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Gold, silver boosted by physical demand,
report about Federal Reserve
NEW YORK (Commodity Online): Comex gold was higher as the pit session ended. "Gold has found support between $1,670 and $1,675, this level having been tested many times today," said Triland Metals in a research note.
"Asian physical demand had helped underpin the market." Further, support came from a Wall Street Journal report saying that the Federal Reserve was considering "sterilized" bond purchases, which induced short covering in gold, Triland added.
Why Buffett and Gartman are Wrong About Gold
By Eric Fry - DailyReckoning.com
Warren Buffett doesn’t like gold. Neither does Dennis Gartman. That settles it for us; gold must be a table-pounding buy.
In this year’s annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, Warren Buffett scorned gold as an asset that is "forever unproductive."
"[Gold] will never produce anything," he wrote. "Gold has two significant shortcomings, being neither of much use nor procreative."
Buffett’s statement is literally correct, but it has two significant shortcomings, being neither of much use nor insightful. No one holds gold hoping it will produce something. They hold gold because no one can produce it. Precisely for this reason, mankind has considered gold the ultimate money for several thousand years…and it has performed this role with meritorious distinction.
Bernanke Spooks Gold
BY JOHN BROWNE - FinancialSense.com
This past week, gold and silver experienced one of their steeper drops in recent months. After gold had touched a four month high, and silver came close to a six month high, prices abruptly reversed course. By the end of the week gold had sold off more than 5 percent, and silver was down almost 10 percent (down 6.5 percent on Leap Day alone). Often, such sudden price falls create downward momentum. And it looks as if that may be the case this week. Thus far this week silver has dipped 3 percent.
Based on these sharp movements it would have been logical to assume that some great piece of economic news had been issued that kindled hopes of a strong and sustainable economic recovery either in the U.S. or in Europe. In such case, investors would be expected to pull money out of "defensive" metals and into "aggressive" stocks. But the news on that front was far from reassuring. Alternatively, a selloff in metals would normally be expected if central bankers were to move to tighten monetary policy. That did not happen either.
Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts
JESSE'S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN
I am concerned about the Greek situation, and a little guarded about the non-Farm Payrolls report on Friday.
On the bullish side, the Fed is going to start up QE again as soon as they get the proper excuse. Their rationale is going to include the notion that by printing new money to buy debt from the banks, they will not contribute to inflation because they will lock up the money on their balance sheet.
Chris Waltzek interviews GERALD CELENTE
on his early forecast for 2012
GoldSeek Radio's Chris Waltzek talks to Gerald Celente about how 2012 is looking, and hears details regarding Mr Celente's recent personal experience with MF Global and his futures accounts.
Bill Black: US Promotes Flawed Economic Dogma
that Encourages Fraud and Needlessly Perpetuates
a Pattern of Recurring and Intensifying Financial Crises
Bonnie Faulkner interviews Bill Black - capitalismWithoutFailure.com
On banks' traditional role as middleman: Some banks do very useful things for the world. According to economic theory, banks act as a middleman. Banks take savings, accumulate money, make loans to companies to invest productively... Middlemen serve a very useful purpose, but should not be very big and should not make a lot of money... based on the efficiency principal.
By Eric Sprott - DailyReckoning.com
2012 is proving to be the 'Year of the Central Bank'. It is an exciting celebration of all the wonderful maneuvers central banks can employ to keep the system from falling apart. Western central banks have gone into complete overdrive since last November, convening, colluding and printing their way out of the mess that is the Eurozone. The scale and frequency of their maneuvering seems to increase with every passing week, and speaks to the desperate fragility that continues to define much of the financial system today.
Tensions Are Mounting
as the Greek Debacle Heads to a New Turning Point
by Tom Cleveland - 247wallst.com
When will market uncertainty be a thing of the past? Investors keep asking this simple question, almost rhetorically, but no easy answer has been forthcoming as tension continues to mount in our financial markets. The European debt crisis is in its third year of evolution with a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, but keep your matches at the ready. Previous "flickers" of hope have been extinguished by the slightest of contrary breezes, and government officials profess that the current issues will require years to reach a favorable resolution.
Plunge protection team hedging on Greece
Commits to more free money ahead of key debt swap
By David Callaway, MarketWatch
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- At some point, the world’s major central banks are going to turn off the three-year spigot of free money supporting much of the world’s economic and market gains these days.
Just not right before a key Greek debt swap on Thursday that could ignite the European crisis all over again.
The Federal Reserve’s signal on Wednesday that it is considering buying more bonds to keep interest rates low was welcomed by global markets stinging from the worst day of the year in their previous sessions. The Wall Street Journal’s Jon Hilsenrath broke the story during the morning trading session in New York, turning a wait-and-see day in the markets into a nice rally for stocks, bonds, and everything except the U.S. dollar.
Spain Is the New Greece
By Arnold Ahlert - PatriotPost.us
The socialist-inspired traveling circus more commonly known as the EU debt crisis is moving from Greece to Spain. Last Friday, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced that a deepening recession in that country would make it impossible to meet the EU-mandated deficit reduction target of 4.4 percent of GDP for FY2012. He proposed a target of 5.8 percent instead. The latest "readjustment" is similar to the one that occurred in 2011, when Spain's target of 6 percent gave way to the reality of 8.5 percent. Ironically, Rajoy made his announcement on the same day 25 European leaders signed a fiscal pact -- aimed at strengthening budgetary discipline among its member nations.
Battlefield USA 2012 Gerald Celente
on year's top trends listen up this is coming soon
I've tried to warn those i work with that what Gerald CELENTE is discussing here is going to happen by the end of this year or shortly there after and it is going to have nothing to do with the myan calender. turn off your tv and turn on your common sense when you start seeing tv ads for relocation camps for those who are displaced due to the economy or are home less wake up and sound the alarm the more frequent the ads the closer they are to getting ready to cause an event to happen tat will make you flock to them for your safety .they are treating you like sheeple being lead to the slaughter .wake up spread this video .don't buy into the deception .the closer to this fall we get the greater the chance of a false flag attack or bio weapon being used to implicate iran or syria or some other middle east country when in reality it's the new world order wake up everyone be vigilant take no for an answer.!!!!
Triple trouble in Europe, US and China brings out the bears
The blistering asset rally of 2012 has run ahead of economic realities in Europe, America and China. It is exhibiting symptoms of a schizophrenic market, with technical indicators flashing signs of exhaustion.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Telegraph.co.uk
Graham Secker from Morgan Stanley said it is rare for global stocks, oil prices and government bonds to rise in lockstep, and such exuberance becomes a "very reliable sell signal for stocks" once speculators join the party.
Equity long positions on NASDAQ have reached 1.5 standard deviations and long bets on oil are at an extreme of 1.9, according to data from the Commodity Futures Exchange Commission. This is occurring at a time when yields on 10-year US Treasuries are still at 1.96pc, signalling depression, deflation, or both.
Is China raising a red flag?
Middle kingdom plants seed of slowing global growth
By Todd Harrison
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Throughout the latest stages of the European crisis, while everyone obsessed about whether the force-fed policy measures would pass the collective muster, we asked the question in Minyanville: What if it does?
The uniformity of opinions that the EU, ECB, IMF, LTRO, EFSF, ESM, EIB and other alphabet soup solutions would somehow solve a debt crisis that took decades to build — and in some cases, was a cumulative by-product of disparate cultures — is worthy of a nose scrunch. What if it in fact works? The resulting outcome would be strictly enforced austerity measures and higher taxation, neither of which is pro-growth.
Tough climate, dilemmas for China’s small business
By Zhang Huanyu - MarketWatch.com
BEIJING ( Caixin Online ) — A Dalian clothing manufacturer is confronting one of the many hard dilemmas weighing down small and family business owners in China.
Because foreign demand for the company’s goods has softened, the owner plans to modify production and gear his business toward the domestic market. But he’s worried about the risks, in part because he says government tax policies favor clothing exporters over domestic-market manufacturers.
Fed weighing new form of bond buying
By Greg Robb, MarketWatch
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Federal Reserve officials are considering a new type of quantitative easing that will attempt to boost the economy without accelerating inflation, according to a report published Wednesday.
Analysts said the new approach would allow the Fed to move despite high oil prices.
Under the new approach, the Fed would print new money to buy long-term mortgage or Treasury bonds but effectively tie up that money by borrowing it back for short periods at low rates, according to a story in The Wall Street Journal.
Wells Fargo to charge $7 fee on more checking accounts
By Blake Ellis @CNNMoney
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Wells Fargo will start charging $7 a month for checking accounts in six more states, expanding on its efforts to do away with free checking accounts altogether.
While Wells Fargo stopped offering free checking accounts to new customers in 2010, existing customers were able to hold onto their free accounts. But then last year, the bank transitioned a group of existing customers -- mainly in Western states -- to the same $7-a-month accounts that it provides new customers. And now existing customers in six more states are about to be hit with the fee.
By John Stossel - PatriotPost.us
Now that Mitt Romney is likely to be the Republican nominee, we can expect new attacks on his "vulture capitalism." That's how Rick Perry characterized his private equity work. Newt Gingrich's supporters ran an ad about Romney's firm, Bain Capital, that said, "Their greed was only matched by their willingness to do anything to make millions in profits."
Give me a break.
"Greed" means you want more for yourself. Fine. If you obtain it legally, without force or privilege -- say, by buying a business and making it more efficient, or shifting resources to where consumers prefer them -- that is a good thing. "Creative destruction" makes America richer.
Happy Birthday, Alan Greenspan:
The Housing Bubble Wasn't Your Fault
The legendary Fed chair turns 86 this week, which gives us a moment to reflect on the most misunderstood piece of his legacy: Maestro's role in the real estate bubble
By Matthew O'Brien - TheAtlantic.com
There's one unassailable rule when it comes to writing about the housing bubble: you must criticize Alan Greenspan for keeping interest rates "too low for too long." Once you get past this ritual invocation, you can talk about whatever else you'd like, whether it's securitization, too lax regulation, or even Fannie Mae. But first: toolowfortoolong!
But what if the unassailable rule is wrong?
Huge Spike in Repeat Foreclosures
By: Diana Olick - CNBC Real Estate Reporter
The pig in the python is suddenly moving.
Thousands of foreclosures that were stuck in process due to delays over the so-called "Robo-signing" paperwork scandal are working their way through a revamped banking system and heading toward final bank repossession.
Foreclosure starts surged 28 percent in January from December, according to a new report from Lender Processing Services. More than 230,000 loans began the foreclosure process in January.
Foreclosures will probably rise in 2012 —
and that could be a good sign
Posted by Suzy Khimm - WashingtonPost.com
There are too many vacant houses and not enough people who want to buy them. And that’s a reality that’s likely to get worse before it gets better: The number of foreclosures is expected to rise significantly in 2012, adding to a housing overhang that has depressed prices and held back the recovery.
But some of these new defaults may be necessary medicine for the housing market to recover in the long term: They represent homes that have been backlogged in the courts and elsewhere that can’t be sold until they finish going through legal foreclosure proceedings.
31% of FHA loans in negative equity
by Tom Lawler - CalculatedRisk.com
In CoreLogic’s “Negative Equity Report” for December 2011, the company estimated that properties backing a conventional mortgage that were in a negative equity position had an average mortgage balance of $269,000 and were "underwater" on average by $70,000. For properties backing FHA-insured mortgages that were in a negative equity position, the average mortgage balance was $169,000 and the average negative equity amount was $26,000.
IRS offers relief to unemployed taxpayers
By Blake Ellis @CNNMoney
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The IRS is offering some relief to taxpayers struggling to pay their taxes due to unemployment or a significant loss of income.
The agency said Wednesday it will give certain taxpayers a six-month grace period on "failure-to-pay" penalties, which are typically assessed each month a taxpayer is late paying their taxes.
Without the grace period, a taxpayer who is late paying their taxes initially incurs a fee of 0.5% of their tax bill. That fee may increase the later they become -- with a cap of 25%. But now some taxpayers won't incur any fees until Oct. 15.
The Real Cost of Living: $150,000 Minimum
By YUVAL ROSENBERG, The Fiscal Times
The divide between the 1 percent and the 99 percent has ignited a national debate about the income gap, especially since Occupy Wall Street protesters descended on lower Manhattan last fall. But how much money does it take to feel financially secure these days?
The answer, at least according to a new survey of Americans by WSL/Strategic Retail, is $150,000. That level of income is more than three times the national median of $49,445 for 2010, and it’s enough to put a household into the top 10 percent nationally.
CFOs Expect Hiring Surge
By MERRILL GOOZNER - TheFiscaltimes.com
All eyes will be on Friday’s jobs report for signs that the economic recovery is gathering steam, which would be good news for the Obama campaign. There was positive foreshadowing this morning from the nation’s chief financial officers.
The latest quarterly survey by Duke University for CFO Magazine showed top finance officers at the nation’s leading corporations expect to expand their total employment by 2.1 percent this year. That should pull the unemployment rate below 8 percent by yearend, the survey authors said.
Ben Bernanke Says That His Son
Will Graduate With $400,000 Of Student Loan Debt
By Michael Snyder - TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com
Who ever imagined that Ben Bernanke would become a poster child for the student loan debt problem in America? Recently Bernanke told Congress that his son will graduate from medical school with about $400,000 of student loan debt. For most Americans, such a staggering amount of debt would almost certainly guarantee a lifetime of debt slavery. Unfortunately, Bernanke's son is not alone. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, approximately 167,000 Americans have more than $200,000 of student loan debt. The cost of a college education has increased much more rapidly than the rate of inflation over the past several decades, and most students enter the "real world" today with a debt burden that will stay with them for most of their working lives. In an economy where there are so few good jobs for college graduates, it can be incredibly difficult to get married, buy a house or afford to have children when you are drowning in student loan debt. It would be hard to overstate the financial pain that student loans are causing many young adults in America today. The student loan debt problem is a national crisis and it is not going away any time soon.
Consumer Credit Surges 8.6%, Mostly on Student Debt
By: Jennifer Leigh Parker - CNBC.com
The American consumer is levering-up again, as consumers borrowed more for everything from student loans to cars.
Consumer credit jumped 8.6 percent, or $17.7 billion, in January to $2.54 trillion, the Federal Reserve reported. It was the fifth straight month that borrowing increased and the largest gain since 2004.
Wal-Mart’s gasoline jitters
Rising prices at the pump siphon off sales
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is in a bind.
Here’s a company aimed at "value-seekers," the millions of Americans struggling to live within meager means. Despite stiff competition from other discounters, Wal-Mart’s business model has held its ground these past few years as unemployment and home foreclosures rose to levels not seen since the 1930s.
But it’s not ideal. During the Great Recession, Wal-Mart customers weren’t exactly loading up on high-margin products. That reinforced the company’s already strong efforts to slash costs and concentrate on volume.
Andrew Breitbart and Peter Schiff May 2011
Solar storm heads for Earth
by Dave Hennen - CNN.com
U.S. politics had its "Super Tuesday" yesterday, and so did the sun, says Joseph Kunches from NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado.
That's because the sun had two solar flares associated with two coronal mass ejections. Coronal mass ejections involve massive amounts of energy and charged particles shooting out of the sun, and can cause problems if directed at Earth, as was the case over the last couple of days.
Massive solar storm heading for Earth
Airlines and energy suppliers are on alert as the largest solar storm in five years threatens to disrupt flights and power lines
By David Batty and agencies - Guardian.co.uk
Airlines and energy suppliers are on alert as the largest solar storm in five years heads toward Earth, threatening to disrupt flights and power lines.
The eruption on the surface of the sun, known as a coronal mass ejection (CME), has led to a "massive amount of solar particles heading towards Earth", which are due to hit the planet between 6am and 10am on Thursday morning, a Met Office spokesman said. But he added that the phenomenon was likely to go unnoticed by most.
3 hospitalized after shooting outside Oklahoma court
From Nick Valencia and Carma Hassan, CNN.com
(CNN) -- A sheriff's deputy and a man who exchanged gunfire with officers on a plaza outside a Tulsa, Oklahoma, courthouse Wednesday were among three people hospitalized, officials said.
A bystander also was shot and wounded near the Tulsa County Courthouse, said Sgt. Shannon Clark of the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office.
The incident began when the gunman, identified as Andrew Joseph Dennehy, 23, discharged a handgun into the air around 2:39 p.m. (3:39 p.m. ET), officials said. Deputies swarmed to the plaza.
Why doesn't the new iPad have a name?
A Plain Old Name Puzzles Experts
By SUZANNE VRANICA And JESSICA E. VASCELLARO - WSJ.com
Apple Inc.'s introduction of the latest iPad has left Madison Avenue, and Silicon Valley, scratching their heads.
While some pundits predicted the device announced Wednesday would be called the iPad 3—and others said iPad HD—Apple threw a curveball and didn't use a specific moniker for its latest upgrade. Rather, the company simply called it "the new iPad."
U.S. Warns Apple, Publishers
Justice Department Threatens Lawsuits,
Alleging Collusion Over E-Book Pricing
By THOMAS CATAN And JEFFREY A. TRACHTENBERG - WSJ.com
The Justice Department has warned Apple Inc. and five of the biggest U.S. publishers that it plans to sue them for allegedly colluding to raise the price of electronic books, according to people familiar with the matter.
Several of the parties have held talks to settle the antitrust case and head off a potentially damaging court battle, these people said. If successful, such a settlement could have wide-ranging repercussions for the industry, potentially leading to cheaper e-books for consumers. However, not every publisher is in settlement discussions.
The Fukushima Syndrome
Martin Freer - Project-Syndicate.org
BIRMINGHAM – The dramatic events that unfolded at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power plant after last year’s tsunami are commonly referred to as "the Fukushima disaster." We need look no further than this description to begin to understand the significant misconceptions that surround nuclear energy.
It was the tsunami, caused by the largest earthquake ever to strike Japan, that killed more than 16,000 people, destroyed or damaged roughly 125,000 buildings, and left the country facing what its prime minister described as its biggest crisis since World War II. Yet it is Fukushima that is habitually accorded the "disaster" label.
Why Are We Still in Afghanistan?
The violent response to accidental Koran burning once again drives home the perils of nation-building.
By DOUG BANDOW - The American Spectator.org
American soldiers mistakenly burned a half dozen Korans in Afghanistan. Predictably, the response was riots by many and murder by a few Muslims. Violence has become the tactic of choice of Islamic extremists around the world against secular critics and religious minorities alike.
Indeed, this isn't the first time that Afghan mobs have killed to avenge a perceived insult to their faith. Last year a crowd in the generally peaceful city of Mazar-e-Sharif slaughtered a dozen United Nations staffers after Rev. Terry Jones burned a Koran in Florida.
Leon Panetta pushes back
on calls for military intervention in Syria
Defense secretary cautions call by Senator John McCain and others to launch airstrikes against Bashar al-Assad's regime
Associated Press - Guardian.co.uk
The US defense secretary, Leon Panetta, has pushed back against fresh demands for US military involvement in Syria to end President Bashar al-Assad's deadly crackdown on his people.
"What doesn't make sense is to take unilateral action right now," Panetta told the Senate Armed Services Committee Wednesday about advising President Barack Obama to dispatch US forces. "I've got to make very sure we know what the mission is … achieving that mission at what price."
U.S. tracks Syrian elite’s money transfers,
but picture remains murky
By Greg Miller - WashingtonPost.com
Searching for any sign of splintering in Syria’s ruling class, the United States has tracked what it suspects is the transfer of millions of dollars in foreign accounts by elites with ties to President Bashar al-Assad.
But the flow of money is murky. U.S. intelligence officials said they cannot estimate the total amount and are still trying to assess what the transfers mean: Is Assad’s inner circle starting to fray, or are wealthy Syrians simply hedging their bets?
A little more conversation
THREE hours of sombre private discussion between Barack Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu at the White House on Monday March 5th, which came after fulsome public reassurances by the president to the pro-Israel lobby the day before, appear to have reduced the chances that the Israeli prime minister will order an attack on Iran without a green light from America.
But though apparently less likely, an attack is still possible. "When it comes to Israel's security," Mr Netanyahu insisted at the start of the White House meeting, "Israel has the sovereign right to make its own decisions. I believe that’s why you appreciate, Mr President, that Israel must reserve the right to defend itself."
Ron Paul on war with Iran -
The War Drums Are Beating Much Louder'
Israel is "Master of Its Fate"
By Greg Hunter's USAWatchdog.com
On Monday, President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in the White House to discuss how they were going to handle Iran’s nuclear program. I think the meeting was a disaster for anyone who thinks we are on the way to settling the situation with sanctions and diplomacy. The President wants to give sanctions against Iranian banking and petroleum exports a chance to work. They are harsh and getting rougher by the month. Maybe they are working because, just yesterday, the Iranians agreed, once again, to face-to-face negotiations with world powers. Then again, maybe they are not because many suspect the Iranians are stalling for time–again. Talks about Iran’s nuclear program have been on and off since Obama took office.
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