Modern art is dreadful.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Council of the European Union's Political and Security Committee has extended for another six months its Mediterranean rescue operation, aimed at resolving the migration crisis and disrupting human trafficking, on its current terms, Politico reported.
Netanyahu: Israel Might Launch Full-Scale Gaza War "Before The Elections"

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears ready to risk launching a major Middle East war rather than see his chances of re-election to a record fifth term dwindle. 

Desperately trying to shore up more votes ahead of Tuesday’s election by trying to "out-hawk" his opponents in the center-right Blue and White Party, he said Thursday Israel will probably launc

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h a full-scale war on Gaza "before the elections". 

In his comments, which came just after returning from Sochi, Russia where he met with President Vladimir Putin, Netanyahu asserted, “An operation in Gaza could happen at any moment, including four days before the elections.” He immediately followed with the dubious assertion, "The date of the elections does not factor [into a decision to go to war].”

Israeli bombing of Gaza, file image.

And the day before he said similarly during an Israeli radio interview that Israel will be left with no choice but to "topple the Hamas regime" should such a military campaign begin.

As part of a media blitz five days before the elections, he said, “There probably won’t be a choice but to topple the Hamas regime. Hamas doesn’t exert its sovereignty in the Strip and doesn’t prevent attacks.”

However, so far it doesn't appear his hawkish rhetoric is substantially moving the polls — unlike past successful appeals to far-right and nationalist sectors. 

Starting Tuesday Hamas militants and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) engaged in a small scale exchange of fire after multiple rockets were launched from Gaza, which briefly interrupted a Netanyahu campaign speech in the southern city of Ashdod, where he was rushed off the stage amid inbound rocket siren warnings.

Via The Times of Israel

More broadly, the IDF has over the past weeks struck targets in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon to disrupt what it says are "Iran-backed" operations, in a dangerous gambit that has brought Israel on the brink of war with Hezbollah. 

Should Netanyahu see his re-election bid and chances rapidly slip away shortly before voters go to the polls, who knows what major conflagration might 'conveniently' be sparked?

Tyler Durden

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 09:50


War Conflict

<p>This designer developed a safer, simpler, and healthier solution to conventional fabric dye&#x2014;using scraps of old fruits and veggies.</p><br /><br /><br /><p>In the United States alone, more than 15 million pounds of textile waste is generated each year. In response to the environmentally harmful practices of fast fashion&#x2014;a business model that prioritizes quick and cheaply made garments over long-lasting quality and fair workers&#x2019; wages&#x2014;some brands and designers are making ethically sourced materials and manufactur
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ing processes a production requirement.</p><p>Read Full Story</p><div class="feedflare"><br /> <br /></div>
UMich Survey Shows Depressed Democrats Weighing Down Sentiment

After August's collapse, UMich Sentiment survey was expected to bounce a little (most notably in a rebound of expectations) and a little it did.

Oddly, the headline beat expectations handily (92.0 vs 90.8 exp and up from prior 89.8), but both current and future expectations disappointed expectations (current 106.9 vs 107.8 and future 82.4 vs 85.2 exp).

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Source: Bloomberg

"The data do indicate that consumers anticipate that the Fed will cut interest rates next week, with net declines in interest rates more frequently expected at present than anytime since the depths of the Great Recession in February 2009 (see the chart). These expectations are likely to diminish the impact on spending from a quarter-point rate cut, but if rates remain unchanged, it may increase negative reactions by consumers."

It appears the weakness is driven by Democrats (weakest since the survey began)...

Source: Bloomberg

"While a recession is not anticipated in the year ahead, neither is a resurgence in personal consumption. The outlook for consumption is for a slower but positive growth, keeping the expansion going for another year."

Buying Conditions for cars surprisingly jumped in preliminary September data as housing and large appliances slipped lower...

Source: Bloomberg

Consumer expectations for inflation were mixed, with price gains over the coming year seen at 2.8%, up from 2.7%, while five-year estimates fell to 2.3%, matching the lowest in records to 1979.

The reading for the first part of the month is the first since President Donald Trump increased tariffs on Chinese goods Sept. 1, expanding them to cover more consumer products as officials in Beijing retaliated with levies of their own.

Tyler Durden

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 10:11


Business Finance

Rainbow Nation site was running on Magento

GPS and wearables maker Garmin has warned customers in South Africa that their personal info and payment data were pinched after they shopped on the shop.garmin.co.za portal.…

3rd Democrat Debate Highlights: Trudeau's Hair, Small Dudes, & "We're Gonna Take Your AK-47"

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

Okay, so let’s talk about Thursday’s debate.  Apparently, every month the Democrats are going to subject us to at least one of these debates, and I suppose that this time around we should be thankful that they did not stretch things out over two nights.  All of the big n

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ews networks are covering the debate as if it was some sort of political playoff game, but the truth is that Thursday’s debate probably won’t move the numbers much at all.  Nothing of substance was said that wasn’t said in previous debates, and there were no defining moments that will significantly change the course of the campaign. 

So that is really bad news for anyone not named Joe, Bernie or Elizabeth.  Real Clear Politics keeps a running average of all the recent major national polls, and according to them none of the other candidates is even close to double digits right now.  It looks like it is going to be a three way race between Biden, Sanders and Warren, and Warren appears to be the one with momentum.  Of course it is still possible that something huge could happen between now and the beginning of next year that could fundamentally shake up the race, but as it stands now the other seven candidates that were on the stage with them might as well pack up and go home.

So the truth is that the debate really wasn’t that important, but many Americans watch these debates for the sheer entertainment value.  With that in mind, here is the most memorable quote from each of the 10 candidates during Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate…

Cory Booker: “I’m the only person on this stage that finds (Justin) Trudeau’s hair very menacing”

Joe Biden to Bernie Sanders: “For a socialist, you’ve got a lot more confidence in corporate America than I do.”

Bernie Sanders: “It goes without saying that we must — and will — defeat Trump, the most dangerous president in the history of this country.”

Kamala Harris: “But the bottom line is this, Donald Trump in office on trade policy, you know, he reminds me of that guy in “The Wizard of Oz,” you know, when you pull back the curtain, it’s a really small dude?”

Amy Klobuchar: “What [Trump] has done here, has assessed these tariffs on our allies, he’s put us in the middle of the trade war and treating our farmers and workers like poker chips in one of his bankrupt casinos.”

Pete Buttigieg: “Well, the president clearly has no strategy. You know, when I first got into this race, I remember president Trump scoffed and said he’d like to see me make a deal with Xi Jinping. I’d like to see him making a deal with XI Jinping. Is it just me or was that supposed to happen in like April?”

Julian Castro to Joe Biden: “Barack Obama’s vision was not to leave 10 million people uncovered. He wanted every single person in this country covered. My plan would do that, your plan would not.”

Elizabeth Warren: “I was in the United States Senate when 54 Senators said, ‘let’s do background checks, let’s get rid of assault weapons’ and with 54 Senators, it failed because of the filibuster. Until we attack the systemic problems, we can’t get gun reform in this country.”

Beto O’Rourke: “We’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.”

Andrew Yang: “My campaign will now give a freedom dividend of $1,000 a month for an entire year to 10 American families”

Yes, we have literally gotten to the point where presidential candidates are trying to win votes by offering cash handouts.  If he wins the election, Yang is promising to give $1,000 a month to everyone in America.  Back during the founding of our nation, Benjamin Franklin warned that this would happen someday…

“When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.”

Apparently Andrew Yang decided that he can’t wait until he is president to start handing out free cash, and his unusual announcement is making headlines all over the country.

While doing research for this article, I discovered that the Yang campaign has already begun running ads for this cash giveaway, and I was curious so I clicked on one of the ads.

I learned that you don’t have to actually donate any money to his campaign to qualify for the contest, and you don’t even have to be a Democrat to participate.

So I signed up.

If Andrew Yang wants to financially support my work for an entire year, I will gladly take his money.

Of course what I believe is diametrically opposed to just about everything he believes, and so he probably won’t be too thrilled if I win.

Personally, I think that Yang is making a mistake with his proposal to offer every American $1,000 a month if he becomes president.  With the cost of living these days, $1,000 a month doesn’t really go that far.

If he really wanted to get votes, he should have set the bar higher.  $5,000 a month would really start to get a lot of people excited, and $10,000 a month would be even better.

Yes, if we could all get $10,000 a month from the federal government each month we could all retire and nobody would ever have to work again and we could all spend our days frolicking in our new socialist utopia.

Isn’t that how it is supposed to work?

Sadly, our politicians seem to get more disconnected from the real world with each passing day.  We are 22 trillion dollars in debt, our nation is falling apart all around us, and we are rapidly steamrolling toward oblivion.

But most Americans continue to fall for the con game that our political system has become, and so the endless parade of clowns will continue.

Tyler Durden

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 07:53



I'm sure George Washington would have loved it.
<p>Basketball player, tech investor, and author of &#x201C;The Sixth Man&#x201D; Andre Iguodala takes our career questionnaire</p><br /><p><strong>Fast Company:</strong> What is your best habit, and what is your worst?</p><p>Read Full Story</p><div class="feedflare"><br /> <br /></div>
Banks Seek Lower Credit Score Requirements, Targeting Over 50 Million New Subprime Borrowers

When the next bubble bursts - and it will - be sure to take a look back at this article. It might help explain some things.  Lenders, seemingly unhappy with the vast avalanche of debt they've issued over the last decade, are now looking to "move the goalposts" in order to be able to lend even more money to even less creditworthy individuals.

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br />

Gone are the old days of relying on a consumer's borrowing history to determine creditworthiness, and instead lenders now look at such bizarre trivia as magazine subscriptions and phone bills to decide how much should be lent to potential borrowers. Banks like Goldman Sachs Group, Ally Financial and Discover are now experimenting with the new metrics.

The changes are seismic for many large banks, who spent the last 10 years targeting only extremely credit-worthy borrowers. But, as we all know too well, when that pool runs out the show must go on by any means possible. And that is how we got to no-doc loans and subprime CDOs just before the last bubble burst.

At stake is a lot of potential money: banks are targeting the estimated 53 million U.S. adults that don't have credit scores and 56 million that have subprime scores. The banks claim that many of these people don't have traditional borrowing backgrounds, often times because they pay in cash or are new to the U.S. That doesn't make them bad debt slaves prospects, however. Quite the opposite.

The timing also couldn't be any better: US consumer debt is higher than ever, as Americans continue to borrow in order to finance everything from cars, college, housing and medical care. 

Government officials have also encouraged, at times, changes to the information in credit reports and scores so that loans could be made to "deserving borrowers" who don't fit a "traditional mold". You know, like people that have the means to pay back their debt. 

Banks like JPMorgan, Citigroup, American Express and Capital One have all been considering talking to FICO about whether incorporating new data into credit scores could help boost loan volume, as we have reported on Zero Hedge before. Lenders have also been pleading with Experian for ways to find new customers who are more financially responsible than their credit scores suggest. 

Goldman Sachs started making personal loans in 2016, as part of a larger move to consumer banking. A spokesperson for the bank said it has “built a technology and data architecture that can ingest and use multiple sources of data to make the best decisions for the customer and the bank.”

The entire lending industry revolves around customer data and FICO scores. Dossiers are compiled on borrowers and the data is condensed through a score between 300 and 850. Last October we reported on FICO's announcement of its "Ultra FICO" score that rigs factors in how applicants manage cash in their checking and savings accounts. And why wouldn't FICO offer another score? About 37% of their revenue comes from the credit scores that it sells. 

TransUnion also says it sells alternative data to U.S. lenders. Mike Mondelli, SVP, said: "It's an indicator of stability", although it was unclear for whom.

Critics state the obvious: the new scores could make tons of non-creditworthy borrowers look as though they are creditworthy when they aren't. Other critics point out that a borrower's propensity to pay bills necessary to live, like electric and water bills, don't help distinguish whether or not they are likely to pay back unsecured debt. 

And us? We remind these banks that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Tyler Durden

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 08:11


Business Finance


[Circled, the non-scandalous non-story’s location]

We want to start out by saying that we have had a fine relationship with RadarOnline in the past. Sure, it’s the online sister to the National Enquirer and very tabloidy, but it has employed people who were passionate about getting Scientology stories right and who enjoyed working with us.

You might [...]

Draghi's New ECB QE4EVA Is A Mistake. Here Is What He Should Have Done...

Authored by Daniel Lacalle via DLacalle.com,

The ECB is creating a dangerous bubble and should not have cut rates by 10bps nor added a new purchase program of €20 billion per month.

1) Eurozone states are already financing themselves at negative rates. There is no need for lower rates and this disguises real risk

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This has saved governments more than 1 trillion euro in interest expenses (handelsblatt.com/today/finance/…)

2) The ECB has not abandoned its stimulus. It repurchases all maturities, launched a liquidity injection (TLTRO) in March 2019 and balance sheet stands at almost 40% of eurozone GDP.

3) Excess liquidity is 1.7 trillion euro. More liquidity does not lead agents to spend/invest more.

There is no higher solvent credit demand because monetary policy perpetuates overcapacity and zombifies the economy. Share of zombie companies has soared c30% since 2013 (BIS)

4) Interest rates are already negative. This has caused a 23 billion euro loss for banks (according to Scope Ratings) and a worrying rise in junk debt demand.

5) There is no evidence of a need for more credit growth. Rather the opposite.

The ECB believes the eurozone problem is one of excess saving and lack of demand when it is of excess debt and oversupply.


6) Negative rates zombify the economy and are a massive transfer of wealth from savers and productive sectors to the indebted and inefficient.

7) The ECB already accumulates a disproportionate amount of sovereign debt as well as corporate bonds of issuers that never had a problem financing themselves at low rates.

This disguises risk and creates an enormous bubble.

8) The problem of the eurozone is not one of lack of stimuli, but an excess of them.

Governments burden the productive private sector with higher taxes and unnecessary regulations, so economic surprise falls despite massive stimulus.

9) When this fails or -even worse- explodes, central planners will likely blame “markets” or “lack of stimulus” to repeat.

10) Saying that negative rates are “demanded” by investors is a sad excuse.

Financial repression leads economic agents to take more risk for lower yields and central banks go from lenders of last resort to enablers of financial bubbles.

The ECB should have:

  • Raised rates modestly to show signs of normalization putting rates closer to inflation, as well as giving the opportunity to understand what is the real demand in the secondary market for sovereign bonds.

  • Condition all asset purchases on governments implementing structural reforms and delivering on deficit targets.

  • Redirected the liquidity injections to a broad-based asset purchase system for specific requirements with a dividend and solvency commitment from financial entities (so the ECB gets liquidity back in dividends) and eliminate the negative rate on deposits.

  • Increased detail on forward guidance to monitor the level of success of measures.

Tyler Durden

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 05:00


Business Finance

<p>R.E.M. is back for a good cause.</p><br /><p>R.E.M. may have split up in 2011, but that hasn&#x2019;t stopped the legendary band from releasing a new song to help survivors of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas rebuild and recover from the devastating hit.</p><p>Read Full Story</p><div class="feedflare"><br /> <br /></div>
Carl Icahn Planning Move To Florida For Lower Taxes, "More Casual Pace"

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is reportedly planning to move his business - and his home - to Florida, one of seven US states with no personal income tax, to avoid New York taxes, according to Bloomberg.

The 83-year-old, who was born in the Far Rockaway neighborhood of Queens, has been a major figure on Wall Street for decades, and back in the 1990s, he bought a mansion o

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n the Indian Creek island enclave in Biscayne Bay in Miami. Icahn expects all of his employees to make the move with him: Those who don't "won't have a job", according to several sources from within his firm.

Carl Icahn

According to the New York Post, any employees who aren't ready to leave their offices in New York City and White Plains on March 31, 2020 and start work in the Magic City on the next day will be let go without severance. To "sweeten" the deal, Icahn promised that everyone who makes the move will earn at least as much in salary and bonus next year as they did in 2018, and that anybody who is fired before March 31, 2023 would get an "immediate payment" equal to that amount. He also offered employees a $50,000 "relocation benefit" that will be "payable in April 2020 once you have established your permanent residence in Florida," according to internal memos seen by the New York Post.

For those who don't make the move: "The company will not contest your unemployment claim."

"The current maximum weekly Unemployment benefit rate is $450, which you can receive for a total of 26 weeks," the letter went on to note.

More than half of the company's employees accepted their bosses offer by the July 1 deadline.

Icahn told the Post that though he is a lifelong New Yorker, he's ready to retire and enjoy a "warmer climate".

"After spending my entire career in New York, while I certainly do not wish to retire, I’ve decided that at this point in my life I’d like to enjoy a warmer climate and a more casual pace year-round," he said in a statement.

Icahn is hardly the first to move to Florida for the sunshine and lower tax rates: Hedge fund billionaires David Tepper, Paul Tudor Jones and Eddie Lampert are some of the more prominent examples. But the state has been aggressively pushing Miami as a hotspot for the asset-management industry since President Trump signed his tax overhaul into law. It notable featured a $10,000 cap for state and local deductions.

Former Governor - now Senator - Rick Scott, a one-time resident of Greenwich, Conn. made frequent trips to New York and elsewhere to court investment firms during his tenure in office.

Icahn's decision result in serious savings. Icahn is the world's 47th richest person, with a personal fortune of more than $20 billion, according to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index. The market value of his publicly-traded firm, Icahn Enterprises, is $13.6 billion: It reported adjusted earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortization of $1.6 billion in 2018.

Tyler Durden

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 06:02


Business Finance

"Are you forgetting already what you said just two minutes ago?"
<p>Women and baby boomers are the best tippers, according to&#xA0;a CreditCards.com poll released today.</p><br /><p>Tips are expected everywhere from restaurants to ride-sharing platforms, but not everyone gives service providers those extra greenback thank-yous.</p><p>Read Full Story</p><div class="feedflare"><br /> <br /></div>
Suicide Is Rising Again In The UK

The UK had made progress recently in bringing down the suicide rate in the country.

As Statista's Martin Armstrong notes, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that in 2016 the rate experienced its largest decrease for twenty years. In 2017, the figure fell even further to 10.1 - the lowest it had been since 2007. Unfortunately, 2018 saw annual increases a

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cross the country (with the exception of Wales), taking the rate to 11.2.

You will find more infographics at Statista

While the stark difference in rates between men and women remain - 17.2 compared to 5.4 - there are also sizeable gaps in the rates between the countries of the UK.

The highest rate is in Northern Ireland with 18.5 (2017), and the lowest in England with 10.3.

This hasn't always been the case though. When looking back to 1997, Northern Ireland actually had the lowest rate (9.6) and England the second-lowest (10.6).

Tyler Durden

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 04:15


Social Issues

Breaking News — The Nigerian prince and his allies who might have also asked you over an email for your assistance to help save "the first African astronaut lost in space" have finally been arrested by the FBI.

Don't take it too seriously, as there's no Nigerian prince or an astronaut seeking your help.

Instead, it was an infamous 'Nigerian 419' scam email template where fraudsters try to
0 View

zerohedge News Editorial   Discuss    Share
'Kamala sounds like your drunk friend who wants to have heart-to-hearts at 4 in the morning.'
<p>The Democratic debate ended with a disruption. Maybe this is always how it was always supposed to go down.</p><br /><p>Civil disobedience is a hallmark of American society, but what happens when your message is inaudible?</p><p>Read Full Story</p><div class="feedflare"><br /> <br /></div>

UK: Tony Blair Think-Tank Proposes End To Free Speech



Authored by Judith Bergman via The Gatestone Institute,



Gain the skills you need to fend off miscreants this October in the UK capital

Promo  The internet is full of powerful, fast-changing hacking tools and malicious actors who know how to use them. That makes the regular training events held by IT security specialist SANS Institute an essential destination for technology professionals keen to sharpen their defensive skills and protect their organisation against today’s ever-more ingenious attackers.…

What Would You Eat To Save The Earth?

The following video was produced by Truthstream Media,

While people are fighting with each other about what is the correct diet for everyone, there is a propaganda push by government to eat only plants, insects and even non-food... because humans.

Climate change has been weaponized to the point of ridiculousness. Melissa

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Dykes breaks down the UN’s new diet program to supposedly save Earth.

So, what would you eat, or what will you have to eat to save the planet? And what do the studies show about how the “save-the-planet” diet will affect human health and even reproduction?

Tyler Durden

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 23:45


Hospitality Recreation

<p>The former&#xA0;United States secretary of housing and urban development is not pulling any punches.</p><br /><p>Juli&#xE1;n Castro is not pulling any punches.</p><p>Read Full Story</p><div class="feedflare"><br /> <br /></div>
Ron Paul: Will Another John Bolton Replace John Bolton?

Bolton may be gone, but Boltonism lives on.

Those believing that the end of Bolton would signal a return to the foreign policy of candidate Donald Trump, however, may be disappointed.

President Trump has appointed Charles Kupperman to temporary fill in for John Bolton as National Security Advisor. Kupperman is one of Bolton’s closest friends and allies in

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Washington. Plus – What have we learned since 9/11? Tune in to today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

* * *

According to CNN, the following have been mentioned as possible candidates to replace Bolton as national security adviser:

  • Brian Hook, US Special Representative for Iran and senior policy adviser to Mike Pompeo

  • Ricky Waddell, Major General in the US Army Reserve who served a year as Trump's Deputy National Security Adviser to Trump

  • Steve Biegun, US Special Representative to North Korea

  • Rob Blair, national security adviser to acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney

  • Richard Grenell, US ambassador to Germany

  • Pete Hoekstra, US ambassador to the Netherlands

  • Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence

  • Douglas Macgregor, retired US Army Colonel

  • Jack Keane, retired four-star general

  • Fred Fleitz, former chief of staff to Bolton at NSC

CNN further reports on Thursday that the administration is considering "double-tapping" Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for national security adviser

"Under this scenario, the country's top diplomat would absorb the national security adviser role and do both jobs, according to a senior administration official and a source familiar with the possibilities," report adds. 

Tyler Durden

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 00:05



The days of Democrats saying, "Nobody wants to take your guns," are behind us.
An eyewitness nurse revealed how a hospital in Illinois has a “comfort room” in which aborted babies who survive for hours outside the womb are left to die.

Jill Stanek told a hearing on the Born Alive Act in Washington, D.C. that doctors at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn perform “live birth abortions” where the baby is allowed to die during or after the abortion procedure.

The hospital provides “comfort care” for the babies for hours after the procedure by wrapping the infant in a blanket and keeping it warm until it dies. Parents of the baby are also allowed to hold it during this
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“If staff did not have the time or desire to hold the baby, she was taken to Christ Hospital’s Comfort Room, which was complete with a First Photo machine if parents wanted professional pictures of their aborted baby, baptismal supplies, gowns and certificates, foot printing equipment and baby bracelets for mementos, and a rocking chair,” Stanek said.

Read Entire Article »
<p>Who doesn&#x2019;t love free money?</p><br /><p>Presidential candidate Andrew Yang has an interesting trick up his sleeve to prove his signature policy position&#x2014;universal basic income&#x2014;will actually lift up lives. The tech entrepreneur announced at tonight&#x2019;s Democratic primary debate in Houston, Texas, that he will give away a total of $120,000 to 10 randomly selected families. Politico first&#xA0;reported the plan. Yesterday, Yang teased that he would announce an &#x201C;unprecedented&#x201D; surprise at the debate. Th
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is certainly qualifies.</p><p>Read Full Story</p><div class="feedflare"><br /> <br /></div>
Silver, Part 1: The Start Of A New Gold-Silver Cycle

Authored by Nicholas LePan via VisualCapitalist.com,

The world has experienced a decade of growth fueled by record-low interest rates, a burgeoning money supply, and historic debt levels – but the good times only last so long.

As the global economy slows and eventually begins to retract, can precious metals offer a useful store of value to investors?

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art 1: The Start of a New Cycle

Today’s infographic comes to us from Endeavour Silver, and it outlines some key indicators that precede a coming gold-silver cycle in which exposure to hard assets may help to protect wealth.

Bankers Blowing Bubbles

Since 2008, central bankers around the world launched a historic market intervention by printing money and bailing out major banks. With cheap and abundant money, this strategy worked so well that it created a bull market in every sector — except for precious metals.

Stock markets, consumer lending, and property values surged. Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Reserve’s assets ballooned, and so did corporate, government, and household debt. By 2018, total debt reached almost $250 trillion worldwide.

Currency vs. Precious Metals

The world awash in unprecedented amounts of currency, and these dollars chase a limited supply of goods. Historically speaking, it’s only a matter of time before the price of goods increases or inflates – eroding the purchasing power of every dollar.

Gold and silver are some of the only assets unaffected by inflation, retaining their value.

Gold and silver are money… everything else is credit.

– J.P. Morgan

The Perfect Story for a Gold-Silver Cycle?

Investors can use several indicators to gauge the beginning of the gold-silver cycle:

  1. Gold/Silver Futures

    Most traders do not trade physical gold and silver, but paper contracts with the promise to buy at a future price. Every week, U.S. commodity exchanges publish the Commitment of Traders “COT” report. This report summarizes the positions (long/short) of traders for a particular commodity.

    Typically, speculators are long and commercial traders are short the price of gold and silver. However, when speculators and commercial traders positions reach near zero, there is usually a big upswing in the price of silver.

  2. Gold-to-Silver Ratio Compression

    As the difference between gold and silver prices decreases (i.e. the compression of the ratio), history suggests silver prices can make big moves upwards in price. The gold-to-silver ratio compression is now at high levels and may eventually revert to its long-term average, which implies a strong movement in prices is imminent for silver.

  3. Scarcity: Declining Silver Production

    Silver production has been declining despite its growing importance as a safe haven hedge, as well as its use in industrial applications and renewable technologies.

  4. The Silver Exception

    Silver is not just for coins, bars, jewelry and the family silverware. It stands out from gold with its practical industrial uses which account for 56.1% of its annual consumption. Silver will continue to be a critical material in solar technology. While photovoltaics currently account for 8% of annual silver consumption, this is set to change with the dramatic increase in the use of solar technologies.

The Price of Gold and Silver

Forecasting the exact price of gold and silver is not a science, but there are clear signs that point to the direction their prices will head. The prices of gold and silver do not accurately reflect a world awash with cheap and easy money, but now may be their time to shine.

*  *  *

Don’t miss another part of the Silver Series by connecting with Visual Capitalist.

Tyler Durden

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 21:45


Business Finance

by Matt Agorist

After several officers came forward to expose the departments "illegal quota system," they were all immediately fired without reason.

Collegedale, TN — Most people reading this article know what it is like to have the blue and red lights pop up in your rear view mirror. The last thing going through your mind at this point is the feeling of ‘being protected.’ This feeling comes from the fact that the overwhelming majority of the time a driver sees police lights in their mirror is because they have been targeted for r
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evenue collection — often the result of a quota system — and they are about to be given a ticket, or worse.

Police, we are told, are here to keep us safe and protect us from the bad guys. However, public safety all too often takes a back seat to revenue collection. Time and time again, the TFTP has exposed quota schemes in which officers were punished for not writing enough tickets.

Read Entire Article »
Bidding Wars For US Homes Collapse To Eight-Year Low 

Bidding wars for homes in Seattle, San Jose, and San Francisco have crashed in the past year, reflecting an alarming national trend, according to a new report from Redfin.

The report found that the national bidding-war rate in August was 10.4%, down from 42% a year earlier. The rate printed at the lowest level since 2011.

At the start of 2018, the na

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tional bidding-war rate was 59%, then plunged as homebuyers became uncomfortable with sky-high housing prices, increasing mortgage rates, and economic uncertainty surrounding the trade war. The housing market started to cool in late 2018, as the competition among homebuyers collapsed by 4Q18, this is an ominous sign for the national housing market that could soon face a steep correction in price.

Even with eight months of declining mortgage rates in 2019, bidding-wars among homebuyers continue to drop. This is somewhat troubling because the government's narrative has been declining rates will boom housing, but as of Wednesday, mortgage applications continue to fall. Homebuyers aren't coming off the sidelines, and there's too much uncertainty surrounding the economy with recession risks at the highest levels in more than a decade.

"Despite remaining near three-year lows, mortgage rates have failed to bring enough buyers to the market to rev up competition for homes this summer," said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. Recession fears have been enough to spook some would-be buyers from making the big financial commitment of a home purchase. But assuming a recession doesn't arrive this fall or winter, consumers will likely adjust to the new 'normal' of continued volatility in the stock and global markets, and the people who need and want to make a move will take advantage of low mortgage rates."

As for one of the hottest real estate markets in the country, that being San Francisco, the bidding-war rate was 31% in August, down from 73.5% a year earlier. The lack of demand has certainly cooled housing prices, now expected to fall 1% YoY.

The rate in San Jose was 10.3% in August, down from 77% a year earlier, and in Seattle, another hot city for real estate, it saw its rate at 9.4%, down from 37.8% last August.

"Competition in the Seattle area has certainly slowed down since the second half of 2018. Last year, five out of five offers I submitted faced competition; now, it's one in five," said local Redfin agent Michelle Santos.

"Now, for desirable homes, competition is still fierce, and the winning offer is one that's above the list price and waives contingencies. At the same time, average homes sit on the market for quite some time before they get any offers."

With the rapid decline of competition among homebuyers and a flood of inventory entering the market, real home prices are starting to correct in major cities. Real price change over the last 12 months is falling in Seattle, San Francisco, and New York, according to new CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index data.

With competition among homebuyers evaporating in a very short period of time, this could mean a downturn in the real estate market is imminent.

Tyler Durden

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 22:05


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