gold currencyBitcoin is a remarkable piece of technology, something that has given me great hope about our future as a species.
Ripple does the same, but in its own way (one of the most exciting parts of Ripple is the ability to trade physically backed, deliverable precious metals). And for the “gold bugs” that like the idea of Bitcoin, but don’t like its lack of backing, well here you go.
We aren’t going back to gold coins in people’s pockets, nor should we ever want to. A state-backed gold currency would also be a mistake and a major step backwards. Ripple allows precious metals as money to be taken to a whole new level.

hit the wallSorry CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox News and Wall Street but the reason for the slowdown is not the weather. The real reason is the structural deterioration in the income and wealth of the middle class. Real disposable income per capital dropped from $37,265 in 2012 Q4 to $36,941 in 2013 Q4. And those numbers do not include the additional expense/person for Obamacare that will phase in this year, nor do they include the fact that the price of a gallon of gas is the highest it’s ever been for this time of year. In addition, the savings rate plummeted 16% between September 2013 and January 2014 (link for both disposable income and savings rate data). In other words, the ability of the middle class to spend, consume and buy new homes and cars is quickly declining.  It’s likely that the real economy hit a wall in November 2013. By the end of 2014, the National Bureau of Economic Research will likely have announced that the U.S economy entered a recession in the first half of 2014.

economic collapseDmitry Orlov is a Russian journalist who writes about the parallel between the U.S and the USSR.
Orlov lived through the financial collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990’s, and he thinks the U.S. is on the same trajectory. Orlov contends, “The trajectory is defined by this sort of incompetent militarism where more and more money results in bigger and bigger military fiascos around the world and less and less of actual foreign policy that can be pursued or articulated. There are massive levels of corruption. The amount of money that is being stolen by the U.S. Government and its various appropriations processes is now in the trillions of dollars a year. Runaway debt, the United States now has a level of debt that is un-repayable. All we’re waiting for is interest rates to go across the magic threshold of 3% and the entire budget of the country explodes. There are also all types of other tendencies that point in the direction of collapse and systemic failure at all levels.”

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The vast gulf between corporate economic interests and political gamesmanship is vividly made clear with the calls for sanctions against Russia. Now that the Crimea referendum has resulted in a ninety-six plus desire to join the Russian Federation, the politico chess players in the West are eager to make Putin suffer. Former Soviet chess master Garry Kasparov, anti-Putin critic and activist said, “even if the West doesn’t want to be in a fight with Russia, Putin has already decided to start one.”
The economic stakes are very high and all factions will be major losers in a reciprocating sanction trade war. 

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No conventional scenario accounts for the methodical disabling of the communications systems, the bizarre altitude changes and professional navigation to way points, or the presumed turn south and a flight path that extended to at least 8:11 a.m. Every plausible theory about what happened to Flight 370 has to not only fit the most reliable facts (radar tracks and satellite data) but basic geography.

haircut bail-inThe 2013 Cyprus depositor bail-in should have proved a stark warning to the Russian people over the risk of holding paper assets in any bank with ties to the West and the IMF.  Those in Ukraine who failed to heed the warning are likely regretting the fact now, as Ukrainian officials have reportedly proposed a new tax plan, bailing in depositors with assets exceeding 100,000 hryvnia, and banning (read fully confiscating) any foreign currency deposits.  
DIESELBOOM strikes again. 

trumanWell The Truman Show that is the USA has been exposed once again.   According to this CBS reporter from Arizona, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney receives all questions to “press briefings” ahead of time. In many cases, the reporters themselves even possess the scripted answers to their questions before the conference starts. Yes, as suspected, it’s all just one gigantic stage and you are the clown in the audience.
Watch and weep serfs.

U.S. Gold Imports vs ExportsSo where is China getting all of its gold?  One of the large sources turns out to be the United States.  The U.S. experienced another record year of net gold exports in 2013.  Not only were gold exports at record levels, imports into the U.S. fell nearly half compared to 2010.

If we look at the chart below, U.S. gold exports in 2010 were 383 metric tons (mt), however by 2013, they increased 81% to 692 mt.  In addition, U.S. gold imports fell 48% from 604 mt in 2010 to 313 mt in 2013.

bankster AssassinationsWith another JP Morgan banker falling off a roof, the Trends Journal’s Gerald Celente discusses “the JPMorgan criminals” and states that the only bankers turning up dead are young lower level executives, and speculates that the high level executives are “cutting off the links that go to the top” as “you don’t rig LIBOR & FOREX without the people at the top knowing about it!
Gerald Celente’s full MUST WATCH interview dissecting the recent string of bankster “suicides” is below:

Putin ammo shortageOverall, U.S. and Western leaders should be lining up to thank Vladimir Putin for a painful but thorough lesson in how the adult leader of a nation protects his country’s genuine national interests. And, it must be noted, Putin is not teaching rocket science. Had Western leaders received a decent education — especially in the fields of history and human nature — they would have been absolutely certain from the start that any destabilizing Western intervention in Ukraine that even remotely threatened Russia’s assured access to its Crimean naval bases would provoke precisely the kind of Russian response that occurred. They also would have known that West and the UN could bleat forever about the requirements of various treaties and international law, but that a nation acting to protect what it perceives to be life-or-death national interests — as is Putin’s Russia — is both insane and suicidal if it refrains from acting because of a raft of documents designed to address Cold War conditions that no longer exist.

prismLast week, Mark Zuckerberg made headlines by posting about how he called President Barack Obama to express outrage and shock about the government’s spying activities. Of course, anyone familiar with Facebook and what is going on generally between private tech behemoths and U.S. intelligence agencies knew right away that his statement was one gigantic heap of stinking bullsh*t.
Well now we have the proof.

fill and kill

We all realize by now that the U.S. Government has an obvious agenda to manipulate the price of gold in order to defend the reserve status of the U.S. dollar.
The Fed engineered two distinct mini “flash crashes” Wednesday morning:
Over 4,000 contracts hit the Globex computer system right around 4:40 a.m.  which drove the price of gold below the key $1350 technical level.  This was over 11% of the total volume that had traded up to that point in time from when Globex trading opened at 6 p.m. the previous evening.   And then at 7:45 a.m.  another 5,051 gold futures contract bomb was detonated, which drove the price of gold down another $5. 

Bernanke taperJanet Yellen’s first FOMC statement is out:

  • Fed tapers another $10 billion/month beginning in April
  • Beginning in April, the Committee will add to its holdings of agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $25 billion per month rather than $30 billion per month, and will add to its holdings of longer-term Treasury securities at a pace of $30 billion per month rather than $35 billion per month. 
  • Gold & silver smash commences on que

Janet Yellen’s first Full FOMC release is below:

SDBIs NOW the Right Time for Silver?

In this exclusive interview with Reluctant Preppers, precious metals advocate The Doc from & SDBullion examines the essential points that must be considered when deciding whether NOW is the right time for silver.

The Doc discusses where we are at in the current secular bull market, market psychology, physical demand trends he’s seeing in the market, and what the final blow-off tops in gold & silver are likely to look like. 
The Doc covers how he recommends strong your precious metals (storage MUST be allocated & segregated), discusses what lies ahead in 2014 for Gold and Silver, and explains why we should listen to Eric Sprott & Jim Sinclair’s outlooks for Gold and Silver in 2014.

Is NOW the right time for silver?  SDBullion’s founder breaks down the PM market below:

FeinsteinThe reaction of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to last week’s revelations that the CIA secretly searched Senate Intelligence Committee computers reveals much about what the elites in government think about the rest of us. “Spy on thee, but not on me!
The hypocrisy of Sen. Feinstein is astounding. She is the biggest backer of the NSA spying on the rest of us, but when the tables are turned and her staff is the target she becomes irate. But there is more to it than that. There is an attitude in Washington that the laws Congress passes do not apply to Members. They can trample our civil liberties, they believe, but it should never affect their own freedom.

gold MSM MopeDoes anything about 2014 remind you of 2008?
For example, the increasing signs of stress in the global financial system, from periphery currencies crashing to China’s shadow banking bailouts to the constant flow of official assurances that all is well and whatever situations aren’t well are on the mend.
The long lists of visible stress in the global financial system and the almost laughably hollow assurances that there are no bubbles, everything is under control, etc. etc. etc.  certainly remind me of the late-2007-early 2008 period when the subprime mortgage meltdown was already visible and officialdom from Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan on down were mounting the bully pulpit at every opportunity to declare that there was no bubble in housing and the system was easily able to handle little things like defaulting mortgages.
However, the next crisis will not be a repeat of 2008 but a much less fixable and much more monumental crisis.

bubbleBlackstone’s home purchases have plunged 70% from their peak last year.
Bloomberg reports:
Blackstone Group LP is slowing its purchases of houses to rent amid soaring prices after a buying binge made it the biggest U.S. single-family home landlord.
Blackstone’s acquisition pace has declined 70 percent from its peak last year, when the private equity firm was spending more than $100 million a week on properties, said Jonathan Gray, global head of real estate for the New York-based firm. After investing $8 billion since April 2012 to buy 43,000 homes in 14 cities, the company has narrowed most of its purchasing to Seattle, Atlanta, Miami, Orlando and Tampa.

Perhaps they overestimated the rental cash flow potential of indebted youth living in their parents’ basements?

YellenFOMCWith the Fed announcing an additional $10 billion taper moments ago, bringing monthly asset purchases down to $50 billion a month (still a pace of $.6 Trillion a year), ultra-dove Janet Yellen is preparing to take to the podium to deliver her very first FOMC press conference & Q&A session.
Watch it LIVE here at SD at 2:30pm EST

law schoolsWe knew that the legal market was in bad shape last summer when we came across the story that top law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges announced its first mass layoffs in 82 years, but I had no idea it was this bad. As most will be aware, U.S. News & World Report publishes a widely anticipated ranking of undergraduate as well as graduate schools. It appears law schools are so consumed with performing well in these rankings that they are going to outrageous lengths to make it look like their students are performing better financially after graduation than they actually are.
One of the most ridiculous ways they achieve this is by paying the salaries of their graduates upon graduation.

surveillance stateTraditionally, when we have thought of “Big Brother technology” we have thought of government oppression.  But these days, it isn’t just governments that are using creepy new technologies to spy on all of us.
As you will see below, “Big Brother surveillance” has become very big business.