They’re Baaaack: Gas-Guzzlers Take Over The Roads Again

Sadly, everyone has seemingly forgotten that the lessons of the past can help prepare us for the future. For example, one would assume that the sting of owning an truck or SUV during the financial crisis would stick with consumers long enough to deter them from falling back into the same trap again just because oil was trading lower… then again, just as assuming market participants would remember that time period, one would be wrong.
So here we are once again. Last year, SUVs outsold any other type of passenger vehicle in Europe for the first time, and the trend has continued into 2016 as Bloomberg reports.
The same is occurring in the US, as today light trucks, vans, and SUVs account for 60 percent of the total vehicle sales, a level only reached briefly in 2005 when Brent averaged $55/bbl – meaning that once again low oil prices have lured consumers back into buying less fuel efficient vehicles.
In April, the average car sold achieved a fuel economy of 25.2 mpg, down from a peak of 25.8 mpg set in August 2014. As Bloomberg notes, at current trends, 2016 will mark the first drop in average US fuel economy since at least 2007.
“Fuel economy improvement is really flatlining. The gains completely stopped right at the same time that oil prices started to decline” said Sam Ori, executive director of Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 31, 2016.

The Big Mac Peso-Dollar Blues in Mexico

Could the ‘Tequila Crisis’ happen again? The IMF is worried.
Although Mexico’s economy has grown at a steady rate during the lion’s share of this fledgling century, Mexican workers’ real salaries have barely shifted. In fact, over the last four decades, Mexicans’ purchasing power has not just stagnated, as has happened in many Western nations, in terms of minimum wage, it has shrunk by 78%. In 1976, a family on minimum wage could buy four times as much as today.
So bad have things become that when CNN’s Spanish edition did a study comparing the minimum statutory wage of over a dozen Latin American countries set against each country’s performance on the Big Mac index, with the US Dollar as the benchmark currency, Mexico came in 13th out of 13, behind a host of much smaller, weaker economies.
In Mexico the legal minimum wage is 74 pesos, or around $4 per day. That’s the equivalent of $0.50 per hour, compared to $1.40 in Brazil, $1.45 in Peru, $2.07 in Ecuador and Chile, $2.38 in Argentina (soon to increase by 33%) and $2.43 in Uruguay. According to the study, the five countries in Latin America with the highest minimum-wage purchasing power are, in ascending order, El Salvador, where a minimum-wage worker has to work 1.51 hours to buy a Big Mac; Chile (1.47 hours); Costa Rica (1.33 hours); Puerto Rico (1.03 horas) and y Argentina (1 hour).
In Mexico, by contrast, a minimum-wage worker has to clock in 5.6 hours to be able to get his or her lips around a Big Mac – over triple the number of hours a Salvadorian must work to receive the same ‘reward.’ In other words, Latin America’s second biggest economy appears to have a significantly lower minimum-wage purchasing power than its tiny neighbor to the south.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ May 31, 2016.

One World Government Moves Forward, EU Plans New Tax Id Numbers For Everyone – Episode 985a

The following video was published by X22Report on May 31, 2016
Consumer confidence declines and the government scales starts to match the public scale of Gallup. Personal spending surges, but not because individuals are purchasing it is because of the gas prices. Case Shiller reports home prices rising but on a national level they are falling. Wells Fargo will offer 3% down outside of the FHA program. Dallas Fed declines for the 17th months in a row. EU now pushing for all people living in the EU to get a new tax id. Obamacare penalties will now hit small businesses.

MAY 31/ON FIRST DAY NOTICE IN THE GOLD CONTRACT, 3508 NOTICES WERE SERVED FOR 350800 OZ OR 10.9 TONNES./ THE TOTAL NO OF GOLD TONNES STANDING FOR GOLD INITIALLY: 48.189 TONNES: ABSOLUTELY HUGE!!/…

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen:
Gold: $1,214.80 UP $1.10 (comex closing time)
Silver 15.97 down 28 cents
In the access market 5:15 pm
Gold $1216.00
silver: 15.99
i) the June gold contract is an active contract and the second biggest delivery month of the year following December. Friday night, the bankers first day delivery issuance to our longs to be settled on June 1 was huge: the number was 3,508 gold notices for 350,800 oz or 10.9 tonnes of gold. The number of open interest standing for gold, released at 1:30 pm this afternoon is astronomical at 15,493 contracts and thus 1,549,300 oz will be initially standing for gold in this active month of June (48.189 tonnes)
In silver we have 555 contracts standing for 2,775,000 oz of silver which is huge for an off month.
Let us have a look at the data for today.
At the gold comex today we had a MONSTER delivery day FOR FIRST DAY NOTICE, registering 3508 notices for 350,800 ounces for gold OR 10.9 TONNES, and for silver we had 3 notices for 15,000 oz for the non active JUNE delivery month. In June, open interest for gold has a whopping 15,493 contracts standing for 1,549,300 oz or 48.189 tonnes.
Silver has 555 contracts standing for 2.775,000 million oz.
Several months ago the comex had 303 tonnes of total gold. Today, the total inventory rests at 262.97 tonnes for a loss of 40 tonnes over that period
In silver, the total open interest FELL by 654 contracts DOWN to 199,672 DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE PRICE OF SILVER WAS DOWN by only 9 cents with respect to FRIDAY’S trading. In ounces, the OI is still represented by just under 1 BILLION oz i.e. 0.9985 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 142% of annual global silver production (ex Russia &ex China)
In silver we had 3 notices served upon for 15,000 oz.
In gold, the total comex gold OI fell by a CONSIDERABLE 14,880 contracts DOWN to 493,080 as the price of gold was DOWN $6.60 with FRIDAY’S trading(at comex closing). They certainly got the liquidation in gold but not silver.
Friday night I wrote the following:
‘However what is surprising is the fact that we have still an extremely high OI for the front June contract month (active)’
And so it was. The open interest for the Front June Contract Month is an unbelievable 15,493 contracts or 48.189 tonnes of gold.
Options expiry for the gold and silver contracts ended at 12 noon. These are the LBMA and OTC contracts traded in London England.
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With respect to our two criminal funds, the GLD and the SLV:
We had no change in gold inventory at the GLD The inventory rests at 868.66 tonnes. .
We had no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 335.739 million oz.
First, here is an outline of what will be discussed tonight:

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on May 31, 2016.

Alibaba’s Largest Investor Is Selling A $7.9 Billion Stake

Did SoftBank just ring the bell at the top for internet retail giants?
Shortly after the close, Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp., the largest and one of the oldest investors in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, said it would sell at least $7.9 billion of its stake (with an option to sell another $1 billion) in the company to boost its cash position and pay down debt.
According to the filed press release, SoftBank has established a new vehicle called the Mandatory Exchangeable Trust, with the intention of divesting $5 billion in Alibaba’s American depositary receipts in a private placement ‘to qualified institutional buyers.” SoftBank will also sell 2 billion in shares back to Alibaba, $400 million to members of the Alibaba Partnership and $500 million ‘to a major sovereign wealth fund.’
As a result of the partial liquidation, Softbank’s holdings will decline from 32% to 28%. As Bloomberg adds, the sales are part of a broader effort by the Japanese technology giant to reduce its leverage.
In the press release, SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son said that “this investment has been phenomenally successful and, over the past 16 years, we have built a close relationship, working together on many exciting projects,’ SoftBank Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son said in the statement. ‘In that time, we have not sold any Alibaba shares. There are huge opportunities ahead for Alibaba and SBG looks forward to the continued partnership.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 31, 2016.

Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts – June Gold Deliveries Top 350,000 Ounces On Day One

A lot of those golden tickets that Nova Scotia had been accumulating during May were put up for June delivery, and the biggest taker was the house account at JPM.
The amount of gold in the Hong Kong Comex warehouses has been decimated, back down now below a million ounces.
I think we may be in for an interesting June in the precious metals markets. Do not count silver out of this, even though gold may be getting the headlines.
Many of the elite in the New York-London financial sector are wearing the ‘Emperor’s clothes.’
And the NY Fed is their tailor.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 31 MAY 2016.

The Walking Dead = Metaphor of the Failing Western Fiat Currency Scheme

I’ll admit it. I love The Walking Dead. I even have some bobble heads of the characters that I picked up from Barnes and Noble. But, what is the fascination with the goo-oozing zombies, the apocalyptic US South, the certainty of doom and miserable, painful death haunting each character, every single show?
I finally figured it out!
The Walking Dead IS a metaphor of the Western fiat currency scheme, and the similarities make it a perfect propaganda tool to control the masses and show the futility of resisting one’s certain, doomed, fate.
Let’s peel back some layers!
The Collapse Scenario
One of the protagonists, Rick, is a local police officer. He, along with his partner Shane, are introduced as typical law enforcement officers, in a sleepy, small town setting in the rural country side outside of Atlanta, Georgia.
One day on patrol, Rick and Shane encounter some bad guys. Rick gets shot, and ends up in a coma at the local hospital.
While in the coma, the region is under siege by a strange outbreak, afflicting thousands with fever, then death. However, upon death, the person turns into a zombie – not really dead, and not really alive. These zombies exist by consuming flesh of the living. They are driven by primal instincts. We learn later that the zombie infliction is something that every human being carries, that becomes activated upon a scratch or bite from a zombie. We also learn that the zombie condition is caused by basic, core brain waves of a primal nature, driving the zombies to loud sounds, and all they do is forage for protein to consume. They do nothing but feed on the living.

This post was published at TF Metals Report on May 31, 2016.

These Are The Two Most Important Questions Facing The Market

With the S&P500, seemingly unable to break decisively above 2090, investors are wondering what are the main catalysts that can push the market higher, and are asking questions. To help with the confusion, Deutsche Bank has laid out the top five recurring questions asked by investors who are trying to figure out what will push stocks higher. Among these are whether European (and global) equities will rally as Brexit fears are being priced out; is there scope for earnings upgrades and will value stocks finally start outperforming.
However, the two most important questions by far, those whose answer will determine not only the near term return of the S&P, but also global equity markets as well as that all-important commodity, oil, are the following:
Can the oil price hold up even as the dollar rises? and
Can the CNY depreciate without hurting asset prices? Let’s take a look at these in sequence; first: will the recent disconnect between rising oil and a rising dollar persist? This is Deutsche Bank’s answer:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 05/31/2016.

Mourn the Death of the United States: ‘Soon We Will Be Ripe For Internal Collapse… Or A Large War’

This week we remembered our fallen veterans.
We may also remember the United States, as she was, for she, too, has fallen: from forces inside that have collapsed and denigrated it. The good old days are long gone. The country is now in a soft-tyranny, a semi-totalitarian state. All it will take is a spark to turn it into a full-blown totalitarian regime. For decades, this planned destruction of the United States has been orchestrated: by the ‘progressive’ oligarchy, the politicians, and foreign forces in both of the aforementioned categories.
The universities have been paid by the oligarchs and enriched to pursue a path of scholastic curriculum to inculcate the desires of those paymasters into the youth. The college students are being molded into globalists, communal group-think, and to reject the history and greatness of the United States. Embraced in the schools and trickling down into our society are foreign views and foreign ways that, if not antithetical to our system are openly hostile to it.
And the net draws closer to closing. Look at all of the things that are happening, and see. Everything is being brought under control…so slowly that the sheep do not know they are being sheared and the frogs do not feel the temperature rising in the five-gallon pot. Cameras are rapidly appearing on virtually every corner. License plate readers are being installed. Drivers’ licenses will need to be ‘in-sync’ in 2017 just for domestic air travel. If this is not the dawn, the precursor to an internal passport system then what is it for?
Banks fill out a SAR (Suspicious Activity Report) for the withdrawal of cash transactions even less than the original $10,000 initiated by the Rico Statute back in the 80’s. People are beingdenied the ability to withdraw their cash, as with JP Morgan. People are being harassed by the bank managers, and these being customers with long histories of banking with the establishments. Larry Summers inserts his diatribe regarding the abolition of larger banknotes and openly is contemptuous of any kind of cash transactions.
The death of cash will be the death of any kind of privacy or financial freedom. Every purchase then will be recorded, every location where you made the purchase, and all of the amounts and details of your purchases. There are the ‘loyalty cards’ that further categorize and monitor what you bought to predict (as marketing) your shopping habits. The problem: that information is no longer private, thanks to the NDAA and the Federal Government’s ability to sequester (for whatever reason, however inane) those records ‘in the interests of national security.’

This post was published at shtfplan on May 31st, 2016.

Arrant Star Trek Socialism

Robotic Utopia
In spite of the fact that Marx expressed nothing but disdain for his Utopian socialist predecessors such as Henri Saint-Simon and Auguste Comte, variants of Utopian socialism evidently live on. The latest iteration of the socialist
It is quite ironic that something that would never have come into existence in a socialist system is now supposed to hasten the introduction of same – and of course, this time, it will be done right!
The idea is basically this: as robots are becoming more sophisticated, more and more labor that is widely regarded as drudgery will become obsolete. Eventually, robots will take over the production of all the goods we need and want, and human workers will be free to pursue art, philosophy, or whatever else strikes their fancy.
So far so good, actually. It is after all the very aim of economic activity to increase labor productivity and produce ever more output with the same, or even a smaller input. In the market economy this goal is primarily achieved by entrepreneurs steadily lengthening the structure of production with new investment and increasing the division of labor. The sine qua non requirement for this process is an increase in real savings (money printing cannot replace such savings).
In addition to this essential process, new technologies and new methods of production are constantly introduced as well, which helps to increase output even further. We can observe this process in the manufacturing industries nowadays: ever fewer workers are producing an ever greater output. The same has previously happened in the agricultural sector.

This post was published at Acting-Man on MAY 31, 2016.

Forget Big Brother, Facebook Is Watching (And Listening) To Everything You Do

It’s irresistible, enticing and addicting. And, as News10.com reports, it’s available 24-hours a day all over the world to billions of people. Facebook beckons to users seemingly with a two-prong approach – both the pressure and pleasure to post. We share stories, photos, triumphs and tragedies. It is ingrained into our daily lives so deeply that studies show people check Facebook, on average, 14 times a day. With all those eyes all over the globe dialed in and the purchasing power available, the online giant has tapped into a controversial delivery of data into its intelligence gathering. It all starts with something that you may not even realize is enabled on your phone.

A little-known feature deeply embedded in Facebook’s privacy settings is causing users to think twice aboutnot just what they write but what they say. As TheAntiMedia.org’s Clarice Palmer explains…


This post was published at Zero Hedge on 05/31/2016.

Guest Post: They Need To Destroy Gold/Silver To Destroy Our Freedom

The past two days of ongoing metals oppression convinced me to write. This continuing government-conducted fraud and corruption is really getting irritating, and it tells an ominous tale.
Is it any wonder that we witness endless versions of ‘Extend and Pretend’? That we witness endless strangulation of the truth, such as is represented by free metals prices? That the nation is drowning in propaganda and lies so thick they could double the mass of our oceans?
They are going to keep this fraud going as long as they can, because every single day represents $2,800,000,000.00 in looted profits. The Middle Class has no idea what has been done to it. This is what has been done to it.
I believe that Yellen went to the White House to inform Obama and team that the Fed is witnessing a quiet, steady bank run taking place in the U. S. The Fed is worried about the fact that the people are apparently starting to figure out how totally corrupt the monetary and financial systems have become, and are now taking action to financially protect themselves.
The Fed is seeing bank balances being exchanged for cash and metals. Trotting out Summers and Draghi to demonize cash ($100s and Euro 500s) backfired; savvy people said to themselves, ‘If the government, banker shills (e.g., Summers; Peter Sands (author of the Harvard ‘ban cash’ paper; etc.) and bankers are saying ‘A,’ the truth must be ‘Z,’ and we better get some of our money out of the banks, before the bail-ins that have been legalized and formalized are actually implemented.’

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on May 31, 2016.

Alan Greenspan: “We’re Running To A State Of Disaster”

Back in March, the former Fed chairman said that we’re in trouble because “productivity is dead in the water, and real capital investment is way below average because business people are very uncertain about the future.” Greenspan went on to add that entitlement programs are crowding out capital investment, and thus crowding out productivity.”
Alan Greenspan is back delivering more warnings about the state of the global economy, hammering home the same key points made back in March.
“We have a global problem of a shortage in productivity growth and it’s not only the United States but it’s pretty much around the world, and it’s being caused by the fact that populations everywhere in the Western world are aging, and we’re not committing enough of our resources to fund that. We should be running federal surpluses right now not deficits. This is something we could have anticipated twenty five years ago and in fact we did, but nobody’s done anything about it. This is the crisis which has come upon us.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 05/31/2016.

Trump Slams “Sleazy” Media Over Donations; “Stop Using Veterans As Political Pawns”

Following media machinations over his donations to Veterans, Donald Trump struck back today in a press conference, raging that the liberal media “should be ashamed,” and singling out ABC’s Tom Llamas as a “sleaze.” The Donald then turned the microphone over briefly to Al Baldasaro, a veteran from New Hampshire who skewered the news media, saying reporters should ”get your head out of your butt – focus on the real issues…stop using veterans as political pawns.”
“What I don’t want is when I raise millions of dollars, have people say – like this sleazy guy right over here from ABC, he’s a sleaze in my book,” Trump exclaimed.
Forward to 25 seconds…


This post was published at Zero Hedge on 05/31/2016.

SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Chart – Late Day Face Save

This market is looking very toppy and pricey. Not a very good combination for solid investment.
The futures were negative most of the day, but were amenable with their light volumes to a late afternoon rally back on what looked like algorithmic buying.
On any serious event, the underpinnings of the US equity market is as resilient as sponge cake. Or what Taleb has called of a fragile composition.
Some people live a lie. The Fed manufactures them.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 31 MAY 2016.

Here’s proof that the US dollar is insanely overvalued

Shocking. Astonishing. Jaw dropping.
There’s just no other way to describe how cheap South Africa is right now.
Between the worldwide decline in commodities prices, and a major crisis of confidence in the national government here, the local currency (South African rand) remains at the lowest level it’s been… ever.
And that’s made nearly EVERYTHING here dirt cheap if you’re spending foreign currency… especially US dollars.
Just doing something simple like eating out at a restaurant or going to the grocery store can be startling.
Once you do the math and convert the prices back to US dollars, it almost seems like you’re missing a zero.
This also carries over into many asset prices, including certain areas in the property market.
Here in Johannesburg, I saw an amazing home for sale in one of the nicest, upscale neighborhoods with an asking price of about $515,000 US dollars.
Now, half a million bucks might not sound terribly cheap – until you find out what you’re getting for the money.

This post was published at Sovereign Man on May 31, 2016.