World Trade Suffers Biggest Collapse Since Financial Crisis

By Mark O’Byrne – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

The recent collapse in world trade volume is the worst since the financial crisis and as dangerous as during the dot-com bubble of the early 2000s, according to The Telegraph.

Data from the CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis revealed that world trade volume dropped 1.8% in the three months to January compared to the preceding three months as a synchronized global downturn gained momentum.

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EU Emissions Up as Car Buyers Switch From Diesel to Gasoline

By – Re-Blogged From Politico

Switching fuels is endangering efforts to reach EU emissions targets.

The aftermath of the Dieselgate scandal is pushing drivers to switch from diesel to gasoline cars, undermining efforts to cut carbon dioxide emissions from road transport.

Average CO2 emissions from new cars rose in 2017 for the first time since 2010 — largely due to the fuel change, according to final data released by the European Environment Agency (EEA) on Thursday.

Straws In The Wind

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Life is full of mysteries. Each mystery is like a straw in the wind, which individually means little, but tempting us to speculate there’s a greater meaning behind it all. Yes, there is a far greater game in play, taking Kipling’s aphorism to a higher level.

One of those straws is Russia’s continuing accumulation of gold reserves. Financial pundits tell us that this is to avoid being beholden to the US dollar, and undoubtedly there is truth in it. But why gold? Here, the pundits are silent. There is an answer, and that is Russia understands in principal the virtues of sound money relative to possession of another country’s paper promises. Hence, they sell dollars and buy gold.

But Russia is now going a step further. Izvestia reported the Russian Finance Ministry is considering abolition of VAT on private purchases of gold bullion. We read that this could generate private Russian annual demand of between fifty and a hundred tonnes. More importantly, it paves the way for gold to circulate in Russia as money.

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Russia Dumps U.S. Dollars

By Mark O’Byrne – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

(Bloomberg) — Vladimir Putin’s quest to break Russia’s reliance on the U.S. dollar has set off a literal gold rush. Within the span of a decade, the country quadrupled its bullion reserves, and 2018 marked the most ambitious year yet.

And the pace is keeping up so far this year. Data from the central bank show that holdings rose by 1 million ounces in February, the most since November.

The data shows that Russia is making rapid progress in its effort to diversify away from American assets. Analysts, who have coined the term de-dollarization, speculate about the global economic impacts if more countries adopt a similar philosophy and what it could mean for the dollar’s desirability compared with other assets, such as gold or the Chinese yuan.

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How A ‘No Deal’ Brexit Could Lead To The “Lehmanization” Of Europe

[Some of us think the disaster is way overdone. -Bob]
By Mark O’Byrne – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

(The Telegraph) — Odds of a ‘no deal’ Brexit next week have risen markedly, as the Commons fails to coalesce around a viable alternative to Theresa May’s deal, while once again rejecting the “best possible deal” negotiated between the prime minister and the EU27, albeit by a smaller, yet still considerable, margin than in the past.

This is why, for the first time in a while, speculation about ‘no deal”s impact, not only on the UK, but on the European, and broader global, economy is at the forefront of the market’s mind, as investors have finally been forced to confront the reality that the UK crashing out of the EU next week isn’t only possible, but extremely probable.

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EU Dumps 2050 Climate Alarmist Commitments

By Larry Hamlin – Re-Blogged From WUWT

In a spectacular climate alarmist policy failure the EU dumped its “carbon neutrality by 2050” commitment and targets driven by the sacred but highly arbitrary and unsubstantiated 1.5 degree C global temperature “limit” and ended its Brussels summit with no climate commitments or targets for year 2050.

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Gold – Preparing For The Next Move

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Gold Money

The global economic outlook is deteriorating. Government borrowing in the deficit countries will therefore escalate. US Treasury TIC data confirms foreigners have already begun to liquidate dollar assets, adding to the US Government’s future funding difficulties. The next wave of monetary inflation, required to fund budget deficits and keep banks solvent, will not prevent financial assets suffering a severe bear market, because the scale of monetary dilution will be so large that the purchasing power of the dollar and other currencies will be undermined. Failing fiat currencies suggest the dollar-based financial order is coming to an end. But with few exceptions, investors own nothing but fiat-currency dependent investments. The only portfolio protection from these potential dangers is to embrace sound money – gold.

The global economy is at a cross-road, with international trade stalling and undermining domestic economies. Some central banks, notably the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England were still reflating their economies by supressing interest rates, and the ECB had only stopped quantitative easing in December. The Fed and the Peoples’ Bank of China had been tightening in 2018. The PBOC quickly went into stimulation mode in November, and the Fed has put monetary tightening and interest rates on hold, pending further developments.

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