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zerohedge.com / By Tyler Durden / 04/17/2014 12:27 -0400
Considering how successful diplomatic “solutions” to the Ukraine crisis have been in the past, it is no wonder almost nobody was paying attention to Geneva where today the four parties were holding talks to resolve the Ukraine situation, and moments ago they released, via Russia’s Lavrov, a joint statement on “de-escalating the situation.” From Bloomberg:
LAVROV SAYS DOCUMENT APPROVED ON UKRAINE
LAVROV SAYS DOCUMENT ON INITIAL STEPS TO DE-ESCALATE SITUATION
Today KWN is putting out a special piece which has some absolutely outstanding charts that were sent to us by David P. out of Europe. These are charts that the big bullion banks follow closely in the gold and silver markets, as well as big money and savvy professionals. David lays out the roadmap for one of the greatest opportunities in more than a decade for investors in the gold and silver space.
Below are the fascinating charts sent to us by David P. out of Europe which feature this opportunity.
Below are two charts showing the HUI Gold Bugs Index vs S&P 500. This ratio has seen some massive moves the past 15 years. The HUI index did bottom against the S&P 500 back in 2001 at 0.03 and then went as high as 0.55 in 2011, for a staggering 1,830% gain. After that peak, it has fallen back to 0.1, which represents an 82% collapse (see chart below):
theeconomiccollapseblog.com / By Michael Snyder / April 17th, 2014
Did you know that Family Dollar is closing 370 stores? When I learned of this, I was quite stunned. I knew that retailers that serve the middle class were really struggling right now, but I had no idea that things had gotten so bad for low end stores like Family Dollar. In the post-2008 era, dollar stores had generally been one of the few bright spots in the retail industry. As millions of Americans fell out of the middle class, they were looking to stretch their family budgets as far as possible, and dollar stores helped them do that. It would be great if we could say that the reason why Family Dollar is doing so poorly is because average Americans have more money now and have resumed shopping at retailers that target the middle class, but that is not happening. Rather, as you will see later in this article, things just continue to get even worse for Americans at the low end of the income scale.
The Agenda 21 model is evident for the entire world to see as the ChiComs and their treasonous political class partners, collude to drive off Cliven Bundy and his family, who have been ranching in the area since the 1800s. Forget about the dodge about the endangered tortoise, those trumpeted up $1.1 million in unpaid grazing fees, or even water rights. Federal Court property rights decisions and the court order in the Bundy case, only muddy the water about what is really going on. Fundamental civil liberty protections against a tyrannical bureaucratic government gone amuck may seem to be the main story to many, but when you delve into the monumental financial motives behind this land grab, the worse is yet to come.
Enter “Dirty Harry” Reid that Democrat lawbreaker from Nevada and leader of the Senate, best described as felonious and arguably, a master manipulator in his 2010 election victory by way of electronic voting machines rigging, dips his beak into the pay to play political environment.
freedomoutpost.com / By Pamela Geller / April 17, 2014
This is the latest bombshell to emerge from the recent cache of documents released to Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act. First, it reveals what liars Obama’s appointees are. Secondly and more importantly, the fascist tactics employed by the Obama administration call for a mass purge of the government.
The idea that the tyrannical Obama government meant to prosecute political speech using the most powerful government agency in the United States is terrifying and treasonous; treason not by one, but by Obama’s fifth column. And the enemedia’s cover and complicit silence is a declaration of war on the America people.
“These new emails show that the day before she broke the news of the IRS scandal, Lois Lerner was talking to a top Obama Justice Department official about whether the DOJ could prosecute the very same organizations that the IRS had already improperly targeted”
armstrongeconomics.com / By Martin Armstrong / April 17, 2014
With the banking crisis looming in Europe, the IMF behind the drive to seize wealth on a global scale, big money of individuals continues to try to get “off the grid” as they say. Real Estate over $10 million is still booming as reported by AP.
dollarcollapse.com / By John Rubino / April 16, 2014
Here’s something you don’t see very often: For a day and a half this week, the Japanese government’s benchmark 10-year bonds attracted not a single successful private sector bid. At today’s artificially-depressed yields, no one wants this paper — except of course the Bank of Japan, which is buying up the bonds with newly-created yen. As the Gulf Times noted:
The Bank of Japan’s massive purchases of government debt hit a milestone this week, sucking liquidity out of the market to such an extent that the benchmark 10-year bond went untraded for more than a day, the first time in 13 years.
Data from the BoJ late on Monday showed its holding of Japanese government bonds topped ¥200tn ($1.96tn), or about 20% of outstanding issuance – up by more than half from ¥125tn about a year ago.
The fall in market liquidity looks set to intensify as the BoJ has vowed to continue its aggressive buying for at least another year, with market players expecting it to expand its easing some time later this year.
The US federal government might have just evoked the fury of animal right groups over their shocking treatment of cattle at the Bundy Ranch, and may soon face legal charges of severe animal abuse in Clark County, Nevada.
sprottglobal.com / Wednesday, April 16, 2014 / Henry Bonner
As metals prices boomed during the last decade, small explorers and big miners spent billions of shareholder dollars seeking new deposits. Investors wanted the high rewards of a discovery as metals soared in price. At $1,900 per ounce of gold, even mediocre finds could make money.
Richard Schodde, of MinEx Consulting, has studied past exploration cycles in detail. He says we are seeing a tightening of the sector, as the availability of capital has plummeted. Costs of exploration are coming down as companies cut back on high-salaried employees and reduce operating costs.
The following chart from MinEx shows exploration expenditures rising quickly during the boom years:
The amount of money spent exploring rose during the last decade from $2.9 in 2002 to $29.4 billion in 2012, before falling back to $21 billion in 2013 says Mr. Schodde. Over the time-frame 2002-12 $136 billion was spent world-wide on non-bulk exploration, resulting in 647 significant new discoveries, of which only 18 are considered to be ‘top tier.’
Representatives of the European Union, the United States, Ukraine and the Russian Federation issued today the following statement:
“The Geneva meeting on the situation in Ukraine agreed on initial concrete steps to de?escalate tensions and restore security for all citizens.
All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions. The participants strongly condemned and rejected all expressions of extremism, racism and religious intolerance, including anti?semitism.
All illegal armed groups must be disarmed; all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners; all illegally occupied streets, squares and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated.
blog.milesfranklin.com / By Bill Holter / April 16th, 2014
I received a reply to my article and a question yesterday from John Embry of Sprott Asset Management. He asks, “Where” the silver has come from to supply the excess demand over these past years. I have reprinted his question and then my response to John. I will follow my reply at the bottom with some parting comments and a more in depth explanation.
I agree with your premise totally but remain baffled by how the PTB are able to access enough physical silver worldwide to meet demand at such a remarkably depressed price. I was talking to Eric Sprott about it yesterday and he can’t understand how they’re doing it. The world experts Ted Butler and David Morgan are at a loss also. Any ideas on your part?
I suspect that China leased out silver 10 years ago. This was done because they wanted and preferred to have gold, it was a better deal to suppress silver prices (and thus gold also) than to just swap it one for the other because even if it was 2 billion ounces you were only talking $10-12 billion at the time. Also please remember that nearly 100 years ago we (and the British) devalued silver versus gold which stung them badly, the Chinese have memories for millennia, this was only a century ago which is like yesterday to them. They (the Chinese) have now gorged on gold and done it with large dollar amounts…not to mention they have emptied the West’s official reserves. They have built a very large gold position off of the foundation of their large silver position. In a nutshell, I believe the silver could have only come from China.
davidstockmanscontracorner.com / By David Stockman / April 17, 2014
The Fed’s financial repression policies destroy price discovery and honest capital markets. In the process these deformations turn financial markets into casinos and corporate executives into prevaricating gamblers. To be specific, most CEOs of the Fortune 500 are no longer running commercial businesses; they are in the stock-rigging game, harvesting a mother lode of stock option winnings as the go along.
Those munificently rising stock prices and options cash-outs owe much to the Fed’s campaign to suppress interest rates and fuel stock market based ”wealth effects”, but the CEOs are doing their part, too. They have become full-time financial engineers who use the Fed’s flood of liquidity, cheap debt and soaring stock prices to perform a giant strip-mining operation on their own companies. That is, through endless stock buybacks and M&A maneuvers they create the appearance of “growth” while actually liquidating the balance sheet equity and future asset base on which legitimate earnings growth depends.
The poster boy for this deformation is IBM which for all intents and purposes has become a stock buyback machine on steroids. It had a bad hair day yesterday, reporting still another year/year decline in sales, but that goes right to the heart of the matter. During the last seven years IBM has been a stock traders dream, climbing an almost picture perfect chart from $94 per share in March 2007 to a recent peak of $212.
zerohedge.com / By Tyler Durden / 04/17/2014 14:09 -0400
Everyone knows that the half-life of these pointless diplomatic summits aimed at “de-escalating” geopolitical tensions is measured in days if not hours… But minutes? Moments ago from RT, and literally minutes after the final Geneva “agreement” was blasted, we get this: “Kiev says Military operation in Ukraine southeast to go on despite Geneva agreement.” The agreement, which as a reminder, said “All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions.” That’s right: not just “pro-Russian separatist terrorists”, but all sides.
Eric Schneiderman, New York State Attorney General
wallstreetonparade.com / By Pam Martens / April 17, 2014
Bloomberg News is reporting that New York State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, has issued subpoenas to six high-frequency trading firms. The article, however, names only three firms, none of which are household names.
According to the article, Schneiderman is asking the firms, which include Chopper Trading LLC, Jump Trading LLC and Tower Research Capital LLC about the “special arrangements they have with exchanges and dark pools as well as their trading strategies.”
This is a curious approach. Why not ask the three big stock exchanges, the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq and BATS to hand over the names of all high frequency traders to whom they have sold expensive perks that have the effect of rigging the stock market against the average investor.
On March 18 of this year, Schneiderman gave an address at New York Law School indicating his intimate knowledge of the unfair and potentially manipulative practices taking place at the stock exchanges and, somewhat demurely, calling out Securities and Exchange Commission Chair, Mary Jo White, for not doing enough to stop these abuses.
On the subject of co-location, where the high frequency traders are allowed for a high fee to locate their own computers inside the exchange’s data centers to be close to the exchange’s main computers and shave fractions of a second off their trading speed, Schneiderman said: “In that tiny sliver of time, these firms get a first look at the direct-data feeds provided by the exchanges. They see pricing, volume, trade and order information and use it with their sophisticated technology, and algorithms that make the systems automatic, to trade on it before others can possibly react.”
zerohedge.com / By Tyler Durden / 04/17/2014 13:35 -0400
When it comes to Krugman’s views on any particular topic, he may be right and he may be wrong, but whatever his opinion he always has a much to say about it (even if the factual backing is of secondary importance or outright missing). Today, his chosen topic is inequality, and in an interview with Bloomberg’s Tom Keene, shown and transcribed below, he certainly says much, encapsulated perhaps by the following gem:
Krugman: “There’s zero evidence that the kind of extreme inequality that we have is good for economic growth. In fact, there’s a lot of evidence that it is actually bad for economic growth. Nobody wants us to become Cuba.” Ah yes, inequality, the same inequality that the Fed – Krugman’s favorite monetary stimulus machine – has been creating at an unprecedented pace since it launched QE. Just recall: “The “Massive Gift” That Keeps On Giving: How QE Boosted Inequality To Levels Surpassing The Great Depression.” So while Krugman is right in lamenting the record surge in class divide between the 1% haves and the 99% have nots, you certainly won’t find him touching with a ten foot pole the root cause of America’s current surge in inequality. And, tangentially, another thing you won’t find him touching, is yesterday’s revelation by Gawker that the Nobel laureate is the proud recipient of $25,000 per month from CUNY to… study inequality.
testosteronepit.com / By Wolf Richter / APRIL 17, 2014 AT 6:10AM
They’re not even trying to blame the weather this time. “Housing affordability is really taking a bite out of the market,” is how Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist for the CaliforniaAssociation of Realtors explained the March home sales fiasco. “We haven’t seen this issue since 2007.”
In Southern California, the median price soared to a six-year high of $400,000, up 15.8% from a year ago, as San Diego-based DataQuick reported. It was the 24th month in a row of price increases, 20 of them in the double digits, maxing out at 28.3%. Ironically, prices per square foot are increasing fasted at the bottom third of the market (up 21%), versus the middle third (up 15.9%) and the top third (up 14.3%).
Ironically, because at the bottom 65%, sales have collapsed.
People, wheezing under the weight of their student loans and struggling in a tough economy where real wages have declined for years, hit a wall. Private equity firms and REITs, prime beneficiaries of the Fed’s nearly free money, gobbled up vacant homes sight unseen in order to convert them into rental housing, and in the process pushed up prices – exactly what the Fed wanted. But now high prices torpedoed their business model, and they’re backing off. So sales of homes priced below $500,000 plunged 26.4%, and sales of homes below $200,000 collapsed by 45.7%.
Ah, the rich miscalculating their fit through the eye of a needle. Its an old, old story. Memento mori.
I am sure he is not intending this seriously, and we ought not to take it as such. As we should with most of the gauche things that he and his fellow financial sharpers and masters of the universe say.
Speaking of dull financial people miscalculating their place in the cosmos, this looks like it is going to be a dull week for the precious metals, except for the major bear raid yesterday.
doctorhousingbubble.com / By Dr. Housing Bubble / 16 Apr, 2014
I always found it fascinating that one of the most toxic mortgage products ever created, the option ARM was pushed heavily by California banking institutions. Places like WaMu, Countrywide Financial, First Fed, and other bygone institutions were heavily into this crack for housing mortgage. The premise of the loan was to free up cash for big money households. Of course, the unstated mission of the product was to push volume in a market where prices were out of reach for regular households yet boosted profits for banks. There simply wasn’t enough of those big income households (and they certainly weren’t buying in Torrance or parts of Pasadena). Today we still have only one out of three California households able to afford a house in the state in which they work and live. So it is no surprise that for the last half decade, one of the biggest buyers of homes in California has come in the form of investors chasing yield. Never have we seen such a high level of consistent buying from the investor class in the state. This has helped to mask stagnant incomes and has been a major player in pushing prices out of reach for most in spite of incredibly low interest rates. Trulia put out a “bubble watch” report and what a shock that Orange County and Los Angeles County lead the list in bubbliest looking counties in the nation.
zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / 04/17/2014 11:49 -0400
Moments ago, in a show of continued solidarity with the people of (West) Ukraine, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the latest batch of “non-lethal” aid to Ukraine. Among the items that would be shipped are:
Water purification systems;
Medial supplies; and of course
What, no healthcare plans? Also, one wonders: is the procurement price billed to US taxpayers for every helmet shipped to Ukraine above $5,000 or above $10,000?
The latest article from them that caught my attention was published a couple of days ago, and shines light on the disturbing push by the FBI to create an extensive facial recognition database, which will include criminal and non-criminal photos alike. The information received by the EFF via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, demonstrates that the feds may have a mugshot database with up to 52 million photos by 2015.
The program is called Next Generation Identification (NGI), and the aspect of it that bothers the EFF most is the fact that non-criminal and criminal photos will be combined in the same database. So someone who has no criminal record can suddenly be flagged as a suspect just because an algorithm says so. What’s worst, research shows that the potential for false positive identification increases as the dataset increases.
A French research institute working on various deadly viruses, including SARS, has apparently misplaced thousands of tubes and no one is quite sure where they went.
A routine inventory check at Paris’ Pasteur Institute revealed that 2,349 tubes containing fragments of the virus responsible for the deaths of 774 people in 2002 were missing, the centre named after French chemist Louis Pasteur said.
It is not clear how the tubes disappeared from one of the institute’s safest laboratories. Management were made aware of the loss in January, Le Monde newspaper reported.
For weeks, staff at the institute tried to find the missing vials, general director Christian Bréchot said.
“We’ve looked for those boxes [containing the tubes] everywhere,” Bréchot explained.
“We went thought the lists of all the people who have worked here in the past year and a half, including trainees. We have scrutinised their profile to check if there was any conflict.”
Bréchot said that foul play was “highly improbable” but had not been ruled out.
zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / 04/17/2014 11:17 -0400
Today, in celebrating its 25th birthday, CNBC will have you know that stocks, which have generated returns of over 500% in the past 25 years, are the best asset because, well, “where else are you going to put your money.” So if you said the S&P500 is the best performing “asset” class in the past 25 years you would be… wrong.
dailyreckoning.com.au / BY BILL BONNER / APRIL 17, 2014 AT 3:29 PM
So, we’ve dug deep back into the archives – for a ‘classic.’
It examines the folly of modern economics…in particular, the great Keynesian fraud being perpetrated on unsuspecting investors.
If you ever thought something was wrong with the ‘solving a debt crisis by adding more debt’ approach, I guarantee you’ll find yourself nodding your head in agreement with what you read below.
You might even laugh out loud…
The Great Keynesian Fraud
Economics has been called the ‘dismal science.’ But even that is merely fraud and flattery. Economics is dismal, but it isn’t science.
At best it is merely voyeurism – peeping in people’s windows as they go about their business and trying to figure out what they are doing. At worst, it is pompous theorizing about how to get the schmucks to do better.
We doubt that you are especially interested in economics, dear reader. We know we are not. But we can’t resist a good comedy… or a good opportunity to point and giggle. We keep our eye on economists and politicians the way children watch clowns; we can’t wait to see them get whacked in the head or trip over each other.
infowars.com / Paul Joseph Watson / April 17, 2014
Photo evidence suggests BLM federal agents shot cattle dead during actions targeting Cliven Bundy, a clear violation of a court order which could see the federal agency and those it hired to carry out the operation face criminal charges.
The official Bundy Ranch Facebook page posted images of a prize bull that appeared to have been killed by a gunshot wound alongside the message, “Evidence of cattle that were shot. One of many incidents.” More images of dead cattle are set to be posted later today.
As Fox News reported last night, despite a court order restricting the BLM to only seizing Bundy’s cattle, video shows that federal agents cut holes in water tanks and destroyed fences belonging to Bundy during the operation. According to Bundy, the BLM also killed two prize bulls for no reason. The Bureau of Land Management has failed to respond to the allegations.
zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / 04/17/2014 10:51 -0400
When it comes to Q1 earnings expectations one thing is well known: they are low. Very low. So low in fact that as we showed earlier this week, Q1 earnings growth is now projected to be the lowest since Q3 2012, a dramatic change from EPS expectations at the start of the first quarter when it was optimism, all the way.
The reason for this collapse, as is well-known, is that after starting off the year on a massive euphoriabinge and forecasting that this will be the year when growth finally takes off (after 5 years of false starts) companies quickly realized the economic growth is just not there, and whether one blames it on the weather, or on Russia, or – the real culprit – the sad state of the US consumer and thus, the Fed, it was time to greatly lower EPS forecasts.
Bail-ins are a new way of “rescuing” banks and other financial organizations that have been sweeping around the world, even as they rewrite the rules for investors and depositors.
Bail-ins have already occurred in Cyprus with their banking system, as well as with the retirement system in Poland. The European Union is on board in rapidly implementing bail-in standards, and they are under intensive scrutiny by regulators in the United States, with ratings on some major US bank securities already being changed in anticipation of the potential for bail-ins. Canada has announced its intentions in this area as well, and Japan is moving rapidly.
This has all been happening so quickly that investors and the financial world have not had a chance to truly figure out what is happening, or to understand the potentially revolutionary implications for investments and savings.
In this analysis we will:
1. Identify two extremely expensive problems facing nations that could threaten the solvency of the global financial system in the event of another crisis.
2. Explore just what exactly a bail-in is, and what is so different about this type of “rescue”.
3. Show how from a governmental perspective bail-ins “solve” (and quite cheaply too) the otherwise impossible combination of the two extremely expensive problems, and why this creates powerful financial incentives for nations to use bail-ins in the event of crisis.
4. Explore the saver and investor implications of bail-ins and how transferring the costs of global financial rescues from nations and taxpayers to investors and depositors may sharply impact investment risks and returns.
5. Explore the fundamental conflict between decades of traditional financial wisdom – and this rapidly emerging new reality of bail-ins and risk transfer.
6. Discuss how bail-ins create a very sharp contrast between straight-up assets that are not the liabilities of anyone else – such as real estate, precious metals and stocks – versus the purportedly safer assets such as deposits, bonds and annuities, which are in fact liabilities of the global financial system.
news.goldseek.com / By Dennis Miller / 17 April 2014
There are many creative ways to screw up your retirement. Let me show you how it’s done.
Supporting adult children. My wife Jo and I have friends with an unmarried, unemployed daughter who had a child. Our friends adopted their grandchild and are now in their late sixties raising a kid in grade school. The same daughter had a second child, and they adopted that one too. When she announced she was pregnant a third time, they finally said, “Enough! It’s time for a third-party adoption.”
Last time I spoke with them, their unemployed daughter and her boyfriend were living in their basement, neither contributing financially nor lifting a finger around the house. What began as a temporary bandage had become a permanent crutch. Our friends love their grandchildren; however, they’ve become bitter.
Jo and I also know of retirees who make their adult children’s car payments. I’m not talking about college-age kids; some of these “children” are close to 50. What’s their justification? “If we don’t make the payments, they won’t be able to go to work.” What I can’t grasp is how these adult children have iPads and iPhones, go on vacations, and do other cool things, but can’t seem to make their car payments.
You are not the family bank. There is generally a brief window of opportunity between children leaving the nest and retirement. Use it to stash away enough money to retire comfortably!
goldmoney.com / By Alasdair Macleod / 17 April 2014
It wasn’t meant to be like this: six years of global money-printing should have guaranteed economic recovery. Until very recently, there was hope that finally the medicine was having some effect; but in the last few weeks investors have become noticeably more cautious. Is it Ukraine, or is it the slow-down in China?
Whatever the story the truth is revealed in the chart of recent US bond prices shown below.
The Long Bond yield is leading the way downwards, having broken below the 3.5% level, and the 10-year bond seems set to follow its lead. Eurozone bond yields have also collapsed signalling either outright deflation or possibly, given its proximity to Ukraine, a flight from bank deposits.
"Many gold bugs readily admit silver to be more depressed than gold. Ted Butler stated long ago that not even gold has a users association. The fact of the existence of this group is another of many proofs that synthetic money creators hate and fear silver even more than their loathing for gold." - Charles Savoie