Pressing Forward

Thu, Aug 23, 2012 - 11:21am

The Pack senses the weakness of The Leader and they continue to press their advantage.

Several have asked me whether or not this is the beginning of the "hot, explosive and historic" rally. When it began last week, it was hard to say. Then I saw the CoT last week and began to gain confidence. The action early this week stoked my interest and the follow-on rally post the FOMC and into today is very impressive.

We have seen already seen a significant move in a short period of time. In the past 10 days, silver is UP nearly 10%. From the open interest, we can see that much of this is short-covering or, more accurately stated, short-covering offset by a nearly equal amount of new buying. This is exactly the type of action I was expecting for the beginning of the "HEH" move. The fundamental key to my expected move has also been put in place. Therefore, yes, I think is the beginning. Emphasis on beginning. We are just getting started. Again, with any trending rally, there will be bumps along the way as profits are realized, however, those will be just bumps. The metals, particularly silver, are headed much, much higher from here. The re-institution of overt QE will only serve to accelerate and exaggerate the size and scope of the rally.

In the very short term, I'd like to see us sustain these levels through the close Friday. Breaking the Battle Royale lines and closing above them for the week would bring a lot of spec momo money in next week and this would only serve to increase the pressure on The Leader. This evil entity must be certainly be aware of this, too, so I would expect them to attempt to intervene. However, if I'm right about the fundamental changes, they may not intervene as aggressively as they have in the past.

A couple of other things for you today. First, there's this interesting pair of stories:

And this from that MarketWatch dude:

And this from Trader Dan:


From Sprott, regarding the "new normal" of negative interest rates and why this is so incredibly destructive.

NIRP: The Financial System’s Death Knell?
By: Eric Sprott & David Baker

On July 18th, 2012, the German government sold US$5.13 billion worth of 2-year bonds at an average yield of -0.06%. Please note the negative symbol in front of that yield number. What this means is that the German government was able to borrow money for less than nothing. When those specific bonds expire in two years’ time, the German government will pay back the original $5.13 billion minus 0.06%. Expressed another way, investors knowingly and willingly bid the German government $5.13 billion in exchange for bonds that will pay no interest and are guaranteed to lose them money on expiration. Welcome to the new status quo.

Germany is not alone. Over the past six months, the countries of Netherlands, Switzerland and France have also issued short-term government debt at negative yields. Like Germany, they’ve been able to do this because European bond investors are so shell shocked that they’d rather park money in a bond that’s guaranteed to only lose a miniscule amount rather than risk losing more in a PIIGS bond that actually pays some interest. In addition, many investors view German, French and Dutch bonds to be cheap options on the break-up of the Eurozone. If the EU currency union collapses, euro-denominated bonds issued by those specific countries may be paid back in re-issued deutschmarks, francs or guilders, which will be far more valuable than the euros that were spent to buy the bonds in the first place… or at least that’s the idea. As a result of this thinking, the bond market auctions for these select countries have seen overwhelming demand, making NIRP (Negative Interest Rate Policy) the new ZIRP (Zero Interest Rate Policy).

The NIRP acronym is misleading, however, because unlike ZIRP, NIRP isn’t actually an official “policy” per se, but rather a symptom of a broken financial system increasingly starved for good ‘collateral’. Aside from those speculating on a Eurozone currency collapse, a large portion of the bond investors participating in NIRP bond auctions are the banks. As the euro crisis has dragged on, banks in perceived “strong” countries like Germany and Switzerland have seen record inflows of deposits from banks in peripheral EU countries, like Spain. As most of these “strong country” banks have been hesitant to lend those deposits out (for obvious reasons), they are forced to park them in short-term government bonds. Moreover, new rules imposed by various regulators such as Basel III have forced all banks to hold a larger percentage of their balance sheet in government bonds, regardless of their country of domicile. The result has been a mad dash into the bond auctions of select “safe” countries just as the pool of available AAA-bonds has been drastically reduced. Banks are piling into NIRP bond auctions today because they have nowhere else to go. This is why nobody seems to be alarmed by the recent ubiquity of NIRP bond auctions – they are merely thought to be a short term phenomenon that will pass in time… just like zero-percent interest rates were supposed to be when they were widely introduced four years ago (sigh).

NIRP is different than ZIRP, however. NIRP causes outright financial destruction. Economies can hardly survive extended periods of ZIRP rates, let alone survive a long-term NIRP environment. It just doesn’t work. Institutional investors like pension plans and life insurance companies cannot earn enough “spread” to function properly. And many aren’t allowed to buy different asset classes that might produce a better “spread”, even if they wanted to. They are stuck holding the AAA government debt issuers – positive-yield, or not.

Negative rates also punish the individual investor. Try going online and using one of the banks’ retirement savings simulators and plugging in a negative expected return – you’ll break the program. The same also goes for the investment advisory business. When so-called safe-haven bonds start to consistently produce a negative return, try charging advisory fees to clients while recommending a 50% allocation to negative-yielding government debt. Advisors can try it for a while, but investors won’t put up with it for long.

The recent emergence of NIRP auctions are a signal that the relationship between governments, banks and investors has broken down. While the market still presumes that NIRP is a short-term phenomenon confined primarily to Europe, the dearth of AAA-assets coupled with banks’ captive bond purchasing suggests it may be structurally enforced for a long time to come. There’s even the potential for NIRP to emerge in the US bond market. As Bloomberg reports, the gap between US bank deposits and loans hit a record $1.77 trillion at the end of July 2012, representing an expansion of 15% since May. “Banks have already bought $136.4 billion in Treasury and government agency debt this year, more than double the $62.6 billion purchased in all of 2011, pushing their holdings to an all-time high of $1.84 trillion.” The current 2-year US Treasury bill is yielding a paltry 0.29%. If something exciting happens in Europe, what’s to stop the bond market’s typical knee-jerk move into US Treasuries from pushing that yield down past zero? Not much. We could be there before the end of the year, especially if the banks continue to gorge on ongoing US Treasury auctions in the meantime.

The question now is how well the financial system can cope in a relentless low-to-no yield environment for bonds. The last four years of low rates have already wreaked much damage to ‘spread’-dependent industries. One need only look at the insurers: In its latest Q2 report, after reporting an 88% drop in Q2 year-over-year earnings, Sun Life Financial stated that if current interest rates persist its profits for the period from 2013 to 2015 could be hurt by up to CAD$500 million. Manulife recently reported a Q2 loss of CAD$300 million, which was mainly attributed to a CAD$677 million charge it took to revalue long-term investment assumptions to account for falling bond yields.

The pension plans are also deteriorating: According to recent reports from BNY Mellon and Mercer, the funded status of US corporate pension plans hit a record low in July 2012. Benefits Canada writes, “The average funded status dropped 2.9 percentage points to 68.7%… while the latest figures from Mercer show that the aggregate deficit in pension plans sponsored by S&P 1500 companies grew US$146 billion during July, to a record high of US$689 billion.” That’s a one-month increase of 27% In the pension business, lower yields on long-term AAA bonds results in higher plan liabilities, plain and simple. As Reuters reporter Jim Saft writes, “To give an idea of exactly how powerful the effect of falling rates is on pension liabilities, consider that, according to Mercer, though US shares rose 1.4 percent in July, the 30-55 basis point fall in discount rates drove an increase in liability of between 3 and 11 percent. In a single month.”

It’s even worse for the public pensions. According to the Washington Post, new pension accounting rules imposed by bond-rating firm Moody’s are expected to “triple the gap between what states and municipalities report they have in their funds and what they have promised to pay out retirees.” If implemented, that new public pension gap will balloon to $2.2 trillion. Michael Fletcher from the Washington Post writes, “Among other things, the new accounting rules from Moody’s and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) limit the rate of return on future investments that pension funds can assume for accounting purposes. Most government pension funds assume a 7 percent to 8 percent return, which critics say overstates future investment income.” With the US 10-year bond now paying less than 2% a year, assuming a 7-8% return isn’t an overstatement, it’s a fantasy. Chart 1 shows how the last four years of low-to-no rates has impacted the average Canadian pension plan. Extend that trend another four years and we might as well redefine the entire purpose of pensions altogether.


a. Solvency position is equal to assets divided by liabilities.
Source: Mercer (Canada) Limited. Last observation: May 2012.

Banks are also suffering from NIRP and ZIRP, as evidenced by the performance of Wall Street’s five biggest banks thus far in 2012. Bloomberg writes, “JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley had combined first-half revenue of $161 billion, down 4.5 percent from 2011 and the lowest since $135 billion in 2008. The firms blamed the decline on low interest rates and a drop in trading and deal-making.” (Emphasis ours.) Banks make money on the spread between the interest they charge on loans and the interest they pay on our deposits (this is called the net-interest margin). Chart 2 shows the impact low rates have had on the net-interest margin for the Big 6 Canadian banks, and how tightly correlated their profits are to bond yields themselves. The average net-interest margin for the Big 6 was 2.55% in fiscal Q2 2012, while the average yield on the Canadian 5-year Treasury bond was 1.54%. According to our calculations, for every 100 basis point decline in the 5-year Treasury yield, the Banks’ net-interest margin will fall roughly 20 basis points. All else equal, a 1% drop in 5-year bond yields will result in a -15.6% impact on the banks’ net income. Like the insurers, the persistence of low bond yields hurts their profit margins… and the more deposits the banks take on, the more they are inadvertently forced to participate in short-term bond auctions – thereby supporting the very market causing the margin compression in the first place. It’s a vicious catch-22.


Source: Bloomberg, Big 6 Canadian Banks’ Financial Reports.

From a government perspective – especially governments like Germany who currently issue short-term debt for less than nothing, the current abundance of NIRP and ZIRP bond auctions represent a sweet irony. Here we are, on the interminable verge of collapse in Europe, and at a time when Western governments have never been more indebted, and bond investors are lining up to pay for the pleasure of owning their bond paper! It’s actually quite ridiculous. But no matter how much pain the current low-to-no yield environment causes the rest of the financial industry, governments will not do anything to change their current set-up. No government is incented to proactively raise their bond auction yields for the sake of savers, and barring the surprise emergence of major inflation, no central bank would ever raise interest rates and risk curtailing their expensive efforts to foster growth through money-printing. The banks’ continuing need for safe “collateral” means they’ll buy government bonds at virtually any price, leaving the governments with a “captive” buyer for their bonds. It’s almost perfect for the governments… and as it now stands, unless the banking system diversifies into different forms of AAA-collateral (like gold), or until we experience a default or major inflation – both clearly negative events, investors will be forced to survive with a AAA-bond market that pays absolutely nothing, just like Japanese investors have suffered through for the past twenty years.

Under widespread NIRP, pensions, annuities, insurers, banks and ultimately all savers will suffer a slow but steady decline in real wealth over time. Just as ZIRP has stuck around since the early 2000’s, NIRP may be here to stay for many years to come. Looking back at how much widespread damage ZIRP has caused since its introduction back in 2002, it’s hard not to expect that negative interest rates will cause even more harm, and at a faster clip. In our view, NIRP represents the death knell for the financial system as we know it today. There are simply too many working parts of the financial industry that are directly impacted by negative rates, and as long as NIRP persists, they will be helplessly stuck suffering from its ill-effects.

Although it’s been a quiet summer for “hard assets” like gold and silver, this low-to-no rate environment should prove to be beneficial for them over time. The tide is definitely turning in their favour. Various bond commentators have recently come out in support of hard assets, including PIMCO’s Bill Gross, who opined in his August month-end letter that, “Unfair as it may be, an investor should continue to expect an attempted inflationary solution in almost all developed economies over the next few years and even decades.” NIRP and ZIRP are critical components of that solution, and are here to stay until something unpredictable disrupts the current relationship between the banks and government bond auctions. In our view, the factors that have led to the emergence of NIRP bond auctions are the same factors that will drive demand for physical gold in the coming months: savers have nowhere to go for a “safe” return. It’s only a matter of time before they realize they’ve overlooked a unique financial asset that would perfectly suit their needs. When they do, we would strongly advise them to take delivery. (Turd emphasis added wherever you see bolding).

Also, I urge you to sign up to receive these email directly to your inbox. You can do so by clicking this link:

There's a lot going on and times are stressful. You might think that I'm nervous about the "HEH" summer and whether or not it is happening right now. I'm not. It doesn't matter. Whether or not this is the beginning of the HEH is insignificant as the HEH rally is coming regardless. Of this I am 100% certain.

As I close we are holding strong and continuing to rally at $1674 and $30.70. I'm happy and you should be, too. Relax and live your life with joy.


About the Author

turd [at] tfmetalsreport [dot] com ()


Aug 23, 2012 - 7:31pm

Debt to GDP

This explains it all for me, this rally in the PMs.

Look carefully at the gross debt to gdp entry - IT'S ROLLING BACKWARDS!!!!

It ain't the debt that's making it run in reverse, it has to be the GDP. And I'll bet you donuts to dollars that the GDP growth is almost ALL due to money printing.

We don't have much time. Enjoy every weekend they don't declare a banking holiday, because one weekend soon, it's all going to freeze up and devalue.

bam ¤
Aug 23, 2012 - 7:42pm


It's too distorted.

bam bam
Aug 23, 2012 - 7:43pm

...but the link.. just fine.

Aug 23, 2012 - 7:43pm


Hey there Dude

From the last thread you mentioned your dilemma in cashing in IRA's and penalties.

I am certainly no expert in USA law, however, I recall a poster a while back, casually mentioning that if you start a bullion business (by virtue of you cashing in your IRA for bullion), you get certain tax breaks and don't get slammed with the penalty when you withdraw your cash.

So I assume you register a business name and set up, maybe an ebay account for example, to commence your bullion business?

I may have this ass backwards, BUT, it would certainly be prudent to investigate via accountant etc.

Aug 23, 2012 - 7:54pm

Weird Feeling About Fridays

I have a feeling they will try to smash silver and gold a bit on Friday to get a lower close for the week. Plus, Fridays in general tend to go in the opposite direction of the first four days of the week. I don't know if it's just that people like taking profits on any position going into the weekend, but there has been an astonishing nr of Fridays where the trading goes against the current trend.

Plus the miners hardly moved today while the metals soared, which is usually a pretty good indication that evil forces, aka hedgies and banks, are at work to stop the metals' rise after the miners have "failed to confirm" the move. -portfolio tracker & analysis of gold and silver stocks

Aug 23, 2012 - 7:59pm


Thanks, and sorry everyone for that.

It looked fine in my comment area before posting and I don't see a 'edit' button right now to do anything about it. Not sure why and it seems like I should've had time left (maybe) to do so.

Oh well, I tried. Here's something shiny to dull the sting...

Aug 23, 2012 - 8:02pm


I think they will let Silver run like crazy Friday.....then murder it early Monday morning.

Who knows.

Aug 23, 2012 - 8:06pm

Is anyone concerned...

Is anyone besides me concerned that all of the price movement correlates strongly with the EUR/USD? In other words, the gold and silver price in dollars seems to be tracking the falling value of the dollar relative to the Euro. Until I see the metals rise while decoupling from EUR/USD I'm still nervous. Especially since I personally expect the Euro to beat the dollar to 0 value, despite the last few days of strength shown.

Aug 23, 2012 - 8:16pm

More stimulus abroad then we realize

Yuan Forwards Gain on Speculation China, U.S. Will Revive Growth

By Fion Li - Aug 23, 2012 4:54 AM ET

Yuan forwards advanced on speculation stimulus at home and in the U.S. will support capital inflows and exports.

People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said yesterday adjustments to interest rates and banks’ reserve requirements “can’t be ruled out” after the central bank stepped up cash injections using money-market operations. Many Federal Reserve policy makers favor a third round of asset purchases that would boost the supply of dollars unless the economy shows signs of a durable pickup, minutes of their most recent meeting showed. The U.S. is among China’s top destinations for exports.

“Investors are betting the U.S. will soon have another round of quantitative easing, supporting riskier assets,” said Patrick Cheng, a Hong Kong-based foreign-exchange analyst at Haitong International Securities Co. “I’d call for caution on the pace of easing in China and the U.S. on inflation risks.”

Twelve-month non-deliverable forwards rose 0.07 percent to 6.4412 per dollar as of 4:37 p.m. in Hong Kong, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The contracts traded at a 1.4 percent discount to the onshore spot rate. One-month implied volatility, a measure of exchange-rate swings used to price options, was unchanged at 1.25 percent.

China’s central bank conducted 145 billion yuan ($22.8 billion) of reverse-repurchase agreements today to add cash to the financial system, after injecting a record 220 billion yuan on Aug. 21. It pumped in a net 278 billion yuan this week via open-market operations, the most since January, according to Societe Generale SA. Funds were also added via an auction of 40 billion yuan of three-month treasury deposits today....

The Vet
Aug 23, 2012 - 8:30pm

Chinese stimulus...

What stops the Chinese, or any other country that can print its own currency for that matter, simply printing new "money" and using that freshly printed cash to buy gold. The extra currency printed will weaken the currency (which most countries want to happen) but the gold the new cash buys adds to real reserves and improves the CB's balance sheet.. Manipulating your own currency by buying another country's fiat affects both and can be considered rather unfriendly, but using your own fiat to buy gold doesn't directly affect anyone else at all.

Aug 23, 2012 - 8:39pm

bedtime fairy tales.... don't have nightmares now....sneek peek.... “It appears that the market has decided on gold's fate. And it's not looking pretty. It looks like gold is about to see prices collapse and is on its way to $700,” Jacobs added. Can this be considered SPAM? ;)

Aug 23, 2012 - 8:40pm


DHP! Back with a vengeance!

Aug 23, 2012 - 8:41pm

double spam

duplicate spam

Aug 23, 2012 - 8:48pm

When the market sees a CB

When the market sees a CB printing money to buy gold, they severely punish the currency, sending it to zero in short order.

This happens more often than you would think. Zimbabwe did that with Euro, I think.

Prize Fighter
Aug 23, 2012 - 8:59pm

The Vet, I don't think a lack

The Vet, I don't think a lack of fiat is what holds countries back from going on a gold shopping spree. You have to think like a country and not an individual. The trick isn't creating money to swap for gold. The trick is actually getting the limited gold available without creating a panic or initiating a military response from TPTB. The supply just isn't there. At current prices, the market cap of gold/silver is so small that any country which tried to go all-in with metals would create a lot of problems not just for the market but for themselves.

Aug 23, 2012 - 9:05pm

Aug 23, 2012 - 9:09pm

Charts for us simple folks and some questions

A few days ago someone posted the three day GSR chart from I liked it because it is the same format as the Kitco charts I watch. Being the nerdy sort of fellow I am I posted a page on my blog that uses three charts from the same source. I have them all displayed at once so you can follow Golds, Silver and the GSR simultaneously. Blogspot also lets me use a meta refresh header so they update once a minute. I keep it loaded in my browser at work. It makes me happy.

On the off hand chance others might like it as well...

In other news, much as I like the vertical action the past couple of days, I'm really hoping things slow down a little. I really want to see a bit more consolidation. I happen to remember April and September of 2011 and this past March. I don't know if I can take it again. Even though I'm still underwater on silver (I just started breathing air again on gold), I rather see a steady upward climb than another blow off top.

I'm also wondering about the effects of weak-handed so called stackers who got in on the 2011 action between say $30 and $40 thinking they were going to retire in a few months only to feel they got bait and switched who will take profits on as soon as they can this time around. Obviously big sell offs in the paper markets can have drastic effects because of the leverage, but what would happen if a bunch of physical holders started selling? Are there enough of them to matter? Could it have a significant enough effect on supply/demand to really affect things?

Me, I'm in it for the long term, but I'm sure some people will get while the getting is good.

donnojackshit Puck Smith
Aug 23, 2012 - 9:15pm

Awesome Puck

I painfully track the GSR in USD and AUD.

Currently, the GSR in USD is 56.9, and AUD is 54.5


Aug 23, 2012 - 9:17pm

On a lighter note

Thought Main Street might appreciate a true crazy

Sun Times - An Indiana man previously arrested with a 0.552 percent blood-alcohol level was arrested after he was found sprawled on a Valparaiso, Ind., street, police said. James Henderson, 28, of South Haven was arrested about 7 a.m. Friday. This time he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.297 percent, police said. When he was arrested March 25 with the staggering blood alcohol level — also while lying on the side of the road — police said it could have been a record for Porter County. Individuals tend to fall into a coma at about 0.40 percent and death is possible, according to guidelines by Indiana University.

Say what you want about James Henderson but don’t say he doesn’t come to fucking party. Only one speed. Go. I mean there are some guys who wake up from a 0.552% BAC night and swear off drinking forever. You know those pussies. Wahhh I have a hangover I’m never drinking again I quit alcohol. Wahh all my blood was booze last night and scientists say I should be in a permanent coma. Those are the same losers that will only go out like 5 nights a week and need a couple nights off to “detox” and “stay sober.” The ones who won’t do car bombs at 4 AM on a Wednesday because they “have work in the morning.” Some people call it responsible. Me and James Henderson call it lame as fuck. Bottom line is you got one life to live. You can spend it buttoned up and playing it safe and getting your priorities in order. Or you can spend it drinking as much as or in some cases more than humanly possible and waking up on the side of the road setting world records in BAC. Your call.

Aug 23, 2012 - 9:19pm
Aug 23, 2012 - 9:38pm

To ag1969

Seriously, you don't know ANYTHING about communism. Seriously. America is far, far, far away from communism. This is BS like this one that make people around the world laugh at Americans.

It's not because you can't carry a gun (most countries do not allow it) or you have to stop at the red light that you live in a communist state.

Libertarians are so badly in need of some education, it's incredible. They simply don't understand that LAWS and RULES are part of ANY society and that without them there are no freedom, no civilization, only murder, hunger, rape and death.

Aug 23, 2012 - 9:44pm

Hey Murph.........

spoken like a true irishman! friend was funny!

Aug 23, 2012 - 9:46pm

Hey Balz.........

we already have laws and's called a Constitution

Aug 23, 2012 - 9:53pm

@balz: libertarians

Turd has asked nicely that this sort of discussion stay off Main Street, but if you would like to have a rational conversation about it, I invite you to post something in the forums. I would be happy to address the topic.

Fat Willie
Aug 23, 2012 - 9:57pm


Now that is hilarious. Talk about over-achieving.

On another lighter note - My wife cut me down to once a month. I'm pretty lucky though, two other guys she cut out completely.......

Hope all of you are enjoying the metals bounce, and hope you got your stack.

Turd - thanks again for all you do. NICE CALL!



tmosley balz
Aug 23, 2012 - 9:59pm

Balz, you are a lemming.

Balz, you are a lemming. "All the other kids are doing it" is not an excuse that is accepted by adults.

Go follow your pals off a cliff. If you don't, they will just drag you down with them anyways, and you will let them, because they aren't "Communists".

kenklave tmosley
Aug 23, 2012 - 10:07pm

I think this is not true.

I think this is not true. The impact, in fact, would likely be the opposite. Which of the countries buying gold these past years has destroyed its currency? Rather the purchase of gold shores up the foundation of the currency.

this is not to say inflation won,t result. However the new money was issued in exchange for a real asset not for nothing as is a debt purchase. The cb therefore has a " real" assets so to speak.

ancientmoney Silver Alert
Aug 23, 2012 - 10:10pm

@silver alert

Not a critique--just a reiteration of the physical gold vs. GLD paradigm. I'm kind of passionate about rejecting GLD and buying the physical; anyone in GLD/SLV helps prolong the elite's stranglehold on the financial system in my opinion.

tmosley kenklave
Aug 23, 2012 - 10:12pm

It's not "buying gold" that

It's not "buying gold" that is bad, it's "printing currency to buy gold or other currencies" that is bad. The former means they are spending money they have built up through taxes, while the other is a crass attempt to get something for nothing, and is recognized as such.

Aug 23, 2012 - 10:15pm

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6/18 8:30 ET Housing Starts and Building Permits
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Key Economic Events Week of 6/10

6/11 8:30 ET Producer Price Index
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6/4 All day Fed conference in Chicago
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5/28 10:00 ET Consumer Confidence
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5/20 7:00 pm ET CGP speech
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TWELVE Goon speeches through the week
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Key Economic Events Week of 5/6

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4/29 8:30 ET Pers Inc, Cons Spend, Core Infl
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