• Tag Archives Congress
  • Are The ‘Toxic’ Democrats Destined To Become A Permanent Minority Party?

    It has become exceedingly clear that the Democratic Party is in deep trouble. Close to 55 million dollars was spent on the race in Georgia’s sixth congressional district, and that shattered all kinds of records. Democrat Jon Ossoff was able to raise and spend six times as much money as Karen Handel and yet he still lost. This was supposed to be the race that would show the American people that the Democrats could take back control of Congress in 2018, and so for the Democrats this was a bitter failure. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee actually injected almost 5 million dollars into the race themselves, and Planned Parenthood threw in another $700,000. But after all of the time, effort and energy that was expended, Handel still won fairly comfortably.
    The Democrats are trying to spin this result as some sort of ‘moral victory’, but as Dan Balz of the Washington Post has pointed out, there are ‘no moral victories in politics’…

    This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on June 21st, 2017.


  • ‘When I say cut taxes, I don’t mean fiddle with the code. I mean abolish the income tax and the IRS, and replace them with nothing’

    The quote in the headline comes from Ron Paul, and it should be the goal of every conservative lawmaker in the entire country. When professional politicians tell you that they are in favor of reforming the tax code or reducing taxes a little bit, essentially what they are telling you is that they are perfectly fine with the status quo. They may want to tweak things slightly, but in general they are content with big taxes, big spending and big government. I spent an entire year getting a Master of Laws in Taxation at the University of Florida Law School, and in my opinion the best thing that Congress could do to the tax code would be to run it through a shredder and put it in a dumpster. As I noted the other day, the tax code is now more than four million words long and it takes Americans about six billion dollars a year to comply with it. Those that believe that they are offering the American people a ‘solution’ by proposing to tinker with this abominable mess are just fooling themselves.
    The only long-term solution that is going to work is to get rid of the entire steaming pile of garbage. Ron Paul understood this, and we would be very wise to take his advice. The following is the full version of the quote from the headline above…
    ‘By the way, when I say cut taxes, I don’t mean fiddle with the code. I mean abolish the income tax and the IRS, and replace them with nothing.’

    This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on June 19th, 2017.


  • NY Fed Nowcast Downgrades Q2 GDP Growth To 1.86%, Bad Housing Start Data Latest Culprit (Slip Slidin’ Away)

    The New York Federal Reserve’s NOWCAST model for GDP growth just downgraded Q2 GDP growth to 1.86%.
    The latest culprit? The rotten housing starts data from this morning.
    And we were so hopeful about 3%+ GDP growth in February. Alas, Congress is not going along with Trump’s economic agenda.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on June 16, 2017.


  • Federal Debt Ceiling Amid No Growth in Federal Tax Receipts (Nothing Has Been The Same SInce TARP)

    What is the US Treasury to do? They are bound (sort of) by the Statutory Debt Ceiling and a Congress that works together like a mink and chickens.
    Federal tax receipts have been disappointing and below the Congressional Budget Office’s forecast.
    And the US Treasury’s cash position has never been the same since the Bush announcement of TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) on September 19, 2008.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on June 13, 2017.


  • “The Sooner We Do It, The Better”: Congress Should Raise Debt Ceiling Before August Recess, Mnuchin Says

    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reiterated his preference for the debt ceiling to be raised before lawmakers break for August recess during testimony before the House Appropriations Committee on Monday.
    Here’s Bloomberg’s summary of what was said during the hearing:
    Can’t imagine a scenario that the debt ceiling isn’t raised Mnuchin urges Congress to align the timing of raising the debt cap with the budget process Markets don’t want Congress to wait to raise the debt ceiling ‘The sooner we do it the better, there are events in the world that could make it more difficult to borrow’ The debt ceiling should not be a Republican or Democrat issue, it should be an acknowledgment ‘that we have spent the money, we have to fund the government’ Mnuchin did not give lawmakers a hard deadline for when the debt ceiling needed to be raised but said it could wait until after Congress’s August recess, the Hill reported.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 12, 2017.


  • SWOT Analysis: Gold’s Strength Is Justified Says UBS

    Strengths
    The best performing precious metal for the week was palladium, up 5.10 percent. Grant Sporre, an analyst at Deutsche Bank, noted there is a genuine physical tightness in the market, but the spike had all the hallmarks of someone being caught short and being squeezed. Bullionvault’s Gold Investor Index, which measures the balance of client buyers against sellers, rose the most in two years reaching a high of 55.3 in May versus 52.1 in April, reports Bloomberg. In India, gold imports jumped fourfold in May to 126 metric tons from 31.5 metric tons in the same month last year. In a report by the World Gold Council, consumption in India could climb dramatically this year as a ‘simple’ nationwide Goods Services Tax will boost the economy, making the gold industry more transparent to benefit buyers, reports Bloomberg. Amid unease over a congressional hearing on possible links between Russia and the Trump campaign, holdings in SPDR Gold Shares (the world’s largest gold-backed ETF) climbed to the highest this year on the back of safe-haven demand, reports Bloomberg. In the two weeks through the end of May, hedge funds and other large speculators boosted their bullish bets on the precious metal by 37 percent, notes another Bloomberg article, the most since 2007 according to government data. Japanese investors sold a record amount of U. S. debt in April, reports Bloomberg. ‘Political turmoil in Washington and uncertainty about French elections pushed down Treasury yields, diminishing their attractiveness,’ the article continues. Japanese investors cut holdings of U. S. debt by $33.2 billion in April, the most in data going back to 2005, according to a Ministry of Finance balance-of-payments report.

    This post was published at GoldSeek on 12 June 2017.


  • How Would Markets React If Trump Is Actually Forced Out of Office?

    Donald Trump’s policy agenda – and his very presidency – are in jeopardy…
    Learn How to Exploit the Gold Frenzy! …at least if you believe the chatter on cable television.
    Yes, for weeks now, the big media outlets have been stirring up talk of impeachment. One narrative after another – Russia, Comey, Kushner, etc. – yet no conclusive evidence of any ‘high crimes and misdemeanors.’
    Still, Democrats in Congress smell blood in the water… and they have readied articles of impeachment for introduction as soon as an opportunity presents.
    Buy Silver Quarters – In Stock, Ships Fast! But investors don’t seem particularly concerned about the implications of political turmoil intensifying in Washington.
    The stock market keeps edging higher with minimal volatility.
    The only hint of politically driven jitters all year came on May 17th. The Dow Jones Industrials slid by nearly 400 points as reports surfaced that former FBI Director James Comey was asked by President Trump to stop his investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

    This post was published at GoldSilverWorlds on June 11, 2017.


  • Barrage Of Billionaire Bears Predict Doom And Gloom, Refuse To Sell

    Shortly after the most famous PIMCO alum, Bill Gross, unleashed today’s dose of doom and gloom when he warned that market risk is the “highest since before the 2008 financial crisis” and warned that ‘instead of buying low and selling high, you’re buying high and crossing your fingers,’ his replacement and current PIMCO CIO, Dan Ivascyn shared a similar dour outlook on the economy at the Bloomberg Invest summit, where he predicted that U. S. growth will “likely be in the mid-2% range and, given the current global fiscal and geopolitical risks, the 10-year Treasury could fall as low as 1.5%.”
    The reason: policy failure by the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress, which Ivascyn said are unlikely to produce sweeping tax or regulatory reform and that infrastructure spending will also be muted.
    ‘You’ll probably get some tax reform and it will more likely resemble a tax cut as opposed to broad-based reform,’ Ivascyn said on Wednesday. Tax changes will likely be ‘well pared down by what’s been proposed’ because Congress will be focused on revenue, he said adding that with infrastructure, ‘we’re even more pessimistic. There may be something done symbolically, but it’s going to be a lot smaller than the $1 trillion that’s been mentioned.’

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 7, 2017.


  • With “Super Thursday” Fast Approaching, This Is What One Trader Plans To Do

    With “Super Thursday” fast approaching, which as a reminder will see a trifecta of “event risk” in the form of the UK general election (which nobody seems to care about), the ECB’s “allegedly hawkish” decision, and James Comey’s Congressional testimony, traders are already putting their hard hats on in a state of self-induced panic.
    But according to Bloomberg’s Richard Breslow that may be unwarranted, because when all is said and done, while nobody knows how markets will react, “the only thing you can be sure of is that any trading being done now solely in preparation for the ‘big day’ is largely a waste of time” and while “these can be important events. And then we’ll inevitably move on.”
    Why? Because as he adds, “personally, I hope there comes a point when a distant market memory can be jogged of moments that have consequences beyond the next central bank reaction.”
    In short, whatever transpires on Thursday, the outcome to risk assets will be whatever the world’s monetary authorities demand.
    That said, here’s what Breslow’s “prep” for “momentous Thursday” looks like:

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 6, 2017.


  • Russian Bank Chairman Met With Kushner, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase

    Headline writers at the New York Times need to sharpen their pencils. Yesterday’s New York edition carried a front page article that links two of the biggest Wall Street banks, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase, to the Jared Kushner affair with the Russian banker, Sergey Gorkov, Chairman of the state-owned Russian bank Vnesheconombank (VEB) which has been under U. S. sanctions since 2014. But readers would have missed that completely if they only read the softball headline, which failed to mention either bank.
    Everyone on Wall Street has been waiting for the next shoe to drop in the Jared Kushner episode. Kushner is under FBI and Congressional probes over allegations that he met in December with Gorkov while simultaneously attempting to set up a secret channel to communicate with Russia using its equipment inside its own embassy – ostensibly to thwart U. S. intelligence snooping. Kushner then failed to list that meeting, as well as one or more meetings with the Russian Ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, on his form for security clearance until the meetings became public knowledge.
    That shoe has now dropped. Wall Street On Parade reported on May 30 that some of the biggest names on Wall Street are sitting with hundreds of millions of dollars of that sanctioned Russian bank’s bonds and notes in their mutual fund portfolios. (See related article below.) Yesterday, the New York Times reported that when Gorkov came to Manhattan to meet with Kushner in December, he also ‘met with bankers at JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and another, unidentified American financial institution.’ The article notes that ‘Goldman Sachs bankers also tried to arrange a meeting but ultimately had a scheduling conflict.’

    This post was published at Wall Street On Parade on June 6, 2017.


  • The States vs. The Federal Reserve

    Over the last few weeks, three states have moved measures forward that chip away at the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money by facilitating and encouraging the use of gold and silver.
    While Congress will most likely never even audit the Fed, much less end it, this kind of action at the state level can undermine the Federal Reserve. Coupled with individual action, it could effectively erode the central bank’s monopoly on money.
    In Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill into law that eliminates states capital gains taxes on gold and silver specie. Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Tucson) sponsored HB2014. The legislation eliminates state capital gains taxes on income ‘derived from the exchange of one kind of legal tender for another kind of legal tender.’ The bill defines legal tender as ‘a medium of exchange, including specie, that is authorized by the United States Constitution or Congress for the payment of debts, public charges, taxes and dues.’ ‘Specie’ means coins having precious metal content.
    In effect, passage of HB2014 ‘legalized the Constitution’ by treating gold and silver specie as money.
    Important legislation relating to gold and silver also moved forward in Louisiana and North Carolina. The Louisiana House unanimously passed a bill to repeal state sales and use taxes on the purchase of gold and silver. The North Carolina House overwhelmingly approved a similar measure.

    This post was published at Schiffgold on JUNE 2, 2017.


  • When Does Buying Gov’t Bonds Support Corrupt Governments?

    The president of Venezuela’s opposition-run Congress led by Julio Borges came out and accused Goldman Sachs of ‘aiding and abetting the country’s dictatorial regime’ after a report that Goldman had bought $2.8 billion in bonds from the cash-strapped country at 31 cents on the dollar. They paid $865 million.
    There have been two months of opposition protests against President Nicolas Maduro in which almost 60 people have been killed. The collapse of the country’s socialist economy has left millions of people struggling to even eat. This is the problem with ‘socialism’ that it is incapable of managing the economy from any centralized government. They hate people who make money, but government is just incompetent to manage anything. It takes an individual on the front lines to manage any operation.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on May 31, 2017.


  • Treat Yo Self! Unfunded Government Pensions $23.2 TRILLION As Of 2015 (Global Pension Shortfall Of Nearly Half A Quadrillion Expected By 2050

    This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Confounded Interest. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
    Politicians love to promise generous retirement benefits to government employees (mostly in exchange for being elected). Benefits that they know cannot be fully honored in the long-run. The same applies to government debt – they keep borrowing knowing it is unsustainable (and then offer the childish explanation that ‘we can always print the money’ to pay government obligations). The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that Federal Debt Held by the Publc (as a percentage of GDP) will grow to 150% by 2047.
    I can imagine that most elected officials in Congress are saying ‘we’ll fix the debt problem AFTER I leave Congress.’
    But the Federal debt fiasco almost pales in comparison to the public pension inferno. Not to mention California’s push towards a single-payer healthcare system that would cost $400 billion … per year (BIGGER than California’s budget).

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on May 30, 2017.


  • GOLDMAN SACHS IS FINANCING VENEZUELA’S SOCIALIST DISASTER

    Nothing to see here. Just another failed attempt at socialism. The opposition forces are finally figuring it all out too. The government is in control, not the people, and Julio Borges is blaming Goldman Sachs for financing the all-but-failed democratic socialist nation.
    The president of Venezuela’s opposition-run Congress on Monday accused Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs of ‘aiding and abetting the country’s dictatorial regime’ following a report that it had bought $2.8 billion in bonds from the cash-strapped tyrannical country. The Wall Street Journal on Sunday said Goldman paid 31 cents on the dollar for bonds issued by state oil company PDVSA that mature in 2022, or around $865 million, citing five people familiar with the transaction.
    Known as the world’s worst oil company, for being completely run by the tyrannical government in Venezuela, PDVSA is the socialist nation’s government. The oil company’s exports account for 93% of the country’s exports. And socialist opposition forces are now blaming the Wall Street bank, Goldman Sachs, for propping up the regime by buying the bonds. Julio Borges, President of the National Assembly and Deputy of the Venezuelan coalition of opposition parties wrote a letter to Goldman Sachs president, Lloyd Blankfein, and calmly stated to him that his financial contributions are propping up the ‘brutal regime’ that’s killing its own people through starvation and violent clashes.

    This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on MAY 30, 2017.


  • Memorial Day and the Meaning of Freedom

    Memorial Day provides the political class countless opportunities to ruin an otherwise thoroughly enjoyable holiday weekend. Like clockwork, local congressmen, mayors, city council members, et al. materialize at parades, picnics, and churches to give speeches about “freedom.”
    But what does freedom really mean?
    Just as we should repudiate Junk English in economics, we should demand precision when it comes to the language of political posturing! In other words, we should insist that politicians use defined terms (I’m not holding my breath).
    In essence, freedom is the absence of state coercion. Nothing more, but certainly nothing less.
    Dr. Ron Paul explains this coercive reality behind those invoking freedom while advocating state action:
    Few Americans understand that all government action is inherently coercive. If nothing else, government action requires taxes. If taxes were freely paid, they wouldn’t be called taxes, they’d be called donations. If we intend to use the word freedom in an honest way, we should have the simple integrity to give it real meaning: Freedom is living without government coercion. So when a politician talks about freedom for this group or that, ask yourself whether he is advocating more government action or less.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on May 29, 2017.


  • Rand Spikes To 2-Month Highs As South Africa’s Zuma Survives Attempted Ouster

    The South African Rand is spiking to 2-month highs in early AsiaPac trading after President Jacob Zuma reportedly survives a bid by members of ruling African Nation Congress’s national executive committee to oust him, according to two members of panel who declined to be named because they aren’t authorized to speak on the matter. Bloomberg reports that the Zuma ouster wasn’t put to vote and the ANC isto hold press conference on Monday.
    The Rand spiked to its strongest in two months on the news…
    Which is odd because the Rand also spiked last week on news of the plans for Zuma’s ouster… It appears ZAR is now like the US equity market – bad news is good news, and good news is great news.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 28, 2017.


  • The Golden Conspiracy

    Authored by Jim Rickards via The Daily Reckoning blog,
    Is there gold price manipulation going on? Absolutely. There’s no question about it. That’s not just an opinion.
    There is statistical evidence piling up to make the case, in addition to anecdotal evidence and forensic evidence. The evidence is very clear, in fact.
    I’ve spoken to members of Congress. I’ve spoken to people in the intelligence community, in the defense community, very senior people at the IMF. I don’t believe in making strong claims without strong evidence, and the evidence is all there.
    spoke to a PhD statistician who works for one of the biggest hedge funds in the world. I can’t mention the fund’s name but it’s a household name. You’ve probably heard of it. He looked at COMEX (the primary market for gold) opening prices and COMEX closing prices for a 10-year period. He was dumbfounded.
    He said it was is the most blatant case of manipulation he’d ever seen. He said if you went into the aftermarket, bought after the close and sold before the opening every day, you would make risk-free profits.
    He said statistically that’s impossible unless there’s manipulation occurring.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 27, 2017.


  • Jim Rickards: The Golden Conspiracy

    Is there gold price manipulation going on? Absolutely. There’s no question about it. That’s not just an opinion.
    There is statistical evidence piling up to make the case, in addition to anecdotal evidence and forensic evidence. The evidence is very clear, in fact.
    I’ve spoken to members of Congress. I’ve spoken to people in the intelligence community, in the defense community, very senior people at the IMF. I don’t believe in making strong claims without strong evidence, and the evidence is all there.
    I spoke to a PhD statistician who works for one of the biggest hedge funds in the world. I can’t mention the fund’s name but it’s a household name. You’ve probably heard of it. He looked at COMEX (the primary market for gold) opening prices and COMEX closing prices for a 10-year period. He was dumbfounded.
    He said it was is the most blatant case of manipulation he’d ever seen. He said if you went into the aftermarket, bought after the close and sold before the opening every day, you would make risk-free profits. He said statistically that’s impossible unless there’s manipulation occurring.

    This post was published at Daily Reckoning


  • Montana House Candidate Charged With Assault After “Body Slamming” Guardian Reporter

    Last night we wrote about Montana’s Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte who reportedly “body slammed” Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs during an interview after being pressed for his opinion on the CBO healthcare score. Gianforte is the Republican candidate in today’s special election for Montana’s open U. S. House seat…but we’re sure it’s just a coincidence that this happened one day before the election.
    Not surprisingly, we learn this morning that Gianforte has been officially slapped with a “misdemeanor assault” charge by the Gallatin County Sheriff’s office which carries with it a maximum fine of up to $500 and/or 6 months in jail if convicted.


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


  • Montana Republican “Body-Slams” Guardian Reporter Over Healthcare Question

    Montana Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte reportedly “body slammed” Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs during an interview after being pressed for his opinion on the CBO healthcare score. Gianforte is the Republican candidate in Thursday’s special election for Montana’s open U. S. House seat.
    “I’m sick and tired of you guys! The last time you came in here you did the same thing. Get the hell out of here! Get the hell out of here!

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 24, 2017.