Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Gold World News Flash

Gold World News Flash


Only In France..."The Right To Disconnect"

Posted: 31 May 2016 12:00 AM PDT

Vowing to intensify their action to overturn an unpopular labor law, striking French union workers have already left hundreds of thousands of tourists stranded, gas stations empty, and nuclear power plants stretched. However, as low-skilled American workers fall foul of minimum wage blowback, the French parliament - despite Prime Minister Valls insistence that "France must show that it’s capable of reforming" - just passed new legislation making it illegal for your employer to send you an email outside of work hours.

As Valuewalk's Brendan Byrne reports, we’ve all been there, you’re heading to bed and see an email from your boss asking you for something, and have you noticed how it’s always urgent. You either do it, or pretend you didn’t see the email (not guilty), but either way your night has been ruined. You lie there thinking about it and how to deal with the situation. People are finding it more and more difficult to get away from digital connectivity, and we are seeing the rapid rise of mindfulness'.

Well this late night email situation can no longer happen with our French friends. Known for imposing the 37 hour week, truck drivers going on strike over literally anything, and general hard work, the French certainly are leading the charge for the much vaunted work life balance.

 

It has been termed ‘the right to disconnect‘, and was first tabled back in 2014.  Benoit Hamon of the French National Assembly told the BBC earlier in May, “All the studies show there is far more work-related stress today than there used to be, and that the stress is constant. Employees physically leave the office, but they do not leave their work. They remain attached by a kind of electronic leash— like a dog. The texts, the messages, the emails — they colonize the life of the individual to the point where he or she eventually breaks down.”

 

Unfortunately for some, it is not a catchall law. There is a caveat, if the company has less than 50 employees, the new law does not apply.

 

One question the new law raises, is what about international firms with French employees. Can a US firm send an afternoon email to employees that will arrive after work hours for Jean-Louis, who is enjoying some cheese and fine wine in his local Parisian cafe?

 

The question remains how some of the world’s largest tech companies with offices in Paris but headquarters in California, such as Google and Facebook, will react to the news. The time difference between France and California is nine hours, which means all email from California will have to occur no later than 9am PST.

There is an increased awareness that our addiction to smartphones is affecting lives. South Korea, were the average person spends over four hours looking at phones and tablets per day, has introduced a ‘space-out’ competition were people sit in silence without looking for any digital stimulation.

The producitvity-sapping farce is completed as this legislation is ironically passed as French PM Valls said the government will not back down over labor reform, stating that "France must show that it’s capable of reforming." As MishTalk's Michael Shedlock explains - having been previously fined by the French for daring to speak the truth about French banking fragility - things are about to get worse in France...

Already hundreds of thousands of tourists in France have had planes delayed or canceled over French union strikes.

 

Gas stations are running out of gas thanks to a strike at refineries. Nuclear power plants have been hit as well.

 

French unions vow to increase strikes. They will target trains and buses next.

 

Please consider French Transport Strikes to Intensify as Valls Digs In on Law.

French unions seeking to overturn an unpopular labor law are set to intensify their protests as the government shows no sign of giving in after a week of strikes and blockades caused gas stations in many regions of the country to run dry.

By the end of this week, the national railroad, the Paris metro, ports and air traffic controllers will all be on strike, though the degree to which the actions will be followed is unclear.

After a week in which many French gas stations faced shortages and some protests turned violent, Prime Minister Manuel Valls in a series of weekend interviews said the government will not back down on the labor law or the contentious article 2 that lets companies negotiate labor contracts outside industry-wide accords.

“France must show that it’s capable of reforming,” Valls said in an interview with Journal du Dimanche on Sunday. Valls said he spoke by phone on Saturday with union leaders including with Philippe Martinez, the head of the CGT, which has been leading the opposition to the labor law.

Trains, Planes

Four unions including the CGT have called for an unlimited strike at the national railroad SNCF starting Tuesday, the CGT has called for a stoppage at the RATP, which manages Paris’ metro and buses starting Thursday and the UNSA-INCA union of air traffic controllers has called for a strike June 3-5. The CGT has called for a 24-hour strike Thursday at France’s ports.

All the strikes are linked to labor disputes specific to those sectors, but are also aimed at forcing a withdrawal of the labor law. Another union, Force Ouvriere, has called for transport strikes to start June 10, the opening day of the European soccer championships that France is hosting.

According to a Ifop poll for Journal du Dimanche, 46 percent of the French want the law withdrawn, 40 percent want it modified, and only 13 percent want it to pass in its current form. The poll questioned 982 people on May 27 and 28. Meanwhile, Valls’s popularity in May fell six points to 24 percent, its lowest ever, a BVA poll said Saturday.

Unions, union rules, and French labor laws in general are literally strangling France, yet people still support those laws.

 

This is further escalation of my May 25 article, France Running Out of Gasoline; Strikes Now Spread to Nuclear Plants.

 

Carry on Dudes

 

Code du travail

 

 

By all means, carry on dudes. The massive “Code du Travail” (Labor Code) says you have rights.

 

“The Code du Travail is regarded by many in France as untouchable. Successive governments have chiselled away at its 10,000 articles – notably easing restrictions on layoffs and working hours – but without ever daring a comprehensive overhaul.”

 

PATCO Moment Needed

 

Ronald Reagan provided the precisely need solution for union insanity. Reagan fired them every PATCO (air traffic control union employee) who would not return to work when ordered.

 

I wrote about this once before, also in regards to France. Flashback October 12, 2010: French Unions On Strike Against Pension Reform, Disrupt Rail, Air Traffic.

The correct government response to this mess is to do what Reagan did to the PATCO workers, fire all the public union employees on strike and terminate their benefits.

Moreover, the French government should take this opportunity handed to them on a silver platter and go one step further to make a much needed change and dissolve all public unions. The same should happen in the US.

This would end the nonsense quickly and effectively. As in the US, there would be lines miles long to take those jobs at much lower wage and benefit levels.

Message From FDR

 

Inquiring minds are reading snips from a Letter from FDR Regarding Collective Bargaining of Public Unions written August 16, 1937.

All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management.The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations.

Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees.

A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable.

FDR was correct.

As Shedlock concludes, Reagan was correct, but he did not go far enough. Reagan should have dissolved every public union.

Had he done so. We would not have the pension/state budget crisis we have today.

Will We Never Learn? The Economic Lessons From Venezuela's Current Collapse

Posted: 30 May 2016 11:00 PM PDT

Shops are being looted as Venezuela's citizens, who live on top of the world’s largest oil reserves, are literally starving and dying for lack of food and medicine; all while the country’s gold reserves are being sold to finance its debt. With 1.8 million signatures on a petition for a referendum on Nicolas Maduro’s presidency, the country is threatening to become a failed state. 

Venezuela is in crisis...

 

So, Ricardo Hausmann, former minister of planning for Venezuela, explains (via Project Syndicate) how too much heteredoxy (read - monetary policy experimentation and central planning and control) can kill you...

Ever since the 2008 financial crisis, it has been common to chastise economists for not having predicted the disaster, for having offered the wrong prescriptions to prevent it, or for having failed to fix it after it happened. The call for new economic thinking has been persistent – and justified. But all that is new may not be good, and that all that is good may not be new.

 

The 50th anniversary of China’s Cultural Revolution is a reminder of what can happen when all orthodoxy is tossed out the window. Venezuela’s current catastrophe is another: A country that should be rich is suffering the world’s deepest recession, highest inflation, and worst deterioration of social indicators. Its citizens, who live on top of the world’s largest oil reserves, are literally starving and dying for lack of food and medicine.

 

While this disaster was brewing, Venezuela won accolades from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, the Economic Commission for Latin America, British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the US Center for Economic Policy Research, among others.

 

So what should the world learn from the country’s descent into misery? In short, Venezuela is the poster child of the perils of rejecting economic fundamentals.

 

One of those fundamentals is the idea that, to achieve social goals, it is better to use – rather than repress – the market. After all, the market is essentially just a form of self-organization whereby everyone tries to earn a living by doing things that others find valuable. In most countries, people buy food, soap, and toilet paper without incurring a national policy nightmare, as has happened in Venezuela.

 

But suppose you do not like the outcome the market generates. Standard economic theory suggests that you can affect it by taxing some transactions – such as, say, greenhouse-gas emissions – or giving money to certain groups of people, while letting the market do its thing.

 

An alternative tradition, going back to Saint Thomas Aquinas, held that prices should be “just.” Economics has shown that this is a really bad idea, because prices are the information system that creates incentives for suppliers and customers to decide what and how much to make or buy. Making prices “just” nullifies this function, leaving the economy in perpetual shortage.

 

In Venezuela, the Law of Just Costs and Prices is one reason why farmers do not plant. For that reason, agro-processing firms shut down. More generally, price controls create incentives to flip goods into the black market. As a result, the country with the world’s most extensive system of price controls also has the highest inflation – as well as an ever-expanding police effort that jails retail managers for holding inventories and evencloses the borders to prevent smuggling.

 

Fixing prices is a short dead-end street. A longer one is subsidizing goods so that their price remains below cost.

 

These so-called indirect subsidies can quickly cause an immense economic mess. In Venezuela, subsidies for gasoline and electricity are larger than the budget for education and health care combined; exchange-rate subsidies are in a class of their own. With one daily minimum wage in Venezuela, you can buy barely a half-pound (227 grams) of beef or 12 eggs, or 1,000 liters (264 gallons) of gasoline or 5,100 kWh of electricity – enough to power a small town. With the proceeds of selling a dollar at the black market rate, you can buy over $100 at the strongest official rate.

 

Under these conditions, you are unlikely to find goods or dollars at official prices. Moreover, since the government is unable to pay providers the necessary subsidy to keep prices low, output collapses, as has happened with Venezuela’s electricity and health sectors, among others.

 

Indirect subsidies are also regressive, because the rich consume more than the poor – and hence appropriate more of the subsidy. This is what underpins the old orthodox wisdom that if you want to change market outcomes, it is better to subsidize people directly with cash.

 

Another bit of conventional wisdom is that creating the right incentive structure and securing the necessary know-how to run state-owned enterprises is very difficult. So the state should have only a few firms in strategic sectors or in activities that are rife with market failures.

 

Venezuela disregarded that wisdom and went on an expropriation binge. In particular, after former President Hugo Chávez was reelected in 2006, he expropriated farms, supermarkets, banks, telecoms, power companies, oil production and service firms, and manufacturing companies producing steelcement, coffee, yogurt, detergent, and evenglass bottles. Productivity collapsed in all of them.

 

Governments often struggle to balance their books, leading to over-indebtedness and financial trouble. Yet fiscal prudence is one of the most frequently attacked principles of economic orthodoxy. But Venezuela shows what happens when prudence is frowned upon and fiscal information is treated as a state secret.

 

Venezuela used the 2004-2013 oil boom to quintuple its external public debt, instead of saving up for a rainy day. By 2013, Venezuela’s extravagant borrowing led international capital markets to shut it out, leading the authorities to print money. This caused the currency to lose 98% of its value in the last three years. By the time oil prices fell in 2014, the country was in no position to take the hit, with collapsing domestic production and capacity to import, leading to the current disaster.

 

Orthodoxy reflects history’s painfully acquired lessons – the sum of what we regard to be true. But not all of it is true. Progress requires identifying errors, which in turn calls for heterodox thinking. But learning becomes difficult when there are long delays between action and consequences, as when we try to regulate the water temperature while in the shower. When reaction times are slow, exploring the heterodox is necessary, but should be done with care. When all orthodoxy is thrown out the window, you get the disaster that was the Chinese Cultural Revolution – and that is today’s Venezuela.

*  *  *

So what should the world learn from the country’s descent into misery? In short, Venezuela is the poster child of the perils of rejecting economic fundamentals.

The Extent Of Bad Loan Crisis At Indian Banks Is Becoming Clearer And It’s Terrifying

Posted: 30 May 2016 09:59 PM PDT

by Rimin Dutt, Huffington Post India:

There's been plenty of talk and sermonising directed at Indian banks to clean up their pile of bad loans. But the latest quarterly results ending March show exactly how gruesome the picture is after banks were forced to report their bad loans and non-performing assets by the Reserve Bank of India. Here's a recap:

1) The combined gross bad loans for 38 out of 39 listed banks nearly doubled to about ₹5.8 trillion at the end of the March quarter compared to the same period last year, an analysis by Mint showed. The quarters ending March, and December 2016 added over ₹1 trillion each in bad loans. Public sector banks account for about 90 per cent of all bad loans.

2) For the latest quarter ending March, 15 out of 25 public sector banks swung to combined net losses of about ₹23,493 crores, compared to combined net profit of ₹8,500 crores in the same quarter last year. The biggest losses were posted by Punjab National Bank (at ₹5,367 crores), Canara Bank (₹₹ ₹3,905 crores), Bank of India ( ₹3,587 crores), and Bank of Baroda ( ₹3,230 crores). The reported net losses excluded any tax-related benefits.

3) There is a silver lining, however, as the private sector banks didn't report net losses in the latest quarter. But even private sector banks saw net profits slip 14 percent from a combined ₹10,254 crores last year. The private sector banks have fared better in part because of the higher interest income they earn compared to the public sector banks.

4) The combined net losses and red ink can be attributed to the 'provisions' that the banks have had to do to account for their bad loans and non performing assets. Data analysis by Mint's research bureau showed such provisions rose 87 per cent in 2016—from ₹93,698 crore to ₹1.75 trillion.

Banks have had to clean up their balance sheets and report non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans as part of a massive clean-up drive, also known as 'asset quality review,' which was prompted RBI last year. RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has often referred to the clean-up as "deep surgery" necessary to stabilise the Indian financial system.

However, the situation at Indian banks could get worse –- 8 out of 15 bankers and market analysts that Mint surveyed expect further declines in the asset quality of banks for the next two quarters. An analyst at India Ratings and Research, an affiliate of credit ratings agency Fitch, told Reuters recently that he estimates that India's bad loans could be bigger than New Zealand’s $170 billion economy.

Separately, an important safety net that guards liquidity at banks appears to have shrunk over the last two decades. Indian banks' cash reserve ratio (CRR), or the portion of deposits that commercial banks are required to keep with RBI–-and which in turn help banks hedge against liquidity crunch–has come down to 4 per cent currently compared to 14.5 per cent in 1993.

Read More @ HuffingtonPost.in

As Short Interest Soars To Record Highs, Chinese Stock Futures Flash-Crash 12.5%

Posted: 30 May 2016 09:31 PM PDT

Shortly after 1042am local, Chinese stock futures (CSI-300) flash-crashed over 12.5% on extreme heavy volume (while the cash CSI-300 remained unch). This move erased 3 months of gains but within 1 minute was back in the green with stocks up over 2.5%. The shocking collapse, exaggerated by a major lack of liquidity, was made more surprising by the fact that the last week has seen a record short position in the major Chinese stock ETF. Simply put, the heavy hand of market-central-planning has erased any and all depth in futures markets and positioning has become so tilted that price vacuums are likely to continue to occur.

 

As Bloomberg notes, the swing follows a similarly unexplained tumble in Hang Seng China Enterprises Index futures in Hong Kong on May 16, a move that added to nervousness over the prospects for Chinese stocks amid slowing economic growth and a weakening yuan. The CSI 300 has dropped 16 percent this year, versus a 2.2 percent gain in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.

“It looks like a fat finger,” Fang Shisheng, Shanghai-based vice general manager at Orient Securities Futures Co., said by phone. “Liquidity in the market is really thin at the moment. So the market will very likely see big swings if a big order comes in. The order looks like it’s from a hedger.”

And for some context of what that move looks like longer term - it erased 3 months of gains instantly...

 

Still, positioning in Chinese Stock ETFs (FXI) has soared in the last week as volatility has been utterly suppressed in the major index...

 

The relative stability of the Chinese stock market in the last few weeks is oddly decoupled from the relative volatility in the Yuan and as Bloomberg notes, While the yuan’s losses have escalated in the past three weeks, the Shanghai Composite has been unmoved. The index has barely strayed from the 2,800 level amid speculation state-backed funds are preventing further losses, helping send 30-day volatility on the gauge to its lowest level since December 2014.

Some investors may be betting China’s domestic equities, known as A shares, will fall further if yuan losses deepen, according to Sam Chi Yung, senior strategist at South China Financial Holdings Ltd. in Hong Kong.

“Investors think there is some risk in A shares," the strategist said. “If the yuan keeps falling that would affect the value of Chinese shares."

But, as the following chart shows, this is a record level of relative short interest...

 

Seemingly creating the perfect opportunity for a plunge protection team to squeeze stocks higher... proving the Chinese economy is fixed once again (or is this time different, like in 2008 and 2015)

Alan Greenspan Warns That Venezuelan Style Martial Law Will Soon Come To The US

Posted: 30 May 2016 09:17 PM PDT

It seems barely a day passes now without some big name person warning of imminent collapse.  The latest is Alan Greenspan. In an interview on Thursday he told Fox News that Venezuela is now under martial law and that “America is next.” He said that what was happening in Venezuela was inevitably going to take place in the US.

Gold - Mr. Cool Cucumber is starting to Sweat

Posted: 30 May 2016 09:14 PM PDT

Since early February I have visually described my position and mental framework in the precious metals market as being “Cool as a Cucumber”. This has served me well as it has allowed me to stay invested as the move powered higher and many bailed to the sidelines expecting an early correction. Well now that we are into the first significant pullback lets see how Mr. Cucumber is doing and some of the market factors he is considering. Is he keeping his cool?

AMAT Chirps, b2b Ramps, Yellen Hawks and Gold’s Fundamentals Erode

Posted: 30 May 2016 09:07 PM PDT

If we are going to highlight improving fundamentals, which we did as gold out performed commodities and stock markets, then we also have to highlight and respect eroding fundamentals; no ifs, ands or buts. The plain and simple fact is that the Semiconductor Equipment sector is firming, with the April Book-to-Bill (b2b) joining Applied Materials’ quarterly report noted in NFTRH 396’s opening segment as another bullish [economic] indicator. Semi Equipment was a leader to the general Semi sector in early 2013, which in turn led the economy and job creation. Our fundamental gold view improved in January 2016 as gold launched upward vs. global stock markets, joining its positive status vs. commodities.

"Gold Wars": Rothschild Banker Exposes Fraudulent Nature of Fiat Money

Posted: 30 May 2016 09:02 PM PDT

This is my NECO 64 the home alternative economics and contrarian thinking today I'm gonna be talking about a great book the cold war's the battle against sound money as seen from a Swiss perspective by Ferdinand lips swiss bank where he died in 2005 this book was written in 2001 and no I think it's really important that people know more about the monetary system and you know gold and its place in the monetary system because that's the only way we will be able to change things and more and more people get to know about it you know for example up until 2002 2005 just start

How Will America Trade With WORTHLESS DOLLARS & NO GOLD? — Bill Holter

Posted: 30 May 2016 07:15 PM PDT

by SGT, SGT Report.com:

Bill Holter from JS Mineset.com is back to help us document the collapse for the fourth week of May, 2016. And as physical gold and silver moves East and into the strong hands of more than a billion Chinese, and as foreign banks publicly settle global trade in the Yuan, Bill reminds us that “Every step forward by China, is one or two steps backward for the US and the Dollar, that’s what’s happening. For instance, if the Yuan is backed by gold, then why would someone accept the Dollar in lieu of the Yuan if the Dollar’s not backed by anything?

The build out of the infrastructure for the world to move completely away from the Dollar is almost complete. You have been warned.

Thanks to Yellen, Gold Will Bounce Back

Posted: 30 May 2016 07:00 PM PDT

from The Daily Bell:

Speculative traders abandon gold in latest week … Gold prices fell Monday, moving in the opposite direction of the U.S. dollar, which soared after comments by Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen last week indicated an interest-rate hike could come this summer. –MarketWatch

Today, gold prices have been clinging to around $1,200 against the dollar. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the Federal Reserve has two goals.

One is to keep the dollar strong against gold and the other is ensure that the world's quasi-depression continues.

Yellen doesn't say so, but this will be the result of her actions.

"It's appropriate — and I have said this in the past—for the Fed to gradually and cautiously increase our overnight interest rate over time," Yellen said in a recent speech at Harvard University where she received an award. "Probably in the coming months such a move would be appropriate."

But it's probably not appropriate. Nothing in the US economy is signaling "recovery." US statistics are endlessly optimistic anyway.

We've reported previously on this: Yellen is raising rates because she wishes to raise rates not because of any particular financial evolution that is forcing her hand.

In a recent CNBC article, "The Fed could be blindsided by 'stagflation'," contributor Michael Pento went even further.

Read More @ TheDailyBell.com

New York Sun: Libertarians without gold

Posted: 30 May 2016 06:30 PM PDT

From the New York Sun
Monday, May 30, 2016

Two really excellent pieces have gone up on the Web this afternoon in respect of the Libertarian ticket of Governor Gary Johnson for president and Governor William Weld for vice president. The first one, by Ira Stoll, focuses on the Libertarian default in respect of foreign policy; the Wall Street Journal touches on that too, and both stress the choice the Johnson-Weld ticket represents in the face of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton (or Bernard Sanders). We share both the Journal's and Mr. Stoll's concerns.

What we'd been hoping for from the Libertarians is a focus on monetary reform. This was a central plank of the one-time Libertarian candidate, Ron Paul, now retired. As a Republican, Paul brought his campaign for honest money to a head in the 2012 primaries, when, for a few moments, he was running neck and neck in the polls with the sitting president, Barack Obama. We don't mind saying we're disappointed in the failure of Messrs. Johnson and Weld on this head. ...

... For the remainder of the commentary:

http://www.nysun.com/editorials/libertarians-without-gold/89604/



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Mizuho CEO Warns Japan Sales Tax Delay Is "Admission Abenomics Has Failed"

Posted: 30 May 2016 06:27 PM PDT

It has not been a good "second coming" for Shinzo Abe, whose first stint as prime minister of Japan ended in disgrace in 2007 after an allegedly crippling bout of explosive diarrhea forced the then-prime minister to resign. To say that Abenomics has been a dismal failure would be an understatement:  unable to boost inflation, unable to boost wages, plummeting trade with both exports and imports crashing to post crisis lows...

 

... and lately failing miserably to boost the stock market after Kuroda's epic debacle with Japan's NIRP lunacy, Kuroda had one loophole: a tiny fiscal stimulus in the form of delaying the once-already delayed sales tax.

The only problem: over the past few months, Kuroda had trapped himself when he said that the only conditions under which he would delay the sales tax would be only if "another global economic contraction or Lehman-style market shock jolted the Japanese economy."

That explains why Abe was desperate to get the G-7 to warn of the risk of a global economic crisis in the final communique issued as the summit wrapped up last Friday in Japan.

He failed. In fact, the final statement went the other way and declared that G-7 countries "have strengthened the resilience of our economies in order to avoid falling into another crisis. The global recovery continues, but growth remains moderate and uneven, and since we last met downside risks to the global outlook have increased," the statement says. "Weak demand and unaddressed structural problems are the key factors weighing on actual and potential growth."

Ironically, Abe is actually quite right, and the world remains in a state of post-Lehman shock: after all why would central banks need to engage in a "secret" Shanghai Accord more than 7 years after the global financial crisis to prevent markets from crashing? The answer: because nothing has been fixed and the entire world remains on edge day after day. However, as we also noted citing economist Glenn Maguire, "the G-7 is obviously aware of the 'announcement effect' the official communique has" and "in such a situation, warning of negative risks and sentiment can become self-fulfilling."

Hence, Abe was snubbed.

Unfortunately for the Japanese premier, there simply was no other choice, and as leaked repeatedly by virtually all Japanese media sources, Japan's sales-tax hike scheduled to take place in early 2017 will be delayed after all, with or without a Lehman style shock: for Abe there simply is no other choice.

This is where the problems for Japan begin, because as the chief of Mizuho Financial Group said over the weekend, Japan risks a credit-rating downgrade if Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delays a scheduled sales-tax increase without explaining how the government plans to cut its deficit. Actually not if, but when; and as we know, the "when" is likely to be as soon as this week, when Abe admits fiscal failure and that Japan simply has no hope of ever containing its ridiculous debt load.

And here is why Abe was so desperate to get the G-7 to "validate" his worldview as one where things are on the brink: as otherwise it would mean Japan's economy is in far more dire shape than realized, and it will need to incur much more debt in the coming years.

Quoted by the WSJ, Yasuhiro Sato, president of Mizuho, Japan's second-largest bank by assets, said Abe's framing of such a decision would determine whether it sparked concerns about the government's credibility regarding its plans for fiscal consolidation.

"The worst scenario is [the government] will just announce a delay in the tax increase.  That could send a message that Abenomics has failed or Japan is heading for a fiscal danger zone and then it will harm Japanese government bonds' credit ratings," Sato said in an interview, referring to the prime minister's growth program.

As the WSJ adds, Abe acknowledged for the first time Friday that he was considering delaying an increase in the sales tax to 10% from 8% scheduled to take effect in April next year. He said he would decide before an upper house election to be held in July, but Japanese media have reported that a decision could come this week.

Abe has delayed the tax increase once, after the rise to 8% in April 2014 derailed an economic recovery. Consumer spending has yet to fully rebound, and some economists say the prospect of another tax increase next year is already weighing on spending.

Sato acknowledged that raising the tax again would pose a risk to Japan's economy, although the alternative - admission that Abenomics has failed - is just as bad, which is why Abe is now in a pickle, and why we anticipate his bathroom runs will become increasingly more frequent... just in case a rerun, pardon the pun, of 2007 is in the works and Abe has to quit due to some new scapegoat.

"There will be a risk in either case of raising the tax or not, so as long as the government demonstrates a clear road map for fiscal reconstruction, Japanese credibility likely won't be hurt so much," Sato said, although sadly for Japan, there just is no such road map.

Some bankers say Japan could damage its international credibility if it fails to raise taxes on schedule. The tax increases are part of long-standing efforts to reach a primary government surplus by 2020. A primary surplus is a balanced budget excluding interest payments on government debt. Japan's government debt, when including corporate and personal debt, is the largest in the world relative to the size of its economy, standing at over 400% of GDP.

 

Worse, a dwbt downgrade for Japan will be merely a formality once Abe delays the sales tax. Moody said in a March report that "postponing the next [sales-tax] increase regardless of the reason would pose a big fiscal burden for Japan." Moody already downgraded Japan's credit rating by one notch to A1 from Aa3, the same rating it has assigned to Israel and the Czech Republic, after Abe decided in November 2014 to delay the tax increase the first time. It will do so again.

Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings have also lowered Japan's credit rating in the past two years, but investors continue to accept near record-low yields on the government's debt.

On Sunday, Yasufumi Tanahashi, a senior member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, explained why the tax increase might need to be delayed.

"If tax revenue doesn't grow despite increasing the tax rate, then from a medium-to-long term perspective it's necessary to respond flexibly," he said during a political TV program. Mr. Tanahashi said a delay would require a law to be amended and debate within the ruling coalition to reach a consensus.

Back to Mizuho's Sato, who didn't take a position on whether the tax increase should proceed as scheduled, said Japanese banks' dollar-funding costs could rise further if a credit-ratings firm downgrades them again.

"We've seen a rise in dollar-funding costs since the second half of 2014," he said. "There is no way lending will boost our profitability." To balance weakness in lending, Mizuho has focused on income from fees, including from its M&A advisory and underwriting businesses. Mizuho aims to increase its fee income from 54% to 60% of the total in the three years through March 2019.

Of course, downgrade or not, what is left unsaid is that as long as the BOJ continues to monetize all net issuance of JGBs, as it does now, yields on Japan's Treasuries will remain record low, and mostly negative. However, if enough official red flags accumulate against the monetary lunatics in Tokyo - who are merely a decade ahead proxy for the rest of the world as Japan is a decade ahead of everyone in the global race to the bottom but also has the most deflationary demographics to boot - in the form of rating downgrades, not even the BOJ buying up all the Japanese bonds, stocks, REITs and ETFs will prevent a global revulsion to Japanese assets as the world finally realizes, and admits, that Japan is finished. That process could start as soon as this week with Abe's sales tax delay announcement.

US Gold Market Infographic

Posted: 30 May 2016 06:24 PM PDT

The US Gold Market is best known as the home of gold futures
trading on the COMEX in New York. The COMEX has a literal monopoly on gold
futures trading volumes worldwide, but very little physical gold is actually
exchanged between COMEX trading participants, and gold inventories maintained
in COMEX vaults in New York are extremely low. This COMEX Gold Futures Market
infographic guides you through the largest gold futures market in the world,
COMEX.

New York is also storage location for nearly 6000 tonnes of
central bank gold stored in the vaults beneath the New York Federal Reserve on
behalf of customers such as the International Monetary Fund, the central Bank
of Italy, Germany's Bundesbank, and over 30 other countries. The infographic
visually profiles these gold vaults and their operators. Finally, the
infographic provides a snapshot of the US gold mining industry, centered in
Nevada.

Did you, for example, know that only 1 in 2500 contracts on
COMEX goes to physical delivery whereas the other 2499 contracts are
cash-settled? This corresponds to a delivery percentage of 0.04% of all gold
contracts.

The US government claims to hold a fair bit of gold in
reserves but how much is it really holding?

In this infographic you will learn more about the COMEX gold
futures market considering:

  • COMEX Trading Volumes
  • Fractionally Reserved Futures Trading
  • Cash-settlement of COMEX Gold Futures Contracts
  • Eligible and Registered Gold on COMEX
  • US Treasury Gold Reserves
  • Location of US Treasury Gold Reserves
  • Foreign Gold at the Federal Bank of New York
  • US Gold Mining

You can learn more about the US Gold Market at the
BullionStar Gold University
.

 

US COMEX Gold Futures Market – An infographic hosted at BullionStar.com

To embed this infographic on your site, copy and past the code below

PRESERVE YOUR WEALTH: Rich Eating Well in Venezuela, Basque Executive Shows

Posted: 30 May 2016 06:20 PM PDT

from Telesur:

To prove his relatives in Spain wrong, Otxotorena published a series of photographs of fully-stocked markets in upper class neighborhoods in Caracas.

Agustin Otxotorena, a Basque executive living in Caracas, grew tired of constant calls from friends and relatives in Spain telling him that there was no food in Venezuela, so on May 20 he began publishing photos on Facebook of supermarkets in upscale sectors of Caracas filled with goods.

In addition to showing evidence of plenty of food stuffs, Otxotorena also analyzed the situation. He concluded that there are two countries in Venezuela—one where “there are many people having a hard time, who don't have the money to live," and another where there is “an upper class that has a living standard higher than Europe.”

The exclusive Fresh Fish Gourmet Market in the upscale Altamira neighborhood in Caracas has plenty of food.

“If you have money there is champagne … vodka, Belgian chocolates … lobster, brand-name clothes, exclusive restaurants … nightclubs, beaches … yachts, golf clubs—a whole country within a country where there are no poor, women and children are blond, go to exclusive schools, exclusive universities, and vacation, where Blacks or poor are the waiters … ," he posted on his Facebook page.

In his analysis he stated that the phenomenon stems from corruption in import processes, subsidies by the government, and the existence of buying, re-selling and smuggling of subsidized essential goods by “bachaqueros”, linked to Colombian paramilitary groups.

He explained that large retail chains such as Makro, Excelsior Gama or Plaza's have their own import mechanisms, “They import directly and work with the strongest private importers.”

These chains are then able to set their own prices to the value of the dollar, they are not regulated by the government.

All other shops must turn to wholesalers and small importers, which are regulated and distributed by the Bolivarian government and sold at subsidized prices. The basic basket products are regulated in bolivars at very low prices and are accessible to the working class.

Otxotorena explained, “While oil prices held, the Venezuelan government brought and brought food in and everything, and gave dollars to importers, who basically defrauded the government by putting premiums in dollars and a thousand ways and means, corrupting officials to certify, for example, that they had brought in three containers of auto parts … when they had only brought one in and passed it through customs three times."

When the Venezuelan government closed the border with Colombia in 2015, the “bachaqueros” began to buy subsidized commodities to re-sell to Venezuelans and to take out of the country.

“I post these photos because I’m tired of all who call or write me saying that in Venezuela there is no food and we live like Ethiopia or Somalia.”

He adds that these bachaqueros, are directed and controlled by Colombian mafia organizations, with the complacency of the Venezuelan opposition, and have made a career of standing in lines to buy, hoard, re-sell and smuggle goods out of the country.

This is what has lead to the lack of foodstuffs in working class and poor neighborhoods of the country. It is estimated that 40 percent of these products, are taken out of the country.

Colombian paramilitaries earn more money from these Venezuelan goods than from the production and marketing of cocaine, Otxotorena added.

Otxotorena's conclusion is that indeed there is a war against the Venezuelan people, whose criminal and coup character is encouraged by some international media “that would not bear or endure a 10th of these behaviors if they occurred in their countries.

Read More @ Telesur.net

American Billionaire Warns to Get Out of the Stock Markets & Run to Gold

Posted: 30 May 2016 06:09 PM PDT

I'm not surprised at all with the results on chocolate vs silver on the streets. most Americans are simply dumb down zombies. it's in the water, air and food. no wonder everyone grabs the "food ". wow. we are forked guys. get yer gold, guns and God now. peace The Financial Armageddon...

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Rothschild’s New York Branch of Khazarian Mafia Now Final Obstacle to World Peace

Posted: 30 May 2016 06:05 PM PDT

by Ben Fulford, via The Phaser:

When Baron Jacob Nathaniel Rothschild, hiding out at Mark Rich's house on the hill in Zog, Switzerland was identified as the head of the Khazarian mafia, Rothschild reached out to the White Dragon Society via a nephew to negotiate a peace settlement involving and exchange of gold for money and the establishment of a future planning agency. This is now on hold because the New York branch of the Khazarian mafia, headed by the Cohen crime family, blocked it, Rothschild family sources say.

The final Khazarian mob hold outs are trying to present WDS plans for the world economy as socialist or Stalinist. They are hoping to use either Vice President Joe Biden, Democratic Party hopeful Bernie Sanders or US Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump as people who will reform the existing system enough that they can avoid rebooting the system all together as the WDS proposes. What these people need to understand is that on May 2nd , 2016 the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA CORPORATION went bankrupt when its Puerto Rico subsidiary defaulted on a 422 million dollar payment.

WATCH NOW @ ThePhaser.com

Gold Values Fall As The "Dollar Increases" Bilderberg Meetings Soon

Posted: 30 May 2016 05:55 PM PDT

The Illuminati is getting ready to meet at Builderberg to set the course of American interest rates and UK future in the EU http://www.paulbegleyprophecy.com also Help Us Spread the Word The Financial Armageddon Economic Collapse Blog tracks trends and forecasts , futurists ,...

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GERALD CELENTE REVEALS WHAT YOU'RE NOT BEING TOLD ABOUT THE RUSH TO WORLD WAR 3

Posted: 30 May 2016 05:24 PM PDT

Putin is pissed off because NATO keeps mounting troops on the Russian border. Why are we in a rush to war? Gerald Celente reveals what you won't hear on the corporate media with Gary Franchi on the Next News Network. The Financial Armageddon Economic Collapse Blog tracks trends and...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit http://www.newsbooze.com or http://www.figanews.com for full links, other content, and more! ]]

PROPHECY IS REAL - EVIL IS AT THE GATE

Posted: 30 May 2016 04:10 PM PDT

Wake up NOW my friends, because BIBLE PROPHECY is REAL & HELL is being unleashed!! Yet, we know that THE GATES OF HELL will NOT prevail against us. God Bless All, TSTV The Financial Armageddon Economic Collapse Blog tracks trends and forecasts , futurists , visionaries , free...

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The Benjamin Fulford Report, May 30, 2016

Posted: 30 May 2016 12:46 PM PDT

The Benjamin Fulford Report, May 30, 2016 by Benjamin Fulford May 30, 2016 benjaminfulford.net The Financial Armageddon Economic Collapse Blog tracks trends and forecasts , futurists , visionaries , free investigative journalists , researchers , Whistelblowers , truthers and many...

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Jim Willie Accelerating Events Disclosures in MAY interview Economic Collapse and Death of Money

Posted: 30 May 2016 10:00 AM PDT

Jim Willie : " Secret İnformation and Secret interview " Jim Willie  CB Proprietor, GoldenJackass.com Editor, Hat Trick Letter The man behind the name Jim Willie has experience in three important fields of statistical practice in the 23 years following completion of a PhD in...

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Gold Price Forecasts Revised Higher To $1,400/oz - Citi Says "Buy the Dip"

Posted: 30 May 2016 09:53 AM PDT

Gold price forecasts have been revised higher in recent weeks and Citi became the latest bank to revise higher their projections for gold, despite the recent weakness in the price.

Flesh Eating Disease Spreading Throughout Middle East

Posted: 30 May 2016 08:59 AM PDT

Disfiguring tropical bug spread across Syria after ISIS turn the streets into a filthy wasteland is now eating its way across the Middle East The Financial Armageddon Economic Collapse Blog tracks trends and forecasts , futurists , visionaries , free investigative journalists ,...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit http://www.newsbooze.com or http://www.figanews.com for full links, other content, and more! ]]

Maybe they're quaint, but some people do invest as 'some sort of movement'

Posted: 30 May 2016 08:44 AM PDT

11:51a ET Monday, May 30, 2016

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

"Trading and investing," market analyst Dan Norcini wrote the other day --

https://traderdan.com/?p=11693

-- "are about making wise decisions to attempt to increase your wealth. They are not about joining in some sort of movement. Leave that for those who are more interested in 'being right about things' (in their own minds) rather than being successful. Do not forget this."

As GATA is not an investment adviser but a civil rights and educational organization, it doesn't presume to tell people how to invest, though if they are going to invest in gold, of course GATA would prefer, for the sake of the free and transparent markets we pursue, that they purchase real metal and not imaginary metal, not mere claims against financial institutions that, at the behest of governments, are doing their best to control the metal's price by creating imaginary supply.

... Dispatch continues below ...



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USAGold: Great prices, quick delivery -- all the time.



But GATA is aware of a school of thought that, quaint as it may seem, indeed advocates investing as part of "some sort of movement." It calls itself "socially responsible investing" --

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socially_responsible_investing

-- and it is well-established, particularly among Catholics who take their religion seriously:

http://www.aquinasfunds.com/about.html

https://www.avemariafunds.com/about-us/fund-family-profile.html

People involved with "socially responsible investing" want to prosper but aim to do so in accordance with their religious or moral principles -- that is, in accordance with "being right about things" ("in their own minds," of course, as if Norcini doesn't seek to be right in his own mind).

But regardless of whether investors want to restrict themselves with religious or moral principles -- want to profit in some ways but not in others -- they well might want to know as much as possible about what they are getting into. This is where the work of most technical analysts like Norcini has been failing, since it refuses to recognize and account for the massive interference with markets, particularly the monetary metals markets, by governments and central banks, creators of infinite money with which they can and do push price charts around, turning charts into mere holograms, depriving them of whatever meaning they otherwise might have.

Also still in fashion is what might be called psychological analysis of markets, as evidenced by last week's commentary by market letter writer Mike Swanson of Wall Street Window, who calculated that spikes in public interest in market manipulation, including manipulation of the gold market, signify buying opportunities:

http://wallstreetwindow.com/node/12846

Market manipulation, Swanson scoffs, is just the excuse investors use when they have lost money.

Maybe, but so much market manipulation lately has been admitted and punished with fines and financial settlements that it has to be taken more seriously than Swanson takes it.

Indeed, both technical analysis and psychological analysis must ignore surreptitious intervention in markets by governments and central banks or else they would be out of business. That's why neither analysis can ever address certain crucial questions:

-- Are central banks and governments trading surreptitiously in the gold, commodity, equity, and bond markets or not?

-- If central banks and governments are trading surreptitiously in those markets, is it just for fun -- for example, to see which government trading desk can make the most money by cheating the most investors -- or is it for policy purposes?

-- If central banks and governments, creators of infinite money, are surreptitiously trading the markets, what becomes of the market economy?

-- And if central banks and governments, creators of infinite money, are surreptitiously trading markets, how can the sentiment of ordinary investors matter much? How can anything in the markets matter more than the sentiment of central banks and governments?

Documentation of this surreptitious trading by central banks and governments is overwhelming and has been compiled by GATA here:

http://www.gata.org/node/14839

Does any technical analyst, psychological analyst, mainstream financial journalist, or central bank or government official dare to address any of it? It hasn't happened yet.

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
CPowell@GATA.org

* * *

Support GATA by purchasing DVDs of GATA's London conference in August 2011 or GATA's Dawson City conference in August 2006:

http://www.goldrush21.com/order.html

Or a colorful poster of GATA's full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal on January 31, 2009:

http://gata.org/node/wallstreetjournal

Help keep GATA going

GATA is a civil rights and educational organization based in the United States and tax-exempt under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Its e-mail dispatches are free, and you can subscribe at:

http://www.gata.org

To contribute to GATA, please visit:

http://www.gata.org/node/16

GERALD CELENTE TACKLES THE TARGET TYRANNY AGENDA

Posted: 30 May 2016 08:27 AM PDT

Target is crumbling in the wake of their bathroom policy. Gerald Celente weighs in on the controversy with Gary Franchi on the Next News Network. The Financial Armageddon Economic Collapse Blog tracks trends and forecasts , futurists , visionaries , free investigative journalists ,...

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Get Your MONEY OUT OF Banks Now Economy Will Collapse 100% on 2016

Posted: 30 May 2016 06:47 AM PDT

< The Financial Armageddon Economic Collapse Blog tracks trends and forecasts , futurists , visionaries , free investigative journalists , researchers , Whistelblowers , truthers and many more

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Ronan Manly: London precious metals clearing's objective is ignorance

Posted: 30 May 2016 06:31 AM PDT

9:33a ET Monday, May 30, 2016

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Gold researcher Ronan Manly today examines London Precious Metals Clearing Ltd., a conglomerate of the major gold-trading institutions in London, and concludes that its objective is to keep the world ignorant of the manipulation of the price of the monetary metal.

"Firstly," Manly writes, "LPMCL keeps the entire pyramid of London's unallocated precious metals trades spinning. By not reporting any trade information, the London Bullion Market Association and LPMCL keep the entire gold world in the dark about the extent of the London paper gold trading scheme.

"Secondly, LPMCL preserves opacity and prevents public reporting of precious metals trades, including central bank gold lending and gold swaps, and therefore keeps this major gold market trading activity out of focus, with the spotlight off the role of the Bank of England in the London gold market."

Those involved with it, Manly asserts, "are merely helping to protect an entrenched system of opacity in which central banks, sovereign institutions, monetary authorities, the Bank for International Settlements, large bullion banks, and other large operators can move within the gold market without being concerned that any of their transactions and interventions will ever be noticed and reflected in gold price discovery. This is not an efficient market. Far from it. This is a protected and hidden physical trading system upon which is overlaid a massive pyramid of fractional-reserve paper gold trading."

Manly's study is headlined "Spotlight on LPMCL: London Precious Metals Clearing Limited" and it's posted at Bullion Star here:

https://www.bullionstar.com/blogs/ronan-manly/spotlight-lpmcl-london-pre...

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
CPowell@GATA.org



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A Contrarian's Call Option on Gold

Sandspring Resources' Toroparu project in Guyana is the fourth-largest gold deposit in South America held by a junior mining company.

Experienced backers of Sandspring Resources include Silver Wheaton, the John Adams / Energy Fuels group in Denver, and Frank Giustra's Fiore Group in Vancouver.

A 2013 preliminary feasibility study shows strong economics for this large-scale mine at US$1,400 gold. With a current gold price below US$1,300, Sandspring is for investors who believe that gold price suppression will be overcome.

For a detailed report on Sandspring Resources by Tommy Humphreys of CEO.CA, please visit:

https://ceo.ca/@tommy/a-ten-million-ounce-call-option-on-gold



Support GATA by purchasing recordings of the proceedings of the 2014 New Orleans Investment Conference:

https://jeffersoncompanies.com/landing/2014-av-powell

Or by purchasing DVDs of GATA's London conference in August 2011 or GATA's Dawson City conference in August 2006:

http://www.goldrush21.com/order.html

Or a colorful poster of GATA's full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal on January 31, 2009:

http://gata.org/node/wallstreetjournal

Help keep GATA going

GATA is a civil rights and educational organization based in the United States and tax-exempt under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Its e-mail dispatches are free, and you can subscribe at:

http://www.gata.org

To contribute to GATA, please visit:

http://www.gata.org/node/16

China fixes yuan at more than five-year low against dollar

Posted: 30 May 2016 05:48 AM PDT

By Gregor Stuart Hunter
The Wall Street Journal
Monday, May 30, 2016

China's central bank set the daily yuan fixing at its weakest level against the dollar in more than five years on Monday, after hawkish comments from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen boosted the strength of the U.S. currency.

The People's Bank of China set its daily reference rate for the yuan at 6.5784, the weakest level since February 2011 and 0.45 percent lower than Friday's fixing point. Onshore, the yuan is allowed to trade 2 percent above and below the so-called fix.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the dollar's strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.4 percent to 95.888 in early Asian trading. The move follows Yellen's comments late Friday that it would be "appropriate" for the Fed to "gradually and cautiously" increase interest rates in the coming months. ...

... For the remainder of the report:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/china-fixes-yuan-at-more-than-five-year-low-...



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The Gold Mine Barrick Might Regret Having Sold


K92 Mining is poised for production at its Papua New Guinea gold project and has just listed on the Toronto Venture exchange under the symbol KNT.V.

The gold mining startup came together during one of the toughest periods in mining history.

K92's main asset is the Kainantu project, a large high-grade gold resource with extensive infrastructure including underground mine development, a mill processing facility, a fully permitted tailings pond, and paved roads. The infrastructure means K92 can aim to restart mining in the near term with minimal capital costs and seek to grow through cash-flow funded exploration on the roughly 405-square kilometer property, considered prospective for additional discoveries.

For more information, please visit:

https://ceo.ca/@tommy/the-gold-mine-barrick-might-regret-selling



Support GATA by purchasing recordings of the proceedings of the 2014 New Orleans Investment Conference:

https://jeffersoncompanies.com/landing/2014-av-powell

Or by purchasing DVDs of GATA's London conference in August 2011 or GATA's Dawson City conference in August 2006:

http://www.goldrush21.com/order.html

Or a colorful poster of GATA's full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal on January 31, 2009:

http://gata.org/node/wallstreetjournal

Help keep GATA going

GATA is a civil rights and educational organization based in the United States and tax-exempt under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Its e-mail dispatches are free, and you can subscribe at:

http://www.gata.org

To contribute to GATA, please visit:

http://www.gata.org/node/16

Breaking News And Best Of The Web

Posted: 30 May 2016 12:00 AM PDT

Escorts and McDonald’s both point towards slowdown. China’s credit risk grows. Japan ramps up stimulus, rest of world soon to follow. Charles Hugh Smith on why pension funds (that is, your retirement) are doomed. Great interviews with James Rickards and Helen Chaitman. Oil stabilizes and gold continues to correct. Gold’s COT report improves dramatically, though […]

The post Breaking News And Best Of The Web appeared first on DollarCollapse.com.

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