Archive for May, 2009

Dollar Continues to Weaken – Where’s Helicopter Ben?

May 28th, 2009 No comments

NEW YORK, May 28 (Reuters) – U.S. gold futures turned
higher on Thursday, supported by a combination of a weakened
dollar, inflation concerns and background support from
simmering geopolitical tensions.


* Gold for June delivery GCM9 up $4.10 at $957.40 an
ounce at 10:25 a.m. EDT (1425 GMT) on the COMEX division of the
New York Mercantile Exchange.

* Ranged from $944 to $961.10.

* Gold supported as the dollar fell against the euro, as
better-than-expected U.S. durable goods orders and weekly
jobless claims boosted risk appetite – forex traders. [USD/]

* Inflation concerns also stirred buying into the yellow
metal after U.S. crude futures rose above $64 per barrel as
OPEC kept its output unchanged. [O/R]

* Gold continued to look expensive relative to agricultural
commodities, and a high bullish consensus figure was worrisome
to gold bulls – Dennis Gartman, independent director and the
author of the daily “Gartman Letter.”

* Contract rollover to August futures continued at a good
pace ahead of first notice day of June contracts on Friday -

* Heightened military alert for the Korean peninsula by the
United States and South Korea over a nuclear test by the North
boosted the safe-haven appeal in gold. [ID:nSEO333114]

* COMEX gold market open interest neared the 400,000 mark,
indicating investment buying by funds and institutions -

* COMEX estimated 10 a.m. volume at 91,686 lots.

* Gold/oil ratio at 15, lower than the 15.02 of the
previous session.

* Spot gold traded at $956.60 an ounce, up 0.9
percent from its late Wednesday quote in New York.

* London gold fix $957.75 an ounce.


* Silver futures, which are less liquid than gold, rose to
a nine-month high above $15 an ounce, driven by strong
investment buying – traders.

* COMEX July silver SIN9 up 22.50 cents, or 1.5 percent,
at $15.090 an ounce.

* Ranged from $14.650 to $15.195, which marked the highest
price since Aug. 14.

* Support from COMEX December call options activity and a
technical breakout cited for silver’s rally – George Gero, vice
president of RBC Capital Markets Global Futures.

* COMEX estimated 10 a.m. volume at 11,201 lots.

* Spot silver was at $15.06 an ounce, up 2.3 percent
from its previous finish.

* London silver fix at $14.88 an ounce.


* NYMEX July platinum PLN9 down $6.20 at $1,134.90 an
ounce as the market focused on lackluster auto industry

* The news of General Motors Corp (GM.N) making an improved
equity exchange offer to bondholders took a toll on sentiment
in the platinum group metals market. [ID:nN28324145]

* Spot platinum at $1,129.50 an ounce, down 0.2
percent from its late Wednesday quote.


* June palladium PAM9 down $1.85 at $224.70 an ounce,
tracking platinum.

* Spot palladium was at $222.50 an ounce, up 0.2
percent from its previous finish.


Categories: Federal Reserve, Gold Tags:

Roll Call on President Ron Paul

May 27th, 2009 No comments

He’s out there somewhere. Somewhere, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) is out there, talking up freedom and the Constitution, tut-tutting the state of the economy, taking aim at the Federal Reserve, inciting his fervent supporters to … something.


But will that something ever amount to anything?

During the 2008 presidential campaign, no Republican had more enthusiastic supporters than Paul, the quirky libertarian who had been the Libertarian Party nominee for president back in 1988. When it became evident that Paul wouldn’t be the GOP nominee — and of course, that was evident to every Washington, D.C., wise guy from the very beginning — his supporters more or less scattered.

Not into the wind, exactly, but in a thousand different directions, as befits a man whose own views are hard to pinpoint on any kind of ideological scale. Some worked for Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the eventual Republican nominee. Others launched quixotic bids of their own for public office. A few probably even worked for Democrat Barack Obama. And many no doubt chose to sit on the sidelines, throwing rhetorical spitballs wherever they could.

Spitballs may be effective in short spurts. But they don’t win any long-term wars. Although Paul has lists with hundreds of thousands of supporters and runs a surprisingly diverse political operation, he has never tried to unleash the network in any kind of cohesive way.

Now, with the 2010 midterms under way, it’s time to ask whether he will be a factor and aid the Republicans’ cause. After all, Paul in theory commands an army that’s substantially bigger than any kind of troops that Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich or Michael Steele or Dick Cheney can rustle up.

Jesse Benton, who runs Liberty PAC, Paul’s political action committee, says yes, the Congressman has every intention of playing a big role in the 2010 campaign.

“I don’t know that we’ll be working in tandem with Republican committees, but we will be quite active,” Benton said.

Paul is expected to set up a campaign he’ll call “Ten in ’10.” While he may personally endorse any number of candidates during the course of the cycle — and in a few races, he already has — he’ll invite candidates for all offices to seek special attention and assistance from his PAC.

They’ll be asked an array of questions in an endorsement process that

Benton describes as “pretty organic.” The one essential for any Liberty PAC endorsement: a commitment to support H.R. 1207, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, Paul’s bill calling for a Government Accountability Office audit of the Fed in 2010. The bill had more than 175 co-sponsors as of late last week — ideologically and alphabetically, from Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) to Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska).

But what then? Paul has a list of 500,000 “microdonors.” The PAC will urge Paul supporters to help the 10 designated candidates. And then? Well, it’s anybody’s guess.

“It’s more than just money that Ron can do to help a candidate,” Benton said.

Through the years, Paul has had an uneasy relationship with Republican leaders, although a GOP insider this week said he’s had conversations with a few state party chairmen. And Benton said two things are different this cycle. For starters, Paul will not work to defeat Republican incumbents.

“We think there are more ways to be productive than opposing Republican incumbents,” Benton said.

Another difference is that Paul has “a friendly relationship” with National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, according to Benton, and will confer with his fellow Texan on how he can aid GOP candidates this cycle. Ken Spain, an NRCC spokesman, said Sessions is looking forward to the help.

“Chairman Sessions enjoys a positive working and personal relationship with Congressman Paul,” Spain said. “Harnessing the power of the Ron Paul Revolution to defeat Democrats in Congress is something Chairman Sessions is very interested in.”

But it’s fair to ask: Will the “Ten for ’10” be candidates of substance with real chances of winning? Or are the past few days illustrative?

Last week, two candidates touted their support from Paul. One was ex-Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan (R), a candidate for governor of New Jersey who is decidedly NOT the favorite of party leaders. The other was Adam Kokesh, an anti-war Iraq War veteran who plans to challenge freshman Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) but hasn’t decided whether to run as a Democrat, a Republican, a Libertarian or an Independent.

In addition to his official Congressional operation, Paul has four different entities that help promote him and his causes. There’s his PAC (with $184,000 on hand as of March 31) and his House campaign committee (with more than $2.2 million). That war chest will come in handy if he gets a tough Republican primary challenge, though so far only high school social studies teacher Jeff Cherry (R) is planning to run against him.

There’s also Paul’s 501(c)(4), the Campaign for Liberty, which, according to its president, John Tate, will not endorse candidates in 2010. And then there’s his education foundation, the Free Foundation.

Another intriguing aspect of the Ron Paul story this election cycle is the possibility that his son, Rand Paul (R) — who, like his dad, is a physician — will run for Senate in Kentucky. The younger Paul has created an exploratory committee but says he won’t run if Sen. Jim Bunning (R) seeks a third term.

Benton says father and son “talk all the time,” but he notes that Rand Paul has a political operation all his own called the Kentucky Taxpayers Alliance that’s separate and distinct from anything the Congressman does. As of Friday, Rand Paul’s online fundraising appeals had yielded $23,000 for the exploratory effort.

And is it too early to be talking about 2012? Some of Congressman Paul’s supporters don’t think so. The Web is full of speculation — and there are sites dedicated to Paul that are not operated by Paul’s team — about how he can best position himself to run for president again.

Other supporters are suggesting alternatives who can carry Paul’s mantle into 2012, such as South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R), who is almost certain to sculpt a White House bid out of his opposition to the Obama stimulus plan, or former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson (R), who is more famous for his athletic feats, like climbing Mt. Everest, and for calling for the decriminalization of drug use, than anything he did during his eight years in office.

Ron Paul will be 77 years old in 2012. Is he thinking of running for president again?

“It’s not something that’s extremely likely,” Benton said. “It is something he’s keeping an open door to. It’s very premature. We don’t know what the country’s going to look like in 18 months.”

And we also don’t know what kind of factor Paul and his supporters will become in the politics of 2010.



Is Gold on the Verge of Breaking $1000 Troy Ounce?

May 25th, 2009 No comments

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Is this it for gold? After a good week, gold watchers of all stripes think it may be. Again.

After Friday’s $956.50 close, Martin Pring — decidedly not a gold bug — set the tone in his Weekly InfoMovie Report:

“Gold could be on the verge of a historical breakout. Watch that $990-1,000 area like a hawk.”

Pring has always laid very heavy emphasis on the predictive power of gold shares. His analysis:

“The gold share ETF, the GDX [Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF /quotes/comstock/13*!gdx/quotes/nls/gdx (GDX 42.05, +0.81, +1.96%) ] has just broken out from a major base. Since the shares often lead the metal, this is a bullish factor.”

Dow Theory Letters’ Richard Russell has also been interested in GDX. On Tuesday he noted a “sensational” breakout. After Friday he said this:

“Ordinarily I would only add gold items on a correction, but gold seems on a roll now, so I added GDX.”

Two developments are causing the excitement about gold. From a charting point of view, gold shares are generally agreed to have broken out, meaning that gold itself could well be about to do something very important. Australia’s The Privateer (whose free U.S.-dollar 5X3 Point-and-Figure chart looks very handsome after Friday) describes the situation:

“What is being traced … is a gigantic ‘reverse’ head-and-shoulders formation. The trading range between US$900 and US$1,000 was broken early in April. Over the month of April, a tighter range between US$870-US$910 was established. Now, gold has broken back above that range. The ‘right shoulder’ on the ‘reverse’ head-and-shoulders formation is getting wider. … There are two major resistance points. The first is at US$955 … where the chart is now. The second is, of course, at US$1,000, the level reached in March 2008 and again in February 2009.” See chart.

Several other commentators see the same thing.

The second bullish gold development: general economic conditions.

As the Gartman Letter noted on Wednesday: “The dollar does look vulnerable. … Pushing government steadily leftward, the Obama Administration has set up the possibility of a U.S. dollar rout. … If this persists, commodity prices generally shall rise and rise materially, and gold shall too.”

Dan Norcini at the Jsmineset Web site saw things similarly on Friday.

He offered “some remarks concerning the collapse in the long bond. Quite frankly, its weekly price chart has become a technical train wreck. … While some of the immediate demand/supply fundamentals of various commodity markets are not particularly bullish, the fact is that the big funds are looking past all of that and are rushing in to buy across the board based on inflation expectations. … The inexorable and relentless rise in the Continuous Commodity Index (CCI) presents the gold bears with a formidable problem. It is difficult to shove the price of gold down for long when the entire commodity world is rising.” See Web site.

FGMR’s James Turk is so intrigued that in this weekend’s issue he considers altering his normally cautious trading style:

“I think we are very close (7-10 months) to the beginning of a hyperinflationary spiral. … If I am right … there obviously is an exceptional opportunity to load up (i.e., a leveraged position) by buying gold.”

But Turk has his fair share of trading scars and more.

He warns: “Comex options expire this Tuesday, May 26th, and options in the much larger over-the-counter market expire a couple of days later. We all know what has happened regularly over the years on option expiry. The gold cartel slams gold.”

Turk is part of a faction I call the radical gold bugs, because they watch not merely inflation but what they believe to be the authorities’ manipulation of the gold price to preserve the illusion of financial stability. See Web site.

Their expectations of a gold breakout have been frustrated repeatedly.

Nevertheless, Turk adds: “One of these days (and there’s at least a 50% chance now is that time), gold will just keep rising.”


Categories: Gold Tags:

Peter Schiff on Moody’s AAA Rating, GMAC, Mandatory Paid Vacations

May 21st, 2009 No comments

Categories: Economy, Federal Reserve Tags:

Democrat Alan Grayson Rallying Support for H.R. 1207

May 21st, 2009 No comments

There are currently 175 Cosponsors for HR1207 “Audit the Fed” legislation. Thus far almost all of these cosponsors have been Republican with only 30 or so Donkeys. However prominent Democrat Alan Grayson is trying to change that with this very knowledgeable letter he sent out to every single Democrat in the House of Representatives.

Dear Colleague,

I write to ask you to co-sponsor HR 1207, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, which would give the Government Accountability Office the authority to audit the Federal Reserve and its member components and require a report to Congress by the end of 2010.

The Federal Reserve System operates as the central bank for the United States, managing the economy’s money supply and overseeing the banking system. Until recently, the Fed has not picked winners and losers when distributing money, nor has it brought credit risk onto its balance sheet. It has slowed or stimulated the economy by raising or lowering interest rates. Since March 2008, the Fed has resorted to using its emergency powers to pick winners and losers, and to take massive credit risk onto its books. Since last September, the Fed’s balance sheet has expanded from around $800 billion to over $2 trillion, not including off-balance sheet liabilities it has guaranteed for Citigroup, AIG, and Bank of America, among others. The bank is also ‘monetizing’ the debt of the United States Government by purchasing massive amounts of agency and Treasury bonds. An audit is the first step in bringing this unaccountable system under the control of the public, whose money it prints and disseminates at will.

The Federal Reserve is an odd entity, a public-private chimera that controls the US monetary system and supervises the banking system. The system is governed by a Board of Governors, with twelve regional reserve banks that serve a supporting role. While the Governors are appointed by the President with confirmation by the Senate, the regional Reserve Banks have boards of directors chosen primarily by private banking institutions. Right now, for instance, the CEO of JP Morgan, Jamie Dimon, serves on the Board of Directors of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, as did Goldman Sachs Director Stephen Friedman.

This creates striking conflicts of interest and unseemly appearances in the management of what is ultimately the public’s money.


  • JP Morgan’s CEO was a board member of the New York Fed even as he negotiated on behalf of JP Morgan with the New York Fed for a $29 billion bridge loan to allow his company to take over Bear Stearns.
  • New York Fed and Goldman Sachs board member Stephen Friedman purchased 37,300 shares of Goldman Sachs stock in December at the same time as Goldman received permission to convert to a bank holding company regulated by the Federal Reserve. Friedman at the time was also overseeing the selection of a New York Federal Reserve President to replace Tim Geithner, and the New York Fed ended up hiring another alumni from Goldman Sachs.
  • According to the bank’s website, the two “class B” directorships of the New York Fed that are supposed to represent the public are vacant.
  • Enron’s Jeff Skilling was on the board of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank.
  • He continues:

    Criticism of banker influence and control of our monetary system is not new. However, the urgency of the financial crisis and the actions of the Fed picking investment bank winners and losers have changed the nature of the criticism. The Senate just passed a non-binding resolution requiring more transparency at the Federal Reserve in its Budget Resolution.

    Still, neither the GAO nor the Federal Reserve Inspector General has audited the books of the Federal Reserve or its regional banks. The Federal Reserve has refused multiple inquiries from both the House and the Senate to disclose who is receiving trillions of dollars from the central banking system. The Federal Reserve has redacted the central terms of the no-bid contracts it has issued to Wall Street firms like Blackrock and PIMCO, without disclosure required of the Treasury, and is participating in new and exotic programs like the trillion-dollar TALF to leverage the Treasury’s balance sheet. With discussions of allocating even more power to the Federal Reserve as the ‘systemic risk regulator’ of the credit markets, more oversight over the central bank’s operations is clearly necessary.

    The net effect of recent actions has been to isolate financial policy-making entirely from democratic input, and allow the Treasury Department to leverage the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet to spend money it cannot get appropriated from Congress. The public does not know where trillions of its dollars are going, and so has no meaningful control over the currency or this unappropriated “budget”. The extraordinary size of these lending facilities combined, the extreme secrecy, and the private influence is a dangerous seizure of Congress’s constitutional prerogative to appropriate public monies and control the currency.

    An audit of the Federal Reserve may not be sufficient to control this sprawling system or bring it back into balance, but it is a start. The public has a right to know to whom the US government is lending trillions of dollars. Dancing around this issue with technocratic terms like ‘increasing liquidity’ and ‘private financial intermediation’ is preventing a full and long overdue public debate on the role of the Federal Reserve and the influence of private banking interests in the governing of our economy.

    I encourage my colleagues to support H.R. 1207, so that we can bring some transparency to our banking system and allow the public to have a real debate over the fundamental direction of our nation’s political economy.

    Kudos to you Alan Grayson – for you are a Patriot. What’s hilarious is I hear the main argument against Auditing the Fed by the Democrats is that Government should stay out of Private Enterprise! Where was this concern before y’all nationalized the country!? God help us! I hate politics and politicians; especially Democrats and Republicans. Just follow the Constitution! We should replace our entire congress with 4th Graders! I believe they could defend the Constitution better than Washington.

    Categories: Federal Reserve, Rumor Tags:

    Letter to the Editor – American Thinker

    May 20th, 2009 No comments

    My name is George C. Joseph. I am the sole owner of Sunshine Dodge-Isuzu, a family owned and operated business in Melbourne, Florida. My family bought and paid for this automobile franchise 35 years ago in 1974. I am the second generation to manage this business.

    We currently employ 50+ people and before the economic slowdown we employed over 70 local people. We are active in the community and the local chamber of commerce. We deal with several dozen local vendors on a day to day basis and many more during a month. All depend on our business for part of their livelihood. We are financially strong with great respect in the market place and community. We have strong local presence and stability.

    I work every day the store is open, nine to ten hours a day. I know most of our customers and all our employees. Sunshine Dodge is my life.

    On Thursday, May 14, 2009 I was notified that my Dodge franchise, that we purchased, will be taken away from my family on June 9, 2009 without compensation and given to another dealer at no cost to them. My new vehicle inventory consists of 125 vehicles with a financed balance of 3 million dollars. This inventory becomes impossible to sell with no factory incentives beyond June 9, 2009. Without the Dodge franchise we can no longer sell a new Dodge as “new,” nor will we be able to do any warranty service work. Additionally, my Dodge parts inventory, (approximately $300,000.) is virtually worthless without the ability to perform warranty service. There is no offer from Chrysler to buy back the vehicles or parts inventory.

    Our facility was recently totally renovated at Chrysler’s insistence, incurring a multi-million dollar debt in the form of a mortgage at Sun Trust Bank.



    This is beyond imagination! My business is being stolen from me through NO FAULT OF OUR OWN. We did NOTHING wrong.

    This atrocity will most likely force my family into bankruptcy. This will also cause our 50+ employees to be unemployed. How will they provide for their families? This is a total economic disaster.


    I beseech your help, and look forward to your reply. Thank you.


    George C. Joseph
    President & Owner
    Sunshine Dodge-Isuzu


    Dollar Tumbles Against Stocks, Commodities, Other Curriences

    May 20th, 2009 No comments

    NEW YORK (AP) — The dollar tumbled against the other major currencies Wednesday, touching a fresh low against the pound for the year and a 4-month low against the euro as signs of a resolution to the financial crisis drove investors to riskier investments.

    Equities in Europe and the U.S. rose, as did oil prices, as cheered investors moved their cash into commodities and stocks.

    Since last summer, the dollar has tended to trade inversely to stocks, as fearful investors deserted their positions in emerging markets and commodities and jumped to the buck’s “safety” lure. When stocks and oil prices trend higher, that pattern tends to reverse.

    The euro jumped to $1.3782 in morning trading in New York from $1.3650 late Tuesday, peaking earlier at $1.3794, its highest price since Jan. 8.

    Meanwhile, the British pound rose to a 2009 high for the second day in a row at $1.5658. It recently traded at $1.5637, up from $1.5512.

    Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the proposed public-private partnership to help banks get rid of their “toxic” assets would begin operations within six weeks, and he expected that financial institutions that had gotten government bailout funds would pay back $25 billion of the aid this year.

    “There are important indications that our financial system is starting to heal,” a release of Geithner’s prepared testimony said, citing improvement in corporate bond markets, bank capital levels and the surge in mortgage refinancings.

    Meanwhile, Bank of America Corp. chief executive Ken Lewis said he expects a modest return to growth in the later part of the year at a conference in London.

    A “serious case of dollar damage is under way,” said Ashraf Laidi, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in London, in a note to investors. “We have long warned about the day of reckoning for the dollar emerging at the next economic recovery.”

    In other trading, the dollar fell to 95.33 Japanese yen from 96.14 yen late Tuesday, despite the government saying the Japanese economy had shrunk at a record 15.2 percent pace in the first quarter. It also tumbled to 1.0979 Swiss francs from 1.1074.

    Oil prices jutted more than $1.50 higher to $61.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, propelling the “commodity currencies” higher. Commodity-backed currencies are currencies whose economies are heavily affected by the prices of commodities because they are big exporters, and include Australia, Brazil and Canada, for example.

    The dollar dropped to 1.1420 Canadian dollars from 1.1529 late Tuesday, slipped against the Australian dollar and tumbled more than 1 percent against the Brazilian real.

    A warning to savers – humble honest people. If you haven’t figured it out already, you’re the odd man in the scheme of Big Government.

    When the interest rate of our dollar is manipulated down by an elite socialist few mischievous things will happen. They talk about the wonderful things it will do for everyone but it is all propaganda; it benefits the elite tied to the banking cartel. Everyone else, the middle class and the poor, suffer terribly. Especially those who saved their money were prudent and made good decisions. They are giving decentives to these people, and are promoting those who made horrible decisions and are really really rich – aka “systematically important”. That’s the 2nd requirment.

    Why someone would have been shot by a Colt 1911 for talk like that in the true United States.

    Why put your money in savings earning zero percent? If you do still decide to leave your money in savings instead of investing it, your purchasing power will be wiped out to inflation because of all the zero percent money the Fed is printing off and handing out, not to you, not to the poor and hungry, but to well connected, lobbyist, socialist, fascist, fatcats intertwined in our corporatist Government.

    They get the free money and they argue it’s for your benefit. Maybe some of them really believe they are enforcing good economic and moral policies because this form of economics is taught in school. University students learn debt is essential. If you don’t have debt you not living to your fullest, and a central bank like the Federal Reserve is needed to keep your Dollar from deprecating.

    Then why is the USD only worth 3 cents of the Dollar of 1913 – the year the Federal Reserve was created? Why did the Great Depression financial collapse come after 1913 and not before?

    The truth is the Federal Reserve is blatantly Unconstitutional along with literally what has become a majority of of Washington.



    President Obama – Great Fundraiser

    May 19th, 2009 No comments

    Gov. Jim Gibbons said today that President Obama has denied his request to meet with him in Las Vegas later this month.

    The governor had sent the president a letter last month saying he wanted to discuss the economic difficulties facing the state’s tourism industry. Gibbons said today that he was notified Obama won’t meet with him while the president is in Las Vegas on May 26 for a fundraiser for Sen. Harry Reid.

    “I am disappointed at the hypocrisy shown by this administration,” Gibbons said in a prepared statement. “President Obama is coming to Las Vegas later this month for a political fundraiser, but he will not help the struggling families in Las Vegas and Nevada who are out of work because of his reckless comments.”

    Gibbons is referring to comments Obama made earlier this year regarding business trips to Las Vegas by companies receiving federal bailout money.

    “This is politics, pure and simple, President Obama stood for change, but all he has done is brought negative economic change to Nevada,” Gibbons said.

    Las Vegas Sun

    Categories: Republicrats, Rumor Tags:

    Audit the Fed Update

    May 19th, 2009 No comments

    Categories: Federal Reserve Tags: ,

    Adam Kokesh – Modern Day Patriot

    May 18th, 2009 No comments

    Adam has formed an exploratory committe to run for Congress representing the state of New Mexico. Adam is a Marine, founder of Iraq Veterans Against the War, and perhaps a modern day George Washington.

    Adam Kokesh for Congress

    Categories: Politics, Republicrats, World Tags: