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How Can Socrates Forecast Thing Well in Advance?

How Can Socrates Forecast Thing Well in Advance?

QUESTION: Martin –
In the video link you see the blank answer by former Fed Chairman Bernanke when asked, in a 60 Minutes interview, as to where he saw unemployment going/peaking in the last crisis of 2008 (at minute 3:27). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKx1BZd9bjQ
How do you best explain Socrates being able to pick up so far in advance, the heights that unemployment would reach in this crisis; rivaling or exceeding that of the Great Depression, even with this seemingly contrived “virus” being such a curve ball, out of left field?
I’ve been to a David Copperfield magic show before, but this latest call by Socrates beats any illusion I can recall from his show.
T

ANSWER: It is very difficult to Explain. Everything is connected. I learned with the Cycle of War that the computer was picking up the subtle movements of capital well in advance. It becomes clear that if you were going to start a war, you move your money in advance. This is what these people have been doing. I believe it began last summer with the sudden collapse in confidence in Europe. We ended up with the REPO Crisis hitting in September and they tried to excuse it as a freak event. But Socrates was correctly forecast that as well. At the May Rome World Economic Conference, I put up this slide as to the key issues to pay attention to – the liquidity crisis which manifested into the REPO Crisis because banks were no longer trusting banks.

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

How to Maintain a Bull Market After Coronavirus

HOW TO MAINTAIN A BULL MARKET AFTER CORONAVIRUS

Everyone thinks they know the cause and effect of the Federal Reserve’s response to crises such as 2008 and 2020. The Fed prints money to buy assets. This increases the quantity of money. And this causes prices to rise. The Fed wants this, because it thinks that inflation eases the burden on debtors. The mainstream wants this, because they have been brainwashed into thinking that inflation causes good effects such as employment. The critics decry this, because they see inflation as a tax.

This view is not even wrong.

The dollar is not money. It is just credit. And it’s not printed. It’s borrowed. An increase in the quantity of it does not necessarily cause commodity and consumer prices to rise. Just look at not one, but two drops in the price of oil. And not small drops, but epic collapses. Starting in June 2014, the price began to fall from $108. By January 2016, it had dropped to $26, a crash of 76%. Then it rose for a whole, hitting $77 by October 2018. It has been downward since then, to $66 this January, or -14%. It’s now $25, which is a further loss of 62%. This is not counting the brief plunge to -$38 on April 20—yes, those who had oil were obliged to pay someone to take it off their hands (thus debunking the notion that oil is like gold).

In other words, this not-even-wrong theory predicts a didn’t-even-happen price hike.

When a bank, pension fund, or investor sells a bond to the Fed, they do not go out and buy consumer goods. They buy another asset. This is why the result is not rising consumer prices, but rising asset prices.

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

Rickards: This Time IS Different

Rickards: This Time IS Different

Rickards: This Time IS Different

Stocks stumbled out of the gate today, at least partially on fears about a resurgence in coronavirus cases.

South Korea, which did an excellent job containing the virus, has reported a new batch of cases. Japan and Singapore also reported new cases. Infections are increasing in Germany as well, where lockdown restrictions are being lifted.

We can also expect a rise in U.S. cases as several states lift their own restrictions.

From both epidemiological and market perspectives, the pandemic has a long way to go. Its economic effects are already without precedent…

In the midst of this economic collapse, many investors and analysts return reflexively to the 2008 financial panic.

That crisis was severe, and of course trillions of dollars of wealth were lost in the stock market. That comparison is understandable, but it does not begin to scratch the surface.

This collapse is worse than 2008, worse than the 2000 dot-com meltdown, worse than the 1998 Russia-LTCM panic, worse than the 1994 Mexican crisis and many more panics.

You have to go back to 1929 and the start of the Great Depression for the right frame of reference.

But even that does not explain how bad things are today. After October 1929, the stock market fell 90% and unemployment hit 24%. But that took three years to fully play out, until 1932.

In this collapse the stock market fell 30% in a few weeks and unemployment is over 20%, also in a matter of a few weeks.

Since the stock market has further to fall and unemployment will rise further, we will get to Great Depression levels of collapse in months, not years. How much worse can the economy get?

Well, “Dr. Doom,” Nouriel Roubini, can give you some idea.

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

Rabobank: Stocks Go Up As Everything Is Going Down In Flames

Rabobank: Stocks Go Up As Everything Is Going Down In Flames

It’s All Going to the Dogs (and Goats)

Friday’s April US payrolls report showed 20.5 million jobs lost when in an ordinary downturn 200,000 might be considered bad; the drop in March alone was larger than that seen during the worst of the global financial crisis. In short, we face a global future of mass unemployment (now 14.7% in the US and 13% in Canada) on top of mass debt, both public and private.

Last week the German Constitutional Court (GCC) ruled that it is superior to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), and that the ECB has three months to prove it is not exceeding its remit with its extraordinary monetary policy. Yesterday the President of the EU Commission von der Leyen threatened to sue Germany, stating the final word on EU law is always spoken by the ECJ. Guess which court ultimately hears the case? The ECJ. How is this going to play out if the GCC doesn’t back down? Very badly in the Eurozone periphery, to the benefit of Euroskeptics. How is it going to play out in Germany if the GCC is forced to back down? Badly in Germany, to the benefit of Euroskeptics. Given the ECJ won’t back down and the ECB has said it will ignore the GCC, and the GCC is not likely to blink either, we seem set for an institutional crisis over the scope and shape of the Eurozone financial market – albeit one that rumbles on rather than erupting immediately.

US Vice-President Mike Pence, titular head of the US virus task force, is self-isolating after figures close to the White House were diagnosed as positive for Covid.

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

Underneath the Surface Trouble Is Brewing Once Again

Underneath the Surface Trouble Is Brewing Once Again

Larry McDonald, publisher of the investment research service The Bear Traps Report, warns that this crisis is far from over. He spots growing tensions in the credit markets and thinks that large public borrowers like Italy and New York State are in need of massive bailouts.


Stocks have staged an impressive comeback. Since the lows of March, the S&P 500 has gained almost 30%. Despite that, Larry McDonald would not be surprised if new turmoil soon arose.

“In March 2008 for instance, after the failure of Bear Stearns, the Fed acted aggressively and we had a big relief rally. But then came Lehman,” says the renowned investment strategist.

Mr. McDonald knows what he’s talking about. As a former vice-president of distressed debt trading at Lehman Brothers he witnessed the meltdown of the global financial system first hand. Today, he runs the The Bear Traps Report, an independent investment research service for institutional investors.

In this in-depth interview with The Market/NZZ, Mr. McDonald warns of rising defaults in the credit markets and points out that large public borrowers such as Italy and New York State are going to need bailouts of historic proportions. However, he spots opportunities in the metals and mining sector.

Mr. McDonald, despite a grim economic picture, investors are getting confident that the worst of the pandemic is behind us. What’s your take on the financial markets?

Equity markets have priced in a lot of love from the Federal Reserve. The Fed has done a lot to ease financial conditions, and the amount of liquidity is amazing. Since late February, they’ve done more in terms of balance sheet expansion than nearly two years of action in 2008 to 2010. They’ve clearly pumped up asset prices.

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

Straight Talk

Straight Talk

We live through very unique times, not only because of the shock of the coronavirus that recently hit the world unexpectedly, but also because of large complex structural issues that have been building for decades.

A popular mantra says the stock market is not the economy and the economy is not the stock market referring to the often seen disconnect between market prices and events taking place in the economy. The most recent example has been Wall Street rallying with each disastrous jobs report hitting the news wires. Even this last Friday markets rallied again unperturbed by the latest unemployment report showing the most severe collapse in employment in our recent history. Depression like figures, yet the Nasdaq is green on the year, the S&P 500 largely off the lows with many again predicting new highs to come. Why? Because of unprecedented liquidity flooding markets as a result of monetary intervention making the disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street even wider. We can pretend the stock market is not the economy, but there is no stock market without an economy yet we are witnessing an unprecedented disconnect between the two that has been building for years.

Can this disconnect be sustained? Are investors too optimistic about the current rally? What are the implications going forward?

These are complex issues everyone is confronted with and there are no easy answers. What an intellectually challenging and energizing time to be alive!

I am grabbling with these issues as much as you are, we all are. And for that reason the idea for an ongoing webinar arose, to find a format to discuss these issues in more depth and make the debate more accessible and personal.

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

Blain’s Morning Porridge (1) May Day 2020: Boeing – Marx Wins

Blain’s Morning Porridge (1) May Day 2020: Boeing – Marx Wins

“I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things.”

There are going to be two porridge this morning… This is the ANGRY one

Later I am going to post something on Sovereign Debt.. I thought I ought to separate them.. you will understand as you read on.

May 1st is the day we associate with the Workers of the World. Originally is was the Spring Festival: Maypole dancing and new life springing from hedgerow and field. Karl Marx and Communism tried to rebrand it as a Workers’ Holiday. That might actually be apt: how many of us were out on our balconies or streets last night clapping Our NHS (The UK’s Health Service), thanking the key workers and the services keeping us safe through this pandemic? 

I’m writing two porridges this morning because I am deeply uneasy about what’s happening in financial markets. The Coronavirus has completely turned the global economy on its head. It will create the most profound changes to the way we live and our future prospects – we are all beginning to realise that. There is not going to be a V-Shaped recovery. Many lives will be shattered and ruined in its wake.

Yes, what I saw yesterday confirms two terrible truth we’ve long denied: 

1) The system was already rotten to its very core before Coronavirus triggered the coming depression. This was coming and is overdue. 

2) Those responsible for that rotten core will likely walk away richer, while the poor working men and women that struggle, scrimp and suffer spending their lives working for them will inevitably get poorer. 

What has made me so angry?

Boeing. 

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

Fed Drastically Slashed Helicopter Money for Wall Street. QE Down 86% From Peak Week in March

Fed Drastically Slashed Helicopter Money for Wall Street. QE Down 86% From Peak Week in March

Fed shed MBS. Loans to “SPVs” flat for fifth week. Repos in disuse. Fed still hasn’t bought junk bonds, stocks, or ETFs. But it sure sent Wall Street dreaming.

Total assets on the Fed’s balance sheet rose by only $83 billion during the week ending April 29, to $6.656 trillion. That $83 billion was the smallest weekly increase since this show started on March 15, and down by 86% from peak-bailout in the week ended March 25. This chart shows the weekly increases of total assets on Fed’s balance sheet:

The Fed is thereby following its playbook laid out over the past two years in various Fed-head talks that it would front-load the bailout-QE during the next crisis, and that, after the initial blast, it would then cut back these asset purchases when no longer needed, rather than let them drag out for years.

On January 1, the balance sheet stopped expanding as the Fed’s repo market bailout had ended. However, in late February, all heck was breaking loose, and the Fed first increased its repo offerings and then on March 15, started massively throwing freshly created money at the markets, peaking with $586 billion in the single week ended March 25.

But since then, the Fed has slashed its weekly increases in assets, which shows up in the flattening curve of the Fed’s total assets in 2020:

The Fed cut its purchases of Treasury securities. The balance of its mortgage-backed securities (MBS) actually fell. Repurchase agreements (repos) have fallen into disuse. Lending to Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) has not gone anywhere in five weeks. And foreign central bank liquidity swaps, after spiking in the first two weeks, only rose modestly, with most of the increase coming from the Bank of Japan, which is by far the largest user of those swaps.

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

Broken System

Broken System

The Fed poisons everything, and I mean everything. From markets, the economy, and I will even go as far as politics. Sounds far fetched? Let me make my case below. But as much as the Fed poisons everything this crisis here again reveals a larger issue: The system is completely broken, it can’t sustain itself without the Fed’s ever more monumental interventions. These interventions are absolutely necessary or the system collapses under its own broken facade. And this conflict, a Fed poisoning the economy’s growth prospects on the one hand, and its needed presence and actions to keep the broken system afloat on the other, has the economy and society on a mission to circle a perpetual drain.

So how does the Fed poison everything?

Let’s start with the Fed actual process of working towards its stated mission: Full employment and price stability.

How does it do that? Well, for the last 20 years mainly by extremely low interest rates and balance sheet expansion sprinkled with an enormous amount of jawboning. The principle effect: Asset price inflation.

It’s not a side effect, it’s the true mission. The Fed has been managing the economy via asset prices even though Jay Powell again insisted on saying the Fed is not targeting asset prices.

This is a lie. And I can prove it with one chart. Cumulative $NYAD, the flow into stocks versus M1 money supply:

It was not until the Fed flooded markets with cheap money creating the housing bubble that the $NYAD equation changed dramatically, and it was not until the GFC that the Fed went full hog wild on M1 money supply that $NYAD went full vertical alongside of M1. TINA! There is no alternative. Forcing money into equities to manage the economy with a rising stock market.

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

Market Update: The Battle For Control

Market Update: The Battle For Control

Which side will prevail in the markets going forward? Reality or rescue?

As more data pours in showing the severe and worsening contraction of the global economy due to the impact of covid-19, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the only thing propping up today’s financial markets is the $trillions in rescue stimulus promised by governments across the globe.

Bloomberg estimates that flood to be in the range of $8 trillion — and counting.

Will it be enough?

Time will tell. But, for now, it has been enough to keep the markets elevated. As reported last week, the FAANG stock complex is back at an all-time high.

Here at PeakProsperity.com, we’ve long been critical of central banks’ upward influence on the financial markets, which prior to covid-19, distorted asset prices far higher than fundamentals justified and created accelerating inequity between the rich and the rest of society.

Those issues are now exacerbated by the abovementioned new $8 trillion, though there’s an important twist this time. The problems the central planners are trying to address aren’t easily solved by simply forcing liquidity into the system.

The world is experiencing one of the worst demand shocks in history. In America, more than 26 million workers have lost their jobs over just the past 5 weeks:

US new jobless claims

Bankruptcies tend to follow layoff by three to six months, so we can expect to see a tsunami of business failures over the next two quarters.

Supporting this prediction, we can already see the massive drop in demand US businesses are experiencing the initial April Purchasing Manager Index:

US PMI

The charts for Japan and the Eurozone look the same or worse.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…ir latest perspective.

IMPORTANT TOM CLOUD PRECIOUS METALS UPDATE: Including Gold & Silver Eagle Best Buy Prices

IMPORTANT TOM CLOUD PRECIOUS METALS UPDATE: Including Gold & Silver Eagle Best Buy Prices

As the global contagion continues to cause a great deal of uncertainty in the markets, I thought it was a good idea for precious metals dealer Tom Cloud to provide a new update.  Tom starts off the video saying that in his 44 years in the industry, he has never seen anything like the current situation in the precious metals markets.

Tom stated that one of his wealthier clients last week took money out of the banking system and purchased a large sum ($millions) of physical precious metals.  Unfortunately, there still are only a fraction of financial planners that advise their clients to own a percentage of physical gold and silver in their portfolio. I believe investors should be increasing the typical 5-10% of precious metals in one’s portfolio to at least 20-25%.

Tom also went on to say that some leading financial analysts are calling for a 30% drop in U.S. GDP by Q2 2020.  This is no longer a recessionary event.  Rather, we are heading into a Depression, the likes we haven’t seen for nearly eight decades.  Very few Americans are prepared for what’s coming.

With investment demand for physical precious metals at near-record levels, Gold and Silver Eagle premiums are some of the highest ever.  It is quite amazing to see Silver Eagles buy prices more than $10 over the spot price.  One large online dealer is selling its Silver Eagles for nearly $12 over spot. Thus, Silver Eagle premiums are ranging between 50-80% over spot.

I also wanted to provide an update on the Gold & Silver Eagle BEST BUY prices.  I spoke to Tom yesterday for about a half-hour.  He told me that Silver Eagle premiums increased again, but CLOUD HARD ASSETS still has the lowest prices versus the top leading online dealers:

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

Peter Schiff: The Questions Nobody Is Asking

Peter Schiff: The Questions Nobody Is Asking

There seems to be growing optimism that we’re nearing the end of the coronavirus lockdown. Stocks have rallied despite dismal economic numbers. But Peter Schiff says there are some important questions nobody is asking, especially when it comes to the insane Federal Reserve monetary policy.

The US stock market ended last week on an upswing and gold was down as optimism and risk-on sentiment returned. The optimism was due to a possible treatment for coronavirus along with some movement toward reopening the US economy. There seems to be some sentiment that the market has found its bottom.

Peter doesn’t think so.

I still am doubting this rally. I don’t think the bear market is over. I don’t think the bear market ends with stocks like Netflix and Amazon making new all-time record highs. I still think those stocks have to have some kind of comeuppance. I think they have to take those out and shoot them. So,  I am looking for another sell-off in the broad markets.”

Peter said there is one thing the market has going for it — the Federal Reserve. In fact, a lot of people seem to think that’s all you need.

As long as you’ve got the Fed on your side and they’re going to keep on printing money, which they’re going to do and they’re going to print more and more of it, people are going to make a bet. And they’re going to bet on the Fed by buying stocks. What they should be doing is buying gold.”

Gold stocks have been strong in recent weeks, but some of the bigwigs on Wall Street are already talking like the gold rally is over. Peter said it’s barely begun.

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

The holiday of exchange value

The holiday of exchange value

Many markets are on hold, as societies such as ours fight the pandemic. But how else might things be valued, and how much of that alternative could survive when economic normality returns?

The primary economic fact about the coronavirus crisis is how it has brought existing class divisions into much sharper light. The New York Times expressed things most succinctly:

A kind of pandemic caste system is rapidly developing: the rich holed up in vacation properties; the middle class marooned at home with restless children; the working class on the front lines of the economy, stretched to the limit by the demands of work and parenting, if there is even work to be had.

For those of us who find themselves in the middle of these three categories, there is a mixture of deep frustration with the monotony of the situation, with relief and gratitude that we do not find ourselves confronting the hazards of those in the third of them. None of what I write here discounts how many people remain locked into capitalist markets (especially in the United States), only now with their health on the line. But it remains worth reflecting on how the world looks once market-based exchange is no longer the primary yardstick of value, as many people have been doing from across the political spectrum.

The starting point of the ‘new’ economic sociology that developed out of social network analysis in the United States during the 1980s, around the example of Harrison White and the landmark papers of Mark Granovetter, was that markets aren’t ’embedded’ in society (as Polanyians like to argue), but that markets are social institutions. Granovetter showed this most famously with labour markets, but any market is amenable to this approach, and the emergence of ‘social studies of finance’ in the late 1990s was also indebted to the ‘new’ economic sociology, via Michel Callon.

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

Futures Plunge As WTI Crashes By Most On Record, Tumbling To $11 Per Barrel

Futures Plunge As WTI Crashes By Most On Record, Tumbling To $11 Per Barrel

Oil prices crashed the most on record with the May WTI futures contract hitting its lowest level since 1999, plunging as low as $11 or down 38%, as nobody wants to take actual physical storage amid widespread fears crude storage will soon be full; meanwhile companies prepare to report the worst quarterly earnings since the financial crisis, while tens of thousands of people continue to get sick every day with the coronavirus.

While Brent was only down $1.12, or 4%, at $26.96 a barrel on Monday morning, the carnage took place in the landlocked WTI, whose May contract fell $5.70 to its lowest since March 1998 though the sell-off was exaggerated by the contract’s Tuesday expiry because no one wants to be left long to take delivery as there is nowhere to put the physical product. In any case, the 37% drop was the biggest one-day drop on record!

“The May contract is set to expire tomorrow and the bulk of the open interest and volume is already in the June contract,” said ING’s head of commodities strategy, Warren Patterson.  To be sure, the June contract, which is more actively traded, fell only $2.18, or 8.7%, to $22.85 a barrel, sending the prompt spread to a record $11/barrel.

Not helping oil was an interfax report that Russia increased oil output by almost 1% in the last 3-days. While the OPEC+ deal comes into effect on May 1st, Russia is not bound by the pact to reduce its output until then; and – it appears – Moscow is looking to make the most of the next 10 days, even if it means sending the front-end to zero.

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

Peter Schiff: This Is a Financial Crisis

Peter Schiff: This Is a Financial Crisis

A lot of people in the mainstream still insist this isn’t a financial crisis like we saw in 2008. They say this is just a self-inflicted shutdown of the economy. Since we decided to shut it down, we can decide to start it back up again. Peter Schiff begs to differ. In his podcast, he explains that this is absolutely a financial crisis and it’s going to be worse than 2008.

Stocks fell yesterday (April 15) on dour economic news and the financials led the plunge. In fact, even during the stock market rally on Monday, the financials lagged. Peter called them the Achilles Heel in that Monday surge.

This is significant because the financial sector is the key to the US economy.

They shouldn’t be, but they are, because we have a bubble economy. We have an economy based on credit, based on debt. So, not people spending the money they earned, but spending the money they didn’t earn but they borrowed.”

This becomes clear when you look at the consumer debt numbers. Americans were already leveraged up to their eyeballs before coronavirus spurred a government lockdown of the economy.

What is at the heart of the bubble, other than the Federal Reserve which is pumping all the blood through the body of the economy, but it’s pumping it through the heart of the banking sector. So, when you’re seeing this cardiac arrest in the banking sector, this is a sign that there’s trouble brewing here when the banks are having so much trouble.”

Why are banks in trouble? Because people are defaulting on their loans. In fact, there was already trouble in the subprime markets before COVID-19. Both subprime credit card and auto loan defaults were rising. That will only increase with millions of people suddenly unemployed.

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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