These Countries Have Nearly “Eliminated Cash From Circulation”

The cashless society is catching up to all of us. As SHTFPlan.com’s Mac Slavo notes,
Most of Europe has shifted that way, and now India is forcing the issue. In the United States, people are being acclimated to it, and may soon find that no other option is practical in the highly-digitized online world.
Once that takes hold, the banksters, bureaucrats and hackers will have total information on all your transactions, purchasing behavior, profiles about consumers, political and social background history and even predictive behavior, allowing them to control the population with ease.
If/when a major crisis hits, nothing will work if the grid goes down; nothing will take place that isn’t strictly authorized – apart from a barter and precious metals exchange system that will be marginalized to the pre-digital ghetto.
In fact, as The Daily Coin’s Rory Hall explains 1 out of 3 people in the world never uses cash…
We recently learned how serious these criminals are about stealing the sovereignty of every person on planet earth. Actually, most people are willingly handing over their sovereignty to the banks/government and have no idea what they are actually doing.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 4, 2016.

California is land to the $100k minimum wage state worker: 220,000 highly-compensated state employees cost the public $35 billion.

There is one thing to discuss the minimum wage for servers and many others that work in the low paid service industry but it is another thing to discuss ‘underpaid’ state workers. That statement cannot be said for California’s state employees. In a country where the median household income is $52,000 California seems to be the land of largesse. There is this narrative that state workers take on jobs that pay much less than the private sector but the data in California shows something very different. In fact, there are armies of highly paid state workers. There was a study that looked at state workers and the number of people earning six-figures is somewhat mind boggling. Let us look at the figures.
California, land of the minimum wage $100k state worker
There was an analysis of state worker data that dramatically refutes the notion that state workers are underpaid. If you dig deeper into the figures, what you find that this rarely applies to new younger hires that are getting grilled like many younger workers but you find older baby boomers that are simply milking the system for every penny they can get.
Take a look at the below chart:

This post was published at MyBudget360 on December 04, 2016.

Global Financial Markets Plunged Into Chaos As Italy Overwhelmingly Votes ‘No’

Italian voters have embraced the global trend of rejecting the established world order, but the ‘no’ vote on Sunday has plunged global financial markets into a state of utter chaos. The euro has already fallen to a 20 month low, Italian government bonds are poised for a tremendous crash, and futures markets are indicating that both U. S. and European stock markets will be way down when they open on Monday. It is being projected that Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s referendum on constitutional reforms will be defeated by about 20 percentage points when all the votes have been counted, and Renzi has already announced that he plans to resign as a result. When new elections are held it looks like comedian Beppe Grillo’s Five-Star movement will come to power, and the European establishment is extremely alarmed at that prospect because Grillo wants to take Italy out of the eurozone. In the long run Italy would be much better off without the euro, but in the short-term the only thing propping up Italy’s failing banking system is support from Europe. Without that support, the 8th largest economy on the entire planet would already be in the midst of an unprecedented financial crisis.
I know that I said a lot in that first paragraph, but it is imperative that people understand how serious this crisis could quickly become.
This ‘no’ vote virtually guarantees a major banking crisis for Italy, and many analysts fear that it could trigger a broader financial crisis all across the rest of the continent as well.
Just look at what has already happened. All of the votes haven’t even been counted yet, and the euro is absolutely plummeting…

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on December 4th, 2016.

Cycles – Anti-Globalization And The End of the Debt Super Cycle

All the well followed economic cycles such as Martin Armstrong’s “Economic Confidence Model”, Harry Dent’s 39 Year Generational Cycle – 35 Year Geo-Political Cycle – 10 Year Boom-Bust Cycle or the Kondratieff Cycle all point down through early 2020. As Gordon T Long and Charles Hugh Smith examine in this 30 Minute video it is fundamentally about shifting generation behavioral sentiment and a cyclical change in “mood”.
The September 1992 issue of The Elliott Wave Theorist described these cyclical economic oscillations:
Major bear markets are accompanied by a reduction in the size of people’s unit of allegiance, the group that they consider to be like themselves. At the peak, there is a perceived brotherhood of men and nations. … In other words, at a peak, it’s all ‘we’; everyone is a potential friend. At a bottom it’s all ‘they’; everyone is a potential enemy. When times are good, tolerance is greater and boundaries weaker. When times are bad, intolerance for differences grows, and people build walls and fences to shut out those perceived to be different.


This post was published at GoldSeek on 4 December 2016.

Is The Donald trumped? Clinton scheming to seize the White House through backdoor

Is The Donald trumped? Clinton scheming to seize the White House through backdoor
The United States is so corrupt that the scenario presented by Robert Bridge is possible.
It was stupid or corrupt of Jill Stein to have set this possibility in motion.
Stephen Lendman suggests that Jill Stein is an agent for Hillary and the ruling oligarchy:

Stein’s recount scam is all about trying to change electoral results for Hillary – a disgraceful coup d’etat attempt, destroying her credibility, rendering her politically dead, harming the Green Party and what it stands for, perhaps irreparably.
She should be expelled, thoroughly denounced and barred from future party participation in any capacity. Betrayal is unforgivable.
Claiming to seek ‘electoral integrity,’ she failed to provide evidence of hacking or other irregularities.
She only sought recounts in states Trump narrowly won, excluding others he narrowly lost – further exposure of her scam. Financed largely by George Soros money proved it – raised almost overnight, more than amounts throughout months of campaigning since last year.
Late Saturday media reports, including from the Philadelphia Inquirer and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, explained the latest as follows:

This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on December 4, 2016.

“My Government Ends Here” Renzi Loses Italian Referendum, Will Offer Resignation

Grazie a tutti, comunque. Tra qualche minuto sar in diretta da Palazzo Chigi. Viva l'Italia!
Ps Arrivo, arrivo
— Matteo Renzi (@matteorenzi) December 4, 2016

To summarize, this is what has happened so yet another major blow to the European political status quo:
Italy PM Renzi lost by a huge margin, with the latest estimate somewhere around 59% voting “No” to Renzi’s proposed constitutional referendum. In a speech moments after the results were announced, Renzi confirmed he would hand in his resignation tomorrow, adding he isn’t available to lead a caretaker government in a blow to many sellside forecasters he would do just that As Bloomberg notes, the scale of the loss and how quickly it happened cast a huge shadow on the fate of the continent headed into 2017. Italy’s opposition parties, from Grillo’s Five Star Movement to Calvini’s “Northern League” to Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, seem to be aiming for early elections as soon as possible, “after making a few tweaks to the current electoral law.” Grillo said this can be done in “one week.” The blow out result of the referendum is a confirmation that anti-euro populists are ascendent in Europe. Expect more long nights in the months to come, especially in France and the Netherlands which are the two next big potential dominoes to fall.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 4, 2016.

Matteo Renzi Says He Will Resign After Losing Referendum

Grazie a tutti, comunque. Tra qualche minuto sar in diretta da Palazzo Chigi. Viva l'Italia!
Ps Arrivo, arrivo
— Matteo Renzi (@matteorenzi) December 4, 2016

As was reported earlier, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is expected to deliver a statement on the Italian referendum at midnight Italian time. According to Italy’s RAI, the statement has been delayed by 20 minutes. It is unclear what the topic of Renzi’s statement will be although speculation is rampant that the 41 year old prime minister may announce his resignation, opening the way for a new government and/or new elections.
Moments ago, the Twitter-loving prime minister, sent out the following tweet to his nearly 2.8 million followed: “Thanks to all of you. In a few minutes I will be speaking to you directly from Palazzo Chigi. Long live Italy. PS Am coming, am coming’
Watch Renzi’s speech live below:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 4, 2016.

Italians Vote ‘No,’ Renzi to Resign, Banking Crisis Now Looking for Taxpayers

Teetering Eurozone banks exposed to flying shrapnel.
A constitutional referendum on tweaking the way a country governs itself, of the type Italy held today, would normally not be a big deal for banks in that country, and particularly not for banks in other countries, and it wouldn’t have much impact on currencies and credit markets. But these are not normal times for Italy, which is in the middle of a vicious banking crisis, and they’re not normal times for the EU either, which has been grappling with a banking crisis of its own, even as it has begun to splinter, after the Brexit vote.
And it still wouldn’t be such a huge deal if Prime Minister Matteo Renzi hadn’t pledged he’d resign in case of a ‘no’ vote.
Now the Italians have voted ‘no’ by a resounding margin, according to preliminary results. Without waiting for final results, Renzi announced in a televised address to his compatriots that he intends to resign.
Renzi admitted that the vote had been a ‘clear’ rejection of the proposed constitutional reform. ‘The experience of my government ends here,’ he said. He’d meet with his cabinet on Monday and then turn in his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella. He took full responsibility for the humiliating defeat.
Now all bets on Italy’s political, economic, and financial stability are, once again, off. And by extension, the stability – what remains of it – of the Eurozone.

This post was published at Wolf Street on December 4, 2016.

All Eyes On Monte Paschi, Whose Bailout Is Now In Doubt, And Italian Bank Sector Contagion

As we noted last night, when we previewed the virtually assured “No” vote, we said that “a strong ‘No’ vote will cause Prime Minister Renzi to resign, leading to political instability in Italy. Furthermore, a “No” vote is expected to kill a long-running attempt to rescue Italy’s third largest and oldest bank, Monte dei Paschi, which has been desperate for a private sector bailout ever since it failed this summer’s ECB stress test to avoid broader banking sector contagion; a failure of Monte Paschi will likely spark a fresh eurozone banking crisis, and prompt the ECB to get involved again (as it warned it would do), in a redux of what happened after the Brexit vote.”
Sure enough, as the WSJ wrote moments ago, “when markets open Monday morning, all eyes will be on Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Italy’s troubled No. 3 lender, which is considered particularly vulnerable to fallout from a ‘no’ vote, which could complicate its plans to raise capital. Investors will be watching closely for any signs of a run on the bank, a situation that could force the government to move quickly with emergency measures.”
For those who have not been following the seeming endless bailout saga, and growing crisis, at Italy’s third largest – and most insolvent – bank, here is the quick rundown:
2007: Monte dei Paschi buys Banca Antonveneta for EUR9.3 Billion 2011: European stress test finds the bank has a capital hole of EUR3.3 billion 2012: MPS’s chairman and top management are replaced 2013: The lender borrows EUR4 billion from the government to stay afloat June 2014: MPS raises EUR5 billion in fresh capital and pays back EUR3 billion of the government loan

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 4, 2016.

How Trump Made Domestic Cyclical Stocks Great Again

While the big move higher in the US stock market following the Trump victory – a move which it is safe to say virtually every so-called expert, with a few exceptions, called wrong – has been duly noted, and has since started to fizzle, the real story is what has happened below the market’s surface, where the rotations from one sector to another in the past three weeks have been unlike anything seen in years.
As David Kostin observes, divergences in sector performance following the election reflect an environment with noticeably higher return dispersion. Although the S&P 500 index level has risen just 2% since Election Day, sharp rotations have taken place under the surface of the market. The disparate returns of Banks ( 19%), Utilities (-6%), and High Tax stocks ( 7%) are just a few examples. Whether or not the market has accurately foreseen the implications of the incoming government’s policies, the magnitude of these price movements suggests return dispersion will be higher in 2017 than it was in 2016 as President-elect Trump’s new policies are implemented.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 4, 2016.

Property Means Preservation

To the minds of most environmentalists, the ham-hand of government is needed to protect wildlife. Private property be damned – the government must step in, otherwise every species on the planet will be hunted into oblivion, or human development will gobble up all remaining wildlife habitat, leading to the complete extinction of all species.
However, on the African plain it’s just the opposite. From the van leaving Hoedspruit airport to the Thornybush Game Preserve, we saw nothing but mile after mile of African savannah, enclosed in electrified fencing (and at one point an ape bounding across the road). Although government-owned Kruger National Park is nearby, the area is dominated by private game reserves, with ecotourism being the primary driver of the local economy.
If not for these private game reserves, a number of species would be extinct. Because people like the four in our party are willing to pay to see the ‘Big Five’ and so much more, the populations of a number of these animals are thriving.
The game-reserve experience, while a good deal dependent on serendipity, is in the hands of human expertise and experience. The Thornybush accommodations, meals, and service are first class. But you go for the game: the experience of a lifetime, seeing animals up close, in the wild, that you’ve only seen before in picture books or cooped up in zoos.
Arriving in the afternoon, our first safari would begin with refreshments in the late afternoon. As I sipped on lemonade, an unassuming young Afrikaner approached me by name, introducing himself as Werner (pronounced ‘Verner’). Werner would be our game ranger for our four safaris.

This post was published at Mises Canada on DECEMBER 2, 2016.

Who’s On Deck at the Fed?

You may remember that in early September I wrote about the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) – basically, the Fed officials who vote on monetary and interest rate policies, which govern a massive part of our economy. They try to guide our economy through the booms and busts of business cycles (how well you think they do that probably depends on how your portfolio looks).
These all-but unknown folks have their hands on the levers of the economy, so I took a look at the FOMC voting member backgrounds and asked: what qualifies these people to decide if savers get punished with lower interest rate payments or borrowers get access to loans with reasonable repayment terms? What qualifies these Fed officials to tinker with the value of the U. S. dollar by experimenting with unproven academic theory?
After eight years of tinkering and experimenting with tools that created asset bubble after asset bubble, these policies haven’t magically created jobs or corporate revenues. They have made it far too easy for companies to buy back their own stock, which in turn makes it look like those companies are more profitable – and all while fueling a stock market bubble for good measure.
So with a new U. S. President-elect, what will the Fed look like in the near future? Will Trump try to fire Fed Chair Yellen? Will the new appointees really make any difference at the Fed? Let’s take a look at who’s on deck…

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on December 2, 2016.

GOING CASHLESS… OR GOING GOLD?

The following video was published by SGTreport.com on Dec 4, 2016
India is forcing its citizens into a cashless society, Australia appears to be heading down a similar road – and more quickly than any of us thought possible. A cashless society is the banksters ultimate dream, because it gives them the total control they desire as they ban cash and roll out their “new world order” to an unsuspecting public who is told it’s all in the name of curbing corruption. Bruce Bragagnolo, the Chairman of Inca One Gold Corp, a gold milling company, joins me to discuss.

Buy A House For 2.6 Ounces Of Gold

Few people realise the coming bargains in all asset markets within the next five years or so. Stocks, bonds and property will be fractions of current prices. I discussed in last week’s article how I expect stocks and property to decline maybe as much as 90%. Most people will consider this as sensational speculation and impossible but similar falls have happened in history before. And at no previous time in history has there been a credit bubble of a magnitude that the world is facing today. Previously individual countries have experienced depressions, often preceded by hyperinflation. But never before has every single industrialised country had a century of exponential growth of credit, asset prices and inflation which is likely to lead to a global collapse.
False growth based on fake money
It is of course impossible to time the end of a 100-year super cycle bubble. It has already gone on for much longer than many of us thought was possible. But governments, central banks as well as commercial banks have succeeded in pumping endless amounts of money into the system to keep the Ponzi scheme going. Most people do not understand what is happening to their money. They believe that their dollar, pound or euro is worth the same as it was 10 years ago, or 25 years ago. Since the creation of the Fed in the US in 1913, all major currencies have declined in value by 97-99%. This means that savings have been destroyed by the same amount. Savings are essential for an economy to grow soundly. Savings are the basis of investments for growth in all areas of the economy, whether it is manufacturing, housing or infrastructure. To achieve real growth, there must be savings. The growth that the world has experienced in the last few decades, especially since 1971 when the gold backing of the dollar was abolished, has been based on a massive debt expansion. Credit creation leads to currency debasement and in real terms virtually no growth is achieved. This is why real median wages for ordinary workers are not growing in many countries, like the USA or UK.
The world will soon experience how false and dangerous global growth has been since it is standing on a foundation of paper money. As this foundation collapses in coming years, the world will realise that all the assets that have been inflated to bubble levels will lose most of their value.

This post was published at GoldSwitzerland on December 2, 2016.

Fake Out: A Rally Built On ‘Hot Air’

Right at the time when markets were making new highs recently I mused whether this rally was based on hot air. I wanted to follow-up on this assessment in light of the recent small pullback and provide an update of some of the technical signals. The bottom line: The technical evidence appears to build on the ‘hot air’ message and suggests that new highs may have been a fake out.
I’ve long outlined my fundamental and structural concerns about financial markets and I won’t rehash them here, but you can read all about them in the Market Analysis section.
One of the most fascinating aspects of market psychology is participants’ tendency to get bullish at new highs while folks like myself, who are voicing concerns, get often dismissed or even outright ridiculed. That’s actually fine by me, after all seeing headlines like the ones below is often the best recipe for a nice contrarian trade set-up:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 4, 2016.

Treasury Shorts At 6 Year Highs; Hedge Funds Quietly Exit Stocks As Oil Shorts Crushed Again

With the last traces of the Trumpflation rally still noticeable, US equity inflows continued last week as positive economic data surprises rose to a 4-year high. Inflows into US equities ($4.4bn) continued for a 4th straight week, cumulatively adding $45bn. This is the longest consecutive stretch of inflows since June 2014, i.e., when the severe dollar shock began. Recent inflows have been in line with the macro data surprise index, MAPI, which reached a 4-year high this week, which however is likely set for an abrupt reversal once the hangover from the soaring dollar and the surge in interest rates hits.
For now, however, as the bottom right chart shows, investors just can’t seem to get enough of equities for 3 consecutive weeks.

And while European equities saw large outflows resume this week after a brief 2-week respite while EM saw outflows pause, as expected ahead of today’s Italian referendum, what is more surprising is that equity positioning has been cut back to neutral in what is a sharp disconnect from data surprises, almost as if the institutional investor base is not so sure the data will persist, and that the US will shortly recouple with the rest of the world.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 4, 2016.

The Most Important Market In The World (That You’ve Never Heard Of)

This is the first part of a series of articles (I don’t know how many, I’m not done yet) designed to explain what is easily THE most important, albeit poorly understood (even by professionals) market on this ball of dirt.
Eurodollars: What Are They?
To best explain what Eurodollars are we start with the English language.
You see, while English belongs to the Brits it is at the same time the undisputed, undefeated heavyweight champion of the world’s languages. You can be in Marrakesh, Ulan Bator, or Shanghai, and buy yourself a cold beer, swear at a taxi driver, and discuss the weather with a lady called Mei at the train station – all without changing language once.
Sure, you may have to strain your ears to understand Singlish in Singapore, and Texans have their own version of most everything, so why not English?
Australians always sound like they’ve had too much to drink (which is entirely possible), and at the speed that Kiwis talk it’s no wonder they were exiled to live in a land with more cattle than humans. Hell, even in the birthplace of the English language you’d be found scrunching your face, straining your ears, and begging for sign language instead when conversing with a Geordie. And heaven forbid you find yourself in a pub full of drunken Glaswegians.
Still, English is the grease in the cogs of global communications and so it is with dollars in global finance.
Dollar deposits in their birthplace (US) are well, just dollars. Dollar deposits outside of the US are like Singlish or Ingrish and the dozens of variations across the globe. It’s the same language just in a different place. Just as dollar deposits outside of the US are still dollars.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 4, 2016.

Gold Price Discovery Shifting to Physical Shanghai Gold Exchange as Prices Diverge vs LBMA

The launch of the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) was a promising event for gold investors. The exchange provides a new benchmark price for gold bullion with a much higher backing of contracts by actual physical metal. Many hope this new price benchmark will challenge or one day replace the Western price benchmarks that are widely believed to be manipulated.
To underscore the importance of this new pricing center, Craig Hemke of the TF Metals Report said:
This is one of the biggest developments that we’ve seen in the physical market in maybe a hundred years in that for the past 97 years total pricing, let’s call it pricing ability, on the wholesale market has been controlled in London through the twice daily fixes.
It’s actually priced in the local currency, the yuan. It’s a very big development. It is a natural occurrence in that all of the gold is migrating to the East so therefore the pricing power should be migrating to the East as well.

This post was published at GoldStockBull on December 2nd, 2016.