Will Vaccines Become a Bridge to Nowhere?

The monthly U.S. budget deficit for June 2020 was a heart-stopping record $864 billion. For reference, last year’s deficit for all of fiscal 2019 was just under $1 trillion. In other words, the June deficit was almost as much as the entire amount of red ink spilled one year ago. This year will see the worst annual amount of fiscal hemorrhaging ever—and by a whole lot. The figure will be at least $4 trillion in total, which is $2.6 trillion more than the peak suffered under the Great Recession. One has to imagine that with the Department of Labor reporting, there are now 32 million people collecting unemployment insurance as of June 27th–the amount of additional debt continues to pile up fast.

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Prices Are Going To Rise…And Fast!

With stockmarkets barely ruffled, few are thinking beyond the very short-term and they are mostly guessing anyway. Other than possibly the very short-term as we emerge from lockdowns, the economic situation is actually dire, and any hope of a V-shaped recovery is wishful thinking or just brokers’ propaganda. But for now, monetary policy is to buy off all reality by printing money without limit and almost no one is thinking about the consequences.

Transmitting money into the real economy is proving difficult, with banks wanting to reduce their balance sheets, and very reluctant to expand credit. Furthermore, banks are weaker today than ahead of the last credit crisis, and payment failures on the June quarter-day just passed could trigger a systemic crisis before this month is out.

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China Tensions Rise

  • President muses about severing trade ties with China
  • Trump says U.S. is looking at Chinese companies on exchanges
Xi Jinping, China's president, left, gestures while standing next to U.S. President Donald Trump during a welcome ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Nov. 9, 2017. 
Xi Jinping, China’s president, left, gestures while standing next to U.S. President Donald Trump during a welcome ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Nov. 9, 2017.Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

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Even The Best-Case Scenario Is Pretty Grim

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

Let’s say President Trump is right about the coronavirus “miraculously” fading away as temperatures rise in the Summer. Will things then go back to the old normal of globalization, free trade and finance-driven “growth”?

Almost certainly not, because the psychological damage has already been done. Over the past couple of weeks the modern globalized economy with its multi-nation supply chains and just-in-time inventory systems has been forced to recognize that such a system only works in a nearly-perfect environment. Take the iPhone: It is designed in the US, its constituent raw materials are mined and processed in numerous other countries and the resulting components are then shipped for assembly to vast Chinese factories.

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Baltic Dry, Copper, Oil, Tech And China Continue To Call For Market Crash Soon…

By Clive Maund – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

In this update we are going to review a small but important range of commodities / lead indicators which strongly suggest that the seemingly endless bullmarket in US equities is living on borrowed time and will end sooner rather than later, and given how long it has lasted and how extremely overvalued it has become, the downturn will likely start with a crash phase.

Regardless of what the eventual impact of the Coronavirus epidemic is, US stockmarkets in particular seem to be in a state of denial about the actual real-world consequences of the Chinese shutdown and impact on the global supply chain and corporate profitability everywhere, and some elements even seem to be gloating about China’s misfortune and predicament, completely oblivious to the fact that this is going to have a negative impact on almost everyone.

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Independence And Its Consequences

Britain left the EU on the last day of January and is an independent nation once more. The new Johnson government is confident that Britain will do well outside the EU. Free trade will be embraced, and a no-deal outcome, now dubbed an Australian trade relationship, holds no fears for the British government.

This article summarises the political and economic consequences of this historic moment. The fly in the ointment is there is no sign that Britain’s government understands the importance of sound money, which will be crucial in the event a global economic and financial credit crisis materialises.

Independence and trade negotiations

Having given independence to all its colonies, now it’s Britain’s turn. On 1 February the UK became politically independent and entered an eleven-month transition period while trade terms with the EU and other trading nations are negotiated, with the objective of entering 2021 with freedom to trade without tariffs with as many nations as possible. If Britain succeeds in its initial objectives these trade agreements will include not only the EU but also America, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the other trans-Pacific Partnership nations and a host of sub-Saharan African nations in the Commonwealth. It amounts to about two-thirds of the world measured by nominal GDP, of which only 21% is with the EU.

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GDP Is In…And Recession Is Out…Or Is It?

By David Haggith – Re-Bloggred From Gold Eagle

Having predicted last year that a recession would begin in the summer of 2019 and that it would likely start with a major repo crisis, I am now proven wrong by 2019’s fourth-quarter GDP. If the repo crisis that started in the final week of summer had actually been the start of a recession, we would have seen fourth-quarter GDP go negative. Instead, it came in at 2.1% growth.

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3 Upside And 1 Downside Risk For Gold

By Arkadiusz Sieroń – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Our base scenario for 2020 is that it might be a worse year for gold than 2019 was. However, there are three major upside (and one downside) risks for the gold market, which could materialize in 2020. Today’s article will introduce you to these potential catalysts that could send gold prices higher (or significantly lower) in 2020.

We stated earlier that unless something bad happens, 2020 may be worse for the yellow metal than 2019, as gold fundamentals seem to have deteriorated since the last year. Of course, bad things are happening all the time, but do not result in any possible negative developments. Rather, we have in mind three downside risks to our macroeconomic outlook, or three upside risks for gold. What are they?

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Trade Deal No Panacea for Rocky U.S. Relations With China

By Reuters – Re-Blogged From IJR

From Huawei to the South China Sea, deep political rifts between Beijing and Washington are set to persist, despite a trade relations breakthrough, as the United States pushes back against an increasingly powerful and assertive China.

Relations between the world’s two largest economies have deteriorated sharply since U.S. President Donald Trump imposed punitive trade tariffs in 2018, igniting a trade war.

“The broader, darkening picture is not going to be brightened much by this deal,” Bates Gill, an expert on Chinese security policy at Macquarie University in Sydney, said of the initial trade deal signed on Wednesday.

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Tariffs Are Having A Bigger Effect On US Manufacturing Than Initially Thought

By Frank Holmes – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

The U.S. manufacturing sector contracted for the fifth straight month in December, with the monthly reading from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) hitting its weakest point in more than 10 years. The purchasing manager’s index (PMI) fell to 47.2, a level we haven’t seen since June 2009, as global trade tensions continued to take a toll on the country’s manufacturers.

The news comes as two new papers indicate that U.S. tariffs on imported goods, particularly those originating in China, have had more of an impact on manufacturing and industrial output than initially believed.

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U.S.-China Trade Deal Cuts Tariffs for Beijing Promise of Big Farm Purchases

By Reuters – Re-Blogged From IJR

The United States and China cooled their trade war on Friday, announcing a “Phase one” agreement that reduces some U.S. tariffs in exchange for what U.S. officials said would be a big jump in Chinese purchases of American farm products and other goods.

Beijing has agreed to import at least $200 billion in additional U.S. goods and services over the next two years on top of the amount it purchased in 2017, the top U.S. trade negotiator said https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/US-China-Agreement-Fact-Sheet.pdf Friday.

REUTERS/Aly Song

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What Went Up Came Down And Up And Will Come Down Again

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

It can’t come as any surprise that the stock market’s lofty balloon ride during the past couple of months fell because of a few words this week. It only rode up on sweet tweets by Trump about trade, which created a thermocline for it to ride. So, of course, the market plummeted this week in the unexpected downdraft of Trump’s out-of-the-blue statement that his trade deal may be a year away … even for phase one.

I don’t know if ignorant traders drive these vain accessions and declensions or just ignorant machines that have no ability to discern truth, so blindly they take all presidential headlines at face value.

Who could be surprised that stocks got off to their worst December start since the beginning of the Great Recession when Trump said a trade deal might best be shelved until after the 2020 elections? It was, however, apparently a fleeting horror to those who had actually believed Trump about a phase-one deal being imminent this month. One could only watch the surprised reactions with amusement, given there was no reason there should have been any surprise at all.

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America’s Trade Policy Will End Up Destroying The Dollar

America’s tariffs against China are already showing signs of undermining the global economy and will create a funding crisis for the Federal Government when it leads to foreigners no longer buying US Treasury debt and selling down their existing dollar holdings. A subversive attempt by America to divert global portfolio investment from China by destabilising Hong Kong will force China into a Plan B to fund its infrastructure plans, which could involve actively selling down her dollar reserves and hastening the introduction of a new crypto-based trade settlement currency.

The US budget deficit will then be financed entirely by monetary inflation. Furthermore, the turn of the credit cycle, made more destructive by trade tariffs, is driving the global and US economy into a slump, further accelerating all indebted governments’ dependency on inflationary financing. The end result is America’s trade policies have been instrumental in hastening the end of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, ultimately leading to its destruction.

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U.S. Relations With China Just Were Destroyed

By Michael Snyder – Re-Blogged From http://themostimportantnews.com

Our relationship with China just went from bad to worse, and most Americans don’t even realize that we just witnessed one of the most critical foreign policy decisions of this century. The U.S. Senate just unanimously passed the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019”, and the Chinese are absolutely seething with anger. Violent protests have been rocking Hong Kong for months, and the Chinese have repeatedly accused the United States of being behind the protests. Whether that is true or not, the U.S. Senate has openly sided with the protesters by passing this bill, and there is no turning back now.

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A Chinese Steel Giant Is Upsetting the Global Nickel Market

Re-Blogged From Bloomberg

Behind one of China’s biggest industrial companies is a husband and wife team that reinvented how to make stainless steel.

The company founded by billionaire Xiang Guangda and He Xiuqin has transformed the stainless steel industry this century. Now, it’s upending the nickel market.

With cheaper production techniques, Xiang Guangda and his wife He Xiuqin helped change the industry in less than two decades — turning Tsingshan Holding Group Co. into a company that churns out a fifth of the world’s stainless steel and creating a billion-dollar fortune. Now it’s making waves in a different market: the London Metal Exchange.

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Dinner in Hanoi

By Jeff Thomas – Re-Blogged From International Man

“Trump is doing the right thing. Without him, we have no protection against China. China doesn’t only wish to dominate Asia, but the world.”

Here in Hanoi, so said my dinner companion – a major manufacturer and worldwide exporter of steel products.

He, like so many other major Asian producers, sees an opportunity in international trade for all of Asia to capitalize on.

In the Western world, the argument rages as to whether the US tariff war will benefit the US or not.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #376

The Week That Was: September 14, 2019, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week – “If by the liberty of the press were understood merely the liberty of discussing the propriety of public measures and political opinions, let us have as much of it as you please: But if it means the liberty of affronting, calumniating and defaming one another, I, for my part, own myself willing to part with my share of it.” —Benjamin Franklin (1789)

Number of the Week: UP 24%


 

Climate Model Issues – Greenhouse Feedbacks: Prior to the 1979 Charney Report, numerous laboratory experiments established that a doubling of carbon dioxide (CO2) would cause a modest increase in global temperatures, nothing of great concern. The Charney Report states that advocates of global climate models, mainly NASA-GISS and NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton advocated that a positive feedback, mainly from water vapor from the oceans would result in a far greater warming, which was estimated to be 3º C plus or minus 1.5º C. The last paragraph of the report, Section 4 – Models and Their Validity states:

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China, US to Hold Trade Talks in October

By Reuters – Re-Blogged From IJR

China and the United States on Thursday agreed to hold high-level talks in early October in Washington, boosting markets as investors hoped for a thaw in the trade war between the world’s two largest economies that has taken a toll on global growth.

The meeting was arranged during a phone call between Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, China’s commerce ministry said in a statement on its website. China’s central bank governor Yi Gang was also on the call.

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Is Your Freight Prepared for Brexit?

By Alina Grace of Haulystic Innovations

Aren’t you getting frustrated listening to different scenarios about Brexit every day? Brexit is around the corner and we still do not have a clear picture on what is going to happen to UK and the world after the 31ST of October, 2019. Logistics is an industry that has adapted to economic and political changes throughout the years.

So, why do we worry about Brexit?

Is the fact that United Kingdom will leave the EU, with or without a deal, so important that will change the landscape of the global supply chain services forever?

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Trump and Johnson Add Unpredictability to French Summit

[Related: Trump offered to buy Greenland from Denmark whose Prime Minister said th idea was “absurd.” -Bob]

By Reuters – Re-Blogged From IJR

Brexit Britain’s overtures to U.S. President Donald Trump risk further complicating the search for common ground this weekend at a Group of Seven summit already clouded by transatlantic rifts over trade, Iran and climate change.

The summit host, President Emmanuel Macron of France, has set the bar low for Biarritz to avoid a repeat of the fiasco last year when Trump threw Canada’s G7 summit into disarray by leaving early, scotching the final communique.

Macron, an ardent europhile and staunch defender of multilateralism, will count on incremental advances in areas where a united front can be presented, with the meeting, which runs from Saturday to Monday, officially focusing on the broad theme of reducing inequality.

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When will we win? Chinese trade victory is a mirage.

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From The Great Recession Blog

The following is my recent argument with yet one more market analyst who can’t see straight, even when his article overall was admitting it was time to bail out of stocks. Correcting the market mantras that dominate the bullheaded is partly why I am here.

I’m not going to call this one out of the herd by name because sometimes his writing is sensible. It is the group-think herd mentality of the bulls, which he expresses, that I am challenging. His writing is in quotes and my responses to his way of thinking follow each quote.

I lay it out here because somehow it still surprises me to see how vapid the wasteland of popular thought can be even when analysts finally reach the point of giving up on stocks. I actually sometimes enjoy reading this author, but this article demonstrates the typical delirious thinking that pervades market commentary everywhere all the time in what is a virtual desert of economic analysis. So, I’m going to dissect it for you as an example of just how full of denial so much market commentary is:

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A Long Shadow Creeps Over The Economy This Summer

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

It’s time to turn around and see the darkness that the Fed sees looming over you. Earnings season is already extending signs of recession with the first corporate reports coming in far darker than expectations that were already twilight dim in FactSet’s estimations, which pegged earnings as likely to show a 2% contraction.

Even the Fed sees problems ahead. Jerome Powell’s speech to congress has been called “one of the most dovish Fed speeches ever!” While that quickened the heart of a sugar-hungry stock market, what does it really tell you about how soon or likely the Fed sees recession looming for the economy or sees trouble for the stock market? Why else would Father Fed suddenly become the “most dovish … ever?” Does the Fed become its “most dovish … ever” when the economy and the stock market are doing great?

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Cleaning Up After The China Trade Summit

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

That didn’t take long. On Saturday, well before the US stock market opened post-China-trade-talks, I wrote:

The next step for the market would likely be that the remaining stock indices that have not pushed past their own previous peaks would now punch through. By that … I meant those indices like the Dow that were very close to breaking past their old heights

Best-Case Scenario Has a Worst-Case Twist

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Dancing Closer to the Exits

By Rick Mills – Re-Blogged From Ahead of the Heard

When Americans elect or re-elect a president in the fall of 2020, there is a very good chance the closest thing to their hearts – their wallets – will be top of mind.

 

That’s because many are predicting the longest-running economic expansion in US history is about to slam on the brakes. It’s been over a decade since The Great Recession of 2007-09 plunged the world into monetary despair. That downturn was particularly bad because it combined an economic slowdown with problems in the financial system, rudely exposed by the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

 

In this article we are asking, what is the best indicator for predicting the next recession? What does the current data say about a recession?

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Baoshang Bank Could Be China’s Indybank

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

For the first time in nearly 30 years the Chinese central bank and the Banking Regulatory Commission announced it would take control of one of its banks. The troubled Mongolia-based Baoshang Bank had assets of 576 billion yuan ($84 billion) and its seizure is indicative of the deteriorating health of small-scale banks, mostly in rural areas and in smaller cities, as China’s economy slows.

The turmoil surrounding its conservatorship has led interbank lending rates to spike, forcing the Bank of China to inject billions of yuan to quell the fear of systemic contagion. For years China’s regional banks have used shadow-financing to obfuscate their exposure to precarious borrowers. While China has made an effort to rein in shadow-banking activity, this is the first time in decades that regulators have assumed control of a bank in this way. In 2015 and 2016, they recapitalized lenders and merged stronger banks with weaker ones, but these restructuring efforts were disorganized, inadequate, and didn’t address the main issue at hand…insolvency.

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Global Manufacturers Just Shrank For The First Time in 7 Years

Perhaps surprising no one, global manufacturers are now in contraction mode for the first time since 2012. That’s according to the most recent reading of the sector’s health, the purchasing manager’s index (PMI), which headed lower for a record 13th straight month in May. The PMI posted 49.8, down from 50.4 a month earlier. As a reminder, anything above 50.0 indicates expansion; anything below, contraction.

Less than half of world economies’ manufacturing sectors are expanding right now, “the worst showing since the throes of the euro area sovereign debt crisis in 2012,” according to analysis by Neil Dutta, head of economics at Renaissance Macro Research (RenMac).

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New US Sanctions Spark Blowback Against Federal Reserve Note Dollar System

By Clint Siegner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

US leaders are demanding the rest of the world recognize economic sanctions and stop buying Iranian oil. The U.K., Germany, France, Russia, China, and India are among the nations who don’t fully support the sanctions and would rather not pay higher prices for oil elsewhere.

American officials more and more often resort to delivering ultimatums, both to adversaries and allies alike. Nations that do not follow orders stand to lose access to the US financial system and could face trade sanctions of their own. That is a serious threat.

The huge majority of international trading is underpinned by US. banks and the dollar. Other currencies and banking systems cannot offer the same level of liquidity and convenience.

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Mexico to Limit Migrants Crossing Border

By Thomson Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

Mexican and U.S. officials held a second day of talks on trade and migration on Thursday, with markets rebounding on optimism a deal could be close, although it was unclear if Mexican pledges to curb migration flows were enough to persuade the Trump administration to postpone tariffs.

U.S. President Donald Trump has warned that tariffs of 5% on all Mexican exports to the United States will go into effect on Monday if Mexico does not step up efforts to stem an increase in mostly Central American migrants heading for the U.S. border.

Bilateral talks in Washington began on Wednesday to attempt to strike a deal, with the Mexican government, U.S. business groups and even many of Trump’s fellow Republicans keen to avert the tariffs, the prospect of which has rattled global financial markets.

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Trump to Hit Mexico w/ Tariffs Until it Shuts Off Immigration Spigot

By Agence France-Presse – Re-Blogged From Liberty Headlines

‘If the illegal migration crisis is alleviated…the Tariffs will be removed…’

Trump insists not in a 'rage' over row with Democrats

Donald Trump/PHOTO: AFP

Washington will impose a five percent tariff on all goods from Mexico — increasing to as much as 25 percent — until “illegal migrants” stop coming through the country into the US, President Donald Trump said Thursday.

“On June 10th, the United States will impose a 5% Tariff on all goods coming into our Country from Mexico, until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP,” Trump tweeted.

“The Tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied, at which time the Tariffs will be removed,” he wrote.

According to a White House statement, the tariff will rise to 10 percent on July 1, then increase by five percent increments each month until topping out at 25 percent on October 1.

US Is Winning Trade War With China…For Now

The ongoing battle between the United States and China for economic supremacy isn’t only being fought in the gilded ballrooms of Washington, as trade negotiators from either side parry over automobile parts content, intellectual property rights, government subsidies and the like.

Casualties and victories are also borne out over the decks of hulking freighters that carry the commodities which make up the nuts and bolts of international trade.

Indeed, shipping statistics are often sought by economics and traders trying to predict the health of a country’s economy or the world economy. The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) is one such leading indicator. Another is the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI). PMIs are a monthly survey of supply chain managers across 19 industries. An economy with a PMI of over 50 is considered to be growing; under 50 means an economy is treading water or possibly drowning.

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Deep State And Financial Powers Worry About Alternative Currencies

By Mike Gleason – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

As markets continue to gyrate on global trade and tariff threats, precious metals are struggling to capture investor interest.

Lately, the big push in alternative assets has been in Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency has doubled in price over the past two months, though it remains well below its old high.

The full implications of new U.S. tariffs and retaliatory tariffs by China have yet to be reflected in markets. The media has reported on how tariffs could help or hurt particular industries. American farmers, for example, are worried they will suffer most from Chinese retaliation.

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Slowdown Confirmed

By Mike Savage – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

I have had a rough time for the last few weeks coming up with commentary that has anything new to say. It seems that we are bombarded day after day with talk of trade wars, tariffs and counter-tariffs.

Just today, April retail and industrial production numbers came out in China and in the USA. To say the least, the numbers were uninspiring at best.

In the USA retail sales for April contracted 0.2%. Much of the weakness was in auto sales because taking the auto numbers out there was a .1% gain in April. Electronics and building materials also fell. US industrial production, which has been stagnant all year, was not expected to grow in April either. It still surprised on the downside contracting 0.5%. That is the largest monthly drop since May of 2018.

Durable consumer goods dropped 0.8%. What caught my eye, however, was production decreased for business equipment, construction supplies and business supplies. This appears to confirm that 500,000 less people are actually working today than were at the beginning of 2019 even though we have “full employment”. What a joke that is! The only reason production wasn’t hurt worse was an increase in defense and space equipment materials.

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Did Trump Tank Trade Talks Deliberately?

By Rick Ackerman – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

Was it President Trump’s intention all along that trade talks with China fail? That’s the contention of ‘Farmer,’ a long-time subscriber who lives in Nairobi. He posted earlier today as follows in the Coffee House, a chat room that runs alongside the Rick’s Picks Trading Room:

“Just for perspective, the average dollar volume of imports being bought from Russia is only $18 billion during the past five years. That’s just 4% of the goods imported from China. Why? Because after decades as a nuclear cold war adversary, it was seen as ill advised to be running massive deficits with a country we were threatened by.  It is not that Russia could not supply goods cheaply that American consumers needed. They have always been technologically advanced. But if they had been favored over China with billions of dollars of orders in hand, they would be the most powerful nation in Eurasia today.

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First Day of US-China Trade Talks Ends; Trump’s Tariff Hike Set to Take Effect

By Reuters – Re-Blogged From IJR

Top U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators concluded the first of two days of talks on Thursday to rescue a trade deal that is close to collapsing as Washington prepares to go ahead with plans to hike tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of goods imported from China.

Tension between Washington and Beijing has risen after a major setback in negotiations last week when China revised a draft deal and weakened commitments to meet U.S. demands for trade reform.

President Donald Trump responded by ordering a tariff hike, and China has said it would retaliate. The 10-month-old trade war has already cost companies in both countries billions of dollars.

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Trump Says 10 Percent China Tariffs Will Rise to 25 Percent

By Bloomberg – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

Tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports will increase to 25 percent from 10 percent on Friday, and another $325 billion in goods will “shortly” be subject to tariffs, President Donald Trump said Sunday, in a warning to China as what could be a closing round of takes for a trade deal are set to start in Washington this week.

Trump suggested in announcing the move on Twitter that he was acting because he’s not satisfied with the pace of progress in negotiations with China.

“The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate,” Trump said in his tweet. “No!”

World’s Monetary Reserves And The End Of An Era

By Hugo Salinas Price – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

We had been observing the evolution of the total of Central Bank Monetary Reserves for several years, and noted a peak on August 2, 2014, when these Reserves reached a maximum of the equivalent of $12.032 Trillion dollars, according to Bloomberg.

As of April, 2019, a review of Central Bank Monetary Reserves, according to Bloomberg, yields some interesting information.

In August 2014, the dollar amount of CB Monetary Reserves was, as we just said, $12.032 Trillion dollars, and as of April 19, 2019, CB Monetary Reserves had fallen by $479 Billion dollars, to $11.553 Trillion dollars.

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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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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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Powell’s Testimony & The ECB Meeting?

By Arkadiusz Sieroń – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Powell’s testimony before the Congress is behind us. The ECB meeting is ahead of us. Will Draghi support the gold prices after recent declines?

Gold Falls Below $1,300

Gold bulls might be disappointed. The upward trend apparently ended. As one can see in the chart below, gold fell below $1,300 on Friday.

Chart 1: Gold prices from March 1 to March 4, 2019

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Trump Extends China Tariff Deadline

By Thomson Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

President Donald Trump said on Sunday he would delay an increase in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods thanks to “productive” trade talks and that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping would meet to seal a deal if progress continued.

The announcement was the clearest sign yet that China and the United States are closing in on a deal to end a months-long trade war that has slowed global growth and disrupted markets.

Trump had planned to raise tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports into the United States if an agreement between the world’s two largest economies were not reached by Friday.

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Why China Should Remove All Trade Tariffs

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

I am a Tariff Man. When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so. It will always be the best way to max out our economic power. We are right now taking in $billions in tariffs. MAKE AMERICA RICH AGAIN

@realDonaldTrump  tweet 10:04EST, 4 December 2018

It is widely understood by economists of most theoretical persuasions that trade tariffs are a bad idea, but President Trump has laid out his stall. The political class, prodded usually by the vested interests of crony capitalists, always fall for trade protectionism. President Trump’s tariff war is just the latest example that coincidently stretches back to the introduction of central banks. I shall address this coincidence later in this article.

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Don’t Worry About The Gold Price…China’s Got Your Back

By Jeff Clark – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

I read a mainstream report about a decline in gold imports into Hong Kong, with the journalist concluding that gold demand in China is therefore down.

The interesting thing about the article is that the figures stated were accurate; Hong Kong imports into China are down. But here’s the thing: the message is wrong. It’s incomplete, misleading, and as I show below, misses the forest for the trees on what’s really happening with gold inside China. If an investor makes a decision because of that article, they may not be basing it on false raw information, but on an entirely faulty conclusion.

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A Trade War Truce Won’t Fix China

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From Pento Porfolios

The Main Stream Financial Media would love to have investors believe that the recent problems in the global equity market are all about a trade war with China. Therefore, everything can be made right just because Trump shook hands with Xi Jinping at the G-20 meeting in Argentina. But the truth is, China’s problems are structural in nature–resulting from a centrally-planned economy that goads its citizenry into pre-fabricated urban areas in order to manufacture a pre-determined rate of growth. Nevertheless, what the Chinese government has actually accomplished is to produce a dystopia; one that was erected upon the largest percentage increase in debt the world has ever witnessed.

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G20 and the Financial War

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Goldmoney

This weekend, the G20 nations meet at Buenos Aires. The most important issue will be America’s use of trade policy, ostensibly to bring an end to China’s unfair trade practices. Rather, it could mark a significant milestone in the cold war against China and drive the global economy into a slump.

Introduction

President Trump initiated the trade war with China. There is a widespread assumption he is pursuing his “art of the deal”, coming into negotiations aggressively to get a satisfactory compromise. Therefore, the script goes, China will be forced to climb down on its restrictive practices, technology and patent theft, and modify its Made in China 2025 (MiC2025) initiative to open it to American corporations. Trade negotiators from both sides have been working in the background to achieve some sort of progress before Presidents Trump and Xi meet at the G20 this weekend, which buoys up hopes of a positive outcome.

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Trump, Xi Agree to Temporary Truce in Bid to Contain Trade War

By Bloomberg – Re-logged From Newsmax

President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to keep their trade war from escalating with a promise to halt the imposition of new tariffs for 90 days as the world’s two largest economies negotiate a lasting agreement.

The truce between the U.S. and China emerged after a highly anticipated dinner Saturday between Trump and Xi on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Argentina. The leaders agreed to pause the introduction of new tariffs and intensify their trade talks, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters hours later in Buenos Aires.

Trump, Xi Agree to Temporary Truce in Bid to Contain Trade War

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The State of Shale Gas and Oil in the U.S.A. Today

By Andy May – Re-Blogged From WUWT

A few news items from The Shale Gas News, by Bill desRosiers of Cabot Oil & Gas. The main paragraphs below are adapted from desRosiers, but I’ve added some detail. Things are looking very good for the U.S. oil, gas and coal industries.

Trump: US May Not Impose More Tariffs on China

By Thomson Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

President Donald Trump said on Friday that he may not impose more tariffs on Chinese goods after Beijing sent the United States a list of measures it was willing to take to resolve trade tensions, although he added it was unacceptable that some major items were omitted from the list.

Trump has imposed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese imports to force concessions from Beijing on the list of demands that would change the terms of trade between the two countries. China has responded with import tariffs on U.S. goods.