• Why the Plunge Protection Team Loves Fridays

    The Plunge Protection Team has been hard at work lately, although not in the way some traders might imagine. The very name evokes the shadowy activities of a group of Svengalis believed to control the stock market through timely interventions in such key trading vehicles as the S&P 500 futures. In fact, the PPT, more blandly known as the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, was commissioned under President Reagan after the 1987 Crash to prevent meltdowns. These day, however, nearly six years into a ferocious bull market that seldom pauses for breath, one might question why a Plunge Protection Team is needed at all. The answer is that the PPT, far from defending against selling panics, has been furtively on the offensive, triggering short-squeeze panics that spike shares to new record highs at every opportunity. Usually, the news catalyzing these rallies hits the tickertape on a Friday, when the effects of a short-covering binge are apt to be most effective. It is hardly a stretch to imagine that these engineered events have been scheduled and coordinated by the PPT, working in concert with the central banks.

    This post was published at Rick Ackerman on NOVEMBER 24, 2014.

  • Swiss bank chief wants cartel to continue

    The head of the SNB reiterated concerns that a popular vote on requiring the central bank to keep a fifth of its assets in gold would hinder its ability to conduct monetary policy.
    In text of a speech to be delivered Sunday, SNB Chairman Thomas Jordan said the initiative, known as ‘Save Our Swiss Gold,’ would limit the central bank’s ‘room for maneuver.’ for that read, manipulate markets to suit. That it would make it harder for the bank to intervene(manipulate) during crises and fulfill its mandate of price(manipulation) stability.
    ‘The initiative is both unnecessary and dangerous,’ Mr. Jordan said in the speech. ‘It is unnecessary because, under the current monetary order, there is no link between price stability and the share of gold in the SNB balance sheet.’
    On Nov. 30, the Swiss will vote on whether the SNB should be required to maintain a minimum of 20% of its assets in gold. If passed, the initiative would also prevent the SNB from selling gold and force it to repatriate its holdings of the precious metal maintained in the U. K. and Canada.

    This post was published at TruthinGold on November 24, 2014.

  • The Mystery Of America’s “Schrodinger” Middle Class, Which Is Either Thriving Or About To Go Extinct

    On one hand, the US middle class has rarely if ever had it worse. At least, if one actually dares to venture into this thing called the real world, and/or believes the NYT’s report: “Falling Wages at Factories Squeeze the Middle Class.” Some excerpts:
    For nearly 20 years, Darrell Eberhardt worked in an Ohio factory putting together wheelchairs, earning $18.50 an hour, enough to gain a toehold in the middle class and feel respected at work. He is still working with his hands, assembling seats for Chevrolet Cruze cars at the Camaco auto parts factory in Lorain, Ohio, but now he makes $10.50 an hour and is barely hanging on. ‘I’d like to earn more,’ said Mr. Eberhardt, who is 49 and went back to school a few years ago to earn an associate’s degree. ‘But the chances of finding something like I used to have are slim to none.’
    Even as the White House and leaders on Capitol Hill and in Fortune 500 boardrooms all agree that expanding the country’s manufacturing base is a key to prosperity, evidence is growing that the pay of many blue-collar jobs is shrinking to the point where they can no longer support a middle-class life.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/24/2014.

  • Economic goals of young and old pulling in diverging directions: times will only get tougher for young Americans.

    Older Americans tend to vote in larger numbers and are more interested in politics than younger Americans. In the past the older voting cohort was not as large so politicians were cautious about deviating too far for one group alone. Today, we are having a large number of older Americans living longer into old age. Social Security has become the default retirement plan for many older Americans. It should come as no surprise that priorities of the young and the old diverge dramatically. Younger Americans are interested in education while older Americans are interested in Social Security and military defense. Yet each group needs each other to accomplish their goals. The young fight wars and Social Security is paid out via current payroll taxes. Education requires teachers and those willing to enlighten future generations. Unfortunately people vote myopically and in many cases, setup systems that are detrimental to their own children.
    America is getting older
    By 2020 we will have over 54 million Americans 65 years of age or older. This is a very large percentage of the population. At the same time, the system will be relying on fewer younger workers for each old retiree on Social Security. This will simply add additional strain to the system.
    First, take a look at the aging of the country:

    This post was published at MyBudget360 on November 24, 2014.

  • 122 Tonnes of Gold Secretly Repatriated to Netherlands

    The Dutch central bank said Friday it is repatriating some of its gold reserves from the U. S., making it the latest central bank in Europe to address public concerns about the safety of its gold in the wake of the eurozone debt crisis.
    As the debate regarding whether or not Switzerland should keep the bulk of its gold reserves at home on Swiss soil reaches it’s climax – the referendum takes place on Sunday – it is telling that the Dutch announced on Friday that they have just secretly repatriated 122 tonnes of their sovereign gold reserves from New York back to Amsterdam.
    The gold, worth $5 billion at today’s prices, represents 20% of the Netherlands total reserves. It now keeps 31% of its reserves in Amsterdam. Another 31% is believed to be in New York, with the remainder spread between Ottawa and London – the same locations where the bulk of Swiss gold is purported to be stored.

    This post was published at Gold Core on 24 November 2014.

  • The Answer to this Question Will Change Silver Forever

    First of all, my brothers, I wanted to let you know that things will all soon be fixed in the contractual, derivative silver and gold markets! You heard me correctly, things will be made ‘right as rain’, and all those responsible for helping the fraud and rigging within these markets will be brought to justice! Wanna know why? Well, look no further than this latest announcement by the CFTC!
    Washington, DC – The U. S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today launched CFTC SmartCheck, a new national campaign to help investors identify and protect themselves against financial fraud. The comprehensive campaign includes a new website, a national advertising campaign and interactive videos that will help investors spot investment offers that are potentially fraudulent. The new website, SmartCheck. CFTC.gov, unveiled today, is an educational tool that helps investors conduct background checks of financial professionals.
    Yes, the CFTC has redoubled their efforts to protect us all from financial fraud, God bless them! Why, they’ve even made a brand new website to help check the backgrounds of financial professionals! You see, this is crucial, because once the investing public uses this new ‘SmartCheck’ system on each member of the CFTC itself, they will discover that this organization has protected massive cons and market rigging in the commodity and precious metals spaces, by the largest investment and bullion banks on earth! Once citizens realize it, they will demand multiple arrests within the CFTC, and that law-makers shut down this shell organization for good!
    Whew, and not a moment too soon, either! About time someone made this exceptionally helpful tool available to the investing public! Finally, justice for every regulator who has colluded with the banks, starting with the inventors of SmartCheck itself!
    Onto the Matter at Hand
    Ahh, ok, that’s enough Holiday humor! Ya know, sometimes ya gotta laugh to keep from weeping, as they say. In this case though, I suspect some of you may have laughed so hard that you did weep!
    Recently, I took some time to highlight the silver investment demand numbers in India, because the figures we’re seeing there have staggering implications for every stacker. I’ve been watching India like a hawk because, believe it or not, their attitude toward silver is what largely holds the immediate present for precious metals in its hands.

    This post was published at The Wealth Watchman on NOVEMBER 24, 2014.

  • Gregory Mannarino-Deflation First then Massive Inflation

    The following video was published by Greg Hunter on Nov 23, 2014
    On timing of the dollar’s demise, Gregory Mannarino of TradersChoice.net says, ‘Money velocity is the speed money moves through the system. Once we begin to see the money velocity start to pick up, we’re going to have the $3.3 plus trillion, which the Federal Reserve has printed out of thin air since the crash of 2008. All those extra bills are going to start chasing the same amount of goods. You do not need to be a rocket scientist to figure out how this is going to play out. In my book, ‘The Politics of Money,’ I say in the end stage, we would see deflation first and then massive inflation, and that plays exactly into what’s going on right now. . . . The U. S. dollar is on borrowed time, and I think there is going to be a terrible price to pay. . . . Watch for hyperinflation because it is a very real possibility.’

  • Futures Poised For New Record Highs On Weekend Central Bank Double Whammy

    Another day, another case of central banks, not one but two this time, dictating “price” action.
    On Saturday, traders woke up to the following headlines from the ECB’s Constancio, which the market promptly digested and spun as bullish from more ECB QE, leading to one after another bank pulling forward their estimates of first bond monetization by Mario Draghi (CSFB now believes it will take place in December from Q1 of 2015):
    Colorful rhetoric aimed at 5-year-olds aside, the Portuguese central banker said no decision has been made yet on buying sovereign bonds but if banks finding existing measures insufficient then the ECB will have to consider buying other assets including sovereign bonds. This follows last week’s comments from Draghi when he said he would “do what we must to raise inflation and inflation expectations as fast as possible”. As a result there has been a fresh round of calls for an ECB programme and as such has benefited peripheral fixed income products. This has led to the Spanish 10yr yield breaking below 2.0% and Italian 5yr below 1.0% for the first time.
    And then to further make the BTFATH case, Reuters reported citing an “unnamed official” that China’s Friday rate cut is just the first of many, and as a result the entire fixed income curve across Chinese product has repriced substantially, even as the Chinese Yuan is starting to crack on what we hinted weeks ago will be a devaluation of the currency as China is now, in the words of BNP, “losing the currency war.” This happens when in a delayed session (the Friday PBOC announcement took place after China close), Asia risk assets rallied higher across the board, led by a relative outperformance in Chinese assets. The CSI 300 Shanghai Composite and the Hang Seng are currently 3.24% and 2.04% respectively. China 5y CDS is also 2bp tighter. CNH has opened some 0.1% weaker versus the Dollar. Markets in Japan are closed but major bourses in Korea and Australia are also 0.72% and 1.08% stronger respectively.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/24/2014.

  • Solar powers record demand for silver

    Back in the olden days, before the advent of digital cameras, photographers used a curious thing called film. Surely you remember having to feed a roll of the stuff into your analog camera. Then you’d take the roll to your local drug store and wait a week for it to be developed, only to discover that you had the lens cap on during the entirety of Cousin Ted’s birthday party.
    What some people don’t know about film is that it’s coated with a thin layer of silver chloride, silver bromide or silver iodide. Not only is silver essential for the production of film but it was also once necessary for the viewing of motion pictures. Movie screens were covered in paint embedded with the reflective white metal, which is how the term ‘silver screen’ came to be.
    Since 1999, photography has increasingly gone digital, and as a result, silver demand in the film industry has contracted about 70 percent. But there to pick up the slack in volume is a technology that also requires silver: photovoltaic (PV) installation, otherwise known as solar energy.
    For the first time, in fact, silver demand in the fabrication of solar panels is set to outpace photography, if it hasn’t already done so.

    This post was published at TruthinGold on November 24, 2014.

  • Gold Price Forecast Per Growth In US Money Supply

    Indubitably, there are several factors which heretofore have affected the price of gold. Needless to say, these factors have been material drivers that have fuelled the price of gold since the present secular bull market was birthed in 2001. Here are these gold price stimulating forces:
    The bombing of New York’s World Trade Center September 11, 2001 (the infamous 911 event). Major World Central Banks accumulating gold reserves. Accelerated Growth in the US Fed’s Balance Sheet. China’s goal to diversity its overtly dangerous FOREX risk away from the US greenback. China’s covert objective to replace the US$ reserve currency with its own gold backed Renminbi. Central Bank gold price manipulation with a view to protect its fiat paper money policies. Accelerated growth in the US Money Supply. The following analysis will attempt to make a gold price prediction based solely on the last factor:
    Accelerated Growth in the US Money Supply.
    M-1 Money Supply

    This post was published at Gold-Eagle on November 24, 2014.

  • Central Banks: When We Succeed, We Fail

    Goosing stocks ever higher will eventually push wealth inequality to the point that it unleashes social instability. Central banks around the world share a few simple goals: 1. Defeat deflation by sparking inflation–in the cost of goods and services, not wages.
    2. Weaken the currency to boost exports and counter beggar thy neighbor devaluations by other exporting nations and trading blocs.
    3. Boost the value of stocks to keep pension plans afloat and project a politically powerful message of “growth” and “prosperity.”
    What no central bank dares say is what happens should they manage to boost inflation, devalue their currency and continue pushing assets higher: when we succeed, we fail. Consider the consequences of juicing inflation: every click up in inflation further reduces the purchasing power of wages, which do not keep up with inflation in a world of labor surplus.
    When central banks succeed in jacking up inflation, they will fail the households and enterprises whose income is stagnating or declining:Were European Central Bank head Mario Draghi honest, here is what he would say:

    This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on NOVEMBER 23, 2014.

  • American CEOs Sum Up The Economic Outlook: “Softness, Stagnant, Cautious, Challenging”

    Since May, CEO confidence among America’s largest companies had stagnated – even as stocks did what they do and rise, rise, rise. That changed when Bullard (now explained as “misunderstood” by the market) set fire to stocks with his QE4 hints and Plunge Protection Team rescue. However, the last 2 weeks have seen a noticable collapse once again in CEO confidence, according to Bloomberg’s Orange Book index, even as stocks reach new higher all-time-er highs. As Bloomberg’s Rich Yamarone notes, recent earnings calls highlight the headwinds companies face: Executives cite ‘softness in consumer spending,’ a ‘challenging’ climate, ‘fairly stagnant economy,’ and ‘cautious’ optimism. Currency valuations are front and center.
    Quite a drop from the kneejerk exuberane after Bullard…

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/23/2014.

  • Dudley Do Wrong Rejects Being a ‘Cop’ and Embraces ‘Foaming the Runways’

    This is a syndicated repost courtesy of New Economic Perspectives. To view original, click here.
    San Fransisco, CA: November 22, 2014
    William Dudley, the President of the NY Fed, is not a stupid man. He is, however, wholly unfit to be a regulator. He has now admitted that publicly. It is time for him to return to Goldman Sachs so that he can be replaced by someone expressly chosen to be a vigorous regulator who will embrace the most critical function of a financial regulator – to be the tough ‘regulatory cop on the beat.’
    The story of Dudley’s ineptness has been mirrored by the New York Times’inept coverage of the failures of one of the reporter Peter Eavis’ favorite sons on Wall Street. Eavis is a Brit with a B. A. in international history and politics. He has also been a pastor. He co-authored the epically incoherent column on the NY Fed’s most recent scandal, the leaking of confidential information by a NY Fed employee to a former NY Fed employee who had joined Goldman Sachs. I criticized that column in my November 20, 2014article and provided some of the key missing facts and analytics.
    Eavis has now written what purports to be a news story, but often reads like an editorial, about the November 21 Senate hearing on a series of recent NY Fed failures. Eavis introduces his piece with this snide slam at Senator Elizabeth Warren.
    ‘William C. Dudley, the president of the New York Fed, defended the agency, but Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, at one point told him, ‘You need to fix it, Mr. Dudley, or we need to get someone who will.’
    The president of the New York Fed is not chosen by Congress. And much of the stern questioning could be seen as the sort of grandstanding that plays well with those who want to limit Wall Street’s power or were harmed in the financial crisis of 2008. Even so, it will be hard for the Fed to ignore the anger directed at Mr. Dudley. The New York Fed is the public’s first line of defense against Wall Street’s excesses and abuses, and the discontent in Congress could build if more evidence emerges that suggests the New York Fed is not tough enough with the large banks it oversees.’

    The mendacity of these two paragraphs is a joy to dissect. First, one of the most serious problems is the fact that the ‘president of the New York Fed is not chosen by Congress’ – or, more precisely, by the President with the ‘advice and consent’ of the Senate. As long as our anti-regulators are chosen by industry they are supposed to regulate they will be anti-regulators and they will fail to regulate effectively. My prior column explained this obvious conflict of interest, the fact that the identical conflict used to institutionalized into the Federal Home Loan Bank system, that Congress decided in 1989 (by enacting FIRREA) to eliminate the conflict by ensuring that regulation was done only by federal employees and stripping all governmental functions from the FHLBs, and that this was done with the support of the regulatory leaders of the FHLB of San Francisco because we agreed with the need to remove the conflict of interest even though the prior system was strongly in our self-interest. Dudley is a whole lot wealthier than we were and the fact that he continues to advocate for maximizing his self-interest by maintaining such an obvious conflict of interest, despite a record of abject regulatory failure at the regional Fed banks, demonstrates one reason he is unfit to be a regulator.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on November 23, 2014.

  • JIM ROGERS on the U.S. DOLLAR COLLAPSE – Russia, China & World Moving Away From USD

    JIM ROGERS on the U. S. DOLLAR COLLAPSE – Russia, China & World Moving Away From USD
    Financial analyst Jim Willie sensationally claims that Germany is preparing to ditch the unipolar system backed by NATO and the U. S. in favor of joining the BRICS nations, and that this is why the NSA was caught spying on Angela Merkel and other German leaders.
    In an interview with USA Watchdog’s Greg Hunter, Willie, a statistical analyst who holds a PhD in statistics, asserted that the real reason behind the recent NSA surveillance scandal targeting Germany was centered around the United States’ fear that Europe’s financial powerhouse is looking to escape from an inevitable dollar collapse.
    ‘I think they are looking for details on assisting Russia on dumping the dollar. I think they are looking for details for a secret movement for Germany to get away from the dollar and join the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.) This is exactly what I think they are going to do,’ said Willie.
    Earlier this month, the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), announced the creation of a new $100 billion dollar anti-dollar alternative IMF bank to be based in Shanghai and chaired by Moscow. The State Duma has already been submitted a relevant bill banning and terminating the circulation of USD in Russia, APA’s Moscow correspondent reports.

    This post was published at Investment WatchBlog on November 23rd, 2014.

  • The Velocity of Dirty Money: What the Grubby 100-Peso Notes Say About Inflation in Argentina

    By Bianca Fernet, stilettos-on-the-ground American economist in Buenos Aires, antidote to economists who act like economics is too complicated to understand and who spout off buzzwords that make you feel inadequate. Her website The Bubble covers pop and econ topics in Argentina.
    You know that feeling when you touch a crisp Argentine peso note?
    In fact, you’ve probably noticed that your peso bills are quite the opposite. Generally pretty tattered, often taped together, and sometimes all around limp and damp. While I lack adequate resources to do a full comparative study on the quality of Argentine peso paper via other papers in the world, the weary state of our peso notes is likely more due to inflation. Inflation in Argentina has been around for literally the better part of the century. In fact, a recent post even discussed if Argentines don’t really react to the phenomenon anymore.
    Although inflation is not new here, it still receives a great deal of attention on the political front. The government maintains a frozen price list for a basket of consumer goods, and the statistics agency INDEC claims one can eat on ARS $10 pesos per day. The Bubble’s own Sam Pothecary recently tested the claim and he’s still around (I think?), so at least we know that to be true to some extent.

    This post was published at Wolf Street on November 23, 2014.

  • Riots Erupt Against ECB in Germany

    In an important demonstration against the euro and the ECB’s policy that took place on Saturday in Frankfurt serious riots have erupted showing the civil unrest is spreading right on target now in Germany. Protesters had overcome the fences for the new ECB headquarters, but were pushed back by the police. The new building will cost taxpayers more than one billion euros and will be significantly more expensive than planned.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on November 23, 2014.

  • PETER SCHIFF: Gold Will Take A Rocketship Higher

    The following video was published by SGTreport.com on Nov 23, 2014
    “You have the choice between owning fiat currency and owning real gold. And I think right now the only thing that’s keeping gold from going ballistic is the false belief that the FED is the lone holdout in this race to the bottom, that the FED is out of the QE business and is going to be raising rates, and when people find out that is wrong and when they find out that we’re going to do more QE than Japan and Europe combined, they’ll realize they’ve jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire.” – Peter Schiff

  • China To The Dollar: ‘Tick Tock, Tick Tock…’

    China’s ICBC to set up offshore yuan center in Los Angeles: ‘Beijing wants to promote its currency to more international investors and eventually turn the ‘redback’ into a global reserve currency, while at the same time expanding its already considerable political and economic clout.’ – Article Link
    It’s not ‘IF’ the dollar collapses, it’s ‘WHEN.’ Just a matter of time…

    This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on November 23, 2014.