Regardless of your traditional investment preferences, tangible assets like gold and silver can help make the profitability and safety of your retirement portfolio far more attainable.
Simply put, gold can reduce the volatility of your retirement savings. Historically, gold has moved counter to the direction of stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Technically speaking, precious metals are "negatively correlated" to stocks.
According to NBC, the US has just launched its first attack in the Libyan Offensive whose name is still up for grabs (Operation Wealth Effect? Operation Nobel War Price? - you decide), by firing missiles at Libyan air defenses, which we assume means radar installations. We expect night vision videos of missiles hitting their targets ala Operation Desert Storm to soon push March Madness out from most watched prime time TV post. ABC News is covering this live for those who can't wait to see stuff blowing up in shades of green.
Video Of Jet Shot Down Over Benghazi, Unclear Whose As Gaddafi Claims He Is Holding To Ceasefire TermsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/19/2011 - 14:50
A dramatic video of a Libyan jet being shut down over Libya has been captured and is making the rounds in the YouTube-sphere. As the Independent observes, "A warplane was today shot down outside the opposition stronghold of Benghazi, as international leaders including David Cameron gathered in Paris to make final preparations to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. The jet was observed over the city for some time before reportedly going down in flames, amid the sound of artillery and gunfire. " Yet what is surprisingly and potentially surreal is the stiff insistence by the Libyan government that they continue to preserve the terms of the ceasefire announced yesterday: "Libyan authorities insisted that their forces were holding to a ceasefire announced yesterday and repeated an invitation for international observers to enter the country today to monitor it. Deputy foreign minister Khaled Kaim told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The ceasefire is real, credible and solid. We are willing to receive observers as soon as possible, even today." Rebel sources claim that military assaults by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi on cities including Benghazi, Misrata and Ajdabiya continued even after the ceasefire announcement." Which begs the question: is Gaddafi really an idiot, or are these merely false flag provocations by the rebel alliance (with or without the assistance of France) to encourage an escalation? The answer should be promptly revealed once it is determined just who was flying the downed jet. We are confident the media will first investigate such an answer before jumping to conclusions.
Recently, the world was subjected to the worst kind of manipulative propganda: that emanating from a so-called scientist who used his tenuous affiliation with MIT to lend his ideas credibility and spread outright disinformation and propagate a false sense of calm, which may have well cost people their lives as it came just days ahead of the biggest explosions seen at Fukushima last week. Today we present what an actual objective, scientific analysis of the risks and pitfalls at Fukushima should look like, courtesy of Ben Monreal of the USCB department of physics. Is this is a comprehensive overview of all that could go wrong (and right)? Of course not- after all the Japanese government still refuses to release actual actionable information (the world should be demanding thermal imagery from Fukushima, but oddly isn't). But under the existing conditions, this is probably one of the better reports we have read on the matter.
Gaza Fires 50 Mortars Into Israel, Heaviest Barrage In Two Years, As Latest Black Swan Stretches Its WingsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/19/2011 - 13:03
Whether related to the broadly escalating violence in the region or not, the latest development out of Israel is sure to bring even more geopolitical tension, especially with Iran adn Syria already on edge following their own violent protests (and arguably looking for a political scapegoat). BBC reports that "Palestinian militants in Gaza have fired dozens of missiles into southern Israel in what appears to be their heaviest such barrage in two years. About 50 mortars were fired - two Israelis were hurt, Israel says." Never one to step away from an escalation, Israel replied in kind: "Israeli tanks later shelled targets in the coastal strip, wounding at least five people, Palestinian officials say." We are confident newsflow out of Israel and Gaza will intensify as the latest and greatest Black Swan out of the middle east is now stretching its wings.
FBI Busts Mastermind Criminal For Issuing Silver Currency, Demanding Repeal Of Fed And IRS; Faces 15 Years In PrisonSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/19/2011 - 12:36
The FBI, which apparently has no major criminals to pursue, is now busting those who are preparing for the dollar's imminent destruction. Bernard von NotHaus, head of the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve and Internal Revenue Code, commonly known as NORFED and also known as Liberty Services (his website can, or rather could, be seen here), which since 1998 has been issuing silver coins as a replacement for the relentlessly devaluating US currency, was convicted today by a federal jury of
making, possessing, and selling his own coins. "
Following an eight-day trial and less than two hours of deliberation,
von NotHaus, the founder and monetary architect of a currency known as
the Liberty Dollar, was found guilty by a jury in Statesville, North
Carolina, of making coins resembling and similar to United States coins;
of issuing, passing, selling, and possessing Liberty Dollar coins; of
issuing and passing Liberty Dollar coins intended for use as current
money; and of conspiracy against the United States." The devious scheme for which von NotHaus faces up to 15 years jail time: "NORFED’s purpose was to mix Liberty Dollars into
the current money of the United States. NORFED intended for the Liberty
Dollar to be used as current money in order to limit reliance on, and
to compete with, United States currency." In other words make the US currency less credible. We are confident the Chairsatan will take this shining example of what happens to "counterfeiters" of US currency to heart, and promply proceed to release another cool trillion in green 75% cotton/25% linen products, forcing US jails to promptly fill up with millions of subversive elements who no longer wish to interact with the former reserve currency.
Listen To Joint Obama-Rousseff Conference, During Which Perhaps The War Against Libya Will Be AddressedSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/19/2011 - 12:09
Update: And it's over. Barely a mention of Libya, quote of the day - "I am really looking forward to visiting Rio tomorrow."
Will the glorious Nobel peace prize award winner (whose country according to SkyNews will not be involved in the first action over Libya but instead plans on a sea-launched - as in Kearsarge - missile attack) discuss Libya? Find out in the audiocast below.
The next shoe drops as Japan realizes that what radionuclides go up, they typically come down, even despite a relatively short half life (and say goodbye to sushi unless one has a penchant for 15 eyed albacore). Bloomberg reports that "Radiation was detected in water in Tokyo and the prefectures of Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba and Niigata, Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology said today in a faxed statement." But since nobody has any reason to doubt what the Japanese government says, here is the dislaimed: "Samples of tap water taken yesterday in Tokyo and five nearby
prefectures showed traces of radiation that were within acceptable
levels, the Japanese government said." And with the radioactive cloud about to loop back and hit Japan head on, things are about to get far worse, but in the meantime those living in Tochigi Prefectuve are advised to not drink the water: "Tochigi Prefecture’s reading of radioactive iodine-131 was 77 Becquerel per kilogram, the highest among the prefectures, while the level of iodine found in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district was 1.5. All the numbers were within the 300 Bq/kg limit, the ministry said." In the meantime the "Under Survey" farce continues: "Readings couldn’t be taken in Miyagi and Ibaraki prefectures because of disruption of water supply following the magnitude 9 earthquake that struck Japan on March 11, while Fukushima Prefecture takes its own readings, the statement said." But as long as people are indoors, and preferrably under their desk, when they drink radioactive water, all should be well, yes? Something tells us this total and utter bullshit, will lead to at least one more TEPCO executive profuse crying bout in front of the cameras within 48 hours.
It has begun - From the AP: "Top officials from the United States, Europe and the Arab world have announced immediate military action to protect civilians amid combat between Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's forces and rebel fighters. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said after an emergency summit in Paris on Saturday that France has already taken military action against Libya. Sarkozy said "our determination is total." Earlier Saturday, Libyan government troops forces stormed into the rebel capital of Benghazi, apparently ignoring a proclaimed cease-fire and potentially complicating any allied military action."
Presenting The Latest Digitalglobe Satellite Photo Of Fukushima, As Thermal Imaging Continues To Be Top SecretSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/19/2011 - 00:22
According to the latest Digitalglobe overflight, the situation in Reactor 4 continues to deteriorate. We wonder where precisely in the Reactor 1,3, and 4 wreckage are the working water pumps that are about to be electrified? Far more importantly, since heat appears to be the biggest issue, why have no thermal or IR photos been released to the public, and most importantly why is the Japanese government actively covering up thermal data? From the JPost: "As the world continues to gaze with concern at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, hi-tech security cameras installed by an Israeli defense firm are recording events at the troubled core from an insider’s vantage point. The Arava-based Magna BSP company, which specializes in producing and installing stereoscopic sensory and thermal imaging cameras, had been contracted to place cameras around one of the plant’s six cores – the core that has been experiencing explosions and overheating. Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Monday, Magna’s head, Haim Siboni, said the thermal cameras also had the ability to detect the presence of radioactive clouds in the air, but added that Magna had not been able to gain access to the images recorded by the cameras at this time." Stunningly not even the contractor is allowed to see its own recorded data: "Although Magna is able to gain remote access to its computer system, which receives the cameras’ images, Siboni said his company had not yet been authorized to do so. “We have not been allowed to take control remotely yet,” Siboni said." Surely the classified data must be perfectly normal if the completely discredited Japanese government is keeping it under such tight lock and seal.
Three days ago, Zero Hedge asked the question that seems so mindnumbingly logical and obvious, it was perfectly normal that nobody in charge had asked it yet, i.e. "Why isnt Fukushima crawling with iRobots armed with cameras?" Luckily, someone in Japan appears to read our Twitter account: as was just reported, "The Special Ops group of Japan's Self Defense Forces has asked iRobot for some robotic assistance with the situation at the Fukushima Dai-1 nuclear plant, where several reactors are dangerously unstable after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake followed by a tsunami led to failures of their cooling systems last week. Four robots, including iRobot's Packbot 510 and Warrior 710, left Bedford, Mass., this morning on their way to Japan, along with a team of iRobot employees to provide support, an iRobot spokesperson told me." Um, it took them one week to figure out that there is a public company (probably trading at nosebleed valuations) that does just what everybody has been bitching and moaning can not be done in Fukushima by humans...ONE WEEK!? Anyway, at least the option will now be there. Although as the following video presents, a comparable option was available 25 years ago in Chernobyl. Well, with a few minor differences...
Below is the most recent summary update from Reuters on the Japanese crisis. The one topic that everyone is following, however, namely whether some cable is attached to some cooling installation that probably blew up on Monday or Tuesday, gets the proper treatment: i.e., in the span of 4 minutes Reuters reports two completely conflicting stories. Looks like we will be seeing more crocodile tears from TEPCO executives in the next few days.
- From 10:52 pm ET - Engineers have yet to attach a cable to Japan's quake-stricken reactors but hope to be successful either on Saturday or Sunday, the plant operator said.
- From 10:54 pm ET - Engineers successfully attach a power cable to the outside of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear station in a first step to help cool reactors and stop the spread of radiation.
A concise summary of the past week's key bullish and bearish events.
Congressional Budget Office Projects $9.5 Trillion In Deficits By 2021, $2.3 Trillion More Than Obama's EstimateSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/18/2011 - 19:37
Today the Congressional Budget Office slammed the president's unrealistic budget presented recently, concluding that the cumulative deficit over the decade between 2011-2021 would be $9.5 trillion, or $2.3 trillion higher than that estimated by the White House. The reason for the differences according to the CBO is "differences in the underlying projections of what would happen under
current law ($1.3 trillion) as well as from differing assessments of the
effects of the President’s proposals ($1.0 trillion)." Then again, as we fail to recall when was the last time even the slightly more realistic CBO predicted a correct cumulative deficit ten years forward, we are fairly certain both will vastly underestimate the actual deficit by 2021. And as gross debt issuance tends to run about 50% over cumulative deficits, Zero Hedge expects that the best case scenario is for $15 trillion in debt issuance over the next 10 years as a baseline, and likely far more (bringing total marketable debt to around $25 trillion by 2021). This is problematic to say the least, because as the AP notes, the White House's goal is to reach a point where the budget is balanced
except for interest payments on the $14 trillion national debt. Such
"primary balance" occurs when the deficit is about 3 percent of the size
of the economy, and economists say deficits of that magnitude are
generally sustainable. Instead, just the interest expense per the CBO will be greater than this threshold: "Outlays would be greater under the President’s budget than in CBO’s baseline in each of the next 10 years, largely because the proposed reduction in revenues would boost deficits and thus the costs of paying interest on the additional debt that would accumulate. In particular, net interest payments would nearly quadruple in nominal dollars (without an adjustment for inflation) over the 2012–2021 period and would increase from 1.7 percent of GDP to 3.9 percent." And once again, this is based on numbers which will likely way undershoot the final outcome.
Absent further deterioration at the Fukushima plant over the weekend, the next big shoe to drop will be public reaction when the radioactive fallout hits Tokyo (and other major populated areas). And juging by the latest data available from Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) in Austria, Tokyo, which so far has been spared by friendly winds, may get its first dose of radiation by the weekend. Below we present the latest animated color-coded data for both Japan and the world, which extrapolates both fallout strength and direction. As ZAMG explains the fallout is, "currently in a critical region, dominated by a westerly flow. On the ground, the wind is relatively weak. There is no precipitation. Soon the wind will blow from the south-east and intensify. On Sunday rain front will arrive from the southwest to the crisis area and lead to some strong precipitation (radioactive rain). Behind the front, northerly winds are forecast, so the situation for the Tokyo area may again be critical. The dispersion calculations show fallout is now mainly transported to the sea. Currently cloud have a southeast direction, which will change to northeast tomorrow (see illustrations). Subsequently, more areas in Japan will be covered by fallout."