The Peoples Bank Of China says, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!”

  • the dollar rebounds on Tuesday, but Gold & Silver ignore the dollar move
  • Chuck gives the Bank of Canada a memo…

Good Day… And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well, it did indeed look as though my beloved Cardinals were dragging the line in Monday’s game, as their bats returned last night, and they beat the Reds 7-1… I love it when the team plays in the Eastern Time Zone, as the games end at a decent hour for me! Bill Withers greets me this morning with his song: Lovely Day…

I don’t know if today will be lovely or not, but it will have a tough row to hoe, to be better than yesterday, for yesterday was just simply beautiful! 

The dollar bugs were singing about it being a lovely day for sure, as the dollar got bought and recovered its two-days of losses late last week… The BBDXY ended the day at 1,250, thus, up 4 index points on the day.  The euro backed off of its high in the 1.08 figure, and all the rest of the currencies backed off their recent levels too. 

Gold though forgot about the dollar strength, and gained $9 on the day, to end the day at $2,362.00, and Silver gained 41-cents to end the day at $32.12… A good showing for the metals yesterday…  But… as always, the short paper boys were hanging around, and they certainly put a cap on the metals gains yesterday… Who knows where Silver would have ended up if it had been left alone… I’m just saying… 

I said yesterday that it would be interesting to see if the bond boys continued to take the 10-year’s yield higher… And at least for one day, they did take it higher, with the 10-year’s yield at 4.56% at the end of the day. 

An the price of Oil gained another buck yesterday, and finished the day with an $80 handle…  I still don’t get why the price of Oil was taken to the woodshed last week, only to recover quickly and even go higher than it was before! 

In the overnight markets last night… Well, somebody has an axe to grind with the metals as we start today… Gold is down $19 and Silver is down 19-cents… The dollar hasn’t moved from yesterday’s close at 1,250, so it’s not a dollar is king thing that’s moving the metals this morning.  I have to think that it’s another short paper event… I’ll know more as the day goes on, and report on it tomorrow… 

Copper is down again this morning, I guess the Copper Traders are getting a taste of what Gold & Silver have had to endure these years as they got more interest by investors, they would get the snot knocked out of them, and now the short paper traders have turned to Copper… UGH!  

The price of Oil remained trading with an $80 handle overnight and the 10-year’s yield is at 4.47% to start the day today… 

I was reading an article this morning, about the Bank of Canada and how the Canadian markets are wishing, and hoping and praying for a rate cut soon from the Bank of Canada (BOC)… The Bank has meeting scheduled for June 5, and then in July and September… Right now the markets have their eyes focused on the September meeting for a rate cut… That’s why the Canadian dollar/ loonie, is teetering as we start our day today… 

I’ll just say this, and if this sounds like a broken record, then move the needle and go on… But what the markets are seeing with inflation in Canada, is much like we’ve seen in other countries… Inflation drops, and then ceases to drop further… and eventually inflation comes back stronger…. And if a Central Bank had not been patient, and cut rates early, they would be dealing with even stronger inflation…  So, there’s my memo to the Bank of Canada…  Don’t be fooled! 

I’ve mentioned Australia a couple of times in recent Pfennigs… So, in keeping in that vein… Australia is seeing the same kind of data in their country as the U.S. is seeing… For instance, last week Retail Sales slowed in April thus signaling a slowing economy… and that could mean a rate cut, but then yesterday, April inflation rose, marking the second consecutive month a rising inflation and thus pointing to keeping rates unchanged or maybe even raising them!   What to do, what to do?  I think the Reserve Bank of Australia will remain vigilant about keeping rates high to combat inflation, and that would mean that the A$ buyers are warranted int pushing the A$ higher… 

And news this morning that the Peoples Bank of China is jawboning the renminbi higher, or at least attempting to… I don’t know if you’ve noticed in the currency roundup that the renminbi has been slipping on a daily basis, and things in China are back and forth with the economy… But the Peoples Bank of China said, “don’t worry be happy” (not really, I said that), but the Peoples Bank did say that the renminbi would be recovering shortly…   Hmmm…  Makes you wonder doesn’t it?    I’m just saying… 

Before I head to the Big Finish today, I wanted to stop and say that I was saddened to hear that Bill Walton had died… I was a HUGE fan of Bill Walton ever since he scored 43 points in the NCAA Championship game in 1973 in St. Louis! Bill was only 71 years old, when he passed away, and that’s way too young in my book!  RIP Bill Walton… 

The U.S. Data Cupboard only has the Fed’s Beige Book on the docket today, and that’s not enough to move markets… Tomorrow, we will see the GDP revision that I talked about yesterday. 

To recap… The dollar rebounded on Tuesday, and recovered the losses it took late last week. But Gold & Silver didn’t care if the dollar was rallying, as they kept on the rally tracks themselves… Chuck can’t figure out why Oil traders took the price of Oil lower last week, only to see it rebound and recover this week? 

For What It’s Worth… Well, guess who would be considered a Gold Bug now? None other than the guy behind the movie the “Big Short”, Michael Burry… His entry into the Gold market and more can be found here: Michael Burry and John Paulson hit the jackpot when they called the housing crash. Now they’re betting on gold. (msn.com)

Or, here’s your snippet: “It turns out Michael Burry isn’t only a metalhead when it comes to music.

The investor of “The Big Short” fame purchased about 441,000 units of the Sprott Physical Gold Trust last quarter. The trust holds virtually all of its assets in physical gold bullion.

Burry’s Scion Asset Management revealed its first-quarter holdings in a regulatory filing this week.

The gold bet was worth $7.6 million at the end of March, ranking it as Scion’s fifth-largest position with a 7.4% weighting in the firm’s $103 million U.S. stock portfolio.

If the wager remains intact, it was valued at $8.1 million as of Friday, per Sprott’s bullion calculator.

Buying gold is a surprising move from Burry, a value investor known for sniffing out dirt-cheap stocks — including GameStop years before it became a meme stock.

He’s also bet against high flyers like Elon Musk’s Tesla, Cathie Wood’s Ark Innovation ETF , and a microchip ETF that counts Nvidia as its top holding.

Burry shot to fame for predicting and profiting from the collapse of the mid-2000s housing bubble.

The saga was chronicled in the book and movie “The Big Short.

John Paulson made his name with a similar wager, immortalized in a book titled “The Greatest Trade Ever.” Like Burry, the Paulson & Co. chief appears to be bullish on gold and other precious metals.”

Chuck again… Well, it took them long enough to get on board the Gold train didn’t it? At least now they are a part of Gold’s rise, and brings me to my usual question: Got Gold?

Market Prices 5/29/2024: American Style: A$ .6632, kiwi .6128, C$ .7315, euro 1.0856, sterling 1.2754, Swiss $1.0957, European Style: rand 18.3267, krone 10.5164, SEK 10.6251, forint 356.50, zloty 3.9277, koruna 22.7785, RUB 89.49, yen 157.20, sing 1.3497, HKD 7.8116, INR 83.34, China 7.2494, peso 16.82, BRL 5.1749, BBDXY 1,250.50, Dollar Index 104.69, Oil $80.39, 10-year 4.47%, Silver $31.93, Platinum $1,045, Palladium $956.00, Copper $4.79, and Gold… $2,341.70

That’s it for today… I’ve been bringing coffee and food to the door and leaving it for Kathy to grab after I’ve gone away… She doesn’t sound very good, but as I said the other day, give her about 3 days and she’ll be good to go! I will be amazed if she’s not good to go by then!   So far, so good, with regards to keeping me from getting sick… cross my fingers!  Cards and Red play a get away day, game today at noon… My arm where I tore the skin off of two weeks ago, has finally stopped bleeding… UGH!  The Moody Blues take us to the finish line today with their song from the Seventh Sojourn album: New Horizons…  I hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday today, and please Be Good To Yourself!

Chuck Butler

5 Rate Cuts This Year?

  • Currencies & metals rally on Monday (without interference)
  • GDP will show another downward revision….

Good Day… And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! Well, my beloved Cardinals were playing better, sweeping the Orioles and Cubs, but reverted to their non-ability to hit the ball and lost to the Reds yesterday… I sure hope that was just a case of them not getting to Cincy until 4 in the morning, and then have a day game… Our plans for a big celebration this past weekend got cancelled… Kathy’s mom had to go the hospital, and now Kathy is ill… I told them all to stay away from me!  It’s now less than two weeks until my heart operation… I received my instructions from the doctor, and I’m ready!  The Moody Blues greet me this morning with their song: The Other Side Of Life… 

Well, the week ended last week, ahead of the 3-day holiday weekend, with the dollar getting sold… The selling of the dollar began on Thursday, and continued on Friday… The BBDXY ended the week at 1,246, down over 4 index points total…  Gold ended the week up $4 at $2,3333.30, and Silver ended the week up 25-cents at $31.31… It was an ugly week for these metals, shoot Rudy, even Copper got ugly too…  The short paper traders had the con on the trading last week, until they didn’t on Thursday… 

Yesterday, with the short paper traders at home on their patios with their Weber grills going, Gold gained $17, and Silver gained $1.30  I have a friend that lives in Canada, and he sent me a note yesterday, letting me now that Gold & Silver were rallying…  (thanks Craig!)  I responded, “Yeah, the short paper traders are at home today!” Gold closed at $2,351.50 yesterday, and silver closed at $31.80… 

The price of Oil saw its biggest one-day drop in a month of Sundays last week, and fell to a $75 handle, but calmer heads came back on Friday and the price of Oil closed the week with a $76 handle… And the yield on the 10-year rose late last week to close the week with a 4.47% yield… 

In the overnight markets last night…The dollar drifted around, but didn’t move decisively one way or the other and trades in the same clothes as it wore on Monday, you know the ones that show that the dollar is 1,246 in the BBDXY… Gold is up a buck to start the day, and Silver is down 7-cents to start the day…  No biggie, and easily turned around for Silver, so if you’re going to buy today, make sure you do it early, while Silver is off a bit…  I have to say that I am impressed at how Gold & Silver put together the pieces after the short paper traders made a mess of them early last week… These two metals are heading to their lofty figures of two weeks ago. 

The metal that has been taken to the woodshed over and over again in recent trading sessions is Copper… Copper had traded over $5 before the short paper traders sent Copper to the woodshed… I look at this way, Copper was booking gains every day, and when that happens, you step aside and wait for the next bus… Now that Copper has backed off a bit, it’s time to board that bus and head downtown!  

The price of Oil gained another buck overnight and trades this morning with a $79 handle… Don’t know what Oil traders were thinking last week, taking Oil down to $75… But it’s water under the bridge now..  Look there, I just mixed Oil and water, and they say it can’t be done! HAHAHAHA!

The 10-year’s yield is 4.47% to start the day/ week this morning… It will be interesting to see if the bond boys want to take this rise in yield further, or not… 

So what caused the weakness in the dollar and bonds late last week?  Well, it seems that for once, the markets looked under the hood and saw quite a different picture than what the Gov’t was trying to show them…  it all came with the Durable Goods Orders… April Durable Goods orders surgied 0.7% MoM (vs. -0.8% MoM expected). However, March’s +2.6% MoM surge in orders was revised down to a +0.8% MoM rise. This is the third month in a row of MoM gains for durable goods new orders.   

With the markets finally noticing that something fishy was going on with this Gov’t Report, the took the viewpoint of: The economy is not doing as good as the Gov’t would have us believe, and therefore we could very well see a rate cut in the coming months…  And bonds got mixed up in the dollar selling, as treasuries were sold, as the vessel to get the dollar lower…  

I even read a report this past weekend where the writer was calling for 5 rate cuts this year! Wait, What? Yes, he truly believed that the Fed Heads will go all in on saving stocks for the elites…  Here’s the headline: “Fed will cut five times this year, driving gold to $3000 by H1 2025 – Citigroup’s Max Layton”  Well, I’m from Missouri, and I’m going to need the proof before I believe that…   But the markets believe it, and that’s all you need to get the dollar sold, and gold to rise… I’m just saying…

I read a report this past weekend about Commercial loans at Banks… and how they are really beginning to become real problems for the banks that hold them…  Pretty soon, I think that the Fed Heads will have no other choice but to print tons of money to help the banks… We all know what all that printing led to previously, right?   Yep… inflate or die…   

Either choice will bring about the end of the U.S. Empire… It’s already cracking around the edges, and just needs one major setback of any kind to bring about the end… This is definitely a case of this being quite Evident, but not Imminent… right now that is… 

You know every time I begin to think that the dollar has seen its best days, the PPT arrives with their arms full of cash and buys dollars and sells the currencies to protect the dollar…  But sooner or later this will all come to an end, and then the dollar will be on its own, and I don’t like its chances… 

Here’s Bloomberg.com with their take on the dollar : ” Bullish sentiment on the dollar is rapidly receding amid signs the US economy is cooling, with a group of investors holding a net short position for the first time in six weeks.

While leveraged funds still held bullish wagers on the greenback last week, they were dwarfed by increased net dollar shorts owned by asset managers, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. “

What will it take to get the “leveraged funds” to turn to the dark side with the asset managers?    Well, they need to take some major losses in their shorts, and then they will turn to the dark side… 

I say the dark side, because it’s anti American dollar… But here’s the thing, if you simply take the “American” out of it, and just say it’s the dollar and then look at the fundamentals around the dollar… I’m just saying… 

The euro, the offset currency to the dollar, after treading water to keep its head above the water line in the early part of last week, was back to booking gains VS the dollar later in the week. The Big Dog, euro, is once again within’ spittin’ distance of the 1.09 figure…  And remember when I told you about the short traders in Aussie dollars a few weeks ago? Well, they continue to get their shorts handed to them as the A$ continues to inch higher… 

And we all know that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right… Well, what’s good for the A$ is also good for the New Zealand dollar/ kiwi…. And don’t forget that kiwi also enjoys the one of the highest interest rates in the industrialized world…   

The best performing currency the last couple of trading sessions has been the Russian ruble… There were reports this last weekend that the Russian leader was open to ending the war…  So… to me this is how I view it, we have one war probably about to end, and another in Taiwan about to start… Geesh, when will they ever learn?  I shake my head in disgust at the war mongers… 

The U.S. Data Cupboard doesn’t really have much for us to start the week, and will end the week with the Fed Heads fave inflation calculation… The PCE (personal consumption expenditures)  and it will print on Friday this week… Before then we will see a 1st revision to the 1st QTR GDP, which was already revised down to 1.7%, and this revision is thought to be another downward revision to 1.2%… Shoot Rudy, by the time they get finished revising this GDP downward, it’ll be less than 1%…   Now this is where I’ll remind you all that when the first GDP print came out, I said that it would be revised downward, and not to take the lofty print then, as gospel…  

To recap… After an ugly first part of the week, the currencies and metals fought back and ended the week on a high note…  yesterday, of course, saw the short paper traders at home, and so Gold & Silver were able to rally strongly, without interference!   Chuck talks about the Empire coming to its end, and could we really see 5 rate cuts this year? 

For What It’s Worth… Well, to me it was only a matter of time before Russia played the game that the Western countries played with their funds… This outcome can be found here: Russia Confiscates €800 Million From Deutsche Bank, Unicredit And Commerzbank | ZeroHedge

Or, here’s your snippet: “After two years of being on the receiving end of a weaponized global reserve currency, getting booted from SWIFT, countless (toothless) sanctions and watching some $350 billion of its assets be frozen and soon confiscated, Moscow has had enough, and over the weekend the FT reported that a St. Petersburg court seized around €800 million worth of assets belonging to three western banks – Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank and UniCredit.

The seizure marks one of the largest moves against western lenders since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine prompted most international lenders to withdraw or wind down their businesses in Russia. It comes after the ECB told Eurozone lenders with operations in the country to speed up their exit plans.

According to court documents, the court seized €463 million-worth of assets belonging to Italy’s UniCredit, equivalent to about 4.5% of its assets in the country, according to the latest financial statement from the bank’s main Russian subsidiary.

Frozen assets include shares in subsidiaries of UniCredit in Russia as well as stocks and funds it owned, according to the court decision that was dated May 16 and was published in the Russian registrar on Friday.

According to another decision on the same date, the court seized €238.6mn-worth of Deutsche Bank’s assets, including property and holdings in its accounts in Russia. The court also ruled that the bank cannot sell its business in Russia; it would already require the approval of Vladimir Putin to do so. The court agreed with Rukhimallians that the measures were necessary because the bank was “taking measures aimed at alienating its property in Russia”.

Finally, on Friday, the court also decided to seize Commerzbank assets, but the details have not yet been made public so the value of the seizure is not known. Ruskhimalliance asked the court to freeze up to €94.9mn-worth of the lender’s assets, and it is safe to assume that the final amount will be in the range.

Altogether, some €800 million in Western bank assets will be confiscated.”

Chuck again… what did I say above about what’s good for the goose? it applies here for sure! 

Market Prices 5/28/2024: American Style: A$ .6667, kiwi .6165, C$ .7341, euro 1.0878, sterling 1.2792, Swiss $1.1004, European Style: rand 18.3038, krone 10.4731, SEK 10.5288, forint 352.75, zloty 3.9087, koruna 22.66.07, RUB 88.48, yen 156.69, sing 1.3472, HKD 7.8106, INR 83.18, China 7.2450, peso 16.66, BRL 5.1438, BBDXY 1,246.22, Dollar Index 104.39, Oil $79.13, 10-year 4.47%, Silver $31.73, Platinum $1,050.00, Palladium $975.00, Copper $4.83, and Gold… $2,354.34

That’s it for today… I have nothing on my agenda for this week! YAHOO! kind of… That means I have no where to go, no one to see, now that’s sad… Oh well.. This week we’ll begin June, and in June I’ve got plenty of things going on so I’ve got that going for me! HA! And then the month of July will go by so fast, because the first part of it I’m cruising, and the second part of it I’m back in Florida with my son’s family… Just laying the groundwork here so that it doesn’t come as a surprise to you when I’m not going to be writing…  Bob Marley and the Wailers take us to the finish line today with their song: Get Up, Stand Up!   I hope you have a Tom Terrific Tuesday today, and please Be Good To Yourself!

Chuck Butler

The Boys Are Back In Town!

  • an engineered takedown for Gold & Silver on Wednesday
  • Chuck talks about Bitcoin… (he didn’t want to!)

Good Day… And a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday to one and all! Get out the brooms, the Cardinals FINALLY swept a team in a 3 game series!  They’ve actually began to look alive, and ready to move forward… I hope it’s not too late, although I know it’s not, those fears are like the wolf at the door, with me… The Cubs come to town this weekend, to renew the Cubs/ Cardinals rivalry… This weekend will go along way toward telling us if the Cardinals are going to fly… The great Rev. Al Green greets me this morning with his song: Love And Happiness… 

Well, I wish yesterday in the markets didn’t happen… Because not only did the markets get a rude awakening, and reacted negatively on the news, but the boys were back in town (Thin Lizzy)… Yes, the boys in the band, or the short paper traders decided that since Gold & Silver was already getting sold, why not pile on? And that… They did!  So… Gold lost $46 on the day to close at $2,379.00, and Silver lost over a buck…  to close at $30.77… It was a very ugly day for the currencies & metals… 

The reason that got everything off and onto the chopping blocks? Well, the Fed Heads FOMC Meeting Minutes were much more hawkish than the markets were prepared to hear about… Here’s a snippet from the meeting’s minutes : “Domestic data releases over the intermeeting period pointed to inflation being more persistent than previously expected and to a generally resilient economy. Policy expectations shifted materially in response. The policy rate path derived from futures prices implied fewer than two 25 basis point rate cuts by yearend. The modal path based on options prices was quite flat, suggesting at most one such rate cut in 2024.”

Chuck again…  So… only one rate cut in 2024, at this point, who knows what inflation will bring us next month, ahead of the June FOMC Meeting?  Remember when it was thought that there would be 3 or 4 rate cuts this year?  And what did I say about that? Hogwash! Inflation is sticky, and it isn’t going anywhere… 

The dollar was bought on the hawkish statements in the minutes, and the BBDXY gained 2 index points yesterday… The euro held onto the 1.08 figure, but is a far cry from where it was (1.0890) to start the week… And when the Big Dog euro gets sold, the rest of the currencies fall in place behind the Big Dog… I have the feeling that the dollar will continue to gain ground to close out the week, and ahead of the 3-day Holiday Weekend. 

In the overnight markets last night… the foreign markets said, “Whoa partner” on the dollar strength, and sold the dollar a bit in an attempt to even things out. The BBDXY lost 1 index point overnight, and just when the currencies appeared to be circling the bowl again, they pop back up, just a but, but a popping up nonetheless.  

The short paper traders are not finished with Gold & Silver just yet, and Gold is down $13 to start the day, and Silver is down 13-cents… I just shake my head in disgust that these short paper traders are allowed to do what they do, it’s NOT a free market, and in my mind they need to be stopped before somebody loses an eye!  

The price of Oil slipped yesterday down to a $76 handle, but rallied overnight to trade this morning with a $78 handle. And the 10-year’s yield, was steady Eddie overnight and trades this morning with a 4.42% yield. 

For all of you who have been with me for years, you all know how I’m into traditions… And Memorial Day is a HUGE tradition at the Butler House… This weekend we will celebrate grandson Braden’s 13th birthday, which is actually today… Man-o-man, I don’t know where the years go and why they go so fast! 

Ok… I had a dear reader question me the other day as to why I don’t put as much effort into writing about Bitcoin, as I do Gold & Silver?   Well, again, longtime readers know that I don’t see anything behind Bitcoin, and therefore, I’m convinced that it will amount to a failure eventually… You know, when the U.S. Gov’t issues their own digital currency (and it’s coming don’t you fret!) they are not going to allow a rival digital currency that’s worth more than the dollar is to exist…  All you have to so is look at how the U.S. Gov’t has suppressed the price of Gold since 1971… for fears of it rivaling the dollar… I rest my case…

So, the Fed Heads aren’t going to be cutting rates any time soon, according to their minutes yesterday. I’m going to say that this change in the Fed Heads surprises me… I thought that they had an itchy finger on the rate cut trigger, but apparently they have backed off, and while I know this is not a good outcome for Gold, or the currencies, as the dollar should be bought with rates remaining where they are, I find that the Fed Heads have chosen their path to the future….

Remember when I told you we were at a fork in the road, and it was going to be either Inflate or Die? The Fed Heads have chosen to Die…   By the way, either road would lead to complete agony for our finances, but this way they get to play the game a little longer, before collapsing…  I’m just saying…

And getting back to the engineered takedown of Gold & Silver yesterday, of course Ed Steer had some thoughts on this, so here’s Ed from his letter this morning: “Don’t forget that the short positions held by the Big 4/8 commercial traders were at extreme levels up until Tuesday — and in total, all the shorts were in the hole to the tune of around $20 billion according to Ted…so it was either get overrun, or resort to the usual ‘some old, same old’ engineered sell-off that we’ve had to endure so many times in the past. How successful they are this time around, remains to be seen.

I also noted that we’re coming up on the next scheduled delivery month in gold, which is June — and I’m sure that ‘da boyz’ will want as many options as possible to expire out-of-the-money before then. So using the past as prologue here, suggests that this current engineered price decline series could last until First Notice Day next Thursday.”

Chuck again… I think Ed made a very important point there, regarding the delivery data and the short paper traders needed to have their options close out of the money… you can find Ed here: www.edsteergoldsilver.com

The U.S. Data Cupboard today only has the Weekly Initial Jobless Claims, which has been trending higher in recent prints… Tomorrow’s Data Cupboard will have April Durable Goods Orders, and Capital Goods Orders…  Longtime readers know that I put a lot of weight on Capital Goods, because if Businesses aren’t buying goods to expand their offices, then the economy isn’t doing well…   

To recap… The Fed’s FOMC Meeting Minutes were very hawkish, and surprised the markets with their hawkish nature… So the dollar rallied, and Gold got sold, but then the short paper traders pile on and made Gold’s day a very bad performance day…   Chuck talks a bit about Bitcoin this morning, because he had to! And the FWIW article today will tell us U.S. households are doing… 

For What It’s Worth… I found this article in my search for what’s going on with American households, as I was convinced that the households were beginning to tap out… Well, this article updates us on that and it can be found here: Parents feel financially squeezed, citing high prices as top worry : NPR

Or, here’s your snippet: “Americans overwhelmingly say they’re “doing at least OK financially,” but most remain worried about rising prices, and 1 in 6 says they have bills they can’t pay, according to a report released Tuesday by the Federal Reserve.

Market Prices 5/23/2024: American Style: A$

Each year the Fed surveys thousands of people about their household finances, including income, savings and expenses. This year’s snapshot shows family budgets generally held steady over the last year, but they’re not as solid as they were two years ago, when pandemic relief payments helped pad people’s bank accounts and inflation was just beginning to take hold.

The survey, conducted last fall, found that 72% of adults are living comfortably financially or at least doing OK. That’s down from 73% in 2022 and 78% in 2021.

One group that saw a bigger drop in well-being was parents. Just 64% of those with children under 18 said they were doing at least OK — down from 75% in 2021. Child care is a significant expense for many families, often costing at least half as much as their housing. The median monthly cost for child care was $800, or $1,100 for those using more than 20 hours a week.

About a third of those surveyed said their monthly income had increased during the year, while a slightly higher percentage — 38% — said their monthly expenses had grown.

Zombie 2nd mortgages are coming to life, threatening thousands of Americans’ homes

2 in 3 Americans say inflation has made their finances worse

Although inflation is lower now than it was a year ago and less than half what it was in 2022, two-thirds of Americans say rising prices have made their financial situation worse, including 19% who say they’re much worse off. About 1 in 3 people said inflation had little effect on their family finances.

1 in 3 Americans couldn’t cover a $400 surprise expense

Unsurprisingly, lower-income households reported more financial hardships, such as an inability to pay their bills every month or skipping meals or medical care. Overall, 48% of those polled said they had money left over after paying expenses, while 17% said they had unpaid bills in the previous month.

Faced with an unexpected $400 expense, 63% of survey respondents said they could cover it with

savings. “

Chuck again… well that was not an all encompassing poll, so there could be some differences in there, but overall, I think it tells us that while U.S. household, as a whole, are OK, they are definitely worse off than they were two years ago… And with inflation not going away, I see this worsening trend spiraling into the dark… 

Market Prices 5/23/2024: American Style: A$ .6643, kiwi .6130, C$ .7317, euro 1.0847, sterling 1.2738, Swiss $1.0948, European Style: rand 18.3725, krone 10.6270, SEK 10.6835, forint 356.83, zloty 3.9829, koruna 22.3043, RUB 90.37, yen 156.65, sing 1.3490, HKD 7.8081, INR 83.29, China 7.2404, peso 16.64, BRL 5.1512, BBDXY 1,249.50, Dollar Index 104.71, Oil $78.11, 10-year 4.42%, Silver $30.64, Platinum $1,034.00, Palladium $990.00, Copper $4.81, and Gold…. $2,366.38

That’s it for today… Happy Birthday to my little buddy, Braden! I hope your day is grand!  On Monday, we will celebrate Memorial Day! It’s a day when we all should stop and think about all the Americans that have given their life for our freedoms… That’s a BIG DEAL with me, folks… The ultimate sacrifice… Cards and Cubs this weekend, should be a blast at Busch! Ambrosia takes us to the finish line today with their song: That’s How Much I Feel… I hope you have a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday today… I’ll be meeting with my classmates this afternoon! And please Be Good To Yourself! 

Chuck Butler

Back To Dollar Strength…

  • currencies get sold on Tuesday…
  • Silver kicks some tail and takes names later!

Good Day… And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well, our pitcher, last night, was going along fine and dandy, until the 2nd baseman made an error, and the Orioles tied the game. UGH! Then the rain came… The teams will attempt to finish the game this morning, and then play the regularly scheduled game. Sort of 2 for the price of 1 today! REO Speedwagon greets me this morning with their song: Riding The Storm Out…  which is what we were doing last night, when the loud Thunder Storms rolled through! 

The dollar held onto its early morning gains yesterday, and finished the day up 5 index points in the BBDXY… Now would be the time for the Fed Heads led by Jay Powell, to cut rates, to surprise the markets, who have written off a rate cut right now… Do not get me wrong here, I am NOT calling for a rate cut, I’m just saying that the Fed Heads have long been known to attempt to surprise the markets, and this would be their opportunity to do so…   

I don’t want to see a rate cut, instead, I would prefer that the Fed/ Cabal/ Cartel, would hike rates or at the very least, leave them unchanged… Which is what I think we’ll see when the Fed Heads meet this month. and then the BIG news will be centered around what Jay Powell, has to say about the future of interest rates… And the markets will trade those words for the future, as if he said this is what we did today…  I’m just saying…

Inflation is like kryptonite for me… I abhor it, because it is Gov’t driven, and not a market driven thing… I can’t decide whether I dislike more: taxes or inflation… But, in reality, inflation is just a tax, so I don’t have to choose between the two!  

Gold didn’t fare too well on Tuesday, losing the $3 it was down in the early markets, and couldn’t recover, thus ending the day at $2,422.00… Silver kicked some more tail and took names later yesterday, gaining 52-cents to close at $32.03!   I love that Silver is marching higher finally… I told you longtime readers years ago, that Silver was in short supply… And with the advent of Solar Panels, that use Silver, that we would see Silver finally get off its duff, and rally…  Well, Ok, you’re right, I’m like a broken clock, I give the right time, 2 times a day…  Eventually, things come around to my way of thinking… just proving that 1. I was right, 2. things may be evident, but they are imminent… 

Up and down, up and down, $79 one day, $78 the next day, then $79 again the next day… That’s what Oil has been doing lately, very narrow trade range, eh? The price of Oil bumped higher yesterday to trade with a $79 handle once again…  And the 10-year lost 2 basis points of yield and closed the day at 4.42%…

In The overnight markets last night… The dollar drifted higher overnight, and the currencies all look like they’re ready to go back to their sick beds… A brief reprieve for the currencies sure didn’t last very long… I have a sneaky feeling that the PPT was intervening again, keeping the dollar relevant… Nothing concrete there, just a sneaky feeling… Because sentiment had changed and there were reports all over about how the dollar’s rally had come to an end, and then… Poof! All those stories are gone, and replaced by king dollar articles!  

Gold is getting sold this morning, to the the tune of a $12 selloff… And Silver couldn’t hold the $32 figure, as selling as brought Silver back down by 20-cents… Still, a $31.83 price on Silver still looks good to me… But then I used to tell the folks on the trading desk a story about how many years before, I had bought some silver coins for $20, and how I had waited years for Silver to return to that level…  And now, it’s $31.83?  That’s like manna from heaven for me! 

Oil slipped again overnight back to the $78 handle… this is the trading pattern this week so far… During the U.S. session, Oil rises to $79, and overnight it gets brought back down to $78…  I know, it’s only a buck difference, but the back and forth gets to me… 

And the 10-year’s yield has bumped higher to 4.44%…  I keep looking for this yield to have to rise… I’ve told you all before my feelings about how with major buyers of Treasuries walking away from the auction window, it leaves a few to buy plenty of supply of Treasuries, and when they balk at the low yield, not taking in the risk factor,  the Gov’t will have no choice other than to raise yields to attract investors…  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Last night, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) announced that they would leave their OCR (official Cash Rate) unchanged, or “restrictive”, as they called it… Their OCR remains at 5.5%…  The RBNZ uses a inflation target of 1-3%… In the old days of the RBNZ, The Gov. of the Bank’s job was tied to keeping inflation below 2%!  But those were the days my friend, we thought they’d never end, we’d sing and dance… no wait… Yes, those were the days, but it was not useful to start singing a song Chuck! 

Any way, the inflation rate in New Zealand remains above their target rate, which is why I among many who observe these things, thought the RBNZ would hike rates again… But they didn’t, an we were wrong!  

The thing it did, no change, was bring the spotlight on New Zealand’s interest rate of 5.5%… I say that because, kiwi rallied  last night… 

Ok, onto other things on my mind this morning… Well, Gold & Silver’s rise has been well documented in this letter. But what I have left out is the rest of the commodities, which have also climbed on the rally tracks… Copper is a bright spot, Uranium is up almost double from where it was a year ago, aluminum, and nickel are also rallying…  I think investors around the world, see the $315 Trillion in debt that Countries around the world are holding, and thinking that this is all going to come crumbling down, and only real hard assets will be left as valuable… The dollar, yen, sterling, all circling the bowl, when it all comes crumbling down… I’m just saying… 

My friend, Rich Checken of Asset Strategies, had this to say yesterday, in his daily note to his clients: ” The market for precious metals is set for more growth over the next few years. A choppy economy, global geopolitical conflict, and a move to de-dollarization by central banks will continue to drive gold higher. And where gold goes, the rest of the precious metals complex tends to follow.” 

Chuck again… I would also add that where Gold Goes, the commodities follow…  You know the great investor guru, Jim Rogers, wrote a book many years ago, titled: Hot Commodities… And in it,  he proved that historically Commodity bull runs lasted about 17 years…  So, if we’re starting a new Commodities bull run… get ready, because the gains now would potentially be much greater as we go along!

For What It’s Worth…  I can’t believe he’s doing it again! I’m talking about putting the Special Oil Reserves up for sale… And the article can be found here: US Puts Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve Up for Sale – Bloomberg

Or, here’s your snippet: “The Biden administration is putting its cache of 1 million barrels of gasoline on the market, after being ordered to liquidate the reserve by Congress.

The sale of the Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve, equal to 42 million gallons, was announced Tuesday by the Energy Department, which said it was timed to help lower gasoline prices during the summer driving season. Gasoline futures hit a fresh session low of $2.4895 a gallon after the news.

The reserve was authorized in 2014, two years after Hurricane Sandy damaged refineries and left terminals underwater leading some gas stations in New York to go without fuel for as long as 30 days. But the cache, kept in commercial storage terminals in Maine and New Jersey, has never been used, according to a 2022 Government Accountability Office report.

Retail gasoline prices are up about 15% this year, and experts have warned that costs could keep climbing during the busy summer travel season.”

Chuck again… what about that last paragraph that says that gasoline prices are up 15% this year… Ahem, that was after the Oil Reserves were sold before, in an effort to get gas prices down… Fat chance that worked, and the only two things that this release will accomplish is 1. enough supply for the summer driving season (as if there was a question about that in the first place!) and 2. an attempt to sway voters…

Today’s U.S. Data Cupboard finally has something for us today other than Fed Head speakers! The FOMC’s Meeting Minutes from the last meeting on May 1, 2024… The markets take deep interest in these minutes to see if there was something said that they weren’t told in the after meeting press conference… Again, the markets are dying for any indication that rates could be cut… They’ll read into something to make it go the way they want it to go!   

To recap… Well, the dollar gained a couple more index points yesterday to add to its 3 index point gain overnight… So, for the day, the dollar gained 5 index points… Gold lost a couple of bucks but Silver kicked some tail and took names later gaining 52-cents on the day! More Oil reserves are being sold… And Chuck’s not happy about that one iota!  And the RBNZ lefts their OCR unchanged at 5.50%

Market Prices 5/22/2024: American Style: A$ .6660, kiwi .6117, C$ .7322, euro 1.0833, sterling 1.2718, Swiss $1.0932, European Style: rand 18.2710, krone 10.6981, SEK 10.7352, forint 357.80, zloty 3.9335, koruna 22.8454, RUB 90.34, yen 156.40, sing 1.3490, HKD 7.8060, INR 83.28, China 7.2397, peso 16.62, BRL 5.1233, BBDXY 1,248.39, Dollar Index 104.83, Oil $78.25, 10-year 4.44%, Silver $31.83, Platinum $1,057.00, Palladium $1.018.00, Copper $4.98, and Gold… $2,413.30

That’s it for today… Today, I’m going to be meeting with my good friend, and former boss, Frank Trotter… Tomorrow, I’ll be meeting with classmates, and Friday, I have a lunch with a good friend, Rick S.!  I told Kathy that she would be rid of me 3 days in a row, and she smiled like the Cheshire Cat! I’m well aware of the fact that me being here every day, gets in the way of her normal activities… But, there’s nothing I can do about that! Thanks to those of you who sent along good wishes for my darling daughter, Dawn… She’s back in the classroom teaching her kindergartners so all’s well that ends well…   The Outfield takes us to the finish line today with their song: Your Love…  I hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday today, and please Be Good To Yourself!

Chuck Butler

Changing Horses In The Middle Of The Stream!

  • The metals continued to rally on Monday
  • Waiting on the RBNZ…

Good Day… And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! Well, my beloved Cardinals have been playing a better brand of baseball in recent games. And they beat the Orioles last night 6-3…  Good game! Yesterday, we were supposed to be receiving some strong storms come through in the afternoon, but as I sat out back, waiting for the clouds to change, there was nothing! So, now we switch to a rainy day forecast for tomorrow, and tomorrow, is supposed to be a day game at Busch! UGH!  The Marshall Tucker Band greets me this morning with their song: Heard It In A Love Song… 

Well, my hopes, conveyed in yesterday’s letter, were thrown out with the bathwater yesterday, as the dollar inched higher on the day… Questions are arising about whether the slight dip in the STUPID CPI last week, really warranted the thoughts of a rate cut…  So, in effect, the markets have changed horses in the middle of the stream!  So, the dollar rallied… Gold gained $11.50 on the day, while Silver gained 32-cents… Gold closed the day at $2,425.00, and Silver closed at $31.82… 

The price of Oil remained in the $79 handle, and that thought about being ahead of themselves with the rate cut, played into bonds too, with the 10-year’s yield rising to 4.44%

In The overnight markets last night… The foreign traders didn’t get the memo that the U.S. traders had changed their minds regarding a rate cut, and therefore the dollar got sold overnight… Not much, mind you, but sold nevertheless. The BBDXY lost 1 index point overnight…  

I checked the metals late last night after the baseball game, and Gold was getting sold like funnel cakes at a State Fair! But, this morning, Gold is down $3… So, that looks better… And Silver is flat to down 1-cent… So, no biggies, and figures that could be turned around in a heart beat… So, C’mon boys… let’s get going!   

The price of Oil slipped a buck and trades with a $78 handle this morning…  While the 10-year’s yield is 4.43% to start the day… The bond boys are really confused right now, as they thought they were preparing for a rate cut, and now they aren’t… I have to say that back “in the day”, bond traders were not easily swayed to doubt their convictions…  But, today’s traders… Well, they’re NOT your fathers bond traders… I’m just saying…

Waiting on the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) to make an announcement on their OCR (Official Cash Rate), which stands at 5.50% at the moment… I told you yesterday, that it was thought that maybe the RBNZ would make one more rate hike and today would be that day… I would say that kiwi would like being one of the highest interest rates in the industrialized world…   

Yesterday, I gave you some fodder for my argument that the CPI is STUPID… and today, I’ve got some more… Get this… these are increases from March to April… 

Food: increase 0.3%

Energy: increase 1.1%

Gasoline: increase 2.8%

Electricity: decrease 0.1%

New vehicles: decrease 0.4%

Used vehicles: decrease 1.4%

Apparel: increase 1.2%

Medical care commodities: increase 0.4%

Shelter: increase 0.4%

Transportation: increase 0.9%

Medical care: increase 0.4

And CPI was up in April from March just .3%…   Now if you average out those increases shown above, the avg is NOT .3%!   

The gov’t agency is lying to you folks… They attempt to pull the wool over your eyes, so they can remain in office… For, if you knew that they were full of bull dookie with their inflation report, then they would have problems… That’s why I feel compelled to show you how STUPID CPI IS!

John William at www.shadowstats.com, still computes inflation based on how it was done before the Clinton, Greenspan, Boston Commission, made all their hedonic adjustments. And so you don’t have to go there to see what he shows for real consumer inflation is: 8%…    Now, doesn’t that sound more realistic? And if they WERE using the shadowstats.com inflation rate, then we wouldn’t be talking about a rate cut, now would we? 

Ok, onto other things… I read this on Zerohedge.com yesterday… This is great!  “In a cosmic practical joke on environmentalists, researchers say they’ve found a lithium mother lode — in Pennsylvania fracking wastewater.

The EV Car makers are desperately attempting to gain access to lithium for their car batteries, so you see the practical joke here… 

Oh, the things that get intertwined… right? 

Well, we all come back to the Debt in the U.S. right?  Right now it’s heading toward $35 Trillion…  The thing that scares me the most is how are we going to be able to fund the debt going forward. And then I read headlines like this: China SELLS RECORD $53.5B in US Debt, Geopolitical Risks & Fear of Sanctions Shift Global Economies…   Who will be left to take up all of our Treasuries that we need to sell to finance out debt?  And these days, we have to borrow to pay the interest on the debt! 

I’ve said this before, years ago, and then nothing happened, but as we get to the cheese that binds with funding, I suspect that we’ll see a change in our IRA’s, and 401K’s… That change would require those retirement accounts to hold U.S. Treasuries, ONLY! And that they wouldn’t be sellable in those accounts… This is something that crossed my mind a few years ago, when we, as a country, were having funding problems, and now here we are again, only this time our debt is at least $11 Trillion higher than it was back when I made that call… and now China, Russia, Iran, India and others have declared that Treasuries are now persona non gratis!

I have something for you in the FWIW section today about our soaring debt, and so forth… Make sure you stay tuned for that today… 

The U.S. Data Cupboard as I told you yesterday, is empty today again… We had 3 different Fed Heads speak yesterday, and today we’ll have a whole gaggle of Fed Heads speaking… But that’s it! No economic data… 

To recap…  Chuck’s hopes and wishes for a dollar problem, ran into some opposition, with the dollar rallying on Monday, as the folks that thought that last week’s slight drop in the STUPID CPI would bring about a rate cut, had now gone and changed their minds… The dollar was bought, Gold was sold, and bonds were sold…  Chuck give us more fodder for figuring out what the inflation rate should be! 

For What It’s Worth…  I found this article while perusing Google, and it hit me like an old V-8 head slap!  As I said above this about our soaring debt, and fear and so on and it can be found here: Soaring debt and deficits causing worry about threats to the economy and markets (cnbc.com)

Or, here’s your snippet: “Government debt that has swelled nearly 50% since the early days of the Covid pandemic is generating elevated levels of worry both on Wall Street and in Washington.

The federal IOU is now at $34.5 trillion, or about $11 trillion higher than where it stood in March 2020. As a portion of the total U.S. economy, it is now more than 120%.

Concern over such eye-popping numbers had been largely confined to partisan rancor on Capitol Hill as well as from watchdogs like the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. However, in recent days the chatter has spilled over into government and finance heavyweights, and even has one prominent Wall Street firm wondering if costs associated with the debt pose a significant risk to the stock market rally.

“We’re running big structural deficits, and we’re going to have to deal with this sooner or later, and sooner is a lot more attractive than later,” Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in remarks Tuesday to an audience of bankers in Amsterdam.

While he has assiduously avoided commenting on such matters, Powell encouraged the audience to read the recent Congressional Budget Office reports on the nation’s fiscal condition.

“Everyone should be reading the things that they’re publishing about the U.S. budget deficit and should be very concerned that this is something that elected people need to get their arms around sooner rather than later,” he said.”

Chuck again… This is a long article so if you have the time, you should go back above and click the link… and happy reading! 

Market Prices 5/21/2024: American Style: A$ .6683, kiwi .6115, C$ .7344, euro 1.0869, sterling 1.2720, Swiss $1.0997, European Style: rand 18.1187, krone 10.6508, SEK 10.6474, forint 354.47, zloty 3.9164, koruna 22.7103, RUB 90.67, yen 156.27, sing 1.3462, HKD 7.8038, INR 83.31, China 7.2359, peso 16.54, BRL 5.0964, BBDXY 1,245.96, Dollar Index 104.57, Oil $78.35, 10-year 4.43%, Silver $31.81, Platinum $1,049.00, Palladium $1,029.00, Copper $5.14, and Gold… $2,422.78

That’s it for today…  It heated up here nicely yesterday… I love the heat! I don’t like overbearing heat & humidity, but heat is fine with me! Hey! spoiler alert: Dennis Miller of www.milleronthemoney.com will be featuring an interview he did with yours truly, me! So, here’s your chance to get more Chuck!  This interview will be issued to his readers on Thursday this week.  Man, I did a real number on my left arm last Thursday night… I don’t know how, but I tripped in the driveway, and fell, and tore the skin off my forearm up to my armpit… You should have seen me trying to get up in the middle of the driveway, with blood pouring out of my arm, and me with my handicap!  I was like a beached whale! But I finally struggled to get up, came inside in an attempt to get my arm to stop bleeding! My oncologist on Friday morning, just shook her head when I told her the story…  Gerry Rafferty takes us to the finish line today, with his song: Get It Right The Next Time… For those that don’t know, Gerry Rafferty, was the lead singer of Stealer’s Wheel… I hope you have a Tom Terrific Tuesday today, and please Be Good To Yourself!

Chuck Butler

A Short Squeeze In Copper…

  • Gold & Silver kick some tail and take names later on Friday…
  • The RBNZ meets this week, what will they do?

Good Day… And a Marvelous Monday to you! What a great Weekend for yours truly! It all started on Thursday, when we learned that my darling daughter, Dawn, was OK, and going home from the hospital. Then we attended a tasting bar that was tremendous! Friday, I saw my oncologist, and then went to lunch with former colleagues, and friends, Steve, Dean, and Brooks… I hadn’t seen Brooks for 20 years!  And my beloved Cardinals cant stand prosperity, as they could only take 2 of 3 from the Red Sox…  Triumph greets me this morning with their song: Fight The Good Fight…      

Well, how about that move in Gold & Silver on Friday last week? Gold gained $38.90 and Silver gained $2.01! And then I read over the weekend that these huge gains are expected to continue…  Well, that’s fine with me, but did the people making these claims completely forget about the short paper traders?  Oh, well, no need to throw bad thoughts on this huge rally, so, I’ll move on…  

Gold finished the week at $2,415.40, and Silver finished the week at $31.58… Copper kicked some tail too ended the week at $5.05!   It was as if suddenly the light bulb came on over the heads of traders and investors and they realized that there are shortages in these metals VS demand, and that has always generated higher prices!  

The dollar. on Thursday gained back a little of what it lost on Wednesday last week… And  then remained stuck in the mud on Friday, ending the week at 1,245 in the BBDXY…  The dollar traders were non-existent, and had evidently battened down the hatches and went for cover… The reason? Well, apparently, the slight slip in the STUPID CPI caused the markets to believe that this slip indicates a rate cut…  Oh brother! I wish these people coming up wit these thoughts would crawl under a rock and stay there! 

Speaking of the STUPID CPI… Good friend, Dennis Miller, of www.milleronthemoney.com sent me this note from www.deepnewz.com : “The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has decided to exclude coffee prices from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation data starting April 2024, specifically removing it from the index as of April 30, 2024. This decision comes amidst reports of a significant increase in coffee prices, which rose 27% last month and 78% since September 2023. The April 2024 CPI inflation report, set to be released on May 15, 2024, will be the first to omit coffee price inflation, a move criticized by many as a method to manipulate reported inflation rates.”

See why I call CPI, STUPID?  When items in the basket of goods gets to expensive, they just remove it a put something in its place that’s not expensive, thus they are able to keep inflation from really showing its true rate!  

On a sidebar, I always giggle when I write STUPID CPI, because my grandkids always tell me that I’m not supposed to say “stupid”, and I always respond, well tell that the Lucy and all the kids on the Charlie Brown stories!  Besides, I’m an old man now, I can say what I want! 

Oh, and Bill Bonner had this in his letter on Thursday: “Dozens of Democratic lawmakers signed a letter to President Biden, pleading with him to act on high grocery prices that have been slow to fall as inflation has come down. “

Chuck again… apparently the Democrat lawmakers want the President to sing an executive order that would bring CEO’s of companies accused of having high prices to court and send them to jail…  Now… you tell me why that would be of use to our country, as long as these same lawmakers keep over spending and causing inflation themselves, which causes these higher prices?  Shouldn’t these lawmakers be looking for ways to cut deficit spending?  Now THAT would be novel!  I’m just saying! 

OK, in the overnight markets last night… Well, once again, I put the cart in front of the wagon… The dollar bugs went to work overnight and bought dollars to get it out of the mud, and through my whole thoughts on the dollar direction in the gutter…  The BBDXY gained 2 index points overnight, and the currencies don’t look so healthy this morning, but it’s early, and we have a full day of trading ahead of us, so let’s not get to negative Nelly…  

Gold is up $14 to start the day/ week today… Before I went to bed last night, I checked on Gold and it was up over $20… So, apparently there was some profit taking overnight… Silver, is down 8-cents to start the day/ week today…  The Safe Haven demand for Gold & Silver has really set in right now, as everyone is thinking the Fed Heads will cut rates, probably in September… That would be my best guess as to when the Fed Heads will try to disguise what they are doing, but we all know that they are cutting rates to allow inflation to eat away at the debt…

The price of Oil has a $79 handle to start the day/ week today… And the 10-year’s yield is 4.42% to start our week… The thought about rate cuts has really entered into the bond picture, folks… 

Well, the price action in the dollar to close out last week, was interesting to me, in that over the years, I’ve seen many times when the dollar didn’t move for a couple of days, and if my memory isn’t failing me right now, I would say that we normally see the dollar start to lose ground after these brief pauses… It’s as if the dollar bugs were waiting for something to show them that they are wrong, that they need to sell…  When nothing arrives, then they go ahead to start to sell… Selling begets more selling, and pretty soon, you have a weak dollar trend… 

The only caveat to that thought is there is the Exchange Stabilization Fund, and the PPT uses to save the dollar from going into a weak trend… In the past we didn’t have this treasure chest of funds to use to save the dollar…  You may recall me questioning just how many times the PPT can reach into the treasure chest of ESF and intervene in the markets…  So, there’s that to think about too… 

We’ll have to really be on the lookout for signs that the ESF is out of funds… 

And what should investors do when the dollar heads to a weak trend? The should back up the truck to buy currencies and metals that’s what!  In a real stealth-like manner the euro is inching toward 1.09, it wasn’t that long ago that we saw the euro around 1.06… The rest of the currencies, sans yen, have gotten out of their respective sick beds, and are taking small steps toward recovery… 

Shoot Rudy, even Bloomberg.com even sees this dollar rally as fading, here’s one of their headlines: “The dollar’s recent rally is at risk of stalling as cooling US price pressures and China’s recovery give traders a reason to sell.”  

I read this last week where short traders in Aussie dollars (A$) have been licking their wounds, as the A$ defies them and keeps inching higher…  Remember back in the day, when I told you about how the Japanese investors were buying A$’s and kiwi, because they could increase their interest rate on their money?  I wouldn’t doubt for a minute that this scenario isn’t still being played out… 

And Australia’s kissin’ cousin across the Tasman, New Zealand, has seen their currency, kiwi, break out of it bear cycle, and return to chasing its kissin’ cousin… The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) will meet on their Wednesday (Our Tuesday) and discuss rates… it is thought that for kiwi to take the next step in breaking out of its bear cycle, is for the RBNZ to hike rates one more time in their rate cycle…  

There was a time when I would be all over what the RBNZ was doing, but these days are not the same… The RBNZ, has become much like the other central banks in the globe, and I don’t like that one iota!  But, be it as it may, I think the markets are looking at the RBNZ with rose colored glasses, and thinking they will hike rates… Hmmm….. 

OK, back to the strong rally in the metals last Friday… Silver topped $30 for the first time since 2013…  And then it was going down from it’s $50 high… Remember when I was interviewed by a magazine and I called Silver the “new Gold”?  But that was then, and this is now, and it looks like Silver is going to outperform Gold on a percentage basis, once again… It still takes 80 ounces of Silver to equal an ounce of Gold, and so the ratio hasn’t suffered yet, but it should narrow a bit as we go along. 

I read this last weekend that most of Silver’s move was short covering…  I can only hope, wish and pray that that’s true!  

I wonder if LOLA aka Goldman Sachs is going to revise their call on Gold? You may recall them saying a couple of months ago, that they believed that Gold would reach $2,400 this year…  I warned you at that time, that when these Casino Banks come out with calls like that, it means they are long the asset and need buyers… But, what happens, when the call comes in early? You change your mind, is what!  And now the calls for Gold will be coming in for a higher price… Be Ready…  And hold on to what you’ve got! 

The U.S. Data Cupboard was not kind to the dollar as we ended the week last week with April Retail Sales at 0% growth, Industrial Production at 0% growth, and Weekly Initial Jobless Claims remaining above 220,000… 

After last week’s Datapallooza, this week’s Data Cupboard doesn’t have much in terms of real economic data for us until Friday this week… So, the dollar is on its own this week, and that usually spells problems for the dollar… I’m just saying… 

To recap… The dollar was stuck in the mud late last week, but Gold & Silver (and Copper) got firmly on the rally tracks and kicked some tail and took names later as we ended the week. Chuck points out why he calls CPI, STUPID… And even Bloomberg.com is talking about the dollar rally being over… 

For What It’s Worth… Ok, I mentioned Copper above a couple of times, and will keep that momentum going for Copper in the FWIW article today… And it can be found here: Goldbugs Waited Years For A Massive Comex Short Squeeze, And Finally Got It… Just In The Wrong Metal | ZeroHedge

Or, here’s your snippet: “For much of the past decade, gold bugs religiously tracked the physical gold inventory located in the various gold vaults that make up the Comex system, eagerly awaiting the day when there would be more deliverables (via paper shorting of gold) than physical in storage, sparking a historic, Volkswagen-like short squeeze. Well, the day of a historic Comex short squeeze finally arrived… only it wasn’t in gold but in the far less precious metal that is copper.

It all started one month ago, when we reported that in an attempt to enforce sanctions against Russia that actually worked (as opposed to the joke that is the western “oil embargo” now openly breached by absolutely everyone), the “US, UK Banned Deliveries Of Russian Copper, Nickel And Aluminum To Western Metals Exchanges.” There, in our conclusion, we wrote that “history has taught us that the market will price in some “full-sanction” risk premium which when combined with the current macro bid (reflation narrative, electrification, “copper is the first AI commodity” etc.) means we expect a complex wide rally.” Little did we know how truly historic said rally would be just one month later.

As anyone who has been following the recent moves in the price of copper – which is hitting daily record highs – knows by now, a massive dislocation between the prices for copper traded in New York and other commodity exchanges has rocked the global market for the metal and prompted a frantic dash for supplies to ship to the US.

The source of the disruption, as Bloomberg reports, is a record short squeeze that has driven up copper prices on the Comex exchange to the point  where the premium for New York copper futures above the London Metal Exchange price has rocketed to an unprecedented level of over $1,200 per ton, compared with a typical differential of just a few dollars.

The blowout in that price spread has wrong-footed major players from Chinese traders to quant hedge funds, all of whom are now scrambling for metal that they can deliver against expiring futures contracts!

Adding fuel to the fire, the surge in the price is not just driven by technicals but also reflects the surge of interest from speculators after forecasts that long-term copper mine production will struggle to keep pace with demand.”

Chuck again… How long ago did I first write about there being a shortage in Copper? But those short paper trades kept Copper’s price from exploding upward… But now those short trades are getting squeezed, and it couldn’t happen to a better crowd! 

Market Prices 5/20/ 2024: American Style: A$ .6683, kiwi .6115, C$ .7342, euro 1.0863, sterling 1.2698, Swiss $1.1000, European Style: rand 18.2232, krone 10.6788, SEK 10.6861, forint 354.78, zloty 3.9173, koruna 22.7659, RUB 90.99, yen 155.75, sing 1.3564, HKD 7.7996, INR 83.32, China 7.2324, peso 16.57, BRL 5.1041, BBDXY 1,245.65, Dollar Index 104.53, Oil $79.76, 10-year 4.42%, Silver $31.50, Platinum $1,072, Palladium $ 1,008.00, Copper $5.05, and Gold… $2,429.02

That’s it for today…  Well, this week will bring the Cubs to St. Louis for the first time this year! The new baseball schedule has each team playing every team, and the divisional games between teams have been cut down to 12-13…  I don’t care to play every team, not doing so was what made the World Series magical… I’m just saying…  I suffered through a lot of bleeding this past weekend, it really does get old, folks… And a royal pain! But… I’m still here, and kicking! So there’s that!   Thin Lizzy takes us to the finish line today with their song: The Boys Are Back In Town… I hope you have a Marvelous Monday today, and I hope you will Be Good To Yourself! 

Chuck Butler

Grasping At Straws…

  • Currencies & Metals rally on Wednesday, and in the overnight markets…
  • The BOJ gets Jay Powell on the phone…

Good Day… And a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday to one and all! Well, it wasn’t a good night for St. Louis teams, with the City Team losing its game 1-0, and my beloved Cardinals losing their final game with the Angels… I went to the City game last night with a lovely young lady that was my date! Daughter in-law (I hate using that term) Rachel went with me to the game! Grandson Braden said to her when we returned home, that she saw a loser and it was her fault! Braden can be a little tough to please at times! The band, Missouri, greets me this morning with their song: Movin’ On…

Well, the start of the Datapalooza hasn’t been kind to the dollar bugs.  First, we had PPI rising in April, and then yesterday, Retail Sales weakened quite a bit in April from March, and the STUPID CPI softened just a we bit in April from March, thus leading the markets to think that the Rate Cut is on for June… 

The dollar bugs and bond boys are grasping at straws here, as the slightest of softening in the STUPID CPI caused these folks to lose their minds… They think that this report will compel the Fed Heads to cut rates next month… Maybe they will cut, and maybe they won’t cut, wouldn’t it be prudent to wait until the deed is either done or not done? That’s just me thinking aloud…

The dollar lost 9 index points in the BBDXY yesterday… Is this the beginning of a long period of dollar weakness?  Only the Shadow Knows that one folks, as there’s been so many false dawns in the past few years that I’m leery of going out on a limb here… 

The euro ran through the 1.08 handle yesterday, and finished the day within spittin’ distance of the 1.09 handle! And the rest of the currencies began to get out of their respective sick beds.  So… What’s gonna be, Fed Heads? A rate cut, even though inflation is still well above your 2% target rate, to save the stock market? Or… will you once again disappoint the markets?  

The price of Oil remained in the $78 handle, while the bond buying went into overdrive after the STUPID CPI print yesterday, and the 10-year’s closed the day yesterday, with a 4.34% yield…  

In the overnight markets last night… The dollar did not lose any addition ground, nor did it gain any ground.. The dollar bugs must me reeling this morning, after losing 9 index points in the BBDXY yesterday. The news articles are all about how the dollar is getting sold because that 10-year’s yield is falling… Shoot Rudy, even the beleaguered Japanese yen and its traders are pointing to the 10-year’s yield for their rally… 

The metals are all higher in price this morning, with Gold out in front, gaining $20 to start the day, and Silver gaining 39-cents. The other metals including Copper are gaining this morning too… The price of Oil remained in the $78 handle overnight, and the 10-year’s yield remained at 4.34% in the overnight trading.   

Speaking of the Japanese yen… I read a report on Bloomberg.com this morning that talked about the Bank of Japan’s next round of intervention for the yen would involve U.S. Treasuries… 

So, here’s the phone call from the Bank of Japan to the Jay Powell at the Fed/ Cabal/ Cartel… Ring, ring, Hello is anyone there? Yes, I’m here it’s Jay Powell, and who’s this? C’mon Jay, you can’t tell who it is? It’s the BOJ, and we have a proposal for you… See, we’ve been intervening in yen trying to keep it from falling off a cliff, and it occurred to us that we have this Treasure Chest full of Treasuries that we could use to sell and the corresponding dollar in favor of the yen… So, what do you say about that? Well, I, Jay Powell, wouldn’t like that, because we’re doing all sorts of things to get yields down, and that selling would push yields higher… So, please don’t resort to that!   Hmm… Well, you’re not doing anything to help us, so we’re going to help ourselves… Good buy Jay, and have a fat chance of keeping yields down… 

Well, if this isn’t the proof in the pudding… When current president of Argentina Javier Milei took over the country’s lead post, inflation in Argentina had vaulted to 25.5%… Yesterday, just 5 months later, Argentina’s inflation has dropped to 8.8%… Single digits!  Milei’s economic policies and “zero deficit” goals have resulted in consecutive monthly drops in inflation. Inflation fell to 20.6 percent in January, 13.2 percent in February, and 11 percent in March.

See what happens when you take a chainsaw to Gov’t waste? I sure wish one our candidates for President would take up this thought, and implement it… Probably won’t get them elected, but at least, someone would be pointing out the cuts in Gov’t that we need to make, pronto! 

So… get this… don’t walk away or skip ahead, you need to pay attention here: The Fed Heads are considering moving the goal posts for inflation, and raising their target rate from 2% to 4%… Wait, What? Shoot Rudy, even that goofus, Paul Krugman is touting a higher target rate, here’s the skinny, “Biden’s head economic cheerleader Paul Krugman is already laying the groundwork for a revision of the Fed’s 2% inflation target:

After all, 2 percent is a rather arbitrary number (blame New Zealand!). Is it worth risking a recession to squeeze out those last few decimal points?”

Ahem… Mr. Krugman… I beg to differ with you… Booms need busts, it’s how economies have worked for over 200 years, well, until the Fed Heads thought they knew better that is…   without a recession, you don’t clean out the excesses of the boom… I could go on, but I doubt Mr. Krugman is listening…   

Any way you look at any kind of increase of the Fed Heads’ target rate for inflation, is good for Gold… Because if The Fed Heads Do raise their target rate, they’ll be doing so just so their rate cuts that they want to make, don’t make them look foolish…  But to me… raising the target rate does nothing but make them look foolish… 

The U.S. Data Cupboard had the aforementioned Retail Sales for April yesterday, and they were just flat 0.0% VS March…  March’s print was downward revised to 3.6%… So that was a huge fall in Retail Sales I would say… This play into the FWIW article today…   The other piece of data yesterday was the STUPID CPI, which was 3.4% yoy, VS 3.5% in March… The Empire State Manufacturing Index was a negative -15… Another print that leads the markets to believe they need a rate cut… 

Today’s Data Cupboard has the Weekly Initial Jobless Claims, which shocked the markets last week… In addition, we’ll also see the color of Industrial production and Capacity Utilization for April today… 

So… I have a question for the Gov’t and the markets… The Gov’t keeps repeating how strong the U.S. economy is, but economic print after economic print says the opposite, which is what the markets want, so, who’s going to win this debate? The Gov’t or the markets? 

I’ve always told you that the markets have deeper pockets than the Gov’t… so that pretty much tells you who I’m taking in the dogfight! 

For What It’s Worth… Well, this organization is well known throughout the markets’ Circle, and they believe they know what’s going on with Consumer finances, and it can be found here: A crisis waiting to explode: American household debt hits $17.7 trillion and counting. Consumers are pulling back (citizenwatchreport.com)

Or, here’s your snippet: “The Federal Reserve Bank of New York just dropped a bombshell: US household debt has skyrocketed to an eye-watering $17.7 trillion. Brace yourselves, folks, because the financial storm is here, and it’s hitting hard!

First off, let’s talk numbers. That $17.7 trillion represents a jaw-dropping $184 billion increase, or 1.1%, from the previous quarter. We’re not just talking about a slight uptick here; we’re witnessing a financial tsunami sweeping across the nation.

Now, let’s delve into the nitty-gritty. Inflation is running rampant, driving up the prices of essentials like food and rent. American families are feeling the pinch, with household budgets stretched thinner than ever. It’s a vicious cycle: higher prices mean more borrowing on credit cards just to make ends meet.

See also  American Dream Under Siege: Median Mortgage Hits Record High, Renters Left Reeling in Bidenomics Fallout!

And let’s not forget the pandemic elephant in the room. Since COVID-19 reared its ugly head, consumers have piled on a staggering $3.4 trillion in debt. That’s like pouring gasoline on a raging fire, folks. With interest rates soaring, it’s a debt trap that’s becoming harder to escape.

But wait, it gets worse. Instead of facing the music for their risky lending practices, banks are begging the #FED for a bailout. They want interest rates slashed, giving borrowers a lifeline to keep drowning in debt. But who’s left holding the bag? You guessed it – hardworking Americans, through inflation and potentially higher taxes.”

Chuck again… nothing like some nice comforting news to lead us into the weekend, eh? NOT!   I told you a few months ago that credit card debt was rising and it was going to end up in tears… Well, get those handkerchiefs out because we’re going to need them! And now I read this morning, that the delinquencies on Credit Card debt are rising quickly… Uh-oh! 

Market Prices 5/16/2024: American Style: A$ .6674, kiwi .6109, C$ .7336, euro 1.0870, sterling 1.2671, Swiss $1.1076, European Style: rand 18.2253, krone 10.7004, SEK 10.6862, forint 354.95, zloty 3.9218, koruna 22.7048, RUB 90.84, yen 154.71, sing 1.3448, HKD 7.8050, INR 83.49, China 7.2166, peso 16.72, BRL 5.1367, BBDXY 1,244.73, Dollar Index 104.41, Oil $78.39, 10-year 4.34%, Silver $29.17 Platinum $1,073.00, Palladium $1,012.00, Copper $4.93, and Gold… $2,382.75

That’s it for today… Well, while at the game last night, I got a text from my beautiful bride that our darling daughter, Dawn, was in the hospital… When I got home from the game she was still there, with no answers yet… I waited as long as I could for Kathy to come home to give me an update, but I eventually fell asleep… So, she must have gotten home quite late into the night and I don’t want to wake her… Fingers crossed that she’s Ok… I’m going to lunch tomorrow with former colleagues, Steve, and Dean! It’ll be fun to catch up… R.E.M. take us to the finish line today with their hit song: Losing My Religion… That’s what the fans at City Park were doing last night with the referee’s calls… I hope you have a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday today, and please Be Good To Yourself! 

Chuck Butler

Chuck Stirs Up A Hornet’s Nest…

  • The dollar bugs remain sleeping… but they’ll be awaken today!
  • Chuck explains: Gold Swaps…

Good Day… And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well, even a blind squirrel can find an acorn, right? That’s how I felt last night when the Cardinals beat the Angels again, thus marking a 3-game winning streak… They tried to give the game away, but the Angels wouldn’t let them… Talk about two offensive anemic teams! The game doesn’t get started here until 8:30, and at 11:38 it was over… I’m draggin’ the line this morning as a result of my staying up to watch the game! Stevie Ray Vaughn greets me this morning with his song: The Sky Is Crying… The live version of that song too! 

Well, more wallowing around and not going anywhere was the description of what the dollar did yesterday… And once again it wore the same clothes as Monday and closed flat on the day at 1,253 in the BBDXY… Gold isn’t waiting around for the Datapaloooza to start in earnest… Gold gained back the ground it lost on Monday, and closed Tuesday up $20 at $2,359.00, and Silver gained 29-cents on the day to close at $28.69…  

The euro has finally climbed back over the 1.08 figure… And the rest of the currencies are finally looking like they could get out of their respective sick beds… There is one currency that I want to talk about this morning, and that is the Norwegian krone… After spending the last month losing ground to not only the dollar but also the euro and Swedish krona, the krone has made a strong move in the past 3 trading days… And once again is stronger VS the dollar than the krona, which is how it’s supposed to be… 

I had a dear reader send me a note a week or so ago, and he asked me what the heck was going on with the krone, as he stated, I thought with their Sovereign Wealth Fund, where every child that is born in the country to Norwegian citizens, has a retirement fund started for them with $1 million dollars! Talk about an economy that’s hitting on all 8!  So… that’s what I’m talking about this morning… the krone! 

The price of Oil remained in the $78 handle yesterday, and the 10-year was getting bought, as its yield dropped to 4.44%…  I thought to myself yesterday when I thought about the 10-year getting bought… “Why would anyone take a flyer out on what the Fed Heads will do in June when they meet? Haven’t these same Fed Heads disappointed the markets before?  Well, I guess it all comes down to what you believe they will do, and so with the Bond boys, they think the Fed Heads will cut in June… 

In The overnight markets last night… Again, no movement from the dollar in the overnight markets. The BBDXY remained at 1,253…  Gold is up $3 to start the day today, and Silver is up pennies (2-cents) to start the day… This will be a big Data data folks, so expect some gyrations in these asset classes… I don’t think we’ll see the dollar remain in the 1,253 handle at the end of the day… Which way it will go?  Only the shadow knows… 

The price of Oil slid to the $77 handle overnight, and the 10-year saw more buying overnight, with its yield dropped to 4.41%

Well, me and Tommy James and Shondells are draggin the line this morning… Serves me right for staying up to watch to pathetic teams play… 

So….  I read and listened to two different articles about how the African and Asian countries are repatriating the Gold that’s being held for them by the U.S.   I guess they don’t trust the U.S. any longer… That would be a severe blow to the midsection to the U.S. if everyone that held Gold in the U.S. wanted their Gold back… 

you see… The U.S. performs Gold swaps with physical Gold that they have in stock… Could be the U.S.’s Gold, or it most likely is another country’s Gold… These swaps could end up being a real problem for the country that is believing that the U.S. is providing security for their Gold…  Here’s the problem with these Swaps…  So, The Fed/ cabal/ Cartel does a swap with XYZ, when XYZ needs some physical Gold… The U.S. sends them the physical Gold, and XYZ puts on deposit an amount of money…   So, what happens when XYZ sells the Gold they received in the Swap, and the U.S. says, Ok, time’s up, send it back… And XYZ says… We don’t have it to give it back to you… And then on the other side the country that put the physical Gold on deposit at the U.S. decides like the African & Asian countries are doing now, to ask for their Gold back, and the U.S. doesn’t have it to give back?   Remember when German wanted all their physical Gold back and the U.S. made them wait about two years before sending to them?  It was because the U.S. had swapped out Germany’s Gold, and didn’t have it to send to them, so the Fed Heads had to go out and buy the difference and they had to the buying stealth-like, and over time to not rile up the markets… 

Well, that was long-winded! Rainy days… not much for walking outside… that’s what this week has been weather-wise so far…  

With the weakness in the dollar, or the dollar’s inability to gain any ground in recent trading sessions, the euro, sterling and other currencies have gotten healthier…  I know that I’ve highlighted the fact that Copper is in a shortage, and that I’ve always told you that a shortage shouldn’t exist, it’s just something that’s in need of a price adjustment… So, the price adjustment in Copper is taking place right now… This is exciting! 

The U.S. Data Cupboard has some real zingers this morning… Batting lead off, is the STUPID CPI for April… Then we’ll see the color of the April Retail Sales… Yesterday, the April PPI (wholesale inflation jumped higher to 3.1% year-on-year, VS 2.8% in March… Ok, readers here’s your pop quiz… What does rising PPI tell us?   I know you know, so I won’t got through with the answer… 

March’s STUPID CPI was 3.5%… with PPI pushing the envelope to higher down the road prices, I’m going to go out on a big fat limb, and say that we should see the STUPID CPI rise in April… thus marking 3 consecutive months of rises in inflation… That’s not going to make the stock jockeys, bond boys, or metals traders very happy… The dollar bugs? Well, they’ll throw in the the towel for a June rate cut, and buy dollars… 

The other piece o-data that we’ll see today, is the April Retail Sales… I don’t believe that we’ll see the kind of strength in Retail Sales in April that we saw in March… (remember, March had Easter sales)… The BHI indicates the weaker number in April…  And this data won’t get the markets too lathered up… I’m just saying…

To recap… Tuesday was a real snoozer for the dollar bugs, with the BBDXY remaining at 1,253… again!   Chuck doesn’t think that the dollar will remain stuck in the mud after today’s data… African and Asian countries are knocking on the Fort Knox door and shouting that they want their physical Gold back… NOW!  And Chuck explains how that wont’ be possible.. just yet, that is… 

For What It’s Worth… Well, I sure stirred up a hornet’s nest yesterday with my thoughts on EV’s… So, to keep the ball rolling here is another problem that will present itself to the EV’s and it can be found here:Copper Scrappers Target Tesla Superchargers As Metal Prices Soar  | ZeroHedge

Or, here’s your snippet: “In the early 1950s, a notorious bank robber, one of the first fugitives on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list, was asked after his capture: Why did you rob banks?

William Sutton’s response: “Because that’s where the money is.”

Fast-forward to today. Thieves are targeting electric vehicle charging stations because the charging cords at each stall contain a ‘gold mine’ of copper that can easily be scrapped.

Targeting EV charging stations is nothing new. Still, thieves are noticing copper prices moving higher, mainly due to strained mining supplies and robust demand for powering up America in the digital age. And this trend might spark concern with Elon Musk, as his Tesla Superchargers are being targeted in imploding California.

One Bay Area Supercharger Station had all charging cords severed. This is terrible news for EV drivers rolling up with low battery.

EV blog Teslarati said thieves are targeting Tesla Superchargers across several states:

It now seems this is a new form of attack on Tesla Superchargers, as another identical incident occurred last week in Houston, Texas. Thieves also cut the charging cables in Minneapolis, Minnesota, earlier this year.

This comes as Goldman’s Nicholas Snowdon has warned about the entire copper market “moving into extreme tightness.” 

Chuck again… you know, what I think about this? That this is just another example of how our country is sinking with regards to law and order… I’ll let that sink in a minute before I go on… 

Market Prices 5/15/2024: American Style: A$ .6637, kiwi .6066, C$ .7335, euro 1.0831, sterling 1.2617, Swiss $1.1058, European Style: rand 18.3092, krone 10.7583, SEK 10.7836, forint 355.38, zloty 3.9407, koruna 22.8579, RUB 91.21, yen 155.59, sing 1.3492, HKD 7.8085, INR 83.49, China 7.2205, peso 16.88, BRL 5.1600, BBDXY 1,253.70, Dollar Index 105.04, Oil $77.67, 10-year 4.41%, Silver $28.71, Platinum $1,043.00, Palladium $993.00, Copper $4.93, and Gold… $2,362.77

That’s it for today… Well, the STUPID CPI printed already this morning, and it showed a slight weakness, and that’s got the dollar bugs heading for cover… So, know the Shadow knows for sure! So, there you go, up to the minute reporting and all for free!  Ok, Chuck stop slapping your own back! Hey! I’ve got to do it, because I’m all by myself here, there’s no one else to do that! Well… my favorite Chicago song is playing as I wrap up this letter this morning… Hard Habit To Break… I hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday today… And please  Be Good To Yourself!

Chuck Butler

The Datapalooza Week Starts Today!

  • Currencies wallow around on Monday…
  • Profit taking sneaks in on Gold on Monday…

Good Day… And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! Well, my heart test went off without a hitch, although I would say that it was the most intense heart test I’ve ever gone through! I’m all set now for June 17th… Bright and early that morning, I’ll be going through a heart procedure that they developed in 2015… The good part is that I “could get off the blood thinners”, if all works out right… That would make dealing with my bleeding problems much easier to get under control!  So, fingers crossed! All I ask of you dear reader is to say a brief prayer for my surgeon on that day… Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels greet me this morning with their rockin’ song: Devil With The Blue Dress… 

Well, no data yesterday, as the currency markets said, “no data, no movement”! The dollar drifted downward during the day, but by the end of the day it ended up in the same clothes it started the day with at 1,253….   Gold, which was down $20 in the early trading yesterday morning, finished the day down $24 and close at $2,336.70… Silver gained a measly 3-cents on the day to close at $28.25…   

I had thought that the dollar and metals traders would be in cahoots with the currency traders on this… And that is that they don’t want to make any moves ahead of the Datapalooza that starts today with the PPI for April… PPI is wholesale inflation, and is usually a harbinger for what to expect in the STUPID CPI… But then the STUPID CPI is always hedonically adjusted, so even the PPI can’t really be relied on… But if all things were equal, you would look at PPI and then say whether or not consumer inflation is going to continue rising or falling… 

But, I was wrong, as some profit taking came to light yesterday in Gold… I always find it strange that there’s profit taking in Gold… Because, to me, Gold is something that you buy, and forget about… The price of Oil bumped higher to a $79 handle yesterday, and the 10-year’s yield staid Steady Eddie, at 4.49%

In the overnight markets last night… the dollar remained stuck in the mud, with the BBDXY at 1,253… I’m going to tell you that I have a thought on the dollar that I will discuss in a minute… But first, Gold is back on the rally tracks this morning as it is up $13 to start the day, and Silver is up 18-cents… Now that’s more like it!  The price of Oil slid back below $79 overnight, and the 10-year is trading at 4.48% yield… The bond boys are not going to go too deep into their trading here, until they get some data… I’m just saying

Well, I have to laugh every time I hear or read a politician especially from the land of nuts, talking about how they are going to ban gasoline fueled autos by 2030…  Good friend, Dennis Miller sent me this over the weekend… “Your Tax Dollars At Work: In Two Years, $7.5 Billion Has Produced Just 7 EV Charging Stations”…   Think about that for a minute… how many gas stations are there in the U.S.? Well, I do believe there are approx. 200,000 gas stations in the U.S.  Now when there are at least 100,000 charging stations, I’ll think about this again… but until then!

Oh, but wait! The electrical grid can’t handle all the EV’s… What’s an EV owner to do, only drive after 10pm so that the electrical grid can handle the draw?  

Dennis Miller of www.milleronthemoney.com also sent me something that scared the bejeebers out of me… Check this out: “After the collapse of a Surfside Building on June 24, 2021 that killed 98 people, the state passed a structural safety law that is now biting owners.

Not only are insurance rates soaring, but owners are hit with huge special assessments topping $100,000.”   OUCH! that’s going to leave a mark! I would think that most people that live in Florida condos, have that kind of money to shell out, but will they? I doubt it! 

Insurance costs are going through the roof, in Florida, and are just rising at fast pace the rest of the country… 

And adding to the inflation figures… California is going to implement a 50-cent gas tax per gallon…  OUCH! I guess the people of California voted these heartless lawmakers into power, so I guess you get what you paid for! 

The dollar seems to be on the fence right now… on one side of the fence is a deep fall and ride on the slipper slope downward… on the other side of the fence is the Fed Heads doing the right thing and keeping rates unchanged with a itching to raise them… 

Even Lola, aka Goldman Sachs, even weighed in on the strong dollar, saying that it was a “sinister dollar” to the emerging markets, and that the smaller countries around the world are rethinking their thoughts about cutting rates in order to keep their currencies at least at the current levels…  

It’s a vicious cycle for the Asian countries in that the strength of the dollar causes weakness in their currency, and a weak currency allows inflation to be imported… And that isn’t good for their respective economies… 

In 1985, at the Plaza Hotel in NYC, finance ministers from all over the world met to complain about the strength of the dollar and the weakness of the Current Account…  It was agreed by the minister that the dollar would get sold and its price reduced greatly going forward, and for the next 7 years the dollar remained in a weak trend…  The ministers met again last week but no agreement on the dollar was reached this time… 

Did you see that stupid Consumer Confidence last week fell from 72 to 68 on the index? Well, the people they polled said that inflation and the cost of living is tearing their finances apart, and they are not confident that the current administration has a clue to fix it…  I would have asked them to name me a time when the Gov’t fixed something?   

And… There were rumors last week that the likes of Japan, Philippines, Hong Kong and some other Asian countries were thinking of doing a coordinated intervention… Well, if these Asian countries included China, then they would have a collection of very deep pockets Central Banks, that could very well do the job on the dollar… But they don’t have China, and their efforts would only work for a day or two… I’m just saying… 

So, the U.S. Data Cupboard has the April PPI (wholesale inflation) this morning, and that’s it for today… Tomorrow the Data Cupboard hits overdrive with data prints, so come back tomorrow for a listing of those!

To recap… Chuck believes that the currency and metals traders are on hold until they begin to see some color of the Datapalooza that will take place starting with PPI this morning… Chuck questions the California lawmakers regarding their calls for EV’s…  And Chuck doubles up on his problems with their calls… Chuck believes that the dollar is on the fence right now… it could easily fall to the downside, or fall to the gains side… 

For What It’s Worth… Ok, I have a question for the current Administration… What the hell are you thinking?  This article talks about the 100% tariff that the administration is going to put on all Chinese EV’s, and it can be found here: Biden slaps tariffs on nonexistent Chinese EV imports – Asia Times

Or, here’s your snippet: “The Biden administration reportedly will slap a 100% tariff on Chinese electric vehicle (EV) imports, except that no Chinese cars presently are offered for sale in the United States.

If they were, they would crush the American competition, even with the present 25% tariff. Chevy’s Bolt, a starter EV with a US$29,000 sticker price, has the same size and less range than the Dongfeng Nammi 01 hatchback priced at just $11,000.

If China wanted to retaliate against the new American tariffs, it has a target-rich environment. General Motors last year sold 2.1 million cars in China. In most years, GM sells more cars in China than in the United States.

Chances are that China will ignore the American tariffs. China’s automotive industry association forecasts a 22% increase in the country’s auto exports during 2024, following a more than 60% increase in 2023, with the strongest growth in East Asia and the Middle East.

Henry Ford’s Model T sold for $850 in 1908, roughly the US per capita GDP at the time. By 1925, the price had fallen to $260 thanks to economies of scale. China’s EV makers are compressing this time scale into as many months as it took Ford years to bring down the price.

At a $10,000 or lower price point, demand for Chinese EVs in the Global South is effectively unlimited.”

Chuck again… Ok, I get the gist, protect U.S. automakers… But did anyone do that to Japan when they flooded the U.S. market with their cheaper cars in the 70’s? Competition is supposed to create a superior product… So, what are the U.S. automakers afraid of? 

Market Prices 5/14/2024: American Style: A$ .6613, kiwi .6021, C$ .7316, euro 1.0796, sterling 1.2558, Swiss $1.1016, European Style: rand 18.4018, krone 10.8058, SEK 10.8565, forint 357.55, zloty 3.99547, koruna 22.9168, RUB 91.38, yen 156.44, sing 1.3530, HKD 7.8121, INR 83.51, China 7.2344, peso 16.78, BRL 5.1516, BBDXY 1,253.38, Dollar Index 105.19, Oil $78.87, 10-year 4.48%, Silver $28.44, Platinum $1,004.00, Palladium $998.00, Copper $4.86, and Gold… $2,349.10

That’s it for today… My beloved Cardinals went out west again and played in Anaheim last night, and somehow found their bats, and beat the Angels!  I haven’t been outside on in my tiki bar to watch a baseball game yet this spring… I doubt the TV will get much use this year… I’ll not be around much… Besides the TV is on the dead side, and I need to get a new one, and I just don’t want to mess with that right now… Golden Earring takes us to the finish line today with their great song: Twilight Zone…   I hope you have a Tom Terrific Tuesday today, and please, please, please, Be Good To Yourself!

Chuck Butler

Living The Nightmare…

  • currencies & metals rally late last week
  • Jobless claims jump higher!

Good Day… And a Marvelous Monday to you! Well, for the moms out there, did you enjoy your Mother’s Day? You know, I’ve told you this before, but I adored my mom, and while I think of her throughout the year, I especially remember her holding a couple of dozen roses that I had brought her, on Mother’s Day, and the smile that beamed on her lovely face is etched in my mind… Miss you, mom….  And on that melancholy note, Gordon Lightfoot greets me this morning with his song: If You Could Read My Mind… 

Well, last Thursday was something to behold… First off the Weekly Initial Jobless Claims hit one our of the park… Here’s MarketWatch.com “The numbers: Initial jobless-benefit claims rose by 22,000 to 231,000 in the week ending May 4, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. That’s the highest level since last August.

Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal had estimated that new claims would rise to 214,000.”

Now, I would hardly think that this jump up in Weekly Claims, was something that would send the dollar packing, but it did just that, as it lost 4 index points in the BBDXY,  and Gold gaining $38! You, dear reader, are well aware of the fact that I don’t like to start the letter with data prints, but this one seemed to hold more of the markets’ attention that usual…  The rate cut folks were out in masse on Thursday, just on this print… These rate cut folks are desperate, for they seem to latch onto any minute piece of data that might explain their mantra… 

And Silver? Silver kicked some tail and took names later on Thursday, gaining $1.02 to close at $28.58… WOW! A day without interference is like a day on the beach with sunshine, balloons, and wrapping paper! 

On Friday… The dollar fought back, and the short paper traders were out in force… The dollar gained 1 index point back, and Gold was up $13, but at least $20 off its high point of the day… Silver lost 13-cents, but that was at least 60-cents off of its high point of the day… So, like I said, the short paper traders were out in force on Friday… Gold closed the week at $2, 360.70, and Silver closed the week at $28.23….

The price of Oil ended the week with a$78 handle… And the 10-year ended the week with a 4.50% yield.. 

In the overnight markets last night… There was little to no movement in the dollar, with the BBDXY starting the week at 1,253… Gold is getting sold in the early trading today, I don’t know what’s up with that, and i don’t have the time this morning to do the research. So, Gold is down $21 to start the day/ week, and Silver is down 13-cents… 

The 10-year’s yield has slipped to 4.48% overnight… One has to wonder if the bond boys have gotten a sniff of what the STUPID CPI will be later this week?   And the price of Oil remains in the $78 handle to start the week. 

Well, this article is not very good news, so sit down and put away the sharp objects… “Bloomberg) — Roughly one in 37 homes are now considered seriously underwater in the US and that share is much higher across a swath of southern states, according to data out Thursday.”

Chuck again… Don’t tell me that this is the beginning of another housing problem… We’ve been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt… But it reminds me of when I was writing the Decline of the Dollar white paper back in 2001, and I highlighted how housing was becoming a problem… I had seen the problems before anyone else… I hope I’m not seeing those problems again…  Got Gold? 

This letter will be short-n-sweet this morning… I have to report to the doctor’s office very early today, to have a heart test… It needs to be done so that the surgeons that are going to operate on my heart next month, will get a great picture of what’s going on …    So, with that I’ll head to the Big Finish already this morning…

To recap… the Weekly Initial Jobless Claims report last Thursday, sent the dollar reeling, and Gold & Silver soaring higher. Friday’s price action was muted compared to Thursday, and so we start the week, with Gold & Silver still ratcheting higher, and we also know that it will be a Datapalooza week. 

The U.S. Data Cupboard will be going through Datapalooza this week, there are so many data prints on the docket that I’ll just tell you, that the markets will have a good idea of where it’s going to go next when the week is through…  We get started with data today, with the Data Cupboard being empty! But tomorrow, we start, so you have a day to get ready! HA! 

For What It’s Worth…  OK, this article came to last week, and I couldn’t wait to use it today (Thanks Bob!) This is an article that talks about how only 4% of retirees feel they are living the dream, and it can be found here: 4% of current retirees say they are ‘living the dream,’ survey finds (cnbc.com)

Or, here’s your snippet: “Just 4% of today’s retirees said they are “living the dream,” according to a new survey from asset management company Schroders.

And just as many — 4% — said they are “living the nightmare.”

Most of the respondents fall somewhere in between — 44% said they are comfortable; 34% said they are not great, but not bad; and 15% said they are struggling, according to the rounded results.

“The real picture of retirement is far from the dreams Americans had hoped and worked so hard for,” said Deb Boyden, head of U.S. defined contribution at Schroders.

The survey, conducted in March and April, included 2,000 adults, with almost 500 retirees. The results come as inflation is still higher than usual and rising prices have made it more challenging for retirees to make their money last.

The top concern, cited by 89% of respondents, is inflation lessening the value of their assets.

That’s followed by higher-than-expected health-care costs, with 85%; a major market downturn that may significantly reduce their assets, 76%; not knowing how to best draw down income, 69%; and outliving their assets, 68%.”

Chuck again… And now inflation is spooling higher once again… Uh-Oh! 

But that won’t stop the Fed Heads from appeasing their bosses… The Elites… From cutting rates to pump up the stock market once again… I’m just saying

Market Prices 5/13/ 2024: American Style: A$ .6608, kiwi .6010, C$ .7311, euro 1.0784, sterling 1.2528, Swiss $1.1024, European Style: rand 18.3738, krone 10.8596, SEK 10.8599, forint 358.99, zloty 3.5897, koruna 22.9986, RUB 91.48, yen 155.97, sing 1.3537, HKD 7.8117, INR 83.53, China 7.2345, peso 16.74, BRL 5.1474, BBDXY 1,253.41, Dollar Index 105.27, Oil $78.43, 10-year 4.48%, Silver $28.10, Platinum $998.00, Palladium $983.00, Copper $4.71, and Gold… $2,339.81

That’s it for today… Wah, Wah, Wah,  Cardinals fans are really crying crocodile tears, with how the team is playing… I’ve basically thrown in the towel for this year… There’s always next year! I went to the City soccer game Saturday night with son, Andrew… We had a blast, and the team won! Yesterday, was Mother’s Day.. I sure hope all you Moms out there had very special days, you deserve them! The band Smith, takes us to the finish line today with their song: Baby It’s You…   I hope you have a Marvelous Monday today, and will Be Good To Yourself!

Chuck Butler