Just When You Think It Can’t Get Worse…

It does!
The Financial Institution Bankruptcy Act enjoys broad bipartisan support and has received little public examination. Not much will be said about it on Monday either. The bill will be considered under suspension of the rules, meaning it cannot be amended and will be subject to limited debate, though to pass the House it will need to attract a two-thirds vote.
Have you heard of this bill? I hadn’t.
Bachus, Conyers and Goodlatte wrote it. You’d think they’d be talking about it. You’d be wrong.

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2014-11-29.

Lawrence Williams: Central bankers’ love-hate relationship with gold

One senses a bit of a momentum growing in the precious metals sector. Is this just wishful thinking from someone who is something of a long-term believer in gold and silver, or is there some substance behind the feeling? After all gold is having trouble making any kind of decisive move above $1,200, being knocked back every time it sticks its head above the 1,200 parapet. But then, despite the knockbacks, it still seems to be clinging on, just about, to the $1180s and 90s with the occasional foray down a few dollars.
On the negative side the Swiss gold referendum looks to be going to come up with a No vote after unprecedented lobbying and scaremongering from the Swiss establishment. Even so the fact that this referendum is even taking place reflects the obvious unease which is running through sectors of the European financial community regarding the true levels of physical gold held on their behalf in the US in particular. This suggests the beginnings of a growing lack of trust in the political and financial establishment. If this trust evaporates much further then government attempts to prop up their fiat currencies, which might otherwise be failing, will be called further into question as will government statistics purporting to show things are getting better the whole time while most of the people are not seeing the fruits of the so-called financial recovery. 
Of the world’s largest holders of gold after the U.S.A. as far as official IMF statistics show, there are/have been moves, or calls, to bring home gold held in U.S. vaults by the No. 2 national holder, Germany, in France the no.4, Switzerland (No. 7) and The Netherlands (No.9) which has already quietly repatriated 122 tonnes from the U.S. while Venezuela (No.15) has also already succeeded in repatriating all its foreign-held gold holdings. A number of smaller nations have also been expressing disquiet. Meanwhile No. 5 (Russia) is increasing its gold reserves (held at home) month on month and China (No.6) is widely believed to have been expanding its gold reserves (also held at home) to a figure well above its official 1,054 tonnes level, but not reporting the increase to the IMF with the likely justification that this is being held in a separate account from its foreign reserve holdings. Indeed it is thought that China is targeting matching, or exceeding, the U.S.A.’s official 8,133.5 tonnes. Something is definitely going on!

This post was published at Mineweb

No Physical Gold Exchange in Thailand Anytime Soon

Establishment of a physical gold exchange remains up in the air after recent negotiations between the Stock Exchange of Thailand and gold dealers over management power ended in discord.
Despite a mutual agreement in principle to set up a spot gold exchange in Thailand, a tug-of-war between the SET and gold traders has made it impossible to occur this year.
MTS Gold president Kritcharat Hirunyasiri said questions of managerial power had not been settled yet.
"The SET has proposed taking a majority stake in the new exchange and requested the power to set its direction, while gold traders are concerned they could lose control of the exchange and their benefits reduced.
Mr Kritcharat described the process as moving at a snail's pace but said at least the SET and gold dealers were still talking.

This post was published at Bangkok Post

Gold Repatriation from U.S. to Result in Higher Gold Prices, Weaker Dollar

As fears grow over huge debt levels in the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom, European governments are repatriating their gold from the United States, which could potentially lead to higher gold prices and a weaker dollar, the executive and research director of the world’s leading gold broker Gold Core told Sputnik.
“Governments throughout Europe are nervous about the global economic situation, financial situation and monetary situation. They are worried about the huge debt levels throughout the world and there are concerns that there could be another financial crisis, this is because of the Eurozone, but there are huge debt issues in Japan, in the U.K., and in the U.S. as well,” Mark O’Byrne told Sputnik Friday.
Many of the European gold reserves are kept in America because of historical reasons. Following World War II, Europe thought it was safer to keep gold in the United States.
“But today America is the biggest debtor nation in the world, and is in effect quite close to insolvency. Therefore they believe it is more prudent if they keep gold close to home,” Mark O’Byrne told Sputnik.

This post was published at Sputnik News

Starbucks goes into the precious metals business

Forget the seasonal coffee drinks. Or the gift-worthy brewers. Starbucks’ newest item for the holidays is something seemingly mundane as a gift card.
Well, make that a solid silver gift card.
The coffeehouse giant has unveiled the $200 card “for Starbucks fans looking for a premium gift,” the chain recently announced. Starbucks goes on to note that the item is a “beautifully crafted, fully-functional gift card” made with sterling silver and “engraved with the Starbucks logo.”
Oh, and like other gift cards, it comes loaded, but in this case only with $50. In other words, the other $150 is the price for the physical card itself.

This post was published at Market Watch

Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s Concern for the Poor Got Him Destroyed

Strauss-Kahn was moved out of the way for two reasons. One is that he was the most likely winner over the American puppet president of France in the upcoming French presidential election. The other is that he was using his position as the head of the IMF to block the austerity that the European and New York banksters were determined to impose on the peoples of those countries, such as Greece, that had sovereign debt troubles disadvantageous for the large banks.
In other words, Strauss-Kahn had announced his opposition to making ordinary poor citizens pay in reduced pensions, layoffs, and reduced social services for the mistakes of reckless and greedy banksters.
That Strauss-Kahn was so easily done in with the complicity of the American left-wing demonstrates that it is impossible for anti-elite leadership to rise in the West. Any time anti-establishment leadership shows its head, it is cut off.

This post was published at Counterpunch

Bundesbank’s Weidmann rejects German stimulus call

Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann Friday rejected calls for a German stimulus plan, saying only structural reforms and more competitiveness would kick-start eurozone economies.
"Calls for a public fiscal stimulus plan in Germany to boost the eurozone economy are amiss," said Mr. Weidmann in a speech for an economic summit hosted by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
"Investment rates that are above the growth potential of a developed economy aren't likely to boost prosperity–this applies to both public and private investments."
Mr. Weidmann stressed that it is also wrong to believe central bank monetary policy would be able to solve the bloc's economic problems.

This post was published at Market Watch

Doug Noland: The King of Dollar Pegs

On the back of OPEC’s failure to cut production, crude this week sank $10.36, or 13.5%, to the lowest price since May 2010. The Goldman Sachs’ Commodities Index (GSCI) dropped 8.2%, to the lowest since September 2010. It’s worth noting that copper dropped 6% this week to the lowest level since July 2010.
On the currency front, this week saw Russia’s ruble slammed for 7.3% to a record low. Brazil’s real dropped 1.9%, the Colombian peso 3.2%, and the Chilean peso 2.3%. The Mexican peso fell 1.9% to the lowest level since the tumultuous summer of 2012. The South African rand declined 1.1%. And despite losing a little ground to the euro this week, the U.S. dollar index traded to the highest level since June 2010.
At the troubled “Periphery of the Periphery,” Russian 10-year yields jumped 43 bps to 10.53%. Ukraine 10-year yields surged 297 bps to a record 19.49% (Bloomberg: “worst week on record”). Venezuela CDS jumped 188 bps to 2,292. Greek 10-year yields surged 42 bps to 8.35%—and the melt-up in global “developed” bond markets is nothing short of incredible.

This post was published at Prudent Bear

Ruble Freefall: And the Ugliest Currencies Are?

The 35% plunge of the price of oil since June and the sanction spiral imposed on Russia are wreaking havoc on the ruble. Oil and gas revenues are crucial to the finances of the Russian government and to the oil-and-gas dominated economy. So the ruble continues its free-fall that started in June. It hit a new low of 50.21 rubles to the dollar. Down 33.55% year to date, and down 32% since June.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the ruble got wiped out completely. When I went to Russia for the first time in 1996, it traded for 5,000 rubles to the dollar and was falling so fast that all prices were denoted in dollars and payable in rubles at the exchange rate of the day, which every Russian knew. By 1998, during the ‘ruble crisis,’ Russia defaulted on its debt and devalued to ruble to where it lost practically all its value from just a few years earlier. A process no Russian will ever forget.
The distrust in the ruble as a store of value has been so ingrained that chitters in the world incite Russians to dump their rubles for dollars and euros. Their distrust goes far beyond the distrust many Americans have in the dollar!
This chart shows the ruble’s dual collapse against the dollar since 2003:

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ November 29, 2014.

Do We Own Our Stuff, or Does Our Stuff Own Us?

Being freed from being owned is a form of liberation with many manifestations.
The frenzied acquisition of more stuff is supposed to be an unalloyed good: good for “growth,” good for the consumer who presumably benefits from more stuff and good for governments collecting taxes on the purchase of all the stuff.
But the frenzy to acquire more stuff raises a question: do we own our stuff, or does our stuff own us? I think the answer is clear: our stuff owns us, not the other way around.
Everything we own demands its pound of flesh in one way or another: space must be found for it amid the clutter of stuff we already own, it must be programmed, recharged, maintained, dusted, moved, etc.
The only way to lighten the burden of ownership is to get rid of stuff rather than buy more stuff. The only way to stop being owned is to is get rid of the stuff that owns us.
I propose a new holiday event, Gold Sunday: this is the day everyone hauls all the stuff they “own” that is a burden to a central location and dumps it in a free-for-all. Whatever is left after the freeters have picked through the pile is carted to the recycling yard and whatever’s left after that culling is taken to the dump.
Frankly, I wouldn’t accept a new big-screen TV, vehicle, tablet computer, etc. etc. etc. at any price because I am tired of stuff owning me. I don’t want any more entertainment or computational devices, musical instruments, vehicles, clothing, kitchen appliances, or anything else for that matter, except what can be consumed with some modest enjoyment and no ill effects.
We live in a small flat and I have no room for more stuff, and I have no time for more devices or entertainment. I have too much of everything but money and time.
I don’t want to pay more auto insurance, maintenance costs, etc., nor do I want more devices to fiddle with. I am enslaved to the few I already own.

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2014.

Switzerland Leads In Gold Sales Among Central Banks Since 1993

Although they are still among the top ten in total gold holdings, Switzerland has been one of the largest sellers of gold among official entities since 1993.
It is no surprise then that the people of Switzerland have taken to a referendum to provide their opinions on this to the Swiss National Bank.
With regard to the second chart, personally I do not believe that the World Gold Council estimates are correct for China at all, and probably Russia.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 29 NOVEMBER 2014.

Presenting The 70 Year Old Hydraulic Computer Used By Central Planners To “Visualize Economy”

Meet MONIAC – Monetary National Income Analogue Computer – the 7-foot-tall, 70-year-old ‘Rube Goldberg’ hydraulic contraption that was the machine that analyzed data, simulated the economy, andmade predictions about the future for the central planners of yore…

As Wired.com reports,
There was a time when computers ran on water. No, really. They did. Check out the video above, a recent demonstration of a machine called the MONIAC, originally built in 1949. The MONIAC – short for Monetary National Income Analogue Computer – was a machine that analyzed economic data using, yes, hydraulics. Basically, it pumped water through pipes and tanks in an effort to simulate an economy and make predictions about its future.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/29/2014.

Dow Jones Observartions

Oct 15th – Nov6h
17 trading sessions 1705 point gain on Dow 4 down trading sessions with all closing off the lows and near the highs but on one day Nov 7th – Nov 28th
15 trading sessions 274 point gain 4 down sessions with all but one closing at/near the highs While it’s impossible to know if the markets are going to ever correct again (slight sarcasm), one can’t deny that the strength of the recent move is deteriorating. Staunch bulls could argue that we’re simply digesting the gains, and that is something one should consider here, but it’s really hard to believe that some sort of correction is coming based on the strength of the move and the refusal for any sort of selling to stick.

This post was published at ZenTrader on November 29, 2014.

Italy’s Unemployment Rate Unexpectedly Hits Record High 13.2%

The string of unexpectedly bad news in the eurozone continues unabated as Italian Unemployment Rate Rises to Record, Above Forecasts.
The unemployment rate rose to 13.2 percent from a revised 12.9 percent the previous month, the Rome-based national statistics office Istat said in a preliminary report today. That’s the highest since the quarterly series began in 1977. The median estimate of seven economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an unemployment rate of 12.6 percent in October.
The youth unemployment rate for those aged 15 to 24 rose to 43.3 percent last month from 42.7 percent in September, today’s report showed.

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on November 29, 2014.

Weekend Reading & Soul Searching

Below are four posts for your reading pleasure. Enjoy. –Jerome
Submitted by JY896 on June 21, 2012 – 11:45pm.
Don’t buy. Sell. Get out of PMs. We are all fools for listening to charlatans who are misguided/deluded at best, and probably trying to rip us off. The fiat system will survive, as it always has throughout history. Paper money in hand is a great rainy-day option, but we really all should be rushing to the ironclad safety of bank deposit and that old ultimate safe investment – Treasury bonds. There is no manipulation of the metals, let alone the global financial markets. Even if there were such a thing, those behind it are surely too powerful to stand against — hang your head, stay on your knees and pray for mercy. The global economy will work its way through this rough patch, like it always has. There are no constraints of resources, capital, capable workforce or anything else standing in the way — prosperity will soon be here again. We simply have not given central banks and our outstanding civil servants in government leadership — not to mention the stalwart pillars of finance and industry — enough time. We’ve been faithless, nay, downright antagonistic toward our benefactors and rightful guardians.
Why didn’t you say so before? When it might have helped? Where, oh where were you here:

This post was published at TF Metals Report on November 29, 2014.

That Hot US-EU Trade Deal? Destroys 600,000 EU Jobs – Study

Cutting wages – bad as that is – does not necessarily translate into the creation of new jobs, debt-crisis countries in the EU periphery have shown. But then, who would win in the TTIP?
By Don Quijones, freelance writer, translator in Barcelona, Spain, and editor at WOLF STREET. Mexico is his country-in-law. Raging Bull-Shit is his modest attempt to scrub away the lathers of soft soap peddled by political and business leaders and their loyal mainstream media.
In a 1994 interview with Charlie Rose, the British billionaire financier James Goldsmith delivered a stark, eerily prescient warning of the state the world would be in today if it succumbed to the freer borders and more centralized, corporate-owned governance envisaged by trade regimes such as NAFTA and GATT (the predecessor to the World Trade Organization).
Goldsmith was spot on about just about everything, from the threats posed by derivatives – then in their infancy – to the risks of industrializing agriculture throughout the developing world [You can watch the full interview here]. Yet his warnings went unheeded, as laments the U. S. economist and former Assistant Treasury Secretary Paul Craig Roberts:
Sir James called it correct, as did Roger Milliken. They predicted that the working and middle classes in the US and Europe would be ruined by the greed of Wall Street and corporations, who would boost corporate earnings by replacing their domestic work forces with foreign labor, which could be paid a fraction of labor’s productivity as a result of the foreign country’s low living standard and large excess supply of labor.

This post was published at Wolf Street on November 29, 2014.

Federal Reserve Confirms Biggest Foreign Gold Withdrawal In Over Ten Years

A week ago, when we reported that in a stunning move, the “Dutch Central Bank Secretly Withdrew 122 Tons Of Gold From The New York Fed“, and when looking at the NY Fed’s monthly reports of gold deposits by foreign entities, we observed that “we can see that while the 5 tons outflow in 2013 was most likely Germany, the recent surge in gold repatriation from Liberty 33 was the Netherlands. That said, only 77.5 tons of NY deposits gold has been officially repatriated through September, which means the October update, when it comes out, will be a doozy.” Yesterday, the long anticipated October update of “earmarked gold” held on deposit at the NY Fed was released, and sure enough it did not disappoint. Declining in dollar value from $8.305 billion to $8.248 billion, this was the equivalent of 42 tonnes of gold being withdrawn, in the process reducing net gold located in the vault of JPMorgan the NY Fed to 6,076 tonnes. The 42 tonnes withdrawal was also the biggest single monthly redemption from the NY Fed since 2001.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/29/2014.

Ted Butler Quote of the Day 11-29-14

It does remain to be seen if JPMorgan and/or the other eight largest COMEX shorts will add new short positions aggressively on the next silver price rally, but if that occurs at least we should be able to see it in future reports. Highlighting the importance of JPMorgan’s involvement in any future silver short selling, without JPM joining in, I doubt the big eight would succeed in capping prices as they have on every past occasion. And considering the swirl of negative news surrounding big banks influencing commodity prices, it’s hard for me to imagine JPMorgan not beating it out of Dodge City and quitting their manipulative control of silver to the downside. If JPMorgan (or the big eight) do cap silver prices ahead, I promise not to be anywhere near as polite as I’ve been to these crooks until now.

Aside from the radical transformation of JPMorgan from being the world’s largest silver short to possibly the largest long in history, the recent double cross of the raptors (the smaller commercials who were net long) is remarkable in its own right. The forced sale of more than 12,000 net contracts by around 8 to 10 raptors over the past few weeks has probably knocked those traders out of silver permanently considering the estimated size of their losses (over $200 million). There is no doubt these 12,000 contracts would have been sold on the next silver rally and now that is impossible. Mathematically, this greatly increases the burden on the 8 big shorts if they intend to cap the next silver rally. These 8 big shorts, with or without the collusive cooperation of JPMorgan, will have to sell many more contracts short than they would have had the raptors not been double crossed.

I admit that my reasoning could turn out to be wrong, but I believe the increased short selling burden of the Big 8 will persuade them not to even try, or alternatively, if they do try, they may fail in their manipulative intent.

A small excerpt from Ted Butler’s subscription letter on 11-26-14.

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