The first sentence certainly gives the impression that this legislation is motivated by the boston bombing (never let a good crisis go to waste) but then we read that he has proposed this same thing before. So which is it senator? You can’t have it both ways.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—In the wake of the deadly bombing attacks in Boston, U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) today announced that he will reintroduce legislation he has proposed in a prior Congress to require that sales of explosive powder be subject to a background check. He will also file the legislation as an amendment to the gun violence prevention bill currently on the Senate floor.
Current law allows an individual to purchase as much as 50 pounds of explosive “black powder” without a background check, and also permits an individual to purchase unlimited amounts of dangerous “smokeless powder” and “black powder substitute” without a background check. Sen. Lautenberg’s proposal would change that and require a background check for any purchase of these explosive powders. These powders can be used as the explosive material in assembling pipe bombs, used in the Columbine school shooting, and pressure cooker bombs, which may have been used in the recent Boston attack.
Before you watch this video I would like to put out a few of my thoughts on this subject. I feel bad that it seems like now the only time I write about precious metals is when they’re experiencing big down moves, but in honest it is pretty much down moves are pretty much the only thing that’s been going on in the last 2 years.
You can search the Gold tag, at the bottom of this post and look back to see that I’ve never been someone to make outlandish calls on precious metals. So many people feel the need to make such claims, as though an honest assessment isn’t good enough, the one that stands out in my mind comes from about a year ago when James Turk was going on and on about silver being in a “bullish flag pattern” and that it would almost immediately shoot to $70 per ounce. These calls are possible and frankly I do expect big up moves in the future, but just be weary of anyone who is trying to sell you something and always be leery of anyone in any market who acts like they can time explosive moves.
People ask me if in the light of this substantial down move if I have lost faith in the PM story or regretted purchasing precious metals. The answer is very much no on both counts. I want to be clear before I’m accused of being a permabull, I do have scenarios which would cause me to consider an exit strategy from PM’s (and commodities in general). Most permabulls in any sector are bullish regardless of any news and any scenario, I do not fit this description. Here are 3 main events that would cause me to consider leaving PM’s.
1) The US Government balances the budget and begins running trillion dollar surpluses.
2) Interest rates rise 10%+
3) Stop all forms of “QE” which is currently 85+ Billion per month
These are the 3 main factors which brought on a precious metals bull market, so until these change, long term I cannot see how the bull market would not continue. Let me address these points
1) The government has run trillion dollar deficits for the last 5 years, nothing within the economy has changed and I can only assume this will continue at least for the remainder of Obama’s term. This is only part of the story of course, since the real troubling fact is the unfunded liabilities which are between 4-6 trillion per year. Major budget deficits are here for the foreseeable future. Our national debt after nearly 230 years was 4 trillion dollars, after only 8 years of Bush II the debt had doubled and now just 4 years of Obama the debt has doubled again. Just to put this spending in perspective.
2) Interest rates are currently set by the evil banking cartel known as the Federal Reserve, a look back in history shows that when Fed Chairman Volcker raised interest rates to nearly 20% it put the brakes on inflation of the 70’s and contributed strongly to collapse of the gold and silver price. The big difference is at the time the national debt was under 1 trillion dollars, so even if all of that debt were subject to 20% per year interest it would only be a measly sum of 200 billion, or roughly 3 months of QE. This is put into perspective when you look at what the interest payments would be today on our 16+ TRILLION dollars of debt, a massive 3.2 TRILLION dollars per year. This exceeds total revenue brought into the federal government by all forms of taxation. This would mark the endgame for the US federal government.
Another reason interest rates will not rise is because it would collapse the fragile housing market. On the typical home loan a 1% rise in interest rates is $100 per month. So if interest rates went back to historical levels of say 8% this would mean an extra $500 on to the typical mortgage, this is to big of a shock to be absorbed, people could no longer afford housing and therefore prices would plummet.
3) This is the most likely of the 3 to happen, although I think the odds are very strong that it will not happen. The federal reserve bankers, armed with a printing press have worked diligently to re capitalize their wall street co workers (conspirators) after billions of bad loans and cascading derivatives exposure. The economy even with the federal government spending biblical amounts of money, and the fed expanding it’s balance sheet at a record pace is on life support. I see literally no signs of an improved economy in my day to day life, the cost of living is prohibitive, decent jobs are almost impossible, housing is still expensive etc. So I cannot see them stopping the presses during such a scenario.
As I’ve briefly outlined I not only think they won’t do these things, they literally can not do them. Doing them would lead to a total US stock, bond and housing market collapse. I can not envision a scenario where these events do not unfold, if you do please email me [email protected]
To touch on another subject which I find fascinating is market psychology. Not just PM’s but any and all markets. I’m always amazed how people change as price changes, take bitcoin as another recent example. It had been treading along at 4 dollars pretty much since it’s inception, a few big players moved in and it went to 30, then 100, then 200, then 250 and when it hit 150 on the way up the buzz I heard online was deafening. EVERYONE was talking about bitcoins, most of whom had known about it for years, but suddenly they wanted a slice of the pie. It is the same thing I’ve heard from coin dealers, at $40+ everyone and their brother wanted silver, below 30 now though nobody wants it. Silver is still silver, nothing has changed regarding mine supply, money creation or industrial demand yet now it is more than 50% of of it’s 2011 peak and the silence is deafening. So don’t let the markets rule you, I think Warren Buffet is a douche but his “be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful” comment is right on the mark. It goes hand in hand with this chart
The way to make money in any market is to notice something and act before the crowd does, long or short it doesn’t matter. But these are times when you can use the MSM brainwashing to your financial advantage, you can see things down the road that others simply cannot. So I would wait for the bloodshed to show some signs of letting up and I would treat this opportunity like I treated oil at $35 per barrel in 2007. The miners have been slaughtered and barring absolutely catastrophic events (major bankruptcies etc) I think they’re presenting long term several hundred percent moves pretty much across the board.
Ted has many people fooled for the time being, and while I’m no expert on him, his wife is relatively high up in Goldman Sachs which makes him suspect. “By their fruits you shall know them” and now we begin to see Ted Cruz’s fruits this time in the form of thinly veiled gun control. If you believe in the Constitution you do not have the need for more money for NICS, or any of the other nonsense in this bill.
WASHINGTON, DC – Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) are introducing an alternative amendment to gun legislation pending on the Senate floor. Their “Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act” would preserve the Second Amendment while providing important fixes to existing law.
The Grassley-Cruz proposal would reauthorize and improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), increase resources for prosecutions of gun crime, address mental illness in the criminal justice system, and strengthen criminal law by including straw purchasing and illegal firearm trafficking statutes.
“When people study our amendment, they’ll see a sensible alternative that was developed from the ground up. It’s got wide-ranging, broad-based support and takes a responsible approach to fixing problems with the current background check system,” Grassley said. “We’ve put together an amendment that can effectively address some of the problems we’ve seen while protecting Second Amendment rights. I’ve been very interested in the mental health aspect of this debate, so we include provisions to study and address that issue. My oversight of Operation Fast and Furious highlighted some serious flaws within the gun trafficking and straw purchasing area, and Senator Cruz has done an exceptionally good job of helping develop that portion of our alternative. In addition, we both understand the importance of ensuring that Second Amendment protections are in place for veterans, along with every other American.”
“I am glad to work with Sen. Grassley on this important amendment, which presents a reasonable alternative to the current legislation being considered while placing top priority on preserving Americans’ inalienable right to bear arms,” Sen. Cruz said. “Rather than restricting the rights of law-abiding Americans, we should be focusing on keeping guns out of the hands of violent criminals, which this legislation accomplishes. While the Obama Administration continues to politicize a terrible tragedy to push its anti-gun agenda, I am proud to stand beside my fellow senators to present common-sense measures that will increase criminal prosecutions of felons who try to buy guns, criminalize straw purchasing and gun trafficking, and address mental health issues.”
Sponsors of the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act of 2013 include Senators Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, John Thune of South Dakota, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, John Hoeven of North Dakota, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Dan Coats of Indiana, John Cornyn of Texas, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, James Risch of Idaho, Marco Rubio of Florida, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, John Boozman of Arkansas, Mike Johanns of Nebraska, Rob Portman of Ohio, and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
This legislation will:
Improve and reauthorize grants for NICS database;
Require federal courts to submit relevant information to NICS;
Ensure that relevant mental health records are submitted by states to NICS;
Condition federal grant money for states on their submission of mental health records to NICS;
Increase federal prosecution of gun violence by establishing the Nationwide Project Exile Program and establishing a high level federal taskforce;
Study of the causes of mass shootings;
Responsibly addresses gun violence by criminalizing straw purchasing of firearms and gun trafficking;
Second Amendment Protections for Veterans;
Require the Department of Justice to explain to Congress why it has or has not been prosecuting gun cases;
Place Limitations on Fast & Furious type operations by DOJ;
Authorize FFL’s to utilize the NICS database to for voluntary background checks of employees;
Authorize FFL’s to access the FBI’s National Crime Information Center stolen gun database to ensure that a firearm is not stolen prior to acquisition;
Reauthorize the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) with amendments;
Address school safety by Reauthorizes the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Secure our Schools Program through 2023.
A section-by-section summary of the bill and a copy of the text of the bill can be found below:
Following a full court press by the Obama administration, and specifically gun tzar Joe Biden, to legislate “stronger” gun law in the last several months ever since the Sandy Hook massacre, the initiative may have just suffered a terminal defeat following a failure to even pass a bipartisan background check amendment in the democrat-controlled Senate. CBS reports that “In a major setback for gun control advocates, the Senate Wednesday voted down a key amendment to the embattled Democratic gun bill, signaling the increasingly dim prospects of any meaningful legislative action aimed at strengthening America’s gun laws. The bipartisan Manchin-Toomey amendment, a background check expansion devised by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and a handful of other lawmakers, earned only 54 votes, falling six votes short of the 60-vote threshold. Vice President Joe Biden, who led the Obama administration’s months-long lobbying effort on behalf of stronger gun laws, presided over the vote.”
The vote effectively kills any hope for a comprehensive law, and makes a mockery of Obama’s recent aggressive anti-gun initiative:
Often at public events we’re instructed to clap and show our undying gratitude for the “public servants” in the audience. You know the ones, the police, firefighters and military men who according to the general vibe of the crowd keep the Earth in orbit and the stars from crashing into the planet.
Such displays make me sick.
We are taught since birth that these are the most important careers on the planet. A world without firefighters and police? How would we ever survive? Let alone the military….
I am not cold hearted though, nor selfish. There are occupations which I respect and admire. Just not those. Ask yourself why we need to constantly reverence the “public servants” but never in my life have I heard someone give credit and thank the long haul trucker, who delivered the materials to build the stage, the clothes on everyones backs and the food in their stomach. I’ve never called the police or the fire department, but every single day my life is made easier by a truck driver.
How about a farmer or rancher? I’ve never heard them praised in a public forum. Why not? The work is simply immense, the pay is often erratic and poor and the benefits we all enjoy from these two occupations are so obvious they need not be mentioned here.
I’ve never heard a public speaker praise the mechanic who’s fixed everyones car at one point and enabled them to even attend the event, who keeps up the vehicles for the police, fire department and military. Without the mechanic, truck driver and farmer none of these other “public servants” can even exist.
I could go on about the worker who makes our daily lives possible but I think you get the point. These jobs of mechanic, farmer, truck driver etc have existed in some form for thousands of years. It is through sweat and hard ass work that any civilization advances and their posterity lives an easier life. It is through this same work that the “public servants” can even exist at all even though they’re a relatively recent phenomenon .
So I tip my hat to the worker, the one who has built and continues to build civilizations, whose taxes pay the “public servants” salaries. Not the “public servants” who make on average 2X the amount of the private worker and contributes absolutely nothing of value to our society.
Last week, a rubicon was crossed in the precious metals market as one of the largest banks in Europe defaulted on their gold contracts, and informed their customers there was no physical gold available for delivery.
ABN AMRO, the largest Dutch bank in the Eurozone, issued a letter to their gold contract customers of failure of delivery, and instead will pay account holders in a paper currency equivalent to the current spot value of the metal.
ABN AMRO, the biggest Dutch bank, has sent a letter to its clients stating that they will no longer be able to take physical deliveries of the gold they have bought through ABN. Instead they are offered money at the current market rate for gold. Basically, instead of owning a risk free, physical asset (a gold bar or a gold coin), the bank’s clients now own a monetary claim on ABN AMRO, being exposed to the bank’s credit risk. – Voice of Russia
Over the past two months, there has been a concerted effort by the major Western banks to bring down the price of gold and silver, even as countries like Russia, Iran, and China continue to accumulate the physical metal in large quantities. Like the folly of betting against the stock markets when the Fed is pumping up equities with $85 billion per month, going against the J.P. Morgan silver short machine in the futures market has been a losing proposition for silver bulls.
Interestingly for Europe however, since the Eurozone crisis spread from Greece to Spain, Italy, and Cyprus, the fastest growing currency being purchased by retail investors is Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a digital currency that is out of the control of sovereign central banks, and to this point, has not been manipulated by inflationary monetary policy.
In investing circles there is an adage which says, if you don’t hold it, you don’t own it. Whether it is land, metals, or other hard assets, if it is held in a bank, in a paper instrument, or in a paper currency, the documented owner has management control, but not physical control. And as the world saw last month in Cyprus, the government, or even a major bank like ABN AMRO, can change the terms of a contract at any time, and return to investors asset values set by the bank, and not the customer’s intention.
SourceWikipedia: A source is the start, beginning, or origin of something. →