He had made the drive enough times to already suspect what he might find. Stride Rite had left Huntington for Mexico at the tail end of the recession; Breyers Ice Cream had closed its doors after 100 years. In the weeks after each factory closing in his part of Indiana, Lewandowski had listened to politicians make promises about jobs — high-tech jobs, right-to-work jobs, clean-energy jobs — but instead Indiana had lost 60,000 middle-class jobs in the past decade and replaced them with a surge of low-paying work in health care, hospitality and fast food. Wages of male high school graduates had dropped 19 percent in the past two decades, and the wealth divide between the middle class and the upper class had quadrupled. Continue reading »
One of the more closely watched 13F reports yesterday in addition to that of Warren Buffett was that of Soros Fund Management, the family office of George Soros, which revealed that while the 85 year old billionaire was not quite as bearish as his former chief strategist Stanley Druckenmiller, or Carl Icahn for that matter, had turned decidedly sour on overall equity exposure.
As shown in his 13F, Soros slashed his overall long equity holdings by over 25% to just $4.5 billion as of March 31, which was the lowest such position since 2013. Continue reading »
We can talk about technical charts, supply and demand fundamentals, and price manipulation, all of which point to significant increases in the value of gold and silver for the foreseeable future.
But according to Golden Arrow Resources CEO Joseph Grosso, who is credited with the discovery of the largest silver deposit in history, the single biggest reason that retail investors, institutional players and governments around the world are gobbling up physical precious metals, resource stocks and ETF’s at unprecedented levels is that they are scared to death of the state of the global economy and where it will go next. Continue reading »
A respectable number of Americans hold investments in gold and silver in one form or another. Some hold physical bullion, while others opt for indirect ownership via ETFs or other instruments. A very small minority speculate via the futures markets. But we frequently report on the futures markets – why exactly is that?
Because that is where prices are set. The mint certificates, the ETFs, and the coins in an investor’s safe – all of them – are valued, at least in large part, based on the most recent trade in the nearest delivery month on a futures exchange such as the COMEX. These “spot” prices are the ones scrolling across the bottom of your CNBC screen. Continue reading »
The Panama Papers opened yet another window on the global system of financial corruption, showing how political leaders and businesses use shell companies in secrecy havens like the British Virgin Islands and many US states to evade taxes and hide corruption and other crimes. Yet the system of corruption depends on another factor beyond secrecy, one that is perhaps even more important: impunity. Impunity means that the rich and powerful escape from punishment even when their malfeasance is in full view. Continue reading »
A significant downward revision for March (from -0.6 to -0.9% MoM) enabled April to beat handsomely (+0.7% vs +0.3% exp.) pleasing headline-tracking algos. While this is the biggest monthly jump in Industrial Production since Nov 2014 – all thanks to the biggest spike in Utilities since 2007; the year-over-year tumble continues with IP -1.07% YoY for the 8th month in a row. Industrial production has never fallen for this long – in 96 years – without the US economy being in recession.
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Call it some no holds barred German bank on German bank action.
After a tumultous start to a year that Germany’s largest, and judging by the tens of billions in legal settlements and charges also its most criminal bank, Deutsche Bank, would love to forget, things got worse over the weekend when a note issued by another German bank said that either Deutsche will have to massively dilute its shareholders as a result of “insurmountable” debt, or a fate far worse could await the Frankfurt-based lender. Continue reading »
After making over $1 billion in one day last August, and warning that “the markets are overvalued to the tune of 50%,” Mark Spitznagel knows a thing or two about managing tail risk.
The outspoken practitioner of Austrian economic philosophy tells The FT, “Markets don’t have a purpose any more – they just reflect whatever central planners want them to,” confirming his fund-management partner, Nassim Taleb’s perspective that “being protected from fragility in the financial system is a necessity rather than an option.”
“This is the greatest monetary experiment in history. Why wouldn’t it lead to the biggest collapse? My strategy doesn’t require that I’m right about the likelihood of that scenario. Logic dictates to me that it’s inevitable.” Continue reading »
More details are being released about the anonymous expose of Washington D.C. corruption and largesse that confirms why Americans hate their national government and have rallied to anti-establishment presidential candidates like Donald Trump. As NYPost reports, the 65-page manifesto called ‘The Confessions of Congressman X’ is based on years of transcribed private discussions, which the congressman last November gave editor Robert Atkinson, says more time is spent fundraising than reading bills and calls Washington a “sinkhole of leeches,” where money ‘corrupts’ and House members are “puppets” to lobbyists who bankroll their campaigns. Continue reading »
In a shocking slap in the face for UK PM Cameron, more than 300 business leaders are calling on Britain to vote to leave the European Union, saying that the country’s “competitiveness is being undermined by our membership.”As The Telegraph reports, the letter, signed by some of Europe’s most senior business executives, claims Brussels “red tape stifles growth” and a Brexit would “create more jobs” exclaiming that “it is business – not government – which generates wealth.”
Perhaps this explains why Cameron, Osborne, Obama, and almost every other establishment politician and lackey has embraced ‘Project Fear’ when it comes to Brexit, proclaiming World War 3’s imminence and all the worst parts of the bible will occur should the great unwashed masses exercise their right to vote for democracy (as opposed to a tyrannical superstate). Continue reading »
The self-described “magic people” who “give to the markets” are facing a mutiny this morning as Raghuram Rajan, the head of the Indian central bank, admits central banks and governments of rich countries are running out of ammunition for stimulating their economies… but they can never admit as much. Crushing the dreams of “extreme monetary policy”-setters, Rajan goes on to discuss the sanity of ‘helicopter money’ warning that people will not be ‘stimulated’ to spend but will question: “What kind of world are we in when the central bank prints money and throws it out of the window?”…
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Just days after the latest two shale casualties filed for bankruptcy protection when both Linn Energy and Penn Virginia announced prepackaged Chapter 11, moments ago Sandridge announced it too was entering bankruptcy court when it filed a voluntarily petition under Chapter 11 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Southern District of Texas to consummate a pre-arranged reorganization. This follows just hours after Breitburn Energy Partners announced it had filed Chapter 11 as it hopes to negotiate a restructuring of its balance sheet in court, continuing talks with creditors that began a month ago, CEO Hal Washburn said in a release.
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A recurring question during Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has been what, if any, role her husband the “First Gentleman”, Bill Clinton will hold. Yesterday, she finally have some hints toward answering this question. At a campaign stop in Fort Mitchell, Ky., Clinton said her husband would be “in charge of revitalizing the economy.”
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From The Quotable Mises, Ludwig von Mises’s best nine quotes on gold and the gold standard:
1. Every nation, whether rich or poor, powerful or feeble, can at any hour once again adopt the gold standard.
Source: Omnipotent Government
2. The gold standard has one tremendous virtue: the quantity of the money supply, under the gold standard, is independent of the policies of governments and political parties. This is its advantage. It is a form of protection against spendthrift governments.
Almost 20 percent of Americans 65 and older are now working, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s the most older people with a job since the early 1960s, before the U.S. enacted Medicare
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“You can hear the ice cracking. You know there’s a crisis coming… If you obstruct the democratic way, we do not know what could happen in this country. Venezuela is a bomb that could explode at any moment.”
As Venezuela gives the world a first hand look at how socialism ends, the U.S. is growing more and more concerned about how everything is going to play out once the meltdown is complete.
The concern of course is valid, as at this point, the immediate future looks quite grim. Looters have taken to the streets, clearing supermarket shelves of all available food as the country begins to starve, and in order to try and preserve the what little time he has left, president Maduro recently declared a 60-day state of emergency.
According to Reuters, senior U.S. officials doubt that President Maduro will be able to complete his term, which ends after elections in late 2018. As the U.S. kicks around possible scenarios for how this will all end, from a referendum vote to military coup, one thing is becoming more and more certain: “You know there’s a crisis coming.” Continue reading »
“We are rather waiting for things to get truly out of hand. And that will happen in the following months. The situation is extremely unstable and the status quo can’t last. We are witnessing daily looting at supermarkets, and people are protesting.”
Food Shortages Cause Daily Looting, Energy Crisis Worsens as National State of Emergency Approaches
In recent months, Venezuelan citizens have taken to the streets to demand solutions to the current economic crisis from the government. Many have even requested President Nicolás Maduro’s resignation.
The Venezuelan state has responded to these protests with repression. Certain office holders have been accused of committing human rights violations. As a result, political leaders from the opposition have asked the Venezuelan security forces — especially the army and the Bolivarian National Guard — to denounce any crimes that the state has committed. Continue reading »
Reader Peter is concerned about the future of jobs, living wages, and displaced workers in a robotic society.
Specifically, Peter asks “how do you think the evolution of robotics will play out?”
At dinner with friends last evening, we discussed the idealistic thought that robots could one day serve the needs of mankind, allowing us to pursue our interests as we want, without the heavy constraint of having to work to sustain our existence. Continue reading »
Not so long ago, US farmland – whose prices were until recently rising exponentially – was considered by many to be the next asset bubble. Then, exactly one year ago, the fairytale officially ended, and as reported in February, US farmland saw its first price drop since 1986. It was also about a year ago when looking ahead, very few bankers expected price appreciation and more than a quarter of survey respondents expect cropland values to continue declining.
They were right.
According to several regional Fed reports released last Thursday, real farmland values in parts of the Midwest fell at their fastest clip in almost 30 years during the first quarter. Continue reading »
Everybody loves a good Vancouver real estate horror story. Here is a great one.
In the endless series of reports about wealthy Chinese oligarchs, billionaires, money launderers, or mere criminals, never have we encountered anything quite like this yet, because according to The Province, the majority owner of this Point Grey mansion located at 4833 Belmont Avenue and which was recently ranked 16th among the most expensive homes in Vancouver, was sold earlier this year by Canaccord founder Peter Brown for a record $31.1 million is a “student,” property records show. A Chinese “student”… of course.
Land title documents list Tian Yu Zhou as having a 99-per-cent interest in the five-bedroom, eight-bathroom, 14,600 square-foot mansion on a 1.7-acre lot at 4833 Belmont Ave. Zhou’s occupation is listed as a “student.” Continue reading »
After serving in the Georgia Legislature, in 1992, Cynthia McKinney won a seat in the US House of Representatives. She was the first African-American woman from Georgia in the US Congress. In 2005, McKinney was a vocal critic of the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina and was the first member of Congress to file articles of impeachment against George W. Bush. In 2008, Cynthia McKinney won the Green Party nomination for the US presidency.
By Cynthia McKinney
Millions of barrels of oil have been spilled in Nigeria’s Delta region. Tired of the abuse, Nigerians just blew up a pipeline and a platform in an attempt to rectify what politicians and courts have been slow to do.
As a result of the deteriorating security situation, the Nigeria oil union announced that Shell and Chevron workers have been evacuated. Continue reading »
One of the reasons why central banks around the globe have flooded the financial system with trillions in excess reserves is to make sure that banks no longer have to rely on potentially fleeting short term deposits (and is also why negative interest rates have become the norm in so many part of the world, that $10 trillion in bills and bonds now trade with a negative yield). As a result of years of such central bank policy, banks – mostly in Europe – no longer need to compete with each other for deposits: after all why offer tempting deposit rates in an age of NIRP when banks can get all the liquidity they need straight from the ECB and in some cases even get paid on it.
Furthermore, the whole point of NIRP is to slowly unleash negative, not positive, interest rates in order to discourage savings.
Which is why we were surprised to find that in a promotional offer by Europe’s biggest, and by many accounts most insolvent, bank, Germany’s Deutsche Bank is not only not rushing to penalize depositors, on the contrary it is offering its Belgian clients a 5% gross return for new €10,000 – €50,000 deposits if this money is locked up for the next three months. The offer is only valid for the next 40 days, until June 24. Continue reading »