I Should Have Kept My Mouth Shut!

November 7, 2023

*Currencies & metals get sold on Monday

* RBA hikes rates! 

Good Day… And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you!  What boring game to watch last night. Chargets and Jets… The Jets reminded me of my senior year football team, great defense, offense that needs a kick! I played both ways, so I’m not taking a shot at the offense… In fact, I never left the field, On the kickoff and return teams, and the punt and punt return teams… I was 18, and thought I had a S on my chest! I remember the first play of my senior year, I got knocked out… The coach brought me to the sidelines, put smelling saltz under my nose, grabbed my facemask, looked me in the eyes, and said, “go get back in there!’  These days, the trainers would be giving me concussion tests… But those days, there was no “trainer” on the sidelines!  That also reminds me that my grandson Everett, is having surgery this morning on his broken ankle… Good luck buddy!   Weezer greets me this morning with their song: Island In The Sun….  
Well, I should have kept my mouth shut yesterday, saying that the dollar selling had reached a fever pitch, because the dollar bugs rallied the troops to buy dollars once again… The BBDXY regained 3 index points yesterday. The euro didn’t lose the 1.0 7 handle though, so that was not a strong dollar rally…  I told you yesterday that I would look into why the Chinese renminbi had rallied so strongly, and came to find out that the Chinese had let go of the daily control of the renminbi in recent times, and so renminbi traders simply reacted to the weak dollar… The Peoples Bank of China (PBOC) reacted to the rally by saying they would re-take the control of the daily fixings… So, there you go!  
Gold lost its early morning gain yesterday, and ended up down $14.70… That’s a $20 turnaround from the morning price in Gold… The short Gold paper traders were busy yesterday… Silver was also sold in the paper market, and lost 21-cents… Gold ended the day at $1,978.50, and Silver at $23.10…  The price of Oil lost $2 yesterday, and ended the day with an $80 handle… Both Russia and Saudi Arabia confirmed their Oil production cuts yesterday… And that still didn’t change Oil’s fortunes…  And the 10-year’s yield gained to 4.64%…   Bonds are very confusing right now, and when things are confusing, I tend to stray away from them… until, they make sense again… 
In the overnight markets last night…. well, front and center, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) hiked their Official Cash Rate (OCR) 25 basis points to 4.25%, their highest rate in 12 years, last night…  Well, I questioned yesterday when the PPT would reenter and save the dollar… And it appears that it began yesterday, and into the overnight markets, with the BBDXY gaining another 5 index points overnight. The euro has lost the 1.07 handle, and after looking healthier yesterday morning, the currencies all have that sick look about them today. I don’t know what to make of this, because the article in Bloomberg.com this morning, tells of how the markets are beginning to re-think their FOMC pivot thinking, and that a rate hike is creeping back into their minds…  Well, that may be, but that didn’t move the BBDXY over 8 index points since yesterday morning… No, that was intervention at its best, with tons of cash from the PPT’s Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF) at work… You can bet your sweet bippie on that one! 
And Gold & Silver have gotten caught up in the intervention, as the short paper traders saw the PPT’s move, as an opportunity to whack the metals… Gold is down $14 to start the day today, and silver has lost the $23 handle again, as it has lost 55-cents to start the day… Well, you know me, and I’ll find a silver lining in this, right? Well, that’s just what I’m going to do, and say that this drop in Gold & Silver gives investors an excellent buying opportunity, as the entry prices are cheaper…   See how I did that? Took an absolutely horrible situation, and turned it into a buying opportunity…  Sometimes I amaze myself! HA! 
The Price of Oil continues to drop, and trades this morning with a $79 handle… Oil traders are fooled by all the talk of a strong economy, and rates being dropped, they see the writing on the wall for the economy, and that means a drop in demand, and that has them pacing the floor at night… And the bond boys, are starting to get the message too, with the 10-year’s yield rising to 4.69% overnight… 
Well, if this doesn’t make you want to go yell at the walls, I don’t know what to tell you… Because this is the kind of stuff that makes my skin crawl, and I get all amped up, and start yelling at the walls… Good thing I’m here by myself!  So, check this out: “Congress just voted to exempt themselves from IRS audits, to keep the country safe… Wait! What?  You’ve got it!  I found this quote on Twitter regarding this: “This is what blunt force takeover looks like… But, of course it is meant to hide bribes, theft, and embezzlement. All the checks and balances are dead folks…. ” – @obsidian Rex on Twitter… 
Old news? maybe… but still we all need to be reminded of these moves that are made, instead of working on balancing a budget!  
So, how about that RBA hiking rates when everyone else is in a holding pattern? The RBA used to be part of a basket Currency CD that I created at the old EverBank, called the Prudent Central Bank CD…  There are not enough Prudent Central Banks in the world today, to make up a CD… And the RBA, because of their past sins wouldn’t be a part of it… But the RBA certainly would be on the second team!  Australia, being an island nation, has their own problems that they have navigated through the years… But if all hell breaks loose, they are out there all by themselves, other than their kissin’ cousin across the Tasman, New Zealand…  And with that thought, the rate hike didn’t help the A$ any, as it should have… UGH!   The U.S. dollar intervention made sure the A$ didn’t get off the mat… 
The Wall Street Journal is reporting this morning that the Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey — known as SLOOS —  showed tighter standards and weaker demand persist at US banks.  Uh-oh…  Banks are having many problems, and when they can’t improve their loan portfolios their problems grow even bigger…  The spread… two words that are very important to bankers… What is the spread of the loan?  what are we paying, VS what the customer is paying? That used to be the way Banks made money, before they were all bought by the Casinos, aka stock brokerages, but I’m sure “the spread” is still important… And when there are no loans to make, there’s no spread…  I’m just saying… 
And Reuters is reporting this morning that “WeWork, the SoftBank Group-backed startup whose meteoric rise and fall reshaped the office sector, is seeking US bankruptcy protection. The move represents an admission by SoftBank that the company can’t survive unless it renegotiates its pricey leases.” 
Chuck again… I believe we’ll see a lot more of this type of reports regarding the Corporate Real Estate… These Corporates own these leases at very high lease prices, and there aren’t many businesses that can afford these pricey leases right now… what becomes of this is nothing but tears… I’m not optimistic about this sector… And what that does to the economy… Just another brick in the wall… of things that will bring the economy to its knees… 
For What It’s Worth… This article came to me from longtime reader Bob… The article talks about Central Bank buying of physical Gold, and how China is the largest purchaser of physical Gold, and it can be found here: China leads record central bank gold buying in first nine months of year (ft.com)
Or, here’s your snippet: “China has spearheaded record levels of central bank purchases of gold globally in the first nine months of the year, as countries seek to hedge against inflation and reduce their reliance on the dollar.

Central banks have bought 800 Tonnes in the first nine months of the year, up 14 per cent year-on-year, according to a report by the World Gold Council, an industry group.
The “voracious” rate of buying has helped bullion prices defy surging bond yields and a strong dollar to trade just shy of $2,000 a troy ounce.
Surging consumer prices and depreciating currencies in many markets has triggered a rush to gold as a store of value, while the yellow metal has also historically been held when global inflation rises.
The rush to gold by central banks is also driven by countries’ desire to weaken their dependence on the US dollar as a reserve currency, after Washington weaponized the greenback in its sanctions against Russia.
China has stood out as the largest purchaser of gold this year as part of a 11-month buying streak. The People’s Bank of China has reported snapping up 181 Tonnes this year, taking gold holdings to 4 per cent of its reserves.
Poland, at 57 Tonnes, and Turkey, with 39 Tonnes, followed as the next largest buyers in the third quarter. A further eight banks purchased more than 1 Tonne.
The continued rapid rate of central bank buying has taken market analysts by surprise, who had been expecting an easing of purchases from last year’s all-time high.
Those concerns will have been further stoked by the conflict that has erupted in the Middle East between Hamas and Israel, which has lifted the safe haven asset almost 10 per cent in 16 days.”
Chuck again… follow the money, follow the money, follow the money… need I say more? 
Market Prices 11/7/ 2023: American Style: A$ .6412, kiwi .5914, C$ .7270, euro 1.0670, sterling 1.2281, Swiss $1.1095, European Style: rand 18.3968, krone 11.1758, SEK 10.9379, forint 355.18, zloty 4.1776, koruna 23.0897, RUB 92.49, yen 150.40, sing 1.3560, HKD 7.8196, INR 83.26, China 7.2842, peso 17.58, BRL 4.8874, BBDXY 1,262.44, Dollar Index 105.71, OIl $79.59, 10-year 4.69%, Silver $22.54, Platinum $897.00, Palladium $1,089.00, Copper $3.66, and Gold… $1,963.32
That’s it for today… Strange goings on in the world these days, have me wondering if I have enough Gold & Silver… I read an article that said that Western investors have come to a realization that Gold is a store of wealth, and not just a tradeable commodity… I said to myself… “I doubt that to be true, but it would be great if it were!”  May did I sleep yesterday, I took a 4 hour nap in the middle of the day, after sitting outside for a while, reading… I’ve always said that your body will tell you how much you need to sleep… And apparently my body said I needed to sleep 4 hours! Today, I’m driving north to Stuart Florida, to visit a very good friend of mine, Walt… I’m excited to see him again!  He used to always come to see me speak when I would speak in Florida for the Agora people… Jane’s Addiction takes us to the finish line today with their song: Been Caught Stealing…   I hope you have a Tom terrific Tuesday today, and please remember to Be Good To Yourself!  
Chuck Butler

Dollar Selling Reaches Fever Pitch!

November 6, 2023

* Currencies & metals rally on Friday

* Our next day of default is Nov. 17… 

Good Day… And a Marvelous Monday to you! Well, it was a disappointing weekend, sports-wise last week… My beloved Mizzou Tigers played tough but couldn’t catch a break and lost to #1 Georgia on Saturday. Then on Sunday our StL City team lost in the playoffs, so they’re out! The City team had a great expansion team season, winning first place in their division, but this playoff loss puts a bad taste in one’s mouth…  Our Blues won Saturday night, so there was something good!  I’m down in S. Florida, again… And I love it! Sunny and 82 yesterday, and looking out on the week, sunny and 80’s, every day! Warm but not too hot! Sugar Ray greets me this morning with their song: Every Morning… 
Well, the markets have cast their line out into the water that carries a FOMC stop of rate hikes, which means the next time they move rates will be to cut them… Never mind what FOMC chairman said about watching for a return of inflation… It’s as if he never said that, according to the markets… If they want to believe that, then so be it, because what this thought has done to the dollar late last week, had been something to behold… On Thursday, last week, the BBDXY lost 8 index points, and then after the Jobs Jamboree wasn’t to the markets liking, The BBDXY lost another 10 index points… So, to finish last week, the BBDXY lost 18 index points… The euro has climbed quickly through the 1.06 level, and starts this morning with a 1.07 handle… The rest of the currencies have all followed the Big Dog euro off the porch to chase the dollar down the street again…  This selling of the dollar was strong, and now Chuck wonders when the PPT will attempt to rescue the dollar once again… 
Gold was held back and not allowed to participate in the dollar selling on Thursday, and ended up only gaining $2.60 on the day… And then on Friday, Gold traded above $2,000 once again, only to be knocked back down to a gain of $7.10 to end the week at $1,993.20… Silver had a phenomenal day on Friday, and gained 47-cents to end the week at $23.31… The price of Oil remained trading with an $82 handle to end the week, and the time to buy bonds is now apparently, since the markets don’t think the FOMC will hike again, they have issued a “buy bonds now” call, and buy bonds the public did… The 10-year’s yield which in Rocktober was above 5% ended the week with a 4.55% yield…  I know I don’t need to explain this all the time, but there are new readers all the time, who might not know how bonds price…  And the yield goes down in bonds, the price goes up, and vice versa… So, there’s been a HUGE rally in bonds since we turned the calendar to November… 
In the overnight markets last night…. The dollar selling continued, with the BBDXY losing 3 more index points, the euro climbing higher in the 1.07 handle, and the rest of the currencies all looking healthier… You know, I had always wondered and wrote about it previously, that I questioned whether the dollar bugs would relent once the rate hikes stopped, and all the dollar strength that was built while rates were climbing, would be erased… Well, I guess I’m getting my question answered… At least so far…  Gold starts the day up $3, but still can’t seem to crack the $2,000 figure and stay there, but to me this is just foreplay for Gold… And actually, I like it better this way… make several attempts to take out the figure and move higher, is how assets usually price… So, when Gold finally takes out $2,000 and stays above the figure, it will be for good… not for ever, but for good…  Silver stars the day down 7-cents… nothing that can’t be wiped clean and turned around…  The price of Oil is $82 on the nose, and the 10-year’s yield gained a bit overnight and trades this morning with a 4.59%… 
Well, I’ve go to tell you that what I talked about last week, regarding our country going into war, is really eating at me, and after a weekend of reading, I’m even more certain that’s where we are heading… Gee I hope I’m wrong! 
Oh, and we as a country are going to send $14.5 Billion in aid to Israel… Look, we don’t have $1 much less $14.5 Billion to send anywhere! This is ridiculous, and someone needs to stop this spending like a drunken sailor, so you old tars, that’s just a saying… And isn’t Israel one of the richest countries in the world? Why do they need $14.5 Billion?   And that’s not taking into consideration what we will appropriate to Ukraine…  I fired off an email to Nikki Haley yesterday, and asked her, “Why do we, as a country continue to overspend our revenues? Tell me what you will do to sop this deficit spending….   I await her answer… 
The Japanese yen got thrown a life saver, with the U.S. markets new thought, and the yen’s daily beatings were called off, for now…  With the dollar getting sold, the main beneficiary of that was the euro, then sterling, then yen, and then the rest of the currencies fell in behind yen…   But is this a time to buy yen, if the dollar continues to get sold? I don’t think so… Japan still has its problems that’s a list longer than Rumpelstiltskin’s name!  They have a demographic problem like no other country… They have a debt problem, but they don’ have a funding the debt problem like the U.S. does… but why would anyone buy yen, and get charged for holding it? I rest my case… Oh, and just this weekend a Deutsche Bank analyst put the Japanese yen in the same league as the Turkish lira and Argentinian peso… OCH! Now that’s gotta hurt and leave a mark! 
And I haven’t found out what lit the fire under the Chinese renminbi, but there’s a fire, and the currency has rallied to 7.26 from 7.31… I was checking the currency prices this morning, and came upon the Singapore dollar (sing) and noticed it had rallied, and immediately I went to China’s price to confirm my suspicion… And that is that these two are basically tied at the hip… one doesn’t rally without the other one, and one gets sold without the other one getting sold… It proved out once again!  But getting back to the renminbi, I’ll be working on that today, and hopefully have an answer for you tomorrow… 
OK… I’ll get to the Jobs Jamboree in a minute or two… But first, here’s something that I follow, to get the pulse of the economy, and it’s the shipping business…  Last week it was announced that Shipping giant Maersk, a bellwether for global trade, on Friday announced plans to reduce its workforce by more than 10,000 people and said it expected profit to be at the low end of prior guidance.

“Our industry is facing a new normal with subdued demand” – Maersk
Chuck again… uh-oh!  I’m thinking that the Christmas shopping season is going to be very difficult to meet everyone’s wishes this year… 
You know, I get it… I really do, regarding why the markets have switched to this new thought… I mean in the past week we’ve had a somewhat smaller-than-expected quarterly refunding announced by Treasury. Friday’s weaker-than-expected Non-Farm Payrolls report (150k vs. 180k estimate). And, of course, the transformation of a “hawkish pause” to “dovish likely done.  All that is leading the markets to this new place… All I’ll say about all of this is that we’re in deep dookie, as a country, when the FOMC decides to start cutting interest rates…   Inflate or die… And we’ll get right back to inflating the economy, and this time we won’t be able to get it back down… I’m just saying… 
And Nov 17th is our next default day… Remember weeks ago, when we went to the 11th hour to extend the current spending to Nov 17th?  Well, that’s what we did, and now that day is just 11 days away… And have we, as a country, come to an agreement on spending? No… So, guess what will happen… There will be all this Kyoto Theater, and drama leading to the 17th, and then they will announce another extension, but this time the extension will be tied to each of the 12 spending items and not a just an extension on the whole shootin’ match…  This is curious to me, as I get the feeling that they are just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic… And this will make the totals look smaller… Don’t be fooled!  These guys would be good shell game jockeys… 
The U.S. Data Cupboard last week started on Wednesday with the ADP Employment Report which showed that only 113,000 jobs were created in Rocktober… But that was just the tip of the iceberg that hit the Titanic, I mean the dollar… On Thursday, we saw 3rd QTR Productivity had gained from 3.6% to 4.7%… The Employee Cost Index increased, and the hourly earnings fell… So, that means people are working harder for less…   That can’t continue for too long before it blows up…  And then on Friday, the Jobs Jamboree… On the surface, they BS, I mean the BLS, said that jobs created in Rocktober were 150,000, and the previous two months numbers were revised lower… Here’s where I have done here… in the last two months the BLS has said that jobs created were 447,000… But according the BLS’s website, they added 303,000 total jobs the last two month combined, which give us a total for two months of 144,000 or 72,000 per month…    The BLS can play all the games they want to with the jobs data, but in reality, real jobs created the last two months total was 144,000…    
But the BLS can’t report real numbers… Or else the propeller heads that run the BLS will be show the door, and their replacements will toe the line or they too will be shown the door…  
There’s not on the Data Cupboard’s docket this week… So, I think we’ll see the dollar continue to get sold, because the last data received led the markets to sell dollars…. 
To recap… The dollar  ran into a buzzsaw of sellers heading into the weekend last week… The markets have a new thought and it says, sell dollars…   The euro has climbed to trade with a 1.07 handle, and all the other currencies fell in behind the euro, and booked their own profits VS the dollar. Shoot Rudy, even the Japanese yen rallied! Gold had muted rallied both Thursday and Friday last week… Silver was the top performing metal on Friday… Chuck wonders when the PPT comes to the rescue of the dollar again?    And we as a country are sending money overseas once again, instead of spending it here… or better yet, not spending it at all! 
For What It’s worth… Well, this article was sent to me from the good folks at GATA… So, if you can’t get it when you click the link, that’s why… Sometimes they put stuff out there that is open to the public, so maybe this one will be too… It’s about the Gold Manipulation shakedown and how it’s progressing, and it can be found here: Gold market manipulation update: The battle may be going gold’s way | Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee | Exposing the long-term manipulation of the gold market (gata.org)
Or, here’s your snippet: “Central bank intervention against gold and intervention against gold by the agents of central banks, the big investment banks that trade heavily in the monetary metals — “bullion banks” — long has been documented and publicized by the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee. Especially telling lately has been GATA’s deciphering of the monthly reports of the financial position of the Bank for International Settlements, the central bank of all the major central banks and their gold broker. The BIS provides crucial camouflage for central bank interventions that hold gold down.

As far as we can determine, only one person in the world outside central banking — GATA’s consultant Robert Lambourne — reviews the BIS monthly reports and does the calculations necessary to discover what is happening. The interventions, accomplished in large part through gold swaps and leases, are not stated plainly in the BIS monthly reports, though they easily could be. The interventions are stated plainly, if obscurely, only in the bank’s annual report. But recent BIS annual reports have confirmed the stunning accuracy of Lambourne’s monthly calculations.

Gold swaps conducted via the BIS involve exchanges of gold among central banks and bullion banks. These swaps move custody of gold around without necessarily moving any gold itself. In effect gold swaps, along with gold leases, often allow central banks and bullion banks to apply gold to markets where, in the view of the central bank members of the BIS, the gold price most urgently needs to be discouraged or controlled.

But we may fairly suspect that the reduction in BIS gold swaps over the last several years has been connected with the need of bullion banks to comply with the new gold banking regulations that the BIS has been pressing on the world, the so-called Basel III regulations. Under these regulations gold derivatives that are issued by a bank but not fully backed by physical gold are to be charged against the bank’s balance sheet. The new regulations powerfully discourage bullion banks from selling claims to gold that they don’t actually hold — that is, the new regulations discourage bullion banks from selling “paper gold,” gold credits, essentially imaginary gold that has greatly facilitated gold price suppression.

By pushing bullion banks out of the “paper gold” business, the BIS’ “Basel III” regulations may force central banks that still are intervening against gold to put more of their own physical gold reserves at risk for gold price suppression, something they might prefer not to do.”

Chuck again… These Gold Swaps are a huge detriment to Gold’s physical price, and if the BASELIII changes all that then I’m all for it! This is a very long article, so make sure you take the time to read it all, that is if you can reach it… 
Market Prices 11/6/2023: American Style: A$ .6507, kiwi .5978, C$ .7328, euro 1.0748, sterling 1.2417, Swiss $1.1153, European Style: rand 18.2325, krone 11.0315, SEK 10.8662, forint 353.30, zloty 4.1523, koruna 22.7247, RUB 92.30, yen 149.58, sing 1.3490, HKD 7.8222, INR 83.21, China 7.2678, peso 17.43, BRL 4.9030, BBDXY 1,253.84, Dollar Index 104.92, Oil $82.00, 10-year 4.59%, Silver $23.24, Platinum $934.00, Palladium $1,130.00, Copper $3.67, and Gold… $1,996.73
That’s it for today… I traveled down here Saturday all by myself… Kathy decided to stay until Wednesday this week… I got here, and went on a scavenger hunt for something to eat… Provisions were on their way Sunday morning, but Saturday night, I ate some cheese, and Triscuits… At least there was plenty of coffee Sunday morning! I sat outside and read for a long time yesterday, and loved it! I’m reading a new author, for me, Nelson DeMille… and this book is a good one so far!  I put my City gear away yesterday, not to be gotten out again until next March!  With The World Series over, trading and signing of free agents can now take place… What are you waiting for Cardinals? Their shopping list this winter should be: Starting pitcher, starting pitcher, starting pitcher, and closer…   I doubt my list compares with theirs!  But they are dolts if they don’t check off my list!  Ok… my grandson Everett will have surgery tomorrow morning on his ankle… Good luck buddy!  Chicago takes us to the finish line today with my 2nd fave song from them: Beginnings… I especially like the live from Carnagie Hall version… I hope you have a Marvelous Monday today, and please Be Good To Yourself!
Chuck Butler

FOMC Leaves Rates Unchanged…

November 2, 2023

* the dollar get ambushed overnight… 

* Gold marches toward $2,000 once again… 

Good Day… And a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday to one and all! I don’t know if it was the cold weather, or the idea that I have that young adults, with children, don’t get into the tradition of Halloween, that only saw about 25 kids come to our house Tuesday night…  It’s probably both, but it was darn cold out! I guess we’ll see if it picks up next year, eh?  I got chastised the other day, when I went off on the cancellation of our history… That’s OK… I know I’m right! HA! Congrats to the Texas Rangers on their first ever World Series Championship!  I have a good friend who made a bet on the Rangers so, I know he’s a happy camper this morning! The Cure greets me this morning with thier song: Lovesong… 
Well, it was back to selling dollars yesterday, especially after the Fed Heads announced no rate hike… The BBDXY lost 3 index points yesterday, and the euro makes it march to 1.06 once again… I don’t know if it will get there right away, but eventually, it will become a thing of the past… Gold was up, down, up, down and all around yesterday, like it was doing the limbo… In the end, Gold was up down just 80-cents on the day at $1,983.50… Silver saw the same type of trading as Gold, and ended the day up 9-cents, to $23.02…  I could have saved myself some typing there by just saying that Gold & Silver were basically flat on the day… But, I didn’t, so we move along…  The price of Oil dropped a buck to an $81 handle, and bonds… OMG! What the heck happened here? 
The 10-year’s yield dropped tremendously to 4.73%… And a lot of that move came after the FOMC announcement…. I think bond traders are putting the horse before the cart here folks… They are trading for what might happen 18 months from now… or even longer! The Fed Heads have tried to get it through the bond boys thick skulls that rates will remain higher, and for longer… That doesn’t mean just because the FOMC didn’t hike, that they are preparing to cut rates! And that’s what I saw in bond trading yesterday… I for one don’t see rates coming down until 2025… But then, that’s just my logical thinking once again… 
In the overnight markets last night… the anti-dollar traders ambushed the dollar… The BBDXY is down 6 index points overnight, thus adding in yesterday’s 3 index loss, and you have 9 index points lost in the last 24 hours… I would say that traders and investors are not happy about the Fed Heads’ position, which is to not hike rates at the moment, but certainly not ready to even discuss, cutting them… This is about the time the PPT steps in to keep the dollar from falling even more… But no sign of them so far… But it is very early, folks… They, the PPT, like to loll around and relax… Gold is up $5 in the early trading this morning, and Silver is flat to down 2-cents…   Gold is nearing in on the $2,000 figure once again, this is a real phycological figure, and any time it trades past the figure, it gets knocked on its rear and dropped below it… So, is this time the time we see Gold continue on to higher ground? Well, not of if the short Gold paper traders have anything to say about it… But demand for the shiny metal right now is growing to a very strong demand… That should keep the short paper traders on the sideline until they see any cracks in the strong demand, and then they’ll strike! 
So… The FOMC left rates unchanged… That does not mean, they are ready to cut rates!  Here’s chairman Powell words; “The stance of policy is restrictive, meaning that tight policy is putting downward pressure on economic activity and inflation, and the full effects of our tightening have yet to be felt.”
Hmmm… He also mentioned that the FOMC reserves the right to hike rates again, if inflation comes back…  If I were in the room, I would have corrected him, and said, inflation never went away!  But, I wasn’t, and that’s probably a good thing, or esle I would be spending the night in the hoosegow!   
I don’t know about you, but, I’m getting the feeling that we, as a country, are getting our ducks in a row, to go to war… I sincerly hope not, because that would escalate things to a WWIII… But I can’t help getting these thoughts, from all that I read about what’s going on… 
But wouldn’t that be just about right for end of our Empire? spreading our military, increasing spending, and having a population that just won’t work any longer?  The same happened to the Mongols, the Romans, The Brits, and many other Empires through history…  Our decline began in the year 2000… I’m just saying…
Ok, back to happy thoughts!  My beloved Mizzou Tigers are getting 16 points on the betting line for their game VS Georgia on Saturday…  While I don’t believe the Tigers will lose by more than 10 points, I’m very hesitant to make that call… They could, win… Now that would be something! And they have a chance to do so… A Chance, you’re telling me they have a chance?  Slight, but a chance nonetheless… 
And then… I guess Stanley Druckenmiller isn’t going to be sending Janet Yellen any Christmas cards this year…  here’s why: Janet Yellen is behind the “biggest blunder” in the history of America’s Treasury, according to billionaire hedge funder Stanley Druckenmiller.

Druckenmiller—whose decades-long career has seen him build a net worth of more than $6 billion—slammed the Treasury Secretary during an on-stage discussion at last week’s Robin Hood Investors Conference, arguing that Yellen had failed to take advantage of the ultra-low interest rates era…. 

As if the Treasury didn’t issue enough bonds to finance our debt during that period, but I do get what he’s saying, that she could have issued more debt at zero rates, to ensure that we, as a country, didn’t have to worry about rising interest rates and bond servicing costs… 
No worries, Stanley, Janet Yellen’s not on my Christmas Card list either! 
Well… how did we get into this mess in the first place?  Deficit spending, year after year, after year, after year, that’s how… I know you’re going to say, “But Chuck, you’ve been telling us worry about the mounting debt for years now, and it still hasn’t brought about the problems you spelled out, all those years ago”…  And I would say, you are correct, except now we have to suffer for all of our past sins…  This might not be the level of debt that collapses the financial system, but I can’t help thinking that the end isn’t far away…  I mean in just the past three years, we, as a country printed more than $6 Trillion in new dollars, and that brought about the fastest rising inflation since 1979, and to combat that our Fed/ Cabal/ Cartel hiked rates 500 Basis Points, and now banks everywhere are having to deal with how this rising rate environment affects their bond portfolios…  What’s next?  Only the Shadow Knows, folks, but it won’t be good… I know that for sure! 
This is when I wish the Pfennig Replies worked… Because I would like to know… Am I the only one that’s seeing this, as the beginning of the end of the Empire? 
I read this morning that with yen breaching 150, (it was 151 yesterday), that the Bank of Japan (BOJ) is ramping up the intervention whispers… I say, go ahead BOJ, intervene, for it will only last one day, and then traders will get the feeling that it was a one and done, and get back to selling yen…  So, go ahead BOJ… I double dog dare you!  
And then there was this… last week, there were calls from Sweden’s Riksbank (central bank) , for a capital infusion of $6 Trillion… Wait… What?  Yes, the oldest central bank is in trouble, because of the losses on paper in their bond portfolio… First last year, we had large U.S. banks fold because of that, and now we have a Central Bank on the ropes? Man, oh man… What’s to come next?  Keep reading the Pfennig each day, to find out! 
The U.S. Data Cupboard yesterday, had the ISM Manufacturing Index for Rocktober, and it was very disappointing! The index fell from 49.6 to 46!  That’s a HUGE drop in the index folks, and says that manufacturing contracted in Rocktober… The ADP Employment report for Rocktober was only 113,000 jobs created in the month… I guess we’ll see how many hedonic adjustments the BLS makes to their surveys come tomorrow… Yes, tomorrow is a Jobs Jamboree Day… Oh Goody… NOT!   In addition to the ISM yesterday, we saw the Job Openings remained at 9.6 Million, and today’s Data Cupboard has the Sept Factory Orders, and the stupid Productivity for the 3rd QTR… 
To recap… The dollar got sold yesterday, as I guess the dollar bugs were upset that the FOMC left rates unchanged once again… Chuck thinks the bond boys have gotten way ahead of themselves… Gold & Silver couldn’t take advantage of the dollar selling and ended the day with both of them flat for the day…   Stanley Druckenmiller has crossed Janet Yellen’s name off his Christmas card list…  And Chuck talks about the end of our Empire… he believes it began to show wear and tear at the turn of the century, and now with a possibility of spreading our military around, will begin to push us toward the same fate as the Mongols, Romans, and Brits…  
For What It’s Worth… Good friend, Dennis Miller of www.milleronthemoney.com sent me something yesterday to read, and while doing so, I noticed a different article that looked to be FWIW worthy…  This is an article about how Quantitative Easing (QE) was good for stocks and QT isn’t good for stocks, and what do we find our Country is in the middle of right now?  and it can be found here: Fed’s QE Giveth, Fed’s QT Taketh Away: Russell 2000 Hits 3-Year Low, Nasdaq Back to Dec 2020, S&P 500 Back to Apr 2021 | Wolf Street
Or, here’s your snippet: “There are some things happening in this inflationary world that contradict well-established previous wisdoms, including that stocks are a hedge against inflation. Turns out, since QE started in 2008, all prior wisdoms had to be thrown out the window, and the new wisdoms are all about QE and now QT: QE makes stocks go up, and QT makes stocks go down, no matter what inflation and the real economy do.

The Nasdaq Composite closed on Friday at 12,643, down 22% from the peak in November 2021, and back where it had first been on December 16, 2020. Despite huge gyrations, it has gone nowhere in nearly three years.
And the huge rally through July 2023, fired up by the Fed’s lightning-fast $400 billion in bank-panic liquidity injection, is threatening to turn into the biggest sucker rally ever. The problem is that the Fed then had quickly withdrawn the liquidity and followed up with record QT, now amounting to over $1 trillion.
The S&P 500 index closed on Friday at 4,117, down 14.6% from the peak on January 3, 2022, and back where it had first been on April 9, 2021

In other words, despite all these gyrations, it has gone nowhere in about two-and-a-half years. And the huge rally, driven by the Fed’s $400 billion in bank-panic medication, fizzled out at the beginning of August, and it been careening downhill QT Way.”

Chuck again…. Yes, it’s always good to touch on the stock market, not that I consider myself a stock jockey, or anything close to one, so it’s good to have someone else to do the talking…  I’m just saying… Got Gold? 
Market Prices 11/2/2023: American Style: A$ .6439, kiwi .5900, C$ .7242, euro 1.0633, sterling 1.2192, Swiss $1.1057, European Style: rand 18.4104, krone 11.1598, SEK 11.1190, forint 359.53, zloty 4.1941, koruna 23.1573, RUB 93.20, yen 150.33, sing 1.3638, HKD 7.8253, INR 83.25, China 7.3178, peso 17.66, BRL 4.9584, BBDXY 1,268.05, Dollar Index 106.11, Oil $81.61, 10-year 4.70%, Silver $23.04, Platinum $918.00, Palladium $1,109.00, Copper $3.65, and Gold… $1,988.13
That’s if for today, and this week of course! I’ll be writing to you next week from my winter home down south… I’m there for just 11 days…   Good luck to my beloved Mizzou Tigers this weekend…  Our Blues lost in Colorado last night… UGH!  The season isn’t exactly starting out very good for the Blues… I hesistate to say that it’s a long season, because I kept saying that last spring when the Cardinals started to badly, and then never turned it around… So I won’t jinx the Blues like that! Well, my grandson, Everett, broke his ankle playing football last Saturday, and he’s scheduled for surgery next Tuesday… He’s a tough little guy… But that’s going to put the kyboshes on his wrestling season… Hopefully, he rehabs and is good to go by spring!  Baseball season! I played football for many years, and had a high ankle sprain my junior year, and that’s it! So, I was lucky! Chicago takes us to the finish line today with this great 70’s song: I’m A Man…  Chicago’s guitar player/ singer, Terry Kath, was in my opinion, the best lead guitar player of his generation. Terry Kath, died from a self inflicted gunshot too early in life… So Sad…  I hope you have a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday today, and a Fantastico Friday tomorrow! And please remember to Be Good To Yourself!
Chuck Butler

It’s An FOMC Day!

November 1, 2023

* currencies and metals get sold on Tuesday

* Larry Summers gets his words mixed up… 

Good Day… And a Wonderful Wednesday to you… and welcome to November!  Long time readers will recall by dislike for this month… it’s a personal thing and quite frankly every year I seem to dislike November even more!   All the jokes were lame last night… And because it was only 34 degrees with a howling wind, we only had about 25 kids show up… all seemed to be bearing the low temps and I was impressed with that!   Spirit greets me this morning with another of my all-time favorite songs: It’s Nature’s Way…
We’ll the PPT must have read my Pfennig yesterday and decided to show me how wrong I was…. the dollar bugs went crazy yesterday and at the end of the day the BBDXY was up 5 index points… the euro was unable to hold the 1.06 handle and the rest of the currencies all fell in value to the dollar… 
So what do you think got the dollar bugs so hyped?  I’m going with a large investment in the dollar by the PPT… and then left the rest to the dollar bugs…
Gold was up, down, up again and finally ended the day down $12.20 with an ending price of $1,98.50… Silver took one to the chin yesterday and was sold off to the tune of 42-cents, and ended the day at $ 22.83…  The short paper traders were very busy yesterday in both metals, and here’s Ed Steer’s thoughts on the trading yesterday from his letter this morning: “Yesterday’s price action in the precious metals was all paper positioning in the GLOBEX and COMEX futures markets yesterday…especially in the latter… where the commercial traders of whatever stripe had to step in when both silver and gold threatened to run away to the upside. It had nothing to do with that ‘rally’ in the dollar index.”  www.edsteergoldsilver.com 
Yesterday, I talked about how I thought it had to be the Fed Heads buying the 10-year in bulk, to move its yield so quickly downward… Well, I’m going to give you the proof in the pudding as far as I’m concerned… One day of buying the bond, and it was over… the 10-year’s yield rose back to 4.90%…  
The price of Oil remains in the $82 handle, and I’m not getting the reason for its lingering here…  But… so be it… 
In the overnight markets last night… The dollar buying continued, with the BBDXY gaining another point.  The one and done PPT buying, just spurred the markets to buy more… Every time, the dollar looks like it could go south for the winter, the PPT steps in and make certain that it stays home… UGH!  Gold is flat to up a buck this morning, and Silver is down 14-cents to start the day… There was no price movement in Oil or the 10-year overnight. 
You know, every day, I write down the currencies’ prices and each day, I’m filled with anticipation as to what I will find with the Swiss franc… The franc has outperformed all of its kissin’ cousins in Europe this year, and has shown that it could be quite strong, and then shown that it could be weaker…  This comment by J.P Morgan in Bloomberg.com this morning caught my eye: ” J.P. Morgan Private Bank say the franc rally has scope to run and options recently showed the highest bets for franc appreciation since March, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Appetite for haven assets is strong as the war between Israel and Hamas heats up, while the Swiss National Bank continues to brandish franc purchases as a tool to curb inflation.”
And that reminded me that the franc is the poster child for a “safe haven”…  I’ve always admired the Swiss, in that they don’t meddle in other people’s business… don’t get involved in geopolitical problems, and the only mark against them was when the SNB held interest rates in negative territory… But that’s all behind them now, and I like the franc going forward…
I know, I know, I just gave the kiss of death to the franc… But maybe this time, that won’t happen! 
Well, the debt in the U.S. continues to be the real story folks… not the wars, not the hype, not Taylor Swift at a Chiefs game…  On Monday, this week, the U.S. Department of the Treasury said it will be looking to borrow $776 billion, to finish out the final 3 months of this year… I’m not going to annualize that number because it’s just too frightening!  I keep thinking of the great Stevie Wonder song: Higher Ground… And I think the U.S. Gov’t has just changed the words to:  I’m going to keep on deficit spending, till I reach the higher ground… 
And long-time reader, Bob, sent me this quote from Larry Summers… “Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers believes that the current federal budget deficit poses a greater challenge for the economy than it has before in U.S. history. 
Summers said Tuesday during an event staged by the Center for American Progress, a Democratic Party-aligned think tank, that the U.S. budget deficit, which came in at $1.7 trillion in 2023, “is probably a more serious problem than it ever has before.” 
Chuck again… a serious problem, eh Larry? You think? it’s not a “probably”, it’s a realization!  
The Central Bank buying of physical Gold in 2022, was something! But guess what? Central Bank buying of physical Gold is going for new records in 2023!  The Good Folks at GATA sent me this: “Central banks have loaded up on more gold than previously thought this year, offering crucial support to prices that have faced pressure from global monetary tightening. Countries expanded bullion reserves by 337 tons in the three months through September, the World Gold Council said in a report today. That follows an increase of 175 tons in the second quarter, which was bigger than the councils previous estimate of 103 tons. 
Cen tral bank purchases for the first nine months of the year now total 800 tons, driven mainly by China, Poland, and Singapore, as well as unreported buying. The pace has exceeded the amount for the same period of last year, which ended with record demand.”
Chuck again… Follow the money… need I say more? Got Gold?
When push comes to shove, and everyone realizes that they need some physical Gold, the rush to buy it will be tremendous, and you just might find that “your source” just doesn’t have any physical Gold… Then what will you do? You’ll probably keep looking until you find some source that has physical Gold, and you tell them you need to buy some at any price… Uh-Oh!   
Well, today is FOMC Day… The Fed Heads began their meeting yesterday, getting all the board games out, to pass their time… By George, you’ve sunk my battleship!   Those were the cries heard coming from the Eccles Building yesterday, but today the Fed Heads have to get to the cheese that binds…  Will the leave rates unchanged or hike them the one last time like Chairman Powell described earlier last month?   Frankly, I don’t give a damn… 
The U.S. Data Cupboard today has the ADP Employment Report for Rocktober. In addition, we’ll see the job openings data, which should remain high, the ISM Manufacturing Index, which has been below 50 for a month of Sunday’s now, will most likely remain below 50… and then the FOMC announcement… 
To recap… The dollar was on the brink once again of going down, and then the white knight, aka the PPT stepped in to buy dollars and turn the momentum that way… The dollar gained 5 index points yesterday!   The U.S. Treasury announced that they need $776 Billion for the final 3 months of the year… YIKES!  Larry Summers says tha the debt is probably a serious problem, and Chuck talks about why he likes the Swiss franc… 
For What It’s Worth… Well, this article is one day too late! It would have been appropriate to have it featured yesterday on Halloween, since it talks about Evil…  This is Egon Von Greyerz talking about what happens at the end of the debt creation cycle and it can be found here: THE CYCLE OF EVIL  – Matterhorn – GoldSwitzerland
Or here’s your snippet: “We are on the inevitable road to perdition for the world economy & financial system, ending in a potential global conflict of uncontrollable proportions.

Evil begets evil as The Cycle of Evil hits countries at the end of an uncontrollable debt expansion.
The pattern throughout history has always been the same – countries and empires, without fail, become victims of their own success -failure, whether it was the Mongols, Ottomans or the British.
As real growth ceases, a country starts to finance expansion with debt until it cannot even afford the interest on the debt, never mind the capital which it has no intention to repay.
At some point, the people, fearing a war or terrorist attack will approve of the leader’s fear mongering by supporting unlimited debt issuance. This is now happening in the US with regard to Ukraine and Israel.
Neither the U.S. nor Europe is taking a single step to remedy the situation.
Both are now in the Cycle of Evil of more deficits, more debt, higher interest costs, leading to more deficits, more debt higher interest costs, leading to…
The Cycle of Evil is also accompanied by decadence and moral decline where leaders invent problems that are not real such as climate change, ESG (environmental, social and governance), forced vaccines and incarcerations, 25 new genders and other woke issues etc.
Few Americans understand that the next stage of the Cycle of Evil is about to hit them.
And even fewer Europeans have a clue that they will be dragged down into the same debt collapse quagmire.
The next stage will involve many banks failing, more than the FDIC or government can afford to save without destroying both the Currency and the Bond Market,

A collapsing currency and sovereign debt paper that no investor wants to touch with a barge pole is hardly the right climate for massive debt issuance.”

Chuck again… Tell like it is… don’t be afraid, to let your conscience be your guide… Ahh, Aaron Neville on a Wednesday morning… 
Market Prices 11/1/2023: American Style: A$ 6342, kiwi .5822, C$ .7205, euro 1.0542, sterling 1.2124, Swiss $1.0998, European Style: rand 18.7209, krone 11.2162, SEK 11.2123, forint 363.41, zloty 4.2331, koruna 23.3934, RUB 93.00, yen 151.23, sing 1.3710, HKD 7.8239, INR 83.28, China 7.3190, peso 18.02, BRL 5.0359, BBDXY 1,277.06, Dollar Index 106.90, Oil $82.67, 10-year 4.90%, Silver $22.67, Platinum $922.00, Palladium $1,117.00, Copper $3.65, and Gold… $1,984.29
That’s it for today… Man is it cold outside, my watch tells me it’s only 24 degrees! This is only November 1st! Have I ever told you how much I dislike cold weather? Oh, I have? Oh you say probably 1,000 times? Ok, then I’m sorry to have repeated myself! HA! Well the Rangers laid the wood on the D-Backs last night, ouch! That’s going to leave a mark! Our Blues get back on the ice tonight in Colorado… Late start to that one, so I’m only good for the 1st period…  We’re still looking for a new writing desk for me… Can’t seem to find what I want… Until I do, I write from the kitchen table… And that’s not making Kathy very happy… But since I’ll be working at the desk all the time, I require something that I really like!  OK… let’s get this Show on The Road (Michael Stanley) … Don Henley, takes us to the finish line today with his song: There’s Just Not Enought Love In The World…  And brother is that bang on or what?    I hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday today, and please oh please Be Good To Yourself!
Chuck Butler

Happy Halloween! Boo!

Rocktober 31, 2023

* currencies rally on Monday

* The Mad King, James Grant, and more on this Tuesday! 

Good Day… And a Happy Halloween Tom Terrific Tuesday to you!  Boo! It’s going to be a very cold one tonight, sitting out giving out candy to trick-or-treaters… I sure hope they have learned some good jokes!  Usually, the jokes these days are pretty lame, if there is a joke at all! Some Trick-or-treaters just show up and want a hand out… I usually sneer at them for their lack of participating in Halloween the right way! Almost all of the little kids in the neighborhood, that I knew, have grown up and out of the subdivision… So, it’s up to the new young ones to take over… C’Mon give me a good joke!  Radiohead greets me this morning with a very appropriate named song for today: Creep… 
Well, we started the week yesterday morning with the dollar getting sold, and it continued to get sold throughout the day, not harshly, but sold nonetheless. The BBDXY was down 3 index points on the day, and closed at 1,270. I think the dollar bugs are realizing that the Fed Heads aren’t going to hike rates this week, and have decided that there were two steps ahead of the Fed/ Cabal/ Cartel, marking up the dollar… So, now that have to pare back those upward marks…  At least that’s how I see it playing out…  Gold never found a bid yesterday, and ended the day down $10.10 to close at $1,996.50… Silver was up BIG at one point of the day, but ended up just 21-cents, after climbing as high as up 41-cents earlier in the day. Sliver closed at $23.40, so a good day for Silver, bad day for Gold… A mixed bag-o-metal prices! 
I don’t know what is going on with the price of Oil… First last week, Oil got sold because the ground offensive was being delayed, then it got bought because the ground offensive began, and yesterday, Oil got sold again, with the ground offensive still going on… So, figure that one out, Batman! The price of Oil lost $2 yesterday and ended the day with an $82 handle…. And the 10-year’s yield didn’t budge from its earlier position of 4.89%…  
In the overnight markets last night…. The dollar drifted here and there, but ended up this morning in the same clothes it wore at yesterday’s close (1,270).  The euro has perked up and traded over 1.06 again… and that gain in the euro was reflected in the old Dollar Index which fell to 1.06.04 overnight.  I think the markets are coming to grips with the thought that the Fed Heads will leave rates unchanged tomorrow, and that they should be reconciling that with selling the dollar…  At least that’s what I see happening, and I’ve seen currency market moves since 1992…  WOW! Are you really that old Chuck? Yes, the move to the currency, and foreign bond desk in 1992, was my second career… After years of running the bond operations, I made the leap to trading… And what a leap it lead to be!  
Ok, enough reminiscing here… Gold is up $3 in the early trading this morning and knocking on the door of $2,000 once again. Silver is off a few cents here and there to start the day… But Gold looks like it wants to run some today, so if you’re looking to buy Gold this morning, may I suggest that you do it early in the day?  Good…  Ok, the price of Oil remains in the $82 handle this morning, and the yield on the 10-year has dropped to 4.81%…  I really have to think that there’s some funny business going on in the 10-year bond…  You know, not funny ha-ha, but funny like bond buying by some entity that has the deep pockets to move a bond market…  And I can only think of one entity like that… The Fed/ Cabal/ Cartel…  I’m just saying… 
Ok, long timers know that I love reading James Grant whenever I get the opportunity to do so… And yesterday, he was quoted on zerohedge.com!  So, let’s listen in to see what’s on James Grant’s mind these days…  “Gold’s About to Have its Day: Jim Grant Warns No One’s Prepared For “Higher Yields For Much, Much, Much Longer”  It raises the interesting possibility that we are embarked on a new bond bear market,» says Jim Grant, editor of the iconic investment bulletin «Grant’s Interest Rate Observer». «Bonds are unusual in the world of financial assets as their prices historically tend to trend in generation-length intervals; something we don’t see so much in stocks or commodities.”  – James Grant… 
Chuck again… you know, James Grant has never been one to hype something… And when he says that “Gold’s about to have its day”, he’s done the research, comparisons, rechecked them, and then says what he has to say… 
This from the Mad King on Twitter yesterday: “To address the US deficit:
Consider implementing a policy where elected officials receive only 50% of their salaries upfront.
The remaining half would be disbursed once the deficit falls below 1%.
In the interim, these withheld funds could be used to purchase US Treasury securities to support deficit reduction efforts.

You’ll see how they become efficient”

Chuck again… Well, I subscribe to the Mad King, and he’s very astute with his comments, and opinions on things… look him up if you’re interested…
In a follow up from yesterday’s conversation about debt and Treasury issuance came this headline from Wolfstreet.com “Marketable US Treasury Debt to Explode by $2.85 Trillion in the 10 Months from End of Debt Ceiling to March 31, 2024
Including $1.56 trillion in Q4 2023 & Q1 2024 combined. Government has gone nuts.” – WolfStreet.com 
Why yes Governor, I do believe the Gov’t has gone nuts!  
This from G. Edward Griffin’s Need To Know News…. “Australian Banks and ATMs Close as It Is Set to Go Completely Cashless within 5 Years” 
Chuck again, remember last week when I told you about how the Banks were closing branches, and I said to you that I may be being jaded here, but I thought it was more about how banks were getting ready for a digital currency, and you don’t need branches for that!  Looks like Australia is one step ahead of the Fed Heads… 
Boo!  did I scare you?   If you go out in the woods today….   you’re in for a sure surprise… Boo! 
Just having a little fun writing the letter this morning… I was up late again last night watching the World Series Game 3… The Great Pete Rose, once said that the “odd games in series are the important games to win”… And that comment has stuck with me since the 70’s… And Game 1 and 3 so far has gone to the Rangers… 
Getting back to the digital currency discussion… I told you all 3 years ago, what would happen to your civil liberties, if the Gov’t implemented a digital currency…  But why just take it from me?  Here’s someone with a lot more gray matter than I to explain: Catherine Austin Fitts said that unless we have a sovereign state government protecting sovereign individuals who are free to transact, including transacting privately, without invasive technology, we will have no sovereignty. It will be replaced with central control by the bankers. She said that this technology, combined with other systems, will turn your home, your car and community into a digital concentration camp. It will be the end of human freedom through the financial system.  
Boy that sounds even harsher than what I told you originally! But maybe it needed to be said, because this will hit every one of us, folks… There’s no hiding from this, no living off the grid, if you will… 
And this came to me from good friend, Dennis Miller, who got it from www.cato.org  “Federal spending jumped from $4.45 trillion in 2019 to $6.21 trillion in 2023, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That is a 40 percent increase in four years”… 
Sure there was plandemic spending, but beyond that the non-defensive spending, which includes interest on bonds, was up 43%, 2019-2023….   And you can only imagine what the number will be in this new increased rate environment…  that I keep harping about… 
I noticed something that I hadn’t seen before on the MarketWatch Economic Calendar yesterday, and it intrigued me, so… I did some research… The item was the Announces Marketable Borrowing Estimates Announces Marketable Borrowing Estimates… So I thought, this ought to be good…  And here it is: During the January – March 2024 quarter, Treasury expects to borrow $816 billion in privately-held net marketable debt During the January – March 2024 quarter, Treasury expects to borrow $816 billion in privately-held net marketable debt.  
If you use the new math, you’ll come to an annual borrowing estimate of $3.265 Trillion!!!!!!!!   Tell me it ain’t so, Joe! That will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, folks… so, you’ve got a year so to speak to get your investment portfolio diversified, and I mean invested in Gold & Silver! 
The U.S. Data Cupboard today has the Employment Cost Index (ECI) for the 3rd QTR… I do believe we’ll see this remain at a bout a 1% gain, which means wages are NOT keeping up with inflation…  And that’s a bad thing!   We’ll also see the Case/Shiller Home Price Index for August, I see home prices continuing to fall… And finally, the stupid Consumer Confidence for this month will print… UGH!
To recap… The dollar got sold yesterday, but so did Gold, and Silver gained but not as much as it would have gained without some shenanigans played by the short paper traders…  The price of Oil lost $2… And Chuck’s at a loss as to why that happened… you’ll have to go back and read why he’s so confused…  Debt keeps on climbing… and so will the issuance of Treasuries… And digital currencies are on their way, are you ready for them?
For What It’s Worth… I know I’ve told you all before how much I dislike the leftist for destroying our history… It’s our history, good or bad, we have it, and we need it to learn from, so this article yesterday, really ticked me off to say the least… it can be found here: Statue of General Robert E. Lee Is Destroyed as Leftists Aim to Destroy American Culture (needtoknow.news)
Or, here’s your snippet: “Charlottesville’s Robert E. Lee statue was melted at a foundry following the conclusion of a number of lawsuits. The divisive Confederate monument, the focus of the “Unite the Right” rally in 2017, was secretly melted down and is slated to become a new piece of public art. The melting project was organized by the Charlottesville non-profit organization Jefferson School African American Heritage Center.

Alex Jones explained that General Robert E. Lee was a top general in the North, but wanted to leave the North. Initially, the Civil War was not about slavery, as the North and South had been fighting over tariffs until later when slavery became the focus of the war. In the past, when a war was won, both parties would reconcile, so military bases and ships were named after Confederate generals.
Jones revealed that the Jewish Anti-Defamation League (ADL) runs the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the NAACP that aims to demonize the foundation of our country. The US has already acknowledged that slavery was wrong, and it was stopped. The British ended slavery, and, as the idea spread, white people ended slavery worldwide. The aim of the destruction of history is the destruction of culture. He said that the ADL’s curriculum is in schools teaching that white people are bad.
Jones said that there are declassified documents that show that the Rothschilds funded both sides of the American Civil War in an effort to break it up and British intelligence was also involved.
A statue of Teddy Roosevelt was taken down in New York last year. The statue of President George Washington is being considered for removal in New York. Back in 2021, the 7-foot Thomas Jefferson statue that sat inside City Hall for 187 years was removed due to the third US president’s history as a slave owner.

Many New Yorkers say it’s important to tell the whole story, without erasing, canceling or rewriting America’s history.”

Chuck again… remove our history, and what do we have left?  I’m just saying… 
Market Prices 10/31/2023: American Style: A$ .6366, kiwi .5849, C$ .7231, euro 1.0646, sterling 1.2184, Swiss $1.1070, European Style: rand 18.7406, krone 11.1322, SEK 11.1090, forint 358.50, zloty 4.0115, koruna 23.0325, RUB 92.07, yen 150.70, sing 1.3669, HKD 7.8237, INR 83.25, China 7.3155, peso 17.96, BRL 5.0436, BBDXY 1,270.70, Dollar Index 106.04, Oil $82.91, 10-year 4.81%, Silver $23.37, Platinum $942.00, Palladium $1,142.00, Copper $3.66, and Gold… $1,999.60
That’s it for today…  Later this week, I’m planning on heading south for a couple of weeks to get away from the cold weather here, the dying trees, the gray skies, and everything else that I abhor about November! I’ll continue writing from the South, no worries, you can’t get rid of me that easily! HA!  Boo!  What kind of cereal does a ghost eat? ….  Booberries Crunch! … I know, lame right? Well, at my age, I’m really proud of the fact that I remember anything these days… But I do work 5 crossword puzzles each morning to keep sharp… So, maybe they’re helping!  I’m really enjoying my new TV downstairs… Well, knock on wood, but my jaw hasn’t bled since last Tuesday…  My stomach/ digestive system is still performing Cirque Soleil…  But… I’ll take that, as long as the bleeding doesn’t return! Last Friday, at my local watering hole, I got to meet Cody Schraeder, running back for Mizzou, and had my picture taken with him… What a nice young man! And on that note… Tommy James & The Shondells take us to the finish line today with one of my all time fave songs: Crystal Blue Persuasion….  Love that song!  I hope you have a Tom Terrific Tuesday today, and Hallowing Halloween tonight! And please Be Good To Yourself!
Chuck Butler

Yellen Said What? No Way, She Said That? Oh, Yes She Did!

Rocktober 30, 2023

* Metals end the week, on a high note! 

* Russian Central Bank defends the ruble… 

Good Day… And a Marvelous Monday to you! Well, our time with nice weather in the fall, has ended… Colder weather is here to stay, and I don’t like it one iota! I had to sell my tickets to the playoff game last night, because of the forecast, that came true… Cold and rain… I had just gotten over one bug, I didn’t need to be putting myself in harms way, with my non-existent immune system, that is…  Well, my adopted NFL team, The Chiefs, finally lost to Denver after 16 tries by Denver to beat the Chiefs… My good friend, Rick, is a Broncos fan, so he was happy! Blackfoot greets me this morning with his rock classic song: Highway Song… 
Well, on Friday, last week, the news spread that the Israeli ground forces had entered Gaza, and that news alone got Gold traders all lathered up, and the buying of Gold went into a frenzy, with Gold gaining more than $20 on the day, and climbing back above $2,000….  Gold ended the week at $2,006.60, up $21 on the day, while Silver was up 32-cents and ended the week at $23.19…  Both metals were higher in the day’s trading, but guess who showed up for dinner? 
The dollar drifted into the weekend, 2 index points covering both Thursday and Friday, it ended the week at 1,275… The data last week was some good, some bad, so you can understand why the dollar bugs were a bit confused as to which way they wanted to go, up or down… So, they drifted… The Israeli news that moved Gold last week, also moved the price of Oil higher, and it ended the week with an $85 handle.  While something got into the bond traders late last week, as it appears that they have pulled the plug on their rates higher and longer thought… The U.S. Treasury’s 10-year’s yield ended the week at 4.87%… Recall that last week the 10-year’s yield had bumped higher than 5%…   We’ll have to watch this to see if the bond boys have given up the ghost all together, or if this was just a fly in the ointment… 
In the overnight markets last night…. Well the dollar drifted some more, downward, that is… The BBDXY is down 2 index points overnight, and so we start the week with the dollar getting sold… Gold is either seeing some profit taking or short paper trading as it is down $13 to start the day/ week. Silver if down just 2-cents to start the day/ week. The word this morning is that the Israeli defense has spread out in Gaza… That should be manna from heaven news to Gold, but apparently not this morning… UGH!  The price of Oil lost another buck overnight and starts the week with an $84 handle…  The 10-year saw its yield rise 2 basis points to 4.89% overnight…  The FOMC meets this week, so there’s a lot on the table for bonds, metals and the dollar this week, it will be interesting to see how it all falls out, eh?  
Ok… Well, it seems that we, as a country, have decided to fund more backing for Ukraine, and Israel… I must have been out back enjoying the warm weather last week, because I don’t recall anyone showing up at my door to ask me if I favored that or not, not even a phone call either!  In fact, in a recent poll that was done, the majority of those that were polled were NOT in favor of sending one more dollar to Ukraine…  You know… if I were king… I would require any spending bill to be voted on by the people… It’s their tax dollars at use, they should have a say in how we spend their money! 
The reason this additional deficit spending is a big deal, is that the U.S. was already set to issue tons of new Treasuries that needed to be bought, and now you can just go ahead and add some more bonds to that issuance… That China, Russia, India, and Iran have all balked at buying any new issuance of Treasuries, should lead to higher rates on bonds once again, due to bond traders needing to make them attractive to buy… 
And eventually, it will all weight heavily on the dollar, folks… And you can take that statement to the bank! 
Did you hear that twit/ dimwit/ knucklehead, Yellen, say that she didn’t believe that the Gov’t’s spending caused inflation?  She also said, ““I don’t think that these investments will drive up inflation at all,” she told CNBC’s Sara Eisen…   Do you recall what was the feel the day, the music died?  No wait, do you recall back in May, when she told us that she had failed to anticipate how long high inflation would continue to plague American consumers and that:

“I think I was wrong then about the path that inflation would take,”   
So, she was wrong about the how inflation would get, and that it wouldn’t last long, and now she wants us to believe that their deficit spending didn’t help usher in inflation?  GIVE ME A BREAK! SERENTIY NOW! 
I guess, she also wasn’t aware that the Bank funding was working overtime, keeping Banks liquid?  This from ZeroHedge.com “With usage of The Fed’s emergency funding facility rising once again to a new record high last week – and banks stocks clubbed like a baby seal – all eyes are once again on just what The Fed can do to ‘seasonally-adjust’ the data to avoid the admission of any deposit run fears in domestic banks.

Total bank deposits – on a seasonally adjusted basis – crashed by a massive $83.7BN last week (the biggest outflows since SVB) to the lowest since June…”
And just last week, the independent accountants reported that estimated runnable money-like financial liabilities increased 3.4 percent to $20.3 trillion (75 percent of nominal GDP) over the past year.” 
That’s $20.3 Trillion with a capital T…   that’ll put some fear in banks… 
You may recall me telling you last week that Bank deposits were dropping like flies as clients were moving their funds to money markets that can pay higher yields… Looks like the Fed’s emergency funding facility will be working overtime from here on out… That’s just more shenanigans that the Gov’t plays to keep you from getting concerned about what ‘s really going on…  
Ok, let’s move on to something else…   But wait! There’s more?   I hear you saying, But Chuck, why just money markets, and not bonds at such high yields?  Well… if you followed bonds you would know that: “The 10-Year Treasury bond is down 5% this year, on pace for its 3rd consecutive annual decline. With data going back to 1928, that’s never happened before. The worst 3-year period for bonds prior to now was 1978-1980 with a 3% loss for the 10-Year. What’s the 2021-23 cumulative decline? -26%.” – from Bill Bonner’s private newsletter… 
Who’s to say there won’t be more losses in bonds going forward, because inflation isn’t going away, contrary to what the Gov’t wants you to believe, and deficit spending isn’t going to stop, so more issuance of bonds is going to come down the pike, and then we’re right back to what I described above… Tons of issues, no buyers, and a need to raise yields to make them more attactive…  Need I say more? 
I for one wouldn’t be removing my shorts in Treasury’s right now… That is, if I had one! 
The Bank of Japan is scheduled to meet this week… One wonders when the BOJ will scrap their negative rates policy? Well, I know one thing, at least I think I know, that it won’t be at this week’s meeting… I don’t see the BOJ lifting interest rates the rest of this year…  And any tweaking of the yield curve, remember, Japan has yield curve control, will give the markets the willies, and you could see yen fall to multi-decade lows once again this week. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… Japan is a basket case… 
The U.S. Data Cupboard this week is chock-full-o-data, but it’s all crammed into later this week… There’s nothing on the docket today to print, and tomorrow we’ll just see the employment cost index (ECI). The Big Dominant item on the docket this week is a FOMC Meeting on Wednesday… Yes, it’s rate decision time once again… I’ of the opinion that the Fed Heads will leave rates unchanged… the reason I’m of that opinion, is that every other Central Bank around the world (ex Russia) has left their rates unchanged…. and 2… I truly believe that the knuckleheads, I mean Fed Heads truly believe they have beaten inflation… But if they did hike rates it would be cryin’ time again, you’re gonna hurt me, I see that faraway look in your eyes….  Ahhh, a little Dean Martin early this morning! 
On a sidenote, the Russian Central Bank hiked rates last week 2oo Basis Points (2%), to 15%, in an effort to defend the ruble… The ruble reacted positively, and trades this morning with a 90 handle, recall it wasn’t that long ago that the ruble had tumbled past 100! 
One piece of data last week that didn’t go the Fed Heads way, was the PCE… Personal Consumption Expenditures… This is their preferred inflation calculator, and it rose .4% in Sept, faster than anyone expected it to rise… The annual PCE was 3.4%…   now that’s not inflation as we know it to be, but it’s a factor since consumption is equal to 70% of GDP…   So, there’s that… 
To recap… Gold had a moon shot on Friday, up $21 to end the week… It was much higher during the day on Friday, but was brought back down by the short paper traders…  The dollar drifted going into the weekend… And I think if the Fed Heads leave rates unchanged again, that the dollar will come under some pressure… I’m just saying…
For What It’s Worth… I know that I’ve explained to you that I know Peter Schiff, and that we used to exchange pleasantries, and while I agree with some of his thoughts, I don’t always agree with how he presents them, it’s just not my style, not to say that his is wrong…. Any way… That’s what I have for you today, is a missive from Peter Shiff on the today’s financial crisis and it can be found here: Peter Schiff: This Is The Most Obvious Financial Crisis That Nobody Sees Coming | ZeroHedge
Or, here’s your snippet: “The mainstream continues to insist that the economy is fine. Inflation is beat. A soft landing is in play. But in his podcast, Peter Schiff said we’re in the early stages of a financial crisis. It should be obvious, but very few people see it coming.

Peter emphasized that we are already in the midst of a financial crisis.
Now, this is, of course, the early stages of that financial crisis. It is unfolding before your eyes if you’re awake or smart enough to recognize what you see. But it is going to get a lot worse.”
Peter said that at some point, people are going to recognize that we’re in a financial crisis, but they’re not going to realize why.
They’re all going to be just as blindsided by this financial crisis as they were by the much smaller financial crisis in 2008 that also took them by complete surprise.”
During the 2008 meltdown, the mainstream described it as a “100-year flood” — a “black swan” that nobody could have foreseen.
Which of course was a bunch of BS, because a number of people, myself included, not only saw it in advance, but spent years warning about it.”
Peter said the evolution of this crisis is just as clear.
This is the most obvious financial crisis that nobody sees coming. I mean, this isn’t even a black swan. This isn’t even a white swan. This is like a pigeon. They’re everywhere. This is a very common bird that is not coming out of left field. It’s right there. But Wall Street has a big vested interest in ignoring this. And so do a lot of people on Main Street, so does academia, the financial media, the government. Nobody wants to acknowledge this until of course it already happens. Then they have to figure out who the scapegoat is.”
One thing is pretty certain. Nobody will blame the party most responsible – the government.
They never look back and reflect on the government’s role in creating the crisis. No, no, no! They’re too busy pointing fingers at somebody in the private sector and holding out government as the salvation. ‘We just need more government! If we only had more regulations, then this wouldn’t have happened.’ No. It happened because we had too many regulations. What we need is free market regulations.”

Government regulations sabotage the free-market regulations that actually do work.”

Chuck again… yes, I keep telling you that this is all leading to a financial system collapse but thought that if you heard it from someone else, you might be asking yourself if you have enough Gold…. Got Gold?
Market Prices 10/30/2023: American Style: A$ .6373, kiwi .5833, C$ .7229, euro 1.0586, sterling 1.2132, Swiss $1.1060, European Style: rand 18.8005, krone 11.1330, SEK 11.1413, forint 361.32, zloty 4.2087, koruna 23.2080, RUB 90.08, yen 149.73, sing 1.3662, HKD 7.8212, INR 83.24, China, 7.3166, peso 18.03, BRL 5.0143, BBDXY 1,273.17, Dollar Index 106.45, Oil $84.35, 10-year 4.89%, Silver $23.17, Platinum $922.00, Palladium $1,141.00, Copper $3.65, and Gold… $1,993.30
That’s it for today… I tried to watch the City Team’s game last night, but it went too late for me, and besides they were losing badly… They lost the first game of their best of 3 set with Sporting KC last night 4-1… UGH!  Next game is in KC… Our new team came in 1st place in the Western Conf. this year, quite an achievement for an expansion team! Our house is in the home stretch for getting repaired from our “flood”… Well, the news I couldn’t tell you last week, I can tell you this week, and that is my son Alex and his beautiful partner, Grace, are engaged to be married! Now the fun begins for those two… HA!  We, (Kathy & Chuck) will be christening our new house with an engagement party for the two of them in December!  Diamondbacks & Rangers are tied 1-1 in the World Series that continues tonight… The Killers takes us to the finish line today with their song: Somebody Told Me….  I hope you have a Marvelous Monday today, and please Be Good To Yourself!
Chuck Butler

Sub-Prime Loans… A Problem Again?

Rocktober 26, 2023

* currencies get sold on Wednesday.

* BOC & ECB both leave rates unchanged…. UGH!

Good Day… And a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday to one and all! Well, my last couple of days away from writing left me void of conversation! HA!  I didn’t have anyone to tell my thoughts on what’s going on in this country… But, now I’m back, and guess who’s going to get an earful today? Wel, it’s you, dear reader!  The World Series is set, with Arizona Diamondbacks VS the Texas Rangers… The Rangers have a player, Garcia, that the Cardinals had, and gave up on way too early… Typical for our management team… They also gave up on Arozarena who stared in the playoffs a couple of years ago… So, I’m rooting for the National League team, the Diamondbacks…  But won’t be too upset if the Rangers win their first World Series… The Doobie Brothers greet me this morning with their song: Another Park, Another Sunday… 
Well, while I’ve been gone, the last two days, that is… The dollar has rallied, it began the week heading downward, and reached 1,269 earlier this week, only to see it rebound, and reach 1,274…  Gold, has bounced around this week, starting the week down $9 to $1,272.30, and Silver down 40-cents to $22.95…  Tuesday saw little movement with Gold down just $1.80, and Silver up 4-cents! And that leads us to yesterday… all my troubles seemed so far away… no wait! C’mon Chuck, get serious here!  Gold gained $9.10 to end the day at $1,280.60, and Silver lost 4-cents to end the day at $22.95…  
I have to say that I’m quite pleased with Gold’s performance the last couple of weeks, even with those dastardly short paper traders hanging aournd.  With Bond yields climbing and the 10-year at 5% briefly the other day, most observers would have said, that Gold has no yield, and I can get 5%, so why buy Gold?  Ahhh, grasshopper, in a peaceful world, that would be an argument, not one that I couldn’t oppose, but an argument, nonetheless. But this is a world full of geopolitical problems, war is looming, and that has Gold well bid these days… 
The dollar was in trouble on Monday this week, as the euro climbed to 1.0670… And was taking all the other currencies along for the ride… But then a white knight rode in on his trusty steed, and saved the dollar once again, and soon, the euro was trading back below 1.06, and the rest of the currencies looked sad… The Japanese yen hit a 3-decade low of 150.40 yesterday, which brought out the calls for intervention… once again! If I were the Bank of Japan, I would steer clear of wasting money on intervention, and allow the markets to take the yen where it needs to go…  But then, I’m not the BOJ, and I doubt the BOJ would ever even listen to what I have to say! 
We’ve had two Central Bank meetings this week, and both have left their powder dry… The Bank of Canada, and The European Central Bank both left rates unchanged, and disappointed the markets, and thus each respective currency got sold… When will these Central Banks learn?  The answer? Never! 
In the overnight markets last night… The dollar continued to get bought, with the BBDXY gaining 2 index points, and has gone from 1269 on Monday morning to 1,277 this morning… Ok, PPT, you made your point, you can go back to your dens under rocks now! The Russian ruble, which about 10 days ago, went through 100 in price, which as a European priced currency, is very bad… And this morning it trades with 93 handle… That’s been some recovery, in the face of everyone in America hating the Russians, well not every Russian, just one in particular… 
Gold is up $3 to start today, and Silver is back to 23-cents, up a plug nickel…  If only the boys in the band, or “Da Boyz”, as Ed Steer calls them would just leave this market alone, and see where the chips may fall… I do believe that Gold would return to $2,000, and probably trade to $2,500…  And who knows where Silver would go, since the majority of short trades on the books are in Silver… 
The price of Oil has dropped over $2 in the last 24 hours, and trades this morning with an $82 handle… That’s a far cry from where it was a couple of weeks ago… The summer driving season is over, and demand for Oil has really slumped, most observers are pointing a finger at China… About two weeks ago, I was worried and wrote about how the high price of Oil would boost inflation numbers once again, well, I guess that thought has been thrown out with the bath water! 
And bonds… OMG! The bond rout that has been going on in the past year, continues… Good friend, Dennis Miller, sent me a quote yesterday, I’ll let you read it : “Imagine a time when the government couldn’t waste more money and start more wars because the bond market wouldn’t let it. It wasn’t that long ago. In his 1994 book The Agenda, Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward tells the story of Bill Clinton turning red faced and cursing at his economic advisors in the Oval Office.

‘You mean to tell me that the success of the program and my reelection hinges on the Federal Reserve and a bunch of ‘#(@%ing’ bond traders?’ 

That’s the question Clinton posed to then-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. The answer was ‘yes.’ The ‘bond vigilantes’ could discipline Federal spending by boycotting bonds (and driving interest rates up) when deficits were high. Markets had the whip hand over governments.”  This came from here: Your November Report – by Dan Denning (bonnerprivateresearch.com)

Ahh, those bond vigilantes… they’ve returned, after being away for so many years, now let’s see if they still hold the handle on the spending… Or, as Jethro Tull sang, and Old Charlie stole the handle….  I’m just saying… 

You know, or may recall me chastising the POTUS for reducing our strategic reserve of Oil…  And don’t think that for one minute that all the goings on in the Middle East, doesn’t have bearings on Oil…  There are all kinds of thoughts on this war that’s going on over there, that it could include a U.S. / Iran conflict that could then bring in Turkey, and Russia… Oh no! The strait of Hormuz could be shut down, and oh, did I mention that our strategic Oil Reserves were depleted? Better gas up that big gas eater you drive, because the cost to fill up your tank could, possibly, become almost unreachable in price… 
Ok, that’s one thing I wanted to talk about these last two days, and here’s the second one… The sub-prime auto loans reached a new high for delinquencies last month….  OK, so what, right? Well, right, on one hand, this sector isn’t near the size of the sub-prime mortgage fiasco we had in 2007/08… But… what it tells me is that people that live pay check to pay check, aren’t able to make their car payments because everything else they need money for has gone up in price… So, will the Gov’t bail these people out? Oh sure, why not? the college kids that built up huge debts are going to get their rear ends bailed out…  The magic Money Tree, will see to it that they have the funds! So, why not the sub-prime auto loans?  As you can tell, I’m not happy about this scenario one iota! 
And the third thing is that now that the House has a speaker again, they will soon be sending on a spending bill to provide Billions to Ukraine, and Gaza… And just to make everyone happy, they’ll throw in a shekel of two to the border wall…  I for one, do not believe that I want my tax dollars going overseas any longer! No MAS!   We need to stop sending money to countries that hate us… We need to close military bases in countries that don’t want us there… And we need to stop wasting money on the war against poverty, the war against drugs, the war against anything that doesn’t have anything to do with our freedom and liberties!  And most of all… we need to stop deficit spending! 
Our debt just recently went past $33 Trillion, and in 2 weeks, our debt is at $33.6 Trillion… Wait! What? You mean that we’ve already passed $33.5, in just two weeks? Aye, Aye, Aye…. And now the Potus wants to write a check for billions to the crooks in Ukraine… I can’t think about anything past 4 years, but in 4 years the Debt Clock says that our debt will be $46 Trillion! Actually, I don’t believe we get that far down the road to ruin, before hitting a speed bump that causes a financial breakdown…  I’m just saying… The Deficit spending is a runaway bus without any brakes! 
Well, I told you on Monday this week that the U.S. Data Cupboard would pick up the pace later in the week, and…. We’re later in the week, so with that in mind… Today’s Data Cupboard has Durable Goods for Sept… and the first reading of 3rd QTR GDP, which if it is as strong a number as the forecasts have it being, then you can point to Gov’t spending as a major piece of that GDP… I’m just saying… 
Tomorrows’ Cupboard has Personal Income and Spending, so those are usually good tells on the economy… 
To recap… This week started out with the dollar getting sold, and looking like it would be sold more, but then, it wasn’t, and has rallied since… Gold has bounced this week starting at $ 1,980, and ending yesterday at $ 1,980… Chuck gets stuff off his chest this morning that he’s had pent up for two days! So, if you skipped over that part, you might want to go back and read it, there’s some good stuff there, if I may say so myself!
For What It’s Worth…  Well, I mentioned this problem above… but it’s worth diving into further, so that’s my FWIW article today, about the sub=prime auto loans, and it can be found here: Subprime Auto-Loan Delinquencies Hit Record, Prime Loans Are Pristine, after Easy Money Ends: The High-Risk High-Profit Business of Subprime Auto Lending | Wolf Street
Or, here’s your snippet: “Subprime auto loans are making breathless headlines again. Subprime-rated borrowers tend to get in trouble with their debts, which is precisely why they’re rated subprime in the first place.

Only about 14% of total outstanding auto-loan balances are subprime – and most of them have been securitized into Asset Backed Securities (ABS) and sold to investors who’d bought them to get the higher yields. Typically, subprime-rated borrowers purchase older, such as 10-year-old or older, used vehicles with those loans because that’s the only thing they qualify for.

Subprime auto lending is not a factor in new vehicles. There is little subprime lending in new vehicles. New vehicles are largely reserved for prime-rated customers and for cash-buyers. New vehicle unit sales jumped 20% year-over-year to 4.08 million vehicles in the quarter through September, with the Average Transaction Price (ATP) rising to $47,420. These vehicles are not the hunting grounds of subprime-rated car-buyers.

Subprime lending is a risky business – and there can be slimy aspects to it – but companies do it because it can be very profitable, with very high interest rates and huge profit margins on the vehicles, and investors pile into it because of the juicy yields.

But when the subprime dealer-lenders get too greedy, and too loosey-goosey with their lending standards, they blow up, including the two PE-firm-owned heroes that we’ve covered here:
US Auto Sales, a 39-store specialized subprime dealer chain owned by a private equity firm shut down in April and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation in August.

American Car Center, a 40-store subprime dealer chain also owned by a PE firm, shut down in late February, and in March filed for Chapter 7 liquidation.”

Chuck again….  like I said above, this won’t be the cause of the financial collapse, but it’s fingerprints will be all over the evidence… 
Market Prices 10/26/2023: American Style: A$ .6305, kiwi .5801, C$ .7238, euro 1.0536, sterling 1.2094, Swiss $1.1135, European Style: rand 19.0601, krone 11.2580, SEK 11.1135, forint 363.55, zloty 4.2345, koruna 23.4457, RUB 93.62, yen 150.30, sing 1.3708, HKD 7.8207, INR 83.23, China 7.31788, peso 18.34, BRL 4.9958, BBDXY 1,277.62, Dollar Index 106.87, Oil $82.74, 10-year 4.93%, Silver $23.00, Platinum $921.00, Palladium $1,138.00, Copper $3.59, and Gold… $1,983.70
That’s it for today… Thanks to good friends, Duane and Rick for helping me with a project on Tuesday… I hadn’t bought a new TV for 10 years, for the basement, and so I bought a new one, and hung it on the wall! If there’s anything that has gone down in price in the past 10-years, it’s TV’s… And they are better too!  Well, there’s a rumor going around that Yadier Molina might be coming back to the Cardinals as a coach for next season… Now that’s a hire I completely agree with! Let him get his feet wet, with the team and then he can take over the manager’s spot in a year! No Mizzou Tigers game this week… So, I’ll switch my attention to the Georgia/ Florida game at EverBank Field in Jacksonville… They call that one the “Big Cocktail Party”… It’ll be nice to see the EverBank name on the stadium again, even if it’s not the same EverBank… A spinoff if you will… Next week is Halloween, and while the weather forecasts have it dry, it will be cold… So, a lot of the costumes will be covered up with coats! UGH!  REO Speedwagon takes us to the finish line today with their song: Like You Do… I hope you have a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday today, a Fantastico Friday tomorrow, and will Be Good To Yourself! 
Chuck Butler

The 10-Year Trades Past 5%!

Rocktober 23, 2023

* Currencies & metals rally a bit on Friday… 

* Banks are quietly axing branches & employees… 

Good Day… And a Marvelous Monday to you! A very nice weekend here in the Midwest, as the sun came out on Saturday, and it turned into a very nice day.  A little chilly yesterday, but sill, nice and sunny…  I did have a relapse of bleeding and upset stomach yesterday, but it appears to have passed… So… I carry on…  How about them Tigers? They are 7-1 after beating S. Carolina last Saturday, to celebrate their Homecoming at Mizzou! It was the first game they played this year, where I wasn’t fretting or sweating at some point in the game! The Tigers did take their collective feet off the accelerator to start the 2nd half, but no biggie… They now are on bye this week, before taking on mighty Georgia in two weeks… Go…. Tigers! The Band King Crimson greets me this morning with their rock classic song: In The Court of the Crimson King… 
Well, those dastardly varmints were at again on Thursday, last week. Gold at midday was up $21, and then it wasn’t… The short paper traders made Gold’s gains disappear, and only a flourish of buying at the end of the day gave Gold a $6.90 gain on the day, $15 off its recorded high of the day… Silver was also shorted, and it was able to squeeze out a 33-cent gain, which was 30-cents off its high of the day…  Buth metals finished the week much higher than when they started the week, and hopefully, that can continue… Gold closed Friday at $1,982.20, and Silver closed on Friday at $23.45… 
The dollar was down on Friday, this time 2 index points fell off the BBDXY index… So, the BBDXY ended the week at 1,273.63… The dollar slipped a bit last week, and in a week where it saw some fair to middling’ economic reports… So, no news is good news for the dollar these days, and what do we have here? The first part of the week, the Data Cupboard is lacking to say the least! So… watch out for a dollar rebound early in the week… 
The euro is nearing 1.06 again, the last time it hit that level, it couldn’t hold it but a day… The best performing currency on Friday, last week, was the Russian ruble… This currency has been beaten about the head and shoulders for so long that when it gains it is surprising… Not surprising like BOO!  But surprising in a softer way… The price of Oil slipped on Friday, and ended the week trading with an $89 handle…  And the 10-year’s yield continues its march to 5%, ending the week trading with a 4.91% yield. 
In the overnight market last night…. well, the Japanese yen finally fell beyond the 150 level last night… It quickly rallied back to 149, as fear of Bank of Japan intervention loomed over currency traders…  What a bunch of sissies! Neener, neener, neener, your mother wears army boots! That’s what I have to say to those trades that fear the BOJ…  Because, unless the BOJ is going to get several Central Banks of join them in selling dollars and buying yen, any action/ intervention that the BOJ may carry out, will be short lived!   That’s the way these things go, folks… I’ve been around currencies now since 1992, and I’ve seen all kinds of interventions… They all seem to carry out this same way… That is unless, the BOJ wants to be in intervening every day, and jawboning the currency higher, every day… The problem with that is this.. they don’t have the reserves to do that… So, there’s that! 
Remember back in the 90’s when Then Treasury Secretary Robet Rubin, led the crusade saying in the markets nearly every single day, that the U.S. had a strong dollar in its best interests…  Eventually, he got traders to see it his way, but there was never any actual currency intervention going on… So, there’s that too!
Back to the overnight markets… the dollar drifted last night, and still trades with the same clothes on this morning, at 1,273…   But the euro did overtake the 1.06 level overnight, and looks like it just might stary above that level going forward…  That is, until the PPT makes an entrance…. Gold is up 10-cents to start the day/ week, and Silver is seeing some selling and is down to start the day/ week 15-cents… So, basically the metals are flat to start the day… The 10-year’s yield breached 5% for a bit last night, but settled back below that figure, but it won’t be long before it climbs over it again and stays over it for some time!  The price of Oil remained trading with an $89 handle overnight…  The ground assault by Israel hasn’t begun yet, so watch what Oil does when that does happen…  I’m just saying… 
And the 10-year’s yield did go over 5% last night, only to come back below the figure, but… It’s headed there any way, so it might as well, go ahead and take it out and stay above it for some time…. I’ just saying…
You know why this is a Big Deal, right?  You see, the 10-year’s yield is used to price everything from short term loans to mortgages… And when the yield in the 10-year rises, so does mortgage rates… I see 8% rates becoming the norm…  Uh-Oh! 
Moving on to something else… So, last week’s Retail Sales number really had me thinking about what it meant… And what it meant is that consumers are paying more for everything, and that’s what made the Retail Sales number so strong!  Is that a good thing? No! It’s not, because eventually consumers will run out of money, having to pay more for things…  So, see?  It wasn’t about “how the U.S. consumer wasn’t tapped out yet”, it was more about how much more consumers were having to pay for things! 
Ok, lets’ get this started off with something I found on Zerohedge.com from Michael Snyder: “Major US banks are continuing to close branches across the US, leaving an increasing number of Americans without access to basic financial services.

Bank of America axed 21 branches in the first week of October, according to a bulletin published by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) on Friday.
Wells Fargo shuttered 15, while US Bank and Chase reported closing nine and three respectively.
In total, some 54 locations had either closed or were scheduled to close between October 1 and October 7.
That is just one week!
And our banks are also laying off staggering numbers of workers here in 2023…
The largest American banks have been quietly laying off workers all year — and some of the deepest cuts are yet to come.”
Chuck again… I have a feeling, that this is just the beginning folks… things will spiral out of control probably before we reach year-end…  I’m just saying…
You know, the jaded side me sees this as banks preparing for a cashless society… no need for branches when everything is digital, right?
The U.S. Data Cupboard today, has nothing, absolutely, nothing, say it again! And tomorrow just has some housing stuff that we all know is circling the bowl right now… Later in the week, we’ll pick up the pace and worthiness of the data prints, but for the first part of the week, it’s crickets…

To recap… The dollar got sold on Friday, but not by much… The euro inches toward 1.06 again, and the Russian ruble was the best performing currency last Friday… Gold was on its way to new lands, but was brought back to earth by the short paper traders on Friday, Silver also participated in that scenario…  Chuck has figured out what caused the Retail Sales print to be so strong last month… And banks are secretly axing tons of employees… and closing branches… Chuck has his thoughts on why…

For What It’s Worth…  Well, I’ve been commenting on this data print for some time now, pointing out how it just can’t be that a recession hasn’t started as of yet… What I’m talking about it the Leading Indicators, which have now printed negative for 18 straight months! This article can be found here: Philly Fed Future Expectations For Shipments/CapEx Near ‘Worst Since Lehman’ Levels | ZeroHedge
Or, here’s your snippet: “The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) continued its decline in September, dropping 0.7% MoM (worse than the 0.4% decline expected).

The biggest positive contributor to the leading index was jobless claims at +0.13
The biggest negative contributor was average consumer expectations at -0.19
This is the 18th straight monthly decline in the LEI (and 18th month of 19) – the longest streak of declines since ‘Lehman’ (22 straight months of declines from June 2007 to April 2008)
“The LEI for the U.S. fell again in September, marking a year and a half of consecutive monthly declines since April 2022,” said Justyna Zabinska-La Monica, Senior Manager, Business Cycle Indicators, at The Conference Board.
“In September, negative or flat contributions from nine of the index’s ten components more than offset fewer initial claims for unemployment insurance.
Although the six-month growth rate in the LEI is somewhat less negative, and the recession signal did not sound, it still signals risk of economic weakness ahead. So far, the U.S. economy has shown considerable resilience despite pressures from rising interest rates and high inflation.

Nonetheless, The Conference Board forecasts that this trend will not be sustained for much longer, and a shallow recession is likely in the first half of 2024.”

Chuck again…  well, I’ve said all I had to say about this data print…  no stock market has ever rallied during a recession, so… trade at your own peril… 
Market Prices 10/23/2023: American Style: A$ .6313, kiwi .5822, C$ .7290, euro 1.0613, sterling 1.2176, Swiss $1.1276, European Style: rand 18.9923, krone 11.1018, SEK 11.0334, forint 359.70, zloty 4.2006, koruna 23.2313, RUB 94.84, yen 149.92, sing 1.3714, HKD 7.8258, INR 83.19, China 7.3161, peso 18.28, BRL 5.0449, BBDXY 1,273.75, Dollar Index 106.07, OIl $89.02, 10-year 4.97%, Silver $23.30, Platinum $909.00, Palladium $1,136.00, Copper $3.56, and Gold… $1,982.30
That’s it for today, and the next two days, as once again this week, I have doctor appts early Tuesday and Wednesday this week. Little Evie came with her older brother Braden to spend the night with us Saturday night… Braden has one of those oculus things, and I called him Yourgos, and he didn’t have a clue! Evie is so darn cute! We shared some popcorn Sat. night, and she told me I made good popcorn! HA And she’s got to be the only child I’ve ever known that didn’t like Chocolate Milk! I can’t wait to tell my oncologist about my episodes with Chemo!  I’m sure she’s heard it all before! But she’ll humor me, and let me tell my tale of being sick…  Last Thursday night, I went out and met my Latte Buddy, Michelle! Michelle was my operations manager for the World Markets Div. at EverBank, and she’s still there! She looked great, like she hadn’t aged a year! It’s great knowin that the folks I used to work with, still remember me…  And with that… John Waite takes us to the finish line today with his song: Every Time I Think Of You….  I hope you have a Marvelous Monday today, and will please remember to Be Good To Yourself! 
Chuck Butler

Are Naked Shorts A Thing Of The Past?

Rocktober 19, 2023

* currencies drift lower on Wednesday

* Ahem, Janet, we can’t afford to buy a candy bar! 

Good Day… And a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday to one and all! The entire family, sans two, went to dinner last night together at the local Malt Shop… As you may recall, I gave up sweets over 3 years ago, but I couldn’t resist my fave shake… A Banana Shake! Man, was that yummy! I wasn’t sure how my stomach would react to it, but I did it anyway! I said to myself, “Chuck, you’ve never been someone that stops eating or drinking something because of your cancer” let the chips fall where they will, is my attitude… And I won! my stomach did not revolt and I had a decent night’s sleep! The band, Jet, greets me this morning with their song: Are You Gonna Be My Girl?
Well, after the better-than-expected Retail Sales on Tuesday, the dollar traders/ bugs, piled into the dollar again, and the BBDXY gained 5 index points yesterday… All the currencies were affected by the dollar’s rise. What took traders so long before diving into the dollar again? I guess they wanted to look under some hoods… No, wait! That’s what I do, Traders never, ever look under hoods! I mentioned yesterday, that the POTUS going to Israel had calmed the markets… Hmmm…. Nothing like not seeing that you’ll be disappointed by the outcome, eh?  Oh well, it is what it is… Gold started the day yesterday up a whopping $48, and ended the day up $24.40 to a price of $1,947.90, which was $16 off its high for the day, and Silver did the same thing, giving back a majority of its gains, to end up .02-cents, which was 50-cents off its high, and a price of $22.91…
The dastardly short paper traders just couldn’t leave Gold & Silver alone for the day, and they were responsible for the metals giving back some of thier gains during the day yesterday… 
The big mover yesterday was the yield on the 10-year Treasury, which saw a rist to 4.95%! It came from 4.85% early in the morning… The rout on Treasuries, is major folks… I read where some of the issues sold before yields began to rise were now selling at 50-cents on the dollar… If stocks had a drop like that it would be considered to be in collapse! You can’t sell you previously issued bonds now… It’s sort of like the lyrics to Hotel California… you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave…. At least you’ll get your principal back at maturity, if you can hang on that long, that is… 
The price of Oil remained trading with an $88 handle yesterday… A BIG move from $83 last week, before the Israel/ Hamas conflict, but now appears to be stuck in the mud… 
In the overnight markets last night…. There was little to no movement in the dollar, with the BBDXY up just 1/3rd of an index point… The price of Gold is up $4 to start the day today, nothing like yesterday’s moon shot to start the day, but up nonetheless… Silver is flat to down some pennies to start the day today… And wouldn’t you know, I just wrote about how the price of Oil seemed to stuck in the mud, when I look at the overnight prices, Oil has dropped a buck to start the day trading with an $87 handle… UGH!  And the 10-year, added another bip to its yield overnight, and starts today with a 4.96% yield… Inching, closer to 5%… inch by inch, as the saying goes… 
The markets are on the edges of their seats today, waiting for Fed/ Cabal/ Cartel chairman, Jerome Powell to speak… Yesterday, Fed Head Waller painted a dovish picture for interest rates…  It should be noted that Waller, had been thought to be a Hawk, so his dovish position was strange… I kind of think the Powell will trump Waller this morning, and talk about the need for one more rate hike, coming in December… And that won’t be good for Gold, but then maybe Powell will surprise us today and turn into a dove…  stranger things have happened, right? 
And the Bank of Japan (BOJ) watchers are talking about another round of intervention that may be coming from the BOJ… I say, “Why waste the money?, the last bout of intervention lasted about 2 days, and then then the yen was right back to getting sold…”    Remember when I used to tell you that the markets have more cash than a Central Bank?  Well, that’s still plays, especially here… 
So, does everyone know who Robert Prechter is? He’s the genius behind Elliot Wave, you know the charts people that tell you something’s going to happen long before it does? Well, I was reading a blip by Doug Casey, and he mentioned that Robert Prechter is calling for a massive selloff of stocks…  Uh-Oh…  but when people get tired of waiting for stocks to come back, they’ll hopefully turn to Gold, something stable, and something that will keep up with inflation, unlike what they’ve been holding…  So, there you have it straight from the horse’s mouth! 
You know me, I’m not even your last pick when it comes to being a stock jockey, but I learned something many years ago, and that was to follow the Elliot Wave charts…. 
Ok, you know me, and I don’t believe the Gov’t should spend 1 penny more than they receive in Taxes… And while the Gov’t DOES spend more than it takes in, yearly, which is why the national Debt is $33 Trillion, and climbing higher and higher with each year’s deficit spending… So, when I hear the U.S. Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen talking about what we can afford, it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up… Here’s the skinny on what I’m talking about: “US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen stated in an interview that “America can certainly afford to stand with Israel and to support Israel’s military needs and we also can and must support Ukraine in its struggle against Russia.”
Ok, so she thinks we can afford to support both Israel and Ukraine?  Maybe Janet needs to go back to elementary school and learn some ‘rithmatic! We as a Country are already on pace to have a $2.0 Trillion deficit in the fiscal year that started not that long ago… So, I guess what she’s saying is: “We’re already at $2 Trillion, why not make it $2.1 or 2.2 Trillion? What the diff? 
Ahhh, Janet, tell me you have forgotten how the U.S. finances its deficit spending, because, otherwise, you’d be worried about the addition bonds that would have to be sold to cover that increased debt… Bonds that apparently countries all over the world are rejecting at auctions… 
SERENITY NOW!  As Popeye used to say, “I’ve had all I can stands, and I can’t stands no more”! I either need to quit writing, so it doesn’t upset me so much, or… move to an island country that doesn’t have internet! 
The U.S. Data Cupboard yesterday had the Fed’s Beige Book, and in it…. The U.S. economy exhibited “stable” to “slightly weaker” growth in the early fall, a Federal Reserve survey found, helping to loosen up a tight labor market and ease inflation…  And the Fed Head who spoke yesterday, Waller, told his audience that he preferred the Fed Heads wait on any new rate hikes…   So, the doves got a double dose of ammo for their thoughts that the Fed was finished with their rate hike cycle… 
To recap… The dollar selling ended yesterday, with the dollar bugs diving right back into the dollar, driving the BBDXY up 5 index points on the day… The dollar strength affected all the currencies, so none were spared… Gold had to give back about 1/ 2 of its early morning gain yesterday, but did gain $24.40, While Silver eked out a 2-cents gain… The Big mover yesterday, was the yield in the 10-year Treasury, as it grows ever so close to 5%… And Janet Yellen thinks we can afford to support both Israel and Ukraine… Chuck thinks she needs to go back to elementary school for some ‘rithmatic lessons! 
For What It’s Worth… The link to this article was sent to me from the good folks at GATA… It’s about a ruling that could have an affect on naked short positions in metals, and it can be found here: Is This The End Of Naked Short Selling? | OilPrice.com
Or, here’s your snippet: “American investors have been taken for a trillion-dollar ride by naked short sellers, in what could turn out to be the biggest financial regulatory scandal in North American history.

While what is now an all-out war on naked short sellers intensifies, there is a new flashpoint on the front line–a potentially devastating ruling targeting those who are alleged to make illegal naked short selling possible: The Facilitators: bankers and brokers.
On September 29, Federal District Court Judge Lorna Schofield of the Southern District of New York issued a ruling that has the potential to significantly disrupt Wall Street compliance, and is a major first step towards protecting retail investors from fraud.
In Harrington Global Opportunity Fund Ltd. v. CIBC World Markets, Inc et.al, Judge Schofield found that broker-dealers may be primarily liable for manipulative trading initiated by their customers because they serve as “gate-keepers” of trading on securities exchanges.

These broker-dealers have a “continuing responsibility to ensure that their customer’s order flow … is in compliance with all applicable rules, regulations and laws and detect and prevent manipulative or fraudulent trading … under the supervision and control of the firm,” the judge ruled.

When things get naked, the regulatory environment becomes riddled with compliance holes. With a naked short, the short seller is selling shares it doesn’t own and has made no arrangements to buy. That means the seller cannot cover or “settle” in this instance. More profoundly, it means they are selling ghost shares that simply do not exist without their further action. The ability to sell an unlimited number of non-existent shares in a publicly-traded company gives a short seller the ultimate power: To destroy and manipulate a company’s share price at will.  

Following the 2008/2009 financial crisis, naked short selling was classified as illegal in the United States, though that labeling has done nothing to thwart this lucrative game.

What makes the September ruling so impactful is this: Without the big banks and financial institutions’ complicity, this highly destructive form of naked short selling could never happen.”

Chuck Again… Well, we certainly have seen more short paper trading since the ruling took place… Are the price manipulators, saying neener, neener, neener to the Judge and the ruling?  I do believe they are… stay tuned for more on this story in the future… 
Market Prices 10/19/2023: American Style: A$ .6311, kiwi .5825, C$ .7285, euro 1.0555, sterling 1.2122, Swiss $1.1140, European Style: rand 19.0262, krone 11.0392, SEK 11.0262, forint 364.06, zloty 4.2201, koruna 23.4033, RUB 97.28, yen 149.82, sing 1.3735, HKD 7.8253, INR 83.24, China 7.3159, peso 18.32, BRL 5.0571, BBDXY 1,275.60, Dollar Index 106.47, Oil $87.30, 10-year 4.96%, Silver $22.90, Platinum $883.00, Palladium $1,103.00, Copper $3.59, and Gold… $1,951.26
That’s it for today… A BIG weekend for my beloved Mizzou Tigers coming up… On Saturday night, I will be in attendance for the last regular season game for my StL City Team… that is as long as it’s not going to rain… I will have just gotten over a bug, and don’t want to catch another one! My immune system is shot… After years of chemo, I could walk past someone with a cold, and tomorrow I’d be sneezing… Later this year, in July, Kathy and I are headed to Ireland! with a side trip to Oslo Norway… I’m very excited about this, but need to temper my excitement, because it’s still 255 days away! We just finalized everything, so now we wait for July! I sure hope my body has gotten used to the new chemo soon… And on that note, Sugar Ray takes us to the finish line today with their song: Every Morning…  I hope you have a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday today, and a Fantastico Friday tomorrow, Let’s go Tigers! And please remember to Be Good To Yourself!
Chuck Butler

Gold & Silver Start The Day Running Higher!

Rocktober 18, 2023

*currencies drift on Tuesday… 

* China’s economy not in collapse, as reported… 

Good Day… And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Boy, was it cold when I went to get my blood draw yesterday morning! I was then cold to the bone all day, wrapping myself in a blanket, and hunkering down all day… Which was easy to do, since my stomach was revolting in me, and hunkering down seemed to be the only thing I could do… I think I finally got it under control last night, fingers crossed this morning… Dastardly Chemo is to blame, although, I do believe I did have a touch of a stomach bug, because no Chemo has ever affected me like this new one… Junior Walker and the All-Stars greet me this moring with their 60’s song: What Does It Take?
Well, yesterday’s price action in the dollar was booooorrrinngg! The BBDXY remained 1,270 all day long… So, that means the currencies were non-movers too… I read last night that the markets had calmed down now that the POTUS is heading to Israel…  What on earth do they think he’s going to do there? I have my opinion, but I’ll keep it to myself! The Potus was supposed to have a meeting with the Palestine President (PP), but the PP cancelled the meeting after Potus’ plane left the ground… I guess he didn’t want to talk to our POTUS!  
Gold had a good day going at one point in the day, up more than $5 and looking like it wanted to go higher, but then the short paper traders showed up and reduced Gold’s gain to $2.80 on the day. Silver was following Gold’s lead, and was up nicely, when the short paper traders showed up, and reduced Silver’s gain to 20-cents… Gold ended the day at $1,923.80, and Silver at $22.89… 
I think the thing that saved the dollar from getting sold again yesterday, was the out of left field, print of Retail Sales for Sept… Retail Sales were up .7% in Sept…. The increase was spurred by strong demand at auto dealers and online stores, the government reported. Higher gasoline prices also played a role, however. And I would bet a shiny quarter that the rise in gasoline prices played a large role in the increase of Retail Sales…  I read one article that was so all-in on the resiliency of the economy, that they talked about how consumers have the cash to keep the economy going… Well, that may be, but then why has consumer credit (read debt) risen in recent months? 
The price of Oil gained $2 yesterday and end the day with an $88 handle…  I need to fill up my gas tank, and of course I waited a couple of days to do this, and it will come back to bite me, but… I need the gas, so I pay… 
The 10-year Treasury yield climbed to 4.83% yesterday… Now that’s a move! The bond boys figure that if Retail Sales was so strong, then the Fed Heads are NOT going to be cutting rates any time soon…  So, they mark up the yield and everything that’s priced off of the 10-year, like loans, mortgages to name a couple, will also be marked higher and that’s a cost to you, dear reader… 
So… That’s what happened in the markets yesterday… The dollar drifted, Oil gained, bond yields gained, Gold & Silver gained, and it was all tied to a stronger than expected Retail Sales…
In the overnight markets last night…  Well, the dollar again drifted but this time higher by ½ Index point… So, no biggie… But the real news this morning is that Gold is on a run higher! Gold is up $48 to start the day today, and Silver is up 38-cents! The flight to safety is in the cards today, and brother does it look good for Gold & Silver! 
The price of Oil trades with a $88 handle this morning, and the 10-year added to its yield overnight, and starts today at 4.85%…  But that run up of Gold & Silver this morning is impressive to say the least! 
Longtime reader, Bob, sent me a note yesterday, here it is: “we think of the money going to debt, and to the military – but did anyone know that tthe costs of wildfires are truly enormous!!!!!!  An impact that is even more than the costof the us military!!!!
So, here’s the skinny of what he’s talking about… “National defense costs roughly $766 billion per year and education and social services cost $677 billion. The Wildfire budget can go from $394 Billion per year to $893 Billion per year… Yikes… But, here’s the problem as I see it… These wildfire expenses wouldn’t be that big of a deal if we were a budget surplus country…  Yeah, imagine that as the Twilight Zone music begins to play, the U.S. as a Buget Surplus country, it boggles the imagination, does it not? 
In the housing market, there’s this from CNBC.com this morning: “Builder confidence in the market for single-family homes dropped to the lowest level since January, as builders contend with a market dominated by high mortgage rates and costs for financing.

The monthly National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index dropped 4 points to 40 in October, and September’s read was revised down 1 point. Anything below 50 is considered negative. This marks the third straight monthly decline in builder confidence.”

Confidence is very important to have in anything, but here, it means that there are many builders that are being shut out of the business, because of high interest rates… Poor souls… If they think these are high interest rates, they certainly weren’t around when I first bought a house, and my mortgage rate was 10%!   I’m just saying…
Well, all the reports that talk about a collapse of the Chinese economy, will be backing of their statements after it was reported last night that  China’s economy grew at a faster-than-expected clip  (4.9%)in the third quarter, while consumption and industrial activity in September also surprised on the upside, suggesting the recent flurry of policy measures is helping to bolster a tentative recovery. Retail Sales also beat expectations, so not is all as bad in China as the so-called experts have stated… 
Reuters reported, this morning, that U.K. inflation remained sticky at 6.7%… Here’s Reuters view: ” British consumer price inflation (CPI) unexpectedly held at 6.7% in September, remaining the highest of any major advanced economy and keeping alive the possibility of another rise in interest rates.

A rise in petrol prices between August and September was the main factor stopping a fall in the annual rate, the Office for National Statistics said on Wednesday.”

Chuck again, yeah, those pesky Petrol prices, will do that every time! 
The Data Cupboard yesterday had Retail Sales, which we already talked about, and Industrial Production, which was also reported stronger than expected at .3% and Capacity Utilization, which also increase to 79.7%…  Well, from the looks of these three reports, one would think that the U.S. economy is doing alright… But there are some dark alley ways associated with the economy folks, that you wouldn’t want to venture down! 
Today’s Data Cupboard has Housing Starts for Sept. and 3 Fed Head speakers… late in the afternoon, we’ll see the Fed’s Beige Book, which used to mean something to traders, but doesn’t really hold a candle to other reports that traders use now… So there’s that! 
To recap… The dollar drifted yesterday, with the BBDXY remaining in the 1,270 handle all day… Chuck thinks what saved the dollar from getting sold was the stronger than expected Retail Sales report for Sept… Gold & Sliver’s gains yesterday were chopped down by the short paper traders, Oil gained $2, and the 10-year’ yield climbed to 4.83%! 
For What It’s Worth… This is a cute article that appeared on CBS.com that talks about what Gold did the last 10 years, and it can be found here: What a $1,000 gold investment 10 years ago would be worth today – CBS News
Or, here’s your snippet: “Gold’s value has been recognized for thousands of years, and it continues to hold a unique place in the world of investments. Not only can this precious metal help to reduce the risk from other investments in your portfolio, but it can also help protect your wealth and hedge against inflation.

Most other types of investments simply can’t offer those types of benefits to investors. That’s a large part of why so many investors have flocked to this precious metal recently, whether they’re investing in gold bars and coins, gold stocks and ETFs or preparing for retirement with a gold IRA. And, given the current uncertainties with the economy, it’s likely that even more investors will put money into gold in the coming months and years.

But what exactly can new investors expect to see in terms of gold’s price growth? A variety of factors can impact the price of gold, including economic conditions, geopolitical events and market sentiment. And, over the past decade, gold’s price has experienced both ups and downs, making it an interesting case study. Let’s take a look at what a $1,000 investment in gold 10 years ago would be worth today.

“Gold’s value has been recognized for thousands of years, and it continues to hold a unique place in the world of investments. Not only can this precious metal help to reduce the risk from other investments in your portfolio, but it can also help protect your wealth and hedge against inflation.
Most other types of investments simply can’t offer those types of benefits to investors. That’s a large part of why so many investors have flocked to this precious metal recently, whether they’re investing in gold bars and coins, gold stocks and ETFs or preparing for retirement with a gold IRA. And, given the current uncertainties with the economy, it’s likely that even more investors will put money into gold in the coming months and years.
But what exactly can new investors expect to see in terms of gold’s price growth? A variety of factors can impact the price of gold, including economic conditions, geopolitical events and market sentiment. And, over the past decade, gold’s price has experienced both ups and downs, making it an interesting case study. Let’s take a look at what a $1,000 investment in gold 10 years ago would be worth today.
What a $1,000 gold investment 10 years ago would be worth today
In October 2013, the price of gold was approximately $1,325 per ounce, according to historical price data from the World Gold Council. If you had invested $1,000 in gold at that time, you would have been able to purchase roughly 0.753 ounces of gold.
Now, let’s fast forward to the present.

As of October 2023, the price of gold hovers at about $1,900 per ounce. So, if you held onto your 0.753 ounces of gold from your initial $1,000 investment, it would be worth approximately $1,432 today. This means that your $1,000 investment would have grown by about 43% in nominal terms.

If you factor in an average annual inflation rate of 2%, your $1,000 investment would need to grow to about $1,218 to maintain its purchasing power over 10 years — which it has. So, over the last decade, the nominal value of your gold investment has increased, and its growth has kept pace with inflation — and also surpassed it!”
Chuck again… Well, do I need to say more? Gold has kept up with inflation and has increased over that! 
Market Prices 10/18/2023: American Style: A$.6364, kiwi .5887, C$ .7319, euro 1.0570, sterling 1.2200, Swiss $1.1138, European Style: rand 18.8253, krone 10.9845, SEK 10.9537, forint 363.47, zloty 4.2328, koruna 23.3616, RUB 97.27, yen 149.88, sing 1.3698, HKD 7.8263, INR 84.26, China 7.3146, peso 18.02, BRL 5.0306, BBDXY 1,271.19, Dollar Index 106.19, Oil $88.06, 10-year 4.85%, Silver $23.27, Platinum $908.00, Palladium $1,151.00, Copper $3.58, and Gold… $1,948.40
That’s it for today… Well the Phillies look unbeatable right now, so good for them! My beloved Mizzou Tigers come home this Saturday, to Home Coming! Home Coming all started at the University of Missouri, so at least we’re known for something!  My Tigers will play the Gamecocks of S. Carolina on Saturday, and they need this win BIG Time, for then they go on bye next week before taking on Big Bad Georgia! It’s supposed to warm up today, so maybe I’ll be able to go outside and not freeze! I did have a decent night’s sleep last night, and woke up this morning, with a wine glass in my hand, who’s wine, what wine, where the hell did I dine?  Ahhh, a little Peter Frampton today.. .But really I woke up this morning feeling better, so maybe, just maybe, today will be a healing day!  Blood, Sweat, and Tears take us to the finish line today with their mega hit song: You’ve Made Me So Very Happy…  I hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday today, and please Be Good To Yourself!
Chuck Butler