I’m really pushing to get this out before the weekend as I’m going to be very busy the next couple of days, and it might be more convenient for you to have the weekend to look it over. There are just some great articles here.
So with that having been said, I’ll just say that the quote in this email’s subject title comes from the excellent Egon von Greyerz article which is the first linked article below.
Oh, I’m going to include a pretty funny joke that I was sent the other day. At least I enjoyed it, so here goes:
Donald and Hillary Go Into A Bakery
Donald and Hillary Go Into A Bakery on the Campaign Trail
As soon as they enter the bakery, Hillary steals three pastries and puts them in her pocket.
She says to Donald, “See how clever I am?
The owner didn’t see anything and I don’t even need to lie.”
I will definitely win the election.
Then Donald says to Hillary, “That’s the typical dishonesty you have displayed throughout your entire life, trickery and deceit.
I am going to show you an honest way to get the same result.”
Donald goes to the owner of the bakery and says, “Give me a pastry and I will show you a magic trick.”
Intrigued, the owner accepts and gives him a pastry.
Trump swallows it and asks for another one.
The owner gives him another one.
Then Donald asks for a third pastry and eats that, too.
The owner is starting to wonder where the magic trick is and asks, “What did you do with the pastries?”
Trump replies, “Look in Hillary’s pocket”..
Hope you all have a great weekend. Take care.
The Collapse Of American Free Press: Martin Armstrong Rages “It’s Just Over”
There is the greatest conspiracy of all time. The corrupt politicians have completely corrupted mainstream media. They even organized the overthrow at Fox News because that was the only station they could not take over. Everything from CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, and countless newspapers are all out for a coronation of Hillary at the complete expense of the free press. We may never again be able to trust anything they say or print and this is becoming so blatant and in your face, even the New York Post, long on the fringe, has come out with the bold headline: American journalism is collapsing before our eyes. They are too greedy for power to know what they do, but that is no excuse for the treason they are carrying out against the American people.
Indeed, this is part of the end times. Government is turning against the people and the free press, which was suppose to defend our liberty, has join the conspiracy and are now on the side of government against the people. That peak in the Economic Confidence Model 2015.75 was the peak in government. They now know they are losing control and in the process, they will burn down the barn to get a mouse that roars. There is no future left as we knew it. There will be no freedom or liberty to leave our children and grandchildren. The slide downward from 2015.75 will be marked with more Draconian measures and nothing but lies. They are fighting now to retain control and the press has joined forces with government and the neoconservatives who want only to wage war and engage in their dream of nation building, which has been a complete failure. They do not care about the people. We are the great unwashed in whose blood they feast and wash their hands all for the glory of power.
They are bringing back meaning to Patrick Henry’s most famous quote: “give me liberty or give me death.” You do reach a point when they just go too far. They can threaten to kill you. If you reach that point when you can say go ahead because living as your slave is a fate worse than death, you disarm them. There is nothing else they can threaten you with. Then, and only then, do you comprehend the deep meaning behind the words of Patrick Henry.
It is a sad day for journalism. It has never been so manipulative than it is today. This is truly the end of everything that made America the beacon of liberty for the world. It is just a hollow shell. To think that the parents of these journalists worked hard to make sure their children had a better life. They have disgraced their parents. They have condemned their own children. They have made a mockery of our liberty, and they are working hard to further the oligarchy, which always destroys every Republic known to history. When the rule of law collapses as we have seen with Hillary, and the press becomes the pawn of the establishment, all that is left is the monetary system collapse. Game over. Turn out the lights. It becomes only the next step in a series of steps down that road of destruction why no Republic has ever survived. The circle of life of government is nearly complete. We must simply crash and burn with hope to survive and rise from the ashes with a different system altogether. To quote Patrick Henry:
“I know of no way of judging the future but by the past”
http://kingworldnews.com/the-world-is-about-to-witness-the-terrifying-mega-bubble-collapse/ Egon von Greyerz: “Talk about a sick world. First bankrupt nations issue worthless debt that they have no intention of repaying. And then, since they have no chance of paying any interest on their debt, they demand that the borrowers pay them interest instead for the pleasure of holding their worthless paper”!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoJsOQ0m_ks This is a very worthwhile Greg Hunter interview of Craig Hemke (TF Metals Report). This guy is a seasoned market veteran who explains quite specifically how markets are being constantly managed by Federal Reserve rhetoric and the actions of HFT’s (high frequency traders).
http://dailysignal.com/2016/08/24/doctors-sue-obama-administration-for-forcing-them-to-perform-gender-transition-procedures/ There can be little doubt why our nation is struggling so mightily (both morally and financially) when you read articles like this and realize the absolute insanity that exists within the minds and hearts of of our country’s leaders!!!
http://thecrux.com/study-doctors-getting-free-meals-prescribe-branded-drugs-more/ I particularly like the line in the article that said “the industry has
said that covering the costs of meals helps enable communication with doctors”. I suppose every industry that lobbies our Washington congressmen (and
women) could easily say the same thing about the “perks” they bestow on all the Senators and Reps. You just can’t say enough for a little “PALM GREASE” when it comes to “IMPROVING COMMUNICATION” !!!
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-17/dr-drew-pinsky-says-he-%E2%80%9Cgravely-concerned%E2%80%9D-about-hillary-clinton%E2%80%99s- health I can certainly believe Dr. Drew’s thoughts about Hillary’s prism glasses.
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-24/era-centralization-ending-right-our-eyes “We firmly believe the markets are preparing to enter another Crisis. With over 30% of global bonds posting negative yields, the financial system is a powder keg ready to blow.”
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-24/jim-grant-very-bullish-gold “Gold is a very timely way to invest in monetary disorder.”
http://www.oftwominds.com/blogaug16/sick-corrupt8-16.html “Any society that tolerates this systemic exploitation and corruption as “business as usual” is not just sick–it’s hopeless”.
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-24/tennessee-insurance-commissioner-says-obamacare-very-near-collapse It is a real rarity when a government program is so atrocious that it self destructs during the tenure of the same presidential administration that created it. Obviously the fact that Obama’s promotional routine as a “serial liar” was necessary to sell Obamacare (ACA) to the public was a DEAD GIVEAWAY that this pig would never fly! Sadly many already financially struggling Americans are being crushed by the costs of Obama’s healthcare “Legacy Program”. I feel bad saying this (well, at least slightly), but I hope many of them are the “two time Obama voters” that brought this upon themselves!
Last week I wrote about corporations taking out more loans. I suspect that these loans, as I stated, are going toward financial engineering and not growing jobs or profits. In other words these loans are funding short-term gain for, it appears, long-term pain. (Unproductive debt)
In the case of manufacturing companies- if they were ramping up production it is unlikely that in light of the unprecedented fiscal stimulus that industrial production would record its 11th straight month of year over year declines!
A possible unintended circumstance happening because of this increased demand for loans is that the LIBOR rate has been spiking. According to Alasdair McLeod the LIBOR rate at 12 months is already at 1.5%. The 3- month LIBOR has gone from .22% in January 2014 to .8% now. This is FAR higher than the Fed Funds rate.
I have said all along that I believe the Fed will never raise rates in a meaningful manner. That doesn’t mean rates won’t go up. This increase in LIBOR is like a tightening in the credit markets already.
Since there is a large appetite for these loans and decreasing economic activity it can only lead me to the conclusion that companies see no real opportunities for real lasting growth and are taking the cheap money and pretending to be doing well while hoping for an economic miracle.
A couple of reasons that this appears to be the case is that, as I write about often, global trade is slowing down in a meaningful manner. I have read articles this week that state many shipping companies are scrapping ships to sell for the salvage value. The reason – lack of demand.
As a matter of fact the Harper-Petersen shipping rates are down 38.9% since last year. According to an article by Mike Shedlock the Port of Long Beach has seen a 7.7% drop in container volumes from last July to this July. The Cass Freight Index is down 4.3% year over year and intermodal traffic is down 6.1% year over year. Hey- but don’t worry the stock and bond markets are all rising together so everything must be just great anyway.
Why is there a lack of demand? How about the fact that income gains, as reported in the first quarter as +4.2% have been revised DOWN to -0.4% instead. (Wage earners lost ground) Add to this sad surprise the fact that people are paying more for healthcare, rents and education and it is no surprise that discretionary spending in particular would decrease meaningfully.
How meaningfully? Retail stores are closing at an alarming rate. The latest, Macy’s, will close 100 of its 750 or so stores in the beginning of 2017. This is just the latest in a long list of bankruptcies, restructurings and store closings announced in the last 12 months. Restaurant sales have been weak lately also. This has been a harbinger of every recent recession.
I have to always take the “Jobs Friday” numbers with an Advil because I know they are meaningless. If the jobs situation is SO great why are tax receipts falling? How could there be growth in retail when all of the numbers are screaming contraction? (Of course, 2 part time jobs- maybe 3 are counted the same as a full-time family supporting job would be in this report so that may explain some of it!).
The reason that the “Experts” are all surprised about the lack of demand is that they look at these artificially manufactured numbers, recite them as gospel and make decisions based upon them. These numbers bear NO resemblance to what is happening on the ground. It is so far off that the only people to still believe these reports are those whose job it is to keep everyone fully invested.
The only logical answer to why these stock indexes keep rising is central bank buying. When you see the “smartest guys in the room” -hedge fund managers- getting outperformed by the indexes it indicates to me that there is a new sheriff in town- the central banks.
In the old days (not so long ago) the hedge funds could search for value and many times, if necessary help to create value themselves. They had the expertise and the size to get the job done. Today, the central banks, with their massive interference, are driving up asset prices and making those that look for value obsolete. By buying a few names in the major indexes they can move the entire index with just a few stocks. Of course, in Japan’s case they are on a path to own a lion’s share of the Nikkei 225 at some point in the future- (buying real assets with a click of a button!)
Since they have gone “all-in” with negative interest rates and etf (mainly stock) purchases their Nikkei is “only” down around 1500 points!
This last statement should make anyone who thinks that this will last forever understand that the game is almost up. Massive intervention and asset purchases are not working. My guess is that this is what lies ahead for most of the developed world’s markets- the most indebted being hurt the worst.
Most of these actions are being taken by entities that pay little if any interest and that it is why it is so important to understand that as that LIBOR rate rises it starts to slow down the players that can’t “print up” their own “money” and could cause a premature end to this latest financial experiment.
Many entities are already at peak debt like many individuals, corporations, municipalities, states and federal governments. It is likely that ANY increase in interest rates could be devastating to many.
If that fact is lost on anyone a Fed President came out on Tuesday August 16th and said a rate hike of a measly .25% could take place in September. Those few words stopped a market rally dead in its tracks. Of course, someone could come out tomorrow, refute that statement and the markets could resume. Isn’t it sad that this has become one big game being manipulated for a few to become grossly enriched as they suck the life out of our formerly vibrant economy?
It is obvious to me that the risks are far outweighing the rewards in stock, bond and real estate markets. It is also pretty obvious that the shenanigans continue in the gold market in particular. It was reported by Miles Franklin and King World News that some major players on the short side of the gold market (betting on a lower price) could be in BIG trouble if the price continued to rise. Last Friday, after the gold market closed in New York a mysterious $5 billion in gold (likely paper- not real gold) was sold and the price was hammered- as usual. The good news here is that even with the relentless drive to keep the real price of gold from showing itself (with paper manipulation of course!) the price of gold has held strong and appears to be extremely well-bid especially for physical gold and coins. The day of reckoning is rapidly approaching for those that have gamed this market for decades.
For us, we can only observe what is happening and try to position ourselves to survive and hopefully prosper through the trying times that are likely coming upon us real soon.
Try to understand what is actually happening as best you can. Ask questions, learn, and finally take action so you can … Be Prepared!
Mike Savage, ChFC Financial Advisor
2642 Route 940 Pocono Summit, Pa 18346
Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC
The long, slow decline of Western civilization…
From Jeff Thomas, Editor, International Man:
Recently an article appeared in Forbes magazine that recommended a universal basic income (UBI) for all citizens. The writer, who is from the UK, argues that:
“we can indeed afford a UBI at an entirely reasonable level within the confines of the amount that we already tax. So thus the question moves on to the next point: do we actually want one? At which point I say yes, obviously we do, as I have been saying for some years now. Simply on the basis that a UBI would be vastly better than the cruel, almost wicked, welfare states that we currently have.”
The author picks US$13,000 as the appropriate number that he feels should be granted to all US citizens over the age of 21 and placed automatically into their individual bank accounts in monthly installments, for the rest of their lives.
Since this concept is unquestionably socialistic in nature and encourages the government’s role as a nanny state to an even greater degree than it already operates, the reader may understandably raise an eyebrow at reading it in a publication such as Forbes. Whilst I would agree, I would add, in all fairness, that, today, the article might also have been acceptable in that old British stalwart, The Economist.
The Economist was established in the UK in 1843 and, for well over a century, could be counted on to reflect the principles of classical economics. When I was growing up, it was read religiously in our household and the subscription continued for generations. That tradition ended in the late nineties. The reason was that the older writers, each of whom had an exceptional grasp of fundamental economic principles, were retiring or dying off and were being replaced one by one by younger writers, many of whom had been educated at the London School of Economics (LSE) or similar institution, where, today, Keynesian economics has become a mainstay of the curriculum.
Were Adam Smith alive today, he might be inclined to say, “Economics is simply an explanation of the function of money. Keynesian economics does not fall within that definition. It is an exercise in the distortion of economic principles, intended to promote a political end – that of socialism, to which Mister Keynes was devoted.”
Of course, these are my own words and the reader is encouraged to question them and consider whether I’m correct that Adam Smith might indeed take this view.
As stated above, we’re witnessing the same deterioration of economic principles across the pond in the U.S. in such formerly reliable publications as Forbes. Is this a coincidence, or is there an overriding reason why the same anomaly should develop on one side of the Atlantic as on the other?
Forbes was founded by B.C. Forbes in 1917 and was later taken over by his sons, particularly the colorful Malcolm. Upon his death, Forbes fell to grandson Steve. But Steve Forbes is now nearing 70 and is likely to soon exit the Forbes stage. As he and others of his generation bow out, they will also be replaced by those who have been educated at LSE and similar institutions. (Today, Keynesian theory is predominant in universities on both sides of the Atlantic. As a result, we now have generations of Keynesians in politics, journalism, and economics, almost to the total exclusion of classicists.)
But, let’s return to the Forbes article. Is the writer’s position really all that irrational?
He posits that, if an individual were to receive a UBI of $13,000, courtesy of his government, his economic life would be improved. Quite so. He then extends this assumption to the effect that, if all adult citizens were to receive this unearned increment, they would all benefit, so the economy as a whole would be healthier.
Unfortunately though, the premise does not hold up under extension. If all citizens were to receive the UBI, a new levelling would take place within the economy. This is similar to an increase in minimum wage, wherein, if all employees receive a pay rise, all manufacturers and service providers will have increased costs, which have to be passed on to consumers – the same consumers who just got the pay rise. On balance, no one experiences an improved livelihood. Likewise, if all citizens received a UBI, the cost of living would rise to meet it, leaving no one better off.
Further, the classic mistake of empowering the government to take charge of the change would have its effects. In every case, when a nanny state increases the weight of its boot on the neck of the economy, the economy becomes less vibrant, to the detriment of all citizens except those connected directly to the government. Keynesian theory has it that major changes can be made to the economy in isolation, with little or no effect on the economy as a whole. This flawed assumption is a major contributor to the failure of Keynesianism. In truth, any variable affects the whole in some way.
But, returning to the overview, we may wonder why those publications, that were once so well-informed, are deteriorating together. The answer lies in the little-understood historical fact that each nation has a shelf life. It begins its rise as a result of determination and a strong work ethic. It then rises to a level of productivity, which in turn creates prosperity. This abundance leads the population to become easy prey to empty political claims that largesse from the state can enrich all. Largesse results in complacency, which then turns into apathy.
After a nation has peaked and a majority of the people have traded in their work ethic for the undeliverable promise of ever-increasing governmental largesse, the decline is set in stone. When this has taken place, it’s not only the work ethic that’s in a terminal decline. The nation heads inexorably downward in other ways.
Publications decline in quality, partially because the more well-informed authors are retiring and are replaced by those with a less global understanding. But the readership also deteriorates as, increasingly, the potential audience is eager to hear more empty promises, along with theories that support them. (Joseph Schumpeter and his fellow Austrians would be unlikely to be hired by The Economist today.)
Historically, when a nation goes into a terminal decline, it is not just one aspect of its existence that declines. Moral values, sound economic principles, productivity, an independent media, and basic freedoms all tend to decline with it.
Today, many of those who anticipate an economic crash speculate whether, after the crash, someone will press the reset button, allowing the game to simply start over. Unfortunately, this is not the way history tends to work.
Since a decline envelops all aspects of socio-economic and political existence, it amounts to “burning down the house.” The nation, if it remains together at all (they often don’t) cannot just do a little remodeling.
The nation must be completely rebuilt – moral certitude, a sound economic foundation, and a return to productivity, all of which require the presence of basic freedoms to drive them. This often takes generations to accomplish and many nations never return to their former levels of prominence.
So, is the situation hopeless? Well, in the words of Karl Kraus, “The situation is hopeless, but not serious.” In any era, some nations are in decline, but there are always others that are on the rise. When those in power begin to douse the floorboards with gasoline, it’s an indicator that a change of address should be considered.
Crux note: Unfortunately, there’s little anyone can do to avoid the coming financial storm. It’s going to be much worse, much longer, and very different than what we saw in 2008 and 2009.
All you can hope to do is to save yourself from the consequences of all this stupidity.