Economics

Economics
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Updated: 4 hours 38 min ago

Cyberwar Risk – Was U.S. Navy Victim Of Hacking?

24-Aug-2017

– U.S. Navy collisions: More than a coincidence?
– Latest U.S. Navy collision is fourth involving a Seventh Fleet warship this year
– Have US Navy vessels become victims of hacking asks Rickards
– Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson, has not ruled out cyber intrusion
– “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it’s enemy action…” – Ian Fleming
– Cyber security cause for concern in autonomous vehicles, aeroplanes and now ships
– Serves as reminder that a connected world can expose and create vulnerabilities
– Cyber security a major threat to banking and financial industry
– Investors should hold physical gold as insurance against hacking, cyber attacks

Source: Navylive

The tragic U.S.Navy incident of the USS John McCain earlier in the week has raised several questions about the cause. Many are wondering if it was more than human error given this is not an isolated incident.

In the last year there have been four collisions in the area, including the latest one. So far in 2017, 17 US sailors have died in the Pacific southeast in events which have been attributed to accidental collisions with civilian vessels.

  • In January the USS Antietam ran aground near Yosuka, Japan.
  • In May the USS Champlain collided with a South Korean fishing vessel.
  • On June 17th seven US sailors died when the USS Fitzgerald — operating near Yokuska — collided with a container ship from the Philippines. It was determined that “the bridge team lost situational awareness.”

Pentagon and intelligence insider Jim Rickards points out “when the same basic incident happens twice, you have to raise your eyebrows. When you have a low-probability event that happens twice, in other words, the likelihood of coincidence becomes infinitesimal.”

"Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action." – Ian Fleming
Four 7th Fleet collisions in one year. pic.twitter.com/vKbFWPAAsr

— Jim Rickards (@JamesGRickards) August 22, 2017

Rickards and others are wondering if the Navy’s decades-old reliance on old electronic guidance systems has become the victim of multiple cyberattacks.

There are two main ways a hacker can interfere with a warship: by attacking its GPS  or a malware attack on its computer network.

Click here to read full story on GoldCore.com

Important Guides

For your perusal, below are our most popular guides in 2017:

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Switzerland

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore

Essential Guide to Tax Free Gold Sovereigns (UK)

Please share our research with family, friends and colleagues who you think would benefit from being informed by it.

Have We Lost the Ability to Adapt to Rapidly Changing Circumstances?

24-Aug-2017

Successful adaptation requires a willingness to accept the risks of experimentation, innovation, flexibility and failure.

The idea that the pace of change in technology, the economy and society is accelerating is increasingly self-evident. That this acceleration exceeds our built-in ability to adapt to change is the thesis of the influential 1970 book Future Shock: as the pace of change accelerates, we can no longer process the transformative circumstances and enter a sort of brain-freeze/shut-down mode.

I discussed this most recently in Future Shock and the Greening of America (June 19, 2015) and Present Shock and the Loss of History and Context (May 22, 2013).

My insightful Facebook friend/correspondent A.A. recently proposed another reason why we’re failing to adapt to rapid, systemic change: we have grown too accustomed to affluence and comfort and have consequently lost the tools and values required to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances.

Here is an excerpt of A.A.’s Facebook post: “My own theory is easy postwar affluence leached intelligence from the US population. That is to say, the survival pressures that normally select for the smart and realistic were no longer operating.”

The word intelligence is of course loaded, but A.A.’s commentary defines this as smart and realistic–in other words, practical intelligence that enables successful adaptation.

This calls to mind one of the key elements of natural selection: that the ability to adapt successfully boils down to recognizing and conserving/ encouraging advantageous traits and eliminating /discouraging disadvantageous traits.

Here is Charles Darwin’s definition of natural selection: “This preservation of favorable variations and the rejection of injurious variations, I call Natural Selection.”

Two other quotes attributed to Darwin shed light on the role of intelligence in this process:

“Intelligence is based on how efficient a species became at doing the things they need to survive.”

“In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”

In summary: our ability to adapt successfully is based on enabling a wide range of variations and weeding out those that are injurious. Entrenched interests–self-serving fiefdoms and elites–have zero interest in the risky process of adaptation: their goal is to preserve their status quo power and income. If this requires sacrifices and risk, they push the sacrifices and risk onto others.

Successful adaptation requires a willingness to accept the risks of experimentation, innovation, flexibility and failure. As A.A. observed, decades of easy affluence leached out the pay-offs to accepting risk and sacrifice. Easy affluence nurtures a counter-productive sense of entitlement: affluence should be automatic, risks should be near-zero, and nobody should have to sacrifice or take risks to get their share of affluence.

In effect, the skills, moxie and values required for fast, successful adaptation had little selective advantage in the decades of easy affluence. And as easy affluence gave way to rising wealth and income inequality, access to cheap credit was widely viewed as the easy solution to the end of earned affluence based on savings.

This reliance on easy credit further leached the system of adaptive traits, and incentivized a mal-adaptive dependence on credit as the “solution” to every structural obsolescence.

The decline of selective pressures and the decay of adaptive resilience has parsed the populace into three categories:

1. Those who still believe the Status Quo narratives of credential-based meritocracy, a democratic, functioning central state, and a marketplace that can seamlessly solve whatever the central state cannot.

Those in this class are finding the gulf between these narratives and reality is widening to the breaking point.

2. Those who are losing faith in the Status Quo narrative but are resigned to its eventual messy demise.

Those in this class indulge in dystopian visions of the future, a world view that compellingly combines resignation, powerlessness, distraction and entertainment.

3. Those who understand the Status Quo is unsustainable and toxic and who see its demise as enormously positive and a huge opportunity for the planet, communities, families and individuals.

This is the group which understands that obsolete systems cannot survive the encounter with emerging realities, and that the only way to adapt successfully is to let a thousand flowers bloom and nurture what works for all participants and eliminate what is mal-adaptive and injurious to the interests of the many.

The status quo benefits the few at the expense of the many; it is exploitive, rapacious, increasingly fragile and morally indefensible. It is optimized for a specific type of cheap-energy/ cheap-credit /growth-must-be-permanent affluence–an era that is fading into history, whether we like it or not.

Those who cling to this status quo are clinging to a toxic collection of mal-adaptive values, incentives and traits that will only hasten the collapse of the current unsustainable arrangement. 

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

Midweek Update: Hold On – The Gold & Silver Bull IS GONNA KICK

23-Aug-2017


The stage is set and the music is blaring the tune “Immediate price surge”

Haven’t seen the charts this bullish in the short term for a while, and haven’t felt this bullish in a while either. The bears do look like they could be in for a shocker as things are shaping up nicely. It is hard to argue against a price surge, but I suppose anything is possible.

The Gold Price is ready for another shot at $1300 based on the chart painting. The yellow metal has been holding in there:

 

For the better part of the year, the price of gold has been stuck in that sideways channel of, call it, $1220 and $1300. Well, there is just not much room left to float sideways on the daily chart. We are right up against the resistance line. What looks nice in the short term, is that when gold punched through $1300 last Friday, it drifted sideways to the support line of the upward sloping channel. That chart formation is going to have to break down as gold breaks out, and that break out is above the massive resistance at $1300.

Will it break out today? Looks like it could. Recall that just yesterday, 12,500 contracts were dumped sold on the COMEX in just 3 minutes. After smashing the price to $1287, gold is again poised to make a run at $1300 starting from $1295. One thing for sure by the chart, however, is that gold doesn’t have much longer than this week before some type of move in price happens, and that type of move could be a head-turner.

The Silver Price is equally as bullish. Silver has put in a very large bull flag on the daily chart. Just like with gold, there is not much room left to run to the side on he chart. Silver will either break out, or break down, and we’re just not sure how much more breaking down it can stand without breaking the bank’s physical limits on actual metal:

 

 

Silver prices are not overbought, and all the technicals are in our favor. We have seen the Tuesday smash yet again yesterday, but silver held up. It seems once again, as it did in early 2016, that the harder the cartel tries to smash, the less they are able to suppress price. The floor keeps being raised, and who knows how tall the skyscraper will be built. Sooner than that, however, is that silver, once again, is about to start moving, and technical indicators point up.

Further in the bullish factor of the metals is the continued strong performance of copper and palladium. This is where it gets tricky:

 

 

All the analysts are saying, well, the “base metals are overbought at this point”, “it was all based on the infrastructure build”, and “this is rampant speculation in China”. Seems odd how those same nay-sayers argue that “cryptocurrency is not overbought”, “the stock market is not overvalued based on the [non-existent] tax breaks”, and “what happens in China, stays in China”.

There is no denying the bullishness in the chart, however. The base metal and precious metal have converged again, and the move is far from parabolic as it is shaping up when watching the formation of the daily. All year long, we saw the metals form a nice rounded bottom, and they have been grinding away at moving to higher-highs. At this point, base metal and precious metal shorts may want to reconsider those positions.

Crude oil also looks like it is in store for some positive price action. However, the chart for crude doesn’t so much highlight black gold as it does speak to the immediacy of the spike in price coming to gold and silver. First, the look of crude itself:

 

 

On the daily, we can see that crude has been bounding off support that is somewhere between $46 and $47. This is signaling that we can be ready for a move higher, although there are no immediate intersections on the chart screaming “rip-your-face-off”. What is more likely as the daily is shaping up, is that the blue 50-day moving average is starting to turn up.

There is one formation that technical analysts like to throw out from time to time, and that is a head and shoulders pattern. In crude, one could argue a reverse head and shoulders pattern with the head right at the low. Crude right now is finishing the second shoulder, and since it is an inverse, this would be bullish, though seeing how long it has been forming on the charts, since late March, it could take equally longer to make the move. The bottom (no pun intended) has been shaping up on the chart, and crude is looking bullish moving forward, but more slowly. Once it gets back up to $50, however, it has to deal with that nasty resistance line it hasn’t been able to break for most of the year.

Circling back to the point about the metals and crude. Crude is looking bullish on the chart, but when compared to the metals, gold and silver are looking very bullish, and in the immediate, near term too. Crude is slowly doing it’s thing, but the metals are pent up and ready to bring fire and fury on the COMEX. We’ll see how much firepower the cartel has to respond, and we will see sooner than later. Not so much with crude.

The stock market looks ugly. There is always the possibility of a massive price spike and rally, but the Dow and S&P 500 really look exhausted here. There are wild swings occurring almost daily, and they are rounding a top our for a move lower:

 

 

No, that’s not a downward channel, that’s two ugly downtrend lines amidst the erratic swings of the last three weeks. And wouldn’t you know? Tomorrow is 8/24. I wouldn’t want to be buying up a bunch of stocks right now. No sir. I’ll just grab a couple more eagles and pop some popcorn.

On the charts, this leaves us with the US dollar. The last fiat standing. Though it looks like it is slouching rather than standing, and get ready to get out of the way, because it could faint and fall too:

 

 

 

There is nothing good looking about the dollar, even though the MSM and most analysts have been on the “strong dollar” meme all year. They will soon know what it ultimately feels like, and they will feel it for a very long time, as in years, because we have been feeling it since 2011 in silver and 2013 in gold. “Strong silver’ and “strong gold” were the memes as they reached $1050 and $13.50 respectively. The dollar has been strong, yes, but that was since June 2014. Now, that dog don’t hunt. Anybody seeing a bottom here might want to rethink their plan. 

The one thing working against us today is the calendar of economic news for the day:

 

 

There are market moving data releases coming out all morning, and if that doesn’t cause a little queasiness to all the gold and silver bulls, the Fed Kaplan speech in the afternoon should. Did the cartel use up all their ammo yesterday? Those three minutes in gold look like they certainly went through a lot. And if there is some political turmoil in Washington, or some event elsewhere in the world, they are going to need whatever they have left for that.

So here we wait, looking good, but again, we are breaking out or breaking down. We have broke down so many times this year that we almost expect it. The chart for both the gold price and silver price, are screaming “right now” and “this week”, and if that break out is to the upside, people are going to get caught off guard, and their are either going to be in a ton of pain, or they are going to be running as fast as they can trying to catch up.

CORION – Bridging the gap between the crypto and the real world

23-Aug-2017

Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain tech have slowly but steadily earned their place in many technological verticals and contributed to high-level disruption in these industries. However, when it comes to their day to day applications in real life, they are yet to realize their full potential. The barriers that are hindering the growth and use of cryptocurrencies are none other than their fundamental qualities that power them and make them unique. Their limited supply is a double edged sword – it inevitably drives up value which results in high volatility. This makes their use as means of payment questionable in the day to day life. Adding to volatility, the negative publicity garnered due to the hacking of exchanges, regulatory issues, and other scams has also contributed to the general public’s fear of taking a step towards using the crypto.

However, CORION is now here to bridge this gap and make cryptocurrency accessible to general public. Let’s dive deep into how CORION team is planning to do the same.

What is CORION?

CORION, which stands for ‘Capital Optimized Reward Incentive Online Network’, is a multifunctional platform that enables businesses and individuals with a mutual interest to connect over a worldwide decentralized network. This full-service multi functional blockchain platform was developed on Ethereum Classic blockchain and consists of several smart contracts that are apt for real world applications. The platform offers its own token- CORION coins which are to be used as the method of payment for services provided. These tokens are programmed to be stable against US dollar and hence eliminate the volatility worries associated with standard cryptocurrencies. Their supply is also demand based, and new coins are distributed amongst the community everyday basing on the demand.

The platform has a built in P2P exchange that allows for secure trading and exchange of digital assets, safeguarded from hackers and other security concerns. As all the volatility and security concerns are being annulled on CORION, it is indeed the right platform even for amateur users to indulge in cryptocurrencies.

CORION’s features and price stability

The platform was developed to address the user’s needs carefully and comprehensively establish a one stop solution for adopting cryptocurrencies in businesses. It is indeed an integrated marketplace that can host B2B, B2C, and P2P transactions executable through smart contracts. It’s built in P2P exchange, stable price token and unique daily rewards system are the apex features of the platform. The price of one CORION coin is to be maintained at 1 USD. If the price rises above $1 on exchanges, the system will release additional coins at a maximum daily rate of 2.5% to meet the demand. Alternatively, if the price drops below 1 USD, then 80% of the fees charged for the transactions are burnt and removed from the system piquing the value. The platform rewards its users for its activity levels, and the additional coins that are being pumped into the system will be distributed as per user activity.

The ICO launch and its details

The ICO for CORION commenced on 18th of June and will end on 27th of August 2017. With over 3 Million CORION tokens sold and $ 2.7 Million raised, the ICO is going very strong for a platform that derives its value through its utility and high user engagement. Premium Tokens are also available only during the ICO period. Upon purchasing 5,000 CORION coins, one Premium Token is issued, entitling the holder to enjoy the most promising ventures and gains of the CORION ecosystem. Through it’s easy to access and integrate approach, CORION is sure to impact a lot of ventures and make the usage of cryptocurrency more viable in years to come.

Global Financial Crisis 10 Years On: Gold Price Rise Over 100%

23-Aug-2017

– Gold price up over 100% in major currencies since financial crisis
– Has outperformed majority of equity and bonds
– Global debt continues to increase despite claims of ‘recovery’
– Gold remains an important safe-haven in long term

Gold prices from August 9th 2007  to August 9th 2017

It has been ten years since the global financial crisis began to take hold. At the time few would have known that BNP Paribas’ decision to freeze three hedge funds was the signal for the deepest recession in living memory and a near-collapse of the financial system.

As the French bank blamed a “complete evaporation of liquidity” on its decision the ECB flooded its the market with billions of euros of emergency cash as it worked to prevent a seizure in the financial system.

No-one could have known how much the financial and investment landscape was set to change.

In the proceeding decade we have seen unprecedented intervention by central banks which in turn has created a punishing financial landscape for savers and investors.

For those who were unfortunate to experience bank bailouts first hand or a collapse in a housing market, an instant lesson was learnt about the importance of protecting your savings.

That would have been a savvy lesson to learn. Any investors feeling the ripples of the financial crisis and looking to protect their wealth may well have looked to gold as an option. By adding gold to their portfolio they would currently be looking at some extremely healthy returns.

For those who were slower on the uptake of portfolio protection, they still would have benefited from gold’s decade climb and its performance alongside other major asset classes.

Click here to read full story on GoldCore.com

Important Guides

For your perusal, below are our most popular guides in 2017:

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Switzerland

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore

Essential Guide to Tax Free Gold Sovereigns (UK)

Please share our research with family, friends and colleagues who you think would benefit from being informed by it.

[KR1113] Keiser Report: ‘Bitcoin’s going to be worth a trillion dollars soon’

23-Aug-2017

We discuss the Trump administration starting some trade wars – from renegotiating Nafta to looking at China’s treatment of ‘intellectual property’. We also discuss the trillions in unexploited mineral resources in North Korea. In the second half Max interviews Dan Collins of TheChinaMoneyReport.com to discuss the ‘Doklam Transgression’ and the ‘Line of Actual Control’. The media has largely ignored the confrontation between India and China but will they notice if a hot war breaks out?

Are We Fiddling While Rome Burns?

23-Aug-2017

It turns out Nero wasn’t fiddling as Rome burned–he was 60 km away at the time. Did Nero Really Fiddle While Rome Burned?

The story has become short-hand for making light of a catastrophe, either out of self-interest (one theory had Nero clearing a site he desired for a palace with the fire) or out of a mad detachment from reality.

Are we fiddling while Rome burns? I would say yes–because we’re not solving any of the structural problems that are dooming the status quo. Instead, we’re allowing a corrupt, corporate mainstream media to distract us with fake “Russians hacked our election” hysteria, false “cultural war” mania, and a laughably Orwellian frenzy over fake news which magically avoids mentioning the propaganda narratives pushed 24/7 by the mainstream media–narratives that are the acme of fake news.

The media is only half the problem, of course; the audience doesn’t want to hear about structural problems that can only be fixed by disrupting the status quo. If we don’t accept that the financial system we inhabit is imploding, maybe all the problems will go away.

The system is coughing up blood and we still want to believe it is “recovering” from a cold.

Here’s a short list of structural problems we should be tackling:

1. Soaring inequality and the institutionalization of economic privilege.Systemic economic privilege doesn’t exist in a vacuum–it’s enforced by a centralized hierarchy, a dynamic I describe in my book Inequality and the Collapse of Privilege. Systemic inequality doesn’t just undermine the economy–it also undermines the social and political orders.

2. The central state (government) has one default setting: endless expansion into every nook and cranny of daily life. There are no mechanisms for contraction and no institutional memory of government reducing its control of every aspect of life.

As I explain in my book Resistance, Revolution, Liberation: A Model for Positive Change, this concentration of power attracts concentrations of wealth which then buy the machinery of governance: democracy is reduced to an auction that excludes the bottom 99.9%.

3. Finance has detached from the real-world economy, distorting every function via financialization, which concentrates income and wealth in the hands of the few. As I have often explained in the blog (and in my book Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform), if we don’t change the way we create and distribute credit-money, we change nothing.

4. Our educational system is obsolete but the the current system is incapable of transformation for structural reasons. These include high sunk costs, bureaucratic sclerosis, self-serving fiefdoms that fear disruption of their gravy trains, a lack of understanding of the emerging economy, a dysfunctional centralized hierarchy and the state-funded exploitive machinery of student-loan debt.

I explain all this and present a model that would cut costs by 90% in my book The Nearly Free University and the Emerging Economy.

5. The economy and thus our society (i.e. our mode of production) are changing beneath our feet in dramatic ways. Highly centralized hierarchies (government, corporations) are the wrong unit size and structure to manage this transformation to the benefit of all rather than to the benefit of the few.

I present a decentralized non-state, non-corporate, non-financialized model in my book A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology & Creating Jobs for All.

For individuals navigating these disruptive forces, I wrote an overview guide to the emerging economy, Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy.

Solutions abound, but they require the retirement of obsolete systems that defend entrenched interests and soul-crushing inequalities. The world is changing rapidly, and centralized systems that worked well in the past are failing because they are optimized for a world that no longer exists.

The status quo is coughing up blood, and the situation is dire. Denial won’t fix what’s broken, and neither will magical thinking (the economy is “recovering,” symbolic gestures and virtue-signaling will fix everything, etc.) Clinging to the absurd hope that the status quo just has a nagging cold will only increase the disorder when the system breaks down. 

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

Better A Year Early Than A Day Too Late

22-Aug-2017

When it comes, change happens swiftly. And life after — for better or worse — is forever different.

For those who put off taking advance action, it may be simply “too late” in a number of scenarios should the status quo quickly change.

Don’t be an ‘avoidable victim’. For the events you calculate are likely to happen, assess your current level of preparedness and take steps now to shore up any deficiencies.

Remember: Preparation only has value if it’s done in advance.

Click here to read the full article

U.S. Treasury Secretary: I Assume Fort Knox Gold Is Still There

22-Aug-2017

  • US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin visits Fort Knox Gold
  • Later tweeted ‘Glad gold is safe!’
  • Only the third Treasury Secretary to visit the fortified vault, last visit was 1948
  • Last Congressional visit was 1974
  • Speculation over existence of gold in Fort Knox is rife
  • Concerns over Federal Reserves lack of interest in carrying to an audit on gold
  • Gold was last counted in 1953, nine years before Mnuchin was born
  • Mnuchin may be looking to prevent countries and states from worrying about and repatriating their gold

US Treasury Secretary ‘assumes’ the gold is still in Fort Knox, 64 years after it was audited.

81 years after it was built Fort Knox received its third visit from a US Treasury Secretary yesterday, Steven Mnuchin.

The fortified facility is reportedly surrounded by 30,000 soldiers, tanks, armored personnel carriers, attack helicopters, and artillery. Despite this, there is still concern as to whether the gold is there.

As he headed in, Mnuchin told an audience “I assume the gold is still there…It would really be quite a movie if we walked in and there was no gold.”

With a background in Hollywood it was unsurprising that Mnuchin’s imagination appeared to be getting carried away with tales of finding the $200 billion of gold missing.

Missing gold: fact or fiction?

An empty Fort Knox is an issue far removed from the hills of Hollywood  and has far more basis in reality than many give it credit for.

For many decades campaigns have been led for the US Treasury and government to audit the gold and to testify to its existence.

The gold has not been ‘counted’ since 1953. This was less than 20 years after Fort Knox was built. Since then there has been no official count or audit.

The facility (purportedly) holds 147 million ounces of gold, worth around $186 billion. This is small compared to the amount purportedly held at the Liberty Street facility, in New York.

As with Fort Knox, the New York gold is yet to be audited.

Click here to read full story on GoldCore.com

Important Guides

For your perusal, below are our most popular guides in 2017:

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Switzerland

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore

Essential Guide to Tax Free Gold Sovereigns (UK)

Please share our research with family, friends and colleagues who you think would benefit from being informed by it.

Beware the “The Cultural Civil War” Narrative: You’re Being Played

22-Aug-2017

Remember the “Russians hacked our election!” hysteria–or have you already forgotten? That entire narrative collapsed under a deluge of factual evidence that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) data release was an insider job, and a compelling lack of evidence of any other Russian hacking.

That failed narrative has now been replaced with a new mass hysteria: “a new cultural Civil War is inevitable.” In this narrative, America has succumbed to us-versus-them divisions divided by all-or-nothing ideological bright lines.

Snap out of it, America: you’re being played, just as you were played by the absurd “Russia hacked the election” mania.

The core strategy here is the destruction of any common ground: 

once the delusion that there is no common ground left has been cemented by relentless mainstream and social media hysteria/ propaganda, the populace fragments into echo-chamber fiefdoms of ideological conformity that are easily manipulated by the political-financial power structure.

Once the populace has been fragmented into ideologically divisive camps, controlling the resulting mass of warring mobs is easy. Rather than recognize the commonality of their powerlessness and impoverishment, the fragmented fiefdoms are easily turned on each other:

From the point of view of each fragmented fiefdom, the problem isn’t structural, i.e. the dominance of extreme concentrations of wealth and power; the “problem” is the other cultural-ideological fiefdoms.

Once the masses accept this false division and the destruction of common ground, their power to reverse the extreme concentrations of wealth and power is shattered. The play is as old as civilization itself: conjure up extremists (paying them when necessary), goad the formation of opposing extremists, then convince the populace that these extremists have been normalized, i.e. your friends and neighbors already belong to one or the other.

This normalization then sets up the relentless demands to choose a side– the classic techniques of misdirection and false choice.

Just as you’re sold a triple-bacon cheeseburger or a hybrid auto, you’re being sold a completely fabricated cultural civil war. There have always been extremists on every edge of the ideological spectrum, just as there have always been religious zealots.

In a healthy society, these fringe pools of self-reinforcing fanaticism are given their proper place: they are outliers, representing self-reinforcing black holes of confirmation bias of a few.

In times of social, political and financial stress, such groups pop up like mushrooms. In times of media saturation, a relative handful can gain enormous exposure and importance because the danger they pose sells adverts and attracts eyeballs/viewers.

Add a little fragmentation, virtue-signaling, demands for ideological conformity and voila, you get a deeply fragmented and deranged populace that is incapable of recognizing the dire straits it is in or recognizing the structural sources of its impoverishment and powerlessness.

In other words, you get an easily mallable populace at false war with itself.

There is always common ground for those who dare to seek it. The Powers That Be are blowing up the bridges as fast as they can, whipping up fear and hatred of the Other, fanning the flames of extremism and claiming extremists are now normalized and everywhere.

All of this is false. Would you buy an entirely manipulated cultural civil war if it was advertised as such? If not, then don’t buy into the false (but oh so useful to the ruling elites) narrative of an “inevitable cultural Civil War.”

 

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

Buffett Sees Market Crash Coming: His Cash Speaks Louder Than Words

21-Aug-2017

The Sage of Omaha’s adage is “it’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.”


Editor: Mark O’Byrne

But for Warren Buffett the current environment doesn’t appear to be offering up any wonderful companies at fair valuations. The situation is so bad that the cash stockpile of Berkshire Hathaway has more than doubled in the last four years, from under $40 billion to $100bn.

The infamous investor is famed for his investment approach of pouncing on companies when they run in to problems and are seemingly undervalued. At the moment though, there aren’t many out there.

The large stockpile is a likely indicator of not only how Buffett negatively views the current market environment but also how he sees the near future and what opportunities it will bring.

Buffett hates cash, he wants to spend it

Buffett has previously stated how much he hates cash, telling investors at the Berkshire AGM that it was a poor way to keep their money.

During the Omaha-based meeting Buffett expressed his frustration with a cash pile that is approaching $100 billion, “We shouldn’t use your money that way for long periods…The question is, ‘Are we going to be able to deploy it?’”

It may well be the case that Buffett is prepared to pay a dividend, stating that dividends could be paid “reasonably soon, even while I am around.” But this is unlikely.

Buffett is known for his dislike of paying dividends. Since he took over Berkshire over half a century ago the company has paid a single $0.10 dividend in 1967. Instead, shareholders have been rewarded with value through investments that have increased the company’s earning power.

Given the company’s track record of generating more than twice the S&P 500’s annualized returns over the past half-century, it’s more likely that Buffet is looking for an attractive acquisition or investment opportunity rather than pay dividends.

Making investments is all very easy when there are good value ones to be picked up but right now there are none.

Buffett can see this and his lack of investment suggests he sees opportunities on the horizon. These can only come about in the event of a market crash or a sharp market correction.

Click here to read full story on GoldCore.com

Important Guides

For your perusal, below are our most popular guides in 2017:

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Switzerland

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore

Essential Guide to Tax Free Gold Sovereigns (UK)

Please share our research with family, friends and colleagues who you think would benefit from being informed by it.

[KR1112] Keiser Report: Uber Subprime Business

20-Aug-2017

Max and Stacy discuss subprime auto leases running over Uber. Max continues his interview with Stephen Baldwin about plans for the Great American Pilgrimage across America in an RV, looking to meet the people overlooked by mainstream television media.

Dragonglass Derivatives

19-Aug-2017

Are Profit and Healthcare Incompatible?

18-Aug-2017

As I have been noting for a decade, the broken U.S. healthcare system will bankrupt the nation all by itself. We all know the basic facts: the system delivers uneven results in terms of improving health and life expectancy while costing two or three times more per person compared to our advanced-economy global competitors.

U.S. Lifestyle + “Healthcare” = Bankruptcy (June 19, 2008)

Sickcare Will Bankrupt the Nation–And Soon (March 21, 2011)

How Healthcare Is Dooming the U.S. Economy (Three Charts) (May 2015)

You Want to Fix the Economy? Then First Fix Healthcare (September 29, 2016)

This chart says it all: the global outlier in low life expectancy and exorbitant cost is the U.S.

The profit motive is supposed to lower costs, not increase them. In the idealized model of a completely free market, the profit motive is supposed to lower costs as customers are free to choose the best product/service for the lowest price.

In U.S. healthcare, the profits are stupendous, yet the costs are even more stupendous. Rather than lower costs, the U.S. system of for-profit healthcare has sent costs spiraling into the stratosphere, to the point that the system’s costs are threatening to bankrupt the government and the nation.

Why is this so? Karl Marx provided the answer in the 19th century. In the idealized model of free-market capitalism, those who provide superior services for the lowest price reap more profit than their less agile/productive competitors.

But as Marx observed, in real-world capitalism, open competition drives profits to zero. Every attempt to gain a competitive advantage in price increases supply and further commoditizes the product/service. This dynamic pushes prices down to the point that nobody can make a profit until competitors are driven out of business and a cartel or monopoly secures the market and controls supply, price and profit.

The most profitable structures in real-world capitalism are monopolies or cartels– which is precisely what characterizes U.S. healthcare. The only way to maximize profits is to ruthlessly eliminate competition in the marketplace–which is exactly how the U.S. healthcare system operates: the pharmaceutical industry is a cartel, hospital chains are a cartel, insurance companies are a cartel, and so on.

In the real world of state-cartel-capitalism, competition is eliminated so cartels can maximize profits.

Do-gooders are always claiming that the system could be fixed by re-introducing competition– this was the core idea behind Obamacare’s insurance exchanges–but the do-gooders are blind to the core dynamic of state-cartel-capitalism, which is cartels own the machinery of governance via lobbying and campaign contributions. The state creates and protects the cartels, period.

In state-cartel-capitalism, there is no way to maintain real competition, as the cartels instruct the state to protect their monopolies/cartels. State reformers can try all sorts of complex reform schemes (ObamaCare) but they fail to lower costs because they all leave the cartel structure and cartel ownership of governance intact.

In the good old days of the 1950s and 1960s, U.S. healthcare was more localized, and the central state (federal government) wasn’t the Sugar Daddy for the cartels. Hospitals were community hospitals (what a quaint idea in today’s hyper-cartelized system) managed by physicians and administrators who saw their role as serving the community rather than arranging for $20 million annual salaries and millions of dollars in stock options.

This is why the cartels love Medicare For All proposals: the federal government–protector and funder of the cartels–will give the cartels a blank check not just for the 120 million people currently drawing benefits from Medicare/Medicaid but for all 325 million Americans.

Fast facts on Medicare and Medicaid (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services)

Medicare Beneficiaries: 57.7 million 
Medicaid Beneficiaries: 72.3 million 
estimated dual Beneficiaries (drawing benefits from both programs): 10 million

Total Beneficiaries: 120 million

Medicare/Medicaid budget, 2015: $1.2 trillion

Total U.S. healthcare costs: $3.2 trillion, 18% of GDP

Department of Defense budget, 2015: $575 billion 
source

Are profit and healthcare incompatible? In the real world of state-cartel-capitalism, the answer is yes: a profit-maximizing system fails to deliver prevention while pushing costs higher, eventually bankrupting the Sugar Daddy government and the nation.

Prevention, like a bag of carrots, is intrinsically low-profit. Illness, especially chronic illness, is highly profitable because the profits flow continuously from treatments, medications, procedures, tests, visits, hospitalization, home care, a constant churn of billing, etc.

The only way to systemically lower costs is to make prevention and transparency the top priorities. Prevention, community ownership of healthcare services, transparency and unfettered competition kill profits, period. Yet these are the only way to lower costs to be in line with our competitors.

You can reconfigure the system any way you want, but you have to eliminate cartels, cartel ownership of governance, opaque pricing, government blank checks and incentives for profiteering from chronic illness. If you don’t eliminate all these, you’ve fixed nothing.

 

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

Gold, Silver Consolidate On Last Weeks Gains, Palladium Surges 36% YTD To 16 Year High

18-Aug-2017

– Gold and silver rise as stocks fall sharply after Barcelona attack
– Gold, silver 0.6% higher in week after last weeks 2%, 5% rise
– Palladium +36% ytd, breaks out & reaches 16 year high (chart)
– Gold to silver ratio falls to mid 75s after silver gains last week
– Perfect storm of financial and geopolitical tensions is driving safe haven demand and should see higher prices
– Weekly close over $1,300 could see gold quickly test $1,400
– Palladium at 16 year highs today; gold, silver in coming months?

2017 YTD Relative Performance (Finviz)

Editor Mark O’Byrne

This morning readers woke to the news that a second attack in 24 hours had taken place in Barcelona. So-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks in Spain.

Global stocks has fallen and precious metals have eked out gains this morning as investors seek out safe haven assets. Gold has risen to trade at its highest level since the beginning of June.

Gold’s reaction to the Barcelona events is likely to last and may continue today. The combination of heightened risk in the global geopolitical sphere is likely to support both gold and silver, pushing them through recent resistance. A weekly close above $1,300 per ounce will be very positive for gold and should see a rapid move to test the $1,400 level.

Gold and silver outperforming stocks

After losses earlier in the week, gold and silver have come right back and are now up 0.55% and 0.64% respectively. This is very positive as profit taking was to be expected after last weeks strong gains.

Gold and silver have consistently remained in the top-performing assets throughout the year and are beginning to outperform stocks.

In the year to date, gold is up nearly 13% whilst silver has climbed over 7.5%. The benchmark S&P500 is up 8.6% after weakness last week and this.

Both precious metals have performed well thanks to safe haven demand, much of which has been driven by very strong demand in India, China and Asia and ETF-demand in Europe.

Palladium at 16 year highs today; gold and silver in coming months

Palladium is up over 36% in the year-to-date and is the best performing commodity and market this year.

Palladium in USD – 20 Years (Macrotrends.net)

Consumption of the rare industrial precious metal is expected to hit 10.8 million ounces this year, an all-time high. Demand from the automotive industry, the biggest buyer of the metal, is up 4% this year.

Click here to read full story on GoldCore.com

Important Guides

For your perusal, below are our most popular guides in 2017:

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Switzerland

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore

Essential Guide to Tax Free Gold Sovereigns (UK)

Please share our research with family, friends and colleagues who you think would benefit from being informed by it.

[KR1111] Keiser Report: ‘Silver lining’ of US mortality rates

17-Aug-2017

Up for discussion in this episode is ‘the silver lining’ of the shocking increase in US mortality rates – reduced pension costs for corporations, increased profits for shareholders. At least this is the upside, according to the financial press. Max also interviews Stephen Baldwin about their plans for The Great American Pilgrimage as they cross America in an RV looking to meet the people overlooked by mainstream television media. By the end of the pilgrimage, they hope to have had a whole lot of fun and a little bit of enlightenment.

Must See Charts – Gold Hedges USD Devaluation, Rise in Oil, Food and Cost of Living Since “Tricky Dicky”

17-Aug-2017

– Gold hedges massive ongoing devaluation of U.S. Dollar
– 46th anniversary of ‘Tricky Dicky’ ending Gold Standard (see video)
– Savings destroyed by currency creation and now negative interest rates
– Long-term inflation figures show gold a hedge against rising cost of fuel, food and cost of living
– $20 food and beverages basket of 1971 cost $120.17 in 2017
– Household items increased by average of 2000% and oil by 5,373% since 1913
– Gold gained 5,669% since 1913; by nearly 3,000% since 1971
– Dollar has been reserve currency of world in the period and most other currencies have seen greater devaluation
– Evidence of gold’s role as inflation and currency devaluation hedge

 Editor: Mark O’Byrne

US dollar Purchasing Power As measured By Gold’
Source: Goldchartsrus

You don’t need ‘Tricky Trump’ to devalue the dollar, it’s been doing that since 1913 and ‘Tricky Dicky’ in 1971

In 2015 President Donald Trump made headlines when he told a town hall event in Atkinson, New Hampshire about how his father had once given him a ‘small loan of a million dollars.’

Outcry swept around the media who asked how much the future President was really in touch with the common voter.

Whilst Trump’s reference to ‘small’ was in relation to the (apparent) size of the empire he subsequently built he may as well have been referring to the value of a million dollars now and how small it is compared to in 1975 when he was lent the money.

$1 million dollars was a lot of currency in 1975. Today it will barely buy you a nice house in a nice city.

Using today’s CPI data Trump Sr’s $1 million loan would today be equivalent to $4.4 million. The purchasing power of a 1975 US dollar has fallen by over 400%. It has fallen a lot more since 1971.

In this week 46 years ago on August 15 1971, President Nixon announced the U.S. Dollar would completely cut ties with sound money gold (see video below).

Without gold backing and gold as a monetary anchor, we can now see just how much the purchasing power of the consumer dollar has declined since 1971.

You can see an even better example of the dollar’s collapse in purchasing power when measured in gold ounces (see charts above).

Prices climb by over 2000% since 1913 and creation of the Fed

‘[Since 1913] the general public and policymakers have focused almost constantly on inflation; they have feared it, bemoaned it, sought it, and even tried to whip it.’ Bureau of Labour Statistics 

In 1970, after many decades of dollar devaluation, Herbert W. Armstrong quoted the Labor Department’s figures for how much $5 would have purchased in 1913:

Click here to read full story on GoldCore.com

Important Guides

For your perusal, below are our most popular guides in 2017:

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Switzerland

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore

Essential Guide to Tax Free Gold Sovereigns (UK)

Please share our research with family, friends and colleagues who you think would benefit from being informed by it.

[KR1110] Keiser Report: Trend reversals

16-Aug-2017

Max & Stacy discuss Obamacare death spirals and towns left to die post-trade deals. In the second half, Max continues his interview with Gerald Celente of TrendsResearch.com about paradigm shifts: from cryptocurrencies to electric cars.

ps – sorry, I didn’t know that this had stayed in draft mode! thought I had published it yesterday. – Stacy

World’s Largest Hedge Fund Bridgewater Buys $68 Million of Gold ETF

16-Aug-2017

– World’s largest hedge fund Bridgewater buys $68 million of gold ETF in Q2
– Investors poured $870 million into SPDR Gold in Q2

– Billionaire Paulson keeps 4.36 million shares in SPDR Gold
– “Risks are now rising and do not appear appropriately priced in” – warns Dalio on Linkedin
– Investors should avoid ETFs and paper gold and own physical gold
– Given negative interest rates, companies should consider allocating some of corporate deposits to physical gold as done by Munich Re

From Bloomberg:

Hedge-fund managers including billionaire John Paulson are being rewarded as investor worries over everything from uneven economic data to U.S.-North Korean tensions fuel a rally in bullion.

At the end of June, Paulson & Co. owned 4.36 million shares of SPDR Gold Shares, a U.S. government filing showed Monday. That’s unchanged from the three months through March. Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, added the ETF to its portfolio in the quarter, with the purchase of 577,264 shares valued at $68.1 million, a regulatory filing showed Aug. 10. Templeton Global Advisors Ltd. boosted its stake in Barrick Gold Corp.

Click here to read full story on Goldcore.com

Important Guides

For your perusal, below are our most popular guides in 2017:

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Switzerland

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore

Essential Guide to Tax Free Gold Sovereigns (UK)

Please share our research with family, friends and colleagues who you think would benefit from being informed by it.

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