news.goldseek.com / By: The Sound Money Defense League / 24 May 2017
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey Greenlights House Bill 2014, Removing Income Tax from Certain Precious Metals at the State Level
Phoenix, Arizona (May 23rd, 2017) – Sound money advocates rejoiced today as House Bill 2014 became the law in Arizona. HB 2014, which passed in the Arizona state Senate on May 10th by a margin of 16-13, removes all income taxation of precious metals coins at the state level.
Under House Bill 2014, introduced by Representative Mark Finchem (R-Tucson), Arizona taxpayers will simply back out all “gains” and “losses” on any precious metals that are in legal tender form and reported on their federal tax returns from the calculation of their Arizona adjusted gross income (AGI).
If taxpayers own gold or silver to protect themselves against the devaluation of America’s paper currency, thanks to the inflationary practices of the Federal Reserve, they frequently end up with a “gain” when exchanging those metals back into dollars. However, this is not necessarily a real gain in terms of a gain in actual purchasing power. This “gain” is often a nominal gain because of the slow but steady devaluation of the dollar. Yet the government nevertheless assesses a tax.
The market may have long since moved on from Moody’s downgrade of China to A1 from Aa3 (by now even long-only funds have learned that in a world with $18 trillion in excess liquidity, the opinion of Moodys is even more irrelevant), but for Beijing the vendetta is only just starting, and in response to Tuesday’s downgrade, China’s finance ministry accused the rating agency of applying “inappropriate methodology” in downgrading China’s credit rating, saying the firm had overestimated the difficulties faced by the Chinese economy and underestimated the country’s ability to enhance supply-side reforms.
In other words, Moody’s failed to understand that 300% debt/GDP is perfectly normal and that China has a very explicit exit strategy of how to deal with this unprecedented debt load which in every previous occasion in history has led to sovereign default.
The Ministry of Finance reaction came after Moody’s first, and very, very long overdue, downgrade of China since 1989 citing concerns about risks from China’s relentlessly growing debt load as shown below.
“China’s economy started off well this year, which shows that the reforms are working,” the ministry said in a statement on its website. Actually, it only shows that China had injected a record amount of loans into the economy at the start of the year, and nothing else. And now that the credit impulse is fading, the hangover has arrived.
Moody’s on Wednesday also downgraded the ratings of 26 Chinese government-related non-financial corporate and infrastructure issuers and rated subsidiaries by one notch. It also downgraded the ratings of several domestic banks, including the Agricultural Bank of China Limited’s long-term deposit rating from A1 to A2. It also eventually downgraded Hong Kong and said credit trends in China will continue to have a significant impact on Hong Kong’s credit profile due to close economic, financial and political ties with the mainland.
So how did China defend its position? The same way US companies fabricate their own numbers to confuse shareholders: with “pro forma” arguments.
Florida Department of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam announced on Monday that hackers may have obtained the names of concealed weapon licensees in a data breach that “appears to have originated from overseas” (must be those Russians again!).
The breach may have revealed the social security numbers of 469 customers, and another 16,190 may have had their names but “no other individually identifying information” was compromised.
Last week was a rather crazy one for the news feeds, with cyber attacks and “Comey memos” and a host of other wild mayhem, it may have been difficult for many people to keep track of it all. That said, there was one event that I think went partly under the radar, and I think it is an important signal for anyone concerned with the ongoing process of economic collapse in the U.S.
Generally, the American public holds very little vigilance when it comes to economics. They are distinctly unaware of fundamental indicators such as commodities demand, energy usage, manufacturing, imports, exports and international shipping, etc. What they do take note of, and what the mainstream news will tell them about in 30 second blurbs, is the state of unemployment and whether stock markets were down for the day or up for the day. These two “indicators” are the extent of the average person’s exposure to fiscal health.
This is why the Federal Reserve and the establishment have been meticulous over the past several years in their efforts to keep employment statistics highly manipulated to the positive side and why they have been injecting untold trillions into stocks around the world through various measures including no cost overnight loans.
However, over the past couple of years something has changed. As I warned they would do in 2015 in my article The Real Reasons Why The Fed Will Hike Interest Rates, central banks including the Fed have been backing off of stimulus measures and they have now begun a series of interest rate hikes. Look at it this way — imagine the economy has a terminal disease and the only thing keeping it alive is a highly addictive drug called “free money.” It’s a rather terrible life, barely worth living, but the economy still has a faint pulse as long as the drug is administered. Now, what would happen if the Fed suddenly cuts off the drug supply? Well, the economy will die in a very frantic and horrible way. (more…)
Silver is up $1 and gold up $100 off recent lows. What’s going on behind the scenes? Bill Murphy joins Silver Doctors to reveal… Murphy says JPMorgan is manipulating the price of silver. The silver market could get “chaotic” if it breaks through $21/oz. JPMorgan is “petrified,” Murphy says.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) has just joined the growing ranks of insurers across the country that have decided they’ve lost just about enough money on Obamacare. According to a press release issued earlier today, Blue KC’s CEO said the company has lost $100 million on the Obamacare exchanges since 2014, a fact that prompted their decision to exit their 32-county service area.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) today announced the company’s decision to not offer or renew individual Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans in the company’s 32-county service area in Kansas and Missouri for 2018. This decision will affect Blue KC members with both on- and off- exchange individual plans but does not affect individual plans that were purchased on or prior to October 1, 2013.
“Since 2014, we’ve expended significant resources to offer individual ACA plans to increase access to quality healthcare coverage for the Kansas City community,” said Danette Wilson, President and CEO of Blue KC. “Like many other health insurers across the country, we have been faced with challenges in this market. Through 2016, we have lost more than $100 million. This is unsustainable for our company. We have a responsibility to our members and the greater community to remain stable and secure, and the uncertain direction of this market is a barrier to our continued participation.”
“This decision is necessary at this time, but we’ll continue to work with federal and state legislators to identify solutions that will stabilize the individual market and bring costs down for our members, the community and Blue KC,” said Wilson.
The move will leave residents in 25 Missouri counties, or roughly 19,000 Obamacare enrollees, with no healthcare options in 2018.
We write seeking information relating to two internal reviews reportedly conducted by Deutsche Bank (“Bank”): one regarding its 2011 Russian mirror trading scandal and the other regarding its review of the personal accounts of President Donald Trump and his family members held at the Bank. What is troubling is that the Bank to our knowledge has thus far refused to disclose or publicly comment on the results of either of its internal reviews. As a result, there is no transparency regarding who participated in, or benefited from, the Russian mirror trading scheme that allowed $10 billion to flow out of Russia. Likewise, Congress remains in the dark on whether loans Deutsche Bank made to President Trump were guaranteed by the Russian Government, or were in any way connected to Russia. It is critical that you provide this Committee with the information necessary to assess the scope, findings and conclusions of your internal reviews.
The highly-anticipated OPEC meeting is taking place this week, but unlike the last few meetings, the hype and excitement is much less palpable. That is largely because the end result is thought to be a foregone conclusion.
Last week, Saudi Arabia and Russia telegraphed the events of the May 25 meeting, announcing support for a nine-month extension of the existing production cuts – 1.2 million barrels per day (mb/d) from OPEC plus 558,000 barrels per day (bpd) from a group of non-OPEC countries. With the two most important oil producers in agreement, the meeting should be quick and easy.
"The decision seems to be almost a done deal," said Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst at SEB Markets. "There seems to be a very high harmony in the group."
But if we have learned anything from the OPEC meetings over the last several years, it is that nothing should be taken for granted. Time and again the cartel seems to surprise the markets. Saudi Arabia’s energy minister hinted over the weekend that the OPEC meeting could have more drama than many analysts currently expect.
"Everybody I talked to… expressed support and enthusiasm to join in this direction, but of course it doesn’t preempt any creative suggestions that may come about," Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih said at a news conference in Riyadh.
First VIX dumped-n-pumped this morning, then Russell 2000 (ETF and Futures) flash-crash at lunch time, and now, amid heavy volume, someone decided it was the perfect time to panic-buy S&P, Dow, and Nasdaq futures…
Very heavy volume for early asia trading…
Some contest to Russell 2000's and VIX's earlier flash crash…
As BofAML so eloquently pointed out…
The hunt for a narrative to explain this utter farce has started… Did Bitcoin algos just get switched on to trade S&P minis? Bitcoin just topped $2500!