Why It’s Time to Think Like a Roman

Years ago, when I was earning my master’s degree from the London School of Economics, I was known to skip out of lectures a little early on Fridays, throw on a backpack, and do some exploring on the weekends.

With just about anywhere in the U.K. or Europe accessible within a few hours, my decision on where to go was usually made by price. (I was, after all, on a grad student’s budget.)

Train tickets to northern England were cheap, so one September weekend I decided to hike along Hadrian’s Wall, the ancient boundary between Roman Britain and the barbarian north.

The wall stretches for 73 miles, mostly through sparsely inhabited farmland. It’s beautiful – in a harsh, rugged sort of way.

“Why here?” I asked myself as I hiked the Hadrian’s Wall Path.

There were other sites that could’ve worked as a defensive fortification. The island is thinner and a wall would be easier to defend further north in the Scottish lowlands. Or why not simply forget the wall, push northward, and conquer all of Scotland too?

No one really knows why the Romans built the wall exactly where they built it, but I have my own theories.

It came down to an analysis of risk versus reward.

Any military excursion puts lives and treasure at risk. But the added return of pushing into modern-day Scotland was minimal. (And the Scots wouldn’t invent golf or Scotch whiskey for another thousand years.)

Financing a war where the only spoils would be sheep and a craggy, windswept land inhabited by barbarians made little sense. The Romans were far better off drawing lines and consolidating what they already had.

That’s basically how I feel about the high-yield corners of the stock market right now.

It’s not that I think a crash is necessarily imminent; if I did, I’d recommend to my Peak Income readers that we lighten up on our existing income-producing positions, and I am distinctly not doing that…

This is more a feeling that, at current prices, the potential upside of adding new positions might not be worth the potential downside, particularly now that we’re in one of the market’s most dangerous seasonal periods.

Major corrections can come at any time of year, of course, but they tend to happen around September and October.

And, furthermore, we now have 22 open positions in the portfolio, many of which are recent additions. Before I added anything new this month, I thought it reasonable, and smart, to let what we have season a little.

So, in this month’s issue – in a more detailed and comprehensive way than I ever have before – I go through our existing portfolio recommendation by recommendation, to review why we own what we own and what our game plan should be going forward.

If you aren’t already a subscriber, it’s a perfect time to try Peak Income. If you missed it, I give “buy” or “hold” signals for all 22 positions in our model portfolio, and I re-recommend one of my earliest picks, laying out all the reasons for all the moves.

What I also really tried to drive home in the September issue is why bond yields are extremely important to what we do. All income-focused securities tend to react similarly to market conditions, which makes sense. They’re subject to the same buying and selling pressures from investors.

Lower bond yields mean higher bond prices… and higher prices for anything tied to bonds. A lot of our success so far in Peak Income – we currently have three positions with greater than 20% gains, seven others in double-digits, and only one showing a loss – has come from being willing to buy what I call “private income funds” at times when other investors panicked about falling bond prices.

Their overreaction was our opportunity.

Today bond yields are higher than they were two weeks ago, but the trend throughout 2017 has been one of falling yields.

I’m always looking out for catalysts that might cause yields to spike. And, at the moment, our biggest risk, oddly enough, is a functional government.

One of the reasons bond yields have slumped is that Mr. Market is losing faith that the pro-growth Trump agenda, including tax cuts, will pass. Slower growth means lower inflation, which, in turn, means lower bond yields and higher bond prices.

So a do-nothing government actually works in our favor.

I’m not going to suggest we sell everything and run for hills if Congress and President Trump suddenly discover how to work together. But I’d definitely be on high alert for a yield spike and would likely keep our stop-losses even tighter than usual.

That, too, is risk versus reward thinking, and it’s why I sometimes need to remind myself to do as the Romans did.

Charles Sizemore
Editor, Peak Income

The post Why It’s Time to Think Like a Roman appeared first on Economy and Markets.

Charles Sizemore – Economy and Markets ()

Mainstream Media Viciously Attacks Republican Candidate For Congress For Suggesting ‘Category 6’ Should Be Created For Storms Like Irma

Somebody really needs to be fact checking the so-called “fact checkers”.  A few days ago, I published an article in which I stated that “some have suggested that we need to add a ‘category 6’ to describe the kind of ‘super storms’ that are now developing in the Atlantic”.  That article ended up going megaviral on Facebook, and there has been a tremendous backlash from the mainstream media.  By their reaction, you would have thought that I just committed some very serious form of blasphemy, but the truth is that scientists have been talking about adding a “category 6” for more than a decade.  Nothing that I said should have been controversial.  In fact, if this had come from a liberal source the mainstream media would probably be gushing about how this is more evidence for their “global warming” narrative.  But because I am a Republican and I am running for Congress, they had to attack me.

Over the past 24 hours, the Washington Post and dozens of other mainstream news sources have all run similar articles specifically attacking me for suggesting that a “category 6” should be created for storms such as Hurricane Irma.  Of course I never said that Hurricane Irma is a category 6 storm or that such a category was about to be established.  But what I did say is that the establishment of a “category 6” has been discussed for a long time, and that if you were to extrapolate the Saffir-Simpson scale, Hurricane Irma would potentially qualify as a category 6 storm.

The source that the Washington Post and other mainstream media sources are quoting in their hit pieces is Snopes.  Of course Snopes is well known to be a mouthpiece for the left, and just about everything on their site lines up with the progressive agenda of the radical left.  So it is no surprise that they would attack a Republican candidate for Congress

The idea that Irma is a Category 6 storm seems to have originated with a a blog post that implied that a new category, Category 6, would be created for Irma. While the post does not state this directly, its headline reads “Category 6? If Hurricane Irma Becomes The Strongest Hurricane In History, It Could Wipe Entire Cities Off The Map.” That story, written by end-time enthusiast and Republican candidate for Idaho’s first congressional district Michael Snyder, was first published on his blog “The Economic Collapse” before being aggregated by other clickbait websites.

As I noted above, the idea that we need to start looking at adding a “category 6” to the Saffir-Simpson scale is not controversial at all.  It has been discussed very widely for well over a decade, and if you do a search on Google you will find many, many articles.  The following are just three examples…

ABC News – May 21, 2006: There is no official Category 6 for hurricanes, but scientists say they’re pondering whether there should be as evidence mounts that hurricanes around the world have sharply worsened over the past 30 years — and all but a handful of hurricane experts now agree this worsening bears the fingerprints of man-made global warming.

In fact, say scientists, there have already been hurricanes strong enough to qualify as Category 6s. They’d define those as having sustained winds over 175 or 180 mph. A couple told me they’d measured close to 200 mph on a few occasions.

Weather.com – July 28, 2016: The results showed that three vulnerable areas of the world are at risk for a “high-end” Category 5 tropical cyclone by the end of the 21st century due to the Earth’s changing climate: Tampa, Florida; Cairns, Australia; and the Persian Gulf.

These potential Category 6 hurricanes may be up to 14 times more likely by 2100, according to the study.

Scientific American – August 23, 2011: Atmospheric researchers tend to agree that tropical cyclones of unusual ferocity are coming this century, but the strange fact is that there is no consensus to date on the five-point scale used to classify the power of these anticipated storms. In what may sound like a page from the script of the rock-band spoof Spinal Tap with its reference to a beyond-loud electric guitar amplifier volume 11, there is actually talk of adding a sixth level to the current Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, on which category 5 intensity means sustained winds higher than 155 miles per hour (250 kilometers per hour) for at least one minute, with no speed cap.

Without a doubt, after this storm is over the academic community will again start having these sorts of debates, and the mainstream media will once again report on them.

And if a “category 6” is ever created, it is very likely that Hurricane Irma will fit that classification.  The following is from the article that I posted yesterday

I was criticized for suggesting that Irma could become so powerful that it could potentially be labeled a “category 6” storm if such a thing existed.  Well, now it has actually happened.  If you extrapolate the Saffir-Simpson scale, “category 6” would begin at 158 knots, which would be 181.8 miles per hour.  Since Irma has surpassed that mark, I believe that it is entirely reasonable if people want to refer to it as a “category 6” storm.

Hurricane Irma is not just another storm, and it would be useful to have a special designation for a storm that is so extraordinarily dangerous.  Wherever it makes landfall, it is going to wipe out virtually everything in its path

Irma strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane Tuesday with winds up to 185 mph. The storm is most powerful ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. It’s so strong it is even showing up on scales for measuring earthquakes.

“No way to sugarcoat it. Irma is the type of tropical cyclone that wipes everything, including all vegetation, clean from small islands,” wrote Anthony Sagliani, the Meteorological Operations Manager at weather data firm Earth Networks.

And the National Hurricane Center is specifically warning that “a high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed” by a storm of this magnitude.

The National Hurricane Center reports dryly that when a Category 5 hurricane hits land, “a high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed,” adding power could be lost in some areas for “weeks and possibly months.”

So I stand by everything that I have written, and I demand a retraction and an apology from every mainstream news outlet that has slandered me.

Just because I am a Republican candidate for Congress does not mean that you can write things that are untrue.  At one time the mainstream media at least attempted to be objective, and there is a reason so many are now referring to them as “the fake news”.

It amazes me what passes for “journalism” these days.  These jackals jump on anything that even smells like it could be a “scandal” for a Republican, and they seem to have no regard for the truth whatsoever.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

The Economic Collapse

Goldman Sachs Says That There Is A 99 Percent Chance That Stock Prices Will Not Keep Going Up Like This

Analysts at Goldman Sachs are saying that it is next to impossible for stock prices to keep going up like they have been recently.  Ever since Donald Trump’s surprise election victory in November, stocks have been on a tremendous run, but this surge has not been matched by a turnaround in the real economy.  We have essentially had a “no growth” economy for most of the past decade, and ominous signs pointing to big trouble ahead are all around us.  The only reason why stocks have been able to perform so well is due to unprecedented intervention by global central banks, but they are not going to be able to keep inflating this bubble forever.  At some point this absolutely enormous bubble will burst and investors will lose trillions of dollars.

The only other times we have seen stock valuations at these levels were just before the stock market crash of 1929 and just before the dotcom bubble burst in 2000.  For those that think that they can jump into the markets now and make a lot of money from rapidly rising stock prices, I think that it would be wise to consider what analysts at Goldman Sachs are telling us.  The following is from a CNBC article that was published on Monday…

Investors may be in for disappointing market returns in the decade to come with valuations at levels this high, if history is any indication.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs pointed out that annualized returns on the S&P 500 10 years out were in the single digits or negative 99 percent of the time when starting with valuations at current levels.

Do you really want to try to fight those odds?

Unfortunately, it appears that is precisely what a lot of investors are planning to do.  In fact, Schwab says that they are opening new accounts “at levels we have not seen since the Internet boom of the late 1990s”

New accounts are at levels we have not seen since the Internet boom of the late 1990s, up 34% over the first half of last year. But maybe more important for the long-term growth of the organization is not so much new accounts, but new-to-firm households, and our new-to-firm retail households were up 50% over that same period from 2016.

And a different survey found that Millennial investors in particular are eager to pour money into the stock market

Furthermore, according to a June survey from Legg Mason, nearly 80% of millennial investors plan to take on more risk this year, with 66% of them expressing an interest in equities. About 45% plan to take on “much more risk” in their portfolios.

One of the fundamental tenets of investing is to buy low and sell high.  Those that are getting in at the peak of the market are going to get absolutely slaughtered.  Trillions of dollars of paper wealth will be completely wiped out by the coming crash, and I wish that I could get more people to understand what is about to happen.

I recently wrote about how some really big investors are betting millions upon millions of dollars that a major stock market crash is going to happen in the very near future.  The financial markets are far more primed for a crash than they were in 2008, and there are certainly a lot of potential “black swan events” that could push us over the edge.  In his most recent article, Simon Black listed some of the things that he is currently watching…

– North Korea is threatening to nuke the US
– Donald Trump is firing his entire cabinet
– The Federal Reserve has dropped interest rates to record lows and drowned the world in trillions of dollars of cash
– Debt levels are at record highs
– Entire banking systems, especially in Europe, are in need of massive bailouts
– The US government will run out of money in less than 90-days and hit the debt ceiling once again

You only make money in the stock market if you get out in time.  And since just before the crisis of 2008 I have never seen so many prominent names in the financial community warn about a coming stock market crash as I have over the last 90 days.  For example, legendary investor Jim Rogers is warning that there will almost certainly be a crash “this year or the next”, and that it will be “the worst in your lifetime and my lifetime”

The best-selling author expects the next financial crisis to be the “worst” he has ever seen.

“We’ve had economic problems in the U.S. or in North America every four to eight years since the beginning of the Republic so to say that we’re going to have a problem is not unusual,” he told Kitco News from the Freedom Fest conference in Las Vegas.

“I would expect it to start this year or the next…and it’s going to be the worst in your lifetime and my lifetime.”

What goes up must come down, and markets tend to go down a whole lot faster than they go up.

And in the environment that we are in today, caution is a very good thing.  I really like how billionaire Howard Marks put this the other day…

I think it’s better to turn cautious too soon (and thus perhaps underperform for a while) rather than too late, after the downslide has begun, making it hard to trim risk, achieve exits and cut losses.

Perhaps this will be the first giant financial bubble in our history to end smoothly, but I wouldn’t count on it.

In the end, I expect this one to end just like all of the others.  And I anticipate that the coming crisis will ultimately be worse than anything we have ever faced before because this current bubble has been artificially inflated for so long.

Hopefully stock prices will go up again tomorrow, but it would be exceedingly foolish to ignore all of the warnings.  Goldman Sachs says that there is a 99 percent chance that stocks cannot continue surging like this, and in this case I believe that Goldman Sachs is entirely correct.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

The Economic Collapse

What Should Be Done To RINOs Like John McCain That Betray Us Over And Over Again?

By destroying the last chance that the Republicans in the Senate had to repeal Obamacare, John McCain has ensured that he will go down in history as a backstabbing traitor that cared nothing for true conservative values.  For decades, RINOs like McCain have promised to uphold conservative values while campaigning, but once they have gotten into office they have betrayed us over and over again.  How much more are we going to take before we say enough is enough?  I hope that you will join me in my effort to remove every RINO from Congress.  What John McCain has just done should make all of us absolutely sick.  Thanks to him, Obamacare is going to remain the law of the land for the foreseeable future even though the Republicans have control of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives.  If I go to Washington, I am going to declare war on RINOs like McCain, but the only way that will be possible is if thousands of good conservatives help fund this campaign.  So far my campaign has created an enormous amount of buzz all over the state, but the only way that we are going to be able to capitalize on all of that buzz is if you all stand with me.

If what John McCain did on Friday does not make you angry, I am not sure what will.  Together with Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, McCain killed the very last chance of repealing Obamacare in the Senate.  The following comes from the Washington Post

A convergence of contentious issues, as well as embarrassing infighting and shake-ups at the White House, have a number of Republicans suddenly in open resistance to President Trump on a number of fronts.

The most dramatic moment came in the early-morning hours Friday, when Sen. John McCain, an ailing war hero and onetime Republican presidential standard-bearer, joined two other GOP dissidents, Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, to cast the deciding vote to kill a scaled-back plan to dismantle tenets of the Affordable Care Act — and with it, perhaps, Trump’s promise to repeal Obamacare.

McCain had specifically campaigned on repealing Obamacare in 2010 and in 2016.  In fact, just last year he was running campaign ads in which he boldly proclaimed that he was “leading the fight to stop Obamacare”.

Now he has done this.

And it was quite a dramatic moment when he finally cast his vote.  Some even believe that it is going to go down as the most famous “thumbs-down” in Senate history

The clerk read the Arizona senator’s surname in the microphone of the tense Senate chamber. The two words were met with silence — John McCain had stepped out of the room minutes before.

But moments later, he reappeared. By then, the alphabetical roll call had reached Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan. McCain walked over to the front of the chamber, raising his right arm. He held it up in the air until he had the attention of the clerk.

“No,” he said, with a swift thumbs-down.

In response, we need to give our own “thumbs-down” to every RINO on the federal, state and local levels all around the country.

If you are sick and tried of RINOs like McCain, then I would like to ask for your support.  My team has set up a brand new website called Help Michael Win where you can help us raise $ 3,000 to print more than 20,000 brochures.  We have volunteers that are ready to get brochures into the hands of potential voters, but the only way that we can do this is if the funding comes in.  If 300 of you were to donate just 10 dollars each, we will be able to meet our goal.

But if we all sit back and do nothing, RINOs such as McCain will continue to rule Washington.  Just before he cast his decisive vote, McCain actually went over to the Democrats to tell them what he was about to do.  The following comes from the Washington Post

Shuffling across the chamber, Mr. McCain convened with Democrats, informing them of his choice. “They can read my lips,” he said to laughs, fearing his hand would be tipped ahead of time from inside the gallery.

At one point, the senator joined Ms. Collins and Ms. Murkowski, telling them they had done the right thing.

“We talked about how if anyone knew about doing the right thing it was John McCain,” Ms. Collins recalled. “It was very moving.”

I am the only candidate in this race that is openly going to go to war with McCain and others like him in Congress.

Since there is no incumbent, my race is totally wide open, and it will ultimately be decided by the enthusiasm of people like you.  If everyone in my district that is familiar with my work ends up voting for me in the Republican primary next May, I will win and it won’t even be close.

I am so tired of just sitting back and doing nothing while RINOs like McCain slap us in the face over and over again, and other conservative authors feel the exact same way.  Here is just one example

“For American voters expecting their Republican-dominated House, Senate and White House to honor their years of repeal promises and actually, well, repeal Obamacare, McCain’s thumbs-down was a face-slap moment that will be remembered in history as a textbook classic case of political betrayal. McCain may feel liberated. But his name will go down in conservative history books as a traitor to the cause.”

If I am elected, I promise to work very hard to defeat John McCain and every other RINO in Congress.  I know that won’t make me very popular with the Republican establishment, but I don’t care.

And if you believe in what I am trying to do, I hope that you will visit HelpMichaelWin.com and MichaelSnyderForIdaho.com.

It isn’t going to be easy, but together we can change the way that things are done in Washington.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

The Economic Collapse

Would You Like To Steal 128 Million Dollars?

What would you do with 128 million dollars?  Many people like to daydream about winning the lottery, and I have to admit that when I was much younger I would do the same thing.  If you were suddenly financially set for life, you could quit your job, buy your dream home, travel the world and spend your days doing whatever you felt like doing.  We only get one trip through this crazy journey called life, and an enormous mountain of cash could make the journey a whole lot nicer.  So if you could steal 128 million dollars and be absolutely certain that you could get away with it, would you do it?

You would probably be surprised at how many people out there would answer that question affirmatively.  Money is a very powerful motivator, and if the fear of getting caught was out of the equation a lot of people out there would certainly be willing to “bend the rules” for a cool 128 million dollars.

But let’s turn this around for a moment.

What if someone stole 128 million dollars from you?

How would you feel about that?

Every crime has a victim, and losing that amount of money would be unimaginable.

Perhaps you think that this scenario is way too outlandish to even be considering.  After all, who in the world could steal 128 million dollars from someone and get away with it?

Well, what if I told you that this has been happening every day?

And what if I told you that this has actually been happening every single hour of every single day for many years?

When Barack Obama entered the White House, the U.S. national debt was just over 10.6 trillion dollars, and when he left the White House 8 years later it was sitting just shy of 20 trillion dollars.

So during those 8 years more than 9 trillion dollars was added to the national debt.  But for purposes of this example we will round down to an even 9 trillion dollars.

When you divide 9 trillion dollars by 8, you get an average of 1.125 trillion dollars that was added to the national debt per year during the Obama era.

Dividing that figure by 365, you find that an average of $ 3,082,191,780 was added to the national debt every single day during the Obama administration.

And since there are 24 hours in a day, that means that an average of $ 128,424,657 was stolen from our children and our grandchildren every single hour of every single day while Barack Obama was president.

When you borrow and spend 128 million dollars that you do not have every single hour of every single day, of course that is going to have a huge impact on the economy.  I am often asked why we are not in a horrendous economic depression yet, and this is one of the biggest reasons.  If we were to go back and take 9 trillion dollars of government spending out of the economy over the last eight years, we would be in the worst depression in American history right now.

But even with all of this added debt, the U.S. economy has still only grown at an average yearly rate of just 1.33 percent over the past 10 years, and that is absolutely terrible.

Our leaders in D.C. were able to prop things up in the short-term by going on the greatest debt binge in U.S. history, but of course they have also made our long-term financial problems much, much worse in the process.

Many people don’t realize this, but the growth of the national debt was actually accelerating as the Obama era drew to a close.  In fact, we added more than 1.4 trillion dollars to the debt during fiscal year 2016.

Once upon a time a lot of people out there would get really upset about the growth of our debt, but these days most Americans seem to have accepted that this is how we do things.  This fiscal liberals seem to have won, and our nation is steamrolling down a road toward financial oblivion.

When you point out the economic disasters in Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Venezuela and Zimbabwe, it doesn’t seem to register with most Americans that our country is on the exact same path.

By borrowing money, you can live way above your means for a while, but eventually you have to pay a price for being so reckless.  This has been true all throughout human history, and it will be true in our case as well.

In a letter to John Taylor on November 26th, 1798, Thomas Jefferson explained that he wished that he could have added one more amendment to the U.S. Constitution…

I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our constitution; I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of it’s constitution; I mean an additional article taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.

Jefferson wrote extensively about how government debt is a way for one generation to steal money from another generation.

And what we are doing to our children and our grandchildren is absolutely inexcusable.

The term “child abuse” is not nearly strong enough to describe what is taking place, and I don’t know why more people are not seething with anger over what is being done to them.  I am going to do whatever I can to stop this madness, and I hope that you will help me.

Have you ever run up a lot of credit card debt?  If you really wanted to, you could go out today and start living like a millionaire by running up huge credit card balances.  But eventually a day of reckoning would arrive, and you would get to a point where your debts were no longer sustainable.

It is the same thing on a national level.  We have been living way beyond our means for quite a while, but we have been stealing from future generations in order to do it.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

The Economic Collapse

Just Like Our Founders 241 Years Ago, We Need To Unashamedly Declare That Our Rights Come To Us From God

Why do we celebrate the 4th of July?  If you were to ask average people on the street this question, many of them would mumble something about “independence”, but the truth is that most Americans would not be able to tell you clearly why it is a holiday.  According to Wikipedia, the 4th of July “is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence 241 years ago on July 4, 1776.”  Unfortunately, most Americans have never read the Declaration of Independence, and if a similar document was authored today it would be banned from our public schools because it mentions God four times.  We have allowed the liberal elite to gain such a stranglehold over our society that even our most cherished founding principles have become politically incorrect.

If you ask most Americans to quote from the Declaration of Independence, almost everyone will give you something from this sentence…

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

This is one of the most famous sentences in the English language, but do most of us still proudly believe this?

And if you happen to be someone that does not believe in God, then where do your rights come from?

If they come from men, then men can take them away.  But if they come from God, then nobody can take them away.  This is a point that President Trump brought up in a major speech that he just delivered to a group of veterans

Since the signing of the Declaration of Independence 241 years ago, America always affirmed that liberty comes from our creator. Our rights are given to us by God, and no earthly force can ever take those rights away. That is why my administration is transferring power out of Washington and returning that power back where it belongs to the people,” Trump said.

“Our religious liberty is enshrined in the very first amendment in the Bill of Rights. The American founders invoked our creator four times in the Declaration of Independence,” said Trump. “Benjamin Franklin reminded his colleagues at the Constitutional Convention to begin by bowing their heads in prayer. Inscribed on our currency are the words: ‘In God We Trust.’”

It is so refreshing to hear a president talk like this, because these days most of our politicians are so careful to be politically-correct.  And I am not just talking about Democrats.  Many politicians that are supposedly “conservative” seem quite uncomfortable when matters of faith come up, and if you can get them to talk about God they usually want to switch topics as quickly as possible.

But in the old days, Republicans and Democrats both acknowledged the importance of faith in our society.  The following comes from an excellent article by Dr. Gary Scott Smith

Dwight Eisenhower insisted that the Founding Fathers “wrote their religious faith into our founding documents, stamped their trust in God upon our coins and currency, [and] put it squarely at the base of our institutions.” They strove to obey God’s commandments, live in freedom, and create a prosperous country. “The knowledge that God is the source of all power,” Eisenhower maintained, gave birth to and sustained America. Human dignity depended on the God-given rights that were “eloquently stated” in the Declaration of Independence.

Faith in Almighty God, John F. Kennedy contended, “was a dominant power in the lives of our Founding Fathers.” He urged Americans to “dwell upon the deep religious convictions of those who formed our nation.”

Ronald Reagan repeatedly stressed the religious commitments of the Founding Fathers, especially their contention that the United States would flourish only if its people acted morally. The founders, he declared, “believed faith in God was the key to our being a good people and America’s becoming a great nation.” Reagan regularly recounted how the founders, especially Washington, had relied on God in leading the nation. The Declaration of Independence, Reagan claimed, expressed America’s recognition of God’s power and authority. He noted that Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison all accentuated God’s providential guidance and the importance of prayer. The Founding Fathers ensured that Congress began each day with prayer, Reagan proclaimed, because they valued prayer so highly.

Of course in our day and time teens are actually being threatened with arrest for praying in school.

If we truly want to restore our Republic, we can’t throw out the principles and values that the Republic was founded upon.  The First Amendment guarantees that there will never be an official state church and that we will always get to worship God the way that we want, but there is absolutely nothing in there that says we must have a godless government.  On the contrary, our founders were more influenced by the Bible than any other book, and they quoted from it more than any other book.  Dr. Daniel L. Dreisbach is the author of “Reading the Bible with the Founding Fathers“, and I have used this quote from him previously, but I wanted to use it again here because it fits my point perfectly…

The founders, as I document in my new book “Reading the Bible with the Founding Fathers,” lived in a biblically literate society. Their many quotations from and allusions to both familiar and obscure biblical texts confirm that they knew the Bible from cover to cover. Biblical language and themes liberally seasoned their rhetoric. The phrases and intonations of the King James Bible, especially, influenced their written and spoken words. Its ideas shaped their habits of mind.

The Bible left its mark on their political culture. Legislative debates, pamphlets and political sermons of the age are replete with quotations from and allusions to the Bible. Following an extensive survey of American political literature from 1760 to 1805, political scientist Donald S. Lutz reported that the Bible was cited more frequently than any European writer or even any European school of thought, such as Enlightenment liberalism. Approximately one-third of all citations in the literature he surveyed were to the Bible. The book of Deuteronomy alone was the most frequently cited work, followed by Montesquieu’s “The Spirit of the Laws.” In fact, Deuteronomy was referenced nearly twice as often as Locke’s writings, and the Apostle Paul was mentioned about as frequently as Montesquieu.

The biggest reason why our federal government is such a mess today is because it has pushed God completely out of the picture.

So instead of defending life, our nation has murdered nearly 60 million children since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973.

Instead of defending liberty, the control freaks at the federal level are suffocating us with hundreds of thousands of laws, rules and regulations, and if you throw in the state and local levels, the number of laws, rules and regulations governing us is in the millions.

And instead of promoting the pursuit of happiness, all of us have to work several months each year just to pay the dozens of different taxes and fees that various levels of government impose on all of us.  But we don’t actually have to have such a system.  If we got rid of our debt-based financial system and went to a much smaller federal government, we could abolish the income tax, the IRS and the Federal Reserve.

Government is not the solution to our problems.

As Ronald Reagan once famously said, government is the problem.

If we work together, we can dismantle the monstrous federal bureaucracy that the liberal elite have spent decades constructing, and we can restore the Republic that our founders risked everything to establish.

It won’t be easy, but we can get there, and the first step is getting back to the principles and values that made America great in the first place.

The Economic Collapse

The World Is Now $217,000,000,000,000 In Debt And The Global Elite Like It That Way

The borrower is the servant of the lender, and through the mechanism of government debt virtually the entire planet has become the servants of the global money changers.  Politicians love to borrow money, but over time government debt slowly but surely impoverishes a nation.  As the elite get governments around the globe in increasing amounts of debt, those governments must raise taxes in order to keep servicing those debts.  In the end, it is all about taking money from us and transferring it into government pockets, and then taking money from government pockets and transferring it into the hands of the elite.  It is a game that has been going on for generations, and it is time for humanity to say that enough is enough.

According to the Institute of International Finance, global debt has now reached a new all-time record high of 217 trillion dollars

Global debt levels have surged to a record $ 217 trillion in the first quarter of the year. This is 327 percent of the world’s annual economic output (GDP), reports the Institute of International Finance (IIF).

The surging debt was driven by emerging economies, which have increased borrowing by $ 3 trillion to $ 56 trillion. This amounts to 218 percent of their combined economic output, five percentage points greater year on year.

Never before in human history has our world been so saturated with debt.

And what all of this debt does is that it funnels wealth to the very top of the global wealth pyramid.  In other words, it makes global wealth inequality far worse because this system is designed to make the rich even richer and the poor even poorer.

Every year the gap between the wealthy and the poor grows, and it has gotten to the point that eight men have as much wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion people on this planet combined

Eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity, according to a new report published by Oxfam today to mark the annual meeting of political and business leaders in Davos.

This didn’t happen by accident.  Sadly, most people don’t even understand that this is literally what our system was designed to do.

Today, more than 99 percent of the population of the planet lives in a country that has a central bank.  And debt-based central banking is designed to get national governments trapped in endless debt spirals from which they can never possibly escape.

For example, just consider the Federal Reserve.  During the four decades before the Federal Reserve was created, our country enjoyed the best period of economic growth in U.S. history.  But since the Fed was established in 1913, the value of the U.S. dollar has fallen by approximately 98 percent and the size of our national debt has gotten more than 5000 times larger.

It isn’t an accident that we are 20 trillion dollars in debt.  The truth is that the debt-based Federal Reserve is doing exactly what it was originally designed to do.  And no matter what politicians will tell you, we will never have a permanent solution to our debt problem until we get rid of the Federal Reserve.

In 2017, interest on the national debt will be nearly half a trillion dollars.

That means that close to 500 billion of our tax dollars will go out the door before our government spends a single penny on the military, on roads, on health care or on anything else.

And we continue to pile up debt at a rate of more than 100 million dollars an hour.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, the federal government will add more than a trillion dollars to the national debt once again in 2018…

Unless current laws are changed, federal individual income tax collections will increase by 9.5 percent in fiscal 2018, which begins on Oct. 1, according to data released today by the Congressional Budget Office.

At the same time, however, the federal debt will increase by more than $ 1 trillion.

We shouldn’t be doing this, but we just can’t seem to stop.

Let me try to put this into perspective.  If you could somehow borrow a million dollars today and obligate your children to pay it off for you, would you do it?

Maybe if you really hate your children you would, but most loving parents would never do such a thing.

But that is precisely what we are doing on a national level.

Thomas Jefferson was strongly against government debt because he believed that it was a way for one generation to steal from another generation.  And he actually wished that he could have added another amendment to the U.S. Constitution which would have banned government borrowing…

“I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its Constitution; I mean an additional article, taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.”

And the really big secret that none of us are supposed to know is that governments don’t actually have to borrow money.

But if we start saying that too loudly the people that are making trillions of dollars from the current system are going to get very, very upset with us.

Today, we are living in the terminal phase of the biggest debt bubble in the history of the planet.  Every debt bubble eventually ends tragically, and this one will too.

Bill Gross recently noted that “our highly levered financial system is like a truckload of nitro glycerin on a bumpy road”.  One wrong move and the whole thing could blow sky high.

When everything comes crashing down and a great crisis happens, we are going to have a choice.

We could try to rebuild the fundamentally flawed old system, or we could scrap it and start over with something much better.

My hope is that we will finally learn our lesson and discard the debt-based central banking model for good.

The reason why I am writing about this so much ahead of time is so that people will actually understand why the coming crisis is happening as it unfolds.

If we can get everyone to understand how we are being systematically robbed and cheated, perhaps people will finally get mad enough to do something about it.

The Economic Collapse

Mining Stocks Rebound; Craig Hemke: Silver Manipulation Like NEVER Before

Welcome to this week’s Market Wrap Podcast, I’m Mike Gleason.

Coming up you’ll hear a tremendous interview with Craig Hemke of the TF Metals Report. Craig pulls no punches in calling out the foolish speculators who inadvertently perpetuated the silver price manipulating schemes by continuing to make bad bet after bad bet in the futures market. He’ll explain what’s been happening and what it will take to bring the whole flawed price discovery mechanism down. You simply will not want to miss a truly fantastic interview with Craig Hemke, coming up after this week’s market update.

Despite a rough several weeks in metals, the mining stocks may be pointing the way forward for gold and silver markets.

The GDXJ junior gold stocks ETF had been the source of some of the selling that hit the sector over the past few weeks. After acquiring outsized positions in small cap stocks, the fund become too large of a shareholder in some thinly traded names. GDXJ moved to re-allocate its portfolio, and in the process it adversely moved the market.

But this week the mining stocks rallied. Through Thursday’s close the GDXJ was up more than 6% for the week.

The rally in the mining sector may be signaling that the recent slump in gold and silver prices is coming to end. The silver market got hit especially hard, dropping 15% from its April high. It finally ended a 16-day losing streak earlier this week.

As of this Friday recording, silver prices trade at $ 16.47 per ounce and are putting in a weekly gain now of 0.3%. Gold checks in at $ 1,230 an ounce, unchanged now for the week. Turning to the platinum group metals, platinum is up 0.5% since last Friday’s close to trade at $ 922. Palladium is down 1.5% to trade at $ 805 an ounce.

The technical picture for the yellow metal still looks strong — believe it or not — with prices holding above their March lows during the recent decline. So far gold is making a higher low in a classic stair step rally.

Silver’s chart doesn’t look so good, with prices sitting well below the March and February lows. Yet despite the damage done, silver is still trading slightly above where it started the year. Perhaps the market will find ample buying support at these levels.

Some analysts are looking for a major bottom to come next month. Others think the selling has already run its course. The near-term outlook for precious metals is always difficult to gauge because it is more dependent on the behavior of large institutional traders in the futures market than it is on fundamentals.

Ultimately, the fundamentals do matter. But they may take some time to be fully reflected in prices. For long-term precious metals bulls, the good news is that supply and demand fundamentals are turning in their favor.

Even though bullion demand in the United States has softened since the election last year, demand is ramping up in Asia. Chinese gold imports surged in the first quarter of 2017. Gold imports to India jumped 342% this April compared to last year. Gold jewelry buying in the world’s second most populous nation is coming back strongly after currency controls and import restrictions crimped demand last year.

Meanwhile, major central banks including those of Russia and China continue to steadily add gold to their monetary reserves.

On the supply front, gold and silver mining production is likely to go into decline. For silver, the decline began last year. The Silver Institute’s World Silver Survey 2017 was released on Thursday and it paints a bullish long-term picture based on silver’s supply and demand fundamentals.

Here’s some of what Silver Institute president Mitchell Krebs told Bloomberg radio:

Mitchell Krebs:

The good news, for sure, is that silver supply, for the first time in 14 years, actually declined last year. So, that’s a big deal. Not by a lot, but it’s now declining and it’s expected to continue to decline, which basic supply and demand fundamentals suggest that that’s a positive tailwind for silver going forward. It’s the fourth year in a row now where we’ve been in a structural deficit, where demand has outstripped supply. That’s another positive. I’d say on the demand side, solar panel demand hit an all-time high, it was up 34% last year. And that’s a market that we think will continue to grow.

There’s certainly going to be a lot of growth in the years ahead in solar panels and other energy technologies that require silver. The wild card is investment demand. If it returns to the highs seen during the Obama years, we can expect wider deficits in the physical market and possible shortages in the retail market for coins, rounds, and bars.

Given the potential for demand to vastly outstrip supply in the silver market going forward, don’t count on the current low prices being sustained for much longer. The recent price dip orchestrated in the futures market represents a fantastic buying opportunity in the physical market.

Well now for more on what’s been driving the recent decline in silver, the shenanigans at play in the paper derivatives market and what’s ahead for the white metal, let’s get right to this week’s exclusive interview.

Craig Hemke

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome in Craig Hemke of the TF Metals Report. Craig runs one of the most highly respected and well-known blogs in the industry, and has been covering the precious metals for close to a decade now. And he puts out some of the best analysis on banking schemes, the flaws of Keynesian Economics, and the evidence of manipulation in the gold and silver markets.

Craig, it’s great to have you back with us and thanks for joining us again today.

Craig Hemke: Hey Mike, it’s always a pleasure. I appreciate the invite.

Mike Gleason: Well, here we are with metal sliding backwards once again. We got off to a great start in 2017 but most of those gains evaporated in the past couple of weeks, especially for silver. The pattern is all too familiar, Craig. Open interest in the silver, and silver made new record highs. The bullion banks sold fresh paper contracts to anyone who wanted one, unconstrained by having to back all the paper with actual metal.

Now prices are falling with a healthy push from these banks. And they’re covering their shorts with a tidy profit. All of this just underscores and highlights how the price discovery in precious metals is completely broken and corrupt; a topic you have been focused on for years. Tell listeners who may not be familiar with how the bullion banks rig this game. And do you think they will ever run out of people who are willing to play in their crooked casino?

Craig Hemke: Mike, you described it perfectly. You nailed it all in 45 seconds… I usually go on and on for what seems like hours talking about it, and you were able to condense it into 45 seconds. It was perfect. I tell you, it was very frustrating to watch happen, because all through really the back half of March and into early April, we knew what was coming, right? As you mentioned, the banks, or I guess essentially de facto market makers on the COMEX at this point, simply create and issue new short contracts, put them on the offer side of the market. The speculators looking for silver exposure chasing the momentum to the upside or on the bid.

And rather than deal with a finite amount of paper contracts as you said, the banks are not limited at all, by any stretch of the imagination, by how many paper contracts they can supply to the specs. And then they just simply wait them out. They drove open interest to an all-time high of 235,000 contracts. That’s something like 1.15 billion ounces of paper silver trading on the COMEX. The world only produces about not even 900 million a year. Again, none of this seems to bother anyone besides maybe you and I and everybody else in this space. When you get to the regulators, the CFTC, SEC, Department of Justice, nobody gives a damn. And so you correctly then surmised why they do it, particularly in silver, it’s a profit center. I mean if you can sit there and issue however many shorts you need to, between $ 18 and $ 18.65 over a course of three weeks. And then just wait for the specs to head to the exit then you can buy all your shorts back and cover them on the way down.

And if you just simply made, I don’t know, a dollar (an ounce) on 20,000 contracts … That’s a lot of money my friend, at 5,000 ounces per contract. And so that’s why it’s done. The banks play this game. They know they’re in complete control.

I think you were sort of referencing the last article I wrote. I wrote a series of public articles through the month of April describing what was going on, predicting how it was going to end, unfortunately again. And the last one I wrote I summarized by saying, “Look, man, if you’re still foolish enough to be trading against these banks. If you’re in there thinking, ‘Well, you know I can count my waves and I’m smarter than the average bear. And so, I’m going to go in there and I’m going to trade against these banks and I’m going to show them who’s boss.'” Man, you deserve to get your ass kicked.

If you don’t understand the forces that you’re up against, you deserve every single loss that you get. By trading futures, in the COMEX. Everybody else that’s been victimized by this over the years, that’s a whole other story and we should all be angry if not even slightly bitter that nothing has changed in the time that I’ve been following these markets. But gosh, anybody that’s still foolish enough to think they can actually trade against the banks and win. Man, they deserve to lose money no doubt about it.

Mike Gleason: Yeah, certainly would be nice if we could see fewer speculators in that market playing the other side and just letting them have their way. Totally agree.

Craig Hemke: See that’s just it, Mike. I mean the people that still trade it in and accept the food that’s fed them from CNBC about, “That’s the price and that’s how price is determined.” Well they’re perpetuating the problem because they’re legitimizing the scheme.

These contracts are created from thin air. They’re swapped back and forth at light speed between computers. You’re trading digital silver, if you want to call it that. But it’s no more related to silver than trading baseball cards. But yet this price that’s determined by the unlimited creation of digital silver is somehow pushed down and accepted as the physical price. And there’s no physical component to it! It’s not a function of supply and demand, and global mine supply, and retail silver demand, and all these other reasons that people give as to why the price is going down. No, man.

Price was held in check by these banks as it went up. And then they just flush out the specs and wring the register. Happens time and again. They’re probably done now. Price has come all the way down to $ 16. That’s been pretty good support in the past. We’re probably ready to start bouncing back a little bit. But I can assure you that as we go up again later this year, banks will be in there just attempting to run the same scheme. And that’s why I said, if anybody that’s in there trading futures contracts or trading options. And is somehow unaware of how the deck is stacked against them. You’re just as dumb as somebody playing Three-Card Monte on the streets of New York. This is not a fair game and you should not be playing in it.

Mike Gleason: You have your finger on the pulse of the precious metals community as well as anyone, as your site is a forum for gold and silver investors to come and talk about all of this. So what are you seeing there in terms of the patience level for this among the metals buying public? Are people throwing in the towel here? Or are they still holding on to their principled beliefs that in the end we’ll all be vindicated for owning this stuff as protection against the paper markets. What are your thoughts there and what’s the mood been?

Craig Hemke: Mike, that’s a great question because we do have a large community. I don’t think it’s ever been any bigger in terms of subscribers, at least we since we started the subscription component back in 2013. And so it’s a broad, diverse community and it’s really interesting to gauge that sentiment. Because as you … It’s predictable as you might imagine. You know, when we’re getting the crap kicked out of us for 16 days- 16 days in a row my friend! You can’t help but be kind of psychologically damaged by that. Makes it a lot less fun to be me, I can tell you that, right? Because you kind of got to hang in there with everybody and deal with people being frustrated, angry, and everything else that goes with it.

But in a big picture, I like to think that we’ve educated folks enough about the how’s and the why’s of this pricing scheme and the extraordinary amounts of leverage behind it. You know that in gold and silver too, there could be as many as 100 beneficial owners for each physical ounce in the world. The banks have created this system where instead of supplying physical metal into the market to try to peg price as they did in the 50s and through the 60s with the London Gold Pool. They now have alchemized, legally alchemized, gold and silver through the creation of paper. And they’ve convinced people that a futures contract, shares in the GLD, an unallocated account in Switzerland, that these are all just as good as the real thing. And so, they’ve multiplied the real thing like I said, I don’t know, anywhere from 50 to 100 times. Well, what we’re all waiting for and recognizing that the day will eventually come. The world will figure out that there’s not nearly as much gold and silver on hand as the price would indicate.

I’ve said before I think the price makes you think that gold and silver are abundant. And that somehow that’s what the price indicates. No, no, no. The price is indicating that the gold and paper derivative is what’s abundant. These forms of gold are what’s abundant, not the physical thing itself. And when there’s finally a crisis of confidence where people demand their metal. You show up at the bank and they tell you, “Well, no, you can come back in 90 days.” “Wait, what! No, I’m not waiting 90 days. Says here I can come get it any time.” When that fire finally spreads. That’s when this paper derivative pricing scheme will finally fail. And I think people realize that and so we’re willing just to kind of wait them out.

Mike Gleason: Yeah, and until then, just look at it as buying opportunity. If they want to make it cheap for us, then what the heck. Let’s just keep stacking at this low price.

Craig Hemke: Right, and it gets to something I would imagine a lot of folks on your site consider. And that’s that gold silver ratio. There’s all these people scratching their heads (and saying) “How could the gold silver ratio be 75? It historically should be 15.” Well for God’s sake if anything tells you how messed up this pricing scheme is, it’s that. Maybe the reason why the gold silver ratio is five times higher than it should be is because there’s five times the amount of paper silver derivatives and silver exposure than there is gold. Maybe that’s how you need to look at it. Either way, you can tell just simply by that gold silver ratio that the prices are not being economically determined in the same manner that they have been for millennia. And one day that will correct itself.

Mike Gleason: Now if we are going to get a floor under prices and get them headed back up higher again, speculators are going to need a reason to buy gold and silver again. You and I could put together a long list of reasons for people to own metals… central banks keep working to devalue paper money around the world; borrowing and spending remain hopelessly out of control; the financial system is more rickety than ever. But lots of people, including pretty much everyone on Wall Street, aren’t paying much attention to those fundamentals. Few people have been interested in safe-haven assets of late, especially since the November election. Investors instead have been busy chasing stock prices higher and looking for more risk. So what do you see as some potential catalyst for drawing the specs back into the gold and silver markets in the months ahead?

Craig Hemke: Mike, you’ve touched on it right there, my friend. If you’re going to get price to rise, you’ve got to have demand for the derivative because price is based on the derivative trading, right? So, you’ve got to get some of these hedge funds, trading funds, momentum funds, whatever, to want to buy the derivative on the COMEX and get it moving higher. If there’s more selling, there’s less demand than there is supply, price goes down. If there’s more demand than there is supply, price goes up. The key to managing that though is sentiment and momentum, like you said. And in large part why JP Morgan and the other market making banks do what they do.

Let’s go back to the first of the year, late December when price was really not a whole lot lower than where it is now. Open interest, total open interest on the COMEX is about 160,000 contracts… 800 million ounces of silver. As I said earlier, that thing peaked out at 235,000 thousand contracts with the price up at $ 18.50, I don’t know, what, three weeks ago? So price went from $ 16 to $ 18-plus while the banks increased the supply, the available supply of those derivatives, by 50%. Now, if they did not have the ability and the regulators weren’t looking the other way and couldn’t care less. The banks did not have the ability to just by willy-nilly just increase the supply by 50%, how high would price have risen. If open interest had to stay at 160,000, right? Probably wouldn’t have gone just to $ 18, right? Because all that, call it 80,000 contracts of buying would have had to come from people willing to sell. The existing contracts. Do you follow me, Mike?

So, they blunt the momentum and blunt the rise, and make people think, “Uh, you know, this silver stinks, never going anywhere. Blah, blah, blah, blah.” Well if they’d had to keep open interest stable. Or if was somehow pegged at the amount of silver on hand in the COMEX. Well maybe instead over the first three and a half months of the year, silver goes from $ 16 to $ 28 instead of $ 18. Well heck, we’d have a whole different conversation at this point, wouldn’t we?

And we’d be looking a little bit more like maybe Bitcoin, right? I mean there’s no Bitcoin futures, there’s no Bitcoin banks that are in there just creating Bitcoin futures contracts and saying, “Hey, this is, uh, synthetic Bitcoin. Uh, yeah, yeah, this will work just fine. Yeah, this is Bitcoin, trust us.” Instead there’s just Bitcoin. And for every seller there’s got to be a buyer in it. Sellers aren’t appearing at a certain price level then price has to move up until they do. But again, that’s not how it works in the futures markets. Instead of having to find sellers of existing contracts the banks just create new contracts and sell them. So again, getting back to your point. How do you get price to go up? Well, you’re going to need a break out of momentum and sentiment. And that’s why the banks load up all of this, these new contracts and feed them into the specs. One, to make money. But two? To keep sentiment down, keep price under control, then keep playing the same game.

Mike Gleason: Oil and copper prices are taking a beating and that is contributing to price woes in metals particularly silver, which can trade more like a commodity at times. Economic growth is lousy and it looks like real problems are developing in China. If the commodity selloff persists and starts dragging on the equity markets, we would expect gold and silver to start trading more like safe havens than commodities. What do you make of the action in oil and copper and do you see that impacting the metals?

Craig Hemke: Yeah, there’s kind of a fine line there, isn’t it? Because on one hand, you look at something, let’s talk about just silver specifically because it’s both a monetary metal and an investment and then a very important industrial metal. And so, as you see economic growth slowing, as you see almost a deleveraging, in a sense, in China because so much of what they put up as collateral is commodities based. You would think, yeah, you could really see some pressure in silver. And maybe that’s part of what we’ve seen in the 16-day run is some overseas liquidation. It’s impossible to say for certain.

But at some point, then the market begins to look forward, if you want to call it a market. And you think, “Well geez, if the economy’s slowing, and maybe what we’re looking at instead of additional rate hikes all through the next three or four years, all the sudden we’re looking at a recession and more QE and maybe that’s good for gold and then maybe that drags silver along for the ride.” So it’s a multi-layered question where you try to figure out which part of that is in working at present.

I don’t know, Mike, it’s going to be interesting to see. What’s particularly galling is all of this, you know, first we treat these Fed goons, the Fed governors, as if they’re rock stars, right? Oh, everybody hangs on every word just like teenagers hang on every move by Kim Kardashian. It’s appalling and galling to watch. But then to see these goons… I mean there’s one today, Rosengren, out of, I don’t know where the hell’s he’s from, it doesn’t matter. Anyway, Fed goon Rosengren’s out there talking about how, “Oh, you know, the economy may be growing too fast.” What?!? What about one half of one percent in the first quarter is too fast? 2016 was the lowest year for economic growth since 2011. But yet now, all the sudden, we’re going to start hiking rates all the time.

Again, we had terrible job growth. Whatever inflation seemed to show up is no longer there, here in March and April. First quarter GDP comes in at just one half of one percent. Trump with all of his issues. I mean it’s pretty clear at this point there’s not going to be any tax reform this year. There’s not going to be big infrastructure plans put into place. All that garbage that was thrown at us from the first couple months of the year about how all these things are going to… None of it’s happening.

But yet the Fed is still saying, “Oh, we’re going to keep hiking rates.” “Uhh, why?” “Well because it’s good for our banks, and so. Oh, did I say that out loud? I’m sorry.” But that’s obviously what they’re doing. And they’re going to hike rates whether it’s bad for the regular person or not. And that seems to be the course that they’re on. We’ll just see how this eventually plays out. As you know, gold and silver have both rallied sharply out of the three previous rate hikes in December of ‘15, December ‘16, and then back in March. God if can we just survive until June it’ll probably happen again. In fact, I would imagine the market might even begin to anticipate that since it’s been so predictable now after three times. Instead trading all the way down into that June FOMC where apparently they’re going to hike again. Heck, we might start front-running that by Memorial Day. So we’ll see.

Mike Gleason: Yeah, it’s an interesting point because a lot of people do think that as rates increase you’re going to see metals fall with maybe everything else but that’s a very good observation there. We have seen metals rally off of those last three rate increases. So if we do continue to see rate increases throughout the rest of the year, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing for metals.

Craig Hemke: Right, Mike. Go back to 2003 through 2007, the Fed hiked the Fed Funds Rates 17 times. Basically every quarter. For four and a half years. And during that time period the price of gold went from $ 300 to $ 1,000. So maybe those Fed goons are doing us a favor, my friend. Maybe that’s what we should be pulling for. We’ve just gotten so numb to thinking that it has to be QE and a declining dollar and all that stuff that makes gold go up. Maybe we should be pulling for rate hikes instead because our most recent experiences is a triple in five years during a period where the Fed was inverting the yield curve by raising the short rates so high.

Mike Gleason: Well as we begin to close here, Craig, what advice do you have for metals investors here after a pretty bloody couple of weeks… couple of years actually? And then what do you expect the rest of the year when you look at the geo-political front, and what may drive things, including Trump getting his policies pushed through Congress? Because it appears to us that the market is pricing in him getting everything he’s asking for and you have to wonder if that’s going to happen. You commented on that a moment ago, not much has happened on that front but yet the market’s still pricing everything in as if he is going to get all of his initiatives through. So talk about that, the market reaction there, if it becomes clear he’s not going to get that, and then give us any other thoughts as we begin wrap-up here.

Craig Hemke: Okay, I’m going to go backwards. I’m going to take you to the second part of that question first. And you’re exactly right. I think the first time I formally wrote about it and released it publicly was back in about the middle of January in a post called “Questioning the Generally Accepted Narrative.” And yeah, it’s almost as soon as Trump as elected. Remember, because Trump was supposed to be bad for the stock market, right?

And then all the sudden, as soon as he was elected, we started getting this mantra just shoved down our throats from all the sell-side analysts and the financial media that, “Ah, this is going to be great. It’s going to be easy. He’s going to spend all this money. It’s going to have this infrastructure plan. That’s going to make the Fed have to hike rates. And that’s going to make the dollar go up. And, oh, this is just a lay-up.” And I thought, “You know, I don’t if it’s going to be that easy.” And so, we’ve been calling it a rejection of that generally accepted narrative. All year long. And I haven’t seen anything that would change it. And as we said politically, Trump may be wounded enough now that anything he wants to do, aggressive in terms of tax reform, or infrastructure spending, or whatever. I just can’t see it happening at all this year.

So, with that in mind, I have told my subscribers all year long that I did not expect this year to play out like last year with the big spike end of the summer and then a selloff into the end of the year that leaves us up in single-digit percentage-wise. I still think that over time, the market if you will, the global financial market begins to figure this out. The failure of this narrative. And it doesn’t happen overnight. And again, once in a while the markets fight back. Trying to reinforce it, a little bit of what we’ve seen here recently. But I think in, over time, as we’re getting to the summer, into the fall, people go, “Wait a second, this didn’t work out anywhere near…” And the economy’s slowing down because the Fed hiked rates three times and all this stuff.

And so, I’ve always said since the beginning of the year that I thought that the highs for this year will come in the fourth quarter, not the second quarter. And then that will carry us over into what I think will probably be a pretty good 2018. In terms of what do I say to the people out there that are just sick of this crap. And … Look man, I’m sick of it too, geez Louise, at least everybody else that’s stacking physical metal like I am has a life. I mean they can shut off their computer and walk away and not pay attention and all that stuff if they want. Not me man. So I mean, what do I say to everybody? Look, it’s not any fun. And I’m not going to sit here and say, and try to blow sunshine up anybody’s skirt.

But I’ll just continue to say what I’ve always said. Look, if you think that this system can’t go on continued, forever. If 20 trillion dollars in debt is going to double to 40 trillion to 80 trillion… I mean, at some point it’s a mathematical certainty the whole thing collapses upon itself. And if you understand your history then all fiat currency schemes, going back to the Roman Empire basically, turn into what we’ve become. And then they collapse and then the world reverts back to sound money and the whole process starts over again. If you think all of that stuff, economically and historically, then it makes sense to have physical gold and physical silver. Again, not the derivative, not the make-believe stuff, because everybody that thinks they have physical gold and silver that has that stuff, they’re going to be left holding the bag.

What people need to be doing is contacting your company and every month, maybe every two weeks, just buy a little bit more. Be dollar-cost averaging like the financial advisors tell their clients to do with their mutual funds. Or like your 401k, every two weeks, a little bit of money comes out of your check and it goes into mutual funds in your 401k. Well what if every two weeks you bought yourself a couple more Silver Eagles. You’d be an idiot to put all of your money into an S&P Fund and you’d be an idiot to put all your money into gold or silver. But you’d be foolish not to at least have some. And if you believe in the economics and if you believe in history. All you do is just wait. You try to ignore this noise. Let me, let you, Mike, deal with all the garbage of what the banks do and the Fed goons, and the lies and the nonsense and the B.S. In the meantime everybody else should just be patient, dollar-cost average. Know that you’re doing the right thing for solid rationale. And just wait.

Mike Gleason: Well extremely well put. That’s a great synopsis of where we’re at, couldn’t agree more. Great comments as usual, Craig. It’s always fantastic to have you on. Now before we sign off here, please tell everyone more about the TF Metals Report and what they’ll find when they visit your site.

Craig Hemke: First thing they’re going to find is the fantastic, vibrant community. People that are either inhabiting the forum section which are free, or they inhabit the threads where I write a post every morning and record a podcast every afternoon. That’s subscriber content but to be a subscriber it’s going to cost you a whopping $ 12 a month. You know, $ 3 a week.

What is that, 60 cents a day.. while the markets are open. We don’t want to price anybody out. But we’re not trying to be some kind of timing or trading service either.

But I think people will find that the site is valuable. Okay, what I do maybe helps for people that are trying to figure whether they should have been buying more silver three weeks ago at $ 18 or if maybe you can wait and price comes back to $ 16 and you save yourself a couple bucks an ounce. I think a lot of folks think that the subscription cost pays for itself that way. But whether you’re a trader or stacker or just trying to learn more, I think the community is what really has value. And again, that’s what we’re most proud of at TFMetalsReport.com.

Mike Gleason: Well outstanding. Thanks very much, Craig. Hope you have a great weekend. Look forward to catching up with you again real soon, always appreciate your time.

Craig Hemke: Mike, thanks for calling. It’s great to visit with you and please tell all my friends there hello.

Mike Gleason: Well that will do it for this week. Thanks again to Craig Hemke. The site is TFMetalsReport.com, definitely a fantastic source for all things precious metals and a whole lot more. We urge everyone to check that out and you’ll want to check it out regularly for some of the best commentary on the metals markets that you will find anywhere.

And be sure to check back here next Friday for our next Weekly Market Wrap Podcast. Until then, this has been Mike Gleason with Money Metals Exchange. Thanks for listening and have a great weekend, everybody.

Precious Metals News & Analysis – Gold News, Silver News

Baltimore Has Become A Rotting, Decaying War Zone As A Raging Opioid Epidemic Eats Away At The City Like Cancer

It is hard to believe that Baltimore was once one of the greatest cities in the entire world.  Unlike nearby Washington D.C., Baltimore is a blue collar city that is home to some of the hardest working people in America.  When I was in high school, my brother and I were huge fans of the Baltimore Orioles, and once in a while our parents would drive us from our home in Virginia all the way up to Baltimore to see them play.  As an adult, I spent a number of years living near D.C., and I would take frequent trips up to Baltimore.  To say that the city is in a state of decline would be a major understatement.  Everywhere you look there are abandoned buildings and homes, and as you drive through some of the worst areas you can actually see drug addicts just lying in the streets.  Just like so many other communities all over this country, decades of liberal policies have taken a brutal toll, and now the city is just a rotting, decaying shell of the glorious metropolis that it once was.

There are some sections of Baltimore that you simply do not go into once the sun goes down.  And actually it isn’t a very good idea to go into those areas during the day either.  The crime in the city has gotten so bad that authorities have actually formally requested help from the federal government

According to The Baltimore Sun Newspaper, the city has logged in 118 homicides today with the projection of >400 murders for year’s end. It’s so bad here that Baltimore’s Mayor has asked the Federal Government for help in attempt to regain control. Even the police union sounds the alarm of an officer shortage leading to decrease in patrols. All of this is occurring as the Baltimore population declines, nearing a 100-year low, U.S. Census says.

Through the end of April, Baltimore was on pace for the highest murder rate in the history of the city.

Yes, you read that correctly.

The primary factor fueling all of this violence is an opioid epidemic that is completely and totally out of control

The opioid epidemic is the quiet killer that has been leaving a trail of bodies on the streets of Baltimore.

“The individuals that are putting these drugs on our street, they’re killing people on our street,” said deputy commissioner Dean Palmere of the Baltimore Police Department.

Drug overdoses is expected to have killed 2,000 people statewide in 2016 and more than 800 in Baltimore alone.

“There are more people dying from overdose here in Baltimore City, than there are dying of homicide,” said Baltimore City health commissioner Dr. Leana Wen in February.

That last paragraph amazed me when I first read it.

Even though Baltimore is on pace for the highest murder rate in the city’s history, more people are actually dying from drug overdoses.

And now police in the city are warning of a new opioid that is reportedly “100 times more potent than heroin”.  It is called Carfentanyl, and it can kill people almost instantly.

I would like to share with you a short YouTube film put out by Alastair Williamson just a few days ago entitled “The Baltimore Experience”.  No matter how much I write, I could never communicate the devastation in the city quite like this little video does…

Did you see the part near the end where Williamson stops to offer a bottle of water to a man that is just lying in the street?

Hopefully that particular man is not on anything, but it is quite common to see people lying around like zombies in cities where an opioid epidemic is raging.  These are very cruel drugs, and they will utterly consume you if you allow them to.

The more drugs that come in, the worse the violence gets, and within the past 24 hours we have seen four more senseless murders in Baltimore…

Two men were shot and killed Tuesday morning in west Baltimore, police said. Officers responded at 5:52 a.m. to the shooting on the 2800 block of Lanvale Street.

Police said officers found the victims in and around a vehicle. Both had been shot in the head and were declared dead at the scene, police said.

A 35-year-old man was fatally shot Monday evening in southeast Baltimore, police said.

The victim, identified as Charles Gatuthu, 35, was shot in the head and body at about 7:45 p.m. in the 6100 block of Boston Street. He was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital, where he died.

A 25-year-old was shot and killed Monday afternoon in west Baltimore, police said.

Of course Baltimore is far from alone.  On Monday, I wrote about how Chicago is becoming a gang-infested wasteland, and on Tuesday we got news of Chicago’s 200th homicide so far in 2017.

And an official bulletin went out to all members of the Chicago police on Monday warning them about the “high-powered weapons” that gangs are now using to kill people…

Chicago police issued a bulletin Monday warning its officers about gangs armed with high-powered weapons, after three people were shot to death over the weekend – including two attending a memorial for the earlier victim.

Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the three people who were killed in the shootings Sunday were all members of the same street gang.

Sometimes it is hard to believe that this is still America.

The precious people that are getting hooked on these drugs and that are committing these murders were once innocent little boys and girls.  Somewhere along the way they were led down the wrong path, and this is happening on a massive scale all over the nation.

So what should we do?

What we need are some real solutions.  We need to restore the principles and the values that this nation was founded upon, and we need people that are willing to step forward and take this nation in a different direction.

On Thursday, I am scheduled to be a guest on the Alex Jones radio show, and I am going to share some news that is going to absolutely shock a lot of people.

Trust me, you are definitely going to want to tune in, because you are not going to want to miss this.

The Economic Collapse

Time to Think Like a Surfer

I took up surfing in my early 30s.

It didn’t last long. But I learned a tremendous amount from the experience (least of which is that I suck at surfing).

Well, it’s time to think like a surfer.

Your sole focus is to catch the wave.

The best surfers can see the waves building, just like we can in the markets, but they only care about where the biggest, best waves will crash. That’s where you get the ride.

And if you catch the biggest wave in the right place, you get the ride of a lifetime.

Look at this fourth and largest wave building in the stock market. It’s the wave of a lifetime for investors, and it’s rolling onto our shores right about now…

Remember, all the action comes when the wave crashes, not as it’s building. As the swell grows around you, you can go with the flow and harness the energy of the wave with little effort. That’s when you become one with the universe, sitting there on your board, surrounded by dark water, rolling up and down as the power builds beneath you. That’s why surfers get addicted.

Then, at the perfect moment, all the wave’s pent up energy releases in a roaring spray of water and power.

That’s where we want YOU to be when the greatest market wave of your lifetime comes crashing to shore!

That’s when the greatest profits come.

That’s when the greatest innovations spring up.

The smartest people (I include surfers in this group) and the greatest innovators understand this. They don’t look at a good economy as the best opportunity for success. Seeds of radical innovation only grow in the most challenging conditions.

That’s why the best traders are most often short sellers rather than long buyers… just ask Paul Tudor Jones or George Soros.

That’s why people who are prepared for the crash make out like bandits in the aftermath.

While writing my latest best seller, The Sale of a Lifetime, I created a bubble model for stocks. It follows the Masters and Johnson male orgasm study of the late 1950s.

Bubbles build exponentially and then burst twice as fast, deflating back to their point of origin (or close).

Exactly like the ocean waves that surfers spend their lives hunting for.

And precisely what smart investors spend their lives waiting for!

Central Banks have extended this wave beyond all expectations, but it’s now showing signs of peaking. It looks like it’s getting ready for that big crashing later this year.

You can either paddle out past where this massive 40-foot wave (at least you’ll be safe)…

Or you can ride it all the way down and create extreme wealth.

This is one of those defining moments.

The choice is entirely yours.

But know that our best investment services are designed to not only to profit from the upside (as the swell builds), but to also rake it in during the downside, when it comes crashing down like Holy Hell!

Follow me on Twitter @harrydentjr

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Harry Dent – Economy and Markets ()