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Here we go again!

One day of rising stock prices, care of a spirited, PPT-aided media attempt to spin “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” as symbols of meaningful progress, and the news is abuzz of “green shoots of recovery.”  Due to the factors listed in yesterday’s RANT, I take the opposite view entirely.  In other words, if “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” sales are so strong in an environment of deep economic decline, plunging stock markets, and record-low consumer sentiment, then something far more ominous than what we have seen to date is at play.

I believe the main reason for such strong early-season sales is that it has simply become a trend to shop earlier than in the past, particularly when “doorbuster” sales (I get ill writing that word) might ease the cost burden.  Retailers are in desperate straits, as for most, their ENTIRE year’s profitability is earned during the holiday season.  Thus, the urge to grab as high a market share of this year’s scant retail buying power is powerful, even if obtained at the expense of profits, which will surely drop this year due to the weak margins resulting from deep discounting.

If there’s one thing I’m positive of it’s that, at best, strong “Black Friday” sales are meaningless, and at worst, a symptom of further desperation on the part of both cash-strapped buyers and profit-starved sellers.

On that note, let’s move to the next topic of the day, the second of MANY I need to cover.  And that, of course, is, not surprisingly, MARKET MANIPULATION!  By now, I’m guessing many of you have read “COMEX GOLD MANIPULATION PICTORIAL #3,” although if not I’ll give you a pass as it’s 70 pages long (albeit a rapid 70 pages).  Even if you got through just a portion, you will recognize essentially ALL the Cartel’s tricks in yesterday’s action, with some being quite obvious and some more subtle, although less so once you know what to look for.

Yesterday, the Dow futures were up 230 points in the morning, and never tread below that level until the very end of the day, when it sagged as low as +220 before the PPT’s HAIL MARY RALLY seen below, which took the Dow up 70 points in the day’s final five minutes so the media could report that strong “Cyber Monday” sales were further evidence of an economic recovery.  By the way, please note that while most bank stocks SOARED yesterday on knee-jerk short-covering (based on absolutely ZERO positive financial news), Warren Buffet’s favorite stock, Bank of America, made a new low at $5.11 before being goosed in the final minutes to $5.20 or so.

Converse to the action of the Dow, which traded near its highs all day with essentially no volatility (until the end of the day, when the PPT made sure it stayed that way), gold, as usual, peaked EXACTLY at the 8:20 AM EST open of the COMEX, was capped just after the PM FIX at EXACTLY 10:00 AM EST, again at EXACTLY 12:00 PM EST (notice the sharp decline to the minute), and again a few minutes later when it attempted to meaningfully rally.

Notice the typical choppiness, as no less than 15 TIMES during the day was gold swatted down when it attempted to, god forbid, rise above the 2% daily cap imposed by Cartel rules.  THIS is what you’ll see in essentially every day of the 18 months of trading covered in the three “COMEX GOLD MANIPULATION PICTORIAL” reports, and hopefully it will convince you to look past the fraudulent PAPER market and into the dynamics of the REAL, PHYSICAL market, where demand is far tighter and can become exponentially more so in a moment’s time, to the chagrin of buyers worldwide.

OK, where to go next?

Typically, I move from East to West, but not now.  Today I need to start with the FOUR breaking stories of the past 12 hours, none of which are surprises to me, but to the doting, moronic Polyana world, probably are shocking events.

To start, last night the rating agency Fitch revised its outlook on U.S. government debt to “Negative,” meaning it has increased the likelihood of a future downgrade to greater than 51%.  Given that the S&P CEO was forced out just weeks after downgrading the U.S. by one notch, clearly rating agencies are scared to take on Uncle Sam, and thus simply reducing its outlook is a courageous event in today’s age of government-controlled media.  Irrespective, anyone with half a brain understands the connotations of this change, i.e. that Fitch knows very well this rating will be reduced, but is simply waiting for a more politically expedient time to announce it.

Fitch Revises US Outlook To Negative

Secondly, the ECB yesterday surpassed the Federal Reserve (at least OVERTLY) in its official sovereign debt monetization operations.  Quite a claim, as “Operation Twist” is a gargantuan feat in “sterilizing” U.S. Treasury Debt.  Yes, despite the Fed being on an all-out mission to take Treasury bond rates to ZERO while its “outlook” becomes more “negative,” the ECB has been forced this Fall to buy even MORE PIIGS bonds then that Fed is buying Treasuries (again, not including what the Fed does COVERTLY).

ECB Passes €200 Billion In Cumulative PIIGS Bonds Purchases: Now Monetizing 30% More Each Month Than The Fed

Even worse, the ECB this morning failed to pass along this garbage to the public, a MAJOR setback to their “sterilization” foray.  Given that TRILLIONS of PIIGS debt still need to be sold in the coming months, things could get accelerate from “horrible” to “catastrophic” on any given day.  Stay tuned, and don’t say I didn’t warn you!

ECB Fails To Sterilize Bond Purchases, €9 Billion Shortfall Confirms Euro Bank Liquidity Freeze

Third, tensions continue to heat up in Iran, as Western leaders inflame the situation seemingly each day.  Yes, I know it would be military and political suicide for either side to attack the other, as surely a World War III threat would ensue.  However, in today’s world of government corruption by the financial and military-industrial complex, as well as increased discussions of “one world” (or at least “one Europe”) style totalitarianism, I wouldn’t put ANYTHING past the monsters controlling our lives, i.e. TPTB.

Last week, France’s Sarkozy has the gall to call for a freeze of Iran’s Central Bank assets because he opposes their nuclear program…

Sarkozy Calls for Freeze of Iran’s Central Assets, New Sanctions

…then yesterday’s ambiguous reports that an Iranian missile base has been destroyed…

Satellite Image Confirms Iranian Missile Base Was Destroyed

…and finally, today’s news that the British embassy in Tehran has been taken over by protesters and set on fire, with six hostages taken.

UK Embassy In Tehran Taken Over By Protestors, Building On Fire

Iran Update: Six UK Embassy Staff Taken Hostage: Iran Contra Redux?

I am DEEPLY troubled by the increased beating of Middle East war drums, as given the rapid collapse of political and economic stability across the Western world, the odds of “false flag attacks” and “politically-motivated wars” (to further entrench POWER and divert public attention) grows stronger.  Expanding Iranian war rhetoric and the potential passing of draconian legislation such as the below, with little or no media attention, is why I am more terrified than ever about the state of America.  And by the way, I hate Obama as much as the next guy, but for those of you who think he shouldn’t have been elected, I want you to take a guess which Arizona Senator wrote this bill.

Senate to vote on legislation that allows U.S. military to detain Americans without charge or trial

And please, no political comments, as I will not respond to them.  I HATE Democrats AND Republicans alike, as well as both Obama and McCain.  But once again, there is ONE exception to my political hatred, and that is Ron Paul, the ONLY Congressman I have EVER truly respected.  In the video below, he explains to Judge Napolitano that the U.S. should return to a gold standard, and it will warm your hearts to know he believes such a system WILL NOT work if the government attempts to PEG gold at a fixed price!

Ron Paul's Plan for Monetary Freedom
Ron Paul’s Plan for Monetary Freedom

Ron Paul Explains His Plan For “Monetary Freedom” And Returning To The Gold Standard – Zero Hedge

Before I leave the topic of “one world” fears (and get to that elusive FOURTH breaking story), I want to bring to your attention the very disturbing rhetoric coming out of Washington regarding the European collapse.  Obama knows his only chance of re-election is to avoid the END GAME for another year, and thus will do ANYTHING, no matter how destructive or self-serving, to push the global financial system collapse past November 6, 2012.

Uncle Obama Wants You! … To Bail Out Europe

The Federal Reserve has already sent TRILLIONS of “loans” to Europe with FRESHLY-PRINTED MONEY and set up massive “credit lines” which also will never be paid back.  Now Obama is threatening to step up PRINTING PRESS-supported “aid” to the PIIGS, as he and the other European “leaders” desperately rush to the Titanic’s stern while the ship’s bow goes nose down.

Jack (Obama’s) last words before the ship goes down, by the way, are “TRUST ME.”  Yes, I trust you, like a fox in a henhouse.  There is simply no way anything can go wrong printing TRILLIONS of dollars and sending them off to Europe, either OVERTLY or COVERTLY.

Titanic sinking
Titanic sinking

On the East side of the pond, despite yesterday’s ridiculous stock rally, sovereign bond prices have continued to decline!

Credit Sanity Check

And not without good reason, as Italy was downgraded yet again…

Egan Jones Downgrades Italy From BB+ To BB, Projects 157% Debt/GDP By 2014

…while France may be next…

La Tribune Reports S&P May Put France On ‘Negative’ Outlook Within Ten Days

…as well as up to 87 BANKS IN 15 COUNTRIES!

Subordinated European Bank Debt Face Broad Downgrades, Moodys

Meanwhile, on the West side of the pond, we saw yesterday that average home prices fell to their lowest level since 2003…

Average New House Price Drops To Lowest Since 2003

…and a catastrophic miss versus expectations this morning, as the Case-Schiller housing index declined for the fifth straight month

5th Consecutive Month Of House Price Drops As Case-Shiller Misses Expectations Again

…which is probably why the CONSENSUS is now growing that OVERT QE3 will be announced in the first quarter of 2012.  In other words, the Fed is being pinned into the corner, EXACTLY why the Cartel has so vehemently attacked gold and silver this Fall.  There is NOT A DOUBT in my mind the Fed wanted to announce QE3 in both June and September, but could not because gold was near all-time highs at the time of both meetings.

80% Of Bond Managers Expect QE3 In 2012, Says JPMorgan

When QE3 is officially announced, you will see an epic rise in gold and silver prices dwarfing anything since the PM bull commenced in 2000, and thus TPTB are DESPERATE to keep gold and silver as far away from $2,000/oz and $50/oz, respectively.  The absolutely LAST thing they want is to announce the MOTHER OF ALL MONEY-PRINTING EXCERCISES with PMs already in a strong uptrend.

But rest assured, readers, those levels WILL be breached in 2012, and when they are, the FINAL STAGE of the global economic collapse, and subsequentlyPANIC BUYING of PHYSICAL gold and silver, will be ushered in.

SocGen Sees $600 Billion QE3 Starting In March 2012 Sending Gold Up Between $1900 And $8500/Oz

Which brings me to the final “breaking story” of the past 24 hours, the last of the four and the freshest, as it was just announced hours ago.

For the past month, I have persistently highlighted that American Airlines’ stock price was SCREAMING imminent bankruptcy, which for some reason the media and Wall Street didn’t seem to think merited much attention.  To the contrary, it’s a HUGE deal when the world’s fourth largest airline, employing 74,000 people, is on the verge of collapse, especially around its main hubs – Dallas, Miami, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles – where not only unemployment will rise, but air fares.

American Airlines Files For Bankruptcy

Miami and Dallas will be particularly hard hit by this morning’s tragic bankruptcy announcement, as unlike Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, American is the ONLY major airline utilizing these cities as a major hub.  The Dallas/Fort Worth airport, by the way, is the FOURTH BUSIEST AIRPORT IN THE WORLD, and if you think the bankruptcy of its top tenant won’t have major economic ripples, I’ve got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

Before I get to the topic of today’s RANT, I want to add three non-sequitur videos you may find interesting.  The first is quite mainstream, a layman’s explanation of the MF Global collapse by the producers of the “Silver Bears”…

MF Global Explained
MF Global Explained

…and the second more controversial, although it is entirely up to you to either watch or ignore.

As many readers know, I worked at Cantor Fitzgerald Securities on the 105th Floor of the World Trade Center from 1993-1996.  The first bombing, on February 26, 1993, occurred three days before I was schedule to start at the firm, delaying that blessed event by nearly two months.  The blast, initiated in the parking garage below the building, was heard clearly from the top floors, and every employee in the building was forced to evacuate via the stairwells through intense clouds of dust and blaring smoke alarms.

When 9/11 occurred, I was working at Salomon Smith Barney on 388 Greenwich Street, just 15 blocks away, and watched first hand as the second plane crashed, dozens of people leapt to their death from smoking windows, and the two buildings crashed to the earth in a billow of smoke so intense that it reached all the way up to where I was standing.  Many friends perished that day and, by the way, Salomon Smith Barney was the largest tenant of 7 World Trade Center, so I have a keener sense than most about the questions that have since arisen.

I have watched many a film, and read many an article about the topic, and over the years have seen evidence against the “mainstream story” stacked so high that even a second grader – the same second grader that could spot the Cartel’s daily COMEX antics – would have trouble believing it.

For those that have an interest in the topic, below are two of the best documentaries in questioning what we have been told; “Loose Change” and “911 Mysteries.”  Regardless of what you ultimately believe, I believe it important for all Americans – and global citizens for that matter – to explore these vital questions in their own minds.

Loose Change
911 Mysteries (Part 1 of 10)
911 Mysteries (Part 1 of 10)

Finally, to my topic of the day, “TWICE IN A LIFETIME.”

The title refers to my two careers, the first in the Energy sector and the second in Mining & Metals.  It’s quite remarkable how life can be a winding road, where you never know what’s around the next corner.  Or a great river with many tributaries, any one of which can dramatically change your course, temporarily or permanently.  The great majority of people drift downstream on the main “trunk line,” but others, like myself, have been lucky enough to have taken a few turns.

When I graduated college with a Finance degree, I had no idea that four years later my life would be consumed by oil and gas.  I worked for a generalist hedge fund in 1996-98, always looking for the next “investment craze,” when a great stroke of luck came my way.  The oil industry was just emerging from a decade-long bear market, and aided by OPEC, the Cartel that SUPPORTS prices (as opposed to the Gold Cartel, which SUPPRESSES them), not only were oil and gas prices reviving, but so were E&P and, particularly, Oilfield Service & Equipment equities.  In March 2006, my fund bought a small drilling company called ENSCO (ESV) for $13/share, and I immediately knew we had a tiger by the tail.

Two years later, I was a sell-side analyst covering Oilfield Equipment, Services, and Drilling Companies (such as ENSCO), living in the heart of the Energy industry, New Orleans, Louisiana.  I returned to New York a year later to perform the same duties with Salomon Smith Barney for six years, and in that time experienced many exciting and wondrous things, such as an offshore trip in the Gulf of Mexico to visit the world’s largest construction ship (at least at was then)…

saipem 7000 film
saipem 7000 film

…and, to add to my list of fateful journeys, the christening of Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon drillship in Houston, Texas, in 2001.  Yes, the same ultra-high tech drillship that broke the Gulf of Mexico into two last year, causing the worst oil spill in human history.

I was as consumed with the energy bull market then as I am now with Precious Metals, and back then it seemed like my entire career would be spent analyzing oil and gas companies and projects.  It was lucrative working on Wall Street circa 2000, essentially its high point before the current age of illicit profits from government bailouts, insider and high-frequency trading, murky derivatives, and “dark pools.”

But it was a crowded business, chock full of competitors.  In 1996, there were only a few of us, but once the energy game caught on post-2000, analysts came out of the woodwork, and I was thus getting antsy.  I wasn’t thrilled either by the blatant Wall Street corruption that was emerging on the scene, particularly at Salomon (i.e. Citigroup) where we had no less than three major management changes in my final years there, catalyzed by the overall internet implosion and, more specifically, major Salomon scandals such as Worldcom (EVERY employee held WCOM shares thanks to Jack Grubman) and Enron (my good buddy was the ENE analyst).

I didn’t know what to do, until my Salomon broker called in May 2002 to tell me about Newmont Mining, a $12 stock with lots of upside potential.

Starting that day, nine years and six months ago, I focused ALL my energy on Precious Metals.  It didn’t take me long to conclude the PM bull market would be more spectacular than that of Energy, and that “the dollar” had nowhere to go but down.  Through scouring the internet, I quickly found Richard Russell, Richard Daughty (the “Mogambo Guru”), Jim Sinclair, and several others who I frankly can’t remember.

A year later, amid suspicions the PM market was manipulated, I became a GATA subscriber, and in January 2004, traveled to Jupiter, Florida to meet the great Jim Sinclair himself.  By then, it was clear my days at the rapidly-contracting Salomon Smith Barney were numbered, as investment banking (the driver of ALL equity research) was dying, and we had already been through three rounds of layoffs in the past two years.  Finally, my ticket was called in February 2005, and as I took the Long Island Railroad home for the final time, knew my days on “Wall Street” were likely over.

It’s been quite a whirlwind since then, a “winding road” fraught with challenges.  It looked easy in 2005-07 when junior mining companies were great investments, but when the TSX-Venture (i.e. the Vancouver Stock Exchange) peaked in April 2007, that changed in a hurry.  I’ve been through a lot since, and thankfully this Fall finally realized that stocks have become a loser’s game.  Then I looked up at my calendar, and was amazed to see I’ve now spent more time involved in Precious Metals than Energy!

Everything in life has a purpose, and I believe my intense focus on understanding how the world is changing has prepared me for my true calling in life – helping empower people to take steps to protect themselves from the generational changes that are upon us today.