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The Strange Story Of The Goldman Banker Subpoenaed In Malaysian Slush Fund Probe

from Zero Hedge

By late January, Tim Leissner was irritated.

Irritated that Goldman wouldn’t support his move to Los Angeles to be with his famous wife Kimora Lee, irritated that the firm wouldn’t let him give an internship to the son of a shadowy, as-yet-unnamed go-between in a deal to finance a controlling stake in an Indonesian copper mine, and especially irritated that the bank seemed to be looking a lot harder at the deals he was working on in Southeast Asia in the wake of the 1MDB scandal.

And why shouldn’t he be frustrated? After all, Leissner built Goldman’s SE Asia operation. Who is the executive committee to tell him he can’t pass out internships as bribes on the way to financing Indonesian copper mines?

Continue Reading at ZeroHedge.com…

The Divergence Can’t Last

by Rick Ackerman
RickAckerman.com

Some institutional favorites, most significantly Amazon, couldn’t rally to save their lives yesterday.

Our #1 bellwether was down almost $20 at the intraday low, causing the entire stock market to sag. Google arguably looked even worse, since its $24 plunge exceeded several prior lows on the intraday charts.

If these stocks and a few other Nasdaq world-beaters can’t turn things around on Tuesday, it’s going to pull the broad average down hard before the week ends.

Continue Reading at RickAckerman.com…

Bernie vs. Ron Paul: There’s No Comparison

by Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.
Mises.org

Super Tuesday may have been the beginning of the end for the Bernie Sanders campaign, but the ideas that propelled it are likely to linger for quite some time. With some writers comparing Bernie to Ron Paul (not in terms of economics and philosophy, of course, but as insurgent candidates), now seemed like an opportune moment to examine the Sanders message and legacy, and compare it to Ron’s.

Like Ron, Bernie surprised all the pundits with his fundraising, polling, and electoral success. In fact, so successful has Sanders been that Hillary Clinton has been reduced to a pathetic and unconvincing “me, too” campaign — I can be just like Bernie, if that’s what you rubes want!

Bernie has gained a lot of traction from his complaints that Hillary is in the tank for Wall Street and the big banks. He’s likewise pointed to the six-figure honoraria Hillary has earned from speeches given to the big banks.

Continue Reading at Mises.org…

This Country is So Screwed Up

by Bill Bonner
Daily Reckoning

SOUTH CAROLINA– We’re still down here in South Carolina, where the sandy soil and warmish temperatures bring horse riders from up and down the East Coast.

Your editor’s wife is a competitive rider. He follows her here and hangs out at coffee shops and hotel lobbies, looking a little like a man with nowhere to go.

But he keeps his eyes and ears open…

“He’s Like Hitler…”

Friday, a group of motorcycle riders roared through town.

Continue Reading at DailyReckoning.com…

Hillary’s Scary New Cash Tax

by Brian Hunt
International Man

George Orwell once wrote, “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”

Not exactly a cheery thought, and one I don’t agree with.

While the forces pushing for centralization of power have been prevailing for decades, they haven’t won a total victory yet. Technologies that empower the individual and that tend toward decentralization—including the Internet, encryption, 3D printing and cryptocurrencies—offer a powerful ray of hope, and reasons to be optimistic about the future.

So the tug of war between the collectivists and the rest of us continues.

Continue Reading at InternationalMan.com…

Email Issues with Microsoft

Hotmail, Outlook, MSN & Live users please read

by Adam Taggart
Chris Martenson’s Peak Prosperity

It’s recently come to our attention that email services associated with Microsoft (Hotmail, Outlook, MSN, Live) have started blocking the Peak Prosperity server that sends out our emails. So a number of you haven’t received email from us for a week or more.

We don’t know for certain why Microsoft started blocking us. We have heard from our IT firm that they recently have beefed up their spam defenses and our emails likely got caught in the tighter net (strange, though, since we’ve been sending thousand of newsletters to Microsoft accounts without trouble for years)

Once we realized what was going on, we reached out to Microsoft to alert them and work to rectify things. We’re relieved to say that as of today, our email communications to our Microsoft customers should be restored.

If you’re one of these affected users, please let us know in the Comments section below if you indeed successfully start receiving our emails again this week.

Continue Reading at PeakProsperity.com…

The Financial System is a Larger Threat Than Terrorism

by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
PaulCraigRoberts.org

In the 21st century Americans have been distracted by the hyper-expensive “war on terror.” Trillions of dollars have been added to the taxpayers’ burden and many billions of dollars in profits to the military/security complex in order to combat insignificant foreign “threats,” such as the Taliban, that remain undefeated after 15 years. All this time the financial system, working hand-in-hand with policymakers, has done more damage to Americans than terrorists could possibly inflict.

The purpose of the Federal Reserve and US Treasury’s policy of zero interest rates is to support the prices of the over-leveraged and fraudalent financial instruments that unregulated financial systems always create. If inflation was properly measured, these zero rates would be negative rates, which means not only that retirees have no income from their retirement savings but also that saving is a losing proposition. Instead of earning interest on your savings, you pay interest that shrinks the real value of your saving.

Continue Reading at PaulCraigRoberts.org…

The Collapse Of Italy’s Banks Threatens To Plunge The European Financial System Into Chaos

by Michael Snyder
The Economic Collapse Blog

The Italian banking system is a “leaning tower” that truly could completely collapse at literally any moment. And as Italy’s banks begin to go down like dominoes, it is going to set off financial panic all over Europe unlike anything we have ever seen before. I wrote about the troubles in Italy back in January, but since that time the crisis has escalated. At this point, Italian banking stocks have declined a whopping 28 percent since the beginning of 2016, and when you look at some of the biggest Italian banks the numbers become even more frightening. On Monday, shares of Monte dei Paschi were down 4.7 percent, and they have now plummeted 56 percent since the start of the year. Shares of Carige were down 8 percent, and they have now plunged a total of 58 percent since the start of the year. This is what a financial crisis looks like, and just like we are seeing in South America, the problems in Italy appear to be significantly accelerating.

Continue Reading at TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com…

Thoughts from the Frontline – Growth is the Answer to Everything

by John Mauldin
Gold Seek

[…] In this business we spend a lot of time thinking about problems. What if we could wave a magic wand and make them all go away? Maybe we can.

The wand isn’t made from wood. You don’t need Latin phrases or a special incantation learned at Hogwarts to make it work, either. It’s a simple six-letter word: growth. Get the economy growing at a decent pace again, and most of our problems will get better.

Conversely, they’ll only get worse if we stay in slow-growth mode. And don’t even think about what a recession will do to the markets in this environment.

Fortunately, there are things we can do to bring growth back. We just have to decide to do them.

Continue Reading at GoldSeek.com…

Clamp Down on Cash Is the Ultimate Surveillance State: “Citizens Shouldn’t Be Under General Suspicion”

by Mac Slavo
SHTF Plan

The war on cash is more than just a currency war to clamp everyone down on the electric grid. It is also a war on your privacy, and the nail in the coffin for the free market of low level transactions.

Soon, restrictions on cash will become so severe that even spending $100 will arouse suspicion, despite the constant inflation on the value of such a denomination. One day, physical currency may become obsolete.

When that day comes, they will know everything you do.

Conducting transactions in anything but digital creds will be not only increasingly difficult, but seen as outright criminal behavior. It might even make you a terrorist.

Don Quijones argues on Wolf Street:

Continue Reading at SHTFPlan.com…

The Seeds of Destruction

by Ted Bauman
The Sovereign Investor

When it comes to diagnosing society’s ills, I sometimes find myself in friendly disagreement with friends, family and colleagues. We agree on what’s wrong with our debt-addled, freedom-starved society, but I tend to part with the consensus when it comes to why and what to do about it.

Basically, I don’t buy the argument that “the government” is to blame for everything. Sure, politicians and bureaucrats are a huge part of our problem. But I don’t think people in government are uniquely evil and/or incompetent. Nor do I think that if they would only get out of the way, the free markets would solve all of our problems.

It’s a comforting simplification, but a poor guide to navigating the real world. Looking for devils in government alone means you’ll miss them in the private sector.

Continue Reading at TheSovereignInvestor.com…

Goldman Sachs Says This Rally in Commodities is Just a Mirage

Critical information ahead of the U.S. market’s open

by Victor Reklaitis
Market Watch

Pundits are marveling at the S&P’s five-day march higher and Brent crude back above $40 a barrel. What’s getting the credit? Short covering.

“In some ways, recently it seems that the worse your fundamentals are, the better your price performance has been. That is a classic, if not the classic, symptom of short covering, which is naturally the reason for skepticism in some quarters,” writes financial blogger Macro Man.

“It’s probably fair to say that if this is just a short-covering rally, it’s probably getting long in the tooth,” he adds.

Many bulls aren’t interested in debating the root cause. They’re just happy with their profits:

Continue Reading at MarketWatch.com…

News of the Bizarre: Venezuelan Central Bank Sues Website for Causing Inflation

by Jeff Berwick
Dollar Vigilante

Is a US website causing the collapse of the Venezuelan economy? Of course not, that’s impossible. But, that’s what Venezuela’s Central Bank seems to want to prove as it pursues legal action to prove as it pursues legal action to shutdown dolartoday.com. The U.S. District Court of Delaware, where the complaint was filed, dismissed the initial claim last week. But Venezuela will file an amended complaint.

Venezuela is a terrible mess and is obviously looking for targets to blame. According to the Venezuelan central bank, the dolartoday.com website has pushed up the country’s triple-digit inflation lying about exchange-rate data to make the situation seem even worse than it is. Only a central bank could blame a website for monetary and price inflation that would not exist without central bank printing presses.

Continue Reading at DollarVigilante.com…

Precious – Gold Rises to Near 13-Month High as Dollar Turns Lower

by Marcy Nicholson and Clara Denina
Reuters.com

NEW YORK/LONDON, March 7 Gold rose on Monday, hovering just below last week’s 13-month high as the U.S. dollar turned lower, while a fall in average U.S. earnings lessened expectations the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates at its next policy meeting.

Spot gold was up 0.6 percent at $1,266.70 an ounce by 3:12 p.m. EST (2012 GMT). The metal had peaked at $1,279.60 on Friday, its strongest since February 2015, before slipping on U.S. data.

U.S. gold futures for April delivery settled down 0.5 percent at $1,264 per ounce.

A pitched battle over the right path for U.S. interest rates is expected at next week’s Fed policy-setting meeting.

Continue Reading at Reuters.com…

March Macro Update: Recession Risk Remains Remote

by Urban Carmel
Financial Sense

Summary: The macro data from the past month continues to point to positive but sluggish growth. On balance, the evidence suggests the imminent onset of a recession is unlikely.

The main positives are in employment, consumption growth and housing:

  • Employment growth is close to the best since the 1990s, with an average monthly gain of 222,000 during the past year. Full-time employment is soaring.
  • Recent compensation growth is the highest in more than six years: 2.7% in December, dropping to 2.2% yoy in February.
  • Most measures of demand show 3-4% nominal growth. Real personal consumption growth in January was 2.9%.
  • New housing sales, starts, and permits remain near an eight-year high.
  • The core inflation rate ticked up above 2% and to the highest rate since May 2012.

The main negatives are concentrated in the manufacturing sector (which accounts for just 10% of GDP):

Continue Reading at FinancialSense.com…

Consumers in Texas Hit by “Negative Ripple Effects”

by Wolf Richter
Wolf Street

This is no longer a blip, but a new reality.

It is by now an indisputable fact, driven home by just about everyone, including the Dallas Fed, that the Texas economy is big, diversified, and “highly resilient,” and that the collapse of the oil boom, while it may cause some “negative ripple effects,” won’t dent the overall economy.

Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan himself had pointed that out. The energy sector accounted for only 2% of the state’s employment – albeit well-paid employment including many specialized engineers – and 10% of the state’s GDP, “a good deal lower than in the 1980s, when that oil bust pushed the Texas economy into a major recession,” he said.

Continue Reading at WolfStreet.com…

Why Threaten North Korea And China? Would Obama Start A War To Stay In Office?

by Michael Snyder
The Most Important News

Is Barack Obama trying to start a war, and will that war be used as an excuse to stay in office once his term is over? Late in his second term, Obama is starting to become extremely aggressive with the rest of the world. He just angered China by sailing an aircraft carrier task force past disputed islands in the South China Sea, he is provoking North Korea by simulating an invasion of that nation during a military exercise that is going to involve more than 300,000 troops, and he is backing Saudi Arabia and Turkey as they make moves that could very well start World War III in the Middle East. If a war did begin, that could give Obama the excuse that he needs to exercise his emergency powers, and that could potentially include suspending the election that is scheduled for November.

Continue Reading at TheMostImportantNews.com…

Greed and Complacency: Tech Edition

by Adam English
Outsider Club

Greed isn’t a bad thing on its own. However, it doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

It is great when greed is paired with something virtuous — be it a nebulous idea, such as innovation or efficiency, or something that even seems more counter-intuitive — like saving your customers money.

The last one may seem counter-intuitive, but look at passive ETFs. They save clients money compared to actively managed funds, and generate better returns over long periods of time.

Make no mistake though, those that create these investment tools are making a profit. They just found a virtuous combination that they, and us, can exploit.

Continue Reading at OutsiderClub.com…

Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts – Déjà Vu

from Jesse’s Café Américain

I imagine that this very clumsy market manipulation will continue until market participants regain their confidence in the ever-blundering central bankers, crooked financiers, and time-serving politicians.

Or until they completely run the economy off the rails.

Apparently the sophisticates at the ECB are expected to deepen their negative interest rates and war on cash and savings as a cure for the looming Depression in Europe when they meet later this week.

To paraphrase Charles Dickens, if their model supposes that, then their model is an ass.

Continue Reading at JessesCrossroadsCafe.Blogspot.ca…

Why Doug Casey Bought $ 1.5 Million Worth of Gold Stocks

by Louis James, Chief Metals & Mining Investment Strategist
Casey Research

Louis James here, sitting in for Justin Spittler. And it’s good timing, too: Gold just went vertical again.

As I write, gold just hit a new 13-month high of $1,280.

There is much debate on the “what,” “how,” and “why” for this move. It may never be possible to truly know the full answers to these questions. Doug Casey and Paul Krugman will have very different explanations going forward, that’s for sure.

But what matters the most to us as investors is…what comes next?

Continue Reading at CaseyResearch.com…

The Fed’s LMCI Drops For 2nd Consecutive Month!

by Chuck Butler
Daily Pfennig

Good Day… And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! Peter Gabriel greets me this morning with his song: In Your Eyes. Peter Gabriel was the original lead singer of the group Genesis, who had moderate cult-like success with him, but when he left the band for a highly successful solo career, the band now with Phil Collins singing took off! This all occurred during the height of MTV’s video playing, so people were inundated with songs from both on the radio and TV! It took me quite a few years before I could listen to either performer again…

Well… As the day went along yesterday, the currencies fought back against the dollar, and some won some ground back that was lost in the early morning trading. The euro has firmed again, and is trading above 1.10.. We’ve seen these attempts to “firm” in the past couple of years, only to have the euro thrown under a bus by European Central Bank (ECB) President, Mario Draghi…

Continue Reading at DailyPfennig.com…