Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Chad Wolf called on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to “commit to never again censoring content” on its platform after the big tech giant temporarily suspended the account of Acting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Mark Morgan.
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf testifies at his Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, on Sept. 23, 2020. (Greg Nash/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Twitter suspended Morgan’s account on Oct. 28 after he posted updates about the U.S.-Mexico border wall. The company reinstated the account 20 hours later on Oct. 29. In a letter addressed to Dorsey on Friday (pdf), Wolf said that Twitter’s recent action was “disturbing” and called the company’s censorship a national security threat.
“As the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies continue to rely on Twitter to share important information with the U.S. public, your censorship poses a threat to our security,” he wrote.
The Twitter by Morgan on Oct. 28 had a video of the progress of the wall along with the message: “CBP & U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continue to build new wall every day. Every mile helps us stop gang members, murderers, sexual predators, and drugs from entering our country. It’s a fact, walls work.”
Screenshots of the tweet by @CBPMarkMorgan (L) and the email Morgan received from Twitter regarding his account suspension. (Courtesy of Mark Morgan)
Twitter’s moderators removed the tweet from public view and emailed Morgan, saying, “You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”
“The acting commissioner’s tweet did none of these things. Read it. Watch the video,” Wolf told Dorsey in the letter. He also called Twitter’s action “unjustified,” adding that “the tweet is supported by data.”
“Whether you know it or not, CBP guards the front line of the American homeland. CBP repels and arrests thousands of violent criminal gang members each year. CBP rescues young girls who are forced into cross-border sex trafficking. CBP intercepts dangerous drugs and contraband, including enough of the opioid fentanyl to kill every man, woman, and child in the United States several times over,” Wolf asserted. “CBP fulfills the United States’ most obvious and essential law enforcement and national security responsibility to the people of our country. Your company may choose to be ignorant of these facts, but it is no less censorship when you choose to suppress them.”
“There was no reason to remove Mr. Morgan’s tweet from your platform, other than ideological disagreement with the speaker,” he added.
“Such censorship is disturbing.”
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifies remotely during a hearing to discuss reforming Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act with big tech companies in Washington on Oct. 28, 2020. (Greg Nash/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)
Morgan’s suspension came on the same day that Dorsey and other big tech CEOs faced questioning during a Senate hearing to discuss reforming Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Section 230 shields tech companies from liability for content posted on their platforms while letting them moderate content, including on political discourse.
Republican lawmakers used most of their time during the hearing to accuse the companies of selective censorship, while Democrats primarily focused on insufficient action against so-called misinformation that they said interferes with the election.
Both Wolf and Morgan traveled to the border in Texas on the following day, Oct. 29, to announce the nearly 400 miles of border wall system built under the Trump administration.
Wolf said that the border system has reduced narcotics smuggling in the Rio Grande Valley sector in Texas by 26 percent. He also said that in Yuma, Arizona, illegal entries in the areas with a border wall system decreased by 87 percent in fiscal year 2020 compared to fiscal year 2019. In Tuscon, Arizona, the wall system was an aid for border agents, with drug seizures down 25 percent from fiscal year 2019 to fiscal year 2020, Wolf said.
In the letter to Dorsey, Wolf wrote that Twitter’s censorship was “intentional, not accidental.” He recounted that the CBP reached out to Twitter’s office of government affairs, and also appealed Twitter’s censorship decision, but the office ignored the CBP and Twitter denied the appeal.
“Only after CBP reached out to Twitter’s office of government affairs a second time and went public with this censorship, then finally Twitter admitted its bad judgment and unlocked the account,” Wolf wrote.
“I call on you to commit to never again censoring content on your platform and obstructing Americans’ unalienable right to communicate with each other and with their government and its officials, including the thousands of law enforcement officers at the DHS who work vigilantly and diligently to protect your safety every day,” he wrote.
Mark Morgan, former Border Patrol chief, in Washington on April 24, 2019. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)
Prior to his account being reinstated, Morgan told The Epoch Times that his suspension was “unbelievable.”
“Twitter is out of control in their clear bias against this administration and their blatant censorship of anything that may go against the policies of those who sit in cubicles in Silicon Valley,” he followed up in a statement.
Wolf’s letter to Dorsey came the same day Twitter decided to unfreeze the account of the New York Post. The outlet was unable to post content on its Twitter account since Oct. 14 after it shared a stories about alleged overseas business dealings of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden. Twitter stipulated that the outlet had to delete the original Biden Twitter posts before being able to tweet again, before changing its stance on Friday.
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.
via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/322DpJX Tyler Durden
David Einhorn Made 7.7% In Month He Claims “Enormous” Tech Bubble Popped Tyler Durden
Sat, 10/31/2020 – 19:05
Earlier this week, value investing icon David Einhorn surprised his hedge fund peers when he declared that not only is the tech bubble created by the Fed “enormous” but more importantly, that it had burst on Sept 2, the day the Nasdaq hit an all time high, and as a result his Greenlight hedge fund added “a fresh bubble basket of mostly second-tier companies and recent IPOs trading at remarkable valuations.”
Einhorn’s renewed crusade against the tech bubble came a time when futures traders had taken their Nasdaq net exposure to the 2nd shortest on record, but then quickly reversed as the Nasdaq continued its grind higher, only to be caught flat just as the tech index suffered its biggest weekly drop since March.
For Einhorn, however, it appears that the early-October meltup was another opportunity to add even more shorts and after the latest Nasdaq rout, which saw the index drop on 9 of the past 14 days as it approached a 10% correction from its Sept 2 highs…
… Greenlight Capital returned an impressive 7.7% in October – the hedge fund’s best monthly performance all year – according to Bloomberg.
As reported last Tuesday, Einhorn told his investors that “we are now in the midst of an enormous tech bubble,” adding that his working hypothesis was that Sept. 2 was the top and the bubble had already popped.
Bubbles tend to topple under their own weight. Everybody is in. The last short has covered. The last buyer has bought (or bought massive amounts of weekly calls). The decline starts and the psychology shifts from greed to complacency to worry to panic. Our working hypothesis, which might be disproven, is that September 2, 2020 was the top and the bubble has already popped. If so, investor sentiment is in the process of shifting from greed to complacency. We have adjusted our short book accordingly including adding a fresh bubble basket of mostly second-tier companies and recent IPOs trading at remarkable valuations
It wasn’t just the tech shorts that worked: on the long side of the book the primary driver of Einhorn’s gains in the third quarter was homebuilder Green Brick Partners, which also had a strong October return when it shares climbed 11%. The company is benefiting from low interest rates and pandemic-driven demand for single-family detached housing. According to Bloomberg, Greenlight owns almost half of the company’s stock. Einhorn has been affiliated with Green Brick since before it went public and is its chairman.
While its October performance was impressive, Greenlight has a big hole to dig out of: in 2015, the year Einhorn first made his bet against tech bubble names, the main Greenlight fund fell by 20%. The slump deepened in 2018 with a 34% drop. Last year, Einhorn rebounded with a 14% gain across the funds. Following several turbulent years, Greenlight managed only $2.6 billion as of Jan. 1, down from $12 billion at its peak.
For those who missed it, we excerpted his key thoughts from his latest investor letter at the following link.
via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3oEUHXr Tyler Durden
“I had grasped the significance of the silence of the dog, for one true inference invariably suggests others…. Obviously the midnight visitor was someone whom the dog knew well.”
~ Sherlock Holmes – The Adventures of Silver Blaze
Is it possible to make sense out of nonsense?
So much these days is an incoherent mess. It’s complete nonsense.
Page 1 excitedly beams about a glorious rebound in GDP. Yay economic growth!
Page 2 worryingly notes the near complete failure of Siberian arctic ice to reform during October and that hurricane Zeta (so many storms this year we’re now into the Greek alphabet!) has made punishing landfall.
Each is a narrative. Each has its own inner logic.
But they simply do not have any external coherence to each other. It’s nonsensical to be excited about rising economic growth while also concerned that each new unit of growth takes the planet further past a critical red line.
These narratives are incompatible. So which one should we pick?
Well, in the end, reality always has the final say. As Guy McPherson states: Nature bats last.
So better we choose to follow the narrative that hews closest to what reality actually is, vs what we desperately want it to be.
‘They’ Don’t Care About Us
While issues like climate change and economic growth may be difficult to fully grasp and unravel, direct threats to our lives &/or livelihoods are much more concrete and something we can react to and resist.
Such immediate and direct threats are now fully in play and, once again, they’re accompanied by narratives that are completely at odds with each other. I’m speaking of Covid and the ways in which our national and global managers are choosing to respond (or not).
It’s a truly incoherent mess about which both social media and the increasingly irrelevant media are working quite hard to misinform us.
The mainstream narrative about Covid-19, in the West, is this:
It’s a quite deadly and novel disease
There are no effective treatments
Sadly, no double-blind placebo controlled trials exist to support some of the wild claims out there about various off-patent, cheap and widely available supplements and drugs
Health authorities care about saving lives
They care so much, in fact, that along with politicians they’ve decided to entirely shut down economies
There’s a huge second wave rampaging across the US and Europe and there’s nothing we can do to limit it except shut down businesses and people’s ability to travel and gather
You need to fear this virus and its associated disease
All we can do is wait for a vaccine
The alternative narrative, one that I’ve uncovered after 9 months of almost daily research and reporting, is this:
It’s not an especially dangerous disease and it’s certainly not novel
There is a huge assortment of very effective, cheap and widely-available preventatives and treatments including (but not limited to)
Use of a combination of these mostly OTC supplements could reasonably be expected to drop the severity of illness and the already low mortality rate by 90% or (probably) more
Western health authorities have shown either zero interest in the results of studies mainly conducted in poorer nations on these combination therapies or…
They have actively run studies designed to fail so that these cheap, effective therapies could be dismissed or…
Set up proper studies but which started late, have immensely long study periods and most likely won’t be done before a vaccine is hastily rushed through development.
By the way – every single one of my assertions and claims is backed by links and supporting documentation from scientific and clinical trials and studies. I am not conjecturing here; I am recounting the summary of ten months’ worth of inquiry.
The conclusion I draw from my narrative (vs. theirs) is that we can no longer assume that the public health or saving lives has anything to do with explaining or understanding the actions of these health “managers” (I cannot bring myself to use the word authorities).
After we eliminate the impossible – which is that somehow these massive, well-funded bodies have missed month after month of accumulating evidence in support of ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, vitamin D, NAC, zinc, selenium and doxycycline/azithromycin – what remains must be the truth.
As improbable as it seems, the only conclusion we’re left with is that the machinery of politics, money and corporate psychopathy is suppressing life saving treatments because these managers have other priorities besides public health and saving lives.
This is a terribly difficult conclusion, because it means suspending so much that we hold dear. Things like the notion that people are basically good. The idea that the government generally means well. The thought that somehow when the chips are down and a crisis is afoot, good will emerge and triumph over evil.
I’m sorry to say, the exact opposite of all of that has emerged as true.
Medical doctors in the UK NHS system purposely used toxic doses of hydroxychloroquine far too late in the disease cycle to be of any help simply to ‘make a point’ about hydroxychloroquine. They rather desperately wanted that drug to fail, so they made it fail.
After deliberately setting their trial up for failure, they concluded: “Hydroxychloroquine doesn’t help, and it even makes things worse.”
Note that in order to be able to make this claim, they had to be willing to cause harm — even to let people die. What kind of health official does that?
Not one who actually has compassion, a heart, or functioning level of sympathy. It’s an awful conclusion but it’s what remains after we eliminate the impossible.
Getting Past The Emotional Toll
Science has proven that cheap, safe and significantly protective compounds exist to limit both Covid-related death and disease severity.
Yet all of the main so-called health authorities in the major western countries are nearly completely ignoring, if not outright banning, these safe, cheap and effective compounds.
This is crazy-making for independent observers like me (and you) because the data is so clear. It’s irrefutable at this point. These medicines and treatments not only work, but work really, really well.
However most people will be unable to absorb the data, let alone move beyond it to wrestle with the implications. Why? Because such data is belief-shattering. Absorbing this information is not an intellectual process; it’s an emotional one.
I don’t know why human nature decided to invest so much in developing a tight wall around the belief systems that control our actions and thoughts. But it has.
I’m sure there was some powerful evolutionary advantage. One that’s now being hijacked daily by social media AI programs to nudge us in desired directions. One that’s being leveraged by shabby politicians, hucksters, fake gurus, and con men to steer advantage away from the populace and towards themselves.
The neural wiring of beliefs is what it is. We have to recognize that and move on.
Some people will be much faster in their adjustment process than others. (Notably, the Peak Prosperity tribe is populated with many fast-adjusters, which is unsurprising given the topics we cover…tough topics tend to attract fast adjusters and repel the rest)
To move past the deeply troubling information laid out before us requires us to be willing to endure a bit of turbulence. It’s the only way.
For you to navigate these troubling times safely and successfully, you’ll need to see as clearly as possible the true nature of the game actually being played. To see what the rules really are – not what you’ve been told they are, or what you wish or hope they are.
The Manipulation Underway
The data above strongly supports the conclusion that our national health managers don’t actually care about public health generally or your health specifically.
If indeed true, then the beliefs preventing most people from accepting this likely include:
Wanting to believe that people are good (a biggie for most people)
Trust and faith in the medical system (really big)
Faith in authority (ginormous)
There are many other operative belief systems I could also list. But this is sufficient to get the ball rolling.
Picking just one, how hard would it be for someone to let go of, say, trust in the medical system?
That would be pretty hard in most cases.
First not trusting the medical system might mean having to wonder if a loved one might have died unnecessarily while being treated. Or realizing that you’re now going to have to research the living daylights out of every medical decision before agreeing to it. Or worrying that your medications might be more harmful to you over the long haul than helpful (which is true in many more cases than most appreciate). It might mean having your personal heroes dinged by suspicion — perhaps even your father or mother who worked in the medical profession. It would definitely require a complete reorientation away from being able to trust anything you read in a newspaper, or see on TV, about new pharmaceutical “breakthroughs”.
Trust, which is safe and warm and comforting, then turns into skepticism; which is lonelier and insists upon active mental involvement.
But, as always, hard work comes with benefits — with a healthy level of skepticism and involvement, the families of those recruited into the deadly UK RECOVERY trial could have looked at the proposed doses of HCQ (2,400 mg on day one! Toxic!) and said, “Not now, not ever!” and maybe have saved the life of their loved one.
Look at that tangled mess of undesirables that comes with unpacking that one belief: regret, uncertainty, shame, doubt, fallen idols, and vastly more additional effort. Are all up for grabs when we decide to look carefully at the actions of our national health managers during Covid.
Which is why most people simply choose not to look. It’s too hard.
I get it. I have a lot of compassion for why people choose not to go down that path. It can get unpleasant in a hurry.
But, just like choosing to ignore a nagging chest pain, turning away in denial has its own consequences.
The Coming ‘Great Reset’
My coverage of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus) and Covid-19 (the associated disease) has led me to uncover some things that have made me deeply uncomfortable about our global and national ‘managers’. Shameful things, really. Scary things in their implications for what we might reasonably expect (or not expect, more accurately) from the future.
Once we get past the shock of seeing just how patently corrupt they’ve been, we have to ask both What’s next? and What should I do?
After all, you live in a system whose managers either are too dumb to understand the Vitamin D data (very unlikely) or have decided that they’d rather not promote it to the general populace for some reason. It’s a ridiculously safe vitamin with almost zero downside and virtually unlimited upside.
Either they’re colossally dumb, or this is a calculated decision. They’re not dumb. So we have to ask: What’s the calculation being performed here? It’s not public safety. It’s not your personal health. So… What is it?
This is our line of questioning and observation. It’s like the short story by Arthur Conan Doyle in Silver Blaze that many of us informally know as “the case of the dog that didn’t bark”. As the story goes, because of a missing clue – a dog who remained silent as a murder was committed – this conclusion could be drawn: the dog was already familiar with the killer!
The silence around Vitamin D alone is extremely telling. It is the pharmacological dog that did not bark.
One true inference suggests others. Here, too, we can deduce from the near total silence around Vitamin D that the health managers would prefer not to talk about it. They don’t want people to know. That much is painfully clear.
Such lack of promotion (let alone appropriate study) of safe, effective treatments is a thread that, if tugged, can unravel the whole rug. The silence tells us everything we need to know.
Do they want people to suffer and die? I don’t know. My belief systems certainly hope not. Perhaps the death and suffering are merely collateral damage as they pursue a different goal — money, power, politics? Simply the depressing result of a contentious election year? More than that?
We’ve now reached the jumping off point where we may well find out just how far down the rabbit hole goes.
A massive grab for tighter control over the global populace is now being fast-tracked at the highest levels. Have you heard of the Great Reset yet?
If not, you soon will.
In Part 2: The Coming ‘Great Reset’ we lay out everything we know so far about the multinational proposal to transform nearly every aspect of global industry, commerce, trade, and social structure.
If you read on, be ready and willing to let go of cherished beliefs and to suspend what you know to be true. Because none of us has that in hand. It’s going to be a wild ride from here.
Something very big is afoot and I suspect that Covid-19 is merely an excuse providing cover for a much bigger power grab over the world’s wealth and peoples.
Elite SEAL Team Rescues American Hostage In Daring Overnight Nigeria Raid Tyler Durden
Sat, 10/31/2020 – 18:15
The Pentagon announced Saturday that US special forces have been successful in a daring rescue operation of an American citizen who had been taken hostage earlier in the week by an armed group in Niger.
It was reportedly conducted by the Navy’s most elite SEAL Team in the early hours of Saturday, which in media reports is often referred to as SEAL Team 6 (though goes by other names internally within JSCOC).
It remains unclear as to the precise identity of the group of kidnappers, however, current US official statements suggest it was not an organized terrorist group but instead likely “bandits” seeking ransom money. The American had been subsequently taken by the group across the border into northern Nigeria where the special forces raid rescued him.
Big win for our very elite U.S. Special Forces today. Details to follow!
The dangerous border region is known for the presence of al Qaeda activity as well as the Islamic State’s Boko Haram. The State Department had earlier in the week reported an American was taken captive Tuesday. Follow-up reports identified the man as a missionary named Philip Walton.
Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said the US citizen has been recovered and is safe, and further that no US personnel were injured during the rescue.
An American missionary was abducted in the middle of the night by six gunmen armed with assault rifles in southern Niger close to the border with Nigeria on Tuesday. https://t.co/QpddTcQdvY via @CBNNews
“U.S. forces conducted a hostage rescue operation during the early hours of 31 October in Northern Nigeria to recover an American citizen held hostage by a group of armed men. This American citizen is safe and is now in the care of the U.S. Department of State. No U.S military personnel were injured during the operation,” Hoffman said in a statement.
“We appreciate the support of our international partners in conducting this operation. The United States will continue to protect our people and our interests anywhere in the world.”
Multiple members of the armed group were killed in the raid on their compound where the American was held, according to details given by CNN:
The mission, which was several hours long, was conducted by the Navy’s elite SEAL Team 6 who were flown to the region by Air Force special operations, a US official with knowledge of the operation told CNN.
The US forces who conducted the mission killed six of the seven captors, the official said. The US believes the captors have no known affiliation with any terror groups operating in the region, and were more likely bandits seeking money.
President Trump congratulated those involved in the mission in a Saturday morning tweet, saying, “Big win for our very elite U.S. Special Forces today.” And he added: “Details to follow!”
via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/34IVApJ Tyler Durden
We have been discussing the continuing blackout on the Hunter Biden story, even as reports have surfaced that the FBI not only rejected claims that the story was “Russian disinformation” but confirmed that it has an ongoing investigation into possible money laundering. Now, NBC has finally responded with an expose into allegations against the Biden. However, the article entitled “How a fake persona laid the groundwork for a Hunter Biden conspiracy deluge,” does not deal with the laptop or its content. It instead focuses on an obscure document that no one has covered or discussed.
[ZH: while we agree with Turley’s perspective that this is a blatant distraction from the actual content of the laptop, we disagree that the Typhoon report is ‘unrelated’ and ‘obscure’ since all the points made by the report are completely backed by actual data, making the author irrelevant even as he has effectively done the media’s homework for them.]
The value for the Bidens was simply the headline, which was immediately used to warn people not to follow up on the Biden story as Chinese disinformation.
The NBC is breathtaking in its careful avoidance of the real story and its apparent duplicity in seeking to shield the Bidens from any inquiry before the election.
There is something incredibly insidious in this story. The media has allowed itself to be boxed in by the Biden campaign. Reporters willingly bought into the narrative that there is no real story to pursue over the laptop. The longer they have ignored the story; the more difficult it is to admit that there are real issues raised by these disclosures. Reporters simply cannot walk back from the dismissal of a story even as it grows daily with new disclosures. The only recourse is to discredit another story and another source.
The emails on the laptop have now been verified by various sources and those emails support allegations of an influence peddling scheme by Hunter Biden and James Biden, the brother of Vice President Joe Biden. Yet, the media has maintained a tight protective cocoon around Biden protecting him from any questions, even after a former business associate Tony Bobulinski directly accused Biden of lying in his denial of past knowledge or involvement in the dealings. President Trump’s re-election campaign Thursday accused NBC News of “actively running interference” for Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his son Hunter via a widely ridiculed report that critics feel was designed to dupe voters into thinking recent allegations that are harmful to the former vice president are simply part of a conspiracy.
That is why the NBC News story is so unsettling. Rather than ask a simply question of the Bidens about the laptop (like is this Hunter’s laptop and emails), NBC went to extraordinary lengths to find another document to discredit. It focused on a 64-page document with “questionable authorship and anonymous sourcing” that it claims as a source by “far-right influencers” to “baselessly accuse candidate Joe Biden of being beholden to the Chinese government.” What is equally concerning is that the story makes reference to the laptop story and the Bobulinski allegations but does nothing to verify or address those allegations. It spends considerable time and resources addressing what it says is a complete fabrication in this document while steadfastly refusing to address verified emails discussing influence peddling by the Biden family and direct references to Joe Biden.
The House Foreign Affair Committee immediately jumped on the story to discourage people from looking into the Hunter Biden scandal despite the fact that it does not address the allegations and evidence in the scandal.
I will say it again. These emails are not proof of criminal conduct. There are a lot of unanswered questions on these sources and emails. However, this is a major story either way. It is either disinformation (with criminal acts committed in lying to the FBI and Congress) or it is evidence of potential crimes and clear influence peddling by the Biden family. On its face, Joe Biden’s past denials of knowledge or involvement have been contradicted by a witness who has repeated those allegations to the FBI at his own legal peril. That is why the media blackout makes no sense. You can probe the specific allegations which now involve detailed dates, locations, and individuals — exposing lies on either or both sides. That is what the media normally does when the possible next president has been tied to possible influence peddling, suspicious foreign contracts, and direct alleged contradictions.
I have no reason to question the veracity of the NBC story, just its relevancy. Rather than find some unknown, obscure document to debunk, NBC could start with simply asking Biden for a specific response to allegations of meetings and discussions about these foreign dealings. Otherwise, the most relevant post-election article could be “How an evasive press report laid the groundwork for a Hunter Biden conspiracy denial.”
via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3oMbWWE Tyler Durden
Do you have a flashlight, spare batteries and some duct tape stashed away for home emergencies like power outages or hurricanes? Of course you do. How about 100 ounces of silver coins? If not, you should.
In an extreme social or infrastructure breakdown — where banks, ATMs and store scanners are offline — silver coins might be the only way to buy groceries for your family. This is one of many reasons why sales of silver coins and bullion are set to skyrocket.
The upcoming election and its aftermath could witness social unrest that would make this summer’s chaos look downright tame. We might not even know the winners for several weeks after the election. Things could get very ugly.
If that happens, shortages will appear and the price of silver could soar to $60 per ounce or higher from current levels of about $25 per ounce.
Silver Is More Practical Than Gold
As you know, I write and speak frequently on the role of gold in the monetary system. Yet, I rarely discuss silver. Some assume I dislike silver as a hard asset for your portfolio. That’s not true.
In fact, in an extreme crisis, silver may be more practical than gold as a medium of exchange. A gold coin is too valuable to exchange for a basket of groceries, but a silver coin or two is just about right.
Here’s a photograph of your correspondent inside a highly secure vault in Switzerland. I’m pictured with a pallet of silver ingots of 99.99% purity. The ingots weigh 1,000 ounces each, about 62 pounds. The brown paper hung on the walls behind me is to hide certain security features in the vault that the vault operators did not want to reveal. You may notice the small 1-kilo gold bar by my left hand, worth about $45,000.
Silver is more difficult to analyze than gold because gold has almost no uses except as money. (Gold is widely used in jewelry, but I consider gold jewelry a hard asset, what I call “wearable wealth.”)
Silver, on the other hand, has many industrial applications. Silver is both a true commodity and a form of money.
This means that the price of silver may rise or fall based on industrial utilization and the business cycle, independent of monetary factors such as inflation, deflation, and interest rates.
Nevertheless, silver is a form of money (along with gold, dollars, bitcoin, and euros), and always has been.
“The Once and Future Money”
My expectation is that as savers and investors lose confidence in central bank money, they will increasingly turn to physical money (gold and silver) and non-central bank digital money (bitcoin and other crypto currencies) as stores of wealth and a medium of exchange.
This is why I call silver “the once and future money,” because silver’s role as money in the future is simply a return to silver’s traditional role as money throughout history.
In short, silver is as much a monetary metal as gold, and has just as good a pedigree when it comes to use in coinage. Silver has supported the economies of empires, kingdoms and nation states throughout history.
Before the Renaissance, world money existed as precious metal coins or bullion. Caesars and kings hoarded gold and silver, dispensed it to their troops, fought over it, and stole it from each other.
Land has been another form of wealth since antiquity. Still, land is not money because, unlike gold and silver, it cannot easily be exchanged, and has no uniform grade.
The Birth of Fractional Reserve Banking
In the fourteenth century, Florentine bankers (called that because they worked on a bench or banco in the piazzas of Florence and other city states), accepted deposits of gold and silver in exchange for notes which were a promise to return the gold and silver on demand.
The notes were a more convenient form of exchange than physical metal. They could be transported long distances and redeemed for gold and silver at branches of a Florentine family bank in London or Paris.
Bank notes were not unsecured liabilities, rather warehouse receipts on precious metals.
Renaissance bankers realized they could put the precious metals in their custody to other uses, including loans to princes. This left more notes issued than physical metal in custody.
Bankers relied on the fact that the notes would not all be redeemed at once, and they could recoup the gold and silver from princes and other parties in time to meet redemptions.
Thus was born “fractional reserve banking” in which physical metal held is a fraction of paper promises made.
The First “QE”
Despite the advent of banking, notes, and fractional reserves, gold and silver retained their core role as world money. Princes and merchants still held gold and silver coins in purses and stored precious metals in vaults. Bullion and paper promises stood side-by-side. Still, the system was bullion-based.
Silver performed a leading role in this system. If gold was the first world money, silver was the first world currency.
Silver’s popularity as a monetary standard was based on supply-and-demand. Gold was always scarce, silver more readily available. Charlemagne invented quantitative easing, or “QE,” in the ninth century by substituting silver for gold coinage to increase the money supply in his empire. Spain did the same in the sixteenth century.
Under the U.S. Coinage Act of 1792, both gold and silver coins were legal tender in the U.S. From 1794 to 1935, the U.S. Mint issued “silver dollars” in various designs.
These were widely circulated and used as money by everyday Americans. The American dollar was legally defined as one ounce of silver.
The American silver dollar of the late eighteenth century was a copy of the earlier Spanish Real de a ocho minted by the Spanish Empire beginning in the late sixteenth century.
The English name for the Spanish coin was the “piece of eight,” (ocho is the Spanish world for “eight”) because the coin could easily be divided into one-eighth pieces.
Until 2001 stock prices on the New York Stock Exchange were quoted in eighths and sixteenths based on the original Spanish silver coin and its one-eight sections.
The Debasement of U.S. Coinage
Silver has most of gold’s attractions. Silver is of uniform grade, malleable, relatively scarce, and pleasing to the eye. After the U.S. made gold possession a crime in 1933, silver coins circulated freely. The U.S. minted 90% solid silver coins until 1964. Debasement started in 1965.
Depending on the particular coin – dimes, quarters, or half-dollars – the silver percentage dropped from 90% to 40%, and eventually to zero by the early 1970s. Since then, U.S. coins in circulation contain copper and nickel.
From antiquity until the mid-twentieth century, citizens of even modest means might have some gold or silver coins. Today there are no circulating gold or silver coins. Such coins as exist are bullion — kept out of sight.
Silver Wins, No Matter Who Wins the Election
Silver has had a very good year, which should not surprise you since gold’s had a very good year and the two metals generally (but not always) track one another. Silver has backed off a bit from its August high over $28 per ounce on July 13. But it’s still holding tough around $25 today.
Regardless of which party wins the U.S. presidential election in November, the U.S. is set for more fiscal stimulus in 2021 and lots of government spending. If Joe Biden wins, Democrats will push for free healthcare for all, free healthcare for illegal immigrants, and the Green New Deal.
If President Trump wins, you’ll also see a lot more spending. One thing Trump has proven in his time in office is that he’s not a fiscal conservative.
So either way, we’re looking at more spending, bigger deficits, more money printing and, eventually more inflation.
The market’s anticipation of this outcome, starting in early November, will be a powerful tailwind for silver.
Investors should prepare now, before the spike.
via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/35Pzamd Tyler Durden
NY AG Jockeys For Attention With “Long List” Of Trump Policies For ‘President Biden’ To Undo Tyler Durden
Sat, 10/31/2020 – 16:35
AG Letitia James is making a list – of Trump Administration policies and actions that future President Joe Biden must undo immediately after being sworn in.
James, who was likely behind the leak of Trump tax records related to the Trump International Hotel in Chicago, since the NYT story included references to her investigation into Trump’s finances. Now we know for sure: her investigation has nothing to do with shadowy Russians, but whether Trump owes taxes on the loans that he was allowed to walk away from by Deutsche Bank and American investment firm Fortress.
The thrust of the investigation is obvious: James is jockying for a promotion to attorney general if Biden wins, a role for which there is no clear frontrunner (though Tom Perez has been floated). As a black woman, James is already a strong contender.
And just in case her relentless investigation into Trump’s business records, an invasive probe that has produced countless leaks of Trump’s private financial information, wasn’t a clear enough signal, James is “preparing a list. And hte list is long.”
As AG in New York, James said she would “work with the Biden Administration to ask them to file stays in a number of cases that are pending in the courts all across the country.” Of course, that’s all contingent on her staying on as AG in Albany.
She also said that she and her staff are reviewing any and all options that she could undertake if Trump tries to contest the election.
James has fought Trump on everything from the Post Office to EPA regulations to immigration. She famously led the probe into Trump’s charity which led to its dissolution, and an investigation into potentially inflated property values hasn’t gone away, either (Eric Trump was recently deposed in that case).
She’s also taken some scalps at the NRA.
As for what’s on the list? Well, it’s not clear. Perhaps it never will be. Asked by reporters whether she would consider running for Mayor of NYC, she said that she was happy as AG.
via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3jMlhKy Tyler Durden
Election Day can be the longest day of the year. Especially if the presidential race remains undecided late into the evening, neither Xanax nor vodka may be enough to kill the pain. In lieu of other sedatives, following are some cheerful lines which might blunt the impact of the prattling on CNN or MSNBC, though there is no known antidote to PBS’s piety.
The most dangerous political illusion is that votes limit politicians’ power.
Nowadays, we have elections in lieu of freedom.
The defects in any system of choosing rulers outweigh the risks of letting people run their own lives.
People are entitled to far more information when testing baldness cures than when casting votes that could lead to war.
What’s the point of voting if “government under the law” is not a choice on Election Day?
Having a vote does nothing to prevent a person from being molested by the TSA, spied on by the NSA, or harassed by the IRS.
Politicians are increasingly dividing Americans into two classes—those who work for a living and those who vote for a living.
Voting for lesser evils makes Washington no less odious.
Politicians have mandated warning labels for almost everything except voting booths.
On Election Day, Americans are more likely to be deluded by their own government than by foreigners.
Politicians talk as if voting magically protects the rights of everyone within a fifty-mile radius of the polling booth.
Political consent is defined these days as rape was defined a generation or two ago: people consent to anything which they do not forcibly resist.
Modern democracy pretends that people can control what they do not understand.
We have a drive-by democracy where politicians wave to voters every few years and otherwise do as they please.
The more power politicians capture, the more illusory democracy becomes.
A democratic government that respects no limits on its own power is a ticking time bomb, waiting to destroy the rights it was created to protect.
The surest effect of exalting democracy is to make it easier for politicians to drag everyone else down.
The Washington Post’s motto is “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” But democracy also dies from too many Iron Fists.
The phrases which consecrate democracy seep into Americans’ minds like buried hazardous waste.
Rather than a democracy, we increasingly have an elective dictatorship. Voters merely designate who will violate the laws and the Constitution.
Democracy unleashes the State in the name of the people.
The more that democracy is presumed to be inevitable, the more likely it will self-destruct.
America is now an Attention Deficit Democracy where citizens’ ignorance and apathy entitle politicians to do as they damn well please.
Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
Americans now embrace the same myths about democracy that downtrodden European peasants formerly swallowed about monarchy.
Instead of revealing the “will of the people,” election results are often only a one-day snapshot of transient mass delusions.
Nothing happens after Election Day to make politicians less venal.
A lie that is accepted by a sufficient number of ignorant voters becomes a political truth.
America is increasingly a “Garbage In, Garbage Out” democracy. Politicians dupe citizens and then invoke deluded votes to stretch their power.
Promising to “speak truth to power” is the favorite vow in the most deceitful city in America.
Truth delayed is truth defused.
A successful politician is often merely someone who bamboozled more voters than the other liar running for office.
The biggest election frauds usually occur before the voting booths open.
Politicians nowadays treat Americans like medical orderlies treat Alzheimer’s patients, telling them anything that will keep them subdued. It doesn’t matter what untruths the people are fed because they will quickly forget.
When people blindly trust politicians, the biggest liars win.
Secrecy and lying are often two sides of the same political coin.
The more powerful government becomes, the more abuses it commits, and the more lies it must tell.
In modern American history, the most audacious liars have been the greatest self-proclaimed enemies of cynicism. “The only deadly sin I know is cynicism,” declared President Lyndon Johnson in a 1967 press conference on how the Vietnam War was going great. https://t.co/0aitOpHGmI
“Time To Switch Hands” – Pro-Trump Candidate Kim Klacik Says Liberals Ruined Baltimore Tyler Durden
Sat, 10/31/2020 – 15:45
Baltimore congressional candidate Kimberly Klacik could be the next face of the Republican Party – and if she wins a Congressional seat on Nov. 3, it would be the first time in more than fifty years Republicans controlled Maryland’s 7th District.
Klacik’s popularity exploded after President Trump shared her campaign video on Twitter, which criticized the Democratic leadership of Baltimore City with a huge African American population (see: here & here). She even appeared at the Republican National Convention and made several television appearances, raising $6.5 million from Jul. 1 through Sept. 30.
Here’s the video Trump re-tweeted that pushed Klacik into the spotlight:
“…and black people don’t have to vote Democrat,” Klacik said in the short video.
Kimberly will work with the Trump Administration and we will bring Baltimore back, and fast. Don’t blow it Baltimore, the Democrats have destroyed your city! https://t.co/PDdjgxbIHu
Klacik is running for late Rep. Elijah Cummings’ old seat in a race against Rep. Kweisi Mfume. She routinely accuses Democrats in Baltimore of abandoning the black community. Most of her fame comes from videos of her speaking to the camera as she walks the poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods of the city, or maybe even the country, littered with abandoned homes, dormant factories, and opioid clinics.
The District is a Democratic stronghold, and her opponent, Mfume, recently declined to debate Klacik on local television. So broadcaster Fox 45-Baltimore, owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group., decided to hold a conversation with the young black Republican candidate.
At the beginning of the conversation, Klacik told Fox 45’s Kai Jackson: “Democrats have controlled the Baltimore City area for 53 years;” expanding on that idea, she said it’s time to “switch hands,” referring to the possibility she can win the district seat to usher in a new era of Republican control.
The video ends with Klacik outlining how Baltimore County residents are too scared to visit the city because decades of failed Democratic leadership has resulted in surging violent crime, out of control homicides, and an opioid crisis that has decimated the area. These are all things we’ve discussed over the years about imploding Baltimore (see: here & here & here).
“Why not do more in the city so we can all enjoy Baltimore like we used to,” Klacik said.
Klacik is not alone – other black republicans have launched political campaigns in Democratic cities across the country in the hopes of winning a seat in Congress.
If she wins, Klacik will have an uphill battle, it could take at least a decade before real changes are seen. Just imagine how much work is ahead after fifty years of failed liberal policies.
via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/37XKHT6 Tyler Durden
Las Vegas is the top U.S. city where people are experiencing “financial distress” during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to a WalletHub analysis of the country’s 100 largest cities.
The rankings were determined by a weighted average across six categories, including credit scores, average number of accounts in distress and changes in the numbers of bankruptcy filings in June 2020 versus June 2019. The 10 cities with the most people in financial distress include: Las Vegas; Chicago; Houston; San Antonio; Dallas; Phoenix; Los Angeles; Austin, Texas; Miami and Fort Worth, Texas.
The cities with the lowest rates of financial distress are Anchorage, Alaska; Madison, Wisconsin; Jersey City, New Jersey; Fremont, California; and Newark, New Jersey.
Hawaii holds the highest rate of unemployment among states at 15.1%, followed by Nevada at 12.6%, according to Forbes, in part due to the pandemic’s heavy toll on tourism industries.
Las Vegas; Henderson, NV; Reno, NV; and North Las Vegas, NV were among the top five cities to see the highest change in the average number of accounts in distress this September compared to January, according to the WalletHub study.
Orlando, FL, another tourist hub which WalletHub ranked among the top 15 cities for financial distress, has also seen some relief from the reopening of Walt Disney World Resort. The parks furloughed 70,000 workers at the onset of the pandemic, contributing to the leisure and hospitality sector’s staggering 40% unemployment rate in April.
To help alleviate financial stress, cities from Philadelphia to Los Angeles have used some of their federal coronavirus relief funds to help residents pay rent or utilities. Nonprofits like Accelerator for America have also stepped in by raising over $10 million to provide relief in the form of prepaid debit cards to local residents, particularly those who are unbanked and undocumented.
“Direct payments to individuals need to be a priority,” University of Cincinnati’s Economic Center Director Julie Heath said in a statement. “When the extra $600 per week was available to displaced workers, millions of jobs were supported (not eliminated) because these individuals and households still had money to spend in the economy.”
Low-income individuals and women have been hit the hardest by the pandemic-fueled recession, according to Heath. A recent survey by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) found 89% of women reported feeling significant financial, professional and familial impacts from the pandemic.
To address some of those financial strains, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA recently introduced the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020. The bill would allocate $100 billion for rental assistance and create a $75 billion fund for homeowners to prevent evictions, foreclosures and unsafe housing conditions. In June, the bill was passed in the House by a vote of 232 to 180, and received in the Senate where it is not expected to pass.
A second federal stimulus deal could also provide relief to residents, but a deal is unlikely to happen until after the election, The Washington Post reports.
via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/34P50Ap Tyler Durden