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Gold Spurred By Fed Pricing Still Below Inflation-Adjusted Peak

from Zero Hedge

Authored by Ven Ram, Bloomberg cross-asset strategist,

Gold is still hovering near a nominal record, but the scope for further gains from here may be limited.

Bullion approached $2,200 an ounce last week, annexing a new record, though stated in real terms, gold is still shy of its previous peak set more than a decade ago. Even at current levels, an investor who bought gold at the end of 2012, when it was trading around $1,675 an ounce, would still be sitting on losses of more than 3% after adjusting for the corrosive effect of inflation on the dollar.

Continue Reading at ZeroHedge.com…

Oh… Canada: These Unclaimed Dead Bodies Are Stuck in Limbo in Freezers Outside the Health Sciences Centre

Cadavers accumulating in storage units as cost of living — and dying — rises

by Anthony Germain and Mike Moore

A smattering of nondescript storage containers sit nestled on a concrete slab in a back alley in St. John’s, taking up a couple of hundred square feet between the Janeway children’s hospital and Memorial University’s school of medicine.

A large, bright green dumpster is pushed up against the rail that cordons them off.

Anyone making use of the nearby busy parking lot — only a stone’s throw away — would likely pay no attention to the scene.

But the containers are actually freezer units, and inside are dozens of corpses in body bags. Twenty-eight was the most recent number they held, CBC News confirmed, but that number changes daily as bodies are added or removed during the night.

The morgue at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s uses the containers as overflow storage. Bodies are placed in the freezers until the next of kin can claim them.

But some are no longer claiming the bodies of their loved ones. Inflation and the cost of living are eating away at pocketbooks, leaving very little left over for the costs of cremation or other funeral services.

Continue Reading at CBC.ca…

Fed Chair Powell Delivers Semi-Annual Monetary Policy Report to Congress

from Zero Hedge

In prepared remarks, released ahead of his ‘Humphrey-Hawkins’ testimony this morning, Fed Chair Powell reiterated to lawmakers that the US central bank is in no rush to cut interest rates until policymakers are convinced they have won their battle over inflation.

“The committee does not expect that it will be appropriate to reduce the target range until it has gained greater confidence that inflation is moving sustainably toward 2%,” Powell confirmed.

The snoozer of prepared remarks simply reiterate the more-hawkish stance that has appeared recently after proclaiming the pivot prompted rational exuberance in every quarter of the markets.

Continue Reading at ZeroHedge.com…

When the Debt Supercycle Bubble Bursts the Pain Will Be Enormous

Bubbles exhibit a “final blow-off top” right before they burst. We’re in that stage right now. The evidence is compelling. What happens next? And how should you prepare? Tune in to find out.

by Dr. Chris Martenson
Chris Martenson’s Peak Prosperity

Imagine, if you will, a world where Nvidia is “worth” more than Saudi Aramco. That’s in quotes because it’s a ridiculous notion.

But it’s also the current ‘reality.’

But we’re surrounded by numerous examples of bubble charts, ones where it’s impossible to distinguish their shape from that of the infamous Tulip bubble of 1634 to 1637. And it’s across all western markets including Germany and Japan’s equity markets, and it’s flitting effortlessly from one stock (Apple) to another (Nvidia).

But what will happen when the mega bubble finally bursts? Will it be a new dark age? Quite possibly, which is why I desperately want to warn people so they can become more resilient and prepared.

Continue Reading at PeakProsperity.com…

$1 Trillion in 100 Days!

by Brian Maher
Daily Reckoning

How does a man descend into bankruptcy?

Gradually — then suddenly — in Mr. Hemingway’s famous telling.

The United States government has passed beyond bankruptcy’s gradual phase.

It has entered bankruptcy’s sudden phase.

Mr. Michael Hartnett, Bank of America’s chief strategist:

“The U.S. national debt is rising by $1 trillion every 100 days.”

United States debt first scaled $1 trillion 205 years after its inception. And today?

Continue Reading at DailyReckoning.com…

High Costs, Greenlash Hit Europe

by Nikolai G. Wenzel
The American Institute for Economic Research

The eyes of the world may be on the US presidential election. But another, usually sleepy campaign is underway: European Parliament elections in June 2024. Most of the action takes place in the executive and bureaucracy (the European Commission). But Parliament must approve laws. This could have interesting results for the European Union (EU) Green Deal.

The Green Deal was first implemented in 2019, with a series of environmental measures. Most notably, the EU committed to cutting CO2 emissions by 55 percent by 2030. The EU is set to push for carbon neutrality by 2050, a measure that will require approval from the newly installed parliament. But, since the summer of 2023, the Green Deal has been on regulatory pause, as the EU faces a “greenlash” against environmental policies. In the face of inflation, consumers and trade groups are starting to resent the cost of environmental regulation. Over the past few months, proposals on industrial pollution, pesticide restrictions, and conservation have all been tabled at the EU level. A ban on new combustion engines, effective 2035, still stands, but it is facing increasing resistance.

Continue Reading at AIER.org…

The Sindex: Cigarette Prices Outpacing Inflation

The Reason Sindex tracks the price of vice: smoking, drinking, snacking, traveling, and more.

by Jason Russell

Inflation stressing you out? Making you wish you had just a touch of nicotine in your system? Unfortunately, that’ll cost a lot. While prices economywide have risen 3.1 percent in the last year, cigarette prices have jumped 8 percent. On top of federal and state taxes that often make up half the price of a pack, tobacco companies tend to raise their prices faster than inflation to make up for declining sales volume. These and the rest of the numbers in the Reason Sindex use data from November 2023.

Continue Reading at Reason.com…

Axelrod: Messaging About Democracy is for Those with ‘Privilege’ to Not Worry About Inflation

by Ian Hanchett

On Monday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Source” CNN Senior Political Commentator and former Obama Adviser David Axelrod stated that while he thinks President Joe Biden is doing a good job as President and that he’s concerned about the democracy issue in the 2024 election, people who are “are people who aren’t concerned about what they paid for their groceries that are on the kitchen table,” and that “if you don’t have the privilege not to” avoid “living with the concerns about inflation and sort of the day-to-day concerns of life,” “you’re probably not talking about that.”

Axelrod said, “I feel desperately concerned about this issue…I think Trump 2.0 will be the delta variant of democracy.

Continue Reading at Breitbart.com…

Inflation Soars, Powell’s Plane Dives

by David Haggith

If inflation screams and no one hears it, does an airplane fall in the forest? That’s a good question for today. Inflation ripped upward, and the stock market shrugged it off as if it heard nothing, while a good part of the media reported satisfactory results … but not everyone because some saw it as horrible. So, let’s start with the really bad news that almost everyone ignored and then end at the really mundane and predictable news that almost everyone on Wall Street focused on.

To start off with, a few mainstream stories did hit the bad news right up front. Yahoo! reported,

Fed’s Preferred Inflation Metric Increases by Most in a Year

One would think that’s not good news about inflation. First, let’s note the title tells us this is THE measure of inflation the Fed looks at most intently when setting monetary policy.

Continue Reading at GoldSeek.com…

Worst Monthly Spike of “Core Services” PCE Inflation in 22 Years, and Not Just Housing: Powell’s Gonna Have Another Cow

by Wolf Richter
Wolf Street

Core services inflation dished up bad head fakes last time we had this mess in 1966-1982. Mention of a rate hike crops up in a Fed speech.

Over the past year or so, the Fed has been intensely discussing inflation in “core services,” which is where inflation had shifted to in 2022, from goods inflation which had spiked into mid-2022 but then cooled dramatically. So “core services” is where it’s at. Core services is where consumers spend the majority of their money. Core services are all services except energy services. Core services inflation has been behaving badly for months, and in January, it spiked out the wazoo.

Continue Reading at WolfStreet.com…

White House: Inflation ‘Very Close to Normal’ and Prices ‘Moving in the Right Direction’, but They’ll Go Up

by Ian Hanchett

During an interview with ABC News on Thursday, White House Senior Adviser Gene Sperling stated that “people have been through a tough few years” but the PCE (Personal Consumption Expenditures) price index reading is “very close to normal” and “prices are moving in the right direction” and “moderating.” But you can’t expect them to not go up.

Sperling said, “It’s been a tough few years since the pandemic,” but “inflation is coming down. In fact, it was really 2.4% in this measure, 2.8% if you don’t include food and gas. And that’s not good enough, but it is very close to normal. And there are a lot of different areas where you have seen prices come down.”

He added, “I think people have been through a tough few years and they went through 2022 when you had the variants and the global economy was getting back and you had supply chain issues and they saw prices come up.

Continue Reading at Breitbart.com…

Is Inflation On the Rise Again?

by William J. Luther
The American Institute for Economic Research

Inflation picked up in January, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index (PCEPI), which is the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation, grew at a continuously compounding annual rate of 4.1 percent in the first month of the year. The PCEPI has grown at an annualized rate of 1.8 percent over the last three months and 2.5 percent over the last six months. Prices today are 8.4 percentage points higher than they would have been had they grown at an annualized rate of 2.0 percent since January 2020.

[…] Figure 1. Headline and Core Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index with 2-percent Trend, January 2020 – January 2024

Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, also increased. Core PCEPI grew at a continuously compounding annual rate of 5.0 percent in January. It has grown at an annualized rate of 2.6 percent over the last three months and 2.5 percent over the last six months.

Continue Reading at AIER.org…

SuperCore Inflation Soars in January, Services Costs Re-Accelerate as Government Handouts Spike

from Zero Hedge

GOOD NEWS… One of The Fed’s favorite inflation indicators – Core PCE Deflator – dropped to +2.8% YoY in January (as expected) – the lowest since March 2021.

Headline PCE Deflator rose 0.3% MoM as expected, down at +2.4% YoY in January …

However, shorter-term signals are less encouraging:

  • Core PCE 3M annualized rate 2.8% from 2.0%
  • Core PCE 6M annualized rate 2.6% from 2.2%

On a core basis, services costs jumped even more and Durable Goods costs flipped from deflation…

Continue Reading at ZeroHedge.com…