change the equation enormously. That’s going to be another shock to the stock market and add to more vulnerability there.

Read More @ DailyReckoning.com

Beware the “The Cultural Civil War” Narrative: You’re Being Played

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by Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds:

There is always common ground for those who dare to seek it.

Remember the “Russians hacked our election!” hysteria–or have you already forgotten? That entire narrative collapsed under a deluge of factual evidence that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) data release was an insider job, and a compelling lack of evidence of any other Russian hacking.

That failed narrative has now been replaced with a new mass hysteria: “a new cultural Civil War is inevitable.” In this narrative, America has succumbed to us-versus-them divisions divided by all-or-nothing ideological bright lines.

Snap out of it, America: you’re being played, just as you were played by the absurd “Russia hacked the election” mania.

The core strategy here is the destruction of any common ground: once the delusion that there is no common ground left has been cemented by relentless mainstream and social media hysteria/ propaganda, the populace fragments into echo-chamber fiefdoms of ideological conformity that are easily manipulated by the political-financial power structure.

Once the populace has been fragmented into ideologically divisive camps, controlling the resulting mass of warring mobs is easy. Rather than recognize the commonality of their powerlessness and impoverishment, the fragmented fiefdoms are easily turned on each other:

From the point of view of each fragmented fiefdom, , the problem isn’t structural, i.e. the dominance of extreme concentrations of wealth and power; the “problem” is the other cultural-ideological fiefdoms.

Once the masses accept this false division and the destruction of common ground, their power to reverse the extreme concentrations of wealth and power is shattered. The play is as old as civilization itself: conjure up extremists (paying them when necessary), goad the formation of opposing extremists, then convince the populace that these extremists have been normalized, i.e. your friends and neighbors already belong to one or the other.

This normalization then sets up the relentless demands to choose a side– the classic techniques of misdirection and false choice.

Just as you’re sold a triple-bacon cheeseburger or a hybrid auto, you’re being sold a completely fabricated cultural civil war. There have always been extremists on every edge of the ideological spectrum, just as there have always been religious zealots.

In a healthy society, these fringe pools of self-reinforcing fanaticism are given their proper place: they are outliers, representing self-reinforcing black holes of confirmation bias of a few.

In times of social, political and financial stress, such groups pop up like mushrooms. In times of media saturation, a relative handful can gain enormous exposure and importance because the danger they pose sells adverts and attracts eyeballs/viewers.

Add a little fragmentation, virtue-signaling, demands for ideological conformity and voila, you get a deeply fragmented and deranged populace that is incapable of recognizing the dire straits it is in or recognizing the structural sources of its impoverishment and powerlessness.

In other words, you get an easily mallable populace at false war with itself.

There is always common ground for those who dare to seek it. The Powers That Be are blowing up the bridges as fast as they can, whipping up fear and hatred of the Other, fanning the flames of extremism and claiming extremists are now normalized and everywhere.

Read More @ OfTwoMinds.com

A Robot Army Just Made The Biggest Gold Discovery Of The Century

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by James Burgess, SHTFPlan:

Prospectors have mined 20 million ounces of gold from the Yukon’s famous Klondike since the Gold Rush. But they haven’t been able to find the original source—the multi-billion-dollar bedrock.

Until now.

A famous geologist armed with the latest in drone tech and robo-drills is certain he’s just found it.

This is the Mother Lode of Klondike gold that countless prospectors have been trying to get at for over a century.

It makes the 20 million ounces that have been collected on the surface of the seem like gold dust. A mere flash in the pan.

This is no longer a story of men with pick axes trying in vain to find the mega source that’s it’s all come from…

Now it’s a story of amazing technology that’s enraptured everyone on the Discovery Channel, a Canadian billionaire whose touch turns everything to gold, and a legendary geologist of gold-discovery fame.

The famous geologist is Peter Tallman. The company is Klondike Gold (TSX:KG.VOTC:KDKGF), and their latest gold discoveries are the stuff of legend.

Not only are they sitting on massive acreage in one of the Gold Rush’s most pre-eminent venues, but they are also positioned in an area that has geology similar to the California Motherlode Belt, where 220 million ounces was discovered.

And the timing is urgent.

What Tallman has already discovered could be enough to make Klondike Gold a prime takeover target.

Here are 5 reasons to look at Klondike Gold (TSX:KG.VOTC:KDKGF) right now:

#1 The Gold Discovery of the Century

Tallman believes he’s sitting on one of the sources of the historic Klondike gold fields, and he’s got plenty to prove it.

He’s tested the gold-bearing structure for 2 kilometers, and the gold is there, a source which he believes runs for 8 kilometers. He’s also identified three other gold-bearing structures—each 8 kilometers long.

What does that mean, exactly? It means they’ve got 30 kilometers of gold-bearing structure to test further.

By the end of last year, Klondike’s best drill holes showed 5 g/t over 14 meters and 76 g/t over 3 meters, keeping in mind that the industry average is 1.18 g/t.

These are phenomenal results, and Tallman is far from finished.

Right now, Klondike has three primary targets in its namesake Gold Rush venue:

  • Lone Star is a 70-hole drill program, with results so far showing 2.4 g/t
  • Gold Run is following up on visible gold bedrock samples from last year, with a 10-hole drill program
  • Quartz Creek is continuing exploration, with 2,000 soil samples

Tallman is looking at Lone Star directly above Bonanza Creek—one of the most prolific creeks in the Klondike. Last year alone, they drilled 14 holes here, and all of them hit disseminated gold mineralization. This is unusual even in the Klondike Gold Rush territory.

Read More @ SHTFPlan.com

Google Working with Alt-Left Smear Groups to Snuff Out Conservative Websites

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by Pamela Geller, Freedom Outpost:

The Wall Street Journal headline is wrong. “Tech Censorship of White Supremacists Draws Criticism From Within Industry,” My colleagues and I have been targeted. Robert Spencer was suspended last night from Paypal. Neither Robert Spencer nor I are “white supremacists.” It is a foul outrage that this crushing of free speech is being framed in these specious terms.

The idea that Google is partnering with smear merchants is blood chilling. No one is safe.

Related:

Google’s Blacklist: Destroying careers because of different political belief

Google’s “Hate Speech Algorithm” is Antisemitic, Pro-Islamic

GOOGLE WORKING WITH LIBERAL GROUPS TO SNUFF OUT CONSERVATIVE WEBSITES

THE MOVES BY TECH COMPANIES LIKE CLOUDFLARE HAVE BEEN CHIDED FOR THREATENING FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION ONLINE

By Yoree Koh, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 19, 2017 8:28 a.m. ET

The debate intensified over whether the growing number of tech companies that blocked white supremacists and a neo-Nazi website on the internet have gone too far, as a prominent privacy group questioned the power a few corporations have to censor.

The Chief Executive of Cloudflare Inc., one of several internet companies this week to cut ties with Daily Stormer, effectively preventing the neo-Nazi website from appearing on the web, admitted he set a troubling precedent.

“As [an] internet user, I think it’s pretty dangerous if my moral, political or economic whims play some role in deciding who can and cannot be online,” Matthew Prince, CEO and co-founder of Cloudflare, said in an interview.

Google revealed in a blog post that it is now using machine learning to document “hate crimes and events” in America. They’ve partnered with liberal groups like ProPublica, BuzzFeed News, and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to make information about “hate events” easily accessible to journalists. And now, there are troubling signs that this tool could be used to ferret out writers and websites that run afoul of the progressive orthodoxy.

In the announcement, Simon Rogers, data editor of Google News Labs, wrote:

Now, with ProPublica, we are launching a new machine learning tool to help journalists covering hate news leverage this data in their reporting.

The Documenting Hate News Index — built by the Google News Lab, data visualization studio Pitch Interactive and ProPublica — takes a raw feed of Google News articles from the past six months and uses the Google Cloud Natural Language API to create a visual tool to help reporters find news happening across the country. It’s a constantly-updating snapshot of data from this year, one which is valuable as a starting point to reporting on this area of news.

The Documenting Hate project launched in response to the lack of national data on hate crimes. While the FBI is required by law to collect data about hate crimes, the data is incomplete because local jurisdictions aren’t required to report incidents up to the federal government.

All of which underlines the value of the Documenting Hate Project, which is powered by a number of different news organisations and journalists who collect and verify reports of hate crimes and events. Documenting Hate is informed by both reports from members of the public and raw Google News data of stories from across the nation.

On the surface, this looks rather innocuous. It’s presented by Google as an attempt to create a database of hate crimes — information that should be available with a quick Google search, it should be noted. But a quick glance at the list of partners for this project should raise some red flags:

The  ProPublica-led coalition includes  The Google News Lab,  Univision News, the  New York Times,  WNYC,  BuzzFeed News,  First Draft,  Meedan,  New America Media,  The Root,  Latino USA,  The Advocate,  100 Days in Appalachia and  Ushahidi. The coalition is also working with civil-rights groups such as the  Southern Poverty Law Center, and schools such as the  University of Miami School of Communications.

ProPublica poses as a middle-of-the-road non-profit journalistic operation, but in reality, it’s funded by a stable of uber-liberal donors, including George Soros’s Open Society Foundations and Herb and Marion Sandler, billionaire former mortgage bankers whose Golden West Financial Corp. allegedly targeted subprime borrowers with “pick-a-pay” mortgages that led to toxic assets that were blamed for the collapse of Wachovia. The Southern Poverty Law Center, of course, is infamous for targeting legitimate conservatives groups, branding them as “hate groups” because they refuse to walk in lockstep with the progressive agenda. And it goes with out saying that The New York Times and BuzzFeed News lean left.

Read More @ FreedomOutpost.com

Devil’s Trap – Part 3

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from Vigilant Citizen:

The IMF overlooked more than 3.000 ton gold from 2009 till 2015

by Nico Simons, Sprott Money:

In their annual report 2015 the IMF stated that the world official holdings in gold are 30.506 ton (980.800.000 ounces ) as per 2009. This is very remarkable, because in their annual report 2014 the world official holdings in gold were 27.346 ton ( 879.200.000 ounces). In the annual report 2015 there is no explanation for the difference of 3.160 ton ( 101.600.000 ounces ) with a retrospective effect to 2009.

So in 2015 the official gold holdings 2009 appear to be 3.160 ton higher than before (is 11.6 percent of the total world gold holdings in 2009). It is not only applicable for 2009, but also for 2010 up and till 2014 as follows:

These overlooked tons were added in their annual report 2015 in the specification of the international reserves (appendix 1) retrospective 2009 up to 2014.

IMF Annual Report 2015 the changed figures

IMF Annual Report 2014 the original figures

Read More @ SprottMoney.com