Fidelity Says Baby Boomers Haven’t Even Saved Enough To Cover Their Healthcare In Retirement

While statistics are somewhat sketchy on the topic, most research suggests that the average retirement-age household has managed to set aside roughly $200,000-$250,000 for their golden years. Unfortunately, they’ll need more than that just to cover their healthcare costs. Per Bloomberg notes today, the average 65-year-old couple will need roughly $275,000 to cover their healthcare costs during retirement…and that’s with Medicare.
A 65-year-old couple retiring this year will need $275,000 to cover health-care costs throughout retirement, Fidelity Investments said in its annual cost estimate, out this morning. That stunning number is about 6 percent higher than it was last year. Costs would be about half that amount for a single person, though women would pay a bit more than men since they live longer. You might think that number looks high. At 65, you’re eligible for Medicare, after all. But monthly Medicare premiums for Part B (which covers doctor’s visits, surgeries, and more) and Part D (drug coverage) make up 35 percent of Fidelity’s estimate. The other 65 percent is the cost-sharing, in and out of Medicare, in co-payments and deductibles, as well as out-of-pocket payments for prescription drugs.
And that doesn’t include dental care – or nursing-home and long-term care costs.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 25, 2017.

Market Talk- August 25, 2017

Main talking point out of Asia this morning were the continued strong earnings reports and the subsequent buying conviction. In Hong Kong the Hang Seng gained over 1.2% whilst the domestic Shanghai index rallied near 2% after earnings beat expectations to finish the week well bid. We saw solid gains in Financials, energy, communications and even retailers even before waiting for central bankers at Jackson Hole. The Nikkei added a little positivity to the region (+0.5%) but is obviously still wary as the currency remains clued to the 109 level, even after we saw the Jly CPI data rise +0.5%. Australia’s ASX was unable to join the party, closing small down whilst the Indian SENSEX was closed for holidays.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Aug 25, 2017.

Why Gold Prices Will Rise as Debt Ceiling Deadline Nears

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Money Morning. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
Gold prices have been in a narrow trading range over the last week, hanging mostly between $1,291 and $1,297 since Friday, Aug. 18. But the looming debt ceiling deadline could be bullish for gold…
The biggest gold news this past week was Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s visit to the gold deposit at Fort Knox. This, of course, is the Kentucky army post that serves as the U. S. Bullion Depository and home of most of the country’s gold reserves.
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell visited Fort Knox on Monday. We don’t know how much gold they actually saw, but Mnuchin stated it was the first time the vault had opened up to outsiders since a congressional delegation and journalists had access in 1974.
In fact, inventory hasn’t even been taken since 1986, and the last audit took place in 1953. All of this begs the question of why government officials would visit the site now.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Peter Krauth ‘ August 25, 2017.

Draghi Fears “Return Of Protectionism”; Warns Regulators Against “Rekindling Incentives That Led To Crisis”

As a reminder, it was in Jackson Hole three years ago that Draghi laid the groundwork for the launch of the ECB’s 2.3 trillion-euro asset-purchase program.
They looked pensive before he spoke…
Following Yellen’s “unhawkish” nothing-burger of a speech (which has sent the broad dollar index to 2 year lows), all eyes were on whether ECB President Mario Draghi would mention the euro’s strength, but he disappointed, instead focusing on global trade and protectionism. Draghi failed to mention policy in general, but did warn regulators (similar to Yellen) that…
When monetary policy is accommodative, lax regulation runs the risk of stoking financial imbalances. By contrast, the stronger regulatory regime that we have now has enabled economies to endure a long period of low interest rates without any significant side-effects on financial stability, which has been crucial for stabilising demand and inflation worldwide.
With monetary policy globally very expansionary, regulators should be wary of rekindling the incentives that led to the crisis.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 25, 2017.

Tearing Down Statues: How Everything Could and Is Going Wrong in the US Empire… And How To Fix It

A nexus of social narratives are all colliding in the US right now… And the result is bizarre to watch.
Even the maker of the movie, Idiocracy, commented on how his movie seems to have become our current reality rather than a schlock fiction movie.

In real life we now have black people who were never slaves fighting white people who were never Nazis over a confederate statue erected by democrats and blaming it all on Trump.
Where to begin?
It doesn’t hurt to start with government ‘education’ which is now graduating people as adults who can barely read. Those adults then can’t get a job because government regulations have destroyed most of the economy and the communist style central planning agency, the Federal Reserve, has destroyed the remainder.
So, they now go into hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt to get a worthless piece of paper and waste 4 to 8 years of their lives to learn nothing.

This post was published at Dollar Vigilante on August 25, 2017.

Swiss Central Bank Boosts Stakes in FAAMG Stocks by 77 Percent to $9.38 Billion

The Swiss central bank may be part of a modern age Tulip Bubble.
Since June 30 of last year, Switzerland’s central bank, the Swiss National Bank, has increased its stock holdings of five U. S. social media/tech stocks from $5.3 billion to $9.38 billion, an increase of 77 percent in 12 months. The stocks are Apple, Alphabet (parent to Google), Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook. The stock information comes from a 13F filing the Swiss National Bank made this month with the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a quarterly form required of institutional investment managers who manage $100 million or more.
According to the SEC form, the Swiss central bank owns the following positions as of June 30, 2017: $2.76 billion in Apple common stock; over $2 billion in two classes of Alphabet stock; $1.864 billion in Microsoft common; $1.434 billion in Amazon common; and $1.32 billion in Facebook Class A. It owns tens of billions of dollars more in other U. S. and global stocks.
Adding to the peculiarity of this central bank, its own stock actually trades on a stock exchange and its stock price has soared by 88 percent since April. (See chart above.)
According to the website of the Swiss National Bank, it ‘does not pursue any strategic interests in its equity investments and as a general rule does not engage in any stock selection.’ It says its share holdings are ‘managed passively by replicating a combination of different indices.’

This post was published at Wall Street On Parade By Pam Martens and Russ Marte.

Angry Marine Who Discovered Awan’s “Smashed Hard Drives” Breaks Silence, Unloads On Wasserman Schultz

Andre Taggart, the U. S. Marine who alerted the FBI when he moved into a house he rented from Imran Awan only to find a garage full of “smashed hard drives”, has decided to reveal his identity in a stinging, at least for Debbie Wasserman Schultz, new interview with the Daily Caller.
Taggart, a black U. S. Marine who says he typically votes Democrat, is apparently fed up with Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Islamophobia smoke screen which he views as just a dishonest attempt to shield the Awans from their crimes. In his epic rant to the Daily Caller, Taggart says the whole thing just “pisses me off” and that he’s “absolutely disgusted with everything going on in the country right now.”
‘It pisses me off,’ said Taggart, a black Marine who says he votes Democrat. He believes Wasserman Schultz is crying wolf and devaluing the meaning of genuine discrimination, while also exposing herself and the nation to risks. ‘I just want to get these [guys] locked up and exposed and now,’ Taggart told TheDCNF. ‘The people who facilitated them should also be locked up, as far as I’m concerned.’
Taggart said he made the decision to no longer be anonymous because he is concerned that his fellow Democrats are making a grave mistake by ignoring a scandal with serious criminal and national security implications.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 25, 2017.

U.S. Dollar is Going No Where Fast

The US Dollar (DXY Index) has moved relatively sideways over the past several weeks. The pattern that we have seen up off the August 2nd low has also been quite corrective in nature.
This sideways action does fit with our larger degree perspective that the DXY is in a fourth wave corrective pattern. This is suggestive that the DXY still has some unfinished business to the downside prior to seeing a larger degree bottom.
In general, the U. S. Dollar has stayed off of the radar of those in the financial media in the past several weeks. Most have been focusing on the movement in the equity markets. I will note that while the DXY Index has not moved much over the past several weeks, some of the other currency pairs against the US Dollar have seen a bit more movement.
Of the major currency pairs, the GBP/USD, in particular, has now fallen some 5% from its recent highs. The GBP/USD has also already broken some key support levels suggesting that a larger degree top may be in place on this pair. Whether this potential top in the GBP/USD is a prelude of a larger bottoming pattern in the DXY index itself is still yet to be seen.
From a price perspective, as long as the DXY is trading under the short term resistance level of 96.06-97.92 there is no signal of a larger degree bottom being struck. Structurally the move up off of the Augusts 2nd low is now counting best as a corrective wave structure. This corrective wave structure is more supportive of the white path as shown on the charts below.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Friday, 25 August 2017.

Constitutional Court Upholds Suspension Of Tahoe’s Mining License… Shares Fall 20%

According to unconfirmed sources, Tahoe Resources has learned that the Guatemalan Constitutional Court issued a decision yesterday to uphold the lower court’s preliminary ruling to suspend its mining license at Tahoe’s Escobal Mine. This new ruling caused Tahoe’s shares to sell off more than 20% during trading today.
I first wrote about the trouble at Tahoe Resources Escobal Mine in my article, WORLD’S 2ND LARGEST SILVER MINE SHUT DOWN: Implications For Company & Market:
First, after the Guatemalan Supreme Court suspended operations at Escobal, Tahoe’s stock price took a real beating falling 33% that day. In the past week, Tahoe’s stock price decline 40%:

A lot of investors were caught by surprise as Tahoe Resources has been making a lot of money from its mines, especially from its Escobal Silver Mine in Guatemala. For example, in 2016 Tahoe Resources reported profits of $118 million on revenue of $784 million. That is a stunning 15% margin of profit… and the majority of that profit was from the Escobal Mine.

This post was published at SRSrocco Report on AUGUST 25, 2017.

“Controlled Demolition” Or Carnage?

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,
This is the week-of-weeks when the official grand viziers of finance gather at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to confab and interpret the lay of animal neck-bones and other auguries scattered in the sand, with the hope of steering the awesome powers of the universe this was or that as they affect the operations of money. The exercise is hardly different in function from the sort of rude ceremonials that took place on top of Sumerian ziggurats and Aztec temples – to reassure the masses that effective spells for favor of the Gods have been cast – except that in our civilization money is God.
Or ‘money,’ we should say, because the old definitions don’t fit so well anymore. It used to have a straightforward relationship with the work required to produce actual things of value, but those days are gone. ‘Money’ nowadays is a byproduct of wishful analytics and computer legerdemain seasoned with generous measures of fraud and larceny. This is a big problem when everything is measured in money and it becomes quite impossible to state with assurance what the value of money actually is. Obviously, you end up not knowing the value of anything.
That’s the perilous situation the world faces. And since the USA is the straw the stirs the world’s drink – at least for now – the utterances emanating from Jackson Hole may determine which way that situation turns. We should suppose that the officers of the Federal Reserve are upright, well-intentioned, patriotic people. No doubt they think they are. But the perilous situation is largely one of their own making, and seems to be veering out of their control, and reputations are at stake. Their task at this year’s Jackson Hole confab is to maintain the appearance of confidence in their own rituals. But with a kicker.
That kicker is named T-r-u-m-p. This modern Balaam, riding the ass of the Deep State into wickedness, must be stopped, perhaps at all costs. On his way to the oval office last fall, Trump prophesied that the stock markets represented ‘one big, fat, ugly bubble.’ That was an offense to the grand viziers, for whom the elevated stock market valuations stood as the main testament to their power and wisdom. In fact, it was the only testament, and a rather flimsy one. More recently, though, the wicked Trump changed his tune and declared that the tower of stock market exaltation was his own doing, setting himself up for the revenge of the grand viziers.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 25, 2017.

Next Brick to Drop on UK Economy: Housing Bubble Deflates

London home prices are already tanking, as demand sags.
The symbiotic sectors of construction and real estate have been a vital engine of economic growth in the United Kingdom for decades, but that could be about to come to an end. In the words of Paul Smith, the chief executive of the UK’s largest independent lettings and real estate agency, Haart, ‘unaffordability in the UK’s property market is now reaching crisis point.’ If drastic measures are not taken to tame prices, the UK could lose its place as a property owning democracy, he warns.
The latest figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that the average cost of a home jumped by 10,000 in June from a year earlier, to 223,000. In the last eight years prices have surged by almost 50%. Its National House Price Index is now 18% higher than during the peak of the prior housing bubble (September 2007). This chart is for the UK overall. But home prices in London have now turned the other way.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ Aug 25, 2017.

ABOUT AUGUST 25/CARTEL THROW 2 MILLION OZ OF GOLD KNOCKING GOLD (AND SILVER) DOWN BUT LO AND BEHOLD BOTH METALS RECOVER AS THE DOLLAR TANKS/GOLD UP $6.00 ON THE DAY/SILVER UP 9 CENTS/HURRICANE HA…

GOLD: $1292.85 UP $6.00
Silver: $17.07 UP 9 CENTS
Closing access prices:
Gold $1291.25
silver: $17.04
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: $1293.25 DOLLARS PER OZ
NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: $1285.85
PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $7.40
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1293.25
NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1286.70
Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$6.55

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on August 25, 2017.

Vegas Nightmare: McGregor Knock Out Would Be “Single Biggest Loss In History Of Sports Betting”

This weekend’s long-awaited fight between undefeated boxer Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather and Ultimate Fighting Championship star Conor McGregor is making bookies nervous.
After oddsmakers failed to anticipate that the UK would vote for Brexit, and that President Donald Trump would manage an upset victory in November’s US election, Las Vegas’s gambling professionals are afraid that McGregor could pull off an upset of his own. And thanks to a flood of last minute bets, bookmakers are facing historic losses – possibly the largest ever – if the Irish mixed-martial artist comes away with the “W,” according to CBC Sports.
That’s because McGregor fans have flooded bookmakers with small bets that will pay off heavily if he wins, and even more so if he does it early, or by knocking out his opponent. One oddsmaker said the betting slips received by his company were 18-1 in McGregor’s favor thanks to a flood of $100 bets.
‘McGregor fans have flooded sports books with $100 bills backing the mixed martial arts fighter, and even a late surge of money on Mayweather might not be enough to balance the books. “I’m OK now,” said William Hill oddsmaker Nick Bogdanovich. “But you might want to have a heart monitor on me when the bell rings and Conor starts throwing wild lefts.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 25, 2017.

Mystery Deepens After US Confirms 16 Diplomats Suffered “Traumatic Brain Injury” In Cuban ‘Sonic Attack’

One of the most bizarre stories this week took a more sinister turn yesterday as the US State Department officially confirmed 16 US Government employees were affected by health attacks in Cuba.
State Deaprtment spokesperson Heather Nuarte calmly explained the details, which are quite frankly stunning…
.@statedeptspox: We can now confirm that at least 16 USG employees were affected by attacks in #Cuba pic.twitter.com/UEy1PJ7bXt
— Department of State (@StateDept) August 24, 2017

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 25, 2017.

Google To Refund “Fake Traffic” Advertising Revenue

One month ago, consumer products giant Procter & Gamble – one of the largest and most sophisticated advertisers in the world – launched a mini crisis in the online advertising space, when the company announced that it was scaling back its online advertising spend, stating that “digital ad spending was lower versus a high base period and due to current period choices to temporarily restrict spending in digital forums where our ads were not being placed according to our standards and specifications.” The implications to this admission that online advertising was either being gamed by bots, or generally underperforming were significant, as it jeopardized the future revenue streams of two of the biggest companies in the world, Alphabet (aka Google) and Facebook, both almost entirely reliant on online advertising. How long before other anchor names decided to similarly cut back on their online ad spending?
So, one month later, in its first tacit admission that its ad network has few protections against “fake traffic” such as ever more sophisticated ad bots – and that P&G’s criticism was spot on – the WSJ reports that Google will issue refunds to advertisers for ads bought through its platform that ran on sites with fake traffic “as the company develops a tool to give buyers more transparency about their purchases.”
Hoping to avoid further spending cuts and outright contract losses – especially to arch rival Facebook, which has similarly admitted to having ad exposure problems on numerous occasions – in the past few weeks Google has informed hundreds of marketers and ad agency partners about the issue with invalid traffic, also known ‘ad fraud.’ According to the WSJ, the ads were bought using the company’s DoubleClick Bid Manager.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 25, 2017.

Negative interest rates have come to America

One of the truly mind-boggling absurdities in modern finance has been the creation of ‘negative interest rates’ around the world.
Negative interest rates are particularly prominent in Europe.
Starting back in 2014, the European Central Bank (ECB) slashed its main interest rate to below zero.
One bizarre effect of this policy is that some banks have passed on these negative interest rates to their retail depositors.
This trend has persisted across Europe, Japan, and many other parts of the world.
Yet at least Americans were able to breathe a sigh of relief that negative interest rates hadn’t crossed the Atlantic.
Well, that’s not entirely true.
Recently I was reading through Bank of America’s most recent annual report; it’s filled with some shocking facts about the -real- level of wealth in the Land of the Free… which I’ll tell you more about next week.

This post was published at Sovereign Man on August 25, 2017.

The Priests of Medicine Are Naked and Scared

Oh my, someone’s getting nervous!
A leading cardiologist has unleashed a blistering attack on “statin denial,” which he calls “an internet-driven cult with deadly consequences.”
An Internet-driven cult eh?
In an editorial in Annals of Internal Medicine, Steve Nissen (Cleveland Clinic) expressed grave concerns over statistics showing that only 61% of people given a prescription for a statin were adherent at 3 months. “For a treatment with such well- documented morbidity and mortality benefits, these adherence rates are shockingly low. Why?” he asks.
Uh, I think not.
Alarmingly, an assessment of industry-sponsored RCTs showed the median increase in life expectancy for selected participants in secondary prevention trials who adhered to taking statins every day for several years was a mere four days[11].
For those who don’t know what “secondary prevention” means it means you already had a heart attack.

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-08-25.

Sears Revenues to Hit Zero in 3 Years. But Bankruptcy First

This baby is going down the tubes at an ever faster speed.
Sears Holdings, after warning in March that ‘substantial doubt exists’ about its ability to continue operating as a ‘going concern,’ rubbed salt in those doubts in its second-quarter earnings report.
Quarterly revenue plunged 23% year-over-year to $4.37 billion.
It says $770 million of that $1.33-billion plunge was a result of the endless series of store closings with which Sears is trying to keep itself out of bankruptcy for as long as possible.
In its fiscal year 2017, it already closed about 180 stores and expects to shutter an additional 150 stores in the third quarter. Those closings had been announced previously. But in its earnings release, it announced the closing of 28 more Kmart stores ‘later this year.’ Liquidation sales will begin as early as August 31, it said.
The rest of the plunge was caused by same-store sales (sales at stores open longer than one year) which dropped 11.5%. ‘Softness in store traffic’ the company called it. But the trend is falling off a cliff: In Q2 2016, same-store sales had dropped ‘only’ 5.2%. Now they’re plunging at more than double that rate. Despite the ceaseless corporate rhetoric of operational improvements, this baby is going down the tubes at an ever faster speed.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ Aug 25, 2017.

British Spy Linked To Trump Dossier Ordered To Testify In Buzzfeed Suit

Christopher Steele, the former British spy behind the now-infamous Trump dossier, has been ordered by a U. S. District Judge in Florida to provide a deposition in a multi-million-dollar libel case brought against BuzzFeed. According to a note from Fox News, Steele is expected to fight the request for his deposition in British courts.
The former British spy who put together an unverified dossier of explosive allegations about President Trump during last year’s campaign has been ordered to give a deposition in a multi-million-dollar libel case brought against a media outlet that published the document.
“We asked the Court in Florida to issue a ‘Request for International Judicial Assistance,” Fray-Witzer said. The request would have the Florida court ask its British counterpart compel Steele submit to a sworn deposition that would be taken in London and videotaped to be played to the jury at trial.
Former MI-6 British Intelligence Officer Christopher Steele is fighting the decision by U. S. District Court Judge Ursula Ungaro, of the Southern District of Florida that he must answer questions in the suit against Buzzfeed. A lawyer directly involved in the case said the issue will likely be argued before the British courts where a similar libel case is being heard.
Steele’s London-based company, Orbis Business Intelligence, authored the 35-page dossier while working for American-based Fusion GPS and its founder Glenn Simpson. The document, which was crafted as opposition research for unknown political rivals of Trump, contained salacious charges involving Trump and Russian prostitutes, but none of the claims have been corroborated and most media outlets steered clear of the dossier.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 25, 2017.