The Israel Deception

Is the return of Israel in the 20th century truly a work of God, or is it a result of a cosmic chess move to deceive the elect by the adversary?

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Peak gold mining? 2018 appears to be the year that gold mining output falls off a cliff

According to a recent presentation given to the Empire Club of Canada regarding market trends for 2018, a portion of the presentation showed what is happening in the gold mining sector and how it has been affected by depressed and manipulated gold prices.

According to Nick Barisheff over at the Market Oracle, gold production is expected to fall off a cliff beginning here in 2018, and will commence declining throughout the next 11 years.

Which begs the question... have we reached the point of Peak Gold?

Annual mine supply is about 2,800 tonnes, and it has been in decline since peaking in 2016. It is projected to decline by 76% by 2029. New mines take about 19.5 years to go into production. No new major discoveries over 3 million ounces have been made since 2009. 
As a result, the only adjusting factor for increased demand is an adjustment in price. With the global financial system experiencing a condition not seen since 1929 of a simultaneous triple bubble in stocks, bonds and real estate sitting on a historically unprecedented pile of $270 trillion of unpayable government debt, subprime auto debt, student loan debt, margin debt and consumer debt, in addition to a very dangerous mountain of over $600 trillion of derivatives, conditions are set for a major market correction. This will result in a massive increase in the price of gold as investors flee to the safety of gold. – Market Oracle

The government has officially shutdown, so what are the expectations for the gold price?

As Congress debated long into the night of Friday on whether to raise the debt ceiling, pass a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR), or simply play politics and let the government shutdown, gold and silver prices recovered a bit from the paper slamdowns they received over the two days prior.

But now that the government has officially found itself absent of money, what has historically been the result for gold during previous periods of shutdowns?

Historical chart of government shutdowns:

Rather than post the charts for gold prices for every single shutdown since 1976, we are going to show about five charts from the past 40 years, and the reactions for gold throughout those past four decades.

In September of 1976 gold soared after being stagnant for most of the year leading up to the September month when the government was shutdown for 10 days.  However as you can see from the chart, once the shutdown occurred gold prices climbed approximately 30%.


Fast forwarding to 1982, which was a period following the bursting of the gold markets and raising of interest rates by the Fed to 21%, the price of gold rose from the end of September through the end of the year in tandem with the start of the shutdown.


Moving forward to the next decade, we will look at the gold price chart for the two shutdowns that took place in 1995 during the later quarter of the year.


Both shutdowns in 1995 occurred in November and December as Congress played the game of Continuing Resolutions until they finally agreed upon raising the debt ceiling in late December.  And during those months the price of gold rose slightly, but did not lose any ground from the bottom set on Nov. 1.

2013 saw the longest government shutdown of the past 40 years as it took Congress 21 days to finally settle on a compromise.  But interestingly, gold did not rise during this three week shutdown period, and instead fell as it appears the banks purposely dedicated manipulation efforts towards keeping the price depressed.


One thing to note back in 2013 is that President Barack Obama called a meeting with 15 bank CEO's at the White House on the second day of the shutdown, and it is believed that these bankers were directing the President on policies for which they and the Treasury were going to do during the time the government was shutdown.  And since they had enacted a policy of gold and silver price manipulation since 2011, it was not surprising that this again occurred at a time when Americans should have been buying gold en masse, and foreigners would have swapped out their Treasuries for the same thing.

Now with the government once again shutdown and without the ability to borrow money to fund services the question for the gold markets is will the price move higher the longer the shutdown continues, or will the banks act in accordance as they did five years ago when they kept the price depressed through the paper markets?

Time will tell.

Did the banking cartel secretly buy up millions of Bitcoins leading up to the Dec. 17 CME futures contract?

One of the more interesting dichotomies for Bitcoin is that it should have been impervious to outside influences like Wall Street.  By this we mean that the market itself is based strictly on the buying and selling of Bitcoins, and the price determination comes from supply and demand mechanics within the exchanges, or between trading partners.

So the question that has to be asked is, why did the price of Bitcoin suddenly begin to fall off a cliff starting on Dec. 17... the same day that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group) began their Bitcoin futures contract if the Bitcoin market is completely disconnected from any financialization of the cryptocurrencies by Wall Street?


The only real and logical answer is, entities participating in the futures contract had to have purchased a large quantity of Bitcoin in the open market prior to this so that they could then use them to manipulate the price to coincide with whatever bets they make in the paper market.

In fact this scenario was posed in an interview a few days ago by Craig Hemke over at TF Metals Report, which you can listen to below.

In closing there is also one other interesting thing to remember.... a little more than a month ago both CEO's of JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs were vilifying Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general, only to have Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blanfein change their tunes just this past week.  Thus was their disdain for Bitcoin in the recent past just a ruse to keep the price relative so they could accumulate what they wanted and now that they have it, are more than happy to admit their institutions are players in the game?

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Daily Economist update for Jan. 19 2018 - U.S. Finance and Economics Report


Visa puts the hammer down on using Bitcoin or any cryptocurrency in wire transfers or as a medium of exchange

One of the world's largest payment platforms is laying down the law when it comes to recognizing Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency as money.  And in a interview on Jan. 19 with CNBC, the CEO of Visa bluntly stated that they won't be accepting Bitcoin as a viable currency option for wire transfers or as a medium of exchange.

In fact Visa's CEO Alfred Kelly went so far as to state that Bitcoin is not a currency.

The largest cryptocurrency, bitcoin, is a commodity and not a payment system, according to Visa’s chief executive. Visa will also not give bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies a platform for wire transfers and exchanges. 
“I don't view it as payment system player,” CEO Alfred Kelly told CNBC. 
“We at Visa won't process transactions that are cryptocurrency-based. We will only process fiat currency-based transactions,” he added. Visa is the world's largest credit card company. 
Bitcoin was originally created as an alternative de-centralized currency. However, with its 2,000 percent growth last year, it has become a source for speculators to make a quick buck. As bitcoin turnover grows, it faces problems like high fees, astoundingly slow transactions and volatile prices. 
“My take is that bitcoin is much more today a commodity that somebody could invest in; and honestly, somewhat of a speculative commodity,” said Kelly. 
Earlier in January, Visa terminated cooperation with a debit card provider called WaveCrest, which issued cards associated with cryptocurrencies and facilitating ways to buy and sell them. Visa said the crypto-cards had been suspended for “continued non-compliance with our operating rules.” – Russia Today
Bitcoin could have benefited greatly through a partnership, or even basic acceptance by the world's leading payment processing companies since their own blockchain platform has to date failed to provide timely and cost effective alternatives to the ones used by Visa that right now support fiat currencies transactions.

Cyber security expert and co-founder of Kaspersky Labs says Bitcoin is a construct of the U.S. intelligence agencies

Despite operating as a Russian company, Kaspersky Labs is recognized as one of the world's leading cyber security and anti-virus companies in the world.  So when Kaspersky engineers or members of their leadership speak out on a topic in the digital realm, people tend to sit up and take note.

So with this in mind it was very interesting to see one of the originating co-founders of Kaspersky Labs give a presentation on Bitcoin at ITMO University in St. Petersburg, and where Natalya Kaspersky sought to make the case that Bitcoin is a construct of U.S. intelligence agencies.

The Bitcoin cryptocurrency was developed by "American intelligence agencies," Natalya Kaspersky, CEO of the InfoWatch group of companies and specialist in cyber security systems, said during her presentation at ITMO University in St. Petersburg. 
Kaspersky was giving a speech on information wars and digital sovereignty. Photos of her presentation entitled "Modern technologies – the basis for information and cyber-wars," have been published on social media. 
"Bitcoin is a project of American intelligence agencies, which was designed to provide quick funding for US, British and Canadian intelligence activities in different countries. [The technology] is 'privatized,' just like the Internet, GPS and TOR. In fact, it is dollar 2.0. Its rate is controlled by the owners of exchanges," one of the slides read. 
She also claimed that Satoshi Nakamoto (the pseudonym used by its founder or founders) is the name for a group of American cryptographers. – Sputnik News
There is some merit to Kaspersky's accusations since the NSA did publish a White Paper on the creation and use of encrypted currencies back in 1996.  But perhaps no one will really ever know the truth until the elusive and anonymous 'originator' Satoshi Nakamoto finally reveals him or herself, and puts these theories about who created and controls Bitcoin to rest. 

Another gold seller confirms Bitcoin owners trying to directly sell their crypto for physical gold during latest pullback

Everyone who plays in the cryptocurrency sphere knows that the volatility of Bitcoin and other cryptos is something that must be endured.  This is especially important since the price can and has fluctuated upwards of 20% in a given day.

However it appears that the recent correction in Bitcoin, which culminated in a 50% decline between Dec. 17 and Jan. 16, has some investors looking for other alternatives.  And one of these options appears to be that of investors trading their Bitcoins for physical gold where on Jan. 18 a second online gold seller reported that new customers were contacting them trying to exchange Bitcoin directly for gold.

Sharps Pixley, a subsidiary of Europe’s largest precious metal coin and bar outlet, witnessed a large amount of people calling trying to exchange their bitcoin with gold.  
Ross Norman, director at Sharps Pixley, explained customers as young as 25 come in looking to trade bitcoins – which they accumulated when the price was below $1 – with the tangible metal. 
The company does not take possession of bitcoin, but instead buys via an intermediary.
Mr Norman said: “Bitcoin is a bit of a lobster pot - it’s easy to get in, but hard to get out. Gold also offers investors 4,000 years of history as a store of value, and that’s looking quite appealing right now.” – UK Express

What a surprise! It's another ICO for a gold backed cryptocurrency

Yesterday we published an article about a cryptocurrency called Puregold, and how they hope to use a gold-backed crypto to evolve into a medium of exchange that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have yet to achieve.  Now on Jan. 19 we can add the second gold backed cryptocurrency of the week to the mix through the upcoming ICO of Sudan Coin.

Sudan Gold Coin (SGC Token), is among few Cryptocurrency that is backed by real physical assets. It is a unique combination of Real Gold Mining with Blockchain Technology. SGC Token aims to solve the volatility problem that currently cryptocurrency market has been experiencing. 
Dmitrii Konoval, Founder & CEO of SG Mining CO, said, ”Three years ago our team decided to combine modern IT technologies with proven values and start a gold mining business in Sudan. One of the partners was a great mining engineer with relevant know-how and management skills, others had expertise in IT, business development and international trade.” 
Sudan Gold Coin is the first blockchain option in the world, where the value of the coin will be tied to the market price of gold. The total amount of tokens that will be released is 20,000,000 tokens without further additional releases. At the Pre-ICO stage, the price of one token was 0.5 $ USD, at the stage of ICO – 0.75 – 1 $ USD, depending on the stage. After purchasing tokens, each investor becomes the owner of a certain amount of gold, which he will be able to operate within a decentralized exchanger, built on a blockchain technology. 
Investors and other users will be able to trade tokens, as well as exchange them for gold certificates in partner banks (in Dubai for example). The value of the token will grow due to the increase of gold’s market value. The fact that some tokens will be redeemed from time to time (or exchanged for gold certificates) from investors, after that those tokens will be burned, so the ratio of tokens to the amount of gold will vary and the price of the token will grow. 
SGC project has successfully closed its Pre-ICO with a cap of 250,000$ USD. For now, the project is at Private Sale stage, there are undergoing preparations for the main ICO which will start on January 25th. - Finsmes

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Rich Dad, Gold Dad. Famed investor Robert Kyosaki sees gold and cryptocurrencies the real wealth protection

Very few books on finance have ever impacted the mainstream like Robert Kyosaki's Rich Dad, Poor Dad did when it came out a few decades ago.  And perhaps the book's most important legacy was in its painstaking examples of how two people could see money, investing, and wealth accumulation so radically different.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad's examples still resonate today, and it can even be said that the ideas within the book are needed more than ever in a world that has eschewed real money in favor of ever growing debt creation.

So with this being said, the financial mogul himself has not given up on providing opinions and insights to a world where equity markets mirror the same period in which he wrote his book, but where debt levels in every sector of the economy are beyond imagination.  And no matter that the stock markets are shooting up to new record highs daily, or that the world is splitting down the middle between East and West once again, the contrarian play is always the right one in Kyosaki's view, and that means investing in something old and something new.

Gold (old) and Cryptocurrencies (new).

On his view of financial assets, the self-proclaimed gold bug is one of few investors to be bullish on both bitcoin and gold, noting that the cryptocurrency will slowly erode fiat currencies’ relevance, while gold will act as an important hedge instrument. 
“When I talk to people, I say, ‘what do you think will be here in 2040? Will gold still be here? Well, it’s been here since eternity. Will the dollar be here? I don’t think so. Will blockchain be here, I think so,’” he said. 
Gold has rallied 6% since the Fed raised rates in December, while bitcoin has dropped 50% from its all-time high last month. Some analysts attribute this decline to bitcoin outflows back into gold, which some cryptocurrency traders view as a competing safe haven asset. 
Still, Kiyosaki maintains that bitcoin will outshine traditional fiat currencies in roughly twenty years. 
“The way I see the world today is that there’s three kinds of money,” Kiyosaki said, “there’s God’s money, which is gold and silver, there’s government money, called fiat money, or currencies, and the third type of money now is cyber money. That’s really the way I look at the world and currencies, is what’s going to be here in 22 years.” - Kitco

Meet Puregold, the newest gold backed cryptocurrency that seeks to fill the function as a payment system where Bitcoin and others have failed

Even the staunchest anti-cryptocurrency advocates are admitting that the future financial and monetary systems will somehow be integrated onto the blockchain.  And where most of these analysts differ from cryptocurrency evangelists is whether the money of the future will be decentralized like Bitcoin and Litecoin, or resource backed using commodities such as gold or oil.

Since the cryptocurrency boom really began to unfold in early 2017, there have been a number of companies that have created and ICO'd gold backed cryptos.  And on Jan. 17 the newest one was announced which not only seeks to offer a crypto that is backed by precious metals, but over time creates the payment system platforms for commerce that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have failed to achieve over the past decade.

PureGold aims to solve for these points of friction by developing a gold-backed cryptocurrency and payment gateway. They have attracted a team with many years of combined experience in and around the fintech world to launch the initial coin offering (ICO) of their proprietary ‘PGT” and PGG (Gold-Backed) tokens. In doing so, they will accelerate their vision of “worldwide adoption of gold as the de facto international currency in all commerce transactions.” 
Puregold has cleverly paired the key features of gold (stability, predictability, etc.) with growing consumer-demand for digital assets to create a highly transactable and accessible cryptocurrency. Effectively, the digitization of gold solves a centuries-old problem: gold has always been an extremely difficult asset to safely store and move around. In the “old-days,” people would have to buy gold blocks, verify them and place them into a secure vault. This process was extremely manual, error-prone, laborious, expensive and extremely vulnerable to hacking. 
Puregold leverages the blockchain to expedite this process, making it quicker and easier to protect your gold, reduce expenses and transfer capital. They do all of this while protecting your asset from theft and fraud. 
Originally established in 2010, Puregold has operated as an internationally-acclaimed e-commerce store selling value-added gold and silver coins. They quickly became Singapore’s premier private mint. In addition to owning/operating physical retail stores, they also managed an online platform, called Bullion Currencies, which “empowered merchants and consumers to use gold as the base currency for all transactions.” 
They provide an online platform where customers are able to buy and sell gold, and also use the gold as a means of payment when purchasing goods and services. Stemming from their years of experience and iteration over this problem-statement, Puregold is uniquely positioned to make a tangible impact on the space and enter the arena of electronic gold exchanges. 
With budding momentum and extensive expertise in this domain, their ICO will make them the first payment gateway that uses gold-backed tokens to crowdfund their offering. Specifically, they plan to distribute two digital tokens, PGT and PGG, which run on two independent ledgers. PGG is supported by physical gold and acts as a digitized crypto-asset. 
The Puregold currency is developed on top of the native Ethereum ecosystem, offering all the benefits of a blockchain (full traceability, cryptographic security, immutability, etc.) and multiple-source language implementations that garner an active community. The Ethereum chain will offer key features like consensus, accountability and general transparency. - TG Daily

It's now Jan. 18 and do you know where your yuan-denominated oil contract is?

Alternative economists have been looking forward to Jan. 18 ever since an anonymous source within the Chinese energy exchange hinted that today would be the start of China's long-anticipated yuan-denominated oil contract.  However as we commence trading here in the U.S. markets on Thursday morning, not a single sign has emerged that it has been initiated over in Asia.

The Chinese have been consistent in often leaking dates for the implementation of some of their biggest financial platforms, only to later hold off from implementation on that date, or use it as a teaser to see how market react.  And with this in mind, analysts over at Platts have dropped a new date for the oil contract to go fully online, and it coincides with the ending of China's New Year holiday in February.

China is inching closer to launching its first crude oil futures contract but it will happen only after the Lunar New Year holiday which ends on February 23, a government source with knowledge of the matter said. 
"Basically, there is no problem [for the crude contract] to get approval from the State Council," the source said, but added that it was unlikely to be kicked off before the Lunar New Year. 
Approval from the State Council is the final hurdle in the launch of the medium sour crude futures contract. 
Once it is approved, the exchange will release the deliverable crude grades, differentials of the deliverable grades against the standard contract and the delivery venue, a source with host platform Shanghai International Energy Exchange said recently. 
"The exchange should officially release these details two weeks ahead of the launch in order to give enough time to inform the potential players," said a futures trader in South China. 
Given this schedule, analysts expect the earliest launch date as most likely in late March after China's most important annual political events in early to middle March -- the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. - Platts

Crypto-Yen? Japan's fourth largest bank to create its own cryptocurrency that will be pegged one to one with the Yen

As Russia, China, and even banks within the United States begin experimenting with the blockchain to facilitate the creation of their own private or sovereign cryptocurrencies, on Jan. 17 a bank in Japan decided it was time that they also got into the act and are planning on creating their own cryptocurrency in the near future.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), which is Japan's fourth largest bank, announced they were starting the process to create their own private cryptocurrency that would be pegged one to one to the Japanese Yen as a way to instill confidence for the customers who will use it.

Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), the fourth largest bank in the world, will launch its own digital currency MUFG coin, local news publication Mainichi.jp reported Sunday, Jan. 14. 
MUFG is the largest financial company in Japan and is set to become the first Japanese bank to issue a virtual currency, Mainichi.jp reports. 
The bank had plans to develop a cryptocurrency as far back as 2016. According to Mainichi.jp, the launch date has now been finalized and is intended to take place in the FY 2018. 
Based on Blockchain technology, MUFG coin will allow users to conduct instant person-to-person transactions as well as shop with lower fees. 
MUFG stated the company will process all the transactions from its cryptocurrency’s network, claiming that such an approach will help improve the stability of the coin.
The bank also plans to peg one MUFG coin to one Japanese yen in order to maintain people’s confidence in the new cryptocurrency. – Coin Telegraph

After more than a 50% correction, cryptocurrency recovery being led by Bitcoin and Ripple

This week has been primarily brutal to the cryptocurrency markets, especially in light of guidance from several nations on future regulation, or even an outright ban of the virtual currency.  But after a correction of nearly 50% and 80% respectively from their all-time highs, the recovery is being led by both Bitcoin and Ripple, who are helping to float all boats today in the sector.

A total of 49 of top 50 cryptocurrencies were growing on Thursday following a bloodbath on the digital money market in the past few days. The dollar-pegged centralized tether was the only loser. 
Bitcoin gained over 16 percent on the day, and was trading above $12,000 at 12:35 GMT. This is still well below its $20,000 record. 
Ethereum once again surged above $1,000. The cryptocurrency is up by a third this year, but has declined almost $400 from this year’s peak. 
Ripple enjoyed the biggest gains among top 10 currencies on the list, trading up 49 percent at $1.58. – Russia Today

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Online gold sales showing cryptocurrency sellers likely rushing into precious metals as market severely corrects

One of the most discussed topics in the alternative financial realm is what might Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency holders do with their sudden fortunes made in the cryptocurrencies.  For early investors in the sector, spending their profits like there is no tomorrow appears to be the 'song of the day'.

Lamborghinis. Diamond-encrusted jewelry fashioned into the shape of the bitcoin logo. Large homes converted into communal living spaces. These are just some of the things that the newly minted bitcoin millionaires of San Francisco spend their fortunes on – well, the comparatively small fragment that they feel comfortable spending. 
In a feature story for the New York Times, longtime tech reporter Nellie Bowles chronicles the lives of some of bitcoin’s earliest and most fanatical devotees. Many of these people – men in their earlier 20s (men control more than 90% of extant bitcoin wealth, the Times notes) – are committed to furthering the “blockchain revolution” that they believe will reshape the world. 
But for now, at least, many of them are hunkered down in living spaces with nicknames like “The crypto castle”, where they’re working on startups and telling anybody who will listen to invest. - Zerohedge
However there is another segment of cryptocurrency investors who appear to be taking their profits and moving into a different safe haven market.  And with a new report out on Jan. 17 that shows that as the cryptocurrencies experience a 50% or more correction, online sales of gold have jumped over 400% during that same period.
Gold coin sales jumped fivefold on Tuesday at one of Europe’s largest online dealers as Bitcoin suffered its biggest selloff since December. 
The company sold almost 30 kilograms, worth $1.2 million in the spot market, director Daniel Marburger said. Bitcoin dropped 23 percent on Tuesday and slid to within $8 of the $10,000 level today. About $300 billion was knocked off the global market for digital assets in the last three days, shaking investors in the nascent market. 
“Yesterday was a hell of a crazy day,” Marburger said from Frankfurt. “Emails and phones did not stand still with customers asking how they could turn their crypto into gold.” - Bloomberg

Don't look now but in the first 17 days of January gold has provided better returns than bitcoin and most cryptocurrencies

There is no dispute... 2017 was the year of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. But like we have seen many times in all markets, what goes up tends to go down even faster when that particular market begins to implode.

The middle of December seemed to be a turning point for many asset classes as over the past 30 days we have seen a severe drop in the dollar of more than 230 bps, and the granddaddy of cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin) decline over 50% from its Dec. 17 all-time high of $20,000.  But within all of this, the one asset that has seemed to gain steam while other securities were failing was the price of gold.

And now 17 days into the new year an interesting statistic has emerged.  Gold is doing better than the majority of cryptocurrencies.

Tuesday has been a particularly disappointing day for bitcoin investors, as the digital currency has dropped almost 20% during the trading session. Kitco.com’s aggregated markets show bitcoin last traded at $11,400 a token. Bitcoin is down 42% from its record highs of above $19,000 seen just one month ago. 
By comparison, the gold market is one of the best performing assets at the start of the new year, holding near a four-month high. February gold futures settled Tuesday’s session at $1,337.10 an ounce, up 8% since its lows seen last month. - Kitco
Cryptocurrencies still have the potential to soar past gold in terms of price and return, but their volatility makes them very difficult for some investors to hold strong through their wild swings in price.  And as more governments begin to crack down and demand regulation over the cryptocurrency sector, gold should remain a viable tortoise on the road to the finish line while the 'rabbit' must deal with many more pitfalls and obstacles to go much higher.

Bitconnect implosion will be one of many examples that will occur in the unregulated cryptocurrency market

Market regulation is a two-edged sword.  First it provides a modicum of confidence to investors that a given business or industry is following a minimum amount of rules when it comes to the products and services they sell.  However regulation also comes with a caveat as it can quickly be turned into a political arm that picks and chooses winners (IRS Lois Lerner scandal), or protects the government itself by changing the rules (Hunt Brothers - Silver) when one of their large lobbyists becomes affected.

So when the advent of the blockchain and cryptocurrencies came along, a portion of the public cheered because it meant that there was finally a platform and market that was going to be outside the purview of government, regulators, and manipulation.  The Wild West of pure naked capitalism had returned, and everyone was going to profit.

Not so fast.

When one looks back at history they will find that large portions of pure capitalist ventures and ideas ended up in fraud, theft, or insolvency, where investors lost most or everything they had.  And today whether you look at Mt. Gox, Youbit in South Korea, or now Bitconnect in the United States, unregulated markets are just as susceptible to corruption and insolvency as their regulated counterparts, only in their cases there is little recompense for the investor when they simply close up shop and leave them penniless.

Many in the cryptocurrency community have openly accused Bitconnnect of running a Ponzi scheme, including Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin. 
The platform was powered by a token called BCC (not to be confused with BCH, or Bitcoin Cash), which is essentially useless now that the trading platform has shut down. In the last The token has plummeted more than 80% to about $37, down from over $200 just a few hours ago. 
If you aren’t familiar with the platform, Bitconnect was an anonymously-run site where users could loan their cryptocurrency to the company in exchange for outsized returns depending on how long the loan was for. For example, a $10,000 loan for 180 days would purportedly give you ~40% returns each month, with a .20% daily bonus.
Bitconnect also had a thriving multi-level referral feature, which also made it somewhat akin to a pyramid scheme with thousands of social media users trying to drive signups using their referral code. 
The platform said it generated returns for users using Bitconnnect’s trading bot and “volatility trading software”, which usually averaged around 1% per day. Of course profiting from market fluctuations and volatility is a legitimate trading strategy, and one used by many hedge funds and institutional traders. 
But Bitconnect’s promise (and payment) of outsized and guaranteed returns led many to believe it was a ponzi scheme that was paying out existing loan interest with newly pledged loans. The requirement of having BCC to participate in the lending program led to a natural spike in demand (and price) of BCC. – Tech Crunch via Zerohedge

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Bitcoin has officially corrected 50% from its all-time high of $20,000 exactly one month ago

On December 17, the USD price of Bitcoin reached an all-time high at a few select exchanges of $20,000 per coin.  And since that time it has had a steady downward slide culminating with earlier today when exactly 30 days later, the price temporarily fell into the $9,000 handle before rebounding back above $10,000.


In fact most cryptocurrencies were engaged in a price bloodbath today as numerous government and central bank officials spoke out upon the need for immediate regulation of the cryptocurrency market.


China ratings agencies do what U.S. ones refuse to... downgrade the U.S. credit rating

When S&P dared to downgrade the U.S. credit rating back in 2011, the government made swift work of the ratings agency by having the Attorney General trump up charges of it being a primary cause of the subprime mortgage collapse.  And ever since then, despite a near doubling of the national debt under the Obama administration, no U.S. ratings agency has done anything to America's AAA+ rating.

However over in China there is little fear of what the Department of Justice can inflict upon them, so on Jan. 16, the Dagong ratings agency decided that real viability of the U.S. credit rating was no longer unblemished and summarily lowered their rating down from A- to BBB+.

In its latest reminder that China is a (for now) happy holder of some $1.2 trillion in US Treasurys, Chinese credit rating agency Dagong downgraded US sovereign ratings from A- to BBB+ overnight, citing "deficiencies in US political ecology" and tax cuts that "directly reduce the federal government's sources of debt repayment" weakening the base of the government's debt repayment. 
Oh, and just to make sure the message is heard loud and clear, the ratings, which are now level with those of Peru, Colombia and Turkmenistan on the Beijing-based agency’s scale of creditworthiness, have also been put on a negative outlook. 
In a statement on Tuesday, Dagong warned that the United States’ increasing reliance on debt to drive development would erode its solvency. Quoted by Reuters, Dagong made specific reference to President Donald Trump’s tax package, which is estimated to add $1.4 trillion over a decade to the $20 trillion national debt burden. 
“Deficiencies in the current U.S. political ecology make it difficult for the efficient administration of the federal government, so the national economic development derails from the right track,” Dagong said adding that "Massive tax cuts directly reduce the federal government’s sources of debt repayment, therefore further weaken the base of government’s debt repayment." 
Projecting US funding needs in the coming years, Dagong said a deterioration in the government’s fiscal revenue-to-debt ratio to 12.1% in 2022 from 14.9% and 14.2% in 2018 and 2019, respectively, would demand frequent increases in the government’s debt ceiling. 
“The virtual solvency of the federal government would be likely to become the detonator of the next financial crisis,” the Chinese ratings firm said. - Zerohedge

The Daily Economist update for Jan. 16 2018 - Gold, Bitcoin, and Cryptocurrency Report


Cryptocurrency prices crashing as Wednesday trading opens up to a number of countries ready to severely regulate crypto use and trading

By the time U.S. markets opened up on Jan. 16, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and most other cryptocurrencies had experienced a pretty strong meltdown as reports from several countries emerged that governments across the board were preparing new and in some cases severe regulations on crypto use and trading.


Indonesia:
Bank Indonesia is taking a firm stance against cryptocurrencies as it urges all parties to refrain from owning, selling or trading the tokens. 
“Owning virtual currencies is very risky and inherently speculative,” the central bank said in a statement Saturday. The digital tokens “are prone to forming asset bubbles and tend to be used as method for money laundering and terrorism funding, so it has the potential to affect financial-system stability and harm the public.” 
The move highlights the challenge faced by regulators as they seek to manage potential risks from the global cryptocurrency mania while lacking the authority to prohibit its use. South Korea’s central bank banned employees from trading cryptocurrencies on the job last week, while China has outlined proposals to discourage bitcoin mining, the process by which the virtual currency enters circulation. - Bloomberg
China:
Chinese authorities are reportedly aiming to completely ban centralized trading of virtual currencies as well as individuals and businesses that provide related services. 
According to an internal memo from a government meeting seen by Reuters, Beijing will continue to apply pressure to the virtual currency trade and prevent the growth of risks in that market. 
National and local authorities should ban venues that provide centralized trading of digital currencies, including bitcoin as the biggest one, Vice Governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) Pan Gongsheng said. 
Regulators need to ban individuals or institutions that provide market-making activities, guarantees, or settlement services for centralized trading of the currencies, such as online “wallet” service providers, he said. – Russia Today
France:
The French minister of the economy, Bruno Le Maire, has announced the creation of a working group to develop cryptocurrency regulations. 
In a speech Monday, Le Maire said that the working group will be responsible for proposing guidelines and drafting a framework on cryptocurrency regulations with the objective being to prevent the technology's misuse, French daily Les Echos reports.
The minister stated: 
"We want a stable economy. We reject the risks of speculation and the possible financial diversions linked to bitcoin." 
Le Maire indicated that the working group will be headed by Jean-Pierre Landau, the former deputy governor of the country's central bank, the Bank of France. 
“Jean-Pierre Landau's mission will be responsible for proposing guidelines on the evolution of regulations and to better control development and prevent their use for the purpose of tax evasion, money laundering or for financing criminal activities and terrorism," he said. 
The move to establish a cryptocurrency working group comes a month after Le Maire proposed a discussion on bitcoin regulation at a G-20 summit in 2018. He said that he will ask Argentina to put bitcoin on the agenda during an upcoming gathering in April. 
"There is evidently a risk of speculation. We need to consider and examine this and see how ... with all the other G20 members we can regulate bitcoin," he stated at the time. - Coindesk
Germany:
Yesterday, a director of Germany's central bank expressed similar sentiment, saying that cryptocurrencies must be regulated at a global scale, not just on a national level.
Brazil:
Brazil has joined fellow BRICS members China and India in taking a tough line on cryptocurrencies by banning them from the country's financial markets. 
The South American country’s securities regulator has prohibited local investment funds from buying digital cash, Reuters reports. Cryptocurrencies cannot be considered financial assets, the regulator ruled. 
Earlier in December, Brazilian authorities published a warning about the risks associated with digital currencies. Brazil has had seven public hearings on bitcoin before finally cracking down on it. 
“According to a study by Credit Suisse, Brazil’s productivity has not risen since 1981, and it’s not going to rise if the government keeps banning everything that can make us more productive,” Brazilian media commentator and popular YouTube blogger RaphaĆ«l Lima said, criticizing the decision. “And with an official 12.4 percent unemployment rate, anything that can generate a job should be welcomed with wide-open arms.” – Russia Today
It is one thing for individual governments to administer domestic policies that affect the buying, selling, mining, and trading of cryptocurrencies within their domains, as investors can simply move to other exchanges to conduct their transactions.  But as more and more nations begin a concerted effort to either regulate or outright ban the use and trading of these digital currencies, the more it will flush out a large portion of investors and potentially relegate the sector back to the fringes, and to the black markets.

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Daily Economist update for Jan. 15 2018 - MLK Day Finance and Economics Report


Higher gold prices and a declining dollar the continuing forecast for all of 2018

Well respected economist, author, and financial analyst Nomi Prins provided her forecast and outlook for 2018 in several sectors of the domestic and international economies.  And when it comes to her expectations for where gold prices will be going this year, Prins points to the dollar and its current direction for the answer.

Gold price chart
30 day Dollar index chart
The dollar index that tracks the dollar against other major currencies (including the Euro and the Pound sterling) hit 14-year lows in 2017. As the index dropped accelerated, it exhibited a counter-historical diversion from the behavior of the US stock market. That pattern looks set to continue in 2018, despite any minor US rate increases that did not serve to bolster the dollar against other major country currencies last year. 
It’s also counter-intuitive for the currency coupled with rising rates to underperform the one with easier policy. Yet, that’s what happened between the US dollar and the Euro in 2017. The Euro’s surge will carry on given that its strength better reflects surrounding economic reality, than the dollar does for the US, where the stock market has far outpaced economic factors like wages and job force participation levels. 
Similarly, gold and silver will rise against the US dollar, as bitcoin enthusiasts and gold bugs converge. Nations like China, India and Russia continued to stockpile gold in their quest to diversify against the dollar last year. China’s Gold Bar Demand rose by more than 40%. The more gold these nations buy, the more the dollar could decline relative to their currencies, especially if they sell US treasuries, or reduce purchases, to buy gold.  Even my old firm, Goldman Sachs noted the bitcoin boom hasn’t dampened gold demand. – Daily Recknoning

Legalization of pot has accomplished much of what the War on Drugs failed to do

Just as the ending of prohibition led to a massive decline in crime, black market bootlegging, and a stability of prices, so too has the legalizing of marijuana had the same effects.

And perhaps what is most ironic is that this has occurred after decades of the government's so-called 'War on Drugs' failed to accomplish even one of these measures.

The legalization of marijuana for medical uses has resulted in a significant drop in instances of violent crime in those US states that share a border with Mexico, according to new research. 
The new study, titled: Is Legal Pot Crippling Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations? The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on US Crime, shows that states on the Mexican border that have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes have seen instances of violent crime drop by an average of 13 percent, according to The Guardian. 
Gavrilova, who, alongside fellow researchers Takuma Kamada and Floris Zoutman studied 1994-2012 data from FBI crime statistics and homicide records, found that a change in US drug laws created the most notable positive result in California, which showed a 15 percent drop in violent crime. 
The study has identified new ways to counter criminal violence related to those drugs that are still maintained as illegal by the federal government, even as US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has done an about-face on the Obama-era policies that created the medical marijuana laws that have caused the drop in violence. – Sputnik News

Another major blow to dollar hegemony as Germany decides to add Chinese RMB to their reserves

As more news comes out of countries both selling U.S. treasuries, and declining to accept new ones, a major European economy has taken a huge step in aiding China to expand the internationalization of their RMB currency.  And this move will act as another straw on the camel's back for dollar hegemony.

Germany’s central bank has decided to add the Chinese currency to its foreign exchange reserves, according to Bundesbank board member Andreas Dombret. The move could further boost the international status of the yuan. 
Speaking at a finance forum on Monday, he said the decision was taken last year after the European Central Bank (ECB) switched €500 million ($611 million) worth of its US dollar reserves into yuan. The move reportedly reflects the increased use of the Chinese currency and Beijing’s importance as one of the eurozone’s biggest trading partners. 
“It is not a major amount but it is something that we decided on and that we want to be part of,” Dombret told Bloomberg. “The fact that the renminbi [yuan] is now included in the SDR (Special Drawing Rights) basket and the fact that the ECB has decided to do that are both factors we thought about.”Russia Today
This move could also be preparation for Germany to participate in China's yuan-denominated oil futures contract that is expected to be rolled out as early as this week.

Like with Pakistan last week, more and more countries are seeking bi-lateral trade agreements with China that do not necessitate the use of the dollar in global trade.  And by integrating Chinese Yuan into their central bank reserves, it sends a signal to the dollar that its days as the singular reserve currency are numbered.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Daily Economist update for Jan. 13 2018 - Gold, Bitcoin, and Cryptocurrency Report


Venezuela's Maduro ready to preach the gospel of gold-backed cryptos to the rest of Latin America

Perhaps Venezuela's President Nicholas Maduro needs to step back and remember what happened to the last sovereign leader who tried to bring about a return of gold-backed money to the global economy.  And of course we are referring to Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, who while in the process of negotiating a gold backed Dinar for a coalition of African countries was summarily overthrown and assassinated by actions initiated by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

But be that as it may, the 'bus driver from Caracas' appears to have the bit in his teeth and is ready to preach his gospel of gold-backed cryptocurrencies to the rest of South and Latin America.

Venezuela’s leader Nicolas Maduro has invited members of the regional ALBA-TCP bloc to join him in launching a new cryptocurrency. Named petro, the cryptocurrency will be backed by the country’s oil, gas, gold and diamond riches. 
“I have a proposal for the economic teams of the ALBA: to assume jointly the creation of an oil-backed petro cryptocurrency, which will be supported with Venezuelan oil and that very soon we will sustain with the wealth of Venezuela’s gold and diamonds,” Maduro told the delegates of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-Peoples Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP) on Friday. 
Meeting the high-ranking officials from Antigua & Barbuda, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vicente and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua, the President of Venezuela invited them to join him in overcoming what he had previously called a “financial blockade” imposed by the United States. – Russia Today
Attempting to restore one's own hyperinflationary monetary system through the use of a gold backed form of currency is one thing, but advocating that the entire Southern Hemisphere follow suit is something entirely different. And should Maduro's proposal happen to gain steam, especially among the Latin American nations fed up with dollar and U.S. hegemony, then it will not be too long before the boys at Langley come a calling, and possibly show Maduro the same hospitality they showed Gaddafi a few years back.

Mine cryptocurrency simply by giving them a blowjob? New device allows you to run a mining rig through breath exhalation

With the amount of electricity needed to mine even a single Bitcoin beginning to climb almost exponentially, some ingenious individuals are working on new and unique ways to power their mining rigs.  And in an innovative way which uses the power of breath exhalation, one engineer has created a device to use his breathing to fuel cryptocurrency mining.

The whole world of virtual currencies and blockchain technologies has generated a raft of brand-new phenomena for humanity to take on board. And now there’s Breath - a device allowing mining via respiration. 
A respiratory mining rig has been developed by Max Dovey, an artist and researcher at the Institute of Network Cultures in Amsterdam. The tool uses spirometry - a medical technique that measures lung capacity - which converts breaths into a hash rate for a small computer mining on the Monero (XMR) blockchain. 
The volume of breath exhaled dictates the total amount of financial profit raised in the user’s mining. One puff per second equates to the computer performing 1,000 hashing operations per second, according to Breath’s website
The device, inspired by a 19th century apparatus, was exhibited at Generator Projects in Dundee, Scotland, in December and will be demonstrated again at the end of January as part of Money Lab 2018 in London. - Russia Today

Canadian Fried Bitcoin? KFC locations in Canada accepting Bitcoin for certain food items for a limited time

It appears that Bitcoin has now been adopted as a promotional marketing gimmick for businesses as KFC locations in Canada will be accepting Bitcoin to purchase certain items on their menu for a limited time.

Gif courtesy of Inverse.com
KFC Canada has revealed perhaps the weirdest bitcoin promotion so far. The fast food firm took the wraps off the Bitcoin Bucket on Thursday, a chicken selection available for a limited time that customers can order from the company’s website. What’s more, the company is accepting purchases made in bitcoin on this product alone. 
“Welcome to 2018, Canada,” the company said on the order page. “Despite the ups and downs of Bitcoin, the Colonel’s Original Recipe is as good as always. So, trade your Bitcoins for buckets and invest in something finger lickin’ good.” - Inverse 

Exactly one month after Fed raised rates, gold is up $100 from its December 13 level

At the end of the trading day on Dec. 12, the price of gold was at $1238.  However as we would soon discover on the following day, the precious metal's best friend would be none other than the Fed itself.

This is because in the 30 days since the December 13 announcement of a new rate hike by the central bank, the gold price is up nearly $100 to its Friday close of $1337.73.


A $100 move for gold also equates to a 7.5% climb in the past 30 days, with most of that occurring in the final three weeks of last year.  However ongoing monetary, economic, and geopolitical events such as the falling dollar, rising inflation, and the potential advent of the yuan-denominated oil contract appears to have set the stage for the gold price to go much, much higher in the coming days, weeks, and months, where the next key resistance level to cross is sitting at $1400.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Thar she blows! Dollar breaks into 90 handle while gold soars over 1% to $1340

With about one hour left in the trading day here on Friday, the bloodbath for the dollar that began two days ago is continuing without end.  In fact since Wednesday when an early week boost in the reserve currency saw it rise to 92.50 on the Index, it has lost over 150 bps to now fall below 91.


In the meantime, and despite a more than $1 billion dump in the paper gold markets this morning just before the open, the gold price is up over 1.3% when a short while ago it touched $1340 per ounce.

The Daily Economist update for Jan. 12 2018 - U.S. Finance and Economics Report


Like clockwork, the gold cartel comes in and dumps over 12,000 contracts in a single minute to try to slowdown rising gold price

Another Friday, another hit job by the gold cartel.

On Jan. 12, and right about when New York markets were just opening, over 12,000 gold contracts were dumped into the futures market to try to slow down a gold price that had risen nearly 1% in overnight trading.

Using an estimated $1.6 billion to try to slow down the precious metal, the move dropped the gold price down from $1333 to $1325 in less than one minute.

At 8:30 a.m. EST, we received a double-dose of data dumps on the market – CPI (Inflation) and Retail Sales. 
And since the metals had been rising through the night and into the morning, the cartel decided to dump a massive amount of paper to stem the rise: 
Nobody in their right mind decides that they have to all of the sudden sell over 12,000 contracts in one single minute in an illiquid time before the market is even officially open. 
That is what we call “precious metals price suppression” 
The amount of gold that was “sold” (at the last price of approximately $1331.50) represents over $1,618,837,700 in dollar terms. – Silver Doctors
Yet despite this obvious dump, the price has since rebounded over $3 in the past hour, and appears likely to close out the week at or above the $1330 level. 

Hard economic data out on Jan. 12 shows holiday shopping sales miss expectations but price inflation rising

Jan. 12 saw two hard data reports emerge which don't provide good news for the general economy.  In the first report, retail sales for the month of December missed expectations as consumers spent much less this Christmas season than anticipated.
For the fourth year in a row December retail sales numbers (control group) missed expectations. After the shocking 1.4% MoM surge in sales in November, December retail sales growth slowed to just 0.3% MoM. - Zerohedge

This report was soon followed by another important one which showed that consumer prices were higher than expectations, validating that the Fed remains well behind the curve in their attempts to keep up with rapidly rising prices through interest rate hikes.
Following deflationary prints in import prices and producer prices, core consumer prices came in modestly hotter than expected. Core CPI printed +1.8% YoY - highest since April 2017 - as shelter costs re-acclerate. 
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.3 percent in December, its largest increase since January 2017. 
The recent (silver lining) trend in lower shelter cost growth ended with a modest rise MoM and YoY in both Shelter and Rent inflation... - Zerohedge

Dubai publication calls for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to adopt the Petroyuan to replace dollar

On Jan. 9, a former chief economist of the DIFC, and the former vice governor of the Bank of Lebanon published an editorial in a Dubai newspaper where he not only reflected on China's growing influence in the global monetary system, but is now calling for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to integrate and adopt the Petroyuan into their economies.

Citing the Far Eastern power's growing influence in the global banking and energy sectors, Nassir Saidi provided strong reasons and evidence why moving away from the Petrodollar and into the Petroyuan would be much more beneficial for Middle Eastern and oil producing nations.

China has taken multiple steps to internationalise the yuan, including some 32 currency swap agreements with central banks with a combined value of 3.33 trillion yuan (Dh1.85tn), as well as swap agreements with Egypt (18bn yuan), Qatar (35bn yuan) and the UAE (35bn yuan). The swap agreements are an instrument to finance and facilitate trade and issuance of debt and equity in yuan in foreign markets. 
Capital market liberalisation is proceeding through the implementation of the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor Scheme and RMB Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor Scheme, which allows designated institutional investors into yuan-denominated domestic markets. The planned relaxation of capital controls will be the next policy step to allow the use of the yuan to finance investment. 
The path of yuan internationalisation starts with its use for financing trade with China, to investment in China’s financial markets, to the yuan being used as a store of value and as an international reserve currency. For the yuan to become a truly international means of payment, an asset currency and alternative to the US dollar and the euro, China needs to gradually move to full capital account convertibility, provide access to foreign issuers and investors, remove internal distortions (notably through interest rate liberalisation), achieve greater exchange rate flexibility and deepen its financial markets through the development of yuan money market instruments and debt capital markets, the Redback Market. This is part of China’s strategy. 
Given China‘s dominant role in world trade, the yuan will increasingly be used to finance trade with China, in particular along One Belt- One Road, and including energy and oil. The petroyuan will signal the gradual emergence of the yuan to become the world’s second most important currency, gaining market share from the dollar and the euro. 
Currently, GCC oil sold to China is priced and settled in the US dollars, through dollar-regulated clearing banks. This is an inefficient process, in that it increases transactions costs and involves exchange rate and payment risk. In addition, participants in the dollar-based payment system have also been subject to fines and penalties arising from politically motivated US sanctions. Given China’s dominance of GCC energy export markets, it is advantageous for both parties to price oil and gas and settle in yuan instead. 
Chinese banks (which are the top four biggest global banks in terms of assets) and GCC banks –supported by the currency swap arrangements – can efficiently finance China-GCC trade, including oil. It is in the strategic interest of the GCC to be part of the growing yuan zone, use petroyuan for China oil trade, be active in the AIIB and integrate into the New Silk Road and the One Belt-One Road initiative. - The International

National and local governments may intervene in cryptocurrencies simply because they could become a national emergency to the power grid

As the length of time within the Bitcoin algorithm continues to expand as we head towards the final five million Bitcoins to be mined, the electrical cost to perform this function will also increase exponentially.  In fact according to many sources, the average cost of electricity to mine a single Bitcoin as of December was 215 KWH and approximately $4200 if done in the United States.

However as we noted above the cost, as well as amount of electricity to mine just a single Bitcoin, will only increase exponentially, and it is this factor that could see either national or local governments intervene to potentially bring a halt to this industry as Bitcoin mining could quite possibly shutdown a local or regional electrical grid.

The cryptocurrency craze is helping many people rake in money, but it is also putting pressure on the electrical infrastructure of a small county in Washington state. 
"Our infrastructure is actually being put to the test. We're full," Ron Cridlebaugh, the Port of Douglas County economic development manager, told CNBC's Michelle Caruso-Cabrera on Thursday. 
Electricity in Washington state is considerably cheaper than in most places in the U.S. The average electricity price per kilowatt in the state is 4 cents. The national average is 7 cents. 
Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ripple have skyrocketed in value recently. Last year, those digital currencies surged 1,500 percent and 35,000 percent, respectively.
People have been trying to get in on the action by purchasing these digital assets or by "mining," or creating, them. But the mining process requires a lot of electrical power as computers process gargantuan amounts of data. 
Cridlebaugh said the county is building out 100 megawatts (100,000 kilowatts) of infrastructure just in data centers to keep up with demand. "It's going to take some time to catch up because growth has been so quick." - CNBC
What is perhaps the most scary about this growing concern is that these costs are only for one single cryptocurrency (Bitcoin).  And with 1400 of them now online as of the end of 2017, mining operations for just a few of them could one day soon see the majority of the world's electricity being dedicated to the accumulation of virtual tokens.

Gold price hits $1333 in overnight trading before falling back as dollar sees another big move lower towards 90 handle

Just before early New York futures began to open, the gold price had risen nearly 1% in overnight Asian trading to its highest level in several months.  Then shortly after hitting $1333 on the ticker, it has retreated back to $1325 despite the fact that the dollar has fallen another 40 bps following to reports out this morning of higher price inflation, and retail sales missing for the Christmas holiday season.

Headline SPI rose just 0.1% MoM (as expected) but notable slower than the 0.4% MoM rise in November. 
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.3 percent in December, its largest increase since January 2017. 
The recent (silver lining) trend in lower shelter cost growth ended with a modest rise MoM and YoY in both Shelter and Rent inflation... - Zerohedge

Since December 13 when the Fed raised interest rates again, the gold price has risen nearly $100 as commodity and price inflation appears to be on the rise, and the dollar is losing any steam it may have had prior to this year.