Silver as an investment

A World War Might Sound Crazy, But It Could Be America’s Last Act Of Desperation

Authored by Darius Shahtahmasebi via,

Though some have been warning about the catastrophic potential for a third global conflict for years, it wasn’t until recently that these warnings became more mainstream. The calamitous nature of the violence in Syria – which has one nuclear power defending a government that has been the target of a regime change operation led by the world’s superpower – combined with 2017’s threats of “fire and fury” against another state intently pursuing a nuclear weapons supply of its own, has pushed the issue of a third world war directly into the public discourse.

While certain hotspots throughout the Middle East, Asia, and Eastern Europe (i.e. Ukraine) have seen some notable escalations in the last few years, a direct conflict between Russia and the United States is still yet to emerge. That’s because the idea of a third world war in today’s world is completely insane. If the two countries that currently possess the world’s greatest supplies of nuclear weapons go to war, there may not be a world left for the victors to inhabit after the war is done, thereby making it an unthinkable proposal.

Then again, the U.S. did just recently bomb a significant number of Russian-linked forces in Syria, reportedly killing scores of them. The targets of these air strikes were also predominantly Iranian-backed militias (just in case there weren’t enough state actors already involved in this ongoing conflict).

Speaking of Iran, Donald Trump recently fired Rex Tillerson as secretary of state and immediately appointed CIA director Mike Pompeo to replace him. Pompeo is a notable anti-Iran hawk who will almost certainly go further than Tillerson was ever prepared to go with regard to the Iranian nuclear accord, a deal Pompeo believes is “disastrous.”


US And South Korea Will Resume Joint Military Drills In April

Barely a month after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he “couldn’t rule out” US forces physically boarding ships caught violating US sanctions against North Korea, RT  is reporting that, despite the recent thaw in relations between the US, South Korea and North Korea, the annual “Foal Eagle” and “Key Resolve” joint military exercises involving US and South Korea forces will begin April 1.

Signs of a breakthrough in North-South relations ahead of last month’s Winter Olympics prompted the US to postpone the drills, which typically elicit a vehement condemnation from the North, as well as threats of retaliation.

But now that the Games are over, the Pentagon said the planned drills will resume as scheduled – despite North Korea’s offer to freeze its missile and nuclear tests ahead of a meeting between Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump, which Trump hastily agreed to earlier this month.

South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense confirmed as much to Yonhap.

“The practice is slated to begin April 1, and it will be conducted on a similar size in previous years,” the Ministry of National Defense said, according to Yonhap.

The exercises are expected to conclude toward the end of May, the Pentagon said.

“Secretary of Defense James Mattis and the Republic of Korea Minister of National Defense Song Young-moo have agreed to resume the annual combined exercises including Foal Eagle and Key Resolve which were de-conflicted with the schedule of the Olympic Games. The exercises are expected to resume April 1, 2018, at a scale similar to that of the previous years,” Pentagon spokesman Colonel Rob Manning said in a statement.

The North Koreans have been notified about the drills by the United Nations Command. The Pentagon emphasized that the drills are not a response to a specific North Korean action.

“Our combined exercises are defense-oriented and there is no reason for North Korea to view them as a provocation,” Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Logan, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.


Example of Hillary Using Projection Lying Technique, 2109

Yes, Gun Confiscation Just Happened In Florida, And It Will Happen Nationwide

Authored by Jeremiah Johnson via,

For all those individuals who claimed door-to-door gun confiscation wouldn’t happen? Well, it just did… in Florida.  The report came out on 3/16/18, entitled It Begins: Florida Resident’s Firearms, Ammunition Confiscated Under Gun Control Law.

Yes, here it is: Here it starts.

Apparently, the individual is a 56-year-old man who has not committed a crime: he just falls into a category of people that could “pose a harm to the public good.” Here’s an excerpt:

The Orlando Sentinel reports that “four firearms and 267 rounds of ammunition” were taken from the man, and he was “taken to a hospital for involuntary psychiatric treatment.”

The seized firearms were listed as “a Ruger LCP .380 pistol, an M2 Mauser .45 pistol, a Charter Arms .357 mag snub nose revolver and a Mossberg 500 12-gauge shotgun.”

The paper notes that “the civil ruling removing his access to guns and ammunition was granted under … new legislation — which permits confiscating guns from people who have not been committed but are deemed a potential risk to themselves or others, according to the order signed by Broward’s Chief Judge Jack Tuter. (more…)

Russia Is Hoarding Gold At The Fastest Pace In 12 Years

De-dollarization is accelerating…

Russia is adding gold to its reserves at the fastest pace in 12 years …and dumping US Treasuries at the fastest pace since 2011.

The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) has been increasing its holdings of gold every month since March 2015. The country is currently the sixth-largest gold owner after the United States, Germany, Italy, France and China.

According to the CBR, gold reserves spiked to $455.2 billion between March 2 and 9 hitting a historic high not seen since September 2014.

“Our international reserves increased by $2.9 billion or 0.6 percent in a single week, mainly on the strength of positive re-evaluation,” said the regulator.

And in fact 2018 has seen the fastest increase in the value of Russia’s gold reserves since 2006…


Californians Flee The State In Droves Over Taxation And Housing Costs

Authored by Mac Slavo via,

Californians are bailing on the Golden State in droves as the tax burden and housing costs make the price of living unbearable for far too many. Many of those fleeing are the hearty middle-class who are being pushed into poverty by the socialist policies forced on them by the state’s elites.

The trend is a symptom of the state’s housing crunch and the ever increasing taxation. Census Bureau data show California lost just over 138,000 people to domestic migration in the 12 months ended in July 2017. Lower-cost states such as Arizona, Texas, and Nevada are popular destinations for relocating Californians.

Housing costs and the tax burden is far less impactful in pretty much any place outside of California, whose socialist policies drive up poverty and continuously erode the middle class leaving only the extremely wealthy and those in abject poverty.

The surging number of those working in Silicon Valley and still unable to afford adequate housing should be a warning about big government, but it sure doesn’t seem like anyone is taking notice as their taxes continue to rise. As governments creep toward socialism though, poverty becomes the norm, not the exception. Silicon Valley has the highest median income in the nation. But a soaring tax burden and expensive regulations have caused housing prices to increase which has also caused homelessness to surge. –SHTFPlan

“There’s nowhere in the United States that you can find better weather than here,” said Dave Senser, who lives on a fixed income near San Luis Obispo, California, and now plans to move to Las Vegas.

Rents here are crazy if you can find a place, and they’re going to tax us to death. (more…)

John Mauldin: Trade Wars Could Trigger “The Next Great Depression”

Last week on Erik Townsend’s Macrovoices podcast, Jim Grant, storied credit investor and founder of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, explained the reasoning behind his call that the great secular bond bear market actually began in the aftermath of the UK’s Brexit vote during the summer of 2016 – when Treasury yields touched their all-time lows.

Surprisingly, Grant’s call isn’t rooted in the bold-faced absurdity of Italian junk bonds trading with a zero-handle (although that’s certainly part of it). Rather, Grant explained, a historical analysis reveals that bond yields fluctuate in broad-based multi-generation cycles of different lengths. And given the carte blanche allotted to economics PhDs to “put the cart of asset prices before the horse of enterprise”, the fundamentals are indeed worrisome.

But in this week’s interview, John Mauldin offered a much more sanguine view of the landscape for markets and the global economy.

Beginning with the stock market: The “volocaust” experienced by US markets wasn’t unusual, Mauldin explained. It was the 15 straight months without a 2% correction that was unusual, Mauldin said.


John Mauldin

More corrections will almost certainly follow during the coming months. But absent any signs of a recession, these should be treated as buying opportunities by investors.

Now let’s remember something: The last drawdowns that we had – the corrections if you will – were not the unusual part. They weren’t the odd part. The odd part was 15 months in a row without a 2% correction. Never happened, ever, ever. (more…)

Mapping The 24 States Proposing Campus “Free Speech” Bills

Authored by Nikita Vladimirov via Campus Reform,

At least 24 states have now either introduced or passed legislation defending freedom of speech on public college campuses. 

A total of eight states – Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona – have already passed bills into law that designed to protect free expression in higher education, with lawmakers from 16 other states campaigning to pass similar legislation.

Florida was the latest to pass such a measure, with Gov. Rick Scott signing a bill banning “free speech zones” on campuses last week. The legislation also included a “Cause of Action” mandate, allowing individuals to sue universities for violating their “expressive rights.”

Kentucky is the next state that could join the list, as the State Senate recently voted to pass a bill designed to protect the free speech of students and faculty alike. 

“The problem with this free speech area is it’s not even close to a lot of activity on campus,” said Republican State Sen. Will Schroder, sponsor of the bill, according to WEKU. “It really restricts individuals to a certain location.”

Not all of the free speech bills, however, have found the necessary support to successfully navigate the legislative process.

According to the Kansas News Service, the Kansas freedom of expression measure fell just one vote short of passing the State Senate on Thursday, ultimately falling with a 20-20 vote.


Democratic Congressman Suggests Taking Up Arms To Resist Trump

New York Congressman Tom Suozzi (D) is taking heat for suggesting that a room full of voters may need to take up arms against the Trump administration if he doesn’t folow the law.

“I mean, this is where the Second Amendment comes in quite frankly, because you know, what if the president was to ignore the courts? What would you do? What would we do?” said Suozzi during a Q&A session last week with constituents on Long Island. 

“It’s really a matter of putting public pressure on the president,” he added. 

Following his comment, a constituent asked him what the Second Amendment was. 

“The Second Amendment is the right to bear arms,” said Suozzi. “That’s why we have it.”

Suozzi’s comment comes a month after he co-wrote a virtue-signaling article with Rep. Peter King entitled “Do the right thing on gun laws” following the Parkland massacre. 

“Too often the National Rifle Association’s response is “more guns.” That’s nonsense. (more…)

Study Reveals 95% Of Finance Professionals Can’t Beat The Market

Authored by Mark Perry via,

S&P Dow Jones Indices, the “de facto scorekeeper of the active versus passive investing debate,” recently released its SPIVA U.S. Year-End 2017 report (see other reports here for Europe, Latin America, Canada, Australia, India, Japan, etc.).

Here’s an overview of the SPIVA Scorecard:

There is nothing novel about the index versus active debate. It has been a contentious subject for decades, and there are few strong believers on both sides, with the vast majority of market participants falling somewhere in between. Since its first publication 16 years ago, the SPIVA Scorecard has served as the de-facto-scorekeeper of the active versus passive debate. For more than a decade, we have heard passionate arguments from believers in both camps when headline numbers have deviated from their beliefs.

And here are some highlights of the 2017 SPIVA US Scorecard (bold added):

During the one-year period, the percentage of managers outperforming their respective benchmarks noticeably increased in categories like Mid-Cap Growth and Small-Cap Growth Funds, compared to results from six months prior. Over the one-year period, 63.08% of large-cap managers, 44.41% of mid-cap managers, and 47.70% of small-cap managers underperformed the S&P 500, the S&P MidCap 400, and the S&P SmallCap 600, respectively (see table above). (more…)