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Is It Time To Sell The "Old Guy At A Club" Market?

It’s time to think like a contrarian. Why? Because capital markets seem as bulletproof as one of those up-armored military personnel carriers you see in war zones. So what could really rattle stock, bond and commodity markets over the next 3-6 months? The go-to answer, steeped in history, is geopolitical crisis, where the logical hedges are precious metals, volatility plays, and possibly crude oil. Look deeper, however, and other answers emerge.



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"Waiting For Armageddon" - Say It Isn't So?

Brent Johnson, of Santiago Capital, provides a brief but broad overview of the state of the state in the world's precious metals markets (and monetary policy implications). Often accused of "waiting for armageddon", Johnson is quick to note that he would love to be wrong... "If I thought it possible to carry out the next 40 years the same as the last - by sticking to the status quo - I'd do it." But it's not... and no matter how many "say it isn't so" you hear from the mainstream, it is inevitable (when not if). Simply put, he warns, if you do have to have capital markets exposure - make sure you have insurance - you need it now more than ever.



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"Planned Chaos" - Why Fiat Money Is "A Large-Scale Fraud System"

"The state-controlled fiat money system is the main cause of the international financial and economic crisis." This system, Thorsten Polleit warns, is based on the ability of banks to create money literally out of nothing. It is, in principle, a “large-scale fraud system” because today’s money is “intrinsically worthless and not redeemable”. This has damaging consequences for the overall economic development.



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UK Economy "Boomerang'd" As Russians Shun $719 Bottles Of Cristal

The UK had feared whiplash from sanctions on Russian oligarchs but this 'boomerang' is too much to bear... As Bloomberg reports, “We’re seeing a lot less Russian surnames on the booking sheet," at London's Mahiki, a Polynesian-themed nightclub in upmarket Mayfair where a bottle of Cristal Champagne goes for $719 - and Russian customers are being supplanted by revelers from countries including China and Nigeria. “The Russian market was like a Champagne fountain,” notes on ereveler, "The money was coming into the top and flowing down..." but not so much anymore...



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Silver Ends Week With Best Run In 3 Years

Silver closes at a 4-month high as the grey metal closes green for the sixth week-in-a-row. This is the longest winning streak since the highs reached in April 2011 as safe-haven buying and CCFD unwinds are squeezing the shorts and dragging Silver +10% year-to-date (just behind gold).



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5 Things To Ponder: The Everything Boom

"We’re in a world where there are very few unambiguously cheap assets...If you ask me to give you the one big bargain out there, I’m not sure there is one." But frustrating as the situation can be for investors hoping for better returns, the bigger question for the global economy is what happens next. How long will this low-return environment last? And what risks are being created that might be realized only if and when the Everything Boom ends?



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Watch As 6.8 Magnitude Quake Shakes The Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant

Fast forward to 1 minutes 6 seconds into the clip (equivalent to 4:22am local time, and where every second is equvalent to 6 seconds in real-time) to see what the 6.8 magnitude earthquake, which we reported earlier, was all about. Luckily, this time, it was nothing to write home about. Let's hope it stays that way for all future earthquakes as well, or otherwise Abe will have much bigger problems on his hands than just a flaccid "third arrow."



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Russell 2000 Slumps Into Red For 2014; Gold Best Year-To-Date

The Russell 2000 closed down almost 4% from last Thursday's early close - its worst week in 3 months (and in the red year-to-date). The Nasdaq miraculously scrambled back to unchanged from Payrolls but all major indices closed red for the week. Away from stocks, the USD closed unchanged (with notable CAD weakness and JPY strength). Treasury yields tumbled 13bps on the week - the most in 4 months. Gold and silver rose 1.3% on the week to new 4-month highs (6th green week in a row) as WTI Crude slumped back under $101 (-3.3% on the week). VIX rose around 2 vols back above 12 as "most shorted" stocks plunged over 5% - the biggest weekly drop in 25 months! VIX was slammed lower late-on to give the impression of confidence in stocks into the weekend but credit was notably not buying it at all.



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... In Which SocGen Starts A Rumor That The Next QE Will Come From China

The US is tapering, with the Fed knowing any further monetization of private sector bonds will lead to a crash in the already illiquid bond market; Japan is stuck with its massive QE, jawboning every day a rumor that first appeared in November of 2013 (and which sent the USDJPY 500 pips higher and has so far been nothing but a lie) that it may do more, but has unleashed such a firestorm of imported inflation, plunging real wages and collapsing exports that there is nothing Abe or Kuroda can do to boost the Nikkei "wealth effect" or halt what now appears an almost certain 2014 recession.  Europe, too, saw a rumor emerge in November 2013 that it would also launch QE, however it won't: instead the ECB just went NIRP and is threatening to do ABS purchases, which just like the OMT pipedream will never happen simply because there aren't enough unencumbered assets to monetize (most of which are already have liens with local banks) while an outright QE would require redrafting Article 123. So what is a world starved for "outside money" to do? Why make up another rumor, this time focusing on the last possible source of QE: China.



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Michael Bloomberg Calls Colorado A "Rural and Roadless" Backwater For Challenging His Gun Control Agenda

We've noticed a bizarre trend this year - Northeast establishment politicians attacking the state of Colorado for its own internal decisions. This time, the man who puts his foot in his mouth more than pretty much anyone else, former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, called Colorado “rural” and “roadless” in a recent Rolling Stone article (which has since been pulled, but is supposed to be back up Monday) for the backlash against his gun control agenda from parts of the state.



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6.8 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Near Fukushima, Tsunami Warning Issued

Moments ago, at 4:22am local time, a major 6.8 magnitude quake struck eastern Japan, off the Fukushima coast.

FLASH:M6.8 QUAKE JOLTS OFF FUKUSHIMA, JAPAN, TSUNAMI ALERT
EARTHQUAKE EARLY WARNING ISSUED FOR JAPAN, OFF FUKUSHIMA:JMA
EARTHQUAKE EARLY WARNING ISSUED FOR JAPAN, OFF FUKUSHIMA:JMA
TSUNAMI WARNING ISSUED AFTER JAPAN QUAKE: AP



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Martin Armstrong: Understanding The Extremes On Both Sides

"To make this perfectly clear, extreme views on the left or the right end up meeting in the same back parking lot where they agree the people are the great unwashed and are too stupid to see they need to be manipulated and controlled." The people behind the curtain do not change with the change between left and right up in front of the curtain. It is always about power regardless of the side of politics.



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The Number Of US Firms Willing To Trade in Chinese Yuan Has Tripled This Year

As the US spreads its message of cheer around the world, it appears an increasing number of trade 'partners' are more than willing to consider alternatives to the hegemony. As AFP reports, China's Yuan usage in global trade and finance has more than doubled this year. While still notably below USD usage in international payments it remains firmly in second place for trade finance and according to a recent survey by HSBC, the number of US companies planning to use Yuan has almost tripled this year (from 8% to 22%). De-dollarization continues...



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The World Still Needs Saudi Arabia's Oil

Economic analysts are torn as to how important Saudi Arabia will prove to the global economy in years ahead. In the first half of 2014, the US surpassed Saudi Arabia to become the world’s foremost oil producer. This sparked widespread predictions that the US would soon become an oil exporter, reducing its dependency on Riyadh and harming Saudi Arabia’s leading role in the Middle-East. However, the ISIS invasion of Iraq and Syria, the Boko Haram insurgency and continued oil theft in Nigeria, unrest in Venezuela and ongoing violence in Sudan and South Sudan have changed the deal.



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