Month: July 2015

50 Years Ago the US Government Stripped Dimes, Quarters & Halves of Silver

July 23, 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the debasement of United States’ coinage. The Coinage Act of 1965 debased the coinage of silver from the dimes and quarter dollars and diminished the silver content of the half dollar from 90% to 40% before it, too, lost all of its silver content about 5 years later. The US government claimed the reason for the act was coin shortages caused by the increase in the price of silver.  The Act also forbade the mintage silver dollars for five years.

The demonetization of the silver came just over two year after US President John F. Kennedy delegated authority to the Secretary of the Treasury to issue silver certificates. In his book Crossfire, Jim Marrs posits that Kennedy created silver certificates to undermine the power of the Federal Reserve, though others say that Kennedy’s decision was merely a matter of convenience during a time of transition away from silver certificates.  Here are parts of the speech by Lyndon B Johnson announcing the change: Read More

“America Is America’s Greece” – Exclusive Interview With Andrew Hoffman

A storm is brewing on the global level. In recent weeks the world has seen numerous nation-states plagued by economic turmoil. China, Greece, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and others have had a taste that the global crisis which shocked the world in 2008 was not in the past. Rather, it remained in the present, as well.  The Chinese stock market crashed, and its the second largest stock market in the world.  Pundits wondered – could the same happen in the US. 

Read More

An Asteroid Worth $5.4 Trillion In Precious Metals Passes The Earth Today

An asteroid worth $5.4 trillion will pass by the Earth on Sunday and you can watch it LIVE!  The platinum filled asteroid, Asteroid 2011 UW-158, will be streamed from an observatory in Canary Islands.  The asteroid mining company Planetary Resources believes the asteroid has a 100 million ton core of platinum that the company might one day wish to exploit.

The asteroid will pass 30 times closer than our nearest planet, at 1.5 million miles, which is less than half a mile (1km) across.  The asteroid is an X-Type asteroid, meaning it is made up of mostly metal.  ‘It’s always fun when an asteroid whooshes past our world so the Slooh telescopes will be watching live when asteroid 2011 UW-158 passes 30 times closer to us than the nearest planet, on July 19.’ Slooh Astronomer Bob Berman told The Telegraph.

“What makes this unusual is the large amount of platinum believed to be lurking in the body of this space visitor…

Can it be mined someday, perhaps not too far in the future?” he added.

Crisis Stricken Nations See Interest Increase For Gold, Bitcoin

Numerous nations throughout the world are currently dealing with currency or debt crises of one kind or another. Greece has stolen the headlines where they’ve needed to secure a bailout from the European Union so as to not go broke, and Puerto Rico, a US protectorate, has said it will not have the funds to service its debt. The Chinese stock market has collapsed with the government instituting controls to prop it up, while in Venezuela inflation ravages the food aisle, which have gone bear in recent months.

In China, you see gold is clear winner in the wake of recent turmoil. Included in this article are the regional interest data points from Google Trends.

GoldSilverBitcoinSearchesChina

Interest in gold in China has taken off.

Goldregionalinterestchina

Regional interest in gold

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Regional interest in silver in China

Included in this article are the data points for regional interest. In China, regional interest in Bitcoin is different than the other countries. Whereas in Greece, Puerto Rico and Venezuela interest in Bitcoin is tied to the main cities of the country, in China the interest appears more diffuse. 

goldsilverbitcoinregionalinterestbitcoin

Regional interest in China in Bitcoin

As you see below, interest in both gold and Bitcoin have increased in terms of Google Trends search queries in Greece. Gold has seen a modest spike, while Bitcoin is clear winner in terms of new, recent interest in Greece.

GoldSilverBitcoinQueriesGreece

Gold has seen a small uptick in Greece located search queries, while Bitcoin has seen a considerable spike.

As in the remaining countries, precious metals queries occurs throughout the nation, while Bitcoin queries is more-so located in Athens. 

GreeceRegionalInterestGold

Here you see Greeks interested in gold live throughout the country.

GreeceRegionalInterestSilver

Here you see interest in silver spread throughout Greece.

GreeceRegionalInterestBitcoin

For Bitcoin, most Greeks are centered in Athens who query Bitcoin.

In Venezuela, gold and Bitcoin have seen an increase in search queries, silver not so much.

VenezuelaGoldSilverBitcoin

 

And regional interest in Venezuela: 

RegionalInterestVenezuela

GoldSilverBitcoinSilverInterest
Venezuelans are interested in silver throughout Venezuela.

GoldSilverBitcoinBitcoinInterestVenezuela

 In Puerto Rico, similar trends: 

GoldSilverBitcoinSearchesPuertoRico

 

GoldSilverBitcoinRegionalInterestPR

Interest in gold in Puerto Rico is spread out throughout the island.

 
GoldSilverBitcoinPRSilverRegional

Interest in silver in Puerto Rico is more centralized than gold.

GoldSilverBitcoinRegionalInterestPRBitcoin

 

French Billionaire Returns Looted Gold Antiquities

Gold antiquities looted from China were returned by a French billionaire after a long effort by Beijing to recoup pillaged art. The antiquities were purchased by billionaire luxury tycoon François Pinault. The four gold heads of prey birds are worth €1 million (£710,000). Mr Pinault, owner of brands from Gucci to Saint Laurent, donated the 7th century BC solid gold works to Paris’s Guimet museum of Asian art  15 years ago.

It was soon discovered the antiquities were stolen in 1992 from the tomb of a noble of the Zhou dynasty in Gansu province. China says the birds of prey were pillaged amid a wave of thefts in the early-to-mid nineties by farmers in the western state of Qins. A corrupt civil servant apparently smuggled the antiques out of China and Mr Pinault bought the birds of prey unsuspectingly.

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Chinese authorities filed a complaint 10 years ago, but discreetly maintained they wanted a diplomatic restitution. Art Newspaper reported in April that Mr Pinault handed the four birds of prey heads to the Chinese embassy in Paris and did not ask for compensation.

Another collector,  Christian Deydier, returned 28 other artefacts. China promotes the repatriation of pillaged works, putting pressure on auction houses to cancel sales of items and even buying them via a corporate offshoot of the people’s Liberation Army, the China Poly Group. China  has a big thirst for gold as the world’s largest consumer of gold.

Photo: Rex Features. 

 

NYSE Technical Glitch, China Stock Meltdown & Greece’s Final Hour

Trading on the New York Stock Exchanged resumed Wednesday after being halted for about four hours due to “unknown internal technical reasons.”  Internal technical issues are being cited for the reason why NYSE shut down trading at 11:32am EST, which also shut down trading on the NYSE MKT exchange, a market where small companies are traded.

In August 2013 a “Flash Freeze” shut the Nasdaq down for hours, as a “problem with NYSE systems” was blamed.  Today’s is but the fourth trading halt at the NYSE due to technical problems in 15 years.  Stock trading did not cease completely, as NYSE-listed stocks were still being traded on 11 other exchanges, like the Nasdaq. Read More

The Truth About Buying Gold In Europe

Gold demand in Europe is extremely high. Sovereign gold coins, as Bloomberg covers, were selling at double the five-month average in June, according to the UK Royal Mint.  Sales last week were the highest since Cyprus limited cash withdrawals in 2013.  The Germans, French and Greeks are leading the buying.

“Most of our common gold coins are sold out,” Daniel Marburger, a director of Frankfurt-based CoinInvest.com, told Bloomberg. “When people learned that the Greek banks will be closed, they started to think that it may not be such a bad idea to have some money in gold.”

Some analysts have claimed that there are no gold coins in Europe. It started with Martin Armstrong’s blog here, as people seemingly misunderstood what he was talking about. He cleared that up.

Some people have misread my posting on an observation in Spain. The retail sale of gold coins was virtually nonexistent in Spain. This is not a shortage of gold. In Italy, bullion coins were being sold in stores.

It is France that is after gold coins, demanding no cash sales and reporting on buyers and sellers. Even the rare coin shows have left Paris for the dealers refused to comply with such reporting. The French were driving to Belgium to deal in gold and the French government was complaining about that.

Even the banks are requiring an explanation for every deposit in an account to get a mortgage in the USA. Gold refiners are now required to report to the U.S. government every shipment of gold, reporting where it comes from and where it went.Others echoed this sentiment.

Others financial analysts parroted the reports, but on Reddit a discussion thread started immediately to analyze the notion of problems getting gold in Europe. In this thread, which can be found here, numerous commenters highlight that there are no problems buying gold in Europe.

Puerto Rico Is The United States’ Greece

The United States is facing its own Greece moment as Puerto Rico faces similar debt questions. One key difference is that it seems unlikely that Puerto Rico will leave the United States, potentially leaving American citizens on the hook to foot the bill for the US territory of Puerto Rico.

On June 28, Puerto Rico’s governor Alejandro García Padilla called the island’s debts “not payable” and that in order to avoid a “death spiral” the country would need to refuse payment. Lenders lent the poor government money very cheaply, and the government did not use the money to invest.  Puerto Rico and US will likely not sever political and economic union, like many say Greece could. Thus, Puerto Rico becomes a US liability. (What’s likely, to be sure, is that Greece will not leave the European Union)

Puerto Rico is a self-governing US territory, which has enjoyed a US law that creates a tax subsidy for Puerto Rican debt. Middle class and well-to-do US people thus lent money to Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico accepted the terms, then spent money on a considerable welfare state.

In 2006, economic strife came to Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico could not depreciate its currency due to the US ties. A brain-drain brought Puerto Ricans to the US. The last 10-years in Puerto Rico have been marred by tax hikes, spending cuts, emigration and increasing interest rates, and things have only become worse for Puerto Rico as the 50 states fall into economic strife as well.

Puerto Rico has official liabilities of $72 billion. Both California and New York have more debt than Puerto Rico, though Puerto Rico is smaller, home to the population of San Diego county. Puerto Rico’s population continues to shrink, as the Economist reported  in 2013: “…in America’s 50 states the average ratio of state debt to personal income is 3.4%.”  The ratings agency Moody puts Puerto Rico’s at 89%. The most indebted state according to this measure is Hawaii, which has a 10 percent ratio, according to the Economist.

Brain Drain

Puerto Rico’s population is declining at the fastest rate in 60 years, according to PEW research. The trend started in 2006.  From 2011 to 2013,  Puerto Rico’s net population fell by 50,000 people per year, with job-related reasons being cited by 42% as a reason for leaving. Young people are leaving as well.

“Structural problems, economic shocks and weak public finances have yielded a decade of stagnation, outmigration and debt,” the report said. “Even if there is no intensification in economic problems, which is a big if, the [Puerto Rico] Planning Board projects that the population will continue to fall through 2020.” Official unemployment is 12.4% which is twice the national jobless rate.