Will Italy Sink The EU And Boost Gold?

By Arkadiusz Sieron – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

The recent growth acceleration in the EU could distract attention from problems of the common bloc. Fortunately, you can always count on Italy. Whenever you start thinking that only bright future is ahead of the union, the descendants of the proud Romans remind about themselves. Indeed, Italy focuses three major EU’s problems like in a lens. What are they and how could they affect the gold market?

First, populism. As you remember, Italians held general elections in March. As we reported then, the populist party founded by comedian Beppe Grillo won about one-third of the votes. Since then, the Five Star Movement and League, the two biggest parties in the new parliament, have been negotiating to form a new government. In May, they finally published a contract for their shared platform.

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2018 Third-Quarter Forecast

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Table of Contents

(ALY SONG-POL/JOHANNES EISELE/HULTON ARCHIVE/MLADEN ANTONOV/TIMOTHY A. CLARY/ABID KATIB/KATJA BUCHHOLZ/DAVID MCNEW/ATTA KENARE/FOverview

China Remains in the U.S. Crosshairs. The United States will impose tariffs, sanctions and blocks on investment and research in a bid to frustrate China’s development of strategic technologies. China not only has the tools to manage the economic blow, but will also accelerate efforts to lessen its reliance on foreign-sourced technological components.

Trade Battles Fall Short of a Full-Fledged War. Trade frictions will remain high this quarter as the White House continues on an economic warpath in the name of national security. U.S. tariffs will invite countermeasures from trading partners targeting U.S. agricultural and industrial goods. As Congress attempts to reclaim trade authority, the White House will refrain from escalating these trade battles into an all-out trade war.

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Currencies – Truth And Confidence

By Gary Christenson – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

In 1967 the Jefferson Airplane sang:

When the truth is found to be lies,

And all the joy within you dies…”

Restate this for global currencies and it becomes:

When the truth is found to be lies,

Confidence in currencies dies.

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US Utilities Cut to Negative in First as Moody’s Warns of Debt

By Bloomberg – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

For the first time ever, Moody’s Investors Service cut its outlook for U.S. utilities to negative, warning that the sector’s debt levels have reached their highest since the financial crisis and may remain there for months.

The sector’s consolidated debt-to-equity ratio has hit the highest level since 2008 as companies finance mergers, acquisitions and other investments in renewable energy and pipelines, Moody’s analysts led by Ryan Wobbrock said in a note Monday. The federal tax overhaul signed by President Donald Trump stands to make matters worse, since utilities that depend on regulated returns are collecting less cash from customers to cover their tax expenses, the ratings firm said.

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We’re Shocked! Shocked! To Hear That Corporate Execs Use Share Buybacks To Line Their Own Pockets

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

Here’s one for the Clueless Regulator Hall of Fame:

Corporate executives are using stock buybacks to pad their own compensation, according to SEC official

(CNBC) – Share buybacks have surged since the Republican-backed tax bill made it through Congress in December.

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Failed States, Part 1: Hopeless European Millennials And The Populist Takeover

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

Europe is frequently held up as an example of how the rest of the world should behave on a variety of issues. But this comparison misses at least two things: First, “Europe” is actually a lot of different countries in a lot of different situations. Second, much of what seems to work over there only does so because it’s being financed with ever-increasing amounts of debt.

For countries, as for individuals, borrowing money is fun at first but beyond a certain point becomes debilitating, as interest payments begin to crowd out everything else. That’s where a growing number of Europe’s failed states now find themselves, with overly-generous pensions and overly-restrictive labor laws making it virtually impossible to run a functioning market-based economy.

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