Jim:      Well, Jay Powell has one commanding credential. And that credential is the absence of a PhD in economics on his resume. I say this because we have been under the thumb of the Doctors of Economics who have been conducting a policy of academic improv. They have set rates according to models which have been all too fallible. They lack of historical knowledge and, indeed, they lack the humility that comes from having been in markets and having been knocked around by Mr. Market (who you know is a very tough hombre).
While the Liberal International Order and its institutions are credited with the relative peace the world has enjoyed since 1945, Niall says, “That's a very implausible argument.” He believes the world has been more peaceful because of the will and capacity of the US to be the principal guarantor of the system. This is often referred to as Pax Americana, in which the US employed its overwhelming military power to shape and direct global events.
The U.S. Supreme Court held in 1895 that the federal government had no power under the U.S. Constitution to tax interest on municipal bonds.[20] But, in 1988, the Supreme Court stated the Congress could tax interest income on municipal bonds if it so desired on the basis that tax exemption of municipal bonds is not protected by the Constitution.[21] In this case, the Supreme Court stated that the contrary decision of the Court 1895 in the case of Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co. had been "effectively overruled by subsequent case law."
Rather than write on a planned topic, I received at least 20 e-mails yesterday on the same subject so had to switch gears. The e-mails were all panicky because an analyst who works in the precious metals industry suggested that silver will not perform as gold will in the coming reset. I feel the need to address this because I believe it is faulty analysis and may have motivation behind it. I will not name the analyst but can be easily discerned.

Per the latest COT report (note: this references the August 21st COT Report), the hedge fund (Managed Money) net short position in Comex paper gold was 90,000 contracts – by far a record short position for the hedge fund trader category. Conversely, the bank net long position (Swap Dealers) in Comex paper gold was close to an all-time high. It’s not quite as high it was in December 2015.
It seems a lot of the otherwise sellers hold off selling and banks being very slow releasing REOs. They seem to think market will improve in San Diego in the next few months or later. Many of the ones on the market are so over priced they don’t go anywhere and price reductions are slow to come. There is definitely a stalemate between sellers and buyers in San Diego market.
Erik Townsend welcomes Jim Grant to MacroVoices. Erik and Jim discuss new Fed governor Powell, treasury yields and how far the FED go before something breaks. They discuss his outlook on inflation, gold, junk bonds, China and the drivers of long term debt cycles. They reflect on History and what happened when the FED did not bail out the banks in 1920 and considerations on what actions the US government can take to deal with the debt.

The set of sanctions that the U.S. began placing on Iran back in 2010 can be best thought of as a monetary blockade. It relied on deputizing U.S. banks to act as snitches. Any U.S. bank that was caught providing correspondent accounts to a foreign bank that itself helped Iran engage in sanctioned activities would be fined. To avoid being penalized, U.S. banks threatened their foreign bank customers to stop enabling Iranian payments or lose their accounts. And of course the foreign banks (mostly) complied. Read More


The coming gold and silver surge is guaranteed. It is not a question of IF but only WHEN. Initially, the imminent revaluation of the precious metals will have nothing to do with an investment mania but with the total mismanagement of the world economy. A spectacular rise in the metals is just a reflection of the mess the world is in. But as the paper market fails in gold and silver, there will be panic and manic markets.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Federal Home Loan Banks Federal Housing Administration Federal Housing Finance Agency Federal Housing Finance Board Federal Reserve System Government National Mortgage Association Irish Bank Resolution Corporation National Asset Management Agency Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight Office of Financial Stability UK Financial Investments


Assuming that the decline from the January-2018 peak is a short-term correction that will run its course before the end March (my assumption since the correction’s beginning in late-January), the recent price action probably is akin to what happened in February-March of 2007. In late-February of 2007 the SPX had been grinding its way upward in relentless fashion for many months. Read More
The first chart comes from my friend, John Hussman, and shows his margin-adjusted version of the cyclically-adjusted price-to-earnings ratio. This improved version of the CAPE ratio (improved because it has a greater negative correlation with future 12-year returns) shows equity valuations have now surpassed both the dotcom mania peak in 2000 and the 1929 mania peak. Read More
2> Huge pressure on domestic jobs due to 20 years of offshoring (wage arbitration anyone?), outsourcing (many stateside with H1B/L1 Visa treason), out-of-control immigration policies, hostile tax policies et al. — A smart person would want to be mobile, to chase business/employment opportunities, no tied to a boat anchor/deflating asset aka a home.
This moment is not just about leaving the Iran nuclear agreement, or even the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris climate agreement. It is not simply attributable to the unpredictable, childish impulses of the current president. Nor is it the result of Obama’s failure to enforce a red line in Syria, or “leading from behind” in Libya. It is not even about Bush’s invasion of Iraq with the goal of regime change, setting in motion the destruction of what political stability existed in the Middle East. Read More
The global financial crisis of 2008 was essentially caused by excessive leverage, a loss of confidence in real estate credit and a resulting sudden collapse of liquidity in the financial system. The central bank response was to lower interest rates and flood markets with liquidity. Since then, debt loads have increased more than 30% and the percentage of higher risk credit has also grown sharply. Many analysts believe that another crisis is possible due to a combination of enormous leverage and deteriorating credit standards. What will happen to gold if we have another financial crisis?
In the wake of declining stock prices, the bursting of the real estate bubble, and a weakening dollar, the American economy is poised for a prolonged contraction and U.S. stocks will suffer a protracted bear market, so says seasoned Wall Street prognosticator Peter Schiff. Having accurately predicted the current market turmoil in his recent bestseller Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse, the CNBC-dubbed "Doctor Doom" has helped savvy investors protect their portfolios in some very turbulent markets—and now, he'll show you how to do the same.
Older investors who need cash returns like dividends should mostly sit tight, or shift asset mixes more toward U.S. stocks, since the U.S. has the world's most fundamentally strong and stable economy right now. U.S. company dividends are not in apparent danger. But older investors tempted to try to snag some Apple or Facebook on the cheap might want to wait for clearer signs of stabilization before trying to make an opportunity of the sell-off.
We have not seen Wall Street this jumpy since just before the great financial crisis of 2008.  As I have explained so many times before, when the waters are calm and there is low volatility, markets tend to go up.  And when the waters are choppy and volatility starts to spike, markets tend to go down.  That is why the behavior that we have been witnessing from investors during the first two quarters of 2018 is so alarming.  A high level of market turnover is often a sign of big trouble ahead, and according to Bloomberg our financial markets “are churning at the fastest rate since 2008″…Read More

I’ve been to Japan several times, and I can personally attest to the fact that the people there have been demoralized by the last two decades. The sense of forward movement that was common in Japan two decades ago has been replaced by a sense of lowered expectations and insecurity. In the US, I remember this demoralization in the early 1990’s, with that weak economy and high crime levels. But then the late 1990’s boom time came and all that was forgotten, and even the early 2000’s recession and 9/11 couldn’t shake the optimism. But now, the sense that things are going downhill seems to be back in the US, especially among the middle class (the moneyed class is doing fine).

Forester is the founder and chief investment officer of the firm that bears his name. He finds nearly every S&P industry sector to be overvalued, and points out that the last two market crashes were sparked by the bottom falling out of a single sector. In the year 2000 it was technology, and in 2008 it was financials. In 2008, he radically reduced his exposure to bank stocks to 5 percent of his portfolio ahead of the crash at a time when financial stocks made up 20% of the S&P 500 index. His prescient move allowed his fund to become "the sole long-only mutual fund in the U.S. to gain in 2008," per Institutional Investor as quoted by Money.


It's been so very long. I certainly did not miss them, but I knew that I would see them again. Though I would not mind if they never showed their face in these parts again. That said, here they are... the Four Horsemen. The fact is that when these four all show their faces at one time, it may already be too late to seek shelter... you are going to have to fight from where you now stand. They are:
BTW, in this, the VA with its 0 downpayment loans has 1 (yep 1) REO, FHA with its 3 1/2% down had 1 (yep 1 REO), Freddie has 4 REOs and Fannie has 14. The other 50 or 60 REOs are the product of Wall St and securitization. Here it is NOT the government-backed 0 -3 1/2% down loans that are defaulting. Not is it the loans by the community banks – they have only 2 or 3 between the 3 -4 community banks here. What is defaulting are the loans written by the Big Banksters and sahdy otufits like OptionOne, Countrywide etc – most of which those lenders kept and a smaller number they peddled to Fannie/Freddie who are making them take them back.
However, other indicators suggest an intermediate-term bottom is in place. Bullish sentiment among ordinary investors is even lower than that seen at the 2009 market lows, while Merrill Lynch’s latest monthly fund manager survey shows institutional investors are holding more cash than at any time since 2001 – an “unambiguous buy” signal, says Merrill. Allocations to equities have plunged to levels unseen since the market bottoms of mid-2011 and mid-2012. All this indicates last week’s rally may have legs. However, a multi-week or even a multi-month rally would not mean the danger has passed. Fat Pitch blogger Urban Carmel last week noted there were seven bear market rallies in 2008-09, with three lasting six to eight weeks. Stocks always gained a minimum of 7-8 per cent, twice bouncing by at least 20 per cent.
SmokeyBear.com’s current site has a section on “Benefits of Fire” that includes this information: “Fire managers can reintroduce fire into fire-dependent ecosystems with prescribed fire. Under specific, controlled conditions, the beneficial effects of natural fire can be recreated, fuel buildup can be reduced, and we can prevent the catastrophic losses of uncontrolled, unwanted wildfire.” Prescribed or controlled fire is an important resource management tool. It is a way to efficiently and safely provide for fire’s natural role in the ecosystem. However, the goal of Smokey Bear will always be to reduce the number of human-caused wildfires and reduce the loss of resources, homes and lives.[74]
This week, gold rose slightly on balance, while silver maintained its climb out of a deep pit. In early-morning European trade today (Friday) gold was trading at $1199, up $7 from last Friday’s close. Silver was unchanged on the week at $14.50, but as can be seen on our headline chart, silver’s relative performance since the mid-September lows is encouraging.
Most of us are aware of the inflationary pressures in the major economies, that so far are proving somewhat latent in the non-financial sector. But some central banks are on the alert as well, notably the Federal Reserve Board, which has taken the lead in trying to normalise interest rates. Others, such as the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England are yet to be convinced that price inflation is a potential problem.
"The most remarkable flows are into bonds," said David Santschi, CEO of Trimtabs, which provided CNBC with the preliminary fund flow data, which also show strong flows into U.S. equity and international equity portfolios this month. "Bond funds are down in the past four months," he said. "The biggest mispricings in the world today are in bonds, not stocks."
Yet in many ways, bad news for bonds is good news for equities. Investors seem to turn to stocks when bond prices are falling, as changes in bond yields and equity performance have been positively correlated since 1998. Plus, an increase in inflation expectations that's driven by economic growth is usually a good sign for equities, especially when expected inflation crosses the 2 percent threshold.
×