AuthorTopic: Gold & Silver News  (Read 391148 times)

Offline Golden Oxen

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Re: Gold & Silver News
« Reply #2190 on: April 06, 2018, 11:03:09 AM »
Make that Dow down 550 now, Gold up 8 bucks.

Online Eddie

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Re: Gold & Silver News
« Reply #2191 on: April 06, 2018, 11:04:53 AM »
You buyin' the dip? LOL. Not me.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Golden Oxen

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Re: Gold & Silver News
« Reply #2192 on: April 06, 2018, 11:11:12 AM »
You buyin' the dip? LOL. Not me.

No, Down over 600 now.

Too much short term political noise for me Eddie, plus I think they have just turned around and are heading down for real on the big picture. Super bearish long term.

Don't like trading late on Fridays either.

Online Eddie

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Re: Gold & Silver News
« Reply #2193 on: April 06, 2018, 11:19:11 AM »
The pot stock pros often buy at the close on Fridays for a Monday morning bounce. Probably not today though.

I am out, maybe for years again. But I still don't like what it does to other markets, like real estate, which isn't liquid at all. I hate being in cash, but I think it's a good place to be right now, and I wish I could easily raise more.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Golden Oxen

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Re: Gold & Silver News
« Reply #2194 on: April 06, 2018, 11:20:26 AM »
Another thing I find negative is how orderly they are.

Like to buy when there is pandemonium and huge holes opening up in the shit all the dim own like Tesla and Netflix,  garbage like that where the sheeple graze who listen to the touts on bubblevision.

Offline Golden Oxen

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Re: Gold & Silver News
« Reply #2195 on: April 06, 2018, 11:33:07 AM »
The pot stock pros often buy at the close on Fridays for a Monday morning bounce. Probably not today though.

I am out, maybe for years again. But I still don't like what it does to other markets, like real estate, which isn't liquid at all. I hate being in cash, but I think it's a good place to be right now, and I wish I could easily raise more.

I never owned real estate outside of my home for that very reason illiquidity, and then there are the fucking lawyers and banksters to deal with, not me.

For all their problems, and they have a litany of them a mile long I could list, the best part of stock ownership is being able to change your mind and get out 2 seconds after you got in.

Too me that is a very important feature and I will not go near a fucking lawyer or bankster unless there is no other way.

Played a lone hand my whole life with no regrets. The thought of wanting to dump an asset I had changed my mind about and having to diddle around with ass holes for months is poison to me. Then get porked with their absurd fees on top of it does not compute in my mind at all.

If I want real estate I'll buy a REIT, own plenty of them already. 

Online Eddie

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Re: Gold & Silver News
« Reply #2196 on: April 06, 2018, 11:51:13 AM »
Understood. However, I save a ton on taxes because I participate in management. REIT's wouldn't meet the standard for that, for me.

And sometimes it's good to have an incentive to stay in an investment long term. When inflation is at 10%, my 4%/30 year fixed rate loans will be like winning the lottery.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Golden Oxen

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Re: Gold & Silver News
« Reply #2197 on: April 06, 2018, 12:03:28 PM »
Understood. However, I save a ton on taxes because I participate in management. REIT's wouldn't meet the standard for that, for me.

And sometimes it's good to have an incentive to stay in an investment long term. When inflation is at 10%, my 4%/30 year fixed rate loans will be like winning the lottery.

I understand. My high yield REIT stuff is in my SEPIRA so I pay no tax until I decide to take it out. Been burying 10% yields there for decades with not a penny in taxes to State or Fed. I own the ones that own apartments equity reits. Great investments for me with not a second of ass aches with tenants or the other two, banksters, and lawyers.  Can sell a substantial amount of them right this second for a 4.95ct commission. Money will be in my account in two days usable as cash.

Too each his own Eddie, I like it simple and liquid with just me too deal with and a sell button on my computer.

Online Eddie

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Re: Gold & Silver News
« Reply #2198 on: April 06, 2018, 12:42:28 PM »
I did study those instruments when I was younger, and I can see how in a high tax state like MA they are especially appealing. I just never got my shit together to get a real tax advantaged 401K OR Roth. Fortunately I got fairly lucky on the r.e. due to the demographics here and the whole 1031 tax exchange law, which is a fine scam.

I recently heard a name for it I'd never heard before. "Swap until you drop." You never pay capital gains and if you leave it in your estate, it conveys to your kids tax free. So far, that one has not been touched. Good law for small investors.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Golden Oxen

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Re: Gold & Silver News - S&P 500 Could Still Test 2009 Lows
« Reply #2199 on: April 09, 2018, 05:30:00 AM »
Dear Readers,  This is a must read and a view that is very much like my own currently.  GO  :-\

S&P 500 Could Still Test 2009 Lows 
By
Vito J. Racanelli
April 5, 2018

                                     



Look up “permabear” in the dictionary and you might just find a picture of Albert Edwards. Société Générale’s global strategist is undeterred by a nine-year old bull market and argues that a new financial Ice Age will take hold that more central-bank quantitative easing will be unable to stop. After the huge credit boom that has supported stock market gains, Western financial assets will experience a downturn similar to that felt in Japan beginning in the late 1980s. In Edwards’ scenario, U.S. Treasuries will eventually sport negative yields, the stock market will plunge below the previous lows of 2009, and corporate debt prices will fall. The result will be a recession. Given the recent volatility in world stock markets, we thought it might be a good time to chat with the 56-year-old strategist and get his recommendations on how to play the next big chill.

Barron’s: You’re well known for your long-term bearish view based on your Ice Age thesis. Tell us about it.

Edwards: I put together the Ice Age thesis just over 20 years ago out of following Japan closely. In 1996, when the West was deriding Japan as incompetent, we came to the view that what happened in Japan would visit the West. Japan’s bubble had burst earlier, and as a result, it moved toward outright deflation earlier than anyone else.

In Japan, secular rerating of bonds took place with a very long journey of falling central-bank-controlled rates in the short term and declining long-term interest rates, with occasional strong cyclical recoveries during the past decade and a half. As each new recession came along, the bond yield would fall to a new low, and equities would reach new lows. From 1990, Japanese equities embarked on a long secular bear market in valuation.

In the West, stock valuations—not prices—reached their peak in 2000, and the very close positive correlation between lower bond yields and rising stock price/earnings ratios began to break down. As in Japan, bond yields continued falling because of central-bank easing. That would bring about an absolute and relative derating of equities versus bonds, interrupted by cyclical recoveries. In other words, bond yields keep falling as stock valuations drop. For that to happen in the West, the credit bubble supporting higher stock prices would have to burst.

These secular equity-valuation bear markets don’t occur often and take many recessions to play out. We saw that in Japan. The U.S. has had only three secular equity deratings in history. The shortest took four recessions to play out; the longest, six. A secular valuation bear market for equities is when you go from extremes of expense to extremes of cheapness. Since the peak of the bubble in 2000, we’ve had only two recessions. This extraordinary rally is an interruption.

U.S. and European stocks have done well. When is it going to get cold?

The Federal Reserve managed to short-circuit this derating process. In 2011, when quantitative easing, or QE, really kicked in, equity re-engaged with bond yields and P/Es expanded. Like an artificial stimulant, QE inflated all asset prices away from fundamental value and from where they would otherwise have gone.

We haven’t seen the lows in bond yields. In the next recession, bond yields in the U.S. will go negative and converge with those in Germany and Japan. The forward U.S. P/E bottomed at about 10.5 times in March 2009 on trough earnings. That was lower than the previous recession. In the next recession, I would expect the P/E to bottom at about seven times, a lower low with earnings about 30% lower because of the recession. That would put the S&P lower than the 666 low of the previous crash, versus 2671 Thursday afternoon.

If a recession unfolds, easy monetary policy won’t stop the market from collapsing. It will play itself out.

When will the recession unfold?

The Conference Board’s leading indicators look OK for now. What’s different is that problems in the real economy aren’t being reflected in the stock and bond markets. What we may see is the reverse: The stock market and parts of the credit markets collapse and cause problems in the real economy. If confidence collapses because the equity market collapses, then a recession unfolds.

Will the next bear market be worse for the U.S. than for Japan or Europe?

It should be. Traditionally, if the U.S. goes down 20%, the German Dax, though it is cheaper, would tend to go down a little more. Maybe this time it won’t. Japan is the one market we do like now on a long-term basis, and one of the reasons is the buildup of U.S. corporate debt during these past few years. The big bubble is U.S. corporate debt. In contrast, Japan’s corporate debt is collapsing. Over half of its companies have more cash than debt.

When the Fed buys U.S. Treasuries, it pulls down all yields. There has been demand for yield, so investors look at corporate bonds as an alternative. Companies have been very keen to issue them, and they have used the money to buy back stock or as a way to enrich management. This is the way QE has washed through the system here

Corporate debt has ballooned out of control not just with larger companies, but with smaller companies as well. Net debt-to-Ebitda has rocketed to all-time highs.

In its Global Financial Stability Report of April 2017, the International Monetary Fund said that in the next recession, 20% to 22% of U.S. corporates would default. This is where the U.S is vulnerable. It isn’t just junk-bond issuers. It is the explosion that has taken place in corporate debt. Companies can be put under tremendous stress by the financial markets in an equity bear market, which means they cut employment and investment.

There is a massive corporate credit bubble out there waiting to be revealed in either a recession or an equity bear market that causes a recession from the disintegration of the corporate bond market. Normally in a bear market, if equities are down 50%, then junk is down 50%, and investment-grade debt is down about 15% or 20%. In the next downturn, junk will probably be down more than 50%, and investment grade will be down 30% or 40%. That will be the big surprise. In contrast, Treasury rates will rally.

We’ve got a new president of the Federal Reserve. In the last cycle, central bankers were lucky. They were able to blame the commercial bankers for the financial crisis, even though it was their job to take away the punch bowl. In the next one, the blame will stick to the Fed, and it may well lose its independence.

What asset class do you favor in the Ice Age?

If the U.S. 10-year Treasury goes from 3% to negative 1%, that is huge return. In equities, it would either be Japan or, if you can invest only in U.S., then gold miners, as gold will exceed its previous $1,900-per-ounce high.

Is there a way to avoid this Ice Age or mitigate it? If you were the new head of the Fed what would you do?

I would stop worshipping at the altar of the financial markets. If pulling an economy along were the route to economic prosperity, then Argentina would be the richest country in the world by now. This is failed policy. What I would do is not intervene so much.

QE2 and QE3 were totally unnecessary. The leading indicators were turning up before QE1 was done.

There is weak economic growth because you have the biggest bubble in history, and we know from Japan there is a long unwinding period, and you are condemned to weak growth. You need fiscal balance, which the U.S. avoided.

This interference—even well-intentioned—causes other problems because the policy makers used credit to drive the recovery. You can never normalize interest rates. You try to normalize interest rates in the next upturn, as they are doing now, and eventually you blow things up.

Of the last 13 Fed tightening cycles since 1950, 10 have ended in recession. It tightens until something breaks, and it breaks sooner than they expect.

What is your reaction to the Trump tariffs?

Many thought after the election he would back away from these tariff promises. He has delivered tax reform, which is probably the most criminally insane piece of fiscal stimulus this late in the cycle. To take the fiscal deficit to 6% of GDP at this stage is utterly ludicrous, but he is delivering on his promises.

On tariffs, China will escalate. To a person, all economists think a tariff war is catastrophic for the global economy. This isn’t about economics; it is about politics, about appealing to President Donald Trump’s base. If China acts on its proposal to put on tariffs on soy exports to hit his base, or it switches from Boeing to Airbus, then you really know things are getting nasty.

Germany may become a target. It has the biggest dollar surplus in the world now. If you are looking for things that will knock the market, Germany is annoying everyone in terms of the size of its trade and account surplus, not just the U.S. The European Commission has complained about Germany’s trade surplus. The Germans don’t help themselves. When China and Japan are criticized, usually they do a little something to placate criticism. Germany’s politicians are dismissive: “We have an incredibly large surplus. What do you expect us to do? Make crappy goods like you?”

Will Trump turn to Germany eventually on the surplus?

He will. It is negative for stocks, with an equity market so overextended in valuation. I compare this to 1987, when the bond market sold off after many years of falling yields and stocks rising on the back of it. The Fed started to raise rates. The economy was strong, just as it now. The manufacturing ISM was over 60, just as it is now, only the second time the ISM has gone above 60 since 1987. Oil prices recovered from a slump the year before.

The past year and a half is very similar. Equities were going up, ignoring the selloff in bonds, which leaves them vulnerable. Now, central-bank liquidity stimulus is gone, leaving financial assets vulnerable to a panic attack. And if you take out tech, the market has been looking horrible for quite a while. Breadth is deteriorating. We are in real trouble here.

Where might you be wrong?

The end game for the Ice Age in the next recession is always going to be currency wars, negative interest rates, and negative federal-funds rates. This recovery could go on for longer. You could get inflation that actually gets bonds sufficiently disturbed that yields break above 3% and enter a bear market. If bonds enter a bear market, I would be wrong on bonds, but that isn’t good news for equities.

Policy makers could always create inflation. Give everyone a check and print money and you will create inflation. Even though I’ve been calling for the Ice Age slipping into outright deflation, that is a signpost on the way to total global debauchment of currencies. Policy makers look in the rearview mirror and say easing hasn’t created inflation so far, so we’ll do more. People look in the rearview mirror too much.

You like U.S. bonds, but then eventually the government response will make them a bad bet.

Absolutely, people should look to hide in them as a haven over the next six, 12, 18 months. And, hopefully, if equities become cheap enough, then that is the real opportunity. But you have got to have cash to take advantage of those opportunities.

On that optimistic note, thank you.

Email: editors@barrons.com


https://www.barrons.com/articles/s-p-500-could-test-2009-low-says-longtime-bear-1522957392 :icon_study: :icon_study: :icon_study: :icon_study:
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 05:31:54 AM by Golden Oxen »

Offline azozeo

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Gold & Silver News-Germany Displays its Repatriated Gold Bullion Reserves
« Reply #2200 on: April 25, 2018, 11:39:02 AM »



https://sputniknews.com/europe/201804231063827664-germany-us-gold-reserves/


After the German central bank withdrew half of its gold reserve from abroad under growing public pressure last year, it decided to let regular citizens have a sneak peek, putting several bars of its 117-billion-euro stash of the precious metal on display.

Eight golden bars, 12 kilos each, from the German golden reserve, have become an attraction at a special exhibition entitled “Gold. Treasures at the Deutsche Bundesbank” in the Money Museum in Frankfurt on Main. The unprecedented display, which is to run till September, marks a historic event for Europe’s largest economy, as it returns half of its 3,374-ton stash from vaults abroad.

“We’re doing this to show citizens that the gold bars are here, to show transparency,” Bundesbank executive board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele noted, presenting the precious showpieces.

The majority of the 1,710 tons of gold is kept in an extremely protected vault of the Bundesbank in Frankfurt, which is a completely new situation for Germany. Until last year, nearly none of the German reserve, worth 117 billion euros, could be found in Germany due to several historic reasons. The gold was kept in the central bank treasuries of New York, London and Paris.

Long Way Home

But last year the repatriation with top-secret shipments from the Federal Reserve, the Bank of France and the Bank of England was over, which left the US and the UK with 1,200 and 430 tons of German gold, respectively. The Bundesbank preferred to withdraw all of its yellow metal from Paris, as both countries have the same currency, the euro, which makes the stash there hardly useful if conversions are needed, while the US dollar is a reserve currency and London is considered the world’s leading gold trading center.

Berlin announced that it was planning to store half of Germany’s 3,378 tons of gold in its own vaults in January 2013, planning to bring it to a facility in Frankfurt by 2020. But the bank sped up its schedule.

Initially Germany explained its move by the desire to make the gold more accessible so that it can be sold quickly and without delay when needed. However, later representatives of the Bundesbank declared that they did not plan to exchange any part of the gold reserves for money. The decision to repatriate its stashes can be explained through a geopolitical and economic context.

READ MORE: Fear of Future or Plans to Give Up Euro? Reasons Behind German Gold Repatriation

A Bundesbank executive board member, Carl-Ludwig Thiele, said, cited by the AFP, “Especially during the years of the financial and sovereign debt crisis, the Bundesbank was confronted with the desire for detailed information about the gold. It even went so far that some questioned whether the gold holdings at home and abroad were real.”

The Bundesbank has been under pressure at home. So, an activist campaign “Bring our gold back home!” was launched by eurosceptic Peter Boehringer, who became an MP in 2017 with the Alternative for Germany party. It demanded the return of the gold reserves to German soil.

“Strictly speaking, we are talking not about the repatriation,” the founder of the private “Bring Our Gold Back to Our Homeland!” initiative Peter Boehringer said in an interview with Sputnik Germany. “After all, the gold reserves of the German state have never been in Germany. That’s why we call it a campaign to bring it back home.”

Extracting Gold from Abroad

Gold has remained a very popular means of savings. The global economic crisis raised the value of gold fourfold, while the overwhelming majority of central bank reserves in developed countries are invested in gold.

Germany isn’t the only one who decided to reposition its gold reserves. The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) had reportedly recently transferred its gold from the US Federal Reserve System to Ankara.

In March 2018, the 220 tons of Turkish gold transferred from the US were worth $25.3 billion, according to sources.
The largest private Turkish banks also withdrew their gold reserves from abroad, responding to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s call “to get rid of exchange rate’s pressure and to use gold against the dollar.”
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline azozeo

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Re: Gold & Silver News
« Reply #2201 on: April 25, 2018, 11:42:03 AM »
https://news.goldcore.com/ie/gold-blog/russia-buys-gold-reserves-currency-wars/
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline Golden Oxen

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Re: Gold & Silver News - The Coming Collapse - Chris Hedges
« Reply #2202 on: May 21, 2018, 05:26:38 AM »
 Dear readers, Buy Gold, some silver, and if you believe in a God; PRAY. It's close, the Financial One.  GO

The Coming Collapse

                                 

   

The Coming Collapse
Chris Hedges


The Trump administration did not rise, prima facie, like Venus on a half shell from the sea. Donald Trump is the result of a long process of political, cultural and social decay. He is a product of our failed democracy. The longer we perpetuate the fiction that we live in a functioning democracy, that Trump and the political mutations around him are somehow an aberrant deviation that can be vanquished in the next election, the more we will hurtle toward tyranny. The problem is not Trump. It is a political system, dominated by corporate power and the mandarins of the two major political parties, in which we don’t count. We will wrest back political control by dismantling the corporate state, and this means massive and sustained civil disobedience, like that demonstrated by teachers around the country this year. If we do not stand up we will enter a new dark age.

The Democratic Party, which helped build our system of inverted totalitarianism, is once again held up by many on the left as the savior. Yet the party steadfastly refuses to address the social inequality that led to the election of Trump and the insurgency by Bernie Sanders. It is deaf, dumb and blind to the very real economic suffering that plagues over half the country. It will not fight to pay workers a living wage. It will not defy the pharmaceutical and insurance industries to provide Medicare for all. It will not curb the voracious appetite of the military that is disemboweling the country and promoting the prosecution of futile and costly foreign wars. It will not restore our lost civil liberties, including the right to privacy, freedom from government surveillance, and due process. It will not get corporate and dark money out of politics. It will not demilitarize our police and reform a prison system that has 25 percent of the world’s prisoners although the United States has only 5 percent of the world’s population. It plays to the margins, especially in election seasons, refusing to address substantive political and social problems and instead focusing on narrow cultural issues like gay rights, abortion and gun control in our peculiar species of anti-politics.

This is a doomed tactic, but one that is understandable. The leadership of the party, the Clintons, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Tom Perez, are creations of corporate America. In an open and democratic political process, one not dominated by party elites and corporate money, these people would not hold political power. They know this. They would rather implode the entire system than give up their positions of privilege. And that, I fear, is what will happen. The idea that the Democratic Party is in any way a bulwark against despotism defies the last three decades of its political activity. It is the guarantor of despotism.

Trump has tapped into the hatred that huge segments of the American public have for a political and economic system that has betrayed them. He may be inept, degenerate, dishonest and a narcissist, but he adeptly ridicules the system they despise. His cruel and demeaning taunts directed at government agencies, laws and the established elites resonate with people for whom these agencies, laws and elites have become hostile forces. And for many who see no shift in the political landscape to alleviate their suffering, Trump’s cruelty and invective are at least cathartic.

Trump, like all despots, has no ethical core. He chooses his allies and appointees based on their personal loyalty and fawning obsequiousness to him. He will sell anyone out. He is corrupt, amassing money for himself—he made $40 million from his Washington, D.C., hotel alone last year—and his corporate allies. He is dismantling government institutions that once provided some regulation and oversight. He is an enemy of the open society. This makes him dangerous. His turbocharged assault on the last vestiges of democratic institutions and norms means there will soon be nothing, even in name, to protect us from corporate totalitarianism.

But the warnings from the architects of our failed democracy against creeping fascism, Madeleine Albright among them, are risible. They show how disconnected the elites have become from the zeitgeist. None of these elites have credibility. They built the edifice of lies, deceit and corporate pillage that made Trump possible. And the more Trump demeans these elites, and the more they cry out like Cassandras, the more he salvages his disastrous presidency and enables the kleptocrats pillaging the country as it swiftly disintegrates.

The press is one of the principal pillars of Trump’s despotism. It chatters endlessly like 17th-century courtiers at the court of Versailles about the foibles of the monarch while the peasants lack bread. It drones on and on and on about empty topics such as Russian meddling and a payoff to a porn actress that have nothing to do with the daily hell that, for many, defines life in America. It refuses to critique or investigate the abuses by corporate power, which has destroyed our democracy and economy and orchestrated the largest transfer of wealth upward in American history. The corporate press is a decayed relic that, in exchange for money and access, committed cultural suicide. And when Trump attacks it over “fake news,” he expresses, once again, the deep hatred of all those the press ignores. The press worships the idol of Mammon as slavishly as Trump does. It loves the reality-show presidency. The press, especially the cable news shows, keeps the lights on and the cameras rolling so viewers will be glued to a 21st-century version of “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.” It is good for ratings. It is good for profits. But it accelerates the decline.

All this will soon be compounded by financial collapse. Wall Street banks have been handed $16 trillion in bailouts and other subsidies by the Federal Reserve and Congress at nearly zero percent interest since the 2008 financial collapse. They have used this money, as well as the money saved through the huge tax cuts imposed last year, to buy back their own stock, raising the compensation and bonuses of their managers and thrusting the society deeper into untenable debt peonage. Sheldon Adelson’s casino operations alone got a $670 million tax break under the 2017 legislation. The ratio of CEO to worker pay now averages 339 to 1, with the highest gap approaching 5,000 to 1. This circular use of money to make and hoard money is what Karl Marx called “fictitious capital.” The steady increase in public debt, corporate debt, credit card debt and student loan debt will ultimately lead, as Nomi Prins writes, to “a tipping point—when money coming in to furnish that debt, or available to borrow, simply won’t cover the interest payments. Then debt bubbles will pop, beginning with higher yielding bonds.”

An economy reliant on debt for its growth causes our interest rate to jump to 28 percent when we are late on a credit card payment. It is why our wages are stagnant or have declined in real terms—if we earned a sustainable income we would not have to borrow money to survive. It is why a university education, houses, medical bills and utilities cost so much. The system is designed so we can never free ourselves from debt.

However, the next financial crash, as Prins points out in her book “Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World,” won’t be like the last one. This is because, as she says, “there is no Plan B.” Interest rates can’t go any lower. There has been no growth in the real economy. The next time, there will be no way out. Once the economy crashes and the rage across the country explodes into a firestorm, the political freaks will appear, ones that will make Trump look sagacious and benign.

And so, to quote Vladimir Lenin, what must be done?

We must invest our energy in building parallel, popular institutions to protect ourselves and to pit power against power. These parallel institutions, including unions, community development organizations, local currencies, alternative political parties and food cooperatives, will have to be constructed town by town. The elites in a time of distress will retreat to their gated compounds and leave us to fend for ourselves. Basic services, from garbage collection to public transportation, food distribution and health care, will collapse. Massive unemployment and underemployment, triggering social unrest, will be dealt with not through government job creation but the brutality of militarized police and a complete suspension of civil liberties. Critics of the system, already pushed to the margins, will be silenced and attacked as enemies of the state. The last vestiges of labor unions will be targeted for abolition, a process that will soon be accelerated given the expected ruling in a case before the Supreme Court that will cripple the ability of public-sector unions to represent workers. The dollar will stop being the world’s reserve currency, causing a steep devaluation. Banks will close. Global warming will extract heavier and heavier costs, especially on the coastal populations, farming and the infrastructure, costs that the depleted state will be unable to address. The corporate press, like the ruling elites, will go from burlesque to absurdism, its rhetoric so patently fictitious it will, as in all totalitarian states, be unmoored from reality. The media outlets will all sound as fatuous as Trump. And, to quote W.H. Auden, “the little children will die in the streets.”

As a foreign correspondent I covered collapsed societies, including the former Yugoslavia. It is impossible for any doomed population to grasp how fragile the decayed financial, social and political system is on the eve of implosion. All the harbingers of collapse are visible: crumbling infrastructure; chronic underemployment and unemployment; the indiscriminate use of lethal force by police; political paralysis and stagnation; an economy built on the scaffolding of debt; nihilistic mass shootings in schools, universities, workplaces, malls, concert venues and movie theaters; opioid overdoses that kill some 64,000 people a year; an epidemic of suicides; unsustainable military expansion; gambling as a desperate tool of economic development and government revenue; the capture of power by a tiny, corrupt clique; censorship; the physical diminishing of public institutions ranging from schools and libraries to courts and medical facilities; the incessant bombardment by electronic hallucinations to divert us from the depressing sight that has become America and keep us trapped in illusions. We suffer the usual pathologies of impending death. I would be happy to be wrong. But I have seen this before. I know the warning signs. All I can say is get ready.


https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-coming-collapse/  :icon_study: :icon_study: :icon_study: :icon_study:


                                   

Offline Golden Oxen

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Inflation Alert Fellow Goldbugs!  ::)

Great news for Lucid however, so glad that kid got his act together and is bringing home some serious Benjamin's to GM and the boys.  :emthup:

The U.S. doesn’t have enough truckers, and it’s starting to cause prices of about everything to rise

                               


 A student practices hooking an 18-wheeler up to a trailer during a commercial driver's license class at Lake Cumberland CDL Training School in Mount Sterling, Ky., in June 2014. (Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg News)

Joyce Brenny, chief executive of Brenny Transportation in Minnesota, gave her truck drivers a 15 percent raise this year, but she still can't find enough workers for a job that now pays $80,000 a year.

A year ago, when customers would call Brenny, she could almost always get their goods loaded on a truck and moving within a day or two. Now she's warning customers it could take two weeks to find an available truck and driver.

Shipping costs have skyrocketed in the United States in 2018, one of the clearest signs yet of a strong economy that might be starting to overheat. Higher transportation costs are beginning to cause prices of anything that spends time on a truck to rise. Amazon, for example, just implemented a 20 percent hike for its Prime program that delivers goods to customers in two days, and General Mills, the maker of Cheerios and Betty Crocker, said prices of some of its cereals and snacks are going up because of an "unprecedented" rise in freight costs. Tyson Foods, a large meat seller, and John Deere, a farm and construction equipment, also recently announced they will increase prices, blaming higher shipping costs.

The trucking industry shows an extraordinary labor shortage in one corner of the economy can spill out and affect the economy more broadly.

"I've never seen it like this, ever," said Brenny, who has been in the trucking industry for 30 years. "It doesn't matter what the load even pays. There are just not drivers."

Trucking executives say their industry is experiencing a perfect storm: The economic upswing is creating heavy demand for trucks, but it's hard to find drivers with unemployment so low. Young Americans are ignoring the job openings because they fear self-driving trucks will soon dominate the industry. Waymo, the driverless car company owned by Alphabet, just launched a self-driving truck pilot program in Atlanta, although trucking industry veterans argue it will be a long time before drivers go away entirely.

Brenny anticipates she will have to raise pay another 10 percent before the end of the year to ensure that other companies don't steal her drivers.

"The drivers deserve the wages. They really do, but the raises are coming so fast that it's hard to handle," said Brenny, who is having to adjust contracts for drivers — and customers — rapidly.

[Pilot-hungry airlines are raiding flight schools — creating a shortage of instructors to train the next generation]

The United States has had a truck driver shortage for years, but experts say it's hitting a crisis level this year. There's even more demand for truckers now as just about every sector of the economy is expanding and online sales continue to soar. On top of that, the federal government imposed a new rule in December that requires drivers to be on the road for no more than 11 hours at a time and track their time by an electronic device so they can't cheat.

"It's as bad as it's ever been" to find drivers, said Bob Costello, chief economist at the American Trucking Associations. "Companies are doing everything they can to make drivers happy: increasing pay and getting them home more often, but that means they aren't driving as many miles."

America had a shortage of 51,000 truck drivers at the end of last year, Costello found, up from a shortage of 36,000 in 2016. He says "without a doubt" it's going to be even higher this year, even though many companies are giving double-digit raises. He gets asked about the driver scarcity daily as companies try to figure out how to handle the growing backlog. His best advice is for companies to invest in technology like what Uber and Lyft have to cut down on the time a driver or truck sits idle between runs.

[America's manliest industries are all competing for women]

As driver pay rises quickly and diesel fuel costs tick up, shipping companies are charging higher and higher rates to move goods. It now costs more than $1.85 a mile to ship a "dry good" that doesn't require refrigeration or special accommodation, a nearly 40 percent increase from the price a year ago, according to data from DAT Solutions.

Shipping costs hit an all-time high earlier this year and have remained near that level ever since, according to DAT Solutions and the Cass Freight Index Report.

Manufacturers are complaining that higher shipping costs are causing their profits to fall. It was a constant topic of discussion as American firms reported earnings in recent weeks. Walmart said this week that high transportation costs are its "primary head wind" right now.

Economists warn those costs are almost certainly going to end up resulting in higher prices for everyday items that many Americans purchase.

"Every single good ends up on a truck at some point. Businesses that use trucking to receive and ship goods are going to do their best to pass on the costs to the rest of us," said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group.

Logistics and transportation accounts for about 10 cents of every dollar in the U.S. economy, says Donald Broughton of Broughton Capital and author of the Cass Freight Index publication.

"I don't normally speak in hyperbole, but we're entering some uncharted territory," Broughton said. "If there is a 10 percent increase in transportation costs, that gives you a 1 percent increase in inflation for the broader economy. That's real."

It could mark a turning point for the U.S. economy. Inflation has stayed unusually low in the past decade, largely because costs have stayed low for food, clothes and other items Americans buy in store or online as companies got more efficient and worker wages barely increased. But rising shipping costs could change that dynamic in 2018, potentially forcing people to have to spend more and employers to hike pay as they try to compete for workers with the trucking industry.

There already aren't enough trucks on the road to keep up with demand this spring. It could get even worse when the holiday season hits.

Trucking companies hope they can lure more drivers with higher pay, signing bonuses and shorter hours. The job doesn't require a high school degree or being in great shape. Someone can obtain a truck license in a matter of weeks, although they must pass a drug test. But many say the biggest hindrance is that the job doesn't have a lot of cachet in modern society, a perception that's hard to change.

"You are away from home and family and friends on a regular basis, and the job is not highly respected," Broughton said.

about:reader?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fnews%2Fwonk%2Fwp%2F2018%2F05%2F21%2Famerica-doesnt-have-enough-truckers-and-its-starting-to-cause-prices-of-about-everything-to-rise%2F%3Futm_term%3D.ccf472aa1cbf :icon_study:


                                             

Offline Surly1

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Inflation Alert Fellow Goldbugs!  ::)

Great news for Lucid however, so glad that kid got his act together and is bringing home some serious Benjamin's to GM and the boys.  :emthup:

The U.S. doesn’t have enough truckers, and it’s starting to cause prices of about everything to rise

Shortage of truckers may be a part of a price spike, but the more proximate cause is the price of gasoline.

Saw this earlier in the month:

Higher gas prices could spoil Trump's tax cuts

http://money.cnn.com/2018/05/09/investing/iran-oil-gas-prices-tax-cuts/index.html
Takeaway is that consumers are spending their temporary "Trump Tax Cut" on high gas, which is going to go higher, because Iran.

Also--
https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/consumers-should-brace-for-sharply-higher-gas-prices-020118.html
https://www.jpmorganchase.com/corporate/institute/what-do-gas-prices-tell-us-about-consumer-spending.htm

And this:
An increase in gas prices easily outpaces the benefits of the tax bill for lower-income Americans
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/05/22/an-increase-in-gas-prices-easily-outpaces-the-benefits-of-the-tax-bill-for-lower-income-americans/?utm_term=.4cd09756b922
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

 

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