Michael Pento: “Central Banks Have Jumped The Shark,” May Even Buy Stocks

By Mike Gleason – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome back Michael Pento president and founder of Pento Portfolio Services. Michael is a well-known money manager, market commentator, and author of the book, The Coming Bond Market Collapse: How to Survive the Demise of the U.S. Debt Market. He’s been a regular guest with us over the years, and it’s always a pleasure to have him on with us.

Michael, thanks for the time again today and welcome back.

Michael Pento: Thank you so much for having me back on Mike.

Mike Gleason: Well, Michael, it’s been a few months since we’ve had you on last and just a little bit has been going on in the world. COVID-19 has hit the states to say the least and caused major disruptions in the economy. Governors have instituted stay-home orders. Tens of millions of people have filed for unemployment. Now we’re seeing major rioting and social unrest in many cities throughout the country over the police killing of a black man in Minnesota last week.

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You Can’t Just Print More Gold

By Frank Holmes – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

“I think there is a strong likelihood we will need another bill.”

That’s according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who supports additional fiscal stimulus to combat the economic impact of the novel coronavirus—within reason.

The secretary’s statement comes after the House passed a record-shattering $3 trillion relief package, though leaders in the Senate have said they will not put it up for a vote. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made it clear that the next coronavirus bill “cannot exceed $1 trillion,” according to reporting by Axios.

Even so, the U.S. government’s response is already massive, dwarfing anything that’s come before it.

Powell Sends A Message With Love For Gold

By Arkadiusz Sieroń – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Powell gave a much-awaited speech yesterday, in which he sent one bearish and two bullish messages for gold. What exactly did he say and what does it mean for the yellow metal?

Powell Sends One Bearish and Two Bullish Messages for Gold

Jerome Powell gave a speech yesterday at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. The Fed Chair acknowledged the unprecedented depth of the coronavirus crisis, and its disastrous impact for the US labor market, something we also noted many times:

The scope and speed of this downturn are without modern precedent, significantly worse than any recession since World War II. We are seeing a severe decline in economic activity and in employment, and already the job gains of the past decade have been erased. Since the pandemic arrived in force just two months ago, more than 20 million people have lost their jobs.

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Permanently Addicted to Zero

In Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s appearance before Congress on February 11th, formerly known as The Humphrey-Hawkins testimony, he asserted that the U.S. economy was, “In a very good place” and “There’s nothing about this expansion that is unstable or unsustainable.” But compare Powell’s sophomoric declaration to what Charlie Munger, Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffett’s longtime right-hand-man, had to say about the market and the economy, “I think there are lots of troubles coming…there’s too much-wretched excess.”

Mr. Powell’s comments rival in ignorance with that of former Fed Chair Bernanke’s claim that the sub-prime mort crisis was contained. That is until the Great Recession wiped out 50% of stock valuations and over 30% of the real estate market. And of course, don’t forget about Fed Chairs Yellen and Powell’s contention that their Quantitative Tightening program would be like watching paint dry and run harmlessly in the background on autopilot. At least that was their belief until the junk bond market disintegrated and stocks went into freefall in the fall of 2018. Therefore, it should not be a surprise at all that the Fed doesn’t recognize the greatest financial bubble in history: the worldwide bond market mania. Perhaps this is because central banks created it in the first place and therefore didn’t want to take ownership of it.

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Fed Can’t See The Bubbles Through The Lather

Recently, there has been a parade of central bankers along with their lackeys on Wall Street coming on the financial news networks and desperately trying to convince investors that there are no bubbles extant in the world today. Indeed, the Fed sees no economic or market imbalances anywhere that should give perma-bulls cause for concern. You can listen to Jerome Powell’s upbeat assessment of the situation in his own words during the latest FOMC press conference here. The Fed Chair did, however, manage to acknowledge that corporate debt levels are in fact a bit on the high side. But he added that “we have been monitoring it carefully and taken appropriate steps.” By taking appropriate steps to reduce debt levels Powell must mean slashing interest rates and going back into QE. The problem with that strategy being that is exactly what caused the debt binge and overleveraged condition of corporations in the first place.

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Deflation Or Inflation: Gold Doesn’t Care

In our view, gold investors should settle back with some popcorn and enjoy the coming fireworks, which will include the best gold bull market ever, with all the volatility that implies. We see new all-time highs just around the corner. The challenge is to take a position and stay the course. Central banks are about to pay for decades of bad policy and gold will reap the dividends.

Let’s be clear about one thing: the global economy is falling into a deep recession but it is NOT due to the U.S.-China trade war, and a resolution of that war, no matter what it is, will not avoid the inevitable. Inverted yield curves and an historic collapse in bond yields are the clearest message that markets can send on the economic outlook. The trade war does not explain why Europe and Japan have been on the brink of recession for more than a year. Nor will central bank easing prevent a recession when monetary conditions are already the loosest in 25 years. Central bank monetary policy is part of the problem, not the solution. In our view, the economy and the stock market are not going to be saved by trade deals and monetary policy.

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Analyzing Bull & Bear Markets

Bull markets make higher highs and higher lows. Bear markets make lower lows as they progress.

It makes sense that bull markets have many up days and a few down days, and that the average up move is larger than the down moves.

It makes sense, but it’s dead wrong!

If you want to skip the analysis, here are the conclusions:

The Central Banks’ Time Machine Is Broken

Last week we wrote about how global central banks have created an economic time machine by forcing $17 trillion worth of bond yields below zero percent, which is now 30% of the entire developed world’s supply. Now it’s time to explain how the time machine they have built has broken down.

In parts of the developed world, individuals are now being incentivized to consume their savings today rather than being rewarded for deferring consumption tomorrow. In effect, time has been flipped upside down. These same central bankers then broke that time machine by guaranteeing investors they will never cease printing money until inflation has been firmly and permanently inculcated into the economy.

They have printed $22 trillion worth of new credit in search of this goal since 2008. This figure is still growing by the day. But by doing so, they have destroyed Capitalism. Freedom is dying; not by some Red Army but by central banks.

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Call It Desperation

By GE Christenson – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Like living in quiet desperation, holding on with our fingertips, scared we are losing our grip on the slippery mountain, on reality, on what little control we possess… central banks and governments are desperate.

Some are doing well, unless they worry the Jeffery Epstein fiasco will implicate them. But for many, it’s desperation, insecurity and debts.

Central bankers, governments and stock markets are worried, even desperate.

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Peak Crazy!

By Mike Savage – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

In the unending blowing of the most epic financial market bubbles of all time, Germany may have just announced “peak crazy”. Overnight they issued 30-year bonds that had a NEGATIVE yield. With all of the financial shenanigans going on it is not even a surprise that they did it.

The real surprise is that the “authorities” were surprised when people didn’t line up for the honor of losing money financing their profligate debt. According to Zerohedge, the German government issued $2 billion of these bonds and the Bundesbank (German Central Bank) was forced to buy 58% of the offering.

What this really should tell everyone is that those who actually earn their money rather than conjure it up out of nowhere actually care what type of return they are going to get for the risk that is being taken. Of course, when money is conjured up out of nowhere and at virtually no cost to the “printers” any return of capital is more than they started with. There could also be a few hedge funds out there speculating that rates will go even lower and lead to a short-term profit. (If there are any buyers at an even more negative rate).

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Empty Words Are Failing. A Timeline For What Comes Next

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

A quick recap of the past couple of months:

Stocks plunge.

The politicians, bureaucrats and bankers who depend on artificially-elevated financial asset prices start to panic.

The Fed announces that maybe it won’t have to raise interest rates any more, and the president announces a truce in the trade war with China.

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Money That “Rots And Rusts”

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

In the next downturn (which may have started last week, yee-haw), the world’s central banks will face a bit of poetic justice: To keep their previous policy mistakes from blowing up the world in 2008, they cut interest rates to historically – some would say unnaturally — low levels, which doesn’t leave the usual amount of room for further cuts.

Now they’re faced with an even bigger threat but are armed with even fewer effective weapons. What will they do? The responsible choice would be to simply let the overgrown forest of bad paper burn, setting the stage for real (that is, sustainable) growth going forward. But that’s unthinkable for today’s monetary authorities because they’ll be blamed for the short-term pain while getting zero credit for the long-term gain.

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Raise The Inflation Target And Put A Date On It!

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Raise the Inflation Target and Put a Date on It! That’s the direction some high-profile economist and former members on the FOMC want to go. According to these academics, including Narayana Kocherlakota the former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from 2009 to 2015, raising the inflation target just isn’t enough. They want to put a time horizon on it as well. In other words, they want to raise the inflation target higher than the current 2% level, and then place a firm date as to when that inflation goal must be achieved.

Their rational for doing both actions is to reduce the level of real interest rates, which they somehow believe is the progenitor for viable GDP growth. You see, once the Fed has taken the nominal Fed Funds Rate to zero, there isn’t much more room to the downside unless these money manipulators assent to negative nominal interest rates. But charging banks to hold excess reserves is fraught with danger, and so far this idea has been eschewed in this country and has been proven ineffectual in Europe.

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Bubble Blind Central Bankers

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From http://www.PentoPort.com

Fed Head Janet Yellen is keeping alive the tradition of her predecessors, Messrs. Greenspan and Bernanke, by showing she is equally as blind-sighted to the bubbles central banks are blowing in the bond and equity markets. During her September press conference, Ms. Yellen stubbornly clung to the misconception that it is only possible to tell if a bubble exists after it bursts. And because of this delusion, in Yellen’s eyes ninety-six months of a virtual Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP) is merely, and I quote, “a modest degree of accommodation.” Her blinders are so opaque that she claims to see, “no signs of leverage building up.” And her feckless ability to spot market imbalances even resulted in this doozy of a Yellen quote: “In general, I would not say that asset valuations are out of line with historical norms.”

Can it really be the case that the woman who holds a dictatorship on the cost of money, which is the most important price signal in an economy, is unaware that the stock market is at a level that is virtually the most overvalued in history? The Median P/E, Price to sales and Total Market Cap to GDP ratios all show that the equity bubble is about as far detached from economic reality than at any other time in history. For example, the market cap of equities in relation to the size of the economy is over 70 percent points higher than the level experienced from 1975-1990.

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Is Stockman Right? Is This The Big One?

By Andrew Hoffman – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

(September 26, 2016) It’s early Monday morning, on what could not only be a historically bad week for global financial markets, but the “beginning of the end” of the manipulated worldwide perception that “everything’s OK.”  Most of the world’s 7.4 billion denizens know this already, having watched their savings, currencies, standards of living, and political and/or social stability decline substantially since the 2008 financial crisis.  Which also goes for the majority of Westerners, I might add.  However, Western “intervention operatives” – like the PPT, ESF, Fed, and gold Cartel – have been more successful at manipulating markets to defer such perception.  Moreover, having the world’s reserve currency enables the inflationary hell the vast majority are experiencing; and in some cases, like Venezuela, hyperinflation; to be temporarily averted, in lieu of a more gradual, “frog-in-a-pot” type syndrome.  This is why gold, in the “average currency,” is trading at, near, or in many cases well above previous all-time highs.  Which of course the “evil Troika” of Washington, Wall Street, and the MSM won’t dare discussing, in their cumulative desperation to have you believe the PPT-supported, “record-high” Dow Jones Propaganda Average is indicative of a stability that simply does not exist.

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The Ugliest Economic Data I’ve Ever Seen (Part 2)

By Andrew Hoffman – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

It’s Thursday morning – and there are nearly a dozen “PM bullish, everything-else-bearish” headlines worthy of distinct articles.  Such as…

1. This shocking, and hilarious, segment of the John Oliver show, depicting how subprime auto lending has officially reached the destructive lunacy of the 2007-08 subprime mortgage market. Not to mention, subprime student lending, as a whopping 37% of the $1+ trillion, government-underwritten student loan “market” is now delinquent.

2. Obamacare is literally on the brink of collapse, with insurers losing $2 billion in 2015 alone, and pulling out of the program en masse

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The Inexorable Result Of Modern Central Banking

By David Stockmn – Re-Blogged From Stockman’s Contra Corner

The inexorable effect of contemporary central banking is serial financial booms and busts. With that comes increasing levels of systemic financial instability and a growing dissipation of real economic resources in misallocations and malinvestment. At length, the world becomes poorer.

Why? Because gains in real output and wealth depend upon efficient pricing of capital and savings, but the modus operandi of today’s central banking is to deliberately distort and relentlessly falsify financial prices.

After all, the essence of ZIRP and NIRP is to drive interest rates below their natural market clearing levels so as to induce more borrowing and spending by business and consumers.

It’s also the inherent result of massive QE bond-buying where central banks finance their purchases with credits conjured from thin air. The central banks’ big fat thumb on the bond market’s supply/demand scale results in far lower yields than real savers would accept in an honest free market.

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Negative Interest Rates Aren’t Working Because They Haven’t Been Tried

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Great Recession Blog

The economics world is all a-chatter about how central banks and their member banks have moved interest rates beyond the zero bound to charging negative interest rates. There is just as much brainless talk about why this is accomplishing nothing. No one seems to notice that negative interest rates never actually happened!

Sounds preposterous? Think about it:

Think about it in terms of the central banks’ stated objective, which is lowering the rate at which banks loan out money. As the recession went on, central banks tried to drive interest on loans like mortgages lower and lower in order to entice people to buy things with loans in order to stimulate the economy. Because that didn’t stimulate the economy enough, central banks started saying they might have to go from lowering interest (for banks) to the zero bound (zero interest rate policy — ZIRP) to taking interest all the way negative (negative interest rate policy  — NIRP). Nope. Never happened anywhere.

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How Stupid Do You Have To Be

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

“Of course, there are true copper-bottomed mistakes, like spelling the word “rabbit” with three m’s, or wearing a black bra under a white blouse, or, to make a more masculine example, starting a land war in Asia.” — John Cleese

We all make mistakes, but some are bigger than others. An example of a serious one that’s both potentially catastrophic and easily avoided is to lend money for long periods during a time of rising debt and financial instability. Who, for instance, would commit capital for 30 years to Italy by buying that country’s long-dated government bonds? “No one” is the sane answer, yet those bonds do find buyers.

Even higher on the crazy scale is the following:

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How They Fool Us, China Edition

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

So it seems that China’s economy, caught in the grip of a credit crisis just a few months ago, is all better. And so, by extension, is everyone else. As the Wall Street Journal explains it:

China Calms Anxiety With Economic Fixes

WASHINGTON—The world’s financial leaders started the year worried about China’s decelerating economy dragging the world into another major crisis. Now, they are breathing a small sigh of relief.Finance ministers, central bankers and other top officials gathering here in recent days said Beijing’s moves to stabilize its economy have temporarily eased global fears tied to the world’s No. 2 economy.

“There was not the same level of anxiety,” said International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

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Time to Invest for Stagflation

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From http://www.PentoPort.com

Whether you call it a 1970’s style stagflation or, as we call it, a recessflation, investors need to prepare their portfolios to profit from a protracted period of rising prices in the context of zero growth. Here are some facts: Growth in the U.S. has averaged just 2% since 2010. However, Q4 2015 GDP growth grew at a 1.4% annualized rate and the Atlanta Fed model has Q1 GDP growth slowing to just 0.4%. The simple truth is that the rate of growth is slowing towards 0%, just as asset prices continue to rise to record levels due to vast intervention from central banks.

The U.S. is now in the process of moving away from an environment of disinflation and slow growth, to one of inflation and recession. Indeed, the entire global economy is careening towards an epic recessflation crisis.

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The Great China Ponzi

By David Stockman – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

There is an economic and financial train wreck rumbling through the world economy. Namely, the Great China Ponzi. In all of economic history, there has never been anything like it. It is only a matter of time before it ends in a spectacular collapse, leaving the global financial bubble of the last two decades in shambles.

But here’s the Wall Street meme that is stupendously wrong and that engenders blind complacency with respect to the impending upheaval. To wit, the same folks who brought you the myth of the BRICs miracle would now have you believe that China is undergoing a difficult but doable transition——-from an economy driven by booming exports and monumental fixed asset investment to one based on steady as she goes US-style consumption and services.

There may well be some bumps and grinds along the way, we are cautioned, such as the recent stock market and currency turmoil. But do not be troubled—–the great locomotive of the world economy will come out the other side better and stronger. That’s because the wise, pragmatic and powerful leaders and economic managers who deftly guide China’s version of capitalism have the capacity to make it all happen.

No they don’t!

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Goldman Is Dead Wrong

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Goldman Sachs has been predicting the demise of gold for the past few years. Back in July of 2015, Jeff Currie (Global Head of Commodities Research at the investment firm) went on record predicting the price of the yellow metal would fall below $1,000 per ounce by the start of 2016. However, that prediction failed to materialize; despite the fact that gold was already below $1,100 at the time he made the call.

Nevertheless, being wrong on the direction of gold last year did not prevent him from once again urging investors to short the commodity in February of this year; claiming it would fall to $1,000 per ounce within 12 months.  His rationale for anticipating the price decline is that gold is primarily a “safe haven” asset in times of economic and market turmoil and that the U.S. faced very little recession risk—so there is no reason for investors to seek the shelter of gold.

However, Goldman Sachs, which is a bastion of Keynesian apologists–like most on Wall Street, fails to grasp what really drives the price of gold…and what has caused it to surge 18% so far in 2016.

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Gold Experiences First “Golden Cross” In Two Years

By Frank Holmes – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Last Friday, gold experienced a “golden cross,” a technical indicator that occurs when an asset’s 50-day moving average crosses above its 200-day moving average. It’s the first such movement in nearly two years and is a sign that gold might have further to climb.

'Golden Cross' for Gold

Strengths

  • The best performing precious metal for the week was gold, by a significant margin. Gold experienced its first “golden cross” in two years, as the 50-day moving average moved above the 200-day. This week Georgette Boele from ABN Amro, who switched her gold outlook from bearish to bullish, noted that investors are now buying the metal on dips, rather than selling on rallies as they’ve done previously.

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Gold Outlook Improves

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From GoldMoney

There is a conflation of three related events that materially alter the prospects in favour of a higher gold price. The change in the outlook for US interest rates has probably put an end to the dollar’s four-year bull run, it is clear that there is a growing likelihood of negative interest rates in the future, and the global banking system is no fit state to manage the potential challenges of 2016. This article walks the reader through the likely economic effects relevant to the future purchasing power of the dollar, and therefore prospects for the gold price.

On the 5th February, the price action in gold was significant. At about 9.40AM New York time, a seller dumped 10,000 contracts on the Comex market, worth about $1.2bn. The price fell from $1162 to $1145, a fall of $17. Having risen over the course of the week, it was vulnerable to profit-taking, so in principal it was a good time to take the price down in order to take the steam out of the market. However, from that $1145 level, gold quickly and unexpectedly rose strongly, gaining nearly $30 into the close. Furthermore, the gold price has continued to rise this week.

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Death Throes Of The Bull

By David Stockman – Re-Blogged From http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com

The fast money and robo-machines keep trying to ignite stock rallies, but they all fizzle because bad karma is beginning to infect the casino. That is, apprehension is growing among whatever adults are left on Wall Street that 84 months of ZIRP and $3.5 trillion of Fed balance sheet expansion, aka money printing, didn’t do the trick.

Not only is the specter of recession growing more visible, but it is also attached to a truth that cannot be gainsaid. Namely, having stranded itself at the zero bound for an entire business cycle, the Fed is bereft of dry powder. Its only available tools are a massive new round of QE and negative interest rates.

But these are absolutely non-starters. The former would provoke riots in the financial markets because it would be an admission of total failure; and the latter would provoke a riot in the American body politic because the Fed’s seven year war on savers and retirees has already generated electoral revulsion. Bernie and The Donald are not expressions of public confidence in the economic status quo.

So the dip buying brigades have been reduced to reading the tea leaves for signs that the Fed’s four in store for 2016 are no more. Yet even if the prospect of delayed rate hikes is good for a 50-handle face ripping rally on the S&P 500 index from time to time, here’s what it can’t do. The Fed’s last card—-deferring one or more of the tiny interest rate increases scheduled for this year——cannot stop the on-coming recession.

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Hang Onto Your Wallets

By Ellen Brown – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

In uncertain times, “cash is king,” but central bankers are systematically moving to eliminate that option. Is it really about stimulating the economy? Or is there some deeper, darker threat afoot?

Remember those old ads showing a senior couple lounging on a warm beach, captioned “Let your money work for you”? Or the scene in Mary Poppins where young Michael is being advised to put his tuppence in the bank, so that it can compound into “all manner of private enterprise,” including “bonds, chattels, dividends, shares, shipyards, amalgamations . . . ”?

That may still work if you’re a Wall Street banker, but if you’re an ordinary saver with your money in the bank, you may soon be paying the bank to hold your funds rather than the reverse.

Four European central banks – the European Central Bank, the Swiss National Bank, Sweden’s Riksbank, and Denmark’s Nationalbank – have now imposed negative interest rates on the reserves they hold for commercial banks; and discussion has turned to whether it’s time to pass those costs on to consumers. The Bank of Japan and the Federal Reserve are still at ZIRP (Zero Interest Rate Policy), but several Fed officials have also begun calling for NIRP (negative rates).

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The Fed’s Alice In Wonderland Economy – What Happens Next?

By Nick Giambruno – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

After the President of the United States, the most powerful person on the planet is the Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Ask almost anyone on the street for the name of the US president, and you’ll get a quick answer. But if you ask the same person what the Federal Reserve is, you’ll likely get a blank stare.

They don’t know – partly due to the institutions deliberately obscure name – that the Fed is really the third iteration of the country’s central bank. Or that the Fed manipulates the nation’s economic destiny by controlling the money supply.

And that’s just how the Fed likes it. They’d prefer Boobus americanus not understand the king-like power they wield.

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Ben Bernanke Blogs

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Ben Bernanke presided over the Federal Reserve for two terms, from 2006 through 2014. A year and half into his first term, he began driving the Federal Funds Rate down. By the end of his frantic interest episode, this key overnight lending benchmark had been crushed. It hit bottom, and it hasn’t sprung back in over 6 years since.

Everyone is harmed by zero interest policy. Who suffers the most is open to debate, but one obvious candidate is the retiree who lives on a fixed income. These are people who worked and saved their whole lives, and now they depend on interest to buy groceries and heat their homes. For them, zero interest is like breathing air without oxygen. They suffer a slow death by suffocation.

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