Posted at 12:35 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

You are correct Wolfgang.

Bill

 

Jim/Bill,

Crisis of Confidence.  Isn’t that the definition of Hyperinflation?

Not inflationary pressures, but confidence?

We’ve been witnessing the Dollar’s castration as the world’s reserve currency used for trade.

China, Saudi, Russia, et al have begun dealing oil for Yuan starting today.

Now note the sentencelow:

“Yet if it’s official purchases of non-dollar currencies contributing to what is going on, their protests will wring a bit hollow.”

Et tu Draghi?

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

Trader Fears Dollar’s Drop “Represents A Crisis Of Confidence About The Country”
January 18, 2018

The dollar index broke down to its weakest level since Dec 2014 yesterday. Despite Fed rate hikes and hawkish forward guidance, every bounce is sold as former fund manager Richard Breslow warns, for get all that, “This looks like the far more worrisome and potentially long-lasting effects of global reserves being consciously built up and allocated in a more widespread fashion.”

Via Bloomberg,

As a gross generalization, I think it’s fair to say that I tend to put a dollar positive spin on things.

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Jim/Bill,

What is there to believe anymore?

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

Apple Says It Will Invest $350 Billion In The U.S. Over The Next Five Years
January 17, 2018

Apple (AAPL) is making a major investment in the U.S. economy.

In a release on Wednesday afternoon, the world’s largest publicly-traded company said it would make a “direct contribution” of $350 billion into the U.S. economy over the next five years.

The company said this number does not include ongoing tax payments, or tax revenue generated by wages paid to employees or sales tax on Apple products.

Apple said its capital expenditures, a tax payment due to repatriating overseas profits, and investments in manufacturing in the U.S. will account for $75 billion of its contributions. The company also said it will invest $30 billion to create 20,000 new jobs at existing campuses and will also open a new campus in the U.S.

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The Real Story?:

Apple didn’t say it was hiring 20,000 new workers, nor bringing back all of its overseas cash

Many also took Apple’s promise to pay $38 billion in repatriation taxes as a promise that Apple would bring home more than a quarter-trillion dollars it currently has overseas. However, Apple does not have to bring home that money, and much of it is tied up in long-term investments that would make it unlikely.

Apple Didn’t Say It Was Hiring 20,000 New Workers, Nor Bringing Back All Of Its Overseas Cash
January 18, 2018

Apple Inc. announced a series of plans Wednesday that were celebrated as promises to hire thousands of workers and bring home all of its overseas cash.

Well, not necessarily.

Apple AAPL, +0.08%  said in its release that the company planned to “create over 20,000 new jobs through hiring at existing campuses and opening a new one.” The key word there is “create,” which Apple really likes to use when discussing jobs: The company even has a portion of its website dedicated to “job creation” that claims it is “responsible for 2 million jobs” in the United States, most of which are jobs “attributable to the App Store ecosystem.”

Apple currently employs 84,000 people in the U.S., it said Wednesday, while an October filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission said that it has a total of 132,000 full-time employees worldwide, suggesting that about a third of its employees work abroad.

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Posted at 10:45 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Bill Holter’s Commentary

Unless these people are camping out for next years season tickets, this is an absolute travesty on all levels. The saddest thing are the arrests being made in California for feeding the homeless…What do you suppose the entire nation will look like once the dollar loses reserve currency status?

Bill Holter’s Commentary

Venezuela is a road map for “the world” at large.

Venezuela’s Cash Crisis: You Can’t Get $1 From A Bank. I Tried.
January 18, 2017

This was a typical day in Caracas, Venezuela, capital of the world’s most miserable economy.

In most of the world, getting a little money out of the bank is an errand, something forgettable. In Venezuela, for millions of people, it is complicated, tedious and surreal, or just impossible.

I moved here a year and a half ago to cover the country’s economic crisis as a freelance journalist. I knew how bad things were, but I never imagined the constant daily struggle to achieve even the simplest of tasks.

As Venezuela has sunk to new depths, prices have skyrocketed, and the currency, the bolivar, has become next to worthless. Supermarkets and banks have become scenes of confusion and chaos: Are they open? Do they have money or food? How much can I get?

Inflation is so rampant — some experts say it ran above 4,000% last year — that it has devoured people’s salaries.

As I write this, one dollar fetches about 191,000 bolivars, according to the black market exchange rate that everyone uses. (Nobody trusts the overvalued official rate because the government has lost credibility among ordinary Venezuelans and in international markets that determine exchange rates.)

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

Great article and wish I had written it.  Sometimes the truth hurts …but it is still the truth!

Of Crudeness and Truth
January 12, 2018

Nothing scandalizes a leftist like the truth. Point out that women and men are different, that black Americans commit a disproportionate amount of violent crime, that most terrorist acts are committed by Muslims, and the Left leaps to its collective feet in openmouthed shock, like Margaret Dumont after a Groucho Marx wisecrack. This is racism! This is sexism! This is some sort of phobia! I’m shocked, shocked to find facts being spoken in polite company!

No one is really shocked, of course. This is simply a form of bullying. The Left has co-opted our good manners and our good will in order to silence our opposition to their bad policies. The idea is to make it seem impolite and immoral to mention the obvious.

The bullying is highly effective and very dangerous. In England, in the city of Rotherham, at least 1,400 non-Muslim girls, some as young as 11, were brutally raped by Muslim immigrants over a period of years in the 2000s. Police and other officials worked to keep the facts hidden because, according to multiple reports, they were afraid of being called racist. Think about that: police officers did not want to seem racist, so they stood by and let their city’s children be raped. The same thing goes on in other cities in England and throughout Europe. And in fact, some who have spoken out have had their careers curtailed by manufactured scandal. The message is clear: it’s just not nice to tell the truth. It’s just not done. Don’t do it.

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

Add this to the recent ZH article on vintage car prices dropping hard and you can see the barely higher interest rates are already biting hard!

Greenwich Mansions Get Biggest Discounts Since Lehman Fell
January 17, 2018

The fourth quarter was the best time for luxury-home sales in Greenwich last year. It also had the biggest discounts in almost a decade for the tony Connecticut town.

High-end homes that changed hands in the quarter had their prices cut by an average of 13.5 percent, the most since the last three months of 2008, when the housing market all but froze in the months after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filed the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history, according to a report Thursday by Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

The discounts, in a market that’s still bloated with lavish homes, helped clear some of the backlog. There were three sales for more than $20 million in the fourth quarter. There was only one earlier last year, and none for all of 2016, the firms said.

“Sellers were unrealistic in their pricing and were chasing the market,” Scott Durkin, president of Douglas Elliman, said in an interview. “The real sellers, who wanted to sell, have negotiated down from their asking price.”

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Posted at 8:52 AM (CST) by & filed under USAWatchdog.com.

Dr. Dave Janda is a radio host and a patriot who is a Washington outsider with insider contacts. Janda says a new Inspector General’s report will be the beginning of the reset of the rule of law. Janda explains, “Comey, Lynch and Clinton are now in the crosshairs, and I believe that’s accurate. Many people believe that the Inspector General’s report was not going to happen and was not going to be turned in. 1.2 million pages were delivered to Congress. . . . The reason why this report is important is, I believe, it will reset the rule of law in this country. The rule of law in this country has been abandoned. It has been massacred by the globalists. That was not by accident–it was by intent. The rule of law was used to persecute people that were freedom fighters and against the globalist system . . . they were shoved to the side, and the globalists, such as the Clintons, the Bushes or the Obamas, or their puppets like Soros, and all these other puppets of the globalists, could act out the globalist game plan. What this Inspector General’s report, I believe and many people believe, will lead to is a significant escalation of what the rule of law should be.”

Janda goes on to say, “The Inspector General’s report is going to unearth collusion in the Justice Department and the FBI about the possible re-engineering of the election results in 2016. It will show the illegal surveillance, not just of Trump, but of millions of Americans whose 4th amendment rights were violated. It’s going to reopen the Clinton Foundation and their pay-to-play program. Uranium is just a part of that and, remember, 20% of the uranium production in the United States was delivered to Russia. . . . The Inspector General’s report will also open Hillary’s emails.”

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Posted at 4:10 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Jim/Bill,

With reference to China’s gold backed YUAN trading in oil beginning tomorrow, I can’t help but think if everyone is fully prepared.

Note the timeliness of Trump’s remarks:

Trump Fires Trade War Shots: “If There Is A Trade War With China, There Is”

This may be a prescient picture requiring an additional caption!

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

Trump Fires Trade War Shots: “If There Is A Trade War With China, There Is”
January 17, 2018

With Reuters having published the part of its exclusive Trump interview in which the president discusses North Korea and Russia, and in which he said that it is “very possible” the crisis with North Korea can’t be resolved in a peaceful way, moments ago Reuters published highlights from the remainder of Trump’s interview, which discloses more from Trump’s trade agenda.

Here are the Reuters headlines:

TRUMP SAYS HE HOPES THERE WON’T BE A TRADE WAR WITH CHINA, BUT “IF THERE IS, THERE IS.”

TRUMP SAYS U.S. IS CONSIDERING “BIG DAMAGES” IN PROBE OVER ALLEGED CHINA INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY THEFT

TRUMP SAYS HE MAY TERMINATE NAFTA AGREEMENT, A LOT OF PEOPLE WOULD BE UNHAPPY IF HE DID: RTRS

Mexico’s peso pared some of today’s gains on the news Trump “may” terminate Nafta agreement, with the MXN falling 0.5% to 18.6833/USD vs session high 18.58, although the bullet hardly says something we haven’t known already.

And touching on China’s threat to sell Treasurys if there is a trade war, Trump said:

TRUMP SAYS ANY CHANGE IN CHINA’S PURCHASES OF U.S. TREASURIES WOULD NOT HURT U.S. ECONOMY, SAYS EVERYBODY WANTS TO BUY TREASURIES

Some more details from the full interview:

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Posted at 10:58 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Bill Holter’s Commentary

It’s called “back to basics”…

Online Gold Coin Sales Jumped 400% as Bitcoin Plunged
January 17, 2018

Bullion dealer Sharps Pixley, a subsidiary of Europe’s largest precious metal coin and bar outlet, regularly sees trades north of a million pounds, while sales of gold coins at Frankfurt-based CoinInvest jumped fivefold as the largest digital asset collapsed after surging 1,400 percent last year, according to Director Daniel Marburger.

“Yesterday was a hell of a crazy day,” he said from Frankfurt. “Emails and phones did not stand still with customers asking how they could turn their crypto into gold.”

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

The title should read…”threaten the world as we know it”!

China banking regulator chief warns ‘black swan’ event could threaten financial stability: People’s Daily
January 16, 2018

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s banking regulator chief warned that a “black swan”, or an unforeseen, event could threaten the country’s financial stability, official People’s Daily reported on Wednesday.

In an interview with the paper, Guo Shuqing said that while risks in the financial system are manageable, they are still “complex and serious.”

Since his appointment as the head of the China Banking Regulatory Commission early last year, Guo has introduced a flurry of new rules to reign in lender risks including from curbs on shadow banking activities to the crackdown on loan fraud.

Guo said the dangers stem from the pressure of rising bad debt, imperfect internal risk systems at financial institutions, the relatively high levels of shadow banking activities and rule violations.

All of these risks could upend financial stability through a “black swan” event, Guo told the People’s Daily, referring to major, unexpected occurrences.

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Posted at 5:19 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Jim/Bill,

Can you smell the Napalm in the air yet?

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

Russia Begins Massive ICBM Launch Drills
January 16, 2018

On Monday, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation issued a warning to NATO that is has started a massive missile drill involving truck-mounted intercontinental ballistic missile launchers across the country.

The Defense Ministry said the drills would involve “missile regiments armed with Topol-M and Yars mobile systems.” The Topol-M is designed to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tipped with a single 550 kT yield nuclear warhead. Max range of the ICBM is 6,500 miles, which the mobile launching unit is extremely tough for NATO to track.

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Turkey Notifies NATO Of Imminent Massive Invasion Of Syria To Fight Kurds
January 16, 2018

Turkey is poised for an imminent massive ground invasion of Northern Syria to quash Kurdish militia groups currently holding Afrin near the Turkish border. Multiple regional outlets have reported a build-up of forces that could constitute the largest external intervening force thus far in the entirety of the Syrian war.

According to Middle East based Al-Sura News, Turkey’s military build-up currently underway includes special forces troops, Army units, Turkish-backed Syrian Rebels and Turkey’s air force. The Kurdish YPG/J (People’s Protection Units) has held Afrin since the Syrian government withdrew from the area in 2012, which constitutes the western-most part of the self-declared Rojava autonomous Kurdish zone.

“First Turkish military convoy enters Syria’s Idlib, heads to hilltop overlooking Afrin.” via Turkey’s Daily Sabah

Turkey considers it a “terrorist” enclave as it sees Syrian Kurdish factions as an extension of the PKK, while the US has claimed not to be active in supporting Kurdish operations in Afrin, which lies a mere 40 kilometers from Aleppo where the Syrian Army continues to advance through the Aleppo countryside and into Idlib province.

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The US Is Developing Two New Nuclear Weapons
January 16, 2018

As military suspicions between the US and Russia escalate to levels last seen during the Cold War, both countries are trying to bolster their defenses and their military readiness to hedge against a plethora of geopolitical risks, from nuclear war on the Korean peninsula to a direct military confrontation between China and the US, or possibly Russia and the US.

In September, Russian President Vladimir Putin was accused of provoking NATO by marshaling 10,000 Russian and Belarusian troops along Russia’s western border with the Baltic states for their “Zapad” military exercises – something that prompted an outcry from NATO.

Putin has vigorously defended  Russia’s right to carry out military exercises and ballistic missile tests, arguing that both the US and NATO have been “accelerating build-up of infrastructure in Europe” in violation of the 1987 treaty on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles. In a similar vein, the US has accused Russia of violating the same treaty with missile tests of its own.

Meanwhile, as the US and its allies have accused Russia of meddling in Western elections, the number of NATO troops deployed near the Russian border has tripled in recent years as tensions have percolated.

With tensions at a fever pitch, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the Pentagon is developing two new nuclear missiles that would be capable of deployment from a nuclear submarine.

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Courtesy of JB

Jim

Trump: We Have Found Hillary’s 33,000 ‘Missing’ Emails
January 15, 2018

President Donald Trump has confirmed that the missing 33,000 Hillary Clinton emails have been found as the Department of Justice make progress with their relaunched investigation. 

On Sunday the former D.C. bureau chief for Investor’s Business Daily, Paul Sperry, tweeted a link to a New York Post article he wrote in which FBI sources tell him they have found the missing emails.

Within minutes, President Trump retweeted Mr. Sperry’s article in an apparent confirmation of the claims made.

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Posted at 3:36 PM (CST) by & filed under Bill Holter.

I believe I have written a couple of times in the past regarding Harry Dent’s “dented logic”. I did so after reading fearful e-mails from holders of gold and silver. Well, Harry Dent is at it again. He has advertisements everywhere, the latest posing as an “article” on Zerohedge where he says gold will be crushed to $700 in a market panic.

He claims a financial and market meltdown is coming to which I wholeheartedly agree because the math not only supports this, it guarantees it at some point. The problem is this, he is trying to scare anyone and everyone he can AWAY from gold by claiming gold will trade to down to $700 and maybe even $250!

First, if gold were to “trade” down to $700, it would solely be traded at that price on paper exchanges and virtually no physical gold would ever change hands at the “exchange prices”. We saw this in 2008 when gold and silver prices were crashed on the COMEX and LBMA. For example, silver was quoted at around $9 an ounce …but the problem for buyers was they could not find much of any real physical silver available for under $15! Before going further, I should mention it is a distinct possibility that paper prices do actually collapse for the simple reason they are only “contracts” and not actually metal. As Jim has long asked, “what is the value of a contract that cannot perform”? The answer of course is zero, and this is exactly where contracts that cannot deliver real metal should approach.

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Posted at 10:17 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Bill Holter’s Commentary

…and only days before they start trading oil for yuan, is this a coincidence?

Chinese agency Dagong cuts U.S. sovereign ratings to BBB+ from A-
January 16, 2018

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Dagong Global Credit Rating Co, one of the country’s most prominent ratings firms, on Tuesday cut the local and foreign currency sovereign ratings of the United States, citing an increasing reliance on debt in the world’s largest economy.

Dagong said in a statement that it cut the sovereign ratings to BBB+ from A- and also placed them on a negative outlook.

The growing reliance on the debt-driven mode of economic development will continue to erode the solvency of the U.S. federal government, the Beijing-based ratings agency said.

In December, U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law a package of tax cuts that will add $1.4 trillion over a decade to the $20 trillion national debt.

“Deficiencies in the current U.S. political ecology make it difficult for the efficient administration of the federal government, so the national economic development derails from the right track,” Dagong said.

“Massive tax cuts directly reduce the federal government’s sources of debt repayment, therefore further weakens the base of government’s debt repayment.”

The U.S. embassy in Beijing could not immediately comment.

International ratings agencies Fitch and Moody’s Investors Service both give the United States their top AAA ratings. S&P Global has put the U.S. on a slightly lower grade of AA+ since 2011.

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DHS Seeking To Charge Leaders Of Sanctuary Cities
January 16, 2018

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen confirmed Tuesday that her department has asked federal prosecutors to see if they can lodge criminal charges against sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with federal deportation efforts.

“The Department of Justice is reviewing what avenues may be available,” Ms. Nielsen told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Her confirmation came after California’s new sanctuary law went into effect Jan. 1, severely restricting cooperation the state or any of its localities could offer.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Tom Homan says those policies put his officers and local communities at more risk because they have to arrest illegal immigrants out in the community.

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