Posted at 9:14 PM (CST) by & filed under General Editorial.

All CIGA fathers are great!

They care deeply about their families and take courageous actions to protect them.

Happy Father’s Day to all fathers!

daddy

Posted at 8:32 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Dear CIGAs,

His growing popularity now is surprising and indicative of things to come.

Dr. Paul Slams Federal Reserve’s New Dictatorial Powers

Ron Paul on Healthcare

Having practiced medicine for over 30 years, Congressman Paul gives his perspective on the past and future of healthcare in this country, and the effects of government and special interests on quality, costs, and access.


Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Was there a full moon this weekend? The Sheeple and their Media were out in full howling at the moon.

The two main business headlines this weekend are:
1. House Health Plan – BOLD on benefits, silent on the cost issue.

2. Chevy Volt Won’t Make Money But Still Key To Any GM Revival

Both are world class moronic statements.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

It is staring you in the face!

What errors do you hear every day on Financial TV?

  1. Crude is a currency.
  2. Crude is a dollar item.
  3. Crude is overvalued fundamentally.

What no one has recognized due to complacency is that the ugly face of hyperinflation is staring right at you. There is no demand pull ingredient in the energy market that can account for what is now over a double and headed for a triple.

Read on and understand.

Basis for Complacency

The unprecedented amount of monetary creation is being entertained because financial leaders see demand push inflation as highly improbable.

There is no quick fix to this business contraction because the cause is yet to be focused on: the enormous amount of OTC derivative instruments that cannot be dealt with in any practical manner. They are contracts for special performance that lack standards that prevent listing or clearing and are unfunded.

The West is in for a long period of slow business activity.

What is not being considered is the future of Western economies and that the dollar is based on confidence, a very subjective and fickle element to depend on.

The problem faced then is a cost-push inflation that has nothing whatsoever to do with the level of business activity.

This cost-push inflation is a currency related phenomena, which historically occurs as a result of QE when confidence in the currency of the practitioner nation begins to lose value at an accelerating rate. The result has always been a currency driven hyperinflation that takes birth in the worst of business condition.

“The main cause of hyperinflation is a massive and rapid increase in the amount of money, which is not supported by growth in the output of goods and services.”

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Spending, a spending, a spending we will go!

The nuttier one is the $4500 for a clunker paid by you and me.

$12 billion in gold is a joke with today’s central bank gold hungry Asian demand

What a boon to offload $12 billion USDs for gold

Congress Backs War-Funding Bill, ‘Cash for Clunkers’ (Update1)
By Brian Faler

June 18 (Bloomberg) — A $106 billion war-spending bill won final congressional approval after the Senate voted to retain a “cash for clunkers” provision aimed at helping the auto industry.

Action by the Senate today sends the measure to President Barack Obama for his signature. The Senate passed the bill on a 91 to 5 vote; the House approved the measure earlier this week.

Senator Judd Gregg, a New Hampshire Republican, led the effort to drop a provision providing as much as $4,500 to people who trade in their vehicles for more fuel-efficient models. He said the plan, which would cost $1 billion, was a poor use of tax dollars when the government is projected to run its biggest budget deficit since 1945.

“It is a clunker,” Gregg said of the plan. “Why should our children and our grandchildren have to pay the bill” for the government subsidizing “somebody to buy their car today? How fiscally irresponsible is that?” he said.

Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat, said the proposal was needed to help auto dealers hit by an “economic tsunami.” She said the plan would “help those who have been having an extremely difficult time just holding their head above water.”

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

No, but the dollar is in for a very cold and hard winter, being conspicuously absent from present levels during Christmas festivities.

Is this the death of the dollar?
After two smugglers were stopped last week with what at first appeared to be $134bn in US state bonds, the tension and paranoia surrounding the fate of the dollar hit a new high.
By Edmund Conway
Published: 7:32PM BST 20 Jun 2009

Border guards in Chiasso see plenty of smugglers and plenty of false-bottomed suitcases, but no one in the town, which straddles the Italian-Swiss frontier, had ever seen anything like this. Trussed up in front of the police in the train station were two Japanese men, and beside them a suitcase with a booty unlike any other. Concealed at the bottom of the bag were some rather incredible sheets of paper. The documents were apparently dollar-denominated US government bonds with a face value of a staggering $134bn (£81bn).

How on earth did these two men, who at first refused to identify themselves, come to be there, trying to ride the train into Switzerland carrying bonds worth more than the gross domestic product of Singapore? If the bonds were genuine, the pair would have been America’s fourth-biggest creditor, ahead of the UK and just behind Russia. No sooner had the story leaked out from the Italian lakes region last week than it sparked a panoply of conspiracy tales. But one resounded more than any other: that the men were agents of the Japanese finance ministry, in the country for the G8 meeting, making a surreptitious journey into Switzerland to sell off one small chunk of the massive mountain of US bonds stacked up in the Japanese Treasury vaults.

In the event, late last week American officials confirmed that the notes were forgeries. The men, it appeared, were nothing more than ambitious scamsters. But many remain unconvinced. And whether fake or otherwise, the story underlines one important point about the world economy at the moment: that the tension and paranoia surrounding the fate of the US dollar has hit a new high. It went to the heart of the big question: will the central bankers in Japan, China and elsewhere continue to support the greenback even in the wake of the worst financial crisis in modern history, or will they abandon it as America’s economic hegemony dissipates?

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Sustainability is the key in Pakistan vs. the Taliban, or it is another waste of a Surge.

Here is a terrifying thought as Al Qaeda really does NOT need Pakistan to go nuclear. All they need is gold and bearer bonds, two nameless and impossible to trace currencies.

Al Qaeda says would use Pakistani nuclear weapons
Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:39am IST
By Inal Ersan

DUBAI (Reuters) – If it were in a position to do so, Al Qaeda would use Pakistan’s nuclear weapons in its fight against the United States, a top leader of the group said in remarks aired on Sunday.

Pakistan has been battling al Qaeda’s Taliban allies in the Swat Valley since April after their thrust into a district 100 km (60 miles) northwest of the capital raised fears the nuclear-armed country could slowly slip into militant hands.

“God willing, the nuclear weapons will not fall into the hands of the Americans and the mujahideen would take them and use them against the Americans,” Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, the leader of al Qaeda’s in Afghanistan, said in an interview with Al Jazeera television.

Abu al-Yazid was responding to a question about U.S. safeguards to seize control over Pakistan’s nuclear weapons in case Islamist fighters came close to doing so.

“We expect that the Pakistani army would be defeated (in Swat) … and that would be its end everywhere, God willing.”

More…

Posted at 8:30 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Jim,

Below is a very interesting article explaining a real example of the dangers of a very popular derivative: the Interest Swap. This is a derivative that many think (wrongly!) is safe.

‘Impossible to Understand’ Swap Burns 290-Person Italian Hamlet
By Alan Katz, Lorenzo Totaro and Elisa Martinuzzi

June 19 (Bloomberg) — Ortenzio Matteucci points to towns down the wooded Nerina valley in Italy’s Umbria region and blames peer pressure for his decision to let Polino, population 290, buy a U.S.-inspired financial swap he didn’t understand.

A retired steelworker with wavy gray hair, Polino’s Mayor Matteucci says he agreed to the interest-rate swap because Milan, with more than 1 million residents, and local towns Arrone and Stroncone all bought derivatives to try to save money. Polino’s contract has cost the village 6,579.66 euros ($9,200) more than it has earned since the town made the deal in 2005.

More…

The long-term (can be up to 20 years!) contract is so disturbing to the cash flow of the Polino town that the mayor decided to break the contract and sue the bank which sold the product.

At this point, the interest swap not only became worthless to both parties, but became a big source of potential loss to both due to litigation.

Regards,
CIGA Christopher

Posted at 10:12 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

You think these fellows would consider a compromise?

Iran’s Top Leader Dashes Hopes for a Compromise
By NAZILA FATHI
Published: June 19, 2009

TEHRAN — Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, sternly cut off any compromise over the nation’s disputed elections on Friday. In a long and hard-line sermon, he declared the elections valid and warned of violence if demonstrators continue, as they have pledged, to flood the streets in defiance of the government.

Opposition leaders who failed to halt the protests, he said, “would be responsible for bloodshed and chaos.” The tough words seemed to dash hopes for a peaceful solution to what defeated candidates and protesters call a fraudulent election last week, plunging Iran into its gravest crisis since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

“Flexing muscles on the streets after the election is not right,” he said, before tens of thousands of angry supporters at Tehran University. “It means challenging the elections and democracy. If they don’t stop, the consequences of the chaos would be their responsibility.”

But opposition leaders, who stayed home Friday, called for yet another huge rally on Saturday afternoon, setting the stage for a possible showdown between protesters and security forces, perhaps a violent one.

The sermon put Ayatollah Khamenei, who prefers to govern quietly and from behind the scenes, at the forefront of a confrontation not only among factions of the government but among Iranians themselves.

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

More on Iran from Stratfor. Geopolitical situations are rarely what they appear to be. Enough said.

Iran: An Explosion and Continuing Protests
June 20, 2009 | 1437 GMT

A bomb blast near the mausoleum of Islamic Republic of Iran founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, located in southern Tehran, has left one person dead and at least two others wounded June 20. It is not clear who was behind the blast but the authorities will use this incident to engage in a wider crackdown to quell the ongoing protests in Tehran and strengthen their claims that the unrest in the country is part of a Western-backed plan to topple the Islamic republic.

The shrine is a sensitive target, and an explosion there gives the government means to characterize the protesters as not simply angry citizens opposed to the election’s outcome but as complete renegades.

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Situations we keep in focus:

Will Iran Look More Like Turkey, or Turkey Like Iran?

ISTANBUL — The effort to forge new forms of non-Western modernity in the Muslim world has pushed Iran into bloody civil strife while Turkey swirls with persistent rumors of military plots against the Islamist-rooted government. The great historical question is whether, at the end of the day, Iran will look more like Turkey, or Turkey like Iran?

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

On this one I am going to say, "I told you what this was from the Git-go."

Suitcase With $134 Billion Puts Dollar on Edge: William Pesek 
Commentary by William Pesek

June 17 (Bloomberg) — It’s a plot better suited for a John Le Carrenovel.

Two Japanese men are detained in Italy after allegedly attempting to take $134 billion worth of U.S. bonds over the border into Switzerland. Details are maddeningly sketchy, so naturally the global rumor mill is kicking into high gear.

Are these would-be smugglers agents of Kim Jong Il stashing North Korea’s cash in a Swiss vault? Bagmen for Nigerian Internet scammers? Was the money meant for terrorists looking to buy nuclear warheads? Is Japan dumping its dollars secretly? Are the bonds real or counterfeit?

The implications of the securities being legitimate would be bigger than investors may realize. At a minimum, it would suggest that the U.S. risks losing control over its monetary supply on a massive scale.

The trillions of dollars of debt the U.S. will issue in the next couple of years needs buyers. Attracting them will require making sure that existing ones aren’t losing faith in the U.S.’s ability to control the dollar.

More…

Posted at 4:22 PM (CST) by & filed under General Editorial.

Dear Friends,

Please understand that yesterday was a concerted effort on the part of the shorts to demoralize you. Demoralization is used to cause a cascade of share offerings, therein allowing the shorts to make cover.

If your situation was the only one that suffered such an attack then maybe worrying would not be out of the question.

I watch RGLD and HUI for a quick and dirty analysis of indiscriminate or specialized action on my corporate priority.

You will see the short barrage was indiscriminate and across the board in all gold issues in which both legal and illegal large shorts live.

We are so close to the point where two of the best resources I have given you feel gold will launch upwards. That such action should not be a surprise, especially with the outstanding past success these gentleman have.

IMF sales are a total joke. When they do occur it will only further bull the market.

Shares whose assets will be impacted by a two to five fold increase in their underlying worth will not decline as a result. The reason for this is if they did they would be taken over in a heartbeat by the majors whose only increase in resources is an accounting product of higher gold prices moving ounces above cut off accounting levels.

The majors are starving for real new ounces in the ground.

Regards,
Jim

Posted at 12:39 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Dear Friends,

In hard times remember the things that are most important to you. The following pictures are from my last trip to Africa.

10012009157 10012009154

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

You think the OTC derivative salesman would get a special welcome in some of these Italian towns? Maybe we should pay for their tickets and let the mayors know they are coming.

‘Impossible to Understand’ Swap Burns 290-Person Italian Hamlet
By Alan Katz, Lorenzo Totaro and Elisa Martinuzzi

June 19 (Bloomberg) — Ortenzio Matteucci points to towns down the wooded Nerina valley in Italy’s Umbria region and blames peer pressure for his decision to let Polino, population 290, buy a U.S.-inspired financial swap he didn’t understand.

A retired steelworker with wavy gray hair, Polino’s Mayor Matteucci says he agreed to the interest-rate swap because Milan, with more than 1 million residents, and local towns Arrone and Stroncone all bought derivatives to try to save money. Polino’s contract has cost the village 6,579.66 euros ($9,200) more than it has earned since the town made the deal in 2005.

“At the time I thought: Can the Province of Terni, the City of Terni and all the other municipalities bigger than us, such as Milan, be all wrong?” said Matteucci, 59, dressed in a blue polo shirt and jeans. “You can make a mistake if you don’t have an appropriate and deep knowledge of this and just follow what other local governments do.”

Derivatives have burned towns from Polino to Milan to Erie, Pennsylvania. Jefferson County, Alabama, said it might need to declare bankruptcy because of costs associated with the contracts. Responsibility for the expenses in Italy’s second- biggest city and in Umbria’s smallest village sits with elected officials who agreed to financial instruments they didn’t fully grasp, said Stefano Taurini, a lawyer who specializes in corporate law in Milan.

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

JB Slear comments "Just another Friday night, no big thing."

United Community Banks, Inc. Announces Acquisition of Southern Community Bank
June 19, 2009 6:20 PM EDT

BLAIRSVILLE, GA — (MARKET WIRE) — 06/19/09 — United Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ: UCBI) announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary, United Community Bank, has entered into an agreement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to purchase the assets and assume the deposit liabilities and secured wholesale borrowings of Southern Community Bank. The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance declared Southern Community Bank closed today and appointed the FDIC as receiver. The FDIC then assigned the assets, deposit liabilities and secured wholesale borrowings of Southern Community Bank to United Community Bank under a loss sharing agreement.

"We are delighted to welcome the customers of Southern Community Bank to the family of valued customers of United Community Bank," says Jimmy Tallent, President and Chief Executive Officer of United Community Banks, Inc. "It is our number one objective to make this transition as transparent and easy as possible for both Southern Community customers and employees. Because United Community Bank elected to assume both insured AND non-insured deposits, no customers of Southern Community Bank will lose any of their deposits.

"Under the loss sharing agreement," Tallent continued, "the FDIC will reimburse United Community Bank for losses on Southern Community Bank’s loans and foreclosed properties. Also, as part of the loss sharing agreement, the acquired assets receive a 20 percent risk weighting for regulatory capital purposes, therefore the impact on our regulatory capital ratios will not be significant."

As of March 31, 2009, Southern Community Bank reported total assets of $372 million, loans of $224 million, customer deposits of $197 million and other deposits and borrowings of $155 million. Under the terms of the agreement, United Community Bank has the option to purchase, or to assume the leases on, all five Southern Community bank locations, most of which are contiguous to existing United Community Bank locations.

More…

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

This is a major development in a geopolitical flashpoint. I assume that since the top guy has spoken out violence is not out of the question.

Stratfor has dropped their subscription price sharply. Their website is www.stratfor.com

Iran: The Supreme Leader Draws the Line

Summary

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke to the Iranian people during Friday prayers June 19, siding with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and ordering protesters to end their demonstrations. Khamenei has decided that using force to suppress the uprising is worth the risk, even if it leads to greater infighting among the power brokers of the system. It remains unclear if Ahmadinejad’s opponents will stage a showdown, but the protests have grown enough in size and energy to take on a life of their own.

Analysis

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivered a rare but critical Friday sermon prayer June 19 in which he addressed the continuing public unrest in the wake of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory in the June 12 presidential election, as well as the schism among the country’s political leadership. As expected, he took a clear position in favor of the president, rejecting accusations of electoral fraud and framing the conflict in terms of foreign powers exploiting the Islamic republic’s internal troubles. More importantly, he warned both the protesters and their leaders to halt the demonstrations and that they would be responsible for any bloodshed.

Khamenei has clearly opted for the forcible suppression of the uprising. STRATFOR had pointed out in a previous report that the country’s elite ideological military force, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has taken command of domestic law enforcement in Tehran. Consequently, from today forward, we can expect to see security forces crush protests. That the two main defeated challengers of Ahamdinejad, former prime minister Mir Hossein Mousavi and former speaker of parliament Mehdi Karroubi did not attend the prayer session shows that they are not about to accept the verdict.

At the same time, Mousavi and Karroubi cannot be perceived as openly defying the supreme leader and they have an interest in the preservation of the cleric-led political system. Furthermore, their supporters on the streets are far more radical than they are because Mousavi and Karroubi are part and parcel of the system (something which Khamenei pointed out when he said that that all four candidates in the recent presidential election belonged to Iran’s Islamic establishment). Therefore, they will have a hard time balancing between the need to sustain their opposition to the results of the election and controlling the protesters on the streets, especially during a major security crackdown. Regardless of whether the opposition leaders choose to take charge of the demonstrations, the protests have swelled enough in size and energy to take on a life of their own.

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

This is an extremely sad situation akin to the show now being run on the History Channel titled "Life After People."

The Packard plant, which might be considered as the start of the death of Detroit, also downed by debt, questionable management and design, is literally becoming a jungle of growth inside with a cadaver for an outside.

Michigan jobless rate is highest in decades
Auto, construction layoffs drive increase
BY KATHERINE YUNG • FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER
June 18, 2009

Michigan’s unemployment rate in May shot up to 14.1%, the highest level in more than a quarter-century, according to state figures released Wednesday.

As has been the case for many years, the increase was driven by layoffs in auto manufacturing and, to a lesser extent, construction. The jobless rate was the worst since the July 1983 level of 14.2% and significantly exceeds the May U.S. unemployment rate of 9.4%. The state’s unemployment rate will likely remain the nation’s highest.

"A lot of this was expected, considering where our auto companies are," said Rick Waclawek, director of the state’s Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives.

After years of steadily inching upward, Michigan’s jobless rate has been accelerating higher in recent months as layoffs have mounted. Just a year ago, in May 2008, the unemployment rate stood at 8.2%.

The auto industry’s woes continue to cost Michigan dearly. Its manufacturing industry has shed 37,000 jobs during the last two months, including 16,000 in May.

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

In the arena of Green Shoots, the newest Bankster’s cliché, you need to ask yourself where economic recovery will come from as unemployment reaches into double digits on the understated skewed present indices. This is another reason why Shadow Statistics is so important to your trend thinking.

NY state unemployed soars to 33-year high
Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:15pm EDT
By Joan Gralla

NEW YORK (Reuters) – More than 800,000 New York state residents were unemployed in May, the highest level in 33 years, and another sign the state is still mired in recession, the state labor department said on Thursday.

The New York state unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent in May from 7.7 percent in April, the highest level since February 1993, the agency said in a statement.

The jobless rate in New York City, which powers the state’s economy, climbed to 9 percent in May, its highest since October 1997, from 8 percent in April.

Wall Street’s securities industry helped boost city and state tax surpluses in the last boom, but James Brown, state labor market analyst, said the sector cut 900 jobs in May, and has lost 21,800 over the year.

The entire financial sector, including banking, real estate and insurance, sliced 1,900 workers, for a year-over-year loss of 28,000 jobs, Brown said.

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

For your information.

‘Something different" happening with new flu – CDC
Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:41pm EDT
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor

WASHINGTON, June 18 (Reuters) – The new strain of H1N1 flu is causing "something different" to happen in the United States this year — perhaps an extended year-round flu season that disproportionately hits young people, health officials said on Thursday.

An unusually cool late spring may be helping keep the infection going in the U.S. Northeast, especially densely populated areas in New York and Massachusetts, the officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

And infections among healthcare workers suggest that people are showing up at work sick — meaning that workplace policies may be contributing to its spread, the CDC officials said.

The new strain of swine flu is officially a pandemic now, according to the World Health Organization.

So far the virus is causing mild to moderate disease, but it has killed at least 167 people and been confirmed in nearly 40,000 globally.

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Honest Abe’s Used Auto Emporium has now been taken over by the entire US public. I wonder if the present Administration can fund a guy in a plaid suit, white socks and black shoes to be the Clunker Czar.

Von Mises and Ricardo are revolving in the graves at a Japanese auto’s 14,000 RPM. The Chicago School has decided to shut down and enter the used car business.

The used car market auctions are presently a disaster but now will give some enterprising crooks a stop loss at $4500. No one needs to steal from Medicare if they can turn in an old junker and get $4500 in a fake new car sale with the assistance of a crooked car dealer.

TRADE THAT CLUNKER
PROGRAM’S PROMISE: $4,500-PER-CAR
By PAUL THARP
Last updated: 2:07 am
June 19, 2009

Your old clunker can bring as much as a $4,500 check from Uncle Sam if you dump it to buy a new car — so long as it’s not another gas guzzler.

The government’s "cash for clunkers" incentive program designed to boost sales of fuel-efficient vehicles got the green light of Senate approval yesterday, and is on its way to be signed into law by President Barack Obama.

Ford Motor and General Motors have pressured Congress all year for the novel trade-in incentive to help break Detroit’s long and punishing sales slump.

A similar rebate program in Germany to clear clunkers off its roads caused new-car sales there to jump as much as 40 percent. Similar plans in China and France lifted sales by 15 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

Proponents are hoping for a busy autumn in vehicle sales. The first checks could start arriving by Sept. 1, with the program’s end set for Sept. 30.

More…

GOLDEN SHOOTS
June 19th, 2009 by Egon von Greyerz

No green shoots

There are no green shoots. Every single piece of economic and market news we observe confirms our view that the current optimism in the world economy is purely based on sentiment and not on facts.

The current corrective rallies in world stock markets were forecast by us in our January Newsletter. Corrective rallies create false optimism and hope. This is what we are seeing currently.

So, what indicators are telling us that things are going to get a lot worse:

· Unemployment is increasing rapidly in all countries

· Government deficits are rising at an accelerating pace

· Many local governments, counties and cities are virtually bankrupt

· Household finances are worsening rapidly

· Bank balance sheets are as leveraged and as unsound today as when the crisis started

· Banks are not recognizing that a major part of consumer loans will never be repaid

· Company failures are rising fast

· Housing market is continuing to deteriorate in most countries and especially in the  USA, UK and Spain

· Commercial real estate is in a precarious state. Banks are not writing down their loan books to market values

· US 30 year treasury bond rates are in a strong uptrend indicating the world is becoming increasingly unwilling to finance the excesses of a bankrupt US government

So what are the golden shoots?

Gold has been consolidating for the last four months and is now ready for the next major move up.

We have some very strong technical indicators which tell us that the consolidation in gold will finish at the latest next week and thereafter we will see gold going up strongly in July and for the next few months until the next consolidation in late autumn.

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

In all fairness we do have one Green Shoot that should be recognized.

MCDONALD’S GO LARGE ON JOB APPLICATIONS
Friday, June 19, 2009

It is hard not to sneer, but apparently more than 2,200 people every day are applying for a job at McDonald’s.

The lure of the burger empire is proving too much for jobseekers from diverse employment backgrounds and the global junk food giant is finding university graduates, bank workers and teachers among their applicants. I’ll declare now that my vested interest here is that I was refused a job by McDonalds when I was just 16 years old.

Why I was knocked back still remains a mystery, as my brother, to his eternal embarrassment, was the branch’s star employee at the time and I knew the manager, who interviewed me, very well. He obviously didn’t see my future and that of the Golden Arches in karmic synchronicity.

Anyhow, with unemployment at a record level of 2.2 million, I guess it’s all stops out as people look for that first rung on the career ladder or cling to it with a vice-like grip to keep a wage, any wage, coming in. And McDonald’s are doing their best, with the company hiring 140 people a day to flip burgers, cook fries and ask customers "Would you like a large meal" at every order.

But let’s face it, even the Oxford English Dictionary looks down its nose at the McJob, describing it as ‘an unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects’. And though McDonald’s keep fighting to have that perception changed, it’s an uphill battle.

More…

Israel’s military planning for a multi-front war

Israel’s military has intensified coordination between the army and air force to conduct simultaneous operations in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon.

Officials said the effort reflects an assessment that Israel’s next war would include such adversaries as Hamas, Hizbullah and Syria.

"The Israeli military’s future operations will be broader and more demanding in terms of their scope and pace, with more risks than Operation Cast Lead," Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said.

Operation Cast Lead marked the Israeli military attack on the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip. The 22-day war spanned December 2008 and January 2009.

In an address to Israeli military officers on June 9, Barak envisioned a war with far greater Israeli casualties than that against Hamas. The minister said the next war would take place under more difficult conditions than the Israeli air, naval and ground campaign in the Gaza Strip, a flat area of 360 square kilometers.

More…

Posted at 12:37 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Dear Jim,

You discussed as far back as 2005 the concept of “Authoritarian Free Enterprise” as the replacement for our present business circumstances.

I have come to understand you were alluding to a form of modern “Fascism.”

I agree that the opportunity for the entrepreneur in general business is going to be limited as compared to what you and I experienced in our careers.

How do we advise our kids?

Sincerely,
CIGA Chris

Dear Chris,

I have given this a great deal of thought where my grandchildren are concerned.

They must be free to follow their heart’s desire to determine their own futures AFTER they have mastered a trade.

The trade they should master is a basic function required for future society, such as:

Nursing
Care of special needs people
Behaviorist to the challenged
Carpenter.
Plumber.
Electrician.
Mechanic.
Farming.
Animal husbandry.
Commercial Fishing
Long Haul trucking.
Dirty Jobs.

Once this has been accomplished so that they are licensed or reached the level of master at their occupation they can do their trendy thing if they still wish.

In society even more complex survival exists in simplicity.

Respectfully,
Jim

Jim,

OPM (Other People’s Money). Cheap money got us into this mess. Logically, cheap money will resolve it. Excuse my short hand, but that type of logic can only be described as f**ing idiocy. Policy decisions that continue to expand US’s foreign liabilities (chart 1) will only further devalue the U.S. dollar and send gold closer its equilibrium price (chart 2).

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CIGA Eric

Hi Jim,

This article regarding HK business proves you right once more. The problem is omnipresent and omnipotent. The problem may resolve faster in Asia, but they still have problems too. And looks which city of which nation is coming to the rescue.

In Hong Kong thousands of firms go under, Shanghai offers partnership against crisis
Thousands of firms have already gone bankrupt this year. The economic recession might be slowing but id does not appear to be stopping. Local authorities in fact expect economy to shrink by 5.5-6.5 per cent. Shanghai boss offers hand to Hong Kong, like “brothers”.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agencies) – In May bankruptcy petitions in Hong Kong jumped 54 per cent from a year earlier, an indicator that the recession shows is not letting up. Hong Kong’s economy tipped into recession in the third quarter of last year and the government has forecast it will contract by between 5.5 and 6.5 per cent this year.

The economy of the former British crown colony has felt the effect of collapsing exports to the United States and Europe. Many Hong Kong manufacturing companies have had to shut down because of collapsing sales.

More…

Jim,

Who ever wants to see an example of governments who counterfeited the opponent’s currency in times of war can take a look at the Operation Bernhard performed by the Nazis during WWII. The point was to flood the UK economy with forged Bank of England currency:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Bernhard

There is a pretty recent movie about the story called The Counterfeiters

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Counterfeiters_(film)

Regards,
CIGA Christopher

Posted at 10:24 PM (CST) by & filed under General Editorial.

Dear Friends,

There is no better proof that we are getting extremely close to the Armstrong/Alf point of lift off than the violence of the shorts in their desire to cover both in paper gold and the long suffering junior gold shares.

The method used is to increase the short position now while we are waiting for the uptick rule to be reinstated all while driving a bulldozer of selling into markets. This selling is not to sell shares as much as it is to make a grandstand play to shake the confidence out of the bulls.

This type of strategy in paper gold today and many of the highly shorted junior gold shares is to ignite the passion of fear in holder’s hands, therein allowing the shorts to make cover.

Call or email your company and inquire about their fundamental position. If it is good, then be sure you are witness to a strategy that is as old as markets themselves. This strategy is used by bulls to run shorts, and shorts to make cover depending on the circumstances.

In my opinion we are very close now to the best and longest move upwards in the gold market.

Gold is going to $1650 and then on to Alf’s numbers.

The US dollar has nowhere to go as its support here has been only algorithms and coordinated statements of support, but actions to the contrary by the BRICs.

Stay the course.

Sincerely,
Jim