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David McGowan: CIA roots of 60’s Rock, Flower Power & Hippie movements

Paul Sandhu, Published on Nov 21, 2014

David McGowan is the author of Weird Scenes from the Canyon: Laurel Canyon, Covert Ops & The Dark Heart Of The Hippie Dream

You’ve Been in This Business Too Long If… / Via ConvergEx’s Nick Colas on 11/21/2014 18:27

Today we offer up a (hopefully) humorous note about the perils of a career in finance.  It’s not really the day to day chores that take a toll, after all – it is how this business pervades the rest of your life.  Over the years, your personal and professional decision making and communication skill sets merge into one, and it is the cold rationality of the latter that usually swallows the former.  And then lets out a large burp.  So if you’ve ever wondered what the stop-loss should be on a romantic relationship gone bad, or considered your emotions in terms of personal beta, this note is for you.  What follows is a top 10 list of challenges only people who have tied their personal fates to Wall Street will probably understand.  And for those of you who’ve managed to avoid these pitfalls, read on to see what you’ve been missing.  And pat yourself on the back.

After 30 years in and around Wall Street, I feel like damaged goods.  That’s not necessarily a complaint, but rather a simple and factual observation.  An example to illustrate the problem: I have mental stop losses for just about everything in my life.  If I have a bad meal at a restaurant, I never go back.  If a personal relationship goes south, I “Take it off my screen”.  Very few things have a second chance with me.  If it doesn’t work out, well, one and done…

That’s just one example of how my professional life has somehow subsumed the personal. Any decent trader will tell you that you must decide on a stop loss level before initiating any position. After all, the market knows more than you do.  You might have it right, or you might not. The asset’s price action will let you know soon enough either way.  And when it does, you should listen. Setting that stop takes away any emotional attachment you might have and leaves you free to go find something else that might work better.  At the same time, I know that treating people and relationships like positions on a trading pad is somehow… wrong.

My only solace is that I know I am not alone.  After thousands of conversations with colleagues and friends in the business over those three decades, I am pretty sure that I am simply average.  A career on Wall Street may be the only profession where the actual “Product” is efficient decision-making and communication.  Since those two processes are also what you use to navigate life, it is only natural that you would try to leverage them into your personal relationships and general existence.  But we do so at our peril, as I will now illustrate.

Consider this “Top 10” list of other examples:


Reply From Pettis on Spain; Prisoner’s Dilemma in Reverse; EMU End Game / Mike “Mish” Shedlock / November 21, 2014

In response to Spain Needs to Debate Leaving the Euro; Tooth Fairy Economics I received a nice email from Michael Pettis confirming my translation was correct. He also attached the original article in English.

Michael Writes …

Thank’s Mish.

I am attaching the original, but the translations you got were basically right and covered the main points, which you understand anyway.
Excessive debt impedes growth, and very few sovereign debt crises in history have been resolved by growth

  1. The only other way to “resolve” a debt crisis is to assign the losses to one group or another
  2. It is usually workers through unemployment and middle class savers through hidden or explicit taxes who end up paying
  3. It may or may not be worthwhile to save the banks at the expense of the middle and working classes, but at the very least we should discuss it openly and make sure that this is what we have really decided is in the best interests of the


Original Text in English

Spanish Government Debt is not Sustainable

Within four years of the 1837 crisis, before it was truly a united country under a central government, two-thirds of American states, including several of the richest, defaulted on their foreign debt. The US survived. If the European Union is to survive, European debt must be resolved. The longer we wait, the more likely a permanent breakup of the euro and the European Union.


Against the State | Lew Rockwell

misesmedia, Published on Nov 21, 2014

Recorded at the Mises Circle in Costa Mesa, California, 8 November 2014. This seminar examines the institutions of a stateless society and explore topics such as private defense, private police, privately produced money, the role of markets, and how stateless legal systems would work.

In Preparation For Tonight’s Ferguson Decision / by Tyler Durden on 11/21/2014 17:53

As America holds its breath for tonight’s (expected) grand jury verdict over the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown – by police officer Darren Wilson on August 9th -Missouri officials have said they have reached an understanding with protest leaders, as NY Times reports, on the conduct of demonstrations expected after the decision whether to indict Wilson or not comes down. Despite this ‘understanding’ it is clear that law-enforcement is ‘prepared’…



Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts – Comex Option Expiration Monday / 21 NOVEMBER 2014

Next week will be a short trading week because of the US Thanksgiving holiday.

Monday will be the last Comex option expiration for the year, for the December contract. We may wish to brace for shenanigans. We are reaching a more critical point in the markets, but do not, absolutely do not, expect this to be easy.

The big changes come when we least expect them, and then as a thief in the night. Betting on short timeframes with leveraged bets is a losing trade 99 times out of 100. And if you hit it big one time, you may chase that adrenalin high again and again, until you are exhausted by the time things really break your way.

Gold and silver continue to dribble out of the Comex warehouses. For a quiet month we saw a bit of gold taken out of New York.

There was some very interesting news today. I featured both items.

As it turns out while Germany was waiting and the Swiss are considering their decision, the Dutch managed to quietly, some say secretly, repatriate a good chunk of their gold from New York back to Amsterdam. From their glory days roaming the world the Dutch understand that possession is nine-tenths of the law.

We also heard Senator Carl Levin criticize the Federal Reserve for enabling the Banks obtrusive entry into the commodity markets, where they were faced with a candy store of opportunities to manipulate prices, obtain inside information, and to basically fill their own greedy pockets by using subsidized funds from the Fed.

Levin may as well have turned to his colleagues on the Hill and shamed them as well.

Until there is reform, there will be no recovery.


BREAKING: Top Secret Gold Repatriation – Mike Maloney

Mike Maloney, Published on Nov 21, 2014

The Netherlands just announced that they have repatriated half of their gold held at the New York Federal Reserve.

The Levered Canary In The Coalmine: High Yield Is Flashing A “Sell Signal”, Says Barclays / by Tyler Durden on 11/21/2014 14:03

The growing divergence between equity and credit markets this year have seldom been far from our pages(especially how, over many cycles, credit has led and stocks followed at trend turns), and now it appears Barclays also recognizes this fact. As they note, in 2007, as hints of the financial crisis were unveiled, spreads in the high yield market increased sharply. Meanwhile, the equity market climbed to a new record high. Had equity investors heeded the warning being sent from high yield, significant losses may have been avoided… and currently high yield sell signals suggest equity investors should position defensively!


The Plebs Are Revolting – Utah Bill to Shut Off Water to the NSA Moves Forward / Michael Krieger / Nov 21, 2014

In the wake of the failure of the U.S. Senate to move forward on the USA Freedom Act, many activists and civil liberties advocates have come to the conclusion that we can’t rely on the feds to do anything decent on the subject. One of the proposed grassroots ways to fight back has been an emphasis on increased use of encryption (recall my pre-Snowden era post, Bitcoin and Kim Dotcom: Why it’s Time to “Encrypt Everything”). Another obvious solution is for people to revolt at the local level. It appears that the citizens of Utah are doing just that.

Wired reports that:

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would shut off the water spigot to the massive data center operated by the National Security Agency in Bluffdale, Utah.


Metals Firm Up as Central Banks Nervously Eye Gold Vote

silver, Published on Nov 21, 2014

This week we have silver guru David Morgan who talks about how much longer he expects to see these oversold prices in the metals. Don’t miss my must-hear interview with David Morgan.

US Equities Give Back All PBOC Rate-Cut Gains / by Tyler Durden on 11/21/2014 13:27

As we already noted, Draghi’s comments had no impact whatsoever on US equities overnight but when the PBOC rate-cut news hit, AUD surged and so did US equity futures… all the way into the US Open (and OPEX pins). From that moment, the selling began and as Goldman noted, the rate cut was only “slightly useful,” which was later confirmed by the PBOC mouthpiece Xinhua saying “this is not a signal of a big liquidity ease.” Stocks have retraced all their gains…


King Obama? Congressman Suggests a MOAT Around the White House After Gunman Scare / Melissa Melton / November 21st, 2014

Obama has been acting like quite the king lately…so-much-so, in fact, that his progressive Organizing for Action group sent out an email last night with a picture of Obama next to a rising sun with a literal CROWN symbol inside of it:

But apparently some of our elected representatives are quite literally ready to back a monarch in this country.

First, there’s Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D), who according to Bloomberg announced, “We will circle the president on fire. We will be on fire for rightness and justice,” ahead of his amnesty move.


GSR interviews CHRIS MARTENSON – Nov 20, 2014 Radio, Published on Nov 21, 2014

Not So “Fab”: From $1 Billion Valuation To $15 Million In A Year / by Tyler Durden on 11/21/2014 15:24

As we warned earlier, it appears the tech-startup bubble is bursting – very quietly behind the scenes.Today we get another confirmation that this dot-com 2.0 explosion of speculative surreality has peaked. Once Silicon Valley darling, Fab – started out as a dating site for the gay community and then relaunched as a flash sale site for home decorraised $150 million just over a year ago (at a $1 billion valuation), but as TechCrunch reports today, multiple sources have confirmed that Fab is in talks to sell to PCH International for $15 million in a half cash and half stock deal.


Alert: Monsanto is trying to crush Maui right now / by Jon Rappoport / November 21, 2014

Right now, the heart of the ACTUAL American struggle against Monsanto is in Maui.

On Election Day, voters in Maui County passed a local ballot measure blocking Monsanto and Dow from further development of GMOs.

Maui is a very importance piece of Monsanto’s empire. Because of the year-round weather, they can run many, many tests on new GMO crop varieties.

So Monsanto and Dow immediately turned around and sued Maui County.

On top of that, the federal judge in the case is Barry Kurren, who has already sided with Monsanto against Kaui’s attempt to regulate GMOs.

Monsanto’s mouthpiece, John Purcell, released a statement: “This local [Maui] referendum interferes with and conflicts with long-established state and federal laws that support both the safety and lawful cultivation of GMO plants.”


In that case, why was the ballot measure allowed to be voted on, in the first place?

Why didn’t Monsanto file suit, win its case before Election Day, and knock the measure off the ballot?

The truth is, Monsanto lost the vote. Now, they’re whining. If they had won, they wouldn’t uttered a peep of protest about the legality of the measure.


Thinkers Who Challenged the State | David Gordon

misesmedia, Published on Nov 21, 2014

David Gordon discusses some important thinkers and books that challenge the state. Recorded at the Mises Circle in Costa Mesa, California, 8 November 2014.

Stocks Close At Recordest Highs As All Central Banks Go All In / by Tyler Durden on 11/21/2014 16:08

Despite the knee-trembling awesomeness of a double-whammy promise of liquidity, US equity markets ended the week on a decidedly down note. The realization that Draghi’s all talk (no impact on US stocks) and PBOC’s move is not a liquidity surge and has limited impact on the economy left stocks tumbling once the opening OPEX levels had printed. The USD rose notably on the day after EUR plunged under 1.24 on Draghi (USD +0.9% on the week). Despite USD strength, gold rose 1% (as did Silver) on the week, rising for the 3rd week in a row for the first time in 4 months (and the 3rd Friday surge in a row). Oil rose 1% on the week, breaking an 8-week losing streak but Copper prices fell around 0.3% on the week, having given back the kneejerk gains post-PBOC today. Treasury yields dropped after kneejerking higher on PBOC. 30Y at 3.01% had its 2nd lowest weekly close since May 2013. VIX melted down into the close to 13.01. Late-day buying panic lifts stocks off their lows leaving Dow & S&P at all-time recordest highs of all-time ever in history (as small caps closed red).


Man Who Telegraphed Dutch Repatriation Says U.S. Gold Gone / November 21, 2014

The man who astonishingly telegraphed the Dutch gold repatriation nearly 30 days ago said today that the U.S. gold hoard, which countries believe is safely stored at the New York Fed, is gone.  A portion of his remarkably accurate dispatch on October 23rd is below as well as a link to the entire piece.  There is also a written piece from him below about today’s announcement and what the shocking ramifications of this announcement are.

First, here is just a small portion of how Egon von Greyerz telegraphed today’s stunning news to his subscriberson October 23rd, nearly one month before today’s public disclosure about the Dutch repatriation:

“We have heard from one very reliable source that repatriation of gold is secretly taking place at this moment from the USA to Europe. This is October 2014!

The information contains details about transported quantities by one of the global security firms being much higher than usual, as well as country of destination.

The mere fact that this repatriation of gold appears to be happening in secret confirms what wealth preservation investors have always known, namely that Gold should be held under direct control of the owner. That is the only proof that the gold actually exists.”

Below is today’s commentary from Egon von Greyerz, the man who knew about the Dutch gold repatriation ahead of the rest of the world:


Cracked Firewalls and State Legitimacy / By Gary North / November 21, 2014

In an article about the Chinese government’s massive firewall to restrict social media in China, the following statistic was reported: there are 1.4 billion Chinese, and 632 million of them are online.

I would not place too much credence in the specificity of these figures, but the general estimates are probably correct. Something in the range of half of all the people in China now have access to the Internet. Over the next 10 years, this is likely to increase to at least three-quarters.

The Internet is the most powerful communications tool in the history of mankind. It is spreading at such a pace, and with such magnitude in terms of its audience, that we have never seen anything like this in the history of man. Gutenberg’s development of moving type was nothing compared to what is happening with the Internet. Neither was radio. Neither was television. The Internet is extending its tentacles into the lives of almost everybody on earth. Almost everybody will soon have essentially equal access to the information that is contained on the Internet.

There is no possibility that the Chinese oligarchs are going to be able to protect themselves against the corrosive effects of information that is attainable at close to zero monetary cost. They can put up all the firewalls they want. There are kids out there who are skilled at defeating every attempt of the Chinese government to block out sections of the Internet from them. These young men are highly motivated. Their self-interest is at stake, and their self-image is also at stake. They want to gain a reputation within their inside group of hackers that they can beat the system. There is no question that they can beat the system. The only question is this: what percentage of the population is going to beat the system with them?

The Chinese system of economics is essentially Keynesianism. It involves central bank funding, and it involves state banks funding various enterprises. There is so much money in the hands of the planners, and so many opportunities to make money, that there is no way that this is not going to transform Chinese society. We already know this. We have never seen this rate of economic change inside the boundaries of a large nation. (South Korea, 1950-90, was faster, but it was smaller.)

The oligarchs at the top of the Chinese pyramid of power issue statements that reinforce the government’s official view of the necessity for controlling access to information on the Internet. But the press releases in no way change the facts. I am reminded of the RIAA’s press releases on the organization’s success in limiting the spread of unpaid exchanges of copyrighted music. This is whistling past the graveyard.


Artist’s Impression Of “Change” After Obama’s Historic Immigration Decree / by Tyler Durden on 11/21/2014 17:03

Presented with no comment…