The Bankers’ Endgame and the Rise of Gold and Silver

We’re going to owe Chicken Little an apology
In May 2007, in Subprime America Infects Asia and Europe I predicted a severe financial crisis was imminent: the risks that have lain dormant beneath globalization’s foundation are about to erupt and a reordering of the world’s financial geography is about to ensue. It’s spring 2007 and the sun is shining in the US, backyard BBQs are being cleaned in anticipation of summer’s use. A severe financial crisis, however, is in the offing; a crisis as unexpected as the Golden State Warrior’s last minute steak to the NBA playoffs.
An unexpected financial crisis, however, will be much more consequential than Don Nelson’s magical resurrection of the Warrior’s NBA hopes. There, at least, the Warriors will have a chance. But because most people don’t know a financial crisis is coming, they will have little chance of survival. This summer, America’s subprime CDOs are coming home to roost, and not just to the US.
In July 2007, two multi-billion dollar subprime hedge funds collapsed. One year later, the greatest financial crisis since the 1930s bankrupted Wall Street banks; real estate fell 40 – 70%; and central banks flooded markets with zero-cost credit and trillions of dollars in quantitative easing to keep stocks from crashing, setting in motion a still-inflating stock market bubble to replace the collapsed 2002-2007 real estate bubble that revived markets after the 2000 crash.
After the 2008 crisis, unprecedented central bank efforts to prevent the bankers’ endgame temporarily delayed its inevitable resolution. Today, however, the banker’s edifice of debt has reached such levels that systemic dangers, e.g. speculative bubbles, low inflation, low growth, etc. increasingly threaten global markets. The bankers’ endgame is accelerating.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 10 July 2017.

What Is The World’s Most Powerful Passport?

Whether you seek to explore distant lands, or you just want to sit on a remote island beach with a margarita, your passport can be your biggest travel asset. The right document grants you visa-free access to over 150+ countries, and makes applying for entry to the other places a short and easy afterthought.
But, as Visual Cpitalist’s Jeff Desjardins notes, a passport can also be your biggest liability. Having a passport from the wrong place means travel is extremely restricted to just a few countries – and these are generally not the places travelers want to go, anyways.
Even worse, passports on the lower end of the spectrum are also heavily scrutinized at entry-points around the world. If you have a document from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, or several other countries, there may be many hoops for you to jump through to get to your final destination.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 9, 2017.

Guest Post: “Pirates, Arbitrage and The Silver Flash Crash”, by Viking Analytics

Our friends and subscribers at Viking Analytics have written an interesting article regarding last week’s sudden, 10% drop in the price of Comex Digital Silver.
Most everyone here at TFMR saw or heard about the “flash crash” in Comex Silver that occurred at 7:06 EDT last Thursday evening. With theories abounding as to how and why it happened, we thought we’d post this commentary for discussion.
“Pirates, Arbitrage and The Silver Flash Crash”
by, Viking Analytics
One of the quotes that guides my investment and trading philosophy is attributed to Benjamin Graham:
In the short run, the market is a voting machine. In the long run, it is a weighing machine.
– Benjamin Graham
I usually think about this quote with the second sentence in mind. ‘In the long run, the market is a weighing machine.’ As such, I look for occasions when commodities and stocks have diverged from fundamental or benchmark values. After a 25-year career in energy and commodities, I look for ways to profit from those fundamental divergences. But, that is a topic for another article.
In this article, I want to focus on the first sentence: ‘in the short run, the market is a voting machine.’ I believe that this sentence provides some insight into the recent “flash crashes” that we have seen in tech stocks, gold and most recently, silver.
Here is the one of the problems with the ‘voting machine’ market in the short-run: there are entities who have the ability to stuff the ballot box and profit from nano-second moves in the markets. Perhaps especially during times of limited liquidity, the market “voting machine” can easily become an “arbitrage machine.”

This post was published at TF Metals Report on Sunday, July 9, 2017.

The G20 Beyond the Public Agenda

Since its beginning in 1999, the G20 had been a mere finance ministers’ meeting. But when the Panic of 2008 hit, President George W. Bush and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France were instrumental in changing the G20 to the leaders’ meeting it is today.
The Panic of 2008 was one of the greatest financial catastrophes in history. In the aftermath of the Lehman Brothers collapse in September 2008, attention turned to a previously scheduled G20 meeting of finance ministers in November.
At the time, the G7 was the leading forum for economic coordination, but China was not in the G7 and its help would be needed to bail out the global economy.
Once China was included, the door was open to other large emerging markets economies, such as India and Brazil. The guest list was expanded and the G20 leaders’ summit was born.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on July 8, 2017.

Dying Middle Class: The Number Of Americans That Can’t Afford Their Own Homes Has More Than Doubled

Have you lost your spot in the middle class yet? For years I have been documenting all of the numbers that show that the middle class in America has been steadily shrinking, and we just got another one. According to a report that was produced by researchers at Harvard University, the number of Americans that spend more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing has more than doubled. In 2001, nearly 16 million Americans couldn’t afford the homes that they were currently living in, but by 2015 that figure had jumped to 38 million.
When I write about ‘economic collapse’, I am writing about a process that has been unfolding for decades in this country. Back in the early 1970s, well over 60 percent of all Americans were considered to be ‘middle class’, but now that number has fallen below 50 percent. Never before in our history has the middle class been a minority of the population, but that is where we are at now, and the middle class continues to get even smaller with each passing day.
So these new numbers saddened me, but they didn’t exactly surprise me. The following comes from NBC News…

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on July 9th, 2017.

Are Real Home Prices Rising Or Falling Where You Live: Here’s How To Find Out

As we’ve noted time and time again, the fact that average national housing prices appear to have recovered from the peak of the housing bubble masks the uneven nature of America’s economic recovery: While certain popular coastal markets have seen prices recover, much of the south and Midwest have struggled with stagnation or even home-price deflation.
Now, a new tabulation of home-price data by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies provides a granular look at the unevenness of the recovery from county to county. A quick glance at the map reveals how home-prices – a worthy proxy for wealth inequality – have risen dramatically along the coasts, while
The data show that home prices increased by 40 percent or more in 153 metros (16 percent), including twelve metros where home prices doubled. And in nearly 300 markets, prices increased – but more modestly – by less than 20 percent. Meanwhile, real prices declined in about 280 metros. In another 200 markets, prices increased by 20-to-39 percent.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 9, 2017.

Tesla Loses Stranglehold as EV Revolution Accelerates

Volvo became the first major auto company to announce the phase out of the internal-combustion engine from its lineup. The Chinese-owned Swedish car company announced on July 5 that every car it builds beginning in 2019 will have some sort of electric motor, ‘marking the historic end of cars that only have an internal combustion engine (ICE) and placing electrification at the core of its future business,’ the company said in a press release.
Check out Major Disruption Coming, “Decimating” Entire Industries, Says New Report
‘This is about the customer,’ Hkan Samuelsson, President, and CEO said in a statement. ‘People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish.’ Volvo’s entire lineup will either be fully electric or hybrid-electric by 2019.
Volvo laid down a marker, becoming the first company to announce the beginning of the end of gasoline and diesel-powered cars.
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The timing of the decision is also notable since it comes in the same week that Tesla announced that it would begin shipping its highly-anticipated Model 3 this week, with production slated to ramp up by the end of the year. The Model 3 is Tesla’s answer for a mass market car, a $35,000 fully-electric vehicle that is has been hyped as the car that will help drive the EV market forward.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 07/06/2017.

One Hedge Fund CIO’s Conversation With His Uber Driver

In his latest weekly letter to clients, One River CIO Eric Peters shifts his attention away from his two favorite topics of monetary policy and capital markets, to unveil a streak of contrarian skepticism on the topic of “technological disruption”, and in his trademark anecdotal style, present a hypothesis that would be most unwelcome in virtually every Econ 101 class and Venture Capitalist Headquarters: stating that “we should be careful not to overlook the possibility that today’s disruptive technology companies may be not much more than mechanisms to drive wages down to subsistence levels’ alleging that ‘these companies rely less on technological innovation per se, but on changing employment styles and reducing total wages, while imposing harsher working conditions.”
His conclusion: ‘the nature of technology depends very much upon what the public can be induced to put up with.’
And just to make his view more palpable he presents the following conversation with his Uber driver:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 9, 2017.

Prepare for Turbulence

‘The job of the central bank is to worry.’
– Alice Rivlin
‘The central bank needs to be able to make policy without short-term political concerns.’
– Ben Bernanke
‘… from the standpoint of the overall economy, my bottom line is we’re watching it closely but it appears to be contained.
– Ben Bernanke, repeatedly, in 2007
‘Would I say there will never, ever be another financial crisis? You know, probably that would be going too far, but I do think we’re much safer, and I hope that it will not be in our lifetimes, and I don’t believe it will be.’
– Janet Yellen, June 27, 2017

This post was published at Mauldin Economics on JULY 9, 2017.

Mnuchin Kills Idea Of Tax Hike For The Wealthy

Last week the Republican party was at arms after Axios reported that Steve Bannon was said to be pushing president Trump to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans. According to the website, Trump’s chief strategist was urging to raise the top tax rate on individuals, with Axios saying the former Breitbart CEO looking for the top rate to have ‘a 4 in front of it’ (currently, the highest income-tax bracket in the US is 39.6% for individuals earning more than $414,000 a year).
Well, they can now sleep easier after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday killed that particular idea, saying that the Trump administration is not considering a plan to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans in order to pay for tax breaks for the middle class. Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Mnuchin said the administration plans is ‘absolutely committed’ to releasing its tax plan in early September, and getting it through Congress by the end of the year – and that plan won’t include a 40 percent tax rate for the richest Americans.
‘Our plan is to have a full-blown release of the plan in the beginning of September, with being able to vote and getting this passed before the end of the year,’ Mnuchin said on ABC’s ‘This Week’ on Sunday.
The ‘objective’ of the proposal is still that no one in the middle class will have a tax increase, Mnuchin said. ‘We’re finalizing the details of the plan, so there’s certain issues that are still on the table.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 9, 2017.

Q2 Earnings Preview: “After Strong Q1 Guidance, Watch Out For Weakness In Q2”

2Q17 earnings season kicks off next Friday with four banks – Citi, JPM, Wells And PNC – reporting results, accounting for roughly 5% of the S&P 500 by market cap. 89% of the S&P500 is expected to report earnings by August 4th. And while most analysts expects a beat vs. consensus (+7% EPS) in 2Q, BofA warns that analysts’ forecasts continue to look overly optimistic for the 2H, particularly in 4Q.
After an ‘as good as it gets’ 1Q17 (EPS growth hit a five-year high, sales growth was the best in over two years, and beats hit a 13-year high) largely thanks to a rebound in energy profits, decelerating trends are expected in 2Q, when as Goldman is quick to note, consensus expects S&P 500 EPS year/year growth of 7% in 2Q – driven once again mostly by a forecast 370% rebound in Energy EPS – roughly half the 14% EPS growth in 1Q. Excluding Energy, EPS is expected to grow by 4%, led by Info Tech (+10%) and Financials (+6%). Sales growth is expected to be led by Energy (+26%) and Information Technology (+12%). Two sectors, Materials and Telecom Services, are forecast to experience declines in revenues.
Only three sectors are expected to expand margins during the second quarter (Energy, Telecom Services, and Materials). Goldman further adds that S&P 500 margins of 9.5% are expected to remain flat vs. 2Q 2016, with just three sectors forecast to expand margins.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 9, 2017.

The Next Economic Crisis Will Crush The Working Class, Jobs Will Be Scarce – Episode 1327a

The following video was published by X22Report on Jul 9, 2017
Canadian housing is now in the perfect storm trajectory, all the indicators are lining up for the entire system to come crashing down. The global economy is imploding, there are several signs showing that the system will break down and there is nothing that can stop it at this point. The next economic crisis is not going to go well for the everyday worker, we never recovered from the last recession so this time around there will be less jobs than before.

Buying Bonds As Bears Gain On Bulls

More Volatility – Still No Movement
Last week, I discussed the issue of ‘lot’s of volatility with little movement’ stating:
‘The last couple of weeks have experienced a sharp rise in price volatility. While stocks have vacillated in a very tight 1.5% trading range since the beginning of June, there has been little forward progress to speak of. However, notice that support at 2415 (50-dma) has remained solid as ‘robots’ continue to execute their program of ‘buying the dips.”
‘This lack of progress keeps us ‘stuck’ with respect to portfolio positioning.’
I remain very cautious on the overall market, currently, and the deterioration is leadership remains concerning. However, the trend remains bullishly biased which keeps portfolios allocated on the long side for now.
With that said, the recent ‘sideways’ movement has NOT worked off the previous overbought condition of the market on an intermediate term basis as shown below.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 9, 2017.

The Morgan Report’s Weekly Perspective July 7, 2017

The following video was published by The Morgan Report on Jul 9, 2017
The Morgan Report is all about YOU and how you can build and preserve Wealth for generations to come. We know it can sometimes seem a daunting task to protect your assets and preserve or grow your wealth. Over 15 years ago, a small group of us started The Morgan Report and formed an exclusive membership organization to promote personal freedom, an honest money system, free market wealth accumulation and asset protection.

Chapter 30: Taxation

Christian Economics: Teacher’s Edition
So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking for a king from him. He said, ‘These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day’ (I Samuel 8:10 – 18).
AnalysisThe people of Israel were in rebellion against God. They wanted a king. Why? Because the nations around them had kings. Israel had done without a king or anything like one ever since the death of Joshua. Now they told Samuel to anoint a man to serve as king. This displeased Samuel. He prayed to God.
And the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. 8 According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.’ (vv. 7 – 9)
There is no question that high taxes and centralized civil government go together. Kingship represented a major move in Israel toward centralization. God told Samuel to warn them what this would mean in terms of taxation. The king would tax them at a rate of 10%, which was equal to the mandatory tithe they paid to the Levites. This threat did not impress the people. They demanded a king.

This post was published at Gary North on July 07, 2017.

“Fast-Forward On The Decline Of America” – Australian Reporter’s Anti-Trump Tirade Goes Viral

Chris Uhlmann, the political editor at the government-funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation, is now a ‘celebrity’ worldwide after his anti-Trump tirade live on Aussie TV went viral on Twitter.
As The Hill reports, his blistering critique began by calling Trump an ‘uneasy, lonely, awkward figure’ who had ‘no desire and no capacity to lead the world’ in a two-minute report from the streets of Hamburg after the summit wrapped up.
Uhlmann went on to say…
“Donald Trump has pressed fast forward on the decline of the United States as a global leader.”
“Some will cheer the decline of America, but I think we’ll miss it when it’s gone – and that’s the biggest threat to the values of the West, which he claims to hold so dear.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 9, 2017.

Metals Massacre

The short week was quite volatile as traders sat on the beach and the weakness in metals was the standout in my books.
Let’s move right into the charts and check into the carnage.
Gold lost 2.62% and broke a major uptrend line.
The action was very, very poor and on heavy volume which tells me more downside is in golds near future.
Looks to me like the major $1,180 pivot area is soon to be back in play and below that, support sits down at $1,130.
Let’s see how next week plays out but $1,180 should be a good level to at least get a short-term bounce play.
Time will tell.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Sunday, 9 July 2017.

Scientists Fear Grid Failures During Solar Minimum

As our sun’s activity slows and the star gets quieter, scientists’ fears of solar minimum are coming to the forefront. It isn’t the lack of activity that is terrifying those who study the sun, it’s what happens next that worries them all.
There would be nothing any of us could do if the sun’s activity decreases to the point that it causes the outermost atmospheric layer to collapse. No amount of taxation in the name of ‘global warming’ will save anyone on earth from this outcome. But first, scientists have to worry about the sun reaching ‘solar minimum’ and the possibility of losing the outermost layer of the atmosphere thanks to the rapid cooling.
Solar minimum is when the sun goes through a cycle of minimal activity, and right now, it’s on the verge of reaching this point. Our sun will near solar minimum in about 2019 or 2020. Unlike the name suggests, this lack of solar activity could cause an outer layer of the atmosphere called the thermosphere to contract and it’s not entirely clear what the effects of this could be on our planet.

This post was published at shtfplan on July 9th, 2017.

CME Stays Silent on Cause of COMEX Silver Price Glitch

Silver futures prices on the COMEX futures trading platform briefly plummeted at approximately 7:06am Singapore time yesterday, with the price for the front month (most active) September silver contract falling from a US$16.06 quote down to a low of US$14.34 all within a 1 minute interval. The futures price then recovered nearly all of its losses in the subsequent 2-3 minute period. High to low, this COMEX silver futures contract saw its price fall by just over 10.7%, before rebounding nearly 11%.
During this time when the COMEX price crashed, there was nothing fundamentally happening in the wider financial markets, or indeed in the physical silver market, to justify these price gyrations in COMEX silver futures prices. Which all goes to show that the COMEX ‘paper’ futures silver prices is completely detached from the physical silver market, and that COMEX silver futures prices have no anchoring in the real silver market.
This price movement in the September 2017 silver futures contract (contract code SIU7 aka SIU17) can be seen in the below 1-minute tick candlestick chart from CME. Times in the chart are New York Time (NYT), which is 12 hours behind Singapore.

This post was published at Bullion Star on 7 Jul 2017.