Apple may buy 1/3 of world’s gold production to meet iWatch demand

“Technology giant Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may soon buy up one third of the world’s gold in order to meet the demands of its highly anticipated Apple Watch, according to reports.  Interest in the high-end model, featuring 18-karat gold casing, is picking up and the firm is already taking the necessary steps to have enough of them in stock. According to WSJ.com, Apple plans to start producing more than one million units per month in the second quarter of the year, anticipating high demand from Asian markets, mainly China. Josh Centers, from TidBits, estimates that each gold watch will contain 2 troy ounces (62.2 grams) of gold.”

http://www.mining.com/apple-buying-a-third-of-worlds-gold-to-meet-demand-for-iwatch-14071/

Bill Bonner: The Day the ATMs Run Out…

“You will have a credit card with a $10,000 line of credit. You have $5,000 in your debit account. But all financial institutions are staggering. And in the news you will read that your bank has defaulted and been placed in receivership. What would you rather have? Your $10,000 line of credit or a stack of $50 bills?  You will go to buy gasoline. You will take out your credit card to pay.  ‘Cash Only,’ the sign will say. Because the machinery of the credit economy will be breaking down. Whose lines of credit are still valuable? Whose bank is ready to fail? Who can pay his mortgage? Who will honor his credit card debt?  No one will know the answers. Quickly, they will stop guessing… and turn to cash.”

http://bonnerandpartners.com/day-atms-run/

Attacking Payday Predators Misses the Point

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“Holder wants to prosecute Wall Street bankers and Bloomberg wants to regulate payday lenders. Neither approach deals with the fundamental issue of the business cycle and central banking’s role in it.  Holder’s latest initiative targets Wall Street banking. The CFPB believes a similar level of exploitation lurks within the payday loan industry. It would be far more productive to try to understand why such payday loans are necessary, why poverty is increasing in the US and throughout the West, why some 40 million US citizens use food stamps while tens of millions more cannot find a job. These are deep and serious issues that would demand scrutiny of the US’s basic economic model.”

http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/36100/Attacking-Payday-Predators-Misses-the-Point/

Belarus: Loans return, but interest rates double to 65%

“In addition to a 30% duty on the purchase of foreign currency imposed in December, the National Bank recommended banks not to issue loans to stabilise the situation on the financial market.  The measure was supposed to restrict the growth of money supply and increase the value of money. As a result, Belarusians have not been able to take loans from banks for a month.  Commercial bank began to issue loans again, but raised interest rates. The cheapest loan has an interest rate of 45%, the most expensive one – 82%.  Average interests rates are now from 60 to 65% against 25-30% in early December.”

http://charter97.org/en/news/2015/1/22/136361/

Four-month deal reached between Greece, creditors

“European finance ministers came to the agreement Friday as failure to reach a deal threatened Greece’s solvency. The extension will give Greece time to negotiate a follow-up arrangement with creditors as it attempts to undertake fiscal reforms.  The extension is contingent on reforms, which Greek officials and Europe will agree on by the end of April. Greece will present a list of reforms by Monday, Dijsselbloem said. The deal will be ratified when creditors are satisfied with reforms.  A euro zone fund for Greek bank recapitalization will remain available throughout the extension, Dijsselbloem added.”

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102441980

Bitcoin: The People’s Money with Roger Ver and Jeffrey Tucker

“This is the first episode in a monthly series dedicated to Bitcoin.  We could hardly have better guests than Chief Liberty Officer of Liberty.me, Jeffrey Tucker, and Roger ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ Ver, investor in some of the most successful Bitcoin companies like Blockchain.info, BitPay, and Kraken. We will talk about Jeffrey’s latest book ‘Bit By Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World’, businesses that Roger is involved in, their path to Bitcoin, and how it relates to the philosophy of liberty and the Austrian school of economics.”

India central bank lifts ban on import of gold coins, medallions by banks

“In a move that could increase gold supply, nominated banks have been allowed to import gold on ‘consignment basis’ and lend it to local jewellers. For about 15 years till 2014, this was the customary practice of sourcing gold officially. However, this was stopped last year amid concerns that rising gold import could impact the current account deficit. But, following rampant gold smuggling due to the curbs imposed by the government to deter imports and representations by bodies like the Ficci sub-committee on jewellery, the government has now taken a relook at the policy. Banks have been borrowing gold from the international banks at 0.5% and lending it to Indian exporters at 4-6%.”

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/rbi-lifts-ban-on-import-of-gold-coins-medallions-by-banks/articleshow/46290295.cms

Jim Rogers on Opportunities in Russia and Other Hated Markets

“I’m an American citizen like you, and unfortunately the bigger picture is forcing the Russians, the Chinese, and others to accelerate in finding an alternative. That is not good for the US.  The Americans have a monopoly, because everyone who uses dollars has to get them cleared through New York. People were already starting to worry in the past few years about the American dominance of the system and its ability to just close everything down.  So now the Russians and Chinese and others are accelerating their efforts to find an alternative to SWIFT and to the American dollar and the dominance of the US financial system.  As I said earlier, none of this is good for the US.”

http://www.internationalman.com/articles/jim-rogers-on-opportunities-in-russia-and-other-hated-markets

Doug Casey on ISIS, Gold, Oil, and What to Expect in 2015

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“I have no desire to be in the mainstream stock market for the duration. Even less to be in the bond market—the bubble there has gotten bigger and bigger over the last few years, to the point that it has reached a truly unholy size. Real estate is holding on, but it’s floating on a sea of debt, so when the bond bubble breaks, real estate—certainly in the Anglo-Saxon world—is in for big trouble. (And real estate is the most obvious thing for cash-strapped local governments to tax, as things turn down.)  I really don’t see any way out of this thing, other than through the wringer we’re now caught in. However long they last, I do think we’re in the last moments of calm before the storm breaks.”

http://www.caseyresearch.com/articles/doug-casey-on-isis-gold-oil-and-what-to-expect-in-2015-1