There Are 66,719 Empty Mansions In Vancouver

One year ago, when we first started discussing the Vancouver housing bubble, which as we first speculated – and was later confirmed – was the result of Chinese oligarch money-launderers parking “hot cash” in this offshore housing market (at least until a 15% property tax on foreign purchases made Seattle the new Vancouver), we said that Vancouver houses had become the de facto new Swiss bank account, and because of that the houses – once purchased – would remain a highly overprized, if vacant tribute to China’s soaring capital outflows.
Now, courtesy of data by urban planner Andy Yan of Simon Fraser University’s City Program, this has been confirmed because according to the latest census numbers, as of 2016 there were 25,502 unoccupied or empty housing units in the City of Vancouver. Expanding to include the entire metro area, Yan found that vacant or temporarily occupied dwellings have more than doubled since 2001 to 66,719 last year as neighborhoods have hollowed out.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 11, 2017.

Gold is Pouring Into ETFs World-Wide This Month

The gold price was under a bit of selling pressure in the first two hours and change after trading began at 6:00 p.m. EST in New York on Thursday evening. Then it traded pretty flat until about an hour before the London open. It then got knocked down to its low tick of the day. It rallied a titch into the COMEX open, but then was sold down until shortly after the equity markets opened in New York. The rally that developed at that point had a lot more legs to it, but it was more than obvious that it was running into ‘resistance’ from ‘all the usual suspects’. Most of the gains that mattered were in by around 11:30 a.m. EST – and it didn’t do much after that.
The low and high ticks were reported as $1,222.60 and $1,238.90 in the April contract.
Gold was closed in New York yesterday at $1,232.90 spot, up $5.10 from Thursday’s close. Net volume was sky high once again at 221,000 contracts.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Sunday, 12 February 2017.

Jim Rogers: “We’re About To Have The Worst Economic Problems Of A Lifetime, A Lot Of People Will Disappear”

“Get prepared,” warns billionaire commodity guru Jim Rogers, “because we’re going to have the worst economic problems in your lifetime and a lot of people are going to disappear.” In this wide-ranging interview with MacroVoices’ Erik Townsend, the investing legend discusses everything from whether Russia is being scapegoated (“yes, ask Victoria Nuland”), the war against cash (“governments love it… they want to control everything”), to his views on gold and the demise of freedom.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 11, 2017.

To Die Or To Reject – The Choice Of America’s ‘Ignorant, Spoiled, Lazy White Mob’

Submitted by Jeffrey Snider via Alhambra Investment Partners,
Commentator Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard reignited a fierce debate this week, though it seems like he correctly surmised at the time anonymity would have been preferable. Speaking with author Charles Murray, Kristol echoed a sentiment that has been underneath a lot of what passes for analysis these past few years of the ‘rising dollar.’ Being one prominent Never-Trumper, the most prominent, in fact, there is a fair amount of disdain that is political more than pure economic interpretation. It was the disillusionment, after all, of the working classes who delivered Mr. Trump his current Pennsylvania Avenue address.
If you google ‘job openings’ chances are very good that in almost every one of the news articles that comes up the words ‘skills mismatch’ are prominently placed. It has become something of an obsession in official circles, to which Kristol is apart, because how could it be any different? After massive infusions of ‘stimulus’, the economy never caught fire even though it was supposed to at several points along the way. The JOLTS survey of BLS configured data has been at record highs for several years, surging in 2015 as the economy fell off. Therefore it must be something wrong with workers rather than the economy the ‘experts’ worked tirelessly to bring about with the best-designed programs in history.
You can make a case that America has been great because every – I think John Adams said this – basically if you are in free society, a capitalist society, after two or three generations of hard work, everyone becomes kind of decadent, lazy, spoiled – whatever.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 11, 2017.

Good, But Not Great

Another great week for stocks.
Just superb action as the bull market continues.
The metals have been acting pretty strong as well but did show weakness into the end of the week which suggests to me more time and basing action is needed, regardless, there are easier ways to make money, and more of it, than trading metals equities right now.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Sunday, 12 February 2017.

PAYING THEM NOT TO KILL US

I bet you didn’t know the Department of Homeland Security takes millions of your tax dollars and hands it over to Muslim organizations in America so they can try and convince their minions not to conduct a jihad against us. Isn’t that precious. I guess if they are turning down the money because of Trump, that means they will encourage their junior jihadists to violently oppose our society.

This post was published at The Burning Platform on February 11, 2017.

Donald Trump’s Most Important Fed Appointment (Spoiler Alert: It’s Not The Chair)

Submitted by Peter Conti-Brown via The Yale Journal on Regulation,
Given the tumult of the opening weeks of the Trump Administration, the public is forgiven for not realizing that the Administration is woefully understaffed. But even in the flurry of personnel announcements from first the transition team and now the Administration, on the Federal Reserve – perhaps the most powerful of governmental agencies – we have had near radio silence. Of course, Fed Chair Janet Yellen is still at the helm and will be for another year. But two long-standing vacancies are available for the President immediately, and in them lies a key to understanding a fundamental relationship that should guide how we think about the Trump presidency and the very nature of financial and monetary system. While we have already heard from the President that wrestling magnate Linda McMahon has been nominated to lead the Small Business Administration and billionaire Wilbur Ross will lead the Department of Commerce, we have only some hints about whom might fill those important vacancies.
Why the lack of movement on the Fed? Faced with similar vacancies, then President-elect Obama moved relatively quickly. Daniel Tarullo was announced in the first group of regulatory appointments, in December 2008. Granted, that was during a financial crisis: President-elect Obama may have felt early enthusiasm for filling those vacancies that President Obama didn’t share. Obama has kept vacancies at the Fed’s Board longer than in any other time in history, including when Democrats controlled the Senate. It’s possible that President Trump will treat Fed vacancies with a similar disregard.
Possible, but I wouldn’t count on it. President Trump is likely to assert himself early in influencing the Fed, as is his right. But Fed defenders and critics should also take careful note: how he uses that authority will tell us much about whether the central bank will continue in its present form as a policy-making body steeped in traditions of expertise and independence, or whether it will become another arm for partisan and political warfare.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 11, 2017.

Doug Noland: Bubbles, Money and the VIX

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Credit Bubble Bulletin. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
February 10 – Financial Times (John Authers): ‘The Importance of Bubbles That Did Not Burst:’
‘Is there really such a thing as a market bubble? I feel almost heretical answering this question. I and most readers have lived through two decades that were dominated by two vast investment bubbles and the attempt to deal with their consequences when they burst. Getting into definitions is beside the point. As US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart once said to define pornography: ‘I know it when I see it.’ And there is no point in arguing that the dotcom bubble that came to a head in 2000, or the credit bubble that burst seven years later, were not bubbles. I know a bubble when I see one, and they were bubbles. For those of my generation, spotting bubbles before they get too big, and thwarting them, seems to be vital for regulators and investors alike.’
‘But in a great new compendium on financial history, several writers make the same points. The number of bubbles in history is very small. That makes it hard to draw any valid inferences from them. Further, definition is a real problem, and not just one for linguistic nitpickers. History’s acknowledged bubbles all have one critical factor in common; they burst. But that gives us a one-sided view. We need to look at those bubbles that did not burst and the crises that did not happen.’

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Doug Noland ‘ February 11, 2017.

Week in Review: February 11, 2017

President Donald Trump is set to have an even greater impact on the Federal Reserve than expected, after Daniel Tarullo surprisingly announced he will be leaving the Fed’s board in April – five years before his term was set to expire. This now leaves Trump with three vacancies to fill. Will Trump take the opportunity to appoint someone who doesn’t believe that low interest rates and price controls are good for an economy? Or will it be more of the same? That may be as hard to predict as the Fed’s next interest rate hike. What we do know is that Tarullo, as Obama’s go-to-guy for financial regulations, will not be missed (hopefully the Dodd-Frank Act will follow him out the door).

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on February 11, 2017.

Kamikaze Economics with Slow-Motion Debt Crash

Wee bit of Contagion? Catalonian default will be seen as Spanish default: Moody’s
‘An impending train crash.’ Those are the words increasingly being used to describe Madrid’s seemingly intractable conflict with Spain’s separatist north-eastern region of Catalonia. The latest flashpoint in tensions is the political show trial of Catalonia’s former president, Artur Mas, and two other Catalan politicians for their role in organizing a purely symbolic, non-binding referendum on national independence in November, 2014.
Mas has been charged with serious disobedience and other crimes for ignoring a court injunction against the unofficial vote, which the central government in Madrid considered illegal. If found guilty he could be barred from public office for up to ten years.
For Catalonia’s separatist movement, the trial has provided yet another PR coup just as popular support for the movement was beginning to wane. Once again, the outside world is being reminded, no matter how briefly, about the region’s national aspirations and the central government’s increasingly repressive efforts to thwart them.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ Feb 11, 2017.

China Looking to Regulate Gold & Bitcoin

China has called all Bitcoin exchanges to a closed door meeting looking to shut down the flight of capital from China. China is looking to deal with the expected trade confrontation with Trump and looking to shut down the flow of capital that has been putting a downward pressure on their currency. We can see that the US dollar has risen for 35 months and this will be seen as a currency war by Trump for his advisers from Goldman Sachs are clueless assuming markets can simply be bullied or manipulated with power.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Feb 10, 2017.

Fischer Admits Fed Is Clueless About What Happens Next

In a moment of rare honesty, during a conference in England, Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer admitted that the Fed is clueless about what happens next, blaming the Fed’s lack of clarity on Trump and saying there is significant uncertainty about U. S. fiscal policy under the Trump administration.
“There is quite significant uncertainty about what’s actually going to happen, I don’t think anyone quite knows what’s going to come out of the process which involves both the administration and Congress in the deciding of fiscal policy and a variety of other things.” Fischer said in response to audience questions about the Fed’s next steps. ‘At the moment we are going strictly according to what we see as our responsibility according to law.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 11, 2017.

What Form Will The Great Confiscation Take – And How Can We Prepare?

For what seems like decades, people have been warning that the next time some over-leveraged corner of the financial system implodes, bank and brokerage accounts will be either confiscated by desperate governments or lost during the resulting chaos.
Here, from 2012, is a representative warning from gold mining eminence grise Jim Sinclair:
My Dear Extended Family,
In bankruptcy of your bank, broker or fund, you can find your assets in the majority of cases are backing the liabilities of the entity in front of yourselves. This is why you must act to protect yourself.
No one in this financial world is going to do it for you, and few will have the courage to recommend you escape Street Name. You can wake up one day and find out that your investments are gone.
The insurance programs will function as long as the incidents of bankruptcy are isolated events.
In a systemic collapse the insurance funds are not capitalized to meet the potential obligations. The guarantor you are relying on will have to be bailed out.

This post was published at DollarCollapse on FEBRUARY 11, 2017.

ECRI Weekly Leading Index: Another All-Time High

Today’s release of the publicly available data from ECRI (Economic Cycle Research Institute) puts its Weekly Leading Index (WLI) at 145.6, up 0.4 from the previous week. It is currently at an all-time high. Year-over-year the four-week moving average of the indicator is now at 11.92%, up from 11.50% the previous week, and at an interim high. The WLI Growth indicator is now at 11.8, unchanged from the previous week.
“Future Inflation Gauge Leads Inflation Expectations”

This post was published at FinancialSense on 2/10/2017.

Barclays: “Significant Change Is Coming To The Fed Over The Next 18 Months”

Following yesterday’s surprise resignation announcement by Obama friend, and Fed “regulatory point man” Daniel Tarullo, which in turn followed last week’s resignation announcement by the Fed’s general counsel Scott Alvarez, and which means that there will be three open governor seats at the Fed (resulting in more Fed presidents, 5, than governors, 4, until the vacant slots are filled), Trump can now populate the Fed board with governors whose views echo his own – especially if strong pro-Clinton supporter and donor, Lael Brainard, is the next to go – even if it is still unclear just what that view is.
Between Trump’s USD-positive proposed trade policies and his USD-negative currency war statements, it remains to be seen if Trump wants a stronger or weaker US currency.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 11, 2017.

What Voter Fraud? – Mexican Citizen Sentenced To 8 Years In Prison After Illegally Voting In Texas

Rosa Ortega, a Mexican citizen, has been convicted of voter fraud and sentenced to 8 years in prison in Texas after inadvertently admitting to election officials that she had been voting in Dallas County for years. Apparently the voting fraud was discovered by chance after Ortega tried to register to vote in Tarrant County but was rejected after she admitted that she was not actually a citizen of the United States. While she should have probably just accepted the rejection, Ortega pushed back by arguing that she had already been voting in Dallas County, an argument that drew the attention of investigators.
Ortega’s voting privileges were approved in Dallas after she falsified her application by claiming to be a citizen. Of course, liberal lawyers, funded by George Soros, have done a masterful job convincing courts around the country that verifying things like a person’s identity and citizenship status prior to allowing them to vote is unconstitutional. Per CBS:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 10, 2017.

Moving Targets: Investors Need to Discriminate!

In the current political climate herds are running every which way. There is the anti-Trump herd, the pro-Trump herd, the liberal herd, the conservative herd, the CNBC herd, the mainstream financial services industry herd, the Armstrong herd, the gold bug herd… and there are all those ideologies in play. But robotic thinking, unless it is in service to profitable trades like this one on an excellent company providing automation (ref. recent Fanuc NFTRH highlight), does not pay (disclaimer: I’ve sold and taken the profit).
So stop right there! These are the financial markets, and if you have not checked your deepest held beliefs, your virtue, your bigotry and in general, your bias at the door you are going to lose.
There is a plan in play, which NFTRH has been tracking for many months, since we abandoned the bearish topping patterns (that weren’t) in US markets during the depths of the Brexit hysteria and the subsequent sentiment thrust, which undid the market’s bearish technical status. The plan has been ‘SPX bullish’ based on the bullish moving average (up) signal on this weekly chart from the better part of a year ago…

This post was published at GoldSeek on 10 February 2017.