Tuesday, February 28, 2012

George Osborne: UK has run out of money

“The British Government has run out of money because all the money was spent in the good years,” the Chancellor said. “The money and the investment and the jobs need to come from the private sector.”
Wow, a political leaders speaks the truth.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Unintended Consequences


Gold Bullion or Cash

This is a worthy re-run:


Companies With Mineable Ounces Soundest Investment For Coming Volatility


RBS to Dole Out £400 million In Bonuses Despite Full Year Loss Forecast

I guess we haven't learned anything.


Gasoline Prices Are Not Rising, the Dollar Is Falling

The title of this op-ed is correct, even if some of the details are questionable. 


City of Stockton will suspend bond payments to avoid bankruptcy

Hoping to stave off the ignominy of becoming America's largest city to declare bankruptcy, Stockton officials are planning on suspending $2 million in bond payments and are seeking mediation with the city's creditors.

Deis said Stockton's $20 million budget deficit could double or worse if the city doesn't take dramatic actions. He said Stockton is reeling financially due to severe fiscal miscalculations, including approving generous public employee benefits in the early 1990s and failing to anticipate devastating impacts of the mortgage crisis on city tax coffers.

Deis, who came to Stockton from Sonoma County in 2010, charged that the city effectively created an unsustainable "ponzi scheme" when it approved benefits, including health care for life for city employees with as little as month in service time. As a result, the city manager said, Stockton faces an obligation of as much as $450 million in unfunded retirement costs.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/24/4288696/city-of-stockton-will-suspend.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/24/4288696/city-of-stockton-will-suspend.html#storylink=cpy

Sunday, February 19, 2012

As WTI Passes $105, Guardian Says Iran "Military Action Likely", Would Send Crude Soaring

Please don't insult us preppers and confess you didn't see this coming.  You were warned--multiple times.


Ron Paul - Predictions in Due Time (Original)

Ron Paul got it completely right--10 years ago.  He won't be elected President, because he will be attacked from both liberals and conservatives who wish to maintain the status quo.  Honesty does not pay in politics.


Iran stops oil sales to British and French firms


Look for higher fuel prices going forward.  The US and Euro zone already announced a ban on Iranian oil imports.  So Iran retaliated and banned any exports to these countries.  Glad to see we've evolved as a human race.

James Rickards: Paper, Gold or Chaos?


Obama wants cheaper pennies and nickels

I told you guys to save your nickels.  To those who thought I was bat$hit crazy, tough luck.

There have been times in recent years when a run-up in zinc and copper prices has taken the raw material value of a penny above one cent.

That's the case for a nickel today. Its more expensive metal mix means the raw materials in each are worth almost 6 cents per coin, based on current market prices.
But, but...wait--haven't the recent government data suggest inflation is under control?  Then why on earth are prices of raw materials soaring?

The take away message is that when empires debase their currency, they eventually are literally forced to debase their currency.  This isn't rocket science, folks.  And trust government inflation data at your own peril.



Thursday, February 16, 2012

Steve Mandel Rejoins The Gold Party; World Gold Council Chimes In

'We re-established a position in gold during the quarter. Although we certainly have misgivings about an asset that does not produce cash, it seems very likely that developed market governments will try to inflate away their outsized debt burdens, debasing their currencies in the process. Gold is the “currency” that will likely hold its value as these developed world paper currencies engage in a race to the bottom."

The Grand Game of Perception Management


While You Were Sleeping, Central Banks Flooded The World In Liquidity


Predictions for Gold and Silver


John Embry: Debt saturation ensures much higher gold and silver

This is a long, but must-read from John Embry.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Nigel Farage - Greece Descending into Total Chaos & Violence


Fitzwilson - The Entire Planet’s Financial System is at Stake


Barron - This is Financial Armaggedon, Lehman x 1,000


PIMCO, Texas Teacher Retirement System, Soros Buy GLD; Paulson Sells


Soros Increased Stake in SPDR Gold Trust in Fourth Quarter

In the "Do as I do, not as I say" category, 13F filings reveal George Soros increased his gold holdings last quarter--despite declaring gold was topping last year.  I hope the anti-gold crowd feels stupid.  They may not be stupid--just easily hoodwinked by head fakes.


Meanwhile Gold...


Farage: Globalist Troika Driving Greece Towards Violent Revolution


Russia Dumps Treasurys For 14 Consecutive Months; China Slashes Holdings To Lowest In Over A Year

The Russians and Chinese are dumping US Treasuries.  The financial pundits will declare no one saw this coming.  The next question is what are they buying in lieu of US debt?  I'll give you one guess.


A Better Halftime In America Commercial


India to step up ties with Tehran; unfazed by US sanctions

It appears US allies our thumbing their noise at US trade sanctions against Iran.  After all, everybody wants their oil.


Panel endorses gold, silver commerce


The Federal Reserve's Explicit Goal: Devalue The Dollar 33%


Mortgage Settlement Will Plunge Real Estate Values

All the state Attorney Generals made a deal with the devil, by accepting fines from the robo-signing banks in the mortgage scandal.  The unintended consequence is that home values will continue to decline for years.  Hey, at least California can keep the lights on for a few more months.


Judge Napolitano.How to get fired from Fox Business in under 5 mins


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"Uh, Marriner Eccles: We Have A Problem" - Obama Predicts He Will Breach Debt Ceiling Two Months Before Election

Apparently, Obama's campaign advisers can't add.


Richard Russell - A Bitter Pill to Swallow, Austerity or Inflation


USS Abraham Lincoln in Strait of Hormuz voyage


Bank of Japan Sprays World With Surprising ¥10 Trillion Gift In Valentine's Day Liquidity

This latest round of QE by the Bank of Japan is only bullish for gold.  The markets just don't know it--yet. 


BOJ Unexpectedly Adds Stimulus as It Sets 1% Target for Inflation: Economy

Japan QE's.


Gold Has Humbled Smart Men Before


Monday, February 13, 2012

Asia Buying Gold On Dips - “Empires May Fall, Currencies May Change... Gold Will Always Survive”

The GOP is giving Obama the proverbial noose to hang himself with.  I don't think it's a case of cleverness on the Republican's part.  It's more like self-interest.  Both parties are guilty of drinking in the debt punch bowl.


Europe: We've Done All We Can, Now It's America's Turn To Help

America to the rescue!  Only America is also broke.  That's OK--we have the printing press.

Translation: Hey America, we've done all we can, now it's your turn to sustain the Ponzi. Because if we go, you go.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The New Youth Normal - Your Parents' Basement

If it appears tough out there for young adults, it's because it is.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Ben Bernanke FTMFW Quote Of The Day


Why Is Gasoline Consumption Tanking?

My anecdotal Los Angeles traffic indicator has been signalling economic contraction, as even Friday rush hour traffic is manageable in some normally-snarled sections of LA freeways.  This latest fuel consumption data confirms my suspicions.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Gold Increased In Value In Both Extreme Inflationary and Deflationary Scenarios (1900-2011) - Credit Suisse & LBS Research

Mohamed El-Erian, CEO and co-chief investment officer of bond fund giant PIMCO, said investors should be underweight equities while favoring "selected commodities" such as gold and oil, given the fragile global economy and geopolitical risks.

Over the long term gold will reward investors who own gold as part of a diversified portfolio. Trying to time purchases and market movements is not recommended – especially for inexperienced investors.

The 2012 Yearbook investigates data from 1900 to 2011 and looks at how best to protect against inflation and deflation, and how currency exposure should be steered. The chief findings are that bonds do well in deflation and benefit from currency hedging, and equities are not a perfect inflation hedge, but benefit from international diversification.

The report shows that gold offers a timely inflation hedge and long term holders of gold should expect a positive correlation to inflation – gold is one of only two assets since 1900 to have positive sensitivity to inflation (of 0.26).

Importantly, gold managed to increase its value across both extreme inflationary and deflationary scenarios.

What's lost is the significance of the quote from PIMCO's CEO.  PIMCO is the largest bond fund in the world--that's what they do, invest in bonds.  The fact that El-Erian is now recommending gold as part of a "balanced portfolio" is significant, as bond investors normally shun commodities, and especially gold.  Normally, asset managers "talk their book", promoting whatever they normally sell.  Instead, El-Erian is telling the ugly truth.

Why has PIMCO flipped?  Because bonds get hammered during inflationary periods; it is one of the worst financial assets to hold during inflation.  Despite benign inflation data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which is severely understated via the ubiquitous (and fictitious) Consumer Price Index (CPI) , PIMCO sees an environment of rising inflation and interest rates, both death knells for fixed-income instruments (i.e. bonds).

I've said this before, and I'll say it again:  gold and silver perform well as monetary assets during periods of extreme inflation and deflation.  Some recognize gold as an inflation hedge.  While true, data actually reveals it performs even better in a deflationary environment.  Go figure.

Most people think gold bugs are taking big risks.  From my perspective, it is those who place 100% faith in a paper currency, issued by a bankrupt government, who are taking on risk.  Gold is actually the best hedge in existence in the event of extreme monetary conditions.  It has been for 6,000 years.

Social Fractals and the Corruption of America


U.S. Faces S&P Downgrade Again If No Budget Plan, Chambers Says




Dollar and America on the Road to Ruin


Iran, The Dollar And Financial Warfare


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Gold and Economic Freedom, by Alan Greenspan

Yes, that Greenspan, only this paper was scribed in 1966, before he was appointed Fed Chairman. 

In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its holding illegal, as was done in the case of gold. If everyone decided, for example, to convert all his bank deposits to silver or copper or any other good, and thereafter declined to accept checks as payment for goods, bank deposits would lose their purchasing power and government-created bank credit would be worthless as a claim on goods. The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves.

This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists' tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists' antagonism toward the gold standard.



SEC Allows Some of America's Biggest Wall St. Banks To Continually Flout the Law


David Stockman: Bernanke Resembles ‘Arsonist Lecturing on Fire Prevention’

Bernanke testifying on the budget is about as credible as an arsonist lecturing on fire prevention,” Stockman tells Yahoo.

“They’ve crushed interest rates, they’ve flattened the yield curve, they’ve made financing the deficit almost pain free. When you do that, you totally eviscerate any resolve on Capitol Hill to face down this monster.”
Congress won’t act on cutting the deficit unless it fears the consequences of not acting, Stockman says. “If you’ve got the Fed chairman saying interest rates will be zero through 2014, why is anyone going to worry?”

Bernanke has put the economy at risk, Stockman says. “We have a central bank run by a Keynesian who thinks you can print your way to prosperity. That’s why we’re in such trouble and why the Bernanke Fed is a clear and present danger for any hope of economic recovery.”

Ben "CTRL+P" Bernanke's Open Mouth Is (Still) A Goldbug's Best Friend


Has Derivatives Deleveraging Fueled the Stock Rally?


FBI warns of threat from anti-government extremists

As predicted, Ron Paul supporters will soon be labeled "extremists". 

These extremists, sometimes known as "sovereign citizens," believe they can live outside any type of government authority, FBI agents said at a news conference.

The extremists may refuse to pay taxes, defy government environmental regulations and believe the United States went bankrupt by going off the gold standard.

Routine encounters with police can turn violent "at the drop of a hat," said Stuart McArthur, deputy assistant director in the FBI's counterterrorism division.

Monday, February 6, 2012

From the "Greenspan Put" To The "Bernanke Guarantee"


States seek currencies made of silver and gold

I wonder if the financial elite, government officials, and central bankers will declare that "no one saw this coming."  Maybe they should have been reading this blog for the past 4 years.

"In the event of hyperinflation, depression, or other economic calamity related to the breakdown of the Federal Reserve System ... the State's governmental finances and private economy will be thrown into chaos," said North Carolina Republican Representative Glen Bradley in a currency bill he introduced last year.

Unlike individual communities, which are allowed to create their own currency -- as long as it is easily distinguishable from U.S. dollars -- the Constitution bans states from printing their own paper money or issuing their own currency. But it allows the states to make "gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts."

To the state legislators who are proposing state-issued currencies, that means gold and silver are fair game, said Edwin Vieira, an alternative currency proponent and attorney specializing in Constitutional law. And since gold has grown exponentially more valuable, while the U.S. dollar continues to lose ground, the notion has become increasingly appealing to state lawmakers, he said. 

The state gold rush: Utah became the first state to introduce its own alternative currency when Governor Gary Herbert signed a bill into law last March that recognized gold and silver coins issued by the U.S. Mint as an acceptable form of payment. Under the law, the coins -- which include American Gold and Silver Eagles -- are treated the same as U.S. dollars for tax purposes, eliminating capital gains taxes.

Since the face value of some U.S.-minted gold and silver coins -- like the one-ounce, $50 American Gold Eagle coin -- is so much less than the metal value (one ounce of gold is now worth more than $1,700), the new law allows the coins to be exchanged at their market value, based on weight and fineness.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Ben Bernanke Is Indeed A Gold Bug's Best Friend

Beginning just before 10 am, or the moment Ben's prepared remarks went off embargo, gold and silver have been on a relentless tear (chart 1), with Gold passing $1760/ounce and now just $150 from its all time nominal highs.

A Gold (And Physical Platinum) Bug At The Fed?

"Do as I do, not as I say."


Implied Unemployment Rate Rises To 11.5%, Spread To Propaganda Number Surges To 30 Year High

(because as chart 2 below shows, people are not retiring as the popular propaganda goes: in fact labor participation in those aged 55 and over has been soaring as more and more old people have to work overtime, forget retiring), and you get 159.4 million: that is what the real labor force should be. The BLS reported one? 154.4 million: a tiny 5 million difference.

That using just the BLS denominator in calculating the unemployed rate of 154.4 million, the real unemployment rate actually rose in January to 11.5%. Compare that with the BLS reported decline from 8.5% to 8.3%.

And that is how with a calculator and just one minute of math, one strips away countless hours of BLS propaganda.

Kyle Bass Urges Texas Endowment Fund to Hold Gold Hedge as Assets Shrink

“I’m against selling any of the gold,” Bass said today at a meeting of fund directors in Austin, citing the need for a hedge against mounting risks driven by government deficits in the U.S. and Europe. “As every day goes by, I see deflation in the things you own and inflation in the things you need.”

Charles Tate, chairman of Capital Royalty LP in Houston, and other Utimco trustees echoed the wary outlook held by Bass, citing concern that the Federal Reserve’s plan to keep interest rates low for two years may only delay an economic decline.

The Fed’s governors, led by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, “are scared as they can be of deflation,” said Ardon Moore, president of Lee M. Bass Inc., an energy company in Fort Worth, Texas. “This is a grand experiment and they typically never end well.”

Kyle Bass, a managing partner at Hayman Capital Management LP and a Utimco trustee who isn’t related to Lee Bass, faulted the world’s biggest central banks for expanding the money supply by what he said was $15 trillion during the past five years. In April, he advised the fund on holding gold bars rather than futures contracts.

Record 1.2 Million People Fall Out Of Labor Force In One Month, Labor Force Participation Rate Tumbles To Fresh 30 Year Low

This is the reason why the fictitious unemployment rate appears positive.


Alf Field

Alf Field's targets for Au and Ag are $4500 and $158, respectively--based on Elliott Wave analysis.  Wow.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Doug Casey on Gold

An oldie but goodie from Doug Casey.


Counterfeit Money, Counterfeit Policy


"Supercommittee That Runs America" Urges End To The "Zero Bound", Demands Issuance Of Negative Yield Bonds


Life – and Death Proposition

Recent central bank behavior, including that of the U.S. Fed, provides assurances that short and intermediate yields will not change, and therefore bond prices are not likely threatened on the downside. Still, zero-bound money may kill as opposed to create credit. Developed economies where these low yields reside may suffer accordingly. It may as well, induce inflationary distortions that give a rise to commodities and gold as store of value alternatives when there is little value left in paper. 

Where does credit go when it dies? It goes back to where it came from. It delevers, it slows and inhibits economic growth, and it turns economic theory upside down, ultimately challenging the wisdom of policymakers. We’ll all be making this up as we go along for what may seem like an eternity. A 30-50 year virtuous cycle of credit expansion which has produced outsize paranormal returns for financial assets – bonds, stocks, real estate and commodities alike – is now delevering because of excessive “risk” and the “price” of money at the zero-bound. We are witnessing the death of abundance and the borning of austerity, for what may be a long, long time.
To gold bears:  oops!  What do you think happens to the price of gold when PIMCO, the largest bond fund in the world with $1.3 trillion under management, decides to buy gold?  What about the other institutional investors, like investment banks, hedge funds, pension funds, mutual funds, corporate treasuries, sovereign wealth funds, and central banks?  Or the billions of peasants in Asia accustomed to corrupt governments and crooked bankers with a printing press?  It'll be like trying to fit a pig into a pin hole.  Or yelling "Fire!" in a theater of billions--when there is only one escape exit.

You've been warned--many times.  Good luck to us all.

Mainstream Media Keeps Putting Lipstick on Pig Economy