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  • The Online Ad-Fraud Game is Ending

    You’ll have to look to find it, and the articles are behind paywalls.
    They’re not being trumpeted all over financial media — but they should be.
    What article? That Unilever is threatening to pull online ad campaigns stating that they believe half or more of the “clicks” are fraud. It was in the UK media — quietly — this weekend.
    In other words, robots click them — not humans, who actually watch the ads.
    This story ought to be front-page news. It’s not, and the financial media will not cover it the way it should.
    Here’s why it should be:
    1. This is not new. These issues have been known and talked about for more than a year. It was news last year, and then it quietly “went away.” Gee, you don’t think Zuckerpig laid into the financial media, do you? Naw, nobody would ever to do that when if their little ad game blew up in their face the stock price of Facepig would be zero. Consider that if half of the online advertising revenue is false then the actual value of said platforms is nil since their cost of operation exceeds the true human-generated revenue. That makes all of these so-called “businesses” worthless.
    2. Nobody has an incentive on a platform like Facebook, where posters do not get a cut of the revenue, to stick an army of robots out there and click the ads, except for Facebook itself. This is decidedly not true for Google’s “Adsense” platform of course, or Youtubes, or whoever else where publishers get a piece of pie. There, if your traffic is high enough, there’s an economic incentive to cheat. For someone like me it’s not because the amount of money involved is too small, but for someone with a site that’s garnering tens or hundreds of thousands a month in payouts you can easily cover the cost of a robot or three (hundred) to generate some false traffic.

    This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-06-26.

  • James Rickards: Gold Will Start Heading Higher On ‘Dwindling’ Supply

    James Rickards via Daily Reckoning
    Gold was down after the Fed’s hike, but I expect it to start heading higher again. Too many powerful forces are driving it behind the scenes. Dwindling physical supply is a major one.
    On a recent visit to Switzerland, I was informed that secure logistics operators could not build new vaults fast enough and were taking over nuclear-bomb proof mountain bunkers from the Swiss Army to handle the demand for private storage.

    This post was published at Gold Core on June 19, 2017.

  • Just What the Doctor Ordered

    Dear Black Bag Confidential Reader,
    One of the most challenging aspects of survival is handling a medical emergency when you’re in the middle of a crisis, especially if you’re nowhere near a quality medical facility.
    That’s where Omar Hamada comes in. Omar is a 14-year veteran of the U. S. Army, 10 years of which were spent in the U. S. Army Special Forces. Currently, he works as an emergency room physician at one of the largest and busiest hospitals in Tennessee.
    Omar has been working with me on Spy & Survival Briefing for several months, and recently he offered to lend his expertise to the Black Bag Confidential Weekly Drop.
    Which means we want to hear from YOU.
    If you want to know about wound care dos and don’ts, how to stabilize broken or sprained limbs, what medical supplies you should have in your bug-out bag or any other survival medicine topics, send your questions to spy@LFB.org.
    Now let’s get to this week’s batch of reader mail.
    I have a friend who used to work for FEMA and reads something like your survival email. Now he is a nervous wreck and has developed anxiety and IBS. Scaring people, the gold madness, etc…. not nice.
    – John P.

    This post was published at Laissez Faire on Jun 10, 2017.


    Gold: $1227.70 UP $.50
    Silver: $16.27 DOWN 1 cent(s)
    Closing access prices:
    Gold $xxxx
    silver: $xxx
    Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$10.20
    LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX: 5:30 am est $1229.70
    LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX 10 AM: $1229.80
    For comex gold:
    TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 374 FOR 37400 OZ (1.1632 TONNES)
    For silver:
    For silver: MAY
    Total number of notices filed so far this month: 4107 for 20,535,000 oz

    This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on May 8, 2017.

  • UK Man Finds $2 Million in Gold in Kuwait-Era Military Tank

    A collector of military tanks from the United Kingdom got a pretty good return on his $37,000 investment when he found gold bars worth more than $2 million dollars inside its fuel tank. Nick Mead is the owner of Tanks-A-Lot, a company that provides tanks and other armored vehicles for driving classes, private events, and movies.

    Mead acquired the Iraqi army tank on eBay in a trade for an Abbot self-propelled howitzer and a British army truck. During the restoration process, he and his mechanic found five gold bars weighing about 12 pounds each tucked away inside the tank’s diesel tank. The gold was most likely looted from Kuwait during the Iraqi invasion in 1990. In 1991, Iraq returned 3,216 gold bars to Kuwait.

    This post was published at Schiffgold on APRIL 11, 2017.

  • Jim Rickards: Safe Havens During the Financial Warfare Era

    Jim Rickards joined up with Stephen Guilfoyle, also known as ‘Sarge’ at The Street, to discuss his book The Death of Money and how investors can find a safe haven for their money in this modern era of financial warfare. The discussion hits at Rickards’ area of expertise as a currency wars analyst and covers what to expect from geopolitical interests in Russia, North Korea and beyond.
    Jim Rickards highlights that he was recently giving a seminar to the U. S Army War College and remarks that what he informed them of was that ‘there has really been some economic aspect to warfare but it now completely non-kinetic. It can be decisive and when you combine financial warfare with the emerging cyber techniques you get into cyber financial warfare.’
    ‘In one of the case studies I am analyzing is where Russia has invaded Crimea. We responded with economic sanctions. President Obama indicated that he was not going to war but would apply economic sanctions. However, Russian President Putin thinks of them as an act of war. When you degrade the capability of your adversary through economic means, that’s an act of war. They may respond in a ‘war-like’ way.’

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on April 7, 2017.

  • Is This The Greatest ‘Arb’ In The World?

    Since it first entered service with the Soviet army in 1948, the AK-47 and its derivatives have become the world’s most widely used assault rifles.
    As Statista’s Niall McCarty writes, in his book “AK47: The Story of The People’s Gun”, author Michael Hodges estimates that there are as many as 200 million Kalashnikov rifles in circulation, one for every 35 people on earth. Its popularity among soldiers, criminals and militants is primarily due to its cheap price, durability, reliability and sheer simplicity.
    However, while demand may be high, prices vary dramatically… which gave us an idea.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 3, 2017.

  • The Chaos Continues As Banks Begin To Crash – Episode 1239a

    The following video was published by X22Report on Mar 27, 2017
    UK is entering meltdown mode, inflation surges. Italy is a on the edge of a major problem. Brussels slaps the UK with a 100 billion bill for an EU Army. Over half American cities are filled with renters. Dallas Fed misses, its declining once again. This is how you know we are in a bubble, Tony Robbins and Suze Orman are back selling how to make money. During the next financial crisis pensions are going to be at the center of it all. The entire market is in chaos and the banks are crashing at the same time, will this continue.

  • Stockman Warns: ‘Trump Does Not Yet Understand The Magnitude Of The Problem… It’s Going To Shock The System’

    Though many financial pundits make the argument that the U. S. economy is booming as a result of millions of new jobs, a healthy housing market and record stock market levels, former Reagan budget director David Stockman says that the next few months will see fiscal, financial and economic upheaval.
    In a recent interview with Greg Hunter’s USA Watchdog, Stockman argues that President Trump’s stimulus packages will be ground to a halt as the U. S. debt ceiling is once again breached in March. The resulting uncertainty could lead to widespread panic on Wall Street.
    The trigger, says Stockman, will be a debt ceiling crisis on or around March 15, 2017, which incidentally, just happens to be the same day that the Federal Reserve is supposed to hike interest rates:
    In a typical month we have 250 to 300 billion in revenue coming in… that will easily cover the debt service for a month… that will readily cover social security and other critical payments… but when it comes to paying grants to state and local governments, contractors, or the Army Corp of Engineers, or the Pentagon, or a whole range of other activities, if you don’t have the cash you put the bills in the drawer…
    I think that is what’s going to shock the system… and it will scare the living bejeezus out of Wall Street and financial markets because then you won’t have a sudden clarification or resolution to the problem.. and that could go on for days and weeks.

    This post was published at shtfplan on February 26th, 2017.

  • SAUT: Fade the Fed, Markets Now Dependent on Fiscal Policy

    “By the time a queen bee is five she is old and no longer reproduces, leaving her army of honeybees torn between loyalty and survival. Since the hive cannot survive without a productive queen, the beekeeper reaches into the hive with a long-gloved hand and squashes the enfeebled queen. With the entire hive as a witness, all know the queen is dead. Absent the scent of their leader, the honeybees panic. But, the beekeeper is prepared, having ordered a new queen from a bee breeder. Arriving in a two-inch-long wooden box with a screen at the top and bottom, the queen is accompanied by a court of six to eight escort bees who care for her every whim, cleaning her, feeding her, removing her waste. At one end of the box, a tiny piece of hard candy blocks access to the queen. When the box is inserted into the hive, the first instinct of the worker bees, who immediately know she has the wrong scent, is to kill the new queen. The workers struggle to reach her but are blocked by the candy. Soon they become diverted by the sweet [candy], and over the two or three days it takes to eat through it to succumb to the enticement. Their fealty is won. All hail the new queen.”
    – ‘Three Blind Mice’ by Ken Auletta (American writer, journalist, and media critic)
    Something similar to this ‘new queen bee’ story is happening now. The ‘old queen’ has been the Federal Reserve and monetary policy. The ‘new queen’ appears to be the White House and fiscal policy. The White House seems nervous that monetary policy, the Fed, and up until recently the continuing policy of lowering interest rates, has not produced the typical strong economic rebound following a ‘soft patch.’ So, the ‘new queen’ looks to be fiscal policy and the White House. As repeatedly stated, ‘The White House is ‘driving’ the equity markets and not the Fed, which is a huge change from the past two decades.’ Now Wall Street loved the old queen. The Street loved lower interest rates, figuring that stimulation would revive the banks, business, and the economy in general. Yet many investors are leery about the new queen. The Street worries that tax cuts could be a catalyst for bigger budget deficits and higher inflation. Moreover, the media, the Democrats, and even many Republicans appear to be taking every opportunity to undermine our new President. However, the White House figures that Wall Street will eventually succumb to the sweet lure of tax cuts, reduced regulation, repatriation of foreign corporate profits, a fix for Obamacare, etc. But, beekeepers sometimes get stung! The head beekeeper in Washington D. C., the President, knows that the economy remains in a fragile state. He knows the worker bees are worried about their jobs, their hive, and their honey. He knows they will sting Republicans in the next election if he does not get the economy moving again, but we think he will.

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 02/22/2017.

  • Mike Flynn Resigns As National Security Advisor

    As many had expected, multiple sources have now confirmed that former General Mike Flynn has resigned from his role as President Trump’s national security advisor. The White House has confirmed that Lt. General Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr. has been appointed Acting National Security Advisor.
    President Donald J. Trump Names Lt. General Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr. as Acting National Security Advisor, Accepts Resignation of Lt. General Michael Flynn
    President Donald J. Trump has named Lt. General Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr. (Ret) as Acting National Security Advisor following the resignation of Lt. General Michael Flynn (Ret).
    General Kellogg is a decorated veteran of the United States Army, having served from 1967 to 2003, including two tours during the Vietnam War, where he earned the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with “V” device, and the Air Medal with “V” device.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 14, 2017.

  • Rome’s Flat Tax Created the Biggest Economic Boom in History

    In the earliest days of the Republic Rome’s taxes were quite modest, and were not direct, but were a property tax or a wealth tax on all forms of property, including land, houses, slaves, animals, money and personal effects. The basic rate was just 1% and sometimes it would occasionally rise to 3%. This was to fund the pay for the army during war. The tax would often be rebated to the people out of the spoils of war. It was levied directly upon individuals, which required the government to conduct a censuses. We have the Biblical account in Luke 2.1-5 where it reads that Caesar Augustus (27BC-14AD) decreed that the Roman Empire should be taxed and that everyone had to return to his own city to pay taxes. So Joseph and Mary returned to Bethlehem and there Jesus was born. In Egypt, we know that there was a 14 year cycle to the census from the time of Augustus. The inhabitants of Egypt were required to submit a declaration to local authorities containing the names, ages, and other identifying information of all co-inhabitants. Indeed, many declarations have survived on papyrus. There are a consistent run of documents showing every census between 33/34AD and 257/258AD, with evidence that this cycle extends back to 19/20AD at the very least.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Feb 9, 2017.

  • In Stunning Admission, Draghi Says A Country Can Leave Eurozone But Must “Settle Bill First”

    Less than 4 years ago, and shortly after his infamous “whatever it takes” threat to speculators, Mario Draghi responded to a question from Zero Hedge readers, saying “there is no Plan B” when it comes to contingency plans for a Eurozone nation leaving the monetary union. The reasoning was simple: the mere contemplation of such a scenario assigned a probability to its occurrence, which is why the ECB was desperate to give the impression that no matter what, Europe’s cohesion is unbreakable.
    Fast forward four years later, when not only has this particular strategy been thoroughly rejected, but for the first time ever the head of the ECB provided a framework, vague as it may be, laying out what a Eurozone exit would look like.
    In a letter to two Italian lawmakers in the European Parliament released on Friday, and first reported by Reuters, Mario Draghi implied that a country could leave the euro zone – so much for “No Plan B” – but first it would need to settle or debts with the bloc’s TARGET2 payments system before severing ties. “If a country were to leave the Eurosystem, its national central bank’s claims on or liabilities to the ECB would need to be settled in full,” Draghi said in the letter. He did not specify in what currency the “settlement” would have to take place. It was also not clear just what the ECB would do in response if a country did not “settle its claims in full”: at last check the ECB did not have a policy-enforcing army.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 21, 2017.

  • As Wall Street Tries To Trade On Trump’s Tweets, Problems Emerge

    Remember when investing was about reading financial reports, following news, anticipating cash flows, inferring the impact of monetary policy on risk prices, occasionally looking at charts (because while traders say past performance is not predictive, virtually everyone expects a chart to forecast precisely what will happen). Well, now it is about simpler things: like what asset will China’s great bubble-chasing army send into the stratosphere or, as has been the case over the past few weeks, what will Donald Trump tweet about next.
    However, as Wall Street’s traders, starved for alpha, scramble to convert Trump’s tweeting into profitable trades, they have run into problems, and as the WSJ writes, “investors are grappling with the president-elect’s highly visible but capricious social-media presence, which is upending well-worn Wall Street formulas for assessing the likelihood of certain developments and baking them into market prices.” Specifically, Trump’s tweets are challenging large firms to funnel his off-the-cuff remarks into trades in an age of increasing automation, “while forcing banks to revisit restrictions on social-media use. At the same time, the tweets are creating openings for smaller investors to make money on abrupt market moves.”
    The first problem, of course, is that with many Wall Street firms having banned Twitter, their traders are flying blind in an age when Trump’s tweets have become the biggest market moving event on any given day. For example, at Mizuho in New York, foreign-exchange trader Daniel Riveira said last year he began discussing with co-workers plans to get the Japanese financial firm to lift its longtime ban on Twitter after Mr. Trump’s threats to revise trade policies with Mexico prompted a sharp decline in the peso.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 14, 2017.

  • Why Ridiculous Official Propaganda Still Works

    For students of official propaganda, manipulation of public opinion, psychological conditioning, and emotional coercion, it doesn’t get much better than this. As Trump and his army of Goldman Sachs guys, corporate CEOs, and Christian zealots slouch toward inauguration day, we are being treated to a master class in coordinated media manipulation that is making Goebbels look like an amateur. This may not be immediately apparent, given the seemingly risible nature of most of the garbage we are being barraged with, but once one understands the actual purpose of such official propaganda, everything starts to make more sense.
    Chief among the common misconceptions about the way official propaganda works is the notion that its goal is to deceive the public into believing things that are not ‘the truth’ (that Trump is a Russian agent, for example, or that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, or that the terrorists hate us for our freedom, et cetera). However, while official propagandists are definitely pleased if anyone actually believes whatever lies they are selling, deception is not their primary aim.
    The primary aim of official propaganda is to generate an ‘official narrative’ that can be mindlessly repeated by the ruling classes and those who support and identify with them. This official narrative does not have to make sense, or to stand up to any sort of serious scrutiny. Its factualness is not the point. The point is to draw a Maginot line, a defensive ideological boundary, between ‘the truth’ as defined by the ruling classes and any other ‘truth’ that contradicts their narrative.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 13, 2017.

  • U.N. Experts: Rebels, Criminals, Some Army Exploit Congo Gold

    Some army officers, rebel groups and criminal networks in Congo are still illegally exploiting the country’s gold and mineral riches despite government and military bans, U.N. experts said in a report circulated Monday.
    The panel of experts monitoring sanctions against Congo said gold remains by far the mineral most used to finance rebel and criminal groups. It names several senior officers implicated in gold exploitation and trade, “on occasion in collaboration with private companies.”
    The report to the U.N. Security Council said a gold-tracing program has not yet become operational and efforts for the government to control its natural resources are impeded by “the impunity enjoyed by wrongdoers,” corruption by a wide range of parties, and loopholes in implementing bans and monitoring.
    On the key issue of Congo’s vast natural resources, the panel said its preliminary investigations showed that “most gold produced in the country continued to be smuggled through neighboring countries to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.”

    This post was published at ABC News

  • Record 95.1 million Americans not in the labor force. The challenge of having an army of non-working adults.

    The year definitely ended with a bang and the number of Americans not in the labor force is now at a record high as well. 95.1 million Americans are now floating in the ‘not in the labor force’ category that finally got some mainstream attention in 2016. This is a big deal because you have an enormous proportion of your adult population off the charts. This convenient math has also allowed the unemployment rate to look lower than it probably should be. After all, if you are simply dismissing millions from your overall calculation then things can look better. We end the year with an enormous number of adults that have fallen off the labor force bandwagon and in many cases, you have old adults who wish to retire but realize their new retirement plan is working until they die.
    The non-working army
    In the last three months of the year the not in the labor force figures jumped by a whopping 841,000. This figure dwarfs any job gains that have been made over the period. You need to understand that this is significant because even if the figures are booming by older Americans, this simply means liabilities are going to be surging across the board.

    This post was published at MyBudget360 on January 7, 2017.

  • Central Bank Gold Policies – People’s Bank of China

    Through it’s central bank, the People’s Republic of China holds the world’s 6th largest central bank gold holdings, with over 1800 tonnes of gold held in its official reserves of the People’s Bank of China. These gold reserves holdings are notable for having quadrupled since the early 2000s amid much secrecy. Since mid 2015, however, the Chinese government has embarked on a revised communication policy of releasing monthly updates on the size of its gold holdings. Although there is no official confirmation of gold storage arrangements, it is thought that the Chinese official gold reserves are vaulted in Beijing, China’s capital, and may be under the protection of the Chinese army.
    1. Introduction 2. Ownership of Chinese Gold Reserves 3. PBoC – Accumulation of Gold Reserves 4. PBoC Gold Purchases on the International Market 5. PBoC Gold Storage 6. China’s Overall Reserve Assets 7. Reporting of PBoC Gold Reserves 8. Gold Transfers from other Chinese State entities 9. References and Links Highlights
    China’s central bank, the People’s bank of China (PBoC), holds and manages China’s official monetary gold reserves. These gold reserves are now in excess of 1800 tonnes. The PBoC has pursued an active accumulation of monetary gold reserves since the early 2000s, but until 2015 did not provide regular updates on the extent of this accumulation policy. The PBoC quietly purchases gold on the international market and transports this gold back to China where it is said to be stored in vaults in Beijing, possibly under the protection of the Chinese army. Since China holds vast total foreign reserves in excess of US$ 3 trillion, China’s gold reserves, although substantial, only account for a relatively low 2% of total reserves.

    This post was published at GoldSeek on 5 January 2017.

  • 2017 Stock Market Predictions: Trump Slump in January for Stocks

    I begin my 2017 stock market predictions with a recap of last year’s predictions. In an article back in 2015 titled ‘The Epocalypse: What Will D-Day Look Like?’ I predicted the Fed would raise rates on December 16th, 2015, and the US stock market would crash immediately. Counterintuitively, I said it would crash by shooting upward for a few days; then it would round off, and then, in a short time, it would plunge off a cliff. (In all not a pattern you’d likely find anyone else predicting.)
    I said the stock market would crash by going up because everyone would look around after the long-dreaded day of the Fed’s first rate hike and see that the sky didn’t fall. That would turn them all smarmy and euphoric over how right they were about the recovery and about the bull market. That would, in turn, give rise to their hopes of a bull market forever and never ceasing. However, parties lead to hangovers. Once you recover from the hangover, reality sets in. That’s when they would begin to panic as they looked around, saw all the bottles and underwear and said, ‘Oh, my gosh, what did we do last night?’
    How my 2015/2016 stock market predictions did
    That is EXACTLY what happened (perhaps even including the underwear). January became the worst opening month in stock-market history. Now, to be fair, I also said that globally 2016 would turn into the ‘Year of the Epocalypse,’ and it didn’t. (More on that in my next article of 2017 economic predictions, but you have to admit it was one darn weird year, which I think was only the warm-up act for this year.) However, as part of the economic apocalypse I predicted for 2016, I described the following blowup:
    Movement from bond funds to stocks will accelerate the bond implosion, wiping out billions in paper wealth on the high-yield bond side. Unfortunately for the market bulls, such mega-bond crashes almost always lead directly into stock-market crashes.

    This post was published at GoldSeek on 3 January 2017.

  • Herbert Hoover: Godfather of the New Deal

    Herbert Hoover was worth $4 million in 1914 as a mining engineer and mine owner. This was before World War I, when the dollar bought 25 times more than it does today. He was good at what he did in the private sector.
    He gained national fame as a World War I relief administrator: Belgian relief. The Germans let him do this because it freed up food for the German Army: no need to feed occupied Belgium. This is now how the history books tell it. This was the next phase of the legend of “Hoover the Engineer.”
    Harding appointed him Secretary of Commerce. Hoover then oversaw the nationalization of the airwaves. He created the Federal Radio Commission, which became the Federal Communications Commission. Instead of selling air space to the highest bidder — the free market solution — he let the FCC license and periodically re-license broadcasters. This became the basis of the second most important cartel after the banking cartel: the media cartel. This was the origin of the mainstream media.
    Coolidge kept him on, but he had contempt for him. He called him the “wonder boy.” He once said: “That man has offered me unsolicited advice every day for six years, all of it bad.”
    Then he became President. He became the heir of a boom created by the Federal Reserve System’s fiat money. His actions turned what would have been a sharp recession into a depression — a word he coined to replace “panic.”
    He then started spending vast quantities of federal money. He also pressured businesses to hold up wages above the market wage levels, industry by industry. This created unemployment. His government created the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to provide government loans to high-risk businesses. Franklin Roosevelt retained the RFC.

    This post was published at Gary North on December 21, 2016.