If you think that the latest employment numbers are good news, you might want to look again.  In April 2013, 58.6 percent of all working age Americans had a job.  But three years ago, in April 2010, 58.7 percent of all working age Americans had a job.  Well, you may argue, that is not much of a difference.  And that is precisely my point.  The percentage of Americans that have a job fell like a rock during the last recession.  It dropped from about 63 percent all the way down to below 59 percent, and it has stayed below 59 percent for 44 months in a row.  So where is the recovery?  This is the first time in the post-World War II era that the employment-population ratio has not bounced back after the end of a recession.  So anyone that tells you that we are experiencing an employment recovery is lying to you.  Yes, the U.S. economy added 165,000 jobs last month.  But it takes nearly that many jobs just to keep up with population growth.  The truth is that we are just treading water.

So enjoy this bubble of false hope while you can.  It will not last much longer.

War is a horrible thing.  Just ask anyone that has ever been in the middle of it.  And in this day and age governments around the world possess weapons of such incalculable power that war should be unthinkable.  In future wars, we could literally see millions of people killed on a single day.  Nobody should want that or look forward to that.  Unfortunately, the next major regional war in the Middle East appears to be closer than ever.  But nobody should want it to actually happen.  During the next major regional war in the Middle East we will likely see death on a scale that is unprecedented.  It won’t be like the wars of 1967 or 1973.  It will likely be a fight to the death where nothing is held back.  You see, the truth is that most Americans have no idea what is really going on in the Middle East.  There are ancient grudges and ancient hatreds that go back for thousands of years.  There is no “peace plan” that is going to suddenly make everything okay.  The Middle East is a simmering volcano of hate and resentment that could erupt at any moment. 

Image: Jonny O'Callaghan

Image: Jonny O’Callaghan

Submitted by Deepcaster:

Like it or not, several crises are impending in the next few months. And it is highly likely certain of these are unavoidable.
Fortunately, it is possible to prepare to avoid significant damage from most of these and indeed to profit, as we indicate here.
Unfortunately, if one fails to prepare for certain of these very soon, it will be too late, even impossible, to prepare later.
Crisis #1: for $US denominated asset holders: The $US is losing its status as the world’s reserve currency.
Crisis #2: Bank Deposits, some brokerage accounts, and 401(K)s, and IRAs are no longer safe stores of wealth.
Crisis #3: Markets in Paper Gold and Silver (e.g., LBMA and Comex) are increasingly discredited.
Crisis #4: Equities Markets are increasingly artificially elevated.

On today’s show, the Doc and Eric Dubin discuss trends in the physical market, which remains strong worldwide as the silver shortage has intensified and spread from 1 oz coins to 10 oz and100 oz bars.  Last week we underscored the likelihood that the wholesale supply chain would begin to show signs of true physical shortage once the restocking cycle got underway to replenish April’s demand spike.  That appears to be what we saw begin to unfold this week, which speaks to higher prices in the weeks ahead.

The SD Weekly Metals & Markets review with The Doc & Eric Dubin is below:

Zeal050313ASubmitted by Zeal

Gold mining is a very tough business.  Not only is it highly capital-intensive and chock-full of environmental risks, its revenues are entirely at the mercy of a volatile commodity.  It requires some serious mettle to succeed mining gold.
But despite super-high barriers to entry and the countless risk factors that come with mining, the world needs gold, and somebody’s got to produce it.  And believe it or not, a lot of money can be made in this business.
At a high level gold mining is like any other business.  Produce your product at costs less than what you sell it for, and you ought to prosper.  And the wider that spread, the more you prosper.  But unlike most other business, the “what you sell it for” is an uncontrollable variable that can violently move in either direction.

bond bubble collapseWhen the metals markets tumbled in mid-April, The Gold Report reached out to “the original investor bug” and author of The Dines Letter, James Dines, for perspective. He predicted a crash in commodity prices two years ago based on his analysis of a weak Chinese economy. Next, he says, will be a bond market bust once interest rates start to climb. This will lead to “a stampede to get out of bonds like a herd of elephants attempting to exit through a revolving door.” How can investors protect themselves? That is Dinesism #38.

The percentage of Americans that are working for themselves has never been lower in the history of the United States.  Once upon a time, the United States was a paradise for entrepreneurs and small businesses, but now the control freak bureaucrats that dominate our society have created a system that absolutely eviscerates them.  This is very unfortunate, because by murdering small business, the bureaucrats are destroying the primary engine of job growth in this country.  One of the big reasons why there are not enough jobs in America today is because small business creation is way down.  As I mentioned yesterday, entrepreneurs and small businesses are being absolutely devastated by rules, regulations, red tape and by oppressive levels of taxation.  If anyone doubts that small business in the United States is dying, just look at the charts below.  Sadly, this is what the bureaucrats that run things want.  They don’t want us to be independent of the system.  Instead, they are much more comfortable when as many of us as possible are heavily dependent on the system in one way or another.  If all of us have to go running to the government or to one of the big corporations for a job, then we are much easier to control.  But as the control freaks continue to construct their bureaucratic utopia, they are also killing off what once made the U.S. economy so great.

inflationWe all know that our cost of living in increasing, but how much?
The official government statistics assure us that inflation is running around 2% per year. It reminds me of the line attributed to Groucho Marx, “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?”
According to the surveys, real people think their personal inflation rate is around 8% per year with a significant percent of the responders claiming 9 – 11% or more per year. Are you going to believe what the government is telling you or your own experience?

BernankeThe US economy would have to undergo a major readjustment if QE ceased. Quantitative easing could even be replaced with outright money printing.  One prominent hedge fund manager is already calling for it!
Regardless of day to day moves in the dollar, the US currency has to decline in the long term.
The long term dollar chart looks terrible!

gold & silver sold outPhysical demand for coins and bars internationally continues and is the strongest since the immediate aftermath of the Lehman Brothers collapse on September 15, 2008, and the consequent global financial crisis.
Government mints, refiners and bullion dealers internationally are reporting demand as high as in the aftermath of the Lehman crisis.
Brokerages are seeing nearly all buyers and little or no sellers which is making for a tight market with rising premiums. Sellers have been people liquidating unallocated positions and opting for taking physical possession or the increased safety of allocated accounts.
Higher prices will be needed by bullion owners in order to incentivise them to sell – prices that will likely be significantly higher.

Cyprus popular bankIn the wake of the Cyprus depositor haircuts becoming official this week, a Cypriot SD reader has sent us a screen shot of his online banking terminal with Cyprus Popular Bank (Laiki).
The screenshot below puts new clarity to If You Don’t Hold It, You Don’t Own It.

Balance: €849,682.68

Blocked Funds:…

Few investment/finance topics spark as many strong emotions as gold, for its adherents and detractors are equally committed to their views, and equally unlikely to switch camps.  Adherents view gold as the only real money in a world of constant currency debasements, while detractors don’t see gold as an investment, as it lacks a yield and price-earnings ratio.
The recent -$220 decline and subsequent +$150 recovery in the price of gold unleashed a torrent of speculation about the causes of the sharp drop, as well as an outpouring of emotions ranging from schadenfreude in the anti-gold crowd (who took pleasure in the sufferings of the gold adherents) to an understandable angst in the pro-gold camp.
If the market for gold is as manipulated as every other market—and as Matt Taibbi recently explained, everything is indeed rigged (“There’s no price the banks can’t fix”)—what does that mean for individual investors?

bail-inWhen the 2nd instance of bail-in language being implemented was discovered in New Zealand, we correctly stated that a major policy shift had been undertaken by the Western world’s central banksters, and that the use of depositor funds to cover future bank losses and failures would occur throughout the rest of the Eurozone and likely the US. 

Even we never suspected however that Western Central banksters would be brazen enough to attempt to literally confiscate depositor funds in order to ensure their own salaries and bonuses.  
If last week’s speech (& subsequently published by the BIS) given by the Governor of the Bank of Finland and Chairman of the High-level Expert Group on the structure of the EU banking sector is any indication, using depositor funds to guarantee their own salaries is exactly what Western banksters have in mind…

The mainstream media is not telling you this, but the truth is that most Americans are steadily getting poorer.  The middle class is being absolutely eviscerated, and poverty is soaring to unprecedented heights.  The fact that 90 percent of the population is constantly sliding downhill is not good for our society.  The United States is supposed to be a land of opportunity with a vibrant free market system that enables average people to make better lives for themselves, yet the following 22 facts prove that the bottom 90 percent of America is systematically getting poorer…