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Monday, February 17, 2014

$10,000 Gold, $50,000 Gold & The Coming Frightening Chaos

“On the surface it looks like there is deflation on the way. Japan is failing to inflate and China is tightening because of the problems in their banking system and shadow banking system. The EU banking system has also restricted lending....

“This has led to the ECB having reduced its balance sheet substantially. In the US there is now tapering of $20 billion per month. If this continues we will have a deflationary implosion of the world economy. We will have a total collapse of the financial system because the massive debt cannot be repaid in that environment.

Central bankers are aware of this but they seem to either be totally paralyzed or perhaps overconfident in their ability to reflate if necessary. Judging by Japan and Europe, it’s much harder to reflate than these central bankers would imagine.

Printing money at current levels no longer has any effect, and interest rates are already at virtually zero. Governments also know that a deflationary implosion will also lead to a total loss of power and control. This would just usher in anarchy.

So let me again state that money printing is not the solution. Worthless pieces of paper cannot create wealth. Whether central banks print or don’t print wealth, they are doomed because either alternative is catastrophic for the world. They are just a different way of reaching the end game. As Ludwig von Mises said, ‘There is no way of avoiding the final collapse.’

Friday, February 7, 2014

Will There Be Another 2008 Style Crash?

I think there is going to be a point where QE will become ineffective. There will be a point when countries with a more sane approach, like China, stop buying US bonds and instead start selling them. That would lead to higher interest rates and have a negative impact on stocks. We have already seen the effects of the rise in interest rates on home and auto sales – the two biggest motors of the US economy since the beginning of QE3.

On top of that, I believe that the US government is insolvent. In fact, everybody knows the US is broke but people will stand by and let it happen.

An analogy for the Federal government is the city of Detroit. Five years ago, they already knew that they were broke. But it is not until they finally had to write a check that they could not write that they declared bankruptcy.

Even though the bankruptcy was inevitable, it shocked people. The City of Detroit recently announced that pensioners would get 16 cents on the dollar. Had Detroit faced its budget problems five years earlier, pensioners may have gotten 60 cents on the dollar. Allowing the situation to get worse led to great disappointment and damage.

The Federal government looks about as bad as Detroit five years ago. In financial year 2013 it brought in $2.8 trillion in revenues and spent 3.5 trillion, as reported by the Treasury department. Their current liabilities are something like 87 trillion with a national debt of 17 trillion. The situation is hopeless.

It is propped up by the Fed. When the Fed does an open-market operation, the stocks go up. When they are not doing any such operations, overall, they go down.

- Source, Eric Sprott:

Monday, February 3, 2014

Silver Price Charts and Other Factors Say Now Is Time To Buy

by The Daily Reckoning

The Hebrew word for Silver is the same word that is used interchangeably for Money in the Torah and Old Holy Bible Testament: Silver metal = Kesef (כסף), which also means Money.

Moreover, in all Hispanic countries the word for money is the same word for silver: PLATA.

Since 1000 B.C. to today, the word SILVER is synonymous with MONEY in most countries in the world. Further testament was Stock Market genius of the 1920s, who was right on the money when he said: “SILVER and GOLD have worked down from Alexander’s time…When something holds good for two thousand years, I do not believe it can be so because of prejudice or mistaken theory.” – Bernard Baruch, a 1929 and aftermath winner

Silver’s Sterling History

Silver was first mined about 3000 B.C. in Anatolia (modern day Turkey). These early lodes were a valuable resource for the civilizations that flourished in the Near East, Crete, and Greece throughout antiquity. Later, Spain became the capital of silver production. The Spanish mines were the major supplier for the Roman Empire and an essential trading component along the Asian spice routes.

However, no single event in the history of silver rivals the importance of the discovery of the New World in 1492 by Christopher Columbus. This momentous finding and the years that followed reinvented the role of silver throughout the world.

Friday, January 31, 2014

The World Is Headed For A Major Disaster

I understand that there was almost a revolt at the Fed. Certain members warned Bernanke to halt the Fed's wild money creation, fearing that it would wind up in hyper-inflation. But the Fed cannot completely halt its QE. The Fed is now buying 90% of the Treasuries that are put out for sale. 

If the Fed halts its buying of Treasuries, who will buy them? Certainly not China or USA investors. Bernanke's thinking or hoping is that continued Fed stimulus will result in the US economy becoming so strong on its own that in due time it won't need any Fed stimulus.

However, matters are not working out in the way Bernanke wishes. The economy is still dragging its feet, and employment is still lagging. In the meantime, the banks, not the US populace, have prospered. The banks' reserves have been swelling. What dissenting Fed members are worried about is that bank reserves are growing and are beginning to resemble water behind a dam, pressuring to be released. When the dam finally breaks, all assets will go through the roof, and, as usual, leave the ever-suffering middle class behind.

So that's the story and the problem of the era. As I said years ago, the choice is, “inflate or die.”

Then there's another excellent reason why Bernanke can't cut back completely on the Fed's machinations. You see, the Fed has manipulated interest rates to ridiculously low levels. The US must manage or carry trillions of dollars in Federal debt. We are currently rolling over this debt at very low Fed-controlled interest rates. But if interest rates are allowed to climb to their normal uncontrolled levels, the cost of carrying the nation's debt (now $250 billion dollars annually) could rise to prohibitive levels -- even into the trillions of dollars.

So there we are -- to continue the Fed's stimulation and manipulation adventures -- or to back off and let the economy survive on its own?

So what do we do as investors and survivors? My own choice is to hold physical gold with just enough cash to carry us through each week. The amount of physical gold in the US is shrinking, and it's going to China and India. I believe the only danger to my plan is that possibly, in desperation, the US could confiscate gold from its people.

True, this was done by FDR back in 1933. But this is a different world, and it's not 1933. I believe there would be so much opposition to a “gold confiscation” today that the government could not get away with it. Besides, today many wealthy and influential people own gold, and they would constitute a powerful force against a government attempt to call in the people's gold.

At any rate, I've been doing a lot of thinking on this subject, and my conclusion is that holding physical gold in your possession is safe and the best policy for surviving the difficult years that I believe lie ahead.

Question -- what about buying and holding gold mining stocks, a category that has been denigrated and battered unmercifully? Answer -- I think they represent a good speculation, but I prefer the real deal, and that's physical gold.

There is something else I want to talk about. It's China, now the world's second biggest economy. China's debt is now 70% of its GDP, a ratio the analysts consider dangerous. If China runs into trouble it will affect all of Asia and the rest of the world.

So let's take a look at China on a chart. What I see is a huge head-and-shoulders top that has just plunged below support. The chart is telling me that the world's second largest economy is in serious trouble.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

China's First Default Is Coming: Here's What To Expect

As we first reported one week ago, the first shadow default in Chinese history, the "Credit Equals Gold #1 Collective Trust Product" issued by China Credit Trust Co. Ltd. (CCT) due to mature Jan 31st with $492 million outstanding, appears ready to go down in the record books.

Of course, in a world awash and supported by moral hazard, where tens of trillions in financial asset values are artificial and only exist due to the benevolence of a central banker, it would be all too easy to say that China - fearing an all too likely bank run on comparable shadow products (of where there a many) as a result - would just step in and bail it out. However, at least until today, China has maintained a hard line on the issue, indicating that as part of its deleveraging program it would risk a controlled default detonation, in order to realign China's credit conduits even though such default would symbolically coincide with the first day of the Chinese New Year.

In turn, virtually every sellside desk has issued notes and papers advising what this event would mean ("don't panic, here's a towel", and "all shall be well"), and is holding conference calls with clients to put their mind at ease in the increasingly likely scenario that there is indeed a historic "first" default for a country in which such events have previously been prohibited.

So with under 10 days to go, for anyone who is still confused about the role of trusts in China's financial system, a default's significance, the underlying causes, the implications for the broad economy, and what the possible outcomes of the CCT product default are, here is Goldman's Q&A on a potential Chinese trust default.

From Goldman Sachs: A Matter of Trust