Investing

Mike Maloney On Latest Gold, Silver Action

Back on January 20, I blogged about a discussion on YouTube.com between “crash prophets” Peter Schiff and Mike Maloney concerning the state of the U.S. economy/larger financial system and where gold fits into the equation. Well, Maloney- a precious metals expert, advisor, and author who runs GoldSilver.com- is back on YouTube with a new video about his thoughts on what’s going on with silver and gold right now, and what’s to come for these precious metals. In the July 21 upload, Maloney said:

What we’re going through right now – this huge pullback that we’ve been going through for the past few years- is something that I’ve been predicting and waiting for because- and I knew that the pullback of 2008 was not the capitulation pullback. There was a panic, people were trying to get into it, into gold and silver, badly. And this time around, there has been some capitulation. We are seeing some people selling. And it’s a shame. I think they’re going to be selling it at lows. I do expect that gold will bottom in here sometime soon. It will probably break 1,000 and go lower. I encourage you to read that Clive Maund article. But remember, that is the spot price. As shortages develop, the physical will diverge from spot. So if you’re going to buy futures contracts and stuff, go ahead and wait for that bottom. But if you wait for that bottom to buy physical, you may end up paying a whole lot more, not less. But there will also be, when that bottoms, some tremendous values in mining stocks available.


“Silver & Gold Price: The Breakdown with Mike Maloney”
YouTube Video

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein)

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Rich Dad Author Robert Kiyosaki: ‘I’d Rather Have Gold And Silver And Guns And Bullets’

“Gold futures settled near a five-and-a-half week low on Friday, with expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will soon lift interest rates helping to send prices down for a fifth straight week…”

-MarketWatch website, July 24, 2015

“Gold is doomed”

The Washington Post website, July 25, 2015

Back in February, I blogged about Robert Kiyosaki, an American entrepreneur, educator, investor, and author of the New York Times best-selling book Rich Dad Poor Dad. Kiyosaki appeared on the Alex Jones Show on February 17, 2015, and warned viewers:

It doesn’t make me happy that I’m getting richer and richer, and I see my friends getting poorer and poorer. I’m very concerned right now about my generation- the Baby Boom generation, the biggest generation in history. And they bought that program of put all your money in a 401(k) and invest for the long term. Now, I wrote a book called Rich Dad’s Prophecy back in 2002. That was 13 years ago. And I said the biggest stock market crash in the history of the world was coming in 2016. I was kind of guessing. But unfortunately, I didn’t write it to be right. I wrote it out of concern. If I’m correct that in 2002 what I said the biggest market crash was coming in 2016, that means millions and millions of Baby Boomers, their kids, their grandkids, will feel the effect of that when their retirement savings are wiped out. I hope I’m wrong. But so far, my numbers look accurate and it’s holding course right now. So I don’t write because I want to be rich or poke fun or want to be righteous. I am rather concerned about my fellow citizens.

Kiyosaki revealed one way he was preparing for the crash while discussing his new book, Second Chance: for Your Money, Your Life and Our World. From the exchange:

I like silver personally. I love gold. I have a lot of gold and silver.

While there’s no shortage of precious metals bears these days, Kiyosaki remains bullish on gold and silver- in addition to two other “metals.” In a Palisade Radio interview uploaded onto YouTube on June 28, he told viewers:

You should buy gold and silver because eventually the tug of war between deflation and inflation, somebody’s going to quit, and I think it’s going to be hyperinflation. So that’s why gold and silver make sense to me…

So I’m pretty optimistic. I’m going to make even more money when the crash comes. But unfortunately, like I said, for those who are not prepared, gold and silver are probably the best investments. But you have gold and silver, two other precious metals, guns and bullets (laughing). The reason for that, I laugh about it, but my friend reminds me of this. He says you rich guys can buy gold and silver. Poor guys buy guns and bullets. So I can understand that mentality is this gap between the 1 percent and the 99 percent. I’d rather have gold and silver and guns and bullets. This is why I don’t live in California (laughing). I live in Arizona, where they already respect guns and bullets.


“Robert Kiyosaki: Biggest Stock Market Crash in History Coming in 2016 – June 28, 2015”
YouTube Video

According to Kiyosaki, 2016 to 2030 is “going to be very tumultuous.”

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein)

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Marc Faber Identifies Investment Opportunities

Swiss-born investment advisor/money manager Marc Faber was in Chicago Thursday giving a presentation at the CFA Analyst Seminar. The publisher of the monthly investment newsletter The Gloom Boom & Doom Report warned his audience that all asset markets are overvalued- just like he did late last month when he said “everything is in a bubble” on the Fox Business Network (blogged about here).

That being said, “Doctor Doom” does see opportunities in real estate and emerging markets stocks, and likes cash to be able to acquire assets when bubbles pop.

There’s also gold. Timothy Pollard, covering Dr. Faber’s Chicago visit, reported on the Pensions & Investments website Thursday afternoon:

And of course, given his bearish stance, Mr. Faber recommended holding gold in a portfolio — his recommended allocation is 25%.

“Gold is insurance if the banking system fails,” he said. “As an investor I’d like to own something outside the banking system, and that includes real estate, art and gold.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Just last Tuesday, I noted that fellow “crash prophet” Peter Schiff tells people to have ten to fifteen percent of their portfolio in gold.

Pollard went into more detail about Dr. Faber’s presentation- and the investment opportunities he’s identified- on the Pensions & Investments website here. It’s an insightful read.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein)

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Mike Maloney, Peter Schiff Discuss Next Economic Crisis, Gold

The gold price has fallen to its lowest level in more than five years as talk of a US interest rate rise has led investors to sell the precious metal.

Gold closed 2.5% lower at $1,104.60 an ounce in London, having earlier fallen below $1,100 an ounce for the first time since March 2010.

The gold price is now more than 40% below its August 2011 peak…”

-BBC News website, July 20, 2015

I had to chuckle when I read the above.

“Talk of a US interest rate rise…”

How many months, no, years now has the Federal Reserve been talking about hiking the federal funds rate?

“But Chris, the economy is in recovery mode…”

If the U.S. economy was truly in a recovery, rates wouldn’t still be close to zero.

The Fed knows if they start raising interest rates at this point in the game, the “recovery” is toast and we’re heading back into recession.

So what’s Janet Yellen and the Federal Reserve going to do? If the pressure builds on them to raise rates but there’s no excuses around for not doing so, I suspect we’re looking at a miniscule hike in the near future. Maybe even a few (but not too close together).

At which point, the Fed will proclaim:

We told you we were going to raise rates.

Yeah, right.

Earlier today, I watched a discussion on YouTube.com between two well-known “crash prophets” concerning the state of the U.S. economy/larger financial system and where gold fits into the equation. From the SchiffGold.com website on June 2:

For the first time ever, renowned investment gurus Mike Maloney and Peter Schiff sat down to a frank discussion about the future of the American economy. Together, they analyzed detailed charts and data to show why an even bigger crash than the 2008 crisis is in the making…

Schiff (an economist, financial broker/dealer, and author who heads up Euro Pacific Capital) and Maloney (a precious metals expert, advisor, and author who runs GoldSilver.com) predicted the U.S. economic crisis that reared its ugly head in the fall of 2008, and both are now warning of a more dire situation dead-ahead.

Their observations and arguments make sense to me, as opposed to the position staked out by the economic Pollyannas.

If you have the time, check out the following YouTube playlist of their exchange released last month:

• “Economic Crisis 2015- Peter Schiff & Mike Maloney (Part 1)” (run time 41:40)
• “Is Gold Overvalued? Peter Schiff & Mike Maloney (Part 2)” (run time 4:43)
• “Your Government Will Break Your Legs- Peter Schiff & Mike Maloney” (Part 3) (run time 7:18)
• “Inflation Or Deflation? Peter Schiff & Mike Maloney (Part 4)” (run time 3:43)
• “Gold Vs Debt Default- Peter Schiff & Mike Maloney (Part 5)” (run time 6:27)


YouTube Video Playlist

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein)

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Jim Rogers Predicts Crude Oil, Russian Ruble Comeback But Warns On U.S. Dollar

On Tuesday, The Economic Times (India) released an interview of well-known investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers on its website. Discussing weakness in the crude oil market in light of the recent nuclear “deal” with Iran, the former investing partner of George Soros said:

Not here to stay, but certainly when you have a big collapse in anything, it hits a bottom, then there is a big rebound. We call it in America a dead-cat bounce. Then you have a test, a second test to the low.

This is going to lead to the second test to the low. There is always a reason for the second test and now we are having it, but is oil going to stay down forever? No. Remember that known reserves around the world are in decline, except for fracking. This is good news for people who consume, bad news for people who produce. But it is not the end of the story…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Rogers thinks the Russian ruble, a currency he’s been bullish about for some time now, will benefit from a crude oil comeback. Sputnik, the international news service owned and operated by the Russian government, referenced a recent interview of the Singapore-based investor on Gazeta.ru. From the news outlet Tuesday:

Concerning the current rouble situation Rogers said, “Russia has low debt, unlike Greece, as well as convertible currency, which is quite unique for the new markets. So fundamentally its position can be called normal. It is being pressured by lower oil prices, but as soon as the black gold finds the stable point the situation will improve for the rouble.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Sputnik added:

He also mentioned the dollar saying that the US currency is in a terrible situation as the US national debt and trade deficit are huge.

“If we simply write out on paper the facts that lie behind the ruble and the dollar, without naming the currency, then everyone will want to buy rubles and no one will buy dollars. But as soon as you name them then, of course, people buy dollars.”

He added that he hopes he will be smart enough to get rid of dollars before the collapse happens. “Everything seems perfect, until one day it ceases to be so. It was the same with Britain, France, Spain and Greece. Often stocks manage to go up for a few years before hitting bankruptcy.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Last I heard, Rogers still owned greenbacks. I blogged back on November 11, 2014:

Despite the above warning, Rogers shared with Reuters back on October 23 that he still owned the U.S. dollar. He explained:

I have no confidence in the long-term strength of the U.S. dollar. I only own it because I expect all this turmoil to happen. And in times of turmoil, people flee to the safe-haven of the U.S. dollar. It’s not a safe-haven, but they think it’s a safe-haven, so people will own it. That’s why I own it.

Now what I expect to happen is, the dollar will go up stronger and stronger over the next year or two, at which point- some point- I’ll have to sell it. I have no idea what I’ll do with my money then because the world has got this terrible, terrible unsound foundation in all assets.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein)

Sources:

“Crude prices may sink on more Iran oil, but will rebound as known reserves are declining: Jim Rogers.” The Economic Times. 14 July 2015. (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/opinion/interviews/crude-prices-may-sink-on-more-iran-oil-but-will-rebound-as-known-reserves-are-declining-jim-rogers/articleshow/48066869.cms). 17 July 2015.

“US ‘Shot Itself in the Foot’ by Pushing Russia Toward China – Jim Rogers” Sputnik. 14 July 2015. (http://sputniknews.com/business/20150714/1024625814.html). 17 July 2015.

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Gold Taxation Issues

I have a feeling that a number of Survival And Prosperity readers either own gold or might be thinking about acquiring the precious metal in the future.

Tonight, I happened to come across an article on MarketWatch.com entitled “The tax implications of owning gold.” Bill Bischoff wrote yesterday:

In this environment, the idea of investing some taxable money in gold and other precious metal assets could be appealing. But read this to make sure you understand the tax angles…

It’s an insightful read. For example, I thought the sale of physical gold (both bullion and collectible) was subject to the maximum federal income tax rate of 28 percent- at a minimum. However, Bischoff explained:

Here’s how the 28% maximum rate deal works. If you are in the 28%, 33%, 35%, or 39.6% federal income tax bracket, net long-term gains from collectibles, including precious metal assets, are taxed at 28%. However, higher-income folks may also owe the dreaded 3.8% net investment income tax. If so, the maximum effective federal rate on long-term gains from precious metals can be 43.4% (39.6% + 3.8%).

If you are in the 10%, 15%, or 25% bracket, your net long-term gains from collectibles, including precious metal assets, are taxed at your regular rate of 10%, 15%, or 25%. In these brackets, you don’t have to worry about owing the 3.8% net investment income tax…

Interesting. You can read the entire piece over on the MarketWatch website here.

Just remember to consult a competent tax professional regarding such matters rather than relying on something you read on the Internet.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein)

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Jeremy Grantham Shares Top 10 Issues On His Mind Today

The last time I blogged about Jeremy Grantham, the British-born investment strategist and founder/former chairman of Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. (oversees $118 billion in client assets as of March 31), he warned (once again) in an investment letter released around the start of May:

It seems logical to assume that absent a major international economic accident, the current Fed is bound and determined to continue stimulating asset prices until we once again have a fully-fledged bubble. And we are not there yet…

To remind you, we at GMO still believe that bubble territory for the S&P 500 is about 2250…

(Editor’s note: The S&P 500 ended the day at 2,109)

Grantham, whose individual clients have included current Secretary of State John Kerry and former Vice President Dick Cheney, should be coming out with a new advisory on the GMO website in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, for readers who can’t get enough of Mr. Grantham’s insights, this afternoon I came across a piece on the Morningstar website entitled “10 obsessions of an investment guru.” Jason Stipp wrote right before the weekend:

Jeremy Grantham is the chief investment strategist at Grantham Mayo van Otterloo (GMO). Before launching into his formal keynote presentation at the 2015 Morningstar Investment Conference at Chicago, Grantham took a moment to tick off the top 10 issues on his mind today.”In my current role, I’m totally free to obsess about important issues that interest me,” he said. And here they are, fleshed out a bit with some quotes from Grantham’s commentaries…

Those who pay regular attention to Grantham will recognize some of those issues, including resource “limitations” and a Federal Reserve that’s forever blowing asset bubbles. However, in the Morningstar piece he also talks about income inequality, corporate (ir)responsibility, and, did I mention investment bubbles? From the article:

10) Investment bubbles. Grantham said we’re not there yet, but we’re well on our way as valuation levels approach the 2-sigma event that creates the sufficient but not necessary environment for bubbles. But every bubble needs a trigger — such as deal mania or mass speculation by individual investors. Those factors are not yet present, Grantham said. “I’m going to be incredibly prudent starting closer to the election,” Grantham added. “I recommend the same to you.”

This is a good read, which you can view in its entirety on the Morningstar website here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein)

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Marc Faber Warns Of Massive Deflation In Asset Prices, Shares Buy Recommendations

Monday, Swiss-born investment advisor/money manager Marc Faber was on the phone with Trish Regan of the FOX Business Network show The Intelligence Report. The publisher of the monthly investment newsletter The Gloom Boom & Doom Report warned viewers that:

Everything is in a bubble.

Dr. Faber subsequently predicted massive deflation in asset prices was coming. When Regan asked him what he would recommend people buy, the man famous for advising clients to get out of the U.S. stock market one week before the October 1987 crash offered up:

I tell you it will be very difficult to hide, because even bank deposits may not be safe. But, relatively inexpensive are gold mining shares, silver mining shares, and physical gold and silver. But you have to hold it physically and preferably outside the U.S.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Regan asked Faber why outside the United States. He replied:

Because in the U.S., and even in Europe and Switzerland, there is a threat that one day when things really will go bad, central bankers will blame the gold holders for the disaster, and they will say, “We’ll have to take the gold away,” and so forth. This is less likely to happen in Asia.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)


“Marc Faber warns of ‘colossal systemic risk’ in markets”
FOX Business Network Video

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein)

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Quote For The Week

“A financial crisis is a great time for professional investors and a horrible time for average ones.”

Robert Kiyosaki (American financial literacy activist, businessman, investor, and author of Rich Dad Poor Dad. 1947- )

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Sunday, June 21st, 2015 Investing, Main Street, Wall Street No Comments

Jim Rogers: ‘The Game Is Getting Close To An End’

GoldSeek.com Radio’s Chris Waltzek recently interviewed well-known investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers. Talking to GoldSeek.com Radio from Switzerland, Rogers discussed a number of topics related to investing. While insightful, it was his “parting words” for listeners that grabbed my attention. The former investing partner of George Soros in the legendary Quantum Fund said in the interview:

My parting words are, be very aware of what’s going on and be careful- be worried and be careful. Sure, I write about it in my books. But more important than my books are- just be prepared, because the next time we have a problem in the world it’s going to be really, really bad.

GoldSeek Radio’s Waltzek asked what type of “safety net” is left, to which Rogers replied:

I mean nothing. They’ve put up a lot of PR. But no- I mean, interest rates are at historical lows. They’ve printed staggering amounts of money. I mean, sure they can just go out and buy stocks or something, and then print even more money. But the game is getting close to an end. We haven’t had a recession or hard times in America and the world in six years. We’re overdue historically. When it comes, because the debt is so, so, so much higher, it’s going to be a mess. I mean, I’m still long stocks. I’m still long stocks, don’t get me wrong. I’m just saying, please be aware of what’s going on, because when it ends, it’s going to be serious.


GoldSeek Radio – May 8, 2015 [JIM ROGERS, PETER ELIADES & DAVID MORGAN]
(Jim Rogers Segment 6:08 to 18:08)
YouTube Video

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

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Peter Schiff: Gold Still On Course For $5,000 An Ounce Or More

In a recent MarketWatch phone interview, Peter Schiff, President and CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, repeated his call for the price of gold to reach and possibly surpass $5,000. Myra Saefong reported on the financial news website Friday morning:

“You need to be long gold and there is going to be a huge payday,” Schiff said. “Ultimately,” gold will see $5,000 an ounce and it “could go higher.”

Though gold has been range bound since about mid-2013, Schiff said the turning point for the metal would be a close above the high it saw in January. Gold futures peaked at around $1,300.70 that month, according to FactSet.

“That’ll change the current dynamic,” Schiff argues…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I’ve blogged about that $5,000 number from Schiff before. Back on October 25, 2012, Schiff told viewers of CNBC’s Futures Now TV show:

$1,700? One day we’re going to look back at $1,700 with nostalgia. People are going to be shocked at how inexpensive gold was when it could be snapped up for such a bargain price. It’s not going to take too long. Just in a few years. I mean, we’re talking gold $5,000. That’s not the ceiling. That might end up being the low end of the range that we’re going to be into. Remember, Ben Bernanke has promised to print over a trillion dollars in 2013. I think he’s going to print more than that. It’s not going to revive the economy. It’s not going to create jobs. But it will help destroy the dollar. And that is going to send gold higher…

I think you’re going to see a big move in the next couple of years.

It’s not just physical gold he’s bullish on. Saefong added in that MarketWatch piece:

“I think the upside in gold stocks is phenomenal from here,” Schiff said.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

Source:

Saefong, Myra. “Peter Schiff, more bullish than ever, sees gold headed to $5,000 an oz.” MarketWatch. 15 May 2015. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/peter-schiff-more-bullish-than-ever-sees-gold-headed-to-5000-an-oz-2015-05-15?page=1). 16 May 2015.

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Marc Faber Warns ‘Have At Least Some Money In Precious Metals’ And Store It Overseas

Swiss-born investment advisor/money manager Marc Faber was just interviewed by Simon Black over at Sovereign Man, a provider of global financial intelligence and solutions. The publisher of the monthly investment newsletter The Gloom Boom & Doom Report talked about the need of investors to be in precious metals, and where to store it. In the exchange that was uploaded to the Sovereign Man website on May 8, Dr. Faber told listeners:

The only currencies that I regard as significantly undervalued at the present time are the precious metals- silver, gold, platinum, palladium. And I would advise any investor to have at least some money in precious metals. The problem is, as a very informed reader of mine said, if precious metals really one day work out- in other words, gold goes to $10,000 an ounce- you can be sure that the government will take it away from you. That is a threat.

As you know in the world- since you are running an organization Sovereign Man- there is a move to curtail freedom, and there is a move to abolish paper money… If I were your listeners and I held gold, if paper money is abandoned or banished, about the last thing you want to hold is gold because it will be taken away as well. So you better close down your accounts at Citi, in my view. Put your money somewhere, anywhere in the world, except in U.S. banks.

Back in February, Faber warned in a King World News interview:

The central banks and the governments will try to take the gold away from ordinary people, you understand? I think they know that this would be one solution for the global financial system to peg it again to some extent on gold. But before they do that, I think they’ll go after you and me and say, “Okay, parasites of society that do not spend but keep their money in gold that is unproductive- let us take it away.” That is the threat. I’m not worried about the price of gold. What do I care if the gold price is at $1,000 or $500 or $1,500 or $5,000? What I care is that I can keep ownership of gold.

You can listen to that Sovereign Man interview in its entirety on their website here (precious metals discussion starts at 13:59).

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

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Illinois’ Largest Foreign Trading Partners Weigh In On State’s Attractiveness For Investment

Illinois blog readers might be interested in the following, which appeared on the State of Illinois home page earlier this week:

In order to obtain an independent assessment of Illinois’ competitiveness, the Governor’s office asked the state’s largest foreign trading partners to share their confidential views on Illinois’ attractiveness for investment from their countries

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The survey focused on ten nations, and the findings were posted on the state’s website along with this accompanying memo:

From: John DeBlasio, Director for International Trade and Investment
To: Interested Parties
Date: May 4, 2015
Subj: Key Reforms Needed to Strengthen Foreign Direct Investment in Illinois

In order to obtain an independent assessment of Illinois’ competitiveness, the Governor’s office asked the state’s largest foreign trading partners to share their confidential views on Illinois’ attractiveness for investment from their countries.

Collectively, these nations have invested tens of billions of dollars in factories, warehouses, office buildings, and transportation facilities across America, and employ hundreds of thousands of American workers. They are in a unique position to compare the relative strengths and weaknesses of individual states with which Illinois must compete. Every year they make important decisions on where to locate major new facilities and high-paying jobs. Their comments taken together create a policy roadmap of strategic recommendations that we can use to drive powerful new economic growth and job creation in our state.

Attached are the letters, memos, and priorities the Governor’s Office has received, with names, locations, and specific stories redacted to protect the confidentiality of individual countries. The letters deserve to be reviewed in detail, but some of their key comments are highlighted below:

“Top Concern: tax issues-too high, property & corporate, worries about further increases due to financial condition of the state”
• “There are large (and growing) perceptions that infrastructure improvements are not keeping up”
• “Foreign firms place a premium on opportunities to “cluster” – to work with concentrations of talent in their sector”
• “The plethora of universities, research institutions & accelerators headquartered in the region constitute a significant positive – firms and entrepreneurs are drawn here by the world-class innovation taking place”
• “Chicago is attractive to college students – which therefore enhances the quality of the workforce pool”
• “Vast difference in perception between Chicago and downstate Illinois. While the former has plenty of positives, the latter is not seen to be competitive with Indiana, Wisconsin, etc.”
• “Costs in particular linked to Unions are high. It’s a problem, especially with Wisconsin and Indiana as neighbors – if there is a legal dispute with workers….Cook County is known for being anti-boss or pro-employee”
• “Right to Work is being used by other states to position them favorably compared to Illinois. This is similar to other labor market regulations and workers compensation, unemployment insurance levels, etc. that put Illinois at a disadvantage compared with other states”
• “The manufacturing workforce is aging and vocational training for the next generation of skilled employees is lacking”
• “Chicago is one of the most expensive trade show locations in the world. Being an expensive/bureaucratic trade show location often carries over to the state being perceived as a high cost/bureaucratic location for investing”
• “Illinois overseas offices are primarily focused on exports not investment attraction, which is two very different tasks”
• “Many states have modernized their structure by founding Economic Development Corporations tasked specifically with pursuing investors”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Sifting through the trading partners’ letters and memos which contained remarks on foreign investment in Illinois, this one from so-called “Nation #3” stood out:

Even (redacted) companies have a high degree of ignorance about Chicago and the region and rarely see beyond Capone and Jordan

High crime rates- hugely amplified internationally. Chicago is seen as the crime capital of the USA

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Crime capital of the USA” I get. Jordan too. But Capone? Really?


“F**k that, I’m going to Vegas!”
Scene From Chicago Overcoat (2009)
(Warning: Language, violence, “Chicago Typewriter” in all its glory)
YouTube Video

You can read more on that survey from Governor Rauner’s office here (.pdf format) on the State of Illinois website.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Jeremy Grantham: Fed Hell-Bent On Stimulating Asset Prices Until ‘Fully-Fledged Bubble’ Forms

Jeremy Grantham, the British-born investment strategist and founder/former chairman of Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. (oversees $118 billion in client assets as of March 31, 2015), has just released his latest investment letter on the GMO website. Writing about the first quarter of 2015, Grantham, whose individual clients have included current Secretary of State John Kerry and former Vice President Dick Cheney, focused on U.S. economic growth and the bubble-blowing Federal Reserve. Regarding growth, Grantham wrote:

I am still just about certain about three things: first, our secular growth rate in the U.S. is indeed about 1.5% (at least as stated in traditional GDP accounting, wherein expensive barrels of oil increase GDP; perhaps closer to 1% in real life); second, economists move their estimates slowly and carefully in order to stay near the pack and minimize career risk (despite the recent IMF heroics); and third, that we do not like to give or receive bad news and, when in doubt, we tend to be optimistic…

On the Federal Reserve and asset bubbles, Grantham noted:

In the Greenspan/ Bernanke/Yellen Era, the Fed historically did not stop its asset price pushing until fully-fledged bubbles had occurred, as they did in U.S. growth stocks in 2000 and in U.S. housing in 2006. Both of these were in fact stunning three-sigma events, by far the biggest equity bubble and housing bubble in U.S. history. Yellen, like both of her predecessors, has bragged about the Fed’s role in pushing up asset prices in order to get a wealth effect. Thus far, she seems to also share their view on feeling no responsibility to interfere with any asset bubble that may form. For me, recognizing the power of the Fed to move assets (although desperately limited power to boost the economy), it seems logical to assume that absent a major international economic accident, the current Fed is bound and determined to continue stimulating asset prices until we once again have a fully-fledged bubble. And we are not there yet

To remind you, we at GMO still believe that bubble territory for the S&P 500 is about 2250…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The S&P 500 finished up today at 2,114.

Back on August 4, 2014, I blogged about Grantham’s second quarter 2014 letter, in which he predicted:

I am still a believer that the Fed will engineer a fully-fledged bubble (S&P 500 over 2250) before a very serious decline…

Grantham’s other forecasts in his latest letter on the GMO website included:

• U.S. Economic Cycle- “Still seems only middle-aged, despite its measured long duration”

• U.S. Housing Market- “In terms of houses built is still way below the old average, and house prices are only around long-term fair value; there is room for improvement in both in the next two years.”

• U.S. Stock Market Correction- “We could easily, of course, have a normal, modest bear market, down 10-20%, given all of the global troubles we have. If we do, then the odds of this super-cycle bull market lasting until the election would go from pretty good to even better.”

As I’ve highlighted on the “Crash Prophets” page, Jeremy Grantham has an incredible knack for identifying changes in the direction of the stock market. He also nailed the economic crisis late last decade. However, I don’t know how what kind of track record he has with correctly-calling the economic and housing cycles. I guess I’ll just have to see how these two pan out.

An update to the “7-Year Asset Class Real Return Forecasts” chart was also provided in “Are We the Stranded Asset?”, which can be viewed in its entirety on the GMO website here (.pdf format; starts p. 7).

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

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Jim Rogers ‘Still Waiting’ For Gold Buying Opporunity, ‘My Positions Are In Asia’

Daniela Cambone of Kitco News recently spoke to well-known investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers. The former investing partner of George Soros in the legendary Quantum Fund shared the following with Kitco News viewers on April 30:

I’m bullish on the Chinese market, that’s my largest country. My largest stock positions are in Asia- China, Japan, Russia is becoming bigger and bigger. So my positions are in Asia. China is going to have some problems eventually. Looks like a bubble may be developing in its stock market, and if that happens obviously it will pop someday. You’re going to see some more real estate bankruptcies in China. There’s a lot of debt build up-in China. But at the moment I’m still there. I even bought more last week

I’ve mentioned China. I mentioned Japan. Russia- I’ll probably buy more Russia today. If I weren’t talking to you I might be buying Russia right now. These are the sorts of things where I’m looking and am putting more money.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)


“Gold Buying Opportunity Has Still Not Come – Jim Rogers | Kitco News”
YouTube Video

As Kitco deals in precious metals, it was only natural that the topic of gold came up in the discussion. Singapore-based Rogers had this to say about now being a buying opportunity for the yellow metal:

Well, the opportunity has not come as far as I’m concerned. I’m still waiting.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The Chairman of Rogers Holding started to say “Sometime in the next year” before offering this up to viewers:

I have no idea. I’m very bad at market timing.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

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