The Mess That Greenspan Made - Part 9

Don’t Cross the Streams

Gold and silver traders are no doubt on the edge of their seats as economists shake their heads (that is, the small minority of them who have noticed) as precious metals appear to be staging an impressive breakout that has been a long time in coming.

It should be interesting to see where things go from here – it’s been a steady drumbeat of higher prices all year so far and the trends driving the recent move – loss of confidence in central banks and a weakening dollar – appear to be strengthening.

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Thursday Morning Links

MUST READS
Soros: China’s Debt-Fueled Growth Echoes U.S. in 2007-08 – Bloomberg
China’s ‘zombie’ steel mills fire up furnaces, worsen global glut – Reuters
Earth Flirts with a 1.5-Degree Celsius Global Warming Threshold – Scientific American
A Black Woman Born Into Slavery Replaces a White Slave Owner on $20 Note – Vice News
What Does It Mean for America to Put Harriet Tubman on the $20 Bill? – The Atlantic
Ben Carson: Keep Jackson where he is, put Tubman on the $2 bill – CNN
The Professor Who Won’t Recommend a Pro-Gun Student – reason.com
Merriam-Webster adds “cisgender” and “genderqueer” to its dictionary – Vox
How to fix the Democrats’ broken presidential nominating process – The Week
The Primaries Aren’t Democratic? They’re Not Supposed to Be Democratic. – Slate
Trump campaign brings in lobbyists for key posts – Politico
What Is Sanders’s Endgame? – NY Times

MARKETS/INVESTING
World stocks gain along with oil – Reuters
Anger at 18,000 – Reformed Broker
Why stocks are back near record highs – MarketWatch
Japan, Not Germany, Leads World in Negative-Yield Bonds – Bloomberg
Investors Pulled $15B From Hedge Funds In 1Q, Most Since 2009 – Barron’s
Iran determined to regain oil market share, can handle low price: source – Reuters
Opinion: Stock investors can now ignore the oil market – MarketWatch
Silver hits 11-month high, gold rises more than 1 pct – Reuters
BNP Sees Risk of Central Bank `Overreach’ With $1,400 Gold – Bloomberg
Gold Price Set To Push Higher As Inflation Picks Up – RBC – GoldCore

ECONOMY/WORLD/HOUSING/BANKING
Who will pay for a $15 minimum wage? – Quartz
A big pension fund could soon cut benefits for retirees – Washington Post
We Can’t Save the Economy Unless We Fix Our Debt Addiction – counterpunch
The $2 Trillion Project to Get Saudi Arabia’s Economy Off Oil – Bloomberg
Brexit means blood, toil, sweat and tears – Telegraph
Obama Turns Hawk As He Intervenes In U.K. Brexit Battle – Newsweek
Home Sales up in Signs of Strong Spring Selling Season – NBC News
Here are the most toxic real estate markets in America – MarketWatch
Household debt and the transmission of monetary policy – voxeu
Is There Any Ammo Left for Recession Fighting? – Real Clear Markets

 

Unprecedented Unpopularity

After last night’s results from the New York primary, the fall contest to see who moves into the White House next January is all but certain to include candidates who aren’t very popular, at least according to this poll from the Wall Street Journal.

The good news here is that, for those who have already given up on the U.S. political process (see the Serenity Prayer), it should be quite entertaining to watch.

Wednesday Morning Links

MUST READS
Trump Sweeps New York – Real Clear Politics
Clinton rolls over Sanders in New York – LA Times
5 takeaways from the New York primary – Politico
This is a terrifying chart for Republicans – Vox
Trump Has Reason to Cry Foul Over a ‘Rigged Election’ – Fiscal Times
This election is an unpopularity contest for the ages – Washington Post
BoC’s Poloz Says Global Monetary Stimulus Is Reaching its Limit – Bloomberg
Big U.S. banks grapple with costs as they face an ominous 2016 – Reuters
Female Student says ‘I Wasn’t Raped’, boyfriend expelled anyway – reason.com
Utah declares porn a ‘public health hazard’ – The Week
Living Longer, With More Disability – The Atlantic
4/20: National Weed Day, explained – Vox
The Farewell to Jackson – NY Sun

MARKETS/INVESTING
Stocks: 6 things to know before the open – CNN/Money
Oil falls on end to Kuwaiti strike, supply outlook – Reuters
China’s Stocks Tumble Most in Seven Weeks to Break Trading Calm – Bloomberg
This Market Cycle Diagram Explains the Best Time to Buy Stocks – Visual Capitalist
Oil Market Hype And Crisis Signal Greater Troubles Ahead – Alt-Market
Who’s Buying the US Stocks that Foreign Investors Are Dumping? – Wolf Street
Gold retreats as dollar firms; silver hits 11-month high – Reuters
Silver hits 11-month high. It’s up more than gold in 2016 – CNN/Money
China yuan gold fix aimed at gaining more influence in pricing – Mining.com
Gold mines are exploding again – This is why … – Secular Investor

ECONOMY/WORLD/HOUSING/BANKING
Intel to cut 12,000 jobs globally – CNN/Money
Bad News for Those Using the Jobless Rate As a Shield – Alhambra Partners
Brazil’s President-in-Waiting, a Political Insider, Is Preparing – Bloomberg
Germany trims 2017 growth forecast to 1.5 percent – Washington Post
We won’t be euphoric if India is the fastest-growing large economy – Reuters
Record Temperatures have Killed Over 100 People in India – Vice News
A 10 Point Checklist for Buying a House – Motley Fool
PBOC Signals Less Appetite for Stimulus as Outlook Improves – Bloomberg
The Case Against Helicopter Money – Project Syndicate

 

High Prices and Whole Foods

We only shop at the grocery store for items we either can’t buy at Costco or can’t use fast enough (e.g., a 10 pound bag of onions), so, reports like this one from Marketwatch about high prices at Whole Foods falls into the category of fantastical.

We’ve been to Whole Foods stores a number of times over the years when we travel (from here, the closest one is 300+ miles away) and we just kind of marvel at the numbers we see on the shelves as shoppers go blithely on their way, toting their basket up to the register and then paying whatever the clerk says. I guess you’re paying for “the experience”…

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