India

U.S. Security Experts Wary Of American Fighters Returning From Syrian Civil War

Back on December 2, I blogged:

I suspect it’s only a matter of time before the U.S. homeland is attacked once again by Al-Qaeda (major operation), an affiliate, or sympathizers.

Complicating matters is the potential for radicalized Americans and European Union member state passport-carrying jihadists fighting in Syria’s civil war soon being part of this fray…

These radicalized foreign fighters were the focus of a piece that appeared on the International Business Times (UK) website Sunday. Tom Porter reported:

Experts have warned that a terrorist attack by jihadists returning radicalised from the war in Syria is “inevitable”.

It is believed that hundreds of British citizens have fought in the three-year Syrian conflict, with many taking up arms for Islamist groups.

Some have posted videos online, boasting of their exploits.

There are growing fears among security services that returning fighters with combat experience are poised to launch terrorist attacks in the UK. The Telegraph reports that around 250 Syria veterans may be back in the country.

Ahead of a discussion on Syrian fighters at Chatham House this week, Raffaello Pantucci, senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, spoke of the growing danger.

“It seems almost inevitable that some sort of a threat back to the UK will come off the battlefield in Syria, something supported by the fact that security services in the UK believe they have already disrupted at least one plot with links to Syria,” he told the Independent on Sunday.

Last year, security forces are reported to have foiled a Mumbai-style plot, involving killing civilians with guns in central London, which involved Syria veterans

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Even though Porter talked about the U.K., Syrian Civil War veterans who fought alongside Islamists will also be returning to the United States.

And U.S. security experts are wary of them.

Henry Austin and Charlene Gubash reported on the NBC News website back on February 15:

Foreign fighters returning home to the U.S., Britain and other countries after honing their skills in Syria’s civil war are posing a “nightmare for security services,” experts and officials say.

About 11,000 people have crossed into Syria seeking to help topple President Bashar Assad’s regime – including about 60 who are believed to have traveled from America. However, many have now been left disillusioned by bitter infighting between rival rebel groups and some have given up their weapons and returned to the West.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson earlier this month said that the U.S. government was “very focused” on the issue of militants returning to the country.

“Based on our work and the work of our international partners, we know individuals from the U.S., Canada and Europe are traveling to Syria to fight in the conflict,” he added.

Raffaello Pantucci, a senior research fellow at London’s Royal United Services Institute think tank, said recent history shows that “battlefields that have Sunni jihadist ideology have produced some sort of a threat.”

“It’s not true to say that all of those returning from Syria will come back and be a terrorist threat,” Pantucci added. “Perhaps a couple of them will, which makes it a nightmare for security services to track.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Some suspect Muslim extremists have been trying hard to recruit Western Caucasian members for some time now to use in terrorist operations against the United States and its allies in the “War On Terror.”

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

Sources:

Porter, Tom. “Experts Warn of ‘Inevitable’ UK Terror Attack By Returning Syria Jihadis.” International Business Times. 6 Apr. 2014. (http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/experts-warn-inevitable-uk-terror-attack-by-returning-syria-jihadis-1443631). 7 Apr. 2014.

Austin, Henry and Gubash, Charlene. “Syria’s American-Born Rebels Pose National Security ‘Nightmare’.” NBC News. 15 Feb. 2014. (http://www.nbcnews.com/news/mideast/syrias-american-born-rebels-pose-national-security-nightmare-n29451). 7 Apr. 2014.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

HSBC: China, Not Investment Demand From West, Now Steering Gold Prices

Sounds like China may be firmly in the driver’s seat these days when it comes to steering gold prices. Yue Li reported in The Wall Street Journal’s MoneyBeat blog this morning:

China’s buying of gold jewelry, coins and bars is now the biggest driver of prices, not investment demand from the West, according to HSBC Global Research.

“We would argue that physical demand trends in the emerging world will largely define gold’s price movements this year,” HSBC analysts James Steel and Howard Wen said in a research note.

China alone can take up the equivalent of half of the global gold mine output, while a possible recovery in Indian demand could also act as a boost for the yellow metal as long as the Indian authorities reduce import tariffs on gold.

Investment demand, typically coming from gold exchange-traded funds, had long been considered the sole reason behind the gold’s decade-long bull run…

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Long-time observers of gold have recognized China’s growing influence in this market.

A question that’s probably on their minds is, will Chinese demand continue to steer prices?

Consider what Jennifer Schonberger wrote on the FOX Business website back on February 21:

China overtook India last year as the world’s largest buyer of physical gold, according to the World Gold Council. In 2013, Chinese demand for gold bars, coins and jewelry soared 32% to a record high, as China imported 1,066 metric tonnes of the precious metal, or more than one third of the 2,968 metric tonnes of gold produced globally.

And last year’s record wasn’t a one-hit wonder. This year, the World Gold Council expects China to remain the world’s largest consumer of physical gold. While down slightly from last year’s record level, the research body projects China will still gobble up a robust 1,000 tonnes to 1,100 tonnes of gold in 2014. China accounts for roughly 25% of global demand for gold and is likely to boost its share in coming years. The stock of gold in China is less than half of India and consumption per head in China is still catching up to other markets.

The Chinese gold rush comes after China’s government lifted restrictions on gold ownership. Until 2002, Beijing barred citizens from owning gold bars and coins. Culturally there’s been an appreciation for gold for a long time in China, but citizens weren’t able to access it to the extent they have over the past 12 years. Now that China has lifted restrictions, the government has unleashed pent-up demand…

I blogged last April what the demand for the precious metal has looked like in China at times.

In the meantime, the financial mainstream media here in the West keeps running pieces about gold’s imminent demise. And no doubt plenty of Americans will keep believing it.

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

Sources:

Li, Yue. “China Now Biggest Driver of Gold Prices, HSBC Says.” MoneyBeat. 4 Mar. 2014. (http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2014/03/04/china-now-biggest-driver-of-gold-prices-hsbc-says/). 4 Mar. 2014.

Schonberger, Jennifer. “Going for the Gold: Chinese Demand Could Be Gold’s Long-Term Bid.” FOX Business. 21 Feb. 2014. (http://www.foxbusiness.com/investing/2014/02/21/going-for-gold-chinese-demand-could-be-golds-long-term-bid/). 4 Mar. 2014.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Marc Faber Shares Outlook And Advice At Barron’s 2014 Roundtable

Each year around this time, the weekly financial magazine Barron’s hosts their investor “Roundtable.” Swiss-born money manager and investment advisor Marc Faber was one of the participants in 2014, and starting on January 18 the publication started disseminating the investment advice of Dr. Faber and other Roundtable members. The financial website Zero Hedge zeroed-in on what the publisher of the monthly investment newsletter The Gloom Boom & Doom Report had to say at this year’s Roundtable. According to “Tyler Durden,” Dr. Faber:

• Is bearish on U.S. stocks, and the Russell 2000 in particular. Faber recommended shorting the Russell 2000.
• Is bearish on the U.S. economic recovery, recommending the purchase of 10-year Treasury notes
• Has a lot of cash, has bought Treasury bonds, and has about 20 percent of his net worth in gold. Regarding the precious metal, Faber went so far as to “recommend the Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF [GDXJ], although I don’t own it. I own physical gold because the old system will implode. Those who own paper assets are doomed.”
• Offered up his investment forecast for Asian real estate, India, Vietnam, and Turkey and it’s currency- the Lira

The piece provided good insight into Dr. Faber’s investment outlook and activities, which you can read in its entirety on the Zero Hedge website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (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.)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jim Rogers ‘Ultra Bullish’ On Gold Long-Term

While a good amount of “dislike” has been directed at gold lately, it really ramped up to a new level starting December 30. Later that afternoon I noticed the headlines on the financial mainstream media websites emphasizing (extra big and bold in a number of cases) the price of gold getting pummeled in 2013. For example, there was this on the Financial Times (UK) website Friday:

8:58am On Wall Street from MARKETS
Gold bulls lose faith in bullion’s allure
Last year’s losses battered the metal’s reputation as a store of value
• Gold funds lose lustre
• Gold miners braced for reserve cuts
• Little glitter for gold in 2014
• Gold set for biggest drop in 30 years

All that in one section of the site. The above is pretty typical of what I’ve been seeing the last couple of days across the Internet.

And reading all the negative press, I have to wonder if now might not be a good time to acquire gold. Especially as “crash prophets” Marc Faber, Jim Rogers, and Peter Schiff are bullish on the yellow metal in the long run.

According to a recent report in a prominent international, web-based publication focusing on all aspects of the mining sector, Rogers, a well-known investor, author, and financial commentator, is actually “ultra bullish” on gold in the long term. Alex Williams wrote on Mineweb.com on New Year’s Eve:

Rogers prefers gold over gold mining shares and divisible coins over bullion, but says “there’s nothing in precious metals that I’m tempted to buy at the moment.” Indian import tariffs he views as the single biggest drag on the gold market currently…

For early 2014, Rogers is therefore long inflatable equities and neutral on gold, but longer term, he expects to short junk and government bonds and is ultra bullish on gold. “Gold will become one of the only refuges around,” he says. “That’s not this quarter.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

It’s no secret that the Singapore-based investor sees gold doing well over the long haul. Back on August 5, I noted that Rogers had recently appeared on GoldSeek.com Radio’s The Gold and Silver Review show. Speaking to Chris Waltzek on the August 2 show, Rogers predicted the following for gold:

Eventually, we will make a new low, whether it’s this year, next year, or the year after. And then, of course, the bull market will resume. And we’re off to the races and wonderful new highs will be made. But it may be a few years from now.

By 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:

Williams, Alex. “Bernanke has set the stage for the Fed’s collapse- Jim Rogers.” Mineweb.com. 31 Dec. 2013. (www.mineweb.com/mineweb/content/en/mineweb-political-economy?oid=222934&sn=Detail). 3 Jan. 2014.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gun ‘Control’ Forced On Boston, Chicago Cops?

I think Survival And Prosperity readers might find the following two firearm-related stories as they concern local law enforcement interesting. From the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop this morning:

There is (or soon will be) not a single person in the State of Illinois who has to register a firearm anymore.

Unless you’re a Chicago Police Officer.

Read the linked order here, right on page two:

H. Sworn members will register all duty and nonduty firearms with the Department

“Register all… nonduty firearms with the Department”

Sorry, but I can’t see many rank-and-file Chicago police officers registering their personally-owned firearms.

I wonder who came up with this idea, and if they actually expect sworn CPD members to comply with the order.

Regardless, as regular Survival And Prosperity readers already know, gun registration often leads to confiscation.

Then there’s this out of the East Coast. Antonio Planas reported on the Boston Herald website yesterday:

Mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh is shooting down the plan to arm some Boston patrol officers with military-style rifles – setting up a potential showdown with the department which has backed the controversial measure, citing a need for high-powered weapons in light of school shootings and the marathon bombings.

“Mayor-elect Walsh is opposed to the AR-15 rifles,” his spokeswoman Kathryn Norton said in a short statement yesterday. “Unless otherwise convinced by the Boston Police Department, he does not think they are necessary.”

Walsh would have to approve a budget for 33 AR-15 rifles at a cost of $2,500 each. Police were in the planning phases of acquiring the rifles to put in the cruisers of two specially trained beat cops in each of the city’s 11 districts…

Other local elected representatives oppose BPD patrol officers having access to AR-15s. From the website of Boston’s FOX affiliate Sunday:

City Councilor Charles Yancey is not for the plan and said active-shooter incidents are better left to specialized SWAT team units and the use of assault rifles actually put the public in more danger.

“I don’t believe arming them with assault weapons is going to make them any safer,” he said.

I haven’t heard/read anywhere as to exactly why the Boston mayor-elect is opposed to a limited number of AR-15 rifles going out on patrol.

Has he drunk the “scary black rifle” Kool-Aid being offered up by anti-gun/gun “control” types?

Perhaps he’s ignorant of the 1997 North Hollywood shootout and body armor, and the 2008 Mumbai (India) massacre, where patrol officers armed with semi-automatic rifles could have tipped the scales in favor of the good guys. I’ll never forget those scenes of Mumbai police officers armed with Lee Enfield bolt-action rifles seeking cover as bursts of automatic rifle fire came their way.

Or maybe Mayor-elect Walsh is more shrewd than he’s letting on, having concluded a Kalashnikov can do the same (if not better) job as the AR-15 for a fraction of price. Got to be frugal when it comes to utilizing taxpayer money these days, right?

In all seriousness, I’m guessing it’s probably only a matter of time before Boston experiences an incident where their patrol officers are outgunned at the onset of contact with the bad guys and where SWAT is too late to help. If Boston’s mayor-elect doesn’t want BPD patrols to have access to AR-15s in such a situation, so be it. Just be prepared for the consequences when such an event takes place and police officers and innocent Bostonians are wounded/killed.

By the way, using the excuse “no one could have ever seen this happening” probably won’t cut it.

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

Sources:

SCC. “Once Again, Second Class Citizens.” Second City Cop. 30 Dec. 2013. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2013/12/once-again-second-class-citizens.html). 30 Dec. 2013.

Planas, Antonio. “Walsh shoots down rifle plan.” Boston Herald. 29 Dec. 2013. (http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_politics/2013/12/walsh_shoots_down_rifle_plan). 30 Dec. 2013.

“Walsh comes out opposing rifle plan for Boston police officers.” FOX 25. 29 Dec. 2013. (http://www.myfoxboston.com/category/233063/about-us). 30 Dec. 2013.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, December 30th, 2013 Crime, Firearms, Government, Gun Rights, Public Safety No Comments

Americans And ‘EU Passport’-Holding Jihadists Fighting In Syria Scrutinized As Potential Terrorists

I suspect it’s only a matter of time before the U.S. homeland is attacked once again by Al-Qaeda (major operation), an affiliate, or sympathizers.

Complicating matters is the potential for radicalized Americans and European Union member state passport-carrying jihadists fighting in Syria’s civil war soon being part of this fray.

Emery Dalesio of the Associated Press reported on The Christian Science Monitor website this past Saturday:

Federal officials say Americans are joining the bloody civil war in Syria, raising the chances they could become radicalized by Al Qaeda-linked militant groups and return to the U.S. as battle-hardened security risks.

The State Department says it has no estimates of how many Americans have taken up weapons to fight military units loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad in the 3-year-old war that has killed more than 100,000 people. Other estimates — from an arm of the British defense consultant IHS Jane’s and from experts at a nonprofit think tank in London — put the number of Americans at a couple dozen.

“A couple dozen.”

You may recall that only ten members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani terrorist organization, attacked the Taj Mahal Palace hotel and other sites in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India, between November 26 and November 29, 2008, killing 164 people and wounding at least 308.

Granted, just because these Americans are fighting alongside Muslim extremists (among others) in Syria doesn’t mean they’re automatically terrorists. Still, federal agencies are concerned.


“American Mujahid with Chechen Mujahidin fights in Syrian against Bashar”
YouTube Video

There are also worries over 1,000 or so EU member state passport holders who have also taken up arms in Syria. Vadim Fersovich reported on The Voice Of Russia website on November 25:

Of the 5,000 to 10,000 “foreign” mercenaries, about 1,000 “jihadists” carry EU passports, according to a classified report by the German Intelligence Service (Der Spiegel, October 21st ). But that thousand is made up of dozens, perhaps, hundreds (at the most) of nationals of different countries. Some of them will die in Syria; others will choose not to return. But those who will come back will move to their homes, so the hundreds will again break down into isolated people. Experts believe that an overwhelming majority of those who will buy the return ticket have for good lost interest in dangerous adventures because of actual fierce fighting. The insurgents realize that back home, security agencies are quite effective, while the number of those thinking along the same lines as terrorists is incommensurably small.

Of course, even individual terrorists pose a threat, given that they can use their passports to freely travel about Europe and the United States. According to a former CIA analyst, Michael Scheuer, they return home with a list of their mujahedeen buddies who may give advice and/or help out with the money, if necessary.

(Editor’s notes: Italics added for emphasis)

It should be pointed out that not all “EU passport” holders can “freely travel” around the United States. The U.S. State Department explains such restrictions on their website here.

Regardless, continued vigilance is still required to combat the threat of terrorism now- and maybe even more so- in the future.

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

Sources:

Dalesio, Emery P. “FBI warns about Americans joining Islamic fighters in Syria.” Associated Press. 30 Nov. 2013. (http://www.csmonitor.com/layout/set/r14/World/Latest-News-Wires/2013/1130/FBI-warns-about-Americans-joining-Islamic-fighters-in-Syria). 2 Dec. 2013.

Fersovich, Vadim. “Is Jihad likely in the West?” The Voice Of Russia. 25 Nov. 2013. (http://voiceofrussia.com/2013_11_25/Is-Jihad-likely-in-the-West-0430/). 2 Dec. 2013.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Marc Faber Shares ‘My Investment Strategy During This Time’

“Doctor Doom” Marc Faber recently spoke to Nophakhun Limsamarnphun over at The Nation (Thailand) about investing. The Swiss-born investment advisor and fund manager shed a good deal of light on his strategy, telling readers on September 14:

My investment strategy during this time is that you have to diversify and minimise your risks from economic, political, geopolitical and other factors. Your portfolio should include properties, stocks and equities, corporate bonds, gold and silver, plus cash. It should be 25 per cent of each, or 125 per cent – just to mimic the US accounting standard where things now do not add up.

What a character.

While a good deal of their discussion focused on Thai investments, the publisher of the monthly investment newsletter The Gloom Boom & Doom Report shared some valuable nuggets as it concerned other areas. From the piece:

On gold and silver, I think people should have 20 per cent of their money in physical gold, not gold papers. I would put the gold bars into deposit boxes at banks. Don’t speculate but buy regularly and keep them safe. We live in a volatile period. Gold is not like other commodities, it’s the only honest currency when paper currencies are not.

On corporate bonds, I like issues from Russia, Kazakhstan and India with yields of 5-6 per cent, but they are not 100 per cent safe unless they are triple-A. Corporate bonds have an equity character. They don’t move much when stock markets crash. When things go bad, government bonds on the other hand tend to go up in value because of flight to safe havens.

In terms of cash and paper currencies, I like Malaysian ringgit and Singapore dollars, while the Thai baht is just OK.

As for equities? Dr. Faber talked about Thai stocks. However, I blogged back on September 9 about his appearance on CNBC Asia’s Cash Flow that morning and how he told viewers:

I don’t think that stocks are the greatest bargain anymore.

Great job by Limsamarnphun for getting Doctor Doom to divulge this information.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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:

Limsamarnphun, Nophakhun “Investment guru favours diversity, physical gold amid US-fuelled volatility.” The Nation. 14 Sep. 2013. (http://www.nationmultimedia.com/business/Investment-guru-favours-diversity-physical-gold-am-30214804.html). 17 Sep. 2013.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jim Rogers: ‘I Have Started Buying Some Sugar’

Investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers has pinpointed sugar as a potential investment opportunity for quite some time now.

I’ve noticed this, and even blogged back on September 19, 2012, about his appearance on the Indian financial news channel CNBC Awaaz where he said on their Market Leaders show:

If I were an investor looking to invest in commodities, I would start by looking at the things that are most depressed…

Sugar, for instance, is 65 or 70 percent below it’s all-time high…

You know, sugar is down 65 to 70 percent from where it was 38 years ago Gorica. That’s astonishing.

The so-called commodities guru still has a sweet tooth, as he mentioned in an interview that was published on The Economic Times (India) website earlier today:

ET NOW: With gold prices soaring to the levels of 32600, what are the commodities that you are currently betting on?
ROGERS: I have started buying some sugar. I am not sure of how I got my timing right, I am never very good at it, but I am more bullish on agriculture. Some agriculture prices are very depressed. Sugar, for instance, in the western market is down over 75% from its all-time high. Especially for India and places that I mentioned, you are going to need to protect yourselves from currency debasement and currency decline. So think of real assets.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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:

“Need to own real assets in India: Jim Rogers.” The Economic Times. 27 Aug. 2013. (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/opinion/interviews/need-to-own-real-assets-in-india-jim-rogers/articleshow/22092601.cms). 27 Aug. 2013.

Tags: , , , ,

Bullish Signs For Gold?

I’ve noticed the buzz surrounding gold the last week or so.

Last Tuesday, August 6, the London P.M. gold spot price was $1,280.50.

Late Monday night, August 12, the London P.M. fix shows $1,341- up by $60.50.

Experienced gold observers know not to put much stock in short-term fluctuations of the precious metal’s price.

Still, why all the recent chatter of the yellow metal in investing circles, amidst the silence of the gold bears?

Chuin-Wei Yap wrote tonight on the Wall Street Journal website:

Gold prices are up 4% in the past week, hitting a three-week high of $1,334.70 an ounce on Monday. A big factor behind the rise is a surge in demand for physical gold in China, some investors and analysts say.

Demand in China, where consumers account for roughly a quarter of global gold demand, hit a record 385.5 metric tons in the second quarter, according data released Monday by the state-backed China Gold Association. That is double the figure from a year earlier, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of the data.

Closely watched estimates from the World Gold Council are slated for release on Thursday. Data released in May from the mining trade group showed Chinese consumers bought 294.3 metric tons of gold in the first quarter, a 20% rise on the year.

Yap noted other potentially bullish signs for gold. From later on in the piece:

Demand in India, which some observers expect to lose its spot as the world’s biggest gold consumer to China this year, also is rising. There are signs of renewed bullishness elsewhere, as well. The amount of gold held by SPDR Gold Trust, the largest exchange-traded fund that buys and stores the metal on behalf of investors, rose by 1.8 metric tons on Friday, the first increase in two months.

India might have given the People’s Republic of China more of a run for their money concerning gold consumption if it weren’t for the Indian government cracking down on the importation of precious metals. From Reuters tonight:

Indians bought more gold in July than June despite a series of moves by the central bank to strangle supplies, and their insatiable appetite has forced neighboring countries to take steps to curb their own imports.

Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said the government will take steps to curb imports of gold and silver, and look to contain gold imports at 850 tons this year.

The Indian government increased taxes on bullion imports in January and June in an attempt to bolter their sliding currency, the rupee.

Gold. It scares the bejeezus out of some folks.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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)

Sources:

Yap, Chuin-Wei. “China’s Consumers Show Growing Influence in Gold Market.” Wall Street Journal. 12 Aug. 2013. (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323446404579008372464837550.html). 12 Aug. 2013.

“Gold eases after sharp jump, still near 3-week high.” Reuters. 12 Aug. 2013. (http://www.cnbc.com/id/100957493). 12 Aug. 2013.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

RAND Corporation: ‘Mumbai-Style Attack Is Conceivable In The United States’

Last Thursday I blogged about the nonprofit global policy think tank RAND Corporation and their briefing of a U.S. House committee on July 18 regarding the threat Al-Qaeda poses to the United States.

I came across the RAND Corporation again when I stumbled on a recent article by Brian Michael Jenkins, Senior Adviser to the RAND President, on the U.S. News & World Report website. The former Green Beret captain served as chair of the Political Science Department at RAND and is the author of numerous books, reports, and articles on terrorism-related topics. So the man’s got “street cred” when it comes to discussing terrorism. Jenkins wrote on July 10:

Recently, I was asked to prepare testimony for a congressional hearing examining the possibility that an armed terrorist attack – similar to the 2008 attack that killed 162 people in Mumbai – could happen in the United States…

In Mumbai, there were 10 terrorists, armed with assault rifles, pistols, grenades and improvised explosives. They carried out coordinated attacks across the city, paralyzing a metropolis of 14 million people for 60 hours while mesmerizing the world’s media. It was a complex operation and likely the culmination of months of training.

Jenkins went on to point out a number of challenges to planning, mobilizing, and carrying out a Mumbai-style attack in the United States. Still, he concluded:

A Mumbai-style attack is conceivable in the United States, though probably not anywhere near the same scale.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

I just got done digging up his testimony that was submitted before the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, on June 12. “The Threat of a Mumbai-Style Terrorist Attack in the United States” is an incredibly interesting and informative read, especially as I, too, believe a Mumbai-style attack in America is possible. There are others who also share this view. I blogged back on April 28, 2011:

Should we as Americans be concerned with a Mumbai-style terrorist attack happening on our shores? Definitely, according to chatter picked up by Massad Ayoob, a captain with the Grantham (New Hampshire) Police Department and an internationally-known firearms and self-defense instructor. He wrote yesterday in his blog Massad Ayoob on Guns on the Backwoods Home Magazine website that:

The general consensus of police, military, and national intelligence is that it’s only a matter of time before this nation experiences an incident reminiscent of Beslan or Mumbai: armed, trained, committed terrorists massacring the innocent with automatic weapons and explosive.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

An “American Mumbai?” It’s possible. Some might even argue probable.

You can read Brian Michael Jenkins’ testimony to that House committee on the RAND website here.

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

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chicago Hosting ‘Routine Military Training Exercise’ This Week

Another “routine military training exercise” is taking place around Chicago this week. I’ve blogged about two other exercises that occurred in the Chicagoland area since 2012, one in April 2012 and another in April of this year.

From the City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications on Monday:

The City of Chicago is providing support for a routine military training exercise in and around the Chicagoland area on July 22 – 25. This routine training is conducted by military personnel in cities across the country, designed to ensure the military’s ability to operate in urban environments as service members meet mandatory training certification requirements and prepare for upcoming overseas deployments.

The training sites have been carefully selected to minimize the impact on the daily routine of residents.

The training is not open to the public.

Since the U.S. military has been busy developing its urban warfare training program for some time already, some suspect if the drills aren’t training for a future declaration of martial law in case some SHTF event takes place, like a U.S. financial crash, or to send terrorists a message, such as our armed forces, in conjunction with civilian law enforcement, are ready for a Mumbai, India-style attack.

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

Source:

Stratton, Melissa. “Statement From The City Of Chicago Office Of Emergency Management And communications Regarding Training In Chicago July 22-25.” City of Chicago OEMC. 22 July 2013. (http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/oem/provdrs/emerg_mang/news/2013/jul/statement_from_thecityofchicagoofficeofemergencymanagementandcom.html). 24 July 2013.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 Military, Public Safety, Terrorism, Training No Comments

Major Terrorist Attack On U.S. ‘Within Weeks’?

I stumbled on the following article on the website of WND (formerly WorldNetDaily), an independent news company. Reza Kahlili wrote Monday:

Iran has given the go-ahead to operatives of three terrorist groups that have infiltrated the United States to carry out missions, including what is expected to be a Mumbai-style attack on a hotel where innocent bystanders would be killed, WND has learned…

Three targets have been chosen within America for imminent attack, and the terror teams have now cut communications with the operational center in Iran, a sign that they are moving ahead with the attacks, according to a high-level intelligence officer within the Islamic regime.

According to an update to the piece Tuesday, Kahili’s “source” revealed the major attack would take place “within weeks.”

Interesting reading (can’t speak for how reliable the information provided is though), which can be viewed in its entirety on the WND site here.

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

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Gold Price Takedown Leads To Buying Frenzy

“My view is that the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan ’caused’ the gold crash. The rest is noise…

The world is still in a contained depression. Sliding commodities tell us global money is if anything too tight. ‘There is a threat of deflation almost everywhere. A lot of central banks will have to follow the Bank of Japan, whatever they say now,’ said Lars Christensen form Danske Bank.

The era of money printing is young yet. Gold will have its day again.”

-Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Telegraph (UK), April 17, 2013

Since I started blogging nearly six years ago, if I had a dollar every time I read somewhere “gold is toast,” I’d be a millionaire by now.

Fine. I’d have a hell of a lot of singles.

And a raised eyebrow from my girlfriend.

Seriously though, what is it with people who absolutely detest the precious metal?

I’m not a big fan of paper assets, but I don’t make it my life’s mission to crucify them whenever I get the chance (website and blog comments come to mind here).

My take on investing is- keep an open mind. Lest you squander major money making opportunities. Certain asset classes simply perform better than others at different points in time.

There’s a time for stocks, bonds, currencies, what have you.

And for a number of global investors, now is the time for gold.

Sure, the precious metal really got hammered in the price department the other week. But this resulted in a buying frenzy of the physical bullion. John Noble reported on the Financial Times (UK) website on April 22:

Asia is witnessing one of the strongest waves of physical gold buying in 30 years, with bargain hunters using the drop in prices to secure jewellery and gold bars.

The feverish buying has left many of Hong Kong’s banks, jewellers and even its gold exchange without enough yellow metal to meet demand. In Shanghai, the gold exchange saw volumes – often seen as a proxy for demand – rising to a record on Monday, while queues formed outside some jewellery shops in Beijing.

To give you an idea of just how crazy the demand is in China, Noble, who’s writing from Hong Kong, added:

Haywood Cheung, president of the Hong Kong Gold & Silver Exchange Society, said the exchange had effectively run out of most of its holdings as members looked to meet a shortfall in supply amid rampant retail demand for gold.

“In terms of volume, I haven’t seen this gold rush for over 20 years,” he said. “Older members who have been in the business for 50 years haven’t seen such a thing.”

The Times piece noted demand for the yellow metal is also strong in India. Something Biman Mukherji and Debiprasad Nayak confirmed on the Wall Street Journal website on April 23. They wrote:

Indian gold retailers are paying more in order to meet immediate demand, as customers scoop up every gold bar they can lay their hands on in the wake of a plunge in international prices.

Indian retailers say they are paying premiums of $8-$10 an ounce over the international gold price, which is around $1,425 a troy ounce. That’s four or five times the premium retailers usually pay for imported gold during periods of peak demand in India, according to traders.

“We have not seen this kind of premium on gold imports in years,” said Suresh Hundia, president emeritus of the Bombay Bullion Association.

Gold demand is not too shabby in nearby Australia either. Jake Lloyd-Smith reported on the Bloomberg website tonight:

Australia’s Perth Mint, which refines nearly all of the nation’s bullion, said that demand has jumped to the highest level in five years after prices plunged, with the factory kept open through the weekend to meet orders.

There’s been strong interest, including from the U.S., with buyers speculating that the metal will rebound from the decline, Ron Currie, sales and marketing director, said in a phone interview from Perth…

“We haven’t seen levels like this since the 2008 global financial crisis,” Currie said yesterday. “Compared to March sales, April sales have doubled or tripled,” he said, without providing figures.

On Friday, April 12, the afternoon fix gold spot price was $1,535.50 per ounce. The price tumbled to $1,380 an ounce by Tuesday, April 16. Today, the London P.M. fix was back up to $1,467.50.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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)

Sources:

Noble, John. “Asian bargain hunters pile into gold.” Financial Times. 22 Apr. 2013. (http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/56244496-ab39-11e2-ac71-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2RuiP9ndw). 29 Apr. 2013.

Mukherji, Biman and Nayak, Debiprasad. “India Gold Premiums Soar as Demand Outstrips Supply” Wall Street Journal. 23 Apr. 2013. (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324874204578440242906344734.html). 29 Apr. 2013.

Lloyd-Smith, Jake. “Perth Mint Works Through Weekend as Gold Demand Surges on Price.” Bloomberg.com. 29 Apr. 2013. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-30/perth-mint-works-through-weekend-as-gold-demand-surges-on-price.html). 29 Apr. 2013.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Central Banks Continue To Stockpile Gold

Despite the price of gold getting pummeled recently, a number of the world’s central banks continue to acquire the precious metal. Sungwoo Park reported on the Bloomberg website yesterday:

The Bank of Korea added 20 metric tons in February, raising its gold reserves by 24 percent to 104.4 tons, it said in a statement today. Holdings rose about $1.03 billion by value to $4.79 billion at the end of last month, equivalent to 1.5 percent of total foreign exchange holdings, according to the statement. Prices advanced.

Russia and Kazakhstan expanded bullion reserves for a fourth straight month in January.

On February 11, I blogged that Russia is now the world’s biggest gold buyer, adding 570 metric tons of the precious metal to their holdings over the past decade.

Glenys Sim wrote on Bloomberg.com back on February 25:

Russian holdings climbed 12.2 metric tons to 970 tons last month after gaining 8.5 percent over 2012, according to International Monetary Fund data. Kazakhstan’s hoard grew 1.5 tons to 116.8 tons, following last year’s 41 percent expansion, data on the IMF website showed…

Central banks will again be strong buyers this year after they boosted purchases 17 percent to 534.6 tons last year, the most since 1964, according to the London-based World Gold Council.

The gold haters are out in full force these days. Yet, central banks keep stockpiling the yellow metal. Hmm.

Diversification? Or “something wicked this way comes?”

And there’s no shortage of stories in the American media of how poorly gold is doing. Even though it’s setting record highs in other countries. Brett Arends wrote on the MarketWatch website yesterday:

You won’t hear about it in the usual places. Everywhere you turn these days, all you hear is that gold is down, it’s finished, it’s heading for something called a “death cross,” which sounds terrifying. But away from the headlines, gold just rocketed to a new, all-time high.

In places like Argentina, Brazil, Iceland, India, and Japan.

Not bad for a “barbarous relic,” huh?

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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)

Sources:

Park, Sungwoo. “Korea Joins Russia, Kazakhstan in Boosting Gold Holdings.” Bloomberg. 6 Mar. 2013. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-05/bank-of-korea-boosts-gold-reserves-as-central-banks-buy.html). 6 Mar. 2013.

Sim, Glenys. “Russia, Kazakhstan Increase Bullion Reserves for Fourth Month.” Bloomberg. 25 Feb. 2013. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-25/russia-kazakhstan-expand-gold-reserves-for-fourth-month-1-.html). 6 Mar. 2013.

Arends, Brett. “The secret bull market in gold.” MarketWatch. 6 Mar. 2013. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-secret-bull-market-in-gold-2013-03-06). 6 Mar. 2013.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Billionaire Investors Divided On Gold As Demand Hits Record Value Level In 2012

We’re on a roll today. Consider it make-up material for yesterday. Anyway, let’s turn our attention over to money. “Real” money like gold, that is. The precious metal had another solid year in 2012. From a press release today issued by the London-based World Gold Council, the gold industry’s market development organization:

2012 sees gold demand hit record value level

Q4 2012 up 4% year-on-year as India, China and central banks drive demand

In value terms, gold demand in 2012 was US$236.4bn – an all-time high. Gold demand in value terms for the final quarter of the year was 6% higher year-on-year at US$66.2bn, marking the highest ever Q4 total.

Global gold demand in Q4 2012 was 1,195.9 tonnes(t), up 4% on the same quarter in 2011. In Q4 2012, the average gold price reached a record level of US$1,721.8/oz, up 1% on the previous record average price in Q3 2011. The average price during 2012 was US$1,669.0/oz, up 6% from US$1,571.5/oz in 2011.

The key findings from the report are as follows:

• Whilst Indian full year demand was down 12% on the previous year, the market performed strongly in the final quarter with total demand at 261.9t, an increase of 41% on the same period last year. Both jewellery and investment demand reached their highest levels for six quarters. Demand for jewellery was up 35% year-on-year to reach 153.0t, and strong retail demand led to 108.9t of investment buying. In India the prospect of duty increases, which came in to force in January 2013, may have added to strong buying in the final quarter to beat the anticipated price rises.
Chinese demand was flat year-on–year, reflecting the impact of economic slowdown. However looking at Q4, total demand was up 1% on the previous quarter to 202.5t. Jewellery demand was137.0t up 1% on Q4 2011 and investment demand was 65.5t, up 2% on the previous year. These increases may reflect the fact that the economic slowdown in China appears to have been shorter than expected.
Central bank buying for the full year rose by 17% compared to 2011, totalling 534.6t, the highest level since 1964. Central bank purchases stood at 145.0t in Q4, up 29% on the corresponding quarter in the previous year, making this the eighth consecutive quarter in which central banks have been net purchasers of gold.
• Global investment in ETFs in 2012 was up significantly by 51% on the preceding year, though Q4 was down 16% to 88.1t when compared with the high levels recorded in Q3 2012.


“Gold Demand Trends: Full year and Q4 2012″
WGC Video

However, the price of gold hasn’t glimmered too much lately. Debarati Roy and Phoebe Sedgman reported on the Bloomberg website this evening:

Billionaire investors George Soros and Louis Moore Bacon cut their stakes in exchange-traded products backed by gold last quarter as futures dropped the most in more than eight years. John Paulson maintained his holding.

Soros Fund Management LLC reduced its investment in the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest fund backed by the metal, 55 percent to 600,000 shares as of Dec. 31 from three months earlier, a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing showed yesterday. Bacon’s Moore Capital Management LP sold its entire stake in the SPDR fund and lowered holdings in the Sprott Physical Gold Trust. Paulson & Co., the largest investor in SPDR, kept its stake at 21.8 million shares.

Roy and Sedgman noted gold prices fell 5.5 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, the most since the second quarter of 2004. Renewed optimism in the U.S. economy was the reason given by a number of observers cited in the piece.

Now, why is it that the “crash prophets” who saw the 2008 global economic crisis and “Great Recession” coming, such as Marc Faber, Jim Rogers, and Peter Schiff, are sounding the alarm about more hard times ahead of us, while those finance- and investing-types who never saw the financial storm approaching until it bit them and their clients in the rear-end are the same ones now predicting “all’s well” for the U.S. economy? Are they not aware of the financial manipulation that’s been required to get us this short-term, artificial prosperity?

My guess is that it registers, but they’re incapable of seeing the big picture.

All I know is this. While I’ll keep an open mind, I’m inclined to cast my lot with those guys who correctly-called the “Panic of ‘08” and have a knack of being correct on a consistent basis.

You can read the entire WGC press release on their website here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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:

Roy, Debarati and Sedgman, Phoebe. “Billionaires Soros, Bacon Cut Gold Holdings on Decline.” Bloomberg. 14 Feb. 2013. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-14/billionaires-soros-bacon-reduce-gold-holdings-as-prices-slump.html). 14 Feb. 2013.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



Christopher E. Hill, Editor
87,086 Unique Visitors in 2013
360,266 Unique Visitors from
11/22/10-3/31/14
Please Rate this Blog HERE
America's Day of Reckoning is ApproachingNew Affiliate Partner! Casey Research
ANY CHARACTER HERE
free knife with blackhawk New Affiliate Partner! CHIEF Supply
ANY CHARACTER HERE
MyPatriotSupply.com Reviewed HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE
Nitro-Pak--The Emergency Preparedness Leader Nitro-Pak Reviewed HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE
JM Bullion Reviewed HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE
Learn how to get Money Every Month with this report New Affiliate Partner! Casey Research
ANY CHARACTER HERE
Food Insurance Food Insurance Reviewed HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE
GoldSilver.com Reviewed HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE
Buy gold online - quickly, safely and at low prices BullionVault.com Reviewed HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE
Free 2014 Gold Guide New Affiliate Partner! Casey Research
ANY CHARACTER HERE
Get Free Shipping at BrownellsBrownells Reviewed HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE
Smoky Mountain Knife Works Reviewed HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE
Buying Gold GoldMoney Reviewed HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE
Going Global 2014 New Affiliate Partner! Casey Research
ANY CHARACTER HERE
New Affiliate Partner! CHIEF Supply
ANY CHARACTER HERE
RealtyTrac RealtyTrac Reviewed HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE
PyramidAir.com Reviewed HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE
Airsoft Megastore - Limited Time Savings, Save Up to 20% Airsoft Megastore Reviewed HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE
 

Categories

Archives