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October 17, 2018 | One More Thing To Worry About, Saudi Edition

Ah, Saudi Arabia, land of heat and contradictions. One day they’re jailing women’s rights activists for wanting to drive, the next day they’re dismembering still-living Washington Post journalists. And yet they can count the world’s capitalist democracies as friends, because today’s dysfunctional economic/geopolitical system depends on both Saudi oil and Saudi willingness to keep their […]

October 14, 2018 | Last Week Was Just A Taste Of The Coming Gold Short Squeeze

The gold and silver futures markets got even more unbalanced last week, with speculators (who are usually wrong at the extremes) going as short as they’ve ever been and commercials going even more long. Here’s the gold data in chart form: These are historically huge imbalances that – if the action in the paper markets […]

October 9, 2018 | Rising Interest Rates Start Popping Bubbles — The End Of This Expansion Is Now In Sight

Towards the end of economic expansions, interest rates usually start to rise as strong loan demand bumps up against central bank tightening. At first the effect on the broader economy is minimal, so consumers, companies and governments don’t let a slight uptick in financing costs interfere with their borrowing and spending. But eventually rising rates […]

October 7, 2018 | Notice How Quickly Market Psychology Changed?

“How did you go bankrupt?” “Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.” ― Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises On the surface, nothing much changed last week. The Fed, as expected, raised short-term interest rates very modestly, the US, Canada and Mexico cut a new NAFTA deal (kind of a pleasant surprise), unemployment fell again, Trump continued […]

October 3, 2018 | US Interest Rates Are Spiking Again: Why This Is A Huge Deal

This morning’s jobs report was stronger than expected, which – combined with Amazon’s dramatic increase in its minimum wage to $15/hr — implies rising wages going forward. The bond market reacted as you’d expect to the prospect of higher wage inflation, with the yield on 10-year Treasuries hitting its highest level in five years. This […]

September 30, 2018 | Another Trillion-Dollar Unfunded Liability, Part 2: Running The Hurricane Numbers

The idea that as more people move to Hurricane Alley and other storm-prone places, the future cost of those storms will rise – and that we’re not accounting for that future cost and are therefore likely to be shocked by it – makes intuitive sense. Now some recent studies have fleshed out the numbers, making […]

September 28, 2018 | Italy Calls Europe’s Bluff — And The Euro Loses Either Way

When Italy elected a bunch of rowdy populists back in March, the rest of the eurozone assumed (or at least hoped) that the weight of responsibility would bring Rome back into line. But so far the Italians appear to be serious about ending austerity and forcing the ECB to finance their spending ambitions. The just-passed […]

September 26, 2018 | 12 Rules For Investing In Junior Miners

Stock discussion boards can be exhausting places, with nuggets of wisdom and occasionally actionable information buried in mountains of invective and aimless meandering. But the nuggets are sometimes worth the search. Here — courtesy of a poster called doourdiligence — are 12 rules for junior miner investing that would, if followed, make the sector a […]

September 25, 2018 | The Fed’s In A Box And People Are Starting To Notice

It’s long been an article of faith in the sound money community that the Fed, by bailing out every dysfunctional financial entity in sight, would eventually be forced to choose between the deflationary collapse of a mountain of bad debt and the inflationary chaos of a plunging currency. That generation-defining crossroad is finally in sight. […]

September 20, 2018 | Why We’re Ungovernable, Part 15: Germany’s Merkel Demoted To Figurehead

You don’t see “Germany” and “ungovernable” in the same headline very often. But that might be about to change, as Chancellor Angela Merkel, for the past decade the central pillar of Europe’s Establishment, loses influence both at home and abroad. First came a wave of populist (read anti-euro, anti-austerity, anti-immigration) gains across Europe, culminating with […]

September 19, 2018 | USD/JPY 240-min View – Trade setup

A-B-C rally into our target 112.44…a trade setup we have to take! This stuff is a probability bet—nothing more.

September 13, 2018 | Yet Another Trillion-Dollar Unfunded Liability: Too Many People In Hurricane Alley

One of the big recent changes in American life is the ongoing mass-migration from the middle of the country to the coasts, especially those of the Southeastern and Gulf States. Florida and the Carolinas, along with Houston and surrounding Texas counties, have gained millions of new residents seeking to trade snow and monotony for sun […]

September 12, 2018 | The Paper Gold Market Is Screaming “Short Squeeze”

Every once in a while the trading action in a given market breaks through its historically normal boundaries and starts exploring new territory. This can mean one of two things: Either something fundamental has changed, creating a “new normal” to which participants will have to adapt. Or the extreme move is a temporary aberration that […]

September 9, 2018 | From Buenos Aires To Nashville: The Emerging Market Crisis Spreads From Periphery To Core

This is the last emerging market crisis story for a while, promise. But one angle – exactly how a plunging currency in a far-off place affects supposedly stable markets like the US – is worth exploring because it’s happening right this minute. Let’s start with the choices facing an American or European investor who needs […]

September 6, 2018 | Even Mortgage Lenders Are Repeating Their 2006 Mistakes

You’d think the previous decade’s housing bust would still be fresh in the minds of mortgage lenders, if no one else. But apparently not. One of the drivers of that bubble was the emergence of private label mortgage “originators” who, as the name implies, simply created mortgages and then sold them off to securitizes, who […]

September 4, 2018 | Gold And Silver Are Acting Like It’s 2008. They May Be Right

2008 has special significance for gold bugs, both because of the money they lost in August of year and the money they made in the half-decade that followed. Today’s world is beginning to feel eerily similar. Let’s start with a little background. The mid-2000s economy boomed in part because artificially low interest rates had ignited […]

August 30, 2018 | More Emerging Market Chaos – How Long Before It Spreads To The Developed World

Emerging market chaos is now front page news. Let’s start with Argentina, where the peso has resumed its plunge: In response: Argentina Central Bank hikes interest rate to 60 percent (AP) — Argentina’s Central Bank has increased its benchmark interest rate to 60 percent in efforts to halt a sharp slide in the value of […]

August 28, 2018 | Let The Emerging Market Bailouts Begin: “We Don’t Have Much Choice”

To understand why Europe is watching Turkey’s financial crisis with alarm, you just have to see this chart: Spanish – and to a lesser extent French and Italian – banks have lent a lot of money to Turkey. So as that country spins closer to default, those banks and their governments are in danger of […]

August 27, 2018 | Is Tunisia the Next Emerging Market to Implode?

Seems like every few days a new developing country discovers that it can’t pay back the dollars and/or euros it borrowed back when “external foreign currency debt” seemed like a good thing. Next up: Tunisia, apparently. From today’s Wall Street Journal: Nation That Sparked Arab Spring Finds Itself a Springboard for Illegal Migration AL ATAYA, […]

August 17, 2018 | Great News For (The Remaining) Gold Bugs: Gold AND Silver Futures Speculators Are Now Net Shor

Google “yield curve inversion” and you’ll see that analysts have been waiting for this indicator to send its big signal for years. It’s getting close, so expect a flood of breathless/ominous headlines when it finally happens. The precious metals market has a similarly rare and portentous indicator: “net short speculators.” But today this one actually […]

August 16, 2018 | Here’s How “External Dollar Debt” Produces An “Emerging Market Crisis”

Emerging market currencies are collapsing pretty much everywhere these days. But it’s safe to assume that most people don’t understand exactly what’s causing this outbreak, why it’s happening now, or what “external dollar debt” has to do with it. So here’s a quick primer followed by the obligatory apocalyptic prediction: Prelude: cheap dollar financing Pretend […]

August 11, 2018 | Spectacular Gold COT Report: Prepare For A Huge Six Months

No need to mince words anymore. If the futures market still influences gold’s price, then that price is going to spike. And silver is better than gold. Since January, gold futures speculators have been trending from extremely bullish to scared short. And in the week ending last Tuesday (the most recent data available) they appeared […]

August 10, 2018 | Why Aren’t Widespread Labor Shortages Translating Into Roaring Wage Inflation?

Google “labor shortage” or “wage hikes” and the result is a picture of an overheating economy. Some examples from August 10: 911 Emergency: Call Centers Can’t Find Workers Why Disneyland’s $15-an-hour labor deal is a win for workers everywhere Colorado small businesses seek help with labor shortage Washington growers struggle with labor shortage Now hiring: […]

August 6, 2018 | Another Way Of Looking At The Pension Crisis, As “A Stealth Mortgage on Your House”

Money manager Rob Arnott and finance professor Lisa Meulbroek have run the numbers on underfunded pension plans and come up with an interesting – and highly concerning – new angle: That they impose a “stealth mortgage” on homeowners. Here’s how the Wall Street Journal reported it today: The Stealth Pension Mortgage on Your House Most […]

August 5, 2018 | Another Week, Another Improvement In Gold’s Prospects

The past few months have added some cred to the “sell in May and go away” rule of thumb for precious metals, as gold’s price action has been both boring and depressing. It’s now close to its 12-month low, while a lot of miners are providing material for the old joke: “Want to make a […]

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