Inflation Is Here – Just Open Up Your Eyes And Look At These 5 Financial Charts!

Despite what Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says, rampant inflation is officially here.  The federal government is constantly monkeying with the numbers to keep the “official” rate of inflation below 2 percent, but it is becoming very difficult to deny that the cost of almost everything is really going up these days.  The American people are not stupid.  They notice the difference when they go to the grocery store or stop at the gas station.  The dollar is losing value rapidly now.  The price of gold set another new all-time record today and is currently hovering just above $1430 an ounce.  The price of West Texas crude has moved above 100 dollars several times recently and the price of Brent crude is currently above 116 dollars.  These higher oil prices are really starting to be felt in the United States.  The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States has now reached $3.38.  There are some gas stations in the U.S. where the price of a gallon of gas is already over 4 dollars.  But it is not just the American people that are feeling the pain.  The global price of food recently hit a new record high and almost every major agricultural commodity has absolutely skyrocketed in price over the past 12 months.  Meanwhile, Ben Bernanke just told the Senate Banking Committee that he really isn’t concerned about inflation at all.

When it comes to inflation, the key is not to look at the official U.S. government numbers (they are highly manipulated) or how the U.S. dollar is performing against other major currencies (because they are all being devalued as well).  Instead, you can get a truer sense of what is really happening to inflation by looking at what the U.S. dollar is doing against precious metals, commodities and other hard assets.

So are we experiencing rampant inflation right now?  Well, just open up your eyes and look at these 5 charts….

1 – The price of oil is racing back up to record levels.  The chart below from the Federal Reserve is a couple weeks out of date.  As noted above, the current price of West Texas crude is about $100 a barrel….

2 – The price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States seems destined to hit a brand new all-time record at some point this year.  Was it really just a few short years ago when the average price of gas in this country was about a dollar a gallon?….

3 – The value of most precious metals is very consistent over time.  So when you see precious metals go up dramatically in price, it means that the dollar is being devalued.  The price of gold just set another new all-time high and it seems destined to keep going even higher….

4 – The chart below from the Federal Reserve is a measure of the price of all commodities.  These price increases are inevitably going to be passed along to consumers in the United States….

5 – After a couple of years of stable food price, the price of food is starting to take off yet again….

In fact, many analysts are warning that we could experience a major food crisis over the next couple of years.  The global demand for food continues to grow at a very brisk pace, but all of the crazy weather we have been having around the world has caused some very bad harvests.

Unfortunately, the global price of food has gone up substantially in recent months and it is likely to keep going up very rapidly.  Just consider the following five facts….

#1 The United Nations says that the global price of food hit another new all-time high during the month of January.

#2 The price of corn has doubled in the past six months.

#3 The price of wheat has roughly doubled since the middle of 2010.

#4 According to Forbes, the price of soybeans is up about 50% since last June.

#5 The United Nations is projecting that the global price of food will increase by another 30 percent by the end of 2011.

Ouch.

But isn’t there some good economic news?

Yes, there is, but before we cover it, it is important to keep in mind that in an inflationary environment almost all economic numbers go up.

For example, during the recent hyperinflation in Zimbabwe stocks went up like crazy and “economic growth” statistics were very impressive.

Why?

Because those numbers were measured in currency units that were being devalued at a blinding pace.

So please keep that in mind when you hear “good economic statistics” on the evening news.

The truth is that in an inflationary environment such as we have now entered into almost all economic numbers should be going up.

So what is the good news?

Well, last month all three major U.S. car companies reported strong sales gains.  Sales of GM vehicles were up 49%, sales of Chrysler vehicles were up 13%, and sales of Ford vehicles were up 10%.

But just because a few pieces of good economic news come floating our way does not mean that we should forget all of the horrific long-term economic trends that are tearing this country apart.

The truth is that we are still a nation that is absolutely drowning in debt.

For example, it was just announced that China now owns 1.16 trillion dollars of U.S. government debt.

The borrower is the servant of the lender.  We should never forget that.

Also, the U.S. economy is slowly but surely becoming of less importance on the global stage.

In 1985, America’s share of global GDP was 33%.  Today, it is just 24%.

Our nation is rapidly being deindustrialized and we are becoming deeply dependent on industrial production from other nations.

Did you know that the new World Trade Center that is being constructed on the site of the September 11, 2001 attacks is going to be made from German steel and Chinese glass?

That says a lot about where we are at as a country.

We have allowed so much of our industrial infrastructure to be exported to China where workers slave away in almost unbelievable conditions.

A reader named Rish recently described what things are like over there….

As a product developer I went to china and saw the way the factory workers lived and worked in person. 50$ a month is about right, but if you are a skilled quality control expert you might make as much as 150$. at least this was true about 2 years ago the last time I went. The barracks were pretty meager, bunk beds with just plywood, no mattresses, if you wanted you could go to a store just outside the factory gate and buy a thick comforter that they sell as a “mattress” .

It will be interesting to see how the next few years changes the face of the USA. Who knows? if the unemployment rate and lack of jobs keeps going and enough people become homeless, we might become the next Bangladesh, and people will be lining up of the 30 cents an hour corporate factory jobs, and living in barracks just like those…

The only way the U.S. has been able to “thrive” during this deindustrialization is by borrowing gigantic amounts of money.  But all of this borrowing is slowly but surely destroying the U.S. dollar, and we are getting closer to the point of absolute catastrophe.

Peter Schiff recently shook folks up when he talked about these issues during a recent interview on CNBC….

But it is not just the United States that is printing tons and tons of money.  All of the major industrialized nations have been firing out gobs of currency.  That is a huge reason why so many investors have been racing to get into hard assets recently.

Now Ben Bernanke and other top Federal Reserve officials have been dropping hints that more quantitative easing may be necessary.

Unfortunately, just like with any other addiction, once you give in a few times it becomes easier and easier to engage in destructive behavior.  Now that the Fed has gotten a taste for quantitative easing it is going to be really hard to stop.

Nor can the Fed stop at this point.  If they did it would be disastrous for the U.S. economy.  But if the Fed continues on this reckless course it will make the eventual collapse of our economy even worse.

Under our current debt-based system there is no way out.  The Federal Reserve can attempt to put off the inevitable for a while by pumping up the debt bubble even more, but at some point it is going to burst.

When that happens we are going to be facing a financial crisis which will blow what happened in 2008 completely out of the water.

So enjoy these good economic times while you still can.  This is about as good as things are going to get from here on out.

Precious Metals: 10 Things To Know Before Jumping Into Gold And Silver

As the global economy became increasingly unstable during 2010, investors all over the world flocked to precious metals such as gold, silver, copper and platinum.  The price of gold set an all-time record high last year, and gold investors were euphoric.  Many analysts are projecting that prices for gold, silver and other precious metals will continue to soar throughout 2011.  But does that mean that everyone should just suddenly jump into gold and silver?  No, it does not.  Precious metals are not for everyone.  Just like any other kind of investing, it is absolutely crucial that you get educated before you get involved.  Investing in precious metals is very different from other kinds of investments.  There are significant hazards and pitfalls to watch out for.  But if you take the time to do it right, investing in precious metals can be very rewarding, and it can potentially be a great way to protect your wealth against the tremendous inflation that is coming in the years ahead.

The following are ten key things that you should know before jumping into gold and silver….

#1 Precious Metals Markets Are Highly Manipulated

Big financial institutions, and even governments, openly manipulate the precious metals markets.  This is an open secret that you should know if you plant to invest in precious metals.  Those who think that they can jump in and out of gold or silver and make a killing usually end up learning a very painful lesson.  Investing in precious metals should be done for the long-term unless you really, really know what you are doing.

So why is long-term investing safer?  Well, as we have seen over the past few years, the short-term manipulation of gold and silver prices usually gets trumped by the long-term trends in the end.

But that doesn’t mean that gold, silver and other precious metals won’t take some very significant short-term tumbles.

The following “mini-documentary” does an excellent job of examining some of the strange things that we have seen in the precious metals markets recently….

#2 The Long-Term Trends Are Very Favorable For Precious Metals

As the U.S. dollar has declined, gold, silver and other precious metals have been going up, up, up over the past decade.  Investors all over the globe have been flocking to the safety and stability that they provide.

Just check out the following chart which shows how the price of gold has risen dramatically over the past decade.  In fact, this chart is a little out of date.  At one point during 2010, the price of gold exceeded $1400 an ounce.  As you can see, those who have been investing in gold for the long-term have been doing very, very well….

Many analysts are extremely bullish on gold right now.  For example, Peter Schiff believes that the price of gold is going to eventually hit $5000.

So does that mean that what Schiff is saying is actually going to happen?

Nobody can tell you for sure what is going to happen.

But one thing is for sure – we are entering uncharted territory in world financial markets.  At this point, just about anything is possible.

#3 Gold Holds Value Over Long Periods Of Time

In ancient Rome, an ounce of gold would buy you a nice suit.  A hundred years ago, an ounce of gold would buy you a nice suit.  Today, an ounce of gold will buy you a nice suit.

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar has lost well over 95 percent of its value over the last 100 years.

So which is better to hold on to for the long-term – U.S. dollars or gold?

#4 The Value Of The Dollar Is Going Down

Usually (but not always) when the value of the dollar goes down, the value of gold goes up.  As the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have been flooding the system with new dollars, investors across the globe have been flocking to precious metals.

At some point in the years ahead we are going to be facing some very, very serious inflation.  When that time arrives, U.S. dollars are not going to be worth a whole lot.  But all of that gold and silver you have stored up still will be.

#5 Physical Gold Is Preferable To Paper Gold

When investing in gold, it is much more preferable to actually take possession of the physical gold than it is to have a piece of paper that says that you have invested in gold.  Someday when the financial system crashes, you may find that your “piece of paper” is not going to do you much good.

#6 Diversification Is Key

When investing in precious metals, it is important to diversify.  This spreads out your risk.  Some investors accumulate as many different precious metals as they can.  Others diversify by getting precious metals from a variety of dealers or by accumulating it in different forms – coins, bars, jewelry, etc.

It is always wise not to put all of your “eggs” in one basket.

#7 Accumulate Different Denominations If You Can

In the future, if you actually need to spend your precious metals you don’t want them all to be of the same denomination if possible.  For example, if you need to buy a little bit of food, you don’t want to only have high value coins.  Variety is a good thing, and accumulating different coin denominations is another way that you can diversify.

#8 You Cannot Eat Precious Metals

Investing in precious metals should be done only after you have gathered together an adequate emergency food supply.  If the global economy completely shatters, having gold and silver is not going to be good enough.  You are going to need lots of food for you and your family.  So be sure to take care of the necessities before you invest in precious metals.

#9 Do Not Advertise That You Are Accumulating Precious Metals

Don’t go around telling everyone that you are storing up precious metals.  That is just going to make you a target.  Investing in precious metals is something to be done quietly.

#10 Get Educated

I cannot stress this point enough.  If you want to invest in precious metals, you need to get educated.  People that do not know what they are doing are at much greater risk of getting burned.  Be smart enough to realize what you do not know.  Don’t be too proud to ask for advice.  Seek out reputable dealers.  If you take the time to do things right, then you will have the best chance for success.

The following video contains some more facts and figures about investing in gold.  I do not know anything about the organization that put this video together, but this video is well produced and it presents a lot of important information about gold in an entertaining manner….

Barack Obama And Ben Bernanke Continue To Defend Quantitative Easing, But For The Rest Of The World The Verdict Is In: They Hate It

Even as Barack Obama and Ben Bernanke publicly defend the Federal Reserve’s new $600 billion quantitative easing program, top finance officials around the globe are expressing alarm and outrage.  But what did Obama and Bernanke expect?  “Quantitative easing” is little more than legalized cheating.  For a moment, imagine that the global economy is a giant game of Monopoly.  Essentially what Bernanke has done is that he has just reached under the table and has slipped another $600 billion on to his pile of money, hoping that the rest of the players will not call him out on it.  The rest of the world has heavily invested in the U.S. dollar and in U.S. Treasuries, and this new quantitative easing program is going to devalue all of those holdings.  If the Federal Reserve continues to go down the road of monetizing U.S. government debt, other nations are rapidly going to get spooked and will soon refuse to invest in U.S. dollars and U.S. Treasuries.  When that day arrives, it is going to cause mass panic in the world financial system.

Already, investors across the globe are flocking out of the U.S. dollar and into safe investments such as gold and silver.  On Monday, gold closed at an all-time record high of $1,403.20 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and silver closed at a 30-year high of $27.43 an ounce.

Unfortunately, our leaders seem absolutely clueless about what is really going on.  In fact, Barack Obama is very much in Bernanke’s corner.  During his trip to India, Barack Obama made it clear that he very much supports this new round of quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve….

“I will say that the Fed’s mandate, my mandate, is to grow our economy. And that’s not just good for the United States, that’s good for the world as a whole.”

This is the exact opposite of what Barack Obama should be doing.  He should be demanding accountability from Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve.  He should be trying to get the U.S. financial system back on some kind of solid footing.

But we all know that is not going to happen.  Obama had no problem renominating Bernanke to another term, and Obama has publicly supported him at every opportunity.

Well, if Obama isn’t going to do it, shouldn’t some of our other representatives in Washington D.C. be calling for the resignation of Bernanke?  After all, how many chances does one guy get?  Bernanke’s record is littered with so much gross incompetence that it makes Wade Phillips of the Dallas Cowboys look like Coach of the Year.  The video posted below shows Bernanke reassuring the public over and over and over between 2005 and 2007 that the U.S. economy was in great shape and that we would continue to experience solid growth….

How long is it going to be until everyone wakes up and starts acknowledging that “the emperor has no clothes” and Bernanke is running the U.S. economy into the ground?

At this point, Bernanke has lost virtually all credibility.  In 2009, he promised the U.S. Congress that the Federal Reserve would not monetize U.S. government debt, but now that is exactly what is happening.

Most of the top finance officials in other countries realize what is going on, and they are really starting to make their displeasure known.  The following are just a few examples of the global outrage that has been expressed about the Fed’s new quantitative easing program over the past few days….

*Xia Bin, an important member of the monetary policy committee of China’s central bank has called the Fed’s new quantitative easing plan “abusive” and is warning that it could set off a global economic meltdown.

*On Monday, Chinese Finance Vice Minister Zhu Guangyao expressed his extreme dismay regarding the Fed’s new quantitative easing scheme….

“As a major reserve currency issuer, for the United States to launch a second round of quantitative easing at this time, we feel that it did not recognize its responsibility to stabilize global markets and did not think about the impact of excessive liquidity on emerging markets.”

*German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, who has called current Fed policy “clueless”, says that he is absolutely disgusted with the Federal Reserve at this point….

“They have already pumped an endless amount of money into the economy via taking on extremely high public debt and through a Fed policy that has already pumped a lot of money into the economy. The results are horrendous.”

*Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the President of Brazil, says that he is incredibly upset about QE2 and that he is going to arrive for the G20 meetings in Seoul ready “to fight”.

*Bloomberg is reporting that at the upcoming G20 meetings, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is going to “insist” that any future quantitative easing measures be globally coordinated.

*Even some top Fed officials are speaking out publicly against this new round of quantitative easing.  For example, Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig recently made the following statement about the new direction the Fed is taking….

“I worry that by pumping in significant amounts of dollars we then build the inflationary pressures for the future, and we do encourage then an easier credit environment that helped create this problem in the first place.”

The Federal Reserve had better hope that the rest of the world does not get scared off from buying U.S. government debt.  According to the Wall Street Journal, in order to repay maturing bonds and finance the budget deficit, the U.S. government will have to come up with 4.2 trillion dollars over the next year.

If the rest of the world cuts back on buying U.S. Treasuries, the Federal Reserve is going to find itself with a gigantic mountain of debt that it will be forced to monetize.

So what happens someday when China, Japan, Russia and the major oil producers in the Middle East decide that enough is enough and they are not going to buy any more U.S. debt?

Don’t think it can’t happen – these nations are not stupid and if they realize that the U.S. dollar is going to continually keep falling in value there could be a dramatic move away from U.S. debt.

If the rest of the world quits lending massive amounts of money to the U.S. government, our leaders will be faced with three options.  The U.S. government could start trying to operate within a balanced budget (which would crash the economy), interest rates on U.S. government debt could be raised until people would be willing to invest in Treasuries again (which would probably crash U.S. government finances and the economy), or the Federal Reserve could just start monetizing most of the debt on a regular basis (which would likely eventually crash the entire world financial system).

In order for the current world financial system to maintain stability, it is essential for there to be faith in the U.S. dollar and for there to be faith in U.S. Treasuries.  Once faith in them is lost, it will only be a matter of time until the world financial system totally crumbles.

This new round of quantitative easing could be the “tipping point” that opens the door to the eventual complete and total collapse of the U.S. dollar.  Let us hope that the dollar does not completely fail any time soon, but with jokers like Bernanke and Obama running the show, there is not much reason for optimism.

12 Ominous Signs For World Financial Markets

Can anyone explain the very strange behavior that we are seeing in world financial markets right now?  Corporate insiders are bailing out of the U.S. stock market at a very alarming rate.  Investors are moving mountains of money into gold and other commodities.  In fact, there is such a rush towards gold that shortages are starting to be reported in some areas.  Meanwhile, some very, very unusual option activity has started to show up.  In particular, someone is making some incredibly large bets that the S&P 500 is going to absolutely tank during the month of October.  Central banks around the world have caught a case of “loose money fever” and are apparently hoping that a new flood of paper money will shock the global economy back to life.  Meanwhile, the furor over the foreclosure procedure abuses of the major U.S mortgage companies threatens to bring even more turmoil to the U.S. housing industry.

There are some very ominous signs that something is just not right in world financial markets right now.  Some of the signs listed below may be related.  Others may not be.  That is for you to decide.

Often, just before something really bad happens, you can actually see the rats leaving a sinking ship if you know where to look.  The truth is that if things are going to go south it is the insiders who know before anyone else.

So are some of the signs below actually clues for what we should expect in the months ahead?

Maybe.

Maybe not.

You make your own call.

But it is becoming hard to deny that there are some serious danger signs out there at this point….    

#1 Corporate insiders are getting out of the U.S. stock market at an absolutely blinding pace.  It is being reported that the ratio of corporate insider selling to corporate insider buying last week was 1,411 to 1, and this week the ratio has soared even higher and is at 2,341 to 1.

#2 Many of the world’s wealthiest people are buying absolutely massive quantities of gold right now.

#3 It is being reported that J.P. Morgan is gobbling up the rights to as much physical gold as it possibly can.

#4 The United States Mint has announced that it has run out of 1-ounce, 24-karat American Buffalo gold bullion coins and that it will not be selling any more of them in 2010.

#5 It is becoming increasingly difficult to explain the unusually high option volume that we are witnessing right now.

#6 Some very large investors are making massive bets that the S&P 500 is going to take a serious tumble during the month of October.

#7 On Tuesday, the Bank of Japan shocked world financial markets by cutting interest rates even closer to zero and by setting up a 5 trillion yen quantitative easing fund.

#8 The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago are both publicly urging the Fed to do much more to stimulate the U.S. economy, including beginning a new round of quantitative easing, even if it means a significant rise in the U.S. inflation rate.

#9 Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz told reporters on Tuesday that the loose monetary policies of the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank are throwing the world into “chaos”.

#10 At the end of September, federal regulators announced a $30 billion bailout of the U.S. wholesale credit union system.

#11 Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and GMAC Mortgage have all suspended foreclosures in many U.S. states due to serious concerns about foreclosure procedures.  Now, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is actually demanding that all mortgage servicing companies in the state of Texas immediately suspend all foreclosures, the selling of foreclosed properties and the eviction of people living in foreclosed properties until they have completed a review of their foreclosure procedures.

#12 Not only that, but Nancy Pelosi and 30 other members of Congress are requesting a federal investigation of the foreclosure practices of U.S. mortgage lenders.  Needless to say, this controversy has the potential to turn the entire U.S. mortgage industry into an absolute quagmire.

So are dark days ahead for world financial markets?

Well, yeah, but it is incredibly hard to predict exactly when things are going to fall apart.

The truth is that there are going to be a whole lot more “crashes” and “collapses” in the years ahead.

The important thing, as discussed yesterday, is to keep your eye on the long-term trends.

The U.S. economy is undeniably in decline.  The only thing keeping the economy going at this point is a rapidly growing sea of red ink.  Debt is literally everywhere.  It is what our entire financial system is based on in 2010. 

In the months and years to come, the major players are going to try very hard to keep all the balls in the air and to continue the massive shell game that is going on, but in the end the whole thing is going to collapse like a house of cards.

Unfortunately, we have been destroying the U.S. economy for decades and there is simply not going to be a happy ending to this story.

Has Gold Become A New Reserve Currency?

For decades, the U.S. dollar has been the reserve currency of the world.  This has given the United States an extraordinary amount of economic power, but as the U.S. economy has started to come apart over the past decade, other nations have increasingly sought to move away from the U.S. dollar and find other alternatives.  For a long time it was thought that the Euro would become the next great reserve currency of the world.  However, the recent Greek debt crisis, along with massive financial instability in nations such as Portugal, Spain and Italy, has caused investors to rapidly lose confidence in the Euro.  In fact there are even some whispers that the Euro may not even survive the sovereign debt crisis as it sweeps across Europe.  With both the U.S. dollar and the Euro looking shaky, investors have been searching somewhere safe to put their money.  Increasingly, they have been turning to gold.  So has gold now become a new reserve currency?  Will all of this new demand drive the price of gold into unprecedented territory?

Well, the truth is that as long as paper currencies around the world continue to show instability, gold will continue to be a preferred choice.  Nations all over the world are looking for ways to diversify their very large foreign exchange reserves.  For example, China now has approximately $2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, and has been wanting to reduce its position in U.S. dollars for quite some time now.

But where should they put their money?

The Euro is coming apart like a 20 dollar suit.  There is a very real fear that Greece is only the first domino to fall and that soon nations like Italy, Spain and Portugal will be begging the IMF for assistance as the sovereign debt crisis sweeps across Europe.

Well, what about the British pound?  The truth is that the pound is not very appealing right now because the U.K. is facing a massive government debt crisis as well.  In fact, Bank of England governor Mervyn King recently warned that public anger over the “austerity measures” that soon must be implemented in the U.K. will be so intense that whatever party wins this election will be out of power for a generation.

Well, how about the Japanese yen?  Ironically, there has been a move towards the Japanese yen in recent days, but the truth is that the Japanese debt situation is one of the worst in the world.  Japan’s gross public debt has reached 201 percent of GDP and  Japan’s battle with deflation dragged into its 13th straight month in March.  No, the yen is not safe at all.

So does that bring us back to the U.S. dollar?  No.  There is a reason why nations all over the world have been wanting to get out of the U.S. dollar.  The United States has piled up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world, and even official U.S. government reports admit that the U.S. government is on a financial path that is not even close to sustainable.  The U.S. economy is caught in a death spiral, and that makes the U.S. dollar very unsafe.

So, what is safe at this point?

Well, gold is.

The price of gold rose to $1,210 an ounce on Friday.  The terms “flight to quality” and “safe haven” are increasingly being used for the precious metal as investors flee all of the major global paper currencies.

Just consider some of the recent comments about gold by financial experts that have shown up in the news….

Stephen Platt, a commodity analyst at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago:

“The sovereign-debt panic is spreading and forcing a flight to quality into gold.”

Citigroup analyst David Thurtell:

“Gold is now enjoying safe haven status, partly because bonds, particularly peripheral euro zone government and bank paper, is no longer a safe haven.”

Dennis Gartman, an economist and the editor of the Suffolk, Virginia-based Gartman Letter:

“There is a clear flight into quality to the gold market as frightened capital seeks a haven of any sort while confusion reigns.”

So will this move towards gold continue?

Sure.

Although anyone who follows the gold market knows that big financial institutions regularly work to suppress the price of gold.  In fact, one industry insider recently decided to be a whistleblower and came forward with “smoking gun” evidence of price manipulation in the precious metals markets, but the CFTC didn’t do a thing about it.

Fortunately, the overwhelming demand for gold is now pushing the price up despite efforts to suppress it.

In addition, once it becomes apparent that most of the “gold” that is traded in the world is not backed by the actual metal itself, the price of gold will go even higher.

For years, almost everyone has assumed that the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), the world’s largest gold market, had actual gold to back up the massive “gold deposits” at the major LBMA banks.

But that is just not the case.

People are now starting to realize that there is very little actual gold in the LBMA system.

When most people think they are buying “gold”, what they are actually buying are just pieces of paper that say they own gold.

Egon von Greyerz of Matterhorn Asset Management in Switzerland recently elaborated on this point.  He says that “a lot of people who have studied it closely are convinced that there is a major shortage in physical gold at LBMA. LBMA trades around 700 tons net of gold daily. That is 25% of world annual production and around $6 trillion annually. To back that amount of trading on a 100% reserve ratio basis, it would need several year’s production of physical gold, which they definitively haven’t got.”

So what is going to happen when investors start demanding physical delivery of the gold that they purchase?

It is going to create a huge mess.

Needless to say, if you are investing in gold make sure that you take physical delivery of the gold.

As the paper currenices all over the globe continue to unravel (as all debt-based paper currencies always do), all precious metals, including gold, will be increasingly in demand.

In fact, the idea of gold being a “reserve currency” is not anything new.

Gold has been a “reserve currency” for thousands of years, and those who understand history know that it will always remain one.

BOMBSHELL – Whistle Blower Comes Forward With Solid Proof The Price Of Gold And Silver Is Being Manipulated By Major Financial Institutions

For a long time many of us have had very serious suspicions that the prices of gold and silver were being highly manipulated. But now, thanks to the mind blowing testimony of one very brave whistle blower, the blatant manipulation of the world gold and silver markets is being blown wide open.  What you are about to read below is absolutely staggering.  Once the American people learn how incredibly corrupt the world financial system is, it is going to change everything.  The government that we are all trusting to guard the integrity of the financial system is failing to do that job.  It turns out that the Commodities Futures Trading Commission has been sitting on solid evidence that the elite banking powers have been openly and blatantly manipulating the price of gold and silver.  Even though they were basically handed a “smoking gun”, they have done absolutely nothing with it.  But now the information has gone public and the CFTC is red-faced.

Back in November 2009, Andrew Maguire, a former Goldman Sachs silver trader in Goldman’s London office, contacted the CFTC’s Enforcement Division and reported the illegal manipulation of the silver market by traders at JPMorgan Chase.

Maguire told the CFTC how silver traders at JPMorgan Chase openly bragged about their exploits – including how they sent a signal to the market in advance so that other traders could make a profit during price suppression episodes.

Traders would recognize these signals and would make money shorting precious metals alongside JPMorgan Chase.  Maguire explained to the CFTC how there would routinely be market manipulations at the time of option expiries, during non-farm payroll data releases, during commodities exchange contract rollovers, as well as at other times if it was deemed necessary.

On February 3rd, Maguire gave the CFTC a two day warning of a market manipulation event by email to Eliud Ramirez, who is a senior investigator for the CFTC’s Enforcement Division.

Maguire warned Ramirez that the price of precious metals would be suppressed upon the release of non-farm payroll data on February 5th.  As the manipulation of the precious metals markets was unfolding on February 5th, Maguire sent additional emails to Ramirez explaining exactly what was going on.

And it wasn’t just that Maguire predicted that the price would be forced down.  It was the level of precision that he was able to communicate to the CFTC that was the most stunning.  He warned the CFTC that the price of silver was to be taken down regardless of what happened to the employment numbers and that the price of silver would end up below $15 per ounce. Over the next couple of days, the price of silver was indeed taken down from $16.17 per ounce down to a low of $14.62 per ounce.

Because of Maguire’s warning, the CFTC was able to watch a crime unfold, right in front of their eyes, in real time.

So what did the CFTC do about it?

Nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

Which is extremely alarming, because the size of this fraud absolutely dwarfs the Madoff or Enron scandals.  In fact, this fraud is so gigantic that it is not even worth comparing to any of the other major financial scandals of recent times.

But Maguire did not give up.  He sent several more emails to the CFTC detailing the open manipulation of the gold and silver markets.

The CFTC did not reply.

Finally he sent them a final email: “I have honored my commitment to assist you and keep any information we discuss private, however if you are going to ignore my information I will deem that commitment to have expired.”

The reply by the CFTC?

“I have received and reviewed your email communications. Thank you so very much for your observations.”

No action.

No acknowledgement that anything was wrong.

No recognition that a massive crime had been committed.

Fortunately, that was not the end of it.

On March 25th, the CFTC held a hearing on alleged manipulation in the gold market by the major banking powers.

Maguire wanted to testify during that hearing but he was not invited.

But William Murphy, chairman of Gold Anti-Trust Action (GATA), was invited to testify.  GATA has been compiling data on the manipulation of the gold and silver markets for quite a long time now.

Murphy was only given five minutes to deliver his testimony.  He raced through his presentation so that he could get as much information on the record as possible.

Very curiously, the live television broadcast of the CFTC hearing suffered a technical failure the minute before Murphy began his testimony. The technical failure was corrected the minute after Murphy was finished.

Coincidence?

Well, it turns out that there were are lot of coincidences surrounding this hearing.

But we’ll get to that in a minute.

When Murphy finished his statement, the panel asked him for some hard proof of market manipulation.  Murphy shocked the panel by revealing the name of Maguire and explaining how Maguire had informed the CFTC Enforcement Division of the market manipulation that was taking place by JPMorgan Chase.  The CFTC panel seemed stunned by the revelation and seemed reluctant to learn any further and asked nothing else about it.

Video of Murphy’s revelation to the panel is posted below….

In another “coincidence”, Maguire and his wife were subsequently injured and hospitalized when their car was struck by a hit-and-run driver in the London suburbs.

When a bystander who saw the “accident” tried to block the other driver from getting away, the other driver accelerated directly towards the witness, forcing him to leap out of the way to avoid being hit.  The hit-and-run driver’s car then hit two additional cars as he left the area.

But Maguire and his wife were fortunate.

In the past, other would-be whistle blowers that had evidence regarding the manipulation in the gold and silver markets died in “unusual accidents” before they were able to bring their evidence to light.

But there were even more “coincidences” surrounding this hearing.

A week before the hearing, the CFTC announced that they had had a fire in the room where its gold and silver records are held.

Isn’t that convenient?

In addition, after the hearing was over, Murphy was contacted by a number of major media outlets for interviews.

Within 24 hours, every single interview was cancelled.

Every single one.

Is that a coincidence too?

It appears that some very powerful people do not want this information to get out.

It also shows how corrupt the mainstream media has become.

This is a story that is so much bigger than the Madoff scandal or the Enron scandal that it is not even funny.

And yet the mainstream media is avoiding it like the plague.

But there were additional bombshells that came out during the hearing as well.

During the hearing it was revealed that the gold manipulators have accumulated a huge short position in gold and that these huge short positions are “naked”, which means that these positions are not hedged.

These massive short positions have put some of the largest financial institutions in the world in an extremely vulnerable position.

In addition, it has now come out that most “gold” that is traded is not backed by the actual metal itself.  For years, most people have assumed that the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), the world’s largest gold market, had actual gold to back up the massive “gold deposits” at the major LBMA banks.

But that is not the case.

People are now realizing that there is very little actual gold in the LBMA system.

When people think they are buying “gold”, they are actually just buying pieces of paper that say they own gold.

In fact, during the CFTC hearings, Jeffrey Christian of CPM Group confirmed that the LBMA banks actually have approximately a hundred times more gold deposits than actual gold bullion.

Uh oh.

So what happens if everyone decides that they want actual physical delivery of their gold?

It would be such a mess that it is painful even to think about it.

The truth is that right now most of the trading activities on the London exchange are just paper for paper.

But people get into gold because they want to be in a real commodity.

In fact, there are thousands of clients around the globe who think they own huge deposits of gold bullion, and are being charged large storage fees on that imaginary bullion, but what they really own are a bunch of pieces of paper.

If there comes a time when everyone starts asking for their gold it is going to create a squeeze of unimaginable proportions.

Maguire explains this situation this way: “for 100 customers who show up there is only one guy who is going to get his gold or silver and there’s 99 who will be disappointed, so without any new money coming into the market, just asking for that gold and silver will create a default.”

The truth is that it is absolutely impossible for the LBMA to ever deliver all the gold and silver owed to the owners of contracts.

Yes, it is a gigantic mess.

But this type of things is not entirely unprecedented.  For example, Morgan Stanley paid out several million dollars back in 2007 to settle claims that it had charged 22,000 clients storage fees on silver bullion that did not exist.

But the scale of the fraud going on now is absolutely mind blowing.  The following video contains footage from the hearing related to these issues….

So what is the bottom line?

The bottom line is that the precious metals markets are cesspools of fraud and manipulation.

The markets have been suppressed by the major financial institutions for years, and this has created the potential for a “squeeze” in the precious metals markets that could send the prices of gold and silver into the stratosphere.

You see, the reality is that there would be no gold left in the entire world if all the Gold ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) asked for physical delivery.

Are you starting to get the picture?

In fact, Maguire claims that the naked short selling scam by the major financial institutions is well into the trillions of dollars, making it by far the biggest financial fraud in history.

Maguire calls what has been going on “financial terrorism”, and he accuses the financial institutions involved in this fraud of “treason” for putting national security at risk.

And national security is at risk.

Because if the true extent of this fraud comes out, it could collapse the entire financial system.

If you have never heard an interview with Andrew Maguire, we encourage you to listen to the audio interview posted below.  It will really open your eyes to what is going on in the precious metals markets….

The Century’s Biggest Fraud Revealed

This is one of the biggest financial stories of the decade.  Because it is complex, most Americans will not understand it.  But the fraud and manipulation in the gold and silver markets has the potential to cause a massive economic collapse even without all of the other factors talked about on this blog.

Some very powerful people have been doing some really, really bad things.  Once people understand the truth, they will never look at the financial markets the same way again.  Already, faith in the major financial institutions of this country has been shaken by revelations about what has been going on over at Goldman Sachs.  The American people have no more appetite for any more financial scandals or for any more Wall Street bailouts.  But if the fraud and manipulation taking place in the precious metal markets ever gets totally exposed it will change the U.S. financial system forever.

Please get this information out to as many people as you can.  There are a number of very powerful people who are not going to be pleased that sites like this are attempting to get the truth about this massive scandal out.

Safecastle

What Is He Up To Now? George Soros Declares That Gold Is Now “The Ultimate Bubble”

What in the world is George Soros up to now?  At the 2010 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland Soros recently made the following statement: “When interest rates are low we have conditions for asset bubbles to develop, and they are developing at the moment. The ultimate asset bubble is gold.”  So is Soros trying to scare people away from gold?  The truth is that the price of gold did rise about 40 percent last year.  In the current economic environment, there has been a flight to safety as nervous investors have flocked to precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum.  But are these bad investments that are overvalued right now?  Not at all.  The truth is that gold and silver are just about the only things that have held their value over the past 100 years.  An ounce of gold could buy you a really nice suit 100 years ago and an ounce of gold can buy you a really nice suit today.  But now that it is starting to come out that there could be massive reserves of gold and oil in Haiti, we should expect the ongoing manipulation of the precious metal markets only to intensify.  The truth is that the big dogs like Soros want everyone else to get out of gold and silver so that they can swoop in and get more for themselves.

If you are looking for a bubble, you don’t have to look any farther than the U.S. stock market.  Remember all of that “bailout” money and “stimulus” money that the U.S. government injected into the economy?  Well, it didn’t help you much, did it?  Nope.  So where did it go?  It went to pumping up Wall Street.  In a recent article, Bob Chapman did a great job of explaining what is happening….

Liquidity is not flowing into the economy it is pouring into Wall Street to aid and abet more speculation, which has sent the Dow from 6600 to 10,700.

That is why some analysts are calling this a “jobless” recovery.  They think that because the stock market has gone up we are having a recovery.  But it is a lie.  The reality is that the stock market is experiencing a “sucker’s rally” and all the insiders are busy selling their holdings off into that rally as Chapman explains further down in his article….

It should be noted that insiders are selling into the never-ending rally, and mutual funds have very little money flow coming into the funds. That, of course, is our government at work manipulating the market. Just last week insiders bought $18 million worth of shares and sold $419 million.

But let’s not just blame Wall Street.

They are not the only ones responsible for the mess that we are in.

The truth is that we have all made bad choices.  We have all bought stuff made in China for years and years just because it was a few cents cheaper.  We knew that it would put some of our neighbors out of work eventually but we didn’t care as long as we could save a buck or two. 

All we cared about was the lowest price.  In fact, for decades the U.S. government made obscenely lopsided trade deals with foreign nations (that were very much not in our favor) just so that we could get cheaper goods for the American consumer.  We were told that anything that was good for the “consumer” was good for the economy.  “Free trade” (or in other words, other countries getting to send us all the cheap stuff they wanted to) was going to be the solution to all of our problems.

But it wasn’t.

Instead, we found out that there was a very high cost to those low prices.

In his excellent article entitled “The Wal-Mart Model of Self-Destruction: Lowest Prices, Always”, Charles Hugh Smith captured the high cost of our obsession with low prices beautifully….

The propaganda of marketing has so hollowed out American culture that most citizens cannot recall a time that “Consumerism” wasn’t the unofficial religion of American society. And what is the First Commandment of “consumerist religion”? The lowest price is all that matters.

Quality doesn’t matter; we’re going to move/throw it away anyway.

Who made it doesn’t matter. The idea that you might pay more to keep your neighbor employed is akin to worshipping the Devil: all that matters is the lowest price.

The sad thing is that many of you who are reading this article will keep running out to bloated globalist retailers like Wal-Mart just to save a few pennies.  It doesn’t matter that their stores are filled with cheap garbage made in virtual sweat shops all over the globe and that Wal-Mart has probably decimated a large percentage of the local businesses in your area since they moved in.  But on the bright side, they do pay slightly over minimum wage and they do provide part-time employment for many of the people in your area.  Perhaps you can get a job with them when your job gets shipped overseas too.

The truth is that we all need to quit being “consumers” and we all need to start participating in our communities once again.  Instead of supporting a big global chain that takes all of the profits out of your local community, why don’t you go visit the struggling small business down the street instead?  Instead of pumping your cash into the giant shell game known as the stock market, why don’t you help a family member start a business or put it into something real like gold and silver instead?

We are all supporting the current globalist system by putting money into their banks, by investing in their stocks and by endlessly shopping in their stores. 

Imagine what would happen if we all suddenly decided to stop.

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