Dutch Do Not Tolerate Freedom of Speech

The Dutch are destroying the last vestiges of our liberty until the pretense of protecting it. They are putting on trial a right-wing Dutch politician named Geert Wilders for what they call inciting hatred and discrimination against the Dutch Moroccan minority. Thi8s is a legal contest that will destroy civilization itself and unravel everything we once held fundamental to freedom. Wilders argued that calling Morrocans ‘scum’ is protected by his right to freedom of speech. The government prosecutors looking as always to advance their careers no matter what the cost to society argue that his claim ‘Freedom of expression is not absolute, it is paired with obligations and responsibilities, the responsibility not to set groups of people against each other,’ declared lead prosecutorWouter Bos.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Mar 20, 2016.

China’s Latest Problem: Half A Trillion Dollars In Unpaid Bills

It’s no secret by now that China has a rather serious debt problem.
Although getting a precise read on it is next to impossible, all told the debt pile probably sums to something like $30 trillion. Various reports put the figure at between 250% and 300% of GDP all-in and aswe reported back in January, that may have swelled to more than 340% by the end of 2015.
Corporate debt-to-GDP was around 125% in 2014 and probably sits above 150% now. Depending on what business you’re in, servicing that debt has become all but impossible. As Macquarie discovered last autumn, more than half of all debt for commodities firms was EBIT-uncovered in 2014 and heaven only knows what that figure looks like now.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/20/2016.

$GCJ16 – April Gold (Last:1256.00)

The chart shown provides a more expansive view than the one given here Friday, with a 1384.10 rally target that is commensurately higher. Getting there would represent the culmination of a bullish ABCD pattern that has unfolded at a glacial pace. However, any doubts we might have had about the pattern’s viability were scotched on March 10 when a sharp rally stalled precisely at the midpoint pivot,1287.80. As of now, we have no way of knowing for certain whether the April contract will get past that ‘hidden’ resistance. However, if and when it does, especially if by way of a two-day close above it, or by exceeding it by $5-6 intraday, that would imply a likely follow-through to at least 1335.95, or possibly to 1384.10 if any higher.
From a trading perspective, the futures became a theoretical ‘mechanical’ buy, stop 1191.40, on two separate occasions when they pulled back to the green line (x=1239.65). They are on a buy signal now, but because they’re trading above the ‘mechanical’ entry price, I’d suggest using another tactic to get aboard. If a ‘camouflage’ entry is your preference, please note that the futures would trip a buy signal on the chart shown at 1259.63 – four ticks above Friday’s recovery high. The relevant coordinates are: A=1227.00 on 3/16; B=1271.90 on 3/17; and (tentative) C=1248.40 (3/19). The D target would lie at 1293.30.

This post was published at Rick Ackerman on Posted March 20, 2016,.

Venture Capitalist Says Investors Are Terrified Of Market Volatility And Weak Economy: ‘They Are Scared And Don’t Know What To Do’

With stocks having rebounded following a major down-swing earlier this year, it’s all smooth sailing going forward if you believe the mainstream financial pundits and renowned economists who continue to encourage the general public about the unfettered strength and stability of the U. S. economy. But according to well known venture capitalist and resource sector investor Carlo Civelli, last week’s Fed action, or rather, inaction, suggests that exactly the opposite is the case.
It goes to show that the economy is not as strong… or the markets were too volatile even for Yellen to stomach.
In his latest interview with Crush The Street Civelli explains why the stock market is the only game in town for many investors, why people are being forced into negative yield investments, how stabilizing stocks markets doesn’t necessarily translate to a healthy economy, and where to position yourself today to avoid the wealth destruction to come:

This post was published at shtfplan on March 20th, 2016.

The Clown Show Has Come and Gone

Our main theme has been that the ironclad post-2011 confidence in the Federal Reserve among conventional market participants would slowly but surely start to fade because macro parlor tricks, so vigorously employed by the Bernanke Fed, were only tricks or in some cases (Operation Twist) borderline magic, after all.
At biiwii.com (still unsure if or in what capacity the site may reappear) we used to have fun with clown car videos, as the various Fed members piled out honking horns, doing somersaults and shouting incomprehensible phrases and announcements.
Like Rosco’s clown car above, that is all fading away now. The pretense that the Fed is the steward of a sound financial system and currency has been stripped away. We are no longer anticipating a waning of confidence. In rolling over last week and playing dead, the Fed announced for all the world to see that it is no more secure or respectable than the clown known as ‘the Draghi’, Kuroda the Klown or the troupes in Canada, Australia, England and China’s Central Planning.
The US Fed, through no good work of its own was the beneficiary of a Goldilocks environment in which global economic pressures resulted in capital flight into the US.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 20 March 2016.

It’s Moved Beyond Vancouver: “Downtown Seattle Has Entered The Phase Of Ponzi Financing”

Occupancy Rate Becoming Less of a Concern for Downtown’s Real Estate Investors
I was recently informed by local economist and manager of IDEAeconomics, a website that promotes post-Keynesian views (and post-Keynesian must not be confused with neo-Keynesians), Alan Harvey that a significant shift has occurred in the market for commercial property in Seattle’s downtown area.
In the past, the value of a commercial property was “the capitalized value of the stream of rents from that property.” In this order of things, occupancy rates (content) mattered. Now, commercial properties are not selling content and value but merely value. Meaning, they are selling a “projected increase in price.” Meaning, downtown Seattle has entered the phase of Ponzi financing.
“My speculation is that this has been caused by people looking to move their money into the US,” Harvey explained. Where did he get this information? From a source within the CBRE Group, a “commercial real estate company based in Los Angeles.” This source confirmed that global surplus capital is behind this transition. “It’s much more lucrative to build or buy with the hope of selling at an inflated value rather than actual revenue.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/20/2016.

Market Manipulation: You Better Believe

Let me start off and say the longer one continues to operate under the assumption that we still have free markets the less likely you are to make money, and the more likely it is you will lose money.
Folks we have virtually every central bank in the world printing money (and I think this includes the US). We have negative interest rates in many parts of the world and 0 every place else. I can say without a bit of hesitation that market intervention is now just a fact of life in modern markets. To ignore it is to ignore a very big fundamental piece of the puzzle.
Bernanke theorized several years ago that any determined government could create inflation at will by threatening to, or actually expanding the money supply. He then proved his theory in 2009 during the only brief deflationary period since the Great Depression. QE1 stopped deflation in it’s tracks. Heck for anyone willing to open a history book you know that Roosevelt was able to stop deflation in the 30’s when he effectively doubled the money supply by revaluing the price of gold.
The simple fact is that once all currencies became purely fiat, deflation became a thing of the past. As long as a government has the ability (and will) to print unlimited amounts of currency there is simply no level of debt that can’t be inflated away. The problem has never been deflation, the problem is going to be inflation (currency crisis). That is the end game to this mess that began in 2000 with the popping of the internet bubble.
I’ve maintained for 8 years now that the day the SEC banned short selling in the financials during the heart of the market crisis in 2008 that was the moment we crossed the Rubicon from which there was no coming back. That was the day free markets died in the world. That was the point in history where the protection of the banks became priority #1 and all laws governing fair market practices were set aside so the banks could make money through any means possible, fair or foul.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 20 March 2016.

Currency Debasement & The Death Of Roman Emperors

Correlation does not necessarily imply causation.
In other words, just because two sets of data may follow a similar pattern, it does not mean there is any direct causal relationship.
However, as VisualCapitalist’s Jeff Desjardins was assembling our previous research on Currency and the Collapse of the Roman Empire, we noticed something that was too uncanny to skip past: during the 113-year stretch of time from 192 to 305 AD, an astonishing amount of Roman emperors (84%) were either brutally murdered or assassinated.
This, of course, was a particularly troubled period for the Romans. During the Crisis of the Third Century (235 to 284 AD) specifically, the combined pressures of invasion, civil war, plague, and economic depression threatened to bring down the Empire.
Coincidentally, during this same time frame, the silver denarius went from having 2.7 grams silver to being ‘silver’ in name only. Base metals such as bronze and copper were added to the silver coins to debase the currency, and by the year 300 AD, a silver denarius (or its equivalent) had only a trace of silver left.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/20/2016 –.

Precious Metals Ignore Correction Calls

Gold and gold stocks have refused to correct for more than a few days at a time. Weakness is being bought and quickly. Gold has gained over $200/oz but not corrected by more than 6%. The miners (GDX) have endured three roughly 10% corrections in the past six weeks but nothing greater. A few weeks ago we noted a comparison to the 2008 rally which hinted that miners could correct 20% before moving higher. So far, no dice. Many gold bulls continue to expect a correction while losing sight of the bigger picture: precious metals are in a new bull market.
Many have expected a correction due to the CoT, which shows a net speculative position of 37.6% of open interest. While this figure appears high, we should note that from 2001 through 2012 the net speculative position often peaked from 50% to 60%. Moreover, everyone has completely missed the rise in open interest, which reached a more than 4-year high! Open interest is not a leading indicator but a confirming indicator. Strong increases in open interest validate the strong increases in Gold. The recent increase in open interest mirrors the increases that followed the 2001 and 2008 lows in Gold.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 20 March 2016.

Why Investing In Silver Is Vastly Superior To Investing In Gold Right Now

When panic and fear dominate financial markets, gold and silver both tend to rapidly rise in price. We witnessed this during the last financial crisis, and it is starting to happen again. Because I am the publisher of a website called The Economic Collapse Blog, I am often asked about gold and silver when I do interviews. In fact, just a few days ago I was sitting right next to Jim Rickards during the taping of a television show when this topic came up. Jim expressed his belief that investing in gold is superior to investing in silver, but I had the exact opposite viewpoint. In this article, I would like to elaborate on why I believe that silver represents a historic investment opportunity right now.
I should start out by disclosing that my wife and I have been able to put away a little bit of silver over the years. I wish that it could have been a lot more, but so often there are other priorities that need to be addressed. For example, I have always said that people need to take care of their emergency food storage first before even thinking about any kind of investments.
But if you have money left over after taking care of the basics, I am fully convinced that silver is a wonderful investment for the mid to long term. In this article, I am going to explain why this is the case. However, I have always warned that you have got to be ready for a rollercoaster ride if you get into precious metals. So if you can’t handle the ups and downs, you should probably avoid them altogether.
As I write this article, the price of gold is sitting at $1254.30 an ounce.
Meanwhile, the price of silver is sitting at just $15.81 an ounce.

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on March 20th, 2016.

Market and Metals Move Into Bull Phases

A solid week for markets as they rested well until the Federal Reserve released their statement, which kept rates the same and lowered their expectations of four rate hikes this year to two, and that’s even a stretch in my view, but I’ve been wrong before.
All in all, stocks are acting great and we’re heavy into long positions and looking to hold as long as they’ll allow us, but it does look like the 2016 lows are in place and there is nowhere to go but up from here.
The metals were choppy but held key levels and still look to be setting up for higher.
I’ve had a lot of emails this week happy that I’m on the bull side once again, and others saying it doesn’t matter what I think, and I agree.
I really did think we’d have a move under $1,000 in gold to really put the panic in the perma-bulls but we only got to the $1,060 area and put in a nice base there.
The point being, it doesn’t matter what I think, nobody cares what I think, including myself.
The only thing people care about is how I interpret the action and charts, and that is often right.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 20 March 2016.

How To Make Sense of a Pathological Rally

Stocks rallied for the fifth consecutive week, erasing the losses suffered by the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 to start the year. Fears of recession have receded and investors are now fretting that they may miss out on the next big thing if they don’t dive back into the markets.
They should be careful what they wish for.
While it may be gratifying that the market didn’t fall completely out of bed in the first quarter, there is still ample reason to believe that we are in a bear market and that recent gains are going to reverse sooner rather than later. One reason stocks rallied last week was that the Federal Reserve once again refused to take an opportunity, when market conditions were relatively stable, to raise interest rates. That leaves only investors to worry about when it might actually decide to do its job.
Bets are rising on that time arriving in June with the employment improving and inflation rising. The Fed, however, has plenty of company in terms of central banks continuing the easy money regime that has dominated markets since the financial crisis.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Michael E. Lewitt ‘ March 20, 2016.

What’s The Frequency Janet?

What’s The Frequency Janet?
Once again, in spectacular fashion, the financial ‘markets’ have miraculously rebounded from the aptly moniker’d ‘Bullard Bottom’ and without pause has traversed in a near vertical assent to recapture the levels where all the uncertainties began. In other words, after all the gyrations over the last 14 months we are once again only back to the levels (as scored by the U. S. financial markets e.g., Dow, S&P, et al) where the Fed stood confidently in their economic policy acumen.
Remember those confident proclamations during that time? (paraphrasing) ‘The economy has recovered quite admirably as to allow the QE (quantitative easing) program to end.’ That was a good one, no? Remember what happened next? Nothing, as in the ‘markets’ basically went nowhere up, nor down for months on end.
Sure there were some great headlines made of this path to nowhere as the market screamed sideways in a pattern much like a cardiac reading with blips and spikes that allowed headlines such as ‘New Never Before Seen In The History Of Mankind Highs!’ on a near weekly basis. Yet, although those headlines were true, all they did was mask the fragile, ever deteriorating economy those ‘meters’ were hooked to.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/20/2016.

20/3/16: Economic Reality v Central Banking: Vegas-styled Showdown

What’s going wrong with the global monetary policy? Nothing, really, except for the economic reality.
Let me explain. In a forthcoming article I will be highlighting the channels through which monetary policy deployed in recent years (a combination of extremely low lending rates, negative in many cases deposit rates, massive asset purchases or QE) have contributed to increasing markets and economic volatility, whilst achieving preciously nothing in terms of lifting up economic growth.
Here, let’s consider what I shall term the ‘extreme impotency’ of monetary policy in the age of a structural debt crisis.
Lessons from the ECB
Earlier this month, ECB did something remarkable. Prior to its March meeting, the ECB has hyped markets expectations for a dramatic monetary expansion (as pre-flagged here:On the day of the announcement, the ECB actually exceeded markets expectation as I noted here:and de facto threw in the entire kitchen sink of monetary policies at the fire. This had no real effect.
The ECB forced through extraordinary measures:

This post was published at True Economics on March 20, 2016.

Fed’s FOMC Decision: It was not Unanimous

Unanimous decisions by the FOMC are fairly common as a way to build “confidence” in the economy. The recent FOMC decision on Fed policy going forward was not unanimous. Let’s take a look at who voted against the rest of the committee.
It’s Ester L. George the president of the Kansas City Fed. She is from Missouri and graduated from a Missouri college. She has worked for the Kansas City Fed most of her life, working with former President Thomas Hoenig, who was considered one of the last inflation “hawks.”
George recently stated that the previous rate hike was a “late start” and that “if we wait for the data to provide complete confirmation before making a policy decision, we may well have waited too long.”
Interestingly, Ester George is the host of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s annual Jackson Hole Economic Symposium.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on MARCH 18, 2016.