Gold and What Moves it.
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Consumers Borrowed More in December

Consumers Borrowed More in December | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it

U.S. consumer borrowing rose in December, a hopeful sign for the strength of the economy although debt taken on through revolving facilities like credit cards fell during the month.

 

The Federal Reserve said on Thursday consumer credit increased by $14.59 billion in December after rising by a slightly revised $15.91 billion in November. ...

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Well, shocker, shocker I say. hat tip to http://www.caseyresearch.com/gsd/ ;

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Gold and What Moves it.
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LearCapital | Download Lear Gold & Silver Daily Today!

LearCapital | Download Lear Gold & Silver Daily Today! | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it

Download the Free Lear Gold & Silver Daily Today!

 

Stay on top of the latest breaking commodities market news, coin prices, real time charts and special promotions from Lear Capital's “Lear Gold and Silver Daily” app for both iOS  and Android devices .

 

The Lear Gold and Silver Daily app is a special new benefit brought to you by Lear Capital at no additional cost.

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Financialization and The Destruction of the Real Economy

Financialization and The Destruction of the Real Economy | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it
Strip an economy of capital, productive incentives, talent and yes, ethics, and what are we left with? An economy spiraling toward an inevitable collapse.
Financialization is destroying the real economy, but few in power seem to notice or care. The reason why is painfully obvious: those in power are reaping vast fortunes from the engines of financialization--for example, former President Obama:Obama Goes From White House to Wall Street in Less Than One Year.
This is not to single out President Obama as a special case; politicos across the spectrum depend on the engines of financialization to fund their campaigns and make them multi-millionaires, and corporate managers and financiers have skimmed billions of dollars in gains not from producing new, better and more affordable goods and services but by playing financialization games such as borrowing billions to buy back stocks, leveraged buyouts, and so on--all of which have reaped the insiders gargantuan fortunes while hollowing out the real economy.
Financialization necessarily hollows out the real economy, as Gordon Long and I detail in this new video program: The Results of Financialization - Part I (34 minutes)
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Dark Dollars Propping Up Failing System – Rob Kirby | Greg Hunter's USAWatchdog

Dark Dollars Propping Up Failing System – Rob Kirby | Greg Hunter's USAWatchdog | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com


Forensic macroeconomic analyst Rob Kirby says few people have any idea how many “dark dollars” are out there. Kirby explains, “When you start talking about how many dollars there are in the world, nobody really knows. I would suggest to you the real quantity of dollars in the world is much greater than anyone imagines. A lot of these dollars are ‘dark,’ and they are held in the bowels of institutions like the Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF). So, the world may be cruising along thinking the total number of dollars in the world is ‘X,’ but the true amount in the world, if you count the dark ones, might be three or four times ‘X’. This really means the money supply is much bigger than anyone understands or believes.” Kirby contends that the so-called “dark dollars” are being used to prop up the Treasury bond market. The ESF simply buys the debt and essentially hides it. ...

 
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Gold Scores 1-Year High as Dollar Falls

Gold Scores 1-Year High as Dollar Falls | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it
Precious metals futures rebounded Thursday, Sept. 7. Gold and silver scored their fourth set of gains in the last five sessions with the former notching a one-year high and the latter ending at its best price in more than 20 weeks.

Gold for December delivery tacked on $11.30, or 0.8%, to settle at $1,350.30 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The close is the highest since Sept. 6, 2016 when prices ended at $1,354 an ounce.
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Is the High Cost of Housing Crushing Wages?

Is the High Cost of Housing Crushing Wages? | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it
The authors' thesis doesn't explain the 47-year downtrend of labor's share of the economy.

A provocative essay, Don't Blame the Robots, makes the bold claim that "Housing Prices and Market Power Explain Wage Stagnation." (Foreign Affairs) In other words, the stagnation of the bottom 95% of wages isn't caused by automation or offshoring, but by the crushingly high cost of housing:
"Yet recent academic work in macroeconomics suggests that current wage stagnation has less to do with robots and more to do with real estate and market power.
Real wage growth is a function of two things: changes in productivity and changes in the share of national output attributed to labor. If the share of GDP going to workers doesn’t change, then real wages simply track productivity."
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The Insanity of Pushing Inflation Higher When Wages Can't Rise

The Insanity of Pushing Inflation Higher When Wages Can't Rise | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it
In an economy in which wages for 95% of households are stagnant for structural reasons, pushing inflation higher is destabilizing.

The official policy goal of the Federal Reserve and other central banks is to generate 3% inflation annually. Put another way: the central banks want to lower the purchasing power of their currencies by 33% every decade.
In other words, those with fixed incomes that don't keep pace with inflation will have lost a third of their income after a decade of central bank-engineered inflation.
There is a core structural problem with engineering 3% annual inflation. Those whose income doesn't keep pace are gradually impoverished, while those who can notch gains above 3% gradually garner the lion's share of the national income and wealth.
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Systemic Uncertainty, Meet Fragility

Systemic Uncertainty, Meet Fragility | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it
That's the problem with fragility: everything looks fine on the surface until a crisis applies pressure. Then the whole rickety contraption collapses in a heap..

Life is inherently uncertain, but systems that were once considered certainties have increasingly become uncertain. Social Security is one example; recent polls reflect widespread doubts among Millennials and Gen-Xers that there will be any Social Security benefits left for them by the time they reach retirement age.
This doubt is fact-based; as the number of retirees swells, as Medicare costs soar ever higher and the number of full-time jobs paying into Social Security/ Medicare stagnates, these pay-as-you-go programs break down; Social Security is already paying out billions more than it collects from employers and employees.
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Uncle Sam needs a payday lender - Numismatic News

Uncle Sam needs a payday lender - Numismatic News | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it
Will China buy the entire U.S. gold reserve?

It is plausible.

The possibility of gold sales was raised by Thomas G. Donlan in his Aug. 28 column in Barron’s.

I read it yesterday while on a flight to Chicago.

Donlan asked how the government could go on paying its bills in the event there is a shutdown in September.

Good question.

Citizens not getting their Social Security checks would become angry.
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Did the Economy Just Stumble Off a Cliff?

Did the Economy Just Stumble Off a Cliff? | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it
The signs are everywhere for those willing to look: something has changed beneath the surface of complacent faith in permanent growth.
This is more intuitive than quantitative, but my gut feeling is that the economy just stumbled off a cliff. Neither the cliff edge nor the fatal misstep are visible yet; both remain in the shadows of the intangible foundation of the economy: trust, animal spirits, faith in authorities' management, etc.
Since credit expansion is the lifeblood of the global economy, let's look at credit expansion. Courtesy of Market Daily Briefing, here is a chart of total credit in the U.S. and a chart of the percentage increase of credit.
Notice the difference between credit expansion in 1990 - 2008 and the expansion of 2009 - 2017. Credit expanded by a monumental $40+ trillion in 1990 - 2008 without any monetary easing (QE) or zero-interest rate policy (ZIRP). The expansion of 2009 - 2017 required 8 long years of massive monetary/fiscal stimulus and ZIRP.
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They’re Using Bernie Madoff Math to Hide a Crisis

They’re Using Bernie Madoff Math to Hide a Crisis | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it
They’re Using Bernie Madoff Math to Hide a Crisis by Nick Giambruno – International Man



Politicians are always generous with other people’s money… until it runs out.

Near the peak of the late-’90s tech bubble, California’s legislature passed the largest pension increase in its history.

Today, with as much as $750 billion in unfunded public pension debt, California has one of the worst pension situations in the country. But it’s far from alone.

Illinois has a staggering $250 billion in unfunded pension obligations. State pension plans in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and many other states are taking on water, too.

Unfunded public pension liabilities in the US have surpassed $5 trillion.
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Two reasons why this billionaire just loaded up on gold

Two reasons why this billionaire just loaded up on gold | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it
From Justin Spittler, Editor, Casey Daily Dispatch:

Ray Dalio just issued a serious warning.

Dalio, as you may know, is one of the world’s top investors. He manages more than $160 billion at Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund.

Dalio is at the top of Wall Street because he can spot massive threats and opportunities that most people can’t.

For example, he predicted the U.S. housing bubble would burst in 2007. He also said that a housing crisis would spread to the banking sector.

This wasn’t a popular opinion at the time. But Dalio was right.

That same year, the U.S. banking sector imploded. This triggered the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The average U.S. stock plummeted 57% over the next two years.

In short, it pays to listen to Dalio…
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America’s Supernova: The Final Stage Of Collapse

America’s Supernova:  The Final Stage Of Collapse | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it
I started observing the slow-motion train-wreck in process in 2001 – a year removed from my perch as a junk bond trader on Wall Street and living several thousand miles away from NYC and DC in the Mile High City, where the view is a lot more clear than from either coast.

The United States has been in a state of collapse for several decades.   To paraphrase Hemingway’s flippant description of the manner in which one goes bankrupt, it happens in two ways:   slowly then all at once (“The Sun Also Rises”).

The economic decay was precipitated by the advent of the Federal Reserve;  then reinforced by FDR’s executive order removing gold from the citizenry’s ownership, the acceptance of Bretton Woods, and the implementation of what is capriciously termed “Bretton Woods Two” – Nixon’s disconnection of the dollar from the gold standard.  If you study the monetary and  debt charts available on the St. Louis Fed’s website, you’ll see that post-1971 both the money supply and the amount of debt issued at all levels of the system (public, corporate, household) began gradually to go parabolic.
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Changes to Brazil mining law to bring mostly higher taxes, costs — experts | MINING.com

Changes to Brazil mining law to bring mostly higher taxes, costs — experts | MINING.com | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it
Brazil’s proposed changes to its mining law and other related regulations are not only triggering a global uproar from environmentalists, which oppose the planned opening of more than 1 million acres of protected land to miners, but also among resources firms with interests in the country.

Both experts and mining companies fear some of the intended modifications would also result in hefty taxes, higher research costs and decrease interest from foreign investors.
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Loving Our Debt-Serfdom: Our Neofeudal Status Quo

Loving Our Debt-Serfdom: Our Neofeudal Status Quo | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it
Democracy (i.e. political influence) and ownership of productive assets are the exclusive domains of the New Aristocracy.
I have often used the words neoliberal, neocolonial and neofeudal to describe our socio-economic-political status quo. Here are my shorthand descriptions of each term:

1. Neoliberal: the commoditization / financialization of every asset, input (such as labor) and output of the economy; the privatization of the public commons, and the maximizing of private profits while costs and losses are socialized, i.e. transferred to the taxpayers.
2. Neocolonial: the exploitation of the domestic populace using the same debt-servitude model used to subjugate, control and extract profits from overseas populations.
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The amazing disgrace of our $20T national debt

The amazing disgrace of our $20T national debt | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it

by John Crudele:


A disgraceful milestone was reached this week when US government debt busted through the $20 trillion level and quickly went over $20.1 trillion.

Can $21 trillion, or $25 trillion, be far ahead? Why not $40 trillion, so our grandkids and their grandkids can be even more indebted to the Chinese and other countries that buy our debt but aren’t very nice to us.

This isn’t the kind of milestone you celebrate or even want noticed. So you didn’t hear a peep about it from the White House or from Congress, which is responsible for our wanton spending.

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Wednesday Report…Gold : The Anatomy of the Bottoming Process . | Rambus Chartology | Safehaven.com

Wednesday Report…Gold : The Anatomy of the Bottoming Process . | Rambus Chartology | Safehaven.com | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it
Tonight I would like to show you some short and long term charts for some of the PM stock indexes. In the very short term they have had a good run and are getting overbought and need to work off some of the bullishness. This is perfectly normal and should be expected. What we need to focus in on now is where we should look for support to keep the uptrend intact.
This first chart is a daily look at the HUI which shows us a one year support and resistance line. Two weeks ago already, the HUI broke above that very important S&R line telling us the bulls were in charge after the bears held resistance keeping the bull in check. Now we should look for that S&R line to reverse its role to what had been resistance, to now support. Critical support comes in around the 207 area which would be the backtest. The green circle shows where the 20 day ema crossed above the 50 day ema back in August for a buy signal.
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LAWRIE WILLIAMS: Chinese gold demand heading for 2,000 tonnes this year

LAWRIE WILLIAMS: Chinese gold demand heading for 2,000 tonnes this year | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it
Chinese gold demand this year, as represented by withdrawals from the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE), are currently 4.5% up on a year ago and if this margin is maintained through the remainder of the year, the full year figure could total around 2,050-2,060 tonnes as against 1,970 tonnes in 2016. However this would still be well down on the record 2015 year when SGE withdrawals totalled 2,596 tonnes for the full year. In the latest full month (August), SGE withdrawals came in at 161.41 tonnes compared with 144.44 tonnes during the same month a year ago. As we have pointed out before it is a contentious point as to whether SGE withdrawals are actually a measure of total Chinese gold demand.
 
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Mutiny "For" The Bounty? :: Jim Sinclair's Mineset

China recently announced they will trade oil for yuan “backed” by gold. The story has gotten some press (none of it mainstream mind you), and many have questions as to what it really means. While quite complicated as a whole, when you break this down into pieces I believe it is a quite simple and logical end to Bretton Woods.


For a background, China has had an exchange open for about a year where gold can be purchased with yuan, though the volumes so far have been miniscule to this point. China has also been all over the world inking trade deals (in yuan) and investing in all sorts of resources from oil to gold to grains, they have made no secret about this. With the most recent example here. They have trade arrangements and treaties with Russia, Iran and many other non Western nations. They have also “courted” many Western nations privately (remember their meeting with the King of Saudi Arabia?) and actually lured many with their “Silk Road” plans via the AIIB which was huge news last year (but nearly forgotten by Americans at this point?). We also know China has been a huge importer of gold for the last 4-5 years and done so publicly via Shanghai receipts and deliveries. ...

 
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The Trouble with Asset Bubbles: If You Stop Pumping, They Pop

The Trouble with Asset Bubbles: If You Stop Pumping, They Pop | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it
The idea that authorities can massage their pumping to keep asset bubbles inflated at a permanently high plateau is currently being tested.

The trouble with inflating asset bubbles is that you have to keep inflating them or they pop. Unfortunately for the bubble-blowing central banks, asset bubbles are a double-bind: you cannot inflate assets forever. At some unpredictable point, the risk and moral hazard that are part and parcel of all asset bubbles trigger an avalanche of selling that pops the bubble.
This is another facet of The Fed's Double-Bind: if you stop pumping asset bubbles, they pop as participants realize the music has stopped, and if you keep pumping them, they expand to super-nova criticality and implode.
There are several dynamics at play in this double-bind.
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This multitrillion-dollar suit can’t go unnoticed

This multitrillion-dollar suit can’t go unnoticed | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it

by John Crudele:


There was a major development in a lawsuit last week that every investor should know about — and worry about.

But nobody is paying attention.

A New York federal judge appointed three law firms to serve as lead counsels in a multitrillion-dollar litigation accusing Goldman Sachs, Barclays Capital and 18 other financial institutions of rigging the market for US government securities.

This is a civil case, but there is also a federal criminal investigation into this matter that will probably go nowhere because there are so many Goldman Sachs alumni in the Trump administration...

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Next Stop, Recession: The Financial Meteor Storm Is Headed Our Way

Next Stop, Recession: The Financial Meteor Storm Is Headed Our Way | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it
Many of those about to be vaporized did not grasp the fragility of the "prosperity" they assumed was both solid and permanent.
Business-cycle recessions are not just inevitable, they are necessary to flush bad debt and marginal investments/projects from the system.

The next recession--which I suggested yesterday has just begun--will be more than a business-cycle downturn; it will be a devastating meteor storm that destroys huge chunks of the economy while leaving other sectors virtually untouched.
The dynamic that's about to play out is simple: wages for the bottom 95% have gone nowhere for 17 years, while costs have soared far above official inflation for everyone exposed to real-world costs.
We have filled the widening gap between stagnant household income and rising expenses with debt. This stop-gap works for a while, but eventually the cost of servicing debt consumes the entire budget, leaving little to nothing to save or invest.
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Where Is The United States’ Gold?

Where Is The United States’ Gold? | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it

A concocted public relations scheme – an event which resembled the annual Punxsutawney ground-hog viewing tradition –  in which the Treasury Secretary emerges from Ft Knox and proclaims, “the gold is safe” does not provide any evidence whatsoever.

On cue, Jim Rickards followed up with a half-baked apology for the unwillingness of the U.S. Government to force a bona fide audit of the public’s gold being “safekept” in the Fed’s custody.

Bill “Midas” Murphy asked my opinion on Rickard’s white washing of the topic:

This is why I don’t read Rickards. I don’t know his deal is anymore. He was a front for the Pentagon’s goal to circulate the idea of the SDR replacing the dollar as the reserve currency. This is because they know the dollar is toast but the dollar is still the larges percentage share of the SDR so it still gives the U.S. control over the world’s reserve currency if it were to be the SDR....

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'We believe gold has entered a new bull market. Here are four reasons why'

'We believe gold has entered a new bull market. Here are four reasons why' | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it
Despite significant US dollar weakness, gold price performance has been muted recently.
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This national issue could be the stock market’s tipping point

This national issue could be the stock market’s tipping point | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it

By John Crudele:


The stock market will be up against a lot of problems in the coming months. Today, I’m going to tell you about the trickiest — the wild card in the bunch.

In my previous two columns, I’ve gone through 11 concerns — the bricks in the “wall of worry” that the stock market will be climbing. Those include the conflict with North Korea and its fallout with other countries, possible trade wars, the uncharted territory faced by the Federal Reserve, and the perpetually weak economy.

Today I’m going to make it an even dozen by adding violence in the US to the list.

Anyone who has followed Wall Street for a long time knows that the stock market has not been behaving normally. In normal times stock prices rise a bit. Then investors take profits and prices come down.

These pullbacks are healthy because they bring new money into the market. And they eliminate any complacency in investors’ minds. ...

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US War With China Heats Up As China Readies To Launch A Gold-Backed Monetary System - King World News

US War With China Heats Up As China Readies To Launch A Gold-Backed Monetary System - King World News | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it
U.S. War With China
August 19 (King World News) – Stephen Leeb:  “These days almost every major news story seems to bear within it more evidence that the world is inevitably moving to a new monetary system centered on gold. The latest example: Friday’s firing/resignation of Steve Bannon.

His departure followed on the heels of his remarkably incautious interview with liberal commentator Robert Kuttner. Part of it was devoted to Bannon’s hard-line view of China. “We’re at economic war with China…we have to be maniacally focused on that…if we continue to lose it…we’re five years away, I think 10 years at most, from hitting an inflection point from which we’ll never be able to recover.”

Whatever you think of Bannon, he’s on the right track about China. But he’s gotten the time frame wrong. It won’t take five years to reach that inflection point. In fact, as I’ve been saying, we’re actually going through such an inflection point – let’s call it an inflection zone – already. And as China’s ascendancy grows, it will, inevitably, lead to a gold-centered reserve system…
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Investment Advice in Four Words: Have Patience, Avoid Bubbles | MishTalk

Investment Advice in Four Words: Have Patience, Avoid Bubbles | MishTalk | Gold and What Moves it. | Scoop.it
Posted by Mish

A relations manager for Ted Thomas reached out last week and asked: “What is your most valuable advice to people who are beginner investors so that they can get great results in the long term?”

The answer form had no formatting options. Here is a detailed response, with links.

Have Patience, Avoid Bubbles

The TINA theory (there is no alternative other than stocks and bonds) is a path to poor returns. Cash and gold are indeed options.
 
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