Category Archives: Market Manipulation

Is The U.S Ponzi Scheme About To End?

“How did you go bankrupt?” “Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”
– Ernest Hemingway, “The Sun Also Rises”

I was chatting with a friend two days ago who was agitated by the insanity of the markets. Look at TSLA, for instance.   This thing loses $13,000 for every car sold.  Soon the tax credits – i.e. the taxpayer subsidies – will expire and TSLA will lose even more per car because it will have to lower the price to entice buyers.   Its balance sheet is a ticking time bomb in the form of residual value guarantees issued by TSLA used to induce buyers into paying up for a car that has depreciated in value considerably more than the value of the guarantee. Those poor saps don’t realize it yet, but they will be unsecured creditors to a bankrupt corpse of a company.  And yet, the market has pushed the market cap above the market caps of GM and Ford.

To say this is absurd is an insult to the word “absurd.”  I’m still trying to decide whether TSLA or AMZN is the biggest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history.  I have not had a chance to dissect TSLA’s financials and operations to the extent that I have done so with AMZN.  With AMZN the market doesn’t seem to care that, on a net income basis, in its latest quarter AMZN’s product sales business (it’s non-cloud, or AWS, business) lost money (that’s right, if you subract the operating income of AWS from total net income,  AMZN lost money – AMZN manufactures net income for its non-AWS business via GAAP gimmicks) .  But why focus on the facts?  The operating income of its AWS cloud business dropped 29%.   Once GOOG, MSFT and ORCL have fully implemented their attack on AMZN’s cloud market share, AWS will become irrelevant.   I would bet every single entity that bought AMZN stock since it released its Q1 earnings does not know these facts.  AMZN, pure and simple, is a Ponzi scheme.

Amusingly, there’s a contest on CNBC over whether AMZN or GOOG hits $1000 first.  This is the surest signal that the end of this fiat currency-driven credit and stock bubble globally is about to collapse.

Given the inability to manipulate its market via paper derivative instruments and short selling, this is the message that Bitcoin is signaling:

In the absence of the ability to manipulate the market, this is the same message that gold and silver would be sending to the world, only the scramble for gold and silver bullion in any form would be more frenzied and it would be widespread. There actually is a somewhat frenzied scramble for gold and silver in eastern hemisphere markets based on the premiums to melt being paid for refined products in places like India, China, Turkey and Viet Nam.

At some point the western Central Banks will lose the ability to manipulate the gold and silver price and the Comex will default.  That’s when chaos will break out in the physical gold and silver markets.  That may be what it will take to trigger the collapse of the U.S. Ponzi scheme.   Apparently JP Morgan understands this inevitability.  Prior to 2011, JPM did not operate a Comex vault.  It had zero Comex silver.   Currently JPM is holding nearly 108 million ozs of silver, or 54% of the total silver reportedly held in Comex silver vaults.   This tells us, or at least me, that smart insider money is loading up on precious metals – not Bitcoin – and that silver is a better bet than gold.

Hemingway’s “slowly” method of going bankrupt has nearly run its course.  There’s no way to tell the timing on the “all at once” side of this trade but the price action in Bitcoin is signaling to the world that the obviously inevitable draws near.

Is Gold Signaling The Next Financial Crisis?

Gold and silver have been sold down pretty hard since April 18th. But the structure of the weekly Commitment of Traders report, which shows the long and short positions of the various trader classifications (banks, hedgers, hedge funds, other large investment funds, retail) had been flashing a short term sell signal for the last few weeks. The net short position of the Comex banks and the net long position of the hedge funds had reached relatively high levels. Except Thursday (May 4th), almost all of the price decline action was occurring after the London p.m. gold fix and during the Comex floor trading hours, exclusively. This tells us all we need to know about the nature of the selling, especially given the enormous amount of physical gold currently being accumulated by the usual eastern hemisphere countries. The table to the right  calculates the Comex banks’ paper gold positioning going back to 2005.  As you can see, currently the net short position and the net short position as a percent of total open interest has reached a relatively high level. This typically happens when the banks engage in raiding the Comex by unloading massive quantities of paper gold in bursts in order to trigger hedge fund stop-loss selling. It serves the dual purpose of pushing down the price of gold and providing a relatively riskless source of profits for the banks.

This is the cycle that has repeated numerous times per year since 2001. This time, however, more than any other time since 2001, the sell-off in the price of gold is counter-intuitive to the collapsing financial and economic condition of the United States, specifically, and the entire world in general. The likely reason for the current price take-down of gold is an attempt by the elitists to remove the batteries from the “fire alarm” mechanism embedded in a rising price of gold. An alarm that lets the populace know that there’s a big problem that will hit the system sooner or later; an alarm that lets the public know systemic failure is beyond Government and Central Bank Control.

A similar manipulated take-down of the price of gold and silver occurred in the spring of 2008, ahead of the great financial crisis. Gold was pushed down to $750 from $1050 and silver was taken down from $20 to $10. This price decline was counter-intuitive to the collapsing financial condition of the U.S. financial system, which had become obvious to anyone not blinded by the official propaganda at the time. Of course, after the financial collapse occurred and was addressed with money printing, the price of gold ran up to an all-time high.

It’s likely that a similar situation is taking place now. Only this time around all “assets” are in price-bubbles fomented by record levels of fiat money creation and the interminable expansion of credit. The debt portion of this equation is getting ready to hit the wall, the only question is timing. This explains the parabolic move in the price of Bitcoin. Bitcoin is nearly impossible to manipulate. Once the western Central Banks lose the ability to manipulate the price of gold in the derivatives markets, the price of gold and silver will go on their own parabolic price journey – one that will leave the price of Bitcoin in the rear view mirror.

If you are interested in getting unique, insightful gold/silver market analysis and mining stock investment ideas ahead of the market, subscribe to the Mining Stock Journal.  You can get more information about this here:  MSJ subscription info.

The Traitors Who Enable The Deep State’s Dying War On Gold

Stewart Dougherty returns with another guest post. I am grateful for the time and effort Mr. Dougherty puts into his articles for the purpose of shining a light on the truth.

Evidence is mounting that the Deep State (DS) is starting to lose the dirtiest financial war in history: their War on Gold. More deeply, it is a war against something the Deep State profoundly loathes: personal financial liberty. The War on Gold, which has raged for 37+ years, has generated more than $1 trillion in criminal profits for the Deep State plunderers, while costing the worldwide owners of physical gold multiple trillions of dollars. All of this is coming to an end.

Due to its criminal hyper-manipulation, gold’s price has become a paradox: its weakness actually reflects its strength. With everything that has been thrown at it, it is astounding that its price is anything north of zero. The fact that it has been resilient at around $1,200.00 per ounce should concern the manipulators, because if this is as low as they can take it despite their full-spectrum, multi-billion dollar assault against it, then it is defeating them. Which is not surprising. By every conceivable, objective financial and monetary measure, gold is one of the most underpriced assets on earth. It is not going to stay that way. (Most of the dynamics we will discuss also apply to silver, but to streamline this article, we will focus on gold.)

The Deep State’s first strategic objective in the War on Gold has been to steal as much money as possible by conspiratorially rigging its price. They have perpetrated this crime in the full knowledge that it will never be investigated or prosecuted, because it is state sponsored. The Deep State is the state, and never prosecutes itself for its own crimes, no matter how flagrant and egregious they are.

The second, broader strategic objective has been to discredit gold as a monetary asset and safe financial haven throughout the west. The Deep State realized at the outset of the war that it would be impossible to achieve this in the east, which has a deep, cultural affinity for gold, so they have confined this gambit the west.

There are eight primary tactics in the War on Gold.  TO CONTINUE READING CLICK HERE: TRAITORS/GOLD

Another Fraudulent Jobs Report

“Willing suspension of disbelief” is defined as a willingness to suspend one’s critical faculties and believe the unbelievable; sacrifice of realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment.  First off, I want to state upfront that there’s nothing enjoyable about the monthly non-farm payroll report unless you enjoy being subjected to brain damage.

Each month the Government asks us to suspend our critical faculties and accept the headline-reported number of new jobs created by the economy as well as the unemployment rate.   Once again the Government did not disappoint, as it headline-flashed the alleged creation of 211,000 jobs and an unemployment rate of 4.4%.

Unfortunately, for the mindless masses who consume fast-food style news from mainstream news sources, once the headline numbers are absorbed and the “experts” reaffirm them with their idiotic psycho-babble, the numbers as reported miraculously become The Numbers.

To say that the latest non-farm payroll report stretches the ability to suspend one’s disbelief is an understatement.  The Government wants us to believe that 211,000 new jobs were created in April – “seasonally adjusted,” of course.    A cursory glance reveals that 162,000 working age civilians decided to just leave the labor force, which explains the alleged decline in the unemployment rate.  Either those folks who walked away were bequeathed with Social Security disability, took out a big student loan and enrolled for an online degree program at one of the many online universities or, most likely, their jobless benefits expired and they simply gave up looking for a job that pays more than minimum wage (Note:  the latter explanation is supported by the recent spike up in auto loan, credit card and mortgage delinquency rates).

As for the 211k alleged jobs created…The Government appears to have generated those jobs via its “create-a-job” program otherwise known as the “birth/death model.”  The birth/death model assumes that every month new businesses are created and terminated. New businesses hire employees and terminated businesses fire employees.  You can read more about it here:  birth/death modelling technique.   The b/d sausage grinder for April produced 255,000 new jobs, before seasonal adjustments (note:  most people assume the 255k jobs were the actual number of jobs added into the headline count, but the 255k is run through the “seasonally adjusted” total jobs blender and folded into the final number).

On the surface, the Government wants us suspend our disbelief and buy into the assumption that significantly more new businesses were started in April than were shuttered.  Unfortunately, according to the Census Bureau’s own numbers, new business creation is at a 40-year low.  In other words, the number of jobs that can be accounted for in the 211k headline number by the b/d model were never really created.  In fact, judging from the estimated 8,640 retail stores to be closed in 2017, added to the 10 retail chains that have already closed down this year, it’s more likely that more jobs were lost by deaths than were created by start-ups.    Yet, here’s the Government’s b/d estimate for retailing:

As you can see, the Government credits the retail industry with creating 5,000 new jobs in April from new business start-ups. But look at the leisure/hospitality category. It shows 84,000 jobs created by that sector. Again, suspension of disbelief is impossible when you consider that the restaurant industry alone is shedding jobs on a “net” basis, as private data sources show that restaurant sales have declined in 11 of the last 12 months (LINK). In fact, the restaurant industry is experiencing its worst period of sales since 2009.  I could go through each line item and annihilate the report, but for the sake of time  I would urge the Government to take a closer look at its assumptions underlying the b/d model job creation calculus.

John Williams of Shadow Government Statistics has been presenting the Conference Board Help Wanted Online Index (HWOL).  This  is the online transformation of a data series that measures help-wanted advertising going back to 1919.  This series has accurately correlated with every economic recessionary period in the post-WW1 era.  The graph presented by Williams in his latest newsletter shows that the HWOL index peaked in mid-2010 and has been declining ever since – both total HWOL ads and new HWOL ads.  Rate of year over year growth for the metric went negative in 2016, suggesting that the economy has not only not produced jobs since the beginning of 2016 but has in fact lost jobs.   The rate of decline in HWOL advertising  currently is contracting at a 20% year over year rate.  The last time it was contracting at this rate was in 2008.

Without question, it can be shown even with cursory analysis that the Government’s monthly non-farm payroll is fraudulent, serving no purpose than other than for political propaganda.  Looked  at another way, if the true unemployment rate was truly 4.4%, not only would the Fed be raising interest rates at a rapid pace, but it would also be shrinking its balance sheet in order to remove the threat of an accelerating rate of inflation stimulated by an acute labor shortage (4.4% is well below the economically defined long-run 5% natural rate of unemployment).

Empty Gold Vaults and Fresh Out of Bombs

Guest post from The Daily Coin:

Paul Volker was the last central bankster to actually do the right thing and push interest rates to 21%. Can you imagine that happening today? The entire global financial system would blow apart before lunch.

As U.S. politicians are in a constant state of bickering and arguing, not only with the world, but within our borders, how are we to compete with an economic machine the size of China and Russia? The citizens of this country need to understand these projects are happening and will change the course of history. The economic and power shift is happening right now. The now unavoidable economic collapse coming to the shores of America is happening. The Western economies began unraveling in earnest in 2008 and, as we are seeing today, will continue to accelerate until its bitter end.

You can read the rest of this here:   Out of Gold and Bombs

Key Economic Data Continue To Show A Recession

Goldman Sachs’ net income declined 42% from 2009 to 2016.   How many of  you reading this were aware of that fact?  Yet GS’ stock price closed today 36% above its 2009 year-end closing price.  See below for details.

Auto sales in April declined again, with the Big Three domestic OEMs (GM, F and Chrysler) missing Wall St estimates by a country mile.  The manipulated SAAR (seasonally adjusted annualize rate) metric put a thin layer of lipstick on the pig by showing a small gain in sales from March to April.  But this is statistical sleight of hand.  The year over year actuals for April don’t lie:   GM -5.7%, F -7% and Chrysler -7.1%.  What is unknown is to what extent the numbers reported as “sales” were nothing more than cars being shipped from OEM factory floors to dealer inventory, where it will sit waiting for an end-user to take down a big subprime loan in order to use the car until it gets repossessed.

The growth in loan origination to the key areas of the economy – real estate, general commercial business and the consumer – is plunging. This is due to lack of demand for new loans, not banks tightening credit. If anything, credit is getting “looser,” especially for mortgages. Since the Fed’s quantitative easing and near-zero interest rate policy took hold of yields, bank interest income – the spread on loans earned by banks (net interest margin) – has been historically low. Loan origination fees have been one of the primary drivers of bank cash flow and income generation. Those four graphs above show that the loan origination “punch bowl” is becoming empty.

HOWEVER, the Fed’s tiny interest rate hikes are not the culprit. Loan origination growth is dropping like rock off a cliff because consumers largely are “tapped out” of their capacity to assume more debt and, with corporate debt at all-time highs, business demand for loans is falling off quickly. The latter issue is being driven by a lack of new business expansion opportunities caused by a fall-off in consumer spending. If loan origination continues to fall off like this, and it likely will, bank earnings will plunge.

But it gets worse. As the economy falls further into a recession, banks will get hit with a double-whammy. Their interest and lending fee income will decline and, as businesses and consumers increasingly default on their loans, they will be forced to write-down the loans they hold on their balance sheet. 2008 all over again.

Because of this, I think Goldman Sachs (GS) makes a great short idea, although I don’t want to suggest timing strategies. It’s an idea that, in my view, you need to short a little at a time and add to it if the stock moves against you. I could also be a good “crash put” idea.

Goldman will be hit by a fall-off in loan demand and by a big drop in the fees from securitizing the loans it underwrites into asset-backed securities (ABS). In addition, GS facea an even bigger drop in the fees from structuring and selling OTC “hedge” derivatives to the buyers of Goldman-underwritten loans and ABS.

Goldman’s net interest income has declined over the last three years from $4.1 billion in 2014 to $2.6 billion in 2016. This is a 36.5% drop. To give you an idea of the degree to which bank net interest income has dropped since the “great financial crisis,” in its Fiscal Year 2009, Goldman’s net interest income was $7.4 billion. That’s a 64% drop over the time period.  In FY 2009, Goldman’s net income was $12.2 billion. In 2016, GS’ net income was $7.1 billion, as 42% decline.

To give you an idea of how overvalued GS stock is right now, consider this: At the end of GS’ FY 2007, 6 months before the “great financial crisis” (i.e. the de facto banking system collapse), Goldman’s p/e ratio was 9.5x. At the end of its FY 2009, its p/e ratio was 6.9x. It’s current p/e ratio 13.5x. And the factors driving Goldman’s business model, other than Federal Reserve and Government support, are declining precipitously.

As for derivatives…On its 2016 10-K, Goldman is showing a “notional” amount of $41 trillion in derivatives in the footnotes to its financials. This represents the sum of the gross long and short derivative contracts for which Goldman has underwritten. Out of this amount, after netting longs, shorts and alleged hedges, Goldman includes the $53 billion in “net” derivatives exposure as part of its “financial instruments” on the asset side of its balance sheet. Goldman’s book value is $86 billion.

If Goldman and its accountants are wrong by just 1% on Goldman’s “net” derivatives exposure, Goldman’s net derivatives exposure would increase to $94 billion – enough to wipe out Goldman’s book value in a downside market accident (like 2008). If Goldman and its “quants” have mis-judged the risk exposure Goldman faces on the $41 trillion in gross notional amount of derivatives to which Goldman is involved by a factor of 10%, which is still below the degree to which GS underestimated its derivatives exposure in 2008, it’s lights out for Goldman and its shareholders.

Think about that for a moment. We saw how wrong hedge accounting was in 2008 when Goldman’s derivative exposure to just AIG was enough to wipe Goldman off the Wall Street map had the Government not bailed out the banks. I would bet any amount of money that Goldman’s internal risk managers and its accountants are off by significantly more than 1%. That 1% doesn’t even account for the “fudge” factor of each individual trading desk hiding positions or misrepresenting the value of hedges – BOTH crimes of which I witnessed personally when I was a bond trader in the 1990’s.

As you can see in the 1-yr daily graph above, GS stock hit an all-time high on March 1st and has dropped 12.5% since then. I marked what appears to be a possible “double top” formation. The graph just looks bearish and it appears Goldman’s stock is headed for its 200 dma (red line,$202 as of Friday). To save space, I didn’t show the RSI or MACD, both of which indicate that GS stock is technically oversold.

The analysis above is from the April 16th issue of IRD’s Short Seller’s Journal. I discussed shorting strategies using the stock plus I suggested a “crash put” play. To find out more about the Short Seller’s Journal, use this link: SSJ Subscription information. There’s no minimum subscription period commitment. Try it for a month and if you don’t think it’s worth it, you can cancel. Subscribers to the SSJ can subscribe to the Mining Stock Journal at half-price.

The CME Extends The Paper Fraud To The Coin Market

On April 11th, the CME and England’s Royal Mint announced that they were testing a blockchain-based platform for trading gold.  The product to be traded is a new crypto-coin called, Royal Mint Gold (“RMG”).  The token will be issued by the Royal Mint and will represent the digitized version of 1 gram of gold.   The gold will be stored in the Royal Mint’s vaults.

This news announcement was surprisingly overlooked by the alternative media, except for Rory Hall at his Daily Coin website:  CryptoGold and Thieving Bankers.  However, the fact that the CME is involved should have set off the smoke alarms throughout at least the segment of the alternative that seeks to shine the light of truth on precious metals trading and ownership.   This is because the concept of a “new alternative way to trade gold” is an extension of the “fractional gold and silver bullion market” that is driven by the paper derivative precious metals products traded on the Comex and the LBMA.

The truth is that this new “blockchain-based” technology is nothing more than a mechanism to divert investor money away from taking delivery of actual physical gold and silver in the form of Royal Mint bullion coins and LBMA bars, thereby removing the availability of physical gold and silver that can be used for hypothecation.  Furthermore, the new  product is an extension of the institutional-level fractional bullion system that utilizes Comex/LBMA paper gold and silver contracts in order to fabricate the illusion that the buyers of those contracts have purchased legal ownership the underlying bullion bars. Below is an excerpt from the Royal Mint’s website which promotes the new concept:

RMG®, an innovative new product launching in 2017, will provide the investment performance of the London Gold Market with the transparency of an exchange-traded security. RMG holders will negate counterparty risk, by having direct ownership of physical gold bullion where each RMG represents ownership and full title to 1g of physical gold bullion held in the form of fully allocated, LBMA Good Delivery Bars within The Royal Mint’s vault.

We believe these features, coupled with the guarantee of zero ongoing annual management fees and free storage, represents one of the best and cost-effective ways to invest in physical gold today. At any time RMG can be redeemed for physical gold bars and coins produced by The Royal Mint, with physical delivery.

The basic tenet of the RMG is that “counter-party” risk is eliminated because the buyers are purchasing direct ownership of gold that is stored in the Royal Mint’s vault.   However, the idea of custodial possession – where the owner trusts the safe-keeping of an asset with a third party – is in and of itself a primary source of counter-party risk.   The first law of ownership of gold is that you do not fully “own” it until it is in your personal possession. Just ask the German Government.

The second myth in that statement above by the Royal Mint is the gold is held in the form of fully allocated LBMA Good Delivery Bars (in the Mint’s vault).  This is GLD’s holy grail claim as well.  The problem, again, is accountability.  Until gold custodian’s are willing undergo a fully independent 3rd party audit at any time and without advance notice, it’s silly to assume that these custodians possess full, legal title to the gold they are reporting to be in their vaults.   The poster-child example is the U.S. Federal Reserve, which has spent millions to avoid the prospect of a legally enforced audit of its gold vaults by a third party, fully independent auditor.

The Shadow of Truth discusses this new mechanism of deceit in today’s podcast and we explain why it’s riddled with counter-party risk and the potential for fraud on the same scale as Comex and LBMA gold and silver derivative products.

Welcome To The Twilight Zone: Comex Paper Gold And Silver

The following was written by Eric Dubin of The News Doctors:

It’s not an accident that the hit to gold and silver came AFTER the London PM Fix. We’ve got physical gold demand in Asia that is downright explosive (I’ll document this in a separate article later this week because no one has done a comprehensive painting of all of the trends in once place) and the cartel apparently wanted to hit metals as well as push long-term bond yields up and prices down to reflect a fake steepening of the yield curve to help banks improve solvency while sending a fake signal of a strong economy.

The London market is still a large physical settlement market and if this hit came before the London PM Fix there would likely be a large amount of off-take stimulated as Asian buyers scarf-up more physical. What to do? Kick the crap out of gold and silver after the fix, and hope that sentiment is gravely wounded over the subsequent hours and before the next major physical settlement potential of tomorrow’s London PM Fix. When you look at the news headlines for all assets and political issues there’s no good reason for this move other than the coordinated actions and statements in the media by Mnuchin, which was clearly well timed to deal with the ongoing challenge of steering precious metals down, steepening the yield curve to help banks survive because they can make more profit with a sloped yield curve spread to help pad their balance sheet over time while sending a fake signal about a strong economy implied by an upwardly sloping yield curve.

ZeroHedge on the gold hit (and Tyler missed the importance of why this hit came after the London PM Fix): The Read The Rest Of This Analysis Click Here:   Welcome To The Twilight Zone

Will Physical Gold/Silver Demand Prevent A Bigger Sell-Off?

The precious metals market has been under attack for the last two weeks by the Comex banks who have once again built-up an extreme net short position in their paper gold and silver positions.  In fact the open interest in paper silver recently set a new record high, exceeding the previous high set in 2011, when the price of gold was approaching $50.  That it took a record amount of paper silver creation to keep the price of silver below $20  a sense of desperation by the banking cartel in its effort to keep gold and silver “irrelevant” as an investment.

But the price action of the metals is behaving somewhat differently from past cycles when the banks decide to flex their muscles and trample on the precious metals market by bombarding the Comex with thousands of gold and silver contracts in order to disgorge the long positions held by hedge funds and create intermittent “waterfall” sell-offs.

Eric Dubin (The News Doctors) and the “Doc” (Silver Doctors) invited me back on to their “Metals and Markets” weekly show sponsored by SD Bullion to chat about the precious metals, junior mining stocks and geopolitical current events:

If you would like more information about Investment Research Dynamics’ Mining Stock Journal or Short Seller’s Journal, click on either banner below. The latest MSJ features a relatively unknown junior mining stock that could eventually be a 5-10 bagger from its current price (currently below 30 cents) and the new issue of SSJ (published this evening) explains why the housing market is about to follow the retail and auto sales into a recessionary spiral:

Economic Demise Breeds Public Unrest

The Government reported its “advance” estimate of first quarter 2017 GDP today.  The data-monkeys at the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported that the economy grew at just 0.7% annualized in Q1.  This is down from the alleged 2.1% annualized growth rate in the fourth quarter of 2016.  It was also 36% below the 1.1% forecast of the average Wall Street monkey economist.

Next to the monthly employment report, the GDP report is subjected to the highest degree of statistical manipulation in order to make the reported reality look better than reality itself.  If the Government was willing to release a report showing a 67% decline in economic growth from Q4 2016 to Q1 2017, imagine how bad the real numbers would show the economy to be.

The report itself, like the employment report, serves no purpose other than as tool for political  goal-seeking and propaganda.   The consumer spending component of the report fell to a .23% annualized growth rate.  It was the worst level of consumer spending since 2009.   If the Government were to apply a realistic GDP deflator (price change index) to its numbers, rather than the 2% used to calculate the final number, consumer spending would have been negative.

Worse, the various Government agencies are reporting inconsistent numbers.  The Census Bureau’s monthly retail sales report showed a .4% gain in retail sales for January followed by .3% and .2% declines in February and March, respectively.  To be sure, retail sales do not encompass the entirety of the “consumer spending” category.  But, with average real disposable income declining, it’s difficult to believe that consumers were spending money on anything other than necessities in Q1.

The problem with the phony economic reports is that eventually the public begins to see and feel the truth.  Fake economic news does not create real economic activity or real jobs. The economic separation between the “haves” and “have nots” has never been wider, both in the size of each cohort and the degree of separation.

When someone who is working two menial part-time jobs to make ends meet and reads that 200k jobs were allegedly created in a given month, that person knows and feels the truth. That person also begins to get angry.    In fact, the general level of anger across the U.S. population is rising at an alarming rate.  When 2x part-time jobber is driving in a high-mileage vehicle in need of repairs next to a brand new Ferrari with “FLIPPER” on the license plate, it foments anger.  When this occurs daily across  the country, it foments civil unrest.

If the economy were producing real growth in employment and wealth, as purported by the Government, not many people would care which person or political party occupies the White House.  In fact, the party in power would get credit.  But the growing political discord among the population is a reflection of a middle and lower class that is rapidly transitioning to lower and poverty  class – and they are getting pissed.   The  stock market bubble, which is another form of  propaganda, is only serving to intensify the anger.

The Shadow of Truth discusses the idea that the increasing civil discord is seeded in a collapsing economy in today’s podcast, along with a brief conversation about developments in the precious metals market:

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