It’s one GIGANTIC cash hand out and one GIGANTIC cash grab, so one might want to grab some gold & silver while there’s still some to be had…
I’d like to write about two semi-related themes in no particular order.
One of the ways that inflation strikes to the heart of Americans’ wallets is through what I’m calling “fee creep”.
Perhaps you’re familiar with “premium creep”?
If not, this article where I explain premium creep and its affect on gold & silver prices is a good place to start.
Fee creep is basically the constant, steady grind higher in junk fees.
And they add up.
Let me explain the latest incident based on my own stupidity, which is the result of my blown memory (thanks Army), but I’m not one to make excuses, so yeah, stupidity it is.
Now, everybody knows ‘Ol Half Dollar doesn’t trust the banks, and so I only keep the minimum balance I need in the banks to cover my current obligations, one of which is the mortgage payment on the house.
The mortgage payment is a pain in the butt, because for some reason, it involves me shifting funds from one account to another because the mortgage payment comes out of an account that’s not used as much.
Side Rant: I hate ‘auto-draft’ payments, and who doesn’t?
I mean, sure, it’s convenient, yes, but on the other hand, my goodness, companies basically extort you nowadays in order to get you to sign on.
For example, with Sprint, if I don’t sign up for ‘auto-draft’, then I have to pay twenty-five stinkin’ bucks more on my cell phone bill, per month!
And as Wifey and I were in the middle of debating whether to renew our Costco membership or not, I forgot I had it set to ‘auto-renew’ along with ‘auto-draft’, so lo and behold, Costco just went ahead and decided to renew our membership for us because apparently that’s what we set up when we got the dang thing in the first place.
Yes, with the internet and reliable postal/delivery service, I have a love-hate relationship with ‘membership’ retailers, like BJ’s, Sams, Costco, and the others.
I mean, paying for the privilege to shop and spend at least ten bucks on every single item in the entire store, items which may or may not be in stock, which may or may not be subject to purchase limits?
But I digress.
August 1st fell on Saturday this year.
I set up the mortgage payment as usual the day before, on Friday, or maybe I set it up for Monday, August 3rd?
See what I mean about my blown memory.
Regardless, something about the first falling on the weekend threw me off balance, figuratively and literally speaking (mortgage payments in the US are generally due on the 1st of each month).
That said, I forgot to move the money to the account where the mortgage payment is deducted from, so obviously when the bank went to zap the money from the account, the money wasn’t there.
Long story short, the bank the mortgage payment comes out of charged a $29 fee, a ‘Non-Sufficient Funds’ fee or whatever it’s called, and the bank that has the mortgage charged a $20 fee, although the name of the fee is not clearly mentioned, although it’s clearly from the act of not moving the money into the account on time.
The bottom line is I moved the money after I had the payment set-up, by accident, and that simple mistake ended up costing me $50!
Here’s the question: I can afford paying the stupid tax, but what about most Deplorables?
The point here is that fee creep is indeed real, and it’s another form of consumer price inflation, and not only that, but it’s everywhere, and junk fees basically amount to forced purchases that were not even things one had to pay for before.
And weren’t the banks supposed to be all sorts of forgiving in the middle of a supposed raging pandemic?
Perhaps to the deadbeats, yes, but to those who make honest mistakes?
In the Army there is a word for this: BOHICA.
Side Rant II: Of three different homes I’ve owned, I’ve NEVER made a late mortgage payment, ever, which would include a mortgage I once had through Wells Fargo, and during that whole fraud incident where Wells Fargo would sign people up for various accounts, fraudulently, when I asked Wells Fargo if there were any accounts fraudulently signed up for in my name as well as what Wells Fargo was going to do to gain my trust back, after basically eleven or so weeks of waiting, I got a letter from Wells Fargo in the mail simply saying, “screw you!”.
One of us in my family has been doing some travelling.
Including spending some time in California, all the while passing through states like Arizona, Michigan and Texas.
See where I’m going with this?
These are the supposed coronavirus “hot spots”.
Side Note: To anybody travelling via commercial airplanes and wearing a surgical mask, which protects against coronavirus just about as good as a condom with 1,000 holes poked-in it protects against pregnancy or STDs, wearing one of those clear acrylic face shields in conjunction with the surgical mask only looks ridiculous, so just stop it.
Amidst these travels, one of us learned something alarming.
You see, a friend’s father supposedly had coronavirus.
He had the chills and the fever for a couple-few nights to go along with it.
Mind over matter?
So the friend (the daughter of the ‘infected’ father) was supposed to be tested.
Long story short: The friend never got tested, but got a letter in the mail saying said friend had tested positive for coronavirus!
I believe the friend, and this is leading me to believe this whole pandemic thing has morphed into one giant cash grab – a racket of epic proportions – where the Federal government is handing out beaucoup dollars and those sniffing out the free money just can’t get enough of it.
Side Rant III: Where’s my free money?
Those thinking the free money is found in the stock market may want to think again:
If everybody wants to attribute the entire stock market rally to just RobinHood newbie traders, and yes, Fed Apologist Zero Hedge, I’m talking to you, then by the same token, with Zero Hedge reporting RobinHood will no longer be showing its users’ holdings, doesn’t that mean “sell everything” in the stock market because not knowing the next stock to get hot, or dropped, is like playing roulette, only, you’re just told the outcome after your wager, but you can’t see the numbers, you can’t see the colors, and quite frankly, you’re not even sure if there’s an actual wheel?
Still, there’s not a care (or fear) in the world:
Much has been said of “resiliency”, but what can be said of “complacency”?
(spoiler alert: complacency kills)
We get some inflation
lies statistics this week, including PPI and CPI, all the while yield on the 10-Year Note keeps getting walked down:
Re-use that teabag Mrs. Yield-Starved Granny, and quit spreadin’ so much dang jelly on that toast!
Oh yeah, and split that pill into thirds now, too!
And while you’re at it, go ahead and cut off that air-conditioning, even though it’s 110 degrees outside in the shade, because, well, we can’t have you dying in comfort now, can we?
OK, “Hey Half Dollar, C’mon man, don’t be such a jerk and repect your elders!”.
It’s the Federal Reserve who wants elderly Americans dead, not me.
I’m not for the suppression of interest rates but for actual markets.
But I digress.
The US dollar index begins the week in a sideways choppy channel:
Any relief here in relative dollar strength is a gift to those who use dollars.
Notice it’s a gift those who “use” dollars and not those who “hold” dollars.
There is a difference.
Copper has bounced at $2.80:
There also appears to be support at $2.70.
Crude oil is still the nailbiter:
Here’s the question: Will another capital city in the Middle East get nuked this week, and if so, will it be a yawn to the crude oil market as it was with poor Beirut, or will fear come thrusting onto the scene with a violent re-pricing?
In my experience, if activity at the airports over the last month is any indication, it’ll be the former.
Deeper-pocketed investors still have what could be a great sleeper investment in platinum:
This is, after all, a fiat currency crisis, and platinum meets every definition of the word “money”.
Palladium also qualifies as money:
Although in relation to Gold, platinum, and especially silver, the exchange rate seems a little too steep right now, comparatively speaking.
Gold is still above two grand:
With inflation statistics coming out, I’d expect some “inflation hedge” chatter as the week goes on, regardless of the quality of the
Silver is the big wild card this week, but with premium creep totally in effect, I for one would like to see them crash price down to below $20 per ounce:
Any weakness in price is a gift horse, especially if one is willing and able to save in real money, physical silver.
The gold-to-silver ratio has inched down overnight from Friday:
There’s a whole lot of trading week left, however, but for now, silver gets the advantage.
Bottom line as we find ourselves here this beautiful Monday in early August?
Our economy is one giant racket now, full of junk fees and a cash grab.
Lucky ones have a golden trough, so they’re getting nice and fat.
And there is no discriminating here, it comes down to luck.
Some Lunatic Left have welfare, Section 8 and more.
Some Deplorables extra unemployment cash.
Making earnings at home even higher.
Deep State Globalists have it all.
But those who don’t get any?
Well, we get to pay up.
Bear the burdens.
For this racket.
In junk fees.
– Half Dollar
About the Author
U.S. Army Iraq War Combat Veteran Paul “Half Dollar” Eberhart has an AS in Information Systems and Security from Western Technical College and a BA in Spanish from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Paul dived into gold & silver in 2009 as a natural progression from the prepper community. He is self-studied in the field of economics, a former amateur trader, and a Silver Bug at heart.