Wednesday , May 22 2019
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Peter Schiff: The Consumer Confidence Con-Job

2 days ago

Consumer confidence was much stronger than expected in the latest report that came out Friday. Consumer sentiment jumped to 102.4, well above the 97.5 that was forecast. This was a 15-year high in this University of Michigan index.In his podcast Friday, Peter Schiff said he thinks the reason consumers are so optimistic is the constant positive rhetoric they are bombarded with. They are constantly told that the economy is booming. But in reality, they are falling for a big con-job.[embedded content]I think despite the fact that a lot of American households are not feeling the boom personally, they’re just assuming that’s it’s going to come, that things are going to improve because the economy is so good.”And of course, they are hearing over and over again that the US is going to kick

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China Sells Most US Treasuries in 2-1/2 Years Amid Threats of ‘Nuclear Option’

2 days ago

China sold off the highest level of US Treasurys in nearly 2-1/2 years in March. Meanwhile, there are renewed fears the Chinese could implement its “nuclear options” and sell off even more US debt in retaliation for US trade war tariffs.China sold $20.45 billion in Treasuries in March. That was the biggest US debt dump by China since October 2016.After a four-month pause, the big March sell-off resumes a trend of Chinese Treasury divestment we saw in 2018. China shed nearly $50 billion in US Treasurys last year and dumped American debt for five straight months through October 2019. The Chinese currently hold $1.121 in US debt. That’s the lowest level since May 2017.Overall, foreign investors sold a net $12.53 billion in US government debt in March.China remains the biggest US creditor.

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Until Debt Do Us Part: SchiffGold Friday Gold Wrap 05.17.19

5 days ago

The markets have been up and down this week, riding the trade war roller coaster. And analysts can’t seem to decide if the data of the day is telling us that the economy is sound or slowing. But we do know one thing for sure – there is a lot of debt out there, and there are signs that it might be catching up with us. In this episode of the Friday Gold Wrap podcast, host Mike Maharrey talks student loan and auto loan debt, and what it be telling us about the economy. He also covers some of the latest trade war news and the last batch of economic data.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.Tune in to the Friday Gold Wrap each week for a recap of the

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Auto Loan Delinquencies Approaching Great Recession Peak

6 days ago

Auto loan delinquencies have surged to the highest level since 2011 and are approaching levels seen at their peak during the Great Recession.The percentage of outstanding auto loans in serious delinquency (90 days or more past due) jumped to 4.69% in the first quarter of 2019, according to the latest data from the New York Fed. At their peak during the recession, auto loan delinquencies hit 5.27%. The total amount of delinquent auto loans totals about $60 billion. In dollar terms, the amount of delinquent auto debt is already far above levels seen during the Great Recession.Meanwhile, total outstanding balances on auto loans and leases grew by 4% year-on-year in Q1 to $1.28 trillion. While the dollar amount of outstanding auto loans has surged, the number of accounts has only grown by

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Weekly Market Brief: May 16, 2019

6 days ago

Trade WarAlthough some pressures on US equities from the trade war have been eased, the S&P 500 is down about 3.8% since the end of April. Stocks rebounded Wednesday with the news that the US and China seem to to be making some progress with trade deal talks and that the US may delay some auto tariffs on the EU.  The Dow was up 115 points and the S&P 500 picked up 16.55 points Wednesday. But stock markets still have not recouped all of their losses from the pressure faced these past two weeks.Gold has remained fairly in place in terms of price movements during this whole ordeal, coming out much less risky, if not overall “better*” (*subjective term) over equities. Gold has crossed the psychologically important $1,300 mark a few times, but has not been able to hold that level. Gold has

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Student Debt Bubble Still Growing; Nearly 10% of Loans Delinquent

7 days ago

The rate of delinquency on student loan debt pushed up to 9.5% in the first quarter of 2019, even as total student loan debt climbed to $1.49 trillion according to the latest debt data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.Student loan debt ranks as the second-largest consumer debt category, trailing only mortgages.The total of the outstanding student loans in the US has more than doubled since 2009 when it was $675 million.And there is no sign that the upward-spiraling level of student loan debt will slow any time soon. Just as one example, a recent study by LendEDU revealed the average student loan debt incurred by students at 4-year Michigan universities increased by 52% over one decade. In dollar terms, the amount of debt taken on by Michigan students ballooned by over $10,000

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Gold in Tech: I Can See Clearly Now!

7 days ago

Thanks to gold, you may see even sharper images on your smartphone, computer and television screens the future.We’ve seen tremendous advances in high-resolution technology over the last decade or so. Modern smartphone displays pack millions of pixels in a few inches of space giving us crystal clear images. But researchers at Cambridge University have created even smaller pixels using gold nanoparticles.This is another in a long list of technological innovations using gold that researchers have developed over the last several years.The pixels created by Cambridge researchers are about 1 million times smaller than those in your phone. reported that this development could soon make your modern hi-res display “look decidedly retro.”These new pixels could be used in huge, flexible displays

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Free Money for Everyone! It’s Your Dime Interview with Antony Sammeroff

8 days ago

We’ve seen growing support for a universal basic income or UBI. In a nutshell, the government would pay every citizen a set amount of money without any means testing or work requirement. Democratic Party presidential candidate Andrew Yang has made UBI a central issue in his campaign. Under his plan, every American over the age of 18 would get $1,000 per month, guaranteed.  This sounds great, doesn’t it? Who doesn’t want free money? But the plan raises a few questions — like how would the government pay for it?In this episode of It’s Your Dime, host Mike Maharrey talks with Antony Sammeroff, author of the book “.” They discuss the pros and cons of UBI and delve into some of the economic ramifications. Antony is the author of several books and the host of the Scottish Liberty

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Peter Schiff Talks Trade Wars

8 days ago

Monday was another rough day on Wall Street as the ongoing trade war weighed on stocks. The Dow dropped 617 points and closed below Friday’s low. The NASDAQ was down 3.4% on the day. The Russell 2000 was also off by more than 3%.In his podcast Monday evening, Peter Schiff said he thinks the bear market rally is over.Long live the bear market. This bear market rally is dead. We are going a lot lower.”[embedded content]China announced it will impose higher tariffs on most US imports on a revised $60 billion target list. On Tuesday, a little optimism returned after Pres. Trump said he thought trade negotiations would prove successful. But Peter doesn’t think so. He said he still doesn’t think there will be a deal – and even if there is, it won’t be a significant “win” for the US.I’ve been

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Peter Schiff: The Uber IPO Fiasco and the Writing On the Wall

9 days ago

Uber launched its IPO on Friday. It was less than ideal.Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is talking about how it wants to tweak its quantitative easing program when the next recession rolls around.Peter Schiff talked about how these things relate — and the “writing on the wall” for the economy in his latest podcast. [embedded content]Instead of buying some fixed amount of Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities, the central bankers have floated the idea of pegging a yield during the next economic downturn. For example, it would try to hold the interest rate on a one-year bond at, say, 1%.  As Peter pointed out, this is essentially price-fixing.They’re saying, ‘We don’t want the interest rate that is being determined in the market. We want to interfere in the market so that the interest

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What Can Oil Prices Tell Us About the Dollar and Gold?

9 days ago

Typically, a strong dollar is considered one of the greatest “enemies” of gold and precious metals prices. In fact, a relatively strong dollar has created headwinds for gold for months. Another interesting commodity we can take a look at is oil. Historically, oil and the USD have a negatively correlated relationship, with oil being one of the most inflation-sensitive commodities out there. However, this wasn’t the case late in April. Oil surged to around $65/barrel (WTI). The price has eased a bit since, but it is still trading in the $62/barrell range.Peter Schiff talked about rising oil prices during an interview on RT last month. The main reason for the price surged was Trump’s announcement that the US would tighten sanctions on Iranian oil exports. But the price of oil had been

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Fun on Friday: Beware of Pretty Girls Selling Gold

12 days ago

Every other day or so, I get Facebook friend requests from beautiful women. I would like to think it’s because of my handsome face and insightful commentary on why taxation is theft. But I’m pretty certain that’s not what’s going on here.Nope. The ugly truth is that these are fake accounts trolling for – well I’m not exactly sure what they’re trolling for. I am quick on the delete button when profiles of “women” with no friends in common, no information about themselves on their profile, and no posts other than a few photos, pop up on that friend request list. So, I’m a little in the dark on the specifics of the game they’re playing, but I’m certain that it is likely something that, if taken to its conclusion, would lighten my wallet and likely damage my pride.Or maybe porn.Yeah.

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Trump Ain’t No Ron Paul: Friday Gold Wrap 05.10.19

12 days ago

Trump has leveled a lot of criticism at the Federal Reserve over that last several months. This has led some people to proclaim that the president is an enemy of the Fed. But as Mike Maharrey explains in this week’s Friday Gold Wrap podcast, Trump is no Ron Paul. The president’s beef with the Fed is more about policy and less about the central bank itself. And we should never forget — policy has consequences. In this episode, Mike gives a simple overview of how the Fed creates boom-bust cycles and why Trump needs more boom. He also covers the latest on the trade war and what’s going on in the gold market.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.Tune

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As the Trade War Unfolds Keep an Eye on the Dollar

13 days ago

As the trade war continues to unfold, investors should keep an eye on the dollarHeated rhetoric between the US and China continued as negotiators from the two countries prepared to sit down for the latest round of trade talks. Pres. Donald Trump accused the Chinese of “breaking the trade deal.” Meanwhile, the Chinese threatened to retaliate if the US increases tariffs. Trump has said he will move ahead and hike tariffs to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports at the end of this week.Stock markets have reacted negatively to this turn of events. The Dow fell 473 points on Tuesday as the trade war rhetoric heated up.What we can infer from this exchange is that in reality, the trade war may continue to linger on for quite some time, with a long path ahead before a potential

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Good News or Bad News? Consumer Debt Sets New Record But Rate of Borrowing Could Be Slowing

13 days ago

Consumer debt continues to climb and break records every month. But the pace of borrowing slowed in March, a possible red flag for the US economy.Total consumer debt rose $10.3 billion in March, hitting a record-setting total of $4.05 trillion, according to the latest report by the Federal Reserve.Through the first quarter of 2019, American indebtedness increased at a 4.25% annual rate. But the March increase came in at just only 3.1% and ranked as the smallest consumer debt increase in nine months.The consumer debt figures include credit card debt, student loans and auto loans, but do not factor in mortgage debt.Americans kept their credit cards in their wallets in March. Revolving credit, primarily credit card debt, fell by 2.18 billion (2.5%) in March after a gain of 3.5% in

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Gold Demand Up Sharply During Important Indian Holiday

14 days ago

Jewelers and dealers in India reported brisk gold sales on Akshaya Tritiya, despite the holiday falling on a workday and extreme heat in some regions of the country.Akshay Tritiya ranks as one of the four most important days for Hindus. The word  roughly translates to “the never diminishing.” The day is believed to bring good luck and success. It is also considered one of the most auspicious occasions to buy precious metals, including gold.According to the , gold sales were up by as much as 25% on Akshay Tritiya, which fell on May 7 this year.Saurabh Gadgil serves national vice-president of the India Bullion & Jewellers Association. He told the he was very positive about Akshay Tritiya sales this year.Footfalls are good as there is a positive sentiment. Despite being a working day and

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China Adds Gold to Reserves for Fifth Straight Month, Ups Pace of Buying

15 days ago

China added gold to its reserves for the fifth straight month in April and is buying gold at an accelerating pace.According to the latest numbers released by the People’s Bank of China, the central bank added 14.9 tons of gold to its hoard in April. That raises total official Chinese gold reserves to 1909.4 tons or 61.1 million ounces.China has been adding gold to its reserves over the last several months as it continues efforts to minimize its exposure to the US dollar.April’s addition of 14.9 tons of gold was the largest since the People’s Bank of China started buying gold again last winter.In December 2018, the central bank announced the first addition of gold to its reserves since 2016. The Chinese have a history of going long periods without officially adding gold to its stores and

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The Fed Issues Ironic Warning About Rising Corporate Debt

15 days ago

The Federal Reserve has issued another warning about corporate debt.But the Fed’s concerns seem a bit ironic considering its own easy-money policies have made all of this borrowing possible.Last fall, the Fed warned about the rising tide of risky corporate debt. According to the Federal Reserve’s most recent Financial Stability Report, things have only gotten worse.Borrowing by businesses is historically high relative to gross domestic product (GDP), with the most rapid increases in debt concentrated among the riskiest firms amid signs of deteriorating credit standards.”According to the Fed, the growth in business debt has outpaced GDP growth for the last decade.Although debt-financing costs are low, the elevated level of debt could leave the business sector vulnerable to a downturn in

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Peter Schiff: It’s the Same Economy; Nothing Has Changed

16 days ago

April’s jobs report came out better than expected. According to the Labor Department, the economy added 263,000 jobs last month. That came in well above the expectation of 180,000 jobs. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.6%, the lowest level since December 1969.But in his most recent podcast, Peter Schiff said the job headlines actually mask the real story.[embedded content]Of course, Donald Trump tweeted about how great the job numbers were. Peter tweeted out a little reminder in response.But I though the official unemployment rate is a fraud, scam, hoax, etc. You said so many times yourself when campaigned against Obama’s phony economy. Do you no longer care about discouraged workers who have left the labor force, or those involuntarily working part-time?”Many people are pointing to

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Bitcoin Is a Replacement for Gold? Not So Much

16 days ago

A recent video ad produced by a digital currency asset company titled “Drop Gold” created some waves on social media last week. The ad encourages investors to drop gold from their portfolios and replace it with digital currencies such as Bitcoin. “In a digital world, gold shouldn’t weigh down your portfolio,” the ad proclaims.But is Bitcoin really a replacement for gold? While the Drop Gold ad may seem clever and cute, cryptocurrencies aren’t a replacement for gold.The most obviously ludicrous claim made by the ad is that gold has “no utility.” This reminds me of CNBC commentator Jim Leventhal saying that gold as “no use as a metal” a few months ago. In fact, gold has a wide range of uses from making jewelry to high-tech applications. That’s one characteristic that makes gold ideal as

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Stuck in Neutral: SchiffGold Friday Gold Wrap 05.03.19

19 days ago

The Federal Reserve FOMC met this week. When it was all said and done, the Fed did nothing. We’re stuck in neutral.As expected, there was no rate hike. Fed Chair Jerome Powell indicated that the central bank would likely maintain this neutral stance into the foreseeable future, staying patient, neither raising nor lowering rates. So, why in the world did markets react like the Fed just jacked up interest rates? On this episode of the Friday Gold Wrap, host Mike Maharrey talks about it. He also gives an overview of the most recent World Gold Council demand report.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.Tune in to the Friday Gold Wrap each week for a

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Peter Schiff: The Fed Is a Lot More Dovish Than It Admits

20 days ago

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting wrapped up yesterday with Fed policy still in neutral.As expected, the FOMC left interest rates unchanged and seemed to indicate it doesn’t plan to do anything at all in the near-term. Jerome Powell’s comments dampened expectations that the central bank might move to cut rates in the coming months.The committee is comfortable with current policy stance. Don’t see a strong case for a rate move either way.”Most took Powell’s comments to be less dovish than expected, but Peter Schiff said he thinks the Fed is a lot more dovish than it admits.[embedded content]A lot of the focus was on inflation. CPI remains slightly below the Fed’s 2% target. Powell said the  Fed suspects that “transitory factors are at play,” and that the central bank

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Focus on Fundamentals: Gold Demand Up 7% in the First Quarter

20 days ago

Gold demand was up 7% year-on-year in the first quarter, according to the World Gold Council report.Total global demand came in at 1,053.3 tons, driven primarily by central bank buying, inflows of metal into ETFs and strong demand for gold jewelry. This compares with a relatively weak first quarter last year when demand sank to a 3-year low.Central banks added 145.5 tons of gold to their reserves in Q1. It was the strongest first quarter since 2013 and exceeded the five-year quarterly average of 129.2 tons.Economic uncertainty caused by trade tensions, sluggish growth and a low/negative interest rate environment continued to weigh heavy on reserve managers’ minds. And geopolitics still cause consternation. In the face of these challenges, central banks continued to accumulate

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Australian Mines Are Running Out of Gold

21 days ago

Australian mines are running out of gold, according to a report by S&P Global Market Intelligence.Analysts say Australia sits poised above a “production cliff.” The country could slip from the world’s second-largest gold producer to fourth by 2024.The Australian gold mining industry faces the same problem as South Africa’s – aging mines.S&P Global Market Intelligence research analyst Chris Galbraith said Australia’s biggest gold mines are getting older and not enough new discoveries are being made to replace them.Those have been great mines, they’ve had excellent lives, but nevertheless all good things must eventually come to a close and they are running out of gold.”South Africa gold production has been in a similar downward spiral for several years. Although the country still ranks

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Silver News: Global Demand Up and More Technical Innovations

21 days ago

Global silver demand rose for the first time since 2015 last year.The Silver Institute highlighted the growing demand for silver along with a number of technological innovations utilizing the white metal in its latest edition of .Investment demand and rising jewelry sales helped boost overall demand for the white metal by 4% in 2018.  Total silver demand came in at 1.03 billion ounces last year. That marked a three-year high.Silver bar demand jumped by 53%. Investors India led the way. Demand there leaped 115% higher last year.Silver jewelry demand moved 4% higher worldwide in 2018, coming in at 212.5 million ounces. India was again the standout with demand for jewelry up 16% – a new record level. Demand also picked up in North America. US silver jewelry sales posted a 7% rise to an

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The Fed Appears Poised to Resume Monetizing the US Government’s Massive Debt

22 days ago

It looks like the Federal Reserve is about to get back into the bond business and help the US government deal with its massive debt.The Treasury Department announced yesterday that it will not have to borrow as much money in the third quarter of fiscal 2019 as originally anticipated. But this is not because of a slowdown in government spending. According to a Treasury official cited by , the reason for the lower borrowing estimate is due to an anticipated increase in Fed Treasury holdings as the central bank ends its balance sheet reduction program.In a statement, the Treasury Department said it will borrow a mere $30 billion during the April-June period. It was originally planning on selling an estimated $83 billion in bonds. According to the statement, the lower estimate was due to

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Central Bank Gold-Buying Binge Continues

22 days ago

Central banks added more gold to their reserves last month, continuing a trend that stretches back into last year.Globally, central banks added another 31 net tons of gold in March, according to the latest report by the World Gold Council based on International Monetary Fund data. That brings the total increase in central bank gold holdings this year to 101 tons. Gross gold purchases globally totaled 38 tons, with four central banks reporting an increase of one ton or more. Gross gold sales came in at 7 tons.Ongoing trade tensions and economic sluggishness remain the driving factors behind this continued diversification through gold,” according to the WGC.Central bank gold purchases hit a level not seen since 2008 through the first two months of this, totaling 90 tons. Central banks

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Peter Schiff: What’s Going on With the GDP?

23 days ago

The Commerce Department released the first estimate of Q1 GDP growth on Friday. It came in higher than expected at 3.2%.Somewhat surprisingly, the price of gold rose on the news and the dollar showed some weakness. The primary reason was presumably lower inflation. This means the Fed still has the excuse it needs to continue the Powell Pause.There was also some data in the Commerce Department’s report that reveals shakiness in that growth number. In fact, Peter Schiff said he thinks this will likely be the strongest growth of the year. [embedded content]An increase in inventories helped drive Q1 growth. This isn’t necessarily a positive trend. It could mean that consumers aren’t buying, causing inventories to pile up. In fact, final sales to domestic purchasers increased by only 1.4%.

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Peter Schiff Talks Oil and Inflation (Video)

23 days ago

Peter Schiff recently appeared on RT to talk about rising oil prices, how they relate to inflation and what it could mean for the US economy.President Trump has been pushing to limit Iranian oil exports as much as possible. Peter said the president needs to get his priorities straight. On the one hand, Trump has complained about the Federal Reserve raising interest rates. But one of the main reasons the Fed has given for the “Powell Pause” is that low oil prices have kept inflationary pressures low. Meanwhile, oil prices have risen some 40% since the last time the central bank nudged rates up.If prices keep rising, they may run out of excuses.”[embedded content]Peter said putting the squeeze on Iranian oil will help other producers such as Saudi Arabia, but ultimately the US economy

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Yo! Where’s the Inflation At? SchiffGold Friday Gold Wrap 04.26.19

26 days ago

The mainstream pundits and economists keep telling us inflation is “tame.” But is it really? Or are they just not looking in the right place? In this episode of the Friday Gold Wrap, host Mike Maharrey talks about inflation and how it factors into the bubble economy. He also covers the week’s activity in the gold market and gives you your daily dose of dumb.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.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 content]SHOW

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