Saturday, July 23, 2011

Exposing China's Mysterious Multi-Trillion Shadow Banking System

Precisely a year ago, a summary report by Fitch shone the first, if relatively weak, light on the massive Chinese securitization industry which had for years allowed the country to fund its housing bubble without forcing the banks to actually take much if any of the loan risk associated with this unprecedented expansion. At the time of the Fitch report, the securitization discrepancy was not deemed to be excessive and at about RMB 1 trillion in annual issuance it was promptly swept under the rug. Nonetheless the key statement remained: "Fitch believes the vast majority of these transactions are not publicly disclosed by Chinese banks, and few, if any, traces of the loans remain in financial statements." More recently, and long overdue, Moody's took a refresh look at the same problem and on July 4 released a rather disturbing report which found "that the Chinese audit agency could be understating banks' exposures to local governments by as much as RMB 3.5 trillion." At 10% of GDP, the number sure is starting to get larger. Today we present what we believe is the most comprehensive report we have seen to date on the matter of the Chinese "Shadow Banking" industry courtesy of SocGen. For those who enjoy putting things into perspective, SocGen quantifies the total shadow banking system in China to be as large as RMB10 trillion (or 55%, of the Total Social Financing of RBM18 trillion): nearly USD1.5 trillion. While the number is not massive (considering that the most recent corresponding shadow banking number for the US is well higher at about $16 trillion), it keeps increasing as a portion of GDP. Why is this important? Because as SocGen's Wei Yao says, "The currently unsupervised development of the informal financing market delays the intended impact of monetary policy tightening, but adds to the risk of precipitating a liquidity crunch of the entire financial system later." So it this Chinese shadow banking system a potential monetary time bomb, destabilizing the PBOC's efforts at normalization and adding materially to systemic risk? Read on.

Lindsey Williams - TCT Radio with Kevin Gallagher 05 July 2011

Lindsey Williams TCT Radio 05 July 2011 TCT Radio Presents Time Out with Kevin Gallagher Time Out with Kevin Gallagher.
tonight on Time Out Kevin talks with Minister, and patriot Lindsey Williams on current events and what we can expect in the future. Lindsey has a unique advantage in that he was once the chaplin to some very powerful men who have continued to let details out about the elites agenda. Join Kevin for a most interesting night with guest Lindsey Williams

Get Ready for a 70% Marginal Tax Rate

President Obama has been using the debt-ceiling debate and bipartisan calls for deficit reduction to demand higher taxes. With unemployment stuck at 9.2% and a vigorous economic "recovery" appearing more and more elusive, his timing couldn't be worse.

Two problems arise when marginal tax rates are raised. First, as college students learn in Econ 101, higher marginal rates cause real economic harm. The combined marginal rate from all taxes is a vital metric, since it heavily influences incentives in the economy—workers and employers, savers and investors base decisions on after-tax returns. Thus tax rates need to be kept as low as possible, on the broadest possible base, consistent with financing necessary government spending.

Second, as tax rates rise, the tax base shrinks and ultimately, as Art Laffer has long argued, tax rates can become so prohibitive that raising them further reduces revenue—not to mention damaging the economy. That is where U.S. tax rates are headed if we do not control spending soon.

The current top federal rate of 35% is scheduled to rise to 39.6% in 2013 (plus one-to-two points from the phase-out of itemized deductions for singles making above $200,000 and couples earning above $250,000). The payroll tax is 12.4% for Social Security (capped at $106,000), and 2.9% for Medicare (no income cap). While the payroll tax is theoretically split between employers and employees, the employers' share is ultimately shifted to workers in the form of lower wages. (more)

Escape from America

Recently I was surfing the internet and reading some of my favorite writers and thinkers when something dawned on me. I read articles or interviews with the following people - all of whom I respect and enjoy their viewpoints - in approximately the following order:

  • Marc Faber, The Gloom, Boom and Doom Report
  • Doug Casey - Founder, Casey Research
  • Jim Rogers - American investor and author
  • Jim Willie - Hat Trick Letter
  • Dudley Baker -
  • Fred Reed - Author

Can you name something which they all have in common?

If you said that they are all top writers or speakers about free markets and/or precious metals you'd be correct. But that isn't their only similarities.

They also all have expatriated from their country of origin. After having read seven articles in a row I realized that every person I was reading has already defected from the USSA or other similar western countries.

Jim Rogers lives in Singapore. Marc Faber lives in Thailand. Doug Casey lives in numerous countries but spends most of his time in Uruguay and Argentina nowadays. Jim Willie in Costa Rica and Dudley Baker and Fred Reed both live in Mexico, as do I.

The next article I happened to come across was this story regarding Jesse Ventura entitled, "Ventura Threatens to Vacate US Over TSA Groping". Ventura already spends much of the year in Mexico but is saying that if his case against the TSA is thrown out of court he will expatriate permanently.

It is interesting, also, where many of these like-minded people are going. They've all gone to either Latin America or Asia. In this blog I've stated many times how I believe those two areas are the places to be for the future.

Life is Better Almost Anywhere Else

There are not many countries in the world more oppressive of liberties than the US. Countries like North Korea, Cuba, Myanmar and Belarus are the type of countries that are actually worse than the US, but most places are better, certainly in terms of lifestyle.

The US is a police state. Nothing is legal in the US anymore. Today, the city of Philadelphia even announced that they are going to "crack down" on people who walk while typing on their cell phones. Yes, you heard that correct, you can now be confronted by a policeman for walking infractions!

If you've lived your whole life in the US and never really visited any foreign countries you are practically the equivalent of someone who lives in North Korea. Most of the information you have received is from the controlled media feeding you propaganda and if you do go to a country like Argentina, Mexico or countless others, you will be shocked at what you are allowed to do.

And, because there aren't millions of different rules, regulations, taxes and laws being enforced at all times you will be amazed at just how nice life can be! You might not even need to take Prozac or gulp down greasy fast food and sugary sodas just to get you through your day.

Galt's Gulch

Just like in Ayn Rand's great book, Atlas Shrugged, many of the US and western world's brightest and most industrious are leaving at a rapidly increasing rate. And, just like in the book, at least some of them are gravitating to the same enclave, in northern Argentina.

It is the brainchild of Doug Casey and an amazing place. I will be returning from November 1-13 this year for their bi-annual event. If you have the interest or ability it is something I highly recommend checking out. You can get more information here.

If that is too far from home or too expensive the cheaper version in Mexico is here in Acapulco:

Time is Running Out to Escape

Since 2009 we've been in the eye of the hurricane. The Federal Reserve printed an unprecedented amount of new dollars to buy a few more years of perceived prosperity but now the bill is coming due. As early as August 2 we could see the US Government default on its debt - an event that would have massive repercussions and would quickly lead to depression conditions never before seen in the US. And, if they do raise the debt ceiling it will usher in something even worse - hyperinflation and a complete collapse of the basis of US society.

In either case there will be millions impoverished and thrown into the streets along with a massive increase in violent crime, riots, famines and chaos.

We are about to hit the trailing wall of the hurricane - it will happen this year or, at the very latest, in 2012. Once things start to collapse it will happen at speeds that will shock the world. When it happens you will not want to be in a major population center inside the US.

It will be exponentially worse than 2008 and the 1930s Great Depression. This is the big one.

Make a note of how many of the people who correctly saw this crisis coming also have already packed up and left - and look to do the same.

The Corporation - Full Movie

The Corporation is a 2003 Canadian documentary film written by Joel Bakan, and directed by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott. The documentary is critical of the modern-day corporation, considering its legal status as a class of person and evaluating its behaviour towards society and the world at large as a psychiatrist might evaluate an ordinary person. This is explored through specific examples. The Corporation has been shown worldwide, on television, and via DVD, file sharing, and free download. Bakan wrote the book, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, during the filming of the documentary.

Welcome to the world of the Illuminati and SATAN - This is how society breaks down into Greed, Lust, and all the dealdly sins Jesus spoke of in the Bible. Welcome to the NWO - The New World Order which is runned by Freemasonry and Satanic cults. This is what are corporations and Government is made up of. consumers are also blamed for the greedy, inhuman, immoral, and evil mind set of the corporations. If consumers are restrained from consuming these harmful products, our planet would be healthier for more generatiosn to come.

Andy Schectman: Silver Out Selling Gold 65 To One

The Economist - July 23, 2011

The Economist - July 23, 2011
HQ PDF | 92 pages | 105.14 Mb | English

The Economist is a global weekly magazine written for those who share an uncommon interest in being well and broadly informed. Each issue explores the close links between domestic and international issues, business, politics, finance, current affairs, science, technology and the arts.

A Short History of US Credit Defaults

On July 13th, the president of the United States angrily walked out of ongoing negotiations over the raising of the debt ceiling from its legislated maximum of $14.294 trillion dollars. This prompted a new round of speculation over whether the United States might default on its financial obligations. In these circumstances, it is useful to recall the previous instances in which this has occurred and the effects of those defaults. By studying the defaults of the past, we can gain insights into what future defaults might portend.

The Continental Currency Default of 1779

The first default of the United States was on its first issuance of debt: the currency emitted by the Continental Congress of 1775. In June of 1775 the Continental Congress of the United States of America, located in Philadelphia, representing the 13 states of the union, issued bills of credit amounting to 2 million Spanish milled dollars to be paid four years hence in four annual installments. The next month an additional 1 million was issued. A third issue of 3 million followed. The next year they issued an additional 13 million dollars of notes. These were the first of the "Continental dollars," which were used to fund the war of revolution against Great Britain. The issues continued until an estimated 241 million dollars were outstanding, not including British forgeries.

Congress had no power of taxation, so it made each of the several states responsible for redeeming a proportion of the notes according to population. The administration of these notes was delegated to a "Board of the Treasury" in 1776. To refuse the notes or receive them below par was punishable by having your ears cut off and other horrible penalties.

The notes progressively depreciated as the public began to realize that neither the states nor their Congress had the will or capacity to redeem them. In November of 1779, Congress announced a devaluation of 38.5 to 1 on the Continentals, which amounted to an admission of default. In this year refusal to accept the notes became widespread, and trade was reduced to barter, causing sporadic famines and other privations.

Eventually, Congress agreed to redeem the notes at 1,000 to 1. At a rate of 0.82 troy ounces to the Spanish milled dollar and $36 (2011) dollars to the troy ounce of silver, this first default resulted in a cumulative loss of approximately $7 billion dollars to the American public.

Benjamin Franklin characterized the loss as a tax. Memory of the suffering and economic disruption caused by this "tax" and similar bills of credit issued by the states influenced the contract clause of the Constitution, which was adopted in 1789:

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts.

The Default on Continental Domestic Loans

In addition to its currency issuance, the Continental Congress borrowed money both domestically and abroad. The domestic debt totaled approximately $11 million Spanish dollars. The interest on this debt was paid primarily by money received from France and Holland as part of separate borrowings. When this source of funding dried up, Congress defaulted on its domestic debt starting on March 1, 1782. Partial satisfaction of these debts was made later by accepting the notes for payments of taxes and other indirect considerations. By the Funding Act of 1790, Congress repudiated these loans entirely, but offered to convert them to new ones with less favorable terms, thereby memorializing the default in the form of a Federal law.

The Greenback Default of 1862

After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the United States made only limited issuance of debt and currency, leaving the problems of public finance largely to the states and private banks. (These entities defaulted on a regular basis up to the Panic of 1837, in which a crescendo of state defaults led to the invention of the term "repudiation of debts.") In August of 1861, this balance between local and federal finance switched forever when the Civil War induced Congress to create a new currency which became known as the "greenback" due to the green color of its ink. The original greenbacks were $60 million in demand notes in denominations of $5, $10, and $20 which were redeemable in specie at any time at a rate of 0.048375 troy ounces of gold per dollar. Less than five months later, in January of 1862, the US Treasury defaulted on these notes by failing to redeem them on demand.

After this failure, the Treasury made subsequent issues of greenbacks as "legal-tender" notes which were not redeemable on demand, except through foreign exchange, and could not be used to pay customs duties. Depending on the fortunes of war, these notes traded at a discount ranging from 20 percent to 40 percent. By the stratagem of monetizing this currency with bonds and paying only the interest on those bonds in gold acquired through customs fees, Lincoln's party financed the Civil War with no further defaults.

The Liberty Bond Default of 1934

The financing of the United States government stepped up to a whole new level upon its entry into the Great War, now known as "World War I." The new enterprises of the government included merchant-fleet maintenance and operation, production of ammunition, feeding and equipping soldiers entirely at its own expense, and many other expensive things it had never done before or done only on a much smaller scale.

To finance these activities, Congress issued a series of debentures known as "Liberty Bonds" starting in 1917. The preliminary series were convertible into issues of later series at progressively more favorable terms until the debt was rolled into the fourth Liberty Bond, dated October 24, 1918, which was a $7 billion dollar, 20-year, 4.25 percent issue, payable in gold at a rate of $20.67 per troy ounce.

By the time Franklin Roosevelt entered office in 1933, the interest payments alone were draining the treasury of gold; and because the treasury had only $4.2 billion in gold it was obvious there would be no way to pay the principal when it became due in 1938, not to mention meet expenses and other debt obligations. These other debt obligations were substantial. Ever since the 1890s the Treasury had been gold short and had financed this deficit by making new bond issues to attract gold for paying the interest of previous issues. The result was that by 1933 the total debt was $22 billion and the amount of gold needed to pay even the interest on it was soon going to be insufficient.

In this exigency Roosevelt decided to default on the whole of the domestically-held debt by refusing to redeem in gold to Americans and devaluing the dollar by 40 percent against foreign exchange. By taking these steps the Treasury was able to make a partial payment and maintain foreign exchange with the critical trade partners of the United States.

If we price gold at the present-day value of $1,550 per troy ounce, the total loss to investors by the devaluation was approximately $640 billion in 2011 dollars. The overall result of the default was to intensify the depression and trade reductions of the 1930s and to contribute to fomenting World War II.

The Momentary Default of 1979

The Treasury of the United States accidentally defaulted on a small number of bills during the 1979 debt-limit crisis. Due to administrative confusion, $120 million in bills coming due on April 26, May 3, and May 10 were not paid according to the stated terms. The Treasury eventually paid the face value of the bills, but nevertheless a class-action lawsuit, Claire G. Barton v. United States, was filed in the Federal court of the Central District of California over whether the treasury should pay additional interest for the delay. The government decided to avoid any further publicity by giving the jilted investors what they wanted rather than ride the high horse of sovereign immunity. An economic study of the affair concluded that the net result was a tiny permanent increase in the interest rates of T-bills.

What Will Happen in August of 2011?

Many people are wondering about the possibility of a default by the Treasury on August 3, 2011, when, according to the Treasury's projections, it will no longer be able to meet all expenses without additional borrowing.

In this event, it is unlikely a default will occur. Historically, governments prioritize debt service above all other expenses. If the expansion of funds via debt becomes impossible, the Treasury will cease paying other expenses first, starting with "nonessential" discretionary expenditures, and then move on to mandatory expenditures and entitlements as a last resort.

In extremis, what will happen is that all the losses will be foisted onto the Federal Reserve. The Fed holds something on the order of $1.6 trillion in debt issued by the Treasury of the United States. By having the Federal Reserve purchase blocks of Treasury debt and defaulting on these non-investor-held securities, the United States can postpone a default against real investors essentially forever.

2011 Halftime Report: The Cues for Copper

Copper slightly disappointed investors, ending the first half of the year with a decline of 3.50 percent. Worries about global inflation and, more specifically, the potential slowing of China’s economy weighed on copper’s price. The red metal rose 5 percent quickly in the new year, but similar to zinc, lead, palladium and platinum prices, declined sharply at the beginning of May.

Copper on the Rebound?

Since the end of June, copper has been slowly inching its way up, with the past three weeks having produced positive results. Part of this rise is due to reduced supply issues. Chile, the world’s largest copper producer, has been plagued by power outages, strikes, accidents and heavy rains. Reuters recently reported that a “once in a half century winter storm” caused more than 12 mines to slow or stop operations after the open pit roads became too slippery in the South American country that mines about one-fifth of the world’s copper.

The election of Ollanta Humala in Peru–the second-largest producer of copper–has also been a drag on copper prices as investors debate the probability of Humala electing a mining friendly cabinet. As I discussed in “Is Peru’s Humala Jekyll or Hyde for Mining?,” investors have worried the president-elect could retract policies that encourage mining investment and help grow their economy.

The announcement came this week that Humala will appoint Luis Miguel Castilla, Peru’s former deputy finance minister, as the new finance minister. Carlos Herrera will lead the mines and energy ministry. However, according to the Financial Times, it is still not clear whether Humala will increase the corporate tax rate paid by miners and enforce tighter state controls. The actions of this leader will have an influence on the direction of copper prices for the remainder of the year.

In terms of demand, copper is a necessary ingredient for numerous building projects. Electrical power cables, electrical equipment, automobile radiators, cooling and refrigeration tubing, heat exchangers and water pipes all require copper. With all the construction and infrastructure building in China over the past several years, it’s not surprising that this country is the No. 1 world consumer of copper. It’s estimated that China accounted for nearly 40 percent of global copper consumption last year.

Because of this large demand, similar to our outlook for oil, copper prices hinge on China’s ongoing development. While some have begun to wonder about the health of the country’s continuing growth and development, Macquarie Research believes that “real demand in the country remains robust.”

Take developer activity, for example, which Macquarie says has been a huge driver of construction growth in 2011. The media has focused its attention on ghost cities and lagging sales of property in China. Yet Macquarie thinks it’s important to consider the property sales across all different sizes of cities. In its Commodities Comment, subtitled “Chinese social house – another reason to buy copper and iron ore,” Macquarie acknowledges a weakness in property transactions in China’s larger cities. This was due to the government restricting investment demand to slow growth. However, these larger cities only account for 20 percent of the total market, says Macquarie.

Conversely, many smaller cities, such as Anquing, Guizhou, Luzhou, Mudanjiang, and Shijiazhuang, have had double-digit year-over-year growth in unit sales so far this year. In the case of Hohhot, the capital city of Inner Mongolia, sales growth has tripled. Government investment has led to urban space increasing from 80 square kilometers in 2000 to 150 square kilometers last year, according to the city’s government website. Hohhot, which means “green city” in Mongolian, has grown to more than 2 million people and has become a hub for agriculture and manufacturing.

Property Sales Strong in Smaller Cities

Most importantly, Macquarie says the tremendous sales activity in these smaller cities indicates “there has been enough cash to keep construction activity going.”

In addition, China’s social housing project should drive incremental demand for copper. Macquarie indicated that China is “aiming for 10 million social housing units, up from 5.8 million in 2010.” The country has built only 3.4 million units so far this year, but based on China’s habit of exceeding its objectives, Macquarie thinks the target will be met.

Even if the naysayers think China’s growth will slow because of the government’s monetary policy restrictions, there’s consensus among research experts that the country’s inventory of copper is getting low. Goldman Sachs’ discussion of the copper market indicated that in the second half of 2011, the “winding down of destocking will lead to a stronger Chinese pull on global supply.” China seems to have no choice but to go back to the market for copper, if only to replenish its supply.

Tom Kendall, Credit Suisse’s vice president for commodities research, agrees. In a Mineweb interview on copper’s fundamentals and expectations of further growth, Kendall stated he has seen a “very sizeable drawdown” in Chinese copper inventories this year. He goes on to say, “some point in time, they will get to a point at which they have run down inventory levels to an uncomfortably low level and then there is no alternative to coming back to the international market.”

Portfolio Manager Evan Smith agrees that copper’s pricing looks promising. China is nearing the end of its tightening policies and has shown that its debt is under control based on released results of the country’s comprehensive debt audit. For the Global Resources Fund (PSPFX), he has been incorporating these macro thoughts into the team’s models to identify stocks with superior growth and value metrics that he believes could benefit the most.


13 July 2011 — “Read All About It!” You couldn’t not read all about it! The media was full of reports about how happy stock market days were here again. After a stormy start, June closed and July began with US benchmark indexes racking up their biggest weekly gains in two years on good news: the US manufacturing index had unexpectedly risen, and the beleaguered debt-burdened Greeks were bailed out yet again – piling un-payable new debt on top of un-payable old debt.

Yes, there was some concern, but, as The New York Times reported on June 25th, “Two years into the official recovery, the economy is still behaving like a plane taxiing indefinitely on the runway. Few economists are predicting an out-and-out return to recession … analysts generally expect the economy to pick up in the second half.”

The economists were forecasting strong job growth for June. But two weeks later, when the numbers came in, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that only 18,000 jobs had been created – not the 125,000 jobs projected … by those same economists who were also not “predicting an out-and-out return to recession.”

Accordingly, without missing a beat, the Times changed its tune – writing new words to replace the old words they would never be forced to eat:

Feeble Job Numbers Show
Recovery Starting to Stall

Defying Economists Forecast for Hiring,
Unemployment Creeps Up to 9.2%

For the second consecutive month, employers added scarcely any jobs in June, startling evidence that the economic recovery is stumbling … The government also revised downward the small gain for the previous month to 25,000 new jobs, less than half the original estimate. (The New York Times, 9 July 2011)

“Dismal Jobs Data Rock US Recovery” and “Worries Grow Over Jobs,” read the respective headlines in the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal on July 9th, dissipating the air of optimism that had recently rallied equity markets.

“Employment!” More than factory orders, GDP, corporate profits, retail sales, durable goods … employment was the one big number that counted. There was no way to spin the consequences of 18,000 mostly low paying health care and hospitality jobs into the hopeful message implied by the 125,000 jobs forecast by most economists.

The equation was simple; the more people out of work, the less they consume. And in the United States, where consumer spending accounts for an estimated 70 percent of the GDP, without increased consumer spending, the economy was again recession bound.

Virtually overnight, one dire employment report unraveled two years’ worth of government spin and media complicity. In April 2010, Vice President Joseph Biden promised, “we're going to be creating between 250,000 jobs a month and 500,000 jobs a month." And in August 2010, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner declared that the “actions we took at its height [of the crisis] to stimulate the economy helped arrest the freefall, preventing an even deeper collapse and putting the economy on the road to recovery.”

But almost a year later, talking on “Meet the Press,” two days after the devastating employment data was released, the new, revised Geithner forecast was, “Oh, I think it’s [the recovery] going to take a long time still. This is a very tough economy. And I think for a lot of people it’s going to be – it’s going to feel very hard, harder than anything they’ve experienced in their lifetime now, for some time to come.”

Like the Biden boast long-buried and un-exhumed, the Geithner statement, a direct contradiction of his former projection went unchallenged, given the usual free pass by the “Meet the Press” Presstitutes.

There was, and is, no “return to recession.” As The Trends Research Institute had been forecasting since the onset of the Great Recession and the “Panic of ’08,” all those "bold actions" proudly cited by Geithner were no more than financial Prozac – multi-trillion-dollar band aids, palliatives, placebos and cover-ups packaged as TARP, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, QE2, and so on. At best, the “bold actions” merely guided the Great Recession into a brief remission, and that is all.

Global Ponzi
It was a cover-up, not a recovery. And while the US may have been the first, it was not the only nation to try to fraudulently finagle its way out of a crisis and into prosperity. Like the US bailouts, the Greek survival package – praised as an important stopgap success only last week – has neither guaranteed keeping the Greek banking system afloat nor guaranteed it won’t default.

Now Italy has caught the contagion. Fattest of the PIIGS (acronym for Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) – the eurozone’s third largest economy – with its 120 percent public debt to GDP ratio, Italy is bleeding red ink all over its balance sheet. Borrowing more to service its debt load and imposing draconian austerity measures to reign in government spending will, at best, provide a respite from the financial crisis … or, at worst, foment a revolution. (
See, “Off With Their Heads, 2.0, Trends Journal, Autumn 2010

Then there’s China, who panicked when the “Panic of 08” blew out their export driven economy, and, like the West, used cheap credit and huge stimulus packages to prevent a major economic contraction. While China’s crisis differs from the West’s in that it has large currency reserves and its debt is homegrown and home-loaned, it’s still debt and has to be repaid.

And unlike the West, which pumped trillions into just keeping its economies afloat, the Chinese multi-trillion yuan infusions have created an immense, ready-to-pop property bubble. But this time, like the West, there will be no available fiscal or monetary government policies to re-inflate their faltering economy.

And as goes the US, Europe and China – so goes the rest of the world. From India to Israel, Brazil to Bangladesh, Chile to Russia, no nation will escape the economic fallout and few will escape the political consequences.

Yet, despite the widely available economic facts and the ample evidence of faulty forecasts and failed government policies, the mainstream media continues to sell the public the big lie. By providing cover for the politicians and financiers, the Presstitutes of the world – with their stable of “well respected” pundits – are accomplices in promoting the egregiously transparent cover-up as a “recovery.”

After descending to $1,480 less than two weeks ago, as this is written, gold is flirting with $1,600. We see this surge as a recognition of the greater financial and socioeconomic collapse we have been forecasting since the onset of the “Panic of ’08.” We hold to our forecast of “Gold $2,000,” and depending on how the coming crisis unfolds and the responses to it made by governments and central banks, $2,000 may prove but a temporary ceiling before climbing higher.