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GBP/USD Forecast Aug. 29 – Sep. 2

GBP/USD posted gains for a second straight week, closing at 1.3122. This week’s key events are Manufacturing and Construction PMI reports. Here is an outlook on the major market-movers and an updated technical analysis for GBP/USD. In the US, new home sales beat expectations and durable goods reports also beat their estimates. On the other hand, GDP […]

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Nigel Farage: “Trump Is The New Reagan”

A few days after wowing thousands of Republicans at a rally in Jackson, Mississippi, “Mr. Brexit” Nigel Farage, penned a letter (presented below) to the Daily Mail describing Trump as the “new Ronald Reagan.”  Even though he stopped short of endorsing Trump, a decision he made after condemning Obama for interjecting himself into the Brexit discussion, he did note that he “would not vote for Hillary Clinton even if she paid me.

I did not endorse Trump, because I had condemned President Obama for telling us what to do in our referendum.


“But I did say that if I was a US citizen I would not vote for Hillary Clinton even if she paid me.


Perhaps if I donate to the Clinton Foundation her views on me might soften.

Despite his obvious distaste for Hillary, Farage, not one to hold back, also had some criticisms of Trump saying he has “made a lot of mistakes.”  He also noted Trump’s tendency to go off script saying that his “acceptance speech in Cleveland appeared to be disjointed” and “didn’t flow“.  That said, in the end, he points out that everyone makes mistakes noting that “virtually everyone thought that Ronald Reagan was unfit to be the US President before he made a huge success of his two terms.

* * *

Full letter from Nigel Farage to the Daily Mail:

Since I announced that I was going to stand aside as Ukip leader in the wake of the successful Brexit campaign, I’ve had more time to do other things.


This included a trip to Cleveland for the Republican Convention and the adoption of Donald J. Trump as their Presidential candidate.


I was astonished that everybody I met wanted to talk about Brexit – not just the delegates to the convention but ordinary people, including a group of US Navy veterans who told me we should have done it years ago.


There was a chance meeting, in a bar of course, with the delegation from Mississippi.


They were wildly enthusiastic Brexiteers and told me that their State Governor Phil Bryant was delighted with the result and would love me to visit.


So in what I thought would be the quiet days of August, I was happy to accept their invitation.


The plan was simple: I would speak at a dinner hosted by the Governor to speak about the Brexit campaign and to draw parallels with voters in America, who are looking for many of the same things.


It was not until I arrived and was having dinner at the magnificent Governor’s Mansion in Jackson that I was told that on the following evening there would be a rally at which up to 15,000 people would come to hear Trump.


Governor Bryant said he would like me to speak. I could scarcely believe it as I knew that no UK politician had ever spoken at a Republican election rally.


The Trump campaign has been highly controversial. Some of his comments have not looked good and left him open to accusations of extremism.


At times he has appeared quite aggressive on the platform. I was curious: what would the man be like in person?


We met at a private gathering of major Mississippi donors to his campaign. I was surprised, even slightly overwhelmed, by the warmth of his welcome and his huge support for Brexit.


As he said to me: ‘Smart thing to do.’


We talked for a few minutes and then I headed off to the Coliseum, the venue for the night’s extravaganza.


I had never addressed a public meeting in the US before and certainly never spoken to a crowd of 15,000. I was anxious.


But I was told not to worry, it would be OK. I’d be one of the early speakers, they said, and hardly anyone would listen to me as they would be waiting to hear from the main man.


So I waited in the wings – surrounded by swarms of stern- faced US Secret Service agents.


Then, minutes before the event began, I was told there was a change of plan. Donald would introduce me. I couldn’t really believe what I was hearing.


One of his aides said: ‘He’s gonna be your warm-up.’


There were several well-known American politicians milling around, including Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York City, a man I have long admired.


He was desperate to speak, and had expected to, so was more than a little surprised and none too pleased to be told that the Brexit Englishman was going up instead.


Trump took the stage to riotous applause and began to make his speech. About halfway through he moved on to the Brexit victory.


And then he called me up on stage.


I told them that Brexit was the victory of the little people over the Establishment. They went wild.


I told them that if you can motivate non-voters to engage with the electoral process that anything was possible.


I did not endorse Trump, because I had condemned President Obama for telling us what to do in our referendum.


But I did say that if I was a US citizen I would not vote for Hillary Clinton even if she paid me.


The atmosphere in the room was more like a rock concert than a political meeting.


I know from speaking in hundreds of chilly village halls to audiences of 50 people or fewer in the early years of Ukip that this was an experience that for me would probably never berepeated. And I must say I loved every second of it.


So what now do I think of Trump and his campaign? Often business people don’t make good politicians.


They are used to having their own way and fire off lots of ideas, many of which are completely forgotten by the following morning.


But in politics if you think out loud and throw ideas into the mix they simply can’t be thrown in the waste bin as they get analysed and often ridiculed by the media pack.

Trump is very new to politics and has made a lot of mistakes.


When I watched his acceptance speech in Cleveland it appeared to be disjointed. It simply didn’t flow.


But what I saw from just a few feet away in Jackson was something different. He was a better and more confident speaker.


He stuck in a disciplined manner to a script. I sensed that his new campaign team have him on the right track. I really don’t believe that he is the monster painted by many.


It is worth remembering that virtually everyone thought that Ronald Reagan was unfit to be the US President before he made a huge success of his two terms.


Trump has embraced Brexit and all of the principles that led to that historic vote. Most of the crowd I met after the rally had never voted in their lives.


They are the same people who made Brexit happen. They see Washington as distant and aloof, just as many Leave voters saw rule from Brussels.


The issue of open and loose borders in an age of increasing terrorist risk may well dominate western politics for many years to come.


Trump is strong on the immigration message and he is connecting, to the horror of the Washington establishment.


Hillary represents the status quo where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. She is part of the Establishment that has led us into an endless series of wars.


The Trump campaign is now about change. Having met him and having spoken to him, I am far less worried. If he becomes US President he will be able sensibly to make the big decisions.


The morning after the convention I woke up wondering whether all of this had really happened. But I saw on US television that overnight there had been a bounce in the polls for Trump.


There was a renewed confidence among the Mississippi Republican team and a feeling the Trump campaign had turned the corner.


A very rattled, anxious-looking Hillary Clinton responded in a press conference and attacked my presence on the stage with Trump. She trotted out a series of wilful misinterpretations of things that I had said.


It was a similar kind of demonisation used by George Osborne and many of the Remain camp on me during the referendum campaign.


Along with Bob Geldof, Hillary simply cannot accept Brexit and still thinks it’s wrong to even talk about immigration.


She represents the failed past and would do better going out meeting American voters rather than attacking me.


Perhaps if I donate to the Clinton Foundation her views on me might soften.


It does seem a little strange that I am now being used as a political football in the American presidential campaign. But it shows that Brexit is a truly global event.


Which brings me back to Theresa May, who has said that Brexit means Brexit. Given there is now a global debate on this issue she had better mean it.


So far I have given her the benefit of the doubt. And I like the appointment of the three Brexiteers to do the job.


But she must not take too long to declare Article 50 and to set the clock ticking. By the end of this parliamentary term – 2020 – we must be out of the bureaucratic single market, have control of our borders and have regained our territorial fishing rights.


Anything less than this will be a betrayal of 17.4 million voters and would lead to huge public anger in this country and lead to even more dramatic political change.


This is already in the air at Ukip, with the leadership campaign. We have been a hugely successful political party.


We forced the issue of EU membership into mainstream debate in this country and without us there would have been no referendum.


We also managed to get many non-voters to turn out on June 23 and I’m proud of our achievements.


So Ukip needs to remain strong, to continue to be a threat, and has an opportunity gifted by Jeremy Corbyn’s dragging of the Labour Party into Left-wing irrelevance.


I won’t comment on any of the leadership candidates – I will support whoever wins. But Ukip’s management and decision making processes are no longer fit for purpose.


The days of being run by elected, often wholly inexperienced volunteers through a national executive committee are over.


The new leader needs to be able to make decisions and to genuinely lead.


He or she will need a team of real professionals to take Ukip to the next stage. The opportunities for the party are still great.


But it needs real change if it is to continue to prosper.


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Pensions, Oy Vey

Pensions, Oy Vey

By Chris at www.CapitalistExploits.at

Years ago it seemed that when you hit 65 you’d retire, receive a gold watch, and proceed to spend your pension money on a rocking chair and pot plants. Ten years later you’d be in a box and, since pot plants are cheap, the cost of keeping you alive wasn’t prohibitive.

Not anymore. Today things are different. My wife belongs to a running club and there are a bunch of octogenarians there who put us both to shame. Nope, today you retire and spend your pension on kickboxing classes and second wives, with no plan of dying anytime soon.

This is really bad news for pension schemes across the developed world. Longevity is a problem when you can’t pay for it.


Your Pension Is Threatened As Life Expectancy Rises

Maybe, just maybe, we could keep Mabel and Bob around for 10 years of re-used tea bags and pot plants, but not 20 years of kickboxing.

A suggestion put forward is that young people will simply have to hand over three times as much in taxes and work in their cubicles until they’re 123 before collapsing from a heart attack, clutching their overfilled catheters. At the very least, we’ll have robots changing their nappies though this doesn’t seem like a credible solution.

The fundamental problem with pensions is that you’re saving for old age diapers, pot plants, and rocking chairs by handing those savings over to entities whose mandates force your capital into asset allocations that no longer make sense. Why, oh why would you buy a European government bond for a negative yield just because the rating agencies still class it AAA and your fund mandate says it’s OK?

For those who still watch TV, I’m told that every night is littered with advertisements for pension companies. Those pension fund companies, sucking in your pot plant money, are actively seeking more suckers so they can move into shinier, taller office buildings in the most expensive sought after part of town where they will hire more executives to help plan more adverts to bring in more money from more suckers.

But we’re not living in 1964 anymore. Technology has evolved and today I sit writing to you from a home office in a place of my choosing. I manage my wealth from this location but in truth I can -and often am – anywhere. I have friends, colleagues, and clients with multi billion dollar family offices who operate in much the same way. No shiny office buildings on the expense column. The shiny office buildings are there but they’re leased to, you guessed it, pension and mutual funds.

Remember: pension funds are the dumb money. Smart investors watch mutual fund flows in order to know where the dumb money is moving to and there is no better place to watch than these guys.

And the government’s even worse. They promise to take our money and return it to us in the future but instead use it to bomb sand on the other side of the world. It’d be better if they just used it to buy a boat and go fishing on weekends. At least then we wouldn’t get the blowback of disastrous foreign policy I recently discussed in the 7-step blueprint to the easiest short in recent history.

New Election Cycle – Same Story

Every new election cycle, no matter where you live (unless perhaps it’s Kabul), your government will promise you greater security at less cost and they’ll promise to protect pensions.

Expecting your government to ring-fence pensions for protection is as silly as thinking your road tax goes on the roads. It doesn’t. It’s spent on a legion of new civil servants so that the government can live up to their other promise of job creation. “Look, we just created a gazillion new jobs right here and look at that increased GDP.” 

Don’t be disheartened though. There is good news. According to a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health delaying retirement increases life expectancy. Clearly we just need to keep working.

Our stern faced suits seem to be pushing forward without any credible plan implemented and if history is any guide – and it is – then debt and taxes will be tried first. And this brings me to debt.

Before the crucial demographic tipping point is even directly upon us those stern suits have racked up an unconscionable amount of debt.

According to a Citibank report, the total amount of unfunded government pension liabilities in OECD countries currently stands at $78 trillion.

“If we focus on government pension liabilities for public sector workers and social security, our own analysis of twenty OECD countries indicates an average level of unfunded government pension liabilities of 190% of GDP. For that same cohort of countries, the reported amount of all government debt totals only 109% of GDP.


In US dollar terms, we estimate global retirement underfunding sitting on government balance sheets for these twenty countries to total $78 trillion, compared to reported national debts totaling $44 trillion. Therefore, if the liabilities of social security and public sector worker underfunding are added as a form of ‘contingent debt’, total global government debt may be three times as large as people currently think it is. Whatever the calculation used, the numbers are staggering.”

And by the way, this figure isn’t included in public debt to GDP ratios. You know, those ratios that everyone has been wringing their teeth and gnashing their hands over?

That figure (the debt to GDP for these OECD countries) stands at $44 trillion, nearly half the pension liabilities. To understand the real debt we need to add the two but in truth it’s meaningless. None of it is getting paid back!

What to Do?

Good question and one I’ve spent considerable waking hours pondering.

You could take up smoking and junk food, hastening an early heart attack. Or you could take control of your own finances, save like hell, watch the markets like a hawk, and position yourself for the inevitable.


Kyle Bass Gold


Many will label me a rich parasitic capitalist for saying this and they can eat sand because the truth is I expect to make a fortune over the coming decade from this folly and I sincerely hope you do too.

– Chris

“Fund flows really come in handy. How you can really document that is to look at the mutual fund flows because you’re tracking the worst investors on the planet.” — David Hay, CIO Evergreen Capital Management


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Dutch Central Bank Refuses To Publish Gold Bar List For Dubious Reasons

Dutch Central Bank Refuses To Publish Gold Bar List For Dubious Reasons

My hunt for the gold bar list of the Dutch official gold reserves started in 2015. On September 26 of that year I visited a conference in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, called Reinvent Money. One of the speakers was Jacob De Haan from the Dutch central bank (DNB) Economics and Research Division – you can watch his presentation by clicking here.

In his presentation De Haan repeatedly talked about the importance of transparency in central banking. These statements raised my eyebrows, as I submitted a FOIA request at DNB in 2013 to ask for all correspondence between DNB and other central banks in the past 45 years with respect to its monetary gold, which was not honored. From my experience DNB was anything but transparent.

De Haan DNB 2015

Slide from is Jacob De Haan (DNB) at the Reinvent Money conference September 26, 2015. Red frame added by me.

After the presentation I approached De Haan and asked him, if transparency is so important to DNB, why has it never published its gold bar list? An act of transparency that could be accomplished within minutes. De Haan offered me he would look into that. He gave me his email address and we agreed to stay in touch. 

Jan de Haan dnb

September 26, 2015, at the Reinvent Money conference. On the left is Jacob De Haan, on the right in the orange sweater is me.

The next day I send De Haan an extensive email explicating my request at DNB to publish the gold bar list of the Dutch gold in excel sheet format. I wrote him it wouldn’t take DNB any effort, as I assumed the bar list was readily available.

De Haan never replied to my email, so I called his office in December 2015 to ask what the status was of my request. De Haan’s secretary answered my inquiry was not rejected but still being processed.

Weeks passed but I didn’t get any reply from De Haan.

On February 24, 2016, I decided to call DNB’s press department to ask about my inquiry. DNB’s spokesman, Martijn Pols, told me over the phone the subject was still being discussed internally, he even confirmed De Haan was involved in the decision making. DNB was considering releasing the document while carefully weighing al pros and cons, he said. In the conversation Pols stated DNB was aware the German central bank (the Deutsche Bundesbank) released a bar list in October 2015 and there was a wish in Amsterdam to mutually harmonize this policy. I added that if DNB would go ahead with the publication their action would only be credible if the Dutch bar list would be complete (disclosing refinery brands, refinery bar numbers and year of manufacturing), in contrast to the incomplete list the Germans had published. Pols was aware of the format the Germans had chosen and took note of my comment. An ensuing question from my side what was holding back DNB in releasing the list could not be clearly answered.

Months passed without any news from DNB. On August 8, 2016 I decided to call Pols again for a status update. He said he would reply over email. A few days later I received an email from DNB Head of Commutations J.W. Stal.

His email to me, translated from Dutch to English, reads:

Dear Mr Jansen, …. We can share the following information with respect to our gold reserves. DNB is transparent about the amount (weight) and the value of our gold assets. This information can be found in our annual reports. Thereby, several media have visited the gold vault and video recordings have also been made. However, we do not intend to publish a gold bar list. This serves no additional monetary purpose to our aforementioned transparency policy, however it would incur administrative costs If you have any further question please contacts us. Kind regards, J.W. Stal

Of course, in this day and age any gold bar list from a central banks should be readily available in excel sheet format, and releasing a sheet would not incur any administrative costs.

My response to Stal translated:

Dear Mr Stal, If the sole reason not to publish the gold bar list is that such an action would incur administrative costs I must conclude DNB doesn’t have the list readily available. Or is my conclusion erroneous? Does DNB have a complete gold bar list readily available or not? If not, this is worrying because the gold bar list forms one of the most important checks on the existence of the Dutch official gold reserves, which provide essential stability to our economy. Is the list in your possession or not? Kind regards, Koos Jansen

Stal replied:

Dear Mr Jansen, In response to your email of August 11, 2016, to De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), we can inform you as follows on our gold reserves and the related gold bar list. DNB has internal gold bar lists, however the conversion of internal lists to documents for publication would create too many administrative burdens. We maintain our previous email, in which we stated publishing a gold bar list serves no monetary purpose other than transparency. And as previously noted, there are other ways for DNB to transparently communicate about our gold stocks. We trust to have informed you sufficiently. Kind regards, J.W. Stal 

If DNB has its gold bar list properly (digitally) archived there should be no administrative cost whatsoever for publication. The argument presented by Stal makes absolutely no sense to me. If one owns over 600 tonnes of gold, why not have the physical assets accurately inventoried? 

What could possibly be the problem to release the bar list of the Dutch gold located in Amsterdam, New York, Ottawa and London?


I would like to remind you that DNB is the only Western central bank that in recent years has successfully repatriated a significant amount of gold (122.5 tonnes) from the Federal Reserve Bank Of New York through a covertly executed operation. This underlines DNB is fully aware of the importance of its gold reserves in our current fragile financial climate. I think DNB does have the bar list readily available, but it chooses not to publish it for political reasons – think, tensions between its custodians in New York and London.

DNB claims to be transparent but in reality it’s not.

If you click this link you can see the most recent video recording made inside the DNB vault at the Frederiksplein in Amsterdam on April 26, 2016. The gold you see in the video aggregates to 189.9 tonnes and includes the 122.5 tonnes repatriated from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in November 2014. Note, the gold at the Frederiksplein has been relocated to a different compartment inside the vault room after November 2014, due to the increased volume by the repatriation.

elianne DNB gold

Courtesy RTLZ. DNB vault room, Frederiksplein in Amsterdam on April 26, 2016.

A few noteworthy comments from the DNB employee in the video:

Gold is the ultimate insurance and anchor in monetary systems. If there will ever be any financial instability we can use the gold to build a new monetary system and offer trust to the public.

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