Last Thursday saw yet more bad news coming out from the deteriorating American housing market. For January 2019, United States' home sales collapsed to their lowest point in over three years. Housing prices themselves ticked up just modestly. The statistics are anything but encouraging as they continue to indicate still more weakness and momentum loss within the overall important housing market. Keep in mind that this Real Estate sector is a key leading economic indicator too. The National Association of Realtors revealed the grim statistics. They stated that the critical existing home sales category declined by a sobering 1.2 percent to an… Read More

Thanks to the steadfastness of the World Gold Council, you are never at a loss for how many tons of gold are in demand each year in all of the important gold categories. Just last week, the World Gold Council released its most current data on gold-backed Exchange Traded Funds. The hottest news is that this gold category ended year 2018 over $100 billion total for the first time since last crisis year 2012. Gold ETF's purchased an additional 69 tons of the yellow metal for 2018, increasing the category's total holdings up to 2,440 tons with a value of $100.6… Read More

In the last few weeks, more bad news was released about the actions and composition of U.S. Treasury debt holders. What this presented was a snap shot of an increasingly vulnerable U.S. public finances (and ultimately economy) dependent on constant infusions of cash in exchange for debt. Foreign creditors have long been among the most stalwart and significant of U.S. Treasuries buyers and long term holders out there. Yet this has at long last begun to decline, and it is a troubling development to say the least. For the 12 months that ended in October, the total non-U.S. resident inventories… Read More

This past week saw Wall Street finish up its worst trading year since the end of the Global Financial Crisis. All of the significant stock indices recorded their worst annual performances going back to 2009. The S&P 500 declined seven percent for the year. It was not just the indices taking a beating either. Legendary hedge fund managing all-star (and billionaire investor) David Einhorn suffered by far and away his worst year. His primary Greenlight Capital fund suffered a dramatic 34 percent decline for 2018, of which nine percent of it came for December alone. These are easily the most… Read More

December has not been encouraging for pensions funds' financial stability and solvency. Within the last few weeks it became evident that the pension system in the United States has become so precarious that Congress is literally preparing for its complete failure. While Congress busily worked out its latest budget deal and boost to spending, they slipped in a provision to start up a new committee to deploy federal government funds to financially save up to 200 multi-employer pension plans. In these pension plans, labor unions alongside employers together fund retirement benefits for benefiting employees. The enormous funds then take on… Read More

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