Now that businesses across America are starting to cautiously reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak, customers are starting to see “COVID surcharges” on their bills.

For example, a Texas hair salon is adding a $3 “sanitation charge” to each receipt. A Florida dentist is charging $10 per visit for personal protective equipment. And a Missouri restaurant implemented a 5% surcharge due to rising food prices.Many customers are angry about the changes. The businesses that have enacted them, on the other hand, view the added fees as essential ways to offset their increased costs and to compensate for revenue lost during the lockdown. Interestingly, the aforementioned Missouri restaurant (Kiko Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Lounge) removed the surcharge after customers complained. It also raised menu prices. The owner, Billy Yuzar, told Today.com, “We were hoping to adjust the charge weekly based on the prices we get from our suppliers instead of raising all of our prices across the board on our menu … We can take the harassment on our social media, but when they start being ugly to our employees here, it really bothers us. This is why we decided to just eat the cost of printing new menu[s] and adjust it weekly.”

Other types of surcharges

It’s a subtle psychological distinction, but customers don’t like feeling nickeled and dimed. There was an outcry several years ago when some restaurants began tacking employee health insurance surcharges onto diners’ tabs. Worse yet, a civil grand jury in San Francisco found many restaurants kept the money for themselves. In 46 states, it is legal for businesses to charge customers extra just for using a credit card. Merchants should tread very carefully – 78% of credit cardholders believe it’s unfair to charge a customer an extra fee based on the way he or she chooses to pay, according to a recent survey commissioned by American Express. And they’re voting with their wallets. Some 86% of respondents told Amex that if a business they frequently patronize were to start surcharging, they would likely start shopping somewhere else.Even the long-established practice of tipping leaves a bad taste in some customers’ mouths. A 2018 CreditCards.com survey found millennials were the worst tippers, yet they were much more likely than older generations to express a preference for higher prices instead of tipping.But many restaurants that tried that model had to revert back to the old way of doing things after customers and employees rebelled. Americans don’t like being told what to do – as a society, we greatly value freedom, and that includes the freedom to pay and tip as we wish.Some 86% of respondents told Amex that if a business they frequently patronize were to start surcharging, they would likely start shopping somewhere else.

Inflation is accepted, surcharges are not

While few, if any, customers would be enthusiastic about paying more for any reason, cost increases seem to feel especially egregious when they’re itemized. They’re hard to miss when they’re right there on the receipt in black and white. Over time, higher prices are seen as a cost of doing business. You may not be excited about paying $3 more for a haircut, but I think most people are realistic about the fact that things cost more over time, and prices can’t stay the same forever.I suspect a lot of consumers wouldn’t even notice if prices went up over time. Do you know exactly how much your last dentist visit cost? Can you accurately recite the precise prices of eggs, milk and meat over the past three years?

Surcharges shouldn’t be the solution for struggling businesses

To me, surcharging is more of a public relations issue than an economic one. It’s a bad look. Seven out of every 10 customers say a surcharge makes them feel like the merchant does not appreciate their business, according to the American Express survey.Plus, it’s an especially ironic time to experiment with a surcharge on credit cards, because the coronavirus has people very concerned about handling bills and coins. Amex found cash usage has fallen 16% during the pandemic, and 58% of consumers who made contactless payments reported gravitating to this technology because of virus concerns.Sadly, many small businesses are really struggling. I don’t want to minimize that fact. But I don’t think surcharges are the way out. Whether we’re talking COVID, health insurance or credit cards, trying to raise revenue with an itemized surcharge is a turn-off for customers, and any short-term benefit to the merchant is greatly outweighed by the longer-term consequences of offending the people who pay the bills.

Direct download: Angela_Sloane_01.Jun.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:01am EST

Brian Boyd is a 30-plus year professional intelligence analyst and counter terrorism specialist. He is a former Green Beret, and was part of the leadership of the Joint Special Operations Command which oversees the Special Forces, Seal Team 6 and the Delta Force. He also served in the Departments of Defense, Justice & Treasury and regularly appears on radio and TV discussing intelligence matters.

Senator Rand Paul is calling for an investigation into the handling of the Michael Flynn case and to what extent then President Obama and Vice President Biden were involved. Rand claims Biden was briefed on the investigation of Flynn's interaction before President Trump took office. 

"I certainly think there is more here than meets the eye," says Intelligence & Counter Terrorism expert and former Green Beret Brian Boyd (see short bio below). "I see this as a serious abuse of power. It's the kind of intrigue that I saw when I was involved in the intelligence community."

President Trump has framed the investigation as an ongoing attempt to undermine his presidency. And with former Vice President Joe Biden's as the presumptive Democratic nominee for president Trump is hoping to make this an issue of Biden's alleged involvement heading into the presidential election. 

To further complicate matters Attorney General William Barr this week issued an apparent rebuke of President Trump’s efforts and vague accusations of misconduct by former Obama administration officials all while lamenting Trump’s treatment by federal law enforcement officers during the wide-ranging Russia probe.

So who is right?

Direct download: Brian_Boyd_29.May.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

It keeps getting better. Japan announces a $1.1 trillion bailout plan, which equals 40 percent of their GDP. The EU just announced an $826 billion liquidity plan. Lufthansa gets $10 billion bailout offer but doesn’t like the strings that came with it. Economies around the world are starting to reopen. Korea is having issues. In the US and elsewhere things are going pretty well. No vaccine or cure coming soon, but not being able to reopen assures an endless depression. However, the debt continues to increase geometrically. Stagflation seems to be the most likely result, but we could encounter a hyperinflationary bubble. You can create the illusion of health and normality by increasing debt, but is the latest debt enough to do it? The next year is going to be really interesting. If we don’t go back into lockdown, we’ll see how everyone handles the increased debt burden. Corporations have been on a borrowing binge this last month. They maxxed out their credit lines and issued new bonds to cover the difference.

Direct download: John_Rubino_28.May.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:01am EST

Everyone talks about the homeless crisis but few people try to do something about it. Michael Fischer has started the Central Park Civic Association to mobilize the community to rescue the City and the homeless who are the victims of misbegotten political policies that only act to encourage more homelessness. He's dedicating his life to get the parties together to come up with common-sense solutions that will help communities and get real help for the homeless. It's not a question of money, it's already being spent. It's a question of political will and sound policy. The homeless problem is not an economic crisis, it's a national mental health crisis and until we recognize this fact and start humane institutionalization it won't be solved. Count us as major supporters to Michael's and our hope is that this will turn into a national movement that forces our leaders to lead and actually solve the problem. 

Direct download: Michale_Fischer_28.May.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

In 2004 Dudley Baker, while at a conference, learned about stock warrants from legendary investor Frank Holmes. When he got home and started researching them, he found there was little information available. Seeing an opportunity, he started Precious Metals Warrants, which later became Common Stock Warrants. Interest has continued to increase and today his database is the unrivaled go to source for hundreds of stock warrant. We've used it many times in the past and have found great stocks as well as stock warrants in his database. Dudley believes you should use them along with stock purchases to increase your returns to make your investments go further. We're big fans and you should be too. 

Direct download: Dudley_Baker_27.May.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:01am EST

Who are Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Heroes? Based on the $3 trillion HEROES Act that House Democrats have just unveiled, the answer is illegal aliens and criminals. While the HEROES Act pretends to be about Coronavirus relief, its focus is on immigration. With over 20 million jobs lost in April, the HEROES Act goes to great lengths to make sure that millions of illegal aliens will still be able to keep their jobs, no matter how many Americans lose theirs. Buried under the misleadingly titled, "Protections for Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers," is a virtual blank check to keep illegal aliens from being deported

Direct download: Daniel_Greenfield_27.May.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

BLITZ: Trump Will Smash the Left and Win - OUT IN JUNE

BUCKLE UP—2020 WILL BE THE POLITICAL RIDE OF YOUR LIFE! IN NOVEMBER TRUMP WILL SMASH THE LEFT AND WIN!

“If you’re interested in debating deranged liberals with facts, you won’t want to miss this latest book.” — Donald Trump, Jr.

BLITZ is a MUST-read for those who want to better understand what is really happening in the ‘idea war’ for the soul of America.” — Governor Mike Huckabee

BLITZ reveals the attacks made against Trump have been the most brutal ever mounted against a sitting president of the United States. Blinded by deep-seated hatred of his person and his policies, the left even desperately tried to oust Trump in a failed impeachment bid. Horowitz shows that their very attacks—targeting a man whose mission has been to “Drain the Swamp” and “Make America Great Again” backfired, turning Trump himself into a near martyrwhile igniting the fervor of his “base.”

With the 2020 election upon us, New York Times bestselling author David Horowitz chronicles the brutal battles, bitter backlash, and leftwing lies Trump has faced as Democrats repeatedly try to sabotage his presidency. You’ll discover the left’s terrifying socialist and, in some cases, communist agendas as you’ve never seen them before. Trump’s response? In the meantime, he’s going to steamroll this opposition in November using the same playbook he has used to win before. In BLITZ you will find shocking revelations:

  • The 9 biggest dangers to America the left poses—their agenda will blow your mind.
  • Show me the money: naming the billionaires and fat cats really out to get Trump.
  • How patriotism suddenly became “white nationalism” linking Trump to Hitler and the KKK .
  • The growing secularism of the left and how the hate pushed against Christians will backfire.
  • Why every effort to demonize Trump and his supporters is failing like crazy.
  • Obama’s agenda: how the former president casts a much greater shadow over Trump’s political woes than you ever imagined.
  • The Genius: how Trump’s brilliant strategy has worked and will continue to work, making him president again in 2021!

The effort to remove and destroy our duly elected President may be the greatest challenge America has faced since the Civil War, explains Horowitz. For the first time BLITZ exposes the left’s strategy to take down Trump, and how Trump not only beat them at their own game, but how he’s turning the tables on them to achieve a stunning reelection win come November.

“An indispensable book—BLITZ— explaining why today’s Democrats are so dangerous and why President Trump is their nemesis.” — Mark R. Levin, New York Times bestselling author of Unfreedom of the Press

BLITZ is the latest must-read from Horowitz: insightful, hard-hitting, controversial, and uncompromising. Ignore him at your peril.” — Peter Schweizer, New York Times bestselling author of Clinton Cash and Profiles in Corruption

“This is the book your anti-Trump relatives and friends should read...as clear a moral indictment of the anti-Trump left as has been written.” — Dennis Prager, President of PragerU and New York Times bestselling author

“Unparalleled insight into the current political climate, how we got here and what it means for 2020 elections.” — Sean Spicer, Host of Spicer & Co., Newsmax TV

“Horowitz understands the left's malevolent goals and how to stop them. This is a must read-book!” — Charlie Kirk, New York Times bestselling author of The MAGA Doctrine

Direct download: David_Horowitz_26.May.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

Very interesting markets. Trading range for the entire year. Further decline ahead is coming with a possible retest of March lows. The Russell 2000 and NASDAQ are showing strength add to the likelihood of this scenario. Unemployment claims are up to 38.6 million. Many businesses are closing and more will follow. Fewer and fewer jobs are available. We’re entering a recession and probably a depression. Federal money is sloshing around and much of it is going into the market. That money will run out and the market will fizzle. We’re going to start hearing about mass defaults housing and autos. It’s going to last for years. The next generation is going to have it tough for at least a decade or perhaps even longer. What happens when these people can’t find jobs?

Which industries will thrive and which will decline? Every industry that contributes to content through your electronics will survive and thrive. You’re still on your phone and your television.  Many profitable companies here. Food and household supplies and pharma, Avoid money losers. Negative industries, real estate companies that invest in multi-family and office space will decline. Evictions and foreclosures are on hold. This will affect millions of RE investors. When the renters don’t have to pay, the owners will pay or lose their properties. It’s a complete disaster. Government intervention has simply put off the inevitable. 

Direct download: Crisa_Huff_22.May.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

According to Rick Rule, yes we are in a precious metals bull market. That means that there are huge fortunes to be made buying select gold and silver mining stocks. But you have to be extremely careful. According to Rick, there are some 1500 publicly traded zombie miners. These companies don't exist to return profits to their shareholders, but are more interested in lining management's pockets. With 8 geologists on his staff, as well as a lifetime of experience wading through these rocky shoals, Rick is quite adept at avoiding the surefire losers. He explains how you can do it too. The strategy is simple, for every mining stock in your portfolio, just spend one hour per month reading everything you can find about them. This includes their interviews, public filings and proxy statements. After doing this for awhile, you'll understand how to separate the winners from the losers. And you'll become a winner too. Take a look at the Barron's Gold Mining Index. It's quite fascinating and useful and you'll see why we're going to see a major advance in a relatively short period of time.

Direct download: Rick_Rule_21.May.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

General Flynn should be totally exonerated. He suffered at the hands of criminal Mueller prosecutors who suborned him to commit perjury as a condition of the Obama DOJ not indicting his son. The Mueller prosecutors used Gestapo, GRU Soviet-style tactics forcing people like General Flynn and me to swear to lies, or in my case, face the prospect of dying in prison.

Attorney Sidney Powell did a brilliant job forcing the government to disclose previously withheld documents that demonstrate convincingly massive misconduct by the Mueller prosecutors who followed the lead of an Obama administration Department of Justice and FBI that conspired to entrap General Flynn in a process crime that General Flynn never committed.

The Flynn case will not be resolved until Judge Sullivan dismisses the case with prejudice, referring the case back to the Department of Justice with a recommendation that a criminal investigation be opened into the Obama DOJ and FBI officials who committed the real crimes here and the Mueller prosecutors who engaged in massive misconduct in their efforts to imprison a genuine American hero.

A fundamental question remains to be answered: Why has Attorney General Barr allowed Mueller prosecutors like Brandon Van Grack and Aaron Zelinsky to remain in positions of authority in the Justice Department when both attempted to suborn perjury as should be clear from both General Flynn's case and mine. I fully documented the pressure the Mueller prosecutors placed me under in their effort to force me to plead guilty to a process crime I never committed or face the prospect of being indicted in Washington, D.C. for obstruction of justice - a crime that if convicted, I would likely spend the rest of my life in prison.

I refused the deal Mueller prosecutor Zelinsky offered and the Mueller prosecutors never indicted me. This proves the 'deal' I was being offered was a criminal attempt by the DOJ to suborn perjury. If the DOJ could have proved I lied to the Mueller investigation, I am certain I would have been indicted. That did not happen, proving to me Mueller prosecutors like Zelinsky, VanGrack, and Weissmann were the criminals involved in the Russian collusion hoax.

Dr. Jerome Corsi's new book, Coup d’État: Exposing Deep State Treason and the Plan to Re-Elect President Trump tells us the Deep State isn’t finished trying to destroy President Trump - they’ve only just begun. Corsi is an investigative journalist and senior staff writer for several conservative websites. Corsi is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Unfit for Command, #1 New York Times bestseller The Obama Nation and author of bestseller, Killing the Deep State: The Fight to Save President Trump.

Direct download: Jerome_Corsi_21.May.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

We all agree that none of us want to die any earlier than we have to.  We don't want to get sick, but we do want to have a productive livelihood and support our families.  This is what Texas has been doing.  Let's save lives while saving livelihoods, as Buffet said, "Never bet against America".  Hopefully our country will be better and stronger for it, in spite of all the debt that has been taken on.  The politicians can't help being politicians.  The stimulus program gave a raise to everyone in congress and bailouts galore.  Just for once couldn't we stay focused and just do the right thing.  Congress is truly a criminal underclass.  They don't always or usually have our best interest at heart.  

Direct download: Jeff_Socha_20.May.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:01am EST

The largest financial fraud in history wasn’t Enron’s colossal accounting crimes, Bernie Madoff’s record-setting Ponzi scheme or the Libor scandal, in which some of the world’s biggest banks conspired to profit by manipulating interest rates. No, the largest financial fraud in history is one most Americans know little to nothing about. It isn’t mentioned by politicians, reported on the nightly news or discussed by coworkers during lunch break. The biggest fraud in history is a financial scheme perpetrated by the U.S. government and its banking accomplices. Over the last century, they’ve used coercion, deception and market manipulation to convince Americans the U.S. dollar is as good as gold and silver. The truth is, it’s not.

Direct download: Stuart_Englert_20.May.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

While much of the country has thankfully begun to reopen, but not California. But they’ve met their match. Elon Musk, head of Tesla ignored the petty dictators of Alameda County and reopened his factory, just daring them to take action. Thousands of people descended upon Cali Beaches over the weekend. And businesses around the nation have decided to fight back. And we saw the Republicans flip disgraced House Member Katie Hill’s seat back to Republicans. It’s all part of the madness taking place around the country. Joe gives his unique perspective on the state of California and the nation. 

 

 

 

Direct download: Joe_Messina_19.May.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

Sleepy Creepy Corrupt Joe Biden is on his way out. I've been telling you this for 6 months. But he just won't go. They tried Me Tooing him. They tried exposing his corruption and that of his son. They even showed he was heavily involved in Obamagate and yet he just won't leave. How are they going to make him understand that he needs to leave? 

In New York State the truth has now come out. At least 1700+ of New York State’s most vulnerable citizens have died as a direct result of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State Health Department’s edict that "[nursing homes] are prohibited from requiring a hospitalized resident who is determined medically stable to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission." He's the link to the original article.

Lots more here. This is must listen to material. 

Direct download: TLR_483_19.May.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

Finally, silver has begun to outperform Gold, just as we always expected it would. The gold/silver ratio kept going up until it started going down. People become turned off by the high price of gold and have found that silver is still cheap. The ratio peaked at 125, way above 80-90 where it usually peaks. All as a result of the panic. Now we’re almost back down to 100. Silver needs to do 2.5 times better than gold to just get back to normal relative valuations. 

Stocks were way up on Monday, on rumors of an early stage Bill Gates backed vaccine. What will they fall for next? Happy days are here again!

Finally, the state of the economy is simply stated, Horrible! 35 percent decline in second quarter GDP. And more debt on top of more debt. What's a debtor nation to do. Perhaps buy pre-commie Chinese debt and present it for payment? Interesting times indeed. 

Direct download: John_Rubino_18.May.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:01am EST

The coronavirus crisis has led to an unprecedented number of layoffs across the country. If you're one of the many workers whose job has been affected, you have a lot on your plate right now.

One decision you don't want to let fall through the cracks is the choice about what to do with your 401(k). If you're leaving your job, you have three primary choices, only two of which are good ones. 

1. Keep the money where it is

In most cases, leaving your job doesn't mean your 401(k) has to move. While you won't be able to contribute to it through paycheck withdrawals anymore, you should be able to leave your money invested right where it is. 

Keeping your money with your current employer can be smart for a couple of reasons. You don't have to sell any of your investments (important since the market is really volatile right now). You also don't have to pay any fees associated with a rollover of the funds, which some 401(k) plans charge when you move money out. 

But there are some downsides to inaction. If your plan fees are high, you'll be stuck paying them while losing benefits such as an employer match that may have made participating worth the cost.

You probably also have fewer investment options in your 401(k) than if you moved your money to an IRA. Plus with your money spread across different accounts, it can be harder to look at the big picture and see if your portfolio is balanced. When you have multiple old retirement accounts, there's even a chance you may end up forgetting about the money and leaving it unclaimed

And if you have only a small amount of money in your company 401(k), you may not have the option to keep your retirement funds parked in your old employer's plan. 

2. Roll it over into an IRA

Another option, and the best one for many people, is to do a rollover of your 401(k) funds into an IRA. You can open one at any brokerage firm, usually for free with no minimum investment to get started. 

You can ask for a direct rollover so your money goes right to the brokerage firm holding the IRA. Or your company can write a check to you, in which case you'll need to deposit the money into your new account within 60 days. 

The biggest downside of moving your 401(k) money into an IRA is that you typically have to sell your stock to do it. And it can take some time for your money to move from one account to another, during which you're out of the market. You could potentially be forced to sell shares at a loss to move your money and then miss out on a recovery while waiting to get your money reinvested. 

There are upsides to a rollover, though. You can consolidate your 401(k) money with other retirement funds you may already have in an IRA. And you can avoid plan management fees and open up the door to more investment choices. 

Just be sure you keep the type of account the same. If you have a 401(k) you've invested in with pre-tax funds, you'll want to move the money to a traditional IRA. If you moved it to a Roth instead, you'd end up owing income taxes on the money, although you'd benefit from being able to make tax-free withdrawals in retirement. 

3. Withdraw the money

Your final option is to simply take the money out of your 401(k). This is not a good option. You'll be robbing yourself of funds you need for your future. And you could end up owing penalties on the withdrawn funds.

Normally, you pay a 10% penalty on early withdrawals from a 401(k), in addition to being taxed at your ordinary rate on withdrawn funds. But the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) allows you to take up to a $100,000 withdrawal without owing this penalty if you face financial hardship due to COVID-19. You can also spread out your tax payments on the withdrawal over three years.

But while you can take at least some money out of your account without penalty, the ordinary income taxes you'll owe could still be quite high. Plus, you lose the chance for the withdrawn funds to grow into a sufficient retirement nest egg. 

Putting your 401(k) money into an IRA or leaving it invested where it is are usually your best options when you leave your job.

If your work is affected due to coronavirus and you have to make a decision about your retirement account, consider the big picture -- including future financial security as well as account fees -- when you decide what to do with your money. 

Direct download: Arwen_Becker_18.May.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

In the present state of the world economy, there’s more risk not to be invested in commodity markets than to be invested, which makes Sponsor Auryn Resources (TSX: AUG NYSE: AUG) the right stock at the right time. 

Ivan and his management team have taken the enforced Covid 19 break to become better organized, more focused and more efficient. Instead of spending time traveling the globe, they have gotten back to basics. "Sometimes you’re so busy drilling that you don’t have enough time to fully analyse the data, and this pause has allowed Auryn’s highly skilled geological team to go in depth." Ivan believes the results will be apparent for the next drill program. New targets in each of Auryn’s potential Tier 1 swings have been identified and will be explored. 

Work on Sombrero and Curibaya will recommence in June. Peru locked down early and as a result will quickly reopen. Sombrero fundamentals continue to improve. During the shutdown, Auryn shipped a large quantity of supplies to the nearby Sombrero communities they’ve been working with. Keeping their communities healthy and positive was extremely important to Ivan and Auryn. 

The company’s Canada projects are coming along as well. The team worked hard to prepare a highly positive PEA on the Homestake Ridge project in Canada in hopes of an eventual sale. Ivan’s optimistic that Committee Bay will start showing its true potential shortly as well.  

And of course there’s the potential to split the company into three seperate entities. The spin co will enable each outstanding project to command its own market valuation, which will be a major plus for Auryn’s shareholders.  As Ivan says, “The timing is more than worth the wait.”

Finally we discussed the recent price decline in Copper. Of course the increase in gold prices has more than offset copper’s lower price. But Ivan is unconcered, as he should be. The uses of copper keep expanding. It held $2 per pound and has gone up substantially since then. Many major mines have been shutdown and there will be a steep startup curve to reopen them. So the future looks bright. 

As Ivan said, “Auryn was built for this market and it’s not going to disappoint.” All of the needed catalysts are lining for Auryn to be an extremely profitable investment. Which is why I personally own shares in the Company.

Direct download: Ivan_Bebek_14.May.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

Noted cyber security expert Robert Siciliano observes that within several years cybercrime will be the third largest business on the planet. The current pandemic has only upped the stakes. It doesn't matter if you're a nanny or a police officer, you're still a potential target. And just like the current pandemic, It's not like the government is going to save you. There's just too many cases and not enough cops. That means that it's up to you to become aware, start changing your passwords and be aware that you're a potential target. Make those passwords long and complicated and maybe then you'll stand a chance. 

Direct download: Robert_Siciliano_14.May.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

The recent increase is the stock markets is normal behavior after a crash. The majority of stocks are lagging at the same time the small caps are under performing. Many are hitting new lows and are rolling over and heading south. You’re paying more for shares than before the crash. The fundamentals are worse than ever. If you’re a long term investor this is when you need to step up to the plate and learn how to profit from bear market. You need to be on the right side of the market. Bonds and cash. If you play it correctly, retirment becomes a possiblity. Any type of retirment account can really pay off. Another March type crash is in the offing. March was pure panic, the big funds dumped share on bad fundamentals and then people panicked while rushing into cash. The fear of death is over and people will look to gold. Gold is the most stable place to put money. Silver and the gold juniors are not yet in a bull market, but that’s coming soon. We’re going to get close to negative rates. That’s when precious metals will begin to shine. Tech has been on fire but the  laggards such as airline stocks are close to hitting new lows. Financials heading for a major decline. 

Direct download: Chris_Vermeullen_13.May.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:01am EST

There’s a huge gap between asset valuations and the economy.  Just look to the Fed. Many times we were assured there would never be debt monetization. Now, they’re not just buying corporate debt but also buying junk bonds as well. The Fed is actually making loans directly to businesses and passing out stimulus to anyone with a pulse. The Fed has truly gone rogue. And yet, inflation stays down. Q2 is going to see $3 trillion deficit and a $4 trillion deficit for the year. There’s no productivity associated with this stimulus. According to Michael Pinto this will result  massive stagflation due to massive money printing. This is unique. In 2018 stocks took a hit, even though profits were up. Why? It was because the Fed was tightening. And then the reverse happened in 2019. Where do you to find a free market indicator? Michael and I have been warning about this for years. We’re heading for the most negative rates in history. With negative rates, we’re increasing current spending, which can only result in Stagflation. Is hyper-inflation a possibility? Not likely because it’s inconceivable that the US Dollar will collapse against it’s trading partners. But inflation will run into double digits, kicking off the greater depression. The implosion of the bond market is sure to happen. Insolvent debt on the corporate and sovereigh realms. It’s a surefire way for a debt collapse. 

Direct download: Michael_Pento_13.May.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

We have been taught that real estate prices are driven by location, inventory, and interest rates.  I will argue all three are important to keep an eye on, but we have not been taught that the most significant driver is the buying AND selling patterns of American consumers Based On Age.

The primary reason residential real estate prices are at nose bleed levels is thanks to 76 million people born between 1946-1964 (legal, illegal, legitimate and illegitimate) that showed up in these United States of America.  Prices rose as a direct result of unprecedented demand.  In fact, there is no other country in history where so  many people came into being during the same twenty year period.  It’s also the first and perhaps the last time such an event will occur in U.S. history.

Thanks to the U.S. Census Bureau we can see the buying and selling patterns.  Please recognize that the patterns have held irrespective of high or low interest rates.  In the early 1980s when Boomers were entering the work force interest rates were 16% but that had no effect on educated well paid young people with their high demand for buying homes.  The age most Americans buy their first home was 31.  It is now 37.

The age of 41 is when most Americans have purchased their biggest home.  Again, Boomers can check box 1 and box 2.  From 1980-2000, 40% of all of the homes purchased in America were on lot sizes of 1 - 10 acres in size.  That was the Boomers buying the biggest house they will ever own during a 20 year period.  Each household thought they were doing something special.  When in fact we were just following the herd.

Today it takes 8 to 10 and even 20 times everyday incomes to buy an everyday house.  Healthy real estate prices are a good thing, indicative that the area is an attractive city or country to live in with a good standard of living.  And wages paid to employees becomes higher to compensate for that higher standard of living, along with more expensive office, store, plant, and warehouse costs.  That’s one of the reasons we are losing key industries to lower cost countries.

 As Professor Robert Shiller put it October, 2019, there are bubbles everywhere.  Bubbles in the bond market, the stock market, and the residential real estate market.  And every 7 year old in the world understands all bubbles burst.  In fact, every child knows the bigger the bubble, the bigger the burst.

 High real estate prices past a normal level of 3-4 times income in good cities only benefits the older people who already own real estate and who are going to work, but they produce less, and then die.  It kills the standard of living for the new up-and-coming generation.  It only encourages more focus on fixing up and flipping homes, instead of investing in productive capacity to produce real goods and services and for export and global competitiveness.

 So prices go up when demand is high and it stands to reason that prices go down when demand declines. Boomers constitute 24% of the U.S. population and it is noteworthy that the age most Americans sell their homes is age 78.  Boomers this year turn 55-74 which means we can clearly see they are increasingly likely to sell.  And it is important to keep in mind the average age of death in America is mid-80s.

Now is the time for those with a lot of equity to consider releasing that equity ahead of the herd.  As an old Eagle Scout hiking 50 miles across New Mexico I know when you are in the middle or the back of a herd of cows, the view and the smell do not change. You must get ahead of the pack.  Or be sorry.  Millennials, on the other hand, may be wise to keep their powder dry to see if the market moves in their direction.  I would not be surprised to see home prices in Cleveland decline by 13%.  And the decline for both coasts to be 50%-60%. When 24% of the population goes to heaven, and the 130 years of residential real estate supply remains stable,  it is reasonable to expect home prices and rental income to go straight to hell.  

Direct download: John_Grace_12.May.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:01am EST

Gary is a master at making the complex simple. In just 4 charts he shows exactly where the economy is now in relation to the 2008-09 economic crisis and where it's probably heading. And equally as important, he makes a compelling case for the only insurance policy available to mere mortals, gold. 

Direct download: Gary_Wagner_12.May.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

Just Another Bricks in the Wall - John Rubino  5-11-20

China's Silk Road and Belt initiative goes bust, dollar looking pretty good by comparison. Will the Chinese exercise gunboat diplomacy? 

Battle between ECB and German CB, who can’t agree on how much QE is enough. German Supreme Court has ruled that ECB has gone too far with its version of QE. Europe is only halfway through its integration process and is falling rapidly behind on its goal. 

Second quarter US GDP will be down a whopping 34.9% in the US. CA Deficit $100B for the current fiscal year. Grossly underfunded pension funds. Big bailouts will be demanded by states and the Feds will resist until they can't any longer. 

Swiss National Bank is now officially a hedge fund. It lost money on the decline but made back most of their losses on the recovery. Others are watching and wanting to emulate. 

Germany tries to reopen and appears to be failing. Georgia reopens and appears to succeed. 

Direct download: John_Rubino_11.May.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:01am EST

Before the Coronavirus hit, 5.2 percent of US employees reported telecommuting most of the time, while 43 percent worked from home at least some of the time. Now, with these uncharted waters, that figure has skyrocketed globally.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced millions of Americans to work from home. But when it’s all over, many people could be thinking the trip from the kitchen to the living room may not be such a bad commute. That being said, how will people adjust to being FT remote workers?

· What are some ways to stay on top of your game at home?

· How can you communicate clearly while working remotely?

· Is Zoom the #1 choice for remote communication?

· Will Zoom change the way we communicate in the future?

Be sure to check out John's new book, “Remote Work for a Better World,” where he shares all the secrets to working remotely and how to make sure you're productive even when you’re not in the office.

Direct download: John_Paul_Mendocha_11.May.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST

After 8 years, our good friend Gary Christenson is moving on from his tenure at the Deviant Investor. Just as the world looks like it's ready to move on from the dollar based monetary system. Gary foresees much greater gold and silver prices ahead and a world awash in dollars. As he's said many times over the years, the current system is unsustainable and appears to be breaking down. We're certainly getting a lot closer to that inflection point than ever  before. 

Direct download: Gary_Christianson_11.May.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EST



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