This post was published at RoadtoRoota
This post was published at RoadtoRoota
The gradual acceptance of digital currencies, with major exchanges about to launch bitcoin futures trading, may prompt some oil producing nations to ditch the US dollar in crude trade in favor of cryptocurrencies, an oil analyst says.
As RT reports, Russia, Iran and Venezuela have more than one thing in common.
All three are major oil producing nations dependent on the dollar since the global crude market is traditionally dominated by contracts denominated in US currency.
Moscow, Tehran and Caracas are also facing US sanctions; penalties which are proving effective since the sanctioned countries are dependent on the US dollar to sell their crude.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 11, 2017.
U. S. equity index futures pointed to early gains and fresh record highs, following Asian markets higher, as European shares were mixed and oil was little changed, although it is unclear if anyone noticed with bitcoin stealing the spotlight, after futures of the cryptocurrency began trading on Cboe Global Markets.
In early trading, European stocks struggled for traction, failing to capitalize on gains for their Asian counterparts after another record close in the U. S. on Friday. On Friday, the S&P 500 index gained 0.6% to a new record after the U. S. added more jobs than forecast in November and the unemployment rate held at an almost 17-year low. In Asia, the Nikkei 225 reclaimed a 26-year high as stocks in Tokyo closed higher although amid tepid volumes. Equities also gained in Hong Kong and China. Most European bonds rose and the euro climbed. Sterling slipped as some of the promises made to clinch a breakthrough Brexit deal last week started to fray.
‘Strong jobs U. S. data is giving investors reason to buy equities,’ said Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist at BDO Unibank Inc. ‘The better-than-expected jobs number supports the outlook that there is a synchronized global economic upturn led by the U. S.”
The dollar drifted and Treasuries steadied as investor focus turned from US jobs to this week’s central bank meetings. Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index pared early gains as losses for telecom and utilities shares offset gains for miners and banks. Tech stocks were again pressured, with Dialog Semiconductor -4.1%, AMS -1.9%, and Temenos -1.7% all sliding. Volume on the Stoxx 600 was about 17% lower than 30-day average at this time of day, with trading especially thin in Germany and France.
The dollar dipped 0.1 percent to 93.801 against a basket of major currencies, pulling away from a two-week high hit on Friday.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 11, 2017.
Authored by Dr. D via Raul Ilargi Meijer’s The Automatic Earth blog,
Part 1 “Bitcoin Is A Trust Machine” here.
Part 2 “This System Is Garbage, How Do We Fix It?” here.
Part 3 “A System With No Justice, No Order, No Rules, & No Predictability” here.
Well, all parts of the system rely on accurate record-keeping.
Look at voting rights: we had a security company where 20% more people voted than there were shares. Think you could direct corporate, even national power that way? Without records of transfer, how do you know you own it? Morgan transferred a stock to Schwab but forgot to clear it. Doesn’t that mean it’s listed in both Morgan and Schwab? In fact, didn’t you just double-count and double-value that share? Suppose you fail to clear just a few each day. Before long, compounding the double ownership leads to pension funds owning 2% fake shares, then 5%, then 10%, until stock market and the national value itself becomes unreal. And how would you unwind it?
Work backwards to 1999 where the original drop happened? Remove 10% of CALPERs or Chicago’s already devastated pension money? How about the GDP and national assets that 10% represents? Do you tell Sachs they now need to raise $100B more in capital reserves because they didn’t have the assets they thought they have? Think I’m exaggerating? There have been several companies who tired of these games and took themselves back private, buying up every share…only to find their stock trading briskly the next morning. When that can happen without even a comment, you know fraud knows no bounds, a story Financial Sense called ‘The Crime of the Century.’ No one blinked.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 9, 2017.
Hackers have managed to get $70 million worth of Bitcoin, revealing the risk of all electronic forms of money to which cryptocurrencies are not exempt. The prices keep soaring and requests to add it to Socrates have been coming in so we are complying. With the futures about to begin, this should make it a more transparent market. The problem now is a single trade can be registered just buy one coin to put up prints that do not reflect volume. A future contract will help reveal the true depth of a market.
If we accept the quotes as real, then Bitcoin’s market capitalization is now larger than that of major US banks Citigroup or JP Morgan standing at about $ 220 billion. The problem that emerges is the reclassification legally of Bitcoin. Because it is pretending to be a currency rather than a stock, governments can simply take the latest print and declare that to be a profit and tax you on that number. If the governments would accept Bitcoin as legal tender in payment of taxes, that would be fine. However, if they demand their own currency (dollars) which then forces one to sell Bitcoin to pay the tax, then the price will collapse and they will force you to pay the tax on the inflated number. You can claim you lost money selling it below that figure and they then allow a tax credit but spread out over 10 years. Bitcoin should swap everything to shares and that will eliminate the clash with the government.
This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Dec 8, 2017.
Good ideas don’t require force. That describes the Internet, mobile telephony and cryptocurrencies.
What is money? We all assume we know, because money is a commonplace feature of everyday life. Money is what we earn and exchange for goods and services. Everyone thinks the money they’re familiar with is the only possible system of money – until they run across an entirely different system of money. Then they realize money is a social construct, a confluence of social consensus and political force– what we agree to use as money, and what our government mandates we use as money under threat of punishment. We assume that our monetary system is much like a Law of Nature: since it’s ubiquitous, it must be the only possible system. But there are no financial Laws of Nature for money. In the past, notched sticks served as money. In other non-Western cultures, giant stone disks (rai, a traditional form of money on the island of Yap) and even salt served as money.
This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 06, 2017.
This past weekend, I was in Florida with Chris Martenson and Nomi Prins discussing the current backdrop of the markets, economic cycles, and future outcomes. A bulk of the conversations centered around the current ‘everything bubble’ that currently exists globally. Elevated valuations in stock prices, extremely low yields between in ‘junk bonds,’ or intense speculation around ‘cryptocurrencies’ all suggest we have entered once again into ‘bubble’ territory.’
Let me state this:
‘Market bubbles have NOTHING to do with valuations or fundamentals.’
Hold on…don’t start screaming ‘heretic’ and building gallows just yet. Let me explain.
Stock market bubbles are driven by speculation, greed, and emotional biases – therefore valuations and fundamentals are simply a reflection of those emotions.
In other words, bubbles can exist even at times when valuations and fundamentals might argue otherwise. Let me show you a very basic example of what I mean. The chart below is the long-term valuation of the S&P 500 going back to 1871.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 4, 2017.
Three months ago, in a not entirely surprising move meant to circumvent US economic sanctions on Venezuela, president Nicolas Maduro announced that his nation would stop accepting dollars as payment for oil imports, followed just days later by the announcement that in a dramatic shift away from the Petrodollar and toward Beijing, Venezuela would begin publishing its oil basket price in Chinese yuan. The strategic shift away from the USD did not work quite as expect, because a little over two months later, both Venezuela and its state-owned energy company, PDVSA were declared in default on their debt obligations by ISDA, which triggered the respective CDS contracts as the country’s long-expected insolvency became fact.
Fast forward to today when seemingly impressed by the global crypto craze, Maduro on Sunday announced the creation of the “Petro“, Venezuela’s official cryptocurrency “to advance in the matter of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and to overcome the financial blockade”.
“Venezuela announces the creation of its cryptocurrency, the Petro; this will allow us to move towards new forms of international financing for the economic and social development of the country,” Maduro said during his weekly television program, broadcast on the state channel VTV.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 3, 2017.
As the transition towards a blockchain based economy continues, the established financial powers are desperately trying to stay relevant. In an attempt to boost their credibility, analysts at Deutsche Bank are finally admitting that state-run fiat currencies are becoming obsolete. For years, blockchain entrepreneurs and other critics of central banking have been branded either conspiracy theorists or criminals. But recently, those controversial opinions about the inevitable changes coming to the world’s financial system are being echoed by mainstream pundits.
Deutsche Bank’s top strategist, Jim Reid, recently articulated a view on the economy that is shared by many but rarely talked about:
‘Central banks and governments which have ‘dined out’ on the 35 year secular, structural decline in inflation are not able to prevent it rising as raising interest rates to suitable levels would risk serious economic contraction given the huge debt burden economies face. As such they are forced to prioritise low interest rates and nominal growth over inflation control which could herald in the beginning of the end of the global fiat currency system that begun with the abandonment of Bretton Woods back in 1971.’
This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on NOVEMBER 15, 2017.
A policeman sees a drunk man searching for something under a streetlight and asks what the drunk has lost. He says he lost his keys and they both look under the streetlight together. After a few minutes the policeman asks if he is sure he lost them here, and the drunk replies, no, and that he lost them in the park. The policeman asks why he is searching here, and the drunk replies, ‘this is where the light is’. – The Streetlight Effect
The drunk in the above story is an idiot, of course. But no more so than modern economists who can’t find inflation because they’re looking only at the part of the economy covered by their government’s Consumer Price Index.
But gradually, grudgingly, a handful of mainstream economists do seem to be figuring out that the soaring value of stocks, bonds, real estate, fine art, collectibles and cryptocurrencies is a legitimate sign of a depreciating currency and future instability. Inflation, in other words. From yesterday’s Morningstar:
Lack of inflation is a global issue
(Morningstar) – The lack of inflation is a global issue. Unemployment is at cyclical lows in the US, Germany, and Japan, yet in each of these countries there is only small evidence that wages are picking up. No doubt globalisation and technology are common factors that have helped constrain wages across countries.
This post was published at DollarCollapse on NOVEMBER 14, 2017.
While the gold price is slowly crawling upward in the shadow of the current cryptocurrency boom, China continues to import huge tonnages of yellow metal. As usual, Chinese investors bought on the price dips in the past quarters, steadfastly accumulating for a rainy day. The Chinese appear to be price sensitive regarding gold, as was mentioned in the most recent World Gold Council Demand Trends report, and can also be observed by Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) premiums – going up when the gold price goes down – and by withdrawals from the vaults of the SGE which are often increasing when the price declines. Net inflow into China accounted for an estimated 777 tonnes in the first three quarters of 2017, annualized that’s 1,036 tonnes.
Demonstrated in the chart above Chinese gold imports and known gold demand by the Rest Of the World (ROW) add up to thousands of tonnes more than what the ROW produces from its mines. One might wonder where Chinese gold imports come from, which is why I thought it would be interesting to analyse as detailed as possible who’s supplying China. Is one country, or only the West, supplying China? Although absolute facts are difficult to cement, my conclusion is that China is supplied by a wide variety of countries on several continents this year.
This post was published at Bullion Star on 14 Nov 2017.
Almost exactly one year ago, the IRS realized that it could be leaving billions of dollars on the table in the form of uncollected taxes, and launched a tax-evasion probe on the largest US Bitcoin exchange, Coinbase, seeking to identify all Coinbase users in the U. S. who ‘conducted transactions in a convertible virtual currency’ from 2013 to 2015.
In a vexing paradox for cryptocurrency traders who had hoped they could avoid the IRS indefinitely as someone, somewhere once may have mentioned, the higher the price of bitcoin rose, the more motivated the IRS was to obtain access to user transaction records. Or, as Bloomberg put it, “the exploding value of the cryptocurrency since its first real-world transaction in 2010 is one reason the U. S. Internal Revenue Service is pushing to see records on thousands of users of Coinbase Inc., one of the biggest U. S. online exchanges. The company’s digital currency platform allows gains to be converted into old-fashioned dollars in transactions that the IRS alleges are going unreported.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 13, 2017.
The best performing precious metal for the week was palladium, 0.41 percent. CenterraGold is set to buy Aurico Metals for $1.80 per cash share for a 38-percent purchase price premium on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Centerra currently holds more than $350 million in cash and has now secured a $125 million acquisition facility, according to Bloomberg. Gold prices rose after Saudi Arabia said a recent attempted missile strike at Riyadh’s airport could be an act of war by Iran. Additionally, Turkish investors are continuing to buy gold with demand expected to reach the highest since 2013. According to Google Trends, global searches for ‘buy bitcoin’ have overtaken ‘buy gold’ demonstrating a surge in popularity of the cryptocurrency. However, the BullionVault Gold Investor Index edged slightly higher to 54.6, demonstrating the number of buyers is higher than sellers. Weaknesses
The worst performing precious metal for the week was platinum, down 0.82 percent. Due to platinum’s primary use in internal combustion engines, the metal could be among the biggest losers from electrical vehicle growth, reports Mining Review. The World Gold Council said it’s a tough quarter for gold as prices weakened in September and October. Global gold demand fell 9 percent in the third quarter as investor buying slowed and regulations in India tightened, reports Eddie van der Walt.
This post was published at GoldSeek on 13 November 2017.
The assumption in some quarters is that crypto-currencies will replace gold as money, or at least challenge it. This is an error borne out of a misunderstanding of catallactics, or the theory of exchange. It also ignores the fact that beyond a few European countries and North America, gold is firmly money in the minds of ordinary people. I wrote an article on this subject, explaining why cryptocurrencies are not a new form of money, here.
Anyone reading this article may wish to read my original article first, to understand the true status of cryptocurrencies. I concluded that cryptocurrencies are the purest form of financial bubble in the history of speculation, and will be of great theoretical interest to future generations, just as the phenomena of the Mississippi, South Sea, and tulip bubbles are to us today. I also wrote that
‘It’s worth noting that all crypto-currencies together are worth $120bn, with bitcoin $55bn of that total. This is only a very small fraction of cash and deposits worldwide. Therefore, the point where new money to fuel the craze runs out does not appear to have been reached, and could have much further to go.’
This post was published at GoldMoney on November 09, 2017.
Gold and silver are not out of the woods. So far Trump has not said anything to destabilize the markets. Fears of a surprise resulted in the rise of gold and silver yesterday. Developments in Saudi Arabia are here to stay. It may or may not affect metals and crude oil. The internet is filled with speculation that there is collusion between Israel and Saudi to expand Israel among other political agendas. Something is fishy in Saudi Arabia. Something big will happen in the Middle East over the coming months. Only big political news from the Middle east will impact global financial markets.
The trading volumes in bitcoins is not even five percent of its current potential. Bitcoins and other crypto currencies have a lot higher to go. A few Mount Gox type vanishing will be needed to prevent bitcoin prices from zooming. Nations will be forced to adopt and regulate bitcoins. Greater adoption of crypto currencies will imply greater investment demand for gold and silver.
This post was published at GoldSeek on 9 November 2017.
Gold prices held most of yesterday’s 1.0% jump against the Dollar and touched new 3-week highs for Euro investors on Tuesday, trading higher as crude oil rose and Saudi Arabia accused Iran of “direct military aggression” tantamount to a declaration of war.
Wall Street’s S&P500 index of US stocks ended Monday with its 11th new record closing high in a month.
Crypto-currency Bitcoin today rallied to regain half of Monday’s 6% drop, trading back above $7000 after hitting 5 new daily all-time highs in succession last week.
Listen to Tom McClellan on Stocks and Real Estate; Keith Barron on Peak Gold
Crude oil spiked Tuesday to new 2.5-year highs, while Arabian stock markets fell hard – down over 3% – as news broke of further detentions and sanctions against senior Saudi figures by new crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
“We expected to some interest in gold following the close above $1280,” says one Asian trading desk in a gold price note, “[but] Chinese selling appears to be capping the market.”
“Stocks are at record highs, so you don’t need gold,” says George Gero at the wealth management division of Canada’s RBC.
This post was published at FinancialSense on 11/07/2017.
If the ownership of bitcoin is as concentrated as some estimate, then the liquidity issue distills down to the actions of the top tier of owners.
Whenever I raise the topic of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, I feel like an agnostic in the 30 Years War between Catholics and Protestants. There is precious little neutral ground in the crypto-is-a-bubble battle; one side is absolutely confident that bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies are in a tulip-bulb type bubble, while the other camp is equally confident that we ain’t seen nuthin’ yet in terms of bitcoin’s future valuation. I’ve stated here more than once that in my view the real value of bitcoin will only be revealed in a financial/market crisis/crash like 2008-09. Longtime correspondent Mark G. recently proposed three tests that illuminate some of the dynamics that might come into play in the next financial/market crash/crisis. (CHS NOTE: gold fell from a peak around $1,100 per ounce in March 2008 to $830 in October 2008. It then bounced back to $1,100 in February 2008. The standard explanation for the sharp decline was that gold was sold off to meet margin calls and other obligations arising from the Global Financial Meltdown of late 2008. That gold was perceived as a reliable store of value may have increased its attractiveness as an asset to sell in the mad scramble to raise cash.)
This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on MONDAY, NOVEMBER 06, 2017.