Naked Emperors, For The Entire World To See

Gold, Platinum, Currency


Gold, Silver, Platinum 


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April 7, 2017
Table of Contents
From David’s Desk
Andy Hoffman’s Daily Thoughts
David’s Favorite Articles
Market Recap
About Miles Franklin
Just after I finished this newsletter the U.S. struck against Assad’s airbase in Syria. Gold was immediately up to $1,267.30, penetrating its 200-day moving average like a hot knife through butter. Silver is up $0.21 to $18.45.

Like I wrote below, so many black swans and something has to give. And so it has…

Gold’s 200-day moving average sits at $1261.53 and it is falling every day. Silver has already breached its 200-day moving average, which is $18.11. Silver is positioned to make a big move up.

Ted Butler says, “A wide variety of different factors appear to be converging in the silver market that promise a dramatic upward revaluation in price in the relative near future. Unfortunately, based upon some of those same factors, even the most powerful upward revaluation might first be temporarily subject to a sudden sell-off. But the important point is that regardless of whether we first see a deliberate jab to the downside in price, the factors dictating sharply silver prices ahead appear overwhelming.

Moreover, there are other factors suggesting the timeline for a serious price liftoff has also been shortened.

Let me make it easy for those who refuse to acknowledge the silver manipulation. Simply explain why 8 traders, mostly domestic and foreign banks, would hold short the equivalent of 40% of the world’s annual production—and a third of all the silver bullion that exists—at prices below the average primary cost of production and nearly 70% below the price levels of four years ago.

How could such a concentrated short position be explained in legitimate terms — and what would be its purpose? What effect would such a large short position have on the price of any commodity — and how do you see it being resolved if it wasn’t permanent?

I don’t expect any serious answers to such questions, as it appears to be easier to malign the questioner as a conspiracy theorist instead, but I know these questions have never been addressed in a straightforward manner by anyone who denies the silver manipulation.”

There are so many black swans popping up that it is amazing things haven’t already started to implode – with gold and silver taking off to the moon. Someone is working overtime to try and keep a lid on the markets – bonds, gold, silver, stocks, dollar, etc. Lots of luck! This cannot continue much longer.

If you doubt me, check out what is happening to retail. According to the Washington Post, “A fresh round of distress signals sounded in the retail industry this week, as another big-name chain announced hundreds of new store closings and still others moved aggressively to recalibrate their business for the online shopping stampede.

Payless ShoeSource filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and outlined plans to immediately close nearly 400 of its 4.400 stores globally. Ralph Lauren in shuttering its flagship Polo store, a foot-traffic magnet on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, the latest step in a massive cost-cutting effort. Big box office supplies stalwart Staples is reportedly considering putting itself up for sale.

The shakeout among retailers has been building for years and is not arriving in full force.

Few traditional retailers are immune. The Limited filed for bankruptcy and shuttered all 250 of its stores. Hudson’s Bay, the parent company of Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, announced a $75 million annual cost-cutting effort. Banana Republic and Abercrombie & Fitch each named a new chief executive, leadership changes that were precipitated by ongoing struggles to connect with customers.”

I am inserting a very interesting article here, in my space, that has absolutely nothing to do with the metals or the economy. I’m presenting it because it is so very interesting – especially for me, being a Twentieth Century European History major in college and an advanced collector of German Lugers and Robert Taylor original oil paints of WW2 air battles. If you are interested in this era and Adolph Hitler, check out Hitler, A Career on Netflix.

David Schectman

How the Nazis rode into battle high on crystal meth

Adolf Hitler received glucose injections in the 1930s so he could hold his arm in the Nazi salute for long periods. He later became addicted to cocaine and other drugs. Hermann Goering was a morphine addict. (Associated Press)

By Timothy R. Smith March 9

In the 1930s, a smitten German could buy his fraulein boxed chocolates spiked with methamphetamine. When Germany invaded France in 1940, its soldiers marched on Pervitin, an early form of crystal meth, which kept them perked for the lightning speed of Blitzkrieg warfare.

On the verge of destroying the British forces at Dunkirk, Hermann Göring, the head of the air force, was zonked on morphine when he had a eureka moment. “The world lay at his feet, and in his blissfully opium-soaked brain he decided that the glorious victory over the Allies should under no circumstances be left to the arrogant leaders of the army,” writes Norman Ohler in “Blitzed,” his fascinating, engrossing, often dark history of drug use in the Third Reich.

Weather interfered, the planes stayed put, and the army watched as the British slipped away.
[How the Nazi telegram that helped drive Hitler to suicide was nearly forgotten in a S.C. safe]

“Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich,” by Norman Ohler (HMH)

Reading “Blitzed,” one gets the impression that the Germans were consuming Pervitin like Goldfish crackers or Skittles, “to help with childbirth, to fight seasickness, vertigo, hay fever, schizophrenia, anxiety neuroses, depressions, low drive, disturbances of the brain – wherever the German hurt, the blue, white, and red tube was at the ready.”

During the waning days of the war, the Nazis developed cocaine chewing gum for young sailors to use while piloting single-man submarines on suicide missions.

“Trust the Germans to concoct some truly awful sh–,” the writer William Burroughs commented.

Addiction went to the top. Adolf Hitler began taking glucose injections in the 1930s so he could hold his arm in the Nazi salute for impossibly long times, ever the Ubermensch. But as the war advanced, he became dependent on harder stuff. Hitler’s doctor gave the Führer daily injections of oxycodone, hormone preparations, a collection of pills and serums, and quack remedies made from pigs’ liver.

“In fact it was the immediate high of the injections that allowed Hitler to feel like a world ruler and gave him a sense of strength and unshakable confidence that he needed to make everyone else keep the faith in spite of all the desperate reports coming from every front,” Ohler writes.

[How Nazis destroyed books in a quest to destroy European culture]

Hours after a near-fatal bombing in his bunker, Hitler took an injection of oxycodone to meet with Benito Mussolini, Italy’s strongman. His appearance at the train depot seemed miraculous. But Hitler’s injuries, including two burst eardrums, were worse than expected. The only local anesthetic available was cocaine, and it started a new addiction.

By the end of the war, Hitler had the tell-tale signs of an addict: Track marks mottled his forearms, his hands trembled. He stooped. He drooled. His blood was the consistency of strawberry jelly. By the winter of 1945, with Soviet forces closing on Berlin, Hitler ran out of drugs.

“Now the Fuhrer had irrevocably entered the reality of his lost war,” Ohler writes. “Everything weighed on him all of a sudden, and as an infinitely heavier burden than before – naked as he was without the hormones of happiness.”

He shot himself on April 30. Out of drugs, he knew full well the reality of his demise. As for his mistress, Eva Braun, his final gift to her wasn’t a box of chocolates but a cyanide pill.

It wasn’t an overly dramatic week for either silver or gold as March came to a close — and the April contract went off the board. The most interesting developments occurred in COMEX silver inventories on Wednesday and Thursday — and it remains to be seen if there is more to come when Friday’s silver COMEX movements are reported on Monday.

There certainly has to be a reason why all this silver is being accumulated by JP Morgan and, as Ted has mentioned on numerous occasions, it’s all been done in the open during the March delivery month for the whole world to see. And on top of that, there was a big conversion of SLV shares for physical earlier this week as well — and it’s a reasonable assumption that JP Morgan now owns that, too.

The ‘why’ is most likely because they’re going to make a boatload of money when silver sports a shiny news 3-digit price. I don’t know how you feel about it, but with their stash closing in on 600 million troy ounces according to Ted, you’d think they have enough by now. – Ed Steer

David’s Favorite Articles

LeMetropole Café (The US Owes The World 3X The Gold Ever Produced)

Sprott’s Thoughts (This Is An Extinction-Level Event)


Andy Hoffman’s Daily Thoughts

Yesterday, I wrote that the brief “eye” of the relentless PiMBEEB  storm would likely pass by the time you read my “disturbing trends” article.  Which it certainly did – and then some – when the “naked emperors” known as the Federal Open Market Committee published the “minutes” of their Ides of March meeting.  Perhaps, an even more powerful “storm” will hit today, when Donald Trump meets with Chinese Premiere Xi Jinping in a potentially historic summit – that Trump last week “warned” of, in stating it “will be a very difficult one, in that we can no longer have massive trade deficits and job losses…American companies must be prepared to look at other alternatives.”  This, a week after referring to China, America’s number one creditor, as the “grand champions of currency manipulation.”

Not to mention, “if China is not going to solve North Korea, we will” – as clearly, if we’re going to spend $600 billion per year on the military, we need someone new to bomb; atop “old” targets like ISIS, whose spokesman yesterday called Trump an “idiot”; and alas, Syria, where Trump is “pulling a Hillary” by controverting Vladimir Putin’s wishes – in suggesting that he is considering bombing Assad’s troops, in response to a chemical attack that none other than the biggest truth-teller of all, Ron Paul, said was definitively NOT perpetrated by Assad.  This, just a week after American troops were apparently responsible for “accidentally” killing more than 200 civilians in Mosul, Iraq.

In other words, if you think the Trump Administration’s thirst for bloodshed will be any less powerful than Bush’s or Obama’s, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.  After all, in a nation whose “reserve currency” is rapidly diminishing (potentially, to gold) – and with it, America’s ability to live more above its means than any nation in history; whose largest employer, with 1.4 million employees, is the military; there is simply NO WAY the military-industrial complex will not grow larger, particularly as military contractors are amongst the largest political lobbyists; in some cases, directly tied in to government – like Halliburton, where Dick Cheney was the Chairman and CEO from 1995-2000, before serving as Chief Warmonger – I mean, Vice President – from 2001-2008.  I should know, given that I personally covered Halliburton at the time, as an oilfield service analyst at Salomon Smith Barney.

Actually, I was slightly in error in suggesting the military is America’s largest employer – given that its 1.4 million employees is slightly lower than Walmart’s 1.5 million.  Walmart, which has become symbolic of the part-time, minimum wage paying, non-benefits eligible “gig economy” that dominates America’s 21st century labor market.  This is why “jobless claims” continue to plunge, despite a collapsing economy; as unless you are a full-time employee, instead of a part-time employee or contractor, you are not eligible for unemployment insurance.  Moreover, given that Walmart’s sales have peaked, whilst its margins contract due to cutthroat competition from; amidst an historic “retail Armageddon,” fueled by surging online retailing, plunging consumer spending, historically ugly demographics, and explosive corporate debt; you can bet that the amount of people seeking military “jobs” will explode in the coming years.

And again, I must emphasize that NOTHING I am stating is specific to Donald Trump – or any major Western leader attempting to manage the cancerous, terminal stage of history’s largest, most destructive fiat Ponzi scheme; as no matter what he – or they – attempt, the strengthening, and irreversible, forces of economic reality will thwart them.  Not to mention, the political forces, which Trump in particular must deal with because seemingly, the entire world is out to get him – in the States, for being an “outsider”; and internationally, due to the brazen, unfiltered “diplomacy” that Xi Jinping will see, in spades, today.  And now that quite definitively, the Obamacare “repeal and replace” and “massive” tax cuts plans are indefinitely – if not permanently – off the table; along with “yuuggee” fiscal stimulus; who knows what he’ll attempt next, to “make America great again?”  I mean, if Germany can pass a law enabling the government to fine Facebook and Twitter up to €50 million any time they fail to remove arbitrarily defined “hate speech” and “defamatory statements,” who knows what might happen here?  To that end, consider that in December, I predicted “money printing and draconian actions will define 2017.”

Speaking of money printing, the soon-to-be launchers of QE4; led by their soon-to-be-unceremoniously-replaced leader Whirlybird Janet; released the (as always, doctored to suit current market conditions) “minutes” of their March 15th meeting; when they LOL, “raised rates” to 0.87%, under the guise of a “strengthening” economy that, on that very day, their own economists forecast to “grow” by only 0.9% in the first quarter.  This, as their long-term GDP and inflation estimates – of roughly 2%, respectively – had absolutely ZERO correlation to the supposed urgency of raising rates.  Not to mention, when the President himself is complaining that the “too strong” dollar is “killing” us.

Of course, the fact that such “hikes” – to historically low levels, 80% below the 80-year average – have not only failed to cause longer-term, market-based rates to rise (as I vehemently predicted in January, when “traders” had all-time high Treasury short positions); but caused the yield curve to flatten to pre-Election levels (i.e., predicting recession); should tell you all you need to know about how “naked” the so-called FOMC “Emperors” are.  Heck, even the dollar hasn’t risen in response; actually, declining after the rate hike, despite the fact that the French Presidential Election – which, literally, could destroy the Euro; is just weeks away.  And oh yeah, gold surged in said “rate hike’s” wake, contrary to the views of the same “traders” that massively shorted Treasury bonds; just as it did after the December 2015 and December 2016 “rate hikes”; the former of which, marked the bottom of the three-year “bear market” in dollar-priced gold that commenced in April 2013, when the government-orchestrated “alternative currencies destruction” raid pushed it below its 200 week moving average for the first time since 2003.  A level that gold and silver re-captured last week, irrespective of the most maniacal Cartel suppression tactics I have EVER seen.  Trust me, the Cartel has NEVER been more worried about losing their war against real money – and in my view, losing the battle to defend the 200 week moving averages makes the Cartel more vulnerable than ever, to the inevitable physical “Waterloo” that must mathematically occur; particularly, in the ultra-tight silver market.

That said, even I was taken aback by yesterday’s display of Fed minutes idiocy – in which, Janet’s Wall-Street-owned Keystone Kops meekly, and transparently, attempted to convince market participants it has an “exit strategy” for its $4.5 trillion balance sheet of toxic, unprecedentedly overvalued Treasury and mortgage-backed bonds (and who knows how much, “off balance sheet”).  Yes, the same “exit strategy” Ben Bernanke first outlined in, I kid you not, July 2009, when the Fed’s balance sheet was “just” $2 trillion – enroute to hitting $4.5 trillion when QE was “ended” in October 2014, more than five years later.  Which incidentally, is where it still stands today, two-and-a-half years later.


Since October 2014, the Fed officially stopped monetizing Treasuries – whilst unquestionably, unofficially sopping up the massive sales of Chinese, Saudi, and Russia-held Treasuries; supporting the stock market via their 10:00 AM “open market operations, which just happen to coincide with the daily bottom of the “Dow Jones Propaganda Average“; and supplying “swapped” dollars to the European Central Bank; which due to their arbitrary classification as “swaps” instead of “loans,” are considered “off balance sheet.”  However, the Fed never stopped officially re-investing all proceeds (interest payments and maturing principal) of their Treasury and Mortgage-backed bond holdings; which consequently, has prevented the $4.5 trillion balance sheet from contracting.  Of course, following the hideously moronic “Operation Twist” operation of 2011-12 – in which the Fed sold short-term Treasuries, to deploy the proceeds in longer duration T-bonds; the Fed has put itself into a “duration trap” – in which not only do the amounts of maturing bonds decline, but the portfolio’s sensitivity to interest rate changes dramatically increases.  Thus, “exiting” such a monstrous portfolio has become all but impossible, and EVERYONE knows it.

Thus, their attempt yesterday to convince us they have an “exit strategy” couldn’t have been more pathetic, weak-kneed, or transparent.  Particularly, as in the same breath, they espoused genuine fear of the dramatic bubble-burst we all know is coming – which as anyone with half a brain knows by now, is all the “data dependent” Fed cares about.  To wit, “a number of participants remarked that recent and prospective changes in financial conditions poseddownside risks to their economic projections if, for example, financial markets were to experience a significant correction.”

In a nutshell, their ballyhooed “exit strategy” – which Wall Street spent the last month propagandizing as evidence of a “recovering” economy and “confident” Fed – was a giant, transparently fraudulent dud; encapsulated by the below paragraphs of prototypically vague “Fedspeak,” which commits to nothing, and describes even less.

Provided that the economy continued to perform about as expected, most participants anticipated that gradual increases in the federal funds rate would continue, and judged that a change to the Committee’s reinvestment policy would likely be appropriate later this year.”

…and, in extremely ominous fashion…

Many participants emphasized that reducing the size of the balance sheet should be conducted in a passive and predictable manner. Some participants expressed the view that it might be appropriate for the Committee to restart reinvestment’s if the economy encountered significant adverse shocks that required a reduction in the target range for the federal funds rate.”

Clearly, the Fed is extremely fearful of “economic shocks” and a “significant market correction” – in the latter case, as espoused by a specific blatant warning, that some participants viewed equity prices as quite high relative to standard valuation measures.”  Not to mention, the fact that “a few of the participants attributed the recent equity price appreciation to expectations for corporate tax cuts“; which, as noted above, ain’t happening any time soon.  Hey, I’ll give the Fed credit for one thing; which is, that if “standard valuation” measures” are utilized, the market is clearly in dotcom territory; only this time, the economy is much worse; debt levels much higher; and the Fed has zero ammunition to re-stimulate, unless hyper-inflation is what it truly aims to achieve.


In response to this wildly PiMBEEB statement, the Cartel desperately tried to push PMs down – but despite Herculean suppressive efforts, that continue as I write Thursday morning – both metals bounced exactly at their 200 week moving averages (of $1,246/oz and $18.13/oz, respectively; which couldn’t be a more bullish technical statement.  We’ll see what happens after tomorrow’s NFP jobs fraud report; but if the Cartel can’t manage to push gold and silver below their 200 week moving averages in its aftermath, we could be in for some very “interesting” times in the historically suppressed – and thus, historically undervalued – Precious Metal markets.

P.S.!!!!!  I kid you not, just after I hit send, this article hit the tape – of the just released “Domestic Market Operations” annual report of none other than the NEW YORK FED; claiming that its SOMA, or System Open Market Account, is projected to remain unchanged at $4.2 trillion through mid-2018, and not fall lower than $2.7 billion until 2021.  In other words, directly contradicting the hastily concocted, heavily doctored March 15th FOMC “minutes.”  Yet again, proving the Fed lies about everything it says and does.  To wit, “the size of the SOMA portfolio is projected to remain largely unchanged at its current level of approximately $4.2 trillion through mid-2018, while full reinvestments continue.”

David’s Favorite Articles
LeMetropole Café
By Egon von Greyerz
The US owes the world 453,000 tonnes of gold, which is almost 3 times all the gold ever produced in history.
Whilst market observers worry about what the Fed will do next or the health bill, nobody sees that the US is on the way to total ruin by running budget deficits for over half a century and trade deficits for over 40 years. It seems that the US economy is walking on water, and this opinion is fuelled by seasoned commentators like Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in the UK’s daily The Telegraph. In a recent article, he uses selective data to prove that “The American strategic decline is a myth”.
So here is another journalist who falls for manipulated statistics and focuses on the wrong things. For example, it definitely is not a proof of a strong economy that the Americans buy an enormous number of new cars, which they don’t need. Especially since they do it with subsidized credit, leading to massive bad debts that will never be repaid. Nor are the deficits, falling wages, 23 % real unemployment and falling real GDP a myth.
The dollar has lost 80% since 1999
There is only one reason why the US could live above its means for over 50 years which is because their weak dollar is the world’s reserve currency. But how can the world trust a reserve currency, which is based on unlimited debt creation and money printing. Since Nixon abolished the gold backing of the dollar on August 15, 1971, the US currency has had a precipitous fall. Measured in Swiss
Franc for example, the Green Back is down 77% since 1971. And against the only money, which has survived in history, and money, which represents stable purchasing power, the dollar is down 80%.
The average American is totally unaware what is happening to his money since he doesn’t travel outside the country. He doesn’t realize how prices are going up every year, especially since the official inflation figures have nothing to do with real inflation.
The only reason the dollar is still standing is that it is used as a trading currency and especially for oil. In the early 1970s, the US made an agreement with Saudi Arabia, which at the time was the biggest oil producer in the world by a big margin. Against US weapons and protection, Saudi Arabia would sell oil in US dollars, which meant that the whole world would trade oil in dollars. This was the start of the petrodollar. It is still in existence but it is only a matter of time before major parts of the world will start to trade in their own currencies. This is already happening between Russia, China and Iran for example.
44 years of US spending money they haven’t got
But let’s look at the consequences of a ‘currency backed by nothing except for debt and printed money’. Until 1970, the US was running a healthy annual trade surplus. Then, due to a weakening economy and escalating costs for the Vietnam War, the dollar started to fall. The French president de Gaulle had seen for a while the US economic problems and therefore demanded that US debt would be paid in gold. The US gold backing of the dollar meant that any sovereign state could request payment in gold. But Nixon realized that the US gold would disappear quickly and therefore broke the Bretton Woods System, which had been in place since 1944. Thus, the US would no longer settle its sovereign debts in gold but in depreciating dollars.
Since this ominous day in August 1971, the United States has been on a continuous decline with escalating debts and a collapsing currency with a standard of living that is no longer based on productivity but on credit. Let me just show the most obvious proof of this, proof that no one ever considers and which is the clearest evidence that the US is bankrupt.
Since 1970, the US has had a trade deficit every year except for in 1972 and 1974. That led to a cumulative deficit of $2 trillion over 20 years up to 1999. But then things exploded. Between 1999 and 2017 the cumulative trade deficit was $12 trillion.
Very few people realize what $12 trillion of trade deficit really means. So let us go back to gold. In an honest world with honest money, debts are settled with real money. And real money means that it is not just printed at a whim but that money represents the value of goods and services. Let’s say that the US people works for one month and produces $1.5 trillion worth of goods and services. If the government at the same time presses a button to in a millisecond produce the same amount of money that money is of course worthless since the government has not delivered any goods or real services. And this is why the US and the rest of the world is living on borrowed time.
So let’s consider the consequences with a sound money system where debts are settled with real money. The trade deficit started to escalate in 1999, which was also the point when gold, bottomed at $250. The $12 trillion trade deficit between 1999 and today is a lot easier to understand if it is measured in gold. Because until 1971, it would have had to be settled in gold. The average gold price since 1999 is $819 per ounce. $12 trillion at $819 per oz comes to 453,000 tonnes of gold.
Holders of US dollars or US treasuries will end up with nothing
The US allegedly holds 8,000 tonnes of gold but the real amount is likely to be less than half of that. And all the gold ever produced in history is estimated at 170,000 tonnes. If the US had had to settle its frivolous spending and buying from the rest of the world with gold, it would have needed 2.7x all the gold ever produced. Instead the US government found a much more convenient method. It prints worthless pieces of paper in the form of dollar notes or treasuries and calls this money. This is a flagrant Ponzi scheme and fraud. The consequences will be that everyone holding dollars or US treasuries will end up with worthless pieces of paper. Because that is the way that all Ponzi schemes end. This is an absolutely guaranteed outcome of the present so called monetary system.
Governments, central banks and bankers have through their actions destroyed the world economy in the last 100 years. The masses are totally unaware of this since they don’t understand that their car or iPhone is the product of a Ponzi scheme rather than real work.
So it is not a question of if but only when this will end. The most likely triggers will be the dollar and the bond markets, especially the long end. The US 10 year treasury yield bottomed in July last year and is now in a strong uptrend that eventually will reach at least the teens like in the 1970s to early 80s. More likely is that US government debt will become worthless and yields infinite.
The dollar has been in a downtrend since the early 1970s. It has strengthened marginally in the last few years but it now seems that the dollar correction up is finished and that we will see a strong downtrend during 2017.
Gold and silver uptrend has resumed
Gold has partially reflected the currency money printing and debasement since 1971 by going up 35x. Silver is only up 10x since then. The principal reason for the relatively small rises in gold and especially silver is the constant manipulation and suppression in the paper market. Without that both gold and silver would be many times higher than the current prices. But the paper market can fail at any time and once it does, there will be a price explosion in physical gold and silver whilst the paper metals will become worthless.
The next up leg in the metals has probably started and we could see $1,350 in gold and well over $20 silver in a relatively short time. I would not be surprised to see all-time highs in 2017.
But investors who understand gold and silver don’t buy for the purpose of investment gains. No, at a time when the risks in the world financial system are greater than any time in history, precious metals are bought for wealth preservation or insurance purposes. There is no better way to protect your wealth against all the major financial and economic risks than physical gold and silver.
$1,250 gold and $18 silver are absolute bargains and unlikely to ever be seen again.
Egon von Greyerz
Sprott’s Thoughts
This Is An Extinction-Level Event
James Rickards predicts the Fed will continue to raise rates and stall the economy.
Transcript (edited for readability

Albert:  James, welcome back to The Power & Market Report. How are you

James:  I’m fine, Albert. Thank you. It’s good to be with you.

Albert: First, before we start though, I want to let the viewers know that April 5 is the first anniversary of The New Case for Gold. So, congratulations on that.

James:  Thank you.

Albert:  And on April 7, you’re releasing the paperback edition of The Death of Money. So again, congratulations.

James:   Thank you. And the paperback edition of The Death of Money as you know, Albert, New York Times Bestseller. It came out in 2014. A couple of things-you’re right, the paperback edition is coming out in a couple of days. It’s unusual. Usually a publisher would go to a paperback within about a year of the publication of the hard cover, but the hard cover, I’m happy to say, sold so well for so long that they delayed the paperback edition. But now the paperback edition is coming out. It has new material in it, so it’s not just a soft cover of the old book. It actually has some-a new preface I wrote that kind of goes over the material, shows why it has played out the way we expected and also adds entirely new material including new disclosures never before published on insider trading ahead of the 9/11 attacks. So, I’m very excited about this. It’s a very timely book. It’s still timely after a few years with some very new material included.

Albert:  You know, I was going to joke at the beginning of the show that, you know, it’s been 3 months since we last talked and where is the new book? It turns out there actually is a new book.

James:  Thanks.

Albert:  I also want to tell the viewers that on April 4, you and I are going to be participating in a webcast with Rick Rule and Trey Reik and the topic is “Will Gold Trump Politics in 2017?” I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather talk about this with than the three of you. I’ll be moderating the discussion. If you want to register and you’re watching, go to and there’s a tile where you can register for that event. That’s April 4.
And finally, I’m also very happy to announce that James you’re coming back to our conference in Vancouver once again this year. You’ve been extremely popular the last 2 times you came to speak. And so that’s July 25th this year in Vancouver. It’s the Vancouver Natural Resource Symposium put on by Sprott. And if you want to go to that event, you can find out about it The price is discounted now and it’s going to be going up quite significantly. Also, if you sign up now, you can get the MP3 files from last year’s event. You can hear James’ spectacular talk from last year. So, that is all the news. I’m looking very forward to that. 
James, we have some things to talk about. Let’s start with the Fed. They seem to be following through on some of these rate hikes. Vice Chair Stanley Fischer says he sees two more hikes coming in 2017. Do we believe him? And should we care either way?
James:  Yes and yes. We should believe him and we should care. You know, Albert, going back to last December, of course, December 2016, the Fed raised rates and then immediately after that, you know, based on my analysis, I’ll explain the model I use because it’s fairly straightforward. I said the Fed would raise rates again in March 15, 2017. I said that in December. I said it in January. I said it in February. What was amazing to me, we had this Fed fund futures contracts and you can look at the price that the Fed fund futures and do get the market probability. What probably of the market is assigning to certain-to another rate hike by the Fed.
And if you follow the wisdom of crowds and so forth, you will say, “Well, this is all the money in the world, all the interested parties in the world coming together in one very liquid marketplace setting a probability. And then in December, they put a 28% probability on the March rate hike-a 28% probability. Throughout January, it was 30%. February, it was 30%. The whole time, I was thinking 75% or 80%, you know, quite certain they would raise rates. You never want to say 100%. That’s silly but I was going to-80% converging on a 100%.
Then suddenly, in three trading days right around the end of February, early March to kind of February 27th, 28th, March 1st, March 2nd, the probability went from 30% to 80%. That was caught up to where I was all along. It was one of those hockey stick charts where it’s flat and it just goes vertical. And then, of course, by March 15th, all of us converged on 100%. It was very clear that the Fed was going to raise rates by that point. But I was amazed. It was very clear to me in December that they were going to do it. The market stated 30%. Why is that? Just because markets are collective wisdom and they’re liquid doesn’t mean they always get it right. Sometimes they have these catch-ups.
The reason is that the market, believe it or not, actually doesn’t understand why the Fed is raising rates. I realize that’s a major statement. Let me just take a minute to unpack that a little bit. Here’s my analysis. The economy is fundamentally weak. The Fed is raising rates into weakness. By the way, I expect they’ll raise again in June, so here we are in late March coming up in April. I’ll just say that as of now, my expectation is they’re going to raise again in June. This is what Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer suggested yesterday. But, they’re not raising them because the economy is strong. Actually, the economy is fairly weak. They’re raising it for a completely different reason. This rate hike cycle that the Fed is in is detached from the business cycle.
Normally, the way it works is that, the economy gets stronger, labor markets tighten, unemployment goes down, inflation picks up and the Fed is watching the whole time and they say, “You know what, we better raise rates.” Then they raise rates. Sure enough, the economy slows down, unemployment goes up, inflation comes down. We get close to a recession. Maybe we’re in a recession and the Fed is watching and the Fed says, “Oh, we better cut rates,” and so forth. So we had this nice kind of sinewave-the cycle. But what’s important about that is the Fed does not lead the economy. The Fed follows the economy. So as the economy is going up, the Fed is watching and then they tighten. And as the economy cools down, the Fed watches and then they ease.
So, the Fed follows the economy through the business cycle and that’s what the market is saying. But that is not what’s going on right now. What’s going on is the Fed is trying to raise rates even though the economy is weak because they’re trying to raise them to get them high enough so they can cut them in the next recession, which could be coming very soon. I mean we’re eight years into an expansion. This is extraordinary long. This is long by post-1980 standards, which is an era of long expansions. It’s double the average expansion since the end of WWII. This is an extremely long expansion. It’s been a weak one, one of the weakest expansions in the US history, but a very, very long one. So, no one should be surprised if we have a recession tomorrow. I’m not forecasting that. I’m just saying that we’re at a stage where that could easily happen. The Fed knows this.
Now, the data shows that you have to cut interest rates 3 or 4 full percentage points, 300 basis points and there’s a little more, to get the US out of a recession. How do you cut interest rates 3% when you’re only at ½ of 1%? The answer is you can’t. You’ve got to-and by the way, the evidence is that negative rates don’t work. Negative rates are not more of the same like more cutting when you go from 0 to -25 to -50. Technically, you’re cutting rates but that does not have the same effect as cutting positive nominal rates. So that doesn’t work.
So, the Fed is desperately trying to get the rates up so that when recession hits, they can cut them again to get us out of the recession. The problem is: Can you raise rates in a weak economy without causing the recession you’re trying to cure or getting rid of the cure? My view is they’re not going to be able to pull that off. Why is the Fed in this situation? Well, the reason is they missed an entire tightening cycle. The time to raise rates was 2010, 2011, 2012. In the early stages of the recovery, that’s when you raise interest rates. The Fed didn’t. They skipped the whole cycle because of Ben Bernanke’s crazy experiment with zero interest rate policy in QE1, QE2 and QE3. I think the viewers are very familiar with all that. We don’t have to revisit all that. We’ll look back and this will be viewed as a major failed monetary experiment where we’re all the guinea pigs.
But they skipped the cycle, so now they’re playing catch-up. So they’re raising rates at the worst possible time because they’re trying to catch up and get them high enough so they can cut them when the next recession comes and do that without causing a recession, which they probably will.
Now the market doesn’t see what I just explained. They do all these correlations and regressions. This is just typical Wall Street research. So they see a correlation between raising rates and a stronger economy. Well, that’s true. There is a correlation between raising rates and a stronger economy. Historically, it just doesn’t apply now because we’re guinea pigs in this experiment that I just described. So what’s going on now is completely different than what Wall Street understands. All this happy talk that we know, the Fed is raising rates so the economy must be strong. No, it’s completely backwards.
First of all, raising rates doesn’t make the economy strong. It’s the other way around. A strong economy causes the Fed to raise rates, but that doesn’t even apply now because as I said they’re playing catch-up. And this will persist. Now, the Fed will raise rates 4 times a year every other meeting for the next 3 years into 2019 until they get them up to 3.5% to 4% unless, unless-this is important-one of 3 things causes them to pause. There are 3 things that would cause the Fed not to raise rates. One is a major market meltdown. I mean 10% or more. In other words, there’s a full-blown correction. 5% won’t do it. So, if the Dow goes down 1000 points, the S&P goes down 100 points, that will not throw the Fed off this course. That will not throw them off their game. It’s got to be double that, you know, on its way to 15% in which case the Fed would pause.
The second one is if you see job creation fall below 75,000 a month, a very low threshold by the way. I mean recently monthly job creation on the most recent report was over 200,000. It was very strong, but even if you saw that 125,000 or 100,000, that’s not enough. It’s got to be 75,000 or less certainly if we lose jobs.
And the third thing is disinflation. The Fed has this target of 2%. They use a core PCE deflator. So year over year, PCE deflator core, they want that to be 2%. If you see that going backwards-down to, you know, 1.4, 1.2 or less, that will throw the Fed off the game. But those are the only 3 things. So, job creation dries up, disinflation or some kind of market panic either here or abroad. If you see those 3 things, the Fed will pause. If you don’t see them, they’re going to raise rates. So this is a very easy forecast to make. It wouldn’t surprise me after those factors for them to raise 3 more times, you know, March, September, December. Now I don’t think they actually will and the reason is that-the first reason I mentioned which is in the course of raising rates, they’re going to stall the economy and then you’ll see the disinflation or the market crash that will cause them to pause, but we’re not there yet. This won’t really sink in until the summer.
Albert:  You just blew through my next 3 or 4 questions so you’re a mind reader as well, James. But of the 3 things you mentioned, to me it seems that the severe market correction is the scariest of them and they obviously-the disinflation is also scary because they could cause a meltdown in asset prices. I don’t see them getting through 2018 without causing something like this, and then I understand what you’re saying about the 10% threshold. But I think if the market goes down 5% and the Fed doesn’t flinch, it’s going down 10% or maybe even more. What are your thoughts on that?
James:  Well, if it does go down 10%, they’ll pause. But if it goes down 5%, they won’t. And by the way, I talked to Ben Bernanke about this when I called up with him in Korea. He said the Fed doesn’t care unless the market goes down 15%. 15%, which would be 3,000 Dow points, it actually gets scary-looking.
Yeah, those kinds of corrections would cause the Fed to pause. They definitely would not raise rates in that situation. But at 5%, they literally don’t care. Now, your point, Albert-well, gee, if it’s 5% or 6% or 7%, aren’t you on your way to 10%? You might be. It depends on the momentum. Right now, it’s kind of like stalling, a little slow grind down. This isn’t a crash. This is just grinding down. That’s not going to upset the Fed that much. They would say it’s not their job to prop up stock prices even though they have, in fact, done that because of this so-called wealth effect.
But if it goes down precipitously, like 1 or 2 percentage points a day, day after day, so it’s-you know, 2 weeks go by and we’re down 10%. -that would cause the Fed to pause. And it’s obviously very dangerous because of the instability of the system as a whole. Now, on that point, I’ll be brief. I separate the business cycle, the kind of crash you might get in the business cycle or recession from a systemic crisis. Both of those things can cause the market to go down, but it goes down for different reasons.
In a normal business cycle, stock market is supposed to go down because earnings are going to dry up and multiples are going to contract and people are going to sell stocks and it might get a little bit disorderly and you might see a 10% correction. That can be associated with a normal business cycle. But you can also see the market crash for systemic risk reasons. This would be some kind of shock, the kind of thing we saw in 1998 with Russia, the kind of thing we saw in 2008 with, you know, Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers, all in pretty close sequence.
The 2 things can go together. You can have a business cycle correction without a panic. You can have a panic without a business cycle correction. We had that in October 1987-October 19, 1987. The stock market dropped 22% in 1 day. 1 day. That would be the equivalent of 4,000 Dow points or 450 S&P points in one day. But, there was no recession in 1987. It was a shock. Some people went out of business but the market recovered. So, panics and business cycles are separate phenomena but they can go together which they did in 2008 and also in 1929. That’s kind of the worst of all possible outcomes.
Albert:  I agree. James, I was going to joke and ask you what you were doing in North Korea, but I think that would get me in trouble with people who don’t have a sense of humor. I’m not calling Bernanke a communist. It’s a joke. But-

James:  We were close to-we were in South Korea, but we were close to North Korea, not far from the border.

Albert:  OK. I think you’re right. The fact that if the panic and the business cycle, the bust, coincide, you could have something very violent and I think that’s what we may be looking at this time simply because the panic will come from the fact that we’ve ignored the business cycle for so long. Like you said, we skipped an entire cycle by just acting as if it didn’t exist, keeping rates pegged to zero. So, what probability would you put on that? The big business cycle correlated with or corresponding with just a massive panic like we saw in the ’80s.

James:  I agree with that and I think it’ll actually be a lot worse than certainly what we saw in 2008 like it should be. To me, this is more of an extinction level event as these things go, as economic crises go. But the reason I think the business cycle will fall out of bed along with a systemic risk is because the Fed has smothered the business cycle with zero interest rate policy, money printing, expanding the balance sheet, forward guidance-all these manipulations.
We didn’t have a real low in 2008. What I mean by that is you hear a lot about the V shape recovery, so the economy goes down very sharply and then it goes up very sharply. That’s a normal kind of phenomena in a business cycle. It’s what happened in 1981. It’s what happened in 1974. It didn’t happen this time. What happened is we started to go down sharply, but the process was truncated because of Fed intervention, not just money printing in QE1 and zero interest rates but tens of trillions of dollars of swaps with the European Central Bank when Europe was desperate for dollars. The European Central Bank can’t print dollars. They can only print euros, so we printed up a bunch of dollars. They printed up a bunch of euros. We swapped them, again, to the tune of tens of trillions of dollars in euros swapped. We didn’t know that at the time. It was suspected, but it was years later because of Dodd-Frank and some congressional hearings that that information came out.
But what we did know at the time is they guaranteed every bank deposit in America. They guaranteed every money market fund in America. They didn’t have to. I mean we had FDIC insurance up to a limit. There wasn’t a guarantee on money market funds but the Fed went in and guaranteed them. So, they took these extraordinary actions. They did truncate the collapse, but you never got it out of the system. We never had the write-offs, the bad debts, the foreclosures, the things that should have happened to get the system to a point where it was able to grow much more rapidly above trend on a sustainable basis and get back to trend.
What we’ve had instead is below trend growth for eight years. The US is Japan. I said this in my first book, Currency Wars, in 2011. I actually said it before that that. Bernanke spent the early part of 2000s just excoriating Japan. He says, “Japan, you don’t know how to run monetary policy. You don’t know how to get out of a recession.” People talked about the lost decade then it was the lost two decades because-I mean it started in 1990. So by 2010, you had two lost decades. Now we’re more than halfway through a third lost decade. It’s been 27 years of on and off recession, depression, deflation, disinflation in Japan, nothing like trend growth.
And Bernanke criticized them and yet he made every mistake the Japanese made. We are Japan. The US-our best case is 2% as far as the eye can see, which will cause the country to go bankrupt because our debt is growing at 3%, 3.5% a year for now and it’s going to grow at 4% or more beginning in a couple of years. Our debt-to-GDP ratio is at an all-time high when you count contingent liabilities, but even just the actual debt is 105%, which is approaching the levels not seen since the end of World War II. We’re on the path to Greece.
You know, when you grow your economy at 2% and you grow your debt at 3% and 4%, you’re going broke. You may be going broke slowly but that’s a recipe for eventual insolvency and the only way out of that is actual default or a very powerful inflation, which they haven’t been able to get.
So you have all these disaster scenarios in the making, but meanwhile, as I say, it just-it looks like that the business cycle will wind down because it’s been going on so long combined with the systemic risk we’re talking about but on a bigger scale because the banks are bigger, the balance sheets are bigger, the derivatives books are bigger and one of the key lessons or key teachings of complexity theory which is the best way to understand the economy is that risk is an exponential function of scale. What that means is that when you double or triple the system, you don’t double or triple the risk. You increase it by a factor of 10 or more. And so we have increased the system and we’ve increased the risk even more which is why I say the next crisis is an extinction level event.
Albert:  Let’s talk about the Federal Reserve and the governors, James. In a previous conversation, you talked to me and related a story that a speech writer had presented-I think it was Bernanke at one point-2 speeches-one dovish, one hawkish and Bernanke didn’t know which was which. These guys are all coming out this week on the calendar speaking-some of them more than once. What are they trying to achieve by talking to the markets directly?
James:  Well, a couple of things. That’s true the story you’re referring to is in my last book, The Road to Ruin. This anecdote is in Chapter 6. It wasn’t exactly a speechwriter. It was, basically, the guy who’s in charge of communications policy. But when I say communications policy, I’m not talking about speeches in public relations so much as the actual writing of these releases that come out at the end of the FOMC meeting. But it would also include some of the content of some of the speeches. This person had the office across the hall at the Federal Reserve board in Washington from Ben Bernanke and later Janet Yellen and worked with both chairs-was very close to both of them.
And the story was they were getting ready to issue a release and had two versions, you know, one was slightly more hawkish than the other. But the point is they do this wordsmithing and Bernanke looked at the two drafts and he said, “Which one is the bad one?” which shows how arbitrary the words are. And what they really did was they called up the Wall Street journal and leaked their message and then the Wall Street Journal regurgitates it and everyone goes, “Oh, now we know what it means.” But it’s really just wordsmithing and leaks and that’s how they operate. That’s how they operate forward guidance.
But as far as the speech is concerned, one thing I can say to a lot of people all the time is there are seven members of the Board of Governors or I should say there are 7 seats. Right now, two of them are vacant. There’ll be one more vacancy next month. So there are really only five members of Board of Governors today, soon to be four. There are twelve regional reserve bank presidents. So, right now, you have a total of seventeen Fed heads if you want to think of it that way-the governors and regional reserve bank presidents. There are only 4 you need to listen to. You can completely disregard the rest. They’re nice people. They’re smart people. If you’re a real geek and you want to read the speeches, that’s fine but it has no impact on policy is what I’m saying.
They’re only four you have to pay attention to-Janet Yellen, Stan Fischer, William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York and he’s the only reserve bank president who counts, and I would say to a lesser extent but still important, Lael Brainard. Lael is a member of the Board of Governors. She’s the expert on international contagion, international spillover. She was the one who in late February or mid-February 2016 basically persuaded the Fed to switch from tightening to ease, go dovish, in other words. She was also very influential in September of 2015 to get the Fed to push back the lift-off. Remember the famous lift-off when they were going to raise rates? It was all teed up for September 2015, but you had that meltdown in the Chinese stock market and then the US stock market in August 2015. And she was influential in saying “Don’t raise rates now,” and they did push it back to December of 2015 for the first rate hike. That was the lift-off.
So I pay attention to Yellen, Fischer, Dudley and Brainard. Everybody else you can completely ignore. Now having said that, this is all about to change radically because of President Trump. Donald Trump owns the Fed right now. He owns the Fed, and let me explain why that’s true. Because the two vacancies I mentioned, well, a third governor, Dan Tarullo, just announced his resignation effective in April. So, count that as a third seat. So they’ll have three vacancies soon. You have J. Powell who’s on the board today. He’s a republican. He’s the only republican. He hasn’t had anyone in his sandbox for a long time but he’ll soon have three Trump appointees. So you’re going to have four kinds of republican appointees probably in a matter of weeks.
Beyond that, Janet Yellen’s term ends on January 31, 2018. But that requires Senate confirmation, so they’re going to have to name her replacement before then so the Senate can schedule confirmation hearings. So Trump will probably make that appointment maybe as early as November or December, which is not that far away. That’s just another six months away-so there’s five. And then, Stan Fischer’s term ends in June 2018. Same thing-they’re going to have to announce that probably by April or May.
So within a year, just over a year from where we are now, Trump is going to have five new appointments and one Republican on the board. He’s going to control six of the seven members of the Board of Governors. The only Democrat will be Lael Brainard. She might resign just because she won’t have any friends. She’ll be like J. Powell today. She won’t have anyone to talk to. No president has had this many appointments at one time since Woodrow Wilson in 1913. That was only because all the seats were vacant other than there were two statutory seats at the time-the Treasury and the Comptroller of the Currency. But other than that, Wilson got to fill all those seats in 1914 because they were all vacant.
So Trump owns the Fed for the reason I just described. So that’s easy. Now the question is what does Trump want because Trump is going to get whatever he wants through the appointments process. The question is what does he want? He’s really flipped around on, you know-all during the campaign, he complained that China was cheapening its currency and then more recently complained that Germany was cheapening its currency. I mean Germany doesn’t have a currency. They have the euro, but that’s not run out of Germany. It’s run by the European Central Bank. Same thing with Japan, he’s pointing a lot of fingers but he hasn’t actually done anything about that. He said he would name China currency manipulator has not done that. He’s done a lot of what he said, but that’s not one of them.
So you think that Trump is a weak dollar guy based on that and yet you look at the people around him-David Malpass, Steve Moore, Larry Kudlow, Art Laffer, Judy Shelton, others. These are all strong dollar; sound money people and some of them are explicitly pro-gold. So I’m not saying Trump is going to go to a gold standard anytime soon. I’m just saying that I expect Trump to appoint hard money people. I think we’re going to see a big bang kind of an announcement where he announces three seats all at once including a vice chairman for regulatory matters and I think you’ll see that they’re hard money people. And again, I don’t know this for a fact, but there’s very good reasonably based on some conversations going on behind the scenes involving the White House that they want to put Kevin Warsh on the board and that he would actually be the next chairman of the Fed. He would replace Janet Yellen.
And what’s interesting about that, Kevin Warsh was already on the Fed. He was a governor, not the chairman, back in 2010 and then he resigned. Although these are fourteen-year terms, no one says you’re going to have it for fourteen years. Some-they leave at some point. So, Kevin Warsh has no reason to go back on the board unless he’s going to be chairman because he was already on the board. So, if you see Kevin Warsh go on the board, that’s a signal that he is going to be the next chairman because, otherwise, he wouldn’t take the job. So you could make Janet Yellen a lame duck by next month. Can you imagine being chairman of a board and there’s the next chairman sitting right next to you and everyone in the world knows it? It’s kind of embarrassing but as they say it’s the way to pull the rug off from under Janet Yellen.
So, I described why the Fed is on a tightening path having to do catch-up, trying to raise rates before the next recession. But I don’t see that changing. If anything the people I’m talking about, the Judy Sheltons and Kevin Warshes of the world, you know, let’s see who they actually are. But if they’re hard money people, if they’re Taylor Rule people-I mean the Taylor Rule would say that rates should be 2.5% today. So, I expect this hard money path to continue. What that means is they’re going to slow down the US economy because the economy is already weak and then we could be in a recession by the summer. So it’s, you know, kind of fasten your seatbelts in terms of what that means to the stock market.

Albert:  Kevin Warsh, just like Richard Fisher, has been quite outspoken since he left. I think he would be an interesting confirmation, but you just turned everything upside down on me. So I was thinking that with Trump in and controlling five out of seven, we would expect a weak dollar. Also, I would have guessed that there would be QE4 eventually and it would go into infrastructure and building because he’s a builder, not a banker. We’re running out of time but just your quick comments of that. You’re thinking strong dollar not weak dollar with Trump?

James:  Well, for the time being, yeah because Trump wants to do something about the trade deficit. That’s for sure. But they are not going to do it through the currency. They’re going to do it through trade policy, through tariffs. So, the attack on China is not going to run through the Federal Reserve Board in a weak dollar. It’s going to run through Wilbur Ross, Peter Navarro, Dan DiMicco, Robert Lighthizer who’s designated, you know, as his trade representative. That’s where they’re going to get China with tariffs and other non-tariff barriers more so than the currency wars.

Albert:  OK, very good. James, I’ve kept you over, so thank you very much. I just want to remind everyone about the April 4, webcast, “Will Gold Trump Politics in 2017?” Check out that. Join me, James Rickards, Rick Rule and Trey Reik. Go to for details. April 7 is the release of the paperback edition of The Death of Money with a brand-new preface-and then later on, the July 25, Vancouver Natural Resource Symposium. You can check out that at Go now, get a discount. Also get the MP3 files with James’ presentation from last year. James, it’s always a pleasure to speak with you. Thank you very much and I look forward to doing it again.

James:  Thanks, Albert. And just, The Death of Money paperback, that’s available for pre-sell on Amazon right now. So I hope the viewers you have a look and as I said there’s interesting new material on the preface.

Albert:  Don’t wait. Get it now. Thank you very much, James. Take care.

James:  Thanks, Albert.

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