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THE FORMER INDUSTRIAL METAL: The Silver Price Surges As Copper & Oil Get Crushed

THE FORMER INDUSTRIAL METAL: The Silver Price Surges As Copper & Oil Get Crushed

The notion that silver is just an “Industrial Metal” was utterly destroyed today as both the copper and oil prices were crushed as silver surged higher.  This is precisely what I was looking for as a positive sign showing that silver is now disconnecting itself from the INDUSTRIAL METAL BALL & CHAIN.

While analysts will continue to regurgitate that the future silver price depends on industrial demand, we can now take this analysis and throw it into the dustbin.  The world is heading into a new paradigm of “Building Wealth to Protecting Wealth.”  And let me tell you, you cannot protect wealth in most STOCKS, BONDS, or REAL ESTATE.  Those days are over for good.

Unfortunately, 99% of investors still haven’t figured that one out yet… but they will.

Today, it was quite an impressive day for silver (and gold) as the metals surged higher while copper, the king industrial metal, got destroyed.  Here is a chart of the copper price versus silver.

As we can see, copper is down 5% while silver is up 2%.  Thus, the leading indicator of the global economy, COPPER, just put out a very BAD SIGNAL, indeed.  Now, if silver was just a mere industrial commodity, why didn’t it’s price follow along with copper???

And, if that isn’t bad enough, take a look at the WTI Oil price.  The West Texas Intermediate oil price was down 5% as well.

With the U.S. oil price falling $2 in one day, that just wiped out $21 million in oil revenues to the oil companies.  This is also terrible news for the U.S. Shale Oil Industry is being held together by DUCT TAPE, BAILING WIRE, and ELMERS GLUE.

Today, I also posted the broad selloff in oil on my SRSrocco Report Twitter feed:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

$65 Oil And $5000 Gold: Traders Expect Volatility In Key Commodities

$65 Oil And $5000 Gold: Traders Expect Volatility In Key Commodities

The year of the pandemic put two commodities under the spotlight, but for different reasons. Gold prices hit an all-time high in August, while crude oil slipped into negative for a day in April, when demand crashed and inventories soared.

Both oil and gold have seen much volatility this year. Oil prices started 2020 at over $60 a barrel, dipped to the low teens in April – with front-month WTI Crude futures settling one day at a negative price – and rose to $40 in the summer, staying rangebound since then. The crash in demand pushed oil lower, while increased uncertainty over the economic and oil demand recovery, as well as the fears of a second COVID-19 wave, pushed investors to seek safe havens such as gold, driving the precious metal’s price to an all-time high of $2,075 an ounce last month.

The wild rides in the two commodities could represent buying opportunities, analysts argue, expecting oil and gold to rise in the medium term.

For oil, the uptrend may not come as soon as it could in gold, because of the heightened concern about the stalled demand recovery. Still, investment banks and analysts expect prices to increase from current levels over the next one to two years, especially if an effective vaccine hits the markets in 2021.

For gold, low or negative interest rates, continued economic stimulus, and the perception that gold is a hedge against uncertainty about the economy and the upcoming U.S. presidential election are expected to drive prices higher.

Alissa Corcoran, Director of Research at Kopernik Global Investors, told MarketWatch’s Myra P. Saefong that the short-term volatility in commodities could be an opportunity instead of risk.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Overcapacity / Oversupply Everywhere: Massive Deflation Ahead

Overcapacity / Oversupply Everywhere: Massive Deflation Ahead

The price of a great many assets will crash, out of proportion to the decline in demand. 

Oil is the poster child of the forces driving massive deflation: overcapacity / oversupply and a collapse in demand. Overcapacity / oversupply and a collapse in demand are not limited to the crude oil market; rather, they are the dominant realities in the global economy.

Yes, there are shortages in a few high-demand areas such as PPE (personal protective equipment), but across the entire spectrum of global supply and demand, there is nothing but a vast sea of overcapacity / oversupply and a systemic decline in demand as far as the eye can see.

Here’s a partial list of commodities that are in Overcapacity / oversupply:

1. Overvalued assets

2. Overpriced income streams (as income craters, so will the asset generating the income)

3. Labor: low-skill everywhere, high-skill in sectors experiencing systemic collapse in demand

4. AirBnB and other vacation rental properties

5. Overpriced flats, condos and houses

6. Overpriced rental apartments

7. Overpriced commercial office space

8. Overpriced retail space

9. Overpriced used vehicles

10. Overpriced collectibles

I think you get the idea.

Should China restart its export factories, then almost everything being manufactured will immediately be in oversupply, as the global export sector was plagued with mass overcapacity long before the Covid-19 pandemic crushed demand.

Incomes will crater as revenues and profits crash, small businesses close their doors, never to re-open, local governments tighten spending, and whatever competition still exists will relentlessly push the price of labor, goods and services lower.

Globalization has generated hyper-specialization in local and regional economies, stripping them of resilience. Fully exposed to the demand flows of a globalized class of consumers with surplus discretionary income, regions specialized in tourism, manufacturing, commodity mining, etc.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Company Store

The Company Store

Leaves almost nothing to live on

In the song Sixteen Tons by Merle Travis (and made famous by Tennessee Ernie Ford), the idea of the ‘company store’ referred to a system of debt bondage that effectively trapped workers within an unfair system designed to harvest all of their labor at very low cost.

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?

Another day older and deeper in debt

Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go

I owe my soul to the company store

       Sixteen Tons – Merle Travis

How exactly did the company store system operate?

Under a scrip system, workers were not paid cash; rather they were paid with non-transferable credit vouchers that could be exchanged only for goods sold at the company store. This made it impossible for workers to store up cash savings.

Workers also usually lived in company-owned dormitories or houses, the rent for which was automatically deducted from their pay.

(Source – Wiki)

This model was simple enough to understand.  “Pay” your workers with scrip vouchers, then sell them your marked up goods at the company store, pocketing a nice profit. On top of that, force your employees to live in company housing, too,  also at terms very favorable to the company.

Add it all up and the workers found themselves in perpetual service to their employer. No matter how hard and long they toiled, there was nothing left for their own private benefit after all was said and done.  The company succeeded in skimming off any and all  ‘excess’ for itself.

This vast unfairness eventually led to the formation of unions as well as to regulations providing protection to the workers.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Get Ready To Pay More For Toilet Paper, Cat Litter And Garbage Bags

Get Ready To Pay More For Toilet Paper, Cat Litter And Garbage Bags

After finding they could largely get away with raising prices last year, makers of household staples are planning another round of inflationary price hikes in order to offset higher commodity costs and boost profits, according to the Wall Street Journal

Unsurprisingly, the price increases have been working out swimmingly for makers of consumer-goods, particularly for companies whose competitors have responded with their own price hikes, according to Wells Fargo Securities analyst Bonnie Herzog. 

According to an analysis of Nielsen data by Sanford C. Bernstein, US sales volumes of personal and household products declined 1.4% in January, while dollar sales of those products rose 0.7% in the same period – suggesting that the price increases are more than offsetting the decline. Meanwhile, a robust job market providing Americans with the largest annual wage increases since the end of the recession has boosted average hourly earnings for private-sector workers by 2.9% y/y; the most since January 2009. 

Maker of Arm & Hammer products Church & Dwight recently increased its prices on 30% of its products – including baking soda, cat litter and OxiClean cleaning products, while Clorox raised prices on about half of its product portfolio last year – including their Glad trash bags and plastic wraps. Clorox attributed price hikes to a boost in profit margins in its most recent quarterly filing, yet because Glad’s competitors did not follow suit with higher prices of their own, the company experienced an overall sales decline in the period. The company most famous for bleach plans to boost spending on promotions in the near term to make up for the sagging sales, executives announced on Monday. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Climate Change & Commodities

Climate Change & Commodities 

QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; I love the fact that you look at everything from a pure cyclical perspective. Al Gore who started this whole mess was not a climatologist. He was a politician. You are 100% correct that people will believe what they want to believe. There is no talking to one of this idiots. When there is a food shortage, they will be the first to advocate taking food from those who did prepare. Did wheat rise in value during the Dust Bowl because of the decline in supply? They don’t have wheat charts that go back that far on ____ system.

WP

ANSWER: You cannot forecast the future of anything in isolation. I only look at the cycles. The computer correlates absolutely everything including the weather. The correlation models show that we are heading into a colder period. This is when crops fail and the ground freezes as far down as two feet, which makes winter crops impossible. We are also heading into a solar minimum and that is when there are far more volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. All I can say is that it appears that when the ECM turns, the next wave will be back to an inflationary run and we should also see a rise in commodity prices. We have two major trends behind that: 1) weather, and 2) fiscal mismanagement resulting in currency value changes.

The Dust Bowl Rally in wheat was about 245% advance 420 to 1452. What also came into play, interestingly enough, was the devaluation of the dollar in 1934 from $20.67 for one ounce of gold to $35. That was effectively a near 70% devaluation of the dollar. We are approaching our Monetary Crisis Cycle, which will again mark the decline in purchasing power of world currencies. Just maybe we will see a very similar convergence of trends that took place during the Dust Bowl era.Categories:AgricultureClimate
Tags:Climate ChangeDust BowlGlobal Warming

“The Outlook For The Global Economy Has Deteriorated”: Oil, Copper And Lumber Are All Telling Us The Next Economic Downturn Is Here

“The Outlook For The Global Economy Has Deteriorated”: Oil, Copper And Lumber Are All Telling Us The Next Economic Downturn Is Here

Oil, copper and lumber are all telling us the exact same thing, and it isn’t good news for the global economy.  When economic activity is booming, demand for commodities such as oil, copper and lumber goes up and that generally causes prices to rise.  But when economic activity is slowing down, demand for such commodities falls and that generally causes prices to decline.  In recent weeks, we have witnessed a decline in commodity prices unlike anything that we have witnessed in years, and many are concerned that this is a very clear indication that hard times are ahead for the global economy.

Let’s talk about oil first.  The price of oil peaked in early October, but since that time it has fallen more than 25 percent, and the IEA is warning of “relatively weak” demand out of Asia and Europe

The International Energy Agency said on Wednesday that while US demand for oil has been “very robust,” demand in Europe and developed Asian countries “continues to be relatively weak.” The IEA also warned of a “slowdown” in demand in developing nations such as India, Brazil and Argentina caused by high oil prices, weak currencies and deteriorating economic activity.

“The outlook for the global economy has deteriorated,” the IEA wrote.

Meanwhile, the price of copper has been declining for quite some time now.  The price of copper also fell substantially just before the last recession, and many analysts are pointing out that “Dr. Copper” is now waving a red flag once again

The message of weakening demand on the oil front was reinforced by the falling price of copper.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trump Tax Cuts Have Postponed Economic Collapse: “The U.S. Has Become The Tax Haven Of The World”

Trump Tax Cuts Have Postponed Economic Collapse: “The U.S. Has Become The Tax Haven Of The World”

The last several years have seen massive gains for both stock market and digital currency investors with prices hitting unprecedented levels of growth. But one particular asset class, despite its necessity for day-to-day global activities, has been totally ignored by the general investing public. According to venture capital financier Carlo Civelli, there are varying reasons for why mining companies involved in commodity metals like copper, zinc, gold and silver have been either stagnant or seen disproportionate drops in their market value versus broader stocks, but one in particular stands out as of late:

The exploration stocks are just not attracting the following that they used and the reason for that could be the whole blockchain and Bitcoin mania… which is diverting a lot of speculative money from what used to be the commodities markets.

And while we’re likely to see continued interest in crypto currencies over coming years, Civelli notes that recent political developments in the United States, as well as favorable supply demand fundamentals, suggest that 2018 will be a breakout year for commodities markets after having hit cyclical lows. In an interview with Future Money Trends, Civelli says that President Trump’s tax cuts have shifted the global balance and may have postponed any serious economic problems for another ten years. 

The United States has become the tax haven of the world. 

Coupled with Trump’s trillion dollar infrastructure plan, the widespread tone of economic optimism across the global economy explains why Civelli has been aggressively gobbling up mining stocks (and he’s not talking about digital blockchain mining):

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is the Dollar Really a Petrodollar anymore?

QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; I want to thank you so much for shedding light on what can only be deranged forecasts on the dollar and gold and never change regardless of how much money they lose people year after year. I received this email with the headline How Much Longer Can the Petrodollar Survive? They claim that now adversarial nations like “China, Russia and Iran” are threatening the petrodollar hegemony by establishing their own trading and banking infrastructure that excludes dollars for trade. Suddenly Iran is now a world power and as you said at the conference, the dollar support is not trade or oil, but where big money parks.

My question is, just how can these people sleep at night putting out false information all the time? Isn’t that what the investment banks pled guilty to putting out false forecasts to support their own positions during the Dotcom bubble?

ANSWER: Yes, you are correct. It is one thing to put out analysis that is unbiased and it is raw corruption to put out forecasts that support your own investments creating a conflict of interest. It would not be a criminal act as long as they disclose what their portfolio is. Only the government gets a free get out of jail card for fake forecasts.

The decline in commodities was was due to a number of factors, including an economic slowdown in China, a severe recession in Brazil, with falling prices for oil and other commodities, and exchange rate volatility that saw the dollar rise. Despite positive growth in trade volume terms, the current dollar value of world merchandise exports declined by 14% in 2015, to US$ 16.0 trillion, as export prices fell by 15%. Even the dollar value of world commercial services exports also fell 6% in 2015 to US$ 4.7 trillion, although the decline was less severe than for merchandise.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Does the Rising Price of Industrial Metals Herald the Beginning of the Next Commodity Super-Cycle?

Super-cycle theory

In a 2012 paper for the United Nations/DESA – Super-cycles of commodity prices since the mid-nineteenth century – Bilge Erten and José Antonio Ocampo review the literature on the theory of Commodity Super-Cycles and go on to suggest that the current cycle began in 1999. Here is an extract from their concluding remarks:-

The decomposition of real commodity prices based on the BP filtering technique provides evidence of four past super-cycles ranging between 30 to 40 years. For the total real non-fuel commodities, these cycles have occurred (1) from 1894 to 1932, peaking in 1917, (2) from 1932 to 1971, peaking in 1951, (3) from 1971 to 1999, peaking in 1973, and (4) the post-2000 episode that is still ongoing. These long cycles, which possess large amplitudes varying between 20 to 40 percent higher or lower than the long-run trend, are also a characteristic of sub-indices. Among the agricultural indices, the tropical agriculture exhibits super-cycles with much larger amplitude relative to non-tropical agriculture. The amplitudes of super-cycle components of real metal and crude oil prices are comparable to those of agricultural products in earlier parts of the twentieth century, but they become much more pronounced and strong in the latter parts of the century. The presence of co-movement among non-fuel commodity indices is supported by the correlation analysis across the entire sample, and a marked co-movement between oil and non-oil indices is present for the second half of the twentieth century.

Another important finding of the paper is that, for non-oil commodities, the mean of each supercycle has a tendency to be lower than that of the previous cycle, suggesting a step-wise deterioration over the entire period in support of the Prebisch-Singer hypothesis*. This finding applies especially to tropical and non-tropical agricultural prices, as well as metals in previous cycles. 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Norway’s Big Fish Story

Norway’s Big Fish Story

Decision Season

With Parliamentary elections looming, more Norwegians than usual are asking themselves the tough questions. It is now apparent that the slump in oil is not a temporary one. What will the country do now? Time for the lottery winner, after receiving the last annuity, to get a job before burning out the savings. Many are looking towards the sea, fishing and exploiting underwater natural resources. Others are looking to blast open the mountains to do the same.

However, commodity based economies, third-world in nature, are subject to mother nature’s whims, innovation, and ruthless competition.  Moreover, it creates complacency, catching the nation off guard when there is a shift in the supply curve (instead of hitting peak oil, the opposite happened). Hence, the decisions or lack thereof, made during the next four years will impact future generations. Two generations of Norwegians grew up on the delusion that their society, built on pre-socialist values and high oil prices, can endure any challenge.


The
Fund’s withdraws could accelerate amid a global financial crisis: politicians burning cash to shore up the economy and secure votes.

Burn Rate

Taking the sovereign wealth fund (The Fund) for granted, many fail to realize that the underlying investments are all pinned to the prevailing low-interest rate climate. If inflation gets out of control and rates must be pushed up to cut it off, the effect on stock and bond values could be substantial.


Norwegian GDP growth correlates to oil prices.

Currently, assuming constant tax revenues, budget and oil fund value, Norway is in great shape: able to fill the budget gap for the next 30 years. But then what?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Van Halen, M&Ms, And The Next Market Downturn

Van Halen, M&Ms, And The Next Market Downturn

How watching the right indicators will avoid disaster

The planet-sized egos of rock & roll performers are legendary.

Few things symbolize this better than the outrageous requests they often make when on tour.

These requests are referred to as “riders”, and appear in the contract a tour venue receives in advance of the artist’s arrival. These contract riders specify the physical conditions that the singer/band requires to be in place before arriving to perform. Stage lighting settings, sound equipment, furnishings, etc — that kind of stuff.

And these rider requests can get pretty funky – often extremely so — when it comes to backstage perks the performers want.

For example: A wooden pond filled with koi carp (Eminem). A driver who will not speak or make eye contact (Katy Perry). 20 white kittens and 100 doves (Mariah Carey). Seven dwarves (Iggy Pop). 50,000 bees (Slayer). A sub-machine gun (Mötley Crüe). And, yes, even a great white shark (Hank III).

The practice of making these kind of outrageous demands stems from a rider Van Halen inserted into the contract for its 1982 world tour, which insisted on a bowl of M&Ms to be provided backstage, but with all of the brown M&Ms removed.

As this image below of the actual rider shows, the band was very explicit in its seriousness about this:

Once the media got whiff of this, it had a field day roasting the band’s narcissistic chutzpah. A new high-water mark of diva capriciousness had been established, which quickly became legend. A feat of prima donna pampering that subsequent performers have been trying to top ever since.

But as crazy as it sounds, Van Halen’s “no brown M&Ms” rider had nothing to do with caprice. There was a solid rationale behind it.

In fact, it was quite brilliant.

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Path to Inflation: “Helicopter Money”

The Path to Inflation: “Helicopter Money”

The general view in inflation is dead, essentially forever. Maybe. Maybe not.
We all know real-world inflation for big-ticket expenses is far above the official rate of around 2% annually.
Yet conventional economists are virtually unanimous that deflation is the danger and inflation is a “good thing” we need to spur so servicing existing debt becomes easier for debtors.
Due to the deflationary pressures of technology and stagnant wages for the bottom 90%, the consensus sees low inflation as far as the eye can see.
When the consensus is near-100% on one side of the boat, we can safely bet Reality will not conform to expectations. This leads to a question: what could cause official near-zero inflation to surprise the consensus and leap higher?
One possible answer is “helicopter money”: money created by central banks that is distributed directly to households via tax rebates, debt forgiveness, or Universal Basic Income (UBI).
For the past 17 years, central banks have funneled credit and liquidity into the banks at the top of the wealth-power pyramid. Very little of this new “wealth” has trickled down to the bottom 90% of households in the real economy who have seen their earnings stagnate and their costs rise.
Now that debt and essentials are absorbing much of the bottom 90%’s earnings, there’s little fuel left for additional debt-based consumption. This is why we see auto sales plummeting.
The only way the central banks/states can fuel more debt and spending is to drop “helicopter money” directly into the consumers’ checking accounts.
Once they do this, the “new money” goes directly into the real economy. This is quite different than the past 17 years of monetary stimulus that went mostly into assets owned by the wealthy.
There’s another driver of inflation: shortages of essential commodities. I define inflation very simply: a loss of purchasing power, which means we are paying more money for the exact same good or service.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

China “National Team” Rescues Stocks As Downgrade Crushes Commodities

China “National Team” Rescues Stocks As Downgrade Crushes Commodities

Iron ore led a slump in industrial commodities after Moody’s Investor Service downgraded China’s credit rating and warned that the country’s debt position will worsen as its economic expansion slows. However, one glance at the divergence between industrial metals’ collapse and the sudden buying panic in Chinese stocks confirms what Asher Edelman noted yesterday about the US markets, China’s so-called “National Team” was clearly intervening

As Bloomberg reports, Iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange fell as much as 5.6 percent to 452 yuan a metric ton, almost by the daily limit, before closing at 455.50 yuan, extending Tuesday’s 3 percent loss. Nickel led a broad slump among base metals, dropping as much as 2.4 percent to $9,125 a ton on the London Metal Exchange. Nickel stockpiles rose the most in more than a year.

In context, the overnight reversal in Chinese stocks is even more obvious…

Moody’s move, downgrading China’s debt to A1 from Aa3, adds to concerns about the effects of a slowdown in the country’s economic growth, following on from downbeat manufacturing readings and weak commodity imports, Simona Gambarini, an analyst at Capital Economics Ltd., said by phone from London. “We’re not particularly concerned about credit growth getting out of hand, but in regards to industrial metals, we have been negative on the outlook for some time on the basis that Chinese growth will slow.”

Will The National Team be back tonight?

 

What’s Your Plan B?

What’s Your Plan B?

Although Plan B includes a wide spectrum of options, these three basic categories define three different purposes for having an alternative residence lined up.

We all have a Plan A–continue living just like we’re living now.

Some of us have a Plan B in case Plan A doesn’t work out, and the reasons for a Plan B break out into three general categories:

1. Preppers who foresee the potential for a breakdown in Plan A due to a systemic “perfect storm” of events that could overwhelm the status quo’s ability to supply healthcare, food and transportation fuels for the nation’s heavily urbanized populace.

2. People who understand their employment is precarious and contingent, and they might have to move to another locale if they lose their job and can’t find another equivalent one quickly.

3. Those who tire of the stresses of maintaining Plan A and who long for a less stressful, less complex, cheaper and more fulfilling way of living.

The Fragility and Vulnerability of Highly Optimized Supply Chains

Many people are unaware of the fragility of the supply chains that truck in food, fuel and all the other commodities of industrialized comfort to cities. As a general rule, there are only a few days of food and fuel in a typical city, and any disruption quickly empties existing stocks. (Those interested in learning more might start with the book When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation.)

Most residents may not realize that the government’s emergency services are actually quite limited, and that a relatively small number of casualties/injured people (for example, a few thousand) in an urban area would overwhelm services designed to handle a relative handful of the millions of residents.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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