Economics and Investing:

Gold Undervalued Due To Massive Stock Dilution & Debt

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The Herd Is Heading For A Cliff – Sent in by J.Q.

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Items from Professor Preponomics:

US News

Puerto Rico Avoids Loan Default by Dipping Into Cash Reserves (Washington Post) The real headline should be this statement from well within the article itself… ““The use of over $100 million in reserved funds to make debt service payments for several of the Commonwealth’s issuers should underscore that the Commonwealth is running out of options to pay its debt…”

Brutal Economic Warning Sign from America’s Midwest (Business Insider) Excerpt: “This is about more than just the Midwest. The Chicago PMI report also signals what could come from the national ISM manufacturing reports we get next week.”

Labor Force Participation Rate Will Drop to Nixon Era Rates (Washington Examiner) Here come those darned demographics again! Excerpt: “U.S. labor force participation will fall over the next decade, scraping lows not seen since the Nixon administration…”

Oil Ends 2015 in Downbeat Mood (Reuters) An interesting take, except that a rebalancing of market suppliers may not be the objective of the geopolitical players involved. Once again, time will unfold the story. Excerpt: “The immediate outlook for oil prices remains bleak. Goldman Sachs has said prices as low as $20 per barrel might be necessary to push enough production out of business and allow a rebalancing of the market.”

USDA Catfish Program is Embarrassingly Wasteful (Taxpayers for Common Sense) Seriously, folks. Catfish? Excerpt from the Letter: “The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has targeted USDA catfish inspection as part of its effort to get rid of wasteful government programs a total of nine times…” The article continues: “After USDA spent $19.9 million to develop and study the catfish inspection program, it then told GAO it would cost the federal government an additional “$14 million annually” to run the program. This after GAO found FDA currently spends “less than $700,000 annually to inspect catfish.”

International News

High Flying Emerging Markets Had Their Wings Clipped (NPR) Excerpt: “A few years ago, emerging markets seemed like islands of prosperity. In fact, they even had their own acronym: BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Among investors, BRICs represented the future of the global economy, places of hope and promise. But by 2015, the BRICs had begun to go broke.”

Personal Economics and Household Finance

Top Ten Worst Scams of 2015 Consumers Should Know About (Clark Howard) Although these scams made the short list of “top ten” for 2015, don’t count them out for the coming year. Thieves tend to recycle these over time, even as we watch for new tricks of the criminal trade coming!