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Global Recession? The Canadian Economy Shrinks At The Fastest Pace Since The Last Financial Crisis

Things have not been this bad for the Canadian economy since the last global recession.  During the second quarter of 2016, Canada’s GDP contracted at a 1.6 percent annualized rate.  That was the worst number in seven years, and it was even worse than most analysts were projecting.  This comes at a time when bad news is pouring in from all corners of the global economy.  While things in the United States are still relatively stable for the moment, the same cannot be said for much of the rest of the planet.  Canada in particular has been hit very hard […]

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We’ve Reached the Zero Point of Debt Creation

Forty-five years and counting. We’ve been on a debt spree since the early 1970s when we went off the gold standard, covering every possible angle. Trade deficits, government deficits, unfunded entitlements, private debt – you name it! Our total debt has grown 2.5-times GDP since 1971. How could economists not see this as a problem? How is this the least bit sustainable? It isn’t. We’re hurdling toward a massive financial crisis, and all we have to show for it are financial asset bubbles destined to burst. And when they do, they’ll wipe out the artificial wealth they’ve created for many […]

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What Are These Huge Tonnages In “Precious Metals” On Chinese Commercial Bank Balance Sheets?

BullionStar There has been much conjecture since 2014 about the increasing numbers in the “precious metals” category on the balance sheets of listed Chinese commercial banks. By the end of 2015 China’s largest banks were holding RMB 598 billion in precious metals. Some analysts think that the precious metals on Chinese commercial bank balance sheets are gold reserves purchased on behalf of the Chinese central bank, while others surmise that Chinese banks buy gold at the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) and then lend it out so the precious metals on the balance sheets solely represent leased gold. In latter analysis […]

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Winds Of War: Is Russia Conducting A Massive Mobilization Of Troops For An Invasion Of Ukraine?

The drumbeats of war are growing louder.  Fighting in eastern Ukraine between separatists and pro-government forces has risen to an intensity not seen in well over a year, and the Russians claim that they recently foiled a “Ukrainian plot” to conduct terror attacks in Crimea.  As tensions in the region have increased, the Russians have used the cover of “military drills” to move massive amounts of troops and military equipment up to the border with Ukraine.  This is something that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, but things have intensified since then, and a huge military exercise is […]

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Killing Us with Healthcare

I’ve never heard anyone brag about what they spend for a medical procedure. Healthcare isn’t like housing or transportation. People are proud to shell out big bucks for a big house, and many drivers can’t wait to show off their expensive set of wheels. But when it comes to healthcare, we’re only smiling when we save money, not spend it, which makes the current trend so much more difficult. While government officials point to slower price increases and bray on about bending the healthcare cost curve, everyday people are watching more of their hard-earned dollars fly out the door to […]

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Your Retirement Income is at Risk!

Social Security Pensions? Surely they are safe … the government told me they were safe. But there is more to the story, so read on. Private Pensions? State retirement accounts? An IRA or 401(k)? Equivalents in Europe, the UK, Australia, and Japan are probably similar. All are at risk and will be discussed further in part two. Few individuals think about such things, our unpleasant realities, the facts, and mathematical inevitability. It is easier to dream about the “free stuff” we will collect when our favorite Presidential candidate is elected. You know … “hope and change, a chicken in every […]

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Lessons on Trading and Markets from “Adam Smith” And The Money Game

If you’re wondering why “Adam Smith” is in quotations, it’s because the name is the pseudonym adopted by the author who wrote The Money Game, a 1967 market classic. In the author’s own words, the book is about “image and reality and identity and anxiety and money” —  everything that makes up markets… Here’s some of “Smith’s” teachings: You and I know, that one day the orchestra will stop playing and the wind will rattle through the broken window panes… We are all at a wonderful party, and by the rules of the game we know that at some point […]

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The Day The Lights Go Out And The Trucks Stop Running

What would happen if some sort of major national emergency caused a massive transportation disruption that stopped trucks from running?  The next time you talk to a trucker, please thank them for their service, because without their hard work none of our lives would be possible.  In America today, very few of us live a truly independent lifestyle, and that means that we rely on the system to provide what we need.  Most of us take for granted that there will always be plenty of goods at Wal-Mart and at the grocery store whenever we need more “stuff”, and most […]

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Is Bitcoin a Safe Investment?

Over the last few years, so-called “crypto-currencies” – digital equivalents of a monetary exchange unit, have been all the rage. The most well-known in the category, Bitcoin, has had quite a run. Starting out as a “virtual penny stock” it rose in 2014 to the elevated height of $ 1,150, before crashing back to earth. This “electronic currency” is created and stored in a computerized “wallet.” Purchases and sales are made via a “blockchain” which keeps a memory of every transaction conducted. Private keys (supposedly) provide assurance that a Bitcoin holder’s account is safe. Warning: Bitcoin is NOT a tangible […]

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America The Debt Pig: We Are A ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Society – And ‘Pay Later’ Is Rapidly Approaching

If you really wanted to live like a millionaire, you could start doing it right now.  All you have to do is to apply for as many credit cards as possible and then begin running up credit card balances like there is no tomorrow.  At this point, I know what most of you are probably thinking.  You are probably thinking that such a lifestyle would not last for long and that a day of reckoning would eventually come, and you would be exactly right.  In fact, anyone that has ever had a tremendous amount of credit card debt knows how […]

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