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Weak

How is Doug Casey Preparing for a Crisis Worse than 2008?

By Doug Casey, Chairman

He and His Fellow Millionaires Are Getting Back to Basics

Trillions of dollars of debt, a bond bubble on the verge of bursting and economic distortions that make it difficult for investors to know what is going on behind the curtain have created what author Doug Casey calls a crisis economy. But he is not one to be beaten down. He is planning to make the most of this coming financial disaster by buying equities with real value—silver, gold, uranium, even coal. And, in this interview with The Mining Report, he shares his formula for determining which of the 1,500 "so-called mining stocks" on the TSX actually have value.

The Mining Report: This year's Casey Research Summit is titled "Thriving in a Crisis Economy." What is the most pressing crisis for investors today?

Doug Casey: We are exiting the eye of the giant financial hurricane that we entered in 2007, and we're going into its trailing edge. It's going to be much more severe, different and longer lasting than what we saw in 2008 and 2009. Investors should be preparing for some really stormy weather by the end of this year, certainly in 2015.

TMR: The 2008 stock market embodied a great deal of volatility. Now, the indexes seem to be rising steadily. Why do you think we are headed for something worse again?

DC: The U.S. created trillions of dollars to fight the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009. Most of those dollars are still sitting in the banking system and aren't in the economy. Some have found their way into the stock markets and the bond markets, creating a stock bubble and a bond superbubble. The higher stocks and bonds go, the harder they're going to fall.

TMR: When Streetwise President Karen Roche interviewed you last year, you predicted a devastating crash. Are we getting closer to that crash? What are the signs that a bond bubble is about to burst? [Read more...]

I Owe My Soul - Why Negative Interest Rates Are Only the First Step

By: Jeff Thomas, International Man

In 1946, an American singer, Merle Travis, recorded a song called "Sixteen Tons." The song told the story of a poor coal miner in Kentucky, who lived in a small coal mining town. The town's economy revolved entirely around the mine.

The mining company owned a "company store," which had a monopoly on the sale of provisions. It charged rates that were designed to use up the weekly paycheque of the miner, so that the miner, in effect, was a slave to the mining company. As the song states,

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

Negative Interest Rates

Let's put the song aside for the moment and have a look at a concept that has been bandied about by the European Central Bank (ECB) for a while now. Since the collapse of the central banks would doom the world (their claim, not mine), it is essential that the banks be saved no matter what else must be sacrificed. Efforts to "save" the situation have been implemented through quantitative easing (QE) and the setting and continuation of low interest rates.

Unfortunately, in spite of record profits by banks and staggering bonuses handed out to senior bank executives, somehow the QE and low interest rates have not created the prosperity desired. The economy is still in the tank. What to do? [Read more...]

Good Reason for Doom and Gloom

By Doug French, Contributing Editor

Predicting the future, like getting old, ain’t for sissies. Questioning the bull market is even more treacherous.

Howard Gold, writing for MarketWatch, makes fun of seers who made what he calls “the four worst predictions to gain traction over the past few years.”

Gold says the last six years have been a disaster for those who stayed out of the stock market. He claims there’s a bull market in doom and gloom, referring to a column by his colleague Chuck Jaffe, who points out, “The fortune-tellers … know that the more outrageous the prediction, the more attention they get. They can highlight any forecasts they get right, knowing that their misfires are forgotten quickly. Thus, calamity and catastrophe sells. Right now, it’s a bull market for bearish forecasts.”

If such a bull market in doom were really happening, the market wouldn’t be hitting all-time highs. Besides, no one ever went broke being out of the market.

But more importantly, there is a very good reason people respond to gloomy forecasts. Behavioral economics pioneer and 2002 Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman explains in his bestseller Thinking, Fast and Slow that when people compare losses and gains, they weigh losses more heavily. There’s an evolutionary reason for this: “Organisms that treat threats as more urgent than opportunities have a better chance to survive and reproduce,” Kahneman explains. [Read more...]

Yellen's Wand Is Running Low on Magic

By Doug French, Contributing Editor

How important is housing to the American economy?

If a 2011 SMU paper entitled "Housing's Contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP)" is right, nothing moves the economic needle like housing. It accounts for 17% to 18% of GDP.

And don't forget that home buyers fill their homes with all manner of stuff—and that homeowners have more skin in insurance on what's likely to be their family's most important asset.

All claims to the contrary, the disappointing first-quarter housing numbers expose the Federal Reserve as impotent at influencing GDP's most important component.

The Fed: Housing's Best Friend

No wonder every modern Fed chairman has lowered rates to try to crank up housing activity, rationalizing that low rates make mortgage payments more affordable. Back when he was chair, Ben Bernanke wrote in the Washington Post, "Easier financial conditions will promote economic growth. For example, lower mortgage rates will make housing more affordable and allow more homeowners to refinance."

In her first public speech, new Fed Chair Janet Yellen said one of the benefits to keeping interest rates low is to "make homes more affordable and revive the housing market." [Read more...]

Putin's Secret Weapon – How Russia Could Take Down America Without Firing a Single Shot

By: Casey Research

Here's a startling fact most investors have never heard: During the last financial meltdown in 2008, when the U.S. economy was on the brink, Russian leaders met with China to persuade them to dump the dollar – and destroy the world's reserve currency.

Before they could act, the Fed pumped over $700 billion into the economy and delayed their day of reckoning. Still, the threat remains. China holds over $1.2 trillion in U.S. debt today. And with their Russian allies, they could drop the dollar at any moment. This excerpt from our eye-opening documentary called "Meltdown America" explains the severity of this imminent threat:

For the full story and to learn more about what could be "the early stages of the end of the West," click here to watch the full version of this documentary.

You'll hear the harrowing and true stories of three people who survived economic and political collapse in Zimbabwe, Yugoslavia, and Argentina… and discover how their powerful stories of hardship foreshadow what's happening in the U.S.

Click here to watch this full-length documentary right now – it’s FREE!

How I Intend to Survive the Meltdown of America

By: Louis James, Chief Metals & Mining Investment Strategist

It is with a troubled heart that I look at the continued fighting in eastern Ukraine. I worry about my friends and students in the country who may well be in physical danger soon, if the conflict escalates. As an investment analyst, it’s the financial war the Russians seem quite willing to wage that has my attention.

It should have yours as well.

In our just-released documentary, Meltdown America, one of the experts noted that the Kremlin had already made moves to dethrone the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency before the renewed East-West tensions of this year. Putin has openly threatened what amounts to economic warfare as a response to sanctions placed on Russia after its Crimea grab.

Now bullets are flying—can Putin’s financial ICBM be far behind? [Read more...]

Why I REALLY Moved to Puerto Rico, and You Should Too

By Alex Daley, Chief Technology Investment Strategist

Much fuss was made yesterday when my colleague Nick Giambruno released a report outlining the incredible tax benefits to be had, by Americans no less (the only people in the world to be taxed back home even when we leave), in Puerto Rico.

As you may have seen, that report was based in large part on my personal experience relocating to the island, a process I started in earnest last October. And, yes, I am here, writing you at this moment from beautiful Palmas Del Mar—if you ask me, the most beautiful piece of coastland on the island, but only just being rediscovered after a long hiatus from the spotlight.

What can I say, I love a comeback story, especially when it looks like this… [Read more...]

Don't Keep Your Gold and Silver in the US, Says Marc Faber

Publisher Marc Faber discusses the fragile state of the US and global financial systems… how rising inflation will affect the average American… how soon the bubble will burst… and why gold and silver will triumph.

Here are a few highlights:

"The US is a country that likes to create trouble, but they don’t like to clean up things."

"We've now been five years into the bull market and the US economy bottomed out in June 2009. We already had a crack-up boom—not in the economy of the typical household, but in the economy of the super-well-to-do people, whose asset prices rose dramatically and as a result created a huge wealth inequality." [Read more...]

Mt. Gox's Downfall Shows the Power of Creative Destruction: Erik Voorhees Interview

Bitcoin evangelist and Coinapult Cofounder Erik Voorhees gives us his thoughts on the demise of Mt. Gox and losing nearly $300K in Bitcoin… why cryptocurrency exchanges are a threat to government and the banking industry… what really happened with China’s "ban" on Bitcoin…and advice for investing in cryptocurrencies.

Here are a few excerpts:

"You know, Mt. Gox was … really the first Bitcoin exchange. They got started by this hacker guy who put it together and was suddenly running a $100 million Bitcoin exchange. That's sort of a recipe for disaster. … This is the ultimate creative destruction of capitalism. There's a huge market opportunity for people who know how to do this right, to step in and do it—and already we have exchanges that are better run than Mt. Gox." [Read more...]

Gold Stocks Are About to Create a Whole New Class of Millionaires

By Jeff Clark, Senior Precious Metals Analyst

Bear markets always end. Has this one?

Evidence is mounting that the bottom for gold may be in. While there's still risk, there's a new air of bullishness in the industry, something we haven't seen in over two years.

An ever-growing number of industry insiders and investment analysts believe the downturn has come to a close. If that's true, it has immediate and critical implications for investors.

Doug Casey told me last week: "In my lifetime, the best time to have bought gold was 1971, at $35; it ran to over $800 by 1980. In 2001, gold was $250: in real terms even cheaper than in 1971. It ran to over $1,900 in 2011.

"It's now at $1,250. Not as cheap, in real terms, as in 1971 or 2001, but the world's financial and economic state is far more shaky.

"Gold is, once again, not just a prudent holding, but an excellent, high-potential, low-risk speculation. And gold stocks are about to create a whole new class of millionaires." [Read more...]

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