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The Fed Grows Concerned – Should Gold Investors Do the Same?

4 days ago

The Fed released the minutes from its last meeting yesterday. What can we learn from the new light they shine on the U.S. monetary policy? How will it affect the gold market?
Minutes Show That FOMC Members Are More Worried Now
The minutes from the Sep FOMC meeting show that the Fed is more worried about the economy. The Committee members noted that downside risks had become more pronounced due to the increased trade conflicts, more intensified geopolitical uncertainty, and more fragile prospects for global and domestic economic growth:
Participants generally judged that downside risks to the outlook for economic activity had increased somewhat since their July meeting, particularly those stemming from trade policy uncertainty and conditions abroad. In addition, al­though readings on the

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Millionaire Technical Analyst Says This about Gold Right Now

4 days ago

By Jeff Clark Senior Analyst, GoldSilver.com

We don’t employ technical analysis that much, one reason being we’re buying gold and silver for what we believe will be a major shift in our markets, economy and currency. The strategy then, is just keep accumulating and preparing for that shift.
But I know someone who is very good at technical analysis. So good, in fact, he’s a multi-millionaire primarily from trading via technical analysis.
His name is Dominick Graziano, and we’ve become friends over the years. Despite our friendship, he absolutely refuses to tell me what I want to hear (gold’s going through the roof!). So I know when I get a chart from him that it will be dispassionate and solely about a trade he thinks will make him money. I also know I should probably pay

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Gold in the Negative Real Interest Rates Environment

8 days ago

Many believe that negative interest rates will never arrive to the United States. This can’t possibly happen here. The discussions of their theoretical benefits almost remind you of the not-in-my-backyard mentality. But this is not true – they are already present in America. Hard to believe it? Hiding in plain sight, let’s take it a step further and look at gold in the negative real interest rates environment.
 
Gold in the Negative Real Interest Rates Environment
Many people believe that negative interest rates are the ailment of Europe and Japan, and that they will never materialize in the United States. But this is not true. They are already present in America. Can’t believe it? Please take a look at the chart below.
Chart 1: Yields on the US 10-Year Inflation-Indexed Treasury in 2019

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Is Reserve Bank of Australia a New Friend of Gold?

14 days ago

Reserve Bank of Australia joined the chorus of easing central banks, cutting interest rates to record lows. Predictably, that sent the Aussie dollar plunging. Should gold bulls cheer this move?
Reserve Bank of Australia Slashes Interest Rates
The Reserve Bank of Australia has cut the official interest rate from 1.00 percent to 0.75 percent earlier today. As the chart below shows, the 0.25 percentage point moved the interest rate to a record low level, following cuts in June and July.
Chart 1: RBA’s cash rate target from February 2000 to October 2019.

Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe explained the move as follows:
The Board took the decision to lower interest rates further today to support employment and income growth and to provide greater confidence that inflation will be consistent

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Gold among Negative-Yielding Bonds

24 days ago

Teaser:
The amount of global debt with negative yields soared to $16 trillion, or more than 25 percent of the market. Isn’t this economic madness? We invite you to read our today’s article about the negative interest rates and find out what they imply for the gold market.
Gold among Negative-Yielding Bonds
 The amount of global debt with negative yields soared to $16 trillion, or more than 25 percent of the market. This number has nearly tripled since October 2018. In July, even the 30-year German government bonds went negative for the first time ever, while Nordea Bank, a leading Danish bank, said it will begin offering 20-year fixed-rate mortgages with zero interest, as well as 30-year mortgages at minus 0.5 percent. Isn’t this economic madness? And what does it imply for the gold

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Carney Urges Libra-Like Reserve Currency to End Dollar Dominance

August 25, 2019

As per article authored by Brian Swint and published by Bloomberg News on Aug. 23, 2019:
Mark Carney laid out a radical proposal for an overhaul of the global financial system that would eventually replace the dollar as a reserve currency with a Libra-like virtual one.
Just a few months before he steps down as Bank of England governor, Carney offered his vision for the international economy at a time of sweeping change. Trade wars and the threat of currency wars are hurting growth and upending multilateral cooperation, while central banks are trapped in a low interest-rate world as they struggle to revive inflation.
“The combination of heightened economic policy uncertainty, outright protectionism and concerns that further, negative shocks could not be adequately offset because of limited

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Getting Nervous About the Stock Market? Here’s Your Antidote

August 14, 2019

By Jeff Clark Senior Analyst, GoldSilver.com

If you didn’t catch it, gold has passed the S&P 500 in year-to-date performance.
Through August 12, gold is up 18.1%, while the S&P has risen 13.8%. Silver is nipping its heels, now up 10.2% YTD.
But what is perhaps more significant is the one-year performance. It just might show that Wall Street is bailing on unicorns and blue-chip stocks and shifting into gold and silver…

Over the past 12 months, the gold price has risen 24.4%, beating all major stock market indices, along with some popular stocks.
Even Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, the stock that famously outperforms the market most of the time, has lost value over the past year—as I tried to tell him, his stock would be better off if he’d bought some gold.

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Gold’s Breakout Could Mean Silver is on the Launchpad

August 7, 2019

By Jeff Clark Senior Analyst, GoldSilver.com

Gold and silver prices continue to push higher. They’re starting to get some attention from the mainstream, too.
A new uptrend in gold is clearly underway, but silver’s performance has so far trailed gold’s.
Let’s take a look at the price behavior over the past six-plus years of both metals to see if we can gain any insights about silver.
I plotted the annual trading range of the gold price since 2013, when most traders indicate the bear market in precious metals began. I also listed the dollar amount of change between the high and low each year.
Notice how the range has shifted higher this year.

Gold’s trading range has shifted markedly higher in 2019. Not only has the price broken above the flat range of the prior three

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Everybody Hates Silver!

July 16, 2019

Alexander Trigaux, Editor, GoldSilver.comJUL 16, 2019

Silver is not a four-letter word. But these days, “silver” is often preceded by one.
Seldom has sentiment surrounding silver been so universally negative. This chart from a dedicated metals analyst, and especially its title, sums up the prevailing view of silver today:

So what on Earth IS wrong with silver?
As in almost all cases of an intrinsically valuable asset that has underperformed other markets for a long period of time, the answer is absolutely nothing. It’s simply waiting its turn to come back into fashion, which all assets that have an intrinsic worth always do.
Gold Envy
Still, it’s one thing to be heavily allocated to silver if its big brother gold was also languishing. But gold has left silver behind… breaking out to

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Meet Mike Morrell—-Hillary’s Favorite Demented, Creepy CIA Warmonger

September 25, 2016

From DaisyLuther.com,
It’s really quite embarrassing on a global scale when members of our own government seem to be deliberately trying to pick fights with people who aren’t interested in fighting with us. If you’ve traveled outside of the United States much, you probably know that we Americans have a rather negative reputation off of our own shores. Now, generally speaking, that isn’t our fault as individuals. You and I don’t create headlines that make waves throughout Europe and Asia.
While average Americans aren’t directly responsible for this, our federal officials are. I’ve written recently about President Obama doing things in Syria that are worsening the conflict there. I’ve also written about the fact that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin are starting to butt heads. And finally, I’ve warned time and time again that war is upon us – and everyone knows but the US.
Michael Morell is the director of the CIA. Here’s a little blurb from Wikipedia about him.
Michael Joseph Morell (born September 4, 1958) is an American intelligence analyst. He served as the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency as well as its acting director twice, first in 2011 and then from 2012 to 2013. Since November 2013, he has been a Senior Counselor to Beacon Global Strategies LLC.

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The Donald’s Got A Nanny State Plan, Too—-Literally!

September 22, 2016

By The Detroit News

(Photo: Steven M. Falk / TNS)
Donald Trump the socialist is making sure voters don’t forget about Bernie Sanders. The Republican presidential nominee borrowed a concept from the former Democratic presidential contender in introducing a proposal to greatly expand the nanny state. Literally.
Trump wants to make the federal government the nation’s babysitter, offering a proposal to expand the child care credit and extend it to the upper middle class. And as a sweetener, he wants taxpayers to cover the cost for six weeks of maternity leave for women whose employers don’t offer the benefit.
Which ultimately will mean all new mothers, since employers are not likely to continue to cover the cost of a benefit the federal government is willing to pick up.
That basic reality is not factored into the projected cost of the plan. A Trump aide estimates the maternity leave portion would take $3.6 billion to implement. This new entitlement will inevitably soar to many times that estimate, as all others before it have.
And while the GOP’s presidential hopeful says he will pay for his plan by cutting fraud and waste from the unemployment insurance program — as if that ever happens in the federal government — it much more likely will be funded by even more deficit spending.

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David Stockman Interview: Why The Rule Of The Wall Street/Washington Elite Is Finished

September 21, 2016

Http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/BML-Sept20-2016-DavidStockman.mp3
David A. Stockman became famous as President Ronald Reagan’s budget director in the 1980’s making history as the youngest cabinet member in the 20th century. Before winning his well earned nick name of “Father of Reaganomics” and his reputation of a tough negotiator with House Speaker Tip O´Neill , Stockman was a three time Michigan Congressman and recently wrote 
TRUMPED!: A Nation on the Brink of Ruin..And How to Bring It Back
In TRUMPED! A Nation on the Brink of Ruin… And How to Bring It Back, David Stockman brings us an insider-turned-iconoclast’s report on how 30 years of financial and political misrule by the Washington/Wall Street elites have brought the U.S. to the brink of ruin.
He shows that the Fed’s destructive ZIRP and QE policies have buried Flyover America in debt while clobbering it with shrinking real wages and vanishing job opportunities. At the same time, the bicoastal elites have prospered mightily from the massive inflation of financial assets in the Wall Street casino and the debt-fueled expansion of Imperial Washington’s domestic rackets and global interventions.
Source: David A.

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David Stockman Interview on Financial Myth Busting

September 21, 2016

By Dawn J. Bennett
How Washington Made Trump
America on the Brink. David Stockman, former OMB director & author of the best-seller “The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America,” on how the fed has hollowed out America’s economy, his prospects for a Donald Trump presidency, and his new book, “Trumped! A Nation on the Brink of Ruin … and How to Bring It Back”
Second Hour: The Apple vs. EU Showdown. John Browne, former member of Britain’s parliament and a member of the UK Independence Party, on the EU’s attempt to extort Apple for $15 billion, why Ireland doesn’t want the billions the EU says it’s owed, and how large international organizations like the EU undermine tax competition

http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/20160918FMB1474217312.mp3(interview with David starts at 00:20:28)
Source: Financial Myth Busting with Dawn J.

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The House Intelligence Committee’s Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Snowden Report

September 20, 2016

By BARTON GELLMAN

Late yesterday afternoon the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released a three-page executive summary (four, if we count the splendid cover photo) of its two-year inquiry into Edward Snowden’s National Security Agency (NSA) disclosures. On first reading, I described it as an “aggressively dishonest” piece of work.

With a day or so to reflect on it, I believe it’s worse than that. The report is not only one-sided, not only incurious, not only contemptuous of fact.
It is trifling.
After twenty-five months of labor, the committee’s “comprehensive review” of an immensely complex subject weighs in at thirty-six pages. (None of which we may read, because it “must remain classified.”) I have graded college term papers that long. It is one more dispiriting commentary on the state of legislative oversight that the committee’s twenty-two members, Republican and Democratic, were unanimous in signing their names.
A reminder at the outset. I am one of four journalists (with Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, and Ewen MacAskill) who received classified archives of NSA documents from Snowden. I am writing a book on the subject for Penguin Press. Feel free to consider, as you read this, that my stories in The Washington Post played a role in the disclosures that the committee is at pains to denounce.

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The Curse Of Ken Rogoff—–The War On Cash Is A Prelude To Government Default And Wealth Seizure

September 18, 2016

By Peter Diekmeyer
Ken Rogoff is by all accounts a brilliant man. The Harvard professor and former IMF chief economist is a chess grandmaster. His thesis committee included current Fed vice-chair Stanley Fischer. But like many survivors of Ivy League hoop jumping, the poor fellow appears to have emerged punch drunk.
That’s the only conclusion to be drawn from Rogoff’s new book, The Curse of Cash , which, in effect, proposes a ban on paper currency.
It’s terrifying piece of work, for several reasons.
First, the cashless society, which Rogoff proposes in order to make it easier for the US government to confiscate private wealth, in effect, amounts to an admission that Washington can’t pay back its debts.
Second, the fact that Rogoff uses the fight against “terrorism” and “crime” arguments in selling his proposals to the public – justifications which he as a mathematician should know are farcical – suggest that his arguments hide another agenda.
Third, and most important, is the fact that not only would banning cash not achieve Rogoff’s objectives – it could cause irreparable harm to the dollar’s role in the American economy and as a reserve currency.
Let’s look at these arguments one at a time.

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Bust In The US Shale Patch—–$36 Billion Of Negative Free Cash Flow In The Bakken

September 18, 2016

The Death of the Great Bakken Oil Field has begun and very few Americans understand the significance.  Just a few years ago, the U.S. Energy Industry and Mainstream media were gloating that the United States was on its way to “Energy Independence.”
Unfortunately for most Americans, they believed the hype and are now back to driving BIG SUV’s and trucks that get lousy fuel mileage.  And why not?  Americans now think the price of gasoline will continue to decline because the U.S. oil industry is able to produce its “supposed” massive shale oil reserves for a fraction of the cost, due to the new wonders of technological improvement.
I actually hear this all the time when I travel and talk to family, friends and strangers.  I gather they have no clue that the Great Bakken Oil Field is now down a stunning 25% from its peak in just a little more than a year and half ago:

The mighty Bakken oil field located in North Dakota reached peak production in December 2014 at 1.26 million barrels per day (mbd) and is now down to 942,000 bd.  This decline is no surprise to me or to my readers who have been following my work for the past several years.
I wrote about the upcoming crash of the Bakken oil field in my article (click here to read article [5])– Published, NOV.

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Deconstructing The 5.2% Median Income Gain—-More BS From The Washington Statistical Mills

September 16, 2016

By Dave Cohen

When I learned yesterday, 55 days before the 2016 election, that the Census Bureau and the White House had announced an historic leap in real (inflation-adjusted) median household income, my bullshit detector went into the red, went right off the scale and then ceased functioning. I’ll have to get a new one 
Look at that jump! The biggest since 1967 when record keeping began.
How fucking likely is that?

My first clue appeared in the Los Angeles Times.
The clue is circled. Redesigned income questions?
And while I’m quoting the Los Angeles Times, there is this—
Obama, stumping for Clinton at a campaign event Tuesday in Philadelphia, did not pass up the moment to spotlight the census report. Obama said the uninsured rate was the lowest on record as was the pay gap between men and women.
“So, now, let’s face it; the Republicans don’t like to hear good news right now,” Obama said. “But it’s important just to understand this is a big deal. More Americans are working, more have health insurance, incomes are rising, poverty is falling, and gas is $2 a gallon. … Thanks, Obama!”
Keep those gasoline prices in mind. OK, this time I searched for “redesigned income questions” and found exactly one article at the New York Post. That’s not the New York Times. No, that’s the New York Post. (I added the links.

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Detroit Didn’t Get The Donald’s Memo——-Fiat Chrysler to End All US Car Production, Ford Sending Small Cars To Mexico

September 15, 2016

By Greg Gardner and Brent Snavely
[embedded content]
Ford announcements today range from shifting much of their North American production to Mexico and their enthusiasm for self-driving cars in the future. USA TODAY

CEO Mark Fields told investors the move is part of plans to make production simpler and less expensive

(Photo: SAUL LOEB, AFP/Getty Images)

Ford plans to eventually shift all North American small-car production from the U.S. to Mexico, CEO Mark Fields told investors Tuesday, even though the company’s production investments in Mexico have become a lightning rod for controversy in the presidential election.
“Over the next two to three years, we will have migrated all of our small-car production to Mexico and out of the United States,” Fields said at a daylong investor conference in Dearborn.
The news sparked a fresh round of criticism of Ford from Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, who was campaigning in Flint on Wednesday.
“We shouldn’t allow it to happen. They’ll make their cars, they’ll employ thousands of people, not from this country, and they’ll sell their car across the border,” Trump said during his visit. “When we send our jobs out of Michigan, we’re also sending our tax base.”
The impact on Ford’s U.S. employment will be minimal in the near-term. Ford already builds the Fiesta subcompact and the Fusion mid-size sedan in Mexico.

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Inside China’s Tower Of Debt—–Why Default Is Inevitable

September 15, 2016

By Mani
China Debt Default? To alleviate its debt problem, China should adopt appropriate macro-economic policies encompassing currency depreciation and cutting interest rates to an ultra-low-level within two to three years, believe Nomura analysts. Yang Zhao and team said in their September 14 research piece titled “China: Solving the debt problem” that they believe RMB depreciation will continue and forecast USD/CNH at 7.1 at the end of 2017.
China Debt Default – China should join ultra-low interest rate club
Also see the Big Short II – hedge funds bet on major fall on yuan
Zhao and colleagues highlight two stylized “facts” which haven’t been properly understood: high debt versus low leverage and the ever-rising M2-to-GDP ratio, which has been growing for over three decades, except during 2004 to 2008. The analysts argue that China faces a debt problem, but not a leverage problem. They highlight that while the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio is breathtakingly high, its corporate debt-to-asset ratio is generally low. They attribute the low leverage ratio largely to fast-growing asset values, driven by fixed asset investment and rising property prices.

The Nomura analysts estimate that China’s non-financial sector debt stood at RMB158.5 trillion, or 231% of GDP by the end of 2015, mostly owned by the corporate sector.

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The Wisdom Of John Quincy Adams——A Republic, Not An Empire

September 13, 2016

By Jacob G. Hornberger
The following is a modified version of the speech I delivered at the Ron Paul Institute’s “Peace and Prosperity” conference in Virginia on September 10, 2016.
On the Fourth of July in 1821, John Quincy Adams delivered one of the most remarkable speeches in American history. The speech is entitled, “In Search of Monsters to Destroy.” In his speech, Adams described America’s founding principles on foreign policy. He pointed out that there are lots of bad, monstrous things that go on in the world — dictatorships, tyranny, famines, starvation, wars, discord, corruption, and the like. America, however, does not go abroad in search of such monsters and attempt to save people from them. Instead, Adams said, Americans would strive to build a model society of freedom, peace, prosperity, and harmony here at home for the world to emulate and also to serve as a sanctuary for people who flee such monsters.
Adams was building on the ideas and the philosophy of people like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who had spoken against America’s ever entering into alliances with other countries or being part of blocs to serve as counterweights to other blocs and against bearing enmity against particular nations.
America’s founding governmental structure did not permit it to go abroad and intervene in the affairs of other nations.

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What “Full Employment”? One-In-Six Prime Age Men Have No Job

September 8, 2016

By YUKI NOGUCHI

An employee moves cement blocks at the Cement Products Manufacturing Co. facility in Redmond, Ore. Millions of men in their prime working years have dropped out of the labor force since the 1960s. Bloomberg via Getty Images
At 4.9 percent, the nation’s unemployment rate is half of what it was at the height of the Great Recession. But that number hides a big problem: Millions of men in their prime working years have dropped out of the workforce — meaning they aren’t working or even looking for a job.
It’s a trend that’s held true for decades and has economists puzzled.
In the 1960s, nearly 100 percent of men between the ages of 25 and 54 worked. That’s fallen over the decades.

In a recent report, President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers said 83 percent of men in the prime working ages of 25-54 who were not in the labor force had not worked in the previous year. So, essentially, 10 million men are missing from the workforce.
“One in six prime-age guys has no job; it’s kind of worse than it was in the depression in 1940,” says Nicholas Eberstadt, an economic and demographic researcher at American Enterprise Institute who wrote the book Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis. He says these men aren’t even counted among the jobless, because they aren’t seeking work.
Eberstadt says little is known about the missing men.

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As The World Economy Is Burning Central Bankers Are Clueless

September 2, 2016

By Egon von Greyerz
The more things change, the more they stay the same. The financial world loves focusing on some future event that they think will change everything. There is always some economic data, an important meeting like G20, the Fed, the ECB or a speech by Yellen or some other central bank head who hasn’t got a clue what is happening or what will happen. So now at the end of August, markets have all been focusing on Yellen’s speech at Jackson Hole Wyoming. Jackson Hole is of course a very befitting name since what the Fed is starring into is a massive black hole into which major parts of the financial system will disappear.
Central banks speak with a forked tongue

The Fed like all central banks is speaking with a forked tongue. They have talked interest rates up since December 2015 and for a long time the market has believed them. So this time again, Yellen obliged and made the market believe that there will be one or two interest rate increases in 2016. To me it has always been clear since last December that there is no chance of further rate increases at this moment. But the Fed has a problem with not losing face. That’s way Fisher, the vice-chairman of the Fed last Sunday delivered an upbeat speech about the US economy saying that the Fed was “close to meeting its targets” of full employment and price stability.

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Another Grim Reminder that Obamacare Has Made Healthcare More Expensive

August 31, 2016

By Daniel J. Mitchell
Way back in 2009, some folks on the left shared a chart showing that national expenditures on healthcare compared to life expectancy.

This comparison was not favorable to the United States, which easily spent the most money but didn’t have concomitantly impressive life expectancy.
At the very least, people looking at the chart were supposed to conclude that other nations had better healthcare systems.
And since the chart circulated while Obamacare was being debated, supporters of that initiative clearly wanted people to believe that the U.S. somehow could get better results at lower cost if the government played a bigger role in the healthcare sector.
There were all sorts of reasons to think that chart was misleading (higher average incomes in the United States, more obesity in the United States, different demographics in the United States, etc), but my main gripe was that the chart was being used to advance the cause of bigger government when it actually showed – at least in part – the consequences of government intervention.
The real problem, I argued, was third-party payer. Thanks to programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, government already was paying for nearly 50 percent of all heath spending in the United States (indeed, the U.S. has more government spending for health programs than some nations with single-payer systems!).

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Marijuana Legalization: Give Peace a Chance

August 30, 2016

By Thomas L. Knapp

English: Medical Marijuana surrounding a vaporizer for healthy intake of the medicine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On November 8, voters in eight states will decide whether or not to legalize, to one degree or another, the possession, use and sale of marijuana.
If all of the measures pass, more than 86 million Americans will enjoy increased legal access to the plant: For medical use in Arkansas, Florida and Missouri, for recreational use in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada.
Earlier this month, the US Drug Enforcement Administration announced it wouldn’t reconsider marijuana’s ridiculous Schedule 1 status (“no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse”) — but the states seem to be leaving the federal government behind.  Medical marijuana is already legal in 25 states (and the District of Columbia), recreational use in four.
Soon, DEA may be running as fast as it can to get to the head of the parade, making a big show of ratifying what the country is doing without its permission and looking for new missions to replace its anti-cannabis campaigns.
It’s about time.
For at least 5,000 years, probably much longer, humans used marijuana without a great deal of fanfare. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were marijuana farmers.

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Comrade Capitalism—–How Washington Nationalized The Mortgage market

August 25, 2016

By The Economist

THE most dramatic moment of the global financial crisis of the late 2000s was the collapse of Lehman Brothers on September 15th 2008. The point at which the drama became inevitable, though—the crossroads on the way to Thebes—came two years earlier, in the summer of 2006. That August house prices in America, which had been rising almost without interruption for as long as anyone could remember, began to fall—a fall that went on for 31 months (see chart 1). In early 2007 mortgage defaults spiked and a mounting panic gripped Wall Street. The money markets dried up as banks became too scared to lend to each other. The lenders with the largest losses and smallest capital buffers began to topple. Thebes fell to the plague.

Ten years on, and America’s banks have been remade to withstand such disasters. When Jamie Dimon, the boss of JPMorgan Chase, talks of its “fortress” balance-sheet, he has a point. The banking industry’s core capital is now $1.2 trillion, more than double its pre-crisis level. In order to grind out enough profits to satisfy their shareholders, banks have slashed costs and increased prices; their return on equity has edged back towards 10%. America’s lenders are still widely despised, but they are now in reasonable shape: highly capitalised, fairly profitable, in private hands and subject to market discipline.

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James Grant: The Fed is Now Hostage to Wall Street

August 24, 2016

By CHRISTOPH GISIGER

For the first time in at least 5000 years we have driven interest rates below zero (Bild: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg)
James Grant, Wall Street expert and editor of the investment newsletter «Grant’s Interest Rate Observer», warns of a crash in sovereign debt, is puzzled over the actions of the Swiss National Bank and bets on gold.
From multi-billion bond buying programs to negative interest rates and probably soon helicopter money: Around the globe, central bankers are experimenting with ever more extreme measures to stimulate the sluggish economy. This will end in tears, believes James Grant. The sharp thinking editor of the iconic Wall Street newsletter «Grant’s Interest Rate Observer» is one of the most ardent critics when it comes to super easy monetary policy. Highly proficient in financial history, Mr. Grant warns of today’s reckless hunt for yield and spots one of the biggest risks in government debt. He’s also scratching his head over the massive investments which the Swiss National Bank undertakes in the US stock market.
Jim, for more than three decades Grant’s has been observing interest rates. Is there anything left to be observed with rates this low?Interest rates may be almost invisible but there is still plenty to observe.

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Winning ‘Hearts And Minds’——The Myth Of the “Surgical Strike”

August 18, 2016

By VIJAY PRASHAD

A Palestinian looks on at a home destroyed by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City. (Thomas Coex / Getty Images).

The global war on terror—or whatever it is called nowadays—is not going well. From Afghanistan to Libya, the adversaries of the West seem undaunted by Western bombardment. The Taliban advances towards Lashkar Gar in Helmand Province (Afghanistan), while groups such as the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries and even ISIS hold their ground in central and eastern Libya.
The advantage of the West and its allies (Saudi Arabia and Israel) is its dominance of the skies. None of the groups—neither the Taliban nor ISIS—has an air force or serious ground-to-air capacity. They are at the mercy of the high-altitude bombers—including drones—that can fly over their terrain and hit them at will. But this aerial advantage has a limited ability. It can destroy identifiable targets—what its people on the ground or its eyes in the sky can see. This is possible. What is less possible is to obliterate—without major civilian casualties—the guerrilla fighters on the ground. They do not stand in formation, waiting for annihilation from above. These fighters move in small groups, keep close to natural cover and flitter in and out of civilian areas. To take them from the air is difficult.

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Hillary Clinton Unhinged

August 18, 2016

By THOMAS L. KNAPP

Hillary Clinton in Concord, New Hampshire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Following multiple damning email leaks and disclosures, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign decided, in the weirdest attempt at damage control I’ve ever seen, to  invoke the late Allen Ginsberg’s “America”:
“America it’s them bad Russians. Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians.”
Forget the content of the leaks. Just focus on their alleged (not proven, alleged) source. IT’S THEM RUSSIANS!
Never mind that one of the leaks uncovered the Democratic National Committee’s secret program to deliver its party’s presidential nomination to Clinton at all costs. Did I mention that Donald Trump MIGHT BE WORKING WITH THEM RUSSIANS?
Never mind that another disclosure gave the public a glimpse of Clinton’s corrupt “pay to play” scheme,  in which high-dollar donors to the Clinton Foundation got special goodies from the Clinton State Department.

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The NSA Hack——What, When, Where, How, Who & Why?

August 18, 2016

By Swati Khandelwal

You might have heard about the recent ongoing drama of NSA hack that has sparked a larger debate on the Internet concerning abilities of US intelligence agencies as well as their own security.
Saturday morning the news broke that a mysterious group of hackers calling themselves “The Shadow Brokers” claimed it hacked an NSA-linked group and released some NSA hacking tools with a promise to sell more private “cyber weapons” to the highest bidder.
The group dumped a bunch of private hacking tools from “Equation Group” – an elite cyber attack unit linked to the NSA – on GitHub and Tumblr.
The Shadow Brokers hacking group has published the leaked data in two parts; one includes many hacking tools designed to inject malware into various servers and another encrypted file containing the “best files” that they made available for sale for 1 Million Bitcoins.
However, GitHub deleted the files from its page, not due to any government pressure, but because the hackers were demanding cash to release more data and the company’s policy don’t allow the auction or sale of stolen property on its source code management platform.

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Barry The Coward: DEA To Keep Marijuana As Schedule 1 Illegal Drug

August 12, 2016

By BROOKE EDWARDS STAGGS at The Orange County Register
California appears poised to join the growing number of states that have legalized marijuana, even as the federal government is reaffirming its 46-year-old stance that pot is a top-tier illicit narcotic on par with heroin and LSD.
The Drug Enforcement Administration announced Thursday that marijuana will remain classified as a Schedule I controlled substance – a designation reserved for highly addictive drugs with no proven medical use.
Thousands of published studies and extensive anecdotal evidence have indicated marijuana can help with conditions such as epilepsy and chronic pain. But DEA acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said a thorough review of the research, with input from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, determined cannabis treatments haven’t yet been proven effective by controlled clinical trials and widespread acceptance from the medical community.
“If the scientific understanding about marijuana changes – and it could change – then the decision could change,” Rosenberg said. “But we will remain tethered to science.”
Cannabis advocates said they don’t expect the DEA’s ruling to adversely affect various marijuana legalization votes on the ballot in California and seven other states this November.

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