76 million Americans are struggling financially or just getting by

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Wages are finally rising. Unemployment is the lowest it’s been since 2007. Inflation remains muted.

But 31% of American adults, or 76 million people, say they are struggling to get by or just barely making it, according to the Federal Reserve Bank’s latest survey on Americans’ economic well-being, which looked at 2015.

The Fed survey highlights many of Americans’ continuing economic worries. Some 46% of adults say they can’t cover an unexpected $400 expense or would have borrow or sell something to do so. Continue reading

The day China says its currency is backed by gold

Donald Trump has gained a lot of airtime recently talking about how China has been ripping off the United States over the previous decades, artificially devaluing the yuan and protecting China’s own companies at the expense of ours, stealing our technology, and attacking our infrastructure via cyber intrusion. All of that gives one the sneaking suspicion that China is preparing for something, something bad, something devastating for the United States and our children’s future. Chinese actions in the South China Sea adds to this perception, this gut feeling. Why would the communists be building military bases out of nothing so far from home? There really is only one conclusion. Although the China apologists want to dismiss this narrative, taunting its proponents about their tinfoil hats, that uneasy feeling remains vibrant, just the same.

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CBO: Debt Headed to 103% of GDP; Level Seen Only in WWII; ‘No Way to Predict Whether or When’ Fiscal Crisis Might Occur Here

(CNSNews.com) – Testifying in the U.S Senate yesterday, Congressional Budget Office Director Keith Hall warned that the publicly held debt of the U.S. government, when measured as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product, is headed toward a level the United States has seen only once in its history—at the end of World War II.

To simply contain the debt at the high historical level where it currently sits—74 percent of GDP–would require either significant increases in federal tax revenue or decreases in non-interest federal spending (or a combination of the two).

Historically, U.S. government debt held by the public, measured as a percentage of GDP, hit its peak in 1945 and 1946, when it was 104 percent and 106 percent of GDP respectively.

In 2015, the CBO estimates that the U.S. government debt held by the public will be 74 percent of GDP. That is higher than the 69-percent-of-GDP debt the U.S. government had in 1943—the second year after Pearl Harbor. Continue reading

US Federal Reserve Bank Hit by Hackers

Hackers successfully attacked the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, redirecting users of its online research services to fake websites set up by the attackers, the bank said on Tuesday.

The fake websites were designed to look like the web pages of services provided by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The attack compromised the Internet’s routing system, known as the domain name system (DNS). Continue reading

Where Is Germany’s Gold?

Almost half of Germany’s gold is stored in vaults under the streets of Manhattan. Or is it?

Peter Boehringer hates the word “conspiracy.” It implies something crazy, and if you spend even a little time with the 45-year-old German, it becomes clear he’s driven by a desire for order. On a recent morning in Munich, he’s dressed in a cobalt blue shirt that matches his blue tie and blue eyes. His black hair is cropped close above his receded hairline. In his gray Volkswagen minivan, the cup holder contains two identical water bottles, each filled to the same level. At the end of a daylong interview, for which Boehringer has arranged an hour-by-hour itinerary, he sends a follow-up e-mail with a numbered summation of points he’s made. No. 2 says that the crusade he’s been waging for the last three years is simply about transparency. “Questions,” he writes, “by definition cannot be ‘conspiracy theories.’ ”

Boehringer is a gold bug, a member of the impassioned tribe of investors and academics who distrust central banks and paper money, unless the governments that print it will exchange the cash for gold or silver from their vaults. He has an asset management firm that invests his own money and that of clients in gold, silver, and mining stocks, and he’s a founder of the nonprofit German Precious Metal Society, which educates the public about “the craziness of unbacked monetary systems,” he says. In short, Boehringer is worried that the global economy is built on a fiction of currencies that aren’t backed by precious metals. Which is why he set out to make sure the gold that Germany and other nations say they have actually exists. Continue reading