Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
If you want to see what economic trickle down looks like, watch this.
Rent walkouts point to strains in U.S. farm economy
By Jo Winterbottom and P.J. Huffstutter
CHICAGO Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:45am EST
(Reuters) – Across the U.S. Midwest, the plunge in grain prices to near four-year lows is pitting landowners determined to sustain rental incomes against farmer tenants worried about making rent payments because their revenues are squeezed.
Some grain farmers already see the burden as too big. They are taking an extreme step, one not widely seen since the 1980s: breaching lease contracts, reducing how much land they will sow this spring and risking years-long legal battles with landlords.
The tensions add to other signs the agricultural boom that the U.S. grain farming sector has enjoyed for a decade is over. On Friday, tractor maker John Deere cut its profit forecast citing falling sales caused by lower farm income and grain prices.
Many rent payments – which vary from a few thousand dollars for a tiny farm to millions for a major operation – are due on March 1, just weeks after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated net farm income, which peaked at $129 billion in 2013, could slide by almost a third this year to $74 billion.
The costs of inputs, such as fertilizer and seeds, are remaining stubbornly high, the strong dollar is souring exports and grain prices are expected to stay low.
Jim Sinclair’s Commetnary
Recovery goes so south that jiggling the data does not even change it.
U.S. existing home sales at nine-month low, supply limited
By Lucia Mutikani
WASHINGTON Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:49pm EST
(Reuters) – U.S. home resales fell sharply to their lowest level in nine months in January amid a shortage of properties on the market, a setback that could temper expectations for an acceleration in housing activity this year.
The National Association of Realtors said on Monday existing home sales declined 4.9 percent to an annual rate of 4.82 million units, the lowest level since last April.
"Existing home sales are taking a bumpy road towards recovery," said Patrick Newport, an economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts.
The decline in sales, which was across all four regions, came despite the 30-year mortgage rate falling to a 20-month low. It was worse than economists’ expectations for a 4.97 million unit-pace.
Tight inventories are hurting sales by limiting the selection of houses available to potential buyers. The lack of supply is also keeping house prices elevated, helping to sideline first-time buyers from the market.
There is hope a tightening labor market would spur sturdy wage growth and pull first-time buyers into the market. But unless there is a significant pickup in the number of homes available for sale, the housing recovery could remain sluggish.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Nobody can ever say that Paul Craig Roberts lacks either courage or smarts.
Paul Craig Roberts – Governments And Media Lying To People As Elites Enslave Humanity
February 23, 2015
As the West stares into the great abyss and the world prepares for even greater economic turmoil, today Dr. Paul Craig Roberts warned King World News that governments and the media are lying to people as the elites enslave humanity. This is an ominous warning from the former U.S. Treasury official as the world prepares to descend into economic chaos.
By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts Former U.S. Treasury Official
February 23 (King World News) – According to the official economic fairy tale, the US economy has been in recovery since June 2009.
U.S. Economic Fairy Tale
This fairy tale supports America’s image as the safe haven, an image that keeps the dollar up, the stock market up, and interest rates down. It is an image that causes the massive numbers of unemployed Americans to blame themselves and not the mishandled economy.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
And so it starts. You worry about confiscation of Gold when there is a much larger target out there – your retirement account. Better to GOTS (get out of the system).
President Obama Explains The "Changes" He’d Like To Make To Retirement Accounts – Live Feed
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/23/2015 13:58 -0500
Speaking at AARP headqusrters in Washington, President Obama will announce orders to the Labor Department to write new rules for financial managers who handle retirement accounts for working Americans. As USA Today reports, The White House says the goal is to end "hidden fees that hurt consumers and back-door payments that help Wall Street brokers," deals that costs retirees billions of dollars in savings. White House officials said they want new fiduciary standards that would require financial advisers to put clients’ interests ahead of their own… and "buy our bonds."
We wonder how long before there will be an official asset allocation by dictat…
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Absolutely yes, but not in a convertible on demand way. A little dated but important at this time.
Is Russia Preparing to Move to the Gold Standard?
21:21 08.02.2015(updated 13:43 15.02.2015)
An article by Mises Institute contributor Marcia Christoff-Kurapovna believes that now is the ideal time for Russia to introduce a gold-backed ruble.
Mises Institute contributor Marcia Christoff-Kurapovna believes that Russia may be in the process of planning for the introduction of a gold-based currency, and would be better off for it.
"Though a far-fetched idea at first glance, many factors suggest that remonetization in gold may be a logical next step for Moscow," Christoff-Kurapovna notes in an analytical article published Friday on the libertarian think tank’s website.
The columnist notes that several factors may play into the decision, including Russia’s recent partial detachment from Western economic and financial structures, sanctions, the ruble’s devaluation and economic decline.
BEHIND THE SCENES?
Author : Bill Holter
Published: February 23rd, 2015
So much is happening behind the scenes it’s mindboggling. This past week we of course ended with “deal or no deal” over Greece. The “deal” the markets were hoping for really was no deal at all, the markets were only hoping for more time and ONLY more time. You see, Greece is broke. They only have enough money for about another week, they don’t even have enough to make their early March debt payment. The only possible “deal” from here on is to postpone reality. Greece cannot be allowed to make any deal other than one that puts THE deal out into the future. They cannot accept more “aid” because the markets will see through this. They also cannot be allowed to exit because this would then be the thread which unravels the Eurozone. The only deal acceptable to the markets will be one where THE deal is not “dealt with”.
Friday afternoon this very scenario was announced and of course the equity markets short squeezed higher in response. A bit prematurely in my estimation because the newly elected Greek parliament will need to ratify any agreement. A ratification will be in direct conflict with the election results of last month, what do you suppose the populace might do? In my opinion, the Greek people are about to explode onto the streets no matter what deal is arranged and agreed to. Broke is broke and no deal and no amount of newly borrowed money will fix this. As my title suggested, I believe only something from “behind the scenes” will fix their problem.
The “fix” itself may end up being a geopolitical event that turns today’s perverted world on its head. In my opinion, the very best fix for Greece is obvious and I believe is probably already in the works. Before getting to this, it is important to understand how “gangs” are broken up. “Gangs” can be broken in two ways. You can either confront the leader and emerge victorious or, you can pick away at the weak sisters one by one. Greece is obviously a weak sister but one very strategically located geographically and politically. Greece is also a natural “bridge” from the Russia and the Middle East to Europe. It is also part of the “old silk road” to China and will be part of trade in the new silk road.
It is my belief that negotiations have been going on behind the scenes between Greece and the SinoRuso alliance. Would it not make sense for Russia and China to try to woo Greece? Greece could be offered a pipeline deal. This would put people to work and Greece would actually receive an income royalty flow. From a financial standpoint, this is the very best avenue for Greece because of the income aspect, they will actually get something rather than owe more. For Russia and China not to be offering Greece a deal would be plain dumb in my estimation. Think about it, if Russia does build a pipeline through Turkey, “someone” has to build a pipeline through Greece. Why wouldn’t Russia want to be “the good guy” and to their own benefit?
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Alan Greenspan is reliving his Ayn Rand days.
Alan Greenspan Warns: There Will Be a “Significant Market Event… Something Big Is Going To Happen”
Tyler Durden on 02/23/2015 05:15 -0500
With the Federal Reserve printing trillions upon trillions of dollars to keep the economic system afloat, many investors and financial pundits have surmised that the fundamental economic problems facing the United States during the crash of 2008 have been resolved. Stocks are, after all, at historic highs.
But the insiders know different. And if there’s any single person out there who understands U.S. monetary policy and its long-term effects on domestic and global affairs it’s former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan. As the head of the world’s most powerful central bank for nearly two decades he’s privy to the insider conversations and government machinations that have brought us to where we are today.
Greenspan recently joined veteran resource analyst Brien Lundin at the New Orleans Investment Conference to share some of his thoughts. According to Lundin, the former Fed chairman made it clear that the central bank is facing a serious problem and one that will have significant ramifications in the future.
We asked him where he thought the gold price will be in five years and he said “measurably higher.”
In private conversation I asked him about the outstanding debts… and that the debt load in the U.S. had gotten so great that there has to be some monetary depreciation. Specially he said that the era of quantitative easing and zero-interest rate policies by the Fed… we really cannot exit this without some significant market event… By that I interpret it being either a stock market crash or a prolonged recession, which would then engender another round of monetary reflation by the Fed.
Secrecy around police surveillance equipment proves a case’s undoing
By Ellen Nakashima February 22
TALLAHASSEE — The case against Tadrae McKenzie looked like an easy win for prosecutors. He and two buddies robbed a small-time pot dealer of $130 worth of weed using BB guns. Under Florida law, that was robbery with a deadly weapon, with a sentence of at least four years in prison.
But before trial, his defense team detected investigators’ use of a secret surveillance tool, one that raises significant privacy concerns. In an unprecedented move, a state judge ordered the police to show the device — a cell-tower simulator sometimes called a StingRay — to the attorneys.
Rather than show the equipment, the state offered McKenzie a plea bargain.
Today, 20-year-old McKenzie is serving six months’ probation after pleading guilty to a second-degree misdemeanor. He got, as one civil liberties advocate said, the deal of the century. (The other two defendants also pleaded guilty and were sentenced to two years’ probation.)
McKenzie’s case is emblematic of the growing, but hidden, use by local law enforcement of a sophisticated surveillance technology borrowed from the national security world. It shows how a gag order imposed by the FBI — on grounds that discussing the device’s operation would compromise its effectiveness — has left judges, the public and criminal defendants in the dark on how the tool works.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Speaking about double talk, be sure to read the last sentence.
20 Central Banks Have Cut Rates In 2015 After "Surprise" Rate Cut By Israel To Record Low 0.1%
Tyler Durden on 02/23/2015 09:21 -0500
Last week it was 19 central banks (including the ECB which accounts for 19 nations) which had cut rates in 2015, mostly in "surprise", unexpected easing decisions. Moments ago the number became 20 when the Israel central bank just cut its interest rate by 0.15% to 0.1%, the lowest on record, a move which once again caught the market by surprise as only 3 of 23 analysts had predicted it.
Here is the decision from the Israel Central Bank, which may or may not be buying more shares of AAPL at the ATH:
The decision to reduce the interest rate for March 2015 by 0.15 percentage points, to 0.10 percent is consistent with the Bank of Israel’s monetary policy, which is intended to return the inflation rate to within the price stability target of 1–3 percent a year over the next twelve months, and to support growth while maintaining financial stability. The path of the interest rate in the future depends on developments in the inflation environment, growth in Israel and in the global economy, the monetary policies of major central banks, and developments in the exchange rate of the shekel.
The following are the main considerations underlying the decision:
The CPI declined by 0.9 percent in January, against the background of a decline in energy prices, a scheduled reduction in water prices, and a relatively sharp decline in the housing component. The rate of inflation as measured over the past 12 months was negative 0.5 percent, as the decline in energy prices had a direct effect of reducing the CPI by 0.7 percent. The one-off reduction in electricity prices is expected to contribute -0.3 percent to the CPI for February. After the January CPI was published, short term inflation expectations from all sources remained below the target range, and there was a slight decline in longer term expectations toward the midpoint of the target range.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Are you guys acting up again?
DHS report warns of domestic right-wing terror threat
By Kellan Howell – The Washington Times – Saturday, February 21, 2015
A new Department of Homeland Security intelligence assessment circulated this month focuses on the threat of right-wing sovereign citizen extremist groups in the U.S. Some law enforcement groups say the threat is equal to, and occasionally greater than, the threat from Islamic extremist groups.
The Homeland Security report, produced in coordination with the FBI, counts 24 violent sovereign citizen-related attacks across the U.S. since 2010, CNN reported Friday.
These types of extremists believe that they can ignore laws because those laws attack their individual rights, even in routine daily instances like a traffic stop or being required to obey a court order, CNN reported Friday