May 19/Gold rebounds northbound by $1.25 and silver is up 16 cents/the dollar tanks again/The amount of silver standing increases again for the 15th consecutive trading day/Huge Chinese Telecom Unicom admits to falsified revenue over a 5 year period/Bullard claims that the uSA economy is not doing well despite other Fed officials who claim that it is in good shape!

GOLD: $1253.90  up $1.25

Silver: $16.82  up 16  cent(s)

Closing access prices:

Gold $1256.00

silver: $16.88

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

SHANGHAI GOLD FIX:  FIRST FIX  10 15 PM EST  (2:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)

SECOND FIX:  2:15 AM EST  (6:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)

SHANGHAI FIRST GOLD FIX: $1259.45 DOLLARS PER OZ

NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME:  1250.00

PREMIUM FIRST FIX:  $9.45

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SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1260.02

NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: 1250.20

Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$9.82

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LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX:  5:30 am est  $1251.85

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1251.00

LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX  10 AM: $1252.00

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. $1252.70

For comex gold:

MAY/

NOTICES FILINGS TODAY FOR APRIL CONTRACT MONTH:  11 NOTICE(S) FOR 1100  OZ. 

 TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 519 FOR 51900 OZ    (1.6143 TONNES)

For silver:

For silver: MAY

33 NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR 165,000  OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 4547 for 22,735,000 oz

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

END

For 15 consecutive days, the amount standing for physical has risen.  On First day notice 16.8 million oz were standing; tonight 22.94 million oz. It looks to me that sovereign China wants its silver back as it looks like we have a determined player with deep pockets willing to take silver away from the comex.

Today the dollar collapsed and it has been heading southbound on 7 out of the last 8 trading sessions which is good for our precious metals.

 

 

Let us have a look at the data for today

.

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In silver, the total open interest  FELL  BY ONLY 3,036  contracts DOWN to 209,871 DESPITE THE FALL IN PRICE OF SILVER THAT TOOK PLACE WITH YESTERDAY’S TRADING (DOWN  26 CENT(S). OUR BANKER FRIENDS NEEDED A LOT MORE SILVER CONTRACTS TO FALL FROM THE SILVER TREE. In ounces, the OI is still represented by just OVER 1 BILLION oz i.e.  1.049 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 150% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China). WE MUST HAVE HAD CONSIDERABLE BANKER SHORT COVERING YESTERDAY IN THE SILVER ARENA.

FOR THE NEW FRONT MAY MONTH/ THEY FILED: 33 NOTICE(S) FOR 165,000  OZ OF SILVER

In gold, the total comex gold FELL BY A TINY 1060  contracts DESPITE THE FALL IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($4.85 with YESTERDAY’S TRADING). The total gold OI stands at 444,819 contracts.

we had 11 notice(s) filed upon for 1100 oz of gold.

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With respect to our two criminal funds, the GLD and the SLV:

GLD:

We had no changes in tonnes of gold at the GLD:

Inventory rests tonight: 850.71 tonnes

.

SLV

Today: no changes in inventory/

THE SLV Inventory rests at: 343.815 million oz

Here is a strange fact for the CFTC to price discover:

when the record OI occurred on April 21, the price of silver was at $18.42  (OI record 234,000 contracts.  Interestingly the SLV inventory on April 21 was 325 million oz and today it is 343 million dollars and  the price of silver is $1.66 less.  And the comex is a price discovery mechanism????

end

.

First, here is an outline of what will be discussed tonight:

1. Today, we had the open interest in silver FELL BY 3036 contracts DOWN TO 209871, (AND STILL CLOSE TO  THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET ON FRIDAY/APRIL 21/2017 AT 234,787), DESPITE THE GOOD SIZED  FALL IN PRICE FOR SILVER  YESTERDAY  (26 CENTS). NO QUESTION WE HAD ATTEMPTED SHORT COVERING BY THE BANKERS WHO FAILED MISERABLY AS THE GOOD GUYS WERE WAITING IN THE WINGS.

(report Harvey)

.

2.a) The Shanghai and London gold fix report

(Harvey)

 

2 b) Gold/silver trading overnight Europe, Goldcore

(Mark O’Byrne/zerohedge

and in NY:  Bloomberg

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)Late THURSDAY night/FRIDAY morning: Shanghai closed UP 0.49 POINTS OR .02%  OR / /Hang Sang CLOSED UP 38.35 POINTS OR 0.15% The Nikkei closed UP 36.90 POINTS OR 0.19%/Australia’s all ordinaires  CLOSED DOWN  0.11%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.8892/Oil UP to 49.93 dollars per barrel for WTI and 53.12 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED  IN THE GREEN    ..Offshore yuan trades  6.8824 yuan to the dollar vs 6.8892 for onshore yuan. NOW  THE OFFSHORE IS A TOUCH STRONGER TO THE ONSHORE YUAN/ ONSHORE YUAN STRONGER (TO THE DOLLAR)  AND THE OFFSHORE YUAN IS A LITTLE STRONGER TO THE DOLLAR AND THIS IS COUPLED WITH THE WEAKER DOLLAR. CHINA IS  HAPPY   THIS MORNING

3a)THAILAND/SOUTH KOREA/NORTH KOREA

i)NORTH KOREA

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

c) REPORT ON CHINA

CHINA

My goodness:  Chinese giant Telecom, Unicom (publicly traded) admits to falsified revenue over a 5 yr period

( zero hedge)

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

ECB AND BOJ

Both central banks of Europe and Japan are just months away from running out of bonds to buy.  They can change the rules but that will need government approval.   Japan seems ready to negate QE but not the ECB

( zero hedge)

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

6 .GLOBAL ISSUES

i)MEXICO

Mexico’s crime wave spirals out of control as auto thefts increase as well as murders

( zerohedge)

ii)SWEDEN/JULIAN ASSANGE

At long last, Julian Assange is free to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London as the Swedish prosecutors dropped the rape investigation against him

(courtesy zero hedge)

7. OIL ISSUES

Production rises again in the uSA as rig count increases for the 18th straight week

( zero hedge)

8. EMERGING MARKET

i) VENEZUELA

Venezuela is a mess as the police unleash devastating water cannon  on protesters

( zero hedge/Mac Slavo)

 

ii) BRAZIL

It now looks like all of the top politicians have been thrown under the bus as the giant meat packing company plea bargain implicated all of them including the President Temer

( zero hedge)

 

9.   PHYSICAL MARKETS

i)Bill Murphy interviewed by Daily coin

( GATA/Murphy)

ii)Bitcoin now rises above $1950.00 USA

( zero hedge)

10. USA stories

i)Trump goes on the air and claims that he did not ask Comey to back down on the Flynn investigation.  This seems to be borne out as a closed session hearing at the Senate on May 3 2017, Comey tells the Dem. Hawaiian  Senator that there has not been a push by Trump to end the investigation.

( zerohedge)

i b)Not a good day for the Democrats as Rosenstein stands by his letter than it was appropriate for Trump to fire Comey

( zero hedge)

ic)Then this happened to excite the democrats: another of those anonymous sources state that a senior White House official is a significant person of interest in the Russian probe:  good grief!!

( zero hedge)

ii)UBS hints that there is rampant auto lending fraud by both the consumer and the issuer of the loans

(courtesy zero hedge/UBS)

iii)A nice breathe of fresh air:  Bullard slams the Fed’s take on the economy  as he slams their so called recovery and he now hints at the Fed is undergoing a policy error something which we have indicated to you already;

(courtesy zero hedge)

iv)A terrific history lesson on the history of the uSA dollar;
( zero hedge/Visual Capitalist/Jeff Desjardin)

Let us head over to the comex:

The total gold comex open interest FELL BY ONLY 1060 CONTRACTS DOWN to an OI level of 444,819 DESPITE THE  FALL IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ( $4.85 with YESTERDAY’S trading).   We are now in the contract month of MAY and it is one of the POORER delivery months  of the year. In this MAY delivery month  we had A LOSS OF 6 contract(s) FALLING TO  34. We had 17  notices filed yesterday so we GAINED 11 contracts or an additional 1100 oz are standing for delivery and no contracts were cash settled through the EFP route where they receive a cash bonus plus a future gold contract.

The next big active month is June/2017 and here the OI LOST 9772 contracts DOWN to 199,159.  The non active July contract GAINED another 37 contracts to stand at 1080 contracts. The next big active month is August and here the OI gained 7257 contracts up to 145,092.

To give you a good idea of the devastation of open interest contracts, last year on May 16 2016 we had at this exact time:    304,683 contracts of JUNE 2016 CONTRACTS OPEN.( compared to JUNE 2017: 199,159)

For the June 2016 contract month initially 48.189 tonnes stood for delivery. Eventually a huge 48.552 tonnes stood.

We had 11 notice(s) filed upon today for 1100 oz

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And now for the wild silver comex results.  Total silver OI FELL BY 3036 contracts FROM  212,907 DOWN TO 209871 WITH YESTERDAY’S 26 CENT PRICE LOSS.  IT SURE LOOKS LIKE OUR BANKERS HAVE CAPITULATED AGAIN AS THEY TRYING TO COVER THEIR SHORTS IN EARNEST. IT ALSO EXPLAINS THE REASON FOR ANOTHER ATTEMPTED  RAID TODAY
Below is a little background on the EFP contracts  initiated by our bankers:
(We now know for certainty that private EFP contracts are given by the bankers when faced with an upcoming active delivery month.  We just do not know the makeup of that private deal.  It is my contention that the longs in silver at the end of April were given a fiat bonus plus a long “in the money” call for a  future May contract or a July contract. They were told not to exercise for a new contract until at least the first week of May is over so it would not look like a paper settlement which in reality it surely is.
So now everything makes sense: the obliteration of OI as we enter first day notice has not really occurred but replaced with a future contract with some bonus money for their effort. No doubt by the end of May, the open interest in the silver contract month will be close to the OI we had around mid April/2017.)
We are in the active delivery month is MAY  Here the open interest LOST 11 contracts FALLING TO 110 contracts. MY GOODNESS!! IT HAPPENED AGAIN!! We had 28 notices filed yesterday, so we gained another 17 notices or an additional 85,000 oz will stand for delivery. In the last few years, I do not believe I have ever seen an active month increase in amount standing for 15 straight days of the delivery cycle starting immediately after first day notice. No wonder JPMorgan is getting ready for a physical attack at the comex. I have never seen anything like this!!

The non active June contract LOST 57 contracts to stand at 740. The next big active month will be July and here the OI  LOST 5206 contracts DOWN to 156,229.

For those keeping score, the initial amount of silver oz that stood for delivery for the May 2016 contract month: 28.01 million oz.  By conclusion of the month only 13.58 million oz stood and the rest was cash settled.(EFP ROUTE)

The line in the sand is $18.50 for silver and again it has been defended by the criminal bankers.  Once this level is pierced, the monstrous billion oz of silver shorts will blow up. The bankers are defending the Alamo with their last stand at the $18.50 mark. THE NEW RECORD HIGH IN OPEN INTEREST WAS SET FRIDAY APRIL 21/2017 AT:  234,787.

We had 33 notice(s) filed for 165,000 oz for the MAY 2017 contract

VOLUMES: for the gold comex

Today the estimated volume was 125.857 contracts which is poor

Yesterday’s confirmed volume was 403,523 contracts  which is huge.

volumes on gold are STILL HIGHER THAN NORMAL!

INITIAL standings for MAY
 May 19/2017.
Gold Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz   nil
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz  
nil  oz
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory in oz nil oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz 
nil oz
No of oz served (contracts) today
 
11 notice(s)
1700 OZ
No of oz to be served (notices)
23 contracts
2300 oz
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
519 notices
51900 oz
1.6143 tonnes
Total accumulative withdrawals  of gold from the Dealers inventory this month   NIL oz
Total accumulative withdrawal of gold from the Customer inventory this month   214,922.2 oz
Today we HAD  0 kilobar transaction(s)/
total dealer deposits: nil oz
We had NIL dealer withdrawals:
total dealer withdrawals:  NIL oz
we had no dealer deposits:
total dealer deposits:  nil oz
we had 0  customer deposit(s):
total customer deposits; nil  oz
We had 0 customer withdrawal(s)
total customer withdrawal: 9998.95 oz
 we had 0 adjustments:
For MAY:

Today, 0 notice(s) were 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 0 contract(s)  of which 11 notices were stopped (received) by jPMorgan dealer and 0 notice(s) was (were) stopped/ Received) by jPMorgan customer account.

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To calculate the initial total number of gold ounces standing for the MAY. contract month, we take the total number of notices filed so far for the month (519) x 100 oz or 51,900 oz, to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of MAY (34 contracts) minus the number of notices served upon today (11) x 100 oz per contract equals 54,200 oz, the number of ounces standing in this  active month of MAY.
 
Thus the INITIAL standings for gold for the MAY contract month:
No of notices served so far (519) x 100 oz  or ounces + {(34)OI for the front month  minus the number of  notices served upon today (11) x 100 oz which equals 54,200 oz standing in this non active delivery month of MAY  (1.6858 tonnes).  We gained 11 contracts or an additional 1100 oz are standing for delivery and 0 contracts were cash settled through the EFP route where they received a fiat bonus plus a futures contract in a private deal with the bankers.
 
 
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I have now gone over all of the final deliveries for this year and it is startling.
Here are the final deliveries for all of 2016 and the first 5 months of  2017
Jan 2016:  .5349 tonnes  (Jan is a non delivery month)
Feb 2016:  7.9876 tonnes (Feb is a delivery month/deliveries this month very low)
March 2016: 2.311 tonnes (March is a non delivery month)
April:  12.3917 tonnes (April is a delivery month/levels on the low side
And then something happens and from May forward deliveries boom!
May; 6.889 tonnes (May is a non delivery month)
June; 48.552 tonnes ( June is a very big delivery month and in the end deliveries were huge)
July: 21.452 tonnes (July is a non delivery month and generally a poor one/not this time!)
August: 44.358 tonnes (August is a good delivery month and it came to fruition)
Sept:  8.4167 tonnes (Sept is a non delivery month)
Oct; 30.407 tonnes
Nov.    8.3950 tonnes.
DEC/2016.   29.931 tonnes
JAN/2017     3.9004 tonnes
FEB/ 18.734 tonnes
March: 0.5816 tonnes
April/2017: 2.8678
MAY:2017/  1.6858 TONNES
total for the 17 months;  249.603 tonnes
average 14.682 tonnes per month
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Total dealer inventory 877,817.092 or 27.303 tonnes DEALER RAPIDLY LOSING GOLD
Total gold inventory (dealer and customer) = 8,762,195.982 or 272.54 tonnes 
 
Over a year ago the comex had 303 tonnes of total gold. Today the total inventory rests at 272.54 tonnes for a  loss of 30  tonnes over that period.  Since August 8/2016 we have lost 81 tonnes leaving the comex. However I am including kilobar transactions and they are very suspect at best
I have a sneaky feeling that these withdrawals of gold in kilobars are being used in the hypothecating process  and are being used in the raiding of gold!

The gold comex is an absolute fraud.  The use of kilobars and exact weights makes the data totally absurd and fraudulent! To me, the only thing that makes sense is the fact that “kilobars: are entries of hypothecated gold sent to other jurisdictions so that they will not be short with their underwritten derivatives in that jurisdiction.  This would be similar to the rehypothecated gold used by Jon Corzine at MF Global.
 
IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS  81 NET TONNES HAS LEFT THE COMEX.
end
And now for silver
AND NOW THE APRIL DELIVERY MONTH
MAY INITIAL standings
 May 19. 2017
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory  nil
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
9162.713 oz
 Delaware
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
nil oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory 
 567,884.485  oz
Brinks
Delaware
No of oz served today (contracts)
 33 CONTRACT(S)
(165,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
77 contracts
( 385,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 4547 contracts (22,735,000 oz)
Total accumulative withdrawal of silver from the Dealers inventory this month  NIL oz
Total accumulative withdrawal  of silver from the Customer inventory this month  5,945,211.0 oz
today, we had  0 deposit(s) into the dealer account:
total dealer deposit: nil  oz
we had Nil dealer withdrawals:
total dealer withdrawals: nil oz
we had 1 customer withdrawal(s):
i) Out of Delaware:  9162.713 oz
TOTAL CUSTOMER WITHDRAWALS: 9162.713  oz
 We had 2 Customer deposits:
i) Into Brinks:   539,838.88 oz
ii) Into Delaware: 28,045.605 oz
***deposits into JPMorgan have now stopped 
In the month of March and February, JPMorgan stopped (received) almost all of the comex silver contracts.
why is JPMorgan bringing in so much silver??? why is this not criminal in that they are also the massive short in silver
total customer deposits  567,884.485 oz
 
 we had 1 adjustment(s)
i) out of CNT:  370,762.368 oz was adjusted out of the dealer account and this landed into the customer account of CNT
The total number of notices filed today for the MAY. contract month is represented by 33 contract(s) for 165,000 oz. To calculate the number of silver ounces that will stand for delivery in MAY., we take the total number of notices filed for the month so far at 4547 x 5,000 oz  = 22,735,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of MAY (110) and the number of notices served upon today (33) x 5000 oz equals the number of ounces standing

 

.
 
Thus the initial standings for silver for the MAY contract month:  4547(notices served so far)x 5000 oz  + OI for front month of APRIL.(110 ) -number of notices served upon today (33)x 5000 oz  equals  23,120,000 oz  of silver standing for the MAY contract month.
We actually gained another 17 contracts or an additional 85,000 oz will stand for delivery and again nobody wished to accept an EFP contract for a fiat bonus. It probably means that the entire 23.12 million oz that are standing wants only physical metal and refuses a fiat bonus. This is identical to backwardation where the investor will not accept to roll to a futures month and receive a sure fiat profit (THROUGH THE EFP) but instead that investor holds onto his physical because he is not sure in the future he would receive his metal back if he engages in that future contract.  We have now had on 15 trading consecutive days, an increase in amount standing for silver.  For the past several years, this has never happened during an active silver delivery month.  Ladies and gentlemen:  the silver comex is being attacked for its physical metal and the attacker is Sovereign China. 
 
 
Volumes: for silver comex
 
Today the estimated volume was 32,801 which is fair
Yesterday’s  confirmed volume was 130,844 contracts which is simply out of this world
TODAY’S ESTIMATED VOLUME OF 130,844 CONTRACTS EQUATES TO 654 MILLION OZ OF SILVER OR 93% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION OF SILVER EX CHINA EX RUSSIA). IN OUR HEARINGS THE COMMISSIONERS STRESSED THAT THE OPEN INTEREST SHOULD BE AROUND 3% OF THE MARKET.  
 
Total dealer silver:  33.167 million (close to record low inventory  
Total number of dealer and customer silver:   201.314 million oz
The record level of silver open interest is 234,787 contracts set on April 21./2017  with the price at that day at  $18.42
The previous record was 224,540 contracts with the price at that time of $20.44
 
end
At 3:30 pm est we receive the COT report which gives position levels of our major players.
First the gold COT:
Gold COT Report – Futures
Large Speculators Commercial Total
Long Short Spreading Long Short Long Short
221,532 94,808 54,659 113,719 256,578 389,910 406,045
Change from Prior Reporting Period
-14,583 8,699 7,800 8,759 -12,804 1,976 3,695
Traders
167 96 95 50 55 256 214
 
Small Speculators  
Long Short Open Interest  
45,111 28,976 435,021  
12 -1,707 1,988  
non reportable positions Change from the previous reporting period
COT Gold Report – Positions as of

Our large speculators: UP TO MAY 16/2017

those large specs that have been long in gold pitched a huge 14,583 contracts from their long side

those large specs that have been short in gold added 8699 contracts to their short side.

 

Our commercials;

those commercials that have been long in gold added a huge 8759 contracts to their long side.  they seem to be delta hedging by buying contracts to offset losses in their shorts.

those commercials that have been short in gold covered only 12,804 contracts from their short side.

 

Our small speculators:

those small specs that have been long in gold added only 12 contracts to their long side

those small specs that have been short in gold covered a large 1707 contracts from their short side.

CONCLUSIONS:

THE COMMERCIALS GO NET LONG BY A WHOPPING 21,563 CONTRACTS WHICH IS EXTREMELY BULLISH. THE SPECULATORS ALSO GO NET SHORT BY 23,552 WHICH OF COURSE IS ALSO EXTREMELY BULLISH. MAY IS A NON ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH SO WE HAD MINIMAL EFP ISSUANCE.

END

 

AND NOW THE SILVER COT

 

Silver COT Report: Futures
Large Speculators Commercial
Long Short Spreading Long Short
100,142 57,138 30,333 55,612 112,949
5,160 15,811 7,378 7,212 -4,720
Traders
110 56 52 37 34
Small Speculators Open Interest Total
Long Short 215,127 Long Short
29,040 14,707 186,087 200,420
-706 575 19,044 19,750 18,469
non reportable positions Positions as of: 167 127
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

 

Our large speculators:

those large specs that have been long in silver added 5160 contracts to their long side.

those large specs that have been short in silver continued to add to their short side by a whopping 15,811 contracts.

 

Our commercials;

those commercials that have been long in silver added a whopping 7212 contracts to their long side. They seem to be delta hedging because the silver price is rising and they sense trouble.

those commercials that have been short in silver covered only 4720 contracts from their short side. (this is also dangerous to our bankers because they could not cover as many contracts that they usually do when they raid)

Our small speculators:

those small specs that have been long in silver pitched a tiny 706 contracts from their long side

those small specs that have been short in silver added a tiny 575 contracts to their short side.

 

CONCLUSIONS:

the commercials go net long by a huge 11,932 contracts which is huge and is extremely bullish

the specs go net short by 10,651 contracts which is also extremely bullish

In the month of May we are witnessing minimal EFP action whereby contracts are given to longs so that they would not take delivery and they would receive a fiat bonus plus a futures contract.  Thus the COT report is not contaminated with this type of trade.

end

NPV for Sprott and Central Fund of Canada

1. Central Fund of Canada: traded at Negative 5.7 percent to NAV usa funds and Negative 5.9% to NAV for Cdn funds!!!! 
Percentage of fund in gold 62.2%
Percentage of fund in silver:37.7%
cash .+0.1%( May 19/2017) 
 
2. Sprott silver fund (PSLV): Premium FALLS TO   +0.07%!!!! NAV (May 19/2017) 
3. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV FALLS to -0.73% to NAV  (May 18/2017 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back  into POSITIVE territory at +0.07% /Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/ territory at -0.73%/Central fund of Canada’s is still in jail  but being rescued by Sprott.

Sprott’s hostile 3.1 billion bid to take over Central Fund of Canada

(courtesy Sprott/GATA)

Sprott makes hostile $3.1 billion bid for Central Fund of Canada

 Section: Daily Dispatches

From the Canadian Press
via Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News, Toronto
Wednesday, March 8, 2017

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/sprott-takeover-bid-central-fund-c…

Toronto-based Sprott Inc. said Wednesday it’s making an all-share hostile takeover bid worth $3.1 billion US for rival bullion holder Central Fund of Canada Ltd.

The money-management firm has filed an application with the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta seeking to allow shareholders of Calgary-based Central Fund to swap their shares for ones in a newly-formed trust that would be substantially similar to Sprott’s existing precious metal holding entities.

The company is going through the courts after its efforts to strike a friendly deal were rebuffed by the Spicer family that controls Central Fund, said Sprott spokesman Glen Williams.

“They weren’t interested in having those discussions,” Williams said.

 Sprott is using the courts to try to give holders of the 252 million non-voting class A shares a say in takeover bids, which Central Fund explicitly states they have no right to participate in. That voting right is reserved for the 40,000 common shares outstanding, which the family of J.C. Stefan Spicer, chairman and CEO of Central Fund, control.

If successful through the courts, Sprott would then need the support of two-thirds of shareholder votes to close the takeover deal, but there’s no guarantee they will make it that far.

“It is unusual to go this route,” said Williams. “There’s no specific precedent where this has worked.”

Sprott did have success last year in taking over Central GoldTrust, a similar fund that was controlled by the Spicer family, after securing support from more than 96 percent of shareholder votes cast.

The firm says Central Fund’s shares are trading at a discount to net asset value and a takeover by Sprott could unlock US$304 million in shareholder value.

Central Fund did not have any immediate comment on the unsolicited offer. Williams said Sprott had not yet heard from Central Fund on the proposal but that some shareholders had already contacted them to voice their support.

Sprott’s existing precious metal holding companies are designed to allow investors to own gold and other metals without having to worry about taking care of the physical bullion.

end

And now the Gold inventory at the GLD

May 19/NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 850.71 TONNES

May 18/a withdrawal of 1.18 tonnes of gold from the GLD/Inventory rests at 850.71

May 17/no change in the GLD inventory/inventory rests at 851.89 tonnes

May 16./ no change in the GLD inventory/inventory rests at 851.89 tonnes

May 15/no change in the GLD inventory/inventory rests at 851.89 tonnes

May 12/no changes in GLD/inventory rests at 851.89 tonnes

may 11/no changes in GLD inventory/inventory rests at 851.89 tonnes

May 10/no changes in GLD inventory/inventory rests at 851.89 tonnes/

May 9/a withdrawal of 1.19 tonnes from the GLD/Inventory rests tonight at 851.89 tonnes

May 8/no change in inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 853.08 tonnes

May 5/no changes in inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 853.08 tonnes

May 4/A tiny change in inventory at the GLD /a withdrawal of .28 tonnes to pay for fees/inventory rests at 853.08 tonnes

May 3/no change in inventory at the GLD/Inventory rest at 853.36 tonnes

May 2/no change in inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 853.36 tonnes

May 1/ no changes in inventory at the GLD/inventory rests at 853.36 tonnes

April 28/no changes in inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 853.36 tonnes

April 27/a small withdrawal of .89 tonnes/Inventory is now at 853.36 tonnes

APRIL 26/we had no changes at the GLD/Inventory rests at 854.25 tonnes

April 25/2017/A WITHDRAWAL OF 5.92 TONNES OF GOLD FROM THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 854.25 TONNES

April 24/a deposit of 1.48 tonnes of gold into the GLD/inventory rests at 860.17 tonnes

April 21/A DEPOSIT OF 4.44 TONNES OF GOLD INTO THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 858.69 TONNES

APRIL 20/A WITHDRAWAL OF 6.51 TONNES FROM THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 854.25 TONNES

April 19/ A DEPOSIT OF 11.84 TONNES INTO THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 860.76 TONNES

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
May 19 /2017/ Inventory rests tonight at 850.71 tonnes
*IN LAST 155 TRADING DAYS: 97.42 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 98 TRADING DAYS: A NET  30.01 TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED INTO GLD INVENTORY.
*FROM FEB 1/2017: A NET  55.35 TONNES HAVE BEEN ADDED.

end

Now the SLV Inventory

May 19

may 18/2017/another big deposit of 1.42 million oz added to the SLV/inventory rests at 343.815 million oz.

may 17/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 342.395 million oz/

May 16./we had a huge addition of 1.416 million oz of silver into the SLV/inventory rests at 342.395 million oz

May 15/no changes in silver inventory/inventory rests at 340.979 million oz/

May 12/a huge change in silver: a deposit of 2.369 million oz/inventory rests at 340.979 million oz

May 11/no changes in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 338.610 million oz

May 10/ a gigantic 3.833 million oz of silver added to the SLV and this occurred with the constant whacking of silver for the past 17 trading sessions/inventory rests at 338.610 million oz

may 9Again, no movement of inventory at the SLV. Inventory rests at 334.777 million oz

May 8/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/inventory rests at 334.777 million oz/

May 5/Strange!! no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests tonight at 334.777 million oz

May 4/a very tiny withdrawal of 144,000 oz to pay for fees/inventory rests tonight at 334.777 million oz/

May 3/strange!! with the drop in price of silver we had no change in inventory at the SLV/inventory rests at 334.921 million oz

May 2/extremely strange again/a huge 3.502 million oz deposit into the SLV despite silver being in the toilet for the past several trading days.Inventory 334.921 million oz

may 1/extremely strange/with silver being walloped these past several days, the inventory rises again by a huge 1.136 million oz/(maybe someone can explain this phenomena??)

April 28/Strange again!! no change in inventory at the SLV/Inventory remains at 330.283 million oz  (no liquidation with a drop in silver price??)

April 27.2017/Strange!! no change in inventory at the SLV/Inventory remains at 330.283 million oz  (no liquidation???)

APRIL 26/2017/another huge deposit of 2.934 million oz into the SLV/Inventory rests at 330.283 million oz

April 25/a huge deposit of 1.98 million of into inventory/inventory rests at 327.349 million oz/

April 24/no changes in inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 325.361 million oz/

April 21/A WITHDRAWAL OF 719,000 OZ OF SILVER AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 325.361 MILLION OZ/

APRIL 20/NO CHANGES IN INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 326.308 MILLION OZ

May 19.2017: Inventory 343.395  million oz
 end

Major gold/silver trading/commentaries for FRIDAY

GOLDCORE/BLOG/MARK O’BYRNE.

GOLD/SILVER

Gold and Silver Bullion Coins See Sales “Explosion” In UK On “Wave Of Political Turmoil”

Gold and Silver Bullion Coins See Sales “Explosion” In UK On “Wave Of Political Turmoil”

by Jan Harvey of Reuters

In a warehouse a dozen miles to the northwest of Cardiff, the Royal Mint is running its machines through the night to keep up with demand for one of the big beneficiaries of the last year’s political turmoil – gold and silver bullion.

Gold Sovereigns

The 1,100-year-old Mint, based here since the 1960s, is producing 50 percent more gold bullion coins and bars than it was this time last year, director of bullion Chris Howard says, while its sales in January rose by a third.

With growth prospects for its core minting business limited by the advent of the cashless society, the Mint has focused heavily on growing its bullion arm in the last few years.

Its contribution to the overall business’s bottom line has gone from negligible levels in 2012 to more than a quarter in the last year.

“We used to send these out by the box,” head of bullion sales Nick Bowkett says, indicating stacks of silver coins packed for transit in the Mint’s bullion striking room. “Now we ship them out by the pallet.”

Next door, the Mint’s core business — producing commemorative coins and legal tender for 60 different countries — is churning out crates of coinage, including the new 12-sided British pound, due to launch in March.

But it’s the bullion arm that is really ramping up.

While in global terms the Mint is still small — its total gold sales of 237,000 ounces last year were dwarfed by the U.S. Mint’s 1.2 million ounces of gold Eagle and Buffalo coin sales, the Austrian Mint’s 534,000 ounces of gold Philharmonic coin sales, and the Perth Mint’s 520,000 ounces of gold sales — its bullion unit expanded both revenue and profit by two-thirds last year.

It is forecasting similar growth this year, through expansion in its already core U.S. and German markets, and elsewhere.

About 30 percent of its bullion sales – largely Britannia gold coins, but also sovereigns, and bars ranging in size from 1 gram to 1 kilogram – are made through the Mint’s website, while a further 70 percent goes to wholesale clients.

RETAIL GOLD BULLION EXPLOSION

Global retail investment in gold has exploded in the last 15 years. At nearly 1,000 tonnes last year, it was two and a half times the levels seen in 2001.

While a sharp rise in investors selling gold back onto the market after prices surged last year weighed on the net demand figure, gold sales in Europe jumped after the Britain’s Brexit vote and resulting fluctuations in the currency markets.

The government-owned Mint’s sales to Germany more than doubled last year in volume terms, while UK sales rose by more than a quarter.

“The excitement around Brexit, and the uncertainty, brought a lot more (business), especially on to our ecommerce platform,” Howard, a veteran of designer retail brands such as Guess and Swarowski, said.

“The level of trading after Brexit was much higher than it was before, and it has continued to be at that level.”

Gold prices ( XAU ) rose for the first year since 2012 last year, by 10 percent, while in sterling terms ( XAUGBP ) gold performed even more strongly, climbing 30 percent.

The turmoil seen in stock markets this month after U.S. President Donald Trump took office and optimism over his plans for the U.S. economy dissipated suggests that investors will continue to need safe havens from risk.

Full Article On Reuter UK here

News and Commentary

“Gold is likely succumbing to some funds taking profits” said GoldCore (MarketWatch.com)

Gold rises, set for biggest weekly gain since mid-April (Reuters.com)

ANZ says possibility of gold through $1300 if the political situation in US worsens (ForexLive.com)

Asia Stocks Fall as Caution Remains; Brazil Roiled (Bloomberg.com)

Gold snaps 6-session win streak as stocks rebound (MarketWatch.com)

WORLD SILVER SURVEY 2017 (SilverInstitute.org)

Will next market crash be like 2008 or 1973? (Mining.com)

Gorbachev Warns of Growing Danger (ConsortiumNews.com)

We face a complete collapse of the property market (TheSun.ie)

Goldman Says Swedish, Kiwi Housing Markets Most at Risk of Bust (Bloomberg.com

 

 

END

Bill Murphy interviewed by Daily coin

(courtesy GATA/Murphy)

Silver is gold cartel’s ‘kryptonite,’ GATA chairman tells Daily Coin

Section:

2:40p ET Thursday, May 18, 2017

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Interviewed by Rory Hall for The Daily Coin, GATA Chairman Bill Murphy notes that silver seems to be the only commodity whose price has declined over the last four decades. Murphy describes silver as the gold cartel’s “kryptonite.” Fortunately for the people suppressing the silver price in the futures markets, the mining industry has no suspicion about this. The interview is 23 minutes long and can be heard at YouTube here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nroa5KHLhGI

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
CPowell@GATA.org

 

END

 

Bitcoin now rises above $1950.00 USA

(courtesy zero hedge)

Bitcoin Soars Above $1950 (Despite Losing Crypto Dominance)

Despite Bitcoin dropping below 50% of total cryptocurrency market cap for the first time, the dominant virtual currency has continued to soar this week, breaking above $1950 this morning (as the dollar drifts lower).

Bitcoin is now up 110% against the dollar in 2017…

 

And this comes as Bitcoin loses its dominance. As the first of its kind to emerge, bitcoin has become synonymous with “cryptocurrency”. But lately it’s been joined by a lot of others – which together now account for more than half of the cryptocurrency ecosystem:

For First Time, Bitcoin Accounts for Less Than Half Of Market Cap Of All Cryptocurrencies

(Forbes) – For the first time, Bitcoin’s market capitalization as a percentage of all cryptocurrencies has dropped to below 50%.

 

It is a symbolic turning point for the first cryptocurrency, which for a long time accounted for more than 90% of the value of all blockchain-based assets combined, particularly through a period when so-called alt-coins that were only minor tweaks to bitcoin proliferated.

 

Its market capitalization then comprised over 80% of all cryptocurrencies for years, a range that held true until two months ago when it dipped below 80% and not only did not recover but did a quick dive straight down.

 

 

 

Several factors are driving the drop from its status as the clear leader.

 

1. Bitcoin’s development is stalled.

A more than two-year-long saga has left progress on its network stymied. With the various factions unable to compromise and no clear method for moving beyond the impasse, the network has been stuck staring down the same question of how to expand the network to accommodate more transactions that it first faced in early 2015. Meanwhile, as no decisions get made, transaction fees have risen from about 11 cents a year ago to $1.70 now, and the time to confirm a transaction has nearly doubled to almost 20 minutes. Because the community has been unable to resolve its divisions, some of the technological advances people were excited to see on bitcoin will be adopted on other tokens, such as Litecoin, which could emerge as the payment token, while bitcoin evolves more into a digital gold, because its software will only ever release 21 million units.

 

2. Ethereum continues to grow.

Ethereum has, for a while, been the cryptocurrency with the second-largest market cap, but in recent months, its greater rise has further has eroded bitcoin’s dominance. While throughout 2016, its share of the market cap of all cryptocurrencies was in the single digits, it has, in the last couple months, inched closer to 20% as its price has risen from $8 in early January toward $100 in recent days.

 

3. New ICOs add value to the crypto space every day.

Third, a wave of new cryptocurrency launches in crowdsales called initial coin offerings has so far raised $380 million for new networks that have functions beyond just currency. For instance, a few new storage coins aim to facilitate payments between computers needing more storage space and computers with excess drive space to offer in networks like Filecoin, Sia and Storj. Meanwhile, Golem Network Tokens are used for payments between computers that need extra computing power to, say, train a machine-learning algorithm, and computers that have spare GPU and CPU cycles to offer while its owner sleeps. So many new tokens with uses different from bitcoin’s are bound enlarge the pie, but still narrow its dominance.

 

4. Speculation is driving up the value of all tokens.

Because the ICOs are proving to be such an easy way to crowd fund, they are also being used just as that — as an easy way to raise money — for projects for which tokens don’t even particularly make sense, as well as scams. Speculation is also running rampant as investors who don’t understand the technology or what makes a token valuable snatch up both promising as well as poorly conceived tokens. One project that raised eyebrows recently was a crowdsale of Gnosis tokens, which, because of the way the ICO was designed, left Gnosis, which is only in beta and doesn’t yet have a product to offer consumers, with a valuation of $300 million right after its ICO. Now, speculative trading has now multiplied its valuation to $1.2 billion.

 

5. Ripple is seeing a big spike.

While the other trends have been driving bitcoin’s share of all cryptocurrency market caps down broadly, what appears to have finally tipped bitcoin below the 50% mark is the 24% surge of XRP, the token of the Ripple network, in the last 24 hours. Since Chinese regulators began enforcing basic know-your-customer, anti-money-laundering procedures earlier this year, Japan has overtaken China as the country with the highest crypto trading volume. XRP is popular in Japan, and one writer surmises it is because of the work Ripple does in Japan, such as through its joint venture, SBI Ripple Asia, with SBI Holdings.

 

7. Tezos is about to launch.

Okay, so this last one might not have pushed bitcoin below the 50% threshold, but it is likely to help keep it below that threshold. Tezos may be one of the most anticipated ICOs, about to launch in June and stay open for two weeks. The code is written in OCaml, a language that has the ability to formally verify smart contracts to ensure that they execute as the creators intended them to. Tezos is also generating excitement because the software has, built into it, a mechanism for resolving issues such as the scaling debate in bitcoin. Therefore, even if bitcoin exceeds 50% market share for now, it will likely again fall under that threshold once the Tezos ICO begins.

end

Your early FRIDAY morning currency, Asian stock market results,  important USA/Asian currency crosses, gold/silver pricing overnight along with the price of oil Major stories overnight

 
 

1 Chinese yuan vs USA dollar/yuan A LITTLE STRONGER  6.8892(REVALUATION NORTHBOUND   /OFFSHORE YUAN MOVES A LITTLE STRONGER TO ONSHORE AT   6.8824/ Shanghai bourse CLOSED UP 0.49 POINTS OR .02%   / HANG SANG CLOSED UP 38.35 POINTS OR 0.15% 

2. Nikkei closed UP 36.90  POINTS OR 0.19%   /USA: YEN FALLS TO 111.45

3. Europe stocks OPENED ALL IN THE GREEN        ( /USA dollar index FALLS TO  97.47/Euro UP to 1.1165

3b Japan 10 year bond yield: FALLS TO   +.040%/     !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 111.45/ THIS IS TROUBLESOME AS BANK OF JAPAN IS RUNNING OUT OF BONDS TO BUY./JAPAN 10 YR YIELD FINALLY IN THE POSITIVE/BANK OF JAPAN LOSING CONTROL OF THEIR YIELD CURVE AS THEY PURCHASE ALL BONDS TO GET TO ZERO RATE!!

3c Nikkei now JUST BELOW 17,000

3d USA/Yen rate now well below the important 120 barrier this morning

3e WTI::  49.93 and Brent: 53.12

3f Gold UP/Yen DOWN

3g Japan is to buy the equivalent of 108 billion uSA dollars worth of bond per month or $1.3 trillion. Japan’s GDP equals 5 trillion usa./“HELICOPTER MONEY” OFF THE TABLE FOR NOW /REVERSE OPERATION TWIST ON THE BONDS: PURCHASE OF LONG BONDS  AND SELLING THE SHORT END

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.

3h Oil UP for WTI and UP for Brent this morning

3i European bond buying continues to push yields lower on all fronts in the EMU. German 10yr bund RISES TO  +.369%/Italian 10 yr bond yield DOWN  to 2.116%    

3j Greek 10 year bond yield FALLS to  : 5.73% ???  

3k Gold at $1252.90/silver $16.80 (8:15 am est)   SILVER BELOW  RESISTANCE AT $18.50 

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble UP 41/100 in  roubles/dollar) 57.11-

3m oil into the 49 dollar handle for WTI and 53 handle for Brent/

3n Higher foreign deposits out of China sees huge risk of outflows and a currency depreciation  (already upon us). This can spell financial disaster for the rest of the world/China forced to do QE!! as it lowers its yuan value to the dollar/GOT A GOOD SIZED REVALUATION NORTHBOUND 

JAPAN ON JAN 29.2016 INITIATES NIRP. THIS MORNING THEY SIGNAL THEY MAY END NIRP. TODAY THE USA/YEN TRADES TO 111.45 DESTROYING JAPANESE CITIZENS WITH HIGHER FOOD INFLATION

30 SNB (Swiss National Bank) still intervening again in the markets driving down the SF. It is not working: USA/SF this morning  0.9781 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.0921 well above the floor set by the Swiss Finance Minister. Thomas Jordan, chief of the Swiss National Bank continues to purchase euros trying to lower value of the Swiss Franc.

3p BRITAIN VOTES AFFIRMATIVE BREXIT/LOWER PARLIAMENT APPROVES BREXIT COMMENCEMENT/ARTICLE 50 COMMENCES MARCH 29/2017 

3r the 10 Year German bund now POSITIVE territory with the 10 year RISES to  +0.369%

The bank withdrawals were causing massive hardship to the Greek bank. the Greek referendum voted overwhelming “NO”.  Next step for Greece will be the recapitalization of the banks and that will be difficult.

4. USA 10 year treasury bond at 2.249% early this morning. Thirty year rate  at 2.908% /POLICY ERROR)GETTING DANGEROUSLY HIGH

5. Details Ransquawk, Bloomberg, Deutsche bank/Jim Reid.

(courtesy Jim Reid/Bloomberg/Deutsche bank/zero hedge)

Global Markets Rebound To End Volatile Week, As Trump Rout Fades

 

Two days after the biggest rout in US stocks in 8 months, and one day after Brazil’s stock market was halted due to a circuit breaker, wiping out out 8.8% of its market cap, traders are eager to put it all in the rearview mirror and in a quiet session on the last day of the week – there have been no “anonymously sourced Russian blockbusters” overnight by either the NYT or WaPo – S&P futures are set for a green open, up 0.2%, in line with Asian and European markets, all looking to close the week on a positive note.

And what a week it has been: the most eventful week of 2017 for markets started with stocks at record high but then saw one of the sharpest cross-asset routs in years. Yet despite early bullish sentiment, jitters have persisted, leaving safe-haven gold headed higher again for its best week since April and the dollar back on the slide after falling to its lowest level since Trump’s U.S election victory in November.

“The frustrating element is that we are now at the mercy of equity markets,” said Nick Parsons, global head of FX strategy at National Australia Bank’s. “We can be pretty confident that 10 points on or off of the S&P 500 is a big figure on or off of dollar/yen,” he added, saying the only thing likely to break the link would be a confident-sounding Federal Reserve at its next meeting.

One catalyst for today’s return of optimism is crude oil, with Brent rising above $53, and WTI back over $50 for the first time since late April, headed for a second weekly gain on growing optimism grows that OPEC and other nations will extend output cuts at exporter group’s meeting in Vienna next week, news which has been priced in several dozen times in the price anyway, but that never stopped it from being price in again.  “Russia and OPEC are talking about extending cuts to the end of March and it’s widely expected there’ll be an extension,” ING commodity strategist Warren Patterson says: “If there are longer or deeper cuts then there could be further upside”

The gradual return of risk appetite on Friday also saw investors switch from highly rated U.S. Treasuries and European government bonds into higher-yielding Italian and Portuguese debt. Like the dollar, the U.S. yield curve has slumped back to levels not seen since Trump’s election, and the probability given by markets of the Fed raising rates next month has tumbled to below 60 percent from over 90 percent last week.

“Everything has turned upside down – European political risks have faded, the economy is looking strong, while in the U.S. everybody is worried,” said DZ Bank strategist Daniel Lenz, quoted by Reuters.

Asian stocks rose, with the MSCI Asia Pacific Index up less than 0.1%, with more stocks advancing than declining. Japan’s Topix index climbed 0.3 percent, after sliding 1.3 percent on Thursday. The gauge lost 1.3 percent for the week. The Hang Seng Index rose 0.2% and the Shanghai Composite was little changed.

European stocks pared their worst week since November, rising in quiet trading. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.6 percent as of 10:56 a.m. in London, paring its weekly loss to 1.1 percent.

S&P 500 futures were up 0.3 percent. The benchmark index rose 0.4 percent on Thursday after plunging 1.8 percent in the previous session, its worst day since Sept. 9.  Brazil’s Ibovespa Index tumbled 8.8 percent on Thursday, the most since October 2008, as political crisis returned to the country after last year’s impeachment process. A Japan-traded ETF tracking Brazil’s Ibovespa Index dropped 6.5 percent after an even larger decline on Thursday, closing at the lowest level of the year.

As has been the case for much of the week, the lack of any dramatic Trump-linked news resulted in the global mini relief rally. As Bloomberg confirms, market volatility eased after Trump’s administration sought to move past controversies surrounding Russia that have threatened to ensnare its plans for tax cuts and infrastructure spending.  “Following the initial excitement about the chaotic situation in the White House market participants seem to have calmed down again,” analysts at Commerzbank AG including Thu Lan Nguyen said in a note to clients.

But while Trump may have briefly faded from the spotlight, especially with his first international trip on Friday afternoon, the sudden and unexpected Brazilian political crisis has added a fresh layer of worries for investors, for whom it served as a vivid example of how quickly the best performing emerging market can become the worst.

President Michel Temer has defied calls for him to step down, saying a Supreme Court probe will debunk allegations he participated in a cover-up. Meanwhile, geopolitics remained in the spotlight, amid reports that the U.S. Navy is moving a second aircraft carrier to the Korean peninsula and that Chinese jets intercepted a U.S. Air Force plane.

Elsewhere, Jakarta stocks soared as much as 3 percent to a record after S&P upgraded Indonesia to investment grade, revising its credit rating from BB+ to BBB-, stable outlook, due to better fiscal metrics.

In rates, the yield on 10-year Treasuries climbed two basis points to 2.25 percent. It is down eight basis points this week. Benchmark yields in Germany rose two basis points, while those in the U.K. added four basis points.

West Texas crude rose 1.1 percent to $49.87, poised for a weekly increase of 4.2 percent, on optimism OPEC will reaffirm efforts to drain a global glut at their meeting in Vienna on May 25. Copper rose 0.7 percent to $5,616 a ton, leading most industrial metals higher as sentiment steadied after strong U.S. jobs data. Soybeans were stable after the biggest one-day drop since August as farmers in Brazil rushed to sell at a “once in a decade” pace as a deepening political crisis sent the nation’s currency tumbling. The commodity was 0.5 percent higher at $9.495 a bushel.

Gold was set for the biggest weekly gain in more than a month as
investors weigh political risks in U.S. Bullion for immediate delivery
climbed 0.4 percent to $1,252.37 an ounce, on track for a 2 percent
advance this week.

It’s worth noting that President Trump will travel to Saudi Arabia, arriving tomorrow and following that will visit Israel and the Vatican on Monday and Wednesday, before moving on to the NATO Summit and G7 Summit later in the week. This is the start of an eight-day foreign trip which is also his first outside the US as the President so it’s likely that his every word and move is closely watched.

* * *

Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquawk

  • A modest risk appetite in Europe thus far in what has been a quiet session as markets digest the fallout from yesterday’s Comey news
  • After a steady start, FX markets have livened up a little, with an improved risk mood seeing the JPY on the back foot across the board
  • Looking ahead, highlights include Canadian retail sales, ECB’s Praet, Coeure, Constancio and Fed’s Bullard

Global Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.2% to 2,369
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.4% to 390.88
  • MXAP up 0.09% to 150.73
  • MXAPJ up 0.2% to 491.45
  • Nikkei up 0.2% to 19,590.76
  • Topix up 0.3% to 1,559.73
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.2% to 25,174.87
  • Shanghai Composite up 0.02% to 3,090.63
  • Sensex up 0.08% to 30,458.19
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.2% to 5,727.41
  • Kospi up 0.07% to 2,288.48
  • German 10Y yield rose 1.5 bps to 0.358%
  • Euro up 0.4% to 1.1147 per US$
  • Brent Futures up 1.2% to $53.15/bbl
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 0.6 bps to 1.855%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 0.7 bps to 1.56%
  • Brent Futures up 1.2% to $53.15/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,249.22
  • U.S. Dollar Index down 0.3% to 97.55

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • Trump On Tour: Trump Travels Abroad With Unwanted Baggage of Troubles at Home
  • Cooperman Agrees to Lighter SEC Deal; Investors Digest Brazilian Audio Tapes
  • Broadcom Ltd. and a group led by KKR & Co. are emerging as the two leading bidders for Toshiba Corp.’s semiconductor unit as of Friday’s deadline for second-round offers
  • Brazilian markets sink as President Michael Temer vows to stand his ground amid calls for his ouster
  • Billionaire hedge fund manager Leon Cooperman paid $4.9m to put an end to the SEC’s insider-trading allegations
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said breaking up the biggest banks would be a “huge mistake,” easing concerns that the Trump administration plans a major revamp of Wall Street
  • S&P Global Ratings raised Indonesia’s credit rating to investment grade, bringing it in line with the other two main rating companies and paving the way for more fund inflows into Southeast Asia’s largest economy
  • Uber Threatens to Fire Engineer at Center of Waymo Lawsuit
  • Americans Die When They Have to Work at Being Healthy
  • Ireland Says Intensively Working to Recover Apple Money
  • Saudis Said to Forge $6b Lockheed Deal for Littoral Shipss
  • Gap’s Old Navy Chain Helping Fuel Rebound After Long Slump
  • Salesforce Sees Increasing Demand on Expanded Cloud Lineup
  • Iron Risks Plunge to $40s as Marex Sounds Second-Half Alarm
  • Total U.S. Video Game Sales Rose 10% Y/y in April to $636m: NPD
  • Freeport Union Plans to Extend Grasberg Strike Beyond May 30
  • Shanghai Disneyland Meets 10m Visitors Expectation Since Opening
  • NRG Panel Said to Recommend Southeast Asset Sale: SparkSpread
  • Blackstone Said Likely to Buy Assets of India’s UIOF: TOI
  • MGM Resorts Decides Against Investing in Philippines: BWorld
  • Johnson & Johnson Unit Plans $500m Drug R&D in China: Daily
  • Vistra Said to Have Made Takeover Approach to Dynegy: WSJ

Asia equity markets were mixed after the region somewhat shrugged off the positive lead from Wall St where stocks rebounded from their biggest loss in 8 months, as a lack of drivers kept price action relatively muted ahead of the weekend. ASX 200 (-0.2%) failed to maintain opening gains with underperformance in financials and miners weighing on the index, while Nikkei 225 (+0.3%) was choppy alongside JPY price action. Indian markets were the biggest gainers after officials kept the majority of items under the Goods and Services Tax scheme below the 18% tax rate, while Shanghai Comp. (flat) and Hang Seng (+0.3%) were indecisive after the PBoC refrained from operations today, although its efforts for the week still amounted to a net liquidity injection of CNY 160Bn vs. Prey. CNY 120Bn drain. 10yr JGBs were choppy as an indecisive risk tone was counterbalanced by a reserved Rinban announcement by the BoJ, while the curve slightly flattened amid outperformance in the super-long end.

Top Asian News

  • From Hair Oil to Cement, India Revamps Taxes: Winners and Losers
  • After Shutting Asia Hedge Fund, Ex-Goldman Trader Seeks Answers
  • S&P Raises Indonesia One Notch to Investment Grade
  • Rupiah Advances as S&P Raises Indonesia to Investment Grade
  • HKMA Chief Executive Norman Chan to Meet Press at 5:15pm HKT
  • Buyer’s Regret Spurs Japan Utility to Mull Swapping U.S. LNG
  • Largest Indian Bank’s Profit Surges as Loan Provisions Fall

European bourses gaining this morning, however the move to the upside is somewhat contained with the Eurostoxx 50 up a marginal 0.2% as material names lead the way in Europe. In stock specific news, Hikma Pharmaceuticals underperform in the FTSE 100, after they announced that they have cut their FY revenue guidance. Elsewhere, crude futures took another leg higher following source reports that the OPEC panel are considering a scenario in which deepening the current output cut may take place, as opposed to just an extension to the current agreement. In credit markets, yields have been ticking up this morning following the modest risk on sentiment, in turn the German curve has shown a flattening bias. While peripheral debt is slightly tighter to the German benchmark with markets seemingly choosing to look through this weekend’s primary vote for the Spanish socialist party.

Top European News

  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.4% to 390.88
  • German 10Y yield rose 1.5 bps to 0.358%
  • Euro up 0.4% to 1.1147 per US$
  • Brent Futures up 1.2% to $53.15/bbl
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 0.6 bps to 1.855%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 0.7 bps to 1.56%

In currencies, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.3 percent, erasing Thursday’s increase. The gauge is 1.3 percent lower for the week. The euro strengthened 0.6 percent to $1.1164, bringing its gain this week to 2.1 percent, the most since the five days ending June 3. The British pound stood 0.6 percent higher at $1.3011. The yen was little changed at 111.45 per dollar after falling 0.6 percent on Thursday. The currency is up 1.8 percent for the week, its strongest performance in a month. Emerging-market currencies rebounded. The South African rand climbed 1 percent after tumbling 2.6 percent over the previous two sessions. Russia’s ruble strengthened 1 percent as oil prices rose. After a steady start, FX markets have livened up a little, with an improved risk mood seeing the JPY on the back foot across the board. Late yesterday social media reported evidence of Comey stating that there was no interference in the investigations in question. This saw the USD snap higher across the board, but has been reversed in all the major pairings other than USD/JPY. Sideways trade here continues to find resistance ahead of 112.00. EURUSD is back on the trail for higher levels, as a longer term perspective here sees the market keen to get in on dips. Gains have been outpaced to a very modest degree by Cable, which has now shrugged off the sharp hit suffered in NY, and is now trading above levels when targeted at the time, moving cautiously through the low 1.3000’s. EUR/GBP is marginally off better levels, but continues to struggle ahead of 0.8600.

In commodities, West Texas crude rose 1.1 percent to $49.87, poised for a weekly increase of 4.2 percent, on optimism OPEC will reaffirm efforts to drain a global glut at their meeting in Vienna on May 25. Gold was set for the biggest weekly gain in more than a month as investors weigh political risks in U.S. Bullion for immediate delivery climbed 0.4 percent to $1,252.37 an ounce, on track for a 2 percent advance this week. Copper rose 0.7 percent to $5,616 a ton, leading most industrial metals higher as sentiment steadied after strong U.S. jobs data. Commodity markets have recovered with an easing in the risk mood all round, partly down to some Trump friendly news — not often we hear that lately! Oil prices higher as we look to the OPEC meeting next week, but with the OPEC panel meeting with non-members today, the prospect of further ‘extension deal’ news has seen WTI putting in initial tests on USD50.00, but somewhat unconvincingly as yet. Brent is through USD53.00. Elsewhere, metals are higher across the board, with Copper gains back to USD2.55, outpaced by those seen in Zinc and Lead. As a result, Gold has trickled lower, in line with Silver, but we are still very much inside well worn territory, with little likelihood of retesting the stronger support levels seen towards USD1220.00 or so.

Looking at today’s calendar, with a distinct lack of macro data due out it’s likely that politics continue to remain the number one focus for markets again. The only releases due out are in Europe with PPI in  Germany, which came in stronger than expected at 3.4% Y/Y, vs Exp. 3.2%, and up from 3.1%. There is some ECB-speak with both Praet and Constancio scheduled at a conference in Brussels today. Over at the Fed we’re due to hear from Bullard and Williams. As a reminder President Trump will visit Saudi Arabia over the weekend, so  it’ll be worth keeping an eye on anything interesting to come from that.

US Event Calendar

  • Nothing major scheduled
  • 9:15am: Fed’s Bullard to Speak about U.S. Economy and Monetary Policy
  • 1:40pm: Fed’s Williams Speaks to High School in San Francisco

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

This week political risk has caught up on the market but it’s still unclear whether it has any legs. Since the back end of last year we’ve felt that 2017 would be a reasonable year for risk given the baseline view on growth but we did expect volatility spikes and occasional sell-offs. However despite a large spike in VStoxx before the French Election we’ve been surprised how little it’s filtered through into risk assets on even a temporary measure. A big part of this view was that political risk remained very elevated around the world. While we continue to think Trump will still be able to push through a decent sized fiscal package we always felt there would be enough doubt about his administrations’ ability to pass through reforms to do so to encourage volatility.

Whether this latest Trump bout of volatility lasts depends on what Mr Comey really has on the President but there wasn’t much new news to report on the story yesterday which helped US equities to recover. The S&P 500 closed +0.37% with the vast majority of sectors climbing while the Dow (+0.27%), Nasdaq (+0.73%) and Russell 2000 (+0.38%) bourses were also firmer. It’s worth noting that for all the shockwaves going through markets this week the S&P 500 is only 1.67% off the all time intraday highs made on Tuesday and only down -1.05% this week. The VIX also edged down 6% yesterday to close at 14.66. Putting it in perspective that level is less than 3pts above the YTD average which as we know is one of the lowest of all time. Credit also pared back about 30% of Wednesday’s move wider yesterday with CDX IG finishing just over 1bp tighter. There was a similar reversal for safe havens with Gold (-1.13%) and the Yen (-0.60%) weaker, and 10y Treasury yields closing about 5bps off the day’s low yield at 2.229%.

Yesterday there was a general feeling that the appointment of Mueller as the special counsel into the Russia-US Election investigation was a low vol-friendly outcome in the short term as it’s expected that it will take some time for the investigation to get underway with some suggestions that it won’t start until July. Mr Trump welcomed the appointment but also called the investigation a “witch hunt” and when Trump was also pressed at a news conference as to whether or not he had put pressure on Comey he replied – unsurprisingly – “no, no next question”. In terms of the next steps, as we know the Senate and House Oversight Committee has requested for Comey to testify in both open and closed-door hearings but as of yet we are still to hear of this being confirmed. In fact the NY Times quoted the House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz as saying that “since he’s (Comey) left government, the old telephone number that I had for him, I haven’t been able to get through”. The same article said that Chaffetz hoped Comey would appear before the House Oversight Committee next Wednesday.

In the mean time, it’s worth noting that President Trump will travel to Saudi Arabia, arriving tomorrow and following that will visit Israel and the Vatican on Monday and Wednesday, before moving on to the NATO Summit and G7 Summit later in the week. This is the start of an eight-day foreign trip which is also his first outside the US as the President so it’s likely that his every word and move is closely watched.

Staying in the US, yesterday we also heard from US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin when he spoke to the Senate Banking Committee. He said that no decision has been made on any potential ultra-long bond issuance and also downplayed the idea of a national sales tax. Mnuchin also said that breaking up the biggest US banks would be a “huge mistake” and that doing so “would have a very significant” impact on markets.

There was another big story in markets yesterday and it was also of a political nature, this time in Brazil. It centred around what we reported in yesterday’s EMR concerning the alleged approval of hush money payments by President Temer to silence a former coalition ally. Temer has said, adamantly, that he will not resign in the wake of this allegation and is demanding a full investigation. The subsequent moves in Brazilian assets were eye catching though. The Ibovespa closed -8.80% (although was down as much as -10% at one stage triggering a circuit breaker) which was the biggest fall since 2008. The Brazilian Real is also about -7.75% weaker since the news broke (and saw its biggest slide since 1999) versus the Greenback. Bonds were hammered too with 10y hard currency bond yields 55bps higher. Vol surged with the CBOE Brazil ETF Volatility Index up 38% and by the most since the series started in 2011. Refreshing our screens this morning it’s been a fairly mixed start in Asia but moves have been notably modest for the most part with no real new developments to highlight. The Nikkei (-0.16%) and ASX (-0.29%) are both down, while the Hang Seng (+0.24%), Kospi (+0.085) and Shanghai Comp (+0.04%) are a touch higher.  US equity futures are flat along with Treasuries and Gold.

Moving on. Away from the obvious political developments yesterday, the other point of interest for markets was some of the musings out of the ECB. In yesterday’s minutes from the April meeting policy makers said that new staff projections and data will mean the ECB is “in a better position to take stock and reassess the sustainability of the recovery and outlook for inflation” at the next policy meeting. The minutes also revealed that “some members” considered risks to growth could be now characterized as “broadly balanced” while “other members maintained that downside risks to growth still prevailed”. Officials also felt that communication “should be adjusted in a very gradual and cautious manner as, at the current juncture, monetary and financial conditions were particularly sensitive to changes”.

This guidance on communication is consistent with comments that we have heard from Praet and Constancio recently but it was interesting to see Benoit Coeure say yesterday in an interview with Reuters that the ECB runs the risk of changing policy signals too slowly, specifically saying that the risk is that “communication deviates from economic reality, which could cause a more forceful adjustment down the road”.

In terms of data yesterday, in the UK we learned that retail sales excluding fuel jumped a better than expected +2.0% mom in April (vs. +1.0% expected) to push the annual rate up to +4.5% yoy. Sterling traded as high as $1.305 following that data (+0.60%) before an unexplained crash saw it plummet a full cent to $1.290 at one stage in a matter of minutes. The suggestion was that it was algo driven. In France we saw the unemployment rate dip to 9.6% in Q1 (from 10.0%). In the afternoon in the US the main release of note was the Philly Fed manufacturing survey which surged 16.8pts at the headline to 38.8 in May (slightly below the February high). The details did however reveal some weakening in both the new orders and employment components though. Meanwhile the conference board’s leading index rose +0.3% mom in April and initial jobless claim edged down another 4k to 232k. Away from that the Fed’s Mester also spoke but didn’t really move the dial, playing down the impact of recent volatility on her economic outlook and the read through for the Fed.

Glancing at today’s calendar, with a distinct lack of macro data due out it’s likely that politics continue to remain the number one focus for markets again. The only releases due out are in Europe with PPI in  Germany, the UK’s industrial trends survey for May and the flash consumer confidence reading for the Euro area, also for May. There is some ECB-speak with both Praet and Constancio scheduled at a conference in Brussels today. Over at the Fed we’re due to hear from Bullard (at 2.15pm BST) and Williams (at 6.40pm BST). Before we wrap up, a reminder that President Trump will visit Saudi Arabia over the weekend, so  it’ll be worth keeping an eye on anything interesting to come from that. Also noteworthy is an internal leadership election for Spain’s socialist party where the chatter is that a win for former leader Pedro  Sanchez could lead the socialists into greater open conflict with PM Rajoy’s government.

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)Late THURSDAY night/FRIDAY morning: Shanghai closed UP 0.49 POINTS OR .02%  OR / /Hang Sang CLOSED UP 38.35 POINTS OR 0.15% The Nikkei closed UP 36.90 POINTS OR 0.19%/Australia’s all ordinaires  CLOSED DOWN  0.11%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.8892/Oil UP to 49.93 dollars per barrel for WTI and 53.12 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED  IN THE GREEN    ..Offshore yuan trades  6.8824 yuan to the dollar vs 6.8892 for onshore yuan. NOW  THE OFFSHORE IS A TOUCH STRONGER TO THE ONSHORE YUAN/ ONSHORE YUAN STRONGER (TO THE DOLLAR)  AND THE OFFSHORE YUAN IS A LITTLE STRONGER TO THE DOLLAR AND THIS IS COUPLED WITH THE WEAKER DOLLAR. CHINA IS  HAPPY   THIS MORNING

3a)THAILAND/SOUTH KOREA/NORTH KOREA

i)NORTH KOREA

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

c) REPORT ON CHINA

CHINA

My goodness:  Chinese giant Telecom, Unicom (publicly traded) admits to falsified revenue over a 5 yr period

(courtesy zero hedge)

 

Chinese Phone Giant Admits To “Unprecedented Degree” Of Falsified Revenue

Fabricating data in China, it turns out, is not only a favorite government pastime. Publicly traded, if state-owned, phone giant Unicom Group fabricated financials relating to 1.8 billion yuan ($261 billion) in revenue over a five-year period from 2012 to 2016 – or as the company admitted, it engaged in anunprecedented degree of falsified revenue.”  This is China we are talking about, where the definition of “unprecedented” is very different from the US.

Lest there be any confusion, Bloomberg further elucidated that Unicom “engaged in organized, cross-departmental faking of financial figures” – according to an internal document leaked to Bloomberg. The disclosure is just another reminder of just how endemic fraud is at both government agencies and various enterprises in China. Recall that back in January, People’s Daily confirmed what everyone had known: the government was officially making up numbers in the rust-belt province of Liaoning, and fabricated fiscal numbers after the local economy was crippled by the commodity crunch.

In a statement provided to Bloomberg, company officials claimed the fraud had a “relatively small impact” on the company and that figures had already been corrected in its financial statements. To assure investors, the company claims it has now strengthened oversight, having sacked 70 managers who were allegedly responsible for the fraud. It has also strengthened its monitoring efforts. Of course, with non-existant government oversight, corrupt auditors and “pay me as you go along” internal supervision, the numbers will remain as cooked as ever.

What was interesting was the timing of the leak: the report appeared as the Unicom Group is preparing to raise billions in capital from private investors after the firm was one of six state-owned enterprises selected for a pilot program in mixed ownership. Some have speculated that the leaker is either a disgruntled insider, or a case of industrial sabbotage with the document being passed to Bloomberg by a bidder hoping to buy at a more attractive price.

Hong-Kong based analyst Steven Liu of China Securities International also downplayed the significance of the disclosure, arguing the “irregularities” wouldn’t materially impact the company’s bottom line. What was to be expected: after all Liu has a buy rating on the stock.

Here are a few more selections from the leaked document, courtesy of Bloomberg:

  • About 17% of the total falsified revenue came from Shaanxi’s Tongchuan and Yulin cities, while the Hanzhong branch falsified more than a third of its revenue
  • Penalties ranged from dismissals to administrative warnings, suspended party membership and salary deductions
  • Managers were punished according to the Communist Party disciplinary guidelines
  • The nature and repercussions of the fraud are “unprecedented” in Unicom’s history, according to the document

The news rocked shares of Unicom on Thursday; they closed at HK$10.24 after falling 3.2%, the largest drop in a month. Shares of China United Network Communications, its Shanghai-listed arm, have been suspended since late March, pending further disclosure of its mixed-ownership plan. Who knows what fraud is hiding there.

Despite authorities’ claims to the contrary, the fraud is, of course, representative of how managers at large Chinese corporates react when the numbers don’t match their expectations. The Hong-Kong listed arm of the company has seen revenue fall during each of the last three years, together with profits for the last two as competition in the space has intensified. The leak offers a glimpse into how Chinese firms react when business starts to slow: managers hoping to preserve their reputations, not to mention their jobs, and keep the government-funded money spigot flowing have every incentive to falsify revenues and profit figures.

Incidentally, US companies do the same thing, only there it’s called non-GAAP EPS (and revenue) and adjusted effective tax rate and remains perfectly legal.

END

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

ECB AND BOJ

Both central banks of Europe and Japan are just months away from running out of bonds to buy.  They can change the rules but that will need government approval.   Japan seems ready to negate QE but not the ECB

 

(courtesy zero hedge)

 

Both ECB And BOJ Are Just Months Away From Running Out Of Bonds To Buy

With the Fed contemplating whether to hike again next month and start “normalizing ” its balance sheet before the end of 2017, the two other major central banks are facing far bigger problems.

* * *

Two months after the BOJ quietly started tapering its QE program, when it also hinted it may purchase 18% less bonds than planned…

… Governor Haruhiko Kuroda admitted last week that the Bank of Japan’s bond holdings are currently growing at an annualized pace of only ¥60 trillion ($527 billion), 25% below the bottom-end of its policy range, and confirming that without making any formal announcement, the BOJ has quietly followed the ECB in aggressively tapering its bond buying program.

Under questioning from opposition party lawmaker Seiji Maehara, who noted that the pace of bond accumulation by the BOJ had slowed, Kuroda said the trend could continue, without elaborating. He noted that the central bank’s target is to control interest rates rather than the amount of bond purchases. “This development signals to me that they are going with rates without talking about a quantitative target,” said Atsushi Takeda, an economist at Itochu Corp. in Tokyo. “That will be better when they think about an exit.”

While the BOJ’s purchase slowdown has been visible for months in data released by the central bank, Kuroda’s confirmation of this reality in parliament last Wednesday marks a stark change. As Bloomberg notes, until now he’d struggled to emphasize that the annual pace could vary from an indicative 80 trillion yen, depending on the state of the economy and financial markets. He now appears to have thrown in the towel.  Meanwhile, investors are watching for any hint of tightening in monetary policy amid speculation that the central bank’s bond purchase regime is unsustainable and as consumer prices in Japan are expected to pick up later this year. The most likely way for the BOJ to begin tightening would be scrapping the 80 trillion yen guideline altogether, especially since the central bank is no longer following it.

“The Bank of Japan appears to be ramping up its efforts to improve communication with the market to lay the groundwork for its next move – tapering,” Bloomberg Intelligence economist Yuki Masujima wrote in a report on Kuroda’s remarks.

What was surprising to markets is that Kuroda’s unexpectedly hawkish comments had virtually no impact on the market last week; if anything they led to an even weaker Yen, something which on the surface would seem paradoxical; however it was reassuring for the BOJ and could boost arguments in favor of dropping the 80 trillion yen reference point.

Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg in April, Kuroda said the BOJ would keep as a reference point the aim of increasing its holdings of government bonds at a pace of around 80 trillion yen per year. After four years of aggressive monetary stimulus, and with his term set to end in April 2018, Kuroda is still far from his goals while his Federal Reserve counterpart Janet Yellen is taking rates higher and policy makers in Europe debate tapering. These three central banks have all run up huge balance sheets since the financial crisis after buying bonds and other assets.

In an unexpected admission that even central banks are subject to simple math, Kuroda also revealed some of the BOJ’s modeling on balance sheet risks, indicating that a BOJ simulation found that a 100bps increase in long-term yields could mean a valuation loss of ¥23 trillion on its bond holdings, equivalent to a DV01 of roughly a $2 billion.

* * *

And while the the BOJ is quietly tightening ahead of an inevitable official taper which it will have to commence over the next year as it runs out of monetizable private bonds to purchase, the ECB finds itself in a far worse situation as it may have just 4 months before it runs out of eligible German bonds to purchase. According to analyst calculations based on ECB bond-buying data published at the start of May, the European Central Bank bought roughly 400 million euros fewer bonds in Germany in April than its rules allow.

According to ABN Amro’s Kim Liu, in April the ECB deviated from the capital key in Germany by around 400 million euros when excluding corporate and covered bond purchases and adjusting for Greece.

The shortfall raises questions about how close the ECB is to hitting its bond-buying limits in Germany, the euro zone’s benchmark issuer and (at least until now) the deepest and biggest source of bonds under the ECB’s QE program which is currently scheduled to run until the end of 2017.

“It was by far the largest deviation, at least for Germany, and for me suggests that on top of the political stress and smoothing of purchases, there are scarcity constraints for the Bundesbank,” said Pictet Wealth Management senior economist Frederik Ducrozet, quoted by Reuters. “What it means is that the ECB has to be very cautious with its exit and if they don’t taper within less than six months (of ending the programme) something might have to give.

Here’s why:

ECB asset purchases are based on the so-called capital key, meaning the central bank buys a country’s bonds in line with the size of its economy, making Germany the biggest source for the scheme. According to Barclays, if the ECB maintains its buying program as is, it will hit its mandated, 33% ceiling on German Bund holdings as soon as October, or just over 4 months from now.

Furthermore, according to calculations shown previously, based on ECB data in just six months the average maturity of monthly German debt purchases by the ECB has dropped to under five years from more than 10. That suggests that a shortage of longer-dated eligible debt is forcing the Bundesbank, which buys securities on behalf of the ECB, to take advantage of recent rule tweaks to buy more shorter-dated bonds. Reuters adds that while that shift was expected after last December’s change allowing the ECB to buy bonds yielding less than the -0.40% depo rate, “the speed at which the Bundesbank put that to use has taken markets by surprise.”

According to ABN’s Liu, “this means that the average maturity of monthly German purchases remains much lower than those of other countries and that the Bundesbank continuously is forced to buy short-dated bonds with yields that are below the ECB’s deposit rate.”

Germany is not the first country whose bonds are becoming scarce: the ECB has already deviated from the capital key in Ireland and Portugal, where it is running out of bonds to buy. However, the latter two countries are tiny in terms of supply compared to the budgeted monthly purchases from Germany. The German bond scarcity shows that the ECB would struggle to extend the scheme without further changes to its own bond-buying rules, and one option is simply to raise the 33% self-imposed ceiling, although that would likely require a substantial political intervention, and it would also make the European bond market even more illiquid as the ECB ends up owning half of German bonds.

* * *

For now, the ECB has been lucky: the economic situation in Europe has been improving, with inflation posting a modest pick up, and all signs suggesting that Mario Draghi will be able to taper – not because he wants to but because he has to. Last Monday, ECB board member Yves Mersch said the ECB was close to replacing its negative view on whether the euro zone economy would reach growth targets with a neutral one, providing yet another justification to reducing its unsustainable bond purchases.

As a reminder, in December the ECB already tapered its monthly purchases by €20 billion to €60 billion in April, while money markets price in roughly a 70 percent chance of a rate hike in early 2018.

“The ECB can always get around its rules, it has the flexibility on whether to buy central government or local government or agency debt to fulfill its quotas,” said Marchel Alexandrovich, senior European economist at Jefferies. “But the longer QE goes on, the more the ECB will have to think about changing the rules again … And the issue now is the willingness to carry on with QE.”

Indeed, and as for European false dawns, just ask Jean-Claude Trichet and the infamous rate hike of 2011 which launched the most serious leg of the European sovereign debt crisis. Should Europe’s economy turn south again and the central bank be forced to keep or even boost its QE, Mario Draghi bank may suddenly find itself in very big trouble. That, or simply do what the BOJ has been doing for years, and start buying ETFs and single stocks.

One final point: even if all goes according to plan, recall that the only reason stocks are at all time highs, is due to the $250 bilion per month, or $1+ trillion YTD – an all time high – in central bank purchases; purchases which are only thanks to the ECB and BOJ. With both banks now having no choice but to trim their asset monetizations, the outlook for risk assets is anything but good.

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

6 .GLOBAL ISSUES

MEXICO

Mexico’s crime wave spirals out of control as auto thefts increase as well as murders

(courtesy zerohedge)

 

Mexico’s Crime Wave Spirals Out Of Control As Auto Thefts Surge

For a country that generates roughly 10% of its GDP from tourism, mostly from Americans, Mexico’s surging violent crime rates, courtesy of its notoriously brutal drug cartels, is quickly becoming a ‘yuge’ economic issue.  As we recently noted, more Americans have been killed while traveling abroad in Mexico than any other country, by a staggering margin, no less.

Source: data.world

 

And while Mexico would love to shake it’s bad rap when it comes to violence, the negative datapoints just continue to pile up.  The latest such data comes courtesy of Mexico’s car insurance association Amis, which found that auto thefts spiked in March 2017 by over 20% and current stand at multi-year highs.  Per Bloomberg:

In March, the number of auto thefts rose 21 percent from the same month a year earlier, according to numbers from the car insurance association known as Amis. Meanwhile, the recovery rate — the percentage of stolen cars that police were able to recover — dropped to its lowest since at least 2005.

 

The car-theft trend “will continue throughout the second quarter which will, in turn, have an impact on first-half returns,” Francisco Uriostegui, an analyst at Moody’s who helped write the report, said in an interview. “In the end, it’s the customer that will have to pay more, for a higher premium and it’ll be due to a drop in the recovery rate for these vehicles.”

Mexico

 

And while auto thefts may not seem all that threatening, it is just another datapoint that suggests an alarming trend in overall violence in a country that already leads the U.S. State Department’s ranking for most travel warnings.

Source: data.world

 

Oddly enough, no amount of State Department warnings have yet caused Americans to curb their appetite for those cheap Cabo vacations…

Source: data.world

 

Though we suspect it’s only a matter of time.

END

 

SWEDEN/JULIAN ASSANGE

At long last, Julian Assange is free to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London as the Swedish prosecutors dropped the rape investigation against him

(courtesy zero hedge)

“He Is Free To Leave Whenever He Wants”: Swedish Prosecutors Drop Rape Investigation Against Julian Assange

Instead of being quietly “sequestered” by the CIA, as some had speculated after his recent infamous spat with Mike Pompeo, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange may soon be a free man after spending the last half decade holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

Moments ago, Swedish prosecutors said they decided to discontinue their long-running probe into alleged rape targeting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Assange denies the Swedish rape allegation and hasn’t been charged for it.

BREAKING: Sweden has dropped its case against Julian Assange and will revoke its arrest warrant

Background: https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/865480098257879040 

“Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny has today decided to discontinue the preliminary investigation regarding suspected rape concerning Julian Assange,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement, as quoted by Reuters.

Given that all options for moving the investigation forward are now exhausted, it appears that — in light of the views expressed by the supreme court on the proportionality of arresting someone in absentia — it is no longer proportional to maintain the decision to remand Julian Assange in his absence,” Ny wrote.

In response, Assange posted a picture of himself smiling on Twitter while his lawyer in Sweden, Per Samuelsson, told Swedish media: “It is a total victory for Julian Assange.” He added: “He is free to leave the embassy whenever he wants.”

The Swedish announcement comes six months after Assange was questioned by Swedish prosecutors at the Ecuadorean embassy in London over allegations he raped a woman during a visit to Sweden in 2010.

Ecuador, which has been sheltering Mr. Assange since 2012, allowed a Swedish prosecutor to question Mr. Assange only after Sweden agreed that an Ecuadorean prosecutor would put the questions to Assange provided by the Swedish side.

The decision to drop the investigation into alleged rape by Assange marks an end to a seven-year stand-off which led to the Wikileaks’ founder self-imposed exile. Assange has lived in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012 in order to avoid extradition to Sweden over the allegation, which he denies.

One of Assange’s lawyers said earlier on Friday that closing the investigation or lifting the European arrest warrant would not necessarily mean he could easily leave for Ecuador, which has granted him asylum. “The first thing one likely needs to do is seek guarantees from the British authorities that he won’t be seized in some other way,” Melinda Taylor told TT news agency.

That, however, will be problematic, as London’s Metropolitan Police have announced that Assange will still be arrested if he leaves the embassy. Still, the Met indicated it was prepared to consider the case as low priority given Sweden had dropped the most serious charges pending.

“The [Met] response reflected the serious nature of [the] crime,” the police said in their statement. “Now that the situation has changed and the Swedish authorities have discontinued their investigation into that matter, Mr Assange remains wanted for a much less serious offence. The [Met] will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence.”

Another of his lawyers, Melinda Taylor, said Mr Assange would probably seek assurances from British authorities that he would not be arrested for any other reason before leaving the embassy.

WikiLeaks wrote on Twitter it was seeking clarification from the UK over whether it had received an extradition request from the US, which has been investigating Assange for years following WikiLeaks’ publication of classified information. “UK refuses to confirm or deny whether it has already received a US extradition warrant for Julian Assange,” WikiLeaks wrote. “Focus now moves to UK.”

Jeff Sessions, the US attorney-general, said in April that arresting Mr Assange was a “priority”. He added: “We’ve already begun to step up our efforts and whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail.”

Meanwhile, the Swedish prosectors are holding a press conference on Assange which can be watched below.

7. OIL ISSUES

Production rises again in the uSA as rig count increases for the 18th straight week

(courtesy zero hedge)

Lower 48 Production Nears Cycle Highs As Rig Count Rises For 18th Straight Week

While much was made of this week’s drop in US crude production, it was driven by an Alaskan supply drop, not the Lower 48 whose production is at Aug 2015 highs. WTI back above $50 on the back of more OPEC jawboning appears to have everyone convinced this time is different, but for the 18th week in a row US oil rig counts rose (by 8 to 720).

  • *U.S. OIL RIG COUNT +8 TO 720 , BAKER HUGHES SAYS :BHI US
  • *U.S. GAS RIG COUNT 180 , BAKER HUGHES SAYS :BHI US

The 18th weekly oil rig count rise…

 

Production from the Lower 48 continues to soar…

 

And WTI dipped a little on the print…

 

And while prices hover above $50, OilPrice.com’s Brian Noble warns that as breakeven prices converge an oil price crash nears…

No one should underestimate the impact of AI (artificial intelligence) on the future of the entire capital markets complex. The LinkedIn group, Algorithmic Traders Association, has recently been running a series of articles warning of the seismic shift that is and will continue to be felt in the global hedge fund industry as machines take over from people on trading desks.

But what intelligent human being would ever suddenly have turned bullish on the morning of Monday 15 May 2017 just because of renewed jawboning from Saudi Arabia and Russia, indulging in the same old two-step as they did at Doha in April 2016 and Vienna in November of last year. That is however precisely what the machines did. Hallelujah.

In the past couple of weeks, crude oil futures really did a round trip. First, they took a beating. WTI futures fell on May 4th to $45.52 per barrel, coming down from an April peak of $53.40, hitting the lowest point since the deal between OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers was signed last November. Since then, WTI has rallied up above $49 on as confidence grows over an OPEC cut. So is this more noise or a portent of things to come?

Despite the occasional rally, it’s hard to see that the outlook for oil is encouraging on both fundamental and technical levels. The charts look to be screaming double top for WTI, while the fundamentals seem to be saying Economics 101: too much supply, too little demand. The parallel with 2014 is there if you want to see it.

At the heart of the matter is the same old cast of characters that recur again and again. What’s different this time is the rise in cheap U.S. production, primarily shale. While it’s perfectly true that there isn’t enough U.S. shale to flood the world with oil, a lot of what there is is historically cheap to produce so as to give crude from the Middle East a real run for its money; and a solid proportion of that production has been sold forward at attractive levels in the futures market ensuring financial stability for U.S. producers. This growing price competiveness is nothing new. In the Bakken, for example, the average breakeven cost per barrel was $59.03 in 2014, which fell to $29.44 in 2016, a reduction of 50 percent in just two years. Meanwhile, U.S. oil production has risen to approximately 9.3 million barrels a day and is estimated by the EIA to reach 10 million barrels a day by 2018. In the meantime, crude oil inventories remain stubbornly high. Most recent EIA data puts crude oil inventories at 527.

8 million barrels, stuck at the higher end of the 5-year range.

In a recent and highly informative article in Business Insider originally published in The Motley Fool and using energy industry consultant Rystad Energy research, author Matthew DiLallo shows that it costs Saudi Arabia around $9 per barrel to breakeven, Russia $19 and U.S. shale a little over $23. That said, the simple average of Saudi/Russian breakeven would be about $14, a number which can only go higher, while U.S. shale breakeven is declining significantly, with production also growing significantly. So who’s going to win this one?

DiLallo sums it up nicely:Saudi Arabia has the lowest oil production costs in the world thanks to two strategic advantages: Abundant pools of oil close to the surface and no taxes on production. Because of that, it can make money in almost any oil price environment. That said, Saudi Arabia made a mistake by trying to use its low costs to kill the shale revolution; it only made shale stronger.”

Let the Saudis and their close allies the Russians do whatever it takes. Because they’re going to have to do a lot more than that.

8. EMERGING MARKETS

VENEZUELA

Venezuela is a mess as the police unleash devastating water cannon  on protesters

(courtesy zero hedge/Mac Slavo)

Striking Video: Venezuelan Police Unleash Devastating Water Cannon On Protesters

If the protests that have rocked Venezuela over the past few months can teach us anything, it’s that the Maduro regime is desperately clinging to power. As SHTFplan.com’s Mac Slavo writes, protests are normal in any country, but when they occur every day for weeks on end, and result in dozens of deaths, it’s obvious that the government is in an unstable position. And as the government grows more desperate, their methods of controlling the population will always become more extreme.

That’s what’s happening in Venezuela, where the police have unleashed a devastating water cannon on protesters, which has been referred to as “La Ballena,” or “The Whale.”

You may be wondering how the police in Venezuela could live with themselves after inflicting this kind of carnage on their fellow citizens, week after week. How could they physically defend such an atrocious regime? It turns out that the riot cops in Venezuela are just as desperate and fed-up with the government as everyone else in that country.

The Wall Street Journal recently interviewed eight police officers in Venezuela, and discovered that the police are completely demoralized. Many of them hate the government, but they can’t find work anywhere else. They’re willing to fight the protesters for a mere $40 a month.

“One day I will step aside and just walk away, blend into the city,” she said. “No average officers support this government anymore.”

 

The security forces’ once fierce loyalty to Mr. Maduro’s charismatic predecessor Hugo Chávez has largely given way to demoralization, exhaustion and apathy amid an economic collapse and endless protests, said eight security officers from different forces and locations in interviews with The Wall Street Journal.

 

Most of them say they want only to earn a steady wage amid crippling food shortages and a decimated private sector. Others say fear of a court-martial keeps them in line.

 

“We’re just trying to survive,” said Caracas police officer Viviane, a single mother who says she shows up for protest duty so she can feed her 1-year-old son. “I would love to quit but there are no other jobs.”

And that, as SHTFplan.com’s Mac Slavo concludes, is how a socialist government keeps its boot on the neck of the population. They keep everyone so poor, that the only way the average person can survive, is by brutalizing their fellow citizens.

It now looks like all of the top politicians have been thrown under the bus as the giant meat packing company plea bargain implicated all of them including the President Temer

(courtesy zero hedge)

Unprecedented Corruption Among Brazil’s Top Politicians Revealed In Unsealed JBS Plea Bargain

Recall that behind the latest political scandal to grip Brazil, in which president Michel Temer was accused of paying hush money to the jailed former House speaker, Eduardo Cunha (who was responsible for the impeachment of Temer’s predecessor Dilma Rouseff) to keep him from dragging Temer down as well, and which yesterday led to historic losses for the the Bovespa, was a plea bargain by the top executives of Brazil’s meatpacking giant JBS, Joseley Batista and his brother Wesley, which among other things, included an alleged recording of a phone conversation in which Batista told Temer he was paying Cunha to remain silent, to which the president was recorded saying, “You need to keep that up, okay?


Batista and Temer

Moments ago, Brazil’s O Globo newspaper reported that the latest episode in Brazil’s epic political corruption saga has been unveiled, and two things emerged. First, president Temer is under now officially under investigation for corruption and obstruction of justice.

Second, and more important, the contents of the JBS plea bargain testimony were disclosed, courtesy of Reuters, and they reveal corruption so pervasive that virtually every single current and past top politician has been implicated. Here are the details:

  • JBS PLEA-BARGAIN TESTIMONY INDICATES BRAZIL PRESIDENT TEMER ALLEGEDLY RECEIVED 15 MILLION REAIS IN BRIBE IN 2014
  • JBS PLEA-BARGAIN TESTIMONY SAYS COMPANY PAID BRIBE TO TEMER TO END PETROBRAS MONOPOLY ON NATURAL GAS
  • JBS PLEA-BARGAIN TESTIMONY SAYS EX PRESIDENT LUIZ INACIO LULA DA SILVA RECEIVED $50 MILLION IN BRIBES IN OFFSHORE ACCOUNT
  • JBS PLEA-BARGAIN TESTIMONY SAYS EX PRESIDENT DILMA ROUSSEFF RECEIVED $30 MILLION IN BRIBES IN OFFSHORE ACCOUNTS
  • JBS PLEA-BARGAIN TESTIMONY INDICATES JOESLEY BATISTA PAID 30 MILLION REAIS FOR EX PRESIDENT DILMA ROUSSEFF’S 2010 CAMPAIGN
  • JBS PLEA-BARGAIN TESTIMONY SAYS PAID SUSPENDED SENATOR, EX PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AECIO NEVES BRIBE IN 2014 TO FAVOR COMPANY
  • BRAZIL PROSECUTORS SAY JOESLEY BATISTA’S TESTIMONY INDICATES HE PAID EX HOUSE SPEAKER CUNHA MONTHLY BRIBES WITH TEMER’S BLESSING

Some more from Reuters:

Brazil’s Supreme Court released plea-bargain testimony on Friday that includes accusations President Michel Temer received 15 million reais ($4.6 million) in bribes in 2014 before he took office from executives of meatpacking giant JBS SA.

 

The testimony also claims former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva received $50 million in bribes in offshore accounts from JBS, while ex-President Dilma Rousseff took $30 million in bribes in offshore accounts.

If true, the plea testimony implicates virtually all top Brazilian politicians – from both the current and previous administrations – who have now been thrown under the bus for corruption and bribery, which while no longer surprising in all matters Brazilian, prompt one to ask: is there any politician left in Brazil who is clean “enough” to take over the presidency without fears of compromising recordings emerging just months if not weeks later, resulting in another political scandal and more chaos in the biggest Latin American nation.

Your early morning currency/gold and silver pricing/Asian and European bourse movements/ and interest rate settings FRIDAY morning 7:00 am

Euro/USA   1.1165 UP .0055/REACTING TO  + huge Deutsche bank problems + USA election:/TRUMP HEALTH CARE DEFEAT//ITALIAN REFERENDUM DEFEAT/AND NOW ECB TAPERING BOND PURCHASES/ /USA RAISING INTEREST RATES/EUROPE BOURSES ALL IN THE GREEN 

USA/JAPAN YEN 111.45 UP 0.019(Abe’s new negative interest rate (NIRP), a total DISASTER/SIGNALS U TURN WITH INCREASED NEGATIVITY IN NIRP/JAPAN OUT OF WEAPONS TO FIGHT ECONOMIC DISASTER/KURODA:  HELICOPTER MONEY  ON THE TABLE AND DECISION ON SEPT 21 DISAPPOINTS WITH STIMULUS/OPERATION REVERSE TWIST

GBP/USA 1.3000 UP .0046 (Brexit  March 29/ 2017/ARTICLE 50 SIGNED

USA/CAN 1.3573 DOWN .0031 (CANADA WORRIED ABOUT TRADE WITH THE USA WITH TRUMP ELECTION/ITALIAN EXIT AND GREXIT FROM EU/TRUMP INITIATES LUMBER TARIFFS ON CANADA)

Early THIS FRIDAY morning in Europe, the Euro ROSE by 55 basis points, trading now ABOVE the important 1.08 level  RISING to 1.1101; Europe is still reacting to Gr Britain HARD BREXIT,deflation, announcements of massive stimulation (QE), a proxy middle east war, and the ramifications of a default at the Austrian Hypo bank, an imminent default of Greece, Glencore, Nysmark and the Ukraine, along with rising peripheral bond yield further stimulation as the EU is moving more into NIRP, and now the Italian referendum defeat AND NOW THE ECB TAPERING OF ITS PURCHASES/ THE USA’S NON tightening by FAILING TO RAISE THEIR INTEREST RATE AND NOW THE HUGE PROBLEMS FACING TOO BIG TO FAIL DEUTSCHE BANK + THE ELECTION OF TRUMP IN THE USA+ TRUMP HEALTH CARE BILL DEFEAT AND MONTE DEI PASCHI NATIONALIZATION / Last night the Shanghai composite CLOSED UP 0.49 POINTS OR .02%     / Hang Sang  CLOSED  UP 38.25 POINTS OR 0.15% /AUSTRALIA  CLOSED DOWN 0.11% / EUROPEAN BOURSES OPENED IN THE GREEN 

We are seeing that the 3 major global carry trades are being unwound. The BIGGY is the first one;

1. the total dollar global short is 9 trillion USA and as such we are now witnessing a sea of red blood on the streets as derivatives blow up with the massive rise in the rise in the dollar against all paper currencies and especially with the fall of the yuan carry trade. The emerging market which house close to 50% of the 9 trillion dollar short is feeling the massive pain as their debt is quite unmanageable.

2, the Nikkei average vs gold carry trade ( NIKKEI blowing up and the yen carry trade HAS BLOWN up/and now NIRP)

3. Short Swiss franc/long assets blew up ( Eastern European housing/Nikkei etc.

These massive carry trades are terribly offside as they are being unwound. It is causing global deflation ( we are at debt saturation already) as the world reacts to lack of demand and a scarcity of debt collateral. Bourses around the globe are reacting in kind to these events as well as the potential for a GREXIT>

The NIKKEI: this FRIDAY morning CLOSED UP 36.90 POINTS OR 0.19%

Trading from Europe and Asia:
1. Europe stocks  OPENED DEEPLY IN THE GREEN

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / : Hang Sang CLOSED UP 38.35 POINTS OR 0.15%  / SHANGHAI CLOSED UP 0.49 POINTS OR .02% /Australia BOURSE CLOSED DOWN 0.11% /Nikkei (Japan)CLOSED  UP 36.90 POINTS OR 0.19%    / INDIA’S SENSEX IN THE RED

Gold very early morning trading: 1252.10

silver:$16.75

Early FRIDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 2.249% !!! UP 2 IN POINTS from THURSDAY night in basis points and it is trading JUST BELOW resistance at 2.27-2.32%.

 The 30 yr bond yield  2.908, DOWN  0  IN BASIS POINTS  from THURSDAY night.

USA dollar index early FRIDAY morning: 97.47 DOWN 41  CENT(S) from THURSDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers FRIDAY MORNING

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And now your closing FRIDAY NUMBERS

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 3.183%  DOWN 2 in basis point(s) yield from THURSDAY 

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: +.040%  DOWN 7/10   in   basis point yield from THURSDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.579%  UP 1  IN basis point yield from THURSDAY (this is totally nuts!!/

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.137 DOWN 1   POINTS  in basis point yield from THURSDAY 

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 56 points HIGHER than Spain.

GERMAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: +.368% UP 2 IN  BASIS POINTS ON THE DAY

END

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IMPORTANT CURRENCY CLOSES FOR FRIDAY

Closing currency crosses for FRIDAY night/USA DOLLAR INDEX/USA 10 YR BOND YIELD/1:00 PM 

Euro/USA 1.1188 UP .0078 (Euro UP 78 Basis points/ represents to DRAGHI A COMPLETE POLICY FAILURE/

USA/Japan: 111.39 DOWN  0.039 (Yen UP 4 basis points/ 

Great Britain/USA 1.3018 UP 0.0018( POUND UP 18 basis points)

USA/Canada 1.3529 DOWN 0.0075(Canadian dollar UP 75 basis points AS OIL ROSE TO $50.38

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This afternoon, the Euro was UP by 78 basis points to trade at 1.1188

The Yen ROSE to 111.39 for a GAIN of 4 Basis points as NIRP is STILL a big failure for the Japanese central bank/HELICOPTER MONEY IS NOW DELAYED/BANK OF JAPAN NOW WORRIED AS AS THEY ARE RUNNING OUT OF BONDS TO BUY AS BOND YIELDS RISE  /OPERATION REVERSE TWIST ANNOUNCED SEPT 21.2016

The POUND ROSE BY 64  basis points, trading at 1.3018/

The Canadian dollar FELL by 1 basis points to 1.3529,  WITH WTI OIL RISING TO :  $50.38

The USA/Yuan closed at 6.8850/
the 10 yr Japanese bond yield closed at +.04% DOWN 7/10  IN  BASIS POINTS / yield/ 

Your closing 10 yr USA bond yield UP 2  IN basis points from THURSDAY at 2.245% //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic  USA 30 yr bond yield: 2.91  UP 1 in basis points on the day /

Your closing USA dollar index, 97,28 DOWN 60  CENT(S)  ON THE DAY/1.00 PM 

Your closing bourses for Europe and the Dow along with the USA dollar index closing and interest rates for FRIDAY: 1:00 PM EST

London:  CLOSED UP 34.29 POINTS OR .46%
German Dax :CLOSED UP 48.63 POINTS OR 0.39% 
Paris Cac  CLOSED UP  34.67 POINTS OR 0.66% 
Spain IBEX CLOSED  UP 150.60 POINTS OR 1.41%

Italian MIB: CLOSED  DOWN 268.26 POINTS/OR 1.26%

The Dow closed UP 141.82 OR 0.69%

NASDAQ WAS closed up 28.57 POINTS OR 0.47%  4.00 PM EST
WTI Oil price;  50.38 at 1:00 pm; 

Brent Oil: 53.54 1:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN ROUBLE CROSS:  56.84 DOWN 70/100 ROUBLES/DOLLAR 

TODAY THE GERMAN YIELD RISES T0  +0.368%  FOR THE 10 YR BOND  4.PM EST EST

END

This ends the stock indices, oil price, currency crosses and interest rate closes for today

Closing Price for Oil, 5 pm/and 10 year USA interest rate:

WTI CRUDE OIL PRICE 5:00 PM:$50.41

BRENT: $53.66

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.236%  (ANYTHING HIGHER THAN 2.70% BLOWS UP THE GLOBE)

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 2.90%

EURO/USA DOLLAR CROSS:  1.1207 UP .0097

USA/JAPANESE YEN:111.24  DOWN 0.193

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 97.13  DOWN 75  cents ( HUGE resistance at 101.80 broken TO THE DOWNSIDE)

The British pound at 5 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA: 1.2929 : down .0042  OR 42 BASIS POINTS.

Canadian dollar: 1.3510  DOWN .0094(CAN DOLLAR UP 94 BASIS PTS)

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: +.368%

END

And now your more important USA stories which will influence the price of gold/silver

TRADING IN GRAPH FORM FOR THE DAY

Trump Turmoil Trounces Bullard Bullshit As Dollar Dives To 6-Month Lows

As President Trump jets towards The Middle East leaving behind him a wake of headlines from the mainstream media, we suspect this will help him sleep…

 

Let’s start with this…

  • *WILLIAMS: U.S. ECONOMY IS DOING OK, GOOD

Umm, no.

  • *BULLARD SAYS DATA SINCE MARCH FOMC HAS BEEN RELATIVELY WEAK

Umm yeah

 

US Macro data disappointed for the 9th straight week – well below the election lows, this is the weakest and most disappointing data since May 2016 (and the biggest drop since March 2015)

 

While the Treasury curve steepened very modestly today, the week saw the biggest flattening of the year…and is now flatter than before the election

 

The Dollar Index also saw a big drop this week – worst week for dollar since July 2016, back to pre-election levels…

 

So having got all that of our chest…

Safe havens were bid this week…

 

Stocks were having a great day – VIX was being crushed, everything was awesome, and the S&P was almost green on the week… until WaPo and NYT hit the markets with a double-whammy of Trump Turmoil

 

Which left everything red on the week…

 

The Dow dropped back to its 50DMA…

 

Retailers were worst on the week, Energy best with Financials down for the 2nd week in a row

 

The big banks were dumped…

 

Quite a week for Short-term VIX.. it’s great surge in history and greatest crash…

Treasury yields ended the week notably lower…

 

30Y Yields closed well below 3.00% and below pre-Macron win levels…

 

The Dollar Index is down 7 of the last 8 days having erased all of the post-Trump gains…

 

EURUSD was the biggest mover – the 2.5% surge was the most since Feb 2016...Yuan best week in 3 months

 

And as The Dollar sank, gold rallied…

 

WTI had its best 2-week gain since Dec 2016, closing back above $50…

 

Copper, Gold, and Silver all gained around 2.4% on the week as crude doubled it…

 

Bonus Chart: Fun-Durr-Mentals…

 

end

Early Morning Trading

stocks rise due to Bullard statement:

Jim Bullard Does It Again – Stocks Spike On Hint Of Future QE

It’s deja vu all over again. Having saved the world (stocks) in October 2014, The Fed’s Jim Bullard – clearly worried by the 2% drop in stocks – has stepped back in today…

Hinting at the never-ending market put, Bullard noted in a Q&A session after his speech that…

  • *BULLARD: FED SHOULD RETAIN OPTION TO DO QE IN FUTURE IF NEEDED

And that was all the machines needed…

Efficient markets much?

Of course, the only problem Bullard has is that The Fed needs to “shrink” its balance sheet before it can re-QE. So this is simply front-running the carnage that a lumpy Fed balance sheet unwind (due to maturing debt) is likely to cause by pacifying worried investors that “we got this” if everything turns to shit.

 

end

 

Trump goes on the air and claims that he did not ask Comey to back down on the Flynn investigation.  This seems to be borne out as a closed session hearing at the Senate on May 3 2017, Comey tells the Dem. Hawaiian  Senator that there has not been a push by Trump to end the investigation.

(courtesy zerohedge)

Trump: “No, No” I Did Not Ask James Comey To Back Down

Not surprisingly, the American press basically ignored the Colombian President at today’s joint press conference and jumped right into the Russia investigation.  To start, Trump said he respected Rosenstein’s decision to appoint a Special Counsel but also repeated that he views it as a “witch hunt” and “divisive” for the nation.

  • TRUMP: RESPECTS DECISION ON SPECIAL COUNSEL, BUT DIVIDES NATION

When asked directly whether he in any way asked Comey to end his Micheal Flynn investigation, Trump responded with an emphatic “No, No, next question.”

Reporter:  “Did you, at any time, urge former FBI Director James Comey, in any way, shape or form, to close or to back down the investigation into Michael Flynn?”

 

Trump:  “No.  No.  Next question.”

 

And, while it would seem somewhat unlikely, Trump said that, at the time he made the decision to fire Comey, he thought it would be well received as a “bipartisan decision.”

 

* * *

Following meetings with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Trump will face the press for the first time since Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Mueller as Special Counsel tasked with looking into allegations of collusion between Russian officials and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

Trump and Santos were expected to discuss, among other things, how to combat record-high cocaine production in Colombia and the renewal of $450 million of annual foreign aide from U.S. taxpayers.  Per CBS:

With looming budget cuts to foreign aide in the Trump administration’s 2018 budget proposal, Mr. Santos is expected to seek a renewal of $450 million dollars in foreign aide from the U.S. Government in support of Peace Colombia, the peace accord between the Colombian Government and Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC).

 

Colombian Ambassador Juan Carlos Pinzon spoke of the importance of support for the peace efforts from the U.S. to reporters in a briefing on Tuesday but downplayed the importance of a public declaration of support.

 

Complicating U.S. support for terms of the agreement has been the worrying boom of cocaine cultivation and production in Colombia since the implementation of Peace Colombia. Colombian cocaine cultivation has increase by 18 percent from 2015 to 2016 – a record high, according to the Office of National Drug Control and Policy.

All that said, we seriously doubt the American press will have many pressing questions about foreign relations with Colombia and/or cocaine production at today’s joint press conference.  Tune in below for the fireworks:

 

end

 

Not a good day for the Democrats as Rosenstein stands by his letter than it was appropriate for Trump to fire Comey

(courtesy zero hedge)

 

Rosenstein Resists The Resistance: It Was “Appropriate” For Trump To Fire Comey

While careful to hedge himself, it appears Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has broken the back of The Democrats’ desperate narrative by confirming that he stands by his memo that was initially used as the reason for former FBI Director James Comey’s firing.

As The Hill reports, Rosenstein told lawmakers, according to a released copy of his opening statement…

“It is a candid memorandum about the FBI Director’s public statements concerning a high-profile criminal investigation, I wrote it. I believe it. I stand by it.”

As a reminder, the memo came under criticism after the White House initially pointed to the document as the justification for Comey’s firing last week. President Trump later said last week he would have fired Comey regardless, although on Thursday he again cited the memo as his main reasoning.

With Senators desperate to leak whatever they could to further their narrative from the “closed-door” meeting, Rosenstein’s testimony crushes one side’s arguments… (via The Hill)

Rosenstein added during the closed-door meetings that the document “is not a statement of reasons to justify a for-cause termination.”

My memorandum is not a finding of official misconduct; the inspector general will render his judgement about the issue in due course,” the No. 2 Justice Department official said.

The document criticizes Comey’s handling of the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server, but did not directly call for the former FBI director’s firing.

But Rosenstein appears to signal in it that he thought the FBI needed a new director, and notes that he and Sessions discussed the issue during their first meeting.

“Notwithstanding my personal affection for Director Comey, I thought it was appropriate to seek a new leader,” he told lawmakers, according to his remarks.

We wonder how long until links between Russian hookers and Mr. Rosenstein is discovered? Or the fact that he watched and dared to enjoy the Sochi Winter Olympics once?

Then this happened to excite the democrats: another of those anonymous sources state that a senior White House official is a significant person of interest in the Russian probe:  good grief!!

(courtesy zero hedge)

Senior WH Official Is ‘Significant Person Of Interest’ In Russia Probe: Report

The NYT/Wapo bombs are flying early today.  Shortly after the New York Times dropped a story alleging that Trump bragged to the Russians about firing the “nut job” James Comey, the Washington Post has just dropped another bomb of their own alleging that a senior White House adviser and “someone close to the president” is under scrutiny by investigators looking into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign.

The law enforcement investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign has identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest, showing that the probe is reaching into the highest levels of government, according to people familiar with the matter.

 

The senior White House adviser under scrutiny by investigators is someone close to the president, according to these people, who would not further identify the official.

Today’s bombshell du jour, comes to us courtesy of yet another batch of anonymous sources.  That said, this time WaPo went even one step further and left out the target of their political hit job as well, describing him/her only as “someone close to the president.”  So now we have anonymous sources and anonymous targets, the definition of ‘quality journalism’.

Shortly after the article dropped, the White House released the following statement reiterating their previous assertions that they welcome a “thorough investigation” which they say “will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity.”

“As the President has stated before – a thorough investigation will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity.”

 

Meanwhile, despite the assertion that “someone close to the president” is a target of the ongoing Russia inquiry, WaPo’s ‘sources’ said that the investigation remains focused on Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort.

The sources emphasized that investigators remain keenly interested in people who previously wielded influence in the Trump campaign and administration but are no longer part of it, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

 

Flynn resigned in February after disclosures that he had lied to administration officials about his contacts with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Current administration officials who have acknowledged contacts with Russian officials include Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as Cabinet members Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

 

People familiar with the investigation said the intensifying effort does not mean criminal charges are near, or that any such charges will result. Earlier this week, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III to serve as special counsel and lead the investigation into Russian meddling.

Shocking that both the NYT and Wapo dropped stories just in time to dominate the weekend headlines, almost as if the releases were coordinated. Actually, make that 100% guaranteed…

UBS hints that there is rampant auto lending fraud by both the consumer and the issuer of the loans

(courtesy zero hedge/UBS)

 

 

UBS Hints At Rampant Auto Lending Fraud; “It’s Not Just Smoke And Mirrors Anymore”

For months we’ve written about the imminently doomed auto bubble in the U.S., spurred in no small part by an unprecedented relaxation of underwriting standards by banks that would put even the shenanigans of the 2008 mortgage crisis to shame.  From stretched out lending terms to promotional interest rates, auto lenders have increasingly played every trick necessary to get those incremental new car buyers into the most expensive car their monthly budgets could possibly absorb.

That said, in recent weeks there has been growing concern that consumers, auto dealers and/or banks have been going beyond simply relaxing underwriting standards and have instead been forced to commit outright fraud in order to attract that incremental auto volume growth.  As UBS Strategist Matthew Mish told Bloomberg, “something is definitely going on under the hood…it’s not just smoke and mirrors anymore.”

The evidence is growing. First, the explosion of technology makes gaining access to information to improve credit scores very simple. Internet searches for ‘credit score’ are at record levels. Second, our survey finds 21% of auto loan borrowers admitted to some form of inaccuracy in their loan applications. Third, there is growing concern reported among auto lenders around fraud, which is the extreme case of this behavior.

 

Overall, the explosion and adoption of technology makes gaining access to “proven” methods for improving credit scores extremely simple. To this point, the popularity of internet searches for “credit score” has been rising consistently and is near peak post-crisis levels (Figure 7). Similarly, our survey finds that 21% of auto loan borrowers admitted to some inaccuracy in their application for non-mortgage related debt (auto, student or credit card loan). More concerning, this trend may be systemic as 29% of other consumer loan (i.e., student loan, credit card) borrowers acknowledged some form of inaccuracy in their applications (Figure 8).

Auto

 

Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve noted the probability that fraud is likely running rampant in auto lending markets.  In fact, according to a new study from Point Predictive, fraud rates on auto loan applications are currently reaching levels seen in the mortgage market back in 2009.  Per Bloomberg:

Borrower fraud in U.S. auto loans is surging, and may approach levels seen in mortgages during last decade’s housing bubble, according to a startup firm that helps lenders sniff out bogus borrowers.

 

As many as 1 percent of U.S. car loan applications include some type of material misrepresentation, executives at data analytics firm Point Predictive estimated based on reports from banks, finance companies and others. Lenders’ losses from deception may double this year to $6 billion from 2015, the firm forecast.

 

Those fraud rates are coming closer to the over-1-percent level for mortgages in 2009, when the financial crisis was boiling and more lenders started reporting incidents to one another, Frank McKenna, chief fraud strategist at the firm, said in an interview. While those losses will sting lenders, the impact on the overall economy will likely be much more muted than with the housing crisis, just because there’s less car debt outstanding.

 

Even so, “We see an extraordinary amount of parallels between the auto and mortgage industries, in terms of the rising levels of hidden fraud,” McKenna said. For home loans, it’s hard to know how widespread the deception was before 2009, because lenders often didn’t report information to one another and may not have even investigated incidents of probable lying much on their own, McKenna said.

And, right on cue, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs was recently forced to file a petition against a group of Major World auto dealers alleging that fraudulent loan applications had been submitted to lenders that contained, among other things, inflated income and asset statements.  Per NBC New York:

According to a petition filed by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, sales people at the Major World dealer group prepared dozens of auto loan applications containing inflated income and asset statements. The false information helped unqualified buyers purchase vehicles they could not afford.

 

In 2014, the I-Team reported on Margaret Zollner, a car buyer who accused staff at Major Chevrolet of tricking her into signing a loan application that falsely stated her income was $60,000, even though she was an unemployed senior citizen who needed food stamp benefits to get by.

 

Zollner’s application also reported that she owned a house, but she rents her home.

 

“They said I made $60,000 a year. I was on food stamps,” Zollner said.

 

At the time, a spokesperson for Major World suggested Zollner was responsible for signing her name to inaccuracies on the loan application.

All of which helps explain those surging delinquencies….

Subprime

 

…and loss severities in ABS structures.

Subprime

 

All great signs of a “plateau.”

 

 

END

A nice breathe of fresh air:  Bullard slams the Fed’s take on the economy  as he slams their so called recovery and he now hints at the Fed is undergoing a policy error something which we have indicated to you already;

(courtesy zero hedge)

 

Fed’s Bullard Slams Recovery Narrative, Confirms Fed Top-Ticked Economy; Hints At Fed Policy Error

Back in 2014, just as the market was plunging, St Louis Fed’s Bullard stopped the bleeding when in a Bloomberg interview said that a “logical response” to the tumbling market, would be to “delay the end of QE” and strongly suggested ed that “QE4” would be considered to prevent further market losses. The S&P exploded.

Well, this morning the Fed’s nonvoting converted permadove (Bullard used to be the most hawkish Fed member until his unexpected conversion in 2014), is back and in prepared remarks for a speech in St. Louis is once again suggesting that all the talk of an “overheating” economy was just that saying that “financial market readings since the March decision have moved in the opposite direction” of what would normally occur after a rate hike, adding: “this may suggest that the FOMC’s contemplated policy rate path is overly aggressive relative to actual incoming data on U.S. macroeconomic performance.”

Speaking in St. Louis, Bullard admitted that U.S. macroeconomic data have been relatively weak, on balance, since the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) met in March and raised the fed funds rate. He said that economic growth is unlikely “to move meaningfully” this year from the current trend of about 2 percent.

He also said that inflation and inflation expectations “have surprised to the downside” and noted that financial market readings since the March decision have been opposite of expectations.

Additionally, “even if the U.S. unemployment rate declines substantially further, the effects on inflation are likely to be small” and notes that labor market improvement has been slowing, perhaps close to a trend pace, given the current labor productivity growth regime.”

Bullard also commented on the slowing GDP growth rate, saying that “tracking estimates for second- quarter real GDP growth suggest some improvement from the first quarter, but not enough to move the U.S. economy away from a regime characterized by 2 percent trend growth.”

“This may suggest that the FOMC’s contemplated policy rate path is overly aggressive relative to actual incoming data,” Bullard said. He also discussed the relationship between unemployment and inflation and said that, even if U.S. unemployment declines substantially further, the effects on inflation are likely to be small.

Translated: Bullard confirms that the Fed once again top-ticked the economy, something only the S&P appears to have missed.

As for the Fed’s expectations of 2 rate hikes for 2017… let’s just say the economy disagrees.

The result: both USDJPY and S&P futures are not happy with today’s admission by at least one non-voting Fed president that the Fed may have one again made a “policy error.”

31 Fascinating Facts On The Early History Of The US Dollar

Today, we all know the U.S. dollar as an iconic currency that is recognizable to people around the world.

And while Visual Capitalist’s Jeff Desjardin has previously looked at the buying power of the U.S. dollar over time, as well as important events like the Great Depression, we have not looked at the history of the dollar itself.

How and why was it conceived, and why do we call it a “dollar” or a “buck”? How did the dollar’s early history help to shape today’s world?

Courtesy of: The Money Project

Before the Dollar

For the early colonists, currency was a bit of a free-for-all.

Officially, cash was denominated in pounds, shillings, and pence, but in reality things were a different story. Cash was often scarce, and colonists needed to be innovative to fulfill transactions. At various points in time, they used tobacco, beaver skins, and wampum in the place of money. Some colonies even tried to issue their own fiat currencies – many of which went bust.

As it turned out, the Spanish dollar was often the most abundant form of cash – and this is what led to U.S. currency eventually being denominated in dollars.

The Revolution

During the American Revolution in 1775, the Continental Congress issued a money known as the Continental Currency to try and fund the war. The government printed too many, and the value of a Continental diminished rapidly.

Just five years later, after runaway inflation, the Continental was worth 2.5% of its face value. Benjamin Franklin rightly noted that the depreciation of the Continental had, in fact, acted as a tax to pay for the war. Holders of the currency – everyday people – were punished by losing massive amounts of buying power. Interestingly, this is where we get the phrase “Not worth a Continental”.

Birth of the Dollar

The failure of the Continental Currency must have been top of mind during the writing of the Constitution. A clause was even added, under Article 1, Section 10, to make sure such a failure would never happen again. It was written that states were not permitted to “coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; [or] make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.”

And so, the Coinage Act of 1792 created the U.S. dollar as a standard unit of currency. The U.S. Mint was authorized to oversee coinage, and the Act also established a penalty of death for debasing coinage issued by the Mint.

The Almighty Buck

In the 19th Century, a new slang term emerged for the dollar.

Especially in the Great Lakes area, different amounts of money were equated with animal skins. One particular reference showed that in Ohio in 1851, the skin of a muskrat was worth $0.25, and that of a doe was worth $0.50. Meanwhile, the skin of a buck was equal to the “almighty dollar” – and hence, the word “buck” became synonymous with the U.S. dollar.

The Civil War

Leading up to the Civil War, private banks around the country issued their own paper currencies.

With 10,000 or so of these currencies in circulation as the war broke out, governments soon found it very cumbersome to try and pay debts with many different types of notes. As a result, the $10 Demand Note was the first official paper currency issued in 1861 by the government to help finance the war.

The North began paying debts with a fiat currency called the “greenback”, while Confederate states issued their own paper currency as well. The latter was worthless by the time the Confederacy lost the war.

The Counterfeiting Problem

Around this time, counterfeiting was a widespread problem with greenbacks and all the private notes that were circulating. More than 1/3 of bills were fake at this time.

Sophisticated counterfeit operations were happening in British Canada, and some bank engravers would even moonlight as counterfeiters, using the same plates and dyes they had from their day job.

To deal with the problem, the Secret Service was formed in 1865.

The Modern Dollar

Counterfeiting measures have come a long way since the late 19th century. Today, it’s estimated that less than 0.01% of notes are fake.

Learn more about the modern U.S. dollar in the next part of this series.

*  *  *

The Money Project is an ongoing collaboration between Visual Capitalist and Texas Precious Metals that seeks to use intuitive visualizations to explore the origins, nature, and use of money.

end

 

Before leaving you, here is a great tweet from Trump as he describes 4 individuals

Trump on:

Lindsay Graham: “A nut job”
Glenn Beck: “A real nut job”
Bernie (Sanders): “A total nut job”
Kim Jong Un: “Could be a total nut job”

end

 

Let’s wrap up the week, with this offering from Greg hunter of USAWatchdog

for the video ,please press on the video link at the bottom of this page.

(courtesy Greg Hunter/USAWatchdog)

 

Fake News Trashing Trump, Seth Rich & Russian Hacking Charge, Economic Update

By Greg Hunter On May 19, 2017

You would not think the Associated Press and the New York Times would do a negative story against President Trump with an anonymous source and a document read to them over the phone, but that is exactly what they both did when they published a story on an alleged Jim Comey memo after he was fired as FBI Director.The Comey memo has yet to be seen byanyone in the media and Congress. The so-called news organizations imply obstruction of justice by President Trump at a White House meeting with Comey in February. Here’s the big problem. In early May, Comey testified at a Senate hearing under oath that obstruction by the Trump White House “did not happen in my experience.” The mainstream media (MSM) is in full propaganda mode and are destroying any credibility it has left in doing fake news to trash Trump.

Meanwhile, the Trump Justice Department has appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to investigate unproven charges of Russian collusion with the Trump team. I wonder if the revelation that murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich giving thousands of DNC emails to WikiLeaks will be included in the investigation? This would destroy the Russian hacking narrative provided by the DNC and FBI. The criminal crony class on both sides of the aisle in Congress say the Russians hacked the Democrat National Committee servers to rig the election in favor of Donald Trump. That phony charge looks even more false now than ever.

There was a ray of hope after Walmart reported that its digital sales were up a whopping 63%. That just may be Walmart using its muscle to take away even more sales from other retailers that are falling on hard times. Shadowstats.com is reporting “retail sales growth” is at “recession high levels.” Also, Ford just announced it is laying off 1,400 employees to boost its stock price. According to ShadowStats.com, wages are down and inflation is at 10%, if it were calculated the way BLS did it in 1980.

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

Video Link

http://usawatchdog.com/fake-news- trashing-trump-seth-rich-russian-hacking-charge-economic- update/

end

We will see you Monday night

To all of our Canadian friends, a safe and happy Victoria holiday weekend

Harvey.

 

 

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