Welcome to this week's Market Wrap Podcast, I'm Mike Gleason.
Coming up, we have a really insightful interview with Michael Rivero of WhatReallyHappened.com. Michael has some shocking things to say on the conflict in Syria, Russia's emergence as a leader on the global stage and what it all could mean for the dollar and gold. You simply don’t want to miss the upcoming remarks from Michael Rivero following this week's market update.
Well we're seeing some encouraging price action in the precious metals markets this week, though they remain riddled with indecision. Gold and silver prices got a bounce early in the week before giving back some of their gains on Thursday, but are rallying again today.
Also on Thursday, a shocker out of Washington as John Boehner's handpicked successor abruptly withdrew from the race to be the next Speaker of the House. Representative Kevin McCarthy had the full backing of establishment Republicans. And in any other time in recent history that would have been enough to ensure him a clear path to the Speakership. But not this time.
The establishment couldn't quell the growing rebellion within Republican ranks. Conservative and Tea Party inspired Republicans rallied around their own candidate. When it became clear to McCarthy that he couldn't get the 218 votes he'd need from Republicans, he threw in the towel.
Bret Baier of Fox News: Sometimes the thing you least expect happens. That is the case tonight. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy stunned his Republican colleagues today by withdrawing his name from consideration to be the next House speaker. The GOP conference has postponed its election, and what appeared to be a relatively peaceful transfer of power to a trusted Lieutenant has been blown apart, creating questions about the House leadership, pending legislation, and frankly the future of the Republican Party.
The Washington establishment is facing a revolt that extends far broader and deeper than the Halls of Congress. It's gone nationwide at the grassroots level. The same voters who gave Republicans a big majority in Congress are now totally fed up. A recent Fox News poll found that 62% of Republicans feel betrayed by the party establishment. A Rasmussen poll found that only a quarter of Republicans want Mitch McConnell to stay on as Senate Majority Leader.
A revolution of sorts may be underway within the GOP. We can expect more internal drama to play out in the weeks ahead as the next debt ceiling deadline approaches. The national debt currently stands at $18.1 trillion. That’s not including trillions more in Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare outlays that are set to skyrocket in the years ahead. Mitch McConnell and other establishment Republicans want to rubber stamp all the current and future spending – regardless of whether it’s affordable or sustainable. And Speaker John Boehner may try to stick around just long enough to slap fiscal conservatives in the face one last time by RAMMING through an even higher borrowing limit for Barack Obama’s deficit spending.
A great reckoning looms as projected spending outpaces projected revenues. Most Americans won't fully grasp just how much they have been betrayed by their representatives – both Republican and Democrat – until the benefits stop coming in. Or until their benefits get massively devalued by inflation. Devaluation by inflation is the trick governments typically employ to cover up unsustainable finances and avert outright default on otherwise unpayable debts.
Regardless of where the political winds blow in the meantime, you'll want to protect yourself from the coming debt reckoning. And one way to shelter yourself from financial turmoil can be with physical precious metals. Years from now, you’ll likely look back on 2015 as a great time to accumulate gold – and especially silver – on the cheap.
As I noted earlier, gold and silver prices rallied early this week, with silver leading the way. The white metal got as high as $16.00 an ounce on Wednesday before pulling back Thursday. As of this Friday recording silver comes in at $15.81, up 3.3% on the week. Gold checks in at $1,155 an ounce, for a weekly gain of 1.4% – with all of that advance coming thanks to this morning's rally.
Turning to the platinum group metals, platinum is finally showing some strength for a change. Platinum prices look higher by a robust 7.5% this week to trade at $980 an ounce. Palladium, meanwhile, comes in at $716 an ounce, up 2.4% on the week.
Looking ahead to next week, Monday is Columbus Day, but the stock market will be open for trading, as will Money Metals Exchange. And of course, our website is always open at MoneyMetals.com. Regardless of whether you're currently in the market to buy or sell bullion, we invite you take advantage of our free educational resources. You can browse our archive of audio interviews with leading experts, download our Money Metals Insider newsletter, or check out our latest articles.
On Wednesday, we put out a report on the stealth bull market in silver. Yes, there is a rip-roaring bull market taking place on the physical side. Be sure to read the article, if you haven't already, to learn why this stealth bull market is likely to soon translate into a full-fledged bull market on the price charts. You'll find the article right on our home page at MoneyMetals.com.
Well now, without further delay, let's get right to this week's exclusive interview.
Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome in Michael Rivero, founder and editor of WhatReallyHappened.com. Michael is a talk radio host and a prolific commentator on geopolitics, financial markets and many other topics. And it's great to have him back with us today.
Michael thanks for joining us again.
Michael Rivero: Thank you for having me again.
Mike Gleason: Well, Michael we had you on back in the summer and you were so pithy and informative that we just have to have you back on again. We really appreciate you carving out some time for us. Now to start out I wanted to get your comments on some of the geopolitical fireworks grabbing headlines right now. First off, what did you make of Russia and Vladimir Putin having kind of embarrassed Obama and the U.S. by deploying some significant military power in Syria?
Michael Rivero: Vladimir Putin is a chess player and he basically turned the U.S. propaganda back on itself. The U.S. has been trying to get the American public to go along with invading Syria on the claim that the U.S. was going after ISIS and Al-Qaeda and this really wasn't another U.S. forced intervention to overthrow a government. And Putin basically called them on it and said "Oh well if you're after ISIS and Al-Qaeda we're going to do that too.", and then goes in, in the space of a week accomplishes ten times that the U.S. did over the last entire year. Now the U.S. is thrashing around, they're trying to figure out some way that they can sort of do a George Orwell and say "Our former enemy is now our friend and our former friend is now our enemy. We've always been at war with East Asia."
We have, Ashton Carter out there today saying that the U.S. will not cooperate with Russia as long as Russia targets Al-Qaeda. Now I seem to recall not too long ago when we were all being told Al-Qaeda were the enemy, Al-Qaeda were the bad guys along with ISIS. Of course now it's been confirmed in the foreign press that the U.S. has been sending weapons to ISIS and Al-Qaeda at the same time Barack Obama is talking about more gun control here at home. So the U.S. got caught red handed, they were doing another covert overthrow against Bashar al-Assad under the guise of fighting terror, Russia called them on it and everybody saw it. The U.S. is furious because they don't know how to get out of this corner they painted themselves into except talk about Russia's aggression, Russia is bad, Russia is doing this.
Now of course NATO is up at the border rattling their sabers, threatening to just do an all-out invasion and not even worry about whether there's a just cause or a rational behind it. They'll start a war and then say "Well yeah the war may be wrong but we're in it now and we've got to fight it out." I don't think they're really going to get the traction on that one that they think they're doing. In fact overall, going back over the last 12 years of all these U.S. interventions into other countries, the quality of thinking coming out of the White House, Congress, Foggy Bottom, it really isn't very good.
I don't know if it's because they're all in prescription antidepressants or they're all surrounded by these parasitic sycophants who are so worried about losing their high paying government jobs that they're feeding these top leaders what they think the leaders want to hear rather that the reality of what they need to know. If you'll remember the history of World War II, toward the end there the German high command was doing exactly the same thing. They'd be getting the reports on what was really going on from people in the field and they were endless and they'd rewrite them so that they could look good to the Führer. Of course that accelerated the final collapse of Nazi Germany.
Mike Gleason: And Syria actually called in Russia here, didn't they?
Michael Rivero: That's an important point that needs to be made over and over again. The government of Syria asked Russia to come on in and help them against this terrorist threat. The government of Syria of course has not asked the U.S. to come in and bomb the place to rubble. Absent a resolution from the United Nation Security Council, the U.S. does not have a legal basis for being in Syria at all, or for that matter any of these other countries. It is the United States that is in violation of international law and the UN charter. They're basically saying "Well because of American exceptionalism, we're above the law. We have to be above the law. We serve a higher purpose."
It's called the true believer mentality and unfortunately that true believer mindset has gotten this country into so many messes in the past and here we are once again back where we started. They're into Syria, they have to go into Iraq for the third time, Yemen for the second time, Libya for the second time. According to the master plan for conquering and shackling to the dollar all the resource rich areas in the Middle East that was leaked by General Wesley Clark. This was all supposed to be done in 2008 with the conquest of Iran. Here we are in 2015, Iran has yet to be attacked, they're stuck in Syria, they're stuck in Ukraine, they're stuck in Iraq.
Right now at this point the United States, to be very honest, is both militarily and economically exhausted. We are not a manufacturing powerhouse which is what allowed us to have the advantage in World War I and World War II. The American people do not support the government in any more war. Our current stockpiles are drawing down, our current weapons are worn out, the new weapons they're bringing online are these very expensive boondoggles that don't work like the F-35. They just figured that the ejection seat is going to break the neck of the pilots when they try and punch out. And in contrast you've got Russia which has not been invading countries for 12 years so their stockpiles and their existing weapons are in good shape. Their new weapons are less expensive than American weapons but they're performing much better. Russia's manufacturing has been stimulated by the U.S. sanctions and the Russian people understand what the U.S. government is up to.
Going into this world war, I'm afraid it's the United States and its allies who are the bad guys, who are the aggressor and everybody knows it. Syria has become a huge embarrassment and the U.S. can't figure out how to regain the propaganda initiative other than to go back and shout "Russia's bad, Russia's bad, we're good, we're good. If you're loyal Americans you will kill Russians and not ask why."
Mike Gleason: Russia is certainly starting to demonstrate some decisive leadership on a global scale as you just mentioned there. I have to think that the rest of the world is taking notice. So let's say we continue to see growing and strengthening relationships between Russia, China, Iran and Syria and other nations as well, that has many implications. But I would like your take on what this could all mean for the US dollar, the petrodollar. We've seen the U.S. bullying Iran by trying to cut the country off from the US dollar-based SWIFT payment systems and I've heard you talk about some of the other moves the U.S. has made to punish countries that try to reduce their use of the dollar. Could we actually be heading toward the end of the dollar at the center of the global banking system, and if so how do you think this will play out?
Michael Rivero: We're already seeing the process start. Now at the end of World War II because of the Bretton Wood Agreement everybody agreed the dollar was the global trade and banking currency. Back then when most accounts were still being settled with boxes of paper notes, if not bullion, having a single go to currency for the entire planet actually made some sense. Now in this day of instantaneous global financial transactions over computer networks, a single global currency is an obsolete idea. It's not really needed, but the U.S. government, the U.S. financial system has become very dependent on everybody using the dollar off of which the U.S. financial system makes money, either through interest charged on dollars loaned to the rest of the world to conduct business with or favorable arrangements in trade where countries will have to bring manufactured goods or agricultural produce to the United States to get those dollars with which to conduct international business.
We have seen the rise of the renminbi and the yuan and the ruble. These are currencies backed by nations with strong manufacturing and good agriculture. Here in the United States of America because of all the Quantitative Easing and other inflation processes coupled with the decline in manufacturing because our country got lazy, we had the go to currency we don't need to actually make anything. On top of that we've destroyed our agricultural exports with this horrible experiment into GMO. So right now the entire U.S. financial system is being propped up by those nations that are still doing international through the U.S. dollar. But they're starting to dwindle.
The U.S. process of attacking any countries that don't want to use the dollar anymore is becoming very, very obvious. Now in 2002 Saddam Hussein got permission from the United Nations to sell Iraq's oil for the euro. One year later the U.S. is screaming "Nuclear weapons!", attacks Iraq, kills Saddam Hussein, puts Iraq's oil back on the world market only for the U.S. dollar. Then you have Libya where Gaddafi kicked out their private central bank, instituted a state bank with a new value based currency, the gold dinar, and then told the rest of the world Lybia's oil was for sell but only for the gold dinar. Go into Libya, kill Gaddafi, shut down the state bank, impose a new private central bank. The gold for the gold dinar, nobody knows where that went. And Lybia's oil is on the world market but again only for the U.S. dollar.
All of these wars and interventions by the United States are all a desperate attempt to keep the world in the Bretton Woods era, off of which the U.S. financial system makes a huge fortune and the rest of the world doesn't want to do that anymore. The U.S. did use the world's dependency on the SWIFT system as a tool for foreign policy, but as of today China's parallel system went into effect. People don't need to use the U.S. centric SWIFT system anymore, they can go through China's, that's basically center on the BRICs nations. It's really kind of startling to realize that all of this war and bloodshed and death is really all about an argument over whose particular brand of ink and paper the world is going to use for the next hundred years. I think for most American families, most European families that is a really poor excuse to send off their children to be killed and crippled in these battles.
Mike Gleason: Yeah, all very interesting and potentially troubling stuff coming down the pike on that. It will be very interesting to watch that unfold. Now switching gears here a bit, the recent Volkswagen scandal involving manipulation of emissions readings coming from their diesel vehicles has had a real effect on the Platinum Group Metals, both platinum and palladium. Platinum is the metal used in catalytic converters and diesel engines, and platinum prices have taken a big hit since the scandal. On the other hand palladium which is primarily used in gasoline has benefited greatly. Is there more to the Volkswagen story than the establishment media has been letting on?
Michael Rivero: There's a lot more. A lot of financial institutions that were heavily invested in Volkswagen have taken a hit. Bank of America, Deutsche Bank took a major hit on that. What's really interesting is the US actually knew Volkswagen was doing this a year ago but didn't do anything. Partly because American auto makers have been doing exactly the same thing but what happened is, following Russia's entry into Syria and Russia's announcement of a coalition targeting only the terrorist groups, a lot of nations started pulling away from the U.S. anti-Russia agenda and going over and saying "We're going to work with Putin to shut down the terror threat." Because while NATO high command the European Union leadership are all hot and bothered for a new war to redraw the map, the people of Europe don't want to see that happen because the last two world wars were fought on their front yard. If you do any extensive traveling in Europe you can still see the scars, it's a fresh memory for them and they're pulling away from that.
What happened was both France and Germany signaled that they were going to move away from the U.S. policy of simply invading countries on the basis of the excuse of terrorism and side with Russia's policy of attacking only the terrorists. And at that point we started seeing all kinds of punitive actions by the U.S. government. I think this huge fine against Volkswagen was the U.S. government throwing a tantrum that Germany was moving away from the anti-Putin agenda and looking for a more optimal solution out of this situation. Because of that France has reversed itself and they're saying that while they agree with Russia's policy of targeting only the terrorist threats, they're insisting that Assad has to leave Syria now.
It's a very complex tangled issue but when you realize that this diesel emissions rigging was something that a lot of car companies are doing, it's been going on for a long time but it hasn't killed anybody, then you look at the fine Volkswagen was hit (with) compared to the fine that General Motors had to pay over those defective ignition switches that did kill people and you begin to understand this is less about the environment and more about political payback for not toeing the U.S. government's line.
Mike Gleason: Turning to economic policy here in the US, after all of the stimulus the fed has infused into the system over the last decade, especially since the '08 financial collapse, we still have a record amount of Americans not working as evidenced by the generational lows in labor force participation rate. Now despite all the stimulus it looks like the economy may be rolling over again. Where does the Fed go from here, especially with interest rates?
Michael Rivero: The Federal Reserve and indeed Washington DC did absolutely the wrong thing following the crash of 2008. Instead of punishing the bankers that had committed fraud and taking the money from them to return back to the general economy, the U.S. government just started taking trillions of dollars from the American people and giving it to the banks so the banks could loan it back to the American people at interest. That's really all these bailouts are at the heart of it, is recapitalizing the banks on the backs of the American taxpayer so the banks now have money to loan to those taxpayers at interest. Great deal for the banks, not so good for the American people.
All of these Quantitative Easing and bailouts is pouring money all over Wall Street and money junkies who are just basically keeping in their own little financial gains and putting in their own pockets rather than allow it back into general circulation where it could actually do some good. Now if the U.S. government had taken the reverse position and started taking trillions of dollars away from the crooked Wall Street firms that were behind the mortgage backed security fraud and given it back the American people nobody would have missed a house payment – there wouldn't have been a foreclosure crisis. Everybody would have stayed current on their credit card payments, there wouldn't have been a credit crisis. People would have gone out and bought brand new American made cars, we wouldn't have had to bail out the automotive industry. People would have gone down to the shopping malls and bought hopefully American manufactured products, there wouldn't be a retail crisis.
Everything the U.S. government did in terms of taking money away from the general population and using it to prop up Wall Street was exactly the wrong thing to do for everybody in this country except Wall Street. If they keep on pursuing that same agenda obviously at some point it has to crash, because you cannot have a functioning economy with all of the wealth concentrated in the top one tenth of one percent of the population. There simply aren't enough of those people to wander through all the shopping malls buying up all the consumer goods on which a consumer based economy is based. They've got very luxurious lifestyles but luxurious lifestyles of the rich and famous do not make for a healthy economy.
We're seeing so much fraud coming out of the government in reporting on what's going on. They're still insisting we have a 5% unemployment rate in country where 94 million Americans willing and able to work have not been able to find jobs. We know that the stock market is being interfered with so that the politicians can use it as a banner of how good things are. But most Americans now realize the stock market numbers are totally disconnected from the economic health of the nation. You can find that out just by walking down your street, looking at all the retail vacancies, the deteriorated condition of our streets and as the people in South Carolina just found out the storm drains system has been neglected, it's all jammed up with debris, nobody is cleaning that stuff out.
So we're really on a very bad path economically. At some point the paper dollar is going to yield to all the inflationary pressures. They've managed to prevent all the Quantitative Easing from significantly increasing the rate of inflation or at least as they report it but at some point it's going to break loose and at that point anybody who has not invested in physical silver and physical gold or platinum or palladium… or canned foods and shotguns… is going to be really caught off guard.
Mike Gleason: How much longer do you think the fed is going to be able to keep the whole thing afloat, meaning the financial system as we know it?
Michael Rivero: Well the Federal Reserve can just go on typing new numbers into their computers or running those printing presses as long as they want. What will happen will be when a major block of the world all of a sudden says "We just don't want to deal with the dollar any longer and we're going to drop it." And we're seeing more and more countries start to dump their U.S. treasury debt. Now the Federal Reserve just creates new instant money to buy all those treasury bounds back, which puts the Federal Reserve heading toward a position of owning all the U.S. debt and with it the U.S. itself all for the cost of computer time and ink and paper. It's a house of cards and the United States again, because we've distorted our agriculture with GMO, we've allowed our manufacturing to decline, if we cannot conduct commerce with the rest of the world we're in serious, serious trouble.
Mike Gleason: As we begin to close here Michael how do you see these unfolding events impacting the gold and silver markets? It's been a bit of a rough ride the last few years, largely because of the dollar's strength versus the other unbacked currencies. What is your personal outlook on the monetary metals going forward?
Michael Rivero: On the monetary metals issue, it's a bad idea to look at daily or even weekly changes in price, you've got to look at the long trend. If you look at the long trend metals have always been a very solid investment. Second, and we talked about this on a show we did on the History Channel, America's Book of Secrets which they're actually re-running right now, we did a show on the gold conspiracy, talking about how gold and silver prices are being artificially suppressed through the use of paper metals contracts that are leveraged something like over a hundred to one right now. They're deliberately keeping the price of metals down to discourage people from emptying their savings accounts of liquidating their stock portfolios to invest in metal and also to make it easier for all these bullion depositories who played fast and lost with other people's gold to try and reacquire enough gold to get out of the mess.
Bu they can't keep that up forever, at some point it's going to break loose and we're already seeing that because we're seeing gold and silver dealers, at least the consumer level, are selling the metals at the designated spot price but they're charging and getting very high premiums, as much as 50% over the spot price because people really want the physical, they don't want the paper contracts. When it does cut loose I think we're looking at gold at $5,000 to $10,000 an ounce.
Mike Gleason: We can certainly vouch for the fact that premiums are rising and the physical market is still very hot and there is a definite disconnect between the paper price and the physical price.
Well Michael I really want to thank you again for your wonderful insight, it's all very fascinating stuff and I look forward to catching up again with you real soon. As people have just heard you have an incredible amount to say on so many topics and we've only just scratched the surface here today, so for folks who want to follow your work and your fantastic commentary tell them how they can do that.
Michael Rivero: The website is called WhatReallyHappened.com and I host my own talk radio show on the Genesis Communication Network, Monday through Friday from 3:00pm to 6:00pm Central US time. You can listen online at gcnlive.com.
Mike Gleason: It's truly great stuff and I want to thank you again Michael. I enjoyed it thoroughly and I hope you have a great weekend. Thanks for joining us.
Michael Rivero: Thank you very much, we'll talk to you soon.
Mike Gleason: That will do it for this week, thanks again to Michael Rivero founder and editor of WhatReallyHappened.com.
Tune in next Friday for our next Weekly Market Wrap podcast. Until then, this has been Mike Gleason with Money Metals Exchange. Thanks for listening and have a great weekend, everybody.
About the Author:
Mike Gleason is a Director with Money Metals Exchange, a precious metals dealer recently named "Best in the USA" by an independent global ratings group. Gleason is a hard money advocate and a strong proponent of personal liberty, limited government and the Austrian School of Economics. A graduate of the University of Florida, Gleason has extensive experience in management, sales and logistics as well as precious metals investing. He also puts his longtime broadcasting background to good use, hosting a weekly precious metals podcast since 2011, a program listened to by tens of thousands each week.