Silver as an investment

ZeroHedge: Chipotle Mexican Grill Stock Analysis 5-2-2016 (Video)

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By EconMatters

We look at this one time momentum stock from a mini case study perspective regarding some of the issues this company faces in trying to recover from the food safety issues of recent memory, and move forward as a growth stock for the next decade.

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ZeroHedge: Obamacare To Unveil “Price Shock” One Week Before The Elections

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The writing was on the wall long before the largest US insurer, UnitedHealth, decided to pull the plug on Obamacare in mid April.  Then, just a week later, Aetna’s CEO said Thursday that his company expects to break even, but legislative fixes are needed to make the marketplace sustainable.

“I think a lot of insurance carriers expected red ink, but they didn’t expect this much red ink,” said Greg Scott, who oversees Deloitte’s health plans practice. “… A number of carriers need double-digit increases.”

It gets better.

One week ago Marilyn Tavenner, who until January 2015 ran the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, aka the massive Federal agency that oversaw the rollout of Obamacare and the disastrous implementation of HealthCare.gov and who is now as an insurance lobbyist, said she sees big jumps in Obamacare insurance premiums.

Translation: insurers are not making money, and they need to make money or Obamacare is doomed. Which means even more dramatic rate hikes are about to be unveiled. However, it’s not the what but rather the when that is the shock. And, as Politico reports, the timing could not possibly come at a worse time for Democrats.

“Proposed rate hikes are just starting to dribble out, setting up a battle over health insurance costs in a tumultuous presidential election year that will decide the fate of Obamacare.”

The headlines are likely to keep coming right up to Election Day since many consumers won’t see actual rates until the insurance marketplaces open Nov. (more…)

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ZeroHedge: Don’t Sleep Through The Revolution: A Graduation Message For A Dark Age

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Submitted by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“The most striking fact about the story of Rip Van Winkle is not that he slept 20 years, but that he slept through a revolution. While he was peacefully snoring up on the mountain, a great revolution was taking place in the world – indeed, a revolution which would, at points, change the course of history. And Rip Van Winkle knew nothing about it; he was asleep.”—Martin Luther King Jr., Commencement Address for Oberlin College

The world is disintegrating on every frontpolitically, environmentally, morallyand for the next generation, the future does not look promising. As author Pema Chodron writes in When Things Fall Apart:

When the rivers and air are polluted, when families and nations are at war, when homeless wanderers fill the highways, these are the traditional signs of a dark age.

Those coming of age today will face some of the greatest obstacles ever encountered by young people.

They will find themselves overtaxed and struggling to find worthwhile employment in a debt-ridden economy on the brink of implosion. Their privacy will be eviscerated by the surveillance state.

They will be the subjects of a military empire constantly waging war against shadowy enemies and on guard against domestic acts of terrorism, blowback against military occupations in foreign lands. And they will find government agents armed to the teeth ready and able to lock down the country at a moment’s notice.

As such, they will find themselves forced to march in lockstep with a government that no longer exists to serve the people but which demands they be obedient slaves or suffer the consequences.

(more…)

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ZeroHedge: China Manufacturing PMI Disappoints – In Contraction For 14th Straight Month

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Despite a trillion dollars of credit spewed into the Chinese ‘economy’ speculative finance channels, Manufacturing remains in a slump as April’s China PMI tumbled to 49.4 after a brief bounce back up to 49.8 (from the 48.0 low in Feb). This is the 14th month in a row of contraction.

As Caixin reports, relatively weak market conditions and muted client demand contributed to a further solid decline in staff numbers, which seems to put a nail in the coffin of anyone who believes recent price action in industrial commodities is anything but speculative fervor.

 

Commenting on the China General Manufacturing PMI data, Dr. He Fan, Chief Economist at Caixin Insight Group said:

“The Caixin China General Manufacturing PMI for April came in at 49.4, down 0.3 points from March’s reading. All of the index’s categories indicated conditions worsened month-on-month, with output slipping back below the 50-point neutral level. The fluctuations indicate the economy lacks a solid foundation for recovery and is still in the process of bottoming out. The government needs to keep a close watch on the risk of a further economic downturn.”

(more…)

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ZeroHedge: Ben Tanosborn: How Blacks & Latinos Will Lose The Election For The Democratic Party In 2016

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Authored by Ben Tanosborn,

Forget about the number of superdelegates; or the several undemocratic manipulations by the Democratic National Committee (DNC).  The reality that stands out loud and clear at the end of April, with almost two-thirds of the primary-caucus vote having been cast, is that Hillary Clinton is commandingly leading Bernie Sanders in the democratically-chosen delegate count by a tally of 55 percent against 45 for the senator. 

How the remaining primary vote goes through mid-June, unless some transformational event or revelation take place, is not likely to change quantifiably or selectively the fact that the former first lady is irrefutably poised to receive, by acclamation in Philadelphia one guesses, the Democratic nomination to vie for a long term lease – 4-years with a conditional renewal for another 4-years – of the White House and its more celebrated political dependencies.  And her scoundrel spouse, William Jefferson Clinton, smilingly, will be at the convention willing and able to receive all the political accolades he undoubtedly feels his multiple talents deserve.

But… unfortunately for the Democratic Party and the Clinton legacy, their future, as well as the White House might be forever lost.  For all of the Scoundrel’s political savvy, he will finally appear, past the November election, in all its naked glory for history to judge: an articulate and charismatic American emperor who, although never wearing clothes, had much of the country seeing him through a deceitful sartorial kaleidoscope.

Let us reasonably, and logically, look at the repercussions as April is ending and Indiana gets ready to vote and apportion its 92 Hoosier Democratic delegates.  Does it make any sense that Hillary Clinton is receiving an inordinately, and questionably undeserving, high percentage of the Latino and Afro-American vote?  That, while Bernie Sanders is garnering the same Pyrrhic vote as that which the Latino-Black folks are predicted to give Donald Trump in the general election?  Go figure such illogical behavior!  

Loyalty you say? Is Bernie just another unknown white-face, long on promises and short on their delivery… perhaps the rationale which reigns in many or most L&A minds?  Whichever reasons are chosen, whether those or multiple others, it is obvious that leaders of the many social, business, religious and political groups are playing that fictional Hamelinian role leading their people to the precipice and asking them to jump; or, a contemporary, real example dating back to 1978 when Jim Jones offered “salvation” to his near-1000 followers in Jonestown by asking them to drink a cyanide-laced little cup of Kool-Aid.

If the chosen parallel of Luciferian Jim Jones and African-American and Latino leaders seem farfetched… our intention is not to vilify anyone, nor to diminish these leaders’ best and noble intentions. (more…)

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ZeroHedge: Are Central Banks Running the Oil Market or Just the World?

Be prepared for the next great transfer of wealth. Buy physical silver and storable food.

by David Haggith

 

The question begs for conspiracy theories to satisfy it, but one might more aptly say that central banks beg for conspiracy theories to explain them, since they operate in the shadows while being given charge of all the financial systems of all the world’s greatest economies. Central bankers have the unchaperoned power to create the greatest fortunes ever known to mankind at will and to invest it wherever they want. With trillions of dollars at their disposal and trillions more whenever they want to conjure it into existence, what is to stop them from cornering every market on earth?

 

Capitalist central banks have become ultimate central planners

 

Why would we even think central banks wouldn’t manipulate all markets to the benefit of their own member banks when two Fed officials have stated that by intention the Fed’s FOMC was front-running the stock market to create a “wealth effect”? (Apparently the “wealth effect” is to make the wealthy vastly wealthier because that’s what happened; I certainly haven’t seen any wealth trickling into my bank account as a result of this overt manipulation of markets.)

We used to have regulations that prevented banks from investing in stocks (and thereby central banks from indirectly manipulating the stock market by giving money to their member banks to invest). Next, the Fed will be deciding what companies to favor. Maybe they already do.

What if another corporation like GM that is too big to fail is failing? Is there any reason this time around that central banks should tell us they are going to bail it out by buying up its stocks now that central-bank intervention is standard procedure? (The Fed would argue to congress, “It was important we did that quickly and secretively so as not to create a massive market scare that could have jeopardized the recovery.”)

Anything is justifiable if it necessary for “the recovery. (more…)

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ZeroHedge: Ron Paul: Drafting Women Means Equality In Slavery

Be prepared for the next great transfer of wealth. Buy physical silver and storable food.

Submitted by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

Last week the House Armed Services Committee approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act requiring women to register with Selective Service. This means that if Congress ever brings back the draft, women will be forcibly sent to war.

The amendment is a response to the Pentagon’s decision to allow women to serve in combat. Supporters of drafting women point out that the ban on women in combat was the reason the Supreme Court upheld a male-only draft. Therefore, they argue, it is only logical to now force women to register for Selective Service. Besides, supporters of extending the draft point out, not all draftees are sent into combat. 

Most of those who opposed drafting women did so because they disagreed with women being eligible for combat positions, not because they opposed the military draft. Few, if any, in Congress are questioning the morality, constitutionality, and necessity of Selective Service registration. Thus, this debate is just another example of how few of our so-called “representatives” actually care about our liberty. 

Some proponents of a military draft justify it as “payback” for the freedom the government provides its citizens. Those who make this argument are embracing the collectivist premise that since our rights come from government, the government can take away those rights whether it suits their purposes. Thus supporters of the draft are turning their backs on the Declaration of Independence.

While opposition to the draft is seen as a progressive or libertarian position, many conservatives, including Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater, and Robert Taft, where outspoken opponents of conscription. Unfortunately, the militarism that has led so many conservatives astray in foreign policy has also turned many of them into supporters of mandatory Selective Service registration. Yet many of these same conservatives strongly and correctly oppose mandatory gun registration. (more…)

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ZeroHedge: Every Time This Has Happened, A Recession Followed

Be prepared for the next great transfer of wealth. Buy physical silver and storable food.

Three months ago the Fed released its Fourth Quarter “Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices”, which revealed something ominous. It showed that in Q4, lending standards tightened for the second consecutive quarter. This was a problem because as Deutsche Bank pointed out at the time two consecutive quarters of tightening Commercial & Industrial loan standards “has never happened before without it signalling an eventual move into recession and a notable default cycle. Once we have 2 such quarters lending standards don’t net loosen again until the start of the next cycle.”

As of today, we now have three consecutive quarters of tightening lending standards. In fact, based on the latest survey, net lending standards tightened even more than during Q4 as shown in the chart below, and are now the tightest on net since the financial crisis. Needless to say, if a recession and a default cycle has always followed two quarters of tighter lending conditions, three quarters does not make it better.

This is what the Fed said:

On balance, a moderate net fraction of banks reported a tightening of lending standards for C&I loans to large and middle-market firms over the past three months. Meanwhile, only a modest net fraction of banks reported tightening lending standards for C&I loans to small firms. Banks reported that they tightened some C&I loan terms for large and middle-market firms: A moderate net fraction of banks reported that they had increased premiums charged on riskier loans, a modest net fraction of banks reported that loan covenants had tightened, and most other terms to such firms remained basically unchanged on net. Banks reported mixed responses regarding changes in loan terms for small firms. A majority of the domestic respondents that tightened either standards or terms on C&I loans over the past three months cited a less favorable or more uncertain economic outlook as well as a worsening of industry-specific problems affecting borrowers as important reasons. Meanwhile, a significant net fraction of foreign respondents reported a tightening of lending standards for C&I loans.

In other words, credit availability is bad and getting worse, and may explain why the ECB had no choice but to shock the credit pipeline into action when Draghi announced that the ECB would monetize corporate bonds (and soon enough, junk bonds).

(more…)

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ZeroHedge: Debt: The Key Factor Connecting Energy & The Economy

Be prepared for the next great transfer of wealth. Buy physical silver and storable food.

Submitted by Gail Tverberg via Our Finite World blog,

There are many who believe that the use of energy is critical to the growth of the economy. In fact, I am among these people. The thing that is not as apparent is that growth in energy consumption is dependent on the growth of debt. Both energy and debt have characteristics that are close to “magic,” with respect to the growth of the economy. Economic growth can only take place when growing debt (or a very close substitute, such as company stock) is available to enable the use of energy products.

The reason why debt is important is because energy products enable the creation of many kinds of capital goods, and these goods are often bought with debt. Commercial examples would include metal tools, factories, refineries, pipelines, electricity generation plants, electricity transmission lines, schools, hospitals, roads, gold coins, and commercial vehicles. Consumers also benefit because energy products allow the production of houses and apartments, automobiles, busses, and passenger trains. In a sense, the creation of these capital goods is one form of “energy profit” that is obtained from the consumption of energy.

The reason debt is needed is because while energy products can indeed produce a large “energy profit,” this energy profit is spread over many years in the future. In order to actually be able to obtain the benefit of this energy profit in a timeframe where the economy can use it, the financial system needs to bring forward  some or all of the energy profit to an earlier timeframe. It is only when businesses can do this, that they have money to pay workers. This time shifting also allows businesses to earn a financial profit themselves. Governments indirectly benefit as well, because they can then tax the higher wages of workers and businesses, so that  governmental services can be provided, including paved roads and good schools.

Debt and Other Promises

Clearly, if the economy were producing only items for current consumption–for example, if hunters and gatherers were only finding food to eat and sticks to burn, so that they could cook this food, then there would be no need for the time shifting function of debt. But there would likely still be a need for promises, such as, “If you will hunt for food, I will gather plant food and care for the children. (more…)

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ZeroHedge: Yentertainment Tonight – Kuroda Kollapse Kontinues As USDJPY Nears 105 Handle

Be prepared for the next great transfer of wealth. Buy physical silver and storable food.

Either The BoJ steps in soon and intervenes (even by just “checking levels”) or Kuroda-san is truly terrified of The G-20. USDJPY has now crashed 7 handles since last Thursday’s shock BoJ disappointment crashing to within 5 pips of a 105 handle tonight for the first time in 18 months…

 

 

Erasing the entire devaluation post-Fed, post QQE2…

 

Perhaps Jack Lew’s “currency manipulation” report was enough to stall the Japanese currency war for now? Or is China greatly rotating its Yuan devaluation pressure against another member of its basket…?

 

Charts: Bloomberg

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