From An Industrial Economy To A Paper Economy – The Stunning Decline Of Manufacturing In America

Why does it seem like almost everything is made in China these days? Yesterday I was looking at some pencils that we had laying around the house and I noticed that they had been manufactured in China. I remarked to my wife that it was such a shame that they don’t make pencils in the United States anymore. At another point during the day, I turned over my television remote and I noticed that it also had ‘Made In China’ engraved on it. It is still Labor Day as I write this article, and so I think that it is quite appropriate to write about our transition from an industrial economy to a paper economy today. Since the year 2000, the United States has lost five million manufacturing jobs even though our population has grown substantially since that time. Manufacturing in America is in a state of stunning decline, our economic infrastructure is being absolutely gutted, and our formerly great manufacturing citiesare in an advanced state of decay. We consume far more wealth than we produce, and the only way that we are able to do this is by taking on massive amounts of debt. But is our debt-based paper economy sustainable in the long run?
Back in 1960, 24 percent of all American workers worked in manufacturing. Today, that number has shriveled all the way down to just 8 percent. CNN is calling it ‘the Great Shift’…
In 1960, about one in four American workers had a job in manufacturing. Today fewer than one in 10 are employed in the sector, according to government data.
Call it the Great Shift. Workers transitioned from the fields to the factories. Now they are moving from factories to service counters and health care centers. The fastest growing jobs in America now are nurses, personal care aides, cooks, waiters, retail salespersons and operations managers.
No wonder the middle class is shrinking so rapidly. There aren’t too many cooks, waiters or retail salespersons that can support a middle class family.
Since the turn of the century, we have lost more than 50,000 manufacturing facilities. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of gleaming new factories have been erected in places like China.
Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture?
At this point, the total number of government employees in the United States exceeds the total number of manufacturing employees by almost 10 million…

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on September 5th, 2016.

One Trillion Euros Spent & This Is What Draghi Has To Show For It

It’s been 16 months since the European Central Bank began its voyage into the unknowable in March 2015, and asThe FT notes, this week marks a milestone – it has now purchased over EUR 1 trillion in government (and corporate) bonds since it began QE.
The ECB buys bonds through the eurozone’s national central banks and in line with a member state’s overall contribution to eurozone GDP.
Among its three largest economies, the ECB has snapped up a total of 238bn in German Bunds, 189bn in French paper, and 164bn in Italian bonds since last March.
Policymakers announced they would begin buying non-bank corporate debt earlier this year. Total ECB holdings of company bonds now stand at 20.5bn, with asset backed securities hitting 19.91bn.
The ECB will be meeting for its lateset monthly policy decision on Thursday and is poised to announce a six-month extension to its QE programme until September 2017.
According to estimates from Credit Agricole, the ECB will have hoovered up over half the eligible universe of government debt by the end of the year, forcing policymakers to tweak their QE rules in a bid to keep hitting its 80bn a month purchase target.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 5, 2016.

Asian Metals Market Update: September-6-2016

Holidays for the global markets are over. Trading volumes will slowly rise in currency markets as well as commodity markets. Initially it will be a technical trade. There is no big US economic data release for the next week. There will be a fight between gold/silver bulls and bears this month. Quarter end position squaring and rebuilding will increase volatility. The direction of the Japanese yen against the US dollar will be crucial for gold and silver. The Yen has weakened but is still below key medium term resistance of 107.30 (usd/jpy). Currency market impact on global portfolio allocation will be much more than previous months of the year.
The best way to trade is ‘Mauka dekho aur chakkha maro’ (wait for the bad ball to hit the cricket six). Demand is there in Asia. Uncertainty over the pace of rise of gold and silver is preventing big purchases. Determination of the pace of the rise/fall of gold and silver will be the key to trading and not the actual price movement.
The G20 and other global forums are basically a photo-op for the people. There are cracks within the G20 or the NATO or the European Union. New leaders are less willing to be pawns for America. The tax verdict against Apple, Italy and other European Union members trying to defy sanctions against Russia, Closing of borders and accepting less Asian migrants than dictated by Merkel & Co are some the examples. The control power of the America is on the tortoise decline while the Chinese diplomats are everywhere. This situation is just the starting point as the world moves towards a feudalistic and barbaric society. We are living in a barbaric society. The Talibans, Islamic state (the creation of America/CIA) are barbarians. They surface anywhere and re start killing. These circumstances are forcing more and more people in Europe and America to start buying more physical gold.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 6 September 2016.

Will Millennials save the housing market? 92 million strong and many still living at home and renting but will this change?

If you want to see what baby boomers are buying, just watch the commercials on 60 Minutes. Between Viagra and Prostate commercials, you will also get ads on remote destination cruises. This is a much older audience that isn’t buying new homes. Many already own homes. Yet they bought during a time when the housing market was much more stable and less prone to the machinations of Wall Street. Now we are in the midst of a renter revolution and are witnessing the lowest homeownership rate in a generation. The baby boomer cohort is 77 million strong but the Millennial generation is 92 million strong. You would think that there would be plenty of fresh bodies to replace the Taco Tuesday baby boomers but it simply hasn’t materialized. Can Millennials save the housing market?
Millennials as a group and buying trends
Millennials are much more focused on lifestyle design than having a McMansion. Crossfit, paleo diets, and travel are much more important to this group than taking on a health destroying commute just so you can have a big home. It is also the case that many Millennials are deep in student debt and are suck living at home with parents after embarking on a very expensive college journey. A journey that I would imagine would open up their eyes to things beyond simply buying a crap shack as the end all goal in life.
Here are the numbers:

This post was published at Doctor Housing Bubble on Sept 5, 2016.

Investors Are Sticking With Pavlov’s Dog Until Everything Breaks

Remember when ‘bad news is good news’ first leapt into common parlance? At first it was used as a way to describe the reaction function of Fed policy-makers. It was taken as a cute turn of phrase in encapsulating the state the of the world. Over time, as Bloomberg’s Richard Breslow explains, it’s morphed into an ugly and cynical way of justifying mindless investing behavior.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 5, 2016.

Thoughts On Rate Hikes, Money Printing and Jim Rickards

In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is revolutionary act. – George Orwell
A subscriber to my Mining Stock Journal sent me this correspondence a few days ago while the precious metals were being pushed lower by the bullion banks:
I read an article before the July 4th holiday from James Richards. He said that China would use the G20 meeting to push for the SDR. I kept this in the back of my head while the PMs were being smacked around in August. Zerohedge came out with this story today that more fiscal stimulus was coming: LINK
There’s no question that Fed co-chairman Stanley Fisher floated his ‘rate hike coming’ propaganda all week last week, starting with his useless speech at Jackson Hole, as a device to help the Comex banks smack gold with their fraudulent paper gold.
It’s now clear that gold was taken down ahead of the G20 meeting because the insiders knew that a call for more QE would emerge. And that’s about the only thing that emerged other than the amusing abuse of Obama by China and Russia.
This was my response to the above subscriber inquiry – I thought it was worth sharing:

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on September 5, 2016.

Trump Slams Yellen: The Fed Has Created A “Stock Bubble” And “A False Economy” To Boost Obama

One month ago, Donald Trump urged his followers to sell stocks, warning of “very scary scenarios” for investors, and accused the Fed of setting the stage for the next market crash when he said that ‘interest rates are artificially low’ during a phone interview with Fox Business. “The only reason the stock market is where it is is because you get free money.”
Earlier today, speaking to a reporter traveling on his plane who asked Trump about a potential rate hike by the Fed in September, Trump took his vendetta to the next level, saying that the Fed is “keeping the rates artificially low so the economy doesn’t go down so that Obama can say that he did a good job. They’re keeping the rates artificially low so that Obama can go out and play golf in January and say that he did a good job. It’s a very false economy. We have a bad economy, everybody understands that but it’s a false economy. The only reason the rates are low is so that he can leave office and he can say, ‘See I told you.’”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 5, 2016.

Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t.

Back in the heady days of 2011, when I thought I knew everything about metals markets and the impending collapse and the silver moon-shot that would make me a very rich man, I decided to start ‘prepping’ because a collapse would surely make life hard on all of us. I knew just what to do: 1) build a fence around my 5 acres, 2) begin some serious gardening and chicken ranching, 3) become buddies with all my neighbors, 4) store food and seeds, and 5)cautiously take profits from the moonshot and pay off all my debt.
I am still waiting.
I have been ‘damned,’ metaphorically, financially, by investing in metal and other prepping needs while the economy has kept limping into a new bubble. My God! What if I had stayed in mutual funds until last fall, then, cashed out and bought metals with sub 1100 gold? I could have made a lot of fiat had I not been convinced that each month was the last one. But I might have been ‘damned’ without metals or preparing for hard times.
I should have listened to Darth Vader, ‘You don’t know the power of the dark side!’
The past five years feels like the opening scene in Indiana Jones where he is running out of the cave, and the large round boulder is following him, getting closer and closer, and when you thought he was about to get crushed, it just gets even closer, but doesn’t quite get him because it seems to be a bit farther away now, then it gets closer but still doesn’t quite get him, then he leaps to safety, so he thinks, holding the golden idol, only to face spears, arrows and a gun.
We are here:

This post was published at TF Metals Report on Monday, September 5, 2016.

There Are 3.3 Million More Leisure/Hospitality Workers Than Manufacturing Workers

Yesterday, I wrote about the sad state of high-paying manufacturing employment where government employees now outnumber manufacturing employees by almost 100 million. With a ratio of 1.8 government workers to every manufacturing worker.
But where did all those manufacturing workers go? Apparently, some of the manufacturing jobs have gone to the leisure and hospitality industry so that lower-paying leisure and hospitality jobs now outnumber manufacturing jobs. In fact, there are 3.3 million more leisure and hospitality workers than manufacturing workers.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Anthony B. Sanders ‘ September 5, 2016.

Monetary Metals – The Federal Reserve Report

Perceptions of Future Fed Policy Driving Asset Prices
Why is this issue of the Report entitled the Federal Reserve Report? We chose this headline because the Fed is apparently now the driver of supply and demand of gold and silver. Or at least it’s what speculators in gold and silver expect will drive the decisions of the hoarders, whom the speculators are trying to front-run.
Economist John Maynard Keynes, in a rare episode of getting something right, described a hypothetical beauty contest held by a newspaper as an analogy for speculating in the stock market. The paper publishes a hundred pictures, and to enter to you vote for the 6 which are the most attractive. Whoever picks the most popular wins a prize.
‘It is not a case of choosing those [faces] that, to the best of one’s judgment, are really the prettiest, nor even those that average opinion genuinely thinks the prettiest. We have reached the third degree where we devote our intelligences to anticipating what average opinion expects the average opinion to be. And there are some, I believe, who practice the fourth, fifth and higher degrees.’ (Keynes, General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, 1936).
On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its jobs report. 151,000 jobs were added in August. This was very disappointing. So naturally, speculators furiously bid up everything from stocks to junk bonds to gold and silver.
Wait. Bid up? Naturally?!
Yes. If the economy is slowing, then the average person expects the Fed to backpedal from its promise to raise interest rates. And if rates aren’t going up, then the quantity of money will expand. And the average person expects the prices of assets to go up with the quantity of money.
The price of silver went up about 3%.

This post was published at Acting-Man on September 5, 2016.

THE ANTI-CINDERELLA MAN (PART TWO)

In Part One of this article I made a fact based case that most Americans are experiencing an economic depression on par with the Great Depression of the 1930’s. In Part Two I will compare and contrast two very different men who raised the spirits of the common man during difficult economic times. As we approach the perilous portion of this Fourth Turning, it will take more than hope to get us through to the other side.
Cinderella Man
Likening Braddock to Trump might seem far-fetched, until you think about parallels between the economic conditions during the 1930’s and today, along with the deepening mood of crisis, despair and anger at the establishment. Braddock’s career coincided with the last Fourth Turning. James J. Braddock was born in 1905, to Irish immigrant parents Joseph Braddock and Elizabeth O’Toole Braddock in a tiny apartment on West 48th Street in New York City. His life personified that of a GI Generation hero. One of seven children, Jimmy enjoyed playing marbles, baseball and hanging around the old swimming hole on the edge of the Hudson River as a youngster. He discovered his passion for boxing as a teenager.
Braddock refined his skills as an amateur fighter and in 1926 entered the professional boxing circuit in the light heavyweight division. Braddock overwhelmed the competition, knocking out multiple opponents in the early rounds of most fights. As a top light heavyweight, he stood over six feet two inches, but seldom weighed over 180 pounds. But his powerful right hand was no match for opponents that weighed close to 220 pounds. His star was ascending. He earned a shot at the title in 1929. On the evening of July 18th 1929, Braddock entered the ring at Yankee Stadium to face Tommy Loughran for the coveted light heavyweight championship. Loghran avoided Braddock’s deadly right hand for 15 rounds and won by decision. Less than two months later the stock market crashed and the country plunged into the Great Depression.

This post was published at The Burning Platform on September 5, 2016.

Scary Stuff

The stock market was basically flat last week, which is understandable given present circumstances. The status quo is doing their damdest to keep it elevated going into the election, and everybody else knows this and is allowing them to continue slowly inflating the bubbles. And again, as pointed out some time ago, this can continue right up until election time given the right circumstances – to a point the longs feel comfortable the status quo will be maintained. This is of course why Hillary’s health, has become such an important issue up until then. If she falls sick to a point she can no longer function, meaning show up to events, front runners will sell, and October could be an interesting month considering sentiment conditions.
This is why interested parties are willing to offer $1 million for her health records. Because this issue is that important. Therein, even if she does make it through the debates to election time, which is questionable at this point, it would still be proper for voters to know about her true state of health given the job lasts four years, not four weeks. And you are never going to get this from the mainstream media (MSM), at least when it matters. And we will probably never get them period given what happens to people who play with the Clintons and political establishment. These people are the most desperate on the planet, so let’s hope for a Trump landslide, because if it’s close, they will steal the election again.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t a flat week for gold and silver last week due to COT conditions, however the shares faired relatively well due to ETF / index open interest put / call ratios. With expiry behind us this week, things could change in this regard, however will know more about probabilities by Wednesday, when our monthly sentiment study will be presented. The big concern right now is the COT situation, because as you can see in the attached above, open interest in both gold and silver have been contracting, and now they are at ‘tipping points’ again. Given the right conditions, such a set-up could cause unexpected losses, triggering more selling in the shares without options related support this week. (i.e. post expiry.)

This post was published at GoldSeek on 5 September 2016.

Trump’s Labor Day Message As Unemployment Nears 25%: ‘The American Worker Is Getting Crushed’

Watch Donald Trump’s Labor Day message to Americans:
The American worker built the foundation for the country we love and have today. But the American worker is getting crushed.
Bad trade deals like NAFTA and TPP… such high and inexcusable taxes and fees on small businesses that employ so many good people.
This Labor Day let’s honor our American workers – the men and women who proudly keep America working. They are the absolute best anywhere in the world. There’s nobody like them.
I’m ready to make America work again and to make America great again. That’s what we’re going to do on November 8th.


This post was published at shtfplan on September 5th, 2016.

New trend of gold & silver smuggling into China

There has been a sharp rise in seizures of gold and silver bars smuggled from mainland China. Customs officers detected more than two tonnes in the first eight months of the year in a move thought to be connected to the rising value of the precious metals.
Officers seized about 2.2 tonnes of smuggled gold and silver worth more than HK$33 million this year, prompting Hong Kong and mainland authorities to strengthen inspections on both sides of the border, the Post was told.
There were no seizures last year and in 2014.
It is understood the new trend surfaced in the second quarter of this year. Nearly 10 cases involving the import of precious metals from the mainland were detected at border control points over the past five months.
The biggest case involved the seizure ofHK$11 million worth of gold bars hidden in a secret compartment near the mud flap of a Hong Kong-bound limousine’s front wheel at the Shenzhen Bay border crossing.
‘Among the seizures, only a small portion was gold, most was silver,’ one source with knowledge of the trend said.

This post was published at TruthinGold on September 5, 2016.

How Central Banks Are LBOing The World In One Stunning Chart

Last week we posted a chart from Deutsche Bank, showing that with a “global recovery” supposedly taking hold again, central banks are injecting a record amount of liquidity in the form of $2.5 trillion in annual asset purchases by all central banks (more than $200 billion per month). And while this once again confirms that the “recovery” is once again on artificial foundations, built up entirely from the money created by central bankers, it has at least managed to push the US stock market back to all time highs.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 5, 2016.

‘Zombie Apocalypse’: The Hanjin Bailout that Didn’t Happen

‘Shatters the complacency’ that TBTF carriers ‘are immune to failure’
South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping Co., the world’s seventh largest container carrier and a unit of Hanjin Group, Korea’s 10th-largest conglomerate that also controls Korean Air Lines, has been in financial trouble for a long time. Bankruptcy or rather a government bailout, not only for Hanjin, but also of the second largest Korean carrier, Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM), has been bandied about for as long.
HMM was restructured, with creditors taking a big hit, including its main creditor, the state-owned Korean Development Bank which in the process became HMM’s largest shareholder, which boils down to a taxpayer bailout. Pending regulatory approval, the restructured HMM will join 2M carriers Maersk Line and MSC in a new alliance next April.
But Hanjin’s debt restructuring and bailout efforts collapsed – to the great surprise of the industry, which, having seen the bailouts and other maneuvers of 2009, figured that the major container carriers were too big to fail due to their role in the global economy and that they’d always get bailed out.
On Wednesday, Hanjin filed for rehabilitation in Seoul (similar to a US chapter 11 bankruptcy) after its creditors – the largest being the Korea Development Bank – which had tried to keep the carrier afloat for years, threw in the towel and cut off a financial lifeline.

This post was published at Wolf Street on September 5, 2016.