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Considering the world is amidst a generational economic and financial calamity, the media has eerily silent this weekend.  Perhaps “Snowzilla” slowed down a few old school commuters; whilst the rest watched the Broncos snuff out the hated Patriots, despite the absolutely incredible fortitude, and unworldly skill level, of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.  Or perhaps it’s just an “eye of the storm” phenomenon, as many “checked out” for two blissfully ignorant days, following four weeks of unrelenting political, economic, and financial hell.

Oh, the ugly statistics continued to pour in hot and heavy, even if the commentary was disproportionately light.  Such as, for instance, world trade activity decelerating at its fastest pace since Q4 2012 – i.e., just before QE3 was launched; global industrial production “growth” at its lowest level since Q4 2008 – i.e., the heart of the worst financial crisis of our lifetimes; and U.S. corporate earnings declining year-over-year for the third straight quarter – for the first time since…drum roll please…Q1 2009 through Q3 2009.  Throw in this morning’s comments from Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, that it has no intention to reduce capital expenditures – and this morning’s renewed oil price (and Treasury yield) plunge is “par for the course” for the cataclysmic terminal phase of history’s largest, most destructive fiat Ponzi scheme.  Which, following Thursday and Fridays’ pitiful, blatantly-obvious, PPT-orchestrated equity and crude oil dead-cat bounces, appears “back on schedule” for further, world-destroying carnage in the coming weeks; months; and likely, years.

Frankly, this weekend’s lack of media coverage of collapsing economies and financial markets was quite refreshing – as for a brief two days, I was able to relax my aching head somewhat; enjoy the game; and prepare for two major Miles Franklin events this week.  The first, being Wednesday afternoon’s “2016 Silver Outlook Webinar,” with Silver-Investor.com’s David Morgan and Chris Marchese and Miles Franklin’s own Andy Schectman.  Which, I might add, will be recorded and uploaded to the internet ASAP; likely, by Wednesday evening.  Furthermore, Andy Schectman and I will hold the first of what we hope to be a nationwide series of free Q&A rap sessions, here in my home of Denver, Colorado.  Thus far, the response has been well above my expectations.  However, there is still some room left; so if you live in the area and would like to attend, simply email me at ahoffman@milesfranklin.com.

Back to today’s discussion, it’s rare that I have absolutely no idea what topic to focus on when I awaken – and today was one of those days.  However, it didn’t take long to find my “prize”; as is often the case, at the gym – with CNBC droning on, thankfully without any volume, on one of the gym’s TV’s.  All I had to do was see the moronic scroll “Central banks in focus,” and it was off to the races!

This weekend, I actually had not one, but two conversations with extremely intelligent people; both with successful careers; both of whom I respect for their general levels of knowledge, and personal and professional judgment.  In both cases, however, they displayed such an incredible lack of understanding – and, equally important, interest – in the collapsing global economy, plunging financial markets, and ramifications of such, it was truly awe-inspiring – and terrifying – to behold.  In other words, the average “layman” – which, as validated by my experience in 14 years in the “alternative media” – has not a clue that the world is crumbling around them.  Nor, frankly, does he or she care, so long as his or her personal situation hasn’t been terribly disturbed.

Of course, the equivalent can be said for those actually in the financial business.  Who, despite full-time careers following economic trends and financial markets, have, on average, little or no knowledge of what actually drives them.  Heck, I’d bet the vast majority of financial professionals are not even aware gold and silver are investment alternatives, despite them having risen in price each year from 2001-11 in dollars; having surged in nearly all other currencies since; and oh yeah, having experienced record global demand in 2013, 2014, and 2015.  And of those that do, I’d bet the vast majority believe GLD and SLV are the only ways to “own” them – in nearly all cases, for a short-term paper trade.

More disturbing yet – in the most conclusive proof yet of mankind’s innate ability to deny reality – “leading” financial networks like CNBC still believe Central banks have the ability to control economic activity; or heck, financial markets!  If that were the case, than eight years, and hundreds of trillions of overtly and covertly printed dollars, Euros, yen, and yuan, would surely have produced a result better than the worst global economy in centuries; the most global debt ever; collapsing commodities; imploding currencies; and expanding political, geopolitical, and social unrest the world round.  Much less, given the freshest evidence of such unabashed failures – like the Fed’s QE3, Japan’s Abenomics, and the ECB’s relentlessly expanding QE monstrosity.  To that end, last Wednesday, Haruhiko Kuroda claimed the BOJ has “many ways” to expand QE; whilst on Thursday, Mario Draghi not only said the ECB would consider the expansion of QE again in March, but that there are “no limits” on how far it is willing to “deploy its instruments.”

I mean, these monetary morons – and financial sociopaths – actually believe something good will come of this lunacy, despite each successive hyperinflationary policy turn not only failing, but making the situation exponentially worse.  Aided of course, by the stupidity, cheerleading, and blatant propagandizing of the “evil Troika” incentivized to “kick the can” as long as possible; i.e., Wall Street, Washington, and the MSM.  Along with, of course, their “1%” counterparts around the world.

To that end, the FOMC has its next meeting this coming Wednesday – i.e, two days from now – luckily for them, two days before Friday’s initial fourth quarter GDP growth reading, which could conceivably be negative.  Yes, I know the Fed’s initially propagandized “plan” was to raise rates every three months or so; and thus, under “normal conditions” they’d be expected to say NOTHING – other than to reiterate what they said a month ago.  However, what is occurring now is decidedly not “normal conditions”; and if the aforementioned, PPT-orchestrated dead-cat bounce loses momentum between now and Wednesday’s afternoon’s policy statement, I wouldn’t be surprised one bit to see the Fed “back-track” on its ill-begotten, ill-fated “rate hike” of a mere four weeks ago; if not laying the ground for its inevitable reversal, intimating that further “rate hikes” are no longer in the cards.  Remember, the only thing the Fed cares about are financial markets – so TRUST ME, what the “Dow Jones Propaganda Average,” the price of oil, the 10-year Treasury yield, and even gold do in the next 60 hours will determine just how “hawkish” (LOL) or dovish the FOMC statement will be.

Irrespective, the Fed’s – and all Central banks’ – credibility has dropped dramatically in the past month; and frankly, it’s difficult to imagine it “escaping” this week’s policy statement without a further, equally dramatic credibility decline.  Which, of course, will only fuel further financial market “volatility” – i.e, declines; and expanded Precious Metal buying, amidst a backdrop of rapidly declining production, and more rapidly vanishing inventories.

Yes, my friends, Central banks still remain “in focus” – but with each passing day, for the decidedly wrong reasons.  Which is why, more than ever, the urgency to PROTECT ONESELF is paramount.