Mainstream Media

Gold ‘One Of The Best Assets To Own In 2016’?

Gold is making headlines again as interest in the yellow metal picks up due to the recent carnage on Wall Street and other financial concerns. It’s been some time since I’ve checked-up on precious metals, and here are excerpts from two insightful articles I read Wednesday afternoon. Mark Decambre reported on the MarketWatch website today:

Who would have guessed that gold would be one of the best assets to own in 2016? So far, that has been the case- while the U.S. stock market has rung up its worst start to a year and a miasma of economic gloom continues to roll across much of the world.

Gold is on a hot streak, after shrugging off the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate increase back in December that should have spelled doom for prices. Instead, it’s on track to gain 5.4% so far in 2016, FactSet data show. True, it’s still early in the year, but if gold were to just tread water for the next 11 months, it would mark the best annual gain in four years.

By comparison, the S&P 500 is down 6.4%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has slumped 7% and the Nasdaq Composite has skidded a hefty 9%…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Decambre added that silver is up 5 percent, platinum is down 1 percent, and palladium is also down 11 percent so far in 2016.

Down the stretch, Thomson Reuters GFMS analysts predict gold could end up having a good year. Jan Harvey reported Tuesday on the Reuters website:

Gold demand fell 2 percent last year, GFMS analysts at Thomson Reuters said on Tuesday, but is set to recover in 2016 as U.S. rate hikes arrive more slowly than expected, while concerns over economic growth and yuan weakness stimulate Chinese buying.

In 2016 GFMS sees gold prices, currently near $1,100 an ounce, recovering to above $1,200 an ounce by year-end, and averaging $1,164 an ounce in the full year. Gold demand is expected to grow by 5 percent this year, it said…

Mine supply is set to keep falling after posting its largest quarterly decline since 2008 in the last quarter, while lower prices are expected to stimulate retail demand, and central bank buying will remain supportive…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Speaking of “mine supply,” I’m hearing more talk of “peak gold” these days, which is something I’ll have to look into.

Good news for gold these days. Which means mainstream (financial) media outlets will start beating up the yellow metal again shortly.

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

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is 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 contained herein.)

Sources:

Decambre, Mark. “Gold has been one of Wall Street’s best bets early in 2016.” MarketWatch. 27 Jan. 2016. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-bugs-have-been-crushing-it-in-2016-relative-to-stock-markets-2016-01-27). 27 Jan. 2016.

Harvey, Jan. “Gold eyes 2016 rebound on slower rate hikes, Chinese demand – GFMS.” Reuters. 26 Jan. 2017. (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-gfms-gold-idUSKCN0V411O). 27 Jan. 2017.

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SP Intel Report- December 8, 2015

How’s this for timing? Bringing up the rear in my last SP Intel Report entry:

I too believe it’s only a matter of time before a major terror attack is launched by jihadists against the U.S.

Okay, so the San Bernardino, California, terrorist attack (pretty pathetic how some tried real hard to paint this as merely workplace-related violence) wasn’t exactly “major,” and anyone with at least half-a-brain should have seen this coming. But the Muslim extremists are here, and they will strike again at the “homeland” on the level of what just happened out on the “Left Coast” (all that gun “control” didn’t work out too well for California in this instance) all the way up to another 9/11-type attack with thousands of Americans dead.

Chicagoland

U.S. Supreme Court Declines To Hear Appeal Of Lower-Court Ruling Upholding City of Highland Park, Illinois, Assault Weapons Ban

From a press release published on the City of Highland Park website Monday:

On Monday, December 7, 2015, the United States Supreme Court announced that it will not entertain a challenge to the City of Highland Park’s ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines, thus allowing the 7th Circuit Court opinion supporting the ordinance to remain standing. This Supreme Court’s determination is a resounding victory for the City of Highland Park and the safety of its residents…

Or so their local government leaders think. For a number of years now I’ve thought Highland Park might be a potential target for home-grown and visiting jihadists in the Chicago area due to its significant Jewish population that, in general, doesn’t seem to celebrate the natural right to self-defense and firearm protections provided by the Founding Fathers like their brethren do over at the JPFO (Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership). One might think world history would cause them to act otherwise. Here’s hoping the Highland Park Police Department is equipped with some major firepower, because if the (aspiring) terrorists weren’t familiar with Highland Park already, they are now, considering the amount of nationwide publicity gun “control” supporters (mainstream media) are giving this inaction by the U.S. Supreme Court. The “North Shore” community might now look even “softer” in the eyes of these bad guys. Good luck with that.

Illinois

Illinois State Rifle Association Declares December 12-13 To Be ‘Illinois Family Security Weekend’

Speaking of that last SP Intel Report entry, in it I talked about a November 14, 2015, Facebook post from the Illinois State Rifle Association in which they issued an “Urgent Alert” regarding terrorism preparedness. Well, the ISRA just issued another alert today. From their website:

SPECIAL ALERT
THIS WEEKEND IS “ILLINOIS FAMILY SECURITY WEEKEND”
PROTECT YOUR FAMILY – PREPARE FOR THE WORST

The closing months of 2015 provide chilling proof of just how successful Obama has been in engineering the decline of the USA. In less than 8 years, the USA has gone from world power to whimpering “also ran.” There is no better illustration of this sad state of affairs than the happenings of the last several weeks.

In October, cultists bombed a Russian airliner killing more than 200 people. In November, cultists bombed and shot more than 100 people in attacks on Paris’ entertainment district. In response to these attacks, Europe banded together under the leadership of President Putin to deliver a staggering military attack on cultist strongholds.

Earlier this month, cultists attacked a Christmas party in San Bernardino – killing 14 and wounding at least a dozen more. In response, Obama got on TV to tell law-abiding citizens to give up their guns and to lecture Americans about how they have to do a better job of making friends.

Get the picture here?

If you think that Obama is capable, or even willing to faithfully discharge his duty to protect this nation and its people from cultist attacks, you are sorely mistaken. That means that the safety and security of you and your family is totally up to you. Are you prepared for that mission?

Your Illinois State Rifle Association has declared the weekend of December 12-13 as “Illinois Family Security Weekend.” The purpose of this declaration is to emphasize the dire situation our nation is in and the necessity for all good citizens to be prepared for swift and devastating changes to our way of life. The Illinois State Rifle Association is asking all Illinois citizens to make a pledge to themselves and their families to spend some time this weekend preparing for the unthinkable, yet inevitable horrors that could be inflicted on our nation at any moment.

Key things that you and your family need to be working on this weekend…

Check out what the ISRA has to say over on their website here.

National

The New York Times Pushes National Gun Confiscation

If there was still any doubt about the ongoing push for nationwide gun confiscation in the United States (did anybody ever really believe that “we’re not coming for your guns” horse crap?), one only needs to read the front page of The New York Times last Saturday. From their Editorial Board:

Certain kinds of weapons, like the slightly modified combat rifles used in California, and certain kinds of ammunition, must be outlawed for civilian ownership. It is possible to define those guns in a clear and effective way and, yes, it would require Americans who own those kinds of weapons to give them up for the good of their fellow citizens

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

By the way, this was the newspaper’s first front-page editorial since 1920.

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

Source:

Editorial Board. “End the Gun Epidemic in America.” The New York Times. 4 Dec. 2015. (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/05/opinion/end-the-gun-epidemic-in-america.html?_r=0). 8 Dec. 2015.

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Signs Of The Time, Part 90

Ever notice how detailed descriptions of suspects in a crime have disappeared to a large extent from the news over the years?

And often the suspect descriptions that are provided are incredibly vague to the extent of being a complete joke.

“Two males aged between 30 to 60 are suspects in the crime…”

Seeing that’s been the case, it was refreshing (and somewhat shocking) to spot the following this Monday morning on the Chicago Tribune website. From an article entitled “Police warn residents, businesses of robberies on Northwest, West sides”:

All three suspects are black male teenagers who are between 15 and 17 years old. All three were 5-foot-6 and weighed about 150 pounds. They all had black hair.

One suspect was in a black-hooded sweatshirt, another suspect wore a gray-hooded sweatshirt, and the third suspect had a black-hooded sweatshirt with red strings…

In two of the robberies, a suspect is a black man who is between 40 and 45 years old, police said. The man is between 5-foot9 and 6-foot-2. He has short black hair with a birthmark or an impairment on his face. He was wearing a black coat.

In one of the incidents, a suspect is described as a black man who is between 22 and 23 years old. He is between 5-foot-6 an 5-foot-7. He also had black hair and was wearing a black coat…

A suspect is black man who is between 18 and 20 years old. The man had red dreadlocks…

One suspect is a black man who is between 19 and 28 years old and is between 5-foot-8 and 6 feet tall, police said. Another suspect is a black man who is between 38 and 43 years old. He is between 5-foot-9 and 6 feet tall. He weighs between 190 and 210 pounds and has a medium complexion, police said…

Could this be the start of some “new” trend in the news media? Or will the PC Storm Troopers clamp down on such “graphic” suspect descriptions being made available for public consumption?

I suspect it will be the latter, unfortunately.

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

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Gun ‘Control’ Supporters Borrow A Page From Rahm Emanuel’s Playbook

From the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board Friday night on the paper’s website:

A young man armed to the teeth kills ten people at a community college in Oregon, and what do the politicians in Washington do?

They put on their saddest faces and go on TV. They shake their heads. They bemoan and decry.

As if that counts for a thing.

Spare us.

Here’s what they should do, right now, every one of them: Pass a law — two good bills are ready to go

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Two good bills are ready to go…”

Of course they are. I wouldn’t have expected anything less from the gun “control” crowd these days.

You can read the rest of the opinion piece on the Sun-Times site here.


“Rahm Emanuel: ‘Never Let A Good Crisis Go To Waste’”
YouTube Video

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

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Peter Schiff: Told You The Fed Was Bluffing On Rate Hikes

I recently highlighted an example of why Jeremy Grantham, the British-born investment strategist and founder/former chairman of Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. (oversees $117 billion in client assets as of June 30), is one of Survival And Prosperity’s “crash prophets.”

The following also exemplifies why Peter Schiff, the CEO and chief global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital, belongs to that small group of individuals whose investment activities/recommendations I track on a regular basis.

From Schiff’s “Groundhog Day at the Fed,” published on the Euro Pacific Capital website last Friday:

Every dictator knows that a continuous state of emergency is the best means to justify tyrannical policies. The trick is to keep the fictitious emergency from breeding so much paranoia that routine activities come to a halt. Many have discovered that its best to make the threat external, intangible and ultimately, unverifiable. In Orwell’s 1984 the preferred mantra was “We’ve always been at war with Eurasia,” even though everyone knew it wasn’t true. In its rate decision this week the Federal Reserve, adopted a similar approach and conjured up an external threat to maintain a policy that is becoming increasingly absurd.

In blaming its continued inaction on “uncertainties abroad” (an excuse never before invoked by the Fed in the current period of zero interest rates), the Fed was able to maintain the pretense of a strong domestic economy, and its desire to lift rates at the earliest appropriate moment while continuing the economic life support of zero percent rates. Unbelievably, the media swallowed the propaganda hook, line, and sinker.

Over the summer it all seemed so certain. In mid-August the Wall Street Journal conducted a poll revealing that 95% of economists expected a rate hike by the end of 2015, with 82% expecting the first move to come in September. On July 29, Marketwatch reported that changes in Fed language were the “smoking gun” that made a September move a certainty. I was one of the few who publicly predicted that all the tough talk from the Fed was a bluff, and that there would be no hike in 2015. For taking that stance, I was largely ignored and ridiculed. In a July 16 interview on CNBC’s Futures Now (I am no longer invited to be on their television broadcasts), pundit Scott Nations took me to task for making the “outlandish” suggestion that the Fed would not raise in 2015, saying (to paraphrase):

“If price is truth and Fed funds futures are the collective wisdom of everybody in the world, and they are absolutely a lock for the Fed to raise rates by the end of the year, why is everybody else wrong and you are right?”

But now, in mid-September, it has all changed, far fewer economists expect a hike this year. However, despite this dramatic reversal, few have downgraded their forecasts or weakened their belief that the Fed remains committed to tighten policy…eventually. In other words, the Fed has achieved a complete communications victory.

Just like it has in prior statements, the Fed painted a picture of a stable and growing economy that was ready for a hike. In fact, in her press conference, Janet Yellen said that the Fed was “impressed” by the strength of the domestic economy. Although such statements began to resemble the film Groundhog Day, no one seems to tire of it.

A cornucopia of metaphors should have come to mind: The Fed’s bite had failed to live up to its bark; its “open mouth” operations wrote a check that its Open Market Committee was unable to cash; the Fed has become Lucy of the comic strip Peanuts, always promising to hold the football for Charlie Brown to kick, but always taking it away before he kicks it. Instead, the dominant theme of the coverage was that the Fed’s understanding of the global economy was just better than the rest of us. It apparently understood that a 25 basis point increase in rates in the U.S. could ripple through to the world markets and could potentially push China’s tottering stock market into the abyss. That was a risk it believed was not worth taking.

To keep the story line going requires that the steady torrent of negative data be ignored (see manufacturing data in September Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey of Philly Fed]. Similar weakness is evident in business investment, productivity, and consumer confidence numbers. Based on those data sets, conventional Keynesian “wisdom” suggests the Fed should be preparing a fresh round of stimulus, not readying its first economic sedative in nine years.

The big news is the introduction of “international developments” as an ongoing input into the Fed’s rate deliberation process. This addition allows the Fed nearly limitless latitude to perpetually kick the can down the road. After all, it is a great big world, and it will always be possible to find a problem somewhere. A Reuters article issued after the decision describes the new reality (9/18/15, Howard Schneider):

“It is a situation that could leave the Fed stranded in its hunt for a rate liftoff until the entire global economy is growing in sync, and the horizon is clear of risks.”

So there you have it. The Fed is no longer just the central bank of the United States, but the central bank of the entire world. As such it will need to consider any possible negative impacts, anywhere, before it pulls the trigger. This isn’t just moving the goalposts; it is dismantling them completely, putting them in crates, and losing them in a government warehouse…much like the Ark of the Covenant at the end of the first Indiana Jones movie.

The height of yesterday’s absurdity came during Janet Yellen’s press conference when Ann Saphir from Reuters asked her about the possibility that interest rates could stay at zero “forever.” While characterizing that likelihood as “extreme,” Yellen incredibly stated that she could not rule out the possibility. Of course the absurd suggestion that American civilization may never see rates above zero did not even raise eyebrows in the mainstream media. But the statement itself raises some interesting questions about Yellen’s actual thinking. First, how can she really be contemplating at 2015 rate hike, if she cannot even rule out the possibility of rates remaining at zero forever? Second, is she really that naïve and arrogant to believe that currency markets would allow the Fed to hold interest rates at zero indefinitely, without creating a dollar crisis, even if the Fed wanted to hold them there?

As I have maintained continuously, rate hike talk from the Fed is just a bluff to disguise its inability to tighten, as even small increases could be sufficient to prick the biggest bubble it has ever inflated. It is no coincidence that the stunning 170% increase in the Dow Jones, that occurred between March 2009 and the end of 2014, happened while the Fed was stimulating the economy almost continuously with QE, and that the rally came to an abrupt end when the QE stopped.

The recent 10% correction on Wall Street confirms to me just how sensitive the markets remain to the prospect of any rates higher than zero. In reality, that sell-off was a much greater factor than China in keeping the Fed quiet. That steep correction occurred at a time when most forecasters believed that a September hike was in the cards. For years, they had known that a rate hike was coming, but they always thought it would arrive when the economy was healthy. But when the big day became a clear and present danger, and the economy was still less than optimal, markets began to panic. It was only when Fed officials came out with publicly dovish statements that the sell-off ended. Despite this obvious connection, the markets are still blaming China, despite the fact that big sell-offs in China had been occurring for much of 2015 without sparking follow on panics in the U.S.

As a result, it should be clear that ongoing Fed decision-making is not just “data dependent” (and now we are talking about international, not just domestic, data), but also “market dependent,” meaning the Fed won’t raise rates if markets sell off sharply on expectations that it will raise. Given these impossible conditions, perhaps a perpetual zero rates are not so outlandish. But the reality is Central banks can’t really control interest rates across the spectrum, just the short end of the curve…when markets really panic, they won’t be able to stop economically devastating interest rate spikes on the long end.

In the meantime, I can only hope that the foreign exchange and commodity markets are finally getting the picture that the Fed appears impotent. The tremendous rally in the dollar over the past 18 months was predicated on the belief that interest rates would be rising in the U.S. just as they were falling everywhere else. Now that that premise is in tatters, the dollar should be giving back its undeserved gains. Recent moves in the foreign exchange market reveal that this is the case.

When the year began, opinion was divided between those who thought the Fed would move in March, and those who thought it wouldn’t happen until June. When June came and went, September became the odds-on favorite. Now those same experts are once again divided between December and sometime in 2016. When will these “experts” finally connect the real dots and discover that the monetary medicine that the Fed has doused over the economy since 2008 has only created a weak and utterly dependent economy. A rate hike is supposed to be a signal that the economy has a clean bill of health. But as the patient fails to recover, another dose of QE will be just what the doctor orders.

Subscribe to Euro Pacific’s Weekly Digest: Receive all commentaries by Peter Schiff, John Browne, and other Euro Pacific commentators delivered to your inbox every Monday!

Sniff, sniff, sniff. I smell another Peter Schiff Was Right YouTube video in the offing…

(Editor’s notes: Permission to publish article granted by Euro Pacific Capital; 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)

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

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14th Anniversary Of 9/11

Lest we forget…


Marcus Luttrell, retired Navy SEAL portrayed by actor Mark Wahlberg
in the 2013 film Lone Survivor, for The NRA Foundation
NRA Video

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

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Good Article On British Preppers

“Damian McBride @ DPMcBride- Aug 24
Advice on the looming crash, No. 1: get hard cash in a safe place now; don’t assume banks and cash points will be open, or bank cards will work”

“Damian McBride @ DPMcBride- Aug 24
“Crash advice No. 2: do you have enough bottled water, tinned goods & other essentials at home to live a month indoors? If not, get shopping.”

“Damian McBride @ DPMcBride- Aug 24
“Crash advice No. 3: agree a rally point with your loved ones in case transport and communications get cut off; somewhere you can all head to.”

“Damian McBride @ DPMcBride- Aug 24
I’m presuming the Central Banks will intervene to stop this market slide but that will just make the eventual, inescapable crash even worse.”

-Tweets from Damian McBride, former special adviser to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, as global stock markets continue to plunge this week

Earlier this evening I came across a good article about British preppers on the website of the Mirror (UK).

One of the reasons I call the piece “good” is that the author, Jeff Parsons, reported on prepping without the typical bias and ridicule found in most other mainstream media works on this subject.

The Mirror Online met with a “survival expert that tells it like it is”- Steve Hart of the British prepping website ukpreppersguide.co.uk- who proceeded to explain the activity as:

Prepping itself is just another form of insurance. People have life, car or pet insurance for the “what ifs” – this is just looking at a “what if” from a slightly different perspective.

What if a serious earthquake hits? Or a tsunami or a volcano or even a bio-terrorism attack?

Funny. That’s pretty much how I’ve come to describe prepping as.

The article is an interesting look at preppers “across the pond”- with some basic prepping tips thrown in.

You can read the entire piece over on the Mirror website here.

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

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Signs Of The Time, Part 87

It’s been interesting watching the run-up to the recent carnage on Wall Street.

For some time now, the “crash prophets” who correctly-called the housing market bubble and 2008 economic crisis have been warning the stock market was frothy, if not in bubble territory.

Meanwhile, the Pollyannas who didn’t see either of those events from the last decade convinced themselves that not only had the United States managed to get on solid footing again after the blatant “papering over” of the debacle that reared its ugly head seven years ago, but that U.S equities and their valuations were a fair reflection of an economic “recovery” that was charging “full-steam ahead.”

At the same time, the Pollyannas (with the assistance of the financial mainstream media) ridiculed the “prophets” at any chance they got.

Reminds me a lot of that time period from roughly 2004 to 2008, until the Pollyannas got spanked hard and many of their mouthpieces were put out to pasture.

Make no mistake about it, America’s financial crash is coming.

The powers-that-be can only “kick the can down the road” until the road runs out. And that time is almost here.

Is the recent stock market plunge the event that pushes us over the edge?

I’m not sure it is. That being said, the dive has resulted in some serious financial losses. Steve Goldstein, the D.C. Bureau Chief for the MarketWatch website, wrote this afternoon:

As of March 31, households and nonprofits held $24.1 trillion in stocks. That’s both directly, and through mutual funds, pension funds and the like. That also includes the holdings of U.S.-based hedge funds, though you’d have to think that most hedge funds are held by households.

Using the Dow Jones Total Stock Market index through midmorning trade, that number had dropped to $22.32 trillion.

In other words, a cool $1.8 trillion has been lost between now and the first quarter — and overwhelmingly, those losses occurred in the last few days…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

$1.8 trillion. Whew. After riding the bull for so long, it looks like the Pollyannas weren’t expecting the beast to pull an abrupt about-face… and gore them.


The White Stripes, Conquest (2007)
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)

Source:

Goldstein, Steve. “Households just saw $1.8 trillion in wealth vanish as stocks fall.” MarketWatch. 24 Aug. 2015. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/households-still-hold-22-trillion-in-stocks-even-after-market-rout-2015-08-24). 24 Aug. 2015.

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Chicago Tribune: ‘Chicagoans Should Consider A Modest Property Tax Increase Inevitable’

Coming on the heels of last Thursday’s post and an earlier one about Chicago-area property/other taxes was an article by Chicago Tribune business columnist Melissa Harris entitled “Chicago isn’t Detroit- and it’s not going bankrupt.”

In the June 20 piece, Harris attempted to argue exactly what the title says (critics are panning it as “Machine”/union propaganda). But what interested me were statements like this:

More revenue will be required soon, most likely in the form of a property tax increase.

Not only is Chicago’s property tax rate lower than those in many suburbs, Chicago’s effective property tax rate ranked 49th out of the 50 largest cities in each state, according to 2009 U.S. Census data…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

And this:

Chicagoans should consider a modest property tax increase inevitable, though how much of an increase it will be could be affected by Moody’s decision, which made it more expensive for Chicago to borrow money…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

If one believes claims the Chicago news media routinely carries Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s water, increased tax hike chatter and growing comparisons of the city to other municipalities by the local press could be sending a strong signal to Chicagoans that they’ll be required to bust out their wallets shortly.

You can read the rest of that column on the Chicago Tribune website here (registration required)

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

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Quote For The Week

“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”

-Malcolm X (American Muslim minister and human rights activist. 1925-1965)

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

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