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Weak Chinese Demand news undercuts Gold / By Dan Norcini / July 24, 2014

The Chinese trade group, China Gold Association, issued a report noting that total Chinese gold demand for the first half of 2014 fell by 136.91 tons to 569.45 metric tons. That is down 19% from the previous year same period.

It seems a dueling bit of data in the sense that while gold bar and gold coin demand fell off ( down 62% for the bars and 44% for the coins), gold jewelry and gold industrial demand picked up ( 11% increase in both of these categories). 

The drop off was rather precipitous to the point that it had some questioning whether China would be able to remain in first place behind India in terms of total gold demand. We’ll have to see about that however especially as concerns grow that India is not going to lift that import tariff on gold.

Either way, it was not good news for the friends of gold who need both China and India to remain very strong buyers in the face of what has been rather moribund Western-oriented investment demand. While the recent data from the giant gold ETF, GLD, has been positive, ( as it has shown increasing reported tonnage ), the fact remains that the total amount of gold in this particular ETF is up a mere 7 tons since the beginning of this year – not exactly a barn burning rate of increase especially given all the geopolitical tensions that have arisen thus far this year.

The news dropped gold back under psychological round number support at $1300. It also lost moving average support for the moment however the session is not over yet. 


Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Government Collapses, PM Yatsenyuk Resigns / by Tyler Durden / 07/24/2014 10:46

As if Ukraine was not struggling through enough turmoil currently, Bloomberg reports that the fragile coalition government has collapsed after two parties quit. The UDAR and Svoboda parties said they’d leave the government and seek a snap parliamentary ballot. Tempers have been fraying recently as numerous brawls have broken out in parliament ahead of President Poroshenko’s pledge to call elections this year. All we have to do now is find out who Washington would like to see in power? The end result:Prime Minister Yatsenyuk just resigned. The big question now is what will the IMF do about the remaining tranches of its loans? Via BBG:




The Best Laid Plans / By Andrew Hoffman  / July 24th, 2014

On his weekly podcast, Andy Hoffman discusses negative interest rates, 10 year Treasury yield, jobless claims, home sales, Europe, gold and silver.  To listen to the audio, please click below:

Download the MP3 File: The Best Laid Plans


Jury Anger Displayed – The Public is Awake / By California Lawyer / July 24, 2014 at 10:53 am

As a follow-up to some earlier posts, this post brings into view the public perception component of the housing crisis, in real time, in a definitive, compelling manner.

Last week, in a quiet, bucolic part of this lovely state of California, the jury rendered a verdict in a predatory lending case.

Let’s recall the basic story:

(1) Lenders recklessly created residential real estate loans, out of thin air, granting loans to anyone who could fog a mirror.  Radical new loan products emerged, such as no income no job loans, option loans, pick a payment, etc.  This loan generation process generated fees to the lender for the loan origination. Other fees were tacked on to the loan, and many industries benefited, such as appraisers, realtors, insurers, as well as companies who built houses, and provided goods to furnish all the new houses filled with brand new home owners.  The govt was fully supportive of this massive effort, too.  No-one had any incentive to stop this madness, as all incentives aligned to perpetuate this free money scheme in the short term; no-one considered, or appears to have ever cared, of any intermediate term or longer term ramifications of this short-sighted, immediate, feel good scheme to place unworthy borrowers into a lifetime debt trap.  Bernanke never saw it coming, or so he says . . .

(2) Following creation of the loan, the lenders sold or transferred or assigned the rights to the loan to other companies, who (1) purportedly placed the loan into a trust, thus creating a mortage-backed residential loan security, which was then sold on Wall Street as an investment vehicle, and (2) variously performed the loan servicing [collecting the payments from the homeowner, applying the payments to the various tranches of the various assignees of the loans, and initially, engaging in efforts to restructure loans as they began to go sour].

(3) The housing bubble then burst, exploding the whole fog-the-mirror-and-get-a-giant-loan scam for what it was, a giant ponzi scheme operating on a greater-fool theory.


Obama Prepares To Send National Guard To Texas As Flood Of Immigrant Children Overwhelms US / by Tyler Durden / 07/24/2014 09:34

With America’s attention, diverted for the past week to events in the middle east and Ukraine, once again returning to domestic issues, Obama is coming under renewed pressure to address the immigration issues that has gripped the southern states as this will certainly be a hot topic issue during the midterm elections. Which is probably why the president has sent a team to Texas to assess whether a National Guard deployment would help to handle an immigration crisis at the Mexican border having so far resisted Republican calls for such a move, Reuters reports.

 The team, made up of officials from the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, departed on Tuesday and will be on the ground through Thursday.

The White House had previously resisted calls from Republicans to deploy the National Guard to fight the onslaught of migrants from Central America because most of the unaccompanied minors and others making the crossing were turning themselves in voluntarily.

But during a meeting with Texas Governor Rick Perry earlier this month, Obama said he was open to ordering the deployment as a temporary solution. He directed Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to send the team of evaluators to assess the situation, one White House official said.

The officials said the federal team would study whether such a role would be useful and make recommendations upon its return.

“There’s no foregone conclusion,” another official said.


The Rot Within, Part III: Our Political Order Is Defined by Favoritism and Extortion / By CHARLES HUGH SMITH / JULY 24, 2014

What’s the difference between the U.S. Congress and corrupt petty officials taking bribes at a Third-World border crossing? Only one of scale.

Corruption ceases to be corruption when it becomes the Status Quo; what was once recognized as corruption is seen as just another cost of doing business. Our political order is structurally corrupt: the key dynamic in every level of governance is favoritism and extortion.

Favors must be bought: those foolish enough not to spend freely on lobbyists and campaign contributions find their competitors have gained the upper hand by buying favors such as tax breaks, federal subsidies, no-bid contracts, cost-plus contracts, backroom deals, regulations that exclude competition and so on.

Politicos must extort campaign contributions from the maximum number of supplicants seeking favors to maintain their perquisites and power.

Here’s how the system works.

There was much mainstream media hand-wringing and outrage in response to corporations moving their place of business offshore to lower their taxes. This outrage is completely misplaced–and indeed, seems designed to misdirect attention away from the systemic corruption that is the beating heart of the American political order.

Let me explain how favoritism becomes the Status Quo. There are two key dynamics at work.
1. Onerous, uncompetitive taxes and/or regulations. The U.S. corporate tax rate is 35%, the highest in the world, and various observers estimate the average state corporate tax tacks on another 4.1% for a total corporate tax rate of 39.1%.


What Drives Miami’s Condo Bubble 2? Foreigners Buyers / by Wolf Richter / 

Housing is local. Housing bubbles are local too. And the subsequent busts are local as well. Different dynamics are at work in each city that is finding itself in a housing bubble currently – and there are quite a few of them. Because I live in San Francisco, I’ve written numerous times about our housing bubble here. It’s more  magnificent and spectacular than the prior housing bubble, which blew up with great fanfare. In San Francisco, it’s the hot money that rains down from all over the world that is driving it. I call it the money transfer machine.

And that’s one of the things every housing bubble needs: plentiful money, wherever it comes from.

Then there is Miami.

Many of the 22,000 condos built in Miami during the prior housing bubble remained vacant for years as the hot air was hissing out of the condo bubble, and prices plunged. Ravaged by losses in their loan portfolios, banks walked away from lending on condos, and prices plunged further. Then cash buyers from abroad started showing up, mostly from Latin America, but also from cold parts of the world: Canada, Russia, and Europe. A feeding frenzy ensued. And over the last two years, prices on these units soared about 75%.

This renewed demand triggered another construction boom: 14 high-rises with over 4,000 condos are under construction in the downtown area; and 44 high-rises with about 13,500 units have been proposed.


New Home Sales Collapse 20% From May To Dec 2012 Levels; Biggest Miss In A Year / by Tyler Durden / 07/24/2014 10:06

New Home Sales in June plunged to 406k vs 504k in May  (remember that 504k print was the catalyst for ‘weather’ is over and the market to surge: it somehow was magically revised lower by more than 10% to only 442K) Now that has soaked in, consider this is equal lowest sales print since September 2013 (and Dec 2012) and the biggest miss since July 2013.

The last 3 months of exuberance have all been revised significantly lower as follows:

  • March: 410K to 408K
  • April: 425K to 408K
  • May: 504K to 442K


One Set of FEMA Camps for Immigrants and One Set for Americans / by Dave Hodges / July 24, 2014

I have been wondering through the midst of this illegal alien crisis, I have been wondering why are we not seeing the 800 known FEMA camps being used to house these illegal alien immigrants. After all, the following paragraphs establish the fact that this is why the concept of FEMA camps came into being back in 1987. There is not a simple one sentence, or own paragraph answer to this question except to say the aftermath of what has begun serves to threaten every American citizen. In the following paragraphs I systematically present the notion that there are two types of FEMA camps. There is the one for the present illegal aliens and there are the untouched 800 FEMA camps plus the use of public venues for you and me.

REX 84

When the REX 84 FEMA Camp program was created by people such as Lt. Col. Oliver North,who was both National Security Council White House Aide, and NSC liaison to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and John Brinkerhoff, the deputy director of “national preparedness” programs for FEMA’s role in the creation of the camps.m our ultimate fate for a future generations of Americans was sealed.

The existence of the Rex 84 plan was first revealed during the Iran-Contra Hearings in 1987, and subsequently  reported by the Miami Herald on July 5, 1987.

” These camps are to be operated by FEMA should martial law need to be implemented in the United States and all it would take is a presidential signature on a proclamation and the attorney general’s signature on a warrant to which a list of names is attached.”

The Rex 84 Program was established on the reasoning that if a “mass exodus” of illegal aliens crossed the Mexican/US border, they would be quickly rounded up and detained in detention centers by FEMA. Since 1987 we have an estimated 25-30 illegal aliens entered the United States and these camps were not used for “rounding up the mass exodus”, nor, is this article suggesting that is what should have happened. Today, we untold numbers crossing through the border. Estimates range from the government that there are merely 60,000 unaccompanied minors coming into the United States. Other observers believe that as many as 4 million may have illegally crossed the border since the beginning of this year. Regardless, the stable of 800 existing FEMA camps remain untouched. 


Thoughts on Wild Swings in Price / Dan Norcini / July 23, 2014

It is both amusing and saddening at the same time to read the continued comments from the perma bulls in the gold community who bemoan every sharp fall in gold as the work of some sinister force working to deliberately keep the price of their beloved yellow metal god from reaching its ordained higher price level. We have all seen it often enough to know it by now.

Never you mind that perceptions and sentiment shift nearly daily in our modern markets, especially during a time in which so many are unsure of what is coming our way next. Is it inflation? Is it deflation? Is the economy growing? Is it falling back into mediocrity? Are big foreign banks in danger of failing? Are they okay? Does China have too much debt? Is it nothing to be concerned about? Is the employment situation in the US improving? Is it mired in part time work? Are events in Ukraine serious dangers to world equity markets? Are they limited to the locale? I could go on and one but the reader no doubt gets the point already. Questions abound and answers are uncertain as players constantly repositioning themselves according to the perceived answers on any given day.

We witness these rapid shifts in perception not only on an almost daily basis, but also, in many commodity futures markets, in an intraday basis. 

Computerized trading merely amplifies the shift as rapid fire orders, either to buy or to sell, overwhelm the orders on the other side. Huge buy orders gorge on the offers above the market in such speed that the market seems to catapult higher in a maddening frenzy only to give way with as much alacrity to the downside as avalanches of sell orders wipe out the pool of bids completely overwhelming the buy side of the market.

Back and forth it goes, where she stops nobody knows.

Take a look at the cattle market today. I have included a 15 minute chart to note the huge swings in price occurring within rather brief intervals during the session. Just looking at the chart does not capture the wild surges in emotion that result because the swings in price are so intense that the dollar extent of the movements can be enormous. Traders are more often than not unclear as to the “WHY” behind a sharp move in price and as a result, panic/fear/greed etc. soar as the players run here and there trying to protect themselves from ruin or to capture something that they “just know is the big one”. 


US Manufacturing PMI Drops, Biggest Miss On Record / by Tyler Durden / 07/24/2014 09:50

But, but, but… the rest of the world’s PMIs are soaring as soft-survey data trumps any hard data facts. US Manufacturing dropped from 57.3 to 56.3 despite analysts that were convinced it should rise further to 57.5.This is the biggest miss on record, and the 2nd miss in a row. In spite of soaring markets proving the recoverty is just picking up and accelerating, new export orders weakened, manufacturing production fell, input costs surged, and employment tumbled to 10-month lows. But, stocks are surging on this dismal news…


America’s Nazi Allies in Israel and Ukraine / by Eric Zuesse /  

The U.S. is now the chief sponsor of two nazi, ethnically cleansing, nations. In one of them (Ukraine), the U.S. President, Barack Obama, himself placed nazis into control there; the nazi control was imposed by him, via his agents. In the other (Israel), nazis have controlled for decades, and Obama merely extends their control by continuing American support.

The difference between nazism and mere fascism is that, as exemplified by Mussolini, fascism is pure “corporationism” (see page 426 there), not necessarily racist; whereas nazism, as exemplified by Hitler, is a profoundly and ineradicably racist, usually religious-based, form of  fascism. It’s “corporationism” plus  ethnic bigotry. Hitler’s version of nazism happened to be focused against Jews, but that’s not necessary to nazism; any racist fascism is nazi. (NOTE: a lower-case “nazi” is any  nazi, but an upper-case one, a “Nazi,” refers to a member of Hitler’s Party, which was Germany’s  nazi party, the first-ever nazi party, the original “Nazi Party.” Similarly, Mussolini’s party was the Italian “Fascist” party, the first fascist party, but other nations have their own fascist and/or nazi parties.)


People of any ethnic group can be nazis, and Jews are no different from other ethnicities in that regard. For example, on July 21st, Jonathan Cook headlined from Nazareth, “Calls for genocide enter Israeli mainstream,” and he documented his headline-claim by quoting Jewish nazis around Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

First, Cook quoted Ayelet Shaked. From 2006 to 2008, she had been the Office Manager for Prime Minister Netanyahu. In January 2012, Netanyahu’s Likud Party appointed her to be their “Coordinator.” A half-year later, in June, she co-founded her own right-wing Party, “My Israel.” In 2013, Israelis elected her to the Knesset, their parliament, as a Jewish Home Party leader.

On 1 July 2014, she posted to facebook an article by Uri Elitzur, who “was also close to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, helping him in his 1996 campaign, and took a leave of absence from his journalistic activities to work in the Prime Minister’s Office, which he headed in 1998-99.” So: Elitzur had been Shaked’s mentor. She introduced his article by saying that it was “Relevant today as it was then.”


Legal Tender Renders Planning Impossible / By Keith Weiner / 24 July 2014

There is much confusion over what the legal tender law does. I have read articles, written by people who are otherwise knowledgeable about economics, claiming that legal tender forces merchants to accept dollars under threat of imprisonment. Recently, I wrote a short article for Forbes clarifying how legal tender law works in the US.

Legal tender law has nothing to do with merchants. If you want to sell steak dinners in your restaurant for silver, you may legally have at it. Unfortunately, the tax code discourages your would-be customers as I wrote in another article.

The legal tender law targets the lender. It grants to debtors a right to repay a debt in dollars. In practice, this means that if you lend gold, the debtor gets a free put option at your expense. If the gold price rises, he can repay in dollars. If it falls, of course he will be happy to repay in gold. It’s a rotten deal for the lender.

The relationship between lender and borrower is mutually beneficial, or else it would not exist. The parties are exchanging wealth and income, creating new wealth and new income in the process. The government is displeased by this happy marriage, and busts it up by sticking a gun in the lender’s face. His right to expect his partner to honor a signed agreement is violated.

Because no lender will lend gold under such circumstances, gold is relegated to hoarding and speculation only. This strikes a blow to savers, because the best way to save is to lend and earn interest. Savers are forced to choose between hoarding gold, getting no yield, or holding dollars and getting whatever yield crumbs are dropped by the Fed.


Bill “What Rosy Jobs Numbers?” Simon Is Out At Walmart / by Tyler Durden / 07/24/2014 09:13

There are consequences to speaking publicly about the real state of the economy. After 8 years of service, Walmart CEO Bill Simon has been replaced by Greg Foran as President and CEO of the behemoth retailer. This comes just 2 week after Simon questioned the validity of the government’s “rosy jobs numbers” on CNBC and several quarters of weak performance at the company (due to a weak economy). Walmart’s press release explains that the new CEO has “a passion for fresh food” and is “one of the most talented retailers ever met.” We are sure these are crucial factors to overcome the stagnating incomes of America for the largest retailer…

Walmart Names Greg Foran President and CEO of Walmart U.S.

Today, Walmart (NYSE: WMT) announced that Greg Foran, 53, has been promoted to President and CEO of Walmart U.S. Foran succeeds Bill Simon who has been in the role since June 2010 and will be transitioning out of the company. 

Foran will assume his responsibilities on August 9 and will report directly to Walmart President and CEO, Doug McMillon. Simon will be available on a consulting basis for the next six months to ensure a seamless transition.

“Greg is one of the most talented retailers I’ve ever met. His depth of knowledge and global experience will bring a fresh perspective to our business,” said McMillon. “His passion for fresh food, experience in general merchandise and commitment to e-commerce will help us serve our customers even more effectively for years to come.”



Financial analyst Jim Willie sensationally claims that Germany is preparing to ditch the unipolar system backed by NATO and the U.S. in favor of joining the BRICS nations, and that this is why the NSA was caught spying on Angela Merkel and other German leaders.

In an interview with USA Watchdog’s Greg Hunter, Willie, a statistical analyst who holds a PhD in statistics, asserted that the real reason behind the recent NSA surveillance scandal targeting Germany was centered around the United States’ fear that Europe’s financial powerhouse is looking to escape from an inevitable dollar collapse.

“I think they are looking for details on assisting Russia on dumping the dollar. I think they are looking for details for a secret movement for Germany to get away from the dollar and join the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.) This is exactly what I think they are going to do,” said Willie.

Earlier this month, the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), announced the creation of a new $100 billion dollar anti-dollar alternative IMF bank to be based in Shanghai and chaired by Moscow.


Clear and Present Danger Zone / GE Christenson / 

Ding, Ding, Ding!  The bell tolls, not for the 1%, but for the remaining 99% in Europe, the UK, Japan, and the US.

What Danger Zone?  The powers-that-be must find a way to keep the masses under control, raise taxes, enrich themselves and monetize the debt.  The result will be currency devaluations, blood, inflation, distractions (such as downed airliners and new wars), banker bonuses, continued payoffs to politicians, and so much more.

The Stock Markets:

The S&P 500 Index looks toppy and dangerous, as it has for many months.  Consider this graph:

There is no guarantee that the stock market will either crash or continue to rally, but the above chart is worrisome, in spite of the massive levitation by the central banks of the world.  This is a clear and present danger zone.

The Gold Market:

Gold has been fleeing the western world and is appreciated more in China, Russia, and India.  The citizens and bankers in the US, UK, Europe, and Japan value paper debt more than physical gold.  Danger Zone!


Spot The Lone Objector / by Tyler Durden / 07/24/2014 10:01

Yesterday, Navi Pillay, the UN rights chief told an emergency session of the council on Wednesday that Israel’s military actions in Gaza could amount to war crimes.

Shortly thereafter, the 47-member council voted (and adopted) a draft resolution titled “Ensuring respect for international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory” to conduct an investigation whether Israel is indeed engaging in war crimes. Note: this was a vote just to conduct an investigation, nothing more nothing less, no military intervention, no aid, nothing: just an attempt to get some information aside from the constant propaganda barrage.

29 states voted in favour of the investigation and 17 abstained, including many EU states. 1 voted against. Guess which one.


The drought of young California home buyers: Unaffordable housing reigns supreme as first time home buyers squeezed out of market. Of 7,000,000 completed foreclosures since 2005, 1 million occurred in California. / Dr. Housing Bubble / 23 Jul, 2014

It is safe to say that the momentum of 2013 has fizzled out in the housing market. Sales are down and prices are reaching a plateau. Part of this has come from the slowdown of investors purchasing homes in the state. An interesting end of the year study by the California Association of Realtors (CAR) found that 82 percent of investors that bought in 2013 had the intention of turning the home into a rental. The other 18 percent were giving the old flipper lottery a try. This helps to explain why inventory continues to remain lowbecause in more typical markets, a person selling the home would usually also buy another home in the ragtime favorite trend of property laddering your way into a bigger home. In other words, two transactions with one move. Today, you have many investors buying foreclosures from banks with a one and done deal (buy the home from bank and then put it on the market for rent). Yet from contacts in the housing industry, the lack of first time home buyers is dramatic. In 2013 the argument was that pent up demand for young buyers was going to give housing another dramatic run higher. In reality, 2013 gave us a massive run from investors and with them slowly pulling back, the market is already entering into a tipping point. Flippers buy for appreciation so what happens when prices stagnant or turn lower which is typical in these boom and bust cycles? In reality, first time buyers are absent because they can’t afford to buy in California.      

First time buyers pushed out

First time home buyers are largely missing from the game in the current housing market. First time buyers in California are at levels last seen in 2006 when the housing market was in full out mania. Of the7,000,000 completed foreclosures since 2005 1,000,000 of those happened in California. But screw them and screw history right? This is about getting on this party bus right now before we have another 2013. The foreclosure number is especially high when you get the dogma that housing is always a sure bet. You have a large number of variables at play here and first time buyers in California are being smashed.


Keiser Report: Blackmail Insurance Sale (E631)

RTPublished on Jul 24, 2014

In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss reputational apartheid and delusion insurance as we all become blackmailable. In the second half, Max interviews microbiologist, Jason Tetro, author of The Germ Code, about what germs can teach us about the modern economy and about the similarities between Las Vegas and C.Dificile.

Banco Espirito Santo CEO, Who Quit Last Month, Detained In Money Laundering Probe / by Tyler Durden / 07/24/2014 08:54

Curious why Portugal’s second largest bank is in dire straits on the verge of default and as we reported yesterday, is threatening to impact – adversely – Portugal economy should the bankruptcy chain that has already claimed two of its HoldCos continue further? Then perhaps ask the following man: Richard Salgado, who until last month was CEO of Banco Espirito Santo and as of moments ago has been detained in a money laundering investigation.

The WSJ reports that the investigation, called “Monte Branco” was launched by the country’s prosecutor’s office in 2011 and looked into the financial network between Swiss wealth managers and Portuguese customers. It is odd that the prosecution only led to a “detention” days after the bank imploded terminally, and is now on artificial life support courtesy of liquidity injections by Baupost, DE Shaw and Goldman.


Doug Loud and Jeff Mosseri: Three Reasons Why Gold and Gold Stocks Will Rise / Kevin Michael Grace / 7/23/14

It’s hard to see the present until it’s in the past. What does this mean for gold? Money managers Doug Loud and Jeff Mosseri of Greystone Asset Management say that a bull market may have already begun. All the signs are there: rising political tension, a shortage of new supply and a cull of the weakest stocks. In this interview with The Gold Report, Loud and Mosseri list a dozen gold, silver and copper companies that should ride the crest of the wave.

The Gold Report: Over two days, July 14 and 15, the price of gold fell over $40 per ounce ($40/oz), more than 3% of its value. To what do you attribute this drop?

Jeffrey Mosseri: I don’t think it was a very extraordinary event. Gold has been trading around $1,300/oz. We see sharp upward and downward movements triggered by, for instance, something Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said or a negative report by Goldman Sachs. It looks as if gold will stay in the $1,300/oz range for a little while. We’ll see which way it breaks out. We believe it’s going to break out on the upside.

Douglass Loud: Gold had been running up for a while, and every so often investors want to take some money off the table.

TGR: How high do you believe gold will go?

JM: The average sustaining cost of production for gold is about $1,500/oz. If gold continues to trade below that level, at some point no new mines will be brought on. Supply and demand indicates higher prices for gold. At the same time, we’re dealing with a seasonal trading pattern. Usually the position for those commodities tightens up around September–October. We think this will happen again this year. Higher prices? Yes. How much higher? We don’t know.

TGR: Given that the financing for junior gold companies collapsed years ago, shouldn’t the concomitant shortage of new supply have led already to higher prices?

DL: Well, there are games going on. Every once in a while some big bank will say that gold is too high. Then it goes down. After that, some big bank will say investors should buy gold and gold goes back up again. Institutions can profit by shorting gold and then buying it back before it rises in price, or so the conspiracy theorist in me thinks.


U.S. gold ETF delivers first physical bullion coins; holdings grow / By Frank Tang / 2014-07-24 04:44

By Frank Tang
Wednesday, July 23, 2014

NEW YORK — Merk Gold Trust, a bullion-backed exchange-traded fund that allows its shares to be redeemed for physical gold, said on Wednesday it has made its first delivery in dozens of U.S. gold coins to an investor.

The ETF, launched by Palo Alto, California-based Merk Funds in May to offer a liquid trading product with the benefits of physical gold bullion, has accumulated 40,000 ounces in two months even in a bearish gold market. …


Initial Jobless Claims Plunge to Jan 2006 Lows, Government Warns Of “Seasonal Volatility” / by Tyler Durden / 07/24/2014 08:37 -0400

So much for the idea of ‘slack’ in the economy, initial jobless claims just plunged 19k week-over-week to 284k (vs 307k expected) - the lowest since Jan 2006 (which was the lowest print since May 2000). This is the biggest beat of expectations in over 2 years. Continuing claims fell modestly. Let’s not go popping the champagne corks of full recovery quite yet as non-seaonally-adjusted claims collapsed by their most in 6 months as the government saw fit to warn data-consumers that “claims are often very volatile this time of year,” as auto shutdowns can cause claims to fluctuate. In other words, ignore this noise.


EU Bail-Ins – Retrospective Bail-In Ignoring State Guarantee / By Mark O’Byrne / 24 July 2014

EU Bail-Ins – Austria Next?
The EU drive toward bail-ins continues unabated. So too does the increasing uncertainty for investors in European financial institutions and depositors in European banks.

The coming bail-in regime raises the spectre of the effective loss of their investments and savings due to the new legislation which will again bail out insolvent banks.

On July 8, the government in Vienna had its parliamentary groups pass special legislation for a bail-in of Hypo Alpe Adria bank (HAA), in the range of nearly EUR 900 million.

The Austrian government’s legislation on bail-ins goes further than EU legislation, as it does not exempt from the bail-in the first EUR 100,000 on deposit.


Is This The Real Reason Why Malaysian MH17 Was Shot Down? / July 24, 2014

Today an outspoken hedge fund manager out of Hong Kong stunned King World News when he spoke about what he thinks is the real reason why Malaysian flight MH17 was shot down.  William Kaye, who 25 years ago worked for Goldman Sachs in mergers and acquisitionsalso met with a senior official in Moscow as part of his information gathering to find out why MH17 was shot down.

Kaye: “One of the arguments in favor of precious metals, even though they’ve been constrained, is what’s going on in Ukraine and to an extent in Gaza.  I just got back from Russia and had a chance to meet with some important people in Moscow, where I now have a home….


Russian Boomerang Hits UK, Oligarchs Shift Assets From London / by Tyler Durden / 07/24/2014 08:18 -0400

We warned 4 months ago that the UK especially should be fearful of sanctioning Russia and biting the hand that feeds its real estate recovery. However, it appears Cameron’s ire has got the better of him, as The Telegraph reportsallies of Vladimir Putin are understood to be moving assets after British demands to punish the Russian president’s ‘cronies’ in the wake of the Malaysia Airlines disaster in Ukraine. The EU said Tuesday (albeit somewhat confusingly) that it had agreed to draw up a list of Russians who will face sanctions but the UK government refused to say which ‘oligarchs’ were being targeted as it was fearful of the risk of ‘asset flight’. It appears that backfired…

As The Telegraph reports,

Russian oligarchs are moving money out of London following threats of tough financial sanctions in the wake of the attack on Flight MH17, Downing Street has said.
Allies of Vladimir Putin are understood to be reacting after British demands to punish the Russian president’s “cronies”.

The European Union on Tuesday agreed to draw up a list of Russians who will face sanctions following the downing of the Malaysia Airlines plane, which killed 298 people.


Axel Merk buying gold to protect against market headwinds / 24 July 2014

Axel Merk, President and chief investment officer of Merk Investments, says investors are not acknowledging the risks in markets, which is dangerous with ’significant headwinds’ due soon.


Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts – The Pretenders / BY JESSE / 23 JULY 2014

The metals were a dull trade today, although the miners were beleaguered by the usual mischief.
There was nothing of real interest to report in the Comex activities from yesterday. The Comex may some day have little more relevance to real market prices than an exhibit at the Smithsonian.
“Look Johnny, this is where people used to pretend to trade things they didn’t use or even have. For real money. And they were adults like mommy and daddy!”
Have a pleasant evening.


Another Airplane Tragedy: Contact Lost With Air Algerie Plane Carrying 116 Over West Africa / by Tyler Durden / 07/24/2014 07:29 -0400

Update: while there have been conflicting reports whether the plane crashed over Niger or Mali, we will go with the latter story as reported by AP: “A missing Algerian plane went down in central Mali, a U.N. representative says,  contradicting earlier reports that it crashed in Niger. The plane crashed between Gao and Tessalit, Brigadier General Koko Essien, the commander of a Timbuktu-based operation with the U.N. mission in Mali, told DPA. Malian civil aviation authorities said they were on alert. “For the moment, we cannot speak of a crash, only of the disappearance of the plane from radars,” a representative told DPA by telephone.”

* * *

Not a day seems to pass in the past week without some airplane catastrophe: first over Ukriane, next over the South China Sea, now in western Africa over Mali where moments ago Air Algerie reported said that it had lost contact with one of its passenger aircraft carrying 116 people on board, nearly an hour after takeoff from Burkina Faso bound for Algiers. And what is most stunning is that just like in the MH17 case, the flight lost radio transmission shortly after it was ordered to change its course due to “poor weather.” According to an Air Algerie source “the plane was not far from the Algerian frontier when the crew was asked to make a detour because of poor visibility and to prevent the risk of collision with another aircraft on the Algiers-Bamako route. Contact was lost after the change of course.”


NOW IS THE TIME TO GET INTO GOLD STOCKS / Jeff Berwick / July 23rd, 2014

It has been roughly three years since I’ve written, excitedly, about precious metals stocks (which has turned out to be quite prescient).

I’ve never emphatically said to sell, though, either… which is regretful but the TDV portfolio is not a short term trading letter and we will always have a percentage of our portfolio in this sector, through thick and thin, until The End Of The Monetary System As We Know It (TEOTMSAWKI) nears its final conclusion.

But aside from talking about expatriation, offshore banking and corporations, second passports and commenting on how badly the Western world is devolving into a fasco-communist police state I have really only talked about a few specific “investment” areas for the last few years.

As you know, I’ve talked emphatically about bitcoin (and our long awaited bitcoin manual – free to subscribers – will be out very soon) since 2011 (when it was just $7) and the collapsing drug war (which I see as a symptom of TEOTMSAWKI and a worldwide awakening) has gotten me extremely excited about medical marijuana (MMJ) stocks (of which we will now be focusing on more specifically at TDV Golden Trader).

And, of course, I’ve never once talked negatively about owning precious metals bullion as an important safety hedge (but always admonish you to make sure you geopolitically diversify as much as possible – as we have written about at Getting Your Gold Out Of Dodge). But I’ve nary said a peep about precious metals stocks in years.