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  • Keener Risk Aversion In World Marketplace After Spain Terror Attacks

    This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Money Morning. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
    (Kitco News) – World stock markets were mostly lower in overnight trading. The U. S. stock indexes are pointed toward slightly higher openings when the New York day session begins. The marketplace is reacting with keener risk aversion to an ISIS terror attack in Barcelona, Spain Thursday, in which a van rain into a crowd and killed 13 people. A second attack in another town in Spain was thwarted by police, who killed five terrorists.
    Gold prices are higher in pre-U. S. day session trading Friday and hit a 2.5-month high above $1,300 an ounce on some more safe-haven demand and technical buying.
    Traders and investors are also pondering the future progress of the Trump administration’s objectives. Many believe the administration is in turmoil.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Jim Wyckoff ‘ August 18, 2017.


  • Central Bank Polices Disrupt Our Ability to Assess Risk

    When central banks manipulate interest rates, they disrupt normal patterns of savings and investment. They pump up economic bubbles that ultimately pop and kick off economic crashes. We saw this vividly in the 2008 financial crisis. Low interest rates, along with government policies, encouraged unsustainable investment in housing. When the bubble popped, it nearly brought the entire economy down with it.
    There is another problem with central bank interest rate tinkering that exacerbates bubbles.
    It hides inherent risk.
    When interests rates remain artificially low, it suppresses risk premiums and drives further malinvestement.
    Thorsten Polleit writing for the Mises Institute Fed Watch explained the mechanism.
    Inherent risk exists with any investment, but some are riskier than others. In an unfettered market, investors reap a reward in the form of higher yield for taking on higher risk.

    This post was published at Schiffgold on AUGUST 15, 2017.


  • Chinese Bank Suffers ‘Rare’ Bank Run, Police Arrest “Rumor-Spreaders”

    Chinese police questioned 27 people, detained 12 and “severely” reprimanded 15, over the spreading of gossip about Linshang Bank – a lender with 61 billion yuan ($9.1 billion) in deposits – which caused a rare bank run in Eastern China.
    The South China Morning Post reports that a few disgruntled employees at Shandong Sanwei Oil Group, an agricultural processing company, were unhappy after they were placed on leave when production lines were closed at the firm.
    The employees spread a rumour that the firm was collapsing with billions of yuan in unpaid loans and that it might also bring down Linshang Bank, the report added. The rumour spread quickly among residents, triggering a run on the local branch of the bank, according to the article. At one point more than 500 depositors gathered outside the branch demanding to withdraw their money.
    The bank said in a brief statement on its website that the spate of withdrawals at one of its branches in Linyi in Shandong province on Monday was caused by ‘a few individuals spreading rumours’ that the bank was in trouble.
    The lender urged the public ‘not to believe in or spread rumours to jointly maintain good financial order’.
    “In the face of rumors, we hope the public reacts rationally, does not believe in rumors, does not rumor-monger, to avoid harming their own interests.”

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


  • 3 Dead, 35 Injured Amid Violent Protests, Car Attack, & Chopper Crash In Charlottesville

    Update 10: City Manager Maurice Jones confirms that 3 people are dead (1 from the car attack and 2 police in a helicopter crash) and 35 more were injured following a disastrous day in Charlottesville. Furthermore, Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas confirmed the driver is being charged with criminal homicide.
    * * *
    Update 9: In a press conference following today’s attacks in Charlottesville, which killed one young woman, and a helicopter crash that killed two offiers, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe had some choice words for far-right demonstrators who converged on the town: “Go home…and never come back.”
    ‘You came here today to hurt people and you did hurt people. But my message is clear: We are stronger than you. You have made our commonwealth stronger you will not succeed. There is no place for you here there is no place for you in America. Go home…and never come back.’ The driver’s identity and any information about his possible motive for the attack have yet to be released.
    * * *
    Update 8: In the latest development in what was already a bizarre, tragic day, a police helicopter crashed into a wooded area near a gold course in Charlottesville, not far from where the ‘Unite the Right’ rally was being held.

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


  • Fun on Friday: The Man Who Put His Gold in a Folder and Lost It

    Today we’re going to have fun at the expense of some poor man in Germany.
    On the one hand, you’ll probably feel a little sorry for the guy. But – come on man!
    Chalk this up as a lesson in how not to take care of your gold.
    This unnamed Berliner left 22 gold bars in a folder under a tree, along with 3,500 in cash. According to a report on a German website, the gold was valued at about 35,000. That’s a little over $41,000 US. The owner told police he had put the folder down as he was locking up his bike.
    Then he ‘simply forgot about it.’
    Yes. He forgot about the $41,000 worth gold bars he was carrying around in a folder and just walked away.
    The man probably ought to take some of those euros and buy a lottery ticket because it was his lucky day. Somebody with a whole lot of integrity found the folder and turned it in to police. Admit it – you would at least be tempted to keep a folder stuffed with gold bars and cash. It’s OK. We all know.
    Anyway, officials say there was some personal information in the folder that helped them identify the owner.
    The good Samaritan won’t go away empty-handed though. Under German law, people who find lost items get between 3 and 5% of the value. According to the news report, the finder’s honesty will pay off to the tune of about 2,000.

    This post was published at Schiffgold on JULY 28, 2017.


  • POLICE BRAG ABOUT TAKING MONEY FROM A HOMELESS MAN, FACEBOOK PROCEEDS TO OWN THEM

    Cheyenne, WY – A heartening trend is growing on social media showing that people are waking up to the state persecuting individuals over victimless crimes. The latest example of this trend comes from the Cheyenne Police Department who posted a photo of money they seized from a homeless man and then attempted to justify and brag about it. When people read the department’s post, they lashed out – peacefully – to let them know what they were doing is wrong.
    The department’s post has since gone viral, prompting both praise and scorn for their ridiculous image bragging about stealing money from a homeless man because he was drunk.
    The image was posted with the following statement:
    Yesterday, July 22, we arrested a transient for public intoxication. This is a person we frequently deal with, but we want to illustrate that there are better ways to help the transient population than to give them money for panhandling. This person collected $234.94 in just a few hours of asking for money. Rather than feeding someone’s alcohol addiction, you can donate directly to local charities such as the Comea Shelter where your money will assist the homeless in a much more effective way.

    This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on JULY 28, 2017.


  • German police make arrests in March heist of giant Canadian gold coin

    Police in Germany have arrested individuals in connection with one of the most brazen and famous recent coin heists in the world.
    Law enforcement officials in Berlin detained four suspects in the March 2017 theft of the 100-kilogram gold Canadian coin with a face value of $1 million from the Bode Museum in Germany’s capital.
    The 2007 coin was minted from 100 kilograms of 0.99999 fine gold, one of six made by the Royal Canadian Mint. A Coin World correspondent from Germany, who is a numismatic journalist there, has confirmed that 13 suspects were targeted in raids in Berlin’s Neukoelln district. The raids were announced July 12.
    All four suspects detained are under the age of 21, and according to multiple European news reports, are from a large Arab family with connections to organized crime.

    This post was published at Coin World


  • French Riots Erupt in 20 cities

    The riots is France has been forming for the last two weeks and have now erupted violently with protesters carrying banners that read ‘Break Destroy Ravage’ that is similar to the destructive forces unleashed in Hamburg. The police report that the mob is composed of the youth. It is hard to see how these people can practice restraint when unemployment among the youth is so high because of taxes and regulation prevent small businesses from forming.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jul 16, 2017.


  • German police are searching for a stolen gold coin: It’s the size of a manhole cover and worth $3.9 million

    Brother, can you spare a gigantic gold coin?
    Hundreds of special German police officers executed raids across several buildings across southern Berlin early Wednesday, nabbing four suspects in the hunt for a 220-pound gold coin valued at about $3.9 million. It was stolen from Berlin’s Bode Museum in March, where it had been since 2010.
    The police, who conducted the raids wearing masks and strapped with heavy weapons according to the Associated Press, are questioning nine others in connection with the missing coin. The four main suspects are related and between 18 and 20 years old.
    The coin was not recovered in the operation.
    ‘We assume that the coin was partially or completely sold,’ Carsten Pfohl of the Berlin state criminal office said at a news conference. Police are picking apart clothes and vehicles used by the suspects to find traces of gold left behind.

    This post was published at Washington Post


  • German Police Arrest Suspects In Theft Of Massive 100 Kilogram Gold Coin

    German special commandos have arrested several people in connection with the theft of a large gold coin that was stolen from the Bade museum in Berlin back in March in a brazen theft that shocked the public.
    While Reuters didn’t say whether police recovered the coin – there was some speculation that the thieves would’ve melted it down for the gold – photographs did show police leading away a suspect, whose face was covered to hide his identity. The arrests were made in the Neukoelln area of Berlin

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


  • Traders Who Left Banks for Hedge Funds, Heading Back to Banks

    Traders who fled banks for hedge funds are on their way back to Wall Street.
    This month, Barclays Plc hired Chris Leonard, a founder of two hedge funds in the decade since he left JPMorgan Chase & Co., to turn around U.S. rates trading. At the end of last year, ex-bankers Roberto Hoornweg and Chris Rivelli, both of Brevan Howard Asset Management, left that London hedge fund for banks.
    Recruiters say these moves and others aren’t just the usual attrition: banks in New York and London are interesting employers again a decade after the financial crisis, and may get involved in more proprietary trading if President Trump eases regulatory burdens. There’s also another factor: many macro funds just don’t make money anymore.
    ‘In the last quarter of the year or first quarter of 2018, you will find more people leaving the hedge funds to join banks to run proprietary money,’ said Jason Kennedy, chief executive officer of the Kennedy Group in London, which hires for banks and hedge funds. ‘The banks will become more attractive in terms of jobs and pay.’
    That’s due to expectations that Donald Trump will be good for bankers. In a report released June 12, the U.S. Treasury Department urged federal agencies to re-write scores of regulations that Wall Street has frequently complained about in the seven years since the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act. They include adjusting the annual stress tests that assess whether lenders can endure economic downturns, loosening some trading rules and paring back the powers of the watchdog that polices consumer finance.

    This post was published at bloomberg


  • Gold Scammers Using ‘Affinity Fraud’ Technique

    Gold scammers are targeting Chinese-Americans, but similar techniques can be used to target and rip off other groups of people.
    The scam has most recently been reported in Maryland. According to CBS Baltimore, the Montgomery County Police Department reports at least one victim lost $20,000 to gold scammers targeting people of Chinese descent.
    Police term the technique being used as ‘affinity fraud.’ The scam ‘relies on building trust with victims based on shared affiliations and characteristics such as age, race, religion, occupation, etc.’
    The specific scam in Maryland starts with a phone call. The phone number appears as a Chinese number on caller ID. The scammer establishes a rapport and then arranges an in-person meeting. Once face-to-face, the scammers show the victim fake gold, claiming they found it while doing construction work. They claim they are undocumented, and want to sell the gold and use the money to either return to China, or to help family in that country. The scammers hook their victims through their convincing story, their shared cultural understanding, and by saying they will take less than money than the gold is worth.

    This post was published at Schiffgold on JUNE 28, 2017.


  • ‘Not Guilty’ Cop’s City Just Agreed To Pay Philando Castile’s Family $3 Million

    After the not guilty verdict in the manslaughter case against Jeronimo Yanez, the cop who fatally shot Philando Castile, the family of slain man was in pain for the justice they never received. But the cop who ‘didn’t do anything wrong’ has now been fired from the police force and the city of St. Anthony has reached a $3 million settlement with Castile’s family.
    The taxpayers are now on the hook for the police shooting of Philando Castile. As if stealing their money and using it to pay the salary of cops who snuff out the life of civilians isn’t enough, St. Anthony is making sure the taxpayers take the punishment for Yanez’s horrible lapse in judgment. Philando Castile’s family did deserve money, and they also deserved justice, but the cop who killed him should be responsible, not the taxpayers. Unfortunately, this is everything that’s wrong with the government in a nutshell.

    This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on June 26, 2017.


  • Week in Review: June 24, 2017

    While the Federal Reserve is desperate to depict an optimistic vision for the global economy, their fellow central bankers aren’t buying it. Earlier this week Mark Carney of the Bank of England shutdown talk of the BOE possibly following the Fed’s lead in raising interest rates. Meanwhile, as Fed officials are openly worrying about whether technological advances are undermining their misguided war against deflation, the ECB is desperately looking for people to blame if Europeans begin to feel the pain from rising prices.
    On Mises Weekends, Jeff is joined by Dr. Ed Stringham, a Mises associated scholar and the author of the book Private Governance. More and more Americans are waking up to the reality that the US criminal justice system is hopelessly broken, riddled with bad incentives and bad actors. In the wake of recent police shootings Jeff and Ed discuss how and why private security firms could create vastly better outcomes for crime victims, society, and even perpetrators. This is a fascinating discussion you won’t want to miss.


    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on June 24, 2017.


  • Since Seattle Placed A Tax On Guns And Ammunition, The City’s Violent Crime Rate Has Increased

    In recent years, Seattle has developed a reputation for passing asinine laws. Recently the city tried to increase taxes on diet soda, because the drink is more popular among white people. In the past they’ve allowed 6th graders to receive IUDs without parental consent, and have enlisted garbage men to snoop through residential trash in search of compost that is illegal to throw out. Seattle was also the first American city to pass a $15 minimum wage law, which promptly hurt low wage workers.
    So it’s no surprise that sometimes the city passes laws that backfire in very predictable ways. In 2015 Seattle tried to place a tax on gun and ammunition purchases, in an effort to curb some of the costs the city pays for gun violence. However, these taxes didn’t have the desired effect.
    Seattle City Councilman Tim Burgess introduced the tax in 2015. It puts a $25 tax on every firearm sold in the city and up to 5 cents per round of ammunition. The measure easily passed and took effect January 1, 2016. Comparing the first five months of 2017 with the same period before the gun tax went into effect, reports of shots fired are up 13 percent, the number of people injured in shootings climbed 37 percent and gun deaths doubled, according to crime statistics from the Seattle Police Department.

    This post was published at shtfplan on June 21st, 2017.


  • “Brazil Now Facing A Major Crisis”: Police Says It Has Evidence President Temer Received Bribes

    Update: and right on time, the Brazilian house speaker confirmed that the worst case scenario – for Temer – is on the table:
    BRAZIL NOW FACING MAJOR CRISIS: HOUSE SPEAKER MAIA BRAZIL JUDGE REJECTS TEMER CRIMINAL COMPLAINT VS JBS’S BATISTA * * *
    Almost exactly one month after Brazil’s stock market crashed, and the Real plunged after the country’s never-ending political drama made a triumphal return following accusations that president Michel Temer had encouraged a “hush money” bribe to former House Speaker Eduardo Cunha in return for not getting dragged into the Carwash scandal, on Tuesday afternoon, Brazil’s federal police force said it has found evidence that the embattled president received bribes to help businesses, Brazil’s O Globo reported.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 20, 2017.


  • MIAMI POLICE COMMANDER FIRED FOR ‘HINDERING’ SHOOTING INVESTIGATION

    A North Miami police commander was fired on Wednesday after an internal affairs investigation concluded he hindered an investigation into a police-involved shooting and misled the North Miami police chief.
    The commander, Emile Hollant, was in a position of authority last year when fellow officer Jonathan Aledda, a member of the department’s SWAT team, shot a group home therapist named Charles Kinsey, striking him in the leg. Kinsey was reportedly following police orders and pleading with officers not to shoot just before the incident.
    Kinsey had been attempting to help Arnaldo Rios, a severely mentally impaired 27-year-old man and one of Kinsey’s patients at a nearby group home, who had police called on him for sitting in the middle of the road.
    When police arrived at the scene, Kinsey was sitting next to Rios, trying to convince him to get out of the road. A silver toy truck Rios had in his hand was mistaken by officer Aledda for a weapon, prompting him to fire at Rios, but he missed and hit Kinsey, who fortunately survived with a minor injury.

    This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on JUNE 20, 2017.


  • Gangsters, Grandmothers and Gold: Japan’s New Crime Wave

    Sometimes the perpetrators are gangsters. Sometimes they are rather less accustomed to the criminal life. In one case, the ringleader of a middle-aged, female crime ring was said to be a 66-year-old woman.
    An old-fashioned crime is experiencing a resurgence in Japan: gold smuggling. The authorities say they are contending with a startling rise in the amount of gold being brought illegally into the country. The smugglers – an array of professional criminals and enterprising amateurs – profit by dodging import duties and taxes, in some cases worth millions of dollars. Arrests have jumped 40-fold in just a few years.
    The smuggling has gained national attention because of a spate of high-profile episodes, including a brazen gold robbery by thieves dressed as police officers; the seizure of multi-million-dollar gold cargoes from fishing boats and private jets; and the foiling of the smuggling ring the police have said was organized by a 66-year-old housewife.
    Crime rates in Japan are among the world’s lowest and have been falling further as the population ages. But some nonviolent crimes, like shoplifting or embezzlement, have remained more common than other offenses – say, murder or armed robbery.

    This post was published at NY Times


  • Anbang Just Became A “Systemic Risk”: Revenues Crash 90% As Its Chairman Is “Detained”

    As reported earlier this week, overnight Bloomberg confirmed that Wu Xiaohui, the chairman of China’s insurance conglomerate which recently made headlines in the US for nearly reaching a deal with Jared Kushner over 666 Fifth Ave., was detained by a joint team of Central Commission for “Discipline Inspection” and police for questioning. It adds that that Chinese investigators who detained Wu are carrying out a wide probe that includes looking into the sources of funding for the firm’s acquisitions overseas, possible market manipulation by insurers, and ‘economic crimes.”
    The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that investigators were seen checking whether Wu – whose fortune last year was calculated to be just over $1 billion – was involved in bribery and other economic crimes at Anbang and that Wu couldn’t be contacted for comment. As noted on Wednesday, Anbang said Wu couldn’t perform his duties for personal reasons, a story which has since been disproved.
    The authorities are said to be examining Anbang transactions including acquisitions overseas and their funding. According to Bloomberg;s sources, the probe also fits into a broader investigation of possible market manipulation by insurers, although they didn’t specifically define the term ‘economic crimes.’ The action is the result of the government’s crackdown on a sector that is “supposed to help families and companies cut their financial risks, but has recently become a hub for rampant financial speculation.”
    Yet while Wu’s fate now appears sealed, swallowed by China and unlikely to reemerge any time soon if ever, questions have emerged about the viability of Anbang Insurance Group itself, which as the NYT reported overnight, has seen its growth come to a “screeching halt” as Chinese investors who helped fund its meteoric rise no longer want to have anything to do with the politically connected company which is “no longer in Beijing’s good graces.”

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 15, 2017.


  • What Can We Learn from Japanese Gangsters?

    If government regulations are squeezing your business, and you want to avoid the risk inherent in the mainstream financial system, what do you do?
    Buy gold!
    This is true even if your business is – shall we say – not completely above board.
    In fact, Japanese organized crime is reportedly turning to gold as its traditional revenue streams are squeezed by stepped-up law enforcement. Deutsche Welle reports gold smuggling and theft have risen sharply, particularly in southern Japan.
    Obviously, we don’t want to get involved in organized crime, but can we learn something from these Japanese gangsters?
    Jake Adelstein is an expert on Japan’s underworld. He said the country’s organized crime groups, known as ‘yakuza’ have found gold to be a lucrative income stream in recent years. The sudden surge in gold smuggling provides evidence of this trend. Japanese customs detected only eight attempts to smuggle gold into the country in in 2014. That number increased to 294 last year.
    Gangs across the country are desperate for new sources of income after the police began a crackdown on their more traditional sources of income around five years ago. In years gone by, the ‘yakuza’ earned their living largely from extortion and protection rackets, but the new legislation has effectively eliminated those revenue streams. So they have been casting around for a new way of making a living, and the gangs that are dominant in southern Japan have clearly recognized the opportunities that lie in gold.’

    This post was published at Schiffgold on JUNE 6, 2017.