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COVID Scamdemic: Texas, Florida, California COVID Case Increase The Result of 70% More Testing
Friday, June 26, 2020, 8:30 am ET
Is COVID-19 spreading across the country, or are the numbers reported higher due to increased testing?
That seemed to be the simplest way to detect medical/media/government complicity in what's become known as a plandemic or scamdemic designed to scare people into submissive behaviors such as wearing masks, social distancing, staying home and closing businesses.
Mainstream media is blaring that COVID-19 is spreading rapidly across the country, with "hot spots" in Texas, Florida, and California, coincidentally, the three most populous states in the country.
The figures obtained came from a well-established site known as the Covid Tracking Project at the Atlantic Their data and state-by-state histories of testing revealed some very telling numbers.
Wanting to be as up-to-date as possible, we checked the seven days just past, and started with Texas.
Texas tested 251,599 from Friday, June 19, through Thursday, June 25, an average of 35,943 per day.
Wanting to be fair and unbiased, we would have tested for the same dates in May (19th through 25th), but instead opted for testing done on a Friday through Thursday (same days of the week as the current data) prior to Memorial Day weekend, so we went with May 15-21.
For the seven days in May that we tracked, Texas performed 152,868 tests, an average of 21,838 per day
June 19-25: Tests: 251,599; Average/day: 35,943
June 19-25: Tests: 209,332; Average/day: 29,905
June 19-25: Tests: 619,815; Average/day: 88,545
Well, it doesn't take Elon Musk (a rocket scientist, and, notably, father of the external combustion engine - that's a joke, son) to see that a lot more testing has been done recently, and that would - all things remaining somewhat equal - result in a higher number of positives.
According to the media at ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and CNN, whooopie! We've got ourselves a big story here.
Totaling it all up, the three most populous states in the America performed 445,753 more tests in the seven days just past than they did in the seven days prior to Memorial Day weekend. That's an increase in tests performed of 70.20%. In California, where the bulk of the testing was performed, it was nearly double, with 95.85% more tests performed in the last week than in the sample from May.
More testing, more positives, RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!
Additionally, most of the testing sites are in and around big cities, where the virus spreads most readily. The same can be said of the phony racial angle. Most minorities live in and around big cities. Same for Biden beating Trump in the latest polls.
Money Daily didn't cherry pick the days. Using the best and simplest methodology available, it's conclusive: you're being scammed by the medical profession, the government, and the media. Makes one wonder what else they're lying about.
Welcome to the land of the fleece and the home of the naive.
Have a nice weekend.
At the Close, Thursday, June 25, 2020:
Thursday, June 25, 2020, 7:44 am ET
Stocks took a pretty good beating on Wednesday, tough news for the longs who have feasted on Fed funny money over the past three months, and much longer, if you include all of the gains made via QE from 2009-2019.
While this may come as a shock to some readers, Money Daily's editorial slant is slightly unenthusiastic when it comes to owning stocks and/or having a 401k or other retirement plan invested manly in equities.
The rationale comes from decades of experience watching stocks go up and down and up and down, sometimes staying at lower levels for long, painful periods of time. Not that owning stocks is a bad thing, it's just that stocks are only one asset class - of many - and proper balance comes from diversifying among a multitude of assets, such as fixed income, real estate, precious metals, commodities, collectibles, art, one's own business, and hard assets such as income-producing machinery, vehicles, food-producing land, water, alternative energy, computers and peripherals, furniture, and other mundane items like cooking and baking essentials, hardware and household items.
Taken as a whole, Americans are over-invested n stocks. The rich like them because they have enough money to afford occasional losses. Ordinary, less-wealthy types can't take on losses readily without bursting their retirement dreams, which, if you're retired or know anybody who is, isn't all golf and boating.
That said, here's part of the Motley Fool's take on retirement savings:
Many workers assume that Social Security will suffice in retirement because their living expenses will go down once they stop working. The reality, however, is that things like housing and transportation tend to only drop modestly, if at all, during retirement. The reason? While many seniors enter retirement with their mortgages already paid off, as homes age, they tend to require more repairs and maintenance, the cost of which can be enough to offset an absent mortgage payment. The same holds true for owning a car -- though retirees don't have commuting costs to contend with, they still have to worry about insurance and auto maintenance, which can be far more expensive than filling up a vehicle's tank twice a week.
The statement above, of course, supports the Fool's claim that Social Security isn't enough to cover living expenses after one has stopped working. It's rubbish if one happens to be inventive, resilient, independent-thinking, and self-sufficient.
The idea that repairs and maintenance of a home are somehow equal to a mortgage payment requires some extensive mental gymnastics. Besides, repairs and maintenance were always a part of the deal even before the mortgage was paid off. No home is perfectly maintenance-free. The same goes for the car assumptions they make. If you're not driving much, your maintenance costs will decline in a somewhat inverse proportion. The Motley Fool likes to pimp stocks. They're not very good at turning screws or fastening bolts and rationalize that you aren't either.
Their contention that Social Security won't cover living expenses in retirement is bollocks. In 2020, even taking early retirement at age 62, the maximum benefit is $2,265, and goes all the way up to $3,790 if one delays collecting until age 70.
Now, anybody who can't make ends meet on $3,790 a month has some serious spending issues. Even taking in less than the maximum, say, $1300-1600, isn't bad if you've got your mortgage paid off, a functioning automobile, good health (that's very important) and low to no debt. What else is there? Sounds like a lot of ham and cheese sandwiches, and steaks, and cold beer.
Unless you're an absolute Amazonian compulsive shopper (they're out there), not being able to get by on anything between $1200 and $2200 a month seems a little preposterous.
So, let's blow the lid off retirement plans, IRAs, and all the other stock-first plans that often aren't invested in one's best interests, carry management fees, are taxable, and can't be touched until a certain age without triggering a penalty. There is such a thing as a retirement trap and many find themselves lodged firmly within its jowls, so, when stocks go down - and they need to go down quite a bit more before considered affordable as investments - there is a crowd that might be celebrating. 42% of people don't have a traditional retirement pension plan, so they might, besides being a little bit jealous of their neighbors, think cheaper stocks are just what America needs.
Consider that couple down he road who worked hard all of their lives and now have a little $1.5 million nest egg, and that's not including Social Security.
If they both retire at 65 and live to be 90, they can withdraw $5,000 a month if the plan is to spend it all while still drawing breaths. That's not bad. Their only concern should be health issues, so they'd be best-suited to squirrel away the bulk of their wealth into a living trust or other protective vehicle, to avoid having it all taken away by by the blood-curdling costs of a nursing home.
Or, they could buy a boat or two, a few nice cars, some luxurious furniture and carpeting, some cool art, gold, silver, maybe a fully-functioning woodworking pole barn, and live it up.
The point is, keeping all of your currency inside the rigid and rigged control mechanism known as the stock market is probably not the wisest choice.
On that note, the current condition, be it mostly or altogether contrived, has everybody worried about dying before their time from the dreaded coronavirus. Note that rioting, looting and protesting seem to have died down quite a bit. Nothing on the nightly propaganda network shows about any protests, burning, drama-queening, queer-baiting, LBGVTQSWYRetc., statuary defacing, looting, wilding (old-school reference), soy-latte slurping, or general urban mayhem were to be seen the past few days.
Can we just get this all over with now? Take off your masks. The plandemic is a massive hoax. All the talk of a second viral wave is just dancing numbers. Black lives matter as much as all others. Joe Biden? Get real.
Re-elect Trump even though he's not perfect (who is?). But, he's light years ahead of Joe Biden and the bone-headed Democrats. Let's not forgive nor forget the damage done by slow-walking Republicans. They're as much a part of the problem and offer no viable solutions to anything.
Re-elect Trump and hope that the Dems hold the House and take the Senate. Nothing better for Americans than a split federal government. While they're flailing about, bickering and keeping the slimy, asshat media busy, we can get back to work and play and have some fun again.
Stop the BS. Take off your masks. Remove the blinders the media and government has forced upon you and start living like a human being again.
Adjunctive to stocks sliding, the price of oil was lower on the day, seen at $37.57 a barrel for WTI crude Thursday morning. It's a step in the right direction.
Treasury yields fell across the complex. The 10-year note checked in at 0.69%. On-month bills netted out to 0.11% while the 30-year dripped to 1.44%.
Gold and silver got their usual spanking for being too pricey so close to futures expirations. Gold, getting a little too close to $1800 an ounce, had to be taken down, but it's only a matter of time before both metals make sustained advances. One might say they already have in a very real, physical sense, considering the high premiums being taken by dealers and eBay sellers.
Wealth is all so very relative. The couple with $1.5 million in stock might seem rich today, but, in other circumstances, as we saw during the lockdowns, the guy with a couple ounces of gold, a fully-stocked liquor cabinet, a pantry loaded with canned goods (and toilet paper ;-) may be far better off than his neighbors.
In a blind society, the one-eyed man is king.
At the Close, Wednesday, June 24, 2020:
Wednesday, June 24, 2020, 8:47 am ET
They're out there. They're ready. And they're probably not going to share.
The world has changed in recent months. In case you've been living in a cave (probably a good case to hide out, away from the coronavirus and street protests) for the past four to six months you're likely noticed that everyday life isn't so everyday anymore. People wear masks, some even while driving in their cars with the windows rolled up. You may notice people keeping their distance from you, and from everybody else.
Then there are those pesky protesters. First, they were all about social injustice. Then, they looted stores and burned buildings. After that, they began knocking over statues of people they think were bad eggs. People who had slaves. People who didn't. People who were just evil enough, supposedly, to be immortalized a la statuary, are being histrionically defamed.
The protesters defaced the Lincoln Memorial. Don't ask why, because Abraham Lincoln, America's 16th president, is largely credited with having freed the slaves on the new continent. He purportedly saved the nation. Well, no good deed goes unpunished in this current craziness over race, injustice, inequality.
Statues of confederate heroes, Robert E. Lee, and others, have been toppled or removed, but the madness hasn't stopped there. Calls for removal or actual toppling of statues of George Washington (founder of our nation, first president and a slave owner), Thomas Jefferson (one of the principal authors of the US constitution, third president, slave owner), and even Teddy Roosevelt (Rough Rider, 26th president, not a slave owner) have been in the news.
It just so happens that Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt are the four faces carved into Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, prompting the governor, Kristi Noem, to stand up and vow to protect the world famous monument, saying, "not on my watch," as a message to would-be defacers and defilers. Those fighting words probably have some ANTIFA people triggered.
Anyhow, life in 2020 is different than it was just six months ago and we're not even half way through the year yet. How well one has prepared for these changes is largely a function of how well aware one is of one's current environs, how much trust one has in fellow humans, the police, and the government, and how seriously one is about preserving one's well-being.
Some people - like the fabled preppers - were well ahead of the curve, having staked out some rural location years ago and built upon it, cleared it, farmed it, and now live on it in peace with nature and neighbors at least half a mile away. They've got their guns and ammo, chickens and cattle, greens and beans, solar power, and just about everything they need to hunker down for months, if not years, without interaction with the electrical grid or commercial America if need be.
Those are - all of a sudden - the enlightened, who will remain far from the fray in the cities and be relied upon for rebuilding what's left after the dust settles, should conditions worsen. They won't catch the COVID, nor will they engage with radical protesters. They're likely to stay on their farms and enclaves for a long, long time.
There are those of us who too a look at the coronavirus as it spread from China, through Asia, into Europe and eventually to North America and thought that it might be time to stock up on food, make sure our gas generators were working and made plans to isolate. They turned out to be prescient, if not a little overzealous. But, they were right. Just about everywhere in the United States was under some form of lockdown or stay-at-home guideline in April, May, June.
The bulk of the population was completely caught off guard by the virus and the lockdowns and then the protests. Among the most unfortunate were those who made few plans and found themselves in food lines or at a WalMart wondering where all the toilet paper had gone. Those people were unprepared. Some may now have learned a little bit of a lesson and gotten their pantries stocked, maybe bought a gun and some ammo, and think they're ready for whatever might come next.
Most of the unprepared did not take any action. They went to the food banks, cashed their $1200 checks and spent a month to six weeks bingeing on Netflix. Those living in cities were thoroughly surprised by the large scale protests. Some of them probably were participants. If a second wave of the virus turns out to be more real than merely fudged statistics, they're toast. Burnt toast. They'll find themselves back at the food banks, broke, in fear for their lives, and eventually likely culled from the herd by either the virus or roving, menacing street gangs.
In the early days of the pandemic, it was probably good enough to buy a few month's worth of canned goods and shelter in place. As life becomes more about survival than prosperity, as people become more desperate, more violent, more destitute, it's not going to be good enough. Millions have lost jobs. The enhanced unemployment benefits are going to run out at the end of July. More than four million people have skipped making mortgage payments. Delinquencies on student loans, car loans, and credit cards are on the rise. The economy, if it recovers at all - and despite the recent happy face Wall Street rally - will do so very slowly. the new normal is going to persist and many, many, millions of people are still unprepared.
You might have a 401k, a paid off mortgage on a home in a nice neighborhood, a work-from-home job, and a fully-stocked pantry, but will it be enough? Did you start a garden? Are you dependent on the grid for power? Do you know what you will do if intruders storm your palace?
These are hard questions, questions people don't like to ask themselves, and thus, many don't. About 60% of the adult population thinks everything is going to be back to normal in six months to a year. If they're right, they may make it to the proverbial other side. If they're wrong, they'll wonder why they didn't take the Boy Scout motto - Be Prepared - more seriously.
At the Close, Tuesday, June 23, 2020:
Tuesday, June 23, 2020, 8:54 am ET
Let's talk about money, your work experience, and taxes, just what you want to think about this morning, right?
It is an important topic, however, just because so many people avoid thinking about their work and its relation to taxation and general well-being.
Right from jump street, if you're working for an hourly wage, everybody's getting cheated. You, your employer, even the government which takes part of your pay before you even see it is getting a raw deal, though it could be argued that the government, which has little to no "skin in the game" when it comes to your income, your employment, and your work habits, has nothing to lose and so much to gain.
By taking a job or a position in exchange for so form of compensation based on time, you've rendered yourself about as useful or resourceful as a drone. You show up, you punch the clock, you perform your duties, you go home. Nothing more, nothing less. It's a dreadful condition, draining the life force out of you on a regularly scheduled basis. Making matters even worse, your boss probably thinks you aren't working hard enough and the government takes a percentage of everything - before you even see it - and wants more.
The concept of hourly wages is a relatively recent development in the great pantheon of civilization and labor. Prior to 1900, workers were paid by the day, week, or month, or by the task, which, being that much of the labor of the era was performed on farms, often included lodging and/or meals. This made sense because the world was a hard-scrabble place, weather took its toll on the amount and quality of work performed over days and even weeks, and it was generally well-known that workers wore down after six to eight hours on a particular job and the quality might suffer as the day wore away at their muscles and bones.
It wasn't until the industrial revolution and the great immigration from Europe to America that hourly wages became established. Employers and unions established scales of wages and requirements for work-weeks (a typical week of work was from 50 to 60 hours). In the early days of industrialization, unions became necessary because naturally, employers wanted to pay as little as possible, but workers needed to earn a decent living, provide for their families, and maybe have a little left over for savings.
It wasn't until 1938 - in the throes of the Great Depression - that minimum wage laws were established, at the time, a necessary evil, because not just workers, but employers as well, were suffering from the maladies of slack demand and massive deflation. During that developmental period and since then, the hourly wage became the standard compensation for menial tasks and the government didn't miss the opportunity to get its unfair share, beginning in the early 1940s, when they imposed payroll deductions as a means to fund the war effort incurred during world War II.
When the war was over, the feds didn't stop there, they just kept taking part of everybody's pay, increasing their percentage over the years. States jumped on that bandwagon as well, many imposing their own income taxes. Many still believe that income tax or any tax on wages is unconstitutional. They're actually right, and why the IRS calls income tax "voluntary," but try not paying your share and see what happens. There's nothing voluntary about wage taxes and deductions from your paycheck. It's theft on a grand scale.
It's a crying shame that somebody making $15 per hour only gets to take home about $12 of that hourly rate after the feds take their withholding amount, Social Security (FICA) and Medicaid "contribution" and the state piles in for another piece of your pie. People making more are penalized even further. That's the government side of the equation. Making it all the more unbearable, the various governments waste what they take from you and have to borrow even more and still can't manage to balance their budget. It's like throwing money down a black hole, this one lined with $26 trillion in federal debt which will never be repaid.
Getting back to the hourly wage and why it makes everybody a crook, you're probably not happy about the government taking 12-20% or more right out of your paycheck. You may decide to work 12-20% less or slow your productivity because of that unfair practice. That, in effect, steals from your employer, who isn't at fault for the government's intrusion into an agreement made between you and your boss' company, but it is he who pays for lost productivity, slack standards, theft, and the other unintended consequences of hourly wages.
Because, like you, the employer feels threatened by both sides - workers and the government - he cuts hours, or lays off unproductive employees, putting more strain on those that remain. He or she might also makes use of accountants and any other tricks available to limit his contributions to the government. It's the employer who writes the checks after all, and it is the employer who must remit to the government. Many have tried to cheat the government. Many have failed. Many are out of business, but the point is that the hourly wage and payroll deductions have spawned all sorts of bad behavior by employees and employers alike. More often than not, it's payments made to the "silent partners" - governments - that bankrupt businesses and put people out of work through no faults of their own.
The other major problem with a hourly wage it that it stifles productivity and efficiency. Maybe you can produce six widgets an hour, but everybody else on your shift can only produce four. If you're all making the same wage, there's absolutely no upside for you to work more efficiently than your peers unless you believe you'll get a raise, which, in a union setting, would be impossible. Even then, if you were to get a raise for your more efficient use of time, when your fellow workers find out, they'll castigate you and tell you you're making their lives more difficult. It's a no win condition.
If you get paid $15 an hour to do a job in five hours, but you could do it in four, why would you? The hourly wage not only does not encourage efficiency, it retards it. Or, would you rather make $60 instead of $75 for the same job?
The hourly wage is one of the worst inventions ever created in terms of labor effectiveness and efficiency. It stifles creativity, encourages bad behavior and spawns more government rules, regulations, and taxes. It reduces an erstwhile valuable human being to little more than a punch-press machine. It's degrading and demoralizing and nearly universal. Anything that becomes that widespread without competition - like a monopoly - should be done away with, the sooner the better.
As much as we'd all like to believe that everybody is created equal, it just isn't the case. In the eyes of the law, maybe. Hours and days are not created equally either. It's a proven fact that less work gets done after two o'clock than before noon; Fridays are radically different from Mondays.
Maybe some good will come from the lockdowns and stay-at-home impositions caused by the coronavirus. If anything, it's given people the opportunity to work from home, unsupervised, and maybe given everybody a chance to ponder the value of work versus an hourly wage. Hopefully, this time will encourage people to do their own thing, to start a home-based business, or at least look into alternatives to the time-worn nine-to-five practice.
The main beneficiaries of standardized hourly wages seem to be governments and their tax regimes. Might a return to the sanity of daily or weekly wages, piece work, or by-the-job work become reasonable alternatives?
We can only hope.
Gold futures soared on Monday, peaking at $1765 before being knocked down to just under $1755 an ounce at the New York close. Silver reached out above $18 an ounce prior to a late-morning smackdown, closing at the regrettable - an utterly unrealistic - price of $17.68.
While goldbugs continue to cry about manipulation, it seems obvious that any continuing control over precious metals markets is about keeping the gold to silver ratio near the historical absurdity of 100 and the forces in opposition to real money at the futures windows. After all, silver is more plentiful, more affordable to everybody and much more divisible than gold. Remember, prior to the Crime of 1873, silver was money, but the banking elite of the day wanted to establish a gold standard, and did, impoverishing many independent businesspeople and farmers in the process.
Now that the entire planet is on a fiat standard, which is no standard at all, it's time for silver to take its rightful place as the money of gentlemen and of the world. It can start with a readjustment to a reasonable gold:silver ratio of 20, eventually to 16 or 12. If gold is to persist at $1750 or higher, silver should be at least $85 an ounce. Market forces are at work. Prices for single ounce coins and bars on eBay are routinely over $30, and dealers are charging $23 and upwards for the same, if they can get their hands on it.
With eBay charging a ten percent fee on all bullion sales, the actual price of physical silver in one ounce increments is realistically approaching $32 to $35 per ounce. That's Troy ounces, and Troy approves (joke).
Silver may be kept down in the spot and futures markets, to the detriment of dealers and paper-pushers worldwide. In the meantime, the actual, true, honest, real physical market is exploding and will continue to until such a time that silver holders will be satisfactorily compensated.
Fight the Fed. Buy silver.
Bonds: eh, who needs them? The Fed wants to control the curve to keep short term rates near zero forever. Let them. It can only serve to hasten the return to real money.
Oil prices continue to be inflated, serving only the needs of drillers, shippers, and distillers. When the price of WTI crude falls back to realistic levels around $24-30 a barrel and states begin reducing their onerous gasoline taxes, the economy can begin recovering. Until then, we're stuck in an artificial stagflationary environment.
Stocks gained. They always do. Shares of public companies have never been as expensive.
At the Close, Monday, June 22, 2020:
Sunday, June 21, 2020, 11:03 am ET
The level of fraud in the scientific community is absolutely out of control. It's even beyond that of the government and media, though the media probably holds the title of most disingenuous as it lies or distorts on practically everything.
On Friday, yet another clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine was halted, this time by the National Institutes of Health.
Citing that the drug has no ill effects on hospitalized patients - in opposition to previously unfounded claims that HCQ was dangerous - a data and safety monitoring board (DSMB) said the drug offered no benefit to hospitalized patients.
It's too bad that the mainstream medical authorities have to be so obviously stupid. HCQ is used as a preventative medicine. It helps the immune system fight off coronavirus, especially when used in a regular regimen with zinc and Azithromycin when asymptomatic or in early stages of infection as this study and many others have clearly shown.
Instead, the NIH, CDC, WHO and other "official" medical bodies refuse to release the proof of the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine as what doctors call a prophylactic remedy, insisting that COVID-19 is a deadly disease and that billions must be spent in search of a vaccine, when they know a vaccine will likely never be developed.
These people, who first told the world that wearing a mask was a waste of time, then promoted the use of masks when it suited their purposes, should all be met with swift justice because it is they, not the virus, who are causing countless deaths that could have been saved if proper preventive measures had been taken. They, and the media which continues to promote COVID-19, lockdowns, quarantines, social distancing, absurdities like not allowing fans into sporting events, keeping restaurant customers six feet apart and other ridiculous notions should be tried for operating a criminal conspiracy.
Even this post, because it violates the dictatorial policy of Google, Twitter, or Facebook may be deemed conspiracy theory or in violation of their standards may be labeled with a warning or removed from public view.
The virus is a total scam. The rising cries of a coming "second wave" are nothing more than another attempt to scare people into rash behaviors using slanted statistics while playing on emotions. Places like Georgia, Texas, and Arizona have been cited as possible new hotspots for the virus, but the truth of the matter is that more testing has produced more cases, therefore increasing the daily bogus coronavirus counts. Additionally, all of the various tests have proven to show an abundance of false positives. Hospitalization and death statistics have been overstated since the beginning of the pandemic.
In other words, almost all of the data and scare-mongering from the media is bunk. Complete rubbish. Take off your masks and start living like a human being again. The chances of catching the virus are slim. It has mutated numerous times and most strains circulating are severe or deadly only to people over the age of 60 who have pre-existing health conditions or are obese, suffer from diabetes or heart disease. The general population is in no more danger from COVID-19 than from the common flu.
Get over it. Move on. Tell anybody who disagrees to take their opinions elsewhere. As it stands, there's no baseball this summer and there may not be football this fall. All this pandemic nonsense is about as important and vital as the BLM/Antifa protests. All of it needs to stop and the media is largely to blame for promoting false narratives.
The absurdities were on display at yesterday's Belmont Stakes, where no spectators were allowed into the sprawling Belmont Park facility and everybody on the grounds - except the horses - were required to wear masks. Even jockeys had to wear masks during the races. Please, somebody explain how a rider traveling at 25 to 40 miles per hour is going to catch the virus. It's as bad as the idiots who wear their masks while driving in their cars with the windows rolled up. Stupid. Banal. Idiotic. Is the world really populated by that many morons? If so, maybe the virus should relieve us of 30-40% of the population. More room for everybody. Happy days!
It's just all so annoying and stupid. This post was originally going to be about gold and silver, but the news of yet another HCQ trial being shut down changed those plans.
Go and check your local pharmacy or drug store or vitamin center. They're out of ZINC. Yeah, ZINC. Apparently, some people aren't buying the "we're all gonna die" narrative being shoved down the throats of the unsuspecting public. As the thrust of Money Daily posts over the past few days and weeks have been stressing, the media and government are doing you no good. You need to extricate yourself and your family from the clutches of creeping socialism and outright tyranny.
Let's get away from those who wish only to control everything and move forward to better lives. There is so much the world has to offer, having it ruined by a small minority of psychopathic monsters is a sin and an outrage.
Moving on to the markets and financial world from the week just past, stocks seem to have hit a stall space. The major indices, while all advancing for the week, have not recovered fully from the downdraft of Thursday, June 11. This week's gains were made mainly on Monday and Tuesday. Things slowed down in midweek and by Friday the bloom was off the rose once again.
Not to worry. There's a huge chance that the news will be cocked forward to produce a running start for the major averages and bourses around the world Monday morning. It's just how the Fed and the algorithm-pumping mechanisms operate these days. There's no market. There's no need to study charts or engage in fundamental analysis. Everything is fake, crooked, corrupted.
There is somewhat of a silver lining approaching for people who don't appreciate ever-rising stock prices when companies are showing dwindling profits or actually losing money, however. In a few weeks, publicly-traded companies will be releasing their second quarter financial reports and many of them figure to be absolute dumpster-diving material.
There's been a chart circulating recently showing the number of "zombie" corporations steadily increasing to a point at which nearly one in five US companies are insolvent. A zombie company is loosely defined as a business that has to borrow to survive and doesn't make enough profit to cover the cost of its debt service. Simply put, these are companies being kept afloat by banks, or the Fed, or both. If it were possible to actually make sense of the books of large commercial banks like Wells Fargo (WFC), Bank of America (BAC) and Citibank (C) it's probable that the banks themselves would be zombies, underwater and headed to bankruptcy if not for the largesse afforded them by the Federal Reserve.
The outcome from keeping zombie companies afloat is lower, slower growth in the overall economy. The Fed is actually exacerbating the effects of ultra-low interest rates and keeping insolvent companies alive with the most recent emergency measures that have the Federal Reserve buying debt from ETFs and corporate paper of individual (healthy and failing) companies. The Fed is also buying up municipal debt and may be positioning itself to fund states and cities that have deep budget deficits and buying individual stocks. Yes, the Fed may soon be buying stocks. And who said the markets weren't manipulated?
The bottom line is that we have a central bank producing counterfeit currency to buy assets offered by insolvent companies. Making matters worse, is that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow believe the companies that have received bailouts or funding from the Cares Act should not be disclosed to the public. So, on top of it all, the underhanded workings of the government, the Fed and big business should be kept secret. Nice. Not.
Treasuries basically spent the week flopping around like a landed fish. The yield spread for the entire curve, from 1-month to 30 years ended at 1.31% on Friday, June 12. As of this past Friday (June 19) the spread was 1.34%. Some steepening, but not notable. The 10-year note ended the week one basis point lower than the previous Friday, at 0.70%.
The July futures contract for WTI crude oil closed at a three-month high Friday, at $39.75 a barrel. Like the stock market, oil prices have engaged in a V-shaped rebound, the bottom coming in mid-April when oil hit $11.57 a barrel. While there has been some demand recovery, there's still a worldwide overhang of supply. The price of oil, with almost a direct pathway to gas prices, is another manufactured number. Most US shale producers can't survive below $50 a barrel, much less $40. Thanks to renewables like solar, wind, and hydro-electric, the oil business is dying a slow death. There's abundant resources available, but inroads have been made by so-called "green energy", and efficiencies in newer vehicles are crimping the use of oil and distillates. In an economy on a slowing glide path, there's no good reason for oil prices to rise other than to support the ailing old companies that rely on pumping and consumer use of the greasy stuff.
In the precious metals space, both gold and silver were dumped in the futures market on Monday and then rallied over the course of the week. Silver, despite a generally positive end to the week, closed at the lowest week-ending price ($17.52) since May 11. Since the March 19 bottoming at $12 an ounce, the trend has been higher, though it's been a slow grind despite high demand, shortages, huge premiums, and shipping delays.
Gold was flattened to $1710.45 on Monday, but rebounded to the high of the week at the close of business in New York Friday, at $1734.75. Like silver, gold has been rangebound since mid-April, suggesting a breakout on the horizon, though it could go either way.
Here are the latest free market prices for select items on eBay (prices include shipping, which is often free):
Item: Low / High / Average / Median
Finally, Fearless Rick nailed the trifecta in the Belmont Stakes, making a public pick prior to the race for everyone. Such generosity! What a guy!
At the close, Friday, June 19, 2020:
For the Week: