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Updated: 4 hours 38 min ago

India Gold Imports Surge – First Half 2017 Higher Than All 2016


– India gold imports in H1, 2017 greater than all of 2016
– India imported 521 tonnes of gold in first half of 2017
– H1 figure for gold imports $22.2 Bln versus $23 Bln in all ’16
– Gold demand was up 15% year- on-year in the first quarter
– June gold imports climbed to an estimated 75 tonnes from 22.7 tonnes a year ago
– Annual total set to surpass 900 tons, strongest year since ’12
– “I trust gold more than the currencies of countries” – 63% of Indians in Survey

Editor: Mark O’Byrne

Gold imports into India have surged in the last six months thanks to festivals, economic recovery and concerns over a new tax regime and the push for the cashless society in India.

Imports totalled 521 tonnes in the first half of this year, compared to just 510 tonnes in all of 2016.

Should buying levels continue then India could end 2017 having imported over 900 tonnes, a level not seen since 2012.

These figures are impressive given where the country’s gold demand was at the end of the 2016. The low figure of just 510 tonnes imported in the entire year was mainly thanks to a range of political and economic issues which had a more negative role than anyone foresaw.

Many of those issues are now resolved, but some had lingering effects. Some good, some bad. So it is with tentative celebration that we look at this boost in gold demand from the world’s second-largest lover of gold and ask how the country has begun to favour gold once again and if it will continue at pace. Read full story here…

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.

[KR1095] Keiser Report: Trump’s Wall & Avocado Prices


Once again from Mexico City, Max and Stacy discuss credit binges and banking unions. In the second half Max interviews professor and journalist, John Mill Ackerman, about NAFTA, Trump’s stupid wall, the pitiful minimum wage in Mexico and the high cost of an avocado.

What’s the Safest Investment in Troubled Times?


What’s the safest investment as the global economy enters increasingly risky, troubled times? I’ve reviewed hundreds of academic papers, investment reports and newsletters and researched long-term strategies and backtests and reached one conclusion.

I won’t keep you in suspense: it’s bat guano (or seabird guano if you can’t get the bat stuff). Yes, bat doo-doo is the safest single investment on the planet.

OK, so I didn’t do a lot of fancy research because that would have been a waste of time.If the era we’re entering is fundamentally unlike the previous eras, then studying past investment results and strategies will generate dangerously misleading conclusions.

Here’s the thinking that leads to bat guano being the number one Safest Investment.

1. The safest investment must have permanent, substantial demand supporting the bid. People need to eat, and nowadays that means having access to high-quality, organic fertilizers like bat and seabird guano.

No matter what happens in the global economy, people will still need to eat and they will need fertilizer to grow enough food to avoid mass starvation. People will trade oil, gold, whatever they have of value for food, and while everybody knows about fresh water, good soil and oil to run the tractors and delivery vehicles, the essential role of wide-spectrum fertilizers is often unappreciated.

2. There can’t be super-cheap substitutes that are extracted/manufactured everywhere. You can get the various components of fertilizer from other sources, but bat/seabird guano is an excellent source of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potash (Potassium), the essential N-P-K of fertilizers.

The sources for P and K are not all that abundant. In my view, there are no readily available dirt-cheap substitutes for bat guano.

3. An investment that can be gutted by financial rules changing overnight is not safe. If there’s one thing we know about real financial crises, it’s that the rules will change overnight, and keep on changing.

You thought the money in your bank account was yours? Silly you! The rules changed and the bank bailed-in your dough–at the behest of your wunnerful government.

You thought your retirement funds were safe? Silly you! The rules changed overnight and “for your own safety” (heh) your retirement funds were invested in negative interest rate government bonds.

Want to sell your stock ETFs before the market falls any further? Silly you! The market is closed until things stabilize.

And so on. Now the government can expropriate your bat guano along with all your other wealth, but being a physical asset, it isn’t all that cheap or easy for the government to control what happens to your bat guano–especially if it’s overseas.

What the government loves is financial assets that must flow through chokepoints the government can control–like banking. These assets are very easy to expropriate/tax/control.

This is why governments fear bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, and why they want to corral cryptocurrencies into the banking system where they can control it all and change the rules with a few keystrokes.

But the governments of the world face a problem when it comes to bitcoin et al.–they aren’t centralized like all the other financial assets. The government can track that you bought bitcoin (BTC) with some of your dollars, but once you distribute your BTC into a handful of encrypted thumb-drives (USB memory sticks), they can’t keep track of your BTC.

If they demand to know where you BTC are, you report that you lost them, as they were on a thumb-drive that fell out of your pocket. Bad luck, and all that.

Meanwhile, you slip the handful of USB drives into packages of books, artwork, etc. for delivery to trusted folks overseas. This movement of assets is impossible to track, as it flows through vast pipes of physical commerce with tens of thousands of nodes (local post offices, UPS and FedEX offices and vehicles, etc.)

Maybe an enterprising government will scan every letter, package and box, or require the shippers to perform the scan, and such scans could certainly detect gold doubloons in a package, but a USB drive? It’s small and mostly plastic.

And even if some super-duper scan could detect a thumb drive, what’s the state going to do, open every package with a USB drive and attempt to break the drive’s encryption? That is non-trivial, and some believe (based on various leaks) that even the NSA can’t break pretty good encryption–and it certainly can’t check thousands of thumb drives to see if they might have some bitcoin in their innards.

Searching for bitcoin on thumb drives in tens of thousands of letters and packages is a lot more difficult and costly than announcing a bank bail-in or imposing a wealth tax on all those scoundrels with more than $10,000 in their retirement accounts. (Yes, you’re obviously too rich for your own good, and we’re fixing that tomorrow–the rules change tonight.)

4. An asset valued by virtue of a crowded trade is not safe. Right now, to take one example of many, the consensus is that inflation is not just dormant but essentially impossible in a deflationary world. As a result, the consensus is anticipating not just low interest rates and bond yields, but declining rates and yields should the global economy cool off/slow.

That’s a very crowded trade. Crowded trades aren’t safe, because when every punter is on the same side of the boat, the boat is destabilized. It doesn’t take much to tip the boat over. Also, Mr. Market usually doesn’t reward everyone in a crowded trade for long.

Here’s a crowded trade: all that super-safe Treasury debt. The gummit/central bank can’t go broke because it can always print more currency. That’s the acme of safety, or so we’re told. Nobody mentions that the gummit/central bank can also debauch its currency in the process of maintaining the illusion of solvency:

It doesn’t seem that bat guano qualifies as a crowded trade, at least not yet.

So go ahead and laugh, but the owners of caves loaded with bat guano and islands covered in seabird guano might have the last laugh.


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“Silver’s Plunge Is Nearing Completion”


– Silver’s plunge is nearing completion – Bloomberg analyst
– Silver’s 10% sharp fall in seconds remains “mystery”
– Plunge despite anemic global supply and strong demand
– Total silver supply declined in ’16 – lowest level since ’13
– Silver mine production down in ’16, first time in 14 years
– Total silver supply decreased by 32.6 Mln Ozs in 2016
– Supply deficit in 2016- fourth consecutive year (see table)
– “Falling knife” caution but opportunity presenting itself

Silver has had a torrid time of late with a the “flash crash” seeing a massive $450 million silver futures sell order pushing silver 10% lower in seconds and follow through selling later Friday after the better than expected U.S. jobs number.

The electronic futures silver and gold exchanges continue to ‘wag the dog’ of the global silver and gold markets … for now.

If one had just looked at the short-term trends of silver at the end of 2016, you would have thought we would be mad to predict that 2017 would be a bearish year.

At the time it appeared as though silver was in a new bull market and in the early months of 2017 the price climbed by around 9%. But since April silver has handed back its gains and some and it is now down 3% for the year.

This has been counter intuitive to gold and silver investors alike who are looking at an economy filled with macroeconomic, geopolitical and indeed monetary uncertainty and central banks who appear increasingly fallible as the months go on.

Some were left wondering how much lower silver could go when last Wednesday it fell through the important $16 level for the first time in 2017.

In addition, the silver price weakness was given an extra push two days later when it collapsed by 10% in a matter of seconds. The reasons why this happened are still unknown, if it was a mistake then no-one is owning up to it and if it was a result of a desire to shift off $450 million worth of silver futures in minute then we will never know.

But their might be a (silver-powered) light at the end of the tunnel. Some silver market and industry experts are forecasting the silver plunge to be coming to an end. Read full story here….

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.

China, Russia Alliance Deepens Against American Overstretch


– China and Russia allied on Syria and North Korea
– Beijing & Moscow economic & monetary ties deepen
– Trump needs Russia in order to maintain balance of power in superpower triumvirate
– Sino-Russian relations currently in their “best time in history” says Chinese President ahead of G20

– China, Russia call for calm diplomacy on Syria, Korea
– China, Russia “fed up with Washington’s pursuit of hegemony”
– US is “biggest source of global strategic risks” according to China state media
– Important calm and diplomacy prevails to prevent nuclear war

‘Trump and Putin meet for the first time and the handshake wasn’t what you expected!’ read the headline on my in-flight entertainment newsfeed, on Friday afternoon.

I’m not sure what the Mirror website thought I was expecting the handshake between the US and Russian leader to be like, but by all accounts it was a relatively normal handshake given it was no doubt the most important diplomatic meeting of 2017.

The handshake between the US and Russian Presidents was always going to be newsworthy, no matter who was in power but not since the Cold War have the stakes been so high in a meeting between the two leaders.

The meeting was scheduled for 30 minutes, but went on for more than 2 hours. Both men continuously praising one another. One of the outcomes of the meeting was an announcement by Trump that the two countries would work together on cybersecurity.

This prompted much derision from senior politicians, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said: “It’s not the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard, but it’s pretty close.”

The decision to work with Russia was described as a ‘significant’ accomplishment’ by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Then, in classic Trump-style, the US president backtracked on the proposal to work with Russia tweeting “The fact that President Putin and I discussed a cybersecurity unit doesn’t mean I think it can happen. It can’t.”

This move by Trump is not uncommon. He has seemingly flip-flopped since his election campaign on working alongside or against the world’s two other superpowers, Russia and China. When it comes to Russia, Trump’s less-than-slick management of his special White House advisory team has meant that the US President has not got far with Putin.

Last week a UN report stated that nationalism, protectionism and attitudes of “my country first” posed threats to the United Nation’s global goals. It seems that now more than ever Trump must get relations with the super powers, onto an even keel.

Trump is aware that the US has similar issues with Russia and that it must get Putin on side to a degree or at least neutral in order to confront the more powerful China. The US needs to work with President Xi Jinping on globally important matters such as North Korea. But there are elephants in the room which also must be confronted, namely currency manipulation, trade, climate change and deepening tensions in the South China Sea.

Read full story here…

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.

[KR1094] Keiser Report: Trump’s Agenda


In this episode of the Keiser Report from Mexico City, Max & Stacy discuss the Democrats lobbying for Trump’s agenda. In the second half, Max interviews economist and journalist Guillermo Barba about Bitcoin, gold, and the Mexican economy.

Our Political Parties Are Obsolete


History informs us that once something is obsolete, it can disappear far faster than anyone expected. While we generally think of obsoleted technologies vanishing, social and political systems can become obsolete as well.

Should a poor soul who entered a deep coma a year ago awaken today, we must forgive his/her astonishment at the political wreckage left by the 2016 election. The Democratic Party, a mere year ago an absurdly over-funded machine confident in an easy victory in the presidential race, is now a complete shambles: its leadership in free-fall, its Fat-Cat donors disgusted, and its demented intoxication with pinning collaboration with Russia on the Trump camp eroding whatever feeble legacy legitimacy it still holds. What the party stands for is a mystery, as its Elites are clearly beholden to insiders, special interests and Corporate donors while glorifying the worst excesses of globalism and the National Security State’s endless war on civil liberties.

The newly awakened citizen would also marvel at the chaotic war zone of the Republican Party, in which the Insider Warlords are battling insurgent Outsiders, while the same Elites that fund the Democratic machine are wondering what they’re buying with their millions of dollars in contributions, for it’s unclear what the Republican Party stands for: it’s for Small Government, except when it’s for Bigger Government, which is 95% of the time; it’s for more law enforcement and the militarization of local police, and more intrusion into the lives of the citizenry; it’s for stricter standards for welfare, except for Corporate Welfare; it’s for tax reform, except the thousands of pages of give-aways, loopholes and tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations all remain untouched, and so on: a smelly tangle of special interests masked by a few sprays of PR air freshener to the millions left behind by the globalization that has so enriched Corporate America and the class of financier-owners, bankers, insiders and technocrats–the same group that funds and controls both political parties.

Political parties arose to consolidate centralized control of the central state.We have now reached the perfection of this teleology: the political elites and the financial elites are now one class. In our pay-to-play “democracy,” only the votes of wealth and institutional power count.

As I have often noted here, the returns on centralization are diminishing to less than zero. The initial returns on centralizing capital, production and social-political power were robust, but now the centralized cartel-state is eating its own tail, masking its financial bankruptcy by borrowing from the future, and cloaking its political bankruptcy behind the crumbling facades of the legacy parties.

Now that technology has enabled decentralized currency, markets and governance, the centralized political parties are obsolete. They are the political equivalent of buggy whips, and those holding tight to the fantasy that their current dissolution will magically be transformed into unity by some future leadership will be disappointed.

The fragmentation of the political parties is not temporary–it is permanent. As I discussed yesterday, political and social fragmentation are the consequence of economic fragmentation–these are self-reinforcing dynamics, as fragmentation in one feeds fragmentation in the others.

Those who have gotten rich inside the bloated machinery of the parties will never accept their era has ended. The dreams of private jets and millions of dollars in contributions die hard. But the voters and donors are both waking up to the cold reality that the parties are nothing but wealth distribution machines that sluice millions from financial elites to various political elites.

All the legacy claims of both parties ring false; neither party gives a hoot about the working class, small business or civil liberties. Their entire game plan is to whip up hot-button social issues to distract a fragmented citizenry and arouse last-gasp emotional loyalty to empty slogans.

Is it any wonder that people are abandoning both parties and claiming Independent status? All the core systems of the nation are failing, visibly, painfully, badly, and yet all the parties can dredge up is more of the same and TINA–there is no alternative.

The citizen who just awakened also awakened to the truth: the legacy parties have no solutions; their game plan is to milk the system as long as they can before it collapses in a rotten heap of corruption, fraud, collusion, debt and profiteering that benefits the few at the expense of the many.

When the parties do finally implode, the general mood will be: good riddance.A centralized spoils system is no longer a viable way to govern the nation. Political systems everywhere are facing a choice: Decentralize or die. 

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

Silver Prices Bounce Higher After Futures Manipulated 7% Lower In Minute


– Silver prices ‘flash crash’ before rebound
– Silver hammered 7% lower in less than minute in Asian trading
– Silver fell from $16 to $14.82, before recovering to $15.89
– Silver plunge blamed on another ‘trading error’
– Gold similar ‘flash crash’ last week and similar recovery
– Hallmarks of market manipulation as $450 million worth of silver futures sold in minute
– Trading ‘errors’ always push gold and silver lower. Why never higher?
– ‘Flash crashes’ increasingly frequent in precious metals, yet rarely happen in stocks and bonds
– Rapid recovery from frequent raids bodes well for precious metals
– Silver coins and bars accumulated on dips by ‘stackers’

Silver prices got a bit of a jolt this morning  when spot silver had yet another so called ‘flash crash’ and fell by between 7% and 10% before recovering and bouncing sharply higher to not far below where the attack on the price began.

In a repeat of what happened to gold last week, a bout of massive selling hammered silver prices lower momentarily. Having hit an early session high of $16.18/oz, the spot silver price fell from $16 to as $14.82 in less than a minute. The price recovered as quickly as it crashed, rebounding to $15.89/oz.

Source: Thomson Reuters via Business Insider

This isn’t the first so called ‘flash crash’ silver has seen in the last month. It fell in tandem with gold’s 1% ‘crash’ on June 26th, by 1.3%. Prices did not rebound as quickly, silver has declined by nearly 3.7% between then and July 6th.

Yesterday silver appeared to be on the road to recovery having climbed 0.5%.

Many analysts are calling the flash crash a ‘trading error’ or fat finger.’ However, this is somewhat lazy and ignores a few pertinent facts and context.

The aggressive selling had all the hallmarks of market manipulation as $450 million worth of silver futures were sold in a minute. An entity appears to have wanted silver lower and the massive sell order achieved that goal.

This could be due to a hedge fund or institution having a short position. By manipulating prices lower they can liquidate their short positions at much lower prices, making sizable profits.

Read full story here….

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.

Ethereum Might Replace Bitcoin in Blockchain Remittance Industry


Bitcoin was celebrated for its potential to disintermediate banks from settlement in global transactions, but many of the remittance companies in the space depend on these very institutions as partners. In going through the traditional banking system, their ability to lower costs is impeded. Hope for cross-border micro-payments in bitcoin has also dissipated amid the blockchain scaling discussion.

There are about a dozen companies in the world using blockchain as the rails to move money from one country to another. While Bitcoin’s promise to transform the remittance industry resulted in numerous startups, most of the platforms use bitcoin or ether as behind-the-scene rails, still dependent on traditional financial institutions to move the money.

While oftentimes more efficient than traditional options, this model fails to empower consumers in the manner peer-to-peer electronic cash could. While Bitcoin has demonstrated certain quirks when it comes to a cross-border cash platform, few projects have pursued cash-transfer and remittance solutions on Ethereum.

Remittance industry margins are razor thin and volume is the key to success. “This industry is dominated by big banks and large liquidity providers who can sustain volatile markets,” says Lane. “Fintech companies have to work with the banks and even use legacy banking platforms in which money doesn’t actually cross borders.”

The inroads blockchain technology has made into the world of remittance were highlighted last month at the United Nations. The Remittance Technology awards (RemTECH) from June 16-18 during the UN Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development. Five out of 11 companies recognized for their price, speed and partners used blockchain.

“Even though large money transfer companies still don’t see the importance of the breakthroughs of blockchain-based and Bitcoin remittance startups, the RemTECH Judging Panel was impressed by some of the solutions presented by companies like Bitso and Everex, just to name two of them,” Hugo Cuevas-Mogh, Director of the RemTECH Awards told Bitcoin Magazine.

Recognized for “Service Originality” at the event, the Singapore-based Everex was the only Ethereum company nominated, and indeed the only Ethereum company focused on cash-transfer services. Blockchain-based RemTECH award nominees included Bitex, Cashaa, DigitalX and OKLink.

Everex uses Ethereum, blockchain and smart contracts to create programmable applications so individuals in cash-based society can earn public financial reputation and access other financial services. CEO and Founder Alexi Lane isn’t convinced by ‘rebittance’ – the term that has generally referred to the use of bitcoin in cross-border transfers.

“Using bitcoins works in the ‘onramp’ country such as US,” explains Mr. Lane, whose company recently opened up its token sale. “The user spends USD, the company buys bitcoin, and sometimes users don’t even know it. Bitcoin is then sent to another country where it’s sold for local currency and local currency is paid to the recipient. It doesn’t work as smoothly the other way around in ‘offramp’ markets where demand for bitcoin is very slow than in onramp countries, such as developed nations, therefore the business is not scaleable.”

While bitcoin-based rebittance is working, Everex doesn’t believe it to be the workable model long-term. “The companies who need liquidity have to sell on exchanges, then do bank wire transfers to off-ramps to, say, ‘Philippines because not enough Filipinos want to buy bitcoin yet,” says Mr. Lane. “Still, ‘rebittance’ generally is definitely a great use case for bitcoin, ether and blockchain.”

Mr. Lane says an issue with using bitcoin is the amount risk companies take on due to bitcoin price volatility. The digital currency must be hedged. “We propose to have a stable coin on the Ethereum blockchain based in smart contract code recognizant of anti-money laundering and Know Your Customer laws, and designed with national currencices in mind,” the CEO notes.

People transact based on national currency over the Ethereum blockchain just like they exchange bitcoin, only without the price uncertainty. “Exchanges happen on cash-in and cash-out much smoother because you’re changing USD to another form of USD, crypto-USD, then selling crypto-USD for, say, crypto-Peso.”

Key to Everex’s vision is its ability to use blockchain technology to collect data about users and transactions so service providers can identify who is eligible for lending, currency exchange and insurance services.

“We are analyzing our user’s financial data in order to offer financial services to them, such as lending, insurance and others,” explains Mr. Lane, who believes the concept of cross-border payments won’t exist in the near future.

“We don’t send e-mail internationally or visit websites through virtual borders,” he says. “It is one seamless experience. This is the future of cross-border payments and its made possible by Ethereum.”

According to the World Bank, transaction fees average 7.45% globally for sending money across borders. In many remittance corridors, they’re even higher. Money from Africa to the U.S. or Europe can cost more than 20%. Fees can also be high in Africa. The World Bank says that to transfer 33,000 Angola Kwanza (approximately $200) from Luanda to Namibia, it costs $50. Remittances altogether worldwide totaled $429 billion in 2016.

Those Bitcoin and blockchain services nominated for their innovations in remittance-technology were AirPocket, Bitso, Everex, Moneytis and Trulioo. Alongside Everex, Bitex, Cashaa, DigitalX and OKLink, as mentioned above, were recognized for their innovations.

Justin O’Connell is a financial technology researcher focusing on blockchain. He founded the companies Gold Silver Bitcoin and Cryptographic Asset, as well as helped to launch the largest Bitcoin ATM software provider in the world. His work has appeared in Bitcoin Magazine, Coin Desk, Crypto Coins News, Hacked, Merry Jane, NASDAQ and VICE. 

[KR1093] Keiser Report: Anarchy Currencies


Max and Stacy are in Mexico City, where they ask whether American childhood has taken an authoritarian turn, as posited by The American Conservative magazine. Max also interviews Jeff Berwick of about crypto currencies, anarcho-capitalism and the Mexican business environment.

Precious Metals Are “Best Defence” Against Bail-ins In Economic Crisis


Precious metals are “real assets” and “best defence” against bail-ins and cashless society in the economic crisis which is “on its way”

The risks posed to investors and savers from the coming economic crisis and the threat of bank bail-ins, negative interest rates, ‘helicopter money,’ capital controls and the “cashless society” has been looked at in an excellent and timely article by economist John Adams, writing in the Daily Telegraph.

While the article is focused on how these risks threaten Australia and Australian investors and savers, the risks outlined are ones which threaten even those with modest amounts of wealth and all exposed to the western financial system.

Read full story here…


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.

We’re Fragmenting Because our Experience of the Economy Is Fragmenting


You’ve probably seen some version of this chart of average household income in America before. (You may have seen charts of median household income as well; here’s an article on the difference between the two methods of measurement: American families are learning the difference between median and mean)

Here’s the data in table format, if you prefer: Household Income Quintiles.

The point is that there is an enormous difference between the average household incomes of the bottom 80% and the top 10%, 5% and 1%. It’s important to separate the various income brackets, as including the top households distorts the average. Here we see the average household income of the bottom 80% of households is around $50,000, while the average income of the top 10% (which includes the wealthy 1% and the super-wealthy .1%) is almost four times greater: $185,000.

You’ve probably seen a version of this chart, too, which shows that the real (inflation adjusted) income of the bottom 90% has gone nowhere for the past 40+ years.

While the mainstream wrings its hands over the political and social fragmentation that is visible everywhere, it ignores the economic fragmentation that’s the source: we’re fragmenting because our experience of our economy and society is fragmenting.

In the good old days of secular growth of everything–energy consumption, wages, profits, employment, government spending, consumer debt, housing construction, business investment and consumer spending–people in every economic class shared a common experience that the financial future of their household was improving.

The economic pie was expanding, and everyone’s slice was getting bigger–some more than others, of course, but there was enough trickling down to expand almost everyone’s share of the economy.

That is no longer true. Those in the top 5% live in an entirely different economy than the bottom 80%. If we combine the higher incomes with the rising wealth of the top slice of households, we get an even starker picture of fragmentation.

Those in the bottom 50% live in a different economy than those between 80% and 90%–households that are holding their own–and those in the top 10% that are seeing their income and wealth advance.

The top 5% and above live in a different economy than those between 80% and 95%, as they are seeing their wealth and income rise sharply, even spectacularly if they own the “right” assets and income streams.

Those with gold-plated healthcare insurance live in a completely different world than those with huge deductibles. Those on Medicaid live in a more secure world than those with marginal private-sector coverage.

Households with two secure incomes have a completely different experience of the economy than those with insecure incomes that fluctuate from year to year.

Those who own their homes free and clear have a different reality from those struggling to pay massive mortgages and property taxes.

Those enjoying ample pensions from their federal, state and county/city employment live in a different world than those scraping by on Social Security.

We live in an economy of haves and have-nots, and the ladder between those earning $2,000 a month and those earning $20,000 a month has very few rungs. The pie is shrinking for the vast majority of households, nibbled away by inflation (supposedly near-zero), higher deductibles, fees, taxes, fines, interest and on and on.

The technocrat and capital-owning class is delighted with the economy, and can’t understand why everyone isn’t prospering. Their experience of the economy is that’s it’s pretty darn amazing and wonderful.

This class dominates the state, the corporate media, the philanthro-capitalist non-profit sector, and the think-tank and academic sectors (I’m not rich, look at the dust on my BMW, Tesla, etc.). As a result, their cluelessness is the dominant narrative.

Our experience of the economy and of social/financial mobility has fragmented, and social and political fragmentation are the inevitable consequence. 

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

Buy Gold Near $1,200 “As Insurance” – Swiss Bank


– Buy gold near $1,200 “as insurance” – UBS Wealth
– UBS believe investors should take advantage of gold’s first monthly decline
–  “We like the insurance qualities for gold” on uncertainty
– Strong demand, weak output and low dollar to support
– Warning as North Korea tests intercontinental ballistic missile
– Launch of ICBCM is a “new escalation of the threat” and revives geo-political risks
– Syria, Qatar, Saudi, Israel, Iran risks mean Middle East remains powder keg
– Academic research points to gold’s role as a safe haven
– Gold as Safe Haven a must read for investors

Editor: Mark O’Byrne

Buy gold as insurance against Kim’s ‘gift giving’

Yesterday North Korea sent the US a ‘package of gifts’ for Independence Day.

Unsurprisingly the successfully tested and launched intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was not well received. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called the move a “new escalation of the threat” to the U.S. and its allies and that “global action is required to stop a global threat.”

As the US and South Korea began military exercises in response to North Korea’s gift giving ceremony, safe haven assets rose and gold made a small rebound in the face of these escalating geopolitical concerns. Gold tends to rise on various uncertainties – whether financial, economic or geopolitical.

UBS Group AG’s wealth management unit picked up on this and said such uncertainties made a case to buy gold for its insurance qualities as reported by Bloomberg and others.

UBS Group’s comments will not come as a surprise to those who buy gold bullion as they believe in gold for it’s insurance and safe haven qualities. This ‘gut instinct’ and the lessons of history have recently been bolstered by much independent academic research (see below).

Research by academics and independent asset allocation experts  alike is increasingly showing gold’s insurance and safe haven qualities. In this increasingly uncertain world, these qualities are more important than ever.

Gold is insurance against heightened uncertainty – not just US risks

It is often said that the first rule to investing is preservation of capital. For hundreds of years gold has been the insurance of choice which aids with regard this important first rule.

Anecdotal and academic research into asset allocations with gold provides evidence of the metal working to hedge investment risk and to protect capital. For example, 2010 research carried out by Dr Brian Lucey and Dr Baur found “gold is a hedge against stocks on average and a safe haven in extreme stock market conditions.”

Read full story here….

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.

A 4th of July Remembrance: Independence Arises from Self-Reliance


What is visible on July 4th is the overwhelming consumerism of an American holiday: the over-hyped sales campaigns, the overdulgences of the table, and the obligatory displays of fireworks. But beneath this celebratory surface run questions about American identity and the state of grace of the American soul.

There is a darkness in that soul, the poisonous darkness of greed, complacency and hubris. Individualism, it seems, means not the making of one’s own way but the demanding of sacrifices by others to maintain one’s own lifestyle: the sacrifices laid on the next generations to pay our lavish medical and retirement benefits, and the sacrificing of the planet to supply us with cheap energy, particle-board furniture and all the other gimcracks which are piled up in countless garages and storage facilities across the overstuffed suburbs of America.

There is another American soul, a largely forgotten one; that of Emerson, Thoreau and Muir. Emerson’s essay Self-Reliance speaks to a radical individualism: “Insist on yourself; never imitate.”

His vision has been reduced to a callow “do your own thing,” but his individualism is not the type trumpeted by consumerism, of dependence on the state and all the ills of self-absorption. It is both spiritual (Emerson was a Harvard-trained minister, after all) and a state of being.

“Man is not a farmer, a professor or an engineer, but he is all.” To be fluid, capable of metamorphosis, and true to oneself was not an abstract ideal to study in a classroom but a way of living: “We live amid surfaces, and the true art of life is to skate well on them.”

At 68 years of age, Emerson passed this understanding to a 33-year old living in Yosemite Valley, John Muir. Though Emerson’s visit was brief, it clearly affected Muir for the remainder of his life. Here is his account of their time together:

“Yes, the most of my years were spent on the wild side of the continent, invisible, in the forests and mountains. These men were the first to find me and hail me as a brother. First of all, and greatest of all, came Emerson. I was then living in Yosemite Valley as a convenient and grand vestibule of the Sierra from which I could make excursions into the adjacent mountains. I had not much money and was then running a mill that I had built to saw fallen timber for cottages.

When he came into the Valley I heard the hotel people saying with solemn emphasis, “Emerson is here.” I was excited as I had never been excited before, and my heart throbbed as if an angel direct from heaven had alighted on the Sierran rocks. But so great was my awe and reverence, I did not dare to go to him or speak to him. I hovered on the outside of the crowd of people that were pressing forward to be introduced to him and shaking hands with him. Then I heard that in three or four days he was going away, and in the course of sheer desperation I wrote him a note and carried it to his hotel telling him that E1 Capitan and Tissiack demanded him to stay longer.

The next day he inquired for the writer and was directed to the little sawmill. He came to the mill on horseback attended by Mr. Thayer [James Bradley Thayer, a member of Emerson’s party, who, in 1884, published a little volume of reminiscences under the title of A Western Journey with Mr. Emerson] and inquired for me. I stepped out and said, “I am Mr. Muir.” “Then Mr. Muir must have brought his own letter,” said Mr. Thayer and Emerson said, “Why did you not make yourself known last evening? I should have been very glad to have seen you.” Then he dismounted and came into the mill. I had a study attached to the gable of the mill, overhanging the stream, into which I invited him, but it was not easy of access, being reached only by a series of sloping planks roughened by slats like a hen ladder; but he bravely climbed up and I showed him my collection of plants and sketches drawn from the surrounding mountains which seemed to interest him greatly, and he asked many questions, pumping unconscionably.

He came again and again, and I saw him every day while he remained in the valley, and on leaving I was invited to accompany him as far as the Mariposa Grove of Big Trees. I said, “I’ll go, Mr. Emerson, if you will promise to camp with me in the Grove. I’ll build a glorious campfire, and the great brown boles of the giant Sequoias will be most impressively lighted up, and the night will be glorious.” At this he became enthusiastic like a boy, his sweet perennial smile became still deeper and sweeter, and he said, “Yes, yes, we will camp out, camp out”; and so next day we left Yosemite and rode twenty five miles through the Sierra forests, the noblest on the face of the earth, and he kept me talking all the time, but said little himself. The colossal silver firs, Douglas spruce, Libocedrus and sugar pine, the kings and priests of the conifers of the earth, filled him with awe and delight.”

A justly famous Emerson quote speaks to the core of self-reliance and the agency of true independence: “Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.” 

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The Real Cause of the Opioid Epidemic: Scarcity of Jobs and Positive Social Roles


We all know there is a scourge of addiction and premature death plaguing the nation, a scourge that is killing thousands and ruining millions of lives: the deaths resulting from the opioid epidemic (largely the result of “legal” synthetic narcotics) are mounting at an alarming rate:

We also know that the proximate cause of this epidemic is Big Pharma, which promised non-addictive painkillers that lasted for 12 hours but delivered addictive painkillers that did not last 12 hours.

The unsavory truth was reported by the Los Angeles Times last May (2016) in a scathing investigative series: ‘You Want a Description of Hell?’ Oxycontin’s 12-hour problem.

There are plenty of other participants who share responsibility for the public health and law-enforcement disaster: physicians who all too readily passed out prescriptions for powerful synthetic opioids like aspirin; the government agencies that approved the synthetic heroin as “safe” (heh) and paid for their distribution via Medicaid, the Veterans Administration, etc., and the patients who all too willingly accepted the false promises of synthetic opioids.

But what’s missing from the public conversation is the underlying cause of the epidemic: a structural scarcity of paid work and positive social roles for vast swaths of America’s workforce.

We all know what paid work means: jobs. Positive social roles include jobs–supporting oneself and one’s family provides purpose, meaning, identity and a source of pride, all atrributes of positive social roles–but the concept extends beyond work to any role in which the participant feels needed and that offers dignity: this includes volunteer, guardian, mentor, coach, etc., many of which are unpaid.

A significant essay in the March/April issue of Foreign Affairs describes The Dignity Deficit: Reclaiming Americans’ Sense of Purpose (subscription or registration required)

At its core, to be treated with dignity means being considered worthy of respect. Certain situations bring out a clear, conscious sense of our own dignity: when we receive praise or promotions at work, when we see our children succeed, when we see a volunteer effort pay off and change our neighborhood for the better. We feel a sense of dignity when our own lives produce value for ourselves and others. Put simply, to feel dignified, one must be needed by others.

Giving people welfare, cheap prescriptions for opioids and Universal Basic Income (UBI) does not make them feel needed–it makes them feel superfluous and worthless.

The recent decline in male employment in the peak earning years (ages 25-54) is striking: the employment rate for males ages 25-54 has been stairstepping down for 30 years, but it literally fell off a cliff in 2009. Is it coincidental that the opioid epidemic took off around 2010? I don’t think so.

How do you support a consumer economy with stagnant incomes for the bottom 90%, rising basic expenses and crashing employment for males ages 25-54? Answer: you don’t. The males working in two-income families in the top 10% of the work force are doing just fine. It’s the bottom 50% of households that earn a fraction of the top 10% that reflect the decline of paid work for males below the top 20% or so:

The labor force participation rate (percentage of the civilian populace that is in the labor force, i.e. either working or actively seeking employment) has been crashing since 2000.

The participation rate of males has been in structural decine for decades. The entire 30-year boom in employment from 1970 to 2000 bypassed much of the male labor force.

Faced with a scarcity of jobs and social roles that provide the dignity of being needed and productive, people slip into the toxic depths of the opioid epidemic. As I keep saying here, We Need A ‘Third’ Economy, a community economythat provides an abundance of both paid work and positive social roles. I outline such a system in my book A Radically Beneficial World

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[KR1092] Keiser Report: Rationing of Money


We discuss rationing healthcare and investment opportunities. Max continues his interview with economist and columnist Alejandro Nadal about Trump’s economic and geopolitical policies and what they mean for Mexico.

UK House Prices ‘On Brink’ Of Massive 40% Collapse


– UK house prices on brink of massive 40% collapse
– UK  at ‘edge of worst house price collapse since 1990s’
– Two leading economists warn of property crash
– “We are due a significant correction in house prices”
– Brexit and wages failing to keep up with inflation to trigger collapse
– Trend starting in London before fanning out to rest of UK
– UK homeowners unconcerned – 58% expect prices to rise
– Over 1 million mortgages under threat in UK
– Concerns of return of new “negative equity” generation
– Huge denial amid recency bias and endowment bias – emotional attachment to expensive things we buy – especially our homes

– Good news for first time buyers – bad news for UK banks and indebted, vulnerable UK consumers and economy

Editor: Mark O’Byrne

Two leading economics professors have warned that the UK housing market is on the brink of a 40% collapse, echoing the early 1990s property crisis.

“We are due a significant correction in house prices. I think we are beginning to see signs that correction may be starting” Paul Cheshire, a professor of economic geography at the London School of Economics told the Mail on Sunday.

The sharp correction or crash may come about due to two primary factors – Brexit and a fall in real wages as they fail to keep pace with rising inflation.

Despite these warnings following swiftly on the tail of recent poor housing market data, homeowners seem unfazed by what the future might hold, disregarding the parallels that are being drawn between today and the run up to the 1990s property crash. Read full story here….


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. – Where Blockchain powers freelancers


With alternative industry talents changing the terrains of many industries, businesses are now looking for diverse employees to make their mark. To factor in that variety, many corporations are hiring freelance workers to add that touch of innovation to their workforce. While this is welcome good news for freelancers, there is no common platform or a single point of contact for them to engage in regular work activity.

Regarding finding employment, chatting up the client and ensuring that the payment is made, there hasn’t been a centralized system that would help freelancers out. With the inception of blockchain technology, most of the industries are heading towards decentralized platforms. On careful thinking, the problem of lack of centralization in the freelance industry can be compensated by decentralized blockchain networks. This is exactly what is all about – a platform where freelancers and clients connect to get work done. Let’s dive deep into how blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies play a crucial role in this project.

What is

The needs of the freelance industry workforce are simple, they need to be paid, in full, on time, and in every currency including cryptocurrency. This is where, a platform where clients and freelancers meet and have instant access to a payment and investment platform comes in. Set to launch in Q4 of 2017, the site has a wide variety of payment options that span a bunch of fiat currencies to a spread range of cryptocurrencies including the ones provided by OpenLedger. The total commission paid to is up to 12.5%, of which 2.5% is from the contracting client and up to 10% from the freelancer. Using the currency of their choice out of the given options, the customer pays the total amount, including the commission, which is then converted to the digital asset equivalent to USD (bitUSD) of This is then left on a dedicated escrow account until the time of distribution.

How is profitable? is a comprehensive platform that allows different types of projects to be bartered and taken up by freelancers with no hassle. It gives reliable protection to both freelancers and clients, with full administrative services and support available for customers and freelancers alike, curated over for every project and task. Once the freelancer has turned in the submission, they are to send a request for the release of escrow funds; the client will then sign off on the job. Once the customer agrees with the releasing of funds, will then release the funds for payment to the freelancer in the form of USD or JOYY, the token that can be found on OpenLedger DEX and BitShares exchanges as well. Hence the power of crypto-transfers and escrow contributes to the success of the platform.

Future of ‘JOYY’ and its performance

Before the launch of, various asset exchanges would have the offer to list the reputation based JOYY token with a specific amount of tokens, including Ethereum, Waves, NXT, Counterparty, OMNI, NEM, and HEAT. Through buyback and burning of the tokens found in other asset exchanges, the supply of JOYY tokens will decrease and become more scarce in time. Dividends in the form of USD will be distributed to all asset holders. Most of the 12.5 % commission will be utilized for marketing and some other activities of buyback and burning.

All in all the platform looks to disrupt the freelancing industry, and we believe it will surely do sometime shortly.

Gold Up 8% In First Half 2017; Builds On 8.5% Gain In 2016


– Gold up 8% in first half 2017; builds on 8.5% gain in 2016
– U.S. dollar down 6.5% – worst quarter in seven years
– Gold higher in all currencies except Draghi’s euro 

– Gold outperforms bonds; similar gains as stock indices
– S&P 500 and Dax outperform gold marginally
– World stocks (MSCI World) up 10%; gold outperforms Eurostoxx (+6%) & FTSE (+2.3%)

– Silver up 3.7% in first half ; builds on 15% gain in 2016
– Stocks, bonds, property buoyed by stimulus
– Resilience in gold as world struggles to hold confidence
– “If one hasn’t diversified this would be a good time to do that” – Shiller

Editor: Mark O’Byrne

From President Trump taking office, Fed policy tightening to European and UK elections, Brexit rumblings and growing Middle Eastern risks, the first half of 2017 gave witness to a few trends which look set to impact markets in the coming months.

Gold and silver are amongst the best performing assets in 2017, with gains of 8% and 4% respectively and stayed resilient despite poor sentiment.

Demand drivers such as geopolitical uncertainty, a weak dollar and low interest rates continue to provide support for the precious metals as does renewed robust demand in the Middle East,  India and China.

Given 2016 finished with a sell-off in the precious metals, both gold and silver have remained impressively resilient in the face of overwhelmingly bearish sentiment in much of the media and with the retail investing public in the U.S. and most of the western world.

Gold rose in value in all currencies except the euro in which it fell 1.2%. Read full story here…

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.