Will Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement Move China?

What started as a
pro-democracy student strike
has turned into a occupation of
the central business district in Hong Kong. Originally
organized as a rebuke to the Chinese government for their shifty
denial of the right of Hongkongers to directly elect their chief
executive, the protest has grown demographically, as have the
stakes.

Hong Kong in the street

Led by by the student group Scholarism and the rare
local Occupy outfit with an actual agenda, Occupy
Central
, tens of thousands of citizens have spent the past
several days blocking an eight-lane thoroughfare in the heart of
the economic hub of 7 million people. They have been tear-gassed,
pepper-sprayed, and the 17-year-old leader of the student group
that started the uprising was arrested
and held for two days
 before being released with a
standing threat by Hong Kong authorities that more serious charges
could be imminent.

As thuggish responses from government agents on unarmed
civilians sometimes draw more attention ot protests rather than
shut them down, the previously unnamed protest is now being
referred to as the “Umbrella Movement,” umbrellas being the defense
of choice among the crowds to protect themselves from the
paralyzing toxins being sprayed at them. 

As noted by J.D. Tuccille
earlier today
, the protesters are very conscious of the optics
of their movement and are taking pains to be peaceful,
eschewing—and even apologzing
for
—vandalism. The students remian dutiful,
doing their homework
while maintaining their
watch

For the most part, they are not anarchists, but hard-working and
ambitious young people merely demanding the “one country, two
systems” they were promised as babies when Great Britain’s lease on
the city ended and Hong Kong returned to mainland Chinese rule in
1997.

A great many in the Umbrella Movement were not yet alive in May
1989, when thousands of pro-democracy students were slaughtered by
police and military in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, but

the fear of a bloody reprise
is on many minds.

It is also important to note that Beijing has never known
anything close to the freedom that Hong Kong residents accept as
their birthright. One student made that point to the

Huffington Post
, saying, 
Tell the world what
happened to Hong Kong and tell the world China and Hong Kong are
different. We are not Chinese, we are Hong Kongese.

You could make the argument that because 2014 Hong Kong’s
ecomonic importance dwarfs 1989 Beijing’s, any sustained clash
between citizens and authorities would have far greater global
impact. Perhaps that’s why the international response has been so
muted.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest
expressed support
for Hong Kong’s self-determination but added
that he hoped both sides show “restraint,” which is an odd response
to a violent government’s attack on disciplined civil disobedience,
and hardly a robust defense of democracy.

Hong Kong’s
former colonial masters in Britain
have done little more than
call the Chinese ambassador in for a tête-à-tête and release
statements with dispassionate throwaway lines like “Britain
and China have solemn obligations to the people of Hong Kong to
preserve their rights and freedoms.

The international business community wants no part of a
sustained shutdown of Hong Kong’s major business artery, and the
world’s four biggest accounting firms said as much in a
joint statement last June
:

“If Occupy Central happens, commercial institutions such as
banks, exchanges and the stock market will inevitably be affected,”
the accounting companies said. “We are worried that multinational
corporations and investors will consider relocating their
headquarters from Hong Kong or even withdrawing their
businesses.”

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has
rejected negotiating
or even meeting with leaders of the
protests, and the Chinese Commuinst Party’s official line is that
they trust their man in Hong Kong to deal with the unrest.

For their part, Hongkongers have a
history of bold protest
 and affecting change, as
they did in the early in 2003 when they held massive protests
against Article 23,
an 
anti-subversion law which
contained severe curtailments of civil liberties.

Come at me, bros!

The Chinese government is anxious to stamp out trouble spots all
over its fraying empire. In Tibet, they are mandating a
“happiness” festival
; in the restive Xinjiang region,
foreign journalists are barred from interviewing
ethnic Uighurs
; and
Taiwan’s president rejected
a Chinese reunification proposal
based on the “one country, two systems” proposal proving so elusive
in Hong Kong. 

China doesn’t need another domestic headache, but they’ve
got one in Hong Kong.

With the Umbrella movement growing in boldness and
international stature by the day, who blinks first? And if
Tiananmen 2.0 unfolds live on Youtube, what will—or should—any of
us do about it?

from Hit & Run http://ift.tt/YJNgRu
via IFTTT

Will Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement Move China?

What started as a
pro-democracy student strike
has turned into a occupation of
the central business district in Hong Kong. Originally
organized as a rebuke to the Chinese government for their shifty
denial of the right of Hongkongers to directly elect their chief
executive, the protest has grown demographically, as have the
stakes.

Hong Kong in the street

Led by by the student group Scholarism and the rare
local Occupy outfit with an actual agenda, Occupy
Central
, tens of thousands of citizens have spent the past
several days blocking an eight-lane thoroughfare in the heart of
the economic hub of 7 million people. They have been tear-gassed,
pepper-sprayed, and the 17-year-old leader of the student group
that started the uprising was arrested
and held for two days
 before being released with a
standing threat by Hong Kong authorities that more serious charges
could be imminent.

As thuggish responses from government agents on unarmed
civilians sometimes draw more attention ot protests rather than
shut them down, the previously unnamed protest is now being
referred to as the “Umbrella Movement,” umbrellas being the defense
of choice among the crowds to protect themselves from the
paralyzing toxins being sprayed at them. 

As noted by J.D. Tuccille
earlier today
, the protesters are very conscious of the optics
of their movement and are taking pains to be peaceful,
eschewing—and even apologzing
for
—vandalism. The students remian dutiful,
doing their homework
while maintaining their
watch

For the most part, they are not anarchists, but hard-working and
ambitious young people merely demanding the “one country, two
systems” they were promised as babies when Great Britain’s lease on
the city ended and Hong Kong returned to mainland Chinese rule in
1997.

A great many in the Umbrella Movement were not yet alive in May
1989, when thousands of pro-democracy students were slaughtered by
police and military in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, but

the fear of a bloody reprise
is on many minds.

It is also important to note that Beijing has never known
anything close to the freedom that Hong Kong residents accept as
their birthright. One student made that point to the

Huffington Post
, saying, 
Tell the world what
happened to Hong Kong and tell the world China and Hong Kong are
different. We are not Chinese, we are Hong Kongese.

You could make the argument that because 2014 Hong Kong’s
ecomonic importance dwarfs 1989 Beijing’s, any sustained clash
between citizens and authorities would have far greater global
impact. Perhaps that’s why the international response has been so
muted.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest
expressed support
for Hong Kong’s self-determination but added
that he hoped both sides show “restraint,” which is an odd response
to a violent government’s attack on disciplined civil disobedience,
and hardly a robust defense of democracy.

Hong Kong’s
former colonial masters in Britain
have done little more than
call the Chinese ambassador in for a tête-à-tête and release
statements with dispassionate throwaway lines like “Britain
and China have solemn obligations to the people of Hong Kong to
preserve their rights and freedoms.

The international business community wants no part of a
sustained shutdown of Hong Kong’s major business artery, and the
world’s four biggest accounting firms said as much in a
joint statement last June
:

“If Occupy Central happens, commercial institutions such as
banks, exchanges and the stock market will inevitably be affected,”
the accounting companies said. “We are worried that multinational
corporations and investors will consider relocating their
headquarters from Hong Kong or even withdrawing their
businesses.”

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has
rejected negotiating
or even meeting with leaders of the
protests, and the Chinese Commuinst Party’s official line is that
they trust their man in Hong Kong to deal with the unrest.

For their part, Hongkongers have a
history of bold protest
 and affecting change, as
they did in the early in 2003 when they held massive protests
against Article 23,
an 
anti-subversion law which
contained severe curtailments of civil liberties.

Come at me, bros!

The Chinese government is anxious to stamp out trouble spots all
over its fraying empire. In Tibet, they are mandating a
“happiness” festival
; in the restive Xinjiang region,
foreign journalists are barred from interviewing
ethnic Uighurs
; and
Taiwan’s president rejected
a Chinese reunification proposal
based on the “one country, two systems” proposal proving so elusive
in Hong Kong. 

China doesn’t need another domestic headache, but they’ve
got one in Hong Kong.

With the Umbrella movement growing in boldness and
international stature by the day, who blinks first? And if
Tiananmen 2.0 unfolds live on Youtube, what will—or should—any of
us do about it?

from Hit & Run http://ift.tt/YJNgRu
via IFTTT

“If Something Rattles This Ponzi Scheme, Life In America Will Change Overnight”

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

I know that headline sounds completely outrageous.  But it is actually true.  The U.S. government is borrowing about 8 trillion dollars a year, and you are about to see the hard numbers that prove this.  When discussing the national debt, most people tend to only focus on the amount that it increases each 12 months.  And as I wrote about recently, the U.S. national debt has increased by more than a trillion dollars in fiscal year 2014.  But that does not count the huge amounts of U.S. Treasury securities that the federal government must redeem each year.  When these debt instruments hit their maturity date, the U.S. government must pay them off.  This is done by borrowing more money to pay off the previous debts.  In fiscal year 2013, redemptions of U.S. Treasury securities totaled $7,546,726,000,000 and new debt totaling $8,323,949,000,000 was issued.  The final numbers for fiscal year 2014 are likely to be significantly higher than that.

So why does so much government debt come due each year?

Well, in recent years government officials figured out that they could save a lot of money on interest payments by borrowing over shorter time frames.  For example, it costs the government far more to borrow money for 10 years than it does for 1 year.  So a strategy was hatched to borrow money for very short periods of time and to keep "rolling it over" again and again and again.

This strategy has indeed saved the federal government hundreds of billions of dollars in interest payments, but it has also created a situation where the federal government must borrow about 8 trillion dollars a year just to keep up with the game.

So what happens when the rest of the world decides that it does not want to loan us 8 trillion dollars a year at ultra-low interest rates?

Well, the game will be over and we will be in a massive amount of trouble.

I am about to share with you some numbers that were originally reported by CNS News.  As you can see, far more debt is being redeemed and issued today than back during the middle part of the last decade…

2013

Redeemed: $7,546,726,000,000

Issued: $8,323,949,000,000

Increase: $777,223,000,000

2012

Redeemed: $6,804,956,000,000

Issued: $7,924,651,000,000

Increase: $1,119,695,000,000

2011

Redeemed: $7,026,617,000,000

Issued: $8,078,266,000,000

Increase: $1,051,649,000,000

2010

Redeemed: $7,206,965,000,000

Issued: $8,649,171,000,000

Increase: $1,442,206,000,000

2009

Redeemed: $7,306,512,000,000

Issued: $9,027,399,000,000

Increase: $1,720,887,000,000

2008

Redeemed: $4,898,607,000,000

Issued: $5,580,644,000,000

Increase: $682,037,000,000

2007

Redeemed: $4,402,395,000,000

Issued: $4,532,698,000,000

Increase: $130,303,000,000

2006

Redeemed: $4,297,869,000,000

Issued: $4,459,341,000,000

Increase: $161,472,000,000

The only way that this game can continue is if the U.S. government can continue to borrow gigantic piles of money at ridiculously low interest rates.

And our current standard of living greatly depends on the continuation of this game.

If something comes along and rattles this Ponzi scheme, life in America could change radically almost overnight.

In the United States today, we have a heavily socialized system that hands out checks to nearly half the population.  In fact, 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that gets direct monetary benefits from the federal government each month according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  And it is hard to believe, but Americans received more than 2 trillion dollars in benefits from the federal government last year alone.  At this point, the primary function of the federal government is taking money from some people and giving it to others.  In fact, more than 70 percent of all federal spending goes to "dependence-creating programs", and the government runs approximately 80 different "means-tested welfare programs" right now.  But the big problem is that the government is giving out far more money than it is taking in, so it has to borrow the difference.  As long as we can continue to borrow at super low interest rates, the status quo can continue.

But a Ponzi scheme like this can only last for so long.

It has been said that when the checks stop coming in, chaos will begin in the streets of America.

The looting that took place when a technical glitch caused the EBT system to go down for a short time in some areas last year and the rioting in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri this year were both small previews of what we will see in the future.

And there is no way that we will be able to "grow" our way out of this problem.

As the Baby Boomers continue to retire, the amount of money that the federal government is handing out each year is projected to absolutely skyrocket.  Just consider the following numbers…

Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, more than 70 million Americans are on Medicaid, and it is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.

 

When Medicare was first established, we were told that it would cost about $12 billion a year by the time 1990 rolled around.  Instead, the federal government ended up spending $110 billion on the program in 1990, and the federal government spent approximately $600 billion on the program in 2013.

 

It is being projected that the number of Americans on Medicare will grow from 50.7 million in 2012 to 73.2 million in 2025.

 

At this point, Medicare is facing unfunded liabilities of more than 38 trillion dollars over the next 75 years.  That comes to approximately $328,404 for every single household in the United States.

 

In 1945, there were 42 workers for every retiree receiving Social Security benefits.  Today, that number has fallen to 2.5 workers, and if you eliminate all government workers, that leaves only 1.6 private sector workers for every retiree receiving Social Security benefits.

 

Right now, there are approximately 63 million Americans collecting Social Security benefits.  By 2035, that number is projected to soar to an astounding 91 million.

 

Overall, the Social Security system is facing a 134 trillion dollar shortfall over the next 75 years.

 

The U.S. government is facing a total of 222 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities during the years ahead.  Social Security and Medicare make up the bulk of that.

Yes, things seem somewhat stable for the moment in America today.

But the same thing could have been said about 2007.  The stock market was soaring, the economy seemed like it was rolling right along and people were generally optimistic about the future.

Then the financial crisis of 2008 erupted and it seemed like the world was going to end.

Well, the truth is that another great crisis is rapidly approaching, and we are in far worse shape financially than we were back in 2008.

Don't get blindsided by what is ahead.  Evidence of the coming catastrophe is all around you.




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1vt90vD Tyler Durden

"If Something Rattles This Ponzi Scheme, Life In America Will Change Overnight"

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

I know that headline sounds completely outrageous.  But it is actually true.  The U.S. government is borrowing about 8 trillion dollars a year, and you are about to see the hard numbers that prove this.  When discussing the national debt, most people tend to only focus on the amount that it increases each 12 months.  And as I wrote about recently, the U.S. national debt has increased by more than a trillion dollars in fiscal year 2014.  But that does not count the huge amounts of U.S. Treasury securities that the federal government must redeem each year.  When these debt instruments hit their maturity date, the U.S. government must pay them off.  This is done by borrowing more money to pay off the previous debts.  In fiscal year 2013, redemptions of U.S. Treasury securities totaled $7,546,726,000,000 and new debt totaling $8,323,949,000,000 was issued.  The final numbers for fiscal year 2014 are likely to be significantly higher than that.

So why does so much government debt come due each year?

Well, in recent years government officials figured out that they could save a lot of money on interest payments by borrowing over shorter time frames.  For example, it costs the government far more to borrow money for 10 years than it does for 1 year.  So a strategy was hatched to borrow money for very short periods of time and to keep "rolling it over" again and again and again.

This strategy has indeed saved the federal government hundreds of billions of dollars in interest payments, but it has also created a situation where the federal government must borrow about 8 trillion dollars a year just to keep up with the game.

So what happens when the rest of the world decides that it does not want to loan us 8 trillion dollars a year at ultra-low interest rates?

Well, the game will be over and we will be in a massive amount of trouble.

I am about to share with you some numbers that were originally reported by CNS News.  As you can see, far more debt is being redeemed and issued today than back during the middle part of the last decade…

2013

Redeemed: $7,546,726,000,000

Issued: $8,323,949,000,000

Increase: $777,223,000,000

2012

Redeemed: $6,804,956,000,000

Issued: $7,924,651,000,000

Increase: $1,119,695,000,000

2011

Redeemed: $7,026,617,000,000

Issued: $8,078,266,000,000

Increase: $1,051,649,000,000

2010

Redeemed: $7,206,965,000,000

Issued: $8,649,171,000,000

Increase: $1,442,206,000,000

2009

Redeemed: $7,306,512,000,000

Issued: $9,027,399,000,000

Increase: $1,720,887,000,000

2008

Redeemed: $4,898,607,000,000

Issued: $5,580,644,000,000

Increase: $682,037,000,000

2007

Redeemed: $4,402,395,000,000

Issued: $4,532,698,000,000

Increase: $130,303,000,000

2006

Redeemed: $4,297,869,000,000

Issued: $4,459,341,000,000

Increase: $161,472,000,000

The only way that this game can continue is if the U.S. government can continue to borrow gigantic piles of money at ridiculously low interest rates.

And our current standard of living greatly depends on the continuation of this game.

If something comes along and rattles this Ponzi scheme, life in America could change radically almost overnight.

In the United States today, we have a heavily socialized system that hands out checks to nearly half the population.  In fact, 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that gets direct monetary benefits from the federal government each month according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  And it is hard to believe, but Americans received more than 2 trillion dollars in benefits from the federal government last year alone.  At this point, the primary function of the federal government is taking money from some people and giving it to others.  In fact, more than 70 percent of all federal spending goes to "dependence-creating programs", and the government runs approximately 80 different "means-tested welfare programs" right now.  But the big problem is that the government is giving out far more money than it is taking in, so it has to borrow the difference.  As long as we can continue to borrow at super low interest rates, the status quo can continue.

But a Ponzi scheme like this can only last for so long.

It has been said that when the checks stop coming in, chaos will begin in the streets of America.

The looting that took place when a technical glitch caused the EBT system to go down for a short time in some areas last year and the rioting in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri this year were both small previews of what we will see in the future.

And there is no way that we will be able to "grow" our way out of this problem.

As the Baby Boomers continue to retire, the amount of money that the federal government is handing out each year is projected to absolutely skyrocket.  Just consider the following numbers…

Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, more than 70 million Americans are on Medicaid, and it is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.

 

When Medicare was first established, we were told that it would cost about $12 billion a year by the time 1990 rolled around.  Instead, the federal government ended up spending $110 billion on the program in 1990, and the federal government spent approximately $600 billion on the program in 2013.

 

It is being projected that the number of Americans on Medicare will grow from 50.7 million in 2012 to 73.2 million in 2025.

 

At this point, Medicare is facing unfunded liabilities of more than 38 trillion dollars over the next 75 years.  That comes to approximately $328,404 for every single household in the United States.

 

In 1945, there were 42 workers for every retiree receiving Social Security benefits.  Today, that num
ber has fallen to 2.5 workers, and if you eliminate all government workers, that leaves only 1.6 private sector workers for every retiree receiving Social Security benefits.

 

Right now, there are approximately 63 million Americans collecting Social Security benefits.  By 2035, that number is projected to soar to an astounding 91 million.

 

Overall, the Social Security system is facing a 134 trillion dollar shortfall over the next 75 years.

 

The U.S. government is facing a total of 222 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities during the years ahead.  Social Security and Medicare make up the bulk of that.

Yes, things seem somewhat stable for the moment in America today.

But the same thing could have been said about 2007.  The stock market was soaring, the economy seemed like it was rolling right along and people were generally optimistic about the future.

Then the financial crisis of 2008 erupted and it seemed like the world was going to end.

Well, the truth is that another great crisis is rapidly approaching, and we are in far worse shape financially than we were back in 2008.

Don't get blindsided by what is ahead.  Evidence of the coming catastrophe is all around you.




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1vt90vD Tyler Durden

Does Surging Demand For Gold & Silver Coins Signal A Bottom?

Submitted by John Rubino via DollarCollapse blog,

Reports of individuals snapping up near-record numbers of gold and silver coins are coming in from around the world:

U.S. Mint American Eagle gold coin sales set to rise sharply in Sept

(Reuters) – The U.S. Mint has sold nearly 50,000 ounces of American Eagle gold coins so far in September, almost double its total in August, as a sharp pullback in gold prices and geopolitical tensions boosted interest for physical products from retail investors.

With only six business days left until the end of September, sales of American Eagle bullion gold coins made for investors were 46,000 ounces, up 84 percent from August sales of 25,000 ounces, the latest U.S. Mint data showed on Monday.

 

Record highs in U.S. equities also prompted some retail investors to buy precious metal products to diversify their portfolios, said David Beahm, vice president at New Orleans coin dealer Blanchard & Co.

German Bullion Dealers Report Major Increase in Sales

(Gold Reporter) Bullion dealers from all regions report that gold sales in the German bullion trade market surge since last week. Suppressed prices for gold and silver are obviously considered buying rates by German investors. The German precious metals trade reports a surge in sales.

“For about a week we record considerably increased turnover again, which is now on previous year’s level, so it doubled compared to the recent months.”, Rene Lehman from the internet dealer Münzland in Dresden told Goldreporter.

“We can confirm that customer demand has considerably increased in the recent days.“, said Dominik Kochmann, CEO of ESG Edelmetalle in Rheinstetten.

 

Daniel Marburger, Director of Coininvest GmbH in Frankfurt/Main also stated that “In the past seven working days we have seen an extreme surge in demand.”

 

Christian Brenner, Chief Executive of Philoro Edelmetalle GmbH: “Already in August we noticed an increase on orders compared to the previous months, but September… September beats it all. From a German viewpoint it’s the strongest month of 2014.”

Perth Mint Gold and Silver Bullion Sales Surge in August

(Coin News) Australian sales of bullion gold and silver surged in August after falling to a three-month low in July, new figures from the Perth Mint of Australia show.

August sales of Perth Mint gold coins and gold bars at 36,369 ounces rallied 44.9% from July and jumped 19.5% from the same time last year. Gold sales were the highest since June. Sales of Perth Mint silver coins and silver bars at 818,856 ounces in August advanced 41.7% from the prior month and grew 18.5% from August 2013. They were the strongest since January. In July, gold and silver bullion sales retreated from the previous month and from year-ago levels.

Individual buyers aren’t the dominant players in precious metals but they do make a difference. And their renewed enthusiasm is matched by some recent national trends:

China imports more gold for holiday; Indian demand set to climb

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Top bullion consumer China has been importing more gold in September than in the previous month due to demand from retailers stocking up for the upcoming National Day holiday, market sources said.

Demand in India – the second biggest buyer of the metal – is also set to pick up as the festival and wedding season kicked off this week.

 

With gold trading close to a key psychological level of $1,200 an ounce, markets are keenly watching physical demand in Asia – the top consuming region – to see if it could lend support to prices.

 

“The physical volumes have been high this month compared to August. I would say imports could be at least 30 percent higher than last month,” said a trader with one of the 15 importing banks in China.

Russia Boosts Gold Reserves by $400M to Highest Since ’93

(Bloomberg) Russia added about 9.4 metric tons of gold valued at $400 million to reserves in July as it expanded holdings for a fourth consecutive month to the highest in at least two decades.

The country’s stockpile, the fifth-biggest, increased to 35.5 million ounces (1,104 tons) last month from 35.2 million ounces at the end of June, data posted on the central bank’s website showed. The amount of gold now held is the most since at least 1993, according to International Monetary Fund data.

Central banks may add as much as 500 tons to reserves this year, the World Gold Council said on Aug. 14. Nations increased holdings by 409 tons last year and 544 tons in 2012.

There’s no guarantee that this buying, encouraging as it seems, is anything more than a blip. But in the aggregate it does seem like a lot of buyers, old and new, are finding current prices to be attractive.

That’s how bottoms form and new bull markets begin.




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1vvgG2i Tyler Durden

Does Surging Demand For Gold & Silver Coins Signal A Bottom?

Submitted by John Rubino via DollarCollapse blog,

Reports of individuals snapping up near-record numbers of gold and silver coins are coming in from around the world:

U.S. Mint American Eagle gold coin sales set to rise sharply in Sept

(Reuters) – The U.S. Mint has sold nearly 50,000 ounces of American Eagle gold coins so far in September, almost double its total in August, as a sharp pullback in gold prices and geopolitical tensions boosted interest for physical products from retail investors.

With only six business days left until the end of September, sales of American Eagle bullion gold coins made for investors were 46,000 ounces, up 84 percent from August sales of 25,000 ounces, the latest U.S. Mint data showed on Monday.

 

Record highs in U.S. equities also prompted some retail investors to buy precious metal products to diversify their portfolios, said David Beahm, vice president at New Orleans coin dealer Blanchard & Co.

German Bullion Dealers Report Major Increase in Sales

(Gold Reporter) Bullion dealers from all regions report that gold sales in the German bullion trade market surge since last week. Suppressed prices for gold and silver are obviously considered buying rates by German investors. The German precious metals trade reports a surge in sales.

“For about a week we record considerably increased turnover again, which is now on previous year’s level, so it doubled compared to the recent months.”, Rene Lehman from the internet dealer Münzland in Dresden told Goldreporter.

“We can confirm that customer demand has considerably increased in the recent days.“, said Dominik Kochmann, CEO of ESG Edelmetalle in Rheinstetten.

 

Daniel Marburger, Director of Coininvest GmbH in Frankfurt/Main also stated that “In the past seven working days we have seen an extreme surge in demand.”

 

Christian Brenner, Chief Executive of Philoro Edelmetalle GmbH: “Already in August we noticed an increase on orders compared to the previous months, but September… September beats it all. From a German viewpoint it’s the strongest month of 2014.”

Perth Mint Gold and Silver Bullion Sales Surge in August

(Coin News) Australian sales of bullion gold and silver surged in August after falling to a three-month low in July, new figures from the Perth Mint of Australia show.

August sales of Perth Mint gold coins and gold bars at 36,369 ounces rallied 44.9% from July and jumped 19.5% from the same time last year. Gold sales were the highest since June. Sales of Perth Mint silver coins and silver bars at 818,856 ounces in August advanced 41.7% from the prior month and grew 18.5% from August 2013. They were the strongest since January. In July, gold and silver bullion sales retreated from the previous month and from year-ago levels.

Individual buyers aren’t the dominant players in precious metals but they do make a difference. And their renewed enthusiasm is matched by some recent national trends:

China imports more gold for holiday; Indian demand set to climb

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Top bullion consumer China has been importing more gold in September than in the previous month due to demand from retailers stocking up for the upcoming National Day holiday, market sources said.

Demand in India – the second biggest buyer of the metal – is also set to pick up as the festival and wedding season kicked off this week.

 

With gold trading close to a key psychological level of $1,200 an ounce, markets are keenly watching physical demand in Asia – the top consuming region – to see if it could lend support to prices.

 

“The physical volumes have been high this month compared to August. I would say imports could be at least 30 percent higher than last month,” said a trader with one of the 15 importing banks in China.

Russia Boosts Gold Reserves by $400M to Highest Since ’93

(Bloomberg) Russia added about 9.4 metric tons of gold valued at $400 million to reserves in July as it expanded holdings for a fourth consecutive month to the highest in at least two decades.

The country’s stockpile, the fifth-biggest, increased to 35.5 million ounces (1,104 tons) last month from 35.2 million ounces at the end of June, data posted on the central bank’s website showed. The amount of gold now held is the most since at least 1993, according to International Monetary Fund data.

Central banks may add as much as 500 tons to reserves this year, the World Gold Council said on Aug. 14. Nations increased holdings by 409 tons last year and 544 tons in 2012.

There’s no guarantee that this buying, encouraging as it seems, is anything more than a blip. But in the aggregate it does seem like a lot of buyers, old and new, are finding current prices to be attractive.

That’s how bottoms form and new bull markets begin.




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1vvgG2i Tyler Durden

White House Shrugs Off Dead Civilians in Syrian Strikes

"Freedom" is just another word for nothing left to bomb.Winning hearts and minds! In
the wake of reports that our airstrikes on Syria may have killed a
dozen civilians, including children, Yahoo News asked the
administration whether the policy the White House put in place to
limit drone strikes applied to these bombings. The drone rules
President Barack Obama has put into place require they can only be
used if there is a “near certainty” that there will be no civilian
casualties. (These rules are mere empty gestures, though. There
have been
civilian casualties
from drone strikes anyway, regardless of
policy).

But the citizens of Syria and Iraq won’t even get this lip
service. This is an area of “active hostilities,” which is what I
guess we’re calling undeclared wars at the moment. The drone
assassination policy does not apply here, Yahoo News has been

informed
:

The “near certainty” standard was intended to apply “only when
we take direct action ‘outside areas of active hostilities,’ as we
noted at the time,” [National Security Council spokesperson
Caitlin] Hayden said in an email. “That description — outside areas
of active hostilities — simply does not fit what we are seeing on
the ground in Iraq and Syria right now.” 

Hayden added that U.S. military operations against the Islamic
State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) in Syria, “like all U.S.
military operations, are being conducted consistently with the laws
of armed conflict, proportionality and distinction.”

The laws of armed conflict prohibit the deliberate targeting of
civilian areas and require armed forces to take precautions to
prevent inadvertent civilian deaths as much as possible.

Read more
here
.

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