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Another Month, Another Huge Budget Deficit

1 day ago

The US government ran another huge budget deficit in April. The shortfall came in at $225.58 billion, running the total budget deficit through the first seven months of fiscal 2021 to a record $1.9 trillion, according to the Treasury Department’s Monthly Treasury Statement.That compares with a $1.5 trillion deficit through the first seven months of fiscal 2020, which included the first round of stimulus checks in April 2020.Some mainstream media outlets spun the April numbers as good news. Last month’s deficit was significantly smaller than the $660 billion shortfall Uncle Sam ran in March as it passed out billions of dollars to Americans. But the US government continues to spend wildly and run up massive debt.The federal government spent another $664.8 billion in April. That was the

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Peter Schiff: Clueless Investors and Economists Shocked By Ballooning CPI

1 day ago

The consumer price index (CPI) came in much hotter than expected. The consensus was for a 0.2% month-to-month increase in price inflation.  The actual number was 0.8%. It was the biggest monthly gain in CPI since 1981. Annualized, CPI measured 4.2% – more than double the mythical Federal Reserve target of 2%.Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said, “We were by higher than expected inflation data.”In his podcast, Peter Schiff said the only reason investors and economists were surprised is because they’re clueless.Peter said the low expectation didn’t make sense given the price increases we’re seeing in the economy and the trajectory of the CPI over the previous three months. The monthly rises in CPI through the first quarter showed an unmistakable upward trend. The CPI in

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Gold Demand in the Tech Sector Up in Q1

2 days ago

Gold demand in the technology sector was up 11% year-on-year, coming in at 81.2 tons in the first quarter of 2021.According to the World Gold Council, the strong growth was partially due to comparison with relatively weak tech demand in the first quarter of 2020, as governments began shutting down economies in response to the coronavirus. But comparisons with Q1 2019 and Q1 2018 suggest that demand has recovered quite quickly and is now at more typical Q1 levels. The electronics sector accounts for the bulk of gold used in tech and industry. Demand for gold electronics production was up 13% to 66.4 tons in the first quarter. Recovery in the global auto market has helped boost demand for gold in electronic components.Strong demand for high-end consumer electronics, such as laptops,

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Jim Grant: The Fed Can’t Control Inflation

3 days ago

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell insists inflation is “transitory.” As prices have spiked throughout the economy, Powell’s messaging has essentially been, “Move along. Nothing to see here.”Peter Schiff has been saying the central bankers at the Fed can’t actually tell the truth about inflation because even if they acknowledge it’s a problem (and it is) they can’t do anything about it.In a recent talk, Jim Grant, investment guru and founder of , echoed Peter, saying the Fed can’t control inflation.During a webcast sponsored by State Street SPDR ETFs, Grant said he thinks “there’s a gale of inflation of all kinds in progress,” adding that he believes it will take the Fed by surprise and “overwhelm our monetary masters.” Grant said, inflation is “clear and present and will manifest

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America’s Trade Surplus in Services Shrinks as Trade Deficit in Goods Balloons

3 days ago

Americans consume goods other people produce. As America offshored its manufacturing, it promised to supply the world with high-priced services and technology in exchange. But as it turns out, that promise never materialized.The ballooning overall trade deficit bears this out. It leaped to another record high in March, surging 5.6% month-on-month to a new worst-ever $74.5 billion. That was 52% worse than in March 2019.The economic woes stemming from government response to the pandemic have exacerbated the trade deficits, but they are nothing new. At one time, we were told offshoring production wasn’t a problem because the US would make up the difference by exporting services -things like software, technology, movies, engineering services, and Wall Street financing. The rationale was

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Central Banks Bought Over 79 Tons of Gold in March

4 days ago

Central banks globally added a net 79.5 tons of gold to their reserves in March, led by a major purchase by Hungary, according to the latest data compiled by the World Gold Council.Gold-buying by central banks slowed last year from the record pace we saw in 2018 and 2019, and that trend has continued into 2021, but many countries continue to load up on the yellow metal. Sales of gold by Turkey and Russia dampened overall global central bank holdings, even while several countries continue to boost their gold reserves.Overall in Q1, global gold reserves increased by a healthy net 95 tons.Hungary bought 63 tons of gold in March, tripling its reserves. It was one of the biggest central bank gold buys in decades. In a statement, the National Bank of Hungary called gold “a crucial reserve

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Peter Schiff: You Don’t Need Jobs If You’re Spending Printed Money

4 days ago

Everybody expected the jobs report last Friday to show a big increase in employment. It didn’t happen.Instead of the 978,000 new jobs created in April that economists expected, nonfarm payroll increased by just 266,000. On top of that, the Labor Department revised the March number down from 916,000 to 770,000. The unemployment rate ticked up to 6.1%.As Peter Schiff put it in his podcast, you don’t need a job to spend printed money handed out by the government.Peter said nobody should be surprised by this awful report.If you look at the reason for the so-called recovery, why is the US economy recovering? Well, because a lot of people are spending money, even people who don’t have jobs are spending money. People are spending more money unemployed than they used to spend when they still

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Fun on Friday: The Most Valuable Trophy in Sports

7 days ago

If you are a regular Fun on Friday reader, you know I love sports. Hockey is my favorite followed by football. My favorite teams are the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Well, all of those worlds collided in a moment of sports harmony this week.Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski joined Lightning players at their practice. Gronk even donned the goalie pads. (He showed a pretty solid glove hand.)Gronkowski even brought along the Lombardi Trophy. Lightning players posed for pictures with the Super Bowl hardware.Of course, the Lightning players have some hardware of their own. They are the defending Stanley Cup champions.All of this got me thinking – what is the most valuable trophy in sports? I’m talking pure monetary value.As it turns out, the Stanley Cup is

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Yellin’ at Yellen: SchiffGold Friday Gold Wrap May 7, 2021

7 days ago

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen did a big flip-flop this week. Her comments and her subsequent attempt to walk them back were telling. She accidentally revealed the ugly truth about inflation and the central bank’s ability to deal with it. In this episode of the Friday Gold Wrap, host Mike Maharrey takes Yellen to task. He also talks about the recent rally in both gold and silver.The SchiffGold Friday Gold Wrap podcast combines a succinct summary of the week’s precious metals news coupled with thoughtful analysis. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.Tune in to the Friday Gold Wrap each week for a recap of the week’s economic and political news as it relates to gold and silver, along with some insightful commentary.LISTEN[embedded content]You Can Also Listen on

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Silver Investment Demand Explosion and Other Silver News

8 days ago

Silver investment demand surged in 2020 in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the feature story in the most recent edition of the Silver Institute’s Silver News.Holdings in silver-backed ETFs tripled last year, surpassing 1 billion ounces for the first time. Meanwhile, investment in physical silver also saw a healthy increase. Silver coin and silver bar purchases grew 8% to 200.5 million ounces in 2020.Strong investment demand wasn’t enough to offset tanking industrial demand. Overall silver demand fell by 10% during the year. Nevertheless, the average annual silver price was up 27% from 2019, and we saw signs of recovery in the industrial sector late in the year.The effects on silver demand from the pandemic weren’t universal. While India was down 29%, and Europe and

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Peter Schiff: The Fed Can’t Tell the Truth About Inflation

8 days ago

Inflation is the word of the day.We’ve been talking about inflation for months, but now the mainstream is starting to pay attention to rising prices. In corporate board rooms, board members are talking about passing along their increased costs to their customers. Consumers are trying to tighten budgets. But the Federal Reserve keeps telling us there isn’t a problem. Inflation – so we’re told – is transitory. In his podcast, Peter Schiff said the central bankers at the Fed to tell us that because they can’t be honest about inflation.The ISM Services Index prices paid component reveals just how much prices are going up. The ISM’s price gauge rose to a 13-year peak and came in twice as high as the last month before the pandemic began. But the central bankers at the Federal Reserve

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Arkansas Repeals Sales Tax on Gold and Silver Bullion

9 days ago

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson recently signed a bill into law exempting gold and silver bullion and coins from sales tax. This will not only relieve some of the tax burdens on investors in the state; it will also take a step toward treating gold and silver as money instead of as commodities.Sen. Mark Johnson (R) introduced Senate Bill 336 (SB336) on Feb. 22. The new law exempts coins, currency and bullion from the state sales and use tax. The tax repeal covers bars, ingots, and coins made from gold, silver, platinum, or palladium that are sold based on the value of the metal.The Senate passed SB336 by a vote of 30-1. The House concurred with a vote of 93-0. With Gov. Hutchinson’s signature, the bill will go into effect July 1.Repealing sales tax on gold and silver purchases took a long

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Gold Demand Continues to Surge in China and India

10 days ago

China and India rank one-two in global gold consumption, and through the first quarter of 2021, gold demand charted an impressive rebound in both countries.China’s year-on-year gold consumption surged 93.9% as first-quarter demand rebounded to pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, official Indian gold imports hit the highest level in a decade in March.Demand for gold in both India and China took a hard hit due to COVID-19 and their governments’ response to the pandemic.IndiaGold demand in India has languished for the last couple of years. The pandemic crushed demand, particularly for gold jewelry, but record-high gold prices in rupee terms and government policy put a drag on the gold market even before COVID-19. There were signs of a turnaround late last year and it continued through the

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Peter Schiff: CPI Is a Lie!

10 days ago

We’ve been talking a lot about the specter of inflation. Despite the Fed’s assurances not to worry because any price increases we’re seeing are transitory, some people are indeed worried. A former JP Morgan managing director warned about inflation and echoed Peter Schiff’s view that the central bank is powerless to fight it.And we’re seeing rising prices all over the place, from the grocery store to the gas station. Even the government numbers flash warning signs. But as Peter Schiff explains in this clip from an interview with Jay Martin, it’s probably even worse than we realize because the government cooks the numbers when it calculates CPI.The monthly rises in CPI through the first quarter show an upward trend. The CPI in January was up 0.3%. It was up 0.4% in February. And now it’s

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The War Against Your Wealth: Interview With Investor and Author E.B. Tucker

11 days ago

What is the government doing to your money? And how can you protect yourself?These are key questions facing every American today. In this interview, Friday Gold Wrap Podcast host Mike Maharrey tries to dig out some answers with investment veteran and author E.B. Tucker.[embedded content]Tucker is the author of . As the title suggests, the book about investing in gold. But it’s really about far more than that. The book explains how government actors and central bankers are destroying your wealth through intentional policies that warp the economy and devalue your money.As Tucker explains in the book, once we understand the problem, we can take steps to protect our wealth. And gold serves as an important part of that strategy. As the book explains, “Gold is the only asset that’s not

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Peter Schiff: The Fed Cheats to Avoid Getting an ‘F’ on the Economy

11 days ago

A lot of the economic data that came out last week looked pretty good. GDP growth came in big in the first quarter. Personal income rose by a record amount in March. The mainstream spun it all as positive, raving as if the economy is earning an ‘A.’ But in his podcast, Peter Schiff argues that the only reason the economy isn’t getting an F is because the Federal Reserve is cheating on the test.[embedded content]Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan made some comments Friday that were widely viewed as somewhat hawkish. He warned about “excess imbalances” in the financial markets and warned about “historically” elevated stock prices, tight credit spreads, and surging home prices. And he said it’s time for the Fed to at least start talking about tapering bond purchases.This was

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This Economy Is Jacked Up! SchiffGold Friday Gold Wrap April 20, 2021

14 days ago

There was a lot of news and economic data that came out this week. The Fed held its April meeting. President Biden unveiled yet another tax and spend plan. And the Q1 GDP numbers came out. In this episode of the Friday Gold Wrap, host Mike Maharrey gives an overview of the week’s news and draws a rather unsettling conclusion — this economy is totally jacked up.The SchiffGold Friday Gold Wrap podcast combines a succinct summary of the week’s precious metals news coupled with thoughtful analysis. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.Tune in to the Friday Gold Wrap each week for a recap of the week’s economic and political news as it relates to gold and silver, along with some insightful commentary.LISTEN[embedded content]You Can Also Listen on SoundCloud[embedded

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Americans Consuming Stuff They Didn’t Produce

15 days ago

The trade deficit in goods leaped to another record high in March as Americans continue to spend stimulus money printed out of thin air on products they didn’t produce.The goods trade deficit surged 4.0% last month, hitting an all-time record of $90.6 billion. That tops the previous record of $88 billion set in February.Imports jumped 6.8% to $232.6 billion. Meanwhile, exports were also up a healthy 8.7%, but the total amounted to a modest $142.0 billion. The increase in exports follows a steep decline in February.Even acknowledged that “very generous fiscal stimulus” has fueled American consumer spending on goods.Today, virtually all of the durable goods sold in the US are imported – from smartphones, to appliances, to clothing. And many of the products assembled in the US are made

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Ron Paul: Global Taxes Are a Blueprint for Global Stagnation

16 days ago

There are a lot of new taxes coming down the pike. This was inevitable with all of the government spending. Big government isn’t free. In order to pay for three rounds of stimulus, infrastructure spending, and now the “American Families Plan,” taxes will have to go up.But there’s a problem with this tax and spend scheme. Taxes make an economy less competitive — especially when other countries have more favorable tax environments. Janet Yellen and the power brokers in DC have the solution to that problem –  a global minimum corporate tax.As Ron Paul explains, global taxes are a blueprint for global economic stagnation.Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has proposed that governments around the world require payment of at least a uniform “global minimum corporate tax.” A motivation for

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Peter Schiff: Biden’s Next Tax and Spend Boondoggle

16 days ago

Biden and Company have given us stimulus 3.0. They have unveiled an infrastructure spending plan. But that’s not the end of the spending. Next in the lineup comes the “American Families Plan” — another $1.8 trillion or so of government spending. Peter Schiff talked about it in his podcast, calling it a giant new welfare package. He said ultimately, it’s going to be another giant government boondoggle.The plan includes all kinds of goodies including free community college, government-paid family and medical leave, and “affordable” childcare, free preschool and more. It will be financed with more tax increases on the “rich.”Peter said the American Families Plan is reminiscent of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.We’re coming up with these new welfare benefits that we now want to engrain

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Former JP Morgan Managing Director: We’re on an Economic Cliff!

17 days ago

By and large, the mainstream is bullish on the economy. According to conventional wisdom, we are in the midst of a robust recovery. In fact, many people out there believe the Fed is going to have to tighten monetary policy sooner rather than later. But there are a few people in the mainstream who seem to have caught a glimpse behind the veil. Former JP Morgan managing director Jon Deane told Kitco News that we’re sitting on an economic cliff. And because of that, Deane is extremely bullish on gold and silver.Gold has struggled in recent months due to inflation expectations. Many in the mainstream think the Fed will reverse monetary policy sooner than expected to deal with inflation. In an interview with Kitco News, Deane said inflation is already here.If you look around the world, you

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Peter Schiff: The Federal Reserve Is Basically Just a Big PR Firm

17 days ago

Most people view the Federal Reserve as an important policying-making body driving the economy. But in this clip from an interview with Jay Matin at Cambridge House, Peter Schiff says the Fed’s primary role is that of a marketing firm selling the populace on bad economics and trying to convince everybody that everything is great.Peter said he thinks a large part of the Fed’s job today is public relations and spin.To try to create a false sense of confidence in the US economy and the US dollar.”[embedded content]Peter referenced an interview he saw with former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The interviewer played clips of Bernanke back in 2005 and 2006 as he claimed everything was great and there was nothing to worry about. Bernanke said there was no housing bubble and any

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Pandemic Fueled Renewed Investor Interest in Silver That Should Continue Through 2021

18 days ago

The coronavirus pandemic fueled significant growth in investment demand for silver in 2020. And according to the Silver Institute’s demand is expected to remain robust through 2021.The price of silver was up 27% on average last year on the back of a surge in investment demand. ETF inflows took global holding to over 1 billion ounces for the first time ever.Demand for silver coins and silver bars was also robust, showing an 8% increase last year. Physical investment demand would likely have been even stronger if not for pandemic-related supply disruptions, causing sharply higher wholesale and retail premiums.Silver-backed ETFs grew by a remarkable 331 million ounces last year, an increase of 298%. Silver-backed funds ended 2020 at 1.067 billion ounces.While the pandemic helped drive

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Peter Schiff: Republicans Opposing Tax Hikes Are Hypocrites

18 days ago

Last week, President Biden announced a plan to significantly hike capital gains taxes on the wealthy. Republicans are predictably opposed to the hikes, but in a recent podcast, Peter Schiff said the GOP is mired in hypocrisy.The Biden plan would raise long-term capital gains taxes to 39.6%. For those earning $1 million or more, the new top rate, coupled with an existing surtax on investment income, would jack up the tax on wealthy investors as high as 43.4%.The stock market reacted negatively to the news. As Peter pointed out, higher capital gains rates effectively diminish the value of US stocks.That reduces the present value of corporate earnings by the higher tax rate. And that means that those companies have a lower value and that would be reflected in a lower share

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Fun on Friday: Silver Is Hazardous Waste?

21 days ago

I learned something today. Did you know silver is considered a hazardous waste?So, I’m just going to say upfront that if you have some silver to dispose of, I’ll be happy to take it off your hands.But seriously, according to the EPA, silver is categorized as biohazardous waste and must be disposed of through a licensed silver reclamation service.Now, not to be cynical, but this sounds like a racket.Now, obviously, we’re not just talking about a silver bar here. You don’t have to worry about picking one up and poisoning yourself. If this is a concern for you, again, I’ll be happy to take the silver off your hands.The problem comes from consuming too much silver. So, boys and girls, don’t eat your silver.You’re welcome.Silver waste primarily comes from its medical applications.

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Who Wants Gold? SchiffGold Friday Gold Wrap April 23, 2021

21 days ago

There’s been some chatter in the financial media about the decline of the gold market. Gold is a relic of the past and crypto will replace it as the go-to safe haven and inflation hedge, according to some. But as host Mike Maharrey explains in this episode of the Friday Gold Wrap podcast, the demise of the gold market is greatly exaggerated. A lot of people still want gold. Mike also touches on the national debt in this episode. It’s even worse than most people think.The SchiffGold Friday Gold Wrap podcast combines a succinct summary of the week’s precious metals news coupled with thoughtful analysis. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.Tune in to the Friday Gold Wrap each week for a recap of the week’s economic and political news as it relates to gold and silver,

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Arkansas Senate Passes Bill to Repeal Sales Tax on Gold and Silver Bullion

22 days ago

The Arkansas Senate has passed a bill that would exempt gold and silver bullion and coins from sales tax. This would not only relieve some of the tax burdens on investors in the state; it would also take a small step toward treating gold and silver as money instead of as commodities.Sen. Mark Johnson (R) introduced Senate Bill 336 (SB336) on Feb. 22. The legislation would exempt coins, currency and bullion from the state sales and use tax. This would include bars, ingots, or coins made from gold, silver, platinum, or palladium that are sold based on the value of the metal.On April 19, the Senate Revenue and Tax Committee passed SB336 with a technical amendment. Two days later, the full Senate passed the bill by a vote of 30-1. It will now move to the state House for further

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Peter Schiff: America’s Consumption Economy Is a Bubble Economy

23 days ago

America has turned into a consumption economy. The problem is, economies can’t run on consumption. Peter Schiff explains in this clip from a recent interview.Consumption economies are bubble economies.”A vibrant, healthy economy needs production.Because you cannot consume what is not first produced. Since our economy is so weak and we’re unable to produce the things that we’re consuming, America relies on strong international economies that are able to produce what we consume.”[embedded content]The question is how long will the rest of the world subsidize America’s standard of living? How long will other countries prop up a dysfunctional, weakening US economy by supplying it with goods it cannot produce for itself?And then the dollar crashes and that’s the end of this game. Because to

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Hungary Triples Gold Reserves

23 days ago

In one of the biggest central bank gold buys in decades, Hungary tripled its gold reserves last month.The National Bank of Hungary (Magyar Nemzeti Bank, MNB) bought 63 tons of gold, increasing its gold holdings to 94.5 tons, a record high for that country.In a statement, MNB called gold “a crucial reserve asset.”As it carries no credit or counterparty risks, gold facilitates reinforcing trust in a country in all economic environments, which still renders it one of the most crucial reserve assets worldwide.”The bank cited increasing government debts and inflation worldwide as a reason to hold more gold.The appearance of global spikes in government debts or inflation concerns further increase the importance of gold in national strategy as a safe-haven asset and as a store of value.”This

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Government Spending Doesn’t “Stimulate” the Economy

23 days ago

The US government ran a record $1.7 trillion deficit through the first half of fiscal 2021. That’s a staggering budget shortfall, but only a symptom of the real problem – excessive government spending. We’re told this will “stimulate” the economy. But in the long run, it does no such thing.Conventional wisdom tells us that the government needs to spend money during an economic downturn to “stimulate” the economy. It has done that in spades over the last year, capped by Biden’s most recent stimulus bill. In just six months, Uncle Sam spent a staggering $3.41 trillion. And there is no end in sight to the government spending. Biden and Congress are already fleshing out a new “infrastructure” spending plan.Therein lies the real problem. We could fix the budget shortfall by hiking taxes,

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