Beware – the Equifax Scams Are Coming

Here are some of the scams – and how to protect yourself.
OK, this had to happen. It’s not a surprise. It’s just a fact of life. We live in a world of scammers, and when there is a crisis, for them, there’s opportunity. There are scams and frauds to take advantage of any crisis, its victims, and people trying to do the right thing. The Equifax hack is no exception. And the scams have already started.
‘Don’t panic. But be vigilant,’ suggests Susan Grant, director of consumer protection and privacy at the Consumer Federation of America. ‘With this breach, criminals have everything they need to victimize you.’
I normally don’t post articles about consumer scams. But the Equifax hack has made 143 million Americans more vulnerable. So here are some of the scams you might encounter … and how to deal with them.
Equifax isn’t calling. Someone else is.
‘This is Equifax calling to verify your account information.’ When you hear this on the phone, hang up, says Lisa Weintraub Schifferle, Attorney at the Federal Trade Commission.
‘Don’t tell them anything,’ she says. ‘They’re not from Equifax. It’s a scam. Equifax will not call you out of the blue.’

This post was published at Wolf Street on Sep 19, 2017.

Fed to Launch Quantitative Tightening – Should You Be Worried?

Expectations are currently that the Federal Reserve will announce plans to begin unwinding its balance sheet this Wednesday. When you consider that the Fed currently owns around 29% of the market for mortgage-backed securities and 17% of the market for Treasuries, you might be tempted to scream OMG!
But before you do, recognize that plans have been in place for this for quite some time, and the market has already had plenty of time to react. Not only that, but the Fed will continue to take the same ‘steady as she goes’ attitude that has been a hallmark of Janet Yellen’s time as Fed chair.
Back in June, the Fed outlined how this process would likely unfold. They will begin by allowing $10 billion of assets ($4 billion of mortgages and $6 billion of Treasuries) to roll off the balance sheet each month. As time goes by, assuming the economy and financial markets don’t throw too big a fit, the roll-off amounts will continue to rise, up to a maximum of $50 billion per month.
One thing that’s important to understand is that during this process, the Fed will not actually sell any bonds. Instead, they will simply allow bonds to mature, and not reinvest the proceeds. This means that the incremental effect to the mortgage and Treasury markets should be mild, and not represent the ‘severe tightening’ that some analysts are making it out to be.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 09/19/2017.

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts – FOMC Tomorrow – One Step Enough For Me

‘That’s just the way: a person does a low down thing, and then he don’t want to take no consequences of it. Thinks as long as he can hide it, it ain’t no disgrace.’
Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
“Beware the fury of a patient man.’
John Dryden, Absalom and Achitopel
Janet and her Merry Pranksters at the Fed will be making their latest interest rates announcement from their two day September meeting tomorrow at 2 PM.
The SP 500 continues to dribble higher, while the tech heavy Nas 100 is now chopping sideways.
I don’t have any short positions on at the moment. There would be an event-driven drop no doubt, although the markets managed to shake off quite a bit of ‘risky’ news at the end of last week.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 19 SEPTEMBER 2017.

At Least 139 Dead, 60 Pulled Alive From Rubble After Powerful Earthquake Rocks Central Mexico

God bless the people of Mexico City. We are with you and will be there for you.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2017

Update 9 (9:10 pm ET): The head of Mexico’s National Civil Defense agency says the death toll from a major earthquake that rattled the center of the country has reached 139.
Luis Felipe Puente said 64 people had died in the state of Morelos, just south of Mexico City, though local officials reported only 54.
In addition, 36 people died in Mexico City, 29 in Puebla state, nine in the State of Mexico and one in Guerrero.
Update 8 (7:15 pm ET): Death toll from Mexico earthquake now at 119, according to state and city officials.
That makes it the deadliest to hit the country since the 1985 quake that, in an incredible coincidence, occurred exactly 32 years ago today, surpassing the death toll from another earthquake the shook the region less than two weeks ago.
* * *
Update 7 (6:50 pm ET): Mexico City government says 30 dead in capital, bringing nationwide total to 94, according to AP.
Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said that the number of buildings that collapsed has risen to 44, and that between 50 and 60 people have been pulled alive from rubble.
Horrifying videos of buildings crumbling into piles of rubble continue to emerge on Twitter

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 19, 2017.

At Least 119 Dead, 60 Pulled Alive From Rubble After Powerful Earthquake Rocks Central Mexico

Update 8 (7:15 pm ET): Death toll from Mexico earthquake now at 119, according to state and city officials.
That makes it the deadliest to hit the country since the 1985 quake that, in an incredible coincidence, occurred exactly 32 years ago today, surpassing the death toll from another earthquake the shook the region less than two weeks ago.
* * *
Update 7 (6:50 pm ET): Mexico City government says 30 dead in capital, bringing nationwide total to 94, according to AP.
Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said that the number of buildings that collapsed has risen to 44, and that between 50 and 60 people have been pulled alive from rubble.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 19, 2017.

Oil Prices Today Are Finally Rebounding and Will Hit This Target Before 2018

Oil prices today (Tuesday, Sept. 19) are trading above $50 a barrel, which puts oil on track for its highest closing price since July. And we predict oil prices will head even higher before the end of the year, too…
WTI crude oil prices are trading at $50.26 a barrel today and are up 3.5% since just last week, when they opened at $48.23 on Thursday.
Oil prices continue to rebound after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma wiped out demand across the southeast United States. The destruction of pipelines, refineries, and commerce across Florida and the Gulf Coast region meant oil pumped out of the ground was being stored instead of used. That boosted supplies and lowered prices. Commercial crude supplies rose 2.2% between the weeks of Aug. 25 and Sept. 8.
Oil prices fell 4% between Aug. 25 and Aug. 30 as Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, and they fell 3.2% between Sept. 7 and Sept. 12 as Irma barreled through the Caribbean and Florida.
Oil prices have struggled to stay above the $50 a barrel mark this year, despite OPEC renewing its oil production cut in May.
But our oil price forecast shows oil prices will continue to rise in 2017, and one important oil price indicator shows it’s about to happen soon…

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Dustin Parrett ‘ September 19, 2017.

Gold Ownership: A Golden Wave

Several weeks ago, I surprised most investors by issuing my ‘Book Profits Now!’ call for the precious metals asset class. When I did so, head and shoulders top formations immediately formed on gold and GDX, and prices have swooned. Rumours of a sudden drop in Indian dealer demand appeared to become a concern for commercial traders on the COMEX. India’s monsoon season has turned out to be a bit of a ‘bust’, with both flooding and drought. Farmers buy gold with a portion of their crop profits. With only another week or two left in the monsoon season, crop sales may not be very good. Of further concern to me was the fact that the demand drop was occurring as gold arrived at the $1352 resistance zone. That resistance was created by Modi’s cash call-in that took place in November of 2016. The upcoming Fed meeting will probably mark the end of the decline related to those concerns, but there could be additional weakness until the next US jobs report is released. Please click here now. Double-click to enlarge. For investors, this gold chart tells the entire tactical story. The $1270 – $1260 area is the target of the H&S top pattern. Investors should use a two-pronged strategy to profit from the coming rally that should take gold back to the ‘Call-In Day’ resistance around $1352. I’ve outlined the $1315 – $1295 price area as the first key buy zone. Eager accumulators can buy right now.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 19 September 2017.

WTI/RBOB Jump After Smaller Than Expected Crude Build

After last week’s record-breaking draw in Gasoline stocks, and big crude build, the noise from Harvey and Irma disruptions continues to add volatility to the data. API reported a smaller than expected crude build and bigger than expected gasoline (and distillates) draw sent prices for both WTI and RBOB higher.
API
Crude +1.43mm (+3.9mm exp) Cushing +420k (+900k exp) Gasoline -5.063mm (-2.13mm exp) Distillates-6.13mm A smaller than expected crude build and considerably bigger than expected draws in gasoline and distillates…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 19, 2017.

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts – On the Daedalian Wings of Paper Money and Corrupted Power

“The conventional wisdom seems to be that the problems of the euro zone are, as economist Martin Feldstein once put it, ‘the inevitable consequence of imposing a single currency on a very heterogeneous group of countries.’
What this commentary gets wrong, however, is that single currencies are never the product of debates about optimal economic solutions. Instead, currencies like the U. S. dollar itself are the result of political battles, where motivated actors try to centralize power.
This has most often occurred ‘through iron and blood,’ as Otto van Bismarck, the unifier of Germany put it, as a result of catastrophic wars. Smaller geographic units were brought together to build the modern nation state, with a unified fiscal system, a common national language that was often imposed by force, a unified legal system, and, a single currency. Put differently, war makes the state, and the state makes the currency….
European leaders weren’t stupid or self indulgent when they decided to move ahead with the euro, without fiscal union or strong Europe-level democracy. They just cared more about politics and international security than economics. They wanted to build a Europe that had transcended the divisions of the Cold War, and bind together Germany, which was reunited and much more powerful, with the rest of Europe.”
Kathleen McNamara, This is what economists don’t understand about the euro crisis – or the U. S. dollar
“Another cause of today’s instability is that we now have a society in America, Europe and much of the world which is totally dominated by the two elements of sovereignty that are not included in the state structure: control of credit and banking, and the corporation.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 18 SEPTEMBER 2017.

Meanwhile, The “Next Big Short” Is Quietly Blowing Up

Back in March, when we detailed the ongoing catastrophic deterioration in the US retail sector, manifesting itself in empty malls, mass store closures, soaring layoffs and growing bankruptcies – demonstrated most vividly by the overnight bankruptcy of Toys “R” Us, the second largest retail bankruptcy in US history after K-Mart – we said that “just like 10 years ago, when the “big short” was putting on the RMBX trade, and to a smaller extent, its cousin the CMBX, so now too some are starting to short CMBS through the CMBX, a CDS index which tracks the values of bonds backed by various commercial properties. They are betting against securities backed by malls in weaker locations where stores could close in quick succession, triggering debt defaults.”
We dubbed this retail short via CMBX the next “Big Short” trade, and others promptly followed.
In a subsequent post just a few days later, we underscored why the correct way to short the great retail collapse was not so much through stocks, but CMBX:
The trade, as we discussed before, is not so much shorting the equities where a persistent threat of a short squeeze has burned the bears on more than one occasion, but going long default risk via CMBX or otherwise shorting the CMBS complex. Based on fundamentals, the trade indeed appears justified: Sold in 2012, the mortgage bonds have a higher concentration of loans to regional malls and shopping centers than similar securities issued since the financial crisis. And because of the way CMBS are structured, the BBB- and BB rated notes are the first to suffer losses when underlying loans go belly up.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 19, 2017.

SEPT 19/GOLD AND SILVER HOLD: GOLD UP 15 CENTS AND SILVER UP 10 CENTS/GLD INVENTORY ADVANCES ANOTHER 2.07 TONNES/GIANT EARTHQUAKE HITS CLOSE TO MEXICO CITY/HURRICANE MARIE, A CAT 4 IS HEADING STR…

GOLD: $1307.50 UP $0.15
Silver: $17.24 UP 10 CENT(S)
Closing access prices:
Gold $1311.00
silver: $17.30
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: $1313.30 DOLLARS PER OZ
NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: $1307.00
PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $6.30
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1315.17
NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1308.60
Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$6.57
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX: 5:30 am est $1308.45
NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1308.70
LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX 10 AM: $1309.60
NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. 1310.30
For comex gold:
SEPTEMBER/
NOTICES FILINGS TODAY FOR SEPT CONTRACT MONTH: 0 NOTICE(S) FOR nil OZ.
TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 54 FOR 5400 OZ (0.1679 TONNES)
For silver:
SEPTEMBER
133 NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR
665,000 OZ/
Total number of notices filed so far this month: 5,810 for 29,050,000 oz

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on September 19, 2017.

What Happens When Inflation Walks In?

If you watch and participate in markets long enough – and no, we’re not talking about, ‘On a long enough timeline…’ – you’ll appreciate or get bitten (as we certainly have from time to time) by the sardonic irony that often becomes exposed by a market’s cycle. Consider Mohamed El-Erian’s ‘New Normal’ market strategy, that aimed at the start of this decade to capture the anticipated outperformance of emerging over developed markets. Bear in mind that the phrase has stuck around since then, despite the fact that it was largely a narrative for a poor investment strategy.
What happened? El-Erian and Gross were prescient in inventing the term ‘new normal’ to describe a very slow-growing global economy with heightened risks of recession, as befell much of Europe. But they were dead wrong in predicting that emerging markets would provide outsize stock returns, and they were wildly off base in their notion that developed-market stock returns would be deeply depressed. Emerging market stocks have stumbled since 2011, and emerging market bonds have lost ground this year. Meanwhile, developed-world stock markets have soared. The fund’s use of options and other techniques to hedge against ‘tail risk’ – which essentially means insuring against extremely bad markets – has also surely cost the fund a little in performance. – Kiplinger, November 14, 2013
Not to overly pick on El-Erian here, who is typically a very thoughtful and creative macro thinker – not to mention many of his new normal predictions did prove prescient, with the very large exception of rising inflation that would have likely driven a successful investment strategy – not just a convenient catch phrase… but, ironically, it appears his timing earlier this year of calling for an end of the new normal, as selectively revisionist as they paint it, might provide a fitting bookend to the market’s wry sense of humor.
Eight years later – and instead of just getting slow growth right in a developed economy like the US, as he initially suggested in May 2009, his other two major tenets of rising inflation and rising unemployment might eventually be realized domestically in the economy’s next chapter. In fact, from our perspective it seems more likely than not.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 19 September 2017.

Asian Metals Market Update: September-19-2017

The trend after the FOMC meet tomorrow in precious metals and currency markets will be interesting. Global shift to electric cars over the coming years can put copper and nickel prices into inertia in the next few years. Some electric cars makers are considering making the car body from Aluminum to reduce car weight. Aluminum could also get a boost from electric cars. Long term fundamentals are looking extremely bullish for industrial metals. Solar power will support silver from getting a breakdown. The real competition to the traditional metals will come from Graphene. I am a big fan of Graphene. Every day I search the net for new uses of Graphene and new processes to make Graphene. I am pretty sure Graphene will soon become a part of daily lives just like copper or aluminum.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 19 September 2017.

Gold Investment ‘Roars’ in Japan on N.Korea Tension But Rate-Rise Talk Hits Price as Stocks Rise

Gold investment prices at multi-week lows against all major currencies except the Japanese Yen on Tuesday in London, erasing the last of September’s earlier 4.0% jump versus the Dollar as global stock markets edged up to set yet another new record high.
Starting 2017 at fresh all-time highs just above the spring 2015 peak, the MSCI World index gained another 12.2% in Dollar terms by Monday’s close, as New York’s stock markets set new historic highs of their own.
“The most eye-catching sign” in the US stock market’s near 9-year bull market, says a new third-quarter chart outlook from the technical analysis team at French bank Societe Generale, “is the lack of market breadth in the US small caps and their exacerbated relative underperformance.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 09/19/2017.

Silver News: A New Administrator for the LBMA Silver Price Auction; Technological Breakthroughs

The London Bullion Market Association recently chose a new administrator for its silver price auction, and scientists have discovered a variety of rice that accumulates and stores naturally occurring silver in the soil.
The Silver Institute covers these stories, and highlights several other technological innovations involving silver, in its latest issue of Silver News.
ICE Benchmark Administration will begin administering the silver benchmark and operating the auction underlying the London Bullion Market Association Silver Price in late September. IBA replaces a joint effort by CME Group and Thomson Reuters. IBA currently operates the London Gold Price benchmark.

This post was published at Schiffgold on SEPTEMBER 19, 2017.

Biggest Hedge Fund Manager In The World Warns “Bitcoin Is A Bubble”, Says Gold Is Money

Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio, the 68-year-old founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, said bitcoin is “in a bubble” during an interview on CNBC Tuesday morning, arguing that the so-called currency is too difficult to spend, and too volatile to be a useful store of value.
During the interview, Dalio argued that most investors who buy the digital currency do so with the hope of making a quick speculative profit, undermining bitcoin’s functionality as a currency.
‘There are two things that are required for a currency. The first thing is that you can transact in it, it’s a medium of exchange. The second thing is it’s a store of value. Bitcoin today…you can’t spend it very easily.
In terms of a storehold of wealth, it’s not an effective storehold of wealth because it has volatility to it. Unlike gold, let’s say, which reflects the value of money, its more stable than the value of money, bitcoin is a highly speculative market.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 19, 2017.