by Anthony Halley
Nepalese customs officials seized 17 kilos of gold on Wednesday as two Chinese and a Nepalese national attempted to smuggle the bullion in juice cans from Tibet to Nepal.
Officials say that official imports of gold have declined recently while illegal trafficking is rising.
“Though the supply of gold in the domestic market is not enough to meet the demand, we have heard that partial demand is met by such illegally trafficked gold,” said Tej Ratna Shakya, former head of the Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association.
Toyam Raya at the Nepal Department of Customs explains the detrimental effect of smuggling on government revenue:
Continue Reading at Mining.com…
by Matt Insley
“In Fracking, Sand is the New Gold” a headline from the Wall Street Journal proclaims.
However, unless you own a sand mine yourself, the golden gains will be tough to grab.
Today we’ll take a look at the best ways to play this essential piece of America’s shale boom. As you’ll see, there are plenty of safe ways to play America’s “new gold”…
Wake up and smell the shale boom! Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal landed on your editor’s doorstep, and before the dog could get at it, I noticed a timely write-up on America’s shale boom.
The article was about sand.
Continue Reading at DailyReckoning.com…
by Simon Black
This morning I woke up bright and early to participate via the Internet in a live auction that was being held halfway across the world.
The Hong Kong branch of Spink & Son, a British firm originally founded in the mid-1600s, was putting a series of Bruce Lee memorabilia under the hammer. And as a lifelong fan of Bruce Lee, I couldn’t miss it.
The items up for sale include a couple of pairs of Bruce’s own nunchaku, his eye-catching yellow jumpsuit from Game of Death (in which he fights Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), and some of Bruce’s hand drawings.
When the bidding for the first lot opened, the price immediately surpassed the auctioneer’s initial estimates. It was a frenzy. And before I knew it, the gavel fell and I had missed the boat.
Continue Reading at SovereignMan.com…
by Andrew Hoffman
I feel like it’s been a lifetime since I first wrote of how U.S. economic data is at best inaccurate, and at worst, flat out fiction. The genesis of this fraud dates back decades; specifically, when the CPI inflation index was “rejiggered” in the mid-1990s to include price suppressing techniques such as “substitution” and “hedonics.” It shouldn’t surprise anyone that nearly simultaneously, the dollar peaked in international purchasing power while the U.S. economy entered a death spiral that continues to this very day. The worse things get, the more the data is “doctored”; frankly, at a level of intensity equaled only by efforts to mask the dollar’s decline via PAPER gold and silver raids.
Irrespective of how many “jobs” the monthly NFP report purports to have been created, the real unemployment picture is objectively in its worst shape since the Great Depression. As measured by “underemployment” – which I characterize as those that cannot pay their bills – true unemployment is closer to 25% than the comical 7% published by the BLS, or Bureau of Labor Statistics. If it were not so, we wouldn’t have record Food Stamp and Disability participation; much less, declining real wages for four decades.
Continue Reading at MilesFranklin.com…
from Zero Hedge
As we reported earlier, while on the surface the headline revised Q3 GDP number was a stunner coming at 3.6%, the reality is that more than 100% of the growth from the initial estimate came from a revised estimate of how many private Inventories were stockpiled in the quarter. The reality was that of the $230 billion in total increase in SAAR GDP, $146 billion of this, or over 63%, was due to inventory stockpiling.
So how does inventory hoarding – that most hollow of “growth” components as it relies on future purchases by a consumer who has increasingly less purchasing power – look like historically? The chart below shows the quarterly change in the revised GDP series broken down by Inventory (yellow) and all other non-Inventory components comprising GDP (blue).
Continue Reading at ZeroHedge.com…
by Dennis Miller
Since the latter part of 2008, the yield on cash has been so low that sheltering it from taxes didn’t seem to matter. But if—as we expect—high rates of price inflation are waiting in the not-too-distant future, then sheltering interest income will be very important.
There may be lag time, but interest rates generally track the rate of inflation. So if inflation returns to a 1970s-like 14%, a one-year CD might yield near 15%. Don’t get too excited. The real, after-inflation return would still be in the 1% neighborhood, but you would be taxed on the full 15%. So much for your windfall! No one wants to pay taxes on a real yield of 14%, let alone 14% in phantom income. In this high-inflation world, enjoying the safety and readiness of a cash reserve would be painfully expensive. Unless, of course, you could shelter your interest income from taxes.
Continue Reading at GoldSeek.com…
by Monty Pelerin
Monty Pelerin’s World
ObamaCare may be viewed by historians as the dumbest political move ever.
As the program rolls out, the sham of the deed becomes apparent even to the dullards who supported Obama and the program. The Wall Street Journal observed:
…the public is learning that ObamaCare’s insurance costs more in return for worse coverage.
Mr. Obama and his liberal allies call the old plans “substandard,” but he doesn’t mean from the perspective of the consumers who bought them. He means people were free to choose insurance that wasn’t designed to serve his social equity and income redistribution goals.
Now the shame of the deed is systematically unfolding. It is an ugly, painful spectacle.
Continue Reading at EconomicNoise.com…
As might be expected most of the views on gold expressed at the Mines & Money Conference in London were positive, but nonetheless well worth listening to.
by Lawrence Williams
LONDON (Mineweb) – Is gold still in a bull market or a bear market? Opinions differ but in reality the answer to both questions could well be yes. It all depends where you start from! Over 12 years gold has risen from $250 to around $1,230 at the time of writing – definitely a bull market then? Over the past two and a bit years gold has fallen from around $1,900 to $1,220. That looks as though it may be a bear market then? Well yes – or is this just a major correction in a secular bull market? To an extent it depends on whether you are a gold bull or a gold bear as to which viewpoint you take.
It was thus interesting to listen to some of the views expressed at the Mines & Money conference in London which has just ended. Speakers were perhaps more biased to the major correction in an ongoing bull market angle and they certainly had some strong historical evidence to support their viewpoints.
Continue Reading at MineWeb.com…
by Chuck Butler
Good Day! And a Tub Thumpin Thursday to you! Still trying to overcome the sadness, but ready to tackle the day… Thanks to those that sent along good thoughts yesterday… Well the winter storm that was originally supposed to be upon us right now, has taken its sweet time getting here, and now it’s scheduled for an arrival time of this afternoon, you know, just in time to make a mess of rush hour traffic! But it’s December, and from now till April, we have to get used to snow and ice…
I turned on the currency screens this morning to see the currencies trading about in the same spot they were yesterday morning! The euro is still close enough to 1.36 that it could spit in 1.36’s back yard, and all the rest of the levels for the currencies are looking very familiar this morning. I guess, while I was gone yesterday, the currencies decided to take a break! But not Gold!
Continue Reading at DailyPfennig.com…
by Gene Arensberg
Got Gold Report
HOUSTON – What are we to make of the fact that the largest, best funded and probably the best informed traders of COMEX gold futures on the planet have become net long gold futures, according to data released Monday by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)?
Net long means that these veteran traders, called by the CFTC “Producers, Merchants, Processors and Users,” now have more contracts which benefit from higher gold prices than lower prices. That’s very highly unusual. Indeed this class of traders is dominated by actors who are hedging price risk of their own physical or financial exposure to precious metal, so they are usually more short than long futures. Much more so.
Before we go any further, here’s the graph of the “Producer Merchant’s” net positioning since 2008 as reported by the CFTC. The graph shows just how rare it is to see the Producer Merchants net long. This is the first time in the history of the disaggregated COT reports with data back to 2006.
Continue Reading at GotGoldReport.com…
by Chris Anderson
Laissez Faire Books
“Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.”
When Capt. Jean-Luc Picard wants a steaming beverage in his ready room aboard the starship Enterprise, he just utters those words. The ship’s “replicator” then assembles the necessary atoms — including those for the cup — and produces it, ready for the drinking. Picard thinks nothing of it — it’s hardly more remarkable to him than a microwave oven is to us today. Just as we now use radio waves to excite atoms and generate heat in our own kitchens (which would have been mind-blowing in the 1950s), his replicator uses some fancy energy technology that is never quite specified in Star Trek: The Next Generation to get atoms to self-assemble into food and drink.
That’s science fiction, but it’s actually not impossible. When you see an industrial 3-D printer working today, with a little poetic license you can glimpse the beginnings of something similar. A bath of liquid resin lies inert, a primordial soup. A laser begins tracing patterns in it, like lightning. Shapes form and emerge from the nutrient bath, conjured as if by magic from nothing.
Continue Reading at LBF.org…
by David Schectman
We have a very good relationship with Casey Research. They have not been on board with our contention that the price of gold is manipulated. But in the following interview with Casey’s Chief Economist, Bud Conrad, they have finally come around and now do admit that gold is manipulated. Better late than never. Please watch this short interview with Bud Conrad below. Among other things, he says the dollar will implode and be replaced with a new (and probably partially gold-backed) currency; gold will hit $10,000/oz. before the new currency is introduced; JPMorgan is manipulating the gold market (another of our contentions, along with Ted Butler and Bill Murphy) and he even suggests that China benefits from manipulating the futures market to push down the price, which allows them to redeem their shares in GLD for cheap physical gold. There has been an enormous outflow of physical gold from GLD in the last year – it makes sense that a lot of it is flowing East.
Continue Reading at MilesFranklin.com…
by Greg Guenthner
Bruised, bloodied and left for dead. That’s the only way you could describe social media stocks after investors started selling back in September.
But all that could change in just a few short days. More on this idea in just a second…
For more than six weeks, the once-hot social media stocks couldn’t catch a bid. Facebook, LinkedIn Groupon and other popular names appeared to have topped out. Some even posted double-digit losses. While the broad market recovered from the government shutdown scare and moved higher into November, these momentum leaders weren’t invited to the party.
Continue Reading at DailyReckoning.com…
from Zero Hedge
As we said back in March, when Bitcoin’s parabolic rise first started, it was only a matter of time before first one, then all central banks take on Bitcoin for the simple fact that it present too great a threat to the fiat system. Sure enough, on the chart below of BTC China it is quite clear just at what point overnight the People’s Bank of China announced that Bitcoin is simply a virtual commodity and “isn’t a currency with any real meaning” (paraphrasing Alan Greenspan), and that it officially bans financial companies from Bitcoin transactions.
However, the reason why Chinese Bitcoin didn’t tumble all the way to zero is because the PBOC added a loophole that the public is free to participate in internet transactions provided they bear their own risks.
Continue Reading at ZeroHedge.com…
by John Ruwitch and Pete Sweeney
(Reuters) – China’s government banned financial institutions from trading in bitcoin on Thursday, in what analysts said was a restrained first step towards regulating the digital currency that has exploded in popularity in China and soared in value in recent months.
A statement by the central bank and four other agencies said that, while the computer-generated currency does not yet pose a threat to China’s financial system, it carries risks. It did not, however, curtail the use of bitcoin by individuals.
“I think it’s measured and it’s positive,” said Zennon Kapron, of the financial consultancy Kapronasia. “It does add legitimacy to the idea that it could be a nationwide accepted currency.”
Continue Reading at UK.Reuters.com…
from The Daily Bell
When progress trumps privacy … In 1890, two of America’s leading legal minds, Louis Brandeis and Samuel Warren, published an article called “The Right to Privacy” in the Harvard Law Review. Scandalized by the rise of a gossip-mongering press that intruded on the lives of prominent citizens, they called upon the courts to recognize a “right to privacy.” Their fear was that new technological and commercial innovations — in this case photography and the mass-circulation gossip rag — would cause the rich and famous untold mental pain and distress. As Stewart Baker observes in his provocative book Skating on Stilts, the substance of Brandeis and Warren’s argument now seems rather quaint, as a gossipy news media has become a central part of our public life. In Baker’s telling, “the right to privacy was born as a reactionary defense of the status quo.” And even now, he argues, privacy campaigners often overreact against new technologies they fear but do not understand. Baker’s argument has been panned in civil libertarian circles. – Reuters
Dominant Social Theme: We live in modern times and people simply have to discard the idea that government ought to be kept out of their private lives.
Free-Market Analysis: Think of government as a stern father or an understanding confessor. Reveal your most intimate secrets. It won’t hurt. And it will help to forget that governments slaughtered something like 200 million people in the 20th century.
Continue Reading at TheDailyBell.com…
by Ed Steer
Ed Steer’s Gold & Silver Daily
Yesterday In Gold & Silver
The Wednesday trading session started off like every other during the last few months, under selling pressure right from the open in Far East trading, and the gold price put in a new low for this move down shortly before 11 a.m. GMT in London, which was probably the a.m. gold fix.
Then shortly before 1 p.m. GMT, the gold price began a $15 rally that ran out of gas about 9:15 a.m. in New York. From there it traded more or less flat until 12:15 p.m. before taking off to the upside in earnest. The rally, which appeared to be be short covering, got capped about 35 minutes later as it broke about the $1,250 spot mark, and then got sold off about eight bucks during the rest of the Comex session and the electronic session that followed.
The CME recorded the low and high ticks as $1,210.80 and $1,251.50 in the February contract.
Continue Reading at CaseyResearch.com…
by Mike “Mish” Shedlock
MISH’S Global Economic Trend Analysis
U.S. car sales are up. It’s easy to explain why: car buyers borrow more as standards loosen
The average loan on a new car climbed to $26,719 in the third quarter, up by $756 from a year earlier, and the most in at least five years, according to data collected by Experian Plc.
Despite borrowing so much more, average monthly payments on new car loans rose only $6 to $458. That is because banks and finance companies were willing to lend at lower rates and grant borrowers more time to repay.
Lenders made 26.04 percent of their loans on new cars to buyers with subprime credit scores, up from 24.84 percent a year earlier, said Experian, which collects car title and financing information to compile its reports. For loans on used cars, the portion to subprime borrowers rose to 54.95 percent from 54.43 percent.
Continue Reading at GlobalEconomicAnalysis.Blogspot.ca…
from King World News
With continued uncertainty in global markets, today a 60-year market veteran predicted that history is about to repeat and it will shock the world. He sent King World News an absolutely incredible piece which also included some fantastic commentary to go along with 9 key charts and illustrations. Below is six-decade market veteran Ron Rosen’s second remarkable piece this week exclusively for KWN readers around the globe.
By Ron Rosen
December 5 (King World News) – “History Is About To Repeat & It Will Shock The World”
Continue Reading at KingWorldNews.com…
by Mark O’Byrne
Today’s AM fix was USD 1,234.00, EUR 907.69 and GBP 754.79 per ounce. Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,213.00, EUR 892.57 and GBP 741.13 per ounce.
Gold climbed $20.70 or 1.69% yesterday, closing at $1,243.40/oz. Silver rose $0.62 or 3.24% closing at $19.74/oz. Platinum climbed $20.75, or 1.5%, to $1,375.00/oz and palladium was also up $13.97 or 2%, to $727.47/oz.
Gold bounced sharply higher yesterday as traders went long, leading to a bout of short covering. Gold looks very oversold according to the relative strength index and other indicators. Gold was also supported by the emergence of Indian demand as jewellery, coin and bar providers stocked up at these lower prices for the ongoing marriage season.
Continue Reading at GoldGore.com…
by Andrew P. Napolitano
What is the worst problem in the world today? Might it be war, starvation, genocide, sectarian violence, murder, slaughter of babies in the womb? Any of these would be a rational answer. But when Pope Francis was asked this question recently, he replied, “Youth unemployment.”
To be sure, youth unemployment is a serious problem. In some parts of the United States, the richest country in the world, it has reached 25 percent. These are people who are no longer in school full time and are not yet 30 years of age. It is a problem for them and their families, for their communities, and for the welfare states that are supporting them. But is it the worst problem in the world? Is it a problem for the Roman Catholic Church? And is it something the Pope is competent to comment upon or to resolve?
Continue Reading at LewRockwell.com…