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Little Bit On Commodities

With gold, silver, and oil down quite considerably since the second LTRO from the ECB, the question is what to do now. Times like this for us are opportunities to accumulate more specifically when talking about the precious metals market. Just looking at silver, there was once a time where $15 to $18 was a trading range and people were hesitant to purchase when it got to $18 an ounce. Well, the truth is people would kill to be able to purchase at $18 an ounce today. Prices like this maybe something that may never come around again and the opportunities that are presented today may be once in a lifetime. China and India are currently buying gold so the question is, what is it that they know that the rest of the world doesn’t?     

The Treasury Is Reducing Its Stake In AIG

The Treasury Department is selling $5 billion worth of stock in bailed-out insurance giant American International Group Inc. for $30.50 per share. AIG will buy about $2 billion worth of the stock. The remaining $3 billion will be offered to investors in a public offering. The government may sell another 24.6 million shares if there’s demand for the stock. AIG received the largest bailout from any company worth approximately 182 billion. After the Treasury disposes this round of shares of AIG, it will own 63% of the company.

8 Months From Now

In 8 months, a number of stimulus packages maybe coming to an end and what was seen in Europe may become a reality in the states. 

A stimulus package consisting of a payroll-tax cut, investment tax credit and enhanced unemployment insurance expires then, as do George W. Bush’s tax cuts (which have already been extended by two years from their original end-date of 2010). At the same time an automatic, across-the-board cut in domestic and defense spending, called a “sequester”, takes effect, cutting about $100 billion from government spending next year. 

The economic impact of this fiscal cliff is a matter of some debate. The Congressional Budget Office reckons that the combined effects of the sequester and the expiring tax cuts would add up to 3.6% of GDP in fiscal 2013. But David Greenlaw of Morgan Stanley, which puts the total effect at almost $700 billion at an annual rate, argues that the calendar-year impact is much larger, at around 5%. Others think the effect would be smaller, noting that some people will not experience the full tax hit until they file their returns in 2014. The point is that we are coming to a financial dead-end that the government and its people will have to reckon with.   

On this point, Australia will become the first major economy in the developed world to record a surplus since the start of the global financial crisis, leading to a potential safe-haven for investments as time progresses. We will be monitoring this market.       

Economic uncertainty triggers more caution among mid-size companies

Executives of mid-size companies have become more cautious about the U.S. economy – a sentiment that is reflected in hiring and expansion strategies and plans to invest in technology, according to new research. About 52% of mid-market executives expect the U.S. economy to grow less than 2% over the next 12 months, according to a Deloitte survey of about 528 executives whose companies generate annual revenue from $50 million to $1 billion. That was up from 42% a year earlier.

Market Facts

April retail sales are the worst since 2009.  Year-over-year housing prices continue to decline despite record low mortgage rates. The SGS-Alternate unemployment notched up from 22.2 to 22.3 percent in April. The time will come for QE3 because we’re going on 4 years in this deep recession and things aren’t improving.

Love What Rick Santelli Had To Say…

Just to be clear, we said Santelli and not Santorum… “Sometimes the math just doesn’t add up” is how CNBC’s Rick Santelli begins what should become must-watch viewing for the youth of America as he tries to”Wake Up Young People” to the incredible realities of the level of debt encumbrance they are being born with. Santelli seriously looks into the camera, addressing the under-27-year-old demographic and tells them straight, you are paying for a meal that previous generations have eaten.” The youth graduating from high school and college are facing joblessness with unbearable obligations to student loans and national debt that will fall on their shoulders and weigh down their standard of living for many years to come if not indefinitely.
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