An update of the weekly Federal Reserve balance sheet charts for 23/7/11. The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet contracted by around $7 billion dollars; something that is rarely seen in this age of central bank balance sheet expansions…

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Well, the past week was characterized by relief more than anything else. Resultantly, we saw a positive week for the equity indices, oil, the metals and non-dollar currencies. In defiance of the daily flow of news, we stick to our bearish guns because of the generally negative monetary dynamics in operation. As for the perilous task of short-term timing in the speculative financial markets? We don’t know, but our hunch is that we’re on the eve of another leg down in ‘risk assets’. Moreover, the lagged daily treasury statement charts seem to be confirming this at present.

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Dennis Gartman (editor of The Gartman Letter), Jim Rogers & some professor woman (Scheherazade Rehman) were on Russia Today‘s CrossTalk program the other day. The debate was on the Eurozone crisis: see below for the video and summary.

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We usually reserve this kind of piece for our newsletter service, but as we’ve been waiting for two to three years for this particular intellectual insight to be confirmed by the market, I thought I’d mention it here. In this article, I take a look at the insurance sector and its recent deterioration relative to the broader stock market.

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Jim Grant was on Bloomberg TV on 18th July. He spoke about US Treasuries, European Sovereign debt and the gold standard. See below for the video and summary.

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As our readers may know, we’re suckers for the theory that markets move in generational cycles. The basic idea is that the knee-jerk reaction is often the strongest one and that investors have a tendency to ‘stick to what they know’. The length of the prime of one generation’s career seems to be a suitable period of time for such ‘things that people know’ to become firmly lodged. Ironically, such lodging is a dire circumstance in a business that amounts to pseudo-futurology. More specifically we might say that investors often become convinced that strong and persistent price trends of the past are a matter of permanence (particularly if the entirety of their career confirms that intellectual conviction). Extrapolation is the name of the consensual speculator’s game, and so, anti-extrapolation must be the name of ours! Timing, as we all know, is incredibly difficult when it comes to the speculative financial markets. However, here I’ll endeavor to speculate as to when the gold bull market might go into ‘mania mode’.

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Marc Faber was interviewed on the Financial Sense Newshour on 15th July 2011. It’s a long one, but it’s definitely worth a listen. As usual, we’ve included a summary below for our readers who don’t have the time to sit through the entire video.

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