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Trade Deficit Unexpectedly Widens; Investigating Bloomberg Econoday Spin

by Mike ‘Mish’ Shedlock
Mish Talk

Economists were upbeat heading into today’s report on International Trade in Goods and Services by the BEA.

Exports did rise by $1.8 billion, but imports rose by $3 billion widening the trade gap.

Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $10.8 billion, or 13.1 percent, from the same period in 2015. Exports decreased $20.5 billion or 5.5 percent. Imports decreased $9.7 billion or 2.1 percent.

Amusingly, Bloomberg Econoday finds strength in these numbers. Let’s take a look.

Continue Reading at MishTalk.com…

Told ‘Ya So (Remittances)

by Karl Denninger
Market-Ticker.org

What did I say when Trump first put forward The Wall for Mexico, and Mexico said “we won’t pay”?

I said the solution is simple: Cut off remittances.

And now?

In the memo, Trump said he would threaten to change a rule under the USA Patriot Act antiterrorism law to cut off a portion of the funds sent to Mexico through money transfers, commonly known as remittances. The threat would be withdrawn if Mexico made “a one-time payment of $5-10 billion” to pay for the border wall, he wrote.

Continue Reading at Market-Ticker.org…

The New Crusade

by Byron King
Daily Reckoning

We’ve all grown up believing that one of the key exports from the Middle East is oil. And yes, that’s true. But now, in the past year, about 2 million “migrants” have left Africa and the Middle East and basically invaded Europe. I’m sure you’ve seen accounts.

Let’s say that “only” 1% of these migrants are ill-intentioned toward the West (it’s likely much more, per Interpol and FBI accounts). What’s 1% of 2 million? That’s 20,000 people… and in the Army, they call that “two divisions.”

But two divisions require a large military base, right? Not exactly — not when you have Europe’s welfare states to provide food, housing and walk-around cash. Not when there’s the Internet, from which potential terrorists and wannabes can download everything they need.

Continue Reading at DailyReckoning.com…

A Look at the Big Picture of the War in the Gold & Silver Markets

from King World News

With gold and silver surging along with bonds and stocks trading a bit weaker, today King World News wanted to take a look at the big picture in the war in the gold and silver markets. There is also a note from Art Cashin that is included below.

Even with today’s rally in gold taking the price near $1,230, remarkably there are now actually 1% fewer bulls in the gold market than there were at the bottom of the 2008 collapse low near $700. So even though the price of gold is about $525 higher, there are fewer bulls now than there were at the bottom of the global collapse…

Continue Reading at KingWorldNews.com…

Trumps Misplaced Oreo Rage – Uncle Sugar Made Them Do It

by James Bovard at Economic Policy Journal
David Stockman’s Contra Corner

Presidential front-runner Donald Trump vows that he will “never eat another Oreo again” to protest the transfer of 600 cookie-making jobs from Chicago to Mexico. And Trump is 100% correct when he condemns the factory’s exodus: “It’s unfair to us.”

But the villains who have destroyed the jobs of American workers are Congress and the Department of Agriculture, not Nabisco and free trade. It is the very protectionist policies The Donald advocates to help American industry “win” again that caused the Oreo job losses he decries. Federal policy has long kept the U.S. price of sugar at double or triple that found in the world market.

Continue Reading at DavidStockmansContraCorner.com…

Brazilian Politics, Players, Panama and Perpetual Motion

by Nomi Prins
NomiPrins.com

There is no simplifying Brazil’s political or economic situation. Anyone “certain” about the outcome is sure to get smacked in its crossfires sooner or later. Corruption might be bi-partisan in the United States, legalized in many cases, but in Brazil, it’s the full multi-party monty. Eduardo Cunha, the Lower House speaker gunning for President (and political rival) Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment, has just been fingered by the Panama Papers for stashing millions in Switzerland.

He was also under Carwash corruption investigations. No one so tainted, should risk throwing stones so blithely at a sitting, elected president. Brazil’s new Attorney General, Jose Eduardo Cardozo, said as much, yesterday, on the grounds there are no legal reasons to impeach her, and that doing so would be to “rip up the constitution.”

The domestic and international implications associated with Brazil’s internal turmoil transcend the walls of the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, a planned city that belies its far less organized and cohesive government.

Continue Reading at NomiPrins.com…

How You Get Boned

by Karl Denninger
Market-Ticker.org

Just buy a “hub” from someone that requires a “centralized” server to work.

Then have them decide that they don’t want to upgrade and support it any more.

Like this one, for instance.

On May 15th a critical Nest product will go dark. I’m shocked this isn’t bigger news.

I don’t mean that the Nest product will reach end-of-life for support and updates. No, I mean that on May 15th they will actually turn off the device and disable your ability to use the hardware that you paid for.

Google/Nest’s decision raises an interesting question. When software and hardware are intertwined, does a warranty mean you stop supporting the hardware or does it mean that the manufactuer can intentionally disable it without consequence? Tony Fadell seems to believe the latter. Tony believes he has the right to reach into your home and pull the plug on your Nest products.

Continue Reading at Market-Ticker.org…

Rumors of Trump’s Demise Overblown; Wisconsin May Not Matter if Trump Sweeps New York

by Mike ‘Mish’ Shedlock
Mish Talk

Political pundits are ringing the death bell for Trump if he loses big in Wisconsin.

However, those rumors are remarkably premature ahead of the New York primary.

A sweep in New York (and that looks increasingly likely), will more than cover any losses in Wisconsin.

New York Rules

New York Primary rules are complex but here is the story from Front Loading.

Continue Reading at MishTalk.com…

Precious Metal Community – Unite

by Andrew Hoffman
Miles Franklin

I may be on vacation, but NOTHING can take away my passion, angst, or desire to lead where others won’t.

To wit, in recent months, I have grown increasingly confident in the “Precious Metal community”; which, in terms of size, intelligence, and communication skills appears to have grown exponentially. Not just in the States, but the world round. However, watching it react to a simple, run-of-the-mill, Cartel-orchestrated attack irritates me to no end – as yet again, the misinformation; fear mongering; and in many cases, stupidity is awe-inspiring, after all we have been through.

Yes, I get it – we all live in fear of the “next big smash,” given how much pain the Cartel has inflicted in recent years. However, to ignore PMs’ ragingly positive fundamentals – in markets that bottomed overseas 12-18 months ago, and six months ago here in the States – is utterly unfathomable.

Continue Reading at MilesFranklin.com…

Here Are Some of the Americans in the “Panama Papers”

from Zero Hedge

With media attention squarely falling on the foreigners exposed by the Panama Papers offshore tax haven scandal, everyone has been asking for more information on who are the Americans involved in this biggest data leak in history. After all, as we showed, Mossack Fonseca had over 400 American clients. But who are they?

Today, courtesy of McClatchy, we get some answers: while there are no politicians of note are in files but plenty of others. Among them: Retirees, scammers, and tax evaders, all of whom found a use for secrecy of offshore companies.

As the news paper reports, “the passports of at least 200 Americans show up in this week’s massive leak of secret data on secretive offshore shell companies.”

Continue Reading at ZeroHedge.com…

Donald Trump ‘Has Begun Wearing Body Armour’ After Threats and Violence at Rallies

by Rob Crilly, New York
Telegraph.co.uk

Donald Trump has begun wearing a bullet proof vest following a string of threats and growing violence at rallies, according to sources close to his campaign.

The detail is one of a number of insights revealed by New York magazine in its latest edition.

“People who know Trump say they’ve never seen him so tired,” wrote Gabriel Sherman, the reporter.

“Several months ago, he began wearing a bulletproof vest, two sources close to the campaign told me, which has added to his discomfort on the stump, leaving him sweaty and spent after events.”

Continue Reading at Telegraph.co.uk…

Lagarde Sees Political Dangers Galore With Global Economy Tepid

by Jeff Black, Andrew Mayeda, and Jeanna Smialek
Bloomberg.com

The global economy is beset by an array of political risks, from terrorism to the U.K.’s potential departure from the European Union, at a time when growth is at best mediocre, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said.

The world outlook is clouded by “weak growth, no new jobs, no high inflation, still high debt — all those things that should be low and that are high,” Lagarde said in an interview in Frankfurt on Tuesday with Bloomberg Television’s Francine Lacqua. The downside risks have increased and “we don’t see much by way of upside,” she said.

Continue Reading at Bloomberg.com…

Donald Trump Lost Millions on Casinos. Here’s How They’ll Make You Money…

by Greg Guenthner
Daily Reckoning

Are you a trader… or a gambler?

Gamblers trade out of emotion. They follow hot stock tips and their gut instincts, not facts and research. They may pay lip service to trading rules, but their emotions always get the better of them. And they hold onto losers far too long out of ego or hope.

When you gamble, you’re bound to lose.

I’ve said it many times before—if you find yourself constantly dealing with knee-jerk, mistimed and unprofitable trades, you need to change your approach.

Continue Reading at DailyReckoning.com…

The Original ‘Too Big to Fail’ from 2,500 Years Ago

by Tim Price
Sovereign Man

Successful investing requires having an edge. If you do not know what your edge is, you do not have one.

One doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist, or even a die-hard contrarian to have an edge. But given the competition from vast numbers of rival investors, it pays to go down the road less travelled.

Malcolm Gladwell, in his book David and Goliath, examines precisely this approach.

Goliath, a Philistine, challenges the Israelites to “single combat”, a stylized way of engaging with the enemy that avoids the heavy bloodshed that comes from open battle:

Continue Reading at SovereignMan.com…

The Day of Reckoning Is Coming, Sort of, Maybe

by Rick Ackerman
RickAckerman.com

I have nothing whatsoever to add to my current touts, since the stock market has given us only asphyxiating tedium since the vicious short-squeeze that preceded Easter weekend. Someone in the chat room said Martin Armstrong had drum-rolled April 4 as a major turn date, but I don’t put much store in precise predictions of ‘big’ events based on cyclical tea leaves. Usually, the more fanfare that accompanies such forecasts, the less likely they are to come true. Looking back over 40 years, I can’t recall a single Big Prediction ever being right, even if a thousand gurus took credit and a victory lap after-the-fact. Joe Granville excelled at this, but I’m sure the record would show that his actual track record over the years was no better than that of a dart-board prognosticator.

Continue Reading at RickAckerman.com…

The Presidential Candidate with This One Quality Stands to Win the Election

It’s not just the economy, stupid; it’s the people skills

by Dave Kerpen
Market Watch

Dave Kerpen is founder of Likeable Local, and author of The Art of People: 11 Simple People Skills That Will Get You Everything You Want. Want to assess your own people skills against the presidential candidates? Take this quiz.

As the Democratic and Republican primaries have demonstrated so far, the next president of the United States won’t necessarily be the most qualified, or the smartest, or the most experienced, or even the best man or woman for the job.

No, the person we elect president in November will be the one voters feel they know, like, and trust the most. The candidate with the best “people skills” is likely to win.

Can people skills alone win you the presidency? Maybe not. But in an age where every candidate’s interactions are broadcast and debated on social media for all to scrutinize, people skills just might be the deciding factor in this complicated race.

Continue Reading at MarketWatch.com…

Cash Banned, Freedom Gone

by Thorsten Polleit
Mises.org

Some politicians want to ban cash, arguing that cash is helping criminals. The first steps in that direction are the withdrawal of big denomination notes and the limits imposed on cash payments.

Proponents of a ban on cash claim that this will help fight criminal transactions — involved in money laundering, terrorism, and tax evasion. These promises of salvation are used to get the general public to agree to a society without cash. But there is no convincing proof for the claim that the world without cash will be a better one. Even if undesirable behavior is indeed financed by cash, you still need to answer the question: will the undesirable behavior disappear without cash? Or will those who commit the undesirable acts take to new ways and means to reach their goal?

Continue Reading at Mises.org…

What Trump Has Wrought

by Patrick J. Buchanan
LewRockwell.com

As Wisconsinites head for the polls, our Beltway elites are almost giddy. For they foresee a Badger State bashing for Donald Trump, breaking his momentum toward the Republican nomination.

Should the Donald fall short of the delegates needed to win on the first ballot, 1,237, there is growing certitude that he will be stopped. First by Ted Cruz; then, perhaps, by someone acceptable to the establishment, which always likes to have two of its own in the race.

But this city of self-delusion should realize there is no going back for America. For, whatever his stumbles of the last two weeks, Trump has helped to unleash the mightiest force of the 21st century: nationalism.

Transnationalism and globalism are moribund.

Continue Reading at LewRockwell.com…

China’s Gold Intent – ICBC Bank Reclassified as an LBMA Market Maker

by Mark O’Byrne
GoldCore

ICBC Standard Bank, China and the world’s largest bank, has been reclassified as a spot Market Making Member of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) with effect from today according to a note posted on the LBMA website last night at 2100 GMT.

According to the post:

“In order to qualify as a LBMA Market Maker, a company must offer two-way quotations in both gold and silver to the other Market Makers throughout the London business day. Reclassification is the responsibility of the LBMA Management Committee. In deciding on the issue of reclassification, the Committee takes account of the views of the other Market Makers on the performance of the candidate company during an approximately three month probationary period.

Continue Reading at GoldGore.com…