Eclipsegate Returns: Mnuchin Requested Government Jet For European Honeymoon

Last month, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s trophy wife Louise Linton posted the following ill-advised response to an Instagram troll that, among other things, condescendingly blasted the suggestion that Mnuchin/Linton used government planes “for our honeymoon or personal travel.”
‘Cute! Aw!!! Did you think this was a personal trip?! Adorable! Do you think the US govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol. Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country? I’m pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day ‘trip’ than you did. Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you’d be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours. You’re adorably out of touch. Thanks for the passive aggressive nasty comment. Your kids look very cute. Your life looks cute. I know you’re mad but deep down you’re really nice and so am I. Sending me passive aggressive Instagram comments isn’t going to make life feel better. Maybe a nice message [sic], one filled with wisdom and hunanity [sic] would get more traction. Have a pleasant evening. Go chill out and watch the new game of thrones. It’s fab!’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 14, 2017.

Outlook for the dollar price of gold

Now that gold has become overbought on Comex, the price is vulnerable to being trashed, yet again, by the too-big-to-fail banks. It is a familiar operation in gold futures markets, where speculators buying contracts protect themselves with stop-losses. All the TBTF banks need is a pause in the speculator’s buying and a little good news (bad for gold). Ideally, the active contract will be running into maturity, so the speculators are forced to put up or shut up: in other words, sell the contract, roll it into another later maturity, or stand for delivery.
Bearing in mind these speculators are running highly leveraged positions, greed turns to fear on a sixpence. The TBTF banks will have supplied the speculators with their longs by going short. From the moment you go long, you are trapped in a trader’s version of Hotel California.
The TBTFs start off sitting on losses, not worrying for them, being TBTF. But they know how to turn it around. Just pick a quiet moment, sell a few billions-worth of contracts, and take out all those stops. It is a cycle of events that happens time after time, a money machine for the bullion banks. Just occasionally, it goes wrong, because the physical markets take back control of pricing away from futures markets. But what the heck, these guys will be bailed out by the Fed, or the Bank of England. Meanwhile their traders have made bonuses quarter after quarter.

This post was published at GoldMoney on September 14, 2017.

Rising Interest Rates Would Crush US Budget Under Interest Payments

With the stroke of Pres. Trump’s pen, the national debt officially surged past the $20 trillion level. That number alone is staggering, but the increasing debt has further ramifications analysts seldom talk about. For every dollar the debt increases, the amount of money the government has to fork out every year just to service the interest payment goes up as well.
We’re talking staggering amounts of money.
Trump just signed a bill raising the debt ceiling limit for the next three months. It instantly added approximately $318 billion to the national debt, raising it to $20.16 trillion. And Trump wants to do away with the debt ceiling altogether.
According to numbers calculated by the SRSrocco Report, that $318 billion increase in the debt will require an extra $7 billion interest payment annually.

This post was published at Schiffgold on SEPTEMBER 14, 2017.

Equifax Bonds Crash As FTC Confirms Investigation Into Massive Hack

While not entirely surprising given the demands from politicians, The Hill reports that The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday announced that it had launched an investigation into the Equifax breach that left sensitive information for 143 million Americans exposed to hackers.
“The FTC typically does not comment on ongoing investigations,” FTC spokesman Peter Kaplan said in an email.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 14, 2017.

The Most Hated Bull Market in History

This is the Short version:
On the 2 hour charts I’ve spotted several small H&S bottoms building out on some of the stock market indexes. It wasn’t until Monday of this week that they began to show themselves when several broke out above their necklines. Some of these small H&S bottoms are part of a bigger pattern that has been building out for most of this year. At a minimum their price objectives should get some of the stock market indexes back up to the top of their 2016 uptrend channels.
Lets start with a 2 hour chart for the SPX which shows it gapped above its neckline on Monday of this week and closed at a new all time high today. A backtest to the neckline would come in around the 2482 area.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 14 September 2017.

“Everyone’s In The Pool”

With the market breaking out to all-time highs, the media has started to once again reach for their party hats as headlines suggest clear sailing for investors ahead.
After all, why not? We have run one of the longest stretches in history without a 5%, much less a 10% decline. Threats of nuclear war, hurricanes, disaster, fires, earthquakes, and civil unrest have failed to unnerve investors. It seems all that has been missed was famine and pestilence.
Nonetheless, the breakout is indeed bullish, and signals the continuation of the bullish trend. However, such does not mean there are more than sufficient reasons to remain cautious. As noted on Tuesday, earnings growth remains weak outside of share buybacks, along with top line revenue. There is scant evidence of economic resurgence outside of a restocking cycle bounce, and inflationary pressures globally remain nascent. But such concerns, and I am not even sure the ‘4-horseman of the apocalypse’ would make a difference, are ‘trumped,’ by the ongoing global central bank interventions.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 14, 2017.

World Stock Markets Weaker; U.S. Inflation Data, BOE Meeting In Focus

Kitco News) – Global stock markets were mostly weaker overnight. Some weak economic data coming out of China dented investor risk appetite. Industrial production, fixed-asset investment and retail sales were all lower than expected in August. U. S. stock indexes are pointed toward slightly lower openings when the New York day session begins.
Gold prices are near steady in pre-U. S. day-session trading.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on September 14, 2017.

August CPI: Shelter Inflation Fastest Since 2015 And The Home Price Bubble

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Snake Hole Lounge. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
While Venezuela has an inflation rate of over 2,000%, the US has an inflation rate of 0.4% for August 2017 (and 1.9% YoY).
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Energy led the US inflation in August with gasoline at 6.1% MoM growth (and 10.4% YoY growth).
***
But among the non-energy items, shelter leads the way with an increase of 0.5% MoM (and 3.3% YoY). The fastest growth rate in shelter since 2005 and the house price bubble.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on September 14, 2017.

Bill Blain Crawls Back Into His Pit: “There Is Apparently Nothing To Worry About”

What do we know different this morning?
There is apparently nothing to worry about. Everything is coming up roses. These are not the droids you are looking for – says my market guru Steve Previs. All the old market bears, like me, are looking for stuff to grumble about – terrified by the unintended consequences of QE, caught in the headlights of apparently overbought markets, of whatever else panics them… etc.
But what do we know?
We know nothing – the markets continue to make new highs supported by a blaze of good news and positive expectations. The disappointing China data and threat of poor US data is momentary… apparently.. But, but and but again… mood and sentiment can change on a dime…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 14, 2017.

North Korea Preparing For ICBM Launch: Japan Press

Gold spiked and USDJPY tumbled as headlines from Japan’s Nikkei newspaper confirmed US military officials’ observations last night that North Korea is said to show signs of missile launch preparation.
According to the Nikkei, citing an unidentified Japanese government official, the missile is being prepared for launch has engine for liquid fuel, suggesting missile is an ICBM. It adds that the missile is said to be fueled already, ready for launch. As Japan’s Asahi further notes, the North Korean missile prep may be for a Hwason 14 ICBM and adds that missile prep is said to have started on Wednesday.

The immediate reaction was a risk-off spike in the Yen and dollar.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 14, 2017.

American Chop Suey

Pretty cheap to trade these days – $7 or whatever. Inconsequential. Costs less than lunch.
Some online brokers will give you the first 50/100/200 trades free. What a deal!
***
There are consequences. Have you ever gotten nervous about one of your positions, sold out of it, then watched helplessly as it shot up 40% in 6 months?
Chances are you are overtrading. It’s a terrible affliction, and most investors succumb to it.
High Commissions Are Better I’m going to say something truly radical: high broker commissions are better.
Whoa, wait a minute, I thought low transaction costs were the Holy Grail? Don’t we want frictionless, costless trading? Don’t we want to put banks and brokers out of business? Don’t we want to disintermediate Wall Street?

This post was published at Mauldin Economics on SEPTEMBER 14, 2017.

Wall Street Flacks Have an Increasingly Murky Presence in U.S. Media

Yesterday, one of our readers sent us a link to an article at Real Clear Politics by Allan Golombek which makes the same error-filled assertions as those of Andrew Ross Sorkin at the New York Times: that the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act did not lead to the U. S. financial crisis of 2007-2010.
Golombek’s bio at the end of the article says only that he is ‘a Senior Director at the White House Writers Group.’ A check at the firm’s website shows it to be an organization that freely admits to being paid by corporations and other special interests to advance their position in the media. The firm states: ‘Whether in a campaign or a crisis, we help our clients determine how best to define their messages for media acceptance and then disseminate those messages for maximum exposure and impact.’
There are two key problems here. Not every reader will take the time to ferret out what the White House Writers Group is all about and, more importantly, neither Golombek nor Real Clear Politics discloses who the ultimate client is behind Golombek’s message. If Golombek had disclosed in his bio that his firm was being paid by a major Wall Street bank or trade association to push this position on Glass-Steagall, would Real Clear Politics have run the article? By withholding this information, isn’t the reader left badly misinformed as to motive.

This post was published at Wall Street On Parade on September 14, 2017.

Facebook Promises To Censor All Material That Makes Zuckerberg Sad

Earlier this morning, Facebook Vice President of Media Partnerships shared a new blog post on the company’s website detailing precisely how they intend to censor content with which they happen to disagree. Apparently all content providers who share “clickbait or sensationalism, or post misinformation and false news” will be deemed ineligible to monetize their efforts over Facebook.
To use any of our monetization features, you must comply with Facebook’s policies and terms, including our Community Standards, Payment Terms, and Page Terms. Our goal is support creators and publishers who are enriching our community. Those creators and publishers who are violating our policies regarding intellectual property, authenticity, and user safety, or are engaging in fraudulent business practices, may be ineligible to monetize using our features.
Creators and publishers must have an authentic, established presence on Facebook – they are who they represent themselves to be, and have had a profile or Page on Facebook for at least one month. Additionally, some of our features like Ad Breaks require a sufficient follower base, something that could extend to other features over time.
Those who share content that repeatedly violates our Content Guidelines for Monetization, share clickbait or sensationalism, or post misinformation and false news may be ineligible or may lose their eligibility to monetize.

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

The Bitcoin And Cryptocurrency Bubble

I actively traded the internet stocks during the late stages of the internet/tech stock bubble in 1999 – from the short side. I will admit that I did take a few long-side day trade rides on a few internet stocks. I remember one Chinese internet stock that I bought in the morning at $10 after its IPO free’d up to trade and sold it about 2 hours later at $45. To this day I have no idea what the company’s concept was all about – I think it was one of those incubators. I doubt that company was in existence after 2001. As such, the crypto-currency craze reminds me of the internet stock bubble.
The crytos certainly are a heated debate. The volume from the Bitcoin defenders is deafening, the degree to which I’ve only seen near the peak of bubbles. I had a subscriber cancel his Mining Stock Journal subcription after sending me an email explaining that he canceled because he was pissed off that I was not a Bitcoin proponent. He accused me of discouraging people from buying Bitcoins. His loss, he’s missed on out some high rate of return trade ideas in a short period of time like Banro and Tahoe Resources. I’m not trying to discourage anyone from buying anything. I’m simply laying out the ‘caveat emptor’ case.
Having said that, there’s truth to the proposition that the inability to short Bitcoin contributes to its soaring valuation. I’d like to have an opportunity to see what would happen to the value of gold if the ability to short gold via the paper gold mechanism was removed from the equation.

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on September 14, 2017.

Natural Disasters Have Not Caused a Single Muni Default: Moody’s

For the first time since we’ve been keeping track, two separate Category 4 hurricanes struck the mainland U. S. in the same year. It should come as no surprise, then, that the combined recovery cost of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma is expected to set a new all-time high for natural disasters. AccuWeather estimates the total economic impact to top out at a whopping $290 billion, or 1.5 percent of national GDP.
With parts of Southeast Texas, Louisiana and Florida seeing significant damage, many fixed-income investors might be wondering about credit risk and local municipal bond issuers’ ability to pay interest on time. If school districts, hospitals, highway authorities and other issuers must pay for repairs, how can they afford to service their bondholders?
It’s a reasonable concern, one that nearly always arises in the days following a major catastrophe. But the concern might be unwarranted, if the past is any indication.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Thursday, 14 September 2017.

Venezuela’s Inflation Rate Just Hit 2,061% (6 Mo CDS At Almost 13,000)

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Snake Hole Lounge. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
Yes, the US economy like Europe and Japan are suffering from chronically low rates of inflation (unless you count things like home prices,. rent, college tuition, healthcare, etc).
But not Venezuela! They just surpassed the year 2017 in terms of their inflation rate: 2061%!
***
Venezuela’s sovereign curve remains steeply downward sloping with short-term rates in excess of 50%.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on September 14, 2017.

“I Know What North Korea Wants” – President Carter Warns “US Oligarchy Refuses To Do It”

Former US President Jimmy Carter repeated his assertion that the US works more like an “oligarchy than a democracy,” while also lambasting Trump’s “hopeless” approach to the increasing tensions with North Korea.
***
The former president was speaking at a ‘Conversation with the Carters’ event at his Carter Center in Atlanta on Tuesday. AP reports that he said money in politics is what makes the US more like an oligarchy – run by a small group of rich people – rather than a democracy, repeating an allegation he has vociferously uttered for a few years.
‘[Money in politics] violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system.
Now it’s just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for President or being elected President. And the same thing applies to governors, and U. S. Senators and congress members.
So, now we’ve just seen a subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect, and sometimes get, favors for themselves after the election is over.”
Carter was referring to the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling to allow corporations to give unlimited campaign donations to political candidates, which he has previously said was ‘the most stupid decision’ the court had made.
But then the former President went to town on Trump and North Korea…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 14, 2017.

Canada’s Hunt for Taxes – Trudeau’s Destruction of the Canadian Economy

The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is doing his best to send Canada into the Dark Age. He is clearly a Marxist and has targeted small business which creates 70% of all employment. He said ‘I want to be clear,’ at the Liberal party’s recent caucus gathering in Kelowna. ‘People who make $50,000 a year should not pay higher taxes than people who make $250,000 a year.’
These people who always seek to run governments have ZERO real world experience and totally fail to understand the economy no less how society functions. They believe that they can just decree some law and everything will function to the desires.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Sep 14, 2017.

The Space Race Is Now “Privatized” – But You’re Still Paying for It

In the wake of Sputnik I’s success on October 4, 1957, in which the USSR could stake claim to having built the first artificial earth satellite, a cosmic shift in perception took hold. Whatever advantages US society might have as measured by individual freedom, it came up short when stacked against Soviet science and technology.
Soviet space superiority was on display 32 days later when Sputnik 2 launched with Laika, a dog found roaming the Moscow streets who died a few days after takeoff. Telemetry data recorded during her orbital flight showed a cabin temperature reaching a high of 109 F. She suffered long before dying, giving Americans another reason to hate the commies.
Not only did Sputnik II carry the dog, which suggested that the Soviets were thinking about putting human beings into space, the final stage of the rocket had remained attached to the satellite – which meant, incredibly and ominously, that the Soviet rocket had managed to put a six-ton weight into earth orbit. The United States, on the other hand, was working on a grapefruit-sized satellite weighing three and a half pounds. – Apollo, Charles Murray & Catherine Bly Cox, 2004 [my emphasis] The final humiliation came the following month when Vanguard TV3 blew up on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral. According to Murray and Cox, a Soviet delegate to the UN needled the US as to whether it would be interested in receiving aid earmarked for ‘undeveloped countries.’

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on September 14, 2017.

Oil Rich Venezuela Stops Accepting Dollars

President Maduro ‘ Venezuela will create a basket of currencies to free us from the dollar,’ Oil traders ordered to stop accepting U. S. dollar in exchange for crude oil Order comes following calls from Russia and China to find alternatives to current reserve system U. S. Dollar accounts for two-thirds of global trade Venezuela has over ten-times more oil than United States Super powers are gradually turning to gold to avoid using world’s main reserve currency Are we seeing the beginning of the end for the U. S. dollar?

This post was published at Gold Core on September 14, 2017.