Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Reasons Not To Buy Gold?

The more gold a country has, the more sovereignty it will have if there’s a cataclysm with the dollar, the euro, the pound or any other reserve currency -  Evgeny Fedorov, a lawmaker for Putin’s United Russia party in the lower house of parliament  LINK
Mark Hulbert, who writes a subscription market newsletter and writes for Marketwatch, wrote a shockingly inept article about gold for Barron's online, which was published last Thursday.  After I read through his article plus the research reports from which his article is derived, I felt compelled to issue a rebuttal.  My thoughts on Hulbert's piece are here:  Reasons Not To Buy Gold?

I actually emailed Hulbert and gave him a chance to address my criticisms before I wrote my article:
Your article in Barron's about gold is absurd.  Just the opening statement about gold being accepted universally as a "virtue" is way off the mark.  Globally investment institutions have less than 1% of their assets invested in the precious metals sector.  In 1980 the allocation was 6%.  Not really a signal the gold is being universally viewed as a mainstream investment
That's an example of one of my complaints that he chose to ignore/deflect.  Ironically, he pointed me to a section of the longer research report he cites that gave me more ammunition to reinforce my criticisms.  Finally, I lectured him on his statement that one of the authors of the report has bought gold in the past - and therefore was unbiased in his views - did nothing more than put lipstick on his pig of an article.

It does not surprise me that Hulbert had no problem getting paid to write a smear-job on gold for Barron's.  The fact that Barron's feels compelled to pile on to the extreme negative sentiment in the precious metals sector right now (see the chart below), is a signal to me that the current pullback is bottoming and getting ready to move higher. 

 (click on chart to enlarge)
 (source:  Sentimentrader.com)

Ironically, part of Hulbert's subscription newsletter monitors the sentiment of gold stock newsletters.  Currently, the sentiment index is at 6, after being at negative 12.5 for quite some time.  A negative reading means that gold stock newsletters are recommending going net short the gold stocks.  Every time the sentiment goes negative, it has marked a bottom.


  1. Way To GO Dave . . . . What Mark Hulbert didn't say is that GOLD has been Money for more than 5,000 years and that trumps any dumb ass reason he stated not to Buy GOLD !

    The time is coming when all these idiots are going to eat their Hats . . . .

    Swiss Genome

  2. I have been waiting nearly two years since the Crimex "fixed" the liquidity of silver markets. May 1, 2011. I have been waiting for some kind of recovery after two years of worldwide money printing, gold and silver haven't done jack shit. The miners are shorted and a joke.

    How long will this go on?? Even at 10% annualized gains silver should be trading near 38 and gold at 1900.

    The harsh fact for me Dave is that despite the fundamentals, I've been losing money. JPM and HSBC short, short, and short metals and miners to keep investors completely disgruntled and disillusioned.

    It is working.

  3. Thanks for your rebuttal to Hulbert's article Dave. What is your prespective on why miners are so depressed at the moment.

    1. Hedge funds are the big investors in the mining stocks right now. When they buy, the miners run up big. When they sell, the miners get demolished. I think the selling is mostly done.

      At some big institutional funds will move into the sector and it will get less volatile.

      The HUI ran from 45 to 495, then back down to 145 (that was 2008 and happened in 6 months) then back up to over 600 from 145, and now at 395, after going as low as 372. The question is, where will the next high point occur....

  4. Wall Street hucksters have been trash talking gold since the 1960's, if not earlier than that. Treat this Hulbert guy as you would treat nincompoop Nadler, a big mouth blowhard who will eventually be proved wrong. Wall Street was calling gold overpriced when it was $350 an ounce, do you think they are going to change their tune now? If nothing else, use this Hulbert and his gold bear ilk as any contrarian would, when they dismiss gold then gold will go up slowly, when they sing praises concerning gold, then it is time to cash out quietly before gold finally turns parabolic.

  5. I read your rebuttal on SeekingAlpha and the comments from the readers. Some readers used the CPI figures and the gold performance since 1980 to point out that the gold is not a good hedge against inflation/hyperinflation. Their premises are: 1. the CPI figures are fair and unbiased; 2. The gold market is free of manipulation. However, these premises are totally baseless. The government has been under-reporting through changing the definition of CPI for years. And there is heavy invention from governments to manipulate the price of gold. GATA has done a good job to point out the blatant manipulation.
    Another guy used the slow M2 growth to prove that gold is overvalued. It's true that the Japanese central bank has been pumping money for years but the M2 growth is slow and Japan still is suffering from deflation or at least seemingly. But what if the money-printing in Japan leads to hyperinflation in the coming years, which I think is highly likely, given the quick devaluation of the Yen.?. If hyperinflation broke out in Japan, it would trigger rampant contagion in the developed world. That's why as I mentioned previously on your blog, maybe Japan is the first domino to bring down the house of cards.
    The last thing I want to say is that the silver market is behaving quite strangely these days. Despite the fall on Monday, the open interest actually increased. This is extremely rare. Any thoughts?

    1. Everyone is puzzled by the silver open interest behavior. My view is that either an unusually large number of commercial/industrial users (vs. commercial/bull bank shorts) are holding for delivery, knowing that delivery inventories are getting tight OR a large hedge fund has finally figured out the game is not letting the paper manipulations shake it's position.

      As for the other stuff, the publicly available evidence of manipulation is so numerous, including insider accounts PLUS one of the CFTC commissioners admitting to it - PLUS two Fed former chairmen who have alluded to it (Volker and Greenspan, the latter while he was Fed head and in front of Congress) that anyone NOT believing in the manipulation is the same type of person who still believes in Santa Clause or believes that that the shroud of Turin is evidence that Christ really did exist.

      All the other criticisms with regard to CPI or M2 are nonsense.

  6. World Gold Council to teach central bankers how to trade gold

    Central bankers will be taught how to trade gold at a three-day seminar on "gold reserves management" to be held in March at the University of California at Berkeley and co-sponsored by the World Gold Council.

    Apparently modern "gold reserves management" involves a lot more than making sure that the metal is safe in a vault, even if whether and how a central bank should account to the public for its gold trading do not seem to be subjects for discussion at the seminar.

    But at least one of the seminar's lecturers may know something about how a central bank can keep the public ignorant of its market interventions: Kenneth Sullivan, senior financial sector expert with the International Monetary Fund, the organization whose secret March 1999 staff report found that Western central banks conceal their gold loans and swaps to facilitate surreptitious market intervention:


    Sullivan, the seminar's announcement says, is the IMF's representative on the International Financial Reporting Standards Advisory Council and chairs central bank accounting study groups addressing issues of transparency in central bank financial reporting. That must be a frustrating job for anyone really pursuing transparency.

    The seminar itself doesn't seem to be pursuing transparency. Its invitation is limited to "senior central bankers -- governors, deputy and assistant governors, heads of reserve management, economists, and portfolio managers," and "finance ministry officials and treasury managers."

    So will the World Gold Council explain to the gold mining companies and gold investors it purports to represent exactly what are the objectives of central banks trading in gold and the gold futures, options, and derivatives traded for them by their agent, the Bank for International Settlements? Is the objective to maximize the value of gold at the expense of government currencies and government bonds or maximize the value of government currencies and government bonds at the expense of gold?

    And if, with the seminar, the World Gold Council isn't actually facilitating central bank manipulation of the gold market, why keep the public out?


  7. Why the Government has no Interest in Fixing the Economy

    In contrast to the studied ignorance of the economic mainstream, there is history to consider here. In central respects the current and ongoing ‘Great Recession’ has roots eerily similar to those of the 1930s. By 1929 the highly leveraged financial system was as unfathomably complex and nearly as filled with purposely-fraudulent garbage as Wall Street was in 2008.

    By 2008 and 2009 (and years earlier) the problems with the Wall Street banks were clear to economists familiar with the work of economist Hyman Minsky—a massive ‘Ponzi’ lending cycle, loans made on the basis of rising asset (collateral) values rather than sustainable cash flows, rendered the banking system insolvent once asset values began to decline. Additionally, a ‘shadow’ banking system premised on cash-flow leverage, a/k/a permanently cheap funding from the Fed, produced a systemic suicide mechanism. How clever was this?—the Fed raised interest rates as asset prices fell and the system collapsed. Who benefited?—the bankers who paid themselves from illusory profits and are still being bailed out by the Fed. Who lost?—everyone on the receiving end of the savage capitalism pushed by the banks but from whose ‘rules’ the banks now claim exemption.

    In the narrow terms of mainstream debates over the Fed’s monetary policies, the monetarists have a point—the sudden withdrawal of money from a highly leveraged financial system will force ‘unnecessary’ bankruptcies and asset liquidations at prices below what the assets would be worth in times of abundant liquidity. But this frame deflects attention from relevant particulars such as the nature of bank lending leading to the crisis and the structure of the financial system that leaves individual banks in an interrelated financial system to increase individual bank ‘profits’ by maximizing the risk of systemic crisis. There is ample evidence of rampant lending fraud to feed the securitization pipelines of the Wall Street banks in the most recent housing boom-bust. And the cash-flow leverage of the shadow banks rendered asset values largely irrelevant in a narrow sense as long as low cost funding was continuous in a system where low cost and abundance are known to be cyclical and at the systemic level, because of pledged collateral, asset values remained crucial.

    Put another way, Wall Street created a system where either an increase in interest rates (see variable rate mortgages below) or a material decline in asset values would kill the world economy in a world where the Fed ‘manages’ the broader economy by raising and lowering interest rates and the value of assets held by banks is (was) a function of the level of prudence in the lending process. This leaves bankers as either hapless idiots too stupid to know the basics of the monetary economics that govern their industry or cynical sociopaths willing to kill the global economy, with the attendant mass misery doing so is guaranteed to cause, for a fatter paycheck.

    To a point poorly understood by mainstream economists- cash-flow leverage works as follows: say a bundle of fraudulently underwritten mortgages was intended to yield 8% but will realistically yield 3%. Thanks to cheap money and lax lending standards the bundle can be leveraged 20X at cost of 1%, that is, for $1 invested in the mortgages $20 of the bundle can be bought with a realistic yield of 3% (cash-flow) – 1% funding cost = 2% X 20 (leverage) = 40% return per year on 20:1 leverage with the $1 of every $20 worth of mortgage bundle serving as collateral. How do bankers get a 1% funding cost against weak collateral? Thank you Federal Reserve.


    if you can't see where gold/silver/hard assets fits into the equation..you're part of the problem.

  8. Billionaire Hughes Chasing Blackstone as U.S. Rental King

    B. Wayne Hughes, a sharecropper’s son who became a billionaire pioneering warehouses for Americans needing storage space, is buying thousands of houses to rent as more people find homeownership out of reach.

    Hughes, 79, has purchased about 10,000 properties through his American Homes 4 Rent, making the Malibu, California-based firm the second-biggest owner of single-family rentals after Stephen Schwarzman’s Blackstone Group LP. Hughes is using $600 million from the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. and other fundraising to buy real estate, mostly at foreclosure auctions, according to Paul Saylor, chairman of CS Capital Management Inc., who advises the Alaska fund.


    storage facilities for the impoverished?

  9. Currency Wars are Real—Yra Harris

    Legendary trader Yra Harris says, “The currency wars are real, and the game is on.” Harris says the global currency war is what helped Volkswagen gain market share in the last few years. So, what is Japan doing? It is cutting the value of its currency so Toyota will gain market share. The currency war is also what’s been driving gold higher. Harris says, “Is gold in a bull market? Absolutely. Is gold a tired bull for the moment? Absolutely. . . . I think you’d be crazy to sell because there are so many variables of uncertainty.” Harris goes on to predict, “What do I think is the most explosive event for gold? It is the day Draghi (President of the ECB) can no longer jawbone quantitative easing. He actually has to step up to the plate.” Harris is counting on the Fed to continue to pump out dollars. He says, “I can go to sleep at night and know one thing–the Fed will not allow deflation.” The reason is simple, according to Harris, “We live on debt in this society. Debt based societies cannot absorb a deflationary spiral.”


  10. "Currency Wars Are Evil"
    Axel Merk, Merk Investments


    "G-7 seeks to defuse currency war fears"
    Reno-Gazette Journal Feb. 13, 2013 / Page 5A

    The housing bubble of 2008 sent the price of gold skyrocketing as well as raising the price of silver. Brian above wrote that gold/silver hasn't done shit and that he is losing money. Right now, it's a waiting game. There is 'cracks" showing up everywhere that the global economy is unstable. Disputes among nations - once "buddies" of the goold ole days - runs the risks of trade wars and protectionism. There are also other "bubbles' out there that can pop and they can do a lot of damage. We all know that the system cannot continue to be awash in debt. That debt has to come out of the system. If 200 billion in debt that the US had in 1920 cause the great depression (I am talking in general terms), what do we think 20 Trillion + Trillions in unfunded liabilities is going to do? Even the elites will be divided among themselves and fighting. There is so much rigging of markets and statistics and numbers to keep this whole scheme going that we have no idea when it's going to collapse but we know for certain that it will and very shortly. We may soon experience living conditions that make us regret that we were alive to see these times. My mom grew up during the great depression and said it was really bad. And that's all she will say about it.

  11. The US Debt dashboard [Key Indicators of the Global Systemic Economic Crisis]


  12. “We Americans are not usually thought to be a submissive people, but of course we are.

    Why else would we allow our country to be destroyed? Why else would we be rewarding its destroyers? Why else would we all — by proxies we have given to greedy corporations and corrupt politicians — be participating in its destruction?

    Most of us are still too sane to piss in our own cistern, but we allow others to do so and we reward them for it. We reward them so well, in fact, that those who piss in our cistern are wealthier than the rest of us.”

    Wendell Berry

  13. How GETCO Went From HFT Trading Giant To Dwarf, And Raked Up Over $50 Million In T&E Expenses Along The Way

    And since retail orders no longer would feed the frontrunning, sub-pennying, quote churning, flash crashing juggernaut that is HFT, that meant less revenue and profit for algo master GETCO.

    How much less? A whopping 82% less in the nine months ended September 30, 2012 compared to a year prior, and 92% less when annualizing 2012 results compared to the firm's heyday in 2008, the year in which it made a record $430 million in net income. Getco's net income as of September 30, 2012: a tiny $25 million.

    Which is why the status quo and the entire institutional infrastructure is so very desperate to get the retail investor out of hibernation and the "safety of bonds" and back in the corrupt casino known as the "stock market" dominated by the likes of Getco, Goldman, the G-7 (since the markets are now nothing more than a political vehicle to pass policy and promote a globalist agenda), and, of course, Ben Bernanke.

    To see the desperation visually, here is a chart of private GETCO's net income, which was revealed for the first time today as part of the S-4 filed in relation to the still very shady collapse and acquisition of former market making giant Knight Capital, which suicided itself in the span of 30 minutes after an errant algo literally destroyed the company.


  14. David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5000 Years,

    In the second half of the show, Max Keiser talks to anthropologist, David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5000 Years, about the dollar, a war backed currency, being displaced by gold and about who killed Aaron Swartz and why.


  15. Russia & China Know Final Currency Devaluation Is Coming

    “The largest component of the Dollar Index is the euro. The rest of the mix contains a few other European currencies and the Japanese yen.

    In recent years, we have become transfixed by the back and forth oscillations of the index. Other than the precipitous decline from the highs prior to the introduction of the euro to the current level of roughly 80, it has been an insight-devoid oscillation appropriate only for traders.

    We have been following the bouncing ball as intended. The dollar goes up, the euro weakens. Coincidentally, swaps occur between central banks at the same time. For example, if the U.S. Fed provides dollars to the Europeans, the dollar weakens as they are converted into euros and the euro rises. It often occurs around solvency crises, keeping the aggregate banking system from capsizing and on a seemingly even keel. The pattern then reverses. It is all part of the charade.

    We find that following the Dollar Index is a worthless exercise if one wants to gauge the condition of the currency markets. Will it go to 50 as some suggest? Perhaps, but that will only occur if the current range of the high 70s to low 80s cannot be defended. The usefulness of the Index is to divert our attention from the real battle being waged between the fiat currency bloc, the yuan, and gold.

    The currencies that comprise the Dollar Index and the dollar itself are really part of the same team. The components move around a bit to create excitement, but those countries and their currencies are joined at the financial hip. We recently saw Japan appear to be getting out of line with Mr. Abe’s call for unlimited printing, but then subsequently saw an announcement that the yen had depreciated “enough”.

    This is all part of the pretend drama that the fiat currencies are engaged in a currency war. If there is a war, it is the fiat group against gold and the yuan. A wondering mind, however, might consider the possibility that the latest moves by Japan are really about rearmament given their growing tensions with China and North Korea. An announcement of rearmament would be politically problematic. Unlimited stimulus would provide the perfect politically correct cover for rearmament. One can only ruminate on the possibilities.


  16. Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail How HSBC hooked up with drug traffickers and terrorists. And got away with it

    "They violated every goddamn law in the book," says Jack Blum, an attorney and former Senate investigator who headed a major bribery investigation against Lockheed in the 1970s that led to the passage of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. "They took every imaginable form of illegal and illicit business."

    That nobody from the bank went to jail or paid a dollar in individual fines is nothing new in this era of financial crisis. What is different about this settlement is that the Justice Department, for the first time, admitted why it decided to go soft on this particular kind of criminal. It was worried that anything more than a wrist slap for HSBC might undermine the world economy. "Had the U.S. authorities decided to press criminal charges," said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer at a press conference to announce the settlement, "HSBC would almost certainly have lost its banking license in the U.S., the future of the institution would have been under threat and the entire banking system would have been destabilized."

    It was the dawn of a new era. In the years just after 9/11, even being breathed on by a suspected terrorist could land you in extralegal detention for the rest of your life. But now, when you're Too Big to Jail, you can cop to laundering terrorist cash and violating the Trading With the Enemy Act, and not only will you not be prosecuted for it, but the government will go out of its way to make sure you won't lose your license. Some on the Hill put it to me this way: OK, fine, no jail time, but they can't even pull their charter? Are you kidding?

    Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/gangster-bankers-too-big-to-jail-20130214#ixzz2KttFHjdu

  17. Wall Street Wins Again: The Much Vaunted Mortgage Task Force “Does Not Exist”

    You know why Jaime Dimon is always smiling and why the oligarchs in general are so arrogant? They keep pillaging the American public and no one does anything about it. The sheeple are so brainwashed at this point most of them will fall for anything. Now, for the outrageous story of the day… From Salon:

    Recent profiles of this event have called last night’s State of the Union the “anniversary” of the formation of the working group. But you can’t really have an anniversary of something that never existed in the first place. There never was a Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities working group, never a so-called task force dedicated to ferreting out Wall Street fraud — the deceptive origination of mortgage loans, sale of worthless mortgage-backed securities for huge sums, and subsequent unloading of toxic debt to unsuspecting buyers. The working group fails to exist as a tangible entity to this day. What does exist is the same years-old Financial Fraud Enforcement Group that serves as a conduit for press releases about investigative actions already in progress.

    Schneiderman’s “task force” (a generous appellation) was merely a politically motivated shell organization grafted onto that public relations strategy.


  18. Warren: Too-big-to-fail is too-big-for-trial

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — In her first hearing as a U.S. senator Thursday, Elizabeth Warren criticized federal regulators for settling civil cases with Wall Street banks instead of taking them to trial.

    “I want to note that there are district attorneys and U.S. attorneys who are out there everyday squeezing ordinary citizens on sometimes very thin grounds and taking them to trial to ‘make an example,’ as they put it,” she told bank regulators testifying at a Senate Banking Committee hearing. “I am really concerned that too-big-to-fail has become too-big-for-trial.”

    Warren acknowledged that trials are expensive but she insisted that if an agency is unwilling to go to trial it is because they are “too timid” or lack resources. She said that the consequence is that if large financial institutions can break the law and “drag in billions” in profits and settle, then they don’t have much incentive to follow the law.

    “Every time there is a settlement and not a trial, it means we didn’t have the days and days and days of testimony about what those financial institutions were up to,” Warren said

    The Justice Department can take banks to trial on both criminal and civil charges, while bank regulators engage in civil enforcement actions, which can include trials. Bank regulators also can also make referrals to the Justice Department for criminal proceedings against banks or individuals.

    Warren asked bank regulators how tough they are and raised the question about when was the last time any regulator took a Wall Street bank to trial.
    “Anybody?” she asked.


  19. We May See A Shortage Of Gold & A Massive Price Spike

    Eric King: “Felix, gold repatriation, we’ve seen that trend. There is a distrust of what’s taken place in London, and at the Fed. Meaning the gold has been loaned out, leased out by the bullion banks. It’s not in the vaults. Countries are getting nervous and saying, ‘Give us our gold.’ This trend that’s happening (with gold repatriation), your thoughts on that?”

    Zulauf: “At first it was reported that Germany’s Bundesbank repatriated half of their gold located outside of Germany. Within seven weeks we learned it will be 1/5 of what is outside of Germany, and it will take 7 years. The reason given was because of some swap and contract agreements, etc.. So obviously this tells you that part of the physical gold may be lent out and may not be there where it should be (at the Fed)....

    “If all of this is true that there is not as much gold physically sitting where it should be, but being lent out, and you do not know how good the financial quality of those borrowers are, eventually this could lead to a tremendous shortage of physical gold. It could then propel the price of gold higher in a relatively short period of time. So that’s another reason why I like to own my gold physically, and I recommend that to all investors.”


  20. What else do you expect. HSBC was formed by the Sassoons (East India Company) and the Roosevelts (West India Company). The Roosevelts as in Teddy and Franklin. They gave the opium importation franchise for the United States to the Browns and the Harrimans. An ambitious Ohio tyre salesman Prescott Bush married into the Harriman family and became a Senator. Prescott Bush fronted for the Browns and the Harrimans when they realised that prohibition made alcohol much more profitable and became the first owners of a legal monopoly to lobby congress to make their commodity illegal. Having paid off congress they succeeded in turning opium into a highly profitable illegal drug.

    Prescott Bush managed the family business until his son George Bush took over when he became the head of the CIA. The family fortune expanded operations by introducing crack cocaine into the US. The cocaine was imported through the Arkansas military airbase. This operation was overseen by an ambitious governor called Bill Clinton.

    Gary Webb wrote a book about it called the Dark Alliance before he shot himself twice in head.

    You couldn't make this stuff up. Does anyone think these people are going to stop drug money laundering?

    Does Matt Taibbi know this? You bet he does before he became a reporter for Rolling Stone he ran a magazine from a brothel in Moscow owned by a prominent member of the Russian mafia called Exile.

    1. Aftermath and death

      After leaving San Jose Mercury News Webb went to work for the California Assembly Speaker's Office of Member Services and served as a consultant to the California State legislature Task Force on Government Oversight. As a member of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, Webb investigated charges that the Oracle Corporation received a no-bid contract award of $95 million in 2001 from former California Governor Gray Davis. Webb was hired by the Sacramento News and Review, after being laid off in 2003 with the rest of the former Speaker's staff as part of a house-cleaning when the new Speaker took over.[24]

      On December 10, 2004, he was found dead from two gunshot wounds to the head.[25] Sacramento County coroner Robert Lyons ruled that it was suicide, noting that a suicide note was found at the scene.[25] Webb's ex-wife, Sue Bell, said that Webb had been depressed for some time over his inability to get a job at another major newspaper.[25]


    2. Was Gary Webb ’Suicided’ To Kill New Book?

      Bellaciao | December 28, 2004
      By Charlene Fassa

      Before all articles, legitimate questions, and informed speculation critical of Webb’s alleged ’confirmed’ suicide are automatically tossed in the ’memory hole’, or are destined to endlessly travel through the ’conspiracy belt’ - I have some new and important revelations that need to be factored into the Gary Webb death equation, including information that he was working on a NEW book that he would soon finish.

      And what would people think about Gary Webb’s OFFICIAL airtight ’confirmed suicide’ pronouncement - if they were to read an email containing a recollected conversation between Jon Roland and Gary Webb about this very subject: the possibility of Webb’s being "suicided", where Webb confirms that if he’s found dead it would never be a suicide.

      I spoke to Gary and in the conversation he indicated he had a lot of evidence that did not appear in his writings. I cautioned him that the CIA might contrive to "suicide" him, and he indicated that if he died it would not be suicide.

      The CIA has experts on producing authentic-appearing "suicide notes". If you ever get a report like this about me, you can be absolutely certain it was not suicide.

  21. Berlusconi: "Bribes Are Necessary - They Are Not Crimes"

    With a week to go until the Italian elections, things are getting a little odd to say the least. The somewhat scandal prone Berlusconi, who self-declared himself leading in the polls just recently, has come out swinging in defense of his fellow business leaders' ethical egressions. The Bunga party banner-man defends bribery, "These are not crimes," he notes, as The FT reports, "bribes are a phenomenon that exists and it’s useless to deny the existence of these necessary situations..." This apparently on the heels of the Finmeccanica CEO's Indian helicopter deal bribes and Monte Paschi's derivative debacle. It would appear his argument lies somewhere betweeen, 'if everyone's doing it - then it's ok', and 'everyone's been doing it forever so why stop now?' One Italian paper, though, disgusted at the state of their nation, describes the entire political and elite establishment of 'guilty inertia' - calling for an end to what Berlusconi appears to be saying is corrupt business-as-usual. And yet we are to trust these technocrats when they say 'crisis over', all is well, recovery is here?


    any more meteorites coming?

  22. Mexican Drug Kingpin Named Chicago's First Public Enemy No. 1 Since Al Capone

    Guzman has been on the Forbes' list of billionaires since 2009, and Washington has a $5 million reward for his capture. However, there are allegations that Guzman works with the U.S. government. In court documents, a high-ranking member of Sinaloa currently in U.S. custody asserted that Guzman is a U.S. informant, Sinaloa was "given carte blanche to continue to smuggle tons of illicit drugs into Chicago," and Operation Fast and Furious was part of an agreement to finance and arm the cartel in exchange for information used to take down its rivals. The claims were corroborated by a Mexican foreign service officer who doubled as a confidential source for the U.S. security firm Stratfor when he alleged that the U.S. government works with Mexican cartels to traffic drugs into the U.S., adding that in 2010 the U.S. sided with Sinaloa in an attempt to limit the violence in Mexico.


  23. Penny's from Heaven?

    Pritzler's net worth is listed in Forbes as $1.8 billion, which is one hell of a heavy magic wand in the world of politics. Her wand would have been heavier, and her net worth higher, except that in 2001, the federal government fined her and her family $460 million for the predatory, deceitful, racist tactics and practices of Superior, the bank-and-loan-shark operation she ran on the South Side of Chicago.

    Superior was the first of the deregulated go-go banks to go bust - at the time, the costliest failure ever. US taxpayers lost nearly half a billion dollars. Superior's depositors lost millions and poor folk in Sen. Obama's South Side district lost their homes.

    Penny did not like paying $460 million. No, not one bit. What she needed was someone to give her Hope and Change. She hoped someone would change the banking regulators so she could get away with this crap.

    Pritzker introduced Obama, the neophyte state senator, to the Ladies Who Lunch (that's really what they call themselves) on Chicago's Gold Coast. Obama got lunch, gold and better - an introduction to Robert Rubin. Rubin is a former Secretary of the Treasury, former chairman of Goldman Sachs and, when Robert met Barry, co-chairman of Citibank. Even atheists recognized Rubin as the Supreme Deity of Wall Street.
    Rubin opened the doors to finance industry vaults for Obama.

    So what did Citibank's Rubin get for showering Obama with gold? Obama agreed to take care of Rubin's poodles, Larry Summers and Tim Geithner. They became Obama's first cabinet picks: Summers as Economics Czar and Geithner as his czarina, Secretary of the Treasury.

    Geithner and Summers were the gents who, under Treasury Secretary Rubin, designed the deregulation of banking. In effect, they had decriminalized the kind of financial flim-flammery that brought the planet to its knees while bringing Rubin, Pritzker and the banksters loads of lucre.


  24. Hi Dave, really enjoy reading your blog. Keep up the good work. Any thoughts on today's big drop in Gold ? I've owned physical since last July and although I still believe in the overall fundamentals, we seem to have been drifting down for quite a while now and I'm starting to loose confidence in the yellow metal. Steve (UK)

  25. Great post, Gold futures bounced back in Europe and Asia trading hours on Monday, as investors hauled the precious metal off its lowest close since last July and dismissed some downbeat data out of China.
    best place to buy gold online