The Precious Metals Week in Review – March 16, 2018

The Precious Metals Week in Review - March 16, 2018
The Precious Metals Week in Review – March 16, 2018

1. Markets remained volatile this week as the world continued to ponder the possibility of a global trade wars, triggered by the U.S. President Trump continued to shake up the staff in his administration, which also added to the air of global uncertainty. The White House appears to be showing signs of further chaos in the weeks to come as rumors of further staff changes are flying through the media.

2. The seasonally adjusted number of Americans filing initial claims for state unemployment dropped by 4,000 claims to a new level of 226,000 for the week ending March 10. The previous week’s level was revised lower by 1,000 claims. The four-week moving average of claims decreased by 750 to a new level of 221,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous weeks’ average was revised lower by 250. Claims taking procedures in both the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico have still not returned to their 2017 pre-hurricane norms.

3. President Trump fired current Secretary of State Rex Tillerson this week, announcing his termination in typical blunt fashion via Twitter. Trump tweeted on Tuesday Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!” Tillerson only served in the post for a little more than a year and, according to foreign policy experts, may go down as one of the most ineffective individuals to ever hold the position of US Secretary of State. Despite the speculation over his effectiveness as Secretary of State, Tillerson was regarded as one of the stabilizing members of Trump’s administration. His dismissal, along with the departure of Gary Cohn last week, leaves very few stabilizing influences among Trump’s remaining staff.

4. The Washington Post reported on Thursday that President Trump was “now comfortable” removing national security adviser H.R. McMaster but is taking his time on any announcement because he does not want to embarrass him. The Post cited five sources with knowledge of the matter, and the Wall Street Journal separately confirmed the report. The White House subsequently denied the news, saying that the president has a “good working relationship” with McMaster and that “there are no changes” at the National Security Council at this time.

5. Russia’s First Deputy Defence Minister, General Valery Gerasimov reportedly said this week that he had “reliable information” that militants were preparing to “falsify” a government-led chemical attack against civilians in Syria. He continued, saying that the U.S. would then use the false attack to accuse Syrian government troops of using chemical weapons and launch a strike on government districts in Damascus. Gerasimov said “In case there is a threat to the lives of our military, the Russian Armed Force will take retaliatory measures both over the missiles and the carriers that will use them.” The U.S. Department of Defense responded to the remarks by asking Russia to “stop creating distractions” and to stop “enabling the Assad regime’s brutality.”

6. In a fundraising speech, which the Washington Post has obtained an audio recording of, President Trump appeared to make a veiled threat that the U.S. could pull its troops out of South Korea if trade negotiations did not go his way. In the audio, Trump can be heard saying “We have a very big trade deficit with [South Korea], and we protect them. We lose money on trade, and we lose money on the military. We have right now 32,000 soldiers between North and South Korea. Let’s see what happens.”

7. Concerns over the possibility of a trade war as the result of the Trump administration’s planned tariffs continued this week. In an op-ed piece titled “China must be ready for looming trade war” which ran on Wednesday in China’s state-run Global Times, the paper said “China has to brace for trade wars both in strategy and mentality. Beijing needs to give Washington head-on blows in a similar manner and must not be soft.” In closing the piece, the Global Times said “Since the countries that the US targets are more resilient politically, the Trump administration is likely to end up as the first to collapse. The Trump administration will pay dearly if its toughness causes the US to suffer heavy losses. Its only resource in support of toughness compared with previous administrations is Trump’s personality, which is not widely welcomed. Beneath his aggressive demeanor is a brutal reality. China won’t allow itself to be trampled upon. Perhaps it is China’s destiny to struggle with the US only in order to teach Washington a lesson. In which case, so be it.”

8. Events related to last week’s poisoning of a former Russian double agent in the U.K. have escalated further this week. The U.K. expelled 23 Russian diplomats and Prime Minister Theresa May announced a series of additional measures, including taking immediate action to “degrade Russian intelligence capability for years to come” and dismantling Russia’s “espionage network.” Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia remain in critical condition in a U.K. hospital, suffering the effects of a Russian-made nerve agent. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Friday that “Our quarrel is with Putin’s Kremlin, and with his decision – and we think it overwhelmingly likely that it was his decision – to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the UK, on the streets of Europe, for the first time since the Second World War.” Russia continues to deny involvement in the incident and said it will retaliate for the UK’s decision to expel its envoys by expelling some of the UK’s diplomats from Russia.

9. Adding further complication to relations between the UK and Russia this week, London-based Russian businessman Nikolai Glushkov was found dead in his south London home on Monday. The British police are treating his death as a homicide after a post-mortem concluded that he died as a result of “compression to the neck”. Police stated “at this stage, there is nothing to suggest any link to the attempted murders in Salisbury” and noted that there is also no evidence that Glushkov was poisoned.

10. Crude oil continued to hold its position in the lower $60-a-barrel range this week thanks to a sudden spike in prices on Friday. Prior to Friday’s price surge, crude was headed for a weekly loss over continued concerns that rising supply from the U.S. and other nations could offset the efforts by OPEC, Russia and other oil producing nations to curb their own production to boost prices.

11. The euro drifted mainly sideways at the start of the week, then took a sharp move to the upside on Tuesday. The euro could not maintain its upward momentum however and had peaked by early Wednesday morning. From there, the euro moved fairly steadily to the downside, crossing briefly into negative territory late Thursday night. The euro tried to remain positive for the week through Friday, but a sharp drop towards the close of trading will mean the euro closes to the downside against the U.S. dollar for the week. The Japanese yen saw a dip to the downside at the start of trading for the week before drifting slightly higher through Tuesday. Early Wednesday morning the yen took a fairly sharp move to the downside, but it soon reached a floor and begin a steady move back higher that lasted through Friday. Despite a sharp drop on Friday, the yen still appears set to close the week higher against the U.S. dollar.

Chaos within President Trump’s administration will likely continue to lead to market uncertainty and volatility in the coming weeks. Media reporters have taken to converging on the White House each Friday to find out who the latest person to be fired is. Rumor has it that morale within the Trump administration’s ranks is at extreme lows. This week alone, Trump fired Rex Tillerson from his post as Secretary of State, and also terminated his personal assistant, John McEntee “for security reasons.”

Trump’s abrupt firing of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State this week may also have put any proposed meeting in May between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in jeopardy. Rumors of additional terminations have been flying around Washington, D.C. over the last few weeks as several high-profile individuals have either resigned or been fired. President Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelly, who himself has been rumored to be on the proverbial chopping block, reassured staff members on Friday that there were “no immediate personnel changes at this time”.

The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal both published articles this week reporting that National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster would be the next official to be terminated but the White House quickly attempted to quell those reports. McMaster himself would neither confirm nor deny that he would be leaving, saying only that “Everybody has got to leave the White House at some point.”

Tensions between the UK and Russia ratcheted up this week as UK officials laid the blame for last week’s attempted murder of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia directly on Moscow and expelled 23 Russian diplomats from the UK. World leaders, including France, Germany, Britain and the US issued a joint statement on Thursday condemning the chemical attack on the two and blaming Moscow for the event. In their joint statement, the aforementioned countries said “We, the leaders of France, Germany, The United States and the United Kingdom, abhor the attack that took place against Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, U.K., on 4 March 2018. This use of a military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, constitutes the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War. It is an assault on UK sovereignty and any such use by a State party is a clear violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and a breach of international law. It threatens the security of us all.”

The four nations also called upon Russia to provide complete detailed records of its Novichok nerve agent program to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Russia continues to deny any responsibility in the attack and suggests that such attacks have been planned and carried out by some other entity looking to sow further discord between Russia and the rest of the Western nations.

Russia also apparently issued a warning to the U.S. this week that it believes a similarly staged chemical weapon event is being planned in Syria and that if the US uses any supposed chemical attack as an excuse to launch cruise missile strikes against Damascus that the Russian military will respond immediately with retaliatory strikes on both the missiles and any carriers that launch them.

Amid the escalating geopolitical tensions, macroeconomic tensions also continue to surge as the upcoming trade tariffs that the US intends to impose on some of its trading partners stoke further speculations of a looming global trade war. China, in particular, seems to be taking a stance that a trade war with the U.S. will have a more harmful impact on the U.S. than it would on China and seems to be relishing the chance to “teach the U.S. a lesson”.

Next week will mark the first meeting of the US Federal Reserve under new chair Jerome Powell. Market volatility is likely to increase further next week as rumors and speculation swirl around the Fed’s future moves on interest rates throughout the remainder of the year. Most agree that, at a minimum, the Fed will conduct three interest rates in 2018 but Fed watchers will be parsing through any post-meeting minutes for any indication that more than three rate hikes could take place.

Savvy investors continue to take steps to diversify their portfolios against global uncertainty. Many of these investors have come to recognize a pattern in the behavior of precious metals ahead of Federal Reserve meetings and look for buying opportunities, in the form of temporary price dips, to acquire more physical precious metals at a discount, to aid in diversification, before prices begin to rally after the markets sift through and absorb the latest Fed decision.

Remember that precious metals should always be viewed as a long-term investment and that the key to profitability through the ownership of physical precious metals is to actually acquire and own the physical products and to hold them for the long term. Always remember that you should never overextend your ability to maintain ownership of your precious metals over the long term.

Trading Department
Precious Metals International, Ltd.

Friday to Friday Close (New York Closing Prices)

Mar 9th2018 Mar 16th2018 Net Change
Gold $1323.50 $1313.50 (10.00) – 0.76%
Silver $16.63 $16.29 (0.34) – 2.04%
Platinum $964.50 $951.00 (13.50) – 1.40%
Palladium $994.00 $997.00 3.00 + 0.30%
Dow Jones 25335.74 24946.51 (389.23) – 1.54%

Previous year Comparisons

Mar. 17th2017 Mar 16th2018 Net Change
Gold $1231.10 $1313.50 82.40 + 6.69%
Silver $17.44 $16.29 (1.15) – 6.59%
Platinum $963.00 $951.00  (12.00) – 1.25%
Palladium $  778.50 $  997.00 218.50 + 28.07%
Dow Jones 20914.62 24946.51 4031.89 + 19.28%

Here are your Short Term Support and Resistance Levels for the upcoming week.

Gold Silver
Support 1300/1280/1260 16.30/16.15/16.00
Resistance 1320/1360/1380 16.42/16.65/16.80
Platinum Palladium
Support 940/910/890 990/960/930
Resistance 960/985/1000 1025/1070/1090
This is not a solicitation to purchase or sell.
© 2018, Precious Metals International, Ltd.

The Precious Metals Week in Review – March 9, 2018

The Precious Metals Week in Review - March 9, 2018
The Precious Metals Week in Review – March 9, 2018

1. Stocks remained volatile this week as uncertainty over details of the implementation of the Trump Administration’s recently announced tariffs on steel and aluminum trickled out. Shake-ups in the Trump White House staff also led to market jitters.

2. The seasonally adjusted number of Americans filing initial claims for state unemployment surged by 21,000 claims to a new level of 231,000 for the week ending March 3. The previous week’s level was unrevised. The four-week moving average of claims increased by 2,000 to a new level of 222,500 from the previous week’s average. Claims taking procedures in both the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico have still not returned to their 2017 pre-hurricane norms.

3. The Non-Farm Payrolls Report (NFP) for February was released on Friday and the job growth blew past economists’ expectations. According to the Labor Department report, the U.S. economy added 313,000 jobs in February while unemployment remained at 4.1 percent. Economists had expected payrolls to grow by 200,000 and a slight decline in the unemployment rate. The closely watched labor force participation rate finally saw a significant increase as the number of individuals counted as not participating in the workforce plunged by 653,000 to sit slightly above 95 million.

4. There has been much speculation recently that President Trump’s national security adviser, General H.R. McMaster, might vacate his post sometime this month. Gary Cohn, Trump’s top economic adviser, beat him to the exit this week when he announced his resignation. Rumors have been circulating for weeks that Cohn might exit due to growing friction with Trump and his administration. It appears that Trump’s drive to push ahead with steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports into the U.S. was the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back”. Cohn was seen as a steady, stable and pro-trade presence in the Trump White House, and his departure leaves the future of the U.S.’ trade and economic policies uncertain.

5. President Trump’s trade tariffs continued to the primary news story this week. President Trump signed two proclamations this week that would place steep tariffs into effect, in 15 days’ time, on U.S. steel and aluminum imports. The proclamation exempted Canada and Mexico from the steep tariffs and allows for other nations to explain why they should not also be subject to the tariffs. The European Union weighed into the debate on Wednesday, when the European Commission announced it would raise import duties on U.S. bourbon, peanut butter, cranberries and orange juice if the U.S. moves ahead with its proposed tariffs on steel. The EU also said that it would take its case to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and coordinate with other global trading partners against the proposed U.S. tariffs. China’s commerce ministry said Friday that it “resolutely opposed” the tariffs on steel and aluminum. South Korea said it too may file a complaint to the WTO while Japan said the move would have a “big impact” on bilateral ties between it and the U.S.

6. In a sharp reversal from his usual belligerent stance against all things U.S.-related this week, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un extended an invitation to President Donald Trump to meet with him by May. The invitation was delivered in person by a South Korean envoy who met with Trump and national security officials at the White House on Thursday. Kim has also pledged that North Korea will “refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests” while talks are underway. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the talks will take “some weeks to arrange” but that “President Trump has said for some time that he was open to talks and he would willingly meet with Kim when conditions were right. And I think in the president’s judgement that time has arrived now.”

7. In Europe, a former Russian double agent and his daughter were found unconscious on a bench outside a shopping center in Salisbury on Sunday. The two, and one police officer who came to their aid, were apparently exposed to a nerve agent that has sent all three of them to the hospital, critically ill. Prime Minister Theresa May said on Thursday that her government will “respond appropriately” if evidence shows that Moscow was behind the attack. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reacted to the U.K.’s warnings by saying “What we see is only new reports…saying that if it is Russia, then a response is going to be given that Russia is going to remember forever. That is not serious. This is propaganda fair and square and it is trying to raise tensions.”

8. The European Union has released the details of its initial plan for a free trade deal with the U.K. after it exits the bloc. The draft guidelines, which will be used by the EU’s negotiating team during trade talks with the U.K. completely reject the possibility of the U.K. having uninhibited access to the EU’s single market. The draft document also warned that “Being outside the customs union and the single market will inevitably lead to frictions. Divergence in external tariffs and internal rules as well as absence of common institutions and a shared legal system, necessitates checks and controls to uphold the integrity of the EU single market as well as the UK market. This, unfortunately, will have negative economic consequences.”

9. Crude prices looked set to take a loss for the week until optimism seemed to set in over Trump’s reported willingness to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. Crude oil held its ground in the mid-$60-a-barrel range despite reports that the U.S. now produces more crude oil per day than Saudi Arabia.

10. The euro was battered about this week, moving between positive and negative in sharp peaks and valleys at the start of trading this week, then moving sharply higher on Tuesday. The euro traded sideways through late Thursday when a sharp reversal sent it back near even for the week. The euro traded sideways through Friday’s close and a last-minute surge to the upside will see the currency close out the week higher against the U.S. dollar. The Japanese yen drifted higher at the start of trading but had begun moving to the downside by Monday afternoon. The yen had staged somewhat of a recovery by late Tuesday night but soon began drifting lower again and appears set to close the week lower against the U.S. dollar.

President Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports into the United States are likely to continue to be the primary drivers for market moves in the coming weeks. The steep tariffs are slated to go into effect within 15 days. The Presidential proclamation that he signed on Thursday exempted Canada and Mexico from paying the tariffs and opened the door for others to make their case for exemption. Trump clearly warned Canada and Mexico against “trans-shipping” steel into the United States on behalf of China, whom most analysts agree is the real target for the tariffs, particularly on steel.

The European Union, China, South Korea and other Latin American countries all continue to express their displeasure over the U.S.’ decision to impose the penalties, saying they will take retaliatory measures on U.S. goods imported into their own countries if the tariffs are enacted as planned. Analysts remain concerned that even with the exemptions for Canada and Mexico, ongoing NAFTA negotiation talks could be negatively impacted by the U.S.’ decision to impose the tariffs.

In Europe, yet another strange and surreal event took place surrounding a Russian defector who is residing in Britain. Sergei Skripal, a former double agent for the British secret service who was released from Russia as part of a “spy swap” in 2010, and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench outside a shopping center in Salisbury, England on Sunday. A police officer who came to their aid has also fallen ill and all three remain in critical condition in the hospital, having been exposed to a nerve agent. This is not the first Russian defector to be targeted in Britain and the latest incident has sparked renewed suspicion that Moscow’s Kremlin is reverting to its cold-war era strong-arm tactics. The Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s comment that Russia was a “malign and disruptive force” as part of an anti-Russian campaign designed to harm relations between Russia and the U.K. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Tuesday that the typical Western media response to the event would follow an obvious “script”, saying “At first the media background will be blown up, absolutely baseless, ungrounded accusations will sound, then again all this will be classified. And again, neither journalists, nor the public, nor politicians, nor officials will know what was really there.”

In other Russian news, Russia now claims to have evidence that the U.S. has attempted to influence and interfere with its own upcoming presidential vote in Russia. The U.S. has long held the view that Russia deliberately interfered in the 2016 election that saw Donald Trump elected to the post of President. Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said on Monday that “the U.S. was looking to create chaos in Russia.” He also said that U.S.-led sanctions on Russia were “primarily aimed at destabilizing the country.” Ryabkov gave no evidence to back up either of his claims and the U.S. State Department did not apparently deem his remarks worthy of a response. Russians head to the polls on March 18 and Vladimir Putin is once again expected to win the Presidential post in a landslide victory.

In what seems to be an abrupt turnaround of his anti-U.S. stance, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un issued an invitation to U.S. President Donald Trump to meet with him in person before May. Trump has reportedly agreed to the meeting, but the details of timing and location will obviously still have to be worked out. Reportedly, Kim has said that North Korea will agree not to conduct any further nuclear tests while discussions are ongoing. Analysts worry that the meeting is nothing more than a political win for Kim Jong Un, essentially recognizing him as an equal to president Trump and lending support to North Korea’s bid to be recognized as a nation with a fully functioning nuclear arsenal. Other analysts feel that the meeting just buys further time for the isolated nation to complete its development of further nuclear capabilities.

U.S. stocks surged on Friday after the Non-Farm Payrolls report was released. The report was better than expected and showed that the U.S. economy added 313,000 jobs. Hourly wages, which have been closely watched since they spiked in previous reports, rose only marginally. The marginal increase in hourly wages likely means that despite the better headline number in the NFP, the report did not necessarily increase the odds that the Federal Reserve might conduct more than three interest rate hikes this year.

As ongoing geopolitical and economic uncertainty continues to rule the day, savvy investors remain dedicated to seeking means to keep their investment portfolios diversified against overexposure to overheated asset classes. Many of these investors choose to continue acquiring physical precious metals as a way to aid in their quest for diversified portfolios. These investors use temporary price dips in precious metals to acquire more physical product for their portfolios in an effort to help protect their wealth against times of uncertainty.

Remember that precious metals should always be viewed as a long-term investment and that the key to profitability through the ownership of physical precious metals is to actually acquire and own the physical products and to hold them for the long term. Always remember that you should never overextend your ability to maintain ownership of your precious metals over the long term.

Trading Department
Precious Metals International, Ltd.

Friday to Friday Close (New York Closing Prices)

Mar 2nd2018 Mar 9th2018 Net Change
Gold $1323.50 $1323.50 0.00 + 0.00%
Silver $16.50 $16.63 0.13 + 0.79%
Platinum $966.00 $964.50 (1.50) – 0.16%
Palladium $996.50 $994.00 (2.50) – 0.25%
Dow Jones 24538.06 25335.74 797.68 + 3.25%

Previous year Comparisons

Mar. 10th 2017 Mar 9th 2018 Net Change
Gold $1202.10 $1323.50 121.40 + 10.10%
Silver $16.94 $16.63 (0.31) – 1.83%
Platinum $938.00 $964.50  26.50 + 2.83%
Palladium $747.00 $994.00 247.00 + 33.07%
Dow Jones 20902.98 25335.74 4432.76 + 21.21%

Here are your Short Term Support and Resistance Levels for the upcoming week.

Gold Silver
Support 1320/1280/1260 16.42/16.30/16.15
Resistance 1360/1380/1400 16.65/16.80/17.10
Platinum Palladium
Support 960/940/910 990/960/930
Resistance 985/1000/1025 1025/1070/1090
This is not a solicitation to purchase or sell.
© 2018, Precious Metals International, Ltd.

Why Your Broker May Break You

By Jeff Thomas,
Feature Writer for Doug Casey’s International Man and Strategic Wealth Preservation

As a perennial holder of precious metals, I’ve often been laughed at (literally) by my associates who are senior bankers, trust officers and brokers. But, to be fair, I should say that, on occasions, one or another would say to me, “Metals are an anomaly. Even if I agreed with your premise, metals don’t fit our portfolio format. If I recommended them, my clients would think I’d lost my marbles. I’m in business to win clients, not lose them.”

Why Your Broker May Break You. An article by Jeff Thomas.
Why Your Broker May Break You. An article by Jeff Thomas.

This is an important point for anyone who uses a banker, trust officer or broker as his investment advisor. He may be a very sincere guy, but he’s not going to be willing to risk losing clients by touting an investment that doesn’t fit his format and, worse, might give his competitors an excuse to call him a nut-case.

Those advisors whom I’ve respected the most have been the ones that, over the years, have said, “I believe you’re correct and, in fact, I’ve increased my metals in my own portfolio, but I’m not going to be so foolish as to tell my clients to buy metals, unless they come to favour them independently.” (At least they’ve thought the subject through.)

However, in recent years, I’ve seen an increase in those same professionals seeing the writing on the wall – foreseeing a crash in the markets. A common comment is, “I provide my clients with a diversified portfolio, except, the truth is, it’s diversified within the markets themselves. I don’t provide them with anything outside the markets, so if the markets hit a wall, my clients stand to lose it all. That’s not true diversification.”

And, again, they fear advising their clients of this inevitability, because their competition will still be touting that “The markets have never been higher. This is the worst time to get out. If your broker tells you differently, come over to us.”

The result of this conundrum is that, right up until a crash occurs, advisors always tell their clients, “You’re on the right track. The market’s never been higher. Keep buying.”

They say this even if they themselves have lost faith in the markets and are getting out.

This is an important point to ponder, as it’s one of the primary reasons why a major bull market never ends with a whimper, it always ends with a major upside spike. The crash occurs when buyers are at fever-pitch, borrowing money, buying on margin, to increase their positions.

And this latter point is a major reason why crashes can be so immediate and so devastating. When those in the market are up to their ears in debt in order to expand their positions, all that’s necessary is a slight rise in the interest rate, or other factor, to put them under water. This, of course, is exactly what happened in 1929, when the Federal Reserve raised the interest rate, and I believe it’s likely to happen again rather soon. (Not all rate rises cause a crash, but all crashes are precipitated by a rate rise.)

This is also the reason why so many investors panic following a crash. If they had received no warnings in the run-up to the crash – if everyone around them was saying, “Buy! Buy! Buy!” there can be little wonder that they’re taken completely by surprise. Worse – they have no idea how to react in order to save whatever might be left of their wealth.

At this point, those few who have been hard hit, but can keep their wits about them, may move a portion of their remaining wealth into metals. But, in my estimation, the numbers of those who can keep their heads clear in the face of a crisis will be few.

At this time, the average investor – the roughly 80% who tend to just chase the trends, will be likely to be in shock – not having any idea what to do. How long will this period of shock last? Six months? A year? Whatever the length of time, at some point, the 80% will begin to recover their composure and chase a new trend – precious metals – the investment that their advisors once scoffed.

Another key point to ponder at this juncture is that those who chase trends, do so because it’s their natural mindset – to follow the crowd. Therefore, when they see a trend into gold building, they’ll jump on board at some point and yet, importantly, they will still not understand the reason why gold is moving up. They’ll only understand that they’re missing out and will chase the new trend.

The reason that it’s important to understand is that the great majority of people almost always act in character. If they blindly chased one trend, they’ll blindly chase the next one. It’s for this reason that those of us who’ve predicted a gold mania over the last decades, believe that metals will not simply enjoy a return to their “rightful place.”

Fortunately or unfortunately, once the pendulum begins to swing toward metals, it will continue beyond the centre point, as it invariably does, and will move into the irrational mania area.

We can, therefore, anticipate precious metals prices to far exceed what would seem a reasonable intrinsic value. At that time, we may also see many of the old hands selling off a major portion of their positions quietly.

But, what about our old friend, the broker? What will his role be in this? Well, in my experience, whenever I’ve advised bankers, trust officers and brokers of a major change in precious metals prices, over the decades, they’ve tended to ignore the advice, but, curiously, whenever that advice had proven true (such as previous market crashes) they’ve said, almost uniformly, “No one could have seen this coming.”

Clearly, they had no recollection of the warning, which suggests that they’d simply pressed the mental “delete” button at the time.

This being the case, when the pendulum does swing toward metals to the point that it becomes a major trend, the advisors can be expected to get on the bandwagon and actually drive the trend, creating a precious metals bubble.

Back in 1929, there was a saying amongst savvy investors that, “When every shoeshine boy is giving stock tips, it’s time to get out of the market.” We’re now seeing a repeat of that situation – one in which virtually everyone is either in the market or discussing the market.

Another saying amongst investors is, “There’s a reason a broker is called a broker. A broker is someone who invests your money till you’re broke.”

So, is there a takeaway here? Yes, decidedly so. Advisors have their use. But, they should not be the final factor in an investor’s decision-making. A wise investor questions everything, then comes to his own conclusion independently. Always bear in mind that anyone who’s selling you something, has a vested interest in your belief that his recommendation is the correct one. Listen to him, but then extend your reasoning beyond his recommendation. And come to your own conclusion.

Jeff Thomas
International Man and Strategic Wealth Preservation



This article was originally posted in the Strategic Wealth Preservation Blog and copied here with permission of the author.

History Says You Have 27 Days to Buy Silver Before It Rises

By Jeff Clark,
Senior Precious Metals Analyst,

Mike Maloney revealed that he recently made a large purchase of silver because of how undervalued it is. And he bought silver instead of gold because of how high the gold/silver ratio is.

If you want to mimic Mike’s purchase of silver while it’s still undervalued, history says you only have 27 days to do so.

As many of you know, the gold/silver ratio (the price of gold divided by the price of silver) has touched 80 a number of times over the past 25 years. And it’s never stayed there long. History shows this is the level at which silver is grossly undervalued compared to gold. Sooner or later the ratio falls to account for the large discrepancy between their prices.

Here’s an updated view of the gold/silver ratio since 1995, along with silver’s gains after the ratio reversed from 80.

History Says You Have 27 Days to Buy Silver Before It Rises
Chart Showing Gold Silver Ratio Reverses from 80

You can see how much silver has outperformed gold when the ratio falls. And that some of those gains have been big—two of them were measured in triple digits.

You can also see that after dipping below 70 a couple times over the past two years, the ratio has returned to the 80 level (80.4 as of March 5). This pattern is similar to what it did in 1996. And in spite of a ravaging bear market in precious metals at that time, silver gained 36% over the next 14 months.

But something else sticks out in the chart: The gold/silver ratio has never remained above 80 for very long.

This is significant if you’re a buyer because it means that the historical window to purchase silver at an undervalued price compared to gold has been small.

Here’s the same chart with the number of days the ratio stayed above 80 before reversing.

History Says You Have 27 Days to Buy Silver Before It Rises

You can see that the number of days one has been able to buy silver while the ratio is above 80 has been few. And this is calendar days, not trading days. This is highly actionable information.

Since 1995, you can see there have been three occasions where the ratio registered at or above 80. The average of those days is 47. As of March 5, the ratio has been at or above 80 a total of 20 calendar days—so if it met the historical average this time around, you’d have 27 calendar days left to buy before the ratio drops.

In other words, you’d have until April 1 to buy silver before the price potentially moves higher (the ratio could also move lower if silver fell less than gold, but the price is already low).

The ratio could drop sooner or later than 27 days, of course. The point to this exercise is that the ratio has historically remained above 80 for only short periods of time. Thus, the opportunity to buy silver while it’s cheap is likely going to be brief.

And April Fool’s Day has some significance to precious metals: It marked the very bottom of the bear market in 2001 (a Sunday), and the beginning of the second biggest bull market in modern history. Those who scoffed at gold and silver then because of their low prices ended up being the fools.

History shows the silver price has logged some very nice gains when the gold/silver ratio reverses. Any time it has hit the current level, its stay there has been short-lived.

The conclusion is simple: Buy silver now, because the ratio says it is unlikely to remain at these prices for long.

Jeff Clark
Senior Precious Metals Analyst



This article was originally posted in the Strategic Wealth Preservation Blog and copied here with permission of the author.

The Precious Metals Week in Review – March 2, 2018

The Precious Metals Week in Review - March 2, 2018.
The Precious Metals Week in Review – March 2, 2018.

1. Stocks remained volatile this week as the Trump Administration announced it would follow through with the Commerce Department’s recommendations to place tariffs on steel and aluminum imports into the U.S.

2. The seasonally adjusted number of Americans filing initial claims for state unemployment dropped by 10,000 claims to a new level of 210,000 for the week ending February 24. The previous week’s level was revised lower by 2,000 claims. This marks the lowest level for initial unemployment claims since December 6, 1969. The four-week moving average of claims increased by 5,000 to a new level of 220,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s 4-week moving average of claims was revised lower by 500. This is also the lowest level for the 4-week moving average since December 27, 1969. Claims taking procedures in both the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico have still not returned to their 2017 pre-hurricane norms.

3. Further reports surfaced this week that President Trump’s national security adviser, General H.R. McMaster, might exit his post as early as this month. The White House immediately pushed back on the rumors, in a statement by White House spokesman Raj Shah, saying “We frequently face rumor and innuendo about senior administration officials. There are no personnel announcements at this time.” National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton also did his part to quell the rumor, saying in a separate statement “I was just with President Trump and H.R. McMaster in the Oval Office. President Trump said that the NBC News story is ‘fake news,’ and told McMaster that he is doing a great job.”

4. U.S. consumer prices increased in January, with a gauge of underlying inflation making its largest move to the upside in 12 months. The Commerce Department announced on Thursday that consumer prices rose 0.4 percent. The move is the biggest increase in the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index since September. The bump in inflation appears to have impacted consumer spending, which makes up over two-thirds of the U.S. GDP, since their spending level increased at just 0.2 percent for January.

5. New Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell gave testimony in front of Congress this week, and seemed to suggest that the Fed may conduct 4 interest rate hikes this year instead of the expected 3. The news sparked fears that the Fed may believe that inflation is moving through the economy faster than they like and that they may need to take steps to keep the economy from “overheating”. In a similar session this week in front of the Senate, Powell seemed to backpedal on his comments and said he did not believe that the economy was in danger of overheating. Powell’s comments, combined with disappointing durable goods data in the U.S. and worse-than-expected PMI data out of China helped send world stocks lower during the middle of the week.

6. Jerome Powell’s comments to the U.S. Congress this week were quickly overshadowed by President Trump’s announcement on Thursday that his administration would follow the Commerce Department’s recommendation to impose steep tariffs on aluminum and steel. Trump announced that the U.S. would be implementing a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports effective next week. The announcement immediately sparked a debate over whether the move would spark a global “trade war”. Mr. Trump’s tweet on Friday morning that “Trade wars are good, and easy to win” did not make the situation any better.

7. The U.S. is bracing for a massive storm impact on both its east and west coasts over the weekend and into next week. California is expected to get snowfalls measured in feet, instead of inches, and authorities warned that mountain roads there “will become dangerous” and that “travel is highly discouraged.” The east coast is facing the impact of Winter Storm Riley, which is expected to hammer the U.S.’ east coast with hurricane-force wind gusts over the weekend and dump “heavy, wet snow” on most of the east coast. High wind warnings had already been issued from northern Georgia all the way to eastern Massachusetts by early Friday morning. Winter Storm Riley is expected to be another “bomb cyclone”, undergoing a rapid drop in atmospheric pressure as it makes its way on shore, exactly as a similarly destructive system in January did.

8. On Thursday, Russian president Vladimir Putin announced a slew of new military capabilities during his two-hour state-of-the nation speech. The new capabilities included an arsenal of nuclear-based weapons, including a nuclear-powered cruise missile and underwater drone, and a new hypersonic missile. Putin said “I want to tell all those who have fueled the arms race over the last 15 years, sought to win unilateral advantages over Russia, introduced unlawful sanctions aimed to contain our country’s development: All what you wanted to impede with your policies have already happened. You have failed to contain Russia.” Putin continued, saying “Now they need to take account of a new reality and understand that everything I have said today is not a bluff.” The Russian leader went on to detail the capabilities of the new weapons, emphasizing that many of their abilities were unmatched in the world, saying “No one in the world has anything like that.”

9. On Wednesday, a campaign was apparently launched in Taiwan to hold a referendum on its independence from China. The campaign calls for a vote to be held on April 6, 2019 and flies in the face of China’s “One China” policy that takes the posture that Taiwan is nothing more than a rogue province of mainland China. In similar news, Chinese state media noted that Beijing could go to war over the Taiwan issue if the U.S. passes a pending bill promoting closer ties with Taiwan into law. The bill, which has already passed through Congress and only requires President Trump’s signature to become law, would allow U.S. officials to travel to Taiwan to meet their counterparts and for Taiwanese officials to enter the U.S. “under respectful conditions” to meet with U.S. officials. The China Daily noted that if the bill becomes law, it could encourage Taiwan to bid for independence from China which “would lead to the inevitable consequence of triggering the Anti Secession Law that allows Beijing to use force to prevent the island from seceding.” The paper further noted that “Since the U.S. is bound by domestic law to act on behalf of the island in that instance, it would only give substance to the observation that the descent into hell is easy.”

10. Crude oil prices dropped this week as weekly data from the U.S. showed a larger-than-expected rise in crude stockpiles and gasoline inventories. Crude also suffered after Donald Trump announced that he would go ahead with the recommended tariffs on steel and aluminum, sparking fears of a global trade war. Even with the weekly drop, prices held above the $60-a-barrel mark.

11. The euro bounced higher against the U.S. dollar at the start of trading this week, but quickly found its peak late on Monday when a sharp, but brief, dip occurred. The euro spent the latter part of Monday night recovering, but took a much sharper dip to the downside on Tuesday and then began a steady decline that lasted through Thursday afternoon. Thursday’s announcement by the Trump administration that they would implement tariffs on aluminum and steel appeared to send the euro sharply higher and by Friday it was back into positive territory and appears set to close the week slightly higher against the U.S. dollar. The Japanese yen saw a brief dip at the start of trading this week, but had bounced into positive territory by Monday morning. The yen began to drift lower through Tuesday afternoon, but then appeared to reverse course late Tuesday. The yen drifted higher through Thursday, when the U.S. tariff announcement acted to send the yen sharply to the upside for the week. The yen will also close the week higher against the U.S. dollar.

Stocks remained extremely volatile this week, battered about by comments from new Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell and President Trump’s announcement of impending tariffs on steel and aluminum imports into the U.S. The tariff announcement overshadowed most of the other news for the week, even eclipsing Russian president Vladimir Putin’s announcement that Russia had developed over 300 new military systems. The new systems reportedly include a hypersonic missile and two “nuclear-powered” devices capable of carrying nuclear warheads, one cruise missile with “nearly unlimited range” and an underwater drone with “intercontinental range” and advanced maneuverability.

Global stock markets reacted to Trump’s announcement that he was going to implement the Commerce Department’s recommendations and place tariffs on aluminum and steel imports. Equities were sent plunging as world governments and trade ministers denounced the move and essentially threated to retaliate in kind. Foreign manufacturers with subsidiaries or factories in the U.S. had also begun voicing their displeasure by Friday with Sweden-based Electrolux putting a $250 million investment in a plant in Tennessee on hold until it can assess the final details of the U.S.’ plans.

The threat of an all-out global trade war grew as Friday progressed, aggravated by President Trump’s tweet early Friday morning that “When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win. Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore-we win big. It’s easy!” Economist Adam Posen, president of the Peterson Institution for International Economics, said on CNBC Friday when asked about the tariffs that “This is just straight up stupid. This is fundamentally incompetent, corrupt or misguided.”

CNBC analyst Larry Kudlow pointed out the dangers to existing trade agreements, saying “We’re already hanging by a toenail on NAFTA. If we have to walk out of NAFTA or those negotiations totally break down, then this steel thing turns from a minor irritant to a major calamity for our economy and our stock market. Make no doubt about that.” Stocks began their sell-off on Thursday after the tariff announcement and continued through much of Friday, risking a retest of last month’s lows as the fears of an all-out trade war grew.

Reports that General H.R. McMaster may resign as Trump’s national security adviser and that Gary Cohn might also exit his post as Trump’s top economic adviser also ruffled markets this week as the apparently growing instability in the White House sent additional jitters through stocks.

The uncertainty in global markets is likely to continue to grow as more details emerge regarding the U.S. plans to implement its tariffs next week. Savvy investors continue to take steps to diversify their portfolios away from overexposure to equities and other overvalued asset classes, well in advance of the bubble bursting. One such tool these investors use for this purpose is adding more physical precious metals, as part of their well-diversified portfolios, whenever buying opportunities in the form of temporary price dips allow them to do so.

Remember that precious metals should always be viewed as a long-term investment and that the key to profitability through the ownership of physical precious metals is to actually acquire and own the physical products and to hold them for the long term. Always remember that you should never overextend your ability to maintain ownership of your precious metals over the long term.

Trading Department
Precious Metals International, Ltd.

Friday to Friday Close (New York Closing Prices)

Feb 23rd2018 Mar 2nd2018 Net Change
Gold $1329.50 $1323.50 (6.00) – 0.45%
Silver $16.54 $16.50 (0.04) – 0.24%
Platinum $998.50 $966.00 (32.50) – 3.25%
Palladium $1049.00 $996.50 (52.50) – 5.00%
Dow Jones 25309.99 24538.06 (771.93) – 3.05%

Month End to Month End Close

Jan 31st2018 Feb 28th2018 Net Change
Gold $1342.50 $1318.00 (24.50) – 1.82%
Silver $17.17 $16.41 (0.76) – 4.43%
Platinum $1010.50 $988.00  (22.50) – 2.23%
Palladium $1092.00 $1037.50 (54.50) – 4.99%
Dow Jones 26149.39 25029.20 (1120.19) – 4.28%

Previous year Comparisons

Mar. 3rd2017 Mar 2nd2018 Net Change
Gold $1226.60 $1323.50 84.90 + 6.85%
Silver $17.75 $16.50 (1.56) – 8.64%
Platinum $992.00 $966.00  (39.00) – 3.88%
Palladium $  770.00 $  996.50 215.50 + 27.59%
Dow Jones 21005.71 24538.06 3914.01 + 18.98%

Here are your Short Term Support and Resistance Levels for the upcoming week.

Gold Silver
Support 1320/1280/1260 16.42/16.30/16.15
Resistance 1360/1380/1400 16.60/16.80/17.10
Platinum Palladium
Support 960/940/910 990/960/930
Resistance 985/1000/1025 1025/1070/1090
This is not a solicitation to purchase or sell.
© 2018, Precious Metals International, Ltd.

“Living” Wherever You Go

By Jeff Thomas,
Feature Writer for Doug Casey’s International Man and Strategic Wealth Preservation

I was fortunate to have grown up multinationally to some extent. Between the ages of about eight to fourteen, I had a second home that I liked a whole lot better than my primary home. This instilled in me a tendency to not identify fully with either country.

"Living" Wherever You Go
“Living” Wherever You Go. An article by Jeff Thomas.

This, of course, is not the norm. We’re told to say the Pledge of Allegiance, or sing God Save the Queen or whatever other tedious repetitious act, in order to cement a sense of belonging into our brains. We’re meant to develop the belief that we have one home for life and that’s it. Little wonder, then, that so many people have such a hard time becoming independent thinkers and breaking away later in life.

For me, the dual countries prodded me to always be comparing them as alternate possibilities instead of simply accepting one or the other as the norm.

And I’m still doing it. Throughout my life, whenever I’ve travelled, I’ve treated other countries as though I live there. I avoid hotels if possible, avoid the tourist restaurants and, whenever possible, talk to locals about their daily lives. One of my favourite habits is to have breakfast each day at their equivalent of a diner. I sit at the counter and talk to the other diners and tell them where I’m from. Then I ask them about their latest election or some other political event in their country. I studiously avoid taking up sides or even offering an opinion. I say that I’m trying to understand what’s happening and offer to have them educate me. Generally, they relish the opportunity to expound on their own take on the subject. This invariably divides the diners into camps, each camp trying to explain to me which of their leaders is a saint and which is a demon. The conversation invariably gives me a very real cross-section of the thinking in that community and, often, that country overall. This can be a major factor in deciding whether I’d consider living there.

Rather than seeking out theme parks and water slides, I visit the supermarket to get an idea of what level and selection of products they have available. I also read labels on jars and cans. (If most of the goods are imported, you know that that country is dependent upon others and therefore incapable of acting independently during difficult times.) If I have time, I’ll also want to see the local hardware store to learn not only the level of products available, but what expense most people are able to go to, to improve their properties. This gives me an insight as to the economic level they’re accustomed to and how my level of wealth would be looked upon by them.

The objective is, rather than be a tourist and learn virtually nothing about life in that country aside from trying their own version of the drink with the fruit and the little umbrella, to come away with a greater understanding as to what it’s like to live there. Often, living in a country for three or four days is enough to develop an opinion as to whether it might be considered as a place to live. And, in truth, although I‘ve accumulated documentation allowing me to live in a total of thirty countries, most of them are not places that I’d want to be full-time.

However, some countries prove surprising and offer quite a lot to me personally. In addition, different locations within the same country may differ greatly. In Argentina, Buenos Aires may be unattractive to you, except as a place to shop or catch a plane, but Cafayate is another world – one where you might be quite at home. Similarly, in Thailand, you might find Bangkok to be an appalling den of corruption and excess, but be quite happy in Chiang Mai, well to the north of the capital.

I’m sometimes asked how many countries I’ve lived in and I don’t quite know how to answer, as there’s no real definition of what length of time constitutes living as opposed to visiting.

However, the advantage to this approach to travel, in addition to being (in my estimation) much more interesting than being a tourist, is that the traveler has the opportunity to build up his understanding of the world around him and the relative livability of other countries. This provides him with a volume of knowledge that can be translated into greater freedom, should his home country become more regulated, more economically unsound, or simply too dangerous.

On a regular basis, I provide consultation to people who have spent all or most of their lives in one country and are facing the prospect of leaving. Many of them have visited a dozen or more countries as a tourist, yet have come back with virtually no understanding as to what it would be like to live there. As a result, when they begin to consider how to internationalise themselves, they’re often at a complete loss. Many of them, at best, say something like, “We had a good time when we went to Maui. Is that a good place to move?”

So… anyone considering diversifying himself internationally, who feels as though he’s limited in his overseas experiences, might wish to consider rethinking his annual vacation. Instead of going to Majorca on a cruise ship, or taking a drive to Dollywood, a more useful option might be to research alternative countries for residence on the internet and plan to take in two or three of them. Live there, and do things that you’d do if it were your home. Look at the classifieds to examine the housing market (and the job market, should you need to consider employment). Check out schools, should they be needed. Visit the hospital that you found on the internet. Look at menus in restaurants to see if you’ll be happy with the food – and the prices.

Some of the standards you’ll encounter may be below what you’re used to, but, in other cases, they’ll be higher. Certainly, they’ll be different. When assessing these items, think not in terms of the levels you’re accustomed to now in your home country, but what you think they’ll be like after an economic crisis hits in your country.

Those who are seeking international diversification are, generally speaking, not unhappy with the country where they grew up, but are unhappy with where it’s been going in recent years and fearful that it’s likely to get a fair bit worse.

Should the reader decide that he’s in this category, one of his wisest investments at this juncture could be an investment in time, spent learning what lies beyond his present boundaries.

In my own life, I enjoy several homes, each thousands of miles from the others. Each offers me something different, but each is enjoyable and rewarding in its own way. What they offer, in total, is freedom, the ability to change my surroundings in the time it takes to pack a carry-on and get on a plane.

Those who are “owned” by any one country have little choice but to accept the diktat of that country. In tumultuous times, such as are now unfolding, this can mean a dramatic loss of freedom. The time spent determining alternatives is indeed time well-spent.

Jeff Thomas
International Man and Strategic Wealth Preservation



This article was originally posted in the Strategic Wealth Preservation Blog and copied here with permission of the author.

Why Now Is the Perfect Time to Be in Gold and Silver

By Jeff Clark,
Senior Precious Metals Analyst,
Why Now Is the Perfect Time to Be in Gold and Silver
Why Now Is the Perfect Time to Be in Gold and Silver. An article by Jeff Clark.

We buy gold for many reasons -as monetary insurance, a crisis hedge, and even for simple diversification-. And another one of those reasons is coming to the fore right now: as a hedge against overvalued stock and crypto markets.

We’ve been saying for some time that sooner or later these two markets had to correct—and that gold would serve as a buffer against those inevitabilities. It’s a short and simple message, but one that is crucial for investors to address: Are you sufficiently hedged against overvalued equity and cryptocurrency markets?

S&P Down, Gold Up

Through the end of last year, the S&P had nearly quadrupled from its 2009 low. This run currently ranks as the second-longest bull market in the last 140 years. It was clearly getting frothy; the only questions were when it would reverse and how big that reversal would be.

As you know, 2018 has seen an abrupt increase in volatility in the stock market.

So how has gold performed during that surge in volatility? Through Friday, February 16:

Why Now Is the Perfect Time to Be in Gold and Silver

While the stock market has experienced some sudden and scary drops so far this year, gold has risen. The flight to gold as a safe haven has pushed the price higher. This is a small taste of what gold can do as a hedge against stock market volatility.

The question you as an investor have to ask is this: is the market weakness and high volatility over? At what point do stocks -the largest asset allocation of most North American retirement plans- enter a bear market? And how bad does it get?

The sober reality is that the risk of the market continuing these scary nosedives is high. And we’ve shown that gold can hedge a stock market crash.

We’re not the only ones saying this. A new report from Bank Credit Analyst said that during periods of negative equity returns, gold has historically outperformed stocks 79% of the time. And in periods of rising volatility gold outperformed equities 64% of the time. Both of those risks are on the increase right now.

What is more likely going forward is a falling stock market and higher volatility. One reason to own gold is to insure against those events.

Bitcoin Down, Gold Up

Will cryptos serve as a hedge against a falling stock market?

The honest response is that it’s not possible to answer that question yet. Cryptos have far too short of a history, and are far too volatile.

On top of that, they were overdue for a correction as well. That correction came, and here’s how gold has performed against it.

Gold vs. Bitcoin, Year to Date

The price of Bitcoin peaked on December 17 at $19,908.10, and had risen a total of 1,226% in 2017. The price has since fallen by half, and you can see that gold hedged against that downdraft. This is exactly what gold can do for a portfolio.

These mini-crashes are but small examples of how gold can hedge other investments, and even profit when they decline. It is a core reason to own gold right now.
Gold is one of the very few investments that can hedge the kind of market weakness and increased volatility we’ve seen this year. Without it, any other investment you own is almost guaranteed to suffer when the next scare inevitably hits the markets.

Jeff Clark
Senior Precious Metals Analyst



This article was originally posted in the Strategic Wealth Preservation Blog and copied here with permission of the author.

The Precious Metals Week in Review – February 23, 2018

The Precious Metals Week in Review - February 23, 2018.
The Precious Metals Week in Review – February 23, 2018.

1. Stocks remained volatile this week and some analysts appear to be shifting from a “buy the dips” recommendation for their clients to a “sell the rallies” point of view instead.

2. The seasonally adjusted number of Americans filing initial claims for state unemployment dropped by 7,000 claims to a new level of 222,000 for the week ending February 17. The previous week’s level was revised lower by 1,000 claims. The four-week moving average of claims increased by 2,250 to a new level of 226,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s 4-week moving average of claims was revised lower by 250. Claims taking procedures in both the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico have still not returned to 2017 pre-hurricane norms.

3. The Federal Reserve gave a key report on monetary policy to Congress on Friday and noted that “Although there is no way to know with precision, the labor market appears to be near or a little beyond full employment at present.” The report is the first since Jerome Powell took over as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and it also noted that “Valuation pressures continue to be elevated across a range of asset classes even after taking into account the current level of Treasury yields and the expectation that the reduction in corporate tax rates should generate an increase in after-tax earnings.” The report also that “Leverage in the nonfinancial business sector has remained high, and net issuance of risky debt has climbed in recent months”, which is, of course, concerning to the Fed. The report did not offer any further insight into whether recent signs that inflation might be accelerating could lead the Fed to conduct more than three rate hikes this year.

4. Jeffrey Gundlach, founder of DoubleLine Capital and known as the “Bond King”, apparently disagrees with the White House’s official stance on the ease of handling inflation in the U.S. economy. Mr. Gundlach tweeted this week that “If by miracle wages go up w/out inflation not good for profits. If wages go up w/ inflation not good for bond yields, ergo P/E ratios. Hmmm.” The tweet appears to be in response to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s Bloomberg interview on Thursday in which he said “There are a lot of ways to have the economy grow. You can have wage inflation and not necessarily have inflation concerns in general.” In other words, Mnuchin believes that wages can rise without triggering runaway inflation in the economy, which historically has not been the case.

5. Reports surfaced this week that both President Trump’s Chief of Staff and his National Security Advisor may opt to resign their posts soon due to growing friction between themselves and President Trump. Reuters reported this week that four senior administration officials confirmed that the tensions between H.R. McMaster, John Kelly and President Trump have been exacerbated by events in recent weeks. President Trump’s frequent use of Twitter to criticize those who oppose his views has at times been aimed at McMaster and Kelly. Kelly also tightened the requirements for security clearances after the scandal surrounding Rob Porter, who was forced to resign his post as Staff Secretary after accusations of domestic abuse were revealed earlier this month. The tighter clearance requirements mean that some of Trump’s closest advisors, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who have been operating under interim clearances while they await the completion of their own clearances, could lose their access to review secret and classified information frequently contained in the President’s daily intelligence briefings.

6. Last week’s announcement that the U.S. Commerce Department was recommending steep quotas and tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to the U.S. has sparked widespread concern among not only China, but South Korea, Canada, Brazil and Mexico as well. South Korea is reported to be considering filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization if the U.S. follows through with the recommendations. Most considered that the recommendations were primarily focused at China but Max Baucus, former U.S. ambassador to China, said “The fact is that China does export a lot of steel and aluminum to the United States, but frankly, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, other countries [export] more steel than does China.” China’s Commerce Ministry said that the U.S. report was “baseless” and said that Beijing will take necessary measures to protect its interests if the final decision affects the country’s exports.

7. The Trump administration announced massive new sanctions on North Korea Friday. The Treasury Department sanctioned 56 shipping vessels and entities in its latest effort to ramp up pressure on North Korea to get it to abandon the pursuit of nuclear weaponry. President Trump, during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, said “We imposed today the heaviest sanctions ever imposed on a country before. Frankly, hopefully, something positive can happen.” The Treasury Department appeared to confirm that it had issued the “largest North Korea-related sanctions tranche to date” but stopped short of saying they were the “heaviest sanctions ever imposed on a country”. The new sanctions are apparently designed to reduce “illicit coal and fuel transports and erode [North Korea’s] abilities to ship goods through international waters.”

8. Crude oil maintained its grip on the $60-a-barrel range this week on news of a Libyan supply outage in the El Feel oilfield. Comments from Saudi Arabia that the OPEC-led production caps designed to support higher prices appeared to be working to reduce the global supply glut were also a positive boost to prices.

9. The euro spent much of the week steadily declining against the U.S. dollar. There was an exaggerated dip on Thursday but it was short-lived, and the euro had surged back higher by late Thursday. The move to the upside did not last however, and the euro continued its decline through Friday and will close the week lower against the U.S. dollar. The Japanese yen declined against the U.S. dollar through Wednesday, when it appeared to find a floor and began moving higher in fits and starts. The yen’s climb lasted through Thursday night, when it began drifting lower again. A turnaround Friday morning put the yen closer to where it started the week, but it still appears set to close slightly lower against the U.S. dollar for the week.

Stocks remained volatile this week but swiveled within a tighter range than seen in previous weeks. Asia was vacant from trading for much of the week due to the Lunar New Year holiday but will be back to normal levels of operations next week.

In the U.S., The Treasury Department announced some of the harshest North Korean sanctions to date this week, which will likely provoke North Korea to some sort of retaliatory action. The hermit nation has been remarkably quiet during the Winter Olympic games, which were held in South Korea this year. The additional prodding by the U.S., in the form of further sanctions, is likely to serve only to enrage Kim Jong Un. The new sanctions were placed on one individual, 27 companies and 28 ships, according to a statement on the U.S. Treasury Department’s web site. When a reporter asked President Trump about the new sanctions and whether they might be any more effective than previous attempts, Trump warned “If the sanctions don’t work, we’ll have to go to Phase 2. Phase 2 may be a very rough thing. May be very, very unfortunate for the world. But hopefully the sanctions will work.” The new sanctions are an attempt to prevent ship-to-ship transfers of fuel and other products that have allegedly been taking place out at sea to evade detection. Such transfers would be in direct violation of United Nations sanctions currently in place against North Korea. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that nearly all shipping currently being used by North Korea was now under sanctions and that the U.S. government had “issued an advisory alerting the public to the significant sanctions risks to those continuing to enable shipments of goods to and from North Korea.”

In Europe, Italian bond yields have been surging ahead of a March 4th election in Italy as uncertainty over the outcome has set in. The election is apparently most likely to end in a hung parliament, throwing the Italian government into gridlock with no clear majority present that could create a coalition and form a new government. If Italy’s election ends in a hung parliament, it could create some shocks in the euro. The euro has recently been projected to continue its rise against the U.S. dollar as the European Central Bank begins the process of unwinding its own quantitative easing stimulus program.

The ECB minutes from the most recent meeting still reflected a concern that inflation is picking up at a faster pace than predicted, which could result in the ECB taking steps to begin increasing their interest rates, following the precedent set forth by the U.S. Federal Reserve as it brought its own stimulus programs to an end.

As volatility in the equity markets continues, savvy investors continue to look for asset classes that will aid them in diversifying their investment portfolios. With growing discussions of accelerating inflation taking place in the U.S. and Europe, investors have continued to take advantage of price dips in precious metals to acquire more physical product. These savvy investors view precious metals as one of the asset classes that could help accomplish their portfolio diversification needs.

Remember that precious metals should always be viewed as a long-term investment and that the key to profitability through the ownership of physical precious metals is to actually acquire and own the physical products and to hold them for the long term. Always remember that you should never overextend your ability to maintain ownership of your precious metals over the long term.

Trading Department
Precious Metals International, Ltd.

Friday to Friday Close (New York Closing Prices)

Feb 16th2018 Feb 23rd2018 Net Change
Gold $1354.00 $1329.50 (24.50) – 1.81%
Silver $16.78 $16.54 (0.24) – 1.43%
Platinum $1013.50 $998.50 (15.00) – 1.48%
Palladium $1044.00 $1049.00 5.00 + 0.48%
Dow Jones 25219.38 25309.99 90.61 + 0.36%

Previous year Comparisons

Feb. 24th2017 Feb 23rd2018 Net Change
Gold $1258.10 $1329.50 71.40 + 5.68%
Silver $18.38 $16.54 (1.84) – 10.01%
Platinum $1028.00 $998.50  (29.50) – 2.87%
Palladium $773.00 $1049.00 276.00 + 35.71%
Dow Jones 20821.76 25309.99 4488.23 + 21.56%

Here are your Short Term Support and Resistance Levels for the upcoming week.

Gold Silver
Support 1320/1280/1260 16.42/16.30/16.15
Resistance 1360/1380/1400 16.60/16.80/17.10
Platinum Palladium
Support 985/960/940 1025/990/945
Resistance 1000/1025/1040 1070/1090/1110
This is not a solicitation to purchase or sell.
© 2018, Precious Metals International, Ltd.

The Precious Metals Week in Review – February 16, 2018

The Precious Metals Week in Review - February 16, 2018.
The Precious Metals Week in Review – February 16, 2018.

1. Stock market volatility continued this week as a round of economic data was released in the U.S. which included figures for inflation and retail sales. The Olympic games in South Korea continued to split the attention of the media.

2. The seasonally adjusted number of Americans filing initial claims for state unemployment jumped by 7,000 claims to a new level of 230,000 for the week ending February 10. The previous week’s level was revised higher by 2,000 claims. The four-week moving average of claims increased by 3,500 to a new level of 228,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s 4-week moving average of claims was revised higher by 500. Claims taking procedures in both the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico have still not returned to 2017 pre-hurricane norms. Unemployment data should be expected to remain volatile through the end of February, and will likely be subject to further revisions.

3. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shook off last week’s jitters and pushed its way back over the 25,000 mark once more as the average headed for its best weekly performance in nearly a decade. When the carnage that began two weeks ago finally came to its conclusion, major stock averages had fallen over 10 percent. Analysts are still confused over what triggered the correction, which coincided with a U.S. Labor Department report that finally showed an increase in hourly earnings. Many blamed the correction on fears that inflation could be growing at a faster pace than the Federal Reserve anticipated, but stronger-than-expected inflation data that was released in the U.S. this week failed to trigger a similar negative reaction and stocks continued to recover some of their previous gains. Regardless of the cause, most analysts now agree that the massive volatility experienced over the last several weeks is likely here to continue for the near term.

4. Economic data out of the U.S. added to fears that inflation may be accelerating faster than the Federal Reserve may have anticipated this week. The Consumer Price Index rose more than expected, according to a report released on Wednesday, and a report on Producer prices that came out on Thursday also showed price gains across the board, partly on increasing gasoline and health care costs. The data, coinciding with a weaker U.S. dollar and an apparently tightening labor market, could act to rattle equity markets again, particularly if the Federal Reserve appears to be considering the option of raising rates at a faster pace than originally anticipated.

5. Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year, kicked off on Friday and is expected to bring a week of spending sprees across the globe as travelers from mainland China head out for vacation. 6.5 million travelers are expected to head overseas, spending billions over the week-long festival. Many Asian markets will be closed during the holiday period and frequently the drop in trading volume across Asia means other global markets tend to show a bit more volatility.

6. North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, has apparently invited South Korean president Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang “at an early date” for a summit. If the meeting actually does take place, it would be the first such meeting in more than a decade. The invitation was apparently extended during discussions and a lunch that Moon had with Kim Jong Un’s younger sister, Kim Yo Jong while she was in South Korea for the Olympics. Moon Jae-in came to power following the downfall of the previous South Korean administration on talk of possibly taking a softer stance on North Korea than his predecessors.

7. Reports surfaced this week that Moscow and Beijing may be developing “anti-satellite weapons as a means to reduce U.S. and allied military effectiveness.” In a joint report, with input from the CIA, the FBI and the National Security Agency, it was noted that “Of particular concern, Russia and China continue to launch ‘experimental’ satellites that conduct sophisticated on-orbit activities, at least some of which are intended to advance counterspace capabilities.” The report also noted that “if a future conflict were to occur involving Russia or China, either country would justify attacks against U.S. and allied satellites as necessary to offset any perceived U.S. military advantage derived from military, civil, or commercial space systems.”

8. The U.S. Commerce Department announced on Friday that it was recommending that the Trump administration place steep tariffs and/or quotas on steel and aluminum imports from China, Hong Kong, Russia, Venezuela and Vietnam. The recommended tariff on steel is for 24 percent on imports globally, or at least 53 percent on steel from a list of nearly a dozen different countries. The recommended tariffs on aluminum would be 7.7 percent on all aluminum imports, or 23.5 percent on the specific countries listed above. President Trump has 90 days to review the findings and recommendations in the Commerce Department’s report and would then decide whether following any of the recommendations would be in the U.S.’ best interests.

9. German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared to show support for the ongoing Brexit negotiations between the U.K. and the European Union at a press conference following talks on Friday. Ms. Merkel said “In the end there needs to be a fair balance of divergence, from the single market for example, and on the other hand a partnership that is not too close. This can be achieved and the (EU) 27 will ensure that the relationship (with the UK) is as close as possible but that there is a difference to membership (in the EU). She posed for pictures while shaking hands with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and said that she was not frustrated with the way the negotiations were going and that the EU should stick to the original timetable for the exit process.

10. U.S. Crude broke its two-week losing streak, rising back over the $60-a-barrel mark once more. Surging U.S. production continues to put pressure on prices despite further supportive comments from OPEC that the output cuts were expected to continue through the end of 2018.

11. The euro rose fairly steadily against the U.S. dollar this week, only experiencing brief dips late on Wednesday after the U.S. inflation data was released, and again on Friday just before market close. Neither dip was enough to take the euro into negative territory for the week and it will close out the week higher against the U.S. dollar. The Japanese yen moved sideways against the U.S. dollar at the start of trading for the week but soon began moving higher and trended higher through the rest of the week. The yen will also close the week out higher against the U.S. dollar.

Trading should be expected to be somewhat light next week as most Asian markets will close for the Lunar New Year holiday period. U.S. markets will also be shortened next week as they will be closed on Monday for President’s Day.

Market volatility in equities might be expected to continue, especially as further details from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictments of 13 Russian individuals and three Russian entities are released next week. The 37-page indictment was released on Friday just prior to the closing bell and with markets closed on Monday, analysts will have plenty of time to delve deeply into the document to assess the impact that the indictments may have on markets. One key takeaway from the indictment was the statement that “Some defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities.” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein spoke to the press on Friday and repeatedly said that his comments were specific to the federal grand jury indictment that the special counsel’s office had just announced when he said that the indictment showed no allegations of American involvement or any specific impact to the election.

President Trump took to Twitter following the release of the report to reiterate that it showed no evidence of collusion with anyone from the Trump campaign and that it showed instead that his campaign “did nothing wrong” during the 2016 election.  Market reaction was brief in equities following the release of the indictments, initially selling off somewhat but quickly recovering after it became apparent that there would be no allegations of ties of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian individuals and entities named in the document.

In Europe, negotiations continued between the U.K. and the E.U. over the implementation of “Brexit”. Germany appears to believe that negotiations are going smoothly, if Angela Merkel’s apparent attitude can be believed. Chancellor Merkel was very outspoken at a press conference she held with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday after talks in Germany, posing for photos with the Prime Minister and calling for a “fair balance of divergence” and a “partnership that is not too close” but still “close as possible”. Merkel went on to state that she was not frustrated with the ongoing negotiations and that she thought the EU should stick to the original Brexit timetable.

Lastly, late on Friday the Commerce Department released recommendations that the Trump administration should impose heavy tariffs and/or quotas on steel and aluminum imports into the U.S. President Trump will have 90 days to review the 262-page report and decide on a course of action.

Inflation data will likely continue to be the primary focus for equity markets in the coming weeks, particularly if inflation shows signs of accelerating on a global basis. The most recent U.S. data has sparked speculation that the Federal Reserve may step up the pace of its interest rate hikes if inflation truly begins moving faster than they expected. There also appear to be signs that the Fed may have been partly responsible for the v-shaped recovery in stocks this week.

The central bank appears to have added $11 billion to its “System Open Market Account” for the week ending February 14, meaning it effectively purchased $11 billion in mortgage securities directly from banks. This procedure was creatively named “Quantitative Easing” during the height of the financial crisis, and the Fed is supposed to have stopped such actions and instead is supposed to be engaged in winding its balance sheet down.

Remember that precious metals should always be viewed as a long-term investment and that the key to profitability through the ownership of physical precious metals is to actually acquire and own the physical products and to hold them for the long term. Always remember that you should never overextend your ability to maintain ownership of your precious metals over the long term.

Trading Department
Precious Metals International, Ltd.

Friday to Friday Close (New York Closing Prices)

Feb 9th2018 Feb 16th2018 Net Change
Gold $1315.50 $1354.00 38.50 + 2.93%
Silver $16.22 $16.78 0.56 + 3.45%
Platinum $960.00 $1013.50 53.50 + 5.57%
Palladium $968.50 $1044.00 75.50 + 7.80%
Dow Jones 24190.90 25219.38 1028.48 + 4.25%

Previous year Comparisons

Feb 17th2017 Feb 16th2018 Net Change
Gold $1238.60 $1354.00 115.40 + 9.32%
Silver $18.06 $16.78 (1.28) – 7.09%
Platinum $1005.00 $1013.50  8.50 + 0.85%
Palladium $781.00 $1044.00 263.00 + 33.67%
Dow Jones 20624.05 25219.38 4595.33 + 22.28%

Here are your Short Term Support and Resistance Levels for the upcoming week.

Gold Silver
Support 1320/1280/1260 16.60/16.42/16.30
Resistance 1360/1380/1400 16.80/17.10/17.40
Platinum Palladium
Support 1000/985/960 1025/990/945
Resistance 1025/1040/1060 1070/1090/1110
This is not a solicitation to purchase or sell.
© 2018, Precious Metals International, Ltd.

The All-Important Doorman

By Jeff Thomas,
Feature Writer for Doug Casey’s International Man and Strategic Wealth Preservation

Picture this: A tribal leader from a distant country visits the US. He’s brought to a large apartment building in New York City. When he gets out of the car, he looks up at the great building and is quite impressed. A uniformed doorman exits the foyer and comes out on the sidewalk. The tribesman sees the gold braiding and brass buttons of his coat and immediately decides that this is a very important person. Again he looks up at the building and says to the doorman, “This is a very great home you have. You must be very important indeed.”

The All-Important Doorman. An article by: Jeff Thomas.
The All-Important Doorman, an article by Jeff Thomas. Photo by: Shintaro Works.

Of course, if we were present, we might chuckle at the tribesman’s naiveté. The owners of such a great building would never greet people at the entrance. They leave such trivial tasks to hired servants, whilst they run the real business without ever needing any direct contact with visitors as they enter the building. And, in addition, doormen come and go – they are, after all, disposable. The owners – those who control what happens in the building, retain their positions over the long term… and may remain anonymous, if they so choose.

We find this simple concept easy enough to understand, and yet we chronically have difficulty in understanding that, in most countries, the president, or prime minister, is not by any means the man who makes the big decisions in the running of the country.

We assume that, because we were allowed to vote for our leader, he must actually be our leader. But, as Mark Twain has at times been credited as saying, “If voting made any difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.”

Similarly, the man whose family took over the financing of Europe, Meyer Rothschild, said, “Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation and I care not who makes its laws.” His family has been calling the shots for centuries, but like the owners of the apartment building, they keep a low profile.

Remarkably, most people will nod their heads at the above quotes, yet somehow still imagine their elected leader to be in charge.

Most anyone will accept that the voting system in their country has been corrupted in one way or another and it’s even more likely that they’ll acknowledge that the central banks control the flow of money. Yet, they persist in believing that, even if elections are financed by the big banks, the military industrial complex, Big Pharma, etc., somehow, those who are elected remain loyal to the voters, not to those who paid for their election.

And, they imagine these elected members to be running the show.

Further, whilst they often acknowledge that the political party that they oppose is bought and paid for, they prefer to think that the one they favour is not.

At this point, both the EU and the US are run by the Deep State. In Europe it’s a bit more obvious, as the EU is a visible, unelected body that holds sway over all of the most significant developments in Europe.

In the US, it’s a bit less obvious, but it’s generally understood that the CIA, FBI and other similar organisations run independently of the president. (He has the power to fire a Director, but does not have the power to eliminate these organisations or change their agenda.)

The US is run as a corporatist body – joint rule by big business and the state. The elected members are, like the doorman, temporary. They are, of course, highly visible, which they’re intended to be, as they’re meant to distract the public eye away from those who are truly in charge.

And, like the doorman, they’re disposable. They can be unelected at four–year intervals and the agenda continues as planned. They are, in fact, largely irrelevant to the direction that the country takes.

The president, in particular, falls into this category. There have been quite a few presidents, such as the present one, who rose to that post with little or no previous experience in elected office. Their election is a result of popularity. If they do a better job of creating campaign-promises than their opponents, they emerge as the winners, even if they have no political ties, associations with other legislators, or previous experience in the job.

And yet, we somehow assume that those who really pull the strings would spend hundreds of millions of dollars on elections, then tolerate a newly-elected outsider to wash away their investment by actually taking charge.

To be sure, there have been presidents who have bucked the Deep State, but they tend to change their tune rather quickly and get back into line. Those who have refused have sometimes found themselves on the business end of a bullet, although, more recently, the preferred tactic has been to invent accusations of corruption and indecency, then to produce questionable witnesses to discredit the leader. (A leader who has been forced out in disgrace is just as gone as one that’s been assassinated.)

But, almost invariably, the “leader” sees that it’s in his interest to cave in to the Deep State, as, perennially, they hold the real power. Campaign promises are tossed into the dustbin and it’s back to the previous, ongoing agenda. This we’ve witnessed time after time.

Does this mean that the president is only a mouthpiece for the Deep State? Well, no, it’s actually advantageous for him to express his own opinion, ruffle the public’s feathers and push his pet projects. It adds to the distraction that he’s in charge. However, the larger issues – particularly the flow of tax dollars into the pockets of corporations, continues exactly as planned, regardless of who’s in office. Bankers continue to receive absurdly large bailouts when they’ve grossly mismanaged their banks. The military industrial complex continues to enjoy perpetual warfare, so that they can supply armaments to the government for unnecessary conflicts. Big Pharma enjoys legislation that forces people to be vaccinated against their will and accept outrageously high prices for medications that are generally inexpensive to produce.

But, yes, as long as a president remains the spokesman to explain why such policies are not only tolerable, but essential, he may be allowed to occupy the oval office until the voters tire of him.

But, if this is true, why do people so quickly and so readily accept the “leader” to actually be unilaterally responsible for every facet of every governmental policy and action?

Well actually, nothing could be easier. It’s human nature to want to put a face to our praise and/or criticism. We can’t muster the same focus if we’re advised that we’re being ruled by a faceless group. We tend to respond more readily and more intensely to a single individual – a face we can conjure up immediately. “People desire certainty,” Doug Casey once observed to me, when discussing a related subject, and that’s exactly so. If we’re uncertain during troubled times, we’ll instantly jump at the opportunity to put a single face to the problem, to blame one individual for whatever is troubling us.

This is evidenced by the presentation of photos of Lee Harvey Oswald and Osama bin Laden, mere hours after major events, as the certain culprits. They were immediately accepted, without any question, by a people desperately seeking certainty.

Therefore, as soon as one leader is out and another takes his place, we’re able to immediately transfer our devotion or hatred to the replacement.

The concept of providing a single face to the public is one that was understood by George Orwell, who created the character of “Big Brother,” who would be on the video screens incessantly, as the face of the government.

But, in stating all of the above, it may seem that I’ve portrayed the doorman as insignificant and this is not the case. He does play quite an important role.

He’s absolutely essential, as he, more than any other legislator, creates a suitable distraction from those who really run the show. He’s in front of the microphone, does interviews, is filmed on almost a daily basis, and is constantly credited by the media as being either the saviour or the devil, depending upon which media outlet is providing the portrayal.

And the shakier an economy, and the greater the problems of a country, the more essential it is that the “leader” be visible. After all, when things go badly awry, someone has to serve as the fall guy.

When this occurs, he is, of course, disposable. He leaves in disgrace or is voted out and a new puppet is voted in whose loyalty is again to the Deep State, not to the voters. And, most importantly, the real agenda continues, as planned, regardless of whatever new campaign promises got him elected.

Campaign promises are dumped wholesale; the demeanour of the new leader may change dramatically, and the new leader’s very principles may suddenly evaporate after election day. However, the ongoing agenda does not. Regardless of who’s elected, or what party he professes to represent, we witness a continuation of the previous directions taken by those who truly hold the power.

What’s important to recognize is that, no matter how large the apartment building may be, no matter how impressive the presentation of the doorman may be, he is just that. He is only the front man, and he is disposable.

The Deep State runs the show. Their presence is permanent and their agenda is both ongoing and impervious to the whims of the voting public.

Jeff Thomas
International Man and Strategic Wealth Preservation



This article was originally posted in the Strategic Wealth Preservation Blog and copied here with permission of the author.