The Rumor Mill Has Another $2 Trillion Lined Up….

April 1, 2020 

* Currencies drift on Tuesday, but Gold gets whacked!

* Improving investor sentiment? Really? Come on! 

Good Day… And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! The trading in Gold yesterday, was right up there with what I spent the better part of yesterday talking about… I shake my head in disgust, and disbelief, that this continues to carry on… It was a cooler day here yesterday, than the previous day, so I was only able to be outside for about 2 hours in the late afternoon… Hey! It’s April Fool’s Day! I would have to think that the April Fool’s pranks will be muted this year, given the dire situation of having to stay home by yourself, or with spouse, partner, whomever! Quite a few years ago, I wrote a note and left it on the kitchen table telling Kathy that I was sorry but I had dented the rear panel on her car, and that she should go out and look at it…. When she got there, I had taped a note on the rear panel that said, “April Fools!” …. That’s probably about the best I can do…. I’m not a prankster, a joker yes, smart Alec yes, but prankster, no… The Beatles greet me again this morning with another good morning song titled: She’s Leaving Home…. For those of you not familiar with this classic, it starts out… Wednesday morning at 5 o’clock as the day begins…. 

And Welcome to April!  March came in like a lamb, and went out like a lion, for sure, but…. Things are only going to get worse, folks… I hope you’re tired of hunkering down, because, this is going to go on for much longer, as the dark clouds gather, to bring the rain for our parade… 

OK… Well the currencies drifted yesterday, but Gold got whacked! And I mean Whacked! My old football coach had a wooden paddle with golf ball sized holes drilled through it to allow a good whacking with wind resistance…. I never experienced the feel of this paddle, but I saw many a player receive the paddle… And that sound it would make would be like the sound that hit Gold yesterday….  (The old coach has passed on, so no letters claiming bad things are called for here, just wanted to give the whacking that Gold received yesterday a proper sound.)… 

Well, did you hear the new yesterday that China printed their PMI (manufacturing index) and it rebounded from a very low number below 50 to a number above 50? Let me see a show of hands from those of you who believe this to be true? OK, you, in the way back, why on earth would you believe this to be true? What’s that you say, you believe everything any Gov’t tells you? OK, is there anyone else, besides this sheeple in the back of the room? The good news that came with this was that the Global Growth currencies of Australia and New Zealand both took the news and used it to rally on the day…

One of the things that keeps coming back into my brain yesterday, was a quote on the site, where they said that Gold was getting sold yesterday due to “investor sentiment improving”…. Really? They really believed that? Consumer Confidence fell from 132 in April to 120 in March, and they think investor sentiment is improving? I’m not buying it…. This was a engineered price take down by the price manipulators, it’s as obvious as a streaker running down the street! What on earth would investors be feeling good about? Stocks were down again yesterday, and the prospects for more Central Bank “planning” is growing by the hour….

You know another thing that just gets my goat? Central Bank planning…. Hey! Think about this for a few minutes and then tell me I’m wrong about this…. Didn’t the Soviet Union use Central Planning for over 100 years? And didn’t the Communist Party of China do the same? And where did it get their economies? I’m just saying…. Why on earth would Central Banks of the Western Hemisphere think that they have the “handle on the right way to do Central Planning”? Ok, for those of you new to class and what to catch up on what I’m talking about….

Let’s take the Fed Reserve for a minute here…. They’ve really pulled out the big guns for dealing with the economic perils of a pandemic, haven’t they? But think about that for a minute, were they not already pulling out the big guns before the pandemic hit our shores? Why, yes, Chuck they were, now that you mention it… So, that was what all that pointing and yelling was about months ago, when the Fed was bailing out the banks with daily infusions of money in the repo markets? Geez, Chuck I wish you would have spelled that out in plain English for us non-market folks…

Come on, I tried, and tried to tell you that this wasn’t a good thing, and that it wasn’t temporary as the Fed Heads kept telling us! Well, on second thought, yes, you did do that, but…. I just thought you were crying wolf once again….

Don’t you just love when I have these conversations with “someone else”? Come on, stay with me here, we have lots more to discuss….

You know… There’s something going on that I want to get off my chest…. It’s these damn paper trades in Gold and Silver…. I hate you use that strong language, but how else would you, dear reader, know how frustrated I am with this c—? Yesterday morning I had to report that Silver had dropped to $13.95…. But if you called a coin dealer and asked him for a price of 1 ounce silver coin it would probably be $25…. Paper trades should be outlawed, if they aren’t being used in the proper form… To lock in a price, and then deliver or accept delivery…. Otherwise it’s a sham, a speculation, without delivery! I’m just so frustrated with these paper trades driving the prices of the commodities like Gold & Silver down…. Marin Katusa, the commodities guru, wrote on Twitter yesterday that the price ratio of Commodities to stocks was at an all-time low…. Beep, Beep, Beep…. What’s that you say? It’s the warning signal on my truck that’s backing up right now to load up on Commodities, because….. Inflation is coming folks…. And I mean real inflation, not stock market inflation or house price inflation, but real old-fashioned inflation, the kind that kicks you in the teeth, and robs you blind…. I’m just saying….

I hear tell that the lawmakers are talking about another $2 Trillion in aid to be doled out…. That would make our trip to $30 Trillion even easier to obtain, right? You can’t just keep throwing money at something like this, when will they get it? Yesterday, I saw a blurb from the White House saying that the experts there have the total deaths in the U.S. from the Pandemic to be 100,000 to 240,000… OK, I’m not making light of this pandemic folks, but let’s look at it and compare the pandemic to other things that kill people…. Like the one that’s near but not so dear to my heart…. Cancer…. There are 50,000 people a month that die from cancer…. So, 100,000 is just two months of Cancer deaths…. Or how about smoking? Google tells me that there are 480,000 deaths annually from smoking, including those with second hand smoke. So, 6 months of smoking deaths…. Do you see what I’m saying here, I’m not taking the pandemic lightly, I’m seriously washing my hands every hour and staying to myself for the most part each day… But where has all this effort to curb a disease been all these years? 

OK, I know that the last paragraph is going to tick off half my readers, but I just had to say it… Which is something that 100% of you have come to expect from me… I call them the way I see them folks… no beating around the bush, and no spin….  So, if you are mad at me for that last paragraph, keep reading because I’m sure you’ll find something you agree with! 

Well, well, well….. what have we here? Why it’s none other than “I see no future economic crisis in our future,” Janet Yellen…. This is why I love Twitter folks… People get on there and spew stuff that makes me wonder what they’ve been smoking! Yesterday, it was former Fed Chair, Janet Yellen, who had this to say…. “Highly indebted firms usually cut back a lot on investment & hiring…will make recovery more difficult” – Janet Yellen…

OK, but who left rates at zero until a couple of years ago, Janet? Who set up these Corporations to borrow at low rates? Not you? Balderdash! Yes, first it was Ben Bernanke that sent rates to zero, but then you held them there for most of your term! And now you say that these highly indebted firms are going to make the recovery more difficult…. Wait! What? I thought you told us a few years ago, that there would be no more crisis situations for us to worry about? These Fed Heads are crazier than loons folks…. There I said it, and believe you me, I wouldn’t have been even able to talk about this in my previous location!

So…. Goldman Sachs, aka Lola… says that GDP in the U.S. is going to fall 34%!  That’s surely upping the ante on the GDP forecasts isn’t it? First it was 5%, then 20%, then 24% and now 34%….  Just keep moving the goal posts, Lola, because this is going to get really ugly!  And we’ll begin to see the rot on the economy’s vine today when the ISM for March gets printed….  And like the old game of Limbo, the question will be “how low can it go?”   And then double that decline for the April print, because we only started the shutdown of the economy about mid-March…. It was March 12th, when we were told that we were attending the last Spring Training game, that all futures games were cancelled….  About a week later they closed our beach… And now I hear word that the management has to close the pool too!  Yeah, whatever the decline is in March for manufacturing, I think you can double it for April…. 

I think I erred yesterday when talking about the ISM (manufacturing index) print today, and said that last month’s print was 44, but that wasn’t correct, and I apologize for that error,  I errored and took the forecast for last month’s print… So, the forecast for this morning’s print is 44…  But what I said about two months of below 45 in this data set indicates we’re in a recession….  So, that much was right! 

Face masks are coming….  Basically, I believe the Gov’t is going to tell us soon that we are required to wear face masks….  Don’t have access to them? I’m sure your friendly National Guardsman will be happy to supply you with some…  

Well, let’s end this with a happy note today, eh?  Hey! Gold is up $17 in the early trading today, so Gold has that going for it, eh?  Up for 3 days, down big 1 day… Crazy, but the thing I keep coming back to here is that Gold is showing its true calling of being a safe haven asset… 

To recap… The currencies drifted yesterday and in the overnight markets, but Gold got whacked! And the sound was awful! There’s talk of another round of $2 Trillion for more stimulus…. Janet Yellen opens mouth and inserts foot, and of course Chuck is there to chronicle the whole thing!  Inflation is coming folks, the dark clouds are gathering, to rain on your parade…. So many printed dollars chasing so little goods….  

For What It’s Worth…. Longtime readers know my affection for anything Jim Grant says… I scour the internet to find quotes from him, because, well, he’s Jim Grant…. Need I say more? Well, this was found on and is Jim Grant at his best…. And it can be found here:

Or, here’s your snippet: “In a veritable treatise on all that was wrong with The Fed’s actions, Jim Grant – founder and editor of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer – was somehow allowed nine minutes on CNBC’s Squawk Box to put America straight on what we are facing and the consequences of these unelected and unaccountable officials terrifying experiments.

Grant began by slamming Jay Powell’s seemingly blinkered proclamation that “he sees no prospective consequences with regard the purchasing power of the dollar” as “very concerning” adding more pertinently that he thinks “that wilful ignorance is a clear-and-present-danger for creditors of The United States.”

It appears his fears are starting to be warranted as USA Sovereign credit risk is rising…

Grant, whose wife is a physician, reminded the anchors that the current actions (and consequences) have a direct analogy with the opioid crisis, as “in the early 2000s, the medical profession got it into its head that pain was the vital sign, and that no one ought to be in pain… this led to the deadly over-prescription of opioids.”

Simply put, credit and equity markets “have become administered government-set indicators, rather than sensitive- and information-rich prices… and we are paying the price for that through the misallocation of resources.”

Grant ends on a hanging chad of a rhetorical question “what do corrections correct? Is there no salutary role for recessions and bear markets?”

Of course there is, he answers, “they separate the sound from the unsound, they separate the well-financed from the over-leveraged and if we never have these episodes of economic pain, we will be much the worse for it.”

Chuck again…. Yes, you’ll get more from the link as this was a snippet of a 9 minute video there…. Be sure to check it out….

Currencies today 4/1/20 American Style: A$.6073, kiwi .5915, C$ .7025, euro 1.0941, sterling 1.2390, Swiss $1.0355, European Style: rand 17.9720, krone 10.2997, SEK 9.9834, forint 335.03, zloty 4.1784,   koruna 24.9545, RUB 78.69, yen 107.55, sing 1.4334, HKD 7.7571, INR 75.80, China 7.0875, peso 24.13, BRL 5.1942, Dollar Index 99.60,  Oil $20.63,  10-year .61%, Silver $13.98, Platinum $719.72, Palladium $2,352.77, and Gold… $1,593.91

That’s it for today…. but not this week! For the first time in 3 months I won’t have to get up early on Thursday, and drive 55 minutes north to the wound center in Port St. Lucie!  So, I’ll be back full of joy and stories of miracles tomorrow, HA! I was supposed to go for a scan next week, my first one in 4 months, but they called me to postpone it 6 weeks!  I have a sneaky feeling that in 5 weeks they’ll be calling me to postpone it further out on the calendar!  I’m re-reading James Rickard’s book: The Death of Money… I like to re-read books now and then in case I missed something, and it appears I did either miss it or forget about it, in either case I’m glad I’m re-reading it!   Sam & Dave take us to the finish line today with their song: Hold On….   Which is very good advice for what we’re all going to have to do in the near future….  I hope I didn’t tick too many of you off today and I that you have a Wonderful Wednesday! Please Be Good To Yourself!

Chuck Butler


Remembering The Orlando Money Show, Circa 2011….

March 31, 2020

* Dollar bugs fight back in the overnight markets… 

* Is This All Chuck crying wolf again? 

Good day… and a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! Well, day, whatever, of our self quarantine… The sun was much warmer yesterday, thank goodness, so I sat outside reading, eating lunch, and just enjoying the day… If I had sat outside that long in Florida, I would be sporting some red sun burn… but not here! The Missouri Sun is not as intense! Man I really wrote a lot yesterday! I think that today’s could be just as long, as I’m so frustrated with the lack of fundamentals… And I received a phone call from an old friend yesterday, I bet you can’t wait to see who it was the called me! HA! The Beatles greet me this morning with a beautiful song that’s just perfect for the early morning: Michelle…. My belle, these are words that go together well, my Michelle…

The currencies seemed to drift somewhat yesterday, with the euro slipping a bit, but the Aussie dollar (A$) and kiwi both climbing higher on the day.  However, in the overnight markets, the dollar bugs fought back and won back some lost ground, with the euro dropping back to a 1.09 handle, and so on…. I’m going to go all in on talking about the dollar in a minute, so get ready for that!…. I just wanted to take a minute here and talk about something I said in Orlando and the Orlando Money Show back in Feb. 2011…. I told people in that crowd that by the end of the current decade, the dollar would lose its reserve currency status… Well, the end of the decade came and went, without that happening, but…. But…. But, what do we have going on here? I can’t wait to talk about this! OK, so I was 6 months late… sue me! HA!

I had some good news come my way yesterday…. I was reading and looked up to see my phone lighting up with the name: Mogambo Guru calling me! WOW! It had been quite a few years since I last talked to the great Mogambo! Many Pfennig readers have sent me notes asking me how he was doing, and only because I celebrated a birthday last week, and so did he, that JMR Doug got us together once again! The great Mogambo told me that he stopped writing because there were no fundamentals in the markets any longer, no amount of economics background could prepare you for what was going on…. I told him I totally agreed, it had all become trader sentiment, with no fundamentals anywhere to be found, and with all markets manipulated in some fashion these days! We talked for about 30 minutes, so much to talk about… Family, health, markets, etc. I felt pumped up after ending the call! What a great guy! I feel so honored to be considered a friend….

Longtime readers might recall this story, but in case you forgot, here goes…. Many years ago, when writing a daily Pfennig I used a quote from the Mogambo Guru, and talked about how I loved reading his notes…. He then wrote in his letter about me, and my letter, and said, “ I don’t know why he decided to quote me, he never even sent me a fruit basket” After reading that, I called my friend Addison Wiggin at Agora Publishing, and asked him for the Mogambo’s home address, and sent him a fruit basket! He called me, we laughed until we cried, and a new friendship was formed!

OK… onward with the markets talk….  UGH!  

Recall me telling you yesterday that there was a Kentucky representative that attempted to get a voice vote on the Stimulus Bill, but failed, and then went on to say “if we’re giving away $6 Trillion why not $350 Trillion, and then give every citizen a big fat check for $1,000,0000?” Well, he was back in the news on the www.needtoknow.nets website…. Let’s check out what Rep. Massie had to say about the Stimulus Bill and how it’s going to fail….

“Thomas Massie explains that the Coronavirus stimulus bill will fail to restart the economy because it is based on the assumption that it will increase the production of goods and services, but you can’t increase something that is shut down by government decree no matter how much money you throw at it. Massie says regulations should be rolled back, especially for food, so local food markets can come back to life. Millions of dollars of produce now is rotting due to the closure of restaurants, and that is affecting many other businesses as well. Food shortages could result from this unprecedented strain on supply chains. He concludes that shutdown of the economy will cost more lives than the virus”

You know… I asked the question yesterday, “where is the Tea Party?” and I probably ruffled a few feathers, but in reality, where are they? They were supposed to be against more Government spending, and they were nowhere to be found, when the $2 Trillion stimulus bill was passed…. Wait! What? Yes, Americans need help… this Coronavirus has really knocked us for a loop…. But should we forfeiture the value of the dollar in doing so? Let me tell you this, the loss of the dollar as the reserve currency, is going to cost us much more, much, much more than having to not eat delivery pizza and other stuff for a few months?

I’m telling you now, so you might want to listen to me later, but I really would prefer that you listened to me now…. The Fed is going to be printing money unlimited…. They are going to be buying anything they want…. The Fed and Treasury have merged… This is all going straight toward, the loss of the dollar’s reserve currency… You don’t see it that way? Well, let me say this… Who was out there telling you that all that repo money the Fed was coming up with every day, was not a good thing? But the folks in the markets said, “it’s no big deal”…. But Chuck told you differently…. It was the air leaking out of the Fed’s Bubble….

So, let’s get down to the cheese that binds…. All this dollar printing is going to create debt…. Who’s going to pay for that debt? Not you, not me, right? Well, we will in a round about way… In my mind we’re going to see a huge run up of inflation… And this is going to bring us right back to the 70’s…. Only this time there will be no white knight to save the dollar… It’s going to take a major reversal of what we’re currently doing with the Fed, Treasury, Gov’t, etc. And I don’t see that coming… They can’t increase interest rates, they can’t reduce their balance sheet, and the dollar traders are seeing the writing on the wall… There’s no safety net here for the dollar, folks…. And when all the dust settles, you who have listened to me and protected your investment portfolio with Gold & Silver will be sending me notes, thanking me…. For all of you who thought I was the boy crying wolf…. Well, I hope the wolves are nice to you…

A few months ago, I talked about how I saw Stagflation returning 70’s style to our economy. With all the dollars that are going to be out there chasing goods that don’t exist, this is going to be very interesting…  

One of the things that I talked to the Mogambo Guru about yesterday was the Gold Market… You may recall his old saying about how “this investing stuff is easy, weeeee!” And then he’d talk about Gold & Silver…. He was very adamant about how the fundamentals are not in play right now with Gold…. And he would be exactly correct! I say that because over on they have an article titled: “the wild hunt for 100 ounce Gold Bars”…. The GATA folks sent me a note yesterday and they had a long essay about how physical Gold is sooooo difficult to find, and the U.S. is asking the Canadian Royal Mint to ramp up their production…. There’s no supply, but yet, Gold can’t get on a rally tracks and stay there!

One thing that sure is in play here folks is the old adage, that if you can’t get your hands on something it makes you that much more desperate to get your hands on it! People are paying huge premiums over spot for their Gold right now… It’s a crazy scene…

On a different front…. Russia announced yesterday that they are no longer going to be adding to their Gold reserves. The central bank didn’t explain the move, saying only that future decisions will depend on the state of financial markets…. See, they’re smarter than the average bear here folks…. They see the huge premiums that are being charged for physical Gold, and they’ve decided to sit on the sidelines until this all changes….

Longtime readers know that I’ve always told you to follow the money…. And in this case you might want to hold off on buying those Gold coins and bars right now…. Now don’t forget there’s a program that I’ve used many times in the past that my metals guru, Tim Smith at 1-800-926-4922 can explain and offer to you that can alleviate those huge premiums right now…. Give him a call and find out!

Gold couldn’t find a bid yesterday, and lost $4 on the day…. But…. for some unknown reason, the shiny metal is down $22 early this morning. This is the kind of trading I was talking about above…. What? Did the Fed announce that they were raising interest rates, and I didn’t hear about it? No! Of course they didn’t!  Yes, the Russian announcement yesterday could have caused some ripples, but not $26 worth of ripples!  Well, as I keep saying, buy the dips…. And this certainly appears to be a “dip”, eh? 

Remember during the housing crisis in 2007-08, when people were just leaving the keys to the house on the kitchen counter and walking away, never to return, thus giving their house and the equity they had it in to the bank?  Well, if this quarantine lasts much longer, I believe we’re going to begin to see that scenario play out once more…. And this time the credit cards with all their piled up credit card debt, will be left on the kitchen counter along with the keys to the house! 

Remember when I kept telling you that there were so many people out there that didn’t have $ in savings to help them in a rainy day? Well, the rain is pouring down outside for these folks right now…  Live by the sword, die by the sword….  I’m just saying… 

The U.S. Data Cupboard doesn’t have much for us today, but tomorrow, we’ll see the March ISM (manufacturing index) which in Feb, before the COVID-19 virus hit our shores, this index had already fallen to 44….  There’s an old adage out there in fundamentalism land, that says that two consecutive months below 45 indicates a recession….  So, all eyes will be on this data tomorrow… 

Before I head to the Big Finish today, I have this thought for you….Well… once again, I’m going to say “I told you so!” Remember a couple of weeks ago when I told you that the National Guard would be called out to make sure we stay in our houses? Well, this came in my in box yesterday, check it out! “All 50 of the nation’s governors have declared emergencies in their states and now many are starting to activate their Air and Army National Guard to help deal with the growing coronavirus pandemic.

There are now more than 11,400 Guard troops mobilized in the effort to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, officials said Wednesday afternoon.
Governors across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Washington D.C. have each mobilized components of their Army and Air National Guard to assist in their state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, eight states have now approved the use of Dual-Status Commanders, giving them the authority to command active and reserve component troops under control of a state’s governor. As a governors’ response to the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, so does the Guard response.

“Americans should know the National Guard has their backs throughout this crisis. We’re in this together, and we’ll get through this together,” said Gen. Joseph Lengyel, Chief of the National Guard Bureau.”
Well, I have this question for you General…. “if the Gov. tells you to go patrol the streets and have checkpoints for passers through, will you obey those orders?” Because if you do, then that takes out step 5 of Bill Gates Pandemic reaction plan…. I’m just saying…  

To recap…. the currencies drifted yesterday, but got sold overnight, as the dollar bugs fought back… Gold lost $4 yesterday, but is down $22 this morning, and Chuck and the great Mogambo Guru, are lost on why this is happening…  Chuck is also in agreement with Representative Thomas Massie, that the Stimulus Bill isn’t going to amount to much for individuals…. And Chuck talks to the great Mogambo Guru! 

For What It’s Worth…. Thanks to longtime reader Bob who sent me the link to this article, and it’s written by a guy that sounds like he’s been reading the Pfennig for years, as he goes after the size of debt in the country… And says: ‘The Fed can’t fix what’s broken” and it can be found here:

Or, here’s your snippet: “he Federal Reserve is poised to spray trillions of dollars into the U.S. economy once a massive aid package to fight the coronavirus and its aftershocks is signed into law. These actions are unprecedented, going beyond anything it did during the 2008 financial crisis in a sign of the extraordinary challenge facing the nation.” – Bloomberg

Currently, the Federal Reserve is in a fight to offset an economic shock bigger than the financial crisis, and they are engaging every possible monetary tool within their arsenal to achieve that goal. The Fed is no longer just a “last resort” for the financial institutions, but now are the lender for the broader economy.

There is just one problem.

The Fed continues to try and stave off an event that is a necessary part of the economic cycle, a debt revulsion.

John Maynard Keynes contended that:
“A general glut would occur when aggregate demand for goods was insufficient, leading to an economic downturn resulting in losses of potential output due to unnecessarily high unemployment, which results from the defensive (or reactive) decisions of the producers.”

In other words, when there is a lack of demand from consumers due to high unemployment, then the contraction in demand would force producers to take defensive actions to reduce output. Such a confluence of actions would lead to a recession.”

Chuck again…. One of my fave sayings is: “You can’t fix stupid”…. And I bet you can guess what group of non-elected people I’m talking about here, eh?  I’m just saying….

Currencies today 3/31/20 American Style: A$.6090, kiwi .5935, C$ .7015, euro 1.0937, sterling 1.2347, Swiss $1.0335, European Style: rand 17.8728, krone 10.4841, SEK 10.1229, forint 328.69, zloty 4.1562,   koruna 24.9335, RUB 79.53, yen 108.63, sing 1.4268, HKD 7.7532, INR 74.78, China 7.0954, peso 23.80, BRL 5.1327, Dollar Index 99.86,   Oil $21.64,   10-year .69%, Silver $13.94, Platinum $718.68, Palladium $2,330.32, and Gold… $1,600.30

That’s it for today…  Well, how’s everyone getting along in their quarantine… You know I read somewhere that quarantine is from a Latin word that means for 40 days!  So, if we use the word correctly, we’ll all be secluded in our homes for 40 days!  Well, next week is the Holy Week, for Catholics, which ends with Easter, I know for one I’ll miss seeing the grandkids all dressed up in their Easter outfits… But I guess I should be thankful that we now have facetime on our phones and tablets!  And this new thing called Zoom….  We get all the family members on it and we can see each other and talk… pretty cool…    Ok… stay healthy… wash your hands so often that your fingerprints start to disappear!  America takes us to the finish line today with their song: Lonely People….  Seems like an appropriate song, eh?  I hope you have a Tom Terrific Tuesday, and will promise to Be Good To Yourself!   Wash those hands! 

Chuck Butler


All Heck Breaks Loose!

March 3o, 2020

* Currencies finish the week on a high note!

* Chuck tries to make heads or tails of what’s going on… 

Good Day… And a Marvelous Monday to you! Well, after visiting the Port St. Lucie Wound Center on Thursday, and seeing that the graph they had put on my leg wound, had taken, and they were happy as a lark about it, but then learned that they were shutting down the center, and I would have no where to go from there, I decided to rent a car and drive home…. So, we rented a large SUV and carted back tons of stuff that we would need in our little river town home. It took 17 hours of driving but I was up to the task! I did 14 hours on Friday, and finished it up with 3 hours on Saturday morning. We then dropped off the rental, and hunkered down in our house, for the next couple of weeks… Saturday was gray, chilly, rainy, and an overall ugly day, and I immediately missed the sunshine of Florida! But, now I’m home, close to my doctors should something go awry, and Kathy is much more at ease…. Steely Dan greets me this morning with their song: Do It Again…. Which I would drive the distance again, no biggie!

Well, well, well, where do I start? There’s been so many things that have happened since we last talked last Wednesday… I really don’t know the best place to start, so I’ll just go with my normal start and see where it takes us today… I have the feeling that I’ll be writing a very long one today, with all the c— I’ve read since Wednesday! So, fill the coffee cup, and get settled this is gonna be a long one!

The currencies had a good week last week, for sure! The euro, which a week ago looked like it was headed down an ugly road, as it traded with a 1.07 handle, rallied throughout the week and ended the week with a 1.11 handle! The Aussie dollar, which last Monday was trading with a 59-cent handle is now trading with a 61-cent handle, and so on….  In the overnight markets, the euro has given back some of those gains from last week, and is back to a 1.10 handle….  But, inquiring minds want to know…. What caused this major selling of the dollar?

Well, that’s where things begin to get a jumbled up, folks, because there have been so many announcements of new measures, that I just don’t know where to start, so….. This is where I’ll start, and then move on….

OK, late Friday afternoon, the so-called Stimulus Bill, was signed by President Trump… This was no time to mess around with vetoes and such, but was the Bill, that was supposed to bring relief to American citizens that needed cash because they were out of work due to the Coronavirus measures, really going to do just that? Oh my goodness no! There were so many “pork bills” added to the Stimulus measure that it brought it up to $2 Trillion…. Let’s see now $2 Trillion divided by every citizen 330 Million, wait! I cant’ even get my phone’s calculator to go that high! So, let’s just say for good measure that, if the stimulus bill was ONLY for stimulus we’d all be getting a big fat check in the mail… But wait, when the beans have all been counted, there’s only $290 Billion allocated for checks to citizens…. Oh, you want to know what the other stuff was? Well, let me break it down for you…. $538 Billion for Big Businesses, banks etc. , of which $61 Billion is specific to the airlines….. $290 Billion for checks to citizens, and another $290 Billion in tax cuts, and then $385 Billion for “miscellaneous, and here’s where it gets dicey folks…. Oh, but wait, there is $25 Million allocated to the Kennedy Center…. What the hell does that have to do with the Coronavirus Pandemic? I shake my head in disgust, folks….

OK, on top of the $2 Trillion in extra debt that we’ll be adding this year… Did you hear about what the Fed has been given? Ok, hold onto to your seats here….. First of all the Fed was granted a waiver to suspend the Sunshine Law for their meetings…. Not familiar with the Sunshine Law? I as a former Alderman for my river town, know all about the Sunshine Law! Basically, the Fed can now hold meetings to discuss who’s getting what, in private, and not have to report who gets what, in the terms of bailouts, to the public! Ok, I hear you saying, that’s bad, but what amount are we talking about here? How about $4.5 Trillion?

So, by my back of the napkin calculations…. The Debt in this country is headed to $30 Trillion by the end of this year…. That’s $23.6 Trillion now on the books, plus $6.5 Trillion that’s going to be used to pay off the people from rioting, and that’s exactly what that $290 Billion is all about folks, there’s no two ways about it!

So, a representative from Kentucky, who tried to delay the vote on the Stimulus bill to ask questions about it, but failed, did say if we’re going into debt by $6.5 Trillion why not make it $350 Trillion, and then send a check for a $1 Million to each citizen?

You know, I believe that Japan has showed us that debt doesn’t matter until it does…. And that’s where we are here in the U.S. We have become comfortably numb with the numbers that are spewed out nearly every single day now, that up the ante on our debt… But one day, sons and daughters this is going to become a very BIG DEAL… And when it does… Got Gold?

Yes, I believe that there are some in Congress that want to do the right thing here, but they are so far and few in between that it just doesn’t mean anything any longer…. What happened to the Tea Party?

So, that’s the beginning strokes on what has happened since last Wednesday, should I go on? Isn’t that enough, to make your dander stand up? OK twist my arm…. I’ll continue….

I really got angry when I heard/ read this piece the other day…. “These are all temporary measures, that will abate once the pandemic is gone”…. Really? You mean you hadn’t been watching the Fed’s moves before the COVID-19 virus was still a China “thing”? The Fed was pumping Billions of dollars into the repo market on a daily basis, and no one but me, was asking what the heck was going on? The Fed’s bubbles that they had been blowing since 2000, were already leaking air, and they were ready to pop, folks…. Trust me on that statement…. I kept telling you that things were going awry, just watch the Fed’s actions and the bond market moves, and then asking if you had Gold….

I bet some of you were thinking, “Oh that’s just Chuck carrying on again about debt, and making mountains out of mole hills” And that’s fine…. But now you’ve got to see the writing on the wall, right? Chuck wasn’t just carrying on again! He was warning you of all this, and this COVID-19 virus has just added to the air leaking out of the Fed’s latest bubble…. Stocks were so overvalued that it bordered being ridiculous…. All markets are manipulated now, and still they can’t get the results from stocks if they came in with…. a bazooka and blew away the sellers!

Another thing I kept harping about being bad for the markets is the stock buybacks by Corporations… They have helped pump air into the stock market’s bubble, to the tune of $4.5 Trillion…. Imagine, ( a great song) if you will that instead of buying back their corporation’s stock, that the $4.5 Trillion was put into their Corporations, buying equipment, production lines, paying workers, expanding their trademark, etc. Wouldn’t we be far better off at this point in the proceedings that we are? I sure think we would be! But Bubble blowing has been our favorite thing to do since the’s …. 

This coming Blowup was as noticeable as a man with a hatchet in his forehead, but people just kept buying…. Thinking the Fed had their backs, and the Fed tried, but just like Humpty Dumpty, All the Fed’s men and all the Fed’s plans couldn’t put the stock market back together again….

Did you know that Bill Gates, held a conference last year, and mapped out the steps that would be taken in a pandemic situation? Each step has been taken up to the “blame Trump” step, with the next two being, no wait, let’s first go through the steps…. 1. Fear…. 2. Information censorship… 3. Shut down and social distancing… 4. Blame Trump… and now the next two… 5. Martial Law and checkpoints… and 6. Vaccines….

Now, I could very well put on my tin foil cap right now and talk about all the things that could go wrong with Vaccines, but let’s try to keep this a family letter, and say that it won’t get that far….

Speaking of tin foil caps…. Here’s a rumor that was going around on Twitter this past weekend, that has my spider sense tingling, and it was taken from an article posted on check this out if you dare….

“According to the Bloomberg piece, the Fed will finance a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to allow them to buy commercial paper, asset-backed securities, corporate bonds and bond ETFs in the secondary market:

“The Treasury, using the Exchange Stabilization Fund, will make an equity investment in each SPV and be in a ‘first loss’ position. What does this mean? In essence, the Treasury, not the Fed, is buying all these securities and backstopping of loans; the Fed is acting as banker and providing financing. The Fed hired BlackRock Inc. to purchase these securities and handle the administration of the SPVs on behalf of the owner, the Treasury.

“In other words, the federal government is nationalizing large swaths of the financial markets. The Fed is providing the money to do it. BlackRock will be doing the trades.”

Chuck again… this would basically merge the Fed and Treasury together, thus ending the Fed as we know it… But even the Fed as we knew it would be better than a merged Fed and Treasury, folks! Trust me on that one…. At least the way it is now, we can see what the Fed does, and trade off of it…. I’m just saying….

OK…. Back to our normal programming…. I told you this would be a long one! Gold had a good week last week, and looks to be heading higher from the looks of things… And why wouldn’t Gold be heading higher? Debt is exploding higher, there are so many “unknowns” that Gold is the only real thing out there these days…. Of course I also mean Silver, but longtime readers know that I include Silver when I say, “Gold”….

The one thing I do feel best describes where we are right now in this country, is that… it’s impossible to keep up with who’s getting what, when and by how much… The important thing for us to recognize, is that we’re only just getting started… I mean that truly! We’re just getting started, even with the huge bazooka the Fed used last week! 

I read this past weekend that the Gold mines have reopened, but the lack of supply in Gold & Silver has to be so behind, that it’s almost ahead! HA! So, it will take some time to iron out the supply chain problems here…. That should keep Gold & Silver well bid, in my book any way!

OK, another reason for the dollar’s plunge last week was the weak economic data…. For instance, remember the U of Michigan Consumer Confidence index? That’s a blast from the past, right? I had thought they stopped printing it! But apparently not, because the report showed the largest one-month drop in March! This data set hadn’t seen a one-month drop like the one this month since Rocktober 2008!!!!!! That should just about tell you where the consumer’s thought are….

Also, the Moody’s Upgrades and Downgrades report last week showed the downgrades going from 0 to 69 in one week! Now that Has to tell you something, right?

The Data Cupboard also had the first week’s effects of the Covid-19 business shutdown…. 3.28 Million people filed for unemployment in one week! That’s 5 time, let me say that again 5 times the previous 1 week record! That was amazingly quick, eh? What’s in store for us this week? I saw where a Fed Head said that he saw unemployment reaching 20% here in the U.S.!!!! And once again the mantra is that “this is only temporary”…. Would that be the same “temporary” as the announced moved from a Gold Standard was supposed to be? I’m just saying…

To recap…. It’s a crazy mixed up world we live in… as they say “may you live in interesting times”…. But the world’s financing is changing right before our eyes folks… Have you gotten your journal to keep track of things daily like I suggested last week?  The currencies have shown some life in the last week, along with Gold…  And all these things going on are weighing heavily on the dollar….

For What It’s Worth…. OK, with all that’s going on, this article will only add to the madness….. It’s a well respected analyst, Ray Dalio, and his report on LinkedIn,  It’s quite long… and it can be found here:

Or, here’s your snippet: “I believe that the times ahead will be radically different from the times we have experienced so far in our lifetimes, though similar to many other times in history.

I believe this because about 18 months ago I undertook a study of the rises and declines of empires, their reserve currencies, and their markets, prompted by my seeing a number of unusual developments that hadn’t happened before in my lifetime but that I knew had occurred numerous times in history. Most importantly, I was seeing the confluence of 1) high levels of indebtedness and extremely low interest rates, which limits central banks’ powers to stimulate the economy, 2) large wealth gaps and political divisions within countries, which leads to increased social and political conflicts, and 3) a rising world power (China) challenging the overextended existing world power (the US), which causes external conflict. The most recent analogous time was the period from 1930 to 1945. This was very concerning to me.

As I studied history, I saw that this confluence of events was typical of periods that existed as roughly 10- to 20-year transition phases between big economic and political cycles that occurred over many years (e.g., 50-100 years). These big cycles were comprised of swings between 1) happy and prosperous periods in which wealth is pursued and created productively and those with power work harmoniously to facilitate this and 2) miserable, depressing periods in which there are fights over wealth and power that disrupt harmony and productivity and sometimes lead to revolutions/wars. These bad periods were like cleansing storms that got rid of weaknesses and excesses, such as too much debt, and returned the fundamentals to a sounder footing, albeit painfully. They eventually caused adaptations that made the whole stronger, though they typically changed who was on top and the prevailing world order.

The answers to this question can only be found by studying the mechanics behind similar cases in history—the 1930-45 period but also the rise and fall of the British and Dutch empires, the rise and fall of Chinese dynasties, and others—to unlock an understanding of what is happening and what is likely to happen.[1] That was the purpose of this study. Then the pandemic came along, which was another one of those big events that never happened to me but happened many times before my lifetime that I needed to understand better.

While it might seem odd that an investment manager who is required to make investment decisions on short time frames would pay so much attention to long-term history, through my experiences I have learned that I need this perspective to do my job well. My biggest mistakes in my career came from missing big market moves that hadn’t happened in my lifetime but had happened many times before. These mistakes taught me that I needed to understand how economies and markets have worked throughout history and in faraway placesso that I could learn the timeless and universal mechanics underlying them and develop timeless and universal principles for dealing with them well.

The first of these big surprises for me came in 1971 when I was 22 years old and clerking on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as a summer job. On a Sunday night, August 15, 1971, President Nixon announced that the US would renege on its promise to allow paper dollars to be turned in for gold. This led the dollar to plummet. As I listened to Nixon speak, I realized that the US government had defaulted on a promise and that money as we knew it had ceased to exist. That couldn’t be good, I thought. So on Monday morning I walked onto the floor of the exchange expecting pandemonium as stocks took a dive. There was pandemonium all right, but not the sort I expected. Instead of falling, the stock market jumped about 4 percent. I was shocked. That is because I hadn’t experienced a currency devaluation before. In the days that followed, I dug into history and saw that there were many cases of currency devaluations that had similar effects on stock markets. By studying further, I figured out why, and I learned something valuable that would help me many times in my future. It took a few more of those painful surprises to beat into my head the realization that I needed to understand all the big economic and market moves that had happened in the last 100+ years and in all major countries.”

Chuck again…. OK, this is very long article but well worth the time it takes to read it, believe me, on that one! I hope you have the time to get through it all, Ray Dalio is very good at what he does and says…

Currencies today 3/30/20 American Style: A$.6130, kiwi .6007, C$ .7070, euro 1.1058, sterling 1.2433, Swiss $1.0455, European Style: rand 17.8212, krone 10.5808, SEK 9.9754, forint 324.28, zloty 4.1076,    koruna 24.6508, RUB 78.71, yen 108.00, sing 1.4244, HKD 7.7539, INR 75.00, China 7.0853, peso 23.82, BRL 5.0965, Dollar Index 98.96,  Oil $20.33,   10-year .64%, Silver $14.05, Platinum $731.18, Palladium $2,240.13, and Gold… $1,621.73

That’s it for today… I told you I was going to get carried away this morning!  The thing that I think gets lost among the stock jockeys and non-Gold holders is this…. All these bailouts, and it certainly seems as though everyone under the sun and moon is going to receive a bailout, the only way this gets done, is to create dollars out of thin air…. That’s right the dollar creation machine is going to be doing some heavy lifting…. So, think about that for a minute… What did they teach you in high school? That when you have a lot of something that the price drops, right? Well, so a “lot of dollars” are going to be created from thin air…. Just what do you think that’s going to do the dollar’s value? A fave saying of mine when we’re out and spending money is that, “not to worry it’s only money”…. But in this case, we had better begin worrying, folks, because… our currency is about to get sent to the currency woodshed….   I just had to finish with that… sorry about that for all of you who just read the first and last paragraphs!  Jimmy Buffett takes us to the finish line today with his song: Stars Fell On Alabama….   I great “morning song”…  I hope you have a Marvelous Monday, and please Be Good To Yourself… And Practice social distancing!  and keep your hands washed! and be healthy! 

Chuck Butler

Congress Finally Passes A Stimulus Bill….

March 25, 2020 

* Currencies, can’t add to Tuesday’s gains… 

* Chuck tells us the history of stimulus plans…. 

Good day… And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! I had a so-so day yesterday, having to remain inside for most of the morning to answer email, etc. But by noon, I was outside in the sun, soaking up Vitamin D, and baking any remnants of the Coronavirus out of me, that is if there were any to begin with! I figure a guy like me with my health history, I’m a walking time bomb for this virus…. It’ll get me sooner or later. I’m hoping for later as I read last night that Doctors are having great success treating COVID-19 patients with a drug called: Hydroxychloroquine used in combination with Zithromax. And some are having success with just the Hydroxychloroquine…. So, more power to them and the drug! I know you didn’t open up the letter today thinking that I would spend the day talking about what the TV news guys have been talking about non-stop for days… The Coronavirus! So, I’m going to stop right there! Before I go any further, will you love me…. HA! A little Paradise by the Dashboard Lights for us this morning! And that was right out of my head! The actual song that greeted me this morning was from Bad Finger singing their song: Come And Get It…. If you want it here it is come and get, but you better hurry ‘cause it’s going fast….

I did a lot of reading yesterday… and in my reading I came across an article that talked about how the Coronavirus has shut down many Gold / Silver mines, and that’s creating a real shortage of metals, as the Gold chunks are not getting mined and sent to the mints to be fabricated/ coined or made into bars. I touched on this last week when I gave you instructions on how to still obtain physical Gold and hold it free of safekeeping charges…. If you happened to miss class that day…. I suggest you call my favorite metals guru, Tim Smith at 1-800-026-4922, and let him explain the program that does what I just touched on….

Oh, and Gold had another great day yesterday, marking two great days in a row this week…  Gold’s rise yesterday was $84!!!!!!  So, if you did miss class last week, and missed out on buying Gold about $100 cheaper than it is this morning, well… what can I tell you, other than, “You snooze, you lose”…. But there’s still time, so don’t you fret, ‘cause you aint seen nothing yet! At least that’s what I’m thinking is going to happen here….

Well, Chuck’s thoughts that maybe we were seeing Coordinated Currency Intervention 2.0 on Monday, saw some damaging moves in the currencies yesterday, as they moved downward, after it was erroneously said that the Stimulus Deal was nearing passage… The markets bit on it and took the bait and ran… But like I said it was erroneously stated, the Stimulus bill stumbled, and fumbled once again as this time it was another “addon” that got questioned….

So, I hear the drums beating this morning that the lawmakers finally passed a stimulus bill…. I don’t think, in the end it will make a hill of beans difference in the recession that’s now upon us… But it supposedly will get some cash into some peoples’ collective hands that have been told to stay home and not work….

In my opinion, you’ll be able to look back upon this at some point in the future, and throw it in the heap pile that includes, tax rebates checks, cash for clunkers, and a few other misguided stimulus programs….

Why am I so negative about this working? Because since 1995, I’ve listened to the Japanese talk about their newest stimulus plan to help pull the Japanese economy out of the dumps….  They did this over and over again, to where I don’t even pay attention to them any longer… Japan became the Boy Who Cried Wolf!   And where are they now 25 years later? Still in the dumps! And then add to that the fact that the previous stimulus plans by the U.S. Gov’t haven’t really amounted to much in the way of economic strength…. And mix it all together, and do the hokey-pokey and turn yourself around, that’s what it’s all a-bout!

I waded through a dozen or so emails from the Food Delivery companies, to restaurants trying to get get people to order food to be delivered or taken out…. They’re hurtin’ for certain folks…. This has go to get better for the restaurants soon, or they’ll be turning out the lights, ‘cause the party is over….

Longtime reader, Bob, sent me a link to an article about the Global economy. The article is very long, so it can’t be featured in the FWIW, today, but I can tell you that the guy was hitting on the same concept I was hitting on last week about the thigh bone connected to the knee bone, and the knee bone connected to the shin bone, when describing what it will be like if the Oil industry can’t make it…. We’ve already had one major Oil operation close shop… And there will be more, and all their suppliers, etc, down the line will be hurt too…. The same thing with the Global economy… A Tsnunami in Thailand can disrupt a sector, because of one item made there, and the shutting down of a pharmacy in the U.K. last year left the U.S. without a flu virus drug….

So, if you think about the global economy and how closely tied they are together, then you see what can happen, when the dominoes begin to fall in one area of the globe, but  is felt in another area completely across the globe! How did we get to this point? Well the article does explain how U.S. Corporations years ago, saw the opportunity to run more cost effectively by offloading their production line, and instead work on their marketing of the product….

Ok, enough of that discussion, but it all ties in with what I’ve been saying for so long now it was beginning to grow hair, and that is that the next recession is going to be a doozy…. Worse than the Great Recession of 2007—8…. You do remember that don’t you? The collapse of Lehman Brothers, who weren’t dealt with the same way a collapsing Bear Stearns was earlier…. Then the giant brokerage house Merril Lynch had to be bought by Bank of America? How the Chrysler bond holders were left holding the bag, as they had to get in line behind the Unions, (a deal worked by the then President) And so on…. It was really ugly, and quite a few corporations were teetering and close to extinction…. Well, this time they may not be so lucky, but then The Fed has their Unlimited QE going now and they’re open for business even for Corporate bonds! And ETF’s… And outright stock purchases will be next, as the Fed will then be in the business of deciding who gets a helping hand and who doesn’t!

So, the news of the Stimulus Bill passing, finally I might add, has Gold Traders taking profits this morning, and Gold is down $21 in the early trading…  But not to worry, folks…. as the FWIW article this morning will tell you… Use the dips in the Gold price as an opportunity to buy cheaper than it was….  

OK, I told you above that my thoughts on the Currency Intervention 2.0 were derailed by the talk of the stimulus bill passing, and now it has…. Now, what? Can the currencies continue to improve with the dollar rally being halted, for now?  I guess we’ll have to wait-n-see….  The Aussie dollar (A$) really rallied strongly yesterday and is trading with a 60-cent handle again…. I was really taken aback by the downward move in the A$ last week, when for a couple of days it traded at a cheaper price than its kissin’ cousin across the Tasman, kiwi…. But order has been restored, and these two are trading with the normal spread between them…. Whew!  

Even the beaten down Russian ruble got on the rally tracks for a bit yesterday… But with the price of Oil now trading with a $23 handle, this rally may be short-lived…  

The price of Palladium is back above $2,000 after getting the snot knocked out of it last week, the metal that is said to be in short supply, has returned to rallying….  But in reality this doesn’t play well in the sand with the thought that a very deep recession is upon us… but in this this day of opposites, maybe it does play well…. 

The U.S. Data Cupboard yesterday had some very disheartening data, that usually isn’t paid much attention to, as it’s the MARKIT version of the ISM (manufacturing and services sectors indexes)…. the MARKIT version of services dropped from the sky folks… I mean it dropped from a 49 figure in Feb. to a 39 figure this month!  The actual manufacturing index from MARKIT also showed a drop below 50 to 49….  So, according to these folks, the economy is falling off a cliff… I’m just saying…

Today’s Data Cupboard will have the Durable & Capital Goods Orders for February, which was before the COVID-19 outbreak hit the shores here in the U.S. But that won’t help these two if they print the way I think they will, and that is both with a negative figure….  

Before I head to the Big Finish today, I wanted to mention something that I’ve talked about before that’s being brought up again… And that is what’s called a Debt Jubilee….  I saw an article by Paul Craig Roberts yesterday where he believes that this is the only way we can get out of the mess we’re in today….  For everyone’s sake, let’s not even begin to harbor thoughts of a Debt Jubilee being something real….   I’m just saying…

To recap…. The euro wasn’t able to hold its gains yesterday, after it was rumored that the stimulus bill was getting ready to be passed… A couple of currencies did rally, the A$ and rubles, and others but not so much to be noticed…  The Stimulus Bill DID pass last night and has caused some profit taking in Gold this morning, after the shiny metal gained $84 yesterday!  Chuck explains why he doesn’t think the Stimulus Bill will much affect on the recession we’ve now entered…. 

For What It’s Worth….  OK…. longtime readers know that I have this great dislike for Lola… (aka Goldman Sachs) But there are times when Lola, who gets what Lola wants, says things that I agree with… And today’s FWIW, curtesy of the folks at MarketWatch, tells us that Lola is bullish on Gold…. And it can be found here:

Or, here’s your snippet: ” The current coronavirus-induced economic and financial market turmoil is seemingly the perfect environment for gold.

“We have long argued that gold is the currency of last resort, acting as a hedge against currency debasement when policy makers act to accommodate shocks such as the one being experienced now,” said analysts at Goldman Sachs led by Jeffrey Currie.

Yet while the yellow metal GC00, 1.222% has done far better than other assets, it has slipped 2% over the last month.

The Goldman analysts, with a 12-month price target of $1800 an ounce, said that is about to change, thanks to the Federal Reserve’s aggressive bond purchase plan unveiled on Monday, in which the U.S. central bank said it would buy as many Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities as needed to keep financial markets running smoothly.

“We are beginning to see a similar pattern emerge as gold prices stabilized over the past week and rallied [Monday] as the Fed introduced new liquidity injection facilities with this morning’s announcement,” they said.

The analysts that said with the Fed easing funding stresses, focus will likely shift to the large size of the Fed balance sheet expansion, increase in developed market fiscal deficits and concerns about the sustainability of the European monetary union.

“We believe this will likely lead to debasement concerns similar to the post [Global Financial Crisis] period,” they said. “

Chuck Again….  The important thing to remember folks, is when a Big Investment House such as Lola says you need to buy something it tells you that they are long the “something”, and they need you to buy to make their investment more profitable…..   But in this case, Lola is also helping investors who would normally not listen to anyone else but Lola…. I’m just saying… 

Currencies today 3/25/20 American Style: A$.6005, kiwi .5835, C$ .6937, euro 1.1825, sterling 1.1825, Swiss $1.0202, European Style: rand 17.4208, krone 10.8512, SEK 10.0676, forint 327.12, zloty 4.2188,    koruna 25.3050, RUB 78.76, yen 111.30, sing 1.4457, HKD 7.7537, INR 76.08, China 7.0694, peso 24.60, BRL 5.1113, Dollar Index 101.42,  Oil $23.62,    10-year .82%, Silver $14.22, Platinum $716.30, Palladium $2,015.10, and Gold… $1,610.84

That’s it for today and this week….  I really dislike having to end the week on Wednesday for writing, but with my current situation, I have no other choice… When I go home in  a couple of week, things might change, I don’t know my wound center schedule there yet…  I had a discussion on the deck yesterday with a couple of “stock lovers”…. Who thought the selling was done and they were buying again…. I just shook my head and thought, that they were going to get taken to the cleaners…. But they wouldn’t listen to me explain history of these things to them, so I just stopped talking and let them carry on…  So…. I’m excited to see what the Apligraph did in the last week, when I go to the wound center tomorrow….   Remember back in the day when you would get a CT scan or MRI and have to wait a couple days before they had the results?  Well, this is sorta like that, as they wrap up my leg in 4 layers of wrap and then each week they cut it off and see what’s going on with my leg…. And tomorrow I get to see that the graph did!  I’m so hoping that it took and has closed up the remaining two spots on my leg, so that this summer I can enjoy the pool once again, and stop having to wear this soft cast on my leg!   OK… The Band ACE takes us to the finish line today with their song: How Long…..  “how long has this been going on?” I hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday and will Be Good To Yourself! 

Chuck Butler


The Fed Throws The Dollar Under A Bus…

March 24, 2020

* Currencies finally show some life on Monday… 

* Chuck thinks this is currency intervention 2.0…. 

Good day… And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! Well, the nurse at the wound center cut off my soft cast, and looked at the graph and said, “it looks great, you’ve had very little drainage to mess with it, and I’m looking forward to what the doc has to say on Thursday…. I was greeted at the wound center by a nurse with a forehead laser thermometer. I was told to stand still, so they could take my temperature. If I had a temp at 100 or above, I was to turn around and go home…. So, having passed the initial test, I then proceeded to the waiting room, only to find one chair… All the other chairs had been removed…. So, I would be the only one in the room! I loved that they took everything so seriously, as they should…. Jackson Browne greets me this morning with his song: For A Dancer…. “In the end there is one dance, you’ll do alone”….

Well, the currencies finally showed some life yesterday, but after moving higher all day, they gave back some of their gains at the end of the day… UGH! Maybe it was the news that the Fed is pulling out all the stops, and will now buy ETFs…. So, basically, the Fed is now the “lender of last resort” to Main Street, not just Wall Street! The Fed said that “aggressive action is needed” and that’s the reason they have begun “unlimited Quantitative Easing, or all investments buying, not just bonds, or in the end it’s really…. Printing a boat load of dollars to pay for this all…. And that “Unlimited QE” could be what scared some of the dollar bugs right back into their hole in the wall boards!

Gold had a good day, gaining $50 on the day, and is up another $35 in the early trading….  Hey! If the Fed and the U.S. Gov’t is going to throw the dollar under the bus, why wouldn’t Gold rise? I have a longtime reader that gets angry with me when I say that Gold has gained on a day…. He always says that Gold didn’t gain, dollar’s lost…. Without playing semantics here, we’re both right!

Getting back to the currencies for a moment… Yesterday, I told you that my spider sense was tingling for a coordinated currency intervention, ala the Plaza Accord in 1985…  If you recall that time period, the dollar had reached some very lofty heights, and the Finance Ministers of the world met at the Plaza hotel in NYC and expressed their fears that the U.S. was getting to deep into debt. It was agreed at that meeting that the dollar would be weakened, and the German marks, Swiss francs, and Japanese yen would be bought.  This would be considered currency intervention 1.01…. 

From the action yesterday, I have the feeling that the coordinated currency intervention came in the form of Fed Announcements…  Let’s just call it currency intervention 2.0…..  I’m just saying, that things are pretty suspicious here, don’t you think? 

Did you hear what Fed St. Louis President James Bullard had to say yesterday? Well, here it is if in case you missed it: “Unemployment could reach 30% in the U.S.” – James Bullard…

And while all this was playing out before our eyes…. What did Congress do to help the mom and pops of the country who have been ordered to stay home and not work to get paid? Nothing, absolutely nothing! I was watching a news feed on TV on Sunday (no sports, what’s a guy to do?) And President Trump was saying, “The stimulus bill is ready to go, but I’m afraid what will happen is that every politician with an agenda will tryi to hang it on this bill”…. And I thought to myself, “no way this could happen at this time, Congress has to come together to provide life support now, they have to be able to see that politics can’t be played at this time”…..

Well, I guess I was wrong… Because that’s exactly what happened to the life support bill… Politics got played, and nothing was accomplished… So, you know those checks that POTUS and the Treasury Sec. were talking about last week, going out this week? Well, there’s been a delay…. Come on Senators and Representatives, this is not the time for these games to be played… Get it through your collective thick skulls, now!

The Fed can pull all the shenanigans it wants to, but none of what they are doing, and let me repeat that, none of what the Fed is doing, is going to help individuals one iota! Yes, the Fed is making sure the credit market is fully funded…. But what good will that be when there’s no cash in the bank to go buy groceries, gas and giggles? 

Being the smart Alec that I am… I just had an awful thought about the Fed’s “Unlimited QE”….  Does that mean that the Fed can buy old bicycles? I mean they’re trash…  And Cash for trash, is the moniker for the Fed’s programs…   Us poor taxpayers…. we will be expected to do the heavy lifting when the life support check go out, and they will, eventually… 

Let’s talk about the price of Oil and what’s going on there a bit…  I told you yesterday that Goldman Sachs thinks the price of Oil will fall to $15… But Shoot Rudy, why at $15, why not at $1?  Or $5?  Whatever it falls to will be welcomed at the gas pumps by individuals…  I saw something the other day that brought me back to when I was first driving many years ago… Competing gas stations catty-corner from each other having a gas price war, to see who could go the lowest in price!   There was one gas station down here with regular gas at $2.07 and the one on the opposite corner had regular gas for $1.99…  And the prices had just changed!  

I know this price drop of Oil is bad for all sorts of reasons, but the one good reason is that individuals get cheaper gas, at a time when they really need to conserve their funds…  

OK…  The U.S. Data Cupboard had a regional manufacturing index that was different that the two we saw last week that had collapsed in Feb. This time the Chicago Index was better than the previous print…  I don’t see how that could happen, given the rot on the vine of the Philly and Empire indexes…  But they say it happened that way, so I guess we have to take their word for it, right?  (HA! Trick Question! Of course we don’t have to take their word for it! They’re all ninnies in my book! ) 

I keep getting this gnawing feeling that I want to talk about something, but it’s not coming to me, so I guess I’ll just take my ball and bat and go home…. I mean go to the Big Finish! 

To recap…  The currencies finally showed some life yesterday, and Chuck thinks it was coordinated currency intervention 2.0…   The Fed has announced that they will buy anything from anyone that’s ailing… No wait, not just anyone, only the Casino Banks…  But that list now a-days is a ( in my best Elmer Fudd voice) Veerry, Veerry, long….  Have you seen a rabbit? 

For What It’s Worth…  Well… We all know Deutsche Bank is in trouble these days right? Shoot Rudy, when I was still with EverBank one of my monthly newsletters featured all of Deutsche Bank’s problems…  OK, so that’s established… So, when I saw this title in Ed Steer’s letter this morning, I just HAD to read it and include it in today’s FWIW…. This is an analysts from Deutsche Bank telling us that helicopter money will lead to disaster, but not for Gold….     It’s quite long….  And it can be found here:

Or, here’s your snippet: ” Now that helicopter money has finally arrived, and bizarrely has brought with it that blast-from-the-past idiocy that is the trillion-dollar coin – which does nothing more than remind the population that money, like any other consensus construct, is just an illusion and depends on “faith and credit” and an increasingly grotesque one at that reliant on such “in your face” gimmicks as minting platinum coins to bailout the world – the discussions of what the monetary endgame (with even deflation god Albert Edwards admitting that his iconic “Ice Age” is about to melt under the red-hot heat of paradropped cash) will look like have begun in earnest.

Doing it part to kindle this debate, no pun intended, are Deutsche Bank strategist Oliver Harvey and Robin Winkler who have published a report covering the two aspects of the helicopter money debate. And since we are confident that readers can find the happy ending version on countless other pro-paradrop forums, typically those run by socialist “island-dwelling traders” who have never actually traded (and their drug-delivery skills it turns out were also dismal) and who have no concept of how money or credit actually works, we will focus on the one that captures accurately what will happen on short notice: hyperinflation.

So for everyone curious what the hyper-inflationary endgame looks like, here it is, courtesy of DB’s Oliver Harvey…

“It should worry us that policymakers and academics think providing massive stimulus is the solution. This is because policymakers appear to be attempting to shift demand back to where it was a couple of months ago, at the same time as holding supply fixed. To put it another way, if the government tries to keep spending at levels before lock-downs began, while at the same time keeping lock-downs in place, there will be simply more money chasing after significantly fewer goods and services. The result of this will be inflation, and a lot of it.

This might seem like an absurd argument given that market inflation expectations – the price of inflation linked bonds – have fallen since the crisis began. But, it is perfectly consistent to say that even though this crisis ultimately originated with a supply shock, the market has up until now expected demand to fall somewhat more in response. What matters is that at present supply is inelastic – unlike in traditional Keynesian formulations – because while the government might be handing out $100 dollar bills it won’t be allowing workers to work regular days, restarting flights or reopening factories until the virus subsides.

What would be disastrous is if governments embarked on New Deal style spending program via monetary financing at a time when it is imposing stringent supply constraints on the economy. The result may be hyperinflation, and end up doing more harm to people’s living standards than nothing at all.

A good hedge would be to buy gold, as well as inflation linked bonds in the U.S. and Euro Area, which are currently trading at all time lows.”

Chuck Again…. Yes, this guy is simply saying the same thing I’ve already said, that if the U.S. wants to throw the dollar under a bus, then Gold will be there to take over the dollar’s strength… 

Currencies today 3/24/20  American Style: A$.5935, kiwi .5803, C$ .6940, euro 1.0886, sterling 1.1788, Swiss $1.0289, European Style: rand 17.5705, krone 10.9067, SEK 10.1311, forint 321.61, zloty 4.2157,    koruna 25.4370, RUB 80.16, yen 110.47, sing 1.4460, HKD 7.7545, INR 76.04, China 7.0947, peso 24.67, BRL 5.0831, Dollar Index 101.15,   Oil $24.66,   10-year .81%, Silver $14.04, Platinum $687.84, Palladium $1,587.92, and Gold… $1,587.92

That’s it for today…. I remember now what I wanted to talk about, so I’ll save it for tomorrow. Only this time I’ll send myself an email note reminding me of what I wanted to say!  I was talking to my friend, Ski, yesterday, and told him how I had told people to start a journal of the daily events during the mortgage and financial meltdowns… And that I think it would be a good idea to start another journal recording the daily events during this crisis… One day you’ll be at a family function, and someone will say, “how’d that all happen again?” and you can pull out your journal and walk them through it! Otherwise all the facts get fuzzy, and exaggerated and so on…. So start your journal! What else do you have to do these days? HA!  The ocean this morning is as calm as a lake in the morning… But no one can be out there enjoying it! UGH! OK… a Big Time Classic this morning takes us to the finish line: Aliotta Haynes and Jeremiah sing their song: Lake Shore Drive…  I hope you have a Tom Terrific Tuesday, and will Be Good To Yourself! 

Chuck Butler

Waiting To Hear About The Stimulus Package…

March 23, 2020 

* Dollar bugs continue to hold the conn… 

* Chuck’s spider sense is tingling…. 

Good Day… And a Marvelous Monday to you… Yes, I’m still here, writing to you from S. Florida, where we haven’t seen anything other than sunny, blue skies with temps in the 80’s for 10 days, and the forecast for the next 10 days, doesn’t change! Unfortunately, I may be going home sooner than I had planned (April 4). My wife is very concerned about me and my health right now and wants to get me home asap…. I’m fighting her tooth and nail, to remain here where the sun is raining down on us daily… But, I see her logic, as I don’t really have any doctors down here, other than the wound center doctor, and if I were to get sick with this virus, it would be better for me at home…. Neil Young and Crazy Horse greets me this morning with their song from the live at Filmore East album: Cowgirl In The Sand… On a sidebar I was singing this song to my darling granddaughter, Delaney Grace, last week, and she just gave me one of those, “ General, did you know you were singing out loud , looks”….

Another day, another dollar rally last Friday, and this morning the euro is trading with a 1.07 handle, barely that is, it hasn’t been this low since the days when it was going upward! The Dollar Index is trading with a 102 handle, and is looking like it will test the highs on the dollar index that were created during the last strong dollar trend, at 111! And in the 80’s during the strong dollar trend then, the Dollar Index climbed to 126! So… what I’m telling you folks, is that we could very well see this play out to those previous level, which if it did, would take the euro below parity to the dollar, something it hasn’t done in 20 years….

Has anyone that’s been buying dollars seen the Fed’s Balance Sheet lately? Remember the one everyone fretted about when it was $4.5 Trillion? Well, don’t look now but the Fed’s Balance Sheet is 4.67 Trillion, and the Fed just got started on buying bonds last week!

So everyone is on pins and needles this morning waiting for the announcements from Central Banks around the world, including the Fed, and their respective gov’t’s, regarding their plans to combat each country’s economy shutting down to combat the COVID-19 virus. What’s it gonna be boys?   I’ll tell you right here, right now, that my spider sense is tingling, and we could very well see, in the next days to week, an announcement of a coordinated currency intervention, ala the Plaza Accord from 1985…  

You see, the dollar’s strength right now is not a good thing for the countries of the world, and that’s a discussion for another day… but just be good with the idea that countries around the world are suffering greatly, with their respective economies in the dumps and the dollar soaring….  I’m just saying…  

So, have you heard the news about the senators that sold stock right after being briefed on the Coronavirus, and therefore got out when the getting was good? That news just makes me madder than a wet hen, folks! The senators were being asked to step down… Step down? Shoot Rudy, in my book that’s what called “insider trading”, and they should be being fitted for an orange jumpsuit right now!  But we all know that won’t happen in today’s world….  Just for grins I Googled Senators and Representatives that were sent to jail…. And the list is very, very long!   But that was back in the day, before the swamp got so deep! 

Last week I left you with my scratching my balding head over the rise in bond yields, when it looked for all intents and purposes that those yields would continue to drop, with a the flight to safety…. Well, scratch no more…. It didn’t take me long after hitting send on Wednesday, to figure out what’s going on…. I had a head slap V-8 moment! OUCH! (I slapped too hard!) Remember when I used to tell you all that the only way to get on top of all the debt the U.S. was accumulating, was to inflate the debt away? So, all I had to do was go back in time, and think about what I was saying back in the day… You know long before we hit $23 Trillion in National Debt, with our country’s contribution to the Debt pile most likely being over $2 Trillion this year, given the costs of the Covid-19 virus stimulation. So, first we’re going to go down the deflation rabbit hole, of which we’ve been in for some time now, and next, we’ll see inflation spiraling higher….

Why do I think that? Because that’s what it has to be! The Fed is going to be printing dollars at break-neck pace going forward, and while inflation (according to the gov’t, but proven otherwise by the folks at the Chapwood group) has stayed in control, this will be more than we’ve ever seen before, folks… Shoot Rudy… Former Fed Chairs, Big Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen both sent an oped to the NYT last week calling for the Fed to begin to buy Corporate debt, and stocks….

OK, it’s against the law for the Fed to begin those projects without Congressional approval… But what’s going to stop them from asking for that? And what’s going to stop the lawmakers from saying NO!? Nothing, absolutely nothing, say it again!

In other news, I’m going to lay this off to the folks at Wall Street On Parade… Who had this to say, “The Federal Reserve Board of Governors announced at 6 P.M. last evening that it is following the direction of Steve Mnuchin, the former foreclosure king who now serves as U.S. Treasury Secretary, and authorizing the reinstatement of a hideously operated, multi-trillion dollar bailout program for Wall Street’s trading houses known as the Primary Dealer Credit Facility (PDCF). Veterans on Wall Street think of it as the cash-for-trash facility, where Wall Street’s toxic waste from a decade of irresponsible trading and lending, will be purged from the balance sheets of the Wall Street firms and handed over to the balance sheet of the Federal Reserve – just as it was during the last financial crisis on Wall Street.” – 

Cash-for-Trash Oh boy, I can’t wait for my Central Bank to begin this program! I think you should call your representative and tell him/ her, that you do NOT approve of this program! And then be prepared for a list of B.S. from your lawmaker!

I also like this passage from the folks at, “Only in some alternative universe from hell that exists in the likes of the brains of Lloyd Blankfein (the former CEO of Goldman Sachs who famously said he thought he was doing “God’s work”) could funneling $5.7 trillion to Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch be construed as helping American workers and businesses. During the financial crisis Citigroup was foreclosing on families using an alias and illegally holding homes off the market; Merrill Lynch, a retail brokerage firm and investment bank, was such a basket case that it had to be taken over by Bank of America; and Morgan Stanley was leveraged 40 to 1 “meaning for every $40 in assets, there was only $1 in capital to cover losses. Less than a 3% drop in asset values could wipe out a firm,” according to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission report that investigated the crash for Congress.”

 Chuck Again… Yes, and only in some alternative universe from hell could the U.S. be handing over the reins of the watchdog to the Fed NY, once again…. I shudder from this news, folks… I really do… I feel for our kids and grandkids more than ever before, and longtime readers know that I’ve been shuddering for them for years as the debt grew and grew and grew!

The U.S. Data Cupboard last week had some very disheartening data. Last week I told you about how the Empire region (manufacturing index) had fallen out of bed, and then to follow that regional up, the Philly Index also saw a HUGE drop to -12.7 from 36.7! And then Leading Indicators for February, which was before the COVID-19 breakout here in the U.S., dropped from .7 to just .1%…. Obviously, things were looking pretty shaky to the boys and girls that compile this data before the virus breakout!

The U.S. Data Cupboard this week will have a couple of real economic prints to look at as we go through the week starting Wednesday with Industrial Production….  

Get this! Goldman’s Jan Hatzius now sees 2Q US GDP decline of -24% but then two large GDP gains in Q3 and Q4. They now see: qtr-on-qtr annualized growth rates —

Q1: -6% —

Q2: -24% —

Q3: +12% and —

Q4: +10%

So full-yr growth at -3.8% annual avg, -3.1% on Q4/Q4.”

I’m going to go out on a limb right here, right now, and say there’s no way the economy will turn around that fast in the 3rd QTR…. Restaurants and bars might not ever be able to rebound, in my opinion! So, don’t get all loopy with this forecast of 12% 3rd QTR Growth, folks… I’m not buying it!

I do understand economics folks…. It’s been my bag for a long time, and in saying that I want you to feel comfortable with the idea that I fully understand that once this virus gets burned out, the inventories will have to be restocked, and that will created some strong economic winds, but I’m afraid that they won’t be as strong as they would normally be, because of….  All the debt that was created to combat this virus’s effect on the economy… 

This debt creation is going to be the biggest we’ve ever seen in the U.S. folks… Inflation will finally take off to higher ground, and Commodities will recover…. But that will take awhile to work itself through, so batten down the hatches, and hold on… 

Gold finally had a good day on Friday, climbing $27 back to $1,500 but it’s down $5 in the early trading today, so it looks as if this was a one and done for Gold…   So, how many of you were paying attention when I mentioned above that Commodities will recover?   I’m of the opinion that the inflation spriraling higher will be the catalyst for Gold to soar higher once again, just like it did in 2009, when the first round of QE was announced…  

To recap….  The dollar continued to kick sand in the face of the currencies, and it’s beginning to look very, very ugly out there for the currencies, which has Chuck thinking that we could be seeing some sort of coordinated currency intervention ala the Plaza Accord in 1985… We’ll have to wait-n-see….   Chuck is all upset about what’s going on with the casino banks, which will have their old friend, Fed NY, watching them once again…. UGH!   

For What It’s Worth….  Well there’s more bad news for the U.S. economy folks, get ready for this one, it’s an article about bonds in distress increasing and it can be found here:

Or, here’s your snippet: “Last week, in the aftermath of the historic oil price collapse, we warned that the long-awaited “fallen angel” day has arrived, as $140 billion in oil producer (and up to $360 if one includes the mid-stream companies) investment grade debt was on the verge of being downgraded to junk and throwing the entire high yield market in turmoil.
Fast forward to today when Bloomberg calculates that since we published out article, the amount of distressed debt – a term that describes borrowings likely to default – in the U.S. alone has doubled to a half-trillion dollars as the collapse of oil prices and the fallout from the coronavirus shutters entire industries.

While rating agencies have been slow to respond to the total collapse in cash flow generation across most US industries as long as the US economy remains paralyzed due to the spreading lock downs across the nation, markets have been far faster, and the result has been a plunge in the price of countless bonds. As a result, corporate bonds – which according to BofA are no longer properly functioning – that yield at least 10% points above Treasuries, as well as loans that trade for less than 80 cents on the dollar, have swelled to $533 billion. This is more than double from the March 6 total of only $214 billion. And, according to UBS, if one adds across all company debt globally, including loans to small- and mid-sized companies that rarely if ever trade, the distressed pile could top $1 trillion.

And yes, that number is only going to surge.

An analysis via Trace shows that the amount of distressed bonds has surged to the highest level since the financial crisis, surpassing the oil/manufacturing recession of 2016.”

Chuck again….  Corporate debt problems, distressed bond problems, where does a person that wants some return on their money go?  I bet you all know how I would answer that question….  

Currencies today 3/23/20 American style: A$ .5735, kiwi .5630, C$ .6903, euro 1.0700, sterling 1.1568, Swiss $1.0134, European Style: rand 17.7510, krone 11.6107, SEK 10.4344, forint 329.43, zloty 4.2819,    koruna 25.8348, RUB 79.94, yen 110.60, sing 1.4634, HKD 7.7556,  INR 76.18, China 7.0948, peso 24.94, BRL 5.0613, Dollar Index 102.58,   Oil $22.34,   10-year .81%, Silver $12.59, Platinum $621.84, Palladium $1,625.61, and Gold…. $1,494.60

That’s it for today…. Well, yesterday was the absolute most beautiful day I’ve ever experienced down here… I sat outside on our deck reading a book for over 3 hours. It’s very eerie down here, as there is no one on the beach, no one in the ocean… It’s very quiet, and peaceful…   I just watched the sun rise up out of the ocean…. It appears to be another day today like yesterday…  My grandkids went home on Saturday… Yesterday, had to be the most subdued Birthday I’ve ever had…  But, I need to get this out the door and get on down the road… I had my Apligraph on Thursday, and today they will see how it worked….  Chicago takes us to the finish line today with their song: Stay The Night….  I hope you have a Marvelous Monday, and please Be Good To Yourself!

Chuck Butler





Even Bonds Get Sold Yesterday!

March 18, 2020

* No reserve ratio required at banks any longer…. 

* Gold continues to get manipulated in price… 

Good Day… And a Wonderful Wednesday to you… I hope that everyone is staying healthy, washing their hands all the time, and keeping distance from other people that you don’t know. Everything is closing around us, as I told you yesterday, we even have a curfew down here in S. Florida! But that didn’t keep me from sitting out on my balcony with my Bose wireless speaker blasting Sirius XM 60’s on 6 last night until everyone else went to bed! I know the words to most of those 60’s songs, and I sing along at the top of my lungs to them! I’m sure the other condo occupants were wondering what sick cat was singing last night, but I don’t care! It was a great St. Patrick’s Day for yours truly, more on that at the end today, but first, The Doobie Brothers greet me this morning with my fave song from them: South City Midnight Lady…

OK… I know I sound like a broken record (on a sidebar I’m glad vinyl records have made a comeback so I no longer have to explain that comment to youngsters!) when I tell you that the dollar bugs continue to kick sand in the faces of the currencies, with the difference yesterday being in the pricing of Gold, which found a bid, and kept it all day, with some interference from the price manipulators…

Gold was able to push higher on the day for the first time in a week, after experiencing its worst week in over 4 decades, last week… OUCH! That really hurt me! Come on price manipulators tell me your sorry! Come on, tell me your sorry or I’ll tell your moms! HA!

Well at least for one day, the sale on the price of Gold was over…. However, this morning’s early trading as Gold down $27!   OUCH!  OK, I said above “some interference by the price manipulators”…. Gold has reached $1,554, at one point yesterday, but then was only able to close at $1,527….  I just find this price manipulation so frustrating, but at the same time giving buyers who had procrastinated buying Gold or Silver the opportunity to buy where they should have bought previously!

We began this week with talk about stimulus plan for individuals here in the U.S…. And yesterday it was announced… $1,000 checks being mailed our beginning next week to tax payers…  Wait! What?   What numbskull thought that one up? The same guy that thought up the tax rebates during the last administration?  As if a $1,000 check is going to stop this global recession that’s raging right now!  I have an opinion on the global recession in today’s FWIW section that was sent to me by my friends at GATA… So, don’t miss it!  

 It was brought to my attention yesterday, and how I missed this, I have no idea, but I did, and that was that when the Fed slashed rates to near zero on Sunday, and announced a new $700 Billion bond buying program that’s not called QE, they also… and get ready for this one folks…. The Fed also lowered the reserve ratio for nearly all banks to zero! Banks don’t have to hold reserves any longer! OK, so how many of you have seen the movie: “It’s A Wonderful Life”? Remember the scene when the town folk all ran to the savings and loan and demanded their money? Well, if it hadn’t been a good sales job by George Bailey, they would bankrupted the S&L… When interest rates in this country go negative, will there be a run on deposits at banks to get money out before it begins to get charged for being there? You bet there will! And Banks won’t have reserves to fall back on any longer…. So… just stop and think about this no reserve ratio at banks any longer plan…. And then tell me this doesn’t all end up in tears?

And that brings me to Gold & Silver…. I had a couple of readers send me notes telling me their local metals dealers had seen their supply go to zero…. So I asked my metals guru, Tim Smith @1-800-926-4922, if he was seeing the same thing… And his answer was yes, supply is thin, for coins and bars, right now, and instead he’s seeing a ton of activity in non-allocated or pooled Gold & Silver…. This product has always, in my humble opinion, been the best and most affordable way to own physical Gold & Silver…. You basically pay about 1% over the spot price of your metal, and it’s bought in your name and held with other owners’ purchases. It’s held free of safekeeping charges, and you have it just like it’s in your bank safe deposit… Should you want to sell it, it’s liquid, and can be sold on any day that the market is open, and if you decide at some point in the future that you want to hold your Gold in the form of coins and bars, you simply call up Tim and tell him to start the process of getting your coins and bars to you…

At this point you’ll have to pay the minting charges, and delivery charges, but you don’t have to rebuy the Gold or Silver! And these minting and delivery charges would have been added to your original price IF you had opted for coins or bars when you first bought your Gold or Silver… And remember, this is important, that any time you buy or sell, there’s a mark up or down of about 1%….  

So, this public service announcement has been brought to you free of charge…. I don’t receive a wooden nickel for sharing this info with you…. Not from you, not from Tim’s company, not from the dealer, not from anyone!

In other markets… stock futures are down limit again this morning…  The price of Oil has dropped by a large margin again, down to a $25 handle, and looking like it’s heading to $15….  And Bonds… hmmm…  there had to be some profit taking in bonds, for the yields rose yesterday… The 10-year’s yield is back above 1%… (remember with bonds, as yield rises the bond price goes down, and vice versa) This bond market has me wondering what the heck is going on here? 

Well, are you all staying healthy, and keeping inside? I don’t stay inside, I love to be outside, even more down here when the days warm to 80, with the sun shining and a sea breeze blowing to keep you comfortable… The beaches here are pretty barren, but still in use… My wife, our daughter, and my wife’s sister, could sit on that beach for hours and good for them for doing so! I go out in the early morning on the deck and take my cap off and allow me to soak up plenty of Vitamin D from the sun, but before it gets too high in the sky to make that sit uncomfortable!

So, it looks to me like the POTUS has gotten his wish that the U.S. lowered their rates like the rest of the world… But a wise man, (my dad!) once told me to be careful what you wished for… In another thought, I was thinking what all this going on could be the end of the debt cycle here in the U.S. As we’ve been piling on debt ever since Nixon took us off the Gold standard in August of 1971…

Speaking of which, where you aware at the time what Nixon was doing? I wasn’t, as I was in high school, and only came to find out what this move to take us off the Gold standard meant, when I  began to study economics… I’ve told you all before how I learned a lot of my economic principles from the great economist Hyman Minsky… In 1981 he told me that “one day, the U.S. would rue the day they went off the Gold Standard” … I thought at the time that he was just longing for the good old days, but after a few years I realized what he was saying….

Speaking of Minsky, could this Covid-19 virus be akin to a Minsky Moment?

And with that thought, we’ll head to the Big Finish! 

The U.S. Data Cupboard had a couple of surprises for yesterday, and two of the three major economic prints were reversed as to how I expected them to print… Retail Sales for Feb. collapsed… instead of being just OK, as I had thought… And Industrial Production was up and not negative as I thought it would be… I know, I know, head scratching time, eh?  Capacity Utilization was weaker as I thought it would be, but not by much…  But like I said yesterday, this is all a picture of what was going on before the COVID-19 virus hit our shores…. This month’s data will be very interesting….

The Big Thing that was scheduled for today’s Data Cupboard was the FOMC Meeting adjornment and rate decision…  That’s been cancelled, of course, since the Fed has done 2 “emergency out of market rate cuts” in the last two weeks…  There’s some housing data to print today, if that’s your bag, baby!

To recap…. The dollar bugs continue to kick sand in the face of the currencies, the Dollar Index is nearing 100!  Gold had a day in the sun yesterday, but is back to getting sold this morning! OUCH!  The Dow Futures are limit down again this morning, so look for a very ugly open today…  No reserve requirements for banks? Really? Yes, that was in the details of the Fed’s announcement Sunday, that Chuck missed!  

For What’s It’s Worth….  I told you above that I had an article from the GATA folks on the global recession, but I didn’t tell you that the article was written by Ambrose Evans Pritchard, of the U.K. Telegraph… When Mr. Pritchard speaks, everyone listens… I’m just saying… So, here’s the link:

Now, you won’t get too far with that link because it’s a subscriber site, but…. The kind folks at GATA gave me the gist of the article, and I’ll share that with you here: ” Central banks have exhausted almost all their usable ammunition under existing rules yet still failed to calm markets or to unfreeze critical parts of the global financial system.

This moment what we all feared. The danger now is that global recession — it is no longer “if,” as we are weeks into it already — will morph into something more intractable: a deflationary depression with a wave of defaults that breaks the capitalist system as we know it.

So what can be done? Let me take an instant stab. Either the rules are changed fast or we risk uncontrolled global liquidation. The Federal Reserve must be unshackled to act as a buyer-of-last-resort for the corporate debt markets, for great swaths of the credit system, and for Wall Street equity indexes.

The European Central Bank must acquire powers to act as a genuine lender-of-last resort for eurozone sovereign states. It must do exactly what Christine Lagarde refused to do when she blurted out last week that “the ECB is not here to close bond spreads” — an expression lifted word for word from the German board member, Isabel Schnabel, which tells us who is in charge of that institution in the post Draghi era.

This must be backed by a fiscal blitz even greater than in 2008-09, with pledges to “socialize” the drastic losses faced by industry and private firms. What was done for banks last time despite misconduct must now be done for others.

There must be tax holidays, sweeping state guarantees for firms, credit forbearance, a temporary suspension of mortgage payments (pushing out the maturity), and moral hazard be damned — all under the umbrella of financial repression.”

Chuck Again….  You know, I sit here and think about all this, and then say, “Chuck, you’ve tried to warn them…. You’ve tried to point out that all that debt was going to bring the financial system crashing down… You’ve… Ah never mind…. Let’s just say, I tried!

Currencies today 3/18/20 American Style: A$.5919, kiwi .5858, C$ .6980, euro 1.0975, sterling 1.1930, Swiss $1.0401, European Style: rand 16.9807, krone 10.5057, SEK 9.9896, forint 318.42, zloty 3.9897,    koruna 24.6633, RUB 74.75, yen 107.45, sing 1.4322, HKD 7.7653, INR 74.21, China 7.0048, peso 23.87, BRL 5.0068, Dollar Index 99.78,  Oil $25.37,   10-year 1.10%, Silver $12.27, Platinum $652.20, Palladium $1,584.21, and Gold… $1,500.88

That’s it for today… and this week, of course as tomorrow, I’ll be on the road bright and early. They actually called me from the wound center yesterday, to ask me if I was still coming on Thursday!  I guess they’re seeing a lot of no-shows…. But not me!  I had a great conversation with grandson Everett yesterday, we talked about all kinds of things, I even explained fractions to him! Smart kid!  Ok… here’s a good trivia question for rock and rollers… Who sang: Mama Let Him Play?  If your answer was Doucette, then you win the prize of a free year’s subscription to the Pfennig! HA!  I hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday…. Please be conscience of what’s going on around you, and who is around you! And Be Good To Yourself!

Chuck Butler





The Dollar Bugs Keep Kicking Sand In The Faces of Currencies & Metals!

March 17, 2020

* The Coronavirus has basically shut down the Chinese economy!

* Another engineered price takedown of Gold yesterday… 


Good Day… And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! And a Top o’ the mornin’ to ya, as it’s St. Patrick’s Day!  I was talked down from the ledge yesterday, but I’m still of the opinion that the National Guard is going to have to mobilized in order to keep us in our houses to stop the spread of this disease. I’m down in S. Florida, and have the feeling that domestic travel is going to be out of the question as I am scheduled to go home to St. Louis on April 4… At that time we’ll have to make a family decision on whether we want to remain here, or drive home. I do keep a car here all the time, so we wouldn’t have to rent one to drive back. But that decision doesn’t need to be made today… But staying away from people is the main thing, along with washing your hands over and over again during a day, and sunshine… I’m thinking that in my current health situation, that should I get infected, it would be deadly for me… So… there’s a lot to think about in the next days… OK… now back to our regularly scheduled programing… The Eagles greet me this morning with their song: On The Border…

I would talk about the near 3,000 point loss in the Dow yesterday, but since I’m not a stock jockey, it’s not my bag baby! But all those losses in stocks is causing a real problem for Gold, as Gold is getting sold to cover all the margin calls that are being made… Remember when I used to tell you about the size of the margin loans that kept growing? I did that to point out that when the stock market turned, these margin accounts are the first ones to feel the pain… And the holders of these margin accounts begin to receive calls from the Margin Dept. telling them their min. requirement of equity has been breached and they need to deposit fulling paid for stock, or cash to bring it up to the Min. And then the stock market loses nearly 3,000 points, and another margin call goes out, and margin account holder needs liquid assets to sell to get cash… Enter Gold…

Speaking of Gold…. Well there was yet another “engineered price takedown of Gold” of Gold yesterday…   Gold has gained quite a bit on the day, only to have the trap door sprung on it once again, and end up losing $20 on the day, which was more than $80 off its high of the day…  UGH!, I guess as long as the regulators and the Gov’t continue to look the other way, when these engineered price takedowns happen, there’s nothing we can do about them, but make things difficult by buying more physical Gold! 

A quick look at the currencies this morning tells me that while the euro saw a little love, yesterday,  not much, but a little, the rest of the currencies continues to have sand kicked in their collective faces by the dollar bugs… 

In the overnight markets, the euro gave back what it gained yesterday, and more as it now trades with a 1.10 handle….   And former stalwarts in gov’t. finance like Norway, just can’t find a bid…  Australia seems to be in a complete fall and taking its kissin’ cousin across the Tasman with it. And the Poor Russian ruble, just keeps getting stomped on by the dollar bugs, rather than the other way around… 

One has to wonder just how much longer this can be, given what the Fed has been up to the last two week, with their back-to-back, belly-to-belly, out of meeting “emergency” rate cuts, that have brought short term rates to near zero… I looked at a 3 month TBill last night and the yield on it was just 14 Basis Points or 0.14%… That’s about as close to zero as you can get!

A couple of months ago, I was interviewed by good friend, Dennis Miller, at and was asked whether the U.S. would see negative rates….

At that time I said, “yes, we will see negative deposit rates, but I doubt that our Treasuries will carry negative yields” There’s more Government debt out there from around the world that have negative yields, and I just didn’t think we would be that stupid… All the elementary kids would be pointing at me and saying, “we’re not supposed to say the “s” word”…. And when my grandkids do that to me, I tell them, “I’m the General, and I can say anything I want!” So there! So, any way, I’m going to change my answer now, given what I now know… I mean when times change, opinions change, that’s a given… And when the 10-year Treasury’s yield dropped by 100 basis points last week, in one fell swoop… I did my best Bob Dylan impression, and said, “The times they are a changin’”

Longtime readers know that I don’t get into the regional manufacturing indexes because they normally don’t give us a heads up to what the national ISM manufacturing index will be… However, yesterday, the Empire Region (NY) manufacturing index for March printed at it showed the largest one-month drop ever, falling to negative =21.5 , from a previous reading of 12.9… This regional HAS to be an indication of how far the national ISM Index will fall when it prints for the same period…

Yesterday, I said that an economic analysts had called for U.S. GDP to drop 5% in the 2nd QTR. A dear reader sent in a note telling me that he didn’t know what the economic analyst was smoking but if the U.S. economy only lost 5% in the 2nd QTR, he was a monkey’s uncle! And I tend to agree with him, the way everything is getting shut down, and I mean everything, with the only things still open for business are grocery stores, and Pharmacies… Restaurants can only have 10 customers down here, so they’re just closing… Big Box items for GDP down here are Disney World and Universal, and they’ve been shut down almost a week now… We even have a curfew down here now… Wait! What? Did I hear that right? Has Marshal Law been declared and I didn’t hear about it? No… not yet, but the Florida Gov’t decided on its own to impose a curfew… We can be out from 6am to 9pm….

OK… enough on that… I think I probably scared ½ of my readers yesterday! But in reality, they need to be scared into staying home and away from crowds of people… Shoot Rudy, I heard that the city of Palm Beach closed their public beaches yesterday! The Beach had become quite the popular place to go, given 1. The weather is beautiful, and 2. There’s no place else to go…. And in the Gov’t’s defense whatever gov’t it is, state, local, national, the more alluring places they remove from people having the ability to go to the more chance they have of having people stay home! But the beach? Really? I sure hope they don’t close my beach… But if they do I still have our deck, where I can go to get my daily dose of vitamin D….

I can’t believe that I allow myself to get caught up in all of this virus stuff… But one minute I’m thinking about economies, and markets, and the next thing I’m typing is about a beach getting closed! UGH!    Well, hopefully, everyone is taking steps to remain healthy…  And staying home and reading the Pfennig is a great way to pass the time while staying at home! HA! 

OK… The U.S. Data Cupboard is finally getting back in business today with prints of Retail Sales, Industrial Production, and Capacity Utilization today. All three will be for February, which was before the Armageddon began here in the U.S.  I don’t say that lightly folks, as this is what it all feels like to me…  So, as I said yesterday, Retail Sales should be OK, not great, but OK, with the other two continuing to drop.  The March prints of all U.S. Data should end up dropping a lot… I’m just saying…

 I think we can look to China’s mess of economics since they’ve been fighting the virus longer than we have… And yesterday this is what the Chinese economic data looked like: 


• Chinese Retail Sales crashed 20.5% YTD YoY – the first annual drop on record and four times worse than the -4.0% expectation

• Chinese Industrial Production collapsed 13.5% YTD YOY – the first annual drop on record and more than four times worse than the -3.0% expectation

• Fixed Asset Investment plunged 24.5% YTD YoY – the first annual drop and more than twelve times worse than the expected 2.% contraction.

OH boy! Can’t wait for that to happen here! NOT!  but I think it’s a very good indication of what will happen here as this to our economy, as this virus continues to spread…. 

To recap….  Sand continues to get kicked in the face of the currencies and metals by the dollar bugs, folks… it’s getting very ugly out there!  Why on earth would investors look to dollars, when interest rates here are getting ready to drop to negative territory, along with Treasury yields?  But they are, and as long as the Gov’t continues to look the other way, when the price manipulators engineer another major take down of Gold, we have to deal with cheaper Gold prices every day…. 

On a sidebar, I know that inquiring minds are wanting to know what’s going on with me, so in the vein…. Last week, I was supposed to be getting an “apligraph” on my leg wound, but the doctor decided that he would give it one more week with collagen, so this Thursday… That is if the Wound Center is still open, I’m supposed to get my apligraph…. Patience is a virtue, and if that’s the case, then I should have my picture beside the word “virtue” in the dictionary, because it’s now been 1 year since my leg opened up, and I’m still dealing with this!

For What It’s Worth….  Since I spent some time talking about negative rates today, this article from longtime reader Bernard, really hit a nerve, and seemed to FWIW worthy for sure! It’s well respected analyst, Ray Dalio, talking about negative rates…  You’ll want to click the link and read the whole article, as I won’t be able to give it all to you in the snippet! You can find it here:

Or, here’s your snippet: “While I’m going to pass along my thoughts to you, I want to emphasize that I wasn’t, and still am not, able to anticipate the most important things happening in the markets because of the extremely rare nature of the circumstances. While what I don’t know is much greater than what I know, I will tell you what I think for you to take or leave as you like.

As you know, for some time now I have been concerned that when the next economic downturn would come it would lead to hitting the 0% interest rate floor with a lot of debt outstanding and big wealth and political gaps in the same way that configuration of events happened in the 1930s. The coronavirus was the thing to cause the downturn, which surprised me. While it is an extremely serious infectious disease that will produce many harmful economic impacts, these things alone don’t scare me; however, when combined with long-term interest rates hitting the 0% floor, it really worries me.

Long-term interest rates hitting the hard 0% floor means that virtually all asset classes go down because the positive effects of interest rates falling won’t exist (at least not much). Hitting this 0% floor also means that virtually all the reserve country central banks’ interest rate stimulation tools (including cutting rates and yield curve guidance) won’t work. The printing of money and buying of debt assets that central banks are now allowed to buy almost certainly won’t work much (because bonds can’t be pushed much higher and they are also less likely to be sold to buy other assets of entities that are in financial trouble). Further, with this hard 0% interest rate floor, real interest rates will likely rise because there will be disinflation or deflation resulting from lower oil and other commodity prices, economic weakness, and more credit problems. If that plays out in the typical way, rising credit spreads will raise debt service payments to weaker credits at the same time as credit lending shrinks, which will intensify the credit tightening, deflationary pressures, and negative growth forces. God help those countries that have these things and a rising currency, too.”

Chuck again, this snippet is just an appetizer to what the whole article talks about, be sure to click the link above…  Hey! we’re stuck inside, what else is there to do? HA! (sort of!)

Currencies today 3/17/20 American Style: A$.6001, kiwi .5952, C$ .7086, euro 1.1010, sterling 1.2086, Swiss $1.0402, European Style: rand 16.6456, krone 10.4020, SEK 9.9392, forint 315.02, zloty 3.9396,   koruna 24.6995, RUB 74.05, yen 107.09, sing 1.4279, HKD 7.7661, INR 74.10, China 7.0051, peso 22.98, BRL 4.9185, Dollar Index 99.21,   Oil $29.28,   10-year 0.81%, Silver $12.20, Platinum $631.64, Palladium $1,582.80, and Gold… $1,471.33

That’s it for today…  Yesterday, was one of those days where I just can’t stay awake… After going north for a nurse visit to change my dressing, I came home ate some lunch and retired to my chair, and then proceeded to sleep all day!  Maybe it was my body telling me to rest up for today, which is St. Patrick’s Day!  I think I’ll start the day with some Bailey’s in my coffee and see where the day takes me!  HA!  We couldn’t really find anything interesting to watch on TV as a family last night, so Delaney was not a happy camper!  The boys ended up watching American Ninja Warrior! UGH!  Ok, it’s time to go… Be careful out there today, for there will be lots of Irish people celebrating, and lots of non-Irish people celebrating!  Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you! The Buckinghams take us to the finish line today with their song: Don’t You Care….     I hope you have a Tom Terrific Tuesday, and St. Patrick’s Day, and will Be Good To Yourself! 

Chuck Butler

The Fed Slashes Rates To Near Zero!

March 16, 2020

* The Fed also implements a bond buying program!

* And Morgan Stanley says, “it’s Time to sell dollars!” 

Good Day… And a Marvelous Monday to you! Well, everything is shutting down, schools, baseball, all sports for that matter, social groups of 250 or more, it’s beginning to look very ugly folks… Is this the turning point where the Gov’t declares Marshall Law, and the National Guard moves in to make sure we all stay at home? It’s beginning to look that way to me… I don’t want to be a gloom and doom guy, but this is all very frightening to me… I’m trying to remain calm and keep doing normal things, but… I see big black cloud moving toward our country from China, and it’s quite ugly! Shoot, I’m so worried now that I really am having thoughts about shutting down writing until this whole thing ends… I certainly don’t want any law enforcement guys knocking on my door, because I’ve ruffled a few Gov’t and Casino Bank feathers! So, each day, go to your email box, and if you see an email from the Pfennig, then I’m still writing… If you don’t… well, that means that brains were the better part of valor for me…. Percy Sledge greets me this morning with his song: When A Man Loves A Woman

Do you want to know what got me all thinking creepy stuff? The Fed! Yesterday, in their second out of meeting rate cut, they cut their Fed Funds rate 100 Basis Points, or 1%, down to nearly zero!  They couldn’t even wait until their meetings this Tuesday and Wednesday!   The Fed also announced a new bond buying program of $700 Billion to help the banks with liquidity…. So, in my mind, if the Fed is panicking , and  this would surely qualify as a “panic attack” by the Fed…  We had better get under our mattresses and wait for the nuclear fallout!    Oh, and, stock futures are down limit early this morning, that this is going to get really ugly fast, folks…   

Oh, and don’t forget about this little ditty that’s hanging over the U.S…. I’ve been talking about the Corporate Debt maturities that will come due this year… $19 Trillion worth of maturities, folks… On what amounts to a bunch of really bad debt…   Will banks have the liquidity to make new loans to these Corporations?  I doubt it, as a run on banks is in the future, in my mind… 

What a difference a week makes with the currencies and metals, or the safe havens too! Gold, which last Monday hit $1,704, is trading this morning around $1,517…. The euro which last Monday traded with a 1.14 handle, is trading this morning with a 1.11 handle… The 10-year Treasury’s yield was 0.41% last Monday and it’s around 0.67% a week later… I read something this week on Gold, and that it’s showing its true safe haven colors, as it is getting sold to pay for all the margin calls on stocks… If you didn’t have Gold, what would you be selling to pay for those margin calls? I’m just saying… And no, you’re first born male doesn’t qualify as a payment! (Look, I’m so scared at what’s going to happen next, that I had to try to lighten the feeling of the letter so far today!)

In a hastily assembled conference call yesterday, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, made some comments about how the 2nd QTR GEP is going to be very weak… And then he said this: “We do know that the virus will run its course.”  Really? You know this to be the truth, do you now, Jerome?   I too believe that once the earth turns on its axis and points the northern hemisphere closer to the sun that the sun will bake the virus dead… But can we wait for that to happen?  And what if I’m wrong on that assumption that the sun will be our vaccine? 

Speaking of vaccines….  I read last night from a trusted site, that Merk has pushed through a vaccine  to combat the Coronavirus and that everyone will be required to received the shot….  Of course that could only be accomplished under Marshall Law… is reporting this morning that Morgan Stanley issued a communique stating that their clients should be looking to sell dollars at these levels….   Interesting…  Don’t you think?  And why not? The Fed just cut rates to near zero, and implemented a bond buying program that they’re not calling QE…. The next rate cut will take us below zero, and then we would be in the same boat as the Eurozone, Switzerland, Sweden, and Japan…  Oh, Boy! Where do I sign up for that? NOT! 

There I was on a beautiful Sunday morning yesterday, and I received an email from the GATA folks… In the email they had included a link to a YOUTUBE that was a satire on Central Banking… So, of course I had to check it out… It is so good, that I decided that I would share it with you all…. So here is the link: enjoy!

I’m not feeling up to continuing writing this morning, as all of this has me depressed… So, I’ll go to the Data recap, from here and end their early today…  I hope you don’t mind…

The U.S. Data Cupboard didn’t have much for us last week, and ended the week with a weaker Consumer Sentiment report  that feel to 95 from 101… Tomorrow we finally get back on the Data Cupboard tracks with quite a few prints this week. Starting tomorrow with Feb. Retail Sales… which was before the virus hit the U.S. hard, so this report should be OK, not great, but OK…..  Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization though will tell a different story in their Feb prints, with Industrial Production printing negative, again…. And Capacity Utilization falling further…  

I read this morning that one analyst is calling for a drop of 5% in GDP for the 2nd QTR!   Now that would be really nasty, and one can only guess what the Fed will be doing then?  

To recap…. Chuck is worried, folks…  That all sorts of nasty things could be coming our way here in the U.S.A.   The Fed made its second out of meeting “emergency” rate cut yesterday. They couldn’t even wait for their scheduled meetings tomorrow and Wednesday to cut rates. The Fed also announced a Bond Buying Program…  Chuck believes the Fed is panicking, and that’s causing him to shudder! 

For What It’s Worth….  In my current state of shock it was not a good thing that I started reading emails last night… But one caught my eye, when it came from longtime reader Bob, who sent me an article that I’ll share with you this morning about the end of the U.S. Empire, and it can be read here 

Or, here’s your snippet:” Dramatic, perhaps historic events are shaking the world today.

After an unprecedented display of national unity, resolve and courage, China has essentially expelled COVID-19 from its territory. But the virus has traveled worldwide, invading other nations and wreaking extensive havoc. Given its leaders’ denial of the danger and its unpreparedness to deal with a major outbreak, the United States looks especially vulnerable, a disaster in waiting.

Just at this moment, Russia has detonated a nuclear weapon (tactical, if not strategic) in the global financial markets. Its refusal to cut oil production, in defiance of US and Saudi Arabian pressure, has devastated asset prices everywhere.

Like a chess grandmaster, Russian President Vladimir Putin has long put up with assaults from the American Empire, waiting for the right moment to strike back and inflict maximum damage. He has just done so, leaving Washington and its allies/vassals reeling from the shock.

Astute analysts have long speculated that the end of the US Empire might come not through war or politics, but some cataclysm in the financial markets. Is that watershed process now underway? With a plague, unrepayable and still-growing debt, a fragile and inflated economy, financial implosion, severe imperial overstretch, and too-obvious government incompetence, is the American Empire facing the perfect storm?

Like Russia, China has been putting up with relentless US hostility and persecution. Will Beijing, like Moscow, seize the moment to force payback time, especially on core Chinese interests?

Global instability is always a big concern for the Communist Party of China, so it will act cautiously. But along with the danger is a rare opportunity to downsize the US imperium and cut its capacity to continue preying in the world.

Success in doing so would benefit not only China, Russia, and other nations that Washington considers its enemies. It would also lead to a more stable, prosperous, and peaceful world, one driven by win-win cooperation instead of zero-sum competition and conflict.

We live in interesting times, indeed.”

Chuck again….  Interesting times, indeed, I do agree… 

Currencies today 3/16/20 American Style: A$ .6172, kiwi .6043, C$ .7193, euro 1.1168, sterling 1.2273, Swiss $1.0585, European Style: rand 16.2140, krone 10.2140, SEK 9.7096, forint 304.58, zloty 3.9260,    koruna 23.9772, RUB 72.49, yen 105.32, sing 1.4212, HKD 7.7671, INR 74.03, China 7.0072, peso 22.42, BRL 4.8577, Dollar Index 97.74,   Oil $30.09,    10-year 0.76%, Silver $13.09, Platinum $689.66, Palladium $1,689.06, and Gold… $1,517.63

That’s it for today, and who knows about what’s going to happen going further?  I’m sorry if I caused you to worry about all this stuff this morning, but I had some things I had to get off my chest….  On a lighter note…  My darling granddaughter, Delaney Grace, is here with us and she asked me to mention this morning, that we all watched Frozen II last night together…  So, there!  I don’t think she really thought I would do that!  Well, Baseball is cancelled… I’m depressed with that…  But I still have chamber of commerce weather, and the beach, so, if this is where they quarantine me, then so be it!  Think about this thought folks… With all the sports and other venues closing, along with schools, and Disneyworld to boot, how are these people that work going to get paid while their respective businesses are closed?   I’m just saying…. And with that, Little Feat takes us to the finish line today with the live version of their rock Classic song: Dixie Chicken…  I hope you remain safe, and healthy, and have a Marvelous Monday, and will Be Good To Yourself!

Chuck Butler 

The U.S. Talks About A Stimulus Package…

March 11, 2020

* safe haven reversals continued on Tuesday… 

* Shale Producers are having problems… 

Good Day… And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well, I can say that it’s been real, and it’s been fun, being back in the saddle, but… it hasn’t been real fun! HAHAHAHAHA! Just kidding, I love what I do here, with this letter, and hope you love reading it as much as I love writing it! Of course there are “those days” when I wish I didn’t have to wake up when I do, but to do it, tells me that I’m still alive and kicking! I’ll get going on the letter now…. Supertramp greets me this morning with their song: Babaji Not exactly a top Billboard hit, but one of my fave Supertramp songs…

Tell me if you’ve heard this before…. The Bank of Japan (BOJ) is going to introduce yet another stimulus plan for their economy…. Heard it, read the book, bought the t-shirt, right? Well, like the song Respect says, take out TCP, if we take out the BOJ and insert the USA… Then we’ve got a story, right? But come on don’t tell me you think this would be the first stimulus plan for the U.S. economy…. What about the year, not so long ago, when tax payers got a check from the Gov’t? or not long after that one, how about “cash for clunkers?”, and those were aimed at individuals, the banks on the other hand received TARP money, and the really Big Casino Banks they took in so much cash from the Fed that they had to take it in the back door, under the cover of night,  so no one knew they were receiving it!

So… That’s where we are once again folks… talking about stimulus for the U.S. economy that’s been stuck at 2.1%

And….  This stimulus for the Casino Banks continues today…  Yes, that’s what all the fuss about the repo market is about…  Just the other day the Fed announced that they would increase the amount of money that’s would be available each day from $100 Billion to $150 Billion, a 50% increase folks… But there’s a problem Houston…  the Banks requested a total of $216 Billion!!!!    So there was $66 Billion that didn’t get a dispersed…  Oh the humanity!  What’s a Casino Bank to do when it doesn’t get their allocation of cocaine?  I say that because that’s what this repo market stuff has become… An addiction to the Casino Banks…  And it’s a very sad thing…  I mean not as sad as learning that a longtime former colleague, Mary Vance, had died, but sad for the markets, economy and this country… 

So, there was more unwinding of the safe havens that had been bought late last week… The euro lost a little ground, the same with francs and yen, bonds didn’t move, but Gold got Whacked by $30….  Like I asked yesterday, have the fears of the Coronavirus subsided? Because that’s what the trading from the first two days this week is saying…  I find this to be utterly ridiculous, colleges across the country are cancelling personal classes, Shoot Rudy, even the SEC told their employees to work from home…  But traders don’t see this apparently… That’s all I’m saying about that!

And like always when Gold gets whacked like that, I say, that there’s always a silver lining here, and that is that the cheaper price gives investors an excellent opportunity to buy it cheaper than it was! 

Did you hear last week when our friends at OPEC (NOT!) decided to cut production again, but this time Russia said “nyet”? Well, that probably stuck in Saudi Arabia’s craw, don’t you think? Because now there’s a price war in Oil going on… And that’s not “just what we need right now!” But it is what it is…. I saw a great display of this price war going on the other day, as I traveled on route 76 down here in Florida. One gas station had regular at $2.55, and another just down the street, had regular at $2.19, which is where I would think the price of gas should have been given the drop in the price of Oil… I know there are lots of costs and taxes that go into refining oil to gas, but just thought that this was a good example…

Speaking of Oil…. Recall how I’ve told you that above $50 for Oil the Shale producers would jump in with more rigs and so on, and below $50 they got back out? Well… yesterday I saw a blurb on Bloomberg where they mentioned that “the new reality for shale producers is that almost all wells dug now lose money”…  With the price of Oil around $33 I would suspect that the “almost” is really an “all”… 

The thing that scares the bejeebers out of me here with the Shale Producers having to deal with losses is that they have accumulated debt up to their collective eyeballs… And how will they pay the debt servicing when they are losing their shirts daily?  I would say to look for some bankruptcies to be announced in this sector soon…  

And you know the song, the hip bone is connected to the thigh bone, which is connected to the knee bone, etc.?    So, think about these Shale Producers folks… They don’t make the rigs that they use, they buy them, and all the equipment needed to frack Oil from shale rocks… So, guess who will be next in line at the bankruptcy court after the Shale Producers? The Rig makers and fracking equipment folks, that’s who!  And then their producers get stuck with stuff, and so on… 

And regarding all of this going on right now… Well respected Investment Analyst Kyle Bass said in a interview that “if you think this is bad, wait a month”….    I shudder to think but it will come and there’s nothing we can do to stop it…  I’m just saying…  

The U.S. Data Cupboard is still empty in my mind… We will see the color of the Feb. CPI (consumer inflation) that’s about as reliable as a Nigerian Prince email!  HAHAHAHA!  The Federal Budget for Feb. is also supposed to print, but no one really pays attention to it any longer, as in the end of the fiscal year it will total more than $1 Trillion… 

To recap… The reversal of safe havens continued on Tuesday, and Gold got Whacked by $30!  Seems to Chuck that this presents an excellent buying opportunity…  Chuck talks about the repo mess going on, stimulus that’s being talked about, and other things this morning… 

For What It’s Worth… It’s been some time since I used a letter by my longtime friend, Bill Bonner, and today seems like a good day to revisit what he’s talking about these days… This time he’s talking about the Fed’s misdoings, and other things and can be found here:

Or, here’s your snippet: “In 16th-century England, a performer warmed up the crowd for a Shakespeare play by eating a live chicken – feathers and all.

Now before us is an even more appalling act. The feds are swallowing the entire economy.

This is the story we’ve been watching for two decades.

The Federal Reserve’s grifters swallowed the academic claptrap. They claimed they could manage the economy by falsifying interest rates… and “stimulate” it with fake money. And the public was ready to swallow anything, if there was free money involved.

Then, each time the economy or the markets tried to correct, the feds intervened with more “stimulus.”

This inevitably caused more wriggling and jiggling inside the economy… and then they had to swallow something even bigger to try to stop it.
Let’s look at the oil industry as an example…

We reported more than a year ago that the U.S. shale oil industry was a bubble created by the Fed’s ultra-low interest rates. Producers borrowed huge amounts of capital, fracked the hell out of vast areas of the U.S., and consistently lost money!

In effect, the U.S. oil industry was swallowed by the Fed’s fake-money/fake-interest-rates policies.

As long as they could borrow money cheaply enough… it didn’t seem to matter that they lost money. Like tech companies Tesla, Uber, Twitter, and Snapchat, the frackers were able to keep fracking.

Finally, last year, reported that the industry might soon turn a profit:”

Chuck Again…. Oh there’s more to this snippet, so go to the web link above and click it to read the whole message, nobody and I mean nobody can weave a story together like Bill Bonner… 

Currencies today 3/11/20 American Style: A$.6526, kiwi .6326, C$ .7282, euro 1.1330, sterling 1.2918, Swiss $1.0697, European Style: rand 16.0688, krone 9.5816, SEK 9.4670, forint 295.66, zloty 3.8152,    koruna 22.7070, RUB 72.17, yen 104.70, sing 1.3892, HKD 7.7693, INR 73.78, China 6.9492, peso 20.97, BRL 4.6897, Dollar Index 96.11,   Oil $33.16,   10-year 0.71%, Silver $17.03, Platinum $882.10, Palladium $2,354.00, and Gold…. $1,667.16

That’s it for today…  As I look outside the wind appears to have finally slowed down, as the palm trees don’t look like their bending over this morning! That’s a good thing!  The ocean is much calmer, and not as angry…  Well, tomorrow I go to have the “apligrapf” applied to my wound, I have no idea what this will entail, so I will be there bright an early in the morning to make sure if it takes more time than expected, I can get out of there and get back here in time for the baseball game!  I have my priorities, right? HA!   So, that’s it for today, tomorrow and Friday…  Grand Funk Railroad takes us to the finish line today with their song: Mean Mistreater…  I hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday, Tub Thumpin’ Thursday and Fantastico Friday, and will please Be Good To Yourself!

Chuck Butler