Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made a major bid to reverse decades of falling prices in Japan.
by Charles Riley
The Japanese economy suddenly looks weaker after the government revised its data for the third quarter.
Gross domestic product — the broadest measure of economic activity — expanded by only 1.1% over the previous year, a slower rate than the initial annualized 1.9% estimate reported in November.
The sharp deceleration raises questions about the strength of recovery in Japan, which enjoyed rapid growth of almost 4% in the second quarter.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been working to jolt the world’s third largest economy out of stagnation. His ambitious turnaround plan, known as Abenomics, aims to end years of deflation, leading to more robust growth.
Continue Reading at Money.CNN.com…
by David Stern
Ukrainian riot police are taking up positions near Kiev’s City Hall, where thousands of anti-government protesters have massed.
More police are being bussed in, the BBC’s Steve Rosenberg says, with priests urging them not to use force.
The tense stand-off follows weeks of demonstrations after a government U-turn on a free trade deal with the EU.
President Viktor Yanukovych said a he would hold talks involving the opposition on Tuesday.
Continue Reading at BBC.co.uk…
by Dan Weil
Uncertainty now represents the biggest problem plaguing the economy, says former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.
While the Fed’s massive easing program has stabilized much of the economy, “the issue goes beyond that, because, even though we have very major expansion of the balance sheets, it has not essentially spilled over in lending by commercial banks into the usual pattern that one sees when reserves go up,” he told CNN’s “GPS” program.
So why aren’t banks lending more?
“The first and most important issue to recognize in the United States — and it’s a problem to an extent in other countries as well — is that the level of uncertainty about the very long-term future is far greater than at any time I particularly remember,” Greenspan said.
Continue Reading at MoneyNews.com…
by Martin Armstrong
The NSA has been spying on people who play war games on XBox under the theory perhaps some Islamic Terrorist might do so. The NSA has now been reported that actually nothing from any leaked files suggests that they have caught any terrorists. In fact, they have so may spy teams looking at everyone, one NSA analyst called for a “deconfliction group” to be set up because there was a risk that the agency may be spying on their own people. It would be easier to just withdraw from the Middle East and let everyone just fight it out and we will save American lives on the field and American privacy at home.
Continue Reading at ArmstrongEconomics.com…
from King World News
As we near the end of what has been a wild 2013, today Marc Faber spoke exclusively with King World News about his major predictions for 2014. Faber also gave his thoughts on what he thinks is a solid contrarian play for investors. This is part I of a series of written interviews that will be released today on KWN in which Faber discusses his 2014 predictions, which include some fascinating surprises, and much more.
Eric King: “Marc, what are your major predictions for 2014?”
Faber: “I’m just thinking about this and the more I think about it the more I feel that we all don’t know how 2014 will end. First of all, we have geopolitical tensions that are rising, particularly in Asia. Who knows what this will lead to?….
Continue Reading at KingWorldNews.com…
by Alasdair Macleod
I imagine many GoldMoney customers read much commentary relevant to gold and economics, and come up against Say’s Law. Its importance might not be immediately obvious.
Jean-Baptiste Say was a French businessman and economist in his early twenties when the Bastille was stormed and the French revolution followed. While the terrors unleashed by the revolution are what we remember from history lessons, what is less known are the financial difficulties that France faced leading up to that fateful year: a combination of heavy public debt and a large financial deficit. In the years that followed France suffered an inevitable currency collapse.
It was against this background that Say concluded that to understand commerce you should ignore money, because people make products to acquire other products, or “products are paid for with products”. And he also wrote “Money performs but a momentary function in this double exchange; and when the transaction is finally closed, it will always be found, that one kind of commodity has been exchanged for another.”
Continue Reading at GoldMoney.com…
by Bill Holter
Did you purchase some gold at $1,500 or higher over the last year or two? If you did, then I have an idea for you. I think you should consider selling at least part of your position. WHAT? Blasphemy! No, I am one of THE very few who has not even a niggling doubt that over time, gold will trade much, much higher in terms of dollars; so no, I have not turned bearish or have even the slightest doubt about owning gold.
What I am talking about here is that depending on your personal situation, it might be a good idea to sell part of your gold and take the tax loss…and then, using the same dollars you receive from the gold sale, purchase silver in its place. Please Note: I nor Miles Franklin are licensed to give tax advice. I am offering an idea for you to consider. It is important that you speak with your tax professional first to be sure that this idea works for you. Silver is now ratio’d to gold at about 62 or 63 to 1. 2 years ago the ratio was very close to 40 to 1. Gold from its peak has dropped about 35% and silver is off a whopping 60%. It does not matter whether these drops were natural (I don’t think so) or whether they have been engineered operations because “it is what it is.”
Continue Reading at MilesFranklin.com…
by Mike “Mish” Shedlock
MISH’S Global Economic Trend Analysis
As a result of Troika-imposed austerity, Greece has a current account surplus that widened in September to over a billion euros.
This happened because demand for foreign goods collapsed in the wake of 27.3% overall unemployment and a shockingly high 57.9% youth unemployment.
The Coming Greek Default
In spite of a current account surplus, Greece’s overall debt load is unsustainable.
Here are a couple of key details: Greece has €320 billion in sovereign debt. Greece’s debt-to-GDP ratio is 174%.
Continue Reading at GlobalEconomicAnalysis.Blogspot.ca…
Unfortunately, the near free money environment has gone on for much longer than anyone anticipated, and we seem incapable of easing ourselves off the life support
by Jeremy Warner
There are lots of people and organisations credited with perfect foresight of the financial crisis, and even more who claim they saw it coming when careful reading of their work at the time shows that in fact they didn’t.
What is more, many of those who did accurately forecast some kind of a financial and economic storm tended to do so for the wrong reasons. It’s not clear that this really counts as a successful prediction. But credit where credit is due, one organisation that did genuinely come quite close was the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).
It is part of the BIS’s job to monitor the build-up of credit risk, so maybe it’s not so surprising that it was more on the ball than others. The shock would have been if it had failed to notice. However, many of those with more direct responsibility for financial stability did indeed fall into this category, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of England.
Continue Reading at Telegraph.co.uk…
by Alexander Green
Turn on the TV today and you’re likely to hear stories about war, disease, corruption, terrorism, political dysfunction and nuclear proliferation. It’s easy to feel down, even depressed, about the circumstances we live in.
Yet the national media delivers the world through a highly distorted lens, emphasizing the negatives and ignoring or glossing over the many positives. So today let me offer an alternative view, the seldom-told story of your amazing world – and just how much you have to be thankful for…
Throughout most of human history, physical survival was the overriding problem confronting people. The bulk of each day was spent seeking food, water, shelter, warmth, and safety. Men and women lived lives that were, in Thomas Hobbes’s famous phrase, “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”
Continue Reading at DailyReckoning.com…
from Zero Hedge
The spin does not get any better than this… As they reported they would,
- *LEW SAYS U.S. SOLD ALL REMAINING SHARES OF GENERAL MOTORS RECOUPING $39 BLN OF ORIGINAL GM INVESTMENT
That is a $10.5 Billion loss! But, The Center for Automotive Research, a Michigan nonprofit organization that analyzes auto industry issues, those funds “saved or avoided the loss of $105.3 billion in transfer payments and the loss of personal and social insurance tax collections — or 768% of the net investment.”
Continue Reading at ZeroHedge.com…
Snuggling enthusiasts say a new pay-per-cuddle practice is therapy. Police say it’s a front for prostitution.
by John Aziz
Cuddling feels great. But cuddling also has lots of quantifiable medical benefits. It releases the trust hormone oxytocin, which creates a sense of well-being and happiness, and endorphins, which are a natural painkiller. It also relieves stress, reduces inflammation, lowers blood pressure, and may prevent depression.
A way to create and maintain social bonds within families, most cuddling takes place between sexual partners, or between children and parents. But a new slew of businesses have appeared offering cuddling as a paid-for service. And the prices can be steep.
Soineya — literally, the “sleep together shop” — opened in 2012 in Akihabara, Tokyo’s electronics and geek culture district. For $80 an hour, customers can spend an hour sleeping and cuddling in a variety of different positions with scantily-clad young women:
Continue Reading at TheWeek.com…
by Tekoa Da Silva
Bull Market Thinking
As hedge funds reduce gold bets to 2007 levels, and Barrick Gold prepares to forward-sell future gold production (halted in 2009 for nearly $6B charge), one might think that all the world’s gold is going “back on the shelf” in terms of both lower prices and greater supply availability. But as widely circulated within the ‘church’ of gold this year, is the story of lower prices and deafening Eastward march of physical inventories.
Here are two updated key charts representing the movement.
1. Total transparent gold holdings of exchange-market funds continue their record-pace descent:
Continue Reading at BullMarketThinking.com…
by Will Bancroft
The Real Asset Co
This article, written by our Co-Founder Will Bancroft for the Huffington Post, asks whether recent drops in the price of bitcoin mean it’s all over for this crypto-currency and what the price action means for your money and for savers and investors. (Please note bitcoin’s rapid price movement means prices could have change markedly since we posted this).
Read the original article here
Bitcoin, the darling of libertarian, fiat money avoiders, has plunged nearly 40% in a few short weeks.
After an incredible run this year, soaring like a rocket from a bit more than $200 to $1,203 between October and late November, bitcoin has collapse back down to $752.
Continue Reading at TheRealAsset.co.uk…
by Michael Krieger
Seymour Hersh is not some guy off the street with a laptop and a head full of crazy ideas. The pulitzer prize winning journalist broke the My Lai Massacre story during the Vietnam War and also led reporting on the Abu Ghraib scandal in 2004. Well his most recent investigative reporting involves covering some of the blatant lies told by the Obama Administration earlier this year in an attempt to push the nation into a war in Syria on behalf of al-Qaeda, based on some very shaky evidence that Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons. Bizarrely enough, the publication with which Mr. Hersh is most associated, The New Yorker, refused to publish it. So did The Washington Post.
I don’t know about you, but this sure stinks of self-censopship to me. In particular, I think the Washington Post is playing defense following its reporting of the Edward Snowden leaks, and is afraid to further piss off the crony Obama Administration. It also seems likely The Post didn’t want to publish an article that would have showcased the paper’s own sloppy and irresponsible reporting on the matter. Which if true, is beyond pathetic.
From the Huffington Post:
Continue Reading at LibertyBlitzkrieg.com…
from Regal Assets
The government’s jobless report on Friday showed Americans resilience as they get back to work. The November numbers showed investors that the Unemployment rate was moving in the correct direction and the Federal Reserve would start to slow down their bond buying program later this month or next. Though, in order to understand the job report we really have to analyze it.
There is steady progress that is being made in the decrease of the Unemployment rate but there is no real pick up in the rate of job acquisition. According to the Wall Street Journal, “the overall pace of job growth remains too weak to quickly recoup the losses of the deep 2008-2009 recession. Worse, there is little sign that growth is picking up from its good-but-not-great trend: The economy has added 2.3 million jobs over the past year, a pace that has changed little for the past two years.” The rate that the economy is increasing jobs still remains to be slow.
Continue Reading at RegalAssets.com…
from King World News
With continued uncertainty around the globe, today a man who has been involved in the financial markets for 50 years, and whose business partner is billionaire Eric Sprott, warned King World News about what will “bring down the entire financial system as we know it.” He also discussed what this means for investors around the world. Below is what John Embry had to say in this powerful and timely interview.
Embry: “Monetary debasement has accelerated everywhere. This was discussed so beautifully by Egon von Greyerz on KWN late last week. If in fact gold and silver prices were not being suppressed and they were reacting to what is happening in the paper world, the prices for both metals would be a minimum of double where they are today, if not more….
Continue Reading at KingWorldNews.com…
by Martin Armstrong
QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong. Does deflation accompany hoarding of cash and the velocity you speak of declines? Is this the trait that you write about and part of the reason gold has declined?
ANSWER: People simply save money in times of uncertainty. This is one aspect we have to watch with the turning up of the Cycle of War next year. This can be caused by several different types of events such as civil unrest that materializes into revolution, economic uncertainty during recessions and depressions, and of course times of war. There was such a shortage of money when the Napoleonic War began that England had to simply counterstamp silver coins of Spain with the portrait of George III because there were no coins circulating. The Bank of England began to issue small denomination paper currency notes because of the shortage of coins.
Continue Reading at ArmstrongEconomics.com…
by Andrew Hoffman
During periods of weakness, smart managements see the opportunity to “high grade” operations. That is, refocus on what promises to produce the highest return in the inevitable upturn. This goes for investing as well, and certainly Precious Metals. To wit, in my “mining stock days” of 2002-11, each time the Cartel attacked the sector, I would utilize such declines to high grade my portfolio. In fact, the reason I’m writing here today is because I sold my weakest juniors at the 2008 bottom, and put the proceeds into eventual big winners like Silver Wheaton and Silverstone Resources. Of course, in mid-2011, I sold my last mining stock – for good – in lieu of exclusively holding physical gold and silver. At that point, I deemed the world too dangerous – and manipulated – to hold “Paper PM Investments”; instead, opting for the “financial defense” inherent in real money held outside the system.
Continue Reading at MilesFranklin.com…
by Keith Weiner
I originally wrote this in September 2013. It is just as relevant now in December.
The big news in America is that the rate on the 10-year Treasury bond has risen dramatically from around 1.6% to over 2.9%. This is 130 basis points from a starting point of 160, or an increase of more than 80%!
So naturally, the financial media are discussing the “essential” issues. They have commentators philosophizing about whether the tapering of Quantitative Easing is “priced in” (an invalid question, as I argue in my in the Theory of Interest and Prices). They credulously entertain the view that it signals “economic recovery”. If the economy were really recovering for four years, there would be no need for such hype.
Continue Reading at GoldSeek.com…
by Ned W Schmidt CFA
As we to prepare for the arrival of a new year, 2014 for those not keeping track, we should take time to consider reality. One part of that is to reconsider some well grounded advice: Past performance does not predict future performance. 2013 has clearly been the year of the equity fantasy, and one not enjoyable for gold investors. An investment world focused on TWTR and bitcoins is one in which the Greater Fool Theory again dominates. With year end rapidly approaching, now is the time to consider what the numbers tell us, not the investment hype popular in the media.
[...] The above chart portrays the ratio of the price of $Gold to the S&P 500 back to 1945, or nearly 70 years. Solid black line is the average of that ratio. Last bar on the right is the current situation. At the present, the ratio of $Gold to the S&P 500 is at the lowest level experienced since 2008. $Gold ended that year at about $865. One should have been buying gold at that price, and that is what it is now suggesting.
Continue Reading at FinancialSense.com…
Now may be the best time in a generation to follow Doug’s advice and “make volatility your friend.”
by Louis James, Chief Metals & Mining Investment Strategist
I have written repeatedly about the futility and foolishness of trying to time the market—tops or bottoms—but I know the desire for such a crystal ball is overpowering. So this week, we’ll indulge in a bit of crystal-ball gazing.
But first, it is with great pride that I announce the publication of Doug Casey’s new book, Right on the Money. This is our second volume of “Conversations With Casey,” but this one includes several conversations between the two of us that weren’t distributed for free in our former column by that name. In the book, Doug and I delve into the specifics of how to apply his contrarian philosophy to making money.
Continue Reading at CaseyResearch.com…
from Zero Hedge
The Obamacare enrollment portal is the gift that keeps on giving endless examples of government incompetence. The latest comes from Bloomberg which informs us that “there’s no way to tell how many people who think they’ve signed up for health insurance through the U.S. exchange actually have, after about 1 in 4 enrollments sent to insurers from the federal website had garbled included incomplete information.” Still that particular glitch was not enough to prevent Obama from taking full credit for a “fixed” website after somehow the White House managed to calculate that sign ups soared to 100,000 people, and have taken off since the “fix.”
Continue Reading at ZeroHedge.com…
by Robert B. Reich
The Justice Department has just obtained documents showing that JPMorgan Chase, Wall Street’s biggest bank, has been hiring the children of China’s ruling elite in order to secure “existing and potential business opportunities” from Chinese government-run companies. “You all know I have always been a big believer of the Sons and Daughters program,” says one JP Morgan executive in an email, because “it almost has a linear relationship” to winning assignments to advise Chinese companies. The documents even include spreadsheets that list the bank’s “track record” for converting hires into business deals.
It’s a serious offense. But let’s get real. How different is bribing China’s “princelings,” as they’re called there, from Wall Street’s ongoing program of hiring departing U.S. Treasury officials, presumably in order to grease the wheels of official Washington? Timothy Geithner, Obama’s first Treasury Secretary, is now president of the private-equity firm Warburg Pincus; Obama’s budget director Peter Orszag is now a top executive at Citigroup.
Continue Reading at RobertReich.org…
by Brian Sylvester
The Gold Report
Noting that the resource sector is poised to come back “big time,” Dudley Baker, editor and founder of CommonStockWarrants.com, makes the case for adding warrants to resource investment portfolios. In this interview with The Gold Report, he offers a tutorial on this underused investment vehicle, disabuses myths about warrants and shares the names of some warrants that warrant attention.
The Gold Report: Before we get into how to invest in warrants, please tell our readers what a warrant is.
Dudley Baker: Very simply, a warrant is a security that gives the holder the right, but not the obligation, to purchase the underlying common shares at a specific price and includes a specific expiration date.
TGR: How does that differ from a futures contract?
Continue Reading at TheAuReport.com…