Federal Reserve

When the Music Dies…

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Long, Long time ago,
I can still remember,
How the music used to make me cry.
I can’t remember if I cried,
when I read about that widowed bride,
but something touched me deep inside,
the day the music died.
So, “Bye Bye, Miss American Pie.
Drove my Chevvy to the Levy but the Levy was dry.
Them good ol’ boys are drinking whisky and rye.
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die.
This’ll be the day that I die.
The day, the music died.”

The Gold market is at the moment a bit like the old parlour game of yesteryear, when we all played ‘Musical Chairs’ after dinner on sundays, before wall to wall TV, and other distractions began to isolate us from each other – except via digital means.

The game – for those who don’t know – involves putting together enough seats for all the participants, while playing music, and then removing one chair.

When the music stops, the last one to sit, is out.

The game continues until all the participants are out as each turn gradually reduces the number of chairs to one.

The gold market is gaily playing the game, blissfully unaware that the gold (Chairs) are being continually reduced and one day soon, the Bullion Bank Gold Vaults, will be empty, and one of the big players will want to walk away from the game, with their chair, (Gold) and the chair won’t be there.

The day that that happens, will be like the day in the song above.
For those unaware, the song was a reference to the crash in 1959, when Buddy Holly, and the other musicians Ritchie Valens, and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson were killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa. They disappeared off the radar on a snowy journey on February 3rd.

The evidence is stacking up for all to see. Those with even a small stash of Gold and silver will be the lucky ones.

Exhibits A, B, C, and all the rest are from a web-site I visit on occasion, but which in recent days has been just full of evidence that the number of chairs is quietly, and incessantly being reduced, as the Chinese take all the chairs east.

The day the music stops, will be like the story of the Emperor who was wearing no clothes, until the small boy pointed out the truth.

Gold (and silver) will be worth a whole lot more, no matter what Harry Dent Junior says:

The Eighth Wonder of the World… And a Curse.

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“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.” [Albert Einstein]

EyeOfTheStorm-Now

  1. 2008 – 2012
  2. 2012 – 2016
  3. 2016 – ? (2018-20?)

We are emerging from the eye of this particular storm…into more turbulent times ahead.

Uncertainty in politics, breeds uncertainty and volatility in economics and markets. People postpone major purchases until they have a clearer idea of how things will unfold. And businesses too, judge the future and make investment decisions accordingly. But the Debts built up during the 2008 crisis, have still to be repaid, and will now begin to unwind, or lead us into hyperinflation.

Having money in a bank account, that earns interest, is a distant memory for many people, as interest rates around the world have been reduced, eliminated or worse.

Britain’s and Western National Debts, have an interest charge levied on them, which is being, at least in part, controlled by the Federal Reserve, who came to Europe’s aid (again!) when it loaned $15 trillion during the heat of the last financial crisis. Britain too loaded itself up to the neck with debt, to help its banks, and latterly, International Banks from Greece, Spain, Ireland, and Portugal. and its current account is, as I have mentioned an enormous debt of — £1.7 Trillion. At a modest 0.0025% (¼%) that translates as …

Drumroll… £4,250,000,000 per year. (£4.25 billion…) However, even a modest increase to say 2% p.a. over the next 2 years, will likely kill the British economy, and with it, any hopes of a full recovery.

At 2% our debt repayments are: £34,000,000,000 – (£34 billion) enough to build approximately 50 new hospitals and staff them for a few years. Who said being a banker was easy?

But this image from Raoul Pal, tells the even bigger picture (even if it is a couple of years old).

Debt-2-GDP-Ratio

Whose debt is biggest?

The debt to GDP ratio includes pension and other obligations.  Is this why Britain’s politicians are so keen to import foreigners, to help pay off this debt?

Those savers who have worked hard all their life, and tucked away a little for their retirement, are earning precious little from their savings. Funds that perhaps they have ear-marked for a retirement home, a secure retirement future knowing that their money is safe in a Bank, or where they can get at it quickly, in the event of an emergency, to meet unexpected bills are shortly going to experience the greatest loss of value in their lives, through inflation.

In a world where money is finite: interest rates serve the function of allocating money to its competing potential users. Those that require investment money will bid for this scarce resource, driving up interest rates, in times of high demand. This rising interest rate trend signals to the business community, that there is high demand for money, and this can indicate that businesses are expanding, or that competition is increasing (usually early in the market cycle) and those who seek to spend for their current enjoyment, begin to realise that they cannot afford higher payments, and thus this slows the economy as spending is curbed.

When currency is infinite as is with Fractional Reserve Lending: the only brake on increased amounts is the Banker’s concerns as to whether they will get paid back, or not – and thus it might threaten their balance sheet. This leads to booms… and busts.

This has been the state of affairs ever since this practice was formed, but became worse when the world left the Gold Standard, and the U.S. finally severed the last remaining link to Gold on August 15th 1971, when Richard Milhous Nixon, closed the Gold Window.

Almost three years later Louise Auchincloss Boyer, fell from her 10th story window, just days after a story that she was alleged was to be the source of, that “All the Gold in Fort Knox has gone.” Her death was judged suicide… (Link: You can read the full story – Here )

Britain’s debt is even worse than I feared.

Late on Saturday night, I was researching Britain’s National Debt, and to my surprise and horror, I found it was even worse, than I suspected.

Anyone who has a mortgage, or variable rate loan, ought to be on pins and needles, as interest rates are set to rise, for a number of reasons.

Deutsche Bank’s chief economist David Folkerts-Landau just released a scathing report, aptly titled: “The ECB Must Change,” in which he calls the ECB out from a banker’s perspective, which is now eerily similar to a layman’s.

“After seven years of ever-looser monetary policy there is increasing evidence that following the current dogma, broad-based quantitative easing and negative interest rates, risks the long-term stability of the eurozone…

…Already it is clear that lower and lower interest rates and ever larger purchases are confronting the law of decreasing returns…. but the ECB’s response is to push policy to further extremes. This causes mis-allocations in the real economy that become increasingly hard to reverse without even greater pain. Savers lose, while stock and apartment owners rejoice…

Thereby ECB policy is threatening the European project as a whole for the sake of short-term financial stability…. The longer policy prevents the necessary catharsis, the more it contributes to the growth of populist or extremist politics…

A returning to market-based pricing of sovereign risk will incentivize governments to begin growth-friendly reforms and to tackle fiscal stability. Flagging the move should dampen adverse reactions in financial markets.

We believe that normalising rates would be seen as a positive signal by consumers and corporate investors. The longer the ECB persists with unconventional monetary policy, the greater the damage to the European project will be.”

Japanese Rate Rises?

And even in Japan, interest rate rises are being discussed:

Bank of Japan policy board member Takehiro Sato went public in a speech to business leaders two weeks ago. Here are some key quotes showing what amounts to complete opposition to the Bank of Japan’s current course:

“When there is a negative spread, shrinking the balance sheet, rather than expanding it, would be a reasonable business decision… leading to restraining loans to borrowers with potentially high credit costs and raising interest rates on loans to firms with poor access to finance.”

As for those borrowers, think SMEs, entrepreneurs, everyone from the middle-class down, and virtually everyone but the corporate interests that have succeeded in regulatory capture worldwide.

“A weakening of the financial intermediary functioning could affect the financial system’s resilience against shocks in times of stress.”

He also said:

“There is also the risk that financial institutions that have problems in terms of profitability or fiscal soundness will make loans and investment without adequate risk valuation… I detect a vulnerability similar to that seen before the so-called VaR (Value at Risk) shock in 2003.”

Taken together, Mr. Sato is essentially saying that negative rates are stunting the chances of economic growth, removing any chance to soften the blow when it comes, and is setting us all up for wealth destruction across the board, giving policy makers no capability to react if a downturn begins.

Japanese politicians seem to be taking the ball and running with it. A key policy chief of the opposition party is now calling for Prime Minister Abe and the BoJ to begin raising rates.

In particular, the new platform cites how these policies hurt savers, along with its failure to boost inflation, wages, and has a negative crash in trade balances.

And in America too, are Interest Rates set to rise?

Gerardo Del Real, the Outsider Club’s newest expert, is spot on on how this will pan out for the U.S. . Just last week, he had this to say, which bears repeating:

“So what to do? Understand that the big money, the portfolio managers, pension funds, and insurers cannot continue to invest exclusively in negative-yielding assets.

Understand that a trickle of the trillions they manage will work its way to the U.S. markets, the dollar, and gold. Not because they’re gold-bugs, but because they will have no choice.

Understand that of those three options — the U.S. stock market, the dollar, and gold — gold is the smallest market and therefore the most susceptible to the largest moves.

Within the gold market, the junior resource market — especially the junior gold companies — has been absolutely decimated, and provides the best risk-reward proposition.” (See my last post – Apocalypse Now)

Few people are more reviled by everyday people than bankers, and rightfully so.

They hide usury in the fine print and send Court Sherriffs to evict you from your home in their stead.

They distort and manipulate markets for their own gains, from LIBOR, to the gold fix, to silver prices, to exchange rates, and on and on.

Then, with the corruption of a wink and a nod, they use regulatory capture to remove all risk and collect cushy bailouts while manufacturing and commercial jobs disappear, wages shrink, and with it the tax base as neighborhoods fall into squalor.

Throughout the 80s, the North of England – Northumberland, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, South Wales were all hit hard as deep mined coal pits closed, and the industries that had grown up with them, went with them.

A piece written just over 100 years ago, after a Banking Panic in the U.S., brought about largely by the tactics of the Banks, and which surprisingly, our recent “Credit Crunch” appeared to be a mere replication writ large goes as below.

The writer, George Howard Earle, Jr. of the Real Estate Trust Company, in 1908 wrote:

A Central Bank as a Menace to Liberty

The solution of the problem of a central bank, with power to control the currency of the United States, to be at all adequate, must depend upon and be controlled by ultimate political principles.

The same principle that underlies the never-ending conflict between the advocates of a strong centralized government and what are called “states rights,” governs this question.

Taught in the school of experience and adversity, the early English and American patriots learned the salutary lesson that the development of peoples, as well as their happiness, depended more upon liberty – that is, the power to control and govern themselves, rather than to be controlled or governed by anybody else – than upon any other single thing; and they, therefore, in drafting our Constitution, always viewed government as an evil made necessary by the weakness and defects of human nature, and never extended it beyond that necessity.

Under the plan of freedom, of self-reliance, self-dependence, self-government, we have become the greatest, the happiest, the most powerful people of the world; but notwithstanding these proofs to justify the work of the Fathers, we have more and more concluded that we could have done a great deal better.

We are rapidly tending in the opposite direction, which must 506 inevitably destroy liberty by vesting all discretion in some form of central government, rather than in the people as individual, independent entities.

Starting with the theory that government but existed because of the defects of mankind, and was but an evil wherever it exceeded the necessity of restraining evil human tendencies, we have now reached the higher light wherein we produce schemes of regulating everything, until liberty is but a name, and we govern ourselves by theories entirely independent of the characteristics of the people to whom our systems are to apply.

It is difficult to find any one, nowadays, who has not some “counsel of perfection,” and founded on it, some theory of government that would work perfectly with a perfect race, in whom neither self-interest nor passion existed and that, consequently, did not need any government at all.

The same could be said of any central authority, whether in Britain, or further across Europe.

All control passed to others, means they will meddle. And in meddling, they will postpone the inevitable, but each time they postpone, the crisis merely gets bigger, and more unstable. Eventually, there is no-one big enough to stop it.

We will shortly find out, if this will be in the next credit crisis. Those who have salted away bit-coins, gold and silver, will fare best. Those who have borowed to feed their insatiable habit to spend, will not surprisingly, not do well.

Money, real money (Gold and Silver) takes time to make, is hewed from the ground at great expense, and whilst its value varies with the day, the month and the year, it’s value never disappears totally and increases over time – even if in fits and starts..

Credit created out of a Banker’s pen, printing plates, or these days computer, can disappear in a cloud of smoke. Over 200 currencies have disappeared since the dawn of the printing press, and fractional reserve lending, but Gold and Silver are still an ounce of Gold, and a Pound of Sterling Silver, from which Britain’s derived its name, and now our currency takes its name.

Central Bankers, therefore are more the problem, than the cure.

Here, Daniel Hannan – discusses the implications for the future with Emma Reynolds who puts forward the case to remain.. Daniel Hannan puts forward his reasons for wishing to leave.

A vote to Remain is a vote for…
Big Government
BIG Corporations
BIG Banks
and BIG BROTHER.

Britain, grew into the world’s superpower, in the 1800s, and now leader of the 64 nation Commonwealth, by extolling those things that we Brits hold dear. The law grew up from natural laws – “Common Law”, where people devised the behaviours they supported, and those they despised. Law was a higher source of guidance in man’s affairs, and it wasn’t handed down from  “on high” – i.e. from those holding the reins of power – as has been the case in most of the world – and particular the Eurasian legal systems – Roman Law, Napoleonic Law, or Regal Law.

This piece lays out the historical context.

Apocalypse Now?

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GlobaDebtlPyramid

The image above shows how all the wealth of the world, is really built on an inverted pyramid of real wealth. That means, all those products above the green zone, are not real wealth, but paper claims on wealth. When the next financial crisis occurs, the value of all those products, will equal the value of those in the green-zone. They’re all derivatives – which means either the derivatives lose their value, the Gold and Silver raises its value, or some combination of the two.

Our figure heads, whether of Royal Blood, Presidential or Prime Ministerial appointees, have a large coterie of advisers, and those who pull the strings and influence events, behind the scenes.

Since, I began studying Markets, Politics, and Economics, in my student days in the 1980s, there has been a growing awareness of the Deep State. And those bankers who are part of it, manipulate the currency for their own ends. LIBOR, EURIBOR, COMEX prices and even asset values.

See: Banking Puppet-Masters

The power behind the throne, goes back far longer though, than most people recognise, and this group of people dictate the way that democracy, and politics is carried out from behind the curtain, particularly in the U.S. and the British upper class, who before them, were essentially the experts at this behind the door control.

During the early days of Banking, many of these Banking families – Rothschild, Morgan, Chase, Barclays, Seif, Warburg, Baring, and others, provided the finance, that allowed (or denied) what those figure heads could do.

In the days of the Royal Households of Europe, this essentially meant the ability to raise finance to fund an army, and wage war. For the financiers, it often meant funding both sides, and backing both horses in a two horse race.

It was usually a winning proposition for the bankers, whoever won the war. The debt remained, due to capitalism’s basic principle – “The Law of Contract” – even if the basic tenets of contracts have been watered down over many years, to allow people (mostly women) to change their minds… as on-line retailers are currently finding to their cost.

Baron Rothschild, famously got wind of Wellington’s win at Waterloo in 1815, ahead of the rest of the City of London, and sold off his holdings. Only for those who saw him, to react in his wake and follow suit. Rothschild then went on a wild buying spree, buying up assets for essentially “pennies on the dollar” as the Americans might say. When the dust settled, a huge transfer of wealth had occured from those shareholders who sold to the Baron and his family.

And so the model that bankers follow has remained to this day. Bankers know more about the inner financial position of their clients, than any other group of individuals. They wouldn’t use that knowledge to strike, when the iron is hot… Would they?

Banks loan out currency driving up property and corporate asset prices to unsustainable levels, only for the the currency supply to tighten, and thus cause a crisis, so that assets get sold off on the cheap. In the most recent example, we saw house prices rising inexorably, as Banks increasingly lent to those who might be considered high risk – the “sub-prime” market many have heard of. They then took advantage as the dead hand of property – mortgage holders took advantage as buyers defaulted on their mortgage payments, and the banks got thousands of homes on the cheap. Hank Paulson, allegedly made $5 billion in the sub-prime mortgage debt bomb. In a world without fiat currency, interest rates would adjust according to monetary demand, and cool things, or only allow those projects with highest return to be funded.

As an example, in the last crisis, bankers loaned to businesses such as Neil Mitchell, who bought a hotel, using finance and set about redeveloping it. In the final weeks before opening, his Bank, HSBC, used their restructure arm – and removed his financial support, causing his business to fail before it had even begun trading. They took the mortgaged asset (his hotel), completed the minor works still left to do, and now run a Hotel making them an income from all Mr Mitchell’s hard work. Imagine how frustrating it is for him, and all the other business owners like him who don’t have access to the information, that the Banks have, and withold from their sheep, waiting to be sheared in the next financial crisis.

During the final stages of the previous supercycle of commodities, that lasted from the mid 1960s to the early 1980s (about 18years) prices of most commodities rose manyfold. and in the Banking Sector, quite a few mid-size Banks folded in the 1973 Banking crisis. Then the UK. FT-30 stock market famously fell 83% reaching 156 and the UK government felt obliged to prop up failing industries and nationalised many of them – British Steel, British Airways, British Leyland, to name but a few.

Since the early 1980s, the thinking has changed – failed businesses should be sold off to their stronger competitors, as the Banks and other financial institutions – AIG, Fannie Mae, Freddie-Mac, Bear-Stearns, Lehman Bros, Lloyds, TSB, RBS, Northern Rock, and others were. (Though recent news regarding Bear-Stearns may concern many of its former investors.)

I’ve been thinking something similar to the 1970s will happen again, ever since I began studying this commodities super-cycle at the start of the millennium…Back then, Gold, and Silver went up just as it did in the 70s. Inflation took off in the late 60s, and early 70s, rising almost 8-fold for Gold, before pulling back by almost half.

Over the next 4-5 years (1974-79), prices fell first by close-to 50%, and then from 76 onwards, began rising, shallowly at first, but with increasing momentum, rising 8-fold again from the mid-cycle lows to peak at $850/oz in 1981 for Gold, and close to $50 for silver..

That, by my reckoning, if repeated, would take us to circa $8,500 for Gold, and $500 for silver by 2018/19 or in the years either side of these..

I put that forecast into print (on-line of course) as long ago as 2005. But as Jim Rickards and James Dale Davidson state, the next FOMC meeting on June 16th, will be critical. If they raise rates, this will suggest that the economy is healthy (Ha!) If not, we may see a major sell-off in the markets, preparation for QE4.. and that will probably send Gold (and Silver) eventually skywards…

Jim Rickards has even gone on record as suggesting a price for Gold of almost $14,500 for Gold. Wherever it goes, the price will be multiples of where it is now.

And this image below – compares the cycles from 68-76, with the period from 2000 – 2014. Anyone cannot fail to notice the similarities, merely the length of time is different.

Gold Price - 1968-2014

It has often been said, that history repeats itself, and many say that it doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes. The difference is, this time it really IS different… In the 1970s the super-cycle was essentially limited to Europe and the English speaking peoples – North America, Australasia, Southern Africa, and the suppliers of those commodities in Africa, who borrowed heavily as commodities rose, and then had control of those assets sold when commodity prices inevitably fell in the early 1980s causing national solvency crises in those indebted countries…This time the whole world, with 2.5 billion Asians and another several hundred million South Americans will be involved.

IF, or rather WHEN, the global meltdown begins, the governments and their Central Bankers, will have two options…

1. Do nothing (Unlikely)
2. Intervene with more monetary stimulus.

It is my view (and that of many others) that they will intervene.

What might trigger the Global Collapse?

As I’ve said before, a decision by Saudi-Arabia to sell oil in a currency other than dollars will bring an end to the agreement put in place in 1975, which propped up the dollar, and made it King Dollar.

The decision by the KSA, might (almost certainly, would) incur the wrath of the US of A, so along with an agreement to sell in an alternative currency, would also need some other nation’s military to back it up… China? Perhaps, but unlikely – at least not yet. Iraq’s leader Saddam Hussein, and Libya’s leader Colonel Muammar el-Qaddaffi, both attempted to sell oil in currencies other than dollars, and the outcome is there for all to see. A similar situation might prevail in the Saudi peninsula, which could trigger a spike in oil prices if major oil facilities were involved, and this would disrupt world markets and possibly trigger the meltdown.

Another potential trigger is a major nation defaulting on a payment to the Central Banks and the bond holders – such as triggered the Cyprus banking collapse, and the next domino Greece which put the PIIGS in jeopardy as the Banking crisis unfolded…

Another potential trigger is a major bank becoming insolvent. This could be caused because a business or country, with bank support, and perhaps large outstanding loans, fails, causing a major loss, over and above the banks ability to absorb those losses, causing a cascade.

It might be a major loss on a trade by a trader (similar to the London Whale) which affected JPM-Chase costing it $6.2billion in 2012, or as was directly the cause of the Barings Bank failure in February 1995, when Nick Leeson lost £827 million (circa $1.19 Billion at current exchange rates) a Bank that had held the English Monarch’s finances since King George V.

However, less well known according to Wikipedia, is the allegation that Barings Bank’s near insolvency in November 1890, as a result of a debt crisis in Argentina, caused the credit crisis of the early 1890’s and quoted from a book by John T. Flynn – written in 1932 “The preceding year [in 1890] the great Baring failure had shaken London and the rest of the financial world. America was shielded from its most virulent effects because of a bountiful wheat crop. But the following year all the forces of business disturbance were assembling, though the country as a whole hardly realized it. Gold was leaving the country at an alarming rate.”

As usual, when the financial world faces a crisis, Gold [and silver] is the safe haven of choice of large swathes of the investing world. And this sudden interest, drives prices higher… often much higher.

Barings also stands accused of supporting the south in the American civil war, and the Louisiana purchase, plus supporting France in the Napoleonic wars. As I have said, Banks will support whatever is in their interest, whether that is good for the rest of us – or not.

A solution going begging?

In my last post, I referred to a producing junior Gold miner, quoted right here in the UK. A company, I have been following for some 12 years. A company that has seen many twists and turns as management changes, and investments in different countries and ore bodies has impacted the scale and ownership of this company’s assets. But Geopolitics has also been a major factor. However, with the only mine, smelter and refinery of its type in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa, which to build such a facility from scratch, would run to $500-750 million.

The company has land holdings in 5 countries – with 2 producing mines. Not all of which are wholly owned, but like in many jurisdictions, jointly owned to a greater or lesser degree with state governments.

The producing Gold mine, comprises a shallow underground operation, currently mining at a depth of circa 200m and processing ore through a single facility utilising a combination of crushing, conventional sag milling, combined gravity and CIL process, electro-winning and bullion smelting.

A recent fund raising, to allow phased refurbishment of plant ran in two phases: the re-capitalisation of the mining fleet and refurbishment of one of the two mills, brought the mine back into production targeting a production rate of 2,500 oz of Gold per month (about 30,000 oz per annum). This was exceeded with Gold production re-commencing in October 2009, and the production for the financial year to end of the Financial year 2014 was almost 59,000 oz of gold, down slightly, from the previous year. Figures for 2015 are due in several weeks, and thus will give us an indicator of current affairs and cost structure.

The second phase of the programme included, refurbishment of the second mill and expansion of the leach circuit. In June 2011, the Company announced that the Phase 2 construction programme was completed with Mill 2 being successfully commissioned on time and within budget. Further, in March 2014 a pilot plant to recover gold from 13Mt of tailings was commissioned.

In its current mines, it holds reserves and resources totalling in excess of 3million ounces, in 2 countries, with controlled costs, and evidence of more potential in several of its holdings.

A recent management change has also reduced costs, such that all-in costs (C3) are now almost at break-even (@ circa $1250/ozt) Though of course, Gold’s NY price rose, earlier in the year, breaching $1300 before Janet Yellen’s dovish speech suggested that a rate hike was on the cards, and the markets saw this as an opportunity to buy the dollar. This strengthened the dollar on international currency markets, and Gold fell back as a result. Currently close to $1210/ozt (02-Jun-16). But, if the expected rate hike doesn’t materialise, it will also be taken by the markets as economic weakness, and a sign that more QE may be required. That may cause a sell-off in the dollar, and will send Gold up again.
Few opportunities exist in life to make huge sums of money, but this is one such time.

If you want to know more about this junior miner, and its prospects then respond in the comments box below, supplying your e-mail, and I will supply a fuller picture, details in reply.

The Road To Serfdom?

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0311_china-gold-hording_416x416
China’s Gold Hoard – is bigger than they claim – MUCH bigger.

In the last 12months, the World economy, has taken a distinct turn for the worse…Starting last summer, the Federal Reserve announced it would begin normalising interest rates. (read: raising them, by baby steps)

They intimated in FOMC minutes, last year that they expected to increase rates by 4 times in the next twelve months. As it is, some nine months later, they have managed to raise by just 0.25% and they now feel that they will manage only 2 increments by year end.

As the Fed Funds rate was raised by 25 points last year, the DJIA fell from its new all time high at almost 18,300 in early May 2015 to 15,670 in August 2015, and early February this year, before bouncing higher on interest rate movement

However, several commentators – Doug Casey, Jim Rickards, Bill Bonner, James Dale Davidson and others have commented that many large corporations are actually borrowing money at low interest rates to buy back their own shares, to maintain the illusion of prosperity, by reducing the number of shares in issue, which increases the value of those shares that remain.

The FT100 which peaked at just over 7,100, for only the second time since 2000, in 2015, has generally bounced around in a downward direction, reaching 5,500 in February this year, before some of the Brexit talk began in earnest, in recent weeks, and bouncing up to 6,400 mark in April. However, recent Brexit fears have again driven markets down towards 6,250 (6,262.85 as I write), and the trend appears down.

Indices around the world rose yesterday, except in Turkey, Argentina, China and Colombia where they continued their downward slide. Several Economies in the Americas – notably Brazil and Venezuela, are experiencing rising inflation. Indeed, a Sky News report, quoting the IMF suggested inflation in Venezuela, could rise to 4,500% over the next 3 years, unless something is done to change things.

Socialism, is once again being proven to be a failure. This has echoes of the 1970s, when Britain too faced its own crisis. And America too seems to be heading down this road.

See this:

A Letter to America… Don’t follow the European model… Daniel Hannan – MEP.
(A warning also to Remainians?)

In Venezuela, as Britain then, they have huge reserves of oil, but as new exploration, and fracking – particularly in American states, raised production, their levels last seen 30-40 years ago, at around 9-10 million bopd.

Prices went from $121 bbl to $28, over the winter period, but as the traditional summer driving season begins in America, coupled with rising vehicle numbers in India and China, and some slacking off of production, as several American oil producers have succumbed to the lower prices, oil has bounced back to the $48/barrel mark, and should remain in this $50-70 region for the foreseeable, unless, some of those new producers collapse even at these prices, and demand remains firm.

Both Brazil’s and Venezuela’s oil industries have suffered partly to corruption issues, but also there appears to be some involvement by America’s dark state, at least according to Nomi Prinz, ex Goldman-Sachs employee, and now author of several books as she appeared with Max Keiser, on the Keiser Reporton Tuesday.

All it will take is one large domino to fall in the next few weeks, and the prediction by James Dale Davidson (See Pic) will no doubt come to fruition.

EconomicPrediction-May-24th-2016

The IMF appears to be very concerned about world events spinning out of control, as the chief plate spinner extraordinaire – Madame Lagarde – appears to be struggling to keep all the world’s plates from crashing. She will undoubtedly have to run to keep all these increasingly unstable plates on the top of their poles.

Talk in the markets has also begun discussing QE4… Is this likely, as Gold has stumbled at the $1300 level, and pulled back? From a trading perspective, the Gold (AU) RSI (Relative Strength Index) hit 70, which suggests a temporary over-bought status, but this pull back will prove ephemeral too – perhaps lasting until the end of summer.

As George Soros, Hank Paulson, China, India, and many American Billionaires wiith their finger on the pulse, sense the mode shift, and begin buyng Gold again, while mainstream buyers sit on the sidelines – for now. However, the World Gold Council reported the strongest first quarter on record for Global Gold Demand. And the COMEX ratio of owners to ounces hits an new all time high – 500:1, meaning only the first person in 500 will get physical possession of their physical ounces, if they demand delivery. The rest will go begging.

When the general public gets involved, in this new gold bull, this will translate into direct increases to the bottom line for Gold miners, and the sector that gains most on such moves are the juniors. One such junior producer in Africa, has already experienced an almost 100% improvement over the last 5months from its extreme lows.

Although four nations already have taken steps down the road of Negative Interest Rates (NIRP) – Japan, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark, with the U.S. also now considering this, if this happens, the rush to Gold (And by association – silver) will ensue, and the rise I predicted some years previously to happen in the 2018-19 period will come true..

I will be discussing the above miner in more detail in a future post.

But Jim Rickards latest prediction for the Gold price is over $14,400 per ounce.( See below)

EconomicPrediction-May-25th-2016

I think he may be slightly over pessimistic, but not by much.

And all other commodities will rise in similar fashion. If you haven’t got Gold, then your Dollars, Pounds, Yen or Yuan, or whatever currency you use, will be worth concomitantly less. and even a median income will feel like serfdom.

Time to put circa 20% of your wealth into precious metals. (in my humble opinion.)

But here Daniel Hannan, explains how the English speaking peoples made the world. (Even if some of them, are out to steal it from us)

 

Until next time.

Chinese Torture?

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Anyone over 50 (at least in the UK.) will no doubt have learned of so-called Chinese Water Torture, which was discussed in the playgrounds of schools the length and breadth of the country during the 50s, and 60s – perhaps this misplaced discussion was just childish minds being over imaginative, or the result of the war films that were the standard fare of the era, or perhaps just the result of propaganda by a biased media, or just by ill-educated professionals, who had been mis-informed and we juniors picked up on it – we can but speculate.

According to the stuff of legend, this involves suspending a bucket or other recepticle full of water in which a small hole has been punctured, such that water will drip out at a fairly consistent rate over a fairly lengthy period of time.

The torture victim, is placed under this recepticle, and strapped in a fixed position. The slow but monotonous dripping, at first appears to offer no threat to the intended victim, but over time, first becomes an inconvenience, then a minor irritation, then an annoyance, then a major irritation, then downright torturous.

The slow drip, drip, drip, ratchets up the pressure on the intended victim…

Applying the Torture?



So, this analogy brings me to the reason for this tortuous piece.

As I wrote some weeks ago, China informed the world, back in May, that they had improved their Gold holdings over the previous six years from April 2009 at 1,065 tonnes to 1,658 tonnes (allegedly – since many commentators think this was significantly under-reported)

According to reports, China announced it had purchased an additional 19 tonnes in July, but news released a few days ago, says they have also now added an additional 16 tonnes in August. This now brings their total to 1,693 tonnes, and according to silverdoctors.com, they’ve imported “a whopping 112 tonnes” so far in the first half of this year from the LBMA, up from the 110tonnes in the whole of 2014.

So is this “Drip, Drip” of additional purchases the equivalent of the torture method mentioned earlier for the FEDs?

China sold some $94 Billion in Treasury Bills, which might also be sending a signal to those in the non-BRICS Banking world.

And according to Alisdair Macleod, who referenced a Zero Hedge article, he said that if nothing else, it confirms the gold market is plagued by disinformation, not limited to Comex. Besides the conflict between the bears in the futures market and the physical bulls, on one day we are told of record Indian gold and silver imports at 126 and 1,400 tonnes respectively for the month of August (Koos Jansen), and of Indian gold demand “remaining weak” (HSBC). The former is a hard number, the latter an opinion, but it is opinions that are quoted most in the mainstream market commentaries.

Also in August, Chinese public demand reported on the Shanghai Gold Exchange totalled 265 tonnes, so between India and China identified demand exceeded the world’s monthly mine output by about 56% – Over half. Given anecdotal evidence of increasing physical demand from elsewhere in Asia and also in western markets by the general public, the drainage of physical gold previously available to cover futures and forward contracts, as well as unallocated bullion bank accounts is at very high levels. No wonder there is so little registered gold in the Comex vaults.

Alisdair Macleod September 3rd 2015, interview…

Now we hear via Jim Willie interviews, that the Tianjin explosion, may MAY, have been a Langley (i.e. CIA) inspired or managed incident. Remember, this was in an industrial park, port, and the home of a chinese super-computer, which according to JW, managed not only financial transactions of the emerging Chinese Banking and Financial Services Industries, but Chinese Military, and with a footprint of 1,000 square feet is HUGE. Within days of the explosion, the whole of the North-East of the U.S. Airline databases went down. Was this a revenge attack by Chinese hackers? We shall never really know, but we can speculate.

As things stand, the British, German and American Financiers, who essentially rule western industry and politics, will have control wrested from them, when the Chinese wrest control of the Gold market, and Precious Metals are priced in Yuan/Renminbi (RMB) and Chinese currency will be required in most trade deals, and many east-asian nations may, MAY only accept Renminbi for their products, and that will help seal the fate of the dollar.

As things stand now, 32 nations have currency swap facilities with China in Chinese currency, as I suggested some months ago, when Saudi-Arabia began discussing oil deals with China, as a way of balancing the emergence of the changes in the oil markets which have driven down oil prices largely because of fracking, and deep water production made possible by cheap money loaned out in the form of Corporate Bonds, we may see oil wars, but therein lies the problem.

As oil prices have collapsed from their 2007 high of $147/barrel, those corporate bonds, and finance raised to drill for shale oil, will come due, and many of those companies, are now struggling to make money. According to Jim Willie, the oil bond market collapse could be greater than the sub-prime crisis, that exploded onto our screens in 2008.

And at this particular point in time, the world credit markets stand on $700 TRILLION worth of derivatives. When the derivatives market collapses, perhaps as a result of those oil bonds, we could be seeing the end of the dollar empire, and thus the end of Western hegemony.

But this is of course all speculation…

However, when this collapse happens those who have savings in Banks, Savings in Stocks, Savings in Pension Funds, IRAs, SIPPs and bonds, will all suffer. When all those savings – excess savings as “Conant” once in the late 1890s called them, sought out productive assets overseas, in the round advocating a dollar Empire in the process, rush for the exits, from assets with counter-party risk, to assets with none, then the long awaited price reset in Precious Metals will begin.

And this price reset, will cause a spike in metals prices as many of those manipulators, who are currently shorting the price using leveraged shorts in such products as ETFs, ETPs, Options, Covered Warrants, CFDs, Spread-Betting accounts, and Binary options accounts, will all be rushing for the exits at the same time.

And where will the carnage lead them? To the one asset class with no counter-party risk.

Have you got yours yet? The sand in the hour-glass may be fast running out, as reports emerge of severe shortages in small denomination coins and bars. 100 Kilo bars are still plentiful in Silver, and larger bars. This may be a fabrication issue – i.e. refineries struggling to keep up with coin and small bar demand, or it may be that there is an emerging shortage of silver in the supply chain. If you were a miner, would you sell your ore into a falling market?

Remember, no-one will sound the bell identifying that now is the time to act. If you haven’t already begun to prepare, time may be fast running out.

It will be prudent too if Jim Rickards and Bill Bonner are correct, who have been following this inevitable crisis from its inception in the 1970s to its current conclusion, advise us to take currency from our bank account, and keep it outside the banking system, while we still can. About a month’s currency should suffice.

The banking crisis in Cyprus, in 2013, and Greece in 2014/15 were just stepping stones on the way to this one. Legislative changes forcing European Banks to seize their depositors’ currency rather than hit tax-payers for another bailout have been put in place. The digits on the banks ledgers are now theirs, not yours. You have been warned.

A New Russian Winter, or the Calm before the Storm?

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Some weeks ago, before Xmas, I floated the proposition that “The West” might be about to shoot itself in the head, heart, AND foot, just to make sure.

My reasoning was that Russia, might be about to demand payment in Rubles for their gas and oil and other things, which would effectively shoot the west in the aforementioned organs, as they sought to ratchet up pressure on President Vladimir Putin.

The U.S. through its monetary influences and power in International Organisations – the World Bank, the IMF, BIS, Federal Reserve, and of course the ECB, Bank of England, U.N. and Bank of Japan etc, is waging a war against Russia, in a vain attempt at defending and extending its influence in the middle-eastern region, and throughout the near east, ostensibly to protect itself from the rise of China and a resurgent Russia. (more of which later)

The beginnings of this madness began with the end of the Soviet Union. The west in NATO, and through European organisations made agreements with the Soviets, to not encroach into former soviet countries, yet many of those countries, in order to avoid the risk of re-colonisation, chose to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and/or the European Union. (E.U.). This was also of course to strengthen the U.S’s Federal Reserve backed monetary system, which as I’ve mentioned numerous times is now no longer backed by physical precious metals.

Of course, when the U.S., under its attempt to extend its influence in the region, encouraged the western larger part of Ukraine to throw off its recently elected leader as it were, to rub Putin’s nose in it, and incurred the wrath of the Crimean Russians, and the Russian speaking ethnic Russians east of the Dneiper River, it essentially wandered into Russia’s back-yard, and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

The Crimeans, who are predominately ethnically Russian, were backed into a corner, as the new western backed government in Kiev, made the Russian language illegal.

Imagine if you were a Welsh speaking Welsh person, and the incoming British government, made your language illegal? Or Irish? or Highland Scottish and they tried to make Gaelic illegal?

You’d be pretty PO’d too…

The Crimeans, who felt Russian, spoke Russian, and historically WERE Russian – If we remember our history – Balaclava, near to Sevastopol, on the western coast of Crimea, is where the British Light Brigade, charged the Russian guns, to such detrimental effect, in 1854, and it is remembered in the rousing poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. So, a hundred and fifty years ago, this part of the world, was as Russian as it surely is today.

The President, of Russia, kept a low profile recently, and even disappeared from view for ten days, prompting mass media speculation by western media about his health. Of course, when he reappeared, the President issued a wry smile, and joked about “gossip”.

But behind the scenes, the Russian bear is fighting back against the Dollar hegemony. Of course the war of words is being ratcheted up as American military conduct war games in Estonia, this week-end, a former Soviet satellite nation, and right next to the Russian mainland.

Guyane Chichakyan a journalist for RT, posed an interesting question to one of the U.S. government’s PR spokespersons today (Saturday) when she asked Jeff Rathke of the U.S. State Department: Why was it that when Russia conducted military exercises on their own soil, it was supposedly raising tensions, but when Americans conducted military exercises several thousand miles away from home on Russia’s borders, it was in the guise of international peace and security.

The PR guy nearly choked on his reply, denying that they had ever said such a thing, to which, RT showed a clip of Jen Psaki of the U.S. State Department, on August 14th, 2014, doing just that, when referring to events in Ukraine and close to the Ukrainian border. As I mentioned some months ago, the next world war has already begun as a war of words, and for people’s hearts and minds. Every channel, both public and private will be used. It will in all inevitability end in a military war, though perhaps not on such a full-scale as the last one in 1939.

But perhaps also the anti-U.S. state of mind is gathering steam… As I mentioned some weeks ago, Britain applied to become a founding member of the AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) the alternative to the U.S. dominated World Bank and IMF, and we hear from the New York Times, that now Germany, France and Italy wish to join in defiance of U.S.’s (cough) “requests”.

Perhaps the dollar’s end as a major world currency is finally coming to an end, as a result of the mass Q.E. exercise of recent years.

It is time we all engaged our brains.

And then last week, I read this… http://russia-insider.com/en/2015/03/19/4696 which discusses just that.

If a shooting war does begin in earnest, money – hold in your hands money – will allow you to survive the inevitable inflation that will ensue, and the grey market will offer up far more than the government enforced, and controlled ones. If you value your freedoms, liberties, and the health and well-being of your family and friends, I strongly suggest you begin preparing – if you haven’t already.

Gold and Silver coins and widely accepted silver and gold ingots of widely known mints will prove to be good ways to secure your own future “essentials”. And Bitcoin, and other [Alt-coins] will enable international transactions. You can begin your own FREE collection of these precious [Alt-coins], when you set up an account by merely supplying an e-mail address.

Russian Roulette – Is the west about to shoot itself in the head, heart and the foot – just to make sure?

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The west shoots itself in the head, heart AND foot.
Shooting themselves in the foot, head, heart…That should do it.
One year on, as the Federal Reserve celebrates another birthday, both Gold and Silver were beaten down in the London aftermarket close, while trading was at its lowest. And the Russian Rouble was similarly attacked by those behind the curtain.

As the Russian Rouble recovers some of its losses of the last week, in the last few days, I have been re-visiting some of my reading matter, of the last few weeks.

Ever since Russia annexed Crimea, ostensibly to give citizenship to ethnic Russians, but many feel it was to save its only warm water port, “The West”, has been ratcheting up the tension and the rhetoric on Russia.

The NATO block has interfered in Ukraine, too many times. The American led organisation the IMF, has been interfering, with its money, and the West has provided IMF led financial support to the Ukrainian Government and military, and rumours abound, that the IMF and its minions have taken Ukraine’s Gold – some 40 tons apparently – as a surety. (Rumoured to be the source of Holland’s recently returned 127 tons of Gold).

According to Bloomberg today, Ukraine has sold more of its Gold holdings, reducing its holdings from 26.1 tons, to 23.6 tons (2.5 tons) and Russia has bought more rising from 1,168.7 tons to 1,187.5 tons (18.8 tons).

But Russia is not the one in trouble – the Fed and the U.S. is. Russia’s Debt to GDP ratio is roughly 11 percent. What is the Debt to GDP ratio in the United States? According to the IMF it’s 112 percent. What is the Debt to GDP ratio in Japan? It’s a staggering 230 percent. And Russia is sitting on a lot of reserves of very valuable natural resources.

So Russia is not going to fold because of some pressure coming from the United States or NATO. And the real tragedy of all this is the collapse of the rouble is really hurting the Russian people. This is being done by the West as a method of financial warfare. The latest sanctions against Crimea are just hurting the people of Crimea.

According to Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, Russia could unleash possibly one or more “Black Swan” events. For those not familiar with the term, it is a reference to the fact that most swans are White, but occasionally, one is born Black, but is so infrequent as to be impossible to predict, and here is the scary part.

Both Russia and China now don’t believe in the cold war rhetoric of Mutually Assured Destruction – or MAD as it was known.

Now both appear to be willing to make a “First Strike”.

He also recently said about the Gold and silver markets…

“The downward manipulation of the prices of precious metals prevents the “crisis warning transmission system” from properly functioning. More important, the decline in the price of gold/silver vs. the U.S. dollar conveys the illusion that the dollar is strong at a time when, in fact, the dollar should be under pressure from the over-issuance of dollars and dollar-denominated debt.

What we have been experiencing since the 2008 crisis is not only the subordination of US economic policy to the needs of banks “too big to fail,” but also the subordination of law and the financial regulatory agencies to the interests of a few private banks. The manipulation of the bullion markets is illegal whether done by private parties or on public authority, and so we have the spectacle of the US government supporting a handful of banks via illegal means. Not only has economic accountability been set aside, but also legal accountability.”

What people also don’t know, is that the Russians are ready to shelter the majority of their population in major cities in the event of a nuclear war. By contrast, the United States only has facilities for the elite and key personnel in the form of roughly 234 underground bases. These bases are referred to by the military and the elite as Deep Underground Military Bases (or DUMB).

And reports are surfacing from U.S. food processors about huge orders of food by U.S. government agencies to be delivered to these underground bases. The key is the government has requested immediate shipment of this food so that it can be stockpiled. While this stockpiling, has been going on, reports have also surfaced from store managers from all over the country, that a large selection and quantity of food is disappearing from grocery store shelves in states where these underground bases are located such as Kentucky, West Virginia, Kansas, Pennsylvania, etc.

Also, in 2008, the U.S. government ordered 600 million rounds of soft-nosed hollow-point ammunition – 2 rounds for every person in America to be delivered over 6 years.

These are the type of preparations that would be taken if it appeared that civil unrest, world war, or a possible nuclear exchange was on the horizon.

Meanwhile, the Chinese are buying factories, farms, mines, fresh water resources, etc. Other Far Eastern and Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds are also accumulating these key resources. The Chinese and the Russians understand that at the end of the day it’s all about natural resources and being able to deliver these natural resources to a market that has the money or gold to pay for these key commodities.

A cyber attack on the West’s Banks could close down the banking system for days or weeks. What would that do to the West’s economies? Just think Sony, only ten or a hundred times worse…

If Russia was attacked or provoked more seriously, they could respond by dumping U.S. Treasuries and Dollars, or by asking for delivery on gold futures contracts forcing a default at the COMEX, and/or LBMA.

Or they could just ring up all the leaders in Europe, and tell them, they won’t sell any more Gas/Oil except in roubles, or sell any to NATO members. Germany, France, Italy, and even the U.K., would cave in a heart-beat.

People used to think that those who were preparing for disaster – “Preppers” – were crazy. Now we see the United States government ordering survival kits for employees of every major bank as well as key personnel at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

On this side of the pond, Europe teeters on the brink of a financial disaster. And if Russia simply stated it would not repay loans it has taken from European and U.S. banks (at least not yet) then it might force a rerun of 2008 which would seem like it was a nice day at the shops by comparison.

The European Parliament, as UKIP’s Nigel Farage is so fond of saying, has become a talking shop, a mouthpiece with no teeth. It also hasn’t had its accounts signed off for several years, making monitoring its politicians all but impossible. It has been called a gravy train.

Finally, I ran across two great quotes from the past. They are food for thought.

“The Roman Republic fell, not because of the ambition of Caesar or Augustus, but because it had already long ceased to be in any real sense a republic at all. When the sturdy Roman phlebeian, who lived by his own labor, who voted without reward according to his own convictions, and who with his fellows formed in war the terrible Roman legion, had been changed into an idle creature who craved nothing in life save the gratification of a thirst for vapid excitement, who was fed by the state, and directly or indirectly sold his vote to the highest bidder, then the end of the republic was at hand, and nothing could save it. The laws were the same as they had been, but the people behind the laws had changed, and so the laws counted for nothing.”

– President Theodore Roosevelt

“It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter’d your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil’d this sacred place, and turn’d the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress’d, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

In the name of God, go!”

– Oliver Cromwell – To the Long Parliament – 20 April 1653.

And tonight Sky News got into the fray, when it ran a programme called “The Doom Boom”, suggesting that those who are preparing for the forthcoming crash are somewhat crazy, or slightly unstable, yet the evidence above would suggest, that they may be just doing the only sane thing they can.

We wish all those who have read this over the last year, a Happy Christmas and Festive Season, and a safe and prosperous New Year.