Let’s Pause for a Moment and Reflect

136
Fri, Mar 20, 2020 - 9:22pm

Hysteria: behavior exhibiting overwhelming or unmanageable fear or emotional excess." https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hysteria

Here we are, Spring, 2020, and from all quarters, all at once, hysteria abounds. Let's take stock of some basic facts we can all agree with, then pause, reflect, and calmly restore some perspective. No one on this site is compelled to be here. Anyone on this site has a basic education, can navigate the internet, and has an interest in investments in general, and precious metals in particular. Most if not all on this site have reasonably held political beliefs, meaning, one has reached a political viewpoint from experience, education, and rational thought. Not all on this site agree to a single point of view, about anything, meaning, in short, that everyone's perspective is totally unique. This site is international, in all time zones, and is at once, through the comments section, a perfect capture of the spirit of the moment.

Now having said all that, it seems easy to see that this site, and through the comments' section, we can and do have an amazing resource here of capable individuals that can collectively, and carefully, analyze most anything, given the time and effort. Under the circumstances, it sure seems to be the right time, so it seems beyond question that the effort is worth it.

There are five things currently occupying occupying much of my time now that lawyering is on hold, and they are discussed in order:

(1) Coronavirus: some things are universally beyond dispute, while some things are hotly contested. Yes, there is a novel coronavirus that is affecting people in a negative way health wise, including hospital admissions and death. No, it is not a hoax. But, is it a pandemic? Does it deserve HYSTERIA? Does it warrant suspension of basic freedoms, of Constitutional rights, shutting down of government services and massive taxpayer subsidized bailouts? All each of these questions, there is no universal agreement. Some say it is a pandemic, and that we are in the fight of a lifetime. Others say it is overblown and people are behaving irrationally.

If I had more time I would collect the various points of view, and let the reader sort through the various points of view on them all. But here, the focus needs to remain on the provable facts. I rely on Chris Martenson, PH.D in epidemiology, and tend to agree with him. We are living in strange times indeed, and the coronavirus is not to be ignored. Some will get it, have no symptoms and life will go on. Some will get it and succumb, perhaps due to the virus as a causative mechanism of death, perhaps underlying causes and coronavirus just happens to also be present. What is certain, is that infections are overwhelming the ability to treat it, which is a real problem.

With this said, though, is it appropriate for "shelter in place" orders, or "lock downs," or suspensions of freedoms like associating with others, socializing in bars, restaurants, or even pursuing education, whether for our children or for young adults in college? This is a very difficult question to answer, and I am certain there is no right or wrong answer, as everyone's perspective is different. Because of the consequences, there simply had to be a massive, and immediate effort to attempt to "flatten the curve" and bring the number of new infections down. If that effort was not undertaken, by private entities, government, and individuals on a "self-quarantine" basis, then there would have been no end to the criticism if indeed the death rate spiked. On the other hand, there will be those that forever criticize the authorities for their oversized and overzealous response to what they say is over blown, a hoax, or minimal, and provably so in comparison to past health statistics showing coronavirus casualties are only a fraction of deaths as compared to medical negligence deaths, car accidents, or the yearly influenza virus. One meme circulating even says that one is more likely to die from speaking bad about Hillary Clinton than from getting coronavirus. Anyhow, my personal take is that while unprecedented, and difficult to say the least, I am in favor of the current extraordinary steps being taken now to quell the spike in coronavirus cases. If this drags on into April, well, my opinion is certainly going to change.

So, analyzing this at a high level, we all owe it ourselves, our families, and loved ones at a minimum, to take this seriously, be careful, and do our best to get through this period of difficulty. We can all revisit it later in April, and hopefully laugh at how quickly the hysteria dissipated if it turns out that coronavirus cases peter out, or some existing medical treatment or new drug proves helpful.

I'll address the conspiracy aspects of this below.

(2) US financial markets and Federal Reserve actions in light of recent developments: this one is at once critical, depending upon one's retirement timeline. I'm not too close, but others are and naturally those closer to retirement, or those already living on fixed incomes may be way more interested in this.

I want everyone to look back at the housing bubble, the bursting of it, and the Fed response. For that matter, look back to the Y2K build up and aftermath. In both instances, the Fed stepped in and printed, essentially hyperinflating the currency to stave off systemic collapse. The dollar is the reserve currency, backed by the massive US military-industrial complex, and the tax slaves that enable it. Until that changes, the hyperinflating dollar is NOT the tax slaves' immediate problem.

I have zero doubt, that the Fed will do everything it can, and then some, to save the system. Moral hazard abounds, so what? We have two systems, one for the super rich and connected elites, and one for everyone else. The elites run the system, and they will protect themselves. This will not change anytime soon, period. At all costs, the system will be maintained.

Like we saw in the past 20 years, the Fed will backstop everything, and this means the game keeps going. Diversify, manage risk, have a sizable stack, try to live a healthy life, and learn to live in the moment are all workable strategies. Elites are going to do what they are going to do, and no amount of talking about it will ever change anything. What we can take away from this is that there are plenty of commentators who were correct in predicting the overbloated US markets were ripe for a crash. Now that it is here, the Fed will do what it always does, and those with first access to the new money will reap huge advantages. Moral hazard will continue. Silver and gold will not moonshot. Comex will not freeze up and disappear. No banksters will see jail. Fiat currency will devalue over time, same as it was, same as it will be. Elites and insiders will benefit, same as it was, same as it will be.

Naturally, I will weigh in below on the conspiracy elements to this part.

(3) US Presidential Election Campaign: does it not seem strange that for months and months, all the news all the time was totally about the democratic candidates and their race? Now, the pretenders are all gone, predictably so, all towing the party line and backing the chosen one now. What happened to all of the Bernie supporters? How did they disappear so suddenly? How did the landscape change almost overnight? It was preordained. Same as it always was, same as it always will be. Biden is the front runner, until he is not. Someone [Hillary?] may replace him suddenly as Biden graciously admits he is suffering dementia and is checking into a hospital, and begs the democrats to rally behind Hillary to defeat the evil Trump. Whatever. This is all just preordained anyway.

Is Biden electable? Is Trump going to win reelection? Does it matter, really? Are not the two just different wings of the same bird of prey? Which one will cut the size of government? Which one will eliminate federal government overreach into everyone's lives? Or will both of them simply continue on with the same ol, same ol? Don't we all know the answer to that already? Enough said.

(4) Conspiracy Theories, "Q," Etc. this is my favorite part. Let's start with the sensational theories regarding the onset of coronavirus. Is the coronavirus man made or did it suddenly just appear in the wet market at Wuhan? Did the level 4 bio lab in Wuhan create the virus as a biological weapon and somehow it escaped from the lab? Were there Chinese secret agents stealing technology and bio secrets from USA and Canada, bringing everything to China for creation of the bioweapon? Did the Americans bring it to China and unleash it on the Chinese? Oh my . . . How will we ever know the truth?

For whose benefit was it to have the coronavirus unleash its destruction? It sure seems like the Chinese are getting the short end of the stick on this one! Now, some US congressman is calling for Chinese reparations because it is China's fault the virus is causing economic damage in USA! Hilarious. No, it does not really seem to be a benefit for the Chinese to have unleashed the virus at home, on their own people. What about the Americans? Now, this gets a little bit more interesting. If the Americans unleashed the virus on the Chinese as a weapon of war, then it seems the consequences blew back on the Americans, no? But, what if we are really only in the very beginning of the response to the virus? What if, like the Patriot Act emerging in response to the twin towers' destruction, there is a new, comprehensive set of laws that restrict freedoms and grant to the government new powers? Well then, it would seem fairly obvious that the global elites benefitted in a major way, right? Or, was it just an accident, truly, whether the virus just happened to emerge, whether from nature, or from a lab accident? It seems too soon to know. But, it sure is intriguing to think about this.

Financial markets needed to reset, so the coronavirus pricked the bubble and now the elites get to blame the virus and not themselves for the destruction. I like this theory the most. It seems obvious. The system was grossly overbloated, Trump, foolishly taking credit for the Dow nearly reaching 30,000, when anyone with any sense of skepticism could easily see that the market was due for a correction. Did the elites, then, release the virus in China, to prick the bubble to deflect criticism of their own mismanagement of the system? The stock buybacks? Bailouts? How else can the elites get another bailout unless they blame some external force for the collapse? This, more and more, compels me to conclude that the virus is no accident.

The virus has totally changed the narrative and now there is almost zero reporting of the democratic candidate race. Who benefits by that dropping from the headlines? The elites, of course, because now Biden's gaffes and Bernie's frightening socialistic policies are quietly pushed down the memory hole. Now, the elites can shift the focus to caring for victims, bailouts, taking more freedoms away, and finally getting gun control enacted in light of martial law and the dangerous conditions that mandate immediate gun confiscations for everyone's safety . . .

All this Q stuff. it is super fun to read and think about, I admit, but really, it makes me think of Wynter Benton and the sensational discussions of silver dropping below $36 and ounce. Yes, for lots of you new to the site, way back when, silver was actually priced in dollars at more than $36 an ounce. I may be convinced down the road that there really is a Q, but really, the sensational facts are just entertainment, not unlike Benjamin Fulford and his wonderful tales . . .

With this said, I do remember vividly, Dr. Steve Pieczenik, speaking of the "deep state," way back right when Trump was elected. As it turns out, Dr. Steve was right. So, is Q Dr. Steve or one of his associates? Seems probable, so I'm waiting this one out. One can hope, but some of the things are just too far fetched to really merit discussion, like the 50,000 sealed indictments, or the closing of the government for massive arrests of traitors and military trials at Gitmo. Please, let's be real.

(5) Global Financial Future, Whether Status Quo or Reset, Silver, Gold: finally, we get to the precious metals.

I have no doubt that my stack is intact, still every bit the store of value I intended it to be when I acquired it and keep adding to it. Are we going to have a financial system reset? Surely, no doubt, as all fiat schemes always fail eventually. Knowing when it will fail is the tricky part.

The status quo will always be the status quo because the system is maintained by the elites, for the elites, and that is that. Only a bloody revolution, invasion, war, asteroid impact or something cataclysmic will ever change that. So, no, there will not be a reset. There will be tweaking at the margins, perhaps another elite scheme to replace the existing scheme, but no reset, no jubilee, no silver moonshot will ever occur. So, stop being delusional, and thinking that the shiny stack of silver will set you free in the end.

Better off having a balanced portfolio of tangible assets, including precious metals, in these perilous times. And, for safety sake, keep it in your own possession.

So, that is a lot to think about, but I wanted everyone to have a chance to weigh in now that we are facing national stay in place and shelter lock down orders. Nothing like time on your hands to pause, reflect, and say what is on one's mind . . .

About the Author

  136 Comments

  Refresh
DeaconBenjamin
Mar 23, 2020 - 5:35am

Britain brings in army to deliver coronavirus kit to health work

Britain brought in the army on Monday to help deliver supplies of protective equipment to healthcare workers after doctors said they felt like “cannon fodder” and pleaded with the government to provide the right kit.

The distribution and delivery of millions of items of personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks will now be carried out by the army who will drive trucks throughout the day and night, health minister Matt Hancock said in a statement. Millions more items have been provided to hospitals, ambulance trust, GP practices, care homes and other health services in the last few days, he added, after complaints emerged from medical staff that they did not have enough kit.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2020/03/23/Britain-brings-in...

DeaconBenjamin
Mar 23, 2020 - 5:33am

Hong Kong will ban all tourist arrivals, may stop alcohol sales

Hong Kong said on Monday it was banning all tourist arrivals to the global financial center amid a spike in imported cases of the coronavirus, as it joins cities worldwide in the battle to contain the spread of the disease.

The government also said it was studying whether to suspend the sale of alcohol in licensed bars and restaurants in the city, which has 318 confirmed cases of coronavirus and four deaths.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2020/03/23/Hong-Kong-will-ba...

DeaconBenjamin
Mar 23, 2020 - 5:31am

Senior commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards dies

Hossein Asadollahi, a senior commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has died of “chemical injuries” from the war with Iraq in the 1980s, state media reported on Saturday. A long-serving member of the IRGC, Asadollahi headed the 27th Mohammad Rasulullah division of the IRGC for several years. Asadollahi had also been a key commander of Iranian forces fighting alongside the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad against rebels.

Several state news agencies reported on Saturday that Asadollahi died of “chemical injuries” sustained during the eight-year-long war with Iraq (1980-1988). Some Iranian exile run media outlets however reported that Asadollahi died of coronavirus, which has so far claimed the lives of at least 16 regime figures.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2020/03/22/Senior-comm...

DeaconBenjamin
Mar 23, 2020 - 5:28am

Cluster suspected at Oita medical center after 2 more virus case

Oita Prefecture confirmed two new coronavirus infections at a medical center on Sunday, bringing the total at the facility to 14 and making it a suspected cluster, Kyodo news service said. Two female nurses who work at the Oita Medical Center, one in her 20s and another in her 50s, were confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus although they showed only mild symptoms, Kyodo said.

The new cases follow 12 others confirmed at the medical center, including nurses and doctors. The southwestern prefecture is conducting virus tests for about 600 staff and patients who are or were hospitalised, Kyodo said, with the view that they may be linked to a cluster.

https://japantoday.com/category/national/Cluster-suspected-at-Oita-medic...

DeaconBenjamin
Mar 23, 2020 - 5:27am

Echoes of Great Depression as Australian jobless queue for help

Jobless Australians flooded unemployment offices around the country Monday as Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned the coronavirus pandemic would cause an economic crisis akin to the Great Depression. After a record 29 years of economic growth, Australia is poised to spiral into recession as the global coronavirus outbreak wreaks havoc on the country's economy despite a A$189 billion ($100 billion) government relief package.

In scenes not seen in Australia for decades, queues stretched around the block at unemployment offices around the country as the forced closure of pubs, casinos, churches and gyms began at midday on Monday. An online portal for government services also crashed as job seekers rushed to register for income support payments, which have been temporarily doubled by A$550 a fortnight to help people cope with the coronavirus crisis.

https://japantoday.com/category/world/echoes-of-great-depression-as-aust...

DeaconBenjamin
Mar 23, 2020 - 5:18am

New Zealand goes on lockdown to fight virus

New Zealand will impose a four-week lockdown in a bid to smother coronavirus infection rates and avoid the mass fatalities seen elsewhere in the world, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday. Ardern said the South Pacific nation was fortunate its infection numbers remained relatively low, with 102 cases and no fatalities in the population of about five million.

But she said the latest data showed COVID-19 was now being transmitted between New Zealanders, rather than just being brought in by overseas arrivals, meaning radical action was needed. Otherwise, she warned the number of cases would double every five days. "If that happens unchecked, our health system will be inundated and tens of thousands of New Zealanders will die," Ardern told reporters. "The worst-case scenario is simply intolerable," she said. "It would represent the greatest loss of New Zealand lives in our history and I will not take that chance."

https://japantoday.com/category/world/new-zealand-goes-on-lockdown-for-'fighting-chance'-against-virus

DeaconBenjamin
Mar 23, 2020 - 5:17am

Japan to ask travelers from U.S. to self-quarantine for 14 days

Japan will ask travelers arriving from the United States to self-quarantine for 14 days to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday. During the two-weeks, travelers will be required to themselves isolate in places such as their homes or hotels and avoid using public transportation. The measure will be effective from Thursday through the end of April, Abe said.

Japan has taken similar steps for travelers from China, South Korea, Iran, Egypt and most of Europe after the outbreak of the pneumonia-causing virus, which started in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, began progressively spreading to many other nations. Japan's Foreign Ministry urged the public to avoid nonessential travel to the whole of the United States, raising its warning level by one notch in response to the spread of infections there.

https://japantoday.com/category/national/japan-to-ask-travelers-from-u.s...

DeaconBenjaminBenitho
Mar 23, 2020 - 5:15am

Maple Leafs in Germany

Is there VAT on silver?

DeaconBenjamincyclemadman
Mar 23, 2020 - 5:14am

Survivors

I've been saying for weeks don't try to predict the election when you don't even know who will be alive in November.

DeaconBenjamincanary
Mar 23, 2020 - 5:11am

FWIW

Potemkin villages were in Ukraine, not Siberia. A little early to move to the Donbass (actually I believe they were further west than the Donbass).

Subscribe or login to read all comments.

Contribute

Donate Shop

Get Your Subscriber Benefits

Private iTunes feed for all TF Metals Report podcasts, and access to Vault member forum discussions!

Key Economic Events Week of 5/25

5/26 8:30 ET Chicago Fed
5/26 10:00 ET Consumer Confidence
5/27 2:00 ET Fed Beige Book
5/28 8:30 ET Q2 GDP 2nd guess
5/28 8:30 ET Durable Goods
5/29 8:30 ET Pers Inc and Cons Spend
5/29 8:30 ET Core Inflation
5/29 9:45 ET Chicago PMI

Key Economic Events Week of 5/18

5/18 2:00 ET Goon Bostic speech
5/19 8:30 ET Housing starts
5/19 10:00 ET CGP and Mnuchin US Senate
5/20 10:00 ET Goon Bullard speech
5/20 2:00 ET April FOMC minutes
5/21 8:30 ET Philly Fed
5/21 9:45 ET Markit flash PMIs for May
5/21 10:00 ET Goon Williams speech
5/21 1:00 ET Goon Chlamydia speech
5/21 2:30 ET Chief Goon Powell speech

Key Economic Events Week of 5/11

5/11 12:00 ET Goon Bostic speech
5/11 12:30 ET Goon Evans speech
5/12 8:30 ET CPI
5/12 9:00 ET Goon Kashnkari speech
5/12 10:00 ET Goon Quarles speech
5/12 10:00 ET Goon Harker speech
5/12 5:00 ET Goon Mester speech
5/13 8:30 ET PPI
5/13 9:00 ET Chief Goon Powell speech
5/14 8:30 ET Initial jobless claims and import prices
5/14 1:00 ET Another Goon Kashnkari speech
5/14 6:00 ET Goon Kaplan speech
5/15 8:30 ET Retail Sales and Empire State index
5/15 9:15 ET Cap Ute and Ind Prod
5/15 10:00 ET Business Inventories

Key Economic Events Week of 5/4

5/4 10:00 ET Factory Orders
5/5 8:30 ET US Trade Deficit
5/5 9:45 ET Markit Service PMI
5/5 10:00 ET ISM Sevrice PMI
5/6 8:15 ET ADP jobs report
5/7 8:30 ET Productivity
5/8 8:30 ET BLSBS
5/8 10:00 ET Wholesale Inventories

Key Economic Events Week of 4/27

4/28 8:30 ET Advance trade in goods
4/28 9:00 ET Case-Shiller home prices
4/29 8:30 ET Q1 GDP first guess
4/29 2:00 ET FOMC Fedlines
4/29 2:30 ET CGP presser
4/30 8:30 ET Pers Inc and Cons Spend
4/30 9:45 ET Chicago PMI
5/1 9:45 ET Markit Manu PMI
5/1 10:00 ET ISM Manu PMI

Key Economic Events Week of 4/20

4/20 8:30 ET Chicago Fed
4/21 10:00 ET Existing home sales
4/23 8:30 ET Weekly jobless claims
4/23 9:45 ET Markit flash PMIs
4/24 8:30 ET Durable Goods

Key Economic Events Week of 4/6

4/8 2:00 ET March FOMC minutes
4/9 8:30 ET Producer Price Index
4/10 8:30 ET Consumer Price Index

Key Economic Events Week of 3/30

3/31 9:45 ET Chicago PMI
4/1 8:15 ET ADP Employment
4/1 9:45 ET Markit manu PMI
4/1 10:00 ET ISM manu PMI
4/2 10:00 ET Factory Orders
4/3 8:30 ET BLSBS
4/3 9:45 ET Market service PMI
4/3 10:00 ET ISM service PMI

Key Economic Events Week of 3/23

3/24 9:45 ET Markit flash PMIs
3/25 8:30 ET Durable Goods
3/26 8:30 ET Weekly jobless claims
3/27 8:30 ET Personal Inc and Spending

Key Economic Events Week of 3/9

(as if these actually matter)
3/11 8:30 ET CPI
3/12 8:30 ET weekly jobless claims
3/12 8:30 ET PPI
3/13 8:30 ET Import Price Index

Recent Comments