Preparing to Barter and Trade Is NOT a Loony Idea

Let’s start with this fact; fiat (paper) currencies die – often spectacularly. That is why precious metals may someday be needed for barter and trade. Anyone who thinks it is silly to worry about such a thing is putting blind faith in Federal Reserve Notes.
The U. S. dollar is having a great run, no question. It will soon be 50 years since Nixon closed the gold window, thereby converting the dollar to a purely fiat currency. Five decades is longer than most purely fiat currencies survive.
Humans carry a normalcy bias. That helps explain why so many assume the unbacked Federal Reserve Note, which has served so long as our currency, will continue to serve in the future.
If you test that assumption, it quickly gets hard to defend.
Point to the exponential growth in U. S. debt, the unrestrained government spending throughout both Republican and Democratic administrations, and the extraordinary monetary policies of the Fed (particularly in the past decade) and reasonable people should acknowledge that the reign of ‘king dollar’ is unlikely to last forever.
Most people don’t know the first thing about the dark history of fiat currencies around the world. Governments use them to borrow and print without limits. Suffer no delusions – fiat currencies were invented for precisely that purpose. The gold in the treasury has never been sufficient for the wars, social programs, and graft which are the hallmarks of a growing government.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 31 July 2017.

RBA Preview: Beware Of Doves, Leaks And Stop Hunts

In addition to the Chinese Caixin Manufacturing PMI due out shortly, which will either confirm or deny Sunday’s modest decline in the official Mfg PMI, the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) decision (due at 2:30pm Sydney time) headlines the region’s risk events this week.
All of those surveyed expect the RBA to stand pat, which would leave its cash rate sitting at 1.50%. The minutes from the July meeting reaffirmed labor and housing markets as particular areas of interest, with both leaving many questions unanswered. The most interesting note to take from the minutes was the discussion surrounding the neutral interest rate, which some market participants deemed as hawkish, and which sent the AUD surging. However, in his most recent address last week, RBA Governor Lowe turned unexpectedly dovish and rejected this view, with Westpac suggesting that he reinforced the Bank’s ‘firmly on hold’ stance. Lowe also tried to talk down the currency, stating that it “would be better if the AUD was a bit lower”.
This was underscores by last week’s sub-consensus headline 2Q CPI print (0.2% QoQ vs. 0.4% expected) which supports the RBA’s view that domestic inflationary pressures are lacklustre, but officials may take some comfort in the slightly firmer core readings, according to analysts at ING.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 31, 2017.

Brick & Mortar Retail Meltdown Fueled by Asset Stripping. Details Emerge in Bankruptcy Courts

PE firms win again. Stiffed creditors not amused in bankruptcy court.
Nearly every retail chain caught up in the brick & mortar meltdown is an LBO queen – acquired in a leveraged buyout by a private equity firm either during the LBO boom before the Financial Crisis or in the years of ultra-cheap money following it. During a leveraged buyout, the PE firm uses little of its own capital. Much of the money needed to buy the retailer comes from debt the retailer itself has to issue to fund the buyout, which leaves the retailer highly leveraged.
The PE firm then makes the retailer issue even more junk bonds or leveraged loans to fund a special dividend back to the PE firm. Come hell or high water, the PE firm has extracted its money.
Then the PE firm charges the retailer hefty management fees on an ongoing basis.
This form of asset stripping removes cash from the retailer and leaves it struggling under a load of debt. It works wonderfully until it doesn’t – until booming online sales started eating their lunch, sending these overleveraged retailers, one after the other, into bankruptcy court, where creditors learn what it means to end up holding the bag. But they’re not amused, as we now see. But first the numbers…

This post was published at Wolf Street on Jul 31, 2017.

Goldman Sachs Says That There Is A 99 Percent Chance That Stock Prices Will Not Keep Going Up Like This

Analysts at Goldman Sachs are saying that it is next to impossible for stock prices to keep going up like they have been recently. Ever since Donald Trump’s surprise election victory in November, stocks have been on a tremendous run, but this surge has not been matched by a turnaround in the real economy. We have essentially had a ‘no growth’ economy for most of the past decade, and ominous signs pointing to big trouble ahead are all around us. The only reason why stocks have been able to perform so well is due to unprecedented intervention by global central banks, but they are not going to be able to keep inflating this bubble forever. At some point this absolutely enormous bubble will burst and investors will lose trillions of dollars.
The only other times we have seen stock valuations at these levels were just before the stock market crash of 1929 and just before the dotcom bubble burst in 2000. For those that think that they can jump into the markets now and make a lot of money from rapidly rising stock prices, I think that it would be wise to consider what analysts at Goldman Sachs are telling us. The following is from a CNBC article that was published on Monday…

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on July 31st, 2017.

JULY 31/GOLD AND SILVER HOLD DESPITE THIS BEING THE LAST DAY FOR OPTIONS EXPIRY ON LONDON OTC CONTRACTS/WAR OF WORDS BETWEEN USA, NORTH KOREA AND CHINA RE THE NORTH KOREA’S LAUNCHING OF THAT ICBM…

GOLD: $1268.00 DOWN $1.60
Silver: $16.79 UP 9 cent(s)
Closing access prices:
Gold $1269.60
silver: $16.85
SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: FIRST FIX 10 15 PM EST (2:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)
SECOND FIX: 2:15 AM EST (6:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)
SHANGHAI FIRST GOLD FIX: $1273,24.79 DOLLARS PER OZ
NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: $1269.20
PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $4.04
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1272,13
NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1267.80
Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$4.33
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX: 5:30 am est $1266.35
NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1266.80
LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX 10 AM: $1267.55
NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. $1268.00
For comex gold:
AUGUST/
NOTICES FILINGS TODAY FOR APRIL CONTRACT MONTH: 1637 NOTICE(S) FOR 163700 OZ.
TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 1637 FOR 163700 OZ (5.091 TONNES)
For silver:
AUGUST
233 NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR
1,165,000 OZ/
Total number of notices filed so far this month: 233 for 1,165,000 oz
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
On Friday night I wrote the following:
‘On yesterday’s commentary I thought we were going to have a raid today. I noticed that the gold/silver equity shares sold off badly yesterday and that is a sure sign that an attack will occur. Probably our crooks were blindsided today with the failure of the Republicans to pass the healthcare bill as well as lousy GDP report, the all important wage inflation is non existent and the passing of new sanctions against Russia. And then we can couple all of this with the new launching of a ICBM that could hit New York and Boston…and yet with all of that news, the gain in gold was less than 10 dollars and silver, 11 cents. However today again, the gold/silver equity shares fell off badly on closing and we have only Monday morning for options expiry. There has never been any time during any options expiry that the crooks have not generated a raid. So if they fail to raid on Monday, they are losing control as demand is far outstripping supply in our precious metals.

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on July 31, 2017.

Why the Price of Silver Could Continue Its 9.6% Rebound in 2017

Since the price of silver saw a flash crash on July 7 and prices fell to $15.37, the precious metal has managed to continue its third straight week of gains. It climbed 1.2% last week from $16.50 on Friday, July 21, to $16.73 on Friday, July 28, and is now up 9.6% from the July 7 bottom to today’s price of $16.85.
So far, the gains have been small but steady, with the average daily price gain since July 7 being 0.5%. Because of silver’s ‘quiet rally’ and ongoing mispricing relative to gold, I think silver prices in 2017 can continue to climb much higher. The gold/silver ratio has been above the 75.50 level all month for the first time since May 2016, indicating a mispricing with gold.
Additionally, I think the falling U. S. Dollar Index (DXY) – down 52 basis points last week to its lowest level since April 2016 – and a dovish U. S. Federal Reserve will help lift the silver price higher. Those factors combined with improving momentum and sentiment all add up to a big bull run for the metal this year.
Before I get into my specific 2017 silver price prediction, let’s take a closer look at the metal’s third straight weekly gain last week…

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on July 31, 2017.

Watch Live: Sarah Sanders Attempts To Explain What The Hell Is Going On At The White House

Highest Stock Market EVER, best economic numbers in years, unemployment lowest in 17 years, wages raising, border secure, S. C.: No WH chaos!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2017

Update: Following comments from McMaster and Mnuchin on Venezuelan sanctions, pretty much every question at today’s White House press briefing was related to Scaramucci’s sudden dismissal. And while Sanders made it clear early on that she wasn’t going to offer any incremental details beyond the official statement released earlier, it didn’t stop pretty much every reporter from asking the exact same quetion over and over.
*SANDERS: SCARAMUCCI HAS NO ROLE AT THIS TIME IN ADMINISTRATION
*SANDERS: ALL WHITE HOUSE STAFF REPORT TO CHIEF OF STAFF KELLY
*SANDERS: DECLINES TO SAY IF TRUMP REGRETS HIRING SCARAMUCCI

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 31, 2017.

Self Ownership in the Age of Authoritarianism: Jeff Berwick on Open Your Mind Radio Ireland

The following video was published by The Dollar Vigilante on Jul 31, 2017
Jeff is interviewed by Alan James and Steven George for Open Your Mind Radio Ireland, topics include: Jeff’s intriguing upcoming travel plans, the financial system and cryptocurrencies, interest rate madness, socialism and central banking, getting rid of governments, self ownership, we don’t have capitalism, control of the internet, increasing authoritarianism, the Shemitah, jubilee and market cycles, the dumbing down and drugging of the US population, EBT cards, preparing for a major crash, hyperinflation, diet and growing your own food, self sufficiency, self improvement

Treasury To Issue Half A Trillion Dollars In Debt In Q4

In the first warning sign that the US Treasury is burning through more cash than previously expected, at 3pm today the Treasury Department announced that in its latest forecast of end-of-September cash balance it anticipated only $60 billion of cash on hand, nearly half the $115 billion it forecast in its previous report in May, according to the Department’s marketable borrowing estimates. The treasury also expects to borrow $96 billion in net marketable debt in the current quarter, down from $98 billion forecast previously.
This drawdown in cash, and jump in government outlays, was to be expected following the latest Monthly Statement from the Treasury which showed a surge in government outlays, which hit a record high $429 billion in June, for reasons discussed previously.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 31, 2017.

Over-Storing America

That retail is overbuilt is obvious to anyone who has driven 20 miles in America. Less obvious is the why of over-building.
‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves’ – Julius Caesar
As it happens, Shakespeare was writing about retail in America today when he penned those memorable lines in 1599. Our woes stem not from the internet, but from our building permits. Forbes notes that, ‘Since 1995, the number of shopping centers in the U. S. has grown by more than 23 percent and the total gross leasable area by almost 30 percent, while the population has grown by less than 14 percent.’
In short, retail is overbuilt. But not quite everywhere. This is where the old saw about real estate being the most local of endeavors cuts sharp. While the recession is a fraying memory for the country as a whole, five states – Arizona, Connecticut, Mississippi, Nevada and Wyoming – have yet to hit their pre-recession GDP levels and, according to Bloomberg, eight are below their former employment peaks and fifteen have yet to scale their former housing heights.
Where is it hot? The usual suspects: where land is scarce, zoning hard and everyone wants to live. Basically, ocean-view cities.

This post was published at Wolf Street on Jul 31, 2017.

Here’s The Real Reason The Fed Is Making Absurd Monetary Decisions

John Mauldin has often written about the Fed’s abysmal track record in managing the economy. Here Lacy Hunt and Van Hoisington of Hoisington Investment Management explain the reasons for the Fed’s consistently poor track record.
They start by considering the Fed’s ‘dual mandate,’ which sets ‘the goals of maximum employment, stable prices and moderate long-term interest rates.’ (And yes, that is actually three goals, not two.)
But a problem arises, the authors note, ‘because considerable time elapses between the implementation of the monetary actions designed to follow the mandate and when the impact of those actions take effect on broader business conditions.’
The time lag can easily be three years or longer, with the result that policy changes often end up being pro-rather than countercyclical.
To make matters even worse, ‘the economic risks from adherence to this dual mandate are now much greater than historically due to the economy’s extreme over-indebtedness, poor demographics and a fragile global economy.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 31, 2017.

The Economic Euphoria Has Reached New Heights, When It Crashes… – Episode 1345a

The following video was published by X22Report on Jul 31, 2017
Companies are starting to figure out that many of the clicks on social network ads are coming from bots, they are now scaling back on advertising. Pending homes sales popped up but when you look at the overall picture housing has gone nowhere. Dallas Fed soft data improves while the hard data crashes. Majority of the economic data is declining, there has been no improvement and the economy euphoria is coming to and end, when it does it will be a disaster. The EU is in trouble their bank insurance will not be able to cover a major disaster. The amount of tax revenues coming into the government can not keep up with the debt.

Cancelling Your Model 3 Refund? Expect Delays Due To “System Failures,” “IT Issues” Or “Database Errors”

3 mths, 14 emails, 6 support tickets and 4 phone calls later, still no refund from @TeslaMotors on cancelled Model 3 order #scam #lawsuit
— Jakob Pizzera (@pizzeraj) July 20, 2017

Back in March 2016, Elon Musk triggered every snowflake in America into action with the announcement of his ‘affordable’ Model 3 that would deliver at least 215 miles of driving, starting at just $35,000. Within a matter of weeks, pretty much everyone in the country who could afford to scrape together $1,000 managed to put down a deposit on a car they wouldn’t be able to drive for a couple of years as if they were simply buying the latest version of the iPhone.
But while Tesla was all too eager to take in those $1,000 deposits, if you count yourself among the growing number of people who suddenly want their money back you shouldn’t expect the return process to be quite as seamless.
As Wired points out today, while customers have been promised that their Model 3 deposits are refundable in 3 weeks and right up until their car goes into production, many are finding out that it’s not quite that easy in reality. In fact, one customer interviewed by Wired, Shashank Chitti, has been waiting for his deposit for 2.5 months now and still has no idea when his claim will be rectified.
Fortunately, Tesla makes it easy to ask for your money back; the company’s website says deposit holders can cancel at any time. Per the company’s Model 3 Reservation FAQ, ‘Refunds can take up to three weeks depending on your country of delivery.’
At least that’s how it’s supposed to work.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 31, 2017.

A Phillips Curveball

Under Ms. Yellen’s leadership, the preemption of inflation based on the Phillips curve has become the lodestar of monetary policy. Accordingly, last week’s Fed statement, while allowing that inflation ‘is expected to remain somewhat below 2 percent in the near term,’ reaffirms the view that it will ‘stabilize around the Committee’s 2 percent objective over the medium term.’
The Phillips curve is a graphical representation of the ostensible inverse relationship between inflation and unemployment, implying that it should be downward-sloping. Yet, following the post-recession rebound in inflation in 2009, as Chart 1 shows, the relationship between the unemployment rate (horizontal axis) and the PCE inflation measure favored by the Fed (vertical axis) has been nothing of the sort.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 31, 2017.

Gold Market Morning: July-31-2017: Gold and silver rising in all currencies!

Gold Today – New York closed Friday at $1,269.40. London opened at $1,266.45 today.
Overall the dollar was weaker against global currencies, early today. Before London’s opening:
– The $: was weaker at $1.1725 after the Friday’s $1.1709: 1.
– The Dollar index was weaker at 93.50 after Friday’s 93.71.
– The Yen was stronger at 110.67 after Friday’s 111.23:$1.
– The Yuan was stronger at 6.7282 after Friday’s 6.7415: $1.
– The Pound Sterling was stronger at $1.3122 after Friday’s $1.3090: 1.
Yuan Gold Fix
New York closed $6.60 higher than Shanghai’s close on Friday with Shanghai catching up today. London opened $2.60 lower than Shanghai was trading at the same time. All three global gold markets are advancing as global demand is driving gold prices higher.
Silver Today – Silver closed at $16.75 Friday after $16.57 at New York’s close Thursday.
LBMA price setting: The LBMA gold price was set today at $1,266.35 from Friday’s $1,259.60. The gold price in the euro was set at 1,079.31 after yesterday’s 1.075.20.
Just before the opening of New York the gold price was trading at $1,268.35 and in the euro at 1,081.10. At the same time, the silver price was trading at $16.78.
Gold (very short-term)
The gold price should move higher, in New York today.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 31 July 2017.

Europe’s Biggest Oil Refinery Shut Down After Fire

Shell’s Pernis refinery in Rotterdam, the biggest in Europe, has been partially shut down after a short circuit caused a major fire on Sunday. Deutsche Welle quoted a Shell spokesman as saying there were no casualties. The company is currently assessing the damage to establish when the refinery will be brought back online.
Reuters quoted a company statement to traders from Sunday as saying all loadings of fuels from the 404,000-bpd Pernis facility have been suspended immediately and they were likely to remain suspended today as well. The shutdown of the refinery should push up the prices of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel in northwestern Europe.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 07/31/2017.

World Stock Markets Mixed; Geopolitics In Focus

(Kitco News) – Global stock markets were mixed overnight. U. S. stock indexes are pointed toward firmer openings when the New York day session begins.
Gold prices are slightly lower in pre-U. S.-session trading after scoring a six-week high overnight. The gold bulls still have good upside near-term technical momentum, amid a steep price uptrend in place on the daily bar chart.
The weekend news that North Korea launched another ballistic test missile, which experts say could now reach well into the U. S. mainland, is not having a major impact on world markets. However, this matter could well be the next geopolitical flashpoint, as the U. S. says it will not allow North Korea to have such a capability.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on July 31, 2017.