by Dennis Miller, Senior Editor, “Miller’s Money Forever”
There are many creative ways to screw up your retirement. Let me show you how it’s done.
Supporting adult children. My wife Jo and I have friends with an unmarried, unemployed daughter who had a child. Our friends adopted their grandchild and are now in their late sixties raising a kid in grade school. The same daughter had a second child, and they adopted that one too. When she announced she was pregnant a third time, they finally said, “Enough! It’s time for a third-party adoption.”
Last time I spoke with them, their unemployed daughter and her boyfriend were living in their basement, neither contributing financially nor lifting a finger around the house. What began as a temporary bandage had become a permanent crutch. Our friends love their grandchildren; however, they’ve become bitter.
Continue Reading at GoldSeek.com…
from Zero Hedge
Considering how successful diplomatic “solutions” to the Ukraine crisis have been in the past, it is no wonder almost nobody was paying attention to Geneva where today the four parties were holding talks to resolve the Ukraine situation, and moments ago they released, via Russia’s Lavrov, a joint statement on “de-escalating the situation.” From Bloomberg:
- LAVROV SAYS DOCUMENT APPROVED ON UKRAINE
- LAVROV SAYS DOCUMENT ON INITIAL STEPS TO DE-ESCALATE SITUATION
- 4 PARTIES CALL FOR ILLEGAL ARMED GROUPS TO BE DISARMED: LAVROV
- UKRAINIANS MUST RESOLVE CRISIS THEMSELVES, LAVROV SAYS
- PARTIES URGE WIDE-RANGING NATIONAL DIALOG IN UKRAINE: LAVROV
- PARTIES URGE AMNESTY FOR PROTESTERS IN UKRAINE’S EAST: LAVROV
- UKRAINE NEEDS TO BOLSTER STATUS OF RUSSIAN LANGUAGE: LAVROV
And, approrpiately enough, the Easter Egg:
Continue Reading at ZeroHedge.com…
by Jeff Berwick
Palladium could be heading for a record. Here’s why:
Tensions in the Ukraine have turned investors’ attention towards precious metals. In times of political conflict, especially military, precious metals generally do well. But some people might have been surprised just how the tensions have affected precious metals.
Palladium has risen to its highest level since 2011. Escalating tensions in Ukraine are the reason, in particular the supply of palladium from Russia, the world’s biggest producer, could be restricted. This is especially true if US politicians and “experts” continue mouthing off about how the US government should go after Russia’s banking and financial system. As if the US government is not in a precarious situation enough… In 1999-2000 palladium ran to $1,090. Could it be heading to its old high? There are lots of reason to believe so…and also to believe we are at the beginning of the next price run in the precious metals, including gold and silver. But for now palladium is the big story.
Continue Reading at DollarVigilante.com…
by Gary North
Let’s begin with a map.
[...] Here are some explanations.
The United States government has direct ownership of almost 650 million acres of land (2.63 million square kilometers) — nearly 30% of its total territory. These federal lands are used as military bases or testing grounds, nature parks and reserves and Indian reservations, or are leased to the private sector for commercial exploitation (e.g. forestry, mining, agriculture). They are managed by different administrations, such as the Bureau of Land Management, the US Forest Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the US Department of Defense, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the US Bureau of Reclamation or the Tennessee Valley Authority.
This map details the percentage of state territory owned by the federal government. The top 10 list of states with the highest percentage of federally owned land looks like this:
Continue Reading at LewRockwell.com…
by Mike “Mish” Shedlock
MISH’S Global Economic Trend Analysis
In his strongest message yet to Ukraine, the EU, and US, Putin says Russia ready to act in Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned of his readiness to deploy troops in eastern Ukraine if diplomatic efforts fail to resolve the escalating crisis there.
The threat came as foreign ministers from Russia, Ukraine, the US and EU were meeting in Geneva to find ways to ease the tension.
Speaking in a live television phone-in hours after the first deadly clash between pro-Russia protesters in the eastern region and Kiev’s security forces, Mr Putin said he hoped for a political resolution to the crisis but warned that the campaign for Ukraine’s May 25 presidential election was “being run in an absolutely unacceptable way”.
Continue Reading at GlobalEconomicAnalysis.Blogspot.com…
Thomson Reuters GFMS has just released its latest Gold Survey and it does not make for pleasant reading for gold investors with the average gold price for the year put at only $1,225.
by Lawrence Williams
LONDON (Mineweb) – Thomson Reuters GFMS is perhaps the go-to organisation for detailed gold analysis although, as with any such organisation, its interpretations of data may be open to question by some who disagree, and its projections don’t always come about. Even so, gold market followers may be disturbed by GFMS’s latest analysis and projections which suggest that the gold price will only average $1,225 this year – actually 13% down on last year’s average figure of $1,411.23. So far this year gold has managed to average around $1,296 to date and, at the time of writing, is a little over $1,300. Thus the GFMS report suggests that gold will fall over the next few months, perhaps down to as low as $1,100 but may pick up towards the end of the year to around $1,400. However looking further ahead there is little comfort for the bulls as GFMS is predicting further weakness in 2015.
Continue Reading at MineWeb.com…
from King World News
Today one of the legends in the business warned that for the first time banks are beginning to push what could be a staggering amount of reserves into the financial system. 50-year veteran Art Cashin, who is Director of Floor Operations at UBS ($650 billion under management), also warned the implications of this are “huge” because it will have a massive impact on major markets, Fed policy, inflation, and may possibly lead to hyperinflation.
By Art Cashin Director of Floor Operations at UBS
April 17 (King World News) – “On this day (+2) in 1536, there began one of those ventures that remind us cynics of the hope and promise that once was America. To hear today’s citizens tell it, there’s something in America that brings out a “dog eat dog”, survival of the fittest attitude. When did all this happen??
Continue Reading at KingWorldNews.com…
by Daniel R. Amerman, CFA
Bail-ins are a new way of “rescuing” banks and other financial organizations that have been sweeping around the world, even as they rewrite the rules for investors and depositors.
Bail-ins have already occurred in Cyprus with their banking system, as well as with the retirement system in Poland. The European Union is on board in rapidly implementing bail-in standards, and they are under intensive scrutiny by regulators in the United States, with ratings on some major US bank securities already being changed in anticipation of the potential for bail-ins. Canada has announced its intentions in this area as well, and Japan is moving rapidly.
This has all been happening so quickly that investors and the financial world have not had a chance to truly figure out what is happening, or to understand the potentially revolutionary implications for investments and savings.
Continue Reading at GoldSeek.com…
by Loren Heal
Laissez Faire Books
Fewer and fewer doctors in the U.S. are self-employed, and more are employed by hospitals. That is a direct result of government policy, sharply accelerated by Obamacare. The trend will be damaging to American healthcare. It is still possible to reverse the decline, but powerful forces want it to continue.
A Foolish And Dangerous Paranoia
Doctors effectively can’t own new hospitals any more. That’s because the Big Hospital lobby convinced the leftists who designed Obamacare that physicians owning hospitals was a conflict of interest. That’s right: according to that theory, the people who have devoted their lives to the study of medicine want to own hospitals so they can profit by withholding care, or by overcharging for it.
Continue Reading at LBF.org…
by Matthew Kerkhoff
Here’s an interesting perspective on corporate tax rates. I’m sure you’ve all heard the argument that corporate tax rates are too high, and if only rates were lower, it would stimulate businesses, allowing for a whole array of positives. Proponents of this thesis will draw attention to the fact that the US has the highest corporate income tax rate in the industrialized world, currently at 39.1% (based on the 35% federal rate and the average rate levied by US states), see chart below. This high rate puts companies at a competitive disadvantage, they say. But there’s more to the story.
Continue Reading at FinancialSense.com…
by James Quinn
The Burning Platform
“There is no evidence that Jesus himself openly advocated violent actions. But he was certainly no pacifist. “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I have not come to bring peace, but the sword” (Matthew 10:34 | Luke 12:51).” ― Reza Aslan, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
Those living through this present age of SWAT team raids, police shootings of unarmed citizens, roadside strip searches, and invasive surveillance might feel as if these events are unprecedented. Yet while we in the United States may be experiencing a steady slide into a police state, we are neither the first nor the last nation to do so.
Although technology, politics and superpowers have changed over time, the characteristics of a police state and its reasons for being have remained the same: control, power and money. Indeed, as I point out in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, a police state extends far beyond the actions of law enforcement. In fact, a police state “is characterized by bureaucracy, secrecy, perpetual wars, a nation of suspects, militarization, surveillance, widespread police presence, and a citizenry with little recourse against police actions.”
Continue Reading at TheBurningPlatform.com…
from Regal Assets
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen gave a speech to the economic club of New York. Ms. Yellen managed to leave markets comforted and reassured about continued low interest rates. The speech emphasized her focus on low inflation and the slacking economy. This speech marks the Fed Chairwoman’s third public address.
It was evident that Ms. Yellen sought to keep the central bank’s interest-rate options opens in her the speech prior to the Economic club of New York. She readdressed the issue in her most recent speech and highlighted her focus on factors weighing on inflation and the economy that she expected would keep interest rates low for longer.
Continue Reading at RegalAssets.com…
by David Stockman
David Stockman’s Contra Corner
The Fed’s financial repression policies destroy price discovery and honest capital markets. In the process these deformations turn financial markets into casinos and corporate executives into prevaricating gamblers. To be specific, most CEOs of the Fortune 500 are no longer running commercial businesses; they are in the stock-rigging game, harvesting a mother lode of stock option winnings as the go along.
Those munificently rising stock prices and options cash-outs owe much to the Fed’s campaign to suppress interest rates and fuel stock market based ”wealth effects”, but the CEOs are doing their part, too. They have become full-time financial engineers who use the Fed’s flood of liquidity, cheap debt and soaring stock prices to perform a giant strip-mining operation on their own companies. That is, through endless stock buybacks and M&A maneuvers they create the appearance of “growth” while actually liquidating the balance sheet equity and future asset base on which legitimate earnings growth depends.
Continue Reading at DavidStockmansContraCorner.com…
by Greg Guenthner
Momentum is sputtering…
Volatility is creeping back into the picture…
Don’t cry about it. And you definitely shouldn’t try to catch the falling knives.
There are still plenty of hopeful investors who believe cash will flow back into the popular momentum plays, sending them back to new highs. And hey, they might be right.
But if we look at where the “smart money” is headed, we see a totally different story.
Continue Reading at DailyReckoning.com…
by Charles Hugh Smith
Of Two Minds
So why does the government maintain such a transparently inaccurate and misleading metric? For three reasons.
That the official rate of inflation doesn’t reflect reality is obvious to anyone paying college tuition and healthcare out of pocket. The debate over the accuracy of the official consumer price index (CPI) and personal consumption expenditures (PCE–the so-called core rate of inflation) has raged for years, with no resolution in sight.
The CPI calculates inflation based on the prices of a basket of goods and services that are adjusted by hedonics, i.e. improvements that are not reflected in the price of the goods. Housing costs are largely calculated on equivalent rent, i.e. what homeowners reckon they would pay if they were renting their house.
The CPI attempts to measure the relative weight of each component:
Continue Reading at OfTwoMinds.com…
by Alasdair Macleod
Many decades of Keynesian-inspired economic and monetary corruption have left advanced economies with a legacy of debt and low savings. In a nutshell, that is the problem which is driving us into another financial crisis. That moment could be drawing upon us, signalled by the recent collapse in bond yields.
This nearly happened in 2008. It was bought off by an open-ended central bank guarantee of infinite quantities of cash and credit, initially by the Fed, rapidly followed by all the other major central banks. Six years later, monetary medicine is still being applied globally in unprecedented quantities. And in some countries bank credit has finally begun expanding more rapidly than before.
Continue Reading at GoldMoney.com…
by John Rubino
Here’s something you don’t see very often: For a day and a half this week, the Japanese government’s benchmark 10-year bonds attracted not a single successful private sector bid. At today’s artificially-depressed yields, no one wants this paper — except of course the Bank of Japan, which is buying up the bonds with newly-created yen. As the Gulf Times noted:
Japan bond market liquidity dries up as BoJ holding crosses ¥200tn
The Bank of Japan’s massive purchases of government debt hit a milestone this week, sucking liquidity out of the market to such an extent that the benchmark 10-year bond went untraded for more than a day, the first time in 13 years.
Data from the BoJ late on Monday showed its holding of Japanese government bonds topped ¥200tn ($1.96tn), or about 20% of outstanding issuance – up by more than half from ¥125tn about a year ago.
Continue Reading at DollarCollapse.com…
The US Treasury faces a more formidable prey with Russia, the world’s biggest producer of energy with a $2 trillion economy, superb scientists and a first-strike nuclear arsenal
by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
The United States has constructed a financial neutron bomb. For the past 12 years an elite cell at the US Treasury has been sharpening the tools of economic warfare, designing ways to bring almost any country to its knees without firing a shot.
The strategy relies on hegemonic control over the global banking system, buttressed by a network of allies and the reluctant acquiescence of neutral states. Let us call this the Manhattan Project of the early 21st century.
“It is a new kind of war, like a creeping financial insurgency, intended to constrict our enemies’ financial lifeblood, unprecedented in its reach and effectiveness,” says Juan Zarate, the Treasury and White House official who helped spearhead policy after 9/11.
Continue Reading at Telegraph.co.uk…
by Ed Steer
Ed Steer’s Gold & Silver Daily
Yesterday In Gold & Silver
The gold price sold off $5 or so during early Far East trading, but had gained it all back by shortly after 9 a.m. in London—and after that the price didn’t do a thing until the Comex open. The rally that began at that point got dealt with in the usual manner less than 15 minutes later—and that was it for the remainder of the Wednesday trading session. The lows and highs aren’t worth the effort of looking up.
Gold closed in New York at $1,302.20 spot, down 20 cents from Tuesday’s close. Volume, net of May, was around 127,000 contracts.
Continue Reading at CaseyResearch.com…
from The Daily Bell
US financial showdown with Russia is more dangerous than it looks, for both sides … The United States has constructed a financial neutron bomb. For the past 12 years an elite cell at the US Treasury has been sharpening the tools of economic warfare, designing ways to bring almost any country to its knees without firing a shot. The strategy relies on hegemonic control over the global banking system, buttressed by a network of allies and the reluctant acquiescence of neutral states. Let us call this the Manhattan Project of the early 21st century. – UK Telegraph
Dominant Social Theme: How fortunate that the US can place sanctions anywhere in the world. What foresight.
Free-Market Analysis: Gradually and continually (we humbly observe) our theses are confirmed by others. The Anglo-American axis indeed controls the world – China, too.
We find this startling admission in a recent article posted at the UK Telegraph.
And, yes, we’ve reported on it in our own way, proposing that the top elites in any society have more in common with each other than the vast majority of citizens they keep (a distant) company with.
Continue Reading at TheDailyBell.com…
from King World News
Today KWN is putting out a special piece which has some absolutely outstanding charts that were sent to us by David P. out of Europe. These are charts that the big bullion banks follow closely in the gold and silver markets, as well as big money and savvy professionals. David lays out the roadmap for one of the greatest opportunities in more than a decade for investors in the gold and silver space.
Below are the fascinating charts sent to us by David P. out of Europe which feature this opportunity.
Below are two charts showing the HUI Gold Bugs Index vs S&P 500. This ratio has seen some massive moves the past 15 years. The HUI index did bottom against the S&P 500 back in 2001 at 0.03 and then went as high as 0.55 in 2011, for a staggering 1,830% gain. After that peak, it has fallen back to 0.1, which represents an 82% collapse (see chart below):
Continue Reading at KingWorldNews.com…
by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
Libertarian ideology favors privatization. However, in practice privatization is usually very different in result than libertarian ideology postulates. Almost always, privatization becomes a way for well-connected private interests to loot both the public purse and the general welfare.
Most privatizations, such as those that have occurred in France and UK during the neoliberal era, and in Greece today and Ukraine tomorrow, are lootings of public assets by politically-connected private interests.
Another form of privatization is to turn traditional government functions, such as prison operation and many supply functions of the armed services, such as feeding the troops, over to private companies at a large increase in cost to the public. Essentially, the libertarian ideology is used to provide lucrative public contracts to a few favored persons who then reward the politicians. This is called “free enterprise.”
Continue Reading at PaulCraigRoberts.org…