Venezuela Defaults On A Debt Payment – Is This The First Domino To Fall?

Did you know that Venezuela just went into default? This should be an absolutely enormous story, but the mainstream media is being very quiet about it. Wall Street and other major financial centers around the globe could potentially be facing hundreds of millions of dollars in losses, and the ripple effects could be felt for years to come. Sovereign nations are not supposed to ever default on debt payments, and so this is a very rare occurrence indeed. I have been writing about Venezuela for years, and now the crisis that has been raging in that nation threatens to escalate to an entirely new level.
Things are already so bad in Venezuela that people have been eating dogs, cats and zoo animals, but now that Venezuela has officially defaulted, there will be no more loans from the rest of the world and the desperation will grow even deeper…
Venezuela, a nation spiraling into a humanitarian crisis, has missed a debt payment. It could soon face grim consequences.
The South American country defaulted on its debt, according to a statement issued Monday night by S&P Global Ratings. The agency said the 30-day grace period had expired for a payment that was due in October.
A debt default risks setting off a dangerous series of events that could exacerbate Venezuela’s food and medical shortages.
So what might that ‘dangerous series of events’ look like?
Well, Venezuela already has another 420 million dollars of debt payments that are overdue. Investors around the world are facing absolutely catastrophic losses, and the legal wrangling over this crisis could take many years to resolve. The following comes from Forbes…

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on November 14th, 2017.

U.S. SHALE OIL PRODUCTION UPDATE: Financial Carnage Continues To Gut Industry

As the Mainstream media reports about the next phase of the glorious U. S. Shale Oil Revolution, the financial carnage continues to gut the industry deep down inside the entrails of its horizontal laterals. The stench of fracking fluid must be driving shale oil advocates utterly insane as they are no longer able to see financial wreckage taking place in these companies quarterly reports.
This weekend, one of my readers sent me the following Bloomberg 45 minute TV special titled, The Next Shale Revolution. If you are in need of a good laugh, I highly recommend watching part of the video. At the beginning of the video, it starts off with President Trump stating that the U. S. has become an energy exporter for the first time ever. Trump goes on to say, ‘that powered by new innovation and technology, we are now on the cusp of a new energy revolution.’ While I have to applaud Trump’s efforts for putting out some positive and reassuring news, I wonder who is providing him with terribly inaccurate energy information.
I would kindly like to remind the reader, the United States is still a NET IMPORTER of oil. We still import nearly six million barrels of oil per day, but we export some finished products and a percentage of our shale oil production. Thus, we still import a net of approximately three million barrels per day of oil.
A few minutes into the Bloomberg video, both Pioneer Resources Chairman, Scott Sheffield, and Continental Resources CEO, Harold Hamm, explain how advanced technology will revolutionize the shale oil industry and bring down costs. I find that statement quite hilarious as Continental Resources and Pioneer continue to spend more money drilling for oil and gas then they make from their operations. As I stated in a previous article, Continental Resources long-term debt ballooned from $165 million in 2007 to $6.5 billion currently. So, how did advanced technology lower costs when Continental now has accumulated debt up to its eyeballs?

This post was published at SRSrocco Report on November 14, 2017.

North Korean Propaganda On Trump: ‘Garbage That Reeks Of Gunpowder To Ignite War’

After North Koreans heard from their state-run media (propaganda) that Donald Trump had said some harsh things about life in the isolated nation, they fired back. And many believe Trump will ‘ignite a war’ between the United States and their own country.
In a speech on Wednesday, President Trump called the isolated communist country ‘a hell that no person deserves.’
But the rebuttal from North Koreans was equally harsh. One woman, who CNN spoke to on the streets of Pyongyang called Trump’s assertion ‘foolish,’ ‘absurd,’ and another word CNN claims they cannot print. ‘The reality here is very different. We’re leading a happy life,’ Ri Yong Hui, a housewife in Pyongyang, told CNN.
North Korean state media reported that Trump had spoken on Thursday, but did not include concrete details of his speech, in which the President slammed Pyongyang’s human rights abuses.

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

The Economics Definition of Sanity: Keep Doing The Same Thing Over and Over Because It Has To Work One of These Times

We live in an age of statistics. They are everywhere, including a whole lot of junk numbers (endless studies) that don’t pass minimum scrutiny. Somehow, statistics have become the gold standard for at least the mainstream media in framing our view of everything from new discoveries to further exploration into how things work.
That’s fine for a discipline like quantum physics where the utterly complex probability models have been repeatedly tested and validated. It’s a far different proposition in the softer sciences where the rules of science aren’t as easily determined.
In 1972, Karl Popper in further defining the scientific process in this modernizing age said that,
Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve.
It’s a warning that I try to take to heart, seeing as I do eurodollars lurking ominously behind every global problem. But Popper also said at the same time, ‘no rational argument will have a rational effect on a man who does not want to adopt a rational attitude.’ In other words, as long as I stick to a broad enough survey of evidence then proceeding as I do on the monetary explanation for at least economic deficiencies is a legitimate, rational inquiry.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on November 7, 2017.

THE U.S. STOCK MARKET: Highly Inflated Bubble To Super-Charged Tulip Mania

Investors need to be concerned that the U. S. Stock Market is well beyond bubble territory as it has now entered into the final stage of a Super-Charged Tulip Mania. Not only are stock prices inflated well above anything we have ever seen before, but valuations are also reaching heights that are totally unsustainable. Unfortunately, these highly inflated share prices and insane valuations seem normal to investors who are suffering from brain damage as years of mainstream propaganda have turned the soft tissue in their skulls to mush.
Also, we are way beyond ‘Boiling Frogs’ now. Yes, we passed that stage a while back. Today, the typical U. S. investor has been fried to death. Investors now resemble a super-crisp chicken-wing with very little meat on it but at least will offer, one hell of a crunch. Please realize I don’t mean to be harsh about my fellow investor. However, when I look around and see what 99% of the market is doing, it reminds me of a famous line from the movie Aliens. The star of the movie, after being found lost in deep space for many years, said the following in a meeting, ‘Did IQ’s drop sharply while I was away?’

This post was published at SRSrocco Report on NOVEMBER 6, 2017.

THINGS COULDN’T BE BETTER – RIGHT?

Donald Trump tells me our best days are ahead. Once his tax cut plan is passed, the future will be so bright I’ll have to wear shades.
Sometimes a single chart reveals the truth being obscured by the Deep State propaganda machine, working overtime selling their economic recovery narrative. The economy most certainly is booming for Wall Streeters and D. C. parasites sucking on the teet of Federal government largess. But for the average working deplorable, this supposed recovery has passed them by.
The cognitive dissonance is strong, as average Americans want to believe what their ‘leaders’ are telling them to believe, but their personal financial situation contradicts the narrative. Even using the highly manipulated data peddled by the BLS, any critical thinking individual can see through the lies, misinformation and bullshit.

This post was published at The Burning Platform on Nov 6, 2017.

78 Percent Of U.S. Workers Are Living ‘Paycheck To Paycheck’ And 71 Percent Of Them Are In Debt

Are you living paycheck to paycheck? Is so, you are just like most other hard working Americans. As you will see below, 78 percent of full-time workers in the United States say that they are living paycheck to paycheck. That is the highest figure ever recorded, and it is yet more evidence that the middle class is under an increasing amount of stress. The cost of living is rising at a much faster pace than our paychecks are, and more families are falling out of the middle class with each passing month. Unfortunately, this is something that the mainstream media really doesn’t want to talk about these days. Instead, they just keep having us focus on the soaring financial markets which are being grossly artificially inflated by global central banks.
When I came across the numbers that I am about to share with you I was actually quite stunned. I knew that things were not great in ‘the real economy’, but I didn’t expect that the number of Americans living paycheck to paycheck would actually be rising. But that is precisely what a brand new survey that was just released by CareerBuilder is saying…
Seventy-eight percent of full-time workers said they live paycheck to paycheck, up from 75 percent last year, according to a recent report from CareerBuilder.
Overall, 71 percent of all U. S. workers said they’re now in debt, up from 68 percent a year ago, CareerBuilder said.
While 46 percent said their debt is manageable, 56 percent said they were in over their heads. About 56 percent also save $100 or less each month, according to CareerBuilder.

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on November 1st, 2017.

An attempt to quantify the immeasurable

To paraphrase Einstein, not everything worth measuring is measurable and not everything measurable is worth measuring. The purchasing power of money falls into the former category. It is worth measuring, in that it would be useful to have a single number that consistently reflected the economy-wide purchasing power of money. However, such a number doesn’t exist.
Such a number doesn’t exist because a sensible result cannot be arrived at by summing or averaging the prices of disparate items. For example, it makes no sense to average the prices of a car, a haircut, electricity, a house, an apple, a dental checkup, a gallon of gasoline and an airline ticket. And yet, that is effectively what the government does – in a complicated way designed to make the end result lower than it otherwise would be – when it determines the CPI.
The government concocts economic statistics for propaganda purposes, but even the most honest and rigorous attempt to use price data to determine a single number that consistently paints an accurate picture of money purchasing power will fail. It must fail because it is an attempt to do the impossible.
The goal of determining real (inflation-adjusted) performance is not completely hopeless, though, because we know what causes long-term changes in money purchasing power and we can roughly estimate the long-term effects of these causes. In particular, we know that over the long term the purchasing power of money falls due to increased money supply and rises due to increased population and productivity.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Wednesday, 1 November 2017.

Russian Content May Have Reached 126 Million Facebook Users, There Is Just One Catch

One month ago, the media world and political punditry was in a furore after Facebook revealed that some 470 alleged Russian troll accounts had paid Facebook a whopping $100,000 to purchase 3,000 advertisements potentially influencing the outcome of the election (even though many of the ads “showed support for Clinton” and only half ran before the actual election). The furore did not last long: gradually the story fizzled, before becoming a watercooler joke that Russia had managed to buy the outcome of the US presidential election for a whopping 100 grand – which would make Vladimir Putin not only a propaganda genius of the highest order, but the best damn advertising mastermind to ever live, generating the highest ad IRR in history. One can only imagine what insidious, civilzation-ending thoughts he could implant in America’s fragile, feeble minds for $1 million, or gasp… 10 million dollars (about 1% of what Hillary spent).
So, eager to keep the “Russia interfered in US elections” meme going (not to be confused with what the Washington Post one year ago titled “The long history of the U. S. interfering with elections elsewhere“), tomorrow Facebook’s general counsel, Colin Stretch , together with his peers from Google and Twitter, will will sit before the Senate judiciary subcommittee on crime and terrorism and try to fascinate the public with some far bigger numbers, while hopefully also pitching the vast reach Facebook and other social media have. To do that, Facebook will say that it estimates that a grand total of 126 million people may have seen content posted by Russian-backed accounts over more than two years that, as the WSJ puts it, “sought to disrupt American society”, according to a prepared copy of the remarks obtained by The Wall Street Journal.
How is this number different from the far smaller number quoted previously when referring only to the Russian trolls’ alleged ad outreach? Because this time, Facebook will count virtually every post created by these alleged Russian troll farms as direct form of propaganda: as the WSJ explains, tomorrow’s definition of “reach” will include such content as “free posts and events listings.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 30, 2017.

Hysteria Used to Censor Progressive and Counter-Corporate Messaging

“The ruling elites, who grasp that the reigning ideology of global corporate capitalism and imperial expansion no longer has moral or intellectual credibility, have mounted a campaign to shut down the platforms given to their critics. The attacks within this campaign include blacklisting, censorship and slandering dissidents as foreign agents for Russia and purveyors of ‘fake news.’
No dominant class can long retain control when the credibility of the ideas that justify its existence evaporates. It is forced, at that point, to resort to crude forms of coercion, intimidation and censorship. This ideological collapse in the United States has transformed those of us who attack the corporate state into a potent threat, not because we reach large numbers of people, and certainly not because we spread Russian propaganda, but because the elites no longer have a plausible counterargument.”
Chris Hedges, Silencing Dissent
This is the logical progression of the credibility trap.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on October 28, 2017.

James Bovard: ‘How Facebook Censored Me’

Submitted by James Bovard via USAToday.com,
Facebook said my post’s image of a violent FBI raid ‘incorrectly triggered our automation tools’… But it wasn’t the first time an iconic image vanished…
Responding to Russian-funded political advertisements, Facebook chairman Mark Zuckerberg declared last month that ‘we will do our part to defend against nation states attempting to spread misinformation.’ But Facebook is effectively sowing disinformation by kowtowing to foreign regimes and censoring atrocities such as ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. In the name of repressing fake news and hate speech, Facebook is probably suppressing far more information than Americans realize.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 28, 2017.

Do Shifting Democrat Talking Points Confirm That “Trump Is Unlikely To Be Implicated” In Russia Probe?

Over the past several weeks, the Russia-related talking points of Democrats and their mainstream media echo chambers have shifted from constantly insisting that Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 election to focus on a seemingly irrelevant amount of advertising dollars that may have been spent on various social media platforms by people that “may have been connected” to the Kremlin…which, to our understanding, is defined as anyone with their browser language set to Russian.
Alas, as the Washington Examiner points out today, this shift in talking points could finally indicate that Democrats are admitting that there is no ‘there’ there when it comes to the ‘Trump collusion’ narrative.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 23, 2017.

Marc Faber Responds To Racism Accusations

Having been forced off the boards of Sprott, NovaGold, and Ivanhoe mines and excommunicated from mainstream business media following his comments earlier in the week, Gloom, Boom, & Doom Report writer Marc Faber responds to his racism allegations…
“I have been labeled by the mainstream media as a racist – I don’t think this corresponds at all with reality.
I wrote a report about capitalism and socialism and about private property rights, and I also wrote about the tendency nowadays to want to rewrite history.
In the US they are trying to tear down statues of people who had a different view from other people at the time… they also tried to tear down statues of Columbus..

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 20, 2017.

No Vol And No Volume – Even The WSJ Questions Equity Melt-Up

It’s encouraging to see that one mainstream media outlet questioning the recent market melt-up which wasn’t just notable for the lack of volatility, but also a severe lack of volume. The new normal seems to be ‘No vol and no volume’, although we saw a bit of a regime shift today, before the normal reversal.
The WSJ noted today that ‘Stocks continue to hit record highs, yet those pushing them there are trading less and less. The number of stocks and exchange-traded products changing hands in the U. S. and Europe has fallen steadily in recent months as ultralow volatility, a lack of market-moving news and the rising popularity of passive investment funds have kept many investors on the sidelines.’
The chart below of trading volume in both regions is ugly, to say the least, especially in Europe where it’s the lowest in five years. Aggregated trading volume for NYSE, NYSE American, NYSE Arca and the NASDAQ this month is reported to be down 12% versus the average for the year and 22% below last year’s average. It’s become so bad that even ETF trading is 8.5% below last year.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 19, 2017.

Russia Stockpiles Gold To Prevent A Currency Attack By The U.S.

‘Countries stockpile gold for strategic and defensive reasons – for instance, in case relations between nations are damaged and their currencies lose their value,’ Gabriel Rubinstein, a financial consultant and former representative of the Argentine Central Bank (source link is below)
Russia has been accumulating a significant gold reserve for over a decade, along with China and most if not all of the BRIC/SCO/Silk Road countries. This is a fact that has been either unnoticed or intentionally ignored by the western mainstream media. Of course, gold is a barbarous relic that just ‘sits there and does nothing’ (Warren Buffet).

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on October 17, 2017.

The Curious Case Of Missing The Market Boom

Authored by Raul Ilargi Meijer via The Automatic Earth blog,
‘The Cost of Missing the Market Boom is Skyrocketing’, says a Bloomberg headline today. That must be the scariest headline I’ve seen in quite a while. For starters, it’s misleading, because people who ‘missed’ the boom haven’t lost anything other than virtual wealth, which is also the only thing those who haven’t ‘missed’ it, have acquired.
Well, sure, unless they sell their stocks. But a large majority of them won’t, because then they would ‘miss’ out on the market boom… Some aspects of psychology don’t require years of study. Is that what behavioral economics is all about?
And it’s not just the headline, the entire article is scary as all hell. It reads way more like a piece of pure and undiluted stockbroker propaganda that it does resemble actual objective journalism, which Bloomberg would like to tell you it delivers. And it makes its point using some pretty dubious claims to boot: The Cost of Missing the Market Boom Is Skyrocketing
Skepticism in global equity markets is getting expensive. From Japan to Brazil and the U. S. as well as places like Greece and Ukraine, an epic year in equities is defying naysayers and rewarding anyone who staked a claim on corporate ownership. Records are falling, with about a quarter of national equity benchmarks at or within 2% of an all-time high.

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

Robert Gore’s “Hard Core Doom Porn”

It will be a crash like we’ve never seen before.
***
SLL has been accused of trafficking in ‘doom porn.’ Guilty as charged. If you don’t like doom porn, don’t read this article, it’s hard core. If you prefer feel good and heartwarming, there are plenty of Wall Street research reports and mainstream media stories about the economy available. Enjoy!
In 1971, President Nixon closed the ‘gold window,’ which allowed foreign governments to exchange their dollars for gold. This severed the last link between any government and central bank-created debt and the real economy. Debt could be conjured at whim, and governments and central banks have done so for the last 46 years.
Not surprisingly, credit creation without restraint has papered the globe with the greatest pile of debt mankind has ever amassed, measured in nominal terms or relative to the underlying economy. A measure of how extraordinary this situation is: most people regard it as normal, if they think of it all. Debt is a first mover, a financial constant. Any exigency small or large can be met from an unlimited credit pool that will always be with us. How to rebuild Houston, Florida, and Puerto Rico? No problem, borrow.
Although fiat credit creation by governments and central banks is unconnected to the real economy, its effects are not. Their debt becomes an asset within the financial system. Through fractional reserve banking, securitization, and derivatives it become the basis for a multiplication of the original debt. That multiplication is many times the multiplier (the reciprocal of the reserve requirement) taught in introductory macroeconomics classes whereby the debt is contained within the banking system.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 12, 2017.

2017 Global Physical Gold and Silver Demand: A Fact Vs. Propaganda Update

Recently, the western banking cartel media has been out in full force to mislead everyone regarding a narrative of falling and ‘soft’ demand for physical gold and physical silver, as they typically frame the market in the US as representative of the global market when this is patently false. Furthermore, the usual suspects, like Goldman Sachs bankers, have piled on to this misinformation by calling for a plunge in gold prices, but more on that later. First let’s discuss the misleading statistics being disseminated by the mainstream financial media regarding physical gold and physical silver demand. Last month Reuters reported plummeting silver Eagle coin sales for Q3 at 3.7 million ounces, and attempted to frame weak US physical silver demand as weak overall silver demand by calling the silver coins data ‘the lowest in 10 years’. Furthermore, they attempted to frame physical gold demand as weak by referring to the Q3 2017 American gold eagle coins sales of 38,500 ounces as a 80% plunge from the same quarter, prior year. If you were to read just this one article to gauge physical gold and physical silver demand worldwide, you would likely believe that demand was dead and that no one was interested in buying physical gold or silver anymore, as the Reuters journalist literally provided zero context to these numbers. As I’ve repeatedly stated for the past 10 years, anyone can use statistics to present a biased and false picture of reality by stripping presented data of any context. This is precisely what the Reuters journalist did.
Furthermore, Bloomberg hopped on the ‘no one wants to buy physical gold and physical silver’ Reuters bandwagon as well with a similar narrative of gloomy gold demand by reporting last week that ‘sales of gold coins [in the United States] in the first nine months of the year shrank to the lowest in a decade.’ As well, various mainstream US financial websites prominently reported that demand for US Mint produced gold bullion has fallen off a cliff this year, with the first 5-months of 2017 only generating 185,500 ounces of gold sales, yielding a projected 2017 annual figure of only 445,200 AuOzs sold.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Thursday, 12 October 2017.

Catalan Leader Asks For Mandate To Declare Independence, Suspends Consequences Of Vote “For Weeks”

Following a brief intro, thanking supporters, proclaiming this a ‘Spain’ issue, and outlining the referdmum’s success, Puigdemont turned more angry, slamming the “humiliation, aggression, and Catalanophobia” of Madrid, suggesting that Spaniards are victims of propaganda, and proclaiming that “many Catalans believe that the only way to guarantee survival is for Catalonia to become a State.”
“We’re not crazy, delinquents or doing a coup,” Puigdemont says.
Then he paused…saying Catalonia has won the right to independence.
“I assume my mandate to convert Catalonia in an independent State.”
And then ads that he calls for weeks of dialog, suspending the independence referendum result.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 10, 2017.

Google ‘Suddenly’ Discovers Questionable “Russia Ads” On YouTube, DoubleClick, Gmail

Update (Noon ET): In an emailed statement, Google confirmed that it found $100,000 worth of questionable ads and said it’s working with researchers and ‘other companies’ on investigating abuse of its systems.
Et tu, Google?
For the first time since Sen. Mark Warner began questioning whether Silicon Valley tech giants have been ‘doing enough’ to root out and expose examples of alleged Russian interference in the November 2016 election, Google has reportedly discovered that Russia-linked operatives deceptively purchased tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of advertising on YouTube, as well as advertising associated with Google search, Gmail and the company’s DoubleClick ad network, according to the Washington Post. Google operates the largest advertising platform in the world, and YouTube is the world’s largest video-advertising platform.
According to WaPo, Google’s discovery is ‘significant’ because the advertisements in question do not appear to be from the same Kremlin-affiliated troll farm that bought ads on Facebook, which the paper says suggests that Kremlin disinformation efforts were much broader than lawmakers and Silicon Valley had believed.

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