Is The US Mint Betting Pete Rose Will Enter The Hall of Fame?

In recent years Pete Rose’s Hall of Fame potential has been discussed with increased fervor, especially as players who took performance-enhancing drugs become eligible for Cooperstown. The US Mint earlier this year released a silver coin in commemoration of Pete Rose, and many collectors hinted that the Mint knew Rose would soon be made eligible for the Hall of Fame. Still, many believe this won’t ever happen.
Pete Rose has said he believes that players like Alex Rodriguez, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds are Hall of Fame worthy, despite the controversy over their steroid use. Many people – important people, like Commissioners of Baseball – have not viewed his case so kindly.
‘The Pete Rose case represents the larger issue of gambling’s prevalence in America,’ says Fay Vincent, the former baseball commissioner who, as deputy to that office, was deeply involved in Rose’s 1989 banishment from the game. ‘It is always out there, and it is a real threat to professional sports.’
What if Pete Rose managed his Cincinnati Reds in such a way to benefit his gambling? Some of his players say they don’t think this was true.
‘The idea that Pete might have overused me or overused some other pitcher I was in the pen with, I never saw that at all,’ says Murphy. ‘I’d just about say it is a ridiculous idea. If anything, I wanted to pitch even more times than I got in.’
As Kostya Kennedy writes of the Pete Rose predicament:
‘…it comes to this: Rose has been banished for the incalculable damage he might have done to the foundation of the game. Steroid users are reviled for the damage they actually did.’

This post was published at GoldSilverBitcoin on September 15, 2014.

Medical debts outweigh emergency savings for 25 percent of Americans

A scathing new survey from Bankrate.com shows that a majority of Americans are more worried than ever about their healthcare and finances. The poll of 1,006 participants revealed a shocking trend of ballooning medical debts and dwindling personal savings. What’s shocking is that most of this problem is caused by health insurance. In a way, this survey exposes health insurance plans for what they truly are — medical system insurance. These monthly payment plans empower the medical system, not the individual and their health. Even after the Affordable Care Act was implemented, the trajectory of increasing medical debt hasn’t improved. If anything, the law has made the health insurance racket even more burdensome, mandating an overpriced product on practically all Americans — a product that only insures the medical system. On top of paying into the health insurance machine monthly, the average consumer can have their personal savings wiped out after paying a simple deductible. According to The Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2014 Employer Health Benefits report, deductibles for health insurance plans are up 47 percent since 2009, averaging at $1,217 for all Americans. More than 18 percent of workers pay over $2,000 out of pocket before the health insurer picks up the tab. 41 percent of workers today have to pay at least $1,000 for a deductible.

This post was published at Natural News on Monday, September 15, 2014.

15/9/2014: OECD Economic Outlook: It’s Worse than the Cover Says…

Keeping in mind that the OECD is a cooperative international body (aka not known for taking strong positions on anything, save lunch menu), here’s Paris-based boffins’ latest outlook for the global economy in 2014:

Everyone is downgraded, save India. Poor Italy got blasted – forecast for 2014 growth is now 0.9 percentage points lower than back in May and the ‘powerhouse’ of the euro area, Germany, is expected to grow by just 1.5% this year despite booming current account.2015 is not going to be much better either:

OECD expects euro area to grow at 1.1% in 2015, which is slower than its forecast for the common currency area for 2014 produced back in May 2014. In other words, the expected ‘new’ recovery is worse than expected ‘old’ current outlook.

This post was published at True Economics on Monday, September 15, 2014.

What It Looks Like When The Second Auto Subprime Bubble Pops

A month ago, when we commented on the most recent surge in US manufacturing production, when it jumped by 0.7% offsetting a tumble in utilities and mining output and leading to a 0.4% jump in overall Industrial Production (since revised to only 0.2%), we observed that this was entirely due to the second, and more nuanced, coming of the cash for clunkers bubble, as the explosion in subprime loans pushed production of Motor Vehciles and Parts to the highest since 2009′s disastrous CARS, aka Cash for Clunkers, program.
This is what the latest subprime bubble looked like a month ago when translated in terms of actual car manufacturing:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/15/2014.

Chase Bank Payments Down Nationwide

I work at a large call center, and we’re seeing Chase Bank payments down nationwide… Cards not working at ATMs, registers, etc. Anyone else seeing issues out there?

I just checked my Chase App and it had an Alert
It reads:
Important Update on Cyber Security
We want to update you on the cyber attack we uncovered recently. Our investigations is ongoing, but here is some of what we know to date
* We have not seen any unusual fraud activity related to this matter. *Customers are not liable for any unauthorized transaction on your account that you promptly alert us to.
We are sorry that this happened and for any uncertainty this may cause you. Your security is a top priority and we will continue to communicate with you as needed.


This post was published at Investment WatchBlog on September 15th, 2014.

Interview with Gary Christenson

Gold Prices in 3 Waves, Silver Is Inexpensive & The Stock Market/Gold Relationship Dan Popescu conducts an exclusive interview with Gary Christenson of The Deviant Investor :
Topics covered:
– Influence of geopolitics on gold – Gold prices in 3 waves 1971 – 2014 – Is gold in a correction? – The US gold in Fort Knox is secure, gone or irrelevant? – Is gold related to a collapse of the US dollar? – How to invest in gold? Physical or ETFs – What is the relation between the stock market and gold?

This post was published at Acting-Man on September 15, 2014.

Empire Fed Spikes To 5-Year Highs; Employment Plunges To Worst Since Dec 2013

Following last month’s biggest plunge in 2 years to 4-month lows, it is likely no surprise that the soft-survey-based Empire Fed index exploded to 27.5 (smashing 15.71 expectations) to its highest since October 2009. Of course – away from the headline exuberance, employment plunged to its lowest since 2013, the average workweek slipped, capex expectations plunged, and new orders barely rose (while Prices Received soared). Seems like seasonal adjustments played a strong hand in this exuberance… given hardly any sub indices jumped.
Headlines hits 5-year highs…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/15/2014.

SoCal housing market so hot, sellers finding the need to cut prices: One third of sellers in Orange County have found the need to cut asking price.

While the heat wave continues in SoCal drawing out the summer, there is little momentum from the 2013 real estate bonanza. Sellers with their awe inspiring wisdom are finding that no, they simply cannot ask for delusional prices on their stucco box crap shacks. As it turns out, a large number of sellers need to cut asking prices to get interest on their properties. New data shows that in Orange County, the most expensive SoCal county, one-third of sellers have chosen to drop their asking price. Some sellers of course are opting to pull their properties from the market with the hope that next spring, a new breed of sucker will be out in the market ready to plunk down $700,000 on a dumpy pad. In reality, many buyers just don’t have the cash to support current prices even with historically low interest rates. Given the option, many would buy if they had the means to do so. Instead, you have a large number of adults living with parents enjoying meals of Fancy Feast with a glass of Kool-Aid since they don’t even have the deposit for a rental, let alone a down payment for a home. The renting trend is moving along steadily. The market is so hot in SoCal that sellers are now having to lower their asking price.
Sales taking a big hit
As we have chronicled, SoCal is a boom and bust region. There hasn’t been a ‘normal’ market here in two decades. The mania of 2013 has lost most of its legs in 2014. Things are running on fumes and when housing markets turn, you usually see it first in sales. Sales are taking a big hit.
The Inland Empire has seen a big dip in sales in the 20 percent year-over-year range for both Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. L. A. is down 19 percent and the OC is down 13 percent year-over-year:

This post was published at Doctor Housing Bubble on September 14th, 2014.

US Stocks Diverge From European Stocks and High Yield Bonds

A Test of Broken Trendlines from Below? The divergence between US and European stock markets which we discussed in late August continues to persist. This happens in spite of the fact that major European markets have been somewhat stronger than US markets in recent weeks, no doubt due to further easing by the ECB – which was first anticipated, and then became reality. In fact, the measures announced by the ECB ‘exceeded expectations’.
Below is an updated version of the chart we showed previously. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC-40 have rallied back to their previously broken trendlines and appear to be turning down from there. If they fail to exceed the recent interim peaks, their divergence with the SPX will so to speak have been ‘perfected’. Note though that we have seen similar short term divergences between these markets before (it happened e.g. in the summer of 2013), so it remains to be seen if they are meaningful this time.
Even though one cannot be certain yet whether it is an important signal, it is something we are keeping an eye on, especially as all these markets are far more stretched to the upside than they were previously. We have picked the DAX and CAC-40 on purpose, because they are the stock markets of the euro zone’s ‘core’ countries. Moreover, the DAX has been Europe’s strongest market, the only one that has managed to reach new all time highs since the 2008 crisis. To be sure, the divergence is relatively small at this juncture, due to the recent strength in European stocks. Obviously though, no-one is going to ring a bell and shout ‘this time it means something’, even if it later turns out that it did. So it probably pays to be aware of these things in good time. If the divergences are going to be invalidated, it is in any case likely to happen soon, as it would require only very little by way of an additional advance.
Another reason why these divergences may actually be more meaningful this time around is that a very similar divergence between SPX and HYG (an ETF serving as a proxy for high yield debt) has recently formed.

This post was published at Acting-Man on September 15, 2014.

Record Highs? 47% Of Nasdaq Stocks In Bear Market, Down 24% On Average

With the S&P 500 hitting fresh record highs day after day (apart from last week), everything must be great, right? Wrong! As we have noted previously, the leadership in this market is becoming more and more narrowly focused as stunningly 47% of Nasdaq Composite stocks are down at least 20% from their highs with the average stock in the index in a bear market (down 24%). The same is true for the Russell 2000, with over 40% of stocks in bear market and an average drop from recent highs of 22%. By contrast only 31 names in the S&P 500 have seen drops of 20% or more this year. It appears, just as there has been an up-in-quality rotation in credit markets, so stock investors appear to have rotated into momentum winners, chasing returns in an ever-more narrow group of extreme beta stocks.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/15/2014.

‘I Want To Be Diversified, I Want To Own Some Gold’ – Faber

‘I Want To Be Diversified, I Want To Own Some Gold’ – Faber
Veteran investor Marc Faber, author of The Gloom, Boom and Doom Report, reiterated the need for gold in a diversified portfolio when interviewed last week on CNBC.
Faber, a resident of Thailand, is an advocate of gold storage in Singapore, and believes that a diversified portfolio will help protect against future market corrections which he believes are on the horizon.
Faber doesn’t see further new highs this year in the US equity markets, and thinks that there could be an S&P correction of between 10% and 30%. While admittedly Faber has been expecting a US stock market correction for some time now, his view is based on what he sees as weaker earnings from some US consumer bellwether companies.
Additionally, on a technical level, Faber points to a lower participation rate of S&P stocks making new highs and more stocks making new lows. He looks for an acceleration of weakness in credit markets starting in the high yield (junk bond) market – which has already weakened – and continued weaker corporate earnings.
Asked for his view about gold, Faber commented on possible gold market manipulation and the need to diversify investment portfolios:
‘Basically, we’ve been in a correction since 2011, some informed observers they think that the market is manipulated, I don’t know.

This post was published at Gold Core on 15 September 2014.

Who is doing the selling of gold & silver?

When back in 1851 Stephen Foster penned into the song ‘The Old Folks at Home’ the lyric ‘Way down upon the Swanee River’, ‘ its doubtful he was clairvoyantly discerning the disturbing market event of some 157 years hence in 2008, (especially given the correct spelling for the Floridian river is ‘Suwannee’). However, the infamy of such event is that, save for the dollar everything went down.
We hasten to point this out, as it is not just gold that’s back on the skids of late, for rather once again, save for the Dollar, everything is down. The only missing elements this time ’round are the ferocious velocity and range by which our BEGOS Markets were beaten down some six years ago. Still, we commence with the following chart of these eight markets showing their bars for the past 21-trading days, their respective diagonal linear regression trendlines, and accompanying baby blue dots that define trend consistency:

This post was published at TruthinGold on September 15, 2014.

Third of gold mines losing money at current prices

The gold industry, recovering from the worst slump in prices in 30 years, needs more mergers to help improve investor returns and eliminate unprofitable mines, Fidelity Investments said.
About a third of gold production is probably money-losing when the price of the metal is lower than $1,250 an ounce, said Joe Wickwire, who manages more than $1.8 billion of assets including the Fidelity Select Gold Portfolio. (FSAGX) With gold trading at about $1,230, it ‘might not be a bad thing’ if the number of producers was reduced by a third.
‘It’s part of the life cycle of industries that every so often you need to have a cleansing of that which is not working,’ Wickwire said in a phone interview from Boston, where Fidelity is based.
Gold producers, which are gathering for the annual invitation-only Denver Gold Forum that began yesterday, cut budgets, sold assets and adjusted mine plans after the metal plunged 28 percent last year, prompting more than $26 billion of writedowns. The industry already has started a consolidation process, Wickwire said.
‘The industry did a very poor job from a capital-allocation standpoint, from a risk-management standpoint and from an operational-execution standpoint,’ he said. ‘For long-term oriented investors it would be better for the industry to get more right-sized where companies are focused on generating profit at a conservative gold price assumption.’
‘Darwinistic Scenarios’
Combining companies can help eliminate their respective unprofitable operations, he said. Weak companies with good assets may also be targeted by stronger producers, he said.

This post was published at TruthinGold on September 15, 2014.

Europe Has Lost Its Monetary Mind?

Europe’s Weak Because It’s Uncompetitive … In the long-running debate over Europe’s feeble economic recovery, monetary policy has taken center stage as if printing money to spur demand can solve Europe’s troubles. According to two newly released competitiveness reports, the real problem lies elsewhere: labor costs, which have been growing faster than productivity, and underinvestment. – Bloomberg
Dominant Social Theme: Monetary policy will save us.
Free-Market Analysis: This article makes the point that the problem with the European economy is a lack of competitiveness, not a lack of money.
This is an important, even fundamental point. We’ve written a number of articles recently explaining why the European Central Bank’s new monetary program doesn’t make any sense. Here’s one:
Draghi’s Non-Starter: A Policy to Impoverish People to Make Governments Efficient
The basic reason is that the Germans don’t want to go along with it. And without German cooperation, any significant stimulative program is not feasible.
But maybe the monetary conversation is covering up something even more basic. That’s what this Bloomberg article suggests.

This post was published at The Daily Bell on September 15, 2014.

The March of Germany’s EU-Skeptics Continues

AfD Wins Big In Another Two German State Elections We recently pointed out that Germany’s EU-skeptic AfD party has the potential to become a serious political force (see ’22% Can Imagine Voting for the AfD’ for details). Over the weekend, two further German state elections in Thuringia and Brandenburg confirmed this assessment. In both elections, the AfD was by far the biggest winner, going from zero to 10.6% of the vote in Thuringia and from zero to 12.2% in Brandenburg. We prefer to refer to the party as EU-skeptic rather than simply ‘euro-skeptic’, although the latter is the label most often used in the mainstream press. While the euro-area’s sovereign debt crisis was the main motivation for the party’s establishment, its ideas had already come in favor among a growing number of people before the crisis. There merely was no party-political platform available to them previously – now there is.
Once again the Free Democratic Party was essentially wiped out in both states (which we believe is unfortunate), but the AfD also seems to have attracted voters from the left – from the Left Party in Brandenburg and the SPD (social democrats) in Thuringia. This is an interesting development, as the party is certainly not leftist in its outlook.
Although the party has gained a respectable percentage of the vote – beating e.g. the Green Party handily – it will be spared from taking part in a coalition government, as majority governments can be formed in both states without its participation and the establishment refuses to have anything to do with the AfD. We say ‘it will be spared’ because experience has shown that being the junior partner in coalition can be deadly. The junior partner as a rule loses much of its base, which tends to be unhappy with the compromises that need to be made in order to join a governing coalition. The opposition role by contrast allows for the party’s stance to be pursued with the same undiluted vigor as before. Voters often see participation in coalitions simply as a way to gain well-remunerated posts by essentially selling out.

This post was published at Acting-Man on September 15, 2014.

Before Adam Smith There was Chydenius

On my first day back in the classroom this fall, I was reminded that entrepreneurial alertness applies to ideas and insights as well as profits.
Since the opening chapter of the course’s economics principles text calls Adam Smith the father of economic science, I told my class that he actually had multiple precursors in the study of economics. I mentioned the Spanish scholastics as an example. And having his precursors in mind primed me to discover another one I had been completely unaware of.
After my class, I stopped by to visit a colleague I hadn’t seen all summer. Outside his office were copies of a pre-Euro 1,000 Finnish mark note and a pre-Euro 100 Austrian schilling note that I hadn’t noticed before. When I asked him about them, he said they were examples of countries that put important economist’s likenesses on their currency. I looked at the bills more closely. I recognized Eugen Bhm-Bawerk on the 100 Austrian schilling note. But on the 1,000 Finnish mark note was Anders Chydenius. I said, ‘Who is that? I never heard of him.’
My colleague told me just enough about Chydenius (1729 – 1803) to make me curious, particularly in mentioning that he wrote some very Smithian things before Smith. So I took a moment to check him out. What did I find? One article described him as ‘Scandinavia’s Adam Smith.’ A review of his 1765The National Gain (originally written in Swedish) stated that ‘Chydenius published this system of economic thought about ten years previous to the publication of Adam Smith’s epoch-making work. It is peculiar to note how well the ideas of this simple Finnish country parson coincide with those of the great Scottish economist.’ Another article I found said ‘One of the most remarkable aspects of Chydenius’ analysis is how relevant many of his conclusions are to today’s political and economic debates.’ My curiosity aroused, I had to look further.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Monday, September 15, 2014.

The U.S. National Debt Has Grown By More Than A Trillion Dollars In The Last 12 Months

The idea that the Obama administration has the budget deficit under control is a complete and total lie. According to the U. S. Treasury, the federal government has officially run a deficit of 589 billion dollars for the first 11 months of fiscal year 2014. But this number is just for public consumption and it relies on accounting tricks which massively understate how much debt is actually being accumulated. If you want to know what the real budget deficit is, all you have to do is go to a U. S. Treasury website which calculates the U. S. national debt to the penny. On September 30th, 2013 the U. S. national debt was sitting at $16,738,183,526,697.32. As I write this, the U. S. national debt is sitting at $17,742,108,970,073.37. That means that the U. S. national debt has actually grown by more than a trillion dollars in less than 12 months. We continue to wildly run up debt as if there is no tomorrow, and by doing so we are destroying the future of this nation.
The chart that I have posted below shows the exponential growth of the U. S. national debt over the past several decades. Anyone that would characterize this as “under control” is lying to you…

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on September 14th, 2014.

Why Scotland Has All The Leverage, In One Chart

As Scotland prepares to vote for or against Independence from the Union on Thursday, it appears everyone has an opinion on what may, what should and what will happen. At the basis of every such opinion is some basis in fact, misguided as it may be in most cases, about who has all the leverage, with the dominant one being that Scotland would make a horrendous mistake if it says goodbye to the UK and puts a border around what is currently a third of UK’s landmass.
Some, such as Deutsche Bank, the bank that has the single greatest derivative exposure in the world and is therefore most leveraged to maintaining the status quo, saw its “Chief Economist & Member, Group Executive Committee, Deutsche Bank AG” David Folkerts-Landau personally put pen to paper on Friday and in rambling, demagogic terms, explain why it would be a “Wrong Turn” for Scotland to seek self-determination.
He says that, “A “Yes” vote for Scottish independence on Thursday would go down in history as a political and economic mistake as large as Winston Churchill’s decision in 1925 to return the pound to the Gold Standard or the failure of the Federal Reserve to provide sufficient liquidity to the US banking system, which we now know brought on the Great Depression in the US. These decisions – well-intentioned as they were – contributed to years of depression and suffering and could have been avoided had alternative decisions been taken.” Sure, there could have been no gold standard and the Fed could have gone full-Bernanke, and it would only have kicked the can a few years leading to an even greater depression, as the recent paradigm of “bubble to bubble” transitions, described by none other than Deutsche Bank, is where the world finds itself. In fact, it is DB that admitted last week that without a bubble, the western financial way of life is finished.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/15/2014.