Archive for September, 2013
London bullion body could charge more or disband gold rates
ROME (Reuters) – The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) could charge its member banks more or even disband its Gold Forward Offered Rates (GOFO) after a string of new regulations in the financial market, the chairman of the industry body said on …
Regulation shakes up London Bullion Market AssociationMINING.com
Business 2 Community
If You're Worried About Your Gold Stocks, This Will Make You Feel Better
Business 2 Community
Boy, they just don't like gold bullion. The gold bears are getting excited over every negative movement in gold prices. As soon as the precious metal's prices decline a little, we start to hear chants, like “Gold bullion is useless.” Sadly, most of the …
Gold Gains on Week, Silver Dips, US Mint Bullion Sales SteadierCoinNews.net
PRECIOUS-Gold adds to gains as US shutdown looms, dollar weakensReuters
BARCLAYS PLC : London bullion body could charge more or disband gold rates – 4-traders (press release)
BARCLAYS PLC : London bullion body could charge more or disband gold rates
4-traders (press release)
The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) could charge its member banks more or even disband its Gold Forward Offered Rates (GOFO) after a string of new regulations in the financial market, the chairman of the industry body said on Sunday. In July …
Regulation shakes up London Bullion Market AssociationMINING.com
Gold Gains on Week, Silver Dips, US Mint Bullion Sales Steadier
On Friday, gold for December delivery settled up $15.10, or 1.1%, to $1,339.20 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The yellow metal got a boost Friday when Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans …
Common gold & silver pitfalls to avoid
Being the Managing Director of one of the world's largest gold and silver bullion dealerships, I have had the pleasure of speaking with and serving thousands of our clientele. Through the years I have both researched and heard firsthand accounts from …
Gold Bullion Sees "Explosion" in China's Demand, "Bargain Buying" in IndiaBullionVault
Where Are Gold Bullion Prices Going from Here?Jutia Group
Debt ceiling tensions rise but Gold bullion falls even as monetary outlook …Metal.com News
Zee News –CoinNews.net –Proactive Investors UK
all 260 news articles »
Today's essay involves no complicated financial secrets… no long-winded explanation of the bond market… no details about a sophisticated options strategy. No, no. Today, I want to talk about something easy and basic… something that every American should understand…
When you borrow money, you eventually have to pay it back… plus interest.
That's all you need to know to understand the financial crisis and the terrible consequences we face if we don't stop borrowing money from foreign creditors.
Before the financial crisis of 2008/2009, America was caught up in a huge debt-financed spending boom. Our trade deficits were soaring out of control simply because we continued to consume more than we produced. The debt to finance this consumption piled up in the form of mortgages and the federal deficit. It enabled the housing boom, which in turn created the structured-finance debacle that wrecked AIG and wiped out Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers.
What fewer people realize about the boom and bust is foreigners continued to pile up more and more U.S. assets. In a short period of time, foreigners received $2.5 trillion worth of net U.S. assets.
This chart, made with data from the St. Louis branch of the Federal Reserve, shows the current account balance from 1980 through 2006. As you can see, the balance of trade and finance between America and the rest of the world got completely out of whack beginning in the mid-1990s and accelerating into the 2000s. This occurred because Americans began to consume far more than they produced, financing the deficit using the cheap credit enabled by the dollar's world reserve currency status…
Buffett warned that we would inevitably grow poorer relative to the rest of the world and our creditors would grow wealthier. As he wrote…
I'm about to deliver a warning… our country's net worth is now being transferred abroad at an alarming rate. A perpetuation of this transfer will lead to major trouble.
It was this borrowing and spending… this constant consumption far, far above our ability to produce… that was the root cause of our financial problems. There is no other, more basic and accurate way to understand the real fundamentals of what happened. Buffett explained in his Forbes piece what was happening…
In effect, our country has been behaving like an extraordinarily rich family that possesses an immense farm. In order to consume four percent more than we produce – that's the trade deficit – we have, day by day, been both selling pieces of the farm and increasing the mortgage on what we still own.
"The rest of the world owns a staggering $2.5 trillion more of the U.S. than we own of other countries… To put the $2.5 trillion of net foreign ownership in perspective, contrast it with the $12 trillion value of publicly owned U.S. stocks."
Now… I'm going to give you some data points below. But you don't really need any facts to answer the following key question…
Over the last five years, has anything material changed about the way of life and the nature of our economy in the United States? Have we begun to actually produce more than we consume? Have we stopped being a society obsessed with consumption? Have we stopped the madness of our debt-fueled spending binge? Have we learned anything from the crisis and changed our financial, cultural, or moral excesses?
As promised… a few facts… Since the fourth quarter of 2009, the U.S. current account deficit has been more than $100 billion per quarter. As a result, foreigners now own $4.2 trillion more U.S. investment assets than we own abroad. That's $1.7 trillion more than when Buffett first warned about this huge problem in 2003. Said another way, the problem is 68% bigger now.
And here's a number no one else will tell you – not even Buffett. Foreigners now own $25 trillion in U.S. assets. And yet… we continue to consume far more than we produce, and we borrow massively to finance our deficits.
Since 2007, the total government debt in the U.S. (federal, state, and local) has doubled from around $10 trillion to $20 trillion.
Meanwhile, the size of Fannie and Freddie's mortgage book declined slightly since 2007, falling from $4.9 trillion to $4.6 trillion. That's some good news, right?
Nope. The excesses just moved to a new agency. The "other" federal mortgage bank, the Federal Housing Administration, now is originating 20% of all mortgages in the U.S., up from less than 5% in 2007.
Student debt, also spurred on by government guarantees, has also boomed, doubling since 2007 to more than $1 trillion. Altogether, total debt in our economy has grown from around $50 trillion to more than $60 trillion since 2007.
Perhaps we could afford these obligations if our productive capacity was also expanding rapidly. But it's not. Since 2007, production on a per-capita basis has declined. Real, per-capital GDP in the U.S. at the end of 2007 was $43,635.59. As of the end of 2012, it was $43,063.36. One big reason productivity is falling: More Americans than ever aren't working. Today, more than 90 million Americans are not in the labor force. That's 13% more people not working than in 2007.
Who is working? The government, which doesn't produce anything. We estimate total employment in the federal government has increased by nearly 400,000 since 2007 – or roughly 10%. Officially, the new hires number is 276,000, but we know between 100,000 and 200,000 National Security Administration/CIA contractors are not being counted.
What are all of these lovely people doing to serve us? Mostly writing new rules for us to follow. There were 22,771 pages of federal rules and regulations in 2007. Today, there are 27,274 pages of rules for you to follow – 20% more rules in only six years. And how will these new employees and these new rules help us solve our core spending problem? My bet is they won't.
Nothing has changed whatsoever about the root cause of the financial crisis. We still have massive amounts of debt, far too much to safely finance. We still continue to borrow larger and larger amounts, as if nothing at all went wrong. So today, once again, financial firms' profits make up a huge, disproportionate amount of the total profits of the S&P 500 (20%).
And it's not just us. In the European monetary union, government debts totaled 66% of GDP in 2007. Today, they're more than 90%. In the United Kingdom, government debt equaled 43% of the economy in 2007. Today, it's also at 90%. Unbelievably… no one in the developed world seems to be able to generate wealth anymore, only more debts.
To finance these debts, we continue to sell parts of our "farm" to foreigners. By doing so, we will become much poorer over time. Ten years ago, the combined economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China (the so-called "BRIC" nations) equaled roughly 29% of our economy. By 2007, their economies were equal to 53% of ours. Today, they equal 91%. Our borrowing is fueling their boom. Buffett warned this would happen. And he was right.
He also warned what would happen after we racked up all of these debts:
Sooner or later the Squanderville government, facing ever greater payments to service debt, would decide to embrace highly inflationary policies – that is, issue more Squanderbucks to dilute the value of each…
That prospect is why I, were I a resident of Thriftville, would opt for direct ownership of Squanderville land rather than bonds of the island's government. Most governments find it much harder morally to seize foreign-owned property than they do to dilute the purchasing power of claim checks foreigners hold. Theft by stealth is preferred to theft by force.
And so… what are our foreign masters doing? They're dumping Treasurys and buying U.S. assets. Chinese firms now own IBM's personal computer division, the AMC movie-theater chain, pork producer Smithfield, plus some of our most valuable new sources of energy, via equity deals with Devon Energy and Chesapeake Energy. So far in 2013 alone, China has spent $10 billion on U.S. assets, compared with less than $1 billion in 2008.
Our foreign masters will soon begin buying massive amounts of U.S. property, as they move their holdings from the obligations of Freddie and Fannie into the underlying assets. In 2012, the Chinese bought $3 billion of commercial real estate in California. Soon, I believe they'll begin buying huge packages of U.S. residential houses. Thus… in three or four years… millions of Americans will literally be paying rent to the Chinese. It will absolutely happen.
The next time you think about saying you're grateful to the Fed and to OBAMA! for "bailing out" the U.S. economy, I hope you'll think again. All they've really done is push the inevitable collapse of our economy further into the future… by selling off our country's greatest assets to our chief economic rivals. This, my friends, is truly the worst possible outcome. Just imagine what country we'll have left in another 20 years…
Regular Digest readers know where I believe this will end: Our foreign creditors will lose faith in our ability to repay these enormous debts. They will dump their dollar holdings… And America will lose its coveted reserve currency status. The dollar will lose more than half its value… probably all of it.
Although the forces that cause huge currency movements will end up bankrupting the majority of Americans, most people don't even know they exist. You won't learn about them from your parents. You won't learn about them from your friends. Even business classes at top universities are largely useless for learning these forces.
This is an enormous problem… one that could have catastrophic consequences for your wellbeing. As the U.S. government's reckless monetary policies drive us toward financial ruin, knowing about these hidden forces could mean the difference between bankrupting your family… or safely making a fortune.
One of my partners at Stansberry & Associates, Dr. Steve Sjuggerud, has studied and written about currencies for nearly 20 years. In fact, his PhD dissertation was about how currencies move.
I've asked him to share his immense knowledge and experience of these markets and forces with you. So he's written a new True Wealth currency "seminar."
In his presentation, he details how these forces work and their impact on every American. He also reveals several unique trades that will allow you to safely build a huge amount of wealth in the midst of currency fluctuations… including what he's calling "The Greatest Currency Trade of the Next 10 Years."
While Steve's recommended trades are related to currency movements, none of them involve risky, leveraged currency bets, like most people think of when they hear "currency trade." These trades don't involve traditional currency trades at all (and all but one can be easily made in a conventional brokerage account).
Out of fairness to Steve's True Wealth subscribers, we can't say much more about this report here. The most important thing to remember is that big currency moves can cause huge "ripple" effects in your life. There's no escape from currency fluctuations. Even if you own a simple bank account, you are "long dollars." Your wealth is tied to the movements in the U.S. dollar.
Steve understands these forces better than anyone. He knows that stuffing money under your mattress won't save you from these powerful forces. He understands that you must harness the power of currencies if you hope to generate and grow your wealth in the coming years.
We're at a major crossroads in the currency markets. Our government is in a "no way out" situation with its finances. You can't afford to sit on your hands and watch your purchasing power decline.
Fortunately, Steve's new report will provide you with all of the education you need to navigate this market. Reading it will take you less than 30 minutes. At the end, you'll know more than most bankers and MBAs.
We're confident you'll agree the education you get from Steve's research is better than any book or course you can buy. And we believe the recommended trades in Steve's report are absolutely necessary for building wealth in the coming years. We're already receiving tremendous feedback on the report and its educational benefits.
Do yourself and your family a favor: Take us up on our 100% money-back guarantee. Try True Wealth for four months. Read through Steve's report a few times. (Again, it will take you less than 30 minutes.) If you don't think it's the most comprehensive and well-written report on how to protect yourself and your family from the coming destruction of the U.S. dollar, we'll refund every penny.
You can sign up for True Wealth and the special report right here. (There's no long video to watch. You'll be able to access the report in less than 10 minutes.)
The investing climate is literally as good as it gets…
2) Long-term rates – like mortgage rates – are coming off RECORD lows.
I try not to do this in public, but I laugh when I hear people worry about higher mortgage rates killing the housing market…
Yes, mortgage rates are up… But my goodness, they're up from record lows! Mortgage rates are still incredibly low based on history. And house prices in many major cities lost a third of their value in the housing bust. Slightly higher mortgage rates are not going to kill this housing boom.
3) Investors are scared.
This fear is good! It is a clear sign that the markets have not peaked yet. Think about this… There was no fear in real estate in 2006. There was no fear in stocks in 1999.
When there's no fear left, the market has peaked. Today, we're nowhere near that point.
4) Astoundingly, investors are still not in the markets yet. That means there's plenty of upside.
Investments peak when there's nobody LEFT to buy. Today, we have the opposite situation… nobody is buying. There are still millions of Americans out of the market who will be in it before it peaks. So there's plenty of upside left.
Crux note: Steve recently attended an exclusive closed-door meeting at the New York Stock Exchange. Over 30 powerful men – billionaires and CEOs from around the world – were there… and what he learned may shock you. In short, he obtained details of the exact timeline when the next stock market crash is set to occur. Click here to see for yourself.
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