Submitted by Jim Quinn  –  The Burning Platform

Two recent surveys, along with numerous other studies and data, reveal most American households to be living on the brink of catastrophe, but continuing to act in a reckless and delusionary manner. There have certainly been economic factors beyond the control of average Americans that have resulted in real median household incomes remaining stagnant for the last 36 years. The unholy alliance of mega-corporations, Wall Street and bought off corrupt politicians have gutted the nation of millions of good paying jobs under the guise of globalization, while utilizing debt, derivatives and financial schemes to enrich themselves. The malfeasance of the sociopathic privileged class does not discharge the personal responsibility of citizens for living within their means. A lack of discipline, inability to delay gratification, failure to understand basic mathematical concepts, materialistic envy, absence of critical thinking skills, and a delusionary view of the world have left the majority of Americans broke and in debt.

The data that captured my attention was how little the average American household has in savings. Roughly 62% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings and 21% don’t even have a savings account, according to a new survey of more than 5,000 adults conducted this month by Google Consumer Survey for personal finance website This dreadful data is reinforced by a similar survey of 1,000 adults carried out earlier this year by personal finance site, which also found that 62% of Americans have no emergency savings for a medical crisis, car repair, or unanticipated household expenditure.

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The Big Blue Canary In Armonk

The IBM unbeat goes on. Its sales plunged again for the 14th straight quarter while its net income was down by 14% from last year. Even management’s dodgy ex-items earnings guidance for 2015 was lowered by 6% with only one quarter to go.

Nor is this a passing swoon. IBM’s Q3 revenues were actually back to 2002levels. As the Zero Hedge chart demonstrates, it is hard to find a worse trend in revenue since Bethlehem Steel disappeared a few decades ago:

But the ugly sales charts above aren’t the half of it. The real story is that IBM’s relentless decline is proof positive that financial engineering is a destructive toxin that is leeching the lifeblood of the nation’s business enterprises.

Indeed, IBM is a Big Blue Canary. The abysmal facts of its self-destruction over the last decades should be a wake-up call to the bubble-blind Keynesians who run the Fed. Continue reading

Will The Crazed Neocons Bring Us Nuclear Winter?

Submitted by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts – Institute for Public Economy

As readers know, I have emphasized that the declared neoconservative intention of achieving global hegemony has resurrected the threat of nuclear armageddon as Russia and China are most definitely not going to submit, as every European country, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Colombia, and Japan have submitted, to being Washington’s vassals.

The president of Russia and the president of China have made this completely clear.

If the arrogance, ignorance and incompetence of the Western political systems permit the continuation of the crazed, totally unrealistic, neoconservative agenda, the planet will die.

Ronald Reagan is the only US president during the era of nuclear weapons who was committed to removing them from all arsenals. I know because I was a part of his effort. If you can’t believe me, ask Pat Buchanan who was with Reagan at Reykjavik. In previous columns on my website, I quoted Buchanan’s response to my statements. Buchanan wrote to me that I was correct, that Reagan wanted rid of every nuclear weapon. That was President Reagan’s primary goal and is the reason for his economic program, which he placed in my hands. Reagan reasoned that if the US economy could be restored, the inability of the Soviet economy to be restored would allow him to pressure the Soviets into agreement to end the cold war and rid the world of nuclear weapons. When I get letters from those denouncing Reagan for his crimes, I wonder at the pride that the writers show in their utter ignorance and stupidity. Continue reading

Neither Bull nor Bear

Submitted by William Bonner, Chairman – Bonner & Partners

“Good Economic Management” vs. Larceny

ZURICH – “Will you shut up?!”

That is what we wanted to say this morning, here in Zurich, Switzerland. At the table next to us, a hedge fund promoter is working hard…

“The value proposition… outside of the box… we’re only talking two points… we can dialogue about it… Goldman… our business model… prioritize our priorities… get the balance right…”

hi-trudeau-04924780-8colNew Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau – who actually has more than just one bad idea.

Photo credit: Andrew Vaughan / Canadian Press

Meanwhile, on the front page of the Financial Times is a good-looking guy with a bad idea. Pierre Trudeau’s son, Justin, is Canada’s new prime minister. (Another political dynasty!) He will “take advantage of low interest rates” to embark on a C$60 billion infrastructure program.

Just for the record, the Canuck feds are not taking advantage of low interest rates. They’re cheating savers… retirees… and responsible citizens whose expenses are lower than their incomes.

In much of the developed world, central banks have pushed interest rates to their lowest level in 5,000 years. This is not “good economic management.” It’s larceny. They’re taking money from savers and giving it to borrowers – especially in the financial sector and in government. But on to other things….

Canada, M1This is not just larceny, it is insanity (not unique to Canada to be sure, as it has gone global) – click to enlarge. Continue reading

Looks to Modernise Gold Trading

Submitted by Mark O’Byrne  –  GoldCore

Change is brewing in London as the the LBMA – the association that oversees the world’s largest gold market – is looking at how best to modernise and improve over-the-counter gold trading.

GoldCore: LBMA Annual Conference
LBMA Annual Conference

As members of the world’s gold industry meet this week at the LBMA’s annual conference in Vienna, their proposals are being sought on how to bring the gold trading in London up to date.

According to Eddie Van Der Valt reporting today for Bloomberg, London’s bullion market is more than three centuries old and has cleared about $21 billion of gold on average each day through the city this year.

Key considerations for reform include “boosting transparency and… considering a new electronic platform that may lower trading costs and improve efficiency”.

Read the full article: London Gold Market Under Scrutiny as Bullion World Gathers

GoldCore will be conducting a Webinar next Thursday, October 22nd at 1600 (BST/ London/ UK time) in which we will open up the floor to attendees in our ever popular Question and Answer session.

Register Now and have your question answered by John Butler of Amphora Capital .

GoldCore: Register now for Webinar

John will be giving a keynote speech at the Precious Metals Symposium in Sydney, Australia on October 26th and 27th and we are scheduling meetings with HNW clients for him while he is in Sydney.

Contact us at if you wish to meet John in Sydney to discuss optimal strategies to access and allocate funds to the gold market today. 

Stephen Flood and Mark O’Byrne will be attending and live tweeting from the LBMA in Vienna from Sunday to Tuesday (October 18-20) and are available to meet clients and attendees in Vienna —


Today’s Gold Prices:   USD 1171.65 , EUR 1032.93 and GBP 757.86 per ounce.
Friday’s Gold Prices:  USD 1176.35, EUR 1035.34 and GBP 761.39 per ounce.

GoldCore: Gold in GBP - 1 month

Gold in GBP – 1 month

Gold lost $7.70 on Friday closing at $1175.20 however the metal showed an overall gain of 1.55% for the week.  Silver slipped to a low of $15.946 and ended with a loss of 0.74% on Friday closing at $16.01 – a gain of 1.05% for the week.  Euro gold fell to about €1035, platinum gained $12 to $1015.

Confirmation: China As Brazil

Submitted by Jeffrey Snider  –  Alhambra Investment Partners

There is always some chicken and egg to any financial irregularity; as in does a crisis cause a panic or is it the panic that causes the crisis? Though the evidence of the past eight years is decidedly on the side of the irregularity, central banks continue to press as if that were not so. In no uncertain terms, central bankers persist in expressing their own confidence and, if you read or listen closely enough, great disdain for free markets they deem unworthy as if nothing more than unchained emotion. In the context of 2008, as the current FOMC tells it, the markets got all worked up over nothing much and should have instead simply enjoyed the blind faith in the Fed to have fixed it all without the fuss and bother.

As offensive as that sounds, that is exactly what is being preached. Janet Yellen in April 2014:

Fundamental to modern thinking on central banking is the idea that monetary policy is more effective when the public better understands and anticipates how the central bank will respond to evolving economic conditions. Specifically, it is important for the central bank to make clear how it will adjust its policy stance in response to unforeseen economic developments in a manner that reduces or blunts potentially harmful consequences. If the public understands and expects policymakers to behave in this systematically stabilizing manner, it will tend to respond less to such developments.

There is a fatal fallacy at the heart of this philosophy, one in which has blinded these economists as they marvel at their own assumed powers. Yellen suggests that markets should stop worrying so much about liquidity and other perhaps tangential, but no less meaningful, factors and instead only ignore them in the comfort that Yellen has those all under control. It is no less destructive conceit, one which was revealed to all amply this past decade – starting with the housing bubble itself. Continue reading

Can’t Anyone Fix This?

Submitted by James Howard Kunstler  –

The legacy mainstream media has a collective brain like dog’s — it exists in an eternal present, so that whatever’s happening right now is all there is. Thus, Hillary’s performance in the first Democratic debate, being as bad but not worse than her competitors’, means she has a lock on the nomination for president. The better part of a year lies between now and the convention, and time would be on the side of whatever force or figure rises to oppose the woman whose “turn” in power rides a myth of inevitability.

What perhaps ought to be more alarming is the way that the two major parties are lining up to be a men’s party and a woman’s party, a perfect acting-out of psychological archetypes in a society churning out millions of lost souls year-by-year. The American people apparently want a Daddy to fix all the broken systems and they want a Mommy to reassure them that everything will be all right. Hillary, of course, wants to be both, but her problem is that a lot of voters won’t accept her as either.

Her record doesn’t suggest she’s much good at fixing anything. That’s why the Benghazi affair is such a good stick to beat on her with. That was a moment when America needed a Daddy with a toilet plunger or a screw gun and all they got were cables from the home office saying everything was going to be all right. Mommy couldn’t save the Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans slaughtered there. The big pretense, of course, is the idea that congress holds hearings “so something like this will never happen again.”

It’s an interesting neurosis we’ve developed since the heyday of the assassinations in the late 1960s, this continuing promise to abolish the unforeseeable. Of course new atrocities happen all the time despite these ritual committee inquiries — these days, the mass murder of strangers is more in fashion than targeted political slayings — and there’s always another incident, and it ought to be obvious by now that we’re not so good at making sure that bad things don’t happen.

But that’s the Republican-controlled Benghazi Committee’s mission: to demonstrate that Mommy can’t fix stuff. It will be easily left to Hillary herself to prove that she’s not much good in the Mommy role either — reassuring the multitudes that everything’s going to be all right. Instead, Hillary falls back on an obsessive-compulsive pander tic, kind of an incessant hash-tag jabber of promises to the familiar cast of supplicants. Give it twelve months and see how sick of it the voters will get.

To see how much the Democrats have become the woman’s party, just consider the men candidates up on the debate stage: all pitiful archetypes. Bernie Sanders plays the meshugganah grandpa role reserved, on the screen, for Larry David or Alan Arkin. He’s always worked up about something that nobody else can really get worked up about, always raising his voice and stabbing his finger in the air in imitation of Yahweh. There’s Jim Webb, a bobblehead rattling off long legalistic disquisitions that never get to whether he can fix something or not. There’s Martin O’Malley, known primarily for his “six-pack” and “guns,” but with the persona of a frightened seven-year-old who doesn’t want to rile the teacher. And Lincoln Chaffee, a dizzy neighbor like Kramer in Seinfeld, butting in with cockamamie schemes that demonstrate he can’t fix anything.

Is it not amazing that the Democratic Party could not grudge up one figure really worth taking seriously? To me, this is truly symptomatic of how bereft of significance the party is? I’m not so sure the party will survive this election cycle. But the disorder across the gradient is equally impressive. The large Republican field of professional politician candidates is held in such bad odor as far as being able to fix anything, that the sinister clown Trump is able to put over his idiotic act of being a Daddy who can fix everything and anything, just by blustering. I suspect he’ll wear out his welcome — but if he doesn’t the Grand Old Party is showing serious signs of a serious crack-up.

Whoever get elected inn 2016 is going to face a crisis every bit as terrible as the crisis of 1860, only this time when the country blows it could come from a dozen different directions and be a lot harder to fix than the secession of Dixieland.

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The Daily Debt Rattle

Submitted by Raúl Ilargi Meijer  –  The Automatic Earth

Iceland Sentences 26 Bankers To A Combined 74 Years In Prison (USUncut)
HSBC: These Are the Economies That Could Run Into Trouble (Bloomberg)
Jim Chanos Nails the Link Between Debt and Energy (Bloomberg)
Saudis Risk Draining Financial Assets in 5 Years, IMF Says (Bloomberg)
Who on Wall Street is Now Eating the Oil & Gas Losses? (WolfStreet)
China Steel Output May Collapse 20%, Baosteel Chairman Says (Bloomberg)
China Slowdown Sees Investment In Africa Plummet 84% (ValueWalk)
Defiant Portugal Shatters The Eurozone’s Political Complacency (AEP)
ECB Haunted by Paradox as Draghi Weighs Risk of QE Signaling (Bloomberg)
Diesel Cars Emit Up To Four Times More Toxic Pollution Than A Bus (Guardian)
3 Million Volkswagen Cars Need Costly Hardware Fixes In Europe Alone (Bloomberg)
The EU Is Emitting Way More Greenhouse Gases Than It Says (Quartz)
The Strongest El Niño in Decades Is Going to Mess With Everything (Bloomberg)
The Graphic That Shows Why 2015 Global Temperatures Are Off The Charts (SMH)
UK Must Resettle Refugees Who Arrived On Cyprus Military Base: UN (Guardian)
EU Calls Mini-Summit On Refugee Crisis As Slovenia Tightens Border (Guardian)
Slovenia Asks For EU Police Help To Regulate Migrant Flow (Reuters)
A Cultural Revolution To Save Humanity (Serge Latouche)
Why Too Much Choice Is Stressing Us Out (Guardian)