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Money Daily has been providing business and financial market news, views, and coverage on a nearly continuous basis since 2006. Complete archives are available at moneydaily.blogspot.com.

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Senate Bails On Coronavirus Relief Package; Congress Needs To Go Back On Vacation... Forever

Friday, September 11, 2020, 7:41 am ET

You have to hand it to the politicians in Washington. They've really become Ninja Masters at pissing off everybody.

Back from a recess vacation that lasted more than a month, it was the senate's turn to show the American people that they care more about being re-elected than the actual welfare of those purportedly voting for them, failing to get even a slimmed-down version of a virus-related stimulus bill past a procedural vote.

Negotiations on a second round of $1200 stimulus checks have been nothing short of a made-up farce - much like the case-demic coronavirus scam - since the middle of July when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows made near-daily visits to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office to work out a plan to help out struggling Americans who had to put up with virus panic, job losses, school closures, business closures, lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, mandatory mask mandates, social distancing rules, and an endless barrage of propaganda from the mainstream media designed to keep them all in line and afraid to interact with fellow human beings.

Those "negotiations" fall apart mid-August and there's been no progress since, by design. Now that the pols are back in their cozy little cocoon otherwise known as the "seat of power" in Washington DC, they figured it would be good optics for the senate to take up matters, look like adults, and give it a go. The result was another week of wasted efforts and senators on both sides of the aisle looking more like adulterers than adults, playing partisan politics with a bill that didn't even include a scrap of relief for ordinary Americans, and especially the self-employed and senior citizens.

It's not that funds are urgently needed by anybody, but the bill included $105 billion for school re-openings, and an inordinate amount of space was devoted to limitations on liabilities for governments from towns and villages to cities and states, hospitals, health care workers and medical-related businesses. It seems the purpose of the bill was to spend more money on things people already pay taxes or fees to support (schools, both public and private, primary, secondary, and colleges) and prevent individuals from suing their local governments, hospitals, et. al., rather than providing some quick cash to those who would likely go out and spend it. As it turns out, the senate can't even play CYA very well.

The senate's failure set off a wave of selling on Wall Street, which isn't particularly fond of government standing in the way of excessive amounts of cash being dispersed willy-nilly, some of which would positively end up in their greedy little hands.

If it hasn't been apparent for the past forty years, it should be plain to see that voting for senators and members of the House of Representatives is simply an exercise in futility. None of the elected people have any interest in providing representation to the people they supposedly represent and when it comes time to explain their failures they can rely on the other party as a convenient scapegoat when the truth of the matter is that both parties are really all part of one big club - and, as the late George Carlin said - "and you ain't in it."

All said, this latest scripted adventure into pseudo-politics is par for the course. Congress hasn't done much of anything of direct benefit to the American people for quite a long time, which is why the overall approval rating hovers somewhere between 12 and 15% and has for decades. It's clear that while our system of a representative republic government generally is sound, the need for massive change has never been more apparent. Term limits would be a good start, but wholesale sacking of every one of the senators and representatives would be a better solution.

After all, if all they're capable of doing is perpetuating their own failed legacy, why bother with them at all? They spend money they don't have, creating massive deficits year after year, they all somehow become magically rich while in office, and they take vacations - like the one just concluded - while their constituents are struggling to make ends meet.

If and when Americans awaken to the real problem in this country - which isn't systemic racism, police inequities, or any other platitudinous value system the media and politicians wish to deride - the massive oversizing of government at every level, there could be a reckoning, recovery, and faith in the future. It's not just at the federal level, either. The overbearing, corrupt, incoherent lawmaking and enforcement has trickled all the way down to the local levels. From cops to teachers to dog catchers, they're all on the take, they're all getting paid while what used to be a thriving middle class is decimated. The people are supposed to pay taxes to support their own enslavement, follow orders and vote for the lesser of two evils when in fact there is no choice. That has been proven over and over and over again and it gets worse with every election cycle.

Government already accounts for more than 50 percent of GDP. Where does it stop? When it's 80%, 100% and all we're doing is working to pay taxes to keep these other people - who produce nothing but rancor and divisiveness - in comfortable positions with health care we cannot afford and pensions which far exceed those in comparable positions in the private sector?

Enough is enough. There are too many politicians, too many political favors, too few parties, too many teachers, cops, pencil pushers, social workers and do-nothing workers. Put them on leave. Let them collect unemployment for a change. See how they like it.

By the way, there was another sell-off on Wall Street yesterday, meaning that all of you people trapped in 401k or other pension or stock programs from which you cannot escape lost money. And you'll continue to lose money and purchasing power as long as you play by their rules and allow some faceless stock analyst or broker to manage what used to be your money. Stock markets have been pumped up for the past 12 years - since the financial crisis of 2008 - by the Federal Reserve and stock buyback programs. Many of the companies in which your funds are invested are worthless. It just hasn't been made known to the general public, but it will be soon enough.

Oil was down once again. Over the past few sessions, WTI crude has been whacked down from the $40-42 range to a $36-38 range. Gas prices will soon follow lower, which is about the only silver lining in this upside down world of pretend and extend economics.

Stock futures are looking up on Friday morning pre-open, but it will take a gargantuan effort to produce a winning week for stocks. Thursday's pump and dump was the fourth down day in the last five. In order to produce a positive result for the week the Dow would have to be up 600 points at the close, the NASDAQ would need a gain of 400 points. Otherwise, chalk up a second straight week of losses for the major averages.

That's all for Friday. See you all back here Sunday morning for the WEEKEND WRAP.

At the Close, Thursday, September 10:
Dow: 27,534.58, -405.89 (-1.45%)
NASDAQ: 10,919.59, -221.97 (-1.99%)
S&P 500: 3,339.19, -59.77 (-1.76%)
NYSE: 12,706.69, -179.11 (-1.39%)


Stocks Bounce, Jobless Claims Remain Elevated, Wall Street Braces For More Panicky Selling

Thursday, September 10, 2020, 8:45 am ET

After three straight days of losses, investors dusted themselves off and bought the dip on Wednesday, an intrepid strategy that worked wonders during the heydays of QE, but may prove harmful to a portfolio in the second leg of a bear market, which is precisely what is unfolding currently.

While stocks made a nice move on Wednesday, the major indices failed to cover the losses from even the prior session and they slumped noticeably into the close, giving up between a quarter and a third of the day's winnings.

With Thursday's opening bell a little less than an hour away, futures are pointing to a mixed to slightly lower open, just the kind of turbulence that is to be expected, especially with initial jobless claims coming in at 884,000, a carbon copy of the prior week's release.

In terms of signal to noise, selling seems to be the dominant signal, pumped action higher mostly leftover noise from the easy money short squeeze and Fed push of the past five months. Stocks are still at nosebleed levels and any punches that land are going to unleash a a torrent of blood flow. As stated in Wednesday's post, earnings season will more than likely deliver bad news. Even though expectations for most companies will have been guided lower, year over year comparisons will clearly show that growth has stalled out for many companies.

The political, social and economic climates continue to be challenging to say the least, leading to uncertainty in markets, a condition unwelcome on Wall Street. Big money will be rotating out of vulnerable positions, though finding safe havens in individual stocks may become a fool's errand as the recession proceeds and market sentiment sours.

Running to corporate bonds can only provide temporary relief and with yields at embarrassingly-low levels fund managers should find little relief there. The options available are almost certain to run somewhere between bad and horrible.

As the declining scenario unfolds - with days of gains shadowed by continued losing sessions - the winners will be those seeking not to advance their capital, but to preserve what's left of it. The recovery and expansion of the economy touted by mostly perma-bulls or spokespeople for the White House will turn out to be more in a series of false promises. This is not to say that President Trump will be significantly challenged in the election. He will win in a landslide despite the media's best effort to cloud the minds of voters with scenes of COVID-19 horrors, street protests, vandalism, looting, and rioting. His handlers have to talk up the economy. It's all they know and actually speaking the truth about a painful economic experience is strictly off limits in the charged political environment.

All of this uncertainty will eventually lead to one profound tactic. Buying gold and silver as a hedge and wealth preserver will prove to be not only prudent but probably highly profitable. The US dollar is losing strength and the Fed's opaque message of inflation can lead to nothing good, unless higher prices for everything useful or necessary somehow becomes a desirable outcome.

The message to goldbugs and silver stackers has never been clearer. With prices depressed from the month ago highs, precious metals are at bargain levels. The one caveat is that in the case of a stock market crash, the metals will also take a hit, though not as badly as one might expect. Nobody in their right frame of mind is going to sell gold at under $1900, nor silver under $24 an ounce. Those are pretty well established support levels and all indications are that they will trend higher as the economy of not just the United States, but that of every country on the planet is taken down to brass tacks and spare parts.

Markets and economies all go through phases and periods of boom and bust. As the fiat currencies - dollar, euro, yen - burn to ashes, gold and silver, the undeniable real hard money assets, will prosper.

Not to be misled, Greg Mannarino issues a warning after Christine Legarde, head of the ECB, promised endless liquidity:

At the Close, Wednesday, September 9, 2020:
Dow: 27,940.47, +439.58 (+1.60%)
NASDAQ: 11,141.56, +293.87 (+2.71%)
S&P 500: 3,398.96, +67.12 (+2.01%)
NYSE: 12,885.80, +197.73 (+1.56%)


Rough Day On Wall Street As Second Phase Of Bear Market Gets Underway

Wednesday, September 9, 2020, 9:07 am ET

Just back from a holiday weekend and the end of a long summer, traders went to work selling everything on Monday.

Not that stocks weren't deserving of lower valuations, they were and still are. This is just the beginning of a trend that began late last week. If this is the start of the second leg down for stocks, it promises to be slower, longer and more painful than the quick initial burst in March.

Stocks have been pumped higher throughout the fake COVID pandemic, despite an economy that has rotted from within. We are witnessing the destruction of the US economy and of what was - a mere 30 years ago - the greatest country on the face of the planet. Financialization, which began in the 80s and accelerated to its zenith in 2008, is now in the process of unwinding all of the malinvestments made through those years. Today's companies are barely profitable unless they are a niche tech company with no or limited competition such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Netflix, but they are all overvalued, the trade crowded, weak hands taking losses.

There may be day-to-day gains, but the trend is clearly to the downside. Stocks are being liquidated by large investors and funds. The smart money is getting out, leaving the dumb money as ultimate bag-holders. In this secondary bear market phase, buying dips will only provide returns for day-traders and some momentum chasers. Long term investors will get taken to the cleaners.

Expect this phase of the bear market to gradually undermine all investments. All major indices will exceed the lows made this March, though the entire process could take as long as two years. In the interim, the Wall Street casino is open for business, ready to scalp proceeds from unsuspecting people with money and no clue as to what's really happening.

Many of the Western states are on fire, literally, and the cites are being destroyed from within, a process that's been ongoing for many years. Older, Eastern "rust belt" cities are bankrupt, as are the states of New Jersey, Illinois, New York, and California. While the media wants everyone to focus on the presidential election and wear masks to somehow thwart an infectious pathogen that does little harm to 99.98% of the population, the pillars of industry are crumbling. Rats - brokers, bankers, CEOs - are jumping ship as the destruction accelerates.

Stocks may rebound here and maybe for more than a week or even two, but in the end they are mostly overvalued and will suffer losses just on that regard. Loss of confidence and lack of investible capital will bring stocks to more sensible levels and eliminate those who cannot make ends meet, i.e., zombie companies.

Fed intervention will not help in a condition that is turning from a liquidity crisis to a solvency crisis, two different animals.

Note well the decline in the price of oil on Tuesday. It was absolutely hammered and will continue to test lower lows over coming months. The economy is imploding and extra funny money from the government or from the Federal Reserve isn't going to fix what's broken. Crony capitalism, corruption, media collusion, and the end of globalization are all coming together to destroy what's left.

A great reset is coming, possibly before the end of the year, though the implications will reverberate throughout the global system for decades.

Thus far, stocks have seen only minor damage. When third quarter earnings begin to roll out in about a month, the handwriting will be there for everyone to see. Stocks should enter correction (-10%) within weeks and resume bear market posture (-20%) some time in October, or, at the latest, after the November 3 elections, which are certain to be a fiasco of mammoth proportion.

At the Close, Tuesday, September 8, 2020:
Dow: 27,500.89, -632.41 (-2.25%)
NASDAQ: 10,847.69, -465.41 (-4.11%)
S&P 500: 3,331.84, -95.12 (-2.78%)
NYSE: 12,688.07, -229.03 (-1.77%)


WEEKEND WRAP: Stocks Battered, Protests Expand, Congress, Federal Reserve Readying Unveiling of Digital Dollar

Sunday, September 6, 2020, 12:55 pm ET

Following two relatively "calm" weeks in the markets, the week that included the last day of August (Monday) into September proved to be quite volatile, setting up the return of congress after Labor Day as a consequential event.

As the week progressed, the usual uppity attitude of equity markets began to turn, reaching a level closing in on the bizarre behavior the has engulfed the world's population, as in the wearing of masks everywhere, all the time, for no good reason.

While it is certainly true that there is an actual pathogen known as COVID-19 and that it and its variants have spread globally, there is also ample evidence to ascertain that the pathogen (or virus) is hardly as deadly to healthy people as officials from the WHO and CDC, the government, large swaths of the medical community, and especially the media would have anyone believe.

The CDC recently refined some of its data to conclude that only six percent of the deaths in the United States attributable to COVID-19 were caused by the virus ALONE. Through the week just past, that six percent figure (and the coincident number of 9,210 of 153,504 total deaths at the time) was tossed around social media, tweeted by President Trump, purportedly debunked by the mainstream media - first by local affiliates, then by more national and international outlets - re-bunked, resurrected, damned by none other than Dr. Anthony Fauci and finally left out in the open to foment more rage, anger, and divisiveness between anti-vaxxers, anti-COVID "conspirators" and the masked muzzled masses of the general population.

Growing dissatisfaction with government lockdowns and restrictions prompted demonstrations and rallies in countries as diverse as Great Britain, Germany (where some protesters stormed the legendary Reichstag), and, most recently, Australia, and online in China.

Coronavirus and the debate over whether the pandemic is better described as a plandemic or SCAM-demic is just one of three main themes which will grow in intensity as the US November 3rd elections approach. The other two are the economy - and by inference the stock, bond and precious metals markets - and the ongoing Black Lives Matter violent protests that have swept across American cities coast to coast.

This edition of the WEEKEND WRAP will cover the first two of those themes, leaving to say that the BLM/ANTIFA Marxist protesting, looting, burning and rioting will continue virtually unabated until the elections and probably well beyond, no matter who wins or loses.

In terms of the economy, matters turned from complacency to panic on a dime as Wednesday turned to Thursday, with the major stock indices fell by the greatest percentages since the middle of June.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 and NASDAQ, respectively marked their 22nd and 43rd closing record highs of 2020, and the Dow finished above 29,000 for the first time since February, bringing it to within two percent of its Feb. 12 all-time closing high (21,551.42).

On Thursday, everything changed. As of 4:00 pm ET on Thursday, the September 3 markets looked like this:
Dow: 28,292.73, -807.77 (-2.78%)
NASDAQ: 11,458.10, -598.34 (-4.96%)
S&P 500: 3,455.06, -125.78 (-3.51%)
NYSE: 12,966.14, -310.61 (-2.34%)

It was an absolute drubbing, seemingly out of nowhere, as first time unemployment claims came in at the lowest level since March, 881,000, seasonally adjusted. Apparently having seen or had enough of stock market gains based on multiple expansion among a small number of stocks - the FAANMGs, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Microsoft, and Alphabet, parent of Google - market-propping initiatives and a bevy of easy-money facilities from the Fed, and a government stalemate on a second round of stimulus checks and extension of enhanced unemployment benefits.

Smart money folded, leaving the stock market to novice Robin Hood traders, semi-professional day-traders and the retail public.

On Friday, even after August non-farm payrolls showed 1.4 million jobs added to the labor market and an unemployment rate falling to 8.4% from 10.2%, both better than expectations, sellers were out and about, sending stocks to plumb depths approaching important moving averages. Most of the heavy selling pressure was experienced in the first hour of trading, with all of the indices getting a very good bounce when the NASDAQ touched its 50-day moving average at 10,875.87, right around 10:45 am ET.

That timely move saved what could have been an absolute rout and left the markets just a little bit bruised heading into the extended Labor Day weekend. As markets drew to an exhausted closing Friday, all the averages were well above their 50-day moving averages and even further above their 40-week moving averages on the weekly charts.

The Street.com suggests in this article that selling on Friday might not have been such a bad move.

With Monday an extra day off, even though international markets will trade as usual, market participants will be looking at Tuesday's open with renewed interest though an indicator in Tuesday morning's futures is unlikely to foretell of longer-term prospects for America's industrial and financial markets. While it does appear as if big money has fled or is at least paring down some positions, the moves in treasuries Thursday and Friday confuse the narrative.

On Thursday, yields dropped as expected, with the 10-year note losing five basis points, from 0.68% to 0.63%, and the 30-year shedding nine (1.43% to 1.34%). Friday's dip and bounce produced a huge ramp in yields (selling off of bonds) as the 10-year spurted nine basis points to 0.72% and the 30-year closing out the week at 1.46%. These were enormous moves in what used to be normally benign markets. This past week's volatility in the fixed income space was almost without comparison. All said and done, the longer-dated maturities ended the week just slightly lower from the prior Friday close (0.74% on the 10, 1.52 on the 30). Everything shorter than the 10-year note was virtually unchanged.

Developments to come include an expected showdown over the fifth round of coronavirus relief between House Democrats and the White House. The two sides have moved marginally closer to a deal - which is still widely expected, especially with elections coming up - since talks stalled out in early August. There's also an apparent agreement on a continuing resolution to keep government operating into the 2021 fiscal year, which begins October 1.

Scheduled for September 15-16, the Fed's next FOMC meeting looms. The Fed may or may not be issuing any surprises at that time, though, as politicized as it has become, Chairman Powell might unleash a torrent of tidbits during the press conference following the "no change" policy announcement. After his Jackson Hole policy realignment to inflation "no matter what" stance, nothing the Fed Chairman utters is likely to raise eyebrows any further than they already are.

What the Fed isn't openly opining over is the almost certain unveiling of Digital Dollars and Digital Wallets soon to be opened at banks, credit unions and post offices (yes, post offices) across the fruited plains of America. In the video below, Lynette Zang of ITM Traders delves deep into the machinations well underway in congress and at the Federal Reserve for the change from debt-based money to pseudo-crypto currency and the eventual elimination of physical cash. Just in case Lynette's video is unconvincing to any remaining conspiracy-theory-deniers, perhaps a closer look at the Federal Reserve's branding efforts well underway for FedNow bucks will be more convincing. The Federal Reserve itself isn't exactly shy about the coming changes. This link explains FedNow Services and links to more press releases, speeches and FAQs on the subject.

Coindesk also covers the Digital Dollar movement in congress with an overview here and here.

A bill titled the Banking for All Act was introduced by Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown on March 23, 2020 - oddly enough, the same date that markets bottomed - and was immediately referred to the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. A draft of the bill (Senate Bill 3571) is available in pdf format.

The relevant date for the unleashing of the Digital Dollar is tentatively (no later than) January 1, 2021. Happy New Year, serfs!

Near the end of the video, Mrs. Zang mentions "NESARA", a term with which some - including this author - may not be familiar. While a detailed examination of the topic, which stands for National Economic Security And Recovery Act, we'll leave it - and the scary reference to "drain the swamp" terminology which might endear to some Q followers - to an introduction by Wikipedia reference. Obviously, more research and study on the topic is likely warranted.

Not without notice was the sudden, dramatic drop in the price of oil as the week drew to a close. WTI crude absolutely fell off a cliff on Friday, registering a drop of -3.87% from its Thursday close of $41.37, heading into the long weekend at $39.77 USD/bbl., down -1.60, marking just the third time WTI crude futures have closed below $40/barrel since July 2nd, the last day of trading in the commodity before the Independence Day holiday. Is it mere coincidence that the price of oil and its important relationship to gas at the pump rises just before the big summer holiday and falls just before the last? It makes perfect sense in a normal world where people drive more during the summer, but the price movements beg the question when much of the world is on lockdown with many businesses closed and people eschewing regular summer vacations during a supposedly-deadly pandemic.

On the week, gold and silver again suffered losses. The central bank community of conniving cheaters and colluders are making a mockery of the markets and price discovery as the end game to fiat money approaches.

Spot Gold dropped another $30 over the course of the week, finishing at $1,933.94, very close to the bloodbath low of early August. A similar fate befell silver, though not as severely as gold was downed, closing out the week at $26.91 after getting a boost to $28.14 an ounce on Monday. As much as the intervening operatives wish to deflate the prices of precious metals, premiums at dealers continue to be elevated, though not quite as much as during the early days of the "pandemic" when supplies were short and demand was high. Demand remains elevated, but supplies are returning to near normal levels.

Recent (09/06/20) prices for common items on ebay (shipping - often free - included), numismatics excluded:

Item: Low / High / Average / Median
1 oz silver coin: 31.77 / 37.90 / 33.90 / 33.50
1 oz silver bar: 30.99 / 45.99 / 37.23 / 35.81
1 oz gold coin: 2,000.00 / 2,165.00 / 2,086.21 / 2,085.47
1 oz gold bar: 1,988.99 / 2,068.92 / 2,035.44 / 2,034.81

Finally, here's Lynette Zang covering the topic of Federal Reserve's digital dollar:

At the Close, Friday, September 4, 2020:
Dow: 28,133.31, -159.42 (-0.56%)
NASDAQ: 11,313.13, -144.97 (-1.27%)
S&P 500: 3,426.96, -28.10 (-0.81%)
NYSE: 12,917.15, -48.99 (-0.38%)

For the Week:
Dow: -520.56 (-1.82%)
NASDAQ: -382.50 (-3.27%)
S&P 500: -81.05 (-2.31%)
NYSE: -253.81 (-1.93%)


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