This last week you saw the specter of substantially higher oil prices returning to shake up markets after several years of relatively stable pricing. Oil touched levels that it had not reached since late in the year 2014. Part of what caused this was an OPEC meeting that confirmed supply reductions will continue. Besides this, several Saudi Arabian officials indicated that they would be happy to see oil reach even $100 per barrel in the next several months. This is of course a real concern for global financial markets that are still heavily influenced by the price of oil. It… Read More

Last week saw J.P. Morgan and Co. release its highly anticipated J.P. Morgan Private Bank Spring Investment Barometer. This yearly survey considers over 700 private global clients throughout Europe, the U.S., and the Middle East. The relevant clients they are surveying here are HNWI's, or Ultra-high net worth individuals. These people must possess at least $30 million worth of liquid financial assets. According to the survey results of this group of HNWI investors, 75 percent of them anticipate a recession in the United States by the year 2020. A fifth of those expecting financial downturn believe this recession will start in… Read More

Last week you saw the Federal Reserve officials publish their March meeting minutes. These revealed that nearly all of the members have become hawkish and determined to continue raising interest rates and reducing the size of the central bank balance sheet. The strength of the economy and increasing levels of inflation have persuaded them that additional interest rate increases are necessary. The problem is that debt has massively increased since the end of the Global Financial Crisis a decade ago. The repercussions of raising rates back to levels long considered historically normal could set off a debt explosion. Gold offers insurance… Read More

Last Monday the U.S. federal government's arm the Congressional Budget Office released a stark report. This one concerned the condition of the government's current and near-future finances. The report was anything but encouraging. The CBO candidly admitted that the spending patterns of the federal government are leading to an annual budget deficit in excess of a trillion dollars by the year 2020 (in only two years). This deficit means that the government is spending beyond its financial ability by this amount. The IRS gathers up a vast sum in taxes from individuals and businesses every year. Congress simply spends far more… Read More

This past week saw reports emerge that China is considering gradually devaluing its own yuan. While the currency recently touched a three year high, this could all be about to change. Beijing is earnestly looking for a way to offset the trade tariff impact on its exports to the United States. Meanwhile the tensions and reprisals worsened throughout the last week between the two countries. This has created massive price swigs and huge volatility in global markets. Fears of a currency and trade war have led to multiple hundred point swings in the Dow and other equities markets around the… Read More