The World Financial Report

World Financial Report – February 24th, 2012

Radio Show Newsletter




-CHART OF THE WEEK: ‘America’s Per Capita Government Debt Worse Than Greece.’ The office of Senator Jeff Sessions, ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, sends along this chart, showing that ‘America’s Per Capita Government Debt Worse Than Greece,’ as well as Ireland, Italy, France, Portugal, and Spain. Read more here-

-“Warren Buffett sold out a long time ago. It’s too bad because he was a great stock picker once. Now he owns insurance companies, Wells Fargo and was a buyer of Goldman Sachs and G.E. in the global financial crisis. He is a member of the American establishment and has a lot to lose. He should have listened to his father Howard Buffett who was a U.S. Congressman and a true hard money advocate.” John Embry

-The top brass in Iran are theocratic nutcases (and dangerous nutcases). These folks believe in the return of the Mahdi, or 12th imam, who has been hiding in caves since the 13th century; and that the Mahdi’s return just prior to the Day of Judgement will be accompanied by chaos and tyranny. Further, they believe that they can accelerate the return of the Mahdi by bringing on the chaos, imminently which is to say, in 2012, maybe as soon as next month.

The political leaders in the U.S. may not understand this, but the Israelis sure do, and they are not about to tolerate a second Holocaust. Needless to say, the sudden onset of a regional war would be very destabilizing to the world’s current precarious financial position, and I think you should take this possibility into consideration when you estimate future trends. Nick Chase

-IMF: Iran oil halt could result in 30% price hike. A halt of Iran’s oil exports to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries could trigger a 20%-30% spike in oil prices, an International Monetary Fund official said. Marketwatch

-Investors Should Cut Risk as Global Woes Add Up: El-Erian. Investors are justified for viewing the Greek debt deal with skepticism and should reduce their risk allocation accordingly, Pimco’s Mohamed El-Erian said. Problems in Greece are just the highest-profile set of geopolitical risks with which the market must deal the others being Iran and Syria which could cause disruptions sharply and quickly. On a global level, El-Erian said the contagion risks from Greek as well as the disruptions to energy supplies from Iran and Syria pose even more economic risk. Read more here-

-Jim Rogers: Don’t Pay Governments Much Attention. Investors shouldn’t pay “much attention” to what governments are doing, well-known investor Jim Rogers, CEO and Chairman of Rogers Holdings, told CNBC. “If you listen to governments, then you are not going to make a lot of money. Governments lie, distort and make mistakes,” he said.

Rogers, who doesn’t own US stocks, warned that next year is likely to be more painful than 2012. “In 2012, we have elections and many governments pumping money into the economy, spending and printing money. It’s 2013-14 we have to worry about,” he said. Read more here-

Cooperman: Owning T-Bonds ‘Makes No Sense.’ Leon Cooperman, founder of equity hedge fund Omega Advisors Inc., said buying U.S. Treasuries is the least attractive investment in a world of “financial repression.” Bonds will be the worst place for investors to put their money for the next three years, Cooperman said in an interview.

“With a 2 percent government bond, if we’re talking about marginal tax rates, you’re keeping 60 percent of your 2 percent you’re keeping 1.2 percent,” he said. “The rate of inflation is somewhere in the range of 2 to 3 percent, so your capital is being confiscated. It makes no sense.” Read more here-

-U.K.’s 50p tax rate ‘failing to boost revenues.’ The amount of income tax paid fell sharply last month in the first formal indication that the new 50p higher rate is not raising the expected amount of revenue. Read more here-

-RBS to Dole Out £400 million In Bonuses Despite Full Year Loss Forecast. Read more here-

-Ron Paul says US ‘slipping into a fascist system.’ Read more here-

-For boomers, it’s a new era of ‘work til you drop.’ Blindsided by changing workplace and economy, Baby Boomers new mantra is ‘work til you drop.’ Read more here-

-Record $6 Trillion of Fake U.S. Bonds Seized. Italian anti-mafia prosecutors said they seized a record $6 trillion of allegedly fake U.S. Treasury bonds, an amount that’s almost half of the U.S.’s public debt. Read more here-

People Who Buy And Return Stuff Cost Retailers $16 Billion A Year. Read more here-

-Nevada Approves Rules for Self-Driving Cars. The age of self-driven or autonomous cars is here. Nevada has become the first state in the country to approve regulations that will allow self-driving vehicles on the road in that state. Read more here-

Drones Set Sights on US Skies. Read more here-

-U.S. government concerned about Anonymous causing blackouts. Read more here-

-Munch ‘Scream’ May Fetch at Least $80 Million at Sotheby’s. One of the best-known images in the history of art, Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” is being sold at a New York auction in May. Read more here-

-Here Are The Highest Paid Athletes Of All Time. Read more here-

Jeremy Lin’s Knicks Jersey From Kobe Bryant Contest Auctioned for $42,388. Read more here-

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RARECOLOREDDIAMONDS.COM Featured Diamond of the Week. This week’s Diamond is a 4.56 carat radiant cut fancy Yellow internally flawless Diamond. Natural color diamonds embody wealth, beauty, elegance, and all that is most precious and rare in the world today. Learn about investing/collecting rare colored diamonds at Harold Seigel-See video of the Featured Diamond here-

-Rio Tinto Unearths Australia’s Largest Pink Diamond. Watch more here-

-The real Pink Panther: Australia’s largest rosy diamond is discovered. Pink diamonds are one of the most valuable jewels in the world and now Rio Tinto miners in Australia have unearthed the biggest ever found in the country. The company’s Argyle mine, situated in the Kimberly region, produces a staggering 90 per cent of the world’s pink diamonds and is describing this example as ‘unprecedented’.

It has named the 12.76-carat jewel the Argyle Pink Jubilee and it may fetch 30-40 million at auction. ‘A diamond of this calibre is unprecedented, it has taken 26 years of Argyle production to unearth this stone, and we may never see one like this again,’ said Argyle Pink Diamonds Manager Josephine Johnson.

The record for the most money ever spent on a jewel stands at 46 million, paid for a rare pink diamond in 2010. It weighed 24.78 carats and was bought by the British billionaire jeweller Laurence Graff. Read more here-

-The diamond, to be named the “Argyle Pink Jubilee,” is a light pink diamond and similar in color to the Williamson Pink that Queen Elizabeth received as a wedding gift and which was set in a brooch for her coronation.

The diamond will be cut and polished in Perth by Richard How Kim Kam. He has worked for Argyle for the past 25 years and spent the past two months assessing this pink diamond. He estimated that it will take 10 days to cut and polish it as a single stone. “I’m going to take it very carefully. I know the world will be watching,” he said.

Once the diamond has been cut, a team of international experts will grade it. Subsequently, it will be showcased and sold as part of the Argyle Pink Diamonds tender later this year. Large pink diamonds generally go to museums, are gifted to royalty or end up at auction houses. Rio Tinto noted that Christie’s has only auctioned 18 polished pink diamonds over 10 carats in its 244 year history. Read more here-

-Nov 17 2010: Rare pink diamond is sold for world record 46 million to British billionaire jeweller. A rare pink diamond was sold for a record-breaking 46 million at auction last night, the most ever paid for a jewel. The rectangular diamond which weighs 24.78 carats was bought by the British billionaire jeweller Laurence Graff.

Dubbed ‘The King of Bling’ Mr. Graff said that he had bought the gem for himself and immediately named it ‘The Graff Pink’. He paid nearly double the previous record, 24 million, which was for the 17th century stone the ‘Wittelsbach’ blue diamond two years ago. Mr. Graff was the buyer on that occasion, too. ‘It is the most fabulous diamond I’ve seen in the history of my career and I’m delighted to have bought it,’ said Graff. Read more here-

-China’s Diamond Demand Will Overtake U.S. Ari Epstein, chief executive officer of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, talks about the outlook for diamond demand and investment. China is now ranked second-largest consumer of polished diamonds after the U.S., with $5 billion worth of sales a year, Epstein said. Watch more here-

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-Next Auction is Monday Feb 27 8PM Eastern 6PM Mountain. See auction catalogue here-

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-CHART OF THE WEEK: Dr. Martin Murenbeeld: 42 Must See Gold Outlook Charts-Scenarios. Read more here- and

-CHART OF THE WEEK: Here Are All Of The Ways The World Uses Gold. Read more here-

-John Williams: $8,890 Gold, $517 Silver & Hyperinflation Update. “Despite the September 5, 2011 historic-high gold price of $1,895.00 per troy ounce, and despite the multi-decade-high silver price of $48.70 per troy ounce, gold and silver prices have yet to re-hit their 1980 historic levels, adjusted for inflation.

The earlier all-time high of $850.00 of January 21, 1980 would be $2,476 per troy ounce, based on January 2012 CPI-U-adjusted dollars, $8,890 per troy ounce based on SGS-Alternate-CPI-adjusted dollars. In like manner, the all-time high price for silver in January 1980 of $49.45 per troy ounce still has not been hit since 1980, including in terms of inflation-adjusted dollars.

Based on January 2012 CPI-U inflation, the 1980 silver price peak would be $144 per troy ounce and would be $517 per troy ounce in terms of SGS-Alternate-CPI-adjusted dollars. The increases in gold and silver prices have compensated for more than the loss of the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar as reflected by CPI inflation, while it has effectively fully compensated for the loss of purchasing power of the dollar based on the SGS-Alternate Consumer Price Measure.” Read more here- and

-John Embry: Fending Off Collapse & Next Move for Gold, Silver, Oil. The fact is the smart money has been buying gold all along. If they start to think the price is getting away here, they will become more aggressive rather than waiting to buy. I don’t think the general public gets in, until gold clears $2,000 and maybe even higher. At some point people will be forced to talk about it.

“I was in the gym when I was in New York a couple of days ago and I never watch CNBC because I hate it, but it was on so I couldn’t avoid it. The list of people talking, I mean they were rambling on about all of this garbage. Gold was never mentioned, even though it was the strongest thing on the board.

I think the real grinding fundamental is the necessity of the powers that be, in every major economic entity in the world, to keep creating more and more liquidity to fend off a deflationary collapse. As more and more people realize this reality, they will go to gold and silver.

To get the real sentiment change, gold may have to make new highs, but that’s only $130 away or about 7% higher. Corrections will happen but gold will remain in an upward thrust as it has for the last eleven years.” Read more here-

-Caesar Bryan: Asia’s Gold Buying Continues, Japanese Next. People are still very underweight gold. It’s a very under-owned asset. Central banks have turned from sellers to buyers. People in the Far East want to accumulate, so when you see dips in the price you are going to get buyers. The physical market has tightened up a bit following the recent dips and now gold is popping higher.

“We could easily go make new highs on gold and depending on what the background is, we could move somewhat quickly to $2,500. I believe physical buying is strong here. We’ve had the Chinese New Year and some holidays in India. The bottom line here is on weakness, physical buying comes into the market.

I’m sure there has been frustration on the part of those who buy for sovereign entities because there are no significant price retracements in the gold market. But these buyers are fairly patient. These types of buyers are in for the long haul, so they display some restraint and sensitivity to price.

It seems to me the Chinese authorities are encouraging citizens and they are content to see private investors accumulating gold. The public sector, meaning the People’s Bank of China, needs to accumulate a significant amount of gold.

The fact of the matter is the East has the money, but they don’t have the gold. The West has the gold, but doesn’t have the money. So there is going to be a transfer of gold, over time, from West to East. That’s the trend. The Japanese public will also come into the gold market, but I haven’t seen that yet. I expect them to enter the market at some point, but again we haven’t seen it yet.” Read more here-

-Caesar Bryan: Money Spigots are Wide Open & Gold’s Future. “Gold is fine. There seems to be good demand from overseas, and then we get weakness when trading starts in the US market. There is nothing dramatic happening right now, but at some point gold will break the all-time high.

If you just look at the fundamentals of what’s going on among the central banks there is continued printing. There is some doubt now as to the timing of QE3 in the US, but whether that happens or not, I’m not sure it matters.

The ECB is going to be doing another financing on the 29th of February and that could total up to another $1 trillion. So the spigots are open and no country wants a strong currency. The reality here is most central banks want some inflation.

In the long run this is all very positive for gold. So that’s the backdrop for gold and it will do its thing and work its way higher. Money is being created at will and of course it’s very hard to create gold, as we are finding out listening to these quarterly conference calls from the producing companies.” Read more here-

-Stephen Leeb: This Will Spark the Next Leg Higher in Gold. “Gold is ready to go. There are any number of things that could spark the next leg higher in gold. I think the world right now is extraordinarily complacent and that complacent attitude could come to an end at any point in time. When it does, gold will begin to fly. New highs will come very, very quickly and beyond that we will be in another leg of this bull market.” Read more here-

-Stephen Leeb: Expect $6 per Gallon Gas & Huge Surge in Gold & Silver. “Gold rallying is a recognition that virtually every large economy in the world is reflating. It’s a situation where a lot of money is being pumped into the financial system and every country in a race to the bottom with regards to their currencies.

We could see QE3 in the midst of already record high gasoline prices. Now that will be wildly inflationary. When you couple that with other countries running the printing presses in an attempt to reflate, you are looking at a major second leg beginning in the gold market.

I certainly would be long gold at this point. I still think gold could end the year close to $3,000. We are looking at a very big surge in gold. The one sure beneficiary of all of this will be gold.” Read more here-

-Rick Rule: Greek Bailout & What it Means for Gold. “I don’t think Greece was bailed out, I think the banks that were stupid enough to lend Greece money were just bailed out. They have talked about an injection of fresh cash to maintain Greek living standards. Simultaneously, they have announced fairly aggressive cuts.”

“They are aiming at slashing the debt to 120% of GDP by 2020. This means if you believe that all of the assumptions they made are correct, then Greek debt will go from unserviceable to barely serviceable by 2020. It’s important to remember that the people who are making these assumptions are the same people who made the decision to lend money to Greece in the first place.

This lending has Greece 160% in debt vs their GDP. I suspect that ultimately we are going to see a Greek default. Right now we are buying time so that more of the private sector and private banks can unload their Greek paper on the ECB. This will socialize the losses which have occurred as a result of stupidity on the part of the banks. As I said earlier, this is a bank bailout, not a bailout of Greece.

“I think gold will continue to proceed higher. That doesn’t mean gold can’t have corrections, but much of that volatility is background noise. Gold competes with fiat currencies as a medium of exchange and gold competes with sovereign debt claims as a medium of storing wealth.

Given the fact that all around the world the sovereigns are busy inflating, that is counterfeiting, it would seem to me that gold faces no competition. Over time, the depreciation of the competitor has to favor gold in the two to three year time frame. You know, some value is afforded by scarcity and certainly with regards to fiat currencies there is no scarcity.” Read more here-

-Michael Pento: CB’s Global Assault to Destroy All Paper Currencies. Bottom line here, there is an all out assault on the part of global central banks to destroy their currencies, in an effort to allow their respective governments to continue the practice of running humongous deficits.

In fact, the developed world’s central bankers are faced with the choice of either massively monetizing Sovereign debt or to sit back and watch a deflationary depression crush global growth. Since they have so blatantly chosen to ignite inflation, it would be wise to own the correct hedges, gold and other strategic assets, against your burning paper currencies.” Read more here-

-Michael Pento: Money Supply & Inflation Exploding Around the World. When you have your currency burning, your purchasing power is being ignited and inflated away. The first thing you do is run towards something the government cannot increase by fiat. Governments cannot increase the supply of precious metals. People run to gold and silver. They also run to oil and agriculture.

I cannot believe investors look at the price of gold and the way it’s trading, continuously holding around $1,750, and people wonder why that’s the case. How could you possibly trust paper currencies when every central banker around the world is following the example of Al Capone?” Read more here-

-Dan Norcini: Crude Oil Breakout to Carry Gold & Oil Much Higher. “It’s almost inconceivable to me that we would see crude oil moving in one direction and gold moving the other way. Today, both oil and gold moved higher together. A sharply higher crude oil price is going to pull gold higher along with it. This happens because traders anticipate the inflationary impact of higher crude.

If you go back to 1998 and look at the gold/oil ratio, we hit 27.5 to 1. The ratio today is at 16.5 to 1. Let’s say the ratio of 16.5 stays consistent, but crude moves to the old high of $150, that would mean a gold price of $2,475.” Read more here-

-Robert Fitzwilson: Watch Gold as Oil to Trade Between $170-$250. “I think it’s just a continuation away from paper assets into real assets. There are a lot of players in these markets. There are governments, hedge funds and individuals. So it is hard to know what will happen day to day, but there is no question that the direction in gold is higher.”

“Sometimes investors will ask, ‘How much of my assets should I have in gold?’ That’s the wrong question. The question should be, how much of your wealth are you willing to see destroyed? What this cycle is really all about is wealth preservation and gold is a way to protect your wealth.

As I have mentioned in the past, there will also be a great transfer of wealth. KWN readers also need to remember that somebody is always making money. My feeling is there is always pockets of positive economic activity somewhere on the planet. Investors just need to find the positive activity because it is out there. Read more here-

-Robert Fitzwilson: Pulling Back the Curtain on the Financial System. Read more here-

-Egon von Greyerz: Gold to Begin a Major Advance Starting Next Week. “Short-term the consolidation is finishing here. We could see a move higher beginning next week. Looking at our proprietary cycle system, that move could continue until the end of March and this would be a strong move before we had any correction.” Read more here-

-Jean-Marie Eveillard: Fear of Contagion, This is the End of the Road. Read more here-

-Nigel Farage: Catastrophe Imminent & Gold to Break $2,500. I’m tempted (now) to think if you’ve got a big portfolio and you don’t know what to do, you should buy gold. It is more likely that the price of gold will be between $2,500 and $3,000 an ounce 18 months from now, than it is that the price of gold will contract and go back to $500 to $1,000. So hold gold, absolutely I stay with that view, but if you put me up against the wall and asked, ‘Are we buying or selling it?’ I wouldn’t be selling it.” Read more here-

Jim Sinclair: 1980 Was a Warmup, Gold to Range $400 a Day. Read more here-

Jim Sinclair: Big events and volatility in gold are imminent. Read more here-

-Gold and silver to be much higher by end of Q1 James Turk. GoldMoney founder Turk, believes, while one can’t predict what the catalyst is going to be that will force gold and silver higher, the bull market remains intact. Read more here-

-Frank Holmes: The Enduring Popularity of Gold. Read more here-

-Jeff Clark: Gold Speaks Up. Read more here-

Gold Bulls Expand as Billionaire Paulson Says Buy. Gold traders are getting more bullish after billionaire hedge-fund manager John Paulson told investors it’s time to buy the metal as protection against inflation caused by government spending. Read more here-

-Gold Imports by India Seen Dropping From Record to Make China Top Consumer. Gold imports by India are poised to decline for the first time in three years as rising prices deter jewelry buyers and investors, potentially allowing China to overtake the India as the world’s largest consumer. Read more here-

-Lawrence Williams: China building its gold reserves faster than we think? From its latest Gold Demand Trends data the World Gold Council now apparently believes that China is likely buying gold for its official purchases and in quantity. Read more here-

-Import data implies gold buying by China’s central bank. Read more here-

-Singapore to exempt gold, other precious metals from 7% tax. The move brings Singapore’s tax treatment of investment-grade gold and other precious metals in line with the practices of countries such as Australia and Switzerland. Read more here-

Gold 1980 vs. today things couldn’t be more different. Watch video here-

-February edition of the Gold Standard Institute’s newsletter. Read more here-

-Kal Kotecha: Hiding the Elephant: Fort Knox’s Gold Vanishing Act. Read more here-

-Jordan Roy-Byrne: Buffett Mischaracterizes Gold’s Bull Market. Read more here-

-Jim Rickards: Interviewed by Chris Martenson. Listen here-

-Nomura’s Bob Janjuah: Markets now so rigged by govt. that there’s little to say. Read more here-

-Gold Switzerland’s interview with Embry covers gold market manipulation. Read more here-

GATA Chairman Murphy interviewed by Kitco at California conference. Watch more here-

-GATA Chairman Murphy interviewed by Future Money Trends. Watch more here-

-Another misplaced sneer about gold from The Wall Street Journal. Read more here-

-Arensberg analyzes precious metals’ consolidation. Read more here-

-A new kind of hyperinflation: Zimbabwe hikes mining fees by as much as 8,000%. Read more here-

-The cost of a divorce in Iran? Your weight in gold. Watch more here-

-Handyman finds secret gold stash in kitchen. Read more here-

-$1 million in gold coins rains down from the rafters as workers renovate vineyard building in Champagne. Read more here-

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Gold to silver ratio at 50 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $40.00

Gold to silver ratio at 40 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $50.00

Gold to silver ratio at 30 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $66.67

Gold to silver ratio at 20 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $100.00

Gold to silver ratio at 15 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $133.33

Gold to silver ratio at 50 to 1 with gold at $2,500 the silver price would be $50.00

Gold to silver ratio at 40 to 1 with gold at $2,500 the silver price would be $62.50

Gold to silver ratio at 30 to 1 with gold at $2,500 the silver price would be $83.33

Gold to silver ratio at 20 to 1 with gold at $2,500 the silver price would be $125.00

Gold to silver ratio at 15 to 1 with gold at $2,500 the silver price would be $166.67

-“Conditions in the wholesale physical silver market still appear tight, although retail demand may be cooling off. There is still unusually high turnover or movement of metal into and out from the COMEX approved silver warehouses, as the total level of inventory was mostly unchanged for the week.

Although there is little sign of widespread attention to this silver movement, it still resonates with me. That’s because, up until a year or so ago, such consistent turnover didn’t exist.” “The vision of daily large truck deliveries, being loaded and unloaded in and around New York City (not the most traffic-friendly environment) is one I often think about.

Having some familiarity with that NYC traffic, I can’t help but ask who would subject themselves to that experience unnecessarily? What’s so important about moving metal so feverishly in those traffic conditions and congestion?

The most plausible explanation to me is that most of the near 130 million oz already there is unavailable and new stuff must be brought in to satisfy consistent withdrawal demands. Again, this turnover pattern didn’t exist over the past quarter century.”

“Sure, there were times over the past 25 years when many tens of millions and even a hundred million ounces came into and out from the COMEX silver warehouses over varying periods of time. But I don’t ever remember this daily in and out on the COMEX. Also adding to the signs of physical tightness was the withdrawal of 3.5 million oz from the big silver ETF, SLV, this week.

Price patterns and trading volume did not suggest that the withdrawal was due to plain-vanilla investor liquidation. The most plausible explanation was that SLV shares were converted to metal and that metal was removed because it was needed somewhere more urgently than in the London warehouse of the custodian. This tends to confirm the tightness scenario, as does the 600 thousand oz withdrawal from the big Swiss silver ETF, ZKB.” Ted Butler via Ed Steer-Casey Research-Read more here- and

-Stephen Leeb: Silver Update. “I think silver will go to new highs reasonably quickly. Silver may pause briefly at $45 to $50, but this will be a game of chicken. The industrial users want silver and they are competing with investors. The Chinese are going to continue to accumulate silver and people have to understand the price could start to run away in this environment.

If gold begins to move aggressively to the upside, this could cause the Chinese to begin buying silver more aggressively then they had originally planned. A breakout here will be very significant and could lead to a test of the all-time high in very short order.” Read more here-

-Greg McCoach: Gold to $6,000 plus eventually and silver growth even more explosive. I believe that silver is going to far outperform gold, even though I think gold’s going to $6,000-10,000/oz. From where we are right now, gold performance will pale in comparison to what silver’s going to do. Eventually, I think silver could be priced at maybe $400-500/oz. If gold goes to $10,000/oz and we’re at a 15:1 or 10:1 ratio, silver could be $700, $800, or even $900/oz.

So, there’s a lot of explosive upside in silver and when you understand how tight the silver market is right now, and all the game-playing that’s been going on and the monster short position that exists, there’s not enough physical metal in the world to cover this. There’s such a total disconnect in that market that, at some point, when it is allowed to become a free market, I think silver’s going to run like crazy and I see that coming very soon.

In saying this, however, I also need to caution readers to understand that the silver market will be more volatile than gold. In other words, if you think the ride on the gold bull’s back has been tough this past decade, the silver bull ride is going to be a lot worse moving forward. If you can handle that kind of volatility, the reward will be worth it. Read more here-

-“We think the silver supply-demand equation is ultimately better than even that of gold. New industrial and medical uses are exploding and because silver is “poor man’s gold,” investment demand for silver will go crazy when gold gets priced out of the average citizen’s capacity to buy. Given the small size of the market and very limited inventory, the price should go ballistic. John Embry

-John Embry: Silver Update. “Silver has moved above $35 and that’s a big number. If silver can hold $35 and move on from there then I think we can challenge the old highs fairly quickly. The resistance that silver has met in the last six months has been stunning.

Silver is a classic case. You know Eric Sprott and I, we love silver. The very fact that the public can’t grasp the fundamentals is a testimony to how effective the other side is at lying to them. Once silver clears the $35 to $37 level, it will move quickly into the $40s.

Once it starts to really gain a head of steam, the very lack of positive sentiment could change quite abruptly. The other thing that’s hurt silver is the fact that the Dow goes up day after day. The bulk of the public is focused on what the mainstream is promoting and it’s doing well, I think it detracts from gold and silver, which is where investors should be.” Read more here-

-Eric Sprott: Silver Will Become a Currency Again. Read more here-

India silver imports may top 5,000 tons in 2012. India’s silver imports may top 5,000 metric tons in 2012 due to strong investment demand, Prithviraj Kothari, the president of the Bombay Bullion Association, said. The country imported around 4,800 tons of silver last year. Read more here-

-Jonathan Barratt: Silver Among “Top Picks.” Watch more here-

-Roman Baudzus: With the exception of 2008, silver’s technical chart shows that the white metal continues in a long-term bull market. After enduring a correction phase that started in the spring of 2011 and saw the silver price drop as low as $25 per ounce last December, silver now has great chance at restarting its upward trend.

Technical analysts see important resistance at the $35 per ounce mark. Should the white metal break through this level it would open the way for a trending move higher. The silver price could regain its high of $50 per ounce and even hit new record highs at around $65 to $70 per ounce before enduring another meaningful correction. Read more here-

-Peter Cooper: Why silver is the standout buy after the Greek deal. Read more here-

-Keith Weiner: The Arbitrageur: The Decline and Fall of Silver Backwardation. Read more here-

-Keith Weiner: The Arbitrageur: Silver backwardation. Read more here-

-Rick Mills: Silver Eagles Soar. Read more here-

-Jason Hamlin: Silver Could Double by Year End. Read more here-

-Will Bancroft: In Search of Silver. Read more here-

-Colorado looking at gold, silver currency. Worried that the U.S. dollar may not be good as gold, some Colorado lawmakers are pushing a bill to legalize gold and silver coins as usable currency. Read more here-

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-CHART OF THE WEEK: The Rosy Assumptions Behind The Entire Greek Bailout. we mentioned a bombshell report in the FT about a secret memo circulated in Europe, which admitted the truth about the Greek bailout: Reform measures are killing the economy, and there’s a good chance that the country will never get its public debt under control. What’s also interesting is that the memo is still using very rosy assumptions about Greek economic growth. Read more here-

Greece Wins Second Bailout as Europe Picks Aid Over Default. Debt-stricken Greece won a second bailout after European governments wrung concessions from private investors and tapped into European Central Bank profits to shield the euro area from a precedent-setting default.

Finance ministers awarded 130 billion euros ($173 billion) in aid, engineered a central-bank profits transfer and coaxed investors into providing more debt relief in an exchange meant to tide Greece past a March bond repayment. Read more here-

Biggest Greek Bondholders Will Forgive More Than Half Debt in Aid Accord. Greece reached an agreement with its private creditors to secure the biggest sovereign restructuring in history, paving the way for a second bailout of the debt ridden nation and averting an economic collapse. Read more here-

Greek Rescue Leaves Risk of Default Alive in Europe as Austerity Deepens. Europe is still struggling to avoid the threat of default as investors warn Greece will soon risk violating the terms of its second bailout in three years. Read more here-

-Fitch Cuts Greece, Near-Term Default ‘Highly Likely.’ Fitch ratings agency on Wednesday slashed its rating for Greek sovereign debt to “C” from “CCC,” indicating that default is “highly likely in the near term.” The downgrade comes just after the country secured a second bailout from its creditors and the subsequent announcement by the Greek government that private investors holding Greek debt would be forced to accept a debt swap, in which they exchange their bonds for lower-value debt. Read more here-

Greek Crisis Raises New Fears Over Credit-Default Swaps. Greece’s debt restructuring is dragging credit-default swaps back into the spotlight. With Europe’s $172 billion aid package for Greece, it appears that the nation is going to take a step that substantially increases the likelihood that its swaps take effect. Read more here-

Greek debt load may get heavier, euro zone study says. Greece will need additional relief if it is to cut its debts to 120 percent of GDP by 2020 and if it doesn’t follow through on structural reforms and other measures, its debt could hit 160 percent by 2020, a confidential analysis conducted by the IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission shows. Read more here-

Germany drawing up plans for Greece to leave the euro. Plans for Greece to default, potentially leaving the euro, have been drafted in Germany as the European Union begins to face up to the fact that Greek debt is spiralling out of control with or without a second bailout. Read more here-

-Britons in Greece told to prepare to leave the country as fears of default mount. Britons in Greece were warned they may have to be evacuated. Foreign Secretary William Hague revealed Britons were being urged to register with the consulate as officials are updating plans to evacuate citizens ‘on a daily basis’ in case Greece goes under. Read more here-

-How Goldman Sachs helped mask Greece’s debt. Watch more here-

-Staring into the abyss: Inside a despairing Greek nation where families queue at soup kitchens and women threaten to jump to their deaths as job losses mount. Read more here-

-ECB Preparing to Close Liquidity Floodgates. The European Central Bank wants its second offer of cheap ultra-long funds next week to be its last, putting the onus back on governments to secure the euro zone’s longer-term future. Read more here-

-Spain barter economy wins followers in grip of crisis. Read more here-

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-CHART OF THE WEEK: Nearly Half of All Americans Don’t Pay Income Taxes. Read more here-

-Zerohedge: As US Debt To GDP Passes 101%, The Global Debt Ponzi Enters Its Final Stages. Read more here-

-Federal Workers Face ‘Unprecedented Assault’ in U.S. Budget War. Congress is considering ways to cut U.S. federal workers’ pay, benefits and possibly their jobs even as a record number are borrowing against pensions. Read more here-

-USPS Plans 35,000 Cuts as Plants Shut. The U.S. Postal Service, which predicts an annual loss of $18.2 billion by 2015, plans to eliminate 5.4 percent of its workforce by closing almost half of its mail-processing facilities to cut costs. Read more here-

-In Alabama, a County That Fell Off the Financial Cliff. There is no money for a lot of things around here, not since Jefferson County, population 658,000, went bankrupt last fall. Read more here-

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-CHART OF THE WEEK: This Is The Point Where Gas Prices Start Changing People’s Behavior. Read more here-

-CHART OF THE WEEK: Energy-Price Immunity Building in U.S. Economy. The U.S. economy is “gradually building immunity” from the kind of surge in gasoline prices seen this year, according to Steven Wieting, Citigroup Inc.’s managing director of economic and market analysis. Read more here-

-Florida Drivers Shelling Out Nearly $6 A Gallon At Some Gas Stations. Talk about pain at the pump! Some Florida drivers are spending nearly $6 a gallon to fill up their gas tanks. According to, motorists are shelling out $5.89 for a gallon of regular gas at a Shell station in Lake Buena Vista, topping out at $5.99 a gallon for premium. It doesn’t get better at a Suncoast Energy station in Orlando, where drivers are paying $5.79 for a gallon of regular. Read more here-

-Gas prices are highest ever for this time of year. Gasoline prices have never been higher this time of the year. At $3.53 a gallon, prices are already up 25 cents since Jan. 1. And experts say they could reach a record $4.25 a gallon by late April. “You’re going to see a lot more staycations this year,” says Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research.

“When the price gets anywhere near $4, you really see people react.” Already, W. Howard Coudle, a retired machinist from Crestwood, Mo., has seen his monthly gasoline bill rise to $80 from about $60 in December. The closest service station is selling regular for $3.39 per gallon, the highest he’s ever seen.

“I guess we’re going to have to drive less, consolidate all our errands into one trip,” Coudle says. “It’s just oppressive.” The surge in gas prices follows an increase in the price of oil. Read more here-

-U.S. motorists drive fewer miles in 2011. Americans hit the brakes on travel in 2011, as travel on U.S. roads fell to its lowest level since 2003, government data shows. Stubbornly, high gas prices and an economic slowdown since 2008 have convinced some Americans not to drive as much. Read more here-

-Gasoline Prices Are Not Rising, the Dollar Is Falling. Read more here-

-CHART OF THE WEEK: Global Shale Gas Basins. Today’s chart maps out the shale gas basins and the top reserve holders of shale gas throughout the world. With regard to the basins, they are differentiated between “with resource” and “without resource” estimates. Reuters

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-CHART OF THE WEEK: How Prices Have Boomed Since The Year 2000. Read more here-

Greg Hunter: Inflation Everywhere but MSM Says Not. It seems every chance the mainstream media (MSM) gets, it tells us things really aren’t that bad. For example, the headline from the Associated Press (AP) said, “Consumer prices on the rise, but inflation outlook is benign.” Who approves the headlines at the AP? Prices are rising, but there is no inflation? Aren’t rising prices the main ingredient of inflation? Read more here-

-Alasdair Macleod: The destruction of savings by inflation. Read more here-

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-CHART OF THE WEEK: A New Survey That Shows Unemployment Surging Again. A new Gallup survey shows unemployment rising to around 8.9% after bottoming at 8.3% a few weeks ago. Read more here- and

-CHART OF THE WEEK: The Real Scariest Jobs Chart Ever. Read more here-


-CHART OF THE WEEK: The Scariest Housing Market Chart Ever. Read more here-

-CHART OF THE WEEK: Canada Housing Heads for Severe Correction on Investment. Read more here-

-Home prices at lowest point in more than 10 years. Home prices fell to their lowest point in more than a decade in January, which helped to lift the pace of home sales, according to a report from an industry trade group. The National Association of Realtors reported that the median home price in January fell 2% from December to $154,700. That’s the lowest price reading since November 2001, before the run-up in home prices that became known as the housing bubble. Read more here-

-Home Prices Declined 2.4% in Fourth Quarter. U.S. home prices fell 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, as sales were boosted by investors seeking lower-cost distressed properties. Prices dropped 0.1 percent from the prior three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said in a report from Washington. In December, prices retreated 0.8 percent from a year earlier, while increasing 0.7 percent from the previous month. Read more here-

-Sales of previously owned U.S. homes rose in January to the highest level since May 2010 as investors took advantage of lower prices to buy distressed properties. Purchases climbed 4.3 percent to a 4.57 million annual rate, less than forecast, from a revised 4.38 million pace in December that was slower than previously estimated, a report from the National Association of Realtors showed today in Washington.

Distressed properties made up the largest portion of all purchases since April. Almost one in four of all transactions was made by investors. That’s helping to clear the market of unsold properties and may stabilize prices. While the threat of more foreclosures risks slowing progress, housing may get a boost from gains in employment and mortgage rates that are near record lows.

“I don’t think we’re seeing a full-fledged recovery in housing,” said Michelle Meyer, a senior economist at Bank of America Corp. in New York. “Outside of investors and people wanting to buy distressed properties, the primary housing demand is recovering much more gradually.”

Distressed sales, comprised of foreclosures and short sales in which the lender agrees to a transaction for less than the balance of the mortgage, accounted for 35 percent of the total in January, up from 32 percent a month earlier. Investors accounted for 23 percent of purchases last month, while cash transactions were about 31 percent, about the same as a year ago. Read more here-

-RealtyTrac: The Latest On America’s Troubling Foreclosure Market. In the past five years the U.S. started the foreclosure process for more than 8.2 million homes. It has completed 4 million of them. A new report and presentation from RealtyTrac says that there are currently at least 1.4 million U.S. properties in some state of foreclosure. Also, foreclosure activity is expected to rise from the ‘artificially low levels of 2011.’ Read more here-

-Fewer Foreclosures Could Mean Lower Home Prices. Read more here-

-Foreclosure abuse rampant across U.S., experts say. Read more here-

-Shilling: Why Renters Rule U.S. Housing Market. The collapse in housing and the 33 percent plunge in house prices since 2006 are favoring renting over homeownership. This trend will dominate the housing market for the next four or five years, and put additional pressure on a weak economy. Read more here- and

-All Of The Single Women Rushing Out To Buy Homes Should Really Consider Renting. Read more here-

-Shanghai Eases Home Purchase Restrictions. Read more here-

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-IAEA Departs Iran After Talks Yield No ‘Way Forward.’ Officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency, sent to Iran to defuse tensions over the country’s nuclear program, were denied access to a military base and said the talks “couldn’t finalize a way forward.” Read more here-

-U.S. ‘closely consulting’ with Israel over Iran nuclear program. State Department says failure of UN nuclear watchdog mission to Tehran a ‘disappointment’; White House spokesman chides Iran over lack of progress in talks. Read more here- and

-Iran says would act against enemies if endangered. Read more here-

-Iran Has No Pre-Emptive Strike Policy: Ambassador. Iran doesn’t have a policy of carrying out pre-emptive strikes to counter threats, the country’s ambassador to Russia said. Read more here-

-Iran risks nuclear Cold War. Iran’s pursuit of weapons of mass destruction is threatening to trigger a “new Cold War” that poses an even greater threat of nuclear conflict than the stand-off between the USSR and the West, William Hague warns. Read more here-

Iran Stops Oil Sales to UK, French Companies. Iran has stopped selling crude to British and French companies, the oil ministry said on Sunday, in a retaliatory measure against fresh EU sanctions on the Islamic state’s lifeblood, oil. Read more here-

-U.K.’s Hague Says Halt in Iran Oil Sales Will Have ‘No Impact.’ Read more here-

-Iran ‘Winning’ on Oil Sanctions: Top Trader. An increase in world oil prices has more than compensated Iran for revenues lost to lower crude exports because of sanctions imposed by the West, the head of the world’s leading oil trader said. Read more here-

-Export ban will hike oil price to $150, Iran says. The National Iranian Oil Company has predicted that international spot price for oil will jump to $150 per barrel due to Iran’s plan to suspend exports to some European states. Read more here-

-Jim Sinclair: Iran To Be Dropped From Swift System in Belgium. Iran is to be dropped out of the Swift system in Belgium. That means Iran could neither send or receive bank money wires. Read more here-

-Matt Taibbi: Another March to War? Read more here-

-Terror bomb detonated in space ‘could cripple Britain’s electronic networks and jeopardise national security.’ Read more here-

Investing In Fancy Colored Diamonds

Investing in rare colored diamonds is a long-term investment. The economic cycles of the past 15 years have seen colored diamonds reach new heights in value as price records were broken.

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1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Pink

  • Year: 1980
  • Total Price: $50,000
  • Price per Carat: $50,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Pink

  • Year: 1990
  • Total Price: $150,000
  • Price per Carat: $150,000
  • Source: Auction

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Pink

  • Year: 2000
  • Total Price: $500,000
  • Price per Carat: $500,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Pink

  • Year: 2008
  • Total Price: $1,000,000
  • Price per Carat: $1,000,000
  • Source: Auction

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Pink

  • Year: 2009
  • Total Price: $1,090,500
  • Price per Carat: $1,090,500
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Pink

  • Year: 2020
  • Total Price: $2,828,187*
  • Price per Carat: $2,828,187*

*Estimated value based on current market trend

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Pink

  • Year: 2025
  • Total Price: $4,361,506*
  • Price per Carat: $4,361,506*

*Estimated value based on current market trend

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Intense Yellow

  • Year: 1980
  • Total Price: $1,000
  • Price per Carat: $1,000
  • Source: Auction

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Intense Yellow

  • Year: 1990
  • Total Price: $3,000
  • Price per Carat: $3,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Intense Yellow

  • Year: 2000
  • Total Price: $9,000
  • Price per Carat: $9,000
  • Source: Auction

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Intense Yellow

  • Year: 2008
  • Total Price: $23,500
  • Price per Carat: $23,500
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Intense Yellow

  • Year: 2009
  • Total Price: $26,300
  • Price per Carat: $26,300
  • Source: Auction

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Intense Yellow

  • Year: 2012
  • Total Price: $32,000
  • Price per Carat: $32,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Intense Yellow

  • Year: 2020
  • Total Price: $53,993*
  • Price per Carat: $53,993*

*Estimated value based on current market trend

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Intense Yellow

  • Year: 2025
  • Total Price: $74,873*
  • Price per Carat: $74,873*

*Estimated value based on current market trend

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Blue

  • Year: 1980
  • Total Price: $60,000
  • Price per Carat: $60,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Blue

  • Year: 1990
  • Total Price: $200,000
  • Price per Carat: $200,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Blue

  • Year: 2000
  • Total Price: $600,000
  • Price per Carat: $600,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Blue

  • Year: 2008
  • Total Price: $1,350,000
  • Price per Carat: $1,350,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Blue

  • Year: 2009
  • Total Price: $1,494,000
  • Price per Carat: $1,494,000
  • Source: Auction

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Blue

  • Year: 2020
  • Total Price: $4,555,497*
  • Price per Carat: $4,555,497*

*Estimated value based on current market trend

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Blue

  • Year: 2025
  • Total Price: $7,561,708*
  • Price per Carat: $7,561,708*

*Estimated value based on current market trend

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Red

  • Year: 1950
  • Total Price: $13,800
  • Price per Carat: $13,800
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Red

  • Year: 1987
  • Total Price: $927,000
  • Price per Carat: $927,000
  • Source: Auction

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Red

  • Year: 2008
  • Total Price: $2,000,000
  • Price per Carat: $2,000,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Red

  • Year: 2009
  • Total Price: $2,074,600
  • Price per Carat: $2,074,600
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Red

  • Year: 2020
  • Total Price: $3,103,720*
  • Price per Carat: $3,103,720*

*Estimated value based on current market trend