http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/feeds/comments/default en Thankful For Inflation? Turkey Day Dinner Is Up 6,000% Since 1909 http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-27/thankful-inflation-turkey-day-dinner-6000-1909 <p>While not hyperinflating, the <strong>slow and insidious diminishment</strong> of the fiat US Dollar&#39;s purchasing power <em>(and thus the living standards of lower- and middle-class Americans - who are not balls deep invested in the US stock &#39;market&#39;)</em> is nowhere more evident than in the soaring costs of Thanksgiving Day dinner during the Fed&#39;s 100 year reign...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/11/20141127_TG4.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/11/20141127_TG4_0.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 450px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>In 1909... Thanksgiving Day Dinner cost $0.50...</strong></span></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/11/20141127_TG.jpg"><img height="916" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/11/20141127_TG.jpg" width="501" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.hotelgettysburg.com/thanksgiving2014.html"><strong>In 2014... Thanksgiving Day Dinner costs $30.00</strong></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/11/20141127_TG2.jpg"><img height="629" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/11/20141127_TG2_0.jpg" width="500" /></a></p> <p><u><strong>This works out at 3.98% annual inflation rate - almost double the Fed&#39;s proposed price stability optimum of 2%... over a century...</strong></u></p> <p>Be careful what inflation you wish for.</p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Of course these are hotel prices - the cost at home is considerably less:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>According to the American Farm Bureau Federation&#39;s (AFBF) latest price survey, the average cost of a classic Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people this year -- with all the fixings - will come to $49.41, or up 37 cents from last year.</p> </blockquote> <p>Suggesting labor costs have soared? But even eat-at-home Thanksgiving Day Dinner costs have soared since 1986...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/11/20141127_TG3.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/11/20141127_TG3_0.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 374px;" /></a></p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>We are thankful for the increasing numbers of US citizens disillusioned with The Fed&#39;s grand theft...</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="835" height="751" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20141127_TG4.jpg?1417099666" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-27/thankful-inflation-turkey-day-dinner-6000-1909#comments Purchasing Power Turkey Thu, 27 Nov 2014 22:50:32 +0000 Tyler Durden 498344 at http://www.zerohedge.com The 5th Amendment: Why A Law Professor Says "Don't Talk To Police" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-27/5th-amendment-why-law-professor-says-dont-talk-police <p><em>Submitted by <a href="http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2014/11/26/video-of-the-day-understanding-the-5th-amendment-and-why-a-law-professor-suggests-not-talking-to-police/">Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog</a>,</em></p> <p>In my recent interview,&nbsp;<strong><a href="http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2014/11/21/serfdom-is-the-new-normal-talkin-oligarch-blues-with-perpetual-assets/">&ldquo;Serfdom is the New Normal&rdquo; &ndash; Talkin&rsquo; Oligarch Blues with Perpetual Assets</a></strong>, I mentioned&nbsp;the dangers of talking to the police in light of the recent epidemic of shady<strong><a href="http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2014/07/28/asset-forfeiture-how-cops-continue-to-steal-americans-hard-earned-cash-with-zero-repercussions/"> civil asset forfeitures</a></strong>. What many people fail to realize, is that you aren&rsquo;t obligated to have casual conversations with police when you have been pulled over. In fact, such conversations are often used solely to manufacture an excuse for further action against you. For example, take this excerpt from the recent Washington Post article,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/highway-seizure-in-iowa-fuels-debate-about-asset-forfeiture-laws/2014/11/10/10f725fc-5ec3-11e4-8b9e-2ccdac31a031_story.html">Highway Seizure in Iowa Fuels Debate about Asset-Forfeiture Laws</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>Simmons said he was issuing a warning for the failure to signal. <strong>After handing over the paperwork, he said the stop was over. Then he asked the driver, Newmerzhycky, if he had &ldquo;time for just a couple quick questions.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>Police who specialize in highway interdiction use casual conversations to avoid triggering legal questions about the length of stops. If the conversations are consensual, courts consider the added delay to be legal.</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>During a routine highway stop for a minor traffic violation, I can&rsquo;t think of a&nbsp;good reason why it would ever be in your interest to continue chatting with a cop.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>Highway police are trained to use the chats as an opportunity to take stock of alleged &ldquo;indicators&rdquo; of criminal activity, including nervous speech patterns, a pulsing carotid artery and inconsistencies in stories. They are also trained to seek permission for warrantless searches.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>It&rsquo;s really sad that it has come to this. It would be much better to live in a society where people could have enough trust in police to chat casually with them. The more police engage in bad behavior, the less the public will want to engage.</p> <p>The trickier part about all of this, is that it isn&rsquo;t clear what a reasonable length for a stop is. Here&rsquo;s the Washington Post on the issue, from the article,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/02/01/waiting-for-the-dogs-during-police-traffic-stops/">Waiting for the Dogs During Police Traffic Stops</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>Imagine a police officer pulls over a car for a routine traffic violation, such as speeding or driving with a broken taillight. During the stop, the officer develops a hunch that there may be drugs in the car. He contacts a local K-9 unit and requests a trained drug-sniffing dog; when the unit arrives, another officer will walk the dog around the car to see if it alerts to drugs inside. Although&nbsp;<a href="http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-923.ZO.html">the Supreme Court has held</a>&nbsp;that the use of the dog is not a search,&nbsp;<strong><a href="http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&amp;vol=462&amp;invol=696">the length of a warrantless stop must be reasonable</a>. The officer can&rsquo;t delay the driver forever.</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>This raises a question of Fourth Amendment law that has led to a lot of lower court litigation: If the officer has no reasonable suspicion that drugs are in the car &mdash; that is, he only has a hunch &mdash; how long can the traffic stop be delayed before the dog arrives and checks out the car?</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Lower courts have generally answered the question by adopting a&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_minimis">de minimis&nbsp;</a>doctrine. Officers can extend the stop and wait for the dogs for ade minimis&nbsp;amount of time. But exactly how long is that?</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>Just yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held in&nbsp;<a href="http://media.ca8.uscourts.gov/opndir/14/01/131176P.pdf">United States v. Rodriguez</a>&nbsp;that seven to eight minutes is&nbsp;de minimis.</strong> On the other hand, the Supreme Court of Nevada held a few months ago in&nbsp;<a href="http://caselaw.findlaw.com/nv-supreme-court/1638595.html">State v. Beckman</a>&nbsp;that nine minutes is too long.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>With all that in mind, I strongly suggest watching the following video with almost 5 million views of Law Professor James Duane, simply titled: Don&rsquo;t Talk to Police.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/6wXkI4t7nuc" width="480"></iframe></p> <p><em><strong>Disclaimer: </strong>I am not an attorney and obviously none of this should be taken as legal advice. It is meant to provide you with some information and you should do your own research (laws vary by state).</em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="477" height="477" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20141127_LB.jpg?1417098092" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-27/5th-amendment-why-law-professor-says-dont-talk-police#comments Fail New Normal None Thu, 27 Nov 2014 22:00:32 +0000 Tyler Durden 498343 at http://www.zerohedge.com Artist's Impression Of The First Thanksgiving http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-27/artists-impression-first-thanksgiving <p>Presented with no comment...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/11/20141127_firstTG.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/11/20141127_firstTG_0.jpg" width="600" height="395" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.investors.com/editorial-cartoons/michael-ramirez/728172-amnesty/?nav=EditorialsCartoon"><em>Source: Investors</em></a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="789" height="520" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20141127_firstTG.jpg?1417108354" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-27/artists-impression-first-thanksgiving#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 21:10:58 +0000 Tyler Durden 498342 at http://www.zerohedge.com A Pandemonium of Bells Are Ringing For the Markets http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-27/pandemonium-bells-are-ringing-markets <p>There is a saying that you don&rsquo;t ring bells at the top.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It&rsquo;s not really true. Every time the market forms a major peak, at least in the last 15 years, there are usually a preponderance of signs of excessive speculation and leverage.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Today we are seeing bells ringing throughout the markets.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For instance, today, we have:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>1)&nbsp;&nbsp; Corporate debt is at 2007 peak levels.</p> <p>2)&nbsp;&nbsp; Investor bullishness is at extremes not seen since the 2007 top.</p> <p>3)&nbsp;&nbsp; Margin debt (money borrowed to buy stocks) is closing in on its record high.</p> <p>4)&nbsp;&nbsp; Over 70% of household net worth is based in financial assets. As ZH has noted previously, every time this has happened historically, asset prices have crashed soon after.</p> <p>5)&nbsp;&nbsp; The Bank of International Settlements and the IMF have both warned of excessive risk taking and market fragility.</p> <p>6)&nbsp;&nbsp; Market volume is at an absolute trickle, with most volume coming from HFT firms.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Aside from this, we have countless examples of the &ldquo;smart money&rdquo; preparing:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>1)&nbsp;&nbsp; Billionaires are sitting on record amounts of cash.</p> <p>2)&nbsp;&nbsp; Warren Buffett is sitting on over $50 billion in cash.</p> <p>3)&nbsp;&nbsp; George Soros has taken out a record put position to profit from a market collapse.</p> <p>4)&nbsp;&nbsp; Carl Icahn has warned of a &ldquo;big drop&rdquo; coming in stocks.</p> <p>5)&nbsp;&nbsp; Jeremy Grantham has commented that we are in a &ldquo;fully-fledged equity bubble.&rdquo;</p> <p>6)&nbsp;&nbsp; Corporate insiders are selling stock at a pace not seen since 2000.</p> <p>7)&nbsp;&nbsp; Financial institutions as well as hedge funds have been net sellers of stocks since 2014 began.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There are literally bells everywhere today. Does this mean that the market will take a nosedive this week? Not necessarily. Tops can take much longer to form that anyone expects.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, there are clear signs of excessive speculation, leverage, and the like. And the smart money is heading for the exits.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Are you?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Don&rsquo;t let the second round of the financial crisis crush your portfolio&hellip; we offer a FREE investment report <strong><em>Financial Crisis &quot;Round Two&quot; Survival Guide </em></strong>that outlines easy, simple to follow strategies you can use to not only protect your portfolio from a market downturn, but actually produce profits.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>You can pick up a FREE copy at:</p> <p><a href="http://www.phoenixcapitalmarketing.com/roundtwo.html">http://www.phoenixcapitalmarketing.com/roundtwo.html</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Best Regards</p> <p>Phoenix Capital Research</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-27/pandemonium-bells-are-ringing-markets#comments Carl Icahn George Soros HFT Jeremy Grantham Smart Money Warren Buffett Thu, 27 Nov 2014 20:52:23 +0000 Phoenix Capital Research 498352 at http://www.zerohedge.com Guest Post - Amps Times Volts Equals Watts http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-27/guest-post-amps-times-volts-equals-watts <p style="text-align: center;">Amps Times Volts Equals Watts</p> <p style="text-align: center;">By</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Mrs. Cog</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>You will always find original articles by Cognitive Dissonance and other authors <strong>first</strong> on <a href="http://twoicefloes.com/" target="_blank">www.TwoIceFloes.com</a> before they are posted here on ZH. </em></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>To become a Premium or Basic member <a href="http://twoicefloes.com/membership/membership-options-page/" target="_blank">click here</a>. If you wish to subscribe to &lsquo;Dispatches&rsquo;, a periodic newsletter from Cognitive Dissonance and <a href="http://twoicefloes.com/" target="_blank">TwoIceFloes</a> Creations, please <a href="http://twoicefloes.com/membership/subscribe-to-dispatches/" target="_blank"><strong>click here</strong></a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It seems a bit backwards that we Cogs have spent this cold, snowy week immersed in learning about the pros and cons of solar energy. Too windy to cut wood and too wet and slippery to be outside except for chores, Cog began tackling the tricky issue of using a solar powered system as a backup power supply for our well. The devil is in the details he carefully explained. <em>&ldquo;Amps times volts equals watts.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>Gently teasing me about my status as a former urban princess, meaning one who expects to have things work at the flip of a switch and to pay someone to fix it when it breaks, Cog pointed out I came into this homesteading experience with little to no technical understanding of household systems. Electrical, plumbing and structural concepts were for the specialists, not homeowners who don&rsquo;t even know that &lsquo;<em>amps times volts equals watts&rsquo;. </em></p> <p>Having relocated to our mountain in order to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle, it has not been lost on me that relying upon ourselves means becoming a generalist who can evaluate, design, build, and maintain many systems at a basic proficiency level. The learning curve has been steep and often comical as I have tackled becoming a gardener, cook, and herbalist. But these tasks have paled in comparison to the knowledge Cog teaches me about the modification and upkeep of our home. It has been particularly difficult for me to remember that a<em>mps times volts equal watts.</em></p> <p>Why can&rsquo;t I remember that? Amps are carefully considered when calculating the electrical surge needed to start an electric motor, a brief and sometimes very powerful draw of energy. Volts are kept in mind when powering the typical household device or appliance we use. We plug regular things into a 120 Volt outlet. The dryer, stove and well pump are each on a 240 Volt line, thus the funny plug on the appliance and the big clunky outlet it gets plugged into. I thought I finally understood it all since I had now scribbled it on a sticky: <em>amps times volts equals watts. </em></p> <p>So we simply needed to set up a solar collection system with enough watts to meet our goal, which in this case was to run the well pump. Although our well is shallower than others on the mountain it is still quite deep, nearly 250 feet down. Hand or simple electric suction pumps do not work at that depth. So during a long term power outage, when our backup generator runs out of propane, it would be wonderful to switch the well pump to solar energy for a sustainable water source. Easy-peasy because <em>amps times volts equals watts</em>.</p> <p>As I asked more questions Cog vacillated between feelings of frustration and laughing out loud at my Star Trek impression of &ldquo;<em>Make it so Number One</em>.&rdquo; It seems that in my enthusiasm to find a quick and easy solution I managed to oversimplify the whole matter in much the same way people who are used to writing a check to pay the contractor often do when they don&rsquo;t want their heads filled with details, but just want the damn thing to work. Still in the mindset I learned in Consumerism 101, Cog offered up <em>&ldquo;it&rsquo;s not just about the watts honey.&rdquo;</em> No, <strong>it is</strong>! That&rsquo;s what it says on my sticky: <em>amps times volts equals watts!</em></p> <p>It was during the back and forth with Cog as I continued my solar education that my talents as an expert word-maker-upper came into play. I discovered that the technical jargon could be altered to better describe the process or function, something which still makes us both laugh each time it is used. In this way we can smile over what was previously a dry and serious matter. In fact, the new lingo came about as Cog was showing me that while <em>amps are all equal, some amps are more equal than others</em>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Existing Solar Setup" height="600" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5464/imageroot/2014/11/House%20Solar%20Panels%20-%20Clean_0.JPG" title="Existing Solar Setup" width="800" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">The exisitng very small solar setup.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>To illustrate the problem Cog outlined this issue of amps as I grabbed a legal pad and began scribbling notes. The sun shines on the solar panels where energy is collected and funneled into batteries via a charge controller. The tricky part comes in converting that stored battery power to run a household electrical device. For that you need an inverter. Solar inverters are very touchy as to &lsquo;<em>watt&rsquo; quantity of amps</em> you need to draw.</p> <p>The motor in our well pump needs a swift kick of amps to get it started, a temporary surge if you will. Cog explained to me this electrical kick is called an &ldquo;<em>in rush</em>&rdquo; and he bought a pricey clamp meter to not only measure the current in a wire from the outside, but to measure the surge to start the pump. He was so funny, almost excited when the UPS guy brought his new toy. With this we would discover &lsquo;<em>which&rsquo; amps times volts equals watts. </em></p> <p>As we tackled the measuring of the surge with Cog&rsquo;s new &ldquo;<em>in rush meter thingy</em>&rdquo; we turned on various faucets to force the well pump to kick in. Move over Doc Brown because our well pump&rsquo;s &ldquo;<em>in rush</em>&rdquo; of amps <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5cYgRnfFDA" target="_blank">might as well have been 1.21 giga-watts</a> after watching Cog&rsquo;s reaction. For approximately 2/10ths of a second the pump required 57.5 amps to start the motor. Doing the math, <em>57.5 amps times 240 volts equals 13,800 watts</em>. We&rsquo;re gonna need a bigger flux capacitor.</p> <p>Typical quality (and pricey) inverters provide around 4 to 5,000 watts of continuous power with maybe an 8 to 10,000 watt &lsquo;<em>surge</em>&rsquo; capacity. So a quality inverter that could handle our well pump would be a seriously expensive upgrade. Thank goodness Cog is stubborn and continued making phone calls as he searched for answers to our new dilemma. He discovered a gadget called a &ldquo;<em>soft start</em>&rdquo; controller which basically stretched out the time of the initial energy surge required to start the motor, thereby reducing the amps needed all at once. I dubbed this the &ldquo;<em>in rush slower-downer</em>.&rdquo; Perhaps with this device we would need <em>less amps times volts to equal fewer watts?</em></p> <p>But alas, a subsequent conversation with an expert at the manufacturer of our well pump confirmed the well pump motor would not last long with the <em>in rush slower-downer,</em> aka the soft start controller, in place. The electronics and capacitors inside the &lsquo;<em>standard</em>&rsquo; well pump motor require a massive jolt of amps to turn the motor over and overcome the water pressure already in the pipe running to the surface and onward to the house. Essentially it would quickly burn out the motor. With the solar collection system we were considering, <em>sometimes there just aren&rsquo;t enough amps &lt;sigh&gt;</em>.</p> <p>Cog did discover that the same company who manufacturers our well pump also offers deep well pump systems already set up for solar with a type of soft start device designed in. Unfortunately, the cost is on par with the flux capacitor inverter we would need for the 13,800 watt surge in our initial design. <em>Watt to do, watt to do? </em></p> <p>So, for the immediate future our backup water supply remains a clear babbling creek, inconveniently located several hundred feet down a steep and uneven logging road at the foot of our property on the edge of the mountain. While this actually helps comfort me in my process of emotional bargaining, consoling myself that we have alternatives in place should we need to actually become sustainably self-sufficient for a long period of time, we need to find a way to get our water to the <em>top</em> of our mountain. For now, the power to do that remains locked in the simple formula: <em>amps times volts equals watts</em>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mrs. Cog</p> <p>11-27-2014</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>What&#39;s a watt?</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Amps Times Volts Equals Watts" height="534" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5464/imageroot/2014/11/Amps%20Times%20Volts%20-%20Clean_0.jpg" title="Amps Times Volts Equals Watts" width="800" /></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-27/guest-post-amps-times-volts-equals-watts#comments Cognitive Dissonance Guest Post SWIFT Thu, 27 Nov 2014 20:27:28 +0000 Cognitive Dissonance 498351 at http://www.zerohedge.com False Confidence Rising In The US http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-27/false-confidence-rising-us <p><em>Submitted by <a href="http://worldcomplex.blogspot.com.au/2014/11/confidence-increasing-in-us.html">mickeyman via The World Complex blog</a>,</em></p> <p>A <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/sns-rt-us-usa-fed-survey-credit-20141125-story.html">recent article</a> argues that the increasing demand for consumer credit is an indicator of increasing consumer confidence. The argument seems reasonable due to the way it is presented--<strong>there is an entirely different conclusion one would draw were the argument presented differently.</strong></p> <p>If you had a very low income, and few assets, yet people kept lending you money--money that greatly exceeded your assets--would that not suggest that these lenders had confidence in you? It may be that this confidence is unjustified--but we can infer its existence by the continued willingness of others to lend you money despite the fact that you appear to be ruined.</p> <p><strong>In just the same manner, we can infer the confidence that lenders have in a country by <a href="http://worldcomplex.blogspot.com.au/2011/09/confidence-or-recklessness-onset-of.html">computing the ratio of a nation&#39;s debt to its actual holdings of real money</a>. </strong>A high ratio suggests great confidence--even though it could just as easily be a measure of ruin. In the case of the US, we have used the ratio of its <a href="http://worldcomplex.blogspot.com.au/2011/08/rise-and-fall-of-us-confidence.html">official debt to its official gold holdings</a>. For other countries, we would have to include foreign currency holdings as &quot;wealth&quot;.<br />&nbsp;</p> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-AlFwdzW99mU/VHb0XJL-FhI/AAAAAAAAENo/yOtMzdM2iPQ/s1600/US%2Bconfidence%2Bto%2B2013.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-AlFwdzW99mU/VHb0XJL-FhI/AAAAAAAAENo/yOtMzdM2iPQ/s1600/US%2Bconfidence%2Bto%2B2013.jpg" style="border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; width: 600px; height: 313px;" /></a></div> <p><strong>Confidence in the US hit an all-time high in September 2001. Then something happened, and confidence in the US fell steadily until the end of 2012. </strong>The falling confidence level occurrred because the value of the US gold holdings rose faster than its debt (which itself was increasing at the greatest rate ever). In other words, the US dollar was losing value (relative to gold) faster than the US gov&#39;t could spend it.</p> <p>Confidence increased in 2013, as the gold price fell while debt continued to increase. <u><strong>But is this real confidence?</strong></u></p> <p>The ratio of debt to gold can only be considered a measure of confidence if foreign entities are willfully buying the debt. If, on the other hand, the government simply monetizes the debt itself, or orders its vassal states to purchase the debt, then it wouldn&#39;t be correct to look at this ratio to be a measure of confidence. <strong>It is a measure of ruin--and faked confidence.</strong></p> <p>We have also seen that <a href="http://worldcomplex.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/why-we-face-ruin.html">higher confidence correlates</a> to <a href="http://worldcomplex.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/economic-policy-and-price-of-gold.html">periods of lower unemployment</a>. The correlation appears to have continued into 2013, but with all the shenanigans involved in reporting unemployment, I have to caution that I have no confidence in the reported unemployment rate. <strong>However, it appears that goosing confidence may be a fore-runner to improved employment, and reiterate that there are only three ways governments and central banks can bring about such a result--increase debt (without the gold price falling); sell gold; or pray for the gold price to fall. Pray hard. Very, very hard.</strong><br />&nbsp;</p> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Yav2zQch2G0/VHb5rIqDUaI/AAAAAAAAEN4/7yH9sQ5Rzqo/s1600/Unemployment%2Band%2Bconfidence%2BUS%2Bto%2B2013.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Yav2zQch2G0/VHb5rIqDUaI/AAAAAAAAEN4/7yH9sQ5Rzqo/s1600/Unemployment%2Band%2Bconfidence%2BUS%2Bto%2B2013.jpg" style="border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; width: 600px; height: 295px;" /></a></div> <p><strong>The second chart really shows faked confidence compared to faked unemployment numbers (particularly the last couple of years).</strong> <em>But at least it shows that things are getting &quot;better&quot; in the US.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="565" height="284" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20141127_world.jpg?1417104101" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-27/false-confidence-rising-us#comments Central Banks Consumer Confidence Consumer Credit Unemployment Thu, 27 Nov 2014 20:20:44 +0000 Tyler Durden 498341 at http://www.zerohedge.com Big Banks Take Huge Stakes In Aluminum, Petroleum and Other Physical Markets ... Then Manipulate Their Prices http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-27/big-banks-take-huge-stakes-aluminum-petroleum-and-other-physical-markets-then-manipu <p>Top <a title="economists, financial experts and bankers say" href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/03/bernanke-too-big-to-fail-was-a-major-source-of-the-crisis-and-we-will-not-have-successfully-responded-to-the-crisis-if-we-do-not-address-that-successfully.html">economists, financial experts and bankers say</a> that the big banks are too large … and their very size is threatening the economy.  They say <a title="we need to break up the big banks" href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/07/11869.html">we need to break up the big banks</a> to stabilize the economy.  They say that too much interconnectedness <a title="leads to financial instability" href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2009/09/derivatives-are-inherently-destabilizing-for-the-financial-system-because-they-increase-interconnectivity.html">leads to financial instability</a>.</p> <p>But - as shown below - the big banks are getting <a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/04/giant-banks-now-15-bigger-than-when-dodd-frank-financial-reform-law-was-passed.html">bigger and bigger</a> ... and getting into ever more interconnected markets.</p> <p>Indeed, big banks aren't even really <em>acting</em> like banks anymore.  Big banks do very little traditional banking, since most of their business is from financial speculation. For example, we noted in 2010 that <a title="less than 10% of Bank of America’s assets come from traditional banking deposits" href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/01/less-than-a-tenth-of-bank-of-americas-assets-comes-from-traditional-banking-deposits.html">less than 10% of Bank of America’s assets come from traditional banking deposits</a>.</p> <p>The big banks are <a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/11/banks-big-busted-massively-manipulating-foreign-exchange-precious-metal-markets.html">manipulating every market</a>.   They're also taking over important aspects of the <em>physical</em> economy, including <a title="uranium mining, petroleum products, aluminum, ownership and operation of airports, toll roads, ports, and electricity" href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/07/giant-banks-take-over-real-economy-as-well-as-financial-system-enabling-manipulation-on-a-vast-scale.html">uranium mining, petroleum products, aluminum, ownership and operation of airports, toll roads, ports, and electricity</a>.</p> <p>And they are using these physical assets to massively manipulate commodities prices … scalping consumers of <a title="many billions of dollars each year" href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/07/big-banks-busted-manipulating-aluminum-and-copper-prices.html">many <em>billions of dollars</em> each year</a>. More from <a title="Matt Taibbi" href="http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-vampire-squid-strikes-again-the-mega-banks-most-devious-scam-yet-20140212" target="_blank">Matt Taibbi</a>, <a title="FDL" href="http://news.firedoglake.com/2014/01/14/federal-reserve-may-continue-to-promote-wall-streets-expansion-into-commodities/" target="_blank">FDL</a> and <a title="Elizabeth Warren" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXpLIqDksDA" target="_blank">Elizabeth Warren</a>.</p> <p>A 2-year bipartisan probe by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has shined a light on this problem, culminating in a new <a href="http://www.levin.senate.gov/download/psi-commodities-111914">400-page report</a>.</p> <p>Senator Levin - the Chair of Subcommittee - <a href="http://www.levin.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/subcommittee-finds-wall-street-commodities-actions-add-risk-to-economy-businesses-consumers">summarizes</a> the findings from the investigation:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>“Wall Street’s massive involvement in physical commodities <strong>puts our economy, our manufacturers and the integrity of our markets at risk</strong>,” said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the subcommittee’s chairman. “It’s time to <strong>restore the separation between banking and commerce and to prevent Wall Street from using nonpublic information to profit at the expense of industry and consumers</strong>.”</p> <p>“Banks have been involved in the trade and ownership of physical commodities for a number of years, but have recently increased their participation in new ways,” said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. “This subcommittee’s hearing is an opportunity to examine that involvement, determine whether it gives rise to excessive risk, and identify potential causes for concern that warrant further oversight by Congress and financial regulators.”</p> <p>One focus for the subcommittee is the management of Detroit-area metal warehouses run by Metro Trade Services International, the largest U.S. warehouse company certified to store aluminum warranted by the London Metal Exchange for use in settling trades. Since Goldman bought Metro in 2010, Metro warehouses have accumulated up to 85 percent of the U.S. LME aluminum storage market.</p> <p>Since Goldman took over the warehouses, the wait to withdraw LME-warranted metal has increased from about 40 days to more than 600 days, <strong>reducing aluminum availability and tripling the regional premium for storage and delivery costs</strong>.</p> <p>The investigation revealed a number of previously unknown details about these deals: that <strong>Goldman’s warehouse company paid metal owners to engage in “merry-go-round” deals that shuttled metal from building to building without actually shipping aluminum out of Metro’s system</strong>; that the deals were approved by Metro’s board, which consisted entirely of Goldman employees; and that a Metro executive raised concerns internally about the appropriateness of such “queue management.”</p> <p>Goldman didn’t just store aluminum; it was <strong>involved in massive trades of aluminum at the same time its warehouse operations were affecting aluminum availability, storage costs, and prices</strong>. After Goldman bought Metro, it accumulated massive aluminum holdings of its own, and in 2012, added about 300,000 metric tons of its own aluminum to the exit queue at its warehouses.</p> <p>The Subcommittee investigation also examined other instances of Wall Street bank involvement with physical commodities. The Subcommittee report details how <strong>JPMorgan amassed physical commodity holdings equal to nearly 12 percent of its Tier 1 capital, while telling regulators its holdings were far smaller</strong>; and that at one point it owned an amount equal to more than half the aluminum used in North America in a year. The report also discloses that, until recently, <strong>Morgan Stanley controlled 55 million barrels of oil storage capacity, 100 oil tankers, and 6,000 miles of pipeline, while also working to build its own compressed natural gas facility and supply major airlines with jet fuel</strong>.</p> <p>Details are also provided about <strong>Goldman’s ownership of a uranium trading company and two open pit coal mines in Colombia</strong>. When one of the mines was shut down last year due to labor unrest, <strong>Goldman’s Colombian subsidiary requested military and police assistance to end a human blockade</strong> — before paying the miners with $10,000 checks to end the protest.</p></blockquote> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>***</p></blockquote> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The findings and recommendations from the bipartisan report are as follows:</p> <p><strong>Findings of Fact</strong></p> <p><strong>(1)        </strong><strong>Engaging in Risky Activities. </strong>Since 2008, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley have engaged in many billions of dollars of risky physical commodity activities, <strong>owning or controlling, not only vast inventories of physical commodities like crude oil, jet fuel, heating oil, natural gas, copper, aluminum, and uranium, but also related businesses, including power plants, coal mines, natural gas facilities, and oil and gas pipelines</strong>.</p> <p><strong>(2)        </strong><strong>Mixing Banking and Commerce. </strong>From 2008 to 2014, Goldman, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley engaged in physical commodity activities that mixed banking and commerce, benefiting from lower borrowing costs and lower capital to debt ratios compared to nonbank companies.</p> <p><strong>(3)        </strong><strong>Affecting Prices. </strong>At times, some of the financial holding companies used or contemplated using physical commodity activities, such as <strong>electricity bidding strategies, merry-go-round trades, or a proposed exchange traded fund backed by physical copper, that had the effect or potential effect of manipulating or influencing commodity prices</strong>.</p> <p><strong>(4)        </strong><strong>Gaining Trading Advantages.</strong> Exercising control over vast physical commodity activities gave Goldman, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley access to commercially valuable, non-public information that could have provided advantages in their trading activities.</p> <p><strong>(5)        </strong><strong>Incurring New Bank Risks.</strong> Due to their physical commodity activities, Goldman, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley incurred multiple risks normally absent from banking, including operational, environmental, and catastrophic event risks, made worse by the transitory nature of their investments.</p> <p><strong>(6)        </strong><strong>Incurring New Systemic Risks.</strong> Due to their physical commodity activities, Goldman, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley incurred increased financial, operational, and catastrophic event risks, faced accusations of unfair trading advantages, conflicts of interest, and market manipulation, and intensified problems with being too big to manage or regulate, introducing new systemic risks into the U.S. financial system.</p> <p><strong>(7)        </strong><strong>Using Ineffective Size Limits.</strong> Prudential safeguards limiting the size of physical commodity activities are riddled with exclusions and applied in an uncoordinated, incoherent, and ineffective fashion, allowing JPMorgan, for example, to hold <strong>physical commodities with a market value of $17.4 billion</strong> – nearly 12% of its Tier 1 capital – w<strong>hile at the same time calculating the market value</strong> of its physical commodity holdings for purposes of complying with the Federal Reserve limit <strong>at just</strong> <strong>$6.6 billion</strong>.</p> <p><strong>(8)        </strong><strong>Lacking Key Information.</strong> Federal regulators and the public currently lack key information about financial holding companies’ physical commodities activities to form an accurate understanding of the nature and extent of those activities and to protect the markets.</p> </blockquote> <p>Of course, the Federal Reserve - instead of regulating the banks, encouraged them to buy all of these physical assets. As Reuters <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/19/us-commodities-banks-idUSKCN0J32G120141119">notes</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>[The Senate report] also points the finger at the Federal Reserve, saying the central bank has taken insufficient steps to address the risks taken by financial holding companies gathering physical commodities. The Fed in some cases was unaware of the growing risk, the report said.</p></blockquote> <p>Pam Martens <a href="http://wallstreetonparade.com/2014/11/senate-report-scale-of-wall-street-holdings-are-unprecedented-in-u-s-history/">points out</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Adding to the hubris of the situation, the Wall Street banks’ own regulator, the Federal Reserve, gave its blessing to this unprecedented and dangerous encroachment by banking interests into industrial commodity ownership and has effectively looked the other way as the banks moved into industrial commerce activities like owning pipelines and power plants.</p> <p>***</p> <p>One would think that the mega banks’ regulator, the Federal Reserve, would be the first line of defense against this type of dangerous sprawl by banks. According to the Levin Subcommittee report, the Federal Reserve was actually the <em>facilitator</em> of the sprawl by the banks. The report notes:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>“Without the complementary orders and letters issued by the Federal Reserve, many of those physical commodity activities would not otherwise have been permissible ‘financial’ activities under federal banking law. By issuing those complementary orders, the Federal Reserve directly facilitated the expansion of financial holding companies into new physical commodity activities.”</p></blockquote> </blockquote> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-27/big-banks-take-huge-stakes-aluminum-petroleum-and-other-physical-markets-then-manipu#comments Borrowing Costs Copper Crude Crude Oil Elizabeth Warren Exchange Traded Fund Federal Reserve Goldman Sachs goldman sachs John McCain JPMorgan Chase Market Manipulation Matt Taibbi Morgan Stanley Natural Gas Prudential Reuters Uranium Thu, 27 Nov 2014 20:08:14 +0000 George Washington 498350 at http://www.zerohedge.com Swiss Yes Vote Possible - First “Gold Rush” Of 21st Century? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-27/swiss-yes-vote-possible-first-%E2%80%9Cgold-rush%E2%80%9D-21st-century <p><strong><a href="https://www.goldcore.com/goldcore_blog/Swiss_Yes_Vote_Possible_First_Gold_Rush_of_21st_Century">Swiss Yes Vote Possible - First “Gold Rush” Of 21st Century?</a></strong></p> <p>There are just 3 days left until the“Save Our Swiss Gold” referendum this Sunday. On November 30, voters in Switzerland will head to the polls to decide whether the Swiss National Bank (SNB) should back the Swiss franc with gold by increasing its gold holdings to 20% - up from current levels of 7%.</p> <p><a href="http://info.goldcore.com/essential-guide-to-storing-gold-in-switzerland"><img src="http://dzswc0o8s13dx.cloudfront.net/goldcore_bloomberg_chart2_27-11-14.png" /></a></p> <p>The conservative Swiss People's party proposed the initiative, called "Save Our <a href="http://info.goldcore.com/essential-guide-to-storing-gold-in-switzerland"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Swiss Gold</span></a>", with the intention of boosting the security and financial and monetary independence of Switzerland in these &nbsp;times of financial uncertainty. They believe that a 20% gold holding will protect the Swiss people from currency debasement, currency devaluation and an international monetary crisis.</p> <p>In the case of a "yes" vote, gold prices are likely to surge. Analysts do not believe a yes vote is possible. However, analysts have got the mood of the people wrong in many referendums both in Switzerland and throughout Europe in recent years.&nbsp;</p> <p>We believe that the vote will be very close - much closer than many analysts suggest. After a massive, very well funded and highly coordinated campaign by the banking and political establishment in Switzerland, the polls show that the no side is in the lead.&nbsp;</p> <p>It is worth remembering some of the recent referendums in Switzerland showed the people would vote with the government and establishment political parties in the polls. Subsequently, they did not. &nbsp;</p> <p>It is worth remembering some of the recent referendums in Europe showed the people would vote with the government and establishment political parties in the polls. Subsequently, they did not. &nbsp;</p> <p>In Ireland, after similar coordinated campaigns by political elites, many official polls showed, the people would vote for the EU's Lisbon and Nice treaties. The people voted for neither.<br /> There is a lot of discontent and anger against financiers and a sense that politicians are mere tools of bankers and financial elites rather than representatives of the people, doing the will of the people.</p> <p>The Swiss people are better off than most people in the world and Switzerland remains one of the wealthiest nations in the world.&nbsp;</p> <p>However, many are struggling in Switzerland today. The working and middle classes are seeing significant inflation in the cost of life's necessities in the form of food and accommodation. To buy or to rent an apartment or house is becoming increasingly unaffordable.</p> <p>Much of the campaign conducted by the SNB and the political parties in Switzerland was alarmist and one sided. It failed to address the concerns about the possible continuing debasement of the Swiss franc and a resultant fall in Swiss people’s purchasing power and standard of living.</p> <p>Today we have published a very good, balanced look at the key issues which were largely ignored and not addressed by the no campaign.</p> <p>The author Eric Schreiber is the former head of commodities UBP and former head of precious metals at Credit Suisse in Zurich. He believes that this crucial angle has been largely missing from the Swiss gold referendum debate as have important matters regarding the role of central banks, the importance of transparency, accountability and indeed democracy.</p> <p>Read Eric’s interesting and balanced article <a href="https://www.goldcore.com/goldcore_blog/swiss-anti-gold-propaganda-questioned-gold-protects-purchasing-power"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">here</span></a></p> <p>Central bankers reached a new low at the weekend when Swiss National Bank President Thomas Jordan warned in a very alarmist manner of "disastrous consequences" from a pulpit in a church on a historic hill in the town of Uster, Switzerland.</p> <p>“The initiative is dangerous because it would weaken the SNB,” he said yesterday regarding proposals to increase the Swiss gold reserves, at a memorial service in a church which Bloomberg dubbed the 'sermon on the hill.'<br /> <a href="http://info.goldcore.com/essential-guide-to-storing-gold-in-switzerland"><img src="http://dzswc0o8s13dx.cloudfront.net/goldcore_bloomberg_chart1_27-11-14.png" /></a></p> <p>The separation of church and state was one of the great achievement of recent years. It looks like we need to see a proper separation of central banking from the state. States and sovereign nations should be in control of central banks, rather than the other way around.</p> <p>Central bankers, with their dogmatic uber-Keynesian money printing creed, would like to see themselves and their policies as infallible. Despite, such policies having an abysmal track record throughout history and indeed in recent years.</p> <p>Central bankers seem to have forgotten that their primary role is to protect the purchasing power of their respective currencies and to act as the lender of last resort.&nbsp;</p> <p>Their role is not to bail out irresponsible, insolvent banks and not to boost asset prices on behalf of corporations and the wealthy - thereby, debasing sovereign currencies.</p> <p>My sense is that the Swiss people may give the politicians another bloody nose this Sunday. This would shock markets as market participants are not expecting this. It would force the Swiss central bank to triple reserves to over 1,500 metric tonnes, leading to the price of gold soaring.</p> <p>It would lead to an even greater increase in central bank demand for gold. It would put the FED, ECB, BOJ, and BOE on notice that their continuing currency debasement is not sustainable. &nbsp;It would also likely break the EURCHF peg increasing purchasing power for ordinary people in Switzerland.&nbsp;</p> <p>A yes vote would likely result in a significant shift in both awareness and consciousness about our modern fiat monetary system and about what constitutes &nbsp;money today. The frequently cited, but never seen except in India and China, ‘gold rush’ of recent years may materialise in the western world as gold goes from the fringes or a small minority of risk averse investors and savers to the mainstream.</p> <p>It would result in a new found awareness that gold is not the speculative, volatile commodity but is a rare, finite form of money and a store of value in uncertain times.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Get Breaking News and Updates On Gold Markets </em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://info.goldcore.com/goldcore_email_subscription_preferences">Here</a></span></strong></p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><br /></span></strong></p> <p><strong>MARKET UPDATE</strong><br /> Today’s AM fix was USD 1,196.50, EUR 959.20 and GBP 758.96 per ounce.<br /> Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,195.75, EUR 960.67 and GBP 760.22 per ounce.</p> <p>Spot gold closed slightly lower yesterday at $1,197.78/oz, and spot silver fell to $16.51/oz.</p> <p><a href="http://dzswc0o8s13dx.cloudfront.net/goldcore_bloomberg_chart3_27-11-14.png"><img src="http://dzswc0o8s13dx.cloudfront.net/goldcore_bloomberg_chart3_27-11-14.png" /></a></p> <p><em><strong>Gold in USD - 10 Years (Thomson Reuters)</strong></em></p> <p>Gold prices are in lockdown just below $1,200/oz as the market awaits Sunday’s Swiss referendum on central bank gold reserves (see above).&nbsp;</p> <p>Gold edged down on Thursday, pushed by dollar gains and the lull of the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S.&nbsp;</p> <p>Traders remain cautious ahead of the Swiss gold referendum this weekend. Gold coin and bar buyers in western markets have been buying this week in anticipation of a possible yes vote.</p> <p>Silver was down 0.6% &nbsp;at $16.37 an ounce, platinum was down 0.3% at $1,219.30 an ounce and palladium was down 0.6% at $795.47 an ounce.</p> <p>A surprise dip in Spanish consumer prices has increased the probability that the ECB will embark on a more aggressive easing of monetary policy. However, in Germany the jobless rate remained low at 6.6%, matching the revised number for the previous month. &nbsp;</p> <p>Euro zone countries' economic fortunes could permanently diverge if they fail to undertake structural reforms, posing a risk to the cohesion of the currency bloc, the president of the ECB said today. "Lack of structural reforms raises the spectre of permanent economic divergence between members," Mario Draghi said.</p> <p>Traders are now awaiting Sunday's Swiss vote on how it manages central bank gold reserves for guidance. If a 'yes' vote is passed, the Swiss central bank would have to buy about 1,500 tonnes of gold over the next five years.</p> <p><strong><em><a href="https://www.goldcore.com">www.GoldCore.com</a></em></strong></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-27/swiss-yes-vote-possible-first-%E2%80%9Cgold-rush%E2%80%9D-21st-century#comments BOE Central Banks China Consumer Prices Credit Suisse Fail Germany India Ireland Monetary Policy Precious Metals Purchasing Power Reuters Swiss Franc Swiss National Bank Switzerland Transparency Zurich Thu, 27 Nov 2014 19:30:41 +0000 GoldCore 498337 at http://www.zerohedge.com The Absurdity Of European Sovereign QE In 1 'Tres Stupide' Chart http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-27/absurdity-european-sovereign-qe-1-tres-stupide-chart <p>Because buying bonds and lowering interest rates will do what exactly...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/11/20141127_sacrebleu.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/11/20141127_sacrebleu_0.jpg" width="600" height="315" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Record high unemployment in France... and record low yields on sovereign bonds (10Y below 1.00% for the first time ever)...</p> <p><em>Charts: Bloomberg</em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="960" height="504" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20141127_sacrebleu.jpg?1417109282" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-27/absurdity-european-sovereign-qe-1-tres-stupide-chart#comments France Unemployment Thu, 27 Nov 2014 19:30:11 +0000 Tyler Durden 498340 at http://www.zerohedge.com Are You Better Off This Thanksgiving Than You Were Last Thanksgiving? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-27/are-you-better-thanksgiving-you-were-last-thanksgiving <p><em>Submitted by <a href="http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/are-you-better-off-this-thanksgiving-than-you-were-last-thanksgiving">Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog</a>,</em></p> <p><strong>Are you in better shape financially than you were last Thanksgiving?</strong>&nbsp; If so, you should consider yourself to be very fortunate because most Americans are not.&nbsp; As you chow down on turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce this Thursday, please remember that there are millions of Americans that simply cannot afford to eat such a meal.&nbsp; According to a shocking new report that was <a href="http://www.homelesschildrenamerica.org/mediadocs/280.pdf" target="_blank" title="just released">just released</a> by the National Center on Family Homelessness, the number of homeless children in the U.S. has reached a new all-time high of 2.5 million.&nbsp; And right now&nbsp;<strong><a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/08/17/hunger-study-food/14195585/?AID=10709313&amp;PID=4003003&amp;SID=1l92zowprtged" target="_blank" title="One out of every seven Americans">one out of every seven Americans</a> rely on food banks to put food on the table.</strong>&nbsp; Yes, life is very good at the moment for Americans at the top end of the income spectrum.&nbsp; The stock market has been soaring and sales of homes worth at last a million dollars are up <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/id/102204065" target="_blank" title="16 percent">16 percent</a> so far this year.&nbsp; But most Americans live in a very different world.&nbsp; The percentage of Americans that are employed is <a href="http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Employment-Population-Ratio-20141.png" target="_blank" title="about the same">about the same</a> as it was during the depths of the last recession, the quality of our jobs continues to go down, the rate of homeownership in America has fallen <a href="http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Homeownership-Rate-2014.png" target="_blank" title="for seven years in a row">for seven years in a row</a>, and the cost of living is rising much faster than paychecks are.&nbsp; <strong>As a result, the middle class is smaller this Thanksgiving than it was last Thanksgiving, and most Americans have seen their standards of living go down over the past year.</strong></p> <p>In 2014, there are tens of millions of Americans that are anonymously leading lives of quiet desperation.&nbsp; They are desperately trying to hold on even though things just keep getting worse.&nbsp; For example, just consider the plight of 49-year-old Darrell Eberhardt.&nbsp; Once upon a time, his job in a Chevy factory paid him $18.50 an hour, but now he only makes&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cnbc.com/id/102207236" target="_blank" title="$10.50 an hour">$10.50 an hour</a> and he knows that he probably would not be able to make as much in a new job if he decided to leave&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>For nearly 20 years, Darrell Eberhardt worked in an Ohio factory putting together wheelchairs, earning $18.50 an hour, enough to gain a toehold in the middle class and feel respected at work.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He is still working with his hands, assembling seats for Chevrolet Cruze cars at the Camaco auto parts factory in Lorain, Ohio, but now he makes $10.50 an hour and is barely hanging on. &ldquo;I&rsquo;d like to earn more,&rdquo; said Mr. Eberhardt, who is 49 and went back to school a few years ago to earn an associate&rsquo;s degree. &ldquo;But the chances of finding something like I used to have are slim to none.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Of course you can&rsquo;t support a family on $10.50 an hour.</p> <p>You can barely support one person on $10.50 an hour.</p> <p>But there are many men out there that would absolutely love to switch positions with Darrell Eberhardt.&nbsp; At this point,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/1-8-american-men-between-ages-25-54-are-not-working_793938.html" target="_blank" title="one out of every six men">one out of every six men</a> in their prime working years (25 to 54) does not have a job.&nbsp; That is an absolutely crazy number.</p> <p>And of course just because you &ldquo;have a job&rdquo; does not mean that things are going well.&nbsp; The number of Americans that are &ldquo;working part-time involuntarily&rdquo; has risen <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2014/11/20/news/economy/america-part-time-jobs-poverty/index.html?iid=HP_Highlight" target="_blank" title="by over 50 percent">by over 50 percent</a> since the beginning of the last recession.&nbsp; There are millions of hard working Americans that would love to get a full-time job if they could land one.&nbsp; But these days &ldquo;decent jobs&rdquo; are in short supply.</p> <p>For example,&nbsp;<a href="http://money.cnn.com/gallery/news/economy/2014/11/21/part-time-jobs-dead-ends/index.html?iid=HP_Highlight" target="_blank" title="CNN">CNN</a> recently profiled the story of college graduate Meghan Brachle&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Meghan would love to be a music teacher or play full-time in an orchestra. She studied music at Loyola University in New Orleans and plays the flute.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Instead, Meghan works a slew of part-time jobs and receives no benefits.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>She is a cashier at Whole Foods, a substitute teacher, a flute tutor and an administrative assistant at a non-profit.</p> </blockquote> <p>Even with all of her hard work, Brachle and her husband <a href="http://money.cnn.com/gallery/news/economy/2014/11/21/part-time-jobs-dead-ends/index.html?iid=HP_Highlight" target="_blank" title="often really struggle to pay the bills">often really struggle to pay the bills</a>&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>With inconsistent hours, Meghan monthly income fluctuates between $1,000 and $3,000. Even with her husband&rsquo;s teaching salary, the couple sometimes struggles to cover the $3,600 of monthly expenses they have.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s very stressful,&rdquo; Meghan, a college graduate, says. &ldquo;I think about all the job applications I&rsquo;ve turned in and all the interviews I&rsquo;ve been on and all the other people who are in the same situation, looking for those same [full-time] jobs. It&rsquo;s frustrating.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Sadly, a lot of these part-time employers know that their employees desperately need these jobs and are using that leverage to treat them very poorly.</p> <p>For example, it is being reported that any KMart employees that do not show up for work on Thanksgiving will be <a href="http://themostimportantnews.com/archives/kmart-to-employee-if-you-do-not-come-to-work-on-thanksgiving-you-will-automatically-be-fired" target="_blank" title="automatically fired">automatically fired</a>.</p> <p>What kind of nonsense is that?</p> <p>And around the country at Wal-Mart stores, food drives are being held for &ldquo;<a href="http://themostimportantnews.com/archives/wal-mart-asks-workers-to-donate-food-to-its-needy-employees" target="_blank" title="needy employees">needy employees</a>&ldquo;.</p> <p>So why wouldn&rsquo;t Wal-Mart just pay their workers enough so that they could afford to take care of themselves in the first place?</p> <p>Most people don&rsquo;t realize this, but approximately <a href="http://www.moneynews.com/nealasbury/full-time-part-time-jobs-workers/2013/08/29/id/522850" target="_blank" title="one out of every four">one out of every four</a> part-time workers in America is currently living below the poverty line.&nbsp; Many of them are working as hard as they can and still can&rsquo;t make enough to take care of themselves.</p> <p><strong>Meanwhile, our paychecks are getting stretched further and further with each passing month.</strong></p> <p><strong>When you don&rsquo;t make much money, every dollar is precious.&nbsp; And when food prices go up substantially, it can be very painful.&nbsp;</strong> Unfortunately, that is precisely what is happening right now&hellip;</p> <p>-From September to October, the price of a pound of Turkey rose <a href="http://cnsnews.com/news/article/ali-meyer/turkey-price-october-166-pound" target="_blank" title="from $1.58 to $1.66">from $1.58 to $1.66</a>.&nbsp; That represents a 5.2 percent price increase in just one month.</p> <p>-The price of a pound of ground beef has just risen to a brand new record high of <a href="http://cnsnews.com/news/article/ali-meyer/415-pound-ground-beef-climbs-another-record-high" target="_blank" title="$4.15 a pound">$4.15 a pound</a>, and more price increases are on the way.&nbsp; The U.S. Department of Agriculture is projecting that U.S. beef production will drop <a href="http://themostimportantnews.com/archives/another-year-of-the-chicken-u-s-beef-supply-will-fall-again-in-2015" target="_blank" title="by another 1&amp;nbsp;billion pounds">by another 1&nbsp;billion pounds</a> next year due to a variety of factors including the horrific multi-year drought out west.</p> <p>-The entire planet is bracing for <a href="http://themostimportantnews.com/archives/hersheys-warns-that-the-world-may-soon-run-out-of-chocolate" target="_blank" title="a huge chocolate shortage">a huge chocolate shortage</a>, and this threatens to push the price of chocolate beyond the reach of many American families&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Start hoarding those Hershey&rsquo;s Kisses and stockpile your Snickers: The world could soon experience a chocolate shortage.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mars Inc. and Barry Callebaut, two of the world&rsquo;s largest chocolate makers, say that&rsquo;s the path we&rsquo;re headed down. They cite a perfect storm of factors: Less cocoa is being produced as more and more people are devouring chocolate.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In 2013, consumers ate about 70,000 metric tons more cocoa than was produced, <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/11/15/the-worlds-biggest-chocolate-maker-says-were-running-out-of-chocolate/" target="_blank" title="The Washington Post reports"><em>The Washington Post </em>reports</a>, and that deficit could go up to 1 million metric tons by 2020. The Ivory Coast and Ghana produce more than 70 percent of the world&rsquo;s cacao beans, and both countries are experiencing dry weather that limits growth. To make things worse, a fungal disease called frosty pod has destroyed 30 to 40 percent of global cocoa production.</p> </blockquote> <p>As a result of all of the things that I have just discussed above, <strong>more Americans than ever are being forced to turn to the government for assistance.&nbsp;</strong> Today, the number of Americans getting a check from the government each month is at an all-time high, and at this point Americans collectively get more money from the government than they pay in taxes.&nbsp; For much, much more on this, please see my recent article entitled &ldquo;<a href="http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/21-facts-that-prove-that-dependence-on-the-government-is-out-of-control-in-america" target="_blank" title="21 Facts That Prove That Dependence On The Government Is Out Of Control In America">21 Facts That Prove That Dependence On The Government Is Out Of Control In America</a>&ldquo;.</p> <p><strong>So if things are going well for you this Thanksgiving, you should be truly thankful.</strong></p> <p>For most of the country, things just continue to get even worse.&nbsp; And if the next major wave of our economic crisis arrives next year <a href="http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/if-everything-is-just-fine-why-are-so-many-really-smart-people-forecasting-economic-disaster" title="like many are projecting">like many are projecting</a>, this may just be the beginning of our economic pain.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="599" height="417" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20141127_better.jpg?1417109498" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-27/are-you-better-thanksgiving-you-were-last-thanksgiving#comments Hershey Mars New Orleans None Ohio Recession Turkey Thu, 27 Nov 2014 18:40:09 +0000 Tyler Durden 498339 at http://www.zerohedge.com