Economics

Economics
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Updated: 4 hours 39 min ago

Buy Gold Urges Dalio on Linkedin – “Militaristic Leaders Playing Chicken Risks Hellacious War”

15-Aug-2017

– Don’t let “traditional biases” stop you from diversifying into gold – Dalio on Linkedin
– “Risks are now rising and do not appear appropriately priced in” warns founder of world’s largest hedge fund
– Geo-political risk from North Korea & “risk of hellacious war”
– Risk that U.S. debt ceiling not raised; technical US default
– Safe haven gold likely to benefit by more than dollar, treasuries
– Investors should allocate at least 5% to 10% of assets to gold
– “If you don’t have 5-10% of your assets in gold as a hedge, we’d suggest that you relook at this”
– “If you do have an excellent analysis of why you shouldn’t have such an allocation to gold, we’d appreciate you sharing it with us …”

Image courtesy of Quotefancy


by Ray Dalio via Linkedin

There are returns, and there are risks. We think of them individually, and then we combine them into a portfolio.

We think of returns and opportunities as coming from those things we’d bet on, and we think of risks as the adverse market consequences of us being wrong due to our being out of balance. We start with our balanced beta portfolio—i.e., that portfolio that would most certainly fund our intended uses of the money.

Everyone should have their own based on their own projected uses of money, though more generally, it’s our All Weather portfolio.

We then create a balanced portfolio of opportunity/alpha bets based on what we think is likely to happen. We then combine them.

We bet on the events/outcomes that we think we have an edge in understanding. For events/outcomes where we don’t think we have a particular edge—e.g., political events—we aim to construct our portfolio to be relatively neutral or balanced to those risks.

Risk and Volatility

As a rule, periods of lower risk/volatility tend to lead to periods of greater risk/volatility. That is reflected in our aggregate market volatility gauge (see below), and markets are pricing in volatility to remain low next year too.

As a related rule, people adapt to the circumstances they have experienced and are then surprised when the future is different than the past.

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.

Are We Already in Recession?

15-Aug-2017

How shocked would you be if it was announced that the U.S. had just entered a recession, that is, a period in which gross domestic product (GDP) declines (when adjusted for inflation) for two or more quarters?

Would you really be surprised to discover that the eight-year long “recovery,” the weakest on record, had finally rolled over into recession?

Anyone with even a passing acquaintance with the statistical pulse of the real-world economy knows the numbers are softening.

— Auto/light truck sales: either down or off a cliff, depending on how much lipstick has been applied to the pig.

— Restaurant/dining sales: down.

— Tax receipts: down.

— Retail sales: flat, stagnant or down, depending on the sector and if the numbers have been adjusted for inflation/loss of purchasing power.

— Rents in high-rent regions: finally softening after years of relentless increases.

— Consumer debt: hitting new highs.

— Corporate profits: stripped of gimmickry, stagnant or down.

Those who study recessions know that employment often tops out just before the economy rolls over into recession. Strong employment is the last gasp of an expansionary phase.

There are several fundamental reasons why we might be in a recession that manages to avoid the official definition. The starting place is the artificial nature of the eight-year long “recovery” since 2009; in the view of many observers, the economy never really exited the 2008-09 recession.

Those in this camp look at fundamentals, not the stock market, which has been held up as a proxy for the real economy, when in fact it is only a proxy for financialization and official selection of the market as the (easily manipulated) signifier of economic vitality and prosperity.

Recessions are supposed to clear the financial deadwood–failed enterprises are liquidated, borrowers who are in default are bankrupted, and bad debt is wiped off the books via the acceptance of losses.

The story of the “recovery” 2009-2017 is that these clear-the-deadwood dynamics were suppressed. Rather than accept painful losses, the authorities saved bankrupt banks and encouraged a Zombie Economy in which zombie borrowers and enterprises are kept alive via low-cost loans and the masking of default via financial trickery: student loans that are non-performing, for example, aren’t labeled “in default;” they’re placed in a zombie category of forgiveness without actual writedowns of the debt.

If households can no longer afford to pay interest on new debt, the “solution” in a Zombie Economy is to offer them 0% loans. If corporations need to roll over debt, the Zombie Economy “solution” is the companies sell near-zero yield bonds to credulous investors.

If households can no longer afford to buy homes, the Zombie Economy “solution” is for federal agencies such as FHA to offer near-zero down payment mortgages and guarantee private lenders against any loss.

When these agencies get into trouble due to the horrendous costs of encouraging uncreditworthy borrowers to take on debt they can’t afford, the “solution” is for the taxpayers to fund yet another $100 billion bail-out.

The stark reality is fulltime jobs, productivity and profits are all subpar. As I have noted many times, wages for the bottom 95% have gone nowhere since 2000 when adjusted for inflation. Households can no longer afford more debt unless it’s at near-zero rates of interest.

Fulltime employment–the bedrock of consumer spending and borrowing–has barely moved in eight years. Part-time waiters can’t afford to buy homes or new vehicles.

Wealth and income can only be generated in the real world by increases in productivity. Unfortunately for the “recovery” narrative, productivity is tanking.

Corporate profits are also going nowhere.

In essence, the “recovery” economy is a zombie economy living on great gulps of new debt that it can’t service. As sales, profits and tax receipts weaken, eventually employment weakens, too, as employers trim costs by cutting positions, hours worked, etc.

Eventually, zombie borrowers give up trying to service unpayable debts, zombie companies close their doors, and the illusion of “growth” collapses in a heap of corrupted numbers and false signifiers.

The “recovery” game will shift to massaging GDP so it ekes out .1% “growth” every quarter until Doomsday. The Zombie Economy can be kept alive indefinitely–look at Japan–but it not a healthy or vibrant or equality-opportunity economy; it is a sick-unto-death economy of fake narratives (growth is permanent) and fake statistics (we’ve revised previous numbers so that, surprise, GDP is still positive.)

If we stop counting zombies, we’re already in recession. 

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.

How Medicine May Harness the Power of Gold to Fight Cancer

14-Aug-2017

– Gold has yet another purpose and may help fight cancer
– Gold increases effectiveness of drugs used to treat cancer cells by acting as catalyst – research shows
– Use of gold in technology and health growing each year
– Tech use to increase- number of patent applications in 2017 grew
– Industrial applications such as solar and bio-metrics reduce availability of above ground supply and gold for investment
– Another string to the bow of gold and potential impact on sentiment towards gold and on the gold price
– ‘Could gold finally have a purpose?’ bizarre headline ignores gold’s 2,500 plus year history as a means of exchange, money and a store of value

Source: Pinterest

Editor: Mark O’Byrne

Real, scientific evidence has been popping up for a while now which suggests the precious metal can make some major contributions to the world of science and medicine.

As a fan of Goldschläger I have long been convinced of the health benefits of gold and just last week a research team at Edinburgh University announced results that showed gold nanoparticles could increase the effectiveness of drugs used to treat lung cancer cells.

This latest announcement from the field of science is one of many which have been cropping up outside of the investment space, from medicine to solar panels to space technology, gold is making significant strides when it comes to its place outside of the financial world.

In the last quarter, gold used in technology rose 2% y-o-y, according to the World Gold Council. This was mainly thanks to a growth in demand for bonding wire, Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) and LEDs.

It is not surprising that gold has a place beyond money. Due to it high conductivity, chemical stability and compatibility with other elements it is an ideal candidate in many applications.

As technology and research improves the number of use cases for gold is growing each year. This is beneficial for those who are investing in physical gold bullion.

Demand for gold’s physical properties in science takes it out of circulation and increases the demand for physical gold thereby reducing the availability for investment purposes.

Below, we take a quick look at some of the use cases of gold and explain why this is good news for the gold market.

Gold compounds

Scientific research into the health benefits of gold has been going on for some time. But, as we have seen with other alternative treatments …

Click here to continue reading

The Disruptive Effects of Fintech in the Insurance Industry

14-Aug-2017

Insurance and FinTech have largely remained on opposite sides of the spectrum, until recently. Financial technology companies paid scant attention to the insurance industry, preferring to focus on peer to peer lending, Forex, and payments. That trend is changing. FinTech and insurance have merged to become known as Instech, or Insurtech. Many investors are now plowing funds into this industry, seeking to capitalize on untapped markets.

Entrepreneurs already see the opportunity inherent in the insurance industry – a multi-billion-dollar enterprise around the world. Insurance is attracting FinTech investors in their droves. According to CB Insights’ Mathew Wong, the FinTech industry continues to attract scores of entrepreneurs from various fields, and they see the benefit of tapping into the insurance sector. Consider that in 2014, Instech attracted $740 million worth of funding, and that rose sharply to $2.7 billion by 2015. The next year, 2016, showed tremendous growth potential and these trends continue. Early-stage investments are seeing strong levels of interest among entrepreneurs, and this is accelerating as the insurance industry and FinTech pool their talents.

Entrepreneurs are investing heavily in all types of insurance. This includes accidental death, life policies, funeral plans, travel insurance, homeowner’s insurance, automobile insurance etc. Conventional insurance companies have been behind the eight ball in terms of effectively utilizing technology to distribute their products and services to a large global audience. FinTech is filling the void. It is also working alongside large insurance corporations to provide them with detailed analytics for underwriting purposes. Insurance premiums vary widely from one provider to the next. The insurance giants are quickly adapting their services to reach customers more efficiently and effectively via mobile technology, and online communication media.

Perhaps the most important area of FinTech development is found in blockchain technology. This is the structural framework upon which all cryptocurrency trading takes place – Bitcoin, Ether, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Dash etc. In the United States, the health insurance FinTech boom is particularly bullish. Broadband Internet has facilitated rapid growth in FinTech technology, and the Internet of things is making data collection from a myriad of devices (smartphones, tablets, phablets, smart wearable technology etc.) possible.

Fintech & Insurance in South Africa

An innovative new solution to FinTech and insurance recently launched in South Africa. This new Insurtech company is already making waves. The South African insurance industry is robust and highly profitable. However, it is also ready for the disruptive effects of FinTech technology. The chief executive officer of the company – Anthony Miller – has teamed up with Shaun Dippnall and Simon Nicholson (both actuaries) to provide insurance to households earning less than R30,000 ($2,200) per month. Every year, the South African life insurance market writes an estimated R10 billion in premiums (2014 figures).

According to Miller, a third of South Africans have funeral cover and some 40% of them have multiple insurance policies. On the flip side, just 6% of SA citizens have life coverage, with an even smaller number having disability insurance. The problem according to the Insurtech company is that traditional insurance policies are aggressively collecting on their premiums, and too many South African households have no life insurance at all. This means that when the primary breadwinner passes, families are left to fend for themselves with little or no support.

A stunning 50% of South Africans are in debt and this is a complicating factor in people who are seeking life insurance coverage. The inability of traditional insurance giants to provide cutting-edge FinTech services to the clients is their Achilles’ heel. The approximate cost of R100,000 life coverage is R92 per month, ($7), and the registration process is quick and easy to complete. Since FinTech is geared towards mobile functionality, the new startups are going after South Africans on their mobile phones. Land-based Internet services are few and far between in South Africa, but mobile Internet is huge. This FinTech startups has already sold 2,500 insurance policies with over R1.1 billion in life cover alone.

[KR1109] Keiser Report: Geopolitics & Cryptocurrencies

13-Aug-2017

In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max and Stacy discuss the electric car boom driving a resource boom in Australia . . . and the biggest mines are now being acquired by Chinese companies. In the second half, Max interviews Gerald Celente of TrendsResearch.com about paradigm shifts: from cryptocurrencies to electric cars.

What the Mainstream Doesn’t Get about Bitcoin

12-Aug-2017

I’ve been writing about cryptocurrencies and bitcoin for many years. For example: Could Bitcoin Become a Global Reserve Currency? (November 7, 2013)

I am an interested observer, not an expert. As an observer, it seems to me that the mainstream–media, financial punditry, etc.–as a generality don’t really grasp the dynamics driving bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies.

What the mainstream does get is speculative frenzy. New technologies tend to spark speculative manias once the adoption rate exceeds the Pareto Distribution’s critical threshold of 4%, and opportunities to buy into the new technology become available to the general public.

Just as radio and the Internet sparked speculative manias in their boost phase, cryptocurrencies have sparked their own speculative frenzy.

Where the mainstream goes wrong is assuming that’s all there is to bitcoin: a speculative mania. The Establishment often dismisses transformative technologies as fads or gimmicks; thus the infamous rejection of photocopy technology as only of interest to a dozen large corporations, personal computers belittled as being of limited utility (storing kitchen recipes), and so on.

New transformative technologies develop in an unpredictable fashion, and early-phase critics and prognosticators often end up looking foolish on both ends of the spectrum: by dismissing the transformative potential of the new technology (Paul Krugman’s famous obituary for the Internet in the late 1990s) or by making fantastic claims that exceed the reach of the current technology.

The mainstream also misses the core driver of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies: the current financial system is doomed, and some other arrangements will emerge. Those who get on board alternative arrangements early will likely preserve more of their wealth than those who believe the current system is permanent, and some may earn great wealth as capital flees the sinking ship of central banking/credit for more secure climes.

The inevitable collapse of the fully financialized exploitive Empire of Debt is verboten in the mainstream, for obvious reasons. The herd is already restless, as it intuits the present faux “prosperity” is fragile, and so the mainstream’s job, as it were, is to maintain the delusion that the exploitive Empire of Debt is permanent and the only possible financial system.

The herd also intuits that an Elite that lies when it gets serious cannot be trusted. As all the internal contradictions and excesses of the present financial system weaken its foundations, financial and political Elites must obfuscate, lie and manipulate via gamed statistics, false narratives and media spin lest the increasing instability panic the unsettled herd.

The third dynamic the mainstream misses is the potential role of bitcoin in preserving the wealth of the very Elites who best understand the weaknesses of the present financial system. A number of very smart people assure me the U.S. government can (and will) shut down bitcoin overnight by restricting or outlawing exchanges’ access to the banking systems’ payment platforms that enable people to exchange bitcoin/ fiat currencies.

My response is this question: what will best serve the interests of the wealthy and super-wealthy? If this sucker’s going down, to quote former President G.W. Bush, those with wealth and political power are not going to allow regulators to seal an escape hatch that might serve their goal of wealth preservation.

The current interest of hedge funds and other managers of wealth in bitcoin suggests this is precisely how bitcoin is being perceived. This interest will only increase as the seams of the current financial system start unraveling.

If bitcoin is perceived as a threat to Elite wealth preservation, the Elites will deploy their political power to suppress bitcoin. But I consider this unlikely, for a reason rich in irony: bitcoin’s independence from the fiat/central bank credit system that has enriched the few at the top of the pyramid at the expense of everyone else is the very reason it offers more stability than the doomed-to-devaluation credit-bubble currencies.

Given bitcoin’s tiny share of global wealth, how much of a threat can it pose to the super-wealthy elites?

I suspect the big wealth managers are only beginning to get interested in bitcoin; the Early Adopters tend to be small players with larger appetites for risk than the institutional players.

I’ve marked up a chart of bitcoin to suggest there may be a fractal pattern in play: notice the previous two periods of volatile upswings and downdrafts. The 30+% swings appeared monstrous at the time, but looking back, they look more like blips.

What will the current dramatic run-up, sharp decline and new high above $3,400 look like from the heights of $10,000?

As I have said before, the real demand for bitcoin will not be known until a global financial crisis guts confidence in central banks and politicized capital controls. Only then will we know for sure how the financial and political Elites will view bitcoin: as a threat to their wealth or as a lifeboat with precious few seats.

Of interest:

Projecting the Price of Bitcoin June 2, 2017

The Path to $10,000 Bitcoin January 11, 2017

An Everyman’s Guide To Understanding Cryptocurrencies June 13, 2016

Understanding the Cryptocurrency Boom (and its Volatility) June 30, 2017

Why Don’t the U.S. Dollar and Bitcoin Drop to Their Tangible Value, i.e. Zero? January 9, 2017

Where Will All the Money Go When All Three Market Bubbles Pop? October 13, 2016 

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 Up 2%, Silver 5% In Week – Gundlach, Gartman and Dalio Positive On Gold

11-Aug-2017

Gold Up 2.3%, Silver 5.3% In Week – Gundlach, Gartman and Dalio Positive On Gold

– Gold is up 2.3% this week and silver has surged nearly 5.3% as stocks sell off on geopolitical risk
– Billionaire fund managers and commodities experts increasingly positive on gold
– Risks are rising, and everybody should put 5% to 10% of their assets in gold – Dalio
– Dalio’s Bridgewater, world’s largest hedge fund, warned clients that geopolitical risks are rising
– ‘Gold is about break out on the upside strongly’ – commodities expert Gartman
– Gartman believes right now investors should have 10% to 15% allocation to gold
– “The stock market looks a little vulnerable. The geopolitical circumstances are getting worse and worse” – Gartman
– Run up in gold prices is far from over due to economic risks – Gartman
– Gold’s chart has ‘one of the most bullish’ patterns – Billionaire bond guru Gundlach
– Gold up 6.3% and silver 8.2% in 30 days and look on verge of major move higher

Market Performance – One Week (Finviz)



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.

“Great Disaster” Looms as Technology Disrupts White Collar Workers

10-Aug-2017

David McWilliams: Great Disaster Looms as Technology Disrupts White Collar Workers

– Every era, every century, every generation has its massive technological disruption
– Taxi drivers being “disrupted” by technology of Uber
– History shows how “middle men” frequently made redundant
– Skill set of many professionals today can be replicated by machines and technology
– Technology may make lawyers, accountants, architects and doctors redundant
– We risk “cannabalising ourselves” with internet and emerging technologies

Jean-Luc Picard “assimilated” by the Borg in Star Trek

Looking out to sea at the huge winter waves crashing upon the Cape Town shore, it’s hard to imagine what the first local tribesman thought when he saw, in the distance, Vasco De Gama’s tiny Portuguese ship sail round the Cape of Good Hope, heading out towards the Indian Ocean in search of profit.

You wonder what went through the local’s mind? Could he have imagined the calamity that was soon to befall his people and most of the peoples of Africa?

Once the Portuguese had opened up the passage to India via the Atlantic, the old Silk Roads, the commercial superhighways of the medieval ages from China to Istanbul, were gradually downgraded in global commerce. Economically, the Earth shifted on its axis from Asia to the Atlantic. This was the great disruption.

It took a while, but the commercial earthquake triggered by the Portuguese heading around Africa in 1497 and sailing triumphantly into the port of Calcutta in India is impossible to understate. So much changed, from slavery to mass manufacturing, from the conversion of England’s peasants to proletarian workers and, more traumatically, the mass expropriation of native lands, stemmed from the commercial imperative to trade as much stuff as possible in as many countries as possible.

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.

Powerlessness and Consumerism

9-Aug-2017

There is perhaps no better metric of class in America than personal power–what is known as agency: the power to influence or transform one’s circumstances in a a self-directed manner. Those with agency have power, those without agency (or very limited agency) are essentially powerless.

The more capital you have, the greater your power to influence or change your circumstances. The less capital one has, the less power one has to influence the world around us. This is why money equals power: cash enables the purchase of all sorts of extensions of agency: transport, education, assistance, expertise and so on.

But cash isn’t the only form of capital that can be drawn upon to generate agency: credit is almost as good as cash, if one can borrow the money at near-zero rates of interest. The intellectual/social capital implicit in entrepreneurial agency is not financial, but it empowers those who possess it in ways that cash or credit alone cannot.

If we add these tangible and intangible forms of capital up, we get a taxonomy of agency/power: those with little capital or credit, and little intellectual/social capital to draw upon for agency are powerless in an economy and society where everything has a price and everything is for sale to the highest bidder.

Those with financial capital, access to low-cost credit and reserves of intellectual/social capital that can be transformed into entrepreneurial agency have economic agency.

This taxonomy explains why those who are financially impoverished but rich in entrepreneurial values, skills and social connections are not powerless, despite being poor. For those with economic agency, opportunities abound–especially in new fields that have not yet been locked down by monopolies, such as blockchain technologies.

This taxonomy helps explain why so much of the middle class is a few paychecks away from dropping out of the middle class: those with access to credit enabled by paid work, but little reserves of the sort of intellectual/social capital required to tap the opportunities in the emerging economy, find their agency vanishes once they lose their job and the access to credit it enabled.

The difficulty many now face is the skills that were once a form of valuable intellectual capital have been depreciated by software/AI, automation and globalization’s vast labor pool. The market value of any one particular skill is contingent and thus vulnerable to technological advances or changes in the supply and demand of that skill.

The entrepreneurial/social forms of capital that I describe in my book Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy are broader and more flexible; these are the higher-level forms of capital that enable an individual to learn a new skill and develop a new set of connections (social capital) as circumstances change.

Individuals with little economic or political agency are offered one default form of agency: consumerism. If one has enough cash or credit to become a customer, this agency of consumption is experienced as a form of power, even if the sum available to spend is small.

This is one of the attractions of dollar stores; the low prices enable those with little money to experience the agency of consumption: $5 enables the consumer to select five items to buy, and this power to choose is like an oasis of agency in a desert of economic and political powerlessness.

Even $1 is enough to become a customer, which in a consumer-based economy manifests a specific commercial-transaction type of power: the clerk must endeavor to meet the customer’s requests and treat every customer with a respect they might not receive outside a consumer-customer setting.

No wonder consuming/buying is so intoxicating/addictive: it is a readily accessible manifestation of agency in an economy in which true economic agency is scarce. Experiencing one’s relative powerlessness is intrinsically debilitating, and so we naturally seek some experience of agency, however modest and fleeting.

The downside of consumerism is two-fold: consuming as a manifestation of agency is inherently superficial; the “high” of selecting and buying stuff is fleeting, and the churn of consumption–one must constantly be shopping and buying to maintain the sense of agency–reduces the capital available to pursue true economic agency.

The other downside is this superficial and fleeting consumerist agency fuels a landfill economy in which low-quality goods are purchased on credit for the brief “high” and then discarded in the landfill shortly thereafter, freeing up space for the purchase of more stuff: Our Landfill Economy.

Eventually, individuals with little real economic agency run out of credit, and their ability to consume more collapses. The “solution” to this inevitable decline in creditworthiness is 0% financing and similar financial gimmickry that extends and pretends the illusion of endless credit-based consumption.

Meanwhile, the planet is being stripmined to fabricate and transport all the stuff that’s purchased and dumped in the Landfill Economy.

Consumerism is a simulacrum of real economic agency. It’s a psychological balm for political and economic powerlessness, but it is no substitute for the ownership of capital that enables true economic agency.

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.

[KR1107] Keiser Report: Trumponomics

9-Aug-2017

In this episode of the Keiser Report Max and Stacy discuss the coming sequel to the global financial crisis and the bond bubble warnings from Alan Greenspan. In the second half Max interviews Dr. Michael Hudson about Trumponomics, anti-trust, repeat banking offenders and his father’s proverbs.

Gold Sees Safe Haven Gains On Trump “Fire and Fury” Threat

9-Aug-2017

– Gold climbs amid rising risk on US and North Korea
– Trump threatened North Korea with ‘fire and fury like the world has never seen’ 
– North Korea says prepared to strike the US territory of Guam
– North Korea said US exercise ‘proves that the U.S. imperialists are nuclear war maniacs’
– Heated rhetoric likely to support gold for rest of the week
– Russia and China poised to take advantage 
– Situation adds to uncertainty in an already uncertain world

Gold provides certainty as US and North Korea go head-to-head

Just a few months ago President Trump offered an olive branch of sorts to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. In a series of interviews Trump referred to Kim as a ‘pretty smart cookie’ and one who he would be ‘honoured’ to meet.

Shortly after Kim Jong Un seemingly batted the olive branch away when he issued the following statement through state media, ‘… the most perfect weapon systems in the world will never become the eternal exclusive property of the U.S. … the U.S. should not … disregard or misjudge the reality that its mainland and Pacific operation region are in (North Korea’s) sighting range for strike.”

Now, less than two months later, we sit here with our morning coffees wondering if the world is on the brink of nuclear war.

Trump’s olive branch is now a massive red hot poker which continues to poke the proverbial bear.

“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States.  They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

“He has been very threatening beyond a normal statement.  And, as I said, they will be met with fire, fury, and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.”

Technologically advanced

The latest war of words comes on the back of a heated few days between the two countries.

On Saturday the UN announced fresh sanctions on North Korea. On Monday the US released pictures of a bilateral strategic exercise around Guam.

North Korea’s state media said North Korea would retaliate and make “the US pay a price” for drafting the new measures.

In the past the world has been reassured that North Korea’s bark is far worse than its bite due to the lack of technology which allowed the regime to build dangerous missiles.

This is unfortunately no longer the case.

A report by the Washington Post, which cited US intelligence officials, suggested North Korea is developing nuclear weapons capable of hitting the US at a much faster rate than expected.

North Korea seems keen to prove this as soon as possible:

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.

Silver Mining Production Plummets 27% At Top Four Silver Miners

8-Aug-2017

Silver Mining Production Plummets 27% At Top Four Silver Miners

by SRSRocco Report

In an interesting change of events, production at four of the top primary silver miners plummeted during the second quarter of 2017.

This goes well beyond normal fluctuations in mining companies production figures during different quarterly reporting periods. The company with the least percentage decline in silver production still suffered a 20% reduction of mine supply in the second quarter.

According to recently released company data, silver production declined between 20-34% from these four primary silver miners during the second quarter. The company that suffered the biggest decline in silver production was Hecla at -34%, followed by Endeavour Silver at -26%, Silver Standard at -24% and First Majestic with a decrease of 20% (see table above).

Total silver production from these four primary silver miners fell 27%, from 11 million oz (Moz) during Q2 2016, to 8 Moz Q2 2017. We can see the breakdown in the chart below:

The second largest percentage decline in silver production was from Endeavour Silver. Production at Endeavour Silver fell from 1.6 Moz in the second quarter of 2016 to 1.1 Moz in Q2 2017. This 26% decline in silver mine supply was blamed on several factors:

Reduction in capital and exploration expenditures in the beginning of 2016 due to lower silver prices, but the company has increased spending once again in the second half of 2016
narrowing veins, falling ore grades and less ore processing due to a reduced capital expenditures in the beginning of 2016
less access to mine areas as pump failures due to power overloading caused flooding in some portions of the mines
This huge decline in silver production at Endeavour Silver, plus falling earnings, impacted its stock price which fell 16% in one day after the news.

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.

[KR1106] Keiser Report: Bitcoin Drama

6-Aug-2017

In this final episode of the Keiser Report from Freedom Fest in Las Vegas, Max and Stacy encounter Peter Schiff in the halls of the convention center and challenge him on bitcoin. Max continues his interview with bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem to discuss the latest drama and innovation in the cryptocurrency space.

Gold Outperforming Stocks YTD As Dollar Has 5th Monthly Decline

4-Aug-2017

– Gold consolidates on 2.5% gain in July as the dollar has fifth monthly decline
– Trump administration and vicious “civil war” politics casting shadow over America and impacting dollar
– All eyes on non farm payrolls today for further signs of  weakness in U.S. economy
– Gold recovers from 1.7% decline in June as dollar falls
– Gold outperforms stocks and benchmark S&P 500 YTD
– Gold gains 10.8% versus 10.6% gain for S&P – led by frothy tech sector (see performance table)
– Gold outperforms stocks globally – Euro Stoxx 50 up 5.7% ytd, FTSE up 4.8% and Nikkei up 4.5%
– Gold’s technicals increasingly positive; now trading above its 50-day & 200-day moving averages & looks set to target $1,300 again

Gold held steady today in Asian and European trading and was flat for the week, consolidating near the $1,270 per ounce level and the 2.5% gain seen in July.

It remains close to a seven-week high hit this week, as the dollar remains weak and vulnerable near multi-month lows after five consecutive  months of declines.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major peers, is languishing near 15-month lows hit earlier this week.

“All eyes” are again on the monthly U.S. nonfarm payrolls data due today amid continuing very high levels of U.S. and global political uncertainty.

Traders awaiting July’s employment repor for clues about the health of the U.S. economy after recent data highlighted risks to the downside. This is underlining how difficult it will be for the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates – even from these historically low levels in the current range between 1% and 1.25%.

The complete mess that is the Trump administration and U.S. politics was underlined again this week.

Robert Mueller, the U.S. Special Counsel, has convened a grand jury investigation in Washington to examine allegations of Russian interference in last year’s contentious election and has started issuing subpoenas, according to sources familiar with the situation said on yesterday.

The dollar looks very vulnerable to further falls. Trump and the Republicans have seen repeated failures. These include overhauling healthcare. Now there is multiple congressional and federal investigations into President Donald Trump’s campaign.

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.

[KR1105] Keiser Report: Mergers & Monopolies

4-Aug-2017

Holding the show at Freedom Fest in Las Vegas, Max and Stacy discuss mergers, monopolies and antitrust.
Max interviews early bitcoin adopter Charlie Shrem about the state of play in the bitcoin market. This interview took place a week before the hard fork.

Why We’re So Risk-Averse: “We Can’t Take That Chance”

3-Aug-2017

You’ve probably noticed how risk-averse Hollywood has become: the big summer movies are all extensions of existing franchises–mixing up the superheroes in new combinations, or remaking hit films from the past–all safe bets.

The trend to “playing it safe” is not limited to Hollywood:–we see risk aversion in every sphere of the economy and society.

The unfailingly stimulating Ben Hunt of the Epsilon Theory newsletter has been highlighting the connection between super-easy-money financial policy and the avoidance of risk that’s so apparent in Corporate America: rather than take a chance that an investment in new technology, worker productivity etc. will increase sales and profit margins, corporations are borrowing super-cheap money and using this “nearly free money” to buy back their own shares in the stock market. ( Gradually and Then Suddenly).

This reduction of outstanding shares boosts sales and profits per share, creating higher earnings per share without actually boosting sales or profits.

Hunt’s point is that easy-money policies actually reduce the incentives to take risks to improve productivity/ profitability, and this ends up crippling our economy, as growth and productivity require taking on some risk. No risk-taking = no productivity gains and thus no gains in wealth, prosperity, social mobility, etc.

I agree with Hunt’s description of the perverse incentives created by easy-money policies, but I don’t think that’s the only driver of risk aversion, or even the primary driver.

We see this pervasive avoidance of risk in other areas as well–for example, in what college students are choosing as majors and what policy makers at the highest levels (the Federal Reserve, for example) are saying, in word and deed, “We Can’t Take That Chance.”

In the case of the Fed, the Fed is saying “We Can’t Take the Chance” that a recession would be positive, i.e. that a normal business-credit-cycle recession would do its intended job: clear out the deadwood of defaulted loans and eliminate marginal borrowers, lenders and enterprises.

This clearing of deadwood then sets the stage for healthy expansion of credit and business.

The Fed is clearly fearful that even a mild recession will cascade into something much worse–and something beyond their control.

This gives us some insight into the dynamics of risk avoidance: when we’re confident that we can handle whatever comes our way, then we’re free to take a risk on something that could yield long-lasting, important gains.

In other words, if we’re confident we can handle the downside of a risk not paying off, then we’re able to accept some risks as the necessary means of reaping major gains.

But if we’re afraid that any loss might collapse our world, then “We Can’t Take the Chance.”

Put another way–if our faith in the future and our resilience is near-zero, then we can’t take any chances. We are restricted to taking only the safest path, even if it means foregoing all the really big gains that are reserved for those willing to accept some risk.

This is an enormously important dynamic, for it hollows out the entire society and economy, one “we can’t take any chances” at a time.

One of points in this essay on Survivorship Bias is that “luck” is not just a matter of belief or some sort of magic: those who feel lucky are confident enough to absorb a wide range of contexts and opportunities. They don’t cross off most of a list, they scan it with an open mind. The lucky are lucky because they don’t arbitrarily narrow the opportunities they happen upon out of fear, i.e. we can’t take any chances.

It’s the confidence of the lucky that’s lacking in risk avoidance, and the terrible irony is avoidance of risk is also avoidance of opportunity.

There’s one more irony at work in this dynamic: as systemic risk of collapse rises, participants intuitively shun risk and start “playing it safe.” But since risk is now systemic, risk avoidance by enterprises and households won’t lower the risk of the whole rickety financial system giving way.

Rather, each individual decision of “we can’t take the chance” further weakens the economy’s resilience to financial disruption by removing the gains that are only possible by taking on risk.

Few (if any) mainstream economic pundits seem to grasp this dynamic.

 

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Gold Coins and Bars See Demand Rise of 11% in H2, 2017

3-Aug-2017

– Gold coins, bars see demand rise of 11% in H2, 2017 to 532 tonnes according to WGC Gold Demand Trends
– Gold investment demand strong in China, India & Turkey
– Demand in Turkey surges on double digit inflation
– Total gold demand declines in Q2 on slower U.S. ETF inflows
– Gold held in ETFs in Europe reached all time high of 978t
– U.S. ETF inflows slowed from last year’s record
– Central banks continue to buy – 94t of declared purchases
– Turkey joined Kazakhstan & Russia in buying gold
– Well balanced market: ETF inflows continue and jewellery, technology and bar & coin demand up
– Important to note this is all official, transparent and recorded demand. There is demand and flows of gold that cannot be and are not recorded – especially into the Middle East, India, Russia and of course China

Key findings included in the Gold Demand Trends Q2 2017 report are as follows:

  • Overall demand was 953t, a fall of 10% compared with 1,056t in Q2 2016
  • Total consumer demand rose by 9% to 722t, from 660t in the same period last year
  • Total investment demand (ETFs) fell 34% to 297t compared with 450t in Q2 2016
  • Gold coins and bars rebounded 13% in H1
  • Global jewellery demand grew 8% to 481t, from 447t in the same period last year
  • Central bank demand climbed 20% to 94t compared with 78t in Q2 2016
  • Demand in the technology sector increased 2% to 81t compared with 80t in Q2 2016
  • Total supply was down 8% to 1,066t, from 1,160t in the same period last year
  • Recycling fell 18% to 280t compared with 343t in Q2 2016

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.

Greenspan Warns Moving Into “Stagflation Not Seen Since the 1970s”

2-Aug-2017

– Former Fed Chairman warns of bond bubble, stagflation
– “Moving into a … stagflation not seen since the 1970s”
– This will not be “good for asset prices”
– 10 Yr Gov bond yields fell from 15.8% in 1981 to 2.3%
– Interest rates will not stay low, will rise ‘reasonably fast’
– “Normal” interest rates in 4%-5% range
– Inflation will not stay at historically low levels
– Gold “protects savings” and is “store of value”
– Gold is the “ultimate insurance policy” says Greenspan


Editor: Mark O’Byrne

Greenspan warns of Bond Bubble

‘We are experiencing a bubble, not in stock prices but in bond prices. This is not discounted in the marketplace.’

There are a lot of warnings on Bloomberg, CNBC and other financial media these days about a bubble in the stock market, particularly in FANG stocks and the tech sector.

But former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan is not in agreement. He is continuing his message of the last two years, that there is a bond bubble and which is more dangerous than what is going on in the stock market.

He is not the only one, in recent months there has been a growing number of those who are concerned that real bond yields in the U.S., UK, EU and elsewhere are well below where growth and inflation rates seem to suggest they should be.

They correctly warn that it is only a matter of time before the inflationary pressures (that we are feeling) hit the bond market.

Stagflation on the horizon

Greenspan’s warning this week comes a little over a year after he last warned us that we were currently in the worst period he has seen since he began public service, including the financial crisis.

Things are so bad, he said that he wished he could “find something positive to say.”

At the time he pointed towards the problem of ‘entitlements’ (welfare / warfare spending of the ‘welfare warfare state’). Something, he argued, is uneconomic and unsustainable. The main reason for its lack of sustainability is the low growth rates developed countries around the world are experiencing (around 2%).

Now, this lack of growth is prompting calls of concern from Greenspan regarding stagflation:

“We’ve been in a period of stagnation since 2008 as a consequence of the sharp decline of capital investment and productivity growth… We are moving into a different phase of the economy — to a stagflation not seen since the 1970s. That is not good for asset prices.”


Felder Report via ZeroHedge

Asset prices obviously include the bond market, and this is where Mr Greenspan believes we should focus our concerns. Thanks to the unsustainable levels of low interest rates. Something which he has expressed concern about before.

Worried about interest rates

“By any measure, real long-term interest rates are much too low and therefore unsustainable, the former Federal Reserve chairman, 91, said in this latest interview.

“When they move higher they are likely to move reasonably fast. We are experiencing a bubble, not in stock prices but in bond prices. This is not discounted in the marketplace.”

Two years ago Greenspan told Bloomberg that the bond market price-to-earnings ratio was in an ‘extraordinary position’ and that interest rates sitting below 4% was not normal.

“We have pressed the interest rates well below normal for a protracted period of time and the danger is they will come up to back up to where they have always been…There are two possibilities. Either we move slowly back to normal, or we do it in a fairly aggressive manner. History tells us it’s the latter which tends to be more prevalent than the former,” Greenspan said, the market impact, therefore, will be “not good.”

Yields on the US 10-year Treasury note have been below 4% since the summer of 2008 (see chart below).

 

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.

[KR1104] Keiser Report: Distant American Dream

2-Aug-2017

From Freedom Fest in Las Vegas, Max and Stacy discuss the American Dream being more attainable in Mexico and China than in the USA. Max interviews Riccardo Spagni, aka Fluffy Pony, about Monero, privacy, infinite coins and ‘dark markets’.

6 Key Questions about RussiaGate

1-Aug-2017

The claims that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. election are now known as RussiaGate, in a loose reference to the Watergate scandal of the early 1970s.

In the U.S., the issue has been poisoned by profound partisanship: those who feel disenfranchised by the election of Donald Trump are trying to use RussiaGate to unseat or cripple the Trump presidency, while those who elected Trump feel RussiaGate is nothing but an attempt by the corrupt status quo to disenfranchise them.

Let’s see if we can clarify the issues with some key questions.

1. Did Russia meddle in the 2016 U.S. election? This is the entire thing in a nutshell. But this raises a second question: did Russia successfully meddle in the 2016 U.S. election? In other words, we have two investigations: one to identify verifiable, legally actionable evidence of meddling, and a second investigation into the effects of any meddling–should evidence arise that would stand up in court.

2. What federal laws or statutes were broken? This is a serious charge, and the first step in any investigation is to nail down precisely what federal laws were broken? The next step is to assemble evidence for the criminal activity that will stand up in court.

3. What standard of evidence/proof is required in a federal court to convict the accused? Is intent a necessary component of the laws that were broken? Whatprecisely constitutes burden of proof? It isn’t enough to accuse persons unknown of wrong-doing: the precise laws that were broken must be identified and the case against specific individuals must be built on verifiable evidence that will stand up in federal court.

Recall that this is not about partisan talking points–it’s about justice. Those who reckon justice counts for nothing in this investigation disqualify themselves. If justice no longer matters in America, there is no America left to defend.

4. If incontrovertible evidence of Russian meddling arose in 2016, why did the federal agencies under the Obama administration (Department of Justice, F.B.I., etc.) do nothing? While we can cook up various theories, the common-sense conclusion is 1. no federal laws were broken and/or 2) there was insufficient evidence that would stand up in court.

5. Precisely what meddling occurred? Somebody meeting with a Russian does not constitute proof of anything. rather, this is the classic witch-hunt accusation of the McCarthyite “Red Scare” of the 1950s–guilt by association: you were seen conversing with a Communist, thus you must also be a Communist–or at a minimum, you are tainted by association and thus under a cloud of suspicion that can never be cleared because no accusation of guilt in a court of law is ever made.

Guilt by association is insidious because it can’t be cleared in court. Those accused of guilt by association are not innocent until proven guilty–they are guilty until proven innocent, a proof that can never satisfy the accusers.

A precisely defined chain of verifiable actions is required to prove meddling beyond reasonable doubt. So date, all the accusations have failed to meet this most fundamental standard of evidence of wrong-doing.

As for the claim that “all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concur that blah-blah blah”– Where precisely is the evidence? If there is no verifiable evidence and no chain of events that can be substantiated with hard evidence that will stand up in federal court, then all we really have is accusations of guilt by association, i.e. a witch-hunt.

6. What evidence supports the claim that Russian meddling actually influenced the election? The claim that Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee emails has fallen apart for lack of evidence; it now seems clear that the hack was an inside-the-DNC whistleblowing incident.

As for the claim that Russian meddling negatively impacted the campaign of Hillary Clinton: the most damaging bits were all verifiably accurate in the public record:

— The Podesta emails were in fact Podesta emails.

— The video of candidate Clinton apparently collapsing on the curb was not fabricated; it was a video recorded by an amateur bystander.

— Reports of pay-to-play and other unsavory activities within the Clinton Foundation predate the election by years.

— Candidate Clinton’s comments on “deplorables” were her own words.

Again, standards of evidence and proof of guilt of federal crimes require a precise chain of events and actions for which there is evidence that will stand up in federal court, , i.e. evidence that will persuade a jury or federal judge and that can withstand cross-examination and the inquiries of experts hired by the defense.

Given the absolute paucity of actionable, verifiable evidence to date, RussiaGate is so far nothing but a series of unsupported accusations of guilt by association, i.e. a witch-hunt. This is why some in the mainstream media have characterized the whole thing as a “nothing-burger.”

Compare RussiaGate to Watergate. Watergate was always about compiling evidence of activities that violated federal laws. People who broke federal laws were identified, evidence was compiled and presented in a court of law where the accused were able to defend themselves against an indictment presented by federal prosecutors. Some were acquitted, many were convicted, others plea-bargained a conviction with a reduced sentence.

Those making accusations in RussiaGate must now put up or shut up: either present the evidence that supports federal indictments, or confess to the pursuit of a witch hunt, i.e. unsubstantiated accusations of guilt by association. Anything less than the presentation of actionable evidence that leads to indictments and convictions is not justice–it’s just another witch-hunt that besmirches everyone who participates in the witch-hunt. 

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.

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