Barclays Installs Desk Sensors To Monitor Employees

As we reported last month, a Wisconsin company called Three Square Market has become the first company in the US to offer microchip implants to its employees. The firm, which designs software for breakroom markets, wants employees to use microchips to help facilitate vending-machine payments. The firm wanted to use its employees as test subjects for their product. And though the program was strictly voluntary, it marks an uncomfortable beginning of a trend that could someday result in all humans being involuntarily microchipped.
Now, across the pond, companies are escalating efforts to monitor their employees.
Barclays Plc has installed devices at its London headquarters that track how much time bankers spend at their desks. While a spokesperson for the bank says the devices aren’t meant to evaluate employees’ performance, their introduction has clearly spooked members of the rank-and-file, who leaked the story to Bloomberg.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 20, 2017.

Signs of the Endgame

There’s no denying these are quite interesting times, in a Chinese curse sort of way. Only an asteroid on a collision course with Earth, or an ISIS nuclear detonation, could make the world seem any more interesting than it already is. Under the circumstances, it’s tempting to predict that, any day now, the stock market will recalibrate itself to the grim realities of a civilization in eclipse, and, more urgently, to a Trump presidency dangerously adrift.
With the foregoing in mind, I present today a chart that shows DIA, an ETF vehicle that tracks the Dow Industrials, rolling down from on high. There is a lot of white space below it, more than ever before, and that is what makes the chart seem so scary. Even so, you can see that all such disturbances in the past were ultimately resolved in favor of bulls, usually quickly. Perhaps that will prove to be the case this time as well.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Monday, 21 August 2017.

Marc Faber: In The Age Of Cyber-Terrorism, Every Investor Must Own Gold

Take it from ‘Dr. Doom’: own some physical gold and keep it out of the banking system.
Dr. Marc Faber, a legendary investor and the editor/publisher of the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, is well known for his contrarian investing style.
In a recent Metal Masters interview with the Hard Assets Alliance, he noted that the biggest geopolitical risk for Americans today is not a conventional war but rather cyber-attacks that could take down the US power grid.
In such a scenario, gold would become an irreplaceable medium of exchange. But it’s not the only reason to own gold today.
Diversified Assets Outside the Banking System
Faber grew up in Switzerland right after World War II, a tough time that caused his family to distrust paper money and taught him the importance of precious metals as a safety net.
Faber remembers how his father talked about rich people as millionaires.
‘That, in the ’50s and ’60s and ’70s, was a lot of money. Today, a million is nothing at all – small change. Unfortunately. When people talk about, ‘Oh, there is no inflation in the system,’ this is nonsense. Compared to assets, money has lost a tremendous amount of purchasing power.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 20, 2017.

RISK ON: WAR, ECONOMY, DEBT, DOLLAR – RISK OFF: GOLD

Totally irresponsible policies by Governments and Central Banks have created the most dangerous situation that the world has ever experienced. Risk doesn’t arise quickly as the result of a single action or event. No, risk of the magnitude that the world is experiencing today is the result of many years or decades of economic mismanagement.
Cycles are normal in nature and in the world economy. And cycles that are the result of the laws of nature normally play out in an orderly fashion without extreme tops or bottoms. Just take the seasons, they go from summer to autumn, winter and spring with soft transitions that seldom involve drama or catastrophe. Economic cycles would be the same if they were allowed to happen naturally without the interference of governments. But power corrupts and throughout history leaders have always hung on to power by interfering with the normal business cycle. This involves anything from reducing the precious metals content of money from 100% to nothing, printing money, leveraging credit, manipulating interest rates, taking total taxes to 50%+ today from nothing 100 years ago, etc, etc.
GOVERNMENTS DOING GOD’S WORK
Governments will always fail when they believe that they are gods. But not only governments believe they perform godly tasks but also hubristic investment bankers like the ex-CEO of Goldman Sachs who proclaimed thahe bank was doing God’s work. It must be remembered that Goldman, like most other banks, would have gone under if they and JP Morgan hadn’t instructed the Fed to save them by printing and guaranteeing $25 trillion in 2008. Or maybe that was God’s hand too?
We now have unmanageable risks at many levels – politically, geopolitically, economically and financially.

This post was published at GoldSwitzerland on August 18, 2017.

China’s Plunge Protection Team Holds $150 Billion In Stock, Claims “State Meddling” Stabilizes Markets

It was two years ago, in June of 2015, when just as the Shanghai Composite was flirting with 5,000 and when literally the local banana stand guy was trading stocks, that the Chinese stock bubble burst, unleashing an unprecedented selling spree, a 40% drop in just two months, and Beijing’s nationalization of the stock market, courtesy of the domestic plunge protection team, the China Securities Regulatory Commission also known as the “National Team”.
The decision by local authorities to effectively shut down price discovery had a huge confidence crushing impact on local investor confidence. As Gavekal Research put it overnight, “the lack of trust was crystallized by the decision in the summer of 2015 to ‘shut down’ the equity markets for a while and stop trading in any stock that looked like it was heading south. That decision confirmed foreign investors’ apprehension about China and in their eyes set back renminbi internationalization by several years, if not decades.”
Understandably, with the realization that China (or any other nation for that matter), no longer has a an efficient, discounting stock market, but merely a policy tool meant to inspire confidence on the way up, and punish short sellers and “speculators” on the way down, the China Securities Regulatory Commission kept a low profile: after all why remind traders and investors that the local market only exists in the imaginations of several Beijing bureaucrats who sit down every day to decide the “fair value” of all market-traded equities.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 20, 2017.

All Things Bearish

Evaluating Value
Recession Watch
Federal Follies
The S&P 500: Just Say No!
Colorado, Chicago, Lisbon, Denver, and Lugano
‘There is only one side of the market and it is not the bull side or the bear side but the right side.’
– Jesse Livermore
‘At least us old men remember what a real bear market is like. The young men haven’t got a clue.’
– Jeremy Grantham
With regard to the stock market, some people are true perma-bears while others merely adopt a bearish outlook when indicators suggest trouble ahead. There’s a big difference between the two.
Call it nature, nurture, or something else, but some people have a reliably bearish outlook. You know before they say a word which way they will lean. The same is true of perpetual bulls.
Perma-bulls and perma-bears serve a useful function: They pay attention to information the rest of us may overlook because it doesn’t fit our own biases. Occasionally they unearth important information we should heed. So, it’s important not to discount everything the perma-types say.
As for me, I’m not perma-anything. Academic research confirms that my attitude is the proper one: cautious optimism. I look for opportunity where I can find it. And I find opportunity all the time, even though some of it is out of my financial reach. There would be a dearth of financial activity if investors and entrepreneurs did not aggressively seek opportunity. Perma-bears may never get around to joining in the fun (unless maybe they think gold will rise), and perma-bulls get periodically taken to the slaughterhouse when a business-cycle recession unfolds.

This post was published at Mauldin Economics on AUGUST 20, 2017.

Which States Have The Most Mortgage Fraud

In a recent blog post by CoreLogic, the real estate consultancy has determined the regions of the U. S. that have the highest correlation with the National Mortgage Fraud Risk index. The regions that are most highly correlated with fraud risk are areas that will be the best predictors of nationwide mortgage fraud. In fact, one can look at a few highly correlated regions to predict fraud risk on a national scale.
The heatmap (figure 3) shows the correlation of each region to the National Trend. Mousing over a region shows the region name, the tracking score, and the percentage level of the lowest to highest possible tracking score (-1.0 to 1.0). The heatmap has two layers (that can be toggled in the top-right menu of the map), one for state and one for CBSA. The CBSAs are limited to the top 50 CBSAs based on population.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 20, 2017.

Seeking Confirmations – US Stock Market

Below are the opening segment and an excerpt (on the headline indexes and the Healthcare sector) from the first regular segment of this week’s edition of Notes From the Rabbit Hole, NFTRH 461…
Seeking Confirmations
We have several inputs forecasting change (market pivots) ranging from seasonal tendencies to an expected US dollar rally, Fed monetary tightening (such as it is), the 30 month S&P 500 cycle, not to mention a presidential administration in utter disarray and not having done much, if anything, to further the fiscal stimulation (which, the story goes, would replace the Fed’s monetary stimulation under the previous administration) view that much of the stock market’s post-election euphoria was built upon.
In other words, we have working plans for two main themes; a correction in the stock market and in the mirror, a tradable rally in the gold sector. Based on an email exchange with a subscriber, I want to be clear that yes, I think the stock market has probably topped out for something more than a routine pullback; but no, we do not have the all-clear on that from a technical confirmation standpoint just yet, although the sector breakdowns noted in a Friday update held that status to close the week.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 20 August 2017.

Real Vision’s “Killer Charts” For Q3 2017

How do you spot a market top? Is risk being mispriced? What is the greatest macro opportunity of the next decade? These were some of the questions Real Vision asked as part of the latest quarterly deck compilation of so-called “Killer Charts”.
Reaching out to its close group of financial experts, Real Vision Publications has tried to filter out the relentless noise from these unusual times because as RealVision writes, “when the POTUS is spending half his time tweeting about the stock market, something doesn’t add up. As a result, navigating financial markets have never been more precarious and hazardous for your wealth.”
To provide some insight for investors, Real Vision Publications is sharing 26 hand-picked charts from some of the more prominent thinkers in investment research. From macro big picture themes to market signals (you only see at the top) and other more opaque investment ideas, RealVision has attached 6 of its latest charts, 5 of which exclusively with ZeroHedge readers, and won’t be shared with other media houses.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 20, 2017.

Scott Cahill: Collapse Risk At The Oroville Dam Is Still Unacceptably High

The following video was published by ChrisMartensondotcom on Aug 20, 2017
Remember the crisis earlier this year at the Oroville Dam?
The overflow from California’s winter of heavy rain threatened to overpower our country’s tallest dam. A cascading failure of the dam’s main gates, its primarily spillway AND its emergency spillway had the world watching hour by hour to see if a catastrophic breach was going to occur.
Fortunately, the rains stopped long enough for the situation to be brought under control. The dam remains in place and repair crews have been working all spring and summer.

California And Maryland Lead The Nation In Mortgage Fraud Risk Correlation (San Francisco, Baltimore and San Diego Lead)

According to CoreLogic, California and Maryland are the states that are most highly correlated with fraud risk (and are the areas that will be the best predictors of nationwide mortgage fraud).
A closer look reveals that San Francisco and Baltimore lead in mortgage fraud risk correlation with Chicago, Boston and San Diego close behind.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on August 20, 2017.

Beware Of The Red Swan And Negative Interest Rates – Episode 1359a

The following video was published by X22Report on Aug 20, 2017
NAFTA negotiations begin, but there is one problem they are not transparent as promised, it is all being done in secrecy. It begins China is changing its investment tactics, they are pulling investment from the US and moving it into the belt and road. David Stockman warns that China’s move will create a red swan which will bring down the economy. Economist are now recommending to the central bank that once the economy enters a recession the central bank will need to implement negative interest rates.

Why the Gold Price Can Rally Higher in 2017 Thanks to the Dollar

After a strong 2.3% gain for the gold price last week, investors shifted back into selling mode on Monday and Tuesday. However, gold prices are still on track to end this week on a high note. Right now, they’re set for a weekly gain of 0.6%.
The price of gold’s rally last week mostly came on the back of a heated exchange between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. After Trump said on Aug. 8 that North Korea would be met with ‘fire and fury’ if it kept threatening the United States, North Korea threatened to launch missiles at Guam.
But as this new trading week began, the news faded and those tensions abated after Kim Jong Un rescinded the threat. This dragged gold 1.1% lower over the first two days of the week.
The minutes from the July FOMC meeting were released Wednesday and hung in the foreground as gold prices got a bump up to $1,284. This mostly came from sharp division among Fed members.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on August 18, 2017.

Bannon: “No Administration In History Has Been So Divided”

“Bannon the Barbarian” has been spending a lot of time talking to reporters since being fired by President Donald Trump on Friday. During an interview with Bloomberg, his first after being relieved of his duties as Trump’s chief strategist and returning to his former leadership role at Breitbart, Bannon claimed that he was going ‘to war’ for Trump, and that he would marshal the resources of Breitbart, the Government Accountability Institute and the power and rage of Trump’s base against any establishment Republicans and Democrats who stand in the way of the president’s nationalist agenda.
He repeated his warnings against establishment Republicans during an interview with The Washington Post on Saturday, saying that the president’s enemies in Congress should either fall in line or risk being targeted.
‘In an interview in Washington on Saturday, Bannon warned Republican leaders to enthusiastically support Trump’s priorities on taxes, trade and funding a massive border wall – or risk the wrath of the president’s base, including Breitbart, to which Bannon returned Friday as executive chairman.’
If Republicans enthusiastically support Trump’s priorities on taxes, trade and funding a massive border wall, everything will be ‘sweetness and light,’ Bannon said. However, he doesn’t expect moderates to capitulate so easily.
‘’If the Republican Party on Capitol Hill gets behind the president on his plans and not theirs, it will all be sweetness and light, be one big happy family,’ Bannon said. But Bannon added with a smile that he does not expect ‘sweetness’ anytime soon – and described the turbulent political moment in the Republican Party and the country as a necessary battle over Trump’s priorities.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 20, 2017.

John Williams Warns “A Move To Impeach Trump Will Tank The Dollar”

Outspoken exposer of the establishment smoke and mirrors, economist John Williams spoke with USA Watchdog’s Greg Hunter this week in a far-ranging interview from Trump impeachment to economic collapse and from the demise of the dollar to physical gold ownership as the “ultimate hedge.”
‘A big factor in the dollar’s value is political stability or the perceived political stability. Right now, you have a circumstance in Washington where there is tremendous political discord. I can’t remember seeing anything like this in the past.


This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 20, 2017.

Palladium Pushes Into New Highs

More volatility is the name of summer trading.
Large moves are coming out of nowhere as the US government crumbles around us.
Enjoy the show as much as it’s possible since we will likely never see anything like it again, at least that is my hope.
Stocks remain choppy and fast moving so I’m very cautious.
Metals are also wild and trying, but failing, then trying, and failing to move into a bullish posture.
Except of course Palladium, who’s looking at blue skies.
Gold lost just 0.19% in the end but did see some wild gyrations.
Monday saw a clear triple top and I exited my mining positions.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 20 August 2017.

Gold Coins Have Been South Africa’s Best Investment For 50 Years

In the 50 years since the first Krugerrand was minted in South Africa, the gold coins have turned out to be one of the best investments in the country.
As Bloomberg reports, the Krugerrand originally sold for 27 rand (then worth $35) back in 1967. One ounce of gold is now worth 16,840 rand ($1,273), boosted by a combination of rising global gold prices and a depreciating local currency.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 20, 2017.

Debt, Dollars, DOW, War, Silver and Shirts

Yes, they are connected.
Dollars are created as debt. More dollars in circulation = more debt.
***
More debt means consumption is ‘pulled forward’ from the future so consumption can occur now. This usually ends badly.
Commercial banks and central banks have created trillions of new dollars. Each new dollar devalues every other dollar currently in circulation, in savings, and in pension accounts. Prices rise!
Wars are costly, kill people and produce little. Governments like wars because they create demand for production of war materials. More production means a higher GDP (even if the concept means little). Politicians point to higher GDP and claim it is good. More production creates employment. Everyone wins, unless the bomb fell on you. Unless the drone targeted you. Unless you live on a fixed income and prices continue to rise. Unless you are a soldier and were injured or killed.

This post was published at Deviant Investor on August 16, 2017.

Morgan Stanley: Here Comes “The Three-Headed Policy Monster”

One month ago, Morgan Stanley’s chief cross-asset strategist looked at the current state of the market – “the S&P 500, Russell 2000 and NASDAQ have hit all-time highs. Volatility has plunged back down near all-time lows. Credit is tighter and yields have been stable” – and asked “what rattles this market. What breaks the egg?”
His answer was five-fold, including valuations, inflation, geopolitics and China, but the biggest concern was what is coming in just one month on the US legislative docket:
The debt ceiling worries us most, given that action may need to be taken within as little as seven weeks.
It was “seven weeks” four weeks ago, which means that the D(debt)-day for the US government – now expected ti hit in the first days of October – is ever closer, even as the domestic political situation in the U. S. gets progressively worse.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 20, 2017.

The End is Nigh

Years ago I built this 40 year chart for the $COMPQ which I call the, ‘HISTORY CHART OF THE END OF THE WORLD.’ One day I thought about all the events that I’ve experienced as a trader and decided to put them on a chart to see what it looked like. In hindsight I wish I had put the end of the world events on the INDU or the SPX, but I put them on the COMPQ which still gives you a feel for what happened in the past.
Some of you veterans who were trading, I hate to say it, in the old days, will remember some of these events which felt like the end of the world when you experienced them in real time. Starting at the 1987 crash, it is still the biggest one day percentage move down in history which totally felt like the end of the world, but as you can see the world didn’t end.
In 1991 there were 2 events that felt like the end of the world which were the saving and loans crisis and the start of the first Gulf war. What the 1987 crash, the saving and loans and the 1991 Gulf war created was the green massive bullish rising channel or flag which launched the biggest stock market rally in history.
Some of you may remember in 1998 the LTCM, Long Term Capital Management debacle, which led to a hard 3 month shakeout which felt like the end of the world, No one knew at the time what would happen, but as you can see the COMPQ broke out of the red expanding triangle with the last consolidation pattern of the 90’s tech bubble, the red bullish rising flag, forming on the top rail the expanding triangle.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Sunday, 20 August 2017.