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Someone Leak Something?

Something rather disturbing from a European trading desk...



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And Like Clockwork, CME Hikes Silver Margins Halting Surge

In tried and true fashion, just as Silver was about to viciously destabilize the global capital markets as it surged to new 31 year highs, the CME stepped in and did its usual 3-6 half life intervention by hiking initial and maintenance margins on silver futures from $11,138 and $8,250 to $11,745 and $8,700 respectively. This is merely the latest margin hike in what appears to be a neverneding series designed to reduce speculative "fervor" courtesy of endless liquidity. What it will do is merely provide a better entry point for those who by now realize that silver's next stop in the fiat endgame is $40, then $50, and so forth. Naturally, the price drop in silver caused gold to sell off too. And now that the CME accepts gold as collateral, we can't even visualize the reflexive loops that develop once the metal that is also a collateral currency becomes more and less valuable at the same time.



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Mike Krieger Explains Why A Calm Sea Does Not Make a Skilled Sailor

In case you wondered where the title for this piece came from, it was actually the message that popped out my fortune cookie during a meal on Monday night. It just summed up so many things for me. It summarized why our culture is so damaged. At the core of the malignancy killing the nation is the fact that we possess the world’s reserve currency that can be created at will out of thin air and forced upon goods producing nations (whether manufacturing or resource goods). This means we do not need to produce to consume, which hollows out the entire core of the economy over time and has made us the generally lazy and decadent society we are today. I mean take for example the C announcement recently of a reverse 1 for 10 stock split. I haven’t heard such an embarrassing press release since reading about how U.S. taxpayers are going to make money from the bailouts. So for the last year all I heard on propaganda channel CNBC was how once C’s shares got above $5 it would attract a whole new class of investors and the shares would soar. Well the stock wasn’t able to hold above $5 so look what happened. Magic, they are just going to make the stock trade at $45 with this scheme. Bankers can’t lose, didn’t you get the memo? Oh and they are paying a whole penny a share in dividends. You have got to be kidding me guys. Pathetic.



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Guest Post: Phase Shift - The Next Leg Down in House Prices

Way back in August 2006, near the top of the housing bubble, I suggested a two-part scenario for the housing bust: it would take eight more years to play out, and the declines would occur in sharp downlegs following a phase-shift model. A few months later, literally at the top of the housing bubble in early 2007, I suggested that a mere 4% of homeowners defaulting could trigger a collapse of the entire U.S. housing market. That is pretty much exactly what happened, for when the 4% who couldn't pay their subprime mortgages folded, they took down an exquisitely corrupt and vulnerable banking sector and the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) economy which had come to depend on it.



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Coeur d'Alene CEO Sees Gold At $1,500, Silver In Mid-$40s "This Year" As Pan American Silver Reduces Production Forecast

That a CEO of a silver miner sees precious metals prices rising, especially on a day like today when silver hit a new 31 year high (and gold is at a record) is not surprising. Especially since that is precisely what happened: "The head of U.S. silver miner Coeur d'Alene Mines
Corp said on Thursday that he "would not be
surprised" if silver prices reached the mid-$40s per ounce and gold
prices rose to $1,500 to $1,600 an ounce this year
." What is, however,  surprising is that another prominent silver miner, Pan American silver, announced during its earning call that "it plans to produce between 23-24 million ounces of silver in 2011, down from 24.3 million ounces in 2010. The company said it expects to produce between 76,000-78,000 ounces of gold in 2011, down from the 89,555 ounces it produced last year." So despite a record price in silver, the company is unable or unwilling to mine more to keep up with demand? Perhaps the peak [blank] crowd should take a long hard look at silver.



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Anonymous' Operation Empire State Rebellion Releases "Civil Disobedience" Video #2

Two weeks ago the Anonymous hacker collective released a video indicating it was moving to a peaceful form of civil disobedience, until such time as the Fed is abolished, to be preceded by the "sign of good faith" that is Bernanke's stepping down. Needless to say, so far Bernanke has not quit. So today Anonymous' OpESR has released a second video which unlike the previous one is more or less a collage of hacker-friendly video clips. Hopefully there is some more to this latest form of anonymous activism than the clever use of iMovie...



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Fitch Downgrades Portugal To A-, On Rating Watch Negative

In a very unsurprising move, Fitch just downgraded Portugal to A-, is on Rating Watch Negative, and may be downgraded further. Nobody cares since everyone knows all too well Europe is pretty much insolvent. In fact we are shocked the EURUSD is not at 2.00 on the news.



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Dollar Cremation Resumes

Just as Bob Pisani was getting giddy that for probably the second time in 2011 the dollar went up in concert with the Russell 2000, here comes reality washing over the true value of the world's most hated reserve currency, and forcing the DXY to drop to yesterday's lows, which incidentally are just pennies away from multi year lows. Should the Yen resume its strength forcing the BOJ et G7 to intervene again (just as ineffectively), look for the DXY to promptly take out all lows as the Bernank once again goes to the front of the currency devaluation race.



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Summary Of Key Health Threats From Fukushima Radioactive Substances

Now that both food and drinking water in Japan have been confirmed to be tainted with various stages of radioactive toxicity, Reuters provides a quick summary of the impact the three key fallout isotopes (Iodine 131, Caesium 134 and Caesium 137) have on human health, and what to look for to determine if one may have injested just a tad too much of those glow in the dark shoots...



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Think The Japanese Disaster Is Just What The Keynesian Doctor Ordered? Mo Says No

That would be Mohamed El-Erian from Pimco, by the way, who first among the lunatic fringe (here's looking at you Goldman and Kudlow), admits that contrary to what all the Koolaid guzzlers claim, the Japanese quake may not be what the Keynesian doctor ordered after all. We urge readers to read this piece as a counterpoint to Goldman's stern defense that the Japanese quake is but a scratch, and one that will lead to world peace, prosperity and a doubling (give or take) of global GDP. In fact, El-Erian tells all the pundits who in addition to permabulls are also suddenly nuclear physicists and geologists, to shut the hell up, "as tempting as they may be, analytical shortcuts are best avoided
at this early stage.
It will take time and thorough analysis to specify
the true consequences of Japan’s triple calamity, including the
longer-term impact on its economy and that of the rest of the world. The Japanese have shown admirable courage in the face of unthinkable
tragedy. I have no doubt that a successful reconstruction program will
lead their country to recovery. In the meantime, however, the urgency of
restoring a sense of normalcy and hope to a dramatically wounded
society warrants thoughtful and deep analyses
." On this matter, we couldn't agree more.



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Silver At $38.01 As Gold Hits New All Time High

Silver just passed $38 as gold just hit a new all time high. What can one say but "Thank you Chairsatan."



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Goldman's Hatzius Issues Another Preemptive Economy Downgrade Warning

Very much in sync with our long-running projected timeline that Goldman will downgrade the economy within a month, to be followed by some more Hatzius-Dudley tete-a-tetes in which the current head of Goldman's economic team will make it all too clear that the Great Re-Redepression is inevitable unless the former head of Goldman's economic team sacrifices another 1-2 trillion in 25% linen/75% cotton fiatscoes at the altar of the supreme bankster, Hatzius just issued his second preliminary downgrade warning for US GDP.



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Guest Post: Nero's Fiddle And Obama's Golfclubs

I'm not sure what was going through Nero's mind at the time, but for posterity he is known as the leader who played a fiddle while the city he was responsible for crumbled all around him. I have no clue what Obama's legacy will be, but his decision to remain on spring break with his family while the world is in crisis seems questionable. Yes, I know its hard to cancel even a 'working' vacation with the kids, but in these turbulent times, we need more than pictures of him working in his 'mobile command centers'. Maybe being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize based on some campaign promises has skewed his view of what he needs to do? Maybe he defines success as the level of the S&P 500 so all is good in the world? The reality is that the world is experiencing more problems than at any time in recent memory.



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Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index Plunges To Seven Month Low As Wealth Effect Trounced By Poverty Effect

After staging a brief recovery in the last few weeks following the undeterred pursuit of the successful completion of Bernanke's wealth effect crusade (Russell at 36,000 or bust), consumer confidence has once again realized that while the rich are getting richer, it means jack for everyone else. As a result the Consumer Comfort index, which recently was moved from ABC to Bloomberg, has just plunged to a 7 month low, indicating comparable slides are coming in the other two reflexive market indicators, the UMich and the CONference Board. "Consumer confidence in the U.S. fell last week to the lowest level since August as more Americans became despondent over the economy. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index dropped to minus 48.9 in the period to March 20 from minus 48.5 the prior week. The measure of the current state of the economy slumped to a 15-month low." And contrary to Central Planning assumptions that Americans are mostly idiots, the recent surge in gasoline prices to near 3 year highs was not missed: "“Given the rise in fuel and food costs, households are clearly indicating frustration over the need to reduce discretionary spending to meet demand for basic necessities,” said Joseph Brusuelas, a senior economist at Bloomberg LP in New York. “Even better-off households are feeling the pinch of rising prices, primarily at the pump.”"



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Guest Post: Top 10 Keynesian Ways To Boost The US Economy

Keynesian economists are propagandizing the media with a unified message; in one breath lightly touching on the human tragedy in Japan, while in the next anticipating with delight the economic recovery it will (supposedly) create. The natural disaster in Japan is tragic both on a human level and economically. Japan may, possibly, enjoy a GDP boost in six months or so as a result of some rebuilding, but the billions in present-day lost productivity will easily negate any future upside...Let’s follow the Keynesian approach. I have come up with the top ten ways we can boost the US economy using that same Keynesian rationale.



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