May 22/Silver comex sees the amount standing rising for the 16th consecutive day to over 23.25 million oz/Gold rises $7.70 but the star is silver up 38 cents on the day/North Korea launches another long range ballistic missile/Trump signs an historic arms deal with Saudi Arabia/Trump is now in Israel/

GOLD: $1261.60  up $7.70

Silver: $17.20  up 38  cent(s)

Closing access prices:

Gold $1260.40

silver: $17.16










Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$9.83


LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX:  5:30 am est  $1255.25




For comex gold:



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

For silver:

For silver: MAY


Total number of notices filed so far this month: 4573 for 22,865,000 oz



For 16 consecutive days, the amount standing for physical has risen.  On First day notice 16.8 million oz were standing; tonight 23.250 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 fell again and it has been heading southbound on 8 out of the last 9 trading sessions which is good for our precious metals.

However, be careful tomorrow, as the gold/silver equity shares are quite subdued in the afternoon  which may mean that the bankers are sending a signal to raid again tomorrow

Let us have a look at the data for today






we had 0 notice(s) filed upon for NIL oz of gold.


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


We had a big changes in tonnes of gold at the GLD: a deposit of 1.77 tonnes

Inventory rests tonight: 852.48 tonnes



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????



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


(report Harvey)


2.a) The Shanghai and London gold fix report



2 b) Gold/silver trading overnight Europe, Goldcore

(Mark O’Byrne/zerohedge

and in NY:  Bloomberg


i)Late SUNDAY night/MONDAY morning: Shanghai closed DOWN 14.96 POINTS OR .48%   / /Hang Sang CLOSED UP 216.47 POINTS OR 0.86% The Nikkei closed UP 87.52 POINTS OR 0.45%/Australia’s all ordinaires  CLOSED UP  0.73%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN at 6.8899/Oil UP to 50.74 dollars per barrel for WTI and 54.00 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED  MIXED/RED    ..Offshore yuan trades  6.8775 yuan to the dollar vs 6.8899 for onshore yuan. NOW  THE OFFSHORE IS MUCH STRONGER TO THE ONSHORE YUAN/ ONSHORE YUAN WEAKER (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



He launches another missile which flew 500 km and was a successful.

( zero hedge)

ii)Kim now approves a new ballistic missile for “combat”

( zerohedge)

General Mattis describes the North Korean military solution as “tragic on a unbelievable scale”

( zerohedge)





i)Irish Times/UK and the EU re BREXIT

If the EU continues to ask for any bill for leaving the union, then the UK will abruptly quit the BREXIT TALKS.  Trade between the countries must be solved first.

( zero hedge)


Merkel states correctly that the Euro is “too weak” for Germany and that is correct. However for southern Euro countries it is stronger than it ought to be.  The Euro surges on the Merkel pronouncement;

(courtesy zero hedge)


The Greek authorities are finally cracking down on tax evasion as they will now have the authority to confiscate safe deposit boxes and securities that have been not been declared on their tax forms:

( zero hedge)



Trump signs the single largest deal in USA history: 350 billion USA

(courtesy zero hedge)



Now it is Goldman Sachs that is warning of a sharp oil price drop

( zero hedge)



This should lead to impeachment: Temer tells the Supreme Court of Brazil to suspend their corruption probe of himself;

(courtesy zero hedge)



Bitcoin sails above 2000 dollars USA per coin.

( zerohedge)


Bitcoin now into the 2100 dollar column;

( zerohedge)


iib) Then $2200.00 per Bitcoin : and in Japan at $2500

this is totally nuts!!

( zero hedge)

iii)There seems to be a gold rush in two places;  the Yukon and Argentina’s Patagonia

( Bloomberg/Bochove)

iv)Zimbabwe plans to confiscate mining permits if mining operations are not mining for gold

( Bloomberg/GATA)

v)Stephen Leeb talks about how China is buying gold and its plan  for the gold back yuan.  Since 2013 Chinese citizens have bought 11,000 tonnes of gold.  He believes that sovereign China has north of 10,000 tonnes as this nation is very secretive of its hoard.  He talks about Chinese mining companies having reserves of 2,000 tonnes of which they mine 470 tonnes per year or 25% of its reserves/

( Stephen Leeb/GATA/Kingworldnews)

vi)Join the GATA gang in Vancouver next weekend:


Quite a story:  in South Africa there is underground mine cities where one can trade sex, booze, barbecue meets or just about anything.

(courtesy The Times/Johannesburg/GATA)

10. USA stories

i)The fun begins: Comey to testify to an open hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee:

( zero hedge)

ii)Lavrov denies Trump said “Comey is a nut job”

( zero hedge)

( zero hedge)

iv) My good friend Robert H. sent the following article on the Trump/Comey situation.

I believe it is 100% accurate and it is a must read

( Lisa Frank)


iv b)

On Friday night, Fox news brought out the story that they have proved conclusively that Seth Rich was the insider who leaked the DNC files to Wikileaks.  This has scared the DNC folks to no end.  However we are not sure who supplied the Podesta files
( zero hedge)
v)In a new report, 25% of all Americans cannot pay all of their monthly bills and a huge 44% have less than 400 dollars in cash in their bank accounts
( zero hedge)

vi)Trump’s budget plan which includes a huge $1.7 trillion in entitlements (cutting food stamps by 25% etc) has both sides up in arms:

(courtesy zerohedge)

vii)These next 11 retailers will file for bankruptcy protection according to Fitch.  Bricks and mortar operations are in trouble

( zerohedge)

viii)TRUMP saves Obamacare again by continuing to pay subsidies.

( zero hedge)

Let us head over to the comex:

The total gold comex open interest FELL BY 7,548 CONTRACTS DOWN to an OI level of 437,271 DESPITE THE RISE IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ( $1.25 with YESTERDAY’S trading).THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT WE HAD SOME SHORT COVERING AND ON FRIDAY WE WITNESSED FROM THE COT REPORT CONSIDERABLE DELTA HEDGING TO OFFSET THE HUGE SHORT POSITION BY THE BANKERS.   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 11 contract(s) FALLING TO  23. We had 11  notices filed yesterday so we neither gained nor lost any gold ounces 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 14,696 contracts DOWN to 184,463.  The non active July contract LOST another 35 contracts to stand at 1045 contracts. The next big active month is August and here the OI gained 6772 contracts up to 151,864.

We are catching up to last year’s huge open interest as on May 16 2016 we had at this exact time:    232,241 contracts of JUNE 2016 CONTRACTS OPEN.( compared to JUNE 2017: 184,463)

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

We had 0 notice(s) filed upon today for NIL oz

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 7 contracts FALLING TO 103 contracts. MY GOODNESS!! IT HAPPENED AGAIN!! We had 33 notices filed on Friday , so we gained another 26 notices or an additional 130,000 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 16 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 17 contracts to stand at 723. The next big active month will be July and here the OI  LOST 3581 contracts DOWN to 152,648.

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 26 notice(s) filed for 130,000 oz for the MAY 2017 contract

VOLUMES: for the gold comex

Today the estimated volume was 104,444 contracts which is poor

Yesterday’s confirmed volume was 240,744 contracts  which is very good.

volumes on gold are STILL HIGHER THAN NORMAL!

INITIAL standings for MAY
 May 22/2017.
Gold Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz   nil
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz  
1286.000  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
0 notice(s)
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   216,208.2 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 1 customer withdrawal(s)
i) out of Scotia:  1286.000???
(exact weight xx.000 oz??)
total customer withdrawal: 1,286.000 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 0 notices were stopped (received) by jPMorgan dealer and 0 notice(s) was (were) stopped/ Received) by jPMorgan customer account.

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 (23 contracts) minus the number of notices served upon today (0) 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 + {(23)OI for the front month  minus the number of  notices served upon today (0) x 100 oz which equals 54,200 oz standing in this non active delivery month of MAY  (1.6858 tonnes).  We neither gained nor lost any gold contracts standing for delivery and 0 contracts were cash settled through the EFP route 
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
Total dealer inventory 877,817.092 or 27.303 tonnes DEALER RAPIDLY LOSING GOLD
Total gold inventory (dealer and customer) = 8,760,909.982 or 272.500 tonnes 
Over a year ago the comex had 303 tonnes of total gold. Today the total inventory rests at 272.50 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.
And now for silver
MAY INITIAL standings
 May 22. 2017
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory  nil
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
748,481.886 oz
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
nil oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory 
 100,258.600  oz
No of oz served today (contracts)
(130,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
77 contracts
( 385,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 4573 contracts (22,865,000 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  6,693,692.9 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 5 customer withdrawal(s):
i) Out of Delaware:  5071.101 oz
ii) Out of Brinks; 105,217.700 oz
iii) Out of CNT: 457,446.185 oz
iv) Out of HSBC  100,259.500 oz
v) Out of Scotia; 80,487.400 oz
 We had 1 Customer deposits:
i) Into Scotia;  100,258.600 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  100,258.600 oz
 we had 0 adjustment(s)
The total number of notices filed today for the MAY. contract month is represented by 26 contract(s) for 130,000 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 4573 x 5,000 oz  = 22,865,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of MAY (103) and the number of notices served upon today (26) x 5000 oz equals the number of ounces standing


Thus the initial standings for silver for the MAY contract month:  4573(notices served so far)x 5000 oz  + OI for front month of APRIL.(103 ) -number of notices served upon today (26)x 5000 oz  equals  23,250,000 oz  of silver standing for the MAY contract month.
We actually gained another 26 contracts or an additional 130,000 oz will stand for delivery and again nobody wished to accept an EFP contract for a fiat bonus. It probably means that the entire 23.250 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 16 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 and next month they may be after physical gold. 
Volumes: for silver comex
Today the estimated volume was 41,355 which is very good
Yesterday’s  confirmed volume was 81,919 contracts which is simply out of this world
Total dealer silver:  33.167 million (close to record low inventory  
Total number of dealer and customer silver:   200.665 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


NPV for Sprott and Central Fund of Canada

Not available today/Canadian holiday

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 19/2017 )
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…

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.




And now the Gold inventory at the GLD



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




May 22 /2017/ Inventory rests tonight at 852.48 tonnes


Now the SLV Inventory

May 19/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 343.815 million oz.

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/



May 22.2017: Inventory 343.395  million oz

Major gold/silver trading/commentaries for MONDAY



James Rickards: Gold’s “Decisive Turn Around” – “Next Stop Is $1,300 Or Higher

James Rickards via Daily Reckoning

But the most important development this week may be the one you never heard about on the news or the internet.

On May 10, gold launched a decisive turnaround from its most recent decline.

This kept intact the pattern I’ve been writing about for weeks of “higher highs, and higher lows” as every retreat finds a footing higher than the one before and each new high reaches new, higher ground.

Gold in USD (5 Years)

This pattern began on Dec. 15, 2016, at an interim low of $1,128/oz. Since then gold has hit new highs of:

  • $1,216/oz on Jan. 17
  • $1,256/oz on Feb. 24
  • $1,289/oz on April 18.

Each time gold retreated from those highs, it found a new bottom at a higher price than the time before. The recent low was $1,218/oz on May 10. In this new spike, gold has now rallied to $1,251 as of early Friday.

If this pattern holds, the next stop is $1,300 or higher.

A Fed rate hike on June 14 could be a catalyst for a move even higher, just as the last two rate hikes on Dec. 14, 2016, and March 15, 2017, were turning points for gold.

No market moves up in a straight line, and gold won’t either. But what we’re seeing right now is very encouraging.

While everyone is focused on the Washington circus this week, they’re missing what could be the real news — gold.

‘The Perils of Complacency’ is James Rickards latest piece for the Daily Reckoning. Full article can be read here

News and Commentary

Gold heads for biggest gain in 5 weeks (

Gold holds gains as Trump concerns support (

Russia probe reaches current White House official (

Paulson holds SPDR Gold holdings steady as bullion rallies (

New platinum bullion coins unveiled during London Platinum Week} (

Gold in USD (5 Years)

Most important development this week not on the news or the internet – Rickards (

Get Ready for Quantitative Tightening , Then QE4 – Rickards (

How China plans to send the price of gold soaring (

Venezuela: Forty Years of Economic Decline (

Do this one simple thing to get richer every day (




Silver trading today


Silver Surges As Shorts Hit 2-Year High

The so-called ‘smart-money’ has been piling into short silver positions in the last few weeks (creating the biggest hedge fund silver short in two years as of last week)… as silver rebounds from a record losing streak.

The last two times hedgies were this short, silver managed notable gains…

It appears that after a record-breaking streak of losing daysamid what may have been forced liquidations from Noble Group

$16 has brought back the buyers (and perhaps Noble has ceased its commodity liquidations).


Bitcoin sails above 2000 dollars USA per coin.

(courtesy zerohedge)

Bitcoin Soars Above $2000 For First Time Ever

Bitcoin is now up over 100% in 2017, amid global political uncertainty and increased interest in Asia, suddenly spiking above $2000 this afternoon for the first time ever…


That is a year-over-year gain of more than 350%. The move comes, as CoinDesk notes, amid a broader boost in the cryptocurrency market, which broke the $60bn barrier today. The increase has taken place amid strong surges from Ripple’s XRP, which seeks to lower costs in enterprise cross-border payments, and ethereum’s ether token, a cryptographic asset that powers its decentralized app network.

It appears Bitcoin is one of the only (un-rigged) assets in the world that is reflective of global policy and geopolitical uncertainty…



Bitcoin now into the 2100 dollar column;

(courtesy zerohedge)

Bitcoin Blows Through $2100

Bitcoin is now up over 135% year-to-date, having screamed above $2000 and $2100 overnight as the dollar limped to 6-month lows…

Having shrugged off China crackdowns and worries over ‘hard forks’, it appears the legalization of the virtual currency in Japan (with Peach Aviation now accepting bitcoin for flight ticket purchases) and broader adoption in Russia have fueled demand in recent weeks…

this is totally nuts!!

(courtesy zero hedge)

There seems to be a gold rush in two places;  the Yukon and Argentina’s Patagonia

(courtesy Bloomberg/Bochove)

From Yukon to Patagonia, gold explorers stir after sleep


By Danielle Bochove
Bloomberg News
Thursday, May 18, 2017

From Canada’s Yukon to southern Patagonia, outbreaks of gold-rush fever are popping up as bullion markets stage a tentative recovery.

The number of holes drilled at gold deposits has been rising steadily for more than a year, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. And while early-stage exploration budgets haven’t kept pace with spending at existing mines, prospecting hot spots are starting to pop up in traditional destinations Canada, Australia, and Latin America.

In some parts of Argentina, exploration has jumped about 50 percent, mainly for lithium but also for gold in provinces such as Santa Cruz, according to state-controlled energy company YPF SA. Chile’s government also sees a pickup this year with prospectors focusing on both copper and gold. Colombia is also attracting more attention. …

… For the remainder of the report:




Zimbabwe plans to confiscate mining permits if mining operations are not mining for gold

(courtesy Bloomberg/GATA)


Zimbabwe plans ‘use it or lose it’ mine-permit program for gold


By Godfrey Marawanyika and Brian Latham
Bloomberg News
Friday, May 19, 2017

Zimbabwe may confiscate unused mining licenses from companies and liberalize gold trading as ways to boost output.

Large mines are “sitting on lots of unused claims,” the southern African country’s Chamber of Mines said in a document outlining initiatives of the proposed Command Mining program. Revisiting the Gold Trade Act “to allow for the ease of handling and transportation of gold to buying centers” and speeding up mine registration are among other recommendations.

Zimbabwe, whose economy has halved since 2000, is looking for ways to boost output growth to almost 10 percent next year, mainly through agriculture and manufacturing, and by giving more people access to banking services. The country, which has the world’s biggest platinum reserves after South Africa, is experiencing a liquidity crisis that has led to limits on daily cash withdrawals and resulted in civil servants being paid late last month. …

… For the remainder of the report:…


Stephen Leeb talks about how China is buying gold and its plan  for the gold back yuan.  Since 2013 Chinese citizens have bought 11,000 tonnes of gold.  He believes that sovereign China has north of 10,000 tonnes as this nation is very secretive of its hoard.  He talks about Chinese mining companies having reserves of 2,000 tonnes of which they mine 470 tonnes per year or 25% of its reserves/

(courtesy Stephen Leeb/GATA)

Stephen Leeb: How China plans to send the price of gold soaring


6:53p ET Sunday, May 21, 2017

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Fund manager Stephen Leeb, writing today for King World News, asserts that China is mining gold at a furious pace for a nominal loss — because the country plans to link gold to its currency, the yuan, and thereby become the dominant power in Asia and even the world as the gold price explodes. Leeb’s analysis is headlined “This Is Exactly How China Plans to Send the Price of Gold Skyrocketing” and it’s posted at KWN here:…

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



Join the GATA gang in Vancouver next weekend:

(courtesy GATA)

Join GATA at the International Metal Writers Conference in Vancouver next weekend


7p ET Tuesday, May, 21, 2017

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

GATA will participate in Cambridge House’s International Metal Writers Conference in Vancouver next Sunday and Monday, May 28 and 29.

GATA Board of Directors member Ed Steer, publisher of Ed Steer’s Gold & Silver Digest letter, and your secretary/treasurer will be speaking, and GATA Chairman Bill Murphy, proprietor of, will preside over GATA’s reception at the nearby Lions Pub following the conference.

Among other speakers at the conference will be Rick Rule of Sprott U.S. Holdings, David Morgan of The Morgan Report and, Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors, Mickey Fulp of, and Thom Calandra of The Calandra Report.

The conference aims “to discuss, debate, and forecast the future of the junior mining industry in the junior mining capital of the world.” Of course Vancouver is more than that, especially in the spring, when it is North America’s most spectacular city.

Admission to the conference is free with advance registration. Admission will cost C$20 at the door.

The Fairmont Waterfront hotel, across the street from the convention center, is offering a conference rate.

The conference’s internet site is here:…

GATA’s reception at the Lions Pub will be held from 5-8 p.m. Monday, May 29. The pub is located at 888 West Cordova St., a short walk from the convention center. Admission will be free. There will be a cash bar and, as usual, if the GATA delegation doesn’t beat you to them, some free snacks.

The Lions Pub is a warm and cozy place in the heart of downtown Vancouver —

— and we hope to see many old and new friends there.

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



Quite a story:  in South Africa there is underground mine cities where one can trade sex, booze, barbecue meets or just about anything.

(courtesy The Times/Johannesburg)

Dungeons of gold: Sex, booze, and barbecue in underground mine cities


By Graeme Hosken and Jan Bornman
The Times, Johannesburg, South Africa
Monday, May 22, 2017

Millions of rands in sex, food, and alcohol are being traded in secret underground cities linked to illegal mining activities in small towns such as Welkom in the Free State.

The town, once a hive of legal mining activity, was the site of one of the worst illegal mining disasters South Africa has seen when at least 34 “zama zamas” were killed in an underground explosion last week.

In the aftermath of the explosion illegal miners, police and mine security experts have told stories of underground passages and tunnels in which everything is available for a steep price.

The existence of more than 6,000 disused gold, chrome, diamond, and platinum mines across South Africa has allowed for the creation of a thriving underground economy. One mining expert says the underground industry supports thousands above ground.

Spaza shops sell braaied [barbecued] meat, loaves of bread, tins of bully beef and chakalaka, airtime, toilet paper, Amarula, beer, and whisky at exorbitant prices to miners who spend months at a time below ground.

Sex is also for sale.

“What do you want? That’s what they ask you before you go down,” said Richard, an informal miner. “Believe me, it’s true. You can even buy airtime for cellphones.”

Richard laughed, revealing that cellphone reception is clear 3 kilometers below the Free State town.

For Roberto, Welkom has proved to be an unexpected gold mine.

“If it wasn’t for them [illegal miners] I would have been long gone, living in Joburg. They [the government and mine management] say that the mines are dead but it’s rubbish. These guys come with cash. They rock up with R100,000.”

Roberto said the orders are mostly for tinned food, bread, Coke, and alcohol.

“Sometimes they come with gold. We trade the gold for food, booze and for things they need to survive underground. Who are we to say no? We don’t ask questions.”

Once bought, the supplies are taken to “madala sites,” which are areas in disused mining shafts that serve as mini villages and rest sites. Illegal miners who have spoken to The Times said the madala sites are also used in cases of tragedies for recovering and identifying bodies. They also contain makeshift sickbays where those who are injured can be treated and recuperate.

Philip, who is involved in security at one of Harmony Gold’s mines in Welkom, said the madala sites had transformed the disused mines into another world.

“There are entire towns down there. People go down specifically to sell. Some go down for sex. That costs R,2500. The sex is from either prostitutes that are brought down or from legal women miners. When they take their shift breaks they meet the illegals for a few hours,” said Philip.

He said the syndicates which run the illegal industry have connections to help them source what is required.

“They make it easy for traders. They offer them cash in large sums. They have connections in bottle- stores, wholesalers, cellphone shops, battery stores and protective clothing businesses,” he said.

Philip said mine security and legal miners would often hear the zama zamas on their days off because they play loud music and party underground.

“When we go down there we can hear them, the sound travels. Sometimes it sounds like you are in a nightclub.”

But for the police prosecuting those involved in the underground industry it is nearly impossible because it is hard to collect evidence.

A Welkom police station sergeant, who cannot be named as he is not authorised to speak to the media, said of their battles with the zama zamas: “All we can do now really is run disruption operations. When we hear of storage sites we raid them and confiscate their goods. But in the end we have to give their parcels back.

“You can’t arrest people for being in possession of food. We often find farms being used as fronts for packaging their food. It’s not just one farm, but dozens. The farmers get big kickbacks for allowing disused storerooms to be used as packing and storage facilities,” said the police officer.

“When we do catch them making these food parcels, we cut open the packs so that they have to do it all over again. It’s all we can really do to frustrate them.”

Wits University anthropologist Robert Thornton, who specialises in studying illegal mining, said it “had a very big impact” on the economies of mining towns.

“You don’t just have the miners going underground to mine. You have entire subsidiary industries developing around sites where illegal mining occurs. Within these subsidiary industries, you find people who make clothing, kneepads and protective gear, vendors selling food, and so on.”

He said the importance of illegal mining was that the economic activity was diffused among the entire community.

Thornton said should illegal mining suddenly stop overnight in a mining town, it would have “a major impact” on the area.

“Very few people realise how important it is to the economy of these mining communities.”

* * *


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



2. Nikkei closed UP 87,52  POINTS OR 0.45%   /USA: YEN RISES TO 111.39

3. Europe stocks OPENED MIXED/RED        ( /USA dollar index FALLS TO  97.03/Euro UP to 1.1244


3c Nikkei now JUST BELOW 17,000

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

3e WTI::  50.74 and Brent: 54.00

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  +.400%/Italian 10 yr bond yield UP  to 2.146%    

3j Greek 10 year bond yield FALLS to  : 5.66% ???  

3k Gold at $1257.10/silver $17.00 (8:15 am est)   SILVER BELOW  RESISTANCE AT $18.50 

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble UP 27/100 in  roubles/dollar) 56.63-

3m oil into the 50 dollar handle for WTI and 54 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 SMALL SIZED DEVALUATION SOUTHBOUND 


30 SNB (Swiss National Bank) still intervening again in the markets driving down the SF. It is not working: USA/SF this morning  0.9699 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.0905 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.


3r the 10 Year German bund now POSITIVE territory with the 10 year RISES to  +0.400%

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 2.250% early this morning. Thirty year rate  at 2.907% /POLICY ERROR)GETTING DANGEROUSLY HIGH

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

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

Asia Jumps, Europe Stutters As Political Rumblings Return; Oil Nears $51

Global stocks were mixed to start the week, with Asian stocks higher, European stocks initially advancing then fading gains, while S&P futures are little changed after the biggest weekly drop since April (which for those keeping record was -0.4%). European shares, the euro and the pound all stumbled on Monday as rumblings in Spain, Britain and Brussels reminded investors that the region still has plenty of political uncertainty left in the tank.

Oil continued to rise amid short covering and the latest round of “pricing in” that cuts to crude supplies will be extended by up to 9 months when OPEC meets on Thursday. The pound initially fell as the UK threatened to quit talks on its departure from the European Union, however it has since regains most of the overnight losses.

In early trading, a one-month high for oil and bounce in the dollar triggered Asia’s best session in weeks overnight but Europe struggled to maintain the momentum early on. Most Asian stocks and currencies benefitted from positive risk appetite with sentiment buoyed by Wall Street gains and the Indonesia upgrade which has sent local stocks on their best 2-day rally this year.

Indonesian stocks on track for best 2 days this year. S&P upgrades country to investment grade. Equities feel the love

A rally in Tencent Holdings Ltd. helped send Hong Kong shares back toward a 22-month high. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index jumped 1 percent while the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.5 percent. Japan’s Topix rose 0.5 percent. The Kospi and won rally despite yet another North Korean missile test on Sunday, which however has now faded largely into the background. Australian bond futures drift lower; 10-year yield briefly climbs three basis points to 2.50%.

Also in Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan enjoyed its best session in a month helped by gains in Australia and Hong Kong stocks despite a mass downgrade of bank credit ratings in the former and new property market regulations in the latter. Chinese stocks were the only laggards in the region with mainland indices ending 0.5 percent in the red as concerns also simmered about another dip in the economy there. The bounce in Asian stocks this year has helped MSCI’s closely followed emerging stocks index notch up gains of more than 17 percent compared to 8 percent for the wider ‘all-world’ index which is near a record high.

European bourses have been mixed with no material moves except for Spain where government bonds, stocks underperform most European peers after Socialists elected a party leader who is a more strident critic of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and opposed his party’s 2016 abstention to let Rajoy govern.

“Last week was all about U.S. uncertainty but we have had a reminder that Europe still has plenty of uncertainty too,” said Alvin Tan at Societe Generale.

Spanish 10Y spreads to German bonds rose as much as 4bps to 125 bps on the news, while the Ibex 35 index -0.3%, versus an unchanged print for the Stoxx Europe 600 index.

“There are new uncertainties in the Spanish market,” said Javier Ferrer, head of global rates at Ahorro Corp. brokerage in Madrid. “Basically the question is what road will the Socialist party take, now that Pedro Sanchez returns as leader? You can see the reaction in the Spanish spread to Italian bonds…. We’re not going to see him attempt any complex changes nationally in the short term, because he’ll have to try to fix the problems of his party first. But over the medium term, yes, would could see changes — even the Socialists trying to call a vote of confidence in this government.”

Another familiar European story was also back on the radar. Euro zone finance ministers and the IMF will meet later on Monday to try and nail down a deal on Greek debt relief that balances the IMF’s demand for a clear “when and how” with Germany’s preference for “only if necessary” and “details later”. Without the loans, Athens would be likely to default whereas country wants a deal to help it return to market financing next year when its latest bailout, the third since 2010, ends in mid-2018.

Overall, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index was little changed after the worst week since November.

Looking at the bigger picture, oil advanced a fourth day in the build-up to OPEC’s gathering in Vienna this week, as speculation grew that production cuts will be extended into next year. WTI rose just shy of $51, while Oman’s Al Rumhy said that oil can reach $55 if the oil cuts are extended, as they will be for the simple reason that the first 6 month cut failed to rebalance the market. The hope now is that a second, 9 month cut will succeed.

U.S. Treasuries were also better offered. The cable was volatile amid hardening Brexit rhetoric. On Monday morning, the PBOC injected a modest net 30 billion yuan in open market operations, strengthens daily CNY reference rate; 7-day repo rate drops 14 basis points.

Futures on the S&P 500 fell 0.1 percent after the underlying gauge increased 0.7 percent Friday.

As Bloomberg writes this morning, the relative tranquility across markets suggests investors are betting that global growth can weather political turmoil in the U.S. and Brazil, even as the world’s largest economy edges closer to another increase in borrowing costs. Meanwhile, Trump is trying hard to deflect attention from the domestic political crisis surrounding former FBI Director James Comey. Earlier today trump arrived in Israel after spending two days in Saudi Arabia where he signed arms contracts totallying $350BN over ten years, before continuing on to Europe.

“With Trump on a tour, the hope is we see less news over the next couple of days — a chance for the waters to settle,” said Andrew Sullivan, a managing director for sales trading at Haitong International Securities Group Ltd. in Hong Kong. “It’s another overhang on the market. We’ve got all these markets trading at highs and people don’t want to miss out, but they don’t want to be caught out.”

In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell less than 0.1 percent after its worst weekly performance since July. The pound lost 0.3 percent to $1.3003. The euro added 0.1 percent to $1.1218. The Russian ruble strengthened 0.6 percent.

In rates, 10Y Treasury yields rose two basis points to 2.25 percent following their best week in a month. Benchmark yields in the U.K. were little changed at 1.09 percent.

For those who missed it, here are the main news from the weekend:

  • Panel officials announced on Friday that Former FBI Director Comey is to testify at the Senate intelligence committee after Memorial Day, while there were also reports that Comey now thinks that President Trump tried to influence him according to a source.
  • Source reports indicate that Germany is said to see no Greek payout at this week’s Eurogroup meeting.
  • Spain’s main opposition Socialist party (PSOE) voted for former party leader Pedro Sanchez as its leader by a projected margin of 49.6% vs. 40.2% for Susana Diaz. Focus now turns to the party Congress on June 16-18th which is aimed at uniting the party. Ideologically, Sanchez is closer than Diaz to Podemos, and the PSOE and Podemos together control 156 seats in parliament, more than the PP, which would enable them to form a blocking minority.
    YouGov/Sunday Times poll showed the Conservatives at 44% (-5pts) and Labour at 35% (+4pts), while the latest Survation UK election poll showed Conservatives at 43% (-5pts) vs. Labour at 34% (+5pts).
  • UK Brexit Minister Davis stated that UK will quit Brexit talks unless EU drops its demand for a divorce bill of as much as EUR 100bIn.
    Brazilian President Temer stated that an audio recording at the centre of a bribery scandal was doctored and therefore asked the Supreme Court to suspend investigations on him until the authenticity of recording can be verified.
  • North Korea conducted another missile test over the weekend which landed off its east coast, with the missile said to be a medium range missile but with a shorter range than its past recent launches. There were also reports that Kim Jong-Un ordered the deployment of a ‘missile for combat’, while a South Korea Unification Ministry official stated that cut-off between South and North Korea is not desirable for stability and added they are to consider approving contacts and visits to North Korea.

On Monday, Agilent, Nordson and Booz Allen Hamilton are among companies set to report earnings. Further in the week, money managers will be scrutinizing minutes released this week from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting to gauge the chances of a rate hike next month.

Bulletin headline summary from RanSquawk

  • European bourses have reversed their earlier gains (Eurostoxx 50 -0.1%) with losses in tech names offsetting the rise in the materials sector
  • Mixed flow in the FX markets this morning, with some light inferences on how the week may play out from here.
  • Looking ahead, highlights include Fed’s Kashkari and Harker

Global Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures little changed at 2,381.70
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.2% to 392.35
  • MXAP up 0.8% to 151.92
  • MXAPJ up 0.8% to 496.05
  • Nikkei up 0.5% to 19,678.28
  • Topix up 0.5% to 1,567.65
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.9% to 25,391.34
  • Shanghai Composite down 0.5% to 3,075.68
  • Sensex up 0.5% to 30,619.98
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.8% to 5,771.21
  • Kospi up 0.7% to 2,304.03
  • German 10Y yield rose 0.3 bps to 0.371%
  • Euro down 0.3% to 1.1170 per US$
  • Brent Futures up 1% to $54.14/bbl
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 1.1 bps to 1.844%
  • Spanish 10Y yield rose 1.1 bps to 1.59%
  • Gold spot down 0.1% to $1,254.69
  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.3% to 97.38

Key Overnight Headlines from Bloomberg

  • Merkel says euro is “too weak” because of ECB policy, making German products “cheap in relative terms,” in discussion with students over trade surprlus
  • ECB’s Weidmann: ECB will need to “demonstrate backbone” when price pressures increase again
  • Spain: Socialist opposition party elects Sanchez as leader; could create difficulties for minority Rajoy government to pass new legislation
  • Messaggero: Berlusconi says if an accord is reached on electoral reform, Italian early elections could happen this Autumn
  • U.K. threatens to quit Brexit talks unless EU drops its massive divorce payment demand
  • Conservatives 43%, Labour 34%, Liberal Democrats 8%: Survation/GMB poll
  • Clariant to Buy Huntsman Creating $14 Billion Chemical Giant
  • Trump Sticks to Script in Mideast, Trying to Turn Page on Russia
  • EU Discusses Brexit Position as U.K. Threatens to Quit Talks
  • Oil Extends Gain Toward $51 as Saudis See Output Curbs Into 2018
  • HNA Said in Talks to Buy Stake in Hong Kong’s Value Partners
  • Rupert Murdoch’s Grip on Power Put to the Test in Fox Upheaval
  • SoftBank’s Son Chases Boyhood Dreams With $100 Billion Fund
  • UCB Plunges Most Since 2008 on FDA Delay Osteoporosis Drug
  • Aegon to Divest Majority of U.S. Run-Off Businesses to Wilton Re
  • German April tax revenue rises 5.8%; economy ’solid’: Finance Ministry report
  • Saudi energy minister: All ’on board’ for 9-month supply cut extension
  • S&P downgrades 23 smaller Australian banks, cites risk of sharp property correction
  • North Korea conducted ballistic missile test on Sunday; Japan considers new sanctions
  • Ford CEO Mark Fields Said to Be Replaced by Hackett: Forbes
  • Goldman Said to Hire in Asia to Expand Quantitative Products: FT
  • Italy May Seek Damages From VW on Diesel Case: Corriere
  • Facebook to Speed Up Process of Removing Objectionable Posts

Asia equity markets shrugged off the geopolitical concerns from another North Korean missile test over the weekend, with markets mostly higher following the upbeat close on Wall St. last Friday. ASX 200 (+0.7%) was led by energy and mining names after WTI crude futures reclaimed USD 50/bbl and firm gains in Dalian iron ore futures. Nikkei 225 (+0.5%) remained dictated by JPY weakness, while Shanghai Comp. (-0.5%) and Hang Seng (+0.9%) were mixed after the PBoC resumed liquidity operations, although the amount was at a reserved CNY 40bIn injection. 10yr JGBs were lower with demand subdued amid gains in riskier assets and after the BoJ kept its Rinban operation on the light side, while the curve steepened amid mild underperformance in the long-end.

Top Asian News

  • Japanese Exports Record Fifth Straight Monthly Increase in April
  • A ’Mind-Boggling’ Reform Looms Over India’s $2 Trillion Economy
  • Cogobuy Sinks as Much as 27% Before Halting Trading in Hong Kong

It has been a Quiet start to the week in Europe with the economic calendar on the light side. Nonetheless, European bourses have reversed their earlier gains (Eurostoxx 50 -0.1%) with losses in tech names offsetting the rise in the materials sector. On a stock specific breakdown, among the outperformers this morning is Clariant, trading higher by -4% after announcing a USD 20bIn merger of equals with Huntsman. Elsewhere, National Grid shares have slumped some 15% as they go ex-div. Spanish bonds are on the back foot this morning in the peripheral space with Bonos wider by 4bps against the German benchmark, taking the spread to 124bps. Sanchez is seen as a hardliner who is likely to make life difficult for the PP government, who previously refused to cooperate with the governing minority by way of abstention in a confidence vote back in October. Mild softness in equities has kept Bunds afloat with the German curve showing modest steepening, led by the outperformance in the 2yr. This also comes ahead of tomorrow’s auction, where Germany are looking to tap with a new EUR 5bIn Schatz.

Top European News

  • Sanctions No Downer for BlackRock Fund as Russia Plans Eurobond
  • Three Greek Debt-Relief Options Said to Be Weighed by Creditors
  • Italy’s Real GDP Projected to Expand 1% This Year: Istat
  • Paysafe Drops After Short Seller’s Comments on Seeking Alpha

In currencies, mixed flow in the FX markets this morning, with the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell less than 0.1 percent after its worst weekly performance since July. The pound lost 0.3 percent to $1.3003. The euro added 0.1 percent to $1.1218. The Russian ruble strengthened 0.6 percent. Given the muted reaction to yet more missile tests in North Korea and Comey’s testimony over alleged interference in FBI investigations stretching into next week, the risk mood is a little more relaxed this morning, and after a mild test on the downside, we see USD/JPY gravitating back towards 111.50. We see little to materially influence a major test on 111.00-113.00 as the broader range, but a push on 112.00 cannot be ruled out as we factor in much tight activity in the current market make up. GBP looks to be giving up some of its resilient tone this morning, and this is more likely down to the Brexit minister’s (Davis) comments that the UK are ready to walk away from talks should a exit bill match the higher end of recent estimates. This was always going to be the initial sticking point, and here we are tailing off 1.3000 in Cable, while EUR/GBP is digging in its heals on the 0.8600 handle, but plenty of buying interest now anticipated into the mid 0.8500’s.

In commodities, oil prices are in the spotlight this week, and it is fair to say that the market is expecting an extension to the output deal currently in place. Saudi Arabia are convinced that production levels are yet to hit inventory to a significant degree, but if prices are to hold onto, and build on current levels, then the 9 month stretch (out) is what will be required. WTI is now through USD51.00, while Brent has maintained the USD3.00 spread to trip USD54.00. The feel-good factor has spilt over into the leading metals market, led by Copper which is eyeing a move on USD2.60 again. However, Gold and Silver are also pretty steady this morning, so it is not a clear cut case of risk-on, as geopolitical concerns as well as the Trump saga rumble on in the background. Iraq says it has announced readiness to extend OPEC agreement, while Iran state that they have the potential to boost oil output capacity 3mln bpd.

Today’s key economic events:

  • 8:30am: Chicago Fed Nat Activity Index, est. 0.1, prior 0.1
  • 10am: Fed’s Harker Speaks in Philadelphia
  • 10:30am: Fed’s Kashkari Speaks at Conference
  • 7pm: Fed’s Brainard to Deliver Keynote Address at Conference
  • 9:10pm: Fed’s Evans Speaks in Shanghai




i)Late SUNDAY night/MONDAY morning: Shanghai closed DOWN 14.96 POINTS OR .48%   / /Hang Sang CLOSED UP 216.47 POINTS OR 0.86% The Nikkei closed UP 87.52 POINTS OR 0.45%/Australia’s all ordinaires  CLOSED UP  0.73%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed DOWN at 6.8899/Oil UP to 50.74 dollars per barrel for WTI and 54.00 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED  MIXED/RED    ..Offshore yuan trades  6.8775 yuan to the dollar vs 6.8899 for onshore yuan. NOW  THE OFFSHORE IS MUCH STRONGER TO THE ONSHORE YUAN/ ONSHORE YUAN WEAKER (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



He launches another missile which flew 500 km and was a successful.

(courtesy zero hedge)


North Korea Launches Another Ballistic Missile

North Korea launched a ballistic missile Sunday afternoon which flew more than 500 kilometers, only one week after conducting its latest, successful ballistic missile test last Sunday, South Korea’s military announced. The missile was launched at 0759 GMT from a location near Pukchang, 60 km northeast of the capital Pyongyang, an area where North Korea attempted to test-launch another missile last month but failed, South Korea’s Office of Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement quoted by Yonhap.

The missile flew about 310 miles, a spokesman for Seoul’s defense ministry said, adding that authorities were analyzing the details of the test launch. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the missile landed outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone and no damage to ships or airplanes was reported.

North Korea test-fired a new mid-to-long-range rocket, which it calls the Hwasong-12, on May 14, 2017

The launch was the 11th missile Pyongyang has fired this year according to the WSJ. North Korea last test-launched a missile from the Pukchang airfield late last month. In that case, the missile blew up minutes after launch in an apparent failed test. U.S. authorities said at the time that the missile didn’t leave North Korean territory.  In contrast, Sunday’s successful test launch was further evidence of a pickup in momentum for North Korea’s missile program, coming on the heels of the testing of the country’s most advanced missile yet a week earlier that surprised many North Korea missile watchers.

The latest two successful launches demonstrate the rapid progress North Korea is making as part of a drive to be able to threaten the continental U.S. with a nuclear-tipped missile.

In last Sunday’s test, North Korea launched a new intermediate-range ballistic missile that it claimed was capable of carrying a large nuclear warhead. It called the missile the Hwasong-12. Independent analysts have said that, based on their calculations, the Hwasong-12 could reach the U.S. military base in Guam, more than 2,000 miles from Pyongyang. As noted previously, Victor Cha, Korea chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said after the Hwasong-12 test that the successful launch “demonstrates that we have once again underestimated North Korea’s nuclear and missile capabilities.” He said the Hwasong-12 “represents a leap in ballistic missile technology.”

Sunday’s missile test was also the second since South Korea’s new President Moon Jae-in took office this month, a further test for the country’s first liberal president in nearly a decade. Moon has called for closer ties with North Korea, primarily through economic engagement. Needless to say, he was not happy and on Sunday president Moon Jae-in convened a National Security Council meeting to discuss the provocation.  “North Korea fired an unidentified ballistic missile in the eastern direction at around 4:59 p.m. from the vicinity of Pukchang in Pyeongannam-do (South Pyeongan Province),” the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement.

A spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Command said it tracked the missile until it splashed down in the waters between Korea and Japan.

An official traveling with U.S. President Donald Trump in Saudi Arabia said the White House was aware that North Korea had launched what it described as a medium-range ballistic missile and noted that the missile had a shorter range than the three previous tested by North Korea.

As the WSJ adds, just hours before Sunday’s launch, North Korea warned through its state media that it would follow up the Hwasong-12 launch with more missile tests. “Many more ‘Juche weapons’ capable of striking the U.S. will be launched from this land,” North Korea’s Minju Joson newspaper said in a commentary Sunday, according to Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency. Juche, or self-reliance, is a reference to North Korea’s state ideology. The commentary also appeared to directly rebuke Trump’s prior vows to prevent the North from further developing its nuclear and missile capabilities.

“This is the DPRK’s answer to the Trump administration,” the Minju Joson commentary added. “The U.S. has no force to check the vigorous advance of Juche Korea.”

In Tokyo, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe denounced the missile launch and called it a “challenge to the world.” Mr. Abe said he wanted to make North Korea a principal issue at the Group of Seven summit in Italy later this week. “I would like to send a clear message.” China had no immediate comment.


Kim now approves a new ballistic missile for “combat”

(courtesy zerohedge)

North Korea’s Kim Approves New Ballistic Missile “Deployment For Combat”

Just hours after today’s second consecutive successful launch of a North Korean ballistic missile in one week, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un approved “the deployment of the new intermediate-range ballistic missile for combat use” as the country succeeded in test-firing it, Pyongyang’s state media said Monday, cited by Yonhap. KCNA also redundantly added that Kim personally observed the launch of the new ground-to-ground Pukguksong-2 missile, and approved the deployment of the Pukguksong-2 for action, calling it a “successful strategic weapon,” the KCNA said… as if there may have been something more important for Kim to do during that time.

“This type of missile should be rapidly mass-produced in a serial way” to arm the strategic force of the Korean People’s Army, Kim was quoted as saying by the report. He set forth the strategic tasks for bolstering the country’s nuclear force, it added.

This photo carried by North Korea's main newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, on Feb. 13, 2017, shows the test-firing of a new intermediate-range ballistic missile, known as the Pukguksong-2, in North Korea. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

Test-launch of the new Pukguksong-2 intermediate-range ballistic missile: Rodong Sinmun

According to South Korean military, quoted by various media outlets, the missile is the same type that was launched Feb. 12. It was developed with the technology applied in submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). Today’s test marked North Korea’s second missile launch since South Korean President Moon Jae-in took office May 10. According to Yonhap, North Korea’s continued missile launches are likely to test Moon, who earlier vowed to seek a dual approach to the North’s denuclearization and inter-Korean dialogue. On Friday, North Korea condemned Moon’s policy, saying dialogue can never be compatible with confrontation.

The latest provocations out of Pyongyang came despite the U.S. top diplomat’s latest assurance that the U.S. has no intention to seek a regime change in North Korea. Shrugging off what appears to be Washington’s conciliatory gesture, North Korea said Saturday that it will develop and produce more powerful weapons, which may prove a self-destructive gamble now that not one but two US aircraft carrier are set to anchor off the Korean coast.





General Mattis describes the North Korean military solution as “tragic on a unbelievable scale”

(courtesy zerohedge)


Mattis: North Korea Military Solution Would Be “Tragic On An Unbelievable Scale”

With the media narrative once again focused squarely on Trump and the “Russian connection”, something which will unlikely change over the next week absent “fireworks” elsewhere, the story of potential military intervention in South Korea has understandably dropped from the front pages. Although with a second US aircraft carrier now en route to the Korean Peninsula, and with Trump desperate for another “big bang” distraction, is it shortsighted to underestimate the potential of another geopolitical hotspot emerging in the next few days.

While the answer is unknown, on Friday afternoon Defense Secretary Jim Mattis reminded the American public just how high tht potential stakes are when he said that any military solution to the North Korea crisis would be “tragic on an unbelievable scale” and that Washington was working internationally to find a diplomatic solution.

Quoted by Reuters, Mattis told a Pentagon news conference that “we are going to continue to work the issue,” and added that “if this goes to a military solution, it’s going to be tragic on an unbelievable scale. So our effort is to work with the U.N., work with China, work with Japan, work with South Korea to try to find a way out of this situation.”

Pundits took the remarks as one of the clearest indicators yet that President Trump’s administration will seek to exhaust alternatives before turning to military action to force Pyongyang’s hand, although it would not explain US willingness to potentially provoke the Kim regime with a second aircraft carrier in close proximity to Pyongyang. The US which has 28,500 troops in South Korea to guard against the North Korean threat, has called on China to do more to rein in its neighbor. Mattis appeared to defend China’s most recent efforts, even as he acknowledged Pyongyang’s march forward.

“They (North Korea) clearly aren’t listening but there appears to be some impact by the Chinese working here. It’s not obviously perfect when they launch a missile,” Mattis said, when asked about Sunday’s launch. Alternatively, if and when a “military solution” tragic as it may be, becomes reality, the US will simply be able to scapegoat China for not having done enough to rein North Korea in.

Separately, discussing last Sunday’s North Korean rocket launch of its most advanced ballistic missile to date, Mattis said that Pyongyang had likely learned a great deal from the latest test of what U.S. officials say was a KN-17 missile,  which today Mattis said was believed to have survived re-entry to some degree.

“They went to a very high apogee and when it came down obviously from that altitude they probably learned a lot from it. But I’m not willing to characterize it beyond that right now,” Mattis said.

David Wright, co-director and senior scientist at the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, the big question was whether North Korea could build a re-entry vehicle for a long-range missile that wouldn’t burn up during re-entry and could keep a warhead from becoming too hot in the process.


“This test in principle gave them a lot of information about this, assuming they had sensors that could send information back during reentry so they could monitor the heat, or they could recover the reentry vehicle and examine it,” he said.

In retrospect, it is unlikely that the US will engage in military action with North Korea while Trump is traveling over the next 8 days, although even that schedule may be truncated if the media scandals that have plagued Trump every single day this week escalate further, and the president is desperate for a grand distraction, similar to the Syrian missile attack, which managed to shift the public attention away from the Russian narrative, if only for a few weeks.

For now, keep watch on the locations of US carriers around the globe: with two already next to North Korea, and rumors that a third one is en route, this may be the clearest indicator of if and when a new military operation is coming.




Irish Times/UK and the EU re BREXIT

If the EU continues to ask for any bill for leaving the union, then the UK will abruptly quit the BREXIT TALKS.  Trade between the countries must be solved first.

(courtesy zero hedge)


Threat UK will quit Brexit talks unless EU drops bill of €100bn

David Davis rules out discussion on cost of leaving EU before talks on future trade

The size of Britain’s exit bill, and which types of negotiations can begin before it has been agreed, has been a source of debate for weeks. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

The size of Britain’s exit bill, and which types of negotiations can begin before it has been agreed, has been a source of debate for weeks. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

The UK will quit talks on leaving the European Union unless the bloc drops its demands for a divorce payment as high as €100 billion, British Brexit secretary David Davis has said.

Britain’s negotiations would otherwise be plunged into “chaos”, Mr Davis said in a weekend interview, and even a £1 billion settlement would be “a lot of money”.

The size of Britain’s exit bill, and which types of negotiations can begin before it has been agreed, has been a source of debate for weeks. European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has said the UK will have to pay some £50 billion (€58.2bn), while Luxembourg’s prime minister Xavier Bettel has signalled a figure between €40 billion and €60 billion.

The Financial Times estimated the cost could balloon to €100 billion, while a study by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales put the cost at as low as £5 billion (€5.8bn).

British prime minister Theresa May’s government has said it will meet its commitments to the EU, but has questioned how Brussels officials reached their preliminary estimates.

“We don’t need to just look like we can walk away, we need to be able to walk away,” Mr Davis said. “Under the circumstances, if that was necessary we would be in a position to do it.”


Mr Davis also said the negotiations, which are expected to begin on June 19th, would be “fairly turbulent”, and he would reject any blueprint for discussions that required the issues of the divorce bill, EU citizens’ rights and Northern Ireland’s Border to be solved before talks could begin on future trade. “The first crisis or argument is going to be over sequencing,” he said.

Ms May also weighed in on the Brexit bill, saying in a separate interview with the Sunday Telegraph that “money paid in the past” by the UK into joint EU projects and the European Investment Bank ought to be taken account of in the final sum. “There is much debate about what the UK’s obligations might be or, indeed, what our rights might be. We make it clear that we would look at those, both rights and obligations.” – Bloomberg



Merkel states correctly that the Euro is “too weak” for Germany and that is correct. However for southern Euro countries it is stronger than it ought to be.  The Euro surges on the Merkel pronouncement;

(courtesy zero hedge)

Euro Surges After Merkel Says Euro Is “Too Weak”, Blames ECB

In the early days of the Trump administration, when the world was still worried – unnecessarily – that Trump would single out Europe, and especially Germany, as an unfair trading partner, slamming the Euro as too weak, Germany’s fallback response was to say the currency is where it is due to the ECB’s monetary policy, oh and that the Euro wasn’t weak, but merely reflecting fundamentals. Well, moments ago the conventional narrative appears to have shifted once again after Angela Merkel herself took on the role of chief Euro critic, saying the common currency is “too weak” and blaming the ECB for the record German trade surplus, accusing Draghi’s policies for the weak euro.

Headlines from Reuters and Bloomberg as they cross:


According to Bloomberg, Merkel was quoted as saying “The euro is too weak – and that’s because of ECB policy  – and so German products are cheap in relative terms,” Merkel told school students in Berlin in discussion of trade surplus. “So they’re sold more.” Merkel added that additional investment in Germany could help to reduce trade surplus.

The immediate result of this latest attack on the ECB, this time not by Draghi’s nemesis Schauble but by the Chancellor herself, was to send Bunds sliding to session low, with volumes surging as ~8k trades in 1 minute. the Euribor strip eding steeper; and most importantly, the EUR/USD spiking nearly 50 pips to day’s high of 1.1228.


The Greek authorities are finally cracking down on tax evasion as they will now have the authority to confiscate safe deposit boxes and securities that have been not been declared on their tax forms:


(courtesy zero hedge)

Greek Authorities To Launch Mass Confiscation Of Safe Deposit Boxes, Securities, Homes In Tax-Evasion Crackdown

Last week, the Greek parliament once again approved more austerity to unlock withheld Greek bailout funds in Brussels: a symbolic move, which has little impact without any actual follow through, like for example, actually imposing austerity. And while Greeks have been very good in the former (i.e. promises), they have been severely lacking in the latter (i.e. delivery).

That may be changing. According to Kathimerini, Greek Finance Ministry inspectors are about to start seeking out the owners of all local undeclared properties, while the law will be amended to allow for financial products and the content of safe deposit boxes to be confiscated electronically. The plan for the identification of taxpayers who have “forgotten” to declare their properties to the tax authorities is expected to be ready by year-end, according to the timetable of the Independent Authority for Public Revenue.

What follows then will be a wholesale confiscation by the government of any asset whose source, origins and funding can not be explained.

The Greek tax authorities will receive support from the Land Register to that end, as by end-September IAPR inspectors are set to obtain access to the company’s database to draw details on properties. Any taxpayers identified as having skipped the declaration of their assets to the tax authorities will be asked to comply and declare them, along with paying the tax and fines dictated by law. Should taxpayers fail to do so, the asset will be “sequestered.”

Kathimerini also notes that the IAPR is also waiting for Parliament to pass regulations permitting the mass confiscation of safe deposit box contents and financial assets such as securities.

To date the process has been conducted in handwriting and is therefore particularly slow in locating the assets of taxpayers who have either concealed incomes or have major debts to the state. It is about to get much more streamlined: once the necessary regulations are in place for the operation of an automatic system to collect debts, the tax authorities will be able to issue online confiscation notices and immediately get their hands on the contents of safe deposit boxes, confiscating cash, precious stones, jewelry and so on. They will also be able to confiscate shares and other securities.

This year the tax authorities will focus their efforts on confiscations as they try to reduce the huge pile of expired debts to the state. In this context the Independent Authority for Public Revenue will auction 27 properties belonging to state debtors by the end of next month, with the aim of collecting 2.7 billion euros by the end of the year from old debts and another 690 million euros of new debts from major debtors.

We will share the details of the auctions with readers as some notable bargains may emerge in the coming months.




Trump signs the single largest deal in USA history: 350 billion USA

(courtesy zero hedge)

Trump Signs “Single Largest Arms Deal In US History” With Saudi Arabia Worth $350 Billion

When all other sources of economic growth appear tapped out, there is always the military-industrial complex coming to the rescue of US GDP with the sale of arms and equipment to the world’s biggest purchaser of weapons: Saudi Arabia. Because when one looks beyond the pageantry, pomp and circumstance of Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, the main purpose behind the president’s visit is precisely that: selling weapons, some $350 billion over the next decade, according to estimates.

To be sure, Trump arrival in Saudi Arabia on Saturday was quite a spectacle, with the Saudi king throwing the president’s family arrival at the Royal Diwan a “welcome fit for a king.”

WATCH: President Trump, the First Lady and Ivanka arrive at Royal Diwan alongside prancing horses and flag-bearers

However, it is what was announced on Saturday that is the highlight of the various meetings between the Trump delegation and his Saudi hosts, who have promised to invest billions of dollars in the U.S. as well and make other decisions aimed at pleasing Trump.

According to a statement just issued by the White House, Trump “has just completed largest single arms deal in US history, negotiating a package totaling more than $109.7 billion” which will boost Saudi Arabia’s defense capabilities, bolstering equipment and services in the face of extreme terrorist groups and Iran.  The White House added that the deal will create defense jobs while also reaffirming America’s commitment to Saudi Arabia.

In Saudi Arabia @POTUS has just completed largest single arms deal in US history, negotiating a package totaling more than $109.7 billion

“This package of defense equipment and services support the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the face of Iranian threats, while also bolstering the Kingdom’s ability to contribute to counter terrorism operations across the region,” the White House said in a statement on Saturday, as quoted by CNBC News.

US President Donald Trump, along with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who is accompanying him on the trip, will attend the signing of a memorandum of intent on the package, Reuters reports, citing a White House official.

This package demonstrates, in the clearest terms possible, the United States’ commitment to our partnership with Saudi Arabia and our Gulf partners, while also expanding opportunities for American companies in the region,” the statement reads, according to Reuters.

The deal will provide Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest importer of weapons (for the breakdown of the world’s weapons trade, see “Visualizing The Global Weapons Trade“), with top-tier equipment and services including missiles, bombs, armored personnel carriers, Littoral Combat Ships, THAAD missile defense systems, and munitions.

According to estimates cited by The Indepdent, including restocking and future commitments over the next ten years, the deal could balloons to $350 billion worth of arms, over a third of a trillion dollars.

Gary Cohn, Trump’s chief economic advisor, said Saudi Arabia is “going to hire US companies” as a result of the defense deal. The goal of the deal is “to invest a lot of money in the U.S. and have a lot of U.S. companies invest and build things over here,” Cohn said, according to a White House press pool report.

The vast funds which will boost the US defense sector will be spent to “address Saudi Arabia’s defense needs while scaling back U.S. military involvement in specific operations” the Hill reported.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began negotiations on this deal shortly after the 2016 US election when he sent a delegation to Trump Tower to meet with the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is serving as a senior advisor of sorts to Mr Trump.

The deal will be what the Washington Post said is a “cornerstone” of the proposal encouraging the Gulf states to form its own alliance like the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) military alliance, dubbed “Arab Nato.”

It’s not just weapons, however.

According to Bloomberg, Saudi Aramco will sign initial accords and joint-venture agreements valued at about $50 billion with companies including General Electric Co., Schlumberger Ltd. and Halliburton Co., Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser told reporters in Riyadh. These companies are “trying to expand their footprint in the kingdom by expanding trade between the two sides,” he said.

“Many of us sitting on the table are overseeing substantial investments in the United States,” Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said. “Sabic has a big platform with the acquisition of GE Plastics which they continue to build on.” Other deals will be announced today, he said.


Saudi Aramco also plans to sign accords with Baker Hughes Inc., KBR Inc., Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., Nabors Industries Ltd., Weatherford International Plc, McDermott International Inc. and Rowan Companies Plc, two people familiar with the matter said earlier this week.

And so, with industrial and manufacturing spending in the US having declined over the past two years following the collapse in commodity prices, mothballing much of US capital spending, US GDP is about to get a fresh boost courtesy of what has become the world’s most prolific arms dealer.

With that, both the neo-cons in D.C., as well as the all-powerful American Military-Industrial complex can declare a truly unprecedented victory.




Now it is Goldman Sachs that is warning of a sharp oil price drop

(courtesy zero hedge)

Goldman Warns Of “Sharp Oil Price Drop”, Inventory Glut “If Backwardation Is Not Achieved”

Increasingly some of the more prominent sellside analysts appear to be picking and choosing ideas from their competitors. Earlier, it was JPM echoing Goldman’s reco when it cut its 10Y yield forecast. Now, in a note previewing the outcome of this week’s OPEC meeting and proposing a way forward for OPEC, Goldman’s Damien Couravlin adopted the “backwardation” idea presented last week by Morgan Stanley’s Francisco Blanch.

As a reminder, Blanch’s latest thesis on oil market dynamics, is that “OPEC’s goal for the oil market is not a specific price level, but reaching backwardation“, (which is also why he does not believe that OPEC will proceed with deeper cuts as this would likely mean ceding more market share to U.S. shale production).

Fast forward to Monday, when Goldman’s energy strategist Damien Couravlin effectively cribbed the whole note by writing that while “oil prices are rebounding with stock draws and greater certainty on an extension of the production cuts” and a “9 month extension would normalize OECD inventories by early 2018” he warns that he sees “risks for a renewed surplus later next year if OPEC and Russia’s production rises to their expanding capacity and shale grows at an unbridled rate.”

How can OPEC avoid this boom-bust cycle again and achieve both fiscal stability and rising revenue through oil market share gains? He argument is that “only sustained backwardation can restrain access to the large pools of private equity and HY credit capital.”

We believe that low deferred prices can achieve this by (1) increasing the opportunity cost of shale’s capital providers to hedge out their oil price exposure, (2) lowering expected equity valuation and (3) increasing expected leverage levels. Costs will also play a role in setting shale’s growth path but we do not forecast sufficient inflation at this point to achieve the required slowdown next year.

In other words, Goldman observes that curtailing access to capital is required to slow shale grow, and is urging OPEC to eliminate the biggest loophole that has allowed shale to keep producing despite lower prices, namely the contango that has allowed US producers to not only hedge production at affordable prices but to continue expanding production even as OPEC nations have been forced to limit their own output, ceding market share to US producers.

How can OPEC achieve this? Goldman’s answer is that the bank believes “that OPEC and Russia should (1) extend/increase the cuts until stocks have normalized, (2) express the goal of growing future production, and (3) gradually ramp up production to grow market share but keep stocks stable and backwardation in place.”

Goldman concedes that “achieving this will be difficult, but we see templates in both OPEC’s modus operandi of the 1990s of managed but flagged growth and the rationalization of shale growth in US gas, both with backwardation.”

The bank also highlights one major risk to its thesis: that cheap, mostly junk-rated credit will remain abundant, allowing shale to continue expanding production regardless of the fundamentals: “while oil hedge ratios are low for 2018, the main risk to this view is that funding markets remain resilient to lower deferred prices, with little HY debt maturing in the coming years.

What does all of the above mean for OPEC’s announcement on Thursday? Under such a proposed framework, “we believe that OPEC should announce a decisive cut on May 25, as normalizing stocks is a required first step (likely a 9 month extension).” Such an announcement would have a two-fold impact on oil prices: first, when it comes to Goldman’s near-term price target, the firm says that its year end Brent spot price forecast remains at $57/bbl. Things change when going beyond the 2017: here Goldman for the first time adds a significant caveat:

“we now forecast that deferred prices will need to decline with 1- to 2-yr WTI forwards of $45/bbl. This leaves us expecting high total returns for being long oil, delivered through backwardation, but recommending that producers increase their hedge coverage. If backwardation is not achieved, however, we see risks that prices fall sharply next year as OPEC reverts to growing market share through volumes.”

Just to recap, here is Goldman’s summary of what it dubs “OPEC’s dilemma”:

Herein lies the OPEC dilemma – a return to production capacity in 2018 to grow market share would lead to a sharp collapse in prices. This would extend the tug of war between OPEC and shale with the former ramping up production in 2015-2016 and 2018 but shale growing sharply in 2013-14 and 2017.



This dilemma is well illustrated with Saudi Arabia. While the Kingdom reduced its fiscal deficit in 1Q17, its roll back of austerity measures necessitates higher oil revenues in 2018 to prevent renewed large deficits. While further cuts in 2018 to support oil prices near $60/bbl would guarantee such higher fiscal revenues, this strategy would prove self-defeating longer term as high cost producers globally would ramp up activity at such prices, reducing Saudi’s long-term revenues. In turn, we do not believe that Saudi’s spare production capacity is large enough to be able to grow volumes sufficiently in 2018 to offset a sustainable decline in prices to $45/bbl and keep oil revenues at 2017 levels.



How can OPEC therefore achieve both fiscal stability and rising revenues through market share gains? We believe that the answer to this question is backwardation as low deferred prices can restrain access to capital for higher cost producers such as shale. Furthermore, backwardation maximizes low cost producers’ revenues relative to higher cost producers that hedge, as they instead sell all their production at spot prices.

Finally, we will note that the irony embedded of Goldman’s latest analysis is two-fold: on one hand the bank has to come up with a comprehensive strategy to bypass the liquidity gusher unleashed by the Fed and other global central banks. One issue with the Goldman analysis is that while it may be absolutely correct, and that backwardation will likely impair the fundamental profile of US shale producers, all that would result in is higher yields for corporate issuers which in turn would lead to an oversubscribed, bidding frenzy as the buyside rushes to allocate “other people’s money” in distressed names. As such, Goldman’s assumption of an efficient capital allocation process in a time when there is $18 trillion in excess liquidity is almost certainly wrong.

Funding aside, what is also ironic is that a US investment bank, one which effectively controls the White House, is tasked with conceptualizing a scenario which leads to a Saudi “victory” in the war with shale, an outcome which would result in thousands of lost US jobs, even as Saudi state revenues recover, and save the kingdom from its recent near budgetary death experience. It begs the question: if push comes to shove, will the Goldman Trump White House pick the side of the US shale industry, or that of Saudi Arabia, which this weekend announced intentions to purchase $350 billion in US arms over the next decade. Unfortunately, the answer is not self-evident.



This should lead to impeachment: Temer tells the Supreme Court of Brazil to suspend their corruption probe of himself;

(courtesy zero hedge)


Brazil’s President Tells Supreme Court To Suspend Corruption Probe Of Brazil’s President

In a move that will surely light the proverbial lightbulb over Donald Trump’s head, Brazilian President Michel Temer, having been officially dragged into Brazil’s massive corruption scandal after a record emerged in which he urged the payment of “hush money”, said on Saturday he would ask the Supreme Court to suspend its investigation into allegations he was also involved in the carwash corruption scheme, vowing to remain in power.

Speaking during a televised address on Saturday afternoon, Brazil’s deeply unpopular president, who replaced a just as deeply unpopular president last year when Dilma Rouseff was impeached, claimed the recording that implicated him in the scandal was doctored and said he would file a petition with the Supreme Court to suspend the investigation until it could be verified, the WSJ reported.

In the recording cited by Temer, which unleashed a historic crash of the Brazilian stock market and currency on Thursday when news of Temer’s involvement broke, the president can be heard chatting with Joesley Batista, chairman and heir of the beef-and-chicken JBS empire, apparently him his approval to pay the jailed former speaker of the House Eduardo Cunha – the man responsible for Dilma Rouseff’s ouster last year – to buy his silence. Batista, who made the recording and gave it to prosecutors in hopes for prosecutorial leniency against JBS, said the recording wasn’t edited.

“Our country will not go off the rails—I will continue at the front of the government,” Mr. Temer said in his latest defiant speech about the allegations.

To simplify: Brazil’s president just told Brazil’s Supreme Court to suspend its probe of Brazil’s president which would most likely result in Brazil’s president being impeached. Again.

Temer’s statement comes the day after it was revealed that the executives at Brazil’s meatpacking giant JBS told prosecutors they had paid millions of dollars in bribes to the president and his predecessors, Dilma Rousseff and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. In documents released by the country’s Supreme Court Friday, JBS executives told prosecutors the company had paid a total of $123 million in bribes to the country’s politicians over recent years, including payments of $4.6 million to the president.

In his speech on Saturday, Temer immeiately attacked JBS, accusing its executives of “damaging Brazil.” Ironically, in a attempt to drag down JBS with him, Temer also highlighted reports that JBS made money from the latest scandal by buying large amounts of dollars before the news broke. The Brazilian real plunged in value against the dollar on Thursday, the first day of trading after a report about the recording was published.

On at least one thing Temer may be right: the alleged incident involving JBS insider trading is perhaps just as amusing as Temer telling the court to stop probing him. On Friday, Brazil’s regulator said it launched probes against JBS – i.e., the company at the heart of the latest and greatest Brazilian scandal – and other companies controlled by J&F Investimentos to investigate suspicious trades made before Brazil’s markets crashed after the revelation of a plea deal by the company’s top executives.  In a statement late on Friday, the regulator CVM said it is investigating “signs of possible insider tradingof foreign exchange futures, derivatives and JBS stock ordered by meatpacker JBS SA, Banco Original SA and FB Participacoes SA, Reuters reported. The regulator is also examining the sale of shares in the company by its controlling shareholders and subsequent acquisitions by the company´s treasury.

The probe emerged after Brazil’s Valor Economico reported on the same day that JBS and other companies owned by the Batista brothers bought over $1 billion in U.S. dollar contracts in the local market hours before the plea deal news broke.

In other words, the Batistas are accused of going long the dollar in Soros-sized amount, and shorting their own stock, in frontrunning the market turmoil that they themselves would unleash just hours later after news of the plea bargain and Temer’s involvement emerged!

Not even Brazilian telenovellas have this much drama and intrigue, let alone hubris…

Predictably, JBS said denied everything and on Friday said any trades made this week were consistent with the company’s strategy of hedging its large dollar-denominated debt. Amusingly, the company said the recent currency swings could have caused more than 1 billion reais in losses. It has yet to be discloed what gains the “currency  swings” generated instead as a result of the corrupt company’s insider trading, pardon hedging. The real fell 8 percent against the U.S. currency on Thursday, sustaining the largest losses since the country devalued its currency in 1999.

Meanwhile, taking a page out of the Venezuela playbook, protests are planned across Brazil’s major cities on Sunday against Temer, whose popularity rating was less than 9% before the latest scandal broke.

Somewhere, Donald Trump is furiously taking notes.

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



GBP/USA 1.3021 DOWN .0026 (Brexit  March 29/ 2017/ARTICLE 50 SIGNED


Early THIS MONDAY 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 DOWN 14.96 POINTS OR .48%     / Hang Sang  CLOSED  UP 216.47 POINTS OR 0.86% /AUSTRALIA  CLOSED UP 0.73% / EUROPEAN BOURSES OPENED MIXED LEANING RED 

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 MONDAY morning CLOSED UP 87.52 POINTS OR 0.45%

Trading from Europe and Asia:
1. Europe stocks  OPENED MIXED/RED


Gold very early morning trading: 1257.05


Early MONDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 2.250% !!! UP 1 IN POINTS from FRIDAY night in basis points and it is trading JUST BELOW resistance at 2.27-2.32%.

 The 30 yr bond yield  2.907, UP 1  IN BASIS POINTS  from FRIDAY night.

USA dollar index early MONDAY morning: 97.03 DOWN 11  CENT(S) from MONDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers MONDAY MORNING


And now your closing MONDAY NUMBERS

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 3.152%  DOWN 3 in basis point(s) yield from FRIDAY 

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: +.053%  UP 1   in   basis point yield from FRIDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.623%  UP 4  IN basis point yield from FRIDAY (this is totally nuts!!/

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.138 DOWN 0   POINTS  in basis point yield from FRIDAY 

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 52 points HIGHER than Spain.





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

Euro/USA 1.1231 UP .0026 (Euro UP 26 Basis points/ represents to DRAGHI A COMPLETE POLICY FAILURE/

USA/Japan: 111.15 DOWN  0.114 (Yen DOWN 11 basis points/ 

Great Britain/USA 1.3011 DOWN 0.0016( POUND DOWN 16 basis points)

USA/Canada 1.3508 DOWN 0 (Canadian dollar UP 0 basis points AS OIL ROSE TO $50.71


This afternoon, the Euro was UP by 26 basis points to trade at 1.1231


The POUND FELL BY 16  basis points, trading at 1.3011/

The Canadian dollar FELL by 0 basis points to 1.3508,  WITH WTI OIL RISING TO :  $50.71

The USA/Yuan closed at 6.8864/
the 10 yr Japanese bond yield closed at +.053% UP 1  IN  BASIS POINTS / yield/ 

Your closing 10 yr USA bond yield UP 0  IN basis points from FRIDAY at 2.247% //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic  USA 30 yr bond yield: 2.911  UP 0 in basis points on the day /

Your closing USA dollar index, 96,99 DOWN 15  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 MONDAY: 1:00 PM EST

London:  CLOSED UP 25.63 POINTS OR 0.34%
German Dax :CLOSED DOWN 19.23 POINTS OR 0.15% 
Paris Cac  CLOSED DOWN  1.52 POINTS OR 0.03% 

Italian MIB: CLOSED  DOWN 248.94 POINTS/OR 1.15%

The Dow closed UP 89.99 OR 0.43%

NASDAQ WAS closed up 49.91 POINTS OR 0.82%  4.00 PM EST
WTI Oil price;  50.71 at 1:00 pm; 

Brent Oil: 53.85 1:00 EST






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:


BRENT: $53.73


USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 2.914%


USA/JAPANESE YEN:111.29  UP 0.251

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 96.97  DOWN 17  cents ( HUGE resistance at 101.80 broken TO THE DOWNSIDE)

The British pound at 5 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA: 1.2998 : down .0030  OR 30 BASIS POINTS.

Canadian dollar: 1.3499  DOWN .0008(CAN DOLLAR UP 8 BASIS PTS)

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: +.397%


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


Stocks Jump As Dollar Dumps And Bitcoin Explodes To Record Highs

Just because it made us laugh…

As Bloomberg notes, the S&P 500 climbed for the third consecutive session as President Donald Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia netted deals that lifted defense shares. The euro remains firm having pared gains from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s comment referring to the single currency as “too weak.” The 10-year Treasury yield climbed above 2.25% while gold rose and crude climbed to the highest in a month as Saudi Arabia said all producers agree on extending output cuts.Brazil’s real trimmed losses after the top court suspended its ruling on President Temer, while Mexico’s peso gained as interest rate differentials temporarily overshadow NAFTA concerns.


While stocks are up 3 days in a row, they remain below the Trump-Dump levels… NOTE – each of the daily bounces have been opening gaps with little follow-through…


And “Most Shorted” stocks are now back unchanged from the Trump Dump…


S&P limped back into the green for May (Dow remains red)…


And all this while VIX was crushed back to a 10-handle…


And short-term VIX has crashed back to a 9-handle…


Energy stocks disappointed despite WTI topping $51 on the heels of positive OPEC jawboning…


But thanks to Trump’s big deal in Saudi Arabia, Aerospace & Defense stocks soared…


Treasury yields rose very modestly on the day but remain well below pre-Trump-Dump levels… (30Y hovers around 2.91%)


The Dollar Index was down once again (8th of last 9 days) to pre-Trump lows


Brazil is bouncing back a little from its devastation but notably stocks are not as excited as FX…


WTI Crude rallied to $51 and then stuck there…


Gold and Silver both gained on the day…


Finally Bitcoin was the day’s real winner, soaring over 15% on the day (up 25% since the Trump chaos last week)… smashing through $2000, $2100, $2200, and almost $2300…


Bonus Chart – One of these things is not like the other…



Early trading New York

Dollar Demise Continues To Escalate – Trump-Bump Dumped

It’s official, the post-Trump-election gains in the dollar have now been 100% erased as the broad dollar index drops for the 8th day in the last 9 (down 2.4% in that period), to its lowest level since November 6th 2016 – before Trump was elected…


So now we assume the narrative flips from “strong dollar” means “strong economy” to “weak dollar” is “great for multinationals” – either way – you buy stocks stupid.




The fun begins: Comey to testify to an open hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee:

(courtesy zero hedge)



Comey Agrees To Testify In Open Hearing Before Senate Intel Committee

Former FBI Director James Comey has agreed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in open session, Senators Richard Burr and Mark Warner announced on Friday. In a statement released late on Friday, the committee said the open hearing will be scheduled after Memorial Day.

Sen. Richard Burr, committee Chair, said “the Committee looks forward to receiving testimony from the former Director on his role in the development of the Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, and I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media.”

Committee Vice Chair Mark Warner added that he expects the former FBI director to “shed light on issues critical” to the committee’s investigation and that Comey “deserves an opportunity to tell his story” and that the “American people deserve an opportunity to hear it.”

Since the hearing will take place after its original scheduled date next Wednesday, it will take place after Trump has returned from his global tour next weekend.

(courtesy zero hedge)

(courtesy zero hedge)

CNN Reports Comey Has Changed His Mind, Now Believes Trump Tried To Influence Him

Clearly disappointed to have been left out of the headline heroics from Friday night (courtesy of The Washington Post and The New York Times), CNN has decided that anon-sourced perspectives on officials’ feelings now warrants reportage.

The latest in the sad sage of mainstream media’s downward spiral, as The Hill reports, is that former FBI Director James Comey is expected to testify that he believes President Trump was deliberately trying to meddle in the FBI’s investigation of Russian interference in the presidential election, according to a report late Friday.

Despite swearing under oath that he “had never” been influenced during an investigation, and further that if he had he would have reported it immediately…

CNN now reports that, according to a source, Comey has come to believe the president intended to influence him…

Former FBI Director James Comey now believes that President Donald Trump was trying to influence his judgment about the Russia probe, a person familiar with his thinking says, but whether that influence amounts to obstruction of justice remains an open question.


“You have to have intent in order to obstruct justice in the criminal sense,” the source said, adding that “intent is hard to prove.”


Comey will testify publicly before the Senate intelligence committee after Memorial Day, the panel’s leaders announced Friday.

The central question at that blockbuster hearing will be whether Comey believed the President was trying to interfere with his investigation.

Sources say Comey had reached no conclusion about the President’s intent before he was fired.


But Comey did immediately recognize that the new President was not following normal protocols during their interactions.

So to clarify, a disgruntled fired employee, who previously said no effort to influence was undertaken, has now changed his mind, according to sources, and thinks his former boss was trying to influence him (according to sources).




My good friend Robert H. sent the following article on the Trump/Comey situation.

I believe it is 100% accurate and it is a must read

(courtesy Lisa Frank)

and special thanks to Robert for sending this to us so that we can have an understanding as to what is going on behind the scenes:


Trump Dropping the Hammer on Comey

5/20/2017 03:25:00 AM

Dropping the Hammer on Comey… Brilliant!There are very few crime/mystery novels that approach this true story for compelling drama, intrigue and brinkmanship (with the nation in the balance).

Don’t believe the fake-media story that Trump made a mistake or huge gaffe by firing Comey.

Don’t believe the media narrative from the left that it was an attempt to silence Comey from some investigation into Trump.

Don’t believe the RINO narrative that Comey is a good guy just trying to do his job in terrible circumstances and the timing was bad.

Don’t believe the lie that Comey was admired and respected by career FBI investigators and agents.

Don’t believe the lie that Trump’s “tweets” are not professional and have no strategic purpose. His tweets are weaponized and deadly.

James Comey is a poisonous snake of the highest order… a deep-water Swamp Denizen who has been highly paid to deliberately provide cover for high-level corruption by the Clintons and Obama. He is has been central to trying to destroy the Trump campaign and then the Trump administration from the start. He is as dirty as they come in DC. He had highest-level cover (the FBI no less) and was deep into an effort to eliminate Trump. Trump had to move hard, fast, and at exactly the right time to cut the head off the snake without getting bitten by the snake or being finished by the other swamp denizens.

Begin by noticing how the President fired Comey when Comey was 3,000 miles away from his office, that Comey had no inkling he was being cut, that all his files, computers, and everything in his office were seized by his boss Sessions and the justice department. This was not a violation of protocol, it was tactical. Notice how Prez Trump compartmentalized the strike and did not inform any of his White House “staff” to prevent leaks. Notice how he emasculated Comey and the swamp denizens by letting them know in a tweet that the Attorney General got information (surveillance “tapes” from the seizure of Comey’s office) to let Comey and his handlers know that Trump’s DOJ has the goods on them. This was a brilliant, strategic and totally imperative move at exactly the right time against horrible, evil and corrupt powers infesting our government.

The swamp is on notice that the President is on to them, they are sweating bullets because their criminal games of corruption are being pursued and they know it. They are screaming and ranting because they are desperate denizens of the swamp who are beginning to realize they are roadkill.

THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE COMEY SCAM. Taken from credible public sources (readily available if you want to look or want me to sent them to you), with a few reasonable “fill in the blank” conclusions of my own.

The Highlights:

Comey was a minor assistant US attorney in the late 90’s. He only gained power and money by being the DOJ official who “investigated” and cleared Bill Clinton of any wrong-doing in Clinton’s totally corrupt pardon (for huge payoffs) of criminal financier Marc Rich as Clinton was leaving the Presidency. This is how Comey began his career as a creature of the “swamp” years ago, as a servant of the Clintons.

Comey provided “cover” for the Clintons in their gaining incredible power and wealth after leaving office through pardoning a billionaire money-launderer, arms dealer and criminal. Comey was a key piece in how the Clintons upped their corruption game and gained incredible wealth through their foundation after leaving the White House. A huge part of the scheme was giving Marc Rich a free pass when he should have spent life in prison, and that is what Comey covered-up for the Clintons. This set up Comey to be part of the corruption machine, making him powerful and wealthy.

Immediately after doing the Clinton’s dirty work as a DOJ official, Comey resigned from the DOJ and took a position as the head attorney (Counsel) of the Lockheed Martin company, a huge military contractor. While he was in that position Lockheed became a major contributor (millions) to the Clinton Foundation and its fake charity spin-offs. In return for these payment to Clinton Inc., Lockheed received huge contracts with Hillary’s state department. Comey was the chief legal officer of Lockheed throughout this period of contributions to Clinton Inc. in return for State Dept. contracts.

In late 2012, after overseeing Lockheed’s successful relationship with the Hillary State Department and the resulting profits, Comey stepped down from Lockheed and received a $6 million dollar payout for his services.

In 2013, the largest bank of England, HSBC Holdings, was deep into a scandal. Investigations by federal authorities and law-enforcement had revealed that for years HSBC had been laundering billions of dollars for Mexican Drug Cartels, channeling money for Saudi banks who were financing terror, moving money for Iran in violation of the sanctions, and other major criminal activity. HSBC’s criminality was pervasive and deliberate by the Bank and its officials. HSBC was a huge Clinton Foundation contributor (many millions) throughout the “investigation” and Bill Clinton was being paid large personal fees for speaking at HSBC events (while Hillary was Sec of State). Eric Holder and the Obama Justice Department did what they were paid to do, and let HSBC off of the hook for a paltry 1.2 Billion dollar fine (paid by its stockholders), and not one Director, officer or management member at HSBC was fired or charged with any criminal. Exactly when everyone involved with HSBC Bank (including the Clintons and all of their “donors”) were being let off without penalty, and cover had to be provided to HSBC, Comey was appointed as a Director and Member of the Board of HSBC (in the middle of the fallout from the scandal). He was part of the effort to cover up the scandal and make HSBC “respectable” again.

After about a year as HSBC director, despite his lack of any law enforcement experience, no DOJ leadership experience, and no qualifications for the job, Comey was appointed FBI director by Obama. The only qualification Comey had was that the Clinton’s and their cronies knew Comey was in bed with them, was compromised and was willing to do their dirty work. Comey was appointed to the FBI right when Hillary was leaving the State Department, and was vulnerable to the FBI because she had been using a private-server, mis-handling classified information, selling access to favors/contracts from the State Department to Clinton Foundation Donors (including Comey’s Lockheed Martin), and much more. Remember that this was about the time the Inspector General of the State Department found over 2 billion “missing” from the State Department finances during Hillary’s tenure.

The obvious conclusion is that Comey was appointed to the FBI (along with other reliable Clinton-Obama cronies) to run interference for the Clinton’s and Obama’s at the nation’s federal law enforcement agency(in conjunction with a corrupt Department of Justice). Comey was and is owned by the Clintons. He owed all of his power and wealth to being part of their machine and providing them with cover.

In late 2015 and early 2016, information began to come out about the Clinton Foundation and its use by the Clinton’s as a multi-billion dollar slush fund for corruption and political favors. (even Chelsea’s wedding had been paid for by the “charity) This was right as Hillary was beginning her campaign for President. It was revealed that the Foundation had never completed required reports or had an audit. Supposedly the FBI, under Comey, began an “investigation” of the Clinton Funds. A “professional” accounting firm was brought in by the Clintons to do a review, file some reports, make recommendations to the Clinton Foundation Board, and provide a veneer of legitimacy to the Clinton Fund operations. Predictably, one of the partners in the firm that was chosen (and paid lots of money) is the brother of James Comey (FBI Director). This brother owes James Comey $700,000 for a loan James gave him to buy a house, and presumably some of the money from the Clinton Fund was used to make payments to James on the loan. Over 2 years later and nothing has happened as a result of the FBI “investigating” the Clinton Funds under Comey.

No one in congress or federal law enforcement was intending to actually pursue the Clintons, but Judicial Watch and other independent sources obtained information proving that Hillary had been running her own server, sending out classified information, etc. This information began to come out right in the middle of her campaign to be coronated as President. A “show” investigation had to be performed to appear to look into it and clear her. Who to use?…the reliable shill James Comey.

As head of the FBI, Comey (and his lackeys in key positions) deliberately screwed up the investigation into Hillary’s use of a private server and her plain violation of national security law on classified information. The investigation was deliberately mis-handled in every aspect. Comey gave immunity to all of Hillary’s lackeys, did not use subpoenas or warrants, lost evidence, allowed the destruction of evidence, failed to do any searches or seizures of evidence, did not use a grand-jury, did not swear witnesses, did not record testimony, allowed attorneys to represent multiple suspects (corrupting the testimony). Everything that could be done to ruin the FBI investigation and to cover for Hillary was done. A “slam-dunk” case became a mess. Immunity was given every witness even though they provided no help. Maybe more importantly, by focusing the FBI on the email scandal, attention was drawn away from the much bigger scandal of the Clinton Foundation that could bring down a huge number of corrupt politicians, lobbyists, and even governments.

Originally, Comey’s job was simply to totally botch the Hillary investigation and ruin the case against her and her minions within the FBI regarding he emails. At the same time Comey also started work on a parallel assignment to illegally “wiretap” and surveil Donald Trump and every other person involved in the Republican campaign. He was tasked with digging up any dirt or fact that could be used to hurt the Trump campaign later. This included using a fake “dossier” paid for by the Clinton campaign to obtain authorization for the surveillance and to try to associate Trump’s campaign with the Russians. Under Comey’s direction the Trump/republican campaign was monitored and surveilled and all information was provided to the Obama Whitehouse and the Clinton camp all during the campaign.

Lorretta Lynch was supposed to complete the coverup for Hillary as Attorney General by issuing a finding that the deliberately botched FBI “investigation” did not justify prosecution of Hillary. But someone screwed up and Bill Clinton was video’d meeting with Loretta Lynch in Arizona shortly before she was supposed to make her decision on Hillary (interference with a federal investigation), and Lynch could no longer credibly squash the Hillary scandal. The solution, give the job to James. The Clinton’s owned him and he would have to do whatever is necessary to provide cover.

Comey goes on national TV and violates every rule of the FBI, the Justice Department and American law enforcement by revealing some of the FBI’s “evidence” of what Hillary did (enough to make it look like the FBI and Comey did some investigation), then declaring that there was no “intent” and clearing Hillary. He did what he was ordered to do. The Justice Department and Obama backed Comey’s coverup and it looked like Hillary had survived the scandal.

Then, right before the election, the NYPD obtained pervert Anthony Wiener’s laptop and found classified emails from Hillary on the laptop. The NYPD began leaking details to new-media outlets, and the story was about to explode. Comey once again stepped in to cover Hillary. He short-circuited the NYPD leaks by publicly acknowledging the laptop and the emails, but then claimed just days later that hundreds of thousands of emails had all been reviewed and “nothing new” was on the laptop. Once again, he had done his job. Providing cover and FBI “protection” for Hillary on the newest scandal when it broke.

If Hillary had won, Comey would have kept right on providing cover for the corruption of the Clinton machine. He would have kept the FBI paralyzed, prevented the Clinton Fund from being investigated, and continued to do his job as the Clinton’s personal scandal eraser at the FBI.


The Swamp and its bottom-dwelling denizens realize they are at risk from this political outsider who is not connected to the uni-party machines. Before Trump takes office, a “failsafe” plan is implemented to ruin Trump’s administration and try to force him out of the Presidency. The key players committed to the plan are the democrat politicians, the RINO establishment, the media, the Obama-Clinton operatives imbedded throughout the intelligence agencies and the entire bureaucracy, and most importantly, the Obama DOJ and JAMES COMEY. The scheme is to smear Trump with Russian “connections,” through a fake FBI “investigation” and more importantly, to trap him into a charge of criminal interference with the FBI. COMEY IS THE CENTRAL FIGURE IN THE SCHEME TO TAKE DOWN TRUMP.

The surveillance of the Trump campaign is continued after he is elected, all participants are “unmasked” illegally, and the transcripts are leaked throughout the government and to the media. When General Flynn appropriately calls Russian officials on behalf of Trump, they brush off the old fake “dossier” and all of the surveillance of the campaign, and Comey creates the “Russian Conspiracy” investigation. With help by RINO swamp kingpin and warmonger sell-out McCain, the fake “Russian pee dossier” is leaked to the press. There is no actual evidence of any collusion or connection between Trump or his campaign with Russia, but that does not prevent Comey from initiating an “investigation” at the FBI. This provides Comey with protection from Trump firing him immediately. Comey (or his minions) constantly leak news of the “Russia Investigation” to the media, and the media does its scripted part by screaming constantly about “Russia.” The Democrats fill their role and constantly scream about “Russia.” McCain and the RINO establishment do their part by promising to “investigate” how the Russians influenced the campaign.

Immediately after Trump is sworn in, the DOJ Hillary/Obama operatives and Comey start the direct attack. This is before Sessions has been appointed to the Department of Justice and the DOJ is still controlled by Obama operatives. DOJ Obama appointee Sally Yates approaches the Whitehouse with news that General Flynn had been in contact with Russia and alleges that he might be compromised. She reveals that there is an FBI “investigation” into the Russia ties (which they are constantly leaking to the media themselves). The White House Counsel (who Yates talks to, not Trump) asks for some more information.

The day before the promised additional information is to be provided by Yates to the Whitehouse, Comey sets up a dinner with Trump. If he can get Trump to ask about Flynn or try to intervene regarding Flynn or Russia then Trump can be charged with “interfering with an FBI investigation.” MY OPINION IS THAT COMEY SURVEILLED AND “TAPED” THIS MEETING IN HIS ATTEMPT TO SET UP TRUMP.

This is a two-pronged attack. It protects Comey and DOJ democrat holdovers from being terminated by the new administration because they are involved in an “ongoing investigation” that they control the timetable on(albeit one with absolutely no evidence). If Trump fires Comey then he is “interfering with the investigation” which is itself a federal crime that the FBI could then “investigate.” Alternatively, if they can get Trump to question Comey about Flynn or try to get him to back off of Flynn or the “Russia” investigation, then they again have him “interfering.”

Trump knows it is a set up by Comey and that he is probably being recorded (tips from FBI or DOJ who are not part of the corruption?) Maybe because his phone calls in the White House as President have already been bugged and released to the media. (FBI is in the best position to do this) Maybe because he was used to the Mafia in NY trying to shake him down every time he built a hotel. Comey tells Trump that Trump is not under investigation regarding Russia, but that others involved with the campaign are being investigated. Trump does not take the bait and attempt to intervene about Flynn or the Russia scam. Later, Flynn is cut loose because he is being used by Comey and the Obama-holdover Justice to try to damage Trump. He did not thing wrong, but if he stayed the charge of “interfering with an investigation” might seem to have teeth. Comey verbally tells Trump on two more occasions that he is not being investigated, but refuses to state this fact publicly or when testifying in Congress.

Trump knows everything I have gone through above about Comey. But he has to move carefully. He has to get his Attorney General and Deputy AG in place, get enough leverage on the Russia narrative, and ideally get rid of Comey in a way that allows him to obtain all the information that Comey has been accumulating (if he is taping Trump he is taping others). Comey, and others testify in Congress. Under oath, both Sally Yates and Intelligence officials from the Obama administration state that there has been no actual evidence of any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. More importantly, Comey, while refusing to say that Trump is not under investigation, testifies that he has informed the Senate Intelligence Committee heads who exactly is under investigation regarding Russia.

Trump tells almost no one at the White House that he is moving against Comey (so no leaks… no listening in on his conversations) Trump somehow contacts Sen. Grassley (the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee) and confirms that Comey told the Senator that Trump was not under investigation personally. Trump gets both the Attorney General and the new Deputy Attorney General to legitimately review Comey’s unprofessional actions at the FBI and to recommend in writing that Trump terminate Comey. Somehow Comey goes to California (at the request of AG Sessions or already scheduled and someone at FBI telling Trump?).

Trump seizes the moment and acts. While Comey is in California, 3000 miles away and 7 hours from his office, Trump prepares a letter firing him (with Sessions and the Deputy AG recommendations attached). In the letter Trump states that he had been told 3 times by Comey that he (Trump) was not under investigation. The letter is hand-delivered to the FBI headquarters by DOJ officials to lock-down and seize everything in Comey’s office, including all surveillance files (“tapes”) of Trump and others. All of Comey’s files, docs, computers and “tapes” are taken to Sessions at DOJ. They are not taken to the Whitehouse or Trump, but to Sessions, who has every right to have them. Sessions can tell Trump that Comey had surveillance tapes of Trump that contradict what Comey has been telling Trump, and perhaps tapes of conversations with other swamp “conspirators.” But Trump does not have them personally or at the Whitehouse.

Comey learns he has been fired when the media broadcasts it in California. He had no idea it was coming and he is ticked. On cue, the Democrat politicians and media begin screaming about Trump’s “interference with the Russia investigation” in accordance with the plan to set up Trump for that charge. The Swamp wants to blow up the Russia narrative using Comey, and Comey is set to testify before Congress to try to hurt Trump by saying he was interfering with the FBI investigation. Comey intends to follow through with the plan to take down Trump.

But because of his brilliant timing on this, Trump has Comey’s files, documents and information safely with Sessions at DOJ. Trump sends out a “crazy” tweet that says: “James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press.”

The media and the politicians go crazy about the “inappropriateness” of this tweet. They accuse Trump of “taping” everyone at the WhiteHouse (forgetting that the Presidents phone calls with foreign leaders have been “taped” without his knowledge.)

Notice that Trump did not say he taped anyone, or that he has any tapes at the White House. It seem apparent that Trump is telling Comey that the DOJ (who has every legal right to possess it) has the surveillance information and files from Comey’s office, the “tapes” obtained and kept by Comey. Comey and all the Swamp Creatures understand the clear message… their plan has failed and Trump’s DOJ is now holding all the cards.

The whole Russia interference scheme crashes and burns. While the mouthpiece media, Hollywood and the insane fringe continue to scream about Russia and Comey being fired, the politicians who will soon be in the crosshairs of a legitimate (and ticked) FBI and DOJ are starting to fall strangely silent. Comey realizes all the leverage is with Trump and that he will be lucky if he is not added to the Clinton Death List because of his knowledge (better not take any baths near an electrical outlet or get on any airplanes).

Comey tells Congress he will not testify and writes a public letter to the FBI accepting his firing and telling them he does not want to discuss why or how he was terminated. Senator Grassley and Senator Feinstein (she must be covering her butt in fear …) issue public statements confirming that Comey told them that the “Russia Investigation” does not involve President Trump personally.

AG Sessions and his Deputy AG use the Comey trove of information to determine who has been part of the Comey Syndicate at the FBI. They will be appointing an “interim” Director of the FBI shortly who has not been compromised by Comey, Clinton or Obama. That “interim” Director does not have to be approved by Congress or anyone, and can immediately begin cleaning house at the FBI of all Comey/Clinton/Obama minions, initiating investigations of the Clintons, Clinton Fund, violations of intelligence confidentiality laws by Susan Rice and Obama, human trafficking in DC, political corruption… draining the Swamp. Using the Comey files they can be fairly certain they are not getting another Comey as an “interim”, and they do not have to wait for the circus of appointing a new permanent “Director” through Congressional approval. Most of the heavy lifting on rooting out FBI corruption and starting investigations into the swamp will be done by the “interim” before a new director is appointed. I suspect the Trump administration hopes the approval FBI Director process will be slow and tedious, so there is no political interference with the housecleaning that is starting.

In one masterstroke, Trump has eliminated a truly toxic and dangerous enemy to his administration and our country, dealt a horrendous blow to the Clinton/Obama and deep state machines, begun the restoration of the integrity of the FBI and the DOJ, and gained incredible ammunition to begin hunting the foul creatures in the swamp.

-Lisa Frank

Happy Hunting President Trump… and God Bless!

On Friday night, Fox news brought out the story that they have proved conclusively that Seth Rich was the insider who leaked the DNC files to Wikileaks.  This has scared the DNC folks to no end.  However we are not sure who supplied the Podesta files
(courtesy zero hedge)

Seth Rich Plot Thickens: “DC Insider” Speaks Of “Complete Panic” At Highest Levels Of DNC

Last week, Fox News dropped a bombshell report officially confirming, via anonymous FBI sources, what many had suspected for quite some time, that murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich was the WikiLeaks source for leaks which proved that the DNC was intentionally undermining the campaign of Bernie Sanders. In addition to exposing the corruption of the DNC, the leaks cost Debbie Wasserman Shcultz her job as Chairwoman.

Of course, if it’s true that WikiLeaks’ emails came from a DNC insider it would end the “Russian hacking” narrative that has been perpetuated by Democrats and the mainstream media for the past several months.  Moreover, it would corroborate the one confirmation that Julian Assange has offered regarding his source, namely that it was “not a state actor.”

Meanwhile, the plot thickened a little more over the weekend when Kim Dotcom confirmed via Twitter that he was working with Seth Rich to get leaked emails to WikiLeaks.


Which was followed up by the following posts on 4Chan’s /pol/ subgroup that high-ranking current and former Democratic Party officials are terrified of the Seth Rich murder investigation.

“Anons, I work in D.C.


I know for certain that the Seth Rich case has scared the shit out of certain high ranking current and former Democratic Party officials.


This is the reason why they have backed away from impeachment talk. They know the smoking gun is out there, and they’re terrified you will find it, because when you do it will bring the entire DNC, along with a couple of very big name politicians.


It appears that certain DNC thugs were not thorough enough when it came time to cover their tracks. Podesta saying he wanted to “make an example of the leaker” is a huge smoking gun.”

The post went on to claim that a “smoking gun in this case is out of the hands of the conspirators” which has resulted in near “open panic” in DC circles.

“The behavior is near open panic. To even mention this name in D.C. Circles [sic] will bring you under automatic scrutiny. To even admit that you have knowledge of this story puts you in immediate danger.


If there was no smoke there would be no fire. I have never, in my 20 years of working in D.C. Seen [sic] such a panicked reaction from anyone.


I have strong reason to believe that the smoking gun in this case is out o [sic] the hands of the conspirators, and will be discovered by anon. I know for certain that Podesta is deeply concerned. He’s been receiving anonymous calls and emails from people saying they know the truth. Same with Hillary.”

And here is the original tweet:

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

An Anon working in DC says that he’s seeing people in a panic like never before about .

They know their about to be exposed.


Meanwhile, Kim Dotcom has promised more information will be released on his interaction with Seth Rich by tomorrow.

I’m meeting my legal team on Monday. I will issue a statement about on Tuesday. Please be patient. This needs to be done properly.


This raises several questions.  First, if Kim Dotcom knew that Seth Rich was, in fact, the WikiLeaks source, why is he just now coming forward with such information?  Second, while Seth Rich may explain the DNC leaks we still don’t know who is responsible for the “Podesta Files” which we’re certain will continue to be attributed to “Russian hackers.”

Which leads to the most improtant queistion of all: is this all just another fake news diversion, or is there more to the Seth Rich murder?


Michael Flynn will not comply and appear before the Senate committee and he will plead the 5th

(courtesy zero hedge)

Michael Flynn To Plead The Fifth, Will Decline Senate Subpoena

Confirming last week’s report that Michael Flynn will not comply with requests to testify before the Senate Intel Committee, moments ago AP reported that Flynn has indeed declined the subpoena and plans to officially invoke the Fifth Amendment sometime on Monday.

ACcording to a repot from the AP, Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn will invoke his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination on Monday as he notifies the Senate Intelligence committee that he will not comply with a subpoena seeking documents.

That’s according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private interactions between Flynn and the committee.

Flynn’s decision comes less than two weeks after the committee issued a subpoena for Flynn’s documents as part of the panel’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.

Furthermore, according to Dow Jones, Flynn is refusing to turn over documents that were subpoenaed by the Senate Intel Committee. This echoes what AP reported, which noted that legal experts have said Flynn was unlikely to turn over the personal documents without immunity because he would be waiving some of his constitutional protections by doing so. Flynn has previously sought immunity from “unfair prosecution” to cooperate with the committee.

Flynn previously offered to testify before the Senate and House Intelligence committees in exchange for immunity, but neither committee accepted the offer.

Last week, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr said that Flynn was “not cooperating” so far with the committee’s investigation, but that he hadn’t received a “definitive” answer on whether Flynn would testify.

As a reminder, also last week CNN reported that the FBI had first issued subpoenas relating to Flynn’s business records, so the ousted National Security Adviser is now at at the center of both investigations and at least for the time being, he is refusing to comply with the Congressional probe. And while pleading the Fifth is a popular legal tactic, especially for those who do not have apriori immunity from prosecution such as virtually the entire Clinton campaign in their FBI testimonies, it is largely an admission of guilt in the court of public opinion and will prompt a new round of question over just what Flynn is hiding.


In a new report, 25% of all Americans cannot pay all of their monthly bills and a huge 44% have less than 400 dollars in cash in their bank accounts
(courtesy zero hedge)

A Quarter Of American Adults Can’t Pay All Their Monthly Bills; 44% Have Less Than $400 In Cash

There was some good news and some not so good news in the Fed’s latest annual Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households.

First the good news.

The report, based on the Board’s fourth annual Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking conducted in October 2016, presents a “picture of improving financial well-being among Americans”, at least according to the report (read on to see if this is merited). Overall, 70% of the more than 6,600 respondents said they were either “living comfortably” or “doing okay,” up 1% from 2015 and up 8% from the first survey results in 2013.

Not surprisingly, the highest percentage, or 92%, of those who responded they were “living comfortably” was among the group with more than $100,000 in family income. For Americans making less than $40,000 the breakdown was almost evenly split with 49% saying they are “just getting by.”  According to the same study, 28% of respondents said that their income in the last 12 months was less than $25,000, and 40% report that their income was less than the key $40,000 cutoff, which suggests that roughly 4 in 10 Americans are “finding it difficult to get by.”

The improvements in well-being as reported by the survey respondents were concentrated among high-income adults, with at least some college education, and prompted the WSJ to write that “U.S Household financial health improved in recent years.” Even so, most of the changes reported in the survey were relatively modest, “reflecting a slowly improving economy and an unemployment level at or below 5% throughout 2016.”

Now, the not so good news.

Nearly eight years into an economic recovery, nearly half of Americans didn’t have enough cash available to cover a $400 emergency. Specifically, the survey found that, in line with what the Fed had disclosed in previous years, 44% of respondents said they wouldn’t be able to cover an unexpected $400 expense like a car repair or medical bill, or would have to borrow money or sell something to meet it. Troubling as this statistic remains, the overall share of adults who would struggle to come up with $400 in a pinch has declined by 2% from the last survey conducted in 2015, and down 6% since 2013.

Of the group that could not pay in cash, 45% said they would go further in debt and use a credit card to pay off the expense over time. while a quarter would borrow from friends of family, and another 27% just couldn’t pay the expense. Others would turn to selling items or using a payday loan.

The breakdown was largely by education attainment: 79% of those with at least a bachelor’s degree said they would still be able to pay all of their other bills in full if hit with a $400 charge. Just 52% of those with no more than a high school diploma said the same.

Just as concerning were other findings from the study: just under one-fourth of adults, or 23%, are not able to pay all of their current month’s bills in full while 25% reported skipping medical treatments due to cost in the prior year. Additionally, 28% of adults who haven’t retired yet reported to being grossly unprepared, indicating they had no retirement savings or pension whatsoever.

The median out-of-pocket cost for an unexpected, major medical expense was $1,000, and 42% of those with such an expense in the past year either had debt relating to that expense or unpaid balances. The Fed reported that 24 million adults are in debt from medical expenses incurred over the previous year.  As a result, many respondents went without some type of care, dental care in particular, because they could not afford it, though the 25% who reported such a situation was down from 27% in 2015.

Commenting on the report’s concerning findings, Fed Governor and Hillary Clinton supporter Lael Brainard said that “the survey findings remind us that many American households are struggling financially, including fully 40 percent of those with a high school diploma or less. More broadly, 44 percent of all respondents could not cover an unexpected $400 emergency expense or would rely on borrowing or selling something to do so. The survey also shows that many adults have no savings for retirement.

The findings also underscore themes apparent during the presidential election, namely the growing gap between the elites and the broader population. Of whites with a bachelor’s degree or more, 85% said they’re doing OK or living comfortably, compared with 62% for whites with a high-school diploma or less. Blacks and Hispanics have similar but narrower gaps in response to that question when sorted by education.

The biggest differentiator appears to be education: the Fed reported that 82% of adults with a bachelor’s degree or more in education said last year they were “living comfortably” or “doing okay,” up from 80% the year before, as well as 69% of those with some college or an associate degree, up from 66%. Furthermore, 79% of those with at least a bachelor’s degree said they would still be able to pay all of their other bills in full if hit with a $400 charge. Just 52% of those with no more than a high school diploma said the same.

Americans’ sense of economic health also varied among racial and ethnic groups. Of the respondents with no more than a high-school diploma, a greater portion of non-Hispanic whites—20.5%– reported being worse off than a year before than did non-Hispanic blacks, at 18.6%, or Hispanics, at 20.2%.

Asked to comment by the WSJ on the latest annual study, Jonathan Morduch, a New York University professor of public policy and an economist said that “everybody on the low end feels like they’re in a different situation, almost like they’re in a different America than those with a bachelor’s or more.” He added that “The combination of instability and illiquidity are really hurting at the low end,” he added.

That’s the same “end” that had such an outsized impact on the latest presidential election.

So based on the latest set of Fed results presented above, the solution to America’s wealth problem would be to force every American into a college education. Well, sure… just make sure it’s debt free, because as even the NY Fed’s Bill Dudley admitted in early April, student debt and default are a “headwind to economic activity” noting that “rising student loan debt in the United States could ultimately hurt
overall home ownership and consumer spending and erode colleges’ and
universities’ ability to elevate lower-income students.”

There are “potential longer-term negative implications of student debt on homeownership and other types of consumer spending,” Dudley said.


“Continued increases in college costs and debt burdens could inhibit higher education’s ability to serve as an important engine of upward income mobility, (and) these developments are important and deserve increased attention.”

Which is understandable with a record $1.44 trilion in student loans outstanding as of March 31, surpassing even the $1.1 trillion in US auto loans.

Here are the disturbing findings from the latest NY Fed study on America’s student debt crisis:

…our analysis shows that for any given level of educational attainment, those with student debt are less likely to own a home in their early thirties than those who completed their education without taking on as much—or any—debt.


To the extent that the statistical associations we uncovered reflect a causal impact of debt on homeownership, they have important implications for the housing market and future spending behavior.


Homeownership represents an important means of wealth accumulation, with housing equity being the principal form of wealth for most households. So, changes in the way we finance higher education, with an increased reliance on student debt, may have important implications for the housing market and the distribution of wealth.

It only took the Fed about 6 years to figure out what was patently obvious to everyone else.  Alas, that does not help solve the core underlying problems discussed above because absent a world in which US colleges hand out diplomas to everyone – which will never happen – the vast wealth gap will only get bigger. And that “prediction” does not even take into account the fact that the US is now about 2 years overdue for a major recession.



Trump’s budget plan which includes a huge $1.7 trillion in entitlements (cutting food stamps by 25% etc) has both sides up in arms:


(courtesy zerohedge)


Trump’s Budget Will Slash $1.7 Trillion In Entitlements, Cut Food Stamps By 25%

More details from President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal are trickling out via a flurry of overnight reports from The Washington Post, Associated Press and Bloomberg News.

Here are some of the highlights from the latest batch of trial balloons:

  • The budget will slash $1.7 trillion in spending on entitlement programs,according to Bloomberg.
  • Trump’s budget will include a massive nearly $200 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the modern version of food stamps, over the next 10 years – what amounts to a 25% reduction, according to The Washington Post.
  • The food stamp cuts are part of a broader $274 billion welfare-reform effort, according to a report by The Associated Press.
  • The budget calls for about $800 billion in cuts to Medicaid for fiscal year 2018, WaPo reported.
  • The budget also calls for $2.6 billion in border security spending, $1.6 billion of which will be earmarked for Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.’s southern border.
  • The budget is also expected to propose major domestic discretionary spending cuts – an earlier version of the budget called for $54 billion in such cuts next year alone.

Predictably, Democrats are already up in arms over the proposal, even though a formal draft isn’t expected until Tuesday.

In a statement cited by Bloomberg, New York Senator Senator Chuck Schumer clumsily compared Trump’s campaign rhetoric to a “Trojan Horse.”

“This budget continues to reveal President Trump’s true colors: His populist campaign rhetoric was just a Trojan horse to execute long-held, hard-right policies that benefit the ultra-wealthy at the expense of the middle class,” Bloomberg noted.

Well, at least Trump didn’t promise that if Americans liked their healthcare plan, they can keep it.

To be sure, Republicans have also expressed some discomfort with the cuts, particularly Trump’s plan to whack $54 billion in discretionary spending. Mitch McConnell even told Bloomberg that Congressional Republicans would ultimately end up writing their own budget, the same way Senate Republicans are rewriting Obamacare repeal.

Trump has promised to balance the federal government’s budget in 10 years, though, as Democrats have noted, the projection is dependent on economic growth accelerating to 3% following the passage of massive tax cuts, and no recession over the next decade, a rather bold assumption. Meanwhile, growth collapsed to an annualized rate of just 0.7% in the fist quarter, the slowest rate in three years, while loan demand has plunged to the lowest level in 6 years. Meanwhile, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget claims that rather than reining it in our national debt, Trump’s tax cuts would make the debt much worse.



These next 11 retailers will file for bankruptcy protection according to Fitch.  Bricks and mortar operations are in trouble

(courtesy zerohedge)

These Eleven Retailers Will File For Bankruptcy Next, According To Fitch

One month ago, we presented a stunning fact from Credit Suisse: barely a quarter into 2017, [annualized] year-to-date retail store closings have already surpassed those of 2008.

According to the Swiss bank’s calculations, on a unit basis, approximately 2,880 store closings were announced YTD, more than twice as many closings as the 1,153 announced during the same period last year. Historically, roughly 60% of store closure announcements occur in the first five months of the year. By extrapolating the year-to-date announcements, CS estimates that there could be more than 8,640 store closings this year, which will be higher than the historical 2008 peak of approximately 6,200 store closings, which suggests that for brick-and-mortar stores stores the current transition period is far worse than the depth of the credit crisis depression.

Another striking fact: on a square footage basis, approximately 49 million square feet of retail space has closed YTD. Should this pace persist by the end of the year, total square footage reductions could reach 147M square feet – or just over 5 square miles – another all time high, and surpassing the historical peak of 115M in 2001.

Furthermore, according to a recent WSJ analysis, at least 10 retailers, including Payless ShoeSource, hhgregg, The Limited, RadioShack, BCBG, Wet Seal, Gormans, Eastern Outfitters, and Gander Mountain had filed for bankruptcy protection through the end of April, which compares with nine retailers that declared bankruptcy for all of 2016. All of the companies in bankruptcy have announced plans to shutter some if not most of their stores.

Then after taking a brief one month hiatus retailer bankruptcies resumed last Monday, when struggling teen clothing retailer Rue21 became the last to filed a prepackaged Chapter 11 petition in Pennsylvania bankruptcy court, listing both prepetition assets and liabilities between $1 and $10 billion.

Rue21’s bankruptcy filing lifted Fitch’s U.S. retail LTM institutional leveraged loan default rate to 1.7% from 0.9%. An impending bankruptcy from Gymboree would further lift the retail TTM to 2.7%, Fitch said. Unfortunately for the US retail industry, and despite such upbeat pieces as “Why the Rout in Retail Shouldn’t Be a Big Worry for U.S. Economy” written by Bloomberg’s in-house US economic cheerleader, the rating agency expects a flood of future defaults, and forecasts the retail loan default rate at 9% on roughly $6 billion of defaults, though it concedes that “the fate of Sears Holdings and the resolution of J. Crew Group’s bond exchange could materially alter the projection.”

It also noted that the high yield retail default rate is also expected to finish 2017 at 9%, with more than $4 billion of likely defaults.

More improtantly, Fitch has also revised its “retail concern list” which compiles issuers with a significant risk of default within the next 12 months, and which now lists nite retailers, up from eight the last time we showed the list in April, including:

  • Sears Holdings
  • Gymboree
  • Nine West Holdings
  • 99 Cents Only Stores
  • True Religion Apparel
  • Charlotte Russe
  • Charming Charlie
  • NYDJ Apparel
  • Vince.A
  • Claire’s Stores
  • Chinos Intermediate Holdings (J Crew Group)

We expect his list to grow over the coming months, as some names fail only to be replaced with even more near-death retailers in a country where as the Fed reported earlier, 23% of Americans cant pay their monthly bils while 44% of Americans have less than $400 in cash.

Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos is wondering how he is still not the world’s richest man yet. As a reminder, the market cap of Amazon is more than 8 times the value of the entire US department store index…


TRUMP saves Obamacare again by continuing to pay subsidies.

(courtesy zero hedge)

Trump Saves Obamacare Again… For Now

The Trump administration and the House have officially asked for another 90 days to work out a lawsuit over subsidies that help poorer people afford to use their Obamacare insurance plans, further delaying a long-running legal fight that’s already destabilizing the health law.

As Axio snotes, the key point is – “The parties continue to discuss measures that would obviate the need for judicial determination of this appeal, including potential legislative action.”

Full motion below…

Bloomberg continues…

Without the payments, insurers have threatened to drop out of Obamacare or substantially raise premiums, and customers could face thousands of dollars in unexpected costs. The Trump administration could still choose to drop the appeal, though other parties are attempting to take up defense of the payments.

State officials, the health industry and Democrats in Congress have pushed for the payments to continue, saying that ending them would upend the insurance market and cost millions of people their health insurance.

“We need swift action and long-term certainty on this critical program,” Cathryn Donaldson, a spokeswoman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, said in an email.


“It is the single most destabilizing factor in the individual market, and millions of Americans could soon feel the impact of fewer choices, higher costs, and reduced access to care.”

The group is one of the main lobbying associations for health insurers.

However, as Bloomberg reports, while the latest delay is a reprieve for Obamacare, it does little to resolve the underlying uncertainty created by the case and by Republican efforts in Congress to repeal and replace large parts of the law. Health insurers are in the midst of deciding whether to participate in the Affordable Care Act next year, and what to charge customers. Some have already said they’ll raise premiums in 2018 because of uncertainty around the subsidies.

Trump previously threatened to use the CSR payments as a bargaining chip to bring Democrats to the table on health care if Republicans can’t muster enough repeal votes in the Senate. He also tried to use them as leverage to gain funding for a border wall with Mexico, saying he’d give Democrats a dollar in CSR money for every dollar for the wall.

Of course,  the Democrats had plenty to say…

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the decision to continue the funding showed the administration knows that continuing the payments is the right thing to do. He criticized the uncertainty from Trump on their future.

“Unfortunately, by kicking the can down the road once again, the administration is continuing to sow uncertainty in the markets that will hurt millions of Americans,” Schumer said in a statement. “Instead of hemming and hawing, they ought to step up to the plate and say once and for all that they will make these payments permanently, which help millions of Americans pay less for their health care.”

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, of California, criticized the action to delay the lawsuit further rather than resolve it once and for all.

“Republicans cynically continue to sow uncertainty in the health coverage of millions of Americans,” Pelosi said in a statement. “At a critical period when insurers are deciding premiums for next year, Republicans are pouring uncertainty into the health insurance marketplaces.”

While the delay will move the next update for the case to mid-August, the deadline for insurers to submit their 2018 plans for Obamacare’ exchanges in most states is June 21.


I will leave you tonight with this offering of  Daniel Lang who comments on David Stockman’s nightmarish predictions of where the economy is heading:

David Stockman Sounds The Alarm – Fiscal Bloodbath, Market Crash To Occur “Between August And November”

Authored by Daniel Lang via,

As time goes on, it’s becoming abundantly clear that Trump isn’t going to be able to prevent a major financial crisis in this country. Depending on your beliefs, that’s either because he’s inept in some way, or because he’s being hamstrung by a political system that’s determined to keep our nation on the same unsustainable path. Whatever the case may be, it seems that there is no way that we can change course at this point. We’re headed for a financial crisis, and it’s going to happen sooner rather than later.

That’s also the opinion of David Stockman, a former Congressman and director of the Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan. In this interview with USA Watchdog, he reveals why the market rally that broke out after the last election, “was the greatest sucker’s rally we have ever seen.” He also explains why the economy could go off the rails this year, after our government endures a major budgetary crisis.

Earlier this month our government avoided a shutdown, because Trump decided to sign Congress’s $1.2 trillion spending bill. In effect, he postponed a serious fight with Congress for later this year.

On May 2nd he tweeted “Our country needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September to fix mess!” So clearly, next time he’s going to be a lot less compromising in his efforts to change the budget. That’s going to spawn a fight over the budget between Trump and both political parities, and according to Stockman, that’s when the next wave of our financial collapse is going to arrive.

“There will be no bid for the stock once the panic sets in.  We’re going to hit an air pocket.  The S&P 500 is going to drop by hundreds and hundreds of points sometime over the next few months as we drift into this unexpected crisis…


I would target sometime between August and November because that’s when the rubber is going to meet the road on a debt ceiling increase when they are out of cash.  Washington is going to end up in vicious political conflict over what to do about the debt ceiling. . . . It is going to be one giant fiscal bloodbath the likes of which we have never seen.”

That “fiscal bloodbath” is going to be the first domino to fall before the stock market and the bond market crash, both of which are extremely overvalued.

“The main thing is get out of the markets.  These markets are unstable.  They’re rigged, and there is no reason to own stock at this point of the game.  It is so overvalued.  Maybe you can get another two or three percent up, but you are facing another 30% or 40% down…


…The bond market is one giant bubble because the central banks have been buying all these bonds worldwide.  They’ve been buying trillions of dollars’ worth, and they are still buying a trillion dollars’ worth on an annual basis.  All that is coming to a halt…


…The central banks are finally getting to the end of the road.  There isn’t going to be any more money printing, and that is going to leave a giant mess on the doorstep of all the fiscal authorities.  It’s going to make the bond market a particularly dangerous place.  There is a $100 trillion global bond market, and this is the biggest bond bubble the world has ever seen.”

When this happens, Stockman believes that the only thing that will remain standing is gold and other physical assets. Make sure that you’re prepared for it because a financial collapse is going to happen and everything that only exists on paper is going to take a hit.


Well that is all for today I will see you tomorrow night


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: