by Greg Guenthner
We’ve been operating in a market overzealous about new tech firms flashing nifty names and exciting stories.
Never mind the fact that they might never reach profitability. Ignore the overly-optimistic business models.
Pay no attention to man behind the curtain…
“That man, to be exact, would be Mr. Venture Capitalist,” our own Noah Sugarman says. “He’s the one who brought these often-questionable firms their first round of funding. He’s the one who helped lead them to the public markets.”
Here’s the deal…
Continue Reading at DailyReckoning.com…
by Ramsey Su
A Nightmare of Red Tape
Before the bailout, General Motors was known as a giant pension plan that occasionally made cars. The real estate industry today is a government compliance business. Real estate practitioners exist for the purpose of filling out a mountain of forms and occasionally sell houses or make loans.
From my personal experience, my first real estate offer was written on a single page 8.5″x11″ form (circa late 1970s). My first client’s loan application, all two pages of it, was initially denied. The borrower had over 20% to pay down and was self-employed with more than sufficient income to service the loan. After a sit down meeting with the loan officer, explaining the details, the loan was approved as it should have been. There is no chance this borrower would be approved today. The escrow closing statement was one legal size page and the loan documents amounted to something like four legal size pages.
Continue Reading at Acting-Man.com…
by Simon Black
Thirty-six year-old Koo Bon-hee recalled hearing a loud bang, when suddenly the ferry he was on tilted drastically in the water.
The Sewol ferry, traveling from Incheon to Jeju Island in South Korea, was starting to sink, and it was sinking fast.
Those still standing after the impact began to scramble for the exits, when they heard an announcement over the speakers telling everyone to stay in their places and sit still.
Some, like Koo, followed their instincts and ignored the announcement, leaping into the icy cold water where they were able to be rescued.
Continue Reading at SovereignMan.com…
by David Stockman
David Stockman’s Contra Corner
So far we have experienced 7 million foreclosures. Beyond that there are still 9 million homeowners seriously underwater on their mortgages and there are millions more who are stranded in place because they don’t have enough positive equity to cover transactions costs and more stringent down payment requirements.
And that’s before the next down-turn in housing prices—a development which will show-up any day. In fact, another downward plunge is a positive certainty now that the buy-to-rent LBO speculators are rapidly pulling out of those “flash” bull markets in Arizona, California, Los Vegas, Florida and elsewhere. The latter were merely short-lived price eruptions which were an artifact of the Fed’s free money policies.
Yet even as Wall Street heads out of Dodge City the normal wave of organic buyers is nowhere to be seen.
Continue Reading at DavidStockmansContraCorner.com…
from Zero Hedge
Another month, another drop in existing home sales, which in March declined once again from 4.60MM units to 4.59MM. While the good news was that this number did beat the consensus estimate of 4.56MM (based on a a range of 4.50MM to 4.85MM from 75 economist surveyed), the bad news was that once again, a near majority of the upside was once again due to investors and other all-cash buyers, who accounted for 50% of all sales. That and that like last time, of course, this was the worst existing home sales number since July 2012.
Continue Reading at ZeroHedge.com…
by GE Christenson
Silver has had three bad years while the S&P has had five good years. It is time for both markets to reverse.
Examine the following graph of Silver versus the Silver to S&P ratio. It tells me the ratio has returned to levels seen in 2008 and that the ratio follows the price of silver. This is interesting but not that helpful.
[...] Now examine the second graph in which the same ratio is plotted against the 14 month Relative Strength Index of the ratio. The RSI is a timing indicator that ranges between 0 – 100 and indicates buy zones when the indicator is low and sell zones when the RSI is high. Currently the RSI of the index is about 23 – quite low and indicating that the silver to S&P ratio should increase from here. Either the silver price should go up or the S&P should come down, or more likely, both will occur.
Continue Reading at DeviantInvestor.com…
by Bill Holter
Canary In the Yen Shaft: $10 trillion JGBs; No Bids!
Japan bond market liquidity dries up as BoJ holding crosses…
Japan actually had a 36 hour period of time this past week where no long term treasury securities traded privately. I have a couple of questions about this. 1. Could this really happen? 2. What does this mean? Of course there are other questions like why did this happen?
Think about this, Japan is the 3rd largest economy in the world and their bond market is the 2nd largest only behind the U.S. How could there be no trades, none, zero, and nada?! But this did apparently happen. It happened because there were no bids, none. It happened because their “QE” has driven interest rates too low, so low that no one (except of course the Bank of Japan) wants to purchase these bonds. Please understand that “liquidity” is the name of the game when it comes to bond markets. If there is no liquidity it usually means that there is no “exit door,” in this case the Bank of Japan apparently is the ONLY exit door as they are pretty much buyers of any and all securities that are offered for sale.
Continue Reading at MilesFranklin.com…
by Jamie Hopkins
Laissez Faire Books
Too many people think that long-term care planning is just a decision about whether to purchase long-term care insurance. However, long-term care planning is so much more. It is a discussion about how you will fund this expense, where you will receive long-term care, and who will provide the care.
Unfortunately, very few people are prepared to deal with this risk as less than 8% of people have long-term care insurance and only 10% of people in the U.S. have a long-term care plan in place. This lack of planning is extremely troubling because long-term care is a very real and expensive risk as nearly 70% of people will need long-term care at some point and the cost of one year in a semi-private nursing home can exceed over $150,000.
Continue Reading at LBF.org…
New evidence suggests the involvement of Chinese mafia in smuggling gold into India.
by Shivom Seth
Mumbai (Mineweb) – A Dubai based Chinese mafia appears to be playing a key role in gold smuggling incidents, especially in South India, customs officials in India say.
Over the last few months, customs officials at the Rajiv Gandhi international Airport in Hyderabad, have detained more than 50 passengers and recovered approximately 80 kilograms of gold. On April 1, about 7.70 kilogram of gold was seized from two passengers by the Directorate of revenue intelliegence sleuths, which was the first instance to alert the investigating team about the role of the neighbouring nation.
“Though it sounds incredulous, investigators have come across enough evidence to indicate that Chinese gangs are hiring operators in other countries and smuggling gold into Hyderabad, Kerala and other Indian cities,” said Kalyan Revella, Assistant Commissioner, Customs and Central Excise, at Hyderabad.
Continue Reading at MineWeb.com…
April 16 (Bloomberg) –- World Gold Council Managing Director, Far East Albert Cheng discusses China’s gold market and what’s driving the country’s demand. He speaks to Rishaad Salamat on Bloomberg Television’s “On The Move Asia.” (Source: Bloomberg)
by Pepe Escobar
Asia Times Online
The US State Department, via spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki, said that reports of CIA Director John Brennan telling regime changers in Kiev to “conduct tactical operations” – or an “anti-terrorist” offensive – in eastern Ukraine are “completely false”. This means Brennan did issue his marching orders. And by now the “anti-terrorist” campaign – with its nice little Dubya rhetorical touch – has degenerated into farce.
Now couple that with NATO secretary general, Danish retriever Anders Fogh Rasmussen, yapping about the strengthening of military footprint along NATO’s eastern border: “We will have more planes in the air, mores ships on the water and more readiness on the land.”
Welcome to the Two Stooges doctrine of post-modern warfare.
Continue Reading at ATimes.com…
A dozen wedding guests were beaten, tased, pepper sprayed, and arrested.
from Police State USA
GALVESTON, TX — More than a dozen wedding guests were brutalized by police officers during a raid on a wedding party at a hotel. Cops fired tasers, used batons, and generously applied pepper spray to the guests of a bride and groom hours after their wedding. Among them was former pro-baseball star Brandon Backe, who said the shoulder injuries that he received from police caused his pitching career to end.
After causing a gaping head wound, bruises, hair pulled out, a broken nose, and pepper spray on numerous individuals, the only reprimand any of the officers received was a paperwork violation. Interestingly, none of the 3 dozen cops reported any use of force.
Continue Reading at PoliceStateUSA.com…
from Zero Hedge
It appears, based on these extremely graphic images, that the Chinese people has a different way of dealing with corrupt officials. As Shanghaiist reports, a riot involving around 1,000 people broke out last Saturday in Cangnan county of Wenzhou city, Zhejiang province, resulting in the hospitalization of five chengguan, China’s notoriously abusive and under-regulated urban enforcement officials. The alleged cause for the riots was the five’s brutally killing a civilian. According to reports, the chengguan “hit the man with a hammer until he started to vomit blood, because he was trying to take pictures of their violence towards a woman, a street vendor.” This man later died while being rushed to the hospital. Given the following images of civilian retribution; is it any wonder, the powers that be in China fear social unrest?
Continue Reading at ZeroHedge.com…
by Charles Hugh Smith
Of Two Minds
Once vested interests take control, the only possible “solution” left is collapse.
I have long identified diminishing returns as a key dynamic in the current unraveling of the Status Quo. Why is this so? We can summarize diminishing returns as dumping more money, capital, energy and effort into a system just to keep the output from falling to zero.
But as the costs of keeping the system from imploding rise, they soon consume all the oxygen in the system, and the system implodes anyway.
The Fatal Disease of the Status Quo: Diminishing Returns (May 1, 2013)
Our Era’s Definitive Dynamic: Diminishing Returns (November 11, 2013)
Sickcare, higher education and insanely expensive weapons systems are all examples of this dynamic. The higher education cartel has raised gargantuan sums to fund its poor quality product by turning students into debt-serfs via student loans.
Continue Reading at OfTwoMinds.com…
from The Daily Bell
Yellen shows her hand … Yellen said this week that she is more worried that a shock to the economy might lead to deflation — a debilitating spiral downward in prices and demand — than rampant inflation. Those who cling to old certainties about the economic notions that dominated policy between the 1980s and late 2008 find themselves today tilting at windmills such as the likelihood of a return to high inflation. – Reuters
Dominant Social Theme: Just print, baby.
Free-Market Analysis: This Reuters editorial presents the reality of Yellen’s upcoming Fed regime. Peter Schiff and others – including The Daily Bell – were correct.
There is not going to be any radical tightening at the Fed.
Supposedly, Yellen was going to cease quantitative easing. But QE is simply a strategy and whether or not it continues does not necessarily have an effect on the larger money-printing environment.
Continue Reading at TheDailyBell.com…
by Ed Steer
Ed Steer’s Gold & Silver Daily
Yesterday In Gold & Silver
[Note: After three years without a break, I'll be taking some time off. There will be no Gold and Silver Daily next week. Ed]
The gold price got sold off a few dollars the moment that trading began at 6 p.m. in New York on Sunday evening. Then two hours later at exactly 8 a.m. in Hong Kong on their Monday morning, a rally began that got met by usual not-for-profit sellers the moment it broke above $1,300 spot—and two hours later, gold hit its low tick of the day. Volume by lunchtime in Hong Kong was north of 32,000 contracts, a spectacular amount. From there the price began to recover, but at a snail’s pace—and the rally that began at the 8:20 a.m. EDT Comex open, ran into the usual sellers of last resort. The snail’s pace rally then continued into the close.
Continue Reading at CaseyResearch.com…
by Martin Armstrong
A reader posted this new ad campaign in Britain. These politicians have squandered everything and now they are hunting down capital everywhere and the view is people have to pay whatever they demand or you are just a criminal. Nobody even bothers to look at what they are doing to the world economy. These advertisements are appearing everywhere and they will only succeed in created the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression.
Putin is raising taxes for taking Crimea.
Continue Reading at ArmstrongEconomics.com…
by Jeff Berwick
You know what’s easier than making millions upon millions of dollars? Losing it…
This is the story of one sports great who thought he was investing conservatively. The problem? He was not investing conservatively at all. In fact he was investing in one of the riskiest assets available today – government bonds. His financial advisor did not advise him of that.
Before we get to his story, let’s paint a picture of his home country, Puerto Rico. To put it bluntly, it is mired in debt. Lots and lots of debt. Sound familiar?
According to Puerto Rico’s representative in Congress, Puerto Rico’s debt crisis is the result of the island’s status as a United States territory.
Continue Reading at DollarVigilante.com…
Authors offer tips on retiring abroad and living well, too
by Richard Eisenberg
Growing numbers of Americans asking themselves where they might live in retirement are answering with places like Panama or Portugal.
If you’re one of them, you’ll be interested to hear what I learned when I interviewed Dan Prescher and Suzan Haskins, authors of the new book, The International Living Guide to Retiring Overseas on a Budget.
The married couple are senior editors at International Living — a media company specializing in retiring abroad. I happened to catch the itinerant journalists by phone during one of their rare stops at home, which these days happens to be a condo in the Andes mountain village of Cotacachi, Ecuador.
Continue Reading at MarketWatch.com…
by Benjamin M. Wiegold
From the moment automobiles became commonplace in society, people have been dying in them at astonishing rates. Tragically, over the last century almost 40 million people (around 35,000 per year) lost their lives on U.S. roadways alone, with India, China, and Russia averaging almost 300,000 per year combined.
But early figures indicate that 2013 saw the lowest number of traffic fatalities in the U.S. since 1936. Jenny Robinson of AAA Mid-Atlantic commented that this is “good news” and that it appears “tougher laws … have been effective.”
Certainly this begs the question: if tougher laws are such an easy solution, why do so many people still lose their lives?
Continue Reading at Mises.org…
from King World News
With continued turmoil and uncertainty in global markets, today KWN is publishing another important piece that was written by a 60-year market veteran. The Godfather of newsletter writers, Richard Russell, made this ominous prediction, “In a matter of months, I see the dollar crashing.” Russell also stated that he is buying all of the physical gold and silver he can, “while they are still available.”
Russell: “For the benefit of new subscribers, I want to state my position. I think the bear market that started in 2007 was interrupted, BUT NOT ENDED, by the Fed. Somewhere ahead, I believe this bear market will run to conclusion. I also believe that the great recession never ended, but was masked by the “manufacture” rally in the stock market. Thus the reason that the Fed cannot produce its much-wanted 2% inflation is that the deflationary pressure of the great recession is still in force. The stock market continues to struggle higher, with the needed help of the Fed’s QE and zero interest rates.
Continue Reading at KingWorldNews.com…