Bill Gross Compares Trump To Mussolini

To say that the “former bond king” Bill Gross – unlike his “royal successor” Jeffrey Gundlach, or the world’s biggest hedge fund manager Ray Dalio – is not a fan of Donald Trump, or his proposed policies, is an understatement: his first condemnation of Trump came just days after the election, when Gross said that Trump’s tenure “will be damaging“, followed a month later by slamming the “Trump Rally”, calling it misguided and urging investor to “move to cash.”
Additionally, in his December investment outlook, Gross wrote that the Trump administration may boost stock markets in the short term but his policies will likely limit long-term economic growth by restraining trade and corporate profits.
Earlier today, when interviewed on Bloomberg radio, Gross escalated his critisim of Trump, accusing the President-elect’s targeting of corporations, to make them change their practices, as being reminiscent of policies undertaken by Italy’s dictator Benito Mussolini. “Some of these pre-term policies, where he’s cajoling companies to move production back into the United States, that’s fine, but it reminds me to some extent of policies in Italy long ago associated with Mussolini and government control of corporate interests,” Gross said in an interview Friday on Bloomberg Radio. “I don’t want it to go too far.”
In recent days, Trump singled out companies including makers of airplanes and automobiles, pressuring them on prices or to keep jobs in the U. S. It has generated results: just this week, Ford canceled a $1.6 billion factory in Mexico, saying it would add positions in Michigan instead. A new controversy erupted yesterday when Trump targeted Toyota’s new Mexican plant, warning it would pay a substantial tax on cars sold into the US.

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


Gold at (1:30 am est) $1171.90 DOWN $7.80
silver at $16.46: DOWN 12 cents
Access market prices:
Gold: $1177.40
Silver: $16.52
The Shanghai fix is at 10:15 pm est last night and 2:15 am est early this morning
The fix for London is at 5:30 am est (first fix) and 10 am est (second fix)
Thus Shanghai’s second fix corresponds to 195 minutes before London’s first fix.

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on January 6, 2017.

Employment Report: Double Meh

The immediate snark on CNBS — complete with claims that the survey is “flawed”, maybe even politically-biased — showed up with the release of this number.
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 156,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.7 percent, the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job growth occurred in health care and social assistance.
Or did it?
Not according to the household survey it didn’t.

By the household survey, unadjusted, employment fell by 587,000 jobs!
Now let’s be fair — this month (December) usually has a decline. Why? Seasonal hiring is over and seasonal firing has begun. In fact, don’t be surprised if next month’s number (January figures) show a much larger negative print in the household survey.

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-01-06.

Broad Market Gauge Still Hasn’t Broken Out… Yet

Via Dana Lyons’ Tumblr,
One of the few indices yet to break out, the NYSE Composite is threatening its all-time highs.
One of the characteristics of the ‘Trump Rally’ has been its breadth of participation. Sure, there have been a few sectors that have lagged badly. However, from a market cap standpoint, most indices, from micro-caps to mega-caps, have scored new all-time highs. It isn’t unanimous, though. A few broad market gauges have not quite made it to new high ground. The Value Line Geometric Composite is one that we mentioned last month. The NYSE Composite is another. Today, I’m going to take some time to review gold prices in 2016 – and what last year’s performance may mean for gold prices in 2017.
Let’s start with this chart here…
How the Price of Gold Performed in 2016
When looking at the gold price in U. S. dollars, the precious metal gained roughly 9% in 2016. While that may seem unimpressive to some, it’s still gold’s first annual gain since 2012.
That’s right. After three straight years of declines, the price of gold has finally turned around.

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

The Case for A 19% Gold Price Surge in 2017

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Money Morning – We Make Investing Profitable. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
Although the price of gold today (Friday, Jan. 6) is down 0.5% to $1,175 this morning, the biggest story for gold recently is its 2016 rebound.
In fact, gold prices are coming off their first annual gain in three years.
In our update just before the holidays, we considered the possibility that – with gold trading down below the $1,130 level – maybe sentiment had become sufficiently negative for at least an interim bottom.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Peter Krauth ‘ January 6, 2017.

6/1/17: Russian markets briefing transcript: November 2016

This is a transcript of my advisory 4Q 2016 conference call on Russian economy from November for Western institutional investors and advisory companies.
US Election
Uncertain outcome of the election implies that outlook for Highly volatile environment remains Short term pause in September-November signaled lack of understanding / lack of certainty, not expectation of rapid de-escalation and are likely to be followed by re-amplification of tensions European dimension is now at play, yet and unlikely to become such, especially if economic conditions in the Euro area improve Key markers to watch: France – 23 April 2017 Presidential election Germany – remains a key driver for strong stance against Russia – Federal Election in 2017 (latest date possible is end of October) Holland – Dutch General Election, March 2017 Italy Referendum and post-Referendum political fight Eastern European position of influence in NATO is weakening, so we can expect more amplification of pressure at the EU level British position in the EU is weakened by Brexit that also deflects UK attention away from Russia

This post was published at True Economics on Friday, January 6, 2017.

Trump Slams Russian Hack As “Political Witch Hunt”

Just hours before president-elect Trump receives the full intelligence briefing over the Russian hacking allegations, Nancy Pelosi is convinced – stating that the report is “stunning” and “of course” Russia disrupted the election, there is “no question.”
‘It’s stunning in its conclusions and you’ll see some of it’ though ‘I wish you could see the entire report’ ‘When you see this report you will see how intelligence has identified what we have seen’ and ‘there is no question that the Russians disrupted and then they released information’ on partisan basis
‘The American people have a right to know what a foreign power did to disrupt the outcome’
However, after raising questions once again this morning about the legitimacy of the findings, Trump spoke out in a New York Times interview, raging that the storm surrounding Russian hacking during the presidential campaign is a political witch hunt being carried out by his adversaries, who he said were embarrassed by their loss to him in the election last year.

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

5 Reasons Why Russia Wins in 2017

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of The Daily Reckoning. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
As Russia continues to be a major factor in both U. S foreign and domestic politics, its economy stands to be a major factor in the year ahead.
Understanding the power alliances, geopolitical positions and economic environments in 2017 between Russia and the international community could offer great opportunity behind the mainstream news cycles.
Here are the 5 reasons that Russia is positioned for fundamental positioning over the next twelve months.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Craig Wilson ‘ January 6, 2017.

The Thing in the Jobs Report that Gives the Fed the Willies

The Fed makes sure employers have access to cheap labor.
In the jobs report today, there’s one figure that the Fed has riveted its collective eyes on. Sure 156,000 jobs were created, below average for 2016, and way below average for the prior two years. And the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.7%. And there were other ups and downs in the data which covered the volatile holiday period, and therefore was subject to notoriously big seasonal adjustments, and that’s all cute as far as the Fed is concerned, and they’re going to glance at it, but there’s one number they fret about: wage increases.
And not in the sense that Fed Chair Yellen occasionally inserts into her comments, but in the opposite sense.
Average hourly earnings jumped 0.4% to $26 per hour. They’re now 2.9% higher than a year ago and 5.7% higher than two years ago. However, don’t credit the minimum wage increases that became effective six days ago in cities and states around the country; they’re not yet included. Note how the trend in rising average hourly wages started two years ago:

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ Jan 6, 2017.

How The West Has Been Selling Gold Into A Black Hole

Kindly be advised to have read my posts The Mechanics Of The Chinese Domestic Gold Market and The Great Physical Gold Supply & Demand Illusion before continuing.
In December 2016 Chinese wholesale gold demand, measured by withdrawals from the vaults of the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE), accounted for 196 tonnes, down 9 % from November. December was still a strong month for SGE withdrawals due to the fact the gold price trended lower before briefly spiking at the end of the month, and the Chinese prefer to buy gold when the price declines (see exhibit 1).
In total Chinese wholesale gold demand reached an astonishing 1,970 tonnes in 2016. But will these huge tonnages bought by China ever have an impact on the gold price? I think it will.

This post was published at Bullion Star on 6 Jan 2017.

“We’re Gonna Need More War” – November Factory Orders Plunge Most Since August 2014 Despite Defense Spike

Following October’s pre-election surge in new factory orders, November saw orders plunge 2.4% MoM (worse than expected) and the biggest drop since Aug 2014. This drop comes despite a 103% MoM rise in defense aircraft orders as non-defense aircraft orders crashed 73.8%. Factory Orders also dipped back into negative territory YoY.

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

True Liberalism: A Personal Reflection in Honor of Ralph Raico

In the fall semester of 1980 I discovered the word libertarian. One of my dorm mates knocked on my door and told me to come see what was on his television. It was a Ed Clark for president advertisement in which Clark said that he was the Libertarian candidate for president and gave a description of what that meant.
My friend and I were on the same page politically, but we were very different than most other people in terms of ideology. We would have nothing to do with the major political parties. We sat there stunned and waited a long time for the advertisement to come back on the television so that I could see it from the beginning. We were libertarians!
I guess I was always a libertarian, but I had never heard of the term or the political party. This I wrote about in Walter Block’s collection of essays in which various people wrote about how they became a libertarian.
Immediately I wanted to try to find out more about libertarianism, but there was very little available in those days and of course there was no Internet. Eventually, I found the Libertarian party, the New York State Libertarian party, Laissez Faire Books, the Institute for Humane studies, and the Cato Institute.
I started taking classes in political science and philosophy hoping to learn more about libertarianism, but this approach was not successful. I became an economics major thinking this might be helpful. Here I did find economist Milton Friedman and his book Free to Choose written with his wife Rose. I already opposed the war on drugs, public schools, big government, and taxation, so Milton Friedman was a powerful early influence.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Jan 6, 2017.

Where The December Jobs Were: Nurses, Waiters, And Waste Cleaners

Something remains very broken with the US labor market: while the unemployment rate remains just shy of the lowest print since August 2007, rising fractionally to 4.7%, wage growth for most workers, as reported earlier, rose just 2.5%, far below the 4.0% it was when the unemployment rate last hit 4.7%.
This continues to vex economists who have vowed that if only one lowers the unemployment rate far enough, all the slack in the labor market will be soaked up. Alas, that is not happening, for several reasons, the chief of which is that the quality of jobs added remains subpar, with wage growth – especially for less than “supervisory” and management positions – flat.
Still, according to the BLS at least, some 155,000 seasonally adjusted jobs were added in December, arbitrarily goalseeked as they may have been. Where were they? Here is the answer: The most actively hiring sector was health care, which saw a whopping 70,000 increase in December jobs, nearly half of total. Most of the increase occured in ambulatory health care services ( 30,000) and hospitals ( 11,000). Social assistance added 20,000 jobs in December, reflecting job growth in individual and family services ( 21,000). Professional and Busines Services rose by a total of 30,500, the second highest gaining category. here the biggest contributor was Administrative and Waste Services to Buildings and Dwellings, which rose by 10,600.

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

Patrick Barron: Negative Interest Rates Demystified

The following video was published by misesmedia on Jan 6, 2017
We’ve all heard about negative interest rates, but we may not really understand how and why they arises in recent years. Here to explain is our returning guest Dr. Patrick Barron, a longtime professor in the graduate school of banking at the University of Wisconsin.
How and why would interest rates ever be negative, when everyone prefers current consumption to future consumption? Can the “natural” or market rate of interest ever be negative? What going on in Europe that would make negative-rate government and corporate bonds attractive to investors? Will the ECB be forced to raise rates back into positive territory if Janet Yellen continues to raise the Fed Funds Rate here in the US? And will Congress resist steady rate hikes that could radically spike its annual budget outlay for debt service?

Debt or DJIA: Who Gets to 20* First?

I got to wondering about all of the NYSE traders on CNBC sporting their ‘Dow 20,000′ hats. Hitting that level seems elusive, but they keep them at the ready.
Interestingly, if they would do just a tiny bit of embroidery modification, they could be assured of making those hats useful. Instead of ‘Dow 20K’, how about ‘Debt 20T’? It may be just a fun numerical coincidence that the DJIA is approaching 20,000 while the total federal debt is approaching $20 trillion, but there it is anyway.
Hear Woody Brock on Trump Proposals, Bond Outlook
According to the Treasury Department, the total federal debt as of Jan. 4, 2017 is 19,952,414,234,340.71. If you got lost in all of the commas, that’s $19.952 trillion. And in case you struggle as I do at reducing fractional trillions down to more digestible numbers, it is $47.8 billion away from hitting $20 trillion. Heck, we could even see it get there by Inauguration day, which is only 14 days away. The website has the debt just a hair higher (i.e. $100 million or so, that’s a hair at these levels):

This post was published at FinancialSense on 01/06/2017.

Not So Fast: This Is Where All The “Blistering” Hourly Earnings Growth Came From

There is a simple reason why the vast majority of American workers, some 82% of them, are not feeling any wage growth: there simply isn’t any.
After today’s jobs report, Wall Street has been fast to ignore the modest headline payrolls disappointment, which in December rose less than expected following an upward revised November, and focus exclusively on that “other” number, the jump in average hourly earnings, which in December rose 0.4% on a monthly basis, and a blistering 2.9% Y/Y, the highest annual growth since the financial crisis, as shown in the chart below.

Wall Street analysts were quick to praise the jump in hourly earnings, such as Deutsche Bank’s Alan Ruskin who said the following:

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

Auto Sales: The Fake Economic News Bubble

The headlines are reporting that auto sales in December hit a record, when looked at on a ‘seasonally adjusted annualized rate’ basis. No one questions the validity of the seasonal adjustments. The average news consumer sees or hears the headline word-byte/soundbyte and that becomes the truth. Fake economic news is another form of Establishment propaganda: seduce the populace into believing what you want them to believe rather than presenting the truth. It’s Jim Sinclair’s ‘MOPE:’ Management of Perception Economics.’
Along with the geopolitical and domestic political fake news epidemic is an epidemic in economic fake news. Collectively it’s a ‘fake news bubble,’ with one of the highly insidious consequences of this bubble being the messy abortion otherwise known as the ‘Presidential election.’
Turning to the auto sales fake news, based on the SAAR estimates, automobile sales allegedly hit a selling rate of 18.2 million units in December. But seasonal adjustments notwithstanding the facts, does the data fit the facts of the related areas of consumer spending? By this I mean restaurant and retail sales.

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on January 6, 2017.