Dec 19.2014/China sells 100 billion of USA dollar reserves and buys???/Russia buys 18.8 tonnes last month instead of selling gold/GLD advances a huge 2.99 tonnes/Inventory sits at 724.55 tonnes/No changes in SLV/

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen:

Here are the following closes for gold and silver today:


Gold: $1195.90 up $1.20   (comex closing time)
Silver: $15.99 up 10 cents  (comex closing time)




In the access market 5:15 pm

Gold $1195.80
silver $16.08



The gold comex today had a good delivery day, registering 144 notices served for 14400 oz. Silver comex registered 0 notices for nil oz.


A few months ago the comex had 303 tonnes of total gold. Today the total inventory rests at 246.96 tonnes for a loss of 56 tonnes over that period.



In silver, the open interest fell by 374 contracts despite yesterday silver was unchanged  in price  . The OI refuses to go down despite raids.  Somebody has extremely strong hands and are very patient.  The total silver OI still remains relatively high with today’s reading at 149,096 contracts. The big December silver OI contract remained constant at 101 contracts.


In gold we had a slight fall in OI with the rise in price of gold yesterday to the tune of $0.40. The total comex gold OI rests tonight at 372,834 for a loss of 981 contracts. The December gold OI rests tonight at 740 contracts losing 24 contracts.



Again, for the umpteenth time, gold surpassed the $1200 mark only to be repelled back.  Gold’s zenith was $1201.00 set at 3 am early this morning (after the first London fix) and its nadir at $1195.00 at 8 am (well before London’s second fix). The second London fix was $1196.00

Gold was in lock down mode for the entire day.  the bankers surely did not want gold to advance past the 1200 dollar level.


Silver’s first fixing was at $15.96 and then it proceeded northbound

hitting its peak at $16.11 in the access market.

It is useless to analyze trading because the bankers are manipulating gold and silver 24/7  for the entire 5 days of the week.



Today, we had a huge addition  of gold inventory   at the GLD we added 2.99 tonnes/Inventory 724.55 tonnes

In silver, no change in silver inventory

SLV’s inventory rests tonight at 338.997 million oz


We have a few important stories to bring to your attention today…

Let’s head immediately to see the major data points for today.




First: GOFO rates:



all rates moved slightly closer to the positive.  The One month GOFO and two month GOFO rates remain in  negativity.  The three month GOFO moved out of backwardation.

On the 22nd of September the LBMA stated that they will not publish GOFO rates. However today we still received today’s GOFO rates. These rates are still fully manipulated. London good delivery bars are still quite scarce.

Dec 19 2014

1 Month Rate: 2 Month Rate 3 Month Rate 6 month rate 1 yr rate

-.03.% – .01 %   +.02 % +. 045 .% +. 1350%

Dec 18 2014:

-.0625% +.0425% +.02500 % +.0275% +.11750%







Let us now head over to the comex and assess trading over there today,

Here are today’s comex results:



The total gold comex open interest fell slightly today by 981 contracts from  373,815 all the way down to 372,834 with gold slightly up by $0.40 yesterday (at the comex close). We are now into the big December contract month where the number of OI standing for the gold metal registers 740 contracts for a loss of 24 contracts. We had 0 delivery notices served yesterday so we  lost another 24 contracts or 2400 oz will not stand for the December contract month. The non active January contract month fell by 6 contracts down to 467. The next big delivery month is February and here the OI fell to 223,253 contracts for a loss of 2294 contracts. The estimated volume today was poor at 39,800. The confirmed volume yesterday was fair at 146,777 although  they had help from our high frequency traders. The comex now has no credibility and many investors have vanished from this crooked casino. Today we had 144 notices filed for 14,400 oz .

And now for the wild silver comex results. Silver OI fell slightly by 374 contracts from 149,470 down to 149,096 even though silver was unchanged yesterday. We are again losing more  short covering from our bankers. The big December active contract month saw it’s OI remain constant at 101 contracts. We had 0 notices served upon on yesterday. Thus we neither gained nor lost any silver contracts standing to delivery in the December contract month. The estimated volume today was simply awful at 11,257. The confirmed volume yesterday was fair at 35,560. We had 0 notices filed for nil oz today.  It now seems that most of the volume at the comex is done off hours.




December initial standings







Dec 19.2014



Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz 3,408.53 oz (Brinks, Manfra).
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory in oz nil
Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz nil oz
No of oz served (contracts) today 144 contracts(14,400  oz)
No of oz to be served (notices) 598 contracts (59,800 oz)
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month  2792 contracts(279,200 oz)
Total accumulative withdrawals  of gold from the Dealers inventory this month  153,424.154 oz

Total accumulative withdrawal of gold from the Customer inventory this month

 151,792.8 oz

Today, we had 0 dealer transactions

total dealer withdrawal: nil oz


we had 0 dealer deposit:



total dealer deposit: nil oz


we had 2 customer withdrawal


i) Out of Brinks:  3,312.08 oz


ii) Out of Manfra:  96.45 oz



total customer withdrawal: 3408.53 oz


we had 0 customer deposits:




total customer deposits;  nil oz

We had 1 adjustment


From the Scotia vault:


32,241.455 oz was adjusted out of the customer and this landed into the dealer account at Scotia



Today, 0 notice was issued from JPMorgan dealer account and 0 notices were issued from their client or customer account. The total of all issuance by all participants equates to 144 contracts of which 141 notices were stopped (received) by JPMorgan dealer and 3 notices were stopped (received) by JPMorgan customer account.(all issuance by Scotia = 144 contracts)

To calculate the total number of gold ounces standing for the December contract month, we take the total number of notices filed for the month (2933) x 100 oz to which we add the difference between the OI for the front month of December (740) minus the # gold notices filed today (144) x 100 oz = 339,000 the amount of gold oz standing for the December contract month.

Thus the initial standings:

2933 (notices filed for the month x 100 oz) + (740) the number of OI notices for the front month of December served upon – (144) notices served today equals 339,000 oz or 10.54 tonnes.

we lost 24 contracts or 2400 oz will not stand for delivery in the December contract month.



Total dealer inventory: 770,208.381 oz or 23.96 tonnes

Total gold inventory (dealer and customer) = 7.939 million oz. (246.96) tonnes)

Several weeks ago we had total gold inventory of 303 tonnes, so during this short time period 56 tonnes have been net transferred out. We will be watching this closely!



This initiates the month of December for gold.







And now for silver



Dec 19/2014:



 December silver: initial standings



Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory nil oz
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory 872,352.413  oz   (Brinks,CNT, Delaware )
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory nil
Deposits to the Customer Inventory 301,576.520 oz (CNT, Delaware)
No of oz served (contracts) 0 contracts  (nil oz)
No of oz to be served (notices) 101 contracts (505,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 2933 contracts (14,665,000 oz)
Total accumulative withdrawal of silver from the Dealers inventory this month  1,594,966.8  oz
Total accumulative withdrawal  of silver from the Customer inventory this month  7,5545,645.9  oz

Today, we had 0 deposits into the dealer account:

total dealer deposit: nil oz



we had 0 dealer withdrawal:

total dealer withdrawal: nil oz



We had 3 customer withdrawals:


i) Out of Delaware: 9,026.543 oz

ii) Out of Brinks:  336,740.16 oz

iii) Out of CNT: 526,585.71 oz


total customer withdrawal 872,352.413 oz



We had 2 customer deposit:


i) Into CNT:  300,591.22 oz

ii) Into Delaware: 983.3  (one decimal)


total customer deposits: 301,576.520  oz


we had 0 adjustments


Total dealer inventory: 64.594 million oz

Total of all silver inventory (dealer and customer) 174.862 million oz.



The total number of notices filed today is represented by 0 contracts for nil oz. To calculate the number of silver ounces that will stand for delivery in December, we take the total number of notices filed for the month (2933) x 5,000 oz to which we add the difference between the total OI for the front month of December (101) minus (the number of notices filed today (0) x 5,000 oz = the total number of silver oz standing so far in November.

Thus: 2933 contracts x 5000 oz + (101) OI for the November contract month – 0 (the number of notices filed today) =15,170,000 oz of silver that will stand for delivery in December.

We neither gained nor lost any silver ounces that will stand for the December silver contract.

for those wishing to see the rest of data today see: or






The two ETF’s that I follow are the GLD and SLV. You must be very careful in trading these vehicles as these funds do not have any beneficial gold or silver behind them. They probably have only paper claims and when the dust settles, on a collapse, there will be countless class action lawsuits trying to recover your lost investment.

There is now evidence that the GLD and SLV are paper settling on the comex.

***I do not think that the GLD will head to zero as we still have some GLD shareholders who think that gold is the right vehicle to be in even though they do not understand the difference between paper gold and physical gold. I can visualize demand coming to the buyers side:

i) demand from paper gold shareholders

ii) demand from the bankers who then redeem for gold to send this gold onto China

vs no sellers of GLD paper.



And now the Gold inventory at the GLD:


Dec 19.2014: a huge addition of 2.99 tonnes at the GLD/724.55 tonnes


Dec 18.2014: no change in inventory at the GLD/721.56 tonnes


Dec 17.2014: no change in inventory at the GLD/721.56 tones


Dec 16.2015  we lost 1.80 tonnes in tonnage at the GLD/721.56 tonnes


Dec 15.2014: we lost 2.39 tonnes of gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory at 723.36 tonnes

dec 12.2014: we had no change in gold inventory/GLD inventory 725.75 tonnes

Dec 11.2014: we had another addition of .95 tonnes of gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory 725.75 tonnes

dec 10.2014: we gained another 2.99 tonnes of gold at the GLD. If China cannot get its gold from London, then its only source will be the FRBNY.

Inventory: 724.80 tonnes

Dec 9.2014: we gained 2.69 tonnes of gold/inventory 721.81 tonnes

Dec 8.2014: we lost .900 tonnes of gold/inventory 719.12 tonnes

Dec 5.2014: no change in tonnage/720.02 tonnes

Dec 4 no change in tonnage/720.02 tonnes

Dec 3 no change in tonnage/720.02 tonnes/

December 2/2014; wow!! we had a huge addition of 2.39 tonnes of gold /Inventory 720.02 tonnes

December 1.2014: no change in gold inventory at GLD

Nov 28.2014: a loss in inventory of 1.19 tonnes/tonnage 717.63 tonnes

Nov 26.2014: we lost 2.09 tonnes of gold heading to India and or China/inventory at 718.82 tonnes



Today, December 19 / we had a huge addition in tonnage of gold   inventory to the tune of 2.99 tonnes / 724.55 tonnes

inventory: 724.55 tonnes.


The registered vaults at the GLD will eventually become a crime scene as real physical gold departs for eastern shores leaving behind paper obligations to the remaining shareholders. There is no doubt in my mind that GLD has nowhere near the gold that say they have and this will eventually lead to the default at the LBMA and then onto the comex in a heartbeat (same banks).



GLD : 724.55 tonnes.






And now for silver:


Dec 19.2014; No change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory 338.997 million oz.


Dec 18.2014: we lost 2.012 million oz of silver from the SLV vaults/inventory 338.997 million oz


Dec 17.2014: no change in silver inventory/SLV 341.009 million oz


Dec 16.2014/ no change in silver inventory/SLV 341.009 million oz

Dec 15.2014: we lost 1.341 million oz of silver at the SLV/Inventory 341.009 million oz

Dec 12.2014 no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory at 342.35 million oz

Dec 11.2014: we lost 2.873 million oz of silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory 342.35 million oz

December 10.2014; no change in inventory/345.223 million oz

Dec 9.2014: no change in inventory/345.223 million oz

Dec 8.2014: no change in inventory/345.223 million oz

Dec 5/2014: no change in inventory/345.223 million oz

Dec 4/we lost another 2.204 million oz of silver/inventory 345.223 million oz




December 19/2014/no change in   silver inventory at the SLV/inventory

registers: 338.997 million oz






And now for our premiums to NAV for the funds I follow:

Note: Sprott silver fund now for the first time into the negative to NAV

Sprott and Central Fund of Canada.
(both of these funds have 100% physical metal behind them and unencumbered and I can vouch for that)

1. Central Fund of Canada: traded at Negative 8.5% percent to NAV in usa funds and Negative 8.5 % to NAV for Cdn funds!!!!!!!

Percentage of fund in gold 62.1%

Percentage of fund in silver:37.4.%

cash .5%

( December 19/2014)




2. Sprott silver fund (PSLV): Premium to NAV falls to  0.31%!!!!! NAV (Dec 19/2014)

3. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV falls to negative -0.48% to NAV(Dec 19/2014)

Note: Sprott silver trust falls  into negative territory at -.31%.

Sprott physical gold trust is back in negative territory at -0.48%

Central fund of Canada’s is still in jail.







And now the COT report.


Let us head over at see the gold COT




Gold COT Report – Futures
Large Speculators Commercial Total
Long Short Spreading Long Short Long Short
182,147 63,739 23,796 132,868 247,959 338,811 335,494
Change from Prior Reporting Period
-4,714 -8,260 -1,526 7,777 6,267 1,537 -3,519
113 85 70 50 59 196 190
Small Speculators  
Long Short Open Interest  
32,932 36,249 371,743  
-5,117 -61 -3,580  
non reportable positions Change from the previous reporting period
COT Gold Report – Positions as of Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Our large specs:

Those large specs that have been long in gold pitched 4714 contracts from their long side.

Those large specs that have been short in gold covered a huge 8260 contracts from their short side.


Our commercials:

Those commercials that have been long in gold added a large 7777 contracts to their long side

Those commercials that have been short in gold added another 6267 contracts to their short side.


Small specs

Those small specs that have been long in gold pitched a large 5117 contracts from their long side.

Those small specs that have been short in gold covered a tiny 61 contracts from their short side.



And now for silver.



Silver COT Report: Futures
Large Speculators Commercial
Long Short Spreading Long Short
52,921 26,432 13,989 62,195 96,192
792 2,762 -930 2,747 1,387
73 57 45 41 47
Small Speculators Open Interest Total
Long Short 150,199 Long Short
21,094 13,586 129,105 136,613
-605 -1,215 2,004 2,609 3,219
non reportable positions Positions as of: 136 132
Tuesday, December 16, 2014   ©

 Our large specs:



Those large specs that have been long in silver added a large 1792 contracts to their long side.

Those large specs that have been short in silver added another 2762 contracts even with silver this low  (and speculators??)




Those commercials that have been long silver pitched a tiny 930 contracts from their long side.

Those commercials that have been short in silver added another 2747 contracts to their short side.


Small specs;


Those small specs that have been long in silver pitched 605 contracts from their long side.

Those small specs that have been short in silver covered 1215 contracts from their short side.





And now for your most important physical stories on gold and silver today:





Early gold trading from Europe early Friday  morning:

Mark O’Byrne is off today/no report from Goldcore

(courtesy Mark O’Byrne/Goldcore)








As promised to you yesterday, Russia does not sell any gold:

It purchased  18.66 tonnes of gold!!!!


(courtesy zero hedge)


Russia Busts “Gold-Selling” Rumors, Reports It Bought Another 600,000 Ounces Taking Gold Holdings To New Record High



Yesterday, when we reported the latest rumor of Russian gold selling, this time out of SocGen, we said that “it should be noted that SocGen and its “sources” have a conflict: in an indirect way, none other than SocGen is suddenly very interested in Russia stabilizing its economy because as we wrote before,Russia Contagion Spreads To European Banks : French SocGen, Austrian Raiffeisen Plummet” which also sent SocGen’s default risk higher in recent days. So if all it will take to stabilize the RUB sell off, reduce fears of Russian contagion, and halt the selloff of SocGen stocks is a “source” reporting what may or may not be the case, so be it.”

Moments ago, as if to deter further speculation that Russia is indeed converting hard money earned from real resources for fiat paper, the Russian monetary authority made it quite clear, that at least in November, Russia not only did not sell any gold, but in fact boughtanother 600K ounces in the month of November.


So add another 600K to the chart below:

Which of course means that the very “Russia is selling” rumors that were so effectively used to keep the price of gold low into the recent risk-flaring episode, were capitalized on by the very same Russia, which we do however know sold some $8 billion in US Treasurys in October bringings its total holdings of US paper to the second lowest since 2008…

… and which used these same low prices not to sell, but to buy. At the lowest prices possible.







Posted on 19 Dec 2014 by


Koos Jansen reports on the same story as above:


(courtesy Koos Jansen)

Russia Is Not Selling Gold, Bought 18t In November

There are rumors doing the rounds that Russia is selling gold. My first reaction to this news was that is contradictory to what Putin stands for. Russia has been the most openly aggressive buyer of gold in the past years and Putin never made it a secret he wants to move away from the US dollar as the world reserve currency – gold potentially playing a role in a new monetary order. The last thing Russia wants to do is sell the asset they have demonstrated to value the most. Besides, the Russian central bank (CBR) also has other FX reserves that it could sell to support the Ruble, if it wants to intervene.

The rumors about Russia selling gold were spread by Yahoo, Business Insider, and Zero Hedge/SocGen. Two other bloggers already did the debunking for us; Market Update wrote about Yahoo’s article and Bron Suchecki just published a must read on Zero Hedge/SocGen/Business Insider.

The final confirmation came from Vladimir himself. Yesterday the President of Russia gave his yearly press conference. When journalist Vyacheslav Terekhov (Interfax) asked about the crisis Russia currently is in, Putin made a clear statement:

VYACHESLAV TEREKHOV: There is something I would like to clarify, Mr President. Judging by the situation in the country, we are in the midst of a deep currency crisis, one that even Central Bank employees say they could not have foreseen in their worst nightmares.

Do you believe that things will get better in two years, as you mentioned, and we will recover from this financial and economic crisis? Criticism was piled on the Government and the Central Bank for the ruble’s Black Monday and Tuesday. Do you agree with this criticism?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: I said that given the most unfavourable foreign economic situation this could last (approximately, because no one can say for certain) for about two years. However, it may not last that long and the situation could take a turn for the better sooner. It could improve in the first or second quarter of next year, by the middle of next year, or by its end

…Overall, I think it is up to the Central Bank to decide whether to reduce the interest rate or not, they should see and react accordingly. They should not hand out our gold and foreign currency reserves or burn them on the market, but provide lending resources. 

UPDATE 1:59 PM CET. The CBR just disclosed it has purchased 18 tonnes of gold in November. The total Russian official gold reserves stoud at 1,188 tonnes on December 1, 2014.

Russian Official Gold Reserves

Koos Jansen
E-mail Koos Jansen on:






Last month India imported 148 tonnes of gold.  So far this year: 748 tonnes, but it has been increasing its purchases per month as shown in a graph below.


In silver:  1254 tonnes or 40.316 million oz.  So far this year:218 million oz.


The world produces ex China ex Russia, 700 million oz so India is importing approximately 35% of annual production.


***Koos has just emailed me that China’s demand for last week’s reporting period was 50 tonnes.




(courtesy Koos Jansen)




Posted on 19 Dec 2014 by

India Silver Import 6789t YTD

Gold and silver import into India in November was spectacular. According to the DGCIS provisional estimates India imported 148 tonnes of gold, year to date India has imported 745 tonnes, down 3 % y/y.

India Gold Import November 2014

In 2013 the import duty on gold was raised from 4 % to 10 % and the 80/20 rule was implemented – the latter required all importers to re-export 20 % of all gold imported. On November 28, 2014, the 80/20 rule was suspended, nevertheless India imported the largest amount of gold in November since May 2013.

Why was import elevated? First of all because demand was strong.

India Gold Premium

Second, I think there has been little obstruction to import gold. Let me explain what I mean with obstruction; the premiums on gold in November averaged a little over 3 % (after subtracting the 10 % import duty). Strong official import and low premiums tell me there is very little gold smuggled into India. When premiums skyrocketed it meant that gold imports were obstructed by the 10 % import duty, the 80/20 rule and the confusion in paper work that initially was caused by the 80/20 rule; tightening supply and raising the premiums. This is confirmed by an inverse correlation between official imports and premiums  (falling premiums coincide with rising official imports and vice versa). Now the premiums are low I think there is little obstructing for gold to be imported through the official channels. In November gold importers were still required to pay the 10 % import duty and re-export 20 % of their cargo, however, it seems these procedures were smoothened compared to previous months.


In November India imported 1,254 tonnes of silver – a record as far as my data goes back – year to date total import stands at 6,789 tonnes, up 28 % y/y. India is heading to  import approximately 7,406 tonnes in total this year.What’s yearly global silver supply again?

India Silver Import November 2014

Silver premiums are relatively constant in India.

India Silver Premium

Koos Jansen
E-mail Koos Jansen on:








China has a $54 billion plus trade surplus.  However China’s foreign reserves instead of rising by $54 billion it fell by $100 billion.

These would be official reserves.  Thus what is China sovereign buying   off balance sheet?  We know that they loaded mega tankers full of oil.

No doubt they are loading the boat on whatever gold they can find.  If the $100 billion were to be all gold, that would amount to 3,100 tonnes which would be impossible to acquire.  I believe that they are loading the boat on all things real.


(courtesy zero hedge)




Just What Is China Buying?


Something strange is going on in China. On one hand, as the chart below shows, China’s trade surplus is growing and growing, and just hit record highs. In other words, China is – on paper – receiving record amounts of foreign currencies in exchange for its (mostly) goods exports.

That much is clear in the Chinese (record) trade balance chart below:


Yet on the other hand, a chart from Deutsche Bankshows something very peculiar: even as China’s foreign reserves should be rising, they are not only dropping, but just suffered their biggest quarterly drop in the past decade!


This validates what the TIC data has shown recently, namely that China has not only not been adding to US Treasury but reduced its TSY holdings to the lowest since February 2013, and that contrary to what some have alleged, China is not using Belgium as an offshore-based conduit for Treasury accumulation.


A bigger question is just what is China buying “off the books” to account for this reserve decline, amounting to about $100 billion in Q3, or is this merely due to even more off the books “capital flight” as some has speculated. Or is China indeed actively buying commodities – either as shown here previously for Commodity Funding Deals involving gold or in physical bulk, perhaps to quietly fill up its new Strategic Petroleum Reserve (see “Record Oil Tankers Sailing to China Amid Stockpiling Signs“) – and bypassing the official ledger in doing so. If so, which commodities is China buying, and how big will the foreign reserve plunge be in the fourth quarter.

For the answer to the latter we will check back in a little over a month when the “official” data is released. As for the former, one can only speculate







Such crooks!!


(courtesy GATA/Bloomberg)



Fed grants banks a reprieve from Volcker Rule, their second win this month


By Jesse Hamilton and Cheyenne Hopkins
Bloomberg News
Thursday, December 18, 2014

WASHINGTON — Banks, adding to their wins in Washington this month, got a reprieve from the Volcker Rule that will let them hold onto billions of dollars in private-equity and hedge-fund investments for at least two more years.

The Federal Reserve granted the delay today after banks said selling the stakes quickly might force them to accept discount prices. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has $11.4 billion in private-equity funds, hedge funds and similar investments, while Morgan Stanley has $5 billion, securities filings show.

“This is a great holiday present by the Fed,” said Ernest Patrikis, a former Federal Reserve Bank of New York general counsel who is now a partner at White & Case LLP. …

… For the remainder of the report:…




Eric King interview Egon Von Greyerz,Andrew Huszar and Dr Stephen Leeb


all are excellent interviews


(courtesy Egon Von Greyerz/A. Huszar, and S Leeb/Eric King/Kingworldnews/GATA)


King World News interviews von Greyerz, Huszar, and Leeb


3:40p ET Thursday, November 18, 2014

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

King World News has interviews with gold fund manager Egon von Greyerz —…

— former Federal Reserve official Andrew Huszar —…

— and fund manager Stephen Leeb:…

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.






Koos Jansen and T Deneester are interviewed by  P Buitink on the gold repatriation and what is means;


(courtesy Koos Jansen)




Posted on 19 Dec 2014 by

Koos Jansen & Tuur Demeester About The Gold Repatriation Movement

Today I was interviewed, (together with Tuur Duurmeester), by Paul Buitink about the global gold repatriation movement that is taking place right now. Additionally we discussed Bitcoin and the future of the monetary system.

Something I try to limit as much as I can in my writings is speculate. However, the conversation led me to speak freely about all possible scenarios regarding central banks gold policy and geo-politics. To provide more background information for the topics discussed I made a list with supplementary articles and data.

3:00 – Russia has 1,151 tonnes in official gold reserves currently, not “nearly 1,100 tonnes”, according to latest data from the IMF.

Russian Official Gold Reserves

5:00 – Analysis Dutch Gold Repatriation: Why, How And WhenEurosystem Increasing Allocated Official Gold Reserves & Why Austria Is Likely To Repatriate Its Gold From London

8:00 – Belgium Investigating To Repatriate All Gold Reserves

9:20 – German Gold Repatriation Accelerating

12:10 Analysis Dutch Gold Repatriation: Why, How And When

12:50 – Dutch had euro-exit plan at height of crisis

14:35 – Why Did European Central Banks Sell Gold?

17:40 – Guest Post: Australia Audits Gold Reserves At BOE

22:00 – Is Russia selling gold to support the ruble?

23:11 – Wikileaks: US Knew Exactly How To Provoke Russia

38:25 – Tuur was right, there is a Malca-Amit vault in the Singapore Freeport. (I’m probably too much focussed on China)

Koos Jansen
E-mail Koos Jansen on:




Alasdair Macleod on derivatives..


(courtesy Alasdair Macleod/GATA)


Alasdair Macleod: Derivatives and mass financial destruction


11:05a ET Friday, December 19, 2014

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

The U.S. government’s transferring to itself this month liabilities for defaulted derivatives resulting from bank failures is alarming for the haste with which it was enacted, GoldMoney research director Alasdair Macleod writes today.

“Instead of a normal consultative procedure allowing the legislators to draft the appropriate clause,” Macleod writes, “the wording was lifted at short notice from a submission by Citibank, which has some $61 trillion worth of derivatives on its own books, with virtually no alterations. Either the insertion was correcting an oversight at the very last minute or, alternatively, it has suddenly become an urgent matter for the too-big-to-fail banks. The coincidence of current market volatility and this hurried legislation cannot be lightly dismissed and suggests it is the latter.”

Macleod’s commentary is headlined “Derivatives and Mass Financial Destruction” and it’s posted at GoldMoney’s Internet site here:…

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.







Craig Roberts sums up perfectly the criminal game orchestrated by the Fed and Wall Street



(courtesy Craig Roberts/)


Paul Craig Roberts: Financial market manipulation is the new trend — Can it continue?


12:35p ET Friday, December 19, 2014

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Former Assistant U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul Craig Roberts earned his tin-foil hat years ago but he deserves a whole bauxite mine for his commentary this week, “Financial Market Manipulation Is the New Trend — Can It Continue?”

Roberts writes: “In America today there are no free financial markets. The markets are rigged by the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing, by gold price manipulation, by the Treasury’s Plunge Protection Team and Exchange Stabilization Fund, and by the big private banks.”

His commentary is posted at his Internet site here:…

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.




a must read..



(courtesy Paul Craig Roberts/Kingworldnews/Eric King)



Market rigging by U.S. hinges on gold exports to Asia, Roberts tells KWN


2:06p ET Friday, December 19, 2014

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

The U.S. government’s comprehensive rigging of markets will end, former Assistant Treasury Secretary Paul Craig Roberts tells King World News today, when the West is no longer able to deliver gold to Asia. Since Western gold price suppression reduces production by gold mines, Roberts says, it hastens its own end. An excerpt from the interview is posted at the KWN blog here:…

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.








And now for the important paper stories for today:




Early Friday morning trading from Europe/Asia

1. Stocks up on major Asian bourses as the  yen continues to fall    to 119.33, a fall of 37 basis points.

1b Chinese yuan vs USA dollar/ yuan  weakens terribly to 6.2202
2 Nikkei up 411 points or 2.39%

3. Europe stocks down  /Euro down/ USA dollar index up to 89.40/

3b Japan 10 year yield at .36% !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 119.33

3c Nikkei now above 17,000

3e The USA/Yen rate just above the 119 barrier
3fOil: WTI 55.26 Brent: 60.19 /all eyes are focusing on oil prices. This should cause major defaults.

3g/ Gold slightly up/yen down;

3h/ Japan is to buy the equivalent of 108 billion usa dollars worth of bonds per MONTH or $1.3 trillion

Japan’s GDP equals 5 trillion usa/thus bond purchases of 26% of GDP

3i Japan to buy 100% of all new Japanese debt and by 2018 they will have 25% of all Japanese debt. Fifty percent of Japanese budget financed with debt (see Von Greyerz)

3j Oil rises this morning for both WTI and Brent/

3k Italian bank Carige shares halted!! Trouble ahead here

3l  Russia purchases 600,000 oz of gold/18.66 tonnes of gold. She refuses to sell any gold despite the fall in the rouble.

3m Gold at $1197 dollars/ Silver: $15.90

3n USA vs Russian rouble:  ( Russian rouble up in value)  59.67!!!!!!  Russian currency stabilizies

3o  today is triple witching/much less liquidity today.

4. USA 10 yr treasury bond at 2.21% early this morning. Thirty year rate well below 3%  (2.84%!!!!)
5. Details: Ransquawk, Bloomberg/Deutsche bank Jim Reid



(courtesy zero hedge)/your early morning trading from Asia and Europe)


Futures Continue Rising As Illiquid Market Anticipates More Volatility In Today’s Quad-Witching


Yesterday’s epic market surge, the biggest Dow surge since December 2011 on the back of the most violent short squeeze in three years, highlighted just why being caught wrong side in an illiquid market can be terminal to one’s asset management career (especially if on margin), and thus why hedge funds are so leery of dipping more than their toe in especially on the short side, resulting in a 6th consecutive year of underperformance relative to the confidence-boosting policy tool that is the S&P. And with today’s session the last Friday before Christmas week, compounded by a quadruple witching option expiration, expect even less liquidity and even more violent moves as a few E-mini oddlots take out the entire stack on either the bid or ask side. Keep an eye on the USDJPY which, now that equities have decided to ignore both HY and energy prices, is the only driver for risk left: this means the usual pre-US open upward momentum ignition rigging will be rife to set a positive tone ahead of today’s session.

On the last trading day of the week, markets have been subdued with most European equities trade lower after coming off best levels with the FTSE MIB among the underperformers due to the weakness seen in the Italian banking sector with Banca Carige shares halted. Furthermore, the SMI is also under pressure as Roche (-5.3%) discontinued their scarletred drug trial with MorphoSys (-8.3%). In fixed income markets, Bunds initially edged lower taking cues from yesterday’s continued post-FOMC sell-off across USTs, but has since pared those earlier losses as choppy price and light volumes dictate the state of play.

One hour ago a Reuters report was released citing ECB sources, stating that in any QE program, officials are looking into making weaker Euro-zone countries face a large cost and take larger risk burdens, the reports further suggest that the ECB could require weaker central banks, such as Greece or Portugal, to make provisions to cover any potential losses from a sovereign bond buying QE program. A step in this direction could help push Germany into accepting a sovereign QE program. However, these comments failed to impact the market and if anything pushed European stocks lower.

Asian equities traded mostly higher after the rally on Wall Street, which saw the DJIA soar over 400 points and the S&P 500 gain the most since Jan’13. Nikkei (+2.39%) led with gains underpinned by further JPY weakness and is on course for its best session since Oct. 31. Hang Seng traded up 1.25% while the Shanghai Comp (+1.7%) pared earlier losses and made its 6th consecutive weekly gain. Further speculation for PBOC stimulus has stemmed from the on-going Chinese liquidity crunch as money-market rates jumped the most since the June 2013 record cash crunch. The 7-day and 14-day Repo rates touched their steepest level since January 2014 while the O/N Shibor rate fixed at its highest since February 6th.

The USD-index has remained flat with most major pairs following suit with USD/JPY trading higher aided by the slightly weaker JPY after the BoJ raised their assessment on output and exports providing some reprieve to the Japanese economy. In addition, RANsquawk sources note of a large USD 10.8bln expiry in EUR/USD at 1.2300 and a USD 3.8bln expiry at 1.2250-60 at the NY cut (1000EST/1500GMT).

In the energy complex, WTI and crude have slightly bounced back from yesterday’s sharp selloff helped by the stable USD. Brent rebounds to $60 as the falling knife catchers attempt to time the lows once again following late day selloff yesterday. “We have seen a little bit of a strike back this week from the market, stabilizing since hitting a new low on Tuesday,” says Saxo Bank head of commodity strategy Ole Hansen cited by Bloomberg. “The fact we continue to see bottom fishing could indicate investors are trying to dip their toes back into the market, but we are not out of the woods yet.”

Separately, Copper bounced back from yesterday’s lows as it heads for its 1st weekly decline this month, with prices pressured following yesterday’s weak China property data and the current liquidity concerns which has led to increases in Chinese money market rates. Elsewhere, iron-ore prices were marginally higher overnight to halt its prior 9-day decline. In precious metals, Gold has traded relatively range-bound in sympathy with the USD which has been flat due to a lack of macro news dictating movements.

Bulletin Headline Summary

  • European equities trade lower with light volumes and choppy price action in a rather subdued session.
  • Looking ahead, we have possible comments from Fed’s Evans and Lacker, quadruple witching and Canadian CPI and Retail Sales.
  • Treasuries head for weekly loss led by 7Y notes as crude oil advances, ruble strengthens; S&P 500 up ~3% this week, biggest gain since October, after Fed promised patience on rate increases.
  • U.S. Treasuries are on track to return about 6% in 2014 led by double-digit gains for 10Y and 30Y sectors, according to BofAML indexes, even as Fed policy evolution pushed 2Y, 3Y yields to highest since 2011
  • UST 5/30 curve spread has narrowed by more than 100bps to lowest levels since Jan. 2009
  • Banks added to their wins in Washington this month by getting a reprieve from the Volcker Rule that will let them hold onto billions of dollars in private-equity and hedge-fund investments for at least two more years
  • While slumping crude prices are projected to boost U.S. economy by leaving more cash in consumers’ pockets, they also threaten to limit growth, tax revenue and job opportunities from Texas to North Dakota, subduing the most rapidly expanding U.S. regions
  • ECB could require central banks in countries such as Greece or Portugal to set aside extra money or provisions to cover potential losses from any bond-buying, reflecting the riskiness of their bonds, Reuters reports, citing unidentified officials
  • France’s Hollande floated the prospect of scaling back sanctions on Russia, becoming the first major EU leader to offer to ease the Kremlin’s economic pain
  • The Swiss National Bank’s resort to negative rates leaves President Thomas Jordan holding a weaker hand for when the ECB ramps up stimulus
  • London home prices are losing ground to other U.K. cities as restrictions on mortgage lending deterred buyers in the country’s best-performing market this year
  • China revised the size of the economy by $308.8b, adding almost the entire output of Malaysia; GDP of world’s second- largest economy was 58.8t yuan in 2013, according to a nationwide economic census; revision won’t affect 2014 growth
  • China’s benchmark money-market rate jumped the most since a record cash crunch in June 2013 as new share sales locked up funds in the banking system
  • Sovereign yields mostly higher. Asian stocks gain, European stocks lower, U.S. equity-index futures rise. Brent crude and copper gain, gold lower


As usual, DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight summary



Before we make our final comments of the year regular readers will know I’m one for pointless anniversaries well today marks another one. 5 years ago today on the first very snowy day for years I moved out of London after 14 and a half years and migrated back home to the Surrey countryside. As a result my golf handicap has improved immeasurably but my social life has diminished. I don’t get told off for playing my music too loud anymore but I also have to drive to get a pint of milk. I have to commute rather than walk everyday but I don’t get so frustrated at having to battling through hoards of people most of the time. I don’t pay ridiculously high service charge on a flat anymore but 5 years on I still haven’t finished exorbitant refurbishments. What looked a bargain at the time is proving less so with all the building work. Overall I’d recommend it to people who are naturally becoming more anti-social as they age, who love golf, who like to play music louder and who want much, much more space for their money. However be realistic about any house that needs work. It will cost you 3 or 4 times what you think, especially if you get married during the process and have your eyes opened to the finer things in life!!! Who knew the cost of wallpaper! Overall no regrets although my retirement has been pushed back a few decades!!

Having said that if markets extrapolate the past 2 days continuously for a few years maybe I can retire before my building work is finished. The S&P 500 (+2.40%) saw its best 2-day gain (+4.49%) since November 2011 with the Dow (+2.43%) last night seeing its best single-day gain since December 2011. The S&P 500 is now back to just 0.7% off its December 5th highs. Most of the wires seem to link it to the Fed being dovish and using the word ‘patient’ but the truth is that you could equally say that Yellen made some surprisingly hawkish comments given all that has been going on of late. In reality equity markets were also given a late boost from a turnaround in energy stocks despite what turned out to be a weak day for oil overall. The energy component of the S&P 500 closed +2.13% with the bulk of the gains coming in the last hour of trading as both WTI and Brent rallied 1%-1.5% off their intraday lows at the end of the US session. It was in fact another day of
volatility in oil markets however with significant intraday high-to-low ranges for both WTI (7.97%) and Brent (7.11%). After both grades traded as high as +4% in the morning, WTI (-4.18%) and Brent (-3.12%) closed weaker, dropping to $54.11/bbl and $59.27 respectively – the latter closing below $60 for the first time since May 2009. Comments from the Saudi Arabia oil minister Al-Naimi did little to calm the oil market. Specifically the minister said that ‘it is difficult, if not impossible’, that the kingdom or OPEC would carry out any action that may result in a reduction of its share in market and an increase of others. Although the minister did provide some hope for those hoping that the current drop in prices is more of a temporary thing, stating that ‘what we are facing now and what the world is facing is a temporary situation and will pass’.

Credit markets strengthened further, CDX IG closed 4.6bps tighter (nearly 12bps in two days) whilst US HY energy names extended their two-day gains to rally 61bps in cash spread terms. Spreads have now tightened 96bps over the past two days to 780bps – back to last Thursdays levels. Treasuries also swung around, the yield on the 10y benchmark opened at 2.136%, traded to an intraday low of 2.109% and then weakened in the afternoon to close near its wides at 2.208% – 7bps wider on the day. With the market largely focused on further digesting the Fed statement and comments, as well as keeping up with the swings in oil, data yesterday was something of an afterthought although readings were largely unexciting. Jobless claims once again printed below 300k, decreasing by 6k to 289k and nudging the four-week average down to 298.75k. Elsewhere the flash PMI services reading came in weaker than expected at 53.6 (vs. 56.3 expected) and the December Philadelphia Fed business outlook dropped to 24.5 from 40.8 in November – although this still remains at the higher end of the historical range. The leading index series (+0.6% vs. +0.5% expected) was largely in line.

Back to markets and earlier in the day Europe closed notably stronger. The Stoxx 600 finished +2.95% which marked the largest one day gain since November 2011. Energy stocks (+2.12%) benefited from the earlier day’s rally in oil although much of the focus was on the Swiss National Bank who announced that they are to introduce negative interest rates on deposits (- 0.25%) in an effort to curb demand for the Swiss Franc. The Franc weakened as much as 0.7% versus the Euro – only to then retrace the bulk of the losses and finish 0.26% weaker at 1.204 to the Euro. Over in Russia, the ruble closed relatively unchanged (+0.05%) at 61.622 although swung over the course of Putin’s annual conference in which the President appeared to shift the blame for Russia’s woes onto western nations. Putin did however appear to acknowledge a potential for oil prices to stay continually low, noting that ‘under the most negative external economic scenario, this situation can last two years’, and going on to say that ‘if the situation is very bad, we will have to change our plans, cut some things’. Russian equities closed firmer, the $- RTS closed +6.50% whilst 10y hard currency yields rallied 26bps to close at 6.845%. Following the results of the first round of the Presidential election, Greek assets continue to firm. The ASE closed +1.47% and short-end yields bounced further off their recent highs. The 3y notes closed 42bps tighter at 9.556% whilst 5y notes rallied 35bps to 8.956%. Elsewhere, Bunds finished weaker with the 10y yield climbing 2.4bps off Wednesday’s record low to close at 0.617%.

Before we look at the day ahead, markets in Asia are following the US lead this morning with most major bourses trading in the green. The Nikkei (+2.16%), Hang Seng (+1.30%) and Kospi (+1.71%) are all trading firmer, although Chinese equities have bounced between gains and losses. The CSI 300 is currently unchanged and the Shanghai Comp +0.61%. The Bank of Japan, as largely expected kept its current pace of stimulus on hold at ¥80tn. It’s a quiet end to the week in the US this afternoon with just the December Kansas City Fed manufacturing index print due. Of more interest perhaps will be comments from the Fed’s Evans and Lacker who are due to speak this afternoon. Before this in Europe this morning we’ve got trade data due out for the Euro-area as well as PPI and consumer confidence prints due in Germany. In France we get manufacturing and business confidence and in Italy we receive industrial orders.





The Car lobby in Japan states that abenomics is a total disaster:


(courtesy Reuters/zero hedge)


Further Proof That Abenomics Is A Total Disaster: Japan Car Lobby Admits “Sense Of Panic”

“Abenomics is not having clear traction across the country,” warned the head of Japan’s auto lobby on Thursday as unexpectedly weak domestic salesrevealed – yet again – what an utter disaster government policy is. “We feel a sense of crisis about the fact that cars are actually not selling,” he exclaimed, saying that, as Reuters reports April sales tax hike was only partly to blame for the domestic sales weakness, citing the government’s failure to boost consumption. But, but, but Japanese stocks are up 1000 points in the last 2 days so how can this be?


As Reuters reports,

The head of Japan’s auto lobby on Thursday said a “sense of crisis” hung over the industry, with unexpectedly weak domestic sales revealing the failure of government stimulus policies and currency turmoil hitting key export markets.


Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) Chairman Fumihiko Ike said an April sales tax hike was only partly to blame for the domestic sales weakness, citing thegovernment’s failure to boost consumption.


“We are seeing continued weakness in domestic new car sales that go beyond a backlash to the April sales tax hike,” he said, adding that new car sales were down by double digits after the tax hike.


Both Toyota and Honda cut their domestic vehicle sales targets when they announced their second-quarter results in November and October respectively.


Ike, who also serves as Honda chairman, said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s stimulus policies – known as Abenomics and designed to end years of deflation – had failed to encourage spending on big-ticket items like cars.


“Abenomics is not having clear traction across the country and even though as an industry we benefit from the weaker yen, we feel a sense of crisis about the fact that cars are actually not selling,” he said.

Don’t worry – next quarter will be great… Aso, Kuroda, Abe, and Suga all promised…

Ike also said plunging emerging-market currencies were having an “undeniable” impact on Japan’s auto sector.


Automakers could be hit hard by the erosion of purchasing power in key emerging markets, such as Russia, where the rouble dived as much as 20 percent against the dollar earlier this week and is down by some 50 percent against the U.S. currency so far this year.


Asian automakers see Russia as a particularly attractive market, and the currency volatility struck just as they were ramping up their presence in the country.

*  *  *
So not “unequivocally good” for the world economy then?




The low price of oil is creating havoc for the United Kingdom oil industry.  Officials state that it is close to collapse!!


(courtesy zero hedge)




“It’s A Huge Crisis” – The UK Oil Industry Is “Close To Collapse, People Are Being Laid Off”


It seems like only yesterday when back on October 11, we first explained – and previewed – the collapse of oil courtesy of the secret deal between the US and Saudi Arabia. However, it seems like only this morning when we subsequently wrote that “If The Oil Plunge Continues, “Now May Be A Time To Panic” For US Shale Companies.” In retrospect, it was, and with the price of crude far below mid-October levels, the pain for both Russia and shale is now quite unbearable (even as Saudi Arabia explained earlier today that the reason for collapsing oil has nothing to do with supply andeverything to do with plunging demand, and after seeing this chart we believe it).

All of this was perfectly obvious months ago to anyone who cared. To wit:

… while we understand if Saudi Arabia is employing a dumping strategy to punish the Kremlin as per the “deal” with Obama’s White House, very soon there will be a very vocal, very insolvent and very domestic shale community demanding answers from the Obama administration, as once again the “costs” meant to punish Russia end up crippling the only truly viable industry under the current presidency.

So with great delight we present the latest blowback from Obama’s “brilliant” strategy to cripple Putin: in addition to the default wave about to crush America’s own shale industry, America’s biggest foreign ally and military partner when it comes to “ideologically pure missions of liberation” – the UK, and specifically its North Sea oil industry which according to the BBC is in a “crisis” and according to Robin Allan, chairman of the independent explorers’ association Brindex, the industry was “close to collapse”. 

The story is the same as in the shale patch, only in the far colder and stormier North Sea: “Almost no new projects in the North Sea are profitable with oil below $60 a barrel, he claims. ‘Everyone is retreating'”

“It’s almost impossible to make money at these oil prices“, Mr Allan, who is a director of Premier Oil in addition to chairing Brindex, told the BBC. “It’s a huge crisis. This has happened before, and the industry adapts, but the adaptation is one of slashing people, slashing projects and reducing costs wherever possible, and that’s painful for our staff, painful for companies and painful for the country.”

“It’s close to collapse. In terms of new investments – there will be none, everyone is retreating, people are being laid off at most companies this week and in the coming weeks. Budgets for 2015 are being cut by everyone.

And to think it was just yesterday that the WSJ telling anyone who believes propaganda that “Christmas has come early for British consumers.

Tumbling oil prices, rising wages and declining borrowing costs are lifting households’ spending power, sending a powerful signal that consumers are set to keep Britain’s economy growing in the New Year.


BOE officials in December concluded the decline in the oil price in particular should act as a mini-stimulus for the U.K. and its major trading partners, even as Russia and other energy producers reel from crude’s recent slide. The BOE estimates the oil price has fallen 35% in sterling terms since June.

Which once again shows that when it comes to being utterly clueless about the real world, central bankers truly have no peers. Well, side from their media cheerleaders of course.

But hold on: wasn’t only Putin supposed to be getting crushed as a result of the oil collapse? Suddenly the “secret” Saudi agreement isn’t looking all that hot.

As for the truly “best” news: the collapse in the oil field will remain hidden from official government data. Mr Allan said many of the job cuts across the industry would not have been publicly announced. Oil workers are often employed as contractors, which are easier for employers to cut.

His remarks echo comments made by the veteran oil man and government adviser Sir Ian Wood, who last week predicted a wave of job losses in the North Sea over the next 18 months.

BOE bullshit aside, this is what is really going to happen:

The US-based oil giant ConocoPhillips is cutting 230 out of 1,650 jobs in the UK. This month it announced a 20% reduction in its worldwide capital expenditure budget, in response to falling oil prices.


Other big oil firms are expected to make similar cuts to their drilling and exploration budgets. Research from the investment bank Goldman Sachs predicted that they would need to cut capital expenditure by 30% to restore their profitability at current prices.


Service providers to the industry have also been hit. Texas-based oilfield services company Schlumberger cut back its UK-based fleet of geological survey ships in December, taking an $800m loss and cutting an unspecified number of jobs.


On Wednesday Aberdeen-based Wood Groupannounced a pay freeze for staff, and cut rates for its contractors.


Apache, one of the North Sea’s biggest producers, has followed suit and will impose a 10 percent reduction on its contractors’ wages from January 1st.

So what happens to the UK oil and energy industry? “The industry was hoping to see continued high levels of investment, stemming the inevitable decline of production as North Sea’s resources are used up. But falling oil prices have put that in doubt.”

However, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: “The recent sharp reductions in oil prices are very challenging for companies active in the North Sea. We have seen very little evidence of new projects being cancelled or deferred in reaction to lower oil prices.”

Which means the real pain is only just starting, first in the UK and soon everywhere else.




Now, USA oil rig count tumbles the most in over 5 years as demand for oil is dropping rapidly!!


(courtesy zero hedge)




US Oil Rig Count Tumbles Most In Over 5 Years,”Demand From Oilfield Customers Dropping Rapidly”


“Unequivocally” not good. Following last week’s surge in initial jobless claims for ‘Shale’ states, Baker Hughes confirms rig counts continue to tumble.  The last two weeks have seen the total US rig count fall the most since 2009 (and Canada down 9.3% this week alone). Seemingly confirming this weakness, The Kansas City Fed notes respondents see non-durable (petroleum) demand “sluggish”, and rather awkwardly against the “everything’s great meme,” one respondent exclaims,“demand from oilfield customers is dropping rapidly.” The current US rig count is now the lowest in 5 months.

US Rig Counts are sliding fast…


But just as in 2008, there is a lag… this has only just begun…


And Canada is getting crushed…


The Kansas City Fed region has a slightly bigger share of energy-related industries than the national average and the impact of falling oil prices is popping up in today’s KC Fed factory survey. The composite index edged up to 8 this month from 7 in November, but the bank notes the strength is in durable goods manufacturing. Nondurables, which includes petroleum and coal products, have “remained sluggish.” One respondent comments “Our industrial markets are OK, but demand from oilfield customers is dropping rapidly.”

From Kansas Fed

“There is more general optimism about the economy, although the overall economy is still not great. Our industrial markets are OK, but demand from oilfield customers is dropping rapidly.”


“Rumored production cuts so far have not impacted our order backlog. We are still operating at full capacity while striving hard to expand capacity and hire more production personnel.”


“The price of crude oil is a large factor that will impact selling prices for some of our products. If it remains low, we will see prices for some products drop significantly as demand drops.”


“The prices we charge for our products can’t keep pace with the non-stop growth of the costs incurred for compliance with Federal agencies. Federal regulatory burden continues to sap our enthusiasm, risk taking, and meaningful job growth and pay raises.”


“We expect raw material prices to primarily be determined by demand and we are concerned demand could be lower. Parcel shipping companies have already announced healthy increases for 2015 even with declining energy costs. We expect our labor costs to continue to increase at about 3% annually.”


“Overbuilding of capacity will restrain price increases. Higher input prices will result in restricted margins unless offset by cost savings and efficiency improvements.”

*  *  *

Paging Larry Kudlow…





I said to some people, it would not surprise me if the major bankers bribed the Greek parliamentarians to vote positive for the Greek President and avoid a snap election.  That election would no doubt bring the Syriza party into power and they want to exit the EU.


Guess what, a scandal is now brewing as someone did offer a huge bribe to vote positive:


(courtesy zero hedge)




Greek Vote Bribery Scandal Brings Goldman’s “Worst Case” Scenario Closer




While no one will be entirely surprised in today’s consequence-less world, the “bombshell” news that Greek Independent MP Pavlos Haikalis claims he was offered EUR 2-3 million in order to vote for Greece’s next President is no less shocking in its exposure. As AP reports, it is the second such claim from the Independent Greeks. Another of the party’s lawmakers claimed last month that someone had approached her with the intention of bribing her. The government immediately jumped into defense mode and dismissed the claims as “badly acted theater” and called for any evidence to be made public. However, as KeepTalkingGreece reports, “sources” from the prosecutor’s office told media that Haikalis did indeed submit footage, and according to latest information, told the briber’s name to the Greek Police. This can only bring Goldman’s worst-case scenario – a Cyprus-style collapse – even closer for Greece.


As AP reports,

A lawmaker from a small right-wing party claimed Friday that someone he did not identify had attempted to bribe him to vote in favor of electing Greece’s new president.


Bailed-out Greece is in the midst of a presidential vote that could trigger early general elections, if its 300-member parliament fails to elect a president by the third round of voting on Dec. 29. The sole candidate, nominated by the government, fell 20 votes short of the necessary 180 in the first round Wednesday.


Actor Pavlos Haikalis of the Independent Greeks claimed during a phone-in to a live television program that he was offered about 700,000 euros in cash, a loan repayment and advertising contracts, with the alleged bribe’s total value amounting to about 2-3 million euros ($2.4-$3.7 million). He said he had informed a prosecutor about two weeks ago and had turned over audio and video material.


It is the second such claim from the Independent Greeks. Another of the party’s lawmakers claimed last month that someone had approached her with the intention of bribing her.


Government spokeswoman Sofia Voultepsi dismissed the claims as “badly acted theater” and called for any evidence to be made public.


“It is obvious why these ridiculous performances are set up: so that a president of the republic is not voted for, and the country is led to early elections,” Voultepsi said in a statement. “For reasons of public interest, the evidence must be made public immediately. If there is no evidence, legal procedures must begin immediately against the perpetrators of this wretched affair.”


The Independent Greeks’ popularity has been waning, with opinion polls indicating it could struggle to make it into parliament in general elections.

And KeepTalkingGreece provides some more local color…

“It started as a joke, but then things got serious,” Haikalis adding that he had video and audio material and that he took the case to the prosecutor and that he also gave name and address of the briber.


The MP refused to name the person who attempted to bribe him, but stressed that the person “was known to the economic and political world.”


Chaikalis’ claims come just two days after the first round of voting for the country’s next President and four days before the second round. Last Wednesday, the coalition government of Nea Dimokratia and PASOK failed to gather enough votes to elect Stavros Dimas for President. 127 ND lawmakers, 28 PASOK and 5 MPs voted in favor of Dimas. The 160 votes were far below the needed 200.


Independent Greeks is a nationalist, anti-austerity party that voted against Dimas candidacy. The party want snap polls.


Pavlos Haikalis told ANT1 TV that he submitted the video material to prosecutor 15 days ago adding that “we kept the issue secret waiting for Justice to intervene, but nothing has happened so far.”



“Sources” from the prosecutor’s office told media that Chaikalis did indeed submitted footage. According to the Justice sources, the footage contained “clear sound” but “blur image.” Therefore the prosecutor brief the police that established a special team to optimize the video quality and recognize the briber.



According to latest information, Chaikalis told the briber’s name to the Greek Police.


As whole Greece is keen to learn who attempted to bribe an MP in order to elect the President and avoid early elections, according to investigative journalist Kosta Vaxevanis , the briber was allegedly from the “environment of  former PM George Papandreou” and “somebody who has worked for a Greek and a German bank.”


So far it is not clear whether the briber was just a middleman.


According to Vaxevanis’s website To Kouti tis Pandoras, Haikalis had three meetings with the briber, he had brief Independent Greeks chairman Panos Kammenos and they had decided to wiretap the meetings and conversations. The police had entrapped Haikalis’ home but that the briber did not appear in the crucial meeting.

Bringing Goldman’s worst-case scenario closer…

In the event that the parliament fails to elect a president, general elections would be held and market uncertainty/pressures would extend. At this stage it is important to understand that market pressures are not linked to the democratic process of elections nor to a potential government change, whatever the ensuing government formation may be. They are linked to the risk of policy discontinuity and a severe clash between Greece and international lenders. More specifically, we think the room for Greece to meaningfully backtrack from the reforms that have already been implemented is very limited. Any such attempt would lead to an interruption of official financing to Greece.


Examining the downside scenario.


To be sure, even in the event of a government change, there is room for a cooperative solution between Greece and Europe. Greece has made significant reform progress between 2012 and the gap between what has already been implemented and what remains to be done is not insurmountable.


Also, the incentives for a clash are not there. For instance any Greek government would likely want to capitalize on the momentum that the economy is building on the activity front, rather than trigger a disruptive capital flight that would lead Greece to a double–dip recession. In addition, given that more than 80% of Greek debt is held by the official sector and given that any OSI would be feasible only as part of an agreement with the Euro-area, there is an incentive for a Greek government to pursue cooperative solutions.


However, the history of the Euro-area crisis has shown that the probability of an “accident” can never be dismissed, when it comes to intra-EMU politics. And it is important for markets to be able to understand and quantify the aspects of a potential downside scenario, where official financing to Greece is interrupted.


The Biggest Risk is an Interruption of the Funding of Greek Banks by The ECB.


Pressing as the government refinancing schedule may look on the surface, it is unlikely to become a real issue as long as the ECB stands behind the Greek banking system. In fact, refinancing became a lot more pressing between 2011 and 2012. But financing needs were met despite the impasse in negotiations between Greece and international lenders – partly via the issuance of T-bills repoable at the ECB by Greek banks. Such methods can always be revisited at times of extreme need.


But herein lies the main risk for Greece. The economy needs the only lender of last resort to the banking system to maintain ample provision of liquidity. And this is not just because banks may require resources to help reduce future refinancing risks for the sovereign. But also because banks are already reliant on government issued or government guaranteed securities to maintain the current levels of liquidity constant.


And this risk can become more pressing from a timing perspective. At the heat of the Greek crisis, there was evident deposit and broader capital flight, which Greek banks helped accommodate with ECB’s help via the ELA facility. In the event of a severe Greek government clash with international lenders, interruption of liquidity provision to Greek banks by the ECB could potentially even lead to a Cyprus-style prolonged “bank holiday”. And market fears for potential Euro-exit risks could rise at that point.

*  *  *



I found the latest Bruce Krasting article on Mr Jordan, the chief honcho of the Swiss National Bank  (central bank of Switzerland) very enlightening. He goes into great detail, the peg initiated by the Swiss at 1.20 Swiss Francs/euro.  This was done to weaken the franc in order for the Swiss to better themselves in trading with European countries.

He outlines in detail his folly and how trouble may erupt next month


(courtesy Bruce Krasting)




Fog of War

Bruce Krasting's picture


I think this man must be worried. He has a huge weight on his shoulders. This is Thomas Jordan, the head of the Swiss National Bank.




Mr. Jordan has excellent academic credentials. He’s a scholar, and a ‘lifer’ at the SNB:

University of Berne, PHD Economics

Department of Economics at Harvard University,three-year post-doctoral research.

1997 SNB Economic Advisor in Department 1.

On 18 April 2012, appointed Chairman of the Governing Board of the SNB.


Unfortunately, Mr. Jordan’s academic prowess is not going to be of much help with the mess now on his desk. He needs to learn how to play – and win – heads up guts poker. In my experience that’s a skill one is born with, or never acquires.

Jordan is a General who has a war on his hands. It’s a currency war; only financial blood will flow. But the stakes are high. Mr Jordon understands that more than the Swiss economy is at risk. The idea of the “All Powerful Central Bank” is being called into question. General Jordon is on the front lines of a conflict that could spread throughout Europe, and then to Japan.


Thomas Jordon has enormous power. He can print a biblical amount of money with a keystroke. He’s pledged to do exactly that. But, Jordan also has some significant strategic weaknesses:


– Jordan has no allies in this war.

* The US Treasury has put the SNB on its watch list of ‘currency manipulators’. Don’t look to the US Fed to get involved in this fight.

* The Japanese could care less about the Swiss war – they’re trying to wage their own war.

* The SNB has no friends at the ECB either. If anything, Mario Draghi is working against the SNB.

– Jordon inherited the Swiss Franc peg policy. He came in when Hildebrand was thrown out. For the first time in his tenure he’s being called to fire his guns in anger. He’s an academic, not a warrior.

– Jordon is playing defense. He has promised to hold a line in the sand regardless of the consequences. So Jordon must now stand and take on all comers. The circumstances in Switzerland are today 180 degrees opposite to that of England twenty-years ago. That said, this story is looking a hell of a lot like the devaluation of the Pound. Who can really say, “I’ll take em all on at once!”

– There is a “stink’ feature to the CHF peg policy. The benefits to the Swiss economy from the peg are at the expense of the French, Italian and Spanish economies.

– The peg policy has the support of the Swiss Parliament -for now.

– The Macro story outside of Switzerland is piling up on the SNB:

* Draghi has promised that a decent sized bazooka will go off at the next ECB meeting (1/22/15). One of Draghi’s objectives will be to cheapen the Euro -exactly what Jordon does not want to hear.

* The ongoing Russian story is a factor that increases the need for a safe haven for hot money. Zurich and Geneva have always been a destination for money looking for a safe harbor.

* Greece is going to go down to the wire on December 29 with the final vote. It will be very close. There is a real possibility that GREXIT comes back onto the table. This development would bring with it huge pressure on the EURCHF.

* The Yen is the worst place to hold reserves. Some of the money leaving Japan is headed to Switzerland. There is no safe haven left – but the CHF still comes close. All those Francs will have to be sold by Mr. Jordon – there are no other sellers.


The one thing that Jordan can’t do in this war is appear to be weak. He has to be decisive if he is to win. He has to take on the FX market and beat it to submission. Mr. Jordon is off to a bad start – I think he pulled a weak move this morning.

The SNB announced that it was going NIRP. For a few minutes there was some market shock and awe. But the new SNB rate will be -0.5% – that’s nothing! The new SNB measures will not take effect until 1/22/15. This coincides with the Draghi bazooka. What the SNB has done is create a beacon that is shining on a date that is only sixteen trading days from today. The SNB should have made the measures immediate, and more costly if it wanted to win a skirmish in the war. But it chose to let the players off easy.

EURCHF forward swap bids got hit this morning with the news of negative interest rates. The swap is the cost of being short the EURCHF. As of the close in NY the two month forward EURCHF swap was a crummy 8 ticks!


Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 5.26.53 PM


This is not a penalty at all. 8 ticks goes by the spot market in seconds. This cost is not going to keep the players at bay. It’s an incentive versus a disincentive. Round One was a disappointing draw for the SNB. Round Two will start in January.







And along those same lines:


Central Banks Are Now Uncorking The Delirium Phase


Submitted by David Stockman via Contra Corner blog,

Virtually every day there is an eruption of lunacy from one central bank or another somewhere in the world. Today it was the Swiss central bank’s turn, and it didn’t pull any punches with regard to Russian billionaires seeking a safe haven from the ruble-rubble in Moscow or investors from all around its borders fleeing Mario Draghi’s impending euro-trashing campaign. The essence of its action was that your money is not welcome in Switzerland; and if you do bring it, we will extract a rental payment from your deposits.

For the time being, that levy amounts to a negative 25 bps on deposits with the Swiss Central bank—-a maneuver that is designed to drive Swiss Libor into the realm of negative interest rates as well. But the more significant implication is that the Swiss are prepared to print endless amounts of their own currency to enforce this utterly unnatural edict on savers and depositors within its borders.

Yes, the once and former pillar of monetary rectitude, the SNB, has gone all-in for money printing. Indeed, it now aims to become the BOJ on steroids—-a monetary Godzilla.

So its current plunge into the netherworld of negative interest rates is nothing new. It’s just the next step in its long-standing campaign to put a floor under the Swiss Franc at 120. That means effectively that it stands ready to print enough francs to purchase any and all euros (and other currencies) on offer without limit.

And print it has. During the last 80 months, the SNB’s balance sheet has soared from 100B CHF to 530B CHF——a 5X explosion that would make even Bernanke envious. Better still, a balance sheet which stood at 20% of Swiss GDP in early 2008—-now towers at a world record 80% of the alpine nation’s total output. Kuroda-san, with a balance sheet at 50% of Japan’s GDP, can only pine for the efficiency of the SNB’s printing presses.

Historical Data Chart

As per the usual Keynesian folly, this is all being done in the name of protecting Switzerland’s fabled export industries.

Let’s see. During the most recent year, Switzerland did export $265 billion of goods, representing an impressive 41% of GDP. But then again, it also imported $250 billion of stuff. Accordingly, for every dollar of watches, ball point pens, (Logitech) mouses, top-end pharmaceuticals and state of the art high speed elevators it exported, it imported 95 cents worth of petroleum, raw and intermediate materials, semi-finished components and expensive German cars.

Accordingly, allowing the market to drive its FX rate below the magic 120 floor (i.e. appreciating the CHF) would not bring on Armageddon —just a reduction in its giant import bill to offset any loss of earnings from its export trades. Instead, however, the mad money printers at the SNB are pursuing an altogether different financial proposition. Namely, they are going massively and incorrigibly “long” the Euro, and, in fact, have already stuffed their bulging one-half trillion dollar balance sheet with vast emissions of the ECB’s unwanted euros.

Now why in the world would any rational investor want to get massively long the squabbling, dissembling monetary crackpots who run the ECB and the even worse gang of self-serving parasites who urge them on from Brussels?  Needless to say, that question doesn’t require much contemplation. The fact is, the SNB’s crazy money printing scheme to throttle CHF appreciation is just plain irrational.

Yet this very irrationality is part and parcel of the central bank race to the currency bottom that is driving the global financial system toward a monumental implosion. Prior to Mario Draghi’s accidental discovery in mid-2012 that by the mere emission of words (“whatever it takes”), he could temporarily park a $1.3 trillion chunk of his balance sheet with the fast money traders of London and New York (i.e. they and the various national banks front-ran the promised QE), the ECB’s balance sheet had expanded at a blistering pace, as well.

In fact, between 2007 and early 2012, the ECB printing presses had been working overtime, tripling their footings in a relative heart-beat of historical time.

Historical Data Chart

Facing this tsunami of euro, the SNB simply responded in kind. After only a modest rise in the CHF exchange rate, it has launched  a veritable monetary rampage. Consequently, it has now committed what amounts to one-year’s output by the Swiss people to the dubious proposition that something will not go bump in the night among the German, French, Italian, Spanish, Greek, Dutch etc. patriots—–financially illiterate as they may be—who malinger in Frankfurt.

So add Thomas J. Jordan, Chairman of the SNB and PhD economist, to the rogue’s gallery of financial arsonists who are setting up the global financial system for a fiery conflagration. To nearly every last man and woman, these central bankers are now daily espousing pure monetary rubbish, making up theories as they go along to justify an out of control spiral of debt monetization and extreme interest rate repression.

To reprise, there is no “deflation” threat whatsoever in the Eurozone. It’s just made-up chatter among the financial apparatchiks based on the fact that the long-suffering citizens of these countries are finally enjoying a moment of price stability compared to the official 2% inflation “target” . Yet there is not a shred of proof that cutting the purchasing power of savings in half every working generation—–that’s what 2% compounds to over 30 years—-results in more growth and wealth.

Stated differently, the ECB is fixing to unleash a new round of QE based on mere ritual incantation.Buying the junk bonds of Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece cannot possibly generate more productivity, enterprise or investment in the euro-zone. Interest rates are already at the zero-bound and households, business and banks are already saturated with “peak debt” and have been so since 2008.

Historical Data Chart

What QE in the Eurozone will do is enable fiscal fraud in the peripheral countries and a further inflation of already lunatic valuations of sovereign debt. It is now an established fact that the Italian government, for example, cannot get out of its own way, and that its public debt is in a death spiral. Yet today the Italian 10-year is trading at a 1.9% yield because the fast money traders are happy to hold it on zero cost repo—- until the ECB takes it off their hands at an enormous windfall gain a few months down the road.

Italy Government Debt to GDP

Historical Data Chart

The above pictures are no more anomalous than today’s 35 bps yield on 10-year JGBs——the debt of a government which is hopelessly bankrupt and for which there is virtually not a single bid anywhere outside of the open market desk of the BOJ. Nor does it make any more sense than today’s heated rip on Wall Street based on the word “patient” at a point in the cycle where 71 months of free carry trade money has already inflated financial asset values to the nose-bleed section of history.

In short, the central banks of the world are embroiled in a group-think mania so extreme and irrational that it puts one in mind of the spasm of witchcraft trials that erupted in the Massachusetts Bay Colony nearly four centuries ago.  As a practical matter, this mania amounts to a race to the currency bottom and the final extinguishment of the price discovery mechanism in every financial market on the planet.

Flying blind, the financial markets are thus bubbling – in the delirium phase – like never before. That is, until they don’t.







Your more important currency crosses early Friday morning:



Eur/USA 1.2272 down .0016

USA/JAPAN YEN 119.33 up 0.371

GBP/USA 1.5621 down .0046

USA/CAN 1.1597 up .0012



This morning in Europe, the euro is  down , trading now well below the 1.23 level at 1.2272 as Europe reacts to deflation and announcements of massive stimulation and crumbling bourses. In Japan Abe went all in with Abenomics with another round of QE purchasing 80 trillion yen from 70 trillion on Oct 31.  He now wishes to give gift cards to poor people in order to spend. The yen continues to trade in yoyo fashion.  This morning it settled  down in Japan by 37 basis points and settling just above the 119 barrier to 119.33 yen to the dollar.  The pound is down this morning as it now trades just below the 1.57 level at 1.5621.(very worried about the health of Barclays Bank and the FX/precious metals criminal investigation). The Canadian dollar is down today trading at 1.1597 to the dollar.



Early Friday morning USA 10 year bond yield: 2.21% !!! par  in basis points from Thursday night/


USA dollar index early Friday morning: 89.40 up16 cents from Thursday’s close


The NIKKEI: Friday morning up 411 points or 2.39%

Trading from Europe and Asia:
1. Europe all in the red

2/ Asian bourses all in the green … Chinese bourses: Hang Sang in the green ,Shanghai in the green,  Australia in the green: /Nikkei (Japan) green/India’s Sensex in the green/

Gold early morning trading: $1197.00




Closing Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 2.73% down 4 in basis points from Thursday

Closing Japanese 10 year bond yield: .36% !!! par in basis points from Thursday



Your closing Spanish 10 year government bond, Thursday ,down 4 in basis points in yield from Friday night.

Spanish 10 year bond yield: 1.70% !!!!!!
Your Friday closing Italian 10 year bond yield: 1.95% down 1 in basis points from Thursday:

trading 25 basis points higher than Spain:







Closing currency crosses for Friday night/USA dollar index/USA 10 yr bond:

Euro/USA: 1.2231 down .0057

USA/Japan: 119.54 down 0.593

Great Britain/USA: 1.5614 down .0054

USA/Canada: 1.1612 up .0035

The euro fell badly again in value during the afternoon , and it was way down by closing time , finishing well below the 1.23 level to 1.2231. The yen fell badly in the afternoon, and it was down by closing  to the tune of 59 basis points and closing well above the 119 cross at 119.54. The British pound lost considerable ground during the afternoon session and it was down on the day closing at 1.5614. The Canadian dollar was well down in the afternoon and was down on the day at 1.1612 to the dollar.

Currency wars at their finest today.



Your closing USA dollar index: 89.59 up 35 cents from Thursday.

your 10 year USA bond yield , down 3 in basis points on the day: 2.18%!!!!



European and Dow Jones stock index closes:



England FTSE up 79.27 or 1.23%

Paris CAC down 7.84 or 0.18%

German Dax down 24.10 or 0.25%

Spain’s Ibex down 27.70 or 0.27%

Italian FTSE-MIB down 77.16 or 0.40%

The Dow: up 26.65 or 0.15%

Nasdaq; up 16.98 or 0.36%

OIL: WTI 57.81 !!!!!!!

Brent: 62.09!!!!


Closing USA/Russian rouble cross: 59.57  strengthened by almost 2 roubles per usa dollar.






And now for your more important USA economic stories for today:

Your trading today from the New York:



Last Minute Fizzle Fails To Dent Best 3-Day Stock Surge In 3 Years


For old time’s sake…


What a week!!

  • WTI’s best day in over a year
  • S&P 500 2nd best week in 2 years
  • Dow’s best 3-day run in 3 years
  • USD at 8 year highs

The Dow rips over 800 points off its lows in 3 days, S&P over 100 near record highs.. before a weak close…


The best 3-day run in 3 years


Off the lows – quite a meltup…


Overall the week was big for Small Caps -best week in 2 months; S&P’s 2nd best week in 2 years…


Treasury yields rose modestly on the week…


…rolling over notably today (despite equity’s exuberance)


The USDollar soared 1.6% this week…


To the highest since April 2006


Commodities were all lower on the week – mirroring the surge in the USD…


Oil had quite a run… ripping today but unable to get back to the $59 levels of resistance that have stalled it for the last week… Oil’s best day in a year



Charts: Bloomberg




Let’s wrap up this week’s review with greg Hunter of USAWatchdog


(courtesy Greg Hunter/USAWatchdog)




WNW 171-Fed and Congress Signal Trouble, Putin Defends Russia, ISIS War


By Greg Hunter’s  (Friday 12.19.14)

My top story is the economy, and I think the Fed and Congress just signaled that something is seriously wrong, and it’s going to get worse.  First off, the Federal Reserve just came out and said that it was going to be “patient” when normalizing the monetary policy.  I know Wall Street is jubilant and the stock market spiked on the news, but I think this is really ominous, and it is nothing to be celebrated.  To me, that means don’t expect the Fed to raise interest rates anytime soon because the economy is much worse than what they are telling you.  Why else would Fed Head Janet Yellen come out and say the Fed was going to keep the easy money policies for a“considerable time.”  If we did have a so called “recovery,” wouldn’t you be raising rates and pulling back on the juice?  I think the Fed knows the economy will continue to sink, and if it lets off the money printing gasoline, the whole thing tanks.  Economist John Williams says, “The great dollar calamity nears.”  We are constantly told that the economy is in a so-called “recovery,” and yet, a large percentage of young people in their 20’s and 30’s are forced to live at home.  Also, you don’t have a strong economy with nearly 93 million no longer counted in the work force.  I think the Fed is scared and also knows the Christmas spending numbers are going to be the first big sign that the U.S. economy has a big problem.

The second big warning sign came from Congress, last week, in the form of gutting the Dodd-Frank law that restricted derivative trading and the use of depositor money for Wall Street gamblers.  Now, bankers can use depositor money and if or when it blows up, depositors and taxpayers will be on the hook for billions or even trillions of bad bets by the big banks.  Former Assistant Treasury Secretary Paul Craig Roberts was on this week, and he thinks the trouble may come from the oil derivatives. You know you got a problem when the main stream media highlights bonds taking a hit because of a plunge in oil prices.  You know there is massive leverage in the oil shale sector, and bonds backing that industry are tanking.  They are not coming back until the price of oil comes back up.  Why else would big banks like JP Morgan and Citigroup be pushing this bailout to Congress?  The big banks likely have some very bad bets and are going to need another massive bailout.  I think Congress gave a big tipoff by packing this depositor and taxpayer rip-off in the spending bill that President Obama just signed into law.  You know it was a bad deal for Main Street when Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren votes against it with the likes of Republican Senator Ted Cruz.  They are polar opposites, but not on this issue.  About 40 Senators voted against it from both parties, but it was not enough.

Falling oil prices may be a joy at the pump here, but for Russia it is a nightmare.  There is talk of China bailing out Russia.  There are rumors of bank runs in Russia despite a new 17% interest rate.  Russia’s currency, the ruble, has had its buying power cut in half in a matter of months.  It is crystal clear the U.S. and Russia are at economic war, and Vladimir Putin gave a speech this week to essentially say the Russian Bear is not going to roll over.  There is talk of increased sanctions on Russia by the United States, but an unintended consequence is the sanctions that are hurting Russia are also hurting Europe.  This adds to the economic volatility and probability of a black swan that could come out of Europe in the form of an economic calamity.  It they go down, we will too.  The U.S. Congress has also just voted to send weapons to Ukraine.  They are calling it “lethal aid,” and it may be lethal to Ukrainians as this is going to further ratchet up the conflict in that part of the world.  It looks like the next move will be Russia’s, and who knows what a not-so-wounded bear will do.  The U.S. should expect some payback and it might wreck an already teetering economy here in the U.S.

I don’t have much on the internet hack of Sony.  I think it is a side story, and it may be a test of how weak the internet security really is here in America.  I also think reopening relations with Cuba was a very bad deal because the U.S. did not get much in return.  Democrats like Senator Robert Menendez say it “vindicates the brutal behavior” of the Cuban government.  Republican Senator Marco Rubio says President Obama “betrayed” Cubans fighting for freedom.  Maybe President Obama did this to break up the relationship Cuba has with Russia.  Who knows, but the two Cuban Americans in the Senate from both sides of the aisle think it was a bad deal for a variety of reasons.

Join Greg Hunter as he analyzes these stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up.

That is all for today.


Have a great weekend

I will see you Monday night

bye for now




  1. Crikey Harvey Compared to the credit crisis of 2007, based on the utter collapse of subprime mortgages, there does not seem to be a bit of news that could be considered cheery.

    Well maybe one thing other than the celebration of Christ’s birth
    David Cameron, PM of a small island nation (Not Cyprus) said Russia is not fit to be a member of an international community
    Putin, as Marx–Groucho that is, was heard to say “I would not want to be a member of an international community that did not want me as a member”
    So there Cameron, you toffee-nosed malodorous twit


  2. boobla sisky · · Reply

    Jesus is a myth.


  3. Roy Fields · · Reply

    You have started using a lot of light blue print which is very difficult for me to read.


  4. Back in October Mr. Organ said the silver and gold would run out and it would cause a crisis before December 2014. He made these predictions on USAWATCHDOG.COM but so far nothing has taken place other than the drop in gas prices.


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