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zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden on 12/04/2013 13:21 -0500
Whether it was President Obama’s call for moar debt, less spending cuts, and a safety bid from his implicit end-QE comments, technicals from moving-averages, or reflections of the USD weakness; precious metals are surging this morning… Stocks are tumbling further (as are bonds) back to EURJPY-implied levels… call for gold bubbles in 3…2…1…
bullmarketthinking.com / By Tekoa Da Silva / December 4, 2013
I had the chance recently to reconnect with John Rubino, CFA Institute contributor, blog publisher, and author of a number of financial books.
It was a particularly interesting conversation, as John has written a number of prophetic books warning of growing asset bubbles, and currently produces editorial research for CFA designated fund managers worldwide. As the subject of discussion, was a recent piece published by John, entitled, “Inflation is Raging – If You Know Where to Look“.
In discussing his research on global markets, John notes that frightening asset bubbles are developing all over the world, and as a case in point, “Bitcoin…was about a dollar per Bitcoin a couple of years ago. Now it’s $1000…A painting by Francis Bacon called ‘Three Studies of Lucian Freud’ [just] sold for $142 million, which was the highest price ever paid for a painting at an auction….[A] diamond [just] sold for $83 million which is the highest price ever paid at auction for a diamond, and trophy real estate in Manhattan, London, Singapore and Hong Kong have all blown through previous records…So there are asset bubbles [occurring] all over the world.”
blog.milesfranklin.com / By Andrew Hoffman / December 4th, 2013
This Spring, as the global economy weakened to its worst state since the 2008 crisis, Cartel efforts to discredit gold and silver accelerated to levels even I had not seen; and I’ve watched tick for tick for nearly 12 years. As you know, the year’s first PM “selling climax” occurred in late June, when Bennie made the worst mistake of his career. Not that rates wouldn’t ultimately surge anyway, but in his fear of leaving a legacy of lowering rates to zero and keeping them there indefinitely, he catastrophically suggested the Fed might taper QE if the economy improved.
Since then, the global economy is indisputably worse; with the only real “bright spot” being the all-out Central bank liquidity blitz that has produced surging stock markets – and equally incredibly, narrowing European sovereign bond spreads. And oh yeah, cooked NFP reports – whistleblowers et al – only showing “improved employment” due to a plunge in the Labor Participation Rate to a 35-year low and increased minimum wage jobs.
The Irish Times writes today that EU finance ministers have agreed a set of rules that could be used to wind up insolvent banks. In future, banks creditors – including potentially savers – would suffer losses should European financial institutions collapse. That comes after Irish Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said “Bail-in is now the rule” back in June of this year.
Bank bail-ins, or deposit confiscation, are the opposite of bail-outs. Instead of the government stepping in to bail-out a bank when it defaults, it is a group of stakeholders (including deposit holders of the bank) that are paying for the default. Deposit owners, including savings account owners, risk to lose part or everything of the money they hold on their deposit(s) at the bank.
money.cnn.com / By Jose Pagliery / December 4, 2013: 12:01 PM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
Imagine a world in which you can buy anything in secret. No banks. No fees. No worries inflation will make today’s money worth less tomorrow.
The digital currency Bitcoin promises all these things. And while it’s far from achieving any of them — its value is unstable and it’s rarely used — some have high hopes.
“There will be alternatives to the dollar, and this might be one of them,” said former U.S. congressman Ron Paul. If people start using bitcoins en masse, “it’ll go down in history as the destroyer of the dollar,” Paul added.
There is reason to be concerned even with global stock markets trading near all-time highs. There is a stunning chart featured below which all KWN readers around the world need to see.
If you look at the chart below it reveals there are some serious warning signals even as many major indexes have trading near all-time new highs. The number of stock market bears has now plunged to the lowest level in more than 25 years!
Here is the latest Investors Intelligence report along with the all-important sentiment chart and table: “After another advance the bulls were 57.1%, up from 55.7% a week ago and at a new high for the year. The reading remains in danger territory above 55%, and is also higher than the mid-May 2013 reading of 55.2%. That was followed by a market sell-off late June.
blog.milesfranklin.com / By David Schectman / December 4th, 2013
I got another email from Backwoods Jack today below:
You guys say the purchasing power of gold doesn’t drop when gold plummets from $2,000 to $1,200. Can you explain this to me? We have lost thousands dollars in purchasing power. Will you buy back our gold at the purchase price, which is $1669 per oz.? In your mind, we haven’t lost any value. Granted, gold has monetary value, but it is not constant. Its value varies at any particular time. At least it has some value – compared to a piece of wood. Backwoods
First of all we never said that, gold at $1,200 has the same value as gold at $2,000. I’m not sure where you came up with that? If you want me to buy back your purchase at $1,669, how about also selling me back the gold we sold you at $350 and $400 and $500 – and the silver we sold you at $6 and $10 and $12? Fair is fair.
thedailysheeple.com / By Lily Dane / December 4th, 2013
An 85-year-old man who won a $45,000 settlement in an excessive force case against the NYPD is now being sued by the cop who punched him.
George Capsis’ federal lawsuit alleged he was punched in the face and falsely arrested in May 2012 by NYPD Officers Christian Rich and Juan Perez.
Capsis said a police van pulled into a bicycle lane in front of him as he was riding his bike. After saying, “Police shouldn’t break the law”, Capsis says the two cops pinned him to the van and ordered him to dismount his bike.
zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / 12/04/2013 10:21 -0500
With the government shutdown which apparently had zero impact on the economy, moments ago the Census Bureau released not one but two New Home Sales reports together due to the delay in data reporting. The data showed that while in September new home sales declined from 379K to 354K annualized, or the lowest since early 2012, the subsequent rebound sent New Home Sales to 444K, or a 90K increase, +25.4%, in one month was the biggest month over month jump since May 1980! What was less noted is the prior revisions, with June revised 0.9% lower, July down 4.4%, and August revised by a whopping 10% lower. So what caused the October surge? Possibly it was pent up demand, because as the first chart below shows, an unbroken trendline suggests a modest decline in sales data net of the prior downward revisions. However, what was most likely the reason for the increase is that the Median new home sales price tumbled to $245,800, down from $257,400 and well below the recent highs of $279,300. In fact, this was the lost median new price in one year. Supply – meet demand, and equilibrium price.
mineweb.com / By Alex Williams / Wednesday , 04 Dec 2013
John Hathaway’s interpretation of gold’s decline, with prices nearing $1,200 as he spoke on Wednesday morning, paints an exceptionally bullish long-term picture.
Gold price weakness has been paradoxically accompanied by rising physical demand, Tocqueville fund manager John Hathaway told Mines & Money London this morning. “The paper tail is wagging the physical dog in the gold market,” he said in a keynote speech on the conference’s final day.
Central bank buying and gold repatriation outside the US most notably by Germany, Hathaway said, has pulled the physical foundation out from under a highly leveraged and unstable credit structure. Citing figures used by the Reserve Bank of India, he said physical backing in the gold market is collateralised up to 90 times over.
“When we saw Germany repatriate its gold, my reaction was, great, you’re going to see a shortage of physical gold. But when collateral comes out of the system the scramble for physical means there’s a de-leveraging taking place like a credit contraction that has nothing to do with the macro outlook for gold.”
Mortgages as we know them are going away in the next four years, warns Dick Bove, vice president of research at Rafferty Capital. Bove, one of the most widely-respected banking analysts in the world, is certain that will have devastating consequences for housing and the rest of the American economy.
The removal of the two most important players in American mortgages – the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”) – threatens the very foundation of the American economy, according to Bove.
These two government-sponsored entities – along with the smaller Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”, a government corporation that broke off from Fannie Mae) – issued 98% of the $1.4 trillion in mortgage-backed securities in the United States so far in 2013. These securities are sold in order to add liquidity to the mortgage market, thereby making funds available to borrowers.
thedailysheeple.com / By Lily Dane / December 4th, 2013
An Arkansas cop drove while drunk and crashed his patrol car, and three fellow officers helped him cover it up.
Cpl. Daniel Walker, a Washington County deputy, wrecked his patrol car on September 18 after drinking at Deputy First Class Seith Redmon’s house.
Walker sent a text message to Redmon, urging him to say Walker had been at his house but had not consumed alcohol, according to a letter signed by Sheriff Tim Helder on Nov. 19. Redmon received a two-day suspension and a written reprimand for neglecting to report the text. He is also accused of “previously buying and transporting alcohol in our county assigned vehicle and driving it after having consumed alcohol.”
Documents obtained from the county attorney’s office show that at 4:55 a.m., administrators were notified that Walker’s Chevrolet Tahoe patrol vehicle had run off the road and into a fence.
There’s been positive price movement for some junior gold miners over the past few days. There has also been sizzling action in theoptions market for leading gold stocks. But overall the depression in the gold mining sector’s share prices is horrible. Could this be about to change? It is hard to catch a falling knife, and that is always the danger when calling a bottom.
Discussing a turnaround for gold miners here is CNBC contributor Mike Khouw of Dash Financial Group…
europacmetals.com / By Peter Schiff / Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Having replaced savings with debt on both the national and individual levels, I think it’s well past time for Westerners to take a few lessons from our creditors in the East. Many Americans consider gold a “barbarous relic,” but in Asia, the yellow metal remains the bedrock of individual savings plans. This means that either greater than half of the world’s population are barbarians, or they’ve held onto an important tradition that our culture has forgotten.
A Culture of Gold
One of the most important elements of Eastern gold demand is that it is not limited to educated investors or the higher classes, as often seems to be the case in the West. Throughout Asia, no matter one’s social status, precious metals are the first assets people choose to protect their wealth. There is not even a glimmer of doubt about the enduring value of hard money.
A recent Bloomberg article quotes a Chinese woman, “I don’t know anything about the stock market and I don’t have enough money to buy property, so I figured gold is the safest choice.”
Some might write off this philosophy as naïve, but her logic is founded in centuries of tradition, borne of hard-won experience. The same goes in India and across South Asia, where gold is an essential part of local religious customs. From wedding dowries to temple offerings, gold carries a caché in Asia that most Westerners can’t fathom.
Consider the US as a comparison. Here, newlyweds are more likely to receive a house full of fancy appliances than any assets that might form the foundation of long-term financial independence.
After a couple of generations of US-dollar dominance, Americans have become lazy with our wealth. While we exploit our economic power by going into debt for fancy cars, big-screen TVs, and expensive smart phones, our creditors are steadily stockpiling gold.
zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / 12/04/2013 10:15 -0500
Being the major part of the US ‘economy’ the disappointing performance of the ISM Services (soft data) – printing at 53.9 missing expectations of 55.0 – should be a concern.
Under the covers, the data is a little more worrying than the stil-in-expansion mode headline data miss. New orders, business activity, and perhaps most worrisome, the employment sub-index all slid with the latter at its lowest since May. Combined with the manufacturing PMI, the composite ISM index fell from 55.1 to 54.3 in November. Despite the data, respondents remain optimistic…though tempered by its slow pace.
thedailysheeple.com / By Chris Carrington / December 4th, 2013
Imagine if you can, going to the mall to do some Christmas shopping. A man, or woman, is acting furtively, looking over their shoulder every few seconds and clutching a bag tightly to their chest. Chances are security would spot them, and they would be arrested on suspicion of anything ranging from shoplifting to terrorism charges.
If there were a couple of people acting like this in the same mall, chances are extra cops would be arriving at every door.
If there we ten people acting like this, the situation would be getting really tense…I wonder how many people would have to do this before the FBI arrived?
I’m not suggesting we all rush out and pretend to be a terrorist just to irritate law enforcement, but seriously, we are told at every turn to look out for this and report on that, and so many of these things are normal everyday things.
internationalman.com / By Nick Giambruno / Wednesday, 04 December 2013 11:17
Nick Giambruno: Jim, can you give us a summary of the health of the petrodollar in the past, what it looks like now, and what you think it will look like going forward? What is the significance of all this for the dollar’s role as the world’s premier reserve currency, the international monetary system in general, and the nominal price of gold?
Jim Rickards: The term “petrodollar” is shorthand for an understanding between Saudi Arabia and the United States that the US will guarantee the security of the House of Saud in return for the Saudis agreeing to price oil in dollars, to manage the dollar price of oil, and to redeposit those dollars in the banking system where they can be used to support international lending by major banks.
This lending, in turn, supports purchases of US and Western manufactured goods and agricultural exports by developing economies. From this deal, the US got cheap energy, exports, banking profits, and the ability to operate a fiat currency system. The Saudis got rich and survived. This system has existed implicitly since 1945 and explicitly since 1974 when it was negotiated by Henry Kissinger on behalf of the Nixon administration.
Now the petrodollar system is collapsing for two reasons. The US has abused its privileged reserve currency position by printing trillions of dollars in an effort to create inflation. More recently, President Obama has taken steps to anoint Iran as the regional hegemon of the Middle East, and to ease the way, in stages, toward Iran’s possession of nuclear weapons capability. This is viewed as a stab-in-the-back by the Saudis and the Israelis and will lead quickly to Saudi Arabia obtaining nuclear weapons from Pakistan.
There is also a newly emerging alliance among Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt, and Russia. The new alignment will have no particular use for US dollars and no reason to support them. This turn of events marks the beginning of a significant diminution in the role of the dollar in the international monetary system. Since the price of gold is, in large part, simply the inverse of the value of a dollar, the decline of the dollar will presage a major increase in the dollar price of gold.
libertyblitzkrieg.com / By Michael Krieger / December 3, 2013
Last week, Peter Schiff put out a video titled: Bitcoin vs. Gold, which quite frankly was horrible and one of the worst videos he has ever done. It added nothing the the debate that everyone involved in Bitcoin isn’t already completely cognizant of, but even beyond that, it framed the debate around Bitcoin in a totally unproductive and useless way. The reason I say this is because the debate is not Bitcoin vs. Gold, the debate is Bitcoin vs. Fiat Money. Gold is a store of value that has survived as such for thousands of years and and has also served as money for a decent part of human history. Gold will never be worth zero, Bitcoin could certainly trade back to near zero some day. We all know this.
So the key point from my end is, Bitcoin is not competing as a store of value versus gold, it is competing as a currency versus fiat money, and on that count it is superior in an extraordinary number of ways. His video was so awful that I challenged him to a debate on his radio show on Bitcoin via Twitter.
Peter Schiff's Bitcoin video was horrible. I'd be more than happy to come on his radio show and discuss the topic. @PeterSchiff
He never responded to me, but fortunately he did have Erik Voorhees on his show to discuss the topic. While I have not listened to the show because apparently you need to be a subscriber to Schiff’s radio show to hear it, Erik Voorhees wrote a follow up open letter to Schiff afterwards. All I can say is that this is one of the most eloquent, incisive and thoughtful articles in support of Bitcoin I have ever read.
theburningplatform.com / By Jim Quinn / 3rd December 2013
It’s for the children. We spend $12,000 per year per child and this is what we produce? At least our morons beat the morons in Jordan. Obama took the reigns in 2009. He spent $250 billion of his stimulus funds on education (aka union teachers). The results are in. Teenagers in the U.S. slipped from 25th to 31st in math since 2009; from 20th to 24th in science; and from 11th to 21st in reading. WOW!!! That is a great return on our investment.
In shocking developments, the countries that kicked ass had students who actually opened books and studied hard. They actually had two parent families who cared about education. Their kids actually have drive and ambition. They want to learn. What a concept. I’m sure Common Core and teaching our cherubs about black history month and gay history month will really close the gap with the rest of the world. If these tests weren’t so concentrated on reading, writing and math, our children would do so much better. It’s not fair.
Our educational system is a laughingstock.
Shanghai teens top international education ranking, OECD says
By Sophie Brown, CNN
(CNN) — When it comes to mathematics, reading and science, young people in Shanghai are the best in the world, according to a global education survey released Tuesday.
In all three subjects, Shanghai students demonstrated knowledge and skills equivalent to at least one additional year of schooling than their peers in countries like the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom.
The findings are part of the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (or PISA) — a leading survey of education systems conducted every three years by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a grouping of the world’s richest economies.
More than half a million students, aged 15 and 16, sat a two-hour exam last year as part of the study. The pupils came from 65 countries representing 80% of the global economy.
zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / 12/04/2013 09:35 -0500
After the initial post-Taper-talk rate-rise-driven marginal-buyer-crushing collapse in mortgage applications in the US, the un-Taper provided a brief period of hope for the NAR and market apologists that all-cash buyers are all we need and mortgage applications dead-cat-bounced on the rate drop. However, all that hope ended in early November and as of this morning’s print, mortgage applications have plunged back to the almost record lows of October 2008 (levels not seen since December 2000). As Bob Shiller recently explained, “we can’t trust momentum anymore,” in housing and the speculators are leaving the buildings.
We currently exist in a land of financial contradictions. US household incomes adjusting for inflation are back to levels last seen in the late 1980s. However, holiday spending is going strongly largely by people going into big debt. Many are going to be paying for the holiday season of 2013 deep into years to come. More troubling than spending via debt is the record level of wealth inequality in the United States. We would need to go back to the Gilded Age to find similar levels of wealth inequality. The latest data shows that roughly 75 percent of the financial wealth in America is held in the hands of the top 10 percent of households. Or to invert this, 25 percent of all US wealth is divided up amongst the bottom 90 percent of the population. Wealth is the true measure of financial stability. It used to be the case that housing was the one safe store of wealth for Americans but Wall Street has hijacked this asset class and has converted it to another commodity to speculate on. Yet by looking at spending habits and financial behavior many Americans think they are simply temporarily embarrassed millionaires. They act against their own interests while wealth inequality rages on.
The most unequal of them all
Wealth inequality is at levels not seen in nearly a century:
testosteronepit.com / By Wolf Richter / DECEMBER 4, 2013 AT 12:40AM
One of the few rebellious Fed heads, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker, fired another salvo when he was testifying at the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing. And he hit Wall Street risks that are wrapping their growing tentacles ever more tightly around the economy and taxpayers.
The hearing, according to Chairman Bob Goodlatte, would examine whether the Bankruptcy Code is “best equipped” to deal with the insolvency of large banks, such as the “unusual level of speed” needed for their “efficient and orderly resolution,” and the “unique threats” their collapse would pose to the “broader stability of the economy.”
Lacker was on his turf. For years, he has spoken out against QE. Earlier this year, he committed heresy by admitting that “labor market conditions are affected by a wide variety of factors outside a central bank’s control“; he’d yanked away the Fed’s fig leaf for its QE and zero-interest-rate policies. And in June 2012, before QE3 had appeared on the horizon, he’dstunned his listeners when he said, “Monetary policy doesn’t have a lot of capability right now for enhancing growth.” He dissented at the FOMC meetings in 2012 when he last was a voting member. His concerns were confirmed by QE3’s subsequent failure to budge the economy, though it inflated glorious assets bubbles all around.
Now, in his prepared remarks, he told the Committee that the Bankruptcy Code should be tweaked to make it “feasible to resolve failing financial firms in bankruptcy.” The financial crises showed “glaring deficiencies” in the way “distress and insolvency” of big banks are handled, he said. Meaning, they were all bailed out by the Fed and to a much smaller extent by TARP, when there should have been a system in place to wind the failing ones down in bankruptcy. The bailout of investors has created, he said, “two mutually reinforcing expectations”:
First, many financial institution creditors feel protected by an implicit government commitment of support should the institution face financial distress. This belief dampens creditors’ attention to risk and makes debt financing artificially cheap for borrowing firms, leading to excessive leverage.
gata.org / By Chris Powell / Wed, 2013-12-04 02:51
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:
A GATA supporter wrote the other day to the investor relations officer of a silver mining company in which he is invested to complain about the company’s seeming indifference to the manipulation of the monetary metals markets. He soon received this reply:
“Thanks for your email. We share your frustration about the silver price. However, we don’t attempt to take action against the bullion bankers for manipulation because 1) it is primarily the responsibility of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, not the companies, to regulate these markets, so the companies would have to sue the bullion banks too; 2) manipulation is just too difficult to prove; 3) such a lawsuit would take many years and cost many millions of dollars with no certainty as to the outcome; and 4) every company invests its cash where it thinks it can create the biggest return to shareholders.
caseyresearch.com / By Chuck Butler / December 4, 2013 2:24pm
In This Issue.
* Euro inches higher.
* Renminbi sees huge appreciation.
* Aussie drags down kiwi.
* The Fed to begin using reverse-repos.
And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts!
The Price of Oil Jumps!
Good Day! And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well, yesterday is just a blur to me. I sure hope I can remain awake a longer part of the day, than I did yesterday! I left here, went home, fixed me some lunch, read the newspaper, and collapsed in my recliner. The house was quiet, so I took advantage of that! I just saw on the TV that the hottest names for 2013 for boys is Jackson, and for girls it’s Sophia. I tell young people all the time, that there’s no prize for giving your child the oddest name so you can be different, remember, the kid has that name for the rest of their life! But no one listens to me.
Yesterday’s currency action was pretty much muted, in that there was little movement. The euro inched higher during the day, but the move was pretty much a non-event. The U.S. dollar continues to gain favor with the markets’ idea that the Fed will begin tapering Quantitative Easing / QE sooner than later. Of course, the markets failed to read the news from the Fed Heads, or the Pfennig, for if they did, they wouldn’t have this idea any longer! But it is what it is. And we have to deal with the dollar strength, eh?
The big mover overnight has been Oil. The price of Oil shot up $3 since yesterday morning, on news that TransCanada Corp. said they will start part of its Keystone XL Pipeline in January which could relieve the supply bottleneck. In addition, the U.S. announced that their crude stockpiles shrank. The price of WTI Oil has gained $5 this week! I thought there was all that talk the past couple of years by people that should know better that an Oil revival was going on in the U.S. and that the price of Oil was going to drop to $40?
tfmetalsreport.com / By Turd Ferguson / Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 10:11 am
Longtime Turdites will recall the forecast that set Turd on this path. Issued at a time when nearly everyone thought the PM bull market was dead, “Turd’s Bottom” in early 2011 proved to be an important turning point. We are once again at such a crossroads.
First, a history lesson for those new to Turdville….
QE2 had been launched in November of 2010 and the metals subsequently rallied until January 2011, at which point they stalled and corrected. The Bears were out in force. It was over. The metals were dead. Not so, said I. So confident was I that price would turn and head higher that I issued an ultimatum. Either gold would reverse and charge nearly 20% higher over the next four months or I would shut down the blogspot site and disappear back into the ether.
zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden on 12/04/2013 08:53 -0500
Moments ago, the Census Bureau announced that in October the US trade gap narrowed to $40.6 billion (which still missed expectations of “only” a $40 billion deficit) from an upward revised September deficit of $43 billion, as oil sales boosted exports to record level. Total exports rose to a record $192.7 billion up $3.4 billion from last month’s $189.3 billion, while imports rose just $1 billion to $233.3 billion resulting in a $40.6 billion gap. Among the report highlights: October exports of goods and services ($192.7 billion), exports of goods ($135.3 billion), and exports of services ($57.4 billion) were the highest on record; October imports of goods and services ($233.3 billion) were the highest since March 2012 ($234.3 billion); and perhaps the best news for shale fans: October petroleum exports ($12.5 billion) were the highest on record.
"It takes large scale PLANNING and COORDINATION on the part of MANY PERSONS and ENTITIES to maintain the silver suppression, and in several countries! They are very competent, and it is all PLANNED, same as in gold." - Charles Savoie