System Implosion Imminent
by Brittany Stepniak
Our entire financial system is under enough stress and pressure to create diamonds from carbon. If you want to thrive in these austere conditions, you’re certainly going to need to find a few diamonds in the rough — but don’t think you’re going to find them in conventional places anymore.
The entire financial system is on the brink of something historic… an implosion with the potential to destroy the dollar in its wake.
Let’s take a look at how unsustainable debt levels and egregious interest rates have created this ticking time bomb…
Did you know that federal spending hovered right around $3.5 trillion in 2013? Meanwhile, the deficit only fell to $642 billion — scarcely an improvement worth touting by our favorite fiscal friends in charge of getting us out of this mess.
Continue Reading at OutsiderClub.com…
by David Kranzler
Investment Research Dynamics
Note: New home sales for June were reported today. They essentially show a collapse, dropping 20% from May to June. I am working on the analysis now.
The amount and degree of propaganda spewing forth out of Wall Street and DC staggers the mind. Anyone who read “Animal Farm” and thought the vision was exaggerated for the purposes of conveying an idea is sadly mistaken. Indeed, “Animal Farm” may understate the current degree of absurd fiction emanating from every crack and crevice in NYC and Capitol Hill.
A perfect example was yesterday’s existing home sales report for June released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). NAR refers to the organization’s data reporting which is Not Actually Real.
Continue Reading at InvestmentResearchDynamics.com…
from CNS News
WASHINGTON (AP) — After spending nearly $300 million on a new computer system to handle disability claims, the Social Security Administration still can’t get it to work. And officials can’t say when it will.
Six years ago, Social Security embarked on an aggressive plan to replace outdated computer systems overwhelmed by a growing flood of disability claims. But the project has been racked by delays and mismanagement, according to an internal report commissioned by the agency.
Today, the project is still in the testing phase, and the agency can’t say when it will be operational or how much it will cost.
Continue Reading at CNSNews.com…
from Jesse’s Café Américain
‘Free’ as in free storage is perhaps a red flag for potential risk, according to Ted Butler as he muses in his latest article, Still Waters Run Deep.
I think there is an obvious and substantial difference between the unallocated metals accounts at Kitco and Perth in terms of ‘backing’ given that Perth has ties to the government. And Ted rightfully allows for that.
But considering the matter from another angle, I would think that one’s investment choices should flow from one’s reasoning and objectives.
Continue Reading at JessesCrossroadsCafe.Blogspot.ca…
by Greg Guenthner
Are you “addicted to being distracted”?
Don’t worry— there’s an app for that.
A smartphone-obsessed millennial created an app called Moment to help you monitor your smartphone use. The app gives you what are called “nudge” updates on how much time you spend with your nose in your phone. The goal, of course, is to make you aware of the time you’re wasting with your face glued to the tiny screen.
Of course, knowing how much time you’re wasting on your phone probably won’t get you to put it down anytime soon…
Continue Reading at DailyReckoning.com…
by Jeff Nielson
Bullion Bulls Canada
Part I ended by challenging readers to engage in a difficult, mental feat: imagining sanity. Our present pseudo-reality (dubbed “the New Normal” by the Corporate media) has been so insane, for so long, that few of us have any recollections at all of living in even quasi-sane societies.
More specifically; we live in an upside-down world where virtually all commerce is conducted by swapping worthless scraps of paper (“fiat currency”) for valuable goods and services (or doing so “virtually”). Engaging in commerce where one exchanges value-for-value (i.e. exchanging valuable money for hard assets and services) is now a totally alien concept to the members of our societies.
So imagine sanity.
Continue Reading at BullionBullsCanada.com…
by Pater Tenebrarum
China’s ‘Eco’ Ghost Town
Back in 2006, Hu Jintao was excited when he visited Caofeidian, the “the world’s first fully realized eco-city”, built on land reclaimed from the sea. Since construction began in 2003, it has devoured the princely sum of $100 billion, most of it provided by banks. One million resident were once supposed to live there. It is a ghost town today, sporting only a few thousand inhabitants. Practically no-one has ever stayed in the city, and the buildings are already deteriorating. In fact, many of the buildings have been left half-finished, as credit eventually ran out.
The Guardian has posted a number of haunting pictures of this monument to massive capital malinvestment.
As the Guardian notes:
Continue Reading at Acting-Man.com…
by Andrew Hoffman
How many reasons to own precious metals- and fear all else-what can I say? I guess we’ll see today, culminating in today’s topic du jour – the increased confidence in our long-standing prediction that not only has global gold and silver mining peaked, but will likely not rebound material even after the Cartel’s inevitable demise.
Let’s start with the so-called U.S. “recovery”; which with each passing day becomes more widely understood to be nothing but a scam fabricated by the propaganda machines in New York and Washington. To wit, when the CEO of Wal-Mart says demand weakness is pervasive and entirely non-weather related – it strains credibility to believe otherwise. I mean geez, U.S. movie box office sales are down 25% year-over-year and 41% from two years ago! Yesterday’s news that the IMF downgraded the U.S.’s 2014 GDP growth outlook to a measly 1.7% only solidifies this view; not to mention, its “recommendation” that the Fed maintains zero interest rates well past mid-2015. Putting the “nail in the coffin,” Caterpillar – the world’s largest construction equipment contractor – just announced its 19th straight quarter of year-over-year revenue declines!
Continue Reading at MilesFranklin.com…
by Charles Hugh Smith
Of Two Minds
What’s the difference between the U.S. Congress and corrupt petty officials taking bribes at a Third-World border crossing? Only one of scale.
Corruption ceases to be corruption when it becomes the Status Quo; what was once recognized as corruption is seen as just another cost of doing business. Our political order is structurally corrupt: the key dynamic in every level of governance is favoritism and extortion.
Favors must be bought: those foolish enough not to spend freely on lobbyists and campaign contributions find their competitors have gained the upper hand by buying favors such as tax breaks, federal subsidies, no-bid contracts, cost-plus contracts, backroom deals, regulations that exclude competition and so on.
Politicos must extort campaign contributions from the maximum number of supplicants seeking favors to maintain their perquisites and power.
Here’s how the system works.
Continue Reading at OfTwoMinds.com…
by Simon Black
Ten dark suited men entered the premises of FBME bank in Cyprus on Friday afternoon and took it hostage.
It must have looked like a scene from the Matrix. And given the surrealism of how this conflict is escalating, maybe it was.
The men were from the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC). And they commandeered FBME because an obscure agency within the US government recently issued a report accusing the bank of laundering money.
It just so happens that FBME… and Cyprus in general… is where a lot of wealthy Russians hold their vast fortunes.
Continue Reading at SovereignMan.com…
by Martin Armstrong
The Swiss National Bank and the People’s Bank of China reached a currency swap agreement on Monday. While this is not a huge trend changer in the near-term, it demonstrates that our forecast for China to become the largest economy and to be the next financial capital of the world when Europe and the USA blow themselves apart with defaulting socialism is on track. This agreement will allow the two central banks to buy and sell their currencies up to a limit of 150 billion renminbi, or 21 billion Swiss francs ($23.4 billion). This is nothing major, but it demonstrates the further distinction between RUssia and China whereas the former is still functioning old world idea of empire and the latter comprehends its the economy stupid.
Continue Reading at ArmstrongEconomics.com…
by Sridhar Natarajan and Katie Linsell
Junk-bond buyers are showing signs of indigestion after snapping up a record $361 billion of the debt at the lowest yields on record.
Speculative-grade bonds from the U.S. to Europe and Asia are set to post losses this month for the first time since last August after high-yield debt funds suffered the biggest weekly withdrawal of 2014. Winoa SA, the French producer of abrasives for metalworking, scrapped a bond offering in Europe yesterday amid the turmoil.
The pushback is stifling junk-bond issuance in July after an unprecedented first half of sales. Investors who piled into the debt amid extraordinary central bank stimulus and a sixth year of near-zero interest rates in the U.S. are being jolted out of complacency by intensifying risks from Ukraine to Gaza.
Continue Reading at Bloomberg.com…
by Dan Norcini
Trader Dan Norcini
The Chinese trade group, China Gold Association, issued a report noting that total Chinese gold demand for the first half of 2014 fell by 136.91 tons to 569.45 metric tons. That is down 19% from the previous year same period.
It seems a dueling bit of data in the sense that while gold bar and gold coin demand fell off ( down 62% for the bars and 44% for the coins), gold jewelry and gold industrial demand picked up ( 11% increase in both of these categories).
The drop off was rather precipitous to the point that it had some questioning whether China would be able to remain in first place behind India in terms of total gold demand. We’ll have to see about that however especially as concerns grow that India is not going to lift that import tariff on gold.
Continue Reading at TraderDanNorcini.Blogspot.ca…
by Pam Martens
Wall Street on Parade
Since March 30 of this year when bestselling author, Michael Lewis, appeared on 60 Minutes to explain the findings of his latest book, Flash Boys, as “stock market’s rigged,” America has been learning some very uncomfortable truths about the tilted playing field against the public stock investor.
Throughout this time, no one has been more adamant than Terrence (Terry) Duffy, the Executive Chairman and President of the CME Group, which operates the largest futures exchange in the world in Chicago, that the charges made by Lewis about the stock market have nothing to do with his market. The futures markets are pristine, according to testimony Duffy gave before the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee on May 13.
Continue Reading at WallStreetOnParade.com…
from Zero Hedge
As if Ukraine was not struggling through enough turmoil currently, Bloomberg reports that the fragile coalition government has collapsed after two parties quit. The UDAR and Svoboda parties said they’d leave the government and seek a snap parliamentary ballot. Tempers have been fraying recently as numerous brawls have broken out in parliament ahead of President Poroshenko’s pledge to call elections this year. All we have to do now is find out who Washington would like to see in power? The end result: Prime Minister Yatsenyuk just resigned. The big question now is what will the IMF do about the remaining tranches of its loans? Via BBG:
Continue Reading at ZeroHedge.com…
by Mike Meyer
Good Day. An welcome to Thursday morning. The trading tone was already set in motion by the time I hit the send button yesterday, so all of the action had already taken place as the US markets were up and running yesterday. We were still operating under tight conditions as far as the currency market was concerned and lack of US economic data kept the news headlines at a minimum. So where does that leave us? Well, it takes us back to the quote from the great Yogi Berra that I titled the Pfennig this morning.
The only economic report from yesterday was last week’s mortgage applications, so practically speaking, the data closet was empty. Regardless, applications increased 2.6% last week after falling 3.6% the week prior. A majority of this rise can be attributed to higher refi traffic but here was a recovery in the purchase component that was encouraging.
Continue Reading at DailyPfennig.com…
by GE Christenson
What Danger Zone? The powers-that-be must find a way to keep the masses under control, raise taxes, enrich themselves and monetize the debt. The result will be currency devaluations, blood, inflation, distractions (such as downed airliners and new wars), banker bonuses, continued payoffs to politicians, and so much more.
The Stock Markets:
The S&P 500 Index looks toppy and dangerous, as it has for many months. Consider this graph:
There is no guarantee that the stock market will either crash or continue to rally, but the above chart is worrisome, in spite of the massive levitation by the central banks of the world. This is a clear and present danger zone.
Continue Reading at DeviantInvestor.com…
by Martin Armstrong
When a court issues a ruling it is actually called its “opinion”. In religious circles, many of the Protestants revolted against the Catholic Church because they did not like the fact that if the Pope decreed something, it was considered to be infallible – the Sacred Magisterium. Well American judges take the same position.
Papal infallibility is a dogma of the Catholic Church which states that, in virtue of the promise of Jesus to Peter, the Pope is preserved from the possibility of error only “When, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church.” This formal doctrine was defined dogmatically in the First Vatican Council of 1869–1870, but had been defended before that, existing already in medieval theology and being the majority opinion at the time of the Counter-Reformation. What people do not appreciate that this is actually how even the all federal court rules function – by OPINION and they too are infallible.
Continue Reading at ArmstrongEconomics.com…
by Henrique Almeida
Lisbon real estate agent Paulo Silva says Portugal’s property market has a Frenchman to thank. Francois Hollande, that is.
“The French president’s taxes are prompting many to flee their country,” Silva, who heads real estate agency Aguirre Newman, said in an interview. “Many of these wealthy French are coming to Portugal to take advantage of a series of tax benefits that are better than in other countries.”
An increase of 70 billion euros ($94 billion) in taxes in France over the last three years and fiscal breaks provided by Portugal are driving wealthy French people to seek homes in the Atlantic Ocean-hugging country. While Portugal’s sun, sand and sea have long attracted property investors, the French have now overtaken the British, who used to be the biggest group of foreign home buyers in the country before it sought a bailout in 2011 and real estate prices dropped.
Continue Reading at Bloomberg.com…
by Katie Holliday
Investment guru Marc Faber, famed for his gloomy views on financial markets, took some time out from being the voice of doom on Wednesday to highlight areas of the market that he actually liked.
On CNBC Asia’s “Squawk Box,” the author of the Gloom, Boom and Doom report singled out the agriculture sector, Chinese and Hong Kong stocks and precious metals as places he thought investors should put their money into.
“In general I like plantation companies – I like everything to do with agriculture,” said Faber, who is also widely known as Dr Doom.
“Now agriculture prices have tumbled – corn, wheat, soy beans and so forth, but in the long run we have a global population that has more than doubled since 1960. We are now seven billion people and we will still grow. I think resources are very stretched and food will become very important,” he added.
Continue Reading at CNBC.com…
by Bill Bonner
Not Even the Kangaroos are Hopping Fast Enough …
“Russia is behind it. They were the ones who shot down that plane.”
That was the line given to us by one of our fellow parishioners at the 8 a.m. service, in Maryland, on Sunday. Oh my… he is losing his mind, we thought. How would he know who shot down a plane over 4,000 miles away? And why would he care?
But in the US media… dinner time chat … and after-church conversations, Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, is condemned. Without trial. Without due process.
Continue Reading at Acting-Man.com…
by Martin Armstrong
Working for the government was always pitched as somehow being better guaranteed than risky corporations. However, he who makes the laws never goes to jail for breaking them – a plain fact of life. The problem with government pensions has been they promised whatever sounded nice, with zero accountability. The presumption that tax revenue was an endless pit is one of those fallacies that nobody ever investigates.
[...] It was the city of Mainz where the Gutenberg printing press was invented. This created an economic boom and everyone wanted to be in Mainz. The politicians saw the boom and presumed the potential tax revenue was linear and would be endless – judging tomorrow by today’s trend. They began to borrow against what they anticipated would be there forever. As they needed interest to pay for borrowing and they became addicted to debt, they raised taxes. The taxes kept rising so they killed the economic boom and people began to leave. Mainz followed the typical path as we are doing today. They were no longer paying off debt, they entered the Ponzi scheme – issued new debt to pay off the old in a revolving bond auction. Taxes kept rising and people migrated. The printing press was no longer unique to Mainz. The rich left town taking their capital and entrepreneurship with them. When Mainz lost confidence of the bond buyers and could no longer sell new debt to pay for the old, the collapse unfolded. Mainz, like Detroit, defaulted. The creditors sacked the city and it was burned to the ground.
Continue Reading at ArmstrongEconomics.com…
from The Daily Bell
Liberal party looks to legalize medical marijuana in Colombia … Colombia’s Liberal Party will support a new bill to legalize medical marijuana in the country, local media reported … The move was announced by Liberal Party (Partido Liberal) Senator Juan Manuel Galan, who explained that the bill would open the door for the use of currently illicit marijuana for medicinal uses, Colombia’s El Espectador newspaper reported. “I am going to establish a bill to legalize the therapeutic use of marijuana [...] We are going to promote this initiative under the framework that the Liberal Party has to be a party that promotes liberal ideas, progressive ideas,” Galan said according to Bogota’s Blu Radio. – Colombia Reports
Dominant Social Themes: This can’t be happening! Drugs are bad and drugs in Colombia are even worse!
Free-Market Analysis: The news regarding Colombia’s intention to legalize marijuana – as yet little reported in the wider, Western world – is truly shocking, though regular readers of our publications will not be much surprised.
More than almost any other publication we know of, we’ve stayed on top of this important elite meme and covered it closely. Our most significant insights have had to do with the determination of the power elite to legalize not just marijuana but drugs generally around the world.
Continue Reading at TheDailyBell.com…
by Monty Pelerin
Monty Pelerin’s World
Ineffective leadership is apparent at all levels of government. Many blame President Obama, perhaps even more should. He is the so-called leader and things (not good) are occurring on his watch. People are frustrated with the state of the nation and their own personal condition. But is it Obama or is it something more systemic?
There are plenty of reasons to be unhappy with Obama – the economy is under-performing, geo-political risks are high, people no longer trust their government, apparent scandals abound, etc. Obama is to blame for many of the current problems. Some he created, others he inherited and made worse.
What if Obama is not a “one-off” event? What if getting rid of him doesn’t solve the problem? Is it possible that the US is condemned to similar ineffective leadership in the future?
Continue Reading at EconomicNoise.com…