Forget Orwell And Rand, We’ve Gone To Full On Plato

Lately, we hear a lot about Orwell’s ‘1984’ and Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’ but perhaps the best crystal ball to our current state of affairs is Plato’s Republic. You see both Rand and Orwell were describing a world outside of themselves. A world they couldn’t understand or accept. And while those works are brilliant and incredibly prophetic, I expect that to understand a world borne of narcissistic sociopathy one must examine the construct of such a world by a narcissistic sociopath. Fortunately Plato, perhaps the world’s most (in)famous narcissistic sociopath, provided us a vivid illustration and explanation of his ideal state in ‘Plato’s Republic’. Plato provides us the why to Orwell’s and Rand’s ‘unideal’ states.
Plato provides the arguments for the philosopher kings. He also describes various levels of reality, arguing that each societal demographic must live within the reality level delegated to them. He argues each demographic has a limited intellectual capacity and thus can only handle the reality level provided to them. With the philosopher kings being the only societal demographic with the right to and capacity for absolute truth. Likewise, the philosophers kings in the world we find ourselves today control each and every aspect of life including our subsequent perception the world. There is no such thing as happenstance.
The market moves a certain direction not because of unexplained market forces but because the philosopher kings have made it so. Economic policies are creating incredible wealth for the already wealthy while destroying the middle class not because of honest misjudgements or the need for more time but because the philosopher kings make it so. The Fed dropped the U3 unemployment rate as a benchmark because it does not meet their standard of truth but expects the rest of us to consider that true unemployment. Declining GDP is ignored while adjusted indicators signalling GDP is healthy are paraded all over the street because the philosopher kings make it so. A Malaysian airliner is shot out of the sky not by things yet unknown but because the philosopher kings make it so.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/22/2014.

THE INTERNET IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF HOW A FREE MARKET WOULD AND DOES WORK

Some people, apparently, still have a fear of being free (they fear not having violent owners). It’s a fear I’ve never understood… but whenever you mention to them how much better a free market would be than the statist crapitalism we have today they like to say, “Show me one example of a truly free market that works!”
OK… the internet!
While governments do try to stifle it whenever they can they still, really, have no control over the internet in any meaningful way. It is almost completely anarchic.
When was the last time you saw someone come into a restaurant looking stressed and irritated saying, “Goddamit, I HATE the internet!”
Perhaps one or two… Bill Cosby probably isn’t a fan.
But almost everybody else loves the internet. That’s because, since it is a free market, the amount of innovations are incredible.
Even simple things like Skype are a great example. I may be dating myself here but when I was younger a phone call from Kanada to the USSA was a few dollars per minute! Now, however, worldwide videocalling is totally free! That’s the market at work.

This post was published at Dollar Vigilante on November 21st, 2014.

Student Debt By Major: What Not To Study To Avoid A Lifetime Of Debt Slavery

As recently reported by the Project On Student Debt, 7 in 10 seniors who graduated from public and nonprofit colleges in 2013 had student loans, with an average debt load of $28,400 per borrower. This represents a two percent increase from the average debt of 2012 public and nonprofit graduates. It is also a new record high.
Those curious about the geographic breakdown of the student debt burden by state, can do so at the following interactive map:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/22/2014.

Charles Schwab To Yellen: Get Your Foot Off Grandma’s Neck!

For America’s 44 million senior citizens, plus tens of millions of others who are on the threshold of retirement, last month marked a watershed moment that is worth celebrating. At the end of October, the Federal Reserve announced the first step in returning to a more normal monetary policy. After nearly six years of near-zero interest rates and quantitative easing, the Fed is ending its bond-buying program and has signaled a plan to eventually begin raising the federal-funds rate, raising interest rates to more normal levels by 2017.
U. S. households lost billions in interest income during the Fed’s near-zero interest rate experiment. Because they are often reliant on income from savings, seniors were hit the hardest. Households headed by seniors 65-74 years old lost on average $1,900 in annual income over the past six years, according to a November 2013 McKinsey Global Institute report. For households headed by seniors 75 and older, the loss was $2,700 annually.
With a median income for senior households in the U. S. of roughly $25,000, these are significant losses. In total, according to my company’s calculations, approximately $58 billion in annual income has been lost by America’s seniors since 2008.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on November 21, 2014.

Gold Set to Rally as Fed Considers Printing More Money

No one in their right mind should believe that we’ve finally recovered from the ‘great recession’. Time after time we’ve seen the stock market rise and fall at the whims of the Federal Reserve, and their money printing parade known as ‘quantitative easing’. Everything is being propped up with funny money, and the only reason the dollar has recovered, is because every other economy on Earth is slightly worst than our own.
Now that the Fed has stopped QE3, it’s only a matter of time before stocks begin to slide. When Bernanke was still in charge of the Fed, all it took was mentioning the possibility of ending QE, for stocks to plunge 1.4 percent. Now that QE3 is over, the only thing stabilizing the economy is the unspoken promise that if anything happens to the stock market, the Fed will come to the rescue with another round of quantitative easing.
While more QE from the Fed is all but guaranteed at this point, doing so may end up backfiring on their phony economy. Recently Peter Schiff has chimed in with some sobering thoughts on the matter. Any attempt to inject more money into the stock market, will only prove to investors that the economy is nothing but a house of cards.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on November 22nd, 2014.

Is it good gold is so cheap? An overview

Did you know that a billionaire is predicting an economic collapse? No? Did you know that the Federal Reserve is printing so much money that you’ll need a million dollars just to buy aquarium gravel? And did you know that gold is the only real form of money?
If you do know all these things, you probably get much of your information from people who sell gold, all of whom will be happy to take your fake U. S. currency in exchange for gold. By and large, gold has been a lousy inflation hedge and, for the last three years at least, a lousy investment.
But gold is cheap right now – or at least, cheaper than it has been – and so are the stocks of the companies that pull the yellow metal out of the ground. For that reason, it’s worth looking at both – although if you plan to invest in either, you should be aware that there’s plenty of room on the way down as well as up for gold.
People love gold. Gold coins are lovely: A St. Gaudens $20 gold piece is one of the most beautiful coins ever minted. Gold doesn’t react easily with most chemicals, making it unusually durable.
And it’s rare. All the gold in the world would fill an NFL football field, sideline to sideline and end zone to end zone, to a depth of 5.4 feet. And because it’s so dense, it’s relatively easy to transport, provided you’re not trying to flee with a billion dollars.

This post was published at TruthinGold on November 21, 2014.

Dollar Comments

I am going to keep these comments short mainly because I am utterly exhausted after the roller coaster ride from this week’s markets.
The one thing that stands out, now that the dust has settled, is the action in the US Dollar.

One look at the chart and you can easily see the desired currency of choice among global investors. For all its problems, and there are many, the US Dollar remains the “Go-To” currency. The reason I say this is very simple – The Dollar put in the highest WEEKLY CLOSE in 51 months! It is also less than a full point away from taking out the peak made in June 2010. If it does, it is headed to 90.

This post was published at Trader Dan Norcini on Friday, November 21, 2014.

One Of The Most Striking Equity Market Anomalies Explained

It is surprising how little attention academic literature has devoted to understand equity market returns around the turn of the month, despite the observations of Lakonishok and Smidt (1988) and McConnell and Xu (2008) among others that most of the returns accrue during a four-day period, from the last trading day to the third trading day of the month.
We find that the market returns are abnormally high also on the three days before the turn of the month.
In fact, combining the two observations, we find that since 1926, one could have held the S&P 500 index for only seven business days a month and pocketed almost the entire market return with forty percent lower volatility compared to a buy and hold strategy.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/22/2014.

Gold’s Upswing In November Amid A Lower Trend Line

This is an excerpt from the daily StockCharts.com newsletter to premium subscribers, which offers daily a detailed market analysis (recommended service).
There is clearly an upswing present since early November, but defining this upswing is a challenge so a broad in the Raff Regression Channel. It does a pretty good job of defining direction and accounting for volatility, which we are seeing now. The lower trend line ends around 112 and I will mark support here. The long-term trend for gold is still down and GLD has a big resistance zone in the 115-116.50 area.

This post was published at GoldSilverWorlds on November 22, 2014.

Golden Gains Come After The Pain

HUI/Gold Ratio, National Inflation Association
When the HGR is rising, gold stocks are outperforming gold. Conversely when the HGR is falling, gold is outperforming gold stocks.

Since 1996, the HUI/Gold ratio has averaged 0.363. The all time low HUI/Gold ratio was set on November 17, 2000 when it bottomed at 0.135.
The HGR closed Wednesday November 20th at .148.
The above data tells me gold mining stocks are extremely undervalued and way oversold compared to the price of gold. Can I make some money off that bit of knowledge, am I looking at a potentially profitable investment into a few well chosen gold company’s, do I wait a bit or pull the trigger now?

This post was published at Gold-Eagle on November 22, 2014.

This Is How Russia Does The (Dry) Ice Bucket Challenge

As The West shows its fortitude (and apparent philanthropy) with mere 32-degree Fahrenheit ice-bucket-challenges, Russian chemistry professor Yury Zhdanov goes 290-degrees better…
Nikolay Novosyolov, founder of a science popularization project, poured a bucket of liquid nitrogen, which temperature was minus 322 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 197 Celcuis), as part of the #IceBucketChallenge campaign, taking the world’s social media charity craze to a whole new level.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/22/2014.

Infographic Explains Swiss Gold Referendum In Comprehensive Way

This infographic, courtesy of VisualCapitalist, nicely summarizes the upcoming Gold Referendum in Switzerland: Why is it important, what is at stake, why it could be a game changer and trend change. It also puts the Swiss gold reserves into perspective and compares, in relative terms, how Switzerland has much more gold per capita than any other country. However, it used to be an even bigger holder of the yellow metal. In 2000, the SNB held 2,500 tonnes of gold and it has also been the biggest national seller since.

This post was published at GoldSilverWorlds on November 22, 2014.

Shake And Bake

Most markets continue to show some strength, albeit slowly. We continue to march higher and higher regardless of the many people calling for a correction. While a small pullback would be great, the simple amount of scepticism tells us that there is a ton of cash on the side-lines waiting to come in.
We may have gotten the spark needed to suck in some of that money Friday, when China cut interest rates.
As for the metals, they remain strong and moving off lows, although it has been a bit of a wild ride, which always brings out the regulars who just love to tell me I’m wrong. I didn’t bother writing them back Friday after Wednesday’s large decline was erased and bested !
The markets try to shake as many people out as they can. To be sure Wednesday sure did do that. But once the day was done, all gold did was test and hold the breakout level which is a strong sign.

This post was published at Gold-Eagle on November 22, 2014.

Why Tony Robbins Is Asking The Wrong Questions

First off let me make this statement plain and simple before one reads any further. This is not a hit piece, nor an effort to take swipes at Tony Robbins or worse, some feeble attempt at click-baiting.
I have been a true fan since he first hit the motivational stage decades ago. However, just as I am what many would call an Apple ‘fan-boy’ (which I am) it doesn’t stop me from pointing out issues where I see a compelling reason to do so.
As I’ve stated before, I mean it in a manner the same way one would criticize a family member when they are either doing something that doesn’t make sense, or something other. Nothing more, nothing less.
I don’t know Mr. Robbins personally, but for this discussion please excuse the liberty I take with using ‘Tony.’ It just makes the writing easier.
Like many I was intrigued to see Tony has a new book. His first in over 20 years. When I read the title, ‘MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom,’ (2014 Simon & Shuster) I was both intrigued as well as apprehensive. Why?
It’s basically this: I’m also in the same field (e.g. entrepreneur, motivational speaker, coach, et al) as Tony. And my writings and thoughts on money or markets sometimes appear in some of the same arenas. e.g., Business Insider, MarketWatch, et al. Which is precisely where I read his thoughts as well as a few questions he was asking some of today’s Wall Street titans. e.g., Warren Buffet, Paul Tudor Jones, Carl Icahn and others.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/22/2014.

Sprott’s Thoughts: Paul Wilson, CEO, World Platinum Investment Council

Paul Wilson recently took up the role of Chief Executive Officer at the newly created World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC). The Council was launched by a group of six platinum producers in South Africa, in order to further develop the global market for platinum investment.
Readers may know that our affiliate Sprott Asset Management LP manages one of the largest above-ground stockpiles of platinum in the world, in the form of the Sprott Platinum and Palladium Trust (NYSE: SPPP).

This post was published at Sprott Global

Financial Times’ Gillian Tett Notes Greenspan’s Renewed Endorsement of Gold

A decade ago, when Alan Greenspan was chairman of the mighty Federal Reserve, he was infamous for delivering ambiguous, Delphic speeches that nobody could understand. No longer. I recently had a chance to interview Greenspan, 88, at the Council on Foreign Relations, regarding an updated version of his latest book.
These days the retired Greenspan speaks so clearly that some of his words are still ricocheting around the blogosphere. For what he revealed on the CFR platform was that he harbours considerable doubts about whether recent Western monetary policy experiments have actually helped economic growth. He also fears that such experiments have been so wild that it will be very hard to exit from these policies in the future — in the U.S. or anywhere else — without sparking huge market volatility.

This post was published at Financial Times