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January 21, 2020 | Why A Flu Outbreak In China Can Spook Global Markets

When people talk about empires of the past, they generally mean Rome and Britain. But the biggest and in some ways most interesting empire was built and run by the Mongols in the 13th and 14th centuries. At its peak it stretched from China to Eastern Europe, which is more territory than Rome ever controlled. […]

January 15, 2020 | Gold Mining Stocks Broaden Their Appeal — With Dividends

No one interested in current income buys gold mining stocks because those stocks are traditionally all about capital gains. As ‘leveraged plays on the price of gold,’ the miners work this way: Let’s say gold is $1,000 per ounce and a hypothetical miner produces a million ounces annually, eking out a net profit of $10 […]

January 2, 2020 | This Is Great News For Gold

The 2010s were not kind to precious metals, in either nominal or relative terms. Gold and silver are down from their 2011 highs and waaayyy down versus equities and other favorite assets of the 1% like fine art and trophy real estate. But this imbalance has begun to reverse, in two ways. First, stocks have […]

December 30, 2019 | Different Acronyms, Same Disaster: Bond Ratings Are Once Again For Sale

Of all the amazing scenes in The Big Short, a film about the genesis of the Great Recession, arguably the most shocking is the meeting between a couple of hedge fund managers trying to understand the housing bubble and “Georgia,” a (in a bit of symbolic overkill) visually-impaired executive with the Standard & Poor’s bond […]

December 27, 2019 | Signs Of A 2020 Top: “Buyers Return to Riskiest Junk Bonds”

If you’re managing money and need positive results in the year ahead, you’re in a tough spot. Stocks are at levels that in the past have preceded cycle-ending crashes while high-grade bonds yield virtually nothing but could easily produce big capital losses if interest rates rise even a little. What do you do? Retire, if […]

December 24, 2019 | Housing Joins The Everything Bubble

When people tick off the components of the “everything bubble” they usually omit US housing, for a couple of reasons. First, bubbles don’t normally recur immediately in the same asset class, because memories of past carnage need to fade before investors can be seduced back into irrational optimism. Since housing was the epicenter of the […]

December 18, 2019 | Time To Sell The News?

Global stock (and bond and real estate) markets have been on a tear this year, apparently in anticipation of three big events. And last week they got them all, sort of: The US and China announced a “trade deal” that is flimsy but a deal nonetheless; the Fed promised to refrain from raising rates until […]

December 13, 2019 | The Parasite Devours Its Host, Part 2: French Pensions

Criticizing the “public sector” is tricky, because teachers, firefighters, cops and bus drivers are by-and-large great people doing hard things that benefit the rest of us. But there’s this problem, which is that once a country’s public sector grows beyond a certain size, it takes on a life of its own, demanding more resources even […]

December 11, 2019 | Really Bad Ideas, Part 8: Yield Curve Control And Mega-Stimulus

It’s been obvious for a while that the next phase of global monetary madness would be both spectacular and very different from the previous phase. The question was whether the difference would be in degree or kind. Now the answer is looking like “both.” Let’s start with “yield curve control,” in which central banks, instead […]

November 17, 2019 | Civil Unrest Is The New Normal Out There

This is getting ridiculous. Every few days another country blows up, as their citizens take to the streets with little warning and no apparent interest in a quick settlement. Here’s the first part of the “War…Civil Unrest” section of today’s DollarCollapse.com links list. As you can see the peasants have grabbed their pitchforks and besieged […]

November 10, 2019 | As Solar Eats The Energy Sector, It’s Time To Revise The “Real Assets” List

In the energy market, there’s always a revolution going on somewhere. For most of human history, light and heat were provided by wood and candles. Then we discovered whale oil, and in the early 1800s lamps replaced candles. Later in that century, kerosene, a petroleum derivative, became the lamp oil of choice, and the whaling […]

November 6, 2019 | Too Bad They’re Not Gold Bugs: A Review Of HBO’s Years And Years

HBO’s new series Years And Years begins in the more-or-less present, with the Lyons, an aggressively diverse UK Family that’s trying – and mostly succeeding – to navigate life’s complexities. There’s the acerbically funny grandmother, the gay grandson and his illegal immigrant mate, the African wife of another grandson, the wheelchair-bound sister who nevertheless gets […]

October 31, 2019 | Financial Markets To Federal Reserve: Is That All You’ve Got??

So the Fed, as expected, cuts interest rates again. And – also again – Fed Chair Powell implies that he’s done cutting for a while. The financial markets – also once again – react like junkies contemplating their final hit. Stocks are falling… …and Treasury yields are plunging, which is to say Treasury bond prices […]

October 28, 2019 | Welcome To The Third World, Part 30: California Burning In The Dark

Venezuela has suffered through recurring power outages this year, as money for routine maintenance dries up and power plant employees flee the country (and, okay, as the US practices its cyberwar skills on a vulnerable target). Some of the blackouts have lasted as long as a week. Here’s an aerial photo comparing Caracas on a […]

October 24, 2019 | Gold Seasonality Turns Positive – Prepare For A Big January

The gold market has a saying — “sell in May and go away” – for a good reason: Asians like to give gold jewelry as wedding gifts and tend to hold most of their weddings in the Spring. Asian jewelers therefore have to load up on inventory – in the form of gold bullion – […]

October 22, 2019 | Last Year’s Treasure Becomes This Year’s Trash

Not so long ago the US economy had some bright spots that seemed to justify a general sense of optimism. The fracking revolution had turned the country into the world’s largest oil producer with, apparently, a lot more to come. And the growing number of tech “unicorns” – private companies with valuations exceeding $1 billion […]

October 17, 2019 | Still Think There’s No Inflation? Check Out All The Affluent Renters

Generally speaking, if you can afford to buy a decent house you do it. Owning is viewed by most people to be both simpler (no worries about your landlord selling a rental out from under you) and a better financial deal. And of course there’s the status of home ownership. When you rent, people wonder […]

October 11, 2019 | Here Comes The Deluge Of Meaningless “Good News”

Today’s relief rally is brought to you by chastened US and Chinese trade negotiators who are now working on a “mini” trade deal that will apparently include a reduction in US tariffs in return for some minor Chinese concessions on things like mandatory joint venture partners for foreign companies wanting to set up shop in […]

October 2, 2019 | The Fed’s “Insurance” Rate Cuts Didn’t Work. Now For The Emergency Cuts

Pity the guys now running the Fed. They’ve inherited an economy that requires ever-bigger infusions of new credit and ever-lower interest rates to avoid financial cardiac arrest. But with interest rates already perilously close to zero the usual leeway is no longer there. Making the best of a bad hand, Fed chair Jerome Powell has […]

September 27, 2019 | So Much For Goldilocks

Stock prices are high and fairly stable, while interest rates are low and fairly stable. A casual observer might infer from this that the global financial markets are experiencing one of those fabled Goldilocks moments where everything is just right. But under the surface things are anything but just right. Among the high (or low)-lights: […]

September 10, 2019 | The Global Debt Bubble Enters Its Blow-Off Stage

People have been talking about a “debt bubble” for some years now. They’ve been right, of course, based on the combination of surging borrowing and plunging rates. But the bubble hasn’t stopped inflating, and recently it entered what sure looks like a terminal blow-off stage. Some highlights: Though July, China’s total debt rose by $2 […]

August 23, 2019 | Wells Fargo Tries To Diss Gold, But Fails

Major US bank Wells Fargo has apparently been getting a lot of client inquiries about gold, and has responded pretty much as you’d expect: Hold Some But Not Too Much Gold, Says Wells Fargo (Kitco News) – Wells Fargo is once again cautioning investors from buying too much gold as prices continue to trade north […]

July 16, 2019 | Now That’s Just Crazy, Part 1: Junk Bonds With Negative Yields

A central bank that’s desperately trying to ignite a borrowing/spending frenzy to offset an incipient recession has one wish above all: That the currency it’s creating flows beyond safe-haven assets and into riskier niches. Call it the democratization of credit or Ponzi finance. Either way, the result is a lot of borrowing and spending, which […]

July 11, 2019 | Strange Bedfellows Indeed: Trump And AOC Converge On Monetary Policy

President Trump and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez don’t agree on much – and would be loath to admit it if they did. But their ideas on monetary policy are converging on the same goal: easy money forever. Trump is now trying to force the deep state to devalue the dollar: Trump has reportedly asked aides to […]

July 6, 2019 | This (Completely Reasonable) Change In Investor Behavior Would Send Gold To The Moon

Mark Mobius took over for the legendary John Templeton at Franklin Templeton’s Emerging Markets Fund back in the 1980s, and filled those big shoes well for three decades. Now running his own shop, he recently made what seems like a completely reasonable suggestion about gold — one that if adopted by the broader investment community […]

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