Sunday, July 24, 2016

How to Profit From These Massive, Brexit Induced Trends

By Justin Spittler

This has the makings of a classic speculative opportunity—one where politically caused distortions are liquidated and prices readjust. But a word of caution. It’s going to take place within the context of the Greater Depression. And, as Richard Russell, who lived through the last depression, observed: In a depression, nobody wins. The winner is just the person who loses the least.

The EU will disintegrate. It never made sense from the beginning to try to get Swedes to live by the same rules as Sicilians or Germans by the same rules as Portuguese. Not to mention that the rules are entirely arbitrary. Worse, almost all the rules are economic in nature, with legislated winners and losers. Deals like that always lead to resentment, among both the winners and the losers.

In addition to this, the EU is very problematical when it comes to immigrants. There will be more migrants trying to settle in Europe. Why? Because the Muslim world, the swath of countries extending all across northern Africa, through the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Far East, is likely to become increasingly unstable. The EU, as a very politically correct organization is loathe to turn them away. However, once they’re within Schengen, the migrants can travel anywhere. Perhaps where welfare benefits are best and where other migrants are gathering. Remember, when times get tough, both politicians and the capite censi look for someone to blame.

How to profit from this? Most people don’t think the EU will collapse just because Britain (which has always been closer to the U.S. than the Continent anyway) has left. They’re wrong. For one thing, although Brussels won’t become a ghost town, it’s going to lose scores of thousands of highly paid Eurocrats and their minions. I recall that property there was some of the cheapest in Europe in the early ’80s, it’s going to return to that status. We’ll look for a REIT to sell short, specializing in the Brussels market.

It will accelerate the disintegration of nation-states everywhere. 

There are about 200 nation-states in the world. The international “elite,” the “intelligentsia,” the members of the Deep State everywhere, and organizations like the EU in Brussels, would like to see a much smaller number of more powerful states. Orwell anticipated just three mega-states in his dystopia. But the actual trend is in the opposite direction.

It’s not just the UK seceding from the EU, but Scotland from the UK. The Basques and Catalans may eventually secede from Spain. Belgium, a totally artificial country, may eventually break up into Flemish-speaking Flanders and French speaking Wallonia. France has half a dozen secession movements. Italy was only unified into its present form from scores of principalities, duchies, and baronies in 1871 by Garibaldi. It was the same with Germany until Bismarck in 1871. 

The break-up of the USSR in 1990 into 13 smaller states was a good start, but Russia itself is a small empire with dozens of distinct ethnic and linguistic groups. You will rarely hear about this in the mass media, but there are dozens of secession movements throughout Europe. That’s one more reason why (in addition to the interest rate risk and the inflation risk, which are both substantial) you should stay away from long-term government bonds.

The euro will cease to exist.....
The Esperanto currency was doomed from the beginning. It was not just an “IOU nothing,” like the U.S. dollar, but a “Who owes you nothing” since it’s not even backed by a specific government’s taxing power. How to profit? I’ve put on long-term futures contracts, long the British pound vs. short the euro. My rationale is simple. Britain will benefit from exiting the EU, attracting capital and strengthening the pound—which is down 11% against the euro since Brexit. The euro, meanwhile, will approach its intrinsic value at an accelerating rate.

A truly major banking crisis.....
Much worse than that of 2007–2009. Governments, who are all bankrupt, borrow money from commercial banks. Commercial banks have lent it to them because they believe it’s a risk free loan. Governments encourage them to lend recklessly, hoping that will jump-start sluggish economies. Central banks, which are the arms of their governments, have taken interest rates to zero and below for that reason and to make it easier for governments to service their debt. This policy has encouraged businesses to take on debt.

It’s an idiotic and reckless experiment that will end—likely in this cycle—with bankrupt central banks and governments bailing out bankrupt commercial banks and businesses. Just the way they did in 2007–2009. Except this time, the situation is much more serious. How to profit? Don’t own European companies, stocks or bonds, and banks in particular. In fact, even though they’re already down considerably, they’re going lower and are excellent candidates for short sales, or the sale of naked calls.

A panic into gold..... 
You’ve heard this story many times before here. But it’s truer than ever as we approach a genuine crisis. There are no stable paper currencies anywhere in the world. The dollar has been strong only because it’s liquid. Liquidity is good, but here, we’re talking about liquid like nitroglycerin. Hedge funds will start buying gold in size. As will central banks, who don’t want to hold each other’s paper. As will individual investors. Right now, few people even think about gold, much less understand it. How to profit? Buy gold. I expect we’ll see it well over $5,000 this cycle. Silver should do even better in relative terms. And gold stocks have explosive upside.

An exodus of capital and people from Europe.....
to parts of Latin America, plus to the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This is, obviously, bad for Europe and good for the recipient countries. In recent years, I might not have included Latin America, but things have changed. Argentina and Colombia are liberalizing economically. The continent isn’t involved in any entangling alliances, isn’t on the migration highway, and has low costs. Why a wealthy European would stay in that stagnant and unstable continent when he could live better, and mostly tax free, at a fraction of the cost in Argentina is a mystery to me.

Chaos in Africa..... 
Almost every country in Africa is an ex-European colony. Over the last 50 years, Europe, with the U.S. and now China, have shipped over a trillion dollars to the continent. Most of it has been recycled back to Europe by the African elites that stole it, and the rest has mostly been wasted. 

That flow is going to stop for a number of reasons, but among them is that it makes no sense in an “every-man for himself” world. At the same time, essentially all of the world’s population growth over the next couple of decades is going to come from sub Saharan Africa. It’s a nasty economic environment that’s a formula for conflict. 

Millions of Africans will want to emigrate, especially to the homelands of their ex-colonial masters in Europe. They won’t, however, be welcome. How might one take advantage of this? The higher population is going to put upward pressure on commodities, and the chaos is going to make their production much riskier in Africa.

In conclusion..... 
Brexit itself is likely to be good for Britain. And it augurs some big changes in the world at large. Don’t forget that it will all be in the context of both the Greater Depression and the accelerating and world-changing technological revolution I described last month. Our objective here remains to not only keep you advised of what’s happening, but help you profit from opportunities while avoiding major dangers.

Editor's note: The biggest threat to your wealth right now isn’t an economic recession, a stock market crash, or even a global banking crisis. It’s something much bigger and far more dangerous. This short video explains more…

It explains how violent currency moves—like we’re seeing today—have preceded some of the worst financial disasters in history. By the end of the video, you’ll know why you can’t afford to ignore the warnings we’re seeing right now. You’ll learn how to protect yourself and profit from the coming crisis. Click here to watch this free video.



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Stock & ETF Trading Signals

Friday, July 15, 2016

Why This Stock Rally Won’t Last…And What You Need to Do With Your Money Today

By Justin Spittler

Silver is sending us an important warning. Yesterday, the price of silver closed at $20.30, its highest price since July 2014. Silver is now up 45% this year. That’s nearly eight times better than the S&P 500’s 5.9% return. And it’s almost double gold’s 25% gain this year. If you’ve been reading the Dispatch, you know silver is rallying for the same reason gold’s taken off. Investors are worried about the economy and financial system.

Like gold, silver is real money. It’s also a safe haven asset that investors buy when they’re nervous. Unlike gold, silver is an industrial metal. It goes into everything from batteries to solar panels. Because of this, it's more sensitive to economic slowdowns. That’s why many folks think of silver as gold’s more volatile cousin.
Lately, silver has been acting more like a precious metal than an industrial metal. It’s soaring because the global economy is in serious trouble. Today, we’ll explain why silver is likely headed much higher. And we’ll show you the best way to profit from rising silver prices.

Silver has been in a bear market for the better part of the last five years..…
From April 2011 to December 2015, the price of silver plummeted 72%. This 56 month downturn was the longest silver bear market on record. As brutal as this bear market was, we knew it wouldn’t go on forever. That’s because silver, like other commodities, is cyclical. It experiences booms and busts. As you just saw, the losses in commodity bear markets can be huge. But the gains in commodity bull markets can be even bigger. During its 2008–2011 bull market, silver soared an incredible 441%. That’s why we watch commodities so closely. Every few years, they give you the chance to make huge gains in a short period of time.

On December 18, Casey Research founder Doug Casey said silver wouldn’t get much cheaper..…
Doug told Kitco, one of the world’s biggest precious metals retailers, that gold and silver were near a bottom:
My opinion is if it's not the bottom, it's close enough to the bottom. So, I have to be an aggressive buyer of both gold and silver at this point.
Doug’s call was dead on. Silver bottomed at $13.70 an ounce on December 17. That same day, gold bottomed at $1,051 an ounce. In other words, Doug was one day off from perfectly calling the bottom in gold and silver.

The price of silver has soared 49% since December..…
But it could head much higher in the coming years. Remember, silver soared 441% during its last bull market.
Silver is “cheap” too. It’s trading 58% below its 2011 high, even after this year’s monster rally. It’s also never been more important to own “real money.” That’s because it looks like the world is on the cusp of a major financial crisis. Doug explains:
Right now, we are exiting the eye of the giant financial hurricane that we entered in 2007, and we’re going into its trailing edge. It’s going to be much more severe, different, and longer lasting than what we saw in 2008 and 2009.
As longtime readers know, the last financial crisis caused the S&P 500 to plunge 57%. It sparked America’s worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. And it allowed the government to launch a series of radical “stimulus” measures, none which actually helped the economy.

BlackRock (BLK) sees tough times ahead too..…
BlackRock is the world’s biggest asset manager. It oversees $4.6 trillion. That’s more than the annual economic output of Japan, the world’s third biggest economy. BlackRock manages more money than Goldman Sachs (GS), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), and Bank of America (BAC). This makes it one of the world’s most important financial institutions…and one that probably understands the global economy better than almost any other company on the planet. Like us, BlackRock’s chief investment strategist, Richard Turnill, thinks the next few years could be very difficult. CNBC reported on Monday:
"This feels more and more like we're in an environment of low returns and high volatility for some time," Richard Turnill said on "Squawk Box.” "The period of political [Brexit] uncertainty ahead of us isn't going to last for weeks or quarters, but potentially for years," he said.
According to BlackRock, the “Brexit” made the global economy more unstable..…
If you’ve been reading the Dispatch, you know Great Britain voted to leave the European Union (EU) on June 23. The Brexit, as folks are calling it, shook financial markets from Tokyo to New York. It erased more than $3 trillion from the global stock market in two days. 

Then, stocks started to rally. By this Tuesday, global stocks fully “recovered” from the Brexit bloodbath. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average even hit new all time highs this week.

Many investors took this as proof that the worst was over. We, on the other hand, reminded readers to not lose sight of the big picture. We explained that stocks were rallying because they’re the least bad place to put your money right now. We encouraged you to not “get sucked back into the stock market.”

Larry Fink doesn’t think U.S. stocks should be rallying either..…
Fink is the chairman and CEO of BlackRock. That makes him one of the most powerful people in the world.
Like us, Fink isn’t “buying” this stock rally. CNBC reported yesterday:
"I don't think we have enough evidence to justify these levels in the equity market at this moment," Fink said Thursday on CNBC's "Squawk Box."
According to Fink, stocks are rallying for the wrong reasons:
He said the recent rally has been supported by institutional investors covering shorts, or bets that stocks would fall, and not individual investors feeling bullish.
"Since Brexit, we've seen ETF flows almost at record levels … $18 billion of inflows," Fink said. "However, in the mutual fund area, we're continuing to see outflows."
What that tells you is retail investors are pulling out, he said. "You're seeing institutions who were short going into Brexit … all now rushing in to recalibrate their portfolios."
In other words, this rally could fizzle out any day.

We recommend you invest with great caution right now..…
If you still own stocks, consider selling your weakest positions. Get rid of your most expensive stocks. Only hang on to companies that you know can make money in a long economic downturn. We also encourage you to own gold. As we said earlier, it’s real money. It’s preserved wealth for centuries because it possesses a unique set of attributes: It’s durable, easy to transport, and easily divisible. You can take a gold coin anywhere in the world and folks will instantly recognize its value.

We recommend most folks to hold 10% to 15% of their wealth in gold. Once you own enough gold, consider putting money into silver. It could deliver even bigger gains than gold in the years to come. To learn why, watch this short video presentation. It explains why the biggest threat to your wealth right now isn’t an economic recession, a stock market crash, or even a global banking crisis.

It’s something much bigger and far more dangerous. The good news is that you can protect yourself from this coming crisis. Watch this free video to learn how.

REMINDER: Our friends at Bonner & Partners are holding a special training series..…  
If you’ve been reading the Dispatch, you know part of our job is to share exciting opportunities with you when we hear about them. Today, we invite you to take part in a special training series hosted by Jeff Brown, editor of Exponential Tech Investor.

If you haven’t heard of Jeff, he’s an aerospace engineer, tech insider, and angel investor. His advisory, Exponential Tech Investor, focuses on young technology companies with big upside. For example, Jeff recommended an IT security company in October that’s already up 72%. Another one of Jeff’s picks has jumped 38% since February. And one is up 178% in less than a month.

In Jeff's training series, he reveals his secret to making money in technology stocks. He also talks about a HUGE opportunity taking shape in the technology space.  Click here to sign up for Jeff’s training series.

It’s 100% free and will take up less than 15 minutes of your time. Click here to register.

Chart of the Day

Silver stocks just hit a new three year high. Today’s chart shows the performance of iShares MSCI Global Silver Miners ETF (SLVP), which tracks large silver miners. As regular readers know, silver stocks are leveraged to the price of silver. It doesn’t take a big jump by silver for them to skyrocket. This year, silver’s 45% jump caused SLVP to soar 171%. It’s now trading at its highest level since April 2013.

If you think gold and silver are headed much higher like we do, you could put some of your money into gold and silver stocks. According to Doug Casey, these stocks could enter a “super bubble” in the coming years. Keep in mind, these are some of the most volatile stocks on the planet. Many gold and silver stocks can swing 5% or more in a day. If you can stomach that kind of volatility, you could see huge returns in gold and silver stocks over the next few years.



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Stock & ETF Trading Signals

Friday, July 8, 2016

Why the “Bond King” Is Having Flashbacks of the 2008 Financial Crisis

By Justin Spittler

As you probably know, Great Britain stunned the world by voting to leave the European Union on June 23. The “Brexit,” as folks are calling it, triggered a selloff that wiped $3 trillion from global stocks in two days. The announcement also shook the currency market. The pound sterling plunged 8% the day after the news broke. It was one of the British currency’s worst days ever. The U.S. dollar, euro, and Japanese yen experienced huge moves too.

It’s now been two weeks since the historic event and panic is still in the air. Investors around the world have piled into government bonds, which are widely considered safe assets. Yesterday, the yield on the 10 year U.S. Treasury hit a fresh all time low. Yields on British, Irish, German, and Japanese 10 year bonds also hit record lows. A bond’s yield falls when its price rises. Investors have loaded up on gold too. The price of gold has shot up 8% since June 23.
 
This shouldn’t surprise you if you’ve been reading the Dispatch. Regular readers know gold is the ultimate safe haven asset. It’s preserved wealth through every sort of financial crisis because it’s unlike any other asset. It’s durable, easily divisible, and easy to carry. Its value doesn’t depend on “confidence” in any government. In other words, it’s real money. After its Brexit fueled rally, gold is up 29% on the year. It’s at its highest price since March 2014. Yet, this rally is showing no signs of slowing down.

The SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD) just had one of its best days ever..…
On Tuesday, investors put $1.3 billion into the fund, which tracks the price of gold. According to Investor's Business Daily, it was the fund’s third best day ever. It was also the fund’s best day since stocks crashed on August 8, 2011. Investors have now plowed $15.26 billion into GLD this year. That’s the most of any of the 1,931 ETFs tracked by global analytics and research firm XTF.

In London, the panic has gotten so bad that several fund managers stopped their funds from trading..…
The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday:
Henderson Global Investors, Columbia Threadneedle and Canada Life are the latest fund managers to stop investors pulling their money out against a backdrop of political and economic uncertainty following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union. The fresh moves by fund companies to suspend redemptions Wednesday came after Standard Life Investments, Aviva Investors and M&G Investments suspended trading on U.K. property funds earlier this week. This means that half of the 10 largest U.K. property fund managers have suspended trading temporarily.
In other words, these managers have trapped their investors’ money to keep their funds from collapsing.

"Bond King" Bill Gross says something very similar happened just before the 2008 financial crisis..…
Gross is one of the world’s most well-known investors. He founded Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO) in 1971. Under his watch, PIMCO grew into the world’s biggest bond fund. Today, he runs his own bond fund at Janus Capital. Like us, Gross is worried about what’s happening in London right now. Bloomberg Business reported yesterday:
“It’s reminiscent of Bear Stearns’ subprime funds before the Lehman debacle,” Bill Gross, a fund manager at Janus Capital Group, said on Bloomberg TV. “The system doesn’t allow liquidity to flow into the proper places. If these property funds are just one indication, perhaps there will be others to follow. I think it’s something to worry about.”
The collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 helped set the global financial crisis in motion. The S&P 500 went on to plunge 57% in two years. And the U.S. economy entered its worst downturn since the Great Depression.

Government officials are scrambling to contain the crisis..…
Last week, the Bank of England (BoE) pumped £3.1 billion into Britain’s banking system. It pledged to inject as much as £250 billion to stabilize its financial system. And on Tuesday this week, the BoE announced more “stimulus” measures. It eased special capital requirements for Britain’s banks. Specifically, the BoE lowered how much money banks need to hold as a “buffer.” The move increases the lending capacity of U.K. banks by as much as £150 billion. Economists at the BoE believe more borrowing and spending will stimulate the economy. As we’ve shown you many times, this won’t work. Casey Research founder Doug Casey explains:
It’s part of the Keynesian view, in which spending and consumption drive the economy. This isn’t just wrong, it’s the exact opposite of what’s true. It’s production and saving that drive an economy. You have to save to build capital, and capital is necessary for…everything. What these people are doing is destructive of civilization itself.
Still, this won’t be the last stimulus measure that the BoE rolls out..…
Last Tuesday, we said the BoE would likely cut interest rates. Two days later, Mark Carney, who heads the BoE, said the central bank needs to cut rates soon. The Wall Street Journal reported:
Mr. Carney said it was his personal view that the central bank would need to cut its key interest rate, currently 0.5%, “over the summer,” adding that an initial assessment of the economic damage caused by the vote to leave the EU would be made at the Monetary Policy Committee’s July meeting, and a “full assessment,” alongside new forecasts for growth and inflation, would take place in August. That suggests he favors an August move, while leaving the door open to an earlier decision.
According to The Telegraph, the BoE could cut rates much sooner than August. That’s because the financial markets have “priced in” a 78% chance that the BoE will cut rates next week. But there’s a problem. The BoE’s key rate is currently 0.50%. In other words, it doesn’t have much room to cut rates. To stimulate the economy, the BoE will likely have to launch quantitative easing (QE), which is just another term for “money printing.”

The BoE won’t fix Britain’s economy by cutting rates or printing money..…
According to MarketWatch, central banks have cut rates more than 650 times since Lehman Brothers collapsed in September 2008. They have also “printed” more than $12 trillion over the same period. And yet, the global economy is barely growing. The U.S., Europe, Japan, and China—the world’s four biggest economies—are all growing at their slowest rates in decades. There’s no reason to think these easy money policies will work this time. It’s much more likely that central bankers will destroy the currencies they’re supposed to defend. Doug Casey explains:
In a desperate attempt to stave off a day of financial reckoning during the 2008 financial crisis, global central banks began printing trillions of new currency units. The printing continues to this day. And it’s not just the Federal Reserve that’s doing it: it’s just the leader of the pack. The U.S., Japan, Europe, China…all major central banks are participating in the biggest increase in global monetary units in history. These reckless policies have produced not just billions, but trillions in malinvestment that will inevitably be liquidated. This will lead us to an economic disaster that will in many ways dwarf the Great Depression of 1929–1946. Paper currencies will fall apart, as they have many times throughout history.
If you do one thing to protect yourself from reckless governments, own gold. As we mentioned above, gold is real money—it’s the only currency that doesn’t depend on a government or central bank doing the right thing. For other ways to safeguard your wealth, watch this free presentation. We encourage you watch this video even if you don’t have a dime in the stock market. That’s because the coming crisis will hit you no matter where you keep your money. The good news is that you can protect your money if you make the right moves soon. You could even turn this threat into an opportunity to make a lot of money. Watch this short video to learn how.

REMINDER: Doug Casey will be in Las Vegas next week..…
Doug will be at FreedomFest 2016: Freedom Rising, an annual festival where free minds meet to talk, strategize, socialize, and celebrate liberty. Doug will be giving several speeches, and he’ll also receive an award for his new novel, Speculator. He’ll join a star-studded lineup of speakers that includes Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, Senator Rand Paul, and Agora founder Bill Bonner. FreedomFest takes place July 13–16 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. To learn more, visit www.freedomfest.com. Enter the code SALEM to get $100 off the ticket price.

Chart of the Day

Silver just set a new two year high. As you can see from today's chart, silver has soared 45% this year. On Monday, it topped $20 for the first time since August 2014. Longtime readers know that silver is gold’s more volatile cousin. Like gold, silver is real money. But unlike gold, it’s an industrial metal. It goes into everything from solar panels to batteries. Because of this, it's more volatile, and more sensitive to an economic slowdown than gold is.

So, if you’re nervous about the economy or financial system, the first thing you should do is own gold. We encourage most folks to hold 10% to 15% of their wealth in gold. Once you own enough gold, consider adding silver to your portfolio. It could see even bigger gains than gold in the years to come.




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Stock & ETF Trading Signals

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

This 5,000 Year Low Is Ruining Your Retirement

By Justin Spittler

The global banking system, and your financial future, are at serious risk right now. To understand why, just look at what's going on with the government's latest radical policy. Regular Dispatch readers know we're talking about rock bottom interest rates. According to MarketWatch, global interest rates are at the lowest level in 5,000 years. Credit is cheaper right now than at any point since the First Dynasty of ancient Egypt, around the 32nd century BC. Today, we'll explain what this means and how to protect yourself going forward..…

Interest rates didn’t get this low “naturally.” They’re at record lows because central bankers put them there..…
In 2008, the Federal Reserve dropped its key rate to near zero to fight the financial crisis. It’s kept rates there for eight years to encourage borrowing and spending. Other major central banks did the same thing. According to MarketWatch, there have been more than 650 rate cuts since September 2008. Rates in Canada and England are also near zero. In Europe and Japan, rates are below zero.

As we’ve explained before, negative interest rates basically tax your bank account. Instead of earning interest on the money in your bank account, you pay the bank. Not long ago, negative rates were unheard of. Today, more than $12 trillion worth of government bonds pay negative rates, up from $6 trillion in February. 

They’ve even seeped into the corporate debt market. According to Bloomberg Business, more than $300 billion worth of corporate bonds now “tax” bondholders. Central bankers told us low and negative rates would “stimulate” the economy. But, as you’re about to see, they’ve done far more harm than good.

Central bankers made it much harder to retire..…
That’s because rock bottom rates don’t just make it cheap to borrow money. They make it tough to earn a decent return. From 1962 to 2007, a U.S. 10 year Treasury paid an average annual interest rate of 7.0%. Today, a U.S. 10 year Treasury yields just 1.5%, an all time low. It’s the same story around the world. Last week, 10 year bonds in Ireland, England, Germany, France, and Japan all fell to record lows. In Japan, you actually have to pay the government 0.23% every year you own one of its 10 year bonds.

This is a serious problem for hundreds of millions of people. For decades, retirees could earn a safe, decent return owning these bonds. Some folks even lived off the interest they earned from these bonds. These days, you have to own riskier assets like stocks to have any shot at a decent return. Central bankers have effectively forced retirees to gamble with their life savings. Rock bottom rates are a serious threat to major financial institutions too.

According to U.S. banking giant Citigroup (C), low and negative rates are “poison” to the global financial system..…
They could make pension funds, insurance companies, and banks “no longer viable in the long term.” Business Insider reported last week:
As Citi notes: "Viability in its strong sense means profitability (a rate of return on equity at least equal to the cost of capital). In its weak sense, viability means solvency." Basically, Citi is warning that the negative rates may stop institutions being able to make money, which in turn would hit their ability to pay out on things like pensions and insurance policies.
This is a major risk even if you don’t have a pension or life insurance policy. That’s because pension and insurance companies oversee trillions of dollars. They’re pillars of the global financial system…and negative rates are destroying them.

Rock bottom rates could also put some of the world’s biggest banks out of business..…
You see, banks earn most of their money making loans. When rates are high, they make more on each loan. When rates are at record lows, like they are today, banks often lose money. Business Insider explains how today’s record-low rates are starving banks of income:
Citi points out that: "Banks in large part live off the differentials between lending and borrowing rates or between investment returns and funding rates." Persistently low interest rates could hit these differentials, lowering profitability and seriously harming banks in the long run.
Profits at America’s four biggest banks fell by an average of 13% during the first quarter…
This group includes Citigroup, Wells Fargo (WFC), Bank of America (BAC), and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM). European banks are doing even worse. Swiss bank UBS’s (UBS) profits plunged 64% during the first quarter. Profits at Deutsche Bank (DB), Germany’s biggest lender, fell 58%. Spanish banking giant BBVA’s (BBVA) earnings fell 54%. The CEO of Deutsche Bank warned last month:
In the banking world, we are currently struggling with negative interest rates.
We will struggle more as the effect of those negative interest rates plays out into our deposit books.
Dispatch readers know some of Europe’s most important financial institutions are looking for ways to get around negative rates..…
Commerzbank, one of Germany’s largest banks, said last month that it was thinking of pulling money out of Europe’s banking system to avoid paying negative rates. Other banks have started making riskier loans and buying riskier assets to offset rock-bottom rates. The Financial Times reported in March:
Gonzalo Gort├ízar, chief executive at Spain’s Caixabank, expressed concerns about a build up of risk in the banking system as a whole. “In a world of low or negative interest rates, that is a possible consequence; you could see banks taking more risk,” he said.
Longtime readers know excessive risk-taking by banks contributed to the 2008 financial crisis. As a result, the S&P 500 plunged 57% from 2007 to 2009. And the U.S. entered its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Bank stocks are already trading like a financial crisis has begun..…
Swiss bank Credit Suisse (CS) has plummeted 63% over the past year. Deutsche Bank is down 60%. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is down 59%. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MTU), Japan’s biggest bank, is down 39%. These are huge drops in short periods. Remember, these are some of the most important financial institutions on the planet.

We encourage you to take action now..…
Our first recommendation is to avoid bank stocks. Low and negative rates are eating these companies alive right now. And it could be years before governments abandon these failed policies. According to Fed Chair Janet Yellen, low interest rates are the “new normal.” We also encourage you to own physical gold. As we like to remind readers, gold is real money. It’s preserved wealth for centuries because it has a rare set of characteristics: It’s durable, easy to transport, and easily divisible. A gold coin is valuable anywhere in the world.

This year, gold has jumped 26%. It’s trading at its highest price in two years. But Casey Research founder Doug Casey says this rally is just getting started. According to Doug, gold could soar 500% or more in the coming years. If you’re nervous that central bankers will take this interest rate experiment too far, own gold. It’s the best way to protect yourself from desperate governments.

We also encourage you to watch this short presentation. It explains how these failed monetary policies could spark something much worse than a banking crisis. As you’ll see, this is a threat to you even if you don’t a have a single penny in the stock market. Click here to watch this free video.

Chart of the Day

Deutsche Bank is trading like a financial crisis has begun. Today’s chart shows the performance of the German banking giant. You can see its stock is down more than 50% over the past year. Last Thursday, it hit it a new record low. Like other European lenders, low rates are killing Deutsche Bank. Last year, the company lost $7.5 billion. It was its first annual loss since the 2008 financial crisis. And yet, its plunging stock suggests more bad results are on the way.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Deutsche Bank is the world’s riskiest financial institution. That’s a problem even if you don’t keep money with Deutsche Bank or own its shares. The Wall Street Journal reported last week:
The IMF also said the German banking system poses a higher degree of possible outward contagion compared with the risks it poses internally. “In particular, Germany, France, the U.K. and the U.S. have the highest degree of outward spillovers as measured by the average percentage of capital loss of other banking systems due to banking sector shock in the source country,” the IMF added.
In other words, problems at Deutsche Bank could spread to other banks around the world. It’s another reason why you should avoid bank stocks and own gold right now.




The article This 5,000-Year Low Is Ruining Your Retirement was originally published at caseyresearch.com.


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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Warning: This Could Be the Start of a Global Banking Crisis

By Justin Spittler

Europe’s banking system is collapsing. Over the past year, shares of Deutsche Bank (DB), Germany’s biggest bank, have plunged 56%. Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse (CS) is down 62% over the same period. Yesterday, both stocks hit record lows.

Dozens of other European bank stocks have also crashed. The Euro STOXX Banks, which tracks 48 of Europe’s largest banks, is down 48% over the past year. This is a major issue. That's because banks are the cornerstone of the financial system. They keep money flowing through the economy. If they’re struggling, it often means the economy is having major problems. Right now, European banks are flashing bright warning signs. That’s not just bad news for Europe—it’s also a serious threat to the rest of the world.

In today’s Dispatch, we’ll show you why Europe’s banking crisis could turn into a global banking crisis. You’ll also learn how to transform this threat into a chance to make big gains.

European banks are struggling to make money..…
Spanish banking giant BBVA’s (BBVA) profits fell 54% last quarter. First quarter profits at Deutsche Bank were down 58%. Swiss bank UBS’s (UBS) profits plunged 64%. European banks are hurting for a couple reasons. One, Europe is growing at the slowest pace in decades. Banks are making fewer loans as a result.

Two, negative interest rates are eating European banks alive. If you’ve been reading the Dispatch, you know negative rates are the latest radical government policy. They basically flip your bank account upside down. Instead of earning interest for keeping money in the bank, you pay the bank to hold your money.

Negative rates are clearly bad for savers. They’re also hurting Europe's biggest banks. That’s because these huge institutions have to pay their “bank,” the European Central Bank (ECB). Today, European banks pay £4 for every £1,000 they store at the ECB for a year. That might not sound like a lot. But it adds up quick when you manage trillions of euros like these banks do.

Last week, investors got another reason to avoid European banks..…
On Thursday, Great Britain voted to leave the European Union (EU), which it’s been in since 1973.
The “Brexit,” as the media is calling it, blindsided investors. As we explained yesterday, the market was expecting Great Britain to stay in EU. The unexpected outcome triggered a global stock market crash.

U.S. stocks had their worst day since August. Japanese stocks had their worst day in five years. European stocks had their biggest decline since the 2008 financial crisis. Friday’s global selloff erased $2.1 trillion in value from global stocks. It was the global stock market’s worst day in history. The panic didn’t die down much over the weekend. By the end of Monday, another $930 billion had disappeared from the global stock market.

European bank stocks were hit the hardest..…
Deutsche Bank plunged 22% between Friday and Monday. Credit Suisse fell 23%. UBS fell 20%. Barclays (BCS) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) each plunged 37%. Both stocks are down more than 57% over the past year. These are gigantic moves in a matter of days. Remember, we’re not talking about small biotech stocks. These are some of the most important financial institutions on the planet.

Government officials are scrambling to contain the crisis..…
Today, the Bank of England (BoE) injected £3.1 billion into Britain’s banking system. It’s pledged to inject as much as £250 billion to stabilize its financial system. The BoE made its cash injection hours after the Bank of Japan (BOJ) pumped $1.5 billion into its banking system. As we'll show you in a second, we don't believe this will end well. That's because this excessive money printing (sometimes called "quantitative easing") doesn't stimulate the economy like governments intend it to.

Credit Suisse says other central banks could soon print more money too. Bloomberg Business reported on Friday:
“Market liquidity and overall liquidity in the U.K. is drying up as we speak in a very rapid way,” said John Woods, chief investment officer for Asia-Pacific at Credit Suisse Private Banking, told Bloomberg TV in Hong Kong. “It’s highly likely that we see monetary easing in a coordinated response” from central banks across the world, he said.
Great Britain is headed for a recession..…
A recession is when an economy shrinks two quarters in a row. Goldman Sachs (GS) says Britain could be in a recession by early 2017. But here’s the thing. We don’t think the BoE will let this happen. That’s because central bankers will do anything, including using reckless, unproven monetary policies, to avoid a recession these days.

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s agrees with us. Reuters reported today:
"Brexit is likely to represent a drag of about 1.2 percent of GDP for the UK in 2017," Jean-Michel Six, S&P's chief economist for Europe, the Middle East and Africa told a conference call for investors on Tuesday. "We have a significant slowdown but growth remains positive although obviously in a much more disappointing way. That is because we anticipate a very strong monetary response on the part of the Bank of England, in the form of additional quantitative easing, in the form of a further cut in interest rates," he added.
Bank of America (BAC) and Deutsche Bank also expect the BoE to fire up the printing press again. Bank of America says it could happen as soon as August.

QE won’t help Great Britain’s economy..…
As we told you above, QE doesn’t work. As regular readers know, the Federal Reserve pumped $3.5 trillion into the U.S financial system after the 2008 financial crisis. This massive money printing effort was supposed to juice the economy. But the U.S. is growing at its slowest pace since World War II. QE also failed to jumpstart Japan’s economy, which hasn’t grown in two decades. There’s no reason to think it will work this time.

If you’re nervous about the global financial system, we encourage you to take action today.…
The first thing you should do is own physical gold. Gold is real money. It’s held its value for thousands of years because it has a unique set of attributes: It’s easy to transport, easily divisible, and durable. You can take a gold coin anywhere in the world and folks will immediately recognize its value.

Unlike paper money, central bankers cannot create gold from nothing. It’s the ultimate antidote to crumbling paper currencies. That’s why the price of gold often soars when governments print money. This year, gold is up 24%. It’s trading at the highest price in two years. But it could go much higher as governments continue to run reckless monetary experiments.

If you want big profits from rising gold prices, own gold stocks..…
Dispatch readers know gold miners are leveraged to the price of gold. A small jump in the price of gold can cause gold stocks to surge. Gold’s 24% jump this year has caused GDX, a fund that tracks large gold stocks, to soar 96%. We believe this gold stock rally is just getting started. During the 2000 and 2003 gold bull market, the average gold stock gained 602%. The best ones soared 1,000% or more.

Nick Giambruno, editor of Crisis Investing, has recommended two gold stocks this year..…
He already closed out one of them for a quick double. It surged 103% in 14 months. Nick’s other gold stock is up 30% since March and is still dirt cheap at today's levels. Nick currently rates this stock a "Buy"…and says it could soon start paying a double digit dividend yield if gold keeps rising.

You can learn more about Nick’s gold stock by taking advantage of our special 60%-off sale for Crisis Investing. If you sign up today, you’ll be enrolled in a trial membership, which gives you 90 days risk-free to decide if the service is for you. But we encourage you to act soon. This special offer ends soon, and we likely won’t open this offer again for a long time.

You can learn more about this incredible offer by watching this video presentation. You’ll also learn about an even bigger threat to your wealth than Europe’s banking crisis. As you’ll see, almost no one is talking about this coming crisis. Yet, it could cause millions of Americans to lose their entire life savings. By the end of this video, you’ll know how to protect yourself. And just as importantly, you’ll know how to profit from this coming crisis. Click here to watch this free video.

Chart of the Day

U.S. bank stocks are also headed lower. Today’s chart shows the performance of the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) over the past year. XLF holds 94 major U.S. financial companies including behemoths JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC), and Bank of America (BAC). You can see XLF is down 11% since last June. While that's not as severe as the near 50% drop in European banks over the same period, it's still a clear sign to stay away.

U.S. banks have many of the same problems as European banks. Like Europe, the U.S. economy is growing at the slowest pace in decades. And while the U.S. economy doesn’t have negative rates yet, Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said they aren’t “off the table” if the U.S. economy runs into trouble. The arrival of negative rates to the U.S. could tip bank stocks into a crisis, just like they have in Europe.




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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Mike Seery's Weekly Futures Recap - Crude Oil, Gold and U.S. Dollar

It's been a crazy end to the week with the results from the Brexit vote in and that means it is time for a heads up from our trading partner Michael Seery. We've asked him to give our readers a recap of the this weeks futures markets and give us some insight on where he sees these markets headed. Mike has been a senior analyst for close to 15 years and has extensive knowledge of all of the commodity and option markets. 

Crude oil futures
in the August contract settled last Friday in New York at 48.56 a barrel while currently trading at 47.71 down about $1 for the trading week while selling off $2.50 this Friday afternoon. The U.S dollar is up over 200 points putting pressure on oil and the commodity sector as a whole. Crude oil prices are trading below their 20 day but still above their 100 day moving average telling you that the short term trend is mixed as I’m currently sitting on the sidelines looking for a possible short entry in next week’s trade. Crude prices are retesting last week’s low as a possible top has been created as the Brexit situation is spooking many different markets including stock markets around the world as demand could start to wane over the next several months. The commodity markets do not like uncertainty and no one really knows how this Brexit situation will develop, but I always look at risk/reward scenarios as I do think prices may have topped out in the short term so be patient and wait for the entry criteria to come about. If a short position is initiated the risk is around $1,700 which is too much in my opinion so are going to have to be patient and wait for the chart structure to improve so keep a close eye on this market.
Trend: Mixed
Chart Structure: Improving

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Gold futures in the August contract settled last Friday in New York at 1,295 an ounce while currently trading at 1,319 up about $25 for the trading week while skyrocketing this afternoon by $55 all due to the Brexit situation which is pouring money back into the precious metals. At present, I'm sitting on the sidelines in the gold market as the chart structure never met my criteria to enter into a bullish position. However, I am recommending a bullish position in the silver market which is also up about $.50 today as I do think the precious metals are headed higher. Gold prices are trading above their 20 and 100 day moving average telling you that short term trend is higher. The commodity markets, in general, are very weak as all of the interest is back into the precious metals which is used as a flight to quality despite the fact that the U.S dollar was up over 200 points this afternoon. Gold prices are trading at a 2 year high as I do think this trend will continue as stock markets around the world are sharply lower as interest in gold certainly has come back like it was in 2011 when prices traded as high as $1,900 an ounce. Negative interest rates around the world continue to support the gold market and that situation is not going to change as the United States Federal Reserve certainly will not be raising rates in 2016 in my opinion.
Trend: Higher
Chart Structure: Poor

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The U.S dollar is sharply higher this Friday afternoon trading at 95.53 up 200 points reacting sharply to the Brexit situation as the UK has exited the EU sending the dollar up 300 points over the last 2 trading sessions. At present, I’m sitting on the sidelines in this market as the chart structure is terrible as I’m advising clients to avoid this market currently as volatility is extremely high, but in my opinion, it certainly does look like the U.S dollar has bottomed in the short term. The dollar is affecting many commodities to the downside as nobody wants to hold money in Europe at this point as a flight to quality is taking place. I think that’s going to stay for several more weeks until the dust settles so look at other markets that are beginning to trend with better chart structure as the 10 day low is $3,000 away which does not meet my criteria to enter into a new bullish position. The U.S dollar is trading above its 20 and 100 day moving average telling you that the short term trend is higher so do not sell this market as that would be counter trend trading which is very dangerous over the course of time in my opinion.
Trend: Higher
Chart Structure: Poor

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

This $1 Trillion Market Is Cracking…Here’s How to Profit From Its Collapse

By Justin Spittler

Americans are falling behind on their credit card debt. As you’re about to see, credit card “defaults” are rising for the first time in six years. This is a serious problem for credit card companies. It’s also a big problem for retailers, car makers, and any other company that depends on consumer credit.

If this keeps up, shares of America’s biggest consumer companies could plunge. You could even lose a lot of money without having a single penny invested in this sector. That’s because consumer spending makes up about 70% of the economy. When the “consumer” hurts, the entire economy feels it. So, if you have any money at all in stocks, please read this Dispatch closely.

Credit card company Synchrony Financial (SYF) issued a serious warning last week..…
Synchrony issues more retail store credit cards than any other company. Its performance can say a lot about the credit card and retail industries. Right now, Synchrony’s customers are struggling to pay their bills. The Wall Street Journal reported last week:
“We expected to see some softening,” Brian Doubles, Synchrony’s chief financial officer, said at an investor conference Tuesday. “We weren’t sure when it was going to come and I think we’re starting to see some of that.” Mr. Doubles added that the ability of card holders to get back on track with payments after falling behind has been “challenged all year.”
The company said it could see a jump in “credit charge-offs”..…
This is basically the default rate for the credit card industry. The company warned that its charge off rate could spike from about 4.4% to as high as 4.8%. For perspective, the industry charge off rate was 3.1% during the first quarter. During the first quarter of 2015, it was 3%. This was the first time since 2010 that the industry charge off rate has increased from the previous year. Many investors are now worried other credit card companies could take big losses in the coming months. Synchrony’s stock plunged 14% after it issued the warning.

Shares of other major credit card companies also tanked on the news..…
Capital One Financial (COF) closed Tuesday down 6.6%. Ally Financial (ALLY) sunk 5.6%. These giant credit card companies are now trading as if there could be much bigger losses on the way. Synchrony’s stock has plunged 22% over the past year. Capital One is down 28%. Ally Financial is down 30%.

Other major credit card companies have also plummeted. American Express (AXP), the nation’s largest credit card company, has fallen 23% over the past year. Discover Financial Services (DFS) is down 10%.
For comparison, the S&P 500 is down 2% since last June.

As of the first quarter, Americans had more than $950 billion in credit card debt..…
That’s 6% higher than the first quarter of 2015. And it’s the highest level since 2009.
Folks have been racking up bigger debt despite falling behind on their payments. The Wall Street Journal reports:
Capital One, the nation’s fourth largest credit card issuer, said credit card sales jumped 14% in the first quarter from a year earlier. At Citigroup Inc., average credit card balances in the first quarter posted the first year over year increase since 2008. Such balances also grew at Discover Financial Services Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., the nation’s largest lender.
U.S. credit card balances are on pace to hit $1 trillion by the end of the year. They could even top the all-time high of $1.02 trillion set in July 2008.

The Federal Reserve made it cheap for folks to borrow money..…
As you probably know, the Fed has held its key interest rate near zero since 2008. The Fed dropped rates to the floor to encourage folks to borrow and spend money. In 2007, the average credit card holder paid 13.3% per year in interest. Today, the average annual interest rate is 12.3%. Credit card companies and banks have also loosened their lending standards. The Wall Street Journal reports:
Because many creditworthy consumers are still cautious about spending, lenders are turning more aggressively to subprime borrowers. Lenders issued some 10.6 million general purpose credit cards to subprime borrowers last year, up 25% from 2014 and the highest level since 2007, according to Equifax.
A “subprime” loan is a loan made to someone with poor credit. You may remember that the collapse of the subprime mortgage market sparked the 2008 financial crisis and worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

The Fed also made it cheaper to buy a car..….  
Last quarter, the amount of U.S. auto loans topped $1 trillion for the first time in history. This is a sign of a very unhealthy economy. That’s because many folks buying cars these days could never afford them in “normal” times.

The Wall Street Journal explains:
Lenders gave out $109.4 billion in subprime auto loans last year, up 11% from 2014 and nearly three times the low of $38.3 billion in 2009, according to credit reporting firm Equifax. Subprime auto loans account for a growing share of new auto loans, making up nearly 19% of auto loan balances given out last year, up from 13% in 2009.
It’s only going to become more difficult for folks to pay their credit card bills and car loans…
That’s because the economy is barely growing. As regular readers know, it’s growing at the slowest pace since World War II. And it’s only getting worse.  

Companies are hiring at the slowest pace in six years. Corporate earnings are drying up. And major retailers are warning of big sales declines for this year.

Meanwhile, debt is growing at the fastest pace in years. This can’t go on forever. As the economy weakens, more Americans will fall behind on their debts. Credit card companies, banks, and other lenders will see huge losses. Many retailers will also see sales plummet.

E.B. Tucker, editor of The Casey Report, just shorted a company that depends heavily on cheap credit..…
Shorting is betting that a stock will fall. If it does, you make money. Nearly 62% of this company’s customers pay with credit. A “spend now, pay later” business like this can work when the economy is growing. It doesn’t work well when the economy is shrinking. Folks buy less stuff once they realize they can’t really afford it. Some customers don’t pay back their loans.

E.B. says this is already happening at this company. He wrote in this month’s issue of The Casey Report:
From 2014 to fiscal 2016, the company’s annual bad debt expenses rose from $138 million to $190 million. That’s a 30% increase. Over the same period, credit sales grew by only 20%. That means bad debt expenses rose 50% faster than credit sales.
If this continues, the company could end up with huge piles of unsold inventory. To pay the bills, it may have to sell merchandise at deep discounts, even if it means losing money on every sale. In less than two weeks, this short has made Casey Report readers 5%. But that could just be the start. According to E.B, there’s “more pain to come as credit financing dries up…sales continue to drop…and more loans go unpaid.”

You can learn more about this trade by signing up for The Casey Report. If you sign up today, you’ll get 50% off the regular price. You can learn how by watching this short presentationYou will also learn why today’s “credit crunch” is the No. 1 early warning of the next big financial crisis. More importantly, you’ll learn how to turn the coming crisis into a moneymaking opportunity.

Click here to watch this free video.

Chart of the Day

Airline stocks are breaking down. Airline stocks have been one of the hottest investments since the end of the 2008 financial crisis. The Dow Jones U.S. Airlines Index, which tracks major airline stocks, surged an incredible 861% from March 2009 through December 2014. It’s since fallen 26%. You can see in today’s chart that airline stocks are in a sharp downtrend. And if the economy gets as bad as we think it will, the sector could plunge.

In the February issue of The Casey Report, E.B. Tucker wrote that the good times were ending for the airline industry. He put his money behind this call by shorting one of America’s most vulnerable airlines. This short has returned 20% in four months. And that’s just one of six holdings in E.B.’s portfolio that’s up 20% or more right now. To learn more about E.B.’s investing approach, watch this short video.



Regards,
Justin Spittler


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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

If You’re Thinking About Investing in Oil Stocks...Read This First

By Justin Spittler

Is it safe to buy oil stocks yet? If you’ve been reading the Dispatch, you know the price of oil has plunged more than 70% since June 2014. Thanks to a massive surge in production, oil hit its lowest price since 2003 earlier this year. New extraction methods like fracking made the production surge possible. Last year, global oil production hit an all time high. Since then, companies have been pumping far more oil than the world consumes.

America’s largest oil companies lost $67 billion last year..…
Falling profits caused oil stocks to plunge. The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP), a fund that tracks major U.S. oil producers, has dropped 72% over the past two years. The VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF (OIH), which tracks major oil services companies, has fallen 57% since 2014. Oil services companies sell “picks and shovels” to oil producers. However, oil stocks have showed signs of bottoming out in the past few months. XOP is up 57% since January, while OIH is up 45% in the same period.

Oil companies have cut spending to the bone..…
They’ve abandoned ambitious projects. They’ve cut back on buying new machinery and equipment. Some have even stopped paying dividendsFor many companies, spending less wasn’t enough. Global oil companies have laid off more than 250,000 workers since 2014. Companies have also sold parts of their business to raise cash.

In March, Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) announced plans to sell $30 billion worth of assets. Shell is the third biggest oil company on the planet. According to Oilprice, Shell’s huge sale could include oil pipelines in the United States. In April, Marathon Oil (MRO), one of the largest U.S. shale oil producers, said it plans to sell about $1 billion worth of assets. Both companies have no choice but to get leaner. Shell’s profits plummeted 80% last year. Marathon lost $2.2 billion in 2015. It was the biggest annual loss in the company’s history.

Many companies have sold oil assets in North Dakota..…
As you may know, North Dakota was ground zero of America’s shale oil boom. From 2009 to 2014, the state’s oil production surged 554%. It became the country’s second biggest oil producing state after Texas.
North Dakota’s booming oil economy attracted more than 80,000 workers. It became the fastest-growing state in the country. Then, oil prices plunged.

North Dakota’s oil production has fallen 10% over the last 18 months..…
And it’s likely to keep falling. According to The Wall Street Journal, more than 2,000 oil wells in North Dakota haven’t pumped a drop of oil in over a year. That’s the highest number of idle wells in over a decade. Many oil companies in North Dakota are burning through cash right now. They’re under distress, and they’re selling assets at deep discounts to pay the bills.

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that this has attracted opportunistic investors:
The vultures are descending on North Dakota…
Hundreds of wells have changed hands or are in the process of being sold, state figures show, to a grab bag of fortune seekers ranging from industry experts to first-time wildcatters. They are picking up properties as more established producers scale back or shed assets to pay creditors.
According to The Wall Street Journal, some of these opportunistic investors are Wall Street veterans:
Houston-based Lime Rock Resources, founded by a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker and an oil-industry veteran, bought more than 340 North Dakota wells from Occidental Petroleum Corp. in November. The firm says it has at least $1.6 billion in private-equity money to invest, a portion of which it has spent on the Bakken. In another pairing of Wall Street and oil-patch veterans, NP Resources LLC bought 53 wells from Whiting Petroleum Corp. in December and is looking for more Bakken acreage.
This is a prime example of "crisis investing." Regular readers are familiar with this strategy. As you’ve probably heard us say, crisis investing is one of the world’s most powerful wealth building secrets. In short, crisis investing involves going against the crowd to buy beaten down assets that have been left for dead. You can often use this strategy to buy a dollar’s worth of assets for pennies. The good news is that you don’t need to step foot in North Dakota to crisis invest in the oil market. Anyone with a brokerage account can turn the oil crash into a money making opportunity.

As we said earlier, many oil stocks are showing signs of bottoming..…
Lots of big oil companies, like Devon Energy Corporation (DVN) and Continental Resources, Inc (CLR), are up 50% or more off their lows. That’s because oil prices have jumped 89% since January. Last week, oil prices closed above $50 for the first time since July. These big swings are typical for oil. Like most commodities, oil is cyclical, meaning it goes through big booms and busts.

It’s impossible to know for sure if oil prices have bottomed. Time will tell if oil’s recent jump is the start of new bull market. But we do know that many oil stocks are trading at their best prices in years. And because the world still runs on oil, it’s smart to go “bargain hunting” for great oil stocks today.

If you're buying oil stocks, stick to the elite companies..…
We look for a companies that can 1) make money at low oil prices. We also like companies with 2) healthy margins 3) plenty of cash and 4) little debt. In March, Nick Giambruno, editor of Crisis Investing, recommended an oil company that checks all of these boxes. It has a rock solid balance sheet…some of the industry’s highest profit margins…and “trophy assets” in America’s richest oil fields. Most importantly, it can make money at as low as $35 oil.

Like the “vultures” that descended on North Dakota, Nick used the oil meltdown as an opportunity to buy this world class oil company at a huge discount. He bought the stock just weeks after it hit a three year low. Since then, the stock has gained 10%. But Nick says it could go much higher. After all, it’s still down 30% since June 2014. You can access the name of this stock with a subscription to Crisis Investing, which you can learn more about right here.

By clicking this link, you’ll also hear about the biggest crisis on Nick’s radar. Every American needs to prepare for this coming crisis. By the end of this video, you’ll know how to protect yourself AND make money in its aftermath. Click here to watch this free video.

Chart of the Day

The oil surplus is shrinking..…
Today’s chart shows the price of oil going back to the start of 2014. As we said earlier, the price of oil has nearly doubled since January. But you can see that it’s still about half of what it was two years ago.
Oil prices are still low for a couple reasons. One, the global economy is slowing. As Dispatch readers know, the U.S., Europe, Japan, and China are all growing at their slowest rates in decades.

Secondly, the world still has too much oil. According to the Financial Times, oil companies are producing 800,000 more barrels of oil a day than the world consumes. In February, the global surplus stood at about 1.5 million barrels a day. The surplus has come down because oil companies are pumping less oil. But that’s not the only reason the global oil surplus has shrunk. On Monday, Bloomberg Business said the industry has also been hit by major “disruptions”:
Outages also have taken their toll on supply, with global disruptions reaching an average 3.6 million barrels a day last month, the most since the Energy Information Administration began tracking them in 2011. Fires that began early May in Alberta took out an average 800,000 barrels of Canadian supply last month, while Nigerian crude output dropped to the lowest in 27 years as militants increased attacks on pipelines in the Niger River delta.



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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Precious Metals Take Center Stage....Let's Follow the Yellow Brick Road

By Jeff Thomas

For over a hundred years, it’s been theorised that author L. Frank Baum wrote his 1900 book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, as a fanciful way to explain the economic situation at the time and that the Yellow Brick Road was a reference to the path created by gold ownership. Whether or not the theory is correct, for many people today, “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” might serve as a mantra for alleviating economic woes.

What will happen is that one day, gold will suddenly be up $100 per ounce, then the next day, $200 per ounce. At first the pundits will be claiming that it’s an anomaly, but as it continues rising, a point will be reached when the average person says to himself, “This seems to be a trend. I’d better buy some gold.” 

Unfortunately, once the trend is underway, the price that day will have no bearing on whether gold is available. Your local coin shop may be sold out. If you go online, the mints may say that demand is exceeding supply. Large entities will be buying all they can get and the smaller buyers will be way down on the order list, unlikely to take delivery of even a single ounce.


These Are the Good Old Days

Gold has experienced a four year bear market and only recently has begun to rise again. But is it in reality a barbarous relic? Not by a long shot. For over 5,000 years, whenever people have experienced erratic economic periods, they’ve bought gold in order to stabilise their economic position. This has particularly been true whenever fiat currencies have been on the rise and were in danger of hyper-inflating, as in recent years. Most currencies are in decline against the U.S. dollar—a currency which, itself, is very much in danger of collapse in the not-too-distant future.

In the ’70s, I was buying gold in London, as it rose from $35. It reached a high of $850 in January, 1980, then crashed. When gold dropped below $400, I began buying Krugerrands. Sounds like a bargain, and yet, word on the street was that gold was headed further south. But I was buying long. I was not playing the market; I was building my economic insurance policy. I wasn’t too fussed over price fluctuations, as my gold holdings were meant to cover me if my other investments proved to be a mistake.

At present, gold is well above the high of 1989, but, if we adjust for inflation, we see that gold is actually a bargain at present. This excellent Casey Research chart from 2014 explains it better than mere words:



This tells us that $8,800 would not be an unreasonable level for gold today, if conditions were as dire as they were in 1980. However, conditions are far more dire—debt levels are far beyond any historical levels and markets are in a bubble, just waiting for the arrival of a pin.

A decade ago, when gold topped $700, I predicted $1,500 at some point and even my closest colleagues wondered what I’d been smoking. But it turned out that my prediction was, if anything, conservative. Over the last four years, some of the world’s most informed prognosticators—Eric Sprott, Peter Schiff, Jim Rickards, and Jim Sinclair—have all predicted gold to rise to between $5,000 and $7,000, and some have suggested numbers as high as $50,000. But this hasn’t happened. Are they wrong? No, it just hasn’t happened as of yet.

Conversely, Harry Dent has predicted a drop to $750. So, who’s right? Well, actually, they may all be right. After a crash in the markets, deflation is a certainty, as brokers and investors dump investments of every type in order to cover margin losses. This panic sell off will most assuredly include gold, even though the holders will not wish to sell their gold. This panic promises to create an immediate and possibly very dramatic downward spike in gold.

However, large numbers of long term investors already have their orders in for any price below $1,000. If the spike drops below that number, it will therefore be brief, as every ounce that hits the market at $999 is scooped up. In addition, the Federal Reserve will make good on its decades-long promise to roll the printing presses to counter any sudden deflation. That very act will light the fuse on the gold rocket and send it skyward.

Will the Sun Rise in the Morning or Set in the Evening?

The argument over whether gold will drop to $750 or rise to $5,000 is a pointless one. Any understanding of basic economics assures us that we shall see both sudden deflation and dramatic inflation. It’s as natural and inevitable as sunrise and sunset. (By the way, several of the above individuals have standing bets with each other as to the $750 number. The prize? An ounce of gold.)

But it matters little who will win the bets. What matters is the overview. Rickety economic times are now upon us and they will soon morph into crisis times. In such times, precious metals always return to centre stage, as paper currencies and electronic currencies return to their intrinsic worth of zero. Gold does not so much rise against fiat currencies, as fiat currencies collapse against gold.

Most assuredly, we shall see a dramatic rise in gold, but, just as in the ‘70s, the average person will fail to understand why and will simply chase the upward trend. When gold hits $2,000, but no one is willing to sell for under, say, $2,500, those who are chasing the trend will pay the $2,500 and that will become the new price across the board. Then it will leap higher—again and again, as monetary panic grips the investment world. The inflation-adjusted 1980 price of $8,800 should not be a surprise at all—in fact it would be low, as, in the coming years, conditions will be far more dire than in 1980. Gold may well blow through $10,000. Even the $50,000 figure is not impossible, as we shall be seeing a runaway bull market where those chasing the trend carry gold beyond any rational value.

But gold has an intrinsic value. 2,000 years ago, an ounce of gold could buy you a good suit of clothes. That’s still true today. A gold mania will fuel the gold price beyond anything logical, but a correction will be equally inevitable, dropping it to its intrinsic value. We shall see a gold rise for the record books. The wise investor should already have stocked up his supply of physical gold and gotten rid of gold ETFs. He should already have his seat belt fastened and ready for take off. We’re off to see the wizard.

Editor’s Note: Owning gold is the first step to protecting your wealth from stock market crashes, currency collapses or destructive government policies. But there are many other steps you can take to protect yourself during an economic collapse. We put together a free video to show you exactly how. 

Click here to watch this video now.


The article Follow the Yellow Brick Road was originally published at caseyresearch.com.


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