GOLD: $1298.45 DOWN $9.65
Silver: $16.87 DOWN 24 CENT(S)
Closing access prices:
Gold $1294.00
silver: $16.80
PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $6.78 (premiums getting larger)
Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$2.84
LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX: 5:30 am est $1306.80
For comex gold:
For silver:
785,000 OZ/
Total number of notices filed so far this month: 6,460 for 32,300,000 oz

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on September 26, 2017.

Our Crazy-Making, Profiteering Education-Career Maze

The answer is not another $1 trillion in student loan debt to pay for another raft of declining-value credentials.
So let’s say we want to set up a system to help students choose a career that fits their aptitudes and interests. What would we do? How about:
1. Give them zero (or superficial) aptitude and career-related tests.
2. Provide a few minutes with a counselor who knows nothing about them, their aptitudes or potential career-related interests.
3. Design the high school education system to provide near-zero knowledge of finance, debt, economics, how the economy functions and what the world of work demands of workers.
4. Denigrate (subtly or directly) non-college career options, channeling those who aren’t sure into 4-year colleges, higher education paid with student loans designed to maximize profiteering.
5. Force them to choose a major or field of study at 17 or 18 years of age, despite their lack of real-world experience and objective knowledge of how the economy functions and their own aptitudes/character traits.

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on SEPTEMBER 26, 2017.

Why My Silver Price Forecast Shows a 29.4% Rebound Before 2018

Although the metal fell 4.1% last week – the steepest weekly drop in two months – my silver price forecast through the rest of the year remains bullish. I don’t think silver prices will stay below $17 for long – in fact, I predict a 29.4% rebound before 2018.
Silver took a particularly hard hit on Friday, Sept. 22, as prices fell below the $17 mark for the first time since Aug. 24. That day, the metal fell 0.2% to settle at $16.98.
But that didn’t last more than a couple of sessions, with silver prices jumping back above $17 yesterday (Monday, Sept. 25).
Even more impressive is how silver shot back above $17 even as the U. S. dollar recuperated against other major currencies. The U. S. Dollar Index (DXY) – which measures the dollar against the euro, yen, and other currencies – climbed from 92.17 to 92.66 yesterday, while the price of silver added 1% to $17.15. A rising dollar is usually bearish for silver since the metal is priced in the dollar, making it more expensive to users of other currencies.
Does this mean silver’s rout is over? I’m not yet convinced, since the dollar likely has more near-term bounce left in it.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on September 26, 2017.

Home Price Growth Accelerates To 5.9% YoY While Hourly Earnings Growth Is At 2.31% YoY (Seattle Leads Growth At 13.5%, DC And Chicago Last At 3.3%)

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U. S. National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U. S. census divisions, reported a 5.9% annual gain in July, up from 5.8% the previous month. The 10-City Composite annual increase came in at 5.2%, up from 4.9% the previous month. The 20-City Composite posted a 5.8% year-over-year gain, up from 5.6% the previous month.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on September 26, 2017.

VIX Options Volume Hits All-Time High As Stock Speculators Risk Record Amount On Continued Calm

A record 2.61 million options on the VIX traded on Monday, surpassing a previous peak reached in August.
Shockingly, Bloomberg reports that the activity appeared to be led by one investor, who rolled over a massive bet on a return in market turbulence to the end of the year.
Shortly after Monday’s market open, an investor rolled over a position of more than 486,000 Oct. 25 calls to December.
Monday’s trade was effectively an extension of a bet that volatility will more than double by the end of the year — the wager was initiated in July but that didn’t come to fruition since the VIX gained only 2.5 percent in the period.
While the trade was big — it accounted for almost half of Monday’s call volume and 11 percent of the total calls outstanding — wagers that the VIX will rebound have multiplied in recent weeks as shorting volatility has lost some of its appeal.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 26, 2017.

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts – Another Option Expiration Opera Buffa

“The government is the potent omnipresent teacher. For good or ill it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.
To declare that the end justifies the means — to declare that the government may commit crimes — would bring terrible retribution.”
Louis D. Brandeis
Today was another Comex options expiration for the precious metals. And it went as expected.
In a bit of good news, the GOP has pulled the plug on their pig of a healthcare plan, because that is what it what, despite all the obfuscating lipstick that they attempted to smear on it. It takes real talent to craft a plan that is worse than Obamacare, which was itself a recycled piece of flotsam from the Heritage Foundation.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 26 SEPTEMBER 2017.

Watch Live: Hawkish Yellen Says Fed May Have Misjudged Inflation, Labor Market

Update: In her prepared remarks, Yellen crucially said,
‘A more important issue from a policy standpoint is that some key assumptions underlying the baseline outlook could be wrong in ways that imply that inflation will remain low for longer than currently projected.’
As Bloomberg explains, she is stating a bit more clearly than before that the FOMC doesn’t have a handle on why inflation is low and acknowledging that it may last longer than they predict.
As we detailed earlier, on the heels of Bostic (“we didn’t blow any bubbles”) Brainard (“some barriers to growth are structural”) this morning and Kashkari (“no inflation”), Evans (“need more data”), and Dudley (“inflation’s coming soon”) yesterday; it is Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s turn to speak this afternoon on “Inflation, Uncertainty and Monetary Policy” as the dollar extends its post-FOMC gains (to 1-month highs).

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 26, 2017.

Gold Drops, USD Pops As Yellen Warns “Fed Should Be Wary Of Moving Too Gradually”

On the heels of Fed chair Janet Yellen warning of looming inflation and the need for The Fed to perhaps not move as slowly as they have suggested, gold has snapped back below $1300 (erasing North Korean risks) and the dollar is extending gains…
As Citi notes, for those hoping for hawkish comments, Yellen has certainly delivered.
‘It would be imprudent to keep monetary policy on hold until inflation is back to 2 percent,’
The Fed ‘should also be wary of moving too gradually.’
‘My colleagues and I must be ready to adjust our assessments of economic conditions and the outlook when new data warrant it’
‘My colleagues and I may have misjudged the strength of the labor market, the degree to which longer-run inflation expectations are consistent with our inflation objective, or even the fundamental forces driving inflation’
And that has sent Dec rate hike odds to 78%…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 26, 2017.

Tailing 2-Year Auction Prints At Highest Yield Since 2008

Having spooked the bond market earlier with her surprisingly hawkish remarks, and sending the 2Y surging while flattening the curve even more, moments ago the Treasury sold $26 billion in 2 Year paper at a yield of 1.462%, a notable jump from last month’s 1.345%, and the highest since October 2008. It also tailed by 0.2 bps to the 1.460% When Issued, which however was to be expected following the sharp move just minute earlier.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 26, 2017.

Dramatic “Before And After” Photos Show Puerto Rico’s Plunge Into Darkness

10k+ federal staff are on the ground in PR/USVI assisting with search & rescue, restoring power, & moving commodities. #Maria [: @USArmy]
— FEMA (@fema) September 25, 2017

It’s been a week since Hurricane Maria made landfall in eastern Puerto Rico, and hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans living in remote villages remain cut off from the world, after the storm trashed power grids, tore up roads, downed cell towers and caused a dam in the northwestern part of the island to fail, endangering tens of thousands of people living in a valley below.
Hospitals, especially in rural areas, have been hopelessly crippled by the storm, which has left them dependent on backup generators for power, threatening the lives of thousands of vulnerable patients. Shipments of diesel fuel to the hospitals are delivered by armed guards to protect against looters – which sounds like something from the plot of one of the ‘Mad Max’ movies.
CNN sent low-flying planes over the island to survey the landscape, and they’ve brought back some stunning footage of the damage. News anchor Jake Tapper tweeted this before-and-after photo, which shows how more than 90% remains mired in blackouts more than a week after the storm made landfall.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 26, 2017.

Trump Tax Plan Latest Leak: Lowest Tax Rate Rises To 12%, But Standard Deduction Doubles

Continuing the recent flurry of leaks of the Trump tax plan set to be unveiled tomorrow, Axios reports that “GOP leaders have agreed to raise the lowest individual tax rate from 10 to 12 percent, paired with doubling the standard deduction.”
As previously leaked, the plan will also collapse the number of brackets from seven to three, while the standard deduction is set to almost double to $12,000 for a single filer and $24,000 for married couples, which means that Trump can correctly argue that many more low income earners would pay no tax under his plan. Also, as previously noted, the top tax bracket would fall from 39.6% to 35%.
According to Axios, Trump plans to sell the proposal tomorrow as a populist “tax cut” but notes that “as recently as yesterday top Republicans on Capitol Hill were nervous as they got word that Trump wasn’t entirely thrilled with the product that had been hashed out in immense secrecy for weeks with two members of his administration, Gary Cohn and Steven Mnuchin, working with GOP leaders.” However, that changed last night when Trump reportedly has come around to supporting the framework, “despite his misgivings about the corporate rate not being low enough and about the political risks of raising the lowest rate.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 26, 2017.

North Korea Said To Seek Help From Republicans “To Figure Out Trump”

In what may be the most bizarre development of the day, the WaPo reports that in their ongoing feud with President Trump, the North Korean government has quietly sought the help of an unlikely counterparty: Republicans.
As the WaPo details, officials in Pyongyang have been quietly trying to arrange talks with Republican-linked analysts in Washington, “in an apparent attempt to make sense of President Trump and his confusing messages to Kim Jong Un’s regime.” The outreach is said to have begun before the current eruption of threats between the two leaders, but will likely become only more urgent “as Trump and Kim have descended into name-calling that sharply increases the chances of potentially catastrophic misunderstandings.”
‘Their No. 1 concern is Trump. They can’t figure him out,’ a source with direct knowledge of North Korea’s approach to Asia experts with Republican connections told the WaPo.
While the North Koreans do not appear to be interested in negotiations about their nuclear program, they want forums for insisting on being recognized as a nuclear state, something the Trump administration has made clear it is not interested in. At a multilateral meeting here in Switzerland earlier this month, North Korea’s representatives were adamant about being recognized as a nuclear weapons state and showed no willingness to even talk about denuclearization.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 26, 2017.

Gold Prices Slip Back Near $1300 After Comex Options Surge on N.Korea ‘War’ Talk

Gold prices this morning cut yesterday’s sharp $15 gain following North Korea’s accusation that the US has “declared war”, falling back to $1302 per ounce in Tuesday’s London trade as the Dollar rose and world stock markets held flat overall.
Gold priced in the single-currency Euro pushed higher again following the weekend’s German elections, reversing all of last week’s 1.9% loss to trade back at 1105 per ounce.
“When Trump said this weekend that our country wouldn’t be around much longer, he, at last, declared war on our country,” declared Ri Yong Ho, the DPRK’s foreign minister, to reporters in New York on Monday.
With gold prices jumping back above $1300 per ounce for the first time since Wednesday, “We [therefore] have the right to take counter-measures,” Ri went on, “including the right to shoot down the United States’ strategic bombers even when they are not yet inside our airspace borders.”

This post was published at FinancialSense on 09/26/2017.

The S&P Has Closed At New Record Highs 37 Times In 2017, The Most In 20 Years

In a testament to the “buy the dip” mentality, or rather only remaining investing strategy in quasi-nationalized capital markets, BofA reports that the S&P 500 has closed at a new record high 37 times so far during 2017, the most in the Q1 to Q3 period since 1997, when the S&P closed at a new record 40 times before the start of Q4 (the most occurred in 1995 when there were 61 record closes).
Additionally, 2017 still has the potential to top ’97 (40 records) as four trading days still remain in Q3, and judging by today’s strong rebound we just may go for 38 by end of day. As BofA’s Benjamin Bowler writes, “this high number of record closes further depicts how US stocks have continuously grinded higher as investors continue to buy every dip and keep volatility suppressed.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 26, 2017.

“We Have Been Here Before” – Pat Buchanan Asks “Will NFL Demand Respect for Old Glory?”

‘America refuses to address the pervasive evil of white cops killing black men, and I will not stand during a national anthem that honors the flag of such a country!’
That is the message Colin Kaepernick sent by ‘taking a knee’ during the singing of ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ before San Francisco ’49s games in 2016. No NFL owner picked up his contract in 2017. But a few players began to copy Colin and to ‘take a knee.’
Friday night in Alabama, President Trump raged that any NFL player who disrespects Old Glory is a ‘son of a b – -h’ who ought to be kicked off the field and fired by his team’s owner. And if the owners refuse to do their patriotic duty, the fans should take a walk on the NFL.
And so the stage was set for NFL Sunday.
Two hundred players, almost all black, knelt or sat during the national anthem. The Patriots’ Tom Brady stood in respect for the flag, while locking arms in solidarity with kneeling teammates.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 26, 2017.

‘Commodities King’ Says Bull Run Will Continue; Now Is the Time to Buy Gold (Video)

Last December, Dennis Gartman called gold the top commodity to own in 2017. He followed up in March, swearing he wasn’t a ‘gold bug,’ but then advising ‘buy gold.’ Now the man known as the ‘commodities king’ says keep buying gold.
In an interview on CNBC’s Futures Now, Gartman declared the bull run isn’t over and predicted the yellow metal will hit $1,400 in the near future.
A year from now gold will be demonstrably higher than where it is now.’
Gartmen pointed out that gold has been rallying in dollar terms. It’s been a bull market since late December of 2015. It’s been a bull market in euro terms since January of 2016. And it’s been a bull market in yen denominated terms even longer than that.

This post was published at Schiffgold on SEPTEMBER 26, 2017.

Angry Steve Bannon Blasts NFL And Mitch McConnell; Predicts “Day Of Reckoning” For Republicans

Last night, after a fiery campaign appearance for Judge Roy Moore in Alabama, former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon took to Fox News to lash out at everyone from NFL players taking a knee at football games to the “spineless” Republican establishment. Here’s a recap of the more salient points:
‘If people in this country take a knee and the national football players want to take a knee, they should take a knee at night, every night, and thank God in heaven Donald J. Trump is president of the United States.”
‘He has saved this country so much grief. He has done such a tremendous job with virtually no help.”
“I stepped out to make sure that Mitch McConnell and the Republican establishment start to have a Republican back. Mitch McConnell wouldn’t be majority leader if Donald Trump didn’t drag half a dozen senators across the goal line in November.”
“So it’s time for the Republican establishment to step up and have the back of President Trump.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 26, 2017.

Carbon Taxes and Economic Growth

In a recent series of posts (here and here), I amplified some of Oren Cass’s strongest criticisms of the typical case for a US carbon tax. Seeing an opportunity for a zinger, Josiah Neeley at R Street put up a post entitled, ‘Prominent carbon tax skeptic admits it could increase economic growth.’ Although I appreciate being dubbed ‘prominent,’ as we’ll see the R Street post is wrong in both title and in substance. Neeley is referring to my discussion of a capital tax cut offsetting the damage of a carbon tax, but that of course is far from saying a carbon tax could increase economic growth. Beyond that, Neeley’s advice to me to advocate politically impossible outcomes is also dubious.
The Carbon Tax and Economic Growth Though it may surprise you in light of the campaign being waged by a few vocal writers, the standard modeling results show that a carbon tax would be profoundly harmful for measured economic growth. Now to be clear, these standard models from the literature assume that greenhouse gas emissions on net pose a negative externality (at least after a certain point which they project humanity has already surpassed), and so they would conclude that some carbon tax would be justified for environmental reasons, even though it would reduce conventionally measured GDP growth and would feel burdensome to consumers in the form of higher electricity and gas prices.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on September 27, 2017.