The US Election ‘Shame’ Of Thrones

It appears George R. R. Martin’s best-selling book series has a lot of similarities to the ‘ice’ and ‘fire’ of the current election campaign. Two powerful families (the establishment vs Bernie and Trump) of liars and honest men (and women) playing a deadly game for control of the ‘kingdom’…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/28/2016.

Japanese Retail Sales Plunge Most Since 2010

Just one more cut in rates more negative and just a little more ETF buying and bond purchases and we are sure the Japanese will start spending as wages rise…
4th monthly decline in a row and absent the tsunami and tax-hike reaction, this is the worst drop since Dec 2010…

At what point do you just admit failure?

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/28/2016.

Central Bank Is Losing Control Of The Economy As More Indicators Point To A Collapse – Episode 930a

The following video was published by X22Report on Mar 28, 2016
There are over 100 million people out of work that want to work. The everyday person is not spending instead they are nervous about the future so they are holding on to their currency. If new home sales are surging we would see building like crazy, but we don’t. Dallas FED reports that we are in a recession and the economy is falling apart quickly. The Atlanta FED lowers the GDP for the 1st quarter to .6%. Global trade is back to 2008 levels when the entire system crashed.

California Weighs a $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage

California is on the verge of increasing the statewide minimum wage to $15, from $10. According to one pro-minimum wage policy advisor, ‘It would mean a raise for one of every three workers in the state.’
If this were the case, then why stop at one-third of the workers in California? Why not raise the minimum wage to match the $170,000 average salary for California judges, which works out to be $81.73/hour for a 40-hour work week?
The fact that they limit their recommendation to $15/hour proves that the legislators and proponents of the policy understand that there is a tradeoff at work. The same applies for the growing number of people that advocate the same $15/hour minimum wage for the whole country. For some non-arbitrary reason, they have chosen $15, and not $20, $16, or even $15.01. They understand that we can’t just magically give everybody a raise or wave a wand to make goods and services more plentiful. Minimum wage proponents must anticipate that the benefits of the policy outweigh the costs of the policy, or else they wouldn’t be a proponent of the policy.
Many of the proponents are probably just going along with what others around them are petitioning, without giving it much thought. Others may have articulable reasons for $15/hour, but it can’t be to help those with low incomes achieve higher incomes, or to raise everybody’s standard of living, because the policy does nothing to bring about those ends, and is even deleterious to those ends. Their reasons may be selfish, like to get more votes to stay in office or to hopefully increase their own wages as employers shift their demands among different types of laborers.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on MARCH 28, 2016.

Relative Strength in Silver

Up and Down
Gold went down (as the muggles would measure it, in dollars). It dropped almost 40 bucks. Silver fell almost 60 cents. Since silver fell proportionally farther than gold, the gold-silver ratio went up.
Why do we keep reiterating that gold goes nowhere, that it’s the dollar which mostly goes down over long periods of time and sometimes up as in 2011-2015? Why do we insist that the dollar be measured in gold, and that gold cannot be measured in dollars the way a steel meter stick cannot be measured in rubber bands?
Some ideas that are impossible to understand using the dollar paradigm. For example, gold is in the process of withdrawing its bid on the dollar. This will have devastating consequences, which the word ‘reset’ does not begin suggest. If the dollar is money, then this assertion – gold bids on the dollar – is incomprehensible. However, if gold is money then that makes the dollar just the irredeemable scrip issued by the Fed in order to finance its purchase of Treasury bonds. Who would be eager to trade his money to buy such scrip?

This post was published at Acting-Man on March 28, 2016.

Is Trump Wrong About A Border Wall? One Stunning Chart Has The Answer

Several European countries have erected fences to keep migrants out, and, according to the numbers, every case appears to have a large impact.
Hungary was a popular pathway for refugees on their way to Germany during the fall. When the daily illegal border crossings were at 7,000 per day, Prime Minister Viktor Orban decided to erect a fence along the border to Serbia and Croatia.
The result speaks for itself:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/28/2016.

Report: There Is No Sign Of Recession: ‘Strong Consumer Spending Underscores The Economy’s Underlying Strength’

For those who think the U. S. economy is going under, a report from Reuters suggests you’re just peddling fiction.
According to official data there is nothing to worry about. We are not only not in recession, but the economy is fundamentally strong and only getting stronger.
Relatively strong consumer spending underscores the economy’s underlying strength and should further allay fears of a recession, which triggered a massive stock market sell-off early this year.

‘The consumer is back in the driver’s seat. There is no sign of recession in these data so this will put a smile on Fed officials’ faces and argues for their policy of gradual interest rate normalization to continue,’ said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York.
GDP growth was initially estimated to have risen at only a 0.7 percent rate. The economy grew at a 2.0 percent pace in the third quarter and expanded 2.4 percent for all of 2015.
Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two thirds of U. S. economic activity, rose at a 2.4 percent pace and not the 2.0 percent rate reported last month. More consumption of services than previously estimated accounted for the revision.
Though at first glance this report may sound convincing, as is normally the case with official data and the mainstream propaganda that follows, some key points have been ignored.

This post was published at shtfplan on March 28th, 2016.


‘100% of what is collected is absorbed solely by interest on the Federal Debt … all individual income tax revenues are gone before one nickel is spent on the services taxpayers expect from government.’ ~The Grace Commission Report, 1984
As April 15 nears…thought you would find this research on taxation in America timely if not interesting.
No one living before the Constitution of 1787 could have believed the seven ways to Sunday Americans are now taxed. Under the Declaration of Independence and the first American constitution of 1777, The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, association among the confederate states and a state’s interaction with federal authorities was 100% voluntary.
Though paying taxes was a voluntary act, the federal legislature (never referred to as government), did have legitimate operating expenses, and depended on property taxes collected from and given by the states voluntarily in varying amounts. It was this inconsistent funding that historians thereafter have considered the deal-breaker issue for what has been called the ‘failure’ of this first American union.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on MARCH 28, 2016.

First-Quarter GDP Hopes Plunge

Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow kisses the Rosy Scenario goodbye.
After a crummy 4th quarter, everyone was looking for a turnaround. Annualized economic growth in Q4 of 1.4% was way below the ‘stall speed’ of 2%, a growth rate below which the US economy has trouble staying airborne. After having wrongly hyped it for five years in a row, Wall Street economists aren’t even talking anymore about ‘escape velocity,’ that elusive economic boom that would set in miraculously in the spring.
Nevertheless, forecasts for the first quarter by blue chip economists in early January ran between 2% and over 3%, with the ‘consensus at 2.5%. Even the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow forecast – a strictly data-driven model of the first estimate of GDP, however off it might be – figured by mid-February that growth in Q1 would come in at above 2.5%.
But since then, more data on January and February has been reported. Mid-March, the GDPNow forecast started to deteriorate. By March 24, it had dropped to 1.4% GDP growth – once again below ‘stall speed.’ And with today’s data on consumer spending and the contribution of exports to GDP, it plunged by more than half to 0.6%!
This plunge in the forecast from 2.3% to 0.6% in a little over two weeks – which I indicated on the chart below in red – can give someone the willies! It’s where GDP growth begins to flirt with a recession:

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ March 28, 2016.

Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts – Very Quiet Trade after Overnight Flash Crash

There was a ‘flash crash’ in the very quiet overnight, but gold managed to gain it back and then come, closing positive on the day.
Silver was quiet, holding its ground.
The Bucket Shop was delivery quiet last Friday, and there was a little bullion sloshing around in the warehouses as you can see below.
The subprime auto loans are starting to shift to the failure side, which is of concern to those chasing yield.
Bernie Sanders raised some eyebrows with landslide wins in three Western states over the weekend, and a big jump in public donations to his campaigns.
Today was largely a placemarker for the precious metals.
Non-Farm Payrolls report on Friday.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 28 MARCH 2016.

America Hits Rock Bottom: Cities Are Paying Criminals $1000 Per Month “Not To Kill”

It is widely known that in the past 6 months there has been a loud debate about helicopter money, i.e., giving out ordinary people (bypassing the banks) money directly printed by the Fed. What is less known is that when it comes to the most despicable underbelly of American society, cash to the tune of $1000 per month is already being “helicoptered” to some of the most brazen criminals living in the US today with one simple condition: “don’t kill people.”
* * *
Take the case of Lonnie Holmes, 21, who lives in Richmond, a working-class suburb north of San Francisco and whose four his cousins had died in shootings. He was a passenger in a car involved in a drive-by shooting, police said. And he was arrested for carrying a loaded gun. When Holmes was released from prison last year, officials in this city offered something unusual to try to keep him alive: money. They began paying Holmes as much as $1,000 a month not to commit another gun crime.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/28/2016.

2015 Ends With a Stratospheric P/E Multiple Of 23x

The Q4 earnings season is over and the numbers are in the bag. The GAAP numbers that is, not the non-GAAP garbage that lately everyone from Warren Buffett, to Factset, even to the SEC (and of course this site since 2013) has been bashing.
We wonder if they will continue bashing the GAAP numbers once they learn what they are, because as the charts below show, the earnings carnage on a real, unadjusted is simply unprecedented. Case in point: Q4 GAAP EPS just dropped even more from our previous estimate, and using IBES data, it is now down from 21 to 19.7, the lowest quarterly print since Q1 2010 when GAAP earnings were just 19.4 (and when the S&P was roughly half where it is now).

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/28/2016.


Gold: $1,220.90 down $1.50 (comex closing time)
Silver 15.19 UNCHANGED
In the access market 5:15 pm
Gold $1221.50.00
silver: 15.23
Let us have a look at the data for today.
At the gold comex today, we had a poor delivery day, registering 0 notices for nil ounces and for silver we had 0 notices for nil oz for the active March delivery month.
Several months ago the comex had 303 tonnes of total gold. Today, the total inventory rests at 212.17 tonnes for a loss of 91 tonnes over that period.
In silver, the open interest FELL by only 1333 contracts DOWN to 170,580 as the silver price was down by 7 cents with respect to Thursday’s trading . In ounces, the OI is still represented by .852 billion oz or 122% of annual global silver production (ex Russia ex China).
In silver we had 0 notices served upon for nil oz.
In gold, the total comex gold OI rose by 306 contracts to 497,522 contracts despite the fact that the price of gold was down $2.30 with Thursday’s trading.(at comex closing). I was expecting a larger contraction in OI in both gold and silver and as such expect continual raids in both metals
we had no changes in the GLD despite gold’s drubbing for the past 3 days/ thus the inventory rests tonight at 823.74 tonnes. The appetite for gold coming from China is depleting not only gold from the LBMA and GLD but also the comex is bleeding gold. Our 670 tonnes of rock bottom inventory in GLD gold has been broken. It looks to me that China has taken the last amounts of physical gold from the GLD. I guess the only place left for China to receive physical gold, after they deplete the GLD will be the FRBNY and the comex. In silver,/we had no changes in inventory tonight, and thus the Inventory rests at 328.914 million oz.
First, here is an outline of what will be discussed tonight:

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on March 28, 2016.

Deutsche Bank: “We Expect The S&P To Be Between 1925 To 2100 Until The Election”

Deutsche Bank may have gotten the corporate bond QE from the ECB that it so desired (even if it means another drop in negative rates) even if that did not help its stock rebound anywhere near to pre-crash levels, and its economist department may be gripped by a bout of raging schizhophrenia as erstwile permabull Joa LaVorgna is now one of the market’s bigger bears contrasted with super optimistic DB strategist Torsten Slok (who is seemingly unaware of what his year end bonus was) but that doesn’t prevent the bank from having a very outlook of where the market will be come the November general election, namely “range bound between 1925 to 2100.”
Here is the latest outlook from DB’s strategist David Bianco

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/28/2016.

Partner At Blackstone Spun-off Private Equity Firm Arrested, Charged With Stealing $95 Million

In a shocking development, earlier today a highly reputable executive with a just as reputable private equity firm was arrested and charged with securities fraud. Andrew Caspersen, 39, a Harvard Law School graduate and a partner at the Park Hill Group, an advisory firm that up until last fall had been a part of the Blackstone Group and was recently spun off as Paul J. Taubman’s PJT Partners, was accused of defrauding numerous institutional investors out of $95 million through fake private equity investments.
According to the SEC, Caspersen invented fake financiers, set up false e-mail addresses and misleading domain names, all in an attempt to embezzle nearly $100 million in investor funds.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/28/2016.

YTD Corporate Default Jump To Highest Since 2009

While many were looking forward to the weekend in last week’s holiday-shortened week for some overdue downtime, the CEOs of five, mostly energy, companies had nothing but bad news for their employees and shareholders: they had no choice but to throw in the towel and file for bankruptcy.
And, as Bloomberg reports, with last week’s five defaults, the 2016 to date total is now 31, the highest since 2009 when there were 42 company defaults, according to Standard & Poor’s. Four of the defaults in the week ended March 23 were by U. S. issuers including UCI Holdings Ltd. and Peabody Energy Corp., the credit rating company said.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/28/2016.

What Consequences? Judge Rules Student Loans Of Broke Lawyers Can Be Cancelled

Following SCOTUS’ decision not to hear a case making it easier to get rid of student debt, and The White House’s push to ease student loan ‘burdens’, WSJ reports a federal judge ruled law-school graduates who file for bankruptcy protection can cancel the debt they racked up while studying for the bar exam.
In an opinion filed Thursday, Judge Carla Craig of the U. S. Bankruptcy Court in Brooklyn, N. Y., said bar-exam loan debt is ‘a product of an arm’s-length agreement on commercial terms’ and doesn’t fall into the category of student loans that stick with a borrower who files for bankruptcy.
The decision, which is the most thorough recent ruling on the matter, contradicts the widely accepted notion that student loan-related debt can be canceled in bankruptcy only under rare cases of extreme financial hardship.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/28/2016.

Chinese Seizing Golden Opportunity; Gold Demand Surging

Generally speaking, rising prices tend to temper demand, but when it comes to gold in China, the recent price rally has created the opposite effect. As theWall Street Journal put it, ‘Chinese investors see a golden opportunity.’
Demand for gold has surged in China over the last several weeks, during a period generally considered out of season. And it’s not typical Chinese jewelry purchases driving the demand. Chinese investors are buying gold coins and bars.
Typically, gold purchases in China are strongly associated with jewelry buying around the Lunar New Year holiday, which this fell in early February. But the uncertainty confronting global economies has driven up demand from a different sort of buyer – the hard-nosed investor.’

This post was published at Schiffgold on MARCH 28, 2016.