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Where We Go From Here

Thursday, February 11, 2021, 8:21 am ET

Life goes on.

Despite media-driven horrors of the mildest pandemic in recorded history and the absurdly restrictive commands of droning government officials, most people of the world have trudged along through 2020 and into the new year without too much difficulty.

A couple rounds of money from the government, along with rent and mortgage moratoria have helped ease the pain of job loss, sickness, loneliness, and the dehumanizing effects of social distancing, stay-at-home orders, and mask mandates.

Reported cases of COVID-19 are on the decline, as are hospitalizations and deaths. The official narrative is changing. Life is beginning to gradually return to normal. Within a few months time there may actually be fans in stadiums across America enjoying Major League Baseball (we are hopeful).

We've all gone through a rough patch. Its time to stand up, take stock, become resilient and self-reliant and look at ways to make change and ensure that something like the events of 2020 never happen again.

All America - or, for that matter, any country - needs to prosper are a stable economy, an honest media, and political leaders whose primary responsibility is to the welfare of the people. Regrettably, we presently have none of those and that needs to change, the sooner the better.

Restoring the economy will require a return to honest money, away from the fiat regime of the Federal Reserve and towards acceptance of bitcoin, gold, and especially silver as legal tender. According to the US constitution, a dollar equals 371.25 grains of pure silver, or 77.344 percent of a troy ounce. This will take time, effort, and probably a great deal of pain and suffering for the elitist establishment.

Fixing the media will require repudiation of mainstream narratives and a trend toward alternative news and opinion sources. This is already well underway, thanks, in large part, to the numbing, dumb-downing of televised network news and the advance of internet resources. What's needed is a backwards morphing of internet alternative media into radio and broadcast television.

Generating trust in political structures is by far the biggest challenge. America's leaders have failed, spectacularly. By and large, the interests of elected officials and the minions of the bureacracies they command have worked against the public for decades and must be repaired, replaced, and repealed.

Political institutions are badly broken. The 2020 US elections are the laughingstock of the world. Somehow, power was attained by people who conspired to rig the election of a fake president and to thwart the will of the people. Barring wholesale insurrection, the most efficient way to change the power structure in Washington, DC and in state capitols, county seats, and city offices is to ignore or undermine their commands, dictates, regulations, mandates and directives, first by the people, secondarily by those in unelected public service positions.

It will take time to undo the damage done by the corrupt politicians. Voting them out of office is not a viable option unless the voting system is dramatically changed. The major parties have a stranglehold on the process. Disregarding their elections will prove to be a more valuable tool towards dethroning the usurpers. Withdrawing consent by not participating, and promoting the fact that theirs are not mandated positions will prove a powerful weapon against tyranny.

Additionally, the tortuous ideas, memes, and concepts generated by a very small but vocal minority of racist, sexist, anti-American rhetoric needs to be put back in its place, on the fringes of society, not at the vanguard.

Together, Americans are strong. There are 330 million of us and only a few hundred of the oppressors in our nation's capitol. Remember that the next time some government goon tries to infringe upon your freedom, your inalienable rights, your liberty.

We can take back the country, but we must be vigilant and unbending in our resolve.

Not to get too far off track, but here's Vladimir Putin, sounding very much like a 70s-era moderate Democrat, humanist, and environmentalist, politely pooping all over the "Great Reset" agenda promoted by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

At the Close, Thursday, February 11, 2021:
Dow: 31,430.70, -7.10 (-0.02%)
NASDAQ: 14,025.77, +53.24 (+0.38%)
S&P 500: 3,916.38, +6.50 (+0.17%)
NYSE: 15,297.09, +23.19 (+0.15%)

Slacker Nation: 793,000 File Initial Unemployment Claims; 20 Million Jobless; 150 Million Idle Americans

Thursday, February 11, 2021, 9:33 am ET

Here's the trouble with getting a job: You might lose it.

That's the reality 793,000 people reportedly ran into last week, as Americans continue to seek money from the government rather than work in either the private or public sectors.

And, that's the seasonally-adjusted number. The non-adjusted figure came in higher, at 813,145. What's troubling about these initial claims is that it appears some people were accepting unemployment back in March, at the beginning of the COVID crisis, went back to work, but have fallen out of employment again.

What else can explain the roughly 40-50 million initial claims filed from the end of March 2020 to the present, a run approaching a full calendar year. The number of people filing initial claims was as high as seven million, which occurred in March, at the onset of the pandemic. New weekly claims didn't fall below one million until August, and they've remained high - between 700,000 and 950,000 - ever since.

Averaged out, it's close to a million initial filings every week for about 46 weeks, so, overall, 46 million people filed since COVID-19 came along, which is stunning, as the US labor market is somewhere in the neighborhood of 145 million. Rouhgly a third of the entire labor market filed for unemployment in the past year. That's downright scary.

The latest press release from the Department of Labor [PDF] is a treasure trove of information, for whatever useful or useless purpose one may reference the data.

Another shocking number is the continuing claims figure, which jumped by 2,596,539 from the prior week, to 20,435,018. That's 20 million people aimlessly wandering around, not working, doing whatever unproductive people do.

Add to these figures, about 73 million kids under the age of 18, 13 million on welfare, another 45 million retirees, and you have over 150 million people in the US not doing much of anything, many of them receiving government checks on a regular basis. That's in a population of 330 million, so close to half of the country is not gainfully employed.

One may argue that the kids and the retired folks shouldn't be working anyway, but back in the formative years of the United States - well before child labor laws - it wasn't unusual for 10 and 12-year-olds to work, at least doing chores of the family farm. And retirement at any age didn't really become the norm until passage of the Social Security Act of 1935. As we used to say in the newspaper business: "we don't have a retirement plan; you're expected to work until you keel over at your desk."

So, one might add up all the reasons why the United States isn't quite as high and mighty as it once may have been, but anyone can point to the fact that much of the country's population doesn't do much, and, those in government jobs (20.2 million, approximately 14.5 percent of the workforce) may actually be doing work that contributes negatively to the growth of the nation, it's easy to see that America has become a nation of slackers.

Carry on... whatever it is that you're doing, or not doing.

At the Close, Wednesday, February 10, 2021:
Dow: 31,437.80, +61.97 (+0.20%)
NASDAQ: 13,972.53, -35.17 (+0.25%)
S&P 500: 3,909.88, -1.35 (-0.03%)
NYSE: 15,273.90, +29.50 (+0.19%)

Bonds. No Bonds.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 8:44 am ET

Could it be over?

Could the fiat currency system be finally at an end?

Even if the fiat currency does survive until August, the 50th anniversary of President Richard M. Nixon's repudiation of the Bretton Woods agreement that US dollars could be redeemed in gold is tragically ironic for central bankers.

But, probably not. The majority of people still want to be paid in $US dollars, at least in the United States. And what may be the only thing standing in the way of a complete currency revaluation, or reset, is normalcy bias, the acceptance of what is commonplace today.

For now.

The future is usually murky, but it can be predictable, as in the case of the longevity of your run-of-the-mill fiat currency, which is about 37.5 years. The fiat $US dollar will turn 50 in August, along with every other currency it trades against. All of them. At some point, nobody will want to hold $US dollars or hold assets in $US dollars, or euros, pounds, looneys, yen, yuan, francs. It is at that point that the currency becomes not only worthless, but a burden upon the citizenry of the nation so cursed as to have, as a national basis, the devalued, debased currency, or, in a global meltdown, currencies.

It is at that point that the currency or currencies collapses and ceases, for all intents and purposes, to exist. We are not there yet.

But, we're getting closer.

The change will be sudden.

The charges of the world, the lackeys of the central banking cartel and government wonks will come up with some solution suitable to themselves, primarily, but their days are over. The world does not belong to Janet Yellen, Jerome Powell, Jamie Dimon, Christine Lagarde, Joe Biden. The true thought leaders in economics are Max Keiser, Mike Maloney, James Rickards, Willem Middelkoop, Michael Saylor, Elon Musk, the people working behind the scenes at PayPal, Stripe, and their ilk. Their day is arriving, if not now, then very shortly.

It's likely that the old guard will announce some new scheme incorporating the dollar, the yuan, yen, oil, gold, the World Bank's SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) wrapped into a cryptocurrency-like apparatus, to which many people of the world will respond, "sorry, we're going with gold, silver, and bitcoin." Many will have no choice, or believe they have no choice but to accept the government-sponsored currency. Having no choice and believing one has no choice are one and the same thing. Those people will be poor forever. Those enlightened to a new currency revolution will have choices and better lives.

Then, life will become so much more interesting, engaging, appealing. When people shake off the yoke of financial repression and control and begin to make strides for self-determination in economic fortune, then the world will turn in many positive ways.

The only alternatives to a debasing dollar for anybody trying to preserve asset value or purchasing power are precious metals and cryptocurrencies. Those have been explosive market segments of late, though the metals have been severely suppressed by global interests while Bitcoin remains unassailable, seemingly immune to the vicious verbal attacks from the likes of Janet Yellen and Christine Lagarde.

Which brings us to bonds, and why you should hold NONE in your portfolio. ZERO.

It's simple, really. Bonds are what finance everything in the fiat realm, from corporate stock buybacks to mortgages, car loans and money for the government. The Federal government is overspending at an astonishing pace. Last year's federal deficit was $3.1 trillion. This year's will be larger. Joe Biden and his Democrat pals in congress are hell-bent on spending $1.9 trillion that they don't have on a COVID relief package. The federal deficit is already $3.1 trillion, according to the US debt clock, but that may not be accurate. It's probably closer to $700 billion, but we're not even half way through the current fiscal year, which started October 1, 2020, and ends on September 30, 2021.

What is accurate is that the federal debt (government) grows by $2.7 million every minute. That's $162 million an hour, $3.888 billion a day. The total federal debt is currently $27.894 trillion. Another $106 billion in debt will move it past $28 trillion. That will occur in 27 days, or right around March 9 or 10, or right about the time congress approves another $1.9 trillion in a "relief" package, so, there's a very real chance that before the April 15 income tax filing deadline, the federal government's debt will be over $30 trillion.

Were American citizens to pay back that debt via taxes, it would amount to roughly $85,000 per person. If the government balanced its books and incurred no more debt, first, the economy would collapse, that's a given, but, in such an event, if every citizen paid back an additional $5,000 in taxes earmarked for the debt, it would take 17 years to pay it all off. Obviously, none of this is ever going to happen. It's as close to an impossibility as the moon crashing into the earth. There's probably a better probability of an asteroid hitting Washington, DC directly (wishful thinking).

Therefore, why would anybody hold a bond of any kind, when the return on even the safest, most reliable, is two percent (2.0%) and inflation is close to eight percent (8.0%) if not beyond that. A bond with a 2.0% yield would lose 6.0% in purchasing power every year and even more if inflation heats up further (it will). Over the course of 30 years, your total return becomes a worthless footnote in the pantheon of failed economic ideas.

Meanwhile, stocks are growing at 10-20-30% or more every year. Bitcoin tripled in the past three months. Silver is going to skyrocket over $100 within two years (market price already benchmarked at $41.22). Gold should be closer to $10,000 than $2,000 an ounce.

The only reason to hold a bond of any kind is if you want or need to lose purchasing power, and there's very few people who are so desirous. They are also likely to be delerious.

So, bonds? No. No bonds.

The federal debt is never going to be repaid. That's obvious. Likewise, many student loans are going to be either forgiven or left unpaid, defaulted upon. Mortgages, equity loans and lines of credit, credit cards, car loans, personal loans, payday loans and anything that has the word "loan" attached to it are going to go unpaid. Many people will go bust. The federal government is broke. Most banks are, if not already bankrupt, illiquid and close to insolvent.

The coming financial crisis is going to be like nothing anyone has ever seen before. There is going to be suffering on a scale unknown in human history. It's baked in, given the reckless policies of the federal government and the central bank, the Federal Reserve over the past 50 years. It's been a long time coming - since 1971, when the world abandoned what was left of the gold standard - but it's arriving sooner than most people can imagine.

Already there are signs of desperation. Covid (scam). Vaccines (extra scam). Lockdowns (unconstitutional). Lines at food banks. Fake president. Censorship. Currency direct from government to citizens for doing nothing. It cannot last much longer or the world will become enslaved to debt and central banks for generations.

The fiat era is nearly over, and as soon as the bond bust is realized, it will be apparent to just about everybody. The 10-year note currently yields about 1.15%. Figure the 10-year note at 1.65% to be the breaking point. That would put the 30-year at about 2.40-2.60%. When the 10-year note yields 1.25%, look out. If it continues past 1.40%, the end is near. After that, if you don't own bitcoin, gold, silver, real estate or some hard assets, you will be toast.

A currency revolution is the only answer. The revolutionary currency will be not one created by the people who promoted the crisis in the first place - the usual government and financial suspects - but a currency or currencies outside the banking system: crypto, gold, silver, barter.

The revolution has already begun. Join it.

On the cusp of a central banking beakdown, here's Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert nailing it as usual, along with a segment with Mike Maloney, who calls out the Fed for counterfeiting (which, in fact, is at the heart of central bank monetary policy).

At the Close, Tuesday, February 10, 2021:
Dow: 31,375.83, -9.97 (-0.03%)
NASDAQ: 14,007.70, +20.06 (+0.14%)
S&P 500: 3,911.23, -4.36 (-0.11%)
NYSE: 15,244.40, +17.80 (+0.12%)

Dow, NASDAQ, S&P 500, NYSE, Bitcoin All Rally To New All-Time Highs

Tuesday, February 9, 2021, 8:05 am ET

Tom Brady showed the world a champion's mantle on Sunday, as he led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 31-9 victory over the highly-overrated Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV (55).

In celebration of Brady's magnificence, stocks rallied Monday to new all-time highs.

While it might be suspected that stocks responding to the NFL's season-ending championship is just a wee bit of hyperbole, but any explanation for the rise in the price of stock indices must be taken with sufficient grains of salt.

Stocks are rising because the US dollar is nearly worthless. The Federal Reserve has conjured up so much fresh capital over the past year that it must seek a home in assets. The dollar's preferred place of residence these days is in stocks, and to a large extent, real estate, especially of the residential kind.

According to the Fed's own data, M1 money supply* increased by 66.5% in the 12 Months from December 2019 to December. 2020, and most of it was borrowed, or, in Fed-speak: borrowings from the discount window's primary, secondary, and seasonal credit programs and other borrowings from emergency lending facilities.

Non-seasonally-adjusted money in circulation (M1) rose from $4.04 trillion in December 2019 to $6.76 trillion in December 2020.

Why the big increase? Simple, because it was declining, and the Fed can't have a decline in he amount of currency out there lest it risk a stock market crash, defaltion, and additional purchasing power for the world's reserve currency. Rather, the Fed is hell-bent and committed to ever-rising levels of its currency in the world, all of it debt-based. Every dollar borrowed by the government, business, and individuals is owed to the Fed, and they want more. Certainly they are not done.

The catalyst for the most recent surge in money (currency) supply was, of course, the coronavirus crisis, which shuttered businesses, disrupted supply chains, shunted consumer spending and generally caused the economy to generally slow down. From December 2019 to February 2020, M1 shrank by more than $100 billion, making the timing of COVID-19 somewhat miraculous. The panic allowed to Fed to open the currency spigot full bore, spilling out all manner of lending facilities, thus creating a boom in stocks.

Everybody knows what happened. After stocks crashed in March, the money flow was so grandiose that the Dow gained (through Monday) 70% off the lows, the S&P, 75%, and the NASDAQ rocketed higher by 104%, and the Fed is not nearly through, continuing to borrow - adding to the balance sheet - $120 billion a month, of which $80 billion is in treasuries and $40 in mortgage-backed securities. They've committed to those levels of borrowing for the rest of the year, and, another thing everybody knows, they can't ever stop, or the economy would slow down and eventually collapse.

So, stocks are up not because companies are doing well (some are, many more aren't), but because there's too much currency chasing a limited amount of assets. Speaking of limited supply, median new home sales hit another new record in January of $330,225, up 10% from the same time a year ago. Nothing says stupid like buying a new home built with $6 2x4s and $40/sheet OSB (plywood).

Other things are going up in price as well, like Bitcoin, which advanced from $39,155 at 7:30 Monday morning to $48,200 by 2:00 am Tuesday all because it was revealed that Elon Musk's company, Tesla (TSLA), bought 1.5 billion worth of the world's leading cryptocurrency.

But, that's another story for another day. Let's just say it's more about value than price right now.

* M1 consists of (1) currency outside the U.S. Treasury, Federal Reserve Banks, and the vaults of depository institutions; (2) demand deposits at commercial banks (excluding those amounts held by depository institutions, the U.S. government, and foreign banks and official institutions) less cash items in the process of collection and Federal Reserve float; and (3) other checkable deposits (OCDs), consisting of negotiable order of withdrawal, or NOW, and automatic transfer service, or ATS, accounts at depository institutions, credit union share draft accounts, and demand deposits at thrift institutions. Seasonally adjusted M1 is constructed by summing currency, demand deposits, and OCDs, each seasonally adjusted separately.

At the Close, Monday, February 8, 2021:
Dow: 31,385.76, +237.52 (+0.76%)
NASDAQ: 13,987.64, +131.34 (+0.95%)
S&P 500: 3,915.59, +28.76 (+0.74%)
NYSE: 15,226.61, +157.01 (+1.04%)

WEEKEND WRAP: Reddit's #Silver Squeeze Silver Rush Strikes at the Heart of Gold and Central Banking

Sunday, February 7, 2021, 11:20 am ET

Before venturing into the main thrust of this edition of the WEEKEND WRAP, a rief recap of other financial developments over the course of the past week:

Equities, following the worst-performing week since October, staged a massive comeback, with the NASDAQ and S&P 500 closing on Friday at record highs and the Dow and NYSE Composite finishing within one percent of all-time levels.

Lagging the insatiable desire for paper holdings was the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which added a stunning 1,165 points on the week, but was up a mere 3.89%, a pittance compared to the six percent gain on the NASDAQ, which was rocketed higher by 785 points.

It was the best week of the new year, by far, suggesting that stock markets are either overheating or preparing to blast off into unknown territory once again. Considering that the US congress is knee-deep in negotiations over a $1.9 trillion stimulus package that includes payments of $1400 to millions of individuals, Wall Street's rampage to higher ground seems to be etched in stone, for now.

Despite the general slowdown from COVID-19 restrictions in a handful of states, companies - particularly those in the tech arena - posted solid, if not outstanding, fourth quarter and year-end reports. With the coronavirus crisis abating - cases are down more than 40% in some states - stocks are likely to maintain strong momentum while the market fosters more madcap episodes like those seen in GameStop (GME), AMC Entertainment (AMC), and others.

Speculation largely drives stock prices higher, and speculation with free money from the Fed (banks, brokerages) and the federal government (individuals) should keep the rally alive and well through Winter and into Spring, which is a mere six weeks hence.

Fixed income markets were less enthusiastic. The Treasury complex saw a steepening fo the yield curve, as yield on short-dated maturities collapsed and the long end sold off, producing yields on the 10-year note, 20-year, and 30-year bonds at 12-month highs.

Yields on 1-month, 2-month, and 3-month bills fell to 0.02%, 0.03%, and 0.03%, respectively, while the benchmark 10-year note yielded 1.19% at week's end. The 20-year yield was 1.79%, while the 30-year yielded 1.97%, both the highest since 2/20/2020. The 10-year was at it's highest yield since February 27, 2020, an indication that the wholesale global debt binge is well underway.

From an investor's perspective, oil had another banner week, with WTI crude rising to $57.07 in the current futures contract. However, oil futures are in backwardation, with subsequent futures contracts bid at lower prices than the up front contract. For instance, the July '21 contract is priced at $55.69 and so forth. This is almost certainly a condition caused by the recent spate of chilling and stormy weather cascading across large swaths of the continental United States, spiking demand for heating fuel.

While cold weather brings out the highest prices for fuel oil, it is essentially a short-term dynamic as expressed by the futures trading. Gas at the pump barely budged over the course of the week, particularly in the southern states, where demand is still sluggish and supply is steady.

Here's an excellent short video explaining the conditions of contango and backwardation.

Cryptocurrencies were solid, with Bitcoin getting a major boost on Friday into Saturday morning, with price topping out at $41,000 at around 11:00 am ET before taking a dip down to $38,000. As of this writing, it's recovered to the mid-$39,000 level.

Etherium made a new all-time high at $1,720 on Saturday and has since leveled off in the $1,600 range.

At last, the crux of last week's trading highlights, with the focus on the Reddit group r/wallstreetbets and its foray into the silver market.

When the redditers at r/wallstreetbets launched their assault on the silver market (remember, this is a group seven million strong, with untold number of followers), the price of silver on the COMEX was $25.26 per troy ounce. That was at the close on Wednesday, January 27. The following day, the rush was on, sending silver to $26.52 and following through with another huge gain to $27.71 on Friday. Over the two days, silver had advanced $2.45 (+9.7%).

On Monday, February 1, the COMEX price was bid as high as $29.38, with the ask at $30.38, the spread widened due to liquidity issues and also to discourage buyers. Though the efforts of the redditers was focused on ETFs, SLV and PSLV, and in the physical market, COMEX and the LBMA could hardly ignore the flows of physical metal leaving shelves of online dealers and local coin shops, but, by the end of Monday's trading in New York, they had managed to keep the price at a somwhat unreasonable (to them) $28.99.

Overnight, in the thinly traded Asian markets, the riggers went to work in earnest, pushing the price below $28 by the time trading opened Tuesday in Europe and then, the Americas. Their payback was vicious and unmistakable, crushing the price to $26.73 at the close in New York. A small bounce to $26.91, with the spread down to $0.50 from $1.00, ended trading Wednesday, but again on Thursday, they took a knife to silver, sending it to the low of the week, $26.53. Friday's bounce back to $26.90 by the close left COMEX silver down 81 cents for the week.

Gold was likewise shunted, though the affect was less profound initially. As of Monday morning, gold was priced at $1874.00. On Monday, it was struck down to $1860.00, even as silver was higher, but the riggers at the COMEX were just getting started. By Tuesday, gold was down to $1837.90, then $1833.85 Wednesday, and finally, the crushing blow to $1794.00 on Thursday. A bit of a reprive was granted on Friday, leaving gold priced at $1810.80 for the weekend.

Through the entire episode - resembling a skirmish in a larger war - both parties may have been satisfied with the immediate results but left with lingering longer term doubts. For the Reddit Rebels, the price of physical silver had gone out of control from the COMEX. Dealers were left with empty shelves and severe shipping delays on the few products they could source. Unsure about future supply, online dealers had shed the cloak of the COMEX and left prices at levels not seen since 2011, when silver and gold had reached record highs and nearly broken the COMEX/LBMA cabal.

For the bullion banks, the COMEX, LBMA, and central bankers from the Federal Reserve to the ECB, BOJ, and the Bank of England they should have realized that the horde of commoners had nearly overwhelmed their long-standing position on the high ground of institutionalized fiat currency. Talk of hearings into the operations of the Reddit Rebels (not the COMEX, hedge funds, or brokerages) were bandied about the halls of congress.

Newwly confirmed Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, convened a meeting with the heads of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Reserve, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Thursday, coming to a conclusion that the stock market hasd shown resilience through the GameStop frenzy and calling on the CFTC and SEC to examine the events more closely and establish a timeline for how the market mayhem unfolded.

Yellen sought and received permission from ethics lawyers before calling the meeting, along with clearance to engage on wide-ranging issues in the financial services industry.

Yellen's decision to seek the waiver followed a report by Reuters that because of speaking fees she was paid by a key player in the GameStop saga, hedge fund Citadel LLC, she would need permission to deal with matters involving the firm. That's how badly shaken was the financial services industry. Even their top regulators and overseers have been involved in deals with market participants. Yellen received hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees from various firms and groups in the industry after her stint as head of the Federal Reserve (February 3, 2014 February 3, 2018) and prior to her appointment as Treasury Secretary by illegitimate president Joe Biden.

Yellen was nominated to chair the Federal Reserve by former president Barack Hussein Obama and confirmed by the Senate in 2014 and confirmed again for Treasury Secretary just weeks ago. President Donald J. Trump removed Yellen in 2018, replacing her with Jerome Powell, the current Chairman.

Thus, Washington's elites have been shaken to their core by the commoners. The COMEX and LBMA will continue to conspire against the hopes for honest money. By keeping prices at elevated levels, precious metals dealers have registered their resistance to the onerous control that has plagued the market for decades. The redditers have neither conceded nor surrendered. The war will rage on from here, pitting hedge funds, the financial services industry, and regulators against the commons.

A full discussion on the workings and intermingling of central banks, industrial banks, commercial banks, miners, smelters, brokers, and dealers in the metals markets would take more time and space than afforded here. Interested readers can familiarize themselves with such intricate relationships by perusing this explanatory article at Bullion Star, "Bullion Banking Mechanics"

According to Blanchard and Company, a large retailer in rare coins, the six "clearing banks" that handle gold bullion transactions are: "Barclays Bank PLC, ScotiaMocatta, Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Bank, JPMorgan Chase Bank and UBS AG."

In this extensive analysis on bullion banking mechanics by Bullion Star, many more - as many as 35 - banks are cited as "bullion banks" that handle gold, and likely, silver. Almost all of thse banking interests are members of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA).

In a notable development, Canadian Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank) decided last year to exit the metals market. Their announced departure was to be completed sometime in early 2021.

Back in 2017, Scotiabank tried to sell ScotiaMocatta, the world's oldest gold trader owned by Scotiabank.

Unable to finalize the sale, however, Scotiabank ended up keeping its precious metals trading business but downsized it at the beginning of 2018. ScotiaMocatta's history goes all the way back to 1600s when Moses Mocatta partnered with the East India Co. to ship gold to India. The operations were set up in London in 1684. In 1997, Scotiabank acquired Mocatta Bullion by purchasing it from Standard Chartered.

At the end of all the mayhem lies gold, central banks, and debt-based fiat currencies which dominate life in the 21st century. What the redditers have accomplished, first, through their dealings in the stock market, and, secondly, via their assault on the price of silver, is open wounds into the central banking facade of infallability.

The physical (market) price of silver has now decoupled from the spot price established by the LBMA and traded upon the COMEX. Gold is also moving towards a similar disconnect or decoupling. What have commonly been referred to as "premiums" over spot, have, thanks to r/wallstreetbets, are now so far apart as to engender the need for dual prices, one for the 5,000-ounce contracts traded on the COMEX (spot) and one for physical, finished products (market).

The war, and the story of the century, will continue.

As has become customary every Sunday, here are the most recent prices for common gold and silver one-ounce coins and bars sold on eBay (numismatics excluded, shipping - often free - included):

Item: Low / High / Average / Median
1 oz silver coin: 33.00 / 53.49 / 41.76 / 40.48
1 oz silver bar: 30.00 / 54.95 / 42.15 / 40.50
1 oz gold coin: 1,906.00 / 2,033.34 / 1,990.27 / 2,000.44
1 oz gold bar: 1,897.00 / 1,992.98 / 1,956.07 / 1,955.63

Last week, Money Daily unveiled a benchmark market pricing mechanism for physical silver, based on our weekly surveys and strict methodology. See the current Single Ounce Silver Market Price Benchmark (SOSMPB), set this Sunday morning at $41.22.

There was no shortage of market commentary from the usual (and unusual) sources; so many of them in fact, that only links can be provided in this space.

Here's two by Jake Ducey, from I Love Prosperity, the first with noted analyst, Alidair Macleod of

The second with David Morgan from

Here's Max Keiser and Stacey Herbert explaining how Fed policies contribute to the racial wealth gap:

Best-selling author of the Big Reset Willem Middelkoop tells Daniela Cambone how the silver squeeze may affect the gold market and central banking:

At last, we defer to the genius of Ted Butler in a deep dive into the silver market, via an interview with Pallisades Radio (47 minutes):

There are many more opinion pieces and videos out there. Readers are advised to do their own due diligence.

At the Close, Friday, February 5, 2021:
Dow: 31,148.24, +92.38 (+0.30%)
NASDAQ: 13,856.30, +78.55 (+0.57%)
S&P 500: 3,886.83, +15.09 (+0.39%)
NYSE: 15,069.60, +94.17 (+0.63%)

For the Week:
Dow: +1165.62 (+3.89%)
NASDAQ: +785.60 (+6.01%)
S&P 500: +172.59 (+4.65%)
NYSE: +672.40 (+4.67%)

Fearless Rick & Coin Flip Pick

It's the Kansas City Chiefs vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the ultimate NFL prize in Super Bowl LV, pitting KC's brash Patrick Mahomes against Tampa's wily veteran, Tom Brady. While Mahomes and the Chiefs look to repeat as NFL champions, Brady seeks his seventh championship ring Sunday, February 7, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Fearless Rick has game analysis, his pick and the coin flip selection. Plus a Super Bowl Quiz and every Super Bowl final score from 1967 to the present.
Fearless Rick's Pro and College Football Picks, 2/2/2021

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