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11.21.17 - America: An Unserious Nation?

Gold last traded at $1,281 an ounce. Silver at $16.96 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose Tuesday on safe-haven buying and a flat U.S. dollar. U.S. stock indexes hit fresh highs amid bullish sentiment led by upbeat earnings in the tech sector.

'New normal' of geopolitical risk likely to boost gold prices, Citi forecasts -CNBC
"Gold prices are likely to be buoyed by the 'new normal' of elevated geopolitical tensions over the coming years, Citi analysts said Monday. The geopolitical case for gold investment has been emboldened in recent months and it seems as strong today than at any point over the last four decades, Citi analysts said. As a result, gold prices were forecast to 'push north of $1,400 per ounce for sustained periods' through to 2020....Investors tend to move into safe-haven assets such as gold, the Swiss franc and the Japanese yen in times of geopolitical turmoil as traditional assets such as stocks and bonds are often perceived as a more volatile investment....'"Event-driven bids for gold seem to be occurring more frequently and may be the new normal,' Citi said."

Stock Market Hindenburgs and Titanics -Hussman/Hussman Funds
"On Tuesday November 14, the number of NYSE stocks setting new 52-week lows surged above the number of stocks setting new highs, with both figures representing more than 3% of total issues traded. This 'leadership reversal' joins the deterioration in our own measures of market internals last week, as well as ongoing dispersion in market breadth and participation. As noted in the chart below, this couples a 'Hindenburg' with a 'Titanic,' and is actually the first time since July 2007 that we've seen this particular combination of internal deterioration. Each of the red bars below was also associated with unfavorable market internals on our own measures."

NYSE

"While the names of these indicators may seem silly and overly menacing, they actually get at something very serious. They capture situations where the major indices are near new highs, yet market internals show much greater divergence. In my view, this type of market behavior is indicative of a subtle shift in the preferences of investors, away from speculation and toward risk-aversion. Coupled with the most extreme 'overvalued, overbought, overbullish' syndromes on record, the behavior of market internals warrants close attention. Credit spreads are also worth monitoring, as junk bond yields have surged in recent days."

Is Bitcoin 'digital gold'? -CNBC
"Even after a huge move already this year, investing magnate Mike Novogratz sees cryptocurrencies making another leg up before 2017 comes to a close. Bitcoin could finish the year at $10,000 while ethereum is likely to close at $500, the head of Galaxy Investment Partners former head of the Fortress Investment hedge fund, told Bloomberg television in an interview....'People are trusting it,' he said. 'Remember, this whole revolution came out of a breakdown in trust, it came out of the '08 financial crisis where people say, 'We no longer trust financial institutions, we no longer trust governments.'....Wall Street remains divided on bitcoin, as CEOs including Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan Chase and Larry Fink at BlackRock have derided it even as professional investors see opportunity....Novogratz, though, sees bitcoin as 'digital gold' because people buy it for much the same reasons they invest in the yellow metal, and predicted it will continue to attract attention and cash."

There are more than 1,100 new Bitcoin-type startups, according to CoinMarketCap, all hoping to cash in on the fastest growing trend in world of money. Is Bitcoin set to become the next world currency? Could Bitcoin eventually replace the U.S. Dollar? For the answers to these questions and more, Swiss America has just put together a new Report, BITCOIN: The Future of Money? It's yours FREE!

Unserious Nation -Buchannan/WND
"How stands John Winthrop's 'city upon a hill' this Thanksgiving? How stands the country that was to be 'a light unto the nations'? Today's great question seems to be whether our 45th president is as serious a sexual predator as our 42nd was proven to be, and whether the confessed sins of Sen. Al Franken are as great as the alleged sins of Judge Roy Moore. On both questions, the divide is, as ever, along partisan lines....And what was the great cultural issue of summer and fall? An ideological clamor to tear down memorials and monuments to the European discoverers of America, any Founding Father who owned slaves and any and all Confederate soldiers and statesmen....Our elites assure us that America today is a far better place than we have ever known, surely better than the old America that existed before the liberating cultural revolution of the 1960s....We seemed a more serious and united nation and people then than we are today, where so much that roils our society and consumes our attention seems unserious and even trivial....Since 1962, this nation has dethroned its God and begun debates about which of the flawed but great men who created the nation should be publicly dishonored."

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11.20.17 - The Return of Morality in Politics?

Gold last traded at $1,277 an ounce. Silver at $16.89 an ounce

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices dipped Monday on profit-taking and a firmer dollar. U.S. stocks rose modestly, led by IBM, as investors awaited more details on a proposed tax overhaul.

Are we entering the age of the ‘petro-yuan’? -Marketwatch
"Most of the world's commodity trading is denominated in U.S. dollars, but the Chinese yuan, also known as renminbi, could soon be making some inroads. Reports say that Saudi Arabia - the world's largest oil exporter - might start to accept Chinese yuan as payment for its usually dollar-denominated oil exports to China, after oil companies in Russia, Iran and Venezuela have done the same, according to Sue Trinh, head of Asia FX strategy at RBC. This fuels the specter of a 'petro-yuan' taking on the dominance of the petrodollar....For the Middle Eastern kingdom, accepting yuan could be a chance to increase its footprint in Asia, as its China business has decreased over the past years. In 2017, China imported 14% of its oil from Saudi Arabia."

politics The Return of Morality in Politics? -Pontification Blog
"It seemed as if an ice age of frozen partisan hate-filled politics might be the end of American democracy. But, thankfully, we may be seeing the first green shoots of a springtime renewal of personal as well as social morality in our politics. At The Atlantic, Caitlin Flanagan writes that feminists who rushed to defend Bill Clinton in the 1990s were 'on the wrong side of history.' A chorus of other Democrats and progressives agree that this immoral ex-president and others deserve to be condemned now. Is this genuine contrition or pragmatic politics? Democrats now recognize that they cannot credibly charge sexual misbehavior against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore while refusing to condemn their own such as Bill Clinton or current Democratic Senators Bob Menendez and Al Franken....The liberal assault on Roy Moore over sexual accusations suggests that we may see a lot more of such last-minute attacks against Republicans during 2018 and 2020 Democratic efforts to regain the House, Senate, and White House....Are Democrats beginning to see the light about running moral candidates - if not campaigns? Or do they merely feel the heat of feminist Political Correctness and the need to regain political power by, as Machiavelli might say, appearing to be virtuous? Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue. In this Thanksgiving season, at least personal morality appears to be coming back into style, and for this we should be thankful. Full story

ECB Proposes End To Deposit Protection -Zero Hedge
"It is the 'opinion of the European Central Bank' that the deposit protection scheme is no longer necessary: 'covered deposits and claims under investor compensation schemes should be replaced by limited discretionary exemptions to be granted by the competent authority in order to retain a degree of flexibility.' To translate the legalese jargon of the ECB bureaucrats this could mean that the current €100,000 deposit level currently protected in the event of a bail-in may soon be no more. But worry not fellow savers, as the ECB is fully aware of the uproar this may cause so they have been kind enough to propose that: '...during a transitional period, depositors should have access to an appropriate amount of their covered deposits to cover the cost of living within five working days of a request.' So that's a relief, you'll only need to wait five days for some 'competent authority' to deem what is an 'appropriate amount' of your own money for you to have access to in order eat, pay bills and get to work. The above has been taken from an ECB paper published on 8 November 2017 entitled 'on revisions to the Union crisis management framework'....Savers should be looking for means in which they can keep their money within instant reach and their reach only....Gold and silver are the financial insurance against bail-ins, political mismanagement, and overreaching government bodies."

The Republican Tax Bill Is Now In Serious Trouble -Investors
"Five Republican senators - three more than enough to force a major rewrite - have now gone on the record with serious criticism of the legislation. Even worse, the changes they want have conflicting aims: Some want to make the bill more generous; others aim to reduce its cost; and one - Maine Sen. Susan Collins - wants the GOP to keep its hands off ObamaCare's individual mandate and the $318 billion pot of money that would materialize if they eliminate the unpopular mandate. Bottom line: It looks increasingly doubtful that Republicans will be able to achieve their top priority of a permanent 20% corporate tax rate, and there may be another shoe to drop. Republicans' narrow Senate majority could get even smaller, with polls suggesting scandal-hit GOP nominee Roy Moore could lose a Dec. 12 special election in deep-red Alabama. That would leave the GOP with just a single vote to spare. Among those raising concern about the bill's fiscal impact are Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Jeff Flake of Arizona, both of whom have butted heads with President Trump and have decided not to seek reelection. 'We're looking globally at the whole thing and trying to do what we can to make it more fiscally palatable,' Corker told Politico on Thursday. Flake told Time that the bill is full of tax cuts that are made temporary to hide their true cost. 'We can do tax reform in ways that will grow the economy, but we can't just ignore the debt and deficit.'"

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11.17.17 - Fed To Trigger the Next Gold Rally

Gold last traded at $1,293 an ounce. Silver at $17.18 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose Friday on a weaker dollar and political angst. U.S. stocks fell amid concerns over whether the Senate will approve a sweeping GOP tax reform plan.

Senate tax reform plan comes under new attack -LA Times
"Senate GOP leaders, after making some revisions this week, are facing mounting dissent and criticism that their tax plan favors corporations and the wealthy. An analysis by Congress' bipartisan tax experts on Thursday concluded the Senate plan would raise taxes for some of the poorest Americans by 2021. House Republicans had an easier time, passing their measure by a vote of 227 to 205, though 13 Republicans voted no. Democrats were unified against the plan, and the Republican defections came from lawmakers in the Northeast and California, who were mostly concerned about the proposed elimination of deductions for state and local income taxes, and the capping of property tax deductions at $10,000. The write-offs are widely used in their high-tax districts....Concerns were only heightened by a report Thursday from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation that estimated many low-income earners would end up with tax increases, not tax breaks, in the latest Senate plan....The large cut in the corporate tax rate, to 20% from 35%, would be permanent under the Republican bill."

gold breakout Fed to trigger the next gold rally -Rickards/Marketwatch
"The Federal Reserve meets in December, at which point many expect the central bank will get its Grinch on and announce the first interest-rate hike in a year. Some worry investors aren't worried enough....Those in the 'worry later' camp might like our call of the day from James Rickards, attorney and finance commentator, who sees less chance of a December Fed hike. That could mean a fresh ride higher for another asset - gold. In a blog post for Daily Reckoning, Rickards says what the Fed will do hinges on one last piece of data - core PCE inflation - due before its Dec. 12-13 meeting....'If you take a long position in gold today and the Fed raises rates, nothing happens to the price because the rate hike is already priced in,' he writes Rickards has been meeting with gold dealers and refiners in places like Switzerland and China and they all talk about one thing: physical shortages. As well, he said new gold discoveries are becoming increasingly scarce. 'Investors will once again flock into gold once reality sets in. Mix in rising geopolitical tensions in Asia and the Middle East, and gold’s future looks bright,' he says."

The Biggest Wealth Transfer in History -Gold Switzerland
"The concentration of wealth in the world has now reached dangerous proportions. The three richest people in the world have a greater wealth than the bottom 50%. The top 1% have a wealth of $33 trillion whilst the bottom 1% have a debt $196 billion....Let me first put the facts right. It is not capitalism in its traditional sense which has created this enormous concentration....The current economic system could not function without complete state sponsorship and interference. This is the clever construction that a group of top bankers devised on Jekyll Island in the US, in November 1910. This was the meeting that led to the creation of the Fed in 1913....In 1913 US debt to GDP was 150%. Today, including unfunded liabilities, the figure becomes almost 1,000%. This is the burden that ordinary Americans are responsible for a burden that will break the US people and the US economy as well as the dollar. Whilst ordinary people have been landed with liabilities that they can never repay, the bankers and the 1% elite has profitably (ab)used the leverage that the debt expansion has created and thus amassed massive fortunes. That is why we are seeing this enormous inequality in wealth....The coming asset implosion will tax the rich much more than any politician could ever achieve. On average the wealthy are likely to lose up to 90% of their wealth. At the same time the debt, either personal or public, that the average person is responsible for will also implode...This will be the biggest wealth transfer in history. But it won't happen without strife. There will be social unrest and possible civil war before all this is over....What is also certain is also that gold is the best insurance against these risks, just as it has been for thousands of years."

When the Robots Take Over -Bonner/Bonner And Partners
"There are two major reactions to the future: Some people are excited… and some are alarmed....The number of robots in the workforce is expected to quadruple by 2025. By 2030, one estimate - widely circulated - is that half of all existing jobs will have disappeared. Then, smarter than we are, the robots will help us in every aspect of our lives. They’ll tell us when to brush our teeth and whom to vote for. They'll correct our grammar, diagnose problems with our cars… and suggest remedies for itchy skin, too. They will take out the trash, make stew out of tree moss… and unlock the gates of paradise....Here at the Diary, we're neither worried nor wonderstruck....In the 19th century, machines took over the routine work. People fretted and whined when the automobile put the manure handlers out of work. But the more machines were able to do, the more people wanted things that were 'handmade.' The more they made physical work unnecessary, the more people wanted personal trainers. And now, the more robots do, the more humans will want what they can't do....The problem today… as it always has been… is not that we have too little intelligence. In fact, with so much additional computing brain power coming online… we may have too much. Our hearts can't keep up. Still, our advice is to relax."

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11.16.17 - "There are no socialist success stories" -Forbes

Gold last traded at $1,278 an ounce. Silver at $17.07 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rose Thursday on safe haven buying and a weaker dollar. U.S. stocks rebounded on upbeat earnings from Wal-Mart and Cisco as well as renewed tax reform hopes.

Wall Street bull warns a major pullback is near -CNBC
"One of Wall Street's most vocal bulls sees trouble in the stock market. Raymond James' Jeffrey Saut is detecting a couple of red flags that could trigger a 5 to 10 percent pullback just in time for the holidays. 'One thing that nobody is talking about is the Trump rally started on November 7 of last year. And, this year the rally peaked out on November 7 of 2017 - just when people could sell the stocks they bought pre-the presidential election and make long-term capital gains,' the firm's chief investment strategist said Wednesday on CNBC's 'Trading Nation.' In that period, the S&P 500 surged 23 percent - just long enough for investors to sell their positions. Saut predicts these outflows could trigger a correction....He also cites his 'intermediate-term model,' a Saut-designed basket of economic and market indicators that includes such factors as volatility levels, as a reason to get bearish....'Twenty-nine percent of the S&P 500 stocks are actually down on the year,' he said. 'On the short-term, you can be cautious here.'"

gold Why Base Your Money On Gold? A Simple Answer -Lewis/Forbes
"The United States embraced the principle of a gold standard – a dollar whose value was linked to a defined quantity of gold – from 1789 to 1971, a stretch of 182 years. During this time, the U.S. was the most successful of any major country...with the broadest and wealthiest middle class the world had ever seen. If the U.S.'s gold standard policy was a mistake, as nearly all academic economists claim today, shouldn't there have been some evidence of that, after nearly two centuries? Shouldn't there have been some kind of negative consequences?....When President Richard Nixon 'closed the gold window' on August 15, 1971, he said it would be a temporary measure...The immediate result was an economic disaster – the 'stagflation' of the 1970s....A 2011 poll found that 57% of voters would favor a gold standard system if 'it would reduce the power of bankers and political leaders to steer the economy.' Only 19% opposed....As described in insight-laden detail by George Gilder in The Scandal of Money (2016), money acts as a sort of information system for the economy....The gold link produced this necessary stability. Its imperfections were minor enough that they didn’t matter very much. Nobody has found a better way. Mostly, they didn’t feel the need to look for one."

Gold represents an ultimate unit of account and serves as a universal plumb line for all financial transactions. That's why gold is known as the world's Numeraire. Watch Craig Smith explain the best gold "Double Play" opportunity of 2017 HERE.

Zimbabwe's Coup, Venezuela's Default, And The Ongoing Failure Of Socialism -Investors
"As Zimbabwe locked down following a military coup this week, Venezuela defaulted on its debt. On the surface, these events in these two countries - one African, the other South American - seem to have little in common. But, in fact, they share two very big things: Both are socialist, and both are failed states. Indeed, both nations are near collapse, suffering from hyperinflation, economic contraction and widespread hunger. In Zimbabwe's case, just 40 years ago it was the richest and most productive country in Africa. Today, it is an utter disaster....Inflation rose from roughly 59% in 2000 to a peak of 80 billion percent at the end of 2008. No that's not a misprint: 80,000,000,000%....Just like Zimbabwe, Venezuela once thrived with a large middle class and a strong, oil-based economy. But starting in 1999 under socialist military dictator Hugo Chavez, major swathes of the economy were seized and put under government control and ownership...Today, its state-run oil monopoly barely pumps any crude at all....It's defaulted on its sovereign debt, run out of money ... has widespread hunger, mass poverty, and the wreck of its medical system....Suppose there was a company that made airplanes, and every one of the airplanes it ever made, all of them, crashed and burned. Would you fly in one of that company's planes? Of course not. And that's precisely the case with socialism. Everywhere it's been tried - everywhere - it has brought economic failure, human misery, want, hunger, strife, even mass death. There are no socialist 'success stories.' None."

Bitcoin hits $13,000 on Zimbabwe exchange -CNNMoney
"Political turmoil and an apparent coup have pushed the price of Bitcoin as high as $13,000 on a digital currency exchange in Zimbabwe -- nearly twice the going rate in global markets. Demand surged on Golix, which appears to be the only local Bitcoin exchange, after military leaders put 93-year-old leader Robert Mugabe under house arrest. Bitcoin has long commanded higher prices in Zimbabwe, which scrapped its own currency in 2009 after years of hyperinflation made it worthless. But the appearance of tanks on the streets of the capital Harare have pushed the price gap even wider. Bitcoin was trading on international exchanges for roughly $7,500 on Thursday....Only 16 Bitcoin have been traded on Golix over the past 24 hours, and 160 over the previous month. Bitcoins are created through 'mining' - a process in which computers race to solve complex math problem, and winners are rewarded with chunks of the digital currency. Mining requires huge amounts of electricity, and Golix says that energy prices in the region are simply too high to make the process cost effective....Golix doesn't allow Bitcoin sellers to take their money away in cash."

The price of Bitcoin is up 600% over the past 12 months and up 1,600% in the past 24 months. At present there is a raging debate about whether these new forms of money represent the biggest bubble in history, or the biggest ground floor opportunity. Should you buy into the exciting world of cyber currencies such as Bitcoin? Get the answers in a new Swiss America Research Report, BITCOIN: The Future of Money?

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