June 8/4 billion dollars worth of paper gold flood the comex (40.5 tonnes) which causes gold and silver to falter/North Korea fires multiple ballistic missiles as basically they have nothing else to do/Qatar turns to Russia/Turkey sends troops to Qatar and Iran offers ports and food/tensions escalate/the Comey testimony!!!

GOLD: $1276.30  down $13.80

Silver: $17.39  down 19  cent(s)

Closing access prices:

Gold $1294.30

silver: $17.68

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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

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

SHANGHAI FIRST GOLD FIX: $1294.64 DOLLARS PER OZ

NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME:  $1286.60

PREMIUM FIRST FIX:  $6.06

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1294.90

NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1287.90

Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$7.00

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX:  5:30 am est  $1284.80

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1284.90

LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX  10 AM: $1273.10

NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. $1274.60 ??

For comex gold:

JUNE/

NOTICES FILINGS TODAY FOR APRIL CONTRACT MONTH:  57 NOTICE(S) FOR 5700  OZ.

TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 2105 FOR 210,500 OZ    (6.5474 TONNES)

For silver:

For silver: JUNE

 NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR 45,000  OZ/

Total number of notices filed so far this month: 499 for 3,495,000 oz

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

END

 

Our banker friends decided that today was a good day for a raid as they supplied a massive 40.5 tonnes of gold in 4 minutes. Such crooks!! Silver held on quite nicely today with the avalanche of paper supplied on both gold and silver.

 

Over at the comex, the amount standing for the silver metal again rose in similar fashion to what we witnessed last month and also in April. It is up for the 6th consecutive day. We certainly have a determined entity trying to get its hands on whatever silver is available.

Let us have a look at the data for today

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This is where we are heading:  (JB Slear/Jim Sinclair)

 

According to JB Slear, this is what the future holds. Why should I write words. Get into the cellar as fast as you can!

Jim

unnamed

 

 

 

In silver, the total open interest FELL BY  2,726  contract(s) DOWN to 206,241 WITH THE FALL IN PRICE OF SILVER THAT TOOK PLACE WITH YESTERDAY’S TRADING (DOWN 9 CENT(S). In ounces, the OI is still represented by just OVER 1 BILLION oz i.e.  1.0310 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 147% of annual global silver production (ex Russia & ex China).

FOR THE NEW FRONT MAY MONTH/ THEY FILED: 9 NOTICE(S) FOR 45,000  OZ OF SILVER

In gold, the total comex gold ROSE BY ANOTHER  2,925 contracts DESPITE THE GOOD SIZED FALL IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($4.90 with YESTERDAY’S TRADING). The total gold OI stands at 496,966 contracts.

 

we had 57 notice(s) filed upon for 5,700 oz of gold.

 

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

GLD:

We had a huge changes in tonnes of gold at the GLD: a deposit of 3.07 tonnes

Inventory rests tonight: 867.00 tonnes

.

SLV

Today: no changes in inventory/

THE SLV Inventory rests at: 339.605 million oz

end

.

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

1. Today, we had the open interest in silver FELL BY 2726 contracts DOWN TO 206,241 (AND now A LITTLE  FURTHER FROM THE NEW COMEX RECORD SET ON FRIDAY/APRIL 21/2017 AT 234,787), WITH THE FALL IN PRICE FOR SILVER WITH YESTERDAY’S TRADING  ( DOWN 9 CENTS). NO QUESTION THAT WE AGAIN HAD CONTINUED FAILED SHORT COVERING BY THE BANKERS ALONG WITH CONSIDERABLE BANKER DELTA HEDGING AS SILVER IS GIVING THEM NIGHTMARES

(report Harvey)

.

2.a) The Shanghai and London gold fix report

(Harvey)

 

2 b) Gold/silver trading overnight Europe, Goldcore

(Mark O’Byrne/zerohedge

and in NY:  Bloomberg

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)Late WEDNESDAY night/THURSDAY morning: Shanghai closed UP 10.00 POINTS OR 0.32%   / /Hang Sang CLOSED UP 88.90 POINTS OR 0.38% The Nikkei closed DOWN 75.36 POINTS OR 0.342%/Australia’s all ordinaires  CLOSED UP 0.12%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.7964/Oil DOWN to 45.34 dollars per barrel for WTI and 47.84 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED IN THE GREEN EXCEPT LONDON      ..Offshore yuan trades  6.7829 yuan to the dollar vs 6.7960 for onshore yuan. NOW  THE OFFSHORE IS MUCH STRONGER TO THE ONSHORE YUAN/ ONSHORE YUAN A LITTLE STRONGER (TO THE DOLLAR)  AND THE OFFSHORE YUAN IS MUCH STRONGER TO THE DOLLAR AND THIS IS COUPLED WITH THE SLIGHTLY STRONGER DOLLAR. CHINA NOT HAPPY WITH THE NEWS THAT ITS DEBT HAS BEEN DOWNGRADED  

3a)THAILAND/SOUTH KOREA/NORTH KOREA

i)NORTH KOREA

What else is new:  North Korea with nothing else to do fires multiple ballistic missiles

( zero hedge)

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

c) REPORT ON CHINA

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

i)ECB

Early this morning, the ECB in reference to rates, removes the language that rates may go lower.

( zero hedge)

 

ii)Draghi slashes inflation forecasts for the next 2 years:

( zero hedge)

iii)ITALY

Then new election scheme just failed and that seems to suggest that an early election is dead in the water

( zero hedge)

iv)Italy’s 5 star party is furious after they supported electoral reform.  They are demanding a new election immediately

( zero hedge)

v)UK/POUND/UK ELECTION

Today’s UK election has caused huge volatility in the pound:

( zero hedge)

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

i)TURKEY/GERMANY

As promised Germany pulls out of Turkey’s Incirlik because they are not allowed to check on their troops

( zero hedge)

ii)QATAR

Qatar puts their military on the highest state of alert as they fear an attack is imminent

( zero hedge)

iii)Qatar turning to Russia?  Not good as this may turn into a global conflict and maybe initiate a World War

( zero hedge)

iv)Qatar states that they will never surrender as they welcome Turkish troops.  Iran offers food and their ports

( zero hedge)

6 .GLOBAL ISSUES

 

 

7. OIL ISSUES

i)Oil plunges into the 45 dollar handle as UBS and JPMorgan slash their outlook for oil

( zero hedge)

ii)A very heartwarming story of how small African nations are receiving help in obtaining solar power and fresh water..

enjoy

(courtesy Hedva Zur/Daliah Organ)

8. EMERGING MARKET

9.   PHYSICAL MARKETS

i)the Crime Scene: a huge 4 billion dollars worth of gold futures dumped at once
( zero hedge)
ib)Dave Kranzler also touches upon the massive 40.5 tonnes of naked short paper gold contracts which flooded the comex in a relatively short period of time: 4 minute( Dave Kranzler/IRD)
ii)Fresh allegations against HSBC in another forex manipulation scandal.

( London’s Financial Times/GATA)

iii)Craig Hemke is basically telling you what I have been pointing out each and every night:  the bankers are supplying huge amounts of paper gold shorts

( TFMetals/Craig Hemke/GATA)

iv)James Turk comments that he sees a short squeeze in gold in the physical markets in London

( James Turk/Kingworldnews)

v)Adams claims that $1300 dollar gold will be the key break out

( Adams/Raymond James/Kingworldnews/GATA)

vi)ICE is trying to beat its LME rivals for a gold platform

( Hobson/Reuters)

vii)The rush for physical gold is in full blast around the world

( Bloomberg/GATA)

10. USA Stories

i)Another health care insurer drops out of Obamacare in Ohio

( MishShedlock/Mishtalk)

ii)the sorry state of affairs inside Illinois

( Kevin Hoffman/RebootIllinois.com)

iii)Trump responds to Comey’s prepared text last night and says that he is vindicated:

( zero hedge)

iv)The fun begins:  Newsmax reports that constitutional lawyer Alan Desheowitz states that Comey did not obstruct justice

( Newsmax/)

v)Alan Dershowitz claims and he is perfectly correct that there is no crime due to the fact that the President has the right to pardon.  Trump did not destroy evidence nor was his actions in any way corrupt.

( the Fly)

( zerohedge)

vii)This exchange should help you understand why there is no obstruction of Justice on the part of Trump:

( zero hedge)

viii)Now we get the truth that two stories:  one from the New York Times and the other from CNN using anonymous sources were nothing but phonies:

( zero hedge)

ix) Then there was interesting testimony on the Clinton email scandal

( zero hedge)

x)Ailing Nordstrom has decided that they may go private which causes our shorts in the company to cry out for help

 

( zero hedge)

Let us head over to the comex:

The total gold comex open interest ROSE BY A GOOD SIZED 2,726 CONTRACTS UP  to an OI level of 498,238 DESPITE THE FALL IN THE PRICE OF GOLD ($4.90 with YESTERDAY’S trading). The bankers were supplying the short comex gold paper and the longs just gobbled them up with reckless abandon.

We are now in the contract month of JUNE and it is one of the BETTER delivery months  of the year. In this JUNE delivery month  we had A  HUGE LOSS OF 447 contract(s) FALLING TO  2081.  We had 121 notices filed yesterday so we LOST ANOTHER 326  contracts or an additional 32,600 oz will  NOT stand for delivery in this very active delivery month of June AND WITHOUT A SHADOW OF DOUBT THESE 326 CONTRACTS RECEIVED AN EFP CONTRACT WHICH ENTITLES THEM TO A FIAT BONUS PLUS A FUTURE GOLD CONTRACT/OR A LONG CALL OR MOST LIKELY A LONDON BASED FORWARD GOLD CONTRACT. THESE EFP’S ARE PRIVATE OFF COMEX TRANSACTIONS. THE STUBBORN LONGS WHO ARE REMAINING STOIC ARE SO FAR REFUSING THAT FIAT BONUS

Below is a little background on the EFP contracts  initiated by our bankers:
We now know for certain that private EFP contracts are given by the bankers when faced with an upcoming active delivery month and they state that this is for emergency purposes only and that they do not have actual physical metal to deliver upon in the front month.  We just do not know the makeup of that private deal.  It is my contention that the longs in GOLD FOR INSTANCE at the end of MAY(for June contracts) were given a fiat bonus plus a long “in the money” call for a  future July contract or a August FUTURE contract or MAYBE EVEN A LONDON BASED FORWARD GOLD CONTRACT. . and this is why the total comex open interest complex obliterates as we enter first day notice.  So now everything makes sense: the obliteration of OI as we enter first day notice has not really occurred in the real sense but replaced with a future long contract call and/or an off -comex London based gold contract  with some bonus money for their effort.

The non active July contract LOST 187 contracts to stand at 2,327 contracts. The next big active month is August and here the OI GAINED 2790 contracts up to 372,572.

We had 57 notice(s) filed upon today for 5,700 oz

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
And now for the wild silver comex results.  Total silver OI FELL BY 2,726 contracts FROM 208,967 DOWN TO 206,241 WITH YESTERDAY’S TINY 9 CENT LOSS.  IT SURE LOOKS LIKE OUR BANKERS ARE DESPERATELY TRYING TO COVER THEIR SHORTS IN SILVER BUT TO NO AVAIL. WE ALSO NO DOUBT HAVE CONSIDERABLE EVIDENCE OF SOME DELTA HEDGING BY THE BANKERS TRYING TO OFFSET THAT HUGE SHORT POSITION THEY HAVE BEEN BURGEONING OVER THE YEARS.
We are in the NON active delivery month is JUNE  Here the open interest SOMEHOW GAINED A WHOPPING 74 contract(s) RISING TO 94 contracts. We had 4 notices served upon yesterday so we AGAIN GAINED 78 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL  390,000 OZ OF SILVER WILL STAND FOR DELIVERY IN THIS NON ACTIVE DELIVERY MONTH OF JUNE.  IT SEEMS WE ARE CONTINUING WHERE WE LEFT OFF LAST MONTH IN SILVER AS INVESTORS ARE WILLING TO FORGO THE FIAT PROFIT JUST TO SECURE PHYSICAL SILVER METAL. THIS IS THE 6TH CONSECUTIVE DAY THAT THE AMOUNT OF SILVER STANDING ADVANCED FROM FIRST DAY NOTICE. 

The next big active month will be July and here the OI LOST 4915 contracts DOWN to 126,698 as we start to wind down before first day notice Friday, June 30.  July will be interesting to watch in silver as we witness fewer players pitching for EFP contracts than with gold.

The month of August, a non active month picked up 3 contracts to stand at 24.  The next big active delivery month for silver will be September and here the OI already jumped by another 1830 contracts up to 39,972.

I will give you a snapshot as to what happened last year at the exact number of days before first day notice:

June 8.2016:  107,376 contracts were still outstanding vs 126,698 contracts June 8.2017

At the conclusion of June, the final standing for physical silver was 3,080,000 oz and we have already surpassed that number this year  (3,920,000 oz).

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 9 notice(s) filed for 45,000 oz for the June 2017 contract

VOLUMES: for the gold comex

Today the estimated volume was 236,595 contracts which is GOOD

Yesterday’s confirmed volume was 228,226 contracts  which is GOOD

volumes on gold are STILL HIGHER THAN NORMAL!

INITIAL standings for JUNE
 June 8/2017.
Gold Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory in oz   nil
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory in oz  
 1703.95 oz
Scotia
Manfra
53 kilobars
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory in oz nil  oz

 

Deposits to the Customer Inventory, in oz 
 nil oz
No of oz served (contracts) today
 
57 notice(s)
5700 OZ
No of oz to be served (notices)
2024 contracts
202,400 oz
Total monthly oz gold served (contracts) so far this month
2105 notices
210,500 oz
6.5474 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   116,463.0 oz
Today we HAD  2 kilobar transaction(s)/ 
We had 0 deposit into the dealer:
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 2 customer withdrawal(s)
 i) out of Scotia:  1607.500 oz 50 kilobars
ii) Out of  Manfra:  96.45 oz (3 kilobars)
total customer withdrawal: 1703.95  oz
 we had 0 adjustments:
For JUNE:

Today, 0 notice(s) were issued from JPMorgan dealer account and 2 notices were issued from their client or customer account. The total of all issuance by all participants equates to 57  contract(s)  of which 0 notices were stopped (received) by j.P. Morgan dealer and 29 notice(s) was (were) stopped/ Received) by j.P.Morgan customer account.

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To calculate the initial total number of gold ounces standing for the JUNE. contract month, we take the total number of notices filed so far for the month (2105) x 100 oz or 210,500 oz, to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of JUNE (2081 contracts) minus the number of notices served upon today (57) x 100 oz per contract equals 412,900  oz, the number of ounces standing in this active month of JUNE.
 
Thus the INITIAL standings for gold for the JUNE contract month:
No of notices served so far (2105) x 100 oz  or ounces + {(2081)OI for the front month  minus the number of  notices served upon today (57) x 100 oz which equals 412900 oz standing in this  active delivery month of JUNE  (12,8429 tonnes)
.
WE LOST 326 CONTRACTS OR AN ADDITIONAL 32,600 OZ WILL NOT STAND AT THE COMEX.  HOWEVER THESE GUYS (326 CONTRACTS) WERE GIVEN EFP CONTRACTS WHICH ENTITLES THEM TO A FIAT BONUS PLUS A FUTURES GOLD CONTRACT OR A LONG CALL ON A GOLD CONTRACT OR MOST LIKELY A LONDON BASED GOLD FORWARD CONTRACT.  
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Total dealer inventory 900,191.813 or 27.99 tonnes DEALER RAPIDLY LOSING GOLD
Total gold inventory (dealer and customer) = 8,803,086.478 or 273.74 tonnes 
 
Over a year ago the comex had 303 tonnes of total gold. Today the total inventory rests at 273.74 tonnes for a  loss of 29  tonnes over that period.  Since August 8/2016 we have lost 80 tonnes leaving the comex. However I am including kilobar transactions and they are very suspect at best
I have a sneaky feeling that these withdrawals of gold in kilobars are being used in the hypothecating process  and are being used in the raiding of gold!

The gold comex is an absolute fraud.  The use of kilobars and exact weights makes the data totally absurd and fraudulent! To me, the only thing that makes sense is the fact that “kilobars: are entries of hypothecated gold sent to other jurisdictions so that they will not be short with their underwritten derivatives in that jurisdiction.  This would be similar to the rehypothecated gold used by Jon Corzine at MF Global.
 
IN THE LAST 13 MONTHS  80 NET TONNES HAS LEFT THE COMEX.
end
And now for silver
AND NOW THE MAY DELIVERY MONTH
June INITIAL standings
 June 8 2017
Silver Ounces
Withdrawals from Dealers Inventory  nil
Withdrawals from Customer Inventory
 nil oz
Deposits to the Dealer Inventory
NIL oz
Deposits to the Customer Inventory 
 nil oz
No of oz served today (contracts)
 9 CONTRACT(S)
(45,000 OZ)
No of oz to be served (notices)
85 contracts
( 425,000 oz)
Total monthly oz silver served (contracts) 699 contracts (3,495,000 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 2,295,343.5 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 0 customer withdrawal(s):
TOTAL CUSTOMER WITHDRAWALS:  nil  oz
 We had 0 Customer deposit(s):
***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  nil oz
 
 we had 0 adjustment(s)
The total number of notices filed today for the JUNE. contract month is represented by 9 contract(s) for 45,000 oz. To calculate the number of silver ounces that will stand for delivery in JUNE., we take the total number of notices filed for the month so far at 699 x 5,000 oz  = 3,495,000 oz to which we add the difference between the open interest for the front month of JUNE (94) and the number of notices served upon today (9) x 5000 oz equals the number of ounces standing
 

 

.
 
Thus the initial standings for silver for the JUNE contract month:  699(notices served so far)x 5000 oz  + OI for front month of JUNE.(94 ) -number of notices served upon today (9)x 5000 oz  equals  3,920,000 oz  of silver standing for the JUNE contract month.
We gained 78 contracts or an additional 390,000 oz will stand for delivery. WE ALSO HAD 0 EFP CONTRACTS THAT WERE ISSUED AS THE LONGS REFUSED A FIAT BONUS: THEY WANT THEIR PHYSICAL SILVER.
 
Volumes: for silver comex
Today the estimated volume was 95,800 which is HUGE
Yesterday’s  confirmed volume was 76.781 contracts which is HUGE
YESTERDAY’S ESTIMATED VOLUME OF 76.781 CONTRACTS EQUATES TO 384 MILLION OZ OF SILVER OR 55% OF ANNUAL GLOBAL PRODUCTION OF SILVER EX CHINA EX RUSSIA). IN OUR HEARINGS THE COMMISSIONERS STRESSED THAT THE OPEN INTEREST SHOULD BE AROUND 3% OF THE MARKET.
 
Total dealer silver:  34.315 million (close to record low inventory  
Total number of dealer and customer silver:   204.477 million oz
The record level of silver open interest is 234,787 contracts set on April 21./2017  with the price at that day at  $18.42
The previous record was 224,540 contracts with the price at that time of $20.44
end

NPV for Sprott and Central Fund of Canada

1. Central Fund of Canada: traded at Negative 7.1 percent to NAV usa funds and Negative 7.0% to NAV for Cdn funds!!!! 
Percentage of fund in gold 61.5%
Percentage of fund in silver:38.4%
cash .+0.1%( June 8/2017) 
2. Sprott silver fund (PSLV): Premium RISES TO   +.01%!!!! NAV (june 8/2017) 
3. Sprott gold fund (PHYS): premium to NAV RISES to +0.59% to NAV  (June 8/2017 )
Note: Sprott silver trust back  into POSITIVE territory at +0.01% /Sprott physical gold trust is back into NEGATIVE/ territory at +0.69%/Central fund of Canada’s is still in jail  but being rescued by Sprott.

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

(courtesy Sprott/GATA)

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

 Section: Daily Dispatches

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

end

 

And now the Gold inventory at the GLD

June 8/a huge addition of 3.07 tonnes of gold into inventory with the whacking of gold today.makes sense!!/inventory rests at 867.00 tonnes

June 7 a huge change in inventory/a deposit of 13.93 tonnes/inventory rests at 864.93 tonnes

June 6/ no changes in inventory at the GLD/Inventory remains at 851.00 tonnes

June 5.2017/no changes at the GLD/Inventory remain at 851.00 tonnes

June 2/2017/a huge deposit of 3.55 tonnes of gold into the GLD/Inventory rests at 851.00 tonnes

June 1/NO CHANGE IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 847.45 TONNES

May 31./ no change in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 847.45 tonnes

May 30/no change in gold inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 847.45 tonnes

May 26./no change in inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 847.45 tonnes

May 25./no change in inventory at the GLD/Inventory rests at 847.45 tonnes

May 24/no change in inventory at the GLD/inventory rests at 847.45 tonnes

May 23/a paper withdrawal of 5.03 tonnes of gold from the GLD/Inventory rests at 847.45 tonnes

May 22/A DEPOSIT OF 1.77 TONNES IN GOLD INVENTORY AT THE GLD/INVENTORY RESTS AT 852.48 TONNES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
June 8 /2017/ Inventory rests tonight at 867.00 tonnes
*IN LAST 168 TRADING DAYS: 80.13 NET TONNES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GLD
*LAST 111 TRADING DAYS: A NET  47.30 TONNES HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED INTO GLD INVENTORY.
*FROM FEB 1/2017: A NET  60.64 TONNES HAVE BEEN ADDED.

end

Now the SLV Inventory

June 8/no change in inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 339.605 million oz

June 7/no change in inventory at the SLV/inventory rests at 339.605 million oz/

June 6/no change in inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 339.605 million oz.

June 5/a huge change at the SLV/a withdrawal of 1.371 million oz /inventory rests at 339.605 million oz/

June 2/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 340.976 million oz/

June 1/NO CHANGE IN INVENTORY AT THE SLV/INVENTORY RESTS AT 340.976 MILLION OZ

May 31./ no change in silver inventory at the SLV/inventory rests at 340.976 million oz/

May 30/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/inventory rests at 340.976 million oz

May 26/another paper withdrawal of 946,000 oz of silver from the SLV with silver rising/inventory rests at 340.976 million oz

May 25/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/Inventory rests at 341.922 million oz

May 24./a “paper” withdrawal of 1.893 million oz from the SLV/inventory rests tonight at 341.922 million oz

May 23/no change in silver inventory at the SLV/inventory rests at 343.815 million oz

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??)

June 8.2017: Inventory 339.605  million oz
end
We are going to provide GOFO rates  (gold) each day and shortly silver
courtesy of Bron Suchecki of Monetary Metals
Here is an email form him to me:

Hi Harvey,

I don’t know if you are at this email address, I had it in my contacts spreadsheet, can’t remember how I got it.

Anyways, I just wanted to let you know that while LBMA stopped providing GOFO and SIFO some years ago, we have been able to derive it from futures pricing using some complex software so now the market has some transparency. Our figures have a very high correlation to LBMA’s GOFO and SIFO, so whatever games are played in Comex it doesn’t affect the accuracy of our figures.

We are making the charts freely available (only a sign up is needed), check out GOFO here https://monetary-metals.com/thought-leadership/data-science-charts/gold-forward-rates/. We also have SIFO, and gold and silver lease rates.

We have found some interesting things in this data and will have some articles planned, so keep an eye out.

Regards,

Bron Suchecki

BRON SUCHECKI | VP Operations
Unlocking the Productivity of Gold
MONETARY METALS & CO

 

and then this email explaining how they accomplished the feat:
Dear Harvey:

Thanks for your support. I think just go with this as the initial introduction/explanation:

The Monetary Metals® forward offered rates for gold (MM GOFO) and silver (MM SIFO) are market-derived measures of the rate at which dealers would theoretically lend gold or silver on a swap basis against US dollars.

These rates are the foundation for the pricing of gold swaps, forwards, and leases and are important to central banks as well as mining companies, jewelers, and other users of gold. When the LBMA announced that it was scrapping its GOFO rates in January 2015, Ross Norman of Sharps Pixley lamented that it was “yet another step in making important gold information opaque.”

To help empower gold users and bring transparency back to the market, Monetary Metals® developed unconventional proprietary techniques to calculate indicative inter-bank wholesale 6 month and 12 month forward rates (both bid and offer) as well as derived lease rates using LIBOR—and makes them available free of charge to investors.


Regards,

Bron Suchecki

and here is today’s figures:

The actual figures can be found on our home page https://monetary-metals.com/

with this box in the left side

The rates and charts are updated around this time each day, for the previous day (ie the figures above are for June 7th.

Regards,

Bron Suchecki

BRON SUCHECKI | VP Operations
Unlocking the Productivity of Gold
MONETARY METALS & CO
M: +61 4 1210 1912 | bron@monetary-metals.com
Skype: bron.suchecki
Twitter: @bronsuchecki
Website: monetary-metals.com
Use this link to encrypt and safely send confidential documents to Monetary Metals®
https://cloud.sookasa.com/upload_page/f840a3c3-54e5-42b0-85b4-15c9e94ea5e

end

Major gold/silver trading/commentaries for THURSDAY

GOLDCORE/BLOG/MARK O’BYRNE.

GOLD/SILVER

Gold Prices Steady On UK Election Risk; ECB Meeting and Geopolitical Risk

Gold Prices Steady On UK Election Risk; ECB and Geopolitical Risk

by Reuters

* Gold prices could see strong intraday volatility – analyst
* UK election, Ex-FBI director testimony, ECB meeting set for later in the day
* Downside for gold is “limited” (especially in sterling)

Gold held steady on Thursday as investors awaited cues on market direction amid a number of geopolitical events later in the day that could boost the safe-haven demand for the metal.

Gold prices in UK sterling

Polling has started in the UK national elections, while the European Central Bank (ECB) may discuss dropping additional stimulus pledges at a meeting later and former United States Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey will testify before the U.S. Congress about his interactions with President Donald Trump later in the day.

“Unless there is a major surprise today and the Labor Party gets up over the Conservatives, I doubt there will be much reaction to gold price from the UK election. The market has already priced this,” said Cameron Alexander, an analyst with Thomson Reuters-owned metals consultancy GFMS.

“A more bullish forecast (from ECB meeting) is likely to lead to a movement away from gold to higher-yielding assets, although any move will be modest.”

Spot gold was nearly flat at $1,285.91 per ounce, as of 0809 GMT.  U.S. gold futures for August delivery dipped 0.4 percent to $1,288.20 an ounce.

“A lot of things are happening at the same time… There may be some kind of impact that may push up the volatility rather than the direction of price moves,” said Mark To, head of research at Hong Kong’s Wing Fung Financial Group.

The yellow metal fell from a near seven-month high on Wednesday after Comey’s written testimony to the U.S. Senate contained few surprises.

A final flurry of opinion polls gave British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party a lead between 5 and 12 percentage points over the main opposition Labour Party, suggesting she would increase her majority – but not win the landslide foreseen when she called the election seven weeks ago.

“With the (UK poll) results coming out during the Asian session on Friday morning, the downside for gold is likely to be limited as we run into the weekend,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.

Meanwhile, the ECB is likely to keep its easy monetary policy during its meeting as inflation remains below its target despite stronger economic growth in the euro zone.

In other precious metals, palladium gained as much as 0.7 percent to $840.10 an ounce. In the previous session, it hit the highest in nearly three years, but shed its early gains to end 2.3 percent lower. Platinum climbed 0.6 percent to $947.80 per ounce, and silver rose 0.5 percent to $17.63.

Full article on Reuters UK

News and Commentary

PRECIOUS-Gold steady as UK goes to polls; ECB meeting in focus (Reuters.com`)

Gold prices end 3-session streak of gains (MarketWatch.com)

ICE expands London gold contract ahead of LME’s rival offering (Reuters.com)

China gold reserves unchanged at end-May – central ban (Reuters.com)

Iran blame Saudis for Tehran attacks, Riyadh rejects accusation (RT.com)

Source: Bloomberg

Trump’s America Is Facing a $13 Trillion Consumer Debt Hangover (Bloomberg.com)

How to avoid the NEXT financial crisis? with Prof Steve Keen (Hubs.ly)

Business responsibility to play fair & create long term value – Godin (TypePad.com)

Gross warns U.S. market risk is at highest since 2008 crisis (MarketWatch.com)

Why the gold rally may signal further dollar weakness (MarketWatch.com)

END
the Crime Scene: a huge 4 billion dollars worth of gold futures dumped at once
(courtesy zero hedge)

Someone Just Dumped $4 Billion Of Gold Futures Ahead Of Comey Testimony

Just minutes ahead of James Comey’s testimony that many hope will lead to Trump impeachment, it appears someone decided it was an opportune time to dump $4 billion notional gold futures, seemingly confident this will not be a “constitutional crisis.”

Over 30,000 contracts suddenly flushed ahead of Comey…

This move takes Gold back to the top of Payrolls day levels and still well above $1262 (50DMA) support levels.

Silver was also whacked…

 

Which did break key technical support…

Dave Kranzler also touches upon the massive 40.5 tonnes of naked short paper gold contracts which flooded the comex in a relatively short period of time: 4 minutes

(courtesy Dave Kranzler/IRD)

40.5 Tonnes Of Paper Gold Dumped In 4 Minutes

One/some/several “entities” decided at 9:38 a.m. this morning that  it was necessary to dump 14,315 contracts of paper gold.  This is just the August contract.  In total a lot more was unloaded.   This represents 1.43 million ozs of gold.  The Comex is only showing 900,000 ozs of “gold” as “registered,” or available for delivery in June, July and August (assuming all of that gold is actually sitting physically in the Comex vaults as reported).  If we make that generous assumption, 531,000 ozs of paper gold was naked shorted.

The news report or event that triggered this sudden need to unload / naked short 40.5 tonnes of paper gold beginning at 9:38 a.m. EST is not clear.  The mainstream financial media is attributing the dump in gold to the “anticipation of Comey’s testimony.”  But this is patently absurd, if not a complete insult to the public’s intelligence.  The market has known all week that Comey was testifying this morning and it was generally know what he would say.

This is what the price action in the gold market looked like before the huge paper dump onto the Comex – Asia/India buying physical gold and driving the price higher, London/LBMA selling paper gold and driving the price back down:

With all the frenzy connected to the parabolic rise of cryptocurrencies, one has to wonder why the western Central Banks are concerned with controlling the price of these block-chain based digital currencies.  If the Comey testimony was a reason to push down the price of gold, why were the “flight to safety” cryptos left alone?

This is a rhetorical question, but the relative threat – and therefor the legitimacy as a competing form of money –  that each represents to the dollar-based reserve currency system is a hint.   For some reason the “wizards” behind the BIS curtain are not concerned about the cryptos…

http://investmentresearchdynamics.com/40-5-tonnes-of- paper-gold-dumped-in-4-minutes/

***

Fresh allegations against HSBC in another forex manipulation scandal.

(courtesy London’s Financial Times/GATA)

HSBC faces fresh suit alleging forex manipulation

Section:
By Martin Arnold
Financial Times, London
Wednesday, June 7, 2017HSBC is facing a fresh legal battle over allegations that its traders manipulated foreign exchange markets for their own profit at the expense of their clients, with the allegations centring on trades from more than a decade ago.ECU Group, a UK-based currency investment firm, has filed an application to London’s commercial court asking for HSBC to be required to hand over records relating to three large foreign exchange orders it executed in 2006.The court filing — seen by the Financial Times — comes after regulators uncovered systematic rigging of the $5 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market by traders at HSBC and several other global banks, which were fined $4.3 billion three years ago.At the time of ECU’s 2006 forex trades, the firm suspected it was being ripped off by HSBC traders “front running” its forex orders. When it complained, the bank promised a full internal inquiry, only to report back that it had found no wrongdoing. …… For the remainder of the report:https://www.ft.com/content/1c83500c-4ada-11e7-919a-1e14ce4af89b

* * *

END

Craig Hemke is basically telling you what I have been pointing out each and every night:  the bankers are supplying huge amounts of paper gold shorts

(courtesy TFMetals/Craig Hemke)

TF Metals Report: Banks playing same old game

Section:

11:15a ET Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

The TF Metals Report today asserts that things are back to normal with “Comex Digital Gold,” with the bullion banks selling as much unbacked paper as speculators demand, confident that no one will ever try taking delivery. The report is headlined “Banks Playing Same Old Game” and it’s posted here:

https://www.tfmetalsreport.com/blog/8379/banks-playing-same-old-game

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

END

James Turk comments that he sees a short squeeze in gold in the physical markets in London

(courtesy James Turk/Kingworldnews)

Turk tells KWN of another indication of a short squeeze in gold

Section:

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

GoldMoney founder and GATA consultant James Turk tells King World News today that a sickly index of bank stocks supports suspicions that a short squeeze in gold is underway. Turk’s comments are posted at KWN here:

http://kingworldnews.com/james-turk-gold-short-squeeze-developing-as-nex…

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

END

Adams claims that $1300 dollar gold will be the key break out

(courtesy Adams/Raymond James/Kingworldnews/GATA)

$1,300 is key level for gold, Raymond James analyst and KWN say

Section:

6:25p ET Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Raymond James analyst Andrew Adams and King World News say that $1,300 is a key technical level for the gold price, which explains the heavy resistance to the monetary metal’s continued rise here:

http://kingworldnews.com/alert-this-is-the-reason-why-there-was-a-panic-…

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

END

ICE is trying to beat its LME rivals for a gold platform

 

(courtesy Hobson/Reuters)

ICE expands London gold contract ahead of LME’s rival offering

Section:

By Peter Hobson
Reuters
Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Intercontinental Exchange has substantially expanded the range of dates that its London gold futures contract can be traded, as it seeks to beat rival exchanges to gain a foothold in the city’s $5 trillion-a-year bullion market.

ICE said that from May 22 its daily futures contract could be traded on dates up to three months into the future. Previously it could be traded only two days ahead of settlement.

“This extension of the trading curve will provide the ability to trade a Gold Daily futures contract pricing delivery on each Eligible Contract Date three calendar months into the future,” the exchange said in a market notice. …

… For the remainder of the report:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-gold-trading-ice-idUSKBN18Y25N

 

 

END

 

The rush for physical gold is in full blast around the world

 

(courtesy Bloomberg/GATA)

The new gold rush is all about vaults

Section:

By Eddie Van Der Walt and Thomas Seal
Bloomberg News
Wednesday, June 7, 2017

From safety-deposit boxes in leafy west London to high-security facilities housing gold and silver in Frankfurt, companies that store valuables are expanding to meet demand.

A rush into haven assets that began during the financial crisis is getting a new lease on life from an upsurge in populist politics and a quickening of inflation. Two firms say they’re planning to open vaults in Europe capable of holding more than 100 million euros ($112 million) in gold, offering customers lower costs than exchange-traded products and protection from rising prices.

“Inflation is a key concern for many of our clients,” said Ross Norman, chief executive officer of bullion dealer Sharps Pixley Ltd., which operates a gold vault within walking distance of Buckingham Palace. “A safe-haven asset isn’t just about what you buy — it’s also about where you keep it.” …

… For the remainder of the report:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-06/the-new-gold-rush-is-…


 

END

 

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

 
 

1 Chinese yuan vs USA dollar/yuan  STRONGER 6.7960(REVALUATION NORTHBOUND   /OFFSHORE YUAN MOVES  STRONGER TO ONSHORE AT   6.7829/ Shanghai bourse CLOSED UP 10.00 POINTS OR 0.32%  / HANG SANG CLOSED UP 88.90 POINTS OR 0.34% 

2. Nikkei closed DOWN 75.36 POINTS OR 0.38%   /USA: YEN RISES TO 110.13

3. Europe stocks OPENED IN THE GREEN EXCEPT LONDON        ( /USA dollar index RISES TO  96.89/Euro UP to 1.1261

3b Japan 10 year bond yield: RISES TO   +.069%/     !!!!(Japan buying 100% of bond issuance)/Japanese yen vs usa cross now at 110.13/ THIS IS TROUBLESOME AS BANK OF JAPAN IS RUNNING OUT OF BONDS TO BUY./JAPAN 10 YR YIELD FINALLY IN THE POSITIVE/BANK OF JAPAN LOSING CONTROL OF THEIR YIELD CURVE AS THEY PURCHASE ALL BONDS TO GET TO ZERO RATE!!

3c Nikkei now JUST BELOW 17,000

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

3e WTI::  45.48 and Brent: 47.84

3f Gold DOWN/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 DOWN for WTI and DOWN for Brent this morning

3i European bond buying continues to push yields lower on all fronts in the EMU. German 10yr bund RISES TO  +.280%/Italian 10 yr bond yield DOWN  to 2.233%    

3j Greek 10 year bond yield FALLS to  : 6.05???  

3k Gold at $1282.25  silver at:17.58 (8:15 am est)   SILVER BELOW  RESISTANCE AT $18.50 

3l USA vs Russian rouble; (Russian rouble UP 8/100 in  roubles/dollar) 56.99-

3m oil into the 45 dollar handle for WTI and 47 handle for Brent/

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

JAPAN ON JAN 29.2016 INITIATES NIRP. THIS MORNING THEY SIGNAL THEY MAY END NIRP. TODAY THE USA/YEN TRADES TO 110.13 DESTROYING JAPANESE CITIZENS WITH HIGHER FOOD INFLATION

30 SNB (Swiss National Bank) still intervening again in the markets driving down the SF. It is not working: USA/SF this morning  0.9654 as the Swiss Franc is still rising against most currencies. Euro vs SF is 1.0861 well above the floor set by the Swiss Finance Minister. Thomas Jordan, chief of the Swiss National Bank continues to purchase euros trying to lower value of the Swiss Franc.

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

3r the 10 Year German bund now POSITIVE territory with the 10 year RISES to  +0.280%

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 2.194% early this morning. Thirty year rate  at 2.854% /POLICY ERROR)GETTING DANGEROUSLY HIGH

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

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

“Triple Threat Thursday” Starts Off With A Whimper: Markets On Edge Ahead Of Key Event Risks

So far “Triple Threat Thursday” has been a dud. In the day with the greatest concentration of market-moving risk events so far in 2017, market action – at least for the time being – has been a whimper, with European stocks and US futures modestly higher ahead of the ECB’s rate decision and Comey’s testimony (which has now been fully publicized, removing much of the risk), as the U.K. voting is underway. Asian stocks fell led by a decline in Japan as the yen first strengthened, only to tumble later in the session. The Dollar is little changed while oil recovered from the steepest decline in more than a year Wednesday, while U.K. government bonds led the region’s debt lower as the nation chooses its next government a general election.

A quick summary of events courtesy of the always whimsical Kit Juckes from SocGen:

The ECB is edging towards the exit from extraordinary policies, the BOJ is recalibrating its exit communication strategy, whatever that means, the US is preparing for the start of the Comey show, and the UK is going to the polls, or the dogs, or both. In the meantime, markets are pretty quiet, with bond yields globally recovering a bit, and equity market edging higher with the exception of the Nikkei.

Starting in Asia, JGBs sold off aggressively and the curve bear steepened in reaction to reports of the BOJ considering future exit communications, pressuring USTs in early European trade. As USD/JPY reversed the entire knee-jerk move lower, core fixed income weakened further and the USD ground higher across G-10. European equity markets opened higher led by financials and basic resources sectors.  The PBOC injected net 60 billion yuan of liquidity, weakening the  CNY fixing for first time in seven days while China watchers exhaled after stronger than expected Chinese trade data gave support to industrial metals.

European stocks rose while U.S. futures edged higher before today’s event trifecta. Copper led industrial metals higher as data showed an acceleration in Chinese exports while oil recouped a small portion of the more than 5 percent plunge triggered by a report showing a rise in U.S. crude stockpiles. Stock markets in London, Frankfurt and Paris were flat to 0.2% higher helped by reports of another bank rescue, this time in Italy, and energy shares as oil steadied after 5 percent drop the previous day. Italy’s bonds also cheered the banking sector talk and the pound and the euro were at $1.2937 and $1.1233 respectively, the former near a two-week high and the latter just off a seven-month high.

The big FX story of the session so far was the USDJPY which took a beating early in the session after the market was spooked by a Bloomberg article stating that the BoJ is shifting its stance on its exit strategy. The article reported that the BoJ no longer intends to reiterate that “to discuss the exit strategy is premature” and that policymakers will focus on more effective communication with the markets. “The BoJ is re-calibrating its communications to acknowledge that it is thinking about how to handle a future exit from monetary stimulus, according to people with knowledge of discussions at the central bank.” The strength lasted briefly though, and after sliding as low at 109.40, the USDJPY has since surged back over 110 and was trading at 110.10 last, as this particular trial balloon was digested and found severely lacking.

In economic data, Japan disappointed “bigly” earlier in the session when its Q1 GDP was revised to just 1.0% annualized, missing the 2.4% expected. The Japanese government’s second estimate for Jan-Mar (1Q) 2017 real GDP came in at +1.0% qoq annualized, a sharp downward revision from +2.2% in the preliminary reading. However, this was mainly attributable to inventory, and the Japanese economy still looks to be trending firmly once this volatile factor is stripped out.

This was however offset in Europe by a small beat in Europe’s GDP, which printed at 0.6%, fractionally above the 0.5% expected.

We gave a full UK election preview earlier, but for those pressed for time, here is a quick cheat sheet. For all the scenarios of a hung-parliament or Labour-led coalition, the central assumption is for a slightly increased majority for the ruling Conservatives and averaging the very diverse opinion poll projections points to the same. Spot sterling has been firm in recent days, although the jump in overnight implied volatility readings to some 30 percent – its highest since July – at least shows some pricing of possible risks over the next 24 hours.

Likewise for those curious what Draghi may do, our preview can be found here. Soundings on downgraded inflation forecasts and background trepidation about banking sector stability make it highly unlikely it will signal any major tightening of policy ahead later.

“We expect the ECB to tweak its forward guidance by dropping the easing bias on interest rates, while leaving the rest of its guidance largely unchanged, including the easing bias on asset purchases,” UniCredit said in a note.

Commenting on the ECB, a somewhat bemused SocGen’s Kit Juckes notes that “it goes without saying that recalibrating a communication strategy in advance of a decision to change policy, isn’t the same as actually doing something. The BOJ meets next week and faces a -0.8% y/y GDP deflator in Q1, while the most recent core CPI reading is at zero. BOJ policy is geared to fighting deflation and as other central banks revise inflation forecasts lower, the idea that they could declare victory soon seems strange. For now, US yields – especially TIPS, are holding the lower end of rangers rather than breaking free, and we expect USD/JPY and EUR/JPY to do the same, before moving higher.”

Former FBI Director James Comey’s will be grilled by Washington politicians later over his claims that President Trump asked him to drop an investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn as part of a probe into Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Although it keeps pressure on Trump, Wall St markets largely shrugged it off after Wednesday’s written testimony as not toxic enough to ratchet up the threat of an impeachment.

Here is how DB’s Jim Reid saw the release of the prepared Comey remarks:

In summary the general feeling was that it failed to contain a smoking gun and markets mostly ended up ignoring it. There were mentions of Trump asking for assurances on “loyalty” and also a reference to Trump requesting “let this go” with respect to the investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. But Comey also confirmed that he did not understand the President to be talking about the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to the campaign. The White House released a statement shortly after Comey’s testimony was released saying that the President was pleased that Comey confirmed that Trump was not under investigation in any Russian probe and also that the President “feels completely and totally vindicated”. After briefly dipping lower midway through the session the S&P 500 (+0.16%) limped to a small gain by the close suggesting that the risk premium around the event has perhaps diminished. Should that change today then it’s worth noting that President Trump may live tweet if he feels the need to respond during the testimony according to the Washington Post which could make for some entertainment.

“To be honest I’m absolutely staggered about the degree to which this geopolitical environment and developments are having absolutely no effect on markets,” said Saxo Bank head of FX strategy John Hardy.

“I’m old enough to remember how nervous the market used to get about this kind of stuff back in the day. I admit I don’t know how to price it, but it’s really staggering.”

The biggest moves of the week so far remain centered around ebbing energy prices and inflation outlooks in general. Brent crude stabilized at $48.50 LCOc1 a barrel in European trading, after another steep drop briefly below $48 overnight. It is now down more than 7 percent year-on-year.  With inventories showing no easing of the global glut, an ongoing row between Qatar and its Arab neighbors is seen as undermining the OPEC consensus about production cuts to limit oil supply.

Financially, the isolation of Qatar is taking its toll on the country’s debt and currency markets. Standard & Poor’s downgraded Qatar’s debt on Wednesday and Moody’s warned on Thursday that it saw risks too if the situation continued. The riyal currency fell to an 11-year low and Qatari sovereign dollar bonds also extended losses of recent days. The cost of insuring exposure to the kingdom’s debt rose to the highest level since mid-November.

“We expect that economic growth will slow, not just through reduced regional trade, but as corporate profitability is damaged because regional demand is cut off, investment is hampered, and investment confidence wanes,” S&P said.

In addition to all of the above, we algo get initial jobless claims data due. Companies reporting earnings include JM Smucker and Dell Technologies.

Bulletin headline summary from RanSquawk

  • European equities have seen little in the way of firm direction thus far with participants sitting on the side¬lines ahead of key risk events
  • Similar price action has been observed across FX markets with overnight USD/JPY losses reversed ahead of Comey’s testimony today
  • Looking ahead, highlights include the ECB rate decision, Comey’s testimony and the UK election exit poll

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.1% to 2,433
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.2% to 390.02
  • MXAP down 0.2% to 155.09
  • MXAPJ up 0.2% to 504.17
  • Nikkei down 0.4% to 19,909.26
  • Topix down 0.4% to 1,590.41
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.3% to 26,063.06
  • Shanghai Composite up 0.3% to 3,150.33
  • Sensex down 0.08% to 31,247.58
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.2% to 5,676.60
  • Kospi up 0.2% to 2,363.57
  • German 10Y yield rose 0.7 bps to 0.276%
  • Euro down 0.07% to 1.1249 per US$
  • Italian 10Y yield rose 4.3 bps to 2.005%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 2.7 bps to 1.541%
  • Brent Futures up 0.7% to $48.41/bbl
  • Gold spot down 0.1% to $1,285.75
  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.01% to 96.76

Top Overnight Stories from Bloomberg

  • BOJ is re-calibrating its communications to acknowledge that it is thinking about how to handle a future exit from monetary stimulus
  • Eurozone 1Q F GDP revised higher q/q to 0.6% from 0.5%; gross capex revised to 1.3% from 0.6% prev.
  • Italy: finance ministry is pressing domestic banks to contribute EU1.2b to rescue the two Veneto banks
  • German Apr. Industrial Production y/y: 2.9% vs 2.1% est; Economy Ministry says the solid development in orders and sales indicates a continued upswing
  • China May Trade Balance: $40.8b vs $47.8b; imports 14.8% vs 8.3% est; exports 8.7% vs 7.2% est.
  • Britain Votes as Narrowing Polls Indicate These Five Scenarios
  • Draghi Still Missing Inflation as Growth Pushes ECB Near Exit
  • China Stocks Atop Emerging World as Bubble Panic Forgotten
  • Alibaba Expects 45-49% Revenue Growth in FY2018
  • Moody’s Loses Hong Kong Red Flag Appeal Against Regulator
  • Hewlett Packard CEO Says Profit Margins Will Improve in 4Q
  • Teva Signals It’s Seeking New Chief With Experience at the Helm

Asia equity markets were choppy amid a cautious tone ahead of today’s trifecta of key risk events including the UK election, ECB policy meeting and to a lesser extent, former FBI Director Comey’s testimony after the pre-released statement didn’t appear to be too damaging for President Trump. Indecisive trade was seen in ASX 200 (+0.1%) and Nikkei 225 (-0.3%), with Australia stocks initially led lower by weakness in energy after a surprise DoE build. However, a mild improvement in tone was observed amid encouraging Chinese Exports and Imports figures, while Japanese stocks were driven by a temperamental JPY. Shanghai Comp. (+0.3%) and Hang Seng (+0.3%) were underpinned by the Chinese trade data and after the PBoC conducted another respectable liquidity injection. 10yr JGBs saw volatile trade with prices pressured throughout the session despite a downward revision to Q1 GDP figures and a better than prior 5yr auction. Selling was later exacerbated heading into the European open with some analysts attributing the pressure to an article that the BoJ is tweaking its communications to suggest it is contemplating how to handle a future QE exit. As reported last night, the Chinese Trade Balance rebounded to (CNY)(May) M/M 281.6bIn vs. Exp. 324.1 bin (Prey. 262.3bIn).  Chinese Exports (CNY)(May) Y/Y 15.5% vs. Exp. 13.5% (Prey. 14.3%) Chinese Imports (CNY)(May) Y/Y 22.1% vs. Exp. 8.3% (Prey. 18.6%) .

Top Asian News

  • BOJ Is Said to Re-Calibrate Communications on Future Exit
  • Hong Kong Stocks Inch Higher as China Trade Data Beat Estimates
  • Indofood Sukses to Purchase Land From CEO Salim: First Pacific
  • Iran Acid Attacker Wounds 16 in Tehran: Fars
  • Chinese Automakers Rise After Vehicle Sales Reverse Drop in May
  • Japan’s Yield Curve Steepens Further Led by Super-Long Bonds
  • Alibaba Foresees Sales Growth of As Much As 49 Percent This Year
  • Sungrow Power Rises to Highest This Year After Prelim. 1H Profit
  • U.S., China Team for First Mainland Offshore Commodities Index

European equities have traded with subdued behaviour throughout this ‘Super Thursday’. Key risk events today will take focus, with participants awaiting the EU interest rate decision, former FBI Director Comey’s testimony, with the UK election exit polls due at 22.00 BST. Sector specific trade is evident of the tentative behaviour, as Utilities outperform assisted by an upgrade for E.ON alongside a continuation of yesterday’s tax ruling. Telecoms are the noticeable laggard in the Stoxx 600 following Vodafone going ex div, trading down over 3%. Fixed Income markets have taken influence from Asia, as the G7 10 yr yields take impetus from JGBs, following an article that the BOJ is tweaking its communications to suggest it is contemplating how to handle a future QE exit. As such, Bunds and Gilts both trade lower on the day, as the Gilt Sep’17 future contract looks towards the 128 handle.

Top European News

  • Hung Parliament, Labour Win Risks Daunt Traders Day of U.K. Vote
  • Merkel and Macron Hand Boost to Bulgaria’s Euro Aspirations
  • Petronet Slides Most in Seven Months After Engie Sells Stake
  • Kinnevik Sells Final $244 Million Stake in Rocket Internet
  • European Miners Gain; Citigroup Sees Opportunity Following Slump
  • Pandora Advances; Jyske Says Positive Signet Signs Help Shares
  • Kinnevik’s Timing on Rocket Exit ‘Somewhat Odd’: Northern Trust
  • Allianz Said to Explore Buying Rest of France’s Euler Hermes
  • Hedge-Fund Bet on Banco Popular Collapse Yields Maximum Gain

In currencies, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index added 0.1 percent as of 9:57 a.m. in London. The pound was little changed at $1.2961 while the yen and euro weakened 0.1 percent. USD/JPY saw some bearish pressure following the overnight BoJ article, however, found a bid around 109.40. Elsewhere, currency markets identify the quiet tone as we approach the aforementioned risk events. EUR/USD and EUR/GBP have been evident of this, trading in a range bound fashion throughout the European morning, as EUR/GBP has the highest overnight implied volatility since Brexit. For EUR/USD and the rest of the cross rate, it is all about the ECB meeting today, and source stories suggesting that inflation forecasts will be revised lower saw longs taking a hit, though the spot move ran back into fresh demand ahead of 1.1200, and we are back in position to retest 1.1280-1.1305 should the press conference

In commodities, oil recovered slightly from the biggest drop since February 2016 after a surprise expansion in U.S. stockpiles. West Texas Intermediate crude added 0.7 percent to $46.05 a barrel. Gold dropped 0.1 percent to $1,285.23 an ounce. Industrial metals climbed as China’s imports and exports expanded more than expected. Copper advanced 1 percent to $5,676.50 a metric ton while zinc gained 1.4 percent and nickel rose 0.7 percent. WTI held near yesterday’s lows and failed to make any significant recovery from the DoE-triggered losses, in which an unexpected build pushed prices lower by around 5% to beneath USD 46/bbl. Elsewhere, gold prices slipped slightly alongside the mildly firmer greenback, whilst copper gained amid the better than expected Chinese Exports and Imports data.

Looking at the day ahead, aside from the obvious UK election, ECB meeting and Comey testimony focus there is also a bit of data due out. In Europe this morning we receive April industrial production in Germany which came in at 0.8%, stronger than expected (+0.5% mom expected) which will be an important hard data point to see in context of the recent PMIs. Also due out is the final Q1 GDP report for the Euro area which also beat at 0.6%, (exp. 0.5%). Consensus is for no change to the +0.5% qoq initial reading. This afternoon in the US we receive the latest weekly initial jobless claims data. Away from that Draghi’s press conference at 1.30pm BST post the ECB decision will of course be worth watching.

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Initial Jobless Claims, est. 240,000, prior 248,000
  • 8:30am: Continuing Claims, est. 1.92m, prior 1.92m
  • 9:45am: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort, prior 51.2
  • 12pm: Household Change in Net Worth, prior $2.04t

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

Once a decade there’s a particularly depressing day that you have to endure and try to find a way to come to terms with. Sadly yesterday was that day for me. Yes my new passport arrived as the old one was expiring and a (relatively) youthful photo of me from 2007 was replaced by a more haggard version of me from 2017. Given I travel quite a bit I tend to see a lot of my passport photo and still cling on to that old image being the true reflection of me. Not anymore. By the time the next one comes along though I’ll have had a decade of looking after twins to add yet more worry lines!!

Anyway welcome to “Super Thursday”. I’ll be voting in the UK soon after this email hits inboxes. If you’re in the UK I hope you do too unless you disagree with me and then I hope you don’t. I suppose one of the surprising features of this election is that if the polls* are to be believed (not a given clearly), then the UK will go back to a 2-party state again. Current polling puts the combined support for the two main parties at around 80%. The last three elections have seen combined support between 65-68%. In the 11 eleven elections since 1974, only 1979 (80.8%) saw it above 80%. Between 1945-1970 it was between 87-97%. Across the developed world there has generally been a fragmentation of politics in recent years, especially in Europe after the financial crisis, with lots of populist movements forming and taking votes  away from the establishment. Indeed in the recent French elections the two main parties failed to make the second round for the first time in the 60 years of the current set-up. So why has this reversal occurred in the UK and does it mark a return to establishment politics? Well post-Brexit, UKIP no longer serves the same purpose as it has done and the Liberal Democrat Party don’t seem to have captured the imagination in focusing a large part of their campaigning on a second EU referendum. Given that 48% voted against Brexit it seemed a reasonable strategy but most people in the UK seemed to have moved on  and have accepted the will of the people so it’s not been a campaign issue that has seemingly resonated. Although the two main parties have seen a relative combined revival it does feel this is more circumstantial and we’d still expect this to be the exception with anti-establishment politics likely to be around for years to come, especially in Europe. The last 6 general elections in Europe have actually seen these parties under-perform the final polls but I think this is as much to do with the recent cyclical strength in the European economy. The structural issues are still there. Back to today, here is a link to DB’s election guide, with timings and what to watch for.

Elsewhere today we have the ECB meeting and Mr Comey’s testimony to the Senate. On the ECB, our economists changed their call last week. They now think the balance of probabilities have shifted away from a change to forward guidance so soon with the soft May flash inflation print last week perhaps helping to offset confidence in the growth outlook. They still expect some soft exit expectations management, for example, talking up economic growth and tasking the internal committees to consider the options for forward guidance, deposit rate and QE. Strong growth and low inflation probably allows Draghi to be upbeat but hold back from big changes today.

On this, the big story yesterday was a press report suggesting that the ECB was preparing to cut its inflation forecast at today’s meeting. A Bloomberg article claimed that projections will now be at 1.5% for 2017, 2018 and 2019 against 1.7%, 1.6% and 1.7% back in March. If true this would be a big move as it would really be difficult to see a taper being announced until they edged higher again. The article did however say that ‘forecasts for core inflation, excluding energy and food, are likely to be little changed’. These were at 1.1%, 1.5% and 1.8% in March. A Reuters article subsequently said that ECB sources indicate that any changes made will be small, in some cases as tiny as 10bps. This led to a round trip in yields and the Euro yesterday albeit in what was still quite a tight range. Indeed 10y Bunds were up a couple of basis points in the early going at 0.267% prior to the headlines hitting, before quickly falling to a low of 0.242%, only to then rebound into the close to finish at 0.265% and up 1.7bps on the day. The intraday range in BTPs was 5.6bps while Spain and Portugal also saw ranges of 5.1bps and 5.9bps respectively. The Euro also traded in a 0.70% range versus the Dollar and ultimately finished down a fairly modest -0.18%.

Meanwhile with regards to Comey’s testimony, yesterday we got an early look at the former FBI Director’s prepared remarks. In summary the general feeling was that it failed to contain a smoking gun and markets mostly ended up ignoring it. There were mentions of Trump asking for assurances on “loyalty” and also a reference to Trump requesting “let this go” with respect to the investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. But Comey also confirmed that he did not understand the President to be talking about the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to the campaign. The White House released a statement shortly after Comey’s testimony was released saying that the President was pleased that Comey confirmed that Trump was not under investigation in any Russian probe and also that the President “feels completely and totally vindicated”. After briefly dipping lower midway through the session the S&P 500 (+0.16%) limped to a small gain by the close suggesting that the risk premium around the event has perhaps diminished. Should that change today then it’s worth noting that President Trump may live tweet if he feels the need to respond during the testimony according to the Washington Post which could make for some entertainment.

That small gain for the S&P last night was more notable in the face of a decent leg lower for Oil. WTI plummeted -5.13% following the latest EIA data which showed crude, gasoline and distillate supplies all  unexpectedly rising last week (crude breaking a run of 8 consecutive weeks of supply declines). That meant WTI settled at $45.72/bbl which is only a smidgen below the $45.52/bbl closing low for 2017 recorded last month. Beyond that, the last time WTI went below $45.50/bbl was back in November. Oil-sensitive currencies struggled in the wake of that (Norway, Canada and Russia down 0.5-1.0%) although interestingly Treasury yields did climb a little higher (2y +1.4bps, 10y +2.8bps, 30y +2.5bps) – albeit in the context of a decent move down for yields of late. It’s worth noting also that the 2y10y spread did close at 84.7bps last night which is the lowest since October last year. That spread got as wide as 136bps back in December and was also in the mid 100’s just last month so there’s been a reasonable flattening recently which is a worry for those of us that think the yield curve is a good macro predictor.

This morning in Asia risk assets appear to be mostly waiting on the sidelines with only small moves up or down for the Nikkei (+0.05%), Hang Seng (-0.01%), Shanghai Comp (-0.06%), ASX (+0.07%) and Kospi (-0.35%). The latter perhaps underperforming following the news of another missile launch by North Korea. Data in China this morning showed that both exports and imports rose more than expected in May. Meanwhile in Japan the final Q1 GDP print in Japan revealed that growth in the quarter was lower than first estimated at +0.3% qoq (from +0.5% in the flash reading). The consensus was actually for a one-tenth upward revision to +0.6%. While we’re on Japan its worth highlighting that yesterday a Reuters report hit the wires suggesting that the BoJ may upgrade its view on the economy as early as next week, but at the same time may be forced to cut inflation forecasts given a stubbornly weak price outlook. That almost feels like a repeat of the ECB story yesterday.

On to geopolitical tensions, the Middle East situation continues to grab headlines on an almost daily basis at the moment. Iran yesterday blamed a terror attack in Tehran on Saudi Arabiaand vowed to take revenge while the UAE Government warned of a possible economic embargo on Qatarshould the Gulf state not change its course. Qatar’s credit rating was also downgraded one notch by S&P to AA- and put on CreditWatch negative. While not necessarily having a direct impact right now on wider markets the tensions in the Middle East are certainly bubbling below the surface.

Closer to home, aside from the ECB focus the other main story for the market was the rescue of Banco Popular by Santander and the subsequent wiping out of AT1 debt of Popular. This follows the Single Resolution Board stepping in and announcing resolution action after stating that the entity was “failing or likely to fail”. For context Popular’s 11.5% AT1 perps were trading at Par at the end of March and have now been effectively written down to zero. The move was however reasonably isolated with no huge impact to other AT1 bonds issued by Euro banks. The iTraxx Sub Fins (+1bp) did underperform relative to Sen Fins (-2bps) but the magnitude of the move wasn’t all that significant. In equity markets the Stoxx 600 closed -0.06% yesterday.

Before we wrap up, with regards to the economic data yesterday, in the US the sole release was consumer credit in April which was reported as rising just $8.2bn during the month (vs. $15.0bn expected) which was the smallest increase since August 2011. In Germany factory orders in April disappointed at -2.1% mom (vs. -0.3% expected) although the annual rate still remains up at +3.5% yoy. In the UK the Halifax house price index rose +0.4% mom in May after expectations were for a small decline.

Looking at the day ahead, aside from the obvious UK election, ECB meeting and Comey testimony focus there is also a bit of data due out. In Europe this morning we receive April industrial production in Germany (+0.5% mom expected) which will be an important hard data point to see in context of the recent PMIs. Also due out is the final Q1 GDP report for the Euro area. Consensus is for no change to the +0.5% qoq initial reading. This afternoon in the US we receive the latest weekly initial jobless claims data. Away from that Draghi’s press conference at 1.30pm BST post the ECB decision will of course be worth watching.

3. ASIAN AFFAIRS

i)Late WEDNESDAY night/THURSDAY morning: Shanghai closed UP 10.00 POINTS OR 0.32%   / /Hang Sang CLOSED UP 88.90 POINTS OR 0.38% The Nikkei closed DOWN 75.36 POINTS OR 0.342%/Australia’s all ordinaires  CLOSED UP 0.12%/Chinese yuan (ONSHORE) closed UP at 6.7964/Oil DOWN to 45.34 dollars per barrel for WTI and 47.84 for Brent. Stocks in Europe OPENED IN THE GREEN EXCEPT LONDON      ..Offshore yuan trades  6.7829 yuan to the dollar vs 6.7960 for onshore yuan. NOW  THE OFFSHORE IS MUCH STRONGER TO THE ONSHORE YUAN/ ONSHORE YUAN A LITTLE STRONGER (TO THE DOLLAR)  AND THE OFFSHORE YUAN IS MUCH STRONGER TO THE DOLLAR AND THIS IS COUPLED WITH THE SLIGHTLY STRONGER DOLLAR. CHINA NOT HAPPY WITH THE NEWS THAT ITS DEBT HAS BEEN DOWNGRADED  

3a)THAILAND/SOUTH KOREA/NORTH KOREA

i)NORTH KOREA

What else is new:  North Korea with nothing else to do fires multiple ballistic missiles

(courtesy zero hedge)

North Korea Fires Multiple Ballistic Missiles

The day before “Berserker Thursday” with its UK elections, Comey testimony and the ECB decision, was supposed to be quiet. Instead we had the first domestic Iran terrorism in decades, Iran vowing revenge on Saudi Arabia, rising Qatar crisis tensions, South Korea telling the US it can go to hell, Syria threatening to strike US forces, the biggest crude crash in months, Germany pulling out of Turkey, Turkey approving the deployment of troops to Qatar, and stocks of course finishing the day higher.

And now, to top it all off, moments ago North Korea fired not one but multiple ballistic missiles, confirming the earlier story from Japan’s Asahi.

합참 “北, 원산서 지대함 추정 미사일 수발 동해로 발사”(2보) 문재인 정부 출범 이후 북한의 탄도미사일 발사는 4번째 http://ow.ly/vVe630cpzu4 

North Korea launched a salvo of apparent ballistic missiles from its east coast Thursday, South Korea’s military said.

 

“North Korea fired multiple unidentified projectiles, assumed to be surface-to-ship missiles, this morning from the vicinity of Wonsan, Gangwon Province,” the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

 

It was immediately reported to President Moon Jae-in, it added.

Expect futures to melt up on this latest development in a world whose news cycle no longer takes even one minute off.

b) REPORT ON JAPAN

c) REPORT ON CHINA

4. EUROPEAN AFFAIRS

ECB

Early this morning, the ECB in reference to rates, removes the language that rates may go lower.

(courtesy zero hedge)

ECB Removes Reference To Taking Rates “Lower”, Keeps “Well Past” Language

Super Thursday is officially off to the races with the ECB’s monetary policy announcement issued moments ago, which while keeping all three rates unchanged as consensus expected, has dropped the reference to “or lower” in the rate guidance, referring to the following sentence from the April 27 statement: “The Governing Council expects the key ECB interest rates to remain at their present or lower levels for an extended period of time, and well past the horizon of the net asset purchases.”

Full statement below:

At today’s meeting, which was held in Tallinn, the Governing Council of the ECB decided that the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.40% respectively. The Governing Council expects the key ECB interest rates to remain at their present levels for an extended period of time, and well past the horizon of the net asset purchases.

 

Regarding non-standard monetary policy measures, the Governing Council confirms that the net asset purchases, at the current monthly pace of €60 billion, are intended to run until the end of December 2017, or beyond, if necessary, and in any case until the Governing Council sees a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation consistent with its inflation aim. The net purchases will be made alongside reinvestments of the principal payments from maturing securities purchased under the asset purchase programme. If the outlook becomes less favourable, or if financial conditions become inconsistent with further progress towards a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation, the Governing Council stands ready to increase the programme in terms of size and/or duration.

While the ommission was broadly as expected as previewed last night, the ECB did keep the “well past” language for the QE asset purchase horizon, in effect sending both a dovish and hawkish signal.

Here is how ABNAmro previewed the subtle language change:

At the same time, we think that “shortening the delay”, ie. removing the “well” from “well after the end of” QE would not make sense at this stage, although Peter Praet has been open to it. The euro has appreciated recently, and even if we think that in practice the first deposit rate hike would not wait long after the end of the net purchases, it would be more prudent in our view to know more about the Fed’s intentions for after the June meeting before making this move. But such “hawkish risk” exists nonetheless as a potential concession to the most conservative wing of the Governing Council.

Similarly citi expected both phrases to be omitted, instead only “or lower” was removed.

Which may explain why the Euro reaction was confused, initially spiking higher, only to retrace all gains.

And now on to Draghi’s press conference at 8:30am ET.

end

 

Draghi slashes inflation forecasts for the next 2 years:

(courtesy zero hedge)

ECB Slashes Inflation Forecasts For 2017-2019

Yesterday’s Bloomberg “trial balloon” that the ECB would cut its inflation forecasts while boosting GDP expectations was confirmed moments ago, when during his prepared remarks Draghi increased the governing council’s Eurozone GDP expectations as follows:

  • 2017: from 1.8% to 1.9%
  • 2018: from 1.7% to 1.8%
  • 2019: from 1.6% to 1.7%

However, what the market was focusing on was the ECB’s inflation expectations, and it was here that the ECB confirmed that the central bank with the world’s biggest balance sheet has once again failed to stimulate inflation, slashing its forecast for 2017-2019 inflation across the board, blaming it on commodity prices. The new forecast is as follows:

  • 2017: from 1.7% to 1.5%
  • 2018: from 1.6% to 1.3%
  • 2019: from 1.7% to 1.6%

And visually:

WIth that cut, the ECB is taking a big gamble because as Bloomberg strategist Tanvir Sidhu writes, while downward revisions to ECB’s 2017 and 2018 forecasts are plausible to roughly around 1.5% given current peak inflation dynamics, “the central bank risks its credibility if cutting longer-term expectations to pre-QE projection levels.

He adds that lower-for-longer and Japanification of the bund curve will continue to play out if the 2019 forecast does come out in line with a report yesterday saying that HICP will be around 1.5%, about projection levels before QE. And while Draghi cut 2018 to only 1.3%, the lowest forecast in the series history, he still expects 2019 inflation to remain just above the 1.6% bogey.

As Bloomberg concludes, cutting the longer-term forecast would make Draghi’s communication more challenging given the ECB’s 33% issue limit means it would have to end QE earlier than inflation dynamics warrant.

As a result, the fate of ECB credibility now remains in the handover of HICP inflation from 1.3% in 2018 to 1.6% in 2019. Any further cuts to the outer years in the coming meets, the ECB will find itself in deep trouble, as it is rapidly running out of German bonds to monetize, and has little other recourse on how to stimulate Eurozone inflation.

end

 

ITALY

Then new election scheme just failed and that seems to suggest that an early election is dead in the water

(courtesy zero hedge)

Italian Stocks, Bonds Jump After Early Election Hopes Said To Be “Dead”

On May 29, Italian assets tumbled and BTP yields jumped on speculation Italy may hold early elections, a potential “risk event”, which could have an unexpected outcome (with the Five Star party a potential dark horse factor). However, moments the project to have early elections in Italy appears to have been derailed according to a couple of Bloomberg headlines:

  • ITALY MULTI-PARTY ELECTION LAW DEAL NOT VIABLE ANYMORE: FIANO
  • ITALY MULTI-PARTY ELECTION LAW BILL ‘DEAD’: SUPERVISOR TO ANSA

As a reminder, former PM Renzi wanted to bring forward Italian elections, perhaps as early as September to coincide with Germany’s. Our Economics team say that there are other avenues to explore for this to be achieved, but this is a serious setback and it may now be improbable that they manage to make it happen.

Ironically, moments ago Goldman released a note highlighting just the risk emerging from early Italian elections:

Italy remains on the radar screen of global macro investors, for three main reasons. First, the economy has been slower to recover from the financial crisis than other large countries adopting the Euro: nominal GDP per capita is barely back at levels it stood at in 2007, compared with 20% higher in Germany and 10% higher in France. Second, smaller domestic commercial banks continue to suffer from capital shortfalls: aggregate gross non-performing loans (‘sofferenze’) stood at around 11% of total loans at the end of Q1 2017 — the highest ratio since 1993-96, when Italy had just come out of a severe recession. Third, social discontent has led to increased support for anti-establishment, Eurosceptic parties: the two main ones, the 5 Star Movement and Lega Nord, together currently attract 40% of the national vote based on an average of the available opinion polls over the month of May (Exhibit 1).

 

The Ruling Democratic Party and the Anti-Establishment 5 Star Movement Are Polling Neck-and-Neck
Opinion polls on voting intentions at Italy’s general elections

The market responded immediately, sending the FTSE MIB as much as 1.6% higher while the yield on 10Y BTPs sliding 10 bps to 2.20, while taking the autumn vols lower in EUR pairs.

END

Italy’s 5 star party is furious after they supported electoral reform.  They are demanding a new election immediately

(courtesy zero hedge)

Italy’s 5-Star Party Demands Immediate Elections After Failure Of Electoral Reform

Not everyone is satisfied with today’s news that Italy’s early elections will likely be pushed back. Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement called on Thursday for immediate national elections after the previously reported deal on electoral reform – which would have resulted in the next Italian elections taking place in September, at the same time as Germany’s – among the major parties unraveled.

“There is no chance of starting all over again. The legislature should end here and we should hold immediate elections,” said Luigi Di Maio, who is widely expected to be the 5-Star’s candidate for prime minister. He spoke shortly after the lower house voted to send the electoral reform bill back to a cross-party commission for further discussion.

Today’s events have reintroduced confusion about the Italian political timeline: as Reuters adds, upping the pressure for an early election, the parliamentary party leader of the ruling Democratic Party, Ettore Rosato, told reporters he did not know how the coalition government could hold together following the rupture over the voting law.

Also moments ago founder of the Five Star Movement, Beppe Grillo, said in a post on his blog that the Democratic Party now wants to avoid early elections, and regrets that no agreement found on electoral law.

As a reminder, the Five Star (M5S) party has erased the PD’s lead over the past two years, and according to recent polls was neck and neck, if not leading in the polls.

The Ruling Democratic Party and the Anti-Establishment 5 Star Movement Are Polling Neck-and-Neck
Opinion polls on voting intentions at Italy’s general elections

Looking at Italian bonds, there has been a modest reaction to the latest news, although much of that may be a function of the ECB’s “dovish relent” earlier in the day, which has pushed European yields broadly lower.

UK/POUND

Today’s UK election has caused huge volatility in the pound:

(courtesy zero hedge)

Pound Volatility Spikes To Post-Brexit Highs Ahead Of UK Election Results

Tyler Durden's picture

While stock markets remain comfortably numb to any and every potential (and actual) geopolitical earthquake, FX markets are getting very anxious

Polls showing the Conservative Party has lost its comfortable lead have increased uncertainty over today’s U.K. election and investors are now paying the price.

As Bloomberg notes, overnight volatility in the pound against the dollar surged to its highest reading since the aftermath of the Brexit vote last year, resulting in a stiff premium for those looking for a last-minute hedge.

Anything but a wide Tory win may result in short-term turbulence for the pound.

Late tonight, advance polls suggest the worst:  a hung parliament

Watch Live: UK Election Results – Exit Polls Signal “Catastrophic” Hung Parliament, Pound Plunges

Live Feed:

*  *  *

The Polls heading in showed Labor gaining on the Conservatives…

And the bookies had Tories winning with between 358 and 363 seats (They need 326 to govern)

And before we start there is this…

Simply the best campaign ad ever.

*  *  *

A reminder of 2015’s UK election results

  • Con 36.9% (330)
  • Lab 30.4% (232)
  • UKIP 12.7% (1)
  • LD 7.9% (8)
  • SNP 4.7% (56)
  • GP 3.8% (1)
  • Plaid 0.6% (3)

But after seven weeks, and three terror attacks, the campaigns are over, the vote is in, and the results are coming in…

The Exit Polls

UK exit poll projects COnservatives are the largest party but fall short of majority – leaving a hung parliament.

  • Conservative 314 – 12 seats short of majority
  • Labour 266
  • SNP 34
  • Lib Dem 14
  • Plaid 3
  • Green 1
  • UKIP 0
  • Other 18

Citi explains that “The gamble may not have paid off – this could be one of the most extraordinary electoral shocks in UK political history. The Conservatives appear to have actually lost seats.”

BUT…

Remember that this is just an exit poll:

In 2015, the exit poll at 20:00 BST announced that the Conservatives were to win 316… by the end of the night, they had actually won 331.

 

Remember that 316 is a ‘working’ majority… So Theresa May will have to hope for a couple of tight wins.

Cable plunged…

 

  • FORMER UK FINANCE MINISTER OSBORNE SAYS EXIT POLL IS “COMPLETELY CATASTROPHIC” FOR MAY AND HER CONSERVATIVE PARTY – ITV

Right now, markets are debating the following two scenario risks outlined by CitiFX Strategy:

Hung Parliament – This is what exit polls suggest. CitiFX Strategy has said that a weaker Conservative showing than 2015 would be a big surprise given the polling gap and the expectation that UKIP voters would move to Conservative. As much would considerably complicate Brexit negotiations. This was the most GBP negative scenario in our view.

 

Small majority (Unchanged or just slightly larger) would be a big blow to Theresa May but may still not totally derail Brexit negotiations. It does however temper optimism that negotiations will go smoothly. Arguably this scenario makes bigger changes in the Cabinet less likely. GBP negative.

We still have another exit poll and of course, the real vote. CitiFX Strategy says that if this proves correct, we do expect GBP to have more downside from here. At least another big figure below.

NOTE: Historically these forecasts have been very accurate (within 15 seats for the winning party) but this means that if the exit poll projections are tight – i.e. within a 20 seat majority for the Tories – the margin of error means we may not know by 10pm which of the potential outcomes across small Conservative majority, Conservative minority or Labour coalition are the most likely.

So what happens next?

The vote count begins at 10pm with the first results typically declared between 11pm and midnight.

The bulk of the declarations begin to flow in from about 2am. By around 4am we should have ~50% of the vote counts declared and a good idea of the result and by 6am close to 90% of the vote count (see chart below).

In the case of a clear majority for the winner, the tradition is for the leader of the winning party to wait for the leader of the losing Party to concede before claiming victory. In 2015, David Cameron accepted victory just before 6 am.

As usual, Houghton and Sunderland South will be the first to reveal their results (around 6pmET), and the direction in which Labour’s 13,000 majority goes could be an early indication of how Labour will fare nationally.

What to expect for the rest of the night…

8pmET – The first marginal result is due

It is thought that Nuneaton will be the first marginal seat to declare. Conservative Marcus Jones is defending a majority of 4,882 and Labour needs a 5.4 per cent swing to win.

830pmET – Tory targets in Darlington and Wales

If the Tories win in Darlington in Labour’s heartland of north-east England, they are on course for a very good night.

The Conservatives have their first chance to win a Welsh seat in Wrexham.

9pmET – Labour targets in England and a Tory target in Wales

Labour is hoping to win in Bury North in Greater Manchester, Peterborough and Thurrock. Meanwhile the Tories want to snatch Clwyd Sout in Wales.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s Hastings and Rye seat would fall to Labour on a 4.8 per cent swing.

930pmET – Will Jeremy Corbyn be re-elected? 

Jeremy Corbyn is expected to be re-elected with a big margin in his constituency of Islington North.

Labour hopes to make gains from the Conservatives in Vale of Clwyd and Warwickshire North.

There will be a fight between Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives for the currently Labour seat of Ynys Mon.

10pmET – Results coming in thick and fast

The Liberal Democrats are hoping to take the Dunbartonshire East seat back from the SNP.

Tories their first chance of gaining from Labour in London with the marginal seats of Ealing Central and Acton and Hampstead and Kilburn

Ben Bradshaw is trying to cling on to his Exeter seat – one of Labour’s few remaining seats in the South West.

The SNP’s deputy leader Angus Robertson risks losing his Moray seat to the Conservatives.

Westmorland & Lonsdale: Tim Farron’s seat is due to declare. The Lib Dem leader would lose to the Tories on a 9.3 per cent swing.

The General Election result will be called in the early hours of the morning – could we find out the winner sometime between 10pmET and 11pmET?

Here’s when broadcasters, more or less, called the result in previous years:

  • 2015 – Tory majority – 5.44am (0044ET)
  • 2010 – Hung Parliament/Coalition – Six days later with the coalition agreement (12 May)
  • 2005 – Labour win – 4.20am (2320ET)
  • 2001 – Labour win – 1.31am (2031ET) – Blair made a speech saying they’d won so the BBC just went along with it.
  • 1997 – Labour landslide – 1.38am (2038ET)
  • 1987 – Tory win – 12:47am (1947ET)
  • 1992 – Tory majority – 2.19am (2119ET)

Scenarios

  • Most Likely: PM May to win a larger majority (50+) which would supposedly allow for a much more stable Brexit process, through consolidating power while also making her less vulnerable to remainers within her own party, while the risk of a ‘no deal’ is lower and in turn lead to a cleaner Brexit. This can also suggest that it would be easier for PM May to agree on a transitional deal with the EU, mitigating some of the negative economic effects, as the next election will not take place until May 2022.
    • Market Reaction: Initial spike in GBP, however given the rise in the currency since the announcement (1.2520 to 1.2900), this outcome has largely been priced in which could limit any move to the upside, consequently leading to a ‘buy the rumour, sell the fact price action. Stocks to watch: Centrica and SSE likely to take a hit if the Conservatives impose a cap on standard variable tariffs. As it stands, GBP/USD o/n vol is to reside around 29/120 pips.
  • Likely: The conservative party win a slim majority (5-10 more seats) or relatively unchanged from current. This could possibly lead to a less stable government, making Theresa May more vulnerable to Brexit hardliners within her own party, subsequently raising the possibility of a ‘no deal’.
    • Market Reaction: Risks are tilted to the downside and as such, this outcome would likely see GBP met with selling pressure, alongside a fall in UK Gilt yields as some suggest this risks a more confrontational approach to Brexit negotiations, subsequently increasing uncertainty.
  • Unlikely: Labour manage to pull a surprise and form a majority through a coalition with SNP and Lib Dem, this would undoubtedly complicate Brexit negotiations, with analysts at Danske Bank noting that this outcome could potentially lead to Brexit being cancelled altogether or sway to a softer Brexit.
    • Market Reaction: In an immediate reaction, GBP will likely drop off alongside equity markets as a whirlwind of uncertainty lingers over UK political front. Analysts at PIMCO state focus will shift towards a looser fiscal policy and an untested government. Stocks to look out for would be UK utilities (Severn Trent, Centrica, SSE, National Utilities and United Utilities) which would likely drop off amid Labour’s plans of nationalisation.

Looking far ahead, under the Act, the next general election is fixed to take place on 5 May 2022. This will change if two-thirds of MPs vote for an early election, or if the government loses a no confidence vote. It could also change if the Tories win and implement their manifesto pledge to renew the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act.

5. RUSSIAN AND MIDDLE EASTERN AFFAIRS

TURKEY/GERMANY

As promised Germany pulls out of Turkey’s Incirlik because they are not allowed to check on their troops

(courtesy zero hedge)

NATO Cracks: Germany Withdraws Troops From Turkey’s Incirlik Airbase

Two days after Germany’s foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel – standing next to his Turkish colleague Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara – said hiscountry has no choice but to begin the process of pulling its forces out of Turkey’s Incirlik air force base as the Turkish government will not allow all German lawmakers to visit troops there, Germany followed through on its threat and on Wednesday, the German Cabinet backed the withdrawal of the country’s troops from Incirlik air base in Southern Turkey.

Incirlik air base

The decision was announced on Wednesday by Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen after a lengthy and often bitter diplomatic impasse over the visits, raising friction between the NATO allies and according to some, putting the fate of the alliance in jeopardy.

Germany now plans to redeploy the 280 military personnel stationed at Incirlik, along with surveillance planes and refueling jets to an air base in Jordan. However, it stressed it wants to minimize any disruption to the US-led coalition operation against ISIS. In light of the complete failure in diplomatic relations between the two member nations, that may be problematic.

Since foreign deployments in Germany require parliamentary approval, German lawmakers are still discussing whether the proposed withdrawal should be put to a parliamentary vote.

Von der Leyen said she would hold immediate talks with the US army and the US-led coalition fighting ISIL to minimise the impact of the move, and also brief the cabinet and parliament next week. However, to avoid giving an impression that NATO is crumbling, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said talks would continue with Turkey even after troops leave the air base.

“We have a huge range of common interests with Turkey, and also close economic relations,” she told reporters after the decision.

“Discussions are very necessary”. Yes they are, the only problem is that as today’s announcement revealed, they lead nowehere.

The withdrawal process of refueling aircrafts would take about two to three weeks and the relocation of reconnaissance jets, two to three months.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel visited Turkey on Monday, in a last attempt to convince Ankara to avert a pullout, however Turkey had once again refused the visits for “domestic political reasons”. He said he wanted to avoid further hurting ties with Turkey and pushing it towards Russia.

As discussed on Monday, Turkey was infuriated over German authorities’ decision to grant asylum to soldiers and other individuals that Turkey accuses of participating in a failed coup attempt last July. Relations were further tested when Germany, citing security concerns, banned some Turkish politicians from campaigning on its soil as well as Turkey’s jailing of two German journalists.

Taking a word from Hillary Clinton’s dictionary, earlier this month, Merkel called Turkey’s stance on visits to Incirlik “deplorable” and warned Germany may move the warplanes based there to a location outside Turkey, possibly Jordan. Which is precisely what it has now done.

It was not clear if other NATO members would join Germany and pull their forces from the strategic airbase in sympathy.

end

QATAR

Qatar puts their military on the highest state of alert as they fear an attack is imminent

(courtesy zero hedge)

Qatar Puts Military On Highest State Of Alert Over Fears Of Imminent Incursion

Yesterday’s news that Saudi Arabia has issued an ultimatum to Qatar, listing ten demands among which that Qatar end all ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, has prompted a dramatic response by the small Gulf nation, and according to a just released report by Arabic CNN (and confirmed locally) US officials have said they have observed increased Qatari military activity as the country placed its forces “on the highest state of alert” over fears of an imminent military incursion.

The sources add that the Qatari military has brought up 16 Leopard tanks out of storage in Doha in preparation for a potential military incursion by surrounding Gulf states. Furthermore, the Qatari Ministry of Defense reportedly also sent a letter to Saudi, UAE and Bahraini governments, saying they would fire on any naval ships from those countries that enter into its waters, a US official said. US officials have said the situation in Qatar has not affected US military operations and security in Qatar.

The escalation comes at the same time as president Donald Trump allegedly changed course on Qatar, a day after praising a move by other Gulf nations to sever diplomatic relations with Doha, which hosts a US military base crucial to the fight against ISIS. CNN reports that in a phone call with the Qatari Emir, Trump “extended an olive branch,” offering to help the parties resolve their differences by inviting them to a White House meeting if necessary.

In a description of the Wednesday call, the White House said Trump “emphasized the importance of all countries in the region working together to prevent the financing of terrorist organizations and stop the promotion of extremist ideology.”

Trump’s latest flip flop echoed that of his secretaries of Defense and State, who emphasized Tuesday the need for Gulf unity and the importance of the US partnership with Qatar, home to the Al Udeid Air Base, the main regional center for air missions against ISIS.

Separately, the WSJ validated yesterday‘s reports about a Saudi ultimatum, reporting late on Wednesday that leading Arab states are drawing up a list of demands that Qatar must meet to return to normal diplomatic and economic relations, including steps to significantly scale back the Al Jazeera media network. Oddly enough, there was no mention of “Russian hackers.”

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and their allies are also seeking guarantees that Qatar’s government will stop its alleged financing of Middle East extremist groups and sever relations with the political leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, a global Islamist movement, according to these officials.

Senior U.S. officials said Mr. Trump told the Arab monarchs he is prepared to mediate the dispute between the Arab states, some of whom host major American military installations. But the Trump administration stressed it needed a clear list of grievances to pass on to Qatar’s leadership, and that Washington wouldn’t necessarily endorse them.

 

These Arab and U.S. officials said this official list of demands is being compiled and could be completed in the coming days. Qatar’s ambassador to Washington, Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani, said in an interview on Wednesday that his government still didn’t know the specifics behind these Arab states’ decision to sever ties. He stressed that Doha is open to the Trump administration trying to mediate a diplomatic resolution.

 

“Until now, there have been no clear requests,” said Mr. Al Thani, a member of Qatar’s ruling family. “We are working toward de-escalation.” Saudi and Emirati officials have publicly accused Qatar of channeling funds to al Qaeda-linked groups in Syria and Yemen and providing a diplomatic safe-haven for the Muslim Brotherhood. Ambassador Al Thani denied Qatar knowingly has provided funding to any terrorist organizations. He said Doha is willing to take additional actions.

The reports come hours after Turkey, a government friendly to Qatar, approved a bill allowing expedited troop deployment to its base in Qatar. As reported earlier, the bill’s passage would allow Turkish troops to be deployed in Qatar and approve an accord between the two countries on military training cooperation.

* * *

As we reported last night, speaking to Al Jazeera, analyst Giorgio Cafiero of Gulf State Analytics, a geopolitical risk consultancy based in Washington, DC, said: “I think the Kuwaitis as well as Omanis … fear the prospects of these tensions escalating in ways which could undermine the interest of all six members of the GCC.

“There are many analysts who believe that a potential break-up of the GCC has to be considered right now. If these countries fail to resolve their issues and such tensions reaches new heights, we have to be very open to the possibility of these six Arab countries no longer being able to unite under the banner of one council,” said Cafiero.

 

He added that if tension escalates, there could be a “military confrontation”.

It is this contingency that Qatar is now preparing for.

END

 

Qatar turning to Russia?  Not good as this may turn into a global conflict and maybe initiate a World War

(courtesy zero hedge)

Not good: A Syrian drone attacks USA Coalition forces:

(courtesy zerohedge)

In “Major Escalation”, Syrian Drone Attacks US-Coalition Forces

One day after a pro-Assad military alliance threatened to strike US forces in Syria in retaliation for a US bombing of an Iran-backed militia operating in an allegedly “no-go zone” near a US garrison in southern Syria, near the town of At Tanf, the Syrians allegedly followed through on their promise, and according to Reuters, a pro-Syrian regime armed drone attacked U.S.-led coalition forces in Syria, for which it was promptly shot down in what the Pentagon dubbeda major escalation of tensions between Washington and troops supporting Damascus.”

The armed drone “hit dirt” and there were no injuries or damage done to the coalition patrol in southern Syria, but U.S. Army Colonel Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State, told reporters the drone meant to attack them and dismissed the possibility it had fired a warning shot.

“This clearly showed a threat even if it were a warning shot; it was something that showed a hostile intent, a hostile action and posed a threat to our forces because this drone still had munitions that were still on it,” Dillon said and added that “it was the first known time that pro-Syrian government forces had fired at coalition forces in that region.

Dillon said the MQ-1 like armed drone was destroyed after it fired upon coalition forces carrying out a patrol outside a deconfliction zone in southern Syria. Dillon said there were no coalition casualties.

 

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the munition landed a few hundred yards from coalition forces and it failed to explode.

How did the US know that it was a pro-Syrian drone?  According to Dillon the United States had earlier in the day carried out a strike against two pro-Syrian government pick-up trucks with weapons that had moved against U.S.-backed fighters near the southern town of At Tanf.

“Unfortunately, there have been (these) incidents that have taken our focus away from fighting ISIS,” Dillon said, using an acronym for Islamic State.

Meanwhile, military tensions in another part of the middle east heated up yet again afterthe UAE warned that Qatar seeking help from Turkey and Iran could bring a “new tragic chapter in the row”, about as clear a threat of military action as one can hope for.  From Reuters:

  • UAE OFFICIAL ACCUSES QATAR OF ESCALATING GULF ROW
  • UAE OFFICIAL SAYS QATAR SEEKING HELP FROM TURKEY AND IRAN COULD BRING “NEW TRAGIC CHAPTER” IN THE ROW –

Between the renewed conflict in Syria and the potential military action in Qatar, it is a testament to just how much excess crude is stashed away in global inventories for oil not to be surging on the news (and instead it remains depressed over fears of another OPEC agreement breakdown).

end

6 .GLOBAL ISSUES

 

 

7. OIL ISSUES

Oil plunges into the 45 dollar handle as UBS and JPMorgan slash their outlook for oil

(courtesy zero hedge)

Oil Plunges To $45 Handle As JPM, UBS Slash Price Outlook

The dead-cat-bounce of May is now officially dead as WTI plunges back to a $45 handle this morning amid growing concerns about the slowness (or lack) of rebalancing in the market.

Crude snapped…

 

Erasing all the hope of the OPEC Extension deal…

Overall trend in prices is downward, says Michael Hewson, analyst at CMC Markets. “You couldn’t have made up those numbers yesterday. Down is the line of least resistance” Says intraday lows for this year are key levels to watch on both contracts.

Furthermore, multiple shops are downgrading their oil price outlooks including UBS:

  • Cuts Brent 2017 crude forecast to $56/bbl from $60
  • Trims 2017-2019 forecasts, saying prices caught “between U.S. exuberance and OPEC restraint”
  • Sees 2018 Brent at $60/bbl vs $65 previously, WTI at $57 vs $63 previously

And JPMorgan (as OilPrice.com’s Tsvetana Paraskova notes), the U.S. shale-vs-OPEC-cuts tale has been the predominant theme in oil markets this year, and like the cartel’s output cut, it will be rolling over into next year as well.

Major banks, the same that at the time of the initial OPEC deal were seeing the markets tightening and glut eliminated as soon as the second or third quarter this year, have started slashing their oil price forecasts for this year and next, as the six-month OPEC deal failed to rebalance the markets and cuts were extended into March 2018.

U.S. shale production is expected to continue growing through this year and into next year. Meanwhile, JP Morgan sees OPEC’s extension deal as having no exit strategy, with the cartel not communicating what its end game is.

“Neither the length of the extension, nor the compliance rate of its participants, concerns me as much as OPEC’s lack of an exit strategy. If OPEC really has the courage behind their convictions, then the optimal decision would have been to extend cuts through the end of 2018,” Ebele Kemery, head of energy investing at JP Morgan, said on the day on which OPEC announced they would roll over the cuts.

Major investment banks hastened to revise further down their oil price projections, seeing a flow of supply hitting the market as soon as production cuts expire in March 2018. Add the second U.S. shale boom to this, and it looks like the glut will return with a vengeance in 2018.

Last week, Goldman Sachs cut its Brent price forecast for this year to US$55.39 per barrel from its previous estimate of US$56.76 a barrel. It also revised down its WTI projections to US$52.92 from US$54.80 a barrel. Just days before that, Goldman said that it sees the oil glut returning after OPEC’s deal expires.

For 2018, it was JP Morgan that made the most drastic cut to its oil price projections, expecting not only U.S. shale to continue roaring back at OPEC, but also the cartel’s deal falling apart by the end of this year.

JP Morgan slashed its 2018 WTI forecast by US$11—from US$53.50 to US$42. The price projection for Brent was also axed, by US$10, from US$55.50 to US$45.

We assume that the OPEC/non-OPEC deal collapses at the end of 2017, as cheating becomes untenable for core OPEC members. Consequently, the 2018 oil market balance now points to rapid builds in inventories which, absent continued OPEC support, should depress oil prices,” David Martin, executive director at JP Morgan, said in the bank’s note, as quoted by Business Insider Australia.

On the other hand, U.S. crude output is expected to keep growing for several quarters due to lower breakeven costs and higher investment, according to JP Morgan.

To compare, as of January 30, 2017, merely a month into OPEC’s production cuts, JP Morgan’s global outlook 2017 suggested that “oil markets look set to tighten further in the coming quarters as better than expected compliance from OPEC ensures drawdowns in oil inventories.” The bank had expected back then Brent at US$58.25 for 2017 and at US$60 for 2018, and WTI – at US$56.25 a barrel in 2017 and US$58 in 2018.

In the oil markets, however, four months is a very long time, during which it became evident that OPEC’s efforts failed to draw down the glut in six months, and failed to lift prices. And now JP Morgan is the bank warning that oil prices may go substantially lower—not only compared to previous price projections, but also compared to the current price of oil.

JP Morgan also sees OPEC losing more than it gains with the output cut deal.

As we have previously flagged, the longer-term consequences of OPEC’s actions will likely prove unpleasant for the cartel’s members,” JP Morgan’s Martin said.

Other analysts do not see the current cuts balancing the oil market next year.

“If OPEC wants to keep the market balanced next year, they will probably need to extend the production cut to all of 2018,” Martijn Rats, managing director at Morgan Stanley in London, told Bloomberg in an email.

Currently, the expected surge in supply after the OPEC deal ends, coupled with continuous U.S. production gains, does not bode well for oil prices to move much higher in 2018 than they are now.

* * *

How long until OPEC jawboning begins of the need for more deeper cuts again?

END

A very heartwarming story of how small African nations are receiving help in obtaining solar power and fresh water..

enjoy

(courtesy Hedva Zur/Daliah Organ)

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15c8798cf992caa5?projector=1

8. EMERGING MARKET

end

 

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

Euro/USA   1.1261 UP .0008/REACTING TO  + huge Deutsche bank problems + USA election:/TRUMP HEALTH CARE DEFEAT//ITALIAN REFERENDUM DEFEAT/AND NOW ECB TAPERING BOND PURCHASES/ /USA RAISING INTEREST RATES/EUROPE BOURSES ALL IN THE GREEN EXCEPT LONDON AND INDIA 

USA/JAPAN YEN 110.13 UP 0.214(Abe’s new negative interest rate (NIRP), a total DISASTER/SIGNALS U TURN WITH INCREASED NEGATIVITY IN NIRP/JAPAN OUT OF WEAPONS TO FIGHT ECONOMIC DISASTER/KURODA:  HELICOPTER MONEY  ON THE TABLE AND DECISION ON SEPT 21 DISAPPOINTS WITH STIMULUS/OPERATION REVERSE TWIST

GBP/USA 1.2943 DOWN .0019 (Brexit  March 29/ 2017/ARTICLE 50 SIGNED

USA/CAN 1.3512 up .0002 (CANADA WORRIED ABOUT TRADE WITH THE USA WITH TRUMP ELECTION/ITALIAN EXIT AND GREXIT FROM EU/TRUMP INITIATES LUMBER TARIFFS ON CANADA)

Early THIS THURSDAY morning in Europe, the Euro ROSE by 8 basis points, trading now ABOVE the important 1.08 level  RISING to 1.1261; Europe is still reacting to Gr Britain HARD BREXIT,deflation, announcements of massive stimulation (QE), a proxy middle east war, and the ramifications of a default at the Austrian Hypo bank, an imminent default of Greece, Glencore, Nysmark and the Ukraine, along with rising peripheral bond yield further stimulation as the EU is moving more into NIRP, and now the Italian referendum defeat AND NOW THE ECB TAPERING OF ITS PURCHASES/ THE USA’S NON tightening by FAILING TO RAISE THEIR INTEREST RATE AND NOW THE HUGE PROBLEMS FACING TOO BIG TO FAIL DEUTSCHE BANK + THE ELECTION OF TRUMP IN THE USA+ TRUMP HEALTH CARE BILL DEFEAT AND MONTE DEI PASCHI NATIONALIZATION / Last night the Shanghai composite CLOSED  UP 10.00 POINTS OR 0.32%     / Hang Sang  CLOSED UP 88.90 POINTS OR 0.34% /AUSTRALIA  CLOSED UP 0.120% / EUROPEAN BOURSES OPENED IN THE GREEN EXCEPT LONDON AND INDIA 

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 THURSDAY morning CLOSED DOWN 75.36 POINTS OR 0.38%

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

2/ CHINESE BOURSES / : Hang Sang CLOSED UP 88.90 POINTS OR 0.34%  / SHANGHAI CLOSED UP 10.00 POINTS OR 0.32%   /Australia BOURSE CLOSED UP 0.12% /Nikkei (Japan)CLOSED DOWN 75.36 POINTS OR 0.38%    / INDIA’S SENSEX IN THE RED

Gold very early morning trading: 1283.00

silver:$17.60

Early THURSDAY morning USA 10 year bond yield: 2.193% !!! UP 1 IN POINTS from WEDNESDAY night in basis points and it is trading JUST BELOW resistance at 2.27-2.32%.

 The 30 yr bond yield  2.854, UP 2  IN BASIS POINTS  from WEDNESDAY night.

USA dollar index early THURSDAY morning: 96.89 UP 15  CENT(S) from TUESDAY’s close.

This ends early morning numbers THURSDAY MORNING

 

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And now your closing THURSDAY NUMBERS

Portuguese 10 year bond yield: 3.023%  DOWN 7 in basis point(s) yield from WEDNESDAY 

JAPANESE BOND YIELD: +.069%  UP 2  in   basis point yield from WEDNESDAY/JAPAN losing control of its yield curve

SPANISH 10 YR BOND YIELD: 1.476%  DOWN 9 IN basis point yield from WEDNESDAY (this is totally nuts!!/

ITALIAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.218 DOWN 8   POINTS  in basis point yield from WEDNESDAY 

the Italian 10 yr bond yield is trading 74 points HIGHER than Spain.

GERMAN 10 YR BOND YIELD: +.256% UP 1 IN  BASIS POINTS ON THE DAY

END

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IMPORTANT CURRENCY CLOSES FOR THURSDAY

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

Euro/USA 1.1208 DOWN .0047 (Euro DOWN 47 Basis points/ represents to DRAGHI A COMPLETE POLICY FAILURE/

USA/Japan: 110.17 UP  0.261 (Yen DOWN 26 basis points/ 

Great Britain/USA 1.2927 DOWN 35 ( POUND DOWN 35 basis points)

USA/Canada 1.3509 DOWN .0002 (Canadian dollar UP 2 basis points AS OIL FELL TO $45.85

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This afternoon, the Euro was DOWN by 47 basis points to trade at 1.1208

The Yen FELL to 110.17 for a LOSS   of 26  Basis points as NIRP is STILL a big failure for the Japanese central bank/HELICOPTER MONEY IS NOW DELAYED/BANK OF JAPAN NOW WORRIED AS AS THEY ARE RUNNING OUT OF BONDS TO BUY AS BOND YIELDS RISE  /OPERATION REVERSE TWIST ANNOUNCED SEPT 21.2016

The POUND FELL BY 35  basis points, trading at 1.2927/

The Canadian dollar ROSE by 2 basis points to 1.3509,  WITH WTI OIL FALLING TO :  $45.09

The USA/Yuan closed at 6.8003/
the 10 yr Japanese bond yield closed at +.069% UP 2 IN  BASIS POINTS / yield/ 

Your closing 10 yr USA bond yield UP 3 IN basis points from TUESDAY at 2.206% //trading well ABOVE the resistance level of 2.27-2.32%) very problematic  USA 30 yr bond yield: 2.858  UP 3  in basis points on the day /

Your closing USA dollar index, 97.04 UP 29 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 THURSDAY: 1:00 PM EST

London:  CLOSED DOWN 46.23 POINTS OR 0.62%
German Dax :CLOSED DOWN 17.63 POINTS OR 0.14%
Paris Cac  CLOSED DOWN  3.69 POINTS OR 0.07% 
Spain IBEX CLOSED  DOWN 8.10 POINTS OR 0.07%

Italian MIB: CLOSED  DOWN 20.10 POINTS/OR 0.10%

The Dow closed UP 8.84 OR 0.04%

NASDAQ WAS closed UP 24.39 POINTS OR 0.39%  4.00 PM EST
WTI Oil price;  46.09 at 1:00 pm; 

Brent Oil: 48.32 1:00 EST

USA /RUSSIAN ROUBLE CROSS:  57.00 DOWN 51/100 ROUBLES/DOLLAR 

TODAY THE GERMAN YIELD FALLS T0  +0.256%  FOR THE 10 YR BOND  4.PM EST EST

END

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

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

WTI CRUDE OIL PRICE 5:00 PM:$45.71

BRENT: $47.87

USA 10 YR BOND YIELD: 2.186%  (ANYTHING HIGHER THAN 2.70% BLOWS UP THE GLOBE)

USA 30 YR BOND YIELD: 2.849%

EURO/USA DOLLAR CROSS:  1.1213 DOWN .0041

USA/JAPANESE YEN:110.02  UP 0.107

USA DOLLAR INDEX: 96.97  UP 22  cent(s) ( HUGE resistance at 101.80 broken TO THE DOWNSIDE)

The British pound at 5 pm: Great Britain Pound/USA: 1.2949 : down .0013  OR 13 BASIS POINTS.

Canadian dollar: 1.3505 down 7 BASIS pts 

German 10 yr bond yield at 5 pm: +.256%

END

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

TRADING IN GRAPH FORM FOR THE DAY

Banks Best, Utes Bust As Comey-nado Pounds Precious Metals

 

As the world awaited “Thundering Thursday” and all its potential for panic… this happened in the markets…(NSFW)

 

Spot the odd one out today in major stock indices!! (Small Caps 2nd biggest day in over 3 months)

 

The big driver of Russell 2000 today… Financials – best day since the election

 

S&P Financials outperformed notably (and Utes had their worst day in 3 months)…

 

By way of interest the Financials/Utilities (higher rates vs lower rates)- biggest jump in Financial rel. to Utes in over 3 months…

 

The rally in financials diverged from bonds…

 

FANG Stocks rallied modestly on the day failed to hold the pre-dump levels from Tuesday…

 

VIX dropped back to a 9 handle today – of course – what’s going on that poses any risk?

 

As Treasury yields tested back up to pre-payrolls levels… and then faded…

 

The dollar index broke out above yesterday’s wild swings, thanks to Draghi but faded back after Comey finished by saying nothing…

 

EURUSD ended the day notably lower (ECB cut inflation outlook and kept more QE hope alive)…

 

USDJPY and UST are trading practically tick for tick…

 

WTI and RBOB dropped again with the former almost testing $44 handle…

 

Precious Metals were pounded on heavy volume just ahead of Comey’s testimony

 

Bonus Chart: ECB takes the lead in the Race To Oblivion, FED drops to third place

 

 

end

 

Another health care insurer drops out of Obamacare in Ohio

(courtesy MishShedlock/Mishtalk)

Anthem Drops Obamacare In Ohio: 300,000 Without Insurance? Gruber Strikes Again

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk.com,

House Speaker Paul Ryan’s attempt to replace Obamacare was sheer madness. Left alone, Obamacare was imploding anyway. Republicans should have waited for Democrats to beg them to “do something”.

Left alone, Obamacare was imploding anyway. Republicans should have waited for Democrats to beg them to “do something”.

Republicans should have waited for Democrats to beg them to “do something”.

Bloomberg reports Insurer’s Obamacare Exit Could Leave 300,000 Without Options.

Anthem Inc.’s decision to quit Ohio’s Obamacare market will leave 13,000 people without any coverage option under the program next year. That number may rise to 300,000 if the health insurer follows suit in the rest of the states where it sells.

 

Anthem, which currently oversees Affordable Care Act plans for about 1.1 million people in 14 states, is one of the largest of the multistate insurers that hasn’t pulled back sharply from selling individual plans in the ACA. In April, it said it was “assessing our market footprint in 2018,” and on Tuesday the company said it would leave Ohio.

 

Currently, there are more than 30,000 people with Obamacare plans who are projected not to have an insurer under the program next year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. An Anthem exit would raise that number to 300,000 people in seven states.

 

“Planning and pricing for ACA-compliant health plans has become increasingly difficult due to the shrinking individual market as well as continual changes in federal operations, rules and guidance,” Anthem said of its exit from Ohio. “The lack of certainty of funding for cost sharing reduction subsidies, the restoration of taxes on fully insured coverage and, an increasing lack of overall predictability simply does not provide a sustainable path forward to provide affordable plan choices for consumers.”

 

Anthem’s Ohio exit will leave 20 counties in the state without an Affordable Care Act coverage option in 2018. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City said last month it will pull out of the exchange in Missouri, leaving 25 bare counties and about 18,500 people without an ACA coverage option. Humana Inc. said earlier this year it would pull out from all 11 states next year where it currently sells ACA plans. Aetna Inc. said in May it would do the same, also announcing plans to abandon the few remaining states where it had been selling ACA coverage. UnitedHealth Group Inc., the largest U.S. insurer, has already exited ACA exchanges in most of the states where it sold plans. Some small and regional insurers have pulled out of states or counties as well.

 

If Anthem decided to leave the exchanges nationwide, another 310 counties could be without ACA plans in Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Nevada and Virginia in addition to Ohio, bringing the total number of bare counties to 355. Anthem did file a rate request in Virginia for next year but could still decide not to sell there.

What if They All Pull Out?

As it stands huge portions of Missouri, Georgia, Nevada, and Kentucky may have no insurance. Smaller, but substantial, portions of Virginia, Ohio, and Colorado may have no insurance.

What would happen if the map was half red?

The New York Times explains in Bare Market: What Happens if Places Have No Obamacare Insurers?

The Obamacare marketplaces can be thought of as a government-run store. The government gives many customers subsidies, like gift cards, that they can use to buy insurance. But what happens if no companies want to sell their products in the store?

 

If all the insurers start leaving some stores, consumers there will find their options dwindling, and then their subsidies will become worthless. Most would end up uninsured. The problem could affect as few as dozens of customers — or spread more broadly to affect a substantial fraction of the approximately 11 million people currently enrolled in Obamacare coverage.

 

The markets created by the Affordable Care Act have always relied on the voluntary participation of private companies. If the government set up the right conditions for the market, the thinking went, insurers would want to jump in. But, as Sarah Kliff at Vox.com has reported, the law contained no real backup plan if that vision didn’t work out.

 

In theory, the bare market problem shouldn’t be a big worry. The federal government pays a large fraction of Obamacare premiums for most customers, and a single insurer can essentially name its price. Economists like Mr. Garthwaite see the situation as a happy circumstance for an insurance company. Who wouldn’t want a monopoly market where the government pays the bills?

 

“Why be at zero — why not come in and charge a freaking outrageous price and be the one?” said Jonathan Gruber, a health economist at M.I.T who advised the Obama administration when it was developing the Affordable Care Act. Then he answered his own question: “Many mysteries of life can be answered with the statement: Insurers are bizarrely risk-averse.”

 

If insurers do all decide to exit a market, no one is exactly sure what will happen next. Some experts have brainstormed about possible workarounds, but all would entail uncharted legal territory.

 

Officials at Covered California, the California state marketplace, produced a white paper outlining a series of options to fix the problem of so-called bare counties. But the top bullet point for nearly every option was: “Very difficult, if not impossible, to implement for 2018.”

Theory, Practice, Gruber

Jonathan Gruber, a health economist at M.I.T who advised the Obama administration, on Obamacare is back at it with his lies, formed innocuously in the form of a question.

“Why not come in and charge a freaking outrageous price and be the one?” asks Gruber. He knows the answer.

If insurers got to name their price, Anthem would not be requesting a hike in Virginia. Rather, Anthem would state it’s new price in Virgina.

If insurers got to name their price, major portions of at least 15 states would not be down to a single insurer.

Gruber on Voter Stupidity

Please consider Obamacare Depended on ‘Stupidity’ of Voters, Its Architect Says.

“Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber said that lack of transparency was a major part of getting Obamacare passed because ‘the stupidity of the American voter’ would have killed the law if more people knew what was in it,” according to the Caller.

 

Gruber served as a technical consultant to the Obama administration and is widely recognized as the law’s architect.

 

But as challenges to the law have surfaced, the administration has sought to distance itself from Gruber, who acknowledged during the panel discussion that the legislation was purposely written in a confusing way to make sure that the Congressional Budget Office did not score the individual mandate as a tax, a part of the law the Supreme Court upheld on the assertion that it was, in fact, a tax.

 

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that,” Gruber said.

 

“In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in — you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.

 

“And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really, critical to get the thing to pass… Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not,” he said.

 

The National Review reported in July that Gruber was paid nearly $400,000 to consult with the administration, and that in 2012 he told an audience at a technical management support organization that tax credits were only available in states that set up their own exchanges.

 

In August, Breitbart News reported that the White House and ranking Congressional Democrats began distancing themselves from Gruber, after a federal appeals court ruled that people who bought their insurance from healthcare exchanges administered by the federal government in 34 states were not eligible for billions of dollars in tax subsidies.

Lies, Deception, Gruber, Obama

We have this tortured mess known as Obamacare thanks to purposeful lies and deception by Gruber and Obama.

Now, thanks to Republican silliness from House Peaker Ryan and Trump with their push for a replacement that no one is happy with, Republicans took sponsorship of the mess.

end

 

the sorry state of affairs inside Illinois

(courtesy Kevin Hoffman/RebootIllinois.com)

Costs & Consequences Of Illinois’ Budget Crisis

Authored by Kevin Hoffman via RebootIllinois.com,

Illinois has been operating without a state budget for two years.

In that time, the state’s credit rating has been downgraded eight times, the backlog of unpaid bills has surpassed $14.5 billion, more than 1,500 employees at public universities and community colleges have been laid off, and countless social service providers are struggling to keep their doors open as they wait up to seven months to receive payment from the state.

And now that Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democratic-controlled Legislature have failed to reach a budget agreement for the third consecutive fiscal year, the costs and consequences of this unprecedented partisan gridlock are going to get significantly worse.

 

 

And here is an interactive map and list of all those hurt by the stalemate. Click on each map marker to learn more. We will be updating this map regularly with new stories as they become available.

Statewide problems:

  • Illinois owes school districts more than $1.1 billion in categorical payments for special education, transportation, bilingual and early childhood services.
  • Illinois’ backlog of unpaid bills stood at record $14.5 billion as of May 31, according to Comptroller Susana Mendoza.
  • The state’s Medicaid managed care organizations are owed $2 billion.
  • An estimated $31 million in investment income has been lost due to the budget battle, according to state Treasurer Michael Frerichs.
  • Centerstone, a non-profit behavioral health organization that helps 16,000 clients in southern Illinois and the metro-east region, has shuttered offices and cut services amid the budget impasse, affecting 700 clients and 39 staff members throughout the state.
  • The Wells Center, a drug treatment facility in downstate Jacksonville that has been operating for 50 years, was forced to shut down operations because of the budget impasse.
  • Illinois’ unpaid bill backlog could hit $25 billion by FY 2019 if the state continues without a budget.
  • Students and parents are looking to out-of-state colleges due to the unstable climate within Illinois’ higher education system.
  • More than 1,500 employees have been laid off at public universities and community colleges throughout the state.
  • A United Way survey of 75 southern Illinois human services agencies that receive state funding reported 88 percent cut the number of clients they serve, and nearly half were forced to make cuts to programs, services and/or operations due to the Illinois budget deadlock.
  • Redeploy Illinois — a statewide program focused on decreasing the number of juveniles in prison — has seen 24 counties drop out of the program entirely. Additionally, 15,000 at-risk youth could lose access to Teen REACH after-school programs without a full-year budget.
  • Small businesses in Illinois are owed millions from the state in unpaid contract work and many have had to cut staff and reduce hiring.
  • Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) stopped 30 services and eliminated 750 jobs throughout the state. Approximately 4,700 people no longer will be receiving services from LSSI.
  • Without a budget for the FY 2018, nearly 100,000 people who receive community and home-based services through the state’s 13 area agencies on aging will be affected and 846 full-time jobs will be lost, according to Joy Paeth, CEO of AgeSmart Community Resources and president of the Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging.
  • Twelve different organization have dropped out of Community Care Program contracts with the state since July 1, 2016, according to the Illinois Department of Aging. Another 19 providers are facing “financial distress” because the state has not paid them what they’re owed.
  • Police chiefs across the state warn that the Illinois budget impasse is putting more kids at risk for prison by eliminating key programs.
  • Illinois paid a $53 million “penalty” when the state sold $480 million in general obligation bonds, according to an analysis from January 2016.
  • As of May 2017, Illinois has paid more than $800 million in penalties for paying bills late.
  • More than 1,000 Illinois college students did not return to school for their second semester during FY 2016 due to frozen grant funds.
  • The state owes $174 million to more than 9,000 dentists across Illinois.
  • Illinois owes $370 million in interest alone for state employee health care.
  • Nearly 70 percent of social service agencies have received no payments or partial payments from the state in FY 2017, according to a March 2017 United Way survey.
  • Illinois is on the hook for $18.6 million in reimbursements to Cook County for child support enforcement.
  • Police training classes for more than 57,000 officers across the state have been canceled.
  • While the state authorized the release of funds for domestic violence shelters at the end of 2015, the lack of funds to other social service providers continues to affect victims of domestic abuse.
  • All 29 sexual assault survivor and prevention services, including rape crisis centers across Illinois, have instituted furloughs, facing layoffs, cutting services and closure due to insufficient funds from the state.
  • The Illinois child care assistance program — which provides child care subsidies to low-income, working parents —  raised income eligibility requirements in July amid the budget impasse, threatening current low-income, working parents from being able to send their children to daycare. In November, lawmakers and Gov. Rauner eased income eligibility requirements, but the program is serving 47,000 fewer children and working families lost state financial assistance for childcare.
  • Ninety percent of Illinois homeless social services have been forced to cut clients, staff and services.
  • The methamphetamine treatment program for the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center ended July 15, 2015. The program helped treat children in roughly 40 Illinois counties over the last nine years.
  • In the last two years, Illinois has been downgraded by all three major credit rating agencies a total of eight times. Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings lowered the state’s bond rating to one notch above “junk” status on June 1. All three rating agencies have a negative outlook for Illinois, which already had the nation’s worst credit rating, and has warned the state could face further downgrades in the coming months amid the ongoing budget impasse and mounting unpaid bill backlog.
  • Five Illinois universities now have junk bonds.
  • School superintendents across the state continue to warn that they could be forced to close their doors in the fall or not open at all without a full-year budget.
  • There is a growing shortage of caregivers for Illinoisans with disabilities. Advocates warn the problem will continue to intensify if the state doesn’t appropriate enough funds to group home businesses so they can pay their  direct support professionals $15 an hour. The turnover rate is about 56 percent, up from 40 percent in FY 2016, according to the Chicago Tribune.
  • Illinois experienced a net loss of 37,508 people between July 2015 and 2016 — the most of any state and the third straight year Illinois’ population has declined.

end

Trump responds to Comey’s prepared text last night and says that he is vindicated:

(courtesy zero hedge)

 

Trump Responds To Comey Testimony

Earlier today we noted that CNN, and its anonymous sources, seemingly made a ‘mistake’ by reporting that Comey would offer testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee tomorrow refuting Trump’s prior claims that he had been told on three separate occasions by the former FBI Director that he was not personally under investigation.  Unfortunately, at least for CNN, Comey’s opening comments released earlier today confirmed that Trump’s original statements were, in fact, perfectly accurate (see “Looks Like CNN’s Anonymous Sources Got This One Wrong“).

Marc Kasowitz, the lawyer representing President Trump in the Russia probe, has now released Trump’s thoughts on Comey’s opening statements saying he feels “completely and totally vindicated.”

“The president is pleased that Mr. Comey has finally publicly confirmed his private reports that the President was not under investigation in any Russia probe. The President feels completely and totally vindicated. He is eager to continue to move forward with his agenda.”

NEW: “The president feels completely and totally vindicated,” Trump’s private lawyer Marc Kasowitz tells @margarettalev on Comey testimony.

 

Meanwhile, the RNC has also weighed in:

“President Trump was right.  Director Comey’s statement reconfirmed what the president has been saying all along – he was never under investigation.”

“Trump was right,” RNC’s Ronna McDaniel says. Comey’s statement reconfirms
“he was never under investigation.”

 

Of course, while we now know that Trump was never under investigation for colluding with the Russians, we’re sure the MSM will turn their attention to whether or not he’s officially under investigation for “obstructing justice.”  If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

* * *

And, for those who missed it, here are the three instances, directly from Comey’s testimony, in which he personally told President Trump he was not under investigation:

1.  January 6th Meeting at Trump Tower:

“In that context, prior to the January 6 meeting, I discussed with the FBI’s leadership team whether I should be prepared to assure President-Elect Trump that we were not investigating him personally. That was true; we did not have an open counter-intelligence case on him. We agreed I should do so if circumstances warranted. During our one-on-one meeting at Trump Tower, based on President Elect Trump’s reaction to the briefing and without him directly asking the question, I offered that assurance.”

 

2.  January 27th Dinner at White House:

“During the dinner, the President returned to the salacious material I had briefed him about on January 6, and, as he had done previously, expressed his disgust for the allegations and strongly denied them. He said he was considering ordering me to investigate the alleged incident to prove it didn’t happen. I replied that he should give that careful thought because it might create a narrative that we were investigating him personally, which we weren’t, and because it was very difficult to prove a negative. He said he would think about it and asked me to think about it.”

 

3.  March 30 Phone Call:

“I explained that we had briefed the leadership of Congress on exactly which individuals we were investigating and that we had told those Congressional leaders that we were not personally investigating President Trump. I reminded him I had previously told him that.”

 

 

END

The fun begins:  Newsmax reports that constitutional lawyer Alan Desheowitz states that Comey did not obstruct justice

(courtesy Newsmax/)

 

NEWSMAX

Alan Dershowitz: Trump Didn’t Obstruct Justice With Comey Request

CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360”

By Todd Beamon   |   Wednesday, 07 Jun 2017 09:12 PM

Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said Wednesday that President Donald Trump “exercised his constitutional authority” in asking former FBI Director James Comey to drop the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

“You cannot have obstruction of justice when the president exercises his constitutional authority to pardon,” Dershowitz told Anderson Cooper on CNN, “his constitutional authority to fire the director of the FBI, or his constitutional authority to tell the director of the FBI who to prosecute, who not to prosecute.

“Even if he did want to impede it – and even if he did impede it, that is his constitutional power,” he said of Trump. “He has the right to say, ‘You will not investigate Flynn.'”

Dershowitz’s comments came after the Senate Intelligence Committee posted Comey’s prepared remarks online ahead of his public testimony before the panel Thursday.

He said in the seven-page statement Trump had sought a loyalty pledge over dinner in January and had pressured him to drop the Flynn probe the next month in a private Oval Office meeting the day after the president fired Flynn for concerns about his Russia disclosures.

Comey also said he told Trump three times he personally was not under investigation about any possible Russian ties.

Dershowitz told Cooper the statement revealed one reason why President Trump fired Comey.

“The president told him over and over again, ‘I want you to make public the fact that I am not under investigation.’

“He told it to him repeatedly. Comey didn’t do that.

“I suspect that may be one of the reasons he was fired.”

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 

END

Alan Dershowitz claims and he is perfectly correct that there is no crime due to the fact that the President has the right to pardon.  Trump did not destroy evidence nor was his actions in any way corrupt.

(courtesy the Fly)

 

Alan Dershowitz Schools CNN Panel: ‘It Simply Is Not A Crime For the President to Exercise His Constitutional Authority’

The_Real_Fly's picture

Content originally published at iBankCoin.com

 

Constitutional expert and famed Harvard law Professor, Alan Dershowitz, took on Jeffrey Toobin to discuss the ongoing Trump-Comey saga, saying in no uncertain terms that “this is not obstruction of justice.”

He explains, “That is his constitutional power. He has the right to say, ‘You will not investigate Flynn.’ The best proof of that is he could have simply said to Comey, ‘Stop the investigation, I’ve just pardoned Flynn.’”

To back up his assertions, Dershowitz reminded viewers of when Bush I pardoned Casper Weinberger the night before trial. After doing so, no one cried ‘obstruction’ because it was within the rights of the President of the United States to do so.

“That’s what President Bush did,” Dershowitz said, citing the case of Caspar Weinberger. “You cannot have obstruction of justice when the president exercises his constitutional authority to pardon, his constitutional authority to fire the director of the FBI, or his constitutional authority to tell the director of the FBI who to prosecute and who not to prosecute.”

He made the point that impeachment and obstruction are two entirely different things, which reduced Jeffrey Toobin to look like an 11th grade history student learning the constitution for the first time. The President can be impeached for all manners of things, but not for firing Comey and/or asking him to stop investigating Flynn — because it is his right to do so.

“You can impeach him if you don’t like what he did,” he said. “But you cannot say it’s a crime. It’s simply not a crime for the president to exercise his constitutional authority to pardon or to direct the FBI.”

He concludes, “If you and I were expert witnesses in an impeachment trial of President Trump, and we were asked the question, ‘has President Trump committed an obstruction of justice by pardoning Flynn or by firing Comey, or by telling Comey not to investigate Flynn?’, my answer, as an expert on the constitution would be ‘absolutely not, he didn’t commit an obstruction of justice […] it simply isn’t a crime for the President to exercise his constitutional authority.’

(courtesy zerohedge)

Even If Everything James Comey Is Claiming Is True, There Is Still No Evidence That Trump Is Guilty Of Any Crime

Authored by Michael Snyder via The American Dream blog,

Democrats are hoping that the testimony that former FBI Director James Comey will deliver on Thursday will be enough to take Donald Trump down for good. Comey released a written preview of his testimony on Wednesday, and it was obviously intended to draw even more attention to what is already being described as “the most highly-anticipated Congressional hearing in decades”. CNN is breathlessly declaring that “James Comey just went nuclear on Donald Trump”, and Texas Democratic Representative Al Green is already planning to draft articles of impeachment even though the testimony hasn’t even happened yet. Unfortunately for those that would like to see Trump go, even if every single thing that James Comey is claiming is true (and that is a very big “if”), there is still no evidence that Trump is guilty of any crime.

There are many other things that we could discuss, but the core of this case is going to come down to a conversation that Trump and Flynn had on February 14th

Former FBI Director James Comey said President Donald Trump asked him to drop the agency’s investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

 

“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go,” Comey said Trump told him in an Oval Office meeting on Feb. 14.

The Democrats think that they can nail Trump to the wall with this. According to former White House ethics czar Norman Eisen, this testimony by Comey “is the equivalent of the Nixon tapes”

Eisen compared the news revealed in Comey’s testimony to former President Richard Nixon’s secret recording of his phone calls in meetings at the White House when he was in office, which eventually played a role in his resignation.

 

“This moves us into the same realm as Nixon’s obstruction, maybe worse,” he continued. “This is the equivalent of the Nixon tapes. We are headed into very, very choppy waters.”

And CNN’s “senior legal analyst” Jeffrey Toobin seems to be convinced that what Trump did was clearly “obstruction of justice”

“There is a criminal investigation going on of one of the President’s top associations … he gets fired, he is under under investigation and the President brings in the FBI Director and says ‘please stop your investigation,’” said CNN’s senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

 

“If that isn’t obstruction of justice, I don’t know what is,” Toobin said.

I don’t know what law school Toobin attended, but he is clearly wrong on this point.

There are several federal statutes that could apply in this case, but the most important one is 18 U.S.C. § 1505. In order for obstruction of justice to be proven under 18 U.S.C. § 1505, there are a number of elements that must be clearly established. In this case, prosecutors would have an exceedingly difficult time proving that Trump acted “corruptly”, but the even bigger problem would be the fact that there was no “proceeding” taking place at the time.

This is what 18 U.S.C. § 1505 says…

Whoever, with intent to avoid, evade, prevent, or obstruct compliance, in whole or in part, with any civil investigative demand duly and properly made under the Antitrust Civil Process Act, willfully withholds, misrepresents, removes from any place, conceals, covers up, destroys, mutilates, alters, or by other means falsifies any documentary material, answers to written interrogatories, or oral testimony, which is the subject of such demand;  or attempts to do so or solicits another to do so;  or

 

Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which any pending proceeding is being had before any department or agency of the United States, or the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any inquiry or investigation is being had by either House, or any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress–

 

Shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both.

And some of the greatest minds in the legal world agree with me that there is no obstruction of justice in this case. For example, consider what George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley recently had to say about this

There are dozens of different variations of obstruction charges ranging from threatening witnesses to influencing jurors. None would fit this case. That leaves the omnibus provision on attempts to interfere with the “due administration of justice.”

However, that still leaves the need to show that the effort was to influence “corruptly” when Trump could say that he did little but express concern for a longtime associate. The term “corruptly” is actually defined differently under the various obstruction provisions, but it often involves a showing that someone acted “with the intent to secure an unlawful benefit for oneself or another.” Encouraging leniency or advocating for an associate is improper but not necessarily seeking an unlawful benefit for him.

Then there is the question of corruptly influencing what? There is no indication of a grand jury proceeding at the time of the Valentine’s Day meeting between Trump and Comey. Obstruction cases generally are built around judicial proceedings — not Oval Office meetings.

And Alan Dershowitz is also convinced that there is no way to prove obstruction of justice in this case

Finally, there is the allegation of obstruction of justice growing out of President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey and his alleged request to Comey to “let it go” with regard to his fired national security advisor Michael Flynn. None of this, in my view, rises to the level of criminal obstruction, because all of the president’s actions were within his constitutional and statutory authority. But even if it were a crime, it is unlikely that a sitting president could be indicted and prosecuted for what is alleged against Trump.

Turley and Dershowitz are both extremely liberal, but at least they are honest enough to give us a balanced assessment of what the law actually says on these matters.

If Comey is being accurate, Trump’s conversations with him may have been inappropriate, but no crimes were committed.

Of course that isn’t going to stop the Democrats from trying to impeach him. If this current angle fails, I am hearing that they are planning an all-out push to get rid of Trump if they are able to take back both the House and the Senate in 2018. Let us hope that does not happen, because it is extremely difficult to be an effective president with the threat of possible impeachment constantly hanging over you.

 

END

 

This exchange should help you understand why there is no obstruction of Justice on the part of Trump:

(courtesy zero hedge)

Obstruction Of Justice Case Dismantled By Senator Risch

While this is not a highlight you’ll ever see replayed on any MSM outlet throughout the day, Senator Jim Risch just completely dismantled any ‘hopes’ of an obstruction of justice case against President Trump with the following exchange:

Risch: “Boy you nailed this down on page 5 paragraph 3, you put this in quotes, words matter, you wrote down the words so we could all have the words in front of us now.  There are 28 words there that are in quotes and it says, ‘I hope’, this is the President speaking, ‘I hope you can see your way claer to letting this go, to letting Flynn go…I hope you can let this go.'”

 

“Now those are his exact words, is that correct”

 

Comey:  “Correct.”

 

Risch:  “And you wrote them here and you put them in quotes?”

 

Comey:  “Correct.”

 

Risch:  “Thank you for that.  He did not direct you to let it go.”

 

Comey:  “Not in his words, no.”

 

Risch:“He did not order you to let it go.”

 

Comey:“Again, those words are not an order.”

 

Risch:  “He said ‘I hope’.  Now, like me you probably did 100’s of cases, maybe 1,000s of cases charging people with criminal offenses.  And, of course, you have knowlege of the 1,000s of cases out there where people have been charged.  Do you know of any case where a person has been charged for obstruction of justice, for that matter of any other criminal offense,  where they said or thought they hoped for an outcome?”

 

Comey:  “I don’t know well enough to answer.  And the reason I keep saying ‘his words’ is I took it as a direction…”

 

Risch:  “You may have taken it as a direction but that is not what he said.  He said, ‘I hope.’  You don’t know of anyone who has ever been charged for hoping something, is that a fair statement?”

 

Comey:“I don’t as I sit here.”

 

Of course, other media outlets will dismiss the crux of the exchange above and instead focus on Comey’s statement that he “took it as a direction” even though he admits multiple times in the same exchange it, in fact, was not a direction.  All of which brings up the larger point that if it was “a direction” and Comey didn’t notify anyone then is Comey also in legal jeopardy?

And while you’ll also never hear this on your nightly news, here is Comey confirming that neither Trump nor anyone else in his administration ever asked him to back down on the Russia investigation.

end

 

Then more fun:

 

 end

This is a two parter:

Trump’s lawyer Marc Kasowitz responds to Comey’ testimony especially on the release of his memos to friends.  Immediately after he was canned, Comey authorized his friends to leak the memos to the NY times et others.  The problem is the memo surfaces at the NY times one day before he was fired.

 

(courtesy zerohedge)

Watch Live: President Trump’s Lawyer Marc Kasowitz Responds To Comey’s Testimony

President Trump’s lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, will make a public statement in response to Former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony on Capitol Hill. The statement is expected to begin around 2pm ET.

According to a leak, no pun intended, of Kasowitz’ statement, Trump’s lawyer will say that “The President also never told Mr. Comey, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty” in form or substance.” He will add that “Of course, the Office of the President is entitled to expect loyalty from those who are serving in an administration.”

Kasowitz also attacks Comey for leaking “privileged communications” with Trump to the media as a retaliatory action.

The full statement is below:

I am Marc Kasowitz, President Trump’s personal lawyer.

 

Contrary to numerous false press accounts leading up to today’s hearing, Mr. Comey has now finally confirmed publicly what he repeatedly told the President privately: The President was not under investigation as part of any probe into Russian interference. He also admitted that there is no evidence that a single vote changed as a result of any Russian interference.

 

Mr Comey’s testimony also makes clear that the President never sought to impede the investigation into attempted Russian interference in the 2016 election, and in fact, according to Mr. Comey, the President told Mr. Comey it would be good to find out in that investigation if there were some ‘satellite’ associates of his who did something wrong.” And he did not exclude anyone from that statement.

 

Consistent with that statement, the President never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone, including suggesting that that Mr. Comey”let Flynn go.” As he publicly stated the next day, he did say to Mr. Comey, “General Flynn is a good guy, he has been through a lot” and also “asked how is General Flynn is doing.” Admiral Rogers testified that the President never “directed [him] to do anything … illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate” and never “pressured [him] to do so.” Director Coates said the same thing. The President likewise never pressured Mr. Comey.

 

The President also never told Mr. Comey, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty” in form or substance. Of course, the Office of the President is entitled to expect loyalty from those who are serving in an administration, and, from before this President took office to this day, it is overwhelmingly clear that there have been and continue to be those in government who are actively attempting to undermine this administration with selective and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communications. Mr. Comey has now admitted that he is one of these leakers.

 

Today, Mr. Comey admitted that he unilaterally and surreptitiously made unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the President. The leaks of this privileged information began no later than March 2017 when friends of Mr. Comey have stated he disclosed to them the conversations he had with the

 

President during their January 27, 2017 dinner and February 14, 2017 White House meeting. Today, Mr. Comey admitted that he leaked to friends his purported memos of these privileged conversations, one of which he testified was classified. He also testified that immediately after he was terminated he authorized his friends to leak the contents of these memos to the press in order to “prompt the appointment of a special counsel.” Although Mr. Comey testified he only leaked the memos in response to a tweet, the public record reveals that the New York Times was quoting from these memos the day before the referenced tweet, which belies Mr. Comey’s excuse for this unauthorized disclosure of privileged information and appears to entirely retaliatory. We will leave it the appropriate authorities to determine whether this leaks should be investigated along with all those others being investigated.

 

In sum, it is now established that there the President was not being investigated for colluding with the or attempting to obstruct that investigation. As the Committee pointed out today, these important facts for the country to know are virtually the only facts that have not leaked during the long course of these events.

end

Now Trump accuses Comey of lying about the leaked memos.  The New York times claims that Trump is mistaken> let us see who will win this one!!

 

Trump Accuses Comey Of Lying About Leaked Memo; NYT Says Trump’s “Mistaken”

Update: The New York Times has responded…

Kasowitz is mistaken re NYT stories on Comey memos. We never quoted memos prior to Trump’s 5/12 tweet re tapes; 1st story doing so was 5/16

*  *  *

As we detailed earlier, during his testimony today, former FBI Director Comey testified that he only leaked the memo about his contact with the President AFTER he saw President Trump’s tweet...

COMEY: I asked — the president tweeted on Friday after I got fired that I better hope there’s not tapes. I woke up in the middle of the night on Monday night because it didn’t dawn on me originally, that there might be corroboration for our conversation. There might a tape. My judgement was, I need to get that out into the public square.

 

I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. Didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons. I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. I asked a close friend to do it.

 

COLLINS: Was that Mr. Wittes?

 

COMEY: No.

 

COLLINS: Who was it?

 

COMEYA close friend who is a professor at Columbia law school.

 

COLLINS: Thank you.

Pretty clear – it was a response to a tweet. But, as President Trump’s personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz states:

Today, Mr. Comey admitted that he unilaterally and surreptitiously made unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the President.

 

The leaks of this privileged information began no later than March 2017 when friends of Mr. Comey have stated he disclosed to them the conversations he had with the President during their January 27, 2017 dinner and February 14, 2017 White House meeting. Today, Mr. Comey admitted that he leaked to friends his purported memos of these privileged conversations, one of which he testified was classified. He also testified that immediately after he was terminated he authorized his friends to leak the contents of these memos to the press in order to “prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”

 

Although Mr. Comey testified he only leaked the memos in response to a tweet, the public record reveals that the New York Times was quoting from these memos the day before the referenced tweet, which belies Mr. Comey’s excuse for this unauthorized disclosure of privileged information and appears to entirely retaliatory.

 

We will leave it the appropriate authorities to determine whether this leak should be investigated along with all those others being investigated.

So the question is – having called President Trump a liar, did Comey just get caught in an even bigger lie… ?

As Kasowitz concludes…

…from before this President took office to this day, it is overwhelmingly clear that there have been and continue to be those in government who are actively attempting to undermine this administration with selective and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communications.

 

Mr. Comey has now admitted that he is one of these leakers.

 

 

end

 

Now we get the truth that two stories:  one from the New York Times and the other from CNN using anonymous sources were nothing but phonies:

(courtesy zero hedge)

Comey Slams NY Times’ Fake News On Russia Probe: “Story Was Almost Entirely Wrong”

For those of you who continue to consume anonymously-sourced news from the likes of CNN, NYT, WAPO, etc, as pure fact and a perfect substitute for actual, unbiased journalism, while blindly ignoring the overwhelming evidence which continues to suggest these outlets are simply pushing a sensationalized narrative aimed at bringing down an administration of which they disapprove, please consider Comey’s testimony from earlier today in which he describes a February NY Times story, which alleged numerous contacts between Trump associates and Russia, as “almost entirely wrong”

Cotton:  “On February 14 the New York Times published a story, the headline of which was “Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence.”

 

You were asked earlier whether that was an inaccurate statement and you said you said ‘in the main.’  Would it be fair to characterize the story as ‘almost entirely wrong?'”

 

Comey:“Yes.”

 

For those who missed it, we covered the original New York Times article in a post entitled “NYTimes Reports Trump Aides’ “Repeated Contact” With Russian Intel Officials, Admits No Collusion Discovered.”

Meanwhile, in earlier testimony with Senator Risch, Comey further explained why anonymously sourced stories can often be pure “nonsense.”

Risch:  “So the American people can understand this, that report by the New York Times was not true, is that a fair statement?”

 

Comey:  “In the main it was not true.  And, again, all of you know this, maybe the American people do not, the challenge, and I’m not picking on reporters, about writing stories about classified information is, the people talking about it often don’t really know what’s going on and those of us who actually know what’s going on are not talking about it.

 

And we don’t call the press to say ‘hey, you got that thing wrong about his sensitive topic.'”

 

“I mentioned to the chairman the nonsense around what influenced me to make the July 5th Statement.  Nonsense, but I can’t go explaining why it’s nonsense.”

 

Of course, just like with CNN’s story yesterday, we’re certain that the New York Times will promptly retract their erroneous reporting and offer an apology to their readers for the unfortunate mistake…not that it matters much because the story has already reached millions of readers and inflicted the damage for which it was intended.

* * *

For those who missed it, Comey’s opening statement also outed another anonymously-sourced ‘fake news’ article pushed by CNN.  Here was our post on the topic from yesterday:

Back on May 9th, the White House released the letter that President Trump sent to former FBI Director James Comey informing him that he’d been relieved of his duties at the FBI.  Within that letter, Trump awkwardly inserted a sentence thanking Comey for informing him “on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation.”  Here’s the full sentence (full post here):

“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgement of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.”

Not surprisingly, this statement set off alarm bells at CNN and other MSM outlets because, if true, it would put a real damper on their “Trump colluded with Russian hackers to stage a coup” narrative. Therefore, those outlets set out on a mission to ‘prove’ that Comey never made those statements and that, by definition, Trump clearly lied about his past interactions with the former FBI Director.

And not long after setting out on that mission, courtesy of those infamous ‘anonymous sources’, CNN and ABC struck gold when they confirmed that “FBI Director James Comey is reportedly set to testify he never told President Donald Trump that he was not under investigation.”  Here is a summary of CNN’s reporting from their primary echo chamber, HuffPo:

“Former FBI Director James Comey is reportedly set to testify he never told President Donald Trump that he was not under investigation in connection with Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to CNN and ABC News.”

And here is the original CNN reporting:

CNN

 

“Trump has made a blanket claim that Comey told him multiple times that he was not under investigation.”

 

“But one source said Comey is expected to explain to senators that those were much more nuanced conversations from which Trump concluded that he was not under investigation.  Another source hinted that the President may have misunderstood the exact meaning of Comey’s words, especially regarding the FBI’s ongoing counterintelligence investigation.”

Unfortunately, CNN’s ‘anonymous sources’ seem to have been ‘mistaken’ on this one.  And while we have no doubts, generally, about the integrity of CNN and/or their anonymous sources, Comey’s direct testimony released just a while ago seems to confirm exactly what Trump said in his original May 9th letter and exactly the opposite what CNN subsequently reported.

In fact, here are precisely three instances (ironic, right?), directly from Comey’s testimony, in which he personally told President Trump he was not under investigation:

1.  January 6th Meeting at Trump Tower:

“In that context, prior to the January 6 meeting, I discussed with the FBI’s leadership team whether I should be prepared to assure President-Elect Trump that we were not investigating him personally. That was true; we did not have an open counter-intelligence case on him. We agreed I should do so if circumstances warranted. During our one-on-one meeting at Trump Tower, based on President Elect Trump’s reaction to the briefing and without him directly asking the question, I offered that assurance.”

 

2.  January 27th Dinner at White House:

“During the dinner, the President returned to the salacious material I had briefed him about on January 6, and, as he had done previously, expressed his disgust for the allegations and strongly denied them. He said he was considering ordering me to investigate the alleged incident to prove it didn’t happen. I replied that he should give that careful thought because it might create a narrative that we were investigating him personally, which we weren’t, and because it was very difficult to prove a negative. He said he would think about it and asked me to think about it.”

 

3.  March 30 Phone Call:

“I explained that we had briefed the leadership of Congress on exactly which individuals we were investigating and that we had told those Congressional leaders that we were not personally investigating President Trump. I reminded him I had previously told him that.”

Of course, we’re ‘absolutely positive’ that everything else CNN has learned and reported from their anonymous sources, regarding Trump and his Russian collusion, is completely accurate and reflect nothing but the highest levels of journalistic integrity.  As such, we are quite confident that CNN will promptly retract their erroneous reporting and offer an apology to their readers for the unfortunate mistake.

end

Then there was interesting testimony on the Clinton email scandal

 

(courtesy zero hedge)

 

Comey Testifies AG Lynch ‘Pressured’ Him To Use Clinton Campaign Language; “It Gave Me A Queasy Feeling”

In perhaps the most stunning section of former FBI Director Comey’s testimony today, he detailed his interaction with then Attorney General Loretta Lynch about his specific language about the Clinton Email “investigation.”

For the first time, former FBI Director James Comey, who is testifying today before the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that President Obama’s Attorney General Loretta Lynch asked him to downplay the Hillary Clinton’s email scandal…

As DailyCaller notes, Comey said Lynch instructed Comey not to call the criminal investigation into the Clinton server a criminal investigation. Instead, Lynch told Comey to call it a “matter,” Comey said, “which confused me.” Comey cited that pressure from Lynch to downplay the investigation as one of the reasons he held a press conference to recommend the Department of Justice not seek to indict Clinton.

Full Transcript…

LANKFORD: Then you made a comment earlier a the attorney general, the previous attorney general asking you about the investigation on the Clinton e-mails saying you were asked to not call it an investigation anymore. But call it a matter. You said that confused you. You can give us additional details on that?

 

COMEY: Well, it concerned me because we were at the point where we refused to confirm the existence as we typically do of an investigation for months. And was getting to a place where that looked silly because the campaigns we’re talking about interacting with the FBI in the course of our work. The Clinton campaign at the time was using all kinds of euphemisms, security matters, things like that for what was going on.

 

We were getting to a place where the attorney general and I were both going to testify and talk publicly about it I wanted to know was she going to authorize us to confirm we have an investigation. She said yes, don’t call it that, call it a matter. I said why would I do that? She said, just call it a matter. You look back in hindsight, if I looked back and said this isn’t a hill worth dying on so I just said the press is going to completely ignore it. That’s what happened when I said we opened a matter.

 

They all reported the FBI has an investigation open. So that concerned me because that language tracked the way the campaign was talking about the FBI’s work and that’s concerning.

 

LANKFORD: You gave impression that the campaign was somehow using the language as the FBI because you were handed the campaign language?

 

COMEY: I don’t know whether it was intentional or not but it gave the impression that the attorney general was looking to align the way we talked about our work with the way it was describing that. It was inaccurate. We had an investigation open for the federal bureau of investigation, we had an investigation open at the time. That gave me a queasy feeling.

So who was obstructing or trying to interfere there?

Comey said that this troubled him greatly and convinced him, “I have to step away from the department if we’re too close this case credibly.”

Still, we note that despite his admission that the conversation “gave me a queasy feeling,” Comey went ahead and followed her orders because “that was not a hill i wanted to die on…”

Under questioning by panel chairman Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), Comey said that he was uncomfortable with the unexpected meeting Lynch had with former President Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac last year. Comey said that meeting convinced him that the independence of the investigation was tainted with regard to the Justice Department and led him to go public with the bureau’s findings on Clinton.

Then Comey added in later testimony that “Loretta Lynch had appearance of conflict of interest.”

As a reminder, Circa notes that when Comey testified on May 3 before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he was asked about the Lynch meeting.  He told lawmakers “a number of things had gone on which I can’t talk about yet, that made me worry that the department leadership could not credibly complete the investigation and decline prosecution without grievous damage to the American people’s confidence in the justice system.” Bill Clinton met with Lynch in June 2016 at an airport in Phoenix, Arizona. Lynch said at the time that “our conversation was a great deal about grandchildren, it was primarily social about our travels and he mentioned golf he played in Phoenix.”  On March 15, Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, sued the Justice Department for all relevant material related to the Lynch and Clinton Phoenix meeting.

Five things spring to mind:

1) The utter politicization of the Justice Department (from the top-down) under Obama, has now been exposed as “fact” if Comey is to be believed.

 

2) Why did Comey think that a Clinton “Hill” was not worth dying on, but a Trump “Hill” was?

 

3) Why didn’t Comey “memorialize” this conversation in one of his memos at the time… as he said he did immediately after his Trump conversation?

 

4) So the only official to “pressure” Comey during his tenure was Loretta Lynch?

 

5) What would happen if AG Sessions colluded with the FBI Director to alter their statements about a Trump investigation for political reasons?

But hey, let’s spend the day ignoring that focusing on speculation about Trump and his “Russian hookers” obsession. We leave you with this…

Holy shit! James Comey just admitted to colluding with Loretta Lynch to falsify his statements to benefit Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Ailing Norstrom has decided that they may go private which causes our shorts in the company to cry out for help

 

(courtesy zero hedge)

H.

 

 

 

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