Gold hits 2010 high
Gov't free market takeover expands ... FinReform showdown
"The colonies would gladly have borne the little tax on tea... had it not been that England took away their money." -Ben Franklin
Global Currency Crisis Report ... "Buy dips" -Pat Boone
BY David Bradshaw ~
Editor, Real Money Perspectives
Gold's Future Bright! -Experts ~ Gold IRAs +20%/year!
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April 30, 2010 ~ ((M-F podcast)) ~ gold fraud alert!

Friday gold prices shot to a 2010 high on safe haven buying, bargain hunting and a weaker dollar. Gold last traded up $12.30 to $1,179.50/oz., silver rose $.21 to $18.64/oz.

* Gold Hits 2010 High On Safety Buying: "A continued flight to safety amid European debt worries sent gold to its highest level of the year Friday, with some looking for the precious metal to eventually push to the record highs hit in early December. There is a feeling that although Greece is small in terms of GNP [gross national product], is it the canary in the coal mine?", reports WSJ.

* "Gold will hit its parabolic peak between $2,450 to $3,500 an ounce. We see the strong possibility of this event happening within the next 18 months. Our target price aligns very closely with the projections of others, i.e. Jim Rogers, Bob Hoye, David Nichols, Marc Faber and Pamela & Mary Anne Aden. When we start to see gold go parabolic, rising day after day and everyone in the world getting excited and joining the party, then we will know gold is in a bubble," writes Dudley Pierce Baker, editor of Precious Metals Warrants and Insiders Insights," reports Goldseek.

* "Analysts at Standard & Poor's on Friday downgraded shares of Goldman Sachs to 'sell' from hold and trimmed their price target for Wall Street's most profitable investment bank to $140 from $180. Goldman Sachs shares fell 6.8% in early trade," reports Marketwatch.

* Investing in the Age of Obamanomics: "You only need to know two things about investments: 1. Avoid Wall Street’s Recommendations and 2. Invest in Inflation. Not buying gold or silver is one of the dumbest money decisions you can make in 2010. Gold is headed towards at least $2,500 an ounce, and silver is headed for at least $100 an ounce. You will regret for the rest of your life ignoring this epic opportunity!" writes Howard Ruff of Ruff Times at Kitco.

* Gold: 'currency of fear' or reality?: "Gold futures added to their gains Wednesday as a debt ratings downgrade for Spain revved up fears of a spreading sovereign debt crisis in Europe. Gold for June delivery gained $11.30, or 1%, to $1,173.50 an ounce on the Comex, the highest since December. 'Gold is riding the coattails of its role as the currency of fear,' said Richard Ross, a technical analyst with Auerbach Grayson in New York," reports Marketwatch.

* Technicals suggest further gold rise: "If gold breaches the $1,162/oz. level, the technical analysts see the price continuing upwards to at least test the December high of $1,226/oz. and possibly beyond. The overall significance of the latest moves in gold despite dollar ‘strength' should not be overlooked," reports Mineweb.

* Euro debt crisis escalates: "World markets tumbled Wednesday amid acute fears that Greece's debt crisis would spread like wildfire through Europe after a leading credit ratings agency downgraded the country's debt to junk status and cut Portugal's rating as well. There is now a big chance of contagion with higher borrowing costs hitting other euro-using countries with weak finances. Contagion is the 'buzz' word and investors alike seem to be using it as a reason to take cash off the table," reports AP.

"The sovereign debt crisis will get worse and bond vigilantes could move on to even bigger economies like the U.S. and Japan when they are done sweeping through vulnerable European nations, economist Nouriel Roubini told CNBC.

* "A major change in gold psychology is apparent to the alert observers, and soon to the entire investor community. The gold price has begun to rise despite the dollar holding its ground against very weak alternative currencies. A perverse benefit given the dollar early in 2010 will be seen soon as a loan of goodwill to be paid back in full, amidst the backdrop of alleged Wall Street fraud," reports analyst Jim Willie at GoldIRAs.

* Gold rushes following dips: "Following each of the last six major corrections, gold prices have risen an average of 36%. While past price movements do not always foretell future movements, we could see prices above $1,400/oz. soon. Buying near market lows helps investors maximize growth," said Swiss America Chairman Craig R. Smith.

* "Gold has often been called the 'crisis commodity' because it tends to outperform other investments during periods of world tensions. The very same factors that cause other investments to suffer cause the price of gold to rise. A bad economy can sink poorly run banks. Bad banks can sink an entire economy. Gold's primary upward trend still remains firmly intact," reports Mineweb.

* "The rising price of gold is far from over. Paper money has already lost a lot of value and it will continue to lose value. The price of gold will adjust on the upside according to the loss of the purchasing power of money. At zero percent interest, I don’t see why someone would not have part of their money in gold and silver," said Marc Faber, editor and publisher of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report to Kitco News.

* "As inflation rears its ugly head and future demand for gold promises to overwhelm mine supply, gold's price will launch a parabolic rise from current levels in the near future. Gold has much, much further to go. The monetization of government debt by the printing of large sums of money, disarmingly referred to as ‘quantitative easily,' is proving to be the catalyst for accelerated inflation," said John Embry, chief investment strategist at Sprott Asset Management to BNWNews.

* "Throughout history gold's value has stood tall when the schemes of greedy profiteers and politicians crumble, as they are now. Gold remains what it has been since biblical times: a reliable store of value that government cannot devalue by printing more or by manipulating paper investments," writes Swiss America Chairman Craig R. Smith.

* Political and economic instability as well as technical buying are propelling the precious metals, despite dollar strength. If gold closes above $1,162/oz. this week it could push right back to $1,225/oz. and beyond quickly.

* Fearing the U.S. dollar: "The big problem we face right now is the Treasury has moved more than half of our total debt into the very short end of the yield curve to minimize interest expense. But as a result, we'll have to "roll over" roughly $4 trillion in the next 30 months. That's in addition to funding another $3 trillion in additional annual deficits. We cannot do it if China stops buying massive quantities of Treasury bonds. As of March 29, China was a net seller of Treasury debt. If we can't fund our debts in the bond market, the Federal Reserve will be forced to monetize our deficits by buying Treasury bonds. If that happens, inflation will soar and the price of gold will double or triple almost overnight," reports WND

* Gold rebounds on bargain-hunting, rising inflation: "India, the world’s largest buyer of gold for jewelry, has inflation of almost 15%. India raised interest rates for the second time in a month to curb inflation and producer prices in Germany, the largest retail investment market for gold, accelerated last month. If inflation begins to creep back, that's a good environment for gold," reports Bloomberg.

Gov't vs. Wall St.~ MayDay Amnesty Marches

* GOP allows Wall Street debate to start: "Senate Republican leaders said Wednesday they will end their stall tactics and allow a full floor debate on bill that calls for massive regulatory overhaul of the financial services sector. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said it was apparent that the negotiations were going nowhere and that he was ready to debate and vote on the bill. The bill's outcome is still in doubt, as debate likely will continue for weeks," reports WashTimes.

* MayDay marches for immigration "reform" (read: amnesty): "Thousands of mostly Hispanic immigrants will march in 70 US cities Saturday to press for immigration reform and condemn Arizona's controversial new immigration law, organizers said. President Obama described the Arizona legislation as "polarizing." Senate Democrats unveiled Thursday a plan to give the nation's undocumented workers a long, winding path to citizenship. But few analysts predict Congress will pass an immigration overhaul ahead of November mid-term elections, with US unemployment near 10%, and anger at an estimated 10.8 million undocumented immigrants in a nation of 309 million people," reports AFP.

* Obama's new debt commission: "If marriage is the triumph of hope over experience, then Barack Obama’s bipartisan fiscal commission must be its political equivalent. On Tuesday, Mr Obama opened proceedings for an 18-member body on which the hopes of America’s fiscal reformers now rest. But economists worry that the political calendar is moving far too lackadaisically given the speed of America’s fiscal deterioration. US public debt is set to rise to more than 90% of gross domestic product by the end of the decade – more than double the level before the 2008 financial meltdown," reports FinTimes.

Debt Commission Will Consider a Value-Added Tax: "I think there are many good arguments that you can make for a value-added tax or consumption tax, as opposed to a tax on wages," said debt commission chairman Erskine Bowles reports CNSNews.

* "Goldman's connections to the White House and the Obama administration are raising eyebrows at a time when Washington and Wall Street are dueling over how to overhaul regulation of the financial world. Lawrence Jacobs, a University of Minnesota political scientist, said that "almost everything that the White House has done has been haunted by the personnel and the money of Goldman," reports McClatcheyNews.

* Republicans soften on Wall St. reform: "Financial reform is too important to ram through without broad consensus and without studying its impact on consumers and small businesses," said David Hirschmann, president of the Chamber's Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, a leader of the opposition to the bill. The public is wary of details of the bill, such as the new consumer-protection agency. GOP pollster Jon McHenry found, in a survey voters preferred, by a 2-1 margin, that consumer protections be increased through existing agencies, not by creation of a new one," reports LATimes.

* Gold survives Goldman Sachs: "Gold rebounds, and the gold bugs are gathering. When I last wrote about gold, it was after what I called "freaky Friday" -- the steep, chart-disrupting price slump in gold triggered by heavy selling following the Goldman Sachs litigation announcement. About the only element in the gold-watching crowd not aghast was the hard-bitten group I call the "radical gold bugs," mustered around Bill Murphy's LeMetropolecafe.com, reports Marketwatch.

* Bond Market Will Never Be the Same After Goldman: "What begins as an effort to change your business may well end up as an attempt to change your soul. Among the many likely consequences of the SEC’s decision to sue Goldman Sachs for fraud is a social upheaval in the bond markets. Indeed, the social effects of the SEC’s action will almost certainly be greater than the narrow legal ones. Just as there was a time when people could smoke on airplanes, or drive drunk without guilt, there was a time when a Wall Street bond trader could work with a short seller to create a bond to fail, trick and bribe the ratings companies into blessing the bond, then sell the bond to a slow-witted German without having to worry if anyone would ever know, or care, what he’d just done. That just changed," reports Bloomberg.

* Bloomberg defends Wall St. before Obama visit: "As Congress debates sweeping legislation aimed at guarding against another financial meltdown, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has become Wall Street's spokesman and defender amid a chorus of populist voices. With President Barack Obama set to visit New York to push for passing financial reform, the billionaire mayor, who got his start on Wall Street in the 1960s and is considered a national expert on financial matters, argues that too much regulation could endanger the economy as much as others say it would protect it," reports AP.

* GOP seeks SEC records on Goldman: "Republican leaders are demanding a slew of documents from the Securities and Exchange Commission, asserting that the timing of civil charges against Goldman Sachs raises 'serious questions about the commission’s independence and impartiality,'" reports Politico.

* Paulson Reassures on Goldman Role: "The target now is Goldman Sachs. You distract the masses with a villain," said Marc Faber, author of the Gloom, Boom and Doom report, who described the lawsuit against Goldman Sachs as a hunt for scapegoats amid economic problems faced by the United States. Goldman's leading role on Wall Street, coupled with massive paychecks to staff and bumper profits, make it an obvious target. The 141-year old bank was described by Rolling Stone magazine last year as a "giant vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity," reports FoxBus.

* Goldman Case May Spur Regulation: "Gold futures dropped to the lowest price in almost two weeks on April 16 amid speculation that commodities demand will be curbed by regulations arising from the lawsuit against Goldman Sachs for alleged fraud. Goldman Sachs may face a U.K. regulatory probe and scrutiny from the German government after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit. Goldman Sachs said the suit was 'unfounded in law and fact.' Oil, platinum and the six main industrial metals also declined," reports Bloomberg.

* "Two important things to understand about Friday's drop in gold prices. The first is that with the investigation into Goldman Sachs and Paulson & Co's alleged improprieties. It is believed Paulson & Co is the single largest holder of SDPR Gold Trust ETF and is selling in anticipation of legal fees, etc. According to Marketwatch: "Concern that if Paulson investors try to redeem from the firm's hedge funds, the firm might be forced to unwind some of its gold positions, pressuring gold prices." Second, this is not a reflection of the physical gold market, but only the paper gold market. It is not likely to be a sustained drop," writes Swiss America CEO Dean Heskin.

* Going after Goldman won't make investors safer: "Everyone knows that you can't regularly beat the house in Las Vegas, yet gaming emporia thrive. Everyone knows that eating a lot of red meat is bad for their health, yet steakhouses thrive. And everyone on Wall Street knows that the counterparty to a synthetic CDO is a knowledgeable short seller, yet structured finance thrives. This case would be laughable if only the government were not so serious in its drive to criminalize risk-taking. Everyone who is pointing fingers at Goldman now will be very displeased to see where this road leads: Not to safer and fairer markets, but to less liquid and more restricted ones that will paradoxically grow ever more obscure as the undeniable impulse to speculate finds new outlets that regulators haven't yet imagined," reports Marketwatch.

* Goldman Charges May Bolster US Bank Reform: "As if on cue, the Democratic National Committee released a statement Friday afternoon from President Obama saying "we cannot delay any longer" on the banking reform bill. "Whatever reform financial services investors were bracing for, this could be the impetus to speed it up and perhaps give it more teeth and what does that do to the profitability of Goldman and others going forward?" commented David Dietze, president of Point View Financial Services to CNBC.

* Sweeping financial reform by Memorial Day?: "Some congressional Democrats are questioning a White House suggestion that a huge U.S. financial reform bill be on the president's desk by Memorial Day. Some senior Republicans argue Dodd's bill is a government takeover that would lead to more bank bailouts. The GOP says the legislation's new consumer protection agency would overextend government's reach into businesses and that regulations on derivatives could hurt farmers and other end-users," reports UPI. "Too big to fail debate in crosshairs" -CNBC

* America is broke: "To watch the same politicians who got us into this mess "work hard" to fix the mess is like watching the rearrangement of deck chairs on the Titanic. The government plans to inflate our way out of the $100 trillion mess they themselves got us into. No one doubts this to be the truth, but they need to tell the people. At least then the people can prepare," writes Swiss America Chairman Craig R. Smith at WND.

Trust, Threats, Revolts & Gold

* 4 in 5 Americans don't trust Washington: "Public confidence in government is at one of the lowest points in a half century, according to a survey from the Pew Research Center. Nearly 8 in 10 Americans say they don't trust the federal government and have little faith it can solve America's ill," reports AP.

* Government borrowing risk a new threat: "A large part of the financial system continues to rely in varying degrees upon the extraordinary measures governments began to introduce two years ago—such as purchasing bad assets from, and injecting capital into, troubled institutions. But the biggest threats have moved from the private to the public sectors in advanced economies," said the IMF in its latest Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR).

* The Constitutionalist Revolt In the U.S. "Harking back to the Founders' principles of constitutional limits to government is a very powerful message. It's a message of freedom, especially economic freedom. The tea partiers have delivered an extremely accurate diagnostic of what ails America right now: Government is growing too fast, too much, too expensively, and in too many places -- and in the process it is crowding out our cherished economic freedom. It's as though the tea partiers are saying this great country will never fulfill its long-run potential to prosper, create jobs, and lead the world unless constitutional limits to government are restored. The big question is only this: Will the political class get it?," writes Larry Kudlow at RealClearMarkets.

* Gold pullback further evidence of manipulation: "Dow Theory Letters' Richard Russell shrugged it (Friday's 2% decline) off: "The daily chart of gold ... shows a head-and-shoulders bottom. More recently, an upside breakout from the pattern. Today we have a pull-back to the breakout or resistance ... line. If gold can hold at 1,100 or above, it will be impressive." Gold's freaky Friday has a lot of commentators puzzled. But not the radical gold bugs -- who have long argued that the gold market is manipulated. "The Cartel made sure that the traditional safe haven asset was not turned to in times of crisis ... making sure that a sheer tsunami of unbacked (naked short) paper contracts were thrown at gold and silver instantly," GATA founder Bill Murphy told Marketwatch.

* "Gold remains near record nominal highs, as the British pound sterling is down by more than 10% versus gold year to date. Increasing talk of a devaluation of the pound could see further gains in the price of gold in the coming weeks," reports Goldcore.

* "Gold may rise to $1,300 an ounce later this year or next year, supported by increased investor demand," said Philip Klapwijk, executive chairman of research company GFMS Ltd. told a precious metals meeting in London today. Gold is benefiting as investors seek an alternative to bonds after European governments unveiled a plan to halt Greece’s fiscal crisis," reports Bloomberg.

* Gold is again exhibiting its brilliance. In 2010 we expect the world will continue to crown the shiny precious metal as the most trustworthy, store-of-value money on earth. This helps to explain why prices are rising despite temporary dollar "strength". Think $1,150/oz. gold is expensive? Look at chart below, and then think again. Prices are only halfway to a new inflation-adjusted high. This explains why over 75 experts see $2,200 gold ahead. (Compiled expert quotes since 2006).

* What's driving gold?: "While the G7 countries have dominated the world's financial markets up until now, gold analyst Frank Holmes terms the E7 nations - China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia and Pakistan which will come to dominate because of their enormous populations and GDP growth potential with the natural tendency of poorer countries to grow faster than rich ones. This growth tendency will continue for at least the next 10 years with a major effect on consumer spending and investment from which gold will likely benefit," reports Mineweb.

* Trader blows whistle on gold & silver price manipulation: "There is no silver lining to the activities of JPMorgan Chase and HSBC in the precious-metals market here and in London, says a 40-year veteran of the metal pits. The banks, which do the Federal Reserve's bidding in the metals markets, have long been the government's lead actors in keeping down the prices of gold and silver, according to a former Goldman Sachs trader working at the London Bullion Market Association. The Commodities Futures Trade Commission is looking into the activities of large banks in the metals market," reports NYPost.

* DEBT DENIAL: "What about gold? The view is that systems on a gold standard system cannot increase money supply as needed; of course, that’s the whole idea. Increasing money beyond the modest levels at which gold supply grows is the Keynesian remedy. But empirical evidence shows the so-called Keynesian multiplier is fractional and therefore a wealth destroyer. Another attack on gold is that there’s not enough of it to support money supply; but of course there’s always enough gold; it’s just a question of price. The U.S. has never truly gone off the gold standard. The U.S. gold hoard today has a dollar value equal to about 20% of U.S. M1 money supply – a respectable ratio even in the heyday of the fractional gold standard. A gold price of $5,500 per ounce would comfortably support a broader U.S. money supply on a one-to-one ratio and maintain confidence in the dollar and U.S. sovereign debt," writes Jim Rickards at KingWorldNews.

* "The price of gold recently broke through a resistance level of $1,140/oz. The long-term and short-term indicators are all positive suggesting a potential move to the upside of at least another $60 - $80. This will be a re-test of the previous all time high. And, I believe that we will see this shortly," reports metals expert David Levenstein at Mineweb.

* Flimsy Auctions Signal The US Is Heading For A Debt Crisis: "With a $3.83 trillion budget, a $12.3 trillion federal government debt, a $1.35 trillion 2010 budget deficit and $63 trillion in unfunded liabilities, the fiscal condition of the US has come into question and foreign interest in US Treasuries has declined. In late March, it was reported that the 10-year US Treasury Note yield had risen 30 basis points and that foreign holders of 10-year Notes were selling in record numbers," reports BusInsider.

* CBO chief says debt 'unsustainable': "The nation’s fiscal path is "unsustainable," and the problem "cannot be solved through minor tinkering," said Doug Elmendorf, the head of the Congressional Budget Office. A recent CBO report that pegged an increase in the public debt from $7.5 trillion at the end of 2009 to $20.3 trillion at the end of 2020. Volcker said the U.S. should consider adopting a value-added tax, an idea he described as being less toxic than it has been in the past," reports Politico.

* Gold rises along with dollar, hits 2010 high: "Strong physical demand and safe-haven buying insulated gold bullion from the rising dollar. Gold for June delivery, gained $17, or 1.5%, to settle at $1,153 an ounce on the Comex," reports Marketwatch. (4-7-10)

* "Crude oil will hit $100 a barrel while gold will reach $1,500 an ounce by the end of this year," said Byron Wien, vice chairman of Blackstone Advisory Services. "The rising gold price has nothing to do with geopolitical risk or inflation. Most people’s assets are in financial instruments and gold is an insurance against financials and the erosion of the value of financials, the dollar, and the purchasing power of paper currencies," reports CNBC.

* "Euro gold has reached a new record high just over €852/oz. due to safe haven buying on concerns about debt laden Greece. Markets pushed Greece's risk premium to a euro lifetime high yesterday amid growing doubts over the country's capacity to resolve its debt crisis and fresh skepticism about the EU-IMF aid mechanism. The Greek sovereign debt crisis is proving quite intractable and this inflation and sovereign risk is leading to robust demand for gold. Crude oil remains above $86 a barrel which is creating inflation concerns," reports GoldCore.

* "I anticipate we will see gold break decisively higher before June with a minimum price target of $1,400/oz. by the end of the year. Silver is still my preferred precious metal and I feel confident it will outperform gold by a significant margin in the coming years," says Jason Hamlin of Gold Stock Bull at GoldIRAs

* Precious metals are providing a good buying opportunity for long-term investors. Gold prices may be ready to move above the 2010 price Q1 range (gold $1,100-$1,125/oz., silver $17-18/oz.) despite a firmer dollar, which is based more on foreign currency weakness that strong fundamentals. As the government financial reform debate now takes center stage, 80% of Americans polled say, "America is NOT too big to fail".

* Health care overhaul spawns mass public confusion: "Two weeks after President Barack Obama signed the big health care overhaul into law, Americans are struggling to understand how — and when — the sweeping measure will affect them. Questions reflecting confusion have flooded insurance companies, doctors' offices, human resources departments and business groups," reports McClatchy.

* "The combination of weaker currencies, firmer oil, large deficits as well as a large disconnect between the physical market and futures, indicates gold is set to move upwards. Even if this period of consolidation continues for several more weeks or even months this is a buying opportunity. Gold has been consolidating since December 2009. Once it breaks above the short-term resistance of $1,140/oz. we may well see a rapid move to $1,200/oz.," reports Mineweb.

* "The buck briefly slipped below $1 versus the Canadian loonie, its lowest since the onset of the 2008 financial crisis. With the price of oil surging above $86 a barrel, the dollar has come under heavy pressure versus the resource-linked loonie. Market players will be looking for hints from today's release of the latest FOMC minutes that the Fed will back away from its pledge to keep rates at a record low near zero for an extended period," reports Rttnews.

* "U.S. crude oil hit an 18-month high, climbing towards $86 per barrel on expectations of faster-than-expected economic recovery. Data on Friday showed U.S. employers created jobs in March at the fastest rate in three years. Non-farm payrolls rose 162,000, only the third increase since the U.S. economy fell into recession in late 2007," reports FoxBus.

* Both gold and silver gained ground in the first quarter. Silver prices lead the way gaining 4.6%, gold prices rose 1.6%. For the month silver rose 5.8% while gold fell .5%. Precious metals are building a strong base of support amid growing interest in gold as an alternative currency and silver as an undervalued investment/industrial metal.

* "Gold's sixth quarterly advance shows that the trend remains up and in a bull market. The macroeconomic conditions and the uncertain outlook of today should see gold continue to act as a safe haven for the foreseeable future. The gold:silver ratio continues to look very favorable for silver which might be on the verge of breaking out," reports GoldCore.

* "What doesn't kill gold, makes it stronger. After last week's stumble, gold bugs expect a renewed surge. Ian McAvity of the Deliberations letter periodically declares of gold that "they opened the trap door and no one jumped." Last week merited McAvity's comment. Sentiment indicators slumped, gold itself saw a six-week low -- but a strong rally Friday meant spot gold gained slightly on the week. Those gold observers who emphasize the condition of the physical market have turned snortingly bullish. And, significantly, inflation-oriented bugs are joining in too," reports Marketwatch.

* "China's gold demand is expected to double from current levels over the next decade due to jewelery consumption and investment needs, the World Gold Council said in report released on Monday. In jewelery, the Chinese per capita consumption is one of the lowest at 0.26 grams when compared to countries with similar gold cultures. If gold were consumed at the same rate per capita as in India, Hong Kong or Saudi Arabia, annual Chinese demand could increase by at least 100 tons or as much as 4,000 tons in the sector alone," reports Reuters.

* "Today the dollar remains a giant among (fiat) currency midgets," said Rick Santelli on CNBC Friday. The DJIA's drive towards 11,000 seems to have been temporarily stalled as a late-session sell-off Thursday saw a triple-digit gain for the index largely evaporate," reports CNBC.

* The next gov't money grab?: "After 15 months of watching the Obama administration systematically usurp the free market, under the guise of stopping the worst financial crisis since the 1930s, Americans wonder 'what's next'? With the auto, mortgage, banking and now health care industries under government control, is anything still sacred? Their latest proposal is to take control of the retirement accounts of the American public. Thankfully, today there's still a window of opportunity to own 'private' gold," said Swiss America Chairman Craig R. Smith.

* Social Security Payout Exceeds Pay-In: "The bursting of the real estate bubble and the ensuing recession have hurt jobs, home prices and now Social Security. This year, the system will pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll taxes, an important threshold it was not expected to cross until at least 2016, according to the Congressional Budget Office," reports NYTimes.

* "The passage of the health care law shows that the US empire is declining because it illustrates the fact that people expect the state to take care of them," David Murrin, the co-founder of Emergent Asset Management hedge fund manager, told CNBC. "In their expansionary phase, empires force people to go out, seek risks and fend for themselves, Murrin said, reminding of the dismantling of the British empire after the war, when the National Health Service, which ensures universal health coverage in Britain, was created. "This (empire decline) is actually a dead-set course that societies get into and it will happen very quickly I'm afraid," he told "Squawk Box Europe."

* After rushing above $1,200/oz. in Dec. 2009, gold prices corrected back to $1,060/oz. on Feb. 4th. Since then, the world's ultimate currency and store of value is trending upward again. Rising inflation, political uncertainty and elevated currency/debt worries all support bullish sentiment. (see The Wisdom of Buying on Price Dips)

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