Economics and Investing:

Obama administration confirms double-digit [Obamacare] premium hikes.

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Signs of the times: America’s biggest banks are closing hundreds of branchesJWR’s Comment: Whenever The Powers That Be get around to instituting their long-dreamed-of Cashless Society, there will be no need for brick and mortar banks. Nor will there be any privacy about what you buy and sell. Every transaction made with electronic currency will be permanently cataloged and cross-correlated with your social media interactions.  Thus, the entire lives of most citizens will be transparent to police and intelligence organizations. To mitigate this, I recommend both: A.) Creating a bland and thoroughly apolitical “vanilla” Facebook account, where you only “like” a few pop culture stars, and develop no friendships with your real world friends.  And, B.) Hedging into compact, durable, and fungible barter items. As I’ve mentioned many times before, silver coins and common caliber ammunition are at the top of my list, for barter. – JWR

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Charles Hugh Smith:  Two Sets of Solutions as the Status Quo Crumbles

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