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Drugmaker Raises The Price Of Vitamins By 800%, Makes Shkreli Blush

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / Dec 15, 2017 6:05 PM

Avondale, a secretive Alabama-based drugmaker, has gained unwanted national attention after the company increased the price of a bottle of vitamins to almost $300 that can be bought on the internet for $5.

In the latest example of price-gouging in America’s lightly regulated pharmaceutical industry, records show Avondale inflated the price of Niacor, a prescription-only version of niacin, by “809 percent last month, taking a bottle of 100 tablets from $32.46 to $295”, according to the Financial Times.

Niacor is the prescription form of niacin, a type of vitamin B3 that is used to treat high cholesterol and the increased risk of a heart attack. With one easy search on Google, a generic version of Niacor can be bought for $5.75 on Jet.com – meanwhile, if the consumer wants the prescription brand, well, they might have to sell their Apple Watch.

Avondale’s development of price-gouging is certainly bad timing on management’s behalf when considering Martin Shkreli, who in the past year has become the most hated man in America after he bought the rights to a drug, then raised prices by 5,500 percent. In the world of Big Pharma, buy-and-raise schemes are not limited to just Shkreli, but it’s rampant across the industry, such as Valeant Pharmaceuticals who has been accused of raising drug prices by more than 5,000 percent.

The Financial Times said Avondale acquired the rights to Niacor from Upsher Smith, a division of Japan’s Sawai Pharmaceutical, earlier this year. The buy-and-raise scheme was immediately applied to Niacor, as management faced little or no competition among other drugmakers, along with limited government regulation.

Niacor isn’t the first time the company inflated drug prices, management “increased the price of SSKI by 2,469 percent, taking a 30ml bottle from $11.48 to $295,” according to the Financial Times.

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These Declassified Nuclear Test Videos PROVE That a Strike Is Survivable

theorganicprepper.com / Daisy Luther / December 15, 2017

While everyone is very concerned about North Korea’s nuclear tests, these kinds of experiments are nothing new. In fact, hundreds of them took place right here in the United States between 1945-1962, and a series of declassified nuclear test videos have recently been restored and released.

With a world that appears to be actively preparing for nuclear war, I can’t emphasize enough how vital it is to get prepared for the possibility of an attack.  Each time I write about nuclear survival, it never fails that multiple people chime in…

  • “I hope I die in the blast because I wouldn’t want to live.”
  • “It will be an apocalyptic wasteland like “The Road.”
  • “We’ll all starve to death or die of cancer.”
But that’s simply not true.

The US stopped testing nukes in 1992, but the existence of these videos, some of which have people filmed watching the blasts, absolutely prove these things:

  • If you aren’t at Ground Zero, you can survive.
  • A strike will not turn the entire nation into an apocalyptic wasteland.

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Bitcoin Goes Hollywood – Movies Coming Up

themaven.net / by  / Dec 16, 2017

Bitcoin heads for Hollywood. The Indie movie ‘Bitcoin’ will be the first comedy about cryptocurrency.

No bubble can be complete without a move. And here we are: Hollywood Gears Up for ‘Bitcoin’ Movies.

Hollywood is jumping on the Bitcoin bandwagon.

Filmmaker Christian Cashmir is in pre-production for his feature film debut, “Bitcoin,” a comedy about two down-and-out brothers in Arizona who stumble across a Bitcoin wallet worth $20 million and try to sell it on the black market. “Bitcoin” is produced by up-and-coming indie producer Lauren Cribb and has TV comedian Theo Von attached to star.

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Jim Kunstler: “You Can See Where This Has Been Going…”

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / Dec 15, 2017 5:42 PM

Lately, fund flow data has all the credibility of a NYT presidential poll two days before the Trump defeats Hillary.  On one hand, you have Lipper reporting that investors pulled $16.2bn from U.S.-based equity funds in the past week, the largest withdrawals since December 2016. The same Lipper also reported that taxable-bond mutual funds and ETFs recorded $1.2bn in outflows, with U.S.-based high-yield junk bond funds posting outflows of $922 million. On the other hand, you have EPFR which looking at the same data, and the same time interval, concluded that there was $8.7bn inflows into equities, of which total flows into the US amounted to $7.8bn, the largest in 26 weeks.

How does any of this make sense? We are not sure, although it may be that while Lipper ignores ETF flows, EPFR includes these. Indeed, when breaking down the latest flow data, which still does not foot with the Lipper numbers, Bank of America notes that the $8.7bn in equity inflows is the result of a $31.4bn in ETF inflows – the second largest on record – offset by $22.7bn in mutual fund outflows, the 4th largest on record.

When looking at this staggering divergence, BofA’s Michael Hartnett put it best:

Passive hubris, active humiliation: 2nd largest week of inflows ($31.4bn) ever into equity ETFs vs 4th largest week ever of outflows from equity mutual funds (Chart 1)

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Goldman: These Are the Hottest Commodities in 2018

financialsense.com / OIL PRICE / 12/15/2017

Goldman Sachs continues to ratchet up predictions for commodities, laying out a bullish case for commodities of all stripes in 2018.

The investment bank said that its forecast a year ago for higher commodity prices “played out much better than expected.” The bank pointed to industrial metal prices, which are up 24 percent this year, plus the 13 percent increase in oil prices.

But looking forward, Goldman sees plenty of room to run. “The demand backdrop today is now even stronger than a year ago, with robust and synchronous global growth clearly evident,” Goldman analysts, led by Jeffrey Currie, wrote in a December 11 research note. The extension of the OPEC deal also led the bank to revise up its forecast for oil prices, as inventories should continue to fall throughout 2018.

There are other reasons to be bullish on commodities. The investment bank argues that commodities tend to outperform other asset classes when central banks move to tighten rates. That is because rate hikes typically occur when demand is exceeding supply – the higher prices resulting from that mismatch are why central banks are trying to raise rates, but it is those higher prices that support the investment case into commodities.

The report concluded that “a positive carry in key commodity markets and already strong global demand growth across the commodity complex reinforces the case for owning commodities. And hence we maintain our 12-month overweight recommendation, now with a forecasted return of almost 10 percent.”

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Confidence, and What Comes With It

unemployment

financialsense.com / TOM MCCLELLAN / 12/15/2017

There is a strong positive feedback mechanism involving consumer sentiment and the economy. As conditions get better, people get more confident, which causes them to spend more, so companies hire more, which makes people more confident….

That all works until it doesn’t, and then the positive feedback goes the other way, making people get less confident as they see the economy slowing, making them spend less money, which causes layoffs, which makes people less confident….

The University of Michigan’ Survey of Consumers Index of Consumer Sentiment hit 100.7 in October 2017, its highest reading since January 2004. It has backed off just a little bit since that October reading, but is still at a very high level, showing that consumers are feeling pretty confident.

This week’s chart shows the relationship of that University of Michigan number and the U-3 unemployment rate. There is an interesting lag in the unemployment numbers, and that is highlighted with the 10-month time offset employed in the chart above. I want to emphasize that the consumer sentiment data plot is inverted in that chart so that we can better see the correlation to unemployment.

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Scheme To Pay Off Trump Accusers Emerges, One Woman Was Offered $750,000

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / Dec 15, 2017 4:45 PM

California woman’s rights Attorney Lisa Bloom operated behind a scheme to compensate Trump accusers and potential accusers using money from donors and tabloid media outlets during the final months of the 2016 presidential race, in an effort which intensified as the election neared, report John Solomon and Alison Spann of The Hill.

Lisa Bloom’s efforts included offering to sell alleged victims’ stories to TV outlets in return for a commission for herselfarranging a donor to pay off one Trump accuser’s mortgage and attempting to secure a six-figure payment for another woman who ultimately declined to come forward after being offered as much as $750,000, the clients told The Hill. –The Hill

The various accounts of Bloom’s scheme were detailed in documents, emails and text messages reviewed by The Hill, and come on the heels of Bill O’Reilly’s claim that there is a secret tape of a women who was offered $200,000 to file sexual harassment charges against Trump. It is unknown whether or not O’Reilly’s claim is related to Bloom’s activities.

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Doug Casey on the Best Buying Opportunity Since 1971

caseyresearch.com / December 15 2017

Justin’s note: Commodities are in the early innings of a massive bull market.

At least, that’s what Doug Casey thinks. But here’s the thing… He’s not just talking about gold and silver. He thinks commodities, as a group, are about to take off.

Doug doesn’t think gold and silver are about to skyrocket. He thinks commodities, as a group, are about to take off.

Doug has so much conviction in this call that he just launched a new commodity letter, which he talks about below in this brand-new interview.

Read on to see why the stage is set for a monster rally in commodities…


Justin: Doug, I hear you’re excited about commodities. Why is that?

Doug: Well, let me start by saying that commodities have been in a bear market for the last 5,000 years.

The real price of commodities, whether we’re talking livestock, grains, energy, or metals, has been falling since the dawn of civilization.

And that trend will continue.

Justin: How come?

Doug: Because in primitive times we only had raw sticks and stones and wild animals and plants. If you found a little piece of metallic iron from a meteorite, you were the equivalent of a caveman billionaire. If you could find the corpse of a dead deer, you could fend off starvation for another week. If you found a berry bush it was as big a deal as owning a supermarket today.

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The Great Oil Swindle

peakprosperity.com / by Chris Martenson / Friday, December 15, 2017, 6:41 PM

When it comes to the story we’re being told about America’s rosy oil prospects, we’re being swindled.

At its core, the swindle is this: The shale industry’s oil production forecasts are vastly overstated.

Swindle:  Noun  – A fraudulent scheme or action.

And the swindle is not just affecting the US.  It’s badly distorted everything from current geopolitics to future oil forecasts.

The false conclusions the world is drawing as a result of the self-deception and outright lies we’re being told is putting our future prosperity in major jeopardy. Policy makers and ordinary citizens alike have been misled, and everyone — everyone — is unprepared for the inevitable and massive coming oil price shock.

An Oil Price Spike Would Burst The ‘Everything Bubble’

Our thesis at Peak Prosperity is that the world’s equity and bond markets are enormous financial bubbles in search of a pin. Sadly, history shows there’s nothing quite as sharp and terminal to these sorts of bubbles as a rapid spike in the price of oil.

And we see a huge price spike on the way.

As a reminder, bubbles exist when asset prices rise beyond what incomes can sustain.  Greece is a prime recent example. In 2008 when the price of oil spiked to  $147/bbl, Greece could no longer afford imported oil. But oil is a necessity so it was bought anyway, their national balances of payments were stressed to the point that they were exposed as insolvent and then their debt bubble promptly and predictably popped.   The rest is history.  Greece is now a nation of ruins and their economy might as well be displayed alongside the Acropolis.

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Weekend Reading: Ignorance Is No Excuse

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / Dec 15, 2017 4:24 PM

Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

The “tax bill cometh.” According to the press, this is going to be the single biggest factor to jump-starting economic growth since the invention of the wheel.

Interestingly, even the Fed’s economic projections are suggesting that economic growth will pick up over the next two years from the impact of tax cuts. (Chart is the average of the range of the Fed’s estimates.)

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Guest Post Special: Prepping – The moment of Truth

johngaltfla.com / 15/12/2017

A guest post….
by Natty Bumppo
December 15, 2017 05:00 ET

It was cold and windy the winter of 2005 as I left the hotel in Ashland , Kentucky and drove to the studio to appear on a Daystar satellite television program. The name of which and the name of the host no longer remains in my memory. However I do remember Tammy. Tammy was the producer who had been in contact with me for several weeks and met me in the parking lot. She then brought me to a very nice waiting area followed by the make-up room.

The host or maybe it was Tammy asked if I would appear and be interviewed for the first book that I had penned; “Godly Living”. It was written to the so called ‘Christian’ concerning their personal character.

After make-up, I was brought to a balcony with a view of the set. It was a typical as-to-be expected scene. The set consisted of a small carpeted area with matching couch and chair. It was extremely well lit, however, very dark around the small set with multiple cameras surrounding it from 3 of 4 sides. Later I met the host and we sat down, he in the chair and I on the couch. The host was very relaxed as I and we began the interview after some small chit chat and preparatory questions.

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Video: Leftists Embrace Domestic Terrorism, Call For Assassination Of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Over Repeal Of Net Neutrality Rules

shtfplan.com / Alex Thomas / December 15th, 2017

The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to “dismantle” Obama-era rules that regulated the businesses that connect Americans to the internet in a move that the left has breathlessly attacked since its announcement.

The so-called net neutrality regulations were supposedly put in place to prohibit broadband providers from blocking websites and or charging consumers for higher-quality services or to watch certain content such as Netflix.

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US Yield Curve Crashes Most In 6 Years As Stocks, Bitcoin Hit Record Highs

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / Dec 15, 2017 4:02 PM

What could go wrong?

Small Caps exploded higher today, driven by financials, presumably on tax reform hype.. but after Bob Corker said “yes” there was some notable “sell the news”…

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With FCC’s Net Neutrality Ruling, the US Could Lose Its Lead in Online Consumer Protection

financialsense.com / THE CONVERSATION / 12/15/2017

The internet may be an international system of interconnecting networks sharing a rough global consensus about the technical details of communicating through them – but each country manages its own internet environment independently. As the US debate about the role of government in overseeing and regulating the internet continues, it’s worth looking at how other countries handle the issue.

Our research and advocacy on internet regulation in the US and other countries offers us a unique historical and global perspective on the Federal Communications Commission’s December 2017 decision to deregulate the internet in the US The principle of an open internet, often called “net neutrality,” is one of consumer protection. It is based on the idea that everyone – users and content providers alike – should be able to freely spread their own views, and consumers can choose what services to use and what content to consume. Network neutrality ensures that no one – not the government, nor corporations – is allowed to censor speech or interfere with content, services or applications.

As the US continues to debate whether to embrace internet freedom, the world is doing so already, with many countries imposing even stronger rules than the ones the FCC did away with.

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REALIST NEWS – Couple of Newbs at work got spanked on Litecoin – They didn’t listen

jsnip4Published on Dec 15, 2017

Bank Of America: “This Is The First Sign That A Bubble Has Arrived”

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / Dec 15, 2017 5:42 PM

Lately, fund flow data has all the credibility of a NYT presidential poll two days before the Trump defeats Hillary.  On one hand, you have Lipper reporting that investors pulled $16.2bn from U.S.-based equity funds in the past week, the largest withdrawals since December 2016. The same Lipper also reported that taxable-bond mutual funds and ETFs recorded $1.2bn in outflows, with U.S.-based high-yield junk bond funds posting outflows of $922 million. On the other hand, you have EPFR which looking at the same data, and the same time interval, concluded that there was $8.7bn inflows into equities, of which total flows into the US amounted to $7.8bn, the largest in 26 weeks.

How does any of this make sense? We are not sure, although it may be that while Lipper ignores ETF flows, EPFR includes these. Indeed, when breaking down the latest flow data, which still does not foot with the Lipper numbers, Bank of America notes that the $8.7bn in equity inflows is the result of a $31.4bn in ETF inflows – the second largest on record – offset by $22.7bn in mutual fund outflows, the 4th largest on record.

When looking at this staggering divergence, BofA’s Michael Hartnett put it best:

Passive hubris, active humiliation: 2nd largest week of inflows ($31.4bn) ever into equity ETFs vs 4th largest week ever of outflows from equity mutual funds (Chart 1)

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Janet Yellen: Trump’s Tax Cut Could Play a Negative Role in Next Downturn

wallstreetonparade.com / By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: December 14, 2017

The outgoing Chair of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, held her last press conference yesterday following the Federal Open Market Committee’s decision to hike the Feds Fund rate by one-quarter percentage point, bringing its target range to 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 percent.

Given the growing reports from market watchers that the stock market has entered the bubble stage and could pose a serious threat to the health of the economy should the bubble burst, CNBC’s Steve Liesman asked Yellen during the press conference if there are “concerns at the Fed about current market valuations.”

Yellen gave a response which may doom her from a respected place in history. She stated:

“So let me start Steve with the stock market generally. Of course the stock market has gone up a great deal this year and we have in recent months characterized the general level of asset valuations as elevated. What that reflects is simply the assessment that looking at price-earnings ratios and comparable metrics for other assets other than equities we see ratios that are in the high end of historical ranges. And so that’s worth pointing out.

“But economists are not great at knowing what appropriate valuations are. We don’t have a terrific record. And the fact that those valuations are high doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily overvalued.

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REALIST NEWS – QTUM Explodes WAY higher (Trader Boss) – OMG Explodes to New Record $14

jsnip4, Published on Dec 15, 2017

Stocks Surge To All Time High As Corker Unexpectedly Joins Rubio In Supporting GOP Tax Bill

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / Dec 15, 2017 3:39 PM

Update: Just hours after Rubio announced that he would support the reconciled Republican tax plan, Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker – the only Republican who voted against the Senate tax bill – has said he, too, will support the legislation.

By supporting the bill, Corker – who has publicly feuded with President Trump, famously comparing the West Wing to an “adult daycare center” – has surprised many observers. A self-styled “deficit hawk”, Corker said in a statement that “while the bill is far from perfect,” he didn’t want to miss out on the “once-in-a-generation opportunity to make US businesses domestically more productive and internationally more competitive is one we shouldnot miss.”

Read his full statement below:

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Build The Wall! Illegal Immigration on Mexico Border Surges Back to Obama-era Levels!

InvestmentWatch

investmentwatchblog.com / BY  · 

By Chris Black

According to the latest data released on Friday, illegal immigration on Mexico border has surged unexpectedly, and it’s now back to Obama-era levels, which means that President Trump’s gains with regard to border crossings are beginning to wear off; thus building a “big, beautiful wall” should be a top priority for the new administration.

Last month alone, almost 40,000 “border jumpers” were caught as they were trying to enter the United States illegally, and that makes for a 12% surge in illegal border crossings compared to October, and, take a load of this: more than 2x the numbers from March and April, when the POTUS bragged about his accomplishments. Moreover, there has been observed a significant rise in families crossing the border illegally together, a 45% increase in November respectively, as well as a surge in unaccompanied minors, i.e. a 26% increase last month alone.

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Peak Prosperity News Update 12-15-2017

ChrisMartensondotcomPublished on Dec 15, 2017

Bond Markets Really Are Signalling A Slowdown

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / Dec 15, 2017 3:18 PM

Authored by Lakshman Achuthan and Anirvan Banerji via Bloomberg.com,

Analysts shouldn’t dismiss the yield curve’s message just because inflation expectations have been declining in recent years.When it comes to the economic outlook, the bond market is smarter than the stock market. That Wall Street adage appears to be on the money from a cyclical vantage point, with key indicators in the fixed-income markets independently corroborating slowdown signals from the Economic Cycle Research Institute’s leading indexes.

The yield curve is widely considered to be among the most prescient indicators. That’s why its flattening this year has been troublesome for an otherwise optimistic consensus to explain away.

This hasn’t stopped optimistic analysts from dismissing the yield curve’s message on the grounds that inflation expectations have been declining in recent years, or that foreign central banks like the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan continue to artificially suppress their bond yields, pulling down U.S. yields. We’re reminded of Sir John Templeton’s warning that “this time it’s different” are the “four most costly words in the annals of investing” — but that’s effectively what it means to simply ignore the slowdown signals emanating from the fixed-income markets.

Of course, there’s no Holy Grail in the world of forecasting, which is why we look at a wide array of leading indexes that each includes many inputs. From that vantage point, the yield curve flattening actually makes a lot of sense.

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Stocks and Precious Metals Charts – Quad Witching Stock Option Expiry

Le Café Américain

jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com / Jesse / 15 DECEMBER 2017

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”

Hunter S. Thompson

Things in Washington are becoming so odd on both sides of the aisle that normal ways of doing the business of the people are out the window. It is like Disneyland on the Potomac—  and Trump is goofy.

I grew up in the 50s and 60s and have seen some seriously weird stuff in my day.   And this is weirdness turned pro.

Stocks were on a tear for the quad witching December stock option expiration.

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The Government Is Preparing For A Major Event, And It’s Not What You Think – Episode 1449b

X22ReportPublished on Dec 15, 2017

Researchers Warn: Humans Have Hit Their “Biological Limitations”

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / Dec 15, 2017 2:55 PM

The twentieth century was an unbelievable era for the progression of human beings, with a significant increase in lifespan, adult height, and physiological performance.

As humans advance seventeen years into the 21st century, French researchers have now signaled a possible top in biological limitations of the human body, otherwise known as a biological plateau.

Researchers blame climate change and pollution among some of the effects, but also insist the human body design has limits.

The study, a first of its kind, dissected 120-years worth of historical data while considering both genetic and environmental parameters, said Science Daily.

Making sense of it all, each generation has the notion that future generations will live longer and longer,this study suggests there may be a maximum threshold to our biological limits.

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