Gold Exceeds Its 15-Month High

shutterstock_186030554Gold recently exceeded its 15-month high of $1300. The last time gold broke surpassed that height was on September 29, 2010. According to financial analyst Dawn J. Bennett, there is enough momentum for the metal’s value to keep going up. On Monday, May 2, RBC Capital Markets reported the market’s upward trend could push it over $1400.

So, why is gold continuing to increase from its 15-month high? Dawn Bennett believes the answer is simple:

“Investors are seeing the truth behind our so-called recovery, which is that it’s just not a recovery,” says Bennett. “They are acknowledging the signs that we may be on the brink of an even greater collapse, despite the words coming from media pundits, government stuffed shirts, and the Federal Reserve. And in the face of deranged markets, the draw of gold is clear. Gold and silver have held many roles over history, but one significant one has always been as a hedge against turbulent markets.”

She continued, “These days, the role of gold as a currency, competing against the dollar, the euro, the yen, the yuan, is coming back into focus as well: there is a gold-backed cryptocurrency (think Bitcoin) called the Hayek, and the IMF is backing some loans with gold as security against fiat currency.”

Though the media reports the U.S. is outside of the meltdown in “global markets”, that is not the case. Dawn Bennett notes that central banks, including the Federal Reserve, have inflated asset bubbles through credit, housing, and equity manipulations. Billions of dollars have been borrowed by U.S. corporations at barely 1%, so they can buy back shares of their own stock. This is responsible for almost 50% of the stock market’s recent increases. Not to mention, the U.S. consumes more than it produces and is trillions and trillions of dollars in debt and unfunded liabilities.

Dawn J. Bennett believes gold and silver are in a unique position at this time. While they can be used as currency, wealth, and a hedge bet, they can also serve as insurance, says Bennett. This means insurance against loss of wealth, potential violent turbulence in collapsing markets, and fiscally foolish governments.

“And as with any kind of insurance, you can buy it and hope never to need it. Now is the time to do the research and search for opportunities and protective strategies,” Bennett explains. “If you do your homework and can be comfortable with the fact that gold and silver can be volatile, consider putting 5 to 10% of your portfolio in gold and silver coins, or other investments in this historic and lasting asset.

Dawn J. Bennett Writes Article Highlighting the War on Cash

Dawn J. Bennett, CEO of and Founder of Bennett Financial Services and host of Financial Myth Busting, recently wrote an article titled, “Yellen’s ‘Solid Ground’ and the War on Cash”. In her article, Bennett explains that while Janet Yellen of the Federal Reserve says our economy is on “solid ground”, that couldn’t be further from the truth. According to Bennett:

  • S. factory orders have been on the decline on a year-over-year basis for 16 consecutive months, which hasn’t occurred in 60 years without a recession.
  • First quarter corporate earnings are projected to be down 8.5% over first quarter 2015, the fourth quarter in a row of year-over-year declines.
  • S&P earnings are down 18.5% from their 2014 high.
  • Corporate debt defaults have risen to the highest level since 2009.
  • S. oil rig count is at a 41-year low.
  • Job cut announcements from U.S. firms were up 32% for the first quarter 2016 over first quarter 2015.
  • Consumers have accumulated more new credit card debit during the fourth quarter 2015 than during the entire years of 2009, 2010, and 2011.
  • America has $19 trillion in federal debt, which has increased $100 million each hour since President Obama’s inauguration.

“It is in this environment that we find ourselves, additionally, in the midst of an all-out war on cash,” says Bennett. “Interest rates are negative in Japan and several European countries, and we seem to be trending toward that possibility in the United States. Central banks keep printing more and more money, but that money isn’t tied to any real value. The assumption is that these negative rates will force banks to lend their reserves, and that lending will boost aggregate demand and help struggling economies, but it just isn’t happening. No one’s buying into it. Meddling with interest rates creates an increasing disconnect between supply and demand over time, and the wider that disconnect gets, the more risk there is when things eventually and inevitably realign to reality.”

Bennett notes that governments and financial institutions are continuing to discourage cash. Governments worldwide are putting restrictions on the use of cash, Bennett says, which is supposedly to make life harder for criminals and terrorists. She continued, “Central banks set inflation targets, and inflation is another way that our savings is taken from us. As Alan Greenspan said in 1966, ‘In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation.'”

To learn more about Dawn J. Bennett’s views on the war on cash, read the full article here.

Dawn J. Bennett Writes Article Discussing the Uncertainty of the U.S. Economy

Dawn J. Bennett, CEO of and Founder of Bennett Financial Services and host of Financial Myth Busting, recently wrote an article titled, “All That Glitters”, in which she discusses the uncertainty and instability of the U.S. economy.

“As if relieved to be putting February, the fourth consecutive month with declining markets, in the rear view mirror, equities surged last week, even in the face of dismal macro-economic news,” Bennett wrote. “Why? It seems that the numbers were so bad that they led to speculation of further intervention by the Federal Reserve, and the very idea of more freshly-printed money drove the markets higher.”

She pointed out that there were several important numbers that weren’t reported in the press, such as those regarding manufacturing. The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), which indicates the economic health of the manufacturing sector, fell to a cycle low of 51.3, with the employment component at a five-month low. According to Bennett, production was at the slowest rate in 28 months, with work backlogs dropping to the lowest level since September of 2009. Bennett also explained that while the media reported the unemployment rate was at a low 4.9% in February, the true rate was actually an estimated 22.8%—a percentage that took everyone who was out of work and wanted to be working into account. Additionally, the annual payroll growth was at a 20-month low.

Bennett described, “Even former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan surfaced last week, telling Bloomberg that he hasn’t been optimistic about the U.S. economy for ‘quite a while’, a sharp contrast to his relentless cheer-leading in the 1990s. He brought up government entitlements, which account for a larger and larger percentage of the GDP each year, crowding out capital investment. He described a negative feedback loop, where less capital investment leads to lower productivity, lower productivity leads to slower GDP growth, slower GDP growth leads to an economy that can’t keep pace with entitlement programs, and so on, in a death spiral that leads to the sorts of manufacturing numbers we’re seeing and a lower standard of living for the majority of Americans.”

Bennett also noted that this year gold is up 18.81% against the dollar, compared to NASDAQ’s -5.75%, or the S&P 500’s -3.18, or the Russell 2000’s -4.7%, or the Dow’s -2.4%. As gold has been the strongest currency in the world so far this year, it’s clear to Bennett that “central banks are losing their grip as fiat currencies are devalued over and over again.”

To view Dawn J. Bennett’s full article discussing the uncertainty and instability of the U.S. economy, click here.

The Central Bank Titanic: The Current State of the World’s Central Banks

Dawn J Bennett, CEO and Founder of Bennett Financial Services and host of Financial Myth Busting, recently wrote an article titled, “The Central Bank Titanic,” in regards to the current state of the world’s central banks. Dawn Bennett said, “Despite last Friday’s 300-point run up in the market, January has been a bleak beginning to the year for equities. The Dow is down 5.5 percent year-to-date, the Russell 2000 at negative 8.85 percent, the NASDAQ off 6.84 percent. And truthfully, stocks still can’t be considered cheap. In fact, the Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch recently wrote that the Dow could lose a further 1000 to 5000 points and still not be “cheap” compared with long-term stock valuation measures. In fact, most stocks worldwide are down between 18 and 54 percent from the May 21, 2015 peak of the global equities markets. If history is any guide, it’s likely that February will be a down month as well: since 1957, there have been 20 January months that posted negative returns, and the likelihood of February being negative as well is between 75 and 85 percent.”

So what was the rally about? Month-end set dressing by hedge and mutual fund managers are likely eager to have the appearance of a “win” after such a brutal start to the year. As we’ve seen in the past six years, there was simply “more of the same,” as the Bank of Japan reversed a position announced a week earlier and moved to negative interest rates, joining Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and the EU.

Dawn Bennett continued, “Let’s unpack that some. The primary role of central banks is to influence capital allocations and spending behavior by adjusting liquidity, and over the past seven years they have gone crazily overboard regarding that objective, engaging in every possible way to influence consumers away from a saving mindset and into purchasing riskier assets. Even given this, net purchases of stocks and bonds have been nearly flat since the middle of 2015. Seeing Japan’s equities markets still faltering, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda took interest rates into negative territory on Friday, hoping to chase investors into stocks and bonds in order to reach his inflation goals.”

How is this working out? Not well, according to Dawn Bennett.

“Japanese Government Bonds have moved to negative yields, and the Ministry of Finance is expected to announce a decision to call off the sale of 10-Year JGBs for the first time in history. Their stock market continues to fall. Amid these unintended consequences, Kuroda continues to say there is “no limit” to monetary easing, going so far as to say he would invent new tools if going farther negative doesn’t start movement toward his 2 percent inflation goal. The New York Times wrote that “moving to negative interest rates reflects a measure of desperation on the part of the central banks. Their traditional tools have been largely exhausted as most countries interest rates have been pushed to almost nothing.” In fact, that word, “desperation,” has been appearing a lot in this context.”

Read more from Dawn J Bennett here: http://www.releasewire.com/press-releases/dawn-bennett-writes-article-the-central-bank-titanic-regarding-the-current-state-of-the-worlds-central-banks-662763.htm

Dawn Bennett Interviews Mike Pento Regarding an Incipient Global Recession

Dawn J Bennett, CEO and Founder of Bennett Financial Services and host of Financial Myth Busting, recently interviewed Mike Pento, founder and president of Pento Portfolio Strategies, and the author of the book, “The Coming Bond Market Collapse.” He also has published numerous articles, the most recent discussing out his forecast for recessionary symptoms in the United States in 2016 as well as his prognostications for 2016 trading strategies.

In Mike Pento’s interview with Dawn Bennett, he discusses incipient global recession, predicting that the S&P is going to fall minimally more than 20 percent. “50 percent of the S&P 500 has already dropped 20 percent, so it looks like unfortunately it’s going to come true a lot sooner than even I thought,” said Mike Pento.

He continued, “I’ll tell you this, the average drop of the S&P 500 in the last six recessions has been 37 percent. So if this coming recession is just the average variety, then I would expect the S&P to drop 37 percent, which puts us about 1300 on the S&P 500. So that’s a really big hit. But, as I wrote about in my piece that appeared on CNBC and Drudge, I don’t know what the Federal Reserve is going to do to pull us out of the next recession. In the great recession of 2008, the Federal Reserve took the Fed funds rate, which is the interbank lending rate, from 5.25 down to zero by the end of 2008. And that provided consumers and corporations, and even the federal government, with a lot of debt service relief. And that helped bring the economy out of the great recession, it also boosted asset prices, it boosted the stock market, it boosted bond prices, it boosted real estate. So the point is now the Federal Reserve is leveraged 77 to 1, they have almost no capital, it’s way more over-leveraged than Bear Stearns or Lehman Brothers or any of those financial institutions were before the great recession. But, more importantly, the Fed has no more room to lower the borrowing cost to the private and public sector. That is one of the main reasons why I fear this inevitable next recession. By the way, the U.S. has suffered recession for about every five years since the beginning of the Republic.”

Mike Pento states that the fact is, that asset prices can no longer be supported by incomes, and that is probably what is going to cause the great recession. Additionally, borrowing costs have increased dramatically, outside of the Fed’s recent 25 basis point rate hike.

“I want to open my eyes, I want to open my clients’ eyes to what’s happening,” he said.

Read more from Dawn J Bennet’s interview with Mike Pento here: http://www.releasewire.com/press-releases/dawn-bennett-host-of-radio-show-financial-myth-busting-interviews-mike-pento-founder-and-president-of-pento-portfolio-strategies-and-author-658992.htm

The ECB and How it Could Affect Us

In an uncertain economic and political climate, it’s sometimes hard to see the forest for the trees. We’re very concerned about our own instability, our lackluster recovery after the recession, and our security. And while we have plenty of reason to be worried about things close to home, there are some worrying trends abroad that could soon impact our economy dramatically; namely, the ECB (European Central Bank). This economy is unstable at the moment, and could possibly drag the rest of the world down with them if the wrong things happen.

Euro coin and graph

The ECB and the Stimulus

In the case of the ECB, various factors have pushed the banks to consider some drastic measures. What with failing or defaulting economies such as Greece, and uncertainty across the continent on issues such as refugees and immigration, the whole system has been under stress for years. Now, risks in emerging markets have led the bank to approve a stimulus program, which they are potentially extending at their March 10th meeting as more concerns arise. This may or may not be for the better.

Also, since 2008, the United States had assisted the ECB by means of several different policies and successfully helped them to “prop up” their banking system. However, according to financial analyst Dawn J. Bennett, any serious economic issues on the home front could destabilize that relationship and lead us to fend for ourselves. Regardless, the breakdown of the ECB would affect us heavily.

How This Could Affect the U.S.

While the ECB, like the U.S., has its own concerns, obviously outside economies will have their say and the effects will ripple. For example, a slowdown in China would harm anyone who was major trading partners with them. Not only would the U.S. feel the effects firsthand, but they would take a secondary hit when European markets were drawn low. And Europe is already on edge about the possibility of a Chinese slowdown.

In addition, we might be helping ourselves with our higher oil production prices and raised interest rates; however, with foreign markets struggling due to the oil and investors jumping ship due to our interest rate hike, any new monetary policies that the ECB enacts to deal with these problems may not be to our benefit.

Would assisting Europe and the ECB again through monetary policy help or negate the need for the stimulus? Or is it just patching the problem? And would the consequences to us be drastic enough to warrant such action? Undoubtedly, this year will bring some answers to these questions.

Is the U.S. Economy Headed Toward Another Recession?

shutterstock_302455634

Despite the media’s claims that the U.S. economy is on the upswing, certified investment management analyst Dawn J. Bennett believes the nation is headed toward another recession.

As evidenced by the September job report, the U.S. job market is creating far less jobs that originally anticipated. Only 142,000 jobs were created in December, compared to the 200,000 that were projected. Even worse, 28 states experienced a net job loss during the month of September, and the job numbers for July and August have been revised by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to be down a total of 59,000. Despite this evidence, the media and feds continues to report that the economy is stable and even growing, which is certainly not the case.

Aside from the plethora of inaccurate news reports, The Wall Street Journal recently published an article titled “US Companies Warn of Pending Recession”, which reported that large American companies are experiencing declining quarterly profits and revenues. A variety of industrial companies, from energy producers to manufactures, are cautioning that they will cut back spending, and businesses are dealing with a reduction in production, sales and employment that will continue well into 2016.

Reuters published a similar article on the same day as the WSJ, in which financial analysts said they are expecting yet another quarterly decline in profits. Sales have decreased as well, making it the first time since 2009 that profit and sales have fallen into the same category.

According to Dawn J. Bennett, this evidence further confirms a new crisis is unfolding. As a result of debt, the nation has compromised a return to growth, she says, and is failing to employ effective, fundamental policies to facilitate solid, sustainable growth. As a result of the nation’s current state, more Americans than ever are renouncing their citizenships. By the end of 2015, there will have been an estimated 1,426 renunciations, compared to only 231 in 2008. It’s clear that Americans are disgruntled the mistreatment from government agencies and the attrition of their constitutional rights.

With that said, the country is headed in a bad direction and will continue further down a dark path if these issues are not addressed.

 

Gold and Silver: The Only Safe Investment?

When most Americans consider how best to invest their money, there are several obvious routes to take: stocks, 401Ks, buying a home (or possibly more than one), etc. There are also other options like college education and business ownership that, while they take time and are not the same kind of investment, still cost money and are meant to be worthwhile in the long run.

However, a lot of people are starting to speculate about whether or not these things will actually provide any returns anymore. With the economy still on shaky ground, and many of these investments far less than certain, it’s hard for people to make informed, confident decisions about what to do with their hard-earned money.

gold and silver bars

After all, many of these traditional investments have been struggling or outright failing in recent years due to the financial crisis. School loans have been putting students into extensive debt before they can even get a job, the value of many stocks has remained low, and the housing market has recovered some, but who’s to say what will happen if there is another collapse?

Those who are looking for a way to invest that offers some real security may have heard people talk about gold and silver. But isn’t that for nutjob conspiracy theorists? Well, as it happens, there is some evidence that precious metals retain their value when other non-tangible assets fall off. Chris Duane, a self-made millionaire and venture capitalist, recently spoke to financial analyst Dawn J. Bennett on the subject on her show, Financial Myth Busting. According to him,

“So an individual boomer back in the day remembers that gas was probably about 25 cents back then, meaning that a 25 cent silver piece would buy you a gallon’s worth of gas. But what’s interesting is if you look at the silver content value of that same 25 cent silver piece, it’s still worth about a gallon of gas, even though the price of gas has gone up and is now around $2.50.”

Duane claims to have been so financially successful during the recession by selling off all of his assets – which included a business, a house, and a number of stocks – and investing all of it in gold and silver instead. When everyone else lost their capital, the value of Duane’s assets stayed the same or went up, making him a millionaire by the time he was 30. This strategy could come in handy for people in the future, as Dawn Bennett and many other financial experts believe that we are either headed back into a recession or already in one. It’s clear that, no matter what investors do, they should proceed with caution and weigh their options carefully.

Dawn Bennett Discusses the Future of Social Security Disability Insurance

picture of wheelchairAccording to statistics from the Social Security Administration, their disability insurance sector will be out of money by the end of 2016. Veronique De Rugy has elaborated on this news and what it means for the future of seniors in her work for the Mercatus Center, at which she is a senior research fellow. Financial analyst Dawn J. Bennett recently talked to De Rugy about her findings, the causes of the problem, and what can be done.

The Situation

The social security administration used to operate under a pay-as-you-go system that took money directly from taxes to put towards benefits. When this system began to show strain, they updated it to include an IOU based methodology that took extra money and put it aside in a trust fund. The problems here began relatively recently in 2008 when payouts for disability insurance overtook the amounts that were coming in, forcing the administration to dip into those trust funds. Since people have been increasingly making more of these disability insurance claims, it has left the administration consistently in the red – and it’s only been getting worse.

The Problems with the System

One of the major issues with the system is that the eligibility standards for getting disability insurance coverage through social security were loosened in the ’80s. Some of the new disabilities included were difficult-to-verify conditions such as mental illness and back pain. This makes it easier for people to make claims without real evidence of disabling problems, and often can lead to an abuse of the system.

The Possible Solutions

The first and most obvious way in which this problem is likely to be addressed is with cuts to people’s disability benefits through social security. According to De Rugy, the government is most likely going to try to avoid this eventuality by either raising taxes or trying to borrow money to put towards the program.

However, De Rugy suggests that a better long-term solution to this problem would be to vet the system and start implementing more rigorous qualifications for eligibility. These would include things like putting limits on how long people without permanent conditions could stay on disability, and assessing whether people could truly not work at all or whether there might not be certain jobs that they could get.

If this were done, she postulates, it would be easier to stop exploitation of the system and keep unnecessary money from being paid out. However, this course of action is likely to be unpopular, and even talking about how to put people with disabilities to work is a touchy subject. Nonetheless, she stresses that this is a conversation we ought to be having.

Dawn Bennett on the Interference of the Fed and the Perils of Assisted Markets

Radio host Dawn J. Bennett recently reviewed the financial implications of Puerto Rico defaulting on a loan payment for the first time, and the likelihood that they would do so again in the future. Specifically, the government missed a payment of 58 million dollars of the 72 billion that they currently owe, and the governor of Puerto Rico indicated that they would be unlikely to catch up any time soon. While Obama has said that there will be no government bailout from his end, the Fed is basically telling everyone to keep calm, and that it will all turn out for the best, with very little evidence to support that stance. In fact, most indicators are pointing in the other direction.

The situation in which whole countries default and simply cannot pay, Bennett claims, is becoming all too common and possibly signals the coming of another recession. She cites the slowing of growth of several nations, low wage growth in the U.S., as well as stagnant growth in many industries that should be doing better. What’s exacerbating all of this? Central bank bailouts and unrealistic Fed promises.financial crisis concept

The fact that the whole system could rely on big government bailouts in the past few years has led people to invest where they perhaps should not have. This supports a vicious cycle in which whole countries can’t afford to pay their debts when things go south on the market. It has also led to a decrease in the types of full-time, industry jobs we need for growth, while encouraging low-paying, part-time jobs to thrive.

These results are, Bennett claims, a symptom of an inflated economy in which investors have never actually had to use basic caution. She likens these people to children who have never skinned their knees, while the Fed acts like parents who assure their children they can never get hurt.

According to Bennett, the solution to this problem is to go back to truly free markets and organic price discovery return. With a system that is not unnaturally upheld by bailouts and which can function according to the fluctuations of the market, the economy will finally find the balance it needs.