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Prelude To A 2008 Event: Paper Gold Manipulation Intensifies

The trading action in the paper gold markets of London and NY this week further convinces me that gold is being pushed down in price by the western Central Banks similar to the take-down in the paper price that occurred in 2008.  The motive is to prevent a soaring gold price from signalling to the markets that a big problem is percolating in the global economic and banking systems.

Once again, in the early morning the price of gold was slammed just after the London a.m. price Fix (3 a.m. EST) and again at the open of the Comex gold pit (8:20 a.m. EST) – click on image to enlarge:

This pattern has been persistent over the last two months.  It’s not about gold being “pinned” to the SDR, as Jim Rickards is now promoting.  And it’s not about some mystical gold peg to the yuan.  It’s about western Central Bank desperation to keep the dollar alive in order to defer the inevitable collapse of the record level of dollar-denominated debt and the associated derivatives.

It’s no coincidence that Rickards has floated this theory about the gold price and the SDR recently.  Rickards was rolled out several years ago to promote the idea that the SDR would be the next reserve currency. The Deep State knows the dollar’s life-span is limited. The U.S. dollar is 58% of the SDR, making the SDR the best replacement of the dollar which thereby enables the U.S. Deep State to maintain some semblance of global hegemony.

For the time being, gold is trading almost in perfect inverse correlation with the dollar. The dollar currently is rising vs. all fiat currencies. Therefore, of course it might look visually like gold and the yuan or gold and the yen are trading in tight correlation. But at the root it’s all about the dollar and the effort to prevent the dollar from collapsing.

As for the brewing collapse of the financial system, here’s an interesting chart comparing Deutsche Bank’s stock price with gold since the beginning for February. The idea here is that the Fed/ECB/BoE began to work on the gold price when it became obvious that the world’s most systemically dangerous bank was in a state of collapse:

Certainly the mining stocks are general “skeptical” of gold’s price action since April:

And has anyone checked gold lease rates lately? Currently the lease rate curve for gold and silver in London is inverted. Long-timers like me know that this means there’s an immediate and anticipated shortage of physical gold and silver available for delivery, where “delivery” means the metal is removed from the London vaults and shipped to the entitled buyer.  Both gold and silver are backwardated.  It took 11 iterations in the LBMA p.m. fix on Tuesday to balance out the heavy demand for physical gold from bidders. 11 iterations is rare occurrence. 5-6 iterations is rare. 1 or 2 is typical. Metal is tight in London.

If you are monitoring the Comex Hong Kong kilo bar vaults, you are aware that the movement in and out of the vaults there suggests that metal is also tight in Hong Kong, which means it is likely tight in Shanghai.

The point here is that the paper price behavior of gold right now is not what it seems.  I’d be more worried about the motives behind the take-down of the gold price using derivatives than I would about where the price of gold will be in 3-6 months.  I’ve always said that the occurrence of events triggering the price of gold to soar  will make life unpleasant for everyone.

The explosive questions the gold riggers won’t answer-and the press won’t ask

Over the years, I’ve asked several skeptics of the idea that Central Banks and Governments, using the bullion banks as their agents, manipulate the gold price this question:   The Big Banks have been convicted and fined numerous times for manipulating interest rate and currency markets.  Is it realistically conceivable given this fact that they would leave the gold market alone?  The question, of course, is rhetorical and I’ve yet to receive an answer.

The answer is obvious to anyone who has looked at the facts.  I have written several articles with Paul Craig Roberts detailing how the manipulation is executed on the Comex and the motivation behind the manipulating the gold market.  Remarkably, there are public notes of a meeting chaired by Henry Kissinger in 1974  that discusses the importance of removing gold completely from the monetary system which is conveniently ignored.

The following is a re-post of an article posted by GATA’s Chris Powell. Even if you have your had in the sand and refuse to believe that Central Banks and Governments manipulate the global gold market using paper gold derivatives, at least brush the sand out of your eyes and read this carefully:

How easy it would be for any major financial news organization or trade association to confirm, expose, and combat the rigging of the gold market by governments and central banks. Such an effort could start with the documentation, most of it from official sources, collected by GATA and compiled here: Taxonomy

Everything could be nailed down to the present moment by a few specific questions put to the key participants in the rigging. These questions already have been prepared and posed, just not publicized enough.

— Three months ago U.S. Rep. Alex X. Mooney, R-West Virginia, wrote to the secretary of the treasury and the chairman of the Federal Reserve asking what the U.S. government’s policy on gold is and whether it remains, as government records from years ago establish, to drive the monetary metal out of the world financial system. Mooney also asked whether the U.S. government, directly or through intermediaries, like the Bank for International Settlements, trades in gold and gold derivatives and what the purposes of any such transactions are. Mooney’s letter is posted at GATA’s internet site here: Mooney Letter

Mooney has received no response.

– Last November GATA put similar questions to the BIS. What, GATA asked, is the purpose of the gold swaps and derivatives purchased and sold by the bank and the purpose of the bank’s involvement in the gold market generally?

The bank replied promptly but only to say it would not answer the question: BIS Letter

— Five weeks ago your secretary/treasurer and GATA consultant Harvey Organ wrote to the comptroller of the currency in the Treasury Department, Joseph M. Otting, whose office regulates the banking industry, calling attention to the recent explosion in use of the emergency procedure of “exchange for physicals” to settle gold and silver contracts issued on the New York Commodities Exchange by government-regulated banks. The financial risks undertaken by the banks in these transactions, GATA wrote, apparently were not being reported to the comptroller.

GATA’s letter concluded: “Could you review this matter and let us know your conclusions?” The comptroller has not responded.

Please click here to read the rest – it’s worth the time spent:   Unanswered Questions About Official Gold-Rigging

What’s Going On With Gold?

Several of us who stick our neck out in public with analytic opinions on the market have been thinking  that gold has reached a tradable bottom.  I’m sure many would say that view is flawed based on today’s action.  Let me preface my thoughts by saying that, over the last 17 years of daily active involvement in the precious metals sector, I don’t pull my hair out over intra-day or even intra-year volatility.  Measured from the beginning of 2002, gold is up 441% while the S&P 500 is up 158%.

The point here is that, given how easy it is to print up paper gold contracts and flood the market, the price of gold can do anything on any given day. If you want to own gold for the reasons to own gold, you have be play the long game. The mining stocks do not seem to care about the day-to-day vagaries of the gold price right now. You shouldn’t either.

The trading pattern in gold is somewhat similar to its trading pattern in the summer of 2008, right before the great financial crisis (de facto banking system collapse) was set in motion.   The price of gold was taken down from $1020 in mid-March to $700 by October, while the financial system was melting down. That set up gold’s record run to $1900 over the next three years.

It’s becoming obvious to anyone who chooses to not put their head in the sand or become intoxicated with the copious amounts of official propaganda, that the U.S. Government is technically bankrupt and the financial bubbles fomented by a decade of money printing, credit creation and near-zero interest rates are about to explode.  It’s not coincidental that gold was slammed ahead of Congressional testimony by Fed-head Jerome Powell, one of the primary propaganda-spinning hand-puppets.

Gold started rolling downhill after the London a.m. fix. Right after it. The cliff-dive occurred as the Comex floor was opening. This is a pure paper operation. It’s either the hedge funds or the banks piling into the short-side of the market by flooding the market with paper gold and hitting all bids in sight. The managed money category of trader segment in the COT report has been getting net short and more net short the last two weeks. Hedge funds could be shorting even more paper gold, trying to push it further downhill to book profits on their shorts. OR it could be the banks piling into the short side but hide this by booking the trades they report to the CME (daily o/i) and the CFTC (weekly COT) into the managed money trader account in the COT report.

The latter is entirely possible. JP Morgan was already caught once doing this in silver. If you don’t trust the Government to report the truth, why would you trust the banks to report the truth? After all, the banks ARE the Government.

Today’s action has nothing to do with the $/yuan to gold relationship or the $/yen to gold relationship. The dollar is higher and gold usually trades inversely to the dollar. Gold likely is being managed like this to help disguise the coming financial and economic bombs that are set to explode – just like in 2008.

We’re dealing with a system in which banks and other big corporations control the Government and there is no RULE OF LAW whatsoever. Think about what you would do if you completely lacked a moral compass and were in control of the system, to a large degree. You would do exactly what they are doing. And I’m not talking about just gold. It’s everything. They have used debt to put the squeeze on the population.

WTF Just Happened? Stock Market Ignores Escalating Trade War & Spent US Consumer

Every month Government, corporate and household debt hits a new all-time high. The entire financial system is heading down an unsustainable path of debt issuance. The delinquency rate for auto and credit card debt is already at levels last seen in late 2008. The only reason the banks are not on the ropes – yet – is because they are still sitting on most of the liquidity the Fed injected into the banking system from 2009 to 2015.

This “slush fund for a rainy day” has been declining. As this money flows into the economic system, it’s starting to ignite inflation. Even the monthly Government-generated CPI and PPI reports, which are highly manipulated to minimize the true inflation rate, are starting to show rising inflation. Of course, with wage growth stagnant, the average household disposable income level is dwindling rapidly, which is why the personal savings rate is at a historically low level and revolving credit use is at an all-time.

Consumer sentiment has been trending lower off a recent peak. While the media puppets explain that trade war headlines are weighting consumers expectation, in truth consumer sentiment is falling because the average household is suffocating from the crushing weight of debt and a diminished ability to service that debt because real disposable income is declining. In most areas, home prices are falling. In fact, the home buying sentiment component of the U of Michigan sentiment survey is at its lowest level since 2008.

In this episode of WTF Just Happened?, we discuss these issues plus whether or not gold is forming a tradable bottom here (WTF Just Happened is a produced in association with Wall St. For Main Street – Eric Dubin may be reached at  Facebook.com/EricDubin):

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I recommended Arizona Mining in May 2016 at  $1.26 to my Mining Stock Journal subscribers.  It was acquired for $1.3 billion, or $4.65/share.  My subscribers and I are making a small fortune shorting homebuilders plus this week’s issue features an idea that is the ultimate contrarian play.

Visit these links to learn more about the Investment Research Dynamic’s  Mining Stock Journal and Short Seller’s Journal.   

Complete Idiocy Engulfs The U.S.

William Shakespeare at his creative pinnacle could not have written this screenplay:

The first time I watched this I thought it was a joke – product of National Lampoon. Then the reality of it hit me like a ton of bricks. Is this really a productive use of Congressional time? The entire U.S. system is hurling toward a debt-induced financial and economic apocalypse. At the same time the Deep State, using Trump as its hand-puppet, is alienating the U.S. from the EU/NATO, this country’s last remaining allies.

The “trade war” is nothing more than the Deep State’s set-up for a military war. The dollar is being removed by China as the reserve currency, which will in turn take away the power enjoyed the elitists running the U.S. since Bretton Woods. If you are unsure how this story ends, take another look at history.

The election of Trump – a narcissistic baboon with a business track record littered with bankruptcies – is the epitome of defining deviance down. J. Edgar Hoover would have salivated at the prospect of having a President with the personal background of Trump. Anyone who still believes Trump controls of the Presidential decision-making process is hopelessly naive. Rather than “draining the swamp,” the swamp monsters – aka “The Deep State” – have taken control of the Oval Office.

One can only wonder if Hillary Clinton intended for her “the Russians hacked the election” during the Presidential debates to mushroom into the full-blown DC political circus that seems to captivate the public. To be sure, it’s Deep State propaganda at its finest designed to deflect the pubic’s attention away from the fact that corporate and banking elitists are systematically sweeping the last crumbs of public wealth off the table and into their pockets.

The Real Data Show The Real Economy Hit A Wall

The economy is melting down – the only support for the Propaganda Narrative of a “booming economy” is a rising stock market. Without a doubt Trump has ordered the Working Group on Financial Markets – AKA “the Plunge Protection Team” – to push stocks higher for now so insiders can unload.

The huge jump in credit card debt reported yesterday by the Fed was received as “good news” for consumer spending. However, this is typical  technical color vomit served up through the mainstream financial media by Establishment “economists” and Wall Street. The likely explanation is that the average consumer is now forced to use revolving credit in order to maintain the current lifestyle.  This assertion is reinforced by the fact that the latest data from Transunion show that personal loans hit a record high in Q1 2018.

The homebuilder sector is in trouble. A Colorado-based credit union is now offering 0-percent down payment mortgages. Credit Union of Colorado will underwrite the 3% down payment FNM/FRE mortgage product and it will cover the remaining 3% of a home’s cost by giving the “buyer” an interest-free loan that is repayable at a future date or through a refinancing. The bank is charging 0.375% more for the mortgage than the rate for a 3% down payment conforming mortgage. The bank is betting the value of these homes will rise enough to cover the 3% down payment loan through a refinancing.  This is a de facto zero-down payment mortgage sponsored by the Government. 

I am certain that this product reflects the fact that banks are getting desperate for mortgage fees because the pool of borrowers who can qualify for FNM/FRE/FHA loans has dried up. The economy hit a wall in the last month or two and it’s going to crush the housing market. By the end of the summer it will be impossible for the NAR and the media puppets to blame low sales on low inventory.

In fact, recent reports from around the country show that home listings are soaring. This includes Seattle, where King County reported a 43% jump in single-family home listings in June, and Orange County (SoCal), which saw a 218% jump in home listings YTD. A 10% drop in contracts in Orange Country was also reported (The Orange County Register). In Denver, new rate of new listings exceeds contract signings now by a considerable amount.

The June employment report continues to show a “tight labor market.” This is utter nonsense given that over 95 million working age people are no longer consider part of the “labor force” using the methodology devised to compute unemployment by the Government. Again, “however…”

…the “tight labor market” narrative is not confirmed by help-wanted advertising. Help-wanted advertising is considered an accurate indicator of broad economy. The Conference Board has been tracking help-wanted advertising going back to 1919.  Formal tracking of help-wanted advertising shifted from tracking ads in printed media to tracking help-wanted ads online in 2005.

The Conference Board’s Help-Wanted Online Advertising for June declined 3.7% from May. May was down 2.1% from April. April was down 1.4%. The May and April declines were revised lower in the latest report from the original reports. New ads were down 4.6% in June from June 2017. The total number of ads were down 5.7% year-over-year for June.

The fact that help-wanted ads as tracked by the Conference Board are declining sharply month-to-month and year-over-year reinforces my view (and I’m not alone in this view) that the real economy – as opposed to the “fake news” economy reported in the mainstream media – is contracting.

A portion of the above commentary is an excerpt from the latest Short Seller’s Journal. My subscribers and I are making easy money shorting the home construction sector as well as other select stocks. This includes specific ideas for using put options plus market timing. You can learn more about this newsletter here:   Short Seller’s Journal information

WTF Just Happened? Gold: Buy While There’s Blood In The Street

Perhaps the best contrarian indicator for the directional movement of gold and silver is Dennis “Wrong Way” Gartman, who recently announced that he was dumping all of his gold “positions” (note:  Gartman’s “positions” are theoretical paper portfolio trades):

As for gold, we have clearly held on far, far, far too long to having owned gold…clearly we’ve been wrong to have erred bullishly of gold in any fashion whatsoever. We shall have no choice henceforth but to look upon any bounces that we get as opportunities into which to sell (The July 2, 2018 Gartman Letter, page 4).

This is true manna from heaven for precious metals investors. Dennis Gartman is one of the
best contrarian signals we have observed in over 35 years of involvement with investing and financial markets. He has a remarkable capacity to endure shame because he is almost
always wrong when he goes long or short any investment. His wrong-way calls are  becoming legendary.

But if this isn’t enough evidence that now is the time to start buying, reloading or adding to your favorite mining shares and buy more physical metal, in this episode of “WTF Just Happened?” we discuss several other market indicators that point toward a big move coming in the precious metals sector ((WTF Just Happened is a produced in association with Wall St. For Main Street – Eric Dubin may be reached at  Facebook.com/EricDubin):

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I recommended Arizona Mining in May 2016 at  $1.26 to my Mining Stock Journal subscribers.  It was acquired today for $1.3 billion, or $4.65/share.  My subscribers and I are making a small fortune shorting homebuilders.

Visit these links to learn more about the Investment Research Dynamic’s  Mining Stock Journal and Short Seller’s Journal.   

The Demise Of Tesla: We’ve Seen This Movie Before

Enron was a product of the late 1990’s dot.com / tech bubble.  Similar to Tesla’s “production tent,”  Enron would set entire floors of buildings to look like elaborate energy trading rooms.  The operations were nothing more than a fraudulent shell game, set-up for the benefit of Wall Street analysts and journalists.

Bear Stearns was a product of the mid-2000’s mortgage bubble.  It created catastrophically leveraged mortgage-backed securities hedge funds that would inevitably collapse.  The managers of these funds kept these funds alive by hiding positions from upper management and fraudulently over-marking the value of the underlying assets, which eventually proved worthless.

And now, Tesla’s path to demise seems quite similar to the recent implosion of Theranos.  Theranos was biotech company which collapsed after it was revealed that it had fraudulently promoted claims about its blood testing technology.   This story resonates in Tesla’s decision to skip a critical brake test in order to meet a superficial production goal last week.  Anyone who takes delivery and pays for a Tesla Model 3 is putting themselves and their families at risk.

While not widely reported, there has been a rapid exit of high level executives, including the chief engineer, who resigned the day after Elon Musk issued the command to skip the brake test.  After this story broke, one of my subscribers emailed me:  “I design and build (from my bare hands) electrical testing equipment for the automotive industry. Plants shutdown rather than let their stuff go out the door untested.”  Now we know why the chief engineer bolted from the Company.

The proprietor of the Adventures  In Capitalism blog published a comparison between Tesla and Theranos.  He focuses on the recent erratic behavior of the CEO and potentially lethal production decisions implemented:

The question is, who would want to invest new capital when Tesla is now admitting to knowingly selling cars without testing the brakes in order to hit some arbitrary one week production target? When a company admits that it will sacrifice vehicle quality and even risk killing its customers to win a twitter feud and start a short squeeze, regulators must step in. The question is; what else has Tesla done illegally to hit its targets? We know that Tesla long ago passed over the ethical threshold of selling faulty products that have killed people—what other allegations will soon come to light? Elon Musk demanded that Tesla stop testing brakes on June 26. Doug Field, chief engineer, resigned on June 27. Is this a coincidence? Of course not—Doug Field doesn’t want to be responsible for killing people…

You can read the rest of this here: Tesla Is The New Theranos

The only ingredient missing from the chain of events that precedes the complete collapse of Tesla is a table-pounding, frothing-at-the-mouth “buy” recommendation from CNBC’s Jim Cramer.

Orwell Chuckled, Atlas Shrugged

“WAR is a racket…It always has been.A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortune.” – US Marine General Smedley Butler. General Butler

My friend and occasional co-author, Paul Craig Roberts, wrote an compelling Fourth of July essay to give us all something to think about as the political and corporate elitists tighten the noose around our collective necks:

July 4, 2018, is the 242 anniversary of the date chosen to stand as the date the 13 British colonies declared independence. According to historians, the actual date independence was declared was July 2, 1776, with the vote of the Second Continental Congress. Other historians have concluded that the Declaration of Independence was not actually signed until August 2.

For many living in the colonies the event was not the glorious one that is presented in history books. There was much opposition to the separation, and the “loyalists” were killed, confiscated, and forced to flee to Canada. Some historians explain the event not as a great and noble enterprise of freedom and self-government, but as the manipulations of ambitious men who saw opportunity for profit and power.

For most Americans today the Fourth of July is a time for fireworks, picnics, and a patriotic speech extolling those who “fought for our freedom” and for those who defended it in wars ever since. These are feel good speeches, but most of them make very little sense…

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST

The Housing Market: A Bigger Bubble Than 2008 Is Popping

The XHB homebuilder ETF is decisively below three key moving averages after it knifed below its 50 dma last week.  KB Homes reported a big earnings and revenue “beat” on Thursday after the market closed.  The stock soared as much as 9% on Friday.  Per the advice I gave my subscribers about shorting the inevitable price-spike in the stock,  I shorted the stock Friday mid-day (July and August at-the-money puts).  The stock is down 6% from its high Friday and is back below all of its key moving averages (21, 50, 200).

Several subscribers have emailed me today to report big gains on put options purchased Friday.   When a stock sells off like this after “beating” Wall St estimates and raising guidance, it’s a very bearish signal.  I’ve identified the best homebuilders to short and I provide guidance on timing and the use of put options.

Housing is dropping and it’s demand-driven, not supply-driven – All three housing market reports released two weeks ago showed industry deterioration. The homebuilder “sentiment” index for May, now known as the “housing market” index for some reason, showed its 4th decline since the index peaked in December. The index level of 68 in May was 10 points below Wall Street’s expectation. The index is a “soft data” report, measuring primarily homebuilder assessment of “foot traffic” (showings) and builder sentiment.

While the housing starts report for May showed an increase over April’s report, the permits number plunged. Arguably the housing starts report is among the least reliable of the housing reports because of the way in which a “start” is defined (put a shovel in the ground, that’s a “start”). On the other hand, permits filed might reflect builder outlook. To further complicate the analysis, the report can be “lumpy” depending on the distribution between multi-family starts/permits and single family home starts/permits.

A good friend of mine in North Carolina was looking at the Denver apartment rental market earlier this week and was shocked at the high level of vacancies. I would suggest this is similar in most larger cities. It also means that multi-family building construction will likely drop off precipitously over the next 12 months.

Existing home sales for May reported Wednesday showed the second straight month-to- month drop and the third straight month of year-over-year declines. The headline SAAR (Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate) number – 5.43 million – missed Wall Street’s forecast for 5.5 million. April’s number was revised lower. Once again the NAR chief spin-meister blames the drop on low inventory. But this is outright nonsense. The month’s supply for May increased from April and, at 4.1 months, is above the average month’s supply for the trailing 12 months. It’s also above the average months supply number for all of 2017. If low inventory is holding back pent-up demand, then May sales should have soared, especially given that May is historically one of the best months seasonally for home sales. The not seasonally adjusted number for May was 3.4% below May 2017.

The primary reason for declining home sales, as I’ve postulated in several past issues, is the shrinking pool of buyers who can afford to support the monthly cost of home ownership. The Government lowered the bar for its taxpayer-backed mortgage programs every year since 2014. It lowered the down-payment requirement, broadened the definition of what constitutes a down-payment (as an example, seller concessions can be counted as part of a down-payment) thereby reducing even further the amount of cash required from a buyer’s bank account at closing, it cut mortgage insurance fees and it lowered income and credit score restrictions. After all this, the Government is running out of people into whom it can stuff 0-3% down payment, 50% DTI mortgages in order to keep the housing market propped up.

A lot of short term (buy and rent for 1-2 years and then flip) investors and flippers are holding homes that will come on the market as home prices fall. The majority of the MLS notices I receive for the zip codes in Denver I track are “price change” notices. All of them are price reductions. Whereas a year ago the price reductions were concentrated in the high-priced homes, now the price reductions are spread evenly across all price “buckets.” Denver was one of the first hot markets to crack in the mid-2000’s bubble and I’m certain what I’m seeing in Denver is occurring across the country in most mid to large metropolitan areas. Yes, I’m sure there’s a few exceptions but, in general, high prices, rising mortgage rates and stagnant wages are like poison darts being thrown at the housing bubble.

The analysis above is an excerpt from the June 24th Short Seller’s Journal.   My subscribers and I are making a small fortune shorting homebuilders and homebuilder-related stocks.  I will adding a couple other sectors in up-coming issues that are ready to shorted aggressively.  You can learn more about this service by following this link:  Short Seller’s Journal information.