Thursday, September 19, 2019

Mnuchin’s PR Visit to Fort Knox proves nothing about the US Gold Reserves

by Ronan Manly, BullionStar:

On the afternoon of Monday, August 21, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, and Kentucky Congressman Brett Guthrie took a visit to the vault of the US Mint’s gold depository in Fort Knox, Kentucky, a vault which, according to the US Treasury, holds gold bars containing 147,341,858 fine troy ounces of gold (4583 tonnes of gold).

The trip was notable in that it is one of the rare occasions in history that a US political/congressional delegation has ever visited the Fort Knox depository, and Mnuchin is now only the 3rd treasury secretary ever to make this visit.

The trip was also notable in that unlike previous political excursions to the vault, the Mnuchin-led visit was very low-key, it was announced to the media and public at extremely short notice, and there is no evidence that any media representatives participated, or at least if they did, they have kept very quiet about it.

  US Mint Depository, Fort Knox, Kentucky
US Mint Depository, Fort Knox, Kentucky

In contrast, the previous congressional visit to the Fort Knox depository in September 1974 was heavily publicised in advance, was accompanied by 100 news reporters and photographers, and it even documented the visit via photographs and film which were released to the public.

Mnuchin’s visit to the vault merely appears to have taken the form of a quick peek into one of the cramped vault compartments within the Fort Knox vault, and therefore can only be seen as an odd PR stunt whose real intent remains unclear, which does nothing to improve the transparency of the notoriously secretive gold depository, and which on balance has now re-opened scrutiny on how much gold is, or is not, actually stored in the compartments of the Fort Knox vault.

Short-Notice Whim?

The trip to the Fort Knox vault was only announced by Mnuchin on Monday morning, August 21 (the morning of the Fort Knox visit) during a speech to the Chamber of Commerce in Louisville, Kentucky, which Mnuchin and Mitch McConnell were attending.

As Grace Schneider, a business reporter for the Louisville, Kentucky based Courier-Journal tweeted that morning:

So Mnuchin announced the visit literally a few hours before it took place. Fort Knox is located about 40 miles south-west of Louisville. In his Monday morning speech at the Chamber of Commerce, the Washington Examiner reports that Mnuchin made the bizarre comment that “I assume the gold is still there”. McConnell, at the same time, quipped that “we’re going to find out”. Mnuchin’s comment is bizarre because as US Treasury Secretary, he is top official of the US Treasury.

The US Treasury owns the gold in Fort Knox. The US Mint is just the custodian. The Director of the US Mint and all other senior officials report to Mnuchin. At any time, Mnuchin can get a full and complete high-level briefing on the real status of the US gold reserves. He can also get a full de-briefing on the extent to which the US gold reserves have been audited over the years – or not audited as the case may be. To say that he assumes the gold is still there shows either a flippant view of the expected accountability of a US Treasury Secretary, or else a disregard for the responsibility to which the US public has entrusted him.

Media Presence

It’s not clear whether any journalists actually accompanied the politicians on last Monday’s visit to the Fort Knox depository. An article by an AP journalist from Kentucky named Adam Beam was published on August 22, the day after the visit to the Fort Knox depository.

Beam, based in Frankfort, Kentucky is listed as a Kentucky Statehouse reporter for AP, so would presumably, due to this role, be well-known in Kentucky political circles and would have privileged access to the Mnuchin & Co delegation. AP’s Beam wrote that:

Inside the famed vaults at Fort Knox, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell held a 27-pound gold bar in his hands Monday as part of the first civilian delegation to see most of the country’s bullion reserves in more than 40 years.

Read More @ BullionStar.com

Keiser Report: Empire of Debt (E1114)

from RT:

Max & Stacy discuss the narcissism of central banks holding $15 trillion in their own assets. They also discuss Morgan Stanley saying that some of their investors see Bitcoin as a better hedge to inflation than gold. Max continues his interview with Dan Collins of TheChinaMoneyReport.com to discuss the looming trade war between the US and China, and the mountain of US treasuries owned by China.

Will Americans Allow a “Cultural Revolution” To Destroy the Nation?

from LaRouche PAC:

America is experiencing a descent into chaos, as vulnerable youth and/or desperately poor people, of all races and of all political persuasions, are being driven to take sides in a pre-conditioned violent conflict in which there can be no winners, and all will lose. It is a classic British imperial tactic, called “Gangs and Countergangs” by British Brigadier Frank Kitson in a book by that name, a method the British have since acknowledged was used to crush opposition to their colonial rule in Kenya, in Malaysia, in Northern Ireland, and more. The concept is for an artificial conflict to be constructed which turns factions within the targetted populations against each other, with agent provocateurs running both sides, leading to many deaths, stirring bestial passions, and destroying any capacity for a united fight against the actual enemy—the British Empire.

An editor and journalist for China’s People’s Daily, the official paper of the Chinese Communist Party, wrote an article in Monday’s edition asking: “Is America engulfed in a Cultural Revolution?” The writer, Curtis Stone, describes the nightmare of China’s Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, in which enraged mobs of youth (the Red Guards) were instigated to join in mob violence against the institutions of the country, which “plunged China into chaos for years, during which many of the country’s cultural and historical artifacts were removed or destroyed.” He continues: “Recent racial tension in the U.S. has left many Chinese wondering if a country once known as the world’s ‘Melting Pot’ is undergoing its own Cultural Revolution, and perplexed over how such an eerily similar event could unfold in America. The chaos in America is deeply troubling. The American cultural revolution, as it has been termed in some Chinese media, has all the hallmarks of China’s turbulent experience…. From a Chicago pastor’s call to remove a statue of George Washington…, to U.S Congresswoman Nancy Pelosis’s call to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol immediately; and to discussion over whether it is time to blow up the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, South Dakota, there is a push to get rid of at least some of the country’s cultural and historical artifacts.”

Helga Zepp LaRouche added another deeply troubling image — the last days of the Weimar Republic in Germany, when nazis battled communists on the streets, driving the chaos that led to the collapse of legitimate government and the horror of the nazi dictatorship.

The attempt to portray the pathetic, impotent grouplets of white supremacists and neo nazis as somehow supported by President Trump, or to portray the black-masked antifa anarchists throwing Molotov cocktails as “non-violent protesters,” is not only insane, but ignores the fact that these groups are precisely what Brigadier Kitson described: totally controlled gangs and counter-gangs, diverting the attention of the citizenry from the economic decay of the past decade, and the financial and economic collapse rushing toward us. The fact that the controllers are the same elements of the FBI, CIA and other corrupt intelligence agencies from the Obama administration who have run the “Russiagate” fraud against the President, should remove any doubt that it is all part of the same “color revolution” launched by George Soros and Barack Obama, aimed at deposing the President, destroying any potential for the United States to join in the New Silk Road as Trump has indicated he would, and driving a military confrontation with Russia which would be the end of civilization as we know it.

President Trump’s much advertised speech on a new policy for the Afghanistan War Monday night was statesman-like, while intentionally lacking in content. While it is widely reported that he has approved a new “surge” in troops to Afghanistan, what he actually reported was that he is leaving decisions on military deployments to the generals, but that he will not pre-announce military decisions. He strongly denounced Pakistan for harboring terrorists, and called on India to take a bigger role in Afghanistan.

But Secretary of State Tillerson immediately issued a statement, and held a press conference on Tuesday, which made clear that the intention of the new Afghanistan policy is two-fold: use the military methods which have proven successful in Syria and Iraq to defeat ISIS; and facilitate negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban for a negotiated peace agreement. “Our purpose is to convince the Taliban that they can not achieve a victory on the battlefield,” Tillerson said yesterday, adding: “we may not win a victory either.” The official State Department statement issued Monday night says: “The Taliban has a path to peace and political legitimacy through a negotiated political settlement to end the war. We stand ready to support peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban without preconditions.”

Note that under President Trump, the U.S. has worked closely, and successfully, with Russia in defeating terrorism in Syria, and, in the case of Afghanistan, the new Trump policy approach, negotiating with the Taliban toward a negotiated settlement embracing all ethnic factions in the country, is precisely what the Russians have promoted.

Read More @ LaRouchePAC.com

TRUMP DEMANDS THE WALL OR ELSE HE SHUTS DOWN GOVERNMENT/GOLD RISES BY $3.35 AND SILVER RISES BY 9 CENTS

by Harvey Organ, Harvey Organ Blog:

THIS OUGHT TO SCARE YOU: THE WORLD’S LARGEST AD COMPANY (WPP) REPORTS LOUSY EARNINGS /AND GUIDANCE FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR: AWFUL!/NEW HOMES SALES DOWN 10{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} MONTH/MONTH

GOLD: $1289.00  UP $3.35

Silver: $17.07  UP 9 CENTS

Closing access prices:

Gold $1290.40

silver: $17.08

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:  $1283.95

PREMIUM FIRST FIX:  $6.91

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SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1292.59

NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1285.60

Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$6.99

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LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX:  5:30 am est  $1285.10

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1285.90

LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX  10 AM: $1286.65

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. $1287.65???

For comex gold:

AUGUST/

NOTICES FILINGS TODAY FOR APRIL CONTRACT MONTH: 3 NOTICE(S) FOR  300  OZ.

TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 4584 FOR 458,400 OZ  (14.258 TONNES)

For silver:

AUGUST

 

 15 NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR

 

75,000  OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 1104 for 5,520,000 oz

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end

 

As I have mentioned we are in options expiry week and you should expect pressure on gold/silver for the next 7 trading days. Gold and silver got a break today as Trump demanded his wall.  If he does not get the secured funding for the wall, he will shut down government as there will not be a signed budget agreement for 2018.  The USA has only 86 billion dollars left in the kitty and they burn around 3 billion per day. So they may run out by Sept 22 or Sept 23. Should be a very interesting September.

Let us have a look at the data for today

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In silver, the total open interest FELL by only 1400 contracts from 188,627 down to 187,227 with THE DROP IN PRICE THAT SILVER UNDERTOOK WITH  YESTERDAY’S TRADING (DOWN 3 CENTS). THE LOSS IN OI IS SMALLER IN COMPARISON TO THE LOSS IN OI IN GOLD AND THE CONSTANT TORMENT CAUSED BY OUR BANKERS.  THE BANKERS INITIATED THE PRICE DROP YESTERDAY WITH PAPER SHORTS AND THIS CAUSED SOME OF OUR NEWBIE SPECS TO EXIT. BUT GENERALLY THE ENTIRE SILVER COMPLEX REMAINS CALM

RESULT: A SLIGHTLY LOWER OI WITH A LOWER PRICE.

 In ounces, the OI is still represented by just UNDER 1 BILLION oz i.e.  0.936 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 134{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT MAY MONTH/ THEY FILED: 15 NOTICE(S) FOR 75,000OZ OF SILVER

In gold, the open interest FELL BY A CONSIDERABLE 5,386 CONTRACTS WITH THE FALL  in price of gold ($5.20 LOSS  YESTERDAY .). The new OI for the gold complex rests at 500,443.  THE BANKERS INITIATED A RAID YESTERDAY AS THEY INITIALLY SUPPLIED THE SHORT PAPER TO LOWER THE GOLD PRICE.  SOME OF OUR NEWBIE SPECS EXITED THE GOLD ARENA AND THE BANKERS COVERED A TINY PORTION OF THEIR  SHORTS.

Result: A LOSS IN OI with LOSS IN PRICE IN GOLD.

we had: 3 notice(s) filed upon for 300 oz of gold.

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

GLD:

Today, no changes in gold inventory:

Inventory rests tonight: 799.29 tonnes

IN THE LAST 28 TRADING DAYS: GLD SHEDS 37.68 TONNES YET GOLD IS HIGHER BY $56.50 .

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 1400 contracts from 188,627 DOWN TO 187,227 (AND now A LITTLE FURTHER FROM THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET ON FRIDAY/APRIL 21/2017 AT 234,787) DESPITE YESTERDAY’S 3 CENT LOSS IN TRADING. SILVER REMAINED QUITE RESILIENT AND REFUSED TO LOWER IN PRICE DESPITE THE RAID INITIATED BY THE CROOKS. SOME NEWBIE LONGS EXITED THE ARENA BUT NOT MUCH. THE BANKERS STILL REFUSE TO SUPPLY THE NECESSARY SHORT PAPER! RESULT:  SLIGHTLY LOWER OI WITH A TINY LOWER PRICE.

(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 TUESDAY night/WEDNESDAY morning: Shanghai closed DOWN 2.52 POINTS OR 0.08{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}   / /Hang Sang CLOSED HOLIDAY/ The Nikkei closed UP 50.80 POINTS OR 0.26{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}/Australia’s all ordinaires CLOSED DOWN 0.21{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.6631/Oil DOWN to 47.71 dollars per barrel for WTI and 51.59 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED RED , Offshore yuan trades  6.6667 yuan to the dollar vs 6.6631 for onshore yuan. NOW THE OFFSHORE MOVED STRONGER  TO THE ONSHORE YUAN/ ONSHORE YUAN STRONGER (TO THE DOLLAR)  AND THE OFFSHORE YUAN IS MUCH STRONGER TO THE DOLLAR AND THIS IS COUPLED WITH THE WEAKER DOLLAR. CHINA IS  HAPPY TODAY

Read More @ HarveyOrganBlog.com

BLACK LIVES MATTER DEMANDS WHITE PEOPLES’ HOMES AS REPARATIONS

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from Infowars:

‘White people, if you can afford to downsize, give up the home you own to a black or brown family’

A Black Lives Matter leader in Louisville, Kentucky, has devised a ludicrous list of demands for “privileged” white people in response to the Charlottesville protests, including requests for their homes and property.

The laughable list, published at LEOweekly by Black Lives Matter Louisville cofounder and organizer Chanelle Helm, insists whites give up their inheritance and pay monthly dues.

**Warning: Contains foul language.**

1. White people, if you don’t have any descendants, will your property to a black or brown family. Preferably one that lives in generational poverty.

2. White people, if you’re inheriting property you intend to sell upon acceptance, give it to a black or brown family. You’re bound to make that money in some other white privileged way.

3. If you are a developer or realty owner of multi-family housing, build a sustainable complex in a black or brown blighted neighborhood and let black and brown people live in it for free.

4. White people, if you can afford to downsize, give up the home you own to a black or brown family. Preferably a family from generational poverty.

5. White people, if any of the people you intend to leave your property to are racists assholes, change the will, and will your property to a black or brown family. Preferably a family from generational poverty.

6. White people, re-budget your monthly so you can donate to black funds for land purchasing.

7. White people, especially white women (because this is yaw specialty — Nosey Jenny and Meddling Kathy), get a racist fired. Yaw know what the fuck they be saying. You are complicit when you ignore them. Get your boss fired cause they racist too.

8. Backing up No. 7, this should be easy but all those sheetless Klan, Nazi’s and Other lil’ dick-white men will all be returning to work. Get they ass fired. Call the police even: they look suspicious.

9. OK, backing up No. 8, if any white person at your work, or as you enter in spaces and you overhear a white person praising the actions from yesterday, first, get a pic. Get their name and more info. Hell, find out where they work — Get Them Fired. But certainly address them, and, if you need to, you got hands: use them.

10. Commit to two things: Fighting white supremacy where and how you can (this doesn’t mean taking up knitting, unless you’re making scarves for black and brown kids in need), and funding black and brown people and their work.

Read More @ Infowars.com

Power Elites Launches Civil War Against Trump

by BATR, via Market Oracle:

What you are witnessing is a full court press to remove Donald Trump from the Presidency. The endless dribble from every corner of the gate keeping controlled media, the careerist bipartisan hacks, the diseased swamp ridden bureaucrat rats and the cowards who wave the flag of the establishment globalist order, all have banned together to take out the America First agenda. Trump was elected by populist discontent, but is now being betrayed by every faction who fears meaningful change in a corrupt political system that rules over the common man. Make no mistake about the stakes. A forced resignation, a contrived impeachment or an assassination for all to see are now in play. The establishment will not settle for anything less. The people be damned, it is time to show just who rules the United States.

Any sane person with a healthy constitution cannot watch ANY of the reporting about the staged Charlottesville confrontation. The Orwellian newspeak that echoes the disinformation that White Supremacists composed the Unite the Right rally at Emancipation Park is pure malicious hogwash. The ACLU and the Rutherford Institute issued a joint letter to protect the First Amendment rights of these activists. The U.S. District Court of Western Virginia ruled in favor of a temporary injunction to allow the rally to be permitted.

The only narrative that is allowed to permeate the collective consciousness of the “PC” culture is that the Black Lives Matter and their social warrior confederates where simply demonstrating against the hate embodied in white Christian traditionalists. Upon this monumental distortion of reality, a country in conflict is supposed to mobilize in support of the progressive left and condemn anyone who opposes their rewriting of history.

Folks, the plain simple truth is that the blame for violence wholly resides in the bought and paid for anarchist thugs who draws their own tangible bigotry from the Soros’ check book. Get real. The actual racists populate the loony ANTIFA left. Their devotion to Marxist doctrine may not be understood by the mentally maladjusted, but the elitist manipulators orchestrate their fantasy legions of malcontents to bully, club or burn down any opposition to their brave new world. The identity politics dogma demands that no other conviction is allowed and hostility towards anyone on the right is the cardinal doctrine.

The New Nationalist presents a position that may well be banned from the internet in the near future so watch the videos while they are still available.

“To be clear- TNN is sanity nationalist not white nationalist. Sanity nationalists are wide awake about anti-white slurs and won’t stand for it. We hate the insane. We hate untermensch. We love ubermensch. Sanity nationalists are pro-white in the sense of being uplifting and protective- but untermensch are excluded.

However at this stage there are many whites in America who are hardly supreme or high culture. In fact they need to be caged off and segregated into their own Ghost Ship satanic hell away from the sane. There they can conduct crocodile tear charity scams while their world burns down around them. The whites shown in these now commonplace videos are far from making the sanity cut at this point. Yes there is also a brood of insane black enemies and untermensch, but what to do with the “Insane White Question”? This untermensch will be the enemy for several generations to come. For some, there may be longer term hope in re-education, but the prognosis is grim.”

Now for those who cannot see past the drumbeat that the alt-right is the embodiment of all thinks hateful, heard the assessment from Mike Adams – WAKE UP, people! Alt-Left and Alt-Right are run by the same forces… the goal is “divide and conquer”.

“The goal of the Alt-Left and Alt-Right movements is to divide and conquer America through hatred and media lies that push false narratives for political gain.

As evidence of all this, note that Jason Kessler, the organizer of the Charlottesville event, actually worked for Obama and the Occupy movement just a few months ago. This man is a professional activist and social engineer who whips up big events on the world’s stage in order to achieve highly visible outcomes that can be seized by the mainstream media to condemn Trump supporters by labeling them all racists and “KKK.”

Much of the organized Left is funded either directly or indirectly by George Soros, the same radical left-wing operator who undercut freedom and liberty across numerous European countries. He’s the funding source behind ThinkProgress and 200+ other radical left-wing groups that constantly lie, defame and smear conservatives in order to sow hatred and division. Radical Alt-Right groups, similarly, are led by operatives who are very often working directly for the CIA and FBI. Nearly all the KKK racism you see on the news is contrived, elaborate theater carried out by these operatives.”

The puppet masters pulling the strings of civil unrest are intent upon destroying the America First movement by isolating the few genuine patriots who remain in the Trump administration.

With the departure of Stephen K. Bannon from the White House, the voice against the neocon and neolib skullduggery, along with the entrenched Obama holdovers is silenced. Ann Coulter blames media for Steve Bannon’s firing, but the true pressure operatives are the embedded government careerists, who views Trump’s campaign linguists as an existential threat to their ruling over the process of federal hegemony that enslaves all those deplorable citizens.

The totalitarian collectivist society is the only beneficiary of a social politically correct despotism. Even as Michael Savage Warns: Civil War Could Break Out If Trump Is Removed From Office, cites the obvious, most people relish their delusional ignorance as a sign of pride of inbred stupidity.

“So far it has appeared that if there is to be another civil war, it will likely be started by the Left. That has been made abundantly clear since Trump took office. The political fueled violence that we’ve seen on the streets of America this year has been initiated almost exclusively by the far left, and we hardly ever saw that kind of behavior from conservatives when the legislative and executive branches were run by liberals. They’ve clearly been the most aggressive and intolerant force in America for a long time, so they are the most likely to spark a war.”

The accurate difference between the intolerant alt-left mindless clones is that they are deep-rooted in group think, while the alt-right is populated by individualists endowed with independent thought. Facts do not exist, much less accepted by the extreme nihilists who preach their no hate drivel, while practicing the most intense discrimination against all things conservative found within Western Civilization.

Recollection of an honest representation of history is the enemy of the power brokers, who manage the social unrest so that the stated Trump agenda can be flushed down the crapper of their fecal matter multicultural society.

All the signs point to the demise of the Trump restructuring. However, the millions of disgruntled cohorts who voted against the comrades of the establishment will be faced with angry outrage if Trump is removed from office. Has Trump Already Been Indicted? Civil War Could Follow If Deep State Takes Out Duly Elected President sums up the consequences.

“If they are successful in bringing down this duly elected, constitutional president, as the Patribotics.blog suggests, the proverbial stuff is going to hit the fan. Trump supporters, Republicans, conservatives and even some Independents are going to see his coup as proof that all bets are off, that there is no legitimacy left in American government, and that all of “them” who comprise the Washington political establishment are the real enemies of freedom.”

President Trump is in a box and the walls are closing in. If he is crushed, it will be because he refused to fire, in mass; the back-stabbers he brought into his administration or the inherited conspirators that remained from previous regimes.

The pitiful response from the entire establishment is that they are following the communal pressure to abandon the Trump restoration program. What you are watching is the systematic disassembly of the popular will by the ruling elite.

Read More @ MarketOracle.co.uk

MUST WATCH: TRUMP EXPOSES ANTIFA & CNN’s ENDLESS LIES

from #SeekingTheTruth:

“THEY SHOW UP IN THE HELMETS AND BLACK MASKS! ANTIFA!” President Trump speaks at Phoenix Rally Mocking Antifa and the Mainstream media.

Keiser Report: ‘Bitcoin’s going to be worth a trillion dollars soon’ (E1113)

from RT:

In this episode of the Keiser Report Max and Stacy discuss the Trump administration starting some trade wars – from renegotiating Nafta to looking at China’s treatment of ‘intellectual property’. They also discuss the trillions in unexploited mineral resources in North Korea. In the second half Max interviews Dan Collins of TheChinaMoneyReport.com to discuss the ‘Doklam Transgression’ and the ‘Line of Actual Control’. The media has largely ignored the confrontation between India and China but will they notice if a hot war breaks out?

Are We Fiddling While Rome Burns?

0

by Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds:

Solutions abound, but they require the retirement of obsolete systems that defend entrenched interests and soul-crushing inequalities.

It turns out Nero wasn’t fiddling as Rome burned–he was 60 km away at the time. Did Nero Really Fiddle While Rome Burned?

The story has become short-hand for making light of a catastrophe, either out of self-interest (one theory had Nero clearing a site he desired for a palace with the fire) or out of a mad detachment from reality.

Are we fiddling while Rome burns? I would say yes–because we’re not solving any of the structural problems that are dooming the status quo. Instead, we’re allowing a corrupt, corporate mainstream media to distract us with fake “Russians hacked our election” hysteria, false “cultural war” mania, and a laughably Orwellian frenzy over fake news which magically avoids mentioning the propaganda narrativespushed 24/7 by the mainstream media–narratives that are the acme of fake news.

The media is only half the problem, of course; the audience doesn’t want to hear about structural problems that can only be fixed by disrupting the status quo. If we don’t accept that the financial system we inhabit is imploding, maybe all the problems will go away.

The system is coughing up blood and we still want to believe it is “recovering” from a cold.

Here’s a short list of structural problems we should be tackling:

1. Soaring inequality and the institutionalization of economic privilege.Systemic economic privilege doesn’t exist in a vacuum–it’s enforced by a centralized hierarchy, a dynamic I describe in my book Inequality and the Collapse of Privilege. Systemic inequality doesn’t just undermine the economy–it also undermines the social and political orders.

2. The central state (government) has one default setting: endless expansion into every nook and cranny of daily life. There are no mechanisms for contraction and no institutional memory of government reducing its control of every aspect of life.

As I explain in my book Resistance, Revolution, Liberation: A Model for Positive Change, this concentration of power attracts concentrations of wealth which then buy the machinery of governance: democracy is reduced to an auction that excludes the bottom 99.9{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}.

3. Finance has detached from the real-world economy, distorting every function via financialization, which concentrates income and wealth in the hands of the few. As I have often explained in the blog (and in my book Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform), if we don’t change the way we create and distribute credit-money, we change nothing.

4. Our educational system is obsolete but the the current system is incapable of transformation for structural reasons. These include high sunk costs, bureaucratic sclerosis, self-serving fiefdoms that fear disruption of their gravy trains, a lack of understanding of the emerging economy, a dysfunctional centralized hierarchy and the state-funded exploitive machinery of student-loan debt.

I explain all this and present a model that would cut costs by 90{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in my book The Nearly Free University and the Emerging Economy.

5. The economy and thus our society (i.e. our mode of production) are changing beneath our feet in dramatic ways. Highly centralized hierarchies (government, corporations) are the wrong unit size and structure to manage this transformation to the benefit of all rather than to the benefit of the few.

I present a decentralized non-state, non-corporate, non-financialized model in my book A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology & Creating Jobs for All.

For individuals navigating these disruptive forces, I wrote an overview guide to the emerging economy, Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy.

Solutions abound, but they require the retirement of obsolete systems that defend entrenched interests and soul-crushing inequalities. The world is changing rapidly, and centralized systems that worked well in the past are failing because they are optimized for a world that no longer exists.

Read More @ OfTwoMinds.com

Belt & Road and Precious Metals – Jeff Nielson

by Jeff Nielson, Sprott Money:

China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” is the transformational economic strategy of the 21 st century. PricewaterhouseCoopers summarized the plan in February 2016:

The geographical area that is potentially covered by the B&R initiative is vast. In its current shape, the initiative has close to 65 countries somehow connected, covering more than half of the world’s population (c. 4.4 billion), around 30{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the global economy and a total infrastructure investment need of around US$5 trillion. 

Some commentators have coined the term ‘Chinese Marshall Plan’ to describe the B&R initiative, a reference to the Marshall Recovery Programme which focused on revitalising Western Europe after the end of the Second World War with the leadership and funding of the US. However, the comparison is not an accurate one, in the sense that China is putting a very clear emphasis on the inclusiveness and ‘win-win’ character of its B&R initiative. Where the original Marshall plan deliberately excluded some countries from participation and put hefty conditions on others, China is making clear that all countries along the way are welcomed to join, without B&R attaching additional conditions.

 

In economic terms; the BRI will help to re-energize economies representing more than half of the world’s population – with virtually none of that total coming from the Western bloc. In recent years, the economies of the Rest of the World have been struggling to equal their rate of growth from the previous decade.

Much of the reason for this malaise has been dealt with in previous commentaries: Western economic terrorism . To be more specific it has been the currency manipulation of the financial crime syndicate known as the One Bank.

The Big Bank tentacles of the One Bank have been caught (and convicted) of manipulating all of the world’s currencies . Western currencies are manipulated higher (especially the USD), all other currencies are manipulated lower.

A weakened currency is like a tax on the entire economy: every unit of currency provides steadily diminishing purchasing power, just like increasing taxes. A severely weakened currency can result in economic devastation, as was seen with Russia during the two years where it was the primary target of such terrorism.

For this reason, the geopolitical consequences of the BRI are equally important. The plan represents the final plank in China’s strategy to free itself (and many of its friends/neighbours) from Western economic hegemony.

China’s currency, the renminbi, has already been positioned to replace the USD was reserve currency, although China insists it envisions a world with no (single) reserve currency. Parallel to this, its own economy is rapidly replacing the U.S. as the world’s dominant economy.

However, facing Western animosity and economic harassment, China still didn’t see itself and the Rest of the World as being strong enough to cast off their Western shackles. The BRI is the engine which will provide the economic clout as well as the political and economic unity necessary to free the world from the West’s chokehold.

What does any of this have to do with precious metals? Supply and demand.

On numerous occasions, readers have been presented with the economic fundamentals which favor gold and silver as asset classes. Both sectors have had long-term supply deficits and are currently priced well below what is necessary to sustain the sector over the long term.

Indeed, even when the price of silver briefly soared above $40/oz USD, the silver mining sector was just beginning to regain a semblance of health. Regular readers know that the price of silver was driven to a 600-year low ( in real dollars ) during the 1990’s, bottoming below $4/oz USD. More than 90{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the world’s silver mines were bankrupted and the industry has never recovered.

Readers are also familiar with the monetary fundamentals of precious metals. With most of the world’s fiat currencies debauched to near(?) worthlessness, monetary fundamentals alone dictate that gold and silver prices should be many multiples of current levels.

But readers have seen these fundamentals recited for years – during which time the One Bank has maintained an absolute chokehold over gold and silver prices. That chokehold has been maintained even as the supply deficit in the two markets has persisted.

Clearly monetary fundamentals and mining fundamentals alone have not been sufficient to break that chokehold. The only factor that can (and will) guarantee the shattering of the criminal manipulation is demand for physical metal on a level necessary to induce inventory default.

The “breaking” of the bankers’ fraudulent paper markets for gold and silver equates to an end to this crime syndicate’s manipulation. When (finally) stockpiles are exhausted, physical demand will dictate prices . This is where the BRI has relevance to precious metals markets.

Western populations have been brainwashed to the point where the vast majority of these populations no longer comprehend precious metal’s value as a “hedge against inflation” (serial banking crime) and a general safe haven. Simultaneously, Western economies have been gutted by the economic crimes of the One Bank and the mismanagement of our puppet governments.

We cannot count on any strength in demand for gold and silver originating out of the West, even when these economies begin their (imminent) final Death Spiral. Even with the anemic level of current mine supply, the level of demand necessary to put an end to the bankers’ chokehold on these markets must originate in the Rest of the World.

The BRI is the economic vehicle which ensures a long-term level of economic growth & demand necessary to ensure that the supply deficits in gold and silver markets remain in place. Very likely those deficits will widen further. Eastern populations have not been brainwashed away from humanity’s natural affinity for precious metals.

China and India are the twin pillars of precious metals demand, with Russia exerting secondary importance with respect to its own, voracious demand for gold. It is vital that these nations retain the economic vitality to maintain that demand. It is also necessary for other nations to supplement that demand with robust buying within their own populations.

Belt & Road.

Putting aside the economic activity generated by the $5 trillion in infrastructure investment, that infrastructure represents economic independence from the West. China (and to a lesser extent, Russia) have created parallel financial and administrative institutions to replace the financial hegemony of the IMF and World Bank.

The BRI creates the physical infrastructure to compliment this financial infrastructure. Together, it represents a liberation strategy. Not only do China and the Rest of the World no longer need the West, with the economic bloc being created they can simply exclude the West – if these puppet governments (and the One Bank itself) refuse to “play nice”.

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