Court Freezes Assets of Merit Gold Executives

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has issued a restraining order freezing the assets of Merit Gold owners Peter Epstein and Michael Getlin. Also included in the court document is an order for Merit to cease and desist accepting payments from its customers. The judge found that it was very likely that the company “was permeated with fraud.”  A trial date has been set for October 14.

On August 5th, Merit Financial allegedly committed what appears to be a fraudulent transfer when it sold its assets to Credit Management Association for just $1.00. This triggered the restraining order.

If you missed the news this past February, the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office had filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Seacoast Coin, Inc., which is the parent company of Merit Financial and Merit Gold and Silver. Merit Gold was one of the largest precious metals dealers in the nation and operated large national TV advertising campaigns.

Merit Gold allegedly used aggressive “bait and switch” tactics to lure in customers nationwide. The lawsuit said it would draw customers in to buy gold bullion at just “1% over cost.” Then, Merit salespeople apparently would trick customers into buying “collector” coins that carried very large mark-ups.

It is alleged that Merit falsely told customers various deceptive statements about their collectible products, including:

“That the coins are a better investment than bullion; that the coins offer more privacy than bullion; that the coins are not “reportable” on consumers’ taxes; that the coins can’t be confiscated by the government, while bullion can be.”

The complaint says that the coins that Merit sold had “none of these advantages.” City attorneys say that Merit swindled millions of dollars from its customers, many of whom were seniors.

Euro Pacific Precious Metals has never and will never sell “numismatic” or “collectible” gold and silver products. We do not recommend them to serious investors.

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1-888-GOLD-160 (1-888-465-3160)

Blog 14 08 29 Bullion coins

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Jim Grant: The Word for Inflation Is “Bull Market” (Video)

Jim Grant, publisher of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, was interviewed by Steve Forbes. Grant gives a grim overview of the economy, saying that the Federal Reserve’s suppression of interest rates and the creation of “unimaginable amounts of digital money” since 2007 have caused major distortions. He argues that economic intervention leads to more economic intervention until the “the patient is over-medicated.” This is the same argument that Peter Schiff has made for years.

“Inflation is too much money and credit. That’s the cause. The symptoms are variable. The word for inflation is: bull market…

Gold is a universal currency. People recognize it at sight. The derivation of the term ‘sound money’ is – [Clang! He drops a gold American Eagle coin on the table]. Isn’t that lovely?”

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Clueless in Wyoming

Central bankers from around the world got together last week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for their yearly monetary mixer. We know they talked a lot about how central bank monetary policies could “help” the world with its economic woes. But there’s one thing we can be sure they didn’t discuss – how many of the world’s economic problems are created by these very same policies. In a new commentary, Steve Forbes analyses six areas about which these central bankers are completely clueless.

  1. The role of money: Central bankers think money controls economic activity, instead of the other way around. Thus, they believe they can successfully manipulate the economy into real growth with their monetary meddling.
  2. What money is: Money itself isn’t wealth. Money measures wealth and reflects marketplace activity. Creating more of it is counterfeiting, a.k.a. theft.
  3. Commerce does not cause inflation: On the contrary, central banks cause inflation when they create more currency.
  4. Manipulating interest rates is equivalent to price controls: Interest rates are the price we pay to borrow money. Just like any other price, the market should set them.
  5. The job of central banks is to keep the value of money stable: They have clearly failed at this. The gold standard is the best system ever devised for keeping the value of a currency stable. The whims of central planners have failed over and over, and nothing will change this time around.
  6. Monetary policy can’t cure an economy’s structural flaws: Taxes, regulations, and labor laws are suffocating economies all throughout the world. Even if central bankers were able to overcome the failures of central planning through monetary policy, they could not overcome the barriers of regulations.

Read the Full Article Here

Steve-Forbes

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Former Mob Boss: Avoid Wall Street, Buy Physical Gold (Video)

Michael Franzese, a former mob boss who went straight following a 10-year prison term, thinks stocks are in a bubble. He says he has worked with many of the people on Wall Street and doesn’t feel comfortable letting “shady” characters handle his money. In 1986, Franzese ranked No. 8 on Fortune Magazine’s list of the 50 wealthiest and most powerful mob bosses.

Franzese says he thinks he can do better with his money than Wall Street speculators. In fact, his number one piece of advice to investors is to not even bother with stocks. He strongly recommends physical gold bullion specifically, because “No matter what, it’s always going to have value. Unlike stocks, where…you go to sleep, everyone tells you everything is wonderful, you wake up and everything is gone.”

Investors don’t need to trust an ex-mob boss with their wealth in order to recognize the truth of his words. As someone who had first hand experience dealing with the casino on Wall Street, Franzese wants no part of it. He prefers to have his money in his own hands, not in the system that has proven over and over again it can’t be trusted.

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Prominent Voices Warning of Stock Market Bubble

Stocks continue to soar to record highs and the media breathlessly touts the economic recovery. But the Fed-fueled bull market for stocks can’t last forever. In an article from CNN Money, some renowned experts are issuing ominous warnings:

  • Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller says the stock market is looking very expensive. By his metric, stocks have only been at their current level three other times: 1929, 1999, and 2007.
  • Hedge fund king Carl Ichan says, “We are in an asset bubble.” He describes a “dangerous financial situation” dependent on the Federal Reserve continuously refilling the punchbowl to stimulate the economy.
  • Ex-Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin says that extremely low interest rates have caused major instability and could lead to another financial crisis. When the bubble pops and hedge funds all head for the doors at the same time there is a risk of a “contagion and snowballing effect.”

Read the Full Article Here

stock_market_bubble

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Why Gold Could Be the Best Hedge in the Next Market Correction (Pt. 3)

This is the final installment in a three-part series exploring three key reasons why gold could be the best hedge in the event of a major market correction. For part one, click here. For part two, click here.

As we wrote previously, there are many stories in the news lately exploring the various ways to protect yourself from a major market correction. They talk about hedge funds shorting US municipal debt, junk bonds, and foreign bonds in Asia and the eurozone. However, hardly anyone in the media mentions the use of physical gold bullion to protect your savings from a stock market crash.  We believe gold will outperform any of these conventional “safe havens” for three key reasons.

The third promising factor for gold in the event of a major market correction is that there are simply few alternatives. Even the conventional “safe bets” don’t hold up to scrutiny in today’s environment.

Treasury bonds have been one of the most traditional investments for protecting savings and providing cash flow. However, bond yields are currently at record lows and will probably move even lower in the event of a market correction. The return on a 5-year Treasury has fallen by an average of 4.3% in each of the past three recessions. In the likely event that this trend continues in the next market correction, the nominal yield could become negative. In other words, investors would be paying the government to take their money!
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Why Gold Could Be the Best Hedge in the Next Market Correction (Pt. 2)

This is part two of three in a series exploring three key reasons why gold could be the best hedge in the event of a major market correction. For part one, click here.

As we wrote yesterday, there are many stories in the news lately exploring the various ways to protect yourself from a major market correction. They talk about hedge funds shorting US municipal debt, junk bonds, and foreign bonds in Asia and the eurozone. However, hardly anyone in the media mentions the use of physical gold bullion to protect your savings from a stock market crash.  We believe gold will outperform any of these conventional “safe havens” for three key reasons.

The second promising factor for gold is that many of the “weak hands” have been shaken out of the gold market. This means that short-term speculators who were just jumping on the bandwagon have exited the gold market. Those that remain are primarily long-term holders who understand the fundamentals of gold.

A primary example of these “weak hands” is those who held “paper gold” investments such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs). In this type of investment, you don’t actually own gold. You simply put your money into a fund that is invested in gold companies or gold bullion. This is very different from holding the physical precious metal yourself. These paper gold investments are very popular with short-term speculators who can make quick money if they’re savvy enough.
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Why Gold Could Be the Best Hedge in the Next Market Correction (Pt. 1)

This is part one of three in a series exploring three key reasons why gold could be the best hedge in the event of a major market correction.

There are many stories in the news lately exploring the various ways to protect yourself from a major market correction. They talk about hedge funds shorting US municipal debt, junk bonds, and foreign bonds in Asia and the eurozone. However, hardly anyone in the media mentions the use of physical gold bullion to protect your savings from a stock market crash.  We believe gold will outperform any of these conventional “safe havens” for three key reasons.

The first promising factor for gold is that it is heavily out of favor. That is to say, the financial media loathes the yellow metal. Bullish sentiment on gold is currently at its lowest level since 2004. Due to the 30% decline of gold in 2013, those who have long hated it have been doing a victory lap. This is despite the fact that gold rose nearly 600% from 2001 to 2012.

Gold’s detractors somehow see fit to celebrate being correct once in 13 years. However, being on the ball less than 8% of the time since 2001 is nothing to brag about. With that kind of batting average, they couldn’t make the cut on a little league baseball team, let alone presume to give advice on how people can protect their hard-earned wealth.
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Today’s Key Gold Headlines – 8/19/14

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The Global Economy Is In a Depression (Video)

Jim Rickards, author of The Death of Money, was interviewed on RT. Jim checks off a daunting list of countries around the world experiencing economic difficulties and offers analysis of what is really going on.

What’s happening in Germany is happening all over the world. Germany’s economy contracted… Italy’s already contracted. France has two quarters in a row of zero GDP. The United States in the first half [of 2014]… did not even grow 1%… China is slowing down, and of course, Japan fell off a cliff. If you look around the world, it looks like we’re going into a global recession, except I would say this is a continuation of a global depression that began in 2007… This is not a normal recovery, not a normal business cycle…

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