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zerohedge.com / by Nassim Nicholas Taleb via Medium.com / Apr 23, 2017 6:15 PM
Skin in the Game is necessary to reduce the effects of the following divergences that arose mainly as a side effect of civilization: action and cheap talk (tawk), consequence and intention, practice and theory, honor and reputation, expertise and pseudoexpertise, concrete and abstract, ethical and legal, genuine and cosmetic, entrepreneur and bureaucrat, entrepreneur and chief executive, strength and display, love and gold-digging, Coventry and Brussels, Omaha and Washington, D.C., economists and human beings, authors and editors, scholarship and academia, democracy and governance, science and scientism, politics and politicians, love and money, the spirit and the letter, Cato the Elder and Barack Obama, quality and advertising, commitment and signaling, and, centrally, collective and individual.
But, to this author, is mostly about justice, honor, and sacrifice as something existential for humans.
Let us first connect a few dots of items the list above.
Antaeus was a giant, rather semi-giant of sorts, the literal son of Mother Earth, Gaea, and Poseidon the god of the sea. He had a strange occupation, which consisted of forcing passersby in his country, (Greek) Libya, to wrestle; his trick was to pin his victims to the ground and crush them. This macabre hobby was apparently the expression of filial devotion; Antaeus aimed at building a temple for his father Poseidon, using for material the skulls of his victims.
Antaeus was deemed to be invincible; but there was a trick. He derived his strength from contact with his mother, earth. Physically separated from contact with earth, he lost all his powers. Hercules, as part of his twelve labors (actually in one, not all variations), had for homework to whack Antaeus. He managed to lift him off the ground and terminated him by crushing him as his feet remained out of contact with his mamma.
21stcenturywire.com / Shawn Helton / APRIL 23, 2017
It’s been almost two weeks since Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Professor Theodore Postol directly disputed claims concerning the official US reportregarding the alleged chemical weapons attack out of Khan Shaykhun in the Idlib province of Syria. Postol’s initial analysis, along with its addendum, appeared to echo aspects of what MIT research affiliate and former US Congressional staffer Subrata Ghoshroy observed in the aftermath of the Syrian chemical incident in East Ghouta, Damascus in 2013.
MIT Disputes Washington
In fact, Postol and Ghoshroy have both questioned various facts surrounding the Damascus chemical incident of 2013 and now more recently, Postol weighed in on the alleged chemical attack in Idlib. Both apparent attacks were claimed through the presentation of dubious video imagery and suspicious photographs as a main source of evidence. Western media proclaimed ‘certainty’ over images and videos largely supplied by the US-UK backed ‘NGO’ known as the White Helmets, a so-called ‘first responder’ group with a history of producing western-oriented war propaganda.
It designed the rules to protect itself against an election like this.
According to preliminary results of the presidential election in France, the two candidates that came out on top during today’s first round and therefore made it into the second round, to be contested on May 7, are Marine Le Pen, leader of the right-wing anti-euro and anti-EU Front National, and Emmanuel Macron, leader of the centrist, pro-EU En Marche, which he founded just last year.
So congratulations to today’s winners.
This is the first time since the beginning of the Fifth Republic in 1958 that no candidate from the major establishment parties made it to the second round, and that neither of the two winning candidates are backed by parties that have ever held the presidency.
This is also the first time in the Fifth Republic that the winner’s party will have zero or practically zero power in Parliament.
According to preliminary results, Macron got 23.7% of the vote, Le Pen 21.9%, conservative François Fillon 19.9%, and far-left firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon 19.2%.
A Macron ‘win’ in the first round of the French elections has (judging by the initial reactions) allayed many fears of imminent doom. Dow futures are up around 200 points, Bond futures are down, gold is down (despite USD weakness)…
Stocks back at 3-week highs as gold sinks…
EURUSD is clinging to 1.09 as Treasury prices drop…
However, as Bloomberg’s Cameron “macroman” Crise notes, “Enjoy the party, parkets; but beware of the bangover.”
Sometimes, the pollsters get it right. The two favored candidates in the French first round vote have indeed gone through, setting up what looks like an easy victory for Emmanuel Macron in a couple of weeks. While today should be a good one for the euro and risky assets, the party may be short-lived; it won’t take long before market focus swings back to the United States and a potential government shutdown at the end of the week.
Given the discussion of 401ks and IRAs you would think that most Americans have a nice nest egg ready to support them into their margarita drinking days on the beach. Yet like most dreams, the reality is very different. Most Americans are broke. The Economist put out some data highlighting that the median family of retirement age has $12,000 in savings. In other words, one minor injury and you are bankrupt. It is a troubling contrast to the image that is portrayed on television and throughout the media of the fully financially prepared family. Life just doesn’t work out that way for most. Unsuspected illnesses, job losses, stagnant wages, inflation, family changes, and student debt all throw a wrench into the plans of most. What is also startling is that this drought in retirement savings is happening at a time when the stock market is near an all time high. So what gives?
The crisis in retirement
The total stock market cap of the U.S. market is $27.35 trillion. You would think with that amount, there would be plenty of prepared individuals. The challenge is that most of this money is aggregated at the top 5 to 10 percent of the population.
Below is the key excerpt in the comprehensive profile which is a must read for anyone seeking more insight into the motivations of the CEO of the world’s most valuable private company:
The idea of fooling Apple, the main distributor of Uber’s app, began in 2014. At the time, Uber was dealing with widespread account fraud in places like China, where tricksters bought stolen iPhones that were erased of their memory and resold. Some Uber drivers there would then create dozens of fake email addresses to sign up for new Uber rider accounts attached to each phone, and request rides from those phones, which they would then accept. Since Uber was handing out incentives to drivers to take more rides, the drivers could earn more money this way.
To halt the activity, Uber engineers assigned a persistent identity to iPhones with a small piece of code, a practice called “fingerprinting.” Uber could then identify an iPhone and prevent itself from being fooled even after the device was erased of its contents. There was one problem: Fingerprinting iPhones broke Apple’s rules. Mr. Cook believed that wiping an iPhone should ensure customers that no trace of the owner’s identity remained on the device.
thecommonsenseshow.com / By Dave Hodges|April 22nd, 2017
The following video assrts that the Russians have done what the title indicates which is to basically mine parts of the US shoreline with nuclear weapons.
I took this issue to two experts on SOSUS. they say this impossible, unless this is at least, in part, an inside job. Along these lines, in a general manner, would anyone in the Deep State be able to pulll this off? Better yet, and more specifically, didn’t Obama, in 2010, give away 10 oil rich Islands whiich helped to facilitate and invasion of Alaska, as well as facilitate their North Pole operations.
Most of the results are in, and while it remains close, Macron will likely be the winner of the first French presidential round and is set to face Marine Le Pen in the runoff.
What does that mean for various asset markets and the bigger macro picture? Here are two forecasts, just released from Goldman and Citi.
First, Goldman Sachs:
Emmanuel Macron will face Marine Le Pen in the run-off of the Presidential election on May 7, according to exit polls. We maintain our view that mainstream candidate Mr. Macron will likely win the French Presidential election.
In the two week-period before the run-off, both Mr. Macron and Ms. Le Pen will resume their campaign. A televised debate between both candidates will be held on May 3 (9pm Paris time).
Polls carried out prior to the outcome of the first round indicate that Mr. Macron has a 25pp lead over Mr. Le Pen. Reflecting France’s political realignment between mainstream pro-European and populist Eurosceptic voters, we expect the gap in polls between Mr. Macron and Ms. Le Pen to widen in favour of Mr. Macron in the run-up to the second round.
We expect the ECB to maintain its existing refinancing facilities (namely the fixed-rate full allotment (FRFA) and the emergency liquidity provision (ELA) via the Bank of France) in the coming weeks, to sustain market functioning and continuity of pricing in the systematically relevant market segments. In the face of a politically-induced spread widening, this is also likely to be accommodated through its asset-purchase programmes, as long as it proves to be temporary.
As we get ready to kickoff what promises to be a wild week of trading, today the man who has become legendary for his predictions on QE, historic moves in currencies, told King World News it’s all “illusions and lies” and warned the supernova debt bubble is about to trigger the death knell of the global financial system.
We Told Our Investors To Buy Gold At $300
Egon von Greyerz: “To ride a bull market is like climbing a wall of worry. Most of the time the market seems to be consolidating or correcting. The bull market in gold fits that picture perfectly. It started in 1999 at $250 but very few got in at the very bottom. At GoldSwitzerland we instructed our clients to put 50 percent of their net worth into physical gold in 2002 while the price of gold was still near a historic low at $300, with a very strong belief that the world economy and financial system would have unsolvable problems…
mishtalk.com / Mike “Mish” Shedlock / April 23, 2017
Project Syndicate writer, Hans-Werner Sinn, explains why the ECB’s asset purchases and Target2 imbalances constitute “Europe’s Secret Bailout”.
Under the ECB’s QE program, which started in March 2015, eurozone members’ central banks buy private market securities for €1.74 trillion ($1.84 trillion), with more than €1.4 trillion to be used to purchase their own countries’ government debt.
The QE program seems to be symmetrical because each central bank repurchases its own government debt in proportion to the size of the country. But it does not have a symmetrical effect, because government debt from southern European countries, where the debt binges and current-account deficits of the past occurred, are mostly repurchased abroad.
For example, the Banco de España repurchases Spanish government bonds from all over the world, thereby deleveraging the country vis-à-vis private creditors. To this end, it asks other eurozone members’ central banks, particularly the German Bundesbank and, in some cases, the Dutch central bank, to credit the payment orders to the German and Dutch bond sellers. Frequently, if the sellers of Spanish government bonds are outside the eurozone, it will ask the ECB to credit the payment orders.
While the world is focused on the outcome of the first round of the French election, which is playing out much as the market had largely anticipated with Macron and Le Pen set to face each other in the runoff round, the North Korea threat remains, and according to Reuters, Donald Trump will speak on Sunday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping, citing a administration official.
The topic of discussion is expected to be North Korea.
thedailysheeple.com / JACK BURNS via THEFREETHOUGHTPROJECT.COM /
Bell County, TX — The following graphic account of an officer-involved shooting from August 30, 2016, serves to illustrate the failures of modern-day policing, officer training, and complexities of demanding 100 percent compliance of the general population during a traffic stop. From the just released dash camera footage of Bell County, Texas Sheriff’s Cpl. Shane Geers, one can see the officer was in pursuit of a small dark colored SUV, sirens blazing.
The man in the SUV was 59-year-old, Lyle P. Blanchard, a US Navy veteran. While it appears Geers was following a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed, the two vehicles weren’t going all that fast. Geers must have noticed an officer was following him, so he decided to pull over, as nearly all driver’s education courses teach us to do. That’s where the story begins, but it does not end that way for either man.
Blanchard seemed a bit antsy, some might even say jumpy. Not content to wait until the officer walked up to his window, the man who was nearly a senior citizen, opened his driver’s side car door. Still a bit uneasy apparently, Blanchard then exits his vehicle and faces Geers. He can be seen fidgeting with his back pocket before putting his hand inside his front pocket, in what seemed to be an attempt to retrieve his identification.
At first, his price freeze sounded quite generous for consumers. You’d not see the price of your gas or milk creep up. Sounded like a win-win. At the time, 75% of Americans, including my mother, thought price controls were a wonderful idea. She changed her mind only a few weeks later.
During his speech that August night, Nixon severed ties between gold and the dollar. The gold standard ended. No longer would dollars need to be backed by gold.
Well, the results have been disastrous ever since then as price levels skyrocketed.
Oh, and as for his price freeze, my mother discovered her favorite brands stopped showing up in stores. Farmers stopped processing crops in the field. Manufacturers laid off workers and cut output.
Venezuela tried a similar price freeze for a decade. The results were no different than the US. For a decade, imagine shortages of food and medicine for you and your family. That’s what happened in Venezuela.
Today, here in the United States, you and I still feel the effects of Nixon’s fateful announcement. The Federal Reserve now controls the money supply in place of an objective gold standard. They print as much money as they want at any time.
All told, the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that 42 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s performance as president, while 53 percent disapprove. That compares to an average of 69-19 percent for past presidents at or near 100 days in office – for example, 69-26 percent for Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.
However, as we noted previously, Trump’s “favorability” rating according to Rasmussen has upticked notably in the last two weeks since his sabre-rattling and ‘Tomahawk’-ing began.
How can ordinary people ever understand the importance of gold when they are continuously fed with false and distorted facts. The latest publication to publish false and ignorant propaganda on gold is the British weekly magazine the Economist. The article begins with a graph of gold starting in September 2011. Anyone who knows anything about gold recognises that this is the time when gold reached a peak of $1,930. Between 1999 and 2011 gold had gone from $250 to $1,930 which is an increase of almost 700%. During the same period, the Dow was virtually unchanged and the UK index, the FTSE 100 was down 3%. So whilst gold was up 8x during those 11 years, stock markets were static but the journalist did not mention this. Instead, he starts the graph at the very top of gold after an 8 year rally.
False propaganda and incompetence
In my article last week I talked about “Lies, Damned Lies and News” and this is the perfect example of the most blatant lies and misinformation that we find in the media today. It has now gone so far that I and many others don’t trust anything we read in the papers or hear on television or radio. And how can you, when journalists either deliberately publish biased and false news or by sheer incompetence cannot bother to find out the true facts. But that is not enough, the article goes on as follows:
“Although gold is seen as a hedge against inflation, it cannot be relied on to fulfil this function over the medium term; between 1980 and 2001, its price fell by more than 80% in real terms.”
Yet again, the author picks a point in time that is totally misrepresentative. For anyone who knows anything about gold, 1980 was a peak after a run from $35 per ounce in 1971 to $850 in 1980. The fact that gold had gone up 25x between 1971 and 1980 was of course not mentioned by this ignorant writer. Instead he starts from the peak in order to spread his false propaganda. I am not sure if it is a coincidence that the Rothschild family is a major shareholder in the Economist.
Mike Rivero, controversy-tackling host of WhatReallyHappened.com, returns to Reluctant Preppers to answer our viewers’ questions on gold & silver, geopolitics & taxes, survival & controversies. Rivero exhorts us to refuse to be snowed by government & corporate fake news, but instead to seek out information from diverse sources, and make up our own minds based on rational critical thought rather than emotions, to reclaim our freedom.
wallstreetexaminer.com / by Lee Adler via The Daily Reckoning /
The Wall Street Journal took note of the decline in retail sales reported by the US Census Bureau last week, headlining:
The Journal blamed drops in spending at gas stations and auto dealerships.
Their lead paragraph was emblematic of the stupidity and misleading nature of Wall Street and economic conventional wisdom.
“U.S. retail sales fell for the second straight month in March, a sign economic growth eased to start the year despite strong consumer optimism and steady hiring.”
Exactly how did the Journal know that consumer “optimism” was strong?
Answer: Surveys… particularly the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, and the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, also known as the Con Con Con Index. The real function of these surveys is to measure how well they have learned the lessons Wall Street has taught survey respondents. Consumers report not whether they have the wherewithal to spend or not. Instead, they report what they think they should say, based on the stock market.
In this news brief we will discuss the latest news on the economic collapse. We look to see if things are really that different. The central bank will not stop at just confiscating your wealth they will want your life. They want to enslave the people.
With projections all confirming Le Pen and Macron into the second round (though varying notably on who is leading), the markets appear comforted by Macron’s position as EURUSD has spike almost 100 pips breaking above 1.09 to 5-month highs…
thecommonsenseshow.com / By Dave Hodges / April 23rd, 2017
It started out as a simple story coming from Paul Preston of Agenda 21 Radio. Paul reported to me that there sightings of tanks in Marysville, CA., which is just south of the beleagured Oroville Dam. This is both unusual and unprecedented.
What If the Oroville Dam Collapses?
Paul and I exectuted a podcast to cover this event although out main focus continued to be what would happen if the Oroville Dam fails. As an aside the number two rice-producing region in the world would be destroyed and there would be no recovery for 3-5 years. The number winter fruit and vegetable growing area would also be destroyed. This would add up to the beginning of famine, not just in the United States but in the world. Additionally, about 20-25% of retail and agriculture for the US comes out of California. The port of Los Angeles is the largest in the world. Goods could be off-loaded, but with the Central Valley under water, resulting from the dam break, there would be little to no distribution of goods and food and the US economy would collapse. And did I forget to mention the danger to nuclear power plants and the 2.5 million people in the Central Valley of California who would be at immediate risk?
G. Edward Griffin, the author of the seminal book on the formation of the Federal Reserve, The Creature of Jekyll Island, joins the podcast this week to add his perspective to our ongoing critical examination of the Fed and the impact its actions are having on society. Meeting Ed and getting to spend time with him was a real honor for Chris and me. His breadth of knowledge of the central banking system as well as his engaging manner of storytelling are masterful. Plus, he’s simply a wonderfully kind person. Ed’s decades of research and critique of the Federal Reserve, sadly, have left him with conclusions that corroborate our own. Despite its carefully-crafted image as an essential public servant, Griffin concludes it is anything but. It is a private cartel that has connived its way to tremendous advantage and power, secretly (and not-so-secretly) plundering the American people of their treasure and freedoms.
Clashes have erupted in Le Bastille in central Paris on Sunday evening between riot police and disappointed far left protesters following the closing of polls in the first round of the presidential election, AP reports.
According to local press, the French police have used smoke pellets and are moving toward protesters who started to break the fences at the Place de la Bastille in the center of Paris. After that, police started dispercing protesters, Sputnik notes.
Currently, a protest is held in the French capital. It comes after the voting stations closed in the country as French citizens were voting to elect their next president. Similar to Sunday’s protest, a rally against the election dubbed “The Night of the Barricades” was held on Saturday. Over 2 thousand participated in the rally. The police dispersed protesters with tear gas.
"Anyone who claims to stand for free markets, free trade, and limited government but who attempts to defend the existence or importance of the Federal Reserve or central banking is a liar. Either you support free markets and freedom of pricing or you support central bank price-fixing and creeping socialism. There is no third way or middle road — socialism and the free market are mutually incompatible. A little bit of socialism in the form of price-fixing is like a little bit of gangrene, if left unchecked it will eventually infect and kill the whole." - Paul-Martin Foss via The Mises Institute