TOPLEY’S TOP 10 April 19 2024 

1.Not Many People Would Win This Trivia Question—Gold Outperformed S&P on 100-Year Basis.

Jim Reid Deutsche Bank Gold has got a lot of attention in the last couple of months. It’s now up around +17% since the start of March, making it one of the best performing global assets in that time frame.

In today’s CoTD we give a brief annotated history of Gold. Regular readers of my long-term studies will know that my big picture view on inflation has always been based around gold. When you have a gold standard where money is linked to gold you don’t get long-run inflation, since the ability to create new money is constrained by the fact it’s linked to gold. But when you break ties with Gold, inflation is always likely to be just around the corner when viewed from a longer-term perspective, as that constraint disappears and the temptation to create more money eventually wins out. So in a world of fiat money and high debt, Gold is always going to be an attractive part of a portfolio. The fact that it’s out-performed the S&P 500 this century, even with US equities seemingly bullet proof, tells you a lot about the macro environment we’ve seen this millennium so far.

2.Gold vs. S&P 5-Year…Gold Wins.

3.S&P Pullback by Sector.

4.Equity Risk Premium

I am not an expert is this chart

5.KRE Regional Bank ETF

Closed back below 200-day

6.China Selling U.S. Treasuries.

Zerohedge For the 9th month of the last 11China’s Treasury holdings declined in February (the latest TIC data), dropping by $22.7BN. Additionally, it has now been 24 of the last 28 months that China’s Treasury holdings have declined, now back at practically its lowest level since June 2009…

7.Who Cares if China Sells?  Communism Sucks

Foreign holdings of US Treasuries hit record high; Japan holdings rise, data shows

Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss


By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Foreign holdings of U.S. Treasuries surged to a record in February, its fifth straight monthly rise, Treasury Department data released on Wednesday showed.

Holdings totaled $7.965 trillion, up from a revised $7.945 trillion in January. Treasuries owned by foreigners rose 8.7% from a year earlier.

Holdings of Treasuries grew the most in Belgium, by $27 billion, to hit $320 billion. Japan, the largest non-U.S. holder of Treasuries, increased its U.S. government debt to $1.167 trillion, the largest since August 2022 when the country’s holdings were at $1.196 trillion.

Investors have been alert to the threat of Japanese intervention in the currency market to boost the yen, which plunged to a 34-year low of 154.79 per dollar on Tuesday.

The Bank of Japan intervened three times in 2022, selling the dollar to buy yen, first in September and again in October as the yen slid toward a 32-year low of 152 to the dollar.

In September and October 2022, Japan’s Treasury holdings declined $131.6 billion from $1.196 trillion in August.

China’s pile of Treasuries also fell in February to $775 billion, data showed. The monthly decline of $22.7 billion was the second biggest among the 20 major countries on the Treasury’s list.

Holdings of Treasuries by China, the world’s second largest economy, have been declining, reaching $763.5 billion in February, the lowest since March 2009.

Britain listed its Treasury holdings at $700.8 billion, up about $9 billion from January.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield started February at 3.863% and ended the month at 4.252%, up nearly 39 basis points. Yields rose as a slew of solid economic data was released that month, reflecting expectations that the Federal Reserve will delay cutting interest rates.

Major U.S. asset classes had inflows during the month, the data showed.

On a transaction basis, U.S. Treasuries posted inflows of $88.8 billion, up from $46.3 billion in January.

Foreign buying of U.S. corporates and agencies persisted in February, with inflows of $52.7 billion and $3.7 billion, respectively.

U.S. equities showed a minor inflow of $400 million, compared with outflows of $15.4 billion in January.

Overall, net foreign acquisitions of long- and short-term securities, as well as banking flows, showed a net inflow of $51.6 billion in February, up from outflows of $30.8 billion the previous month, Treasury data showed.

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Richard Chang)

8.House panel says China subsidizes fentanyl production to fuel crisis in the United States—Communism Sucks

BY KEVIN FREKING WASHINGTON (AP) — China is fueling the fentanyl crisis in the U.S. by directly subsidizing the manufacturing of materials that are used by traffickers to make the drug outside the country, according to a report released Tuesday by a special House committee focused on countering the Chinese government.

Committee investigators said they accessed a government website that revealed tax rebates for the production of specific fentanyl precursors as well as other synthetic drugs as long as those companies sell them outside of China.

“Through its actions, as our report has revealed, the Chinese Communist Party is telling us that it wants more fentanyl entering our country,” said Rep. Mike Gallagher, the Republican chairman of the special House committee. “It wants the chaos and devastation that has resulted from the epidemic.”

In November, President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a resumption of bilateral cooperation on counternarcotics with a focus on reducing the flow of precursor chemicals and synthetic drug trafficking. But the congressional report raises questions about whether China is following through.

The report’s findings were released Tuesday as part of a hearing examining China’s role in the fentanyl epidemic in the U.S. Most overdose deaths in the U.S. continue to be linked to fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. Inexpensive fentanyl is increasingly cut into other drugs, often without the buyers’ knowledge.

9.The U.S. Has Been Close to These Levels Before…Illegal Encounters at Border Hit 1.5m in 1980s and 2000…..2m 2023

WSJ By David LuhnowAlicia A. CaldwellJuan Forero

10.What Skipping Breakfast Does to the Brain

For starters, less happiness, more loneliness, and worse sleep.


  • The typical American breakfast is notoriously unhealthy.
  • What the brain prefers us to eat for breakfast, and when, is not always good for the rest of the body.
  • Frequent breakfast skipping was associated with lower happiness, loneliness, and poor sleep.
  • The mantra “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper” could help.

In online forums, some bodybuilders seem convinced that skipping breakfast will not harm the body or interfere with adding more muscle mass. Some contributors to this myth suggest that our hunter/gatherer ancestors did not eat breakfast because they had to start hunting for breakfast as soon as they woke up.

In reality, we do not know what our ancestors ate for breakfast, but I would not be surprised if they tossed down some raw roots, nuts, and seeds before heading out onto the savannah to find food. Still, what we know about breakfast, in general, suggests these particular bodybuilders are incorrect.

What is Breakfast?

The typical American breakfast is notoriously unhealthy. As a result, some proponents of the “skip breakfast” ideology defend their position by arguing that breakfast does not involve eating nutritious foods.

Americans indeed tend to prefer a nice blend of fat, salt, and sugar for breakfast. Donut stores are positioned along the most popular routes to work because that’s what we want to eat in the morning.

What’s more, most American adults, when queried, perceive that typical American breakfast foods are well suited for breakfast despite their poor nutritional value. People feel that more nutritious alternatives that they usually consume at lunch or dinner are simply less appropriate for breakfast.

Consequently, people are reluctant to include more nutritious alternatives to their breakfast selections. This likely explains why the cereal aisle at my grocer offers only one brand without added sugar.

Should You Eat Sugar at Breakfast?

Yet some sugar at breakfast may be a good thing. Sugar is an effective cognitive enhancer—you can read Your Brain on Food for more on this topic—and studies of people who ate breakfast found that increased blood sugar improved memory function. The improvement in memory function correlated with blood glucose concentrations.

In contrast, skipping breakfast adversely affected the ability of subjects to recall a word list and a story read aloud. They also had difficulty recalling items while counting backward. Skipping breakfast did not affect intelligence, just memory.

Fortunately, the decline in memory performance associated caused by skipping breakfast was reversed by the consumption of a sugary beverage. It appears that the consumption of simple carbohydrates with a high glycemic index, e.g. cereals and donuts, influenced memory abilities by temporarily increasing blood glucose.

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The Physical Effect of Unhealthy Breakfasts

However, what the brain prefers us to eat, and when, is not always good for the rest of the body, and a bad breakfast can have mental and physical consequences.

There is a relationship between eating an unhealthy breakfast and abdominal obesity and body mass index (BMI). Further, some indicators of mental health—including self-rated health, body satisfaction, and life satisfaction—are significantly related to breakfast quality. Age and gender also play a role: Girls and older people have a higher risk of diet quality negatively affecting their mental health.

Interestingly, skipping breakfast of any type significantly increased the probability of depressionstress, and psychological distress in all age groups. Frequent breakfast skipping was associated with lower happinessloneliness, short sleeping, long sleeping, restless sleep, and poor academic performance. Eating and sleeping are clearly related to good mental and physical health.

What if I Delay Breakfast Until Later?

The body is influenced by our daily rhythms of eating. One recent study examined the effects of eating the majority of each day’s calories later in the day. Overweight women were divided into a breakfast group (700 kcal breakfast, 500 kcal lunch, 200 kcal dinner) or a dinner group (200 kcal breakfast, 500 kcal lunch, 700 kcal dinner) for 12 weeks.

The breakfast group showed greater weight loss and waist circumference reduction. Fasting glucose and insulin decreased significantly in the breakfast group. Average triglyceride levels decreased by 33.6 percent in the breakfast group and increased significantly in the dinner group.

Skipping breakfast and then overeating in the evening appear to play a significant role in weight gain and obesity. Furthermore, people who skip breakfast report not feeling as satisfied by their food and being hungry between meals.

If this sounds like you, then it may be time to enjoy breakfast again—and overall, the take-home message from many human studies is to eat a big breakfast and a small dinner. I suggest the new mantra: Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.