Category Archives: U.S. Economy

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:

Gold Continues To Defy Fed’s Attempt To Control The Price

Bloomberg News admitted that it is aware of the Fed’s “hidden” mandate to control the price of gold when it published an article last Sunday titled, “Yellen Can’t Halt Trump Gold Rally That Funds Bet Against” – Bloomberg/Yellen/Gold.

That title, combined with the content of the article, implied that the journalists and editors at Bloomberg are aware that the Fed actively manipulates the price of gold.  It’s hard to know if this admission was put forth intentionally or unwittingly. But the headline outright acknowledges that the Fed’s goal with respect to the price of gold is to prevent it from moving higher. The Fed’s current tool for this purpose is the “good cop/bad cop” routine played out on a daily basis between the Fed Governors who purport the need for more interest rate hikes and the Fed Heads who advocate waiting until the economy improves.

Lost in the smoke of Orwellian propaganda is the absurd notion that the two “rate hikes” were a mere quarter of a percentage point in magnitude.  This can hardly be described as “raising interest rates.”  It certainly is not even remotely close to the concept of “interest rate normalization,” whatever that is supposed to mean.   In mid-2007, about a year before the financial system nearly collapsed, the Fed Funds rate was 5.25%.   A little more than a year later it had been dropped to near zero.

If the financial analyst “Einsteins” define “rate normalization” as the 5.25% level in 2007, it will take about about 20 years using the speed of rate hikes by the Fed over the last two years.   On the other hand, going back to 1954, which is as far back as the Fed’s database takes us for the Fed funds rate, the median level for the Fed Funds rate is somewhere around 7%.   Is THAT level how one would define “normalized rates?”  You can do the math on how long it would take thereby to achieve “normalized interest rates” if 7% is the goal.

Since mid-December 2016, when gold appears to have bottomed out from the manipulated price “correction” that began in August, gold has been trading in defiance of the Fed’s attempts at price control.  Yesterday’s (Wednesday, Feb 22nd) trading action is point in case.  Gold was slammed for about $9 right after the paper trading market on the Comex floored commenced.  This is standard operating procedure.  But about 5 1/2 hours later, when the Fed released the minutes from its last meeting, gold spiked up and reclaimed the full $9 price take-down.    Today gold has soared another $16.

At the Shadow of Truth, we suspect both Yellen and the editorial staff at Bloomberg News are mumbling to themselves.  In today’s episode, we discuss the trading action in gold and the potential more interest rate hikes this year:

Toll Brothers Stock Jumps On Declining Revenues And Earnings

Toll Brothers reported its Fiscal Q1 earnings this morning.  Year over for the quarter: Revenues declined nearly 1%, operating income plunged 46.8%, net income dropped 4.1%.   Net income was boosted by the reliable accounting management technique of reducing the estimated GAAP “effective” tax rate, which enables any management to goal-seek a specific net income number.  In this case the goal is to “beat” the Street.  Margins were down across the board.

Oh ya, TOL pulled another stunt that homebuilders use to pump up GAAP net income:  it increased the amount of interest it capitalized by $6 million dollars. This has the effect of boosting operating income by $6 million compared to the same quarter last year because it reduces the amount of GAAP interest expense by the amount that was capitalized. It did this despite a drop in sales.   Its net income would have missed the Street by a suburban mile if it had just maintained the same rate of interest expense capitalized.

For this, the stock jumped up 6% this morning at the open.

The Company blamed the drop in operating income and margins on inventory write-downs.  But these have been occurring every quarter recently and will of course continue going forward.  That write-down only explains $4 million of the $44 million plunge in operating income.

There’s so much more going in TOL’s numbers which point to the continued economic deterioration in its business model.  I will be reviewing this further in this week’s issue of the Short Seller’s Journal, including which put options TOL I bought this morning.

Too many layoffs and store closure news to mention but I’ve realized that there are a lot of school-district (including teachers) layoffs and colleges, or even hospitals staff layoffs. CSX just posted 1000 management level position cuts – link.  By the way, thanks for the Short Seller’s journal, very informative. – note yesterday from a subscriber

Alan Greenspan Endorses The Gold Standard

In his remarkable essay, “Gold and Economic Freedom,” written in 1966, Alan Greenspan stated:

Under a gold standard, the amount of credit that an economy can support is determined by the economy’s tangible assets, since every credit instrument is ultimately a claim on some tangible asset. But government bonds are not backed by tangible wealth, only by the government’s promise to pay out of future tax revenues, and cannot easily be absorbed by the financial markets. A large volume of new government bonds can be sold to the public only at progressively higher interest rates. Thus, government deficit spending under a gold standard is severely limited. The abandonment of the gold standard made it possible for the welfare statists to use the banking system as a means to an unlimited expansion of credit.

Greenspan of course went to become the front-man for the interminably corrupted Central Bank system, which is utilized as a wealth-confiscation and control mechanism for the elitists who control western Governments (Mayer Rotschild: “let me issue and control a nation’s currency and I care not who writes the laws”).

Interestingly, Greenspan is spending his final years coming clean about fiat currencies and the fractional banking system, as reviewed here in The Daily Coin:  LINK.   Most recently, in an interview with the World Gold Council’s “Gold Investor” publication, Greenspan fully endorses a return to the gold standard:

If the gold standard were in place today we would not have reached the situation in which we now find ourselves. We cannot afford to spend on infrastructure in the way that we should. The US sorely needs it, and it would pay for itself eventually in the form of a better economic environment (infrastructure)  LINK

We can only speculate the reasons why Greenspan has gone full circle back to his views expressed in his 1966 seminal essay about gold and is “coming clean” about economic systems based on fiat currencies rather than a gold standard.  But the fact that the former fiat money “Maestro” is now advocating the gold standard reinforces its validity.

In today’s episode of the Shadow of Truth,  we discuss the effort underway to discredit gold by the mainstream media using misinformation, disinformation and outright lies in the context of Greenspan’s stunning admissions:

Click on either image to learn more:

The U.S. Can Learn From India’s Move To Digital Currency?

In short, we can learn to not let it happen here.

In August, Obama’s Defense Secretary, Ashton Carter, appointed Jeff Bezos to the little-known and highly secretive Defense Innovation Advisory Board.  This for me confirmed that Bezos was an integral part of the Deep State, which I began to suspect when Amazon’s cloud computing division started receiving contracts from various Deep State divisions (like the CIA).    This “advisory” board is chaired by Googles Eric Schmidt.

This position dovetails nicely with Bezos’ ownership of the Washinton Post, which has been transformed into part of the Deep State’s program to proliferate propaganda – or “fake news.” Funded by the taxpayers, the work being done by this Board has intentionally been “kept under wraps,” as Business Insider describes.

After, all the Washington Post has been well respected  for decades as one of the primary “go-to” newspapers for domestic and international political news reporting.  Trusted as such, historically if a news item was reported by the WashPo, it had to be true, right?

Under Bezos’ control, and in the context that Bezos is part of the Deep State mechanism, the WashPo has become an Orwellian device in the “war on truth.”  In addition, Bezos can use the “power of the pen” as a powerful political weapon against politicians or Government bureaucrats who oppose the Establishment and the Deep State.

With that as a backdrop, the Washington Post published a curious report on the Indian Government’s of the removal of the most commonly used cash bills by the Indian populace titled, What The U.S. Can Learn From India’s Move Toward A Cashless Society.  The article goes on to describe all of these “benefits” but only casually mentions the huge economic disruption caused by the move.

Of course, these “benefits” all had to do with the implementation of technology which makes it easier for the Government to identify, track and ultimately control the individual. It should come as no surprise to us that, given the role Bezos plays as part of the Deep State, Bezos’ newspaper would be promoting the digital banking system.

A crucial fact not known by most is that the former Chairman of India’s Central Bank – the Reserve Bank of India – was appointed as the Vice Chairman of the BIS in 2015.  This fact calls into question the idea that digitizing India’s banking system was motivated by anything other than the western elitists’ goal of implementing totalitarianism.

While the WashPo did mention the disruption to India’s economy caused by the removal of the most common currency bills, the article did not mention the fact that the move temporarily undermined the population’s ability to buy gold during the country’s biggest seasonal gold buying period.  This latter effect was likely one of the primary motives behind the move and it underscores the control over India that can be exerted by the western elitists and their Central Banking cartel.

The bottom line is that India was used as “testing ground” for the western global elitists’ plan to digitize the global currency system. This will be used to exert Orwellian totalitarian control over the masses. It should come as no surprise that the wealthiest elitists like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos have been advocating a cashless banking system, backed by the “intellectual” support of “academics” like Harvard’s Larry Summers and Kenneth Rogoff.

There’s no question that subtle and gradual effort will be used to implement a cashless banking system in the U.S.   All the warning signs are flashing.  I also suspect that, at some point, the “national security” card will be pulled in persuading the masses that cash is the “currency of terrorists.”

Ben Franklin once warned, to paraphrase him, that if we give up some of our freedom in exchange for security, we will eventually end up with neither.   That is where we are headed unless there’s an effort to prevent the elimination and use of cash in our economic system.