Gold prices will recover next year as demand in China and India improves, according to Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., which forecast an advance for bullion even as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates. The precious metal will climb to $1,280 an ounce by the end of 2015, rising each quarter, strategists Victor Thianpiriya and Mark Pervan wrote in an e-mailed report dated Dec. 17. The forecast for end-2016 is $1,420, according to the report.
By Pam Martens Wall Street on Parade, New York Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Citigroup is the Wall Street mega-bank that forced the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999; blew itself up as a result of the repeal in 2008; was propped back up with the largest taxpayer bailout in the history of the world even though it was insolvent and didn't qualify for a bailout; has now written its own legislation to deregulate itself; got the president of the United States to lobby for its passage; and received an up vote from both houses of Congress in less than a week.
And there is one more thing you should know at the outset about Citigroup: It didn't just have a hand in bringing the country to its knees in 2008; it was a key participant in the 1929 collapse under the moniker National City Bank. Both the U.S. Senate's investigation of the collapse of the financial system in 1929 and the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission that investigated the 2008 collapse cited this bank as a key culprit. ...
The 8th largest economy on the entire planet is in a state of turmoil right now. The shocking collapse of the price of oil has hit a lot of countries really hard, but very few nations are as dependent on energy production as Russia is. Sales of oil and natural gas account for approximately two-thirds of all Russian exports and approximately 50 percent of all government revenue. So it should be no surprise that the fact that the price of oil has declined by almost 50 percent since June is absolutely catastrophic for the Russian economy. And when you throw in international sanctions, wild money printing by the Central Bank of Russia and unprecedented capital flight, you get the ingredients for an almost perfect storm. But those of us living in the western world should not be too smug about what is happening in Russia, because the nightmare that is unfolding over there is just a preview of the economic chaos that will soon envelop the whole world.
Will we ever tire of navigating the multiple layers of intermediaries between the customer and the provider, while corporate profits soar to unprecedented heights?
If we had to summarize what's wrong with Corporate America and the entire U.S. economy, we can start with all the intermediaries between the provider and the customer. There are a number of examples we're all familiar with.
One is healthcare, where a veritable phalanx of intermediaries filters the interactions between doctors and patients so heavily that the traditional practice of medicine has been nullified.
By traditional I mean the arrangement that was conventional a few short decades ago: you went to the doctor of your choice (typically, the same doctor your family used), he/she treated you, and you paid the doctor's bill in cash. Only hospitalization was covered by the minimal (and minimally limiting) healthcare insurance plans of the time.
The Silver Institute: Glistening Particles of Industrial Silver (Redacted)
Read The Silver Institute's Industrial Demand Report before you decide if owning silver is right for you. Click for instant access to the report.
Demand for silver for industrial purposes is increasing and the long term outlook for Silver’s use is exciting. The Silver Institute in conjunction with CRU Consulting released a report in early December announcing that industrial applications for silver will increase demand by 27% (142 million ounces) by 2018.
CRU Consultants stated, "Looking ahead, we are bullish on the industrial applications of silver, which will support the total silver demand in the long run. As technologies develop, a variety of new applications are emerging that have the potential for mass consumption, bringing with them prospects for augmenting industrial silver demand. CRU Consulting forecasts that the industrial applications of silver (excluding photography) will increase from 535 Moz in 2013 to 677 Moz in 2018 with the electrical and electronics sector contributing ....
Economist Harry Dent says falling oil prices will be a trigger for another economic calamity. Dent explains, “Normally, oil prices falling in a good economy like the 80’s and 90’s, where we have falling inflation and booming productivity and good demographic trends, this would be a good thing. It is a good thing for consumers and businesses, but it is a bad thing for financial markets and our whole debt structure. We have the greatest debt bubble in history. It’s the greatest asset bubble in history, including stocks, commodities, real estate and everything. The last time this bubble burst was in 2008 because of the subprime crises. A small tranche of loans went bad, and it triggered a whole debt crisis . . . that’s what I see. I see a fracking bubble here. What’s happened is because of demographic trends, which we predicted years ago, trends in developed countries are set to slow. It will be aging baby boomers spending less money, very simple to see. In addition to that, you get this fracking revolution with all the low cost money from the Fed stimulus and zero interest rates, and what you have now is we created two million extra barrels of oil a day just out of Texas and North Dakota.”
Egon on Greyerz: “Eric, we have a world of record low or even negative interest rates and of record debts. This combination of high debts and low interest rates breaks every economic law that exists. We must not believe that this situation will be allowed to last for another 5 years because we will see interest rates at 20 percent in most countries....
Nearly one in five Americans expect to be in debt the rest of their lives and never pay off what they owe, according to a new CreditCards.com survey.
Specifically, 18 percent of the 1,001 respondents don't believe they will ever get out of debt – double the percentage who said that less than two years ago, in May 2013.
While mortgage delinquencies have declined recently, credit card debt is going back up and student loan debt has been on the rise in recent years, CNBC reported.
"We've all seen the student loan debt numbers, and credit card debt is increasing, and even though the job market is improving it's certainly not humming along, and there is data about people's salaries not growing quite as quickly as people had hoped," Matt Schulz, senior analyst at CreditCards.com, told CNBC. "You just wonder if it has all come together to create this unease."
Older respondents were more apt to believe their debt would never get paid off. Approximately 31 percent of those older than 65 expected to be lifelong debtors, versus 22 percent of those aged 50 to 64 and just 6 percent of millennials aged 18 to 29.
In a separate study, CardHub.com found that credit card spending in the U.S. rose by $15.94 billion during the third quarter of 2014.
Don’t ever think for a minute that the central bankers know what they’re doing. They don’t. And that’s my own view, but I’ve heard that recently from a couple central bankers. I recently had spent some time with one member of the FOMC, the Federal Open Market Committee, and another member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England, which is the equivalent of their FOMC, both policymakers, both central bankers.
And they said the same thing, “We don’t know what we’re doing. This is a massive experiment. We’ve never done this before.
Author: Debarati Roy (Bloomberg) Posted: Wednesday , 10 Dec 2014 (BLOOMBERG) -
As a rout in energy prices spreads to global equities, investors are returning to gold to take cover.
Assets in the SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest bullion exchange-traded product, rose yesterday at the fastest pace since July. The holdings are up almost 1 percent in December, snapping four straight months of losses.
Almost $870 billion was wiped from the value of world equity markets yesterday as oil prices sank to a five year-low. The dollar fell for three straight days against a basket of 10 currencies. After gold slumped to a four-year low last month, prices are up almost 9 percent. Demand has increased for the metal as a store of value on signs that central banks in Europe and Asia will boost money supplies.
“The reversal in the equity market has created some volatility, and that’s translating into a little bit of fear and a bid for gold,” Charlie Bilello, the director of research who helps oversee $220 million of assets at New York-based Pension Partners LLC, said in a telephone interview. “An added bonus has been the weakness in the dollar. A combination of all this is pushing people towards gold.”
The situation in the Russian financial market over the next few days can be compared to the worst period of 2008 crisis, says the Deputy Chairman of Russian Central Bank Sergey Shevtsov.
"There are plenty of issues. In the coming days, I believe, the situation will be comparable to the most difficult period of 2008, but I think that the experience of the many crises the Russian financial system has gone through will help us make the right decisions," said Shvetsov.
Hmm. Do you suppose there is a contagion at work? Or worse, a full out currency war?
That our Congress is intent on taking from the many to enrich the few was on full display during passage of the new $1.1 trillion federal spending bill, as five provisions show.
In a Washington run by and for oligarchs, official theft happens suddenly and without warning. No public hearings. No public debate. Instead, as we saw in North Carolina and Wisconsin, it occurs with just abrupt moves to shift power and money from the many to the richest few.
And with little focus by our best news organizations on the consequences for people’s lives, especially if they are in the 90 percent, many people have no idea they just got officially mugged.
The continuing resolution to fund the government was combined with an omnibus spending bill to create a 1,603-page statutory monster called the “cromnibus.” Among the provisions that show how both political parties help corporations pick the pockets of the vast majority, while far too many mainstream journalists help obfuscate the awful truth:
Click through for the rest. Hat tip to @JessesCafe.
A "phenomenal" rise in India's gold imports is a concern and the government will watch the impact from a recent easing in gold import rules. 'Phenomenal' rise in India's gold imports a concern - trade secy
On December 11, 2014, the US House passed a bill repealing the Dodd-Frank requirement that risky derivatives be pushed into big-bank subsidiaries, leaving our deposits and pensions exposed to massive derivatives losses. The bill was vigorously challenged by Senator Elizabeth Warren; but the tide turned when Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorganChase, stepped into the ring. Perhaps what prompted his intervention was the unanticipated $40 drop in the price of oil. As financial blogger Michael Snyder points out, that drop could trigger a derivatives payout that could bankrupt the biggest banks. And if the G20’s new “bail-in” rules are formalized, depositors and pensioners could be on the hook. The new bail-in rules were discussed in my last post here. They are edicts of the Financial Stability Board (FSB), an unelected body of central bankers and finance ministers headquartered in the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland. Where did the FSB get these sweeping powers, and is its mandate legally enforceable?
“Here is the key quote for the move to close down the gold business: ‘Gunvor executives decided to abandon the precious metals trading business partly because of difficulties in finding steady supplies of gold where the origin could be well documented.’
It is of course hard to identify gold’s origin when central banks are surreptitiously involved in the gold market, and when central planners work hard at keeping their activity secret.
Click through for the rest. Pretty interesting. Sort of thing that makes one scratch his head when looking at market prices.
Demand of gold and jewel in China will continue to rise in the coming 5 years, with the growth expected between 12-15%, said Kent Wong, Managing Director of Chow Tai Fook, in an interview in India. Newssummary: China Gold and Jewel Demand to Grow 15% in Coming 5 Years: Chow Tai Fook Jewellery
There are some interesting observations contained in this excerpt of a recent interview with Russian economist Mikhail Khazin. He is not speaking on behalf of the Russian government, so we must take his opinions as we may from a private individual observing things from a different corner of the world.
Here is a bio of Mr. Khazin.
I found some particular interest in his views on the price of gold, and the approach of Russia and China in buying physical gold on the world markets, without attempting to break the leverage of the paper gold markets directly.
This would of course lead to increasing volatility in the price of precious metals until a market break provides the opportunity for the paper and physical market to converge. Mr. Khazin believe this will be triggered by the bursting of the next financial bubble.
Click through for the full post. Interesting stuff.
The United States is living through an economic depression that began in 2007. It’s part of a larger global depression, the first since the 1930s. This New Depression will continue indefinitely unless policy changes are made in the years ahead.
The present path and future course of this depression have profound implications for you as an investor. If you don’t grasp this once-in-a-lifetime dynamic you are at risk of seeing all of your wealth wiped out.
Calling the current economic malaise a depression comes as surprise to most investors I speak to. They have been told that the economy is in a recovery that started 2009.
Mainstream economists and TV talking heads never refer to a depression.
Household net worth DECLINED by $141 billion in the 3rd quarter. I thought the economy was booming, home prices were rising, the stock market was at all-time highs, and jobs were being added at a record pace. How can this be? A quick perusal of the Federal Reserve website reveals the disturbing truth.
Net worth means the nation’s total assets (cash, stocks, bonds, real estate) minus total liabilities (mortgages, credit card debt, student loan debt. auto loans). Please notice the previous two declines. The first was after QE1 ended. The 2nd was after QE2 ended. QE3 just ended. It seems the net worth of the .1% only grows when Grandma Yellen is dispensing free money to Wall Street.
September 15, 2008 is the day that Lehman died and the moment that the world’s central banks led by the Fed went all-in. As it has turned out, that was an epochal leap into the most dangerous monetary deformation that the world has ever known.
It needn’t have been. What was really happening at this pregnant moment was that the remnants of honest capital markets were begging for a purge and liquidation of the speculative rot that had built up during the Greenspan era. But the phony depression scholar running the Fed, Ben Bernanke, would have none of it. So he falsely whooped-up a warning that Great Depression 2.0 was at hand—-sending Washington, Wall Street and the rest of the world into an all-out panic.
The next day’s AIG crisis quickly became ground zero—the place where the entire fraudulent narrative of systemic “contagion” was confected. Yet that needn’t have been, either.