• Sprott Money
    01/30/2015 - 08:31
    The quick-and-easy way to categorize the retail sector of the U.S. economy would be to use the metaphor of “falling off a cliff”. However, such a characterization would be overly simplistic. A...

New York Post

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Teachers' Retirement Funds Are Piling Into Manhattan Real Estate At Record High Prices





Wondering who the greater fool is, wonder no longer. TIAA-CREF (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund) essentially manages the investments of people who know the least about investing, i.e., muppets. As such, it came as no surprise that TIAA-CREF might serve as an important bag-holding vehicle for bubble assets just before a fall (when the latest Central Bank bubble pops), tempted by juicy 4% yields... in other words, teachers and nurses are shattering property records to fund their retirement.

 
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Murderous Son, Who Killed His Hedge Fund Father Over $200 Allowance, Was A Mentally-Disturbed Princeton Economics Grad





The most bizarre story from the past weekend was the shocking murder of Tom Gilbert, 70, founder of the Wainscott biotech-focused hedge fund, who was shot dead in his Sutton Place apartment on Sunday Afternoon: shocking because the alleged shooter was none other than his Millennial 30-year-old son. What was certainly unclear at the time was what would be the motivation of a son to kill his successful and wealthy father, especially in such dramatic cold blood. We now know not only the motivation, but also the alleged psychopath's background: "Gilbert Jr. attended Princeton, graduating in 2009 with a degree in economics. Authorities said he had no recent work history."

 
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Two NYPD Cops Murdered In "Execution Style" Ambush, Shooter Commits Suicide - Live Coverage





The simmering cold war involving the NYPD and various elements of New York's population just went nuclear when just over an hour ago, reports hit that two NYPD officers were shot in their patrol car, and subsequently died, in what has been dubbed an "execution style" ambush in Brooklyn's Bed-Stuy area. The alleged shooter was chased by police and subsequently died of a self-inflicted gun wound.

 
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17-Year-Old Trading Genius Who "Made " $72 Million Actually Just "Made It All Up"





After the entire world learned that young trading whiz-kid Mohammed Islam had "made" $72 million, certainly including the IRS which would promptly come looking for the $36 or so million it was due, the alleged megatrader, who got just the wrong 15 minutes of fame, scrambled to set the record straight, and explained the instead of making money, he actually made nothing, he just made it all up: to wit: "Is there ANY figure? Have you invested and made returns at all? No. So it’s total fiction? Yes. I run an investment club at Stuy High which does only simulated trades."

 
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Something Stinks Inside The BLS Jobs Data





"I find it extremely odd and troubling that starting with January 2013, the Establishment Survey started moving in nearly an exactly straight line (benchmarks are important). That observation is made more curious by a memo that was just sent out by the Census Bureau to its field offices (the BLS crunches the numbers, but contracts out with the Census Bureau to actually conduct the surveys)... In other words, they were told that there would be penalties for cheating on the surveys, which apparently is tied to suggestions of a rash of field workers completing surveys for people never actually surveyed. The reason for doing so, spelled out by the New York Post, is that compensation is tied to a 90% completion rate."

 
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Retail Rapture: UK Grocery Sales Drop 1st Time In 20 Years, Dollar General To Shut 4000 Stores





For the first time since it began collecting data in 1994, Kantar Worldpanel, the market researcher, reported a decline in UK grocery sales by value, as The FT reports the biggest UK grocers were "losing market share hand over fist," as analysts warn "there are phoney price wars, and there are real price wars. This is a real price war." This comes on the heels of Goldman report claiming 20% of British grocers are surplus to requirements. But it's not just Britain... in the the cleanest dirty shirt world-economic-growth supporting decoupled economy of the USA, Reuters reports Dollar General may need to divest more than 4,000 stores to win approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for its acquisition of Family Dollar.

 
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20-Year CBS News Veteran Details Massive Censorship And Propaganda In Mainstream Media





"Reporters on the ground aren’t necessarily ideological, Attkisson says, but the major network news decisions get made by a handful of New York execs who read the same papers and think the same thoughts. Often they dream up stories beforehand and turn the reporters into 'casting agents,' told 'we need to find someone who will say...' that a given policy is good or bad. “We’re asked to create a reality that fits their New York image of what they believe,"

 
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15 Signs That We Live During A Time Of Rampant Government Paranoia





How does it feel to live under a government that is getting even more paranoid with each passing day?  The American people are told that the emerging Big Brother police state is for our safety, but the truth is that it isn’t there to protect us.  It is there to protect them.

 
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AAPL Stock Fades On 'Apple Watch' Unveiling





It's square with a metal band, rotating dial...

*APPLE INTRODUCES 'APPLE WATCH' WITH SMALL DIAL ON THE SIDE FOR ZOOM, SCROLLING

It appears the market is disappointed in the watch and loved the payments...

 
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5 Things To Ponder: Interesting Stuff





As a reminder, this kind of market action is neither normal or healthy longer term and has only seen near historical major market peaks. Of course, timing is everything. With the current influx of liquidity coming to an end in October, combined with a plan to start to increasing interest rates in 2015, the Fed has clearly begun to signal the end of 5 years of ultra-accommodative policies. The question that remains to be answered is whether or not the economy is actually strong enough to be removed from "life support?" This weekend's "Things To Ponder" is just a smattering of interesting articles cover a wide range of topics that I hope you will find interesting, informative and contemplative.

 
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"Worst. Recovery. Ever." Except For Bankers





For most (practically all) Americans, this is officially the worst recovery ever. As we pointed out previously, wage growth has never been slower in a post World War II recovery. However, not everyone is hurting...

*GOLDMAN SACHS SAID TO RAISE JUNIOR STAFF'S SALARIES ABOUT 20%

This comes just weeks after Morgan Stanley announced it would raise junior banker salaries by 25%. It appears President Obama's hopes for 'fair, livable' minimum wage is being heeded by the banking community - good patriots, they are.

 
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Guest Post: Proof That Government Economic Numbers Are Being Manipulated





How in the world does the government expect us to trust the economic numbers that they give us anymore? For a long time, many have suspected that they were being manipulated, and as you will see below it appears we now have proof that this is indeed the case.

 
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NBC Paid Chelsea Clinton $600,000 Annual Salary For Occasional Work





Hillary Clinton may have left the White House "dead broke" in her own words over a decade ago, but the same can hardly be said about her daughter, Chelsea, who as Politico revealed today, was being paid an annual salary of $600,000 at NBC News before switching to a month-to-month contract earlier this year.

 
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5 Things To Ponder: Demographics





"Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the National Debt."  -  Herbert Hoover

The roll off of the massive slice of the population known as "baby boomers" in the years ahead will have a significant and profound impact on the economy and the markets. In my opinion, there is simply not enough attention paid this issue and it is an important one.  However, since demographic impacts take a very long time to mature, they are ignored by the mainstream media which are focused on the 24-hour news and market cycles. 

 
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Guest Post: Demography + Debt = Doom





A ‘Perfect Storm’ of demography and debt will economically and financially doom almost every country on earth. It will be TEOTWAWKI – ‘The End Of The World As We Know It’. No, it’s not the end of life or even the end of civilization. However, when it’s all over, nothing will ever be the same and that includes the disappearance of much of the middle class.  The good news - The storm won’t last forever. The bad news is there will be much more pain before it ends unless you make an effort to understand what’s happening and why.

 
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