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Friday, 15 February, 2013 – February 15th – An Historic Date

February 15th – An Historic Date by Sinclair Noe DOW + 8 = 13,981SPX- 1 = 1519NAS – 6 = 319210 YR YLD +.01 = 2.01%OIL – 1.23 = 96.08GOLD – 24.30 = 1611.10SILV – .60 = 29.90 Today marks the 10th Anniversary of the largest single coordinated protest in history. Roughly ten to fifteen million people (estimates vary widely) assembled and marched in more than six hundred cities: as many as three million flooded the streets of Rome; more than a million massed in London and Barcelona; an estimated 200,000 rallied in San Francisco and New York. From Auckland to Vancouver to the streets of New York and Los Angeles—and everywhere in between—tens of thousands came out, joining their voices in one simple, global message: No to the Iraq War. And there it was. We failed. Slightly more than a month later, the U.S. was shocking and awing its way through Iraqi cities and Saddam Hussein’s defenses and bedding in—though it didn’t know it yet—for a near decade-long occupation. The protests, which by any measure were a world historic event, were brushed aside. The UN Security Council was bypassed. Congress rubber stamped the war. The media was little more than a puppet. The U.S. spent nearly a trillion dollars on a pre-emptive war that didn’t need to happen and a nation-building exercise that has achieved only fragile, uncertain gains. Far from a “Mission Accomplished,” the American adventure in Iraq has become a cautionary tale of hubris and poor planning. …

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Thursday, February 14, 2014 – Helicopter Money

Helicopter Money by Sinclair Noe DOW – 9 = 13,973SPX + 0.98 = 1521NAS + 1 = 319810 YR YLD – .03 = 1.99%OIL + .36 = 97.37GOLD – 7.20 = 1636.40SILV – . 33 = 30.55 A reminder I will be speaking at the 2013 Wealth Protection Conference April 5th. To register or for more information, please visit: www.buysilvernow.com or click here. Happy Valentine’s Day. The G-20 meets this weekend. Currency devaluation will be a major topic. There is a race to devalue currencies, with the payoff being more exports for the winning or losing country. The winner in the race to the bottom looks to be the UK; over the past five years, the pound sterling is the weakest major currency. London’s role as a financial center made in vulnerable to the banking problems, and then the government imposed austerity measures, making a bad situation far worse. Since the end of last year the pound has weakened dramatically against all other major currencies, apart from the yen. The British and Japanese currencies seem to be falling for similar reasons. Those countries’ economies have experienced almost no growth since 2009, and their governments are becoming increasingly desperate to end this long-term stagnation. This past week, saw some important speeches that were largely overshadowed here in the US by the State of the Union address. The Bank of Japan’s Shinzo Abe announced monetary expansion should directly finance record breaking public investment programs. The other big speech came from Adair Turner, …

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 – Everything You Need to Know – Fast and Furious Edition

Everything You Need to Know – Fast and Furious Edition by Sinclair Noe DOW – 35 = 13,982SPX + 0.90 = 1520NAS + 10 = 319610 YR YLD +.04 = 2.02%OIL – .37 = 97.14GOLD – 8.70 = 1643.60SILV – .34 = 30.88 I realize that you are a very important person; your time is valuable; time is money. I could spend hours bloviating on the minutiae of the State of the Union Address. Instead, I respect your busy schedule by condensing the one hour Address down to less than 3 minutes. Seriously, you take out the applause and the pomp and circumstance and a few adjectives, and the hour long speech fits neatly in just under 3 minutes. Here you go: I know you also like lists, so here’s the top ten policy area’s covered in the speech: #10 – an emotional appeal to vote on gun control, #9 – raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour, #8 – on the energy front, tap the oil and gas royalties for revenue to find alternatives to oil, #7 – the president pledged action on climate change and if Congress won’t do it he would use executive authority, #6 – Education starting with universal pre-school for 4-year olds, #5 – let people vote, (turns out this is controversial. Who knew?) #4 – immigration reform, #3 – on foreign policy, cut the forces in Afghanistan by half, #2 – beef up American manufacturing (starting with a visit today to a Canadian …

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013 – The Battles to Come

The Battles to Come by Sinclair Noe DOW + 47 = 14,018SPX + 2 = 1519NAS- 5 = 318610 YR YLD + .01 = 1.97%OIL + .48 = 97.51GOLD + 3.00 = 1652.30SILV + .17 = 31.22 The all-time high in the S&P 500 index is 1565. The all-time intraday high in the Dow Industrials is 14, 198.10, reached in October 2007. We are close. After years of acting like deer in the headlights, investors are now throwing cash at the stock markets. Meanwhile, insiders are selling. Google’s CEO is selling more than 40% of his stock. He didn’t sell hardly anything from 2008 through now. There is a thought that insiders are selling now and mom and pop investors are buying, and once we work through this exchange, the markets will tank. This theory is being called the grand rotation. Ahead of tonight’s State of the Union Address, the White House has followed custom by leaking tidbits from the speech. It is expected the president will talk about North Korea testing a nuclear bomb; this, for the third time, and bigger than ever. Apparently Mr. Obama will also announce that 34,000 out of 66,000 troops will come home from Afghanistan by this time next year, which sounds better than it is. That means the Pentagon is roughly on pace to hand over security to the Afghans by the end of 2014, as Mr. Obama has long promised. It also means there will still be more than 30,000 troops in …

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Friday, February 08, 2013 – The State of the Union is Contradictory

The State of the Union is Contradictory by Sinclair Noe DOW + 48 = 13,992SPX + 8 = 1517NAS + 28 = 319310 YR YLD un = 1.95%OIL -.06 = 95.77GOLD – 3.80 = 1668.20SILV – .03 = 31.53 The State of the Union is… Tuesday. Do we have a solid economic recovery underway? The evidence will leave you whipsawed. Everywhere you turn, it seems, there is an economic contradiction. Housing is up, but gross domestic product was sharply down in December, almost to recessionary territory. The economy has lost 3.2m jobs since 2007, but 5.2m have been created since 2009. Even so, the number of unemployed far outpaces the number of jobs. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says: “In November 2012, 12 million workers were unemployed but there were only 3.7m job openings. That is about 10 unemployed workers for every three available positions – in other words, even if every available job were filled by an unemployed individual, about seven of every 10 unemployed workers would still be unemployed.” The jobless rate keeps dropping, but the ratio of employed-to-unemployed people is about the same as last year. The economy gained 181,000 jobs a month last year, but the percentage of people who have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks has stayed relatively steady. People are working more hours, but productivity is falling. And economic output has almost ground to a halt, growing by 0.1% in December. Households are becoming less indebted, which is a welcome …

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Thursday, February 07, 2013 –

Waiting for the Apocalypse by Sinclair Noe DOW – 42 = 13,944SPX – 2 = 1509NAS – 3 = 316510 YR YLD -.02 = 1.95%OIL – .74 = 95.88GOLD – 6.30 = 1672.00SILV – .39 = 31.56 Some day this war will end. Some day we will have an apocalypse, not in the terrifying version of the word but in the original Greek definition of “apokalypsis”, meaning an “uncovering”, a “lifting of the veil”, or “the disclosure of something hidden”. One day we will wake up and realize that money is printed out of thin air and it is not a store of wealth but a vessel of debt; the veil will be lifted and we will see the debt masters for what they truly are. Until then we get little surprises in the form of troves of emails revealing the reality that the financial markets are not bastions of cool rationalism, nor are they temples to integrity; and the lubricant of commerce may be nothing more than a tar pit. We have been reading the emails from Barclays, UBS, and S&P describing how they would rig rates or rate deals for a cow if only they could get their cut. Sometimes the language is clipped in an instant messaging style of prose, sometimes it is profane in a way that would make Tony Soprano blush, and it seems to be flowing forth in a never-ending stream of culpability. Some day this war will end. But not today. Today we …

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Wednesday, February 06, 2013 – A Trend of Banks Behaving Badly

A Trend of Banks Behaving Badly by Sinclair Noe DOW + 7 = 13,986SPX + 0.83 = 1512NAS – 3 = 316810 YR YLD -.05 = 1.97%OIL + .20 = 96.84GOLD + 4.10 = 1678.30SILV +.03 = 31.95 At last count, 282 companies in the S&P 500 index had reported quarterly earnings and 74% were beating analyst earnings projections. Gas prices are up 7% in the past week. The Federal Reserve confirmed that one of its internal Web sites was hacked into yesterday. You might think the Fed databases are pretty secure. Turns out nothing in cyberspace is secure; just see what happened to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Department of Energy; and that’s just the past couple of weeks. The Congressional Budget office says the US budget deficit this year will hit $845 billion, which sounds like a lot of money, but for the first time in a long time, it won’t hit a trillion. The Justice Department filed a $5 billion civil complaint yesterday accusing McGraw-Hill and S&P of three types of fraud, the first federal case against a ratings company for ratings related to the credit crisis. No surprise. The transcripts of the Federal Reserve’s FOMC meeting in 2007 show the Fed didn’t trust the ratings agencies. Fed Chairman Bernanke said: “There is an information fog” that “is very much associated with the loss of confidence in the credit-rating agencies.”And Fed Governor Kevin Warsh said: the firms’ “credibility has been shot” and …

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Tuesday, February 05, 2013 – Cutting to Spite Ourselves

Cutting to Spite Ourselves by Sinclair Noe DOW + 99 = 13,979SPX + 15 = 1511NAS + 40 = 317110 YR YLD +.04 = 2.02%OIL + .47 = 96.64GOLD – 1.40 = 1674.00SILV +.06 = 31.92 The Congressional Budget Office released revised budget projections that show the federal deficit will drop to $845 billion this year, the first time during Obama’s presidency that the red ink would fall below $1 trillion. The budget office also said the economy will grow slowly in 2013. The reason for the slowdown is a tax increase in January and spending cuts coming in the next couple of months. A few minutes after the CBO report, President Obama spoke to the press and said those spending cuts would damage the economy and must be avoided. He asked Congress for a short-term deficit reduction package that will delay deeper cuts past the automatic start date of March 1, also known as the sequester. The automatic cuts are part of a 10-year, $1 trillion deficit reduction plan that was supposed to spur Congress and the administration to act on long-term fiscal policies that would stabilize the nation’s debt. Though Congress and the White House have agreed on about $2.6 trillion in cuts and higher taxes since the beginning of 2011, they have been unable to close the deal on their ultimate goal of reducing deficits by about $4 trillion over a decade. If the automatic cuts are allowed to kick in, they would reduce Pentagon spending by …

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Monday, February 04, 2013 – Brouhaha As Excuse

Brouhaha As Excuse by Sinclair Noe DOW – 129 = 13,880SPX – 17 = 1495NAS – 47 = 313110 YR YLD – .04 = 1.97%OIL – 1.61 = 96.16GOLD + 6.80 = 1675.40SILV – .08 = 31.86 With all the brouhaha over the fiscal cliff and the debt ceiling and the inauguration and the Super Blackout, it would be easy to forget the problems in Euro-land, but today, those problems have jumped back onto center stage, again. In Italy and Spain the prospects of stable government are slipping. First in Italy, an election is scheduled for later in the month. The technocrat-slash-PM Mario Monti will exit, stage right, and the race is on. The second and third place contenders are a comedian named Beppe Grillo and another comedian, Silvio “Bunga-Bunga” Berlusconi; it appears unlikely either will win, but they are looking like they can splinter the vote for front-runner Pier Luigi Bersani. The running theme of the campaigns is anti-austerity and anti-German authoritarianism. In Spain, the economy is contracting, again. Fourth quarter GDP shrank by 0.7%; the steepest decline in more than 3 years. Also, last week a new report showed unemployment at more than 26% in the fourth quarter. They are still calling it a recession but it is clearly a depression, and it is exacerbated by spending cuts and tax increases. Toss in a slush fund scandal involving the Prime Minister Rajoy, alleging kickbacks from construction firms; add in the Catalonian secessionist movement, and massive street protests. Italian …

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Friday, February 01, 2013 – Jobs Report Friday

Jobs Report Friday by Sinclair Noe DOW + 149 = 14,009SPX + 15 = 1513NAS + 36 = 317910 YR YLD + .02 = 2.01%OIL + .12 = 97.61 GOLD + 3.80 = 1668.60SILV + .37 = 31.94 Today is a Jobs Report Friday. Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 157,000 in January, and the unemployment rate inched higher to 7.9%. The headline number was below expectations, which had been running from 170,000 to 185,000 new jobs. However, employment figures for November and December were revised up sharply. November was revised from 161,000 to 247,000, a gain of 86,000; so it turns out that job growth immediately before the election was actually under-estimated; December was revised from 155,000 to 196,000, a gain of 41,000. In January, job gains occurred in retail trade, construction, health care, and wholesale trade, while employment edged down in transportation and warehousing. Exactly what this pace of job growth means for the unemployment rate depends on whether many of the workers sitting on the sidelines decide to join, or rejoin, or can find a place in the labor force. Right now, labor force participation rates, the share of people of working age who are either working or looking for jobs, is hovering around 30-year lows. Only those who are actively looking for work are counted as unemployed, so if the labor force participation stays low, even modest job growth can cause the unemployment rate to fall quite a bit. The decline in the labor force participation …

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