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4.27.17 - Trump Tax Plan: The Good and Bad

Gold last traded at $1,265 an ounce. Silver at $17.33 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices steadied Thursday on a firmer dollar ahead of Friday's 2017 Q1 GDP data. U.S. stocks rose modestly, led by upbeat earnings anticipation for tech giant's Alphabet, Amazon.com, Intel and Microsoft.

Atlanta Fed Throws In The Towel: Cuts Final Q1 GDP Forecast To Just 0.2% -Zero Hedge
"Well that was fast: literally seconds ago we posted JPM's Q1 GDP forecast revision, saying 'while we wait to see if the Atlanta Fed will cut its final Q1 GDP estimate ahead of tomorrow's official print to 0% or negative.' At precisely the same time as we hit the publish button, the Atlanta Fed came out with its revised forecast and it's a doozy: after starting its Q1 GDP Nowcast at 2.5%, rising as high as 3.4%, and plunging recently as low as 0.5%, the Atlanta Fed has 'thrown in the towel' on the quarter in which the Fed hiked rates, and while not negative - or 0.0% - it was about as close as it could go without the Fed losing all credibility for having hiked in a contraction quarter. From the Atlanta Fed: 'The final GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the first quarter of 2017 is 0.2 percent on April 27, down from 0.5 percent on April 18.' Some more context: if the Atlanta Fed is right, and tomorrow the BEA confirms that GDP was around 0.2% , this will be the lowest GDP quarter in which the Fed has hiked rates since Q4 1980."

Trump Good and bad news about Trump’s massive tax plan -NewYorkPost
"There’s much to like about President Trump’s tax plan, including the fact that he’s going back to his campaign promises to do something big and beautiful - not build a wall, but slash rates Ronald Reagan-style for both individuals and corporations. That’s the good news, but there will be plenty of bad news in the days and weeks ahead, as business interest groups lobby Congress to keep their loopholes, Democrats argue that the White House and Republicans are throwing money at the rich - and more than a few Republicans demand that the whole thing not add a cent to the budget deficit, even if the evidence of the Reagan years is that lowering taxes on people and businesses can grow tax revenues and, with some budget restraint, pay for itself....But there will be nothing quick or easy about getting this tax cut plan through Congress; market reaction wasn’t very positive. Stocks sold off a bit, but even more telling, bond prices just rose as Mnuchin and Cohn began their press conference, which means investors are betting the plan will be watered down, producing lower economic growth and lower inflation - both positives for bonds. And here’s why: For starters, there are plenty of GOP deficit hawks who are weary of supply-side dogma and might not want to take the corporate tax rate down to 15 percent, or give upper-income people any tax break whatsoever. Meanwhile, I’m hearing from even prominent Republicans in high-tax states like New York that the closing of all those loopholes (minus, as stated, the mortgage and charitable deductions) will be a deal-killer."

Cashless society getting closer, survey finds -Reuters
"More than a third of Europeans and Americans would be happy to go without cash and rely on electronic forms of payment if they could, and at least 20 percent already pretty much do so, a study showed on Wednesday....The trend was also clear. More than half of the European respondents said they had used less cash in the past 12 months than previously and 78 percent said they expected to use it even less over the coming 12 months. Ian Bright, managing director of group research for ING wholesale banking, said he did not believe people would quit cash entirely, but the direction was obvious....Cash-loving Germans, for example, have been concerned that a move by the European Central Bank to phase out the 500 euro note by the end of next year is the start of a slippery slope."

On many battlefields a world war is now underway; a war on cash. This invasion by the government money-snatchers threatens to confiscate your savings, end your financial independence and privacy, and eliminate free markets and private property. In Swiss America's free White Paper, The Secret War, discover why - under threat of regulatory punishment - banks must now spy on you for the government.

Bet on gold with a long-term horizon, say experts -EconomicTimesIndia
"Investors may bet on the long side for gold as it is a safe haven asset in uncertain global environment, feel analysts. With the first round of the contentious French elections over, investors will be eyeing the outcome of the final round in May which will be followed by the people’s referendum to stay or leave the EU....'The investment demand has been a real indicator of how gold prices will behave in the longer run and it presents a good story for initial three months of 2017...the ETF demand will outsmart even in 2017 and bring in support for gold prices,' said Prathamesh Mallya, chief analyst, non-agri commodities & currencies, Angel Commodities Broking."

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4.26.17 - Gold is Outperforming Stocks

Gold last traded at $1,264 an ounce. Silver at $17.43 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices stabilized Wednesday as gold prices rebounded despite a firmer dollar. U.S. stocks traded higher following details of Trump's proposed tax reform plan.

The White House outlines tax plan. Here's what's in it -CNBC
"Top White House officials outlined President Donald Trump's tax plan Wednesday, a proposal they said would be the 'biggest tax cut' in U.S. history....Trump's plan will cut the number of income tax brackets from seven to three, with a top rate of 35 percent and lower rates of 25 percent and 10 percent. It is not clear what income ranges will fall under those brackets. The proposal will chop the corporate tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent. It would eliminate all tax deductions except for the mortgage and charitable contribution deductions. The White House said there will be a 'one-time tax' on the trillions of dollars held by corporations overseas. The plan would get rid of the estate tax, otherwise known as the 'death tax.'"

price changes It's not your imagination: Things are more expensive than they were 10 years ago -CNBC
"If your sense is that most of what you pay for month to month, from child care to health care, costs way more than it did a decade ago, even accounting for inflation, you're right. An infographic originally published on the blog of the conservative think tank the American Enterprise Institute makes clear that while a few items have gone down, proportionally, in price, a lot of the things that matter have gotten more expensive....'Housing, health care, and education cost the average family 75 percent of their discretionary income in the 2000s. The comparable figure in 1973: 50 percent.'....Given that incomes were flat for so long, it's no wonder Americans are finding it so hard to save."

A new Swiss America Special Report, THE INFLATION SOLUTION, explains how inflation gradually debases every dollar you own by increasing your cost of living. Politicians and the Federal Reserve are both seeking higher inflation this year - even if it means debasing your wages, savings and investments!

Gold Is Crisis Insurance -LiveTradingNews
"Gold is known as an inflation hedge, but its role as a crisis hedge is even more important. Gold is anti-fragile, to use the term coined by risk analyst and bestselling author Nassim Taleb. When currencies collapse and economies falter, Gold can ensure your survival, financially and literally....Whether there is hyperinflation or a banking collapse, Gold has historically been the asset to own in times of turmoil. Given its intrinsic value and safe-haven status, there is no doubt that Gold will remain a wealth preservation tool during financial crises.The reaction of the Indian people to a potential Gold ban is the latest reminder of why owning Gold is important. Crises do not come along often, but when they do, it is better to be safe than sorry."

We've Had a Big Stock Rally, but Gold Is the Winner -RealMoney/TheStreet
"There's been a lot of hoopla surrounding the stock market rally of late. Many of you have probably already forgotten that last year I was pounding the table to buy stocks when most were bearish. They were afraid of falling oil prices, which I said would rebound -- and they did....On Dec. 15, 2015, the day before the Fed raised rates for the first time in nine years, gold was at $1,050 per ounce. The Dow was at 17,500, S&P at 2,040 and Nasdaq at 5,070. Fast forward to today: Three rate hikes later and a huge bull market in stocks that has occurred since the November elections. The Dow is at 21,000, the S&P at 2,388 and the Nasdaq is at 6,020. And gold is at $1,270. Guess who won? Gold. Gold scored a 17.3% gain, while the Dow came in with a 16.7% gain and the S&P and Nasdaq scored gains of 14.6% and 15.8%, respectively."

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4.25.17 - Poll: Americans Want More Government(!)

Gold last traded at $1,267 an ounce. Silver at $17.59 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices retreated Tuesday amid short-term speculative profit-taking and a weaker dollar. U.S. stocks rallied for a second day as investors cheered upbeat earnings and increased geopolitical stability.

Will French Voters Shatter the European Union? -PontificationBlog
"On Sunday, French voters rejected the elitists of all the ruling parties, right and left, and for the first time in generations chose two outsider candidates to contend for President in a May 7 runoff. Marine Le Pen, 48, of the nationalist, anti-European Union party the National Front, came in second with roughly 22 percent of votes. And two points ahead of her was Emmanuel Macron, 39, who has never held elective office. The media are quick to tell us that Macron is 'neither left nor right' and is a 'centrist' who must win against 'far right' Ms. Le Pen. But Macron is the former economy minister of socialist President Francois Hollande, who wrecked the French economy and sent hundreds of thousands of the brightest young French to Great Britain and other lands seeking opportunity....The EU, as Craig R. Smith and I explain in our latest book Money, Morality, & the Machine, was devised after World War II by French intellectual Jean Monnet. Monnet wanted it to replace European nations by melting them into one government, so no such war could happen again." Full story

big government New Poll: Record number of Americans want MORE government in their lives -Black/SovereignMan
"In a poll conducted a few days ago by NBC News / Wall Street Journal, a record 57% of Americans responded that they want MORE government in their lives, and that the government should be doing more to solve people’s problems. That’s the highest percentage since they started asking this question in 1995. In fact, 57% is nearly double what people responded in the mid-90s. First- more government is nearly an impossibility. As I’ve written several times in the past, the US federal government already spends almost all of its tax revenue on mandatory entitlements like Social Security, and interest on the debt....According to the US government’s own financial statements, their net operating loss in 2016 was an unbelievable $1.05 TRILLION....Since the end of World War II, US federal government tax revenue as a percentage of GDP has been nearly constant at 17%....If the government’s slice of the pie never seems to change no matter how high or how low tax rates are, shouldn’t they focus on making the pie bigger? Duh....The Land of the Free is truly becoming the Land of Getting Free Stuff."

Definitely Bullish Signals For Gold -Seeking Alpha
"Gold bulls should be satisfied. Last week the US big speculators increased their long bets on gold prices. According to the Commitments of Traders report, their net long position in gold futures jumped by 23.1 thousand contracts....Summarizing, although the paper silver market is overcrowded now, a bullish thesis on silver is supported by increased acquisitions of silver bullion by one of the largest players in the silver market, JPMorgan....Both gold markets, the paper and physical one, are sending bullish signals. Speculators are increasing their long bets on gold prices without any signs of excessive optimism and gold bullion is hoarded by a few large gold ETFs, JPMorgan and the Chinese."

Bi-Weekly Economic Review: "Market Skepticism Growing" -AlhambraPartners
"It wasn’t a very good two weeks for economic data with the majority of reports disappointing. Most notable I think is that the so called 'soft data' is starting to reflect reality rather than some fantasy land where President Trump enacts his entire agenda in the first 100 days of being in office. Politics is about the art of the possible and that is proving a short list for now. Republicans can’t agree among themselves and Democrats are following the golden rule of politics – never interfere when your opponent is busy self-destructing. I said after the election that tax reform would be a 2018 event at the earliest. I may have been too optimistic....Overall, the economic environment is still fairly weak. It isn’t a-recession-is-right-around-the-corner weak but still, a lot less than the economic bulls were hoping for....The dollar topping process continues, just another reflection of weak growth expectations for the US....The recent dollar weakness has been a positive for gold, another sign of growth skepticism. Gold resumed its long term uptrend in 2016 and the short term trend is now higher too...The gold uptrend is supported by 5 year TIPS yields that recently turned negative again....I don’t know if the Trump administration will be able to enact any major reforms this year but clearly skepticism in the market is growing....And, in my opinion, the physical market is definitely supporting a bullish thesis on gold and silver prices."

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4.24.17 - A Trump Economic Slowdown?

Gold last traded at $1,277 an ounce. Silver at $17.86 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices dipped Monday despite a sharply lower dollar as investors bet on 'Frexit' worries easing. U.S. stocks had a relief rally after Sunday's French vote did not foment fears of France leaving the EU.

France Braces for Runoff Between Nationalism and Globalism -Bloomberg
"The far-right Le Pen and centrist Macron both took just under a quarter of the vote in a contest with 11 candidates. Now they must convince the rest of the population that they have what it takes to lead the country after the May 7 runoff. The next round will see two radically different visions. Macron embraces globalization and European integration, Le Pen channels the forces of discontent that triggered Brexit and brought Donald Trump to power....While Le Pen’s signature pledge on taking France out of the euro has served to keep her fractious party in line during the campaign, it will stop her winning because most voters want to keep their currency, said Dominique Reynie, a professor of political science at the Sciences Po institute in Paris. In her final rallies, Le Pen at times backed away from her euro pledge and steered toward the other themes that most strike a chord with her electorate: Islam, immigration, national identity and terrorism."

JP Morgan In Today's Fiat Money Financial System, 'The House' Always Wins -Zero Hedge
"Perhaps the rules of the game have always favored the bankers....However, the extreme maltreatment of individual depositors and borrowers that has persisted following the 2008 credit crisis is a downright disgrace....The prime rate, based on The Wall Street Journal’s consensus survey of the 30 largest banks, is presently at 4 percent. For perspective, the typical credit card rate these days has an annual percentage rate (APR) on the order of 16 percent – or more. This is all well and good, of course. No one’s twisting the consumers’ arms and forcing them to take on debt. To the contrary, consumers are eager and addicted to the readily available credit card debt the banks offer. Still this doesn’t change the fact that main street depositors and lenders continue to get a raw deal....The typical annual percentage yield (APY) on savings deposits is not 1 percent. It’s not even 0.1 percent. Rather, it’s about 0.01 percent; which is effectively less than zero after inflation....Conversely, the banks have never had it so good. They borrow from the Fed at less than 1 percent interest. Then they buy U.S. Treasury notes – currently the 10-Year note is yielding 2.24 percent....The point is in today’s fiat money financial system, where debt is money and money is debt, the house always wins. Place your bets accordingly."

Hedge Funds Jump on Gold for Life Raft as Dollar Ship Sinks -Bloomberg
"There’s no stopping the gold bulls. Hedge funds increased their wagers on a gold rally to the highest since November, betting that this year’s 11 percent advance has more to go. Investors are also loading up on the metal through exchange-traded products, pouring $487 million into SPDR Gold Shares on Wednesday. That was the biggest daily inflow into the world’s top bullion ETF in seven months....Gold is shining bright as the dollar trades near the lowest since November, lifting the appeal of alternative assets....'There’s an appetite for storehouses of wealth at this point,' said Peter Sorrentino, the Dallas-based chief investment officer of Comerica Asset Management Group, which oversees $43 billion, including gold ETFs. 'Rather than run the risk of having your dollars eroded on a relative basis, you can use gold as a life raft to sort of avoid a sinking ship.'....'The important thing about gold is it provides a huge geopolitical hedge whether it’s North Korea or its French election risks, or wherever else it comes,' Francisco Blanch, the head of commodities research at Bank of America, said in a Bloomberg TV interview last week. 'People are going to rush into gold.'"

Gold and silver represent the best value buy in 2017 for all of the reasons quoted above. What are you waiting for? This is your gold-plated invitation to jump into the world's safest haven. For more insights into the precious metals bull market of 2017, read our 2017 Gold Report and 2017 Silver Report.

A Trump Economic Slowdown? -New Yorker
"During the election campaign, Donald Trump promised to jump-start the American economy and generate annual Gross Domestic Product growth of four per cent, which would represent roughly a doubling in the rate that we’ve seen since the Great Recession ended. At times, Trump made four per cent sound like a conservative estimate. 'My great economists don’t want me to say this, but I think we can do better than that,' he said, in September of last year....Yet reality seems about to intrude on this Trumpian narrative. At the end of next week, the Commerce Department will release its initial estimate of how the U.S. economy did in the first three months of 2017, a period in which Trump was President for all but nineteen and a half days. Far from showing a quantum leap in G.D.P. growth, the official figures are expected to show a slowdown....With retail sales softening and auto production falling, the widely followed Blue Chip consensus of forecasts projects that first-quarter growth will come in at under 1.5 per cent - and some experts believe even that number could be overestimated. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s G.D.P. Now model, which combines various economic statistics to provide a 'nowcast' of G.D.P. growth, puts the annualized growth rate at just 0.5 per cent. It’s always dangerous to rely on economic forecasts."

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4.21.17 - U.S. Housing Bubble 2.0?

Gold last traded at $1,289 an ounce. Silver at $17.85 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices traded mixed Friday, with gold rising on geopolitical uncertainty despite a firmer dollar. U.S. stocks slipped as French election worries overshadowed earnings enthusiasm.

Time To Own Some Gold -Seeking Alpha
"While gold may have just extended its run to nearly $1300 per ounce and then pulled back, we don't necessarily think the flight to the precious metal is going to be over anytime soon, and we consider gold a great buy here for the course of the long term, but especially over the course of the next 5 to 10 years. We admit that we like holding gold in basically any and all circumstances. We also like holding other precious metals like silver and platinum, mostly for the same reasons that we like to hold gold. We like gold because it is a hedge against many things. It is a hedge against owning securities, it is a hedge against inflation, it is a hedge against all different asset classes and it is the number one go to for investors when equity markets begin to capitulate. We also enjoy silver and platinum, not only because they are similarly situated hedges, but also because they each have manufacturing purposes which help contribute to their demand. The reason that we think gold is a good asset to own right now is because we are coming to the end of a seven or eight year debt cycle that started at the end of the 2008 financial crisis....If you want to be diversified across asset classes and you want to protect your wealth, you absolutely must own at least a little gold."

housing bubble Existing Home Sales Soar To 10-Year Highs -Zero Hedge
"Following February's 3.9% drop, March existing home sales roared back (up 4.4% MoM - the fastest growth since Dec 2015) to the highest since Feb 2007 at 5.71 million SAAR. Inventories tumbled (for the 22nd month in a row) and prices rose (for the 61st month in a row) as affordability issues remain ignored (for now). It seems, unlike 2013, that rising rates are not affecting demand for existing homes at all... (yet)....The median existing-home price for all housing types in March was $236,400, up 6.8 percent from March 2016 ($221,400). March's price increase marks the 61st consecutive month of year-over-year gains. With the high-end dominating the price appreciation....'This is a very broad-based recovery' in the housing market, Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said at a press briefing accompanying the report...Policy changes could 'quickly change' the direction of housing in the second half, he said."

Fears shroud French election after Champs Elysees attack -AFP/Yahoo
"The killing of a policeman on Paris's Champs Elysees claimed by the Islamic State group rocked France's presidential race Friday with just two days to go before voting in the closest election for decades. Bloodshed had long been feared ahead of Sunday's first round of the election after a string of attacks since 2015, and the shooting propelled the jihadist threat to the fore. Far-right leader Marine Le Pen -- who is locked in a tight four-way contest with centrist Emmanuel Macron, conservative Francois Fillon and Communist-backed firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon -- moved quickly to present herself as the toughest of the four on terrorism. The 48-year-old National Front leader called for France to 'immediately' take back control of its borders from the European Union and deport all foreigners on a terror watchlist. 'This war against us is ceaseless and merciless,' she said in a sternly-worded address, accusing the Socialist government of a 'cowardly' response to the threat....France has been under a state of emergency for nearly a year and a half, with more than 230 people killed in jihadist attacks since the start of 2015."

This Do-Nothing Congress Is A Travesty -Investors
"Agenda: Shortly after Donald Trump won the election, House Speaker Paul Ryan said that Republicans had to 'go big, go bold, and do things.' So far, the GOP has not delivered. 'They have the House, they have the Senate, they have the presidency - and nothing's happening,' lamented PJ Media co-founder Roger Simon earlier this week. 'Nothing, that is, that Donald Trump doesn't do by himself. ... The Republicans in the legislature are a disgrace.' Congress did pass, and Trump signed, 13 bills to undo last-minute Obama administration regulations. And the Senate approved Trump's Supreme Court pick. But what about actually advancing long-awaited Republican legislative priorities, like ObamaCare repeal and tax cuts? Nada....Now tax reform is slipping off the table, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying that getting reform done by August is 'highly aggressive to not realistic.'....There's plenty of blame to go around for the GOP's lack of achievements so far. But Ryan has been the biggest disappointment, since the House is where things get rolling....If Ryan can't figure out how to do this, and soon, he should consider handing the Speaker's gavel to someone who can 'go big, go bold, and do things.'"

Venezuela says inflation 274 percent last year, economists say far higher -Reuters
"Annual inflation in crisis-hit Venezuela last year reached 274 percent, according to data the central bank provided to the International Monetary Fund, although many economists believe the true figure is far more alarming....Venezuelan consultancy Ecoanalitica says inflation was 525 percent last year and New York-based investment bank Torino Capital - using one popular food item as a proxy - put it at 453 percent. Maduro himself last year increased the minimum wage by 454 percent, saying the rise was to offset inflation. Purchasing power has eroded and salaries annihilated as a result. On the black market, $1,000 in savings when Maduro was elected in 2013 would now be worth less than $5. The bolivar currency fell further against the U.S. dollar on Thursday and is now at its lowest value ever against the dollar, down 99.5 percent since Maduro came to power."

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4.20.17 - The 2017 Bull Market Not on Wall St.

Gold last traded at $1,283 an ounce. Silver at $18.01 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices traded steady Thursday as a weaker dollar offset mild profit-taking. U.S. stocks rose on better-than-expected earnings from American Express and Railway company CSX.

CIA, FBI launch manhunt for leaker who gave top-secret documents to WikiLeaks -CBSNews
"The CIA and FBI are conducting a joint investigation into one of the worst security breaches in CIA history, which exposed thousands of top-secret documents that described CIA tools used to penetrate smartphones, smart televisions and computer systems. Sources familiar with the investigation say it is looking for an insider - either a CIA employee or contractor - who had physical access to the material. The agency has not said publicly when the material was taken or how it was stolen....WikiLeaks has said it obtained the CIA information from former contractors who worked for U.S. intelligence. The CIA has not commented on the authenticity of the WikiLeaks disclosures or on the status of the investigation."

If the CIA, NSA and other top intelligence agencies - which hold America's most sensitive national secrets can be hacked - how safe do you believe your online assets to be? Find out in our free 2017 White Paper Don’t Bank On It!

Gold to Soar Past $1500 per Ounce as 2017 Shapes Up to Be Start of Gold Bull Market -Lombardi Letter
"It would have been difficult to predict what precious metals like gold and silver were going to do in 2016; gold started out strong, but Donald Trump’s unexpected election win in November weighed down gold prices for the remainder of the year. It’s a different story in 2017. The next gold bull market is here, one that will last at least until 2020. The gold bull market of 2017 will be just the second gold bull market of the last 37 years. But if history is any indicator, the strong 2017 gold bull market, which is just in its infancy, will provide gold bugs and contrarian investors with massive gains."

gold chart

"The last gold bull market ran from November 2000 to September 2011. Over this time frame, gold prices advanced 625% from approximately $265.00 per ounce to $1923 per ounce....There are a number of reasons why the gold bull market will only get stronger in the second half of 2017 and blow past its 2016 resistance level near $1380 an ounce....Stalemate in Washington....Stock Market on Shaky Ground....Inflation....A gold price forecast for 2017 broaching $1500 an ounce is certainly within reach....There are a lot of reasons why 2017 is the official start of a new gold bull market; one that is still young and one that will reward precious metal investors with massive gains over the next three years."

For more insights into the precious metals bull market of 2017, read our 2017 Gold Report and 2017 Silver Report.

What Is A "Legal Tender Law"? And, Is It A Problem? -Lewis/Forbes
"The present legal tender law in the U.S. is Section 5103 of title 31, United States Code, which reads: 'United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues. Foreign gold or silver coins are not legal tender for debts.' Contrary to popular imagination, this does not ban people from using other forms of currency. It simply defines what a 'dollar' is, in a contract or obligation that is denominated in dollars....It is doubtless true that the U.S. government suppresses and blocks use of alternative currencies - especially those based on gold - through various means. This could be through regulatory burdens, taxes, and many other forms of harassment. They have to do it this way, because it is not actually illegal to transact business in whatever form of 'money' the parties to the transaction agree upon."

Trump Demands For Border Wall Funding May Force Government Shutdown Next Week -Zero Hedge
"After a week of flip-flops on everything from the value of NATO to labeling China a currency manipulator, moves which quickly earned him the moniker of 'flipper-in-chief' from a disgruntled base, Trump, under internal pressure to show legislative achievements ahead of the 100-day mark, is gearing up for a government shutdown fight to secure money for a border wall, more immigration enforcement officers and a bigger military....The White House, one person familiar with the conversations said, has pushed for $3 billion for the border wall, and discussions have been ongoing....Of course, in order to get a budget passed, the Trump administration will likely require some Democratic support in the House and certainly in the Senate. That said, Democratic leaders Schumer and Pelosi insist that any budgets that include funding for Trump's 'beautiful' border wall is a non-starter....But, the border wall and additional funding for immigration enforcement aren't the only issues that could force a government shutdown. As Politico notes, disputes over withholding funding to so-called 'Sanctuary Cities', and/or the defunding of Obamacare subsidies or Coal miners' health benefits could also end in a stalemate."

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