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World War III Draws Closer As Russia Accuses Turkey Of Being ‘Secret Allies’ With ISIS

Are Russia and Turkey on the verge of going to war?  In remarks that were almost entirely ignored by the western media, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused the Turkish government of being “secret allies” with ISIS on Friday.  And on Monday, the Russians announced that they would be attempting to seal the border between Syria and Turkey, and we also learned that the Russians have been rushing heavy artillery units into Syria.  As tensions between Russia and Turkey continue to escalate, could we be in danger of seeing World War III erupt in the Middle East? The Russians have […]

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What Happened To The Shanghai International Gold Exchange?

BullionStar Withdrawals from the vaults of the largest physical gold bourse globally, the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE), accounted for 54 tonnes (in week 45 / 16 until 20 November), up 10 % from last week. Year to date SGE withdrawals have reached 2,313 tonnes, which is an all time record. Please make sure you’ve read The Mechanics Of The Chinese Domestic Gold Market, Chinese Gold Trade Rules And Financing Deals Explained, Workings Of The Shanghai International Gold Exchange, and SGE Withdrawals In Perspective. Given elevated SGE withdrawals and continued weakness in the gold price it looks like the Chinese population is buying the dips. […]

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The angry WASPIs

Back in 1995, the UK government made what was widely regarded at the time as a sensible and long-overdue change to state pension legislation. Since World War II, women had retired five years earlier than men, a sop to compensate them for their inability to clock up pensions of the same size as their spouses – and incidentally to enable men and women to retire at approximately the same time, since it was assumed that most men were older than their wives. But by the mid-1990s far more women were working, married women’s income was taxed separately from their husbands’, […]

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The Bizarre Explanation For Why The U.S. Has Avoided Bombing ISIS Oil Wells

Why hasn’t the U.S. bombed the oil wells that ISIS controls into oblivion by now?  Would you believe that it is because the Obama administration “didn’t want to do environmental damage”?  Former Deputy Director of the CIA Michael Morell has publicly admitted that we have purposely avoided damaging the main source of income for ISIS, and his explanation for why we were doing this is utterly bizarre.  But at this point what could the Obama administration say that would actually make sense?  Everyone now knows that ISIS has been making hundreds of millions of dollars selling oil in Turkey, and […]

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Those elusive welfare spending cuts

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement contained an apparent U-turn on the cuts to tax credits outlined in the July budget. Predictably, this was presented as the Chancellor “listening” to those concerned about the impact of sudden large falls in income for working families at the bottom end of the income spectrum. The Conservatives continue to position themselves as the party for “hard-working families”. However, this isn’t quite what it seems. The income cuts for low-income working families are not cancelled, they are merely delayed. The Chancellor has effectively hung his hoped-for reduction in tax credits expenditure on the roll-out of Universal […]

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Do You Remember When Black Friday Actually Still Mattered In America?

Once upon a time, “Black Friday” was a major event in the United States.  Yes, the mainstream media is still endlessly hyping it up, and major retailers are still rolling out their “incredible deals”, but it appears that most Americans are tiring of this particular gimmick.  Or perhaps it is just that U.S. consumers don’t have as much discretionary income as they once did.  As you will see below, retail traffic this Black Friday was “much, much slower” than anticipated.  And expectations were not great anyway – the number of shoppers was down last year, and it was being projected […]

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Grexit, Brexit and financial stability

On October 30th 2015, I gave a keynote speech at Birmingham University’s Finance Forum on the implications of Grexit and Brexit for financial stability. I’ve now written this up as a paper. I start by outlining the purpose of financial stability. Since the 2007-8 financial crisis, “financial stability” has been all the rage. We must prevent another crisis: we must solve the problems that make our financial system “unstable”.  But what exactly do we mean by “financial stability”? Most people would define a stable financial system as one which doesn’t fall over when it is hit by a major shock; […]

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Gold $5,000: Maybe When You’re Dead!

I have so many bets on the go with gold bugs like Porter Stansberry (Stansberry Research) and Jeff Clark at Casey Research… and I just keep winning ‘em. That’s something to be happy about, right? But I’m more pained than happy about it because, when I debate these guys (including Peter Schiff), we all agree that we’re in an unprecedented debt and financial bubble with QE adding kerosene to the fire. We all agree that things are about to end very badly. But we disagree on the outcome of this bubble burst. They see the dollar collapsing and gold going […]

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The Triumph Of Materialism: The Average American Will Spend 830 Dollars On Christmas In 2015

Has there ever been a major holiday more focused on materialism than the modern American Christmas?  This year, Americans are planning to spend an average of 830 dollars on Christmas gifts, which represents a jump of 110 dollars over the average of 720 dollars last year.  But have our incomes gone up accordingly?  Of course not.  In fact, real median household income in the United States has been experiencing a steady long-term decline.  So in order to fund all of our Christmas spending, we have got to go into even more debt.  We love to pull out our credit cards […]

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Switzerland Gold Export China October 29t, +34% m/m

BullionStar First, withdrawals from the vaults of the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE), our best measure for Chinese wholesale gold demand, accounted for 49 tonnes in week 44 (9 – 13 November), up 9 % from the previous week. Year to date SGE withdrawals have reached 2,259 tonnes, which is already more than any previous yearly total. Seasonally, SGE withdrawals are the highest around new year, therefore I expect them to increase from current levels before the end of 2015 – perhaps transcending 60 tonnes a week. Chinese people traditionally exchange gifts during new year and lunar year, often in the form […]

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