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Gold And Silver: Legal Weapons Against The Deep State

  • Question:  Why do Central Banks and Governments hate gold?
  • Answer:  Because they can’t print it

“An almost hysterical antagonism toward the gold standard is one issue which unites statists of all persuasions. They seem to sense – perhaps more clearly and subtly than many consistent defenders of laissez-faire – that gold and economic freedom are inseparable, that the gold standard is an instrument of laissez-faire and that each implies and requires the other.”  – Alan Greenspan, “Gold and Economic Freedom”

Just like everything else in the western financial system, the paper trading markets are leveraged beyond redemption.   The amount of paper “claims” on actual physical gold was estimated to be 100:1 in 2010.   We can assure you that ratio is much higher now.  On the Comex alone, for instance, if more than 9% of the  April open interest in gold futures were to stand for delivery – based on the currently declared 1.4 million ounces of gold reported as being “available for delivery” (registered) – the Comex would default.  The entire open interest in gold futures is 60x greater than the amount of gold available for delivery.

This is just the publicly traded paper gold derivatives.  There’s also the shady world of OTC gold derivatives.  We have no idea what kind of leverage is embedded in these contracts.  But the total notional amount of OTC “precious metals” derivatives according to the OCC’s latest quarterly report on OTC derivatives (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) is over $28 billion.  Just to highlight the degree to which the Government goes in order to hide the facts about the gold and silver market, the OCC used to break out OTC precious metals derivatives into the categories of “gold” and “silver and other.”  Now the OCC  reports just “precious metals.”  What is it that the Government and banks are hiding?

The amount of leverage embedded in a Comex futures contract, based on the current amount of margin required, is about 25:1.  There’s no telling how much leverage is embedded in the OTC derivatives agreements.  All we know is that the disclosure requirements are becoming increasingly more opaque.

Silver futures began trading on the CBOT in 1969.   But gold futures were not around until 1974, three years after the U.S. closed the gold window, completely disconnecting the dollar from gold.   Gold futures were developed to enable the Fed and the U.S. Treasury to control the price of gold as a means of reinforcing the legitimacy of the dollar as a fiat currency used as the world’s reserve currency.

While the price of gold has been heavily manipulated since at least the 1960’s, when the U.S. was running out of enough gold to fulfill its obligations under Bretton Woods, the manipulation and “shock and awe” price attacks are used as a form of propaganda that is designed to discourage investors from converting fiat dollars into gold and silver.  It’s a powerful weapon used by the Deep State against gold and economic freedom.

In today’s episode of the Shadow of Truth we discuss the manipulation of gold and silver and how it’s used by the Deep State to increase the Government’s control over the population:

ADP’s Job “Creation” Report Is A Fraud

Put it on CNN and it’s “true.”  Americans will turn on their tv’s and open their newspapers tomorrow (the small percentage that still read newspapers) to hear and read that the U.S. economy “created” nearly 300,000 jobs in February – at least according to ADP. .

The easiest way to hold ADP accountable and eviscerate the credibility of their report is to examine their “methodology.”  Of course, this requires searching the ADP website to find the area way at the bottom where it describes its “methodology,” something no fake news reporter or analyst has to time with which to bother.

As ADP describes in its “methodology” section, it seeks to “closely align” the final output of its calculations with that of the “final print of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) numbers.”  Thus,  ADP’s “job creation” report is really nothing more than a regurgitation of the fraudulent employment report issued by the U.S. Government.

Here’s the other variables of input that the new ADP methodology now incorporates into its methodology used in ADP’s  “enhanced  ADP National Employment Report

  • ADP matched-pair growth rates by industry
  • Lagged values of BLS estimates of growth of employment by industry with industry specific restrictions
  •  Unemployment Insurance Claims (UNI_US)
  •  Oil Prices
  •  The Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (CSENT_US)
  •  The Composite Index of Leading Indicators (LEAD_US)

The “soft” data reports above have nothing do with job creation.  Unemployment claims are historically low because the labor force participation rate is historically low, which means that the number of people who are terminated and can file for nemployment benefits is historically low.  How is this variable an input on job creation?

WELCOME TO ADP’S RABBIT HOLE

Since when did the manipulated price direction of oil create jobs?  Consumer confidence creates jobs?  Please.  In fact, ALL of the variables listed above and used by ADP in formulating its job creation report are highly manipulated and in no way represent the process by which jobs are created – other than the growth in propaganda creation positions at the Government and at the mainstream media outlets.

But there’s more.  ADP claims that 106,000 jobs were created in February in the “goods producing sector.”  The primary goods producing sector in the U.S. is the auto industry, which is currently cutting jobs in order to cut production in the face of record auto inventory sitting on dealer lots.  In fact, GM announced 1,100 job cuts at one of its production facilities yesterday.

ADP also claims that 66,000 jobs were “created” in construction. But we know based on the Government’s construction spending report that the Government alone cut construction spending by nearly 8% last month.  Most major cities around the U.S. now have years of apartment inventory.  For instance, San Francisco now has 5 years of vacant supply:  LINK.   Commercial real estate occupancy rates are soaring with the number of retailers filing bankruptcy and closing stores.  At least 7 major retailers this year have filed chapter 11 or are in the process of trying to restructure debt.  This is a major source of job loss and it’s simply not credible that commercial construction is on the rise, which means that the 66,000 “new” jobs attributed to construction is a complete fraud.

Leisure and hospitality is credited with producing 40,000 new jobs in February.  I’d love to sit down with the ADP analyst to find out where this number came from.  The restaurant industry experienced revenue declines nearly every month in 2016.  Same-store-sales and foot traffic plunged across the industry.  It’s inconceivable that the leisure and hospitality industry produced this many jobs, if any at all, given the underlying fundamental condition of the median average household, which has been experiencing declining real disposable income for several years now

The report also gives credit to small businesses for “creating” 104,000 jobs.  This is  not even remotely credible.  A report out just a couple months ago stated that the creation of new businesses in the U.S. is at a 40-year low:  LINK.  Does anyone really believe that Trump’s “hopium” effect suddenly inspired a rush to start new businesses which then hired 104,000 people?

There’s several more inconsistencies in ADP’s report. I’ll leave it to the reader to sort through the actual report itself and decide what’s real and what’s fraudulent.  As far as I can tell, the ADP report has been designed to piggy-back and “confirm” the fraudulent employment issued by the Government every month.

 

Big Brother In America Is The Media

Journalism and a free, open media is another “check and balance on the three branches of Government and we don’t have that check and balance anymore.” – Shadow of Truth

One of the hallmarks of a totalitarian political regime is control of the media. In 1996 president Bill Clinton signed into law the Telecommunications Act of 1996. This law, which was bought and paid for by corporate media lobbies, allowed big corporations to acquire and consolidate media outlets nationwide.

The 1996 law lifted the limit on the number of television and radio stations any one corporation could own. In 2003, the FCC voted to lift the ban on cross-ownership of newspapers and full-power broadcast stations that serviced the same community. This was the final nail in the coffin of free and competitive media and news-reporting in the U.S.

The 1996 Clinton law followed by the lifting of the cross-ownership ban enabled Corporate America to increase their monopoly on the flow of information in the U.S. and around the world. Now six corporations control well over 90% of all media in the U.S.: NewsCorp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, CBS and Comcast.

“Wall Street slips on and geopolitical worries” (Reuters headline).   What does the Trump/Obama wiretapping squabble have to do with whether the stock market goes up or down? It has nothing to do with whether or not corporations can produce goods and services profitably. Too be sure the accusation of wiretapping and the possibility that the accusation is accurate is troublesome in and of itself.  But it has nothing to do with the fact that the stock market is currently the most overvalued in U.S. history.

The headlines, however  reflect the degree to which all media reporting in the U.S. is now under the control of Corporate America – a Corporate America that has assumed control of the political process and has become Orwell’s  Big Brother .

Most people associate the term “fascism” with an authoritarian and nationalistic political system. But it’s much more than that. Mussolini described “fascism” as the merger between Corporations and Government. The political system in the U.S. can easily be considered “fascist,” as Corporate America and Wall Street have used billions of dollars to take over the entire political process including all of the mainstream outlets of communication and news reporting.

The result is directly reflected in the nature of the 2016 presidential and congressional elections. The content of any news reporting is now a product of the material fed through the broadcast and print communication outlets controlled by six corporate monoliths and the Too Big To Fail banks that finance the system.

A good friend and colleague of the Shadow of Truth, John Titus, once quipped with regard to the public’s consumption and acceptance of anything reported as news, “put it on CNN and it’s true.” This statement succinctly summarizes the propaganda which supports the process by which the Government seeks to control the views and perceptions of the public at large.  In today’s Shadow of Truth podcast, we toss around that fact that the United States has become a Goebellsian “playground” and George Orwell’s nightmare:

Chris Martenson: The Mother Of All Bubbles

The Daily Coin sat down with Chris Martenson to discuss the hijacking of the system by the wealthy insider elites and the banks:

The system is rigged against each of us. If you are not a member of the “big club” then you, like myself, have to live with the fact that we are nothing more than an ATM for the uber wealthy. We supply all their toys, entertainment and wealth. The sad part is, we do it willingly.

Here’s how bad it is. You wanna know how bad this is? They don’t even care about optics any more. JP Morgan yesterday announced for the last four years they have only experienced two days of trading loses. There’s about 200 trading days a year. So, out of 800 days only 2 days were loses, but 2016 that number was zero. No day loses and their average take, “from trading the markets” was $80 MILLION a day. Chris Martenson, The Daily Coin

On Thursday March 2 silver was monkey-hammered to the tune of more than a 4% drop in under an hour. There was more than $2 BILLION of digital contracts dropped on the “market” during this time to achieve this massive drop. Gold was, to a degree, spared and only suffered about a 2% drop. Silver was the focus of the bullion banking cartel.

Here’s the thing. These criminal banksters do NOTHING to produce wealth. Their job is stealing. If you or I were to commit a crime, like market rigging, we would be in federal prison on several felony charges, including conspiracy, and would be treated like the criminal we are. The banksters, on the other hand, are treated like royalty for committing the same crime on a global scale. Their crimes should actually be considered crimes against humanity as these crimes impact millions upon millions of people.

The Deep State’s Gold Scam And The Demonization Of Russia

To me, what’s really going on needs to be explained to people or they are going to completely give up on the hope of finding / preserving a way to protect their financial freedom … in other words, getting out of the corrupt monetary system and into metals, while they still can.

This price pummeling [of gold and silver this week] is absolutely state-of-the-art Psy-Op…managed by the Fed and Bank State, using the most sophisticated techniques developed over decades by the CIA and related agencies. – Stewart Dougherty in an email exchange about his latest article

Must-read Guest Post from Stewart Dougherty

As the Fiscal Year 2018 budget, and particularly its war component are floated, it has become clear that without continued, massive military spending, paid for with mass-produced electrons masquerading as money, U. S. GDP would collapse, taking the country’s financial and monetary systems with it. The nation, whose real economy has been hollowed out, for profit, by the Deep State plunderers, has become significantly reliant upon deliberately contrived wars and military tensions for its economic survival.

With systemic monetary risk now at an unprecedented level, intensified by a new, partisan, “politics of defeat,” scorched earth agenda being implemented by those displeased with the results of the 2016 election, there has never been a more dangerous time for people to denominate their wealth in unbacked, baseless, debt-drugged dollars.

The absolute last thing the Deep State, and particularly its Banking Division (the Bank State), can allow the people to figure out at this time is that there is a far more safe, secure and potentially profitable way for them to position their financial assets than dollar-denominated bank deposits: precious metals. A widespread movement into metals at this time would damage the Bank State and its umbrella organization, the Deep State, because their future profits require the control and progressive expropriation of the people’s money.

Therefore, a March rate hike is guaranteed, for three primary reasons. First, precious metals prices must be pummeled as much as possible, in order to scare uninformed people away from the easy, safe and logical financial refuge metals provide. Even though the “rates up, metals prices down” reflexive reaction is absurd, it has been baked into the trading algorithms so that it will occur no matter what other factors might be in play when rates are increased. Strategic Deep State price fraud, which is perpetrated by internationally signaled, time-coordinated and algorithmic inside trading, ensures that metals prices can reliably be controlled. At least for now. When physical demand finally increases in a material way, the price fixing fraud will collapse.

Second, the Bank State must increase the incentive for people to keep their money in its institutions, while it pushes forward, as fast as possible, with its cash elimination agenda. Once cash is eliminated, the banks will no longer have to worry about bank runs, which would otherwise be historic when the  wheels coming flying off the thoroughly debauched monetary system, an event we view as inevitable.

Third, the Federal Reserve System is now 100% politicized, and run by sneaky, die-hard political ideologues who lie about why they do what they do and what they really think. Those who run the Fed are despondent that despite implementing for eight YEARS an interest rate policy specifically designed to enable Obama to create a totally false illusion of economic “recovery” by massively increasing government spending with trillions of phony, deficit, zero-interest-rate “dollars,” the people saw through the economic lie and defeated the Fed’s next intended puppet, Clinton.

Yellen, Fischer and the other partisan Fed governors are simply not going to allow Trump to turn around, in a matter of months, an economy that the Deep State and the Fed have systematically been looting, at mind-boggling and astronomical profit to themselves, for the past decade. Nor are they going to allow Trump to bask in DJIA-record glory. Therefore, the power- and money-obsessed functionaries at the Fed and within the Deep State, who all totally buy into the scorched earth agenda, are going to bring down the economy and markets, even if it means that every single private pension fund and the net worth of every non-connected citizen collapses with it. They couldn’t care less about that, as we are about to see, because they will have a scapegoat for what they, themselves have wrought: Trump. The Fed, in league with many others, is now doing everything in its power to rig the 2018 mid-term elections, in order to live up to its Sole Mandate, which is the preservation of political power.

While we deeply admire what President Trump is trying to do to expose to the people and turn around the fake economy in which the nation is drowning, we believe the challenge of reversing, in the short amount of time available to him, decades’ worth of asset stripping, corruption and for-profit economic destruction is beyond extreme. And the constant political obstructionism he is up against, which is increasingly treasonous, might make the achievement of his worthy objective impossible.

With this as our backdrop, let us move on to the geopolitics of gold, which while it might seem abstract and removed, we believe is highly relevant to your personal financial situation.

Aside from being tedious, politicized and baseless drama, the ongoing demonization of Russia, particularly with respect to its so-called rigging of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, makes no common sense. But it makes perfect Deep State sense. It is about war-mongering, global destabilization, internationalized looting and the continued plunder of the American people, the for-profit enterprises in which the Deep State specializes.

We believe that there is actually a more specific reason for the demonization of Russia than the above, usual suspects. This is a case where one should not just follow the money; one should follow the gold.

For the past fifteen plus years, physical gold supplies have been like Lazarus: they keep rising from the Dead. Just when it appears that a serious supply-demand imbalance is about to precipitate futures market delivery problems and therefore increased prices, supply miraculously appears out of nowhere to alleviate the shortage and stabilize or depress prices.

This surprise supply has primarily come from sovereign central banks: for example, 1,500 metric tonnes from one-time sound money nation Switzerland; 600 from France; 430 from the United Kingdom (most at the bear market’s absolute low price of around $255.00/ ounce; central bank “genius” for all to see); 300 from Netherlands; 225 from Portugal; 240 from Spain; 180 from Venezuela and counting; 90 from Brazil. And the list goes on.

Each sovereign sale has produced needed physical gold at times of supply – demand imbalance, many of which have been critical. This has enabled the paper gold price manipulation fraud to persist without any failures to deliver or the need to set a true, as opposed to fake gold price. A delivery failure, even a minor one, would expose and terminate the Deep State’s enormously profitable price rigging fraud, and has therefore been prevented at all cost.

The Deep State’s overthrow of legitimate, sovereign governments has been another means by which needed gold supply has been injected into the pipeline. After Libya was overthrown, 143 tonnes of the nation’s gold disappeared. Dozens of additional tonnes disappeared from Iraq subsequent to its invasion.

Ukraine provides another example. Immediately after Neocon, Deep State functionary and State Department plant Victoria “F**k the EU” Nuland launched the for-profit coup d’etat in Ukraine, 43 tonnes of the nation’s gold, worth $1.7 billion at $1,200 per ounce, were airlifted out of the country in the middle of the night and went missing.

(As a side note, it is worth mentioning that while the cargo plane’s exhaust was dissipating into the Ukrainian atmosphere, Vice President Biden’s storied son, Hunter, miraculously appeared on the Board of Directors of Burisma Holdings, the largest private natural gas producer in Ukraine. Biden was joined by close friend Devon Archer, a lead fundraiser for by-then Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2004 presidential bid. Archer is also the former college roommate and current business partner of Kerry’s stepson, Christopher Heinz (an heir to the H. J. Heinz fortune). These two ascendancies to Burisma’s Board were curious, given that Biden and Archer had no natural gas production or Ukrainian business experience whatsoever, did not speak one word of Ukrainian and had never previously stepped foot in the country. This gives us better insight into the true nature of the Deep State’s murderous, gold-seeking and highly profitable coups.)

While the perfectly-timed materializations of sovereign gold have plugged the Delivery Failure dike at various critical moments, there have been two persistent demand problems that have bedeviled the Deep State’s designs: Russia and China.

China’s official gold reserves surged from 395 tonnes in Q2, 2000 to 1,838 tonnes in Q3, 2016. This number, impressive in itself, dramatically understates China’s actual, official gold reserves, which many well-informed analysts put at 5,000 tonnes, minimum. China’s official reserves do not include the thousands of additional tonnes imported into the country for the private sector during the same period.

While the Deep State routinely pummels the paper price of gold both to mint fraudulent profits on the futures exchanges and scare financially naïve western citizens away from it, the Chinese government urges its citizens to buy gold, which they do by the millions of ounces. The Chinese government knows what is coming, and wants its citizens to be prepared. Apparently, capitalism and communism have traded places, which will result in an exorbitant cost to the people of the west.

Meantime, Russia’s gold supply increased from 343 tonnes in Q2 2000 to 1543 tonnes in Q3, 2016.

Remarkably, it increased by 508 tonnes from Q1, 2014 to Q3, 2016, alone. This occurred when Russian sanctions, which were intended to destroy Russia’s economy and currency, were in place. The sanctions were not only expected to halt Russia’s ongoing gold purchases, but also force them to sell some or all of their existing reserves in order to raise cash, which is exactly what Venezuela has been forced to do since early 2014.

Chess Master Putin went in the exact opposite direction, by dramatically increasing the nation’s purchases of gold. This was unexpected and has put the Deep State on the defensive. It had counted on fresh supply from Russian to keep the supply – demand balance in equilibrium, and to prevent the Delivery Failure dike from breaching.

One way the Deep State reacted to Russia’s unexpected, continued demand was to engineer the out-of-nowhere Indian rupee demonetization, which stripped the Indian people of the cash they have traditionally used to purchase gold. This plan was effective at reducing Indian gold demand in the beginning, but is now backfiring, just as the attempt to reduce Russian gold demand backfired.

If China and Russia continue to buy gold at current rates, the only way the Deep State’s paper gold price manipulation fraud can continue is if other sovereign gold reserves are put into play, or, if physical demand is somehow diminished. While the Deep State is pursuing both tactics, their options are shrinking.

Even though sovereign gold sale risks remain, the value of nations’ reserves at the current fake price of gold is absolutely meaningless when compared to their exploding debts.

For example, Italy’s 2,452 tonnes of gold are worth $95 billion at $1,200 per ounce; the government’s debt is $2.45 trillion. France’s 2,436 tonnes are worth about the same, $95 billion; it national debt is $2.44 trillion. The same situation exists in virtually every western nation. Therefore, even if these countries were to sell all of their gold, it would not buy them any meaningful or lasting fiscal or financial relief whatsoever. There has never been a more pointless time for nations to sell their gold, particularly at today’s fake price.

To further amplify this point, the United States is reported to own 8,133 tonnes of gold, supposedly the world’s largest stockpile. (We disagree; to us, the arithmetic is clear that China now owns more.) This is the equivalent of 261.5 million ounces troy ounces, or about 0.82 troy ounces per citizen. At $1,200 per ounce, the reserve is worth $314 billion. The nation’s actual, annual deficits are roughly $1 trillion per year, more than three times the value of the entire gold reserve. The nation’s existing debt and contingent, unfunded liabilities exceed $200 trillion. Therefore, the nation’s gold supply could only pay off 0.16%, or one sixth of one percent of the nation’s current obligations. If it has not already done so, the United States could sell every ounce of the people’s gold and it would not make one bit of difference to the nation’s fiscal situation.

The U.S. gold reserve has not been professionally, comprehensively audited since 1953. We will not go into the U.S. gold audit topic here, because it has already been well documented. You can find the details with a simple search, if you wish to learn more. But we would like to point out something that is not typically noted.

In order to create positive “optics,” the United States government consistently massages, manipulates and even totally misrepresents a wide variety of financial, economic and monetary statistics (such as GDP, unemployment, inflation, money supply, interest rates, retail sales and many others). These positive optics are viewed as being crucial to preserving confidence in the nation’s economy and fiat currency.

Accordingly, one would expect that if the United States gold reserve actually exists, physically and unencumbered, the government would go out of its way to prove and advertise it, in order to create the favorable optics it spends so much time and effort engineering about everything else.

Instead, they refuse to conduct a professional audit, invoking the truly ridiculous excuse that it would be too costly to do so. One specialist has estimated that a comprehensive, independent audit would cost $10 million, which is approximately 1 MINUTE of federal spending, literally. So the expense excuse makes no common sense, and arouses serious and legitimate suspicion about the true state of America’s gold reserve.

The foregoing factors help explain the intensifying demonization and scapegoating of Russia. The Deep State needs to prevent Russia from continuing to buy gold in quantity, and is therefore intensifying its efforts to damage the country’s reputation, economy and currency.

Based on these and several other factors, the Inferential Analytics model is signaling that there is a strong probability the Deep State’s gold price manipulation fraud is dying, and that the imbalance in physical gold supply is becoming systemic and reaching a point where it can no longer be bridged with sovereign, stolen or fake supplies. This increases the risk of futures market delivery failure. The occurrence of any significant endogenous event at this time, such as an unexpected military, social, economic or financial disruption, that provokes a further reduction in supply or even a modest increase in demand, would dramatically increase the probability of delivery failure and a resulting, necessary, sharp increase in the price of gold.

The fact that the paper gold price manipulation fraud is reaching the end of the line due to deteriorating supply – demand fundamentals is exactly why we are seeing a radical, concurrent Deep State escalation of the War on Cash. Cashlessness is the Deep State’s upcoming Looting Field, and is designed to replace Gold market price fixing as its next, organized, long-term method of plunder. The elimination of cash will result in the largest looting spree ever orchestrated by the Deep State.

Every time the Deep State hatches a new looting scheme, they dress it up in false righteousness, phony morality and motherhood. In the case of cash elimination, they say it is needed to fight terrorism, drug laundering, tax evasion and crime. This is a huge, concocted, pre-packaged lie; the same kind that Hitler and Goebbels used. Hitler said and proved that if you make the lie big, and repeat it again and again, the people will come to believe it. This is the exact kind of lie the Deep State is telling to push its corrupt, greed-diseased, epically evil cash elimination scam.

While the Deep State demonizes Russia to perpetuate its gold price fixing profit center for as long as possible, it is simultaneously building, as fast as it can maximum security prisons for the people’s money. For the bricks, they intend to use your cash; for the mortar, they are mixing a stinking amalgam of their lies, corruption and greed. We can be sure of one thing: if we allow them to imprison our money in their cashless prisons, they will grind it into oblivion by fees and fraud, and our financial slavery will become inescapable. Please, do not underestimate what is happening all around you, and use your current quasi-freedom wisely.

Stewart Dougherty
March 2, 2017

Stewart Dougherty is the creator of Inferential Analytics (IA), a forecasting method that applies to events proprietary, time-tested principles of human instinct, desire and action. In his view, forecasting methods not fundamentally based upon principles of human action are unlikely to be reliable over time. He is a graduate of Tufts University (BA) and Harvard Business School (MBA), is a 35+ year veteran of the business trenches and has developed IA over a period of 15+ years.

Will The SNAP IPO Mark The Top?

The only aspect of the SNAP IPO that was more horrifying than the media attention given to monitoring SNAP’s first trade of the day is the valuation assigned to it by investors. Janet Yellen undoubtedly was not thinking about SNAP when she happened to mention in her Congressional testimony last week that “valuation metrics do appear…stretched.” That assertion is unarguably one of the most shameless understatements in history.

SNAP is being marketed by its financial promoters as “a camera company.” In reality it’s little more than a glorified social media business model. The product empowers the user to send photos and videos to friends rather than using a text message. Big deal. In 2016, SNAP generated $404 million in revenues and but lost $514 million. That’s the manipulated GAAP number for net income. The Company’s operation burned $611 million. Note: these are the numbers prepared by the Company that were used to generate the highest possible price for the IPO, which means the numbers are likely not accurate.

At IPO SNAP was valued at 54 times revenues. That’s the kind of multiple that a venture capital company would pay for a newly emerging company with a unique product that is still embedded with largely unquantifiable risks of the investment going to zero. SNAP is a newly emerging company which offers just another “flavor” of social medial. Mind you, this is a social media tool that is primarily used by millennials and “Gen Z’ers” who quickly tire of the latest cellphone app fad du jour. In fact, new user fatigue is already showing up in the number.   Over the last 4 quarters, the quarterly growth in growth “active daily users” has slowed considerably – just 4% from Q3 to Q4 – and its flat-lined in the rest of the world outside of the U.S. and Europe.

As a social media company, SNAP’s user growth-rate curve is already significantly below that of Facebook and Twitter in their early stages as public companies.  In truth, if SNAP wants to insist on being a “camera company,” then its stock likely will follow the same path as that of GoPro.  GoPro IPO’d in June 2014 at $24.   The first trade was at $30. The stock ran up to $98.  It currently trades at $9.40.

The overarching issue here is whether or not the grotesquely overvalued SNAP IPO will mark the top of this seemingly indefatigable rise in stocks.   Since closing above the 20k holy grail level on February 3rd, the Dow has risen another 1,100 index points in just 17 trading days, while the meatheads on financial bubblevision have been mindlessly cheering on the action with drool sliding down the sides of their mouths.   27.5% percent of this move occurred after Trump’s congressional address Tuesday night.  Conspicuously absent from the speech was any new policy ideas which might have been responsible for causing the ludicrous spike up in stocks.

David Stockman has called this action in the stock market “the greatest sucker’s rally of all time.”  In today’s episode of the Shadow of Truth, we discuss the insanity that has drawn mom and pop retail investors into the “warm water” with its Siren’s call.

Insanity Prevails In The Stock Market

The Dow and the S&P 500 stock indices are emblematic for the degree to which the U.S. economic, financial, political and social system has dislocated from reality.  Insanity prevails in a system that is corrupted to the core.   “Going down the rabbit hole” is a popular allusion in reference to the surrealism that has enveloped the American system.   I’d hazard to assert that it would take a few tabs of LSD to make today’s world believable. The fact that Donald Trump is President says it all…

With regard to the stock market, if you studied finance anytime from the 1950’s until the mid-1990’s, fell asleep for 20 years and woke up to today, you would conclude that the opposite of everything you learned is now the truth. It started in the late 1990’s when Greenspan coined the “new economy” mantra and scam artists like Henry Blodget got everyone to believe that “new economy” stock valuations could be derived from the number of “clicks and eyeballs” received by a company’s website. And I thought that was insane.

The market has never been more dislocated from fundamentals than now. Since when do stocks spike up on the threat of a rate hike?  Pretend rate hikes are now great for stocks and bad for gold even though historical evidence suggests that actual rate hikes have just the opposite effect on both asset classes.

I’m wondering if the hedge fund algos are already pricing in the move higher in stocks that occurs when the Fed fails to follow-thru on rate hike threats…While the Dow hits a new record every day, the amount of Government spending and debt hits a new record every 60 seconds. The rate of debt creation, public and private, dwarfs the rate of appreciation in general stock prices.

At the risk of being labeled a “conspiracy theorist,” it’s quite probable that the inside elite are gunning this stock market in order to bail out. Evidence? Insider selling has reached epic proportions. At some companies I analyze, the insider sell to buy ratio is over 1000:1. But the “purchases” are stock options exercised and then later sold. The purchases from cash out of pocket tend to be directors buying the gratuitous odd lot for sake of appearance.

One of my subscribers commented that, “I heard a guy on Fox Business say that Macy’s was a real estate play. As if re-purposing their real estate would happen and all would be wonderful.”  That’s the classic apology for a company sitting on a plethora of empty mall anchor space when big retailers start collapsing. Macy’s has been called a “real estate play” since the 1990’s. What is the actual value of empty mall anchor retail space? What do you put in there? Eventually they’ll be converted to homeless shelters and those are worth nothing other than “good will.”  Even this stock market doesn’t believe that one.  Here’s Macy’s stock:

Based on the graph above, the value of Macy’s “real estate” is about the same as the previous peak in real estate prices in 2007.   But real estate prices have been inflated to all-time highs on top of a helium-filled bubble of debt.  Macy’s certainly has more than its fair share of debt.  If this buffoon on Fox is correct, how come Macy’s stock is not at an all-time high?

A lot of eyeballs are fixated on March 15th, when the Treasury’s $20 trillion debt-ceiling limit becomes law.  But no one seems concerned other than those waiting for a Black Swan to appear and reset the system.  The reason no one on Wall Street or DC cares is that the solution simple.  Trump will sign an Executive Order mandating more Government borrowing.  With the stroke of a pen, Trump will obliterate the law.  Executive Orders will become the new de facto fiat currency that “backs” Treasury bonds and the dollar. Certainly a Trump EO is not any different than the current “full faith and credit” of the U.S. Government supported by the Fed’s de facto negative net worth.

The stock market is going parabolic on the back of the ideas Trump presented for making America great again.  Or at least so it seems.  But Trump’s plans do not have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever actually being implemented.  The country is already hopelessly broke – even pension funds are now starting to collapse (link) – and I doubt the entities designated to fulfill Trump’s spending dreams will accept Trump Executive Orders as payment in kind.

The entire system needs to be reset. The political system needs to be burned to the ground and rebuilt starting with the original Bill of Rights.  A good friend of mine told me that he was not buying stocks because the “forward ROR” when you buy stocks at a 30 p/e is 2%. But what is he using for “e” in the “p/e” equation:  adjusted-GAAP, non-GAAP or today’s fantasy GAAP?  The forward ROR for a system as corrupted and broke as the current one is zero.

When the elitists are done picking meat off the carcass, when the last crumbs of citizen wealth has been swept off the table, the  financial system will be reset and everyone will be starting from “ground zero.”    Until then, it’s unfortunate that only a few can see down into the deep abyss that has formed beneath the United States.  The rest have crawled down into that abyss and accept it as reality.

Retailing Is Bad And About To Get Worse

Americans are filing for bankruptcy at the fastest rate in several years. In January 2017, 55,421 individuals filed bankruptcy. That’s a 5.4% increase over January 2016. In December 2016, 4.5% more individual bankruptcies were filed than in December 2015. It’s the first time in 7 years that personal bankruptcies have risen in successive months on a year over year basis.

Also notable, in 2016 the number of U.S. Corporate bankruptcies jumped by 26% over 2015. U.S. Corporations have issued $9.5 trillion in bonds. That’s 61% more than they borrowed in the eight years leading up to the 2008 de facto financial system collapse (aka “the great financial crisis”).

The Financial Times reported that over 1 million U.S. consumers – prime and subprime – were behind on their car loans and that the overall delinquency rate had reached its highest level since 2009. The FT also stated that “lending to consumers with weak credit scores has been one of the fastest growing parts of the [banking] industry.” It’s starting to smell like early 2008 out there.

This is information and data that you will not hear on any of the “Bubblevision” financial “news” programs or read in the mainstream financial media. It’s also information that is not being factored at all by stock prices.

Americans are bulging from the eyeballs with mortgage, auto, credit card and student loan debt. The amount of outstanding auto debt hits a new record every month. Of the $1.2 trillion in auto loans outstanding, over 30% is considered subprime. In fact, I would bet good money that the number is closer to 40%, as the same type of non-documentation loans that infected the mortgage market in mid-2000’s has invaded the auto loan market. It was recently disclosed that the 61+ day delinquency rate on General Motors’ securitized subprime loans has soared to levels not seen since 2009.

To put the amount of subprime auto debt in context, assume 35% of total auto debt outstanding is now below prime (subprime and “not rated”). This equates to $420 billion of below prime debt. The total amount of below prime mortgage debt during the mid-2000’s housing bubble was about $600 billion. In other words, the subprime auto debt problem could easily precipitate another financial markets catastrophe.

Although the retail sales report for January earlier this month purported to show a 4.9% year/year increase in retail for January, the majority of the “gain” came from the rising price of gasoline during the month (the gasoline sales category showed a 13.9% gain over January 2016, most of which can be explained by higher prices). In fact, the .4% “gain” from December 2016 to January 2017 reported for the overall retail sales number lagged the Government’s measure of inflation. Real, inflation-adjusted sales from December to January declined by 0.20%. (Note also that the retail sales report is derived largely from Census Bureau “guesstimates” due to the supposed unavailability of real-time data. This explains why typically previous reports are revised lower – I detail this in my weekly Short Seller’s Journal).

Debt-squeezed Americans are spending less on discretionary items, especially clothing. This is why Walmart has launched a new price-war agenda aimed at the grocery industry, big-box retailers and Amazon.com.    The retail spending “pie” is shrinking and Walmart intends to do fight hard to maintain the size of its piece.  For all the attention focused on Amazon, Walmart’s annual revenues are nearly 4-times larger than Amazon’s.   And make no mistake, Walmart has plenty of room to fight, as its operating margin is nearly double AMZN’s – and that’s before we adjust AMZN’s highly misleading accounting, which would reduce AMZN’s margins.

Despite the Dow hitting new all-time highs for a record number of days in a row, The S&P retail ETF, XRT, is currently 10.4% below its 52-week high.   It’s 15% below its all-time high, which it hit in mid-July 2015:

Target (TGT) is today’s poster-child for the retail sector, as its Q4 earnings missed expectations badly and it warned for 2017.  Its quarterly revenues dropped 4.3% year over year and its full-year 2016 earnings fell nearly 6% vs. 2015.   Operating earnings were crushed, down 42.2% in Q4 2016 vs. Q4 2015.  The stock is down over 11% right now (mid-morning trading on Tuesday).

I would also suggest that the revised GDP  for Q4, reported to be 1.9%, is derived from Government statisticians’ manipulation because most of the gain is attributed to consumer spending.  Tell that to holders of XRT and RTH.

The economy is sinking further into a recession despite the propaganda coming from Wall Street, financial bubblevision “meat with mouths” and the mainstream media.  Real median household income continues to decline and the Fed/Government intervention in the stock market is helpless to prevent this fact from being reflected in many sub-sectors of the stock market “hiding” beneath the headline-grabbing Dow and S&P 500.

My Short Seller’s Journal presents analysis like this to subscribers every week.  There’s a big difference between what gets reported and what is really going on.  My journal looks “under the hood” of the headline economic reports in order detail what’s really going in in the economy.  Most of the analysis and assertions are backed up with actual data.  I also “de-construct” the game of “beat the earnings” which makes headlines and stocks pop, but also creates short-sell opportunities.  Each issue presents at least two short ideas, along with suggestions for using options and managing positions.  The retail sector has been fertile shorting ground and the housing market is next.  You can subscribe by clicking on this link:  Short Seller’s Journal – plus receive a discount link to my Mining Stock Journal.

The Deep State’s Message: Prepare For Totalitarianism

I find the current political situation to be as bad as I thought it would be when I forecasted it about ten years ago. The worst is yet to come. The corruption in the system is becoming much more apparent. The extreme biases in the mainstream media in favor of their particular owner’s faction is fairly obvious…The moneyed class turned the law and the thought leaders framing to their own benefit, and would now do anything they can to keep their ill-gotten gains. – “Jesse,” from Jesse’s Cafe Americain

Were you aware that the Government is starting to implement eye-scanners as part of the airport security protocol?  If you doubt that, then read this:  U.S. Marshals Scanned My Retina.   The TSA circus is all for show. It’s a way for the Government to get us used to following its orders and a way for the manufacturers of the technology used to make billions from selling that technology to the Government.   It also is an excuse for the Government to create employment for those who lack the competency to find a job in the private sector.

Ben Franklin said, to paraphrase, those who are willing to give up some freedom in exchange for security will end up with neither.  That’s where we are today, America.  The Patriot Act was written well over a year before 9/11.   The blueprint for the Department of Homeland Security was crafted in the mid-1990’s, during Clinton’s presidency.

It’s all stunningly Orwellian.  Even the terms used to describe newly created Government functions are right out of “Animal Farm” and “1984.”  The totalitarian control, confiscation of wealth by those in a position to confiscate and the use of technology to invade and regulate our private lives was prophesied by Orwell, Ayn Rand (“Atlas Shrugged”) and Aldous Huxley (“Brave New World”).    The technology that we take for granted as making our lives better is being used to remove our rights and freedoms.

Ironically, it all starts with the control of  the monetary system.  Those who control a nation’s currency need not be concerned about who or what makes the laws (Mayer Rothschild).   A few unelected “officials” control the United States’ creation of currency, which is then used as a tool to confiscate wealth – at first slowly and soon it will happen all at once.

In today’s episode of the Shadow of Truth, we discuss the Orwellian fog that is enveloping the nation and connect the political control our lives to the control of interest rates and gold:

Sometimes They Do Ring A Bell A The Top

Ding ding ding ding…It was reported yesterday that Trump has appointed the co-author of the book “Dow 36,000,” Kevin Hassett, as the Chief of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors (LINK).  “Dow 36,000” was published a few months before the dot.com/tech bubble burst in March 2000.

Given the irrational semi-parabolic move in the Dow since election night, the appointment of Hassett in the context of his spot in the history of stock market manias is seeded in comedic, if not tragic, irony.  There’s numerous similarities between the current stock market and pre-crash moves in 1929, 1987, 1999 and 2007.   However, in terms of true valuation metrics, the current market bubble is most similar to the Dutch Tulip Mania.

Jason Burack invited me on his Wall St. For Mainstream podcast to discuss the Fed’s interest rate hike threats, the massive amount of gold flowing from west to east, gold market manipulation and why the current stock market is the most overvalued in history: