The Federal Reserve claims to be tightening. According to the conventional wisdom, the Fed will raise interest rates at least three times in 2018 – maybe even four. And last fall, the central bank announced its plan to begin shrinking its balance sheet.
But have you actually looked at the Fed’s balance sheet? Dan Kurz of dkanalytics.com has. In fact, he has dug deep into the Federal Reserves opaque world of financing and concluded all of this talk of shrinking balance sheets and normalized interest rates is pure fantasy.
As sure as night follows day, before all too long the world’s leading central banks will be abandoning both fledgling interest rate increases and QT fantasies (reducing the size of their balance sheets by selling bonds and stocks) out of ‘status quo necessity.'”
Could we be on the verge of a retail apocalypse?
February marked the third straight month of declining retail sales. Analysts had not expected another drop, but they got one nonetheless. Sales fell 0.1% in February. Analysts had expected an uptick of 0.3%.
This is not good news for a retail sector that is already teetering on the brink.
Pro-tip – If you ever have to load 9.3 tons of gold, silver and platinum in an airplane, make sure you secure the load. I mean, tie it down good. You know, throw a few bungee chords over it. Or maybe a strap or two. Something. At least some rope. Because here’s a dirty little secret.
Things shift during flight.
Apparently, the guys loading the Russian AN-12 cargo plane in Siberia never read the little warnings on the overhead bins or listened to the flight attendant spiel. They loaded more than 18,000 pounds of gold and other precious metals on the plane and, as a Time Magazine report put it, “didn’t properly stabilize the load” before takeoff.
As you can probably imagine, this didn’t end well.
President Trump’s new economic adviser did an interview on CNBC’s Closing Bell Wednesday and offered a little investment advice.
I would buy King Dollar and I would sell gold.”
So, should you follow Larry Kudlow’s guidance?
Of course, that’s up to you. But Kudlow doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to predicting the future. On the cusp of the 2008 financial crisis, he was among the mainstream pundits saying the whole subprime mortgage thing was “no big deal.”
Retail sales unexpectedly fell again in February. It was the third straight monthly drop and the first time the US economy has seen three straight months of declining retail sales since 2012.
Sales fell 0.1% in February. Analysts had expected an uptick of 0.3%. According to CNBC, households cut back on purchases of motor vehicles and other big-ticket items, pointing to a slowdown in economic growth in the first quarter.
So, why is this happening? Peter Schiff offered a simple reason in his latest podcast.
Americans are broke.
Turkey went on a gold-buying spree in 2017. That trend continued through the first two months of 2018 as the country continues to diversify away from foreign currencies – i.e. the dollar.
Data released by Borsa Istanbul shows Turkey imported 44.47 tons of gold in January and 16.03 tons in February for a total of 60.5 tons over the two-month period.
Over the last several years, a number of countries have taken steps to bring their gold home.
You can now add Hungary to that list.
If you have the choice between an investment with low risk and a high potential for return, or an investment with high risk and a low potential for return, which would you take?
The answer seems obvious, right? You want to take on the lowest risk possible while getting the best potential for a good rate of return.
Well, if you factor risk levels into your investment calculation, buying silver looks like a good bet right now – especially when compared to stocks and real estate.
Three more states are moving toward repealing taxes on the sale of gold and silver bullion.
Last week, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill into law exempting the sale of gold and silver bullion from state sales and use tax. The repeal of the tax not only lowers the cost of investing in gold and silver, it will also open the door to using precious metals in everyday transactions, and it takes the first step toward breaking the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money.