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[KR1163] Keiser Report: American Empire Entering Decline

Sat, 12/16/2017 - 10:53

In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max and Stacy discuss the proposal to send Erik Prince’s private army to secure the trillions of dollars worth of national resources of … Afghanistan. And while the elite like Prince rig the system at the top to dole out free money for oligarchs, so too must the bottom 99% game the complex Obamacare system in order to get free healthcare. In the second half, Max interviews Marshall Auerback of the Levy Institute. They discuss ice hockey and economics of MMT.

Have We Reached Peak NFL?

Fri, 12/15/2017 - 12:00

OK, I get it: pro football is so popular because it’s one of the last refuges of modern life that hasn’t been ruined by politics. Oops, scratch that. But we shouldn’t pin the decline of pro football’s popularity (as measured by viewership) solely on player protests, as the decline predates the recent politicization.

As this chart shows, viewership has been sliding for years across the entire demographic spectrum:

Even more troubling for the multi-billion-dollar NFL empire, the youth demographic is evaporating like mist in a scorching summer day in Death Valley. The problem for the NFL is two-fold: the number of young people who are dedicated NFL viewers is modest, and even worse, it’s declining at a fast clip.

I am sure there are plenty of 25-year old fans, but anecdotally, I don’t know a single Millennial who has any interest in sitting through a 2-hour pro football game at home, or ponying up the big bucks and huge chunk of time required to attend a game.

Again, anecdotally, young people seem more likely to watch a short clip of the game’s highlights on Youtube than devote 2+ hours to sitting through endless annoying TV adverts for a few moments of action.

Or they’re investing their sports-related time and money in college or local sports; if they’re parents, their time may be devoted to their kids’ sports activities.

In other words, pro football is an interest of the older generations that isn’t shared by the younger generations. We can chart this progression with an S-curve, which in the case of the NFL, is marked by the “boost phase” of viewership in the 1970s and 1980s as Monday Night Football expanded the TV audience and the league added franchises.

The league reached a maximum audience some years ago, and has now entered the decline phase.

But the NFL’s troubles run even deeper than demographics: its fan base is being pressured financially while the cost of attending a game keeps rising.Anecdotally, attending a game costs a small fortune now. Yes, there may be a few cheap seats in the nose-bleed sections, but the costs of getting to the game, parking and refreshments far exceed what attendance cost the previous generation, even adjusting for inflation.

Maybe somebody feels $10 for a beer in a tiny plastic cup suitable for a urine sample and $20 (or more) for a couple of hot dogs or snacks is a fair price, but outside the circle of dedicated fans, it’s a ripoff.

Just in case the NFL didn’t notice, 95% of the populace is experiencing stagnating wages and rising costs of essentials, leaving less and less to blow on luxuries such as NFL games.

Only the top 5% have the dough to blow on luxuries, and not to put too fine a point on it, but outside of the luxury corporate boxes, the top 5% is not the prime NFL audience for several reasons, including that they’re too busy working and taking care of responsibilities to devote precious spare time to watching pro football.

Spending is correlated to income, naturally enough: most of the “recovery” is the result of soaring discretionary spending by the top 5%, not the modest spending that is affordable to the bottom 95%. That means that the advertisers spending big bucks to advertise on NFL TV games are reaching an audience with diminishing cash or credit to spend.

Lastly, the NFL has reached the point of over-saturation. Monday Night Football was an innovation in 1970, but who has time or interest for Thursday morning football, Friday afternoon football, etc.? Then there’s the health-related issues (brain damage suffered by players) and the politicization.

To summarize:

1. The NFL has saturated the potential audience to the point of exhaustion.

2. The potential audience is shrinking as student-loan-burdened Millennials have collectively little interest in spending the money or time required to be a rabid fan of pro football.

3. The cost of attending an NFL game is increasingly out of reach of the bottom 95% of households.

4. TV viewership is declining across the entire demographic spectrum.

5. The wages/income of the vast majority of the TV audience has stagnated, and 95% of the populace has less disposable income than a generation ago.

6. The top 5% with the majority of the disposable income are not big pro sports fans, mostly due to the many demands on their time and the diversity of other pursuits available to them.

How will the owners and managers of the multi-billion-dollar NFL empire handle the league’s decline phase? Managing the decline phase is less fun than reveling in the expansion phase. 

I’m offering my new book Money and Work Unchained at a 10% discount ($8.95 for the Kindle ebook and $18 for the print edition) through December, after which the price goes up to retail ($9.95 and $20).

Read the first section for free in PDF format. 

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

WGC: 2018 Set To Be A Positive Year For Price of Gold and Investors

Fri, 12/15/2017 - 07:47

WGC: 2018 Set To Be A Positive Year For Price of Gold and Investors

– Gold expected to build on 2017 gains into 2018 despite headwind conditions
– Gold has gained more than 9% in the year-to-date
– Monetary policy and policymakers will continue to be “significant drivers of gold demand”
– Physical and structural market changes will support gold into 2018
– Goldcore has been at forefront of reporting on major developments in gold market and price

Gold’s had a tough year. This isn’t in reference to price. After all, it has made double-digit gains in some currencies and US Gold futures are up more than 9%. The precious metal has had some harsh criticism from the mainstream media and unfair comparisons to bubblicious assets, such as bitcoin and US equities.

Few have acknowledged gold’s impressive performance in the face of rising interest rates, tightening monetary policies and the ongoing equity bull market.

The World Gold Council’s Chief Market Strategist John Reade is optimistic that gold can carry on with its strong performance, well into 2018. Below, we outline how he expects gold to perform next year.

Click here to read full story on GoldCore.com.

 

Important Guides

For your perusal, below are our most popular guides in 2017:

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Switzerland

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore

Essential Guide to Tax Free Gold Sovereigns (UK)

Please share our research with family, friends and colleagues who you think would benefit from being informed by it.

[KR1162] Keiser Report: Three Bitcoin Pizza Masterpiece

Thu, 12/14/2017 - 17:27

In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max and Stacy discuss the three bitcoin pizza masterpiece and poverty in America. In the second half, Max interviews Steve Marshall of Cuba Ventures about his new crypto solution for Cuban tourist trade – Revolupay!

Year-end Rate Hike Once Again Proves To Be Launchpad For Gold Price

Thu, 12/14/2017 - 07:36

Year-end rate hike once again proves to be launchpad for gold price

– FOMC follows through on much anticipated rate-hike of 0.25%
– Spot gold responds by heading for biggest gain in three weeks, rising by over 1%
– Final meeting for Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen
– Yellen does not expect Trump’s tax-cut package to result in significant, strong growth for US economy
– No concern for bitcoin which ‘plays a very small role in the payment system’

There were few surprises yesterday when the Federal Reserve decided to hike rates for the third time this year, by 0.25% to 1.5%. Gold responded with a climb of over 1%.

The statement accompanying the announcement was cautiously optimistic. Two FOMC members dissented whilst Yellen gave comments on Trump’s much lauded tax package and bitcoin.

This was Yellen’s last FOMC announcement as Federal Reserve Chair. As has become her style she was communicative of the Fed’s upcoming plans in terms of normalising monetary policy and the three rate hikes intended for 2018.

Overall Yellen and co are feeling good about how the current Chair is leaving things:

“…the committee expects the labor market to remain strong, with sustained job creation, ample opportunities for workers and rising wages,”

However concern and perhaps surprise was expressed when inflation data came in lower than expected. The reading of 1.7% in the year to November did not hold back the FOMC from increasing their growth projection from 2.1% to 2.5% for 2018.

Click here to read full story on GoldCore.com.

 

Important Guides

For your perusal, below are our most popular guides in 2017:

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Switzerland

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore

Essential Guide to Tax Free Gold Sovereigns (UK)

Please share our research with family, friends and colleagues who you think would benefit from being informed by it.

Could Central Banks Dump Gold in Favor of Bitcoin?

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 12:29

Exhibit One: here’s your typical central bank, creating trillions of units of currency every year, backed by nothing but trust in the authority of the government, created at the whim of a handful of people in a room and distributed to their cronies, or at the behest of their cronies.

And this is a “trustworthy” currency?

Exhibit Two: central banks can’t become insolvent, we’re told, because they can create as much currency as they want, whenever they want. And this is a “trustworthy” currency?

Exhibit three: and here’s what happens when trust in the currency is lost due to excessive currency issuance: the currency goes from 10 to the US dollar to 5,000 to $1 and then to 95,000 to $1, on its way to 2,000,000 to $1:

Yes, this was once a “trustworthy” currency.

While many people expect China to issue a gold-backed currency some day, they overlook the inconvenient reality that China is creating far more fiat currency than it is adding in gold reserves. They also overlook that gold-backed means nothing if the currency isn’t convertible into gold.

If it isn’t convertible, it isn’t gold-backed. Claiming there’s gold somewhere in a vault doesn’t make a currency gold-backed, as the central bank can devalue the currency it issues at will. Gold-backed means the currency is pegged at X units of currency to 1 unit of gold, and X units of currency can be exchanged for 1 unit of gold.

All of which brings us to the “crazy” idea of backing fiat currencies with cryptocurrencies, an idea I first floated back in 2013, long before the current crypto-craze emerged: Could Bitcoin (or equivalent) Become a Global Reserve Currency?(November 7, 2013)

Since there is no real-world commodity backing the digital currency, its value must be based on scarcity and its ubiquity as money. The two ideas are self-reinforcing: there must be demand for the digital money to create scarcity, and the source of demand is the digital currency’s acceptance as money that can be used to buy commodities, goods, services and (the ultimate test) gold.

Speaking of gold, correspondent Liberty Philosopher recently posed a scenario that was new to me: if gold continues losing value, could central banks dump their gold in favor of cryptocurrencies?

Yes, I realize this is anathema to those who anticipate a gold-backed currency becoming the dominant form of centrally issued currency, but the idea of governments that have debauched their currencies building reserves of decentralized and limited-in-issuance cryptocurrencies may not be as farfetched as you might imagine.

Here is Liberty Philosopher’s commentary:

My understanding is that gold is kind of a reserve asset held by governments that provides the ultimate assurance that they are able to pay their debts. If the value of the assets they hold, which are a guarantee of their ability to pay, begins to erode, and the erosion in value is not a temporary or passing phenomenon, but a continuous and long-term trend, this would imply that the ability of governments to ultimately pay their debts would be eroding. If the value of gold begins to decline, governments who have gold reserves, but whose ability to pay their debts may be somewhat in question, would come under pressure to fortify their reserves as proof that they remained able to pay their debts.

If the price of gold were to continue to decline, my thought is that governments would be under pressure to sell the reserve asset that was declining in value, because the continuing decline in value would call into question their ability to repay their debts. They couldn’t just sit there and allow their reserves to decline in value year after year. They would have to act. If the need for having some kind of “hard” currency reserve remains (creditors may not want to accept newly printed bank notes in lieu of “hard” reserves), and they are forced to begin selling their gold reserves, what other hard reserve asset could they obtain or purchase? I think they could become purchasers of the most valuable cryptocurrencies as a replacement for their gold reserves.

The ideal reserve gains in purchasing power over time. If Venezuela had purchased bitcoin in size when it was $100, or even $1,000 in January 2017, its own currency wouldn’t be heading to near-zero quite so quickly.

In my book A Radically Beneficial World, I proposed that nations which had debauched their centrally issued fiat currency could acquire the labor-backed currency I propose as reserves.

The acquisition of decentralized cryptocurrencies as reserves may sound crazy now, but as central banks destroy the purchasing power of their fiat currencies, all sorts of ideas that seem crazy now will start looking practical once the death spiral of the current unstable monetary regime begins. 

I’m offering my new book Money and Work Unchained at a 10% discount ($8.95 for the Kindle ebook and $18 for the print edition) through December, after which the price goes up to retail ($9.95 and $20).

Read the first section for free in PDF format. 

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

Despite Today’s Fed Love Fest: The Evidence Is Strong That Gold & Silver Bottomed Yesterday

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 09:24

We may well have just seen the bottom in gold and silver yesterday:

That is not to say we can’t take another trip down, and the move faded overnight.

Side note: The dollar is up somewhat, but not in a way as to mirror the drop in the metals, especially going in to “everything is awesome” FOMC Day.

The significance of today cannot be understated.

Today is December FOMC day. In 2015, silver bottomed two days before this day, and in 2016, silver bottomed six days after.

In other words, we either saw the bottom yesterday, or we are very near the bottom right now.

If we did not see the bottom yesterday, that’s fine by me. I took in my loose change that I accumulated since this summer and I deposited it in my bank, so if we break-down in silver from here and trade with a $15.5X handle, I’ve I’m gonna pull the trigger on some phyzz again. 2.25 ounces to be exact. Every little bit helps right?

Another sign the bottom may be in already is just how oversold silver is right now:

Twice now in recent days silver broke-down into what many would call “very oversold”. That is a good sign in and of itself. Manipulation aside, it means that everybody who wanted to sell silver, has sold silver. Furthermore, notice the bottom forming on the chart as indicated by the last few days of trading.

The turn is better shown in gold:

Click here to read the rest of the story on Silver Doctors

UK Stagflation Risk As Inflation Hits 3.1% and House Prices Fall

Wed, 12/13/2017 - 07:51

UK Stagflation Risk As Inflation Hits 3.1% and House Prices Fall 

– UK inflation hits 3.1%, highest in nearly six years
– UK earnings flat – households are still suffering falling real wages
– Stagflation risk as food and drink prices jumped 4.1% in 12 months
– UK house prices fall two-months in a row, down 0.5% in October
– Real stagflation risk now, inflation high and growth slowing
– Savings continue to be eaten by inflation 

It was just two years ago that Mark Carney was writing his fourth letter to the British Chancellor, explaining why the country was in a deflationary slump. Even then households were feeling the pinch, despite what officials reported.

Since then Brits have become increasingly vindicated as inflation figures have begun to show what they have all known for some time – prices and the cost of living is on the rise.

Now Mark Carney is forced to write a different type of letter to the Chancellor, one where he will have to explain why inflation is above target at 3.1%. The jump to over 3% in the year to November is the fastest paced increase seen in nearly six years.

Click here to read full story on GoldCore.com.

 

Important Guides

For your perusal, below are our most popular guides in 2017:

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Switzerland

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore

Essential Guide to Tax Free Gold Sovereigns (UK)

Please share our research with family, friends and colleagues who you think would benefit from being informed by it.

[KR1161] Keiser Report: Bitcoin Futures & Future of Cryptocurrencies

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 18:17

In this episode of the Keiser Report from New York City, Max and Stacy discuss the introduction of bitcoin futures and what it means for the future of cryptocurrencies. In the second half, Max continues his interview with the former head of the North Carolina Democratic party about the latest in the fight for net neutrality and a platform for the Democratic party.

Esports is Becoming the #2 Most Popular Sport on the Planet

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 10:27

Online gaming is an industry whose development over the years remains one of the significant proofs of how modern day technology is changing the way humans live and go about their businesses.

The evolution of gaming

The extent of growth in the eSports and online gaming industry especially within the last three decades has seen the global attitude towards gaming change from simple fun-time individual engagements to more complex professional community projects. The evolution from single player activities to multi-player gaming systems is considered as one of the most responsible factors behind the explosive market size that the industry has experienced.

Moving from a market size of under $200M with just a few dozen million participants to a market value of $100Bn with 2.3Bn players worldwide, with 1.4Bn registered users concentrated around the top 10 most competitive titles. Eight of these being team-based games like Counter-Strike, League of Legends, Dota2 and Overwatch, all played 5×5 or 6×6 is an evolution that cannot go unrecognized.

Multi player gaming

Community motivated gaming is identified as a key factor in the way the gaming industry and marketplace has developed, however, it is not always as easy at it seems. While it is usually easy to have fun playing solo, it becomes really tough for players who want to form a team and start an amateur career. 

Most players who are particularly new to the art of multi-player gaming go through difficulties such as:

  • Where to find a team
  • How to become a pro
  • Where to find teams to practice with
  • How to manage a team
  • How to analyze team data

Blockchain in esports

With the unlocking of blockchain & smart contract technologies Dreamteam Network provides a unique opportunity for an all-in-one solution that also builds a multi-billion dollar economy on one platform.

This platform provides users with a robust profile, game and team management tools that puts individual gamers at every level in total control of their gaming careers. Other opportunities that can be accessed using the Dreamteam platform include access to practice games, data on teams, players, coaches, e.t.c. Other benefits include connection to ratings engine and big data analytics, various management tools and numerous money making opportunities within the gaming marketplace.

By 2023, Esports will become the #2 most popular sport on the planet with an audience of up to 1Bn viewers. Prize money will reach $300M/ year. The Olympics will include major Esports games as official sports. This is a development that has built up over decades of gradual evolution.

By implementing the blockchain, there is an expectation of a significant leap in the development of esports and the entire gaming ecosystem. Being worth over $100 Billion already, the market value of esports and mobile gaming in the near future can only be left for imagination.

Our National Madness

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 10:24

The nation has lost its common sense, its soul and its sanity. Can we summarize the source of this remarkably pervasive madness?

Our efforts are now focused not on solving core problems but on covering up core problems, as if covering up problems is a substitute for solving them. Down this path lies madness, for this substitution of false narratives for reality erodes our ability to distinguish not just between reality and fantasy but our ability to distinguish between moral rights and wrongs.

The efforts of those in positions of power are now focused on obscuring the truth, marginalizing critics, blaming malevolent external forces, cloaking self-interest with virtue signaling and staking claims to victimhood. These are the five dynamics that are powering the nation’s descent into madness and dysfunction.

Consider Harvey Weinstein. Evidence is now emerging that Mr. Weinstein and his army of toadies, bullies, thugs, et al. put enormous effort and resources into obscuring the truth, marginalizing critics, and cloaking self-interest with virtue signaling. Next up for Mr. Weinstein’s team of apologists: blame the Russians (or an equivalently malevolent Other), and claim to be a victim of all those testifying against him.

This is the model for everyone in positions of power. The only variation is which of the five will be spewed as a first line of defense, and which will be held in reserve for the last-ditch defense against the truth becoming public.

I’m sorry if this is a shock, but the economic “recovery” is nothing but smoke and mirrors designed to obscure the pillage of the nation’s wealth and income by state-protected cartels. The central bank can’t actually fix what’s broken in our economy, but it can manually push the needle of the stock market higher.

So rather than actually fix what’s broken, the “solution” is to make the stock market the primary measure of “prosperity.” In effect, the stagnation of real prosperity is a problem that would require profound (and painful to those gorging at the feeding trough) changes in the status quo; so the solution is to label the stock market “the measure of prosperity” and then shove it higher.

This substitution of trickery for reality solves nothing. It is the exact equivalent of the student who didn’t study and who learned nothing erasing his F grade and forging an A in its place. Nothing has actually changed in terms of the student’s knowledge or skillset, but he has fooled the authorities focusing on superficialities: incompetent, self-serving administrators who then tout the student’s high grade as evidence of their own success, the media which mindlessly accepts the fake grade as evidence that all is peachy-keen in the school district, and so on down the line.

If this happens often enough, the student actually starts believing he can get away with trickery as a solution for all problems: just BS your way through any challenge, and if that fails, then marginalize one’s critics, blame malevolent external forces, furiously virtue-signal, and if all else fails, stake a claim to victimhood.

In other words, the student loses touch with reality and is lost. The USA has lost touch with reality, for its leadership has embraced the notion that trickery and fakery that covers up problems is a substitute for solving problems–and if this fails to convince an increasingly jaded and cynical public, then body-slam the public with the other four tactics: marginalize critics, blame malevolent external forces, cloak self-interest with virtue signaling and stake claims to victimhood.

Unfortunately for our nation, madness is repeating what’s failed and thinking it will work next time. Trickery, maligning critics, virtue signaling, blaming outside forces and claiming victimhood no longer have the desired effect on all but the most delusional (or self-serving) supporters of our profoundly corrupt leadership.

Actions have consequences. Fakery and trickery are not solutions; they are a form of self-delusional madness that destroys the nation’s ability to face reality squarely and choose real solutions, no matter how painful the choice and path might be.

 

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

Why Cryptos Will Not Replace Gold As A Store Of Value

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 07:33

– Gold versus Bitcoin: The pro-gold argument takes shape
– Why cryptocurrencies will not replace gold as a store of value
– Similarities between crypto and gold but that does not make them substitutes
– Gold remains a highly liquid market, cryptocurrencies continue to be fragmented and difficult to spend
– Bitcoin  does not make it an effective hedge against stocks
– Gold coins and bars cannot be hacked and vaults are insured

This weekend saw bitcoin shoot up over $8,000 and Bloomberg covered how some preppers were turning to bitcoin over gold. Does this mean it’s all over for gold? Is it set to be supplanted as a safe haven by crypto currencies?

Hardly. People read such information and continue to believe that gold and cryptocurrencies are substitute assets. They are not. So why are they so often pitched against one another?

Bitcoin and its contemporaries clearly have a role to play, the volume of demand demonstrates this and the technology is powerful. But, that role is not as a replacement for gold as a store of value.

Risk Hedge sums it up saying:

“Despite what the crypto-evangelists will tell you, digital tokens will never and can never replace gold as your financial hedge.”

Click here to read full story on GoldCore.com.

 

Important Guides

For your perusal, below are our most popular guides in 2017:

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Switzerland

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore

Essential Guide to Tax Free Gold Sovereigns (UK)

Please share our research with family, friends and colleagues who you think would benefit from being informed by it.

Want Widespread Prosperity? Radically Lower Costs

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 10:39

It’s easy to go down the wormhole of complexity when it comes to figuring out why our economy is stagnating for the bottom 80% of households. But it’s actually not that complicated: the primary driver of stagnation, decline of small business start-ups, etc. is costs are skyrocketing to the point of unaffordability.

As I have pointed out many times, history is unambiguous regarding the economic foundations of widespread prosperity: the core ingredients are:

1. Low inflation, a.k.a. stable, sound money

2. Social mobility (a meritocracy that enables achievers and entrepreneurs to climb out of impoverished beginnings)

3. Relatively free trade in products, currencies, ideas and innovations

4. A state (government) that competently manages tax collection, maintains roadways and harbors, secures borders and trade routes, etc.

Simply put, When costs are cheap and trade is abundant, prosperity is widely distributed. Once costs rise, trade declines and living standards stagnate. Poverty and unrest rise.

These foundations characterize stable economies with widely distributed prosperity across time and geography, from China’s Tang Dynasty to the Roman Republic to the Byzantine Empire to 19th century Great Britain.

The “Secret Sauce” of the Byzantine Empire: Stable Currency, Social Mobility(September 1, 2016)

The Lesson of Empires: Once Privilege Limits Social Mobility, Collapse Is Inevitable(April 18, 2016)

I have estimated the realistic cost of a conventional middle class lifestyle, and found that only the top 20% can afford a middle class lifestyle. Needless to say, this destroys the notion of being “middle.”

The squeeze on households comes from both the soaring cost of big-ticket items such as childcare and healthcare and from the stagnation of wages/income.

Why the Middle Class Is Doomed (April 17, 2012)

Priced Out of the Middle Class (June 28, 2012)

The Burrito Index: Consumer Prices Have Soared 160% Since 2001 (August 1, 2016)

Inflation Isn’t Evenly Distributed: The Protected Are Fine, the Unprotected Are Impoverished Debt-Serfs (May 25, 2017)

The Disaster of Inflation–For the Bottom 95% (October 28, 2016)

About Those “Hedonic Adjustments” to Inflation: Ignoring the Systemic Decline in Quality, Utility, Durability and Service (October 11, 2017)

So your new TV cost $100 less but your healthcare costs $10,000 more: the big expenses are soaring, costing households tens of thousands of dollars more while cheap TVs and clothing decline a few bucks.

Labor’s share of the economy keeps stairstepping down: every boom/bubble benefits the financier and technocrat class, but labor’s share of the economic “boom” flatlines for a few years and then tanks in the inevitable unwinding/recession.

The third dynamic is the dominance of anti-competitive cartels and state guilds which are no longer accountable or competent. (The two are related, of course; when accountability is lost, there’s no way to identify or weed out graft and incompetence.)

This report on the causes of the decline of New York’s subway system reads like a summary of the entire U.S. economy: the politicization of public services, corruption that evades the legal definition of corruption, self-enriching guilds, cartels and elites and gross incompetence enabled by zero accountability.

How Politics and Bad Decisions Starved New York’s Subway (New York Times)

As long as this is business as usual, it’s impossible to slash costs and boost widespread prosperity. 

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

Thanksgiving Dinner Is Not Usually Served On A Silver Platter But This Year We May See Just That

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 09:52

In November of 2015 when silver was bottoming, we all had to endure 15 consecutive days of pure disgust:

2016 was not quite as bad, but not any easier:

Which brings us to November 2017:

Notice the theme here.

Silver bottomed in 2015. In 2016, silver began (or resumed) its bull market. This is further supported by the huge moves on the 2016 chart above. This is because, generally speaking, in bull markets, the biggest moves are to the downside, and in bear markets, the biggest moves are to the upside.

And what do we see in 2017? A very slow and painful grind to the upside full of emotional hope and hopelessness all wrapped into eleven months.

So far, we have been spared the massive drop in price this November. This is not to say it’s not coming. We don’t know if it is or not, but we do now this:

The cartel absolutely loves to smash price during the holidays. Most people who are working on Wednesday are ineffective in their jobs as they have one thing in mind, the markets are closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving, and on Black Friday, again, work is about the last thing on most people’s mind.

And so for silverbugs it can be painful to watch, because the cartel has been successful in strong-arming the market during the holiday week.

If somehow we can manage a close above $17.45 on the daily in the chart above, then silver will have managed to take a big step forward in resuming the uptrend. Not shown with an arrow because we’d all rather have some hope, but a close below $16.71 and it most likely will, yet again, be a painful close to 2017.

At $17.20 we have a ray of hope because the price action has been positive to the upside and we are above both the 50-day and the 200-day.

Silver has also come back down on the GSR:

Silver is below the 200-day in terms of how many ounces of silver it takes to buy one ounce of gold.

Gold ended the week well last week with momentum:

Gold has broke out of what was essentially a $20 trading range. Plus, the surge on Friday put the gold price above its 50-day.

It’s not shown on the graph above, but the resistance is the October 13th close at $1306.

At only $10-$15 it seems so close, but we can be certain the cartel will not give up that price level without a fight.

Platinum also had a huge surge on Friday:

Yet overnight we can already see the precious metal coming down off of the move.

But this is not to cast a negative light, because palladium is holding up and in fact rose overnight:

Palladium is the only precious metal that has not pulled back from the move on Friday.

Copper begins the week looking as if the base metal is going to ride the 50-day to either side for a while:

Which is exactly what it did last time it revisited the moving average.

Crude is still above $56 going into the holiday-shortened trading week:

If there is a current example of “climbing a wall of worry” then it is with crude. The doubt in the rise is exactly what everybody was feeling when the metals began moving up in 2016. Nobody was ready to call it a new bull market for some time.

The yield on the 10-year note is right smack in the middle of the 2.3% to 2.4% range:

On Wednesday, the Fed minutes from the November FOMC meeting (Nov 1) are going to be released. That may have an effect on the treasury market, and it’s shown in the range-bound yield above.

The Fed always releases their minutes three weeks after the meeting. This is a key way they can fundamentally manipulate or “jawbone”. You see, we are told that the release is the notes on what was discussed at their last meeting, but for those who are unaware, what the minutes really represent is an opportunity for the Fed to re-work the markets in any way they may need re-working to the Fed’s liking.

That is to say, the Fed will be looking to talk the markets for themselves and their banker cohorts, and the MSM will be cheering and supportive in whatever way they can.

What we need to know for the prices of gold & silver is that the minutes can be released and the metals can move off of the headlines. We know which way the Fed wants them to move so we must all be on guard for a price attack.

The dollar is barely treading water above its 50-day:

If the dollar breaks down through the 50-day, that will be bullish for gold and silver, however, just like the minutes can have an affect on the treasury market, the minutes can also have an effect on the dollar.

If the Dow is going to reach 24,000 it better get moving:

Because if it’s not reaching record highs every other day, do we then dare say it’s run out of gas?

Finally, presented with no comment:

Stack accordingly…

– Half Dollar

SilverDoctors.com has been on the leading edge of Gold News and Silver News Since 2011. Each month, more than 250,000 investors visit SilverDoctors.com to gain insights on Precious Metals News as well as to stay up-to-date on World News impacting the metals markets.

Money and Markets Infographic Shows Silver Most Undervalued Asset

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 07:30

Money and Markets Infographic Shows Silver Most Undervalued Asset

– Silver remains severely under owned and under valued asset
– Entire silver market worth tiny $100 billion shown in one tiny square
– “All of the World’s Money and Markets in One Visualization”

– Must see ‘Money and Markets’ infographic shows relative size of key markets: silver bullion, gold bullion, cryptocurrencies/ bitcoin, largest companies, 50 richest people, Fed balance sheet, currency, stocks, property, cash, debt & derivatives
– Small allocation by investors and world’s richest will see silver surge like bitcoin

Click to enlarge. Source: Visual Capitalist

by Visual Capitalist

Millions, billions, and trillions…

When we talk about the giant size of Apple, the fortune of Warren Buffett, or the massive amount of global debt accumulated – all of these things sound large, but they are actually extremely different in magnitude.

That’s why visualizing things spatially can give us a better perspective on money and markets.

HOW MUCH MONEY EXISTS?

This infographic was initially created to show how much money exists in its different forms. For example, to highlight how much physical cash there is in comparison to broader measures of money which include saving and checking account deposits.

Interestingly, what is considered “money” depends on who you are asking.

Are the abstractions created by Central Banks really money? What about gold, bitcoins, or other hard assets?

Click here to read full story on GoldCore.com.

 

Important Guides

For your perusal, below are our most popular guides in 2017:

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Switzerland

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore

Essential Guide to Tax Free Gold Sovereigns (UK)

Please share our research with family, friends and colleagues who you think would benefit from being informed by it.

[KR1151] Keiser Report: Will Weapons of Mass Financial Destruction Be Used against Qatar?

Sat, 11/18/2017 - 14:49

In this episode of the Keiser Report Max and Stacy discuss the bizarre documents leaked to TheIntercept.com exposing an alleged financial plan to attack Qatar with weapons of mass financial destruction. In the second half Max continues his interview with Max Blumenthal about #russiagate, #TheResistance, AIPAC and more.

The Great Retirement Con

Sat, 11/18/2017 - 12:03

40 years ago, a grand experiment was embarked upon. One that promised US workers: Using new ‘defined contribution’ retirement savings vehicles such as IRAs and 401k,, they’d be better off when they reached retirement age.

Which raises a simple but very important question: How have things worked out?

The answer? Not well at all for the vast majority of Americans, for whom “retirement” will remain a perpetual myth. Click here to read the full article

Today No Metals Die: Gold & Silver Prices Rise To Finish The Week Strong

Sat, 11/18/2017 - 11:52

It’s nice to see a volume spike on the bid side for a change:

We have been saying for weeks now, and probably sound like a broken record, that sooner or later the open interest has to come down. There are two ways it can come down, by a brute force paper dump and then the bullion banking cartel, also known as the commercials, step in and buy back all those contracts they sold short.

The other way is just to buy them back, which would drive the price up in a “short covering” event. We’ll have to see what happened to the level of open interest to start to see if the banks are covering their shorts.

The cartel has tried to smash all week, starting on Sunday night at 10:30 p.m. EST, but each time the dip has been bought:

And then the surge into the afternoon happened. We were reluctant to put out an article, because looking at the chart above, the last time gold hit $1290 – BAM! That was on Wednesday and it got knocked right back down.

Although the precious metals have held on to their gains into the close:

Gold and silver faded the move but started turning up again late in the afternoon.

Not helping the cartel is a US dollar that is breaking down:

 

We are not even going to post the inverse head-n-shoulders pattern because it’s a done deal. We are now at 93.666 on the chart.

A chart of the US Dollar/Japanese Yen shows similar breakdown, meaning that the yen is strengthening against the dollar.

So a combination of a weakening dollar, and strengthening yen and any short covering would be a step in understanding the rise on the day.

Because it had nothing to do with “fear”:

The VIX has actually fallen for two days in a row nad is now below 12 (though still above the 200-day moving average).

But back to the metals, individually.

Things are actually starting to shape up nicely on the silver weekly chart:

That’s a fairly respectable bullish candle, and it really highlights silver’s resilience. Silver has put in a second higher-low on the weekly. We are now back on the right track. A weekly close above $17.45 and we will have put in a second higher-high.

Gold is also looking decent on the weekly:

In the cartel’s ultimately futile attempt at holding gold back, it is nice to see that the volume is still very high. For a second week in a row the yellow metal is up with a respectable bullish candle. Again, all things considered.

Though we end the week with our chins up, there is the nastiness of the moving averages to deal with because the cartel is desperately trying to smash both gold and silver through to the downside.

But it wasn’t today. Both gold and silver, on their surge in price today, finished above the 50-day moving averages.

And it’s starting to look like things we want to see:

Shown on the GSR above, the number of ounces of silver it takes to buy one ounce of gold is now under the 200-day moving average.

Palladium may be reversing the down move over the last several days:

Palladium is up nicely on the year and all of the action on the chart is bullish. Those are nice, healthy pullbacks one wants to see which are the sign of a healthy bull market.

Platinum may be finally showing some signs of life:

On the daily, there is confirmation that we are on track is that there is now a bullish trend underway. Platinum has been under severe strain lately, but today the metal surged and gained more than the other three (up $17.60 or 1.88%).

Everybody is doubting this oil rally:

It stands to reason that the bulls would “climb a wall of worry”, because that is exactly what we did in early 2016 after gold & silver resumed their bull market super-cycle. What will it take before crude is declared in a new bull market? A close above $58 on the daily would certainly add another rung to the ladder.

Copper found support at the level we called “minor support” earlier in the week:

If copper can stay above the psychological support of $3, then this will be even further confirmation that the commodities bull market is under way.

A commodities bull market means inflation is about to run hot as the input costs of basically everything goes up.

The Ten Year Note yield is still in the 2.3% – 2.4% range it has been in for some time now:

With Fed Head Williams droppin’ the truth bombs that the Fed may begin a policy of negative interest rates, that yield would be going lower. It has been a common belief that they can’t raise yields gradually anyway. Sooner or later, the bond bubble is going to pop, and the Fed would be forced into a Paul Volcker style hike by the markets.

The Fed and the ESF can control the markets for some time, but not forever.

The Nasdaq didn’t make a new record high today after pulling it off yesterday:

But today’s chart of the day goes to Bitcoin:

After the drop to $5,500 last weekend, the ascent has been near vertical.

Consider this: If Bitcoin is in a bubble (which many feel it is), when it pops, all the Bitcoin holders will yet again need to find a place to go (if they can get out in time) and since none of them like sovereign fiat, we could see a panic rush into gold and silver like no other.

Stack accordingly…

– Half Dollar

SilverDoctors.com has been on the leading edge of Gold News and Silver News Since 2011. Each month, more than 250,000 investors visit SilverDoctors.com to gain insights on Precious Metals News as well as to stay up-to-date on World News impacting the metals markets.

The Demise of Dissent: Why the Web Is Becoming Homogenized

Sat, 11/18/2017 - 11:43

We’ve all heard that the problem with the web is fake news, i.e. unsubstantiated or erroneous content that’s designed to mislead or sow confusion.

The problem isn’t just fake news–it’s the homogenization of the web, that is, the elimination or marginalization of independent voices of skepticism and dissent.

There are four drivers of this homogenization:

1. The suppression of dissent under the guise of ridding the web of propaganda and fake news–in other words, dissent is labeled fake news as a cover for silencing critics and skeptics.

2. The sharp decline of advertising revenues flowing to web publishers, both major outlets and small independent publishers like Of Two Minds.

3. The majority of advert revenues now flow into the coffers of the quasi-monopolies Facebook and Google.

4. Publishers are increasingly dependent on these quasi-monopolies for readers and visibility: any publisher who runs afoul of Facebook and Google and is sent to Digital Siberia effectively vanishes.

The reason why publishers’ advert incomes are plummeting are four-fold:

1. Most of the advert revenues in the digital market are being skimmed by Facebook and Google, as the chart below illustrates.

2. Ad blockers have become ubiquitous.

3. Few people click on the display ads that are the standard in desktop web publishing; in other words, these ads simply don’t work very well, and much of the revenue being generated is click-fraud, i.e. bots not real people clicking on adverts because they’re interested in the product/service. As a result, advertisers are pulling away from these type of ads as they search for advert models that aren’t so vulnerable to click-fraud.

4. The web is increasingly shifting to mobile, which has fewer advert spots due to the small size of the display. In addition, major third-party advert services such as Google Adsense place restrictions on the number and size of ads being displayed on publishers’ sites.

The systemic erosion of advert revenues for everyone other than FB and Google is evident everywhere: for example, BuzzFeed Set to Miss Revenue Target, Signaling Turbulence in Media Prospects for a 2018 initial public offering by the high-profile publisher now appear remote.

Digital publisher BuzzFeed is on track to miss its revenue target this year by a significant amount, the latest sign that troubles in the online-ad business are making it tough for new-media upstarts to live up to lofty expectations.

As a result of these two dynamics–the censorship of dissenting views under the excuse of limiting fake news, and the erosion of advert income–independent publishers are losing ground. While those posting on Facebook and other social media sites have little expectation of monetizing their content, many web publishers made enough income off adverts or affiliated income (from YouTube channels, for example) to justify the enormous time and effort they expended keeping their channel/site going.

As advert income has dwindled, there are only two other revenue models available to publishers: a subscription service or Patreon, i.e. the direct financial support of users/readers/viewers. Major publishers are struggling to build a subscription base large enough to fund their operations, a task made more difficult by the expectation that all content is free or should be free.

Patreon has been a boon for thousands of independent writers, journalists, cartoonists, filmmakers and other creators of content. The Patreon model (as I understand it, and yes I have a Patreon campaign) is not based on content that’s behind a paywall available to subscribers only, but on providing incentives in the form of content or other rewards to those who choose to contribute.

The Patreon model only works if enough users/readers/viewers step up to support content creators they value. I think the success of Patreon suggests that many people are willing to support the content creators they value. But like all voluntary revenue models, there’s the free-rider issue: people who may have the income to pay a bit for content choose not to, and in essence free-ride on those few who do contribute/pay for content.

Some people have advanced the model of micropayments as the solution to the problem of compensating content creators fairly. While this model has some obvious benefits–pennies charged for access to content might add up to a living for content creators if their audience was large enough–it would still be a voluntary system, and thus it would have the same free-rider issue as every other voluntary payment-for-content idea.

Posting “free” content on social media ends up driving advert revenues to the social media and search monopolies, leaving nothing for the content creators. There is only so much serious content that can be created for free.

If what we’re left with is “free” content (i.e. the creator gets no income for creating and posting content), Facebook, Google and click-bait link farms of sensationalist headlines, we’ll end up with a thoroughly homogenized web of “approved content” underwritten by lobbyists, the entertainment industry and elitist foundations/think tanks, and little in the way of real dissent or diversity of independent analysis.

In other words, we’ll be left with officially generated and sanctioned fake news and “approved” dissent: unemployment is at record lows, inflation is near zero, the “recovery” is alive and well, Russia is the enemy and any suggestion to the contrary is propaganda that must be eradicated as fake news, etc.

Simply put, the web is becoming Orwellian. There’s plenty of approved “diversity of opinion,” but dissent is being sidelined to the fringes as a risk to the perfection of managed content.

 

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

[KR1150] Keiser Report: Business of #Russiagate

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 08:08

In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max and Stacy discuss ‘the international oligarchy’ exposed by the ‘Paradise Papers.’ In the second half, Max interviews Max Blumenthal about the business of #Russiagate.

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