More Lies…

  • Currencies drift back and forth…
  • What’s China & Russia up to now?

Good Day… And a Marvelous Monday to you! Well… Congratulations to the  Kansas City Chiefs, for they won the Super Bowl last night… The NFL Champions for 2023…  I had a bad weekend, stomach-wise, Darn Chemo! Kathy got home from her whirlwind week, late last night, just in time to see the 4th QTR of the Super Bowl, as if she cared! My favorite Chicago song greets me this morning: Hard Habit To Break… 

Speaking of hard habits to break, that sure is the mantra for the dollar bugs. The dollar got sold by 2 index points in the BBDXY on Thursday last week, and then on Friday it gained 2 index points…  The dollar bugs just couldn’t bear to see two days of dollar selling, so they pulled up their collective bootstraps and bought dollars again. 

I don’t know what bug crawled up the pants of the short Silver paper traders last week, but they were absent in the trading pits, and they must have been more concerned with what was in their pants…  Silver gained 38-cents on Thursday last week, and followed that up with a 6-cent gain on Friday… I know that I’ve talked about how there’s been a shortage in Silver for years now, and it has never really been brought to the markets… 

That’s one of the reasons that all these people writing about Silver keep talking about how Silver will outperform Gold this year… Take that with as many grains of salt as you deem it deserves…  Gold didn’t fare too well late last week… Gold gained $1 on Thursday, and lost $9.90 on Friday.  Silver ended the week at $22.69, and Gold at $2,025.40

The price of Oil jumped higher on Thursday, by $2, and then sat back and rested on Friday, thus ending the week trading with a $76 handle.  And bonds? The data last week be it massaged and cooked, gave the bond boys a reason to think that rate cuts will come much later this year, and the 10-year ended the week with a 4.17% yield…  

In the overnight markets last night… There was some additional slippage in the BBDXY overnight with it losing 3 index points… Here we go again… I’ve talked about this until I’m blue in the face, but it needs to be talked about when discussing the dollar. And that is…  That the PPT (plunge protection team) has a treasure chest of funds, called the Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF), and they use that to buy dollars every time the dollar appears to be at the edge of Wiley coyote’s cliff…  But this is, the ESF, is not a replenished Fund… Sooner or later the well will run dry, and the dollar bugs will be just like Wiley Coyote, when he runs off the cliff and his legs are still churning, before he realizes that there’s no ground under his feet…   Uh-Oh… 

Silver is back on the rally tracks again this morning gained 31-cents in the early trading, which brings Silver up to $23.00… Gold, can’t seem to find a bid these days, and is down $4 to star the day/ week this morning.  Silver has room to run, and it does appear to me that Silver will outperform Gold this year, but keep in mind that in the last few years, Gold has outperformed Silver, so Silver has some catching up to do… 

The price of Oil slipped a bit and trades just below $76 this morning… And bonds, well, I’ve talked about bonds quite a bit lately, and there’s nothing new here… The 10-year trades with a 4.16% yield to start the day/ week, this morning. 

I told you last week that this is an election year, and that we had better examine all Gov’t reports for accuracy… The numbers will be getting massaged and cooked, and fabricated with lies, damn lies… 

One of the pieces of data last week that got massaged and cooked was the Weekly Initial Jobless Claims…  Here’s what I’ve seen regarding the numbers: 

OK, regarding the Data Cupboard late last week… On Thursday, I wrote, that I’ve been reading about all these layoffs and job cuts across the country, I wondered when they would begin to show up in the Weekly Initial Jobless Claims… Well, it wasn’t last week!  Ed Steer picked this up and provided some data, of which I’ll share with you here… First things first, here’s what’s been reported – in the real world labor market – in 2024…

1. Twitch: 35% of workforce

2. Roomba: 31% of workforce

3. Hasbro: 20% of workforce

4. LA Times: 20% of workforce

5. Spotify: 17% of workforce

6. Levi’s: 15% of workforce

7. Xerox: 15% of workforce

8. Qualtrics: 14% of workforce

9. Wayfair: 13% of workforce

10. Duolingo: 10% of workforce

11. Washington Post: 10% of workforce

12: Snap: 10% of workforce

13. eBay: 9% of workforce

14. Business Insider: 8% of workforce

15. Paypal: 7% of workforce

16. Charles Schwab: 6% of workforce

17. Docusign: 6% of workforce

18. UPS: 2% of workforce

19. Blackrock: 3% of workforce

20. Citigroup: 20,000 employees

21. Pixar: 1,300 employees

And here’s the government-supplied statistics…

The number of Americans filing for jobless benefits for the first-time last week dropped from 227k to 218k (below the 220k expected). On an NSA basis, claims tumbled even more…”   from Ed Steer’s: 

Chuck again…  Well, it IS an election year, from here on out we can depend on one thing, and that is the Gov’t reports will be cooked, massaged, and had so many hedonic adjustments added to the actual numbers that the report doesn’t look anything like it did when they started their Broom Hilda, boiling cauldron antics…  I’m just saying…  

Everyone is talking about the Tucker Carlson interview with Russian President, Putin…  I want to get this straight right from the get-go… I’m no Putin cheerleader, I don’t trust the man, and that’s all because of my upbringing, which included not liking Russians because they could nuke us at any time. But I have to say one thing about the interview, and that is Putin answered each question without trying to spin and change the subject, like so many politicians do… And for that… kudos… But C’mon Vlad, stop this war! 

Well, it appears that Russia and China are getting very close to coming out with the news that they will issue their respective currencies backed by Gold… This will be a nuclear bomb in the financial markets, folks… Can you imagine the damage to the currencies, including dollars, that aren’t backed by Gold?   This has always been my thought for China that they would back the renminbi with Gold… Russia has joined in with their determination to ruin the dollar’s reserve currency status… Well, backing your currency with Gold would do the trick… I’m just saying… 

The U.S. Data Cupboard today is empty, and starts the week that’s chock-full-o-data, out slowly… But tomorrow we’ll see the STUPID CPI for Jan… The markets are so “into” the STUPID CPI that they are convinced that this data set sways the Fed Heads… Memo to the markets… The Fed Heads aren’t fooled by the STUPID CPI!  Later this week, we’ll see Retail Sales, Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization, and more, so there’s no hiding place for the dollar this week, as I’m of the opinion that all of these reports this week won’t be good for the dollar bugs… 

To recap… It’s been a wash, rinse cycle going on in the markets… The dollar gets sold one day and gets bought the next day… Silver is the shining star these days, let’s hope it keeps shining… Chuck points out that it is an election year, and therefore all the Gov’t reports will be shady at best, and gives an example of a Gov’t report last week that looked very shady… And Chuck throws a grenade from Left Field this morning  with his call that China and Russia are planning to issue their currencies backed by Gold.. 

For What It’s Worth… In a case of What in the World are you Thinking, for Who’s Going To Pay For This?  are the questions you’ll be asking yourself after reading the FWIW article today…  It’s about canceling medical debt, and can be found here: Connecticut becomes 1st state to cancel medical debt for eligible residents | BenefitsPRO

Or, here’s your snippet: “Although the details have yet to be ironed out, Connecticut plans to forgive medical debt for residents during the first half of 2024. Gov. Ned Lamont recently announced the initiative on ABC’s Good Morning America.

“I think it’s really important that people have a sense that they can start building wealth of their own,” he said. “We’re making that easier for people to do. And the best way to start is to eliminate the debt you’ve got.”

The state plans to cancel $1 billion in medical debt by investing $6.5 million in funds from the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act toward a partnership with RIP Medical Debt to abolish approximately $650 million in medical debt for eligible state residents. For every $100 invested, RIP Medical Debt abolishes $10,000 of debt.

Connecticut residents would be eligible if their medical debt equals 5% or more of their annual income or if their household income is less than 400% of the federal poverty line. Residents affected by the initiative simply will be notified that their medical debt is eliminated. A contract has not been finalized, and a timeline for implementation has not been announced.”

Chuck again… if this piques your interest, then click the link above, and read the whole article, for it talks about other plans to cancel debt in this election year… 

Market Price 2/12/24: American Style: A$ .6525, kiwi .6130, C$ .7431, euro 1.0772, sterling 1.2617, Swiss $1.1425, European Style: rand 19.0181, krone 10.5131, SEK 10.4268, forint 359.80, zloty 4.0127, koruna 23.4146, RUB 91.14, yen 148.95, sing 1.3445, HKD 7.8199, INR 83.00, China 7.1936, peso 17.05, BRL 4.9552, BBDXY 1,242, 28, Dollar Index 104.13, Oil $75.95, 10-year 4.16%, Silver $23.00, Platinum $888.00, Palladium $911.00, Copper $3.67, and Gold… $2,021.30

That’s it for today… that was an exciting Super Bowl Game last night, eh? The game started slow but built to a crescendo for sure! The Chiefs have built a dynasty… It will be more difficult every year on out for them, as they will have the target on their backs…  Well, we’re down to 2 days until Pitchers and Catchers report to Spring Training! YAHOO! I sure hope the weather gets back to normal for down here, for the start of the baseball spring season… We did have a beautiful weekend down here, now let’s keep that going! Both my college basketball teams lost again over the past weekend.. Mizzou lost its 11th consecutive game! And Stl. U Billikens lost again, UGH! Baseball can’t begin quick enough so I can forget about college basketball!  Brewer & Shipley take us to the finish line today with their great old song: One Toke Over The Line… I hope you have a Marvelous Monday today, and Please! Be Good To Yourself!

Chuck Butler