The Contrarian

“In the investment markets, what everyone knows is usually not worth knowing.”

Why Is The Obvious In Mass Shootings Not Investigated?

Once again there was a big school shooting, this time at Stoneman Douglas Highschool in Parkland, Florida killing 17 students. And once again, the same old false argument surfaces, ‘ban guns for all Americans.’ Recently a number of people were killed in NYC by a terrorist driving a car into the people on a pedestrian and bike path. Should we now ban cars? What is the reason that people decide to kill many innocent people?...
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Is the Flu Shot Actually Healthy for Us?

It’s been the worst flu season in years. Statistica reports that “the U.S. has been gripped by its worst flu season in years. Experts have been surprised by the intensity of the current outbreak with the infection rate around eight percent, as bad as the swine flu epidemic from 2009.” Here is the chart: Didn’t anyone get the flu shot? America had one of the greatest flu shot campaigns ever. All health workers are forced to get...
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Our Failing Education System

We all know about our miserable educational system. About 45 years ago, it was one of the best in world. Now the U.S. is down the list somewhere ranking 30th. The decline of our system is proportionate to the rise in power of the teachers union. When bad teachers can’t be fired, this is what you get. Sheriff David Clarke, after seen in the major media, writes the article below on how the graduating class...
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Beware of What You Eat

Many people think the FDA of the government will protect them against tainted or diseased food product. Well, the FDA is one of many corrupt organizations in Washington which protects those it is supposed to regulate. It is the ultimate in “regulatory capture” where the industry sends its executives for a few years to make the regulation suitable for their business, and after a few years, these people return to their companies. Read this article...
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The Bitcoin Mania Has Now Gone Into The “Insanity Phase”

We have written this year that the bitcoin mania is very similar to the Internet bubble that burst in March 2000. At that time, everyone wanted to participate in the “.com” bubble as it was called, even those who knew it would badly. Knowing that our warnings could not keep people away from the latest scams, we advised that if someone wanted to use a very small portion of their capital to really speculate, knowing...
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FDA Crackdown on Homeopathic Treatment

The FDA is known for its corrupt practices. The FDA said that perhaps 10 people have died from natural supplements over several years. We would like to see the evidence. We think the actual number is zero. We use many natural supplements continuously, and have never had any side effects. The FDA is described as a revolving door for top executives from companies the FDA regulates. They go to the FDA for a few years,...
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Saudi Prince Tortured to Death

Crown prince Mohammed Bin Salem (MBS) is shaking up the country many of the wealthiest princes were arrested and are confined and being tortured at the Ritz Carlton. MBS hired foreign contract workers, i.e. mercenaries, to do the dirty work. Now one important prince died under torture. His family couldn’t recognize the body it was so badly beaten. Here is part of the story from ZeroHedge: Rumors that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has...
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Shorting Bitcoin

The global bitcoin mania is a growing faster than the California wildfires. On Monday we will see the futures contracts on bit coin starting to trade. It is estimated that soon there will be over 200 exchanges worldwide trading bit coin. That will only increase the frenzy. The founder of one brokerage firm, interactive brokers a, said yesterday that he would not be surprised if bitcoin would go over $100,000, but eventually it would be...
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Are Cryptocurrency Offerings Like Bitcoin Illegal?

China has prohibited them. Other countries are considering similar moves. There are now over 300 crypto-currencies. Billions of dollars have flowed in. Observers say that many of the offerings are scams. But who cares if you might double your money in a month. Here is an article about the SEC and why all these offerings may be illegal, and that all these celebrities might be breaking the law. In July, the SEC issued a highly-publicized...
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The Most Expensive Proxy Fight In History

Over two billion votes were cast by shareholders of P&G, and we still don’t know if the person who wanted a board seat won. It’s incredible that in this age of computers, artificial intelligence, robots, and algo-traders whole computers can outfox other computers by a few micro-second trading stocks automatically based on a news item the computers read without human intervention. Here is an interesting look at the situation by Matt Levin who writes an...
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Overnight About 30 Million Americans Suffer From Hypertension

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology decided to lower the definition of “high blood pressure” to 130/80 from the previous trigger of 140/90. The change means that nearly 50% of American adults, or about 100 million people, now suffer from high blood pressure. At the new cutoff, around 46 percent, or more than 103 million, of American adults are considered to have high blood pressure, compared with an estimated 72 million...
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Volcano in Antarctica

As a contrarian, I find stories that oppose the mainstream to be quite interesting. They yield clues to what is truly happening in the world and insights that allow investors to see opportunities where others don’t. Recently, scientists revisited the massive volcano that has been melting ice in Antarctica for many years. Below Antarctica is a geothermal region bigger than Yellowstone that has an undeniable role in global warming. The mainstream media likes to oversimplify...
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The Biggest Scam in History

All across the world tensions seem to be on the rise. Political unrest is growing and the people appear to becoming increasingly hostile. Wages continue to stagnate, the country continues down a debt spiral, and political power may be turning against us. We want to believe a false narrative that we are socially and economically protected by the government. We are not. Social security and state pension funds are rapidly drying up while national debt...
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China May Cause $13,000 Gold

As many know, I follow gold very closely. Gold is the only stable hedge against inflation and has had intrinsic human value for millennia. Gold has been hit hard since the end of the 2000’s when gold encountered a massive rally that boiled up into an outright bubble. Since then, the speculators have left and gold remains at a historical low. With rapidly increasing demand in China due to increased capital control that stop currency...
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RV Sales as Indicator of Market Top

The last toy in a stock market boom by people who were fortunate to make some good speculative profits is usually the purchase of an RV, either fully contained like a large bus, or smaller ones that you pull behind and SUV. I have witnessed this over the past 4+ decades. Those who made good money during the stock market boom suddenly believe it is “romantic” to get an RV, drive into the wilderness, sleep...
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Albert Einstein On War

Here is the opinion of one of the greatest scientists that ever lived. You may not agree, but it is food for thought. “He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance,...
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Big Brother Is Here!

The world of technology is amazing. Facial recognition can allow governments with access to large databases to identify a person walking across the street or in a public place. We have all seen it in movies. Now it is quickly becoming reality. Take a trip on an airline, and your biometric data will be checked. It should be excellent in catching terrorists. The price of course is invasion of privacy. Perhaps security is worth the...
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The Yulin-China Dog-Torture “Festival”

Yes, China has a festival each year to celebrate torturing of dogs before they are killed.  About 10,000 dogs are killed in about one week. Many dogs are kidnapped, stolen from their owners, then tortured, killed, and eaten. Imagine if that were your dog. You can see some of the torture on the internet. Some people are organizing petitions to stop this exercise of evil, celebrating one of the worst traits of some people, namely...
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U.S Banks’ Exposure To Europe: A Huge $2 Trillion

The Office of Financial Research (OFR) is a unit of the U.S. Treasury. It’s role is to “shine a light in the dark corners of the financial system to see where risks are going, assess how much of a threat they might pose, and provide policymakers with financial analysis, information, and evaluation of policy tools to mitigate them.” WallStreetOnParade.com writes: “Its 2016 Financial Stability Report, indicates that Wall Street banks have been allowed by their...
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Does Europe Recognize the True Agenda of “Migration”?

As the citizens of Europe get more active in expressing their anger over the governments’ policies on admitting migrants who may actually be disguised terrorists, the politicians see that danger of being ousted from the cushy jobs. There are only two things that get a politician’s attention: the threat of being voted out of office, and the promise of money under the table. Italy and the world knows it is being destroyed by the millions...
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Want to Take a Trip to Cuba?

Those of you who have been talking of going to Cuba may find this interesting. A 77 year old guy goes to Europe, Canada, Mexico and now Cuba for bicycle road trips. Here is his report on Cuba. On February 1st I flew to Atlanta, met some friends and we flew to Cancun, Mexico.  We spent 4 days there, mostly touring the Mayan ruins of Tulum and Chichen Itza and getting ready for the next...
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Is U.S. Wine Full of Toxic Chemicals?

Have you ever realized that all our food must have a label listing the content? It’s a great law. But wine doesn’t? Why is wine exempt? Years ago, after the Mondavi brothers had sold their wine company, I coincidentally saw one of the Mondavi brothers on TV. He explained this problem of not requiring labeling. He and his group had been trying to get a labeling law for wine through in Congress. He said they...
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Spain’s Dilemma (Continued)

Some month ago we commented on Catalonia’s attempt to secede. Here is an update. Spain’s debt has soared since the 2008 global crisis. It has now broken out above 100% of GDP. It’s largest province, economically, is Catalonia. Barcelona is the major city of Catalonia. It is in a worse debt situation than its mother country of Spain. There has been a strong independence movement for many decades, with terrorism, executions by garrote, etc. Surveys...
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Why Wall Street Got Off Scot-Free for the Financial Crisis

Jim Chanos, well-known short seller of stocks in his hedge funds, commented on a number of topics in a recent interview. He commented that not one person in the financial sector was punished for crimes leading to the 2008 financial crisis. Imagine, in that crisis, about $63 TRILLION of wealth was wiped out, an all-time record. We warned ahead of time how and why a crisis would occur in our book, PRELUDE TO MELTDOWN, written...
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Where There Is a Crisis, There Is Goldman

Whether Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Malaysia, or other country crises, later investigations always seem to show that Goldman had its hand somewhere in the mess, or is it the cookie jar. We could assume that they are there ahead a crisis surfaces to try and help. They have very smart people when others agencies are not willing to help. Others might say that the financial engineering geared to paper over the problems actually exacerbates the crisis....
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Looming State and Local Defaults

For those who are old enough, you will remember the huge strike settlements of the automakers. It included pay for retired workers of 90% of their last salary, 100% paid health care, etc. Anyone with a calculator could figure out that this was a prescription for financial doom. There is no way that this can work, paying 90% of salaries for not working. The CEO’s knew these settlements were unaffordable, but they also knew by...
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Currency Market Rigging

Another manipulation or rigging of the investment markets has been settled. This one by major banks for rigging the currency markets. The BNP Paribas bank agreed to pay $350 million to settle the lawsuit brought by the NY banking regulators. The French bank said that it “deeply regrets” the misconduct. Of course, they do, especially the part of having been caught. Doesn’t that make you feel warm and fuzzy all over to get this apology?...
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Germany’s Merkel Says “US and Britain Are Not Reliable Partners”

Once again, president Trump has not pleased Angela Merkel. The first time was the frosty visit to the White House, where president Trump did not shake hands with her in spite of a call from reporters to do so. After last week’s European visit of the US leader, she said:  “the whole discussion about climate has been difficult, or rather very unsatisfactory… here we have the situation that six members, or even seven if you want...
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Central Bankers Bearing Gifts – A Trojan Horse?

The Fed is hinting that perhaps parts of the stock market are getting way far overvalued. When the Fed chairman sees it, it usually is a signal that they are going to lean to reducing stimulus. The following is an Excerpt from an article by Danielle DiMartino, advisor to Richard W. Fisher at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas from 2006 to 2015. In what can only be characterized as Mission Creep raised to the...
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Madoff Fund Paid Millions to Breeden Firm, Zero to Victims

If you saw the movie about Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, this may interest you. The lawyers got paid almost $39 million, the investors got zero so far. Here are the details from Bloomberg. A firm hired by the U.S. to distribute $4 billion to victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme has racked up $38.8 million in billings over four years. The investors are still waiting for their first checks, though. The Justice Department disclosed its payments to...
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Greece Debt in the News Again

Once again the EU is wondering what to do with Greece. There is no urgency, because the next debt payment is in July. That’s two months away. They normally don’t get serious until 2 days ahead of the problem. Here is what our colleague Mish Shedlock writes about it: Greek Debt Groundhog Day: Deal Collapses After 8 Hours of Negotiation Yet another Greek debt cliffhanger is in the works. After eight hours of intense negotiations, Greece,...
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Important Signal for Stocks and Bonds?

From Gavekal Capital, we have a very interesting chart comparing the performance of stocks vs. bonds. That ratio is now the highest since the peak of 2007, and about equal to the peak of 2011.The 2007 peak preceded the big bear market in stocks and the global financial crisis of 2008. Here is an excerpt: Over the last two quarters stocks have outperformed bonds by 31%, which is the greatest outperformance by stocks since 2011. Only...
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Dangerous Air

Extremely high levels of ozone were detected in the air over the past several days during the day in Beijing. This then changes at night when “cancer causing particulates” emerge. Is that why Chinese population growth has stalled. Here is the article from CAIXIN news in China: Beijing Holds Its Breath as Ozone Levels Surge (Beijing) — Beijing and parts of neighboring Hebei province and Tianjin were blanketed by smog infused with high levels of...
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Return To Disinflation and Deflation?

Until recently analysts have talked about rising inflation, saying that the efforts of the major central banks to eliminate deflation and generate inflation was working. My view was that the rise in inflation numbers may have been just a technical bounce that would not endure. However, there was no way to know for sure. Since mid-April, the commodity indices have broken down, the rally of the past eight days not withstanding. This excerpt below of...
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“WannaCry” Worldwide Computer Attack

It is estimated that the computer attack has now infected computers in over 100 countries. The nickname has become “WannaCry” although it is actually, WannCrypt. It is RansomWare. The virus apparently encrypts all the files on your computer, and thus your computer becomes unusable. A message appears saying that for $300 paid in Bitcoins, they will send you a code to get your computer working again. The virus is spreading like wildfire. It exploits a...
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Financial Engineering 201

Matt Levine was a derivative trader at Goldman Sachs. He writes the following item on derivatives and how they can be used by companies as alternative way to borrow money.  It shows you that today’s market is about everything except true fundamentals. The tail is wagging the dog. Here is his article, originally posted on Bloomberg. There is a solution that is very lovely, and GoPro, Inc., used it in the $150 million convertible deal...
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Secrets Of The Iran Nuclear Deal

Below is an excellent article from Politico, written by Josh Meyer. As time goes by, there are an increasing number of revelations about the true extent of the nuclear deal with Iran. We leave it to the reader to make a judgment. But one thing is sure: Americans didn’t get nearly half of the details about what was actually agreed to, including the payment of over $1.3 billion in cash, in various currencies, in exchange...
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Beautiful Words To Live By

Take two minutes to read these sayings and be sure to read all the way to the bottom. In this time of turmoil, we should reflect on what is really important in life. Attributed to Andy Rooney, who passed away, and was a favorite commentator on CBS’s 60 Minutes TV show. FROM ONE FRIEND TO ANOTHER I’ve learned…That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person. I’ve learned…That when...
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Teaching ‘Appreciation’

This is apparently a true story. In September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a History teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock, did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks in her classroom. When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there were...
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The Importance of the French Election for All Investors

Yesterday, April 20th, A policeman was shot and killed on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France. ISIS has claimed responsibility. The attacker had an automatic weapon. It’s very sad that Europe has brought this problem on itself for allowing millions of unvetted “migrants” to enter their countries. They have no idea who these people are. Fortunately, the US has a new president who puts the security of Americans first. Amaq, the news agency for ISIS, claimed...
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Gold and Silver: Opportunity of a Lifetime?

Over the past 39 years, we have rarely used the words “Opportunity of a lifetime.” However, we feel there is a good chance of another one in progress. Let’s look at gold since the late 1970’s. History may not exactly repeat, but often it rhymes. In 1977, when we started our award-winning Wellington Letter, we were correctly bullish on gold. It soared from around $120 when we recommended it to over $800 over the next...
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The Drone Wars

Drones of all types exist nowadays, from the large US military Reapers to small ones that just carry a camera or an explosive, as done by ISIS. It was just a matter of time before an anti-drone weapon was developed. Here it is a short story of the ‘anti-drone’ wars, courtesy of zerohedge.com. China Unveils New Drone-Killing Weapons While the “Silent Hunter” laser-gun is a more ‘offensive’ weapon, China has stepped up its ‘defense’ too. As PopSci...
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The Fed: Should Yellen Be Fired?

The headline is an important question and it’s not unreasonable. Is she a shill for the extreme left? Does she know what is going on in the economy? She said she would serve out her term as Fed Chair. That expires in January 2024! A person can do a lot of damage in that time. Here is what an excellent analyst writes about her and the Fed. From Phoenix Capital, Graham Summers Trump might want...
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When Is Debt Beneficial And When Is It Too Much?

The answer to the above is subject of debate between economists. However, ask business owners, and most would probably agree that too much debt is just too much. Nobel laureate Paul Krugman tells us ‘Debt is Good.’ Krugman says … “Believe it or not, many economists argue that the economy needs a sufficient amount of public debt out there to function well. And how much is sufficient? Maybe more than we currently have. That is, there’s...
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Is Cash Trash?

We have written about the global trend to discourage the use of the currency notes, and to quietly convert payment systems to digital, which will eventually lead to a system where currency is banned, and every transaction must be in the digital form. This is what governments everywhere want. They don’t want any currency to be stashed away. Every dollar transaction must be above ground, and must be taxed. Furthermore, a digital currency is much...
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“Greasing The Wheels”–Political Contributions

The path to getting yourself and your business heard in Washington, or in any capital  of the world, is to “grease the wheels.” Political contributions is one way. But to make them work, the contributors hire lobbyists. They remind the politicians of the I.O.U.s they have to take care of. Many years ago, I read the book of a former lobbyist. It is still valid, and just as shocking as it was then to find...
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Best Seller On Amazon: A Book About Voting For Democrats

Amazon’s current number one bestselling book is called “Reasons to Vote for Democrats: A Comprehensive Guide.“ The book is “written” by Michael J. Knowles, who is the managing editor of the Daily Wire, a news website founded by Ben Shapiro, a political commentator, in 2015. Shapiro calls the book the “most exhaustively researched and coherently argued Democrat Party apologia to date.” After you have downloaded the book, don’t get ready for a long read, although...
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On The Lighter Side

On the lighter side, here’s something to put a smile on your face! President Trump invited the Pope for lunch on his mega yacht.  The Pope accepted and during lunch, a puff of wind blew the Pontiff’s hat off and right into the water. It floated off about 50 feet, then the wind died down and it remained on top of the water. The crew and the secret service were scrambling to launch a boat...
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Another Exit From The EU Brewing?

The EU is crumbling, and no one in a leadership position sees the signs. What a bunch of incompetence! The EU now says that it would cost Britain a huge €60 billion to exit. Does Brussels really think the Brits will pay that? The EU governing body thinks they are bargaining from a position of strength. We disagree. Italy has an increasingly strong movement to exit from the EU. Marie Le Pen’s party in France...
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Tired Of Having A Job? Move To Sweden As A “Migrant”

What’s not to like? Get free housing, free medical and dental care, free education, and food subsidies. No wonder there is a rush of migrants from Africa and the Middle East to live in Sweden. The problem the government of Sweden may not have realized yet is that the small population of Swedes can’t possibly support millions of people who don’t want to work. Last year, it was said that out of 160,000 migrants in...
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The “Everything Bubble”

That is what economist John Hussman calls it. Here is the chart he uses, which includes most of the major categories of the S&P 500 index.  It doesn’t include the rise this year, which has now brought the market to the edge of a “Super Bubble.” Hussman’s chart is the ratio of ‘price vs. revenues (sales),’ not profits. It is also called the ‘Price to Sales ratio.’ Because revenues (sales) have been weak for the...
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Why European Investors Should Be Worried About Catalonia!

Where or what is Catalonia? Well, it’s a very important province of Spain that includes Barcelona, the beautiful capital of Catalonia, where many of the country’s biggest companies are located. There are two problems: Catalonia has been trying to get independence from its mother country, Spain, for many decades. Just as in the Basque country of northern Spain, Catalonia also has had its terrorists. I remember when I was visiting the country many years ago,...
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Keeping Governmental Misdeeds Secret!

Whistleblowers have it tough. They think they are doing their duties to reveal misdeeds, and then are ousted or even punished by prison or other means. This is especially true when it comes to revealing governmental misdeeds. The US historically has been a safer place for whistleblowers, with Britain and other European countries downright dangerous to anyone who would rock the boat of the establishment. In that tradition of covering up governmental misdeeds, Britain is...
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Fukushima’s Unimaginable Radioactivity Crisis Is Only Getting Worse

We came across a good article thoroughly examining the unbelievable radiation exposure in Fukushima from their nuclear power plant disaster back in 2011. The below article comes from Lew Rockwell’s website, truly a good read to comprehend just how severe the radiation and subsequent problems are not just in Japan but now also America. Highest Fukushima Radioactivity since 2011 is Producing ‘Unimaginable’ Consequences As the six anniversary of perhaps the world’s worst nuclear disaster in...
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Is Germany’s Merkel Up For Involuntary Retirement?

Germany’s second biggest political party, the SPD, which is like a labor party, has suddenly soared in popularity. The SPD (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands) was established in 1863. It was one of the first Marxist-influenced parties in the world. The polls had the SPD soaring in popularity by 10 percentage points in two weeks. That’s considered highly unusual. It happened after the party picked a new leader who may beat Chancellor Merkel in the September election,...
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Germany’s New Way To Track Terrorists

Germany, which has become the example of stupid governmental policies that should not be imitated by others, has come up with a new proposal: put a tracking device on potential terrorists. It is assumed they will wear it happily. Perhaps they should also give them a cell phone to call in a planned attack before it occurs. Germany, other European countries, and the US have become dominated by a class of people that never could...
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Is Another Cold War With Russia Ahead?

People wonder why there is so much to do about alleged “hacking” by the Russians of the Clinton campaign emails. After all, the revelation of the emails only confirmed the corruption of the Clinton campaign. Perhaps the Russians should be considered for a Pulitzer Prize. Experts, even those from the intelligence agencies and even critics of Trump, say there is no evidence and that it is all fabricated. Interestingly, no one on the left talks...
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Will Germany Pay For Prostitutes For The Poor?

Now here is a topic that can get more politicians of this political party elected. What’s not to like? Free sex, paid by the government. Of course, it’s never “free,” someone pays for it. No, this is not happening in the US. It’s actually in Germany. What a great idea for a political campaign of a minor party, such as the Green Party, at least in some countries. It probably wouldn’t work in puritan USA...
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Rubio Shows Why He Can Never Be President

At first many people liked Marco Rubio when he first became presidential candidate. We did as well. Then we saw the defects appearing. Now, months after he dropped out, we see an increasing number of signs of why he should never be a presidential candidate again. The confirmation hearing of the Secretary of State designate Tillerson is an example. Here is what Mish Shedlock wrote: Rubio Makes Ass Out of Himself During the hearing, Mr....
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McDonald’s and KFC (YUM) Leave China

The business climate in China continues to become more unfriendly to large foreign companies as we have been writing for the past several years. We have heard about the governmental raids on the offices of IBM and other large US firms. This is all part of the “buy Chinese” effort of Beijing. China has gotten all the intellectual property rights on inventions and technology from foreign firms wanting to business in China. Now that they...
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Uber And Lyft To The Rescue

Anyone who lives in a big city is tired of endless traffic congestion and spending hours each day commuting. Well, now there are studies that show technology has come to the rescue…just in time. With “ride-sharing” firms like Uber and Lyft, many cars no longer clutter up the roads. These firms should be congratulated for the perseverance of fighting city councils who are beholden to traditional transportation firms like taxis, because they have been given...
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Mexico’s Pemex Crisis Grows

Mexico’s currency has been plunging the past year, as its economic problems mount. The US president-elect is persuading US companies to shelve plans on moving parts of their manufacturing to Mexico. He also wants to build a big wall, paid for by Mexico. At the same time, Mexico’s expatriates working in the US, legally or illegally, are sending much less money home to Mexico. This all fits in with our view, as expressed in our...
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Could an Italian Banking Crisis Ignite an EU Crisis?

Often events deemed small can ignite very significant events. The assassination of Duke Ferdinand of Austria ignited WW I. The debt default of Thailand caused a global financial crash. The next year, the Russian debt default did the same. Now we see the banks of Italy, perhaps eight of them, in danger of being insolvent. The EU doesn’t seem to be too eager to do a bailout at this point. However, when things get too...
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The HFT Algo-Computers Crash FX Markets

We have been long-time critics of high frequency trading (HFT), where high-speed computers can place 90,000 traders per second. This has developed into “algo-trading” where the computer’s programmed algorithms enter orders without any human intervention. They just act on market data and enter millions of orders as determined by the software. The market crash of August 24, 2015, in which the DJI crashed 1089 points in minutes, is an example where apparently a number of...
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Merkel’s Folly

We have written a number of times about the folly of Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel. Her policy on allowing the foreign invasion of Germany, infiltrated by terrorists, will go down in history as the greatest blunder since allowing another foreigner, Adolf Hitler, to become the chancellor of Germany. Here is what an excellent analyst wrote about it the disastrous policy of Merkel. Merkel Sponsored “Suicide of Germany” Of the 1.2 million migrants who arrived in...
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China: Is Another Financial Crisis Brewing?

Financial fraud is a major problem in the China markets. When US analysts quote the earnings and sales of Chinese companies, we always say, how do they know that any of these numbers are real? Even companies that were audited by the world’s largest CPA firms committed fraud, fooling the auditors, and all the investors. The article below is an excerpt from a China news service, Caixin: Bond Woes in China Raise Concerns of Financial...
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Terrorism Shocks Germany

Germany is the economic power of Europe. It’s the only significant country in Europe with financial stability. Germans don’t revolt against their government easily. That’s what allowed Hitler to take full control and keep it, in spite of three assassination attempts against him. But now an increasing number of Germans say to their politicians, “we have had enough of your policies.” The move to the right is evident. The terrorist attack by a truck on...
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The War On Cash Accelerates…In India, Venezuela, And Now Australia

First India did it, then Venezuela, now Australia, and Europe may follow, and finally the US. All these governments are conducting a battle which may lead to a deep recession or worse. What is it? It’s a war on cash. When you eliminate part of the currency from circulation, money supply plunges, especially when the government doesn’t give banks enough currency notes for exchanging the “called-in currency” for currency notes that are still legal, as...
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McDonald’s Move From Luxembourg To UK

After the Brexit vote, we wrote that Britain now had the chance to become the “Island of Safety” for many global companies, away from the autocratic bureaucracy of the EU. That was totally contrary to the accepted wisdom that global companies would move out of London to somewhere on mainland Europe. Now we hear that McDonalds has decided to move its European headquarters out of Luxembourg after the “tax harassment” from the EU government. Here...
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India’s Road to Depression

In our WELLINGTON LETTER this week, we had an article about the mess the government of India created for itself. We wrote: India produced a fiasco by calling in two different currency notes, valued at $7.50 and $15.00. These are considered “large denominations.” That wiped out most of the currency used by the people for buying things. Now the economy has come to a screeching halt as it has become a barter economy. That also...
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Will 2017 See The Great Unraveling?

We have been writing about the totally crazy lending that has been taking place the past several years. It’s like 2007 on steroid, except that residential real estate is only involved on the fringes. That’s why it doesn’t get much attention. But there are lots of excesses in the types of commercial financial, junk bonds, “P-K (payment in kind) bonds, low covenant loans, etc. In an environment of low and declining interest rates, that all...
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Revealed: Conservative Websites May Be “Russian Agents,” According To Left Wing Blog

You may have read that the radical Left in the US has started a blog accusing dozens of popular websites, that were critical of Left-wing policies, of being Russian stooges or worse. (We won’t honor that ridiculous website by naming it). Apparently, it has something to do with the Washington Post, owned by Jeff Bezos of Amazon. Some of our favorite websites are named, such as that of Paul Craig Roberts (below), David Stockman (former...
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Will Italy Incur A Banking Crisis?

This weekend Italy will have a “do or die” referendum. The current prime minister, Matteo Renzi, says he will resign if it doesn’t pass. Many Italians can’t wait for that to occur. However, there are analysts who say that perhaps eight Italian banks will fail if the referendum doesn’t pass. These are said to be the following: Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Popolare di Vicenza, Veneto Banca and Carige, and four small banks rescued last...
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The New Algo-Everything World May Kill Us All

Yes, we are now entering the world of robots and algorithm programs controlling our lives. We have algo-trading, algo-communicating, algo-writing, algo-driving (read autopilot) among others. We just read that news articles can be written automatically by a computer and an algorithm. How about our Wellington Letter? Will the algos have a sense of humor? Wolf Richter, an excellent writer, tells a story of what the “algo” of Amazon did to him. The identical thing happened...
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Reasons Americans Voted For Big Change

Here is a sampling of why Americans voted for a big change in Washington. They decided that the country was on the wrong path and that a 180 degree turn was required to prevent the demise of our great country. Nuclear Iran deal: The nuclear deal with Iran has been very controversial. Our Washington leaders signed a nuclear deal with Iran, making it a nuclear power in the world in 10 years or less. Iran...
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Nobel Laureate Krugman Admits He Is “Clueless.”

Economist Dr. Krugman, a Nobel Prize winner in economics, never disappoints us in his reconfirmation of our view of this dismal science. Krugman wrote about his shock produced by the Trump election: So what do we do now? By “we” I mean all those left, center and even right who saw Donald Trump as the worst man ever to run for president and assumed that a strong majority of our fellow citizens would agree. I’m...
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French President Hollande Discloses Classified Information – Impeachment Imminent?

Europe is seeing a persistent drift to the right of center after a long period of being left. France elected a leftist President several years ago, François Hollande, who now is the most unpopular president ever, with a 4% approval rating. He now faces impeachment hearings for disclosing classified information to journalists. The French National elections take place in 2017. Our colleague in the business, Mish Shedlock, writes this: While the impeachment request would have...
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Britain’s “Fork In The Road”

The BREXIT vote was immensely important for Britain, but the hard choices are still ahead. Whichever way they go, it will make the difference between greater prosperity than the EU, or becoming just another unimportant island nation. Britain can become the low-tax alternative to the EU, and prosper, or replicate the stagnating EU countries choking their economies with ever more taxes and regulations. If it is serious in becoming more prosperous than the EU, it...
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Germany’s Largest Banks At The Precipice

By now, the big problems of Europe’s largest banks are well known, more specifically Deutsche Bank (DB). Then came the additional problem: Washington wanted to fine DB $14 billion for mortgage fraud it committed ahead of the last global crisis. The total market value of the firm is around $19 billion. That would basically wipe out the bank. Is that the intent of the heavy fine? The second largest German bank is Commerzbank. It is...
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The EU Will Crumble

Government is usually the problem. The aggressive EU government is trying to get Apple to pay over €13 billion in back taxes. As you know, Apple’s foreign profits are taxed in Ireland at a very, very low rate. But that is between Ireland and Apple. Whether Apple should “pay its fair share” as liberals always say, we leave up to the reader. However, the legal side is explained by Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan. He said:...
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The Micro-Brewery Bubble Is About To Burst

Beer sales have been declining for many years. But microbreweries have been posting double digit sales gains. People were just tired of drinking the big brewery stuff which tastes more like something that you would eliminate in the toilet rather than something you would want to drink. In fact, some articles in the media have reported that when some of the huge, acquisitive beer companies acquired another brand, they immediately got rid of more expensive...
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“Sovereignty Is An Illusion” Says UN Representative

Peter Sutherland (United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration) who recently declared in an interview with the UN News Center that “sovereignty is an absolute illusion that has to be put behind us.” Sutherland also drew upon the standard progressive narrative that anyone who disagrees that “sovereignty is an absolute illusion” is just “racist and xenophobic, and [ought] to be condemned.” He continues, “I will ask the governments to cooperate, to recognize that...
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Britain’s CEOs Intend to Leave

Bloomberg reports: Brexit Leads Three-Quarters of Britain’s CEOs to Consider Moving. Given our view supported by experience over the past 40 years, CEO’s of large companies are worse than the “wrong way Corrigans” of the stock market. When do CEO’s do the biggest mergers? At market tops when they have to pay outrageous prices for their target. Years later, they do muli-billion dollar write-offs of their mergers. They are always most bullish at tops and...
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Trouble at the Tarmac in China

When the world leaders arrived at the G20 meeting in Hangzhou, China on September 2, all the dignitaries had a red carpet on the stairs exiting the airplane…except President Obama of the USA. He had a stairway just like the rest of us commoners who are tourists or business people…no carpet, just metal and plastic. The video was seen around the world. This incident produced an argument between an Obama staffer and a representative of...
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Is Smart-Beta Actually Smart?

The new term designed to catch the imagination of investors is “Smart-Beta”. It sounds so “smart.” But is it, or is it just another marketing gimmick? Investopedia defines Smart-Beta this way: “Smart-beta defines a set of investment strategies that emphasize the use of alternative index construction rules to traditional market capitalization based indices. Smart-beta emphasizes capturing investment factors or market inefficiencies in a rules-based and transparent way. The increased popularity of smart- beta is linked...
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A Cry Baby Who Makes $19 Million Per Year

Yes, there is a football player who will not stand for the NATIONAL ANTHEM of the USA in protest for things he considers racial, etc. He makes $19 million per year for throwing an egg-shaped ball. He is half-black. Apparently he was adopted by a white couple who brought him up, fed him, clothed him, and educated him. Obviously, there was something lacking in his education. He should travel around the world to find out...
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Could Japan Become a Military Power?

Japan is getting to the point where it wants to change its Constitution, which currently forbids the government from waging war. If the prime minister can get a supermajority in the Congress, he can put this question to a national referendum. With China getting more aggressive, that could change might just pass. It’s Article 9 that has to be changed. We will hear more about that in the future. It would lead to a military...
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Luxury Housing Prices Are Crashing

Recently we read about how the average home price in Vancouver is down an incredible 20% in just one month. Initially it appeared as if it was just related to Canada’s new tax on foreign buyers that was implemented earlier this year. But now we are seeing a similar trend in popular US luxury real estate markets as well. Here is an excerpt from an interesting article from ZeroHedge about how the luxury housing markets...
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The 9 Votes That Could Tear The EU Apart

Brussels and the European Union were furious when UK citizens voted to leave the EU. The “establishment” tried as hard as they could to scare the people of Britain into believing that leaving the EU would be a disaster, most of which has fallen flat. Now it looks like Britain is not the only one who is questioning the “benefits” of being a member of the EU, including outsourcing government authority and sovereignty. Euro-skeptic feelings...
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“Stockpile food and water!” orders the German Government

The German government is “requiring” citizens to store a week’s worth of food and water in case of a disruptive terrorist attack. The government said: the precautionary measures demand that people “prepare appropriately for a development that could threaten our existence and cannot be categorically ruled out in the future.” To me, this means that there is huge disagreement at top levels in their government. Angela Merkel’s policy of letting in a million “migrants” from...
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I Wouldn’t Touch Apple With A Ten Foot Pole

On August 15th 2016, I made an appearance on CNBC’s Closing Bell program where I was the bear on the panel discussing whether investors should be buying Apple right now and simply ignore all the bad news lately. I have been warning readers for many months that Apple’s best days are behind them. For years, bullish analysts come on TV and claim that great products are in the pipeline and the next refresh cycle will...
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Slavery Today!

Below is an article from Dr. Steve Hanke of the Cato Institute. While in the US the big topics are whether men can use the restrooms and shower facilities of women, whether “free speech” on the campus should be restricted to designated “free speech zones,” and other ridiculous topics, there are almost 46 million people in slavery around the world. And it gets no publicity although there are some wealthy people forming organizations to shed...
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The 80% Increase in SNAP Cards

The SNAP program is for “low income” families. Low income means you either have no skills, or you don’t like to work. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you are not able to work. Currently there are 44.3 million Americans, or 14% of the entire US population, getting SNAP. Before the financial crisis, there were fewer than 25 million people in the program. That’s an 80% increase. Some states have made single people ineligible. That’s the...
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Unemployment: Explained by Comedians Abbot and Costello

We came across a fun article about the current way unemployment is counted. Abbot and Costello, two great comedians of the “olden days,” would have had this discussion about today’s low unemployment rate: COSTELLO:  I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America ABBOTT: Good Subject.  Terrible Times.  It’s 5.6%. COSTELLO:  That many people are out of work? ABBOTT: No, that’s 23%. COSTELLO: You just said 5.6%. ABBOTT:  5.6% Unemployed. COSTELLO:  Right 5.6% out...
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LIBOR Scandal

Since the 2007-2009 crisis, we have written about market manipulation by many of the world’s largest banks and financial institutions. The subprime mortgage scams were miniscule in comparison. Here is an interesting flashback of the LIBOR rigging scandal which involves manipulating interest rates. LIBOR rates affect over $300 TRILLION worth of contracts and financial derivatives around the world. If they can rig that market, imagine what they do with stocks! Here is an excerpt from...
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Could the DOW lose 4000 points in one day?

Here is an excellent article about the accelerating trend of having computers decide on trades rather than human beings. They call these the “Quants.” One hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies, has done very well with this. It was the early mover. But could there be an ominous outcome? Now that everyone is starting to play the same game, the profits will get smaller and smaller, until there aren’t any left. In effect, everyone will be aiming...
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The Middle East and ISIS

France has now escalated the fight against ISIS after the recent terrorist attacks on French soil. France’s President Francois Hollande announced that the French aircraft carrier “Charles de Gaulle” will be sent to the region in September. French President Hollande said in a televised statement: “The Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier will arrive in the region by the end of September. It and our Rafale aircraft will allow (us) to intensify our strikes against Islamic...
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Restaurant Industry Downturn Points To Coming Recession

In 2015, we wrote in our Wellington Letter about how the restaurant industry, and other businesses with high employees-to-sales ratios, will have major profit and pricing pressures over the longer-term due to Obamacare. In addition, raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, as well as increases in regulatory burdens, will all contribute to growing profitability pressures. We’ve been telling our readers since September 14th 2015 that “In the US, the worst parts of Obamacare...
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How Countries Handle Their Borders

Source: Anonymous  If You Cross The North Korean Border Illegally, You Get 12 Years Hard Labor. If You Cross The Iranian Border Illegally, You Are Detained Indefinitely.   If You Cross The Afghan Border Illegally, You Get Shot. If You Cross The Saudi Arabian Border Illegally, You Will Be Jailed.  If You Cross The Chinese Border Illegally, You May Never Be Heard From Again. If You Cross The Venezuelan Border Illegally, You Will Be Branded A Spy...
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Spain’s Corporate Tax Collections Goes Negative €539 Million

The problems facing the EU become larger and larger every day. In Spain it was recently announced that the government has negative corporate tax collections, or in other words, they issued half a billion euros more in refunds than they received in actual payments. This is a first, especially because they actually forecasted a 20% increase in payments. Here is an excerpt from an intriguing article from MishTalk about Spain’s negative corporate tax collections: “The...
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Turkey: How A Dictatorship Is Engineered

The alleged coup in Turkey, which is being questioned in the highest circles, failed. Was it real, or was it a “false flag” as top officials in the EU are concluding? Our first thought was that it was planned by Turkey’s President, Erdogan, in order to eliminate all of his opponents in one swoop so that he could assume the mantel of a dictator. Hitler and other dictators have done something similar. But there is...
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Incest, Wall Street, Brexit and the EU

For many years, informed people have criticized that the tentacles and influence of Wall Street extends around the globe. Goldman Sachs (GS) was so dominant in Washington’s places of power, especially the US Treasury, that people called the Treasury a subsidiary of GS. Even the current head of the European Central Banks (ECB) is a former GS executive. Here is an excerpt of an article from The Washington Examiner about the revolving door between GS...
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Global Real Estate Bubbles Burst

The big international cities like London, Singapore, Hong Kong, and New York, are all witnessing a big decline in luxury sales and thus prices. Hong Kong sales are down 40% from the prior year, while London sales are down 26%. The above confirms that we are seeing a global debt implosion. It’s not “because” of lower oil prices, or commodity prices, or the China crises. The source of it is a collapsing debt pyramid. The...
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The U.S. Lags the World in Payment Technology

The question of whether the US lags the rest of the world in payment technology is very broad and fails to infer that US technology is actually behind in all aspects. However, retail payment processing is a huge market. It’s amazing that the US is so far behind other countries. Most of us have the new, more secure credit cards with a chip, called EMV. Problem: Most retailers don’t have the updated terminals yet. It’s...
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Why Britain Will Prosper With Independence

Here is an email from an expatriate Brit in Australia. We have not verified all the facts stated. However, if only part of them are correct, then it was high time for Britain, and others, to leave the EU. That organization has been hijacked by the establishment for its own goals. "Read and weep! All the below was done with grants from the EU. You wonder why they are hurting their countries. Cadbury moved factory...
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The End of the VC Start-Up Frenzy

As a contrarian investor, we regularly look for signals that are often disregarded by main stream media outlets. These signals can help forecast possible future market turns and, at times, can issue a red flag when new incremental buyers seem to be drying up. This week we found yet another example of irrational behavior in the VC world. Here is an excerpt from an article from Fortune Magazine about how Siemens is sinking $1.1B into...
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Brexit – “Independence Day For Britain!”

  A Vote For Freedom–The Important Global Implications   The people of Britain voted to leave the EU dictatorship, along with it’s huge, wasteful, and excessive bureaucracy. We congratulate them. They declared “Independence.” It was like the Magna Carta v2.0. The question many are asking now is: Over the next 5-10 years, will Britain be better off on a lifeboat by itself, or on board the EU Titanic when it sinks? Our view is that...
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Rigging The Market: Merrill Lynch to Pay $415M to Settle SEC Charges It Misused Customer Cash

The above is a headline of InvestmentNews.com (June 23, 2016) on another SEC settlement with a major financial firm for essentially breaking laws and regulations. Unfortunately, most people have gotten so used to it, they don’t even read them. However, if any person would commit these types of breaches, they would probably have a bigger problem than a settlement. The settlement amount of $415 million sounds like a slap on the wrist to many. InvestmentNews...
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Wayne State University Replaces Math requirements with Diversity courses

American colleges are still nowhere close to focusing on teaching what students need most when they enter the workforce. For example, only 25% of US High Schools offer computer science classes. Now illustrating this point further, a faculty committee at Wayne State University has proposed adding a three credit hours requirement in diversity to the general education curriculum at WSU. It also recommended that WSU drop its university-wide requirement in mathematics, an idea that was...
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Muhammad Ali Dies from Septic Shock in Hospital

The great boxer and poet, has left us. He was not only a boxer, but a great entertainer. I would look forward to him being a guest on Johnny Carson. Do you remember who that was? Unfortunately, we have not heard any reports on TV mention that he died in a hospital where he went for a different ailment. He had Parkinson’s. Here is what Newsmax.com wrote about it: “Muhammad Ali died of septic shock,...
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Your Health: Big Brother Knows Best?

For about five decades, the FDA told people to eat carbohydrates like pasta and to avoid protein and natural fat. That was found to be totally wrong. It is now accepted that avoiding carbs is the way to greater health. Dr. Atkins was right about 35 years ago, when he proposed this in his trail blazing book, “The Atkins Diet.” He explained scientifically why carbs are very bad. During my major in Chemistry, I learned...
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Cutting The Cord

Check out an interesting article from Fortune about how Netflix is changing the concept of advertising with cable subscribers: An important trend that will be widely discussed later this year is that TV viewers are ‘cutting the cord,’ and cancelling cable TV subscriptions. Today we heard that Netflix, by cutting out TV commercials, saves its customers about 160 hours per year from force-fed advertising as apposed to watching cable TV instead. For many viewers like...
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Japan: On The Path To Another Long Recession

The verdict is in: QE doesn’t work, and in fact does the opposite of stimulating. That’s our view and that of a growing number of analysts world-wide. Japan has implemented the largest QE policy (as a percentage of the economy) and has had the most miserable results. Overseas investors, which account for about 70 percent of the market value traded in Tokyo shares, bought a net 18.5 trillion yen between 2012 and 2015. Global fund...
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Will Artificial Intelligence (AI) Control Our Future?

That is the big worry of Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, Spacex, co-founder of Solar City, and all around genius. Whatever he says should not be easily dismissed. At the Vox Media conference, CODE, in Los Angeles in June, he expressed his concerns about Artificial Intelligence. He is primarily concerned about “one large company,” he didn’t name that could control artificial intelligence and thus dominate all people. People guessed that he was referring to Google....
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Closing The Escape Hatches

Europeans who want to take money into other countries will use the highest denomination currency notes. Some countries, like Italy, don’t like people taking money out of the country. Thus, they don’t print high denomination currency notes so that those who want to transport a substantial amount need a truck. Earlier this year, some articles appeared that the large currency notes should be retired. David Stockman wrote: In a recent interview, Executive Board member Benoit...
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Free Speech vs The Media: Jeff Bezos of Amazon has some Words of Wisdom

Here is an interesting article from Business Insider about Jeff Bezos’s opinion on the conflict brewing between Gawker Media and billionaire Peter Theil.Bezos made a very insightful statement at the Digital Media conference in Los Angeles recently, attributing the statement to Confucius. It was very profound! When Bezos was asked about his opinion on the conflict brewing between Gawker Media and billionaire Peter Theil, he said, “Seek revenge and you should dig two graves, one...
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Turkey’s Erdogan Warns Muslims

Articles from www.bbc.com Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Muslims to reject contraception and have more children. In a speech broadcast live on TV, he said “no Muslim family” should consider birth control or family planning. “We will multiply our descendants,” said Mr Erdogan, who became president in August 2014 after serving as prime minister for 12 years. His AK Party has its roots in Islamism and many of its supporters are conservative...
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Consequences Of NIRP

EXCERPT from MauldinEconomics.com The Bank Pays You to Borrow In normal times, you borrow cash from a bank and repay it slowly over time. When interest rates go below zero, the bank might have to pay you. It’s happening right now in Denmark, where banks are paying interest to thousands of borrowers, instead of the other way around. The pressure is spreading, too. Homeowners in Spain and Portugal with variable-rate mortgages are demanding their banks...
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Venezuela: How To Produce Inflation

The US Fed must be envious. The Fed has been trying to create inflation in the US for five years and failed miserably. They should go to Venezuela to see how inflation, and even hyperinflation, is created and then decide if we really want that. Surprise! Venezuela, the world’s most miserable country (according to my misery index) now has inflation of over 700%, compared to over 300% last year. Well, at least that’s growing. Everything...
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Should the Weatherman Control the Weather?

As the economy goes into recession, there will be calls for the central banks to stop the deterioration and “do something.” But that is exactly the problem. Many ask, what should the Fed or the central banks do? Our reply: get out of the way and let economic forces readjust. It would be painful, but it would be over quickly if the central banks would stay out of the way and let all the bad...
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Gold: The Ultimate Currency

Below are several charts from a www.goldchartsrus.com, which show the price of gold for people in several different countries, in their local currencies. It shows why people in weak currency countries buy gold in order to preserve purchasing power. As you can see, in many other countries, it has made a new all-time high. Gold has traditionally been a safe haven. But it is also the ultimate currency. It will become ever more important as...
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Death By a Thousand Cuts

This is a well written article I came across recently by Ben Carlson on awealthofcommonsense.com. Here he examines institutional investment firms and how the consulting firms they hire actually add no value to the institutions. He also offers his suggestions on how consultants could shift their ways to benefit their clients. It’s an interesting read. Here is the article below: (via http://awealthofcommonsense.com/2016/05/death-by-a-thousand-cuts/) In the U.S., over $13 trillion of institutional capital relies on consultants for...
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Allowing Perverts Into The Women’s Restrooms And Showers

Target customers protest. What a stupid way to lose millions of customers. According to an article on Glen Beck’s website: “Target is allowing creepy men to enter women’s restrooms — men who are not transgender, not dressed as women and not using the facilities. More than 1,200,000 people have made the pledge to stop shopping at Target.” “So yesterday, Bailey, who is our makeup artist, we’re sitting in the makeup chair, and you know how...
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A “ROGUE WAVE” Coming in the Financial Markets?

A rogue wave occurs seldom, although more frequently than had been thought. It can be 85 ft, high. It will shatter ships like little toys. The same can be said about the financial “rogue waves,” which are becoming more frequent. There was the 1973-1974 devastating bear market when the Value Line index plunged 80%. That was followed by the 1980—1982 rogue wave, when inflation went to double digits and the prime rate topped out at...
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Washington’s Bathroom Decree

Obama’s newest decree:  all schools must comply or lose Federal funding. Students can use any bathroom, girls or boys, and presumably any shower facility, according to what they consider their “gender choice.” Remembering my days in high school, and all the pranks, I am sure there will be thousands of boys now going into the girls shower after gym, claiming their choice is to be girls for that day and therefore they want to shower...
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Turkey’s Emperor Dictates To The European Union (EU)

Turkey has been trying to be a member of the EU for a long time. It has always been rejected for obvious reasons. But now, with Germany’s Angela Merkel in the lead, Turkey’s self-proclaimed emperor, Recep Erdogan, is no longer asking the EU nicely for concessions, but demanding. In return for Turkey allegedly reducing the flood of Syrian refugees from Turkey to the EU, who are attracted by the generous welfare benefits, Erdogan is demanding...
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Boots On The Ground

Salon.com writes this: The Obama administration has quietly deployed troops to help fight in Yemen over the past two weeks, with little public attention. Yemen now joins a series of other Middle Eastern countries in which U.S. troops are on the ground without declaration of war and approval from Congress, combating extremist groups that have benefited from U.S. policies. The military did not reveal until Friday, May 6, that it had sent troops to Yemen....
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Productivity: The Real Cost Of Household Items

Here is an interesting read I came across about measuring productivity and the various differences in cost between products in the 1920’s versus today. It should make you think about the author’s point and see how far we have come through the advances of technology since then. The article below was written by Nick Colas of Convergex (via ZeroHedge). One way to consider the question (of productivity) is to look at what productivity-enhancing technology cost...
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If You Own A Rental Apartment Complex, Watch Out!

From www.westernjournalism.com  Jack Davis A new edict from the Obama administration has its roots in race-based thinking and a purpose that lurks below the surface, conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh said Tuesday. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued guidelines saying that because there is “widespread racial and ethnic disparities” in the U.S. criminal justice system, landlords who refuse to rent to convicted criminals could “lack a legally sufficient justification”...
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Alibaba

Alibaba : the Chinese company that we have severely criticized even before it became public, and warned investors to stay away, on May 5 announced a 39% rise in revenues. That may be as real as the China GDP of 6.7%. CNBC had a guest that day, Ann Stevenson-Yang of J. Capital Research, voicing some doubts about this number. She said that in China, there is one company with 80,000 freelancers who do nothing but...
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Controlling The Weather With Dangerous Chemicals

A program, apparently directed from the WH in Washington, is called ‘geo-engineering.’ Apparently this is a program designed to control the weather and global warming. Do you ever see the big, white trails at high altitudes behind airplanes in the sky? There are such things as ‘con-trails’ (condensation trails) which we all know to be normal and disappear in a few minutes. But the ‘geo-engineering’ trails last for many hours, dissipate in the sky, leaving...
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Silly Silicon Valley

I came across an article from Curbed San Francisco about how the real estate prices in Silicon Valley have truly lost touch with reality. We read a report where a 936 sq.ft. house built in 1921 in Palo Alto is currently listed for about $10 million dollars. It has two bedrooms and one bathroom. That’s over $10,000 per sq.ft., which is a lot. Of course, some buyers would consider buying it simply for the land...
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Venezuela

Venezuela just instituted the “2-day work week.” Isn’t that wonderful! Each employee can only work 2 days a week. The head of the government must be getting advice from economists. The theory is that this will create more jobs. Other countries have tried something like this, but it always failed miserably. Economists making economic policies are bad enough in free economies, but in communist countries, run by leaders with limited intelligence, it is totally destructive.

The Demise of Apple

Apple reported the first sales decline in 13 years. But the Apple bulls are out in force. I say, “The bad news for Apple is just starting.” I have pointed out for two years that under the current CEO, there is a total lack of innovation. Apple’s only significant change is size:  larger, smaller. The company doesn’t listen to its customers. Perhaps the next “innovation” will be a different shape, perhaps round, or a pentagonal....
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Greece: Showing the way to Depression

The next phase of the Greek crisis is coming now. There are 3 million retired people and only 2 million working people whose pension contributions become pay for the retired. That can’t work. At the same time, the country is flooded by the so-called refugees and has to take care of them. Large debt payments are coming due, and there is no money. Obviously, the EU has to “pretend and extend.” And that is how...
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“ We Cannot Afford Another Draghi ”: Germany Attacks ECB

By Don Quijones, Negative interest rates, helicopter money trigger Clash of Titans. By Don Quijones, Spain & Mexico, editor at Wolf Street. Relations between the government of Europe’s biggest economy, Germany, and Europe’s most powerful financial institution, the European Central Bank, have soured to the point of curdling. The latest volley of barbed remarks came from Germany’s dour Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, who has never been one to mince his words. Speaking at an awards...
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How The Big Banks Cheat Their Customers

“We Are Taking Them To The Cleaners” – State Street Caught Stealing From Clients With Up To 1,900% Markups Submitted by Tyler Durden ZEROHEDGE.COM In a scene right out of Office Space, one week ago we read that TD Bank, the fourth-largest retail bank in Massachusetts, was pulling out its coin-counting equipment for “servicing” following reports that the machines were short-changing customers who came in to exchange their nickels and pennies for bills. As a...
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Goldman And Wells Fargo Finally Admit They Committed Fraud

Here’s an interesting read on Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo admitting to the fraud they committed ahead of the 2008 financial crisis. Below is the article in full as posted on zerohedge.com Goldman Sachs has finally admitted to committing fraud.  Specifically, Goldman Sachs reached a settlement yesterday with the Department of Justice, in which it admitted fraud: The settlement includes a statement of facts to which Goldman has agreed.  That statement of facts describes how...
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Rigging The Market: Deutsche Bank Admits It Rigged Silver & Gold Prices…

Earlier this year we reported that the giant Deutsche Bank in Europe agreed to settle a lawsuit for DB conducting a multiyear rigging of the silver prices. In fact, DB had agreed to provide evidence of other large banks cooperating in the silver manipulation. Here is an excerpt from the article on zerohedge. Earlier today when we reported the stunning news that DB has decided to “turn” against the precious metals manipulation cartel by first...
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Are We Being Poisoned By Fluoride?

by Brad Hoppmann, Publisher, Uncommon Wisdom Daily The world’s oldest and most-prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, has officially classified fluoride as a neurotoxin. This puts fluoride in the same category as arsenic, lead and mercury. A neurotoxin is a substance that inhibits the functions of neurons. Basically, neurons are cells that transport different types of information throughout the brain and allow it to function properly. Researchers noted that brain disorders now affect 10%-15% of all...
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Coal And Global Warming

Our president calls global warming “the greatest threat to homeland security.” It’s not ISIS, Al Qaeda, Russia, or China. Washington has destroyed the US coal industry, and entire coal mining towns, to fight the controversial and unproven problem of global warming. Interestingly, NASA reported that the ice shelf in Antarctica is growing at a very high rate. From the NASA website:  Sea ice surrounding Antarctica reached a new record high extent this year, covering more...
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Hedge Fund Problems Spread

Last year was one of the worst for hedge fund performance since 2008. We believe that the problems will now accelerate. Hedge Fund billionaire John Paulson has had a bad year. He made about $25 billion during the 2008 crisis by betting on a financial crisis. Now he needs cash. He is using his own personal fortune to guarantee loans to the funds. Bloomberg reported the Paulson pledged his personal investments in four of his...
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Big Pharma Is At It Again: Dangerous Statin Drugs for Children

Years ago, Big Pharma was successful in marketing Ritalin and similar drugs for school children, through the school boards. It’s much easier to convince a handful of people, probably with vacations to some Caribbean resort, then to convince millions of parents that their children should take these terrible drugs. Then, Big Pharma market their vaccine for girls, Gardasil, against the human Papilloma virus, through schools. Another great success. A case in Texas revealed how they...
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The Pain at Global Banks

The large global banks have achieved the dominance of the financial industry they have worked for, in many cases with their lobbyists in Washington. Smaller regional banks were pushed out of existence or forced mergers with the giants. Local community banks which in many cases were the only source of lending for small companies have closed. Now the big, money center banks have replaced them. But the money they suck out of the community is...
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Money Outflows

(zerohedge.com) The Institute of International Finance (IIF) calculates that the oil slump has slashed petrodollar flows by $375 billion a year. Crude exporters were net buyers of $123 billion of foreign bonds and assets in 2013. Last year they were net sellers of $90 billion. China has also changed sides, becoming a seller late last year as capital flight quickened. Liquidation of reserves automatically entails monetary tightening within these countries, unless offsetting action is taken....
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Turkey And Germany: Using Refugees As A Bargaining Tool

The battle for Aleppo in Syria is heating up again. Recently 35,000 Syrian refugees gathered in a camp on the Turkey border. Central EU countries are blaming Turkey for the flood of refugees and say Turkey should close its borders. That gives Turkey some leverage in bargaining with the EU. For example, it has wanted to be part of the EU for decades but has been rejected. When Turkey’s Prime minister Davutoglu visited, he only...
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International Turmoil Spreading

UAE: THE MINISTRY OF HAPPINESS The United Arab Emirates would make Bernie (the candidate) green with envy. The ruler of the UAE is shaking up the government. New positions include a Minister of State for Happiness, who will have the responsibility to drive government policy to create social good and satisfaction, and a Minister of State for Tolerance, who will instill tolerance as a fundamental value in UAE society. Perhaps there will be an executive...
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Will Europe As We Know It Cease To Exist?

The fertility rate is most important, but most people treat the numbers as a curiosity. Well, Europe, Japan, and eventually even China, will see their cultures shrink into oblivion. It is estimated that a fertility rate of 1.8, i.e. 1.8 children per couple, is “irreversible.” The Fertility Rate of Europe is currently 1.38, already below that estimate of 1.8. Europe will eventually cease to exist…at least with Europeans. Who will take their place? The descendants...
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Demographics

Everyone on earth is getting older. Obviously! But what happens when people retire? Many people we knew deteriorate rapidly when they suddenly don’t have anything to do. They feel useless. You have to have something to work on. Keep the mind busy. Learn a language, write or start painting. Our friend Monte Guild (Guild Investment Management) assembled these astonishing stats: When Social Security was introduced in the United States in 1935, the retirement age was...
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Cutting The Cord

The FCC decided ON Feb. 18 that people can replace the cable box from their provider with a different box. Apparently, they would not have to pay for a bundle of channels, 90% of which they never visit. In this year’s 24/7 coverage of absolutely boring political campaign coverage, which is pushing all important international news aside, many viewers will use this as a reason to “cut the cord.” The total cost for leasing cable...
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Banks Squirm as Congress Moves to Cut the 6% Dividend Paid to them by the Fed

Did you know that the Federal Reserve pays an annual 6% dividend to its shareholders, i.e., the member banks of the cartel? Must be nice, considering savers who had nothing to do with cratering the world economy, and failed to receive a taxpayer funded bailout, can barely earn 0.5% on their money. It’s also quite bizarre. How many other “public institutions” have private shareholders to whom they pay 6% risk free dividends? None, which once again...
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The “Flaw”

Former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan confessed in testimony before Congress after the 2008 crash:  “I found a flaw in the structure of how the world works.” At least he had the courage to admit it, although he should have said “a flaw in my theory….” On July 29, Dr. Greenspan warned on CNBC that the 9% per year growth in entitlements since 1965 will eventually lead to a crisis. He is so correct. It was...
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Infiltration

The New York’s Daily News, broke the story, that 150 passengers arriving at New York’s JFK Airport from Mexico Friday evening were permitted to stroll through the airport and out without stopping at Customs and Border Protection. Authorities called it a “glitch.” Disembarking passengers “just followed” a gate agent. To make matters worse, the security breech came just two days after ISIS released a video threatening New York City with a terrorist attack. American Airlines, issued...
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Chem Trails: The Poisoning of America

Ten states account for about half of all legal barium released in this country. Montana came in No. 9 with 7.9 million pounds of barium. Last week we got hit five days in a row with these chem trails. I called U.S. Sen. Steve Daines’ office and they told me they received a lot of calls last week. One was from an engineer at Boeing. He said these were not contrails from passenger jets. He...
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Puerto Rico: A Slow Motion Default

The Puerto Rico Government Development Bank (GDB) made a $355 million Dec. 1 debt service payment from money that it did not have on its balance sheet. Here is what David Kotok’s Cumberland Advisors wrote in an interesting article: Island officials have stated that the Commonwealth has begun clawing back money from highways, the convention center, the IFA, and the metro. In doing so, they have, in the words of the governor, “begun to default on...
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Is Turkey Helping ISIS?

Russian has now presented evidence, with photos, videos, and documents, that support Russia’s claim that Turkey is helping ISIS, especially as a financing vehicle via oil purchases. Here is what the website www.rt.com (Russia) says: For the past two months, Russia’s airstrikes hit 32 oil complexes, 11 refineries, 23 oil pumping stations, Rudskoy said, adding that the Russian military had also destroyed 1,080 trucks carrying oil products. “These [airstrikes] helped reduce the trade of the...
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Danger: Oil Tank Farms

Cushing Oklahoma has the largest storage facility of oil in the US. It’s a small town of about 10,000. But it presents a great danger to oil interruption in the country. Obviously, it’s a great target for terrorist. But a greater danger may come from earthquakes. Here is a brief excerpt for a Bloomberg.com story: After the shale boom added millions of additional barrels to Cushing, its tanks swelled to a peak hoard of more...
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Sovereign Wealth Funds: The Need for Cash

Many emerging countries had good cash flows during the commodity boom and when oil was around $100. That excess cash was put into governmentally owned investment funds, usually called Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF). They invested this cash around the world, much of it in stocks. That helped to boost stock markets. Now that those areas are in deep bear markets, the countries have big negative cash flow. They call on their SWFs for needed cash....
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IRS is Hacked

It is now disclosed that the IRS had a breached and 344,000 tax returns were stolen. These can be used to get illegal tax refunds and put to other use. So much for letting Washington have a backdoor into devices protected by private sector encryption.

Europe: A “Deliberate Crisis?”

The liberals have had their goal for decades that their agenda can only be carried out when there is a crisis. An article in Zerohedge quoted the former head of the Bank of England basically saying that. Here is an excerpt that quotes an article from 2008 by AIG on this topic: 2008 AIG report predicted that Europe would create a financial crisis (as well as an environmental crisis, as well as terrorism) in order...
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The Invasion of Europe Gets Violent

A news item from SLOVENIA: Muslim migrants set fire to the Brezice refugee camp and proceed to take selfies. Check it out — he’s making the victory sign… The migrants demand that they be allowed to continue their journey on to Austria and beyond. This camp is in Slovenia, where now there are more Muslim migrants than actual Slovenians. The goal is to destroy the refugee camps in order to let the invasion continue into...
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What Others Write:

Bill Holter, Holter-Sinclair collaboration (Jim Sinclair’s blog) Jim Sinclair became very well-known and successful as a leading investor in the late 1970’s. His associate wrote the following: Please understand this, “policy” and central banks are doing whatever they can to keep investors away from the exit door because they know there isn’t one.  Central banks all over the world are “buyers” of nearly all things paper, do we really have “markets”?  Anywhere? In the US...
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Congressional Hearing

“HHH” (her highness H), in a marathon hearing, defended what happened when a US Ambassador and 4 other Americans were killed in Libya. Many Americans probably tuned out because of the length of the hearing. The ‘talking points’ of her team afterwards were very skillful. The media immediately came out with the story that the GOP came off very poorly. But the ‘theory of propaganda,” according to Edward Bernays, the father of propaganda theory, is...
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Security Failure

The TSA spent $160 million on the new body scanners at the airports that make us feel so secure. But in tests, where the systems were tested with teams of people going through the check with simulated explosives, 95% were missed by the TSA check. That’s what citizens get for their tax money. According to the Huffington Post, Michael Chertoff, former head of Homeland Security, formed his private consulting firm, The Chertoff Group, immediately when...
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Capital Controls

Excerpt from an article by Dr. Steve Hanke of John Hopkins University: Capital controls as a panacea for economic ills are nothing new. Their pedigree can be traced back to Plato, the father of Statism. Inspired by Lycurgus, the tyrant of Sparta, Plato embraced the idea of a non-convertible currency as a means to preserve the autonomy of the state from outside interference. Before more people come under the spell of capital controls, they should reflect...
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Nigeria—Africa’s Largest Economy—In Crisis

Nigeria just asked the World Bank and African Development Bank for $3.5 billion in emergency loans. It has run out of dollars. The currency has collapsed. JP Morgan removed Nigeria from its influential Emerging Markets Bond Index last week. If the policy now is to remove all troubled countries from the indices, there will never be a recognized bear market in these indices. They will become worthless. In the end, there will be nothing left...
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King Of Jordan Snubbed By White House

Joel C. Rosenberg, accomplished author who has written some fascinating books about the Middle East, wrote this shocking item:  recently… “There is growing evidence that ISIS is experimenting with chemical weapons,” and that “the number of foreign fighters [has] hit a new high.” Last year, just 20,000 foreign fighters were operating as part of the ISIS shock troops, Fox reports. Now that number has skyrocketed to 36,000, and they come from 120 countries. Former deputy...
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Disarming America

The president announced his new Executive Action, not “order,” to make it more difficult to buy a gun. According to Senator Chafiz, the goal is not to make the country safer. If that were the motivation of the leadership, why did the White House release 66,000 illegals who were in jail convicted of crimes. Instead of deporting them, they were let out onto the streets. Why did the leadership give thousands of assault weapons to...
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Are ETFs Safe?

The NYSE halted trading on various occasions lately. The most notable one was on July 8, 2015 and then on August 24, 2015 after the China crash. The latter was in part discussed above. CNN Money wrote:  “The selling on Wall Street was so dramatic Monday (Aug. 24) that it triggered unprecedented emergency freezes on stocks. Stocks and exchange-traded funds were automatically halted more than 1,200 times, according to Nasdaq.” Some big ETFs declined 30%-43%...
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Who Benefits From Blocking The Keystone Pipeline?

The following is from econmatters.com One of the key elements of anything that goes on in this world whether it be warring factions, religious fights, political debates, financial markets, educational debates or even environmental concerns is what is really going on behind the scenes, and it usually involves money. The Keystone Pipeline debate isn`t really about the environment at all, but rather money. I find it rather convenient that one of the biggest supporters of...
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Police Tase Shackled Man To Death

The man committed no crime and was taken to a hospital by police, but then the police decided not to take him inside, but took him back to the squad car. There they tased him 20 times with 50,000 volts. He put up no resistance. He died. The video came to light recently. Here is the video: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/driven-hospital-virginia-man-tased-shackled-and-dies-police-custody One must ask, how are applicants to police departments screened? I spoke to one new officer, and...
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Abrams Tanks: Building Dinosaurs

2000 Abrams tanks are sitting in the desert, mothballed. Yet they are still being manufactured and bought by our government. The Dept. of Defense doesn’t even want them. But the politicians, especially from the state of Ohio, do. It creates jobs. The recent defense spending bill includes $120 million for tanks that the Army has repeatedly said it doesn’t want. For three years, the Army in numerous Congressional hearings has pushed a plan that essentially...
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Fracking Waste Water Injected Into Aquifers In California

State records show that in California it was allowed to inject the poisonous fracking water back into the crowd, into aquifers, where it mixes with potential drinking water. Read the full details via Wolfstreet here. The state calls the issuing of permits to do this a “paperwork issue.” The say “there is no evidence of it harming people.” It’s your bureaucrats at work. Of course, the companies doing the injecting are also guilty. But we...
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