Today, we begin with a warning.
We’re going to tell you about a dangerous event that is very likely to happen within the next year.
You’ve probably never thought about this threat. Until now, Casey Research has never discussed it in public.
This threat isn’t a stock market collapse…it’s not a failure of the Social Security system…it’s not even a national debt or currency crisis. It’s much more dangerous and much more likely to happen than any of those things.
We’re talking about a major financial terrorist attack.
A total wipeout of your financial data, assets, and records…and those of many millions of other people.
If you’re like most people, you think, “There’s no way that could happen here. Surely the financial system is completely safe.”
But think about it…
• If you have $100,000 in the bank, what do you really have?
These days, it’s not a claim to hard assets like gold or silver. And it’s certainly not real cash in a bank. Many local banks don’t even keep that much cash on hand!
Just try asking your bank for $25,000 in cash. The teller will say, “We can’t give you that much money.”
If you keep your life savings in a bank or brokerage account, what you have are electronic entries that hackers can easily and quickly delete.
All the money you’ve earned…the hard work, the sweat, the sacrifice…the nest egg you’ve built to provide for your family…
Gone. In an instant.
• Cyberterrorists have already broken into the world’s most secure digital systems…
➢ In May, hackers stole information on 300,000 private tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). They used the information to claim tens of millions of dollars in fraudulent tax refunds.
➢ In April, hackers gained access to President Obama’s email. They gathered details on Obama’s personal schedule as well as private conversations with foreign officials.
➢ And earlier this year, we learned that a group of hackers infiltrated some of America’s largest and most sophisticated financial firms. The victims include JPMorgan Chase, E*Trade, and Scottrade. The hackers stole the personal data of more than 100 million customers. They even manipulated stock prices.
• A large-scale cyberattack could cripple the financial system…
E.B. Tucker, editor of The Casey Report, explains:
In today’s high-tech world, the lifeblood of our economy is a complex system of digital payments, digital book entries, and digital money.
Billions of dollars are electronically transferred every day. We bank online, shop on our computers, and pay for lunch with credit and debit cards. Even the stock exchanges are now 100% electronic.
The money in your savings, brokerage, and credit card accounts are just bits and bytes. A skilled hacker could steal it or make it vanish completely.
• Enemy foreign governments are likely to attack the U.S.’s financial system…
The U.S. has enemies all over the world: Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia come to mind. There are millions of people out there who want to see the West burn. And it’s only a matter of time before they strike us at one of our most vulnerable points: Our digital financial system.
As cybersecurity expert, Mary Galligan, recently told Bloomberg News, state-sponsored cyberterrorism is “the FBI’s worst nightmare.”
• The fallout from a cyberattack could be catastrophic…
Just imagine…what if all of the accounts at a major bank like Wells Fargo were suddenly erased? What if businesses couldn’t process digital payments? What if your brokerage told you its records had been destroyed and all evidence of your stock portfolio had disappeared? What if a cyberattack shut down our electrical grid?
I’ll tell you what would happen: An explosion of chaos. Society would break down. When people are wiped out financially, they’re often wiped out mentally and morally, too…they’ll do anything to survive, including resort to violence.
• The government and central banks cannot protect you from cyberterrorists….
They don’t want people talking about this massive threat. They want to keep it quiet.
You see, the U.S. dollar isn’t backed by gold like it was in the past. Our monetary system is built on confidence, and confidence alone.
If lots of people questioned the safety of the system and pulled their money out, it could trigger a nationwide run on the banks, a stock market collapse, and a currency crisis. It could literally lead to rioting in the streets.
• If you keep most of your money in digital form…
You must take steps to protect yourself and your family before an attack happens.
The first step is to store a sizable amount of cash in a safe place you can easily access. We recommend at least three months’ worth of living expenses. Six months’ worth is even better. You can store the cash in a safe, in a public storage container, or bury it in a waterproof container in your backyard.
This might sound extreme, but think about it…if the financial system is compromised and your debit and credit cards become useless, you’ll need enough cash on hand to pay for groceries, gasoline, and other daily necessities.
Otherwise, you’re in a vulnerable position. Having no cash on hand means you could struggle to feed your family in an emergency.
Because we believe most Americans are overlooking this huge threat, we put together a new special report titled “How to Protect Yourself from a Financial Terrorist Attack.” We talked with top cybersecurity experts and put hundreds of hours of research into this report. It explains seven specific steps you can take now to protect your money from financial terrorism. Click here to learn more.
• Switching gears, the Dow Jones U.S. Trucking Index is headed for its worst year ever…
Yesterday, it closed down 17% on the year. It’s dropped 7.1% in December alone.
The Dow Trucking Index tracks the performance of major U.S. trucking stocks. It’s only had three down years since 2001. Over that period, it’s averaged annual returns of 12%.
The chart below shows trucking stocks have been in a clear downtrend all year.
E.B. Tucker says investors should watch this trend even if they don’t own trucking stocks:
Trucks carry inventory to stores. They carry parts to the assembly plant. Then they carry assembled products to buyers.
When sales are rising, it tends to show up in trucking companies before retailers. Trucking companies also feel the pinch first when sales are falling. This is why trucking stocks often give clues about where the market’s going long before other industries.
E.B. also says the collapse in trucking stocks is an early warning sign for the rest of the market.
Transport stocks have given investors early warning signs for the past 100 years. Right now, the Dow Trucking Index is telling us business is not great. The trucks aren’t full.
This is a dire sign. It’s saying we’re in for some negative surprises in 2016.
• The U.S. stock market looks fragile…
From March 2009 through December 2014, the S&P 500 gained 204%. But the bull market has stalled this year. The S&P 500 is down 1% since January. If this trend continues, 2015 will the S&P’s first down year since 2008.
On its own, this isn’t a huge concern. However, Dispatch readers know there are many other signs U.S. stocks have already topped out…
For one, the current bull market in stocks is now 81 months old. It’s run 31 months longer than the average bull market since World War II. Of course, bull markets don’t die of old age. But they all die eventually.
On top of that, U.S. stocks are expensive. The S&P 500 is now 57% more expensive than its historical average. Again, bull markets don’t end just because stocks are expensive. But expensive stocks can fall much harder during a big selloff.
We recommend investing with caution right now. You should own a significant amount of cash and physical gold…and you should sell any overpriced stocks that are vulnerable to an economic downturn.
Chart of the Day
Oil tanker rates are at their highest level in seven years…
Today’s chart shows the daily shipping rates for very large crude carriers (VLCC), the second largest type of oil tanker. Each VLCC can carry 2 million barrels of oil.
From 2011 through 2014, VLCC shipping rates averaged $20,000/day. This year, rates have soared 79%. Earlier this month, VLCC daily rates reached $112,775, their highest level since 2008.
Meanwhile, the price of oil has plunged 32% this year. Earlier this month, oil fell to its lowest level since 2009.
Oil tanker rates can go up when oil prices go down…because ship operators charge based on how much oil they move. Their rates are not directly tied to the price of oil.
Dispatch readers know the world has a huge surplus of oil right now. All this oil needs to go somewhere, and oil tankers get paid to move it.
As you can see in the chart, it’s a great time to be an oil tanker company.
Delray Beach, Florida
December 23, 2015
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