Marc Hanson: “Houses Have Never Been More Expensive To Buyers Who Need A Mortgage”

Houses have NEVER BEEN MORE EXPENSIVE to end-user, mortgage-needing shelter buyers. The recent rate surge crushed what little affordability remained in US housing. It now it requires 45% more income to buy the average-priced house than just four years ago, as incomes have not kept pace it goes without saying.
The spike in rates has taken “UNAFFORDABILITY” to such extremes that prices, rates, and/or credit are now radically out of scope.
At these interest rate levels house prices are simply not sustainable even in the lower-end price bands, which were far more stable than the middle-to-higher end bands (have been under significant pressure since spring).

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 25, 2016.

Black-Friday Woes: The Death of the Department Store

They no longer shop till they drop. Black Friday is when you’re supposed to shop till you drop. It kicks off the holiday selling season. No season is more sacred for retailers. They’re expected to do about 40% of their annual sales in those few weeks till Christmas.
The National Retail Federation is bubbling over with enthusiasm, expecting holiday sales to grow 3.6% this year to $656 billion. Since Trump has won the election, consumer optimism about the economy has surged, and this is expected to be one hot holiday selling season.
But not today, not at brick-and-mortar retailers, according to Reuters:
‘Initial reports show it’s steady and not very busy at stores around the country,’ explained Craig Johnson, president at Customer Growth Partners. The retail consultancy deployed 18 people to observe customer traffic across the country.
Store traffic remained subdued across the country, according to spot checks made by Reuters reporters and industry officials.
Rain hurt shopping at stores in the Northeast, Johnson said, but some retailers like Best Buy and Wal-Mart saw improved customer traffic at stores across the country.

This post was published at Wolf Street on November 25, 2016.

Instead Of Black Friday Materialism, Thanksgiving Weekend Should Be A Time To Live, Laugh And Love

On Friday, hordes of desperate zombies were spotted desperately trying to save a few dollars on toys, apparel and cheaply made electronic goods all over America. Seemingly oblivious to the fact that virtually all of these goods were made outside of the United States in nations where it is legal to pay slave labor wages, these zombies often clashed violently with one another over items such as soap, toilet paper and jumbo-sized televisions. Black Friday puts the worst excesses of American materialism on display for the whole world to see, but most Americans don’t seem to care how pathetic we appear to be to the rest of the planet. The only thing that most Americans know is that it is ‘the holiday season’, and so now it is time to spend, spend, spend even if it means going into crippling amounts of credit card debt.
Overall, it is being projected that Americans will spend an all-time record high of 650 billion dollars this holiday season. That is an amount of money roughly equivalent to the yearly GDP of the nation of Saudi Arabia.
But it would be one thing if we did all of this spending with some class. But instead, many Americans braved freezing cold temperatures and stood in very long lines on Thanksgiving evening so that they could have the opportunity to fight over ‘great deals’ such as $1.60 towels…

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on November 25th, 2016.

Gold Options Traders Most Bearish Since July 2015

After a year of almost uninterrupted bullish bias in precious metals options markets, gold skews (the ‘price’ of put protection over calls) has exploded to its highest (most bearish) leves since July 2015.
As Bloomberg reports, bearish options hedging against a 10 percent price drop in the biggest gold exchange-traded fund cost the most since July 2015 relative to calls betting on a 10 percent jump.
And as is clear from the chart below, the last 3 times that options skew sentiment has become this bearish, the price of gold has soared (Nov 2014 16%, Jul 2015 11%, Nov 2015 21%)…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 25, 2016.

2016 Limited Edition American Silver Eagle Proof Sets Finally Released

With a one-year lapse in availability, the United States Mint is returning in roaring fashion with its annual 2016 Limited Edition Silver Proof Set, which went on sale at noon today.
Silver prices have fallen since 2011, when it neared record prices. A strong dollar and rebounding economy, according to experts, has undermined that silver bull run.
The Silver Proof Set, limited to 50,000 pieces, is priced at $139.95, well-above silver face value. Seven of the coins are in 90% silver and were minted by the San Francisco Mint. Another is .999 silver by West Point Mint. These collector proof quality coins feature frosted designs and mirrored backgrounds.

This post was published at GoldSilverBitcoin on NOVEMBER 25, 2016.

“It’s Time To Take Off The Dollar Goggles”

It’s time to take off the dollar blinkers, exclaims Bloomberg’s Mark Cudmore, and take stock of what’s really going on in markets.
The dollar has been so strong since the election that it’s clouding the vision of all US-centric observers. Any market decision requires an accurate assessment of the state of play. So apart from the roaring greenback, what are the other themes?
First thing to clear up is that most Asian emerging-market currencies are doing well. Indian rupee is at a record low? Rubbish. That’s only versus the dollar. The rupee is an outperformer since the election, and has rallied 5% on a trade-weighted basis since its year-to-date low in June.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 25, 2016.

NOV 25 PART A FOR FRIDAY (TO BE UPDATED TOMORROW OR SUNDAY)

I am sorry that I cannot deliver to you a complete Friday report due tonight. However I will provide you with my work in progress. The data for the comex is preliminary. The total OI data will generally in official status be lower. However the front months in the preliminary are always accurate and thus the amounts standing in gold and silver are accurate. I will update the data later this weekend
Harvey
Gold at (9:30 am est) $1189.70
silver at $16.55:
Access market prices:
Gold: xxx
Silver: xxx

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on November 25, 2016.

Market Talk – November 25, 2016

Early gains were eroded having seen an in-line CPI print but the weekend book-squaring turned sentiment to settle just under the weekly highs. The currency continues to decline with the Yen trading 113.50 for the majority of the session having rejected the 114 figure change earlier in the day. The Shanghai and Hang Seng indices closed better ( 0.5% and 0.6% respectively) despite the decline in the price of oil and gold. The PBOC set the Yuan rate at 6.9168, with the off-shore pushing the 6.9600 for the majority of the US trading session. Gold continued to drift eventually hitting the weekly support at $1179; it will be interesting where this trades next week given the support we are currently flirting with.
Europe is traditionally quiet on and/or after a US national holiday and today was no exception to that rule. The UK GDP was released bang-on consensus ( 0.5% Q/Q and 2.4% Y/Y) which after a busy week resulted in unchanged markets for cable, FTSE and Gilts. Although, as gilts had been hit so hard this week there was a little profit-taking ahead of the weekend. The DAX, CACA and IBEX were all small better (around 0.15%) which was a reasonable performance given the Euro bounce, the decline in oil and the US stock market registering even more contract highs. There were talks that Europe is considering/discussing a ‘Post BREXIT transition deal’ but only once Britain has triggered Article 50. Details are still very sketchy but the rumours are around a three-tier negotiations approach – more when we have some clarity.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Nov 25, 2016.

Boycott Black Friday?

I’ve seen a couple of exhortations to boycott Black Friday. I completely agree with critics of the consumer economy that consumption does not create economic growth, there is far more to life than material consumption, holiday spending has gotten excessive, etc., etc. Still, some are calling for boycotts of major retailers because they ‘ruin workers’ holidays.’ The boycotters are off base for two reasons.
First, there’s a huge collective action problem here. If you’re not in line at Best Buy, that means more space for me. For the same reason competitive pressure makes cartels break down, a nationwide boycott isn’t likely to work. There are and have been exceptions, but I don’t expect this to be one of them.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on 11/24/2011.

Silver Miners’ Q3’16 Fundamentals

The silver miners recently finished reporting their third-quarter results, offering a hard fundamental look into this sector. This reality check is valuable given the fierce winds of bearish sentiment buffeting silver stocks in recent months. Despite their huge correction, the elite silver miners’ fundamentals remain strong. They are producing at costs far below prevailing silver levels, with profits poised to soar as silver recovers.
Silver mining is a tough business both geologically and economically. Primary silver deposits, those with enough silver to generate over half their revenues when mined, are quite rare. Most of the world’s silver ore formed alongside base metals or gold, and their value usually well outweighs silver’s. According to the venerable Silver Institute, only 30% of 2015’s global mined supply came from primary silver mines!
Well over 2/3rds of the 886.7m ounces mined last year was simply a byproduct of base-metals and gold mining. And as scarce as silver-heavy deposits supporting primary silver mines are, primary silver miners are even rarer. Since silver is so much less valuable than gold, most silver miners need multiple mines. And these often include non-primary-silver ones, usually gold, to bolster the lower silver-mining cash flows.

This post was published at ZEAL LLC on November 25, 2016.

Ex-Goldman Sachs YouTube Sensation Scores A UK Hedge Fund Gig

After scoring internships at Goldman, Morgan Stanley and BAML over the course of her undergraduate university career, Jess Greenberg became a YouTube sensation this summer after exposing her many other “talents” to a rapidly growing online fan club. After posting over 60 guitar solos to her YouTube Channel that garnered millions of views, many had assumed Greenberg was done with the world of high finance.
Alas, as efinancialcareers points out, Greenberg hasn’t given up on her finance career after all as she recently joined the London-based hedge fund, Winton Capital Management. As the job search portal notes, Greenberg is “amply equipped” for a job in finance after earning a degree in statistics, economics and finance from University College London with stellar grades.
While Winton Capital has historically preferred to hire “data scientists with PhDs including extragalactic astrophysicists, computer scientists and climatologists,’ they must have recognized some “unique talent” in Greenberg that made her a good fit straight out of her undergraduate career.
Certainly, Greenberg will be missed by her YouTube followers after recreating a variety of classic pieces from Hendrix…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 25, 2016.

Gold and Silver Market Morning: Nov-25-2016 — Gold and Silver looking for a bottom!

Gold Today -New York closed at $1,189.30 yesterday after the previous close of $1,188.60 London opened at $1,190.15.
Overall the dollar was weaker against global currencies, except sterling.
– The $: was weaker at $1.0576: 1 from $1.0526 1 yesterday.
– The Dollar index was a weaker at 101.62 from 101.95 yesterday.
– The Yen was weaker at 113.40: $1 from yesterday’s 113.15 against the dollar.
– The Yuan was slightly stronger at 6.9198: $1 from 6.9278: $1 yesterday.
– The Pound Sterling was unchanged at $1.2454: 1 from yesterday’s $1.2454: 1.
Yuan Gold Fix
Gold prices in Shanghai are $5 higher than New York’s close and $5 higher than London’s opening [allowing for the difference in the quality of gold priced in the different markets]. With yesterday seeing no physical gold sales from the gold ETFs the price differential has fallen and the arbitrage opportunity removed and global gold markets are in line. Global currency and gold markets are still taking a breather today.
LBMA price setting: The LBMA gold price setting was at $1,187.50against yesterday’s $1,187.25. The gold price in the euro was set higher at 1,121.55 against yesterday’s 1,122.70.
Ahead of the opening of New York the gold price was trading at $1,189.25 and in the euro at 1,122.94. At the same time, the silver price was trading at $16.46.
Silver Today -Silver rose slightly to $16.39 at New York’s close yesterday from $16.35, Wednesday.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 25 November 2016.

Pilgrim Currencies: From Wampum to Gold Eagles

The majority of Americans know the basics behind the story of the pilgrims’ 1620 journey on the Mayflower, their eventual landing at Plymouth Harbor, and the physical and mental hardships they faced helping form the first permanent settlement of Europeans in New England.
Native American tribes like the Pokanoket were instrumental in helping the Pilgrims survive harsh winters, showing them how to plant corn, the best places to fish, and where to catch beaver. Thanksgiving is the day we celebrate the harvest feast the Pilgrims shared with the Pokanokets as an expression of thanks and good will.
Trade with other cultures, like the Pokanokets, was as essential for the Pilgrims’ survival just as it is for Americans today. Unlike our nation’s early European ancestors, however, today we use some pretty sophisticated ways to exchange goods and services. Credit cards, electronic transfers, bank wires, and cryptocurrencies make the Pilgrim’s form of currency seem like an alien technology, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t (and still doesn’t) work just as effectively today.

This post was published at Schiffgold on NOVEMBER 25, 2016.

These Are The Top Stock Holdings Of The World’s Biggest Pension Fund

After three consecutive quarters of losses, the world’s biggest pension funds, Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, posted its first modest profit in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, providing a reprieve to the state money manager after it had come under attack in recent quarter for taking on too much risk by taking on too much exposure in risky assets.
The GPIF returned an annualized 1.8%, or 2.4 trillion yen ($21 billion) in the third quarter, boosting assets to 132.1 trillion yen, or roughly $1.17 trillion at today’s exchange rate, it reported on Friday. Domestic and foreign equities added 3.1 trillion yen as they recovered from their Brexit rout, outweighing a loss of 706.9 billion yen on bond holdings. Even with the modest rebound, the fund’s cumulative profits since fiscal 2001 remained over 8 trillion yen below its recent all time high gains achieved at the end of fiscal 2014 when it had generated cumulative profits of 50.7 trillion yen.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 25, 2016.

Wealth Destruction Of 90% Is Next

Very few people realise the enormous wealth transfer that will take place in the next 5 years. Most will lose 75-90% of their wealth and some 100%. What is interesting is that investors needn’t lose most of their money if they took a few measures to protect their fortune. I often speak to Family Offices who built fortunes from the $100s of million to many billions. Without exception, they believe that it is there skill in building a business or investing that has created these fortunes. It clearly requires a lot of skill and a bit of luck to build a sizeable fortune. But the magnitude of wealth today is not due to investment skills but to the enormous growth of credit and money printing that the world has experienced since the creation of the Fed in 1913. This has caused a global explosion in asset values of unparalleled proportions.
Growth in stock prices = Growth in debt
Stocks have been a massive beneficiary of the biggest monetary expansion that the world has ever experienced. If we look at the Dow since the last major economic cycle started in the early 1980s, we find the most remarkable rise. In early 1980, the Dow was at 850 and today we are 19,000. That is a rise of over 18,000 Dow points in 36 years. This means that the Dow has gone up by 9% per year on average since 1981. A 9% annual increase leads the index doubling every 8 years. What a great investment. You buy stocks in 1980 for $10,000 and today in 2016 you have $220,000 without having to lift a finger. On top of that there has been a dividend yield of around 2% on average. But this growth in the stock market has not just happened on its own accord. Stocks don’t grow at 9% annually for 36 years without some rocket fuel. And the explanation is very simple. Debt has provided the fuel. Because US debt has also grown by 9% annually since 1981. So the recipe for becoming a successful and loved president is just to print and borrow money. There is an absolute correlation between the increase in US debt and the growth in the stock market.

This post was published at GoldSwitzerland on November 25, 2016.

CNN Accidentally Airs 30 Minutes Of Hard Core, Transsexual Porn

It was common knowledge that following the presidentil election, one which a painfully biased, unprofessionally partial CNN called wrong every step of the way, the pro-Clinton network would be desperate to preserve its viewership and eyeballs using every means possible. What happened next was a surprise even to us.
On Thursday night, around the time families across the US were celebrating Thanksgiving dinner, CNN accidentally aired half an hour of hardcore pornography after “a grave error by RCN” a local cable TV provider based in New Jersey that provides CNN’s broadcasting all down the east coast.
According to the Independent, as viewers were tuning in for a brand new episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, “the show’s title took on a brand new meaning when the scheduled programming was replaced with explicit material starring adult transsexual film star Riley Quinn.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 25, 2016.